It's been awhile guys and gals and here's another installement of my award-winning series The Barking Trickster
The Barking Trickster
Road Trips Don't Always Involve Roads
The diamond ring twinkled in the artificial light of the jewelry store. Long glass cases, filled with glistening displays, rolled out on all sides. The displays were varying in shape and size but all had a singular similar trait: They were expensive. This shop didn't peddle in the cheap stuff and definitely wasn't for those of poor standing, or the foolish.
"I was just wondering how much I could sell it for," The man wasn't tall. He wore a brown trench coat, with a white shirt and red tie laying over it. He also wore a bowler hat, with grey hairs peeking out the sides, matching his big, bushy mustache. He was a very unthreatening man, but he appeared proud for some reason or another. "It was my mother's, may she rest in peace."
"Hmmm…" The diamond ring twinkled again in the artificial light. A large, brown eye peered through an inspecting eye piece, magnifying the size of the eye several times. The enormous eye blinked before pulling the piece away.
He man behind the counter shook his head slightly. He was a crooked looking man. His hook nose was off center at the tip and gave the idea that he could smell your fear and other things hidden from sight. He was also bald, which served to make him even more raptor-like in appearance.
He set down the ring and seemed together his hands ontop the glass counter.
"Well…" He licked his lips. "It's not precisely bad."
The man in brown's mouth became a bit thinner.
"It's not a bad diamond, but the cutter was obviously not that skillful and there are a few other things…" He trailed off
"Such as?" The seller had become a bit weary.
"For one thing, there is an imperfection," He held up the monocle and the diamond to the man. "See?"
The man put his eye to the glass and the glass to the diamond. After a moment of intense searching he responded with a hesitant, "Well, no…"
"Well it's there, I assure you and I'm an expert," The voice held superiority like a cup holds water.
"I suppose so, but what price are we looking at?" The man seemed to want to be in any other place but there.
"Oh, I'd say around…" He tapped his chin and squinted in thought, he wrote some numbers down on a sheet of paper and slid it over towards the man. "Yes, that's about right. "
The man's mouth stood open as he looked at the number.
"But… but that was my mothers and my father paid more than double that for it."
"Well, then I'm afraid to tell you that your father was scammed. There is a bad color hue, the clarity is off and the cutter, like mentioned, was a novice. Then there's the imperfection…"
"Yes, yes, well I get the idea. I'll take my business to a pawn shop." He reached out for the diamond ring, grasping his hand around it and simultaneously, grabbing a brown brief case from ground that was apparently his. He was about to turn when the store owner spoke up.
"Oh, well then it's in your best interest that I tell you most, if not all, shops come to me for evaluation and if you scam them…" The jewelry man went mock pale. "It could end… nastily for you."
The seller in the bowler hat clenched his teeth, mid turn. He slowly looked around at the jeweler.
"Make it a bit more then."
"I'm afraid I can't do that, that previous offer was generous."
"I highly doubt that."
"Once again, sir." The 'sir' was said with an undertone of mockery. "I was more than fair, take it or take your business out of Konohagakure."
The man sighed, defeated.
"It was my mothers…" He frowned. "So be it, but in cash."
The bird-man behind the counter scratched his chin for a moment, mulling the words over. He then shrugged, grudgingly.
"You have a deal, my good man. One moment, let me grab the money from the safe." Neither took notice of the other man smiling.
It was a sunny day in Konoha, one of those days where everything seemed nice and pleasant. Ones that made you feel like going out just so you could feel the bliss of going back to the nirvanic insides of the cool stores.
Not all was nice and wonderful though. Konoha, for all its grandeur, wasn't perfect. One great example of this was the small population of homeless. They didn't run rampant and Konoha was generally a good place to live. You could camp out, but those who ventured in to the more aristocratic and expensive side of the Leaf, well they were often treated with great distaste.
One such homeless man, a heavily bearded fellow who camped out in one of many wooded training grounds, was going about his way, bathing in a big stream. He was down to his pants and scrubbing his hair and scalp.
"Beautiful day isn't it?"
The homeless man instantly seized up and rounded on the bank of the water where his cloths lie. Beside them stood a man in a brown trench coat, bowler hat and holding a briefcase of similar color. He was smiling.
"Yea…" The man was immediately suspicious."I suppose."
"Yep," The man smiled still. He paused quickly, realizing he was there for a reason apparently as he said. "I've got a little something for you from that jewelry store owner near this side of town."
The man in the stream instantly stiffened and came on the defensive. His teeth gnashed and his eyes were narrowed.
"What does that bastard want, hmm?"
"Oh, he doesn't want anything, but it's from him still." The man on the bank produced several bills and casually dropped them onto the other mans shirt. When the wet man's attention turned back to the other man's face, he winked and a very child-like grin spread across his face. He then said earnestly, "Have a nice day."
And with that, the man casually walked down the stream-side, whistling. He made his way back to Konoha proper, leaving a very bewildered man in the water.
Tap, tap, tap.
Naruto looked over at his window, slightly perturbed.
Tap, tap, tap.
He walked over to the window, leaving the bag he was packing half full. He stood infront of it, glaring down at the offending tapper.
Tap, tap, tap.
He put his face right down beside the glass, rising an eyebrow in challenge.
He opened the window with a grimace.
"Ya know, I have a door," Naruto grumbled as the tapping crow entered the room and quickly shifted into the familiar form of Te'telo, who was looking innocently confused.
"Door? What sort of human invention is that?"
"Ha…ha." Naruto deadpanned, he quickly shrugged it off though. "So, what happened after I left?"
"Oh boy…" Te'telo's grin got a little devilish. "The moment the bell above the door rang with you leaving, he flipped over the closed sign and practically ran to the back room."
"So he did scam me, I figured."
"Oh yea, big time. You should have seen this guy examining me." Te'telo quickly shifted into a mangled caricature of the jeweler. The nose was massive and he was lankier than an electrical pole.
"Ho ho ho ho ho ho!" The fake man laughed disturbingly, causing Naruto to cringe and cover his ears.
"Ok, I'll stink bomb Anbu headquarters if you promise never to do that again."
"Deal!" It was said in Te'telo's voice, but while looking like the man. This was, as you can imagine, very strange.
"Uhh… I was kidding."
Naruto glanced at his companion, recalling the last time they had a back and forth childish argument that ended, in some strange way, with Naruto removing all the doors in the Academy. Te'telo was either as stubborn as an ox or childish enough to not stop arguing, maybe both. With that Naruto learned never get into a petty argument with Te'telo.
"Whatever, later. Not now."
"Yea, yea." Te'telo paused. "Well, he was laughing his ass off while examining me through this crazy looking…" Te'telo waved his paw, conjuring up an appropriate, unspoken noun.
"After a while, he ran into the other room while grinning. I just buzzed away." Te'telo's mouth stretched into a patented grin.
"That reminds me, did you really have a flaw?" Naruto said, absentmindedly looking around for other items of importance.
"Pshh, as if." Te'telo scoffed. "You know how hard it is to turn into a diamond, much less a flawed one?"
Naruto answered his question with one of his own. "But… wouldn't being flawed be easier?"
"Nah, turning into a pure diamond is fairly hard. Making it imperfect..." Te'telo's eyes boggled for a moment. "That's like you trying to turn into a weasel with wings and a snake for a tail."
Naruto's head cocked to the side.
"Could I really do that?"
"Well duh man, you can turn into an elephant made out of sapphire with giraffe necks for feet," Both paused, imagining the awkward animal for a moment. Te'telo snapped back out of his mind."You can, but that doesn't mean you are up to snuff for it. It's incredibly hard."
"Man, there's got to be an easier way to do this stuff."
"Well you can't just cheat your way through with junk like this. It would be sweet if you could…" Te'telo's eyes turned to the small wad of cash on the desk. "Speaking of cheating…"
"I gave some to the guy that bastard jeweler messed with."
Te'telo quirked an eyebrow.
"Well aren't we just becoming a valiant do-gooders. What will the other coyotes think?" He questioned scandalously.
"Think what they want, but we needed like what? Enough for ramen and maybe some other stuff?"
"Hey, money is an invention by you humans and the other greedy tribes that horde gold and shit. We coyotes don't need stuff like that, if we can't take it, we can cheat them out of it."
"It's nice to know I've got some of the most moral summons around."
Te'telo scoffed, "Morals are for virgins and prostitutes." Te'telo suddenly froze, realizing he just said two words that Naruto had a semi-idea about. This could become awkward.
"Prostitutes?" Naruto craned his neck towards Te'telo, from where he was still packing. "Where have I heard that before?"
The truth is, Naruto, for living in such a rundown neighborhood and having no direct caretakers (Te'telo would never fall into this category) he was surprisingly sheltered. Several women of questionable morals even lived in his building and he saw them on a daily basis and for all he knew they could be exercising in their rooms… all night.
Te'telo, after a nice chat with Oko and a small note from Kunula, had decided that it was best to keep young, innocent Naruto like that as long as possible. Plus, nothing beats an oblivious kid with shapeshifting powers running around having misadventures.
"Oh, well yes of course you've heard it before… it's…" Te'telo's always been a quick thinker. "A form of pottery."
Te'telo looked at Naruto with all his focus, waiting for that subtle nod or sign of acceptance.
Naruto himself was thinking, he quirked his eye brow. His mouth opened for a second, sifting through files in his mind. After a moment he shrugged and went back to packing, grabbing a few spare ration of ramen, just in case.
'Crisis averted.' Te'telo thought with a relieved sigh.
"Alright!" Naruto said with much excitement after a moment. He grinned and turned to Te'telo. "Let's roll."
Sunsets are things of wonder really. That big burning ball of intense fire, hitting the horizon and setting the sky ablaze with colors. The ending of the day and beginning of the night. It's a time of change, a time of pure unadultered emotion.
Not surprisingly, Coyotes got very active and bouncy at this time. Twilight and dusk had that effect on animals, and as such Naruto was effected too. It's the burden of being connected too deeply with one's own instincts.
He resisted those urges to go run through fields and to look at on coming lights stupidly though, as he was at the moment trying to figure where the hell he exactly was.
"Soo…" He stretched over the unfurled map, he had to keep one hand on it at all times as the wind was blowing modestly. He blinked his eyes, covering them so that he could look down at the map without the sun blinding him.
He pointed his arm at the sun, "If that's West…"
He turned his entire upper body ninety degrees to the right, "Then that's North, but I still…" He paused, turning his head to the light sound of the wind being cut. A black crow was dive bombing straight for him, or straight near him atleast. A metallic object glittered in its teeth. It opened its wings, using the wind to slow it down and landing safely on the stone surface Naruto was sitting on, bouncing slightly.
"Could you find out where we are?" Naruto asked.
The bird, in response dropped the metallic object in his mouth, a headband obviously. It was upside down and Naruto proceeded to pick it up as Te'telo shifted into his standard form. The imprint of two rocks was on the headband causing Naruto to turn to Te'telo.
"Earth Country? Really?" To an outsider it might seem strange that Naruto didn't question how exactly Te'telo came into possession of the headband, but unlike said outsider, Naruto knew Te'telo had ways.
"Yep, there's a bit too many of those rocky-nin-whoevers here to be anywhere else but in Earth Country."
"Weird…" intoned the blonde summoner. They had only been flying for two days and they had covered alot of ground apparently.
"I know. I don't know how you got us here either man." Te'telo trailed off, looking at the unobstructed view.
"Wait…" Naruto's face scrunched up and he looked, slightly off kilter at Te'telo. "I was following you though."
"No, I was following you." Te'telo said matter-a-factly.
Naruto began nodding his, "I'm pretty sure I was following you."
Te'telo blinked in confusion, turning around.
"But I was following you…" He said with all honesty.
Awkward pause only interrupted by the sound of the wind.
"Let's just forget this for now." Te'telo proposed.
"Agreed." Naruto stood, immediately forgetting the conundrum that they had just encountered. "You know…"
Naruto peered down from his high point of view, looking down at a town that huddled around a large beach. It looked very inviting from where he was standing. Where exactly he was standing was a bit strange though. A large cliff, off to the side of the bustling town, jutted out into the ocean and on it's ledge sat a very large stone statue. Naruto was currently sitting on top of the statue's head, peering down at the village.
As far as he could figure it was probably some former ruler who was crazy as hell or wanted to glare at the sea alot.
"We should come back here sometime, it's a very cool looking town," Naruto finished.
"Yea, it's very relaxed. Lots of nice ladies who find a cute puppy all too adorable."
Naruto quirked an eyebrow and turned to his comrade.
"I thought you were trying to figure out where we are…"
"I did! I swear, it's just ya know…" Te'telo paused. "Well actually I guess you don't."
Naruto scowled at the coyote.
"I'm tired of you hiding crap from me. You're going to tell me what you've been hiding this trip, believe it!"
"Please, never in the name of all that is holy ever say that again."
"What? Believe it?"
Te'telo flinched again.
"Believe it." A foxy grin and another flinch.
"Stop it!" Te'telo jumped off the statue, shifting into the form of black bird and taking off.
"I'll stop it when you tell me what's going on, believe it!" Naruto hollered after him before diving off the statue himself and changing.
"Damnit Naruto, this isn't funny!"
"The hell it's not! Believe it!"
Two figures crouched low in a tree under the giant statue on the cliff, a pair of long delicate instruments pressed to the eyes of one of them. He lowered them, squinting at the form of the two fading birds-that-weren't.
"What is it sir? The ones who took your headband?"
"Yes… and much more." He stood, his face resolved as he turned to the other individual. "We must inform the Tsuchikage of this."
A nod was the only response and was followed immediately by them both flickering out of sight.
"Life's not fair."
Many people have said this but few have said it with the conviction that Daisuke was using at the moment.
"Oh just shut up," that was Ume, Daisuke's dusky skinned beauty of a Chuunin partner. Both of them were currently hanging their legs off of a very tall building that shot up into the fellow skyscrapers of the town they were passing through. The building was peculiar as it looked to be a mixture of traditional architecture mixed with concrete but with a little bit of hobo-hodge-podge sprinkled on top. No one ever accused Lightning Country of being normal though, especially when it came to their buildings.
"Well it's not!" The man complained while throwing his hands up, causing the headband around his forehead to glimmer in the artificial light of the city's night. Oval, cloud-like grooves ran over the surface. "All the other teams are having a freaking vacation and we are stuck doing the most boring mission in months!"
Ume glared at him before correcting, "Only about half the genin teams are off and only a select number of chuunin and jounin. Just because it's the Spring festival doesn't mean that missions stop coming. Actually, it probably means more missions!"
Her left hand drifted to her right arm's inscribed bracer, her eyes daring him to complain one more time.
"Jeeze, jeeze calm down," he held up his hands in an appeasing manner. "The client would probably notice if I was missing a liver or some appendages."
He tried to smile goofily but it was too no avail.
"Not likely, he's too drunk to even notice if someone cut off his balls and put them in his drink," Was her retort but it ventured off into misdirected contempt.
"Whoa whoa, not cool," Daisuke clutched himself. "Don't ever think or say something like that again, doesn't matter if he's some Daimyo's sleazy cousin, it's still not cool."
The woman huffed.
"Stop acting like these missions aren't important then." She mumbled to him. "If we do not keep up our fair share of missions, Kumogakure could look weak in the eyes of the other villages."
"Patriot through and through?"
"Always, Cloud above all else whether they be rock for brains, lost in mist or tree huggers."
Daisuke snorted before his eyes widened as Ume's did as well, simultaneously. They both had slid up and back on the slick roof, the female portion of the partnership unsealing a deadly looking sword from her bracer and Daisuke already going through handseals. His hands were already cackling with lightning when they both paused and felt…
…Like utter idiots. They stared at a pair of birds who had landed right beside them on the ledge, very silently but not silently enough. They were both black and very strange compared to most other birds in Lightning Country which tended to be white. Though, it was peculiar that neither seemed to react to the ninja's speedy movements and they settled for staring at the freaky humans.
Birds are weird.
"Shit…" Daisuke said, the electricity dissipating as he palmed his face. "I can't believe I nearly just toasted a couple of birds like a skittish Genin…"
Ume cursed under her breath and looked down. She shook her head and berated herself for her foolish and hasty actions.
"Were you guys talking about Konoha?" The (human) pair froze. Ume looked up slowly and Daisuke stretched his fingers apart slightly to peek between them.
"Did that bird just…?" Daisuke started.
"Talk?" That was the birds again but the other one apparently as it had a different voice. It cocked it's head to the side.
They both stood there, staring down the birds.
One of them cawed, causing a sigh of relief from both ninjas.
"That was so weird, I just imagined that those birds just talked to us," Daisuke said, turning to his partner who looked bewildered after realizing what he said.
"That's cause we did." The first bird that spoke said, it's voice had a child-like quality they noted.
Two seconds later, in eerie unison both of the chuunin cocked their heads to the side and their mouths fell open. Ume suddenly blinked.
"Oh, you guys must be Thunder Hawk summons," the girl reasoned and her partner was soon nodding and agreeing. The Thunder Hawks were basically synonymous with Kumogakure, seeing as two Raikage's summoned them and they were equivalent in power to any other major contract.
"Nope." The older sounding bird intoned with a shrug of its wings.
"Yea, we aren't," the other added on. "But seriously, were you talking about Konoha when you said tree huggers?"
Ume had been processing what the birds had said and took a step forwards. She nodded.
"If you are not Thunder Hawks," She took another step forwards, pretty much not thinking or considering the previous question and what it might have meant. "Then what are you? Crow Summons?"
"Nah, the Crows are a bit too freaky, if you get my drift. I'm a-" The bird found it's beak full of black feathers courtesy of it's companion who was… grinning?
Could birds grin? Apparently so.
"We'll tell you a secret if you tell us which way Okafu is."
It was very strange to be the underdog in a conversation, especially when you were several feet higher than the other party. Both Ume and Daisuke put up with this very well though.
"It's to the North West, from here." She said indicating with her head which direction it was.
The bird that still had his mouth covered shot daggers from his eyes at the other bird who blanched if it was possible for something with black feathers to do so.
"Hehe, sorry. You were right Te'telo," And like that the Chuunin learned the name of one of the unusual presumed summons.
"Alright, we told you something. Now about answering what you exactly you birds are."
The one bird lowered its wing and looked perplexed.
"Who ever said I'd tell you what we are?" Ume suddenly concluded 'nobody'. Her eyes narrowed as the bird continued. "But I will tell you a secret like I said."
It shot up with a flap, gliding and caming to a rest on Ume's right shoulder. It took her entire will to not recoil and attack the potentially dangerous creature.
It grinned again, waggling it's eyebrows that weren't there.
"We aren't even birds to begin with." A sudden hop and it tucked it's wings behind it, dive bombing below the building canopy and darting between two of them into a tall alley. It was towards the direction of Okafu.
The other bird simply saucily winked at Ume before following in suit.
"Watch the client Daisuke."
The addressed man turned to the girl, questioningly.
"I am going to go find a secure Kumogakure messenger to send this info to Intel, they would want to know if some strange summons we've never encountered before were running around."
Daisuke nodded sternly, becoming surprisingly serious for his usually procrastinating attitude. He crouched down over the railing as Ume disappeared and their client slept obliviously beneath the roof in the penthouse suite.
"Sandaime Hokage, there is a Ms.Namida here to see you. She says it's important." The electronically altered voice projected out from a small contraption under his desk, the Hokage's desk that is.
Sarutobi quirked an eyebrow, his hand stopped mid-signing. The document he was attending to was left alone as he pondered why exactly the Kunoichi Instructor was visiting him for something important. He of course knew her name, he knew every ninja's name, their rank, and had rudimentary knowledge of them. Some kages saw this as pointless but he preferred to know his soldiers on more than just a business level, even if it was only a shallow connection to begin with.
After a second of thought he frowned.
"No, there's no way she didn't…" His frowned deepened. "Damnit Kiku."
He pressed the small red button on the side of the device, "Send her in."
He leaned forwards retrieving his still smoking pipe from it's stand.
The door creaked up slightly, giving just enough berth for the woman to slid in with as little notice as possible. Sarutobi cracked a smile.
"Old habits die hard Suzume?"
"Yes they do sir," She strode forwards and sat down quickly, her posture was rigid as always. She wore a standard loose kimono, like all of her trade. She said nothing and Sarutobi didn't feel the need to begin this conversation.
She starred at the Hokage who knew why she was here and Sarutobi puffed on his pipe, looking slightly like a senile old man.
Suzume finally gave in to her better and admitted defeat by speaking.
"Sir, I'm here because of some discrepancies in my teaching roster."
Sarutobi nodded for her to go on.
"I consulted the Jounin Academy Administrator and he said that it was change made by someone higher up. I thought I should consult you."
Sarutobi decided not to play any games of verbal cat-and-mouse and just have a straight forward conversation for a change. For a little while atleast.
"I inspected them myself and I found no problems."
"Yes, while I don't doubt you in the slightest sir, it seems to me that Uzumaki has been assigned to the wrong class." She reached up to the side of her glasses and straightened them with a stern hand.
"I inspected them myself and I found no problems." Sarutobi reiterated.
"Sir, with all due respect, I don't see why he is in the class at all." She grimaced as her ruler quirked an eyebrow but continued none-the-less. "We both know the true purpose of the class and we both also know Madam Kiku wouldn't accept a male into her division."
Sarutobi grinned at the moniker Kiku's subordinates (ex and active) had chosen to be placed before her name. It did fit her in a way and Kiku no doubt thought it amusing
"I'm glad you excluded all of the boys faults from you're assessment."
"Well I considered those obvious."
"Yes, true enough." Sarutobi looked around for a moment before pulling out a special form. "You'll be happy to know that Naruto was placed there by Madam Kiku herself." He chuckled a little bit at both using Kiku's "title" and at Suzume's own expression.
It was as if Sarutobi just told her that up was down, black was white, and that Jiraiya had become a celibate.
"I'm s-sorry, I'm afraid I misunderstood you."
Sarutobi held back a chuckle and said, "Kiku put him there herself so that he could be trained."
"B-but…" Suzume, usually well composed, shook her head like a crazy person. "That's… no. No."
She shook her head again. Sarutobi resisted hacking on smoke with laughter.
She settled finely on a word. A stupefied "What?"
"Well, Naruto is a special case, and not for the reasons you think."
Sarutobi kept grinning.
"So… there's a reason?"
As long as there was a reason to madness, all was ok. Mostly.
Suzume waited patiently and Sarutobi was wondering if she actually expected him to tell her.
"May I have the reason?" Suzume was getting a little rid, though she was just freaked out so it could be semi-excused.
'Semi' was the key part there. Sarutobi grinned devilishly, like he did often back during his Jounin Instructor days.
"You've been trained well Suzume, surely you can discover Kiku's motives."
Suzume paled. Playing games with masters was, while a rewarding experience at times, was never much fun.
"And why can I not just right out question the boy?" She said.
Sarutobi actually chuckled that time.
"Because he doesn't know why he is in the class either and if he did I doubt he would tell anyone. He tells less than he says."
She frowned, considering possible avenues to take this.
"And don't consider following him right now or at all for that matter," Sarutobi said preemptively.
"And why exactly is that?"
"Well for one you couldn't find him, but I guess you would have learned that after awhile," Sarutobi was a very charitable person.
Suzume was still frowning as she stood and bowed.
"At your leave venerable Hokage."
"Good bye Suzume and good luck," He smiled as she bowed again and slid out the door.
The old Hokage swiveled his chair around to look at the window.
"This is starting to get very entertaining," He told to no one.
Poke, poke, poke.
A gurgled, half-asleep growl.
Then poking paused… before continuing.
"STOP IT!" Naruto had rounded on the offender and found himself staring straight into large, brown eyes. "Oh… sorry, I thought you were someone…"
He trailed off when he noticed that the person who had been poking him wasn't paying any attention to his words and was just staring bewildered.
"Y-y-you…" The person, a girl Naruto noticed, started. She was about fifteen and was wearing a white summer dress and had on a wide stray hat to shade her eyes from the sun.
"Sorry, like I said." He reached his hind legs up and scratched behind his ear. He realized at this point that he either was in his coyote form or that he had developed some insane triple jointed legs in his sleep.
He took stock of himself and found a lot of fur and four legs. Yep, looked like the first option.
"Y-you're a talking dog…"
"Actually it's coyote, but yea I noticed."
"But…h- how?" The girl squeaked.
"Well, I'm not always a coyote ya know," he casually shifted into his regular form and was about to look around if not for the girl infront of him freaked out a little.
She had jumped and moved away, holding her arms up in a defensive position at first. Naruto looked at her while scratching the back of his head.
"I don't bite," Naruto wasn't sure if that was a pun or not, but it was an ice breaker none-the-less.
The girl seemed a little less freaked out and was slowly lowering her arms, Naruto took this time to glance around at his surrounding, nodding as the facts checked out with his memories from last night. One thing was missing though…
"…Te'telo…" He mumbled. He turned to the girl. "You don't happen to be Te'telo, right?"
She shook her head nervously, keeping her eyes wide and on him.
"I d-did find this though." She held up her hand, she was holding a note.
Naruto stepped forward, the girl stretching out her arm as far as possible so that she may stay as far away from the dog-turned-boy as possible. Naruto took it and groaned the moment he glanced at it.
Te'telo had many talents, writing wasn't one of them. Instead of using normal writing, or even the coyote's standard form of written communication, he used an exquisite form of "cuneiform". He basically drew crappy figures in a line to get his meaning across. Naruto had gotten use to deciphering these mangled images. The bottom was signed with a black ink paw mark and Naruto briefly wondered where exactly he had gotten ink.
The images were, in order, a bee, someone turned around, a hand holding up two fingers and a crescent moon with a few stars around it.
"'Be back tonight'," was the message from what he could gather. He frowned. "Where the heck did he get off to?" Naruto didn't try to control Te'telo, he doubt he could if he was that way, but he liked to keep tabs on him as Te'telo had a way of starting or attracting trouble.
Naruto blinked and turned to the girl in the simple summer dress.
"Oh, my buddy." Naruto shrugged. "We were just crashing here…"
Speaking of here, Naruto looked around at the garden him and Te'telo had found the night before to crash in. It was very pretty in the day, Naruto had always wanted to garden a little or keep a few plants but he couldn't find the time to actually learn anything about it. Still, that didn't mean he couldn't enjoy other's gardens and this garden took the cake as one of the most interesting he had found.
Okafu wasn't as large as Konoha, but where Konoha simple spread itself out, encompassing more and more room, Okafu had to shoot upwards as it was centered on a lake. It wasn't as tall as some of the other cities Naruto and Te'telo had passed over in their journey, many of which were built on the side of a cliff or mountain or were so massive that they might as well have been mountains, but it still held an interesting feel. It made it feel more homey, more personal than those massive skyscrapers.
Several bridges spanned across to the east and south-east which was the closest to land, while the west was nothing but the main portion of the massive lake and it would have been pointless to try and build a bridge that way. Where the bridges were connected to the land, small neighborhoods had sprung up, outskirt regions to the main brilliance of Okafu.
Overall Okafu was one of the cooler towns Naruto had ever visited and while it was no Konoha, it would be great for a vacation.
Naruto decided he liked it, especially with all the rooftop gardens he saw as he flew in. He would have visited one if he hadn't started gorging himself on ramen the moment they arrive last evening. Still, the decided to sleep in one of these gardens that night and it was slightly chilly so coyote form was a given.
Naruto snapped out of his thoughts and found the girl looking at him.
"Sir?" He questioned the strange name.
"I was j-…just wondering how you turned into a dog!" She said the last bit extremely fast and was overcame by a massive blush of embarrassment.
Naruto stood and realized something. He had never actually came up with an excuse to tell people why he could transform. He could of course right out and tell them, but then they would know his secret.
'Then again…' Naruto looked around at the surrounding buildings. 'This isn't Konoha, so does it matter?'
Naruto immediately decided that, no it didn't. He wasn't in Konoha, so who cares if they know someone is running around in the city with the Coyote Contract? They would never suspect him, especially if he just changed his looks.
'This could become fun.' He grinned excitedly before answering. "Well, it's cause I'm an awesome ninja and a super summoner!"
The girl seemed immediately elated. Citizens had become used to the very strange abilities of ninjas, and another one they hadn't seen before was understandable. If some extremely strange occurrence couldn't be explained it was very simple to call "ninja" and everything seemed to suddenly make sense. Ninjas were a universal excuse to civilians it seemed.
Missing shirt? Ninjas! Bad hair day? Ninjas! Immaculate conception? Darn ninjas! A strange odor that smells suspiciously like a dead corpse? God damn ninjas!
She conveniently didn't notice that he wasn't wearing a headband or that he was extremely young.
"Hey, do you know who has the best ramen at this festival?" Naruto questioned.
The girl thought for a moment before remembering something.
"Oh yea, there was a guy that won last year! His name was…" She thought for a moment before he eyes lit up. "Ganjou!"
"It should sound familiar, he's from the famous noble chefs from the Ganjou clan ." She nodded in a matter-of-factly manner.
Naruto decided not to mention that he had no idea who the nobility in the area were or that he didn't particularly care about them anyways. But still, if his was the best.
"Ok, I'll check his stuff out." He winked at her before running towards the edge with a grin. He always loved this part.
"W-wait! What's…" Naruto didn't hear her calling out as he plunged off the ledge. Her face froze up in fright as she swung her head down, thinking she'll see his dead body on the ground below.
She then recalled him being a ninja and looked around for him, but found no trace of him or a dog. All that was around was the mid-morning routines of most people and a few birds zooming around.
She decided to finish her question anyways, "What your name?"
Yuu was a simple man. He liked relaxing, playing cards, and maybe even chasing a little tail. He was an everyday average man really, even though he was a ninja. Even then, as a ninja, he was simple. What worked, worked. What didn't, he didn't use. Whatever needs to be done, needs to be done. Simple and clean were the rules of his games.
This made Yuu one of the better of Kumogakure's Jounin but he stilled preferred relaxation.
As such he rather liked vacations. He hadn't had one in a while, since taking his team but he wasn't going to complain. He had one now and he was going to enjoy it… if not for one little problem.
"Another word and I will detach your scrotum boy."
His team was kind of fun, he could admit it. He never thought of a genin team as "Fun" before but it was definitely entertaining and kept him busy. He also didn't have to risk his neck too much and it left him with a sense of accomplishment.
"I can't help how beautiful you are my darling Naomi, it's so entrancing."
Still, he had ran on the assumption that ninjas only got really quirky later on when they had gone through a lot of tough missions and seen a lot of things. Coping mechanisms and all that… but wow. His team came with it's own bag of tricks which included one hopeless romantic boy, one "no-nonsense or someone dies" girl and another girl who was a bit too much of a yaoi fangirl for his piece of mind.
"That's it, I've had enough of your pointless advances." That was the first girl, Naomi, showing her love for her male teammate in the way she knew best. Through violence.
She never picked up on the fact that Ryota, the only male genin on the team, was mostly likely a masochist from the way he never complained when she was attacking him.
Still, it would not do to make a scene at the festival they were attending for much needed "stress relief from the daily hardships of ninja life". That was the way the official documents for the little trip were worded.
"Sit back down Naomi, I'll get you and Ryo a room later and give you guys enough alone time so you can beat him down in there to your heart's content." He said, gesturing to one of the many stools at the ramen stand they were sitting at. Similar stands were lined up all around, serving their wares.
Naomi started nodding before realizing that there was a sly trick slipped in there.
"Nice one sensei!" This brought the fourth member of their team from her little fairly tail land that lay inside of various yaoi manga and mags she carried around… everywhere. The girls name was Kaede and she had the wonderful ability to make Yuu and Ryota creeped straight the hell out by just looking at them with a dreamy face.
They have never asked what she imagines, and hopefully she'll never decide to share.
Yuu did his best to look as innocent as possible while eating his bowl of ramen. Naomi starred him down with narrowed eyes and a look that promised misfortune.
"We shouldn't even be here sensei, we should train if we wish to take the Chuunin Exams this year," Naomi finally let them see the main pillar of her frustration.
"Now, now Yuu. All work and no play makes ninjas into freaking psychopaths." He said with a grin.
Naomi fumed while Ryota began making a comment about how cute her pout was. Luckily he was interrupted, as Yuu doubted Naomi would spare him this time.
Yuu stiffened, feeling minuet traces of killer intent radiating from someone that was no his student. He quickly turned his head.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!?" This got the three genin's attention, as well as everyone else in the area, and they all swung around to look at the stall beside the one they were sitting at.
The stand was one of the more decorated ones and it's appearance alone told you that you would be spending a lot of money. A young, redheaded boy was currently standing in his stool, one leg ontop of the counter and he was shaking one of his hands in a fist at the chef while the other pointed to the ramen bowl that no more than two or three bites could have been taken from.
"You little ingrate," the wide chef with a thin handlebar mustache started. His voice oozed pompous. "That is one of the greatest tasting ramen dishes in the world."
The man might have just slapped the boy in the face.
"You're out of your mind! This tastes like crap!"
The boy might have just slapped the man in the face.
"Insolent child, I'll have you know that the Ganjou Ramen Recipe is one of the tastiest dishes in our collection. It's fine cuisine."
"I don't know what the hell cuisine means, but it might as well mean crap and fine crap is still crap!"
"Stop your senseless blubbering, you already paid for the dish you don't have to eat it if it's too sophisticated for your barbaric taste buds."
The crowd, the ninja team included, had been looking on with captivated crowd interest. Their heads moved between the two as they spoke.
"You can take your crappy ramen back and give me my money."
The chef grew red…red…red…red. He looked ready to explode.
"This ramen is made with the most expensive ingredients in the Elemental Countries! It's a dish of the gods and your asking for your money back? You little fiend! Get away from me and my humble establishment!"
"As soon as you give me my money back."
The chef had grabbed a frying pan, finally popping. He swung the frying pan at the boy, causing Yuu to immediately jump from his seat. He was about to stop the offending hand when the boy did that himself.
Yuu blinked for a moment.
'Is this kid a…'
The boy let out a vicious snarl, grabbing the man by the scruff of his chef's jacket and tossing him straight over the counter into the middle of the lane where they stalls were lined up.
The boy stalked forwards. He reached into the man's pockets and pulled out his wallet. He riffled through it for a moment before pulling out what could be assumed was the exact price of his dish and throwing the wallet ontop the man sprawled on the ground.
"You can keep the ramen, consider it a present," he said with a sneer before he started mumbling about "tainted ramen" and "horrible chefs" and walking away.
The boy didn't notice Yuu's transfixed face on his arm, where for the briefest moment, which was long enough for most ninjas, a decent portion of a strange summoning tattoo was shown.
He turned to the team, silently motioning for them to follow.
"Why are we following this boy?"
"Well…" Yuu trailed off staring intently at the boy walking from ramen vendor to ramen vendor trying their different styles and tastes. They had been watching him for several minutes by now. "I doubt any of you noticed back there or even since we've been watching him but there's something very interesting about him."
"Sensei! You shotacon you!" yelled Kaede. "Why didn't you tell me!?"
It's hard to describe the amount of embarrassment/disgust Yuu felt at this moment. Ryota slowly edged away from his sensei with wide eyes and tried to lay his head on Naomi's shoulder. The boy had priorities.
"Kaede…" The girl was still smiling as Yuu spoke. "I'm taking away all your dirty mags for the rest of the trip for that."
"Oh sensei, if you wanna barrow them you can. I love to share."
"Damnit Kaede, after this I'm burning the whole lot of them with a lightning bolt."
Victory signs had materialized into Ryota's hands and he was vigorously waving them as Kaede's face fell.
"Now, back to business…" Yuu ran his hands through his hair. "That kid has a summoning tattoo."
There were three different versions of confused exclamation after that from his three students.
"You mean like…?" Ryota began, looking at his sensei.
"Yes, but what I want to know is how a 9 year old got them cause I highly doubt he's from Kumo. People don't just give kids summoning contracts, they couldn't even handle summoning a relatively small summon for a few minutes."
"Soo… a reconnaissance assignment?" Naomi's eyes shown with renewed vigor. This was a mission now, not some silly vacation. They could actually learn something useful. She immediately jumped into possible explanations. "Maybe it's just a minor messenger bird contract, he could be a local post master's son."
"I highly doubt that, they don't give out markings to those people. Only grand summoners get the distinctive arm tattoos and even then, I've never seen a design like his. It's far more tribal than any others I've seen," Yuu answered. "No, this is something much more different."
All three genin turned suddenly serious, paying full attention to their sensei. They had been on a few C-Ranks by now and had discovered that when their teacher started talking like he was now, that it was time to put on your A-game.
They scattered as only ninja can.
"Hmmm? What are you doing?"
"Go away, I'm researching."
"I'm just wondering what your… oh fuck yes."
"Just shut up and enjoy it then."
The four ninja moved silently as they possibly good, tailing their target. It was still close to the middle of the day still so they had to work with the shadows they were given. Luckily Okafu gave them plenty of material due to the size of the buildings.
They had been watching the kid for the better part of two hours before it seemed that he was finally ready to call it a day and had wondered off into the city proper.
So far they had learned two things
1) The kid liked ramen a lot.
2) He could shovel an ungodly amount of it into himself.
How he stayed so skinny eluded them Genin team but Yuu on the other hand knew several people who could burn extra body fat, carbs, and food to build up or restore chakra. That seemed a little insane though, as all those techniques were rather advanced and the easiest one was from Konoha but the boy wasn't the right body type for those.
Then again, he did have a summoning contract at age nine so he might potentially be some insane prodigy. That could be a problem.
One thing bothered him though. They had, so far, not seen him actually talk to anyone who could be labeled as his care taker or parents. Why was this kid traveling alone? It's one thing to let a young boy wander around without supervision and it's an entire other something to let a kid with a potentially powerful summoning contract just walk around. Either the kid was sneaking away or he was…
No. He just had the thought 'Maybe he was raised by summons' but no. That seems like an idiotic plot device for some inane story by an author with no talent. Basically, it was stupid.
Yuu lightly pressed the back of his hands where a small seal lay, sending the smallest of shocks to his entire team. It was an old KUMO ANBU trick used to get a rookies attention. It was basically undetectable. His entire, slightly upset team turned to him from their positions and he motioned for them to converge on him.
When they all grew close he looked at each in turn.
"I just wanted to make this clear, he's potentially dangerous. Do not engage him under any circumstances unless I am there."
"But sensei, he's just a little kid…" Kaede stated with a little disbelief.
He turned a stern eye to her.
"Kaede, there are people in this world who are younger than you but stronger than me. Don't underestimate someone by their age, their appearance or even their rank. A cocky Jounin can lose to a Chuunin."
They all became a little stoney-faced and nodded.
Yuu looked somewhat proud at his students before turn to look up at the direction the kid was walking. His eyes widened as he saw the redhead had turned down a back alley.
"Come on, he's getting away."
They all four sprinted across the rooftops, skidding to a halt at the gap that signaled the alley the boy had turned into. It was…
'But how, he was walking he shouldn't have… unless he's running and in that case…'
He rounded on his students. "All of you, stand down and stay here for now. He's onto us and he's made a dash for it. I'll pursue him by myself but I won't engage. Understood?"
Naomi grimly nodded but the other two didn't react so well.
"Come on sensei, don't leave us behind!" Ryota exclaimed.
"I can move faster by myself and him detecting us proves he's got some amount of skill and he could be dangerous for you to get mixed up with."
Begrudged, they nodded. It was logical but it still didn't make it feel right.
"I'll return soon." He flickered from sight.
"This is so unfair," was Kaede's statement.
"No, it's the right choice. It's our duty to inspect potentially useful or vital information, for Kumo. We would also slow him down and might hinder him if he has to fight this person," was Naomi's verbal riposte.
"What? You think that kids a spy?" Ryota questioned, using it as an excuse to slide a little closer to Naomi but was stopped when her leg came up and kicked him in the shin.
She still answered the valid question.
"Perhaps, it would be a good cover. An innocent but loud street rat, the only thing is that the tattoo is so obvious."
"Nah…" They all seized up. "Who would make me of all people a spy?"
They all, agonizingly slow turned to find the redheaded boy sitting behind them ontop of the building.
He was grinning like a fox in the chicken coop.
To Naruto, there were two types of pranks. Indirect and direct. Indirect were the standard wham-bam-thankyou-ma'm kind. He sets a small trap for the target that would either embarrass them greatly or mess them up in some way shape or form. He didn't like to get too physical, as he didn't want to leave long lasting damage. Just teach them a little lesson. Naruto preferred these but because he did them so much it made the other kind so much sweeter when he partook in them.
Direct pranks were ones that directly involved him messing with someone, whether it be through verbal things or maybe even physically leading them into situations where they might stumble into a little misfortune.
Naruto hadn't done much of these before he really started getting the hang of transformations, as nothing was funner than to do these as an entirely different person.
Naruto could smell the trio infront of him sweating and he had heard them talking. People should really pay more attention to birds.
They thought he was dangerous and possibly even a spy. He had told them he wasn't, but they had no reason to believe him so it's understandable if they didn't
"You're not?" the male third of the trio questioned.
Ok, maybe they did believe him.
"He could have been lying Ryota."
"Oh thank you for making me understand my dear Naomi."
"Shut up Ryota."
Naruto quirked an eyebrow. This was getting a little strange.
"If you're not a spy, then what are you then?" The other girl asked. She obviously didn't totally believe him, but word games were fun. He did things like this enough with Te'telo and some of the other summons so he wasn't precisely a novice.
"Oh, I'm a lot of things." But sometimes, nothing was more absurd and unbelievable than telling the truth. "I'm the container of an ancient being of immense power that could level this entire city with a swing of one of its mighty tails."
He loved dramatics and by spicing it up a little by overacting it made it totally more believably unbelievable.
"Like Yugito and Bee…" the boy said with astonishment that mirrored the two girls. "You contain a demon!"
Ok, unexpected. He could admit. He didn't consider what would happen if they believed him. Staying quick on your feet was required though with Naruto's lifestyle though.
"You actually believed that?"
Cue massive group blushing. Ahhh, there it was. Naruto was the maestro of messing, the lord of lying and the…
He couldn't come up with any more, but he was plenty of things like that.
He grinned to himself, unnoticing of the blue cage until it already half way surrounded him. Even then, he didn't move.
He just observed it. The cage, which it was shaped like a cage with bars and everything, was made out of what had to be electricity.
"Raiton: Encompassing Cage," The boy muttered as a bead of sweat rolled down his face. His arm was placed on the ground, a blue streak streaming across the ground off of it and connecting to the cage that surrounded Naruto.
He observed the thing in wonderment as he silently mouthed 'Cool'.
"Good work, Ryota."
"Anything for you my dear Naomi."
"I'll cut you afterwords, just keep the jutsu up."
"Oh, so forward!" Naomi sighed.
"Umm, question." Naruto raised his hand like the school child that he actually was, but they didn't know that. "Couldn't I just throw a kunai or something at him to stop the jutsu."
"Yea, if you wanna get fried." The girl who he hadn't learned the name of yet said. "Unless Ryota manually dispels the cage himself, it slowly shrinks when it's not being fueled. It will close in and shock you to death or unconsciousness."
"Whoa…" Naruto looked at the jutsu with new respect. "That is awesome."
Ryota felt slightly embarrassed by being praised by an enemy, one that could potentially kill them all.
"What's your name?" Naruto asked of the still unnamed girl, which caused her to point to herself. This prompted him to nod.
"Cool, nice to meet ya Kaede." He grinned and it has a tint of mischief in it. "I'm just wondering what would happen if I did something like…"
He stood abruptly and took a step, as if to run, towards the edge of the cage. He pushed off, jumping up, nearly touching the bars.
They expected a sizzle or something, but none of that occurred. Instead they were treated to the strange sight of a flying snake.
"What the…" was Ryota's statement that summed up the groups thoughts rather nicely.
The snake had soared through the air until it was directly blotted out by the sun behind it. None of them realized until it was too late that the snake was falling right towards Kaede.
Before Kaede could react the snake had wrapped itself around her right arm and around her neck twice. The head was now bobbing beside hers, grinning at the other two genin.
"I bet you didn't expect that."
If that was a real bet, Naruto would have won.
A kunai twirled into Naomi's hand as her eyes narrowed, she apparently decided to ignore her utter bewilderment until later.
"Let her go, or I'll chop you off her." It was a promise.
"Now, now." A hood extended off of Naruto's snake form and he barred his fangs, dripping with toxin. "I wouldn't try that if I were you."
The hood receded and Naruto closed his mouth.
"So, tell me Kaede…" He grinned in the very edge of her vision. It should be noted it's very bizarre to see a snake grin."You like snakes?"
"How did you do that?" the girl mumbled under the snakey Naruto's gaze.
"Do what? Use the little cobra thingies?" Naruto deployed them out and in, over and over again for a second. "Like that."
"No… I mean the…" Her arms were stretched out to both sides, preventing her from being able to reach him and try and wrench him off quickly enough. "Changing into a snake…"
All eyes turned to Ryota who was looking a bit more nervous than the situation called for, as if something else was…
"You've got the snake contract don't you?"
All three genin suddenly got very frightened for reasons Naruto didn't know.
"Maybe." The snake then shrugged, which should be physically impossible really. Still, Naruto shrugged as a snake.
"So you do have the snake contract." Naomi said.
"No, I said maybe. You do know what maybe means?"
They all stood there in silence.
"Ok, you guys are getting boring now." Naruto said after a minute of intense one-sided staring, lazily looking around. "Sooo… I'm gonna bail before your Jounin sensei decides to come back like you've been waiting for."
Kaede suddenly felt the weight lift off her shoulder and she turned around, throwing a hail of senbon at the boy/snake/whatever.
"Whoa, not even close," a bird on the roof of the building on the opposite side of the street called. The senbon had soared right over his head.
"A snake… and a bird?" She questioned with confusion.
Her teammates stepped on either side of her, both already going through hand seals. They completed at the same time, both letting loose a lightning bolt from their hands towards the bird.
"Whoa!" The animal had slowly rolled to the side, taking human form and patting on his jacket that had a small fire on it. Naruto turned to them with a growl, but already found them leaping across the gap towards him. "Uh oh."
Naruto, as a crow again, tore out towards the edge of the city. A bolt of lightning surged towards him but he dipped down to avoid it. Bolt after bolt flew towards him, making him twist and dive around. He dipped down into an alley after getting tired of the game but they had ran across the walls much to his amazement. Was this a Kumo trick or something? He'd have to ask someone about it later. He saw the light at the end of the alley though that was accompanied by the lake's waters.
"Ah ha! Success!" He sped up to reach it before the crazy genin caught him.
He had just exited out and was diving towards the water when he felt something latch on.
His eyes widened comically as he was pulled backwards by his leg. He turned his head and found the Naomi girl grabbing his talon, she was using her weight to bring him down to the ground.
Naruto grinned as he transformed into a coyote, his talon-now-paw still being held. He increased the size of his form, thusly increasing his weight. He used this extra leverage to spin them mid air to the point where the girl could no longer hold on and they were both sent flying apart. Naruto was sailing straight towards the water with a grin. He didn't bother looking back as a turtle shell formed on him and he took the slowest but one of the more tougher forms he had gotten down.
The team watched the turtle skip across the lake like a stone would over a pond before he popped up one last time and took the form of a fish and plopped straight down into the water.
The entire team was breathing deeply, staring where their quarry had disappeared.
"We could…" Ryota started but had to take in a breath. He had used the most chakra. "Shock the lake."
"Yea, but that would kill him and a lot of other things too."
"Damn…" the boy muttered.
Where Okafu connected to the water, instead of a beach or something else like that, there was a very small cliff of jagged rocks that held off the waves that threatened to wash up into the city. Naruto found out that scaling up of these embankments was very annoying. The best animal he had for climbing was a monkey that that was nothing more than food for the things that lived in the Forest of Death and pets for anyone who liked cute and furry things. Still, there were a lot of slippery rocks.
When Naruto had finally reached the top he was overjoyed to find some grass to throw himself down on and did as such very happily. He rolled around in it for a few moments to get the water out of his fur when he realized he could just change into a human and it would basically fall off.
After a moment of this, he closed his eyes. He was playing back the previous events. The bad ramen chef, the good ramen that came later, the realization that he was being followed, the baiting and the confrontation. Then of course then came the great escape. Overall very fun.
Though there was something a little peculiar though…
"Who's Yugito and Bee?" He pondered out loud. They had said that they were like him… so.
That meant that there were other demon containers and that atleast two were in Kumo. Naruto should be a little shocked by there being other containers but he knew there were other tailed demons because of the little factoid that the Kyuubi was the bitchiest. So other demons, that had to mean other containers but he had never made the connection till now.
It was a relief in a sense. He liked being unique, but he wasn't precisely alone in that category anymore which was nice.
He breathed out, feeling hot for some reason, and taking off his shirt. The sun had started descending some time ago but it was something else. The air itself felt very hot. The only thing located to his side was a tall wooden fence, but it seemed to be the source of the heat.
It was worth investigating, so he left his shirt laying in the grass and walked towards the fence. He would later regret this.
He hopped up onto the fence and for a split second got to look over it and found a pool full of naked women. The next half a second consisted of the board of the fence he was on tipping over and him falling face first into the spring and hitting his hand on the hard stone bottom.
"Holy crap was that a kid?"
"Oh shit, Naruto."
"Naruto? Whose named Naruto?"
"That kid that just fell in, he's a friend of mine."
Jiraiya's eyes widened as various half-naked women reacted to the blonde boy falling into the pool.
"Oh my it's just a little boy."
Naruto groaned, trying but failing at reaching the side of his head to cradle it.
"Yea, and we thought it was a pervert."
"Luckily none of those are around."
Naruto groggily recognized that there were several women talking around him.
"Who would put so many seals on such a cute little boy? It ruins him."
"I wouldn't say that, in a few years they will probably compliment his face. He'll look so bestial and exotic. What do they do anyways?"
A round of collective sighs prompted Naruto to half open his left eye. The sun was shining directly into it but the sides were blocked off by several blacked out figures.
"Once a summoning tattoo and the other is too obscure for me to tell." A voice intoned in monotone.
To this Naruto's eyes snapped open, he semi-unconsciously used chakra to help him get over the head wound. He would have reacted further if not for…
"I think we are freaking him out a little bit…"
"Well we are all pretty much naked."
Naruto's eyes sewed themselves shut.
"I'm not looking, I swear. I'm not a pervert…"
"We never said you were darlin'."
"Go get that book of bizarre seals from your bag Yugito."
Naruto's eyes ripped themselves open and he rounded on the only moving figure, a young blonde haired girl that was older than him but not too much. A large seal was present on her shoulder.
"You're a jinchuruki too?!" he said pointing his finger at the girl.
Every woman slowly realized the implication of what exactly he had just said. This is around the time Naruto noticed that many of them had ANBU tattoos and several were wearing headbands in various places. All of them were from Kumogakure and the ANBU tattoos were the ones from there as well from what he could remember from that day in class.
"…" Naruto was sitting in the middle of a group of half-naked enemy kunoichi.
AN: Well ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. It's there for the world to see and I don't feel the need to elaborate on anything.