Seeing the Darkness

Chapter VIII

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

"You could say that..."

The girls landed on their feet and looked around for Naruto but couldn't find him. They heard a dozen voices speak as one just then from every angle and saw multiple copies of him surrounding them. "Suiton: Hidden Mist Jutsu!"

All of them exhaled a deep mist from their mouths that coated the training area. "This is the signature jutsu of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist." Naruto said, though the sound echoed all over, making it impossible to discern his location. "Hido-jiji learned it from an Uchiha when he was in ANBU and taught it to me since he can't make even five cubic feet of mist. The Byakugan can partially see through it but since the mist is purely made of chakra... it distorts your vision."

"We can't use our eyes then!" Hanabi complained. She heard a whizzing sound and barely rolled to dodge three kunai.

"It's time to show you just how much vigilance can save you. This exercise will teach you to use your regular vision and hearing so you can know just how big an advantage the Byakugan supplies. The objective is to take as little damage as you can before 2:45. If all my clones are dispelled then the mission ends with you succeeding. If you can both stand by the time I must leave, the mission was successful. If not... mission failure."

"B-but how many c-clones are there?"

"Five each of water, stone and wind. All of them are weaker than me with about twenty percent of my skill and strength. Hajime!"

Hinata and Hanabi had decided to stick together for this and stood back to back. Their eyes scanned and ears were sharp for anything that may come. Both had the Byakugan deactivated because the mist made everything blurry and fuzzy. Hinata had a kunai pulled out in each hand held backhand just it case and Hanabi was tense, ready to dodge and had a single kunai in her right hand held the same way.

The first wave began with shuriken from all around them. They heard it and the heiresses rolled to the left, under a few of the star-like blades, and heard as they made a rather loud noise which echoed among the mist.

Clang! Clang! Clang!

The girls rose up just as one clone was in front of them and tried to Jūken them both in the chest. Out of instinct, Hinata threw her left shuriken and it pierced the clone's forehead causing it to dissolve into water. Hinata smiled, gaining a little confidence at that. Perhaps she wasn't nearly so weak as everyone thought she was?

Meanwhile Hanabi had heard a shuriken whirling for her elder sister and decided to deflect it with her kunai, knocking it to the ground a few feet away. The girls were once more back-to-back and completely vigilant.

They kept ears open and heard something. Something that caused them to immediately separate and jump away from each other. "Suiken: Salty Tears!" Dozens of sharp blades of water hit where they just were and another Naruto clone landed right there only to dissolve into water as shuriken pierced him from both sides.

"A-are you okay, i-imouto?" Hinata asked.

"I should be asking you that, nee-chan." Hanabi replied smugly but her eyes widened as she saw a clone appear and kick Hinata in the back to send her forward. Just as Hanabi launched her kunai at it, the clone kicked the ground.

"Iwaken: Upheaval!" A wall of earth rose up to protect him and the younger heiress used a chakra enhanced jump to land atop the wall before launching herself at him. She gave him a kick enhanced by chakra to the face which caused him to dissolve into mud.

She had made a simple mistake there in separating from Hinata and now the ten year old found herself surrounded by four clones. "Oops..." she muttered. One launched a kick that she ducked under but the second kicked her back while the third kicked her up. As she was in midair- and in pain from the bruises she would get- she twisted and launched shuriken downward making one disappear in blades of wind and another be gone in a puddle of water. She landed in a crouch and felt the throbbing in her stomach and back. She blocked out the pain and simply looked at the remaining pair as she pulled out two kunai.

She was not prepared for the smoke bombs landing at her feet since she was so focused on them. They released a purple cloud and she immediately felt herself becoming exhausted. Sleeping gas... was her last thought before falling into unconsciousness.

Meanwhile, Hinata was standing and locked in battle with two clones. She had dispatched a Wind Clone and two Stone Clones earlier but then these tried to hit her with kunai that had a blade of wind two feet from the tip on them. Every time she blocked one with her kunai the kunai were cut into.

She jumped back from one slashing but felt her arm being cut. In the battle her arms sported a few cuts as well as her face had one on her cheek. Hinata rolled backwards to dodge another slash and was up in time to send a palm strike to his back and dispel the clone into a gust of wind. The other threw the kunai at her but she ducked under it and threw her own kunai into his throat, making him become a gust as well.

She smiled to herself until a clone appeared behind her and hit her in the neck with a chop that made her crumple into unconsciousness...

By the time the heiresses woke up they were both sitting up against a training post and the mist was gone. They saw Naruto sitting across from them and neither had any wounds or pain to speak of. "What?" Hanabi asked in confusion.

"Vigilance is not a lesson to be taught in a single day." Naruto spoke. "It is something earned through many mistakes. Your first mistake was made today. While the mist was real, the clones were not. The entire thing was an elaborate genjutsu coupled with fuinjutsu."

"H-how...?" Hinata began.

"I began with those kunai I threw to trap you. They have Mirror Seals carved into them which made you think you saw and heard multiple copies of me use the Hidden Mist Jutsu. That gave you the percepton that I had clones out. While I am not the best with genjutsu I can still use the False Copy Jutsu and the False Perception Jutsu." He saw their befuddled looks.

"Each of them are D-rank genjutsu Kumo-chan taught me. The False Copy Jutsu creates illusions of sight and sound while the False Perception changes your sense of time, location and feeling. You two never moved except the first roll away from those kunai I threw. Every clone was simply a strong genjutsu that you didn't dispel or see because you were tricked into turning your dōjutsu off."

"Geez, onii-san... you beat us so easily." Hanabi said.

"Just remain vigilant." The blonde looked up at the sun. "It's nearly three though so I have to go. Since tomorrow's Sunday and the Academy and genin squads don't meet on Sundays I'll meet you here at the same time if that's fine with you two?"

"H-hai."

"Sure nii-san." Hanabi said.

"Good. Then goodbye until then Hinata-sama, Hanabi-sama." He bowed his head slightly for both before turning and leaving. He had an appointment with Yūgao to keep.

And that's it!

Just a short chapter to show the training Naruto will put the heiresses through. Why would Naruto take time to train them? Pretty simple really.

Think about it. Hinata and Hanabi are pretty much the princesses of his clan. When they ask you for something it has been ingrained in you since day one to help them. Simple as that.

Next chapter will be when Naruto meets Yūgao's friends and begins kenjutsu training.

Orpheus out! Ja ne!