Chapter 1-Rise of the Fox
"This is good...isn't it," said Big Boss, as he took an intact of his cigar, and closed his eyes for what he thought would be the last time at the sacred grave of the woman he considered to be his spiritual Mother known to all as "The Boss".
Jack could only smile in the fact the two would be together as a family again on the other side, regardless of it being in Heaven, or more likely in Hell after the people killed at his hands. He wanted to laugh at that, if he had the strength to smile anyway, and think of the entire FOXHOUND unit in general to be one big dysfunctional family with The Boss as the strong Mother of them all, the Sorrow being the strange yet loving Father, and Ocelot being their son by blood while Jack himself was the stepson The Boss always wanted.
For the extended family on Jack's side, it would have been Eva being his shy yet strong when required to fight of a wife, which meant Solid, Liquid, and Solidus Snake being his children. The end result making The Boss a Grandmother, which Jack knew would have made the strong woman happy if only one of them, most likely Solid Snake being the most loved of the three Snakes along with Frank Jaeger was a lot like Jack in terms of surrogate son, and the same was also said for Solidus's surrogate son Raiden.
"One must die and one must live. No victory, no defeat. The survivor will carry on the fight. It is our destiny... The one who survives will inherit the title of Boss. And the one who inherits the title of Boss will face an existence of endless battle."
Those had been The Boss's words years ago. Now there was no one left for him to fight, the past foes they had fought were dead, or no doubt dying. It was time for Jack to stop living this life of war and just...go home to his loving Mother and that special woman he loved...Eva!
'No more battles for me. I'm coming home Boss,' thought Jack, as he felt his spirit leave his body, and join his surrogate military family in the afterlife.
If there was ever an answer to the question of whether there was a Heaven of Hell could possibly be answered by Big Boss if allowed to reenter his body and tell his son due to the fact he felt himself to be in both. Big Boss believed in many things during his time being a solider, which included a strange sense of karma, as he found himself standing in the very place The Boss had been killed known as Rokovoj Bereg, and found himself to be semi-young again.
"Hello Jack," said The Boss, as she appeared behind him from one of the thick trees he had at one point hid behind when being shot at, and saw her in the white sneak suit she wore all those years ago.
The Boss looked the same now as she did back then.
"Boss!" said Jack, as he felt compelled to salute her like a solider should, and saw that loving smile she always gave with pride shining in those tired eyes.
"You don't have to salute me anymore Jack. I'm here not as your superior officer, but as a Mother come to embrace her son, and welcome him home," said The Boss, as she hugged her surrogate son, and Jack hesitantly at first returned it.
"May I call you...Joy?" said Jack not knowing what else to call her.
"Of course. I always preferred that to The Boss. Though considering your title after I was defeated, you must have wished to keep the title of Snake, or Saladin from what I have heard of the many titles given," said Joy seeing Jack wince at that.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry Joy. Forgive me," said Jack before he got on his knees and looked up at her tears running down both of his eyes despite the eye patch.
"I already have Jack. What was asked of you in terms of your mission was hard to do. I know. My own mission was hard for me too because it required I betray your trust, our bond, and love we formed for each other. When I look at you Jack, I see the second son I could never have after all that happened, and loved you as if you were my own," said Joy, as she looked at her surrogate son, and cupped his head felt him press his face against her stomach crying for the first time ever since even before he killed her.
"I felt like I died inside when I killed you. I hated myself for what I had done and began to drown myself in the many battlefields I engaged in to numb the pain," said Jack feeling Joy's hand petting his hair and feeling droplets of tears fall on him from her eyes.
"I know Jack. I died the day I betrayed you. I knew the very second I threw you over the bridge that day, we could not go back to the way things were, and changed everything for us. But now...now we can put this horrible bloody chapter in our lives behind us and not just because were both dead. We can move past it because we want to move past it and mend the ties between us that we didn't wish to willingly break," said Joy smiling down at her child knowing that Jack was her son regardless of the asterisk mark next to that title that would state it was surrogate.
Surrogacy be damned! He was her son in every sense of the word and she'd fight anyone to the death who tried to challenge it.
"I only have one regret since that day when things broke between us on that bridge," said Jack now slowly standing before Joy.
"What?" said Joy wanting to hear what it was he regretted.
"Not joining you. When I learned you asked the old members of the Cobra Unit to join, they jumped at the chance to follow, and part of me wished I had been asked too. If you had asked...I would have followed," said Jack seeing Joy crying further now and hugged him tighter.
"I was tempted. I was tempted to give you the offer knowing you would follow. But deep down I knew that if I did, you would never reach your full potential, and become the great soldier I knew you could become," said Joy, as she had been tempted to say "join me", and have Jack among the ranks of Russian forces.
But she knew in her heart of hearts that it would only hinder more then help him.
"A potential that is needed once more," said the Sorrow, as he appeared behind another tree with Ocelot, and Frank Jaeger doing the same with his body shifting from his human body to the exoskeleton he was given prior to the Shadow Moses incident.
"The Sorrow? Ocelot? Frank?" said Jack seeing the three of them smile at him.
"Its been a long time Big Boss," said Frank, as his voice shifted slightly from normal to electronic when his body shifted to the exoskeleton ninja form he wore during Shadow Moses.
"Indeed it has," said Jack shaking his surrogate son's hand.
"The afterlife has done wonders for your appearance...brother," said Ocelot, as he was no longer the elderly person he once was, and now wore his GRU uniform show the rank of a Major while having his short blonde hair with revolvers at key places along his hips to perform a quick draw.
"You to...brother," said Jack grinning at his stepbrother and the man returned it.
"What did you mean by Jack's skills being required again?" said Joy, as she had thought that once Jack finally died, he'd be with them here in the afterlife, and be allowed to have peace.
That was what Sorrow assured her would happen when Jack physically died.
"Time has no meaning here Joy. You know that. Even as we speak, the world we've come to know has gone by in heartbeat, and everything we knew about our ways has long since been lost. The world no longer uses gun, but spiritual energy called Chakra, and war has sprung up on multiple occasions with no real chance for peace to truly settle. Even the current peace the world has in effect now is impure, tainted, and poisonous with what is holding it together being a thread as thin as a single strand of hair. The world needs a new Big Boss. Jack is needed in the world of the living to train another to one day become Big Boss," said Sorrow seeing the shocked looks on both the legendary soldiers and knew this was unexpected.
But The Sorrow had seen what the world had become of itself without Big Boss. He had used his powers to see things, as they past by day after day, Month after Month, and year after year until the world became as he described. While he agreed the world didn't have room for snakes in it anymore, The Sorrow also agreed with Joy when she stated the world had room for one Boss, and it was time for a new one to reappear to stabilize the world.
"So I'm to be sent back to train someone to become the new Big Boss? My Heir to the title like Joy did with me?" said Jack not wanting to do that to anyone.
It was bad enough his three sons tried already while trying to kill each other.
"Not in the way you're thinking. More importantly, I've found you the promising student you, and these two beside me will assist in the child's training," said The Sorrow seeing Joy and Jack looking at him like he was nuts.
Maybe he was.
"Care to show me the student you chose before I make my decision?" said Jack, as he saw The Sorrow nod, and saw the look of sadness on the man's face aimed at Joy for doing this to her.
"Of course. This is the boy in question," said The Sorrow, as he used his abilities to shift the environment around them to show a boy alone, in pain, and hated by those around him.
"What's the boy's name? More importantly...why is he hated?" said Joy seeing the events of mobs attacking the boy when younger and saw Frank was straining himself from the desire to slash these people to pieces even though they weren't in the physical plain of existence to do it.
"His name is Naruto. Namikaze Naruto to be exact, but was given his Mother's Maiden name Uzumaki by the Sandaime Hokage, and the reason he's hated...is because of the nine-tailed demonic fox named Kyuubi currently sealed inside of him. One of the key differences between the world we know and this one that we don't. His Father performed the sealing, wishing his son to be seen as a hero, but the people wouldn't let that happen, and have made his life miserable ever since," said The Sorrow seeing the looks of rage on the faces of his family looking at the memories of events long past.
"Why didn't you bring this to our attention sooner upon my arrival?" said Jack seeing the Sorrow end the painful show they just watched.
"Because I didn't know about it until recently when I sensed a rift between this realm and the living after the boy recently used the fox's powers in a moment of rage. The boy is loyal to those around him, but I fear it is loyalty forged by lies with the truth being held from him, and it will no doubt be his undoing," said The Sorrow sadly seeing Jack now narrowing both eyes though only one was seen by the former Cobra member.
"He's being manipulated. Like what Major Zero did with us. He was the one, who feared The Boss the most, and had set things in motion for everything that happened with our family. He even set things into motion to turn my eldest son against me after I formed Outer Heaven and wanted him to join me. This Hokage is manipulating events to keep the boy under his thumb by playing the kind old man while secretly allowing this abuse while stopping it before the abuse turn lethal. It's a form brainwashing, which makes the victim believes his savior cares, but is in fact involved in the inflicting of the pain, and gains the victim's absolute loyalty," said Jack having seen such crude use of brainwashing before when it came to child soldiers in training.
I hurt you, yet I save you just so you'll be loyal to me, and only me when its time to put you to work kind of programming.
Again, it was very crude, slowly progressing, and yet sickeningly effective when used on a single individual.
Like the blonde blue eyed boy they had just witnessed get abused.
"Exactly. Jack, I know you don't want to do this, but the world needs a Big Boss, and this child has the potential to become something great. The village he is in will never let that happen and he will only achieve his potential if given a proper teacher to guide him," said The Sorrow seeing Jack run a hand through his hair.
"How would I-WE even train the kid? How can we train him if we won't even have our bodies?" said Jack seeing The Sorrow smile.
"Simple. Your spirits will be in his body," said The Sorrow seeing the raised eyebrow of Ocelot and Frank was looking at him like he was crazy.
Well...crazier then usual.
"Want to run that by us again?" said Ocelot knowing this was crazy even for him.
"Your spirits will enter the boy's body, but you stay within his mindscape, where you will meet, and train him in the skilled art. Everything the three of you have ever learned will be passed onto this boy and he will use them to their fullest extent.
"No guns. I know you said they don't use them in the world now, but I don't want to teach the kid how to make, and fire one," said Jack not wanting to bring about such weapons that could easily kill people.
"Agreed," said Frank, as he saw Ocelot look reluctant, but gave in at the end, and nodded his head about not teaching the boy about guns.
"Very well. I suppose using guns in this day and age with the kid wouldn't be necessary since they have so many unique ways of killing people without them," said Ocelot seeing his Father smile at him.
"Excellent! I'll take you into his mind now," said The Sorrow before the four of them vanished and left Joy alone.
"And here I thought the sewer system under Volgin's damn Russian fortress was bad," said Jack finding himself ankle deep in water, as he saw Ocelot looking around to see the pipes above being blue, and red with the latter seemingly leading somewhere.
"This way," said The Sorrow sensing the Kyuubi nearby.
Sure enough the four soldiers of war walked towards the golden colored bars, which held the Kyuubi, and saw that the cage was a mess with purple snake like chains around it. When The Sorrow put is hand on it, the image of someone hitting the seal from outside of Naruto's body came into his mind, and knew this was a seal meant to block the Kyuubi.
"So this holds the big bad fox," said Ocelot with his hands on his hips.
"You have something against foxes? Oh yes, that's right. You lost your arm to me back in Shadow Moses," said Frank laughing at the gunman and seeing Ocelot glare at him.
"Knock it off you two. I need to remove this seal placed on the original so we can speak to the Kyuubi," said The Sorrow using his powers that connect him to spiritual realm and manipulate the dark seal placed around the one already placed on Naruto.
The moment The Sorrow did that however, did the room brightened in a crimson glow, and the once tolerable presence of the Kyuubi behind its golden cage now becoming a near crushing experience for them all. They looked through the cage, seeing the Kyuubi grinning its massive teeth at them, and its eyes looking at each of them.
"And what do we have here? Four souls from the beyond, here in this weak vessel of mine, and in front of my cage? For what purpose are you here? Speak!" said Kyuubi narrowing its eyes at them while lowering the pressure of its power slightly to make at least one of them speak.
"Greetings Kyuubi no Kitsune. I am called The Sorrow. I along with the three souls here behind me wish to help your vessel become stronger. To become the ideal soldier. The ideal Shinobi. And if nothing else...then the ideal host for you Kyuubi no Kitsune," said the Sorrow seeing the narrowing crimson eyes of the fox gazing into his eyes.
"You are not from this timeframe in the world. I sense that much from the four of you. I also sense...you are from...before my own!" said Kyuubi its eyes widening in surprise at such news.
"Yes. Each of us is a Master of warfare from the days of old before you were ever created by whatever means breathed life into your form. These three behind me are the best that ever existed in their time in the world's bloody history in terms of war. With their help, you will have vessel worthy of his status in being your host, and will not bow to the fools within this village," said The Sorrow seeing the Kyuubi's eyes burn with fury at the slight mentioning of the Leaf.
"Those arrogant fools! I hate this village for what they have done to this boy in order to make him weak and twist his mind to their whims. It sickens me!" said Kyuubi, as it had seen the boy's memories, tried to talk to the child on more then one occasion about the lies told, but the seal was stopping such a chance, and it was just so damn infuriating!
"Give them the chance to teach your vessel and break free of this village's hold on him by showing him the truth needed to break the chain of lies," said The Sorrow seeing the fox looking at him now with those fury filled eyes burning with what seemed to be the power of Hell itself!
"Very well. Now that the snake's seal on this damnable seal is removed, I will use this moment in time to bring the boy here, and let him know what is going on," said Kyuubi while closing his eyes to concentrate using what power he could us on the boy.
(With Naruto-Outside of his Mind)
Naruto was furious! Irate Pissed off! Whatever you wanted to call the term, he was angry, and wanted to hit something until it broke. Never in his life had he been so mad, even when the reason behind his abuse by the village was made known to him during that big incident with Mizuki, and that was saying something Why? Because his fucking teacher, the all so great Hatake Kakashi had decided it was better to teach Sasuke alone, and not train both his two student who made it to the Chuunin Exam Finals!
That wasn't the worst of it either that made him so angry.
"What do you mean I can't see Sasuke?" said Naruto, as he wanted to see his teammate, and this bitch of a lady wasn't going to let him see the Uchiha.
"You are not allowed to see him demon. Now get out of here before I call security and they make you leave here in not such a walking state," said the woman sneering at the boy with disgust.
"Don't worry. I will escort him out," said Kakashi appearing behind Naruto and put a firm hand on the boy's shoulder before turning the boy away.
"Why? Why is it that you, Sakura, and all of Sasuke's fan girls can be allowed to see him with me being the only exception? Or do I really need to ask?" said Naruto seeing the Jounin narrow his one eye at him.
"No. You don't. Frankly Naruto, I don't think its in your best interest to see Sasuke right now, as you have to train to fight Neji, and you can't do that here," said Kakashi while seeing Naruto's mix with joy and fury over training to fight Neji after the crap the older boy pulled on his younger Hyuuga of a cousin.
"I suppose you're right Kakashi-sensei. What time should I see you for training?" said Naruto seeing Kakashi raise an eyebrow at him as if he just told a strange joke.
"Training? Naruto, I'm not going to be training you. I'm training Sasuke," said Kakashi like it was the most natural thing in the world.
"What? Why can't you train me too?" said Naruto seeing Kakashi again look at him with the "are you serious?" like appearance on his masked face.
"Honestly? Naruto, I don't really think you have what it takes to beat Hyuuga Neji due to being a prodigy, and Sasuke is fighting a much tougher opponent. A foreign Shinobi is far more dangerous to fight, then fighting one of our own, and Sasuke needs to have my undivided attention," said Kakashi seeing Naruto's eyes burning with rage at him for this betrayal.
"A foreign Shinobi is more dangerous? Did you not see what that prick Neji did to his own cousin? The teme nearly killed a member of his own family and probably would have too if not for the medics that for to Hinata in time. I think you have your facts in reverse," said Naruto seeing Kakashi's eye narrow dangerously at him.
"Are you questioning your Jounin superior Naruto? Because if you are, I'll see to it you are removed from the Chuunin Exams, and have your Shinobi license suspended," said Kakashi seeing Naruto's eyes widen before they narrow dangerously too.
"So that's how it is huh? You're just like all the other assholes in this village. You want me to lose! Maybe even die. Well I got news for you Hatake-baka, Uzumaki Naruto does not go down easy, and if you try to take me down...you better have a fucking army at the ready to back you up," said Naruto walking away from the surprised Jounin.
"Don't you want to know who I asked to take my place in teaching you?" said Kakashi seeing Naruto stop and glance at him.
"Why? It will just be one of the many jerks here in the village, who hates me, and will try to sabotage my training. As if anyone could call your way of doing things training since all you do is focus on Sasuke while I'm cannon fodder with Sakura being a human shield for your precious Uchiha. Tell the guy you hired to go screw himself, you, or Sasuke for that matter. It seems to be the only thing you three are the best at!" said Naruto raising his right hand and gave the finger while walking away.
When Naruto was far away from the hospital, into the forest of one of the many training grounds of Konoha, the blonde screamed out with all his anger, smashing through all the trees around him, and cursing the people in the Leaf for screwing him over. People in the Orphanage, the civilians, the Shinobi, the Academy Instructors, and even the Hokage for some reason that deep inside felt right. Like a secret, even bigger then Kyuubi was there in the wind waiting to be told, and yet the powers that be were keeping it locked away out of his reach.
It was infuriating.
Falling to his knees, Naruto felt exhausted from using his rage in what felt like a fraction of his usually much larger reserves of stamina, and collapsed before unconsciousness claimed him.
Naruto found himself deep within his mind, which he had been in before, but always felt like it was a dream, and when asked about what the place was to the Hokage...the old man had looked nervous though explained the place he saw was nothing to be concerned about. At the time, Naruto had no reason to doubt the Hokage's words in leaving it alone, but now after the facts about Kyuubi being sealed inside his body, and the abuse he had suffered for it made sense that this place was not some kind of reoccurring dream.
"I hate my life," said Naruto walking through the water filled floor and felt a pull towards a single place that seemed to be calling for him.
"The kid's finally here. Took you long enough fox," said Ocelot to the fox growling at him.
"Be silent mortal! The seal the Yondaime Hokage placed on him to lock me away is not making things easy for me. All it will let me do is give what chakra I can to help heal him and even then such an ability has been used on injuries received from the fools in the Leaf rather then the enemies of the Leaf," said Kyuubi before seeing the blonde make his way up to the cage and see him along with the others.
"So you are sealed inside of me," said Naruto calmly, but the anger at the realization of the truth being seen before his very eyes only hurt more, and stared at Kyuubi without any fear at all.
"You were expecting it to be a lie?" said Kyuubi with a raised eyebrow.
"Considering all the crap I went through with the village because of you...absolutely!" said Naruto with a hint of sarcastic tone into his words while seeing the fox chuckle at him like he just told a joke.
"Not a chance kit. You're stuck with me, as I am stuck with you, but fear not for it seems help has come to you in the most unlikely of fashion, and not even I suspected would appear," said Kyuubi motioning for Naruto to look to his right to see the four legendary soldiers standing there.
"W-Who are you? How did you get inside my head?" said Naruto seeing The Sorrow step forward and smiled down at him.
"I am The Sorrow. Behind me are three of the greatest legendary warriors the world long ago has ever known. I brought them here to help you Naruto. We have seen your pain and we wish to help so you won't suffer anymore," said The Sorrow, as he pointed to Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot, and Grey Fox all waiting to introduce themselves.
"You all want to help me? Why?" said Naruto, as he was cautious of getting help from anyone since all people did were screw him over, and laugh at his expense.
"Because you have the spirit of a soldier in you. We have seen the abuse you suffered at the hands of this village, we have seen you endure it all, and that takes a strong will. One that won't be broken so easily," said Big Boss, as he walked over to the boy, and smiled down at him.
"What will you teach me?" said Naruto, as he saw Big Boss smile at him, and it was one of someone he could trust.
"The ways of strategy, survival skills, espionage, CQC, which stands for Close Quarter Combat, psychology, the use of short range weapons, and how to destroy things," said Big Boss with Ocelot standing next to him and Naruto felt like he was looking at the male version of Mitarashi Anko.
"I'll teach you how to deceive others into believing what you say. You're good already at that, but with my help you'll become a true Master of deception, and fool even the most perceptive of people around you. In addition, you'll learn the way of interrogation, and torture in order to break a person for information that enemies may possess. You may feel bad about the idea now, but the methods I will teach you will help in the people you wish to protect in the near future, and help defeat your future enemies," said Ocelot, as all his years of experience torturing people for information now taught to the creative mind in front of him would be able to take things to untold levels, and make the blonde boy very notorious in his art.
"As for me, I will teach you swordsmanship using my special kind of sword, which is a high frequency blade that cuts through anything at a high rate of speed, and then stealth combined with it to kill your enemies in utter silence," said Frank, as he saw a lot of himself in Naruto, and wished to see the boy achieve his try potential like Big Boss did with him.
"Sounds cool though I feel its going to be painful," said Naruto hearing them chuckle knowing that statement was indeed correct.
"Not only that, but you'll be training to use those Jutsus your world has, and focus on bettering your chakra control since that too will need work. Though considering you have so much, the need to control it doesn't seem to be a real issue, and we can focus on that when we can," said Big Boss, as he had seen through Naruto's memories, which he had to admit were boring, and yet they were the basics needed to get started on unleashing the kid's potential.
"What about him?" said Naruto pointing to The Sorrow.
"Sadly, I cannot train you in my own skills since I am merely a transporter of spirits, a medium if you will, and my power cannot be taught. Do not worry though young one. These three here are more then qualified to help you. Listen to everything they say and you will become stronger then you could ever imagine," said The Sorrow seeing the boy nod with determination in his eyes.
"Good! When I face Neji-teme in a Month, I'm going to make him pay for nearly killing Hinata-chan, and make him regret it," said Naruto, as the image of Neji hurting Hinata to the point of near death appeared in his mind with everyone saw the young girl around the boy's age fighting her older, and stronger cousin knocking her down despite the many times she got back up.
'This girl reminds me of Eva. Shy, yet when the time came to fight, she could hang with the best of us, and did what needed to be done. What is it with shy, yet strong women that attract the most fearless, yet most traumatized soldiers, and make our hearts ache with our blood boiling inside with a need to see justice done on their behalf?' thought Jack, as he thought of Eva, and then thought of Meryl when it came to his eldest son being the same way.
"Don't worry kid, you'll get your payback, and more when we're done training you," said Ocelot, as he saw what the others did, and knew this girl was a lot like the people they themselves knew in connection to Naruto.
"I want to get started. Right away," said Naruto seeing the four nod, but then The Sorrow started to fade away, and continued smiling at the boy.
"I must go. I have done what was needed to be done. When you leave your mind Naruto, you will have the ability to hear Big Boss, Ocelot, and Frank Jaeger talking to you inside your head. To speak back, merely think the words, and they will hear you speak as if they were standing right next to you. Remember Naruto, no matter what awaits you in your coming trials that may come, no matter what people may say about you, and no matter what dangers you will no doubt face. Know this simple fact, the spirit of the warrior...will always be with you," said The Sorrow, as he faded from their sight, and Naruto missed the man already.
"Okay Naruto. Time to enter the real world and do some hardcore training. From what I saw of your memories before you came here, the ability to use Shadow Clones was one of the few Jutsus you learned, and literally become a one man army. Start with that," said Big Boss seeing Naruto nod and leave his mind to find himself back in the forest where he fell unconscious.
'Not to question your orders or anything right away Big Boss-sensei, but...what will an army of Shadow Clones do?' thought Naruto picturing Big Boss frowning slightly.
"You mean you don't know the secret behind the Shadow Clone Jutsu?" said Big Boss knowing it was in the boy's memories that he read it.
'Well, I was kind of in a rush to learn, and didn't have time to read everything because Iruka-sensei interrupted me in my learning,' thought Naruto hearing Big Boss sigh in his head.
"Not surprising. Then again, I doubt anyone would willingly tell you given your status in holding the Kyuubi, and thus hinder your training. One of the reasons the Shadow Clone Jutsu is forbidden from what I looked at the contents of your memories in reading what you saw, the Shadow Clone transfers all the information it learns to its creator, and thus allows the user to learn things faster. Days worth of training done in hours, weeks worth of training done in days, and so on with this kind of Jutsu. For you though, it is so much more, as you can make so many Shadow Clones to do different things at the same time, and become stronger at a faster rate. Given your education up until now, I think this will help even the odds, and bring you up to your rightful level," said Big Boss, as he saw Naruto nod his head slightly before making an army of Shadow Clones.
'Okay. What's first?' thought Naruto seeing Big Boss in his head smiling before getting into the CQC stance.
"We're going to work on CQC today, which your Shadow Clones are going to learn by having them follow my movements within your mind, and have them spar with each other. After they are done, I want push ups, sits up, crunches, and every form of physical fitness your body needs to get muscled. Also, from now on you'll be going on a strict healthy diet outside of your usual ramen eating binges, and make sure you grow up to be taller. Kyuubi's already working on that part by channeling some of his chakra into your body's structure at night to increase your overall height," said Big Boss while keeping the fact the boy would be sore in the morning from each forced increase of growth though the pain would be numb compared to Naruto's workout regiment.
'I don't care about the pain. Bring it on,' thought Naruto, as he was sparring with one of his clones, and going through the stances Big Boss was doing with Frank helping.
Unknown to Naruto however, the Sandaime was watching this through his orb, and didn't like it at all.
It wasn't that the Hokage didn't like the boy, but Naruto was believed to be the Child of Prophecy Jiraiya mentioned to him, and that the boy would become powerful under the right hand guiding him. The problem was the boy could change the status quo for just about everyone, which included the Leaf, and had to be kept under control should the prophecy come to pass with the Leaf being unaffected by the changes that would come. Hence why he allowed things to happen the way they did with Naruto being abused, but then saved at the last minute, and giving the needed kindness to the boy in the assurance his loyalty would never be questioned.
'What are you up to Naruto? What is that fighting stance? Its like the Hyuuga Gentle Fist, but his hands are too close, and curled up like they are ready to grip something. Could you have made contact with the Kyuubi?' thought the Sandaime, as he had to be careful not to provoke the beast inside of Naruto during the attacks, which had some trial, and error moments with the boy not remembering anything he had unknowingly done to his attackers.
The boy just had to stay the course set upon him by the Sandaime and the Hokage just had to keep Naruto loyal to the Leaf no matter what.
Making a hand motion, a team of ANBU led by Neko appeared, and kneeled before the Hokage knowing that to be summoned by him meant an important mission.
"You summoned us Hokage-sama?" said Neko awaiting orders.
"Yes. Keep an eye on Uzumaki Naruto. I have a feeling something is off about him and its not good in the slightest," said the Sandaime seeing the group nod before poofing out of his office.
If Naruto started to realize his full potential, he would have to have Inoichi dive into the boy's mind, and erase anything the blonde learned in order to keep him at a certain level.
(Three Days Later)
Naruto was in his apartment, doing sit ups, pushups, crunches, and every other form of physical fitness Big Boss asked of him with the Shadow Clones doing the same. Big Boss told him that the memory of the actions would enter his brain, which would pass down to the memory cells in his muscles, and make them feel like his body did several times what the number his body actually finished doing. As for his diet, Naruto had told how to live off the land, to eat things that would make a normal human puke, and do what it took to survive where there was no "civilized food" found in any village or city. Naruto ate bugs, fish, snakes, and anything else he could hunt in the wild while his Shadow Clones were moving in secret under henge to the library to study different Jutsus along with different kinds of chakra control ideas.
However, even with all the intense training Naruto had done using Shadow Clones while isolating himself from everyone in the village, it wasn't enough, and Big Boss knew that the boy's activities were being monitored by Shinobi outside the boy's home. Kyuubi had long since sensed them days ago, meaning they were sent to spy on Naruto had the behest of the Hokage, and the old man was beginning to remind Big Boss of Major Zero even more.
The fact Naruto had to have his Shadow Clones henge into some random Shinobi just to get in was appalling and it was time the boy learned the painful truth behind the lies of the old man. To do this, Big Boss knew he would need Naruto go in there without the use of a henge, and cause a stir within the library. However, there was always a risk that the action would bring about Naruto being taken away at the end by the Hokage in secret, and then investigating the boy's recent actions by having one of those mind invaders enter his head.
If the Sandaime learned of them, he would no doubt find away to seal the three of them up, wipe Naruto's memories, and do God knows what to the poor boy just to make sure things went his way.
"I wonder...Kyuubi, if it were possibly, could a Shadow Clone take more then one hit, and last long in a fight?" said Big Boss seeing the Kyuubi sitting its face down near the bars while enjoying the company of the three soldiers.
If anything, the Kyuubi felt honored to be in their presence, as they were Masters of war, and all its violent glory yet they did not arrogantly embrace the glory in their actions of their time. Besides, the trio were helping Naruto get strong, and the one thing the fox wanted was a strong vessel given how the Leaf had tried to bring about its suffering through the boy.
Even demons didn't do that.
"It is possible. Though you can only take a few hits before the Shadow Clone is no more. If the Shadow Clone is stabbed, it will be an instant kill, and no amount of chakra can stop the Jutsu from dispersing," said Kyuubi seeing the man nod and then walk away to plan things out.
(The Next Day)
'You want me to do what?' thought Naruto, as he didn't quite understand the order, and Big Boss knew the boy wouldn't.
"Its simple. Make a Shadow Clone with my spirit inside of it. Don't worry kid, if by some chance the Shadow Clone is disperse by combative means, then my spirit will transfer back to your body, and that will be the end of it," said Big Boss seeing Naruto nod his head before performing the Jutsu while picturing the legendary soldier inside the clone's body.
"Did it work?" said Naruto seeing the Shadow Clone move its finger for a second and then perform a henge into Big Boss in his military trench coast, wearing a suit, and tie with steel toed combat boots.
"Sure did kid. Feels a bit weird, but nothing I can't handle, and I warn you the truth about what we're about to do won't be pretty," said Big Boss seeing Naruto shrug.
"When has my life ever been pretty?" said Naruto seeing Big Boss smirk before they walked into the village made their way to the Shinobi library.
"Go in first. I'll come in behind you after things start to heat up," said Big Boss, as this trap would need proper bait, and what better bait then live bait to spring this trap.
"Hey! You can't come in here beast!" said a pink haired woman, who just happened to be Sakura's Mother, and local bookworm Haruno Sally.
"Says who?" said Naruto knowing what needed to be done.
"Says me! I run this library and we have a strict 'No Demons Allowed!" policy. Now get out of here before I call in some Shinobi to make you leave and we both know they won't be subtle when they do," said Sally, as she gave the boy a death glare, and didn't have any problem raising her voice for others to hear.
The more people witnessing the brat's ass getting kicked out of the building the better was the pink haired woman's state of mind.
"Is there a problem? I heard yelling" said Big Boss calmly walking into the building with his hands folded behind his back and standing beside Naruto.
"No. No problem sir. Just some delinquent trying to make a mess of things here. Please, be rest assured, he will be thrown out, and punished accordingly," said Sally, as she saw Naruto glaring at her, and made a mental note to tell her superiors of the demon's sudden need to be defiant.
"I think there is a problem considering the raised voice yelling in here. From what I heard outside, it was you causing problems, and making a huge scene," said Big Boss seeing the woman gasp in shock, outrage, and then anger at accusing her of that.
"This boy is not allowed in here. It is our policy to keep him out and I intend to uphold it," said Sally seeing Big Boss raise an eyebrow at her.
"Really? This is the Shinobi library, correct? And judging from this boy's headband, he is in fact a Shinobi, and thus should be allowed to be in this building to look through things pertaining to his profession," said Big Boss seeing Sally's head looking redder and redder by the second in anger.
"You don't know the circumstance behind this monster, which if you knew would make you want to stop defending him, and remove his person from the building yourself," said Sally seeing Big Boss was intrigued.
"Really? Care to share with me the circumstances?" said Big Boss while smirking at the now hesitating woman since she clearly expect him to leave it alone.
"I can't. Not with that thing there and even if I didn't there is a law in place to prevent me from telling you. Trust me, that thing is a demon, and is not welcome here by the order given to me to keep him out," said Sally hoping her answer would suffice.
"On whose authority? Not yours from what you just said. Someone higher up perhaps?" said Big Boss before sensing Neko's ANBU team behind him and Naruto.
"Is something wrong Haruno-san?" said Neko seeing Big Boss turn slightly to look her with his one good eye.
"Thank Kami you are here. This thing is trying to gain access to the Shinobi library and this baka is trying to help him," said Sally hoping these ANBU would detain the man and hurt the demon for her.
"She stated the boy was not allowed in here and that it was a policy put in place by a high ranking official. I merely asked who made such a policy?" said Big Boss seeing Neko's ANBU tense and knew they were nervous about skating around the Sandaime's little "not so enforced when in private" law.
"If there is a policy put in place, then it must be honored, and the boy cannot be here for whatever reason," said Neko knowing she would have to speak to the Hokage about this.
"But how am I suppose to train in order to defeat Hyuuga Neji at the Exam Finals? Its like sending a single Shinobi against a Kage along with his entire army while using only one kunai!" said Naruto speaking up now in his defense like they planned.
"Shut up! You're not going to win demon and I hope you die when the Hyuuga uses his Gentle Fist to stop your heart," said Sally before Big Boss moved swiftly and smashed her face into the desk she was standing over.
"Please do shut up. Your voice is very annoying," said Big Boss, as he let go of the head smashed into the desk, and face filled with wooden splinters with blood leaking onto the table.
'Was that part of the plan? Either way...I like it!' thought Naruto, as he was impressed by the man's skilled ability to do something so devastating, and yet seemingly so simple.
"You'll have to come with us sir," said Neko having never seen someone move with such executed precision since the Yondaime years ago.
"Not until you tell me why there is a policy meant to keep one of its Shinobi out of here and from learning," said Big Boss seeing the ANBU tense, but before a fight could break out, the Sandaime Hokage appeared, and looked at the legendary soldier gauging eyes.
"You're causing quite a disturbance here my friend," said the Sandaime eyeing the man and then looking at Naruto while seeing the boy seemed to have matured more without him knowing.
"Just helping out the kid here. Seems this bitch behind us didn't want the boy through in order to learn things for the upcoming Chuunin Exam Finals. Claimed there was a policy regarding his entrance here and that he was to be denied access no matter what. What do you make of that?" said Big Boss eyeing the Sandaime carefully and saw a flash of some form of emotion in his eyes for a brief second.
Unfortunately, such emotions moved too fast for him to determine, and saw the Hokage try to play the role of the loving Grandfather.
"I don't know of any such policy and there shouldn't be one. Rest assured, I will get to the bottom of this, and find out who made such a thing happen," said the Sandaime though it was clear from Big Boss's years of military training that the old Kage was lying.
"Then you won't mind that Naruto can look through the scrolls here and learn what's in them," said Big Boss seeing the Sandaime frown slightly and clearly looking for some kind of excuse to stall such a thing.
"Well, I was hoping that could wait until later when I've spoken to you, and Naruto about this incident," said the Sandaime knowing such an excuse was as good as any.
"Or you could just ignore it, myself, and let the boy continue on with his training for the Chuunin Exam Finals," said Big Boss seeing the Sandaime's facial muscles fighting to form a frown.
"I suppose that is one way at looking at it, but I would like to speak with you at a later time Naruto, and about why you have been avoiding me lately since the Preliminaries?" said the Sandaime seeing the boy's eyes narrow slightly, but nod all the same, and the Hokage knew he had to tread carefully with the blonde now.
"Sure old man. Just give me a day or two in order to adjust my training schedule," said Naruto putting on his goofy grin façade knowing the Hokage would believe it.
Seeing the Hokage nod, Big Boss saw the ANBU take Haruno Sally away to the hospital to have her face healed, and with the Sandaime soon leaving too. Smirking, Naruto made a whole army of Shadow Clones, and then had them head straight for the sections of the library where they could learn everything they needed while huddling in a corner of the building to learn without interruption.
"You saw what I saw I take it? The Sandaime Hokage of yours is not the kind old man he makes himself out to appear," said Big Boss walking with Naruto having discreetly left the building for a more secluded place to talk in private about different things while he was still outside of the boy's body.
"I saw it, but its still hard to believe, and yet deep down...I know its true," said Naruto, as he had seen the signs of the Sandaime not being the great man the blonde once looked up to, and then the explanation Big Boss gave about the crude brainwashing done to instill loyalty into the young Uzumaki.
Big Boss explained to Naruto that if the Sandaime Hokage was indeed in a position of absolute power, then why not keep the boy's status of being a demon vessel to the Kyuubi a secret, and provide a better protection detail for him in the early years? Why have the boy live in such a crappy neighborhood? How many times did Naruto get beaten close to death, only to have a team of ANBU loyal to the Hokage actually intervening at the last possible moment, and barely within mere seconds before the death was nearly assured by those who hated him?
The painful and truthful answer? The Sandaime wanted to manipulate the boy into being loyal to him and the village in one fell swoop. So long as the Sandaime lived, the loyalty of the Kyuubi vessel was assured, and engrain a sense of loyalty to the village no matter how bad the abuse. Now Naruto was seeing the truth for the first time, feeling the chains forged by the lies of the Sandaime that he himself had put on the blonde slowly breaking piece by piece, and with Big Boss's help would be removed forever.
"You can't stay here in the village kid. We need you out of here by at least tomorrow with a good head start and someplace where we can get you a HF sword," said Big Boss, as he saw Naruto nod solemnly, and his mind was currently going over the best places to go for such a weapon while getting back in time for Chuunin Exams.
"What about the Land of Iron?" said Kyuubi having been allowed access to the needed information Naruto had in his head.
"The Land of Iron?" said Naruto before focusing on that particular place in his head.
"Its not run by Shinobi, but rather samurai, and they could make the sword based on the designs you specifically ask for," said Kyuubi seeing Frank nod his head at the idea since samurai blacksmiths were bound to their honor when making special custom made weapons and not revealing them to anyone.
"He'd have to leave tonight. Have a Shadow Clone here with another one being Big Boss so he can speak with the Hokage tomorrow and reveal how much of a liar the man is while stalling for time until you can get out of the country," said Frank seeing the others nod knowing this would be opportunity they needed to for Naruto to see the truth in its purest form behind the mask of lies.
"I know some of the best ways out of the village. Kind of had to when being hunted by villagers and Shinobi into the forest so I wouldn't get beaten up," said Naruto knowing anyone seeing him would see a conversation happening between Big Boss and himself.
"Then we will use them. Pack light. Only what you need. Also, wear the clothing you to were secretly able to get to replace your old orange jumpsuit, and throw any pursuers off your trail," said Big Boss before he went "poof" having run out of chakra to sustain his body.
"Okay old man. Time to show you why the fox is always one step ahead of the hounds," said Naruto using the quote used many years ago Big Boss told him.
(Hokage's Office-The Next Day)
The Sandaime sighed, as he rubbed his forehead for what felt like the umpteenth time this morning into the afternoon, and waited for the boy to come here in order to explain some things to him. Of course, the Sandaime knew Kakashi was going to favor Sasuke, which he in fact wanted not just to appease the masses, and the Councils. He did it because it was the best course of action since Sasuke's purpose at the moment far exceeded Naruto's right now, and Jiraiya was back in town ready to train the boy if only in the small things.
First, Naruto would have to lose to Neji, further humble, and humiliate the blonde boy's will to get stronger into submission to make him believe only those in the Leaf could help with the dream of becoming Hokage. In doing so, Jiraiya could then have the boy slowly learn like a rabbit trying to nibble on the carrot dangling in front of his nose, and all the while pulling it away after a bite to make the boy want more at the price of obedience. In the even Naruto got strong too fast, the Sandaime had told Jiraiya to divert from Naruto's training to focus on his research, or even updating his spy network.
"Hey old man!" said Naruto kicking the door open, greeting the Hokage with his usual cheesy idiotic grin, and sitting down in the chair across from the old man.
And Big Boss sitting right beside Naruto seconds later having brought up the rear behind the blonde while giving nothing away with his clearly veteran of war like face.
"Hello Naruto. And you too a uh...," said the Sandaime after he realized the name of the man across from him was never given earlier.
"Jack. Just call me Jack," said Big Boss wishing he could smoke at the moment, but kept his urge in check since this wasn't his body, and there were no cigars around.
He'd just have to wait until his spirit was back in Naruto's body to manifest one.
"Okay. Jack, I was wondering how you became interested in Naruto's life, and what had happened yesterday in your own recount of things," said the Sandaime while hearing the two tell him everything that happened, nodding his head every moment, which counted like he did care, and look surprised when Naruto mentioned it wasn't the first time he'd been kicked out.
"Is that all old man? I have to get back to training," said Naruto getting out of his chair to leave with Big Boss standing up too.
"That's another thing I need to talk to you about Naruto. I want you to consider dropping out of the finals against Neji. The thought of losing you to him would be unbearable and with Kakashi off with Sasuke...," said Sandaime before he could stop himself and saw the blonde's blue eyes narrow at him.
"So you know what he did? You know he doesn't have any faith in me beating Neji? Do you also know the name of the so called sensei the man asked to fill in for him? Do you?" said Naruto with all sense of joy gone and the air becoming noticeably thick in the room.
"Konohamaru's instructor Ebisu," said the Sandaime calmly though the hairs on the back of his head were starting to rise in a panic.
"That jerk? He hated me from day freaking one when we first met! Why should I even try to learn anything from him when I can get stronger by doing things on my own? Why do you even allow this to happen? Why not order Kakashi to train me along with Sasuke? You're the Hokage!" said Naruto seeing the Sandaime trying to figure out what to say about this and Big Boss was also waiting for a proper response.
They got none.
"He doesn't have to answer you Naruto," said Big Boss finally with both kid and elderly man looking in his direction.
"He doesn't?" said Naruto trying to look puzzled, but only looking it to make the Third Hokage sweat a little, and let Big Boss lead things up to the inevitable conclusion that awaited this drama within this room.
"No. The Sandaime won't change things because he doesn't want to change things and is hoping you fail the Chuunin Exams. Most likely your first match," said Big Boss seeing the Sandaime's eyes widen.
"That's a lie!" said the Sandaime practically shouted while rising up from his seat.
"Prove it. Order the boy's sensei to come into this office right now and order him to train Naruto for the Chuunin Exam Finals," said Big Boss seeing the Sandaime pause while looking back at him and then at Naruto with the blonde's eyes narrowing dangerously.
"This situation doesn't concern you Jack. Leave my office now! I have to talk to Naruto about some private and personal things," said the Sandaime seeing Jack narrow his one eye at the old Hokage.
"Planning to manipulate the boy further? Like you did in not telling him why people are always abusing him on account of the Kyuubi? Like when you lied about not knowing who his parents are?" said Big Boss now getting the Sandaime's full attention.
"Who are you?" said the Sandaime, as he began to sweat heavily now, and saw Naruto glare become more intense.
"Someone who knows the truth about the boy's horrible life. Someone who broke Naruto free of your lies and manipulations. He knows everything. Naruto will no longer serve you," said Big Boss seeing the Hokage's face now having a panicked look to it before the old man threw the hidden kunai in his sleeve at the legendary soldier, which hit its mark in piercing the man's skull, and then going "poof" to reveal Jack was just a Shadow Clone in henge form.
'A Shadow Clone? But...that wasn't Naruto at all behind it despite the henge. It was like another spirit had been in it,' thought the Sandaime before looking at Naruto's serious face that reminded the old man much of the Yondaime.
"He was right. I will no longer serve you or the village. You've betrayed me for the last time old man. Don't worry, I'll return to fight Neji at the Chuunin Exam Finals, and win the whole damn thing. However, after that event is over, you can expect my headband on your desk, and my resignation from the Leaf. I'm going to be a mercenary. I'm going to the highest bidder for my services," said Naruto smirking seeing the Sandaime put on his "pleading Grandfatherly face" now.
"Don't Naruto. Please reconsider. I know I should have done better, but...," said the Third Hokage was silenced by the boy's killer intent.
"Shut your mouth! I've had it up to here with you and your lies! I'm gone old man and there is nothing you can do to stop me," said Naruto before walking to the door, but was struck in the back by a kunai to the shoulder by the Sandaime, and staggered forward before turning around glaring at the Hokage with a "that was a big fucking mistake" kind of look.
And then Naruto went "poof!" much to the Sandaime's surprise.
"A Shadow Clone? Damn it!" said the Sandaime, as he had to act fast to recover from this situation, and cursed Kami for letting things spiral out of control.
He quickly called for ANBU and told them to get Jiraiya of the Sannin in the hot spring into his office immediately!
(With Naruto-At the Moment)
"Asshole," said Naruto to himself with his eyes narrowing at the memories he got from the Shadow Clone and his anger filled him for the lies the Sandaime shoved down his throat.
"It had to be done Naruto. I want to apologize to you, but I can't do that, as it would taint the impact of the truth hidden behind the lie, and that would only make things worse. All you can do is endure, get stronger, and then get your payback when the time is right. Not a second sooner," said Big Boss once more inside his head with the others.
'Yeah I know. At least we have a whole day of a head start since I've been running since I got out of the Leaf and made it pretty far to the Land of Iron. At this rate, I should be there in the next couple of days, and I can get my sword commissioned,' thought Naruto seeing the trio in his head nod.
"Such a sword will take the remaining time you have until the Chuunin Exams to have it completed, much less time to train, and use it properly. While its being made, the plan of giving you a bloodline we discussed should be addressed, and what should be given in terms of such a power," said Kyuubi, as this had been discussed by the fox, Naruto, and the trio of legendary soldiers quite a few times when Naruto's body slept while he stayed awake within his mind furthering the training with them.
'What is my bloodline limit going to be? We never really finished in choosing which one to have,' thought Naruto knowing that Big Boss wanted to give him a one eye Dojutsu bloodline, which he called the "Tactical Eye", and have it hidden behind an eye patch like the man's own with the exception being the eye patch can be used on either eye to further make enemies become confused or underestimate the blonde when they see it.
The eye itself would read out important tactical information to Naruto, telling him about an enemies' strengths, weakness, elemental affinities, the amount chakra they have, and basically provide information to the blonde to use against the enemy. What's more was even if given this kind of bloodline, it could easily change at any time beyond the original specifications, and could lead to things never thought up before since it was totally new Dojutsu.
Frank wanted to give Naruto an exoskeleton suit based bloodline, which would cover the boy like a second skin, and yet would be metallic to further protect him. It would be not unlike Frank's own suit back in Shadow Moses he wore in order to live, but it could be turned off when no longer required, and also give the boy physical enhancements to his body. The suit ability would increase his agility, speed, strength, and the necessary hand eye coordination to use the HF sword to its utmost potential. Not only that, but Frank wanted Naruto to take up his Codename: Gray Fox, and bring back the title to its former greatness.
Ocelot was the only one unable to really side with either party, as they both had good arguments for using such bloodlines, and the Kyuubi didn't know what to do either.
"The only thing I can think of that will make everyone happy is to give the kid both," said Ocelot seeing everyone look at him like he was a genius.
Which he was of course.
'Can we do that?' thought Naruto looking at the fox behind the cage.
"Its possible. But it will not be easy. The give you the Dojutsu will cause your eyes to be temporarily destroyed in order to work my chakra into them and rewrite the design to allow the new pair to absorb the bloodline into them," said Kyuubi seeing Naruto flinch at that.
'Do I want know about what the other bloodline will do to me when you make it happen?' thought Naruto seeing Kyuubi shake its head no.
"No. Though I don't think it will take a prodigal genius to figure out it will cause you a lot of pain and there is also a chance you maybe discovered by Leaf Shinobi if they can sense my chakra altering your body for this bloodline," said Kyuubi seeing Naruto once again flinch at the notion of being in pain and caught by Leaf Shinobi soon after.
No doubt they'd just make him suffer more in his weakened condition before dragging his body back to Konoha where the Sandaime would seal away the power Kyuubi gave him.
'Okay so its going to hurt. Been there. Done that. When we get to the Land of Iron, which will be around tomorrow if I keep my current pace, I find a hotel, pay for a room, look for a samurai sword smith, ask him to make me a special sword, and then get my bloodlines within the remaining time before the Chuunin Exam Finals. Sound like a plan?' thought Naruto seeing all eyes on him now before nodding.
"Sounds about right kit. You have enough money?" said Kyuubi seeing Naruto smirk at him.
'Are you kidding? Those bastards in the Leaf's Merchant Quarter would barely sell me anything and the only things I could get were outdated stuff they threw out. If I tried to buy anything, they'd triple the price just for me, and wouldn't let me have any of the good quality stuff. It was actually cheaper to wait until they threw out the old stuff since they constantly overstocked on!' thought Naruto while secretly patting his pocket where his swollen wallet.
Kyuubi grinned at the irony of it all, as he knew the others inside the boy's head did too, and that the Leaf wouldn't know what hit them until it was too late.
(Konoha Stadium-Day of the Chuunin Exam Finals)
The Sandaime found himself unable to keep his scowl hidden while staring down at the arena before him, as he saw all the participating Shinobi with the exception of Sasuke, and Naruto with neither boy in sight. Of course, Kakashi was going to be late with the Uchiha, which was not unexpected given the Jounin's infamous reputation for being late, and no doubt would have Sasuke be late with a flashy entrance. What bothered the Third Hokage was Naruto was nowhere to be found, which was something in itself if the Toad Sannin's notorious spy network was unable to locate an orange jumpsuit wearing blonde, who yelled a lot, and loved to eat bowl after bowl of ramen.
The only reason the Sandaime didn't disqualify Naruto now was due to the kunai in his office yesterday with a note attached saying "The fox is always one step ahead of the hounds that hunt him". It took all of the Hokage's cunning to keep the news of Naruto's seemingly nonexistent presence in the Leaf for nearly a whole Month a secret and keep any rumors about a strange Shinobi of some kind with experience in war taking an unique interest in the blonde after that incident at the Shinobi library.
'He's here. I can feel it in these old bones of mine,' thought the Sandaime before looking over at the Kazekage, who was really Orochimaru in disguise, and decided to start the Chuunin Exams now in order to see how things play out.
"Will Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Neji come forward. Your match starts now," said Genma, as he saw Neji was there, but not Naruto, and wondered where the kid was?
'He won't show up. It was all talk,' thought Neji while smirking at his apparent victory without even the need to lift a finger and see Hinata's suffering increase knowing her so called "inspiration" was nothing more then a fraud.
His musing on the matter were interrupted though, as a figure walked into the stadium, wearing a dark trench coat, his clothing in the sunlight had a silver metallic sheen to it, and the wind just happened to be blowing just right for his entrance. Everyone's eyes now focused on him now, as he walked into the arena floor across from Neji, stopped several feet away from the Hyuuga, and turned to fully face the older boy.
"You didn't think I would miss this, did you Hyuuga Neji?" said the figure with his one eye covered in an eye patch with the lower half of his face covered in dark face paint giving him a more intimidating appearance.
"Uzumaki Naruto?" said Genma his eyes widening at this kid, who was nearly Neji's height, if not that, or slightly taller turn his head to stare at him.
"Don't call me that name. I am lightning that flashes in the darkness. I am the blade that pierces the shroud of lies. I am the fox among the hounds. Call me...Gray Fox!" said Naruto, as he would go by Naruto to those, who were close to him, but his Codename would be Gray Fox for everyone else that didn't until told otherwise.
Though in truth, Naruto had also wanted to be granted the title of Big Boss like Jack had been given, and prove himself in the trials to come in order to make that dream a reality.
In the stands, the people were tensing at the title, believing the seal had broken, and the Kyuubi had finally possessed its host despite all their actions to the contrary in forcing the boy into submission to stop it. They had believed with a submissively weak host, the Kyuubi would think twice about possessing the boy, and submit to their whims no matter what. Now they were seeing the fox had broke free of its leash, made its vessel strong, and wasn't going to submit like they had wanted from the start.
Their only hope now was Hyuuga Neji putting an end to this demonic uprising and put the Kyuubi in its place.
'This is Naruto? He's so...different!' thought the various members of the Rookie Nine and their senseis present for this match.
"I don't care what you call yourself loser. It is your destiny to lose to me. It is your Fate that I be the one to crush you like the weak thing you are. Just like I crushed Hinata-sama in our match in the Chuunin Preliminaries a Month ago," said Neji getting into his Gentle Fist stance while Naruto just smirked.
"I cut through Fate like a blade Hyuuga Neji. Something you are going to learn in a very painful manner," said Naruto throwing off the trench coat and then taking his sword at his hip into his hand before stabbing the ground with it.
Before taking a few steps forward and getting into CQC fighting stance.
"What heresy is this? Why are you mocking the Hyuuga Clan's Gentle Fist?" said Neji with anger clearly in his voice.
"Oh you mean this? This is a form of Taijutsu I learned in the last Month among the many different things I spent doing without the prying eyes of this village watching my every move, and is far older then the Gentle Fist of your oh so prestigious Hyuuga Clan. So its not really mocking at all. You say its my destiny to lose to you? We'll see if that's true after I beat you in the very field your clan is known to have the advantage in," said Naruto grinning and letting out a cruel chuckle while his Tactical Eye behind his right eye began feeding him information about Neji.
"Hyuuga Neji VS Uzu-uh Gray Fox. Ready? FIGHT!" said Genma before Neji charged forward intent on ending his opponent quickly.
'He can't win. Neji's the prodigy of his clan. To even consider fighting Neji in Taijutsu is insane!' thought Tenten having seen Neji defeat Lee in countless matches in Taijutsu.
'Troublesome. Just when you think a guy like Naruto is figured out, he then pulls this on us, and changes everything we know. And what is with the name Gray Fox? And why are the people around here uneasy about it?' thought Shikamaru, as he saw Neji trying to take Naruto down, and was surprisingly failing at the job.
That's right! Hyuuga Neji was failing to take down Naruto in Taijutsu. Naruto, who could not win half the spars against teachers, and even most of the other students. Granted, back then no one would teach Naruto anything, and didn't have family to help him train. But still, for Hyuuga Neji to fail against Naruto in Taijutsu meant the world was seriously off its axis, and it was very troublesome in Shikamaru's genius mind.
Naruto open palmed Neji in the chest, sending the Hyuuga boy flying back, and it was clear by the surprised look on the Byakugan users face that this was not how he expected things to go. In fact, almost everyone watching the fight expected Naruto to lose instantly in the first few minutes of the fight, and thus it would be the end of the boy's attempt to advance his Shinobi career.
"What's wrong Neji? I thought it was my density, if not my Fate to lose you in the Finals, and yet here I am standing toe to toe with you. Come on teme. Stop trying to hit me and hit me! That is...if you can?" said Naruto using the knowledge in how to taunt his foe, which he learned from Ocelot, and saw Neji getting angrier with each passing second.
The Gentle Fist attacks were getting sloppier, the strikes aimed at Naruto were becoming more easier to block, and counter with each attempt made by the Hyuuga prodigy. Naruto for his part had decided to end this battle, as he waited for Neji to get in close again, and broke the older boy's arm after grabbing it before following up with a flying knee to the gut that sent the Hyuuga branch family member flying back while skidding across the ground.
"You shouldn't be able to defeat me. You are nothing! Just a fool. A weakling. A mistake made in an unholy union. I am a Hyuuga Prodigy! I am born of a noble clan of noble line of a rich clan heritage! You are beneath me!" said Neji getting up while holding his arm while blood leaked from his nose and down the sides of his mouth.
"You're not the first one to tell me that. Practically everyone in this village hates my guts and has tried to make me submit in some shape or form. Even the Hokage in secret has been trying to keep me under his thumb because of what I am, which you don't know, and the parents of our generation can't say. You want to take me down? Now's your chance. Take it!" said Naruto smiling a cruel smile like Ocelot showed him knowing it would just anger Neji further.
"Die you weak excuse of a Shinobi!" said Neji, as he used his remaining hand to lash out at Naruto, but the blonde caught, and broke that limb too before being backhanded in the face the sound of his jaw being broken.
"If I'm such a weak excuse of a Shinobi, then why am I the victor of this match, and you are on the ground...defeated?"! said Naruto walking away from Neji before looking at the proctor to call the match while picking up his HF sword and trench coat.
"Uh...Hyuuga Neji is unable to continue. The winner of this match is Uzu-I mean Gray Fox!" said Genma with the crowd being stunned into absolute silence.
"Damn right I'm the winner. This world doesn't have any room for snakes, but foxes are another matter, and its time the world recognized that fact," said Naruto to himself while Kyuubi, Big Boss, Frank Jaeger, and Ocelot inside his head agreed.
The rise of Gray Fox and future Big Boss of the world had begun.
(A/N: YAY! I wrote a super long chapter for a new fic! Hope you like it. I know it seems iffy at first glance, but the way I envisioned it is not like the others, and I hope you enjoy this first chapter. For those of you, who can't picture what Naruto looks like, just imagine a spiky blonde haired version of Raiden from MSG4 with Naruto rocking the eye patch. For those of you, who can't see Naruto getting so strong, imagine him learning stuff using Shadow Clones, and accept that as the source of it all. Just think about it! A whole Month worth of training using Shadow Clones almost nonstop is like training for years! Until next time...PEACE!)