Naruto awoke the next day with a comically loud and drawn out yawn before reaching out his left hand to turn off the alarm clock on his nightstand. An alarm clock and nightstand that didn't even exist. It was only then that he noticed he wasn't in his room. Beginning to panic somewhat he began to recount his most recent memories. Ino asking him to join her and her family for a fun day out after the bell sounded signifying the end of yet another day of school. The meal he had with her and her family. A few games played later that day and lastly getting to know Ino and her small family of three better. He had, of course, seen her a time or two in the school as he went to and from his many classes. But seeing as both of them were in different classes on opposite ends of the academy most of the school day time to talk to the girl was quite limited. Now, however, he had a whole day to just talk and play and get to know her. Grandpa Hokage could only allow an hour or two at most before his duties would force the two apart. Sometimes for weeks or even months at a time. But seeing as his day of fun was now over he began to slowly walk out the door of the room, down the stairs, and out of the shop her family had owned for at least two generations. At least that was the plan before her father stopped him as soon as his hand landed upon the knob of the door.
"Naruto where by sage are you going"? Inoichi asked him with a raised eyebrow. Naruto, in turn, looked at the man before him with no small part of confusion.
"Home, sir. I was going to go back home". Naruto replied. At this, Inoichi pulled out a scroll with the Hokage emblem on the top signifying that it had come directly from the office of the Hokage himself.
"Before you go I would very much like for you to read this". Inoichi said before giving the scroll to him and soon his eyes grew wider and wider the longer he read the scroll now in his hands.
: I, the third Hokage of Konohagakure hereby decree that one Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze shall be given training by Inoichi Yamanaka, Chōza Akimichi, and Shikaku Nara effective immediately:.
The rest of the message talked about his new class and other matters Naruto didn't understand nor care about.
"Why...why are you being so nice to me"? Naruto asked as tears began to run down his face. Inoichi at once ran over and hugged him.
"Oh if only I could tell you. If only I could". Inoichi thought to himself as he held the crying boy until he had stopped crying. Once he had Naruto again made for the door and again Inoichi stopped him.
"Your things are no longer in that bug-infested apartment of yours. I had a few of my people move your things into a house inside our clan compound". Inoichi said before giving him his new address. "Oh, one more thing how much do you like ramen? Inoichi asked before the boy practically bulldozed him to the floor. His face going from that of sadness to a near instant joy.
"Ok, I get it you really like ramen". Inoichi said before freeing himself from the boy. "Let me walk you to your new home". Inoichi said before opening the door and out the two went.
It wasn't long before the villagers all started to eye the two strangely. Some talked in hushed tones as others gave him hate-filled glares. But before he could so much as think of running Inoichi placed his hand on him.
"Be at ease nobody would dare attack you now. The Hokage has placed you under the protection of three influential clan heads. Attacking you now carries the death sentence". Inoichi said before the gates of the Yamanaka clan came into view. On both sides of the iron gates stood two chunin. As soon as they saw their clan head they bowed. If they noticed Naruto they didn't at all show it.
It wasn't long before he and Inoichi stood outside a modest house. If he had to guess the living room alone was bigger than his now old apartment.
"This...this is all mine"? Naruto asked eyes tearing up once more.
"Yes, Naruto-kun it's all yours. Feel free to visit me anytime. The clan house is that big one on top of the hill. You can find me most days in that one. My wife runs the shop and I help her when she needs help in the busy season otherwise I'm in that house". Inoichi said before allowing Naruto some time alone. For the rest of the day, he walked around the house. He was about done with his walk around his new home when he came across a small box sitting next to the backyard door. Opening it he found a new set of kunai and ninja stars. At the bottom of the box sat a note. Opening it he saw neat handwriting that he guessed was none other than that of Ino's it read.
: I hope you enjoy your gift. I had to work hard to pay for this so you better enjoy it fox-kun: Ino's name sat at the bottom right. Naruto cried again that day but for once in his life, it wasn't due to sadness but happiness. It was on that day that he promised to protect Ino and her family no matter what. They were in his eyes his family and he would sooner die than allow any harm to befall them.
Naruto was awoken by the sound of somebody loudly knocking upon his front door. A fact he still wasn't at all used to yet. So quickly jumping out of bed he quickly went to answer it. When he opened the door he could see three men standing before him. Ino's father stood in the middle with a kind smile on his face.
"Hello, Naruto-kun allow me to introduce a few of my friends. This is Chōza Akimichi- Inoichi said before pointing to a roundish man with long, red hair to his left who gave him a kind smile much the same as Ino's mother had the day before, and this is Shikaku Nara he then pointed to a man with two long scars on his face and a small ponytail that stood on his right". Both men gave a slight bow to the boy upon their naming.
"May we come inside"? Inoichi asked after finishing his introductions.
"Oh yes, of course, please do". Naruto said before moving out of the way allowing the trio to enter the small home. It wasn't long before the three men entered the living room and sat down around a small table that luckily already had four seats. Once everybody had been seated they began.
"How much do you know of the game called Go"? Shikaku asked as he unsealed the game in question before placing it atop the table.
"Um...nothing sir. I don't play games that much. I don't really play at all actually". Naruto said with sadness. Shikaku, in turn, nodded his head in understanding before he began to run through the rules of the game as well as giving him a few tips on how best to play. It wasn't long afterward that the two were soon seen playing. Naruto moving his troops to stop Shikaku's own and he, in turn, did the same to Naruto's. At times it seemed like Naruto would lose but he always found a way to turn what seemed like a loss into a win making for a fun game for all involved.
After the game had ended, it was now Chōza's turn and soon all of them could be seen standing in the backyard watching as the two began to spar. It wasn't long however before Chōza stopped the spar and asked a question.
"What form is that"? Chōza asked eyeing the unusual stance Naruto had taken.
"It's form six...sir". Naruto replied unsure what was at all the matter. Did he somehow mess it up? Naruto knew he wasn't the greatest ninja but he was fairly sure he was doing it right.
"Form six? The academy has only ever had five forms. It's never had six. Who told you that it did Naruto-kun"? Chōza asked with a slight edge now to his voice.
"My old sensei. He said if I mastered it I would get extra credit". Naruto said before Inoichi soon disappeared into the house. It wasn't long before the sound of the door closing loudly behind him made everybody jump ever so slightly.
"We'll pick this back up later Naruto-kun. I have to make sure he doesn't kill the fool". Chōza said before handing Naruto his home address as did Shikaku.
Meanwhile, Inoichi's mind raced with several dark thoughts. Demon or not he had intentionally sabotaged a potential leaf shinobi and in a ninja village that was no small thing by any means. Entering the Hokage tower he dismissed the secretary altogether choosing instead to just knock on the door. Upon entering he saw Danzo and the other village advisors. All of them eyeing him with various expressions.
"How may I help you Inoichi-kun". Hiruzen asked as he patiently waited for the man's response.
"I would like to know who his old sensei was"? Inoichi said and at this Danzo joined in the conversation.
"Old sensei, Hiruzen what the hell did you do"? Danzo demanded from his old teammate. Hiruzen, in turn, only gave the man a hard look before returning to Inoichi.
"Why would you need to know that Inoichi-kun"? Hiruzen asked more interested in the sudden urgency.
"I have reason to believe sir that his education has been sabotaged. Naruto claims one of his old sensei told him of a sixth form". Inoichi replied. The Hokage sat back in his chair and for a few long seconds not a word was said nor a sound made.
"Yuna-chan can you please pull up Naruto's records I would like to look them over". Hiruzen asked before the voice of a woman answered back.
"Of course sir. I'll be only a moment". Minutes later a young woman walked in. In her hands sat a fairly sizeable folder. Quickly looking through the files he soon landed on Naruto's fairly long list of old sensei's. All of whom had been replaced for one thing or another. However, all of whom had at one time attacked the boy over the years. Some more than once.
"Crow, can you please go pick up Naruto"? Hiruzen asked before the slight displacement of the air told them all he was gone. Seconds later Naruto appeared before them. It took a few seconds for the boy to regain his bearings and sense of direction. Once he did however Hiruzen asked his question.
"Naruto can you please pick out who it was that told you of a sixth form". Hiruzen asked before Naruto eyed the list of around twelve or so Chunin instructors. It wasn't long however before he picked up the photo of a middle-aged man by the name of Takeshi Mishimoto. Hiruzen nodded his head again and three more such displacements could be felt.
"Thank you, Naruto you have been very helpful. You two may go unless you need something else". Hiruzen said before Inoichi said no and the two left the Hokage's office.
Naruto and Inoichi had just exited the Hokage tower when the sound of a man yelling soon caught their attention.
"Get your fucking hands off me! I did nothing wrong"! Takeshi Mishimoto yelled making a fair few of the people nearby to him to slowly back away in fear even with three ANBU holding onto him. But once he laid eyes on Naruto's form his anger soon jumped to new heights.
"It was you I knew it who else could it be. You used your demon powers on them, didn't you? I lost my wife because of you I hope you di...". The rest of his hate-filled words was forever silenced by means of a low-level lightning jutsu. The ANBU eyed Naruto for a time. His gravity-defying white hair being really the only thing he could see of the man.
"Thank you, Dog". Inoichi said making the dog-masked man to take notice of the two of them. Almost at once, Dog knew he was meeting his beloved sensei's son, at least face to face. He had, of course, been overseeing his life for nearly 13 years now by order of the Hokage. An order he took happily as Naruto was the last thing he had of his old team.
"It's nice to meet you Naruto-kun". Kakashi said with what almost sounded to his ears like sadness. But that didn't make any sense. He was a nobody. This dog-masked man had no reason to be sad. It wasn't long after that that he and the two other ANBU disappeared making Naruto's eyes grow wide in wonder. Inoichi only smiling at the sight.
"Hey, I have some free time how about we go get some ramen"? Inoichi said before Naruto began jumping up and down happily and with that off the two went. All the while Naruto had a big grin on his face. The last few days had been without a doubt the very best days of his young life and it was only going to get better.
It wasn't long before Inoichi and Naruto stood just outside a small ramen shop by the name of Ichiraku Ramen that was situated on one of the many side streets in the commercial district. Naruto all the while was happily jumping up and down beside him. A fact Inoichi couldn't help but smile at. Once both of them had entered the small shop the smell of ramen soon entered Naruto's nose and at once his mouth started to water in anticipation for soon he would be eating the food of the gods. Luckily for the two of them, nobody aside from them was currently inside the small restaurant. Taking their seats near the back they eyed the menu before them. It wasn't long before the voice of a girl soon made the two look up. The girl, in turn, gave them both a small smile that put Naruto at ease.
"Hello, my name is Ayame Ichiraku my dad owns the place. How may I help you two today"? She asked before waiting for their answers.
"We would both like a medium bowl of ramen with a glass of tea for me". Inoichi said before Ayame nodded and walked away. As soon as she was out of earshot Inoichi turned to face Naruto.
"Naruto...about what happened". Inoichi began before Naruto stopped him mid-sentence.
"It's fine... I'm used to it". Naruto said with great sadness. It was clear to him that the boy viewed himself very poorly. It was because of that that he decided to take a risk.
"You shouldn't be used to that Naruto, you're a hero". Inoichi said taking his hands into his own much larger ones.
"Me a hero no way. I'm just a demon everybody says so". Naruto shot back. At this Inoichi uttered what would forever change the course of world history.
"No Naruto you're a boy who had to bear a great burden. If your mother and father knew...". Inoichi was quickly cut off.
"You know who my mom and dad are? Please tell me"! Naruto begged. Inoichi knew that he needed to pick his next words very carefully.
"I can't tell you their names but they were some of the greatest ninja to ever live. Once you prove yourself to me I'll tell you who they are". Inoichi said.
Naruto, in turn, soon fell back into his seat disappointed in the answer but understood it nevertheless. Still, Inoichi felt bad but saying any more would have put the boy in even greater danger. It wasn't long after that that the food was placed before them and they began to eat. Naruto, of course, ate it with reckless abandon making Inoichi stop and correct the behavior. It took some doing but at long last Naruto was eating at a much slower pace. Just as the two were about done with their meal the sound of the ringing doorbell signifying new customers made Naruto's whole body grow tense. But as soon as Inoichi's eyes landed on who they were his mind was put at ease.
"Hey Shikamaru, Chōji this is Naruto he'll be joining you guys for the remainder of the school year". Inoichi said to the two making both of them eye him with an intrigued expression. Naruto, on the other hand, was a ball of nerves.
"Want a chip"? Chōji asked as he outstretched his hand to Naruto who slowly took a chip. This made the two boys eye him with no small bit of bewilderment.
"So why are you here"? Inoichi asked as this wasn't one of the usual hangouts.
"Dad wanted us to find you. He didn't say why just that it was really important that we do". Chōji said between each handful of potato chips.
"Oh, I...I see will how about I let you guys get to know each other. It'll be nice for Naruto to have people his own age to talk to". Inoichi said before getting up and walking to the door. Once he was gone Naruto slowly turned to face the two boys. At first, nobody said a word. Chōji was far too busy shoveling handfuls of potato chips into his mouth and Shikamaru was trying to figure him out. What was his deal he thought to himself? But after about a minute he gave up deeming it to be too troublesome.
"So do you play Go"? Shikamaru asked.
"I played a game". Naruto replied before feeling himself being pulled to his feet and pushed out the door.
"Good, it'll give me something to do". Shikamaru said before taking him to his home. But before he left the small ramen shop he made sure to drop off some money.
It took only a few minutes to make the trip to his home. The two Chunin at the gate acting in much the same way the Yamanaka clan's Chunin did. But he guessed that was due to having a clan head/future clan head with him. Upon entering the house the voice of a woman yelled out.
"Where the hell have you been"!
"I was looking for Ino's dad mom". Shikamaru yelled back before going up the stairs and into his room. Soon after the game was set up and the game began. Chōji all the while enjoying his chips.
"I..I lost". Shikamaru said in complete shock. Chōji also couldn't believe what he had seen.
"Best two out of three". Shikamaru said. He was going to win this time he was sure.
"How is this possible. I never lose". Shikamaru said eyes wide in disbelief. He had played hundreds of games and he had never lost a game. Unless he was playing with his dad then he always lost.
"You said you played this game once. How can you be so good at a game you have only ever played once"? Shikamaru demanded upsetthat he had lost twice.
"Your dad explained the rules to me. I paid close attention to how he moved his pieces". Naruto said waving his hands in a dismissive fashion. Shikamaru after a good ten seconds took a deep breath and accepted the defeats. That day Naruto played game after game. It was close at times but Naruto always found a way to win. A fact Chōji couldn't help but find funny. Shikamaru, on the other hand, found it to be troublesome.