Nagato decides to indulge Naruto and share the tale of how he came to be the leader of the Akatsuki. When he was young, Amegakure was a war-torn battlefield, due to a war created by Konohagakure. One day, two Konoha shinobi broke into his house in order to find food. Nagato's father decided that they should leave quietly as to not alert the shinobi of their presence, only for Nagato to accidentally drop a vase. The Konoha shinobi then lunged at them, while Nagato's mother shielded him. As both of his parents were killed with kunai, the shinobi realised that the two parents were not their enemies and attempted to apologise to Nagato for killing them. Nagato, enraged, activated his Rinnegan and killed the two shinobi.
Now an orphan, Nagato took to the streets, where he soon collapsed in the rain out of hunger. He was brought back to consciousness by a dog whom he named Chibi, and the two travelled together. As Nagato and Chibi began to weaken from their hunger, a girl named Konan approached them and offered them bread, and proceeded to take the two back to her hideout, where she lived with a boy named Yahiko. Yahiko explained to Nagato that they only had food because they stole it, and that thievery was a necessarily evil in order for them to survive. As the three Ame Orphans and Chibi continued their thievery, Yahiko revealed his dream to Nagato — to become a god of the world in order to reshape it and eradicate war and poverty. However, their conversation was cut short by a kunai rigged with an explosive tag that fell from above. The three orphans managed to dodge the blast, but Chibi did not. As Nagato and Konan mourned the dog's death, Yahiko noticed that the kunai came from a fight between Hanzō, the ruler of Ame, and the three legendary Sannin.
Yahiko declared that in order to protect themselves, they would find the Sannin and learn ninjutsu from them. After returning the food they stole, with the exception of non-perishable items, the three orphans waded their way through the battlefield. They had almost been killed in an explosion, but were saved by Nagato, who uses his Rinnegan to shield them from the blast. Eventually, they made their way to a cave, where they found the three legendary Sannin.