Author's Note: I recently got in to reading The Gamer, as well as several Gamer/Naruto Fics, so I decided to have a go at writing one myself.

Just as with After The Chamber: Lords and Ladies, this is a secondary project, so updates will not be as frequent as my main stories.

Read and Review!

Disclaimer: I do not own either Naruto or The Gamer.

"Sakura-chan!" - Regular Speech

'Baka!' - Thoughts

:Shannaro!: - Inner Sakura

[Quest Announcement] - Gamer Ability/Notification

Chapter 1: Get Your Game On!

Morning, Twelve Years After The Day of The Kyuubi

The Apartment of Uzumaki Naruto, Slum, Konohagakure no Sato

"What. In. The. Living. HELL?!"

The loud voice echoed throughout the small apartment, making the odd cockroach skitter back into the many cracks in the walls. Within the bedroom, a small boy, one Uzumaki Naruto, lay on his bed facing the ceiling. His eyes were wide with disbelief and astonishment.

Why might you ask?

Floating about a foot and a half away from his face was a small horizontal blue rectangle that had a few words written on it.

[You Have Slept on Your Run-Down Bed.

HP and CP Fully Restored.]

Naruto blinked in half-asleep puzzlement at the notice. Hardly surprising, considering he had only just woken up. The orphaned boy stared at the odd box before slowly forming the Ram handsign.

"KAI! (Release!)" he commanded as he attempted to end the Genjutsu (Illusion Jutsu) that he was certain he was under. When the box didn't vanish, Naruto just shrugged. He had never once successfully dispelled a Genjutsu in his entire life, so he hadn't really expected it to work this time.

Deciding to just ignore the odd blue rectangle, Naruto sat up and stretched, yawning as he did so. He didn't have to go to the Konoha Shinobi Academy today, so he could get some training in without being jeered at by the Academy Sensei.

'Except Iruka-sensei.' Naruto added to himself. Umino Iruka was the only teacher in Naruto's entire six-year long Academy career that didn't discriminate against Naruto in any way, shape or form, preferring to be scrupulously fair with the young blond boy.

Padding out into his hall, Naruto wrinkled his nose at the stench that was left over from the latest 'present' thrown through a broken window by an unknown person. A bag of rotting dog turds judging by the scent. Lovely.

With a sigh, the boy walked to the kitchen and grabbed a clothes peg, a heavy-duty bin bag and plastic gloves from a drawer. Clamping the wooden peg over his nose, which was fairly sensitive to scents, Naruto then pulled on the gloves and got down to the dirty business of dealing with the source of the revolting odour.

For the twelfth time this month.

The citizens of Konoha uniformly despised Naruto for some odd and unknown (to him) reason. Well, the civilians hated him. The various shinobi clans and Konoha Shinobi Forces members just ignored him, except for the Academy staff, who hated him. Except for Iruka-sensei.

Finished with his unpleasant and disgusting task, Naruto walked to the balcony of his apartment, which was on the top floor of the building and looked down. Ah good. The bin was open.

He carefully aimed for the bin and dropped the bag containing the turds. Naruto watched as the bag fell and landed inside the bin with a loud {squelch}.

"Seriously got to find a new place to live. This is stupid." Naruto muttered as he peeled off the gloves and threw them into the kitchen bin before stomping off to the bathroom for his daily 'curse-at-the-useless-pipes-that-don't-damn-well-work' time that most people had a shower during.

He had, on countless occasions, tried to get the Landlord to do something about this. The few times the fat bastard hadn't tossed him out of his office, he had instead been threatened with eviction if he didn't shut up and bugger off.

So, instead of a shower in the morning, Naruto generally bought a large bottle of drinking water from a nearby corner shop -at thrice the listed price- and poured it into a bowl, using soap instead of shampoo. It sucked by comparison to a proper hot shower, but needs must when demons drive.

Because of him smelling a bit ripe, it didn't actually surprise him that he had never successfully asked his crush, Haruno Sakura, out on a date. Naruto smiled a bit as he pictured his emerald-eyed, pink haired love interest. It never failed to cheer him up.

Sure, she punched him out whenever he asked her on a date, but she acknowledged that he was there, that he existed. She had a legitimate reason to dislike him, which he accepted. He admitted to himself that he could stand to tone down the frequency of his date requests, which he did whenever he saw her.

Most of the other kids in his year avoided him or tried to bully him, so he avoided them right back. The rest were either neutral towards him or slightly friendly with him. Sadly, the last group composed of all of the slackers.

Akimichi Choji, who would rather eat than study, Nara Shikamaru, the laziest bastard Naruto had ever met and Inuzuka Kiba, the guy who only stayed out of the position of 'Dead Last' because he could actually use the stupid Bunshin no Jutsu (Clone Jutsu), while Naruto couldn't.

Those three were friends -of a sort- that he hung out with occasionally when he ditched class, before they were dragged back by an irate Iruka.

Naruto yawned again as he walked into his bathroom, but froze as he passed the broken mirror that he had glued together from one a former neighbour had thrown out after his wife had thrown it at him when he came home drunk…again.

Visible in the cracked surface was his head, above which floated a handful of blue words.

[The Gamer]

LV4 - Uzumaki Naruto

After turning to fully view his reflection, Naruto hesitantly waved his hand through the words, half expecting them to dissipate like smoke.

Nope, they were still there. They just…hung there.

"OK, seriously starting to freak out here." he whispered.

Except…he wasn't, for some reason. He was surprised, yes, but panicking? Starting to gibber inanely? Nope.

He flinched a bit when another blue box appeared at the exact same distance the last one has appeared at. He peered at the title.

[Quest Alert!]

"What the hell is going on here?" he wondered aloud before continuing to read.

Wash Down, Dress Up: You are going to head out for training soon. Get cleaned up and dressed in ten minutes!

Quest Completion Award: + 50 EXP

Quest Failure: +10 EXP



Naruto stared at the rectangle with another bewildered expression. EXP? What the hell was that? And a time limit on how long it takes to get washed and dressed? What was with that?

"What the hell? Why not?" he said aloud as he cautiously pressed the 'Y' button, which he presumed stood for 'Yes'.

At once, a countdown timer appeared in the corner of his sight, seeming to float in midair, and began to count down from ten minutes. Naruto moved to the sink and turned the hot tap. Much to his delight, this was one day when the damn tap actually gushed water.

After a quick wash, Naruto dressed himself up in his cheap orange workman's jumpsuit. He liked the colour and how many pockets it had. Unfortunately, Sakura and her frenemy, Yamanaka Ino, despised it with a passion.

As soon as he finished pulling on his blue shinobi sandals, the timer stopped. Naruto noted that it had taken him a little under five minutes to get ready.

Another box popped up bearing another message.


Quest Complete!

Completion Reward: 50 EXP.

Bonus Award: Finished in less than five minutes: 20 EXP.

OK, so he got an extra twenty EXP for finishing quickly? That was cool and everything, but he still had no clue what this 'EXP' thing was. Before he could do anything, the box vanished and another one appeared.

[Quest Alert!]

Race to the Goal! - You are hoping to train using the Academy's Obstacle Course today. Iruka-sensei said he would meet you at ten to help you train, but you only have ten minutes to make it there now. Run like the wind and make it to the Academy's Training Field before you are late!

Quest Completion Award: +100 EXP, +100 Reputation with Umino Iruka.

Quest Failure: +50 EXP, -50 Reputation with Umino Iruka.



OK, Naruto wasn't the sharpest tack in the box, but even he knew what reputation was and he didn't want the only teacher that treated him decently to think less than him!

Quickly taping the 'Y' button, he zoomed out the front door and started to run at his top speed towards the Academy Training Field.

As he ran, he felt a shiver make its way up his spine as he felt the usual cold glares of the civilian populace, intermixed with what he recognised as very mild Killing Intent.

Another box popped up when Naruto was about halfway to the Academy.

[Skill Created!]

As a result of constant endurance, you have created the Skill [Detect Bloodthirst]

[Detect Bloodthirst] (Passive) [Level 1, EXP 02.44]

Allows the user to detect any killing intent within a set distance. With increased levels, the exact location of the KI can be determined, as well as the name of the person emitting the KI.

Range: 30 Meters

…So by having people send KI at him, he got a 'skill' to detect KI? Naruto still had no clue as to what was going on here, but this skill did seem like it would be useful.

Noticing that he had slowed down when the box popped up, Naruto started running again, ignoring the unrelenting pressure of the glares with the ease of long practice.

As the academy came into sight, Naruto noticed Iruka-sensei standing at the door talking with a silver-haired man that he recognised as Toji Mizuki, the assistant sensei of his class. He gaped for a moment when he noticed writing floating over both of their heads.

[Hardworking Teacher]

LV 25 Umino Iruka


LV 26 Toji Mizuki

OK, this was weird. Not only was there odd blue writing above his head, apparently, there was writing above other people's heads as well. He hadn't noticed this before now because he did his best to ignore the people who glared at him.

"Hey! Iruka-sensei!" he called cheerfully. The two chunin teachers turned around at his call. Naruto noted that Mizuki had to suppress a look of dislike upon seeing him. He had known that Mizuki was just like the majority of the Academy staff, but it still hurt slightly to know he was hated by one of his sensei.

"See you later Iruka." Mizuki said to his fellow teacher, "Drinks at five?"

"Sure." Iruka nodded, "See you at Aoiya's."

With a nod, the silver haired chunin vanished in a puff of smoke just as Naruto ran up to Iruka, a wide grin across his face.

"Sorry for the wait, Iruka-sensei." he said as he came to a halt.

"Wait? Hardly, Naruto. You're early." Iruka said, looking slightly impressed, "I had thought I would have to go looking for you like I do during class time."

"Oi!" Naruto protested indignantly, "I promised I'd be here, didn't I? I never break my word."

"True enough." Iruka chuckled, "Sorry for doubting you. Head over to the training field. I have to get something from my desk."

"You got it, Iruka-sensei." Naruto nodded before jogging off.

When he got to the field, he was not surprised to see another box pop up.


You arrived at the Academy Training Field on time!

Quest Completion Reward: + 100 EXP, + 100 Reputation with Umino Iruka.

Bonus Reward: Arrive three minutes or more early: + 30 EXP, + 20 Reputation with Umino Iruka

So he had a hundred and twenty points higher Reputation with Iruka-sensei than he had had before. This was good, but as he didn't actually know how the whole reputation thing worked, he was a bit lost as to exactly what to do with this information.

He distracted himself by looking around the training field. There were several wooden posts for taijutsu practice, a shooting range for practicing Shurikenjutsu, as well as the obstacle course. Someone had left part of the seat of their trousers behind after a failed attempt at the course the previous day.

Naruto groaned when yet another box popped up. When was he going to get an explanation about what the heck was going on here?

[Skill Created!]

As a result of diligent observation, the skill [Observation] has been created.

[Observation] (Passive/Active) [Level 1, 00.00 EXP]

A skill that allows the user to view information about people, animals and objects that this skill is directed upon. The higher this skills level is, the more information is gathered. Five CP per use.

"Okaaaayyy." Naruto said slowly, "This is starting to sound like one of those RPG things that Choji liked to talk about last year."

Looking around, he saw a rusty kunai lying on the ground. Deciding it made a good test target, he stared at it for a moment, but nothing happened.

'Jutsu have to be invoked verbally when you first learn them, according to Iruka-sensei anyway, so maybe I have to say it's name aloud as well?' Naruto theorised to himself, growling when yet another window popped up.

By thinking in a logical and concise manner, your WIS went up by one.

A tick mark appeared on Naruto's head at this. Whoever was doing this was decidedly pissing him off.

"{Observe}" he said softly as he stared at the Kunai on the ground, prompting another small window to appear, replacing the other one.

Rusty Kunai

A kunai that was left outside for an extended period of time, it is now rusted and blunt.

That was all the information that it had. Naruto frowned before directing his attention at the training posts for Taijutsu and said, "{Observe}"

Wooden Training Post

A wooden pillar of wood intended for use as a target for Taijutsu, striking this pillar gives you 5% [?] EXP for every five minutes you spend punching it.

OK, that was weird. It give you five percent what EXP? Naruto sighed as there was only one way to find out. He walked over to the post and started punching it. After five minutes, another box appeared.

[Skill Created!]

Through diligent training, the skill [Taijutsu Conditioning] has been created.

[Taijutsu Conditioning] (Passive) [Level 1, 05.00 EXP]

By conditioning your body to become tougher, your effectiveness when performing any Taijutsu style increases.

Passively increases effectiveness of any Taijutsu style by 1%.

Naruto just stared at the box before swiping at it with one hand, banishing it, before using {Observe} on the pillar again.

Wooden Training Post

A wooden pillar of wood intended for use as a target for Taijutsu, striking this pillar gives you 5% [Taijutsu Conditioning] EXP for every five minutes you spend punching it.

OK, so now that he had created the skill, it showed up in the description given by {Observation}, fair enough. What Naruto wanted to know is how {Observation} knew he could create the ability.

"Naruto!" Iruka-sensei's call broke him from his reverie. Naruto turned around to see his sensei walking towards him. He noticed Iruka looked a bit tired.

[Observation] has levelled up.

Naruto ignored the window and called out to Iruka, "Hey Iruka-sensei. What's up? You look tired."

"Hmm? Oh, it's nothing Naruto." Iruka replied, "Just marking essays late into the night for a friend. He's off ill, so I was put in charge of marking his class's essays as well as my own."

"Damn." Naruto hated paperwork, so he really felt for the chunin, "So what are we training today?"

"Well, I thought you could try and beat your personal record on the obstacle course first." Iruka suggested, "You are only a few seconds behind the current record holder, Nobusaki Tomoya, so it's a good place to start."

Naruto resisted rolling his eyes in exasperation as another box popped up. Seriously, this was getting old already.

[Quest Alert!]

Training Montage

Iruka is going to put you through a training regimen, so do your best.

First Objective: Beat own personal time on the Obstacle Course in three attempts or less.

Time to beat: 3.56

Objective Completion Reward: + 100 EXP, + 2 Stat Points

Bonus Objective: Beat the previous record holder's time of 3.22

Failure: + 50 EXP

"Yosh. Time to kick ass." Naruto declared as he hit the 'Y' button to accept the quest. He stepped up to the start of the course and looked out at it. The course was a moderately difficult run of pitfalls, tripwire, automatic shuriken launchers that fired blunted wooden shuriken, as well as twists and turns that were all designed to hinder a person running the course, as well as tests them on their ability to think on their feet.

"On your marks…." Iruka said as he pulled a stopwatch from his pocket. Naruto tensed up and prepared to run when Iruka gave the word.


Naruto exploded into motion, running straight down the centre of the course, eyes darting left and right to search for the first obstacle. A few seconds later, a flurry of shuriken were sent flying at him. The blond boy threw himself into a forward roll, narrowly avoiding the wooden projectiles, as well as leaping over a tripwire.

The rest of the course was pretty standard and by the time Naruto came to the end of it, he had built up a small amount of sweat.

"Iruka-sensei, what was my time?" Naruto asked eagerly.

"3.43." Iruka replied, "You beat the time Naruto. Well done."

"Let me go again!" Naruto practically begged.

"OK." Iruka said, and hit a button that reset the traps and reloaded the shuriken launchers, "On your marks."

Naruto was practically vibrating in place as he waited for the go from Iruka-sensei.

"GO!" Iruka called.

Naruto raced across the course much faster than before. Now that he knew where most of the traps and shuriken launchers were, he was much better at dodging them. At the end of the course, he threw an imploring look at Iruka-sensei.

"3.21" Iruka announced with a proud smile, "You beat the record by a single second. Well done, Naruto."

"Hell yeah!" Naruto cheered.

[Objective Complete!]

Personal Best Time Beaten: + 100 EXP, + 2 Stat Points.

Course Record Beaten: Mystery Prize from Iruka at the end of the quest.

"Ne, Iruka-sensei, who was this Nobusaki Tomoya guy anyway?" Naruto asked, noting the fact that his teacher didn't seem to see the blue box floating in midair as he surreptitiously closed it.

"Hmm? Oh, he was a genin from my class." Iruka replied, "He washed out of the Shinobi Program because of a health problem in his last year. He was arrogant, but he set the standard for the obstacle courses that few manage to come near. He barely tried with the basic course, but got a good score anyway."

"Didn't the Densetsu no Sannin or that Itachi guy get better scores?" Naruto queried. It seemed odd to him that a washout had a better time than some of the most famous (and infamous) ninja ever produced by Konoha.

"The Sannin were before the Academy built the three obstacle courses in their current forms, so they don't count." Iruka replied, "And yes, if he had taken this course, Itachi would have broken the time with ease, but his father requested he be put through accelerated training, so the only obstacle course he ever used was the advanced course. Obviously he now holds the top time for that particular course now."

"Huh." Naruto didn't know what to say about that, so he decided to move past it, "So what's next?"

"Shurikenjutsu." Iruka replied, "First, I'll go over the actions, then inspect your gear, then you will have time to practice it. Okay?"

"Gotcha." Naruto nodded. As he expected, another blue box opened up.

[Quest Update]

Training Montage: The Rain of Steel: Listen to Iruka's lecture on Shurikenjutsu, then show him your shuriken. Once he either approves or replaces your shuriken, you have ten throws.

Second Objective: Attain a 80% successful hit ratio.

Bonus objective: Hit three vital spots on at least one targets.

Objective Completion reward: +100 EXP, + 1 DEX

Naruto endured the rather boring lecture on correct posture, strength, etc, etc that Iruka gave. He already knew everything that the man was talking about already. The two reasons that he was a two time failure at the Academy were because of his inability to create a Bunshin and his abysmal written work. He could throw shuriken and kunai just fine.

"Right then Naruto. Show me your shuriken." Iruka said once he (finally) finished his lecture. Naruto brought out his shuriken, most of which were fairly old. He had only been able to buy the damn things because the Academy shop wasn't allowed to refuse to serve a student.

Iruka frowned after he examined them. "Naruto, these aren't real shuriken. They are imitation shuriken."

"What?!" Naruto yelped and then quickly used the {Observe} skill on the shuriken Iruka was holding.

[Display Shuriken]

They look like the real deal, but they ain't. Twice as heavy as a real shuriken and horribly unbalanced, you would have more luck spitting against the wind than hit a target with these things. - 30 to accuracy when used as a thrown weapon.

Thrown Weapon


2 Damage

"Dammit!" Naruto cursed.

"Naruto, have you been using these all year?" Iruka asked carefully.

"Ever since I bought them at the Academy shop in my first year here." Naruto replied furiously, "I couldn't replace them because every time I try, the damn shop is 'mysteriously' out of stock."

"You do realise that you've been scoring just below average with these things." Iruka gestured at the fake shuriken, "I'm looking forward to how you do with actual Academy Shuriken. Here you go."

With that, Iruka pulled a shuriken holster from his pouch and gave it to Naruto who took it gleefully.

"Thanks Iruka-sensei!" he said happily, "Whoa, this is much lighter than my old one."

"Check your holster." Iruka said with a sigh, "I think it's weighted as well."

"EH!?" Naruto practically ripped off his old kunai and shuriken holder and emptied it out onto the ground. Weighing it in one hand against the new one, which was full of new shuriken, his old holster weighed far more than his new one. A feeling of hopeless anger welled up in him.

"What the hell have I ever done that's made every sorry son-of-a-bitch in this damn village want to get in my way all the time?!" Naruto growled, "I mean, seriously! Who goes to all this effort for a twelve year old kid!?"

Iruka looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Naruto…"

"Sorry Iruka-sensei." Naruto sighed as he let his anger go, "It's been a pretty shitty week for me."

"Still sore about that spar against Sasuke?" Iruka guessed.

The blond pulled a sour face. He had been paired against Sasuke in a spar the previous day. The 'Avenger' had sucker punched him out of the arena.

"The bastard needs to be taken down a peg." Naruto grumbled, "I'm not going to let him win just like that! No way! I don't give up!"

"Good attitude." Iruka noted with a smile, "Now try your hand at the throwing range, OK?"

"Gotcha!" Naruto strapped on his new holster and walked to the edge of the range. The target dummies of the Academy Shuriken Range, known affectionately as 'Training-kun', are human shaped straw dummies with red and white circular target boards on them. There are five boards on the body; one per hand, one on the head, one over the heart and one over the groin area.

The centre of each of each target board is referred to as a vital area. Any hit with a kunai or shuriken to that area counts as a disabling hit to that area. In the case of the head and heart area, it counts as a kill shot.

"{Observe}" Naruto whispered as he hefted one of his new shuriken into his line of sight as he pretended to get a good idea of how much it weighed.

[Academy Shuriken]

An average-quality shuriken used by students of the Konohagakure Shinobi Academy. It is well balanced and can, in a pinch, be used in combat, although this is more of a practice weapon than an actual weapon.

Thrown Weapon


10 Damage

OK, so this shuriken is five times as effective as the damn fake ones he had been using up until now AND there is no accuracy penalty to using these ones, so he hoped he could at least get a decent score.

With a quick flick of the wrist, he sent the shuriken he held at the target, but misjudged it because of how light it was compared to his old ones, so it flew wide, missing the dummy altogether.

"Dammit!" Naruto cursed, "OK, test throw over. Now to get serious…"

Naruto then pulled another shuriken from his holster and, after confirming that it was indeed another Academy Shuriken, threw it at the dummy, aiming for the groin area of the Training-kun dummy.


"Ata! Dead centre!" Naruto fist-pumped at his successful hit, although he mentally winced at the thought of being struck there of all places by a shuriken. Ouch.

To Naruto's delight, the next three throws were just a successful, with three shots to the centre of the head, heart and left arm. He missed the centre of the right arm just barely according to Iruka-sensei, but Naruto still felt good about his accuracy currently being 90%.

He moved three paced to his left so he could target a fresh Training-kun and then let loose with his remaining five shuriken, scoring a hit with every single throw.

"Aw hell yeah!" Naruto celebrated. He had just scored 90% with 9 hits out of 10. As he expected, another small box appeared.


Objective Complete! You attained a hit ratio of 80% or more!

Objective Completion Reward: + 100 EXP, +1 DEX.

Bonus Objective Completion Reward: Mystery Award from Iruka after the quest is over.

Hidden Objective Reward: Attain a hit ratio of 90% or more: +200 EXP.

Even as he was reading that one, another box popped up over part of it.

As a result of a specific action, the skill [Shurikenjutsu] had been created.

[Shurikenjutsu] (Passive/Active) [Level 1, 00.00 EXP] [5 CP]

Shurikenjutsu is the art of thrown weapons. Any handheld bladed weapon that has [Thrown Weapon] in its description can be used with this skill. Shuriken, Senbon and Kunai are a few examples.

Passively increases DEX by 2%

Passively increases damage with Thrown Weapons by 5%

Actively increases accuracy of Thrown Weapons by 5%

'I already knew how to throw shuriken before I got this skill!' Naruto yelled to himself in a fit of pique, 'I mean c'mon!…Gah! Another one just popped up!'

Through diligent training, your DEX had increased by 1.

Naruto decided to just dismiss the odd messages and figure out what they were all about later. He turned to face Iruka-sensei and waved his hands in what seemed like a random, excitable way, but was in fact him hitting the button-like things that closed the boxes.

"Did ya see that Iruka-sensei?" Naruto yelled excitedly, "I did it!"

"So you did." Iruka smiled at the boy who was practically bouncing with excitement, "Now, the last part of the training I'm going to give you is Taijutsu. I want you to show me your forms for the Academy's Hakage Style and I'll correct your forms as needed. Then we'll have a spar. Sound good to you, Naruto?"

"Hell yeah!" Naruto cheered. He really wanted to get better at Taijutsu so he could wipe the smirk off Sasuke's brooding, smug face.

That and maybe prove to Sakura that he wasn't a complete loser.

[Quest Update!]

You're on the final leg now. Demonstrate your Hakage Style Taijutsu to Iruka and allow him to make corrections to your stances, punches and kicks before you engage in a spar with him.

Third Objective: Last at least four minutes in a spar with Umino Iruka

Objective Completion Reward: +100 EXP, +1 VIT, +1 STR.

Objective Failure: + 50 EXP.

Bonus Objective: Make Iruka actually put some effort into sparring with you.

'Jeez, whatever this box thing is, it's really grinding on my nerves. I already know that the chunin-sensei have to hold back a lot when they spar with students.' Naruto thought sourly.

"Ready, Naruto?" Iruka asked, drawing the blond boy's attention back to the chunin.

"Ready!" Naruto replied and assumed the basic ready stance of Konoha's Hakage Style that he had been taught.

Iruka frowned again. "Naruto, what is that supposed to be?"

"The basic stance." Naruto replied in a confused voice.

"It's similar, but subtly different." Iruka said, "It's a weakened version, I would say. The position of your legs is weak, leaving you vulnerable to low attacks. On top of that your arms are out of position, leaving you open and vulnerable from all sides."

"But…Mizuki-sensei taught me this stance…" Naruto protested.

"Did he now?" Iruka muttered to himself, "Well I'm correcting it. Place yourself like this."

The scar-faced chunin demonstrated the correct stance to Naruto, who shifted himself to mimic his teacher.

"Hey, this doesn't feel uncomfortable like the first stance does." Naruto commented.

"No fighting stance should feel uncomfortable, Naruto." Iruka told him, "In a way, it's a good thing that you were uncomfortable with the first stance, as it will be easier for you to unlearn that one and then commit this one to muscle memory."

"Whatever you say Iruka-sensei." Naruto replied, "Just so long as I can kick the Teme's ass in a spar."

It took almost an hour for Naruto to perform the stances and kata of the Hakage Style to Iruka's satisfaction. In that time, a small box popped up stating that his hard work had made his STR go up by one.

"Alright, that should do it." Iruka said at last, "Just practice those in your own time and you'll do fine. Ready for that spar?"

"Bring it on, Iruka-sensei!" Naruto declared with an air of confidence and moved towards the sparring circle, followed by Iruka.

Iruka brought out a coin and held it up. "We'll start when this coin hits the ground, alright?"

When Naruto nodded, Iruka flipped the coin into the air with a soft metallic {chink}. The coin spun lazily in the air before beginning its descent to the ground as Naruto and Iruka tensed themselves.

The coin hit the ground with a soft thud.

Naruto exploded into motion, a fist flying at Iruka even before the dust from the coin's landing started to rise. Taken off guard, Iruka dodged to one side and struck out with a kick he deliberately slowed down so Naruto could see it coming.

Naruto ducked under the kick and lashed out with a low kick that hit true on Iruka's leg. It being the only thing keeping him upright as he was in mid-kick, the chunin began to fall.

'Not bad.' Iruka thought as he slammed a hand onto the ground and sent a mildly strong and fast kick at his student.

"Crap!" was all Naruto could say before the sandaled foot connected, sending him stumbling back a couple of feet. He had to admit that Iruka-sensei really knew his stuff. He had only been sent back as far as Sasuke had sent him on the previous week's spar when he had lasted two minutes against the Last Uchiha.

"My turn to attack, I'd say." Iruka grinned at Naruto as he leapt athletically to his feet. He telegraphed a basic right straight at Naruto, but turned it into an elbow strike halfway.

Naruto, having spotted the feint just before it had happened, leapt to one side and drove his fist into Iruka's side, actually making Iruka stagger back clutching his side.

'For such a small kid, he packs quite the punch!' was what Iruka was thinking as he held his side, 'He's pretty quick on his feet and knows how to make the best use of the fact that he's much smaller than me. Time to up the difficulty to the next level, I think.'

Up until this point, Iruka had only been using the equivalent strength of an academy student who was average in Taijutsu, but now he used the abilities of a student who specialised in Taijutsu.

Naruto ducked under a punch, dodged a kick and blocked a strong backhand. He was completely on the defensive now, which had always been the problem for Naruto. Even if his Taijutsu had been good, Sasuke was faster and he had trained in a far more advanced style than the Academy's Hakage Style.

'I need to keep my cool.' Naruto though, 'Iruka-sensei is fighting at just above my level of strength and speed, meaning he isn't super fast. If I can read his strikes, there'll be a pattern that I can take advantage of…I hope.'

Iruka kept up the onslaught for a couple of minutes while he easily read Naruto's plan in his eyes. He made a mental note to teach the kid a poker face as it was far too easy to read him.

Naruto made his move as Iruka drew his arm back from a punch. He grabbed onto it, used the arm as leverage to forcibly pull Iruka down to his level before leaping up and slamming his knee into the Instructor's chin. Not entirely a part of the Hakage Style, it was nonetheless effective, making the chunin see stars for a moment.

"Ow…sneaky Naruto." Iruka said as he put up one hand, signalling the end of the spar, "That last move wasn't in the Hakage Style, but I will grant you that it is effective."

"Eh-heh!" Naruto chuckled nervously, "I knew you were looking for me to use one of the standard counterattacks, so I decided to try something you weren't expecting."

"Well it worked." Iruka rubbed his jaw ruefully, "Don't try that with your classmates though. They'd be knocked out or lose some teeth or something."

"Gotcha." Naruto nodded.


Objective Complete! Lasted at least four minutes in a spar with Iruka.

Objective Completion Reward: + 100 EXP, +1 VIT, + 1 STR

Bonus Objective Complete! Iruka used Low-Genin level speed against you.

Bonus Objective Completion Reward: Mystery Prize from Iruka after Quest completion.

As Naruto read this, another couple of boxes popped up next to it.

Your Level has gone up by one. Level 4 - Level 5.

You have five Attribute points to spend.

Naruto had a vague idea of what that referred to, so he turned his attention to the other one.

As the result of training, the skill [Beginner's Hakage Style Taijutsu] has been created.

[Beginner's Hakage Style Taijutsu] (Passive/Active) [Level 1, 00.00 EXP]

The basic style of Taijutsu taught at the Konohagakure Shinobi Academy. Hakage Style has no particular inclinations towards attack or defence, instead having the characteristic of being easy to learn. The beginner's set is basic punching, kicking and a few basic grapples.

Passively increases STR by 5%

Passively increases DEX by 5%

Passively increases STA by 5%

As a result of a special action, the skill [Knee Driver] has been created.

[Knee Driver] (Active) [Level 1, 00.00 EXP]

A taijutsu move that combines the upward motion of a jump with both the strength of the user's own muscles with the downward forced exerted as the user drags the enemy's head down to meet their rising knee.

Increases unarmed attack by 10% during this skill's duration.

5% chance of causing [Stun] status effect.

Naruto looked at the screens blankly before closing them. This was getting out of hand. He looked at Iruka-sensei, who hadn't seemed to notice him pressing something in midair.

"What's next, Iruka-sensei?" Naruto asked eagerly.

"Sorry Naruto." Iruka said, "I have to report to Hokage-sama about this year's genin candidates, so I'll be heading off in a moment."

"Awwww." Naruto slumped. He was just warmed up!

"Now, I know you're disappointed, so I have some consolation prizes for doing so well today." Iruka told him with a small smile and unrolled a scroll, spreading it out across the ground. On it were three storage seals.

"For doing so well on the Obstacle Course, you've got this." Iruka unsealed the first item in a cloud of smoke. What appeared from the seal was a brown book emblazoned with the title 'Intermediate Hakage Style' emblazoned on the front.

"Once you're certain that you have the basics down pat, read this and come to me with any questions." Iruka told an ecstatic looking Naruto, "And I mean it when I tell you to only read this once you've mastered the basics. You might hurt yourself if you try something too advanced for you."

"Hai, sensei." Naruto nodded reluctant acceptance to this qualifier.

"Next, for doing so well on the Shurikenjutsu range, you have this." Iruka unsealed another scroll, "It's a scroll on how to perform a quick-draw technique. Once you have it down, it'll really improve your Shurikenjutsu."

"Cool!" Naruto had always wondered if something like that had existed.

"Finally, for doing so well in our spar not long ago, you have this." The item that was unsealed this time was a book on various types of exercises, "If you follow the steps in this book, you'll improve your body and get fit enough to be a shinobi."

"Iruka-sensei…thank you." Naruto was a bit tongue-tied. He hadn't been given all that much from people. The Hokage had given him several small items over the years that Naruto treasured; his nightcap, a framed picture of the two of them eating Ramen at Ichiraku's and his green goggles were the three he liked the most.

"No problem Naruto." Iruka smiled as he ruffled the boy's unruly hair, "Helping students out is the job of a teacher."

Iruka resealed the three prizes into the scroll, rolled it up and gave it to Naruto.

[You have received the item 'Three Prizes Storage Scroll']

Ignoring the window Naruto gave Iruka a hug and a grin.

"Thanks again Iruka-sensei!" Naruto though for a moment, "Ne, do you know how I can get faster? I was so slow there it wasn't even funny."

Yes, Naruto could be cocky, but he was also honest enough with himself that if he saw a fault, he would take steps to correct it.

"Hmmm." Iruka thought for a moment, "Training weights would definitely help you out there. So would following the running exercises I gave you in that book. Combining the two would give you the best results, I think."

"But…where do I get training weights? And would they even sell me any?" Naruto wondered worriedly.

"I'll take you to a shop I know tomorrow at midday." Iruka promised, "Just make sure you stay out of trouble today, alright?"

"Hai." Naruto replied. There went the prank he had planned for later in the day. Ah well. Some sacrifices had to be made in order to kick Sasuke-teme's butt!

"Make sure you do." Iruka said sternly, "Now, I'd better be off. See you tomorrow Naruto."

Iruka vanished in a swirl of leaves, leaving Naruto shaking his head.

"I have got to learn how to do that." he muttered.

A second later, another box popped up.


You have successfully completed your training with Iruka and have become stronger for it!

Quest Completion Reward: + 500 EXP.

Bonus Reward: Impressed Iruka: + 150 Reputation with Umino Iruka, + 150 Reputation with Sarutobi Hiruzen.

"Oooookaaaayyyy." Naruto said slowly as he tucked his scroll into an inside pocket of his jumpsuit, "Next mission: find out what the heck this RPG-like window-thing is."

He wasn't surprised to see another box pop up at what he said.

[Quest Alert!]

You are perplexed about these messages, which is understandable. Return to your run-down apartment and read the book on top of your bedside table for the answers.

Quest Completion Reward: + 400 EXP, Answers.

Quest Failure Reward: More reminders about location of the book.



The 'N' button was greyed out and when Naruto pressed it curiously, nothing happened. Shrugging, he pressed 'Y', making the box disappear.

"What the hell is going on?" Naruto muttered, "I don't even have a bedside table!"

Shrugging, the orphan turned and started making his way back to his apartment where he hoped he would find answers to this whole mysterious blue box business.


Office of Sarutobi Hiruzen, Hokage Tower

"…And that is my report for today, Hokage-sama." Iruka finished. The chunin was standing at attention in front of a large wooden desk. Behind that desk sat an old man wearing white and red robes and a fancy looking hat with the kanji '' (Fire) emblazoned upon it.

"So there is no doubt in your mind?" Sarutobi Hiruzen asked. The venerable old man clasped his hands in front of him as he gazed at Iruka impassively.

"Hai, Hokage-sama." Iruka replied, "Uzumaki Naruto's shinobi education has been grievously sabotaged, although thankfully not beyond recovery. With just a couple of hours of on-on-one instruction, I was able to deduce that his weaknesses are deliberately induced by outside parties, rather than lazy habits developed as a lack of attention to the lessons."

"And Naruto told you that his incorrect Taijutsu was taught to him by Toji Mizuki?" Sarutobi pressed.

"Yes." Iruka didn't like ratting out a friend, but he also didn't like his friend sabotaging a student, regardless of what that student held within himself, "I believe that Mizuki has let his hatred of the Kyuubi blind him to the truth of who Naruto is. I am hardly one to talk though, as I was the same before you talked to me."

"Even before I did that, you were leaning towards realising the truth for yourself, Iruka-kun." Sarutobi corrected him, "Mizuki however is not. I believe he requires a closer examination. Neko!"

"Hai, Hokage-sama!" a purple-haired woman wearing the uniform of the ANBU and a cat-mask barked as she seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

"Detail a team to keep an eye on Toji Mizuki. I want to know what he does in and out of the Academy better than he does. Also keep an eye on who he talks to. A little too much information about our graduates is being found out not long after each class and a man's hatred can make his morals rot, especially if left to simmer for a decade."

"By your command, Hokage-sama." Neko vanished with a puff of smoke.

"Surely he wouldn't betray Konoha!" Iruka muttered to himself.

"He already has by attempting to stunt the growth of a boy with immensely high potential as a shinobi. In addition, I have received some unsettling reports from several spies that confirm that information has been leaked that an Academy Chunin Sensei could easily access." Sarutobi said with a sigh, "My thanks for your report, Iruka-kun. Please come by to give me your report on how the shopping trip goes tomorrow."

"Presuming Naruto doesn't prank anyone today, I will." Iruka replied.

"I have the feeling he will behave himself." Sarutobi replied as he began his fight against paperwork yet again, "He wants to become stronger, so he will do what it takes to do that."

As Iruka left the office, he thought about his friend Mizuki. He really hoped that the man hadn't done anything worse than what had been uncovered today, because if he had…

'…Mitarashi Anko will have a new play-toy.' Iruka concluded grimly.


Next Chapter: Rules and Friendships