|01-07-2009, 07:33 AM||#1|
tale of galant jiraiya
Join Date: Oct 2008
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The Genuine Dream
Ever since the Nine-tailed beast has been vanquished, at the price of the Yondaime’s life, the village of Konoha was more or less at peace. No wars with other countries, and no Bijuus attacking the village. Life was, for a change, optimistic and quite peaceful.
The old Sandaime was back from retirement and in power as per the village people’s request, after the Yondaime was killed sealing the demon before announcing a successor.
However, the village was at peace, so Sarotoubi had the time to meet the people of his village, understand their needs and help them if he could. He tried to make a little of himself available for everyone, but he took particular care to spend a decent amount of time every once in a while with the child that was the reason the village was once again at peace. The Yondaime’s only child and the actual human host of the Nine-tailed beast. Naruto Uzumaki.
He understood well, whilst most didn’t, that the child did not get nearly the amount of care and attention he vitally needed to grow up properly without a sense of serious depravation and loss. So if no one cared to provide the needed attention and occasional spoiling a child needs, he did so himself.
Naruto started talking when he was nearly three, and formed quite complete and coherent sentences at four. The Sandaime purposely engaged him in conversation to help him improve his talking, seeing as few others would bother talking to him.
“Naruto, what do you want to be when you grow up?” he asked the little blond one day, while they had a little breakfast alone in the Hokage’s office.
“I wanna be a sailor!” the kid announced happily.
“A sailor?!” Sarotoubi laughed, “Why do you want to be a sailor?”
Naruto looked at him for a moment, as if he didn’t understand why the old man didn’t see the point of being a sailor, then said, “To live on a boat in the sea! I wanna live on a boat!”
“Is there any other reason?”
“Sailors are very strong and big! Nothing frightens you if you’re strong and big! You don’t have to be scared! They’e not afraid of anything and people aren’t mean to them.”
Yes. Sarotoubi thought, There’s the reason.
They went on eating and talking. That was Naruto’s first dream.
When Naruto was nearly seven, he still answered the Hokage’s frequent summons to his office for their ‘quality time’ together. But something had changed in him. Sarotoubi had to notice. He blond had become more emotional and easily agitated. He was now distrustful and even a little paranoid – not really towards the old man, but towards nearly everyone else. It worried the old Hokage a lot. He feared that people were treating him worse than he thought they would, considering his orders to treat the boy humanly were not exactly met with eager consent on the villagers’ behalf.
On a calm afternoon walk around the village, Sarotoubi asked him the question he’d asked three years earlier, “Naruto, what do you want to be when you grow up? You still want to be a sailor? That’s an interesting job, I’ll say.”
“Nah, not anymore. I have a dream now a TON more interesting! I’m gonna be a gangster!!”
That was the LAST thing Sarotoubi thought he’d hear.
“A – what?”
“A gangster! You know, those big mean people with black sunglasses that they wear even at night and have guns to take whatever they want!”
“Naruto! Haven’t I told you to stop watching these movies? These movies are too violent and you are still too young to be watching them..”
“I’m not a baby, Ojii-chan! I can watch whatever I like!”
“Naruto, why do you want to be a gangster? What’s wrong with being a sailor? I thought you wanted to travel around the world and sleep on a boat?”
Naruto looked at the ground and dragged his feet as they walked, a look of longing and a bitterness on his face that nearly frightened the old Hokage, “Not anymore. I wanna be a gangster because people treat them with lots of respect even if they don’t want to. They give them whatever they want and wouldn’t hurt them.”
Naruto..what’s going to happen to you as you grow older?
“Naruto, people only treat gangsters with respect because they are very afraid of them. They never do it from their hearts and would attack and destroy a gangster if they had any chance. People in reality hate gangsters, Naruto. The respect they get is only an act. Do you want people to hate you and plan to harm you behind your back?”
Naruto said nothing, but the bitter expression on his face increased until the Hokage nearly considered stopping to give the boy a hug. Naruto looked like he was going to cry, but he didn’t. He was getting better at holding it in, despite his now-short temper.
The boy is fed up with crying, the Sandaime thought grimly. For a while afterwards, terrible scenarios of the boy growing up to be a criminal or even a murderer filled his mind, and it scared him. If such a thing happened, his end would be a terrible one. He kept an even closer watch on Naruto.
“Anousa! Ojii-chan, I wanna be a ninja! Can you enroll me in the Academy?!”
Sarotoubi looked up from the official papers he was working on. An eight year old Naruto was sitting on the edge of his desk, grinning hopefully from ear to ear and looking expectanly with his wide, blue eyes.
“Now you want to be a ninja?”
“Like you were, Ojii-chan!!”
“I still am one, Naruto.” He answered exasperatedly, but smiling nonetheless, “Why do you want to be a ninja?”
“I want everyone to acknowledge me and respect me for who I am! I don’t wanna be a gangster anymore because I don’t want people to hate me anymore! I want them to really like me from their hearts, like you said! I’ll protect them from the gangsters, and I will become the Hokage one day, and EVERYONE will respect me! And then you can be my assistant, Ojii-chan!”
Sarotoubi smacked the boy lightly with the papers in his hand, “Don’t talk like that to your elders, Naruto. I can put you in jail for that. I’m the Hokage.” He tried to keep a stern face, but he cracked into a grin instead. Naruto was laughing – a sincere, unforced laugh, unlike the ones Sarotoubi hears him laugh just to cover up his frustration.
You got me again, Naruto. For someone who people avoid like Naruto, the Hokage thought the kid had some precious social skills that can make him very likeable one day, if only people gave him the chance.
“Will ya enroll me, Ojii-chan?! Will ya! WILL YA?!”
“Naruto, you’re piercing my eardrums! Be quiet and hear me out: If you want to be a ninja, I agree. That is an honorable job. You can still travel around the world and be strong and fearless like you always wanted. It would be as good as being a sailor.”
Naruto was leaning forward and waiting, saying nothing.
“If you are sure that is what you want, I will enroll you a- “
“YAYY! Thank you Ojii-chan!!” Naruto hurled himself at the old Hokage, nearly pushing him off his chair, “I’ll do my very very very best, I promise! You’ll see!! People won’t look at me like they do anymore!”
“You better not let me down, Naruto. It’s gonna take me a bit of effort to enroll you, understand?”
“I won’t!! I have a ‘will of fire’!”
Sarotoubi laughed, “Where did you hear that, Naruto?”
“Ummm…I heard some ninja say it, so I thought I should have it, too, if I wanna be one!”
“I think you do, Naruto. A person can have a ‘will of fire’ only if they never give up on what they want. Say what, go out to Shuzuki-san and ask her to get us an Academy enrollment form, will you?”
Naruto had bounded out the door as the Hokage spoke his statement. Sarotoubi shook his head and sighed. How can a person keep up with this kid’s energy?
It was hard for Naruto to keep up with the children’s scorn at the Academy after he enrolled, and it frustrated him to no end when he failed his final exam three years in a row, but Sarotoubi kept his optimism and faith. Everyone complained about Naruto and what a loud, time-wasting, trouble-making delinquent he was, but Sarotoubi knew better. The kid wanted people’s attention, so he can show them what he can do.
How many people besides Sarotoubi knew that Naruto actually loved gardening? Did anyone know that he had an ear for languages? This child, like all the other children, was a gift to the village of Konoha, and that’s why Sarotoubi just sat back and remained silent when people came to him to complain about the blond’s appetite for the most outrageous pranks.
The old Hokage would sit back and listen to the complaints quietly, and remember that Naruto’s first dream was to become a sailor. How he would love for the people of Konoha to see and understand the very first sacrifice the child is making as a ninja-in-training for their sakes. Ninjas make sacrifices for the sake of their people, after all.
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