Disclaimer: Does it look like I own Naruto? Besides if I were to say otherwise and I wouldn't, believe me... and you reported me to authorities, it would be just mean.

Chapter 3: First C-Rank Mission

"Geez! All you do is lecture me." Naruto told the Hokage "But you know what? I'm not the trouble-making brat you think I am!" he then turned around still sitting with his cheeks puffed.

"Alright." Everyone turned to Hokage "If you want it that badly, I will give you a C rank mission." Naruto's face lit up immediately.

"Yes, dattebayo!" He shouted with excitement.

The old Hokage rummaged through the scrolls of C-Rank missions and picked up a particular scroll. "Yeah! Its perfect for you and you are perfect for this mission." Hiruzen mumbled to himself eying the scroll with a thoughtful expression in play. "Alright team ten, you are going to go and deliver this scroll to a team of Iwa which you will meet at the border of Tsuchi No Kuni on Tenchi Bridge going through Kusa No Kuni. You will give them the scroll five days from now at noon. They will be there, and you just have to give them this scroll."

Listening to Hokage about meeting Iwa shinobi made Ino go stiff, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by Shikamaru and Asuma. Asuma spoke up "Alright Hokage-sama. We will start moving in two hours." Hokage just nodded in affirmation and gestured them that they can leave.

Asuma turned towards his team and put a hand on Ino's shoulder, who was still stiff from the new information fed to her brain, to calm the kunoichi down. In response to which she visibly relaxed and nodded before making herself scarce from the office. Then the other two members of team nodded and made their way out of the office, leaving the Hokage, Iruka and some other chunin to do their work in peace.

Iruka turned towards the Hokage with a concerned expression on his face "Hokage-sama, I don't mean the question your judgment but, was it really alright to let them go to meet the Iwa team?" the old Hokage turned towards Iruka as he continued "You know how much pride Naruto have in our village. And Naruto may not know about much about the other stuff taught in the academy but the Hokage and wars are the two things that Naruto always paid attention to as they depicted the deeds done by the previous Hokages. And our books really don't make Iwagakure shinobi look like good people."

The Hokage nodded, he knew how Iwagakure was shown in the books. He had made some amends to the material provided to the academy, some of which was just bullshit. Not all but some of it. And he knew for a fact that such was the case in Iwagakure towards Konoha. But he still didn't have time to go through the whole material. Hokage had way too much work to take time do such things.

Every person in the elemental nations knew that Hiruzen Sarutobi was a peace-loving man. Many considered him too soft to be a Kage. But he had faced too many battles, killed way too many people, lost way too many close friends and comrades. He fought in all three great shinobi wars for god's sake, that he wanted to avoid conflict as much as possible. And if such a possibility arise that Iwagakure is ready to make an alliance, Konoha's mentality shouldn't be filled with false hatred.

"And that isn't the only problem there is to it. The Nara clan and Yamanaka clan lost many of their clan members in that war. It may not go well for anyone Hokage-sama." The Sandaime didn't say anything for a moment, then he replied a voice that spoke of the great wisdom that the 'Kami no Shinobi' possessed.

"Iruka you remember when I told you about hatred. That day I told you that when people reject someone's very existence taking them for something they are not and they had no control over the circumstances that created their existence and then look at them, their eyes become cold, cold as an ice storm in the deepest winter." Iruka nodded as he remembered the speech very well "Such is the case with Iwa shinobi. Most of the people in this village look at them like they are not shinobi, they look at them like they are some kind of monsters."

Iruka was listening intently to what the old Hokage had to say "But Naruto has also suffered the same hatred developed in people. I can say even more hatred then them as he had to share the burden alone. So he knows that people shouldn't be hated on what they had no control over. It's not the shinobi they are meeting that killed the people they cared about. They had no control over where they were born. People who are subjected to the same kind of hatred can never hate each other. The Iwa shinobi haven't faced the hatred that brews inside some of our shinobi, so they may not respond in kind, but Naruto will never hate them unless the person he is meeting directly harm him or his comrades. So I believe Naruto is the safest person to send with them."

Iruka nodded as it made sense "As for Ino and Shikamaru, Shikamaru is a logical person. He is the son of Shikaku and thinks for himself rather than taking things for what they look like or are told by the others. And I am certain that people like him don't develop malice towards the people they had never met. If you want proof, then you should remember that he was like the first friend of his age that Naruto ever had." Iruka said nothing to interrupt the old Kage and merely nodded.

"And Ino needs to see that the Iwa shinobi are not monsters. They are people, just like us. She is a little prejudiced like all the other people and I can't fully blame her. After all, she did grow in the society we created. I know that Ino isn't the best person to send but she is far from worst. Maybe someone as nice as Naruto or a level-headed person like Shikamaru will come to meet and change her view of them. Just maybe, you can't blame an old man for his hope." Iruka nodded as his respect towards the Hokage went up even more if it was possible.

Iruka then noted that after the short enlightening conversation, Hiruzen's eyes went cold, 'cold as an ice storm in the deepest winter' as the Hokage put it, and looked around to spot the target of the hatred of the most respected and knowledgeable man in the village. Paperwork of course, what did you expect. Iruka shook his head in amusement and went to his own work.

XxX

Outside The Hokage's Office

Asuma and his team made it out of the office and he instructed his team as he took out a cigarette "Pack all your stuff for three weeks and meet me at the West gate in two hours alright."

"Yatta! We are just genin and we are already doing these awesome diplomatic missions with other shinobi villages. We are totally big deals." Naruto shouted with excitement and a light in his eyes. But Ino was nowhere near as excited as she was before. She didn't lose anyone close to her per se. But still everyone in the clan was like a family, so she didn't like the idea of meeting with someone from that... village.

Shikamaru chuckled at his teammate being all fired up "It isn't a diplomatic mission you moron. In diplomatic missions, the leaders of villages sit and discuss the problems and the likes of there nations. We are just going to hand over a scroll and come back strolling through the forests." and then he yawned. So much for distributing knowledge.

"Yeah yeah, whatever lazy-ass." Naruto just dismissed what Shikamaru just said. Still on his high horses, Naruto turned towards his destination to start running before he remembered something and turned towards his sensei "Hey sensei," getting Asuma to turn towards him "Well, I wanted to know what to do about the weights."

Asuma raised his eyebrows and voiced his question "What about them? Keep 'em on till you need absolutely need to take them off."

"Well, you see I think I have gotten used to these weights, so I don't have to keep them on right? My body is already adjusted to the speed, so why keep them on?" Naruto replied which got Asuma's eyebrows to rise in surprise.

'How did he got used to the weights so quickly? Granted they are very low, as I didn't want him to become bone tired. That is also the reason why very few people use weights to train as it hinders more than it helps.' Asuma thought to himself when it clicked 'Oh, yes how could have I forgotten. The Kyuubi's chakra mends his body as quickly as his muscles are tear apart due to the weights eventually making them stronger as do the bones. Well, that's certainly a plus.' He smiled at the new development.

"No, don't take them off. If you do then your body won't feel the strain that the weights put on them, so your muscle length and strength will slowly deteriorate. If you've gotten used to the weights then increase them a little bit. Don't increase too much, it will affect your body negatively, okay. The increased weights will help you improve your speed even more."

Naruto took in the information and nodded with his usual foxy grin. "Sure thing sensei!" He then turned around and ran away to his all-time favorite stand to have his lunch before setting foot out of the village as who knows when he will get his favorite ramen again. Ino and Shikamaru also strolled towards their respective homes. Asuma took a puff from his cigarette and started walking towards his own destination.

XxX

2 Hours Later

West Gate Of Konoha

Naruto arrived at the gates ten minutes before the designated time to meet. Empty handed. He found that his teammates were already there waiting for him and their sensei to arrive to start their first C-Rank mission, which he was super excited about. He greeted them in his normal cheery attitude "Hey there guys! You both are already here huh?" His teammates turned towards him.

"Yeah, It would be too troublesome to hear Ino's bickering if I arrived late. So I decided to show up a little early and rest here." Shikamaru responded in ever-present lazy voice. Ino turned towards him with a murderous glare that sent shivers down his spine.

"Oh! now I bicker with you. Huh, you lazy-ass?" Dark aura started emanating from the said girl, making Shikamaru sweat bullets. Seeing this Naruto also began sweating somewhat and made himself as scarce as possible. Strangled cries could be heard all over the village for some time until eventually, Ino calmed down when Shikamaru passed out and was lying with swirls in his eyes.

Naruto approached cautiously to see if she really calmed down. "Uh... Ino you safe?" He asked nervously. Ino turned towards Naruto.

"When have I ever been unsafe to you Naruto-kun?" she said adding the full effect of puppy dog eyes jutsu when looking towards him and emphasizing on the word '-kun'.

"Whenever you feel like it." Naruto deadpanned. "And besides, how long do you think I have been using that jutsu on Hokage-Jiji. It won't work on me." He said that but he was still affected by it and wanted it to end as soon as possible. And if she decided on batting her eyelashes, he would crack. And if Ino saw that then he was done for and would be in for one hell of a... well Naruto doesn't know the exact word but I'm sure you can understand.

"Aww man, this should have flattened any other boy. How come it doesn't work on you?" She pouted. Naruto sighed a sigh of relief before a mischievous glint in eyes replaced it.

"Except that teme-ass apparently, whom on you have been trying this for years." Naruto snickered. Ino glared at him like she was going to murder the poor boy, only to Naruto's snicker to turn into a full-blown laughter, much to Ino's ire, but she didn't hit him 'cause he was right... technically. After the laughter died down Naruto pointed towards downed Shikamaru who still had swirls in his eyes.

"Will he be alright?" Ino also turned towards Shikamaru and shrugged "Oh I'm pretty sure he is alright. Most probably to fool us into not making us wake him up, he must have learned some 'Swirl eye Jutsu' or something like that."

Naruto sweat-dropped, "Uh... Ino, I am pretty sure that this was your doing. And other than that he is too lazy to come up with something like that." Ino clapped her hands giving a nervous chuckle in response.

"By the way Naruto, why are you empty-handed? Where is your stuff, we have a long way ahead of us you know." Ino asked turning towards her fellow blond.

Naruto patted his left thigh showing it had pockets on it that were full and grinned "I used storage scrolls to pack my stuff so I won't have to carry all the stuff." Ino raised a questioning eyebrow to which Naruto continued "I learned about it when I first went to Tenten to buy stuff, she told me about these. And then I started reading about fuuinjutsu. I love reading more and more about fuinnjutsu."

Ino's and even downed Shikamaru's head instantly snapped towards Naruto like they would break from the sudden jerk with an incredulous look on their faces. "YOU and READING?!" Ino shouted.

Naruto rubbed the back of his head nervously "Come on guys, I'm not that bad... Am I?" He asked the last part with a pause. Shikamaru and Ino just shook their head furiously in affirmative. Reading was like the last thing anyone could expect from Naruto. That can't be digested just like that.

"So can you pack our stuff in scrolls too?" Ino asked after some time has passed and she recovered from the huge revelation. Naruto turned towards her and chirped "Yeah sure." He pulled out two more scrolls and packed his teammates' stuff and gave them the scrolls which they pocketed.

Asuma arrived just in time when Naruto was giving Shikamaru his scroll. "So you have packed your stuff in storage scrolls huh." Asuma smiled at them. "So Naruto, you like fuinnjutsu I take it?"

Naruto turned towards his jonin sensei and grinned "Yeah, fuinnjutsu is awesome. I have just learned basic storage seals and explosive tags and simple stuff like that. And progressing towards more complicated ones." Asuma nodded back with a smile.

"So let's get started with our first ever C-Ranked mission eh!" Asuma said with a little excitement of his own after providing the guards' essential documents.

Naruto jumped in excitement "Yatta! We are going on our first C-Rank mission. Awesome." Ino and Shikamaru just shook their head in amusement. They all began to walk out of the gates and into the forests surrounding the village.

After some walking Naruto began to get bored "So sensei are we running or just walking?"

Shikamaru's eyes widen in horror and his head turned slowly towards Asuma with fear and hope in his eyes, much to the amusement of his squad mates and sensei. "Hahaha... don't worry Shikamaru we have five days to reach there. So we will just walk." Asuma assured his most laid-back student while trying to control his laughter to which Shikamaru sighed in relief.

"But sensei I'm getting bored," Naruto said with a little whine in his tone.

"So why don't you start practicing cutting the leaf," Asuma suggested as he continued with his smoking.

Naruto shook his head "Nah, I think its best if I do it with the help of my clones, not here. I will do it in one go next time we are training for real." Then something clicked in his head "Yeah I totally forgot, I had packed a fuinnjutsu book." He then reached out to his pocket and brought out a scroll and transferred chakra into it. A book popped out of it and he pocketed back his scroll and started reading the book.

His teammates stared at him for a while, still new to the information that Naruto actually read.

Unbeknownst to them, they were being watched just before they left Konoha. A ninja with white hair and glasses and a headband with Konoha's symbol on it. He pushed his glasses up with his finger and smiled 'Meeting with an Iwa team eh? Interesting.' The ninja in question turned around and headed back into the village like nothing ever happened.

XxX

Three Days Later

Somewhere In Hi No Kuni

Naruto and his team were walking through the forests soon to reach the borders of Hi No Kuni and Kusa No Kuni. They had been walking through the country for three days and took breaks and camped at nights. Naruto, Ino, and Shikamaru talked and laughed. They were bonding really well. This brought a genuine smile on Asuma's face. Of course, he also talked to them all the time.

"Hey, Naruto!" Ino got the attention of the blond "I never got to ask you something. How did you pass the academy exam? We know you failed then how come you got your headband?" Ino asked genuinely curious. At this question, Naruto and Asuma stiffened ever so slightly. A fact that didn't go unnoticed by Shikamaru.

"Well you see, after I failed, I was depressed since I have failed two times before. So Iruka sensei took sympathy towards me and told me that if I master any clone jutsu he will let me pass. And he also showed me how to create Kage Bunshins. So I practiced hard and mastered the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu and showed it to Iruka sensei, who let me pass and was then assigned to this team." Naruto replied nervously as he was not sure that they bought the lie or not. As he wasn't ready to reveal the fact that he was a jinchuriki right now. But he was relieved when he saw Ino nod. Shikamaru was not fully convinced but he let it slide as it would be too troublesome to ask more questions.

"Hey, by the way, Shika, Ino" Naruto started getting the attention of the said teammates "How is your elemental training going?" Ino looked towards him with a smile on her face "Oh that..."

(Flashback)

With Ino

After the team training, everyone went to their respective locations for one-on-one training. Asuma and Ino came to a stop upon entering some clearing.

"So sensei," Ino said getting the jonin's attention "What are we going to do today?" She asked in excitement.

Asuma smiled and rummaged through his pouch and pulled out a slip of paper and gave it to Ino. Ino tilted her head "What's this sensei?"

Asuma smiled and began to explain "This is to determine your elemental affinity. As you may or may not know there are five types of basic elements and a human's chakra lean towards a specific element which is easy for them to master and utilizes less chakra."

Ino nodded as she already knew that much "So what do I do?" she asked. Asuma pointed towards the paper slip and began "Just apply your chakra to the paper it will tell you your elemental affinity."

Ino did as she was told and the paper turned soggy. "Ah... So you have water affinity." Asuma spoke up with a raised eyebrow. "Water is a really good element for you too. As it is the most versatile element if the user has enough imagination to use it correctly. It can be used to attack or defend. It is also the perfect support element." Ino beamed at the prospect of learning new water jutsu, only to slump her shoulders at the next statement made by Asuma.

"But we aren't going to work on elemental jutsu just yet. There are two reasons for this" Asuma told with a serious expression and lifted one finger "First, you must ask your father if you can continue with element training with your clan techniques. Though I am sure Inoichi will not object to that, so that's not the main concern." Ino nodded and Asuma continued.

"Well, the second thing and the more important thing is the elemental training needs considerate amount of chakra so we will first focus on increasing your chakra reserves so you don't drop dead in between a fight. So I don't think I will be teaching you that in a long time." Ino frowned and though reluctant obliged as she too understands that if she didn't have the chakra reserves she will become a liability just after using two or three jutsu.

"Also, you are not made for ninjutsu." Ino looked up at the chain smoker as he continued on "Ninjutsu is best for people with large chakra reserves. You are made for much more trickier ninja art." Ino's eyes lit up.

"What is it sensei? What will be my forte?" She knew that judging from the smile Asuma had he knew exactly how to make her strong.

Asuma chuckled seeing the enthusiastic girl "You see, since you have smaller chakra reserves, your control is way better than the others with larger chakra reserves. So you are better suited for genjutsu. And that is one tricky ninja art." Ino perked up at the idea of mastering genjutsu. From everything she had read up to this point, if a person could not sense a genjutsu, they are bound to fall. And expert genjutsu masters are always dangerous ones.

Asuma saw this and gave one final push, even though it was not needed "To add to your list of its usefulness you may or may not have counted. It's the best weapon for your clan jutsu too." Asuma watched as Ino tilted her head in confusion.

"What is that sensei?" Asuma heard this and smiled as he continued with his explanation "You see even if a person detects a genjutsu the time they use to break out of it will give you an opportunity to use your clan's jutsu against them. And that makes it one hell of a deadly combo." Ino's face lit up even more if it was not already at its maximum.

"Alright sensei, let's get started with genjutsu." Ino fist pumped in the air. Asuma chuckled at the blond's antics.

Asuma tossed a scroll at her. "First read the theory on your alone time. Then we will move further." Asuma said and got into his stance. "For now, lets spar." Ino pocketed the scroll and took her own stance.

XxX

With Shikamaru

Shikamaru yawned as they reached their designated location for the last part of today's training. Asuma turned towards him and searched his weapon pouch to bring out a paper slip. Shikamaru took it from his hand and raised a questioning eyebrow, Asuma proceeded to explain. "Have you heard of elemental affinities?"

Shikamaru nodded "So this is to determine my elemental affinity?" he asked cocking an eyebrow to which Asuma nodded and instructed him to transfer his chakra into the paper slip. And Shikamaru did as he was told.

Both of their eyebrows lifted one in confusion and other's in shock as the paper crumbled to dust. Then Asuma smiled brightly. "Your elemental affinity definitely match you and your personality. Always laid back, always on the defensive." he laughed.

Shikamaru tried to give a pout but a yawn came out instead, much to the amusement of Asuma. "Hahaha... Oh man, that made my day. Hahaha..." Asuma continued to laugh as Shikamaru mumbled 'troublesome' under his breath.

Asuma composed himself and then proceeded to explain about the element "Okay, so basically, earth style users are rare in Konoha. Most of the earth style users are from Iwagakure. This type of element is mostly defensive. It can be used to attack but mostly it is defensive and is used to delay the enemy." Shikamaru nodded along.

"So this element is perfectly suited for a strategist such as yourself. So I want you to do two things before we start our training with the element. First," Asuma lifted a finger "I want you to ask for permission from your father if you can train in elemental training with your clan techniques." Shikamaru nodded as he knew some clan's don't allow something like this 'cause they are too proud of their clan techniques and the blame then falls on the teacher training them.

"I am pretty sure that Shikaku will have no problems with that. He is one of the most open-minded people in Konoha. Second is a major concern. You have good chakra reserves, but at the capacity they are now, you will become a liability if you use two or three techniques in a row. So we will be increasing your chakra reserves for a month or two."

Shikamaru groaned at that "But we will have to do too much work for that." Asuma laughed at his student's laziness.

"Ah, don't worry. It will definitely pay off. Besides that, you should stick to your clan techniques more. As they will use less chakra and you will definitely find a way to use them better." Shikamaru nodded in understanding.

(Flashback end)

Ino remembered and smiled "Oh that, you see we don't have as much as chakra reserves as you do. So I will hold on to elemental training until later. Right now I am going for genjutsu." She chirped "I have been covering the theory and all that stuff with our usual training. I have also started on a genjutsu provided by our chain smoker sensei."

She snickered at the last bit as Asuma protested against the name, much to the amusement of his three students. Naruto then turned towards Shikamaru "And what about you Shika, how's yours going?"

Shikamaru who was listening to his teammates talk with his hands in his pockets and ever-present half asleep expression responded "Well, Asuma sensei and I have been working on my chakra reserves for the last month." as he gestured towards their jonin instructor with a nod. "It's too troublesome if you ask me."

Naruto snorted "Guess that's why he didn't ask you, huh lazy bum? Anyway what is not troublesome for you Shika, I seem to have forgotten." Shikamaru glared at him with half-lidded eyes, causing all the other three to laugh. Naruto was slowly but surely developing a smart mouth on him. Maybe Ino's influence. Although he was most of the times his usual hyperactive self, he sometimes mouthed off too.

He then hit his left palm with a right fist as if he remembered something "Ah right... How could have I forgotten the chores your mom gives you." He turned towards Shikamaru with a mock apologetic expression in play "I'm so sorry Shika, I forgot such an important information. I will try not to forget in the future." Now both his sensei and Ino were laughing hysterically seeing Shikamaru actually had enough strength to glare at someone.

Then Shikamaru sighed and mumbled something about 'haunting memories' and 'troublesome blonds' which got him a bonk to the head by Ino.

After some time they became silent and Naruto went back to reading. After some reading he turned towards Asuma with a questioning look on his face "Asuma sensei, do you know about resistance seals?" Asuma stroke his beard as to think about something and then he nodded.

"Yes I know, they are applied to the body and they restrict the movement of the body effectively slowing it down. It works much like weights, but not completely like them. You see weights only strains limb's muscles and bones of your body and increase your speed and strength." He explained. Naruto nodded in understanding. Taking this as cue he continued "Whereas resistance seals strain the muscles of not only your limbs but your whole body. But they don't effect bones that much. These seals help you increase your speed and reflexes."

Naruto nodded in understanding "I think I'm going to apply them when we return." Asuma smiled at seeing his student work so hard.

Suddenly Naruto and Asuma both stopped in their tracks. Seeing this, other members of the team also stopped and started looking around. "What's the matter Naruto? Asuma sensei?" Ino asked in a worried tone. Asuma looked around like trying to find something.

Then Naruto spoke up "We are being watched." Hearing this both his teammates went on alert. They brought their kunai up, ready to defend at any given moment.

"Yeah, we are being watched but do you know which direction are they in. 'Cause I don't." Asuma spoke up without hope that Naruto knows the direction of their maybe assailants.

"Yeah, there are two squads. One squad is at nearly 2'o clock. The second one is at nearly 9'o clock. But I don't know their distances or their numbers. I just feel they are there, and they seem to be standing still." Naruto responded like it was something normal to know that.

Asuma eyes widen in shock but pushed the thought for a moment then thought about their current situation. "I think they are border patrol of Kusa No Kuni. Here to check if we are an enemy ninja or not." Asuma then turned towards Naruto and mused over it 'Of course they would get suspicious, seeing as how big of a chakra signature is coming in their territory.' Asuma then shook his head.

"Let's just keep going okay." All three of his student nodded and started moving, still alert and ready to fight at a moments notice.

After some time has passed and they walked in the Kusa No Kuni so that they were now at a considerable distance from the border, Asuma turned towards Naruto and decided to voice the question. "Naruto how were you able to sense their presence back there?" Both Shikamaru and Ino turned towards Naruto too with an expression of curiosity.

Naruto shrugged "I don't know. I have developed this kind of thing when I was foraging in forests of the outskirts of our village or searching for food on streets or running away from the mob. When I was living on the streets this really helped me very much to save me from anyone who came after me. Since I had to live out in the open, I had to blend in the environment and be alert at all times if there was any danger nearby. So, slowly but surely I developed this kind of sense that allowed me to sense everything in my immediate range. But not far distances. Even when I was asleep or something I could sense if there is someone nearby. It was like the environment itself helped me in sensing others."

Naruto saw his teammate's eyebrow lift in awe but also frown in sadness more than anything when he mentioned about running from the mob and living on the streets by himself. And he didn't want to be questioned on why was mob chasing after him or make them sad because of his past so he decided to move the topic in other direction "How else do you think I was able to get away from all the ninja's and people coming after me after I pulled a prank on those suckers?" Naruto laughed to diffuse the gloomy air around his teammates.

Asuma was also sad for a moment and anger flashed in his eyes when he heard about mob chasing after him. He knew that people got drunk and occasionally beat him. But years of battle experience helped his mind settle down. Then he pondered on the other thing he said about sensing in immediate range as stroked his beard "That sense is like what most of the sensor types. But they are natural at this kind of stuff."

He then turned towards Naruto smiling "Which is really a good thing. No one will be able to get a drop on you. It won't help in fighting very much, but it damn sure will help you to hide effectively or find a hidden target. That's about it. But nonetheless, that will be really useful. And everything is a dangerous weapon in an experts hand."

Naruto smiled a genuine smile at Asuma's indirect praise and thanked him. Asuma nodded smiling.

"And I can improve my sense of smell, hearing, and my sight become a bit more clearer when I use chakra on them. I tried to do this to every body part after Asuma sensei taught us how to tree walk. My eyes, ears, nose and... uh... ahem... one other, body part showed the most change." He blushed in embarrassment at the thought of his ahem... extra 'limb' reacting to the chakra. But quickly recovered as to not show his blush to others. "You guys should try too, it's not exclusive." He laughed.

Shikamaru and Ino looked shocked at this but didn't paid mind to his little 'misplaced information', and thought about doing it too.

But Asuma picked up on the blush and the last part of his first sentence and blushed brightly too. 'Maybe I should try it when I am...' He quickly dismissed that line of thought. But put it in 'definitely ponder on it later' named folder.

XxX

Two Days Later

Border of Kusa No Kuni And Tsuchi No Kuni

Two more days passed by, just talking, walking, sleeping and you know the regular stuff. They finally reached the borders of Kusa no Kuni but were not done with their mission yet. The group continued to travel on the road. Their journey didn't end until they reached a medium-sized arch bridge that crossed a giant ravine.

"There's the Tenchi Bridge." Asuma informed the group as he gestured towards the structure where they were supposed to deliver the scroll.

"Yatta! We are going to complete our first C-rank mission. That's so cool dattebayo!" Naruto was jumping with excitement. Then he sensed some people standing on the bridge. "There are some people standing there on the bridge." He informed the rest of his squad.

"Most likely the Iwa team that we are supposed to deliver the scroll to." Shikamaru noted.

Ino groaned at this realization. The moment was finally here, they were about to meet the team from Iwa. They were about to meet the group of ninja that were enemies to Konoha. Shinobi from the village that fought and killed many Konoha ninja in the Third Great Shinobi World War. Ino remembered all the stories she had heard and read about Iwa ninjas from the academy and the older orphans who lost their parents in the war. She remembered every horrific crime that she heard they performed. She was not excited for this encounter at all.

The group continued their approach closer to the bridge. As they arrived, the figures were easier to identify. There were three of them standing in front of the bridge and they were indeed Iwa ninja, as identified by their forehead protectors tied on their heads.

One of them was a boy with neck length black hair, pale skin, and golden eyes. He was wearing brown pants, a mesh shirt and a dark brown kimono on top with golden trimming on it. He was also wearing black shinobi boots. He had a muscular build underneath, that was visible behind his lose kimono.

The second was a boy with light brown spiky hair with sunglasses on. He had on a camouflage-colored jacket and was wearing brown cargo pants. The boy seemed to come off rather plain and seemed to almost blend in the area around him. And he had a ninjato strapped on his back with its handle on left side, indicating that the boy was most probably left-handed.

The third figure was a girl with short black hair and pink eyes. She was wearing a dress consisting of a red uniform with her right sleeve missing and a lapel over her right leg, the brown Iwagakure flak jacket, fishnet tights and a skirt over them. She was also wearing regular shinobi sandals and a pair of gloves.

"About time you guys got here. We've been waiting for awhile!" The girl on the team informed the Konoha team.

"Well sorry to keep you waiting. Hope we didn't make you wait too long. By the way wasn't the time noon to meet here on the bridge. So I don't think we are later than two or three minutes." Naruto pointed out to her, making the girl frown. He spoke up again with his normal warmth and excitement "The name's Uzumaki Naruto! Nice to meet ya, dattebayo!".

The girl's frown dissipated and she replied in an uninterested tone. "Onoki Kurotsuchi. Now don't get too familiar."

Naruto tilted his head "Why not? Why can't we get to know each other? Or maybe even become friends." Kurotsuchi frowned and was about to say something when the big guy with black hair interrupted.

"Ha! Are you kidding me? I knew Konoha's standards were very low but I didn't think that they would be so low as to allow runts like you to become a shinobi."

"What'd you say you bastard?" Ino shouted, turning her attention to the boy who just spoke. She was trying her best to ignore the Iwa shinobi up until now. But now he was insulting her and her friends which she could never tolerate.

"Sora was just saying the truth, why would we want to be friends with Konoha shinobi." The sunglasses-wearing ninja informed her, emphasizing the words 'Konoha shinobi' as if it was venom.

"Ino, calm down! Don't start anything!" Shikamaru informed his friend sharply before she snapped at the Iwa ninjas anymore. As he knew that matters could get worse as she too didn't like the Iwa shinobi.

Ino fumed inwardly, glaring at the Iwa genin. She had many things she wanted to say to these three, but she knew that saying anymore could maybe ruin the mission. This would ruin any chances of this mission creating 'peace' between Konoha and Iwa. "Listen to him, he seems like the smart one in the bunch. Not that it means anything truly special to be smart in Konoha." The now identified Iwa ninja Sora snorted at Ino.

"While I don't mind a little joking, the Konoha ninja is right. That means you shouldn't antagonize them either Sora." Kurotsuchi informed him sharply.

Silence seemed to fill the area. The two Iwa male genin were glaring at the Konoha genin. Ino was glaring back. Naruto and Kurotsuchi were looking annoyed by the situation. Shikamaru, for the most part, was standing sideways during the verbal standoff also looking equally annoyed and was trying to think of something he could do to diffuse the tension.

The ice was broken by Asuma, who decided he didn't like the awkward silence, or the fighting prior to that "Name's Sarutobi Asuma, and this is my genin squad. We were assigned the mission of delivering the scroll to an Iwa team. I need to clarify that you guys are the team we are handing the scroll off to. Do you guys have the scroll to prove that?" He asked.

"You already know my name. I'm a genin of Iwa. These are my teammates, Kurogane Sora and Yen. We are the genin team assigned to pick up the scroll." Kurotsuchi greeted the jonin.

"As for the scroll, here it is." Yen informed him, slightly nervous as he pulled out a scroll from a pocket in his cargo pants. He seemed to be trying to show more respect to a Konoha sensei, considering he was probably tougher than him.

"Aren't genin teams supposed to be in teams with a jonin-sensei as their leader? Why are you alone?" Naruto asked, out of curiosity and try to diffuse the tension. He did not like this kind of environment. But someone didn't want that.

"We aren't as weak as you Konoha shinobi. We can do it without him. Besides he has more important duties than dealing with you worthless Konoha trash!" Yen answered sharply.

"Yen! What did I just say?" Kurotsuchi informed him sharply.

"Worthless trash? Who are you calling worthless trash, you Iwa scum?" Ino fired back. She was starting to get fed up with the remarks and was very close to reacting against her better judgment if they continued.

"Iwa scum?" he hissed. "Don't ever speak that way about my village!" Ino soon found herself face to face with a sharp fist from the Iwa genin wearing the camouflage-colored jacket.

Naruto who was standing in front of Kurotsuchi vanished from his spot and was now standing in front of Yen with his hand holding the offender's fist.

'He's fast! This guy might act like an idiot but he has some skill.' Kurotsuchi thought as she looked towards now not so happy-go-lucky blond.

Naruto's eyes were shadowed by his hairs "I may act friendly, but you try hurting my friend again and you will regret it. And to remind you, you were the first one that called my village trash in front of us. We won't tolerate that either. So don't push your luck." he said in a dangerously low voice with directing his killing intent towards Yen, well the amount a thirteen-year-old could muster, but it was considerably more than any normal 13 years old as he had been face to face with way worse than that in his early childhood for god's sake. And Yen was now wide-eyed and was sweating a little. The other genin also became a little uncomfortable.

He then let go his hand and back to his normal mode and spoke in a happy tone "So let's just get this over with alright."

Asuma nodded as he then examined the scroll given to him by Yen. He then nodded towards Kurotsuchi "So you really are the ones sent to retrieve the scroll!" He reached for the scroll that was supposed to be delivered as Kurotsuchi nodded and then he handed it over to the girl.

"So that settle's that," Asuma said with a sigh and gestured towards his team. "Let's go, kids, mission complete." Naruto pumped his fists in the air "Yatta! We finished our first C-rank mission."

Asuma chuckled as his student showed his enthusiasm and Shikamaru just shook his head in amusement. But Ino was nowhere as cheery as they turned around and started to walk towards their village.

Kurotsuchi then turned towards her team "Let's go, we haven't completed our mission yet. We have to deliver this scroll to gramps. So let's start moving." Yen said nothing and started moving towards their village.

Sora huffed "We should have taught those Konoha punks a lesson." he said as he continued to glare in the direction which the Konoha shinobi left. Kurotsuchi turned towards her teammate sharply.

"Do you really think you could have fought against Asuma Sarutobi, son of the Sandaime Hokage and one of the Twelve Guardian Shinobi that are assigned to protect the Fire Daimyo and hope walk away alive at the stage you are now?" She informed her teammate to which he paled and just turned around and started walking towards their destination without saying another word.

Unknown to the two team of both villages, their meeting was being observed by two ninjas that were hiding in a far away tree so as not to get detected. One of the ninjas with a scar on his left eye asked his partner "So, when are we going to attack? My palms are itching for a fight. Let's go and pummel them, come on, come on." His partner continued looking towards the teams leaving the bridge as they moved along their different paths.

"Calm down Roto, calm down. I am just as excited to fight as you are. But we have to wait for just a little while for our mission to succeed." The older shinobi informed his excited partner, now known as Roto. "Just a little more and we will have our fun." The other shinobi nodded enthusiastically.


A/n: So that's the third chapter there guys.

Thanks to everyone that reviewed me. And also some of you who sent suggestions, I would like to thank you again. Keep reviewing so I can improve and suggestions are more than welcome.

So I hope you liked the third chapter. So next chapter the fighting will be starting. I am excited to write how it goes. So review what you liked or what you didn't like. I would appreciate that.

Thank you guys for reading. Until next time.

Mihawk out.