There are four families who can trace their heritage back to the Rikudou Sennin. Of these families; it can be said that they fall into two categories. Category the first; Bearers of the Eyes. Category the second; Bearers of the Potential.
These are those clan's names. The first two, descended from the second son: he who gained not the spiritual and mental prowess of the Sage, but his physical attributes instead— The Senju with their abnormally potent chakra, the Uzumaki with their unnaturally long lives. The last two, tracing their lineage back to the first son, he of the whirlpool eyes— The Hyuuga, who see further than even the sage, but with less insight. The Uchiha, who see more deeply, but with less clarity.
This is the accepted view of the Four Great Clans. But, is it complete? Is this the sum total of the Doujutsu and Teijutsu in the world, or, might there be another?
The heretical stories of a third child of the Sage, though universally outlawed by the Daimyo are nevertheless known. A daughter, inheriting the body and mind of the sage, both the spirituality and physicality, and who was killed by her brothers while still young, for they did not want another competitor for the inheritance of the Jyuubi. Those who believe in this story claim that this more than anything else, was why the sage declared neither of his sons unworthy of it's immense power: An innocent child, murdered in cold blood by her own brothers, for a prize she was too young to understand.
Known as the Shichido Heresy, this story is as much a part of the living myth of the sage as any other, and yet strangely irrelevant at the same time: at such an age, she may never have born children.
I, however, question this view. Records are scarce, but discrepant versions of the heresy exist, that the daughter was not murdered, but killed in battle, that she had gained the power to lay her brothers low, and that they feared her strength. Ah, such a myth would never survive in the patriarchal world of civilians, but to shinobi? Why, It is not only plausible. It is the most realistic version available.
The Sage of the Six Path is the Father of Shinobi, the power, the vigour and strength, embodied perfectly in his legendary doujutsu, the Rinnegan.
Now, I ask: Is it so strange to think our kind have a mother? A shadow, to the sage's wrath? A poison, to the Sage's prowess?
There are scattered tales, rumours, almost— but to call them that is to fail to see the truth. They are rumours, because they are scattered, and for this reason only. When brought together, they form a picture, and it's shape is that of a clan. They appear like demons when they come, and when they vanish, nobody sees them go. With blond hair and eyes that see too much, they effortlessly slaughter and vanish, never leaving their dead, never explaining from whence they came, or why.
Once, it is said they destroyed an entire hidden village: I have seen the ruins. Once, it is said one was found, staring at the sun. When asked what she was looking at, she replied, 'Something a millionfold elder to all the ages of man.'
It is of course known that the sun must be at least one million years old, far older than humans have recorded history.
However, this second story, when traced back to it's roots, precedes that knowledge by two hundred years— and further suggests a minimum age of one billion years for the sun. Such an age is known to be required by the most cutting-edge works by the most prominent Onmyou Philosophers— but I digress.
In all of these legends, there is a single unifying element— somewhere, sometimes on their backs, sometimes on bands around their wrists was an oddly poetic turn of phrase. In the present day, perhaps in gestalt recognizance of the truth, we use it to define 'discord'. However, composed of two characters, it may be read as a family name.
And that name, is Namikaze.
The inheritors of the Sagacity Unbroken.
If this be true, then Uzumaki Naruto, child of Uzumaki Kushina, son of the Yondaime Hokage Namikaze Minato, is the last of that blood.
―Personal Journal of the Sandaime Hokage
A spiraling curl of steam wafted up from the edges of her cup, rising through the air and thinning until it could no longer be seen. In front of her, the book sat on the table, innocuos with it's lack of cover, the mid-grade paper it was made of already beginning to darken slightly with age. Still, she closed it with slghtly trembling hands.
"This," she said, her voice just barely quivering, "Means nothing."
She placed the book back down on the table, and slid it across the aged wooden surface, until the gloved hand of her companion at the table came out to grab it. Wordlessly, he tucked it into a fold on his kimono, the barest flex of chakra being the only thing that gave away that it had be sealed.
Then, fluidly, he placed his hands back on the table, held carefully apart— a common courtesy amongst Shinobi, and also a message to her that he was such a person.
She sighed, and picked up her cup, pulling at the hot liquid within and letting it run over her tounge, savouring the bitterness when her companion finally chose to speak.
She paused, her hand flexing involuntarily into a fist, before she managed to surpress it's motion and take a steadying breath.
"Uzumaki Naruto is dead. The Namikaze went extinct when the Yondaime died. The Uzumaki are dead, and I don't care what you look like. You don't have the characteristics of a Jinchuuriki, and you— you aren't him!" She finished with a hiss.
Her companion finally turned his head to look directly at her, and she flinched. His face was entirely devoid of expression, and that drew her gaze to his eyes.
The irises were green.
It was one of the more unsettling things she had ever seen.
"And how," he said suddenly, drawing her from her thoughts, "Have you come to that conclusion?"
The question, so emotionlessly delivered, honestly threw her.
"I know the Iryo-nin who performed that autopsy," she answered, "Personally. He doesn't make mistakes like that."
Her companion continued to stare at her, first for ten seconds, then thirty, then a minute passed. Then, the corners of his lips quirked up.
"This one was always fascinated by the techniques of the two more... private members of the Densetsu no Sannin," he said, "Orochimaru's work, though disgusting, is the only example of a human soul undergoing incarnation into a Tenma. But it was always the work of the princess of the Senju that most intrigued me. Not medical techniques. Medical techniques are something that are unfortunately, forever beyond this one's reach. But..."
He turned his gaze back across the table, and there, on his left cheek, was a single black line, slowly lengthening. It stretched across his cheek until it had almost reached the back of his jaw, stopped, and then a second line began to appear. Completely unconcerned, he took a sip of his tea as the second line completed itself.
"Specifically," he continued, "This one was always fascinated by her ability to create Genjutsu with form." And a third line began drawing itself out. "Of course, this one is just a wandering traveller. It took many years. But in time, the secret of the technique was discovered."
The third line completed, and the mark of the Kyuubi's jinchuuriki was exposed to the world for all of a second, and he turned his head to her again, opening his eyes to reveal a different, glacial colour.
The colour of the Yondaime's eyes.
"And, ah yes. Didn't you know? The Shiki Fuuin can be drawn by mortal hands. You only need the God of Death if you intend to seal something in it alive." He leaned in close and whispered. "Creating a false corpse was simple, and with something as unique as the seal on his stomach identifying him, nobody ever thought to do a proper genetic workup. Uzumaki Naruto... I... am very much alive."
And he leaned back, returning to his tea, his tone casual. "Of course, if you don't want to believe me, that's entirely up to you. How about a little wager?"
"Oh?" She said, unable to quite stop herself.
"Yes— I'll tell you my story. All of it. I won't leave a single thing out. If you don't believe in me by the end of it, then, for wasting your time and pulling up painful memories, you may extract whatever retribution you wish from me. Financial, visceral, with violence— what have you."
"And if I do believe in you..." She said slowly.
"Absolutely nothing. It's literally a game that you can not loose." He smirked. Draining the rest of his tea quickly. As she considered the offer. She had no obligation to listen to him, but at the same time... Well, he looked like money. Ultimately, she decided, "Heh. You're on."
He nodded, and signalled for a waiter. "A private room please."
Within a few moments, it was done. Then, once the door shut behind them, he relaxed, sitting cross-legged as opposed to the more formal Seiza he had adopted in public.
"Now... how to start?" The man murmured in contemplation, before smiling.
"Ah, yes. You need to understand something. Jiraiya is not a bad man."
And with that strange opening, he begun his tale.
Completely rewrote the second section of the prologue. Originally, it featured Angstastic!Naruto reacting to Sarutobi's Diary... Which, when considering much of the tone of what I had already written, did not match the harmony of this story at all. Thanks go to Jason Carter on TVTropes for pointing this out.