"Okay, Tenten, to tailor your training to your fighting style and teach you the most suitable jutsus, I need to learn how you fight, and more than that, how you want to develop your unique style."

Tenten seemed a bit doubtful, but willing nonetheless, "I'm a weapon-user, specializing in melee and thrown weapons. Accuracy and forceful mass discharge using storage scrolls. I'm working on better control with wire, and I'm not sure where I want to go from there," she admitted reluctantly.

"So, what is your style vulnerable to?"

"What do you mean?" she seemed confused.

"Your style is that of a short and medium ranged combatant. Now for ranged, you rely on thrown weapons, which makes wind users a problem for you, they can disrupt your barrage no matter how accurate and powerful it is. Also, earth users can simply go below and ignore your ranged attacked or raise earth walls to block you. Close range and relying on weapons can be dangerous against lightning and wind users. The first can shock you through them, unless you're ready with non-conductive weapons, and wind users can cut through anything," I demonstrated by tossing a kunai through a row of trees. "Now how's your chakra control? You can treewalk and waterwalk, right?"

"Of course," she tried to look insulted, but made more of a cute pout than anything.

"Can you balance yourself on a kunai's point?" I ask and demonstrated, balancing myself on a single finger - she merely gaped at me.

"Hey, relax. This is nothing special, a standard jounin level chakra control exercise I mastered recently. The really nasty ones are medical exercises. Trust me, trying to do the work of a sewing machine by controlling the threads with chakra, now that is painful."

Tenten seemed to deflate, her face a mask of depression.

"Tenten, what's wrong?"

"It's just," the words tumbled out, "you're a recent academy graduate, a rookie, and you can do all this! Effortlessly! I thought I was a serious kunoichi, but I just can't compare! How can you do all this?"

"Well, you have to realize that some ninja have inherent advantages, like Neji's byakugan or my Uzumaki chakra capacity. As good as you ever become, you'll likely never be a match for any of the past Hokage, for instance. Bloodlines can be a trump card, but then again, you can go very far indeed. Seals, for example, can counter almost anything - remember the Hiraishin, that and pure speed made the Fourth almost unbeatable. Jirayia and Orochimaru are both very powerful, S-rank, and neither have a bloodline, though I suspect the snake has changed himself enough to be counted as having one. You need to learn the basics of everything and specialize in more than one field if you want to be at the top, and you've actually already begun. You're specializing in weapons and seals, and you can add ninjutsu to that if you keep working on chakra capacity and control and master the jutsus, not merely learn them. Remember that jounin in Konoha need to be able to use jutsu of two elementals, if you want to be exceptional, work on three. Wind would be good, it's synergistic with fire and very useful with weapons, as you saw. I'd recommend earth as well, it's powerful defensively - with a fire speciality you'd have trouble with water. If you can work out combination techniques, you'll eventually have the equivalent of scorch and lava releases. There are also ways to make special weapons, you should explore that. Hell, just using kunai with engraved explosive seals that fire a cloud of poisoned senbon out of a storage seal would make you three times as dangerous. You need to be creative with what you can do, and plan on what you want to learn or be able to do. You have Gai as a sensei and he seems to like, which means you work hard and willingly. With the right teaching," I bowed theatrically, "you'll go very far, if you put in the effort. So how about it?"

"It sounds good," she nodded wide-eyed, "but really… daunting."

"Years of work," I nodded, "you stop training and learning when you're dead or retired. So, ready to start?"

Teaching Tenten was actually rather fun. Her fire affinity was strong enough that after a couple of hours, the leaf in her hand was smouldering consistently. I took a short break to create another shadow legion and absorb one, citing the actually true need to pee, and sent a clone off to write down half a dozen fire jutsu and combination techniques with weapons that she could work on (adding shuriken hidden in a balls of hurled flame, for example), adding the intermediate fire exercise and the basic ones for wind and earth with a single E-rank jutsu for each, and another scroll on the handling and care of explosive seals.

After the snack I provided, she remembered that she was also supposed to teach me. "How about we spar, no ninjutsu, to see where you are?" she suggested.

Just for the fun of it, I decided to remove my training seals. It wasn't really needed, I suspected, but there wasn't much of a reason to keep my speed and strength quiet, seeing as she was used to Lee and her sensei, and would probably keep things discreet if I asked. It did result in our first spar ending very quickly, as I dodged or deflected her thrown weapons with the kunai in my hand and was on her before she could retreat, putting on a burst of speed at the end to appear behind her and touch the back of her neck with a finger.

"Okay, you have speed. In fact, you're almost as fast as Lee without his weights, which is unexpected. You're also not bad at dodging," Tenten confessed, rubbing the back of her neck to take the edge of the zinger I'd provided with my finger. "Now let's try again," she got into her stance, barehanded. "This time move slowly enough for me, we'll just see what you can do."

"Sure, I'll be happy to show you my moves," I smiled and went at it. The results were not entirely unexpected, and she made a running commentary on what I should change and why, where I was too rigid, where my stance was off, why I should put less or more power into blows, how the elbows should be angled and so on.

"Not bad, really, just obviously unpracticed. It's more than enough for a genin, especially with your speed," she tried to comfort me. "Now let's try it again, without jutsu," Tenten offered, producing a bo staff out of a scroll and grinning in anticipation.

We went back and forth for a couple of minutes, and even with my speed and acrobatics, using the trees to leap back and forth, I couldn't do much to her. Her defense with the whirling staff was really impressive. Of course, no jutsu doesn't mean no tools, and I was used to playing with chakra chains when sparring - using chakra-animated ninja wire wasn't that different, and in a trice, I had her wrapped tightly and supine.

"You know, Tenten," I ran a chakra-charged finger down her cheek, "if an enemy captured you like this, they'd seal your chakra and use you. You'd spend the rest of your life being bred," I whispered in her ear, enjoying the furious flush on her face. "Taken repeatedly and brutally for the pleasure of your masters," a few gentle caresses had her almost painfully close to release.

I'd read enough books by now to realize that I was mentally screwed up, and one of the points I wasn't good at was accepting that other people cared, that I deserved to be cared for by someone. Almost certainly, that was why I wasn't giving Sakura the chance to say no, and the same would go for Hinata, I'd already decided. Tenten, however, did not need saving. I had no reasonable excuse to overwhelm her with seduction jutsu. It didn't mean that I didn't want to, however. A nice, cute girl who was actually willing to spar with me and teach me? That listened respectfully when I taught her, and felt inadequate when I showed her something of what I could do? Hell yes, I wanted that. Not enough, however, to piss off Gai sensei and her teammates by taking the choice from her. The plan was to have her chasing me. The idea of it was even more attractive than she was. Tenten wasn't a fangirl, she clearly worked at being a serious kunoichi, so it would be quite the balm to my ego. There were enough scars there I needed a lot of medicine, ha ha.

"Okay, that's enough for today, I think. Time to cool off, huh?" not laughing at her expression when I stepped away and left her side, so red that it looked like steam would rise off her any second now, hurt. I had to clench my teeth and bite my tongue, hard. "We'll spar again tomorrow. I'll leave you with some scrolls for elemental exercises and a few jutsu, so work hard!" I raised my voice in imitation of Lee and Gai, taking one of the postures I'd seen them use, shot her one last smile and flickered away. I left a kunai to free herself with and a small pile of scrolls in my stead.

Not entirely unexpectedly, she was a bit cool towards me for the remainder of the week, though I caught her staring when I took off my shirt a couple of times to wipe away sweat. Gai and Lee were very helpful regarding the three taijutsu styles I decided to master first, before making my own style, and Gai even said something about finding a swordmaster for me to learn from. There's a reason I call him sensei and deny Kakashi the honorific.

And then there was Hinata. It went with utterly ridiculous ease. I swept her off her feet with a kiss and she spent the entire weekend with me, emerging as a new person - who was very eager to please me, and stuttered less. She filed the papers for severing herself from the Hyuuga and adoption into the Uzumaki clan first thing in the new week, carried to the Hokage's tower by the clones I sent for the morning's first round of D-rank missions.

It sparked quite the quiet political storm, and true to my expectations, Hyuuga members kept hounding her. Except that they were only annoying my transformed clones, as I began to train her in private, going so far as to teach her the shadow clone jutsu and supply the chakra she needed for it. I even showed her the copy of the Hyuuga jutsu library and explained my research into removing her cursed seal. She was more than happy with the stopgap measure I employed, which prevented them from hurting or killing her through it. In fact, she was very appreciative, slowly losing her shyness. A good thing Sakura was kept either too tired or too satisfied and languid to be jealous, as my Naruko clones informed her that she wasn't quite good enough for me yet. Speaking of which, Hinata was surprisingly responsive to my female form.

Astonishingly, I wasn't called before the council or threatened with any punishment. The Hokage help firm, standing behind the iron-clad law of the village. I made sure to avoid Neji, but did provide him with a defensive seal like the one I'd given Hinata, and a copy of the relevant law and the forms he needed to file. I did not, however, invite him to join the Uzumaki clan. Kami, no!

Having Hinata with me was nice, because she actually had a lot to teach me from her training to be clan heir, and her ability to see the chakra I manipulated for jutsu and describe what I was doing wrong or should do differently made things so much easier. Her eyes and superior chakra control made her own training advance with remarkable speed, even with just a score of clones, the most I would allowed her to use. Not having my healing factor, using more was just too dangerous. Speaking of healing, Hinata took to medical jutsu with the same ease as she mastered the element of water, and was already adjusting the gentle fist to suit her own unique style. With seals, however, she gave up on advancing much beyond the basics, nor was she fond of genjutsu. I needed to push her there, as her sensei was Konoha's genjutsu mistress, and we could both learn a lot from her - if only indirectly, in my case. She was also resistant when I tried to teach her the sword, until I reminded her of the chakra shield jutsu which provided a perfect defense from the gentle fist, and that there were surely other means of blocking the intrusive chakra that disrupted tenketsu, the nodes in the body through which chakra was distributed - and which the gentle fist struck directly at, ignoring most intervening defenses.

A couple of days into the new week, and my blood clone finally picked someone to replace. At first, I thought the choice ludicrous, but I was persuaded. Shinji Korasu was the primary owner of Konoha's red district, the gambling, prostitution, drugs, smuggling and other illicit activities. There were no Yakuza in Konoha, and while he skirted the edge of the law, he very rarely crossed the line. A true scumbag, it turned out that he also owned a couple of members of the civilian council, and held several ninja in thrall with blackmail. It was not a pleasant idea, but owning Konoha's local criminal king would put me at the heart of an information web, not merely a commercial empire. It would also make it ridiculously easy to find girls to bear the children for my clan, without needing to burden the kunoichi I collected. There were always a few unwanted women or girls with nowhere to turn to. Expanding his commercial empire would also be relatively simple, if done through fronts.

Somehow, everyone knew what Hinata had done, and snickered behind the stiff backs of the Hyuuga, but no one connected it to the one Uzumaki in the village. At my advice, she'd merely informed her teammates that she was no longer Hyuuga, without telling anyone that she was now Hinata Uzumaki. Another year or two of staying in the shadows, and I might be strong enough to survive the sun. Mastering the Hiraishin alone might well do it, with everything else I was picking up, and it presently looked like I'd finish that long before I progressed anywhere with the Rasengan. A spiralling sphere of chakra should not have been that difficult to form. Even with Hinata's kind help, I was losing hundreds of clones to experimentation with that very deadly jutsu.

Moreover, things were advancing well with the security seals I wanted to bypass. A week or two more, and I'd have them. I was already salivating at the thought of the ultimate jutsus I'd find behind those not entirely impervious defenses, and the dirty secrets of the village they thought buried away. The archives of Root, which was apparently led by the crippled oldster Danzo, were encrypted, and I was nowhere near getting the key, which apparently wasn't written down anywhere. I had to admire the rarity of proper security consciousness, but it was no less annoying. Still, I was getting a tons of information by eavesdropping there, much of it distasteful, and eventually I'd figure out the cypher, if only by watching them take reports and transcribe them.

It was near the end of the week, and Sasuke was starting to boil over at the awful missions he took with Sakura and my shadow clones, before Tenten started thawing. I took that as a signal that it was time to tease her again.

"Tenten, are you interested in increasing your speed and strength?" I asked her after we were done with teaching and sparring for the morning.

"You mean, wear weights like Lee?" her eyebrows rose very high, clearly skeptical of the idea.

"Not quite the same. Lee is wearing seriously heavy metal, almost all the time. I don't even want to think what that kind of stress is doing to his body. He might grow to be a very powerful shinobi, but he's unlikely to live past fifty, and if he does, he'll probably be in constant pain as his body breaks up from the abuse. No, that's not what I'd suggest for you. And yes, I did talk to Gai about it, but you know how it is. If we take away his dream, what will be left for him? All I can do is become a better medic and see if I can help in that manner," I shrugged helplessly. "Anyway, what I'm offering you are seals, specifically gravity and resistance seals. Gravity seals are exactly what they sound like, much like Lee's weights, except with much better distribution of weight and ease of removal. I use them myself, but only for a maximum of twelves hours a day, and never more than two days in a row. For you, I'd recommend using them for eight hours every other day. One of the benefits from my heritage is excellent healing and a very long life. You might want to read sometime about the Shodai's wife, Mito Uzumaki. So please, don't do a Lee and overdo it, if you accept that seal. The resistance seal increases the resistance of the air to your movement. Sort of the opposite of the wind part of the Swift Release."

"Swift release?" she inquired.

"Yes, it's a bloodline, a combination of lightning and wind affinities. Lightning to increase the body's response, like the Raikage's Lightning Armor jutsu, and wind to remove the resistance of the air ahead and push behind, I think. Very rare, but incredibly useful. Imagine how deadly the Hyuuga would be with something like that," I grimaced. The combination was one I was planning on for my clan, among other bloodline I wanted to steal, but admittedly, I hadn't even started to look at the bloodline stealing jutsu from the forbidden scroll. I had nowhere near the medical or sealing expertise needed to so much as understand the basic concepts behind it. "Anyway, the combination makes you both stronger and faster, and you control the extent of resistance and how much weight you're interested in bearing. Just be careful when you channel chakra into them, I nearly squashed myself the first time I used the gravity seal," I managed not to frown at her short bark of laughter, it was probably deserved. "You can optimize your body for more strength or more speed, or keep it even. Perhaps consult with Gai regarding the ideal progression of your growth, as more muscle might inhibit flexibility. It depends on your fighting style," I shrugged, not really able to offer much sensible advice here.

"It sounds too good to be true," her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "If they're so useful, why doesn't everyone use them?"

"It only sounds good, I assure you. Oh, the results speak for themselves, you know what I can do at full speed," I lied. "It's a very big pain to actually use them, however. Not torture, but it's not fun. At first, and each time you raise the level, channel more chakra to them, you also need to constantly channel chakra inside your body to reinforce yourself and allow you to move. Then, when you get comfortable, it starts again. Trust me, a major pain, but it is worth it in my opinion. Besides that, you have to find a seals expert to apply them, and we don't have many in Konoha with the requisite expertise. The Uzumaki were renowned and feared for their sealing mastery, so I've worked very hard at it, and have serious natural talent there. I doubt more than thirty shinobi in Konoha can apply them, and I have no idea how many of those with the talent have the knowledge," I lied again. Of course I knew who kept books concerning high-level seals in their homes, and exactly what those books were. Well, mostly. The Nara, Aburame, Senju and a couple of other clans were still a mystery, and over forty jounin and chunin were paranoid enough that I had yet to investigate their homes. Kakashi, annoyingly enough, was one of those, but seeing as he was my father's student, I accounted him among those with enough knowledge of sealing to be able to do it.

Tenten's expression showed her hesitation, but finally she nodded firmly, "Yes, I want to try your seals."

"Excellent," I nodded right back, unsealed my sealing supplies and then a blanket, which I spread on the ground. "Okay then, strip."