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A/N: This chapter was a BITCH to write. I wanted to give the rest of the family's point of view on Naruto, but it ended up a bit confusing and I could practically see the flames even as I was typing the chapter.
In the end the effect isn't as good as I had wanted it. I basically wanted to show that Naruto wasn't the perfect misunderstood kid with everything being his parents' fault. Minato and Kushina had their reasons for doing what they did. Maybe they weren't good reasons, but they are only human. Don't get me wrong! Most of it IS their fault!
This is the big change from the first version of Ancestry. I've tried to tone down the "stupid/evil" parents approach in favour of something more believable. That is NOT to say that Naruto will forgive them!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
Arc 01: Childhood. Chapter 05: Tail and Fang and Discarded Flesh.
"You know… you've really taken your fake 'paying attention' face to an art form."
Naruto blinked as Kyuubi's voice interrupted his musings on a modified Storage Seal that would, when several were used in coordination, expand the space available in a room.
'What are you talking about?'
The Demoness chuckled. "I'm talking about how you can sit through a two hour History class, looking as if your hanging off of the teacher's every word, when you've actually been ignoring him since the first syllable left his mouth."
Naruto's lips twitched but he otherwise hid his amusement, knowing that it would only cause the Instructor to call him out on it.
The bell rang and Naruto was out the door before most of his peers had left their seats. It had been almost three years now since the Clone he had assigned to find a way to use Nature Energy had come up with an idea, and he was finally getting close to turning said idea into something workable. The Clone's idea was a simple modification on a seal that Jiraiya had created to strengthen tables. Apparently his team mate, Senju Tsunade, had a bad habit of breaking furniture. The seal worked by drawing Nature Energy and using its purely physical properties to strengthen the wood. There were quite a few seals that did the same thing, notably the ones used to reinforce the village walls. But Jiraiya's had one major advantage.
If an object is forced to absorb or channel too much energy, be it chakra, youki, Nature Energy, or any other type, it will most likely break down from overload. As such, most Reinforcement Seals had a set limit. They would use a specific amount of energy to strengthen the object by a corresponding amount. Jiraiya's seal was better because it drew Nature Energy into the object and stopped automatically when it reached the object's limit of stability. Because of that the object would literally be as strong as it possibly could.
Naruto casually made his way out of the Academy and towards the Namikaze Mansion, sticking to the less busy streets.
Over the last year, Naruto and his clones had already modified the seal so that it could be applied to a living being, the problem was that the test clones he had tried it on had all turned into a stone like material. Naruto had eventually guessed that that was because the Clones didn't have any excess Mental Energy to counter-balance the Nature Energy. The seal would draw Nature Energy in until it reached the Clone's body's limit and turned it into an incredibly dense statue. The strangest part was that the Clone's to which this happened were still 'alive'. They couldn't talk or move or mould their chakra, but they were alive, and stayed so until they were dispelled.
Rather than dismissing the seal as a failure, Naruto was now working on a way to combine the Nature Energy Gathering Seal into a more complex array that would solve the problem.
He was jerked out of his thoughts when someone grabbed him roughly and pulled him into a side ally. He blinked a few times before focusing on his aggressors.
There were two of them, a boy and a girl. They were both Konoha-nin if the metal plates tied around their foreheads were anything to go by, probably Genin. They both seemed to be rolling in waves of anger mixed with sadness.
Naruto sighed slightly as the boy reared his fist back and punched him in the face, spinning his head slightly and splitting his lower lip.
Kyuubi growled angrily. "Are you going to do something this time? Or are you just going to let them beat on you like usual?"
Naruto didn't bother answering as the boy hit him with another punch, pushing him back against the wall of the building behind him.
Naruto had lost count of the number of times that he had been attacked. He had never offered any resistance, or even attempted to defend himself. He knew that his tenant hated the way that he simply let them push him around, it was rather hard to ignore since she always made very vocal complaints about it. For Kyuubi, his passive attitude was a sign of weakness, and for some reason she really, really hated it when he showed signs of weakness.
While he could understand her frustration at his behaviour, Naruto had a solid reason for not defending himself. He was planning on leaving the village, something of which she was well aware, and to do so would be much harder if he was under constant surveillance. He had put a lot of effort into staying under the radar, and he wasn't willing to waste all that work just because of a few punches.
A small smile curved his mouth when he thought back to the day he made that decision. Or the two decisions as the case happened to be. To become a Demon and to leave Konoha.
Contrary to what one might suspect the decisions hadn't been made after suffering yet another disappointment from his parents, more mockery from his class mates, or a painfully beating from a mob of angry villagers. He had simply asked himself if he wanted to live the rest of his life in Konoha and the answer had been 'No'. Admittedly, the disappointments, the mocking and the beatings were factors in his decision. But rather than being reasons to leave, they were just reasons not to stay.
While the boy had been too busy punching him to notice Naruto's smile, the girl, who had been standing a little to the side, had the perfect vantage point to spot it.
She growled menacingly. "What do you think you're laughing at Demon? Mocking our pain with your nasty evil Demon grin!"
Spittle flew from her mouth as she pulled out a kunai and started slashing at Naruto in wild swings. Less than half of which actually came anywhere near him. Even then, the strikes that did hit him didn't cut much deeper than his clothes and skin because of the weak grip she had on the kunai.
Naruto sweat-dropped at the display. There were quite a few fan girls in his class, Haruno Sakura and Yamanaka Ino being the most noticeable ones, but he had thought that that sort of trash would be whittled out during the Genin Exam. The level of incompetence he was seeing from this Genin Kunoichi was appalling. The fact that he had no idea what she was screeching about only made it worse.
He winced when she finally managed to land a decent blow, leaving a long open slash on his thigh.
He bit back against the pain and focused on the situation. He supposed that it was fortunate that he didn't have any battle reflexes or he would have struck back by now.
The boy, who had been a bit startled by his team mate's sudden offensive, moved back to her side so that he could join in.
Naruto shifted a little to the left to try and soften the punch but couldn't block out the groan of pain when he felt two of his ribs fracture. The girl landed another series of decent cuts on his other legs, shredding the lower part of his black cargo pants and soaking the remains in fresh blood. Naruto wasn't sure what had riled them up but he was starting to worry if they would still have the common sense to know when to stop. He knew that the previous mobs had shown a modicum of restraint, if they hadn't he would have been long dead by now.
His question was answered when the girl took a wide swing, with her kunai headed straight for his throat.
Suddenly there was an uncomfortable lurch in the pit of his stomach and the world seemed to slow to a halt. It wasn't a slowing down of time or the increase in clarity that were used to describe the activated Sharingan. Nor was it the wider range of vision or the appreciation of chakra that were used to describe the activated Byakugan. It was nothing more than an increased awareness of what was already before his eyes.
He could see the boy's fist pulling back. He could see that weight of his body was placed on his heels and that it would be a moment or two before he could strike again.
He could see the girl's swing and the arc that it would take on it's way towards him. He could see how horribly unbalanced her stance was and how easy it would be to knock her to the floor.
Naruto's arm snapped up and he grabbed the girl's wrist, guiding it into a tighter curve and directing it back towards her. Her body twisted, opposing no resistance against the unexpected action, as Naruto thrust forwards. The tip of the kunai pierced into the side of her throat, digging deep and hard and leaving it slashed open to the bone. Naruto's arm continued it's extension as blood sprayed out like a geyser painting his sleeve crimson, before coming to a sudden stop with the kunai blade buried to the hilt in the male Genin's throat.
For a moment there was silence. Then the boy gurgled, his eyes rolling up in their sockets. The girl slumped to the floor, her wrist slipping from Naruto's grasp. The boy followed shortly after.
Naruto stared at the two corpses wide eyed. Two kids barely older than himself. Dead. His first kill.
Kyuubi was strangely silent.
Once again he felt the lurch in his stomach and was surprised when he couched up blood. Deciding on a course of action he pulled out two scrolls from his pack and used the ample supply of blood to create two Storage Seals and seal the bodies and the kunai inside them. He dropped them on the floor next to the two puddles of blood.
He took out another scroll and, using ink this time, wrote a more complex seal on it. He pumped a good amount of chakra into it and dropped it next to the others. The seal lit up in a small but intense blaze of fire that incinerated almost all of the evidence.
Naruto sighed in relief before clutching his stomach as it lurched again. He briefly wondered if there had been poison on the kunai, but discarded the idea. Poisons didn't come cheap, and Genin rarely knew how to make them.
Kyuubi finally spoke up. "You should get out of here Naruto. The chakra emission might draw someone's attention and, while you've done a good job of cleaning up the evidence, you don't want to get caught looking like you've do right now!"
Naruto nodded and smirked. 'You're complaining now are you? Just moments ago you were…'
He trailed off when his stomach lurched yet again and he coughed up more blood.
"You need to get out of here Naruto. I don't know what's wrong with you but you need to get out of here now!"
With a nod Naruto walked towards the exit of the small alley he was standing in. he took a deep breath and brought his hands up to perform hand seals.
"Dog - Boar - Tiger. Transformation Technique!"
A wisp of smoke swirled around him and his appearance changed back to what it had been twenty minutes earlier. With a nod of satisfaction Naruto re-started his way back to the Namikaze Mansion, doing his best not to limp or show any signs of discomfort. This wasn't his first time so he managed without too much difficulty.
"Hinata-chaaan… You're not about to perv on my brother are you?"
Naruto felt his blood run cold. He turned around to see that Kasumi and two of her friends were standing at the other end of the street. He almost sighed in relief when he saw that the Hyuuga girl had her head down and her Byakugan wasn't activated. The Transformation Technique was one of the most basic Ninja Skills, there was no way it would stand up to the 'All Seeing Eyes' of a Hyuuga.
Not willing to risk exposure, Naruto ran the rest of the way home, going as fast as he could without drawing attention to himself. He breathed another sigh of relief as he passed the gates and reached the front door.
He frowned slightly at the shiver that ran down his spine as he made his way through the entrance, but it was quickly wiped from his mind when his stomach lurched again, much more forcefully than before. It felt as if he was about to throw up unnatural amounts of half congealed blood.
His eyes glanced distractedly over his mother as he made his way through the room she was sitting in, but as usual he paid her little attention.
He was surprised when he heard her call out to him. "Naruto-kun!"
He stopped half way up the stairs and turned a bit to wait and see what had made her break the status-quo.
"Naruto! You idiot! Your Transformation has dropped!"
Naruto's eyes widened. He had forgotten that the Mansion's security seal array included a seal to cancel Genjutsu disguises. A Genjutsu expert might be able to get past it, but there was no way he could. He looked down and got confirmation when he saw that his disguise was gone, revealing his bloodied and battered state.
He cursed under his breath and quickly brought his hands up. "Dog - Boar - Tiger. Transformation Technique!"
With a wisp of smoke his illusion was back up, and just in time as his mother came hurtling around the corner. She screeched to a halt and he tried to appear as casual as possible, looking down at her with a quirked eyebrow. She opened her mouth to ask something but froze as her eyes travelled up and down his body.
Naruto felt his heart thumping madly in his chest and he prayed to every shred of luck that he had that she wouldn't see past the Transformation.
He bit back a gulp as his mother frowned at him. "What?…"
Naruto kept his face as still as possible and did his best to seem innocent. "Is something wrong Okaa-sama?"
Kushina's frown deepened. "When you came through the door…"
Naruto clamped down as another lurch made its way through his belly but somehow managed to hide it.
Making his eyes light up in fake recognition, Naruto decided that bullshit was the way to go and blurted out the first lie that came to mind. "Ah! Sorry! Iruka-sensei was telling us about some of the uses of Genjutsu in battle and how they could be used to set up an ambush. I was just trying to come up with a 'wounded look'. I didn't realise you were looking… sorry."
He did his best to look contrite but wasn't sure how well that worked out.
His mother blinked a few times, then nodded with a small sigh. "Okay! But, be careful from now on! That's not the sort of thing you should practice while walking down the street! Do you know how worried I was when I saw you like that? If you want to…"
Her tirade was interrupted when a commotion at the front door caught her attention. A smile spread across her face as she heard Kasumi walk in with a group of friends. She gave him a dismissive nod and went down to greet the new arrivals.
Naruto's shoulders slumped in relief as she disappeared around the corner. He turned and hurriedly made his way back to his room, locking the door behind him.
His bedroom was as empty as it always was. The few possessions that he had were sealed away and only unsealed when he needed them. Ten Shadow Clones were spread out in an orderly fashion, studying their way through the many scrolls that he hadn't yet given his full attention to. None of them acknowledged his arrival with anything but a quick glance.
Just as he started to let himself relax his stomach caught him off guard with a mighty lurch. A burning sensation erupted and moved upwards towards his throat. He fell to his knees, supporting himself with both hands as he started to hack and cough up large globs of thick blackened blood, splattering the mess all across the floor beneath him.
He grinned as the pool of blood glowed in a greenish hue and began to… writhe. He was suddenly certain that he knew exactly what was happening.
He was young to receive his Tamashiiken. It usually only happened when the Uzumaki reached their late teens and were entering adulthood. It had said as much in the single Uzumaki scroll that he had. The scroll hadn't described how the Tamashiiken was formed, he supposed that it could vary from one person to the next, but he was certain that this was his.
The glow became blinding, forcing him to close his already aching eyes. When he opened them again his face split apart with a full blown toothy grin.
In front of him were not one, but two blades.
On the left was a single-edged hunting knife with a straight, six inch, bone white blade. The sharp edge of the blade seemed to have a superficial coating of a sickly, dark purple coloured substance. The handle and the sheaf, which was laying next to the knife, were a deep green colour and looked like they were covered in tiny scales.
On the right was a double-edged, one-handed Jian. There was no sheaf or guard, and the whole thing, hilt and blade, was coloured in the same deep green, with the same scaled pattern as seen on the knife. The blade was four foot long, and roughly one inch wide.
He reached to pick them up.
Kyuubi spoke. "Naruto take care of your wounds first. I know that you're eager to find out about your blades, but there'll be no point if you bleed yourself dry and drop dead."
Naruto's hands stopped just inches away from the prize.
He sighed. 'You're right!'
He got up, wincing at the various pains, and walked over to his desk. He opened a plain note pad in which had pre-written a seal on every page. The seal was not of his design, it was one of the very few seals he had found that was created by Senju Tsunade. Like the Mystic Palm Technique it used Healing Chakra to accelerate the body's natural healing rate, but it bypassed the need for high chakra control by forcefully limiting the output. If the user channeled too much raw chakra into the seal, the excess would be dispersed so as not to overload the patient's normal circulation.
The seal never gained much popularity because it also had quite a few down sides. The output of Healing Chakra was always minimal and couldn't be adjusted, so wounds would take longer to heal than if they were being treated by a Medic-Ninja. The excess chakra was wasted so, depending on the user's chakra control level, healing a wound could require overly large amounts of chakra. Lastly, the seal could be used more than once, but if it was stained by blood it would have to be changed.
Naruto started with the gash above his eye, pressing the seal page to the wound, after wiping it clean, then pumping chakra into it, and finally checking in a mirror before moving onto the next. One hour, ten minutes, three more torn pages, and a change of clothes later, Naruto was as good as new.
He went back to his recently formed blades. With his earlier eagerness having faded somewhat, he took his time, savouring the moment and paying it the reverence it was due. He knelt, blocking out the rustling of pages as his clones continued their studies, and reached out.
As he picked them up he instinctively shifted his grips. The hunting knife, he held in a left-handed reverse grip that would be ideal for quick slashes and powerful stabs alike. The Jian, he held in a right-handed regular grip with which he would be able to wield it in a normal fashion.
His eyes fluttered as information passed into his mind, similar to the memory feedback of Shadow Clones but on a more primal and intimate level. When the influx of information finished, Naruto knew the details of both his blades and how to use them. He would still need to create advanced moves and techniques, but the basics were all there and just needed to be practiced.
Most importantly he knew their names.
The hunting knife was called Serpent's Fang. Its ability was to turn the dark purple substance that perpetually coated the sharp of its blade into various poisons and toxins. To do so he needed to channel chakra into it and alter the chemical makeup of the substance by using his own knowledge. As such he wouldn't be able to employ fictitious poisons or poisons that he didn't have an in depth understanding of. When the blade was used against a living being, the potency of the contamination would depend on the amount of chakra he used.
A smirk adorned Naruto's lips. He would have to set a clone or two to studying. Just as soon as his chakra reserves weren't quite so empty as they were at the moment.
The straight sword was called Serpent's Tail. Its ability was to separate into short, one inch segments, each of which was connected to the next by two collateral, deep green coloured, cables. When fully released it adopted its second form, that of an, almost, eight foot long whip blade.
Naruto got to his feet and into a stance.
He had training to do.
It had been seven months since Naruto had received his dual Tamashiiken. Since then he had pushed himself even harder, he had studied even longer, he had done everything he could to advance as fast as possible. All the while doing his best to stay unnoticed.
The 'disappearance' of the two Genin had caused a bit of a stir. Mostly because Minato himself had, for some reason Naruto wasn't privy to, taken an unusual amount of interest in it. The young Namikaze knew that if anyone connected him to the crime he would have to make a run for it. And he was realistic enough to acknowledge that it would most likely be a very short run before they caught him.
He wasn't too bothered with the idea of leaving, he intended to get out of Konoha as soon as possible anyways. Nonetheless, he had hoped to have more time to prepare. After all, despite his skills and his maturity being well beyond his years, he couldn't help but feel apprehensive at the uncertainty of his future. As things stood, he would be able to fit all his preparations in, but he wouldn't be able to check and double check and triple check everything as he often liked to.
It had been three months since Naruto had found the last of the answers he needed to complete his sealing array. His problem had no longer been finding a way to draw on Nature Energy, but finding a way to separate his soul from his body and prevent it from 'moving on' long enough for the array to do the 'remoulding'. Human souls weren't supposed to live without a body, in fact Naruto was fairly certain that human souls wouldn't be able to survive for very long if the body they were in wasn't theirs specifically.
First, he had looked into the Yamanaka Clan techniques, but his study of the nature of chakra quickly led him to the conclusion that those involved the use of pure Spiritual Energy rather than anything to do directly with the soul.
His second source of inspiration was slightly ironic. Jinchuuriki. Sealing a Demon inside a Human Sacrifice was done in two basic steps. First, the Demon's soul has to be 'pulled' into the Vessel. The most notable Fuuinjutsu for this step was the Dead Demon Consuming Seal that Minato had developed and used against Kyuubi. Second, the Demon's soul had to be 'locked' inside its Vessel. The strongest known seal for this step was also created by Minato, the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style.
Naruto's plan was to have one of his Shadow Clones use one of the lesser 'pulling' Fuuinjutsu to extract his own soul and direct it into the Soul Remoulding Array. With his soul being in the… grasp… of the Clone's Fuuinjutsu, it would still be anchored down, thus preventing his death. Once his soul was fully remoulded he would no longer need a body, an anchor, or any other sort of medium to insure his ongoing existence. He would exist independently, drawing Nature Energy from his surroundings to mould his own youki and use that youki to create his body.
Essentially, he would become a member of the same race of being as the Bijuu. He didn't, however, want to have their weaknesses.
Through his discussions with Kyuubi he had gleamed that Demons had no manner of youki control. Of the nine, she had the most control over herself, but even she was incapable of simple Water Walking. He supposed that that could have explained why none of the Bijuu had ever left the Elemental Nations. Naruto's best guess was that their lack of control was due to a combination of the astronomical size of their youki reserves, and the inherently chaotic nature of youki.
In the long run, Naruto planned to base most of his fighting style on the use of Fuuinjutsu, so a lack of youki control wouldn't be too much of a problem. On the other hand it would be a glaring weakness that would seriously impede, and most probably stunt, the realisation of his potential. That was unacceptable. Just because he wouldn't use his other skills as much didn't mean that he wouldn't take the time to become a master of them.
Naruto knew that his reserves wouldn't be anywhere near that large, so he would only have half the problem. The remoulding would change his soul to emulate the properties of a Demon's, but he would still be limited by the fact that he had started off with a human soul. From what he had concluded demonic souls were infinitely bigger than human one's. That meant that they produced a lot more Spiritual Energy to combine with the Nature Energy they collected, hence their incredible youki capacity. Naruto, however, would have a 'human sized demonic soul' so his reserves would probably be somewhere between a Kage's and a Jinchuuriki's but still nowhere near a full fledged Demon's.
While that was a bit of a disappointment, it would also make solving his control problems easier because the only real issue would be that of the chaotic nature of youki.
He didn't know why youki was so tumultuous, and none of his discussions with Kyuubi had been able to enlighten him. He suspected that she had more information than what she was sharing with him, she was particularly tight lipped when they neared the subject of her attack on Konoha or the epic battle between Uchiha Madara and Senju Hashirama at the Valley of the End, but she was entitled to her secrets so he didn't press her.
The best solution he could come up with was inspired by a Genjutsu Seal he had studied. Fuuinjutsu could be used for Genjutsu, but it was only practical for long term needs such as the Genjutsu seal that hid the Konoha ANBU Headquarters. Even then it still required the participation of a Genjutsu Specialist. The Fuuinjutsu worked in two parts, one part to regulate the flow of chakra, and another to give the structure of the Genjutsu. When maintained periodically, the Genjutsu would stay in place without human intervention and would be especially hard to dispel.
Naruto did not have the need, nor the ability, to properly create the second part, but with a few modifications he was satisfied that the chakra regulation part would curb the chaotic nature of his soon to be youki.
Almost on a whim, Naruto had included a slightly modified Chakra Disruption Seal into the Remoulding Array. Disruption Seals worked by speeding up the flow of chakra in a person's system. It didn't make it more chaotic per se, it simply made the circulation faster, to the point where it slipped out of control.
Naruto's idea was to use the acceleration to his advantage. He would have to put a lot of effort into harnessing the increased speed but he felt that, once he had, the benefits would be well worth the effort. Theoretically, not only would he be able to launch Ninjutsu one after the other at a much faster rate, but also be boosted by the acceleration.
It was one of the many examples of the short-sightedness that seemed to ail the Shinobi populous. They only saw the Chakra Disruption Seal as a short term nuisance, rather than the long term advantages that it could provide if one is willing to put forth a little effort.
The last notable part of the Remoulding Array was perhaps the most important in Naruto's opinion. A defence against being sealed into a vessel. It was quite simply a Security Seal. Nothing would be able to 'access' his soul without his consent. That way, if he wanted to, he would be able to apply modifications and new imprints to his soul at a later date, but still be protected from anyone doing so against his will. The protection could be overcome, but considering Naruto had created it with the Dead Demon Consuming Seal in mind… it was very unlikely.
As for Kyuubi. She would be freed. Her imprisonment, the Eight Trigrams Sealing Style, was embedded in his body and powered by his will. Without his soul his body would gradually die, and without his will the seal would just be a brittle barrier. There would be nothing to hold her back.
She would still have to rebuild her youki reserves from scratch, but that was of little consequence given the prospect of freedom.
And so it was with great pride that Naruto looked down at the completed array that now occupied the majority of his bedroom floor.
Everything was set.
The only thing that could possibly hold him back were the attachments and bonds of friendship and loved ones.
"Are you really ready for this Naruto?"
Kyuubi's voice had a strange ring to it. One that he hadn't heard there before, or anywhere else for that matter. Pride? Respect? A hint of affection perhaps?
He looked up at the Clone that was already standing in position, waiting for the signal to go ahead.
Was he ready for this? Ready to leave everything behind, no matter how little it was? Ready to abandon his humanity and actually become what so many had accused him of being? Was he truly prepared to simply discard a life of flesh and blood and bone?
With a nod the Clone began making hand seals. After a series of fifty-two, its bare arm glowed with innumerable kanji and it thrust its hand forwards. An ethereal limb stretched out from the real one and buried itself in Naruto's chest.
Naruto's eyes and mouth widened in a silent scream of absolute agony as his soul was wrenched out and his body fell limp to the floor.