CrimsonCat101: I've been lost on the road of life…Hey its true! I've been busy, so anyway I wrote this chapter, then redid it. Apparently it came out good based on my BETA's comments. Hope you enjoy

Pairing News: I've decided there will be no pairing. I may do one in the future, but I plan on doing none at the moment. This story doesn't need a pairing.

I hope you enjoy this chapter

CrimsonCat101: I suggest reading taintedlegacy's, Prodigy of the Spirit Realm. It's a good read and I personally believe it deserves more reviews

Revised: 3/12/08 Explanation 1

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, I repeat, I don't own Naruto. Masashi Kishimoto does.

Ghost Guardian

-Two Years Surprise-

(Overlook Training Excluded- Approx Year and 10 Months)

After Naruto had learned about his heritage, he found himself unable to call the Minato, dad. It was alien to him, that word. He had had tried to process the word when alone in the shower, and the word had been very awkward when slipping off his tongue. It was so weird, like he was saying a word he shouldn't. A word he would never use. A word in a language he had never heard of.

The week after finding out Minato was his father, he had avoided using that word. He knew Minato had probably noticed, but he couldn't, it was just too uncomfortable. He would grab Minato's attention by calling him Driftwood, or without using a name at all.

It was the week after that he had finally let the word slip without thought. He hadn't even realized it until he had seen Minato's overly large grin.

It had happened after Minato had given him advice on how to perform a jutsu. He was occupied with the thoughts of completing said jutsu, when he had let it slip. "Thanks Dad!" he had said. It took him five whole seconds to figure out why his father was grinning so large.

It was so awkward before, and now he had said it as if he had a hundred times. It made him strangely happy as well. It had confirmed the fact he had family, although it wasn't entirely living.

Minato had only grinned upon hearing him call him by the title of father, and never commented on it. Naruto was happy about that fact. He had to admit he didn't want to answer any questions about it.

The next week, Naruto found he was short on a few necessities and needed to go shopping.


(Flashback; Konoha Market Street)

"Crap! Just great! I forgot to check how much ramen I had at home!" Naruto exclaimed, slapping a hand to his forehead.

Minato shrugged before replying. "I could go back and check for you if you want. That way you can continue shopping for everything else while I run back to the apartment."

Naruto nodded while in his clothed Oiroke no Jutsu (Sexy no Jutsu) form. "I think that be best."

Minato nodded, and dashed off in the opposite direction. It wasn't long until Naruto was about to walk into a different store when he heard Minato cry out in pain.

"OWCH!"

He heard Minato curse afterward, something he could use against him later. Turning around Naruto ran towards the direction he heard his father's painful cry.

He found Minato red in the face while clutching his nose and squirming in pain.

Naruto chuckled as he approached him. "What the heck happened to you?" he questioned.

Minato sat up while still massaging the bridge of his nose. "I feel like I just ran into wall."

Naruto raised an eyebrow. "You already lost me. What 'wall' are you referring to?" Minato reached a hand out in front of him and waved it around. Naruto thought he had lost it.

"I could've sworn there was a wall there, it sure felt like it." Minato stood up and dusted imaginary dust from his cloak. "Maybe I made a solid surface without knowing…"

Naruto grinned foxily. "Well Driftwood, it is in your nature," he commented mischievously. Minato didn't hear Naruto's comment for he was already a good distance away and mumbling to himself. Naruto clenched his fist in annoyance, a red vein displayed on his head. "Hey! I was talking to you Driftwood!" Minato continued walking, Naruto cursed. "Damn!"

"I heard that!" Minato called in the distance without turning back to him.

Naruto huffed and walked back to the store he was going to enter previously.


(Change of view)

Minato walked warily, afraid that he may walk into another invisible wall. It didn't take too long until it actually happened.

Minato walked into an invisible wall, staggering backward from the unexpected impact. "What the?" he questioned in confusion. Minato curiously laid his hand on the invisible wall.

"What is this?" Minato walked to the left in effort to get around the barrier, but there appeared to be no end to it. He also noticed that it was a round wall, not flat. It was like he was trapped in a large dome.

Then suddenly the wall pushed against him. "Ack!" he cried out in surprise. He let the wall push him a short distance until it stopped and changed directions, now pushing him to his left. 'What the heck is going on?' he wondered. He looked in Naruto's direction and spotted Naruto off in the distance. He watched as Naruto stopped in front of a store to look at the display window, and at the same time the invisible barrier pushing him stopped as well.

It was then that Minato realized that Naruto was the center of the dome shaped barrier. It appeared he couldn't leave Naruto's side a certain distance.

Sighing, he walked back towards Naruto who was oblivious to the phenomenon that just took place.

"Naruto," he called, the blond turned to him in shock.

"How did you get back so fast?" he questioned in astonishment. Minato sighed.

"I never left Naruto, it appears I can't, so I need you to buy measuring tape."

Naruto sent him a puzzled look. "Huh?"

Minato shook his head. "Just do it. I'll explain later."

Naruto grumbled and changed direction, mumbling incoherent words under his breath.

(End Flashback)

Later that same day, Minato had measured how far the barrier was from Naruto. Apparently the radius of the dome was 50 feet (15.24 meters). Minato never noticed it before, but then again he had never left Naruto's side. Now he never would.

Naruto's life in the academy had improved, if slightly. He still asked Sakura out on dates, even though Minato disapproved. However one day Naruto decided to take a different approach.


(Flashback; The Academy)

Naruto stared at Sakura forlornly, wishing to spend more time with her. He wanted to know the girl with long pink hair and emerald eyes. He stood up from his seat and approached her as usual, Minato shaking his head disappointingly in the background.

"Um Sakura-chan," he began.

Sakura turned to face him in annoyance, narrowing her eyes in the process. "No Naruto." Naruto shook his head, puzzling Sakura with his uncharacteristic behavior.

"I'm not going to ask you on a date," he said, starling Sakura, Minato, and Ino who was eavesdropping on the conversation.

"What?" Ino said, voicing the thoughts of those listening.

Naruto nodded shyly, stumbled his words as he spoke, "I was just wondering if you wanted to just spend time together, uh, training or something, as possibly friends."

Sakura blinked, seemingly consumed by her own thoughts as she looked at the blond standing before her.


(Change of view-Sakura)

Sakura had no idea how to reply. Here was Naruto, the dead last of class, the one who constantly proclaimed the title of Hokage, and asked her out on dates everyday. Now he was asking for a chance at friendship with her.

Has the apocalypse suddenly taken a hold of the world? It was not in Naruto's character to not ask her for a date, so why the change? He was stubborn to a fault. Maybe he finally realized that Sasuke-kun was the only one for her?

She was going to reply with a hasty "no" initially, but something stopped her from doing so. Naruto reminded her of her past with Ino. She was teased because of her obscenely large forehead and had no friends because of that fact. One day she was being bullied by a girl and her friends and Ino had chased them off and befriended her. She realized that Ino had given her a chance for friendship, so maybe this time she should give Naruto a chance.

Sakura looked at Naruto, who was oddly fidgeting under her studying gaze. Naruto appeared to be afraid of something, maybe rejection? Putting her thoughts aside she smiled at Naruto.

"I guess so, just so long as you don't ask me for any more dates." Naruto's face brightened as he nodded at her request. "Training Field 17 at noon this Saturday, don't be late."

Naruto grinned, "Thanks Sakura-chan!" Naruto ran back to his seat in obvious glee. Sakura hoped she didn't make a mistake.


(End Flashback)

After that day, Naruto had a growing friendship with Sakura. He always came second to Sasuke, but Naruto didn't really care about that. He found that when Sakura wasn't fawning over Sasuke that she was actually a nice person and had hobbies he hadn't previously known about. For instance, Sakura loved to spend much of her free time in the library reading books.

Minato said he was surprised by how much knowledge she could memorize, and he found her studying tactics to be flawless. His father also told him that he was happy he had made a friend.

Overtime, Naruto and Sakura had come to a mutual understanding of one another. Their friendship, Naruto could tell, was not nearly as strong as Sakura's and Ino's had been, but was enough to satisfy him.

With Minato's influence, Naruto had also approached his shy admirer.


(Flashback; The Academy)

Naruto was practicing throwing his kunai and shuriken. He was really good at it now, and could throw them quite a distance and still hit his intended mark. He also could hit moving targets, but right now he was working on distanced stationary targets. It was when he had thrown one of his shuriken that Minato grabbed his attention.

"Hey Naruto, you know you're being spied on right?"

Naruto scrunched up his eyebrows in confusion, before grinning sheepishly and rubbing the back of his head. "Uh, now I do."

Minato smiled in what appeared to be a mischievous manner. "You should probably sneak up on them. It's your best course of action."

Naruto sent him a puzzled look, before shrugging in an uncaring manner. Making ten Kage Bunshins he made sure to get himself mixed in with them before jumping into the branches of a nearby tree, the Kage Bunshin staying below. He made the Kage Bunshin fight one another to make it look like it was some form of training, before beginning to sneak towards the one spying on him. Spotting a figure spying through a bush and at his clones, he snuck towards the figure's back until he was directly behind him/her.

"So, what are you doing spying on me?" The figure flinched violently when he spoke, and steadily turned around to face him.

Naruto was surprised to see Hinata's face, which was at the moment a deep shade of crimson. Her eyes widened to a large degree, before she promptly fainted on the spot.

"Hinata?"


(End Flashback)

After she had awakened, Naruto attempted to have a conversation with her. She first apologized like mad, but Naruto brushed her apologies off. He was slightly annoyed by how much she stuttered when speaking, but he would never outwardly show it. He remained patient when he chatted with her, and he found out quite a bit about her. Apparently she was a part of the main house of the Hyuuga clan. A clan well-known for their powerful doujutsu, the Byukugan. Her father was also the head of the clan, and had been teaching her from a young age. She also spoke of her younger sister, Hanabi.

Her hobby was pressing flowers and one of her favorite foods was cinnamon rolls. Naruto wondered if she ever tried the heavenly gift that is ramen, so he was inclined to show her. He took her to his favorite ramen stand, Ichiraku, and had her try ramen. He of course had placed a large order of miso ramen, while Hinata only ordered one bowl.

She told Naruto that she loved it upon tasting, and Naruto had asked her to be his friend. "All ramen lovers should be friends," he had said. She had happily accepted his friendship and since then they had been good friends.

After a year of their friendship he found that Hinata's stuttering was slowly declining. Minato attributed it to the fact that they were spending more time with one another, and that Hinata was slowly getting used to handling his presence.

She was a nice friend to have, and he couldn't remember a time where she had laughed at him or mocked him of his class status.

His curiosity had taken a hold of him one day when he had spotted Shikamaru playing shougi. Naruto had approached him and watched him finish his match with the kid across from him. Shikamaru had won in the end, so Naruto challenged him to a match himself.


(Flashback; The Academy)

Shikamaru raised an eyebrow at the young blond before him. He was challenging him to a match at shougi? Did he even know how to play? Naruto had a well-known reputation of being the dead last of class, so he predicted that he wouldn't be too good. He wasn't going to go easy on him though. Who knows, maybe Naruto had a hidden talent in strategy? It was doubtful, but still a possibility nonetheless.

'Troublesome.'

Naruto sat across from him, some of the crowd from the previous match dispersed, probably believing that Naruto didn't stand a chance against him. He couldn't blame though, it was highly unlikely that the blond would give him a decent game.

Naruto sent him a large grin. "Don't underestimate me. Or you'll regret."

He couldn't help but smile, it might not be a good match, but Naruto was going to make it some fun regardless.

It was about ten minutes into the game he started to wonder how long Naruto has been playing shougi. Naruto was actually a pretty good player, although he had to say he was better.

Naruto made a move five minutes later that he never saw. He was trapped. He had not seen what Naruto had been planning all along. Naruto had appeared to be moving his pieces randomly, but apparently that wasn't true. He looked at the board and studied all the moves he could possibly make.

Naruto grinned foxily. "Hah, got you now!"

A crowd had already gathered around them just a couple minutes ago, and had been chattering for a while now. They were unable to comprehend how the blond idiot had gotten the great shougi player to play with his full attention.

It was then that he spotted a way to get him out of the mess he had gotten himself into. Smiling he continued.

The match had finally ended in his favor. It was a good game, but he still had a few tricks. He had to admit he underestimated Naruto, that wasn't what he expected from the blond.

"Naruto you're pretty good at this game. I have to admit you actually made me think once in awhile."

Naruto smiled proudly. "Thanks I- Hey! What you mean think in once in awhile?" Naruto's right eye was twitching as he folded his arms in front of his chest.

Shikamaru shrugged. "Naruto, half this class doesn't make me think at all. It's a compliment."

Naruto's face was scrunched up in puzzlement. "Thanks…I think."

Shikamaru smiled. Although Naruto surprised him with his skill in shougi, Naruto was still Naruto.


(End Flashback)

After that match Naruto had challenged Shikamaru to games of shougi often. With the practice that he was getting from both Minato and Shikamaru, his strategizing improved greatly. Shikamaru seemed happy to face him, and eventually they had created a steady friendship. Naruto still couldn't beat Shikamaru, but he did make him concentrate.

Shikamaru was the lazy type of shinobi and unsurprisingly part of the Nara clan. Naruto had read about the Nara clan, and that they were renowned for laziness, but mostly their unexplainable genius. Their shadow techniques were also quite famous and were also an important part of the Ino-Shika-Cho team. Apparently the clan also owned a number of deer's as well, used for the Nara clan's medical ingredients. The Nara clan's Taijutsu was based on a deer's movements, or so Minato had explained. Minato also said that the Nara weren't really well rehearsed in Taijutsu, and that their chakra supplies were usually below the average. Their strength lied in their strategy and leadership skills, which were, as Minato described, a lot better then average. He probably learned more about them then that, but he couldn't remember anything else.

Shikamaru liked clouds, or maybe it was an excuse to just lie there he wasn't sure. Naruto also found that Shikamaru loved the word troublesome. Everything was "troublesome" to Shikamaru it seemed.

Although he had to agree with Shikamaru when he had described Sasuke as "too troublesome for words".

Minato's advice had been thrown aside a week after given, and Sasuke and him were already back to their old conversations. These conversations only consisted of throwing insults at one another. Sasuke always got on his nerves with every chance that he got. Naruto was jealous of the attention Sasuke got from the village on a daily basis, which was more then he got in a year. Though for some odd reason their insults to one another were strangely satisfying. Sometimes he even wanted to start a fight with the Uchiha just 'because'. He didn't understand it himself, but he guessed it was because he felt that Sasuke and him could relate to one another. Being alone was a feeling he thought Sasuke could understand, even if their situations were slightly different. Although that Sasuke's stuck-up attitude got on his nerves, it only made him want to surpass him more then before. So he could show the Uchiha he was more then just a failure and dead last. Proving himself to Sasuke was one step he unconsciously made for himself.


(Training Overlook- approx Year and 10 Months)

Naruto's training had been going well for the most part. He caught onto some topics fast, while other things he would struggle with. However, Minato's patience helped him develop and progress quite well.

Throughout December, Minato continued to train Naruto after the academy and during the weekends. The young blond continued to learn all that Minato could offer. Naruto's shuriken and kunai accuracy improved to the point where he could hit the bulls-eye virtually every time. Well, when the target wasn't moving anyway.

Naruto had been taught the Kunai Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Kunai Shadow Clone Technique) and Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique) the same week the Sandaime had visited. Naruto had failed on many attempts, starting with not cloning the weapon at all, and then moving towards a large rain of lethal metal weapons. Minato had already known that he would be able to clone more than average with such a large chakra supply, and had him practice how many he created the next week. Naruto was fond of the two jutsu, seeing as it was highly offensive. Minato only wondered how his son would react when they got to explosives, for it seemed to him that he had a liking for destructive jutsus.

Naruto's chakra control remained steadier as he practiced tree walking every day in effort to control it. His chakra reserves grew exponentially as well, for the Kyuubi's chakra would mingle with his at times and expand his chakra coils. Minato still made Naruto workout underwater, but knew it wouldn't be too long until he was ready for the weights. He also practiced the Henge, Kawarimi, and Kage Bunshin no Jutsu in effort to make each skill better. Well, Naruto wanted to learn more jutsus, but Minato had told him that he must first become an expert in the basics before he moved onto harder things.

Minato realized overtime that Naruto would probably need to be able to make proper bunshins (clones) during the genin exams. Explaining how Naruto was able to perform a kinjutsu (Forbidden Technique) such as Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Jutsu) could be very problematic. He had tried many theories as to how he could get the younger blond to perform such a simple technique correctly, and found one that worked and another that had a high possibility of working. The one that did work, was instead of trying to create three bunshin, Naruto had to focus on creating many. He wasn't sure on the limit of how many Naruto could create, but knew that his limit of how few he could create was six. Minato didn't know if they would make an exception for Naruto or not. The other theory was that Naruto strengthen his chakra control to around jounin level. In order to do this, Naruto would have to master water walking. So they tried it.

Water walking consisted of one using chakra to keep oneself located on top of the water surface. To accomplish water walking more quickly, he had Naruto try out a new training method. He didn't know too much on the method, seeing as it consumed too much chakra for the average person to even consider using, but Naruto was an exception. He had a large chakra supply, especially after four months of training. While using his chakra during training, a small amount of Kyuubi's chakra had lingered with Naruto's and helped expand his chakra coils on a daily basis. So using the Kage Bunshin method, the repercussions on him would be significantly less then it would for any other.

The Kage Bunshin method, consisted of Naruto creating multiple shadow clones, and using them to learn a technique, or in this case water walking, at a much faster rate. Kage Bunshin become separate units after being created by the original, so when they are dispersed or destroyed, the original regains the memories of that particular bunshin.

Naruto had created twenty Kage Bunshin in order to learn water walking, and ended up learning it in no less then two days. The theory ended up working and now he was able to create three perfect bunshin. The method was a success, not counting the migraine Naruto had developed later, and Minato began to seek new ways in which they could input the use of the method.

Minato had him try using Kage Bunshin in order to gain knowledge from text books faster. Unfortunately, using the method for informative books didn't work out as well as Minato had hoped. Apparently making them do separate tasks was slightly more taxing on the mind, and caused Naruto to lose consciousness because of high mental stress and pain after using twenty Kage Bunshin. Even after the pain, Naruto explained the information was so jumbled he had a hard time making sense of any of it. Minato tried a different method; having Naruto create ten Kage Bunshin and having them each read a different book. After all the clones had finished reading, Minato had him disperse each one, one at a time. Naruto dispersed the first clone and took a minute to digest the new information before moving on to disperse the second clone. In about ten minutes all the clones were dispersed and Naruto explained that he felt like he read all the books. Minato was happy by this point, because the method appeared to be a success.

After finding out that Naruto could use the Kage Bunshin method, Minato observed him to see his limit on how many clones he could create. He didn't want Naruto relying on the Kyuubi's chakra, because by doing so he wouldn't develop his own chakra coils as fast as he could. By only using his own, he would be able to enlarge them, because he wouldn't be depleting his own reserves entirely. But with Naruto enlarging his own reserves, it would take longer for Naruto to call upon the Kyuubi's chakra. However, relying on the Kyuubi's chakra wouldn't strengthen his own reserves or the Kyuubi's, which wouldn't be very beneficial.

Through observation and experimentation, he found Naruto could create seventeen Kage Bunshin before he started drawing on the Kyuubi's chakra. Minato was actually fairly impressed by this amount, but he did have to add the fact that Kyuubi's chakra was slowly turning into Naruto's own. A small amount of demonic chakra was constantly in Naruto's system, becoming purified by Naruto's chakra, so that it became his own. When Naruto draws upon Kyuubi's chakra, he becomes over flooded by the demonic chakra, restarting the process of the Kyuubi chakra purification. There is also the fact that if he were to rely on the demonic chakra, he would become vulnerable if demon's chakra was somehow sealed. The best choice for Naruto was to not draw upon the Kyuubi's chakra any time it could be avoided.

Minato had also taught Naruto of the use of wires, as well as traps. He had picked up on the subject quickly with the help of Kage Bunshin, and started using the lessons to make his harmless pranks more elaborate. One happened to make Iruka very…bright so to speak. Iruka had showed up to class in a multitude of paint colors. The class had a good laugh and he was punished for a month, scrubbing toilets and such. The best part about it was Iruka's hair wasn't the same for approximately two weeks.

Naruto had also made an effort not talk to Minato in public, letting Minato do all the talking for him, and ridding of suspicions people may have. The blond easily got frustrated with his training, usually dealing with his slow progress in some areas. Minato had noticed that Naruto's patience was not very high, and that was something that he had decided to fix. In order to combat the problem, Minato had taught Naruto how to be patient through practical methods. His methods ranged from Naruto sitting in a circle for a couple of hours, to observing a random target for a day. His random target was always a simple villager, and was always male. Minato did not want Naruto to become a pervert, especially because his wife would probably murder him in the afterlife, if he ever went there anyway.

Naruto's lessons in patience were indeed slow in progress, taking weeks to achieve a reasonable level. In the beginning it had always been constant complaining, but had lessened over time, albeit slowly. The patience lessons also helped develop Naruto's stealth, but mostly his ability to follow orders. Naruto had a rebellious nature, much like Minato, and decided to do whatever he thought best. Minato had made him do small tasks to help with patience, but it also helped Naruto's capability to follow orders. Minato didn't want Naruto following rules like his student Kakashi once did, but he didn't want Naruto to turn out not listening to his leader at all.

Minato had also learned of Naruto's short fuse so to speak. It appeared Naruto had a very short temper, which ruined the whole point of the patience lessons. His temper reminded Minato of his wife, for it was definitely one of her problematic traits. He knew there was no way to fix it, maybe lessen it, but never fix entirely. He lectured Naruto about the problem, and the consequences of acting so brash. He knew Naruto understood, but his temper was one thing he had to fix himself.

Minato also went over the basics with Naruto that were taught in the academy, such as the Nawanuke no Jutsu (Rope Escape Technique) and the Kakuremino no Jutsu (Cloak of Invisibility Technique). Naruto already knew how to do the Kakuremino no Jutsu quite well already, so they didn't spend much time on that. Nawanuke no Jutsu was a different story and about two hours with the help of fifteen Kage Bunshin. Apparently Naruto hadn't paid too much attention to this particular segment in the academy.

When they reached study on explosives, Naruto was strangely upset. Minato had found it hard to believe that Naruto would not like, "blowing things up". Minato was confused, but when Naruto evaluated, he told the older blond he wanted to learn new jutsu, and that they already learned Jibaku Fuda: Kassei (Explosive Tag: Activate) at the academy. Minato had then explained that he would teach him more about explosives before the academy did, but Naruto was not as excited as he thought the younger blond would be. It was when he showed Naruto how to set up perimeters set to explode on an opponent that Naruto soon became interested. Minato taught him the Kekkai Hōjin (Barrier Encampment Method), and Naruto soon took a liking to explosives. Minato reasoned it was due to his prankster personality. Naruto learned how to adjust the seals slightly on an explosive note so that he could adjust the size of the explosion, something they didn't teach at the academy. Minato found Naruto usually loved to make his explosions bigger then normal, which he already predicted would happen.

Naruto practiced his speed at hand signs, a sure way to get an advantage in battle. He already had quite a good speed built up already on his own, but Minato had told the younger blond that even ¼ of a second could make a large difference in battle, for it could mean life or death. He worked diligently on it afterward without complaining, well most of the time anyway. His hand sign speed increased slightly, but Minato said his results made all the difference.

Minato had also gone over the uses of various ninja tools, ranging from soldier and blood pills, to poison and stink bombs. There were many types of ninja tools, beyond hundreds, and explaining every single one of them would take too much time, an approximate five years, or seven months with Kage Bunshin. Memorizing each would take even longer than that. So Naruto ended up learning most on the more important tools, and a vague description of the other minor tools, if even that.

Naruto's general knowledge had developed over time, a slow a painstaking process, but a profitable one in the end. Eventually his that knowledge compared to a high genin, or low chunin, which was better then most in his class save for a scant few. Naruto also was taught the game of shougi, a highly strategic game, which would help Naruto create successful battle plans on the field. When he played it would look to others as though Naruto was playing against himself, when in truth Minato told Naruto which pieces he wanted to move on his turn, being that he couldn't move them himself. Naruto lost every time, and still did, but Minato knew that Naruto was slowly becoming quite good at the game. Using Kage Bunshin wasn't much of an option here, because playing yourself wouldn't help one improve. It would be like facing a Kage Bunshin for Taijutsu. Fighting a Kage Bunshin would be good for testing moves, but pointless when learning how to fight. Facing yourself gives you the advantage of knowing what would come next, and facing the same style as your own wouldn't do too much good either. It doesn't help that they disappear with only one blow.

Naruto's taijutsu skills have improved significantly as well. His form had sharpened with practice, moving through both the basic and intermediate katas of the Uindo Saafin fluidly. His speed and strength had increased to the level of chunin as well, a good feat to say the least. Naruto had worn the weights during some of his training exercises, and had token them off afterward. After all, his balance and speed would be offset once the weights were taken off. The only thing they couldn't work on was fighting instinct, in which Naruto would need a sparring partner in order to sharpen. Until Naruto was placed on a genin team, Naruto would be unable to work in some areas, which included genjutsu.

Genjutsu was the art of illusion, and knowing him and his wife, it was probably not Naruto's forte. However, unable to cast genjutsu is one thing, not being able to escape it is another. Minato was unable to use chakra, because chakra was a mix of spiritual and physical energies, and he only had spiritual. Even if he did posses chakra, he would be unable to affect anyone with it. He had wondered before if they could enter Naruto's seal again and practice, but apparently that didn't work either. It appeared that Naruto's mind had to be mentally unstable, usually dealing with feelings of anger and shock. The Kyuubi could also bring Naruto to the cage himself if he wished, but he would probably only do so when his life was on the line. So for now, genjutsu was Naruto's weakness, but that could be worked out later.

Ninjutsu, Naruto's favorite type of jutsu, was a topic that was slightly easier for Naruto to grasp. At first he taught Naruto a few D-ranks that included Doton: Shinju Zanshu no Jutsu (Earth Release: Double Suicide Decapitation Technique) and the Shunshin no Jutsu (Body Flicker Technique). The Shunshin no Jutsu was a ninjutsu that Naruto grasped quite easily. Naruto only took a week to get the jutsu down quite well. The technique allowed Naruto to appear and disappear in an instant, a basic jutsu taught to all genin, and used by many shinobi. After the initial week of teaching it to Naruto he had taught him how to use his surroundings to mask his movement and sound. Naruto had practiced using leaves, puffs of smoke, as well as flowers. The two found that leaves were probably the easiest to use in Konoha, but outside the circumstances may be different.

Minato had also taught Naruto three fire jutsus he knew. Two were at a C-rank level, and the last one was a B-rank. Katon jutsus required more chakra then ordinary jutsus because of their elemental nature, but it was something Naruto had plenty of. He had a slightly more difficult time learning the fire techniques, but eventually learned them in the end. The two C-rank took Naruto one month to learn and the B-rank took another. For all three jutsu he had used Kage Bunshin, but he could only summon five without depleting his own chakra. Overall it wasn't bad to Minato; actually Naruto's progress was quite good for his age, something he found he was quite proud of.

Minato had found what Naruto's elemental affinity was, and he wasn't too surprised to say the least. Naruto's affinity was that of wind nature, the same as himself. It wasn't hard to notice, especially when he taught him the C-rank jutsu, Fuuton: Diatoppa (Wind Release: Great Breakthrough) and he had got it down in two days. After that Naruto spent a week on making the jutsu more powerful, until he could uproot quite a few of trees with it. Minato was happy with his progress on the Fuuton jutsu, and made note of that fact for future reference.

Stealth was a topic he had found himself teaching Naruto after a painful display made by said ninja. Naruto could be quiet when he wanted, sure, but Naruto's movements were poor to say the least. His movements when sneaking were clumsier then he thought, and to noticeable. Naruto also moved too slowly, taking too much time to tread dangerous waters. Deciding to fix this problem, he had Naruto practice stealth in a heavily wooded training area. Training area twenty-three, was full of trees, and that meant many sticks and broken branches. Naruto had snapped many branches in the first week of stealth training, something he wasn't too surprised about. Eventually the amount of sounds he made decreased. After two months, Naruto was finally able to make close to no sound as he moved. Another month was spent on speeding up Naruto's movements, taking less time to stealthily approach a target.

Naruto's was unable to hide his chakra signature to any degree, a weakness that would ruin all of his stealth training. Naruto had a lot of chakra to hide, and to hide such a large amount required a lot of chakra control. With Naruto's jounin level chakra control from the water-walking exercise, they were able to progress fairly quickly. Using Kage Bunshin, it took approximately three months until Naruto was able to conceal his chakra from most high chunin level opponents. It was a good amount of progress on stealth, especially considering their starting point.

After a year and two months had passed since the start of Naruto's training, Minato thought it was time to start Naruto in Fūin no Jutsu (Sealing Techniques). Naruto had asked about it previously, but he never thought the blond was ready with his current knowledge. Seals were in close relationship with mathematical formulas, which wasn't Naruto's strongpoint at the time. Minato had finally decided to teach Naruto the basics of sealing, something he believed he would be able to grasp at this certain point in time. Naruto had taken to Fūin Jutsu quite well, and he was thoroughly impressed. Naruto hadn't grasped the concept nearly as fast as he had, but he was fourteen when he started to learn about them. After three months of Fūin Jutsu instruction, Naruto was finally able to make a storage seal, capable of sealing multiple items, while understanding its mechanics. Naruto's studies in Fūin no Jutsu continued well throughout the rest of his training.

It was during the last four months of Naruto's training that Minato decided to give Naruto an A rank-jutsu that would guarantee him a large advantage in the field. Bunshin Daibakuha (Clone Great Explosion). Bunshin Daibakuha was used in combination with the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique). The user would first create a Kage Bunshin, and then igniting it like an explosive tag, blow up the opponent. This was very effective, because one, the opponent would not know if it was the real Naruto, and two, at close range, it was a very deadly technique. The drawback, however, is the large amount of chakra required to use it. Fortunately, Naruto had access to a lot of chakra. He estimated that Naruto, with his current chakra capacity, would be able to use the technique twice before having to rely on the Kyuubi's chakra. Naruto had taken the entire four months to learn it, which was actually quite fast considering the technique. But then again, Minato had to remind himself that this was his son.

To Naruto, time seemed to carry on much faster then before. It was as if time had sped up for no reason whatsoever. It might have been due to the fact that he wanted time to slow down. Why? He had Minato. He had friends. When previously he had been alone, wanting only for the day to end, now he only wished the days to be longer. But now that he wanted time to slow, it only moved that much faster. Time continued on, all the way to the Genin Exams.


(October 22nd, Friday; 6:15AM)

Beep…Beep…Be-

Naruto shut the alarm off, and rubbed his eyes tiredly. He yawned exhaustingly, before stretching and rolling to his side. He tightened the hold on his pillow, as he began to fall back to blissful sleep.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Minato wasn't going to let him sleep in peace. "Come on Naruto, I know you don't want to miss a day at the academy."

Naruto grumbled a soft reply. "Guess again."

Minato gave and exasperated sigh, before smiling mischievously, "Alright, I guess that's fine if you don't want to become a genin…"

Naruto's expression scrunched up in bewildered thought before it clicked and he bolted upright. "The Genin Exams!" Naruto exclaimed loudly.

Minato smiled. "Yep, but I guess you don't want to go," he teased.

Naruto grinned. "Yeah right!" he shouted happily, before jumping off his bed and getting ready in record time.

Minato chuckled at Naruto's reply, before turning around and sweatdropping at the sight of Naruto hastily going through his morning routine.

Minato shook his head with a knowing smile, knowing that they were probably going to arrive at the academy much earlier than usual. The Genin Exams were today, and Naruto seemed to be more than excited.


(October 22nd, Friday; 1:00PM; The Academy)

"Uchiha Sasuke."

Sasuke exited the classroom with his hands in his pockets, and a confident smirk on his face. Minato watched as Naruto's nerves kicked up another notch. No one may have noticed due to the deceiving front Naruto had put up, but Minato was immune to it. The Yondaime could feel Naruto nervousness roll off him in waves.

Minato placed a hand on Naruto, although he or Naruto couldn't feel it, the presence was there. Naruto turned to face Minato after seeing the hand placed on his shoulder.

Minato gave a comforting smile. "Relax. You'll do fine, and I'll even be there with you the entire time."

Naruto managed a weak honest smile as he mumbled a reply. "Thanks."

"No problem, you're up next. Just be confident in your abilities."

Naruto grinned widely. "Heh, I'll pass this test with flying colors. You can count on it."

Minato gave a grin similar to Naruto's. "That's the spirit."

The kid behind the blond looked at Naruto oddly. "Who are you talking to?" he questioned.

Naruto jumped in slight surprise. "Eh? No one, just myself."

The kid shrugged uncaringly and returned to his work. Naruto mentally sighed in relief however his short moment of relief was then destroyed.

"Uzumaki Naruto."

Naruto's breath hitched, but he relaxed quickly after. Minato guessed that he had remembered his words.

Naruto exited the classroom door and walked towards the room being used for the examination. The blond turned the doorknob and stepped inside, the Yondaime following him with every step.

"Stand at the center Naruto, the test will begin shortly," Iruka said gesturing towards the front. Mizuki sat beside Iruka clicking his finger in what appeared to be impatience.

Minato smiled beside Naruto, "Good luck," he said, before stepping aside and letting Naruto walked towards the spot designated by Iruka.

Naruto stood, a serious expression filled with raw determination present on his face, instead of the usual carefree attitude he was known for.

"Alright Naruto, I've already told you for this test you must perform the Bunshin no Jutsu and create three clones."

Naruto nodded and gathered chakra, taking a slightly longer time to adjust it before calling out the name of the jutsu. "Bunshin no Jutsu!"

Three Bunshins appeared to Naruto's left and right. Naruto immediately checked the condition of his Bunshins upon completion of the jutsu.

He was happy to find three perfect Bunshins.

"Yatta!" Naruto shouted happily, pumping his fist into the air.

Iruka smiled at the young blond for his achievement, obviously happy with the outcome. "Congratulations Naruto, come up here and receive your Hitai-ate. You are now an official ninja of Konohagakure. I wish you luck in your future endeavors." Naruto ginned insanely and grabbed the Hitai-ate from the desk, tying it immediately around his forehead.

Minato walked over to his son and sent him a soft smile, exiting the examination room with the younger blond. "I told you it be fine. Now come on, we're going to Ichiraku's."

This was one of those moments he wished to ruffle Naruto's hair. It was like instinct, he knew this moment called for it, but he simply couldn't with his ghostly 'conditions'. Naruto's hair needed to be ruffled! Why? He couldn't explain it. It just…just needed ruffling!

"Why is your hand twitching?"

Minato snapped back into reality and grinned sheepishly whilst scratching the back of his head. He stopped his other hand's visible twitching. "Uh, no reason…Hey! There's Ichiraku's!" he cried, pointing in the direction of Naruto's favorite ramen bar.

Naruto instantly forgot about his twitching hand and dashed off towards ramen joint, leaving a gust of debris in his wake. "Ramen! Ramen! Ramen!" Naruto chanted loudly.

Minato shook his head knowingly and dashed after his hyperactive son. When he entered Ichiraku, Naruto had already seated himself and had placed his order.

"Naruto you brought cash right?"

Naruto waited until Teuchi was preoccupied before answering. Naruto had learned not to talk to him in front of others, although it took the younger blond quite a while. "Daaaad, of course I did! See!" Naruto pulled his hand out of his pocket to reveal the frog wallet named Gama-chan.

As Minato nodded in acceptance, Teuchi came back with two bowls for Naruto start off with. Naruto eyed the ramen predatorily and licked his lips hungrily before grinning.

"Itadakimasu!"

Naruto began to devour the ramen noodles in a way that would make most cringe upon seeing his ill manners. Minato had to wonder if perhaps he should teach Naruto proper etiquette.

He pushed those thoughts aside as he remembered what he originally had in mind.

"Hey Naruto," he began. It effectively grabbed Naruto's notice, as the younger blond had flicked his eyes over in his direction. "I have a surprise for you, so we're going to head over to the training grounds after this."

Naruto raised his eyebrows and blinked questionably before returning to the task of hastily consuming his multiple ramen bowls.


(October 22nd, Friday; 2:30PM; Training Field 24)

"So, so, what's the surprise?" Naruto asked eagerly. The Yondaime shook his head with a small smile.

"Patience." Naruto knew what he was asking of him, but he couldn't help it. Surprises always took too long to be revealed…well at least for him anyway.

"What is it?!" He blurted out loudly. Minato sighed upon knowing that his request would never happen.

"Well," Minato began. "I'm proud to know that you graduated from the academy, so I decided to get you a little 'gift' so to speak." Naruto clenched his fists in excitement, a grin displayed fully upon his face. Minato spoke before he could question him again. "And I'll demonstrate to you now."

Naruto watched Minato attentively, his eyes never leaving his father's figure as he stood in front of him.

(1) Minato held out his right hand, a swirling mass of white began to concentrate in his open palm. The mass of white began to form the shape of a sphere, and before Naruto could observe further, dissipated.

"Huh? What was that?"

Minato smiled. "The Rasengan, however I wasn't able to display its power for obvious reasons."

"Oh, um, what does it do?" Naruto asked curiously.

"Well," Minato began to explain. "The Rasengan I just used was composed of sprit energy, but what it should be composed of is chakra. I've been working on it at night for the past couple months just to show you. The real Rasengan was one of my signature jutsu and A-rank for that matter."

"A-rank!? Awesome! I'm learning another A-rank!" Naruto exclaimed, pumping his fist in the air.

"Okay, let's go get you some water balloons," Minato chuckled.

"All ri-Wait what?"

"You'll see Naruto, you'll see."


(October 22nd, Friday; 1:30PM; Konoha)

"The Kyuubi brat ruined plan B. I suppose it's back to plan A." With that Mizuki looked towards his destination and vanished using Shunshin. A few leaves rustled where he had left.


CrimsonCat101: There you have it! Hoped you enjoyed it! Please review, it does make my day

1) Whoops! My bad! That was my mistake, you know how excited I was to get this chapter out. So I went back and fixed it, thanks for pointing it out.