Beginning the Revelation
Disclaimer: Don't own Naruto...
I wasn't going to update this soon, but since there are some questions, and people are itching to see a fight I decided chapter two would come out a bit faster. I did a pretty quick proofread on this one, so if you see any major mistakes let me know please. On to the show...
* * * * * *
Naruto awoke well before his alarm, excited as today marked his first real day as a ninja. Finally he would have a sensei that would teach him how to further his skills. Getting out of bed he switched off his alarm so it wouldn't ring after he left. He may have no one that would willingly live near him, but that didn't mean he wanted to chance 'waking' someone up. All it would take would be for someone to pass his door and hear the alarm going off to claim he was disturbing the peace and earn him more abuse.
Grabbing his gear that he would use for the day he took a quick shower before dressing in his new equipment and heading to his kitchen for a bowl of cereal. Once that was finished he grabbed his ninja-to, slipped out of his apartment locking the door behind him and jogged off towards his hideaway. He hadn't planned on getting up so early, but he wasn't about to squander the extra time he now had. Slipping into the tunnel that lead to his lair he was soon staring at the all too familiar racks. Crossing his fingers he created a few Kage Bunshin and instructed them on what scrolls or books he wanted them to go over, or in a couple clones' cases, what weapons to train with. After all muscle memory was a mental task so it should figure in that he could improve his accuracy and reaction time with this method as well. The only things they couldn't give him was physical enhancements and directly increasing his chakra capacity, but control, accuracy, knowledge and reaction should all be well within his grasp.
Nodding his approval he made his way back out into the streets of the village which by now were slowly filling. The glares wouldn't keep him from his destination today though, but he did notice with the glares that he was getting some other looks as well. If his attire was different enough to cause the villagers to pause in their glaring, he could only imagine what it will do to his classmates. As he walked he went over all the people in his class that graduated. One by one he named them off in his head and weighed their strengths and weaknesses. It wasn't until he was almost done that he realized there would be an odd man out. With this realization came some worry that someone would be made to wait for an opening, and that the odd man out would be him. He didn't know who made up the teams, but he couldn't shake the foreboding feeling that the someone who did was going to try to screw up his future. Well there was no point in worrying about something he couldn't change, so instead he opted to head to the academy even though it was still a bit early. With any luck someone would be there to greet him or at least stave off his boredom while they waited.
• • •
In the Hokage office, Sarutobi was considering his gathered jonin sensei. Well all but one, as Kakashi still hadn't shown his face yet, as usual. Sarutobi knew better then to wait, he knew where the man was, but couldn't understand his need to mourn his fallen friends and sensei so much. Honestly, it had been more then a few years, he should move on. Well he would address that once again when the man showed his masked face later. Meanwhile he would let the gathered jonin know their new assignments. "Now you all know why you are here, it is time for the genin team assignments. Some of you have had teams before, others have not. I will leave it to you to train these genin as a show of my trust in your abilities. Try your best to make them into true Konoha ninja." A chorus of 'Hai!' resounded through the room from all jonin present. "For those of you that have already looked at the graduating class, you may have already made your assumptions about the teams, I will tell you now that we had a late graduate and the numbers were thrown off a bit. My prior arrangements however are staying mostly the same."
"Team one will be..." Sarutobi continued to name off the teams as their sensei wrote down the names given so they could familiarize themselves with who they were going to teach. "...Team seven, Hatake Kakashi, Haruno Sakura, Uchiha Sasuke, Inuzuka Kiba. Team eight, Yuhi Kurenai, Hyūga Hinata, Aburame Shino, Mogami Harume. Team nine is still full. Team ten Sarutobi Asuma, Nara Shikamaru, Yamanaka Ino, Akimichi Chōji. Team eleven Uzumaki Naruto..." All of the jonin looked at the Hokage shocked.
"Ne, Hokage-sama, isn't Uzumaki still a genin?"
"Yes, Kurenai he is."
"Then how can you make him a sensei?"
"What makes you think I made him a sensei?"
Kurenai studied the man trying to think of how he wouldn't be considered a sensei. Following the pattern for every other team, by naming Naruto first, that was declaring him a sensei. "Hokage-sama I assumed that since you named him first..."
"You should know better by now then to assume. If we lived off assumptions we would have all been dead a long time ago. In a sense, yes, he is a sensei, but not of a team. Had you allowed me to finish you would understand. I have discussed this with the boy's teacher Umino Iruka and my advisers. Since our numbers are off by one we have decided that Naruto will be a team unto himself. Therefore he will be both sensei and student in a one man cell. He will be allowed missions that I deem he is capable of, and be allowed to join in on missions that may need just a little extra assistance, but not a full team for backup." At first the jonin were shocked, but once the information got digested they could see the benefits of such an arrangement, though opinions of just what that usefulness entailed differed a bit between all those gathered.
"Now you know your teams, be ready to pick them up around noon today so you may get to know them, and if you have time, test them. Dismissed." The gathering soon dispersed until the door closed signaling the final person leaving. "Kakashi you can come in now."
A shadow shot through the window and landed nonchalantly in front of the desk. "Sorry I didn't want to interrupt the meeting with my late arrival."
"Cut the chit chat Kakashi. I know your teammates and sensei meant a lot to you, but it's time to move on. I want you to start being on time for meetings, especially with this year's team. You have the last Uchiha and I expect you to train him and help him if he develops his sharingan. Do not neglect your other students though. After all a team is nothing without all of it's members." Sarutobi locked his eyes on the gray haired man in front of him.
"Hai Hokage-sama, but what about Uzumaki? Your speech doesn't seem to fit all situations." Kakashi grinned at catching the Hokage's slip. At least until the older man laughed.
"You misinterpreted my meaning Kakashi. As I said a team is nothing without it's members. Since Naruto can create all the members he wants on the fly he carries his team everywhere he goes. Had you been here on time you also would have found out my plans on how to handle this, but since you chose to wait until the last minute and apparently only listen to part of the explanation, you'll just have to find that out yourself. You have team seven. Be at the school at noon, and don't be late."
• • •
When Naruto first walked into the classroom he was initially surprised to see that most of the class was already there. 'Heh, they must have been as excited as me to be assigned to a team. Ah good, Hinata is here already. That makes things a bit easier. Plenty of time for us to get acquainted, or at least for her to recover from fainting.' Walking across the room towards the girl he was stopped halfway by a hand grabbing his wrist. Looking down he found himself staring into the slitted eyes of an Inuzuka...Kiba.
"What the hell are you doing here loser. This is only for people that graduated, not failures like you." Kiba barred his fangs as a low growl escaped his mouth.
"Check the forehead moron, I did graduate. Now I suggest you let go before you regret what you are starting." Naruto narrowed his eyes and released a little killing intent at the dog user, catching him off guard.
Recovering quickly Kiba already had a retort spilling from his mouth."Hah. Like a dobe like you could do anything to anyone from a clan like mine. I'd tell you to go crying home to you parents, but that would only work if you had some. They probably died by falling on their own kunai, assuming they were even ninja." Kiba was about to laugh until he felt a new wave of killing intent wash over him. This one much stronger then the last.
Naruto could stand many things. He handled beatings, he dealt with verbal abuse of himself, he let the raised prices that he had to pay for nearly everything in the village slide. The one thing he would not stand for though was people badmouthing his parents. Sure no one may know who they were, but that didn't mean he'd stand for someone belittling them. He had an image of his parents and how they would have lived. For someone to try to stomp that into the ground, that was something he would not let slide. Grabbing the boy's hand he jerked it free from his wrist before grabbing it and twisting, causing the boy to cry out in pain. "Listen well mutt. I may not know who my parents were, but neither does any one else here. Even so I will not let you sling words about so easily and thrash my image of them into the dirt. If you do so again you will be off mission duty before you can even start." With another small tug he caused Kiba to yelp in pain before letting go. Ignoring the glare that was boring into his back as he continued walking. He did notice a few of the looks he was getting, and from some of the blushes that a few of the girls were trying to push down he could tell his choice of attire was having a good effect.
On the other side of the room a lone Uchiha was seething at the look the blonde pulled off so well, and the reactions he was seeing. Attention was being pulled away from him, and that didn't sit well with the avenger. He was an Uchiha. The elite of the elite. How dare someone try to steal his spotlight. Standing he made his way over to the blond moron. "Stop dobe." Naruto kept walking now starting up the steps on the far side of the room towards his target. Not one to be ignored Sasuke rushed up behind the blonde and forcefully stopped him with a hand gripping his shoulder. "I told you to stop dobe. You will listen to me when I tell you to do something."
"Uchiha, I would suggest you remove your hand before it finds itself taking a vacation from the rest of your body." Sasuke, like Kiba, was taken aback for a moment by the sheer coldness in his voice before anger flooded his thoughts.
"How dare you threaten me. Have you forgotten who I am? I am the rookie of year in this class and as such along with being an Uchiha, you should respect me as I am your superior."
"Teme, the only thing you are superior to me in is your arrogance and ego. Now remove your hand or I will do it for you." Naruto grabbed a couple of Sasuke's fingers and began to bend them backwards slowly to drive his point home. By the wincing of Sasuke's eyes he could tell it was having the desired effect, until...
"Naruto-baka! Let Sasuke-kun alone!" Ah the dynamic duo enters the scene. The pink haired banshee and her blonde sidekick the class slut. "How dare you lay your filthy fingers on him. You don't deserve to lick the bottoms of his shoes!" Wow, even for Sakura that was a bit harsh. Sakura knew Naruto would be crushed by such an outburst. She knew it so well that when Naruto fixed his gaze on her she was caught so off guard that she didn't even realize that she was backing away along with Ino.
"Sakura-san, I would suggest you keep your voice down. Otherwise you will make your precious Sasuke-kun deaf along with half the village. Sasuke you really should keep your whores in line. Otherwise they might get hurt before you can revive your clan with little shrieking emos." The class wasn't sure whether to laugh, applaud or be angry. Sasuke being, the avenger he is, of course chose the later and forcefully turned Naruto around. Reacting faster then they all knew he could, Naruto drew his ninja-to and had it placed at Sasuke's neck before the boy knew the sword had even been unsheathed. "And you, teme, should sit back down like a good boy and brood like you normally do. The Uchiha will not make a comeback without anyone to fill a family dossier." Sasuke was at least smart enough to realize the danger he was in with a blade to his throat. Finally he released his hold on Naruto's shoulder. "Good boy. Now run along I have better things to do then play with you." Making a shooing motion as he turned around and sheathed his blade, Naruto continued up the stairs while Sasuke made his way back to his seat to resume his brooding while glaring at the blonde, or at least as much as he could with the two bimbo's arguing over him in his ear over what he would have done to the 'dobe' if he hadn't been caught off guard..
Naruto finally made it to his destination. To the girl whose eyes hadn't left him since he entered the room. He could see her blush after his confrontation with Kiba, and it seemed to have deepened after he most recent one with Sasuke and the bimbos. Taking the seat next to her he caught Kiba eying him from the front of the room with a scowl on his face. Shoving that to the back of his mind he again turned his focus to the girl next to him. "Hey Hinata-chan what's up?"
The girl let out a slight 'Eep' at his question. Her crush was actually sitting next to her and actually talking to her. She couldn't believe her luck lately. First, graduating from the academy and now the boy she dreamed about for so long was acknowledging her. "Na-Naruto-kun...I'm f-fine." She finally managed to get out. It sounded weak and pathetic to her, but he didn't seem to mind at all. In fact he was smiling at her a little different then he normally smiled at anything.
"That's good to hear. Hey I was wondering, later tonight after our team meetings, do you want to meet me for something to eat?" There it was, the telltale, slow rising, deep crimson blush that rose from her neck to her forehead before he had to catch her to keep her from falling to the floor as she fainted. He propped her up in her seat just in time to block a fist that was aimed for the side of his head. Without looking he addressed his assaulter. "What do you want now mutt?"
"You stay away from Hinata, she isn't yours!" The irate boy shouted.
"Really? Tell me how many times has she asked you out...none? Ok how many times has she agreed to go out with you when you asked her...nothing again huh? Well it would seem to me then that she doesn't belong to you either. Not that she would even if she did agree to go out with you." Naruto added a bit of pressure to the captured fist listening as bones popped slightly out of place. "Remember this well Inuzuka, because it could be invaluable later in your life. Women, no, people are not possessions. People are free and have free will. If I ever see you trying to force someone to do something, especially if that person is precious to me, I will be sending your remains to your clan in separate boxes. Do I make myself clear?" A few more bones popping and a little killing intent forced the Inuzuka to nod his head before Naruto released him, and like Sasuke, shooed him away.
Turning back to his charge he was pleased to see Hinata was coming around. "Welcome back Hinata-chan. Did you have a nice dream."
Hinata in her sleepy daze answered without realizing it. "Hai, I dreamed that Naruto-kun asked me to dinner. What a wonderful dream, but it stopped before I could accept." Slowly opening her eyes they got wider and wider as she realized what she had just said and who she had said it to. She was instantly red again and dangerously close to fainting. Head turned, fingers poking together and biting her lower lip, she hoped that her revelation wouldn't make him go away. She prayed that he would stay near, and hoped beyond hope that maybe, just maybe he would get a little closer.
"Heh, Hinata that wasn't a dream, but if that is your answer then I'll meet you at Ichiraku's around six ok?" Hinata's head snapped around as she stared wide eyed before nodding dumbly at the boy next to her expecting to wake up any minute.
Before she could respond though the door to the classroom opened and the remainder of the class walked in along with Iruka who walked behind his desk before looking over the gathered former students taking note of Naruto's development as displayed through his clothing. 'Huh he got rid of the orange, maybe he's finally taking this seriously.' "Ok everyone listen up. I am going to call out your teams and I would like you to sit according to them after I am finished. Team one..." Like the Hokage the day before Iruka went through the list naming off each group and noting the reactions. Sakura of course was thrilled to be on the same team as Sasuke though slightly disgruntled that Kiba would be there too. At least she could handle him better then Naruto. Hinata, Shino and Harume were mostly indifferent, though Hinata's head drooped a bit since Naruto wouldn't be on her team. Shikamaru was asleep and Chōji sat eating a bag of chips while Ino ranted about having to be on their team. Then he got to the last team, but despite what the Hokage told him he wanted to make sure the decision was ok with Naruto. "Uzumaki Naruto would you follow me for a moment."
Naruto was confused a bit but followed the chunin out the door, stopping only once to glare at Kiba when he heard the dog-boy call out to the rest of the class. "Hah. I knew he didn't really pass." Clenching his fists he stepped outside the door as Iruka pushed it shut.
"Naruto I'm not supposed to do this, but I think it is only fair. As you probably realized you are the odd man out. This doesn't usually happen but when it does we usually hold the extra person until the next set of graduates. We cannot add you to a current team as that would unbalance the whole system we use dealing with three person cells."
"So basically I'm going to have to wait until the next class is out before I can go on missions even though I graduated." Naruto said through clenched teeth.
Iruka could only sigh. He knew he had to tell the boy the Hokage's plans, but that didn't mean he liked the idea. "Naruto the Hokage decided to give you a unique chance. This has never been done before so let me explain everything before you make a decision." receiving a nod he continued. "The Hokage has decided to make you a team in and of itself. That means you will have no teammates, but also because of the low number of active jonin sensei you will not have a sensei either. Any missions you do will be approved as fitting for your situation based on what the Hokage believes you are capable of. You will also be able to go with a team as backup on a difficult mission should he decide such a thing would be beneficial. Naruto, I can't stress how unique this situation is and that it is completely untested. I am offering you a chance to back out and wait for a full team with a sensei." He watched as emotions played across the blonde's face making him unreadable in the situation.
After a few minutes to consider his options Naruto looked up at Iruka and gave off his biggest smile. "Sensei I have only one favor to ask. Announce it to the class that I accept this privilege, but on one condition. I don't want an assigned sensei...ever. If someone comes along and wants to teach me something then so be it, but aside from that I don't want anyone forced into that position. It would only be detrimental to the system."
Iruka could tell by the mischief in the boy's eyes that he would not be swayed on the matter. So, resigning himself to his fate he nodded before reentering the room. The students looked on in confusion as Naruto made his way back up to where Hinata was and leaned on the wall behind her as his previous seat was now occupied by one of her new teammates. Looking through the class Iruka suddenly got rather nervous at what he was about to do. The Hokage was making him place a new marker in history with this simple action. Never before had there been a one man ninja cell, and especially not one without a sensei. Sighing again he addressed the class. "For those of you that are wondering, Naruto has indeed graduated, but in doing so he has thrown off the numbers a bit. Normally we would hold the odd man out back to wait for a full team, but the Hokage has decided to offer Naruto a unique privilege. One that he has already agreed to. Naruto is now formally team eleven and will have no jonin sensei."
He waited as the information registered through the room. Shock, awe, humor and rage were all present. It was Uchiha Sasuke that was the first to recover though. "How come the dobe gets such an offer and not an Uchiha? He'll get himself killed walking out of the mission hall." Naruto just shook his head while Ino supported Sasuke's reasoning. Sakura did not support it though as she wanted to stay on his team. Kiba followed Sasuke's lead next "Hah he probably got put by himself because Hokage-sama knew that no one would want to group with the loser." Some people openly laughed at that, but Naruto just let the insults roll over him as he leaned against the wall not really caring what anyone said.
"That is enough!" Iruka shouted in response to their remarks. "I will not have anyone talking down to their allies, and since he may at some point be assigned to work with you you should show some respect since he may save your life one day."
"Hn, the dobe couldn't save a cat from drowning in a dried up well." Another round of laughter and Iruka was irate.
"Uchiha Sasuke, as your superior you will listen to me when I tell you to remain silent!"
"Pft, you are not my superior. I am the last Uchiha, and as such you should show your respect and listen to what I say." Before Iruka could move to scold the boy there was a brief breeze and a glint of light before Sasuke once again felt cold steel pressing against his throat. Iruka, having not seen the previous actions by Naruto was shocked at the raw speed he moved with.
"Oh Sasuke-chan," Naruto said in a sing-song voice. "I would suggest you apologize to Iruka-sensei as you have yet to actually be accepted by your jonin sensei. He still has the right to send you back to the academy until you are picked up by Kakashi-san."
"Hn. Dobe you probably aren't even holding the right edge of the blade to my neck and yet you dare to threaten me? An Uchiha? Just wait until I gain my sharingan and I will show you just how fragile you really are."
"Ah but you don't have your sharingan yet Uchiha-chan, and there is no guarantee that you ever will. For all we know you could simply only be worthy of passing on your genes to a new generation while the rest of us lowly citizens take care of all the hard work." Then leaning in so only Sasuke could hear he added in. "Besides you don't want to risk dying before you can kill him do you?"
That did it for Sasuke. Swinging a kunai out he pushed the sword away from his throat as he sidestepped to get around Naruto's defenses. Stabbing out with the same kunai he stabbed it into Naruto's chest, causing the boy to fall backwards to the ground, spinning slightly as he did so and landing face down. His nearby classmates were leaning back horrified at his actions while Sasuke stood above the blond breathing slightly heavily.
Shaking his shock off Iruka rushed over to check the boy's vitals while Sasuke began to smirk. "Hn. I told you you were worthless. I just didn't know you were that bad."
*clap* ... *clap* ... *clap*
Everyone's head turned at the sound of hand meeting hand only do be met with a blank wall. "Not bad Sasuke-chan, but not good either." A form melded out of the wall before taking the shape of Naruto, who was staring at the Uchiha with his hands still together from his last clap. "Maybe next time you will be good enough to tell if it is really me attacking you." As he said that the Naruto on the floor burst into smoke.
'A bunshin?' Iruka looked shocked at first, then smiled, then frowned as he turned to Sasuke. "Uchiha Sasuke you attacked and attempted to murder a fellow leaf shinobi."
"Psh I was only trying to scare him. How could I know that his reaction time sucks that bad that he couldn't dodge such a slow strike."
"Regardless you attacked him, as such this will be brought up to the council to decide a fitting punishment."
Sasuke just smirked he knew that the council would do nothing more then giving him a slap on the wrist, if that. Before he could retort though Naruto cut him off. "Don't worry about it Iruka-sensei it was only a bunshin after all, and a low powered one at that."
"Hn. See the dobe knows his..."
"Besides it's not like Sasuke-chan can hurt me anyway. At least not with that pathetically slow movement. Now since I don't have a sensei to wait for I'll thank you for excusing me." With that he walked to the door and left the classroom.
Turning to glare at the Uchiha once more, despite his astonishment at how Naruto just waved off the situation, Iruka gave him one last warning. "Naruto is a bit of a special case. Had you done that to anyone else here they would have died and their blood would have been on your hands. This is the only warning I will give you. Do not even think of attacking a Konoha ninja again." Turning around and sitting at his desk once more, Iruka addressed the class. "Before I leave I would just like to let everyone know that it has been a pleasure to know the majority of you during this class, and I wish you all a safe and productive ninja carrier." With that he left them with a shunshin.
In the classroom silence reigned as everyone took in everything the had seen and heard that day. It was this silence that welcomed the first of the jonin as they entered the room. "Team eight. Follow me please." "Team ten. Let's go."
As people started to leave with their sensei Kiba made one more attempt at Hinata on her way out with a slap to her ass. However his hand never made it to its target as a small cloud of bugs blocked it's path. Looking up he found the glasses of the ever stoic Shino facing him. "I would suggest that you leave her be Kiba-san. She does not wish for you advances, and angering Naruto-san is inadvisable."
Kiba could only stare in shock at the boy as he'd always thought Shino was mute. As Shino caught up with his team Hinata turned his way. "Thank you Shino-san."
"Do not worry about it. I merely did not wish to see Kiba-san endanger his life while Naruto-san was near." Startled Hinata took a last glance through the room only to catch a glimpse of a blur out the window. She could only assume it was Naruto, and sent him a silent thanks for looking out for her.
• • •
A click of the hand hitting the knob of the door was all the warning the Hokage got as Naruto barreled into the office. "Hey Ojii-san, what's the deal with putting me alone huh? I mean you didn't even give me a sensei."
"Ah Naruto-kun I'm happy to see you. I knew you would be by soon for this discussion. Well to answer you I need to ask you a question myself, and I expect a straight answer." Suddenly the man behind the desk was not the cheerful Hokage, but the deadly serious leader of a ninja village. "Who trained you and how powerful are you?"
Naruto scratched the back of his head and smiled, showing no reaction to Sarutobi's personality change, nor the killing intent that was aimed at him. "Heh I don't know what you mean, but I'll try to answer as best I can. No one trained me, and I'm more powerful then I let show in the academy. I can't tell you exactly how powerful I am, because I honestly don't know since I don't really have anything to gauge myself against, at least not without revealing my strengths."
"Ok then how about this question. Why did you hide your strength in the academy?"
Now it was Naruto's turn to get serious. "Well I really didn't want to draw attention to myself. You already know about the abuse I have had on me since I was little, what do you think they would have done if they knew the 'demon child' of Konoha had any kind of power at his disposal. Now that I know what is in me I am proud of my decision even more. People would probably have thought it was the demon getting stronger and they would have done away with me long ago. Now that I'm a shinobi though, they can't touch me."
The old man could see the wisdom in his words and couldn't help but agree with Naruto. He had thought he knew the boy, but with recent events it seemed more questions were opening with every new answer he got. "Well then where did your knowledge come from. You obviously know a lot more then a normal academy student should. Add to that the fact that you took out a chunin, even if it was with a forbidden technique, and I can't help but think that you are keeping out more then you are telling me. The skills you have shown are not something that one just picks up."
Naruto couldn't help but laugh at that, making the Hokage rather confused. "Actually Ojii-san, that is exactly what happened. Since I was young, starting in my orphanage years, I have been neglected. Since I was never given enough food to really live off of, and never given new clothes or other necessities I decided to take it into my own hands and began to rummage through trash to see what I could find. Often I would find discarded weapons and scrolls which I would stash in different places around the village for safe keeping. I knew not to keep them in the orphanage since someone would just confiscated them claiming I stole them. Once I was thrown out though it became even more of a necessity to fend for myself. I was able to sell some of the items I found and buy food, though I knew the prices were shifted. I didn't care though. At least I was alive."
"While I was running from a group of villagers one night I stumbled upon a hidden place. It was well hidden and rather spacious considering its location. After cleaning it out of all the stuff that would be worthless to me I began collecting my stashes and storing them there. It wasn't long after that, only a year or two, when I learned to read and later given my apartment. Once I was able to do that I began to study everything I had collected. Learning about chakra control was the hardest, but I got it down and kept practicing until I was good at it. It was while I was reading one of the books I collected, an old history of Konoha book, that I learned about the Yodaime and what he did. He became my idol and I decided to become a ninja. Once I decided that I poured myself into my collection and resumed my rummaging to find anything I could."
"After awhile I started training testing myself. I would watch other ninja train to get an idea of what to do when I got stuck, but other then that it was mostly reading and practicing on my own. I did pranks around the village to see my limitations. When I found out what they were I would train more to surpass them. The only problem I had at that time was getting the materials for my pranks, but that was solved with some trips to a few select training grounds, and some rather...ambitious villagers. I would gather forgotten weapons and scrolls from training grounds or study the way the ninja trained, taking notes to review later. I was able to get most of the tools for my pranks from traps though. It seems certain people decided they should conduct a small crusade against me by rigging my apartment with traps. By that point though I had been pranking so much that I was able to figure out how the traps worked and dismantle them. I again took notes and worked the traps into my pranks, though on a less lethal scale. The ninja-to I carry was from one rather elaborate trap, and is one of my more prized possessions. The rest was rather fun getting. Ever notice how there aren't many weapons and supplies left behind in training ground 44 after previous chunin exams? That's right. Nothing got wasted." A huge smile crease his face as he finished.
The Hokage was at first shocked then angry. "ARE YOU INSANE? Do you know how dangerous that forest is? You could have been killed from any number of things."
"Oh calm down Jiji-san. I'm still here. Besides I like that forest. Since no one ever goes there its kind of peaceful. A great place for jutsu scrolls and other supplies too I might add. As far as danger goes, It's proven less lethal then the village...at least for me."
The Sandaime couldn't believe it. Here was a freshly graduated genin telling him that the forest of death was peaceful, and that he had people break in and set traps in his apartment to try and at least harm him if not kill him. Yet, he seemed completely unfazed by all of it. Even Itachi, the prodigal Uchiha didn't like going into that forest alone when he started in ANBU, and yet here is a boy without even a team or sensei telling him that he basically went there to see what he could collect after chunin hopefuls had been through the area. Speaking of which. "Naruto if you collected items after the chunin exams...have you seen...dead people in there as well?"
"Well sure I have. It would be kind of hard to get weapons off of live people."
"Didn't it bother you at all? I mean I have seen many such exams and some of them can get rather...messy."
"Sure I was bothered by it at first, but then my survival side kicked in and I figured, hey, they're dead so it would be a waste to just let stuff rot and rust out there when it was perfectly good to use."
Again he couldn't believe the simplicity of Naruto's thought process, and yet he could see behind it a massive intelligence. He had never heard of any ninja before even attempting to train themselves with no help. Heck he didn't even know it was possible to figure out how to control chakra without aide. He couldn't help but wonder with a little regret at just how far Naruto would have gotten had he had guidance. He was brought out of his thoughts as he registered someone speaking to him. "Sorry what was that Naruto?"
"I said when am I starting missions. Since I don't have a sensei I can't really wait to be ordered to do something right?"
"Right. Right. Well since it is team selection day and missions won't be handed out to most teams until after they are tested...which means about two days...I will leave that up to you."
"Tested? Tested for what, we're already genin."
"That is true, but that was only to see if you were mentally capable of being genin. The real test will be held tomorrow morning and focuses on the true aspects of what it means to be in a ninja cell."
"You mean like teamwork and safety right?"
Sarutobi smiled, overjoyed that Naruto had found out the secret behind the test without even having a description of the test. "Yes, Naruto and you have just proven that you are indeed capable of becoming a genin. There are those that believe they are better then others, or those that believe that they don't need help to achieve their goals. They will not work well in a cell and since we operate, with one exception, in cells they would not work well in this environment and will be sent back to the academy repeatedly until they realize that."
"I see. It only makes sense. I mean if you don't watch your teammates back, why should they watch yours right? At that point everyone is just fighting for themselves and a battle would quickly become a massacre if they opposing side works together."
With every word he spoke Sarutobi Hiruzen grew more and more proud of the boy in front of him. If only all of the students came out with his outlook, but that would be a fairytale wish he knew. "Very good Naruto. You are proving yourself the better of many of your peers already. So, getting back to your question, I believe you can start missions as soon as you're ready."
"Well then I'll start now if you'll let me."
"If that is what you want you can head down to the mission hall and hand them this scroll. They will know what to give you after they've read through it."
"Thank you Ojii-san. I'll make you proud." Bowing Naruto left the old man to his work.
"You already have Naruto-kun. You already have." Sighing he dove back into his paperwork, thoughts straying every now and then to the boy that had come and the man that had left. Already he was well on his way to his dream...if that was still his dream. He could no longer be sure of anything about the boy save one bit, the boy would be great.
• • •
Down in the mission room Naruto walked in to see a bored chunin sitting behind a table laden with scrolls and documents. All official missions for Konoha and separated by rank. Walking up to the table he handed the scroll to the chunin who, without looking up, grabbed the scroll and read it. Almost mechanically he grabbed a mission scroll from the D-Rank pile and tossed it to the boy in front of him. Naruto grabbed the scroll out of the air and headed out the door. There had been zero conversation between the two, but it didn't matter to Naruto. He had his first official mission now and it was to...find Tora, the Fire Daimyo's wife's cat. It escaped and was last seen in the woods near training ground three. 'Well no time to lose.' Mission scroll in hand he headed off to training ground three.
When he arrived he saw it was just an average training ground, with three posts and a memorial stone. The only unique thing he saw was a masked man standing in front of the memorial stone just staring at it. He cautiously walked up, making sure to make a bit of noise so he didn't spook the man. Scaring a ninja is never a good thing if you value your life. "Oi, did you know some of them?"
Without turning the man answered. "Hai. My teammates and my sensei. That was years ago though. I really shouldn't still beat myself up over it, but I just can't seem to let go."
"I see. I am sorry for your losses, but you should really think about what they would have wanted. I'm sure there are more productive ways to spend your time then staring at a stone all day. It's obvious you're a ninja, so I would say training more, so that you can protect those still alive. That way you won't have to stare at more names then you already are."
The man's eyes grew wide at the simple revelation, and he turned around to see who had given him such advice only to find no one there. Turning back once more he glanced at the names again. "Is that your way of letting me know it's ok? Fine, I will make you all proud. Obito, Rin...Sensei." A shunshin later the man was gone leaving one unnoticed genin shuffling through the brush, tracking a cat.
Naruto had easily gained on his target and soon spotted it playing with a flower in a small clearing. Creating some kage bunshin he set them up in a perimeter before he himself moved in to confront the feline. "Hey there Tora. I read that you're a ferocious beast, but you don't look that mean to me. What say we get you back so that you can see your owner again. You must miss her."
Tora being the the ferocious beast she was dove away into the brush only to let out a yowl a few seconds later as a bunshin came walking out cradling the, now purring, Tora as he pet her. Handing her over to the real Naruto who continued the petting he dispersed as Naruto turned and left the clearing on his way back to the mission hall. Tora fell asleep halfway there from the attention she was getting, however she was rather rudely awakened when they got to the mission hall as she was immediately grabbed and crushed in a tight hug by the Daimyo's wife. Naruto instantly pitied it as he walked towards the chunin again to hand in the mission scroll.
Again, without looking up, the chunin took the scroll and read over the report. Then looked up astonished to see Naruto. "You beat the old record...no shattered, destroyed, obliterated it. How?"
"Um...what are you talking about?"
Checking to make sure the woman had left, he addressed Naruto again. "That cat is the bane of Konoha's genin teams. It runs off so often that it has been somewhat of a competition and standard in skill level. I guess you can't really blame the cat though. I mean you saw how it's treated. Anyhow, You took less then a half hour to successfully retrieve the thing beating the old record by over two hours. Not to mention doing it solo. Teams have spent days doing this mission before. This one is definitely going in the books. Well you're dismissed, excellent job."
"What? That's it? One mission and I'm off duty? Isn't that a little...erm light?" Naruto asked a bit confused. It wasn't anywhere near a time that would give him something to do. Namely his dinner with Hinata, provided the girl remembers.
"W-well, I suppose you could take another mission. Um we don't normally have people complete them quite so quick, and most genin aren't really that eager to do D-Ranks."
"I don't think I qualify as 'most genin'. I believe in making the most of what you're given. Right now I have time on my hands so I might as well do some more missions, right?"
"Um, sure, I guess. Well I have fence painting, weeding a garden, cleaning out gutters, helping with a house move, picking apples...." He was cut off by Naruto.
"Just give me ten or so and I'll be on my way."
Slightly confused still, the chunin picked out ten various missions and handed them to Naruto. "I guess I'll see you in a few days." Naruto just gave him a smirk before walking out the door, making the chunin slightly unsettled.
When he made it outside the mission building, Naruto form his familiar cross and in a cloud of smoke there was now a small battalion of Narutos looking back at him. "Alright guys form up in ten lines!" As he waited for the clones to follow his orders he looked through the scrolls he was given. They were all menial tasks, but he knew he couldn't expect much as a fresh Genin. Steeling his resolve he handed a scroll to the first clone in each line. "Ok guys. You have your missions, now go get em done!" A resounding 'Yosh!' was his answer before a blur of blonde, black and green was shooting to their specified destinations around the village. As the clones made their way to their destinations Naruto took a seat on a nearby bench and pulled out a scroll he had stored earlier. There was no point in wasting time by just sitting there.
Over the course of the next few hours clones reported in and dispersed allowing him to write mission reports from the memories they gave him. In between reports he had plenty of time to go through his current scroll on basic kenjutsu forms. He already knew basic kenjutsu, but why not go more in depth. With kage bunshin at his disposal there was no reason to just sit and study as they got the missions done. This way he could earn money to live with and further his skills at the same time. As the last of his clones came in it was already mid afternoon and he had picked up a quick lunch between clone reports, so he decided to pack up his belongings and hand in his reports.
Entering the mission hall once again he found the same chunin sitting there looking just as bored as before if not more so. Giving a slight cough to alert the man of his presence he laid the mission scrolls on the table as the other man lifted his head. "All finished. You can verify if you like, but if you don't mind I have things to do this afternoon, so I'll take my leave." Bowing to the man Naruto walked out of the room to his next destination.
Back in the exam room the chunin could only stare at the boy's back as he left. Finally realizing what was said his eyes widened as he picked up the first scroll. Opening it he checked over the report, scanning the usual lack luster information that could only come from a D-rank report. When he got to the end he found the required signature proving the mission was completed successfully. Not only that, but he found a note stating how well the genin performed the task. Quickly sifting through the rest of the missions he saw that each one was similar with many having notes in admiration of the boy's eagerness to do the best job he could. Honestly he didn't think someone could give a rave review about painting a fence or walking some dogs, but there it was.
What he couldn't figure out was how a lone genin could accomplish so much in a week let alone half a day. Naruto had completed all the missions given in half the time a lone jonin could. Hell he had seen genin teams with over eager jonin sensei take longer. There was something slightly off here and he couldn't put his finger on it. He would take it up with the Hokage as soon as his replacement came.
Speaking of which, the door opened and in walked another chunin looking a little sheepish. "Sorry, I had a little trouble at home so it took me a little longer then I thought to get here."
"Don't worry about it. Because you were late I got to see something extraordinary, so we'll call it even. If you'll excuse me I need to go see the Hokage about a certain matter from today's missions." With that he walked out and headed to the Hokage tower.
Signing in at the secretary and being given the ok to enter he found himself in front of the leader of the village. "Hokage-sama, I have some information that I believe you would be interested in. It concerns a certain whiskered individual." Waiting for the sign to continue he took in the man sitting behind the desk. The god of shinobi in his prime, he felt a little ashamed that such a legendary figure was out of his prime and stuck doing paper work. His thoughts were cut short when Sarutobi turned his head to face the new arrival, showing his attention was now on the chunin.
"Sir, one Uzumaki Naruto came in for missions today. I was unaware that we had a one man cell, so I was a bit skeptical but gave him a D-rank mission anyhow. He completed catching Tora in about twenty-four minutes, the old record was two hours forty-seven minutes. He completely obliterated it." Sarutobi was shocked. Normally catching a stray pet wouldn't warrant such a reaction, but this was Tora. The cat that many claimed was possessed by a demon. "Further more he asked for more missions. There was nothing to say he couldn't do more then the required amount, but when he asked for multiple at once I reluctantly gave them to him and sent him on his way. I don't have times on each being as he did them back to back, I'm guessing. Regardless he once again threw reason out the window as he completed them all just a short while before I came here. Normally I would be happy that a team would be willing to do multiple missions, but to do eleven in half a day not to mention solo. Sir, I don't know how to continue with this. We've never had an issue like this come up."
"Issue? I don't see any issue here. If anything it's a blessing. D-rank and low C-rank missions have been piling up as of late. It would seem some people are getting a bit too comfortable, but there isn't much we can do about that. To have anyone willing to do multiple missions in that range of difficulty is not something we should turn from. Please relay this to the other mission distributors, Uzumaki is to be given as many D-rank and any low C-ranks that allow him to stay inside the village. If any issues do arise then you may contact me to sort them out. Otherwise just keep going as normal. With any luck he'll do enough to lessen the repeat requests that end up on my desk everyday. Dismissed."
The chunin was hesitant, but bowed and left the office, stopping by the mission hall to relay the Sandaime's orders to the new man behind the desk who in turn was equally as dumbstruck. This news would spread to all who worked in the mission hall through word of mouth and later through a posted memo in the hall itself. Though the note didn't show a name they all would know who it was as Naruto would be the only one to ask for multiple missions at a time.
• • •
Heading to his apartment Naruto went over his day's events in his head. He asked Hinata out to dinner. He had been assigned as a one man team, and would get to do missions alone unless another team needed some help. He had a couple of morons try to persuade him to their views, one even going so far as to think they had killed him. He talked to Hokage-jiji, and had to describe his actions. Then he took on eleven D-rank missions when all of the other genin wouldn't be doing their first mission for another day at least. Now after visiting his apartment to shower, change and make a quick stop on the way, he was headed to Ichiraku's to meet Hinata. So far it was a very productive day, and very fulfilling.
Turning the last corner he saw a scene that put him instantly on edge. There in front of Ichiraku's was Hinata with her back to one of the lamp posts and her hands on the chest of someone else who was obviously making unwanted advances. Picking up his pace he was able to get close enough to stop the male when he made a last push on the frightened Hinata as her strength was obviously failing. Instead of the boy's mouth clamping on hers, he found it connecting with a fist. Usually kissing a fist wouldn't be that bad of an ordeal, but when said fist was traveling at a heightened speed towards your face it made for a rather painful experience. One that sent the boy flying back a few yards as he held his now bleeding jaw.
"I would suggest you not try that again dog breath. I warned you this morning not to force yourself on anyone yet you still see fit to try. Even going so far as to try kissing MY date while she was waiting for ME. Now scamper home before I neuter you."
This of course would have worked if someone was known to be strong, but Naruto was known for being on the level of a village idiot, recent actions aside. Kiba knew for a fact that he had beaten Naruto in numerous academy spars, so he chalked today up as luck and surprise. Well now he no longer had the element of surprise. "Heh you may have gotten a lucky shot off there, but if I beat you down now then Hinata will have to recognize me as the alpha while YOU scamper home. So why don't you just submit now and let me have Hinata like you should."
"I can't let you have Hinata-chan."
"So you're stupid enough to fight me head on out in the open? You're even dumber then I gave you credit for." By now a small crowd was forming due to Kiba's shouting. They were egging the boy as they told him to teach the 'demon' his place.
"No you imbecile. I can't let you have her because she is not mine to give. She is no one's to give. Like I already told you this morning, people are not possessions. That fact obviously didn't get through to you the first time, so I can only hope your limited brain capacity can wrap around it now. Hinata is free to choose who she wants to be with. Whether that is me, you or anyone else is completely up to her. The whole 'alpha male' thing may be how your clan runs things internally, but this is the real world scruffy. Out here there are other rules to follow, and if you don't follow them there will be consequences. One such rule is not making unwanted advances on the opposite sex. No means no and from what I saw earlier you went far past the point of no." Naruto could see the hate in the other boy's eyes even while his own was showing in the tight clenching of his fists. Out of instinct he slowly moved between Kiba and Hinata, shifting his feet to get a better kick off should the boy decide to try something. He wouldn't have to wait long.
Crouching to the ground, Kiba let out a low growl. Akamaru was at home sleeping off his recent cold, but that didn't matter He wouldn't need help to finish this quick, and it seemed the onlookers agreed. Every few seconds he could hear them saying 'Looks like we get to see the demon bleed again.' or 'Hey maybe he'll actually cry this time.' Kiba's ego was being boosted to new heights as his sensitive ears picked up each remark though they confused him at the same time. Then without any warning he was off, closing the distance between himself and his target in only a couple seconds. One of his benefits of belonging to a clan like his was that running was no stranger to him. He had to run around his clan's compound multiple times before he even left for the the academy in the morning, not that he minded though, it was just Akamaru's morning walk. He was now far too fast for any normal academy graduate to follow let alone react to.
Naruto however was no simple fresh off the press academy graduate. Before Kiba was even a foot from his starting point, the blond had already drawn his ninja-to for the third time that day. Kiba having far to much momentum could only widen his eyes as he saw the blade draw out of its sheath. The crowd's eyes widened as they saw the flash of metal as the blade was drawn. There was no time for them to act as Naruto shifted into a crouch and the hand holding the sword flashed out then back quicker then anyone could register.
Time seemed to slow as Naruto stood up and walked back towards Hinata. He could see the shock in the girl's eyes and knew what she was thinking. "Don't worry Hinata-chan. I only hit him with the pommel. He just had the wind knocked out of him. He should be able to move again soon enough. Now, let's get going or we're going to be late."
Hinata took a glance back at Kiba. She could see the slight shuddering in his shoulders showing that he was indeed still alive and by the looks of it, trying to catch his breath as his mouth was open and saliva was starting to drip out. She was brought out of her observations though when her current companion motioned her to follow him. Still a little shocked at the blond's actions through the day, she found herself in a bit of a daze as she fell into step with him never realizing they were headed away from their meeting point.
As they turned a corner Kiba was finally able to catch his breath. Glancing around he found no trace of the dobe or his desired mate anywhere, but what he did see all too well were the shocked and slightly depressed looks of the villagers that had gathered. Why were they depressed? He was the one that got humiliated. It was then that it hit him. He was just soundly beaten by the dead last in the middle of the street. Grinding his teeth he stomped off towards his clan's compound. He would demand his mom up his training. No dead last was going to beat him.
* * * * * *
Hope this chapter cleared up some of the questions, if not keep them coming and I'll try to fit in answers if they don't already exist in the story. This chapter is also closer to the length of most of the chapters in this story. Few will be less then 10k words while at least one has exceeded 14k at this point. Enjoy.