Naruto: Blades, Bows, and Souls

Preface: It is truly amazing how a single moment can change everything. A moment of joy can change ones entire life, a moment or rage can unleash untold destruction or untold power, a moment of anger can destroy any bond or forge an entirely new destiny, and a moment of desperation can unlock new strength. Truly, the entire world can be changed in but a single moment.

This is the second of my 'Moment' series of stories. (The first is Forsaken Wolf Ninja, where a moment of rage unlocks an ancient power.) In these stories a single moment can change our blonde hero in unimaginable ways.

Note: I'm changing the ages so the Naruto and the others are at 15 when they graduate the academy.

"Normal Speech"

'Normal Thought'

"Zanpakutō Speech"

"Demon/Large Summon Speech"

'Demon/Large Summon Thought'

Jutsu, Kidō/Gintō Incantation, Kidō /Gintō Spell Name, Skill Name, Zanpakuto Ability

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Chapter 1: Drawing the Blade

(Konoha Outskirts, Approaching Midnight)

In a particularly lonely stretch of woods surrounding the village of Konohagure no Sato (Village Hidden by the Leaves) we find a young man, apparently no older than 15, sitting on the ground in front of an unrolled scroll. He is slightly short for his age, standing at about 5'5" in height, with bright, golden blonde hair that popped up in a bed of spikes, deep cerulean blue eyes, and a trio of whisker-like markings on each cheek. He was dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit that practically screamed 'I'm over here, kill me now.' This young man is none other than Naruto Uzumaki, master prankster and pariah of the Hidden Leaf Village, not to mention the hero of our story. Sitting in front of our young blonde is a massive scroll, opened slightly so he could read its contents. This was the Forbidden Scroll, an artifact of the Hidden Leaf containing some of the village's most dangerous jutsu. Jutsu that were forbidden from use for either the toll they take upon their wielder or the effects they cause. The blonde seemed to be studying the scroll intently when a new voice broke the silence of the forest.


Pausing from his reading, Naruto looked up to find an older man, probably in his mid-twenties. He had dark brown hair worn up in a spiky ponytail in the back and a large scar stretching across the bridge of his nose. He was also dressed the standard attire for a Chūnin of the Leaf, with the only exception being a set of bandages wrapped around several of his joints. This was Iruka Umino, Naruto's teacher at the shinobi academy.

"Hehe, you found me quicker than I thought Iruka-sensei. I only had enough time to learn a single jutsu from the scroll, but that's still enough to pass right?" stated the grinning blonde as he stood up while he rubbed the back of his head.

"Pass? What are you talking about Naruto?" asked the dark-haired instructor as he appraised his student, noting the sweat and other stains and scuffs covering the majority of the blonde's clothing along with the heavy perspiration covering his forehead. 'He's covered in sweat, he must have been training here the entire time.' surmised Iruka as he studied his student's appearance.

"Come on Iruka-sensei, don't play dumb. I was told that if I was able to steal this scroll and learn a jutsu from it before I got caught, I'd automatically graduate." answered Naruto with a broad smirk across his features, evidently pleased with his accomplishments.

'Is that it, did someone trick Naruto into stealing the scroll for them?' questioned Iruka inwardly while he physically asked, "Who told you that?"

"Mizuki-sensei." stated the blonde while he cocked his head to the side, looking slightly confused. Just then a slight whistling sound filled the air and Naruto found himself knocked sideways by a tackle from Iruka. Before the blonde could make his annoyance at the sudden attack known he noticed the tree he was standing in front of mere seconds ago was now riddled with kunai and shuriken. He also saw that Iruka-sensei was covered in a number of cuts with several of the pointy weapons piercing his back and side.

"Damn it, I missed." stated a snide voice from overhead. Looking up Naruto saw another man the same age as Iruka with a face framed by long, dull gray hair, the face of his second instructor Mizuki. Turning a now grinning face to Naruto he said happily, "Congratulations Naruto, you passed, now hand over the scroll."

"Naruto don't!" shouted Iruka as he tried to rise up from his knees, "Mizuki tricked you! That scroll contains some of the village's most dangerous and forbidden jutsu. You can't let him take it!"

Mizuki scowled at Iruka for a moment before a twisted idea sprung up in his evil little mind. "Naruto," stated Mizuki kindly, "would you like to know a secret?"

"What kind of secret?" asked a now thoroughly confused Naruto. What the hell was going on?

"Mizuki don't its forbidden!" shouted Iruka, understanding what Mizuki was planning.

"The secret behind why everyone hates and ignores you. The reason they insult, degrade, and belittle you at every turn. The reason you will never be accepted in this village." stated Mizuki with a twisted grin. Noting he had the blonde's complete attention he began to secretly unsheathe one of the giant shuriken from across his back, keeping the movements slow and hidden. "You remember the story about how the Kyūbi no Yōko (Nine-Tailed Demon Fox) attacked fifteen years ago and was killed by the Fourth?" Not even waiting for a response, Mizuki continued, "Well that was a lie. The Fourth couldn't kill the demon, so he imprisoned it inside a new-born infant."

"STOP IT!" shouted Iruka

"That infant was you. You are the Nine-Tailed Fox! NOW DIE DEMON-BRAT!" shouted Mizuki as he let his giant shuriken fly at the boy.

Naruto didn't even notice the weapon flying straight at him. His mind was filled with thoughts of confusion and betrayal. 'I'm the Fox? That can't be. I'm me, aren't I? But that's why everyone hates me? What about Gramps, and the Ichirakus, and Iruka-sensei? Do they hate me as well? Were they just pretending to be kind to me? Maybe it would be better if I just died now.' thought the devastated blonde as he closed his eyes and waited for the shuriken to come and end his life.


The sound metal piercing flesh echoed in the blonde's ears, but he felt no pain. Slowly opening his eyes the blonde found Iruka standing in front of him, the shuriken piercing his back. Naruto couldn't understand it. "Why?" he croaked, tears filling those cerulean blue eyes. "Why did you save me? Aren't I the fox, the demon that caused everyone so much pain?" he cried out, the tears slowly starting to leak from his eyes

Iruka smiled down gently at his student and placed a shaky hand on the blonde's shoulder. "You're wrong Naruto, you aren't the demon fox. You are by far the strongest, most kind-hearted boy I have ever met. You train yourself with all your might, even if you make a mistake or screw up at times, but you never give up. You are just like I was." stated the Chūnin proudly, his voice soft but undeniably sure.

"Don't lie to him or yourself Iruka." sneered out Mizuki, reminding both of his presence. "You hate the fox just as much as I or anyone else does, maybe more. After all, he's the one who killed your parents."

"You're right." stated Iruka as he turned around to face Mizuki, and Naruto felt his heart shatter again. "I hate the fox, but I don't hate Naruto." stated the injured Chūnin with conviction. "He isn't the fox, he's Naruto Uzumaki, citizen of Konohagure, my favorite student, and someone I'm willing to fight to protect." he proclaimed to the traitor while taking a step forward, only to collapse to his knees as his injuries and blood loss began to take effect

"How sickeningly sweet." spat Mizuki, disgust evident in his tone. "I was going to wait until after I finished off the brat to kill you, but for that sickening little show I'll let you go first so you don't have to see your favorite student die." With those sneered words the gray-haired traitor removed his second giant shuriken and charged at the injured instructor, blade spinning rapidly, ready to end his target's life…


…only to be stopped half-way by the foot of the forgotten blonde slamming directly into his nose, breaking it, and sending the traitorous instructor flying backward.

"Listen Mizuki-teme and listen well. If you ever try to lay a hand on my sensei again, I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!" snarled the enraged blonde, his eyes narrowed into slits as he glared murderously at the Chūnin.

"Like you could demon brat." spat Mizuki as he recovered from the impact, wiping his bleeding nose with the back of his sleeve, "We both know you're still exhausted from training with that damned scroll all night, so there's nothing you can do to stop me." he finished with a sneer as he charged forward once again, this time intending to end the blonde.

'He's right.' thought the blonde, falling into a defensive stance as he got ready to defend himself and his precious person. 'I used every drop of my chakra mastering that Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique) from the forbidden scroll. If only I had a little while to recover, then I could use it again. But that won't stop me. I don't care if it kills me, I will do whatever it takes to protect the people I care about. I REFUSE TO LOSE!' mentally roared out the blonde, desperation and conviction resounding equally in that final, silent proclamation.

And with it something amazing happened. A nimbus of pure white light suddenly flared to life around the blonde, surrounding him in a blinding aura pure white.

Mizuki instinctively stopped his advance and jumped back as the light filled the forest surrounding them. 'What the hell? Is this some kind of trick? Did that demon have enough strength left to try something?' thought the confused Chūnin.

Iruka, who'd managed to push himself up against a nearby tree, simply stared at his student in awe. "What is going on?" he softly asked the world.

Naruto was just as confused as the light flared around him. The blonde stared on in awe, not even blinking as the nimbus of light slowly congealed into a new shape right in front of his eyes. In just a few seconds, and a second, smaller flare of light, the nimbus had changed. Floating just inches in front of the blonde's face was a katana with a jet black sheathe and hilt and a golden handguard shaped like a spiral.

As Naruto stared in awe at the blade floating just inches in front of his nose he heard a soft voice echo in his mind. Time seemed to slow to a halt as the voice echoed in his mind and the colors of the surrounding forest faded into shades of grey.

"Do you truly wish to be strong enough to protect them?" whispered the voice, sounding as if it was coming from a great distance away. Despite the softness of the sound the voice itself was strong, firm, and undeniably feminine.

"Yes." stated the blonde, slightly confused and unsure, wondering what the hell was happening.

"Even if it means sacrificing your own happiness?" asked the voice again, this time slightly louder and clearer, as if the speaker was drawing closer to him.

"Yes." growled out the blonde, doubts flowing out of him as new energy seemed to surge through his veins.

"Even if it doing so puts your life, your very soul on the line?" asked the voice again, even louder and closer than before.

"YES!" howled out the blonde, not a single doubt in his mind, body, or soul.

"Then draw the sword and call out to me." stated the voice excitedly, now sounding as if the speaker was right behind him, whispering in his ear, as the blonde felt a presence momentarily appear behind his back. "My name is…"

Naruto's hands instantly reached out, breaking whatever enchantment that had frozen the world around him, grabbing the hilt and scabbard of the katana in front of him in a single instant. Drawing the sword, he held it out, blade pointing in front of him, while shouting, "Sakebidasu, Benihime! (Cry Out, Crimson Princess)"

Instantly the katana was again enveloped in a bright light, only this time the light was a bright crimson red instead of a piercing white. After a brief moment the light began to fade away, dispersing like mist or smoke in the surrounding air, revealing the blade's new form. Resting in the blonde's hand was a sleek medium-sized sword. It had a crimson tassel dangling on the end of the hilt, which had a gentle decorative bend just before the end. Instead of a crossguard, a U-shaped decoration covered the first three or four inches of blade and a red decorative string wrapped thrice around where the blade met hilt, with a three-loop bow on one side and a folded paper decoration on the other. The metal handguard had a flower petal design right as it meets the string-crossguard. The blade itself was straight and slim, though somewhat short, with a single edge along the bottom and a rounded top and ended in a slanted razor-like edge instead of tapering to a point.

As he watched the blade transform in front of his eyes, Naruto felt knowledge fill his mind. Knowledge of his blade's new abilities and how to activate them. Knowledge of how to wield the weapon now resting in his hand. He also felt new energy filling him like he was drawing in chakra by the bucket load. As the knowledge settled in and the blades transformation ended he whispered a single word that best described the moment.


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Mizuki was no coward. Granted, he was a deceitful, conniving, little snake of a man, but a coward he was not. Once he got over the shock of a weapon suddenly appearing out of thin air and transforming into an entirely new weapon right in front of his eyes, his trademark sneer came back. Whatever trick the brat was trying to pull it wouldn't be enough to save him.

Confidence restored, the traitorous Chūnin snarled at the blonde. "I don't know what demonic tricks that little toy of yours has fox brat, but I'm not going to get close enough to find out." proclaimed the traitor as he went through a set of hand signs, "Katon: Enryū (Fire Release: Stream of Flames)." bellowed the Chūnin as he breathed out a wide stream of flames at the injured instructor and the young blonde standing defensively in front of him.

Naruto didn't even flinch as he stood in front of his teacher, lifting his sword to meet the oncoming rush of flames. "Chikasumi no Tate, Benihime! (Crimson Mist Shield, Crimson Princess)." proclaimed the blonde quietly. A thick stream of bright crimson, mist-like energy suddenly bloomed outward from the tip of the blonde's new sword. The mists quickly gathered into a roughly hexagonal shaped barrier that met the rushing fire attack with an audible slam.

Mizuki stopped his attack after a minute and looked forward to seeing only the burnt remnants of both Iruka and Naruto. Granted he'd probably just destroyed the scroll, but he could still claim that Naruto had killed Iruka, and he'd been forced to kill the blonde in order to protect himself and try to reclaim the scroll. That would make him an instant hero of the Leaf; maybe even finally get him promoted to jounin and named as the next Hokage, wouldn't that be a laugh and the perfect way to mock that damn brat from beyond the grave. His delusions of grandeur suddenly fell to pieces as the last smoking remnants of his attack cleared, showing Naruto and Iruka free of any harm, the crimson shield not even cracked, and leaving only a bit of scorched grass and a good amount of smoke lingering in the air as the only proof that the attack had ever occurred. Mizuki stood stunned at how easily his attack had been deflected.

"I think I used too much chakra in the shield, Iruka-sensei." commented the blonde offhandedly, a smirk evident on his features, "It was way stronger than needed to block that puny attack. I guess I really need to work on my control." he added disappointedly before shrugging, "Anyway, now it's my turn to attack so you better be ready Mizuki-teme." he finished with a feral grin. Bringing his sword to the side he shouted out. "Nake, Benihime!(Sing, Crimson Princess)" while swinging his sword forward in a wide slash. Flowing from the tip as he swung, a long streamer of dark crimson energy gathered in front of him, forming an arch of red. The moment the swing ended three points on the arch sprung forward forming a trio of crimson spears that flew through the air directly at the traitorous Chūnin who jumped quickly in an attempt to dodge the oncoming attack.

Mizuki was barely able to leap over the first two spears, but the third caught him in the lower half of his leg. The spear-like energy blast ripped through the side of Mizuki's left leg, nearly cutting halfway through the limb. The traitorous instructor's balance was destroyed from the sudden loss of one of strength in one of his legs, and he fell as his leg collapsed beneath him. Before he had time to recover, Naruto was almost on top of him, the tip of his sword pointed directly at Mizuki's chest. "Shibari, Benihime!(Binding, Crimson Princess)." Suddenly a small stream of dark crimson energy sprang from the blade's tip and flew toward the Mizuki. As the band of crimson energy flew forward it expanded, forming a wide interlocking net of crimson energy. The energy net slammed into Mizuki's chest and pushed the traitorous Chūnin backward, slamming him hard into the side of a nearby tree before the net wrapped around the tree, binding the traitor to it. The impact from his skull hitting the tree also knocked Mizuki into unconsciousness.

Naruto slowly walked back toward Iruka who was now sitting, staring in wide-eyed surprise as he watched his student take out a full-grown Chūnin. As the young Chūnin instructor watched, Naruto picked up the jet-black sheath, which he'd dropped after unsheathing his sword, from the ground and slowly sheathed his new sword. As the blade's tip touched the opening of the sheath, a small glow of crimson energy seemed to come off the blade before it reverted back to its plain, black katana form. Staring at his new blade for a moment, Naruto could only shake his head and let out a low whistle as he sheathed the weapon. Looking over to Iruka he grinned at the older man before holding the sheathed weapon in front of him by the sheathe and proclaiming happily, "Three words Iruka sensei: Best…Sword….EVER!"

Iruka could only chuckle at his student's never-ending enthusiasm before he motioned for Naruto to come closer. When Naruto had come close enough and leaned down to face his teacher he said, "Close your eyes Naruto."

Doing as instructed the blonde closed his eyes. After a few moments he heard Iruka say, "Okay Naruto, you can open your eyes now."

Opening his eyes to look at his teacher, Naruto instantly noticed that his headband was gone. Placing a hand on his forehead Naruto felt the cool feeling of the steel part of the hitai-ate resting against his forehead. "Congratulations Naruto," Iruka stated happily, "you graduate. To celebrate I'll take you out for ramen, well after I get patched up in the hospital anyway" he finished with a laugh.

Naruto stood stock still for a few moments in shock before he jumped up and shouted in joy before tackling Iruka, much to the older chūnin's pain and discomfort.

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(Inside the Hokage's Office)

The Third Hokage stood in front of his viewing glass, a small wistful smile etched on his aged features. After witnessing Naruto summon his Zanpakutō and defeat the traitor Mizuki in single combat he couldn't argue with Iruka's decision to promote the boy. The old Hokage couldn't deny the feeling of pride and warmth in his old heart as he watched his adopted grandson, but he also couldn't deny the feelings of worry and nervousness for the boy. With Naruto's bloodline awakening he couldn't keep at least part of the boy's heritage a secret any longer and with that knowledge would come a number of enemies both great and small. Sighing to himself, he quickly ordered his Anbu bodyguard to arrest Mizuki, get Iruka to the hospital, and bring Naruto to him. After all the other ninja in the room had left the Third looked out the window with a small smile on his face. "Kushina," he whispered happily as he stared out into the night sky, "your son is truly starting to grow into a fine young shinobi. I just hope he's ready to learn the truth, and the dangers that come with it. I can't help but wonder if he's inherited the other half of your bloodline as well?"


Ability Identification:

Katon: Enryū (Fire Release: Stream of Flames) – C-rank, offensive Katon ninjutsu. The wielder sends a large amount of chakra to his mouth and turns it into flames. Then by breathing outward the wielder can release the flames in a short, wide stream. Can be maintained longer by continuing to channel chakra into the mouth.

Chikasumi no Tate, Benihime (Crimson Mist Shield, Crimson Princess) – Ability of Benihime's Shikai state. Creates a hexagonal shield of crimson energy in front of the wielder, emanating from the swords tip, whose size and strength depends on the user's will and chakra expenditure.

Nake, Benihime (Sing, Crimson Princess) – Ability of Benihime's Shikai state. By slashing with Benihime the wielder can create a number of spear-like energy constructs that are then launched at the enemy with incredible speed and power. The exact size, shape, number and intensity of the spears are entirely dependent on the wielder's influence and chakra expenditure.

Shibari, Benihime (Binding, Crimson Princess) – One of Benihime's special abilities. By condensing the energy that Benihime produces for its attacks, the wielder is able to create an extremely powerful energy net that emanates from its tip. This net can be controlled and directed by the wielder to bind or restrict an opponent's movements. Exact size of the net depends on the amount of energy used to create it.


End Chapter 1

Hey hope everyone likes the new fic. Know it's a little short, but that felt like the best place to end it. I promise to make it up in Chapter 2.

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