Uzumaki Naruto ducked into an alley quickly, weaving through the garbage cans and other nasty things littering the place. He had to be as quick as possible in order to ditch his ANBU 'guard'. He snorted derisively at that thought.

Guard, yeah right. Jailer or watchman would be a better word, he's just making sure I don't get in trouble. They've never stopped me from getting hurt, just killed. Ironically enough, the being he had to thank for his recent decision to leave this worthless village was the same being that was the source of all his trouble: the Kyuubi No Kitsune. The fox had been able to talk to him a few days ago when he was beaten nearly to the point of death. He was just lucky that ANBU with the dog mask had come by, even though he'd probably mistaken Naruto for some other seven year old. It would have been hard to recognize him with so much blood covering him.

The fox had revealed the village's greatest secret to him: The Yondaime Hokage had not killed the Kyuubi when it attacked Konoha, he had sealed it inside Naruto. Unfortunately, this led the villagers to believe that he was the Kyuubi reincarnate, which led to countless beatings, insults, and other humiliations. Once he knew the reason why everyone hated him, Naruto decided that there was no reason for him to stay here, the only thing he had ever wanted to do was become the Hokage and earn everyone's respect. He now realized that that goal was unattainable, the most he would ever be able to do was become a normal ninja, though the shinobi would more likely want to turn him into a weapon because of the Kyuubi's power that he would eventually be able to use.

So he was leaving Konoha. This was easier for him than for other people since he had no personal possessions to pack. Whenever he had gotten a personal possession, people had destroyed it. He had stolen some weapons from the shinobi equipment store and some food from the market, but that was it. It was all stuffed down his pockets. He was perfectly prepared to steal more food at the next town he came to.

He had no real destination in mind, just away from Konoha. First he had to get out of the Land of Fire, otherwise it would be all too easy for the leaf ninjas to track him down and bring him back.

He grinned when he glanced over his shoulder to find that his 'guard' was no longer following him. He never let his guard down though; he stayed hidden as carefully as possible, dodging through dark alleys and other places where people wouldn't see him, until he reached the gate. He had set this prank up a few days ago, but he hadn't had the chance to spring it. Luckily, no one had noticed the pyramid of oil cans on the sides of the two buildings closest to the gate. He found the string exactly where he had left it. With a grin, he grabbed it and pulled, yanking out a few carefully selected cans from each of the two pyramids. With those cans now missing, and spilling their contents all over the ground, the rest of the pyramid fell over, surprisingly neatly. Gallons of oil spilled out of them, getting all over everyone in the nearby street and gate. The normal sounds of people going about their daily business was replaced with yells and shrieks as everyone tried – and failed – to avoid the oil. With all the commotion, it wasn't a problem for Naruto to simply slip through the gate and run. Neither of the two Chunin guards saw him go.


Neko let out an exasperated sigh as he realized the boy had again escaped him. He was an ANBU for crying out loud! How on earth could a seven year old brat slip away from him?! Oh well, all Neko had to do was sit down and wait for the shouts that would signify Naruto's latest prank. He had to admit, the boy's tricks were amusing, as long as they weren't directed at you. Most of the ANBU actually held a minor amount of respect for him since he was clearly quick witted and clever to be able to continually get away from them. None of them liked him in any way, except for Inu, though no one knew why, but they always did their job of protecting him. The few who hadn't had been quietly executed. Neko had been surprised the first time he saw Naruto being publicly abused and beaten, and he had quickly jumped in to stop it.

His train of thought was interrupted as he heard many people yelling. He looked up to see that it was coming from the gate. He used a shunshin to get there in an instant, finding himself in a street crowded with people who were covered in oil. Neko hid a sigh at the sight. The kid had really gone too far this time, his prank could have very well gotten someone important, which could have had serious repercussions for the village. He made a mental note to alert the Hokage of this, since Naruto didn't seem to listen to anyone else.

He began looking around, using his greater than normal senses to search for the kid. He was surprised when he couldn't find the boy after five minutes of searching, that was almost unheard of. He began searching in a greater radius, hoping the kid couldn't have gone too far.


Twenty minutes later Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Sandaime Hokage of Konoha, was interrupted as an ANBU with a cat mask barged into his office. He jumped to his feet immediately, when such actions were taken, the only possibility was an emergency.

"I can't find Uzumaki Naruto," Neko blurted out. Sarutobi frowned.

"So? He often escapes from his guard."

"Hokage-sama, he escaped almost half an hour ago, and I have been unable to find him even with my tracking skills." That grabbed Sarutobi's attention immediately.

"Tell me everything that happened," He ordered. Neko gave him a quick oral report of everything that happened since he arrived for his shift. When he finished, Sarutobi was looking more stunned than Neko could ever remember, and his squad had been the one to tell him of the Kyuubi's approach.

"He's gone," Sarutobi said.

"I'm sorry?" Neko was confused.

"You said his trick with the oil happened right at the gate. I can only assume that he used the prank as a distraction to slip through the gate unnoticed and unhindered." Neko gaped at his own stupidity under his mask. It was so obvious once it was pointed out. "We will send out a squad of hunter nin to retrieve him and bring him back to Konoha unharmed. We'll need something with his scent for the Inuzukas to track him down." At that precise moment, there was a knock on the Hokage's still open door. The two men looked over to see a female Jonin with ruby red eyes standing there.

"Pardon me Hokage-sama, but there was a fire in one of the downtown apartments not too long ago. The firefighters just got it taken care of a few minutes ago, and they have confirmed that it was arson."

"I'm sorry Kurenai-san, but I fail to see the importance in such a thing." Sarutobi turned back to Neko only to freeze when he heard Kurenai's next sentence.

"The blaze started in Uzumaki Naruto's room." Sarutobi and Neko were both wondering what this might have to do with Naruto's escape from Konoha.

"He did it," Sarutobi announced. "Naruto burned his own apartment to get rid of anything he might have touched, so that the hunter nins would be unable to track him down."

"And he's seven?" Neko said in amazement. "Imagine what he'll be like when he grows up, if he can already plan ahead so well. The oil will have overpowered most of the scents at the gate, and that will also hinder the hunter nins."

"Incredible. I can only hope we're better." Sarutobi murmured.


That night, he was forced to admit that things looked grim. A few hours after his impromptu meeting with Neko and Kurenai, Inuzuka Tsume had marched into his office, stating that someone had apparently set up several large cans of oil in the Inuzuka dog pens while the dogs were having their morning run, and the oil had spilled all over the dogs when they returned. The whole clan had spent most of the day cleaning the oil out of their partners' fur.

Unfortunately, the stench of the oil would render the dogs' sense of smell even worse than a human's for a day or two, which gave Naruto an even bigger advantage over his pursuers. This all left Sarutobi in no doubt as to who had tricked the dogs.

He wondered what had changed the boy so drastically. The last time he had spoken with Naruto, the boy had still been talking about becoming Hokage, and outshining everyone in his class at the academy one day. Now, both those dreams were just about gone. The council had been furious that Naruto had been allowed to do such 'atrocities'. Sarutobi had had to repress a snort of laughter when heard that word. What Naruto had done was nothing compared to what he had suffered at the hands of the villagers. No doubt that harsh treatment had been a factor in pushing Naruto off the edge. But there must have been something else in addition to that, something big. But for the life of him, Sarutobi couldn't imagine what it might have been.

He had a very bad feeling about the whole situation though.


Two weeks later

Naruto sighed as he leaned against the tree and waited. He was in the forest, avoiding his former village's hunter nins. He was sure that they knew he was there, but that they didn't know that he knew that they knew he was there. In other words, he was waiting for them. When he had talked to the Kyuubi and decided to leave, he had asked what he should do if Konoha ever sent ninja after him. The fox had given him his answer, and Naruto was very satisfied with it.

He looked up as four shinobi wearing various outfits jumped down in front of him. They all looked as relaxed as you please, arms swinging loosely by their sides, no tension anywhere in their body. He was glad, that would make things much easier.

"Uzumaki Naruto, you have committed the crimes of abandoning your village and assaulting your fellow villagers. You will be brought back to Konoha to stand trial for your crimes," Their leader said. Naruto almost burst into laughter, he sounded as if he expected Naruto to go along with him like any other little kid. He settled for snorting loudly then spreading his arms wide and saying,

"Why don't you make me?" The leader rolled his eyes and marched forward. He didn't notice the glint in Naruto's eye as the boy stood there, perfectly calm and undisturbed.

Naruto watched as the hunter nin stepped on the wire he had set up in front of himself. With barely a whisper, a dozen kunai knives shot out of the trees to their right. The hunter nin barely had time to turn and look at them before he was stabbed in his chest, legs, and head. He keeled over without a sound as blood poured from the many wounds. Naruto smirked at the expression on the other hunter nin's faces.

"Now then, let me clarify a few things," He told them. "I did not abandon my village, I ran away from the place that refused to treat me with a shred of respect because of something that was completely outside of my control. I left a village of losers who would have continued to humiliate me until they needed the power of the Kyuubi, at which point they would have ordered me to do what they wanted. And as for assaulting my fellow villagers? I got some oil on a bunch of people, some of whom probably hit me at least once in my life, and some dogs who just happened to be too good to be left alone. Nothing I did was lethal or even truly dangerous. But you idiots think you can order me back there for doing nothing wrong at all. If some other seven year old ran away from an abusive parent, you would readily help him. What's the difference here?" He waited smugly as the hunter nins exchanged glances.

"Now then, let's finish this up, shall we?" with his foot he kicked a kunai out of the ground behind him, letting loose a wire that had been tied to it. In an instant, the clearing was filled with kunai coming from all different directions. The only safe spot was where Naruto was standing. He saw one of the hunter nins leap up in time to avoid the trap, while the other two were killed by the dozens of kunai. Naruto had taken the opportunity to stock up on weapons after he left Konoha. The last enemy stood in a tall tree, looking down at his three comrades' bodies with shock evident on his face. After all, they were all Chunin or Jonin, and they had been killed by a seven year old.

"I won't fall for any more of your traps, boy." He called down to Naruto. "I just have to kill you from a distance."

"You've already fallen for my trap," Naruto told him. The man looked around quickly, expecting another batch of kunai to come out of nowhere. Naruto laughed. "You idiot, you fell for my trap the second you walked into the clearing." With that said, he made a simple ram seal and focused. A roaring sound like rushing water filled his ears as he felt strength flooding through his body. The hunter nin gasped as the boy's chakra shot up at an unbelievable rate. A red aura began to surround the boy as he watched. After a few moments, Naruto was surrounded by a fiery red glow, his whisker scars had thickened, and his eyes had turned red with slitted pupils. His chakra felt vile and evil; it was the chakra of the Kyuubi. Before Inuzuka Shikon could blink, his foe crossed the distance between them and sank a frightfully powerful fist into his stomach. The elite hunter nin was sent flying backward, crashing into a tree branch. Naruto didn't let up for a second, raining down several dozen more blows in quick succession. His partner tried to attack in the middle of this barrage, only to be swatted aside by Naruto as if he were no more than an annoyance.

In thirty seconds, Naruto was standing over the man, who was bruised and bloody all over. He looked down at the man with those merciless red eyes.

"The instant you came to take me back to that accursed village, you signed your death warrants." Naruto took a kunai out of his pocket and, without any hesitation, threw it down, stabbing the man in the throat. Inuzuka Shikon died with a gurgling cry. He turned around and threw another kunai at the dog, killing him the same way.

Naruto wasted no time going through their corpses for anything useful. He collected a large number of kunai and shuriken, as well as some soldier pills, ninja wire, and other useful tools. The last thing he did was gather their bodies together along with some dry wood, then light a few matches and toss them on the pile. He walked away calmly as their bodies began to burn. The fire soon spread, catching on the trees and causing a forest fire. By the time it was all put out, Naruto was long gone.


That night he closed his eyes and focused, descending into his mindspace.

"That was pathetic," He remarked. "They were idiots, they never expected me to be able to touch them. It was no problem to catch them off guard and get rid of them."

"You seem to have quite the dark side to you," Kyuubi rumbled from behind his cage. "Much more so than I expected, especially to go corpse robbing without even blinking."

"They're my enemies, I have no remorse for them. Don't tell me you do?" Kyuubi snorted at his container's rhetorical question.

"In any case, the next group will be much more cautious. You should practice using my chakra more in preparation. That idiot with the dog was caught by surprise because of your speed, and his dog was frantic. You won't get that lucky next time." Naruto nodded, he agreed with that completely.

"I'll probably have to kill a lot more than that before they finally get smart and stop sending them after me."

"True. Given how stupid those villagers can be, I'd give it a few years before you can stop worrying about hunter nins. You could defect to another village, they'd gladly shelter you."

"Yeah, in exchange for becoming a weapon. There's no way I'll ever be part of a hidden village."

Merry Christmas! I hope my fans enjoy this new story.