AN: Omgosh… this idea just hit me. And I already have all the battles planned out… and Naruto's skills planned out… let's start this story. I think I'm going to concentrate on this one and God of War crossover.
Hiruzen Sarutobi sighed looking out at a child through the window in his office.
A child say on the wings alone. He had messy blonde hair, a dirty white shirt and a tattered piece of cloth that had long crossed the line of being simple shorts. He was on the swings alone, a part of his hair on the side matted with blonde. His eyes were hidden beneath his long hair, covering them in shadow. The child didn't have any shoes on, his feet bloodied and covered with dirt.
Sarutobi had watched from his office as the children played in the playground beneath his office. He saw them running around, playing in the sandbox and simply playing as children often do. The Hokage had seen even some children that were from respectable shinobi clans. He saw a child playing with his puppy, no doubt hailing from the Inuzaka Clan. He saw the wives of Shikaku, Chouza and Inoichi respectively and their children running around. He smiled enjoying the sounds of laughter and general merriment of the next generation as they simply enjoyed themselves on this day. It was the perfect day for an outing, sunny with a hint of breeze. Even the birds seemed to be in a merry mood, flying with an extra oomph in their flaps. Sarutobi spied the playground, surprised, in a pleasant way, that even the Hyuuga had attended this little massive play date.
He smiled, pausing in his paperwork to stare out the window, content. This was exactly the kind of village he had dreamed of when he was young. No war to worry about, not wondering when the next meal cart was coming, not having to worry about money or whether your son was safe to go outside and play. It was a village of peace, the people's trust in their ninja having grown to the point where they were now a part of life, not warriors or soldiers to be feared. Ninjas weren't simply tools of wars anymore, they were a part of the village just like everyone else. Seeing the children play together had reminded him of this nice fact.
Sarutobi stiffened seeing a new child enter the playground.
He saw the civilians and the shinobi parents start to stare at the child who had just come to the playground. Naruto began to run around but stopped, soon noticing the stairs and how people began to rapidly leave. Sarutobi saw Naruto run over to the kids who had not left yet and begin to play with. He watched, a frown on his face, the worry evident upon the aged lines. The creases in his forehead deepened and he saw a child throw a punch at Naruto. The two child began to fight with other kids joining in the battle. It soon became an all out brawl, all the kids beating up the blonde. Sarutobi took his hat and prepared to go to the playground. The thing that stopped him was that the parents began to walk over to their kids. However to his shock, instead of reprimanding their kids, the parents simply took the kids by their hand, taking them out of the park, pretending as if nothing had happened.
He saw them leave one by one.
Then there was one.
Naruto got up, dusted himself off and walked over to the swings.
Sarutobi saw the glistening tears on his cheek, drip to the floor one by one.
The sandaime turned around his heart in a greater ache than ever before. He felt anger rise within him, the pity for the blonde, then anger again at himself for being powerless. No, not powerless but simply unwilling. He was unwilling to place himself out there for Naruto. He didn't feel like this but he knew that there was a subconscious, a deeper part of him that must fear being a part of the minority. Else why would he just crumple his hat to a wreck and simply watch, not helping the hero of the village? The professor looked back at his paperwork.
"What use is peace… if we can't thank the one who has granted us this peace?" Sarutobi looked at Naruto who was attempting to build a sandcastle by himself. "This child has done nothing to deserve this…"
Jinchuuriki… Human Sacrifice.
He was finding a totally different meaning to the word sacrifice.
Jinchuuriki's weren't a sacrifice because they were given to the demons. They were a sacrifice because they were sacrificed for peace, they were the very scapegoat, the very physical manifestation of the people's fears. They were sacrificed not to the demon, but to the very populace that they worked to protect. The Jinchuuriki's weren't a sacrificed… they were called to sacrifice. They were called to sacrifice any semblance of a normal life, sacrifice their families and sacrifice any precious bonds that they might have had with someone else.
Not having a bond with anyone… being alone forever…
There existed nothing else that Sarutobi feared more.
He turned away from the window sitting back down on his desk. "There's nothing else I can do… this is the life that his parents chose for him… if I draw any more attention to this I'm only drawing attention to him…" He grabbed the pen and looked at the paper in front of him, seeing it but the words resembling nothing but a stain upon the white sheet.
Sarutobi sighed and focused his eyes trying to read the words.
There was a knock at his door.
"Come in." Sarutobi answered, his voice loud and clear but even before he had finished saying the words, a man entered the room. The Third Hokage's eyes widened recognizing the man for who he was.
The man was tall, reaching nearly six and a half. He had wide shoulders, so much that when he entered through the doorway, it had looked a bit cramped. His size was on par with Jiraiya. Height and width weren't the only thing they had in common, they had the same atmosphere about them. The air of power, strength and confidence in their skills. This man had seen many battles of life and death.
And he had survived them all.
The man had a broad jaw and one eye that was closed. He was ruggedly handsome, promising some danger yet dependence to women who looked upon him. He had his hair tied into a ponytail, yet his hair wasn't long enough for it to reach his neck or even the back of his head. His pony tail ended a bit after the rope used to tie his hair, a little puff of spiky hair that hung down just an inch or two. The man was wearing a type of grieve that started at his wrist and ended a bit before his elbow. He had a black kimono with a sash tied around it.
On the right side of his waist hung a single sword.
"Sarutobi-dono." The man greeted.
"Miyamoto..." Sarutobi took out a long pipe, sending a puff of smoke into the air. "other wise known as Musashi."
"Please, just call me Takezo." The man shot him a silly grin, rubbing the back of his head and a faint blush on his face. "I'm embarrassed when people address me as that."
"But that is the title that you have earned is it not?" Sarutobi smiled seeing the abashed Takezo.
Takezo… the strongest Samurai…
Takezo came from a long lineage of swordsmen. Not only that, instead of inheriting the techniques of his family, Takezo was apprenticed the previous Musashi of his generation. There were some dark rumors surrounding the practice of Samurai, such as apprentices killing each other for the right to pass on to the next generation their techniques and even practices that dictated that the students kill the master in a death match to earn mastery of their swordsmanship. Then again, there was the title of Musashi. Only the greatest samurai of their generation was granted the name Miyamoto Musashi, handed down generations and generations ago.
Takezo's previous master had been called Musashi as well.
Then somewhere along the line, Takezo took the name Musashi for himself.
Whether his master passed it onto him or whether Takezo truly fought his master in a deathmatch…
Sarutobi did not know.
Nor did he want to know more about such dark arts.
All he knew was that this man wasn't like other Samurai… his powers were a force to be reckoned with and he had a feeling that Sarutobi wasn't simply dropping by to say hello.
Confirming his fears, the next words nearly stopped the old man's heart.
"Give me the child."
Sarutobi dropped his pipe onto the desk, scattering ash all over his cursed paperwork. But the man didn't even care at that point. He stared at the Samurai's expression hoping for any semblance of a joke or lack of seriousness. The Sandaime frowned, looking out the window at the blonde child who was making a sand castle and then back at the Samurai who stood in front of him.
"Would you… care to repeat that?"
"I want the child." Musashi's voice left no room for doubt. "He's not treated well here. I want to take him and make him my apprentice. I will teach him the way of my style. I wish for him to inherit my techniques and make him the next Musashi. Just as my master had taken me and I became the inheritor… I wish for him to become the sole inheritor of my techniques… the San Mai." (Three Dances)
Sarutobi froze at his last words.
He stood up.
Then he slammed his hands on the desk, sending papers flying around in his office.
"Get out." He whispered. "I don't want you anywhere near Naruto."
"I know that many, even other samurai, regard the dances as a cursed art…" Musashi began.
"SHUT UP!" Sarutobi lost it and pointed at the door, his eyes bloodshot and spittle beginning to form at the corners of his mouth. "I WON'T LET YOU TAKE NARUTO-"
"I'm taking him whether you like it or not old man." Musashi shook his head. "Minato saved my LIFE. I won't let his son be treated like some common scum! I won't let you people treat him like some outcast!"
"I won't allow it." Sarutobi whispered again, shaking his head. "I'm calling the ANBU."
"The only one in this village who can defeat me is you." The samurai retorted. "And we both know you won't stop me."
"This is Minato's will." The Hokage pled. "This is Naruto's village… he belongs here."
"I'm not my master Sarutobi." Musashi's words were calm and emotionless, contrary to the Hokage who had just lost his cool seconds ago. "I'm not scared of Shinobi… don't put me on the same level as other samurai."
The Hokage remained silent for a few more minutes, then sat down trying to slow of his erratic heartbeat.
He was getting too old for this.
Hiruzen looked out the window seeing Naruto climb the swings by himself. He saw some villagers pass by the playground, seeing the blonde and gossiping among themselves. He felt another pang of pain go through his chest.
"Because he's alone." The samurai didn't miss a beat. He crossed his arms, knowing that he didn't need to be particularly persuasive.
They both knew it.
Naruto, if he stayed, was going to be forever alone.
The blonde was an outcast, among his peers and even in the village. Not a single person comforted or spoke anything close to a single warm word to the boy. The Hokage couldn't show favoritism or words would be whispered and unwanted attention from other people would be brought to the boy. Soon his true identity would be brought to light and he grow up not as just a loner to his peers, but as a monster, a freak and something akin to disposable trash.
He couldn't let that happen to Naruto.
"Naruto…" Sarutobi sighed then turned to Musashi. "Make sure no one sees you on your way out."
"So you're name is… Takezo?" The eight year old blonde asked.
"Yup." The samurai answered his newest pupil a wide smile on his face.
The two were walking on a little dirt path that lead the way out of Konoha. In truth they had left the village many hours ago. To his surprise, the blonde came willingly. All the Samurai needed to do was buy him some food and tell him that the sandaime had sent him. At first the blonde had been very doubtful and mistrusting but once he mentioned the third hokage, he followed willingly enough. He didn't even ask a lot of questions when Takezo had told him that he was to come with him. Naruto packed up his stuff as fast as he could, packing things that meant nothing to Takezo but apparently meant a lot to the blonde.
"Takezo-san." Naruto began. "where are we-"
"Call me sensei."
"Um… ok… Takezo-sensei…" Naruto ventured surprised at the sharp tone in the man's voice. Then he looked at the big man and sweatdropped a bit.
Takezo was blushing, looking the other way.
"He's really happy that I called him Sensei…"
"That's the first time I've been called sensei… Naruto… I'll protect you with my life my cute pupil!" Takezo promised, crying tears of joy.
"So… where are we going sensei?" The blonde turned back to his initial question grunting with effort. They had been walking for hours and now that the excitement of leaving the village had worn off, his energy levels were beginning to drop. They had left in the afternoon and now the sun was beginning to set.
"To the land of iron." Takezo peered at Naruto from the corner of his eyes. "To begin your training… which in truth, began the moment we stepped out of Konoha."
"Oh." Eight year old Naruto kicked a pebble that was in his way. "So does that mean I don't have to go to the academy anymore?"
"You'll find some other friends. I assure you." Takezo placed a hand on the handle of his sword unconsciously, feeling the smooth handle.
"But I need to become a great shinobi… and if I don't go to the academy-"
Takezo interrupted the blonde midway. "From now on Naruto… I'm your Master. I'll be in charge of your training from now on." He gestured towards the sword that he was gripping. "Do you see what I'm holding?"
"Exactly." Takezo smiled at the blonde, the goofy grin lightning a smile on Naruto's face as well. "I'm not a shinobi Naruto… which means I can't teach you shinobi arts."
"Then how am I supposed to become stronger?" The blonde continued to stare at the sword. It was inside a black sheath. The guard was shaped a lot like flower petals in Naruto's opinion. The handle was covered in white bandages which had a lot of other stains on it.
"I will teach you in the way of the samurai." Takezo glanced at the blonde then shrugged. "You are eight years old. In the future I plan to return you to Konoha… you will train with me for four years. During those four years you will master different aspects of the Samurai Arts. For your first year we will be in the Land of Iron, where you will be trained in the basics. Then for three years I will personally train you."
Naruto nodded not really understanding anything but finding something unusual. "Why are we going to the Land of Iron? Can't you train me all those stuff yourself?"
"No I can't," Takezo shook his head. "In the land of Iron, you will meet many other apprentices your age. They will be going through the same training as you, how to hold a sword, the basic stance, how to treat a sword and basic conditioning. You will also be trained in the ways of the Samurai… Bushido."
"It sounds too boring. Can't you teach me like a jutsu that'll make me-"
"We don't use jutsus." The samurai stopped and bent on one knee. He grabbed Naruto by the shoulder and looked at Naruto in the eye. Naruto stared back noting that one eye on the man's face was closed. "Naruto… from now on, you must throw away your dreams of being a ninja. Try not to mention anything about shinobis when you go to the school with the other kids. Already you will be a target for ridicule since you are my apprentice. But some samurais hold a stigma against ninjas… no one will recognize you as a shinobi there unless you tell them. Please, for your own sake, try not to talk about being a ninja."
"They don't like you?" Naruto cocked his head to the side.
Takezo hesitated wondering how much to tell the boy. "I'll tell you more about the history of my art once you have become powerful enough." He grimaced feeling embarrassed beneath the gaze of the innocent boy. The samurai felt as somehow telling the cursed history of their techniques would tarnish the boy. Even teaching the technique to such a young soul felt kind of guilty.
But this was something that needed to be done.
"Come on Naruto… let's go."
It had been a couple of months since they had left Konohagakure no Sato.
Naruto missed the village at times, missing the taste of ramen or how he would be allowed to visit the Hokage at times. He missed the playground and the amount of time that he had to himself before. He never knew how previous free time was until he was enrolled into the Samurai School mandatory for all Samurai Apprentices. Naruto missed the trees and the warmth of Konoha. He wanted to see the forests one more time, walking to an abandoned training post and running around screaming his heart out.
The land of iron was a desolate place, deprived of the sun and any type of warmth. It was in between the three mountains called the Three Wolves Mountain. When Naruto had first seen the place he had been amazed, never having seen snow before in his entire life. Konoha was always a place of warmth, sometimes being unbearably hot but usually it was a nice balance of warmth and cool. That was the primary reason why so many people came to the village, for the weather, produce and the protection offered by the village ninja. The land of iron was a cold place, both in the literal sense and the metaphorical sense.
In Konoha the people were warm and friendly. Here they were cold and brisque. There was a type of atmosphere about the place that screamed authority and seriousness. It was a place of rules and laws, the two primary aspect that governed the lives of everyone there. The only civilians that Naruto had met were the wives and the children of the Samurai. Most of the food was delivered there in monthly shipments since the icy winds and the harsh mountains did not allow for any vegetation to grow. Though there was more than vegetables, there weren't a lot of live stocks either. The only type of live stock that existed in this freezing place were these big cows with lots of hair and small horns. Naruto had never seen cows like them before. They tasted the same though and it had soon become Naruto's new favorite food.
But he got used to it.
It was either that… or die.
This wasn't a place where people made warm friendships and heartwarming relationships. It was a place where either you worked together or died together. There was a type of solidarity here, definitely not warm but a solidarity nonetheless. The air was always one of business, that those who did not work did not eat. Many people had the mindset of one for all and all for one.
Naruto kind of liked it.
Even if some people personally disliked Naruto, he was sure that they would rush to help him if he was in any real danger. He didn't have any proof for this but he knew he wasn't wrong.
People here were driven with the sense of responsibility and duty.
Naruto had found another home.
However he didn't make any connections that he cherished because he knew he was leaving in a year. The seasons didn't change in the land of iron but Naruto knew it was time to leave. So when Takezo came to him and told him it was time to leave to start his real training, the blonde didn't complain. He followed Takezo.
And so he trained for three years…
It was raining.
Rain fell from the sky, mixing with the blood of the earth. There was a man who lay on the ground, his body cut nearly in half. The cut traveled from his shoulder to his hip. There was literally a pool of blood around him, filling the grooves in the earth only to be washed away. The man stared at nothing, one eye closed and the other staring straight into space. His life had already ended long time ago but it had taken years for him to die. He knew that when he picked up the sword that this day would come but he wished it had come a bit later.
"Y-you…" The man choked out staring at the lump of body next to him. He felt worried for the owner of the body next to him. "Will keep your promise then?" His voice sounded weak even to his own ears, sounding feeble and hoarse.
The boy who was lying on the ground next to him tried to speak but the only sound he made was a gurgling noise. He was clutching his chest in pain, blood leaking from his mouth. With his other hand, Naruto was grabbing the ground, trying to stand but finding it impossible to find the strength in his body to do so.
"I will keep my promise…" A voice said.
Naruto's head snapped up towards the source of the voice, his eyes burning with blue fire.
"T-thank you…" wheezed Musashi feeling a smile stretch over his mouth. He knew he was dying yet he found peace and satisfaction in his death. His master had often told him that not everyone found peace in death and for those who did, it was a sign that they had lived a long and good life. They had no regrets and had lived a life that they could be proud of. Musashi smiled remembering the senile old man. He then looked at his own apprentice, marveling at how fast time flew by.
"Good-bye… Takezo." The man whispered.
The blade swept down and beheaded Musashi.
Naruto finally found the strength to scream, seeing his teacher's head roll across the ground. He reached out with both hands, forgetting the burning sensation in his chest and grabbed it, bringing it near him and holding onto it protectively. He turned his gaze towards the killer, covered in shadow and holding a single Katana at his side.
"I have killed your teacher… putting an end to the curse of our arts." The man sheathed his sword, his purple eyes staring into Naruto's cerulean. "I would kill you too… but I will keep my promise with your Master."
"I will not kill you until you are of age… Uzumaki Naruto."
"M-master…" Naruto moaned holding onto his master's head. That damned smile was still there. Rain matted the black hair to his forehead.
"This can't be happening…" Naruto's thoughts were befuddled and muddy just like the ground. He couldn't believe that his master, the man who had trained him and raised him and treated him like his own son for the last four years had just… his head was not on his neck. That was not physically possible for anyone that was alive. Naruto began to crawl towards the body, his eyes desperate and mad.
"Let him go Uzumaki Naruto… he is dead. He is with us no longer."
Naruto released the head, letting it roll away from him. He stared at the man in front of him, trying to burn every single detail of his face and body into his mind. The blonde put out one hand, sinking it into the ground softened by rain and pulled himself up, managing to stand on his own feet, though a bit unsteadily. He continued to look at the man, a crazed look in his eyes.
"You fucking bastard…" Naruto lifted his head and chin, blood dripping down and mixing with the pouring rain. "YOU FUCKING BASTARD! I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!"
The blonde lunged across the clearing, drawing a sword from the scabbard at his waist.
There was a sound of metal on metal.
Naruto flew backwards, his back slamming into the tree. He heard a crunch and a sharp pain in his back, his eyes bulging with agony. He slid down, his legs sprawled out in front of him. He stared at the sword in his hand but half of it was gone, the blade cleaved cleanly in two. The blonde felt another pang of pain go through his chest, feeling as if something was struggling to get out, clawing and biting, giving him nothing but pain.
The man watched silently.
"Why…" Naruto whispered. "Why… he didn't care about his title of Musashi… why…"
"Because that was his destiny Uzumaki Naruto." The man shook his head. "He knew it was coming. Those who learn our arts… are destined for death Naruto."
"A curse that ends with him."
Naruto began to shake.
The man sighed and bent down, picking up Musashi's sword.
"Don't you dare fucking touch that." The blonde snarled, trying to get up. He actually managed to get up on his own two feet until he felt his legs go out. He fell to his knees and supported himself with a hand.
Yet the fire in his eyes never died.
"That's my Master's sword… don't touch that…" Naruto began to crawl towards the man, using his knees and one arm. The other arm, which had been holding his sword hung limply at his side. "I SAID DON'T FUCKING TOUCH IT!"
The man sheathed the sword and threw it in front of Naruto.
"That is Hanakage… the sword known as Flower Shadow." The man explained. "It was the sword of your master… and our master."
The man lifted up his own sword. The blade was a dull red, the stain of blood still existent on the tip. The man flicked the blade towards the ground, washing away the last of it. The guard was shaped like a flower, just like Musashi's sword except while Musashi's sword had rounded edges on the guard, the man's guard had pointed edges.
"If you want to avenge your master…" The man leaned a bit out of the shadow cast by the trees. "Come and kill me… if you can. I shall be waiting, Uzumaki Naruto."
Then he left.
Then Uzumaki Naruto, the child of Destiny and the Inheritor of the cursed techniques opened his mouth, releasing all his anger, frustration and sorrow in a blood curdling scream.
That is how his story began.
Hiruzen looked at the boy that stood in front of him.
"Has it already been four years?" He glanced up from the paper that he had been reading to get one more look at the boy.
Naruto's blonde hair had grown out over the years. His hair was tied into a pony tail, but it was only long enough to have a little spiky tuff at the top. The boy's whisker marks no longer looked like whiskers but claw marks. The boy didn't seem nervous or angry at all, instead he looked curious about the office where he was. The blonde kept on turning his head this way and that, a faint smile on his lips. He was wearing a thin blue jacket with white fur lining and a black tank top underneath it. He wore black boots with blue lining that ended a bit before his knees. The boots were formed of metal plates, making it shine in the light. He wore black pants made of the same cloth as shinobi clothing.
At the right side of his waist, there was a sword. The sword, despite being a katana, had a straight scabbard, indicating that the blade within was also straight. Its guard was formed of eight petal looking appendages that made it resemble a flower.
It was the same sword that Musashi had brought into his office about four years ago.
The Third Hokage looked over the paper that Naruto had brought into his office once again, giving it the once over. The paper stated that Musashi had died in battle. The Country of Iron, Mifune, said that it was last wish of Musashi's for Naruto to go back to Konohagakure and resume his ninja training. However it also stated that if Konohagakure would not accept the blonde, they wouldn't mind taking the blonde back into their midst once more.
He had no intention of doing that.
"Naruto, do you remember me?" The Sandaime took out a long pipe, taking a puff from it.
"Of course, you're the old man." The blonde tapped a finger on the end of his katana. "The Hokage."
The third hokage nodded, satisfied with the answer. He settled back in his chair, giving his full attention to the blonde. "What brings you here Naruto?"
The blonde cocked his head to the side.
"I asked why you're here."
"Musashi wanted me to be here." Naruto frowned. "I don't understand your question."
Hiruzen leaned forward stapling his fingers, setting the pipe aside. "It's a simple question… I'm asking you what your reasons are for being here."
"That's none of your business." Naruto replied, his hand touching the handle of his sword.
Hiruzen narrowed his eyes.
Something had flashed in Naruto's face that he hadn't had the time to make out. Naruto had a alternate motive for being here and Hiruzen swore that he would find out what it was.
But as for now…
"The genin teams have already been formulated and I'm not going to move people around. Considering your age, I want to introduce you to the other genin. I'm assuming that you have basic combat skills?" Hiruzen waved his hand, knocking away Naruto's response. "That was a stupid question." A smile appeared on his face. "What would you like to do?"
"I need missions." Naruto answered immediately. "I need missions that'll put me in contact with the underground world, the criminals, the scumbags of society. That sort of thing."
Hiruzen stared at the twelve year old boy in front of him, his mouth wide open.
Naruto shrugged. "You're the one who asked…"
The sandaime coughed. "Sorry to break it to you Naruto… but to take on those types of missions you will need to acquire a certain level of rank… most likely jounin if you were serious about the types of missions you wanted. To do that you need to take the chuunin test then another jounin exam."
"Just let me fight one." The blonde shrugged shooting an absolute predatory grin at the aged ninja. "I might surprise you."
"It doesn't work like that." The Third Hokage sighed. "Are you interested in going back to the academy?"
Naruto shot him a look.
"Never mind… bad idea."
"Good thing we know exactly what to do."
Both occupants of the room looked at the door seeing five new people enter.
Two of them were very old with graying hairs from the results of age.
The man had glasses and a robe attached to a white scarf wrapped around his neck. He had an aura similar to Hiruzen. But whiles Hiruzen had an air of wisdom and strength tempered by age, this man looked harsh and bitter something that Naruto did not like. The man reminded him of what a harsh grandpa would be like if he had one.
The woman had her hair tied up into a bun, the skin on her face sagging with age. Her eyes were nearly closed yet the way she held herself screamed authority. This woman was the type whose existence screamed out respect. Naruto had a feeling that this wasn't due to age, that even when she had been a younger version of herself she had the same type of air.
One was a jounin. He had short brown hair and large black eyes that seemed to be smiling yet not smiling. He wore the flak jacket that all konoha shinobi wore, except that his did not have the swirly things Naruto had seen before. The man was tall and well built, though not overly so. His hiata was hugging the sides of his face, a rare style these days. Naruto leaned on the ball of his feet for a split second, spying two pouches instead of the usual one on the man's hip.
The other two were closer to Naruto's age.
One had short black hair, matted down by nothing more than gravity itself. He had extremely pale skin, something that reminded Naruto of the people from the Land of Iron, which he considered his home now, due to the constant freezing weather that was prevalent there. To Naruto's disgust the boy wore a shirt that exposed his stomach, a black jacket covering the shirt that held red straps on the side. Naruto sensed more than saw Hiruzen stiffen when he spotted the boy but he ignored it.
The other one was a rather nerdy looking girl. She also wore glasses, however unlike the old man's hers were tinted with swirls most likely equipped with some t equipped with some type of chakra. She was wearing black long sleeved top and a light purple apron, which underneath she wore black shorts. Beneath the top Naruto saw a hint of mesh net. She had a backpack and Naruto did not see any kunai holster on her.
"This team has been prepared especially for you… Uzumaki Naruto."
"Homura… what is this. Explain yourself." Hiruzen asked the old man who had addressed Naruto.
"We formed this team with a special help from a few very different organizations."
"Koharu." The Sandaime whispered.
"Sarutobi," the old woman replied. "We can't very well have a boy running around the village by himself…. He's a ninja in his own rights and he needs a team to be placed in."
"Hokage-sama," The man wearing the flak jacket looked perplexed and Naruto knew that he had not known about this. "I thought you were the one who ordered this…"
Sarutobi leaned back in his chair, feeling the beginnings of a headache start in the back of his head.
The jounin that stood in front of him was Yamato, a member of the ANBU. It wasn't a coincidence that Homura and Koharu brought these three to be part of Naruto's team. Yamato, besides being a ninja whose strength was a force to be reckoned with, was also blessed with a special type of chakra, the Mokuton (Wood Release). No doubt they had chosen him just for that reason. The man's chakra descended from the Shodaime himself, the only man to have had a chakra that reacted specially to bijuu chakra. Yamato was a safety caution and nothing more, not really a sensei. How much of this the man knew himself, Sarutobi did not know but Yamato had a tendency to be a bit absentminded at times.
The boy with the black jacket and the red straps was a member of ROOTS, a special ANBU unit under the direct control of Danzo. He didn't even consider that the old war hawk might try to wedge himself into this matter and try to gain some semblance of control during the mess. Naruto had not come at a good time, Danzo and himself had an argument concerning the Uchiha boy not too long ago. It seemed now that Danzo had set his sights on a different type of power. Sarutobi sighed wondering why this was getting more and more complicated.
He didn't know what Shiho was doing here. She was a genin, sure, but she had been placed on the cryptanalysis squad, a team of shinobi that specialized in decoding secret messages and riddles. The girl had barely passed her genin test but her talent as a crytanalysist had been acknowledged by the current team. The fact that she was here baffled Sarutobi but judging by the excited look on her face Hiruzen had a feeling she had jumped at the chance to be a regular genin. She was at the age where she wanted to run outside and entertained dreams of grandeur of being a powerful shinobi. The Hokage felt pity for the girl for being caught up in a web of intrigues that she no doubt had no idea about.
So there were three factions here. Sarutobi, who just wanted to place Naruto in a shinobi team without causing problems for other shinobis. He was originally going to place Naruto back into the academy but the blonde didn't seem to like that idea too much. He wanted to find a team that was missing a member but Koharu and Homura had simply barged into his office springing this trap on him. They were the other faction, fear mongers that wanted to keep the Kyuubi Jinchuuiki under surveillance and control. Then there was Sai, and behind him, Danzo who no doubt had his own designs for the boy.
Yamato may have been tricked into this but he had seen enough of the Hokage's reaction to see what had went on here.
"I won't let you down Hokage-sama." The jounin, former anbu, nodded towards the Sandaime.
The Third Hokage smiled. It seemed that Koharu and Homura had forgotten where Yamato's true allegiance lay. Besides, if Danzo was going to place a ROOT member near Naruto, it was only right that Sarutobi place someone who could keep an eye on Danzo's henchman. He would have preferred someone like Kakashi or Asuma but it was too late now.
He had been dealt his cards.
But now that he thought it over, it wasn't too bad.
"Fine." Sarutobi muttered.
Little did he know that the whole world shifted just a little.
They called themselves Team 13. Soon after the five people had entered and he had given his permission, Sarutobi had dismissed them. Yamato led the three newly instated genin out of the Hokage Tower, taking them to a barbeque restaurant quite popular in town. Here, the word led was metaphorical. He actually walked behind the three, trying to gauge their personalities and their quarks from the way they walked, possibly even what they were thinking.
Naruto walked with confident yet rigid steps. The blonde was absolutely confident of his own strength, something rare in a genin. He also spied sword that the blonde carried. Yamato had heard about the blonde's disappearance for the last four years from other ANBU members who often talked about the jinchuuriki when the story came up. He remembered Kakashi being livid that the boy had been let out of the village with a stranger. Kakashi seemed to be protective of the boy and it was understandable. Kakashi had strong feelings for the previous Hokage and as a result believed that the boy's upbringing was his responsibility.
Shiho seemed to be almost skipping. When he had gone to pick her up from the Cryptanalysis Squad, she had literally leaped for joy. The girl had been cursed with a brain that was fit for the Cryptanalysis team and at the same time, a heart for adventure. Her parents were apparently very protective of her and loathe to release her. However a teenage girl could be very convincing in getting what they wanted. The girl was getting to be a normal genin, not a special genin that was going to be locked up in a library every single day. She wanted to be out there and do things, not decode messages on dried up pieces of paper.
Sai walked with a slink that belonged to a ROOT member for sure. Yamato was mistrusting of the boy something about Sai set him apart from the other member of ROOT that Yamato had worked with or seen. The other ROOT members seemed to have no emotions at all, absolutely none. However Sai only seemed to be pretending to have no emotions, fooling everyone into thinking that he had no heart, including himself.
Yamato wondered what would happen if he cracked that shell.
They set around the table with the meat grilling in front of them. Naruto said nothing, staring straight ahead at the meat and nothing else. Sai was smiling, his eyes seeming to be almost closed. Shiho seemed nervous now, her hands clenched on the cloth over her knees.
"So how about a round of introductions?" Yamato smiled at his three students, flipping the meat over with his chopsticks. "I know all your names and who you guys are but I'm not sure you guys know each other."
The sound of silence was broken only by the sound of grilling meat.
"I guess I can go first." Yamato let go of his chopsticks, staring into the eyes of each one of his genin. "I'm Yamato. From now on I'll be your sensei. I'm looking forward to working with each and every one of you." He picked up a piece of meat and placed it on Naruto's plate.
"Uzumaki Naruto," The blonde picked up the piece of meat and inspected it before popping it into his mouth. "I'm kind of new around these parts… so I guess I'll be relying on you guys a lot. Please take care of me."
"I heard that you're from the Land of Iron." Shiho squeaked with unhidden enthusiasm, then covered her mouth with her hands, her face starting to brush scarlet.
"No need to be embarrassed." Yamato said, smiling kindly. "We're all teammates now."
Shiho looked at Yamato and seeing his smile, nodded. She put her hands on the table and asked Naruto, "W-what is it like there?"
Naruto leaned back carefully formulating an answer. Then he smirked. "Cold… it's almost always snowing. The people there are as cold as the weather… and stubborn. I guess I consider it my home."
"I heard that samurais are savages." Shiho whispered.
Naruto got a tick mark on his forehead but he hid it with a smile. "We tend to eat the old people when they become useless. It's called recycling. You guys don't do that here?"
Shiho's jaws opened in horror until she saw Yamato crack a smile. Realizing that Naruto was joking she sighed seeming to sink in her seat. Naruto raised an eyebrow, surprised that his joke had been less than well received.
"I'm Shiho." The girl introduced herself as Yamato placed a slab of meat on her plate. Instead of eating it, she pushed it around the plate, playing with it. "I was supposed to be a part of the cryptanalysis squad but I really wanted to be a regular genin and explore the world a bit before… you know, I settle down." Then she looked up again at her team, a goofy smile on her face. "I'm looking forward to working with you guys!"
The three of them tuned their stares to Sai prompting the boy to begin.
"I'm Sai." The boy concluded. "I haven't really been around a lot of people before…" he smiled. "I hope you guys will teach me lots of things."
"His smile stopped a mile before it reached his eyes." Thought Naruto.
"By the way Naruto, you don't have a headband yet?" Yamato asked while chewing.
"I have it right here." Replied the blonde, producing it from under the table. He tied it around his neck instead of tying it around his head like the others. Shiho gave a curious glance at this.
"I like to be different." He explained.
"A-are you really a samurai?" Shiho's gaze was clearly on the sword.
Naruto smiled. "No I just like to carry a sword for fun."
Shiho cocked her head to the other side not understanding that it was a joke, wandering why anyone would carry a sword for just fun. Sai still had the smile plastered on his face and Yamato had ignored the jibe altogether.
Naruto sighed. This team had a long way to go.
AN: Did you think I would reveal Naruto's powers and abilities already? NAH! I DON'T DO THAT. But if you review I might… but here, I will give a brief description of Naruto's swordsmanship. I know I kind of rushed this chapter, but the 'Curse' of Naruto's art is crucial to this story and not yet ready to be explained. I plan long term for this story.
Naruto's Sword Art is different from the swordsmanship of other Samurai. However the stigma of being considered curse comes from its history, not its difference. Naruto's art is called the Three Dances. Sky, Dragon and Shadow… aren't you curious as to what they are? REVIEW!