|The Leaf's Naruto
Author: Morta's Priest PM
There's something to be said for keeping the past as it was - makes it predictable, malleable. Naruto never bought those arguments. He's always been the one to power through adversity rather than wait it out, so why would now be any different? He'll do what has to be done, even if he steps on a few butterflies along the way.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Naruto U. - Chapters: 21 - Words: 164,823 - Reviews: 2,172 - Favs: 3,569 - Follows: 4,139 - Updated: 04-15-13 - Published: 06-28-12 - id: 8264234
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 5 - Aspirations of a Genin
Making his way across the roofs of Konoha at considerable speed, Naruto thought about his new objectives, with this upset. Receiving a letter from the Kazekage was crazy; he'd expected an instant rejection or no response at all. He figured he had to try, and evidently it had paid off. He'd have to take advantage of this potential boon quickly, but telling the truth was right out: Aside from wanting to avoid the question of how he'd managed this feat, interrogators were rather good at extracting information and the Kazekage would doubtlessly take advantage of it. The man's arrogance, after all, was practically legendary.
Still, there was secondary reasons to pursue this. One advantage of a detour to Suna was that he could meet Gaara, though; although it was unlikely that he'd be quite sane this point, meeting a fellow jinchūriki might help him, a little. For another, he could consider paying a visit to the local Fūinjutsu storage. He smiled at that thought. Although he'd seen some of Suna's scrolls last time around, when Gaara was the Kazekage, he'd never gotten into the really good stuff. He still wasn't sure if it had been out of respect or if he'd just been terrified Gaara would find out.
If he was going to pull that off – at all – he'd need to train; he'd need some way of getting the hell out of the way if the Kazekage tried anything, which was a tall order as is, and he'd also need to figure out a way to keep himself visible back home, as well. He couldn't just leave Konoha behind and hoped his team and Hokage to keep a blind eye.
"Kage Bunshin!" He exclaimed, and six clones popped into being. Naruto turned them and took each of them in. "I need an alibi, and I can't let anyone find out. The coming days should only contain D-Class missions, so this shouldn't be too hard, but I won't be around to get you guys new chakra." He reached into his jacket and smirked. "Luckily, I still knew how to make this."
"That's a Summoning Scroll!" One of the clones said, then widened his eyes. "Oh, right! We used those to get more nature chakra, for Sage Mode. Haven't used those in forever, though..."
"They were only necessary when Kyūbi was still around – this one can't really keep nature chakra, but it should suffice for regular Shadow Clones," Naruto reminded. He grimaced, then. "I should make more, given that I've got the fox back. Perhaps the toads will notice those seals, but I doubt it; I'm pretty sure I've dissected them down to the basics-. I'll give you a good stack of the things, that already contain prepared Shadow Clone – you need to fill them in real quick on what's going on, but they should persist long enough that I'll make it back before they run out. Just... be careful you don't pop too many."
"Alright, Boss," the first clone said, saluting. "We'll do the all-important job of hunting cats and painting fences!" He snickered. "I'll probably prank the Uchiha bastard too, hope you don't mind!"
Naruto rolled his eyes, handing over the seals and frowning. "Keep yourselves out of too much suspicion – no stealing scrolls until I get back, and avoid getting Kakashi-sensei interested. I will be here to switch out you for a few more days until I leave, but then you're on your own."
As he left the group behind, Naruto tried to ignore the worry that crept up on him.
"Naruto, where have you been?" Sakura asked, fuming. "You were supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago!"
The blond walked over and glanced around. "Kakashi-sensei's not even with you yet – or Sasuke, for that matter." He rolled his eyes. "Lighten up, Sakura-chan!"
Sakura scowled. "That doesn't mean you have to be late too, you know."
Naruto shrugged, slumping down against the bridge and retrieving a little notepad from his breast pocket. The paper was orange, of course, and Sakura groaned. She'd hoped that the black clothing he'd worn at the Genin exam would stick around, but they had been quickly ditched for the current attire – unfortunately even this new outfit still had a lot of the unsightly orange that he'd been wearing for years, which just got on her nerves. Naruto retrieved a pencil and immediately started sketching, muttering under his breath.
It took a few minutes, but finally Sakura's curiosity got the better of her. "What are you doing now?"
Naruto glanced up, blinking. "Oh, you mean this? I'm working on a new fūinjutsu technique, and I was just sketching some ideas for the seal. Maybe I can show you the finished project in a few days; I don't think it's going to be a very complex one."
"It'll take days?" Sakura asked, blinking.
"Well, I'm designing them, not just making them," Naruto pointed out helpfully. "The one I used yesterday, the 'Soft Solid' one, was my own design after all. I'm thinking of making a couple nice ones and going to the patent office with them. I'm no expert, but I think I could make a bit of money with that, so I can fix up my apartment."
"How did you even get started with this?" Sakura wondered, trying to get a glance at the notes. "I've vaguely heard of the subject, but the academy certainly had nothing about it in the library." She frowned. "In fact, I think Iruka explicitly mentioned it was one of the most difficult fields of study that existed, and most ninja know no more than explosive tags."
"Yes, well, that's what they say," Naruto answered idly. "Here, I can show you a few of the basics, as I know them. You kind of have to get a feel for them, but you're smart." He smiled as he retrieved a small stack of seals from his pocket. "These are the same as yesterday."
Sakura picked up one of the seals and studied it – it was relatively simple overall, though she had no idea what any of the bits and pieces meant. The symbol was circular in shape with sequences of unintelligible symbols making up the circumference. It also had two spokes, one crossing north to south, the second from the centre down to the southwest; both were fairly straight lines with symbols seemingly drawn right on top of them. The whole thing made her think of a clock. Three larger squiggles marked the end of each of the three lines where they touched the edge, each different in shape.
Naruto tapped the side of the tag. "The circle design is pretty commonly used – it's basically for stability, and it's one of only a few ways to make something like a temporary seal that you can actually trigger at will – this one's technically not a numbered seal since it's not complex enough to require it, but it would be a two elements seal, if I did." He frowned. "I tend to avoid odd-numbered seals myself – call it superstition. Anyway, there's other shapes for permanent seals – but as you can understand, they're not used that often, given the risks involved. You can make a permanent seal with only the circular element, but you need to be pretty good."
"You actually know what you're talking about, don't you?" Sakura said, eyebrow raised. "Imagine the day when the Dead Last is lecturing me."
Naruto shook his head and smiled as he tapped the edge at the north. "This big symbol at the top represents the earth element that's involved – basically it transforms chakra into another nature, thereby allowing the seal to affect the soil. Seals aren't always used like that, but it's definitely useful in this one."
"Chakra ... nature?" Sakura wondered. Naruto didn't answer her, but he smiled slightly at the question.
He pointed to the south element next, to another symbol. "Here, at the other pole, I placed the representation of water – since that's what I wanted the soil to act like. It's smaller than the north one since it's the secondary rather than primary focus, but it works well enough, and it's probably the second-most stable bond in the whole thing." He hesitated. "I think talking about chakra bonds goes a bit far, for now. Well, there's the third shape over there. This could really have gone in multiple directions, but I picked the one that was least volatile overall, as it's all about instability rather than stability, and I don't want to make it explode. A little less effect, but that's the cost of safety."
Sakura blinked. "You know a lot about this."
"Well, I do want to be awesome, so I have to, right?" Naruto rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. "The whole complex generates the Doton chakra – that is, earth - that's already unstable as it flows through the soil, after which it turns it into Suiton chakra, or water. What you end up with is really, really unstable ground!" He smirked proudly. "It has some bugs, but it's already good enough to allow a properly prepared ninja to dig underground and hide there, without even having the Doton chakra nature!"
"Chakra nature, you already said that just now... I think Iruka-sensei mentioned it," Sakura recalled with a frown. She looked at the seal in contemplation. "What's this supposed to say, anyway? It looks like a bunch of scribbles to me."
Naruto rolled his eyes. "Sakura, the description I just gave was pretty much as elementary as I could put it. I really don't want to get into the script used or the kind of interactions you have to remember. This seal's pretty simple, and I've already found two in scrolls from the - library, that are using some of the same methods as I am. I know I'm in the right direction. I know what I'm doing."
"So it seems," Kakashi said. Sakura glanced up in surprise, though Naruto didn't even flinch. Right above them, holding his little book, sat their sensei. "Sounds pretty good, Naruto. I might try out that seal of yours, later. Maybe I can let you know what you can improve."
"Sure, sensei!" Naruto replied, getting up. "Hey, Sasuke, ready to come down?"
"Hn." Sasuke flipped to the ground from the branch he'd bee sitting on, and landed softly, his hands in his pockets.
Sakura shook her head in confusion. "You were all here already?"
"Nah, Sasuke arrived about five minutes ago," Naruto offered. "He just didn't say anything, and he can be pretty quiet. Kakashi-sensei's been around since before I arrived, probably reading that book of his."
Sakura didn't miss the surprised look from their sensei as he too jumped down to the ground and stashed his literature in one of his pockets. "You managed to keep an eye out while making notes and talking, Naruto?"
"Eh, it was easy enough. You weren't actually trying really hard to keep hidden." He got up, waving his notebook. "When I finish this seal, I think you'll want to look at it, sensei. It's supposed to enhance the lightning element, so combining it with someone who has that nature would probably be awesome. It should work well with your assassination techniques, too."
Kakashi smiled. "Well, until your other teacher gets in town, I guess I'll offer my services. Now, though, we have to do something else." He turned to the other two Genin. "Since we're all here now, and not that late-"
"Why are you so early, anyway?" Naruto cut him off, frowning.
"Early? He's half an hour later, dimwit!" Sakura shook her head in a huff. "Honestly."
"Right, that's what I said, early." Naruto blinked at the silver-haired Jōnin. "You're legendary for being at least two hours tardy for practically everything, so what gives? Did you lose a bet with someone over our passing the exam, or something?"
Kakashi shrugged, looking pointedly at the blond for a moment. "I have some obligations this afternoon, so we'll have to make sure to have our task done before I leave. Now, we'll be starting with D-Class missions like all Genin teams – I managed to get a nice and easy one to start you off with, so we should get right to it."
"What's this 'nice and easy' mission?" Sakura wondered.
"Cleaning the Hokage Monument," Kakashi answered, sighing. "Someone's seen fit to paint it with bright colours, and the civilians want it back to normal again."
"Damn it, Naruto!" Sakura called, smacking him over the head.
Wearing a Henge that made him look like a rather spindly ninja of unclear rank, though certainly a Chūnin to avoid obvious questions, Naruto sprang from tree to tree on his way southwest. He'd spent quite a bit longer on his preparations than he'd anticipated, working to train himself in at least using some of his Ninjutsu again, even if not at full power. Eleven days he'd lost, but that was alright, since he had plenty of time yet before the invasion that happened last time. The Kazekage certainly wouldn't be expecting him to appear quickly; he'd set no specific date or time on his letter, after all. Eleven days, plus at least two or three to get to Suna, and then the way back... he was spending too much time on this, when he could be doing other things. Well, at least it was important.
The forest would only stretch partway to Suna, and trekking through the desert really wasn't something he looked forward to, but he'd deal with it. He'd done it before, and at least he'd have some time to get some stamina training in. Getting out of Konoha had been annoyingly easy: The city wasn't on high alert, so most of the safeguards were lax at best, and Naruto knew them intimately as he'd participated in getting them back to normal, after the war. On the other side of the wall he relaxed a little – even if he was detected, here, he wouldn't instantly be pegged as a deserter. Naruto realized in some annoyance that he probably counted as such, now: Meeting with a foreign Kage without permission wasn't really something you got easily forgiven for.
He'd used a bland pseudonym in his letter – doubtlessly the only reason that the Kazekage had even responded was that he'd mentioned several things not generally known by the public, regarding both his history and several secret projects Gaara had uncovered and stopped, in the first few years of his reign. His phrasing has been ambiguous, but someone with the kind of knowledge that the Kazekage had would doubtlessly recognize it immediately. It got him invited, but it did raise a disturbing possibility; the Kazekage might simply want him out of the way, permanently. It was lucky, he figured, that he'd sent the letter from his apartment - fairly central in the city - rather than somewhere more obscure, or he'd have missed the response entirely; since he lived above what was presently essentially an abandoned building only occasionally hired out for temporary stays, he could be anyone. That was good.
Suna – the last time around, it wasn't until Gaara became Kazekage that he really got to know much of anything about the place, so his knowledge of this particular time was, at best, spotty. The history books were inaccurate about the capabilities of the various shinobi forces between the Third and Fourth Shinobi World Wars, especially since a large amount of records was destroyed in the latter conflict. Still – he'd read up on the people, he knew some of what to expect. There were some people that even this nation respected.
He'd put up the strongest Henge he could – he certainly had the chakra to pull off a pretty impressive one, after all – and turned into one of the only people he knew how to imitate, and whose mere presence would ensure that the Kazekage didn't try anything too crazy. His reputation preceded him, after all.
"Hope you forgive me for this one, sensei…"
Naruto's clone yawned as he wiped the last of his paint off the Fourth's giant stone nose, and moved to his eyes – there was perhaps a certain irony in him being assigned to take care of cleaning his own father's part of the Hokage Monument. He looked wistfully at the rest of the cliff – there, sometime in the future, would've been Granny Tsunade's face, Kakashi's face – mask and all – and finally Konohamaru's face, all grown up, though it hadn't yet been carved when he left. The Fifth Shinobi World War was just gearing up at the time, and he himself had beep deep behind enemy lines, so he hadn't had the opportunity to stop by the village. Not before this opportunity had come along.
Sitting down on the wooden platform that'd been lowered from the top of the Monument to allow for easy cleaning, Naruto thought about the past. He supposed it was the future, now. The first thing that struck him as strange, really, that he couldn't mesh the current Kakashi – disinterested, porn-reading, perpetually late – with the future one, who hadn't changed all that much. Perhaps it was the Hokage Robes that he'd worn that did it, or the starkly serious moods that had become more common since he took up the hat. Naruto admitted that he'd been a little jealous when the Sixth Hokage was announced, but Kakashi was the obvious choice, having already been in the running for Fifth as well. He himself had been rather on the young side, and had understood the hesitance, even if he had gained considerable admiration for his involvement in the fight against Madara and Akatsuki.
Konohamaru's election – that had been different. Naruto himself had been in the running for Seventh Hokage – Kakashi was getting tired of his role after quite a few years in the seat, and finally some of the new promising shinobi were getting to appropriate ages, so he'd decided to pass on the title. The silver-haired Hokage, at the time, had been dispassionate about his reasoning for electing Konohamaru instead of him – Naruto admitted, he'd felt a little betrayed – but he had explained himself, later. Naruto, he'd argued vehemently, was too valuable to stick behind a desk; he was still one of the Leaf's strongest shinobi, and feared internationally since the Fourth Shinobi World War. Perhaps after hostilities were over, and the Fifth war was at an end, he could become Hokage – much like his father – but right now he was needed.
His appearance on the front-lines had done wonders for maintaining Konoha's security, as few were willing to take on the Yellow Flash's son – that secret had been publically revealed over a decade earlier. Naruto had to admit that he couldn't have been present at more than half the conflicts that Konoha got involved with, if he also needed to be around the village all the time. Kakashi had probably been right, as far as where his best place was. Konohamaru, of course, had promised that he could be the Eight Hokage, in time; though that wouldn't be coming true, perhaps thing would be different, now. Perhaps he could be the one to appoint Konohamaru as his successor, now. Perhaps he'd take the seat after the old man, if he could prevent his death. Fifth Hokage Naruto, jinchūriki protector of the Leaf – right next to his father on the Monument. Yeah, that sounded good.
Unlike his young years, which he'd now reclaimed, Naruto had ended up being a specialist in assassination and infiltration missions, even before Kakashi's belief that he was at that time what he himself had been: One of Konoha's shining beacons, who kept everyone else from doing stupid things, and who showed the strength of the village to the outside world. It was unfortunate that peace had not persisted as it had for a few years after the war, but the shinobi world, it seemed, was not yet ready for change. Had Nagato been right, after all?
The exact moment he'd decided that if war couldn't be stopped by brute force, it might be via traditional shinobi values, he wasn't sure; perhaps it'd been the result of reading many a book on the philosophy of war, when he'd finally gotten around to slowing down a little. He'd shifted his focus from being a loud Ninjutsu spammer towards a style that involved stealth, careful planning and efficiency.
He supposed that a particular reason he'd enjoyed it so much, was the challenge: He knew he could kick ass with major attacks if he really needed to, and he'd shown it in the war, but it wasn't exactly the most intelligent of roles. Infiltration, in particular, was a challenging and highly entertaining type of mission that he'd been completely unfit for: He'd never even thought about acting and worn his emotions on his sleeves, so going in the complete opposite direction, trying to place himself into the skin of another shinobi, was a whole new experience. After dozens of C-Class missions – quite embarrassing, for someone who was effectively a Jōnin, even if he'd never officially gotten his promotion – he'd finally gotten his skill to acceptable levels, and things had spiralled from there.
The B-Rank infiltration missions, it turned out, where a lot of fun – his wit was tested to its fullest, and he'd never really had an opportunity to put his pranking habits into action for a practical goal. If you could prank someone with a pot of paint, after all, you could do the same with a kunai. Rather more permanent and messy, but you couldn't argue with results. After a long string of successes, even more so than C-Rank – he got bored, and inevitably went out of character, back then – he was finally assigned his first solo A-Rank… and then, he'd fallen in love with his profession all over again.
"Did you fall asleep?"
Naruto looked up and blinked at his sensei, his broad grin of nostalgia slipping from his face. Kakashi was standing lazily on the Fourth's forehead, sticking to the stone with chakra. He raised an eyebrow. "You've been staring into space for a few minutes, now."
"Not really, Kakashi-sensei. I was just thinking about," Think quick, Naruto… "Dad." He tapped the stone and sighed.
Kakashi glanced at Sasuke and Sakura, both of whom were cleaning the other faces; the latter glanced curiously at them, but then returned to her work, scowling slightly. "Really?"
"Well, I was sort of thinking about the future, too," Naruto admitted, shrugging. "I mean, it'd be really cool if I could learn his techniques, but the first time I use any of them, people will figure out the whole family thing… Plus, I don't want to feel like I'm ripping him off, y'know…"
"I'm sure that it'll be fine," Kakashi said with a smile. "There are plenty of other things to train too, you know. I'm sure when you're a Chūnin or Jōnin, you can look up those special techniques. Your sealing's already getting pretty interesting, maybe you should consider concentrating on that? The village hasn't had a Seal Master around for a while, not since Jiraiya went and became a hermit – you could be a pretty great one. You are an Uzumaki after all; it's in your blood."
"I suppose." He glanced at his teammates and frowned. He learned over to Kakashi. "What do I do about this team thing? Sasuke and I couldn't stand each other in Academy – I'm sure we'll get in a fight sooner or later. And Sakura, she's… " He shuddered. "Scary."
"Don't worry, you'll do fine," Kakashi said, smiling. "Next week, or perhaps the day after, we'll go do a C-rank mission. That should allow you to spend a little time with your team beyond just the few hours of a boring mission." He glanced at Sasuke. "Perhaps you'll be invaluable to have around."
"Well, at least I can pack all the food into scrolls," Naruto muttered. He suddenly perked up, eyes bright. "I just remembered – I wanted to ask you about something. You know the seal I'm working on, right, sensei?"
"Yes," Kakashi answered lazily. "What about it?'
"Well…" He hesitated. "I need to know how a lightning element attack forms, so I can make sure the seal doesn't overload, but I don't know anyone with a lightning nature, really, aside from you…" He stared with large puppy-eyes at his teacher. "Could you show me, please?"
Kakashi looked at Naruto for a long moment, and then nodded. "It would be a good introduction to Ninjutsu techniques, I suppose. A bit early, perhaps, but I'm sure the others won't mind." He glanced over the statue and aside from a few smudges, the cleaning was almost finished. Kakashi flashed through a quick succession of hand seals, and the entirety of Naruto's bucket of water shot onto the statue, rinsing it clean in one quick movement; a pretty lame use of a Suiton jutsu, but it worked. He turned to the other two team members and pointed up. "Sasuke, Sakura – follow us."
Naruto quickly scampered up along the sheer rocks, and Kakashi didn't look surprised - but he definitely stopped and stared for a moment when both Sakura and Sasuke made their way up the rocks in the same manner, the latter with some stumbling; a few moments later they were standing next to their teacher with slight grins as he studied them each in turn.
"Okay – I missed something. Since when do academy students learn control exercises?"
Sakura looked away. "We didn't, actually we learned from…" She paused and frowned. "Naruto."
At Kakashi inquiring gaze, the blond smiled widely. "I learned how to do it ages ago, and yesterday you were hours late, so I got really, really bored! I showed Sakura-chan and the – I mean, Sasuke how to do it. They were far quicker than me with getting it to work, though." He shook his head in disappointment.
"You taught two Genin the tree-walking exercise in a day?" Kakashi blinked. "Who's supposed to be the sensei here?"
Naruto scowled, looking vaguely affronted. "They're my teammates, right? Maybe it was against whatever silly rules you have for Genin teams, but…" He smiled quite widely, then. "Those who abandon their team are worse than trash, right sensei?"
Kakashi shook his head tiredly. "Moving on… Naruto, if you want to learn anything from this, maybe you should pay close attention now," He turned around to one of the few logs that were placed up here above the Monument, for training purposes. They were actually Gai's, Naruto knew, but he and Kakashi would probably make up for the destruction of one of them with a friendly crazy game, or something.
"Soon you will be learning Ninjutsu, beyond your usual attacks. Sasuke already knows several Katon techniques – fire – but there are other natures, and you will likely be learning some of them as you become Chūnin." Kakashi shrugged idly. "That doesn't mean one should ignore training before that time, though."
"I remember this," Sakura volunteered. "There are five elements, right? Fire, Water…"
"Katon, Suiton, Fūton, Doton, Raiton," Kakashi rattled off. "Also known as Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, and Lightning. There are others, but we'll leave that for now. These five elements form the basis for elemental techniques. Personally I can use techniques from each element for other reasons; most ninja only use one or two elements. I have an affinity for lightning techniques, though, which is why the technique I created is of that element."
"Creating techniques – is it similar to making seals?" Naruto wondered, though he already knew the answer. His practice with the various superior versions of the Rasengan was quite instructive in that regard.
"Although there are many things to take into account when making your own technique, they're not quite on the same level as fūinjutsu – aside from extremely powerful techniques, of course, like my own." He smirked. "There is always a risk of injuring yourself when working with particularly volatile combinations of shape and element – but this is all far too complex for you." Kakashi shook his head wearily.
"I get it," Naruto offered enthusiastically, and all he got was a disbelieving stare from Sasuke.
Kakashi tapped on the tree stump, and grasped his wrist. "When you use an elemental technique, your chakra is transformed into another element – in this regard it's similar to your seal, Naruto. Transforming chakra into an element you have affinity with is far easier, which is the reason shinobi tend to focus on those."
Lightning began crackling around Kakashi's outstretched hand, the sizzling and crackling sound amplifying until it became clear where the technique received its name: the Chidori or One Thousand Birds formed as a layer of electricity sparked across his skin. With a cry he swung it forward into the log, blasting a hole in it the size of someone's head.
"That is my original technique," Kakashi said, turning around proudly.
"Is there a Shape Transformation element?" Naruto wondered, his eyes peeled. He'd never actually inquired about this before – after getting one shoved through his chest, he'd rather lost his enthusiasm for the move. Now, though, that hadn't actually happened yet – and wouldn't, if he had anything to say about it. "Elemental Transformation is obvious, but it did seem awfully straight-edged – could you veer off with one of those, or is it pretty much locked in its trajectory after you start your attack?"
Kakashi looked like a deer in headlights. "…Why do you think that?"
Naruto narrowed his eyes. "Well, it makes sense, right? If you're only changing it to be a cover of your hand without a specific shape to maintain, it'll lose cohesion at the first sign of…" He stopped, and blinked. "Oh. That's not really Genin stuff, is it?"
Sakura looked with some amazement at Naruto, and even Sasuke was listening in. "I don't even know where I'd look for something like that… What have you been reading, Naruto?"
"Ah," Naruto rubbed the back of his head, glancing at Kakashi. "Stuff."
"Perhaps it's smarter if you read Genin-level books, instead of Jōnin-level," Kakashi pointed out, shaking his head. Sasuke looked just about ready to explode with questions, and Naruto was fairly sure what he'd ask, after all of this – he'd lower himself to asking the Dead Last for books, at this point in time. The arrogance was there, but it wasn't quite insane yet. Kakashi continued, oblivious to the interplay. "It's really quite impressive, deducing the weakness of my technique from seeing it only a single time. You're not secretly an Uchiha under there, are you?"
Naruto smiled widely. "I'm just that awesome! Now, are we going to train that awesome Ninjutsu or not?"
"Of course not. I'm not an idiot."
"I wish to speak to the Kazekage."
The guard gulped, staring at the imposing shinobi before him, his chakra almost tangible in the air. Slung on his back was a large scroll, partially covered by a mop of white hair, and his eyes were sharp. The guard composed himself quickly. "Did Kazekage-Sama know you were coming, Jiraiya of the Sannin?"
"He knows," Naruto answered, glad to see his disguise was holding up. "Tell him that I bring two crows. He will confirm my invitation."
"Yes… please wait here."
Naruto smiled, realizing that he'd missed even Suna's harsh weather, a little; annoying as it often was, he'd spent quite a bit of time here with Gaara and his family, and it had always been a blast.
Now – Now he'd be walking into the belly of the beast, though. Daiki, Fourth Kazekage of Suna, was a dangerous man, and Naruto would have to be lying flat to his face the entire time. Well – he did always enjoy infiltration missions, and this counted. A-Rank, perhaps? S-Rank? A small grin made it onto his face as he saw the shinobi returning. This would be fun.
Author's Note: More info on the past/future, some interaction with Kakashi and the team, plus we finally get to Suna now, and the infiltration. Next chapter will pick up with the clone division about two days after the real Naruto left, while the latter lies his pants off.
Yondaime Kazekage Daiki : Comes from Japanese 大 (dai) "large, great" combined with 輝 (ki) "radiance", 樹 (ki) "tree" or 貴 (ki) "valuable, noble". For those who know a bit about him, this will be an obvious pick.