The Legend Begins
Chapter One: The Legend Begins...
Twelve Years Ago...
There was a mighty Kitsune, the Kyuubi no Youko. It was a beast of unimaginable power. With the flick of a tail, it was said that it could demolish mountains and create tsunamis. It was chaos incarnate.
Controller of the Four Winds.
The force of nature, the Bijuu, that was Kyuubi suddenly went on the attack. In a fit of rage it attacked the shinobi village in the heart of Fire Country, Konohagakure no Sato.
The village's ninja force stood as one, fighting the creature with all their might. It was a fruitless effort as shinobi and kunoichi fell one after another. Many buildings were totaled, left in ruins as hundreds of people, ninja and civilian alike, lost their homes, livelihoods and even their lives in the horrible struggle.
For miles one could feel the sickly youki emitted by the beast. It was malicious and seemed to saturate everything it touched with hatred.
It was only when the village's greatest hero, the Yondaime Hokage, Konoha no Kiroi Senko appeared was hope restored. In an epic battle, Konohagakure's greatest hero sacrificed his life to destroy the bijuu, saving his village from annihilation.
Deep within the confines of a seal, the Kyuubi no Youko waits. Chained and caged within an impenetrable dungeon from which it can not escape, it can do little else. It can feel its own powers being drained from it slowly.
However, the Kyuubi noticed something else.
'Not only is my youki being drained, but my powers over the wind...' thought Kyuubi, 'Clever mortal... However, in time, my powers would override the vessel's... But by then... I will be too weak to break free from this cursed prison...'
The Kyuubi studied the boy's inner chakra coils. 'The gaki is already inherently strong with Lightning... Yet my Wind element is starting to overwrite it... NO! That gaki will not get my powers!'
The more it thought about it, the Kyuubi became more and more angry, both with the Yondaime for sealing him and at his unwitting jailor who was unknowingly usurping is power!
The Kyuubi began to pull back with all its' might. The Shinigami maybe one of the strongest beings in Reikai, but this was the Kyuubi no Youko! It was power incarnate. Its' power was supreme even amongst the gods and the Kyuubi would prove it as it began to pull back on its' power.
The red chakra leaking out from the cage slowed considerably, but did not, could not, stop. There was just too much and because of his defeat, the Kyuubi no longer had a physical presence, meaning it was a pure construct of chakra. Chakra that would forever be consumed by the Death God's seal for as long as it lived.
However, the Kyuubi's pride, it's control over the four winds, the source of it's power that decimated lesser beings, moved mountains and created tsunami's was HIS. He would NOT allow some... Mortal Gaki... To have such great power. It began to pull on its' wind abilities. The Kyuubi not only withdrew a large portion of its' Wind natured chakra from the boy, but also a small amount of the boy's as well.
This would have an unforseen side affect as the other elements began to fill the rather significant gap left by the Wind Natured Chakra that had been there once before. Immediately, in the absence of Wind Natured Chakra, both Earth and Fire Natured Chakra did it's best to compensate the loss of an element that had been forcefully expanding the vessels chakra pool and coils. To make up for the lack of element, Fire and Earth Natured Chakras combined to forge a new element, Metal, which combined with the boy's natural talent over lightning caused an odd occurrence to take place. One that would shake the very foundations of the shinobi world for years to come.
The small child cried out and whimpered in discomfort as various electronics went haywire and tools began to levitate on their own. Meanwhile, lights all over the building of the hospital flickered, dimming considerably before turning back to normal. Nurses and Med-nin came in to check on the newborn babe, but saw nothing wrong or out of place.
Little did they know how mistaken they were...
Five Years Ago...
Uzumaki Naruto was an enigma to many people. But to the Sandaime Hokage, to quote a certain clan, he was quite "Troublesome". However, it wasn't the boys pranks, nor the village's obvious disgust in the boy that was the cause of Sarutobi's problems, though those didn't help, it was the manifestation of a strange power within the boy.
Through out the years strange occurrences would always happen around the boy.
The boy was very perceptive and smart for his age. Scarily so sometimes. He could always spot whatever ANBU who was on call to protect him. The boy even managed to do what no Inuzuka, Hyuuga, and Aburame had ever done and spotted the ever elusive Tenzou in his office. To date, other than Naruto, the only people who had ever known of the man's station in Sarutobi's office were Gama no Jiraiya, though the man rarely visited, and Hatake Kakashi, the man who taught Tenzou much of what the up and coming ANBU Captain knew.
There were also times, when Naruto was in heightened states of emotion, that odd things would happen. One such occurrence happened while he was meeting with one of his old teammates. Through out the meeting, Koharu had been less than pleasant and her seemingly lack of respect irked Naruto, who had been in Sarutobi's office at the time, greatly. Both she and Sarutobi had been quite surprised when suddenly a rather heavy paper weight on the desk went spiraling towards the councilwoman.
It was only through years of honed reflexes and her own skill in telekinesis that saved her from an incapacitating headache. Koharu, impressed, tested Naruto's skills only to be disappointed in his lack of any sort of proficiency in her art. In fact, confusingly enough, the boy seemed to not have ANY sort of potential, latent or otherwise, within him for telekinesis.
Then there was the time when his old secretary was being rude to Naruto, not allowing him admittance into the Hokage Office to visit with the Sandaime. Sarutobi had been quick to investigate when he heard Naruto's shouts and the lights in the building begin to flicker.
There had been several other odd occurrences, but they were becoming more frequent. They were becoming more uncontrollable and Sarutobi didn't know what he could do for Naruto. So instead, he went to the one person he knew could help train Naruto to control his burgeoning powers. Sarutobi was reluctant to do this, but it felt as if he had no other choice. He had to contact his once friend and rival for the Hokage-ship, Danzou the former leader of the disbanded ANBU entity known as Ne.
No matter what, however, he would not let Danzou turn Naruto into some sort of emotionless weapon. Unfortunately, Danzou had the larger bargaining chip, meaning if Sarutobi were to get what he wanted Danzou would have to given some sort of concession.
"You wanted to see me Sarutobi?" asked the bandaged one armed man.
Sarutobi sighed tiredly. "Yes, old friend... I am in need of your help..."
Danzou smirked. He knew how hard it was for Sarutobi to say that. "It's the Jinchuuriki isn't it?"
The Sandaime's eyes narrowed.
Danzou chuckled. "Even without Ne, there is very little that gets past me. I have known of the Jinchuuriki's troubles for a while now. I've been waiting for when you finally concede that I was right from the moment the Yondaime sacrificed himself to defeat the Kyuubi. He has such an interesting power, especially if harnessed correctly and unleashed at its' full potential."
"The Jinchuuriki has a name, Danzou," said Sarutobi. "I am merely asking your assistance in helping Naruto learn to control his powers before they grow too far out of his control. I will not allow you to turn him into a mere weapon. I want him to experience what little bit of a childhood that he can."
"You've always been a sentimental fool, and it's made you soft," said Danzou, "And for that, everyday Konoha weakens little by little."
"We have different views on what makes a Shinobi weak, Danzou," Sarutobi said sternly, "So long as there are those within these walls that possess the Will of Fire, this fair village shall not fall."
"Optimist as well as Idealist," said Danzou disapprovingly, "I personally prefer realism. I will help train the Jinchuuriki in controlling his powers, but I reserve the right to call on any favor I can think of in the future."
With that, Danzou left.
'I feel as I've just made a deal with the devil...' Sarutobi said to himself in his thoughts.
All of his life, Uzumaki Naruto had known he was different. The way people glared and often times ignored him, the way the Sandaime Hokage took a vested interest in him, or even the way strange things seemed to happen when he was either really annoyed or just plan angry.
How many untrained kids his age could spot an ANBU in hiding? How many orphans were glared at for merely existing? How many people could throw things, make them float or even make the lights flicker when they were mad, sad, scared or just plain irritated?
He was the only one.
It didn't take a genius, though he was, to figure out that something else was going on in Konoha. Something that was bigger than himself, yet involved him directly. Something that was outside the scope of his knowledge. He was almost certain that whatever knowledge was being kept from him, was something that would affect him in no insignificant amount, it would change his life in ways he could not possibly fathom.
Whatever this knowledge was, he knew that the Sandaime was aware, as were his senseis at the academy, the villagers and the entire shinobi population. At least those who were a good ten years older than he was, as those were whom the youngest of the people who glared at him with poorly veiled malice and hatred ended and those that glared at him in mere annoyance and irritation began.
Naruto sighed, before something came within his senses. Something was approaching. Whatever it was, it did not bother knocking on his door and merely stepped through. Only to have to duck back behind the door as dozens utensils went flying at him.
The man cautiously poked his head through the door once more.
Danzou looked at the boy's handiwork. Regular eating utensils of all sorts were sticking into the door. Even the spoons. Already, the boy was powerful, but he was intrigued all the same at where the boy had gained this power. The Kyuubi itself never had shown any signs of having an element other than wind. He'd have to think more on this later, right now he had a new member to recruit.
"Hello, Naruto-kun," said Danzou in a friendly tone.
Naruto examined the man for a moment, listening to what his instincts told him. The man was ruthless, self serving, and could not be trusted. However, he gave Naruto a strong feeling that he only felt in the presence of the Sandaime.
Naruto knew the feeling didn't come from the cripple's physical stature or the man's chakra reserves, though despite his disabilities the man was definitely highly skilled and had larger than average chakra reserves. No, it came from his stance, his walk, his confidence. The look in his one remaining eye said it all.
This man clearly rivaled the Sandaime. The Sandaime was power incarnate. He was the best and most powerful Shinobi in the village. He was loved and admired. People looked up to him in awe and for guidance. Naruto had wanted that, to be just like the Sandaime and the Yondaime. Revered, loved, respected, and admired.
Yet this man... He was shadow. He was still respected and perhaps even admired, but he was feared. He worked from the darkness, veiled in shadow. He pulled strings, manipulated. Where the Sandaime embodied the "Will of Fire", the will of the people, this man... Whoever he was... Embodied the "Will of Shadow", the will of the shinobi, the thief in the night, the assassin. His power... Though it was different from the Sandaime's own, was no less effective. More ambitious, less constrained. Such dark power was foreboding, yet... Alluring...
There was much, Naruto knew, that he could learn from this man.
"I suppose you know why I'm here?" asked the old man kindly.
However, Naruto was not fooled by this man's false friendliness. He had thought about pretending to be the clueless idiot he usually appeared to be, but ultimately decided against it.
"So what do you want?" asked Naruto somewhat rudely. If the old man was surprised by Naruto's unusual behavior he did not show it.
"To help you, Naruto-kun. I heard about what happened at the academy and Sarutobi-sama asked me to help you control your burgeoning powers," he said, "My name is Danzou and, if you like, I will help you control those awesome powers of yours."
"Why would you want to help me?" asked Naruto suspiciously, "No one else does."
"Because others are fools who do not realize your potential," said Danzou, "You have powers beyond a normal person's understanding. With your abilities, you can become a God amongst men."
Naruto frowned. "Are you sure you can help me? I haven't heard of another Uzumaki in the village and even when we studied Kekkei Genkai, I never heard of anyone being able to do what I can."
"There was one shinobi with powers similar to yours, yet not quite as advanced," Danzou smirked. "I'll admit that I never actually fought the man on the battlefield, but I had met him years back during the Iwa/Konoha War. But to be truthful, in all of my years of being a shinobi I have never encountered one with powers quite like yours, but me and my associates have been training promising young shinobi such as yourself far longer than you've been alive."
"So what exactly are you getting out of this?" asked Naruto bluntly.
Danzou didn't seem offended, in fact he was rather amused. "Not quite the idiot your records claim you to be. I'll be honest with you. When you were born, knowing your potential- or at least some of it, I had wanted to take you in under my command, but Sarutobi wouldn't allow it. I had wanted to train you, mold you into the perfect weapon for Konoha. Though I see now it would have been a waste..."
Naruto frowned. He couldn't fathom why the man was telling him this, it was almost as if he wanted Naruto to reject his offer. Yet, Naruto's instincts told him that the man did want to help and what he had been telling him was the truth. But the question was... Why?
"I... I don't understand..." Naruto reluctantly said.
Danzou merely smiled, "With your powers you could have been Konoha's ultimate weapon, made to serve the Hokage and the Council's every order without question. You would have been the Konoha no Tsurugi and we would have been the hand that guided you. The perfect subordinate, your only purpose would be to serve Konoha, dutifully and diligently."
Danzou paused for effect, "But, having grown up as you have... You understand the pain of others. Pain more unbearable than people should have to feel. The pain of loneliness. Instead of being a mere tool, you can be one of the many hands that guide Konoha... A leader for a new tomorrow where people of all types are welcome. A Konoha that is strong, organized, mobilized to swiftly strike at all time, ready to respond to any threat, and with your powers you could aid in bringing in a new era for Konoha, one where Konoha would be the strongest of all the villages without fear of threats from outside sources."
"I've heard on great authority your dream is to become Hokage. Unless that, like the rest of your personality, is a mere fabrication, I can help you. I can bring you one step closer to that dream, I can train you to do what needs to be done. Not only for the sake of the shinobi under your command, or even Konoha, but the Elemental Countries as a whole. Will you join me?" Asked Danzou.
'Bingo. He wishes to use me as a symbol of his authority. A puppet made to carry out his agendas as if they were my own...' Naruto thought to himself. 'Yes, I can learn much from this man...'
"I accept." said Naruto firmly, looking Danzou in the eye. The two shook hands and then Danzou formally bowed.
"You will not regret this decision, Uzumaki-kun, I guarantee it," said Danzou with a slight smile.
Two Weeks Later...
"It is appalling what you've let the academy get away with Sarutobi," said Danzou, "The Jinchuuriki has such natural talent, and it's being squandered all because of a few biased opinions of some self-important Academy instructor."
"There is only so much I can do and you know it," said Sarutobi. "As long as they don't actively sabotage his grades or his training or even slightly mention the Kitsune in casual conversation, my hands are tied."
"Only because your pacifist ways and teachings limit you so," said Danzou disapprovingly, "Your 'Will of Fire' is indeed a great concept, but in a less than perfect society it is a cancerous growth that weakens every leaf on the mighty tree that is Konohagakure no Sato. Soon the poison will corrupt and erode the entire tree to its' very foundation, attacking Konoha at its' Roots. Once that happens there is no hope. Konoha WILL fall. I will not allow the Roots of Konoha to wither and die."
"What you speak of edges anarchy and treason, Danzou," Sarutobi threatened.
"I merely speak of my view of Konoha as a whole, Sarutobi," stated Danzou, "Even you have to admit that this fair and beautiful village of ours has gone through a decline in recent years. Our economy is better than before the Kyuubi attacked, and while you say our shinobi are as powerful as ever, I see otherwise. It's only a matter of time before our enemies prey upon the weakness brought about by yours and your successors teachings. Hopefully, by then Naruto-kun will be ready."
"Already you underestimate the boy," said Sarutobi with a slight, yet strained grin, "Try all you like to mold him into your puppet... Your weapon... The Will of Fire burns brightly in him, far more than anyone person before him, not even Minato could match it."
"The boy you know is a mere facade," Danzou said, "You will find his true beliefs coincide a lot more with mine than with yours. He's clever, ambitious, more so than anyone I've ever seen at his age, even your wayward pupil, Orochimaru. Unlike Orochimaru, we've given Naruto-kun very little incentive to stay faithful to this village. Already I have measures in place to correct that."
"I've known all along," Sarutobi shook his head, "Naruto-kun is nothing like Orochimaru. He may be young, but he fully understands what it is to possess the Will of Fire. His beliefs are bit more like yours than I want, but his dreams... His goals, ambitions... I look forward to the day when I can finally retire and give him this hat."
Danzou's eye widened in surprise. The sheer amount of reverence the old man had for the Jinchuuriki, never had he heard Sandaime Sarutobi speak of anyone like that since the early days when Orochimaru, Jiraiya and Tsunade were all under the aging man's tutelage.
Was the Hokage right? HAD he been underestimating the Jinchuuriki? Naruto-kun would need to be watched more closely.
Uzumaki Naruto had undergone great and significant changes since that day when he began his training with Danzou and his associates. After talking with the Sandaime, Naruto found out that these associates were more than likely members of the now, supposedly, defunct sect of ANBU known as Ne, which had been disbanded by Sarutobi years ago.
It pained Sarutobi to see the way Naruto had grown under Danzou's tutelage, yet when he spoke with Naruto he knew that the boy he had once been was not completely gone. In place of the rambunctious, wild child was a young, well mannered shinobi ready to take his place in the world.
Though it had taken a great deal of work, Naruto eventually managed to gain a substantial amount of control over his magnetic powers rather quickly. Mostly this was done through a series of intense meditation techniques and practical application of said powers.
Once Naruto's powers were under a moderate amount of control, Danzou and his associates began to re-train Naruto in the more basic Shinobi Arts, supplementing his Academy style taijutsu and ninjutsu. Danzou even went as far as to make a request to Sarutobi that Naruto should learn the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu, as Naruto had to much chakra to effectively ever be able to use the much simpler and less chakra consuming Bunshin no Jutsu taught at the academy.
Though Sarutobi denied the request at first, after a brief conversation with Naruto, he reluctantly conceded.
Given Naruto's perceptive awareness he always excelled at detecting genjutsu, but he couldn't always dispel them. Simple Genjutsu were nothing. He would simply dispel them by forming a one handed 'Ram' seal and shout 'Kai', overloading the Genjutsu with Chakra. However, the more intricate and multilayered ones, where a simple 'Kai' was not enough, he was hopeless.
His hopelessness in Genjutsu only increased with trying to create them. It wasn't that he lacked control. Danzou made sure that Naruto could do things with his chakra many aspiring Genin and Chuunin couldn't do. Tree Walking, Water Walking and various other exercises were under the aspiring Genin's belt. However, his chakra pool was just too large and was expanding more and more by the day.
However, while mulling over his problem with Genjutsu, Naruto found inspiration in the form of another boy his age under Danzou's tutelage. The boy carried a tonto and the standard amount of kunai and shuriken, yet it was his fighting style that intrigued him. The boy's primary weapons were his palate and paint brush, constructs made of ink and paints. A manipulation of sorts in a manner similar to that of seals.
Seals were dangerous things. Budding Seal Apprentices where their own worst enemy as their lack of knowledge, experience and sometimes patience often led to their deaths as Seal Arrays gone wrong would often blow up in their faces, literally. However, even the most novice of Seal Specialists were among the most dangerous of all Shinobi. Seal Masters themselves were nearly undefeatable in battle. It was an inarguable fact as, even though it cost him his life, the Yondaime Hokage had defeated the immortal and omnipotent Kyuubi no Youko.
The boy had no name. Not really. But he most commonly went by the name of 'Sai'. It was through this boy that Naruto would not only learn the solution with his problem to his susceptibility to Genjutsu, but just how far treachery could run.
When he began Danzou's training, he was more than willing to admit that he had been a tad naive. Even more than he probablly knew.
Sai was the living example of Danzou's perfect vision for Konoha. Shinobi who were driven, emotionless drones. Who took orders without question, carried out their duties with little to no (which was preferred) feeling. Danzou's vision of a perfect world was a world where he controlled everything to every last detail. An ideal world where only his thoughts and views mattered, with no individuals, just... Machines... That carried out their given tasks.
However, one problem in Danzou's molding of 'Sai' came in the form of a man who both Sai and Naruto had known as Nii-Chan. Sai idolized him. Adored him. Looked up to him with as much awe and respect as he had Danzou. It sickened Naruto to think that he too could have been like Sai without Sarutobi's intervention.
Because Danzou's 'Sai Experiment' required obedience absolute, the man was a hindrance to Sai's development. An obstacle to what Danzou believe Sai should be like. Thus the Ne ANBU was promptly disposed of. Sent away on a suicide mission, never to return.
Naruto stood in the training room. Fists clenched, his breaths deep. All around him, weapons and armor began to shake before calming.
When he had first began training under Danzou, he had found a kindred spirit. A man who knew what his goals were, who was driven to do what was needed to get them done, for the betterment of Konoha. A darker version of Sarutobi, though even in his naivety he knew that description was inaccurate at best. He merely lacked a better comparison.
No. Danzou was FAR darker and more harsh and cruel than Naruto could have ever initially believed. Though Naruto would still admit that Danzou had taught him a great deal.
Before, Naruto HAD wanted to be Hokage. He, in his childishness, had wanted to coveted title for the admiration and respect that Sarutobi seemed to command on a whim. He wanted that acceptance and reverence that people spoke with when the Yondaime was mentioned. He wanted respect, adulation... Love...
His time with Danzou opened his eyes to the grittier and more often than not, darker side of what it meant to be a Shinobi. Particularly a shinobi with power, be it physical, spiritual, mental, or political.
He watched the fathers of his classmates.
The revered and respected, the legendary, 'Ino-Shika-Cho' Group.
They each excelled in the shinobi arts and were fine example of shinobi who were strong spiritually, mentally and physically, respectively. Yet... Yet, they could not handle it. Their power and the constraints that came with it was too much for them and as such they merely relived their "glory days" sitting night after night at a local tavern when not on missions. Yamanaka Inoichi, Nara Shikaku, and Akimichi Chouza, though still relatively young, were well past their prime, mere shadows of what they had been.
Another prime example of power that had been wasted was the much celebrated student of Naruto's idol, the Yondaime Hokage. The student was a legendary shinobi, that by himself, surpassed the Ino-Shika-Cho in all areas of Shinobi life. Yet, his fall was twice as hard.
Hatake Kakashi, the legendary Copy-nin, "Sharingan" Kakashi was a pathetic excuse for a human being, who let the horrors and failures of his past greatly affect his present. He was broken and incomplete. Alone and lost in darkness, wallowing in self pity and remorse.
Naruto noticed the recurring theme. These were Konoha's failures, though many others would say otherwise. These were men, and sometimes women, of great power who buckled under the weight of their responsibility. While each of them had, at one time, possessed the Sandaime's 'Will of Fire' it was mere coals compared to the towering furnace it had been when they were fresh Genin.
In his own opinion, those who became great, truly great, were those who did not buckle, who fought on despite the hopelessness of the world in times of desperation. The list was a short one, as Naruto only counted Sarutobi, the Shodaime, Nidaime, Yondaime, Danzou, Homura and Koharu. Of the Densetsu no Sannin, the only one who was remotely close to making this list was Orochimaru, though Jiraiya was not far behind him. Tsunade, however, was a lost cause, the prime example of how power and powerlessness came hand in hand.
Now, things were different. Thanks to Danzou, he had realized how childish his dreams and aspirations had been. How impossible they were. How implausible they seemed to everyone else.
However, he saw what others did not.
Danzou was harsh and cruel. His way left no room for growth and eventually the village and everything around it would stagnate and fail. THIS Naruto could NOT allow. Change was needed. Change was paramount.
The Sandaime was old, but kind. He too stagnated, much like Konoha had it its' time of peace. Danzou had been right about one thing. Konoha for too long had been secure in its' own superiority, believing in its' own hype. For good reason too, but such over confidence would eventually lead to their fall.
The Sandaime's vision of Konoha was through rose colored glasses. He saw the best in everything. He was an optimist at heart and for it, Naruto respected the old man more than he knew. It was the Sandaime's idealism of the Will of Fire that spurned Naruto to his new goal. His goal to become Hokage, not for acknowledgment like before. Not to obtain respect like Sarutobi received, not to be adored and revered like the Yondaime, or to even be feared and obeyed like Danzou.
No, he would recreate Konoha in his image. He would create a perfect society that would accept him, not because he forced them to, but because they wanted to, they wanted him. Gone would be the cruelty and malice towards those who did not deserve it, gone would be the discrimination against those who could not control their circumstances.
It was during these times when he observed Konoha, the village of his birth, his home, the place he had sworn to the Sandaime that he would become a shinobi to protect with everything he had, that he witnessed the atrocities of a cruel world, an unforgiving society who preached tolerance, yet had shown very little towards those who needed it most.
The prime example was the Tokubetsu Jounin who wore the fishnet body suit and trenchcoat. She was much like he had been. Loud, obnoxious, putting up an impenetrable emotional mask to keep others at bay, all the while not letting them see how much they were hurting her by keeping their distance. A vicious cycle; lonely, longing for companionship, yet not wanting others to get close knowing that their eventual betrayal will only make the hurt worse.
Another such example, surprisingly enough, came from his own class. The Heiress of Konohagakure no Sato's most prominent clan, the Hyuuga. Hyuuga Hinata was an example of how greatness could be squandered and crushed before it had a chance to bloom in the first place. She was gentle, kind, yet timid and a bit shy. Her clan took these qualities as weakness, beating her down constantly, cutting her with their words of scorn and hatred. She was a mockery of what a Hyuuga was supposed to be. A 'blight' on their honor.
Konoha was NOT a place of tolerance. But that would change. He, Uzumaki Naruto, would bring about that change, ushering a Golden Age where the scorned and the hated, the disgraced and the despised, the neglected and the ignored would be accepted with open arms. And he would do it as Hokage, be it Godaime, Rokudaime or even Shichidaime, he WOULD bring about the much needed change that would propel the people of Konoha into greatness once more. Not in Sarutobi's vision of lasting peace, or Danzou's vision of a totalitarian dictatorship, but something more. Something that would accept the fishnet wearing Tokubetsu Jounins and the Hyuuga Hinatas, something that would not produce more Sais. Something far more grander than anything than others had accomplished before.
Early on in his training, Naruto was tested for elemental affinities. Danzou was quite surprised at how quickly the entire paper crinkled, signifying a VERY strong affinity for Lightning. Even more so, he was surprised to see the paper trying to simultaneously burn and crumple itself at the same time, signifying strong affinities with Fire and Earth, despite them BOTH being secondary affinities.
Danzou would come quickly to the conclusion on what exactly that would mean for the blonde Jinchuuriki weeks after his studies began.
As Danzou suspected, the boy had control over metal, not unlike the Sandaime Kazekage's ability to control the Iron Sand.
However, where the Sandaime Kazekage's control over metals ended, Uzumaki Naruto's began. The Kazekage that was rumored to have been killed by Akasuna no Sasori could only control the magnetic forces of some metals, which was the reason he carried the Iron Sand around with him at all times. Naruto, however, could bend the very element to his will. He could create his own Iron Sand out of any kind of metal, if the situation called for it, yet Danzou knew that with his abilities, Naruto would not need it. It definitely would have been a most interesting battle, to say the least, to see the Jinchuuriki match up against the Sandaime Kazekage.
If only Danzou knew that he was foreshadowing events that would take place in a few years yet...
At the Shinobi Academy...
For Uzumaki Naruto is was a typical day as he watched the villagers go about their daily business, as shinobi bounced from rooftop to rooftop carrying out their daily tasks.
He casually made his way to the Shinobi Academy ignoring the malicious glares gifted to him from many of the townspeople. It was during this time that he recalled that there was something special about this day. Something that set this day apart from all others.
This was it. Today was the day.
The Genin Exams. At long last he would be a ninja. At last, he was that much closer to his ambitions.
The written exam had been fairly easy. Though he wish he could see the look on the proctor's face when the genjutsu was dispelled. He had easily dispelled the Genjutsu and then proceeded to answer the questions on his exam, before replacing the Genjutsu. The illusionary questions that had been placed on the paper were much harder. However, due to his lessons with Danzou, he answered them with ease. His training under Danzou had forced him to grow up and see things in ways he shouldn't have been able to for some years yet, but he still enjoyed a good childish prank every now and then.
The exam proctors always made some attempt each year to make sure he failed in some way, but this year they were feeling particularly vindictive.
A slight shifting of the wind, caused by a low powered Fuuton Jutsu, made his kunai and shuriken veer off course. Naruto could only smirk as his weapons still hit their marks despite the subtle attempts at sabotage.
Taijutsu hadn't been his thing, but he was competent enough at it. It was fortunate that he had been paired with the Akimichi, as the Inuzuka and Uchiha's competitiveness would have driven him to reveal more about his abilities than he was willing to show at this point.
The Ninjutsu portion would have been much more difficult had he had to use the overly simple Bunshin no Jutsu. However, he astounded the proctors by utilizing Kage Bunshin instead. Meaning he created five solid clones vice the three illusionary ones that were required, much to their surprise. Not only that, but he wasn't even the slightest bit winded either.
However, they were reluctant to pass him. Though, for once, it was not due to misdirected hatred.
Umino Iruka frowned at the prospective Genin's unusual display of talent. "I'm sorry Naruto, but I can not pass you for this portion of the exam. It's amazing you can use the Kage Bunshin as easily as you do, most Chuunin and Jounin couldn't manage that. However, the Bunshin no Jutsu is a mandatory skill to learn. Not even Inuzuka and Aburame, who have their own variants of this technique, are allowed to not preform the regular Bunshin."
Naruto's eyes widened in surprise. A few things from that mornings meeting with the Hokage and Danzou had fit into place. His look of surprise turned into a confident smirk.
"No problem Iruka-sensei." he then pulled a small scroll from his kunai pouch. "Hokage-sama told me to hand this to whoever proctored the ninjutsu portion of this exam."
Many of the judges looked interested at this point. Iruka took the scroll, breaking the wax seal on it, and read the scroll. His eyes widened comically in surprise. "I see..." "
"What is it Iruka?" asked the long haired man next to him.
"It's a special edict from the Hokage. Apparently Naruto has a special condition that does not allow for him to use the regular Bunshin..." Iruka grimaced, as did many others, "This is highly irregular, to think two students in successive years being allowed to pass despite not being able to use Bunshin... Very well Naruto-kun, you pass."
Once the final Ninjutsu exam was proctored, the wannabe shinobi and kunoichi students were released for lunch and told to come back to receive their scores.
Overall, Naruto's test score had remarkably been the highest. However, due to his rather average grades, he was not eligible to be named Rookie of the Year. Though he had the highest test score overall, few others had beaten him overall on individual levels. Haruno Sakura had the highest grade on the written test, scoring perfect marks. However, Naruto's test score was not far off.
Naruto's Taijutsu score was average, both the earlier mentioned Inuzuka and Uchiha scored far higher than he did. His Kenjutsu marks were just lower than the Uchiha's as well, though if not for the 'wind' they would have easily matched them.
Despite his use of Kage Bunshin over Bunshin, his score matched Uchiha Sasuke's in Ninjutsu.
But at the end of the day, it didn't matter. At the end of the day, he was a shinobi of Konohagakure no Sato. By the end of the day, Uzumaki's life would irrevocably change forever...