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Lighting Up the Dark

12 years ago, the Fourth Hokage gave his life to seal Kyubey, the Nine-Brained Demon Fox, into the infant Naruto. Now, the time has come for a smarter, more creative Naruto to take on a world in which quick thinking and a solid grasp of strategy are worth a dozen rare techniques, and a brilliant mind can challenge even the deepest darkness.


Chapter 14

A/N: In accordance with what had better not become a tradition, here is thelatest chapter, horribly delayed but longer than any before it. Thank you,everyone, for your reviews and encouragement.

_By popular request, here is a summary of the thus-far presented rules ofninjutsu. The Rule of Conservation of Space states simply that two materialobjects can’t occ


Chapter 13

_A/N: Thanks for waiting, people. The story goes on. This was originally goingto be a much shorter section in a longer chapter, but then things happened,and finally I decided to release the result like this instead of making youwait even longer for an eventual megachapter whose unwieldy mass would cause agravitational collapse of the Internet. As a helpful side


Chapter 12

A/N: Once again, a long delay is followed by a chapter longer than anybefore. I hope not to make a habit of this. For those of you who havepatiently stuck with me through the intervening time, thank you for your faithin me.

_Just to reiterate, this is intended to be a long fanfic, and if it cuts outanytime soon, this will not be because of authorial intent,


Chapter 11

A/N: Another ridiculous delay later, here is Chapter XI. This chapter wasoriginally meant to be half the length, but then a certain foul-mouthed cynicstarted talking. On which note, content advisory for more foul language thanthe rest of the fic thus far combined.

_ Special thanks go to my faithful beta readers, Nezumi, sehrrhes and (as ofthis chapter) Traid


Chapter 10

A/N: Sorry for the delay. Between real-life events and general lack ofinspiration, this chapter has been a nightmare to write even though I’ve knownfor a long time exactly what it would be about. On the plus side, it’s comeout at twice what I consider normal chapter length. Please accept this by wayof apology.

_The anime, my sole source for Naruto canon,


Chapter 9

“That concludes my report,” Kakashi told the Third Hokage, painfully awarethat the sun had just set, and that the rest of the day was probably a write-off after the tiring journey. “You can find additional details in the writtenversion.”

The Hokage nodded. He’d suspected he might regret letting Naruto loose on theunsuspecting wider world, but the boy had truly


Chapter 8

A week passed before Sasuke was well enough to travel. During that week, hehad been quiet and subdued, mostly staying in his room, and he hadn’t said asingle word to Naruto in particular. Naruto himself was unsure how to behaveafter everything that had happened. Kakashi-sensei, who as a member of theolder generation had already known about the Nine-Brains, was s


Chapter 7

A/N: Because the next chapter is fairly short, I’m uploading it together withthis one as a bonus. Please be sure to read this chapter first.

If you want a personal reply to a question in a review, please make anaccount so I can PM you, as I obviously have no way of contacting guestreviewers.

_I’ve decided to rule that the Sharingan does not let you bypass n


Chapter 6

_A/N: The arc proceeds steadily towards its inevitable conclusion. This storywill diverge from canon, increasingly so as time goes by. In-universe, thestory starts very close to canon, but from there deviation can only increaseas the differences stack with each other to throw the story off its originalcourse. Out of universe, starting close to canon allows me


Chapter 5

A/N: Thank you for your continued support. Rest assured that all the issuespeople have brought up have been taken under consideration. If you spot anyfurther issues or inconsistencies, please don’t hesitate to let me know.


Before Kakashi could react, there was another sound, this one no lesshorrible: the unmistakeable sound of a large blade cleaving throu


Chapter 4

“Aha! You just fell into my cunning trap!” Naruto proclaimed, dramaticallypicking up a captured shogi piece. “Bid your knight farewell. He serves adarker power now.”

“Um… actually, Naruto, I was rather hoping you’d do that…”

Naruto and Hinata were so engrossed in their latest game that they barelyregistered the door opening, or the doctor walking in, looking up


Chapter 3

Hinata was buzzing with excitement. After countless shogi matches and mentaltraining exercises (mostly really bizarre lateral thinking puzzles shesuspected Naruto was making up himself), as well as her nightly homework ofplaying shogi against her clone, he’d finally declared her ready for practicaltraining and taken her to the Training Grounds.

Beyond the joy o


Chapter 2

A/N: Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. Please do leave more reviews,particularly if you can point to ways I can write better, or spot plot holesthat need filling in. I’m setting a tentative schedule of weekly updates fornow.

Responding to questions/comments:

_- I wasn’t thinking of this as a rationalist fic when I came up with it,just as a “what if


Chapter 1

_A/N: It has come to my attention that some incredibly brave people arereading this without familiarity with the Naruto canon. Fairly warned be yethat this story assumes some basic knowledge of the Narutoverse. Nevertheless,I am happy to include a quick run-down of the Japanese terms used so far. Forfurther information on any unfamiliar terms used in this story,


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