Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or any of the characters created by Kishimoto-sensei.
I would never have thought of myself ever being a broken soul. I was always strong, I always resisted the anger and hatred those people threw at me. I was always trying my hardest to be better, to improve, and most importantly to prove my worth. More than anything though I always tried my hardest to protect them no matter how they treated me in return. But as with all things, time will take its toll on the strongest mountain or building.
Sakura, a girl I thought I loved. She meant everything to me and I would have died to protect her. Hell, I even came close to dieing a few times to save her life. I beat Haku, something her precious Uchiha couldn't do. I protected her and the Uchiha-bastard from that Snake freak when that Uchiha bastard was too afraid to fight back. I saved her from Gaara after Sasuke failed to save her. I got a hand put through my chest by that Uchiha bastard when I was trying to bring him back for her, just to make her happy. And not one time did she ever say thank you, not one time did she spare me a second glance.
Kakashi-sensei, a man I thought would teach me and treat me fairly. I respected him. He is an amazing ninja even still. He taught that Uchiha bastard anything that he wanted to know whenever he asked. He gave the Uchiha bastard a Taijutsu style that he had never once worked a day in his life to learn. He taught the Uchiha bastard an assassination technique that was later used in an attempt to kill me. I asked him many times to teach me something, anything that would help to become better. He did teach me something though; he taught me that there is no such thing as unbiased.
The Uchiha bastard, I won't even call him by his first name, to me he is no better than his older brother that is his only ambition is to kill. I once thought so highly of him. I aspired to become better than him or at the very least become his equal. Every time I did something that he could not he scoffed at me and called me 'dead-last'. Every time I surpassed him, he hated me for it instead of congratulating me for it. And even now, when he has betrayed us all, it is still him, the last of the 'oh so precious' Uchiha that is still receiving praise from the village.
Why must these people who are so important to me continually disappoint me? Why must all of these awful things continue to befall me?
So finally I turn to the one thing that is mine and mine alone to control, my own fate.
"Kyubi!" Naruto yelled at the top of his lungs as he walked confidently toward the cell that imprisoned the demon. "Kyubi!"
"What do you want brat?" asked the clearly annoyed fox-demon.
"You know about my situation? You've seen everything though my eyes?" he asked.
"Yes, what of it? What do you want from me?"
"What you change about it? Can it be changed?" asked Naruto angrily.
"First, I would not be imprisoned in here," said the Kyubi angrily.
"Well that's not an option, so tell me, what can I do to change it?" demanded Naruto.
"Interesting," said Kyubi pacing before his cage, "First, I would have embarrassed that Uchiha bastard at every occasion possible from the first moment you met. If he wishes to hate you, hate him back, it has always worked for me. Second, I would have found a teacher if the one assigned was unwilling to teach you. Third, I would have dropped that useless female and sought out one that would bare you strong pups. Forth, I would have never stooped to pranking those pesky villagers, they are a waste of time and the attention they give you is not the attention you want. Fifth, I would actually spend time reading and expanding more than just my Jutsu library. Sixth, I would demand access to your father's Jutsu and title. Seventh, I would take advantage of the seven thousand year old demon sealed inside of me for more than just the occasional Chakra boost. Eighth, I would find my own Taijutsu style unique to my build. Ninth, I would find a weapon that works for me beyond the common kunai and shuriken. Tenth, I would never be caught dead wearing such bright colors."
Naruto considered Kyubi's thoughts for a moment, "First, there is nothing I can do about the Uchiha bastard now that he's gone. Second, I've got Ero-Sennin now. Third, is there such a female in this village? Forth, I haven't pranked the village since I became a Genin and I don't care about there attention anymore now that I've got Tsunade-nechan, Shizune-nechan, Ero-Sennin, and Iruka-sensei. Fifth, what should I read? Sixth, who the hell was my father? Seventh, why would you want to help me? Eighth, who could teach me? Ninth, why? Tenth, you brightly colored and stick out like a sore thumb, who are you to criticize me on my appearance?"
Kyubi smiled, or at least it looked like a smile. "I have something in mind but let me answer your questions first. Ero-Sennin was not here for you in your youth when you need someone to start teaching you. There are many such females, you just have to find one or two. You should read books on strategy, mathematics, history, negotiation, and Psychology. You should ask the Third who your father was. If I were to help you I would want something in return. That freak Maito Gai knows hundreds of Taijutsu styles. Weapons are like personalities, they each tell you something about the user and many times act as an extension of that person's body. Take my tails for example; I use them like whips to draw in my enemies before my claws shred their bodies to pieces. The reason I can be brightly colored and you can't is because I'm big enough and strong enough to kick the ass of any challenger I might come across."
"I can't change the past, but I can use that information for the future," said Naruto, "Thanks letting me use your seven thousand years of experience you dumb-bastard."
"Who says you can't change the past?" asked Kyubi with a chuckle.
"What are you talking about?" asked Naruto.
"If, and this is a big if, I were to give you a way to travel back in time to relive parts of your life what would you give to me in return?" asked Kyubi.
"What do you want exactly?"
"What I want is freedom but you'll not grant me that. So instead I will settle for a bit of change of scenery. One, this place is a filth hole not worthy of one like me so I want you to change it. Two, I want a window to the outside world so that I can see what you see, think of it like a big TV connected to your eyes. Three, if that Uchiha bastard tries to flee again, I want you to kill him. But most importantly, the Akatsuki wishes to possess me for whatever reason, this is simply unacceptable, so part of this deal includes the extermination of all there members. Any questions?"
"How do I clean this place up and how do I give you a window?" asked Naruto. Naruto had already decided that if he went back in time he would kill Sasuke if the opportunity ever arose along with exterminating the Akatsuki so that was no big deal for him.
"Creating a window just requires you add a second seal to the gate and I can tell you how but it won't do any good until you've actually gone back in time. To clean this place you need to get yourself into a healthier state of mind. The last few months this place has brightened up with the acceptance of that big-breasted woman and that super pervert. This means we need you to focus on people who are going to acknowledge you and ignore those who don't. So, do we have a deal?" asked Kyubi.
"Will it hurt?" asked Naruto.
"Me, not in the slightest. You, more pain than you've ever imagined possible," said Kyubi with a light laugh.
"How fun?" said Naruto sarcastically, "So, how far back will you send me?"
"How old were you when you entered the Academy?"
"Six," said Naruto.
"Then Six is where we'll go back to," said Kyubi, "I'm sure you could pass the Genin exam on your arrival to the academy, but don't. Excel in your classes and embarrass the Uchiha bastard, but don't even think about taking the exam until I say it is okay. Now, do we have a deal?"
"Deal, show me what to do," said Naruto.
"Kyubi, you really are a sadistic bastard," said Naruto as he woke up after completing the ceremony. Naruto hoped that everything had worked out like it was supposed to and that was six again. Naruto stood up and checked himself over in the mirror. He was definitely short again, well, shorter anyway. He checked his closets and saw no sign of his infamous orange jump suit, which he didn't purchase until he was in his third year at the academy. Next he checked the calendar and there circled in red was the note for him to start the academy that day.
"Well, the fox got it right after all," said Naruto to himself. Then he checked the clock, "Shit, I'm going to be late for my first day at the academy." Naruto ran about his apartment getting dressed and packing a few cup ramen to eat for lunch along with a notebook and pencil.
Naruto hurried through the streets as fast as his shorter legs would carry him. He realized several things on that run. First, that he had to completely retrain his body to access and use chakra. Second, he was really out of shape. And third, he needed new shoes.
Naruto arrived a few minutes late.
"Sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be late," said Naruto to the instructor, or rather junior instructor Iruka.
Iruka glared at Naruto the same way that so many adults glared at him. Naruto couldn't remember exactly when Iruka stopped glaring at him and instead saw him and not the demon contained within. "Hurry up and sit down."
Naruto nodded and hurried to his seat. Per Kyubi's instructions he sat the middle row. Part of the reason was to properly teach Naruto to gather information from others, in other words, to teach him to properly cheat.
Naruto was singled out by Iruka several times to answer questions that even most Chuunin wouldn't know. He answered the ones he could but for the most part he had no idea.
"I can't remember Iruka-sensei being so mean before," said Naruto to the Kyubi in his head.
"Don't worry, he'll change soon enough," said Kyubi in response.
Naruto now remembered why he hated the first year of Academy. They never did anything. It was all theory and strategy. There was nothing about the actual job. They didn't learn to throw kunai or shuriken. They didn't learn anything about Chakra. They didn't learn anything applicable other than strategy.
Finally, class ended for the day and Naruto was only too happy to get out of their and start his other training.
"So, what should I do first?" asked Naruto to the fox.
"Find that freak Gai," said Kyubi trying to suppress a shudder.
So Naruto set off to find him. He remembered that Gai could usually be found in training area eighteen with Rock Lee training against wooden stumps. That was exactly where Naruto found him and not surprising, there was a young Rock Lee right beside him training his very hardest. At first he almost didn't recognize Lee without the bowl-cut hair, but his large eyebrow and freak eyelashes were there nonetheless.
"Excuse me," said Naruto cautiously approaching the field. He wasn't sure how Gai would react to Konoha's hated Demon child.
Gai stopped and looked to the source of the voice, "What's this? The passion of youth has led another young disciple to my tender care!" Naruto did everything he could to suppress the shudder that was trying to escape.
"Sir, I heard the Jounin in the village saying that you and someone named Kakashi were rivals. They said that Kakashi was better at Taijutsu than you but he wouldn't teach anyone. So I thought that maybe you could teach me a little," said Naruto playing off of Gai's one and only weakness, his rivalry with Kakashi
"Who would say such things? I'll have you know that I am Konoha's Green Beast, the ultimate Taijutsu Master. Kakashi could never teach you as I could," said Gai strongly.
"So you'll teach me," said Naruto excitedly knowing he had Gai trapped.
"Of course, you shall join me and my other apprentice in training. Our youthful passion shall shine like a beacon to all of Konoha," said Gai in his nice-guy pose.
"Thank you, thank you so much," said Naruto bowing gratefully.
"Now, punch this log 100 times with each arm, and if you can't do that you'll kick this log 100 times with each leg and if you can't do that you'll run around this clearing 100 times," said Gai patting the top of the log next to him. That put Gai in the middle and Naruto and Lee on each side of him.
Naruto had a few choice words for Kyubi but decided to restrain himself.
It was few weeks later that Gai, Naruto and Lee all had a talk about there progress. Naruto was surprised by how intelligent and serious Gai sounded.
"Naruto and Lee," said Gai, "I am very proud of the progress you have both made. I have now had a chance to evaluate your body types and physical capabilities."
"Lee, you are very lacking in Chakra and I doubt you will ever be able to use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu beyond Genin Level. So I will teach in a forbidden Taijutsu style that allows you to fight harder, faster, longer, and utilized the Chakra you do have to its fullest extent. However, I warn you now that this is dangerous."
"I will do whatever you say Gai-sensei, I will learn this style as best as I can and make you proud of me. If this is the only way for me to become a ninja then I will do it," said Lee a bit too enthusiastically for Naruto's taste.
"Naruto, you have an enormous stamina and an even larger chakra capacity than any I have ever seen at your age. With the right training your capacity will continue to grow exponentially. This means that I can train your for a Taijutsu style that relies heavily on using lots of chakra. However, you body is small and you do not have a very long reach. For that reason you will have to move as fast as Yondaime Hokage was famous for. You will also have to have power to eliminate your opponent in only a few hits. This will require extreme dedication on your part. I'm not going to lie to you, it will be more intense training than Lee will have to go through," explained Lee.
"Is it Yondaime Hokage's Taijutsu style?" asked Naruto.
"Indeed it is. Not many use the style because it drains so much Chakra to use it. So even Sharingan users would struggle to use the style even if they can copy it," explained Gai.
"I'll do it, whatever it takes," said Naruto.
"Gai-sensei?" questioned Lee.
"Yes Lee," said Gai.
"Sensei, is Naruto-kun's Taijutsu stronger than what you will teach me?"
"No Lee, they are both equal. The style I am teaching you is easier to learn and use and is very, very powerful but dangerous to the user, hence the drawback of it. The style I will teach Naruto, is much harder to learn and even more difficult to use it effectively. However, for his size and build it is absolutely perfect for him just as yours is perfect for you."
"Thank you Gai-Sensei," said Lee hugging his father figure.
Gai just smiled.
"So, before we get back to work we need to give you two weights," said Gai dropping a bag on the ground in front of them. "Lee, your style will require lots of leg strength and speed. So, you will only need weights on your legs to start with. Naruto, your style will require lots of speed from all areas as well as strength. You will be wearing weights on your arms and legs as well as a weighted belt. You must never take these weights off unless it is to increase the weight or you are fighting to protect a precious person."
Lee and Naruto both nodded seriously before putting on the weights.
"Now, let's get started. Lee, I want 1000 kicks with each leg on the stump. Naruto," Gai paused to take out an elastic rope with a ball in the middle. Gai tied the rope to a tree branch so that the ball was at chest level, he then tied the other end of the rope to a kunai which he then buried underground drawing the rope tight. "Naruto, you will hit this ball 250 times with each arm and each leg. Every time you hit the ball it will fly back at you so you must move out of its path quickly. You must always circle around the ball as you go. I'll show you once and then you can do the rest on your own." Gai then hit the ball hard causing it to go back a few inches before shoot toward him quickly almost two feet.
Naruto for the life of him could not figure out the physics of it but rather than question the how and why it did that he just got on with the exercise. Naruto hit the ball once and just about broke his hand. It was hard but soft at the same time, like taught muscles would be. He barely moved the ball in the slightest back but it still shot forward at him hitting him in the chest knocking the wind right out of him. In the back of his mind he could hear the Kyubi laughing at him. This was going to be a long training session.
Soon weeks turned into months turned into two years. In that time Naruto and Lee had become good friends. They were both orphans and both wanted nothing more than to become great shinobi. Lee wanted to prove his ninja way, to become the greatest Taijutsu master ever and prove that a person could become a ninja using only Taijutsu. Naruto still sought acknowledgement and to become Hokage. And as promised, Naruto took every opportunity he could to embarrass the Uchiha bastard while in classes. Naruto scored average on all of his tests but anytime he faced the Uchiha-Bastard in something he went out of his way to humiliate the bastard and knock him down a few pegs even if he was still the top of the class for grades.
Naruto was one of the smart ones in the class. He could definitely be considered a genius and yet he only scored average on the tests. He found out that Shino did the exact same thing even though he was a genius. Shikamaru was a genius as well but he was just lazy. Hinata, Ino, and Sakura all had to struggle very hard in the class. Ino and Sakura both excelled in the book work but suffered horribly in the physical work, although Ino was slightly better than Sakura. Hinata seemed to struggle all the way around but for a simple lack of confidence. Choji was simply an average student, he wasn't a genius but he wasn't stupid either. The same could be said for Kiba as well.
Naruto's relationship with Gai was strictly business although Gai would sometimes celebrate one of Naruto's training triumphs by treating him to Ramen. It was different than Gai and Lee's relationship which was more like father and son.
Naruto and Iruka's relationship though seemed to improve quite a bit too where Iruka looked to Naruto as a little brother and Naruto looked to him as a bit of an older brother. Still, the few connections that Naruto had made meant the world to him. It even helped to clean up the sewer-like home of Kyubi.
"Well done kit, I have been most impressed with your improvement these last few years. You've listened well to my instructions and if you keep this up you will make a worthy container yet. Now, I have a most difficult task for you. You need to find a weapon. Follow that girl with the rolls on her head to her home. She can probably help you out," ordered Kyubi simply when the day was coming to an end.
As ordered, Naruto followed Tenten home. As fate would have it she lived above a weapon shop, a weapon shop that her parents owned.
Naruto entered the shop cautiously. He knew that he wasn't welcomed in most shops but he had to hope that because he was Tenten's classmate they would at least allow him to buy a few things.
"Welcome to the Ikugachi Weapon Smith," said a thin bearded made wearing a heavy black apron.
"Excuse me sir," said Naruto politely, "I'm go to the Academy with Tenten and she seems to really know weapons. I wanted to ask her about a weapon for me."
"You're Uzumaki Naruto aren't you?" asked the smithy.
"Yes sir," said Naruto not daring to meet his eyes.
"Well, do you know what kind of weapon you'd like?"
"No idea sir, someone told me that weapons often reflect our personalities. I was hoping to find such a weapon here," said Naruto with a bit of enthusiasm now that he didn't think he was going to be thrown out of the shop.
"I see, well whoever told you that is quite right," said the smithy, "Weapon's are a very personal thing. My own daughter Tenten is amazing with any kind of throwing weapon. But she just loves the standard shuriken. I've been trying to create an ultra-light, ultra-durable shuriken for her to use. The problem is that they get lost easily and they are quite expensive to make."
"Have you tried getting her to use a larger Shuriken? Like taking four kunai and putting them together but closer together on the blades. Easy to throw and hard to lose," suggested Naruto boldly.
"That's not a bad idea," said the smith, "I'll try that and see what Tenten thinks."
"Great," said Naruto happy he could be of help.
"Now, let's see about you," said the smith, "Definitely not sword. You're not refined enough for a sword. Not a mace either, you're not that barbaric and clumsy. Tell me, do you have a Taijutsu style?"
"Yes sir, Gai-sensei has been teaching me for a few years now," said Naruto.
"I see, that's good, although Gai doesn't care for weapons very much unless you're talking about Chakra Nunchaka. Do you fight close range or long range?"
"Short range," answered Naruto.
"Are your moves meant to be power, fast, or combination of both?"
"Both sir," said Naruto.
"Hmm, difficult," said the shop keeper.
"Do you use a lot of chakra?"
"Yes sir," said Naruto.
"Hmm, that just might work," said the shop keeper as he went into the back room and returned with a small wooden box which he set on the counter in front of Naruto. "Go on have a look and tell me what you think."
Naruto opened the box carefully. Inside were to leather gloves that would go at least halfway up his forearm. The gloves seemed to be framed with some kind of metal that bent freely at each joint though he could not see any hinges. Each knuckle had a small metal disk covering it. "What kind of gloves are these?"
"Those are gloves that used to be used by the Hyuga Clan ANBU members," explained the smithy, "Though none have used them in twenty or thirty years. No one knows how to use them anymore. If you ask me, the Hyuga's have gotten rather pigheaded and stubborn. They think they are invincible and don't require the use of weapons. I say they are wasting their potential."
"So what do they do?"
"They help to focus Chakra in the hands," explained the old man, "If you can master them you can even learn to create chakra spikes on the knuckles. Though the level of chakra control is almost impossible to anyone but a Hyuga, I doubt you'd be able to get that far with them. Still, from what you've told me about your fighting style, they would pack an extra bit of power in every hit you land. Just be careful of your chakra levels."
Naruto nodded, "How much sir?"
"300,000 ryou," said the smithy causing Naruto's face to face.
"I'm sorry to have wasted your time sir but I can't afford that," said Naruto checking his froggy wallet.
"I wouldn't expect you could. Most can't unless they are of the Hyuga clan," said the Smithy, "However, I could use a bit of help around the smith if you want to work for them."
Naruto's eyes shot through with hope as he looked at the man, "You mean it?"
"I must be getting soft in my old age," said the old man, "You work for me for the next year and they are yours."
"When do I start? And how long each day?"
"Just two hours a day after the Academy lets out. Who knows, maybe I can teach you a thing or two about throwing weapons while you're here," said the old man, "You'll start tomorrow and you can call me Ikugachi-san."
"Thank you so much sir, you won't regret this. I promise too that I will stay out of your customer's sight too so that it doesn't hurt your business," said Naruto.
Ikugachi-san gave Naruto an odd look. Naruto could tell that he man was searching to see if Naruto knew he was a vessel, "what makes you say something like that?"
"Most villagers don't like and call me names. I don't want you to lose business if your customers see that I'm working here," explained Naruto, "Though, I can't say as why the villagers don't like me, they just don't."
Ikugachi nodded his acceptance of Naruto's story.
"Great then, I'll see you tomorrow," said Ikugachi waving good-bye to Naruto as he left the shop.
Naruto barely heard the Ikugachi's wife rush into the room after he was out the door and start to berate her husband for doing that. Naruto promised himself then that he wouldn't let the old smithy down.
Naruto arrived the next day as promised at the appointed time.
"Welcome back Naruto," said Ikugachi.
"Thank you again sir," said Naruto, "What do you want me to do?"
"Well, until you gain a bit more understanding of smithing weapons, I want you to work the bellows and shovel coal to keep the furnace hot. It will be really hard work for you but you'll learn a lot," explained the old smithy.
Naruto nodded and got straight to work. When Ikugachi said it would be tough work he wasn't kidding. Even still, Naruto gave the man his absolute best work everyday. As a result Naruto's muscled had developed quite rapidly as a result of the constant lifting and the weights from Gai's training.
Naruto still received glares from the smith's wife whenever she entered the shop but even those were beginning to wane as she saw how hard Naruto worked everyday. He never saw hide nor hair of Tenten beyond following her home at a safe distance so the villagers didn't pass any undue hate onto her and her family from associating with him.
It was few weeks later that Naruto learned his next bit about weaponry, "Alright Naruto, take a break, I want to teach you something."
Naruto nodded and wiped the sweat from his brow as he went to the smithy's side.
"Naruto, forging weapons is not easy work. Part of it requires extremely good chakra control in our hands and arms. Why you ask? Because when we forge the weapons for shinobi they often have special requests with regards to the design. Most of your Jounin level shinobi want weapons that can focus and augment their chakra for special uses. Hatake Kakashi once used a weapon known as a fang. It was design so that by focusing chakra into the blade it made the blade stronger and sharper. Not an easy task to accomplish without really good control. But to forge such a weapon requires absolutely perfect control," explained the smithy.
Naruto nodded interestedly. He was in fact really interested in this. He had never gone past Genin so he'd rarely seen any special weapons used by Jounin Shinobi.
"So, before I can start letting you help me forge the weapons you need work on your control," said Ikugachi calmly.
"How do I do that?" asked Naruto.
"Any time you are not pumping the bellows or shoveling coal to heat the furnace you are to balance a kunai on your finger using your chakra. Now, I'll warn you now, I am giving you one of my best kunai to train with. It is weighted to be heavier but the metal is specialized to be sharper so if you don't use just the right amount of chakra you'll cut your finger off. Also, this kunai had better not ever touch the floor of this place, I don't want the edge damaged because you weren't paying attention. When you've gotten the hang of balancing one kunai we'll add another until you can balance one kunai on every finger at the same time, got it?"
Naruto swallowed nervously before nodding. He already knew he was going to lose at least one finger trying to learn this. "What happens if it does hit the floor?"
"You leave hear and not come back," said Ikugachi in dead seriousness, "Weapons are not toys, they are meant to be respected and cared for. Dropping a weapon shows a lack of respect for me, my trade, and the weapons."
Naruto understood his words perfectly and nodded his understanding. This was something he was going to learn and learn fast. Just as Naruto predicted he cut off at least one finger learning the exercise in the first place but the kunai never hit the floor even he was bleeding. Thanks to Kyubi however, Naruto just put the finger back where it was supposed to be and Kyubi healed it right away without the old man ever having to know.
It took Naruto nearly a month to learn to properly balance one kunai on his finger tip. It was six months after that before he could balance ten kunai on all ten digits at the same time.
"You've done well Naruto," said Ikugachi as Naruto showed him is balancing act, "It took me almost two years to be able to do that, but then I was already much older when I first started to learn to do that. You kids learn so fast as it is. Tenten mastered that trick in about three weeks, the little scamp."
"Really?" asked Naruto, "She must have perfect control."
"She does, but she hasn't really learned any other techniques. She says she wants to be strong like Tsunade-hime but she never trains anything but her weapons. Oh well, once she becomes a Genin she'll understand much better," said Ikugachi with a small smile at Naruto.
"You should take to see the Chuunin exams then the next time they come to the village. She would be able to see some of the other shinobi and how they train," said Naruto, "I only went once and I had to sneak in but you learn so much from watching them."
Ikugachi chuckled, "I just might do that. Now, let's get back to work. Maybe next week I'll teach more about making weapons. In the mean time, I want you to continue practicing your chakra control."
Naruto nodded vigorously setting back to work.
It was two weeks later Ikugachi started to show Naruto how to scan different metals for impurities using his new chakra control which he picked up quickly enough. Then he learned about folding the metal to strengthen the blade and finally he learned how make the weapons capable of focusing chakra using different seals folded into the metal and then altering them carefully using his own chakra. Naruto then learned about all the different kinds of weapons that had been made and what was popular at the time.
"So Naruto, you've been with me for eleven months now," said Ikugachi, "Did you learn anything?"
"So much," said Naruto excitedly as he started rattling off everything that he'd learned from the smith.
"Outstanding," said Ikugachi when Naruto finished his recitation, "You've learned everything I hoped you would. Now, for your final challenge from me. I want you to create a weapon for me. Something original and new that I've never forged before. Put your heart into it and create a masterpiece for me. You do that and the glove is yours and your time with me is done."
"Really?" asked Naruto excitedly, "Does that mean I can use the good metal?"
"Indeed it does, I trust you now boy so get to work," said Ikugachi.
For the next month and a half Naruto meticulously crafted his masterpiece. A salute to Kyubi that was to be aptly named 'Kyubi's Tail'.
He made a blade unlike any that had been seen in centuries. The blade was forged in ten different segments with whip-like inner structure allowing the blade to be both a solid blade and a whip at the same time. The chakra seals that Naruto used were simply ingenious. He spent weeks pouring over sealing texts trying to find just the right seals to place on the blade pieces to make them do what he wanted. He mixed a bit of his chakra along with Kyubi's chakra in the final sealing process giving the blade a red/orange color. It was very powerful at the end of the process. Sadly though, Naruto knew he would never have the fines or skill to wield such an amazing blade.
Finally, Naruto presented the finished product to Ikugachi.
"Well, I can't say as I've ever seen a sword design quite like this before," said Ikugachi appreciatively, "You get points for originality, now show me what it can do."
Naruto took the blade in hand and channeled a bit of his chakra into which turn crimson the instant it came in contact with the blade. Naruto swung the blade once showing its smooth slice. He then jutted the blade forward hard causing it to separate at each segment turning to a bladed-whip which he swung about clumsily and yet it looked amazing to watch at the same time. Finally the whip came back together solid as a single piece, or rather what looked like a single piece.
Naruto looked to Ikugachi to see a slight look of fear in his eyes.
"How? How is it possible to create such a blade? Where did that other chakra come from?"
"I don't know, I've always had a second Chakra that was kind of red/orange in color. I thought it would look cool in a blade. It kind of reminded me of the way Kyubi looks in the history books you know? That's why I named the sword 'Kyubi's Tail'. Fitting huh?"
Ikugachi nodded numbly. Naruto had just told him that he had a second chakra source that he could always use for as long as he could remember. He'd been able to use Kyubi's chakra and not know what exactly it was. More than that he'd drawn a parallel between himself and Kyubi and yet the boy had no idea what was sealed inside him or so he thought.
"Naruto, I will be presenting this blade to the Hokage, none of my apprentices have ever forged such a fine, high quality blade," said Ikugachi now beaming with pride after having gotten over his shock and awe.
"Really? Do you think he'll like it?" asked Naruto excitedly but secretly worried he'd overdone it by a long shot.
"I think he will be really impressed that such a genius has been overlooked for so long," said Ikugachi.
"I don't want to be a genius. Genius' are stuck up snobs who always think they no better than everyone else. I might be as smart as a genius but I am not one of those bastards," said Naruto strongly causing Ikugachi to chuckle.
"Indeed, you're right Naruto," said Ikugachi, "Genius' are a bit stuck up. So we'll just say you are gifted."
"That will work," said Naruto clearly appeased by the change in wording.
Ikugachi laughed again at his extremely gifted nine year old apprentice. Only a shinobi would be able to learn the things Naruto has and actually be able to do that which he's learned. No normal citizen could ever hope to compete with a shinobi when it came to learning to do such a physically and mentally intensive job.
Ikugachi sat patiently waiting outside of the Hokage's office holding onto one of the most finely crafted blades that came from his shop. The blade was wrapped in red silk. Ikugachi could almost feel the blade pulsating with energy in his hands.
"The Hokage will see you now Ikugachi-san," said the secretary.
Ikugachi bowed and entered the Hokage's office.
"Toya, so nice to see you again," said old man Sarutobi.
"Saru my old friend," said Ikugachi, "How are you?"
"Very well thank you. I must say, I am surprised that you have come to see me. You have not presented a weapon to me in such a long time. I was beginning to think you'd lost your touch."
"Not at all, just no reason to make anything exceptional. I'm overstocked on exceptional at the moment so the regular variety weapons have kept me busy," said Ikugachi.
"I see, so what do you have for me today?" asked Sarutobi.
Ikugachi set the blade on the desk and uncover the handle for the Hokage to examine it himself.
Sarutobi took the weapon in hand and removed it from the silk wrappings to examine it closer. He could indeed feel the overwhelming chakra flowing through the blade.
"My word," whispered Sarutobi, "How did you do this?"
"I didn't, my most recent apprentice did," said Ikugachi.
"Who?" asked Sarutobi most interested. He was truthfully hoping he could convince whoever made the blade to make more weapons of this quality.
"Uzumaki Naruto," said Ikugachi.
Sarutobi nearly dropped the blade as he suddenly recognized the chakra flowing from the blade, "He did? But how, his teachers all say he is only average in his studies. For that matter, when did he start an apprenticeship with you? I check up on the boy regularly and he's never made mention of him apprenticing for you."
"He didn't know he was apprenticing to me. He thought it was just an after school job to help him pay for a pair of Chakra Gloves he wanted to buy," explained Ikugachi.
"So that was the after school job he mentioned," said Sarutobi before he asked, "A bit young to start with that kind of work though don't you think."
"A first it was just a job, but then I saw how much he grew and how much his strength increased that I knew he'd be capable and I was right," said Ikugachi.
"But what about this Chakra, how did he?"
"He said that he's always had two different chakras. He thought it would look cool if he used his other chakra to color it. He said he thought it looked like the pictures of Kyubi from the History books. The blade is named 'Kyubi's Tail'."
"Tail, why tail? This only looks like a sword to me," said Sarutobi examining it again.
"Allow me to show you," said Ikugachi taking the blade back and then showing the Sarutobi the whip-like feature of it.
"It truly is 'Kyubi's Tail', isn't it?" asked Sarutobi.
"It may be, but I know that Naruto just used his imagination in creating," said Ikugachi, "I know he isn't Kyubi. Maybe he's had dreams of Kyubi, perhaps his very first memory from when Yondaime sealed the beast within him."
"Perhaps, but that doesn't explain how the boy can access the Kyubi's chakra," said Sarutobi as he scratched his chin.
"Anyway, I still wanted to show you the blade and ask for your appraisal of its quality," said Ikugachi.
"I would say around three or four," said Sarutobi.
"Hundred thousand?" asked Ikugachi.
"Million," said Sarutobi, "This place is nearly priceless. You will ever see a blade anywhere imbued with Demon Chakra such as this one. It is one of a kind."
Ikugachi was speechless. He truly did not know how to react.
"However, we really should have the blade tested by a blade master," said Sarutobi before he pushed the intercom button, "Send for Hayate please."
"Right away Hokage-sama," came the secretary's voice back.
"Please sit and wait," said Sarutobi motioning to the chair.
"It was only a minute later that Hayate appeared, cough and all.
"You called for me Hokage-sama," said Hayate kneeling properly.
"I have asked you here to test a blade for me," said Sarutobi motioning to the sword on his desk.
"As you wish," said Hayate standing and taking the blade in hand, "Perfectly balanced, light weight yet very durable, perfect alignment," listed off Hayate as he inspected the blade.
"Experiment with it if you would," requested Sarutobi.
Hayate took a few swings of the blade and was very surprised when the blade became a whip. Once he found that he experimented even more trying to understand the exact way in which it functioned.
Sarutobi and Ikugachi could both see that Hayate did not wish to relinquish the blade that was now in his hands.
"Very good, no?" asked Ikugachi.
"It is, is it your work?" asked Hayate.
"A recently finished apprenticeship," said Ikugachi, "Maybe you have heard of the boy, Uzumaki Naruto."
"The demon," said Hayate quickly setting the blade down and stepping away from it.
"Naruto is not a demon, he is a boy who is extremely gifted," said Ikugachi unhappily, "That blade is probably one of the finest in the village. But, if people hear that Naruto forged it, no one will want to touch it."
"But the blade must be evil," said Hayate, "I could feel the demon chakra on it."
"So what? Did you feel evil using it?" asked Sarutobi.
"Well no but . . ."
"Did you feel stronger using it?" asked Sarutobi.
"Well yes but . . ."
"So would you say the demon chakra enhances your strength but doesn't affect the way you think?" asked Sarutobi.
"I suppose but . . ."
"Good, then would you like to purchase this fine blade?" asked Ikugachi playing off of Sarutobi's questioning.
"I would but . . ."
"Good, the blade is yours, we'll work out a payment plan later. I am most interested to hear how well this blade fares under you excellent hands," said Ikugachi.
"Yes, I want you take the next week off to train with that blade and see what it is truly capable of. I don't want you going on a mission for the next month without it in your possession," ordered Sarutobi, "And don't worry about paying for it. The village will buy and dispatch the blade for your usage. However, I do want a report after you've finished training with it and after your month of missions with it reporting on its quality and any abilities you have uncovered in using it."
"Yes Hokage-sama," said Hayate knowing there was no room for argument.
"And if you have any questions feel free to contract the maker. I imagine you will find him spending most of his time in the training fields getting used to his new Chakra Gloves with Maito Gai's instruction," said Sarutobi with a smile signaling the end of the meeting.
"I'll be sure to let you know if Naruto makes any other weapons in my shop," said Ikugachi as he also left the Hokage's office.
"You're becoming very interesting Uzumaki Naruto," said Sarutobi as he looked out of his office window surveying the village below. "Very interesting indeed."
"Naruto, I am pleased to see that you have increased your training time back to where it was a year ago," said Gai happily.
"Sorry Sensei, there was something I had to do," said Naruto, "And now I've got these." Naruto then held up the Chakra Gloves for Gai to examine.
"Chakra Gloves," said Gai, "Interesting choice of weapons Naruto. If you are able to learn to use them then they will compliment your Taijutsu style very nicely."
"Oh yeah, I almost forgot," said Naruto digging into the bag he brought with him, "I found this scroll in a small shop and thought it might be useful for Lee and I."
Gai smiled, "Naruto, the flames and passion of youth are strong in to care so much for your friend and teacher." Gai took the scroll and opened it and began reading. "Naruto, where did you find this? This was supposed to be a lost technique."
"Just some old junk shop. The lady pretty much threw it at me to get me out of the shop though," he said acting a bit sad.
"Naruto, this scroll holds the gravity seal technique meant for intense physical training. With this technique you will never again need to change your weights, only the seal," said Gai, "I have never been so proud in my life."
"Oh, okay," said Naruto while in his head he was chided Kyubi for not telling him how rare the technique was when he wrote the scroll out the night before.
"Remove your weights my students for with this you shall receive the greatest training ever," said Gai.
"So how does it work?" asked Naruto.
"It is a genjutsu that make your muscles strain as though the gravity was heavier than it actually is. It makes you stronger faster than regular weight because it affects every muscle but your heart and lungs," explained Gai.
"This is going to be so great," shouted Lee before jumping up and dancing about. Thankfully he didn't have the green spandex suit yet and he wouldn't get one until he became an official Genin of the Leaf Village.
"This is going to suck," said Naruto under his breath as he prepared for the worst.