17th March 2006, 3:07 AM
To Die Tonight... (Naruto fic, PG-13/T)
Alright, people of serebii. This is my fic set in the Naruto universe, 100 years after the beginning of the manga and anime series. In case you believe the title is lame....well, yeah, it is. But (!), it is lameness with a reason, as the main character's name means roughly the same thing, albeit in horribly mangled japanese grammar. For now, please enjoy the open prologue and comment/criticize as you fell necessary.
“A hundred years ago, there was a demon known as the Kyuubi; a massive and extremely powerful fox bearing nine tails. It was a cruel and vicious thing with no true motives other than that to destroy. The beast ravaged the land and killed the people who dared to stand in its way. That was, until, someone managed to defeat it.
A man known as the Fourth Hokage, leader of Konoha, the Leaf Village, rose up to defend his kin. The Kyuubi attempted to strike him down, not aware of what the Hokage had in store for him. At the cost of his own life, the Hokage used his own, special technique to seal Kyuubi inside a newborn, though orphaned, baby from the village. He hoped that the child would be viewed as a savior, but instead he was seen as a monster.
The child was hated and shunned by the rest of the villagers, who had sworn to never tell him or the other children of what had happened. For twelve lonely years, the child yearned for acceptance and acknowledgment from the villagers until he finally received it from his teacher. This started him down a long and difficult path, the telling of which could fill shelves of books. When his arduous journey was over, however, this boy found himself as the Sixth Hokage, Rokudaime.
Under his leadership, Konoha, the village which now hailed him as a hero, prospered. It flourished in technology and art; it expanded in size and power; and it basked in wealth and fame. All was not well amongst the other villages, and the Sixth received word that Konoha’s Golden Age was the object of envy for more hard-pressed villages. Konoha found itself in a sea of enemies who lusted after its success. Fearing an attack, the Sixth sent a messenger to Konoha’s sole ally, the Sand Village, to request help in case something happened. The messenger’s remains were found many years later, hidden by the ambush party that killed him.
With little warning, Konoha was attacked on all sides. The massive gates set in the stone wall surrounding the city were destroyed, and wave upon wave of Konoha’s foes poured in. Konoha was renowned for its skilled warriors, the ninja, but they fell to the sheer numbers that faced them. They were killed indiscriminately, with no mercy shown to even the youngest soldier. After a week of watching his people die, the Sixth was forced to take drastic action. The village was ordered to be evacuated as the Sixth broke the seal placed on the Kyuubi.
He was flooded with the Kyuubi’s strength, but unable to control the power himself. Kyuubi used the Sixth as a puppet, keeping him alive while laying waste to everything in Konoha, friend or foe. The enemy armies were powerless to stop him; they fled for their lives, but most were caught and killed. When the village had been purged of every beating heart, Kyuubi managed to escape from its former host and disappeared into the wilderness. The Sixth was the only living thing left among the piles of bodies which lined the streets of Konoha. But he would not be alive for long, for the Kyuubi’s control had left him broken and dying.
The villagers left they’re hiding place to find Konoha a destroyed city and their leader barely breathing. He was made comfortable for a few minutes leading up to his last breath. The villagers grieved for their lost hero, and his death is considered the blackest day in Konoha history. It was the end of the war against Konoha and the beginning of a long period of healing.
Konoha was gradually built back up under the leadership of the Seventh Hokage. It was not nearly as grand as the Golden Age, but there was much more planning behind this new Konoha. The wall was rebuilt, expanded, and fortified. Hospitals and medical stations sprang up like weeds. Konoha’s sole school was renovated and tripled in size. It was the school which was subject to the most drastic changes.
In the short but brutal war, the average age to become a first rank soldier, a genin, was twelve. Mere children fought to protect their village, but they were easily cut down by more experienced enemy troops. The villagers refused to lose their children again, and the minimum age was raised to the age of fifteen. This lengthened the time that ninja-in-training were in school, making each individual student much more versed in the ways of combat before being able to graduate.
The war had also faced Konoha with a shortage on high-level ninja, jounin, to teach the traditional groups of three genin. The Seventh ordered jounin teachers to take on larger groups of students in order to work around the shortage. Genin were still grouped into threes, but rather than always taking a jounin with them, they were now often working with other cells of three to complete missions, tasks requested by the non-ninja villagers not only in Konoha but throughout the country. This system freed up jounin to take on more difficult (and more lucrative) missions while still managing to educate genin, albeit on sometimes awkward schedules.
It was many years after that Konoha was officially back on its feet. The Seventh continued to organize the rebuilding while simultaneously attempting to bridge gaps between Konoha and the enemies whom had attacked it. Eventually, alliances were loosely formed between Konoha and the Grass, Rain, and Cloud villages while the Stone and Mist villages remained enemies. With the villages resolving their differences and many apologies by all involved, trade was able to start again and interaction between the villages slowly began. While the Sixth has become known as Konoha’s Hero, the Seventh has become the Peacemaker due to the establishment of relative peace between the villages.
One year ago, the Seventh passed away after a sixty five year reign as Hokage. The new, Eight Hokage has recently assumed command, and it is yet to be seen what type of leader he will prove himself to be…”
A loud, drawn out yawn filled the dark and cool room. The shades had been drawn, leaving the only light coming from a flickering candle in a bronze holder, which was placed on the corner of a desk. Sitting at the desk in a wooden chair was a boy, mouth slowly closing after the yawn. The candle light reflected off his peach skin, tinting it orange from the fire.
In front of the boy and on the desk was a large book, a few inches thick and with huge pages. It was opened to one of the last page of a section which he had been assigned to read for class. The top of the page had a header reading “A History of Konoha – Summary of the Sixth Through Eighth Hokages”. Yawning again, the boy lifted the back cover of the book and turned it over, hiding the text from view. He pushed his chair out, gently grabbed the candleholder, and shuffled across the dim room to a bed.
After placing the candle on a bedside table, he pulled back the sheets and sat on the edge of the bed. He blew out the candle and plunged the room into darkness. The boy crawled under the covers and drew them up to his chin. His eyes closed as he spoke a soft prayer for sleep, ending in the barely audible “…and let my test go well tomorrow.” Slowly, he drifted off and into unconsciousness.