Alright! You all were excited to see Naruto back in action, and so here we go! It's time for Naruto to begin his first steps towards Assassinhood!

For those of you who might be worried, rest assured that Naruto will remain part of the main focus now. Raphael will no longer be the main focus of the story, though he just won't up and vanish either. He is playing an integral part of Naruto's training.

Also, Nightmares Around Winter has put his fanfic Dead Man Walking up for adoption. If you're interested in writing a bloodline Naruto fanfic, give him a call. Or if you know someone who is, tell them about it.

One last note before we begin. If anyone reading this is a Mass Effect fan, Mandalore the free has a Mass effect challenge fanfic! So contact him if you're interested in learning more and/or you want to take up his challenge!

Now on with the show!

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto (property of Masashi Kishimoto) or Assassin's Creed (property of Ubisoft).


Chapter 4

The Reasons Why

It was early the next morning. Raphael was waiting quietly in the park, waiting for Naruto to arrive. He smiled, watching the sun rising in the sky as he waited.

He grinned as he heard hurried footsteps behind him. He turned, seeing Naruto rush over. "I'm here sensei!" he panted, leaning over.

Raphael smiled, as he studied Naruto. The young boy was dressed in dark pants, a sort of dull dark blue, with a white shirt with a red spiral on it, relatively good clothes for training. He approached Naruto.

"I'm glad you were on time Naruto. Now come with me and I'll explain what I'm going to train you in," he said, as he began to walk away. Naruto quickly fell in step with him.

"What I'm going to do is simple Naruto. I'm going to train you in the basics of unarmed combat. I believe shinobi call it taijutsu. I'll also teach you some exercises to make you stronger and faster," Raphael said.

Naruto grinned. "Will I get cool blades like those ones that came out from under your arms?!" He asked excitedly.

Raphael shook his head. "I'm afraid not Naruto. These blades are reserved for those who follow the Creed of the Assassins. The only way you could have one of your own would be to join the Assassins. I will train you in basic things that are not specifically part of the Assassins. Afterwards, once I have run out of things to teach you, we will see if you have potential. I will warn you though, being an Assassin is not about being famous or strong. It's about being committed to ideals and a cause that others may hate you for. It is not for those who are not ready to commit to it."

Naruto nodded, a little shaken. Raphael smiled, wanting to cheer him up. "I will also be teaching you other things as well. If you are going to become a ninja, you'll need to be smart as well as strong. And, you can join me in learning basics of chakra, such as control," he said with a grin.

Naruto became excited about that, with a huge grin. He became even more excited when they arrived at a training ground.

Anko was busy sitting on a tree branch, her legs crossed in front of her as she leaned back against the tree trunk, chewing on the last bit of dango. She saw Raphael approach and flung the empty skewer at his feet. "You're late," she said, hopping down. "And what's with the shrimp?" She asked, before blinking. "Wait…you're Naruto Uzumaki."

Naruto blinked. "And you're the dango lady who protected me from those jerks!"

Anko grinned, puffing her chest out a bit. "That's me, kid. Anko Mitarashi, at your service. But what are you doing here?"

He hopped up and down excitedly. "Raphael-sensei is going to teach me some stuff!" He said with an excited grin.

Anko raised an eyebrow while Raphael shrugged. "I saw him trying to defend a little girl getting bullied yesterday, and I thought he deserved some training. I also thought you could give him a hand as well, with chakra training."

The purple haired chuunin rubbed the back of her head. "Weeeeelllll, I guess I could," she said with a grin. "Alright then. Why don't you get him started on training and stuff, and then we'll work some more on your chakra control."

Raphael nodded as he turned to Naruto. "Alright then. Let's start off with some basic exercise, alright?" He asked.

So he got Naruto going on stretches, and basic exercises like pushups and sit ups, before ordering him to run five laps around the clearing they were in. The clearing wasn't especially large, but it was big to a five year old, and was surrounded by trees on three sides. So while Naruto was running the laps, Anko was helping Raphael refine his chakra control.

Once Naruto finished the laps, he collapsed, panting heavily. Raphael gave him some water and let him rest, before having him stand back up.

"What I'm going to teach you Naruto is a very defense oriented fighting style," Raphael said, only to see Naruto's confused face. Raphael mentally smacked his forehead before choosing simpler terms. "I'm going to show you a way to fight that relies on you stopping or dodging your enemies attack, and then striking back at them when there is an opening, okay?"

Naruto nodded eagerly, as Raphael got into the stance, sliding his left foot back a bit and bringing his hands up to about face height, the left hand behind the right. "Now if Anko-san would mind assisting me by attacking me?" He asked.

Anko smirked as she moved forward, launching a quick striking jab at Raphael. The Assassin shifted, blocking and deflecting the attack to one side before throwing a quick punch at Anko, who managed to jump back in time. She went in again with flurry of jabs and strikes, all of which Raphael either deflected or dodged either to the sides or back away from. He waited till he had deflected one particular strike before moving in, striking at her arm near the shoulder, then her side, then at her face, stopping short from hitting her. He stepped back and nodded before looking to Naruto.

"You see, the trick is to absorb the enemy attacks, or avoid them, until you either see an opening to attack with, or you can create an opening to attack with. Of course you can attack if your enemy doesn't have a strong defense, and end the fight there. The whole point of this style of fighting is to find that moment when you can end the fight quickly. You understand?"

Naruto blinked. "I think so," he said.

Raphael grinned. "Then let's get started. First, assume this stance," he said, showing him. Naruto tried to mimic him, but Raphael stopped him and reversed it. "Sorry, I'm left handed. You'll want to do what I do with the opposite side," he said.

Naruto nodded as Raphael finished fixing his stance. "Alright then. Now let's work on blocking. I'm going to punch lightly at you, so you block for now, okay?" He asked.

Naruto nodded eagerly, and Raphael began to lightly punch at him. Naruto worked on blocking the punches. Raphael nodded as he continued to lightly punch. "Very good. This has the added benefit of slowly toughening your arms up. It won't do you any good to be able to block if your arm muscles aren't tough enough to take the blows," he said.

Naruto nodded as Raphael sped up a bit, punching a little bit harder. Naruto kept blocking, until Raphael stopped. "Alright. Now try deflecting. Instead of just taking the blow, trying to knock the blow to the side, or move your arms so it slides off to the side. Ready?"

Anko smiled as she watched Raphael work with Naruto. He seemed to be a natural teacher.

However, none of them were aware of the figure watching, before disappearing into the trees.

Konoha Council Chambers, later that day

Sarutobi sighed as he sat down, examining those present in the room. Yesterday, he had sent out summons to the Council Members to appear today for a special meeting.

The Council was made up of three parts. The Civilian Council was made up of representatives voted from the civilian population. They represented the various business and utilities that were run by and maintained by civilians. It was their job to advise the entirety of the Council on situations involving the Civilians, and to offer up legislation involving Civilian matters, that would then be voted on by the entirety of the Council. However, they had slowly begun working their way into influencing some legislation that also affected shinobi. The greatest example would be a piece of legislation that was introduced three years ago that had made the Shinobi Academy in Konoha more 'Civilian friendly', making it easier for aspiring shinobi students who did not have parents who were shinobi.

The Clan Council was made up of the heads of the most notable clans of Konoha. They kept the Hokage advised on events involving their clans, as well as legislation involving their clans, which were also voted on by the whole Council. In this way, the Clans and Civilian Councils could keep each other in check; ensuring one side didn't pass a law that would favor one side over the other.

The final part was the Shinobi Council, made up of the Shinobi Elders of the village. It was their job to act as advisors to the Hokage, and in the event of a deadlock vote, they were allowed to vote as well. The Shinobi Council was currently made up of Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane, Hiruzen Sarutobi's old teammates. They were often accompanied by Danzou Shimura, a fellow shinobi from their time when they were all active duty ninjas.

Sarutobi nodded to everyone present. "I thank you all for coming," he said as he leaned forward. "I called you all here to discuss something of the gravest importance. What is spoken in this meeting does not leave these walls without my expressed permission. Anyone who is unwilling to abide by that must leave immediately."

When no one did, Sarutobi continued. "Approximately a month ago, we received word from our informant in Kumo that they were beginning a new plan to attempt to steal the Byakugan from this village. The planning of this operation was being headed by the Kumo ninja responsible for planning the previous attempt to steal the Byakugan. Our informant in Kumo agreed to aid us in silencing this ninja, in exchange for asylum here in Konoha," he said.

There were quiet murmurs amongst the Council members, before Hiashi Hyuuga, head of the Hyuuga Clan, spoke up. "So I assume we are here to vote on if we accept those terms?"

Sarutobi shook his head. "No Hiashi-san. I already agreed to those terms, and gave the go ahead on the mission. Six days ago, on the night of December 27th, the Kumo ninja was assassinated and all plans he had for attempting to steal the Byakugan were retrieved and brought here to Konoha."

Shibi Aburame, the head of the insect wielding Aburame clan, spoke up in his monotone voice. His face was mostly hidden by a pair of goggles and the high collar of the coat he wore. "Hokage-sama, do you not perhaps consider these actions a bit extreme? What if Kumo traced the attempt back to us?"

Sarutobi smiled quietly. "I understand your worries, Shibi-san. But rest assured the one I sent was not a well-known member of Konoha. Even if he had been caught, we could have claimed innocent in the matter. Though I would be loathed to do so."

Danzou quietly and coldly watched Sarutobi, while mentally, he thought, 'That is your weakness Hiruzen. You are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve victory'.

Sarutobi continued. "The man I sent into Kumo is a recent newcomer to the village. He is a man skilled in the art of assassinations, and he has agreed to work alongside Konoha. He has even offered to train members of the village in his craft, if he finds them worthy. I have already tested his skills, and even without the use of chakra, he is more than a match for most chuunin shinobi in a fight."

The clan heads looked to each other in some surprise. While it was not unheard of civilians being able to best some chuunin ranked shinobi, this was mostly due to years and years of extensive training. Whoever this man was, he must be highly skilled. The only one who seemed unimpressed was Fugaku Uchiha, head of the Uchiha clan and the Konoha Police Force. Which was entirely run by the Uchiha clan, courtesy of the Nidaime Hokage.

At this point, Danzou spoke up. "It is interesting you should bring this man up, Hokage-sama," he said. "I was recently informed that just this morning, an unknown man was seen in the company of one Anko Mitarashi, and the Kyuubi jinchuuriki. I was told that Anko was training him in controlling his chakra, and that the man was actually training the boy Naruto Uzumaki.

There were some angry murmurs amongst the civilians, while the clan heads mostly remained neutral in their expressions. Sarutobi quickly raised a hand for silence, before addressing Danzou. "I assigned Chuunin Mitarashi to teach Raphael-san, for that is his name, how to utilize his chakra, so he might be more effective in helping us. As for Raphael-san training Naruto, I was unaware that he even knew the boy. But what is your concern?"

Danzou lightly tapped the cane he had on the floor. Due to war injuries, Danzou's right eye was wrapped in bandages, his right arm was in a sling, and his left leg had been crippled slightly, making it hard for him to move.

"Hokage-sama, my concern is that an unknown person is interacting with the container of the most powerful biju in the Elemental Nations. He could be manipulating the boy, seeking to turn him against Konoha. Or render the boy useless to us," Danzou said.

The aged Hokage sighed. "I can assure you Danzou-san that none of those things will happen. Raphael-san is unaware of Naruto's status as jinchuuriki, and I and Inoichi-san can personally vouch for his trustworthiness. He is not a threat to anyone in this room unless they make themselves a threat."

Danzou grudgingly backed down, as Sarutobi continued. "We have gotten off topic. The point of this meeting was to discuss the Kumo informant who came with Raphael-san from Kumo. Upon their arrival, I learned of the true identity of our informant," he said, before signaling one of the ANBU at the door.

Said ANBU nodded before opening the door and beckoning the figure outside to enter. In entered a young fifteen year old kunoichi with blonde hair in a braid. She bowed to Sarutobi and the others. "Hokage-sama," she said.

Sarutobi nodded. "This is Yugito Nii, formerly a kunoichi of Kumo and until recently our informant within the walls of Kumo. She is also the jinchuuriki of the Nibi biju."

There were loud exclamations at this, most of them in surprise. A few of the civilians had rather angry and frightened looks, while the shinobi were all tense now. Taking the biju or jinchuuriki from another village, even if they defected, was grounds for war. Even the civilians new that.

One of them, the head of the merchant's guild, spoke up. "Hokage-sama, surely we cannot give her asylum? Kumo will surely demand her back and will try to go to war over her. We barely made peace with them after the Hyuuga Affair," he said.

Sarutobi nodded. "It is true that Kumo will probably demand she be returned. But they will not go to war with us. Raphael-san and Yugito-san here saw to that. I will not say how, but just know that Kumo will not go to war with us."

At this point Hiashi spoke up. "Hokage-sama, surely we cannot trust her? Her village was responsible for the attempted kidnapping of my daughter and the death of my brother. She is more than likely a double agent, here to spy and sabotage before returning to her masters."

Fugaku leaned forward. "Hiashi-san raises a good point. She should be kept within the holding cells of the Uchiha Prison Facility, until we can determine she is not a double agent," he said, while mentally, he thought, 'She will make an excellent weapon to use in the coup. Once she is broken'.

Before anyone else could speak, Killer Intent erupted from the teenage girl, who glared at Hiashi. "I would never serve those bastards!" She said, growling. "You don't know what they put me through. What they did to train me!"

Shikaku sighed. "It's troublesome, but Hiashi raises a good point. How can we trust you, Yugito-san? What made you betray your village?" He asked.

Yugito trembled. "I...it is rather personal," she said quietly. "Can I….can I tell only Hokage-sama? In private?"

The Council looked at each other, before Sarutobi spoke up. "I would ask that Shikaku Nara and Inoichi Yamanaka be allowed to hear as well Yugito-san. I'm sorry, but it is the best way to vouch for you, and allow you asylum in the village."

She nodded quietly, as the trio stood up and led her outside the room. The Council Members looked at each other for several minutes, wondering if what she was talking about with the Hokage could really be that bad.

After about ten minutes, the quarter of people returned. Inoichi and Shikaku both quietly sat down, not saying anything, while Sarutobi sadly looked at Yugito, before sitting down. "I have come to the conclusion that Yugito-san is not a double agent of Kumo. She is in fact heartfelt in her wish to not only seek asylum here in Konoha, but also become a Konoha shinobi. As such, Yugito Nii will undergo one month of as a probationary chuunin, before being made a full chuunin of Konoha. I ask that all the clan heads inform the shinobi members of their clan ranked chuunin and higher of Yugito's status within the village. I will handle the non-clan ninjas. If I find out that anyone leaked Yugito's status to those not authorized to know, they will be imprisoned and executed for betraying village secrets. Understood?" He asked.

Everyone nodded, some grudgingly, as Sarutobi sat back. "Since Yugito will also be a shinobi of the village, I expect that the shops and other business of this village will treat her in a civil and respectable manner. If I hear otherwise, severe consequences will be brought down upon the criminal parties. Dismissed," he said.

Most of the Council left while Yugito was escorted to the Hokage's office to await his orders. However, Danzou quietly approached Sarutobi, wishing to speak with him. "Hokage-sama, I must protest you granting the jinchuuriki asylum. At least without hearing her reasons for betraying her village," he said.

Sarutobi just glared at his old rival. The two had gone through the Academy together, and had been rivals and best friends. But that friendship had become strained during the Second Shinobi War, when the Nidaime Hokage had named Sarutobi the Sandaime Hokage, before sacrificing himself to stop the Kumo shinobi sent to ambush them. As time went on, Danzou had drifted away from the teachings of the Shodai and Nidaime Hokage's, putting him even more at odds with Sarutobi, who was utterly devoted to their teachings. Eventually, the friendship had pretty much dissolved, and now they were on opposite sides of the same board, each believing they knew what was best for Konoha.

Sarutobi finally answered. "Yugito-san's reasons are private, and they are sincere. You will follow my orders Danzou. Is that understood?"

Danzou grudgingly nodded. "Very well Hokage-sama. But perhaps you might hear me out on this then. If you would let me take her or Naruto under my wing, I could properly train them to become powerful weapons to protect Konoha and her interests. We cannot let such opportunities go to waste."

Sarutobi shook his head. "I will not let you turn them into your emotionless puppets Danzou. A jinchuuriki's power comes from their emotions. It's what fuels their ability to utilize their biju's chakra. You would strip away those emotions, and in the process, cripple them of their true potential. And even if I did agree to give you Yugito-san, I would not allow you to sink your claws into the Yondaime's legacy. Do I make myself clear?"

Danzou turned away. "Crystal, Hokage-sama," he said, as he quietly left.

The aged Hokage sighed as he headed to his office. He would need to talk to Raphael. The Assassin needed to know what he was getting into if he was going to train Naruto. Last thing he wanted was for Raphael to hear the wrong thing about the young boy.

Two hours later

Raphael hummed quietly to himself as he went to get a somewhat late lunch. He had trained Naruto in the basics of blocking and deflecting enemy attacks, and had shown him how to punch and kick at his enemy when he was ready to strike back. The way Naruto seemed to normally do it was with wild punches meant more for power than anything else. Raphael had shown him how to punch without over balancing or leaving himself wide open. Anko had then stepped in, and showed Naruto a training post, telling him he could not only practice his attacks on it, but also use it to strengthen the muscles in his arms and legs, causing them to absorb more damage without failing.

Afterwards, Anko had started showing Naruto how to access his chakra, after explaining what it was. Naruto hadn't been able to fully call upon his chakra when Anko told him to stop, but he had started to feel it.

To finish it all up, Raphael had started teaching him the game of chess, something Ezio had all his Assassin recruits do. It taught them to be able to see all the details in a situation, and taught them how to plan ahead. At first there was no time limit, but as each recruit became more proficient, Ezio added in a time limit on how long they could plan each move, forcing them to think and mentally react faster.

Unfortunately, Konoha didn't have any chess sets like Raphael was used to. Instead, they had a game similar to it called Shougi. So Raphael had improvised, using pieces from the Shougi game as replacements for chess pieces, until he could maybe get a set custom made.

Naruto had at first complained about learning how to play what he thought was a boring game. But then Raphael had pointed out that learning to play chess could be very helpful. It would allow him to be able to study his enemies and situations, notice weakness in enemies, and plan things out ahead of time. Which were all very important if he wanted to be a ninja, or got into fights. Afterwards Naruto tried his best to pay attention.

Once they had called it a day, Raphael had arranged to meet Naruto outside that training ground again the next day, to continue his training. For now, he suggested Naruto practice everything they had taught him so far. Naruto nodded and eagerly rushed off to do so, while Anko headed off to relax.

Raphael was just about to enter a small café like place he had found to eat at when he was stopped by an ANBU. "Raphael-san, Hokage-sama wishes to speak with you as soon as possible."

Raphael sighed, figuring whatever it was must be very important, considering the ANBU had said 'as soon as possible'. He nodded to the ANBU and started to head towards the Hokage Tower.

Sarutobi quietly finished signing the last of the paperwork needed to make Yugito Nii a probationary chuunin of Konoha. He set the papers aside, and sat back, thinking about his upcoming meeting. Raphael needed to know what he was getting into, if he ended up continuing to train Naruto. He didn't want the young Assassin to be given incomplete or even incorrect information concerning Naruto.

At that moment, there was a knock on the office door. He let out a breath, as the moment of truth came. "Enter," he said.

Raphael came in, closing the door behind him and bowing. "You summoned me, Hokage-sama?" He asked.

Sarutobi nodded. "Please, take a seat Raphael-san. There's something I wish to discuss."

As Raphael sat down, Sarutobi quietly pulled out a pipe, put some smoking tobacco into it, and lit it. He puffed on it a few times, before speaking. "I understand you started training a young boy today named Naruto Uzumaki."

Raphael blinked at that. "Well, I was starting to train him in some basic fighting stances and such. I met him when he tried to save a young girl form bullies, and I thought he could use the help."

Sarutobi nodded. "And I am not against that. I did not wish to make it seem that way. But rather, I wanted to talk to you about the boy. You see…there is a grave secret about Naruto Uzumaki. Something having to do with the day he was born. And I feel that if you're going to continue to train the boy, and continue to aid Konoha, you'll need to know the truth about him. But first, have any of your lessons with Anko concerning the history of the Elemental Nations covered something called the biju?"

Raphael slowly shook his head. "I'm afraid not, Hokage-sama. What are they?"

Sarutobi took a few moments to collect his thoughts, before he spoke. "Quite simply, the biju are nine masses of sentient chakra that takes the physical form of an animal with multiple tails, denoting its power level. Ancient legends say they were once part of a giant monster known as the Juubi, since the creature had ten tails. However, the creator of all ninjutsu, the Rikudou Sennin (Sage of Six Paths), fought against this terrible creature, and ended up sealing it within himself, becoming what was known as a jinchuuriki. As he neared the end of his life, the Rikudou Sennin ended up splitting the Juubi's chakra into nine separate entities. What he did with the body, we're not sure. But these nine entities spread across the land. As time went on, they were sealed away into people, creating more jinchuuriki's. Now, they're spread throughout the villages. You, in fact, have run into two of them already. One of them is Yugito Nii, who is contained of the Nibi, the Two Tailed Cat."

Raphael's eyes widened. "Naruto…he's the other one containing one of these biju, isn't he?"

Sarutobi nodded. "Indeed. Five years ago, on the night of his birth, the Kyuubi attacked Konoha. My predecessor, the Yondaime Hokage, sealed the Kyuubi within Naruto, asking him to be seen as a hero. Sadly, that has not come to pass. I was forced to pass a law that prevented anyone from speaking of the Kyuubi being sealed into Naruto, without my permission. It was done in a hope that Naruto could have a normal life. But the people ignore or glare at Naruto, saying hateful things they think he or others cannot hear. And they are trying to turn their children against him as well."

Raphael clenched his fists, trembling. "And you were afraid I would do the same?"

Sarutobi sighed. "I was afraid what you might do, if you heard this information from the wrong source. So, what are your intentions?"

Raphael looked down, his hair covering his eyes. "…I'm going to continue to train the boy. I'm going to watch out for him. And if need be…I will take him under my wing and make him an Assassin. No one should have to go through what he is going through."

Sarutobi raised an eyebrow. "You are not afraid of him? He does carry what basically amounts to a demon inside of him."

Raphael growled. "That doesn't make him one!" He shouted, slamming a fist onto the desk.

Sarutobi smiled at that. "Then by all means, Raphael-san. Continue to teach him," he said with a tone of satisfaction and relief in his voice. "I only ask that if you do decide to offer him a place within your Brotherhood, you let him also choose to become a ninja, if he so wishes. And also, please do not speak about this matter to anyone who is not currently chuunin ranked or higher."

The young Assassin nodded quietly. "As you wish, Hokage-sama. May I ask where Naruto lives?" He asked. Sarutobi nodded and gave him directions. With a bow, Raphael left as Sarutobi smiled quietly.

"Take care of him Raphael. He needs people like you," he said softly.

The Next Morning

Raphael sighed quietly as he headed towards Naruto's apartment. It was early in the morning, but he wanted to pick Naruto up, make sure he got a healthy breakfast.

He was walking through a less friendly part of the village. Despite being a shinobi village, the rather large civilian population had given rise to a more dangerous 'red light' district. Here dwelled the thieves, prostitutes, and others of a 'less than preferable' profession. It wasn't exactly the place one would expect to find a child living on their own, though Raphael resolved to come back here later for an alternate reason. Places like this were also the ideal place to make contacts for information. These kinds of people always seemed to know what was going on.

He eventually found Naruto's apartment. It was in the nicest part of this district of the village, in that it was close to a residential district. Raphael made his way up to the floor with Naruto's apartment, before knocking. He didn't hear anything at first, so he knocked again. This time he heard some rapid shuffling and a muffled voice, before footsteps approached the door. Then Naruto's voice came from inside. "W-Who is it?"

Raphael smiled. "It's Raphael," he said simply.

Almost immediately, some unlocks were heard being undone, and Naruto opened the door. "Raphael-sensei! What are you doing here?" He asked.

Raphael smiled. "I came by to make sure you ate a healthy breakfast. That's another part of your training from now on. Eating healthy."

Naruto made a disgusted face. "You mean things like those green plant things?"

Raphael chuckled as he entered. "If you mean vegetables, then yes. But not right now. Now we're going to focus on breakfast," he said, not noticing Naruto's slightly panicked look.

Raphael looked around Naruto's apartment as he entered. It was a small three room apartment. The kitchen and living room were combined into one room, with the bedroom being the second and what looked like a bathroom as the third. Raphael went over to the fridge and opened it, only to find one of the cartons used to hold milk, and three eggs. Raphael blinked before turning to Naruto. "Do you have any food in here?" He asked.

Naruto nodded. "Yeah! The best food ever!" he eagerly opened a cupboard, revealing dozens of cups with paper lids. Raphael picked one up and read it.

"Instant ramen. So…this is all you've got?" He asked.

Naruto looked down a bit, shuffling his foot. "I-It's all I can afford really, with the money Jiji-san gives me."

Raphael sighed quietly, shaking his head. "Alright then. That's what we're going to do after training today. Buy you some real groceries and make sure you get all the types of food you need." He said.

Naruto was about to complain when there was the sound of a door swinging open and what sounded like a small yip or something. Raphael had immediately moved in front of Naruto, hidden blade extended, only to blink in surprise when he saw the source of the noise.

The source of the noise was a small red furred fox kit that was currently laying splayed leg on the floor outside of what looked like a closet in Naruto's room. The animal though had some rather interesting traits that made it different from any fox Raphael had seen. For one it had strange black teardrop markings around its hazel, almost golden eyes. And it had rather long looking ears.

Naruto gasped and rushed over, picking the fox kit up and looking like he was shielding it form Raphael. "P-Please, don't hurt him!" He said.

Raphael raised an eyebrow as he retracted the hidden blade. "Why would I hurt him?" He asked.

Naruto looked down a bit. "B-Because some mean people tried to kill him," he said quietly. "His leg was really hurt, by what looked like a knife. I found him in an alley, so I took care of him. But the people…they don't like foxes. Please…don't tell anyone about him!"

Raphael nodded. "I promise Naruto. I won't tell anyone about him. What's his name?"

The little fox kit, having recovered when Naruto picked him up, began licking Naruto's face, who giggled. "I named him Tomo (Friend). Because he's my friend," he said with a smile.

Raphael grinned. "Well it's a pleasure to meet you Tomo," he said, as he came over and gently held his hand out. The small fox kit hesitantly stuck his nose out and sniffed Raphael's hand, before tentatively licking it. Raphael smiled, as he pulled his hand back.

"Tell you what Naruto. Why don't you bring him along? I'm sure he'd love some fresh air and stuff. And maybe we could get some food for him to?" Raphael suggested. When he saw Naruto's frightened and worried face, Raphael glanced around the apartment before spotting what looked like a small backpack. "You could carry him in that, and no one would see him," he said, pointing to it.

Naruto's eyes widened, and he nodded. "Yeah!" he said, as Tomo yipped excitedly, tail wagging. Naruto grabbed the pack, and Tomo eagerly hopped in, laying down as Naruto mostly closed the backpack save for an open part so Tomo could breathe and see. Then he stood up, putting it on his back.

Raphael grinned at that. "Now let's go. We've got three hungry bellies to feed," he said, as Naruto cheered and followed him out of the apartment. As they stepped outside, Raphael's eyes hardened as he saw a few of the neighbor's glare at Naruto.

'Ignorant souls. Blaming him for something beyond his control,' he thought, before mentally sighing. 'It is as the Creed says. "Nothing is True". What they believe to be true is false. But to them, the truth is false, and their false beliefs are the truth. Such is the way of the world.' He glanced at Naruto, who smiled up at him as they headed down the stairs to the street. 'Naruto, I hope you let me teach you that one day, so that you might better bear the burdens upon you.'

He shook his head of those thoughts as he heard Naruto talk excitedly about training, asking questions. He smiled as he walked with the young boy, his darker thoughts forgotten. Naruto still had time to be young and innocent. Time that he should enjoy. And Raphael would let him have that.

Apartment Complex in Konoha

Yugito sighed as she unpacked what few personal belongings she had brought from Kumo, and placed them around her new home. There wasn't a whole lot. A few books and some clothes, which she put away. But the next pair of items she unsealed made her stop.

Slowly, Yugito pulled out a pair of strange weapons. They both had H shaped grips, with metal basket gauntlets protecting the hands from blows. Extending forward from the gauntlets was a wide pointed blade, about maybe one and a half feet in length.

As she gripped both the handles of the weapons, she pulled back on a trigger handle right above the main grip. As she did, the blades on each weapon separated into three separate blades, before returning to one blade as she released the trigger.

She slowly set the weapons down. They were called katars, and were an ancient weapon design that came from across the ocean to the east. And they had belonged to a man Yugito considered to be a great and powerful ninja. She slowly picked up a picture that had been with the pair of weapons. In it was a much younger version of herself smiling happily as she was held in the arms of a blonde woman with bright green eyes. Next to her was a man with brown hair and dark brown, almost black eyes. Each of them wore ninja attire and had Kumo headbands, and were smiling as well.

Yugito let a single tear drop and hit the picture. "Mom…dad…I'll make you both proud," she whispered quietly, as she hugged the picture to herself.


And scene!

Well, this chapter was annoying to write. I swear, I got up to the part after the Council meeting, and my mind just would not work. I couldn't write that scene at all.

I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. And yes, I gave Yugito tri bladed katars. Someone pointed out that katars would be an excellent weapon for Hinata to use in one of my previous fanfics. But when I thought about it, it just didn't feel right to me. I wasn't sure why, especially considering the fighting style I'll give Hinata in this could maybe utilize katars rather efficiently.

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt this was better suited for someone like Yugito, especially the tri blade design ones. It's fast, efficient, and can resemble cat claws, which Yugito would like considering her tenant.

So, I hope you all like this chapter. I'm a little worried about it, but then again, I'm always worried about anything I write. But guess we'll see what you all think.

Also, pre Happy Birthday to me!

Now please Review! Unless you're going to flame me, at which point, still review, so I can ignore it and simply enjoy seeing the number of reviews go up.