I don't own Naruto.

Chapter three is here! I've been really busy recently, so the chapter releases may become much more inconsistent. Anyway, here's chapter three! Enjoy!

The Foxes' den

"How about this one?" The shadow clone offered Naruto an open scroll, indicating the jutsu it was open to.

"Yeah! That could…wait…Didn't you give me this scroll back earlier to look through a different one?"

"I thought I did, but I guess I had put slipped it into my pocket by mistake." The clone replied, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. Naruto dispelled the clone and nearly screamed when the scroll in front of him disappeared.

"Ah! Where'd it…?!" Fumbling through the mess of scrolls beside him, he found what he was looking for. Hmm…it seems kage bunshin no jutsu also clones whatever I have with me… A devilish grin spread across his face. This could be very useful…

"Now where did that jutsu go…" he said aloud to himself, searching for the jutsu his clone had found. "Here it is. Wall of Earth. It says it's a A-rank, two part jutsu. The user has to use chakra to simultaneously pull earth into the shape of a wall, while compressing it to give it the hardness of rock…ranked high because of the difficulty of manipulating a solid substance, as opposed to the other elements."

"Eh, seems easy enough." Forming the hand signs, he began using his chakra to pull at the earth. Finding it surprisingly difficult, he pushed more chakra into the jutsu. He managed to get a two foot high wall before it 'broke' off at the bottom, resulting in a very solid clump of dirt. Stupid wall! Well, I guess I don't need the whole jutsu…

Again, he performed the hand signs, this time forgetting about making a wall. Instead, he focused on an imaginary circle on the ground, forcing the dirt inside the circle to the edge, effectively forming a hollow cylinder in the ground. "Alright! This is perfect!" He then noticed his hands were trembling. It takes so much more chakra to compact the dirt below ground than above ground. Reaching his hand into the cylinder, he found its walls to be completely smooth, like marble. It was dark at the bottom, but the hole seemed to be about ten to fifteen feet deep, and had a diameter of about 2 feet, easily large enough for a person to stand in. I'm going to need more chakra, or this is gonna take forever…I probably shouldn't leave this hole here, I'm pretty sure someone uses this training ground Using the jutsu again, he tried to cause the cylinder to cave in on itself, but it didn't seem to react, and he had already used too much chakra making it to use much more. Hehehe…this'll do. He grinned mischievously as he made a very thin layer of earth over the hole. He soon headed back towards town, it was time to start work on his hideout.

It was about one in the afternoon, and Hinata found herself walking through the streets of Konoha. This was the first day they've had off since they started missions nearly a week ago. Her current destination was a stand by the name of Ichiraku Ramen. She had already eaten, but she wanted to find Naruto, and had already checked the training ground where they took the statue test. She was almost there when an orange blur passed over the street, from one rooftop to another.

Naruto-kun! Jumping up to the rooftops, she began following him south, wondering where he was headed. It wasn't long before they left the walls of Konoha. Naruto came to a stop at the edge of a small clearing; Hinata stopping further back and hiding behind a tree.

I…I want to go talk to him. But…I have no explanation for why I followed him. He'd probably be mad…but…I have to think of something! I'm tired of always watching from a distance. I want to spend time with Naruto-kun…but…what if he doesn't want me around…what if…

"Hinata? What are you doing back here?"


Having been startled out of her train of thoughts, she found Naruto standing behind her, a puzzled look on his face. "Eto…I…I m-mean…I-I w-wanted…" she stuttered, unable to get words to come out. Naruto suddenly scared her again by bringing his fist down into his open palm as if he had just realized something.

"I've got it! You can help me out! That byakugan of yours can see through things, right?"

There was a short pause, then she nodded, her mind busy confirming to itself that he had just called her helpful.

"Good. Then you can help make my secret hideout! Here!" He shoved a scroll into her hands before she could protest. "You'll need to learn the Wall of Earth jutsu, but I'm sure you'll get it easy. I'll try to help you while I wait for my chakra to return from this morning."

The only sounds were those of the birds chirping and the constant sound of the nearby waterfall as Hinata found and read through the jutsu, while Naruto seemed to be searching through his other scrolls for something. After a few minutes, Hinata began slowly performing hand seals, causing Naruto to look up momentarily from his search. As she stopped, Naruto's eyes went wide as a five-foot wall rose out of the ground in front of her. However, it immediately began to crumble and fall apart, resulting in a large pile of loosely packed dirt.

"How did you do that?!" Naruto screamed in awe.

"I…I umm…just…" Hinata was now pressing her fingers together nervously as she often did, with her gaze directed downward, "…performed…the jutsu…but it didn't work right."

"hmm…try using more chakra maybe? It looks like the dirt wasn't compacted enough." Why couldn't I make a wall like that?!

"H-Hai…" Hinata began the hand seals again, this time shoving as much chakra into the jutsu as she could. Another wall just like the previous one rose out of the ground, but this one didn't show any signs of crumbling.

"Awesome! You did it!" exclaimed Naruto, jumping to his feet and approaching the wall. Feeling it, it seemed pretty sturdy. Deciding to test it, he raised his fist, and punched it as hard as he could. There was a silence, then…

"Itai! My hand!" He quickly pulled back his injured hand and cradled it, the pain fading not too long after. On the wall were now small indentations made by his knuckles. "Naruto-kun! Are you okay?" Hinata asked as she rushed over to him. "Gomen, I sh-shouldn't have m-made it so h-hard…" The girl looked as if she were about to cry.

"It's not your fault, you did great with the jutsu! I was the one who decided to punch a wall." He smiled reassuringly, putting her at ease. "Now let's see how far down I can make one."

"Down?" she questioned. Now tired out from the jutsu, she sat down with her back leaning against a tree to watch.

"Yeah, just wait and see." Naruto found a good place just outside the clearing and performed the hand seals. Hinata stared as the ground began to cave and cylindrical tunnel formed leading straight down into the ground. She couldn't see them from where she was sitting, but there were notches in the tunnel's wall, making it easy to climb up and down.

Naruto then staggered over to Hinata and took a seat right beside her, causing her entire face to turn a deep crimson, quickly looking away from him to hide it.

"Ano…w-what did you say you n-needed help with?" Hinata asked quietly, having accepted learning the jutsu without question.

"Oh, right. I haven't explained yet. I'm gonna make my own secret hideout to practice jutsu and work on various things. Maybe even create my own jutsus. This way nobody will bother me, and I won't accidentally destroy part of the town." He paused to see that she was listening intently. "Besides, this place is much nicer."

For the first time, Hinata looked around at their surroundings. She hadn't realized she was in a place this nice! Rays of bright sunlight shone down, causing the stream across the clearing to sparkle elegantly. The ground was covered in soft green grass, with the occasional large shadow moving slowly across it, caused by the clouds drifting by in the gentle breeze.

"Uhh…Hinata?" Naruto's voice drew her focus away from the beautiful surroundings.


Hinata had absent-mindedly rested her head on Naruto's shoulder, and had just jumped several feet away, blushing wildly.

That…felt kinda good… Naruto thought, not noticing Hinata panicking several feet away. Arrgh! Why did I have to say something?! Huh? "Hinata…you okay?"

Hinata now lay passed out comically on the ground, her mind unable to take all the stress, yet somehow she managed to respond. "H-hai, I'm f-fine…j-just…resting…"

Naruto continued searching through his scrolls while he waited for Hinata to recover. The jutsu must have been too much for her… For a moment he gazed at the wall she had made; and on only her second try, no less. From the week he spent doing chores—err...missions—with her and Shikamaru, she didn't really seem like she was capable of something like that. She always acted so shy, stuttering when she talked, and fainting surprisingly easily. Maybe there was more to her than all that. Now he could faintly see a strength lying dormant within her, waiting for her to discover it.

Hearing a faint sound the blond turned to his teammate. "Ah, you're awake." His voice startled her before she remembered where she was.

"I was thinking. Since you're gonna help build it, you can use the secret base too. It'll be our secret; just the two of us. We'll promise not to tell anyone else, okay?"

"H-Hai!" Hinata answered with a hint of excitement, Naruto's words still swimming around in her head. Just between us. Our secret…just me and Naruto-kun…

"Here, you can borrow these. I've got something back home I need to take care of." Naruto tossed her two random scrolls full of high-rank jutsu.

"W-what are these f-for?"

"I'm sure you'll find something in those worth learning. It's got a lot of awesome jutsu. Just make sure nobody else finds out about those scrolls. Bye! See ya tomorrow!" He then jumped up into a tree and took off towards town.

Naruto felt a bit odd as he leapt through Konoha. He was unusually happy; not just the momentary happiness from something turning out well for him. He didn't realize it, but Hinata was the first real friend he had. He had occasionally hung out with Kiba, Shikamaru, and Chouji in the academy, but at the end of the school day, he was alone again.

Naruto almost tripped with the sudden weight increase as he neared his apartment. His mind wasn't very focused recently. Hopefully he'd be able to concentrate on his current research.

"Sorry kit, but there is no jutsu capable of granting you more chakra. I believe you humans must use almost all of your chakra, so that your body will increase its chakra reserves so that it will be harder to run out in the future. But then of course, you could always use mine…"

"I already told you, I want my own strength! Now do you know anything that can help me or not?!"

"Fine, fine. There is a similar effect to what you're asking that can be achieved with a seal. It's really quite interesting. It is possible to place a seal on yourself that constantly absorbs a certain percent of your chakra. The principle is the same as the seals that can hold items, to be released whenever the user desires. I suppose I could teach you its basic form, but I'll leave it to you to improve it on your own."This kid, he may be able to evolve the seal along a different path than normal. I'll see what he can come up with.

"Great! Then hurry up and show me!" Naruto was nearly jumping up and down in anticipation, though it didn't matter, as he was only speaking to Kyuubi mentally, and there was nobody else in his apartment to see him.

"Before we start, I should also remind you, that if you humans do not use up most of your chakra on occasion, your chakra reserves will shrink to get rid of the excess space. This seal should not be used in place of stamina training."

"Of course." Naruto replied with a grin. "I intend to train hard in addition to this. I don't intend to use it for everything."

"The seal also has some minor details you should know about. I'll tell you a few and leave the rest for you to discover."

Hinata set the two scrolls Naruto had given her on the ground, at the base of the wall from earlier. As much as she wanted to look through them, she had other things to work on first. After forming a hand seal, three shadow clones appeared before her. She had been working on the jutsu whenever she had free time, which wasn't often. She was able to make up to ten now, but she wouldn't have enough chakra left for training if she did. As two of the kage bunshin stepped off to the side, the remaining clone and the original took the stance for Jyuken.

This was her first time sparring with shadow clones. She had only gotten the idea last night, and it was turning out to be surprisingly effective. Not only was she fighting someone of equal strength, but she didn't have to worry about killing them, as she often did.

Parrying the clones attack, she hit the clone in the chest with a Jyuken strike, causing it to vanish. One of the clones to the side then stepped in to take its place.

Hinata smiled at her accomplishment. Now if she could beat the other two without getting hit as well, it would be proof that she had improved since the shadow clones were created. She wasn't really doing this to learn Jyuken, she was doing it to learn to fight against it.

Naruto performed a series of hand seals, focusing on the piece of paper in front of him, causing the designs that covered the paper to take on a dim bluish glow. Pressing the paper against his desk, the symbol began to fade as it was transferred to the desk's surface. On the desk was now the same elegant design: A round intricate design at the center with a few curved lines snaking out from it in different directions. As soon as it appeared on the desk, it began to slowly fade until it had disappeared only moments later.

"Yatta! It worked!" The blond ninja exclaimed, as he began to redraw the seal onto a new piece of paper. Following the same procedure, he then removed his headband and placed the paper against his forehead. He felt a slightly uncomfortable warm feeling as the seal transferred to his skin. Checking the mirror, the curved lines seemed to retract into the center of the seal as the center itself seemed to become more defined. Naruto put his headband back on as he felt his chakra begin to leak slowly into the seal.

"Finally! A real mission!"

"Keep it down, Naruto." Asuma said, knocking the boy on the back of the head. "People are trying to work in this building." Nobody likes being woken up, even if they're supposed to be working.

"Ahem, yes." The hokage regained their attention. "As I said, this is a C-rank mission. You'll be travelling to a border town near river country to deliver this package." He motioned to a small box sitting in front of him. "Once you arrive, deliver it to the village head. He should be waiting for you."

With that, the three genin left to prepare for the mission. Asuma had decided they would meet at the gate in one hour, so they had plenty of time to pack.

Sasuke was finding his day off to be much less enjoyable than he had hoped it would. He had made his way to his team's training ground, only to be spotted by a certain pink-haired annoyance on the way there. He was now walking through the training ground, said annoyance tagging along beside him, rambling about something that Sasuke was using all his effort to tune out. Kami, Please send this annoying girl back to the depths of Hell.

Suddenly the ground seemed to open up next to him as Sakura fell into the darkness. "Uhh…Th-thanks." Sasuke waved slightly at the sky while slowly backing up, before turning and running away back towards Konoha.

"Ahhh! Sasuke-kun?! Help me out of here! Sasuke-kun?! Are you there? Sasuke!" Sakura called from the bottom of a fifteen-foot-deep hole. It was just narrow enough for a human to fit, and the walls were unnaturally smooth, eliminating any chance of her climbing out. "Sasuke?!..."

Naruto held the package under his arm as he walked leisurely down the path, Hinata next to him and Shikamaru and Asuma trailing behind them. They had been walking for a long time now, and the sun was starting to set.

"So, Hinata, find any good jutsu in those scrolls?" Naruto asked, quiet enough for the other two not to hear him.

"A-Actually," she replied, "I haven't l-looked yet."

"That's okay. I've only really skimmed through them myself. Hey, when we get back…"

"Hey, you two." Asuma's gruff voice came from behind them. "It's getting late, so we'll set up camp here. We're not in any hurry." Shikamaru was already sitting on the ground with his backpack next to him.

"Okay, I'll go ahead and start setting up the tent. Hinata, go find some water. Naruto, wake Shikamaru up and tell him to catch us some food, then gather us some firewood. Nothing's better on a mission than a calm clear sky and a freshly cooked meal."

Shikamaru was awake and already sitting back up, but that didn't stop Naruto from repeating their sensei's words as if the boy hadn't heard them.

It wasn't much later before a group of Naruto's returned with several arm-fulls of firewood, finding the tent already set up and a hungry Asuma setting on a log near the would-be fire.

"You can just drop that anywhere. It seems Hinata forgot to take the canteens; she's probably on her way back to get them right now. Do me a favor, would ya? Take these and go find her." He tossed four canteens to the Narutos, who quickly dropped the firewood to catch them. The group then passed the canteens to the original and vanished, leaving Naruto to head off in the direction Hyuuga Hinata had gone.

"Watch out!" Asuma yelled, jumping in front of the three genin and deflecting several kunai and shuriken. They were on the second day of their mission, and were only half an hour from their destination. In the middle of the road appeared a large hooded man wearing generic clothes, with a cloth hanging over the lower half of his face.

In each of the man's hands was a strange bladed weapon, each of which resembles a disfigured sword. In the left, the blade came to a sharp point a few inches from the hilt, then curved back along his outer forearm. The right one came to an identical point, but instead, spiraled backwards around his forearm, the blade facing outward. On his head he wore a Suna headband, with a horizontal slash through the symbol.

"A sand village missing-nin…" Asuma stated, distaste apparent in his voice. The nin laughed as the three genin took defensive stances.

"You brats think you can take me? Just hand over the package and I might let you live. We'll make a small fortune from selling that thing." The nin easily blocked the Asuma's chakra knife with the blade on his left arm.

Asuma mirrored his movements blocking the nin's drill-like blade that had been intended to impale his chest. The two stood there in a deadlock for a moment, a heavy tension surrounding the group.

Suddenly the nin spun his right weapon, allowing it to bypass Asuma's knife while still keeping it occupied. Asuma barely managed to dodge to his right, jumping out of reach of the blade, at the same time sending a blade of wind chakra out of his right knife. The chakra sliced through the nin's blade as well as his arm, leaving him without a left hand. Realizing the fight was over, the nin took off into the trees.

"C'mon, we should hurry to town in case there are others after this package. Huh?" The three genin we're stood frozen from shock. "Oh, right. This is the first time our team has been attacked, isn't it? Well, you'll all get used to it. If you ask me it's better than pulling weeds or chasing cats any day."

Naruto suddenly relaxed, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. "Heh…maybe I was overacting;" Three 'poofs' and then genin-bunshin vanished, the real genin emerging from behind nearby trees. "Just making sure he's gone." He motioned to Hinata, who was deactivating her Byakugan.

"Well, I have to say I'm impressed." Asuma commented, lighting himself another cigarette. "Now let's get going, in case there are others after this package."

It was late afternoon when the team reached their destination. Waiting at the gate was the head of the village, who welcomed them heartily. "Ah! That must be the package from Konoha." The man took the package from Naruto and looked inside. "Yes, this is definitely it…"

The man tucked the package under his arm and quickly performed several hand signs. Asuma moved to stop him, but didn't make it in time as the man shunshin'ed away.


End of chapter 3

Finally finished it! Please leave a review! I'd really appreciate it. I tried to give the sand missing-nin a 'generic villain number one' feel, he's only high-chunnin. By the way, in my profile is a link to a picture of his weapons as well as Naruto's chakra seal. They're drawn by me in paint, so they're not very fancy. Well, see ya next chapter!

Jutsu Notes:

Wall of Earth

Rank: A

Similar to earth element manipulation, but much less efficient. User sends their chakra into the earth, and forms it into a wall, although any shape can be created with enough skill. Moving the earth requires chakra control, while compacting it needs a large amount of chakra. Those with earth element chakra can learn to use this jutsu without the need for hand signs, and with the cost of much less chakra. It is primarily a defensive jutsu, though there have stories of clever ninja occaisionally using it offensively.

Chakra Seal

Rank: C

A seal similar to the ones that hold objects. When applied, it begins to slowly absorb chakra from the bearer. The chakra is stored within the seal itself, which has a set capacity. Once this capacity has been reached, it will continue to amass chakra, causing pain and eventually injury to the bearer. The chakra can be returned to the bearer with the use of the correct hand signs, at which time the seal will vanish, and a new one may be applied to replace it. The seal should be placed on the bearer's forehead. Anywhere else will result in more chakra being drained, yet hardly any of it will end up stored in the seal. There are more advanced versions of this seal, which are more complex and often hold more chakra, though are also more dangerous. If placed on an inanimate object, the seal will simply fade away without chakra to maintain it.

Kage Bunshin no jutsu

Rank: A

Creates clones of the user, comprised of a chakra shell containing circulating chakra that works to simulate thought and record memories. This data is returned to the user upon the clones' dispelling, which can be done by the user, the clones, or any significant hit taken by the clones. Because the clones have substance and chakra, they also possess the capability of using jutsu, although their chakra will not replenish and they will disappear if it runs too low. The clones will be exact copies of the user at the time they are created, and will have all non-living possessions the user had with them at the time. Cloned possessions will disappear when the clone does, though the opposite is not true.