Chapter 7 – Graduation Night

Hello! Tibo here.

It's finally here — the start of canon, graduation, Naruto's reveal, actual plot progression. It only took close to 40,000 words to get there.

I've been getting a lot of questions so instead of answering all of them here and having a two thousand word chapter forward I'll put some information on my profile page. Check it out for info on Naruto's techniques, his bloodline and any of the Basilisk characters. I also have my outline up on there as well.

I've also had some questions regarding Naruto and his reaction/attitude towards Konoha and Hiruzen, hopefully this chapter will answer some of those.

In response to some questions:

Mommerally: His attitude towards others will be relative. He won't have issues helping people who he respects and he will have some personal issues/relate to abused people similar to himself . Though most of the time he will try and maintain a detected objective attitude, particularly while working. No he won't be very trusting.

Akeginu does have the strongest influence on him.

I've been reading the book, Iga used a clan first policy, they were a pretty close knit bunch (main reason most were disgusted by Oboro lack of will to fight).

He will be very ,very interested in Orochimaru.

Hakka the Great:

I gave some thought to this before I started this fic, ultimately I just prefer the cold personality over the emotional hate filled one. Basilisk ninja were hateful (except Oboro/Gen) but hate is contextual and relative. In Basilisk it was a blood feud, that hate was ingrained over centuries in their respective clans culture. Each child was raised to hate the other clan and it was an endless circle of hate. In this fic, both clans are long gone, Naruto's only source of hate would be his treatment in the village but although he does resent the village he's only had limited contact with the village since he was six therefore the village's influence over him is minimal. It's more of a general indifference now. The influence I referred to in last chapter was in reference to their approach to ninpo and war rather than their personalities.

[Standard Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Basilisk]


Konoha Ninja Academy

"Alright Naruto, this is the last one. Do a bunshin," instructed Iruka-sensei. He was hoping Naruto could pull this off. Today was graduation day and this was the final test. Naruto had done well so far, but bunshin was by far his weakest technique.

"Bunshin no jutsu!" Naruto yelled.

There was a puff of smoke and once the smoke cleared there was a perfect clone of Naruto standing right next to him. Naruto smiled triumphantly at Iruka.

Iruka smiled right back at him, Naruto had finally done it. He had passed.

"Congratulations Naruto, you graduate," said Iruka, genuinely happy to finally give the boy some good news. Kami knows he could use it after failing the last two times. He never liked failing students, but they couldn't be allowed to be a shinobi if they couldn't complete the most basic of techniques. It was just too dangerous out much as he liked Naruto, the boy still had a lot to learn about being a ninja.

"Here's your Hitai-ate," said Iruka, handing Naruto the prized headband.

Naruto grinned and wrapped the headband around his head, "I told you I'm going to be Hokage Iruka-sensei. BELIEVE IT!" He screamed, finger pointed towards the sky.

Iruka sweat dropped at the boys antics. He felt sorry for whoever ended up as Naruto's sensei.


While Iruka was giving Naruto his headband he failed to notice Mizuki scowling behind him.

How the hell did the demon brat pass?

Not only had he placed a subtle genjutsu on the written test, but the boy was a retard, he had never come close to completing a Bunshin before.

Iruka must have noticed the genjutsu...I'll have to be more careful.

As Mizuki watched the scene with distaste, his mind was already at work, planning how to overcome this new obstacle.

He couldn't fail now.


After class most of the children were with the parents. As per usual Naruto remained of to the side alone, a stark reminder of the fact that he had no parents. On most days this would have brought a frown to his face but today nothing could wipe the smile from his face.

Mizuki approached the smiling Naruto who was happily sitting on a swing; it was time to set his plans in motion.

"Naruto, do you have a moment?" He asked.

"What is it sensei?" Naruto asked.

"I've got an extra test if you're interested, complete it and you'll get a special reward, "said Mizuki.

"No thanks sensei, why would I want to do another test? I'm off to celebrate, RAMEN!" yelled Naruto before dispelling in a cloud of smoke.

"A clone?" Mizuki asked out loud, confused, he didn't see him make the seal.

Tch, now I have to use the backup plan. The demon would have been the perfect scapegoat but this way is just as good, the demon probably would have failed anyway. This way I'll be in and out with the scroll before they even know it's me.

Mizuki walked off, intent to put the plan he'd spent years making into practice. He finally be able to leave this crappy village, they'd hold him back no longer. This is where he would make his name; tonight he would become famous.


Meanwhile back in the ruins of Iga Tsubagakure a different Naruto stood still, waiting patiently for his clone to dispel with news of his graduation. The difference between the two was significant to say the least. While the clone was short, standing barely over five feet tall this Naruto stood confidently at five foot four inches, about average height for his age.

He didn't wear bright orange, but a dark navy kosobe and hakama combination complete with distinctive long sleeves. He'd grown to fill out his clothes nicely over the years, though it was hard to tell just by looking at him. To most he would look quite skinny, but the appearance was deceptive. A trained eye would notice that there was plenty of muscle on his body, it was just lean and wiry. His body was built for speed, flexibility and acrobatics; there wasn't an ounce of bulk or wasted weight on it.

Unlike the clone he was noticeably pale, almost pure white,(1) a consequence of spending almost all his time underground. His eyes retained that ocean blue colour, but where the clone's eyes were simply striking his eyes were as cold as ice with a sharp, calculating gaze that attested to a cunning mind. The clone's trade mark spiky hair was also gone, instead the hair was grown out and tied back in loosely in a ponytail. The blonde hair and pale face would make him look stand out on the streets of Konoha, his appearance was similar to a native of Lightening country rather than Fire. His loose blonde bangs framed a handsome face that was starting to adopt the first lines of adulthood, losing some of the youthful roundness that characterized most youth. The only real similarity this Naruto shared with his clone was the whiskers marks on their cheeks.

Naruto had been thinking about his next course of action now that he was about to 'graduate' from the academy. Several weeks back he had officially completed his training in the Iga-ryu, and now he needed to decide what to do with himself. He knew he needed experience — losing his arm two weeks ago proved that. However, deciding how to go about getting that experience was the important element and the current source of his predicament. In reality there were only two options available, either become a Konoha shinobi or a missing nin.

The thought of becoming a village ninja and doing missions for the Hokage made him cringe a little inside. He wouldn't be caught dead doing a D rank mission. Why ninja were required to do things like fetching pets was beyond him. Should he remain in the village the clones would be doing any D rank missions he received.

The thought of working with his 'classmates' was also a little off-putting. Simply put, most of them were morons. The Nara boy had potential but would likely never reach it due to his prodigious laziness. Shino was all right, he was the only one who has his head in the right place, and those bugs of his had a variety of different tactical applications. He'd make a good ninja one day.

All the others though, shouldn't have been allowed to graduate. The dog kid was arrogant with absolutely no skill to back it up, that was a fatal weakness in this business. Not only do you not improve because you can't recognize and acknowledge your own weakness but you also tend to underestimate your opponents. Both those characteristics make arrogance a good way to get yourself killed. The Uchiha boy had similar issues, he may be the second most skilled after Naruto, though the gulf between them was so huge the boy may as well have been a civilian, but the boy had enough psych issues to sink a ship. Itachi had really done a number on the kids mind, how he'd been allowed to pass was beyond him. They may as well given a sharp knife to a mentally ill person; there was no way that was ending well.

They really needed to introduce a standard psyche evaluation before letting people into the program. I wonder if I wrote a report about the problems within the academy, would the Hokage implement some of my ideas? Naruto thought.

The kunoichi were even worse, atrocious would be an apt description. Not a single one had the skills or temperament to survive in the field. The pink one would likely get any team she was placed on killed because she was so ridiculously loud, not to mention incredibly weak. His clone had made it seem like he was actually interested in the girl, consequently the whole village seemed to think he had feelings for her. Tch, asshole. My clone really did a number on me there. He would have to correct that perception of him at the first available opportunity. The Yamanaka girl was no better; she was a disgrace to her clan and sex, fawning all over the Uchiha boy like she's incapable of intelligent thought. She was lucky Akeginu-sensei had never seen her, she would kill the girl on principle. The Hyuga girl was a peculiar case. She was shy to the point where it had become a weakness, however he could identify what was likely some ability based on genetics alone, only time would tell if she would continue to allow her timid nature to cripple her. He was quiet himself but her shyness would likely get her killed before she ever developed any strength.

Yep, most of his classmates would be dead by the end of the year, he was sure of it. He'd probably kill the pink haired one himself if she ever tried to hit him again.

The dismal state of his potential teammates aside, the second option was to just leave the village and become a missing nin. He had no particular loyalty to this village; in fact he had an intense dislike for it. However, though he would have the freedom to do what he wanted, he would be dodging hunter nin before he had sufficient experience to deal with them. It was risky to say the least, not to mention the village would react poorly to losing its jinchūriki. He'd be facing a severe deterioration in his circumstances should he be caught, and they weren't exactly ideal to begin with. No, he didn't like the idea of going missing nin without adequate experience, though he wouldn't rule it out in the future.

Either way he'd have to talk to the old man soon, and that meant revealing his true self. He wasn't totally against the idea but he was wary. He had enemies in this village as preposterous as that was, after all he' d practically been a recluse in these ruins these last ten years but apparently his mere existence offended certain people. The council, particularly those morons on the civilian council made up a number of those people. That meant he had enemies with political power; they would be a problem for him in the future. Though after he graduated, he technically answered to the Hokage and to a lesser extent the shinobi council, the civilian council still had influence. Whose idea was it to give them a say in military matters anyway? It violates just about every military rule in existence. Revealing himself to the Hokage was risky too, he couldn't predict how the man would react but he had a few different cards to play. He just had to find the right card and use it so the outcome benefited him the most.

He stopped thinking as thoughts and experiences came funneling back from his clone.

He gave his head a brief shake, he had graduated without issue but what was this, "Interesting, what you are up to Mizuki-sensei?" Naruto said that last word with a heavy dose of sarcasm. The man was a failure of a teacher; likely one of those fools who thought Naruto was a kitsune. He had been trying and to date successfully failing his clone for years. But what was the fool up too now? Was he trying to get him in trouble as payback for graduating? Or was it something more sinister?

"Follow him," said Kurama suddenly from out of nowhere.

"What?" Naruto asked, surprised at Kurama's instruction, she didn't speak unless she had something serious to say or to try and tempt him with something, usually sex. "Why?"

"He has a strange aura, something unnatural. Find out what it is," Kurama replied cryptically.

"What am I your errand boy?" Naruto asked, annoyed at the order. Damn princess expects me to do everything she says. How the hell can she see his aura anyway? She still hadn't told him how she had access to his sight, or if she was looking through his memories. He didn't like the idea of her playing around up there.

Kurama didn't reply, she had said her piece. He sighed; he'd do it anyway no matter how much he complained, she'd said enough to grab his attention. Though I suspect she already knew that.. he considered.

With a sigh he picked himself up of the ground, it looks like he'd be going on a field trip tonight. He was unaware that in his mindscape Kurama was smiling to herself as he prepared to follow her instruction.

Before leaving he made a stop over at his room to pick up a recent addition to his outfit. After last mission he had realized that his blonde hair was not only highly visible but a distinctive indicator as to his identity. Therefore he'd taken to wearing a hood and mantle. The hood and mantle were quite worn in appearance. He'd hacked the hood off a cloak he found and stitched it onto the mantle. The mantle itself had tattered ends from the adjustments he'd made with his katana. It was fairly long coming down to just below the middle of his forearm and across his chest. Both items were a dull charcoal in colour. Despite its haggard appearance Naruto liked it, the mantle obscured his form making it harder for people to read him while fighting. It also offered more freedom of movement than a full cloak. He also found that while wearing it he could go around the village unobstructed, a truly novel experience for him. The shadows of the hood also obscured his face, a person would have to be paying particular attention to him to spot the whisker marks. (2)

Fully dressed Naruto left the ruins with a body flicker intent on discovering what Mizuki was up to.


1:00am

Location: Forrest outside Konoha

Outside Konoha, deep within the surrounding forest two figures were talking heatedly.

"I planned on framing Naruto for this but the brat wasn't interested now that he finally graduated," said Mizuki to an injured Iruka.

Naruto looked down at the scene below him with interest. Iruka–sensei was lying on the ground badly injured, a shuriken by the looks of the wound, and Mizuki was currently making some egotistical speech instead of getting on with the job.

What a tool, thought Naruto. I should kill him for that alone.

Neither could sense him of course, he was well beyond their level these days.

"It's time to die Iruka. Just so you know I always hated you," said Mizuki after he finally finished gloating.

Naruto eyes narrowed at Mizuki's intentions. Iruka was one of the few who had managed to gain his respect by moving past the prejudices he had against him and making a genuine effort to teach his clone. Although his efforts may have been useless as his clone was programmed to be grossly incompetent, he appreciated the gesture nonetheless.

"Looks like it's time to act," Naruto murmured.

Just as Mizuki threw a kunai aimed at Iruka's heart Naruto appeared in between the two of them and brushed the kunai easily aside with the handle of his katana shocking both men.

Mizuki was the first to recover, "Who the hell are you?"

"What?" Naruto asked. "You don't recognize your own student Mizuki sensei." There was a distinct tone of humour in his voice. He had decided to reveal himself; killing Mizuki and then disappearing would just get him a bounty on his head and necessitate a change of outfits.

Mizuki frowned at that, he didn't know who the hell this kid was, it definitely wasn't one of the academy kids.

"Amusing, a simple change of clothes and no one recognizes me, not even you Iruka–sensei. Do I look so different without the orange?" Naruto asked, knowing full well the difference in appearance was staggering to say the least.

Mizuki looked a bit closer, peering in under the hood and spotted the whisker Marks. "Ha! It's only that baka Naruto. Hey Iruka, it looks like your favorite student has come to save you!" Mizuki exclaimed.

Naruto smiled at Mizuki's huge misread of the situation. It would cost the chunin dearly.

"Naruto you baka, what are you doing? Run!" Iruka yelled.

Naruto twitched at being called an idiot twice by two different people in the space of a few seconds. Damn clone. Oh the prices we pay for anonymity. I'm probably going to have to kill a few people before everyone stops calling me that.

"Calm down scar face, no one's going anywhere," replied Naruto. He noticed Iruka twitch at his reference to his scar. He he, right on the money.

"Hmm, so you've got some spine after all. How about it Naruto, I'll do you a favour, I'll tell you the truth about why no one likes you. Twelve years-"

"-If you're referring to the Kyuubi no Kitsune, it's hardly a secret that the thing was sealed inside me by the Yondaime. Practically the whole village knows," interrupted Naruto in a calm tone.

"Did you just call me a 'thing'?" Kurama asked, popping in to his mind. He ignored her; really, the fox had no sense of timing.

Both chūnins were shocked that Naruto knew the secret. Naruto just waited, wondering whether he should kill Mizuki while the man was standing there looking like an idiot.

"Heh, so the demon's finally regained consciousness? That'll make killing you all the more sweet," said Mizuki finally getting over his surprise.

"I knew you were idiot Mizuki, but the fact that you seem to think I'm a ninety foot kitsune suggests I'm still overestimating your intellect," Naruto replied.

Iruka was just watching the scene perplexed, who was this Naruto? He was dressed like an ANBU or a hunter nin and was speaking words with more than two syllables. It was completely different from how Naruto usually acted; there was an aura of danger practically dripping off him. Mizuki hadn't noticed but then again Iruka was always more perceptive than his fellow teacher turned traitor. Iruka knew you could only get a presence like that from experience, and not just training experience. Naruto had definitely killed before.

"I mean, the fact that I'm having this rather unenlightened conversation with you instead of tearing you limb from limb should tell you that I'm a container for the fox rather than the fox itself. It's Fūinjutsu 1-0-1. They should knock you back to genin for that mistake," mocked Naruto.

Sick of being insulted Mizuki resorted to the only option his mind could think of, "Die, demon!"

With that Mizuki threw barrage of shuriken at Naruto intent on killing him.

"Run Naruto!" yelled Iruka.

Instead of running Naruto drew his katana and effortlessly proceeded to knock down each and every shuriken with the flat of his blade. It took less than a second.

"You're going to have to do better than that Mizuki," said Naruto, a slight smirk appearing on his face.

Mizuki and Iruka were shocked for the third time in as many minutes. Naruto had just blocked a barrage of shuriken with a simple wave of his sword, the skill and coordination required to do that was amazing. Mizuki managed to collect himself first and pulled a giant shuriken from his back.

Naruto just stared at the thing; it was ridiculously big, he couldn't think of a more impractical weapon.

Iruka watched in horror. "Naruto! Be careful that's Mizuki's signature technique."

"He's a chūnin scar face, he doesn't have a signature technique," replied Naruto sounding bored at what was happening. So far he hadn't seen any reason why the Kyuubi would tell him to investigate, she'd better have not been wasting his time.

"Just be patient, you will see," commented the Kyuubi. At least she wasn't doing a running commentary of the fight like she had taken to doing while he sparred with his sensei; he didn't need to know that she thought his dodge was clumsy while avoiding a sword to the face.

So, he ignored her and waited for Mizuki to throw the damn shuriken, he was taking all night.

After what seemed like ages to Naruto, Mizuki whipped around in a spin and launched the oversized shuriken at Naruto. The giant shuriken hurtled end over end towards Naruto faster than the eye could track.

"Dodge Naruto!" Iruka yelled hoping that the boy would move in time but knowing there was know way he'd be able to dodge that attack from Mizuki.

Instead of dodging, Naruto just stood still and watched the shuriken move towards him, it might as well have been in slow motion. He was used to fighting at much faster speeds. He channeled some wind chakra onto his katana, raised his swords with two hands and met the shuriken head on, cutting it in half with a single diagonal slash.

Once again both men were left in shock by Naruto's display.

"Is throwing shuriken your only ninja skill Mizuki? Because its not very impressive," Naruto quipped.

Mizuki howled in anger at Naruto's remark.

Looks like I hit the mark there. You'd think he'd at least attach some explosives seals to them… moron.

Mizuki ripped part of his chunin vest off to reveal a seal on his right shoulder.

Now that got Naruto interested. He had an interest in Fūinjutsu, and he knew that seals could be incredibly powerful. He had become quite good at it so he noticed immediately that the seal was complex, and had some sort of dark power associated with it. Now where did he get that? Its well beyond his skill to make wondered Naruto. (3)

"Told you so," interrupted a smug Kurama.

"Try blocking this demon!" Mizuki yelled as he placed his hand on the seal to activate it and… nothing happened, instead Mizuki felt an excruciating pain from the seal. He dropped to the ground on his knees clutching the seal, which felt like it was burning deep into his skin.

Naruto smiled, he didn't know what that seal did but he had no intention of letting Mizuki use it. No matter how strong the seal was it was no match for his mystic eyes. Even the seal on his own stomach would fail if he used a mirror with his eyes. The mystic eyes' power of negation was absolute.

Naruto walked over and picked up the forbidden scroll that Mizuki had dropped while fighting. He opened it and laughed, "Idiot, didn't you even know what scroll you were stealing? Its just a basic bunshin." In fact it was the old scroll Naruto had replaced the Shadow Bunshin scroll with.

An odd coincidence?

Mizuki looked furious, all that work and he had been ousted as a traitor for nothing.

Naruto looked over to Mizuki's kneeling figure and asked him, "Who gave you that seal?"

He got no answer, getting annoyed Naruto repeated the question in a firmer tone, "I asked you a question . You're too stupid to create something as complex as that seal. Who's holding your leash dog?"

Mizuki reacted poorly to being called a dog. He has thin skin for someone who goes around calling other people a demon, thought Naruto.

Enraged at that remark and despite the pain Mizuki dived at Naruto lashing out with a kunai. Naruto easily sidestepped the attack and drew his blade down across Mizuki's back, cutting shallowly into his spine. He cut just deep enough to sever some spinal cords in Mizuki's lower back making sure to avoid damaging the kidneys, he needed information not a corpse. Thanks to all those anatomy books he read over the years he knew unless Mizuki got help from a highly skilled medial nin he would never walk again. With a cry of pain Mizuki collapsed to the ground now paralyzed from the waist down.

Naruto frowned at the pathetic figure on the ground before him; this was who Konoha had chosen to teach their youth, it was disgusting. It was time to get that information, he wasn't an expert but he knew how to conduct an improvised interrogation. Picking up Mizuki he dragged him to a nearby tree and slammed him into it with a great deal of force. Grabbing both Mizkui's hands he pinned them together above his head, then without any hesitation he drew a kunai and drove it through both of Mizuki's hands, nailing them to the tree.

Mizuki let out a deafening scream as the weapon passed through flesh and bone and into the tree.

Naruto just watched him passively, waiting for the screaming to die down. He almost felt sympathy for him, almost. It must be extremely painful, not only did the kunai break bone but also gravity was now trying to drag Mizuki's body to the ground forcing more pressure to be placed on the kunai and thereby the wound.

"One more time, who gave you that seal? Who ordered you to steal the scroll?" Naruto asked, making it clear things would only get worse for Mizuki unless he told him what he wanted to know.

Receiving no response, Naruto sighed and drew his katana again, this was going to get messy. Not wanting to waste any more time Naruto drove his katana into the nerve cluster in Mizuki's right shoulder.

Mizuki screamed twice as loud as he did before as the nerves in his shoulder flared in pain. Naruto then twisted the katana causing Mizuki to scream again in agony.

"Feel like answering my question? I suggest you tell me before I start on your eyes," threatened Naruto.

"O-orochimaru," squeaked Mizuki between deep breaths. In addition to bleeding, he was sweating profusely and his body was shaking — symptoms of shock.

The snake sannin? Interesting, Naruto thought. It wasn't too surprising that the S rank missing nin had spies in Konoha, what interested Naruto was Orochimaru skill with seals. But he doubted Mizuki could shed any more light on the subject. If the man thought he was the Kyuubi then he obviously knew next to nothing about seals.

With a sigh Naruto withdrew his katana from the man's shoulder. Mizuki whimpered as the blade slid out of his flesh. With one last look at Mizuki Naruto slashed his katana across Mizuki's wrists cutting straight through the bone. Mizuki dropped like a heavy sack to the ground with yet another scream. His hands remained nailed to the tree no longer attached to his wrists.

"That was for throwing all those shuriken at me," said Naruto. He didn't do it to be cruel, well for the most part anyway. Such things were a waste of effort, no with that act Mizuki would never throw another shuriken. Even if his paralysis were miraculously healed he'd never be a threat to anyone ever again.

Naruto looked over at Iruka-sensei who appeared to be in shock. He was lying up against a tree mouth agape as he stared back and forth between Naruto and Mizuki's tortured body. Naruto didn't know if the shock was from his injuries or seeing his former student torture his former friend. He supposed that would be a distressing to the average human.

It's probably a bit of both, thought Naruto.

"Neko-san!" Naruto called out to the ANBU who had been watching in the trees.

As soon as he said the name, an ANBU wearing the cat mask appeared in front of him.

"Iruka needs medical attention and Mizuki has an appointment with T & I. Do you mind taking care of it?" Naruto asked.

Two more ANBU appeared out of thin air and picked up Iruka with the intent of taking him to the hospital.

"Wait!" Iruka called out. He walked over to Naruto and put a hand on his shoulder. "Thank you Naruto, you saved my life tonight."

"Don't worry about it Iruka sensei, I'm sure you would have done the same if our positions had been reversed," Naruto replied

With that the ANBU grabbed Iruka and took him to the hospital.

"You want to carry that, Neko-san?" Naruto asked pointing to Mizuki whimpering form on the ground. He had his handless arms wrapped around his body in the fetal position, he was shaking pretty badly. "He'll bleed out if you don't stem the bleeding."

"I'll take care of him, the Hokage will want to debrief you personally, Uzumaki-san," said Neko-san. She would have liked to be in on that conversation, but business came first. She had heard what Mizuki said, if Orochimaru was involved then they needed to act fast.

"I know, I'll head straight there," said Naruto glancing briefly to the sky. With that he and Neko — carrying Mizuki — used shun shin to take them both to the Hokage tower.

Arriving at the tower Neko told Naruto to go inside while she took Mizuki to Torture & Interogation, the night was only just beginning for the traitor.

"See you around Neko-san." said Naruto as he headed into the tower to have a talk with the old man.


The Hokage Sarutobi Hiruzen sat in his room trying to process what he just saw. Mere minutes ago he had looked on through his crystal ball in shock as his surrogate grandson comfortably bested Mizuki and proceeded to torture him in an extremely brutal manner. He had to admit it was crude but effective, Naruto had efficiently dealt with the threat and then began extracting information from said threat. The abilities Naruto displayed were raising all manner of questions in his mind, and then there was his former student, "Orochimaru." he said to himself. Tonight it seemed his past mistakes were finally coming back to haunt him.

He was too old for all this shit.

He looked up as he heard Naruto arrive outside his room with a shunshin. So he knows that technique too. I wonder who has been teaching him. Whoever it is they're very good, I doubt anyone other than myself or Jiraiya could have trained Naruto so well. Naruto was displaying skill that a person his age shouldn't have. Was Naruto another genius like Itachi or Kakashi?

He was brought out of his thoughts by a knock on the door.

"Enter," he ordered.

Naruto entered and Sarutobi had his first the chance to view this 'new' Naruto in person. He was taller than before and looked very fit. He walked differently too. He moved with confidence, like someone who had decades of martial arts training. Gone was the orange jumpsuit he was used too seeing Naruto wear, replaced with dark shinobi clothes and a hood. Hanging front his hip was the katana he had so expertly wielded moments ago. What was most confronting and different from the usual Naruto was his eyes. They may have been the same shade of ocean blue but this Naruto's eyes couldn't have been more different. Naruto usually looked at him with admiration whereas this Naruto's eyes were ice cold and were looking at him as if they were assessing him.

"Send the ANBU outside," said Naruto curtly.

Sarutobi raised an eyebrow at the order. "Why?" He asked while also noting that Naruto had no trouble sensing them, something no genin should be able to do.

"They have proven… less than reliable as far as my wellbeing is concerned. I'd rather keep this conversation between us." explained Naruto.

Sarutobi gave a small nod of the head to indicate he agreed with Naruto, while he may not like it Naruto spoke the truth. He was sorely disappointed in the ANBU who he had relied on to keep Naruto safe; all but a few had proven unreliable. He noticed several of the ANBU present flinch at Naruto's accusation.

With a sigh he made a hand signal and the ANBU retreated out of the room. He put up a silencing seal so the conversation would be private.

When they had left Naruto greeted him, "Old man."

Sarutobi's eyes narrowed, not in reaction to Naruto calling him 'old man', Naruto always called him that, but to the way Naruto said it. Normally Naruto would call him 'old man' as a term of endearment; however this Naruto said it differently. Not in a mocking manner but like an observation; that he was old and he was a man, it was unnerving.

He took a deep breath, "It's been a while Naruto." He had quickly deduced what Naruto had been doing over the years, he wasn't known as the Professor for nothing, but how did he get his hands on a shadow clone technique? That was a kinjutsu, had whoever's been training him taught him it? If so, then it was ingenious, with Naruto gigantic chakra reserves he could use that kinjutsu without concern. It would also go some way to explaining Naruto's level of skill.

"Oh, you knew?" Naruto asked curiously.

"No, I just figured it out right now. I noticed when you used to use a henge all those years ago, what were you eight or nine? Needless to say I never really believed you were an idiot after that, though I never suspected such a drastic change. How long have you been hiding Naruto?"

"Since I was six," replied Naruto, there was no point in lying about it.

"Six!" He had underestimated Naruto; he figured that Naruto might have reacted like this after his treatment at the academy, that he had chosen to hide his true skills, but six! That means Naruto was hiding even before he had started using the henge, how had he missed it?

"Why?" Sarutobi asked.

Naruto just gave him a look that suggested his question was stupid, which it was, he already knew the answer; this village had not been kind to Naruto. It wasn't a stretch to believe that Naruto would be paranoid about the village's reaction to his talents considering the treatment he already received when he posed no threat at all.

"This village may as well have been hostile territory for me old man. A little deception with a henge or clone is much better than a pile of bodies. Surely you agree? You know as well as I do that's what it would've come to if people knew I could protect myself," explained Naruto. "I wasn't getting much help from you so I had to take matters into my own hands."

He flinched at what Naruto was accusing him of. As much as he wanted to deny it he couldn't, it was the truth. Naruto had every right to be angry with him, as he had pointed out he hadn't been much assistance over the years.

Following the Kyuubi attack no one would take the boy. Jiraiya had left the village almost immediately and he himself had been too busy with the rebuilding. Furthermore because he had to keep the identity of Naruto's parents a secret, none of his parent's friends were interested in taking the boy.

Then there was the council. They had made sure he couldn't lift a finger to help the boy. They might not have much decision making power when it came to military matters, but they could sure has hell make life tough for a civilian.

He'd been forced to put Naruto in an orphanage and that had been about the worst mistake he could've made. The boy had barely survived living there before being turned out on the streets to live by himself for two years. The worse part was that he wasn't even aware how bad it was until several years those early years he had been far, far too busy rebuilding the village to see Naruto regularly.

He had placed the administrators of that orphanage in prison for the next thirty years, but that hadn't undone the damage. The incident also meant that some of the ANBU he'd assigned to watch Naruto had being misleading to him; needless to say there were a few less ninja in the service after that. After that he had paid for an apartment for the boy regardless of the fuss the council kicked up about wasting village resources on a 'demon brat'.

The simple truth, however, was that he had failed Minato and Naruto in more ways than one. His duty as Hokage was to protect the citizen's of this village and he had clearly failed to do that with Naruto. He knew any excuse he could come would sound hollow to Naruto's ears. The fact was that instead of being treated with respect for his sacrifice he had been made a scapegoat.

"Yes, you're quite right Naruto, I'm sorry I wasn't able to protect you, and I can only apologize for the actions of the villagers," he said solemnly, knowing that the apology would likely matter little to Naruto.

"Words are cheap old man, actions speak louder. If you're really sorry you'll stop keeping secrets from me," replied Naruto, his tone adopting a colder inflection.

He flinched. How many secrets did Naruto already know?

"How long have you known about the fox?" Sarutobi asked. He was surprised that Naruto knew of the Kyuubi yet showed no signs or corruption or having used the tainted chakra.

"For some time. My sensei told me. Unlike you, she thought I had the right to know I was host to a demon," said Naruto's, his tone becoming a bit more hostile.

"I'm sorry Naruto I wanted you to grow up like a normal child," explained Sarutobi while also wondering about this sensei of Naruto's.

"Bullshit. You ruined any chance of me having a normal childhood when you told the entire village that I was the container for the Kyuubi," Naruto replied heatedly.

Sarutobi could only hang his head in shame, his head dropping a little lower with every word Naruto said. He couldn't rebuke Naruto, what he was saying was the truth. Minato wanted his son to be treated like a hero but the very opposite had happened, "I'm sorry Naruto, if I had my time again I would have done things differently. This isn't the first mistake I've made and it probably won't be the last." He couldn't help but think of his former student.

"I don't really care old man, the past is of no consequence, what matters is the present. You owe me some answers," Naruto said, directing the Hokage's thoughts back to the original accusation; he had been keeping secrets, as in more than one.

"Damn it Naruto! Secrets are dangerous, I didn't tell you them for a reason."

"Really, I hadn't noticed. Do you even know how many times I had to eat of of garbage cans because I couldn't get any food, or how many times I was beaten for wandering iinto the wrong area of the village. That's what happens when you tell everyone my secret," said Naruto.

With a sigh he concede to Naruto, "What do you want to know?"

"You can start with my parents, I know you know who they are," said Naruto.

Naruto was already chūnin level and definitely seemed mature enough.I'm sorry Minato, I'll have to tell him about his heritage.

"Naruto, your parents were Minato Namikaze, the Yondaime Hokage and Kushina Uzumaki," said Sarutobi.

He noticed that Naruto didn't seem surprised. He just put his hand on his chin as if thinking. The old Naruto would have been jumping around at the fact that his hero was his father.

Instead Naruto asked, "What can you tell me about my mother?"

"She was a strong shinobi known as the Red Hoot-Blooded Habanero. She had a loud personality, much like your clone and was the village's expert in Fūinjutsu." He noticed Naruto eyes brighten briefly at the mention of Fūinjutsu.

The Hokage took a deep breath, he'd have to take a leap of faith with the next detail, he doubted lying to Naruto any further would work out well for Konoha, "Your mother was also a container for the Kyuubi."

Naruto's eyes widened at that detail, it looked like Hokage had finally managed to surprise him with something. Up till know it seemed to Sarutobi that everything he said Naruto had expected or already knew.

Naruto started laughing, "Ha, and here I was thinking that my opinion of this village couldn't get any lower. Tell me old man, how many jinchūriki have there been for the Kyuubi?"

"You're the third Naruto; the Shodai's wife was also one. She was an Uzumaki too."

"And were either of them treated as I was?" Naruto asked.

"No." replied Sarutobi.

"Figures. So why shouldn't I just get up and leave this village? It's clear I'm not welcome, I don't see much reason for me to stay." Naruto asked.

Sarutobi eyes widened in surprise at that, Damn, I've been thinking of him as the clone, not as a stranger.

"Naruto don't you want to be Hokage?" Sarutobi asked hoping for a 'yes'.

"Why would I want to protect people who hate me? It's illogical," Naruto replied calmly as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

Sarutobi feared as much, this Naruto was much more rational than the clone, in his mind this village didn't deserve his protection. Nevertheless he had no intention of letting Naruto leave, "You'd be a missing nin Naruto, that's no life to live."

"So what, I've been hunted by Konoha nin before." said Naruto.

Saurtobi flinched at that, "Naruto please, don't make me have ANBU arrest you." He wouldn't do it but the threat might get Naruto to reconsider.

"Ha, wouldn't that be symbolic, the final nail in the coffin of the Yondaime Hokage's legacy. I wonder what would happen if I die, would the Kyuubi be released?"

"Enough Naruto! No one's dying today," said Sarutobi firmly, Naruto had made his point. His ploy had failed and he had no intention of this situation deteriorating any further.

"Did my parents leave me anything?" Naruto asked, suddenly changing the topic and drawing a little bit of the tension out of the conversation.

"I'm sorry Naruto, your parents house was destroyed in the Kyuubi attack, there was nothing left,"replied Sarutobi.

"That's a shame, I would have been interested in finding out how my mother handled the Kyuubi."

"I know she used chakra chains, and fuinjutsu, but she had special chakra. I don't know if you have the same, a lot of that knowledge came from the extinct Uzumaki clan and is now lost," Sarutobi informed Naruto.

"Extinct?" Naruto asked.

"Yes, they were feared because of their fuinjutsu skills. In the second shinobi war they were wiped out."

"So I really am the last Uzumaki," said Naruto.

Sarutobi nodded his head; the loss of that clan had been a dark day for the ninja world. Shaking off the dark thoughts he found himself looking at Naruto's katana, "Naruto, do you mind telling me where you learned kenjutsu?" This was the question he wanted answered the moment he saw Naruto fight.

Naruto took a moment to consider before replying, "A relative, her name was Akeginu."

"Relative?" Sarutobi asked, an Uzumaki? Had he been mistaken, it was possible that a few had survived and where not in Whirlpool during the invasion.

"Mm hm, she was quite a talented shinobi before she passed on."

Passed on? That got his attention, "She died?"

"Yes ,she's been dead for some time now. She taught me a lot though, made sure my fundamentals were strong so I could teach myself if needed," responded Naruto. "My taijutsu and basic shinobi skills are also very high. I even know a little Fūinjutsu too."

Sarutobi listened in interest nodding his head as Naruto explained his skills. A solid foundation and a well-rounded education it seemed. It would make accessing harder techniques much easier in the future for him. This 'Akeginu' seemed to have been a good teacher to him, but the question remained, who was she? "Was she an Uzumaki too?" Sarutobi asked.

Naruto shrugged. "She never called herself an Uzumaki, but she did say she was from the same clan as me," Naruto replied.

It sounded right, if Naruto had been taught from age six it would explain why he was so competent, though he would still have to be a prodigy to be able to best a chūnin at his age. However, he didn't think Naruto was giving him the whole story, bits weren't adding up.

"Why did you fail twice?" Sarutobi asked, it seemed unnecessary.

"You mean apart from the fact my teachers sabotaged every test I did?" Naruto quipped.

Sarutobi clenched his fist in anger at that, there was going to be a serious review of the teaching standards at that academy. Not only did they put Naruto's life at risk but also any one of his future teammates.

"The truth is I could have passed the graduation test by the end of my first year, but I didn't want to risk the same thing happening after I graduated. I would rather train myself than waste time on a sensei that would sabotage my training or just ignore me for the other team members. If I entered the field with a sensei like that I probably would have died. So I waited until I thought I was good enough to survive out in the world without a sensei before I passed the test to become a ninja," Naruto explained.

After he had finished talking Naruto pulled out the Leaf headband from his top and held it up, "So once again, why should I wear this? The village has treated me like crap, and disrespected my parents. It doesn't give me much motivation to protect them."

"Life's hard as a missing nin Naruto, you'd be dodging bounty hunters your whole life. Isn't there anyone you want to protect here?" Sarutobi asked, hoping Naruto had made at least some friends over the years.

Naruto thought for a moment before replying, "I could think of a couple of people, but I think they'd do fine without me."

"Naru-"

"-Look, my only concern at the moment is my progression as a shinobi. If you can convince me that staying in this village would make me a better shinobi then I'll commit to the village and complete whatever missions you give me to the best of my ability. Who knows, maybe in time you can convince me why this village is worth protecting. Now, let's start with training, who do you have picked out as my teacher?" Naruto asked.

Sarutobi took a moment to consider. His previous squad placement would no longer be satisfactory. He'd intended for Naruto to be placed in Team 7 with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno under Kakashi but after tonight that wouldn't work. The boy was far too skilled to be put in any of the genin teams; he'd unbalance whatever team he was placed with. The other members would either slow him down which would frustrate Naruto or they'd end up relying on him all the time which would stifle their development. He also had doubts about Kakashi's effectiveness as a teacher as well. No doubt he would focus on Sasuke seeing a little of himself in the boy, not to mention reminding him of Obito. That wouldn't be in line with Naruto's 'condition that he make him 'a better shinobi'. Also, Kakashi had never shown much of an interest in Naruto before.

That only left him with one option, an option that hadn't been used for quite some time. He was hesitant to do it but he really had no choice, if he wanted Naruto to stay in the village willingly he needed someone to train Naruto to be stronger. The last time he had done this it had worked out terribly for Anko, he could only hope that it would work out better this time. Naruto would be an apprentice.

Apprenticeships were usually only used for genin with exceptionally unique skills or because a sensei specifically asked for it. The last had been Orochimaru who had taken Anko on as an apprentice. Sarutobi thought that tonight's events could be judged as exceptional enough to warrant an apprenticeship.

Now, who to pick as Naruto's sensei? This was important, he needed someone trustworthy, someone who wasn't from a major clan or indebted to the council. He didn't need them reporting to the council on Naruto's new or rather his unusual skill. They also needed to be able to improve on the skills Naruto already had. The way things were going Naruto would see no reason to stay in the village, hopefully partnering with someone he would respect could change that. Naruto needed to start forming roots here, if he'd been using clones to interact with people he likely wasn't friends with anyone his age.

With Naruto's sword skill Hayate would have been ideal but his health was acting up again. That left Uzuki Yugao, the only problem was she was currently in ANBU. He could trust the woman though, early on in her career she had watched over Naruto and was one of the few to do her job properly. Maybe he could get Jiraiya to show Naruto some Fūinjutsu or his father's jutsu next time he was in town as well.

His decision made, he called out, "ANBU!"

Several ANBU appeared in the room, "Go get me Neko. She is currently down in T & I."

With that they left immediately to take care of the task.

Naruto quirked an eyebrow, "Neko, the ANBU?"

Sarutobi explained, "Originally I had you in team 7 with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno under Kakashi Hatkete, but given what I've seen tonight Uzuki Yugao is the better choice, she's an expert in kenjutsu."

Naruto grimaced when Sarutobi mentioned team 7; it looks like he had made the right choice in changing the team allocation.

"We'll do it as an apprenticeship, you and Yugao will be the only team members. That way she can focus solely on your training. You can trust her, she's one of my most trusted operatives," said Sarutobi.

Naruto merely responded with, "We'll see."

When he finished Naruto wrapped the headband around his left bicep.

Saruobi smiled as he put on the Hitai-ate.

"Oh, this is yours." said Naruto as he threw the scroll Mizuki had to the Sarutobi.

Sarutobi opened it and frowned, so Naruto was telling Mizuki the truth earlier, it was just a bunshin, "Naruto why was a Bunshin scroll in the room with the sealed scrolls?"

"Maybe someone put it there?" replied Naruto with a knowing smile.

Sarutobi's eyes narrowed it couldn't have been, could it? "Naruto?" He asked in a firmer tone.

"It was surprisingly easy."

"But that was years ago, you would have been what? Ten?" Sarutobi asked, incredulous that a ten year old could avoid ANBU and himself.

"About that, it was a test, which I passed with flying colours."

Sarutobi couldn't believe this, he'd spent weeks worrying about the fallout from that night, and here Naruto tells him that it was just a test of his skills.

"As I recall you fell for that henge of my sensei," Naruto said in amusement.

Sarutobi shivered as thought about the henge Naruto had used, that was his sensei! He cursed, Naruto you lucky bastard.

"I still have the scroll if you want it back," offered Naruto.

He nodded his head, "Yes, it's for the best."

"I've also got some other things you may be interested in…"


Meanwhile Yugao arrived at the headquarters of the Torture and Interrogations Division with an unconscious Mizuki; he had passed out from the pain a few minutes ago. To prevent him from dying Yugao had wrapped his wrists and back with a quick bandage, but he really needed medical treatment.

Anko Mitarashi and Ibiki Morino were both there waiting for her. Someone had also sent for Inoichi Yamanaka but he hadn't arrived yet. This was big; anything involving the traitor Orochimaru was like wild fire.

Anko and Ibiki just stared at her as Yugao dumped Mizuki's butchered body on the ground in front of them.

"Wow, someone sure did a number on him," remarked Anko. She actually looked a bit excited at all the blood.

Ibiki just raised an eyebrow at the state of the suspect.

"It was an on sight interrogation," Yugao said, answering the silent question.

Ibiki was curious, "His hands were cut off as part of an interrogation?"

Yugao shook her head, "No, that happened afterwards. Mizuki was pinned to a tree with kunai and then had a katana shoved in the nerves of his shoulder and twisted."

Anko smiled, nodding her head,"Brutal, I like it." She had a similar style of interrogation; it involved lots and lots of blood.

Ibiki just shrugged he didn't care as long as it worked, though he preferred to use drugs, "What'd you get out of him?"

Yugao shook her head again thinking this was going to be fun, "I didn't get anything out of him; it was a genin who did this."

Two pairs of eyes widened in shock. Yugao smiled it wasn't every day you got to see that expression on Ibiki's face. Of course who wouldn't be surprised, it wasn't every day that a genin beat a chūnin to within an inch of his life.

"Who? Who?" Anko asked excitedly, now even more interested in this unnamed interrogator.

"Naruto Uzumaki," answered Yugao, or at least she thought it was Naruto, had she not seen his whisker marks she would have not believed it.

Both of them were silent for a second; that certainly was not the answer they expected.

After about twenty seconds of continued silence Anko asked in confusion, "The blonde idiot?" Was Yugao pranking her?

Yugao smirked, tonight's events made it clear he was certainly no idiot, "He's no idiot. He arrived just before I did, in fact I didn't even sense him until he appeared and stopped Mizuki from killing Iruka."

Anko and Ibiki were even more shocked at that fact, how could an ANBU member not sense a genin?

Yugao herself had been amazed and intrigued at the skill Naruto displayed. "He blocked Mizuki's shuriken attacks with his katana like it was nothing and even cut Mizuki's giant shuriken in half using a jōninlevel kenjutsu technique. He then attacked Mizuki and cut his spine paralyzing him."

"Wow, he paralyzed him as well," Anko said, impressed. She took another look at Mizuki, "Where the hell did the gaki learn to use a sword like that, kenjutsu was only taught at the academy in Kirigakure not Konoha, right?"

Yugao just shook her head in response, she had no idea, but she had every intention of finding out who taught Naruto kenjutsu. Maybe Naruto could even show her a few moves.

"That's not all; Mizuki had a seal like yours Anko, only it didn't work for some reason. Mizuki confessed to Naruto that Orochimaru put the steal on him and ordered him to steal the scroll," said Yugao explaining why they were all here.

Anko clenched her fist in anger at the mention of her former teacher's name. It looked like her bastard of a former sensei was up to something again. The bastard always had some sort of plan in motion. Every time she thought of him the seal he had planted on her would start to throb painfully. She unconsciously touched her seal when Yugao said his name.

Yugao seeing Anko touching her seal decided to move on, "Anyway, Iruka is fine thanks to Naruto and Naruto went to go see the Hokage. The Hokgage wants you two to finish the interrogation and find out everything Mizuki knows about Orochimaru."

A cruel smile appeared on Anko's face; she was going to enjoy this even more than she usually did.

Ibiki just nodded his head, and picked up Mizuki before dragging him off for the interrogation.

"Hey Yugao, tell the gaki that was some nice work," said Anko before turning to follow Ibiki.

As soon as they left an ANBU appeared beside Yugao and told her to report to the Hokage office.


Yugao appeared outside the Hokage's door shortly after the ANBU had contacted her. Entering the room she saw Naruto sitting down in a chair talking to the Hokage about something. Her eyes sharpened a little and she got prepared, those two looked they were up to something.

"-So then I killed him and freed the slaves," said Naruto.

Yugao sweat dropped at the conversation she just walked in on. The boy was talking about killing someone like it was a stroll in the park.

"You know Naruto, Aoi had a substantial bounty on his head, if you had his body I could have paid you," said the Hokage.

Naruto smiled, pulled out a seal and opened it. Yugao's eyes opened wide in surprise as a head tumbled out onto the Hokage's desk.

"There you go old man, I could really use the money," said Naruto as if dropping heads on the Hokage's desk was commonplace. The Hokage just shook his head in amusement.

"Still I'm impressed a chunin is one thing but Aoi was a B rank Jōnin," commented the Hokage.

Yugao's eyebrows shot up under her mask, the kid had killed a jōnin?

"Don't read too much into it, he wasn't that impressive. He was too arrogant, didn't treat me as a threat and paid for it," Naruto explained, downplaying his accomplishment.

"Still, Aoi's presence bumps that mission up to A rank. The pay on a solo A rank mission is quite high these days. I know you weren't a shinobi when you did it but I'll put it in your file as an official mission so you can get paid. It makes the village look good as well."

Yugao really wished she been here for the start of the conversation. Naruto's skills must be even higher than she estimated if he could complete a solo A rank mission.

"This might interest you," said Naruto as he pulled out another scroll. As he unsealed it Yugao's jaw almost hit the floor. It was Raijin no Ken the sword of the Nidaime Hokage! Yugao was a bit of a sword nut; though she'd deny it in public and kill anyone who suggested it. How the hell did the kid get a hold of that?!

The Hokage just looked on in amazement as Naruto handed him the sword.

After a minute of stunned silence the Hokage said, "I'm surprised you didn't want to keep it yourself."

Naruto shrugged, "Nah, it's a bit too flashy more my tastes. Besides if I started swinging that around people would accuse me of stealing it."

Yugao was speechless, she was about to speak up, maybe ask for a closer look at the legendary sword when the Hokage noticed her, "Good, you're here."

Yugao assumed a kneeling position quickly, waiting for her orders.

"Relax Neko, I have a proposition for you," said the Hokage, "Young Naruto here is far more talented than the rest of his graduating class, since Naruto uses kenjutsu I was going to ask you if you would take him as an apprentice."

Yugao was stunned; she had been expecting to just give her report on tonight's events, not a job offer. Considering the offer she would be lying if she said she wasn't interested in the boy's skills. While fighting Mizuki he had shown an extremely high level of skill for someone so young, much better than she was at the same age. She might even be able to learn something from him as well. On the other hand she didn't want to damage her ANBU career but since this was a personal request from the Hokage she couldn't really refuse. In fact it would probably help her career by doing him a personal favor; she knew he liked the boy.

"I'll do it, Hokage-sama," she replied.

"Good, then that's settled. Take off your mask Neko, I'll introduce you to your new student," said the Hokage.

Yugao took off her mask and turned to face Naruto who was looking at her inquisitively, like he was sizing her up.

She did the same now that she could get a better look at him. The boy was a looker. Pale skin, long blonde hair and those eyes…he'd be fending off women by the droves when he's older, maybe even now. She knew a few kunoichi who'd take a closer than customary look at him now that he's a shinobi, Anko and Hana in particular came to mind. Kami, if she wasn't his new sensei and weren't with Hayate she'd have taken an interest in him too after what she had seen tonight.

"Naruto this is Uzuki Yugao, your new Jonin-sensei," said the Hokage.

"Nice to meet you sensei," said Naruto.

"Likewise Naruto," said Yugao.

"So, when do we start?" Naruto asked.

"Meet me at training ground 21 tomorrow 8:00 am sharp. Since you already know your instructor there's no need to go to the academy like the other genin," instructed Yugao.

"I'll be there," he said. With that Naruto got up and body flickered out of the room.

This is certainly going to be interesting, thought Yugao.

"Yugao there some other things we need to discuss so why don't you take a seat," said the Hokage after Naruto had left the room.

Yugao took the seat Naruto had just vacated and waited for the Hokage to continue.

Seeing that she'd made herself comfortable the Hokage explained the situation to Yugao, "Yugao, Naruto has obviously received instruction from someone, now we don't know who, but I would like you to find out. I'm not overly concerned, Naruto said she was a relative and I believe he was telling the truth. Nevertheless I'd like you too find out more about it, it's for his own good."

"You want me to spy on him?" Yugao asked, a little taken back by the request. She didn't think it was a good way to start her relationship with her new student.

"No, preferably I'd like him too trust us enough to tell us about his training in more detail but that will only come with time. I don't have to tell you how hard his life has been. Just treat him with respect and be a good teacher, I'm sure he'll come around. More than anything I just want you to keep an eye out in case his sensei did anything not in Naruto's best interest," he replied.

Yugao nodded her head; she had been tasked with guarding Naruto a few times during his younger years. She was well aware at the kind of dangers and treatment he had to endure, it was no wonder he had significant trust issues. She was a bit relieved that the Hokage didn't want her to just act as a spy on Naruto. He was essentially making Naruto her responsibility.

"I also don't want the council interfering with this which is why I'm putting him under you, you report to me only. Two out of the last three geniuses this village has produced have gone rogue, I won't let the council force Naruto into taking similar action. You know how riled up the civilians get at the mere mention of Naruto's name."

The Hokage didn't have to tell her that, she had looked on in disgust during a number of Council meeting where the civilians had put forth a motion to execute what they called the 'demon'.

"I'd prefer if you kept Naruto's skills quiet for now, I don't want to make a fuss out of this unless I have to," said the Hokage.

Yugao sweated a bit at that, she'd already blabbed to Ibiki and Anko. Fortunately Ibiki wasn't the talkative type and Anko didn't have many friends beyond herself, Hana and Kurenai.

"Do you think Naruto will ever trust us Hokage-sama?" Yugao asked.

"Hopefully, I suspect he was being relatively truthful with us tonight though he was definitely omitting details. Maybe one day he'll trust you enough to explain the whole story, only time will tell. Anyway that's enough for tonight you're dismissed."

With that Yugao saluted the Hokage and left thinking about tomorrow's meeting with a certain blonde haired student.


Naruto arrived back at the ruins to meet Akeginu and tell her about his new 'sensei'. He was satisfied with how tonight had gone, Mizuki would be rotting in a prison cell the rest of his life, and he'd finally got his discussion with the old man out of the way. To top it all off he'd caught a glimpse at seal he hadn't seen before.

He'd laid into the old man tonight, but the conversation had to happen sooner or later. He didn't really hold anything against him, he'd fucked up but shit happens. The old man was a bit naïve, he still believed this village to be the virtuous ideal it was intended to be; it seemed his father was guilty of the same thing.

Ha, treat me like a hero, what a joke. No this village had been corrupted for some time, long before he was even born. Laying out the old man's screw ups in front of him allowed him to guilt the old man out of some secrets and even get a new sensei. He was pleased with the old man's choice; Uzuki Yugao appeared to be a competent ninja without any prejudice towards him. That was the most he could ask for realistically. Perhaps she would be able to teach him some new kenjutsu and chakra techniques, Tenzen'z style didn't factor in chakra. In any event it was better than being one a team with one of his 'classmates.'

Yep, tonight was definitely a success, Naruto thought to himself. Of course some of the night's revelations would have repercussions. "Kurama we need to talk." said Naruto as he entered his mindscape. Ever since his first talk with Kurama he could do it easily. This time instead of the dojo he appeared at the shrine straight in front of the brass gate containing the Kyuubi.

Kurama appeared immediately in all her naked glory, "Yes, that old monkey was quite loose with his secrets wasn't he? You'd think by now he'd have learned that there's power in secrets. Really… giving away all that valuable knowledge for nothing, such a waste."

"Not nothing," Naruto replied, "he got my services."

Kurama just smiled when he said that before walking right up the gate standing directly in front of him. "You may have fooled the old monkey," she said while reaching through the gate and running her ringer down Naruto's chest, "but I know better. You had already resolved to stay in this cesspool of corruption for a little longer before even talking to him. That revelation about your mother was given away for… nothing. Like I said, 'such a waste'."

"Maybe so, either way the Hokage has his ninja…for the time being anyway."

"Yes, that's the crux of the matter isn't it? You are merely a transient visitor to this village."

"Wh-"

""But I approve, after all what value is there in staying here? Give them years of service risking your life and they'll still view you as nothing more than a demon or at the very best my vessel. Even if you did save the village any respect they would give you would be hollow, tainted by the knowledge that these people didn't give a shit about you before. It truly is contemptible, the Yondaime Hokage saves them from my wrath and they spit on his legacy. Why would you want to protect such trash? Would you willingly give your life to protect these child abusers?"

Naruto sighed, "You've made your point fox. I swear you and sensei must be reading form the same book." said Naruto.

"The woman knows what she's talking about. It would be a waste of your talent anyway, you'd never truly reach your potential trapped in Konoha."

"And what do you know of my potential?" Naruto asked.

"You forget so quickly, weren't you listening, you're my third host. Both my previous hosts were ninjas, strong ones. Not to mention I've seen all this villages best ones through their eyes, so I know talent when I see it. The Shodai Hokage and his damn trees, that wet brother of his, the monkey when he was young,your father the Yellow Flash, ...Uchiha Madara, " she practically spat out that last name. He filed it away for later, it seemed the Kyuubi did not like the Uchiha's, this one in particular, "I've seen them all."

"So you remember some of their techniques?"

"I knew you'd understand. Yes, the benefits of an eidetic memory, I remember every technique I have seen. I have a particularly good understanding of Uzumaki sealing techniques and your father's too."

"Can you do ninjutsu? Fūinjutsu?" Naruto asked.

"No. My nature is too chaotic for such things, and you try doing those hand seals with giant paws. I have no need anyway; my natural abilities far surpass anything you ninja could ever achieve. It's one of the benefits of being a superior life form afterall.

"Uh huh, why do those same techniques keep you trapped in here then?"

"Maybe I'll tell you sometime, the answer may surprise you, or then again maybe not, you're sharper than most but I don't really care. All you have to remember is that if you ever want access to your clan techniques you have to come to me."

Naruto stayed silent, he knew she was right. It was merely another thing he'd have to get out of her one day, the list was growing and getting anything out of her would be difficult.

"That's enough, I didn't come here to discuss this," said Naruto.

"Ah yes your dear mother, thank the Rikudō Sennin that I'm out of her. I wouldn't have been able to handle much more of her nonsense. Always spouting about how love would keep me bound. Stupid bitch, it wasn't love that kept me sealed but those chakra chains piercing my flesh. I prefer the cage your father set up, its not very roomy but it beats being pinned down like a slave, at least I can shapeshift in this cage."

Naruto didn't interrupt, the Kyuubi was rarely this forthcoming.

"No, you're a much more interesting vessel. I've had more conversations with you in our short time than I had in the entire seventeen years I was with Kushina. You look exactly like her except for the hair and eyes."

"What about your other host?" Naruto asked.

"Maybe another time, I'll start sounding old if I keep on being nostalgic like this. "

Naruto didn't think it would be in his best interest to point out that she was old. Akeginu didn't appreciate it, so he doubted the kitsune would either.

With a sigh he withdrew from his mindscape, that had been a dismissal and he new by now that the fox only liked to discuss things on her terms. No doubt the Hokage giving away the secret about his mother hadn't been part her plans, she only discuss it with him when she was ready not before.

"Where have you been?" Akeginu asked as she appeared next to him.

"Just doing some exercise. Got to maim and torture my academy teacher too."

Akeginu quirked one of her eyebrows at him, "So you had a good time I take it?"

He smiled when she didn't bat an eyelash at his activities, "I don't know about that, he wasn't skilled enough to be entertaining, but I did see something of interest. He had an unusual seal on him; the Kyuubi said it was unnatural."

"Did she now?" Akginu asked, he knew she was a bit ambivalent towards the kitsune. While she appreciated its power and benefits she knew he had to tread cautiously around the powerful beast.

Naruto nodded his head and explained the nights events to his sensei, leaving out no details.

"She?" Akeginu asked, there was something in her voice he hadn't picked up on ever before.

"Yeah, she's a woman, looks to be around mid-twenties, a kenjutsu expert apparently," said Naruto, before describing Yugao to his sensei.

"I see, I might come with you tomorrow, I want to see this woman in action myself."

"Sure, it's over at training ground 21, I'll come get you before I go," said Naruto.

"See that you do," said Akeginu, a little coldly.

Narto just gave her a perplexed look as he tried to figure out what had her feathers ruffled.


Kurama watched Naruto interact with his sensei. She was in a good mood. At first she thought she'd have to cut off any remaining links the boy had to the village, but now it looked like he'd eventually leave of his own fruition. He'd be much easier to manipulate once he was on his own.

She'd volunteered that info about his mother; making him strain for every bit of info from her wasn't helpful to her cause. In fact she could wield more influence over him as a sensei than as an occasional business partner, perhaps she should start teaching him her unique form of genjutsu. It certainly would give her a way to combat the influence of the Iga kunoichi. That woman would be a problem, she'd served her purpose, made her vessel strong; it was time to get rid of her. It wouldn't be easy either, from what she'd seen the kunoichi was an expert manipulator and had the boy wrapped around her little finger. Driving a wedge between the two would be a difficult task, but she always loved a challenge. She could tell that their relationship had long ago surpassed that of teacher and student, they acted more like a couple every day. The only thing missing was kissing and sexual contact. Fortunately for her she had the advantage there, the kunoichi was quite dead, lingering only in spirit form, she'd move on eventually they always do. Still, severing their relationship and increasing her own influence with the boy would be her priority from now on and she knew exactly how to do it.

The boy was desperate to master genjutsu, she liked that, Genjutsu was her favourite art. Genjutsu was a weapon of subtlety, you needed a keen mind and exceptional chakra control. Fortunately the boy had both in spades. Teaching him her genjutsu would be interesting game in itself. Hers differed from ninja genjutsu which was formulaic and structured. hers was more natural and free form. The boy would have to combine both hers and ninja genjutsu to overcome the physical difference and be able to use it effectively. It be interesting to see if he could do it. Yes, becoming his genjutsu teacher would be the best way to increase her influence over him. Next time he came to her they would discuss it in detail.


Foot Notes

(1) Not Orochimaru white, more like Sai.

(2) I like a good mantle, its more European in style but who cares. Anyone read the manwha Ares? One of the swordsman in that sports a wicked mantle.

(3)Similar to Anko's seal rather than the one in the anime which was pretty much just a recipe.


Author Notes

Sarutobi always struck me as a very naïve character, not that seeing the best in people isn't a good thing, but the mess with Orochimaru and Danzo being left unchecked were largely a result of his mercy/inaction. Expect Naruto to take advantage of his kind nature.

I made Mizuki Orochinaru's chump like in the anime filler. Main reason for this was that Naruto and Orochimaru will have much more interaction than they had in canon. This incident and more specifically the seal will function as the catalyst for Naruto's interest in Orochinaru, also another pillar for Anko/Naruto interaction later on.

As far as Naruto's training goes, his jutsus will primarily be fuinjutsu and genjutsu. At this stage he probably won't learn Rasengan or if he does he won't use it much as he doesn't need it. His Iga techniques will be his primary ones, he won't be spamming Rasengans and Shadow clones like in canon.

I plan on Yugao involving Hayate as well in Naruto training, he may learn Hayate's Shadow dance , since Naruto knows shadow clones.

Tune in next week, for Yugao, and Naruto action.