The Fool Arcana
Itachi – So here it is, the new and greatly improved version of PHD's chapter 1, being updated on 06-28-2010.
Kisame – The chapters that were on the list for rewriting were 1 through 9, yeah just about half the fic at this moment…
Itachi – To know if one of the chapters has being rewritten, just look for Kisame and I at the beginning.
Kisame – Yeah, that's where the real improvement is.
Itachi – Knock it off, you Jaws-reject… Anyways, here the chapter that started it all…
The Power to Heal and Destroy
The Fool Arcana
It was a day like any other in the Leaf village as Naruto made his way to Team Seven's usual meeting place. So far the blond had followed his normal routine, he woke up, eat about a week's supply of ramen, gather and check his ninja gear, set off for the bridge, and ignore the several glares that the villagers sent his way. As he approached his destination, the next item in Naruto's list was to shout. "Sakura-chan!" To greet his female teammate.
Leaning against the bridge's rail, Sakura sighed in annoyance. "Great! Not only is Sasuke-kun late today but now I'm left all alone with Naruto!" The pink haired girl ranted in her mind. "What do you want Naruto?" She asked, not bothering to keep her distaste away from her words.
Catching the aversion in the kunoichi's words, the blond genin stopped in his tracks. "She's angry… Did I do something to make her mad?" The nervous Jinchuuriki wondered. Knowing it was too early to get on Sakura's bad side, Naruto look for a topic that would appease her, or at least distract her. "So… Where's Sasuke?"
At the mention of her crush, the pink haired girl's demeanor completely changed. "I don't know…" She solemnly informed. "He usually gets here before I do… I just hope that everything is alright." Sakura commented before going silent.
The two shinobi stayed in awkward silence for what seemed to be an eternity, though in reality it was merely two hours. Suddenly, a cloud of smoke burst out in the middle of the bridge, revealing Kakashi and Sasuke as it dissipated. "Yo!" The copy ninja nonchalantly greeted.
"YOU'RE LATE!" Naruto immediately screamed at his sensei, still following his routine.
Meanwhile, Sakura made her way towards the Uchiha. "Sasuke-kun, where were you…? I was starting to get worry…" The kunoichi asked with genuine concern. Unfortunately for the young girl, her crush simply grunted an incoherent answer and walk pass her.
"Sorry for the delay, guys, but I was having some trouble trying to find Sasuke." Kakashi apologized as he scratched the back of his head sheepishly.
"Liar…" Came the immediate retort from the raven haired boy. "You told me to wait at the entrance of the Uchiha compound. I had to stand there for almost three hours." The young Sharingan user said, clearly angry and annoyed at the wait.
The silver haired jounin cleared his throat. "Anyways, setting that aside…" The copy ninja dismissed the issue. "I called all of you out here to talk about a very important matter concerning the Chunin Exam; I have already started discussing this with Sasuke." Kakashi explained.
The Jinchuuriki's eyes set on his teacher the moment the words "Chuunin Exam" were uttered. "I wanted to talk to you about that too, Kakashi-sensei!" The blond gening exclaimed excitedly. "You see, I don't think I have learnt enough to try taking the exam." The spiky haired boy admitted as he scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. "So, I was wondering if… Maybe… You could teach me some new jutsus? But only because my offensive arsenal is pretty limited with only Kage Bushin!" The young Leaf nin explained his position, congratulating himself for eloquent request.
Now Kakashi felt ashamed. How could he continued with what he was about to say after hearing his students earnest request? Nevertheless, this was something he had to do; he owed as much to his fallen teammate.
At that moment, the silver haired man could not have possible imagined that his decision would ripple into a wave that will thunder throughout the shinobi world. "I'm sorry, Naruto… But I can't." He answered, looking away from his orange clad student. "I'll be training Sasuke for the time until the Exam starts. He just awakened his Sharingan and I'm the only one that can instruct him on how to use it properly." The copy ninja explained.
Naruto's eyes winded in disbelief at his teacher's words. "Bu… But what about Sakura and me? We need training as much as Sasuke does!" The blond shouted, unable to comprehend his sensei's reasoning.
Kakashi's guilt grew exponentially. How could he break the next piece of news to his young student when it would probably break him? But there was no way around it. "Sakura…" The jounin turned to face his female student as the sight of his trembling, blond student became unbearable. "You don't have to worry about your training." He didn't had to look at Naruto to know of the renew shock that invaded him. "I talk with Kurenai-san and she has agreed to teach you since her students are all training with their respective clans." The Sharingan user informed solemnly.
All four Leaf nins remained silent. Sasuke had already know how tense the situation was going to be, but it was already proving too much and the Uchiha had no option but to look away from his teammate and stare into the water below the bridge.
Sakura, though she was happy that she was going to receive training from one of the top kunoichi that Konohagakure had to offer, the girl could not help but feel sorry for Naruto; the fact that their teacher had not said a word from quite a few minutes led the Haruno towards one conclusion. "But… But he cannot leave Naruto without training! I mean, the choice is obvious between him and Sasuke, but still, Kakashi-sensei is supposed to look after the training for all THREE of us!" Her mind raged.
After what had felt like an eternity, Naruto mustered enough courage to break the silence. "Ka… Kakashi-sensei… And what about me…?" The blond asked, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer.
The silver haired man's eye fell on the spiky haired boy. Truthfully, it pained the jounin doing this to his energetic student, but the decision had been made for him years ago on that collapsing cave. "I'm sorry, but I owed it to Obito…" The man reasoned. "Naruto… You just need to practice your chakra control, work on your taijutsu and I'm sure that you will do great in the Chunin Exam." Kakashi said, failing miserably to sound reassuring. Knowing that there was no way that he could do any more damage to his young charge short of stabbing him in the heart with a kunai, the copy nin dismissed himself and left his students to sort their minds.
Staying in the bridge for a couple of minutes after his teacher's departures, Sasuke glanced at the broken blond on his way out. The words "I'm sorry" fought to come out of the Uchiha's mouth, but they failed and the young Sharingan user simply walked away with his eyes set towards the ground.
On the other hand, the concern Sakura was feeling towards the spiky haired boy was becoming unbearable. It wasn't as though she liked the loud, annoying, clumsy, and fashionably challenged boy, but seeing him now so weak, quite, and dim. "How could Kakashi-sensei do this to Naruto? Yeah, he might be a little rough to work with, but he still needs proper training!" She thought.
Deciding it was best to head for the safety of his apartment before he broke down in front of Sakura, Naruto turned around and started to prepare himself to leave when he felt a soft hand on his shoulder.
"Naruto… Are you alright…?" Sakura asked with genuine concern.
On cue, a fake smile plastered itself in the blonde's face as he turned around to face the pink haired girl. "Of course I'm alright, Sakura-chan!" The boy lied as he gave her his trademark grin. "You heard Kakashi-sensei, I'm so good that I can train by myself and still amaze everyone at the exam with my amazing skills!" He stated.
Not buying the answer that she received, the kunoichi pressed on. "Are you sure?"
The forced grin forcefully widened. "Yeah, don't concern yourself with me, Sakura-chan. I'm fine!" The genin responded.
"If you say so…" The Haruno said defeated.
Smiling gratefully at the small affection he had being shown, Naruto gave his teammate the closest thing to a true smile he could muster at the moment. "Well, I have to go now. See you later, Sakura-chan!" The spiky haired shinobi exclaimed before he ran off.
Sakura remained in the bridge for a couple of minutes; until she could not see orange anymore. Sighing heavily and wishing both of her absent teammates go luck, the girl started heading home.
Naruto continued to run pass his apartment. The Jinchuuriki ran and ran for several minutes until his energy finally gave out and he was left walking slowly. The blond was still trying to grasp the idea that his "sensei" had just simply abandoned him so that he could train his prodigy student.
As the genin continued to wander throughout the village, his gaze was directed solely towards the ground. He couldn't see anything else, he didn't want to see anything else, because if he so much as looked at his sides, or ever front and back, the only thing that he would see would be the angry and condemning gazes of the villagers glaring at him. They didn't need to say anything to express their opinion of the young Jinchuuriki, they're eyes revealed everything. The blond could not take it anymore.
Forcing his body, Naruto started running once again. The spiky haired boy moved towards the village's gate as fast as his feet would take him. The young shinobi wouldn't dare to actually walk away from the village, but he just needed to get away from the villagers' spiteful glares, even if it was just for a moment.
The instant he breathed the fresh air outside the village's walls, the blond already felt better. There was no hostility plaguing his surroundings, just tranquility, so the spiky haired boy decided to take a walk around the forest surrounding Konoha. As long as the boy didn't wander in too deep, he should be alright.
After a couple of hours simply wandering, Naruto decided to sit and relax under the shade of a tree. "It's still early. I can take a nap for a few minutes and go back to the village before the gates are closed off." The blond reasoned. With his decision made, the young shinobi closed his eyes and wander off into a deep slumber.
The dream started like any other. The blond had to brave is way through dungeons of libraries and classrooms, rescue Sakura from the evil vegetable army, and was rewarded by becoming king of the Ramen Kingdom.
Suddenly, Naruto dream changed dramatically. The joyous illusion that his mind had conjured was corrupted by memories of his childhood. The genin found himself in his five year old body being insulted, chased, kicked, beaten, and even burned by the villagers.
The young man's nightmare seemed to focus on a particular painful incident.
It was his fifth birthday and the spiky haired boy had committed the grave error of leaving the security of his apartment to go to the store and buy some ramen.
As the young boy stepped out of his apartment and headed towards the store, some of the villagers spotted and, before the child could even realized, a mob gathered.
It was only until he reached the store that the boy became aware of the angry mass of villagers coming towards him. Knowing too well what his fate would be if the crowd caught up to him, the blond forgot all about his business in the store, and started off in a mad dash back towards his home.
Sadly, the villagers ran after him and caught up to him soon enough. Before he knew it, the spiky haired boy was totally surrounded by a wall of hatred.
The killer intent permeating the surrounding was as strong as any war's.
The five year old stood completely terrified in the middle of it all. "W… Why…? Why do you hate me so much?" The little blond cried.
"Shut up demon!" Someone shouted from the angry mob.
"It's time for you to pay for what you did to the village!" A man exclaimed and the crowd roared in agreement.
And so, the beating began.
They punched, kicked, and even threw rocks at the small blond. In a matter of seconds, the little boy's body was reduced to a bloody mass. Looking up, to his horror, the beaten child could see that some of his aggressors were actually shinobi from the village, the people that were supposed to protect everyone.
Naruto's vision became blurry and soon all that he could see was crimson. Fortunately, before the red turned to black, the boy heart a voice shouting angrily over the mob. "STOP!" Forcing one of his eyes to focus, the boy was barely able to register the Hokage's silhouette standing before the dissipating crowd.
The genin woke up with a start as tears ran down his cheeks. Shaking his nightmare off, the boy looked at his surroundings and realized that he had slept for longer that he had intended to. The forest around the young man was already dark.
Deciding that it would be best to hurry toward the village before the gate closed and he was left outside the wall, Naruto started off. The young shinobi had only taken a few steps before his body was left paralyzed by an incredibly strong presence nearby. The spiky haired boy immediately got into a fighting stance; whoever was nearby sure had a very menacing chakra.
The noise coming from the trees let the Jinchuuriki know that whoever was there was aware that his presence was no longer a secret and did not seemed to care.
Hearing steps behind him, Naruto turned around to meet the owner of the terrifying chakra.
"It is nice to finally get a chance to meet you, Naruto-kun."
Kisame – I don't see much of an improvement…
Itachi – Are you kidding? You remember when my eyes bled in the manga?
Kisame – Yeah…
Itachi – It wasn't because of the Mangekyou Sharingan, it was from reading the original version.