For reference, since this is a modern AU take on the Naruto world, I made them use Yen instead of Ryo.
Update Notes: I've developed a habit of not disclosing my personal life much more anymore, so there isn't much to add here. Things are wild right now due to work, COVID, recent protests, school etc.
Regardless, I'm going to try and keep uploading and I know my upload schedule isn't the best, but I really do try to sit down and write when I have free time (which is very scarce these days). I do enjoy writing this story and my other in progress story, so I won't be abandoning them anytime soon, I just don't know when the updates will come.
Either way, I just wanted to say thank you to the fans that are still reading and favoriting this story. I truly enjoy every review I get, even the bad ones, so truly, I just wanted to say thank you for your continuous support.
Tempest: Season 1, Episode 15: The Training Episode
"I don't understand." Naruto started, a frown on his face. He was in his training attire that he wore with Jiraiya, sweatpants and a white tank top, with his white weighted hand straps. Next to him, Ayame was frowning and also in her training attire, shorts and a tank with the same straps on her hands, but hers wasn't in the same weight bracket as Naruto's.
"Ugh, okay," Jiraiya started, facepalming at his grandson. They stood at the Hokage Rock, their usual training grounds, ready to learn in order to fight Zabuza and Haku. "Let's start from the beginning I guess. The energy Haku discussed when you fought is energy that is inside your body. They are named different things across all kinds of theology, but they are all internal energy that comes from within. Chi, Chakra, Ki, whatever you want to call it, it's all the same.
"Essentially, you control your powers and have access to other abilities. That's why Haku was untargetable by you. His speed was being enhanced by his chakra, and he was coursing it through his body, which made his body much more durable. Basically, we are going to learn how to manifest our chakra. We need to manipulate chakra first in order to use it as a weapon or to enhance our bodies, understand?" Naruto had his head tilted, watching in confusion as Ayame let out a sigh.
"We need to learn how to use the mana bar to enhance our stats." She muttered, making Naruto exclaim with a smile on his face.
"Oh! Well, why didn't you just say so Pervy Gramps!" Jiraiya started to shout in anger, but quickly calmed down, simply holding his hand to his face in anger.
"Anyway, we must meditate first to gain a semblance of our chakra. Follow my footsteps please," he started, sitting on the floor in front of them in the lotus position. Ayame easily followed him, but Naruto struggled, having to lift his leg over his thigh to get into the position. "From here, I want you to clasp your hands together and shut your eyes like this." Jiraiya shut his eyes and clasped his open palms together. "This is commonly known as the Salutation Seal in yoga and it is helpful for meditation. It connects your body together, so all your limbs are one and makes it easier to achieve chakra manipulation." Ayame followed suit, getting into her yoga position. Naruto, on the other hand, groaned, crossing his arms in annoyance.
"We are going to meditate? You know how boring that is?" Normally, Ayame would have smacked him, but instead she was breathing in and focusing on her meditation. Likewise, Jiraiya was doing the same, making Naruto grumble and submit to the yoga position.
After what felt like an eternity (which was really only 5 minutes), Naruto was starting to shake, starting to get restless and antsy. He opened his eyes in annoyance, Ayame and Jiraiya still meditating peacefully.
"Guys, this isn't doing anything!" He shouted, rising up from his position, glaring down at the two, who both started to open their eyes, a smile on both of their faces.
"Did you feel it Ayame?" Jiraiya asked, to which Ayame responded with a soft nod, rising from her own seated position.
"Yes, it felt… warm. It was like a surge of warmth and I felt my fatigues fade away." Jiraiya nodded with a smile, getting out of his own seated position.
"Yes, you have a basic understanding of chakra. Naruto, take the time to meditate a little more and actually focus. You would be able to feel your energy around you. One good hint to help someone as dense as you would be to train yourself to exhaustion and meditate afterwards. It would help you rejuvenate yourself." Naruto was still growling at the dense remark, but simply crossed his arms in rage as Ayame giggled slightly. "Either way, we are done for today. Feel free to meditate at home to train and gain an understanding of chakra or spend your day doing whatever. Your prerogative." Ayame stretched her back, reaching for her bag and looking towards Naruto.
"Well, dad might need me at the restaurant, so it's probably best if I head out anyway. You should probably meditate some more, try and find your inner peace!" She giggled, making Naruto roll his eyes, but he went for his own bag.
"Nah, it's about time for me to get home anyway. Mom has been getting really pissed at me for staying out so late lately. See ya later Gramps!" Naruto shouted as both him and Ayame started to walk away, heading down the hill. Jiraiya stayed sitting, letting out a small sigh, relaxing slightly.
"They are out of earshot, so you can come out of hiding now." At first, there was no reaction to Jiraiya's words, but after a few moments, Lee stepped out from behind the tree besides Jiraiya, a frown on his face and holding himself up with a small limp.
"How did you know I was there?" He asked, unable to look in the older man's eyes. Jiraiya scoffed slightly, crossing his arms from his seated position, looking directly at the bowl-haired man.
"I'm not the leader of this team for nothing Lee. Plus I knew you'd feel left out and want to see what we were doing today." Lee bit his lip slightly. He didn't want to admit it, but everything Jiraiya said was true. He did indeed feel left out and his curiosity had gotten the better of him.
"It is okay. I assumed it was a super powered meeting. I should have minded my manners and I am sorry. I will leave now." Lee turned to walk away from the man, but a quick laugh stopped him in his tracks.
"What I am teaching Naruto and Ayame is not only for people with powers. There is a reason I'm not teaching it to you." He didn't want to turn back at the man and instead hung his head down low. He also wanted to learn how to do this energy manipulation, but his teacher had already decided he wasn't good enough to learn it, and he couldn't help but agree.
"I… I understand." He took another step before Jiraiya coughed loudly, making the oy stop again, only this time to turn and see the stern eyes of Jiraiya glaring at him.
"I didn't teach you because you already have this part mastered. You worked your body to the edge and mastered sensing energy already. That fight against Haku. You saw his moves. You've already passed sensing energy and are already applying it to your battles. You're miles ahead of both Naruto and Ayame. So I have an idea for you, because I can feel the grief in your heart Lee." The young man was frozen, registering the words he just heard. He was… ahead of them?
"You have an idea for me? What do you mean?" Jiraiya finally rose from his position, jumping up with a small clap of his feet. He wore a smile on his face, but Lee could still read the stern look in his eyes.
"The move I'm going to teach you will help you Lee, but it will take a long time to master, and is only to be used if life depends on it. A way to make you feel like you have powers of your own. Have you ever heard of the Eight Gates?"
"It's been super boring with you gone man!" Choji exclaimed with a hearty laugh, slapping the back of Kiba, who chuckled nervously in his seat.
"Yeah, haha, what can I say? I just needed some time away!" While most of the class was excited to see Kiba, Shizune was standing near the front of the class, fuming with steam coming from her head.
"Oh sure, just needed some time away huh? Didn't think to check in with your teacher and collect your homework? Oh you're not off the hook at all Mr. Inuzuka! You got a lot of homework to catch up on!" Shizune began to shout, holding up a literal mountain of papers above her, visibly straining from the weight. There was a small red glint in her eyes, as her face formed a malicious smile.
"Also, you're getting 15% off of all your papers for late work!" She chuckled maniacally, the aura changing from a teacher's stern talking to more of an anime villain explaining their plan.
"No! Please Ms. Kato, anything but this!" Kiba dropped to his knees and began to beg, bowing up and down to his teacher. The rest of the class laughed at the two's antics, but Sasuke Uchiha watched with a frown.
"That seems odd…" He muttered, mostly to himself with his hand on his chin, pondering the thought. From the seat next to him, Naruto raised an eyebrow.
"What," he asked, interrupting the raven-haired boy from his thoughts, "what's bugging you?" Sasuke was silent for a moment, but he glanced over at Naruto, the confusion evident in his eyes.
"I'm not sure yet. But doesn't Kiba seem different to you?" Naruto scoffed slightly, placing his hands behind his head and leaning back slightly.
"I mean, he seems like the regular old Kiba to me! Look at him, not wanting to do homework! That's like his character trait right there!" Naruto chuckled to himself a little more, but Sasuke wasn't buying it, and instead looked away from the blond and back towards Kiba, a small investigation going on inside of his head.
"Ayame?" Hinata spoke with confusion as she started to leave the high school campus, not expecting her brunette friend to be standing outside with a smirk.
"What's up, Purple? We haven't had an adventure in some time, so what's say you?" Hinata gave the girl a look of disbelief before looking both ways and walking towards the girl that was leaning against a car.
"You do know school isn't over yet? Are you really asking me to ditch class to hang out with you? What kind of Senpai are you?" Ayame snorted, jumping up from her leaning position.
"The awesome kind! Look, school is almost over anyway, it's not like you'll miss much. Plus, I know you've been getting aggravated with Runa lately." Hinata rose an eyebrow at this remark.
"How exactly did you know I've been getting annoyed with Runa?" Ayame gulped slightly, a sweat drop appearing at the top of her head.
"Look, you don't just ask a girl to expose her secrets. Besides, when AREN'T you annoyed with Runa?" She raised an eyebrow at Hinata who let out a sigh. She loved Runa, but the woman could be a little much at times.
"Okay fine. But this isn't going to be a recurring thing!" Ayame shifted her position and suddenly fist bumped the sky, running towards a nearby car.
"Hell yeah, let's go! I got my dad's car! Come on!" Hinata sighed at the brunette, who was now displaying the same energy Runa usually displayed, but followed with a small towards the older looking silver car.
"We can hit the mall while all these kiddies are doing school stuff. No one to steal our thunder-" She stopped as Hinata closed the door, her eyes turning blank as she stared at the purple-haired girl.
"Ayame?" She asked after a few seconds had passed, tilting her head slightly in confusion. While this was going on, Ayame was feeling a sense of calmness and chillness hitting her. Thanks to her recent training, she was ably to easily sense the energy radiating from Hinata's body.
"Are you able to manipulate your chakra, Hinata?" She asked bluntly, which made Hinata squeak in surprise and turn red, looking away from Ayame. She struggled on what to say to her friend. Sure, Ayame was a great friend, but this was Hyuuga information that she wasn't sure she could pass on. Surely by now everyone knew about that incident with her Uncle and the now tarnished remains of the HyuugaDojo, but as far as everyone knew, it was just a serial killer hurting people; only a select few knew of Neji's mastery with chakra manipulation and his use of the juuken as a sniper bullet. Thankfully, the split between her father and Uncle was well known, so no one really questioned Hinata about the entire thing besides asking her how prison was.
"Uh, chakra? I don't meditate or anything if that's what you're asking." She looked back to Ayame with a sheepish smile, but Ayame's look didn't falter, and instead she turned in her chair towards her friend. Normally, she would be better at keeping such a thing a secret, but Hinata WAS the maker of the Tempest suit, albeit unknowingly. Ayame closed her eyes and took a deep breath, making Hinata gulp slightly.
"You are radiating an aura of chakra. It's nothing extensive and it's not noticeable in a crowd, but when we are alone in the car, I can definitely feel it. With my eyes closed, I can almost feel the warmth of your chakra hit me. It's relaxing honestly." She opened her eyes, smiling at her friend, who had her mouth slightly agape.
"Ayame… You can… You're able to?" She tried to speak, but was at a loss of words, making the brunette laugh and shake her head.
"No not really," she said with a laugh and a wave of her hand. "I've just started learning and the most I can do at this point is sense the energy around me. I'm not able to manifest anything yet." Hinata bit her lip at Ayame's words, looking down to the ground. After a few seconds of silence, she looked back to Ayame, who was now watching the girl in confusion.
"Ayame, do you remember the incident I was jailed for? Those murders that happened a little while back, before they figured it out was my Uncle?" Ayame nodded, allowing the girl to continue. "It wasn't him, but it was my cousin Neji. The Hyuuga are natural masters of manipulating chakra and my cousin has mastered it, able to shoot energy from his fingers as if it were a sniper bullet. It is part of our fighting style from the older days known as the Juuken. For awhile now, I've been working with Runa in learning how to manipulate energy so I can use the same abilities." She stopped talking, looking away from Ayame who was processing it. It was only a minute later, when Ayame smirked, putting the car in drive, driving them away.
"I got an idea Hinata."
Anko stormed through the halls of the KCPD, a permanent scowl on her face. Not only was she bound to stupid office work, but Iruka wasn't allowed in the precinct, so she was stuck with all these people that annoyed her. Arriving at her desk, she saw a cartoonishly large pile of paper, which only furthered her bad mood. As she seethed at the papers, a man walked by her, dropping another stack and walked away without a word.
"Oh my…" She was about to shout, but held it in, breathing through her nose angrily. Despite how angry she was, she had heard the stories about the Captain and certainly believed them. Even by barely being in his presence for 5 minutes, despite his old age, he held a very threatening aura.
With a small huff, she sat down and started looking through the papers. She held her scowl the entire time, signing documents and reading reports left and right. She couldn't remember the last time she had to do this kind of grunt work, and she was certainly feeling the strain of reading so much.
After what felt like hours, she finally hit a document that made her stop, her scowl vanishing and her eyes narrowing in interest. After a few minutes of reading, she let out a sigh and rose from her seat, starting to head towards the holding cells. After a few moments of walking, she finally hit where she was going, and leaned against the door, the scowl back on her face.
"Are we ever gonna talk? About why someone like you was on the payroll of someone like Mizuki?" Across from her, Shisui Uchiha sat in his cell, a small smile on his face.
"Hello Anko. It's been awhile since you last visited me. Still wondering how long we are going to keep me in this cell." She rolled her eyes, taking her weight off the wall and walking towards the man.
"You know you're pending investigation of the Internal Affairs, so I'm not sure why you bring that up every time I'm here." He chuckled slightly, tossing a small red and black ball up and catching it with his other hand.
"Any instance can hold a different outcome then the one we would expect, isn't that so?" She growled at the man as he continued to bounce his ball up and down.
"God, what is it with you and that dumb, 'I'm-smarter-than-everyone-in-the-room' crap? It's super annoying and no wise proverbs or dumb cheeky lines are going to do anything for you here." He caught his ball as she yelled at him and instead of throwing it once more, he looked towards her, his hair starting to get longer and covering his onyx eyes.
"You might be right about that, but it still gets a reaction from you. So I think I'll keep doing it. Otherwise I have nothing to gain from these meetings. What is the reasoning for your berating today?" She seemed annoyed at the man and kept a hard glare at him, matching his own look into her eyes.
"I'm doing paperwork and I saw your name come up. More and more on these Mizuki documents. I just still can't believe someone as strong and smart as you decided to be a common goon for that idiot." Her words were softer this time, something Shisui picked up on, which made him take pause. After a few seconds of silence, he sighed.
"I'm sorry, Anko. I don't have an answer for you. Maybe next time I will. Let's try this again next time." With that, he looked away from her and resumed his ball throwing and catching. She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest.
"That's bullcrap and you know it!" But Shisui ignored her, continuing to mess with his ball. After a few more seconds, Anko grew tired, stomping out, knowing she wasn't going to get anything else out of Shisui on this day.
"Okay, well I'm off to the gym then." Sakura stated, leaving the now closed school with Ino next to her, her gym bag in her hand and school bag strapped on her shoulder. Before she could turn towards the gym, Ino stopped her with a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey actually Sakura, I have a quick question?" She raised her eyebrow at the blonde, but she stopped and turned to face her. "Is, uh… Is Naruto nice?" Sakura tilted her head slightly, before letting out a small giggle, nodding her head.
"Oh yeah. He's pretty nice. I honestly feel pretty… bad for how I treated him before. Don't get me wrong, he's still an idiot and doesn't know what he's doing half the time, but he genuinely cares about people and tries. So I guess he grew up a little bit." Sakura noticed the faint blush on Ino's face while she was talking, and a smile suddenly lit up on her face. "Wait a minute… Ino do you have a thing for Naruto?" Her face suddenly turned bright bright red, and she backed away stammering immensely.
"H-h-hold on! I never said that! Plus you know Sasuke is the goat! Naruto might be looking more like a snack each and every day and his personality is really good, but you said it yourself, he's an idiot! It's not like I think I can change him or make him a lot cooler and date him or anything!" She laughed nervously, looking anywhere but Sakura's eyes, but the pinkette just laughed.
"Ino, that's fine. I probably would have mocked you only a few months ago. Now, I'll just laugh about it for awhile. But hey, he's a good guy. Just gives me more time to try and woo Sasuke." Ino shook her head, her face still red and her expression pouty when Naruto walked over, his gym clothes now on.
"Hey Sakura, you ready?" He stepped outside the school, standing next to the two girls with a smile. He looked over at Ino and waved at her, not even registering her blushing expression. "Oh hey Ino! Say, Lee's still kinda pooped and at home, but did you want to join me and Sakura today?" Ino's face lit up, and she went to speak before being cut off by Sakura.
"Nah Naruto, I don't think she has the attire for the gym, so we should probably just head out!" While Sakura was enjoying the blondes' antics and her newfound interest in her gym partner, she didn't want Ino to be there and to only try and impress Naruto and distract him while she was attempting to learn and get stronger.
"Ah, well that sucks? Next time then?" He shrugged, but Ino laughed, almost maliciously and pushed non-existent glasses up her face.
"Actually, I'm ready! I have this convenient bag of gym clothes right here!" She held up a small yellow bag, her eyes twinkling, while Naruto watched in amazement and Sakura watched with a scowl.
Naruto shouted, while Sakura muttered, both have mixed feelings about this sudden change of events. Ino simply shrugged, a confident look on her face.
"What can I say? Fitness is my life." Sakura snorted, knowing exactly what Ino had just said was going to throw her into a world of pain. Like she thought, Naruto smiled and started to walk in the direction of the gym.
"Hey, that's cool! That's more Lee's thing, since I just want to get in better shape, but that's cool! That means you can run our circuit instead of just being on the treadmill the whole time!" He started to walk away, while Sakura snickered, following the blond boy and Ino watched in horror, letting out a singular gulp.
"What did I just do?"
"Itachi? We don't usually meet in the lobby?" Sasuke was now in his more professional attire, walking into the lobby of UchihaCorp, not expecting to see his brother in the main lobby, a slightly distressed look on her tired face.
"True, but I needed to talk with you a little. Plus, I needed a cigarette, if you'd like to follow me outside." He gestured for Sasuke to follow him and, before waiting for his younger brother's confirmation, he started to head towards the back part of the lobby, where there was a small outside patio for smoking. Sasuke followed begrudgingly; Itachi didn't typically hang out with Sasuke, and it sucked since he did miss his brother at times, but he truly despised the smell of cigarettes.
"Have to say brother, you really should kick that habit. I wouldn't be surprised if cigarettes ultimately do you in." Sasuke said with a quick snort as they got outside, but Itachi ignored him, lighting the cigarette up.
"Eventually. It would take time, but eventually. Anyway, how have you been Sasuke? School has been treating you okay?" Sasuke was confused for a second, and pondered his thoughts. Itachi didn't typically ask him about his day or his schooling; in fact, none of his family really did as long as he maintained his good grades.
"It's fine. School is school. Not that hard, but I don't think there has ever been an Uchiha that struggled with school, honestly." Itachi chuckled at Sasuke's words, taking another quick drag.
"That's not true." Sasuke turned towards his brother, an unspoken question teetering at the edge of his lips. "Father. Mother was the one that was good at school. She actually tutored him in high school, something he's still insecure about to this day. He'll never admit that either, so don't say I said anything." Itachi held a small smile on his lips as he extinguished the cigarette and placed it in the trash next to them.
"Anyway, I want to show you something. I think you'd be," he paused, thinking of how to phrase his words. "Interested, I guess." Together, they walked back into the main lobby and started to head towards the elevator, but instead of going up, Itachi hit the down button for the basement three times.
"This will take you to the lowest sublevel of UchihaCorp, but you need clearance, which only myself and Father have. Not including the workers of course." Sasuke seemed a little annoyed at that as Itachi put in a code, but Sasuke saw the code clearly; '6705'.
"A secret basement? Why hasn't Father told me himself about this?" Itachi chuckled slightly, looking back to his brother.
"You're only an intern, Sasuke. You were allowed in the meeting for this, but you weren't given access yet." The gears started to turn in Sasuke's head as the elevator continued to go down.
"So you're telling me we already started with the anti-mutant stuff?" Itachi nodded, looking out the glass window of the elevator, a stoic expression on his face now.
"Yes, and you're about to see what you told Father was a good idea." Just then, the solid wall just outside the glass ended, now showcasing a giant lab, and Sasuke's heart dropped, his chest tightening slightly.
In the center of the lab, Sasuke could clearly see a silver-haired man chained to a table that was holding him upright, with what seemed to be hundreds of needles and tubes inside of him.
"What the hell?" Sasuke muttered as the elevator stopped, opening up for him to step foot into the cold lab. Next to him, Itachi continued to walk towards the center of the lab. Luckily for them both, no workers were currently present.
"How do you expect for us to develop anti-mutant technology for the military? We have to understand how the mutants function and operate, do we not?" Sasuke gaped at his brother, incredulous at his words.
"Yeah, we do, but this is-"
"Torture?" Itachi interrupted him, looking at his brother with his classic stoic gaze. "But this is Mizuki Tsubaki, the famous criminal. You see, Father was able to get him from the police in order to help with this endeavor. It's a bad man and we have to stop them, do we not Sasuke?" Sasuke started to growl, looking towards Mizuki, who was unconscious, but didn't even resemble the former man anymore; he looked more like a man held to his life by the thin strand of a life support machine, covered in bloody medical equipment. Thankfully, he had a wrap around his eyes, so Sasuke didn't have to look the man in his eyes.
"I get what you're doing, brother." He started to turn towards his brother, his fist clenched. "You are against this and voiced your opinion so during that meeting with Father and now you're trying to make me feel bad for agreeing with Father." Itachi shook his head, walking towards the equipment and reading off some of the meters.
"No. Not trying. I know you are experiencing guilt, and that's good. You can still see that they are people like all of us, something Father doesn't quite understand anymore. You are still good Sasuke. I brought you here while no one else is here because I didn't want to get you in trouble with Father, but so you could also form an unbiased opinion. If it differs with mine, then so be it. I just don't wish to keep these practices up once I take the mantle from Father." Itachi turned away once again, walking towards the elevator. He glanced towards his brother one last time. "They will resume working in an hour, but I will be at the elevator waiting for you, whenever you are ready."
Sasuke stood at the table of Mizuki, thousands of thoughts rushing through his head. Mizuki was a criminal and killed people. He hurt lots of them. But even he, in his head at least, didn't deserve to be poked and prodded, tortured day in and out in order to make something that can fight other mutants. At this point, the only other mutant in town was the Tempest crew, so already there was more good then bad. But the current word in town was that the new killer, The Butcher, was a very strong mutant that police can't stop. If the police and Tempest couldn't stop this new strong killer, would that make the torture and experiments worth it, if they could prevent more deaths? It was a toss up in Sasuke's head, as it involved throwing away morals for other morals.
He didn't want to see anymore, and turned away to look at his brother, following him into the elevator.
"Try not to mention this to anyone Sasuke. It could harm UchihaCorp very much." Itachi muttered to Sasuke as he punched in the code for the top offices, leaving his younger brother to ponder his thoughts and conflicting emotions.
"Oh wow!" Hinata exclaimed, shouting slightly at the sight of the grassy plain that was in front of her. Despite being all grassy, there was quite a large amount of rocks and they slightly overlooked the city; being at such a higher altitude really let the wind flow through the grass, creating a nice, relaxing aura.
"This here is Hokage Rock! It's a nice little relaxing place I found that I like to meditate at." Hinata walked through the grass, letting the wind blow through her school uniform, giving her a small smile.
"You found this? How even? It's so hidden!" Ayame let out a sheepish grin at Hinata's words, thinking about when Jiraiya first showed her the training grounds.
"Oh you know me! I do love to explore! Anyway, come with me and sit down!" She walked over and took the younger girl's hand, leading her towards the center of the field, where it was mostly just grass. "Let's sit down and have a nice relaxing little meditation session, get those brain juices flowing!" Hinata's shook her head, not liking the use of the words 'brain juices', but still moved with her friend and sat down in the grass. "Now let's get meditation ready and get in the lotus position like this!" She easily crossed her leg over the other, which Hinata was able to mimic easily. "Okay sweet! Now clasp your palms together! It's the Salutation Seal in yoga!" Hinata did what she was told, watching her friend intently.
"All Runa made me do was sit criss cross on a rock and think hard. I guess it does make sense to do this in a yoga position." Ayame chuckled and got into her own position, giving the purple-haired girl one last look.
"Okay sweet! So now we meditate! Just breathe and focus. Shut your eyes and let all worldly stuff vanish in your view. Think of the void and allow yourself to be connected to the world around you." She felt wise as Hinata nodded and shut her eyes, letting out a deep breath.
Unlike Naruto, Hinata kept the meditation going, which was something Ayame appreciated. After a few minutes of nothing but the wind blowing, Ayame felt the familiar warmth inside her start to fester, giving her a slight smile. She tried to reach for it, but it was just out of reach, so she continued to try, feeling the heat rise and rise. Before long she opened her eyes, unable to go any further, but she silently gasped at Hinata. She was still meditating like before, but she had a faint glow around her body, the chakra flowing around her body. Just as sudden, she opened her eyes and the glow disappeared, a smile on her face.
"I felt it Ayame. It felt so inviting!" Ayame held a slight pout, but nodded her head.
"Yeah. Yeah you did. I saw the glow over your body. I'm pretty sure you're already farther than me in that regard. Hinata suddenly frowned, shaking her head at her friend.
"No don't feel down! Manipulating our energy is in Hyuuga blood! It's supposed to come to us very easy, so it feels more natural to us!" That made Ayame cheer up slightly, but only a little.
"Oh well, that's fine. I've only had one lesson anyway, so that's totally fine. As I learn, I could totally teach you what I've learned and help you out!" Hinata smiled wide, nodding her head as she rose from her seated position.
"Oh thank you! I would super appreciate that Ayame!" Ayame gave the girl a thumbs up before turning away from her.
"Of course! Now let's go! I'm still starving!"
"Is this really necessary?" Tazuna Aono spoke up, now inside the main police precinct of Konoha City. In front of him, Ibiki stood with the Captain, Hiruzen Sarutobi, who was smiling at the old man. Next to them was a man in a suit that looked like he hadn't slept in years.
"Please, Mr. Aono," Hiruzen started, a small chuckle on his lips. "My detectives determined you were the target of the assassin's and we need to make sure you are perfectly safe while we look into these assailants. You'll be with my best man, Detective Gekko." The man next to them gave a small wave, his eyes drooping slightly.
"Pleased to meet you Mr. Aono. It will be my pleasure to keep you safe." Tazuna gave him a polite smile and nodded his head slightly, but he turned towards the captain.
"Truly, I appreciate this, but what happened to that Anko girl and the Iruka fellow? They were good and kept me safe at the time." Ibiki scoffed slightly, making Tazuna raise an eyebrow, but Sarutobi held his hand to Ibiki, telling him to silence.
"Unfortunately, both of them were working with the vigilante and are currently unassigned from the case." Tazuna laughed slightly, but it held a bit of sarcasm.
"Good thing too. If they weren't working with them, I'd probably be dead right now. While I have no doubt the qualifications of Detective Gekko, if I am to be protected, I would like the people with super powered friends to be the ones helping." Sarutobi frowned and let out a sigh at the man's words.
"While I understand your sentiment, the vigilantes of Konoha City are violating the law and working outside of its boundaries, essentially making them criminals. I can't, in good faith, allow you to be protected by those that wish to break the law freely. I assure you Detective Gekko is more than capable of taking care of you during your stay here in Konoha City, while we work on capturing your assassins." With nothing left to say thanks to the Captain's commanding aura, Tazuna simply nodded, while Sarutobi smiled and began to walk off, Ibiki following him.
"Quite a commanding aura that old man has, huh?" Hayate Gekko wasn't sure what to say, so he just nodded to the equally-as-old man's words.
"He's not the Police Captain of Konoha for no reason. He has a way to put the fear of God into anyone." Tazuna shook his head and placed sunglasses on his face.
"Intense. Anyway, I'm ready to get back to my hotel. Let's get going Tired Eyes." Hayate frowned at the nickname, but followed the man out of the precinct.
"I'm just wondering if you are even trying?" Kuromaru spoke in Kiba's head, making him frown and throw the jacket in his hands towards the bed. It made a small dent in the bed from the sheer weight of it. "I know you have enhanced strength, but you shouldn't make it as heavy as you can." Kiba groaned and reached into the jacket, pulling out what looked like an armor plate from the jacket.
"Look man, I get that. This was all I could get at the last minute and last I checked, I'm not bulletproof. I need some protection! I had this jacket specially made to fit in armor plates." He could feel Kuromaru nodding in his head as he looked down at the jacket.
It was a dark gray jacket with lots of black fluff in the jacket, mostly coming out around the hood, the base and the sleeves. The fluff was used to hide pockets especially made in the large jacket that could hold armor plates, which would protect Kiba from any bullets or weapons that could come at him.
"Limit it to one plate in each pocket. See how it protects you then. Plus you have regenerative abilities, so shouldn't be too bad. And fix your pants, they look awful." Kiba growled and looked down at his pants, which were also dark gray, but were large in the thighs, making him look like a massive bodybuilder. "One plate on each thigh and calf. And get a kneepad! You want to protect those joints! Also-" Kiba let out a growl, his eyes turning slightly red and dog-like, which made the wolf stop speaking. After a few moments of breathing from Kiba, he started to settle down.
"Thank you for the input Kuromaru. I will take them into consideration." There was a brief pause before the wolf chuckled.
"Of course. Why are you making a stupid suit anyway? Didn't picture you as the hero type." Kiba laughed back at that, grabbing a mask that was on the bed, which was something that looked like a plague doctor's mask, but more wolf shaped.
"Yeah, I want to help people, like Tempest. Be a hero. I have to do good with the powers that guy gave me." Kuromaru was silent at his words for a few minutes as Kiba eyed the mask, a look of excitement in his eyes.
"You figure out a name yet?"
"Oh yeah. The name is Fang."
"You… do this… every day?" Ino shouted in between breaths, on all fours and desperately trying to breathe. Next to her, Naruto was chuckling who was simply stretching his arms. Sakura was besides him, breathing hard, but nowhere near as heavy as Ino, which made her smile slightly, seeing at least a small fruit of her labor.
"Nah, we only go to the gym like… 4 times a week? Sometimes me and Lee will try to come 5 or 6, but I've been warned about overworking my body. You can't rush the results! At least that's what Lee says." He laughed slightly, making Ino roll her eyes and struggle to get up.
"God no wonder you are starting to get ripped." She muttered it out, but both of them heard it and Sakura laughed.
"Honestly, you should see Lee. That man is chiseled 8 pack right there. Naruto here is only at 4 pack level." Naruto groaned, pouting slightly.
"Sakura, why are you talking about me right in front of me! I'd be much more if I actually ate the correct diets." She chuckled more at the man, seemingly making fun of his physique compared to Lee's but in a playful and not harmful way.
While the duo talked, Ino found herself lost in her thoughts about everything. She still remembered what happened between her and Sakura, and while she seemed to recover mentally faster than the pinkette, here her best friend was, actively hanging out with a man and working on bettering herself. Made her wonder what she was doing with her life.
"Ino, you okay?" Ino suddenly blinked back into reality, looking at her friend and Naruto, who were both staring at her.
"Y-yeah, sorry! I kinda just got lost in my head for a minute there!" She chuckled slightly, but Sakura didn't look too convinced, while Naruto simply shrugged it off.
"Well, good you're doing better! Want to get started on the next circuit?" Before Ino coils respond, Sakura let out a small, 'hmph' getting both of their attention.
"Actually Naruto, I think me and Ino are going to call it a day. Hit the smoothie bar and just head home." He let out a small frown, but nodded his head.
"Oh man, that sucks! But that's okay. You guys have a good day then!" The trio parted ways, with Naruto heading deeper into the gym and the two girls staying there.
"What was that about?" Ino asked, giving Sakura a quizzical look, who only scoffed and started leading her towards the gyms small smoothie bar area.
"Please. Ino, I'm your best friend, I can tell when things are up. Now we're gonna talk." Ino let out a small gulp, but she followed her friend, not ready for this conversation.
"Can you fight?" Zabuza spoke in his deep voice, sitting on the couch in their small hotel room, the TV on. Nearby, Haku was staring at himself in a full body mirror, his shirt on the floor but wearing his normal style pants. There was a dark impact mark near his stomach, just under his breasts. He held his hand to the spot and winced slightly.
"I'm always able to fight, Master." Zabuza groaned, looking towards the boy, a scowl on his face.
"We aren't in the military anymore. It's just Zabuza now or dad I guess." Haku looked towards the older man, nodding his head.
"Yes, right. Sorry Father." Zabuza grumbled under his breath, but just continued to watch the TV. Haku went back to his mirror, a small frown on his face as he looked towards his ripped up black tank top near the floor.
"You have more binders in my bag. I always pack a few just in case. This is the first time it came in handy though." Zabuza muttered out, switching the channel. A smile graced Haku's face and he walked towards Zabuza's bag, ruffling through it before pulling out an identical black looking tank top. Just as quick, however, his face vanished, to something of a small frown.
"I appreciate this immensely Father, but I don't think I can wear this at the moment. The wound that boy gave me might make it too tight and aggravate my wound. I could always bind with some of the bandages we have." Zabuza scoffed at his son, looking backwards towards him.
"Don't be an idiot boy. You think there are only full binder's in there? You're not gonna wrap, so hurry up." Haku looked shocked at his words, but continued to rummage through before finding the same type of shirt, but was half the size, making the boy smile slightly at his surrogate father's words.
"Thank you Father." Zabuza grunted out a response as Haku slid the shirt over himself, successfully flattening his chest, but not reaching the black and bruised wound on his stomach. "This will work perfectly."
"Good, it better be. Tomorrow starts your mission." Haku nodded at his father's words, looking away towards one of the two beds in the room, a school uniform laid out on it.
"Yes. Tomorrow I start as a student of Konoha High School."
Next chapter soon.