Bang! It was the unmistakeable sound of a paper bombs, and many of them. It woke up a thirteen year old boy, who would otherwise have been woken up by his father. The boy, quickly changed into his shinobi, and set off downstairs where his father was already waiting for him, ready for battle.

'Hiruzen, Our village is under attack. Stay close to me while we fight off these assailants', He spoke with a serious tone to his son. The father, known as Sasuke Sarutobi, was one of the leaf's top shinobi. To Hiruzen, he was a strict and somewhat protective father. However, things may have turned out differently if Hiruzen's mother was still around. The two of them shared similar appearance traits; Dark brown hair, a slightly tanned skin complexion and below average height were the obvious traits. But, the similarities ended there.

Despite being only thirteen, Hiruzen was a very talented shinobi for his age and was capable of holding off these assailants in combat. They were discovered to be from the sand village. The father-son team's fight dragged on into the forest that surrounded the hidden leaf village. The real trouble began there.

Sasuke was revered as a powerful shinobi of the village for his lightning style jutsu. But it seemed to be his undoing as the next three opponents that he would face with his son were all Jounin with wind style affinities.

'Allow me to introduce myself. I am Akira of the Sand village. And you're the great Sasuke Sarutobi. I will enjoy fighting you!' One of them said, as he got out his gigantic fan. He waved it towards the father-son duo, but they dodged in time for the other two shinobi to intercept them and more importantly – split them up! Then, the Akira joined in fighting against Sasuke, in an attempt to eliminate him quickly.

Sasuke was in a tight spot fighting two people from close range. Despite wielding a sword, whose power was further raised when he channelled lightning chakra into it Akira countered with his fan, using his wind chakra to negate the lightning chakra. Eventually, Sasuke's sword simply had to give in and snap in two. He retreated, to a somewhat safe distance, but the other Sand shinobi threw several shuriken at him. Sasuke blocked almost every one of them; however Akira was destined to finish him off.

'Wind style: pressure damage!' With his fan, he charged chakra into it. The fan was waved vigorously in Sasuke's direction. Hiruzen could only watch as his father was shredded by the sharp winds, making him bleed in several areas. For good measure, more paper bombs were thrown towards Sasuke, ensuring that he was going to die a horrible death.

'Father!' Hiruzen yelled. He was distracted by his father's death, but he couldn't think about that now. He had to defeat these three Jounin somehow; otherwise his father's sacrifice was going to be for nothing. He wiped his tears and was ready to attack the person immediately before him. Hiruzen leapt like a monkey, the man threw an exploding tag attached to a kunai for which Hiruzen, whisked aside with his own kunai. A small explosion occurred as Hiruzen aimed for his stomach.

'Ninja Art: Summoning jutsu!' A tall burly monkey came out from the man's stomach, injuring him. It was now two against two.

'Sasuke? Wait, no… you're Hiruzen. Where is your father?' The monkey asked

'King Enma, he…' Hiruzen said no more.

'I understand, let's avenge your father shall we?' Monkey king Enma got the message. Enma was ready to do battle alongside Hiruzen. Something he did many times before with the Sarutobi clan descendants.

Without wasting anymore time, they got to it. The one who assisted Akira was up first. Enma transformed onto the Adamantine staff that Hiruzen was about to wield. At will it could change size. Hiruzen used that to his advantage as he swung an initially smaller staff, which expanded to a bigger staff that reached for the assistant's stomach, winding him in the process. Hiruzen threw a Shuriken and then used a jutsu he was working on for some time.

'Shuriken Shadow clone jutsu!' The shuriken he threw multiplied and most of them got the assistant. Now, Hiruzen had to somehow defeat Akira.

'It seems my comrades underestimated you. I won't go easy on you just cos you're a kid. I'll have you! Wind Style: pressure damage!' He waved his fan, the same way he did against Sasuke, it was sure victory for Akira, but unbeknownst to him, Hiruzen saved the best until last.

'Fire Style: Fire Dragon jutsu!' Hiruzen weaved some hand signs and spewed a giant stream of fire from his mouth. It took the shape of a genuine dragon which, because of the incoming wind jutsu would grow in size by absorbing the wind jutsu completely. It would engulf Akira, who despite his efforts of escaping, would burn to death. Hiruzen finally avenged his father, but fell to his knees due to exhaustion and severe emotional pain. Enma then disappeared having fulfilled his purpose.

From the distance, the trees leaves were rustling against one another. There were several shinobi rapidly coming this way. This was bad news for Hiruzen, as they were a group of Sand Shinobi reinforcements. To be more precise, it was the puppet brigade. As the name suggested, they were a group of master puppeteers.

'Akira... it seems he was defeated, and by a bloody child as well! How despicable, although I sense the chakras of our other two comrades. Chiyo, get to it!' The Leader, known as Chikamatsu, had a stern and unforgiving look to him. It was the right kind of look for a dictator.

'Yes sir!' The one known as Chiyo was a puppet master, but her talent also extended to medical ninjutsu. At fourteen, she was just a year older than Hiruzen, and had many years of potential ahead of her. A future leader of the puppet brigade? Quite possibly, but her current aim was to heal Akira's heavily injured assistants.

Meanwhile, the leader of the puppet brigade knew that he had to kill Hiruzen; he got out his scroll and then summoned a puppet from it. The puppet looked almost exactly like Chikamatsu, except for the fact that it was made from wood of course. Using his own chakra, Chikamatsu controlled the puppet to attack Hiruzen directly.

Smash! From out of nowhere, a man in red armour punched Chikamatsu's puppet in the stomach area. It was sent flying, losing the chakra connection with Chikamatsu. Hiruzen was saved. The man who saved him was calm and collected even in the most dangerous situations.

'Lord Hokage!' Hiruzen said in relief. The sand shinobi were shocked when he arrived.

'Where's Tobirama sensei? Is he okay?' Tobirama was also the Hokage's younger brother, and like the Hokage he was also a talented shinobi.

'He's back in the village, you needn't worry about him. He has things under control', the Hokage replied. He then turned his attention to the Sand shinobi, and Chikamatsu in particular. Chiyo had just finished healing her two comrades as the Hokage's mouth opened.

'Leave now, or regret ever having to do battle with the Leaf Shinobi. Your comrades have fallen in our Village. If you value your lives, I suggest you leave now!'

Chikamatsu then spoke.

'Hashirama Senju, the one who defeated the great Madara Uchiha, I am honoured to meet you. If that is your wish, then I oblige. However, this is not the end of the Sand Village. We will gain our share of the power!' After a brief silence, the puppet brigade retreated quietly. The Hokage then pat Hiruzen on the head.

'Saru, You did well to defeat the skilled Shinobi here, your father would have been proud. However, if you are to ever become Hokage yourself, you must also be excellent off the battlefield. Things like diplomacy and negotiation are important too. I hope that one day the Shinobi world will be united so that deaths like your father's do not happen. Such deaths are born from greed and hatred. It is the great curse of the Shinobi world', after saying what he had to say, the Hokage carried Hiruzen back to the Leaf village, where the villagers would mourn the deaths of their comrades.

That day, Hiruzen truly discovered his ninja way, his will of fire. He would grow up to become the best shinobi in his village, and use these skills to protect the ones he loved. He never stopped believing from that day onwards, that the Shinobi world could be unified. All of Hiruzen's future successes would be dedicated to his father, a true hero.