(Day After Genin Graduation Exams…)
Naruto pulled out another weed, throwing it onto a growing pile beside him. He looked over at his teammates, who were both doing the same thing, then over to Kakashi, who was reading his porn. Naruto growled in frustration as he went back to pick up another weed. I'm going to kill Anko for not telling me about these D rank missions! The blond promised himself as he continued.
When they had first gone to get a mission Naruto had been excited at the prospect. Hoping that it would have taken them to some far away land where he would protect a princess, or storm a fortress full of evil missing ninja. But no… here he was, pulling weeds.
One of the most humiliating thing he could have imagined, and the new bane of his existence.
"Good job Team." Kakashi said, snapping his book shut as they finished their task. "Let's return to Hokage-Sama and report our success."
"'Our' success?" Naruto asked with a snort. "I hope you're not implying that you had anything to do with the success of this 'mission'." Naruto spoke the word mission with distain. How anyone could call these chores missions was beyond him.
"Of course." Kakashi said with an eye smile. "Someone had to make sure you were all working properly."
Naruto grunted as he, Sasuke, and Sakura followed Kakashi back towards the Hokage Tower.
"Tell me again, what exactly do completing these 'chores' accomplish?" asked Naruto in a sarcastic voice as they entered the Hokage Tower.
"Ma Naruto, I thought you would know about this." Kakashi chided as he flipped a page of his book. "These missions help you with team work."
Naruto's eye twitch. "How does pulling weeds help our team work? We didn't even do anything as a team for this!"
"Shut up Baka! I'm sick of hearing you complain!" Sakura shouted, raising her fist to hit him on the head.
Naruto however was not in the mood to get hit by his abusive teammate. He caught her wrist and glared at her. "Do not hit me again Sakura. I haven't done anything to you to deserve getting hit." He had been slowly realizing that Sakura had never been any good for him, and he was in a foul enough mood that any feelings he may still have for her were pushed away.
Sakura looked shocked as Naruto let go of her wrist. It soon turned into a glare however as they entered the Hokage's office. Thankfully, she did not attempt to hit him again.
"Ah! Team 7!" Sarutobi said, looking up from his paperwork with a smile. He was glad for the distraction he now had from dealing with every kage's worst enemy. "I take it your mission was successful?"
"It would have been if it was actually a mission." Naruto grumbled to himself, but still loud enough for the others to hear.
"Quiet Naruto Baka!" Sakura hissed, though she did not hit him. "Do you want to get us in trouble!"
Sasuke was silent, he actually agreed with the dobe. These missions were not worthy of an Uchiha. The two adults just ignored the blonds comment.
"Yes the mission was a success Hokage-Sama." Kakashi said dutifully as he continued reading his porn. He reached into his pouch and pulled out the mission scroll with the signature from the person who paid for this mission on it. Not taking his eyes off his book, Kakashi handed the scroll over to Sarutobi.
"Excellent, all of you shall receive your pay then." Sarutobi handed Kakashi four envelopes with the mission payment. "Now then you are all dismissed."
The three left the Hokage Tower and made their way back to training ground 7. When they got there Kakashi handed them their payments. "Now that we have completed a mission I'm going to start our training." He told them.
The three genin all perked up at that. Naruto and Sasuke excited at the prospect of actually learning something.
"What are you going to teach us?" asked Naruto, jumping on the balls of his feet, his shinobi calm forgotten. "Is it going to be some new jutsu? Or maybe some super powerful fighting style! Or perhaps it's how to-"
"Calm down Naruto." Kakashi said. Realizing what he was doing Naruto took a deep breath before he stopped bouncing. "Good. Now for this training I want the three of you to stand in a circle. I'm going to blindfold you and give you a ball. Then you're going to have to toss it to your other two teammates." Kakashi explained, chuckling at the reaction he got.
"What the hell kind of training is that!" asked Naruto, his right eye twitching violently. "That has got to be dumbest, most ass backwards training I have ever heard of!"
"Hn." Sasuke said, nodding his head in seeming agreement.
"Now now, this is an important training session that I went through as a genin." Kakashi chided. "Now come on."
The three followed Kakashi, standing in a circle, or a triangle, since a circle was impossible with just three people. Kakashi tied a blind fold around each of them. He unsealed a ball from a scroll and gave it too Sasuke, before moving to stand in the middle.
"Ok I want you three to begin." Kakashi said.
Sasuke grunted as he threw the ball. "Dobe." He said, getting Naruto's attention.
Naruto used his enhanced senses to catch the ball before throwing it to Sakura. "Sakura."
Sakura tried to catch the ball, but it did not managed to catch in it time before it hit her chest. "Ow! Naruto Baka watch how hard you throw!" she yelled, throwing the ball back at him twice as hard.
It was only thanks to his chakra enhanced senses that he managed to catch the ball, it still stung his hands though. "Ow! Damn it Sakura! You don't need to throw the ball so hard as retaliation. Sasuke." Naruto called, lobbing the ball over to him.
Sasuke was held his hands up to catch the ball. However, Kakashi decided now was the time to interfere. Catching the ball he threw it lower then Sasuke had his hands, hitting the raven haired boy in the stomach. "What the hell dobe!" Sasuke shouted, once again Naruto got the ball thrown at him harder than last time. This time it was thrown to fast for the blond to catch and he ended up getting smacked in the head.
"Gah!" Naruto held onto his head as the ball rolled away. "Damn it Teme! I didn't throw it that hard!"
Kakashi picked up the ball and handed it too Naruto. "Try again Naruto, and this time try not to hit someone."
Naruto frowned as he wondered how to throw the ball. It was obvious that neither Sakura nor Sasuke seemed to have gotten the idea of using chakra to enhance their hearing, otherwise they would have been able to catch the ball. That meant he needed think of a way to make it easier. "Sakura, I'm gonna roll the ball to you." Naruto said as he rolled the ball to where his nose told her he was.
Sakura bent down as the ball rolled to her, she missed as it hit her feet, but at least he didn't hit her. "Sasuke-kun, I'm rolling it to you." Sakura said, following Naruto's example for the moment.
Hmmm. Kakashi said, actually impressed with the innovative way to complete the exercise. Now this is an interesting way to do this, I never thought of completing the exercise this way. It seems Naruto is full of surprises.
Kakashi let them do it this way for a while before interfering again. This time when Sasuke rolled the ball to Naruto, Kakashi picked it up and threw it, hitting the blond in the head.
"Hey! What the hell teme! You're supposed to roll it!" Naruto yelled as he landed on his butt.
"What are you talking about dobe." Sasuke grunted. "I did roll it."
"Then-" Naruto paused for a moment as he realized what was going on. "Kakashi!"
Kakashi chuckled. "It seems you've caught on. You three can take your blind folds off, the exercise is over." Kakashi said as he picked up the ball. The three genin took off their blind folds off. "Now who can tell me what the exercise was about?" he asked, looking at the three of them.
For a moment no one answered. "It was an exercise on teamwork." Naruto said.
"Yes." Kakashi nodded. "But there was more to it than that."
"Umm… a teamwork exercise on trust?" asked Sakura, a little unsure of her answer.
"Close." Kakashi said. "Be more elaborate in your explanation."
Sakura tried to think about it. "You wanted us to come up with a way to trust our teammates by passing along that ball. We were blind folded because if we could see the ball it would have made the exercise pointless, since it would no longer require us to have faith in our team?" she asked tentatively.
"Very good. And why did I interfere?" asked Kakashi.
"Because you wanted to sow dissension among the ranks." grunted Sasuke, not wanting to be upstaged by the walking brain that was Sakura.
"Excellent, well done you three." Kakashi gave them an eye smile. "Now tomorrow we'll meet here again to go on more missions."
"But it's still early." whined Naruto. "Aren't we going to do more training?"
Kakashi shook his head. "No, I feel you guys deserve a break."
He had actually thought about teaching them some more, but he was not really sure what to teach them yet. And he had no clue what he should teach them. With Sasuke being something a loose cannon he figured the best thing to do would be to teach team work; that way Sasuke would be able to ease in with the others and they could work more efficiently as a team before he taught them anything.
Yeah right. Naruto thought bitterly, his right eye twitching. More like you're too lazy to actually truly train us.
"I'll see you all tomorrow team." Kakashi said as he disappeared via Sunshin.
With Kakashi gone Sakura turned to Sasuke. "So Sasuke-kun, would you like to go on a date with me?"
"No." Sasuke said, walking off. Sakura watched him go with slumped shoulders. She turned around to Naruto, wanting to make herself feel better by denying him the chance for a date.
However, much to her shock Naruto walked right past her. "I'll see you tomorrow Sakura." He said, leaving Sakura to stand on the bridge in shock.
H-he didn't even ask me out on a date. Thought Sakura. Could it be that she had finally pushed him away? I should be happy right? If that was the case, why did it feel like she had lost something?
The moment only lasted for a few seconds before she shook her head. She didn't need that baka anyways! Nodding to herself she walked off, hoping to find Sasuke-kun so she could stal- observe him.
It was a little while later that Naruto opened the door to the Hokage's office. "Hey Ojisancan I speak to you for a second?" he asked as he walked in.
Sarutobi looked up and smiled. "Of course Naruto-kun. What can I do for you?"
"Well I was reading about elemental manipulation in a book I just got, and I was wondering how to find out about my element, since the book only mentioned it in passing." Naruto said.
"Elemental affinity?" Sarutobi asked in surprise. "That's a jonin level skill Naruto-kun. Are you sure you're ready to learn about that?"
Naruto shook his head. "It's not so much that I'm going to any kind of training for my element. I actually want to know my affinity so I know which elemental jutsu to learn. I have a few scrolls with a jutsu from each element that I got from the library, but figured it would be better to learn ones from the element I have an affinity for."
"Ah." Sarutobi nodded his head as he pulled a drawer in his desk open. "That does make a lot of sense actually. Lucky for you I happen to have some affinity paper right here." The aging Hokage pulled out a small slip of paper, handing over to Naruto. "Just channel some chakra into it to learn your affinity. If it's fire it will burn. Lightning will crumble. Water will soak. Earth will turn to dust. And wind will cut the paper."
Naruto nodded as he cut the paper. What happened shocked both of them; the entire paper was torn to shreds. "So wind?" Naruto said, sounding almost like a question.
"Yes… Interesting, it seems you have an unusual affinity for someone born in Hi No Kuni. And a powerful one at that." Sarutobi commented. Of course his father was also a wind type. But for the paper to just get torn to shreds like that, his affinity must be off the charts.
"So is that good?" asked Naruto as he looked over at the old man.
"It's neither good nor bad really." Sarutobi answered with a shrug. "Wind is the rarest affinity here in Hi No Kuni. In fact I only know one person here who has that affinity."
"Really? Who?" asked Naruto curiously.
"My son, Sarutobi Asuma is a wind user." answered Sarutobi.
"He's the jonin sensei of team 10 isn't he?" Naruto remembered seeing the man pick up Shikamaru, Choji and Ino at the genin orientation. The Sandaime nodded in confirmation of the boy's question. "Maybe when I get started on elemental training I can ask him for help?"
"Indeed you can, I believe he trains his team at training ground 10." Sarutobi informed the blond.
Naruto snorted in amusement. "So team 7 trains at training ground 7, and team 10 trains at training ground 10. I'm guessing all of the genin squads have the same training ground as their team number dictates. How cliché."
Sarutobi chuckled. "I suppose it is. Now I'll see you later, I need to get back to my Paperwork." Sarutobi glared at the pile of papers as if hoping it would burn.
Naruto sweat dropped. "Umm… Ojisan?" he said, getting the old man's attention. "Why don't you just use Kage Bunshin's to do your paperwork?" Sarutobi blinked at him owlishly. "I mean… they pass on their memories to the user after they dispel right? So…"
"Kage Bunshin." Sarutobi muttered. Naruto and the two Anbu currently hidden in the room, sweat dropped as Sarutobi began banging his head on the table. "Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid! Damn it that's how he completed his paperwork so fast!" The Sandaime sat up and shook a fist at the picture of the fourth Hokage, which the old man could swear was grinning at him. "Damn you Minato!"
"Uh… right… I'm just… gonna leave now." Naruto said. Moving towards the door cautiously as Sarutobi cursed out the fourth with every vulgar word he knew.
As soon as Naruto got to the training ground he held up his hands in the ram sign and called out his most useful jutsu. "Tajuu Kage Bunshin No Jutsu!" Instead of the usual one hundred, Naruto created an extra fifty. Already having their orders, one hundred of the clones spread out and began working on their assigned tasks. Naruto turned to the extra fifty he had created as he pulled out five scrolls from his left kunai pouch. "I want you guys to split up into groups of ten! Choose a jutsu and work on it until you run out of chakra!"
"YOSH!" The fifty blond copies said simultaneously as five of them grabbed a scroll. While they went off to practice their jutsu, Naruto began his exercise routine. He was a little disappointed that he would only get to do this after his team meetings, mission and 'team training', knowing that it would cut into his time. Realizing this Naruto added an extra five pounds to his weights again before starting.
After his workout Naruto got about to cooking dinner, unsealing some of the fish his clones had caught a few days ago. He sat down as he began to cook them over the fire pit.
"Don't even try it Anko." He said suddenly, causing the person who had been sneaking up behind him to pout.
"How did you know it was me?" Anko asked as she moved around him and sat down next to him.
Naruto shrugged. "I figured it would only be a matter of time before you showed up. I just kept channeling chakra to my ears and listened for someone arriving. Since you're the only one who comes here…" he trailed off as his fish finished cooking.
Anko pouted. "It's no fun if you can hear me coming."
"I guess that just means you need to be stealthier." Naruto said as he took a bite of his fish.
"Maybe…" Anko replied, snatching one of his fish from him. She ignored the glare Naruto sent her as she began to eat. "So how was your first day of missions?" she asked.
"You knew that I was going to be stuck doing those chores." Naruto said, his glare doubling in intensity as Anko grinned at him.
"You didn't think you would start off rescuing princesses did you?" asked Anko, her grin increasing as she saw Naruto's look. "You did, didn't you?"
"Shut up?" Naruto said with a blush.
Anko grinned at him. "Your gonna have to make me do that, and your fifty years too soon for that to happen."
Naruto narrowed his eyes at her, though there was no actual malice. "You wanna bet?"
Anko just stood up with a smirk. "Alright since you're so set on this, I suppose I've got enough time to kick your ass."
(Two Weeks later…)
After breakfast Naruto headed over to his training ground and created the usual one hundred and fifty clones. With his clones working Naruto did his physical training. He had gotten quite a bit more skilled recently, in all the spheres he had applied himself.
His chakra control was a lot better. Naruto's clones had finally managed to float a leaf on each finger. After that he made them spin counter clockwise, before switching direction. When his clones had been able to split their attention so that his clones could spin leafs clockwise and then counter clockwise every other leaf, Naruto had started them on tree climbing. Right now they were able to walk 3/4ths the way up, and run all the way to the top. Anko had decided to give him some advice by saying that he had not actually mastered this technique until his clones could fight while standing on a vertical surface for at least an hour.
Both his skills Tai and Boujutsu had increased. Naruto no longer had any trouble keeping up with Anko in a fight, at least he hadn't until Anko had upped her skill, making the blond realize she had been going easy on him the whole time. She had said that he was still at genin level, but if he gave it a month or two could possibly increase his skills to chunin at the rate he was learning.
His jutsu had made some decent improvement. Naruto had managed to learn two of the five jutsu he had set out to learn. The Fuuton: Daitoppa (Wind Release: Great Breakthrough), a simple C rank jutsu where the user sucked in air and blew it out to create a great force of wind that was used to knock opponents off their feet.
The Fuuton: Reppusho (Wind Release: Wind Gale Palm), another C rank where the user channel wind chakra to their palms and release it in a thrust. This could be used for either increasing the speed of thrown weapons, or to knock opponents off balance.
Because his clones had learned those jutsu, Naruto had delegated the thirty that finished the jutsu to work on the other ones until he had gotten them down.
Despite the progress he had made in those shinobi aspects, Naruto felt that his fuiinjutsu was where he had taken his largest leap in ability. Naruto's hand writing was finally good enough to begin working on seal creation. He had already made several that he had applied to his home. Like a basic security seal on his door that could only be unlocked through the use of his chakra, and a heating seal on his shower head to create hot water for his shower.
Naruto had also managed to place resistance seals on himself. The seals located on his wrists, biceps, calf's, thighs, chest and stomach. The resistance seals had a total of one hundred levels of resistance, each level the amount of resistance would double. So at level one it felt like he was wading through water, and at level two it would be like wading through a thick mud. Honestly, he could not really understand why the seals bothered having so many levels. Right now he was at level one, and it was ridiculously hard just to move. Naruto had found out that he needed to constantly channel chakra into his limbs to strengthen them enough to move through his exercises. Though the blond assumed that the idea was to slowly ween yourself off of using chakra in order to increase ones natural speed. And if this was just level one, he did not even want to imagine what level one hundred would be like.
The resistance seals were all connected to a master seal that controlled the resistance seals on his body. It was located on his right bicep and connected to his resistance seals with linking seals, which looked like chains that went to the resistance seals. Naruto had also ended up using a special genjutsu seal he had learned from the intermediate book to keep it invisible so others would not notice he had them.
He had also ended up created several containment seals, explosive tags and even a trap tag that released kunai when it detected a foreign chakra within a fifteen foot radius of it.
Finishing up his training and eating lunch Naruto created more clones to continue working while he headed into Konoha. Making his way down one of the streets of the village, Naruto ignored the hostile glares he got as he made his way towards the Higarashi Weapons store.
As he entered the store Naruto was surprised to find Tenten manning the cash register. "Hey Tenten!" Naruto greeted, causing the bun haired girls head to snap up.
"Naruto!" Tenten greeted as she came around the desk and walked up to him.
"Not with your team today?" Naruto asked, tilting his head to the side.
"It's my day off." Tenten shrugged before looking at him pointedly. "You know you haven't visited since that first time you came in here."
Naruto blinked and took a step back at the small glare she was giving him. "Er… well… I just got enough money to buy more equipment so..."
"So you have to have a reason to come to the store and visit?" Tenten asked, crossing her arms.
"Er… well… no! Of course not! It's just that…" Naruto stuttered, not really sure how to deal with girls. As far as the opposite sex went he had only dealt with Anko and Sakura, and one of them was completely psychotic, while the other liked to try and abuse him.
Tenten laughed and waved a hand in front of her face. "Relax, I'm just kidding."
"…Oh." Naruto said lamely, not quite sure what to make of her joke.
"So what are you here for?" Tenten asked.
"Would you believe me if I said I was here to visit you?" Naruto asked with a grin.
"Nice try." Tenten chuckled.
Naruto snapped his fingers. "Oh well… I'm here for some more equipment. Standard ninja tools for a C rank mission." Naruto said, getting down to business.
"You're going on a C rank? Already?" Tenten asked in surprise. Most genin don't go on C rank missions until they had at least four to six months experience.
"No." Naruto shook his head, wishing that he could be going on a C rank. "I just figured that the amount used for one should be enough for me to practice with for now."
"Well that stuff should be easy to get." Tenten said as she and Naruto went around grabbing the equipment he wanted. "So I take it you have your jonin sensei now?" Tenten asked after a while.
Naruto nodded. "Yep. My sensei is a guy named Hatake Kakashi." Naruto looked over at Tenten as she stopped. "You ok Tenten?"
"Kakashi huh?" She asked, looking at Naruto as he nodded. "I can't believe it." She muttered.
"Believe what?" asked Naruto in confusion.
"Kakashi is the 'eternal rival' of my sensei." Tenten said as she quoted the words eternal rival.
"Really? That's interesting. Who's your sensei?" Naruto asked.
"My sensei is Gai Maito." Tenten said as she restarted gathering Naruto's equipment. "He's a decent sensei if a little… eccentric." She shuddered a bit at the word. "He specializes in taijutsu, and he's good, I mean he's really good. He turned my teammate who is the dead last of our class into a force to be reckoned with."
"Taijutsu huh?" Naruto asked, looking interested. "Hey, do you think I can join you and your team for a training session?"
"Well… I don't see why not." Tenten said with a shrug as she led Naruto over to the cash register. "But aren't you supposed to train with your own sensei?" she rang up all of the equipment he had bought. "That will come to 4,000 yen."
Naruto reached into his pouch and pulled out gama-chan, his frog wallet. "I would train with my sensei if he actually trained us." He scowled. "So far all we've really done are 'teamwork' exercises as he calls them." he handed her the money. "I mean, we occasionally spar with each other, but he usually stops us after like fifteen minutes, and he doesn't even correct any mistakes we have in our form. The man is one of the laziest jonin I've ever met."
Tenten raised an eyebrow as she put the money away. "What exactly are teamwork exercises?" she asked.
"Well, I remember we've had to toss a ball to each other blindfolded. Then there was this one time he chained us together and we had to find him in the forest in order to get the key to escape…" Naruto shuddered. "It took us nearly an hour to find him."
"That's it?" Tenten asked, receiving a nod. "Then it sounds like your sensei is either really lazy or really stupid." She snickered a bit as Naruto muttered 'or both' under his breath. "Our team had already started on tree climbing by now."
"Yeah, I had to do tree climbing myself." Naruto said as he sealed up his supplies in one of his personalized sealing scrolls. "So I usually get away from my team at 3:00 pm."
"Then you're in luck since my team usually stays out until 6:00 am to 9:00 pm." Tenten said.
"Cool, so I'll see you tomorrow?" Naruto asked.
"Yeah, that sounds fine." Tenten said. "We train at training ground 9. Just to warn you thought one of my teammates and my sensei are… weird."
Naruto gave Tenten a grin. "My sensei reads porn in public. I think I can handle weird. See ya Tenten!" Naruto waved goodbye as he left.
Tenten waved after him, getting back to manning the cash register when he left.
(The next Day…)
The next day Naruto headed over to training ground 9 after he finished meeting his team. When he got there he was greeted to the odd sight of a man and what could pass off as his clone hugging each other behind a sunset.
Wow! Tenten meant it when she said her sensei was weird. And what the hell is with the mini-clone? "Tenten." Naruto called out as he tried his best to ignore the two men hugging.
Tenten and her other teammate, a boy with long brown hair, gray pupiless eyes and an off white robe looked over at him.
"Hey Naruto!" Tenten said with a smile. "Glad you could make it."
Naruto gave the girl an amused grin. "What and miss… this…" He pointed over at the still hugging guys.
"Yeah…" Tenten blushed in embarrassment at her teammate and sensei. "I told you they were weird."
"Remind me to never doubt you again." Naruto joked.
"YOSH WHO IS THIS PERSON WHO IS JOINING OUR YOUTHFUL GROUP!"
"What the hell!" Naruto spun around and saw the clones were no longer hugging each other and were instead looking at him.
Now that he got a better look at the pair Naruto noticed their clothes in more detail. Green spandex with orange leg warmers and their head bands being used as belts. The only difference between the two was that the taller one had a jonin flak jacket while the smaller one did not. Another thing he noticed was…
Dear Kami-Sama! I think those eyebrows are moving! Naruto thought as he looked at the eyebrows that were sitting just below their bowl cut hair. Did they decide to super glue a pair of caterpillars above their eyes!
"Gai-sensei this is Naruto." Tenten said in way of greeting. "He asked if he could join us."
"YOSH! IT IS MOST YOUTHFUL OF YOU TO JOIN US AS WE FAN OUR FLAMES OF YOUTH!" Gai shouted, giving Naruto the nice guy pose, complete with sparkling teeth.
"YES NARUTO-KUN! IT IS ALWAYS NICE TO SEE OTHERS WHO WISH TO JOIN US AS WE FAN OUR YOUTHFUL FLAMES!" the Gai clone shouted.
"Umm… right?" Naruto took a step back, slightly scared by the two shouting shinobi. He was starting to wonder if maybe going to train with Tenten and her team was such a good idea.
Tenten's mouth twitched into an amused smile as she noticed Naruto's discomfort. "Naruto these are my teammates Rock Lee." Naruto pointed to the Gai clone who gave him a nice guy pose, complete with shining teeth and did Naruto here them ping? "And this other one is Hyuuga Negi." Naruto's attention was then directed to the other one.
"You know your eyes look like a class mate of mines." Naruto said as he looked at Negi.
Neji raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"Yep! It's some dark, weird girl named Hinata. Are you related to her by any chance?" Naruto asked, frowning when he noticed Negi stiffen at the name.
"Uh… why don't we start training?" Tenten suggested, knowing who Naruto was talking about and Neji's problems with her.
"TENTEN YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!" Gai shouted. "COME; LET US BURN IN THE FLAMES OF OUR YOUTH!"
"Riiight." Naruto said before turning to Tenten. "Do you use close range weapons?" he asked.
Tenten smirked. "I work at my parent's weapon shop. What do you think?" she reached into her pouch and grabbed a scroll. Unsealing a standard yet well-made katana. "It may not be my specialty, but I'm still pretty good with close ranged weapons."
Naruto grinned as he took his bo staff from his back. "Well then, let's see who's better with their weapon."
Tenten returned his grin as she ran at him, attempting to hit him with a vertical slash from the left. Naruto spun his staff, knocking her sword away and coming in with a jab. Tenten leapt back as Naruto came at her, making quick jabs and spinning attacks with his staff.
Naruto made sure to keep out of range of Tenten's sword, something the weapon using girl noticed. On Naruto's next swing Tenten locked her blade with his staff, keeping the bo staff pointed towards the ground as she dragged her blade across it. She came at Naruto with a slash. Ducking under the attack, Naruto brought his now free staff up and tried to hit Tenten with the end of it.
Tenten spun to the side, using her sword to push the staff away before coming right in. Naruto dodged the thrust of Tenten's sword, putting his staff on the ground and using it as leverage as he attempted to kick her. Not able to bring her sword to lock, Tenten ducked under the attack and jumped back.
The two eyed each other as they continued trading blows, neither one really getting the upper hand. Naruto had a reach advantage since his staff was longer. But Tenten was more skilled in her weapon, having been training with weapons since she was a child. As the two continued Lee and Gai had stopped their own sparring to watch the pair.
"You're good." Naruto grunted as he blocked a series strikes. "You're really good."
"Thanks." Tenten said with a grin as she moved back when Naruto began twirling his staff around in an offensive formation. "For someone who just started three weeks ago you're not bad yourself."
"What can I say?" Naruto shot back, ducking under a swing before side stepping another. "I'm a natural." He made another offensive spin as he tried to knock Tenten's blade out of her hand. It ended up back firing as Tenten managed to time her attack to his, knocking him off balance. Tenten went into a leg sweep, tripping Naruto and causing him to land on his back with an 'oof!' as he got the air knocked out of him.
"Natural or not." Tenten said as she stood over Naruto, grinning as she pointed her blade at his throat. "You've still got a looong ways to go to beat me."
Naruto looked at the blade currently being point at his throat. He tilted his head to see Tenten grinning down at him. Then he looked back to the blade. "I'll win next time." he declared.
"I'm sure." Tenten replied as she held out a hand to help Naruto up.
"Naruto-san that was a most youthful fight you had with Tenten!" Gai said.
"Yes Naruto-kun that was such an amazing fight!" Lee cried, drying his eyes on his sleeve. Before Naruto even knew what was happening Lee got right in his face, tears pouring out of his bug-like eyes like a water fall. "Oooooh! WE MUST HAVE A SPAR TO TEST OUR FLAMES OF YOUTH AGAINST EACHOTHER! I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAIJUTSU CONTEST, AND IF I CANNOT DEFEAT YOU, I WILL RUN SIX HUNDRED LAPS AROUND KONOHA! AND IF I CANNOT DO THAT I WILL CARRY SEVERAL BOULDDERS ON MY BACK AS I CLIMB THE HOKAGE MONUMENT!"
"THAT'S AN EXCELLENT IDEA LEE!" Gai shouted. "WAY TO STOKE YOUR FLAMES OF YOUTH! I SHALL HELP YOU WITH THIS ENDEVOR! IF YOU FAIL, I WILL DO SIX THOUSAND PUSH-UPS ON MY THUMBS!"
"OH GAI-SENSEI!" Lee cried as he looked at his sensei.
"LEE!" tears began pouring from Gai's eyes as he looked at his student.
As the jonin and his student began hugging Naruto finally got the full effects of the sunset genjutsu, complete with a sandy beach and crashing waves. Naruto looked down at the sand that had somehow appeared under his boots. Crouching down he picked up a sea shell and skipped it across the water.
"Holy shit this is real!" Naruto shouted, shock, surprise and more than a little fear etched onto his face.
Tenten nodded. "I tried dispelling it the first few times. It never works."
"My Byakugan can't see through it." Neji added his eyes somehow not able to get off the two man hugging clones.
"What the hell kind of Genjutsu is this!" Shouted Naruto as he continued watching what had to be the most unusual and creepiest scene ever, he couldn't help the shiver that ran down his spine.
(One Week later…)
A week after his first meeting with Tenten's team and things had started to get busy for the blond. Naruto had decided to train with team 9 every other day, leaving his clones to work on what he had assigned them that day, while he went over to training ground 9. It was then that Naruto had realized just how much more he had to grow in order to get stronger. Naruto would come home every night he spent with them battered and bruised, or cut up and slashed, depending on whether he fought the force of nature known as Lee, or Tenten. Both of them were only genin, but they were so far ahead of him it was nearly laughable. He vowed then on that he would train even harder to beat them.
Of course he also had to deal with Anko on the other days, at least when she wasn't on missions. The snake summoning tokabetsu jonin had been rather put off when she had gone into the clearing and found out that Naruto had gone off to train with another group of people. She had of course conceded that for pure taijutsu, Gai was a better teacher. Of course, that was only after she had nearly fed Naruto to her snakes for training with others. After that Anko had decided that since Naruto was learning hand-to-hand combat from someone else, she would work on his stealth, detection and trap setting skills, by playing extreme death tag in the Forest of Death.
Naruto's fear of the place had been heightened that much more as Anko seemed to attack him with a new amount of viciousness, though whether from being put out at having Naruto with others, or just because she felt like torturing him was unknown.
Of course not all things were as… painful as that. Naruto's clones continued to make great progress in their work.
His tree climbing clones had finally managed to battle for a full hour without falling. Which was quite the accomplishment considering they had much smaller reserves then Naruto himself, especially with the amount of clones Naruto made each day to train with. He now had them working on water walking, though progress with that was much slower than tree climbing had been.
Due to not just his clones, but also gaining experience against other fighters, both his taijutsu and boujutsu had risen a notch. Being forced to fight Lee who was blindingly fast had made it imperative for Naruto to train his eyes in order to even see the blur the green clad genin left behind. As well as make more clones to help him perfect his taijutsu, it still was not good but Naruto had deemed it enough that he had started working on another style alongside Muay Thai. And since he was with Konoha's 'Green Beasts' as the duo called themselves, he had begun to learn the Gokken style they were practitioners of.
His boujutsu was also going good, like his taijutsu Naruto would fight against a live opponent to help him. It turned out that Tenten was really good at not just swords for close range, but also using a staff, Nagitana, and just about any other close range weapon. Naruto had learned to fight against a variety of different weapons and had begun experimenting with other weapons to use for himself.
Naruto's fuiinjutsu had also sky rocketed. While he was no master, and was not even at an intermediate level in his practical usage of fuiinjutsu he could now break down the fundamental seals in all the basic sealing arrays, turn them inside out and understood some of the more complex seals enough for him to modify them in order to suit his needs. Naruto was currently trying to come up with several of his own seals, ones that he hoped would revolutionize sealing, though progress was much slower and more… environmentally hazardous then simply copying and modifying seals.
There was also his jutsu clones. They had finally finished learning the last two he had set out to learn. The Fuuton: Kamikaze Seiken (Wind Release: Fist of Divine wind), a B rank jutsu where Naruto focused wind to his fists and thrust them out. The jutsu caused tremendous amounts of blunt force trauma, often leaving a large Naruto sized crater shaped like his fists in the rocks he had used to practice the jutsu.
The Fuuton: Kaze No Yaibe (Wind Release: Wind Sword) was a A ranked jutsu that Konoha had gotten thanks to its alliance with Suna. This jutsu created a pinpoint slashing strike, where the user had to emitted wind chakra from their fingertips and materialize it into an invisible wind sword that would, depending on the power output, do anything from create cuts on an enemies' body, or slice them all the way through. This jutsu was the hardest one for Naruto to learn, he had only just got it down and even then he still had some problems controlling the blade. He had theorized that the only reason he could even use this attack was because his affinity for wind was unnaturally high.
His other jutsu was the Fuuton: Kaze Senbon (Wind Release: Wind senbon), another B rank jutsu where Naruto formed several dozen senbon out of wind and launched them at an enemy, turning anything into a pin cushion. The amount of senbon he could create depended on his control of his wind chakra, right now he could only make around twelve the fifteen senbon.
Naruto had been able to find these particular jutsu when he had managed to sneak into the jonin section of the library; it was actually disappointingly easy to gain access to that section since they did not even post guards in the library and the only people he needed to worry about were the custodian and the jonin who came there. Which there was a surprisingly small amount of jonin who seemed to go to the library, something Naruto chalked up to either laziness, arrogance or both.
Not that he was ungrateful, because the wind element was so rare in Konoha that there were very few jutsu for them, and most of the jutsu they did have were higher ranked then others, due to the fact that wind was almost a purely offensive element and very dangerous to use when untrained.
Of course Naruto was not quite satisfied with just learning a jutsu, and so, wanting to master them he had set his clones to work on them again. This time the fifty he had created for jutsu learning would only work on them one at a time, starting with the Fuuton: Daitoppa, the first jutsu he had learned.
However, Naruto's work was partially slowed down by his team training, which had not changed from the 'team work' exercises and minimal sparring Kakashi had them do. He had started them on a few other things, but most of it was theory on battle tactics and the like, which he was already studying himself. Still he supposed it was good for to review and Kakashi had offered him several unique perspectives on some of the tactics the blond had studied from the Third Great Ninja War. The only other thing he had to do with his team were the missions they went on, much like the one he was on now.
"This is Raven, I'm in position."
"Blossom, I'm ready."
"This is Blondie; I see the target and am waiting to take 'em out."
"This is scarecrow, move in and capture the target!"
Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura all jumped out from there hiding spots as they ran towards the target. Said target screeched and hissed as it ran, only to be intercepted by Sakura. It made a mad turn the other way; however Naruto began launching kunai at it to turn it around. Directing it towards Sasuke who used ninja wire to trap it.
Naruto leaned down and picked up the now struggling cat.
"This is Raven, we've caught the target." Sasuke said into his head set.
"Confirm pink ribbon on right ear." Came Kakashi's reply.
"Blondie here, pink ribbon on right ear confirmed." Naruto said, looking back at the cat to see it had gotten loose from its bonds. "Hey Sasuke."
"Hn?" Sasuke turned around as Naruto threw the pissed off cat at his face.
"MEEERROOOW!" The cat screeched as it began to claw at Sasuke's face.
"AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!" Sasuke's screams were heard all around Konoha.
Several minutes later two twitching genin, and one grinning genin were standing in the missions room with their sensei.
"Mission to capture pet cat Tora complete." Kakashi said, opening the cage where the demo- cat had been placed in after mutilating Sasuke's face. Kakashi grinned a bit beneath his mask as he got to watch his own team suffer from the same horror he went through as a genin.
"Oh thank you so much!" Madame Shinji, a rather… large woman in expensive clothing said. She grabbed the cat before it could flee. "My dear Tora-chan how I missed you so! I was so worried about you! I don't know what I would do without you!"
Wow it's no wonder that cat runs away so much. Naruto thought as he watched the woman squeeze her cat to death.
Squeeze, Squeeze, SQUEEZE! Thought Sasuke, laughing manically at the cat's plight.
Serves that cat right for hurting my Sasuke-kun! Sakura thought.
CHA! Stupid cat! Next time I'll make mincemeat out of ya! Inner Sakura shouted as she made several punching motions.
"Excellent job team 7." Sarutobi said as the woman and her cat left. "How about another mission? I have painting the fence for Kotara-san… walking the Inuzuka dogs… or we could-"
"No TORA!" came a scream from outside, signifying that the cat ran away… again.
Sarutobi blinked before continuing. "Of course there is always catching-"
"No!" Sasuke interrupted with an angry glare, having finally lost his Uchiha cool. "No more of these chores! I'm an Uchiha, and I demand you give me a mission worthy of an Uchiha!"
"That's right!" Sakura said, defending her crush. "Sasuke-kun deserves a better mission!"
Oh boy. Kakashi thought with a sigh. This won't end well… though I would have expected something like this from Naruto, not Sasuke. How did I get such a mixed up team?
Naruto sweat dropped as he looked at his two teammates. He turned his attention over to his sensei, who now looked distinctly uncomfortable, though it was hard to tell with his face nearly covered. Looking over at the table he noticed Sarutobi looking somewhere between amusement and anger. And finally Iruka, who was working the missions department, looking like he was about to blow a gasket.
"Treat Hokage-Sama with some respect!" Iruka shouted, slamming his hands on the table. "You're all only newly graduated genin! Everyone starts out doing this work! And it takes experience before you can start taking higher ranked missions, Uchiha or not!"
"What experience?" Sasuke asked sarcastically. "The most experienced mission we get is catching that thrice damned cat! I deserve a better mission!"
Sasuke-" Kakashi tried.
"Every mission to the village is important!" Iruka yelled, cutting off Kakashi. "You need to get over yourself and remember your duty!"
"MY WHAT!" Sasuke yelled as he shook in rage. How dare these people tell him about his duty! His duty was to kill his clan's murder! But he couldn't do that unless he was stronger. And he couldn't get stronger by running these errands!
Before things could degenerate even more Naruto decided to speak up. "I sort of agree with Sasuke-teme." Everyone paused to look at him, causing Naruto to flush a bit. "Well not about everything. But I do think we are ready for a C rank mission at least. We've gone on thirty one D ranks and have done plenty of team work exercises, so we know that we can work together. 'At least until the mission or training is over and then we ignore each other… well Sakura ignores me and Sasuke just ignores everyone'." However he did not mention that part out loud.
Sarutobi puffed on his pipe for a moment before looking at Kakashi. "Do you believe they are ready Kakashi?" he asked.
Kakashi looked over at his students in thought. Well I'm pretty sure that Sasuke and Naruto can handle themselves outside of the village. Despite his outburst Sasuke is normally cool and composed; and Naruto has shown considerable maturity since coming onto this team. Sakura might be a bit of a problem, but then again, a C rank mission has little chance of ninja confrontation. "What kind of mission is it?" asked Kakashi.
"An escort and protection detail. You are to protect the client heading back of to Nami No Kuni." Sarutobi replied.
Kakashi thought about it a little more before nodding. "Very well, I think we can accomplish a mission like this."
"Really?" Asked Naruto, getting a little excited at the prospect of going outside of the village. "So who are we protecting? A princess? A celebrity? Some kind of noble?"
"Calm down Naruto-kun." Sarutobi chuckled a bit at the boy's enthusiasm. "You can send in the client now."
Naruto and the others turned to the door. Almost as soon as it slid open the stench of alcohol slammed into the blond who nearly gagged, forcing him to cut off the chakra he had begun to sub consciously send to his nose. Shaking his head to clear he looked at the man who had walked in. said man was a forty something year old man with a graying hair and beard, rectangular spectacles on his eyes and a pot belly. He was wearing wooden sandals, beige shorts, and an off-white and alcohol stained shirt and a straw hat.
"What the hell! It's just a bunch of snot nosed gaki's!" The man exclaimed in annoyance, taking the bottle he had in his hand and chugging down several gulps.
He's certainly not what I expected. Naruto thought to himself, his left eye twitching erratically.
"I mean look at 'em! The one with the black hair in the shape of a ducks ass looks more like sir-broods-a-lot then a ninja. And that pink haired girl looks like his little whore. A cyclops, scarecrow. And some midget!" The man said after lowering the bottle. "You expect me to believe these are ninja! I believe it when I see it!" The man brought the bottle to his lips again. However, before the bottle even got to his mouth, a blade of wind came at him, slicing the bottle off right below the man's hand. The bottle fell to the floor and shattered, spraying the man's feet with Alcohol. "GAH!"
"Naruto you're not supposed to attack the client." Kakashi scolded in a bored tone. Though inwardly he was studying the blond. That was a Fuuton: Kaze No Yabe (Wind Release: Wind Blade), he's obviously been learning some new jutsu, and those hand seals were actually pretty fast for a genin. Though I wonder where he got that jutsu?
"Attacking him?" Naruto asked, tilting his head in confusion. "I think your misunderstanding; if I had actually attacked him he would be dead. I was merely giving him a demonstration of our skills. After all he did say 'he'll believe it when he sees it'."
Sarutobi brought a hand up to pull his hat down over his head. With all that's happened and the maturity he's shown, I sometimes forget that Naruto is still just a twelve year old boy, albeit one who's been through more than most people even twice his age.
Meanwhile, Iruka slammed his head on the table in embarrassment.
"U-u-uh… right…" Tazuna stuttered a bit as he looked at the clean cut of his bottle. He threw the piece he was holding away and looked at the group. "Anyways, my name is Tazuna, and I am a master bridge builder. You will escort me back home to Nami No Kuni, where I am building my next bridge." Somehow, despite his drunken stupor, Tazuna managed to straighten himself. "I expect all of you to protect me, even it costs you your lives."
I wonder what he means with that statement? Naruto questioned. For a C rank mission like this, there should be no real danger other than bandits… Of course it could just be the ramblings of a drunken old man.
"Right then." Kakashi said as he tried to get things back in order. "Why don't we all meet at the east gate in an hour?"
Naruto frowned. "Why don't we wait until tomorrow?" he suggested.
Everyone turned to look at him. "Why do you suggest tomorrow Naruto?" Kakashi asked, curious to see what his blond student came up with.
"Well first off its several hours past noon, if we leave now, we'll be forced to make camp before we even make it several miles from Konoha, since Tazuna's a civilian and I doubt he can run or tree hop to Nami No Kuni. And second, the man is drunk as fuck, a drunk is much harder to protect then someone sober. Less reasonable too." He looked around to see everyone staring at him like he had grown a second head. "What?" he asked.
"Nothing." Kakashi said quickly, covering his surprise at the reasonable suggestion. "Just a surprising suggestion is all. But I do believe you are right. So then, we'll meet tomorrow at 8:00 am at the east gate."
Naruto nodded, "sounds like a plan. Well I think I'm gonna prepare for tomorrow. Laters!" Naruto tossed a wave over his shoulder as he left. Heading for his home to get packed for his first adventure outside of the village.