BIRTH OF THE FOREST
Namikaze Minato, the Yondaime Hokage, drew upon the last of his chakra as he and his wife gazed at their beloved son. The Sandaime and his squad looked at the tragic scene with tears flowing down their eyes.
"FUUINJUTSU: SHIKI FUUIN!"
The death god materialized behind Minato. The fourth looked at his son's face with bottomless regret as he and his wife spoke their last words to their son.
He looked at Sarutobi, "keep him safe, Sandaime. He is a hero of the leaf, and must be treated as such. Promise me!"
Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Sandaime Hokage, nodded solemnly. "I promise"
Minato released chakra.
The Kyuubi's Yang chakra was sealed into little Naruto. The Yin chakra was in the process of being sealed into the Shinigami, but Minato was faltering. A bit of the Yin chakra was sealed into young Naruto as well. Minato's face grew anguished. Kushina had already passed out, but he could still feel her life force faintly.
He would not let his son be tainted by the fox's malice. Drawing on the power of the seal, he tried to pull out the Yin chakra sealed in Naruto forcibly, but to his horror he was drawing out Naruto's soul as well.
Hastily he released the sealing technique and Naruto's soul snapped back into its body. The seal was somewhat changed from the traditional reaper death seal.
He looked at the Sandaime one last time, and secured the SHIKI FUUIN with the Eight Trigram Seal. It would allow Naruto the Kyuubi's chakra with purification. He felt himself fading into darkness.
"Good luck, Naruto"
The protective dome wavered and the Sandaime rushed in to gather Naruto in his arms.
"Kushina-sama is alive, Sandaime-sama!"
The Sandaime felt relief on hearing this. The child would not be alone.
"Get her to the medics, NOW! I will take Naruto myself!"
The consequences of this day's events would be beyond comprehension.
THIRTEEN YEARS LATER
Uzumaki Naruto was currently bored. So bored in fact that he had his head lying comfortably upon his desk, drooling on to the floor: A clear indication that he was drifting off to sleep.
Naruto was predictably reaching for one of the multiple bowls of miso ramen floating around in his dreamland. His drooling increased to what one might call gross levels and he let out a rather happy snore. The food of the gods….
Naruto was rudely awakened from his fantasy land and excitably jumped onto the table. He looked around energetically before fixing his gaze upon the one jutsu dreaded by all academy students.
Iruka-sensei's demonic giant head jutsu.
"NARUTO, YOU INATTENTIVE LITTLE BRAT! TELL ME, WHY WAS SENJU HASHIRAMA THE MOST FEARED NINJA ON THE BATTLEFIELD OF THE FIRST WAR?"
Naruto scratched his head…"Well, he could do a lot of powerful jutsus?"
A tic mark appeared on Iruka's visage. The class sniggered at Naruto, Kiba Inuzuka taking particular pains to mock the dead last.
"Idiot! He could do a lot of powerful jutsu..." he mocked in a singsong voice.
"SHUT UP DOGGY!" Naruto yelled. Iruka blew up yet again: "QUIET!"
Unsurprisingly the class quieted down. "Naruto, you will read up on the Shodai Hokage and give us all a detailed presentation on his life tomorrow, without fail. Do you understand?"
Naruto scowled. "Yes, sensei". People really did not understand. How was he to read history without books, and how was he to get books without a library? They always refused to entertain "demons" in the village. They always called him demon.
His musings were interrupted by Iruka calling for the class to follow him for meditation exercises.
He distractedly followed the rest of the class. Once they were all assembled, Iruka asked them to place a leaf upon their forehead and concentrate upon it and it only. He said it would help them later in controlling chakra.
"Hey Forehead, I guess you won't have any worries of the leaf falling off your forehead, will you?"
Naruto scoffed mentally at Ino and Sakura's bickering over "Sasuke-kun". He had seen two graduating classes come and go, and this class was by far the worst to him. Sasuke the emo had turned away his friendship offer with harsh words. Sakura and Ino, intent on pleasing broody, had always shot him down.
Hinata fainted whenever he was within three feet of her. Hah! The other two batches were okay, compared to this one.
He would have passed out with them too, if not for the Bunshin technique that needed to be demonstrated at the exams. Unfortunately, he always produced a sickly version of himself that looked ready to die. Thus he had endured in the academy as a failure, a dobe.
Sasuke always reminded him of being a dobe, along with Kiba. Anger filled him as he thought of the multiple taunts he had endured, and the pointed glares he had received from the townsmen. Everyone seemed to hate him, and he did not know why.
"Concentrate, Naruto!" Iruka snapped at him.
Sighing, Naruto focused his attention upon the leaf on the centre of his forehead. It was hard for him to remain still. No matter what others thought of him, he tried his best in the classes never slacking off. He would command their respect in the end, no matter what.
He closed his eyes and focused upon the leaf. It felt nice…and calm. He showed himself to be a loudmouth and prankster for just one purpose only: to forget his childhood angst. If he kept thinking of his beatings and mistreatment he would surely go mad.
He had no happy memories, so he staved off his life's misery with pranks and such. Shrugging off his melancholy, he focused again. As usual, he felt the chakra of everyone in the room…he concentrated even more, and he could feel it.
Calm and flowing. It was chakra, undoubtedly. But it felt so very different from his own. This felt powerful yet peaceful, intimidating but soothing. He felt connected to everybody. He could even feel the emotions of people around him.
His always hyper agitated mind felt calm for the first time, and he loved this feeling. He calmly let a dopey smile show on his face.
Naruto lazily opened his eyes.
"What, Iruka-sensei? That felt so nice and you had to break me –"
"What were you doing Naruto? There was blue chakra coming out of your body…"
"Huh, there was? I felt so good…I could feel what all of you felt, and their chakras."
Iruka's eyes bugged out. "Tell me then Naruto, what was I feeling?"
"Proud yet frustrated. Sasuke here was frustrated yet angry. Sakura was…eager and…horny? Ino was-"
"ENOUGH NARUTO!" Iruka said a tinge of pink in his cheeks. "You will accompany me to Hokage-sama's office right now. Rest of the class is dismissed for the day. Go on, time is almost up anyway."
With a giant cheer the class ran to the door but the angry Sakura rushed at Naruto with her fist cocked.
Sakura reached Naruto and swung her fist. Much to the surprise of the entire class, Naruto ducked calmly even without looking causing Sakura to barrel into the desk and yell out in pain.
The class was silent. Naruto had dodged that punch even without looking as if he had eyes in the back of his head.
"HAHAHAHAHA!" Naruto was laughing pointing at Sakura who was crying. The class too broke out in smiles, even emo's mouth twitched a bit.
Sakura gave Naruto a nasty glare and left sniffling. The class was empty at last with only Naruto and Iruka in it.
"How did you dodge that punch, Naruto?" Iruka asked curiously.
"Oh I could feel that she was angry with me, and her chakra was getting nearer and nearer. And I know exactly how she punches. So it was easy for me to dodge her..."
Iruka looked impressed and beckoned him to follow to the Hokage's office. Naruto followed easily.
God he felt so much better after the leaf meditation thing. It was like he could feel the chakra of everyone within sight and their feelings to a certain degree.
He could feel so many presences and their emotions as he proceeded towards the old man's office. Iruka knocked on the door and the old man's voice asked them to come in.
"Ah, Naruto! Iruka! To what do I owe this pleasure?"
Naruto however closed his eyes and extended his senses as he had done in the leaf exercise. Four chakras. One felt like a raging fire, two felt like water and the last felt like lightning. They all seemed bored yet aware, but the old man's chakra felt huge, like an ocean. He opened his eyes and looked at the old man in awe…
"Old man, I never knew you were so strong…"
The Hokage shot Iruka a questioning look.
"Ah, Hokage-sama that is what I am here to talk about. It seems Naruto here has uncovered a very strong sensory ability during the leaf focus exercise. He could feel the even the emotions of the people in the room along with chakra…"
The Hokage looked astonished at Naruto. "Well Naruto, what am I feeling?"
"Um…proud, surprised, and anxious?"
"Can you feel anything or anyone else, Naruto?"
"Yeah…I can feel four other chakras in this room. One feels like fire, two like water and the last like lightning and they all seem bored but alert."
Sarutobi looked stunned, as did Iruka. "It seems you can sense natures as well, Naruto. This is an unexpected development. We need to test out the limits of this ability of yours. Close your eyes…"
Naruto closed his eyes.
"Now focus like you did in the leaf exercise. Keep your mind calm and try to imagine yourself as the leaf. You are floating on the wind…calmly…no anger…no emotions…just…"
Naruto followed the instructions of the old man diligently. The Hokage's voice was hypnotic and calmed down his semi agitated mind. He was the leaf…
Bright blue chakra exploded around Naruto. He could sense so many people. The feelings were so intense that he tuned them out. There were so many chakras in Konoha, but none were as strong as the old man, but a few came close.
"Now Naruto, can you tell me what the chakra of the people near the north gate feel like?"
Naruto could visualize Konoha in his mind's eye. Casting his senses in the north direction, he glimpsed the gate. There were two chakras there. They were incredibly bored, and one felt like water and the other like fire.
Opening his eyes, he said as much to the fire shadow.
The old man nodded slowly.
"This is a very rare ability you have there Naruto. It is called the sensory ability, and you seem to have an extremely strong one. To sense even natures and emotions…you are the second person I have seen could do that."
Naruto looked excited. "Who was the first, old man? Tell me. TELL ME!"
Sarutobi chuckled. "It was my first sensei, Senju Hashirama. You know him as the Shodai Hokage. He had a special chakra that allowed him to sense like you do."
At this Sarutobi's eyes narrowed in thought. There was no reason for Naruto to have sensory abilities. True, Minato had the sensory abilities of the second, but that was not even close to the versatility of Naruto's ability. Naruto had both range and sense. The botched sealing of the fox came to his mind.
Sighing he reached for one of the many scrolls stored in his desk.
"Listen carefully, Naruto. The ability you have should not go untrained. It can be a major asset for the village to have a sensor of your calibre. So to further your ability, I am giving you this scroll. It is a documentation of sensory skills penned by Hashirama-sensei himself. Here you might find ways of training your ability. Treat this carefully and keep it secret."
Flabbergasted, Naruto received the scroll with reverence. A scroll written with the First Hokage's own hands!
"Thank you, old man. I will become the best sensor in Konoha, believe it!" Naruto said excitedly.
"I know you will, Naruto. Now run along…"
Naruto walked out of the building cradling the scroll to his chest closely.
Naruto unfurled the scroll carefully, restraining his excitement. His excitement dropped down considerably when he saw only a small paragraph on the scroll.
Calm your mind, focus upon nature. Extend the sense inward, not outward. Enter your subconscious and face yourself. To be one with nature is to be one with yourself. The balance of yin and yang is the balance of Chakra in nature. This is called Harmony.
What did this even mean? Naruto was getting very frustrated with the cryptic scroll. He decided to continue with what the Sandaime had taught him.
Closing his eyes, he calmed himself as he did before. Again, he could feel the chakras around him. There were two chakras near his apartment that were large and felt like fire, both of them. Shelving his anger at being watched, he continued with his sensory exercises.
It was the same as before. What was he doing wrong?
Extend the sense inward, not outward…
He tried to sense his own chakra and was able to do so faintly. He tried even more, and he was astonished. There seemed to be three chakras flowing in his body. One felt like pure malice, all anger and hate, the second chakra felt familiar and comfortable like it was truly his own, but the third…the third chakra felt soothing but so strong. So potent. It felt like the opposite of the first. If anything, it felt like leaves, earth and trees.
He could feel this very chakra all around him and it was steadily flowing into his body. The second familiar chakra was fading fast and was being replaced by the soothing strong chakra. He delved deeper into his very nature and blacked out.
Naruto woke up in what seemed to be a sewer with bad lighting and water up to his knees. He groggily followed the passage which opened to a cell with bars so high and large that its end was not visible.
The doors of the cell were secured by a single piece of paper with "SEAL" written on it.
He peered behind the cell curiously feeling unfathomable amounts of chakra behind it. It felt malicious and full of hatred beyond human comprehension. His mind almost shut down in response.
"Hello?" he called out weakly.
What seemed to be a mass of darkness opened two glowing red eyes and stared at him.
A deafening roar came out of the darkness, causing Naruto to backpedal frantically and fall on his ass. The glowing red eyes focused upon his own:
"HAHAHAA! THAT WAS FUNNY! REALLY, IT WAS! THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE! YOU LOOKED LIKE A KID WHO HAD THE STUFFING SCARED OUT OF HIM..!"
The darkness behind the cell came to light, revealing a sniggering giant fox. Naruto stared dumbfounded at this surreal sight. Then something else registered in his mind.
The fox had nine tails.
"KYUUBI!" he yelled, pointing at the fox accusingly.
The fox stopped his sniggering and inspected the human child in front of him.
"YEAH, THAT'S ME KID. I KNEW YOU WERE WAY SMARTER THAN YOU LET ON. NO NEED TO FREAK OUT. BY THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE, I GUESS YOU HAVE LOTS OF QUESTIONS. TO ELIMINATE THE MORE OBVIOUS ONES; WE ARE CURRENTLY IN YOUR MIND. WHEN YOU TRIED TO TRACE MY CHAKRA, YOU ENDED UP HERE. AND YES, THE ANGRY CHAKRA IS MINE. AND NO, THE SOOTHING CHAKRA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME THOUGH IT IS SOOTHING…"
Naruto looked at the weird self-proclaimed Kyuubi in front of him and sweat dropped.
"Aren't you supposed to be an evil fox that threatens people and kills them for fun, and how are you in my mind?"
Kyuubi looked amused. "Fine, let us begin at that point. Listen carefully, kid. Before I ended up in your cracked sewer of a mind, I was pretty normal alright. No random rampages, though those are rather fun. I have near infinite chakra, but do you think I keep blowing things up forever? That is just hilarious!"
Naruto had to give the fox that point. "But why are you in my mind?" he asked.
"I was put in a Genjutsu by a man I would gladly kill but sadly cannot. This Genjutsu awoke my bloodlust and allowed him to direct my anger towards the village. I went on a rampage killing many ninja, before the Yondaime Hokage confronted me and sealed me up in a new born baby, you"
Naruto was crushed. He could hardly think from the grief that filled his heart. His beloved fourth Hokage was the one that condemned him to a life full of misery and pain? Rage filled his heart as he thought of the numerous beatings, tortures and neglect he had received from the villagers. Why was it him? why? why? WHY?
"He had reasons kid, and I will tell you those reasons if you will do something for me"
Naruto looked at the Kyuubi with grief filled eyes. "What do you want?"
"Look around this place. Can you see the cracks everywhere?"
Naruto could indeed see the cracks, spider webbing everywhere. The place looked like it was about to fall apart, but still held firm. The cracks seemed to radiate the same soothing chakra he had felt.
"Yes I can see it."
"Good. Let me explain to you what seals are briefly. Seals are constructs that allow extreme manipulation and programming of chakra, they are expressions of the mind. Your Yondaime sealed me in with an extremely powerful one. But something went wrong with the sealing, which is all I can remember. The cracks in this place indicate that there exists another aspect beneath this layer of the seal. Now, all you have to do is continue to try and sense only the nature chakra flowing through your body. Got that? Do that and I will be able to see just what it is that lies beneath this layer that allows me to get calm so fast."
Naruto easily deduced that the calming potent chakra flowing through him was the nature chakra Kyuubi spoke of. His agitated mind sought the refuge of that chakra automatically. He focused upon the nature chakra and it alone. His mind calmed down fast and he could feel it building in his body. It was dominating the other two chakras. He dimly got the sensation that the Kyuubi was smiling peacefully. Shaking off his thoughts at such weirdness, he focused even more. The enormous chakra of the Kyuubi was side lined till he could barely feel it and the familiar chakra which was probably his own was fading away.
With a final rush, all of his own chakra was replaced by the nature chakra.
He could feel his body adapting to the new chakra, the network enormously changing to accommodate its new fluid. Wondrously, he felt little pain. It was as if his already formidable resilience and healing were magnified tenfold by the nature chakra.
He felt complete.
If he thought he could sense well before, it was nothing compared to what he could do now…
He could sense everything. It was more reliable than his eyes, ears and smell. He could sense chakra and emotions to an acute level. Hell, he could even sense the wind caressing his body, the blissful moisture in the air and even the earth for miles and miles and all those connected to it.
He opened his eyes and saw the smiling Kyuubi in its cell. His 'mind' as the Kyuubi put it was now almost covered with cracks and the water in the sewer was rushing chaotically in a rage.
He had never felt this calm or strong before, his mind felt so clear and his thoughts so fluid.
"Now what, Kyuubi?"
The Kyuubi smiled beatifically. " Kid, what you have done, only one person has ever done in history. Continue what you did before, turn your senses inward…Go on."
Naruto determinedly turned his sense right back inward. Something was just beyond his reach…just there. He began reaching for it…
Unknown to him, the walls of his mindscape were close to bursting, but the Kyuubi's cell was intact. Naruto was in ecstasy, he had never felt this good before. So powerful, so strong.
The forests around Konoha seemed alive. Each and every tree in Konoha seemed greener and glossier all of a sudden.
It was almost as if nature itself was heralding a hitherto unseen event. Something sacred.
Nature chakra filled Naruto's mind and body to the brim. He took in more and more. He could feel the imperfections of his body correcting themselves. His ramen induced malnutrition was being erased completely. His pale and sickly skin was regaining its colour. His pale yellow coloured hair was becoming burning gold in colour. He could not even remember who he was in the torrent of potent nature chakra.
The name floated in his head. He latched on to the name trying to regain his identity. The chakra was ecstasy so strong that it was painful.
There was that name again. It meant something. What did it mean?
He opened his eyes and could see the Kyuubi clearly. It seemed to be shocked, in a foxy sort of way.
Suddenly the Fox faded out of sight and visions assaulted his mind. So clear that he could say he lived them. Thousands upon thousands of them.
An entire lifetime.
Visions of wars and peace made by him. Of treaties and trust created by him. Of love and betrayal experienced by him. They all assaulted him with the force of a battering ram. He was reeling.
But through it all, there was a sense of unfathomable power, indomitable will and bottomless compassion and love. A name. He needed a name. Who was he?
The memories continued through childhood, youth and up to a battle with his dearest friend.
Battles fought and lost. Comrades gone and saved. These were too vivid and the feelings too personal to be just visions.
They were memories.
He could not stand it anymore. It was too much. He was dimly aware of himself screaming at the top of his voice and he could sense inconceivable amounts of chakra being released by him.
He was Naruto.
Names were beginning to associate themselves to the memories he had just experienced.
The names went on and on with the memories associating themselves again with names and integrating themselves into his persona firmly. He had now lived two lives…a short life of a child called Naruto, and the illustrious life of a man, no a legend.
He was both Senju Hashirama and Uzumaki Naruto. His personalities were merging, both old and new.
He suddenly gave out; wanting to escape the strain of two lives lived. He blissfully slipped into slumber.
But Naruto's unconscious mind was working overtime. His chakra network was being modified to suit the needs of the legendary chakra of the Shodai. His muscles were being rebuilt by the nature chakra from their near atrophied state to something much stronger. But his mind was undergoing the greatest change incorporating the extremely massive knowledge and experience of Hashirama into itself.
Any saplings planted in Konoha suddenly burst into trees. Flowers bloomed everywhere in Konoha's forests as if it were springtime.
Something wonderful was being returned to the world.
THE NEXT DAY
The alarm clock blared hard, causing Naruto to wake up abruptly and bring down his fist hard on the damned thing.
The clock and the table on which it was seated broke into pieces, splinters flying everywhere. The noise caused Naruto to wake up with a rush.
He stared blearily at his wall clock, noting that he had around ten minutes to get to the academy.
His return to consciousness brought to attention the unmasking of his previous life. He knew somehow, that it was no transfer of memories or skills, no experiment gone right or wrong.
It was him remembering his previous life. He was both Hashirama and Naruto. He needed to think on this more. A crisis of identity never did good to anyone.
He glanced at his table.
"Mokuton: Platform of wood"
Instantaneously, trees sprouted from the floor and reshaped themselves into a rough approximation of a table.
He grimaced. It seemed that he did not have the control and muscle memory he had in his previous life. Those had to be reintegrated still. Evidently, the lack of chakra control was an aspect of his life as Naruto.
Shrugging off his pondering, he put on his orange jumpsuit and rushed to the academy. He could think more as he slept at class. Really, his reputation as a slacker did help sometimes.
Running full pelt, he skidded in front of the class doors.
"Sorry I'm late, Iruka sensei" he said calmly.
The class including Iruka seemed stunned at Naruto's new look. Though he still wore his horrible orange jumpsuit, he looked cool. His golden hair seemed to have grown to shoulder length. His body seemed extremely toned and solid, but what caught them all were his eyes.
The beautiful cerulean blue was gone, replaced by deep forest green eyes. The colour though striking was not important. It was the look in them that pierced his classmates and sensei, the look of compassion and love, shrewdness and joviality, most of all an agelessness and power that transcended human comprehension.
Naruto had changed drastically.
"Is there a problem?" Naruto asked.
"No, no. Go to your seat, Naruto."
Naruto nodded and coolly sat in his seat. Then he laid his head on the bench and started snoring softly as Iruka continued his lecture.
The class snickered its derision of the dead last and went back to normal. Even Iruka seemed relieved by Naruto's return to normalcy and continued his lecture.
Meanwhile, Naruto had descended down into his mindscape.
And he was greeted by an expected sight.
Instead of a dank sewer half waterlogged, there was an endless forest full of huge trees and exotic flowers. It was nature at its pinnacle.
Naruto smiled. As expected his mindscape had changed to accommodate him as Hashirama.
Now to search for the Kyuubi.
Putting his acute sensory capabilities to the test, he followed the trail of Kyuubi chakra through his mindscape.
The great Kyuubi no Kitsune was now in a different kind of prison. Instead of a dungeon of darkness, he was imprisoned in an imitation of Hashirama's technique.
A massive wooden cage with "SEAL" on its doors. It seemed that the Shiki Fuuin was still secure.
The Kyuubi opened its eyes and looked at Naruto. It seemed a lot calmer. In fact Naruto could sense no malice in its chakra. In fact, it seemed a lot like his own Mokuton chakra.
"Greetings Naruto, or should I say Hashirama?"
"Hello Kurama! Yeah, I used to be Hashirama in my previous life. I am both, actually. I am for a name, I am Naruto as I wish to be defined by this life alone. I acknowledge myself as Hashirama but he is of the past. I must look to the future… Anyway, I know next to nothing after the world as it is now. So tell me, Kurama. What happened to Mito?"
Kurama sighed. "I was sealed in Mito for a long time. Later I was transferred to another Uzumaki girl, Kushina. Your mother in this life. Your father is Namikaze Minato, Yondaime Hokage. Before your birth, I was brought forcibly out of the seal, and forced to destroy Konoha."
Naruto sighed "Sharingan. It was always a troublesome doujutsu. Do you have an idea who it was?"
"He claimed to be Madara. He fought the fourth Hokage and lost. He had some good space-time ninjutsu."
"It cannot be Madara. I killed him during our final battle. It is obviously an imitator. Something else is afoot in the world. I need to find out what. But first, I need to resurrect the true Konoha. Sarutobi has grown complacent…"
"Yeah, yeah. Do what you want. Anyway do you think you could free me from this seal? I am sure you could supress me anyway, and I wouldn't mind having at least an illusion of freedom…"
Naruto scratched his head. "No can do. I have only a small fraction of the chakra I had when I died and my control is atrocious. I had perfect control of my chakra and smooth flow. I can gain back my old control and gain regain a considerable amount of my old chakra capacity in a matter of months; it is only an issue of reconciling my old self with this self. So you'll have to wait a bit."
"Fine…Anyway, it's good to see you back Hashirama. Your brat self was really annoying."
Naruto grinned. "I suppose. It is quite close to how I was as a child in my life as Hashirama. It has been surprisingly easy to get adjusted to this new development…"
Naruto waved goodbye to Kurama and became conscious in the real world once more.
Raising his head, he looked at his classmates. Children, they were just children in a horrifying world. Konoha had fallen far.
He had to help these children become shinobi fast or they would die within months of becoming Genin. The reformation of Konoha would start with this generation.
His mistreatment for being Jinchuuriki was evidence to Konoha's decline from what it used to be during his day.
"NARUTO! Are you ready to talk about the Shodai Hokage?"
Naruto smiled happily and walked down to the stage. It is not often one gets a chance to talk of oneself in such glorious terms!
"The Shodai Hokage was Senju Hashirama. He was called the strongest Hokage and shinobi of his time and no one has ever surpassed him. He is called God of Shinobi due to his extreme power and intelligence. His closest family was Senju Tobirama, his little brother, who went on to become the Niidaime Hokage…"
HALF AN HOUR LATER
"….and he defeated Uchiha Madara at the valley of end" Naruto finished smugly.
The class was staring at Naruto stupefied. When did the dobe suddenly know the life of the first Hokage so intimately? What happened to the hyperactive loser who was jumping around like a moron proclaiming he would be Hokage?
Shikamaru stared at Naruto contemplatively. This was too much of a change for just one day. Naruto was no longer a loser, but he exuded a calm air of surety. His bearing was easy going and almost noble.
Hinata stared at her long time crush. He seemed a new and deep person. Hyuuga were trained to observe and conclude from a very young age and the difference was apparent to the heiress. Activating her doujutsu, she looked at Naruto.
And she was mesmerised.
What used to be chaotic blue chakra was now gone. Instead Naruto seemed to be shining bright with what seemed to be a pure silver chakra running through his network smoothly like the currents of a free flowing river.
Naruto though was smiling contentedly in his head. The children were given a small overview of his life and they would remember it.
That reminded him; he had to find out what happened to his clan. There were no Senju children in the classroom.
So much to do.
Well, he had to lay low until he was a Genin. Then he would have access to shinobi resources and he could gather information. Till then he would perfect his chakra control and that would help his instinctive healing as well.
Ignoring the lectures of Iruka, he focused once more upon his life as Hashirama ordering and remembering with increasing clarity.
He would continue to remember and regain as time went by and he trained.
TIMESKIP - GENIN EXAM DAY
Naruto yawned as he saw Iruka calling for students to administer their qualifying exams. He sighed as he thought of the falling standards at Konoha. In the months since his awakening, Naruto had fully integrated the memories of his past life. He was not Hashirama or Naruto alone, but both. His chakra control had skyrocketed and it was almost the level it had been near his death. Absolute perfection.
He had not yet tried his Mokuton jutsu on a large scale, but he could feel that it would be easy as before.
His chakra capacity was about one-tenth his original capacity and growing rapidly, and his affinity to Doton and Suiton was as strong as ever. Surprisingly he had sensed in himself a Fuuton affinity but not trained in it. It would look less suspicious anyway when he would have to actually work for something.
His conversations with Kurama were most enlightening. He learned a lot of his mother, Uzumaki Kushina and her life. Evidently she was quite the Kenjutsu and Suiton user, strong enough to rival the Yondaime. She also taught the Yondaime the art of Fuuinjutsu. Her fate was still not clear to him. Kurama said she was still alive at the end of the sealing.
Which meant she could have abandoned him. Not that he had any need for a parental figure. He had outgrown that in a different lifetime. Sighing, he put away any thoughts of Uzumaki Kushina.
He had studied the books of history to catch up on what was happening in the shinobi world since his death. Apparently, the Uchiha were all slaughtered by their own prodigy Itachi. Itachi had then gone on to torture his brother mentally before sparing him. He certainly sympathised with the poor Uchiha child and held no ill will towards him for his broody and ill-tempered nature.
He needed to help the Uchiha child most of all, so he remained a dead last so he could be placed on that team.
"Uzumaki Naruto" Mizuki called.
Naruto always knew there was something about Mizuki that set him on edge. After his awakening it became even more apparent as he could sense the chuunin's hostile intent from about a mile away.
He pushed away thoughts of traitorous ninja and went to his teachers. He had a test to clear.
He faced Iruka.
"Alright, Naruto. Perform the Bunshin, Henge and Kawarimi in that order, and you will pass."
Naruto smiled. He performed the Bunshin alright. He did the perverted Oiroke no Jutsu version of Henge that amused him to no end. After waking up from a nosebleed that knocked him out, Iruka cajoled him into performing a perfect Henge which he did, transforming himself to Hashirama. He then did a proper Kawarimi and walked out with a Konoha hitai-ate.
After many sceptical responses from the children at the fact that he had actually passed and congratulations from Hinata, he settled down in front of the academy. Closing his eyes he extended his sensory abilities all over Konoha. His sensing range was greater than in his previous life, and he could sense twenty kilometres in every direction. He could tell the chakra natures of the ninja, their emotions, their capacity,… and he could even visualize the world in great detail for three kilometres in all directions. It was like a Byakugan without the ability to see tenketsu.
He spread his calming chakra all over the village, feeling the effects on the village. His village. He would always be here to protect the village he had founded.
He could sense an incoming chakra, which had a Doton nature. The emotions were hostile and upon deeper sensing he concluded it was Mizuki.
"Naruto?" came Mizuki's voice.
"Mizuki-sensei, is there a problem?" Naruto asked.
"No. I come here with an extra test for you, which upon passing you will be made the rookie of the year!"
Smooth. Real Smooth. I have deceived and destroyed entire armies during war; my power literally rearranged the map of Konoha. You think to fool me with such pathetic excuses? Naruto thought. He would go along with this and see what Mizuki was planning. He could clearly sense the chuunin's urgency and greed.
"What is this test, Mizuki-sensei?"
"All you have to do is sneak into the Hokage's tower and steal the scroll of seals. Get the scroll back to me and I will put it where it belongs. So what do you say, will you take the test?"
When he took down Mizuki, he would have to keep the power he exhibited down to a Genin level. It would not do for the world to know that Senju Hashirama was amongst them too early.
He supressed his chakra to his former near Kage level quantity and shot off towards the tower. He could sense Sarutobi in his office. He grinned evilly.
He knew just what would take care of the old pervert.
He faced the Hokage as soon as he sneaked into his office.
"Naruto, what are you doing here?"
"OIROKE NO JUTSU!" Naruto yelled, transforming into a scantily clad adorable girl. The Hokage flew back with a nosebleed.
He hastily grabbed the scroll of sealing that was sticking out from the bunch of scrolls arranged on a rack and made a run for it.
He could clearly sense the Hokage's puzzlement and a flare of his chakra. He could feel Sarutobi's chakra surround him and he could trace it back to the office.
He concluded that he was being watched.
Anyway, he happily opened the scroll of sealing and scanned the Jutsu inside. All were familiar to him: various elemental techniques, shunshin, and Kage shuriken no jutsu…
He was particularly intrigued by the Kage Bunshin technique. It seemed a good substitute for his wood clone even if a little inferior. He could comprehend the kinjutsu fast enough. He was Senju Hashirama, after all.
Suddenly he could feel a chakra approaching him. Iruka.
He calmly waited for the man to approach him. "Naruto, what are you doing with that scroll?"
"Mizuki-sensei asked me to get this scroll for the Rookie position! I passed! Isn't that great Iruka sensei?" Naruto exclaimed, jumping up and down childishly.
"Yes that's great, Naruto. Now give me the scroll!" Mizuki's voice joined the enfolding drama.
"Don't Naruto, he is a traitor trying to use you!"
"Quiet, Iruka. Naruto, do you know why you are so hated in this village?"
"Yes, I do" Naruto deadpanned. Mizuki and Iruka were astonished.
This was also echoed by the Sandaime, who was spying on Naruto. Using Mizuki's surprise as an opening, Naruto performed seals at a Genin speed.
"Shunshin no Jutsu"
Naruto appeared behind Mizuki and placed his first two fingers on the chakra junction on Mizuki's neck. Before he could react, Naruto pumped a minute amount of his chakra into Mizuki, rendering him unconscious.
He turned to Iruka.
"How was that, Iruka Sensei?"
Iruka just stared at him, before saying proudly
"You are a true Genin and fine Shinobi of the leaf, Naruto!"
Naruto just smiled. So did the Hokage.
"You hide many things, Naruto. You will go far, so far that even I cannot imagine it!"