Chapter 1: Konoha!

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CHAPTER 1: KONOHA!

Iruka’s POV

After taking Naruto out again for Ichiraku Ramen, I end up walking him back to his apartment. Because he kept asking for another helping of ramen, we stayed a bit too long. By the time he finished, the sun had set and so I thought it would be unsafe for him to go home alone at this time at night.

NARUTO!” A vein pops out on my forehead as I yell, “Get down from there!”

The biggest troublemaker of the village simply chuckles and chooses to disregard my warning. He continues to stroll on the fence. “Huh?” he says, squinting. “Who’s that?”

I sigh and jump onto the wall next to him. “If this is another one of your pranks…” I’m silenced by shock. There’s a girl sleeping on the ground right in front of the gate. She shouldn't have been able to get past the guards without them noticing.

I study her features, wondering who she could possibly be. As a teacher, I know almost all the children in this village. But her, I can’t recognize. She wears a tattered, graying shirt with brown shorts. Her bare feet are blistered and blue with cold. She’s incredibly dirty, and her shoulder-length white hair is tangled with burrs and leaves. She looks like an innocent child, but she’s covered from head to toe with dried blood.

It’s as if she escaped from a prison, I think. But at such a young age..? Impossible.

“Naruto, stay back,” I caution. I leap down and tread warily towards the girl. I pick her up, surprised at how unnaturally light she is. She’s frail and much too skinny. This perks my concern. Is she all right?

Her nose twitches. I involuntarily hold my breath. She mumbles a little under her breath, then curls into my arms and returns to sleep. I sigh with relief and jump back onto the wall.

“SENSEI! WHO IS SHE!?” yells Naruto with excitement.

She twitches again.

“Sh!” I shush him.

His face reddens as he grins sheepishly and scratches his cheek. “Oops, sorry!”

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Naruto’s POV

Man, this is so boring! I groan impatiently and rock back and forth in my chair. This girl sleeps way too long! Iruka-sensei naps on a chair next to my bed that she’s resting on right now. Since they’re both asleep, there’s no one I can talk to!

I’m bored…

I grab a marker and start doodling on Iruka-sensei’s face. An idea pops into my head for a prank. It’s so awesome, it’s better than awesome! I’ll save it for my finale! I cackle quietly as I scribble swirls and poop figures on his cheeks.

I hear a small squeak behind me, so I turn around to see bright green eyes staring at me. I gulp when our eyes meet, steeling myself for the hatred to enter her expression like the others. But weirdly, it doesn’t.

“Who are you?” she whispers.

I twist around, but realize that she’s talking to me. I grin and nudge up my goggles. “I’m Naruto Uzumaki, believe it! Who’re you?”

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