Chapter 7

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A/N: Just read the story ^^

- Time skip to a month later -

I asked Gramps, and he said it was okay if I lived with Naruto for a while. While I was staying over, we had become really close. I even had the courage to tell him about my family's secret. He didn't reject me or anything! Today Gramps had asked me to come to his office.

As I was patiently waiting for him, the door opened. I turned around to see Gramps walking towards me.

"Ah, Maki, good morning."

"Good morning, Gramps. What did you need from me?" I asked, getting straight to the point.

Naruto was waiting outside of the office, because he was told it was private, so I didn't want him waiting long.

He took a seat in his chair. "Do you remember the village you came from, Tori?" he asked calmly.

I nodded slowly, unsure of where this was going. "Well you see, Maki, I sent a few scouts to check for any survivors, and there weren't any."

"Y-you mean, they're all g-gone...." I whispered.

He only nodded. I knew they wouldn't make it, but I didn't think I'd be on the verge of tears again. But, I have to be strong, for Gramps' sake and for Naruto's. He then continued.

"We found all of the bodies, and we were wondering, since you're basically family to them, if it would be okay if we give them all a funeral."

I looked up at Gramps' face seeing a sympathetic expression. I nodded, too depressed to say anything.

"I was also wondering if you'd like to go and, you know, see them off?"

I looked at him once again. "I'd really like that, Gramps. But I also have a request."

"Oh, and what's that?"

I looked him straight in the eyes. "Please, allow me to leave for a few years to train. I know you might not like the idea, but I want to become stronger. Strong enough to protect those I love and hold dear to me." I stared at his face, looking for any kind of expression. Nothing.

He then broke out in a gentle smile. "Maki, I trust you and I admire your reason of wanting to go and train. So, if you really want to, I will allow you to leave."

What he said made me smile from ear to ear. "Thank you, Gramps! Thank you!" I ran up to him, got behind his desk, and gave him a hug.

"So now that that's decided, you'll leave straight away." I broke the hug and looked at him.

"Today? But why so soon?" He sighed. "Maki, the funeral for the villagers is in a few days. If you don't make it to the village in time, they'll have it without you. Bodies rot and should be buried as soon as possible."

"Oh..." I said a bit sadly.

"Then today's my last day here. I don't want to miss everyone's send off."

"Sorry, Maki. Please pack up, and there should be an escort ninja at the front gates to guide you there. Since you'll also be gone training, you should say your goodbyes to him."

I knew exactly who he meant. Naruto. It was gonna be hard, but I knew I had to do it.

"Okay, but Gramps? Please, tell me one thing." I said.

"What is it?" He asked curiously.

"Why do all the villagers hate Naruto so much? They abuse him, shun him, and give him dirty looks. What did he do to deserve this kind of treatment?" I asked in low voice, low enough so that no one else could hear.

He hesitated for a moment, before he let out a sigh. "Just, please, don't tell Naruto. Okay?" I nodded.

"Do you know of the Kyuubei that rampaged the village 8 years ago?" I nodded again.

Dad had told me the story when I was younger. "Well, that beast is sealed inside of Naruto. The fourth Hokage, which was also Naruto's father, sacrificed his own life in sealing it inside the newborn Naruto. All the villagers' hate towards the Kyuubei is now aimed at Naruto. I suppose their actions were passed on to their children. The poor boy himself doesn't even know why he's hated so much, but please, don't speak a word of this to him."

I was shocked at first, but I know Naruto is still Naruto. No matter what kind of monster is in him, that won't change my feelings towards him. We'll still be the same Maki and Naruto. Plus, he accepted me, so I should accept him as well.

I nodded my head as a response. "Good, now get packing. You leave as soon as you're ready."

I bowed my head and headed for the door. "Be safe, Maki." He called from behind.

"Yeah. Thanks Gramps!" I yelled back.

As soon as I got outside the building, I saw Naruto napping on the staircase.

'I must've been in there for a while, huh?'

I giggled before quietly walking towards him. "So cute..." I whispered.

Even though he was adorable when he was asleep, I knew I still had to wake him up and tell him the news. I poked him softly on the cheek.

"Ne, Naruto. Please wake up." I said quietly. No answer, only stirring. I poked him again.

"Naruto, wake up!" I said a little louder, but not so loud as to break one's eardrums.

He started to get up. "Maki-chan, you're done." He said sleepily.


We started to walk back to his apartment.

'It's now or never!' I said to myself.

"N-naruto. I have something really important to tell you, so please hear me out." We both stopped walking.

"What is it, Maki-chan.?" I started to fiddle with my thumbs which, unknown to me, Naruto found adorable.

"W-well, I-I'm l-leaving for a few years." I said the last part in almost a whisper.

"What?" He asked, shocked.

"I'm sorry, Naruto. There are some things I need to do back at Tori. Once I'm finished with that, I'm going to set out to train for a few years. After everything is settled, then I'll come back."

He looked to the ground, his hair shading his eyes.

"When do you leave...?" He asked sadly.

"Today..." I said in the same tone.

He sighed once, before finally looking at me...with a huge grin?

"Yosh! If whatever you're leaving for is that important, then I'll support you, dattebayo!"

I stared at him in disbelief. "Naruto...."

"I don't care how long it takes! As long as you come back, I'll happily wait for you here."

I pulled him in a tight hug. I sniffled, being on the verge of tears. "Baka."

- Time skip -

It was finally time for me to leave. But lucky for me, Naruto came to see me off.

"Naruto! I promise to come back in a few years! Just you wait!" I waved to the blonde boy.

"I'll keep my promise and wait for you, believe it!" He declared, fist pumping the air.

"If you break your promise, you'll have to treat me to ramen!" He added.

I laughed at his silliness. "Yeah, I promise! See you later, Naru-kun!"

"Yeah! See you later, Maki-chan!"

A/N: Wah~ I finally finished this chapter.

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