The first of the villagers had started arriving at the Hokage's office as an out of breath Hatake Kakashi was rapidly explaining what had just caused Naruto to release some of the Kyuubi's Chakra. He could almost forgive some of the comments they made in their panic over the fact that Kyuubi Chakra had been felt in the village for the first time in nearly eight years, but he wouldn't be forgetting them should anything untoward happen to Naruto, and he wouldn't be taking any of their suggestions either.

He had a bit more of an idea as to what had happened, as Kushina had released a similar amount of the Kuubi's Chakra during the days following Uzushiogakure's fall back before she'd somehow gotten the creature under control. Back then, the villagers had sensed it, and not known what it was because the battle at the Valley of the End had been long before their time, and the Kyuubi had yet to make its appearance within the village walls, and it had been just another thing that had added to the general unease during the dark days of the Second War. Considering the amount of stress Naruto had been under since the death of his previous sensei, one of his teammates, and the man who'd been like an uncle to him, he'd been half expecting for this to happen for a while, and had been debating over what he would do when it finally happened. He'd hoped that the boy would have been outside the village when he finally released the Kyuubi's Chakra, but that clearly had not been the case.

Deciding to nip any potential mischief on the parts of the villagers in regards to Naruto in the bud, he drafted a letter that would be sent out to every business and residence in Konoha since calling a village-wide meeting would be impractical, and frankly impossible. After doing so, he sent the letter off to the printers, handed Kakashi a long C-Ranked mission for his team to complete, and sent him out to find his students.

What he'd really wanted to do to Kakashi was strangle him for starting this mess, but he needed someone he could trust to have Naruto's safety and best interests in mind to keep Naruto out of harm's way until cooler heads prevailed and everything blew over. Unfortunately, the only person who came close to fitting that description that he had on hand was Kakashi, since Jiraiya was keeping tabs on a minor skirmish between Suna and Iwa that was taking place in the small country that rested between the borders of Earth and Wind. He would almost be willing to say that he could trust Mizuki, but there were some unanswered questions regarding the death of one of that man's teammates. That meant that he would have to save any possible strangling of the Copy-nin for later.

Lighting his pipe as Kakashi departed, he leaned back and waited for Danzo and the other two to arrive and start making even more inane suggestions in regards to the care, feeding, and training of Minato's son.


Iruka watched as Mizuki turned into more and more of a nervous wreck with each minute that passed since the Kyuubi's Chakra had been felt within the village for the first time in nearly eight years. Mizuki had cared for Naruto who'd seemed like an ordinary boy until now, and whatever had happened to the boy had disturbed him greatly. The not knowing what had happened was probably the worst part of it.

After preparing a cup of his friend's favorite tea, he went over to his couch where Mizuki was seated and muttering to himself in order to comfort the older man who had been there for him in the years since his parents had been killed in the Kyuubi attack.

"He's got to be dead." Mizuki was saying. "He has to be. If the Yondaime's seal had broken, there'd be a giant nine-tailed fox loose in the middle of the village."

As Mizuki absent-mindedly took the tea from him, not really paying attention to what it was, there was a knock at the door. After leaving Mizuki's side to answer it, he opened the door to find a courier on his doorstep despite the fact that he wasn't expecting any mail since all his bills were paid, and anyone who would be willing to write to him could just as easily walk over to his apartment and talk to him.

"Letter from the Hokage." the man said as he pulled an envelope from his overfull bag and shoved it into his hands.

After closing the door behind the departing courrier, he opened the envelope curious as to what was inside, as the Hokage had never written him before. The "Letter from the Hokage" was obviously a mass produced copy, but clearly wasn't junk mail as it bore a mimeographed copy of the Sandaime's signature, which was something that only the Hokage's office could use. As he read the letter, he grew angrier and angrier.

"What's wrong?" Mizuki asked, probably having noticed his mood thanks to the amount of Killing Intent he'd started putting out.

"Some bastard who found out that Jinchuriki release Biju Chakra when severely stressed thought it would be funny to try to provoke Naruto into going on a rampage by attacking that...Izuna." he snarled as he crumpled the note in his fist, wishing it was the throat of the man who had frightened the entire village and put a child at risk of being killed by the frightened villagers.

"What?!" Mizuki said as he leapt off the couch and snatched the crumpled missive from him and started reading it.

"So, Naruto's..." Mizuki started, looking both relieved and concerned at the same time.

"Alive, yes." he said. "The same won't be said about the next bastard who tries to pull something like that in the future though."


Across town, a woman was feeling sorry for Naruto for the first time...

"That poor boy." she said as she re-read the letter that had been sent to her family by the Hokage's office.

The letter which had explained what had happened earlier that day had detailed how Naruto's sensei, one of his teammates, and a man who'd practically adopted the boy as his own had recently been slaughtered by Itachi, and went on to further state that the...person who had practically raised Naruto since he was three since there was no-one else because Naruto's parents had been killed in the Kyuubi attack had been attacked right in front of him by an unknown assailant, causing the boy to release a very small amount of the Kyuubi's Chakra in his distress as he tried to defend one of the very few people in the village who cared about him from a much stronger opponent.

"That poor boy." she said again.

All this time she'd been turning a cold shoulder to the Uzumaki boy in the marketplace, the child had nobody but a bunch of Uchiha who'd probably been planning to use him to their own ends and that...that man who wore a child's skin. Because Fugaku's eldest son had gone on a killing spree, the child had almost nobody now except that unholy being that had latched onto him, and someone had just tried to take him away from the boy who'd never known a mother's kindness because the monster that had been sealed within him had stolen his mother from him beforehand as well.

"What is it mama?" the woman's daughter asked, wondering what had made her mother so sad.

"Sakura," the woman said, "You know how I told you never to play with that Naruto boy?"

"Yes?" her daughter replied.

"I've changed my mind."


Deep in the woods that surrounded Konoha, a pair of boys ran. Their running wasn't aimless, as one of them who periodically checked the sun and climbed above the canopy on occasion had a destination in mind. Though he didn't know where they were going, Naruto followed Izuna's lead. In all the time he'd known him, Izuna-nii had never steered him wrong, and he was certain that he wouldn't do so now.

He wasn't entirely certain what he'd done wrong. But whatever it was, it had to be bad, considering how scared Izuna-nii looked. This worried him as well as the hisses of pain that Izuna-nii occasionally let out. He wasn't sure how much longer Izuna-nii could run, and based on what he'd said about where they were going, it was a long ways away...

While they paused so that they could look for some water because he was thirsty, Hatake Kakashi found them.

"Who are you?" Izuna-nii said as he pulled out a kunai two seconds after Kakashi appeared in the clearing they'd paused in.

"Who do you think I am Kushina-san, the Tsuchikage?" the masked man replied.

"Prove it." Izuna-nii replied coldly.

Kakashi lifted up his hitai-ate. Instead of a sunken place where an empty socket would be like on that one old man he'd met, there was a normal eyelid that had a scar running up and down it. When the eye opened, it was one of those Sharingan things that the Uchiha had.

Giving Kakashi a look of utmost loathing, Izuna-nii put his kunai away.

"I should kill you for that, if nothing else." Izuna-nii said coldly, gesturing to the eye that Kakashi was hiding behind his hitai-ate.

"I wish you wouldn't, it'd make it impossible for us to complete our mission." Kakashi said.

"Our mission?" Izuna-nii asked.

"Hokage-sama gave us a mission to take until the village calms down a bit." Kakashi replied.

"So, what's the mission?" Izuna-nii asked.

"I don't know, I haven't read the scroll yet."