Disclaimer: I do not own anything written in this fan-fic with the exception of my OC characters.

Author's Note: Reviews and comments on how to further improve are appreciated. There will be no yaoi nor will there be any lemons. Enjoy.

Prologue

Roooaaarrrrr!

The Kyuubi roared as it was bombarded by numerous attacks by the Konoha shinobis.

The attacks did little to harm the beast however as it slowly approached the Hidden Leaf Village. With a swipe from its claw, several shinobis were brutally cut down by the demon fox.

As the nine-tailed tailed bijuu let out another terrifying roar, an Anbu wearing a bear mask who was leading the defense against the Kyuubi quickly ordered the medic-nins to take the injured away from the battle. When the last wounded ninja was brought to safety, the Anbu paused for a moment to look at his surroundings and take stock of the situation.

No matter where he looked, he saw the bodies of his fallen comrades strewn all over the battlefield.

The battle was going terribly bad for them.

They had suffered heavy casualties and had been unable to inflict any injury on the beast. Every known strategy and jutsu that they had used did little to tip the battle in their favor. Even the fortifications [1] that had been hastily built had proved to be useless as the Kyuubi had simply smashed them aside with one of its tails or claws. Still, their efforts had not been in vain for while they couldn't defeat the bijuu, they had been successful in delaying it from reaching the village and buying the time needed for the Hokage to devise a solution to defeat the demon fox.

Seeing that the Kyuubi was once more on the move, the Anbu rallied the remaining shinobis that were still capable of fighting.

"Stand fast!" he shouted as they prepared themselves for another attack on the Kyuubi. "We will defend the village with our lives!"

They had been fighting the bijuu for hours now and were all exhausted. Morale among the shinobis was low and with Jiraiya no longer here to support them, any further engagement with the Kyuubi seemed to be futile. Yet, he knew that every one of them would remain steadfast and would defend the village to the very end.

As they attack the Kyuubi once more, the Anbu mentally prayed that the Yondaime has been successful in his attempt to find a way to defeat the bijuu.


-Elsewhere-

While the Konoha ninjas fought a desperate battle, the fourth Hokage was in his office, going through the plan he had came up with in his head.

Both Jiraiya and Hiruzen Sarutobi were also in the office, looking at him with sadness on their faces.

After several hours of research and arduous work, Minato had been able to create a seal that could be used to seal the Kyuubi. He had immediately summoned his sensei and the Sandaime to the office to inspect the seal [2] and after several minutes of inspection, both had agreed that the seal should be able to work. However, both noted that there were two problems with Minato's plan. The first problem was that an infant was needed to be used as a container for the Kyuubi to be sealed into. For this, Minato had decided that he would use his newly born child as the container. He had felt a great sense of despair when he thought about it, knowing full well that he was about to place a heavy burden on his child but he did not see any other choice. He could not bear to drag someone else's child into this. The second problem was that the sealing would cost the Yondaime's life in the process. While the young Hokage did not have any problems with sacrificing himself for the village, it was his family that he was worried about.

How would the people of Konoha view his family especially his child?

For this Minato did not have an answer to and decided that he was going to have to put his trust in the village.

It was then that the three had received news that Minato's wife, Kushina had born him a pair of twins.

Because of this, Minato was currently struggling to decide which of his two children he was going to use to seal the demon fox into. It took him a couple of minutes before he finally decided that he would seal the Kyuubi into his daughter Natsuki.

"Are you absolutely sure about this Minato?" the Sandaime asked. The aged shinobi had been arguing with the Yondaime to let someone else [3] to do the sealing instead for the past few minutes.

"You are young and have a family to take care of. You don't really have to do this."

The fourth Hokage shook his head, determined to carry out his plan. He raised his hand before Sarutobi could speak any further, gesturing to the aged shinobi that he had already made up his mind and there was nothing the third Hokage could do to change it. Realizing that the Yondaime wasn't going to listen to any of his arguments, Sarutobi sighed and nod his head in defeat. Minato gave a sad smile. "I don't like this Sarutobi but it is my duty as Hokage. It is only right that I am the one to do this."

He then clapsed Sarutobi's arm.

"Sarutobi, I want to thank you for everything you've done to help me. It has also been an honour to have served under you," he said in a respectful tone before leaving the office for the hospital where his wife and two children were with a heavy heart.

Jiraiya followed his student but stopped to look at third Hokage.

"Don't worry about me Jiraiya, I'll be fine. Right now, Minato needs someone to support him more than ever."

Jiraiya nodded and went to catch up with Minato.

Seeing that there was no one left in the office, the Sandaime turned to look out at the village from the window of the office. He could see the Kyuubi from here; the massive beast was drawing closer to the village with every passing minute.

The sounds of explosions, shouting and fighting could be easily heard from where he stood.

"You don't have to hide anymore my friend," Sarutobi said without turning away from the sight.

From a dark corner of the office, a brown-haired figure of average height emerged. "It's been a while since we've last met Sarutobi," the mysterious stranger said as he walked towards the aged shinobi.

"Yes, it has indeed been a while," Sarutobi replied before turning to face the stranger. "And it's good to see that you're fine Takito. I'm sorry to have asked you to come all the way here."

Mirikatoji Takito waved his hand dismissively as he stood next to the Sandaime to look at the Kyuubi. "There is no need to be sorry. As a friend, I am always willing to help you. Besides, it wasn't much of a trouble to come here." With the Konoha ninjas' attention fixed on the bijuu, it didn't take much of an effort for him to enter the village undetected. Sarutobi nodded, feeling guilty that he was about to entrust his friend with a huge responsibility.

"Takito, I have two important favors to ask from you," the Sandaime stated with a weary voice. "I am planning to replace Minato for the sealing so I need you to help protect me during the sealing." Seeing that his friend was waiting for an explanation, the aged shinobi continued. "I know that Minato said that he would be the one to perform the sealing but I have already made up my mind. I am old, Takito and I have only a few more years left in me. Minato on the other hand has a family to take care of and a future ahead of him. He doesn't have to sacrifice his life today."

Takito nodded his head although the third Hokage could tell that his friend wasn't exactly pleased with his decision. "As for my second favor …" the old man sighed. "Takito, I want you to look after Minato's son Naruto for me."

There was a long silent moment before the ninja finally spoke. "Why?"

Sarutobi took a deep breath before explaining.

"Just a few days ago, I've had a strange dream. I had a dream of a great war that will engulf the entire Elemental Countries. This war will take place years from now and will determine the fate of the continent and everyone in it. And in my dream … I saw a young shinobi in the midst of the war who looked almost like Minato himself. At first, I thought that it was only a dream. But then, I started to have the same dream every night since then until today. After giving some thought about it, I believed that the young shinobi is none other than Minato's son Naruto and that his choices will affect the outcome of the war."

Takito frowned at the third Hokage's words but decided to continue listening.

"Takito, I won't be alive by tonight so I won't be able to watch over Naruto. My friend, I want you to promise me that you will look after Naruto and ensure that the boy will grow up to become a fine shinobi. I know that you dislike Konoha for several reasons … which I can understand but I need you to do this for me."

Takito closed his eyes, deep in thought for a while before he came to a decision.

"Very well. I may not like this Sarutobi but I promise you that I will look after the boy."

Sarutobi gave a sad smile. "Thank you my friend."

The Sandaime then took one last look around the office, remembering his days as Hokage. Now that his worries had been put to rest, there was only one thing left to do.

"Are you ready Takito?" he asked.

Takito nodded his head solemnly in reply and the Sandaime disappeared in swirl of leaves while the other did so in a black mist.


-Konoha Hospital-

Roooaaarrrrr!

'Argh, won't that damned beast just shut up!' Tsunade thought as the two newborn children started crying.

She could easily hear the beast roaring from here, which meant that the Kyuubi should have already reached the gates of the village.

The sannin was in charge of watching over Minato's wife, Kushina who was feeling weak after giving birth to her children. The hospital staff and medic-nins were too busy treating the wounded civilians an ninjas that were filling the hospital at an increasing rate. Due to the lack of space, every room in the hospital had to accommodate at least several people. Throughout the entire hospital, one would be assaulted by the stench of blood and would only be able to hear the moans and painful screams of the wounded. Only the room which Kushina and Tsunade were currently in remained an exception.

"Shhh, everything is going to be okay. Daddy is going to stop the beast from hurting us, Naruto, Natsuki," Kushina said as she comforted her babies in her arms.

Tsunade was quiet as her friend sang a lullaby for the two babies who stopped crying. Naruto and Natsuki looked exactly like their father and mother respectively. Their names were something that Minato and Kushina had agreed on depending on the gender of their newly born child. No one had ever expected that the couple were going to have a pair of twins.

Hearing the sound of footsteps behind her, she turned to see both Minato and Jiraiya entering the room. Judging from the grim look on their faces, she knew that things weren't looking good.

As Jiraiya went to stand next to Tsunade, Minato walked over to his wife and newborn children.

His steps felt heavy as though his legs were chained to a metal ball. Forcing himself to smile, he spoke. "Hello Kushina, how are you and the children doing?"

Kushina gave a weak smile in return. "I'm feeling weak but Tsunade here says that I'm just tired. Naruto and Natsuki here are fine."

"Good … good …" Minato muttered before looking at his children.

The sight of both Naruto and Natsuki in his wife's arms brought a smile to his face as he saw how alike his children looked to both him and Kushina. For a moment, all his troubles were washed away with the thought of his family being the only thing in his head. Then, his smile was gone as he remembered the reason for coming here and was brought back to reality.

Knowing that he was about to reveal the bad news, he struggled to find the right words.

"Kushina … there's something that I need to tell you." Seeing his wife looked at him worriedly, he continued. "I've found a way to stop the Kyuubi but …"

"But what Minato? What's wrong?"

Taking a deep breath, he began explaining his plan to Kushina whose eyes widened in panic. "No. Please you can't do this. I'm begging you, not after everything that we've went through."

"Please Kushina, I need to do this. There isn't any other way," Minato said, his voice trembling as he struggled to hold back his feelings.

He tried to take Natsuki which only served to make her more hysterical. "No! I won't let you have her! Anything but our children!" she screamed, pulling her children closer to her chest. "Then what do you want me to do!" Minato shouted in frustration. "If there was any other way, I would have chosen it! There's just no other way Kushina. And if I don't do this, the damned Kyuubi is going to destroy the entire village," he said as tears streamed down his face. Minutes later, Minato came out of the room, holding Natsuki gently in his arms with Jiraiya behind him. He looked as though he had aged several years. Back in the room, Tsunade was doing her best to comfort the tearful Kushina. As Jiraiya and Minato walked out of the hospital, the Yondaime spoke. "Sensei … am I doing the right thing?"

Jiraiya was quiet for a few seconds before he replied. "I don't know if you're doing the right thing Minato but I know that you're doing the best you can for the village."

"Thanks sensei," Minato replied.

"Minato, do you need me to help you out with the Kyuubi? Jiraiya asked. Minato shook his head. "No sensei, I can do this. Kushina needs your help more than I do. Goodbye sensei." The Yondaime then began running towards the Kyuubi, leaving behind the toad sannin who stood watching his student leave. "Goodbye Minato. I wish you the best of luck," Jiraiya muttered before heading back into the hospital to help Tsunade comfort Kushina.

He failed to notice the two figures that had begun to follow his student.


-Battlefield-

Upon reaching the battlefield, the Yondaime was greeted by Bear who was clutching his wounded arm.

"Hokage-sama!" Bear stated as he proceeded to kneel before the Hokage buy was stopped by the Yondaime. "Bear, how is everyone doing?" Minato asked just as the Kyuubi let out another roar. "Terrible Hokage-sama. Our attacks were unable to hurt the bloody beast and only serve to annoy it. Most of the ninjas are tired their spirits are low but we can still continue fighting Hokage-sama."

Minato nodded his head in understanding. "I understand Bear. You and the others have done more than I could ever ask for. I have a plan to defeat the beast and I need you to pull all of our forces back."

"Hai." Bear gave a salute before jumping off to inform the other ninjas of the Yondaime's order.

Seeing that he was alone once more, Minato was about to summon Gamabunta when a voice called out to him from behind. Turning his head, he was surprised to see that it was the Sandaime in shinobi gear approaching him.

"Sarutobi, what are you doing here?"

He failed to notice Takito who sneaked up from behind and delivered a quick chop to his neck. [4]

Takito then caught the unconscious Yondaime and took Natsuki from his hands.

"Forgive me Minato but I cannot allow you to sacrifice your life tonight," Sarutobi said as his friend dropped the fourth Hokage onto the ground.

The Sandaime then summoned Enma the Monkey King who appeared in a puff of white smoke.

"Sarutobi, what's going on? Why is the Yondaime unconscious on the ground? And why do I sense the Kyuubi nearby?" Enma asked, concerned by the look on Sarutobi's face.

"I'm sorry Enma but I need you to help me to distract the Kyuubi while I attempt to seal it away. There isn't much time so I'll explain everything to you on the way," Sarutobi said as he took the baby from Takito.

With that, the three immediately headed in the direction of the Kyuubi.

As they got closer to their destination, Sarutobi was filled with grief when he was borne witness to a scene he had often seen in the previous wars. A number of the civilians had been caught in the battle when the Kyuubi had reached the village. Many of them were wounded, their clothes ripped to shreds with various wounds all over their bodies as they struggled to get to safety. Some just remained where they were, clutching their dead relatives and friends, oblivious to everything around them. Natsuki began to cry loudly as she felt the Kyuubi's chakra and Sarutobi wanted to comfort her but knew he had to concentrate on the coming battle. By the time he had finished explaining everything to Enma, the three had reached the area where the Kyuubi was.

"Alright Sarutobi, I won't last long against the Kyuubi but I'll try my best," Enma said before charging at the demon fox. After gaining the Kyuubi's attention, he began jumping around, avoiding every attack by the bijuu and striking back whenever there was an opening to keep it focused on him. Seeing that the Kyuubi was now occupied with Enma, Sarutobi placed Natsuki on the ground and began drawing the seal designed by Minato on Natsuki's stomach. He concentrated on drawing the seal, ignoring everything around as the slightest mistake in drawing the seal would spell doom for the entire village. But as the Sandaime went into the final phase, the Kyuubi suddenly lost interest in fighting Enma as though it had sensed something that could threaten it. [5] Looking around, the Kyuubi spotted the two ninjas and straightaway realized what was going on.

Ignoring Enma's attacks, the Kyuubi gathered its chakra into a large ball of energy and launched it at them.

Immediately, Takito placed his hands onto the ground and the shadows around him gathered to form a massive thick wall. Upon contact, the wall was instantly vaporized by the sheer power of the attack but both ninjas remained unharmed.

Quickly, the Kyuubi prepared to launch another energy ball, this one even larger than before but was disrupted by Enma who in a desperate attempt smacked the fox's head with his staff. "Sarutobi! Hurry up! I can't hold it much longer!" Enma shouted before he was knocked aside by one of the bijuu's tails and was dispelled. The battle had been decided however as Sarutobi had finished drawing the seal and was flashing through the required handsigns. As the last handsign was completed, a bright flash of light occurred. Everyone in the area was blinded for a moment and all they could hear was the loud and terrifying roar of the Kyuubi.

When the light was gone, Takito saw that the Kyuubi was gone. He turned to look at Sarutobi, only to find that the aged shinobi had collapsed onto the ground and rushed to kneel beside him. "Sarutobi! Can you hear me? Say something for Kami's sake!" he said as he held the dying shinobi in his arms. Sarutobi opened his eyes weakly to see his friend.

"Takito … is that you?" he muttered.

"Yes."

"Is it over?"

Taking a careful look around, Takito was sure that the nine-tailed bijuu was no longer around. Natsuki was crying and he could sense another set of chakra in her which he instantly recognized it as the Kyuubi's. "The demon is sealed Sarutobi, you've done it." Takito answered as he turned to look back at the Sandaime. Sarutobi smiled warmly as he closed his eyes. "Good … Takito, remember the promise you gave me."

"I have not forgotten about it. You can rest now my friend."

"Thank you," the aged shinobi muttered before turning to look up at the sky. "My sons … forgive me for this … Biwako … I'm coming."

He drew one last breath before going limp in Takito's arms.

Hiruzen Sarutobi, the third Hokage of Konoha, known by many as the God of the Shinobi and The Professor have passed away.

Laying Sarutobi to the ground, Takito remained in his position, staring at the man whom he considered to be his closest friend. The sounds of thunder rang and soon, it started raining. It seemed as though the heavens too were mourning the passing of a great man. Finally, Takito stood up as he sensed several presences approaching his location. When Minato and the other Konoha ninjas reached the place where the Kyuubi once was, they saw the third Hokage lying on the ground with Natsuki beside him. Minato went over to check his daughter. Seeing that his daughter was alright and the seal was working fine, he walked over to the Sandaime's body with Natsuki in his arms.

'He wanted me to have the chance to raise my kids.' Minato thought sadly as he looked at the deceased Sandaime. He should have known that the Sandaime wanted to replace him for the sealing. Why else would the aged shinobi try to persuade him from performing the sealing then? As he calmed his daughter, he promised himself that he would do his best to make the Sandaime's dreams of peace throughout the Elemental Countries a reality. It was the least he could do for the third Hokage who had done so much for everyone in the village and had made the ultimate sacrifice just for him to have a chance to raise his family.

An Anbu wearing a dog mask came and interrupted his thoughts.

"Hokage-sama, the Kyuubi is nowhere to be seen. What are your orders?"

"I see …" Minato said. "Dog, I want you to organize several parties to search for any unfortunate victims caught in the Kyuubi's attack. I also want the Sandaime's body to be brought back immediately," he told Dog who nodded solemnly before jumping away.

Turning to look at Natsuki, he smiled. "Natsuki, let's go back home."

He then began to walk back to the hospital where his wife and son awaited him.

It may have been a victory for the forces of Konoha but a costly one. Too many lives had been lost today for anyone to be happy.


-Hours later-

Takito sat on the ruins of one of the many destroyed buildings, watching the people of Konoha cheer for the Yondaime and his family from afar.

After the successful sealing of the nine-tailed bijuu, he had proceeded to secretly aid the Konoha shinobis to search for survivors of the aftermath.

A massive funeral was then held for the lives lost in the invasion but he chose not to attend as he didn't like the large crowds of people.

Then, the time came for the Hokage to reveal his daughter's burden.

Much to his surprise, the people didn't think of Natsuki as a demon but rather as a heroine of the village. Considering his experiences with jinchurikis, he had expected the former to happen. Was this why Sarutobi had always asked him to give the village a second chance? That the people of Konoha still had some good in themselves? Then again, Natsuki was the Yondaime's daughter and therefore someone of importance.

Deciding that he had seen enough, the ninja jumped down from the ruins into a dark alley.

Making sure that nobody had noticed him, he quietly left the area and headed straight to the place where the funeral had taken place. Seeing that there were a few people about, he used a genjutsu to change his looks [6] and walked up to the coffin which held the deceased Sandaime. Takito stood at the coffin, staring at the man whom he had trusted and fought side by side with for years, ignoring the fact that he was soaked wet and that the weather had become cold. An hour or so passed before he left the place to search for a hotel or inn in the village that had survived the destruction. Konoha had been greatly weakened by the attack and there was no doubt that its enemies would take advantage of this. The Hidden Leaf Village would definitely be busy in its recovery from tomorrow onwards.

His thoughts then wandered to the promise he had made to his friend.

What was his friend thinking?

Surely the boy Naruto would grow up to become a fine shinobi under the guidance of his own parents?

Had the third Hokage foreseen something he did not?

And why him of all people? Considering his ugly past with this village, he should have been the last person to be chosen for this task.

He had wanted to question the old man's decision back at the office, even refuse the Sandaime but for some unexplainable reason had held himself from doing so. To be honest, Takito was tempted to leave Konoha for good and never return at all. Nevertheless, he had made a promise and he intends to keep it. This meant however that he was going to have to stay in the village in order to watch over the Yondaime's son. Furthermore, he was going to have to set up a place to stay om the village and create a new identity so that the villagers wouldn't recognize him.

That however was something that he would think of tomorrow as he was feeling tired.

As he continued to search for a place to rest, little did Takito realized that he would be playing a crucial role in determining the fate of the Elemental Countries and those within it.


-Explanations-

[1] - In this story, Konoha had gotten news of the Kyuubi a day or two from its arrival. Being confident after having won the recent war and with little experience on how to handle a bijuu invasion, some of the Konoha ninjas decided to use their experiences from the third war to build simple fortifications in hopes of providing some cover to themselves. This include simple barriers, covers and shelters located away from the expected battlefield for the ninjas to retreat temporary during the battle.

[2] - In this story, the Kyuubi has never been sealed before. Even though Minato may be a fuinjutsu master, it is his first attempt in sealing a bijuu. Adding the fact that the Kyuubi is the most powerful bijuu of the nine, it would be safe and sensible for him to consult with the other fuinjutsu masters about his seal. After all, if the seal fails to seal the Kyuubi into Natsuki, Konoha is practically screwed as the Kyuubi won't give a second chance for Minato to seal it again.

[3] - Sarutobi attempted to persuade Minato to let someone else to do the sealing first so that he wouldn't need Takito to come in and knock the Yondaime unconscious or help protect him during the sealing as other Konoha ninjas can do that. Sarutobi knew that he cannot ask the other Konoha ninjas to do so (the knocking unconscious and protect him) if Minato disagreed as there is a chance that they would obey the fourth Hokage and refuse instead. Sarutobi also knew that if he called Takito to help with this, there was a risk that his friend might get discovered by the village.

If Minato had agreed, Sarutobi would only tell Takito about his second favor. Sarutobi said 'someone else' instead of 'him' because if he asked Minato to let him to do the sacrifice, both Minato and Jiraiya wouldn't allow that considering that they respected him and everything he's done for Konoha as the third Hokage. Sarutobi was planning to take the opportunity and perform the sealing himself when the moment is right if Minato had agreed.

[4] - Some of you readers might be wondering why Minato was unable to sense Takito considering that he is one of the most powerful ninjas. First, he was tired from working for hours researching and was depressed by the incident at the hospital and as a result, his senses are affected. Second, he was surprised by Sarutobi's presence and was distracted. Lastly, Takito is no average ninja.

[5] - In the old fanfic, the Kyuubi immediately realizes what was going on despite being distracted by Enma. Thus, I decided to make a slight change in this fanfic. Although the Kyuubi was distracted by Enma, it was powerful enough to sense something was wrong when Sarutobi was nearly finished with the seal.

[6] - In the old fanfic, Takito went straight to the coffin, ignorant of the fact there the few people might recognize him. As such, he is now a more cautious person in this fanfic.


-Author's Note-

Well, that's it for the prologue. Those who have read the previous fanfic would probably notice that Takito is now slightly less talkative.

There wasn't really much in the prologue that I felt that I need to change.

As for the explanation section, I'm going to use it in all my fanfics to explain a certain situation that cannot be described in the story itself. This is so that I won't have to write it here in the author's note section or private message to some people every time. From now on, the author's note is going to be used for news related to updating the fanfic and anything else about it.

Anyways, the plotline is pretty much going to be the same; Naruto will defect to Kirigakure and Fem. Haku will be used for the pairing. Like I said before, the rewritten version is going to be slightly more realistic, slightly more detailed and a few changes in the characters and in certain situations. Also, I have decided to stop using italics as someone has said that he/she didn't like it. The reason why I was using it previously is because I feel comfortable when writing using italics. Strange perhaps but that was the case for me. Therefore, I have decided to use italics first and convert it all to normal when posting a chapter.

Each rewritten chapter would take a few days to finish and when I resumed from where I stopped during the previous fanfic, I will definitely try to finish it faster than the usual 2 to 3 months. I will also no longer stop if there are problems with the fanfic. From now on, I will continue straight on till the end.

Other than that, I have decided that I will divide this entire story into two or three books. While I am still unsure of how much of the story each book will have, the current fanfic will be on Naruto's training to the civil war in Kirigakure before ending after Orochimaru's invasion of Konoha.

Let's not get too ambitious after all.

Anyways, it's time for me to get started on the next chapter.

If there is anything that you readers feel that you do not like about the way this fanfic is being written or have any questions to ask, feel free to mention them in your reviews.

Thank you for your reviews and for reading this story.