I Don't Own Naruto!
Rurouni Naruto Chapter 1
A man's body was motionless as he sat quietly on a legless chair in an isolated bar in the midst of a peaceful village. It had been a long time since the man could peacefully relax his body without having to look over his shoulders constantly for attacks. The only visible motion of the man was the arm that moved every time he poured some sake into his saucer, and when he drank it slowly.
The slightly stinging feeling of the warm beverage soothed the man's soul, and for a split second, made him forget about the world filled with slaughter and bloodshed that had become his reality. The sake was sweet, it was one of the better brands in the nation, and it was worth the price. It was not necessarily stronger than other brands, but it was smoother and give a sensation of tranquility to its drinker...
Spring brings sakura blossoms to comfort you, the summer stars, the harvest moon in fall, and the powdered snow in the winter. All of these things, and the promise of them, is what make Sake tastes so good. The ability to enjoy a saucer of sake peacefully signifies a start of a new era for a man living in the accustomed world of warfare and death, and it gives a sense of optimism to even the most pessimistic men.
It was a quiet night, and the civilians of the village were enjoying a night of peaceful slumber without the worry of sudden attacks from other villages. Men returned home to celebrate their victory with their wives and children, finally grasping the precious possession that was family; no longer thinking about making a name for themselves, but rather hoping to redeem their image in the eyes of there children.
The usually busy bar was scarce of their regular customers, only a few of the tables were filled, and the mood was peaceful and quiet. It was a big constrast to the usual partying and hysteria, but it was not a bad change. The owner of the bar was finally able to sit back with his wife behind the counter and let his few employees take care of the floor...he too was enjoying the recently achieved solidarity.
"So you need another bottle of sake Naruto-sama?" asked one of the hostesses politely with a smile on her face.
The man in his regular table had the eyes of a hardened warrior, his blue eyes pierce the very soul of his enemies, and his expression was enough to drive any man catatonic. He looked to be in his late teenage years, but his composure was well beyond his years. He had long blonde hair that reached his lower back that was tied into a high pony-tail, but for some unknown reason his frontal hair was oddly spiky and tended to defy gravity.
"Yes please..." muttered the man in a flat tone that would have intimidated the woman if she hadn't been serving him for two years already.
The hostess nodded and bowed slightly. "Coming right up Naruto-sama."
The man poured the last of his current bottle of sake into his saucer and gently poured it into his mouth, enjoying the feeling of the drink sliding down his throat. The man was wearing a full body black combat suit that acted like a second skin and did not hide his muscular frame. There was a black combat vest that covered his upper body, knee-high combat boots that protected his shin, and elbow-lengthed steel armguards that sealed his forearm from harm.
The most peculiar thing about the man was the katana that was usually strapped to his waist, and was at the moment beside him as he was sitting down. It was a fine specimen in the eyes of all Kenjutsu users in the Elemental Nations, it had a pure black sheath that was lustrious to the eyes, a silver round guard, and a hilt decorated in a silver diamond shaped pattern.
The man sighed as he waited for his next bottle of sake and turned his head to look out the window slight above him. The moon was in full bloom and its light covered the stars from his sight. It has been one month since the last full moon and Naruto was surprised at how much his world changed in that short time. Ever since he could remember, he had always been fighting and killing...at first it was for a common purpose of peace, but as time progressed it became a pass-time.
It was hard to believe that their old small band of warriors, now an imperial army, actually came through with their goals and brought the Yondaime Mizukage's government to its knees. It had been a ten year war, and countless man had died on both ends, but in the end it was worth it. In full honesty to himself Naruto was dubious about their chances of victory...Kirigakure no Sato was one of the main Shinobi villages in the Elemental Nations and the Yondaime Mizukage was one of the most powerful men in thw world...nobody thought they would survive the rebellion.
It was much with luck that the once small group of rebels managed to defeat all that the Mizukage sent towards them, and their name quickly rose to the highest battlefields in Mizu no Kuni. Naruto did not know if the Mizukage was use not adept to warfare, but he was only sending small battalions of Shinobi at them at a time, and it was not even challenging for them to cut them down like goats to the slaughter.
As the leader of the group, Naruto was the most powerful of the rebellion force, and his name quickly became one of the most infamous in all of the Elemental Nations. Only those particularly close to him knew his real name, but the rest of his troops and enemies came to call him the "Hitokiri Battousai". Naruto wasn't really happy with his moniker being manslayer, but he couldn't help but agree that the name was very suitable with his actions.
'I can't believe the war is finally over...' thought the man silently to himself as he stared at the bright moon with confused emotions in his eyes. 'If you were still alive I knnow you would give me some ideas...Aoshi.'
Shinomori Aoshi was Naruto's second in command and was one of the main heroes of Mizu no Kuni. The man was a silent warrior and was a terror to all his enemies on the battlefield, but his close friends knew that he was a compassionate man who deeply cared for his comrades, especially his little follower Misao. It was one of Naruto's great regrets that he was not present at Aoshi's final battle...if he was there he might have been able to save them. It was a great trgedy that Aoshi died along with the majority of his troops...including Misao.
Naruto's battalion of the one who was rushing to assist Aoshi in battle, but when they arrived it was already too late to save them. The emergence of another rebel army completely annihilated the Mizukage's men, but the price was too high. Naruto could still remember that rainy day vividly, and the faces of Aoshi and Misao would forever be etched in his mind. The only recompense was that Aoshi and Misao died in each other's arms, and they looked to be at peace to finally lay at rest together...
It was only a few days ago that Naruto and General of the second Rebel Force, Terumi Mei attacked Kirigakure, and it was a miracle that they survived. The Mizukage's men were not of any problems, but the Mizukage himself was what brought true terror onto the battlefield. The man was not wrong to be placed with the name of Kage, he was the most powerful man Naruto had ever encountered in his life.
Naruto had started to fight and kill by the time he was eight years old, and never was he faced with such terror. Yagura's chakra was nothing Naruto had ever felt before, it must have been because he was the Jinchuriki of the Sanbi. Terumi Mei was the one with more mass ranged attacks, so she fought with Yagura from a distance first, and with his speed Naruto was responsible for striking the fatal blow of the man when the moment appeared.
It was extremely difficult, but Naruto and Mei did it, and the Mizukage was killed. At his moment weakness Yagura's body emerge form his transformed state, and Naruto used his blade to slice off the man's head...
The moment his blade touched the man's neck it was as if time itself had paused to let him savour the moment. For his entire life Naruto had been living in killing and bloodshed, and all that was mainly caused by the Mizukage. It was because of Yagura that his best friend perished in battle, it was because of Yagura that all that he cared about was in ruins, and it was because of Yagura that he was force to become a killer of mass numbers.
Naruto was not angry because he was forced to kill, but he was angry that he never had a choice in the matter...because of the tyranny of the Mizukage, killing was the only way to survive.
"Here you go Naruto-sama, please enjoy!" cheerfully said the hostess as she placed a new bottle of sake in front of him, with a bow she left his side.
The young man gave the hostess a nod and reached out for the bottle, but his hand stopped just when he grasped the bottle. A small smiled graced Naruto's face as he picked up the bottle and stood up from where he sat. The man strapped his blade to his waist and placed some money on the table. He suddenly remembered that it was the anniversery of an old friend's death...
Naruto was in the small village that he spend most of his childhood in, and it was where he first started to plan his future as a fighter. Here he learned how to talk to people so they would agree with him, he learned how to cheat and lie so he would get his way, and most importantly he learned how to fight. Naruto had no idea what Shinobi or Samurai was when he was a child, all he knew was that they possessed strength he needed and he would acquire them no matter what.
Occasionally Naruto would think back to the time when his mother was alive. His mother had died a long time ago, but from his earliest memories Naruto could remember that his mother was like an angel, and she loved him greatly. Naruto tried to figure out who his mother actually was, but he couldn't find anything from the possessions she left him. He assumed that she was a Kunoichi because she had many Kunai and Shuriken in her home, and some battle armor in her closet. The one thing that really stood out was his mother's journal, which only had a few pages filled out. and one of them described a man his mother was in love with.
It was very possible that the man would be Naruto's father as her mother descirbed that he had spiky blonde hair and blue eyes...but the two things that really stood out were that it was said that he was a Konoha Shinobi...and that his mother had to steal him out of Konoha. Sometime Naruto wondered if he was a kidnapped child from Konoha...and his mother kept him as her own child...
As time gone by Naruto started to train himself with scrolls of skill he stole of travellers who would pass through his village, and with those wide range of skills he built a style of his own. Most had to admit that Naruto was a genius, there was no better word to describe him. Not everyone could take a few scrapes of scroll from here and there to create a style that will become one of the most infamous names in the Elemental Nations.
Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu...
It was a style that was design to fight many enemies at the same time, so it was greatly reliant on speed. With this style Naruto became someone who was very rare in the Elemental Nations. His skilled was like a mix between Samurai and Shinobi, he had the agility of some of the most revered Shinobi in the lands, but his Kenjutsu was unparalleled.
For the longest time Naruto's name and person was completely in the dark because none of his enemies would live to tell his tale. The Hitokiri Battousai's name had become power itself, as its very mention would strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. It was like the Kiroii Senko back in the Second Shinobi World War, people also had a flee on sight command on him.
No one new how one swordsman would be able to completely destroy entire battalions of Shinobi himself. There was no fancy Jutsu of mass destruction, but the man's pure speed was so great and his Kenjutsu style was so distinct that no one was able to stop his killings. When the Mizukage's men would scan through the dead bodies of their fallen comrades, they would find scattered limbs and head, all slice off by a katana, but the most amazing thing was that all the man were wearing heavy armor designed to protect against blades...but the Battousai slice through them like a hot knife through butter.
Soon the name Hitokiri Battousai was as revered an S-ranked Shinobi/Samurai in all Bingo Books, and all villages in the Elemental Nations were on the lookout for him.
Naruto arrived at the entrance to a cemetary, and he walked into it with a smile on his face. It was a bright night because of the full moon, and Naruto found his way to a grave with the name Shakku engraved upon it. Naruto smiled at the sight and let out a light chuckle as he sat down in front of the grave with his legs crossed and his blade on the ground.
"It has been a while Shakku-san...almost seven years to be exact." said Naruto with a causal voice with a hint of sadness. "Its finally over...we won and the country is free."
Naruto had met the man named Shakku seven years ago when he first started to fight as a rebel. Shakku was already an old man then, his appearence eroded by time and his once imposing stature was reduced to an old man. But despite his frail body Shakku continued to hold his pride in high regard, and he had the respects of many Kenjutsu users around the world.
Shakku was one of the legendary blade forgers of his time, and his master-pieces had been through countless battles throughout the years. Naruto had first met the man without knowing who he was. The young man saw that Shakku and his family were being harrassed by some thugs and he decided to help out, but that was a large tip in his favor in Shakku's eyes. The old man saw fire in Naruto's eyes, and he realized that Naruto would one day become a great man...he was right.
Shakku was the one who forged Naruto his current blade, the Kageuchi, a blade that was made with molten flames so it would never break. It was a deadly weapon, suitable for a man of Naruto's stature, and it had held him high throughout the years...
Naruto opened the bottle of sake and poured some on top of the gravestone. "If only you would have lived to see this day...you would have been so happy." The young man took a swig out of the bottle and closed his eyes. "It turns out you were right...your blade was with me the whole way, and it helped me blaze the trail to a new era." The midnight wind blew across the area and lifted Naruto's hair gently. "But the depressing thing is...now that the war is over I have no idea what to do anymore..."
Naruto was offered the position of being the Godaime Mizukage because of his massive contributions of the rebellion, but he turned it down without a second thought. Naruto saw himself more of a General than a Kage, he would not be able to rule over a village of Kirigakure no Sato's size. Naruto passed his recommendation to Terumi Mei, having worked with the woman for a few years already Naruto saw Mei as a great leader, and knew that she would be able to bring Mizu no Kuni back to life.
The young S-ranked man was then offered the role the commander of Kirigakure's military, but he also turned that down, much to everyone's surprise. Everyone, even Mei herself thought that Naruto would have accepted the role of commander since he was so natural in battle, but the man just replied saying that he was honored, but he would not longer walk the path of a warhawk. After so many killing and massacres Naruto wanted to deviate from his original path...he wanted to find and answer to his life, he wanted a real purpose...
"What do you suggest I do Shakku-san...you were the one who gave me this blade, but now that the war is over what can this blade do for me anymore?" asked Naruto half expecting some sort of sign to appear. "Is there anything I can do now that there is no more war?..."
From the corner of his eyes Naruto was a light coming his way, and he looked over to see someone that he hadn't seen for a long time. The man looked to be in his early twenties and had a kind expression on his face. His was wearing a simple light blue Kimono and was holding a tradittional lantern to brighten his way to his father's grave. It was Arai Seiku, the son Shakku. Naruto had met the young man when he met Shakku. Arai was a few years older than him. They had conversed before and they saw each other as friends of a kind.
"Arai-san..." muttered Naruto as the lantern's light revealed his face.
The son of Shakku was surprised to see an old friend visiting his father's grave so late at night. "N-Naruto-san!"
Naruto smiled and stood up with a nod. "Hai..." greeted the blonde man as he walked closer to Arai. "It is nice to see you again Arai-san, its been to long."
Arai nodded with a smile on his face. "It certainly has...I haven't seen you since Otou-sama died." said the man with a sombre tone but soon he smiled. "But I assume you are back now because the war is finally over?!"
The blonde man sighed and nodded. "Yeah...finally over."
Arai sighed at the confused expression on Naruto's face. "You really have done all of us in Mizu no Kuni was great deed Naruto-san, I am happy to say that you save my son's future." Naruto's eyebrows went up at his words. "Hai, you are a hero in this nation, and I want to thank you for that."
Naruto smirked and nodded. "Thank you Arai-san..." muttered the man before a bigger smile grace his face. "Hey, how about we share a bottle of sake here with Shakku-san just like the good old days?"
Arai nodded with a smile. "Hai, that would be delightful!"
The two men enjoyed the peaceful and serene night along with the taste of good sake. When Shakku was still alive the three of them would often enjoy each other's company and share several bottles of sake, it use to be one of Naruto's favorite passtimes. Shakku was a man that Naruto repected greatly, he was an advisor to Naruto and had help him develop and grow into the man that he is now. Shakku was a man who had been through many years of war, even though he was not a fighter, he knew the battles better than many other, and he would often talk to Naruto about his thoughts on them.
Arai took a large swig out of the bottle. "So Naruto-san, what are you planning to do now that the war is over?" asked the man with a kind smile on his face. "Go back to Kiri and become one of its main leaders?"
The blonde man sighed and shook his head. "I was offered a position like that...but I don't think I want to continue that life anymore..."
The son of Shakku was surprise at his words. "So you are planning to give up fighting?"
Naruto shook his head. "Not really, I am still in my prime and do enjoy a good fight at times, but I want to search for a purpose in life that doesn't just involve mindless killing."
Arai had a calm look on his face as he stood up silently. "Follow me Naruto-san, I need to show you something my father left behind."
The blonde man was surprised at the sudden change but was curious. "Okay..." muttered the man as he stood as well as followed his friend down the dark road with only the lantern and the moon lighting the way. They made it out of the cemetary and head down further along the road, and the eventually came across a old temple. Naruto had been there before, it was a shrine that Shakku often visited when he was alive, he believed that it was haven that could block him out from the warfare of the world.
Naruto eyes soften at the sight of the shrine, he could still remember the time he was brought to it by Shakku. "Wow...I haven't been here in a long time..."
Arai chuckled and nodded. "Yes...but nostalgia was only one of the reasons I brought you here tonight." The young man led Naruto up to the entrance of the shrine and pushed opened the door, and the moonlight shot a ray of light within. The first thing the white light landed on was the sheath of a katana...and it instantly caught Naruto's attention.
The blonde man gesutured to the blade. "Is that?..."
Arai nodded with a smile on his face. "Yes...this is the last katana Otou-sama ever made, and I believe that it was made for you."
Naruto was confused. "What?..."
Arai sighed as they both walked into the Shrine and near the sword. "You were at war when Otou-sama died, and finished the blade right before his death...he told me that one day this katana will find an owner, and when that man emerges...I would know." explained the man as he looked back at Naruto. "You words told me that you were tired of mindless killing and you would want to find true meaning in life...and that is why you will be the owner of this blade."
The blonde man walked up to the blade. "Why...what is this blade?"
Arai picked up the katana from it's stand and handed it to Naruto. "Unsheathe it and see..."
Naruto hesitated for a few seconds for unknown reasons but he did what he was told to do, and when he saw the blade inside he was shocked...it was a Sakabato. It was a blade with a reversed edge, with it's blunt end where the sharp end should be, it would not be able to kill anyone. It was hard to believe that a man like Shakku would end up making a Sakabato as his last katana...it was just so unusual for him to do such a thing.
Arai smiled. "This blade is called Sakabatō Shinuchi, and it cannot kill, and with it I know you will be able to find the answer you are looking for..."
Naruto continued to stare at the blade with his mind running rapidly with thoughts. Soon a smile came onto his face and he looked back up at his friend. "Thank you Arai-san...for instilling this to me." Naruto walked over to the stand that use to hold the Sakabato and placed his Kageuchi on it. "Today I leave here with Sakabatō Shinuchi, and until I return to retrieve Kageuchi...I vow to not kill."
Arai smiled at his friend and nodded. "That is good to hear..."
After that Naruto left the company of his friend and embarked on a journey that would shape his life in a different way. He had been fighting and killing his entire life, and he was hoping that travelling around the world would allow him to see the meaning behind his existence.
"Where should I go first…" Naruto asked himself as he looked down on a map in his hands before a smirk came onto his face. "Hi no Kuni sounds good!"
That was the first chapter of Rurouni Naruto, and I hope you all liked it. Naruto in this story is modeled after Kenshin, but it would not be a very close match.
I hvae not really decided on the pairings yet, but I am sure it will be revealed in future chapters. XD
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