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Fanfic / Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja

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Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja is a Naruto For Want of a Nail fanfic written by Arcane Azmadi. The nail in this case is simple; when Sasuke "died" during his and Naruto's fight with Haku early in the series, he actually DID die rather than waking up again at the end. The story follows the consequences of this drastic change as Naruto and Sakura have to overcome their grief and learn to work together again, together with their new teammate, an older boy named Kyoshun Keiji. Events deviate wildly from the events of canon as a result, leading things to go in drastic and unexpected directions.

At the end of Chapter 12, a gaiden fic called Naruto: Melody of the Shinobi begins, filling in events that would take place during the Time Skip between Chapters 12 and 13.

The story has a thread on and a separate one for Melody of the Shinobi where you can read drafts of upcoming chapters as they're written. Please do not add spoilers from there until the chapter is officially released on as unreleased material is subject to change.

Absolutely not to be confused with Nareto: The Scret of Shiobi. See also For Love, a different Naruto fic by the same author.

Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja provides examples of:

  • Agony Beam: Wabisuke's Inner Suicide Jutsu allows him to inflict crippling agony with a touch of his hand, without inflicting (immediate) lasting damage.
  • All Men Are Perverts: When Naruto shreds Tsunade's obi during their fight, almost every man and boy present groans in collective disappointment when she manages to hold her top shut instead of letting her boobs bounce out.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Wabisuke gets his right hand torn off at the wrist by Naruto with his Fox's Claws.
    • Kiba loses his right arm in chapter 8 and his right leg is so mangled that it has to be amputated as well.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Jiraiya rather bitingly asks Tsunade when was the last time she did something Shizune wanted to do, considering Shizune has followed her loyally all over the world and helped look after her for twenty years, when he tries to leave Shizune in charge of the Fortress of the Senju while he, Kakashi's team and Guy's team are away.
  • Ascended Extra: Gen'ryumaru, the shinobi who originally only appeared on page long enough to become Orochimaru's new body instead fights alongside the heroes when they bust him out of Orochimaru's prison along with the other prisoners and escapes alive to fight another day, developing a grudging respect for Naruto.
  • Badass Boast: Delivered by Naruto to Tsunade:
    Naruto: Sure I know when I'm beaten, but it's not yet. Because I'm still breathing!
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jiraiya saves the remnants of the Konoha forces from complete annihilation during the fall of Konoha.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Naruto and Hinata's kiss at the end of Chapter 12.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Inuzuka Hana disembowels one of the Sound ninja that was going to finish off Kiba, and her dogs tear out the throat of one of the others.
    • Temari and Kankuro both show this towards Gaara when the Kyuubi nearly kills him.
  • Big "NO!": From the Kyuubi just before Naruto activates the Five Elements Restrained Seal and takes back control of his body.
  • Alien Blood: The Kyuubi has black blood.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted by Keiji during the Hosokusa rescue when he uses up his last shuriken. Considering Keiji carries several hundred shuriken on his body, this is no mean feat.
  • Brick Joke: In chapter 5, Sakura persuades Akashi Tsuneo to talk by threatening to cut off his balls if he doesn't. Next chapter, some other Iwa-nins are discussing his disappearance, believing he's just gone AWOL, and one comments that their commander will cut off his balls for it.
  • Bring It: Naruto says exactly this to Orochimaru. Subverted because he knows he can't win, but will stand his ground regardless.
  • Broad Strokes: The author's notes for chapter 10 make it clear that Arcane Azmadi is taking this approach to the post-Time Skip canon, considering his clear dislike for the direction the manga took as it went on. He's very specific that the fanfic will be following the manga devoutly up until the Time Skip, but everything after that will be cherry-picked at his discretion (he's already made it clear that the Bijuu and the concept of "jinchuuriki" don't exist in his story).
  • Butt-Monkey: Akashi Tsuneo, a 30-year old Iwa ninja who never made it past genin and is generally considered a loser by his peers. He gets seduced, drugged and captured by Sakura (using a henge) and cracks embarassingly easily when she and Keiji threaten him with torture- or worse, castration.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Naruto wakes up from one after his fight with Gaara, in which the Kyuubi killed all his friends while possessing him.
  • Chain Pain: Wabisuke fights with a kusari-gama.
  • Chekhov's Gun: It looks like Keiji is finally going to use his Deathwind Shuriken in the Hosokusa rescue, but he ultimately decides it's too risky. He finally uses it to cut Orochimaru in half in chapter 9.
    • The Five Elements Restrained Seal Jiraiya placed on Naruto in chapter 7 comes into play in chapter 10 when the Kyuubi takes control of Naruto's body.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In between the start of chapter 4 and the end of chapter 8, Keiji has apparently mastered that trick of throwing his shuriken into each other in mid-air to redirect them at new angles.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Wabisuke Ryota on Naruto and Kakashi.
  • The Confidant: Hinata serves as this to Naruto, as she does in canon when he confesses to her his doubts about whether he can beat Gaara as well as his fear that actually being able to do so would make him "a monster", but Naruto also serves as this to her in chapter 3.
  • Continuity Nod: In chapter 6, Naruto catches a kunai is his teeth to fight Tsuchiko without his hands, in a Call-Back to Zabuza's last stand.
    • The Five Elements Restrained Seal Jiraiya puts on Naruto is the same one Orochimaru put on him in canon, only modified so he can activate it at will as an emergency measure to Cut the Juice on the Kyuubi.
  • Covert Pervert: Keiji turns out to be a secret fan of the Icha Icha books.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: Keiji is one of the most amazing shuriken-users in the world (most ninja not considering shurikenjutsu something worth specialising in to the extent that he does), capable of pulling off feats most people don't even consider possible. However, the side effects of his incredible distance vision is an inability to focus properly at close range, making him almost defenceless in close-quarter combat. He's also exclusively adept with shuriken; his abilities with other thrown weapons such as kunai is totally unremarkable.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Naruto's fight against Tsunade is the most one-sided fight in the entire fic to date, as he's entirely barred from using his Kyuubi power- he can't even touch his opponent but manages to win anyway by modesty.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: Inspired by Zabuza's last stand, Naruto holds a kunai between his teeth to fight Taniguchi Tsuchiko while his hands are shackled behind his back.
  • Cut the Juice: The Five Elements Restrained Seal works like this, allowing Naruto to completely disrupt his own chakra network if the Kyuubi looks like it's getting out of control, instantly shutting it out.
  • Dead Fic: Hasn't been updated since 2017.
  • Deal with the Devil: Naruto makes a deal with the Kyuubi for not only power but also knowledge of the demon-fox's own unique techniques. It involves him modifying the 4th Hokage's seal and drinking a sip of the Kyuubi's black blood to give the fox a more direct connection to his consciousness.
  • Death Faked for You: Kabuto uses a one of his customisable corpses to fake Hinata's death when he kidnaps her during the fall of Konoha. Fortunately Kiba sees (or smells) through it and calls in The Cavalry.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Tsunade says she'll fight Naruto with her right hand behind her back and agrees she'll concede defeat if he can make her take it out, which he forces her to do when she grabs him with her other hand, only for him to hit her in the stomach with an incomplete Rasengan, shredding her obi and making her reflexively hold her top closed with her right hand to keep her boobs from bouncing out. Also counts as a Disqualification-Induced Victory.
  • Demonic Possession: As a result of the Deal with the Devil, during the fight with Gaara the Kyuubi, rather than trying to break free from Naruto, takes over his body instead.
  • Determinator: Naruto as usual, but especially during his extensive torture by Wabisuke, where he withstands unspeakable pain for days without cracking.
    • Also as usual, Hinata.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: During the 3rd Shinobi War, Wabisuke Ryota had his face disfigured in single combat with Kakashi. Years later, this is his motivation for capturing and torturing Kakashi and Naruto, then attempting to frame them for an attemped assassination of the Earth Country Daimyo to start a new war between Iwa and Konoha.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Team 7 do this to sneak into Orochimaru's base (actually using henge to make it more convincing, combined with Kill and Replace).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Although never identified by name, Keiji's old Team 5 was wiped out by Hoshigaki Kisame.
  • Enemy Within: The Kyuubi is more this to Naruto than in canon, with shades of Treacherous Advisor.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Naruto thinks Hinata prefers to keep the forehead protector he loaned her and give him hers to replace it because it gives her confidence the way it did to him, since it used to be Iruka's.
  • Eye Scream: Offscreen, Inoichi loses both his eyes in the fall of Konoha.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Wabisuke Ryota sometimes comes across as friendly, almost jolly. He's an insane, sadistic, murderous psychopath who's trying to start a war for reasons of petty revenge.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Naruto, when the Kyuubi takes control of his body.
  • Flechette Storm: Keiji has the fastest hands of anyone Naruto knows; he can throw over 30 shuriken in 20 seconds, even at extreme range. At short ranges he's even faster, albeit less accurate.
  • Forced to Watch: How Wabisuke tortures Kakashi.
  • For Want of a Nail: Sasuke's death ultimately leads to MAJOR differences in the development of the plot. The first really significant one of these is the new Team 7 being refused permission to enter the Chuunin Exam by the 3rd Hokage.
    • Rather more drastically, this leads to the destruction of Konoha and the decimation of their forces in the Sand/Sound attack during the Chuunin Exam finals.
  • Frameup: Wabisuke's plan is to accuse Team 7 of planning to assassinate the Daimyo of the Land of Earth (under the orders of the Hokage, with forged secret instructions) in order to provoke a war between Iwa and Konoha.
  • Fusion Dance: The Kyuubi makes a deal with Naruto to give him access to his power and also his knowledge to save his friends, by modifying the 4th Hokage's seal and drinking a sip of the Kyuubi's blood. This causes Naruto to act extremely viciously in his battle with Wabisuke, as well as use the Voice of the Legion and refer to himself as "we" rather than "I" for the duration.
  • Fuuma Shuriken: Keiji's Deathwind shuriken. It folds up the same way Sasuke's shadow windmill did in the first fight with Zabuza, but when unfolded it's actually considerably larger than the one Kaede wields in the Fuuma Shuriken page image- each blade is nearly 4 feet long, so at full size it's wider than a man is tall.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself, Girl!: Ino attacks and belittles Sakura at the climax of chapter 1, forcing her to snap out of her Heroic BSoD caused by Sasuke's death and fight back.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Temari requests Naruto fight Gaara "as one monster to another" when Gaara threatens to destroy Suna. During the fight, Naruto is forced to unleash the full power of the Kyuubi to stop Gaara from doing the same with the Shukaku, and almost pays the price.
  • Go Through Me: Kankuro stands between the Kyuubi and the fallen Gaara and Temari even after Karasu is destroyed. Gaara even notes that Kankuro has basically no chance, as he neglects his taijutsu and has no weapons other than Karasu, but he prepares to fight the demonic monster with his fists if he has to. Fortunately, Naruto stops it just in time.
  • Groin Attack: Akashi Tsuneo's defiance doesn't last long when Sakura threatens to cut off his balls unless he talks.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Orochimaru after taking Keiji's Deathwind to the stomach. He survives, though.
  • Heroic BSoD: Naruto and Sakura spend most of chapter 1 in one until they get snapped out of it by Iruka and Ino respectively.
    • Hinata falls into a bad one after surrendering to Neji in the Chuunin Exam preliminary rounds as Naruto wasn't there to interrupt his Breaking Speech. This drives her to run away from Konoha in shame, requiring her to be retrieved by Team 7.
  • Honor Before Reason: Naruto technically defeats Tsunade during their duel when she has a Heroic BSoD after he coughs up a mouthful of blood onto her face, triggering her haemophobia and causing her to use her right hand to try and wipe it off without thinking, which would be a forfeit. However, Naruto refuses to accept winning that way and wipes the blood off himself before telling Tsunade to put her hand behind her back again and keep going, even though he's getting absolutely wrecked by her. He manages to win anyway.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Naruto gets the absolute shit beaten out of him by Tsunade but simply refuses to quit, eventually finding a way to win.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is called a "Song" (eg "The Song of Lost Souls", "The Song of Bitter Ashes", "The Song of Coiling Death" etc).
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Keiji with shuriken. His abilities with them are absurd; unfortunately he suffers Crippling Overspecialisation as a result.
  • Ironic Echo: Kakashi echoes Wabisuke's earlier statement about not leaving "unfinished business" right before finishing him off.
  • Killed Off for Real: Sasuke, obviously. Many characters also die in the destruction of Konoha- the 3rd Hokage dies as usual, but also Neji, Shino, Asuma, Shikaku and according to Word of God, many characters who don't even get mentioned because we didn't even get the chance to meet them in this story, including Anko, Danzo, Sai, Yamato and most background characters.
  • Little "No": Hinata uses this twice, first at the end of chapter 3 when her father tells her it's OK for her to stop being a ninja, then in chapter 8 to no less a person than Orochimaru himself when he's trying to intimidate her into submission.
  • Magi Babble: In chapter 7 Jiraiya is explaining to Naruto the purpose of a complicated seal which will supposedly allow him to shut down the Kyuubi if it tries to run out of control and Naruto thinks of it as a "torrent of jutsubabble".
  • Motivational Kiss: Hinata gives one on the cheek to Naruto the night before his duel against Gaara as a "good luck charm". It ends up saving them all when it allows Naruto to hear Hinata's voice and take back control of his body from the Kyuubi during the battle.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: On Naruto's first meeting with Jiraiyanote :
    This was the great Toad Sage who had saved Konohaís survivors from total annihilation? The disciple of the Third Hokage who was almost a legend? A writer of dirty books for dirty men (and Kakashi-sensei)?
  • My Greatest Failure: For Keiji, the deaths of his previous team.
    • For that matter, Sasuke's death is this for Naruto and Sakura.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Kyuubi unleashes this on Gaara after taking over Naruto's body during his and Gaara's duel. A fight that up until then had been a brutally closely-contested slugout becomes a one-sided beatdown in an instant.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: Naruto tells Kakashi not to reveal any information about Konoha to Wabisuke no matter how much Wabisuke tortures him (Naruto, that is, not Kakashi).
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Naruto to Keiji after he hears the story of how he lost his entire team in a mission gone wrong (very much like the Wave Country mission, only worse).
    • He also has this to Gaara, as in canon, although it's partly subverted when Gaara says their radically different beliefs make them not alike after all, something Naruto is happy to agree with.
  • Oblivious to Love: Naruto continues to be a classic example of this trope with regards to Hinata. When she asks if she can keep his forehead protector that he loaned her and gives him hers instead, he thinks she wants it because it used to be Iruka's.
    • Much of Chapter 12 is dedicated to Naruto working his way through this and coming to the realisation that he does actually love Hinata.
  • Odd Friendship: It's not exactly a "friendship" but when Hinata has some free time while at Suna she hangs out with Kankuro, observing him while he works on repairing Karasu and, flattered by her interest, he educates her on Suna's combat puppet tradition.
  • Official Couple: Naruto and Hinata, as of chapter 12.
  • Oh, Crap!: A series of consecutive ones during the fight between Naruto and Gaara as each combatant keeps raising the stakes higher. The biggest probably comes when it looks like the Kyuubi has taken complete control of Naruto.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In chapter 10 Kakashi notes with astonishment that he's never heard Guy swear before in the entire twenty years they've known each other when Gaara retreats to his sand sphere to summon the Shukaku's armour.
  • The Power of Blood: Naruto's enhanced contract with the Kyuubi requires him to drink a sip of its blood.
  • The Power of Love: The kiss Hinata left on Naruto's cheek as a "good luck charm" allows her voice to reach him when the Kyuubi possesses him and suppresses his consciousness within his soulspace.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The Ironic Echo above.
    Kakashi: You were right about one thing, Wabisuke. It's not smart to leave unfinished business.
  • The Promise: Between Naruto and Hinata:
    Naruto: Iíll make you a promise- for as long as you keep trying without giving up, even when you fail, just remember that Iíll believe in you so you can stay strong. And Iíll do anything I can to help you. OK Hinata?
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kakashi delivers a brief one of these to Wabisuke while pointedly destroying the forged mission scroll Wabisuke needed to ignite the war between Iwa and Konoha in front of him, right before killing him.
    Kakashi: It's over, Wabisuke. Youíve lost. Itís time for you to exit the stage now, for good.
  • The Remnant: The survivors of the destruction of Konoha who fall back to the Hidden Fortress of the Senju, led by Jiraiya.
  • Revenge: Wabisuke Ryota seeks revenge on Kakashi for mutilating his face in battle at the end of the 3rd Shinobi War.
    • Revenge by Proxy: He enacts this revenge by capturing Kakashi and Naruto and torturing Naruto in front of him. He also plans to reignite the war between Iwa and Konoha after executing them in order to complete his "unfinished business" by destroying it.
  • Running Gag: The disclaimer at the start of each chapter, rather than the usual "I do not own Naruto, everything is property of Masashi Kishimoto etc", is some kind of snarky dismissive or denial. Word of God is that that he considers such disclaimers an expression of the bleeding obvious and satirising them is a trademark of all his stories.
  • Say My Name: When the Kyuubi has taken over Naruto's body during his duel with Gaara, Hinata screaming his name is the only thing he can hear when his consciousness is suppressed inside his soulspace, waking him up and giving him a chance to fight for control his body.
  • The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: Sakura (with the assistance of a henge) seduces, drugs and captures a particularly hapless Iwa shinobi so she and Keiji can interrogate him about Naruto and Kakashi's situation.
  • Shipper on Deck: Sakura and Jiraiya for Hinata and Naruto, although it only takes one good conversation for each of them to convince the other two to get together.
  • Shout-Out:
  • So Proud of You: Kakashi tells his students how proud he is of them all after Sakura and Keiji rescue him and Naruto from execution.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Explosive tags are starting to become Sakura's trademark, especially when she gets a chance to set them up in advance.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Sakura's plan to rescue Naruto and Kakashi from execution features no less than thirty-six precisely placed explosive tags going off simultaneously- and that's just the first step!
  • This Is Something She's Got To Do Herself: After giving her some encouragement, Naruto leaves Hinata alone to deal with the gang of thugs and their renegade ninja boss who were planning to kidnap her and sell her into slavery by herself, to let her build up some confidence. However he does hide nearby and remains ready to intervene if it looks like she's going to lose.
  • Time Skip: There will be one between Chapters 12 and 13, although not yet written.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sakura during the Hosokusa arc.
  • Torture Technician: Wabisuke Ryota.
  • To the Pain: Wabisuke explains how his Inner Suicide Jutsu works to Kakashi after giving him a small sample so he'll know exactly what will be happening to Naruto.
  • Trojan Prisoner: How Team 7 infiltrate the Sound base, with Sakura playing the prisoner.
  • Walking Spoiler: Wabisuke Ryota.
  • Wham Line:
    Keiji: Konoha's been destroyed.
  • When She Smiles: Hinata.
    A sudden random thought struck him at that moment- when she smiled, Hinata was actually quite pretty. He wondered how he'd never managed to notice that before.
  • With My Hands Tied: Naruto has to fight with both hands shackled behind his back during the escape from Hosokusa. He does so by getting Sakura to toss him a kunai which he catches in his teeth, in a deliberate Call-Back to Zabuza's last stand.
    • Tsunade fights Naruto with one hand behind her back. If Naruto can make her take it out, he wins. He does, defeating her by modesty.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Wabisuke takes a sadistic pleasure in throttling Sakura to death in front of Naruto in order to torment him.
    • Naruto as well in his and Sakura's fight with Taniguchi Tsukiko, not that he has much choice under the circumstances.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Wabisuke would not only hurt one, but also torture one for days on end.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Naruto's soulspace works this way (as it does in canon, although attention was never drawn to it)- during the fight with Wabisuke Naruto is panicking about not having time to waste talking to the Kyuubi while the fox tells him they have as much time as he needs. It also works both ways if Naruto goes there while unconscious- he can spend a few minutes or hours in the soulspace, but won't leave until his body wakes up, even if he's out for an entire day.
  • You're Insane!: Kakashi to Wabisuke. He's right.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Played with and partly inverted with the world inside Naruto's soul where he meets the Kyuubi- the world is partly shaped by his thoughts, so he can, for example, breathe underwater as long as he convinces himself that he can. However, if he dies in there, his consciousness will perish, leaving his body an Empty Shell- which the Kyuubi can then take over.

Naruto: Melody of the Shinobi provides examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch: A trio of Sound-nin attack during one of Naruto's shamisen lessons. They don't even know who Naruto is, and are actually there to capture his teacher, a formerly retired Sound jounin who deserted the village when Orochimaru took over and tried to "un-retire" him.
  • Breather Episode: Pretty much the entire fic serves as one of these (or several of them) to the more-serious Naruto: the Secret Songs of the Ninja.
  • Defector from Decadence: Otoshiki Koushino deserted Oto because of his contempt for Orochimaru when he took over and tried to turn his sonic techniques to more malevolent purposes.
  • Filler: Subverted; the fic is designed to cover a variety of one-off, usually more light-hearted events that took place during the timeskip in the middle of Secret Songs of the Ninja and aren't quite significant enough to have chapters dedicated to them in the main story, but these events are fully canon and can actually provide Character Development as well as affect the relationships between the characters. Arcane Azmadi has stated that reading the fic will be helpful to fill in some details for the rest of Secret Songs, but not essential.
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Subverted; Naruto takes up the shamisen as a hobby simply by deciding one day "Hey, I'm gonna learn to play the shamisen!" because he walked past an instrument store after seeing a kabuki performance, but despite how spontaneously he decides on it, he sticks with it, because giving up would be like admitting defeat.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Koushakuji Tokikawa, Naruto's extremely strict shamisen tutor.
  • Jerkass: Koushakuji Tokikawa, who is strict and brusque with Naruto to the point of rudeness, treating him with thinly-veiled contempt.
  • Musical Assassin: Koushakuji Tokikawa, Naruto's shamisen instructor, is actually Otoshiki Koushino, a powerful (retired) Sound ninja who can use his shamisen to unleash devastating sonic attacks capable of ripping his opponents to shreds.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Otoshiki Koushino, an aged Sound jounin, was already retired when Orochimaru took over Oto, but Orochimaru wanted to turn his sonic techniques to his own purposes, so he abandoned the village and now constantly has Sound-nin after him.