Okay, A few words first. This is in response to the challenge by gman391. Specifically, the 'Kitsune Archer' challenge.

So, I hope you enjoy it.


Sarutobi's headache only grew as he continued to ponder his...unique dilemma. The boy wanted to be Hokage. That in itself would be a nearly impossible goal, and yet that would probably be the easy part.

Truth be told, Hiruzen would rather that Naruto never became a ninja at all. He was the last of the Namikaze line, and the fourth's only heir. It was only after much prodding on the part of his ex-teammates that he agreed to allow him to join the academy.

Admittedly, Naruto was almost as close to a natural as a ninja could be. He was definitely one of the craftiest people in the village, or at least his subconscious was, and even without the Kyuubi he had huge stores of chakra.

But the fox was always the problem. Jiraiya had informed him about the seal shortly after he had retaken the mantle of hokage. He remembered the day all too well, even years later. In one of his rare fits of anger, he had made speaking of the fox punishable by death. Then, after going to the office for what he hoped to be to rest, he was told of something about the seal he would have rather have been told earlier.

If Naruto is too injured or too emotional, the demon's chakra leaks out. He chuckled inwardly to himself. Considering his normal enthusiasm, it's amazing that we're not at it's mercy right now.

But, it also made his chosen career even riskier; a single slip could easily end the village before it's time.

Which brought him full circle. The boy would become a ninja whether the old man wanted him to or not. And as a ninja, he would be sent on missions. And during any one of these, he could be injured and kill his team and anyone around him.

Then, his mind came around to what he hoped would finally be his solution. The boy could train and become a ninja, but it would be less dangerous if he avoided direct confrontation. This meant four possible options. The first was to become a medic, though he sincerely doubted Naruto would be interested in this. The second is genjutsu. That was out; not that he disliked the boy, but he wasn't really the genjutsu type. The third was ninjutsu. With his huge stores of chakra, Naruto would be a natural at this. The problem came from the boy's own style; he was far too direct to be bothered with things like handsigns. And that left only one, final option. The boy would need to learn to use weapons, specifically at range.

But what would be the right style for him? It needed to be something, for the Hokage's own sake, that would force him to stay at range. It also needed to be capable enough that the boy could be convinced.

Shurikens came to mind, but were quickly dismissed. The idea of a shuriken expert was almost laughable; they were capable if used right, but they weren't lethal on their own. To anyone with experience, they were little more than annoyances.

Puppetry could be a useful tool, but was once again dismissed. He held no doubts that Naruto would have been a natural at this. After all, hiding was like a second nature to him. But puppet's were almost, if not completely, unheard of in Konoha. Finding one would be almost impossible, let alone convincing him of the use of one.

This left him with only one true option. A bow.

The weapon itself was easy to obtain, and only really required a new drawstring and some arrows to maintain. They were a decent enough weapon that Naruto wouldn't argue. Or at least, not after a demonstration.

"Gramps, you sure about this?" Naruto was clearly unimpressed. The 'hunk of wood' the old man was holding was about as underwhelming of a ninja tool as he could imagine. But when he was told that it could help him become hokage, his own curiosity wouldn't let him back away.

That, and that the old man was about the only one in the village who treated him like a normal person.

The two stood in a field in the middle of the woods, where a target had been nailed to a tree. "Now then, I believe I should at least show you what this is capable of before I leave you alone." On finding the boy, yet another thought had managed to break into his head. The more time he spent training, the less time he had to spend on pranks.

The blond, of maybe eight years old, merely nodded. It was bad enough that he was caught before he even finished setting everything up to get that shopkeeper back for kicking him out. He liked the old man, he was as close as family as he knew, but that doesn't mean that he wanted to be out in the woods, watching as he demonstrated a weapon he had never seen a ninja use in his life.

Or at least, uninteresting until the Hokage actually fired. Naruto watched in awe as the arrow hit the target dead center, then continued going through the tree behind it. It finally stopped around ten feet later, lodged several inches into the NEXT tree.

Naruto sat for a few seconds in awe. The next moment would forever alter the path of his career.


The old man smiled at his success, as he handed the child the bow. He wouldn't tell him, of course, that he had really used chakra to enhance the bolt's power. He would need to learn that on his own.

"Alright! Now to...how do I hold this?" Sarutobi crouched down to the boys level before grabbing his arms and repositioning them.

"Now, take the arrow, pull back, aim at the target, exhale, and let go." The boy picked up an arrow from the ground before going back to the position that Sarutobi taught him. He pulled back as far as he could, which was barely over an inch. And so, when he fired, the arrow did little more than fall clumsily to the ground.

"GAH! There has to be some sort of trick!" Yelled Naruto, throwing his new 'weapon' to the ground.

"Now now, it just takes practice." He turned to walk away, but stopped for a second to look over his shoulder. "I believe in you."