Hello, everyone, I'm here with a new story and per poll's results (204 out of 452 votes) it will have Naruto U. / Mei T. as its pairing, though, for an odd reason I feel like Kagerou Fuuma should be a part of the pairing too. So, there is a good chance of story becoming Naruto U. / Kagerou F. / Mei T. ... Well, anyway, I hope you will find this story to your liking, despite it being more than a little dark in the beginning...

Let's start!

Title: Ronin
: NHunter aka N.H. aka 夜狩猟家 aka 灰色天使
: General, Adventure
: M = NC-17
: Naruto/Mei, maybe Naruto/Kagerou/Mei for main pairing and almost every character from manga, some anime filler characters, possible appearance of major OC
: AU, OOC, ronin Naruto, future lemons with possible threesomes, violence, torture and more...
: I DO NOT own Naruto or its characters.

"speaking of the higher beings / jutsu / Naruto while using Kyuubi's yoki"
'thinking of the higher beings'

* Jutsu list:
Suiton: suiryuudan - (B-rank) water style: water dragon projectile - dragon head made from water strikes the target.
Katon: kasumi engo - (B-rank) fire style: mist waltz - user creates a large cloud of combustible mist.
Katon: karyuu endan - (B-rank) fire style: fire dragon flame - user exhales a long stream of fire.
Doton: tetsu otome - (A-rank) earth style: iron maiden - a jutsu of my creation. It was inspired by one of the medieval torture/killing methods, hence the name.
Raiton: moyasu denkou - (B-rank) lightning style: burning lightning - another jutsu of my creation. User creates an arc of electricity and sends it into target. If the target is a living thing, the jutsu will burn its nerve system, possibly beyond any hopes of repair.

chapter 1: from Fire to Water

Five years old little blond boy with three whisker-like marks in each his cheek ducked into one of the smaller alleys behind the market place. Behind him there were four ANBU ninja, who were throwing small jutsu – not to damage the village – kunai and shuriken at the blond, and only his heightened senses and speed with agility saved Naruto, that was blond's name, from being killed.

"Stay still, demon!" Oh, yes, Naruto was the hated container of the mighty Kyuubi no Yoko... One of the ANBU threw another kunai at the boy, who almost dodged, getting only a scratch on his shoulder, that healed several seconds later... The chase exited the alley and approached the hot springs. When they ran just past the fence, another ANBU, without stopping running flashed trough handseals.

"Suiton: suiryuudan!" A dragon head attached to a long neck made from water rose from behind the fence, accompanied by loud screams of girls that were at the hot springs. The dragon homed at its target and, no matter how much Naruto tried to evade it, the water jutsu hit him on his back, knocking the little blond into the tree.

"Good work, Osprey." Another ANBU, the one with a tiger mask, said. "Now we can have our revenge for what this demon did to the village!"

"Tiger-taicho!" The third ANBU, this one with a lizard mask, called. "I have a new fire jutsu I wanted to test. Can we take this scum out of the village and burn him there?" 'Tiger' thought about it. He too, after all, had a couple of jutsu he wanted to try on an alive subject.

"Let's do it." He said finally. "We will show this demon what Konoha is made of!" Naruto, who regained conscious by now, tried to run away again, but before he could make it even a meter away from the tree, he got a roundhouse kick to his back, that pretty much broke his spine. 'Lizard' picked the downed blond and tied him with a thin wire than would cut the boy if he tried to move.

"Let's go, taicho." The four ANBU made through the village, parading their catch to the people and getting cheered at every step. Naruto, who was conscious, would have cried at this injustice of the world, but he ran out of tears years ago with the way Konoha populace – except for the old man Hokage, a couple of ANBU – 'Itachi' and 'Cat' – who were out of the village on their missions today and Teuchi and Ayame at the ramen stand – treated him...

The four ANBU with their captive entered a small clearing about four miles away from the village walls. 'Lizard' shoved Naruto into the tree roughly, while 'Osprey' and 'Baboon' pushed kunai through little blond's hands, nailing him to the tree, making the boy cry in pain. Then they did the same to his feet, crucifying the boy, before the three of them backed into the line at which 'Tiger' was standing.

"Any last words, demon?" The tiger-masked ANBU asked. Naruto remained silent: he learned it hard way that if he adjured for the torture to stop or even asked why they were doing to him, it only got longer and more painful. "Oh, well. Let's start, guys. Why don't you go first, Lizard?" The said ANBU nodded and and performed a sequence of handseals.

"Katon: kasumi engo!" Then he exhaled a gray mist that enveloped Naruto, making the blond cough when he accidentally breathed it in. "I think it works..." The ANBU mumbled to himself, while doing handseals for another jutsu. "Katon: karyuu endan!" And now he exhaled a stream of fire. When the fire touched the mist, there was a powerful explosion. When he smoke cleared, the ANBU smiled seeing that Naruto was burnt badly and was bleeding from his ears, nose and mouth.

"Did you like that, demon?" 'Tiger' asked. Naruto, who had his ears damage, couldn't even hear him. "Now it's my turn. Everyone, step back!" The tiger-masked ANBU flashed through handseals. "Doton: tetsu otome!" Two halves of hollow metallic statue rose on the sides of Naruto. Then the halves closed up around the blond. Then there was a sound of metal piercing flesh coming from inside the statue. For several next seconds there was silence, before the statue disappeared back into the ground, leaving wounded and bleeding Naruto still crucified on the tree. "What do you say guys, shall we finish the Kyuubi?"

"Wait a moment, tiger-taicho." 'Baboon' said. He came up to the blond boy and stuck his kunai between Naruto's legs, making him let out a silent scream. "Now we can continue." 'Baboon' said, returning to his comrades.

"We were going to kill it anyway, why did you do this?" 'Osprey' asked. 'Baboon' shrugged.

"I just wanted the demon to suffer as much as it can." The osprey-masked ANBU nodded. "Now, let's finish it." He flashed through handseals. "Raiton: moyasu denkou!" A powerful surge of electricity flowed from his hands and into Naruto's body, slowly frying blond's nerves. Then Naruto's heart faulted and the boy succumbed to the darkness... When the jutsu ended, 'Tiger' checked the boy.

"It's heart stopped." He said. "We killed it! We are the heroes of Konoha!" And four ANBU left the clearing.

The Kyuubi was woken from its sleep in the cage that was its prison from the feeling of it's container dying. Of course, nothing could really kill the demon of such level: it will reform after a decade or so. But still, the Kyuubi didn't fancy meeting the Shinigami again this soon. So, it decided to save its container. With the small amount of its yoki, the bijuu checked the damage its prison got. It wasn't happy with what it learned: almost entire skin of the boy had second and third degree burns and multiple pierced wounds; his lungs too were burnt; eardrums were destroyed as were middle ears; boy's nerves were fried and his spine was damaged heavily; boy's reproductive system was severed and, finally, the boy's heart stopped.

"Stupid ningens." The Kyuubi seeped more of its yoki into boy's body, restarting his heart and diaphragm and forcing the wounds on his lungs close up. After that was done, the nine-tailed fox started healing other, less dangerous wounds... Finally, after several hours of hard work, the Kyuubi managed to heal everything but the less significant burns and wounds. It was time for the boy to return to the conscious: all this healing took a lot out of his body and without food and water, Naruto would die soon.

"A-a-a-ah..." The blond moaned as he opened his eyes. He felt that his body was mostly healed, like it happened with all his wounds before. He was still crucified on the tree, with his clothes completely burnt away, and he could feel strange energy flowing through his body, making him believe that he could free himself.

"You, bag of flesh, free yourself and find food and water." Low demonic voice boomed in his head, making the little boy freak out. "Do as I say, you, hairless monkey, or you will die!" Naruto felt the energy in his body spike, and ripped his left hand free. Using it, he ripped other kunai from his body, starting with those that were in his feet and between his legs, crying in pain each time the blade moved through his flesh. "Now, take these knives with you. You will need them." Naruto, who could feel his wounds close, nodded.

'Who are you?' He asked, wanting to know, who was helping him.

"I'm great and powerful Kyuubi the nine-tailed demon!" The voice in his head boomed. "Do not be mistaken, you, bag of flesh, I don't care about you, but I'm stuck in your gut, and I don't want to meet Shinigami yet." The blond boy freaked out again: he had the strongest demon inside him! But the Kyuubi cut this line of thoughts from him. "You will need to find water and catch something to eat, monkey. You body needs food to continue living, something I'm interested in right now." With his hands shaking, Naruto picked five bloodied kunai from the ground.

'T-Thank you, anyway.' He thought, making the demon laugh, but it did no further comments, till Naruto came across a rabbit who was drinking a water from a small stream. With the instructions from the Kyuubi, Naruto managed to kill the critter.

"Skin it and eat it as it is. I will heal you from illnesses you may catch. You need food right now." The Kyuubi told to its container. "Then drink water." Eating raw meat wasn't good, but Naruto had no choice, so he ate the whole rabbit. Then he drank as much water from the stream as he could. "Now find yourself a safe place to sleep and rest. I will finish healing you, flesh bag!" Naruto did as the Kyuubi said, settling for the night in a big hollow in an old tree...

/ *** \

Sarutobi Hiruzen, Sandaime Hokage of the Konohagakure no Sato was distracted from his fight with the most evil enemy of every leader – paperwork – by a fireworks all over the village. The aged Hokage looked at the calendar, but today wasn't any holiday, so he couldn't see the reason for the fireworks. So he called his secretary. He noticed that the woman seemed to be very happy for some reason, much happier than she was in the morning.

"Masako-san, can you tell, what is the reason for all these fireworks?" The Hokage asked.

"Hokage-sama, you haven't heard? The Kyuubi was finally killed today!" The secretary said happily, but her words didn't have the reaction on the aged leader she expected: Sarutobi's face darkened, and started radiating killing intent so powerful that it made everyone within a mile from the Hokage tower feel it.

"Naruto-kun..." The man whispered, before upping his KI even more. "Bring the heroes here." His words were cold and promising those who were responsible for his loss a slow painful death. "I will personally deal with them." ...That evening Konoha ANBU forces lost four its men to the Hokage's wrath... And civilian part of the council got smaller too...

/ *** \

Naruto spent about a month in the forest, slowly walking away form Konoha as he didn't want to return to that place, even if all five of his precious people we there. He was feeding on different small critters he was killing with kunai he had or wild fruits and berries, and drinking water from various lakes, rivers and water streams he came across. Finally he exited the forest and reached a small village. Deciding that he could get some food and clothes – his old were irreparably ruined the day he was 'killed'. He cautiously approached the village, in case these people will try to kill him too.

"Oh dear, what a poor boy!" An old woman who was tending a herd of sheep exclaimed as she saw Naruto. The boy immediately froze, but moment later hid in the small ravine. The woman sighed and slowly approached the place where he was hiding. The boy tried to hide deeper, but quickly found himself in the corner.

"Don't hurt me! I did nothing back!" He cried in fear. The woman even did a step back, raising her eyebrows.

"Why would I hurt you, dear? Sure, you are dirty and naked and wounded..." She was referring to a fresh bruises the Kyuubi hasn't taken care of yet. "...but to hurt you for that? No." Naruto relaxed a little – maybe they didn't know about him here. "Come out, dear." The blond boy shook his head. "Fine. I will bring you food and some clothes I have from my grandson here." And she disappeared from Naruto's field of view. Twenty minutes later she returned with simple bread and old woolen clothes. Naruto accepted them, carefully looking for any traps.

For the next five days Naruto lived in the ravine next to the village. The old woman brought him food every day, and he was thankful for that, but in the end, the little blond decided to leave this place – who knows, someone from Konoha may come here and try to kill him again... In these five days he learned that he was in about seventy miles away from the eastern coast of the Fire country and one of the port cities. Naruto headed there, hoping to infiltrate one of the merchant ships and get as far away from Konoha on it as he could... It took Naruto a week to reach the city, but now, that he had some clothes, he could move around other people more safely, passing as another local orphan. Slipping past samurai guard into the merchant section of the port was quite easy with his skill, and now little Naruto was walking in the warehouse with large crates of canned food.

"To... the... wa-ter co-u-nrty." He read slowly as reading was something he taught himself to survive in Konoha. Deciding that anything was better that the Hidden Leaf, he crawled into one of the crates which had one of planks missing and fell asleep.

When Naruto woke up, he was already in the hold of the ship and in the open sea, judging by the tossing. Not wanting to be thrown into the sea, Naruto spent day after day in the hold, eating the food from the crate, opening cans with kunai he still had with him, and drinking water that was in glass bottles in the other crate... The ship sailed for a couple of weeks – not that Naruto could tell that in the dark hold he was in – before it finally reached the Water country...

Again on the solid ground, Naruto ran away from the town where the port was into the local forest. He was walking through the forests for weeks, again eating critters he killed and wild berries and fruits and drinking any water he could find. About seven weeks later, he came across a clearing where a girl with long red hair of about fourteen years old with no hitae-ate was training, using some jutsu that made lava. Suddenly, a man of about thirty-five years old with auburn hair and short beard, too with no hitae-ate, entered the clearing.

"Mei-chan!" He shouted, attracting girls attention. "Run and hide! I can sense a chuunin hiding there, and he isn't one of us." The girl nodded and disappeared. The man drew his ninja-to. "Come out, Mizukage's scum." Naruto thought trough his options. He could run away, but the man was obviously a ninja, and strong one, so there was a good chance that he will him him. On the other hand, he could come out and hope that won't be killed. Deciding that the second option was better, Naruto walked into the clearing... When the man saw only a boy of five, maybe six, years old in dirty and torn clothes, he thought that this was a joke. But he couldn't sense a henge over the boy, nor there were any illusions placed on him. And the chakra signature he thought to be chuunin's was actually boy's. The fact that such a young boy could already possess so big chakra reserves made him almost drop his sword... Naruto saw the man disappear from his view, and moment later his kunai were gone from his body and his hands were bound behind his back. "You will come with me, boy, and god help you if you are a spy." The man stated from behind Naruto's back, before he picked him up roughly and carried to the village.

to be continued...

Love it? Hate it? Leave me a review. And if someone wants to beta-read this story, I'll be very thankful.

And for those who are interested, I published several new challenges: Naruto U.-N./Mito U.-S. and Naruto/raikage's attendant being a couple of them. Interested? Go to my profile for the details on these or other my challenges. -NHunter