"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
A few days had passed since Naruto began training Korra to not rely on her elemental bending arts as her only source of both defence and offence, which began as one could imagine when training a person so set in their ways. Of course Korra wasn't all that bad of student, she had always been able to pick up new forms of fighting much faster than anyone else Naruto had encountered, but that attitude only lasted for as long as the training interested her. Needless to say, doing the same exercise for a few days in a row had dulled Korra's interest and caused her to not pay attention when Naruto was instructing her. So, in return for Korra's lack of interest, Naruto upped the exercise regime to the point that his dear younger sibling collapsed onto her bed once the day had ended.
It also came as a surprise to Naruto when Kuvira actually came by, during one of Naruto's personal training hours early in the morning, and requested that he train with her as a way for them both to improve. Kuvira requested such things in a very professional manner, which was expected of her personality type, but Naruto agreed to her request nonetheless. So, between training Korra and training with Kuvira, Naruto had become quite a busy young man these last few days. In fact, it was now nearing the end of Naruto's first week in Zaofu and the last Uzumaki was already feeling quite at home within the large metal city. Naruto could actually be found walking through Suyin's home, dressed in some robes provided to him by the Beifong family, whistling a lively tune as he passed some men and women standing guard.
"Good evening," Naruto greeted the guards that protected Suyin's personal study, where she managed her city while having a quiet place to think by herself.
It had become a common sight for the guards to find Naruto speaking to Suyin behind the closed doors of her study, a sight that would normally cause rather unflattering rumors to begin spreading had they not respected their leader as much as they did. However, seeing as this had become a normal even for the last three days, the guards automatically opened the study doors and allowed the blonde to step inside. As expected, Suyin was reading through several important documents at her desk; apparently too consumed in her work to realize that she now had a guest.
"I see that you are very familiar with the legendary curse of leadership," Naruto spoke, noticing Suyin jump ever so slightly at the sound of his voice; showing that the woman did not notice his entrance.
"Naruto, I didn't hear you enter, is there something I can do for you?" Suyin asked, turning in her seat to face Naruto while raising a slender gray eyebrow.
"Not really, I just got done with Korra's training session and found myself wandering past your study, I hope I'm not interrupting anything important," the last Uzumaki could understand how important it was to keep up to date on all the dealings of a city, having spent many nights away from home because of other important matters.
"No, not at all, I'm just going over the daily reports that each of the outer districts send in. It's mostly just repair requests or something along those general lines. Why, feel like helping me sort through this mess?" it was meant as a joke on Suyin's part, but you could imagine her surprise when Naruto simply walked up next to her desk and began going through the paperwork.
"You know, it might be easier if you have your assistants sort each of these piles into which district they belong to. Oh and it looks like your metal production plant needs some replacement parts for the furnaces. Something about one of the smelting pots breaking down every few hours and slowing production?"
Working on paperwork for a few hours eventually led to long conversations and one of the guards outside bringing them some drinks. In fact, they had spent so much time just doing paperwork and talking that the sun had already set by the time they had finished. Now the both of them were chatting like two old friends that hadn't seen one another in a few years.
"So Korra burst in through one of the walls in the house and proudly declared that she was the Avatar and they gotta deal with it!" Naruto said in between fits of laughter, which Suyin was quick to join after hearing how the White Lotus first met this generation's Avatar.
"Oh my, I haven't laughed this hard in a long time!" Suyin exclaimed, putting a hand over her mouth in a vain attempt to stop her laughing.
"Yea, Korra was quite the energetic little ball of chaos while we were growing up, but she had her nice moments as well. So tell me, how did you come across Kuvira; she's quite the talented metalbender?" Naruto asked, to which Suyin's laughing stopped and she adopted a content smile.
"Sadly, Kuvira was abandoned by her parents at a very young age and it was only by mere chance that I came upon her during my time in the Earth Kingdom capital. She is one of the most talented benders I have ever seen, but being abandoned by her parents left a deep ridge in her heart and she doesn't really trust anyone because of it," Suyin said, her sad smile turning down at the thought of such people abandoning a little girl to fend for herself.
"Hm, perhaps there is something I can do about that."
(Next day: Training Area)
"Korra, what is the first thing your old masters taught you about waterbending?" asked Naruto, while he and Korra stood not three feet away from one another in the fighting right set up especially for them by Suyin.
"Something along the line of water being the element of change, or something like that. I honestly can't remember," Korra said with a sheepish grin while nervously scratching the back of her head, although Naruto showed no signs of irritation at her lack of knowledge.
"That's right, water is the element of change, and waterbending is by far the best element to use if you want to redirect your opponents energy back at them. However, did you know that you could use waterbending while not using water? What I mean by this is that the physical body movements of a waterbender could be used like a nonbender uses Chi blocking," Naruto explained, already seeing the excited look on Korra's face at the prospect of a new way to fight that almost no one would expect.
"So what, I just do the same moves but not use my actual chi?" asked the Avatar, raising an eyebrow in anticipation for Naruto's answer, but Naruto just chuckled and shook his head.
"No, because with bending you are able to use your emotions to make you attacks slightly stronger while this requires nearly complete control of your actions. Just like with the other day when we fought, you let your anger guide you when you could have done much better by staying in control. Now I hope you've had a restful morning because we may be at this for a while," said Naruto while slipping into a very familiar waterbender stance, the first stance that every waterbender is taught, as Korra mirrored him.
Korra, like always, was the first one to strike by throwing a punch right at Naruto's face, but the last Uzumaki simply deflected it by raising his arm and pushing it to the side. This process would be repeated for some time, with Korra trying different variations of kicks and punches, only for Naruto to continually push them to the side or redirect her kinetic energy in a direction he wanted it to go. There was even one point that Korra attempted to grapple with Naruto, hoping to reduce his maneuverability as much as possible, only for her technique to suddenly be reversed on her.
"Focus Korra, don't just try to push through my defence but use it against me," Naruto instructed, grabbing Korra's wrist with one hand before pinning her down on the ground by holding the back of her head with his other hand.
Korra, who was once again growing irritated with just how much better her adopted brother was and how easily he was beating her, called upon her earthbending and slammed her unrestricted fist into the ground. The resulting earthquake was enough for Naruto's grip on her arm to loosen and for the Avatar to escape; quickly flipping back up to her feet and putting some distance between them.
While Korra's actions went against what Naruto was trying to teach her, he also knew that not using all the tools available to you in a fight was not a good thing to teach. So, walking over to a bamboo stick resting on a weapons rack, Naruto prepared to teach the young Avatar a very important lesson.
"RAH!" Korra shouted, charging forward again but this time with flames sparking around her fists.
Once again a fist, now covered in fire, came right at Naruto's head, but the only difference this time was that his counter was going to hurt Korra a great deal more than it did a few moments ago. The bamboo stick cracking up against Korra's outstretched arm was enough to make to cry out in both surprise and pain, but more so when the stick suddenly came down on her left shoulder and was followed by a jab to her stomach. Before Korra knew it, she was lying on the ground while clutching both her throbbing arm and stomach. Meanwhile, Naruto just crouched down over her with a disappointed look on his face.
"Do you understand what I'm trying to show you Korra, about how your temper is by far your greatest weakness in a fight?" Naruto asked, but Korra just looked back up at him with rage in her eyes.
"You are meant to be the link between the spirit world and this one, to be the balance, but how can you do that when you anger makes you lash out so recklessly? If this was a real fight, if I really was your enemy and not your brother, then you would be at my mercy right now," the more Naruto spoke, the more the anger left Korra's eyes until she seemed to be more ashamed than anything else.
"It doesn't help that no matter what I do, I can't seem to even come close to beating you unless I use my bending," Korra mumbled, not knowing that Naruto's main advantage was his three hundred years of experience he had under his belt.
"No, the reason you are like this now is because you became prideful of you bending skill, thinking that because you could bend the four elements to your will that no one could beat you at anything else. No Korra, pride is the reason for your anger."
Naruto let his words sink in for a few moments, watching Korra digest everything he just told her, before sticking out a hand to help her back up. Once the Avatar was back on her feet, loosely holding her injured arm with her hand, she gave Naruto a slight smirk of determination.
"So what's next, Sifu?"
"Simple, you learn to control your pride."
(Later that night)
"You're a moron, do you even have any idea how to teach someone?" Kurama asked in a mocking tone, no doubt referring to how slow Korra's progress has been as of late.
'I've had forty-seven students in my life and more than half of them went on to become great fighters, so yes I do believe I have some idea as to how to teach someone,' came Naruto's annoyed reply.
"Really, because right now your old perv of a sensei would probably do a better job and he's been dead for a few hundred years," the giant mass of chakra shot back, trying to get under Naruto's skin as much as possible, if just to relieve the boredom that come with there not being any good fights anymore.
'At least I don't resort to pushing people of a cliff just to draw on their power.'
"Oh don't be such a baby; the fear of death builds character."
'You're a demented bastard.'
"And yet I'm not wrong."
Naruto rubbed the bridge of his nose in a vain attempt to sooth the oncoming headache that was coming from his short talk with Kurama. This act did not go unnoticed by Korra, who was sitting next to her adopted brother on their shared bed, to which she placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and sent him a concerned look.
"You alright?" the Avatar asked, noticing the frustration in Naruto's features.
"Yea, just dealing with a mountain size migraine right now," Naruto smile sheepishly, "You should get some rest; we have a hard day of training again tomorrow."
"I'm fine, but I'm more concerned about you. Ever since we left the South Pole you've been watching over me, teaching me things I never would have learned otherwise, without really taking a break for yourself," Korra stated with a stern expression, which only got her a raised eyebrow from the last Uzumaki.
"It's an older brother's job to…" before Naruto could finish, Korra grabbed him by his shirt and forced his head onto her lap before he could really do anything to stop her.
"Just shut up and get some rest you idiot. It's a little sister's job to look after her big brother, at least this time," Korra's words actually surprised Naruto more than her actions, especially since he couldn't remember the last time he didn't worry about Korra for a change.
"I said shut up."
Naruto just sighed and closed his eyes, somehow willing himself to just relax and let all his worries just drift away. Little did they both know that the coming weeks were going to drown their peaceful lives into an ocean of chaos. For many hundreds of miles away, in the very heart of Republic City, a man consumed by his beliefs was about to take away something that had just been born into the world. The question was, where the Air Nomads going to end because the Avatar wasn't there to protect them?
No I'm not dead but I came pretty close, but to those still reading this story here is the latest chapter. I'm also going to start working on my other stories again.