Sasuke had to admit, the carnivore known as "Hibari Kyouya" was a superior instructor compared to that idiot Kakashi. Sure, he didn't learn anything new about his Sharingan and he still had some time before they got to any jutsu...but he could already tell the difference compared to how weak he had been when the Kazekage's wife captured him.
"Jutsu are for those who want to show off how flashy they are. I rarely use any while on a mission because I don't see the point of being flashy when I could simply cave someone's head in first," said Kyouya bluntly.
Seeing Sasuke didn't get it, Kyouya sighed.
"What are the Uchiha known for?"
"Their Sharingan," said Sasuke.
"And what does the Sharingan do best?"
"Copy things. Specifically jutsu and fighting styles."
"And what can't it copy?"
Sasuke blinked, before he got the point Kyouya was trying to make.
"You're saying I should focus more on my physical skills rather than jutsu, because it's something Itachi can't copy."
"That and blind fighting. The key to being caught by the Sharingan is to see your opponent's eyes. If you can't see them, then he can't get you with a genjutsu and it limits his ability to fight unless he's a sensor. Even then, if you're fast enough then it's still very difficult to counter it in time to avoid a blow," said Kyouya. "Arashi can get your taijutsu skills up...but it's your resolve that will see if you can use them against your brother properly. And if you impress me enough I may teach you something the Sharingan can't copy no matter how hard the user tries."
Seeing he had Sasuke's full attention, Kyouya smirked and demonstrated it.
His first blow to the rock they were near made a sizeable dent...his second, coated in purple fire demolished it. Sasuke's eyes gleamed.
"These are called Dying Will Flames, and they are tied directly to the spiritual aspect of your chakra. No person has the same signature and it's impossible to duplicate. Which means Itachi will never see it coming. The question is whether your resolve is strong enough to learn how to use it," said Kyouya.
Right now Sasuke was a dull kunai...still good enough to use, but not good enough for any hard use. Kyouya would see if the brat had the resolve to sharpen those fangs of his into something great.
Sasuke's eyes gleamed at the challenge.
"I won't disappoint you, sensei."
"Good. If and when you finally return to Konoha I want you to show those pathetic herbivores who the superior village is."
Sasuke grimaced at the idea of Konoha, until Kyouya explained it to them.
"It's to taunt the Hokage that his ability to train S-class shinobi sucks and that's why he's still stuck behind the desk rather than in retirement," clarified Kyouya helpfully. "That and imagine the fun of taking the hat so that you can order entire teams of shinobi to hunt down your brother and weaken him so that when you finally do kill him, it will prove who the superior carnivore was all along."
Now he had Sasuke's interest.
"How do you keep the paperwork from burying you? It's like every time I went to see the Hokage he has an almost full desk."
"Two things. One, I made a point to 'remind' people I am not about to deal with their screw-ups and that any mission that results in too much paperwork is ample reason to give their entire team 'remedial training' that usually lands them in the hospital for a week with the bills coming out of their mission payment. You'd be surprised how quickly my men learned to sharpen their skills to avoid 'remedial training' with me."
Sasuke's eyes gleamed with approval at that part.
"What's the other?"
"Shadow clones?" repeated Sasuke.
"Nothing says I have to do the paperwork personally, I still get the memories when it pops and so long as no one realizes it's a clone doing all the signing then there's no reason to enlighten people trying to tie me to a desk," deadpanned Kyouya. "Which leads me to believe someone invented the shadow clone jutsu purely to escape the hells of paperwork."
Sasuke considered this.
"What if the ones giving you too much paperwork are civilians?"
"Do I look like I care about how the herbivores view me? It's a shinobi village...if they think I'm going to give a damn about their opinion when they're trying to slip things into paperwork, then clearly they need reminding who the carnivore is," said Kyouya flatly. "If they're lucky I just send Gaia to 'remind' them that I only tolerate a set amount of paperwork per group before I get stab happy."
The paper pushers in the village loved him for the stream-lined process, especially since it meant some of them would be able to actually sleep in their own beds instead of in the cots in the special break rooms.
The R and D department hadn't stopped singing his praises since he fixed things so that their higher budget had been approved. To say nothing of the hospital since Kyouya managed to convince Tsunade to spend an entire year training his medic teams in new techniques and procedures.
He may have had to put the fear of god into a few debt collectors, but Tsunade wasn't complaining. Kyouya gave her an open-ended contract that allowed her to leave whenever she wanted so long as she brought the skill level of his hospital and iryo-nin up to a higher standard. He also let her revamp his hospitals and medic division however she wanted so long as it kept his men alive.
To say nothing of how happy the Puppet Master Corps were. Not only did he approve an influx of quality wood and new supplies, but thanks to his orders they had several bright eyed recruits who were learning what some had considered a 'useless art'.
Temari and Gaia were just thrilled that Kyouya revamped the academy system. All those useless lessons about civilian ideas of what was appropriate for girls had gone out the window, and half the texts had been replaced.
If they wanted to learn how to do feminine things like flower arranging or learning etiquette, then they could do it on their own time rather than wasting valuable training hours. He had set up a few areas that held clubs for that sort of thing for the girls under fifteen and so far it seemed to be evening out. Of course he also had to introduce a few 'clubs' for the boys, which coincidentally nudged them towards productive shinobi career paths, but who was going to complain when their academy students started acting like proper genin right off the bat? The jounin certainly weren't.
Sarutobi was feeling every bit his age. And the constant headache wasn't making things any better.
"You're telling me Sasuke is in Suna right now?" he said irate.
"Yes, Hokage-sama. Apparently the Kazekage has taken to training him personally," said the ANBU.
"Any explanation how he got there when all reports said that he was heading to Orochimaru?" demanded the Hokage.
"According to what we were told, the Kazekage's wife spotted him and decided to kidnap him on the grounds it would piss off the Leaf if they poached another 'fancy' bloodline...and that it would give him a new playmate to occupy his time since he had been looking through the higher ranked mission scrolls before she left on her mission," said the ANBU helpfully.
The Hokage paused.
"I must be hearing things. Are you telling me that the new Kazekage has free time?" he said dubiously.
No Kage ever had enough free time to do missions. They were lucky to get anywhere without an escort of highly trained ninja following them.
"He had no paperwork on his desk save for what one jounin brought in during the 'reminder' that he gave about spying and anything else that would require him to 'personally' escort us out of the village. From what our team observed, the Kazekage not only has free time, but never goes anywhere with an escort. The one chunin we asked about it said that anyone stupid enough to attack the Kazekage deserved what happened to him, and that the Kage had made it clear he didn't appreciate being 'escorted' everywhere by men who could be doing more productive missions. Something about crowding," said the ANBU.
Specifically the fact Kyouya was better at escaping his men and was generally accompanied by his wife, who was dangerous enough to act as a full ANBU guard on her own. So long as he agreed to allow the guard to accompany him outside the village or during diplomatic meetings, the men normally assigned the duty were allowed to take more interesting missions.
Besides, Kyouya got crabby having that many people hovering about during his nap time.
Sarutobi bit into his pipe.
On one hand, the Uchiha brat's defection had been a major blow to the village. On the other...
The Hokage took out a scroll and started writing something. Much to the ANBU's shock, it was then stamped with the Hokage's official seal.
"I want you to take your team to Suna and deliver this to the Kazekage personally."
"Under no circumstances are you to read the contents of the scroll or let anyone else do so outside of him or his wife."
"Yes, Hokage-sama," repeated the ANBU automatically.
"You will be given A-rank pay upon your return. Dismissed."
The ANBU disappeared.
A few days later...
Kyouya read the missive from the Hokage...and had to resist the urge to laugh his ass off.
"What did the Hokage say?" asked Gaia.
"He said I was free to have the Uchiha kid so long as I send some of the descendants back their way...and any other shinobi I wanted so long as they aren't too important...in exchange for the secret to how I defeated paperwork and gained free time."
Temari gaped at him.
"According to this, the entire invasion and the fact we poached two important bloodlines is forgiven so long as he can finally get rid of all the paperwork clogging his desk."
Gaia was already snickering.
"What are you going to do?"
"Make Arashi happy so I can finally get him off my back about grandkids, and get some amusement out of the deal."
Kyouya started writing down his reply and stamped it.
Temari delivered the reply to the Leaf ANBU personally, and they were going by morning.
Back in Konoha
"His reply, Hokage-sama."
The Hokage looked at the contents eagerly.
"He wants Mitarashi Anko?" blinked the Hokage in surprise. While Anko's reputation was impressive, she wasn't important enough to give up on the chance to be free of his damn paperwork. "Bring me Anko."
Anko was not only as baffled as he was about the sudden transfer, but was highly suspicious as to why the Hokage was so quick to agree to it.
Still, it was a mission and she had been dead bored anyway.
Kyouya was in a very good mood...and it had nothing to do with the suspicious smile on Fon's face. Or Viper's.
"Well?" asked Temari eagerly.
"Be sure to record his expression when he finds out the secret to paperwork. I want to have the photo put in a place of honor on the wall in my office," said Kyouya.
"How come she gets the fun mission?" complained Kankuro.
"Because I caught her eyeing up the Nara heir's ass while we were there after he tricked her, and I want the amusement of mocking her love life for once and the fact we can also threaten Shikamaru's manhood if he knocks her up during her diplomatic missions to Konoha."
"...Have I ever said how much I love having you as a brother-in-law?" asked Kankuro seriously, his face wide with a wicked grin.
"I want to see her face when she realizes I just set her up with a nice man she can easily bully around."
Kankuro cackled, and Gaia snickered.
Sarutobi opened up the scroll...and started swearing.
Temari...was too busy capturing the entire thing on video and camera.
"How exactly did he get the previous Kazekage's paperwork down to manageable levels before he put the system in?"
"The council did most of the stuff that didn't require Kage approval...but his first act in office was to have a complete audit of the past ten years."
The Hokage blinked.
"An audit? Why?"
"Do you have any idea how much bitching the average Suna nin used to do about the state of our finances? Kyouya-nii decided to he wanted a better idea of how bad things were before he actually did something about it, and what better place than to track down where the money actually went during the time frame the Wind Daimyo started sending missions to Konoha? He was not happy finding out that we were being short-changed on supplies and that several people were actually siphoning off money to their own pockets. He made sure to bite each and every one of them to death unless they were smart enough to write an iron-clad agreement stating they would repay every bent coin they stole."
"Bite to death?"
"I'm not going to question my brother-in-law's odd phrase for beating the ever living shit out of someone. We had to put the village under a 'special budget' until he sorted things out and put the money where it could do the most good. I think the biggest thing he did was revamp the academy system. The number of fan girls that are produced are down to an all-time low and most of them wouldn't have made it as kunoichi anyway," said Temari. "Tsunade-sama in particular couldn't stop singing his praises when she found out how he pulled that off."
The Hokage stared at her. He wasn't the only one.
"Before you ask, Kyouya made sure to include his demands for how he did it at the bottom of the scroll," said Temari helpfully. She was enjoying this far too much for it to be the shinobi idea of legal.
The Hokage looked down the scroll and wanted to growl. It seemed he would be having a word with Danzou after this. Preferably after he had a chance to perform his own audit of the village finances.
"Just out of curiosity, how did he convince his shinobi forces to avoid adding more paperwork from missions?" he asked.
"He gathered every shinobi in the village, and gave them an ultimatum. If he got more than a set amount of paperwork added to his desk from their screw-ups or from overly long mission reports, he would put them and their entire team through 'remedial training' and make them pay the bill."
"Remedial training?" said the Hokage dubiously.
"By that I mean he personally visited the team and beat the shit out of them to the point of putting them in the hospital for a full week, which they then had to pay for out of their mission payment. The staff gets more practice in healing up traumatic injuries, the shinobi get a reminder not to piss off their Kage and if they're extremely lucky impress him enough with their ability to stay alive that their stay is shortened. Most got the memo within the first six months and the civilians were even quicker... generally because if they were extremely lucky he would send Gaia to have a 'word' with them about trying to slip things into his paperwork that made the pile bigger than it needed to be."
"How did he keep the council from complaining about it?"
"Same way he dealt with everyone else. If they have a problem with the way he ran the village, they can either move or challenge him in a fight. If they beat him, he would reconsider and allow them to make the decisions," said Temari. "He's the leader of a village of shinobi...we're not supposed to lower our standards just because the civilians whine about it and you'd be surprised what people can learn to put up with if you make the place attractive enough."
That and he had replaced most of the civilians who didn't like his policy with people who came from countries who were far worse...like Kirigakure. Sure the shortage of water was annoying but compared to the fear of being killed for having a kekkei genkai it was better than nothing. He simply offered them a lower rent until they had gotten on their feet and quite a few people were more than happy to move to Suna.