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Naruto: The Outsider's Resolve

[A Naruto Fan Fiction] Make the best of what you have, they said... But what I am supposed to do when the best I have are red-eyed freaks, a child who's supposed to be the jailor of the most dangerous being in the world, a snake bastard with serious boundary issues, and a whole world of super soldiers with licences to murder. And you know the best part? None of them like me so much... Oh shut it, old man! Take that Will of Fire and shove it up your— Yeah, this second swing at life isn't panning out... --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCORD SERVER: https://discord.gg/w5dJ82SfMr --------------------------------------------------------------- PATREON LINK: https://www.patreon.com/fictiononlyreader --------------------------------------------------------------- DECLARATION: This story is also present on: FFN, Ao3, SpaceBattles, SufficientVelocity, and ScribbleHub RoyalRoad [to be verified] --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCLAIMER: I don't own any character other than my OCs. The cover pic was commissioned from Kodah.art on Instagram

FictionOnlyReader · Anime & Comics
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256 Chs

CH_5.26 (169): TIMELINE

AUTHOR'S NOTE

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Only 1 chapter this week because of IRL stuff—and I wanted to put out something today.

The [Created At] date of this story is October 31, 2022, but I actually posting this story on November 01, 2022. I created the page for this story on October 31, 2022 and instead of the first chapter, I posted a "Coming Soon" placeholder in its place as I was preparing to post across all the six sites I post this fic across.

The story has had its ups-and-downs, but I think I'm satisfied with what I have written till now. Sometimes it can be really difficult for me to write this story because I'm not used to writing this type of story, but I have had a lot of fun writing The Outsider's Resolve.

I'm proud of the rendition of the world, satisfied with the plot I have spun up, somewhat content with how I have developed Takuma, and not really happy with the support cast.

Well... I hope I will do better this coming year, and put out some entertaining stuff with this story.

I hope you all keep enjoying this story

1-year,

5 ARCs,

169 chapters,

360,000~ words.

Thank you for reading,

FictionOnlyReader

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Takuma stared at the class of children running an obstacle course. There were the few in the lead, competing against each other; the large middle pack; and the small group in the back, making up a trail. He was once in a similar situation, but it seemed so far away in the past that it looked alien to him.

"Thanks for meeting me here," said Iruka, standing beside him.

"It's okay. Sorry, I couldn't find free time in the evening," Takuma smiled at Iruka before returning his gaze to Iruka's academy class.

If it were only a couple of weeks back, Takuma would've refused to set foot in the shinobi academy while classes were in session. He had zero desire to see Iruka's class of students. But Takuma was going away for war, and when Iruka asked to meet him, he agreed to meet him in the academy because Takuma had no free time in the evening. He wanted to see how the future of the Hidden Leaf was doing before he went away, which was why he had set up the meeting so that Iruka couldn't take him to a meal during the lunch break. He figured just seeing them from afar while he conversed with his old chunin leader wouldn't be strange.

"I didn't think you would be conscripted with your position in the Narcotics Taskforce," said Iruka.

"Neither did I, but here we are," said Takuma as he looked at the yellow-haired ball of energy in the front of the pack. The whiskered kid was athletically superior but lacked in dexterity, which made him lag behind the onyx-haired leader after every complex obstacle—though he seemed to be trying his best to be in the first position. "My superiors in the Police Force said it would be good for me to take some time off from my duties before they relieved me of my duties."

"War is not taking some time off."

"It will be a change of scenery for sure." Takuma looked to Iruka, "How is teaching suiting you? Is it everything you imagined and more?"

Iruka chuckled as if he had heard a joke. "Not at all. These kids, with their ungodly energy, can be nightmares if I don't handle them properly. They are a hassle and a half on a good day." He smiled, "But it is indeed more than I imagined. These children are so much better when I was their age."

Takuma knew that feeling. He had a cousin in middle school who was just so much smarter than him when he was that age. Kids were generally always smarter.

"That cane is worrisome," said Iruka.

"Doctor's orders," Takuma glanced at the cane he had been carrying for the last month. He didn't want to admit it, but he still sometimes felt stiffness in his lower back. It was improving every day, and even though Takuma didn't use the cane, it did give him a sense of safety.

"In situations like yours, the most important thing is the commanding shinobi under whom you will be serving. Did they give you a name?" asked Iruka.

"Yes, they did. In fact, I just got the information earlier today," Takuma said. "One Jonin Toridasu Kossori. Any idea who that is?"

"Can't say I do. But if it's a jonin, he will have chunin under his command; you will probably be assigned to one of those chunin." Iruka glanced at Takuma. "Are you nervous?" he smiled.

"Shouldn't I be?" Takuma rolled his eyes. His relationship with his commanding shinobi and his peers was crucial. He didn't want a repeat of his initial days in the Organized Crime—it had taken a long time to get the people to warm up to him. And unlike the well-protected Police Force headquarters, his new place was a conflict-torn border. He couldn't afford a rocky start.

"Act and perform like when you were working under me, and you will be just fine. They will be lucky to have an asset like you," said Iruka. "Your versatility will shine much better there than it ever did when you were working the same few types of C-rank missions under me."

"I hope so," said Takuma. "So… that's the jinchuriki, huh."

"…Yes."

"And how is that side of things going?"

Iruka sighed. "It's as you said. He's the jailor… and he is just a dumb kid."

Takuma was relieved to hear that. He would've shit bricks on the spot if Iruka told him that he hated Naruto.

"Oh no, what now?" Iruka muttered.

Takuma followed Iruka's eyes to see Uzumaki Naruto running towards them with a heavy frown.

"Iruka sensei! Tell the jerk that I won the race," Naruto yelled.

The "jerk" in question was Uchiha Sasuke, who followed after Naruto with a relaxed walk. Unlike the Sasuke he had read about, the kid in front of Takuma was different. Sasuke was an aloof kid, but he lacked the coldness one would gain from a certain traumatic experience.

'He will gain that soon—' Takuma shuttered that thought faster than it had come up.

Sasuke spoke, "Even an idiot like you should be able to tell that the one crossing the line first is the winner."

"This wasn't a race," Iruka sighed. The young teacher looked like he was already tired. "I wasn't looking, so I couldn't tell who won, so let's just leave it at that."

"Eeeh! That's not fair!" Naruto pouted.

Sasuke didn't say anything, but you could see the crease between the boy's brows. No decision meant Sasuke couldn't concretely claim he was the first.

"I was watching," said Takuma.

All three sets of eyes locked onto him. Iruka had a pleading look, asking him to stop. Naruto looked outwardly immensely interested, while Sasuke's eyes held a subtle interest.

"Both of you crossed the finish line at the same time. It was a draw," said Takuma.

As Takuma expected, neither looked satisfied. So, Takuma took out the secret weapon he had prepared before coming to a school full of children. "Here you go, a reward for completing the course," Takuma handed each of them a chocolate each.

What child didn't like sweets? The effect was immediate. Naruto jumped in giddiness as he opened the foil. Sasuke hesitated for a moment before picking up the chocolate from Takuma's palm, joy in his eyes.

"Thank you," said Sasuke. "What are you doing here, Mr. Takuma?"

Takuma had been visiting Mikoto's house five times a week, and it was natural that he would have some level of interaction with his teacher's family. Because of the meeting time and that they met during the weekdays, Takuma had close to no interaction with Fugaku, who was at work. As for Itachi, the number of times Takuma had talked to him could be counted on one hand; the ANBU shinobi wasn't home often, but when he was, Itachi stayed away while his mother was conducting lessons. Sasuke was the family member Takuma had the most interaction, but it wasn't a lot—much like his brother, Sasuke considered Mikoto and Takuma's lessons as something not to be disturbed, and the little boy was very well-behaved. Takuma and Sasuke had only exchanged small talk occasionally, but nothing else.

"Your Iruka sensei here was my commanding shinobi before he became your teacher. I came to talk to him," said Takuma.

"Mother told me you got injured on a mission. Is that why you haven't been coming to the house?" asked Sasuke.

Takuma smiled. There was no need to tell a kid someone had tried to assassinate him. "Yes, I had a bit of a tumble," he raised his cane. "I'm alright now. Not good as your teacher here, though."

Iruka shook his head with a small smile.

Takuma then noticed Naruto staring at him. He had chocolate around his mouth. "Is something wrong?" he asked.

Naruto narrowed his eyes at Takuma before his brows went up. "Ah! You're the big bro who gave me the chocolate!" Naruto shouted while he pointed at Takuma.

"Naruto! It's rude to point," Iruka rebuked.

Takuma was surprised. He didn't think Naruto would remember. It was more than a year away, and they talked barely for a few minutes. That was like a lifetime away in kid's time.

"You met Naruto?" Iruka looked surprised.

"…Ah yes, we crossed paths a while ago," Takuma said as he gazed at Naruto.

"What's your name, big bro!" Naruto asked abruptly.

The memory of him telling Naruto to ask his name the next time flashed past Takuma's mind.

"My name is Takuma." He took out the bag of chocolate from his bag and handed it to Naruto. "Here you go; share it with the rest of the class." He turned to Sasuke. "Will you make sure everyone gets one, Sasuke?"

The two kids ran away to the rest of the class. A big bag full of chocolate was probably the most exciting thing to them right now.

"You never told me that you met him?" Iruka said.

"I had forgotten to be honest," Takuma lied. "I met him the same day you told me about my transfer to the Police Force. I didn't know he was the jinchuriki when I met him. I mean, it's not like I knew what he looked like. I was just consoling a… sad orphan."

Takuma felt Iruka's gaze on him.

He did not feel guilty lying to Iruka.

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"You should get out of the Narcotics Taskforce before it gets bad," Takuma said before stuffing his face with a big piece of fried chicken.

Arisu, who was sitting across from him, raised her brow. "Are you saying that because you were kicked out or because you're looking out for me? I'm afraid I can't tell right now."

He had invited Arisu out for dinner before he left. He wanted to thank her for all the support she had given him since Day-1 of joining Organized Crime.

"Why not both? I won't give up my informant, so the performance will plummet after the team runs out of the current investigations. You should leverage your position into something promising—like getting assigned directly under a jonin. Let the Narcotics Taskforce be a stepping stone. Diversify and whatnot."

"What if I think the team can continue at the same level without you?"

"First, I will ask you to stop lying to yourself," Takuma smiled, "but then I will say I'll be happy if you prove me wrong. If the team can continue working as usual, it will mean that we were able to develop an excellent team."

"We, you say."

"Give yourself more credit. The Narcotics Taskforce wouldn't exist if you didn't convince people to join. The team would've been me and Minoru, and we wouldn't have made it out of the first trial month."

"That's true. You would be nothing without me," Arisu smiled as though pleased with herself.

Takuma simply smiled.

"You know I never asked you this, but why aren't you participating in the Chunin Exams?" asked Takuma. "I think most people in our batch are going for it. And it's not like you're like Taro, who didn't go for it because he was lazy."

"I don't think I'm ready yet," said Arisu. "I'm in no rush to advance the ranks. I want to take some more time to learn before I start trying diligently. There's no use half-heartedly when I'm not ready."

Takuma put his chopsticks down for a moment. "Chunin is a leadership position. You have been managing a team for a while now, and you have done it with great success. I personally think you're ready for the exams if you want to, but if you want to take time, sure, go ahead." He paused for a moment as he picked his chopsticks back. "And well, you're a Fuma. If you do well, you will be promoted through the Police Force."

"You had to say it, didn't you," Arisu narrowed her eyes. "It's not my fault that I'm from a clan."

Takuma shrugged and winked. "Hey, your family background is a resource. It will be a waste not to use it. I would've if I had it. A good shinobi uses all the tools in his repertoire."

Arisu sighed and said no more.

Takuma raised his hand to order more food. He had been stuffing his face for the past few days, and today would be no different.

They eventually came out of the restaurant. Takuma took in a deep breath and enjoyed the cool air. The weather was nice enough that he wanted to take a walk and was about to ask Arisu if she would like to accompany him when she called out to him.

Takuma turned to face her, and even though he was a trained shinobi with excellent reflexes, he couldn't react when Arisu leaned forward to kiss him. It was a chaste kiss that barely lasted a couple of seconds, but Takuma froze up like an ice block.

"W-What was that?" Takuma exclaimed.

"A-A parting gift," said Arisu, flustered, before immediately leaving with the Body Flicker Jutsu no less.

A thousand thoughts rushed past Takuma's head as he tried to make sense of what had just happened, but he immediately shut them down. He did not want to think about it because he knew where his thoughts would eventually lead him.

Screw the walk, he thought.

Takuma now wanted to smoke some weed and knock himself to sleep.

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———

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TIMELINE

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YEAR-1 (Takuma-10yrs old— Student: Academy)

- Takuma spends this year in Academy

- Trains with Maruboshi Kosuke

- Takuma ends up in the hospital after suffering from a panic attack.

- Based on the current curriculum, an academy student graduates at 11yrs old as opposed to 12yrs old like Naruto's generation.

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YEAR-2 (Takuma-11yrs old— Shinobi: Genin)

- Takuma graduates at 11yrs old. SPECIAL NOTE: Naruto's generation starts attending Academy.

- After graduation, he spends 2 months in basic training. Here he meets with Nenro, Masaaki, and Ai. He also makes friends with Taro, who was in his class at the academy. They are put in a team for the basic training.

- 4 months of D-rank missions.

- Enomoto extends the Ring offer to Takuma (total 6 months after graduation.)

- After 3 months of Ring fights and more D-rank missions, Takuma participates in his first C-rank mission under Umino Iruka. On the basis of this mission, Iruka invites Takuma to join his Chunin Team.

- 3 months of C-rank missions with Iruka.

- During the above 3 month period, Enomoto introduced Takuma to Ryuu, who starts him on drug dealing.

- Land of Frost mission where Takuma and his team is ambushed by enemy shinobi. Everyone except for Takuma, Iruka, and Aburame Susumu, everyone dies. (Iruka leaves behind Takuma to get heavily injured Shimura Raiden and Aburame Susumu to medical help—but Raiden dies in the hospital)

- Takuma reaches home safely.

——

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YEAR-3 (Takuma-12yrs old— Police Force: Genin)

- After Land of Frost mission, Iruka submits an application on Takuma's behalf. He gets accepted.

- 2.5 months of Police Force basic training.

- After Takuma is placed in Organized Crime Department under Uchiha Kano with Fuma Arisu as his partner.

- 4.5 months of handling cases in Organized Crime. During this time period, Takuma is forced by Ryuu to make a delivery, which leads him to investigate the Maiko Triad.

- Takuma plans a raid on the Maiko Triad, and enlist Fuma Arisu's help, who assembles him a team for the raid. The raid is successful. Takuma submits a proposal for a dedicated Anti-Narcotics group inside Organized Crime.

- Because of the non-approved raid, Takuma is suspended for a week. During that week, Takuma participates in his first Ninjutsu-category Ring fight and wins.

- A Narcotics Team(temp.) is formed and Takuma is given 1 month to show results.

- Takuma starts learning genjutsu under Uchiha Mikoto. Uchiha Fugaku is aware of Takuma's involvement with the Ring—and the fact is noted in his Police Force personnel file.

- The temp team shows results and the Narcotics Taskforce is formed. Takuma is placed as its leader.

- 4 months in the Narcotics Task Force.

- Somewhere while Takuma is in the Narcotics Task Force—Shisui uses his MS on the Uchiha Clan leadership

——

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YEAR-4 (Takuma-13yrs old— Police Force: Genin)

- 4 more months in Narcotics Task Force.

- Big Farm Raid where Takuma and his fellow genin are forced to fight and kill an experienced chunin. The drug farm was connected to ROOT.

- Within 1 month of the raid, ROOT trainees attempt to assassinate Takuma and fail.

- Takuma spends 1. 5 months in rehabilitation [ONGOING].

- During his rehabilitation, Takuma gets an conscription order to join the conflict between the Land of Frost and the Land of Hot Waters (which is a proxy war between Hidden Leaf and Hidden Cloud.)