Naruto Hagoromo: Rinnegan no Kami

After all he’s been through, all that he did to save the world, he couldn’t fulfill his promise to bring Sasuke home. As he was welcomed by death from an attack not meant for him, he didn’t expect to ever wake up again…only he did...to a world where his mother was alive...and a world where he wasn't. !AU Elemental Nations. R-Rated. NarutoxKushinaxMore. At least 3000 words per chapter. Posted at least twice a week (though preferably three times if my schedule allows me).

LostSamurai1974 · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
51 Chs

Chapter 3

Naruto went back to munching on the succulent meat, trying to be as nonchalant as possible, despite every fibre of his being vibrating in anticipation.

While he was great at infiltration and stealth missions, he was equally as terrible at staying undercover. According to Sakura, he was apparently just too…Naruto for such a task.

As if that made any sense.

Now though, he sort of understood her point as he had to catch himself from initiating a greeting with them.

He so wanted to say hello, to wave, to ask about how their day had been…but he couldn't. To them, he was a stranger, and in turn there were strangers to him…

…supposedly. He could see the similarities between these guys and the team 10 of his world. They all looked exactly the same except for the fashion choice of one person in particular. Shikamaru was wearing a more…evolved form of what he used to wear as a genin rather than his usual chuunin uniform. Choji and Ino, on the other hand, wore practically the same attire as their counterparts from his world as young adults.

'They look the same. Walk the same…are they the same?'

In their presence, Naruto outwardly remained indifferent.

Internally though, he was glad and relieved to meet his old friends again, even if they remembered nothing of him.

They also happened to sit down on the table right to his left.

Great. Now he could show how great he really was in staying undercover.

"It's our official last meal as second year academy students! Next week, we'll all be in our final years! I'm so excited!" Ino cried.

Naruto almost spat his food out.

'They're still academy students?!'

He snuck a glance towards and sure enough, he looked to be around his age. 16 to 17 years old.

Naruto had graduated as a genin when he was 12! That was over four years ago and since then he felt like he'd gone through hell and back!

And they're telling him that they only just finished their second year in the academy?!

'Different world, different standards, Naruto. Don't think too much of it.'

He did think much of it.

Though, the deeper he thought, the more it actually made sense to him that people should only graduate from the academy at around 18 rather than 12 or 13.

Being exposed to the horrors of the ninja way as a youngling barely into his teens had caused him many sleepless nights. He remembered Sakura stating that such premature exposure to mental trauma at such an early age had always led to terrible mental health down the line. Case in point: Kakashi. He'd never gotten over what happened to Rin and Obito and carried that burden to this day. Was being exposed to the ninja world as children really worth it? He'd thought about that all the time.

Now, in some sense, he was glad that this world took a different path than his own in this aspect. It was more…humane, even if it was absurdly different from the customs of his own world.

With this new information, Naruto re explored the possibility of reenlisting as a ninja. Would he have to retake the academy exams again? then chuunin exams? then Jonin exams?

Naruto shuddered. It seemed so…tedious…and boring.

As he chowed down and got lost in his thoughts, he failed to notice the glances Ino gave him from the table over.

It wasn't until he finished chewing his fifth bite of meat that he glanced towards team ten again and saw that she was staring right at him.

He looked like a succulent rabbit caught in the hungry gaze of a ninja, eyes wide and his chopstick still in his mouth.

Yes, he was absolutely awesome at staying undercover.

She grinned at him. "Hey there handsome! Haven't seen you around before!"

Naruto quizzically scrunched his eyebrows, thinking that perhaps he hadn't failed in being inconspicuous after all. He checked behind him to see if she was speaking to another person that he couldn't see. Yet as he looked back and saw that her eyes still remained on him of all people…he was now sure that 'inconspicuous' had officially been thrown out the window.

He pointed a finger at himself. "M-Me?"

Ino giggled. "Yeah, you!"

Naruto almost forgot he had a henge on, so thankfully he didn't just outright ask whether she recognized him. His henge wasn't anything too drastic. He didn't want to overcomplicate things by changing his face entirely because he had a hard time remembering which face he'd used once he'd stopped the technique and needed to reuse it the next day. Thus, he'd opted to just change certain features of himself, keeping it simple, like his eye colour from blue and black-ringed purple to both plain brown, his hair from blond to brunette, got rid of his whisker marks, and…that was all really. Oh, he also henged his bandaged arm to make it look normal as well his tattered clothes to something regular citizens wear. Other than that, he just looked like a differently styled Naruto.

Maybe he should've put a bit more effort into his henge just to be safe…too late for that, he supposed.

"Ah I uh…" Naruto wasn't the greatest at lying even though he was excellent at pulling pranks, "I'm new in town."

"Oh? Where are you from?" Ino asked.

"Uh…" Naruto tried to think of the most non-threatening country he knew. "A small village in Hot Water country. I came here looking for work."

The conversation had attracted the attention of both Shikamaru, who was previously leaning on the table, sleeping, and Chouji, who had just finished devouring the first round of meat they ordered.

Naruto almost winced. Now he had the attention of one of the most inquisitive and intelligent people he knew in the pineapple-haired Nara.

"Oh my! Is there anything you specialise in? I wouldn't mind asking my mother for some extra hands around her flower shop," Ino said, beaming at him.

"I appreciate the offer but I've only been here for a day or so and would like to keep my options open," Naruto responded, choosing to keep his story simple. "I worked as a hot springs attendant previously. It wasn't anything special."

"Oh?" Ino smirked, "And would your services include…personal grooming?"

She placed her arms beneath her bosom and lifted it slightly to emphasise her assets. She knew what she was doing and Naruto had seen her do it to Sai enough times before to read between the lines.

Naruto blushed, "Not in the way you're suggesting, miss."

"Ah, how rude of me! I'm Yamanaka Ino," Ino introduced, "and this lazy bum over here is Nara Shikamaru and this one is Akimichi Chouji."

Naruto smiled. "Pleased to meet you all. I'm Yuki Naru."

"Osu! Well met!" Choji greeted, "would you like to sit and eat with us? My treat!"

Shikamaru only nodded.

Naruto was unsure whether he should take a risk in further interacting with his old friends. Would they recognise him from the Naruto here, if he existed? Would they be able to tell that he was in a henge?

"Oh that's a great idea, Choji!" Ino enthusiastically added, "I insist, come and join us, Naru-kun! It's nice to be accompanied by someone handsome for a change."

The other two boys only rolled their eyes.

Naruto had never really considered himself handsome. That title always belonged to Sasuke. Though perhaps because he lacked a frame of reference. He was always associated with negative connotations before he became a hero. So he was considered…handsome to Ino?

That was new. The ino of his world had a specific type. The type was emo and broody, very dark-haired, pale-skinned, and had a dictionary of mental problems befitting for a Yamanaka to work on.

None of which was Naruto…mental problems redacted.

He was in a henge but, as he said, it was practically just him but made plain. Not to say that people with brown eyes and brunette hair can't be beautiful in their own right, TenTen was a prime example, but he always thought that his exotic features were the only redeeming features he had, not his natural looks and facial structure.

Apparently that wasn't true from the way that Ino was keeping her eyes glued on him.

It was kind of nice to be treated like this for a change, he thought, though it wasn't really important to him.

Naruto hesitantly agreed. "Uh, sure, I guess…"

"Great!" Ino supplied, then gestured to the open seat next to her, "come sit over here!"

Naruto scooched over, moving his eating utensils and informing the waitress that he'd be joining the group.

He was nervous. How different would these people be from the people he knew?

Would he be able to recognise them?

A part of the tight bond he had with each of them before was due to shared experiences, one of the major ones being from Sasuke's retrieval mission. It was something he lacked with them now. He just hoped that he was able to form somewhat of the same connection with them in the future.

"So you guys are students from the academy, huh?" Naruto asked, trying to gauge as much information about the world from them as he could from general conversation. "I couldn't help but overhear what you said earlier."

"That's right!" Choji responded enthusiastically, "you're looking at the future of Konoha's greatest!"

Naruto smiled, already recognizing the boisterous Akimichi from the one in his world. "I don't doubt that. I'm sure you'll all go on to do great things."

All three of them smiled at that, although Shikamaru hid it under the pretence of laziness.

"Wow! You're a real charmer, huh?" Ino smiled, "Do you think you want to be a ninja, too? I know it's not for everyone but being a ninja comes with great benefits!"

She was gesturing to herself, implicating something Naruto missed entirely.

"I don't know…" Naruto replied, "I'm unused to the customs here, but from what I've heard from you, you've already graduated from the academy and you all seem to be my age. If I apply now…it would take me years just to become genin or chuunin, wouldn't it?"

"It depends," Shikamaru answered while Ino pouted, "if you're talented enough, you could just take the graduation exam and pass to become a fully fledged genin, provided you're over the minimum mandatory graduation age, which is 18 years old. We still have a year left."

"I…see," Naruto said, grateful to gain the information. So the age at which a person can graduate is an enforceable law apparently. Naruto didn't dare ask more about it as he was afraid that he might give his otherworldly nature away. "Well, I'll think about whether the ninja life is right for me, dattebayo"

All froze when he said his infamous verbal tic.

Naruto sweat-dropped. 'Oh Crud-nuggets,' he thought.

He was really, really bad at staying inconspicuous.

Then, Ino burst out giggling. "Oh Kami, that was the cutest tic I'd ever heard!"

'Great. It took me what? Five minutes to give something away?' Naruto thought.

He sighed.

Choji was also laughing.

Shikamaru on the other hand looked at him quizzically. "Say…you remind me of someone."

Naruto couldn't help but gulp. He knew Shikamaru's inquisitive nature. He just hoped that he didn't attract too much attention for him to use too much brain power on figuring out who the new self-claimed foreigner is. "Who do I remind you of?"

Shikamaru contemplated. Then he said something that left Naruto frozen in his seat. "The matriarch of the Uzumaki clan, Uzumaki Kushina. She has a similar verbal tic you do…"

'W-What?' Naruto was almost left speechless but his only response came out before he could catch it. "Excuse me?"

Thankfully they took it as general confusion because Ino filled in the gaps. "Oh, the matriarch of the Uzumaki clan is the last remaining member of her clan."

She then thought a bit, trying to dredge up the information about the clan head as she could, before seeming to have done so, nodding to herself. "Because of the tragic incident over a decade ago, she lost her husband and her newborn son. To this day, she remains a widow and quite reclusive, though she occasionally attends clan meetings."

'Mom is…mom is alive?!' Naruto thought. His throat felt dry and he didn't know how to respond to the information. It was like someone had pulled out the carpet from under him and what laid beneath was just an endless abyss of disbelief.

He reigned it back in, to the best of his abilities.

'Mom is alive!'

"You okay?" Ino inquired, "you look like you've seen a ghost."

That snapped Naruto out of his reverie and he tried to regain his composure. "Y–yeah, I'm alright."

Then his curious mind wanted to know about how different the Kyuubi disaster was from the one in his world. "Would it be too much if I ask you about what that incident over a decade ago was?"

"Oh, sure!" Ino enthusiastically responded, but her tone became solemn when she spoke next, "it was…the single most tragic night in Konoha's history. It was a night where somehow, the nine-tailed fox was released in the middle of the village. The devastation of the event had wiped out over a quarter of Konoha's population and from what I've heard, only lasted for a few seconds."

Naruto nodded. He'd heard this story many times before. It was a reminder of his origins. So impactful was the event that almost every citizen of Konoha had a story of loss relating to it. It was why he was hated so much during his childhood.

"It was thanks to the fourth's sacrifice that we all still remain to this day. He sealed the fox into himself as well as his son, but in return, they had both tragically passed away."

The mood was sombre as Ino retold the story. It was like talking about genocide or war, the event always plagued anything it touched with an oppressive force that lasted for as long as history mentioned its name.

"That's terrible…" Naruto muttered, "I'm assuming this…Uzumaki matriarch lost some of her people, too?"

"Yes, she was the fourth's wife," Ino informed, "No one knew what happened during the events of her son's birth but thankfully she survived. Though, even now she remains…a shadow of herself, so they say."

It was a hard lump for Naruto to swallow. He'd just been told that not only had the Naruto of his world died during the events of his birth, but that his mother survived instead.

How different was this world to his own? How much did that one little detail change the course of history?

But…most importantly…his mother…he could–he could talk to her! Get to know her! It was an opportunity that he'd never had before!

"I…" His throat was parched and no words could explain his emotions, "I'm sorry to hear that. It must've been a tragedy to you all."

"Aye" Choji agreed, "but it was a long time ago. I wasn't even born during that time so I don't have that same sense of loss as most people here. But we shouldn't talk of such gloomy subjects on this day of celebration!"

Naruto chucked at the ever bright demeanour of the Akimichi. "Sorry to bring it up. I was just curious."

"No worries!" Ino interjected, "I can only imagine how hard it must be to journey to a new place so foreign from your own. But if you need any help, don't be afraid to come by and ask for it! I'm normally at the Yamanka flower shop in the clan district if you ever hope to find me."

She batted her eyelashes at him.

"Of course, thanks for the offer," Naruto said.

Shikamaru and Choji rolled their eyes. That was a suggestion to something distinctly more if they've ever heard one. Good thing their new acquaintance seemed to be a bit dense in these types of passes.

From then on they chatted away about inconsequential things but Naruto was able to pry out a bit more information from the details they'd given. Such as the fact that they hope that they will all be in the same team, meaning that the teams haven't been formed yet. Or that Shikamaru hopes that nothing drastic will happen over their years of service just like it has been for a couple of years, meaning that the events of the past three years such as the invasion of Suna hadn't occurred, if it will even happen at all.

It was an hour or so before they finished eating and chatting. Naruto left with a smile on his face and a promise to visit Ino in her flower shop sometime soon. She was, oddly, rather friendly with him for some reason, considering the fact that this was the first time they've met in this world. Naruto thought nothing of it however, he was just glad he made contact with some of his old friends. It gave him some confidence in his uncertainty. A notion that things would work out just fine, even if he had to start over.

But the one thing that stuck to his mind, however, was the fact that his mother is alive and well. That she's here in the village.

Naruto knew what he needed to do. He had to find her and see her with his own eyes.


With Ino/Choji/Shikamaru"

"Hm," Choji said in between bites of his chips, "what a nice fellow that guy was."

"He was so cute!" Ino exclaimed, "Oh his features were so delicate. Both handsome and adorable, at the same time!"

She licked her lips and both Shikamaru and Choji shivered. They knew what she was like when she got like this. They'd seen it happen with the Uchiha in their class before. To their relief, Ino had grown out of it after hitting puberty and a rather…rude interaction between the two caused her to burn whatever remnants of a crush she had for him.

Now that she'd found a new target–one that was far less broody to their relief. However, both could only feel sorry for the hotspring boy.

"Still…" Shikamaru said, "there was something…off about him. I don't know what though…"

"You say that to everybody you meet for the first time," Choji said as he grabbed another handful of chips and stuffed them in his face. "Not everyone has a mysterious backstory for you to figure out, Shikamaru."

Shikamaru shrugged. "You're probably right. Besides, it would be a drag to use my mental energy on things that have no consequence."

"Don't you dare scare him away with your antics, Shikamaru," Ino scowled, "he's going to think we're a weird bunch."

"Trust me, the only one who was acting weird was you," Shikamaru snided.

"What was that?" The tone in Ino's voice suggested immediate retribution.

"N–nothing" Shikamaru immediately back-stepped.

"I thought so."