And I'm back! Miss me? Of course you did. Or maybe it was just my story? Regardless, here's number 7!
Chapter VII: The Unbreakable Genjutsu is Born!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Naruto concentrated very hard on the lake as he held a ball of water and he heard Hana give him the signal to start. Immediately he began to morph it into a cube by expanding the top and sides until it all was a square on six sides. "Time!" He announced.
Hana clicked the stopwatch and grinned. "4.98 seconds!" She exclaimed. "Your water manipulation is now B-rank!" Naruto grinned back and the cube dissolved into water which sealed into bracers he recently added to the back of his gloves. On said bracers were storage seals he put for supplies he'd need on a mission, including water.
"Just four days, Hana-chan. And it's only been six since Kiba left. How's your manipulation going?" Naruto asked. Hana grinned and grabbed a nearby leaf. As she held it, it burst to flames.
"Nearly mid C-rank, according to Miko-sensei. My last exercise before I get a jutsu I need to set a stick on fire with my chakra and then I get to learn the Fire Style: Grand Fireball Jutsu and Fire Style: Phoenix Sage Flower Jutsu."
"Progressing quickly then?"
"Yeah, but Miko-sensei wanted today to herself and tomorrow's Sunday, so I'll be busy with medic training. And you said so yourself that until kaa-san teaches me clan jutsu the only thing you can help me with is elemental manipulation and ninjutsu."
"Well, I'm content with my progress thus far... why don't we go into the village for a bit?" Hana nodded with a smile.
In said village, the duo of best friends made their way through streets until they arrived in the shinobi part of the Market District. It was one no civilians could enter. That was one reason Naruto had no qualms with coming here. Only shinobi and Academy students had place here.
"Where to, Hana-chan?" Naruto asked, not really caring.
She seemed to think as they walked before smiling. "Let's go see Tenten-chan and her sisters!" The Shimura nodded and they headed off.
Higurashi Tenten was the adopted daughter of the Higurashis, a family who own the largest shinobi weapon store in Konoha with branch stores over Fire Country. Back in the orphanage Naruto grew up in she had protected him from bullies until she was adopted when he was four. Within the last nine months Naruto had discovered where she was and they rekindled their old friendship.
She had two sisters who were the twin daughters of Higurashi Kenichi and his deceased wife Higurashi Tsuki, Rin and Kyō. All three were in the Academy and the very best at shurikenjutsu and/or bukijutsu in their class.
"Let's do that, Hana-chan."
So the duo made their way down the street and found the shop. It was made of black wood with a red roof and had a sign with the words 'Higurashi Weapons and Ninja Tools, The Very Best in Fire Country'. As soon as they opened the door a bell rung and they saw Tenten at the counter polishing a ninjato and talking to a boy who looked her age with long hair and bushy eyebrows.
She looked up and grinned. "Hey Naruto, Hana!" She waved. The pair walked up to her.
"Hey Ten-nee-san." Naruto said with a smile. Then he looked at the boy with Tenten. "I'm Shimura-Uzumaki Naruto." He held out his hand and the boy grinned in a way that seemed to reflect the sunlight.
"I'm Rock Lee." He replied.
"Well, I'm Inuzuka Hana." Hana piped in.
"Nice to meet you Naruto-kun, Hana-chan."
"This is my little brother I was telling you about, Lee." Tenten said. "I was just telling him about how you are helping train some of the kids in your year and maybe you could help him out?" Naruto smiled.
"I see no problem with it."
Lee smiled but seemed a bit nervous. "I have damaged chakra coils, you see. Most of my chakra network is ruined except for in my feet and legs. But I want to prove that I can be a truly great shinobi without genjutsu or ninjutsu!" He exclaimed. Naruto smiled.
"I have an idea. The Iron Fist taijutsu style sounds perfect for you and only one man in Konoha has mastered it. I think I'll introduce you to him. He is on good terms with my jiji, so I think he'll help. Maito Gai is the best taijutsu user in Konoha and one of the greatest across the Elemental Nations."
Lee had stars in his eyes. "Thank you Naruto-kun!" He pulled the silverhaded boy into a crushing hug.
Hana smiled. "I still can't believe it." The Inuzuka turned to Tenten. "I mean... his personality." Tenten clarified. "He was so timid in the orphanage, but now... he's helping so many people. Thanks Hana."
"I've talked with the others, I know it was your idea and I know out of all of you guys my little brother sees you as his best friend. Don't pretend otherwise." Hana blushed a little.
"Y-yeah... I guess you're right. I just never thought about it." Tenten smiled to the younger girl.
"And with the way he is and the way you two are always around each other... no wonder you've got a crush." Tenten whispered teasingly and giggled at Hana's blush.
Meanwhile, Naruto had been talking to Lee. "So... I think that the only things you can use without chakra in your hands will be taijutsu, bukijutsu, shurikenjutsu and surface walking. You might be able to use the Body Flicker Jutsu but that's it as far as ninjutsu is concerned unless your chakra system is healed by someone of Tsunade's level."
Lee nodded. "Thank you again, Naruto-kun." Lee said.
"No problem, Lee. Let's go see Gai. Hana-chan, Ten-nee-san, you coming?" He turned and saw Tenten giggling at a blushing Hana. "Eh? You okay Hana-chan?" He put a hand on her forehead. "Are you sick?" He asked her.
"N-no, I'm fine, Naruto-kun." She replied. "And Tenten can't come because... she has to watch the store!" Hana smirked at the weapon mistress-in-training. Tenten shrugged and got back to polishing her ninjato as they left.
Training Ground 26 was a rather dangerous place to be. It was not for fear of the animals there, like Training Ground 44, or for fear of dehydration, like the Desert-esque Training Ground 39 or even from fear of hypothermia in the Artic Training Ground 51. It was something much more dangerous.
Training Ground 26 was the personal training ground of Elite Jōnin Maito Gai, the Blue Beast of Konoha.
"Yosh! Naruto-kun! How are you doing on this Youthful day?" Gai exclaimed as he saw three kids appear in two swirls of leaves.
Naruto sighed. "Hey Gai. I was a little bored, so was Hana-chan, sincr we couldn't do more training today. My Auntie Miko was teaching Hana-chan fire manipulation and I decided to keep her company since I just mastered B-rank water manipulation."
"Your training is so Youthful!" Gai shouted. "Your elemental prowess is just as good as my eternal rival, Hatake Kakashi!"
"We went to the Higurashi Weapon Shop and Tenten introduced me to Lee here." Naruto continued as if Gai hadn't interrupted. "He wants to be a truly great shinobi with chakra alone and... I'm not very good with taijutsu. Plus, with your last team now in ANBU... maybe you might like an apprentice to pass on..." Naruto couldn't believe he was about to say this. "The Flames of Youth?"
The Jōnin with very thick eyebrows grinned so his teeth reflected the sun very brightly and had anime waterfalls of tears from his eyes as he clenched his fist in front of him.
"Th-that is a truly Youthful suggestion, Naruto-kun! Come Lee! Come and I shall pass on the Flames of Youth and my taijutsu to you!" The bushy-browed Academy student seemed to mirror the tears and pose of the bushier-browed Jōnin.
"Thank you Gai-sensei!"
And so as Naruto and Hana watched the first use of the Maito Gai-Rock Lee unbreakable sunset genjutsu they couldn't but help to wonder exactly what they had done.
And that will be all!
The origins of the Sunset Genjutsu are revealed! Who knew Naruto was the one responsible for its creation? How guilty must he feel?
Oh well. What shall happen next? Only my muse knows!
Orpheus out! Ja ne!