DISCLAIMER: I don't own Naruto, this is purely a non-profit making hobby I indulge in.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is my first published story in FFN. I have a few stories and story ideas lying around my computer but I couldn't be bothered to upload it, until now. Give it a try and thanks in advance for reading.

This story will be as AU or as canon-ish as a the story needs it to be, with elements of other anime/manga thrown in for good measure. Pairings are yet to be decided and there will be no explicit lemon scenes. T rating is for the violence and language use.


CHAPTER 1

Uzumaki Naruto was running as fast as his young legs could carry him. Not that it was unusual occurrence for the blond-haired boy, as he was forced to run for his life often by angry mobs. Shopkeepers, farmers, drunks and layabouts, even shinobi of Konohagakure, all chasing down a nine-year old child. Or at least they tried to.

For as reasons unknown to him, majority of the villagers, civilians and shinobi alike, of Konoha had always hated and vilified him. For as long as he could remember, they would always glare at him and hurl words of utter contempt and disdain that a child should never hear at him. Others still simply ignore him and pretend he doesn't exist, which was partly the reason for him playing elaborate —and often embarrassing— pranks across the village to draw their attention and gain their acknowledgment.

And now, after his latest escapade, the tranquil sunset of the village was once more broken by the angry shouts and yells of yet another mob intent of capturing the blond child. In their anger and hatred, the villagers forgot the fact that nobody had ever outrun Naruto in one of these chases. His stamina and penchant for traps was already legendary in the whole of Konoha, able to evade chuunin and most jounin shinobi, so much so ANBU operatives often have to be called in to help.

Still running at full speed, Naruto noticed that he was now approaching the outskirts of the village which he was unfamiliar with. The district seemed to be sparsely populated as he could count the number of houses he could see by the fingers of his hand and all of them seemed to be uninhabited or, rather, uninhabitable seeing they were all rundown and dilapidated. For someone who was used to living in squalor, that was saying something. Much of the area was also densely wooded, with huge, ancient trees that cast dark shadows on the surroundings. The suns was now on the horizon and what little light it was giving off filtered through the canopies like weak pillars of light that seemed to amplify the shadows all the more. He could also hear the sound of flowing water, probably a small rivulet, coming from beyond the dark expanse of trees.

Perhaps I could lose them in those, he thought to himself, eyeing the huge trees and the shadow between them. Panting lightly, he crouched down behind the nearest trunk to catch his breath. He strained his ears as he tried to listen for any that would alert him of the mob's approach. He could hear the angry yells, but they were indistinct so they must still be a little further away from him. The blond then muttered a curse, as he know he should have made a few traps for his pursuers to gain more time but he lost his bag during the initial chase through the village. Said bag contained most of his pranking "equipment", stuff he had painstakingly scavenged and pilfered from the various shops in the village.

Looking around for a better hiding place, he espied what seems to be a large building in the center of a clearing. It was somewhat obscured by the foliage between him and the clearing but what caught his attention was the air surrounding the structure seems to glimmer slightly, as though a picture that was slightly blurred or out of focus. Was his eyes playing tricks with him? He shook his head and tried to think of a way out of his predicament.

His best option right now was to go deeper into the woods. True, he could hide inside the building but there was an off chance the the villagers might search it for him and he doubt he could escape being surrounded. At least in the woods he would have freedom of movement. Either way, however, he would have to make a dash across the clearing meaning he would be in the open and in plain sight. It was a big risk but perhaps if he remain as quiet as possible he might just be able to make a run for it and get behind that building that stood in the clearing and from there another dash further deep into the woods. He might be able stay there for the night until the villagers lost their interest.

Naruto's head jerked and eyes widened as he could now make out the voices of the mob clearly. The young blond immediately made up his mind and decided to follow his instincts. If nothing else, the civilians would have a harder time following within the woods and might just give up. The shinobi were another matter though.

"Come back here, you demon brat!" yelled one of the villagers.

"Yeah! When we get our hands on you, you'll wish you'd never been born!" shouted another.

Not much of an incentive for me then, scoffed Naruto.

CRACK

He was about to dash to another hiding spot when he inadvertently broke a twig that was hidden amongst the dried leaves. He cringed as he knew the shinobi among the mob would be able to pick it up. He made a run for it.

"Did you hear that?" a shinobi asked as he turned towards the direction of the sound.

"There he is! Get him!" another pointed at his direction. He threw a kunai at Naruto but missed him by inches.

The mob could clearly see him now as he was running towards the center of the clearing. Running as fast as they could, they were now about to catch up to the blond menace while salivating about the punishment they're going to dish out on the demon incarnate. But before the could even lay their hands on him, he vanished into thin air.

And just when he thought they would finally catch him, everything went blank.


Naruto was confused. Just a moment ago he was running from the villagers intent on harming him. He could distinctly remember his heart palpitating, his lungs almost bursting, as he willed his young body to run as fast as possible towards the building. He heard several whizzing sounds as kunai thrown by shinobi missed him by mere inches.

"Oww, what in the world happened?" Naruto groaned as he rubbed his temples. His head felt like someone had whacked it with a sledgehammer.

Fatigue was setting in; stamina or not, his nine-year old body could only take so much exertion not to mention he was getting hungry with all the running that he did that afternoon. He tried to ignore his throbbing head as he tried to recall what happened before he found himself sprawled on the ground. Perhaps one of the villagers got lucky a shot and hit him with a rock or some other projectile. But he dismissed it as he knew an aching head would be the least of his problems if they've caught up with him. He remember running towards the building in the middle of the clearing, but when stepped over where he thought the air was funny his consciousness seem to have been jolted and disoriented. Then all went black.

Naruto slowly opened his eyes then blinked several times, trying to get a bearing of his surroundings. He found himself standing in front of what seemed to be a fairly large but decrepit old shrine temple of sorts. Judging from the condition of the structure, it was safe to say it has seen better days. The roof was missing tiles, the walls were littered with holes, the main doors all but destroyed, and several support columns had collapsed bringing sections of the floor with it. At the entrance of the temple was a crest, a familiar red spiral, that reminded Naruto of the one Konoha shinobi have on the back of their vests. But despite the state of disrepair, the temple seem give off a commanding presence and an air of hidden power.

The young blond turned around and found to his surprise that he was all alone. He half expected to find the mob charging right at him, but all the sound he could hear was that of the birds amongst the treetops settling in for the night and the faint but constant sound of flowing water he had discovered earlier. He wondered where the crowd was and what made them leave him alone. Did they simply lost interest or did he managed to lose them? Or was it something else?

Oh, he knew about the ANBU that often trailed him wherever he went. Naruto figured they were probably ordered to follow him around, by the Hokage perhaps. He never did had the chance to converse with them as they kept their distance but they've intervened on his behalf several times whenever the villagers went too far with their cruelty against him. Could they have been responsible this time too? One thing is certain, though: he was now alone— again.

"Anybody home?" Naruto shouted. Though he doubted if anyone lives in this glorified hovel, you never know and he certainly don't want to be accused of trespassing.

"Hello!" he repeated. Still nobody answered but an unease was starting to grow within him. Trying to ignore it he thought aloud, "Well, I guess nobody lives around here."

"I wouldn't be so sure if I were you," said a voice that seemed to echo in his head

Naruto almost jumped out of his skin in surprise and then turn around several times trying to see where the speaker was, almost breaking his neck as he snapped his head to and fro in every direction. It was a man's voice but he's not really sure. Try as he might he couldn't see hide or hair of another person.

Mustering his courage he shouted, "Who are you! Show yourself! Are- are you a gh- ghost?"

"In a manner of speaking," answered the voice, mirth clearly discernible in its tone. Naruto squeaked in apprehension. The voice continued, "I much desire to speak to you. Would you not like come in?"

"O-okay," Naruto answered in a stuttering manner, quite unsure if this was a good idea.

Gingerly climbing the rickety stairs, he stood just outside the main doors of the shrine and tried to peer through the darkness of the interior. But as soon as his head crossed the threshold of the shrine lamps fixed across the walls immediately sprang to life, each giving off a bluish white light the swept the darkness away.

The young blond felt as though his body was on autopilot; a voice in his head whispering directions and his legs would simply move on their own, navigating through several corridors. Finally he found himself standing in front of the honden or main hall that was several times the size of his meager apartment. At the center of the far wall was raised podium of sorts where several oni-masks hung in rows beneath three connected spirals. Underneath the masks was an ornate decorative piece that resemble black flames. Moth-eaten draperies completed the setting. When he first saw the masks Naruto almost shouted, as the flickering lights made them more menacing than they already were. He felt a shiver run down his spine as he imagined them leering, waiting to pounce and eat him alive.

"Hey, where are you?" he called out, hoping to finally find out who was the owner of the voice.

"Put your hand on the orb," was all the voice said.

Naruto's eyes fell on the small altar just below the mask podium. It was of a hexagonal shape, framed by an intricate motif made of gold, and at its center was a dark velvet pillow. Resting on the pillow was an orb about twice the size of a chicken egg. It's surface was smooth and clear, like a big glass marble. A faint light seem to glow from within the orb, giving it a bluish tint which pulsed slightly now and then. Lying beside the on the right side of the altar was a golden shakujo with a pointed tip that resembled a spear. On the left was an enormous scroll, had it been standing it would have been as tall as he was and he doubted he could wrap his arms around its girth.

"Here goes nothing." Naruto with a trembling hand slowly and carefully reach out for the orb, all the while wondering if running away from this place wasn't such a bad idea.

The moment his skin touched the orb the whole room was suddenly engulf in a bright light. As he tried to shield his eyes, he attempted to retract him hand but found out the he couldn't. He felt that something was flowing from him toward the orb and he panicked. Before he could do anything, however, a loud laughter resounded across the empty hall.

"Well, well, that was an interesting effect. Didn't expect that. Now, tell me, young man, what is your name."

Naruto just stood there as he was impersonating a fish out of the water. Standing, no floating, in front of him was tall man with a somewhat emaciated appearance, his auburn hair cut straight along his jaw line and had asymmetrical bangs cut in a severe angle. He wore a garb similar to a Shinto priest's jo-e or ceremonial robes in white and red, minus the eboshi or cap, with a large spiral symbol on his chest and both shoulders and seemed to be carrying a small folding fan. Naruto, however, could not see where the man's feet were, for his legs terminated into what could be described as a hazy cloud the floated about a foot off the floor making the man seemingly even taller that he already was. But nothing unnerved Naruto more than the calm but intimidating presence he seems to exude.

Naruto swallowed the lump in his throat and somehow found his voice. "I'm Na-Naruto. Uzumaki Naruto."

The stranger adopted a calculating look as though trying to decide the veracity of his declaration.

Then the man's face broke into a slight but clearly smug smile. "Of course you are."

"What? What do you mean?" Naruto fearfully asked. "Who are you? And what is this place?"

"Oh, so many questions," pouted the apparition, now adopting a facetious demeanor. "Very well, my name is Tomohisa, though do call me Tomo as my name is a mouthful. I am or was the last priest of this shrine-" he looked around the room "-or what's left of it anyway. As for what I meant, it's simple: I don't believe in coincidence and I have been expecting you for some time."

"OK," replied Naruto somewhat dubiously. Half of him was starting to believe that this was all a dream or nightmare which he will be waking up from. The other half was simply curious. "So, what exactly are you, Tomo-san? Are you alive? And what is this dump anyway?"

Tomo just chuckled at Naruto. "My, my such curiosity. I supposed I should tell you, after all you found this place and managed to penetrate its defenses. But before I begin, tell me of your parents, of your family."

At the mention of parents and family, something he had always desired for as long as he could remember, Naruto's eyes became downcast and his mood turned melancholy. "I don't have parents, I'm an orphan or so they've told me. I don't have any relatives either," he finally answered in a quiet voice barely audible but Tomo seemed to have heard him.

The man was pensive, his eyes thoughtful. He looked he was thinking things over. It was several minutes before he spoke. "Hmm, this peculiar. But we will address those questions later. Sit down and make yourself comfortable Naruto-kun, even an abridged version of what I am to tell you will take some time. For now we will start from the beginning, namely who and what am I."

Naruto looked back up and gave the man his full attention.

"My name is Uzumaki Tomohisa, scion of the Uzumaki clan." Naruto's widened at this declaration which Tomo saw. He seemed to understand Naruto's realization that, despite what he has been told, he has relatives or at least had one -and a whole clan a that- giving him a sense of belonging that the boy had always desired. "Yes, Naruto-kun, we are both descended from the same clan."

"Really?" The longing was painfully evident from the child's voice.

Tomo then proceeded to tell the enraptured Naruto the general outline of their clan. "The Uzumaki clan hailed from an island nation of what was then called Uzu no Kuni, the Land of Whirlpools, where they later established the hidden village of Uzushio. They were both feared and respected across the elemental nations as the preeminent masters of the art of Fuinjutsu. It was one of their greatest assets, but proved to be the downfall of the clan.

Tell me, Naruto-kun, have you heard of the Senju clan?"

"Umm, isn't that the clan of the Shodaime and Nidaime Hokage?" answered Naruto.

"That is correct." Tomo nodded and Naruto smiled pleased with himself. "The Uzumaki clan and the Senju clan were distantly related, by both blood and marriage. They were also steadfast allies both in war and in peace. This bond was further deepened when Senju Hashirama, the Shodaime, married Uzumaki Mito, daughter of then head of the Uzumaki clan. As a sign of respect and gratitude for this bond, the rasen-mon (spiral crest) of the Uzumaki clan was incorporated into the standard uniform of Konoha shinobi, an honor never before or again bestowed to any other clan." He paused as he saw the boy's face of dawning comprehension.

"I knew it!" he exclaimed. "I thought it was familiar. But if this shrine has the same mon, then that means..." his voice trailed off as he realized the implications.

Tomo chuckled once more. "Well, I see you figured it out, Naruto-kun. I bid you welcome to the Uzumaki Nomendo." He gestured expansively, as though presenting the hall of the emperor or something grand.

Naruto tilted his head. "Nomendo?"

"Yes, as you can see, these masks," he pointed towards the rows of scary looking masks hanging on the wall, "are among the relics of our clan, they were kept here and it gave rise to the temple's name. But we are getting ahead of ourselves."

He began slowly floating to and fro in front of Naruto. "When Mito-san married Hashirama-dono, the clan gave the schematics of a wide-area detection barrier as a wedding gift to be used as part of Konoha's defenses. Despite his prodigious talent or that of his brother, Hashirama-dono could not make heads nor tails of the schematics as they were custom-designed by the top Uzumaki masters of the time. The look on his face when he beheld the plan was truly priceless." He broke out snickering. After collecting himself he continued. "So he requested for a few members of the Uzumaki to help implement the barrier system and teach others how to maintain it afterwards.

"Now, are you familiar with kekkei genkai, Naruto-kun?" he asked the blond and got a negative response in turn. "In general terms, kekkei genkai are genetic traits or abilities that is passed down from one generation to the next. They are uncommon thus are highly sought-after and are often associated with a particular clan. For example, the Uchiha clan have their Sharingan while the Kaguya clan possessed the Shikotsumyaku [Dead Bone Pulse] bloodline. And our clan also had one."

Naruto's eyes nearly bugged out of its sockets at Tomo's words. He had a kekkei genkai? His head could not wrap around the fact the he, the pariah of the village, had a something that many a clan would give everything to possess. "I have a bloodline limit? What is it?"

Chuckling at the boy's incredulous tone he started what appears to be his version of pacing once more. "Well, nobody bothered to give it a name I'm afraid." Naruto's face dropped at this. "You see members of our clan possessed what could be best described as special life force. This is something we share with our Senju relatives but it manifested in different ways. For the Senju, this special life force strengthened their jutsu and allow them to endure battles that would have killed most men. Amongst our clansmen it resulted into their unnatural longevity, so much so that Uzushiogakure was also known as Choju no Sato [Village of Longevity]. It allowed Uzumaki to reach ages only dreamed of by your average person. It gave them great stamina that made them highly durable, and large chakra reserves so that they were able to activate high level seals that would have been impossible otherwise.

"But beyond the physical attributes this life force gave, it also gifted a few of our clansmen abnormally potent chakra." Here he paused and gave a self-satisfied smirk. "Which brings us now to me."

"I was born just a few years before my kinswoman, Uzumaki Mito, long before Konohagakure was founded. That was the era when various clans fought against each other, vying for power and influence, an era of seemingly unending war and conflict. I am one of those of our clan whose chakra was somewhat different. As an Uzumaki I was trained from childhood in the shinobi arts and fuinjutsu in particular though I specialized in the creation and application of kekkai. I also discovered shortly in my career I am able to create various constructs made out of chakra which allowed me to manipulate space-time." A smug smile briefly appeared on Tomo's face.

"That being the case, I was among the ones sent to implement the detection barrier for Konoha. Eventually I decided to settle here afte Mito-san's insistence. I helped maintain the barrier system and trained a few apprentices, that became the Konoha Barrier Squad, to carry on the work after I retired. This temple was built to honor our work and to hold the records of those few Uzumaki that made Konoha their home and in time I became its custodian. Tragedy, however, struck in my waning days when Uzushiogakure was wiped out."

"What! What happened?" interrupted Naruto.

"Remember what I told you about our clan's fuinjutsu?" Tomo got a nod. "Well, it reached a point that other countries, envious and fearful of our skill in that particular branch, decided that the Uzumaki were a serious threat and needed to be eliminated. The strong alliance that have always existed between Konoha and Uzushio also did not sit well with them. A coalition of hidden villages made a surprise attack and caught our clan unawares. Despite their valiant efforts, they were simply overwhelmed by sheer numbers as the Uzumaki clan was never numerous to begin with. I, along with the Konoha's forces, tried to aid them but we were all too late. By the time we arrived, the annihilation was all but complete. Only a few survived and escaped the destruction of our village, and those that did were scattered into the four winds." Tomo shook his head sadly as the blond child could feel the sad and remorseful aura he gave off. He paused in his pacing and just floated with a faraway look, clearly reminiscing about the past. Then, just as abruptly, he continued his narrative.

"For all the potency of my life force, I knew I was dying." Seeing Naruto's shocked look, he explained with a smirk. "Yes, yes, you see me young and healthy, at the peak of my prime. But do not be fooled, Naruto-kun. What you see before you, is but a projection of memory or an echo, if you will, of Uzumaki Tomohisa. The fruit of painstaking preparation as well as a dying man's desperation.

"Even during my time, the Senju clan, for all their power and influence, were already dwindling. The same was true of the other clans and the Uzumaki clan was not spared. Wars and disease have taken their toll. I've never married and had no children. I wanted to pass down the teachings of our clan, to have an heir to whom the clan secrets, my secrets could be transferred to. And so I gathered all my knowledge and the collective knowledge of the clan and compiled them into memory scrolls using seals and my chakra and I stored all of it here inside the shrine. And lastly, I preserved an echo of myself into that orb that you see in the hope that a worthy successor might just turn up. And here you are."

"What do you mean, Tomo-san?" a confused Naruto asked.

"After my preparations were complete I knew I had to put up sufficient protections against those would try to steal the knowledge of the Uzumaki clan. I erected a double dislocation barrier encompassing the whole surrounding area. It erases whatever is within it from existence and removing the space it takes up from an outsider's inner consciousness, making it so one is not able to even perceive its presence. The very thought of getting close to it does not even occur to those outside it. Not even those who possess doujutsu powers can see through it. I designed it in such a way so that only those who possessed Uzumaki chakra may penetrate it. And that is why I immediately knew you are an Uzumaki."

"Ah, so that's why the air around outside looked a bit funny. I thought there was something wrong with my eyes." He realized it must have been because of the barrier that villagers lost track of him, right under their noses! He snickered inwardly as he imagine the faces of those stupid people.

Tomo looked at Naruto with surprise. "Interesting, Naruto-kun, that you were able to actually perceived it. But then again I can see the kekkai structure had been deteriorating if the temple itself is in this condition. At full power, the barrier would have prevented the decay you now see and kept the shrine standing in its full glory. Much time must have passed since I died." He again looked around, surveying the damage that time has wrought. He turned back again to Naruto. "Normally, this technique, which I developed myself by the way, allowing a portion of my stored memory to converse with you wouldn't last for more than an hour. The jutsu requires too much power that has already been spent trying to maintain the temple and its grounds. My original purpose was simply to give directions on how to access the knowledge I stored to my successor, namely you. But because the surprising amount and potency of the chakra you channeled into the orb I calculate I now have few hours more before this form completely dissipates. This will allow me to guide you in the basics of what you need to learn."

"Huh?" was Naruto's reply.

"Really, kid, if you get any slower, I swear you're going backwards. You are an Uzumaki, that alone qualifies you to receive the legacy of our clan. But more importantly, you were able to activate the orb that held part of me, which tells us that your chakra is compatible to my abilities. That means you might be able to use the same abilities that I have had."

"Cool! I want to learn your jutsu!" A clearly excited Naruto was almost jumping up and down with anticipation. "So what are we going to do?"

"Hold your horses," replied the clearly amused Tomo. "First tell me about yourself."

Naruto began telling his whole life until now. From being kicked out of the orphanage to all the harassment and vilification he had to continuously endure from the villagers. It took a while and he was getting hungry, but for some reason he could not stop himself from sharing everything to this man whatever he is. Perhaps because he was one of the few that genuinely listened and tried to undestand him. By the time he was finished he looked up at the apparition of Tomo that seem to be shaking with barely concealed anger, his calm, mischievous demeanor all gone. Naruto could feel the floor, no the whole room, subtly shaking and knew that Tomo was somehow causing it. After a long, awkward silence, Tomo spoke again his voice somewhat tight and controlled.

"Do you have any idea why they would do such a thing? To a child no less?"

"No," answered Naruto in a forlorn tone. "Nobody tells me even when I asked. But they always called me 'demon' or the like."

Tomo stood pensive for a moment, rubbing his chin as he seem to have realized something. "Tell me, Naruto-kun, have you had peculiar dreams? Dreams the seemed to persist though you can't understand them?"

"Uhm, yeah. I often dream of standing inside a giant sewer. It stinks and there's a presence that I could never make out. It feels dark and evil."

"I see." Then he looked at the child's eyes as if debating with himself if he should continue. "Can you lift you shirt, Naruto-kun? I need to confirm something." The boy followed his instructions. He slowly gasped as he immediately recognized the markings that adorned the boy's stomach, especially the spiral at the center. "That's the Shishou Fuin [Four Symbol Seal] done in the style of an Uzumaki seal...no, it's a double Shishou Fuin..." he trailed off as he examined the seal array closer. "A modified form of the Hakke no Fuin Shiki [Eight Trigrams Sealing Style]. It was first used by Mito-san to seal the..." Then he looked sharply at Naruto.

"Have you ever heard the term jinchuriki?"

"What's that?" was the bewildered reply.

He looked sadly at the young Uzumaki, now fully realizing what he had to endure. He took a while before answering. "Jinchuriki are people who have something sealed inside them, specifically a bijuu. It literally means 'power of human sacrifice' alluding to the burden and hardships a person had to endure once they became vessels of a bijuu. That seal on your stomach is something that the Uzumaki seal masters came up with to combat the tailed beasts that once roamed the earth. I was one of the those who had a hand in developing it."

A dawning comprehension descended on Naruto's face. Finally here was the reason why he was held in such contempt by the villagers of Konoha, why parents admonished their children from associating with him, why he was all alone in the world. Unbidden, tears sprang from his eyes.

"So I'm a jinchuriki?" he sobbed.

"Unfortunately so, Naruto-kun," answered Tomo not unkindly.

"Then it's true what they say? I am a demon?"

Tomo instantly looked affronted at the notion. "Absolutely not!" He brought his face right front of Naruto. "Look at me, Naruto-kun." It took Naruto a minute before he did. "You are not a demon; you may be a vessel of a demon but that does any make into one and never listen to anyone who says otherwise." Naruto managed a smile albeit weakly as he can't help but trust this man, the only other Uzumaki he's ever known.

"No, by no measure are you a demon. Though, based on your own admission, those pranks of yours could qualify you." This seem to have settled the young boy as wiped away his tears. Tomo turned serious again. "What I am curious about is which bijuu was sealed inside you...unless..."

"The Kyuubi no Yoko!" was a terrified exclamation that escaped Naruto's mouth. In turn it caused Tomo head to turn sharply at the boy. Then he recounted the stories he had heard from the villagers about the Yondaime Hokage defeating the Kyubi, how he sacrifice himself to save the village. And the fact that it happen on his birthday.

The apparition was again thoughful. "A Yondaime, huh? Then that means the snot-nosed Sarutobi Hiruzen has either stepped down or finally kicked the bucket. He was Hokage when I died."

"What, you mean Hokage-jiji?" Naruto asked. The old man was among the few people who had shown him kindness and the boy looked up to him as would a grandson to his grandfather. "I think they call him Sarutobi."

"Oh, so he still around, eh? I still remember him running around the village like a monkey with his tail on fire." This caused Naruto to snicker. "One thing is certain though, Naruto-kun, no human, no matter how powerful or skilled could ever hope to kill one of the bijuu, much less the Kyuubi, the most powerful of the nine. Each of them is a giant mass of chakra given life long before reliable records existed. Uchiha Madara could control it, Senju Hashirama could force it into submission, but for all their power they could not destroy it. It can only be contained by a select few.

"What I am about to tell you, Naruto-kun, is a secret highly guarded by the village leadership during my time. And I highly doubt that policy has been changed after all this time, so I have to ask you not to repeat it to anyone unless totally necessary." The admonished the boy who immediately bobbed his head. "But you do have the right to know, as it is part of your heritage. And it affects you directly.

After Hashirama-dono defeated his erstwhile rival, Uchiha Madara, and wrested control of the Kyuubi, it was Uzumaki Mito that sealed the creature. It was fortuitous that Mito-san, an exceptional practitioner of fuinjutsu in her own right, also had a special chakra. A kind of chakra that was strong enough to contained and use part of the power of the Nine-Tails.

"Nearing the end of her long life, it was decided to seal the Kyuubi into another jinchuriki. The power of the bijuu has proven too great that it we believed only another Uzumaki could hope to contain it. In the end another kinsman, a girl name Uzumaki Kushina from Uzushio, was selected. She too possessed a powerful and compatible chakra; it was I who sealed the Kyubi into her when Mito-san died, a fate I shared not long after. Which makes me wonder what happened for the bijuu to break-out of the seal." Here paused, floated and stood in front of Naruto.

"But that is something you must find out on your own, I'm afraid, as my existence is near its end and we still have something important to do. But now you understand that being a jinchuriki of the Kyuubi places you among great company so be proud, Naruto-kun, rather than wallow in self-pity. Let's get down to business, shall we?" Tomo floated right back at the altar. He pointed at the huge scroll. "This scroll contains all my memories, or rather those memories that I cared to record. All the knowledge that I've amassed: techniques, history, tactics, even my perceptions on the things that I have experience during my lifetime, all stored here. Like reading a book but the information directly imprinted into your mind. Sounds awesome right? It will also give you further instructions about the rest of the records stored within the shrine."

Naruto stared in awe at the scroll. Tomo continued, "This is a gift and a responsibility that I'm bequeathing you. It will be your duty to make sure that our clan secrets remain a secret but at same time still flourish. You are an Uzumaki, this is your legacy and I expect you to treasure it and perhaps one day you will passed it on."

"Of course, Tomo-san! You have my promise." Naruto seemed to stand taller and radiated pride at being given such trust. "I'm Uzumaki Naruto, and I don't go back from my word!"

A slight chuckle. "I expect nothing less, Naruto-kun. So, open the scroll and make a few drops of blood onto the diamond seal that you can see."

The young jinchuriki complied. The scroll was tightly bound but at his touch it immediately opened and revealing a foot-long section with a curious diamond-shaped seal. He bit his fingers and let a few drops of blood onto it. The moment it touched the surface of the scroll, the writings began to softly glow. Naruto took a step back unsure if he did something wrong.

"Good, good, the blood seal activated. Now put your hand on that seal, say 'Kai' and release as much chakra as you can. Can you do that?"

"Release my chakra? I don't know how."

"Eh? Really?" Tomo paused for a moment. "Just remember what you did earlier when you touched the orb, remember the sensation of the flow. The seal itself will draw chakra from you but you must force a huge amount into it in order the break the seal and transfer my memories to yourself."

Naruto breathed deeply and squared his shoulders. You can do this, he said to himself. He slammed his palm into the center of the seal and shouted, "Kai!"

Instantly the seal glowed even stronger as Naruto crouched there frozen like a statue. His eyes were glazed, seemingly blank as a Hyuuga's, and oblivious to everything.

He did not see the apparition of Uzumaki Tomohisa starting to fade. "Good luck, Naruto-kun. The future of our clan now rests in your hands. One day you will bring back its glory. I know it." With a final smile, Tomo disappeared.


- And there you have it. Thanks for reading, and reviews would be greatly appreciated. Do try to be nice though. ;P -