Becoming a Hokage 101
If you have found this book, I must first say congratulations. It hasn’t been easy, I assume, but I hope it’ll be worth your trouble. More than a guide, this is a compilation of useful information and relevant tips I have gathered during the years. Please bear in mind my notes are biased more often than not, but I still hope you’ll enjoy reading this as much I have enjoyed writing it.
I must admit it took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to realize just what had happened to me - but then again, in my defense, I wasn’t exactly in my right mind.
The first year of my new life was a blur of pain and hunger. I remember dreaming often, as well, but when you’re a baby and can’t pinpoint what’s reality and what’s not, those often terrified me.
The difference between then and now isn’t the presence of those dreams or not, because I still have them. What has dramatically changed is that now I know what they are - memories and flashes of a previous life, one that was hugely different from the one I lead now. It used to be as interesting as it was short, and for a little over twelve months my brand new (physical) brain simply didn’t know how to process all that.
Turns out the circumstances to my death were simply unfortunate. I was a young woman in the wrong place, in the wrong time, and though that gives me little peace of mind, I have learnt to appreciate small blessings for what they are.
What my mind took a long time to get used to was the difference between real memories - names, faces, bonds, common sights - and flashes of things I used to do and watch for entertainment, such as cartoons and books. With the help of my new mother, however, things took a turn for the best right after my first birthday, and I can clearly remember seeing this new world for the first time without having to worry about a curiously always empty stomach or blinding headaches.
There was obviously none of the advanced technology I had been so reliant on. Common objects like smartphones and laptops didn’t exist, and the closest thing I could associate to ‘technological’ was a tv, big and grey but not very used. Instead, people easily did things I couldn’t have imagined possible Before, like running faster than superheroes and walking on water.
That enough should have activated a big, loud alarm in my head, but again, I was just learning the difference between dreams and reality, and I was just a baby. What really tipped me off, though, happened about a week after my first birthday. I vaguely remember a party, but it had been mostly a family affair, if the small amount of people and comfortable setting were anything to go by.
Until then, I had thought my new mother was taking care of me and my brothers on her own, with the occasional help of a babysitter. It wasn’t something unusual even in my previous life, but it still left me wondering what kind of man was my new father.
Turns out I’d get my answer soon enough, between one afternoon nap and the other. A young boy no older than six had been holding my tiny body pressed against his, cooing at me and spouting off nonsense in a language I had barely recognized as Japanese, when the front door to our house opened and he immediately brightened.
‘Oh’ , I remember thinking, ‘thank goodness I do have a father.’
In vivid detail, I have memories of my new father lifting me up from my older brother’s arms, swiftly tucking me in his own. The man smelled of ash and sweat and earth, and the face I made got a gruff laugh out of him. The first thing I realized was that he was a bit older than I had imagined he would be, with thin scars on his cheeks and deep lines on his forehead and around his eyes. Then, my eyes turned to the hat on his head, and after a few moments some gears in my head just seemed to click.
His hat, a dark thing similar to what a samurai from Before might have used, was battered and dirty, a clear sign he’d been fighting up until recently. In my mind’s eye, the pieces of a puzzle I had almost given up on fell together in a detailed picture, one that immediately filled me with dread for all they implied.
My father in this new life was Sarutobi Hiruzen, Sandaime Hokage to the Hidden Village in the Leaf. That meant I was, somehow, in a shinobi world, and from the few flashes I recognized I immediately knew this would not mean I’d have an easy or peaceful life. The thought of having to learn how to fight and kill just so I could survive had filled my eyes with tears in a flash, mostly because it was all so very strange and different from Before. When I was but a young woman whose biggest concern was to graduate from university I didn’t need to worry about any of that. Sure, robberies and murders were very much real, but I never had had the raw need to defend myself and others like that.
I remember bursting into tears, a hysteric cry that had my mother in instant alert. Just as fast, I was in her arms, and then her fingers - cold and surprisingly familiar at this point - were on my forehead, soothing my chaotic mind and easing the physical pain those memories brought.
Thirteen months into my new life, I belatedly realized I had been reborn in the Narutoverse. After allowing myself to cry into my mother’s chest for all I knew it meant, I finally let myself fully embrace this new world.
So this prologue is basically a very brief introduction to her family and context. She’ll mostly remember things from flashes and dreams, though there’ll be quite a few cracks in between.
I’d love to know what you think!