Heh hey everybody! It's time for chapter two! I just want to say that you guys are absolutely amazing. I've been getting story favorites and reviews out the yin yang and that was before the chapter was even a out for a full day. What's more is that was only the prologue of the entire story! I don't see myself as THAT good of a writer. But you guys make me feel like I could be. It doesn't matter how many stories I write. If I didn't have your support, they wouldn't even be on this website. Kitsune deserves a lot of credit too. A lot of the ideas from that last chapter, and the chapters to come are all thanks to him. After all, he was the one who wrote the original story. None of this is possible without him. In fact, give him all the credit! I know I yap on about how awesome you guys are a lot, but the fact of the matter is, I feel like I can't give enough praise. I don't want to be someone who forgets the real important part about these stories. The reader(s). I want to make sure I always put you guys first. I don't ever want to forget why I do this. And with that, the drabble ends. Haha! It's time I let you guys get to the reason why you're here. Enjoy the chapter! ON TO THE STORY!
A New Beginning
***October 10th, 16 years earlier.***
Minato and Kushina stood over their newborn baby, impaled by the Kyuubi. Kushina had just finished telling Naruto all she wanted to tell him. Now it was Minato's turn.
"Naruto, my message to you is...I guess it's the same as your nagging mother's." He said in a loving voice.
Kushina continued to cry as Minato closed his eyes ready to perform the Eight Signed Seal. Just then, a large cloud of smoke appeared out of nowhere, startling Minato and Kushina as it created a strong gust of wind around them.
"Damnit...I had hoped to go further back before this event occurred." Came a low booming voice from inside the smoke.
"Who are you!? Who's there?" Minato demanded, seemingly forgetting he had one of the Kyuubi's nails piercing through his stomach.
"Don't recognize me, Fourth Hokage?" The voice spoke again.
The smoke cleared and Minato, Kushina, and even the Kyuubi were shocked to see a second Kyuubi standing next to them.
"What?! That's impossible! How can there be two Kyuubis!? I only had one sealed inside of me! There shouldn't even be another!" Kushina stated in utter confusion.
"Is this some kind of replication jutsu!?" Minato wondered in panic.
"Wh-...What are you doing here?" The past Kurama asked his future self.
"There were things that happened in my time that I cannot undo there. So I used that jutsu, hoping to come back and change what is to come."
"What the hell are they talking about? His time? What does that mean!?" Minato thought to himself.
Kushina was wondering the same thing. However, time was running out for Naruto's parents and the future Kurama knew that.
"Listen. We have to merge now. This time can't handle two of us. I'm going to absorb you now as per usual." Future Kurama told his counrerpart.
"Fine by me. I'd rather be absorbed by you than be trapped inside a brat." Past Kurama conceded.
"What? He's going to absorb himself!? That's not good! If he does that, that'll mean he'll be free to continue rampaging! And all of this will have been for nothing!" The Forth shouted in his head.
The future Kurama turned to the two impaled humans. "Minato, I know what you are probably thinking. But I must ask you to trust me and do not seal my other version behind you. I have not come here to destroy the village."
Minato looked into Kurama's eyes. He wanted desperately to stop him, but when he looked in his eyes, he saw no deception. He was speaking the truth.
"...Ok. I won't stop you." He said.
Kushina was baffled. "What are you doing! He's obviously lying! You can't trust him! Look at what he's done!" She shouted back to her husband.
"Heh. Foolish human. You should have sealed me when you had the chance. Of course he's lying to you." Past Kurama said. He turned his attention to his doppelganger. "Quick! Absorb me now before he stops you!"
Future Kurama nodded and placed both his hands on his other half. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes to concentrate. The past Kurama let out an evil, victorious chuckle as he started to lose shape and became red chakra. The chakra started to flow into the new Kurama until every last bit had disappeared. He felt his power return to him and let out a large sigh as he finished taking in his former self. As a result, the claw that had impaled Minato and Kushina had disappeared. Kushina dropped to her hands and knees and panted while Minato rested on one knee, still as exhausted. He looked to Kurama in suspicion, wondering if he had done the right thing. The Nine-Tailed demon then began to make hand signs for a new jutsu. When he was finished, a large beam of chakra shot from eight of his tails and traveled toward the village. Minato and Kushina were angered by this as they thought he had just attacked it. He turned to them and raised a hand before they could say anything.
"I know you don't have much time left, so I'll keep this brief. Seeing as you're both dying, I see no problem explaining what you just witnessed. I'm the Kyuubi from the future. I have a hidden ability that no one, not even my fellow beasts know about. It's a time traveling jutsu where I go back in time and absorb my past self, rendering me the only Kyuubi in that time period. Thus allowing me to re-write events that have yet to happen here. What you just saw me do was take a specific amount of my chakra and transfer it to eight other individuals in your village. It went to those who will grow up to become Naruto's friends. And for the ones who are not born yet, I transferred the chakra to their mothers, so when they are born, they will be able to pass it along to them."
"I...see...and why...did you come back to this time And why did you give the others chakra as well?" Minato asked panting.
Kushina was too weak to speak and just watched and listened to the Nine-Tail's explation.
"In my time, your son is a hero, who saved the world from destruction. And his friends played a major role in helping him achieve victory."
Both of Naruto's parents were shocked to hear that, but elated at the same time. Kushina smiled and cried, while Minato congratulated his son until he realized he was still talking to a baby.
"He...He's a hero? Then Master Jirya was right. He is the child of prophecy!" Minato said in a proud manor. He then coughed up blood.
"It's best you don't speak anymore. Or as little as possible. There is still something I need you to do before you pass on. I want you to seal me inside Naruto like you were going to do before."
"You mean,...you're really not here to destroy the village?" Kushina struggled to ask.
Kurama shook his head. "No. I meant what I said earlier. I'm not the same as the Kurama you had just fought. Your son...He is one of a kind. He reformed me and I am eternally grateful to him."
While skeptical, they couldn't help but believe him. If he had wanted to, he could have killed them easily right then and there. Kushina couldn't believe that her son had turned one of the most evil creatures on the planet into a good guy. As for Minato, he had something else on his mind.
"You called your past self Kurama. What's that about."
Kurama didn't realize his mistake until it was pointed out. There was no point in hiding that now either.
"Kurama...is my real name. Everyone called me Kyuubi or Nine-Tailed fox, and I never really bothered to tell anyone. Only the other beasts and your son, as well as a few people in my time, know it."
"Ah. I see...I like it a lot better than the alternatives. Thank you, Kurama."
He didn't know why, but having Minato call him by his name made him happy. But it was short lived as he got back to business.
"I'm sorry. I wanted to come back further and save both of you too, but I didn't have enough chakra. I have plenty now, but unfortunately, I can't use the technique for another 12 years as a result. But the real downside is, I also fall unconscious for that amount of time as well. It happens after I take in my past self, because it's too much to take in at one time. Therefore, I must recover from the technique before I am able to do anything for Naruto. I only have about maybe three minutes left before I pass out. And that's pushing it longer than normal. However, I can still help him when the time comes for me to awaken. If you seal me inside of him, I promise I will protect him as he grows up. He will not face any true danger until then. And with the help of his friends, whom I just gave my chakra to, I have no doubt he will be safe."
"I understand, but if he saved the world in your time, then why did you come back here?" Minato asked curiously. He let out another cough and was running out of time as his vision started to blur as well.
Kurama looked to the side and seemed to become depressed. "I'd...rather not say..."
It didn't take a genius to figure out why. Minato smiled sadly. "I see. So that's why."
Kushina began to cry. "I...can't believe our son..." She couldn't finish her sentence as she started to sob.
"I'm sorry...I tried my best...but it wasn't enough...that is why I've come back. Now hurry before it's too late! You have my word that the same fate won't befall him this time!"
Minato nodded in understanding. "Ok. Thank you...Kurama."
He stood up and used every last bit of his energy to stand over his son. Kurama walked toward him and held out his hand. Minato put his hand on both of them.
"I'm counting on you." He said.
Kurama nodded and Minato took a deep breath. "Eight Signed Seal." He said weakly.
A bright and blinding light surrounded them. Minato squeezed his eyes shut until the light had subsided. When he opened them again, Kurama was gone, and Naruto had the seal in place on his stomach. Minato formed a small smile in triumph. He turned to his wife who was now lying on the ground and breathing slowly. He walked over to her with the remainder of his energy and fell to her side. He reached for her hand and held it. Kushina looked at him and smiled sadly.
"Do you think he'll be alright?" She asked in barely a whisper.
"I know he will. I have faith in both of them. I'm sorry things turned out like this. But we will see him again."
A tear ran down Kushina's cheek. "Yeah...I know we will...I love you, Minato. I love you both so much."
"I love you too. I'll see you on the other side."
She smiled happily and closed her eyes. She let out one last sigh as she stopped breathing. Minato started to close his eyes as well.
"Be strong son...You have a great friend watching over you now...I know you'll make your parents proud...Goodbye."
His vision faded and everything went black.
***12 years later***
A young blond boy stood in front of two men sitting behind a desk. Both seemed to be young men. One with brown hair in a short spiky pony tail with a scar running horizontal across his nose. He also wore a green flak jacket and a headband with a leaf in the center of it. The other man wore the same jacket, but without the headband. He had silver hair that reached down to his shoulders. The man with the scar then spoke to the blond boy.
"Ok, Naruto. This is the last part of the exam. I want you to make a clone of yourself. If you do that, you'll pass and become a ninja."
"You got it Iruka-Sensei!" The boy known as Naruto grinned while giving a thumbs up.
Inside his mind, Naruto was panicking. The clone jutsu was his absolute worst technique. Then again, he wasn't good at any sort of ninjutsu. For whatever reason, no matter how hard or how long he practiced, he wouldn't get any better. He would just end up exhausting himself to the point where he would pass out. But he would never quit. Everyday he'd train as hard as he could no matter how many times he failed. And he was determined to pass this test. He wouldn't let anything stop him. He became serious and brought his hands up in front of him to make the Ram seal. He then shouted the words,
Naruto was engulfed in a cloud of smoke. Both Iruka and his partner remained silent as they waited for the smoke to clear. When it finally did, it revealed Naruto with his eyes shut tight. He slowly opened them and looked to his left. Next to him was a clone...that way laying sprawled out on the floor with its tongue hanging on the ground. It looked more like a ghost than anything considering how pale it was. Naruto was stunned silent as Iruka's eyebrow twitched in annoyance.
"YOU FAIL!" He shouted
These words were somehow physically capable of sending Naruto flying and into a state of depression. Iruka calmed down and seemed to regret his action. Then the man next to him finally spoke up
"Iruka-Sensei. He's off but his moves weren't bad and he was able to sustain the jutsu and replicate. This is his third try and you know how bad he wants to become a ninja. What do you say we cut him a break?"
Naruto seemed to be elated as hope returned to his eyes. He had a huge smile on his face as someone was finally standing up for him.
"Mizuki-Sensei...each of the other students were able to create three other effective replications. Naruto could only create one. And look at it. It's pitiful. I can't pass him."
The words of his Sensei caused Naruto to grit his teeth and growl in anger. He felt betrayed.
Later on, all the students in the academy were outside with their families. Each of them had become a ninja and were celebrating. Parents were congratulating their sons and daughters and telling them how proud they were. All except for Naruto. Who sat on a swing in the shadows under a tree all alone. He had an extremely sad expression on his face as he mulled over the fact that he had failed a third time. Two woman were talking about him from a distance.
"There, you see him?" One of the women asked.
"It's that boy. I heard he was the only one who failed." The other said.
"Huh. Well it serves him right." The first woman said with a disgusted look.
"Just imagine what would happen if HE became a ninja." The second one said with the same look. "I mean, he's the boy who-"
"Shh! We're not allowed to talk about that!" The first woman whispered.
Naruto put on his pair of goggles over his forehead as he heard someone approach him from behind. He looked up confused and saw the other teacher, Mizuki-Sensei,, standing next to him. He looked down and smiled at the depressed boy. Naruto stared at him even more, wondering what he could want. Across the yard, back by the building, Iruka was standing by a wall with the Third Hokage next to him.
The Third had a very serious expression on his face.
"Iruka," He said taking a long pause afterwards. "There's something we need to talk about."
Back on the other side of the yard, Naruto was gone, and all that was seen was the swing rapidly flowing back and forth as if someone had excitedly jumped off it.
Naruto sat on a balcony in the village with Mizuki watching the sunset. His Sensei didn't hesitate to break the silence.
"Iruka-Sensei is tough, but he's not against you." He said in a sympathetic voice.
"Then why only me?" Naruto whined.
"He wants you to be strong...with all of his heart. But it won't happen if he goes easy on you. He's like you, ya know. No parents, no family."
Naruto lowered his head, a look of guilt forming on his face. "But...this time I really wanted to graduate..." He said in a sad voice.
"Heh heh...then I guess I have to tell you." Mizuki said, peaking Naruto's curiosity as he looked at him.
"It's a secret, but I'm gonna let you in on it.
Naruto stared at him in wonder "A secret..." He thought to himself.
Iruka was laying on his bed at home. It was night time and the only source of light was the moon shining through his window. He was contemplating what he and the Third talked about earlier. About how he knew how he must feel compared to Naruto. Not knowing what it was like to have a family. He remembered back to the day the Kyuubi had attacked and how he was dragged away while his parents stayed and fought. He was snapped out of his daze by a voice calling from outside his door.
"Iruka-Sensei, wake up!"
Iruka opened the door to see a concerned but panic induced Mizuki. "What? What is it?"
"You have to come to Hokage tower now! It's Naruto! He stole the Sacred Scroll!"
Iruka was stunned. "You mean the Scroll of Sealing?! NO!"
The Third Hokage had given the order to retrieve Naruto and bring him to him. After dispatched, Iruka frantically searched the village for the blond troublemaker. He stopped to look around, panting heavily. He was hoping he'd be the first to find him, considering none of the other ninja knew how to properly handle him.
"Naruto...where could he be?" He thought frantically.
Mizuki was also searching for Naruto, but he had other thoughts on his mind. He was smiling deviously as he ran through the streets of the village.
"Now that I told everyone what Naruto did, I can kill him and be rid of him. Everyone will be happy he's gone anyway. And of course, I get to keep the scroll to myself." He thought with a devilish grin.
Naruto sat in front of a shack in the woods, breathing heavily and with the scroll on his back. He had been practicing the Shadow Clone Jutsu and actually succeeded in learning it. Although, just barely and had drained most of his chakra. But his celebration would have to wait, as a shadow began to approach him. Naruto looked up to see Iruka leaning over him.
"It's all over! Heh heh heh." His Sensei chuckled triumphantly.
Naruto grinned and rubbed the back of his neck. He also chuckled. Iruka's amused yet annoyed face formed into one of confusion.
"Huh?" Was all he said.
Naruto stood up. "You got me already. Not bad, you're pretty good Sensei. I only had enough time to learn one technique."
Iruka looked him over and took notice of his tattered clothes and knew right away he had been practicing.
Naruto became excited, ignoring his fatigue. "Listen, Iruka-Sensei! I'm going to show you this amazing jutsu, and then you're going to let me graduate! Then everything will be okay! That is how this works right? Anyone who learns a jutsu from this passes!"
Iruka's confusion only deepened with that explanation. "Huh?! Where'd you get that idea?!"
"Mizuki-Sensei told me!" As if it was common knowledge. "He told me where to find the scroll...and...this place..."Naruto's voice became less enthusiastic with each word as he noticed the expression on his teacher's face.
Iruka's face was a mix of shock and terror as realization struck. Just then, Kunai came flying at both of them from the trees.
"LOOK OUT!" Iruka shouted as he pushed Naruto away.
He put up his guard and out of the many thrown kunai, only one hit him and in the leg. He staggered backwards until he was leaning against the wall of the shack.
"I see you found our little hideaway." A familiar voice said.
Iruka was squinting in pain. "So that's how it is. I should have known!"
Mizuki was crouching on top of a tree branch, two giant shurikens attached to his back. He completely ignored his fellow teacher and only addressed Naruto.
"Naruto hurry! Give me the scroll!"
"W-Wait a minute!" He said as he looked to Iruka. "What's going on!"
Iruka panted as he gripped the kunai in his knee. He effortlessly pulled it out and tossed it aside.
"Naruto! Don't give him the scroll! It contains forbidden jutsu that can put the village in severe danger!"Mizuki only used you to get the scroll for himself!"
Naruto was shocked, but angered at this revelation as he gave a cold stare at the man who supposedly stood up for him.
Mizuki stood atop the branch unfazed by the accusation and countered. "Naruto. Don't listen to him. Iruka is only trying to scare you because he doesn't you to have the scroll." He said smuggly.
Naruto looked confused once more and looked back to Iruka.
"Stop lying to him! Naruto! Don't let Mizuki deceive you!"
Mizuki laughed. "Oh I'll tell him who's been really lying."
Iruka panicked. "No, Mizuki!"
"They've been lying to you all your life, Naruto. That is, since the decree twelve years ago.
"Wwwhut decree?" Naruto asked slowly.
"Everyone knows except for you. Even now, Iruka is trying to hide it from you. I'll bet he'd do anything to shut me up if he could."
"What is it? What is this decree everyone knows about?" Naruto asked more serious this time.
"Don't tell him! It's forbidden!" Iruka yelled at Mizuki.
The silver haired ninja wore a viciously evil smile. "The decree is that no one is allowed to tell you that the Nine Tailed Fox is inside YOU!" He said in a raspy voice.
Naruto's eyes widened. "Huuuh?"
"The spirit of the fox that killed Iruka's parents and laid waste to our village has taken over your body. YOU ARE THE NINE TAILED FOX!"
"STOP IT!" Iruka pleaded.
Naruto's world seemed to be spinning all around him as he processed everything he was being told.
"They've been hiding things from you your entire life. Didn't you find it strange how they all treated you? Like dirt! Like they hated you for just living!"
"NO!" Naruto shouted through grit teeth. "No no no no NO!"
Naruto crouched down as blue chakra began to swirl madly around him. Iruka looked on in horror.
"That's why no one will ever accept you in this village! Even your precious Sensei hates your guts!"
Iruka's thoughts flashed back to his conversation with the Third again. This time, about how Naruto never had a family to care for him. How no one would even look at him. Why he would always pull pranks just to be noticed. Mizuki took one of the shuriken from his back and began rapidly twirling it with his finger.
"Die, Naruto!" He said as he threw the spinning weapon straight towards him.
Naruto fell back on his butt and tried to crawl away.
"NARUTO, GET DOWN!" His Sensei yelled.
Naruto did as he was told and covered his head with his hands. The Shuriken impacted, but with the wrong target. Iruka was crouched over him and was impaled in the back with the large weapon. He grunted in pain as Naruto stared in disbelief. Even Mizuki was stunned by the move.
"W-w-why?" Was all Naruto managed to say.
"Because we're the same." Iruka groaned. "When I lost my parents, no one seemed to care. They didn't have time for me. They forgot I was even there. My grades dropped and I became the class clown. I just wanted them to see me, and to know my name! My school work wasn't enough to get their attention. So I did crazy things. And then I had to pay for it."
He started to cry. "I know that's how you feel Naruto. You feel lonely and it hurts you inside. And I could have been there for you more."
Naruto looked up at his Sensei, not knowing what to say.
"I let you down. I'm sorry. No one deserves to suffer like that. No one deserves to be alone."
Mizuki only laughed at Iruka's monologue. "Don't make me laugh! Iruka always hated you! He became an orphan because the Nine Tailed Fox killed both his parents! And now that beast is inside you! He would say anything to get the scroll from you!"
Naruto looked away in doubt and then took off running in the opposite direction.
"Naruto! NARUTOOO!" Iruka shouted, reaching his hand out to him in vain.
"Heh heh heh. You know that nothing can stop him now. He's going to use the scroll to take revenge on the village." Mizuki dropped down from his tree. "You saw that look in his eyes didn't you? Those are the eyes of a beast."
Iruka grunted in pain as he pulled the shuriken from his back. "No..." He turned to face his former associate. "Naruto...isn't LIKE THAT!" He yelled as he tossed the weapon back at its owner.
Mizuki easily side stepped it, unimpressed with the display. "You're a joke. As soon as I get rid of Naruto, I'll be back for you." He said as he jumped back into the trees.
Iruka lied against a tree. He tricked Mizuki into thinking he was Naruto by transforming into real Naruto was hiding behind a tree nearby undetected. He had been listening to their conversation.
"Naruto is just like me." Mizuki said.
"How's that?" Iruka asked coldly.
"He wants the scroll for his own power. For his own vengeance. That's how beats are. He'll channel all his rage into that scroll and use it to destroy the village."
"You're right." Iruka said barely above a whisper.
Naruto was heart broken at that last statement. "So it's true...Iruka-Sensei never believed in me. He thinks I'm some...beast! Some kind of freak!" He said helplessly.
"That is how beasts are." He heard his teacher say.
Naruto raised his head, stunned. "But that's not who Naruto is." Iruka continued. "He's nothing like that. Naruto is one of a kind. He works hard and puts his whole heart into everything he does. Sure he messes up sometimes, and everyone jumps on him. But his suffering only makes him stronger. That's what separates him from being a beast. So you're wrong. He's nothing like the Nine Tailed Fox. HE'S NARUTO UZUMAKI, OF THE VILLAGE HIDDEN IN THE LEAVES!"
Naruto was crying behind his tree. He was touched by his Sensei's words, but more for the fact that he really didn't think he was some sort of monster. But a member of the village he loved. Mizuki stared at Iruka was an expression that could only be described as constipation. He reached behind him for his last Shuriken.
"You really believe all that nonsense, don't you? You know, I was just going to save you for last. But I've changed my mind. Now you DIE!" He said as he lunged toward a helpless Iruka.
He closed his eyes. "So...This is it, huh?"
Suddenly, Mizuki felt a knee connect with his jaw, as Naruto came out of hiding and knocked him back on his ass. Iruka stared at Naruto in surprise.
"Ugh...Not bad...for a runt." The evil shinobi quipped.
"If you ever...lay a hand on my Sensei, I'LL KILL YOU!" Naruto said with the look of a murderer.
"Ha! You think you can beat me?!" Mizuki said as he stood up. "I could destroy you with one attack!"
Naruto brought his fingers into a cross sign, the same intense look plastered to his face. "Just try me. Whatever you dish out, I'll give back a thousand fold!" He retorted.
"Go ahead and try!"
"Shadow Clone Jutsu!" Naruto pronounced.
But nothing happened. Instead, Naruto felt a sharp pain in his chest. He clutched at his heart and began to pant heavily.
"W-what's going on! My body isn't responding to me anymore! Did I run out of chakra while practicing that jutsu!?" He thought in a state of duress.
"Ha! I knew you were all talk! Now it's time for you to die!" Mizuki threatened, now charging at Naruto.
Naruto closed his eyes and braced himself. "Oh no! This is it!"
"...That's what you think, kit." A voice inside his mind said.
Naruto's eyes snapped open. "Huh? Who said that?"
As Mizuki drew inches away from Naruto, A giant beam of red light shot up to the sky from his body, knocking Mizuki back again and this time, unconscious; while at the same time stunning Iruka with fear.
"Wh-What is that!?" He said to himself.
Just then, eight more beams of red light shot into the sky, all in different places in the village.
Iruka didn' know what to do or think. His student was practically on fire and eight similar pillars of light were emitting everywhere else. The only conclusion that he could think of was it was some kind of attack on the village. But just as soon as it had started, they all stopped. Including Naruto's. Who now fell face first into the ground.
"Naruto!" Iruka called as he struggled to his feet.
He ran as best he could toward his student and turned him over in his arms. He was out cold, but breathing steadily. The academy teacher let out a sigh of relief. He knew he had to get Naruto back to the village as soon as possible. He then looked over to Mizuki.
"But first, I have to deliver this traitor to Lord Hokage."
Everything was dark. Naruto stirred awake. The only sound that could be heard was the sound of water dripping into what felt like a giant puddle. He opened his eyes slowly and noticed that he was in a sort of sewer with pipes hanging from the walls He was in a large room and when he looked to his side, he saw a large red pillars going up all the way into the dark ceiling.
"...Where am I?..."
To Be Continued
A.N.: AND THAT'S A WRAP! Ahhh it feels so nice to have this chapter done. Since I'm back in school now, it's been tough, but I worked all day on this so I could have it ready for all of you! I hope you're happy, cause I am!...and tired...and in pain...and crying...TT-TT BUT ENOUGH OF THAT! I really hope you guys enjoyed reading this chapter! I promised you it would be longer than the last and I'd say I delivered. Haha!...and least...I hope so...o-o you tell me. Let me know in the reviews! It's always appreciated when I get feedback from you guys! Thanks again in advance! So what did you guys think!? Did you like the chapter? What happened to Naruto!? What will become of his frineds?! Will I be a minimum waged, part time cashier for the rest of my life?! Find out in the next chapter of Fox Nine! Until next time, CYA!