Well, here it is. LightningHunter's biggest ever production. A story when Naruto uses brain over brawn. A story when Naruto leaves his home. A story when Naruto becomes ...a legend.
May I simply comment on the remarks this story gained. The response has been very positive, and I am pleased to hear so many enjoyed it. I would also just like to say... What the Hell? 173 Hits, and only 3 reviews? That was a preview, and as such, is more open to critical comment. I'm not going to continue screaming about that though, otherwise I would become one of the things I loathe, a person who practically holds their story hostage until they get enough reviews. Usually, an author that needs to that is so sad that they'd enable anonymous reviews, and start reviewing their own fics. The levels of sadness you get on this site is extraordinary. Although, it was quite nice to see someone put the preview into a c2, which I found quite amusing, since it was just a preview.
I'd also like to commend KyuubiWindscar on his fic, The Key, the Gama and the Ugly Sennin, which as he states in his profile "elements from Toad Hermit by LightningHunter." He's perhaps the only person to admit, because as I pointed out in my profile, it seems all the non-bleach related-Reaper fics were started after my one was started. I know most haven't copied me, but some...well, if someone reading this actually reads other Reaper fics, please inform me if the Reaper in it is capable of controlling shadows, or blood, or can summon dead warriors or a black steed. Back to the point, I'd like to recommend The Key, the Gama and the Ugly Sennin, mostly for two reasons, one it was capable of breaking the writer's block I have for Toad Hermit (which will be re-written, and no Sharingan-insaneness this time I'm afraid) and the second reason is that ...it's good, which is more that can be said for half the bollocks you get in the Naruto archives. In fact, I saw a HIGH-SCHOOL FIC with more reviews than any of my stories. Please, for the love of anything holy/scientifIc, please tell me they were all flames! That's hell for a guy's self-esteem!
Well, I've bored you long enough. Time to get on with the story. One more thing, I am unsure of the pairing, if there will be one, but if there is, it won't interfere with the main storyline much. ...is it me, or am I always unsure of the pairing?
a story of a genius
Adventure I- The Case of the Demon in the Mist
Over glancing over the many things I have recorded in my life, there is little more that strikes me than the sheer intelligence of one man. A man who never let a trifle thing like emotion get in his path- his goal, to fight injustice, and solve their crimes. He gained a pleasure from it, and had a passion for very definite and strict knowledge.
His name was Uzumaki Naruto, a ninja, but certainly, one of the most intelligent ninja alive. Intelligent is a small word for him. Genius, brilliant! I have never seen such brainpower in any other man, and the reason for his intelligence, is because he once was told: "Fun and pranks is all very well, but those who are truly remembered are those with brains."
Grudgingly, I believe, he set down to study, before finding himself entranced in knowledge. But eventually this stopped, and he began to only study the areas that could be of use to him.
However, studying had a slight problem, and although he was relatively strong, his chakra control was below average, although this mostly came from having a demon sealed into his navel, the most powerful of the tailed beasts, the Kyuubi no Yoko.
Recently, Naruto had been informed of the Kyuubi, by a traitor, attempting to kill him and steal a scroll bearing powerful jutsu. Naruto, instead of breaking down like the traitor expected, simply laughed, revealing that not only had he deduced the fact long ago, but also suspected the traitor in the beginning. He had mastered the Shadow Clone Jutsu –also called the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu- from the scroll, and was actually a clone, the real Naruto currently informing an ANBU team of the traitor's location.
Due to his aid in capturing a traitor, saving a Chunnin, and being able to master the powerful jutsu, he was promoted to Genin.
After doing several, uninteresting missions –or perhaps, chores for citizens who were willing to pay- , Naruto and his team were finally given a mission that on the appearance was a simple C-ranked mission, protect a bridge builder from bandits and highwaymen. It was a C-rank mission, but Naruto found several faults in (the bridge builder) Tazuna's story.
However, he did not voice his thoughts, and spent the rest of the day learning all he could about the Land of Waves, Tazuna's destination.
Finally the mission had begun, and the five of them, the copy-nin, the bridge builder, the Uchiha, the genius and the...pink-haired girl had left Konoha.
Naruto allowed his thoughts to stray for a few moments, and they came up with 'First time out of the village...and I can see why it's called Hidden in the Leaves.' He exhaled, before putting his left hand into a pocket on his brown trench coat. His right hand held a cane, but not because of an injury.
However, there was a good reason. After several examinations, he had discovered how to accurately mimic limps, which he did, claiming his leg was weak, and although he could run on it, it caused him a good deal of pain.
His peers at the Academy had often mocked and ridiculed him, saying how could a cripple be a ninja, when Naruto was simply pretending, for the mere purpose of having a trump card. The enemy will always underestimate disabled people.
And now, Sakura had suddenly asked Kakashi whether there were ninja in the Land of Waves. He chalked it up to mere childishness, surely if they had ninja, Tazuna wouldn't need an escort. She couldn't possibly be that incompetent...
Suddenly, a thought struck him, and another link was complete in his chain of thoughts.
"Say," Naruto unexpectedly said. "Mr. Tazuna...why did you come to Konoha in the first place?"
The four people turned to face him, but still walked on, did not stop.
"Huh?" said Tazuna.
"Surely, Mr. Tazuna, if you're building a bridge, shouldn't you have been staying in the Land of Waves? Why did you suddenly decide to come to Konoha? And I also note you had no escort on the way here. Why are you so anxious for protection now?"
"Er...well..." Tazuna stuttered.
"I think Naruto has a valid point," said Kakashi, his visible eye narrowed. "Well, Mr. Tazuna?"
"Ah...well, you see..."
Naruto's eyes fell upon a puddle, and the following deduction took less than a second, and he knew what would happen.
Two ninja burst out of the puddle, their chain weapon ripped through Kakashi, before they lunged at Tazuna.
One of them leapt at Naruto, but he threw something into the ninja's face, and the ninja collapsed.
A shuriken flew through the air, and Sasuke pinned the chain to a tree, before punching out the remaining ninja.
"Well, that was quite impressive," said a voice, and Kakashi appeared behind them.
"Kakashi-sensei!" said Sakura. "But how-"
"Replacement," answered Kakashi, before he quickly tied the two ninja to a tree, and beginning his interrogation.
"How did you-hey, what are you doing!?" demanded one, noticing Naruto examine his gauntlet.
"An interesting weapon," commented Naruto. "I've never actually seen a chain weapon like it. And poison coating the claw..." Naruto removed a vial from a pocket on the inside of his coat, before he drew the poison into it. He corked the vial, and held it up to the light, gazing at the liquid death, before he pocketed it.
"If you're wondering why we noticed you, it was simple. There was a puddle there. A puddle on a hot day when it hadn't rained in weeks? You could have hid in a tree and you'd have been hidden better," said Kakashi. "So...who hired you?"
"..." The Demon Brothers were silent.
"Hey," said one. "What was that you threw into my face?" The question was directed at Naruto.
"A special sleeping-gas bomb that lasts two to three minutes," answered Naruto, before he leaned forward. "Was the man who hired you...Gatou?"
The duo shook. "How-How did you know?" demanded one.
"I didn't," said Naruto. "It was a long shot, but you merely confirmed my suspicions." He turned to Kakashi. "Looks like they've answered your question, sensei."
"Gatou...of Gatou Shipping? Interesting...I will of course, be asking why you suspected him, Naruto," said Kakashi, before turning to the Demon Brothers again. "Any other interesting points?"
One hissed and remained silent, but one leaned forward. "Just one thing. The Demon lies further up the road."
The five had made it to the island, and were off the boat now. A mist still hung in the air, disturbing Naruto, as a mist hides things, whether it is natural or not.
"So, Tazuna...you have a lot of explaining to do," said Kakashi. "Why does Gatou want to kill you?"
"It is rather obvious, Kakashi-sensei," commented Naruto.
"Oh? Care to elaborate?" said Kakashi. His student's habit of knowing just about everything was somewhat annoying. And Sasuke and Sakura were blatantly jealous of this ability he had.
"Gatou runs a shipping company. As the people of this island cannot protect itself, due to lack of ninja, and the fact they have no chance of getting off the island, it is clear he holds a great monopoly over the people, no doubt exploiting them. The bridge that Tazuna will build will unmistakeably open trade routes, and thus ending Gatou's reign."
"True...but why would a manager of a shipping country go so far?" asked Kakashi.
"Gatou's not just a manager," said Tazuna. "He's a smuggler."
"There have been many rumours of Gatou's dealings," confirmed Naruto. "Another advantage for locating here, where no one can reach him."
"But then, what's this demon?" asked Sakura.
"Gatou's army is mostly thugs and the occasional missing-nin. I've never heard anything of a demon," said Tazuna. "I reckon those guys were just trying to scare us."
"What would be the point of that?" sneered Sasuke.
"He's right," said Naruto. "Saying such a thing would only scare civilians at most, and be useless. No, it is much more likely that the word "Demon" is a nickname."
"Who-Who could have "Demon" as a nickname?" gulped Sakura, a shiver running up her spine.
"Demon is a rather common nickname," said Kakashi. "However, all the ninja who bear it tend to be at least A-class..."
"Sensei, have you got a bingo book?" asked Naruto.
"Huh? Oh, yeah," muttered Kakashi, as one hand rummaged through his pouch. He at first pulled out a certain orange book, which was the wrong book, before finding the right one.
Naruto immediately opened it, and started to flick through the pages. Before long, he stopped, and showed the page to the others.
"I found our demon."
"Momochi Zabuza...crap," said Kakashi.
"You sure?" asked Sasuke, barely turning to face Naruto.
"Demon, check. Former Mist shinobi, like the Demon Brothers, check."
"There are other ninja from the Mist who are referred to as a Demon," said Kakashi, turning a few pages.
"True, but this one wants money. And Gatou is very rich," answered Naruto.
Kakashi was silent. A part of him was wondering what to do. The other part of him wanted to ask why Naruto knew so much.
"Team...we're turning back. We're heading out for Konoha."
The genin instantly turned, visibly surprised.
"W-What?" stammered Tazuna.
"You paid us for a C-rank mission. You lied to us Tazuna; this mission is at least an A-rank now. With a former-swordsman from the Mist, the risk is too great for a genin team."
"But this village can't afford even a B-rank!" protested Tazuna.
"Give me one good reason why we should stay," said Kakashi firmly, but he did not expect the teary tirade Tazuna went into, about his poor daughter and grandson.
"That's just pathetic," said Sakura.
And although Naruto and Sasuke were silent, their faces were clear with the reaction to the display.
"Well, I'll ask you guys," said Kakashi. "You three vote on whether we'll go or stay."
"Stay," was Sasuke's answer, before he turned to face Naruto and Sakura, anticipating their answer. 'This is a chance for me to get stronger...I can't just let it go!' he hissed inwardly.
Naruto was the next to answer. "Go. This is a situation beyond us. We have our own duties to perform."
Everyone's gaze turned to Sakura, who looked quite perturbed by becoming the centre of attention.
Currently, she was having a great battle with her thoughts, more precisely, her rational side, and her "romantic" side. 'I might die!' screamed her rational part. 'But if I say "go", Sasuke will never speak to me again!' screamed the romantic part. Eventually, she decided to pick by random, before deciding:
"Stay," she said decisively, trying to mask the hints of fear in her voice.
Naruto and Kakashi sighed, while Sasuke smirked to himself, and Tazuna also sighed- in relief.
"Alright. Let's continue," said Kakashi.
They continued, breaking away from paths and roads to enter the forest, travelling through thick bushes and shrubbery.
"There's a lake here," Tazuna suddenly said. "Right over there," he pointed.
"So I see...how far are we from-" Kakashi froze, and so did the genin, as they heard a noise from a bush very close to their group.
Naruto turned to face his team, and he nodded at Sasuke and Sakura. The three reached for kunai, and warily approached.
The bush rustled again, and a rabbit hopped out.
"Just a rabbit," said Sakura, clearly relieved.
'That fur...that rabbit has been kept as a pet...used for Replacement!' Naruto's eyes widened as his chain of thought went through his head. 'But that means-!'
"Duck!" shouted Kakashi, pulling down Tazuna. A giant zanbato whizzed over their heads, before it embedded itself into a tree trunk. A figure suddenly appeared on it, with his back to them.
From the photo shown in the bingo book, they instantly knew this was Zabuza, the Demon in the Mist.
"You were right Naruto," said Kakashi. "It is Zabuza."
"Well well, what do we have here? My target...two brats and a crippled brat...and the notorious Copy-Ninja, Kakashi of the Sharingan. The man they say has copied over one thousand jutsu with his Sharingan eye."
Kakashi raised an eyebrow, before he lifted his headband, and exposed a blood-red eye, with three black comma-like shapes that orbited the pupil.
"You three, protect Tazuna. You can't help me against someone like this."
The genin surrounded Tazuna, different thoughts going through their heads.
'This is the...Demon in the Mist...creepy...I hope Kakashi-sensei beats him...' thought the Sakura.
'Kakashi has a Sharingan eye?' thought Sasuke. 'But that is the kekkai genkai of the Uchiha Clan...my Clan. How does he...could he...?'
'Ah, the swordsmanship of Kiri versus one of the most prized bloodlines of Konoha...sounds quite enjoyable. I'll predict a close, yet victory for Kakashi, unless Zabuza outsmarts him,' were the thoughts of Naruto.
As he began to care less and less about the situation, turning his mind to slightly more mundane activities, he was suddenly tapped on the shoulder by Sakura –if he didn't pretend to be crippled, he was sure she would have hit him- who was startled he hadn't noticed that Kakashi was captured in an unfamiliar jutsu, while a Water Clone stood on guard, as Zabuza was now forced to stand still to hold Kakashi in his water prison.
"Run!" shouted Kakashi. "This battle is over! Get Tazuna out of here!"
'Run?' thought Sasuke. 'We can't run, where will we go?'
"The clone can't travel too far from the original! Your mission is to defend Tazuna!"
"Understood," said Naruto, and he grabbed Tazuna's shoulder and backed away, as he watched the Clone for any movement.
"Naruto!? You're just going to abandon Kakashi-sensei?!" Sakura half-screamed.
"He gave us an order," replied Naruto.
"But don't you remember what he said to us when he gave us the bell test?!"
"Obviously Sakura, I was the one who worked it out within a minute," answered Naruto shortly.
"I meant that he said we should never abandon a teammate!" hissed Sakura, as she glanced over to the Water Clone, which was still motionless.
"That theory doesn't apply to real life. It works fine in fantasy stories, but real life-"
Naruto was suddenly pulled up by Sakura, and she lifted him up to her face –Naruto is shorter than anyone in his team- and she shook him furiously.
"If you don't help, I'll break your other leg!" she shouted at him.
Now that would have been a major blow –quite literally- as not only was Sakura capable of doing so with that insane strength she seemed to gain whenever she was angry, but Naruto had only ever been practised using a cane with his right leg, and he didn't enjoy the idea of having to do the same, only for real, with his left.
"Very well, very well. I'll help," said Naruto clearly disgruntled, before shuffling out of Sakura's reach, slightly ahead of Sasuke.
"You?" sneered Zabuza. "You couldn't lay a scratch on me if my eyes were closed."
"Would you like to test that idea?" asked Naruto, a kunai slipping from his left sleeve and into his hand.
Zabuza laughed -a chilling sound. "Please, do you honestly believe you can defeat me? Even at your age, my hands had already crushed countless opponents."
"That was...you?" started Kakashi.
"Ah, you heard of it," laughed Zabuza manically.
"What happened?" asked Sakura.
"Many years ago...Kirigakure had a very ...unique graduation test."
"What kind of graduation test?" asked Sakura, nervously.
"One of killing," Naruto's voice was that which answered. "You had to kill another graduating student."
"It was a hell of an experience," said Zabuza. "The kids you ate alongside, played with, practically your brothers and sisters...were now your enemy." Zabuza broke into laughter, and the genin felt a very cold shiver crawl up their spines.
"It earned the village the nickname "The Bloody Mist." But the test was eventually abandoned," said Kakashi. "Because one kid, who wasn't even a ninja, killed one hundred academy students."
Zabuza laughed again, and without a doubt, the genin realised that this was that "kid."
"It felt so...so good!" laughed Zabuza.
'So, this is one of the many reasons they give him the title, "Demon of the Mist." But the important thing is now, how to free Kakashi-sensei?' Naruto wondered, before his mind immediately thought of a plan.
He was instantly about to put it into action, when Sasuke sprinted forward, his hands forming the seals for a Katon jutsu, intent on destroying the clone.
"No!" exclaimed Kakashi, Naruto and Sakura simultaneously. Sasuke received a swift punch to the chest, before the clone reached for the zanbato...
Naruto sprinted forward, long having mastered how to run with a cane, and plucked a small object from his coat, and flung it at the clone. Surprised, the clone dropped Sasuke, and tried to avoid it, and was covered in smoke as the bomb exploded.
"What is it? Smoke grenade? Bomb?" asked Sakura, as Sasuke hurried back to the safety of his teammates.
"No. I reached into the wrong pocket, the mementos of my prank days," said Naruto, scratching the back of his neck nervously.
The clone emerged, splattered with rainbow paint, enraged.
"You little-!" The clone lunged forward, and Naruto vaulted over, using his cane to propel himself off the ground. Suddenly, the blunt edge of the zanbato struck him, and he collapsed forward, his cane rolling away.
The clone chopped the cane into two, before walking forwards.
"Die you little cripple!" he roared, his zanbato over his head, before he swung it down.
Sakura screamed, and Sasuke and Tazuna froze, expecting this to be the end for Naruto.
The clone stopped, before it exploded in front of Naruto.
"What the- what happened?!" said Zabuza, after seeing his clone explode for no apparent reason.
"I lied," said Naruto, as he crawled over to the severed pieces of his cane. "You see, that bomb first explodes, covering the person in a chemical. Several moments later, the chemical explodes. I don't have any mementos from my prank days. And..." he picked up the cane's pieces. "And you killed my cane."
He tapped the lower piece of the cane, and a spike burst out of its base, making it look like a strange spear. "It's covered in poison. Test it out for me, won't you?"
Naruto raised the cane-and-spike, and threw it at Zabuza, on perfect aim for his hand that was imprisoning Kakashi. And forced, Zabuza withdrew his hand, infuriated, and he leapt forward, his zanbato ready to kill the boy on the ground.
Kakashi had parried the blade, using nothing but the metal guard on his glove.
"Thanks, Naruto," were the silver-haired ninja's words.
"A pleasure, of course," replied Naruto, before he blacked out from the pain the blunt-edge of the zanbato had given him.
Naruto opened his eyes, before he blinked rapidly due to the sunlight streaming into his face. Suddenly, a dark figure covered the sunlight. A figure on crutches.
"Ah, you're awake," said Kakashi.
"A few questions. Where am I, where are the others, where is the builder and why are you on crutches?"
"I'll answer those in order. You're in Tazuna's house. The others are probably wandering around the area. Tazuna's downstairs having his breakfast early. And I exhausted my chakra, so I'm a little tired to walk. Any more?"
"Yes. What happened to Zabuza? And what happened to my cane?"
"Oh, I defeated Zabuza. But a friend of his came dressed as a hunter-nin and picked him up. Oh, and your cane's downstairs I think. I uh, "borrowed" the spike to deal with Zabuza. I recall stabbing him with it before his hunter-nin friend pretended to kill him."
Naruto smirked, before he sat up. "Then you'd better hope the hunter-nin is an expert in poisons and antidotes, because that poison is slow, painful and lethal."
"...remind me not to eat anything you cook. If you're okay, come downstairs for breakfast."
"I can't walk without pain. I need some form of support."
"Hokage-sama informed me that you only pretend to need a cane. Just tell the others it hurts you to walk without a cane."
"I've already told them that," replied Naruto.
"Then there's no problem," said Kakashi, a hint of strange triumph in his words. "Your clothes are over there, and if you don't mind me, I'm going to see if I can "befriend" Tazuna's daughter." The jounin actually giggled as he walked out.
Naruto arrived for breakfast at a ridiculously late time, at which point everyone was almost finished with their breakfast.
"Good morning," said a woman, whom Naruto correctly assumed was Tazuna's daughter. Naruto nodded respectfully at her, before he seated himself next to Sakura, opposite Sasuke.
"So, how long till Zabuza heals? That is, if he survives the poison?" Naruto asked the jounin.
"About a week. Good, because I should be healed by then as well."
"A week... of boredom," muttered Naruto, disappointed. "What is one to do?"
"Train?" suggested Kakashi, now browsing a novel of Icha Icha Paradise.
"Dull and tedious."
"Sadly, that wasn't an option," replied the jounin.
Naruto sighed. "I cannot possibly live without brain-work."
"What did you do before missions and stuff then?" asked Sakura.
"Well, there was a period I took cocaine," said Naruto idly, starting on his breakfast.
The entire room was now looking at him, faces of shock.
"You what?!" said Sakura scandalised.
"I gave up, if that helps. With the help of two "unique" medic-nin. But then I started suffering from passive smoking," said Naruto regretfully, as he removed a pipe from his coat and lit it. "And that is something to blame our resident Hokage for."
"Stop that!" said Tsunami, clearly concerned for the effect on her son.
Naruto blew a few smoke-rings into the faces of his teammates, before he put his pipe away.
"So, Kakashi-sensei," said Sakura. "What will we be training for?"
"A chakra control exercise," answered Kakashi, as he turned a page of his book in an unconcerned manner.
It was some time later that Team 7 were in the forest, Kakashi still on crutches, and Naruto reduced to using a poorly carved walking stick.
"The exercise is climbing trees," started the jounin.
"What?" said Sasuke, slight confusion crossing his face.
"But...we know how to climb trees."
The jounin sighed, before he stated. "Climbing without your hands. Climbing using chakra as your support."
He formed a seal, and channelled chakra into his feet, before he slowly began to walk up a tree, until he hung upside down on a branch, facing the genin.
"By practising this, you will waste less chakra on jutsus, rather than squandering a great deal of chakra," instructed Kakashi. "Oh, and one more warning," he said, as he walked down. "Too much chakra, and you'll break the tree bark. Too little, and you won't stick. Use the kunai to mark your progress."
Naruto cautiously approached the tree ahead of him, as his hands formed a seal.
'Too much and you'll break the bark, too little and you won't stick. Of course...this is to be done entirely by trial and improvement. Failed attempts allow you to refine your technique, as well as ever so slightly increasing chakra reserves. It's just like learning a jutsu for the first time...how very intriguing... well, I suppose it would be best to start small, and increase gradually...'
Naruto channelled a small amount of chakra, and began to climb. As predicted, he fell off rather quickly. A quick scan of his surroundings, and Sasuke was somewhat better, to be expected, as he had smaller chakra reserves, while Sakura was happily high up, and was cheering herself.
"Well, I suppose it can't be helped that Sakura has better chakra control than the Uchiha prodigy, or the one going up for the title of Hokage," said Kakashi idly.
'Idiot...' Naruto cursed inwardly. 'By trying to make us angry, we'll simply waste more chakra at a time, and she's no help either,' he thought, looking at Sakura, who now sat at the base of her tree. 'She should be trying to increase her chakra reserves, not sitting doing nothing. Well, teammates help one another, so...'
Naruto shouted over at Sakura that she only was able to climb so well due to the fact she has incredibly low chakra reserves, and should continue climbing to build them up. He then turned away, continuing his own tree climbing.
Sakura than screamed at him, and he fell from the tree again. "NARUTO! JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE JEALOUS DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD INSULT ME!"
"Why would I be jealous? I need large chakra reserves, not reserves the size of a hamster's testicles," replied Naruto –slightly angry at falling-, as he lifted himself up, and wiped some of the soil off his jacket.
Sakura than proceeded to scream at him again, which proved to be incredibly unhelpful to Naruto and Sasuke, who both fell down this time.
The days began to bleed into one another, and Naruto soon found that the long week was not so long after all. Despite the fact he had to deal with the outbursts of that unpleasant little child –Naruto had temporarily lived in an orphanage, and he had known kids who had seen their parents hacked to pieces, but were still tougher than that little child-, and that there was a fact that death may be approaching soon, the atmosphere was rather ...pleasant. Quite calming in fact.
His rivalry with the Uchiha was simple at most- or at least, Naruto thought so, the Uchiha probably thought different- as all it did was seem to make the two attempt to increase their strength, which was good for the team –but not very good for teamwork.
He had no idea what Kakashi and Sakura seemed to do. Kakashi just seemed to hang around now, even though he had recently recovered from chakra control. Naruto assumed he was still attempting to "befriend" Tsunami, and by the looks of the strange marks now in her frying pan, was doing a very bad job.
Sakura, after "mastering" the tree-climbing exercise, was "guarding" Tazuna, sometimes switching over with Kakashi. Naruto hadn't a clue why Kakashi was foolish enough to assign her to guard duty. Surely, even a chakra-deprived jounin would do better than a genin with below average chakra capacity. She didn't even attempt to impress Sasuke through her training, but still did her usual latching onto him and pleadings.
Although Naruto had to admit, her endless droning were quite nice to fall asleep to. He'd even suggested to her that Sasuke thought night was a romantic setting, thus increasing the amounts of times she talked during the evening, hence increasing the chances of Naruto getting a good night's sleep.
However, there was one time during the week Naruto did not enjoy so much. He met the hunter-nin, quite by accident.
The hunter-nin –whose name was Haku, or at least that was an alias, but Naruto was confident in it being the hunter-nin's actual name- had found him sleeping in a forest, after a particularly exhausting night of training.
He supposed Haku had watched the entire fight between Kakashi and Zabuza, and upon noticing the fact that the cane Naruto was currently using was not the one with a built-in spike, and that the coat full of dangerous gadgets was being used as a pillow, Haku had probably deemed him little threat, and was not even trying to say, rip out his throat.
Naruto of course, prided himself upon noticing that Haku was a boy, upon firstly seeing the laryngeal prominence –or in other terms, the Adam's apple- and after noticing the way the hair was worn and looked –and as he had quizzed Kakashi thoroughly on how the hunter-nin looked- he had realised immediately not only was Haku male, but Haku was the fake hunter-nin.
As well as that, Haku was picking herbs that Naruto recognised. They were used for injuries, and could also be used for poisons. Zabuza was still alive.
Of course, Naruto was not foolish enough to confront Haku. Despite the fact Haku appeared soft, he had little doubt that the false hunter-nin would not hesitate to silence whoever was a threat to himself and Zabuza.
So he only remarked: "I know...you're a boy. But that's the only theory I've ever made when I haven't been completely sure."
On the last night, Tazuna had organised a small party where most of the bridge workers were. Something to commemorate that not only was the bridge to be finished soon, but Tazuna was still alive.
Despite the fact, Team 7 was supposed to be on guard, Naruto had decided to retire for bed early, and accidently found himself invited into the merrymaking. He then accidently found himself in a sake-drinking contest with a burly man, where Naruto had scraped a victory by drinking until he was completely unconscious.
And Kakashi had the wonderful job of lifting Naruto into his bed.
The week was over. Kakashi was full of chakra again, even increasing his reserves as well. He was preparing, mentally and physically for his re-match. Sasuke had increased both his control and reserves. He was raring to go, this time to actually fight. Sakura had increased her control, and very slightly increased her reserves. She was not eager about the fight, but was confident that Kakashi and Sasuke could protect her. Naruto couldn't, due to the fact he was indisposed.
"Tazuna, I swear to God that I will strangle you if Gatou and his stooges don't kill you first," groaned Naruto, as he lay in bed with a painful headache, and he blamed Tazuna and his incompetence in deciding when a party should be.
"What the- what the hell happened?!" exclaimed Tazuna, as he noticed the beaten bodies of his workers and a mist lingering over the bridge.
"So..." said Kakashi, his eye narrowed. "He's here..."
Sasuke and Sakura stiffened as they heard a familiar laugh echo over the bridge.
"Gah..." Naruto stumbled groggily out of the bathroom, the walking stick in his left hand. "...can't even...think properly...memo to me...no more sake-drinking contests..." He lurched dangerously, before he righted himself.
Unknown to Naruto, the house was empty. The remainder of Team 7 were with Tazuna, and Inari and Tsunami were currently outside, in danger.
"Listen here you dumb ass duo!" shouted Inari, using language he had heard the guests use at Tazuna's party. "Get away from my mother, or else!"
One of the thugs burst out into laughter, while Tsunami continued to scream at her son to run away.
"You?" choked the laughing thug. "What are you going to do? Cry at me to death?"
"Or else! Or else!" laughed the other. "Who the hell do ya think you are?"
The boy glared at the thugs, defiance evident in his eyes, but he was silent.
"Tell ya what kid, because you made me laugh, I'll let you go," said a thug.
"No! I-huh?" said Inari, noticing a very groggy Naruto approach, his hands carrying both a walking stick and a bottle.
"Oh, hey guys!" waved Naruto, in a drunken manner. "You'll never believe this, but uh, this, this stuff actually helps!" he slurred.
The thugs stared at each other, while Inari and Tsunami were stunned into silence, and Naruto swayed over to the thugs.
"I know you two!" he said. "You guys were at the party! This drink's on me!" And Naruto handed over the bottle.
One of the thugs took a sip, rather cautiously. "Hey, good stuff," he said appreciatively.
"Give me that!" said the other, grabbing the bottle and taking a good swig. "Yeah, really good stuff-"
The two suddenly keeled over, dead.
"That's simply ridiculous," said Naruto in a very sober manner, and he straightened up. "How can anyone have possibly been daft enough to do that? Is it some kind of tradition now that all thugs of criminal organisations must be soft in the head?"
"You were pretending?" said Inari, dumbstruck.
"Well, of course," said Naruto. "Acting is a very useful trait to have, especially in such a dangerous business. And I find danger to be quite exciting." He smiled at the boy, before he continued. "It is quite nice to see that you've toughened up though. Anyway, something tells me that Zabuza is afoot, as it were, and although I'd love to stay, my teammates will be calling."
Sakura flung a kunai at the ice mirror, hoping that it could crack it and create an exit for Sasuke. But that was to no avail, as Haku simply appeared in the mirror and caught the kunai.
But then, a barrage of shuriken hit Haku, one scratching across the fake hunter-nin's mask.
"That...that must have been Naruto!" said Sakura.
Kakashi, Sasuke, Zabuza and Haku all began to glance around for the boy, but they saw no trace.
'Excellent, he's remaining hidden,' thought Kakashi. 'Now he can attack from long-range, and draw Zabuza and Haku out, which will mean Sasuke can get out of those mirrors. And that means we'll have the advantage this time.'
Kakashi was suddenly broke out of his thoughts as there was a large explosion of smoke near the ice mirror dome.
'Please, don't let him reveal himself...please...' prayed the jounin.
Haku approached the figure in the dispersing smoke...only to leap back as the figure revealed itself to be a log with an exploding tag, which of course, exploded, and Haku quickly began to retreat to the ice dome...just in time, to avoid another barrage of shuriken.
"Psst...Sakura," whispered a voice from...next to...and below Sakura.
"Huh? Naruto?" asked the confused girl.
"I'm using the Cloak of Invisibility to hide myself on the floor," whispered Naruto. "I'm sure that Zabuza and Haku aren't going to be scanning for traces of genjutsu. Now, my plan is that we-"
"Naruto! What are you waiting for!? You have to help Sasuke-kun!" shouted Sakura, grabbing Naruto.
"Hey, wait! What are you-" Naruto was suddenly thrown through the air, into the ice domes. "Doing."
"What are you doing in here?" demanded Sasuke.
"Being trapped in an ice dome with you was not exactly on my list of favourite things to do, Sasuke," remarked Naruto, sounding incredibly casual for someone who had just been thrown through the air. "As a matter of fact, Sakura threw me in here."
"Never mind that! How are we going to get out!?"
"Well, we- oh, did you know your kekkai genkai is unlocked?" said Naruto, as he noticed the blood red eyes of the Sharingan. "But, the thing is, all that sake has had a great toll on me, and quite frankly, I can't think half as fast as I usually do. So, just give me some time, and I'll work this all out..."
"Sadly, you haven't got time," said Haku, before launching a senbon attack.
Senbon from all sides flew, and were suddenly embedded into the two. Naruto gasped, and fell to his knee. He had tried to shield himself, but this was no use.
"I suppose...Sasuke..." said Naruto. "Do you think you could catch him in a Katon jutsu?" he whispered.
"Maybe, but I'd need to time it precisely."
"So, trial and error again..." muttered Naruto. "Well, then, I suppose there's little choice."
After several attempts, they finally got a hit on the masked nin.
"Next time will be dead on," said Sasuke.
"If there is a next time," panted Naruto. "Bloody senbon."
"Time to end this. Now," said Haku, before launching another barrage. This time, all directed at Naruto, who made to dodge, but was suddenly conscious of Sasuke standing over him.
"What the- saved by you? I'll never forgive myself," Naruto trailed off, before noticing that Sasuke was in bad shape.
"My body just moved..." started Sasuke, before he collapsed to the floor.
"Naruto..." breathed Sasuke, struggling to lift himself. "Kill...kill my brother for me." Then Sasuke collapsed, and this time, did not get up.
"So...so it's over," were Naruto's only words.
"Is it the first time you have ever seen a comrade die? He-"
"Be silent," Naruto's voice cut through the air like a kunai. "Today is your last, masked ninja. Or also, boy-girl-thing of the forest picking herbs."
Naruto discarded the walking-stick, and his leg straightened out. "Positively, without him, I don't need to pretend to be crippled. First thing is that I will break out of this prison."
"How will you do that?" asked Haku.
"Sasuke not only provided me with a chance at life, but also, a shield."
Naruto seized Sasuke's body and raised it over his head as a shield, before he started to run. Senbon flew at him again, but nearly all were stopped with the "corpse." And Naruto broke out of the dome, and cast down the body.
"Thank you, Uchiha," Naruto said appreciatively. "Your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
"He's actually...still alive," said the voice of Haku. "I lied."
Naruto's eyes instantly widened. "If he ever finds out...but, goodbye!" Naruto spun around, and a small sphere flew through the air, before it stopped at Haku's feet.
"This is no explosive," said Haku, as he lifted the sphere. "No matter what it contains, it cannot explode."
However, Haku as he took the sphere, forgot that Naruto was right in front of him. And Naruto crashed forwards, and forced Haku to the ground.
"That sphere is a container, not an explosive," said Naruto, one of his hands securing Haku's neck. "Poison. Concentrated enough to kill." He ripped off the mask, and forced open Haku's mouth, before he pressed a certain part on the sphere –which opened it- and he emptied the poison into the gaping mouth.
Haku choked, struggled, froth rising from his mouth, before he heaved and stopped. Dead.
Naruto fell back onto the ground, and sighed, his chest heaved with fatigue. He then lifted himself up again, and headed over to Kakashi.
The fog cleared slightly, and he could see a small man with an army of thugs. Standing in their way was Zabuza, currently trapped by nine dogs, and Kakashi, who looked like he had been preparing a jutsu, but had stopped.
The small man –who he presumed was Gatou- had stopped talking, and had rushed behind his army of thugs. Naruto ran over to Kakashi and Zabuza.
"Something interesting happening?" asked Naruto casually, as his hand reached into a pocket.
"What's that?" asked Kakashi, as he noticed the unusual object Naruto had removed from his trench coat.
"This, sensei, is what some call a bomb. And this bomb uses something called nitro-glycerine," smiled Naruto.
"What?! That'll blow us all up!" shouted Kakashi.
"This is very weak," responded Naruto. "If I aim this just right, I should be able to remove the thugs and at the same time, do minimal damage to the bridge." He threw it through the air, before he fell to the ground, covering his head, and Kakashi followed suit, while Zabuza turned, so the dogs were now exposed to the bomb.
Gatou squealed and ran, as the bomb destroyed his entire army. The explosion, despite being "very weak", was large, and Naruto was blown several yards away, while Zabuza fell down, the dogs disappearing in smoke.
Naruto lifted himself up, and Kakashi and Zabuza did the same, and they all raced to catch the squat Gatou, whom they surrounded.
"Gah...please don't kill me!" pleaded the fat man.
"Okay," agreed Naruto, as he reached into his pocket and withdrew several papers. "Simply sign these, and I assure you no one from Konoha or Wave will touch you."
Gatou read over the papers. "This is to hand over my entire company, business and money!" he shouted furiously.
"That or death. You're welcome to keep those drugs (save the tobacco, Naruto muttered under his breath) and illegal stuff, because you never mentioned those in your company legally."
Gatou thought over that for a few moments, before he reluctantly agreed, and signed over Gatou Shipping to Naruto.
"Good, good," applauded Naruto, before he ripped off the bandages that masked Zabuza's mouth. He then tossed a kunai to the missing-nin, and Zabuza caught it in his mouth.
"Wait, what are you doing?!" said Gatou, alarmed.
"I said no one from Konoha or Wave will touch you," said Naruto. "I never said anything about a missing-nin from Kiri. I am no doubt indirectly responsible for your death now, but I cannot say it is likely to weigh on my conscious."
Several days later, and the entire Wave village stands by the bridge, the Konoha team with them. Naruto glanced over the horizon; -a repaired cane in his hand- and his eyes saw the zanbato that belonged to Zabuza, now marking his grave.
Zabuza had died from his wounds some time after he killed Gatou, next to Haku, the person he could have called a son.
Kakashi finished his conversation with Tazuna, and everyone made their goodbyes. And Team 7 set along the bridge, at the end of a long adventure, ready to return back to the home of Konoha.
Naruto lit his pipe. "An eventful mission, don't you agree?"
His words were not to anyone in particular, but Kakashi answered, knowing Sasuke and Sakura were too busy, what with Sakura's failed attempts to date Sasuke, and Sasuke's attempts to save himself.
"Rather eventful, for a C-rank," said the jounin. "So...surely smoking that thing is bad for you?"
Naruto glanced over at his fellow genin, before he lowered his voice. "I believe that the massive chakra supply of the fox has given me a healing factor. Any damage will be healed."
Kakashi shrugged. "Your theory."
"My theories tend to be proved correct," replied Naruto.
Meanwhile, the bridge had just been named. The Great Naruto Bridge. But it was also a joke amongst the villagers, to refer to it as "Gatou's End."
And that was the first part of the adventures of Naruto, how he helped break the grip of a business tycoon over a country, gaining both his first kill, and a wealthy company.
But there is so much to come yet. The tales of how he will become even stronger, cleverer, a true ninja. How he will rise swiftly, only to see a world crash down on him, as he flees from his home, but by accident.
But could never truly return.
But, those are adventures yet to come.
Long, wasn't it? But it was important to get the Wave mission over and done with. That chapter was over twelve pages in the word processor, so please tell me someone appreciated all that hard work.
As the chapters will be long, I'll give you a sneaky preview.
CH1 - (Wave Mission)
CH2 -(Chunnin Exam Part 1)
CH3 -(Chunnin Exam Part 2)
CH4 -(Sorry, if I told you what happened here, that'd just be too much of a spoiler)
Oh, and yes, Naruto is slightly based on the character of Sherlock Holmes, hence drug-use, and deduction skills, being able to think quickly in a couple of seconds, and references to chains of thoughts. He's got a healing factor, he isn't too bothered. And, SPOILER THAT WAS REVEALED IN PREVIEW he will leave Konoha END OF SPOILER THAT WAS REVEALED IN PREVIEW.
Naruto uses explosives and poisons that he made himself. He doesn't use exploding tags often. The main reason for the explosives is...what else has a genius got to work with? But, he is strong, mostly because he can out-think his opponent, staying more than one step ahead of them.
This story will also have a really good twist when Tsunade shows up. A really good twist and I doubt anyone will guess it.
So, uh, I'm off to work on re-writing Toad Hermit and Reaper of Death.
P.S. I have also decided that...LIGHTNINGHUNTER'S PARODY WILL HAVE ONE MORE CHAPTER! CONTINUE SENDING SUGGESTIONS FOR ME TO PARODY AS I HIT THOSE BAD AUTHORS WHERE IT HURTS!