Author's Note: Well, despite what I said in the ending author's note in the last chapter. I decided to upload this right after. Back to back to back, how do you like that :P Anyways, let me respond to a few reviews:
DeathDemonWolf: Thanks for the kind words and here's another chapter immediately after the one you read yesterday :D. As for your questions, I alluded to it in the previous chapter with the whole "the tree(Goken) and its many branches" and it will be revealed in the next arc so maybe like 4-5 chapters. I also didn't want Naruto to be a carbon copy of Lee so I decided to give Naruto something a little different. I'll give you a hint, its something that you don't see Lee or Gai use much if at all. Go ahead and try and guess and I'll give you another hint in the next review response if you do/don't get it :P. Enjoy the chapter!
Legionary Prime: I appreciate the kind word. It probably doesn't bother you as much since Yugito wasn't really mentioned in the manga at all and only showed up as a corpse. Again, thanks for compliment and I hope you enjoy the chapters to come.
BanefulWarrior: I'm not gonna tell you because it is obviously going to be in this chapter, so read on my precious reader and enjoy :D.
plums: Alright dude, listen up. I've already stated that the first 6 chapters were already pre-written by the previous author and that I decided that I wouldn't change them. I also don't agree completely with the whole 'secrets' thing, but I'm not going to change it because its really not the controlling them and only may be spoken of in passing.
You act as if you are the only one that disliked a few things in the manga/anime. You think I liked how weak Naruto was after training with Jiraiya for five years or the way Sasuke went as a character? There are certain things i disliked as well and I plan to change them. But listen closely, you are trying to get me to morph my plans for the story so it'll be something that is exactly what you want to read. If you dislike the story, go read something else, its plain and simple. I'm not revamping the story over the disapproval of one person. Oh yeah, and you automatically assume I'm having a Wave Arc, well let me tell you something and whoever else is reading this something, there is no Wave Arc. It will be my on original arc after this one.
I understand if you want to give constructive criticism, I'll accept it and improve on what you told me, but if you want to just bash or try and make me change the entire idea then don't even bother because I won't even respond to it. This story starts diverging from cannon after this initial introductory arc and my contributions to the story start with this chapter. If you see a problem with this chapter, then I myself will take the blame. Thanks for the review.
potterfanforever: First off, forgive me if I misunderstand your review in anyway. I haven't thought much about the reincarnation in terms of this story since it feels so far off, but if you ask this question again a couple tens of chapters later once I start giving it more thought I'll be glad to answer it. But personally, I believe that reviving the dead has a lot more uses then simply using them to fight, if that gives you something to think about.
As for Naruto being 99% Rasengan, I completely agree with you. It's that and the shadow clones. That's why I refuse to do the same things, but I also don't want Naruto knowing a ridiculous number of jutsu since it wouldn't feel like Naruto. Naruto's fighting style is simplistic and really in your face, so I'll be doing that, but he won't just have rasengan and shadow clones. Just read the story as Naruto grows and tell me what you think. Thanks for the review and I hope to hear from you again. Enjoy.
MAnku: Didn't have to wait very long, did ya? :P
Whoever the guest was, I completely agree with you on that fact, but it's what the original author put in the story and I already stated that I would use his exact first 6 chapters no filter. I'm not going to make myself a liar.
GundamWing-00-Seed: I believe there was the original Worth Protecting that my friend really rushed through without any goal in mind. Then he revamped it and made these six chapter before this one. Then he created a new account under a new name for a fresh start hoping that he would be able to stay dedicated, but life had other plans. After that I took over and I plan to keep it going as best as I can with routinely updates. So me taking over this fanfiction would be the fourth time you've read it if you were there from the beginning. Well anyways, here's the first chapter of progression from the original. Tell me what you think and I hope you enjoy.
Cainsanity2016: Well you don't have to wait very long since it's already here. Thanks for sticking around for so long and I hope you enjoy it.
Myrolerian: I appreciate the warning and I'll give you one in return. I can estimate that this Introductory Arc will take between 90k-100k chapters with only 2 chapters after this one left in the arc. I warn you that this chapter and the next chapter are really canon-based, but it completely diverges from it right after, so just bare with it please, you won't regret it. Thanks for the review and I hope to hear from you again. Enjoy the chapter and the ones to come.
End of response to reviews. Whew.
I don't think a lot of you guys read the beginning or end author's note, but if you do then hear me out before you go on to read. I personally believe that my friend and I write relatively alike since we kinda collaborated in the past, but I'm worried that my creative writing skill has rusted in the past year since I've only been writing essays for school. Anyways, i hope my writing isn't too bad for my first try and if its not so good I'll try and improve by the next chapter. Thanks for hearing me out if you read this.
Anyways, here's the first chapter under knew ownership, please enjoy and don't flame me too hard :/
Chapter 7: Team 7
(Time Skip – Three Months)
Naruto stared at the ceiling whilst lying in his futon with the sun just rising over the horizon outside his window. Naruto lifted his hand into the streams of sunlight that spilled through the semi-open blinds. Naruto looked at the palm of his hand with an indeterminable look.
'The Graduation Exams are tomorrow...,' Naruto trailed off in his contemplation as he slowly clenched his hand into a fist.
Naruto's daily routine had gone through a rather drastic metamorphosis since three months ago. Since Yugito had confronted him all those months ago, Naruto had rarely missed a day at the Shinobi Academy.
Naruto's change in attendance had caught the attention of his classmates and especially those that had seen Yugito challenge Naruto. Remarks like 'walking on a leash' and 'whipped' had been pretty embarrassing for him to deal with. Despite that, Naruto was able to communicate and develop close relationships with his academy friends. This was something he would have neglected if Yugito hadn't done what she did.
Still, in all actuality, the prominent reason for Naruto's exponential improvement in attendance was due to the slackening of his training. Gai had already taught them the fundamentals, various forms and advanced techniques while also developing the other aspects that made a great Gōken practitioner. Naruto's taijutsu training had now dwindled to physical training and light sparring.
Physical training under Gai had never gotten easier, but the repetitiveness caused Naruto to lose interest. Likewise, sparring with Lee had grown boring and tiresome since they were not permitted to go all out. Gōken was not a fighting style where you can go all out without it resulting in broken bones... or death.
Besides, once a pupil made it to a certain point in his training, diverging from his teacher was common. Naruto had found out about the many branches that made up the tree that was Gōken, one of which had caught his eye. Gai, whether consciously or not, had strayed away from it which has instilled a desire in Naruto to experiment with it.
It was obvious to Naruto that Lee was getting special one on one time with Gai, but Naruto couldn't say that he was surprised nor was he jealous. Unlike himself, Lee could only use taijutsu and therefore needed the extra push to put him over those who could also use ninjutsu and/or genjutsu.
Realizing that his time was slipping away, Naruto pushed his thoughts to the back of his mind, opting to focus on the present. Despite not wanting to workout, Naruto used the extremely early mornings before school for just that. He had worked himself to the bone with Gai to get the body that he currently had, and there was no way in hell Naruto would let it wear away.
Naruto placed his palm on the ground, flipping to his feet in one fluid motion. "Alright. Workout, then a quick shower," Naruto decided in a low voice, careful not to wake Yugito.
Naruto quickly got dressed, tidied up his futon and quietly opened the window. Not wanting to risk creating a 'bang' by using the door, Naruto cleanly exited out the window and rushed towards his personal training area.
A few hours passed before Yugito's own internal alarm rang. A low groan escaped her as she pushed herself up into a sitting position with her elbows and tiredly rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand, releasing a small yawn.
With her eyes adjusted to the new light intensity, Yugito kicked off the covers before hopping out of her bed. 'Guess I should show before anything else,' Yugito thought to herself as she walked over to the single closet to select a clean outfit.
Yugito carried the stack of clothing out of the bedroom and towards the bathroom. She reached over to the doorknob and took a firm grip of it. That very same doorknob abruptly twisted itself and the door swung open.
The sudden movement jerked Yugito forward as she felt herself collide with something hard and damp which caved in with her. Feeling a little dazed, Yugito rubbed her face into what she had fallen on with slight groan of pain.
Blinking a few times, Yugito was able to focus her vision before finally looking up from what she thought was the ground. Yugito felt a shiver go down her spine when she found herself staring into a pair of deep blue eyes.
Yugito's face was mere centimeters away from the young man's face, her bust pressed against his chest and her legs were entangled with his. Her hair draped over her shoulders and fell onto his chest. A reddish hue flushed her cheeks as she unconsciously bit her lips. Naruto was damp, but Yugito could feel the warmth from his body.
Yugito was dressed in a pair of dark purple shorts and a black tank top which hugged her still developing curves. Naruto had even less covered since he was clothed in nothing but a tower, fresh out of the shower.
Naruto's own cheeks began to burn a light red as he took in the sight before him. Naruto definitely couldn't say that he didn't like the feeling of Yugito's supple thighs rubbing against his skin or the pressure of her chest on his. The innocent expression on her face made her look so cute in his eyes which he kept firmly entranced with her own.
A short moment passed between them before Yugito hurriedly pushed her to her feet and turned her back to him. She was incredibly flustered and the reddish hue covering her cheeks had deepened.
"Oh, Naruto! I didn't know that you were home! I thought you were out in the morning you usually are! I was actually just going to take a show-," Yugito spoke rather frantically which was just proof that of how embarrassed she was.
"Is it my turn to start throwing sinks around?" Naruto joked, alluding to a scene from back when they had first become acquainted. Hearing the teasing remark, Yugito momentarily forgot about her current position and turned to face Naruto with a sharp rebuttal at the tip of her tongue.
Yugito would quickly come to regret her decision, as her rebuttal fizzled out and her breath hitched. Despite all the time the two blonds had been living together, they had never seen each other not fully clothed other than that one time Naruto had seen Yugito a long time ago.
Although she didn't know it herself, the results of Gai's training was being showcased right in front of her. Yugito had a perfect view of every crevice that made up Naruto's chiseled upper body from his broad shoulders, down his robust chest and each segment of his abs to the v cut that topped it all off. Naruto's slightly wet hair draped down his forehead and slightly over his eyes which shone a cerulean blue. The sunlight made his hair and body glisten while his eyes gained a penetrative aspect to them. Yugito had to will her body to resist reaching over and touching the figure in front of her.
Snapping herself out of her stupor quickly as to not arouse suspicion, Yugito looked away once more before carrying out with her response to Naruto's earlier comment. "I didn't think a fool like you would be able to operate something as 'complex' as a shower."
Yugito just wanted this whole embarrassing situation to just end so her rebuttal was a lot sharper than she had first intended. Luckily for her, Naruto never took any of the insults to heart when one of these teasing games were initiated.
To Yugito's relief, Naruto defused the situation with a few hearty chuckles. Being young and inexperienced with the opposite sex in any shape or form, Naruto was ignorant to sensitive situations and didn't understand things that many others knew as common knowledge.
"I'll be more careful when I open the door next time. You could have hit the floor pretty hard if I hadn't cushioned your fall," Naruto stated in a slightly more serious tone as he brushed past Yugito who acknowledged the movement without looking at him directly.
"Don't take forever like you usually do. Okay? I feel like actually getting to the academy on time for once," Naruto uttered quickly, swinging the door closed behind him before Yugito could lash out at him. They both knew that they had never been late to the academy because of something like that, but Yugito always found it annoying when Naruto mentioned how long she took to get ready in the morning.
In the past three months, Naruto and Yugito had gotten incomparably closer now that Naruto was actually around for the most part. They had built an almost sibling relationship with one another and that was when this teasing game of theirs had taken form. Yugito usually always won these bouts of wit with Naruto, and whenever she lost, it was usually because he had some upper hand.
Yugito stared at the door Naruto left with an annoyed scowl on her face. She had been defeated and the upper hand he had was obvious to her whereas Naruto was oblivious. Sighing in self-pity, Yugito went to getting undressed to take a shower before something caught her attention.
Yugito remembered that she was carrying a pile of clothes that she would change into after showering in her hands. Looking around, Yugito found the assortment sitting right on the sink next to the shower, but Yugito was one hundred percent sure that she didn't put it there. In fact, she was almost certain that she had scattered them all over the place when she had fallen into Naruto.
Yugito had a suspicion that Naruto had a hand in this conundrum, but decided to leave it alone. She had wasted enough time with the whole scene that had just occurred. Yugito undressed herself and got into the bath as she began her morning ritual to begin her day.
Yugito stepped out of the bathroom fully clothed in her shinobi attire: a pair of black pants, black sandals, and a black short sleeved shirt with a light purple, sleeveless, zip-up jacket over it. She was drying her hair with the towel in her hand when she was hit by a heavenly aroma. It was coming from where the dining table was.
Naruto was currently sitting on one of the dining table chairs with his head tilted back and his eyes closed. In front of him was an empty plate with crumbs left of the food that used to be there. Right across the empty plate was a full one with eggs, bacon and toast.
Yugito's mouth watered in anticipation as a childish smile came to her face, her canines poking out slightly. She dropped the towel in her hand instantaneously as she pounced onto the remaining chair and looked at her food with glistening eyes.
The noise created from Yugito's rushing was enough to wake up the napping Naruto who looked down as he kept his head tilted back. Yugito showed hardly any restraint as she took mouthful after mouthful of the tasty meal with that same youthful happiness. Naruto could not suppress the smile that graced his features.
In a matter of minutes, Yugito had already completed her breakfast and dropped the utensils in the empty plate as she lent back against the dining chair with her hands on her inflated stomach. Her eyes were closed as she turned her head up towards the ceiling with contentment as she let out a light belch.
Naruto snickered at hearing the sound grabbing Yugito's attention as she realized that Naruto was awake. Yugito looked embarrassed once she realized that Naruto heard the unfeminine noise as she went scarlet red and looked down with her hand scratching the back of her head.
Naruto chuckled as he stood up and gathered the dirty plates, "Don't be so embarrassed, it's just me. Besides, that was actually kinda cute."
Yugito blushed for a different reason as she looked at Naruto with slightly widened eyes letting out a questioning noise. Naruto went into the kitchen and placed the dishes in the sink before elaborating, "It'd be boring if you acted like some noble woman! It doesn't suit you!"
Yugito didn't know whether Naruto was trying to compliment her or offend her. She just shook her head and just ignored it since with Naruto, you never really knew.
"Well, thanks for breakfast. I actually forgot that you even knew how to cook, but since you're so good at it..." Yugito explained with a small smile, obviously insinuating that Naruto should do it more often.
"Don't get used to it. Besides, the only reason it tasted that good was because I had a lot of time to do it! " Naruto explained, pushing Yugito's button. No matter how many times Naruto used that against her, Yugito always got aggravated. Yugito didn't see anything wrong with taking her sweet time in the morning if there wasn't any rush to get ready.
"It's not like I asked you to cook! For your information, it tasted like crap anyways!" Naruto cringed at the painful remark, but Naruto had gained a trump card only just a few moments ago and was more than ready to use it.
"Oh really! It didn't seem like it when you were patting your stomach and burping up a storm!" Yugito babbled a comeback in some incoherent language as she couldn't think of anything to say back.
Naruto pumped a fist in the air as he let out a happy laugh, "Damn, I'm on fire today!" Yugito bowed her head slightly in defeat once again. Yugito wanted to get mad, but Naruto had that signature close-eyed grin that stopped her.
Yugito was going to feel annoyed, but Naruto had that signature close-eyed grin and had entered 'child mode' and it kept Yugito from getting mad at him.
"Let's just get going. Iruka-sensei is going to be explaining the procedures for the Graduation Exam tomorrow. Did you master those three jutsu?" Yugito inquired of her roommate.
Despite living together all this time, Yugito knew nothing about Naruto's training or level of skill and vice-versa. However, Yugito was aware that all academy students trained outside of school to hone more specialized skills and thus, Yugito assumed that Naruto was doing the same whenever they weren't together so that he could surpass his rival, Sasuke Uchiha and eventually become Hokage.
Yugito had no proof that her assumption was correct mainly due to Naruto's aloof nature the past three months in the academy. During class reevaluations at the beginning of the weak, Naruto always chose not to participate, even when offered to fight against Sasuke. Naruto instead seemed to channel his energies into harassing Iruka along with his three friends.
"Oh those! I had them down a while ago. It's pretty easy once you spend three years practicing them," Naruto explained with a weak chuckle at the end and Yugito decided not to probe any further.
Naruto held open the door for Yugito before stepping outside behind her. Yugito's eyes immediately fell on something both comical yet very degrading. The Hokage Monument, the pride of Konohagakure, was covered in graffiti, making it look like something from a child's sketch pad.
"Do you like it? It was pretty hard to get it done without anyone seeing with all the damn security! Can't draw in peace! Damn!" Naruto remarked, but a smile remained on his face as the chance of getting caught was part of the thrill.
Naruto had returned to his old shenanigans after giving them up to train and he had become a force to be reckoned with. Whereas in the past Naruto would always get caught and reprimanded for his pranks, nobody was able to catch Naruto in the act anymore. Using his speed, Naruto spent countless trials improving his ability to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Stealth and deception was a skill most shinobi were required to master in order to become great, and Naruto was actually making it child's play unknowingly.
Yugito giggled despite feeling that what Naruto had done was wrong. "You shouldn't do something like that to the pride of the village. It's wrong and should be beneath you," Yugito chastised although she couldn't help smiling at her friend's antics.
"You're right, Yugito," Naruto accepted in a defeated tone as he looked down. Yugito was taken aback as she didn't think Naruto would accept her words so easily.
"I could do so much better than that! I'll do something way over the top for next time!" Naruto shouted, a fire burning in his eyes causing Yugito to sweatdrop. Her words had the opposite effect of what she had planned them to.
'I'm sorry, Konoha,' Yugito thought to herself, feeling really bad for the villagers that would become victim to Naruto's games.
"Alright! Let's get going, Yugito! I want to get this Academy thing done as soon as possible! I'm all fired up!" Naruto exclaimed all full of energy as he crouched slightly before jumping to the top a nearby roof and bounding away.
"Wait, Naruto!" Yugito shouted after him.
'Why is he always on a sugar high?' Yugito wondered to herself as she sighed.
'So much for him walking with me to school?' Yugito thought with a smirk before coiling her legs and pouncing on top of the apartment before rushing after him.
A resounding bell emanated from within the Shinobi Academy before a crowd of students exploded out of the exits and out into the front yard. In the mob, Naruto, Yugito, Hinata, Kiba, Chōji and Shikamaru were making their way to their respective destinations.
"Well, I'll see you guys tomorrow for the exams. I have some business to attend to this afternoon," Naruto spoke strangely polite, but that made the mischievous look in his eyes that much more noticeable.
"What type of business would someone like you have?" Kiba asked derogatorily, pointing at the blond whose eyes narrowed in concentration.
"Trust me, Kiba. You'll figure it out soon enough," Naruto remarked with an expression that looked like that of a predator who had selected his target.
Kiba didn't know why exactly, but he felt a chill go up his spine. He then felt somebody place a hand on his shoulder and turned to see it belonged to Yugito. "Lock your doors or some stray cats might make it into your manor," Yugito warned in a worried tone of voice so that everybody in the group could hear her except Naruto.
Everybody looked from Yugito then back to Naruto who had a smug expression on his face with one eyebrow raised as if to say 'try me'. The future clan heads couldn't help but gulp out of reflex at the horrors that might befall them.
Seeing the morbid atmosphere that seemed to overtake everyone, Naruto let out a loud and long laugh. "Don't take everything so seriously, I'm actually just busy today. Good luck on the test tomorrow. See ya later tonight, Yugito," Naruto advised before saying his good-byes and lightly jogging into the crowd. Once he was out of sight, he seemed to vanish into thin air, not that anybody could see him.
"He has a way of escaping into the crowd, doesn't he?" Shikamaru remarked with a lazed expression as he took a few steps forward.
"What did he mean that he'd see you later tonight?" Kiba questioned Yugito with a knowing look on his face, which was mostly to tease her rather than it being supported by any fact.
Yugito went red slightly as she still had not informed anybody that she was actually living with Naruto. Yugito didn't want to say anything as it would just cause a lot of unwanted attention. Naruto seemed to have caught on with how uncomfortable she was with the subject and had withheld that information as well. The only person in school that knew about them living together was Iruka, but as a teacher, he had a lot of information that should be kept confidential.
"We were just going to review the three jutsu for tomorrow. We wouldn't want him failing again," Yugito covered up quickly with an actual plausible answer. Everybody seemed to accept it before a depressing air came upon them as they thought about Naruto failing for another year. Naruto had become such a big part in their everyday life that it would be simply weird if he was left behind while everybody else moved up.
"Make sure he passes then, because I'm not gonna feel like graduating if he doesn't," Shikamaru explained with a small smirk before waving his good-byes over his shoulder. Chōji followed behind Shikamaru while saying his good-byes as well, just as he threw away an empty pack of chips and opened up a new one.
Yugito couldn't help but smile at that bond between Shikamaru, Chōji and Naruto. Would she do the same thing if Naruto didn't graduate? Probably, but Naruto wouldn't be okay if he held her back.
"No point talking about it since he said that he mastered them awhile ago," Yugito said in response, causing Kiba to shrug as he would be graduating whether or not Naruto did. The remaining three academy students split off, Yugito leaving towards the apartment while Kiba went with Hinata to their respective manors.
Gai was taking a brisk walk towards the training grounds that he and his two pupils used. The sun began to fall giving the sky an orange hue. There wasn't any training scheduled for today since Lee had just arrived back from a mission and was ordered to take a break, but the ANBU informed Gai of Naruto's chakra spikes at that location. It peaked Gai's interest to see what his blond student was up to and it also gave him a reason to put off giving his report to the Hokage.
Gai arrived at Naruto's location in moments and rested his back against the trees, not making his presence known so he could take notes on what Naruto was doing before walking in. From what he could see, Naruto was lying on the ground with his arms far out to his sides as he breathed heavily. The blond had taken off his black tracksuit and his bright orange T-shirt was drenched in sweat.
"Okay! One more time!" Naruto pumped himself up, springing to his feet before making a couple hand seals. Gai looked at the hand seals as a sense of nostalgia seemed to hit him.
"Bunshin no Jutsu(Clone Technique)!" Naruto called the name of a jutsu that should have created a perfect copy of himself, but instead created a white, crumpled heap on the floor next to him. The failed attempt burst into smoke as Naruto fell backwards.
"FUCK! Why can't I do it! It's been two damn years!" Naruto shouted out loud, banging his fists against the floor.
Naruto, who wasn't expecting a response, looked up surprised when one came. "I can tell you why, but it won't help you master the technique," the voice of Gai emanated from the foliage as Gai slowly walked out of his hiding place.
"What do you mean? If I know what's wrong, I'll be able to find a way to fix it, right?" Naruto looked at Gai with a questioning expression, not even bothering to ask how long Gai had been there.
"That's a good way to look at things..., but sometimes, even when you know why, the problem just can't be fixed. This is one of those times," Gai explained, taking a brief pause before continuing, "You, Naruto, are a rare individual gifted with a vast amount of chakra that is easily equal to the amount most jōnin have and it has yet to even mature! For that reason, you don't have any proper control and control of it is nearly impossible without years of experience!"
Naruto felt joy at the fact that he was being praised by his teacher for his chakra reserves, but it was diminished by the horror of being in the academy for the rest of his life. "So what can I do? If I don't get this technique down by tonight, I'm gonna get left back again! I'm tired of being left behind by everyone!"
"Relax, Naruto!" Gai shouted, shushing Naruto's yelling before explaining, "This technique is already unnecessary for you to use since you'll be able to pass with simply your taijutsu just like Lee did."
Naruto went silent for a second as he looked down musing something around in his head. Raising his hand, Naruto looked at his sweaty and dirty palm. Naruto had a rare stoic expression about him as he clenched his fist and looked up at his teacher.
"I'm happy... I really am. But still, I'm not quitter. I refuse to leave today without being able to make a clone. I set my mind on it and I told Yugito I had them mastered. I'm not a liar and I'm not going back on my word," Naruto spoke, his eyes full of determination as he stared at Gai who's smirk turned into a smile.
"That's my pupil! Never give up! While in the springtime of youth, ANYTHING is possible," Gai spontaneously entered his eccentric mode and nearly blew Naruto's ear out. Still, Naruto was excited and pumped for Gai's method. Gai had never failed Naruto before so the blond was sure he'd get this down before tomorrow morning.
Gai sat down in front of Naruto, crossing his legs before closing his eyes for a moment in concentration. "Alright, here's the plan. We're going to forget about the Bunshin No Jutsu(Clone Technique) and I'll give you another clone technique suited more to a shinobi of your strength. I'll be teaching you the Kage Bunshin No Jutsu(Shadow Clone Technique)," Gai explained after opening his eyes to pupil who listened carefully, hiding the fact that he was bursting in anticipation after hearing this new more powerful sounding technique.
"This is how the technique works..."
Night had fallen as Gai was returning to where Naruto was practicing his new jutsu after giving his mission report to the Hokage. Along the way, Gai had run into Kakashi Hatake, an old friend of his since the green beast's academy days.
Kakashi was a fair-skinned, fit and relatively tall shinobi. He had spiky white hair, and dark eyes. He wore his forehead protector tilted to the left cover one of his eyes and a mask which obscured the lower-half of his face. Just like all other shinobi of a jōnin rank, Kakashi were the Konohagakure flackjacket.
"So what have you been up to Gai? It's been awhile since I've seen you around," Kakashi spoke in an bored tone of voice like he usually did with a minimal amount of interest shown.
"Doing missions with my genin team and training my pupils. It takes time to bring about greatness," Gai explained in a matter of fact tone, Kakashi taking his eyes off his Icha Icha book momentarily to look at Gai.
"'Pupils'? I thought you only took that boy that couldn't do ninjutsu under your wing?" Kakashi wondered, not having been aware that Gai had taken another pupil.
"That was true up until a couple months after I first started training Lee. My other pupil came to me with his head bowed and begged for me to train him. I couldn't bring myself to deny him!" Gai told in a loud voice with dramatic tears pooling down his eyes, making it seem a little over the top to Kakashi.
"And he hasn't broken yet?" Kakashi asked with an eye smile, knowing first hand how ridiculous some of Gai's training methods were. It took a will of steel to get through some of it and although Kakashi could probably manage it, he wasn't willing to try.
"Of course not! Everything that didn't break him made him stronger! He's actually training at this very moment, hard at work learning the Kage Bunshin No Jutsu(Shadow Clone Technique)!" Gai praised his student, bringing a rare sign of interest in Kakashi who had never heard of a genin attempting a jōnin level skill.
"I won't believe it till I see it. It's kind of outrageous, don't you think?" Kakashi put on a straight face as he denied Gai's claims. Gai merely gave a shining white smile that gave off a 'ping' before motioning for Kakashi to follow him.
Kakashi stood next to Gai behind a tree, masking their presence as they looked at Naruto who brushed the sweat off his forehead. He had a bright smile on his face, immediately supporting Gai's theory that everything was going well. Meanwhile, Kakashi's eyes narrowed slightly, noticing immediately who the boy in the center of clearing was.
"Alright! One more time!" Naruto shouted out loud, pumping himself up as he brought his hands up making a plus sign with two fingers of each hand as he called the name of his technique.
"Kage Bunshin No Jutsu(Shadow Clone Technique)!" Kakashi was not the only one surprised since Gai was as well as the entire empty space was enveloped in a large plume of white smoke. As the smoke died down, Gai and Kakashi could easily count out that their were hundreds of Naruto.
Kakashi was left speechless at what he had just seen. This was not a jōnin level technique, this was taken a step further and became a kinjutsu(Forbidden Technique). Gai, however, instantly sprung into action, jumping into the crowd of clones while shouting Naruto's name.
"Naruto! Naruto! Dispel all of these clones immediately!" Gai demanded and Naruto obeyed without a moment's hesitation. All the clones vanished at once revealing one Naruto who had not moved from his original spot. He was sweating a lot and looked quite exhausted but he was otherwise fine.
"I told you to only make one clone! I told you that anymore would be dangerous! You could have died! Why would you do something so irresponsible?" Gai reprimanded his student who looked at Gai with child-like fright.
"But Gai-sensei, after I made the first clone it got so easy to make more! I made the same number of clones I just did a whole bunch of times! I'm just tired from doing it all day, but I'm just fine! If I get something to eat and some time to sleep I'll be at two hundred percent!" Naruto explained himself, not seeing anything wrong with what he had done.
"I can see that and I should have expected it, but that still doesn't mean its okay. When you make that many shadow clones, the Kage Bunshin No Jutsu(Shadow Clone Technique) becomes the kinjutsu, Tajū Kage Bunshin No Jutsu(Multiple Shadow Clone Technique). When you make a kage bunshin you split your chakra evenly among each clone, so if you separate your chakra too much you could end up at the point of death. Swear to me that you will not use the technique without caution or I will prohibit you from ever using it!" Gai lectured, Naruto paying attention closely as he always did when Gai became serious and this tidbit of information was interesting and good to know.
"Alright, Gai-sensei. I promise I won't use this technique without keeping what you have told me in mind," Naruto explained as his eyes began closing and he started slumping slightly.
"Just let me take a little nap...," Naruto finished in a rather weak and tired tone of voice before collapsing on the ground. By the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest, it was easy to determine that Naruto was completely healthy and was just recuperating from the mass expenditure of his chakra.
Gai shook his head at his student but smiled nonetheless as he picked up the blond boy and positioned him on his back. Kakashi appeared from behind the tree as Gai approached him. "He's a spitting image of Minato-sensei, isn't he?" Gai decided to comment getting a smirk from Kakashi who eyed the boy interestingly.
"I haven't accepted a genin team since I signed up for it, but I'm getting quite an interesting batch this year. As long as they all pass the Graduation Exam, I'll have a survivor of the Uchiha Clan, a kunoichi from Kumogakure and him," Kakashi remarked, pointing at the boy Gai was carrying.
Gai had an expression on his face that just said 'wow' after hearing Kakashi's potential unit. "What a youthful bunch! They outta keep ya busy, ay Kakashi," Gai commented, nudging his old friend with his elbow.
"We'll see about that," Kakashi returned with a chuckle as he waved his good-bye to Gai and disappeared in a swirl of leaves. Kakashi was outwardly lax, but Gai could sense his rival's sudden spike in interest and excitement. Gai smirked at the development before disappearing in a swirl of leaves himself.
'It's getting late. I wonder if Naruto will come back soon,' Yugito thought to herself as she looked outside at the dark night. She was currently sitting on the dining table eating a takeout tekkadon bento.
Just as that thought had come across her mind, there was two short raps at the door. Yugito instantly dropped her chopsticks and stepped to the door and quickly opened it, completely expecting to see Naruto.
Just as expected, Naruto was at the door... but he was strewn over the shoulder of a tall man wearing green spandex, orange leg warmers and a Konoha flackjacket. Yugito was confused and didn't know what to say, so it was good that the man at the door spoke first.
"Are you, Yugito Nii-san?" Yugito nodded her response and let the strangely dressed man continue.
"Naruto has told me much about you. The name is Might Gai, it's a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance," Gai greeted very politely as he outstretched the hand he wasn't using to secure Naruto towards her.
Gai radiated a Narutoesque energy that compelled to smile and shake his outstretched hand. "It's very nice to meet, Gai-san, please come in," Yugito gestured into the apartment. Gai nodded his head and gave his thanks as he stepped inside the small apartment. He looked around for a moment, taking in the sight that was his pupil's dwelling.
"So... uh...," Yugito didn't know how to begin to ask what was wrong with her roommate that was hanging on Gai's shoulder. Gai noticed her loss for words and chuckled to himself slightly.
"Naruto was hard at work mastering his cloning technique for the Graduation Exams tomorrow," Gai explained to the young lady who's eyes widened slightly, seeing that Naruto hadn't been telling the full truth when she had asked if he had mastered the required jutsu in the morning.
Gai looked around as he took a firmer grip of Naruto, signaling that he was looking for a place to drop Naruto. Yugito motioned over to the futon set up on the side of the room which Gai then moved towards and placed Naruto down on.
"I told him it wasn't necessary for him to learn the jutsu, but he was set on learning it. He said that he didn't want to be a liar," Gai commented as he stood up from his kneeling position next to Naruto's futon and walked over to the door. Yugito eye's once again widened as a small smile arrived on her face.
'That's so like you, Naruto." Yugito thought to herself as she glanced at Naruto's sleeping form before returning her attention to Gai who was waiting just outside the door.
"Thanks for dropping him off, Gai-san."
"You're very welcome, Nii-san. It was no trouble at all," Gai stated as began to walk down the balcony towards the stairs that led to the main road. Yugito took a step half outside as she waved and offered her good bye and good night.
Gai turned around and eyed her for a moment in contemplation. A smirk fell on his lips as he returned her farewell, "You know, Nii-san? From what I can see, Naruto thinks the world of you so please, do take good care and good night."
Gai finished with a bright grin before vanishing with a swirl of leaves, leaving Yugito with a light tint of pink on her cheeks and a look of confusion. Yugito stood outside for a moment in her thoughts before a cold breeze chilled her and brought her back to reality.
Yugito walked back inside the apartment and closed the door behind her as she walked through the living room. She grabbed the bento off the dining table and finished it off by the time she got to the kitchen where she dropped it off in the trash bin. Walking back out of the kitchen, Yugito glanced at Naruto as Gai's parting words returned to the forefront of her mind.
'From what I can see, Naruto thinks the world of you.'
'What an exaggeration,' Yugito thought to herself with a smile as she reached over to the light switch. Naruto let out a choked snore before returning to his rhythmic breathing causing Yugito to shake her head and giggle.
"Good night, Naruto," Yugito said to the sleeping blond as she flicked the lights closed and left for her bed.
"Alright, Naruto. You're up. Show me what you got," Iruka spoke to Naruto who was standing alone in the center of a square, wooden-paneled room. Naruto had gotten through the Kawarimi no Jutsu(Body Replacement Technique) and the Henge no Jutsu(Transformation Technique) quickly and to perfection. All Naruto had to do now was create a clone of himself and he would pass with flying colors.
Naruto nodded his head at Iruka's instruction, creating a plus hand seal as he called the name of his technique, "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu(Shadow Clone Technique)!" Just as expected the technique, a tangible Naruto appeared right next to the original. They high-fived each other in victory as Iruka's shocked expression became only more and more pronounced.
Iruka went over to the Naruto that had been created by the jutsu and poked before recoiling as if the clone would explode. Iruka then looked at the original Naruto and pointed at the clone trying to ask Naruto how and what, but it only came out as gibberish in his shock and awe.
"Gai-sensei taught me how to do it since he said the Bunshin no Jutsu(Clone Technique) was impossible for me," Naruto explained, grabbing Iruka by the shoulders as the teacher slowly calmed down after seeing his favorite student do something completely unexpected. Then again, Naruto was the type to do the unexpected.
Iruka took a few steps back to sit on the wooden table with the examination forms as he placed his right hand at the back of his hand. He shook his head thrice as he spoke, "You're always so full of surprises, aren't you, Naruto?"
Naruto chuckled in response as his clone dispersed leaving just the two of them alone in the room. Iruka put on a grin that mirrored Naruto's as he pulled out a Konoha forehead protector from his pocket instead of picking it up from the table.
"I'm very proud of you, Naruto. It's been lots of fun. You deserve this more than anyone else," Iruka commented, rising from the table and motioning for Naruto to lean forward as Iruka tied the forehead protector to Naruto's head.
Iruka finished tying the forehead protector and took a step back, waiting for Naruto to look up at him. Iruka watched as Naruto kept his head bowed slightly to the ground, his body began to shake lightly. "...Naruto...," Iruka prodded cautiously.
Something dropped from Naruto's face and hit the ground underneath him. Then another, then another. "Ya'know, Iruka-sensei... It feels like a dream... that you would do this for me when I finally graduated," Naruto spoke with a shaken voice, looking up at Iruka with tears of happiness flowing down his cheeks.
Iruka eyes narrowed slightly as his lips curved up in a small happy smile, tears threatened to fall from his own eyes. Watching his 'little brother' grow up and move on to take on the world made him both happy and sad at the same time. His teaching at the academy wouldn't be the same without Naruto there.
Iruka was then tackled to the ground by Naruto who hugged him tightly, tears still flowing. After the initial cringe of hitting the floor, Iruka returned the hug.
Shared memories between the two of them rushed through their minds as they embraced one another. All those times Naruto had pulled a prank on Iruka, Iruka chasing after him, and Iruka chastising him. All the times they had sat together eating Ichiraku Ramen while discussing a variety of things. All the laughs and smiles shared they shared.
Naruto was prepared to move on, he had known that this day would come eventually. Still, Iruka had been there for him all these years and they had seen each other everyday for the most part of the past years. Not seeing his teacher every single day would take some getting used to.
"I'll be watching, Naruto. I just know you'll be a great Hokage one day."
Over the course of the next few hours, the remaining students finished the Graduation Examination and they were all once again gathered in their respective classrooms. Here in their original classrooms they would be arranged into three man cells consisting of two boys and a girl.
Iruka had gone through Team One to Team Six and Naruto was becoming impatient. Feelings of anxiety began manifesting as he glanced at Yugito every once in awhile. Naruto wanted more than anything to be placed in the same team with Yugito and despite the increase in the probability with each team in which they weren't selected, Naruto couldn't help but worry.
Iruka could see Naruto shaking in anticipation from where he was standing. Iruka had already glanced down the form for Naruto's name and knew who his future teammates would be. Iruka smirked as he moved onto that very team.
"Team 7 will be made up of: Yugito Nii...," Iruka began watching as Naruto perked up even more than Yugito did.
"Naruto Uzumaki..." Iruka continued, but was momentarily interrupted as Naruto practically flew out of his seat, pumping his fist in the air in victory and giving Yugito a quick hug who was giggling at his exuberant reaction.
"Hell yeah!" Naruto began as he got back into his seat, leaned back in his chair and placed his feet on the table before finishing, "what's the next name on the list, Iruka-sensei, it doesn't even matter anymore."
Iruka had a smug face on when he heard Naruto's remark, it was a face that said 'You wanna bet?'.
"And the third member, Sasuke Uchiha."
Naruto fell out of his chair into a crumpled heap as Naruto shouting 'Fuck!' resounded through the room. Naruto quickly recovered and leaned forward on his desk to look past Yugito and glare at Sasuke, his face turned up in disgust. Sasuke merely glanced back momentarily before looking straight ahead, not even bothering to acknowledge Naruto anymore than that.
Yugito looked from left to right a few times as she rubbed her temples at what she would probably be dealing with for a very long time. Iruka saw Yugito's reaction and sympathized with a grimace as she would now be dealing with their rivalry instead of him. Iruka took a moment to himself to pray for the success of the team before moving on to announce the rest.
Team 8: Kiba Inuzuka, Hinata Hyūga, Shino Aburame
Team 10: Ino Yamanaka, Shikamaru Nara, Chōji Akimichi
After a few more announcements, everyone in the room knew who was in their genin team. It was at this time that the jōnin leaders came into the room one by one to claim their students. The room became considerably empty as the genin were taken away three by three.
Naruto watched the minute hand of the clock hit twelve signaling that an hour had passed since the rest of the genin team were claimed by their jōnin leader. Naruto buried his face into his folded arms on the desk with a sigh of defeat. Yugito was looking up at the ceiling with a slightly annoyed expression which was mirrored by Sasuke who was looking out the window with his right cheek resting on his right hand.
A few minutes more passed before Iruka signaled that he had other duties to carry out. He offered his congratulations once again and his good bye before he exited the classroom.
Another hour went by.
"Is this for real?!" Naruto banged on the desk angrily having long since reached the end of his patience. Even Sasuke and Yugito were at the end of their patience and shook their heads in disbelief as they stared at the door, willing it to open.
"This isn't a very good first impression. Who the hell is this guy?" Yugito wondered out loud, standing up from her chair as she arched her back and pressed her fists against it. Several cracking noises resounded through the room which was a true testament to how long they had been waiting.
Another five minutes went by.
"I swear if this guy keeps me waiting for a minute longer, I am going to blow up his h-," Naruto began his threat, but before he could finish, some heavenly deity finally decided to answer the prayer of the three genin.
The door to the classroom flew open and in stepped a tall man with silver, gravity-defying hair, a face mask and the Konoha flackjacket. The three genin were now praying that this was their long awaited jōnin sensei and not some cruel joke to raise their hopes.
The man turned towards the three graduates and looked at them awhile in turn before staying quiet for a moment longer. Naruto, Yugito and Sasuke merely eyed him back, waiting for the man in front of them to act first.
"So you three are assigned to me..." The man spoke while nodding his head, sweeping his vision over them. It was obvious to see in the man's eyes that he was bored and unimpressed.
"Hmm, how do I say this?" the man wondered to himself mostly, cupping his chin as his students waited rather eagerly for what he was about to say.
"I don't like you guys." The room was silent as the words suck in. Sasuke's and Yugito's eyes narrowed at the remark, clearly kinda pissed off.
Sasuke, Yugito and Kakashi turned their head to where the loud noise had emanated from. Naruto's right hand was buried halfway in his desk and the wooden desk had broken and splintered around it. Naruto clearly didn't take the remark too well after having been waiting in anticipation for so long.
"The feeling is mutual, sensei," Naruto responded, the venom dripping from his words. At this rate, Naruto was going to end up going through with his previous threat.
The newly formed Team 7 had changed locations and were now at the top of a large building. The three genin were sitting on the steps that led to a balcony, Yugito in the middle with Naruto to her right and Sasuke to her left. Kakashi was in front of them, leaning on the guardrail of the balcony.
"Since this is our first time together, how about we start with getting to know each other?"
"What do you want to know?" Yugito responded to her sensei's question having calmed down the most of the three.
"Well, start with your name. Then some, hm..., likes, dislikes and your plans for the future. Here I'll start." The students looked at their teacher, curious to found out more about the mysterious man in front of them.
"My name is Kakashi Hatake. I have likes and dislikes. I haven't really thought about my future much." The introduction was less than satisfactory.
'So his name is Kakashi Hatake,' was the one actual piece of information of their teacher that the three graduates repeated mentally in unison with a sweatdrop.
"How about you go next," Kakashi spoke to Yugito who nodded her head affirmatively.
"My name is Yugito Nii. I used to like playing the shamisen, and I dislike spicy foods. One day I will become the strongest kunoichi in the world," Yugito spoke earnestly.
Kakashi made an 'oh' noise and nodded in approval. Most kunoichi Yugito's age were more interested in love, so it was a nice change of pace to hear about a kunoichi that wanted to become the strongest.
"How about you go next, blondie?" Kakashi ordered more than asked, pointing at Naruto who wasn't paying much attention. The slightly condescending tone in 'blondie' was evident as Naruto looked at Kakashi with a straight face, leaning back on his elbows.
"The name is Naruto Uzumaki. I like long cuddling sessions, candlelit dinners and moonlit walks on the beach. I hate icky things and I hope to one day sprout wings and fly through the air." Yugito was trying her hardest to keep from laughing, but couldn't help the smile. Sasuke hid it even less, snorting a laugh with a smirk on his face.
Kakashi's lips under his mask turned up in a small scowl as he looked at Naruto unamused. He then moved onto Sasuke, gesturing for him to conclude the introductions.
"My name is Sasuke Uchiha. I don't have anything that I particularly like and a lot of dislikes. As for my plans for the future... I plan to hunt down and kill a certain someone." Naruto and Yugito looked at Sasuke a little wide eyed, not really expecting something so morbid. Kakashi frowned, having expected something like this. Wanting to avenge the death of all your loved ones was understandable. Kakashi could relate.
A brief silence swept over Team 7 before Kakashi spoke again.
"Well, now that that's over. Tomorrow we'll be starting our duties."
Yugito appointed herself as the three's representative since the other two weren't interested in communicating. "What kind of duties?"
"Well, for tomorrow we'll be doing something with just the four of us... Survival training."
"Survival training? Like what we practiced in the academy?" Yugito questioned, hoping that it wouldn't be like the academy. Most of the time she had spent at the academy felt like a total waste of time other than spending time with her classmates.
"No no, nothing that easy. This training will be significantly more difficult," Kakashi began his explanation, Sasuke and Naruto perking up quite a bit more. With both of them wanting to become stronger and stronger, the notion of difficult training excited them.
"Well, I'm calling it survival training, but what it actually is, is a test."
Naruto cringed as his first thought was a sheet of paper with a series of open response questions. "A test?"
Kakashi chuckled slightly, looking at Naruto as he spoke, "You guys are going to freak out when I'm gonna tell you this." Naruto had an expression of defeat as he thought to himself that it was definitely a written exam.
"Out of the twenty-seven graduates, only nine of you will go on to become full-fledged genin. The purpose of the academy is to see who will have the chance to become a genin, so those of you that fail this test will be sent back to the academy," Kakashi explained, drawing noises of shock from his potential students.
"What the hell! I'm going to be sent back to the academy just because I can't answer a few damn questions about survival?" Naruto shouted in disbelief, firmly believing that if he got any sort of written examination he was doomed before it even began.
A comical sweatdrop appeared on Kakashi's head as he bowed his head with a sigh. "I didn't say anything about a written examination. Being able to answer questions on a piece of paper hardly matters when you're out in the fields."
Naruto felt a wave of relief hit him while also gaining a little respect for Kakashi. He was glad that his sensei didn't believe in giving written tests. Unknowingly to him, that was Kakashi's first step into Naruto's good side.
"So what kinda test is it?" Sasuke asked, feeling impatient with Naruto's misunderstanding. It was a waste of time.
"Well, it'll be something really difficult, you guys might even lose your stomachs, but what it will be exactly is a surprise." Kakashi spoke in such a deathly tone of voice that caused chills to go up their spines.
Naruto stood up, his posture and expression was one that oozed confidence, "As long as I don't have to answer any questions one of those nine spots is definitely mine. Count on it, Kakashi-sensei."
Kakashi's expression turned into a rather happy one, giving Naruto an eye smile. That was probably the first time the three teens had seen their sense lighten up since the first time they saw him.
"I want you to remember this overconfidence when your in the middle of my test tomorrow," Kakashi commented rather enjoying Naruto's spirit.
Kakashi reached into one of the pockets of his flackjacket and removed three sheets of paper. "Let's wrap this up then. All the information you need is on this piece of paper."
Naruto, Yugito and Sasuke each grabbed a sheet of paper. Naruto immediately crumpled the paper since Yugito would tell him what he needed to know and Sasuke did the same after scanning the information.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow at the designated time and place... And do yourself a favor and skip lunch." With that said, Kakashi waved a short good bye and disappeared in a swirl of leaves.
Naruto, Yugito and Sasuke all looked at the spot where their sensei used to be. Kakashi's words of warning and the consequences of failure rang through their minds... but strangely, the three genin were excited and burning in anticipation. The academy did little to challenge them, so Kakashi's test would be their first true test of skill. It was time to break out all the stops and secure themselves a spot.
'Bring it on.'
Time for the usual ending author's note, but now I have a few more things to talk about then usual.
I noticed in a lot of other fanfiction that other author's got diverge from the whole "you need the sacred scroll to learn the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu", but ya'know, in the cannon, quite a few shinobi were making using the technique, so I was like, what the heck. Gai is one of the highest level jonin in Konoha, why wouldn't he know about the kage bunshin no jutsu. Even if he couldn't do it himself, he probably knew the mechanics behind it.
Everything that I wrote after Gai teaching Naruto the shadow clone technique was just as painful for me to write as it was for you guys to read. It was so disgustingly cannon with almost 0 originality. I feel as if you guys could tell it was lacking and that's mostly due to my own disinterest in writing it.
I tried to skip as much of the cannon or tedious bits like each part of the examination or the calling of names.
I hope I was able to possibly make you laugh at some point while reading the story to relieve you from some of the pain, and if not, I'm sorry. The next chapter is titled "Bell Test", and I won't lie to you guys. The same bell test we all know will happen, albeit with different events occurring during and after. If you make it past the bell test, the whole story from then on, deviates from the same cannon that we are always reading.
I feel as if the weakest part of this chapter were the parts after Naruto learning the shadow clone technique and that's most because I really didn't want to write the graduation exam process and the meeting with Kakashi wasn't as descriptive since we all know what happens. I didn't want to write too much because I knew you guys probably didn't want to read it.
I want to apologize if how rusty I am is evident in the chapter and I promise you that I improved a lot for the next chapter and want to say that my writing will improve the more and more I write. Actually, this was one of my first attempts at writing a dialogue that wasn't cluttered with "she said", "he stated", etc, etc. Tell me what you guys think of it, because I know its not perfect. Dialogue is something that's reoccurring in all fanfiction stories, so I need to practice making it less cluttered and more fluid and natural.
I also want to state as a fact, that I am much better at writing fight scenes than I am most other parts of a story and you guys will see that in the next chapter.
Anyways, once again, if you guys have any questions, suggestions, a like, dislike feel free to drop it in a review and I'll respond to it at the top of the next chapter. Thanks for staying with the story 7 chapters in and I hope I can hold onto your attention for many more chapters to come.
Have a good day/night. The next chapter will probably be out in the next 2-3 days, just like I said in the last chapter, but just keep an eye out for tomorrow just in case.
Till the next time I update.