The Demon Child @spaceorbisstories
Naruto Is Told

By the time he had reentered his home he still wasn't quite sure what to make of that man in the shadows. He had said he was a family friend but as far as he or anybody else knew he had no family. His unofficial adoption into the Yamanaka clan while nice wasn't the same as a biological family. Still, he had a feeling that the unknown man knew them but how he just didn't know. Placing the scroll aside, for the time being, he got into bed and fell fast asleep soon afterward.

Bang.

Bang.

Bang.

Came the sound of somebody pounding upon the door with great force. Whatever or whoever he expected to be on the other side of the door he would never have guessed it would be his teammate, Sakura Haruno who looked utterly frantic upon the opening of the door.

"Naruto it's...it's my mother they say her mission was upgraded to an A-rank. She has been taken into intensive care". Sakura said as tears fell down her face in a never-ending torrent. At once she was in his arms crying as he rubbed her back in a soothing motion.

"It's ok Sakura-chan. Come on we'll go see her together". Naruto said as he and his understandably depressed teammate slowly made their way to the hospital. All the while the villagers all eyed him with looks of utter disdain and hatred. Luckily it seemed Sakura was far too busy crying to notice the blatant acts of hatred being aimed at her teammate. Naruto, of course, did notice but now wasn't the time to worry about what some idiot villagers thought about him. His teammate was hurting and he was going to be there for her. Stupid villagers be damned.

-

Upon entering the hospital waiting room he was soon stopped by a doctor who eyed him with no less hate but was careful to not allow his teammate to notice.

"I'm Sakura Haruno I'm looking for my mother. I was told she is in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) can I go visit her"? She asked as the nurse looked her up. In seconds her mother's room was found and she was allowed past the doors. However, Naruto was booted out almost as soon as the doors closed behind her.

"Why don't you just fucking die you worthless demon brat"? The doctor yelled as he tossed him out with one last good strong kick for good measure. Getting back to his feet he spat out a mouthful of blood before making his way back home.

-

Meanwhile, Sakura entered the room and saw her mother wired to more than a dozen machines all of whom were beeping or displaying various statistics. From her perspective, she looked more or less dead. It was only the constant beeping that told her that she was, in fact, still alive.

"Sakura-chan...how are y...you my dear"? Her mother asked with a weak voice. This coupled with the visual display of her mother connected to so many machines didn't at all help Sakura's emotional state.

"I'm fine, mother". Sakura answered before a new wave of tears formed in her eyes.

"That is good. What of your team...do you like them"? Her mother asked. Sakura answered that she did though she was becoming less sure about her feelings for Sasuke. She was sure that she still liked him but past that she just wasn't sure anymore.

"That Naruto boy is on your team...yes"? She asked as she eyed her daughter. A look of unending pride for what she had already accomplished in her time in the ninja forces.

"Yes, mother he is on my team". Sakura replied as her mother nodded.

"Sad thing not knowing one's family. You mustn't blame him for what he is nor what he does". She said cryptically making Sakura eye her mother quizzically.

"What he is, mother? What do you mean"? Sakura asked but it seemed she would have to wait as a doctor soon entered the room and ushered her out for the day. The time seeming to just fly by in an instant.

"I'm most sorry but she needs her rest. You may visit her first thing tomorrow". The man said as she nodded and made her way back to the waiting room. Once there she looked around for Naruto only to find him nowhere in sight.

"Um, nurse where did Naruto go"? She asked.

"He left a few hours ago. He left as soon as you entered the ICU". The nurse answered as he resumed his work filing away paperwork. Sakura was puzzled why would he leave? Didn't he say he would go see her too? Thanking the nurse she soon made her way back to his place. A few heated questions already forming in her mind.

-

Almost as soon as Naruto had made his way back home and reentered he made a beeline for his bedroom and locked the door. He was in no mood for visitors though he expected his teammate Sakura to be making a visit to his place sooner or later. A very loud and very angry visit. He wasn't sure what he could say that would appease the pinkett on his team but until she made her presence known he would cry. He knew how to do that quite well at least.

-

Sakura was really pissed. Her teammate had seemingly up and left her for seeming no reason at all. She knew she and her teammate Sasuke hadn't been the nicest of people to him but still what he had done was rude, to say the least. Luckily for her, Kakashi had told her where he now lived and so here she was outside his door. Her hand already formed into a fist ready to knock upon the wooden door.

"Knock"

"Knock"

"Knock"

She waited for a reply from her sun-kissed faced teammate. When no such reply was given she renewed her knocking. Only this time with a bit more force than was really necessary.

"Knock"

"Knock"

"Knock"

Yet again she received no reply. By this point, Sakura was seeing red and was about ready to kick the door down and beat her teammate black and blue. At least she would have if it wasn't for one yellow-haired man with blue eyes.

"Miniko-sama what are you doing here"? Sakura asked the man. Miniko only eyed the closed door. For a few seconds, it seemed he was going to say something before closing his mouth and turning to face the young girl.

"Go home...now. You'll do no good here. I'll see to Naruto". Miniko said before lightly pushing Sakura down the street towards the gate. Seeing that she wasn't going to see Naruto at least for today Sakura made her way home. As she did so her mind was racing what on earth had made him leave her without a word. Surely he had a reason for ditching her at the hospital but what that reason was she had no clue but she fully intended to find out what it was.

-

The next day Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura stood in training ground seven as they awaited for their ever late sensei Kakashi. Miniko had spoken to his grandson and what he was told had made the man rage at the idiocy of the populist that called the village their home. He was clearly not the damn fox and yet even thirteen years on they were unable or unwilling to see past their pain of that dark night. A part of him, of course, understood their pain but still this senseless hate needed to stop lest the world know the terrifying might of one Miniko Namikaze. The man who had butchered thousands of ninja during the second and third great ninja wars. As the trio waited he could see Sakura shoot glances at Naruto now and again. He guessed she wanted to talk about the other day but didn't seem willing to do so right now. He wasn't sure how to take that but at least she wasn't belittling him anymore and for that he was happy. As for Sasuke, he was busy doing his warmups some distance away. It was clear the boy didn't view his teammates as anything besides as a hindrance to his goal of killing somebody. Miniko had a feeling who that someone was and while the mere idea of him doing anything to his elder brother was laughable at best he had to at least respect the boy's tenacity to set himself such a high goal. An hour later Kakashi finally entered the training ground and give them all an eye smile.

"Sorry for being late". Kakashi said lightly as his team all gave him looks of annoyance and irritation at his lateness. Kakashi, however, didn't seem to notice nor care as he handed them all their next mission.

"Good news guys. You get to walk Ms. Himari's dogs today". Kakashi said as the trio left the area with looks of anger. They hated the dogs seeing as they were all oversized and wild things that were hard to control even on the best of days. By the end of the day, Naruto had cuts and scratches up and down his arms and legs. Sakura had red paint staining her clothes, and Sasuke had that same fuck off attitude that Miniko was beginning to feel was all the boy knew how to feel. But at least it would give Sakura time to talk to Naruto.

"Naruto". Sakura said as she watched as the boy slowly turned her way. Bit's of dirt and rock still being picked out of his hair after the walk with the damn dogs a few hours before.

"Yeah what is it, Sakura-chan"? He asked deciding that he would wait until he got back home to wash off the rest of the dirt and whatever else found its new home inside his yellow locks of hair.

"I...I want to know why you left. Why you ditched me at the hospital". Sakura said with a tone of anger as well as pain. Naruto could tell that his leaving had hurt her feelings and for that, he was upset at the stupid nurse and the village as a whole.

"It wasn't by choice, Sakura-chan. I had to go. I would've stayed if I could but I couldn't". Naruto answered hoping she would accept his answer and leave it at that. She would, of course, not and pushed him on why he had to go all the more.

"The village hates me, Sakura-chan. They always have". Naruto said making the girl frown at the answer.

"What for your stupid pranks Naruto. Of course, some would. You were a pain in the ass sometimes it only makes sense some would hate you for it". Sakura said lightly not noticing how her dismissal only seemed to make the boy more upset.

"No not for that Sakura-chan. Look it's best if you don't know. Better for everybody in fact". He said before jumping onto the rooftops and disappearing from view leaving her alone in the training ground. Now even more confused than she was before. But at the same time more determined to learn more about the enigma that was her sun-kissed of a teammate.

-

A week had already passed since Sakura had last spoken to Naruto and while he would occasionally shoot a quick glance her way he never once spoke to her about what had happened that day in the hospital's waiting room. That fact alone had made the pink-haired girl feel sad and yet try as she may she could never find the nerve to go up and speak to him about it. It was as if a great divide had suddenly formed between the two of them and that thought alone terrified her to her core. Miniko for his part could only eye the girl with pity but he knew he could do nothing for her. This was a matter between the two that they would need to resolve themselves. He, of course, wished the two the best of luck in resolving the matter but getting involved would only cause more problems down the road. He had no doubt they would in time resolve the matter but that didn't seem to be happening anytime soon. It was in this mess of feelings that Kakashi entered the training ground and started to issue out orders for the day. A fact that Naruto seemed all too happy to do seeing as it meant Sakura would be far too busy doing her tasks then bugging him about what he had said to her a few days before. For Sakura, it was just one more thing that was stopping her from understanding her sun-kissed face enigma of a teammate.

-

A few hours later Sakura was knee-deep in the somewhat cool water of the Kushiro river as she busily fished out soda cans and discarded fast-food containers. It seemed the village had stopped caring about ensuring this part of the village was taken proper care of and it showed in the piles of trash that littered the area. Sasuke for his part was busily filling up a bag while Naruto was sent to empty out his own set of trash bins which meant he was a good dozen or so feet away. It was at that time that Miniko walked up to the girl and struck up a conversation. Something that had taken her totally by surprise as he hadn't seemed all too eager to do so in the past few days.

"You still hoping he'll talk to you about what happened that day"? Miniko said which, in turn, made her eyes grow wide in surprise.

"I...was hoping he would but he doesn't seem to want to talk to me anymore". Sakura said as she picked up another can and placed it inside her bag. At this Miniko only nodded his head in understanding.

"There is much you don't know about your teammate Sakura-chan. His life has been far from an easy one. It is a failure of our people. We see only what we wish to see and dismiss whatever is inconvenient to us. The fox attack 13 years ago cost us many lives. Pain is a powerful motivator for hate". Miniko said as he eyed the river as it made its way towards the commercial district. Sakura couldn't help but to eye the man beside her with an expression of clear confusion. It was a feeling she had been feeling increasingly more frequently over the past few days and one that didn't seem to be stopping in its occurrences anytime soon.

"I don't understand," Sakura said as she continued in her duties of cleaning up the local area. It was going to be a multiday long mission and one that sadly wouldn't pay all that much seeing as it was but a lowly D-rank. "What does the fox attack 13 years ago have to do with Naruto-kun"?

"Everything...it sadly has everything to do with Naruto-kun". Miniko said as he looked down watching as she placed yet another can inside the black bag. A mixture of anger and sadness could be seen on his face and he wasn't sure what feeling was worse. The anger at his own weakness or sadness that his grandson had suffered because of it. But in the end, he was here now and that would have to do. Even so, he could tell his answer only made the pinkett even more confused.

"W...what but how"? Sakura asked as she had now stopped in her collection of soda cans and fast food containers in favor of listening to his answer to the question. To her, this was of far more importance than some old empty soda cans or fast food containers next to a small river Miniko seeing this could only close his eyes and sigh dejectedly.

"It isn't my place to answer that question Sakura-chan. Just know this Naruto-kun has suffered greatly over his life and the very last thing he needs right now is more problems. As one of his teammates, I hope you'll be by his side helping him face the challenges that lay ahead of him. Sage knows he has faced his fair share of challenges already". Miniko said as he turned away and walked back to the ever-shifting shadows of the trees. A few hours later Kakashi called them back and dismissed them all for the day. Once gone Kakashi eyed the elder man before sighing deeply.

"How much longer will you hide Miniko-sama"? Kakashi asked as he faced the man. His small orange-colored book nowhere in sight proof this was a matter of great importance to the masked man.

"I failed him Kakashi. I ran away and hid from the world and because of that failure my grandson suffered for years. If I tell him I fear what he may think of me". Miniko said as he felt every bit the failure he saw himself as.

"Naruto isn't like that. He'll forgive you...he'll understand that you didn't know. You said it yourself the boy has suffered greatly over the years. How much more suffering do you think he should have to take before he is told of his family"? Kakashi asked with a bit of anger clear in his tone.

"I...I can't....not yet". Miniko said weakly to the masked man before him. Kakashi for his part only turned and walked away. It was clear he had failed again and likely lost any respect the masked ninja had for him. When he was no longer in sight Miniko fell to the ground with hot tears running down his tanned face. But it was from this that he made his decision. He would reveal himself to his grandson. He would be there for his grandson and lastly, he would train his grandson to be the greatest ninja the world had ever seen. This he swore to his dying day. Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze would be a name respected the world over or his name wasn't Miniko Namikaze, father to the greatest Hokage in the village's long history Minato Namikaze. His days of hiding away were done and he would reveal himself again as the premiere seal master of the world.

-

It was a strange sort of feeling standing outside his grandson's house. It wasn't as if it was the first time he would enter the boy's home but this time his reason for coming was far different from the previous. Today he was going to finally tell his grandson of his familial connection. He was finally going to tell him that he had a family. A real and true biological family and not some made up one based on a paper and some ink on a page. By his side stood Kakashi and Inoichi. Both of whom were here as moral support as well as a way to hopefully answer anything Naruto may wish to be answered.

Here was a man who if he so wished could easily be named Hokage without much controversy being placed upon his naming to such a role. Here was a man whose name still held power over most of the elemental nations and kingdoms and yet here he was mere inches from his own grandson's door and he was trembling like a leaf on a windy day. It was a sight most unbecoming of a man such as he and yet tremble he did.

"I could do this for you if you so wished Miniko-sama". Inoichi said upon seeing the man's uncertainty. A look of true genuine concern could be seen clearly on the man's face. In the year or so that he had known the boy, he had come to view him as a son. His wife had done much the same and yet neither of them could deny this man's request. He was his real family and more likely than not his only living family at that.

"No, it must be me. It can only be me who does this task Inoichi-san but I thank you for the kind offer". Miniko said as he knocked softly on the wooden door. The sounds of movement inside the small house had ensured that he couldn't just turn around and act as if this wasn't about to happen. He had just knocked down the proverbial domino and what may come from this meeting would likely reshape their entire relationship forever. From his knock to the door's opening, it took no more than fifteen seconds, and yet to the man it may as well have lasted for fifteen whole minutes.

"Oh hi, Miniko-sensei, Kakashi-sensei, and Inoichi-san why are you here"? Naruto asked as he moved aside as to allow the three men to enter. It wasn't long afterward that the four were seated around the table an uncomfortable silence soon enveloping the room. It was so pronounced that even Naruto himself could tell something was up.

"We have come to tell you something Naruto-kun. It's a matter of great importance". Inoichi said as he eyed Miniko for a second before turning back to face the boy. Eyeing the three men now sitting inside his home he couldn't help but feel that whatever this was about he wasn't going to like it.

"Naruto I need you to do something for me. It's nothing too hard. I just need you to read this first". Miniko said as he pulled out a handful of white parchment and handed it over to Naruto. Reading it he couldn't help but feel a bit lost. As his eyes shifted over the lines of text on the pages he couldn't help but feel a quickening of his heart. So unsure was he that he ended up rereading the whole thing two more times and even then he was sure this was some kind of sick unfunny joke being pulled on himself.

"W...what is this"? Naruto asked after finally placing the letters down upon the table.

"I know this is a bit sudden but hear me out". Miniko started before Naruto stood up and walked out of the room in a huff. This was far from ideal that much he knew and yet he also couldn't deny the boy's understandable reaction to the news.

"I'll talk to the boy". Inoichi said as he readied himself to find the boy and set the record straight.

"No, we will wait. I did what I came here to do and I'll deal with the fallout in due course. I thank you both for coming with me this day". Miniko said as he stood up and exited the house.

-

A few days later and the two had yet to talk about the revelation of their familial connection. He could, of course, understand the boy's reluctance to speak to him but at the same time, he was tasked with training the boy to reenter that odd mindscape of his and find out what the hallway of doors meant. A task made all the harder as the boy had made it a point to take only the words of Kakashi in the following days. Today he was going to talk to his grandson no matter if he wanted to talk to him or not. Finding the boy was easy enough. He was after all the only living thing that emitted that much power even when it was being actively suppressed.

"Naruto we need to talk". Miniko said as he walked up to the boy who only rolled his eyes upon seeing the older blonde.

"Go away I'm in no mood to talk to liers". Naruto said as he readied himself to leave the training ground.

"I never once lied to you. Up to only a few weeks ago, I thought you were killed in the fox attack 13 years ago. Had I only known about you I would've returned in a matter of days". Miniko replied as he watched as the boy placed his things in a fairly basic looking seal. It was clearly an inferior version of the type of seals one could buy in any number of the local ninja stores but at least it showed him that he had kept training in the art-form even after the news.

"So what you're here to try and make up for 13 years of lost time...is that it"? Naruto shot back at the man.

"In part..yes. But I was also told to train you in the art of seal-making. A task you seem to be keeping up with". Miniko answered as the boy began to walk away forcing the older of the two to stop him. It was clear the boy was upset and he could understand that feeling but he was also a Genin and that meant he had to be ready to put any feelings he had on the matter to the side in order to see the bigger picture.

"You said in your report that you saw a room with a photo with a man of yellow hair and a woman of red. One of them sounds like my son and if he is somehow alive as his father I must do all I can to save him". Miniko said trying to make the boy understand.

"Wait....what"? Naruto said as he took a few steps backward. "Are you really saying that the fourth Hokage, one of the strongest ninja this village has ever seen is my...my dad"?

"Where do you think he learned seals from...your mother"? Miniko asked already knowing the answer.

"It matters not anymore. I have already told Kakashi-san that I will oversee your training for the coming days. Oh and one last thing that seal you have your tools in...it sucks. So until you can make a seal that isn't a complete waste of ink and paper you shall have no ramen at all". Miniko said as he turned around and walked away leaving a fairly redfaced boy to run after him yelling all sorts of profanities at his back.

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