Dawn's Sage


Minato was not having a good day. Sure it started out fine, just like any other. Then Kushina had gone into labor, and October tenth had gone from decent to wonderful. He was a father to a beautiful boy named Naruto. Then some masked man claiming to be Madara Uchiha had not only found out about the ANBU guarded cave where his son was born, but had gotten past the guards, killed Sarutobi's wife, kidnapped his son, taken Kushina when Minato went to save Naruto, released the Nine Tails in the middle of the village, and just when Minato had him, he escaped anyway. If Minato lived through today, a feat getting less and less likely, he would despise October the tenth.

However, Minato had to prioritize. And right now the biggest priority was dealing with the Nine Tails. The beast had so many legends spread about it and its fearsome power, and lived up to every single one. Killing this kind of beast was beyond even the First Hokage, and was definitely beyond his own skills. But while Minato might not have the Tailed Beast suppressing Wood Style, he did have something the First didn't. Sealing. All he had to do was keep the Nine Tails occupied long enough to finish the job. Minato glanced at the raging tails and gave up any hope of holding the thing down himself. Minato bit his thumb and ran through the hand signs. He jumped above the Nine Tails and slammed his palm down. And in a puff of smoke the great beast was gone.

"Not quite gone yet," Minato reminded himself. Using the Flying Thunder God on two targets of such size was straining even for him. And he still had to get Kushina and… the container for the Nine Tails. "Gamabunta! I need you to hold this thing down while I prepare… the seal!"

"No promises, I might finish him off before you get back!" said the large chief of the Toads. As it turned out, the new chief still had some growing to do mentally. In the scarce minute that Minato was gone the Nine Tails had managed to slice his stomach despite the toad playing a careful defense. Any wounds inflicted by the toad's blade seemed to disappear within seconds. Gamabunta stuck to firing off Water Bullets from a distance after almost having his gut spilled over the forest.

Minato returned, now with a small child and his dying wife. Minato summoned a sealing altar on top of Gamabunta's head and put the child down on the platform to begin the sealing. Any other day, Gamabunta would have been angry at being treated like a glorified table, but today he realized it was something he had to overlook.

Gamabunta wasn't the only one to notice the presence of a sealing altar and a jinchuriki-to-be. The Nine Tails roared in anger before sprinting at Gamabunta to try and interrupt the sealing. Minato shouted something as well, and though it was drowned out by the Nine Tails' fury, Gamabunta could guess what it was he had to do. Just as the Nine Tails neared him, the toad leapt into the air and stabbed the Nine Tails' reaching paw into the ground with his sword. Minato finished whatever he had been doing on top of the toad's head, and a pressing feeling of death overtook the area. The Nine Tails roared again, not in rage this time, but something more akin to fear or annoyance.

Then the beast shrunk. Gamabunta couldn't find any other way to explain it. The Nine Tails went from a healthy looking, if enormous and nine-tailed, fox to a scrawny, laughable facsimile of the terrifying beast it was. But the Nine Tails was anything but weak, even in its diluted state. Gamabunta's eyes widened as the Nine Tails lunged forward with its claws, threatening to impale what Gamabunta presumed was the new jinchuriki on top of his head. Gamabunta tried to dodge the attack, but it had come from such a close range he had no real chance of dodging it completely. Still Gamabunta though he had evaded it as the claw passed over his eye by several feet, not much in relation to the two beasts fighting. As it was, the toad ended up with a wound over his left eye, the Nine Tails' corrosive chakra leaving a massive scar. He had blinked on reflex, the only thing preventing him from losing his eye entirely.

The feeling of death came on seemingly twice as strong as before, and the Nine Tails roared in absolute fury at being entirely sealed into a newborn baby. Gamabunta looked down as he saw Minato Namikaze, the Yellow Flash, the Fourth Hokage of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, fall to the forest floor alongside his wife, Kushina Uzumaki. His summoner dead, Gamabunta returned to Mount Myobokuzan, his last image that of the Third Hokage catching their bodies.

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Gamabunta returned to the sound of toads all around and a cacophony of questions.

"QUIET!" yelled Gamabunta, "ONE AT A TIME!"

The crowd parted to allow two toads through, one green and one purple, both only as big as Gamabunta's eye. These were Fukasaku and Shima, the Elder Toad Sages of Mount Myubokuzan. Of course the young hotshot of a chief liked to remind them mostly of the Elder part of their title. "Little Minato's name is no longer on the wall of summoners. As the last toad summoned, do you know anything we don't?" asked Fukasaku, the little green toad.

"Aye, he died defeating the Nine Tails. I don't know the circumstances around the fight, but if Minato hadn't of sealed the thing when he did, I might not be here." said Gamabunta.

"That's Minato for you. Even when he's facing the Nine Tails, he still manages to win. He was a good summoner." murmured Shima.

"By the way boy, I can see the scar on your eye and your gut coming from the Nine Tails' claws, but what on earth caused that thing on your head?" asked Fukasaku.

"What?!" exclaimed Gamabunta as he reached up on his head in a panic. His hands settled on a lump in the middle of his head that hadn't been there before. As soon as he covered the bump, it began to cry.

"Oi! Be quiet up there!" the toad chief yelled. This of course did nothing but make the lump cry all the louder.

Shima jumped up on the chief's head to see what was up on his head, as it was now clearly not a battle wound. Upon reaching the crying mass, she discovered it to be a child, not even a day old yet, with blond hair and three marks down the sides of his cheeks. Looking at the sealing altar he was placed upon, Shima shouted down to Gamabunta, "It looks like the new jinchuriki tagged along for the ride back. We can't get him back to the Hidden Leaf now that Minato's dead. We could send a message to Jiraiya. Then again I don't want to be trusting him with a baby."

"You two are plenty old enough to have raised a lot of tadpoles in your time. What's one more for a short time?" asked Gamabunta mockingly.

"That might not be the worst idea you've had boy. I guess we can care for the little tadpole for a while. After all, he looks enough like him to be Minato's son. We could use a new summoner. Then again, we might be too old for the job… Why don't you take the crying, pooping, crying, eating, crying little tyke, eh?" said Fukasaku as Shima joined him on the ground, now carrying the baby.

"Oh no, that's quite, uh, generous, but, you know, I have a young one of my own all the way and, umm, you two would be a much better influence on him! I couldn't deprive you of such joy when I already have my own." stammered Gamabunta as he quietly regretted his choice to mock his elders' age.

"So boy, does the tyke have a name?" asked Shima.

"I… don't know."

A light green toad about the size of a horse with a ridiculous bow and makeup hopped forward and spoke up in an equally ridiculously high voice. "I remember Jiraiya honey mentioning how Minato's son was going to be named after the main character of his first book. So his name is probably Naruto. Could I get a closer look at little Naruto? He is so cute I could simply-"

"Thank you for your help Gamariki, I think we should get Naruto here settled if he's to be staying for any length of time." interrupted Fukasaku.

"Well you don't have to be so rude about it." replied Gamriki as his voice dropped several octaves.

With that the toads all went their separate ways to both mourn Minato's death and rejoice in having found a new prospective summoner so soon. Gamabunta went to lick his wound (figuratively) by soaking in one of Mount Myobokuzan's oil springs. Fukasaku and Shima carried the now identified Naruto to their house to get a room ready for him, and hopefully stop his incessant crying. Fukasaku hoped that Naruto would be an acceptable replacement for Minato as a summoner. Little did he know that Naruto would smash his expectations into a thousand pieces.

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A/N: Prologue of my first fic is now a real thing. Wooo! This might seem a bit like Konoha's Young Sage, but that's just the prologue I swear! I've read most of the decent Naruto fanfics, and some of the bad ones, and I have yet to find one like what I have planned for this. At least nothing as (hopefully) well written and (hopefully) realistic in its execution. Thanks for reading!