Chapter 3

The Namikaze Compound

It took a week for the search party to leave the Forest of Death and almost two more for the animal residents to calm down enough for Naruto to consider travelling off his Island shelter. During that period, he had, with the help of his clones, completed rebuilding the jutsu library he had pilfered from the laboratory. He had also assimilated the library contents, and spent long hours practising with his newly acquire nasal appendage in tracking animals that resided on the island. Also, he had improved his Henge so he could actually sleep in his original Naruto form and not wake up with a foxy nose. He extended his Henge to birds, but was yet unsure of his wings.

“Boss! You do not trust yourself!” finally exploded one of the clones. “We did all the mistakes there were to be while we learned to fly! And you learned their consequences and how to prevent them from my brothers’ dispelling! What else do you need?”

“Easy for you to say. If I fall and fail, I do not dispel, I die!”

“It is the same thing! We return to the Creator, you in our instance, and so will you!”

“What about that poor Kyuubi? He will go to Hell! And I do not want him (or her, I have yet to ask) to go to Hell on my account!”

“Boss, it will return to where it comes from, but all things ultimately come from the Creator, even the Devil himself, and you know it! I do not know what will happen to the nine-tailed Kitsune, or if it is eternal, but it ultimately must return to the Creator to be assigned a new task, like you will. As to the nature of the task, only the Creator knows.”

“It is my family! I will protect it from whatever evil fate anyone might have planned for it! I protect my family!”

The Kitsune heard the exchange (after all, he was in Naruto’s mind!) and was shocked. Someone cared for the beast!

Understanding the Boss was in one of his stubborn streaks (he should know, being a carbon copy of said boss!), the Bunshin retired of the discussion by dissolving, knowing quite well that his arguments would stick with Naruto, even if he did not verbalise them. Naruto was more stubborn than even his Kage Bunshin had anticipated. It took the young boy a month to decide to test his ability to fly. Finally, by a nice sunny, cool day, Naruto applied his knowledge of Bunshin and Henge to himself, and converted to a rather huge white-tailed eagle. Huge enough that if someone had seen it take off from the volcano’s summit, they would immediately have alerted the Hokage. Naruto was so scared of falling he over-sized the wings. This, in turn, rendered flying more difficult as manoeuvrability suffered. Once across the lake, Naruto flew over the forest. His powerful eyes allowed him to notice numerous animals he had yet to make contact with, some of which left him mouth gaping. A Rabbit the size of a Deer; a colony of Lizards the size of Humans, Bees the size of small Dogs, Mosquitoes fit for the fauna! As he reached the edge of the Forest of Death, Naruto dove down and recovered his form, while perched on a tree. He then studied the ground below.

His first observation was that the forest itself seemed to continue beyond an almost invisible boundary. Just the nature of the vegetation changed: The trees were still huge, were still deciduous, but their variety changed. It was subtle, but it was there for one with open eyes. The leafs seemed to be more fragmented, but not damaged; the flowers’ colours gradually changed; the smell itself was a little more intoxicating. Some trees were in isolation, as though they banned competition from growing nearby. The same trees supported the presence of vines that seemed to twist in all directions, as if they were trying to entice the curious to come nearby. For some reason, Naruto felt it was better to stay as far as possible from these strange trees. As he walked around one, he smelled rotten meat from upwind of the plant. Alarmed, he moved away, but kept an eye out for similar plants. From a tree branch, he managed to peek at the base of the tree with that repulsive smell: he saw bones of a variety of types, including feline skulls of impressive proportions. Mixed in the bones were Deer, a huge Rabbit, recognisable by its prominent incisors, and, in the mix, a Human skull. Suddenly, it flashed to Naruto: the tree was carnivorous and ate whatever it could catch! As Naruto made his way further in the forest, he spotted one of these trees, with tentacles busy pulling in a comatose animal, that seemed to have been imprudent and walked too close to it and fell to its intoxicating perfume. Sticking out of the tree’s trunk was huge red flower that seemed to be trying to expand to ready itself to swallow the next meal. Sticking out of the flower was the rear quarter of a Deer-size Rabbit, with the rear legs sticking up out of the flower’s corolla like macabre antennas. The tree had captured another animal even before it had finished digesting its previous dinner! Later, Naruto spotted another tree busy expunging the bones from its corolla by a complex movement that would have reminded any doctor of the one used by the intestinal tract to push the digestive mass to its rear end. As he watched, Naruto saw a long femur protrude and then fall on the side of the tree, still covered, in some place, with turfs of hair.

As the evening was coming, Naruto climbed up a pine tree and hid in its upper branches. Anything trying to climb up or reach him from the top or the branches would make enough noise to alert him to the intruder. He also placed a number of Kage Bunshin in a sphere around his location. The sudden dispelling of a Bunshin would immediately alert him as well and inform him of the nature of the threat.

The next morning came bright and early. Naruto climbed down the tree, and continued to progress further in the back woods of the Forest of Death. He did not really know where he was heading, but he followed his instincts, like a homing Pigeon. He felt ward after ward sense him as he made his way deeper, being ‘smelled’ or ‘tasted’ by the different defensive or offensive shields, each more potent than the previous one. Finally, he spotted a high wall, made of huge black volcanic stones, with glassy surfaces, and so finely adjusted to each other no mortar seemed to be required to hold them together. The masonry work was so fine that not a moss managed to grip on them. Naruto turned right and followed the wall. For some reason, he just knew that using chakra to climb the walls would not work, and that the shortest route to the other side of the wall was by following it, keeping the wall to his left.

After three hours of walking, he took a break to eat some fruits and drink water from a nearby stream. Another four hours of walking, and almost at dinner time, he found the gates. The gates were huge: they were closed, not surprisingly, and made of a combination of steel and a strange alloy that called to Naruto even if it looked like rusty flakes. As he touched the metal, it glowed and sucked in his chakra. He fell on the gate, head first, and almost fainted. A few seconds later, his chakra was returned to him, minus a minor amount.

Naruto looked at the gate accusingly, but almost fell on his ass: the ‘rusty’ look of the metal had all but vanished, replaced by a gold and silver look, and the ‘steel’ part now shone green. In front of him, right at the level of his face, was a lock that kept blinking at him. Unable to hold his hand back, he touched the lock, almost expecting another shock. The locking mechanism engaged and, after a minute of intensive grinding and sparks flying in all directions, the lock released and the gates swung open majestically. The seal that had covered the two gate panels split in half in the process. The jagged edge of the seal caught Naruto’s attention: on the right of the complex heraldry symbol was the Namikaze seal, and on the left was the Uzumaki seal, the seal of Whirlpool, a lost hidden village.

Naruto pushed the gates open. He expected the gates to be noisy, difficult to push and otherwise show lack of maintenance, but nothing of the sort made obstacle to his effort. Once in, he pushed the gates closed and heard them lock back. At first, he was worried, but then he remembered he could fly. Naruto looked around and saw that the gates opened through a giant arch that seemed to pass under a thick wall. The pavement was in perfect condition, not a bit of grass seemed to grow between the huge, tightly packed black rocks. Kneeling, Naruto touched the blocks: they were like the wall: so tightly interlocked no concrete was needed, not even a grain of sand could lodge between them.

Standing up, Naruto took his first step along the wide alley, engaging under the huge arched tunnel. Silence fell, much to his surprise. He had expected to hear a lot of echoing noises under there, but not such silence. Halfway through, he found a grid and a message typed on the side:

<Touch and be recognised! State your name aloud when asked!>

Not really figuring out what it meant, Naruto touched the plate with a right hand on it and felt a prick on his palm.

“Uzumaki, Naruto!” he exclaimed.

“This is not your full name. State your name!”

Scratching his head, Naruto tried again:

“Uzumaki Namikaze, Naruto!”

“Recognised: Heir Uzumaki. Recognised: Heir Namikaze. Given Name: Naruto.”

The grid opened and allowed Naruto in, closing behind him.

Continuing his progress along the wide alley, Naruto kept wondering. Why had he claimed Namikaze as his name? He was Uzumaki, was he not? As he walked along, he noticed the huge trees, the thick rose bushes, fruit trees planted in elaborate geometric figures, some green, others bursting with flowers of different colours, even spelling things if you looked closely, flower beds and magnificent pagodas that dotted the landscape, the Koi ponds, the streams that cascaded from further inside, and from pond to pond, fountains that fired off jets of vapour in ordained succession, steamy ponds that had flat rocky beaches or black sandy ones, and onsen baths with sitting benches in the water. He could see fish jump upstream to move up, hide under overhangs, or dive deep. Everything looked so pristine, a perfect match of organised and natural.

As he walked, Naruto noticed the path made a huge spiral, a close match to his family symbol. He was wondering how long this was going to go on and was beginning to ask himself if he should not try to find a place for the night when, suddenly, ahead of him appeared the most impressive building he had ever seen in his entire life. Just in front of it was the Yin Yang symbol in plant form: half the plants on one side were composed of white flowers and the other half of black as night flowers: the Namikaze symbol. The path to follow to the house separated the Yin from the Yang before leading to the first step of a superb plaza and a double door that shone in the sun as made of gold. Naruto knew it could not be so, and either it was plated gold or it was native copper.

Naruto kept totally silent, too awed to even sputter. He reached the portico by climbing the five steps from the plaza and looked around. There were 13 finely sculpted Egyptian columns supporting a vast portico leading to the door, six on each side of the top of the steps, and one separating the steps in two, also at the top. Naruto wondered why each of the five steps were of a different colour, as he had yet to study the five elements in their symbolic form. The portico’s floor was made of hexagonal tiles altering in the five step colours and overlaying the kana for Namikaze and Uzumaki. He delicately stepped across the portico, instinctively dancing so as not to step on the tiles carrying the two combined kana. He knew it was insulting to step on the name of someone, so why should he step on his own? Reaching the door, Naruto touched the handle. Again, he received a little prick on his palm before the door opened by itself.

“What is it with vampiric doors?” he muttered almost silently to himself.

Once inside, he removed his sandals and put them on the carpet on the left side of the door, in conformity to Japanese etiquette. Once this was done, he finally looked at the vast hall, whose ceiling was supported by a forest of thick, finely sculpted, wooden pillars. The black wood shone as if polished and oiled; the white marble floor reflected the pillars, and light entered through the windows, way up on the side of the walls, shining like search beams on the floor below. The walls themselves were covered with impressive tapestries portraying peaceful scenes of rock gardens, of cascading waterfalls, and of deep, shaded forests. In the centre of the hallway was a huge book on a pedestal. Naruto felt called to that book, a call he could not deny.

On top of the book was a set of instructions: ‘Sign your full name at the next free slot, marked by the red silk lanyard.’

Naruto saw the red silk strip and opened the book to the indicated page. On the left was a column titled ‘Arrival’ and on the right was a column marked ‘Departure’. As he read the names he noticed the last names were Uzumaki Kushina and Namikaze Minato, the name of what he now knew were his parents.

He looked for a quill but found none, so he cut his right hand thumb and used his blood to sign Uzumaki Namikaze Naruto in the next free left column square. Barely had he finished making the kana for Naruto that a huge bell resonated in the empty house as the book slammed shut, almost trapping Naruto’s bloody hand.

“Woha! After vampiric doors, I am stuck with cannibalistic books? What is it with this place!”

Naruto was not out of shocks. Gradually the rather dark room (even with the light coming from the windows) began to lighten up. As more light shone, originating from the walls themselves, more details of the walls and columns became visible. Apart from the tapestries, that seemed to cover a height of three adult men, there were finely sculpted bas-reliefs running around the entire room, and, above the top of the tapestries, an overhanging platform with friezes were sculptures of nude male and females were visible. They were so realistic Naruto expected them to jump down from their perch. The ceiling came into view and was revealed to be paintings of nudes of both sexes and all ages, involved in scenes as if they were playing in parks.

“If getting old gives that look, I want to die young!” said Naruto as he eyed a man with tons of wrinkles, a sagging pot belly, almost bald with strands of uncombed hair and a beard that seemed to try and hide his puny manhood. “If it shrinks, I will not have anything left by that age!” Naruto added, looking at his own rather small manhood. Hey, he is five! Do you expect a 12-inch joystick? Pervert!

Naruto spotted a grand staircase spiralling up in two helixes, that rose to an upper floor. He was surprised by the presence of a second floor, as Japanese architecture usually was single-level due to the earth-quakes that plague the country. At the base of the staircase, set on each side, were two double doors. He decided to explore the left side ground floor first. Opening the door, he found himself in a long hallway that had a series of doors on each side. The left-most doors opened to suites, including onsen, and ‘public’ restrooms. He noticed the rooms were slightly off rectangle, with one wall (the further one) being longer than the opposite wall. On the right of the same hallway were service rooms that included everything to keep the house clean. The rooms too took an odd shape, and seemed to expand as he walked along the hallway. Suddenly, a huge room with chandeliers opened on the right side. He could not figure the use of that room, never having set foot into a ball room before, but he was impressed by the huge floor to ceiling mirrors, the Salomonic columns and the huge frescoes that covered the ceiling in coffers, not that he knew the terms. At the far end of the ball room were a series of gothic arches that led to double doors. Naruto opened the closest one and found himself in a huge dining hall with seven mahogany tables that stretched the entire length of the room except for a huge black ebony table set across the top, three steps above the main floor. The wood of the tables shone from polish and Naruto could see his face mirror in each as he made his way to the top tiers where the ebony table sat. The ceiling of the room was also coffered and portrayed people eating fruits and involved in delectable banquets... always nude. The ceiling itself was supported by Caryatid columns depicting both sexes nude.

“If people ate that way, it must not have cost them too much to feed an army, given the amount of visual distraction!” said Naruto, who was surprised there was no echo in the huge empty room.

Reaching the head table, he decided to rest by sitting on the tallest backed chair. Barely had he sat down that a veritable banquet appeared on his table, within easy reach. Hungry, Naruto did not bother asking himself where the food came from or how it had been prepared. He dove into the 10-service banquet with gusto, drinking fresh cold juices, savouring spicy meats, delicately prepared vegetables, and finally, a dessert made of a mix of nuts and ice cream. Finally, after a resounding burp, he stood up to see all the food and utensils disappear in a flash.

“Wow! What a jutsu! My parents must have been very powerful shinobi to do that!”

Naruto, fed and watered, moved to the right side of the dining hall and emerged into the ball room. Following the wall, he made his way to the right-most door and found himself in a hallway that was similar to the one he had followed to get to the ball room. He knew he was not on the same side of the building as the suites were now on the opposite side of the hall. He was not surprised to emerge at the end in the great hall, but on the right side of the staircase. He leaned against the wall and thought about the architecture as far as he could imagine it. He came to a startling conclusion: the grand staircase was hollow! There were too many doors along the ball room near-wall. There should have been a rather huge space separating the right and left side of the ballroom without doors, and unless these doors were only there as Genjutsu, there had to be rooms and, more likely hallways leading back to under the stairs. Little did Naruto know that the entire house was drawn on the form of a Chrysanthemum and all he had done was follow the flower stem from its root to the flower base! Things would grow interesting as he explored the house! The real Genjutsu was the one hiding the entire house from outside view as the flower expanded in a sphere from the portico to its apex. Hidden deep below the surface was the root of the ‘flower-house’ and its immense treasure of training halls, a library that ridiculed the one found in Konohagakure or even anywhere in Japan or the world. The Namikaze had been in hiding for hundreds of years, and so had the Uzumaki. Their wedding had reunited the two most powerful families of all time, and Konoha had stepped on their common heir like he was a common worm. They would pay dearly. Deep inside that library were the tomes of every civilisation since men learned to write, count, and record. Nothing was lost, as the tomes were copied using powerful duplicating jutsus, and the contents cross-referenced and adjusted to reflect new discoveries. Naruto would be having the mother of all headaches, but he would no longer be an ignorant brat.

Naruto, unaware of his impending collision with knowledge (and neither did the Kyuubi know of it!), made his way up the double-helix staircase to the first landing. There, he faced a set of double-doors wearing the Namikaze - Uzumaki emblems and walked in. He was not surprised now to be pricked by the door, and ignored the small discomfort.

Passing the door, Naruto found a small boudoir with comfortable cushions on the floor and low-lying tables, On the far side were doors that, after checking, revealed suites of rooms, onsen and restrooms. Some rooms had stone parks with flowing water, cascading through the room to leave after a stop at a small pond. Fruit trees in full production were found around the pond, surprising Naruto, who just could not figure out how the trees managed to not only survive, but be productive in the absence of direct sunlight.

On the end of the hallway leading off the boudoir was a double door. Naruto opened it and found himself in the biggest library Naruto had yet to see; however he was a bit miffed at the number of fiction and manga books in the library. Where were all the jutsu scrolls he expected to find in the library? That was the first firm indication there was more to the house than what appeared.

The day had been long and tiring, so Naruto returned to his parents’ bedroom and pulled out the futon. He then stripped, dropping his meagre clothing composed of a loincloth to the floor, made his way to the onsen found in his parents’ suite, and washed up, cleaning his long black hair, that had accumulated dust, leafs, and brands from his walk through the woods with a soap he had never had the occasion to use before: shampoo. It left his hair smelling of freshly cut apple, which surprised him. Then there was the ‘body soap’ that left his body glossy and soft, smelling of peaches, of all things! Finished and truly pruned from a long relaxing sitting in the hot water, Naruto stood, rinsed with the bucket full of clear water, and walked to find something to wipe the water off. As he stood over a grid, he suddenly felt a blast of hot dry air almost lift him off the ground. Minutes late, after a fit of laughter he was dry and the blast stopped. Naruto made for a hair brush, brought his hair under relative control and then, to his surprise, he found something he never had heard of: deodorant. The image clearly indicated it was something to spray in the armpits, so he did, surprised at how dry he felt afterward. Spraying paint under the arms kept the area dry? Marvellous! And it had that spicy smell he loved: cinnamon.

“At that rate, I will be edible as an apple pie!” he chucked.

He brushed his teeth, and flossed them, not because the orphanage had taught him to do it but because he had seen the staff teach it to other residents. He never even had had a toothbrush at that sorry excuse for an orphanage. Done, he moved to the open futon, pulled back the light blanket, and lay down for the night. He immediately noticed that, under the smell of his ablutions, there was another one: his parents’ body odour. He could not help it: for the first time in years, Naruto cried. His parents had slept in that futon long enough to imprint it with their essence.

The night passed with Naruto sleeping on and off, turning on himself repeatedly, and having bouts of uncontrolled crying. He got up as the sun rose and eyed himself wearily in the mirror, seeing his red, bleary eyes looking at him. He made his way to the onsen and shoved a bucket of cold water on himself and washed his face. However bad the night had been, he had some exploring to do. The hot air did not even make him smile as he remembered the nightmares he had lived through during the night. Naruto vowed, once again, to take revenge against the village.

The breakfast dealt with by eating fresh fruits, Naruto began his systematic exploration of the house’s upper floors. At first, he had thought there were only two landings, but he quickly realised there were over twenty! A marvel in itself. Room after richly decorated room opened to his awed gaze, and he realised that the house was more of a village in a single block than anything else. It could room hundreds of families, and there were enough inner gardens to feed an army!

Moving up slowly, Naruto finally hit a spherical room where the double-helix stairs climbed up to the ceiling. On a pedestal was a sculpture, a beautiful flower made of pure white marble, a flower Naruto recognised: the Imperial Chrysanthemum, the emblem of the Imperial family of Japan. That did not make sense to Naruto. Why would his family have at the core of its home the emblem of the Imperial Family, the Chrysanthemum? Unless... Naruto saw a scroll at the base of the flower, and began reading the gold ring that kept the scroll tightly closed: ‘Namikaze – Uzumaki Flower of Inheritance’. Curious, Naruto touched the ring, only to be pricked... again! The ring opened, releasing the scroll that opened. It was a stylised Chrysanthemum flower with pairs of names in each petal and dates. A flower had been used to portray the family rather than a tree, that was clear to Naruto now. Fascinated, Naruto studied the flower and noticed he was at the apex, and thousands upon thousands of names converged to him and his parents. At the root of the flower was what he knew was the name of the first Emperor of Japan, Jinmu-tennō. Was he related to the Japanese Imperial family? He had to think things out, badly. As he was readying to roll the scroll back for storage, he noticed the backside had a drawing. Flipping it over gently, he saw another stylised Chrysanthemum, but this one was titled ‘Floor Plan of the Chrysanthemum Palace’ and below, ‘Ground plans of the Chrysanthemum Palace’. Naruto already noticed the Yin Yang at the entrance, and the ground plan confirmed his impression he had been following a spiral to reach his home. What he had yet to catch on was the shape of the walls that enclosed the grounds. It showed a five-point star with the five elemental symbols, one at the apex of each triangle. The walls were designed to form a half circle at each point, and the grounds was divided by walls that acted as internal defences and as a vase for the flower of the Chrysanthemum Palace. Naruto was stunned. Why had his parents left the security of the palace to live in the village? Had they been betrayed? Given how he had been treated, Naruto leaned toward that hypothesis rather strongly. If so, more reason to see to exacting revenge.

As Naruto studied the floor plans of the palace, he noticed that the basement was labelled the ‘Roots of Knowledge’. Curious he touched the label while wondering what it meant and felt the knowledge flow in his mind: it was the library, a library that covered all recorded history, even before Jinmu’s time. Even more curious, he actually asked from how far back the root meant when it said it covered all written history: 12,000 BC, and Jinmu reign was dated at 660 BC! So some books dated from before the foundation of the Empire? Not some, the majority, was he told by mind speech! How in all that was holly could he have missed the entrance to that? A path from where he stood to the entrance of the library burned itself in his memory and he took off at a run, jumping from one landing to the lower one to reach the first floor. There, he looked around and found the keystone, marked by a replica of the pattern found under the porch. He touched it and pushed as much of his chakra as he could, glowing white with power. The steps separated, revealing a staircase that was the prolongation of the upper stairs. The majestic staircase he had climbed up were mere camouflage for the real treasure, that lay below ground.

The moment he set foot on the first step down, a number of lights lit up revealing the double spiral of the staircase. Naruto began walking down and as he reached the first landing, he heard a grumble: the split grand staircase was closing up, and revealing a room behind them, as he had thought. Naruto decided he would explore that room on his way back up. This decided, he looked at the landing he was on. Four doors were visible. Opening them, he found they led to mechanical maintenance for the palace: water filtering, power sources, heat sources, garbage recycling, the works.

Naruto made his way to the second, and final, landing, which was, to his best estimate, three layers deeper. There, a huge door was visible. On the floor were footprints. He decided to hop from one to the next, finally reaching the small granitic slab marking the edge of the door. A hand print was visible about a foot above his head and he touched it. Again, the blood tasting occurred, not even surprising Naruto anymore. Locks could be heard behind the door, and both its panels backed a foot before sliding in the walls. Naruto slipped inside, and found himself in a hallway that seemed to last forever. On each side were rows upon rows of bookshelves, as far as he could see. Each shelf was filled, from floor to ceiling, which seemed to rise the three levels he had come down. Rolling staircases were found at the beginning of each row, allowing a person to examine the contents of each rack of books.

Naruto noticed that scrolls were common, much more common then binded books, but were stored in long tubes set horizontally on the racks. Each rack had a label describing the contents of the scrolls. The racks had numbers, and that gave hope to Naruto: maybe this library was better organised than the one found in the laboratory, or in Konohagakure. He took at a run toward the end of the long hall way, noticing, at intervals, wider crossings. At first, he ignored them, but then stopped to have a look. The writing changed from one block of shelves to the next. He had not noticed this initially, but now he found himself trying to read Chinese rather than Japanese. He still could guess the meaning of the symbols somewhat, but he noticed that, as he made his way further, the writing grew more archaic. It told him that the same thing probably occurred in the Japanese blocks. Then the writing changed radically, replacing the Chinese by drawings. Naruto had never seen hieroglyphs before. He continued and reached another writing change: Greek; then it was followed by Cyrillic, and then the scrolls were replaced by clay tablets, set on flat wooden surfaces built to roll on marbles: Cuneiform. Naruto finally reached the end and found himself in another circular room, this one with rack upon rack of drawers, and a strange table that had two tops: one transparent resting on marbles set in a circular rail (for those without imagination, ball bearings!) and wide drawers.

Naruto walked around the table and saw instructions on the table’s use:

  1. Select the proper drawer for your support: sheet, book, scroll, papyrus, slate (?!), clay tablet. The symbol at the top of the shelves indicates what medium is collected in the shelf rack.
  2. Make sure to use the proper carrier to bring the support to the table. Some items are quite heavy and/or fragile.
  3. The carrier will only insert in the proper table drawer.
  4. Once the medium is inserted, rotate the top transparent plate until you can read the medium contents.
  5. Adjust the knob found below the drawer until the translation makes sense.

Naruto was awed, to say the least. By using that table, he could read everything! Then something bugged him: if the table was area-sensitive for translations, how could he read more than one scroll at a time? And would that table read these new writings he had heard rumours about: Latin, French, English, German, if his memory served him right?

“I wish Mom or Dad could tell me what happened! They should be here, not dead!”

Barely had Naruto uttered these fatidic words that an arrow appeared on the floor, flashing violently red. Naruto began following the arrow that pointed him to a specific rather wide corridor. Then, a new arrow invited him to enter the corridor and kept ahead of him as he moved forward. After quite a walk, maybe three miles or more, the arrow turned at 90 and pointed at a door. Naruto opened it and found himself in an office setting. At the far end were racks of bound books, reams of paper, pens, pencils, a video recorder with a video tape sticking out, and a horseshoe desk with a high-back chair on wheels and able to rotate 360. On the desk pad was a computer and a mouse, and, sitting in between the rows of the keys a little card with ‘To Naruto’ written on the front side.

Naruto picked the card up and read what was written on the inside of the card:

‘Naruto, our beloved son,

Move the mouse (the object with a wire tied to its end) and a message will appear on the screen.”

Naruto did as asked and was rewarded as a message appeared on the screen:

“Naruto,

If you made your way to our home alone, it is because we have been betrayed. There are many layers of betrayal. First, the Uchiha clan: It is Uchiha Madara that brought out the Kyuubi to attack the village in an attempt to wrest the power of the Hokage from me. Little did he know that the Kitsune would escape his control once broken out of the seal your mother carries. I had to recreate the seal on you, my son, because the Uzumaki are the only ones with the proper chakra to recover the infernal chakra of the Kyuubi and convert it for our use; your mother, and by extension, you, also had the proper healing to manage the damage such a demonic chakra causes to normal chakra channels. You, my son, already had enough chakra at birth to heal the seal as I placed it on your belly, and, as time passes, you will gain more. I expect you to surpass any and all historical figures of the Hidden countries. You are your mother’s heir! But you are also mine. We will cover this further in a few minutes.

Since you are alone, we (Kushina and I) can add another traitor to the list: Danzo. There is a short period after the transfer that leaves the previous Jinchuriki weak as his or her chakra adjusts to the loss of the Kyuubi demonic chakra. Since Danzo, and only Danzo, knew of this and my beloved wife is dead, it means he betrayed us. Danzo is the leader of the Root Anbu squad. He was ordered by the third to dissolve this but we both know he did not. Danzo is a war hawk thirsty for power. All he dreams of is taking control of the Hidden Countries. If you come in contact with him, kill him without mercy.

The third layer of betrayal is with the civilian council. I, as fourth hokage, was planning to dissolve the civilian council, but I knew this would not suffice. Ever since the second hokage, they have been worming their way through the fabric of the village, gradually taking control of things they should not. The third, in an attempt at appeasement, gave in to their demands and all but lost control of the village, only exercising the role of figurehead; As fourth hokage, I was beginning to see, in the reports, that we had lost part of the control of the military forces of the village, with over 20% of our Anbu forces under civilian control. The situation was made worse by the Uchiha being a military force independent of the Hokage, and Danzo creating his own Anbu forces. My son, clean them up, for keeping them in the village is like sleeping with a triplet of cobras.

The fourth layer of betrayal is with the spies. Oh, that villages send ambassadors is to be expected, but our enemies and ‘allies’ have connived to destroy Konohagakure. We have no allies: the destruction of Whirlpool, where your mother comes from, made this very clear. Danzo and the Uchiha made sure we reached Whirlpool to pick up the corpses, not to assist, but they were not the only ones dragging their feet. Do not trust any hidden village. Ever. Not even yours. Somehow, I suspect you already know that, my son, and I feel sad about it.

The last point is more touchy. I married into the Imperial Family, namely the Uzumaki line, and, therefore, you, my son, are the embodiment of the Empire. I could not claim the throne, being of an external line, and your mother could not either, being female, but you, son, can. I do not think you should jump on it like a kid on a candy, but remember, you have the power, you only need to exercise it. I talked to Kushina, and she told me one secret, son, that you need to think about. The Daimyo of a hidden country gains his authority by the will of the Emperor and only by the will of the Emperor, you, Naruto. By extension, the hidden villages exist by the will of the Daimyo, and therefore, by your will. You can dissolve a village, a city, a country, or, in fact, take control of the Archipelago. Again, act cautiously. The best way to mark your displeasure without going to the extremes of dissolving a country or a village, is by recalling the scrolls that are lent by our family to the villages. They believe, wrongly, that they own the jutsu scrolls. This is an illusion. You can recall one, part, or all of the scrolls, even those found in ‘private’ libraries. Copying a scroll invariably included copying the recall seal. For instance, you can empty the jutsu library of the Uchiha (and all their records by the same token, since scroll making invariably imbues them with the seal!) The process is so intimate to scroll making that a scroll not done that way will not hold ink. Neat, eh? When Kushina explained this to me, I fell on the floor rolling with laughter. Use that well, son! Call it the ultimate prank.

With that, I call your attention to the video tape in the machine. It explains seals and how to make them. There is a whole library of seals. You will see that it is both easy and painstaking. Essentially, you need to fine-tune the control you already have on your chakra. I know you have some control, because, to reach this room, you needed to exercise ever finer control. But now begins the real training.

Your mother reminds me of a fact: the Kyuubi will eventually contact you. It is a real gold mine of knowledge and, according to her, it wants to live in you for its own safety. Call this symbiosis. Madara made it go mad otherwise it would not have done what it did. Demons are not dimwits. They know they need us as much as we need them, if only to explain our own weaknesses!

On a final note, son, beware of the Sannin. I know for certain that Orochimaru has turned evil with his thirst for power and immortality; I can not vouch for the sanity of either your godfather, Jaraya, an avowed pervert proud of it, and of Tsunade. The later suffers from severe Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome due to the loss of her family during the third Shinobi war, but refused any help. Things are unlikely to have improved between her ears. They were the Third’s students but he forgot to infuse in them the sense of responsibility that comes with power. Another of his cowardice if things went bad for you in the village.

You might wonder why we left this palace to bring the Kyuubi under control. The thing is you were born a bit early, son. Kushina told me during birth she believes she got poisoned with an abortive potion, which, again, points at betrayal. By whom? Do remember she survived your birth; her death points to Danzo as he is the one who volunteered to keep her safe while I went to capture the Kyuubi. We were getting ready to come back and Kushina entered labour. We stopped at our secondary residence, and the Kyuubi escaped. Madara took control of it and sent it against the village before Kushina could do anything about it. She was too weak from the difficult birth, so I put the seal on you and fought a maddened Kyuubi and Madara; that you survived speaks of my success in the battle, but at what cost! My life and live of my beloved Kushina, all that for a village that probably does not even deserve the sacrifice. I know she is dead because you would not have found this letter had she not. I type this letter in my village mansion, well aware that it will probably be destroyed shortly during the fight, sending it to where you now sit.

Have a good life, son, and do not forget us. We hope to meet you on the other side, as late as possible!

Your dad,

Minato”

“Meeting the Kyuubi, done. I need a checklist of things to do to exact revenge. Mom, dad, the world will shake on its base!”

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