A/N: Here is my second story that I felt like writing. I'm currently rewriting the chapters of my first story "Soul Shinobi" due to some input I received, and writing multiple stories helps to keep me from getting bored too easily while writing any one of them. I'm not going to say a lot about how this story is going to turn out, so I hope that I can keep everyone reading this entertained enough to decide to stick with the story. This story is slightly inspired by "The Darkest Light" by Halo12094 in that Naruto leaves the Elemental Nations to get his abilities, and one other aspect which I will mention when it occurs.
"Demon/Large Summon Speech"
'Demon/Large Summon Thoughts'
Chapter 1: One Year Gone
A city in ruins. A city abandoned. A city at war. Those were the best ways to describe the view overlooking New York City from the top of the Empire State Building. An eight year old Naruto looked over the city, and thought about everything that brought him to this point. He contemplated wall the pain and heartache, and every brief moment of joy that he went through in his life. He meditated on each and every decision and action that he took, and after all that he came to just one conclusion.
'Kami hates me.'
Naruto just couldn't figure it out. All he ever wanted was to be acknowledged, to be seen as more than just a burden, an annoyance, ghost extra. He wanted to not be the one who was always pushed aside or left behind. He just wanted to be heard, not ignored. Seen, not overlooked. Felt, not avoided.
All he wanted was to be seen as a son and brother to his family.
Smoke curled up lazily from some of the infected areas of the city. The groans of those who were unlucky enough to catch the plague were carried on the wind to his sensitive ears, along with the scent of their decay. The "Red Zones" as they were called were filled to the brim with the sick and dying, not to mention things that seem to have come straight out of one of those horror movies that he remembered. Monstrosities that were once men.
The blonde's thoughts turned back to his so-called family. He remembered how his parents would always favor his sister. Whenever there was a difference of opinion between them, his parents would always take her side. If he wanted ramen, and she wanted dango, then dango was what they were going to have. She was the only one they ever paid attention to, and also the only one they would train.
Ever since he was four, they started training his twin sister in the ninja arts. However, they would only train her, and whenever he asked to train with them as well they brushed him aside. They would always reply that they needed to focus on his sister, and that they would train him after he entered the academy. Whenever he asked why they had to focus on her, they would always respond the same way, saying that because she had the Kyuubi's chakra, they had to train her to make sure that she could control it.
A scream of pain and horror pierced the air, interrupting his thoughts. Another idiot had wandered into a Red Zone and paid the price for it. He was still surprised by how stupid some people could be. While the city was quarantined so that no one could get in or out without authorization, most people would still try to get as far away from the Red Zones as possible. Yet sometimes people would head towards them instead, and not even the suicidal ones at that! Normal people, who for some reason or other decided to take a risk, would then pay for that risk and wonder what they did to deserve this.
Naruto started meditating again on the past. Although his parents would say that his sister was the one who needed the training, he felt that out of the two of them that he was the one who needed it more. After all, it wasn't his sister who was hunted and beaten by the villagers on a weekly basis. She was seen as a hero for containing the chakra of the demon that nearly destroyed Konoha. He, on the other hand, was seen as the demon itself for containing it's body and soul. She was cheered and loved, while he was hated and abused.
The worst part of it was that his parents were clueless about the whole thing. After every incident, a healer among the crowd would heal him enough to hide any traces of the attack, and then he would be sent on his way. He had tried to tell his parents about what was happening, but since everyone else would deny any wrongdoing, he would simply be sent to his room for lying. After another few years of this, he decided that he had enough, and that he was going to leave before the villagers decided to end it once and for all.
However, he did decide to give his parents one more chance. While he made plans and prepared to leave, he decided to wait until after he entered the Academy to see if the two of them would at least keep their promise.
He should have known better.
A week after he entered the Academy, he asked his parents once again for training. Once again they denied him, saying that they were at a crucial phase in their training of his sister, and had to focus completely on her. But the final straw occurred a month before his seventh birthday. The scene was etched into his memories, never to fade.
Naruto started awake, fear from the nightmare he had causing his heart to beat a mile per minute. He drew his arms and legs in, hugging himself, and shivered. His nightmare was the memory of a particularly vicious attack. This one had some shinobi who were skilled with lightning and fire techniques. They tortured him for hours before they let him go.
After a while, he calmed down enough that he could bring himself to relax his muscles a bit and stop shivering. He decided to heat up a cup of milk in an attempt to go back to sleep, hopefully without any nightmares this time. He left his room, and walked down the hall on his way to the kitchen. As he passed by the family library, he heard some voices and stopped. He sneaked over to the door and began to listen in on the conversation.
"Minato-kun, don't you think that we're pushing Natsumi a little hard? She still has six years before she becomes a ninja, shouldn't we tone down her training a bit?" asked Kushina Uzumaki-Namikaze. She was a beautiful woman, with fiery red hair and violet eyes. She was known across the Elemental Nations as the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero, and was an S class ninja of Konoha.
"I don't think so Kushi-chan. Yes, we're pushing her harder than normal, but it's for the best. After she becomes a kunoichi, she'll take missions away from the village. What if she encounters enemy ninja? I'd rather work her hard now than risk her death later." replied her husband, Minato Namikaze. He was a tall man, with bright yellow hair and deep blue eyes. As the Hokage, he was known as the strongest shinobi of the leaf.
When Naruto heard his father's response, his hands clenched into fists. The man just said that he's training Natsumi to make sure that she stays safe after she becomes a ninja, so what about Naruto? Every time he asked for training they denied him. Minato basically just said that he doesn't care if Naruto lives or dies.
"I guess you're right." Kushina replied. "Now that we've started her on basic Fuinjutsu and nature manipulation, I might as well start training her on my kenjutsu style."
"I was also thinking about starting to train her with the Rasengan." said Minato. "I also wanted to talk with you about something."
"What is it dear?"
"I was thinking," said Minato, "I wanted to acknowledge Natsumi as the heir to the Uzumaki-Namikaze clan next month at her birthday party."
At this, Kushina was shocked. "But Minato-kun, what about Naruto? He's the eldest and being the heir is his birthright!"
Minato just waved his hands. "I know that but think about it. She's much stronger than he is, and with the political training she's had she will also make a better clan head than Naruto. It'll be OK, after we make the announcement, we'll sit down with him and explain everything. I'm sure he'll understand. And then, as long as we keep loving him as we have all along, I'm sure he'll get over it."
Kushina just sighed, and said "Alright, if you're sure about this then I guess it's fine."
Behind the door Naruto's little body shook with rage and frustration. Tears of shame and fury filled his eyes. Unwilling to listen to more, he went back to his room. All thoughts of sleep blasted from his mind, he curled up in a corner of his room and wept. Everything he had was now taken from him. What the hell do they mean by "keep loving him as they have all along"? Since when have they loved him? They didn't even care if he lived or died!
Honestly, he wasn't that surprised. He figured that this would happen sooner or later. After all, they gave her everything else, why wouldn't they give their precious Natsumi his inheritance as well? Still, it hurt, and the reasons they gave for their betrayal still stung. Of course she would be stronger, how did they expect him to be stronger than her if they never trained him? If they never taught him politics, how can they expect him to be able to have any understanding of it? And then to use his weakness, the weakness that THEY caused, as an excuse to take everything from him? How could they?
Naruto just curled his small body up tighter and continued weeping. He stayed that way until morning.
That day cemented his decision to leave the village. There was absolutely nothing there for him. No friends for him to miss, everyone stayed away from him. The only people who were kind to him were the pair at the Ichiraku Ramen stand, but he never got to know them that well. All the kids stayed away from him due to their parents, the only ones who approached him just used him to get to know his sister. As soon as they were introduced he was back to being ignored.
So he had continued his plans to leave the village. He had spent most of the previous year making copies of everything in the clan library, including the scrolls detailing the Rasengan and Hiraishin. He kept everything in a seal he learned to create that he had placed on his left shoulder. During the next month before his birthday, he finished making copies of everything that he had missed, and made plans to travel. Luckily, he had heard that there was a ship that was planning to try to leave the Elemental Nations to see what was beyond the Veil of Mists. It seems that every few years, there are some people who are either dumb enough or adventurous enough to try to do what no one has ever managed before.
For his purposes however, it was perfect. He knew that eventually, even his parents would have noticed that he was missing. And if they did then they would have sent Jiraiya to find him. With his connections and spy network, there was no place where a seven year old kid like him could have hidden for long. The only way for him to not end up being captured and taken back to Konoha would have been to leave the Elemental Nations entirely. Even if he had ended up dead, he still saw that as preferable to being taken back to that hell hole.
Suddenly Naruto heard gun fire. He looked to his left, and saw in the distance that a group of soldiers were attempting to clear out a portion of a Red Zone and setup another checkpoint to make sure it stayed clear. Slowly but surely, the army was taking back the city. Already, they had managed to shrink the size of the Red Zones to only encompass 25% of the city, instead of the 50% they had covered before. In another few months, the city would be infection free. Another few months after that, the all clear would be given for people to be able to move back in, if there were anyone who still wanted to.
Naruto didn't bother to try to help the soldiers. If he went, then all that would happen would be that he would be fired upon. He would only be seen as another infected, or maybe even as the cause of the infection itself. He was tired of having nobody see him as he was. Was it too much to ask to have someone see him as a person? To not have people hate him for something that he can't control?
Sighing, Naruto stood up and jumped from his position on the top of the Empire State Building. With a crash, he landed on the street below and then stood unhurt. He had to admit, if anything his new condition came with some perks. It was utterly cool to be able to survive a fall like that without any injuries, and also to be able to glide whenever he wanted to. Not to mention his other abilities.
He started walking to another section of the city. If he could see the soldiers, then that meant that they could see him. He didn't want to risk a fight so he moved further away. As he walked, he continued his musings of the past.
A month after he overheard his parent's conversation, it the day of the twin's birthday. Large preparations had been made for the party, with everyone planning to finish the day at the Hokage's tower to view the fireworks display at night. He had finished his own preparations as well. That was his last day in the village. He had left his room that morning to go out and begin his daily training routine. As he passed the party preparations, he had noticed the large banner that hung across the room.
"Happy Birthday Natsumi!" it said. Naruto had felt a small pang in his heart, but he had quickly ignored it. He was used to such things after all. After he had trained for the day, he went back to the clan compound to clean up and then he got ready for his plan. He had gone down and went to the party to make sure that he was seen in case they remembered him. A few hours after the party had started; it was time for the presents to be opened. He simply watched, since as usual there were no presents for him, not even from his parents. And as usual, no one noticed.
He had felt another small pang as he saw that both Jiraiya and Tsunade presented Natsumi with their respective summon scrolls, neither one of them bothering to offer him the same thing, although they were both HIS godparents as well. Everyone was ecstatic for Natsumi, and as usual no one seemed to remember that it was his birthday as well. Finally, his parents made the announcement that he knew was coming. Everyone started to cheer for Natsumi, with no one even questioning about why he wasn't the heir anymore. After all, shouldn't the village hero inherit the leadership of one of the most powerful clans as well?
Still, this was just the excuse he was waiting for. He then headed inside and went to his room. If anyone had noticed him leaving, they would have assumed that he was just sad due to losing out his inheritance. Fortunately for him, no one had paid any attention to him.
Once he was in his room, he had then finished packing his things and had sealed everything away. Then he had just waited for everyone to leave to watch the fireworks. Once everyone had gone, Naruto had left the compound and made his way to the village gate, making sure to keep to the shadows and stay hidden. He had learned his lesson on his fifth birthday to stay indoors unless he wanted to start a "fox hunt".
Once he had reached the gate, he hid nearby and waited. After a while the gate guards had gotten so drunk that they passed out. It didn't hurt either that he had made sure earlier to spike all of their drinks with a small sedative. After waiting some more, just to be sure that they were truly and fully passed out, he then went through the gates, and left the village.
Naruto snapped out of his thoughts as he came up to another sky scraper. This one was even taller than the Empire State, and it was also in the middle of the Red Zone he was in so it was completely abandoned. He quickly ran up the side of the building and perched on a ledge once he reached the top. He looked over the city again. Even though the view was of a war zone, and a testament to man's depravity and to death and destruction, it somehow still calmed him. He didn't like all of the deaths that occurred over the past few months, and he wasn't happy with all of the destruction and with how the city's people had their lives shaken by these past events. Still, for some reason, he somehow felt at peace when he looked over everything.
Hopefully it was just because he liked high places.
Naruto thought about his journey out of the Elemental Nations. It had taken him a month to reach Port City in the Land of Tea. During that time, he had seen neither hide nor hair of a single leaf ninja. When he had reached the port, he Henged himself into an older man he had picked at random, and then searched for the ship that was leaving the Nations. He had found it and then he had quickly signed himself aboard. He thought that the captain had seemed a bit suspicious about his reasons for leaving, but the captain had needed all the hands he could get, so he was willing to hire a fugitive if he had to.
A week later the ship had left the city, and was sailing on its voyage away from everything familiar. Although Naruto wasn't too familiar with ships at the time, he was a fast learner and he had quickly picked up on everything that he needed to know. It was a few days out however that disaster had struck. A fog had quickly rolled in, and made it impossible to see anything further than a few feet in front of the ship. Then, within an hour of the fog, a whistling could be heard. Suddenly blades of wind then smashed into the ship, tearing it to pieces. It was diced into chunks, and the majority of the crew was lost. There were a few who used to be ninjas who then used water walking to land on the ocean's surface, but the winds kept coming and they were quickly killed.
Naruto himself had only survived because he had managed to grab on to a floating piece of the ship and kept himself low. Even so, the wind had pass by right over his head, nearly killing him. If he had been a few inches higher, he would have been cut in half. As he held onto the wreckage of the ship, the current had grabbed hold of him and taken him out to see. He had passed by a rock, and saw seals imprinted on the stone.
Thinking back on it, Naruto realized that it was due to the seals that no one had ever made it out of the Elemental Nations. They were the reason that no one could get in or out of that area. Now, he knows that the area he was in is known as the "Devil's Sea", or the "Dragon's Triangle", and was the Asian counterpart to the Bermuda Triangle, just not as famous. To this day, he still wasn't sure just how he survived the month he was stuck at sea, being carried by the current. Sure, he had food and water stored in his seal on his arm, but with the storms he experienced at sea and the freezing waters, he should have been dead.
Still, he had survived, and then found himself washed up on a beach in California. After he had recovered from his ordeal, he had sneaked along and Henged himself into a random person wearing what seemed to be cloths that were common among the people of the land he was in. He had noticed that everyone seemed to speak a different language than he did, and that the technology was much higher than back in the Elemental Nations. He had eventually found out that his native tongue was almost identical to another language called Japanese, and then he had set out to find a book or something to teach him the common language of the country he was in, which he had since learned was The United States of America.
After learning enough English to get by, he had then set out across the country, learning more about the world he was in. Everything he had learned was astounding. Apparently, the rest of the world did not know about chakra, instead focusing on technology to wage war and for public use. Some of the things that they could do were amazing, and even put Kage level ninjas to shame. The scary thing about it was that most of it required little to no actual training. With just a little knowledge, technically anyone could do these things, although most did not have access to the materials or resources to do so.
He had also started training with the scrolls he had copied from the clan's library. He had quickly learned to Tree Walk, managing the exercise within days, and then he had learned to Water Walk within hours. Besides the Henge that he learned in the Academy, he also learned the Kawarimi during this time but could not for the life of him manage the Bushin. He had figured out that it was because he was overpowering the jutsu, but even now when using as little chakra as he could manage, the fewest amounts of Bushins he could create at once without overpowering them was thirty.
After nine months of traveling by foot, he had then finally reached New York City. The sizes of the buildings were breathtaking. Nowhere in the Elemental Nations could he find anything like this. He had figured that in a city of this size, even someone like him with no past could make a life for himself here.
'As I thought, Kami hates me.'
Within days of arriving, his latest problem occurred. He was at Penn Station, on his way out, when a man ran right into him. He only had the time to process one thought, which was that the man had great choice in clothing, when the man suddenly thrust some sort of vial in his hands and then ran off. The reason the man had run was suddenly apparent when the man's pursuers appeared.
One of them, having seen the vial in Naruto's hands, decided that Naruto was an accomplice and suddenly shot him. This in hindsight was an extremely stupid thing to do when the one you're shooting at is holding a vial containing an extremely deadly virus. The bullets had shattered the vial before hitting him, and then slamming him into the ground.
As Naruto was lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood, he had thought that it was his end. He was mentally screaming at the unfairness of it all. He has a shitty childhood, and just when he finally had a chance to find happiness, he gets killed? As he had lay there dying, he felt something odd happening with his body. Before he could have wondered what else Kami had decided to screw him with, he had suddenly felt a huge amount of information cramming itself painfully into his head and promptly passed out.
Suddenly, Naruto heard a helicopter in the distance heading in his direction, snapping him out of his thoughts. He ducked under a ledge near the top of the sky scraper he was on, and kept alert. A helicopter flew by, none the wiser for his presence. He stayed hidden for a few minutes longer to make sure that everything was all clear before resuming his position. For now, Naruto just wanted to be left alone with his thoughts. He was tired of everything that had happened to him, and just wanted to be left alone, at least for a while. With that, his thoughts turned back to his previous musings.
A little while after passing out, Naruto had suddenly woken up to find himself on some sort of metal table. He had then looked up and found two men standing over him holding scalpels while looking like they were about to dissect him. In a sudden panic, thinking that they had somehow found out about his status as a jinchuriki, he had then reached up and grabbed one of them by the throat. What he had not realized at the time however, was that he was now much stronger than he was before, so while he had planned to grab the man and throw him away, he instead snapped the man's neck.
He was in such shock over killing the man that he barely noticed the other researcher running away in terror. He was then suddenly shocked again, when out of his body burst red and black tendrils that surrounded the body, and broke it down into pieces before absorbing it. His head then began pounding with pain, as suddenly a lifetime's worth of memories began pouring itself into his head. All of the memories of the man he had just killed, all of his skills and knowledge, had filled his head and integrated themselves into him. They were still separate from himself so that he didn't suddenly start thinking that he was the man in question, but everything he knew and everything he could do was suddenly at Naruto's fingertips and within his capabilities.
Now knowing that the man's superiors had thought that Naruto was dead and had sent him to be dissected since he had been infected with some sort of virus called Blacklight, Naruto had then ran out of the building. Using his training, he had then made his way out mostly undetected, only stopping to kill and consume one soldier whom he had overlooked and was about to radio for help.
His life after that was frantic, trying to find out what was happening to him, learning more about his powers and abilities, and trying to ignore a very specific set of memories that were disturbing in their implications. He had found himself forced to fight against the company that made the virus, Gentek, as well as a secret branch of the government called Blackwatch. Then he had found himself up against the person whose blood the virus was synthesized after, Elizabeth Greene. While he had sympathized with her, and could even understand her pain and her desire for revenge, she was not only targeting those who were responsible for what had happened to her, but also innocent people who had nothing to do with her.
After killing her, he then faced off against the strongest infected yet, called the Supreme Hunter, and killed it, before flying off with a helicopter that had a nuke that was set to destroy the city. He had managed to take the helicopter out of range of the city, but was himself caught in the blast when the nuke exploded. He had only survived by what was left of him managing to consume a crow to start restoring himself before he had fully perished. He then spent the rest of his time until now in hiding.
Now, here he was, a year after having left Konoha, and yet he seemed to be right back where he started. He had people hating him and trying to kill him for something that he had no control over. Was he dangerous, yes he was. He considered himself to be probably the most deadly thing alive on the planet, excluding the biju (as long as he ignored that nagging memory that sat in his head). However dangerous he might be however, that didn't change the fact that while he could potentially kill everyone in the city without breaking a sweat, he wouldn't due to his own personal set of morals. He knew what it was like to live in pain, and didn't want others to feel the same way.
Well, except for the bastards who caused the pain in the first place.
The only thing that had seemed to change was his wardrobe. When he was much younger, he had worn a bright orange jumpsuit in an attempt to get his parents to notice him, even if it's just to verify what that orange monstrosity they saw in the corner of their eyes was. When that didn't work however, he quickly changed to some darker clothes. While neon orange didn't seem to catch the eyes of his parents, it did catch the eyes of his pursuers.
Now however, he wore different clothing than before. He had on black cargo pants and black, steel-toed boots. He had on a red shirt, with a black hooded sweater and a black leather jacket over that. On the back of the jacket was a blood red biohazard symbol that occasionally seemed to glow. His clothing was now a produce of his new condition, and as such they would repair themselves as fast as he did.
He realized however that it was time to stop musing on his life, and time to start deciding on what to do with it. He knew that whatever else happened, he had to leave the city. Too many people and organizations knew that he was here. While they may or may not have been fooled into thinking that he was killed by the blast, as long as he was here it was an unnecessary risk for being discovered. Where then was he to go?
After thinking about it for a while, Naruto decided to head north, into a heavily forested area. He decided that it was time to start focusing again on his shinobi training. He especially wanted to focus on his stealth and infiltration techniques, since they would be useful in staying out of sight while hiding form the military. He had no doubts that should they discover that he was still alive, that they would do all that they could to capture him, to either make him a weapon or to dissect him to figure out how to make more of him. Plus, he needed a mountainous region to be able to start practicing his more destructive techniques without disturbing others. With that in mind, he decided to go to Maine, since there he figured it would be easier to hide while he trains.
Naruto stood up, and took one last look at the city, burning the view into his memories. While he had only spent a short amount of time here, the city definitely had made an impression in his mind. Admittedly, it wasn't a very good impression, but it still left one nonetheless. With that in mind, he jumped from the top of the building, and started into the next phase of his life.
A/N: Here is the first chapter of my new story. For those who were paying attention, I dropped some pretty big hints as to what the second aspect in my story that was inspired by "The Darkest Light" by Halo12094 was. Please leave a review and let me know what you think.