Author's Note: Hello faithful readers! I have returned from the land of the dead (lazy) with a new and interesting story idea! It's unorthodox (precisely why I decided to write it), but it's my first crossover story and with a little luck it'll gain some popularity with the fanfiction masses. It's a story involving History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi and Naruto.
Now surprisingly not many people seem to care all that much for History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. This is mostly because it isn't as popular as the mainstream stuff (even though it's pretty mainstream itself). For those of you who don't know, History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi is basically about a boy and his struggles to learn the martial arts to protect himself and others. He ends up getting trained by true masters and begins to learn Japanese Jiujutsu, Karate, Chinese Kenpo, Muay Thai, and some other stuff. This manga series (and its shorter anime counterpart) are both hilarious and action-packed. A great read/watch, if I do say so myself.
I strongly suggest any who haven't read the manga to do so immediately (especially if you want to enjoy my fic!). It is addicting after you get past the first few chapters. Go to mangareader-dot-net (sorry, I can't put links in), that's where I read from.
Make sure you search for History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi and read from the first chapter!
Summary: Itachi never expected to wake up again after passing on for the last time, and he knew this wasn't the work of Impure World Resurrection. Follow his struggles as he makes his way into the world of Martial Arts and mastery of Kushinada-style Jiujutsu! Things are about to get interesting…
Disclaimer: *sigh,* I don't own History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi or Naruto, and I wouldn't want to either! Do you know how much pressure that would put on me? I would just never keep to schedule and me and my fans would be in some kind of dysfunctional, love-hate relationship…just ain't my thing.
Anyway, enough with the wait, on to the read! Enjoy!
Chapter 1: Lucidity
The second time Itachi awoke—as in awoke from a lifeless state—he wasn't fully cognizant of everything immediately around him. It was not unlike being in a dream, actually. He just couldn't help but go along with it all, even while knowing deep down that it was all wrong; impossible, even.
He would sometimes gain temporary lucidity, but would always come to in a state of confusion and bewilderment, always unable to fully comprehend everything in his direct vicinity. These moments of lucidity never lasted very long before he was back in his original state of mind.
Finally, after what he later on estimated to be around twenty-four months, Itachi became completely aware. He was again immediately confused, but this time he had a means to understand his situation.
Finding himself in the body of a (barely) three year old, Itachi couldn't help but wonder what he'd gotten himself into this time. It wasn't just any three year old body he was in though; it was remarkably similar to what he himself vaguely remembered looking like between the ages of three and five.
It couldn't have been his original body though, simply due to its lack of chakra. At first, he'd been alarmed, having quickly discovered his body held none of the life-essence of his people. He'd calmed down, discovering eventually that the other children and even the adults around him were in the same situation. This, however, brought on more questions, more confusion.
The children and adults around him were another thing altogether though. As it turned out, he was a member of one of a few local orphanages in the poorer part of a village he didn't know the name of. The orphanage seemed low on funds, frequently begging for donations and rationing necessities.
Itachi couldn't quite bring himself to care, still numb (emotionally) from the impossibility of his circumstances. He didn't quite know how long he'd been in the orphanage with complete consciousness by now; maybe a few weeks. Itachi wasn't so completely unresponsive though, and eventually he recovered his wits to assess the situation. He would have time to ponder the circumstances of his arrival into this strange place later.
Two Years Later
Itachi looked into his small cloth bag in approval. He counted at least ¥6000 yen in banknotes and some small coins. He'd managed for the sixth time now to scrounge up just enough money for most, if not all, of the orphans at his orphanage to eat a more decent amount of food for about a week or so.
He would only take money he found or from people he didn't deem worthy to have it. This included mostly those that flaunted their wealth or higher status in front of others less fortunate. A stupid thing to do, yes, but it did happen every now and then, and Itachi made sure to keep taking advantage of it with his rarely used pick-pocketing skills.
He would usually just slip the money into the donations box before anyone saw him. It was something he did in his spare time, raising money for the unwanted children he'd been living with all his (reincarnated) life. They seemed so sullen, as if they'd already accepted their meager lot in life. It was to be expected, though. Most didn't get much attention from the already insufficient staff that worked with them.
The staff was made up of people that had mostly good intentions. Most were women that tended to the younger portion of children while a few men kept the older kids in order. They spent their time occupying the orphans with schoolwork, mostly core subjects, though there was one woman who insisted on having them learn proper Tea Ceremony etiquette.
The younger children, who weren't yet enrolled in free public schooling yet, were given extra attention to prepare them. The staff instilled in them a strong work-ethic, making sure they took their education as seriously as possible. Itachi admired them for all the good they managed to do with their inadequate funds, but he also found them to be a bit inattentive in other things.
They didn't really take the time to make sure all the kids were in attendance in their mock classes, and they were fairly short-tempered and slightly abusive. That was somewhat expected as well, having to take care of a bunch of kids until they turned a certain age, but it still disappointed him.
Itachi did what he could though, while at the same time discovering more and more about the odd world he seemed to have been reborn into. Oddly enough, his name here was still 'Itachi,' on account of him apparently mumbling it in his sleep as a baby in the orphanage (perhaps as an attempt to introduce himself while still in his dream state). He didn't mind not carrying the Uchiha name anymore (which he had apparently not mumbled); this was a new start after all.
Most of his time was spent training in a small forest near the orphanage, conditioning his body and discovering more about the humans of this world in the process. When not training, he usually found as many non-fiction books as he could and almost eagerly devoured the information inside, learning about their history and culture.
Itachi was surprised that the world was so large. The Elemental Nations just didn't quite compare to the vastness and diversity of this world. The country he was in currently was very similar to his old home though, and Itachi was glad he'd been born in a place that almost mirrored what he was most familiar with, at least culturally speaking. The lack of chakra wasn't as much of a problem now anyway.
Through many hours spent in deep meditation, searching for an energy deep within himself (just as he remembered doing so when first accessing his chakra as a child), Itachi had discovered this world's equivalent to chakra. It was a lot more subtle and difficult to feel than chakra and it was much less potent, and much harder to mold, but it was there. There was also a lot less of it than Itachi remembered himself first having when he'd gotten a feel for his chakra reserves in his original life, but he'd found it could be built up and strengthened under certain conditions.
The answer was similar to how to sustain larger chakra reserves: training, both of the body and the mind.
Training was more difficult than usual without chakra aiding his endurance and stamina but Itachi didn't let it daunt him. He made sure to get his fill of healthy foods and trained for hours on most days. As a ninja, he'd learned to cope with pain, both mental and physical, so it was fairly easy to get over the strain on his body whenever he trained.
He was still careful though. He made sure to never break bones or damage himself to a great extent. This world didn't have medical ninjutsu that could fix him in minutes should he get hurt, and on top of that, the orphanage didn't have enough money to afford good health care for all the kids. He'd be out for weeks or even possibly longer if he hurt himself too badly.
So he trained, and learned, and gave away the money he managed to get his hands on. It was a simple existence and Itachi didn't mind it too much, but he planned to travel the world when his body was old enough, and to perhaps see if there was anything more out there for him; a purpose, maybe.
Only time would tell.
Three Years Later
At age eight in his reincarnated body, Itachi was something of an enigma to his fellow orphans. He rarely spoke with them, but seemed kind all the same. He never responded to taunts or insults and always somehow managed to avoid any and all physical altercations.
But it wasn't really any of that which made Itachi an oddity. No, it was more his disposition and actions that sometimes made his fellow orphans anxious around him. Despite his apparent age, Itachi acted like no other child any of them had ever seen.
He always seemed extremely calm, emotionless even, and he never seemed surprised at anything. His gaze was unnerving and he could often be seen looking into the distance with a far off look that none of them could comprehend the depth to.
When he wasn't there with his fellow orphans, he was somewhere none of them knew of. He disappeared often, always somehow escaping the notice of the staff that took care of them. He would be away for hours at a time and always come back looking slightly drained. He also looked a great deal healthier than all the others in his age group as well, something that puzzled the few that took care to notice.
Still, he was just one orphan of many, and eventually looked over as just another odd case.
They would never know his true nature after events soon to come, and they would always wonder what had happened for him to simply disappear and never come back.
Itachi walked boredly along the gravel road toward the orphanage, completely aware of the presence behind him a few yards back. The man had been following him for awhile now and Itachi was growing slightly annoyed that he wasn't trying anything. He could almost feel the sick, murderous excitement oozing off the man. Twice he had seen the man's dark grin in the reflections of windows, and twice he had been prepared to incapacitate or perhaps even kill the man.
He'd been returning from a training session just as he always did when the man started following him. The sun was setting as he'd finished his routine for the day and by now it was fairly dark outside. Itachi knew the man was simply biding his time, waiting for him to walk near the more secluded area where his orphanage was located. He wondered idly if the man had been targeting him specifically when suddenly he reached the foliage of trees in the path to the orphanage. On the other side of the small forest was his destination, but he knew he wouldn't make it there before the man decided to attack.
As they reached the inside of the forest, Itachi turned around. The man stopped, though his grin didn't lessen. The glee and anticipation in his eyes disgusted Itachi.
"So," the man started in a somewhat raspy voice, "you knew I was following you."
Itachi nodded, narrowing his eyes slightly. "Yes. You weren't very inconspicuous, and you never strayed more than ten yards behind me."
The man laughed deeply, his eyes boring into Itachi's. "Kahaha! You should've run boy! Now you'll just be another fine addition to my collection…"
"I see," Itachi stated, eyes hard. "So my suspicions were correct. You are the rumored man who's been kidnapping children recently."
The man grinned and nodded slowly, reaching with his right hand into his coat and pulling out a short, red-stained knife. "You're a smart one, eh? It's too bad your life won't last much longer."
"Where are the children you've kidnapped?" Itachi asked calmly, ignoring the man's actions.
"Ha! Where do you think?" the man replied, walking forward at a steady pace with his knife hand at the ready, his eyes shining with bloodlust.
Itachi inwardly sighed, his suspicions confirmed. He readied himself as the man finally reached him and swung his knife in a sloppy slashing movement, aiming for his face.
Itachi saw it all in slow motion. He didn't have the Sharingan, but some of its abilities were still accessible to him. The slowing of his perception of time was something he was almost unconsciously used to, mostly due to his brain always processing things that way in his past life. His Sharingan had been in near constant use during his time with the Akatsuki, and his brain's ability to perceive time had been changed as a result.
It only took him a moment of conscious will to activate the change in perception, and when he did things were immediately clear. Years of having his Sharingan active had also allotted him the ability to distinguish the most minute of details, such as the subtle and involuntarily wasted movements the man made as he lunged forward. Itachi saw a multitude of openings before the man had raised his knife fully, calculating which would be the most effective to put him down with as little force or exertion on his part at the same time
Another useful ability to have leftover from his Sharingan. It wasn't as efficient or accurate without actually having the Sharingan itself but Itachi was glad his mind had become so accustom to his old eyes that he would be able to make some use of them even when he didn't actually have them.
Itachi shifted to the left as the man's knife passed his shoulder. He grabbed the man's hand and wrist before it descended fully and pulled it inward to an unnatural angle while simultaneously placing his right leg in front of the man's left and applied quick, powerful pressure.
The man instantly fell face-first into the ground as his wrist broke and the knife fell out of his hand. It was all still so slow to Itachi, and for a moment he gazed down coldly at the back of his attacker's head as he rasped on the ground in pain. Itachi then quickly stomped on the man's left hand, breaking his other wrist as well.
"P-Please…have m-mercy!" he yelled in pain, struggling to get up and unable to due to Itachi's other foot applying pressure to the base of his spine.
Itachi crouched down with a grim expression, still keeping the man down in his locked position. "There is no mercy for the damned."
And with a swift and harsh chop to the back of the man's neck, he was thrust into blissful unconsciousness. Itachi thought perhaps it was much less than the man deserved, but he never killed unless absolutely necessary, not even scum like this.
As Itachi started to drag the man off by his leg to the local police station that wasn't too far away, he felt a distinct sensation at the back of his neck. An instinct honed through years of training and deadly combat, almost like a sixth sense, alerted him to another person nearby, watching.
He didn't believe the person watching was a threat to him and they had likely seen the man attack him so he kept on walking and showed no reaction to the person's presence. He still kept on his guard though, spreading his senses out as much as possible without alerting the person following him. He sighed softly with some weariness. Tonight was proving to be quite annoying.
Kushinada Mikumo watched the altercation between the small child and the full grown man with some shock. She'd only been passing through on foot when she'd happened upon them by coincidence and had been ready to intervene in order to save the child after listening to their exchange when the man had attacked.
Their conversation had interested her however, and the child's calm persona was intriguing, almost as if he lacked even the slightest hint of fear facing this apparent serial-killer. She'd then seen the man attack and had waited for any sign that the child might take damage so that she could act in time.
It had surprised her when the boy had shifted his body's position according to his opponent's momentum and used it to his advantage, taking him down with brutal and efficient technique. She'd felt a measure of approval when the boy had broken both of the man's wrists and kept him immobile, but his words had caused a slight widening of her eyes.
"There is no mercy for the damned."
The child looked no older than nine, perhaps ten, and yet his words at that instant and the way he'd apparently known the man had been following him, and his suspicions of the attacker as well, proved he was much more than he seemed.
She'd seen children as young as him with just as much skill, but she'd never seen such a grim, unforgiving gaze in their eyes; not like this one. She wasn't sure whether she should feel somewhat sad or greatly impressed.
Regardless, the entire event had caught her complete attention and interested her immensely. The boy had used Jiujutsu, despite his rather crude methods, and his form was perfect. Mikumo knew a prodigy when she saw one and this boy definitely fit the bill.
She narrowed her eyes, knowing there would now need to be a change in her plans.
Itachi left the man on the doorstep to the local police headquarters after taking a pencil and piece of paper out of his pocket and writing a note explaining who the man was. He left the man's knife with his unconscious body as well.
He was glad there had been no officer outside when he'd left the man there, but his relief at not having to wait was soon gone after still feeling someone watching him. The person was watching him from the rooftops, he could tell, but he dared not look up.
When he was out of range of any small buildings, a figure suddenly appeared fifteen feet in front of him. His eyes widened in surprise at the sheer speed the person had moved, never having thought such a thing was possible in a world where chakra wasn't there to aid in high-speed movements.
Itachi was immediately on alert. He almost couldn't believe it, but this person had a very dangerous feeling about them, and his more instinctual senses were telling him to run away as fast as possible. Still, he was rational enough to know that he wouldn't get far with this person's apparent speed.
The figure moved forward and Itachi forced himself to pour his entire focus into slowing his own perception of time. As his eyes grew sharper, he caught the appearance of the person who'd been following him for awhile now. It was a woman.
She was incredibly beautiful, dressed in a red, traditional sort of Hakama that reached her waist, and a modified white Keikogi that was open at the chest, barely covering her large bust. She also had what looked like a dark red wooden necklace of prayer beads around her neck. Her face was like porcelain with eyes dark and distant and black hair that shined in the moonlight. Despite her beauty, Itachi knew she was still also extremely dangerous. He watched her body's graceful movements carefully.
"Be at ease, child," she started in a soft but stern voice. "I mean you know harm."
Itachi didn't relax.
She looked back at the direction he'd fought the serial-killer. "I witnessed your battle with that man and I am impressed with your ability. Tell me, who taught you the martial arts?"
Itachi quickly deduced she was asking who had taught him how to fight. He responded with an easy lie. "Over a year ago, an old man came down from the mountains to the east. He taught me how to protect myself for some months before he left. I haven't seen him since"
The woman raised an eyebrow. "This old man's name?"
"He told me only to call him 'sensei,'" Itachi answered carefully, continuing the lie.
"Hmm," she hummed slightly in acknowledgment. "And you remember everything he taught you even though he's been gone for so long?"
Itachi narrowed his eyes slightly, wondering where this was going. "He told me that I must continue to train and better myself even in his absence. I've been practicing what he taught me every day."
"I see," she said with a nod. "Tell me boy, what is your name?"
"What is yours?" he responded in kind.
The woman smiled slightly. "Such impudence in the young these days," she started with some amusement before continuing, "but if you must know, my name is Kushinada Mikumo."
"Itachi," Itachi replied simply.
"I see, interesting name," she said, not elaborating further.
Itachi waited for a full minute before he spoke. "What is it that you want, Kushinada-san?"
She ignored his question but still responded. "Tell me Itachi-kun, do you wish to become stronger? To truly better yourself?"
Itachi's surprise didn't show on his face. So she wants to teach me? Or perhaps have someone else teach me?
"Yes…" Itachi answered cautiously.
She looked him directly in the eyes. "Become my disciple, and you will become strong."
Itachi raised an eyebrow. "I do not doubt you are capable, but why would you wish to teach someone you do not know? And why should I trust you?"
"Because I see potential in you," she answered emotionlessly. "As for trust…well, even though it is true there is a greater margin for loss when taking greater risk, there is also the possibility of great return. To take risks is sometimes necessary if you wish to succeed in life."
Itachi was almost amused. He wasn't investing in stock, but he admired her use of an economic concept applied to real life.
"I understand," Itachi replied after a few minutes of deep thought. "I will accept your offer. But I must do something first before I go."
He truly wanted to see the world and waiting years didn't appeal to him. With this woman he had that chance much earlier than he thought he would get it. And while she was right about taking risks, he was still not going to trust her. He was a ninja, and he'd never completely trusted anyone, ever. And hey, he might learn something new in the process. First he needed to give some money he'd been saving up to the orphanage though.
"If you are worried about your parents, I have a means to have them allow you to come with me," she said calmly, breaking him from his thoughts.
Itachi shook his head. "No, I am an orphan, I have no parents."
Her eyes showed some surprise but it was gone almost instantly. "I see. What is it you wish to do then?"
"I only wish to leave something for those like me," he answered cryptically before turning and walking to where he would no longer be staying.
Mikumo couldn't help but wonder at how Itachi had become such a seeming genius with no guidance. Well, his upbringing might have been the reason, but she could only guess at what he'd really been through. Perhaps it wasn't so unusual to encounter a killer and other abominable things where he lived?
She was even more intrigued with the boy now than she was before though. She had never encountered a child that was so careful and sure of himself at the same time. His previous teacher was also something to wonder about. Had this "old man" taught him because he had seen his potential? Was he perhaps related to the boy or his parents? She had many more questions, and she would be doing a thorough background check on the boy to understand just who he was.
Still, things had worked out in her favor. It was probably for the better that he was an orphan. That way, she could have him take her surname easier without too much problems. He likely had never even met his parents, so he probably wouldn't have any attachment to his current last name. It was necessary that he take the name anyway. The Kushinada style was family-oriented to begin with, and was only passed down to those that shared the same name.
As she followed him to the local orphanage where he lived, she wondered again what it could be he was trying to do. He'd said something about leaving something for those like him. Did he mean to leave a gift for the other orphans? Well, she supposed she'd find out soon enough.
Itachi snuck into the kitchens of the orphanage and pulled up a loose, out of the way floorboard. Under it was a small wooden box. He opened it to stare at the numerous banknotes inside.
This should help them for a month or two, he thought with some reluctance.
He didn't want to leave the orphanage to its begging ways like it had been before he had managed to start raising funds for it through donations. They had been getting a lot of help from him and he hoped they would be okay once he left. He'd been raising the money for just this same scenario, but he had never expected to leave so early.
He'd started saving about two years ago. Every time he would acquire some money, he would add some to this stash. Little by little, it had accumulated to about ¥100,000 yen. It wasn't enough though, and he hoped they would be okay in his absence. In the end, all he could do was hope.
Mikumo could only guess at how the boy had gotten so much money. He didn't look like a thief, and on top of that, he was putting it in his orphanages donations box. It was a noble thing and she admired his sense of duty when there was no need for it, but she hoped he wouldn't be so merciful against his opponents.
But as he turned around and looked upon her with none of the childlike curiosity of those his age, only the eyes of someone with profound thoughts, she suddenly had the feeling that this boy could be anything but merciful if he chose.
She wouldn't have it any other way.
"I am ready," Itachi said calmly and without hesitation.
Kushinada Mikumo nodded and turned around, beckoning silently for him to follow. As they left, she couldn't help but wonder what the future held for her first disciple, as seemingly brilliant as he was. She could only wait in anticipation, and hope it was greatness.
If nothing else, things were about to get interesting; very interesting.
—And there you have it folks. I hope this goes well…
—Be sure to give some feedback!