Naruto closed his eyes and started concentrating again. He didn't really get it, but he knew that he had to keep all his chakra in balance. Physical, spiritual, natural . . . It was kind of a pain, but he had to prove that he could do any training that Jiraiya had been able to do . . .

But as he tried, he felt it quickly slipping away from him. "Aw, man!" he half-said/half-croaked as big frog lips spread over his face, and his hands started expanding into warty appendages. Before it got too far though, he felt a sharp pain at his butt, and he reverted back. Fukusaku's staff had knocked him out of the transformation again.

"Yow!" Naruto yelped, and rubbed his backside. "Hey, hey, what'd you hit me there for, gramps?"

"Are you kidding?" the old toad replied. "If I kept whacking you on the head, you'd have a concussion before we were done. Better to hit someplace with more padding." He chuckled.

Naruto rubbed his butt some more, and looked at the toad suspiciously. "Is that really why . . . ?"

"Hey, get back to your training already. We ain't got all day, and you're in a hurry to learn these sage techniques, right?"

"Hmph! Okay, okay!" Naruto said. He brought hands together again in the practiced seals and tried to align all his chakra. He failed just like last time, however, and before he knew it there was another searing bite against his rump. "Ow!" he cried. "Hey, stop doing hitting me so hard!"

"I gotta get a good swing, or it doesn't work. Which would you rather get--a whack to yer rear, or a lifetime as a toad?"

"Well . . . " Naruto scratched his cheek and surveyed the many toad statues around them--all the people who'd failed this training and gotten trapped in amphibian bodies. He considered the rest of life spent being nicknamed 'Narutoad' by everybody, and grimaced. "The whack, I guess . . . No offense."

"None taken," chuckled the bearded toad. "Now that that's settled, why don't you try again, huh?"

"Yeah . . . " Naruto said. About thirty seconds later, he felt the now-familiar burning sensation of Fukusaku whacking him in the ass with the thick staff. "Youch!" Naruto grabbed his butt and rubbed furiously. "C'mon, that really hurts!"

"What's the problem, eh? You're whining worse than Jiraiya-chan ever did!"

Naruto blinked. "You mean, you used to . . . spank Ero-sennin like this, when you trained him?"

The toad chuckled. "It's the only way to train hard-headed guys like you and him. A couple smacks on the butt teaches you a lot more than a long boring lecture, am I right?"

"I guess that's true . . . " Naruto conceded. "Funny, Ero-sennin never mentioned this kind of training back when I was with him . . . " Now Naruto knew where Jiraiya had picked up the habit of giving him a swat when he messed up summoning jutsus, though.

"Heh, that guy wouldn't. He was always pretty embarrassed about it . . . " the toad said. "Speaking of which, Naruto-chan, why don't you take off your pants for the rest of the lesson?"

"Eh!? M--my pants?" Naruto was already shirtless from the hot, sweaty training. Now the toad wanted him in his underwear?

"I'm an old man, and it's hard for me to get a good swing with this thing." He brandished the staff. "It'd be easier for me to shift you back to a human if your clothes aren't in the way."

"Yeah, but without my pants, your whacks are going to hurt a lot worse . . . " Naruto muttered. But he did as the toad said, and stripped down to his underwear. He folded the pants messily, and then stood back in his place wearing just an old pair of boxers. He glanced at the old toad worriedly, before trying again. Somehow, training was a lot harder knowing that a saidistic amphibian was waiting to spank you if you messed up.

This time, he'd barely started chakra molding before he felt the Thwack! of the staff whipping against his backside. "YOW!" Naruto hollered. He'd been right--it did hurt worse without pants. "Hey! You didn't even give me a chance that time!"

"Heh, sorry." Fukasaku rubbed the back of his head. "Practice swing. That one won't count."

Naruto glared at the toad, rubbed his ass, and muttered something unintelligible. Now he definitely knew where Jiraiya had picked up some of his more perverted tendencies.