Chapter 2: A Dark Future

"People Talking"

"People Thinking"

"Demon Talking"

"Jutsu"


AN: This story will be original as in it will have extra arcs and new people and even powers. But it will still follow the story. I'll also have some movie arcs thrown in. Enjoy the story.


Chapter 2: A Dark Future

Naruto sat in his seat silently. The other occupants were Uchiha Sasuke, Haruno Sakura, and Arisawa Tatsuki.

"I can't believe how late our sensei is," exclaimed Tatsuki. She went to the door and prepared a prank.

"Do you really think a Jonin will fall for such a simple trick?" Sasuke asked. Sakura who was reading a book decided to keep her excitement to herself.

"Tatsuki you really shouldn't try that," she warned. She turned to her other companions, her heartthrob Sasuke and the enigma Naruto.

"Naruto, we should schedule a fight date," Sasuke said turning to the blond. Sakura's mouth dropped at the word date. Naruto glanced at Sasuke before turning to Sakura.

"I think he meant a day and time for us to fight," Naruto answered with a smirk. Sakura blushed and returned to her book. Tatsuki finished setting up her prank and stepped back. She took and imaginary picture.

"Perfect," she smiled.

"Well since we're all meeting our new senseis today. Let's try to meet up when we're stronger," Naruto answered getting a nod from Sasuke. Suddenly the knob to the door twisted. The Genin waited in silence as the door opened. The eraser fell but hit no one.

"Did you really think I'd fall for that?" A calm voice asked from the window. The Genin turned to see a Jonin garbed man with spiky black hair and two large scars across his right eye. "My name is Arata Dai. Don't worry I'm not here for you. I'm only here for Uzumaki-kun. Naruto nodded before standing up and walking to the window. "It's a pleasure to meet you Uzumaki-san. Naruto nodded and followed the man as he walked across the room.

"See ya Naruto," Tatsuki waved. Naruto waved without turning.

"Don't forget our fight," Sasuke called.


"It really is a pleasure to have you on my team Uzumaki-san," Dai said when they were out of the academy.

"It's nice to meet you too," Naruto replied. The two walked for a few minutes before they reached a clearing with a large river where Naruto saw two kids waiting. There was a boy and a girl. The boy wore a black zip up coat with a high collar and black pants. He had wild, curly black hair and tied his headband around his forehead. The girl wore white t-shirt with a dark red jacket over it. She also wore a light pink skirt with black ninja boots. She wore her headband around her waist. She had long brown hair tied in a long ponytail.

"Sensei!" the boy exclaimed running up to them. "Is he our new teammate? Can we finally go on missions again?" Naruto watched Dai ruffle the boy's hair with a smile.

"This is Uzumaki Naruto, our new teammate for team six," Dai explained. The boy rushed to Naruto.

"I'm Yutaka Kazuo," he said holding out his hand. "That's Nao Maya," he pointed to the girl walking toward them. Naruto took the hand and shook.

"Kazuo leave him alone. I think your scaring him," Maya said in a gentle tone. Naruto folded his arms when Kazuo rubbed the back of his head and laughed.

"Uh, come Maya, we're all friends here," Dai said. Naruto glanced at his sensei. He wasn't expecting the Jonin to say that. "So Naruto, why don't you tell us a littlie about yourself?" he asked. Naruto looked at him. "You know your likes, dislikes, and dreams."

"…Ok, I'm Uzumaki Naruto. My likes are meditating and finding new hobbies. My dislikes as overly loud people and…" Naruto paused. "I don't have dreams," he finished. The others except for Dai looked at Naruto.

"Come on surly you have dreams," Kazuo smiled. "I want to become a great and powerful ninja. Maya there wants to reach Jonin rank. So come spill it. Your dream is?"

Naruto looked into the boy's brown eyes and said, "I don't have a dream. If by dream you mean mission in life then my mission is to become an elite ninja." Kazuo looked at Naruto with raised eyebrows.

"Isn't that a dream?" he asked. Naruto shook his head.

"A dream is something that is extraordinary. It is meant to be motivation. Even if the dream is reasonable there is a chance that it will not be accomplished. A mission is something that must be accomplished at any cost. My mission in life will be accomplished. It is not a dream." Dai looked at Naruto and asked.

"Is that your belief?" Naruto was silent for a moment.

He nodded and said, "Yes it is."

Dai turned to his team, "Alright since we're acquainted. Let's talk missions." Kazuo whooped and gave a large grin. Maya smiled a little. Naruto smirked a little. He wasn't expecting to start missions so fast. Dai turned to Naruto. "I think you should know a little about the graduation tests the others are taking.

"What tests?" Naruto asked.

"You see every Genin team that has just graduated will be taking it. This test is to train there teamwork. If they can't work as a team then they fail and are sent back to the academy."

"So what about me?" Naruto asked.

"We'll because of your special circumstances the Hokage has given you special permission to skip the test."

"What!" Kazuo exclaimed. "How come he got to skip the test?"

"Well I guess it's because I'm stronger than you." Naruto answered with a smirk.

"Prove it." Kazuo demanded. The two looked at Dai who smiled.

"A friendly spar and a healthy rivalry are good ways to foster friendship. We'll talk about the missions later." Kazuo and Naruto smirked and backed away from each other.

"Ready?" Kazuo called. "I wouldn't want you to use the not ready excuse." Naruto popped his knuckles in response. The two stayed silent for a few seconds. With a roar Kazuo charge. Naruto jumped back and did a rapid succession of hand signs.

"Whoa!" Maya exclaimed. Dai nodded at the speed. He was well above a Genin at weaving hand signs.

Naruto landed and slammed both arms on the ground.

"Earth Style: Earth wall." A large slab of earth rose from the ground in front of Naruto. Kazuo jumped back as the earth wall rose. His eyes widened when two Naruto's charged from either side of the slab. The first Naruto did a quick jab but was blocked. Kazuo jumped back just in time to avoid a sweep kick from the second. The two Naruto's flipped back and smirked at the boy.

"What's so funny?" Kazuo asked glancing around.

"Earth Style: Head hunter decapitation." A hand rose from the ground beneath Kazuo. It grabbed his ankle and dragged him in.

"Wha…?" was all Kazuo could say before he was neck deep in the ground. The two Naruto's puffed away in smoke and the real Naruto walked from behind the slab of earth.

Naruto walked next to the head and said, "Guess I am stronger." Kazuo struggled to get out, but to no luck. After digging him out Kazuo begged Naruto to teach him the shadow clone jutsu. Dai to Naruto not to and explained that it was a Kinjutsu and needed a lot of chakra to be used.

"You must really have a lot of chakra then Naruto-kun," Maya praised. Naruto shook his head.

"Thanks for the compliment," Naruto started, "but I can only make five, maybe eight clones before I get tired."

"Still," Dai said with a smile, "It's pretty impressive." Naruto smiled but looked away. He was starting to like this team. "Now back to the missions. Since I got to see a little bit of what Naruto-kun can do I think you guys deserve a C-rank mission."

Naruto was confused when the two looked like they could hug their sensei.

"Are D-rank missions that bad?" Naruto asked.

"They're the worst," Maya answered with a disgusted face.

"I still remember the cuts that stupid cat gave me," Kazuo groaned tending imaginary cuts.

"Don't worry Naruto," Dai smiled. "We won't always have C-rank missions to do. You'll get your hands on some D-ranks pretty soon." Naruto just shrugged and smiled. The four headed to the Hokage tower where they would get their missions. On the way they decided to stop and get some ramen. Naruto didn't really care, he liked ramen.

"Naruto-kun," Maya said. Naruto looked at her. "After we finish the mission do you wanna go on a date?" Naruto finished chewing while ignoring the shocked gasp from Kazuo.

"Sure," was his simple reply. Maya smiled and blushed before returning to her food. Dai who was watching the team smiled at their actions.

"So what's the mission?" Kazuo asked as they left the Hokage tower.

"The Land of Waves is having a little bandit problem. We're supposed to deal with it," answered Dai. Kazuo whooped and pumped his fist into the air.

"Alright! It's bandit butt kicking time!" said boy exclaimed.

"Today was pretty productive. I want all of you to prepare and meet at the gates tomorrow. Seven O'clock sharp," Dai ordered. The team nodded.

"Before we all separate," Naruto said getting their attention, "I want to know what happened to your last teammate. Did he die?" Naruto realized that the others all looked down.

"No he didn't die. His name was Michi," Dai answered. "It was actually on a C-rank mission. We were ambushed by a rouge ninja and some of his flunkies. I fought the ninja while my team took care of the others. I got the ninja cornered and in desperation he attacked my team. Well luckily Kazuo who had finished off his group of bandits was able to throw a few shuriken that hit the ninja dead center. We thought he was dead but before anyone could attack he attacked Michi. Michi stabbed the ninja in the head killing him, but the trauma was too much. After we returned he resigned as a ninja. We haven't heard from him since." Dai finished with a frown.

It wasn't what Naruto had been expecting. He was actually expecting the guy to be dead.

"At least he's alive," Naruto said. Dai and the others nodded. They had already realized a long time ago that it could have been much worse. "So then that's why you weren't allowed to go on any other missions?" Dai nodded answering Naruto's question.

"Any more questions?" Dai asked. Naruto shook his head. Dai smiled and said, "Alright then, welcome to team six, Naruto-kun." With that Dai waved and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Naruto turned to the other two. Kazuo gave him a thumb up and grinned.

"It's cool to have a strong rival," He said before running away. Maya walked up to Naruto.

"Want me to walk you home?" Naruto asked. Maya blushed and looked away.

"If you insist," she answered. Naruto walked her home before heading to the training field. Today had been a good day.


The Next Morning:

"Alright, Team six, move out!"

Naruto and the rest of team six followed their sensei. They ran at a good pace. After a few hours of traveling they decided to break for lunch.

"Here you go Naruto-kun," Maya said handing him a lunch box. Naruto took the lunch box and thanked her.

"Hey where's mine?" Kazuo demanded. Maya tossed him a small bag. Kazuo took it with a pout. "Naruto gets a handmade lunch and I get a bag of leftovers." Naruto chuckled at the boys antics.

"Be thankful that she brought you anything, Kazuo," Dai said with a smile.

"How is it?" Maya asked. After Naruto took a few bites.

"It's good," Naruto replied. The four enjoyed a nice atmosphere when a sudden fog enveloped the area.

"Fog? Aw man our picnics ruined," Kazuo complained. Dai on the other hand dropped the tea he was enjoying and began to search the area. Naruto could also sense it.

"This fog isn't natural," Naruto exclaimed. "We aren't that close to the Land of Waves." He dropped the lunch he had been eating and drew two kunai.

"The boy's right," a menacing voice said from everywhere. Naruto suddenly froze as he felt the killing intent. Before he could act a large foot slammed into his gut. Naruto coughed up blood as he flew into the surrounding fog.

"Naruto!" exclaimed his team. Naruto coughed while spiting up blood. He felt as if he had been hit by a truck. Naruto struggled to stand when he heard the sound of chains. He heard footsteps running towards him. Naruto heard laughing and glared at the direction it was coming in. He created two clones in front of him as he tried to stand. The clones ran into the fog leaving him alone. Naruto pulled out a kunai and waited. Suddenly the memory of his clones returned to him as they were destroyed. Naruto jumped into the air barely avoiding a chin that would have sliced him in half.

"He dodged!" a male voice exclaimed. Naruto went through a set of hand signs and slammed the ground in front of him.

"Earth Style: Earth wall." A large slab of earth rose in front of Naruto. He did a hand sign creating two clones. The clones charged into the fog. Naruto was instantly hit with the memories of one that had been destroyed.

"Damn it!" Naruto cursed as he clutched his stomach. The pain sent a shock through his body. "Dai-sensei, Maya, Kazuo!" Naruto yelled out. The memories of his remaining clone returned just as it was destroyed. Naruto did a few hand signs and slammed the earth. If his clone's memories were accurate then the two that had killed it were charging at him. But he would be waiting.

"I have to find the others," Naruto thought as his body hid underground. Two of the rouge ninja reached the location where they had heard yelling only to find a large earth wall.

"He probably put this up to keep us from chasing him," the older ninja examined. "Let's go!" The younger nodded and the two began to take off when a reached up and grabbed the younger ninja's leg.

"Earth Style: Head hunter decapitation," Naruto called as he dragged the younger ninja down while stabbing his chest. The ninja gave a raspy groan as he fell. The older ninja who was too shocked by his partner's death didn't notice Naruto flipping over his head delivering a vicious drop kick. His neck made a sickening snap as he fell to the ground. Naruto stood over the bodies with no emotion.

"Death eventually comes to all of us," He said before looking around. He was about to take off in search of his teammates when the fog began to clear. Naruto could only stare at the site in front of him, near a close by river stood a large man who held a large carving knife. The man turned to Naruto and chuckled. Naruto quickly recognized the man as Momochi Zabuza from the Leaf bingo book that the third Hokage had given him.

But that wasn't what shocked him. Lying in a pool of blood was Kazuo and Dai and in Zabuza's hand was Maya who was struggling to breath. Naruto created two clones before charging at the man. Zabuza saw him and tossed Maya away like a rag doll.

"So you're alive? What happened to my ninja?" the rouge ninja asked reaching for his sword. Naruto glared at the man before throwing a set of shuriken at him. Zabuza quickly slashed the shuriken away and charged at Naruto. The large man disappeared and appeared in front of Naruto. Naruto was barely able to dodge another boot to the gut by leaning back. "You have guts, but it won't save you." Naruto suddenly realized that the first attack was a trap. Zabuza slashed his carving knife in a wide arc threatening to slice Naruto in half.

Naruto watched as his life flashed before his eyes. The blade almost cut him when a large ball of ice slammed into Zabuza. Naruto fell on the ground and looked to his right. There he saw Maya panting heavily with both hands on the ground.

"Naruto… leave him to me. Run back to the village," she panted. Naruto's eyes widened when a large white wolf the size of a bull with blue markings all over its body landed in front of her.

"She can do summoning?" Naruto thought as he got up. Zabuza began to chuckle as he stood up.

He gave a few practice swings and said, "Not bad, a little weak but not bad at all. You could probably match her in ice jutsu." Naruto looked at Maya who was still panting heavily. He smirked and began to walk toward Zabuza.

"Naruto what are you doing?" Maya yelled trying to follow him.

"Tch, you should go home. I'll hold him off for as long as you need," Naruto said without turning. He did a quick sign and created three clones.

"Oh the brat can use shadow clone jutsu. Not bad at all," Zabuza praised. He did his own hand sign and created a water clone. "Let's see how good they are." The water clone rushed at Naruto. The three clones rushed forward each drawing kunai. The wolf near Maya rushed past him with a howl. Naruto turned back to Maya when he heard a groan. He quickly ran to her.

"Look, I'll get you out of here. Let's go," Naruto said lifting the girl. Maya looked into Naruto's dull blue eyes and smiled. Naruto was confused by this action and decided to ignore it. He began to walk away with the girl.

"My clones haven't been destroyed yet so we still have a chance," Naruto thought turning back. He could see Zabuza and his clone dealing with the large wolf and his clones. Naruto turned to Maya. "How does she know summoning?" Suddenly a loud whine was heard causing Naruto's neck to snap back. He saw the large wolf hit the ground before disappearing in a puff of smoke. Naruto's eyes widened when his clones were all destroyed instantly. Zabuza's sword flew at him. Naruto gasped as the sword grazed his back as he tried to dodge.

"That was an interesting fight," Zabuza said. Naruto looked around but could see no one. "I'll have the pleasure of killing to ninja with potential." Naruto still couldn't see the man and his heart began to pound. Naruto was slammed in the face causing him to fly away while spitting out blood. He land hard on his side before rolling away. Naruto's head was ringing. His vision was hazy and he was seeing double. He struggled to stand when a large menacing figure appeared in front of him.

Naruto glared at the man causing him to chuckle. Zabuza raised his sword about to deliver the final blow when someone tackled him.

"Again! That girl doesn't know when to stop," Zabuza exclaimed as he righted himself. Naruto watched in shock as Maya stood in front of him.

"Go away you stupid girl. He'll kill you! Why didn't you run away when you had the chance?" Naruto yelled. Maya continued to stare at Zabuza.

"I was at the orphanage too," She said. "I was always watching you. You were perfect and always succeeded. All the adults talked about you like you were the greatest ninja to come out of the leaf village. I wasn't jealous of that or you. I was jealous that you never gave me the time of day. You were always hanging out with Tatsuki. I wanted to be her friend. I really did, but I couldn't bring myself to like the girl who always got your attention." Naruto stared at the girl. He knew what she was saying was true. He had ignored everyone else at the orphanage in order to make Tatsuki's life better. Zabuza who was about to attack stood there waiting. Maya continued.

"I was adopted before I could say anything to you. I thought even though I wouldn't see you until the academy as long as you were happy I would be happy. When the day came to enter the academy I was heartbroken to learn that you wouldn't be entering until a year later so you could train with the Hokage. I still wasn't jealous of you and decided that I would become a respectable Kunoichi that you would see as an equal. After all those years we became ninja, but I still didn't see you. I only heard of you from rumors and how you would be the nest Hokage. I was really sad but didn't give up on my dream. I would become a respectable Kunoichi that even the Hokage would look at as an equal." Naruto looked down in silence. Time seemed to have stopped as Maya poured her heart out. Even Zabuza was quietly listening.

"You should have seen how I felt after seeing you join our team. Nothing felt wrong and I thought maybe now you would look at me and I could get to know you better. I was so happy when you said yes to our date…" Maya stopped and turned to Naruto. She smiled and said, "The last couple of days have been the happiest of my life… because I got to spend them with you." Naruto's eyes widened when she charged at Zabuza while doing hand signs. Zabuza raised his blade over his head. Two large balls of ice began to circle Maya as she charged. It happened so slow for Naruto. Every second was antagonizing.

Zabuza's blade came down in a wide arc just as Maya reached him. The two balls of ice slammed into Zabuza's chest. Maya gave a final yell before falling dead on the ground. Zabuza looked at Naruto as he stared wide eyed.

"Her sacrifice was in vein, but she truly loved you," Zabuza said taking a step toward Naruto. Suddenly Zabuza growled in pain before he was incased in ice. Naruto gasped in shock. He laid there for a few seconds before struggling up. Tears stung his eyes as he swayed toward Maya's body. A ninja wearing what looked like a hunter-nin mask landed in front of the frozen Zabuza.

"Who are you?" Naruto growled. The Hunter-nin ignored him and turned to the ice. The ninja did a few hand signs and touched the ice. Naruto's eyes widened when the ice began to melt. When the ice completely turned to water Zabuza shook his head and looked at the dead body of Maya.

"That girl could have been greater than you Haku. Her ice attack was brutal. If you hadn't come then I would have died from the cold," Zabuza said to the hunter ninja.

"You!" Naruto yelled gaining their attention. "Why are you alive? Why are you still alive? What was the point in Maya dying? If you're still alive then it was pointless. That is not fair. You killed my teammates but they killed you in the process. That's only right. So why are you alive?" Naruto finished with a raspy yell. Zabuza motioned for Haku to move to the side.

"I thought you were taking this pretty well," Zabuza said. "But I guess you are just a kid after all. What you need to realized kid is that the world isn't always fair. In fact it will always find a way to screw you over. I'll let you live for now so get out of here. Go back to the village and think about that."

"Why did you kill her?" Naruto asked clenching his fists. "Why let me live when you killed her?"

"Didn't you hear what she told you? She knew she would die and was fully prepared. She was willing to give her life so you had a chance to escape. That's the only reason I'm letting live. I would have killed you like the others." Zabuza answered. Naruto looked down and smirked. He reached into his weapons pouch and pulled out two kunai.

"Then I hope you've prepared yourself," Naruto said looking up. "BECAUSE I WILL KILL YOU!" he yelled before rushing at the rouge ninja. Zabuza raised his own sword up in a wide arc. He slashed Naruto cutting him in half. His eyes widened when the body puffed into a log with paper bombs attached to it.

"When did he?" Zabuza exclaimed shielding himself from the blast. The rouge jumped back in time to avoid most of the damage. Naruto jumped from the smoke and threw the two kunai in his hands. Zabuza swiped the kunai just as they explode. Zabuza slammed into a tree trunk with a groan when two kunai flew at him. He was able to dodge to the side in time to avoid the two weapons. He was surprised however when the both kunai continued to drill through the tree before stopping inside the tree itself.

"How did he throw them with such power?" Zabuza thought as he quickly stood up. Three Naruto's flew through the air at him. Zabuza quickly dispatched them when he saw a lone figure in the air. Naruto did two hand signs.

"Fire Style: Grand Fireball!" Naruto exclaimed. He inhaled before shooting a gigantic ball of fire at his target. Naruto watched in satisfaction as the flames hit Zabuza head on. "Even death was too good for you," Naruto spat as he watched the flames burn.

"Water Style: Water Dragon Jutsu!" A familiar voice exclaimed. Naruto turned only to be hit by a large dragon made of water. When the jutsu finally released Naruto was on his knees and hands coughing and throwing up water. His clothes where ripped and shredded and he was bleeding from many gashes.

"Not many people live after being hit with that jutsu," Zabuza said appearing in front of Naruto. "For a newbie you sure did well… against those water clones." The rouge-nin laughed. Naruto glared at Zabuza who then raised his sword. "I'll still let you live, but now you have to work for it." Zabuza kicked Naruto in the jaw causing his body to fall back. As he fell back Zabuza slashed his chest leaving a large bloody gash.

Naruto laid there in a pool of blood as Zabuza's footsteps disappeared. He wouldn't faint. Naruto never fainted. His body would keep itself awake at all costs. A figure landed next to Naruto and lifted up his body. The figure carried him to the base of a tree and gently placed him there.

The figure was blurry but Naruto could recognize the person as the hunter-nin who had saved Zabuza. The figure put something inside Naruto's mouth and in a feminine voice said, "This will keep you from bleeding too much. Hopefully someone will find you." Naruto couldn't respond. He was in too much pain. His eyes where unfocused and he couldn't move any part of his body. "I know it's hard to see someone precious and close to you die, but that is why we get stronger. I wish to one day meet you again." The figure disappeared after Zabuza.

Naruto sat there covered in his own blood. He couldn't see straight or think for that matter.

"I'm not going to make it." After what seemed like forever. Naruto heard footsteps. He could hear voices.


"Hey Karui" Omoi called, "Nah...I was thinking, what if there were a ton of really pretty girls in the village of Konoha...what should I say if they all totally come after me?"

Karui rolled her eyes and exclaimed, "Yeah sure why not date them all?" Omoi ignored the sarcastic answer and replied.

"But then, when we have to leave Konoha, what if they tell me they love me and can't bear to be separated, what should I do then…? I'm scared they might ask me for too much!"

The two began to bicker while the two who were in front ignored them.

"Yugito-Sensei, what's wrong?" Samui asked over her two comrades bickering. She knew her sensei was a strong ninja and if she was acting this way then something was defiantly wrong.

"I…I smell a lot of blood," Yugito answered with a slight fidget. The other two who had been fighting stopped and paid attention. "It's coming from this way. Yugito said pointing into the woods. The group decided to take a quick detour and entered the forest.

They found three dead bodies causing the Genin to pale. Two of the bodies were no older than them.

"This blood is fresh," Yugito said with a solemn voice. "They were in a brutal battle." The team decided to give them a moment of silence when Yugito looked up. "I can sense a faint presence. Prepare for battle," she commanded. The Genin nodded and drew their weapons. They stalked through the woods when they saw the owner of the weak presence.

"He's dead too," Karui said in a sad voice. Yugito walked to the body and crouched near it. She moved a hand over the eyes attempting to closed the glazed over eyes when the boys hand shot up and grabbed hers.

"He's a zombie!" exclaimed the Karui and Omoi. Samui shook her head and moved over to help her sensei.

"We need to treat his injuries," Yugito said. Samui nodded and reached into her pack. She pulled out a small medical kit and the two began to work. After a few silent minutes the boy moved his head. Yugito noticed the tattered Leaf head band that hung from his belt. "We'll take him with us to the leaf village," Yugito announced gently carrying Naruto over her shoulders.

"What about the others?" Samui asked. Yugito looked at Naruto and looked at where the bodies were.

"We should build them proper burials. I think he would like that," she answered.

After building the three graves and having a moment of silence. The cloud ninja returned to their mission.

'So do you think that the Leaf village will give me a medal after we return him? But if they do won't they ask me to become leaf ninja. I would hate to disappoint the women there who fawn over me by refusing. Oh what should I do?" asked a distressed Omoi. Karui bopped him on the head.

"Shut up baka!" she exclaimed. Their trip was uneventful after that. When they reached the gates the two guards quickly noticed their head bands.

"Halt, state your business." The guard on the right said. He walked toward them before noticing Naruto's body. "Naruto?" he ran to Yugito who gently handed him the body. The guard turned to his partner. "I'll take him to the hospital and alert the Hokage. Keep an eye on these ninja." The other guard nodded and watched his partner dash away with Naruto in his arms. Yugito watched the scene and frowned.

"That boy must be important to get that kind of reaction," she thought as she placed a finger under her chin. A few minutes later the guard returned followed by three anbu.

"These anbu will escort you to see the Hokage," the man said. The anbu motioned for the cloud ninja to follow. As the cloud passed the guards the one that had gone to get the Hokage bowed to them. "Thank you for saving his life." With that the man turned away and continued his duty.

As the ninja were escorted through the village many who saw their headbands stared as they rarely saw cloud ninja in the village.

When they reached the Hokage tower Ayumi the Hokage's aid motioned for them to enter the room. "The Hokage will be with you soon," she said. Yugito nodded and her team entered the room. After waiting a few minutes the Hokage entered the room. He puffed his pipe a few times as he walked over to his table.

"On behalf of the Hidden Leaf village, I thank you for saving Naruto's life," Sarutobi said. Yugito smiled and bowed.

"It was all we could do," she frowned and looked down. "I'm sorry we did not reach them during the battle. We could have helped things go differently." Sarutobi shook his head and frowned.

"I saw Naruto's injuries. If you hadn't helped him I have no doubt in my mind that he would have been dead. And for that I thank you." Sarutobi replied. Yugito bowed again.

"So how is he?" She asked.

"Naruto has one of the greatest wills I've ever seen. Already his wounds are healing. In a few days he should be as good as new."

Suddenly the door burst open and a ninja doctor rushed in.

"Hokage-sama," he exclaimed, "Uzumaki Naruto has disappeared from his care room!" The Hokage's eyes widened as did the cloud ninja.

"I saw his injuries," Yugito exclaimed, "He shouldn't be able to stand let alone walk!"

"Do you have any idea where he could have gone?" the doctor asked. "We can't find any trace of him." The Hokage took a few puffs of his pipe.

"I have an idea of where he could be," he turned to the cloud ninja. "Would you mind accompanying me?" He asked standing up.

"Not at all," Yugito replied. The Hokage walked out followed by the cloud-nin. They walked toward the forest before reaching a river. There in the clearing they could see a lone figure standing near the river. Naruto stood there wearing only his ripped and tattered pants. The small cuts over his body were all healed. The larger ones were wrapped in gauze.

"Naruto-kun," the Hokage started.

"Hokage-sama, I failed the mission," Naruto interrupted. He continued to stare into the river. "I was weak and wasn't any help. I let my team down."

"It wasn't your fault Naruto-kun. What happened was a bad twist of fate." The Hokage replied. Naruto clenched his fists.

"I came here to pay my respects," Naruto said. "And I came up with a resolve. When we were ambushed I took the life of two ninja." The cloud Genin held their gasps at the revelation. "I kept my calm by making the resolve that we are all destined to die someday. Some people just lived longer than others. That resolve helped me stay calm and fight. But as I watched that man strike down my teammate I thought "This world isn't fair. Why does a girl who's never soiled her hands die by the hands of a man who's killed hundreds? Why is he still alive?" So I came up with a new resolve."

"And what is it?" Sarutobi asked. Naruto looked at the man. Sarutobi was surprised. Naruto's normally dull and lifeless eyes now had dark bags under them. His eyes were still dull but had a strange will, a sort of determination to them.

"My new resolve is to become the strongest. I'll surpass all the great ninja and reach the top," Naruto looked up into the sky. "When my power reaches a level I'm confident with, I'll find Zabuza and his friend and destroy them."

"You've chosen a good path," Sarutobi said with a smile. "You've chosen to become stronger." Naruto shook his head.

"No, that's wrong. I've chosen revenge. I want to become stronger so I can kill the man who killed my teammates. There's no want to protect someone. There's no need to become the Hokage and protect the village. I want to become the best so that when I face Zabuza he will feel the same fear I felt before. That's all there is."

Naruto began to walk away. He stopped in front of the cloud-nin and bowed.

"You saved my life. Thank you. I know I can never repay that debt but if you ever need my help I'll give all I can." Before Yugito could reply Naruto began to walk away jamming his hands in his pockets. When Naruto was out of site Yugito turned to the Hokage and smiled.

"He's a strong one. Most people would have giving up after experiencing what he experienced" The Hokage puffed his pipe before turning to the cloud-nin.

"Naruto-kun has always been a strong individual. Even at a young age I trusted him with info I would normally only give to the anbu…Now what brings you here?" Yugito reached into her pack and pulled out a scroll.

"This was giving to us to be delivered by the Raikage. He wishes to see more of our ninja interacting with the hidden leaf. This is a letter asking if we can send more ninja to next year's Chunin exams." The Hokage took the scroll and read it. After reading he sighed and rolled it up.

"Cloud ninja are allowed in the chunin exams, but it is true that fewer and fewer have been attending. Is your team going to enter the up coming exams being held at Sunagakure?" Yugito shook her head.

"I am actually not the official leader of this team but they have just become Genin and will attend the exams here next year."

"Very well, how long will you and your team stay in Konoha?"


Naruto returned to the hospital. He had to heal fast and resume his training. Naruto entered his dark room. He didn't turn on the lights.

"I'm coming for you," Naruto thought as he walked over to his bed.

He took and deep breath and closed his eyes. The last thing Naruto saw was a large broken down room.

TBC


Naruto begins his training