Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Kekkaishi. It is the propriety of Kishimoto and ? respectively.
Chapter 7: All according to the plan.
Naruto was standing in a room bare of anyone except a prisoner and himself. Strangely enough, the prisoner was almost naked, as the only piece of clothing he had, was a boxer. Another strange thing was the scribbling that covered the prisoner upper body. From afar, it would look like a tattoo, but if you were well versed in seals and close up, you would immediately understand that it wasn't a simple scribbling or even a tattoo, but something else whose complexity was so high that few, even among seals masters, would understand it.
He was in front of the prisoner slowly observing and admiring his handiwork. 'No matter how many times I see them, I am still amazed at the beauty of seals. To be able to do so much with only a few diagrams and symbols, this must really be a language created by the god themselves.' He thought while analyzing the seal, trying to find any errors he could have made.
So far there was none and it was perfect just like he imagined it. The seal was made in a circular pattern just like his father used to draw seals. At the center, was a whirlpool like pattern and surrounding it were several scribbles that were written in a circular pattern too. This circular pattern wasn't used just for adornment. It had a meaning of its own.
You see, upon reaching the level of master in seals, you had to personalize your sealing creation in such a way that it will either make it more difficult to decipher or boost the overall power and activation speed of the seal. It could even improve both. Like several masters before him, the yondaime personalized his seals by using the Uzumaki clan symbol as a model and his son followed in his footstep by using the same symbol.
This was done because the whirlpool shape had the merit of improving not only the power and activation speed of the seal, but also increased the difficulty to decipher them. That was because by using a circular pattern, the seal had different meaning depending on the direction you read it. You could read it in a circular pattern, clockwise or counter clockwise. Or you could read it in a straight vertical line. This increased the difficulty to write seals using this pattern as your seal needed to have a meaning in each of the reading pattern, but at the same time, it allowed the writer to make several functions of the seals with only a few symbols.
The power and the speed of the seal came from the meaning of the whirlpool pattern. In seals, this shape had several meaning. Among those were concentration, condensation, infinity and loading. Because of this, the power and speed of the seal increased exponentially, depending on the amount of chakra added to it and the time allowed for the seal to 'load' itself. So that meant the longer the seal was activated, the more powerful it became.
This was the most important part of the seal for the one Naruto designed. Because the seal that he proudly named Fuinjutsu: Dai Kui (Gluttony). The name of the seal said it all about its functionalities. Indeed, the seal had one primary objective: to absorb chakra from any jutsus. At least in paper, the test he was doing would determine whether it worked or not.
The seal is done by separating his design in several steps. The first step is the transformation of the elemental jutsu in its base component, which is chakra. After this step, the chakra – which is neutral now – is absorbed in the tenketsus of the user, thus refilling the user reserves. Because the seal depends heavily on the position of the user's tenketsus, Naruto was very grateful that he implemented the adaptability of the snake sannin body, in the seal, so he wouldn't need to reapply the seal every time he grew up.
Coming back to the matter at hands, Naruto having finished inspecting the seal took a few steps back and stood about 10 meter from the prisoner. He could hear the person's whimpering in fright, not knowing what was going on, but he shut it out of his mind, and concentrated on the task at hand. "I will start with a low wind jutsu to be sure that it works properly. No need to hurt you for nothing after all." Naruto said out loud to the prisoner, before going through handseals.
"Futon: daitoppa" A small gust of wind moved toward the increasingly whimpering prisoner whom was alarmed by the sudden shift in the wind currents. Before long, the gust reached him and what happened next made Naruto smile, not caring if anyone saw him display his emotions, because at about half a meter from the prisoner, a translucent shield appeared and absorbed very quickly the chakra inside the wind gust, before dissipating it completely. At least he saw all of this with his dojutsu.
'The absorption part work correctly and just as fast as I thought it would. Now I need to test it with a more powerful jutsu to see its limits.'
With his planning done, he went about sending increasingly more powerful wind jutsu at the prisoner. And each time he got the desired result. In the end he concluded that the seal would work normally against jutsus below the A-Rank level. But anything higher than that would force him to stay still for a long time and suffer from the kinetic energy. Despite this setback he was happy because he could now recharge his chakra reserve by using the jutsus of his opponents.
"Now to see how it reacts with the other elements..." Naruto said out loud while rummaging through his pockets for his specialized seals. After a moment, he found them and quickly opened each one of them in front of the prisoner. Each of the scrolls was labelled with a letter going from D to S.
Each one simulated a jutsu of the same rank it was labelled with, and thus spared him the waste of chakra to do this experiment. Add to that the fact that he wasn't proficient enough to use Fire, Water and Lightning jutsus with a rank higher than C. That is why he prepared those scrolls. Although useless in real life as they were too easy to detect and avoid, they served their purpose for this test.
An hour or so later, Naruto had finished his experiment and was both happy and disappointed at the same time. Happy because his seals worked perfectly, but disappointed because the absorption part was limited only to fire, water, wind and lightning because those element were somewhat immaterial. In the case of earth jutsu, it wouldn't work because the jutsu was too material or physical to be absorbed. But that was good enough for him.
With the test over, he quickly erased any traces of his experiment and disabled the seal protecting the room, before going back to his compound. He let the prisoner where he was because he knew that some members of 'ROOT' would take him back to his cell or wherever he came from.
KONOHA – WITH THE SAND TEAM –
Naruto wasn't the only one who woke up early in the village. Most of the civilians did the same, at least those that had something to do this early. Those were mostly the vendors that needed to get their products ready for sale. The ninja population did the same too, except those that came back from a mission and had nothing planed for the morning.
Currently, a group of people were speaking rather loudly in a hotel room, at least loudly for a ninja. Those were the members of the sand teams, particularly Temari and her jounin leader, Baki. Going by the tone of the jounin voice, he was furious about something.
"And when were you going to tell me that?" He asked while narrowing his eyes at Temari. "Never if I had my way." Not noticing the way the room became colder or not caring, she kept going. "I don't see how relevant it is to you that I had an altercation with a Konoha genin." All the while she had her hands on her hips, daring her teacher to make a comeback. She was disappointed though when the latter did just that.
"You call attacking a foreign genin in an unsanctioned battle and in his home no less, IRRELEVANT? That is not even including the warning I got from the anbu that are following us. And in a moment like this?" Baki yelled furiously not caring if he was spitting on his student.
"What does this moment have to do with anything?" She asked to a bewildered Baki. "You are kidding right? Tell me you are kidding because right now I am seriously considering killing you on the spot, be damned the consequences."
The way it was phrased made Temari pauses, because no matter how bitchy she was to her sensei, she had never seen him this angry before and had never threatened her brothers and her. This was enough to remind her that she was talking to a war veteran, not some upstart jounin.
"Are you seriously telling me that you forget why we came here for and why we need to act inconspicuously?" He asked again, this time lowering his voice in case there were any eavesdroppers.
"Of course not. I just don't see how it could affect our mission."
"You don't see how it could affect it? It ALREADY has, idiot girl." Baki yelled again on Temari's face who took a step back from the man that was starting to scare her. "What do you think the hokage will do now that you attacked one of his ninja? I will tell you what he will do; he will monitor us more closely than before, stopping me from doing what I had to do for the mission to go smoothly. If I can't do what I was sent here for, how can I finish the mission? How does this NOT affect the mission?"
He came closer to Temari and looked at her in the eyes, daring her to make a comeback or any witty comments she had in mind. Seeing the latter sufficiently cowed, he took a deep breath to calm his nerves. "I pride myself in never insulting people, but with you it is just impossible. Before it was bearable but since the death of Kankuro, you seem to think that the world owes you something."
At the mention of her brother, Temari regained her daring attitude and was about to snap at her teacher again but the latter was faster. "You think that you are the first or the only one that lost someone? I lost my whole family while I was still an academy student because of the war. Did that make me go around and yell at anyone that crossed my path? I endured it like everyone else did. I kept in mind that my parents died by defending our home."
Baki looked at Temari who was looking at him attentively. Knowing he had gained her attention, he continued. "Your brother wasn't any different from my parents." Seeing the questioning look on his student face, he explained. "He died trying to pass information about an enemy, information that could have helped us tremendously, information that could have maybe saved several of our comrades. And now you are yelling at everyone, accusing them of being the cause of your brother death. Do you think I wanted him dead?"
For once Temari lowered her head realizing that she went a little overboard this time. She knew perfectly well that her sensei did his best to train them, so that they would be able to defend themselves when needed. Moreover, during the tournament, he tried his best to save her brother, going so far as to even disrupt an official battle in front of the Hokage no less.
"Sorry!" She mumbled. "Come again?" asked Baki. "I said I was sorry okay." She repeated while looking elsewhere, not used to apologize for anything.
But for Baki, it was enough. He was happy at least that he was able to get to her. This calmed him enough to actually look at Temari without any anger visible on his face and sighed tiredly. "Don't worry about the anbu, it won't be the first time I have to deal with some noisy guards. But more importantly, I have to know something."
"What is it?" Temari asked.
"The anbu told me that they stopped that girl… Tenten… That is it. Apparently they stopped her from finishing you off. My question is how did she beat you when you dealt with her during the exam?"
Temari just fumed at being reminded of her near death experience. "That is the thing. I don't know how but she trapped me in a Genjutsu that was so real that it wasn't until she had me tied up and dispelled the illusion herself, that I was able to understand what was going on."
"So you don't know how she did that?" Baki asked while thinking of a way the genin he remembered from the exam, could do that.
"No, but I don't think it was completely her doing. She mentioned that her team wasn't stupid enough to have a training ground so isolated without some protection. So at the very least, I think I triggered one of those defensive measures that trapped me in the illusion." She explained to an attentive looking Baki who nodded at her explanation, not seeing any other solution.
"Anyway, I think that was a good wake up call. I was able to help your brother as much as I could with his training, but I haven't done anything to help you. So tell me something you want to learn and I will see if I can do anything about it. Just keep in mind that you will have less than a month to master whatever I teach you" Baki said as he sat on the couch while Temari put a hand on her chin in a thinking pose.
Right now, there was nothing she specifically needed. She wasn't afraid of the future battles she would partake in, by the end of the month, but she also didn't like to have a glaring weakness. The experience she had with the Genjutsu frightened her. After all, it wasn't easy to feel so vulnerable and that was how she felt when she became aware that she couldn't dispel the illusion she was trapped in. At the same time, she knew that it wasn't because she sucked at Genjutsu; on the contrary, she was very proficient in dispelling them. So she couldn't do anything about it except keep learning as much as she could on Genjutsu, just like she had been doing since becoming a ninja.
That left her with her offensive attacks. And with that, she made her mind on what she wanted to learn, especially after remembering the earlier exams.
"I want to learn everything about the wind step."
What Temari chose to learn didn't really surprise Baki as like her, he had analyzed everything he knew about her and came to the conclusion that she needed to increase her strength for the moment, as her weaknesses weren't glaring holes in her abilities. He slowly rose from his seat before moving toward the door. Seeing that his charge hadn't moved an inch from her position, he said.
"What are you waiting for then? You said you want to learn the wind step. That is what we will be doing for the next month then. But I should warn you, don't raise your hope too high, you won't be able to master it in just a month. After all, it is a technique that is given to the most advanced wind users in Suna and even they need time to master it."
Temari nodded at that not having expected anything less, and followed her teacher toward the training that was assigned to them, determination shining in her eyes.
KONOHA HOSPITAL –
"How is he, doctor?" A tall man wearing an outrageous green attire asked another one wearing a white coat.
"Don't worry Gai – san, your student will be fine after a week or two of rest. He has a few broken bones here and there, nothing too serious. Though I am curious as to how he was able to get away with so few wounds after the description I received of the fight."
Gai hearing this sighed and smiled happily, having expected worse than that. He knew that using the chakra gates was a forbidden jutsu for a reason. He thanked the doctor and got out of the room, knowing that it would do no good to stay there when Lee was still unconscious.
Before long, the doctor followed Gai's example and left the room to visit his other patients. The moment he closed the door, the patient that was Lee, opened his eyes and looked around the room for a moment before sighing in relief once he detected that no one was inside. He slowly rose from the bed until he was leaning against its edge.
Being in a better position, he was able to think clearly, and couldn't help the smile that appeared on his lips.
"It seems that you are at least good for something, if your acting talent is taken into account." A voice said from Lee's left. The latter quickly looked in the direction the voice came from and scowled once he saw who it was.
"Kabuto" The name was said with barely contained contempt but instead of irritating the owner of the voice, it only incited a smile on the newly named Kabuto who slowly rose from the ground, as if he had been there the whole time. Upon ending the obvious technique he had used to move inside Lee's room, Kabuto, in his signature move, adjusted his glasses.
"I see that I'm still as wanted as the first time. Did I interrupt something?" Kabuto asked with his perpetual smile firmly attached on his face. The smile elicited a shudder from Lee as always and it seemed to please Kabuto. He looked at Lee overall shape and if possible his smile stretched even further.
"I see that you made good use of the curse seal I graciously gifted you with. Of course you used it briefly as you didn't want hokage – sama and your precious teacher to know that you were a traitor." Kabuto said and smirked upon seeing the annoyed look on Lee's face.
"Those comments stopped affecting me a long while ago. Not that it ever affected me in the first place." Lee answered back. "Oh! Are you saying that Gai means nothing to you?" This time it was Kabuto to be surprised by the answer.
"What made you think that was the case in the first place? Sure he helped me a lot with the training he gave me and by pushing me hard enough to reach my full potential, but did he do something a teacher wouldn't do? Did he help me when I was belittled in my childhood, or in the academy? Did he do anything other than train me to become another ninja to be used and discarded by this village once my usefulness is over, this same village that scorned me for not being able to use jutsus?"
"For all those questions, the answer is NO. He did none of those things. And who am I to blame him? He had other responsibilities and we aren't even remotely related so why should he do all those things to me. No, I think he did his job just like he was asked. If by doing it he came to be attached to me, that is his problem. Long before he became my teacher, I had already made my mind on what I wanted; It's not one person that will make me change who I am and what I want."
Lee finished before taking a long breath to calm himself, having lost control by the end of his speech. And what speech it was. Kabuto looked at him with a new light after hearing this and this time smiled. Not the same smile he used, but a genuine one.
"Good to hear that. For a moment, I thought you would back down from your path. But I see that I was worried over nothing."
"So why are you here for?" Lee asked breaking the silence that fell upon them after his long speech. As if he was coming back to his senses, Kabuto expression went from a thinking pose to an enlightened one.
"Ah yes! I did come for a reason, didn't I? It was to warn you that I wouldn't be in the village for a moment. Maybe not until the final, because it seems that my cover finally blew. It seems that the higher ups finally wizened up and are now investigating my case." He finished not the least bit afraid that he now had a whole ninja village at his heels.
Like he expected, Lee scowled at that. "You made this long trip and took such a risk seeing me, just to tell me this?"
He was about to continue his rant when Kabuto interrupted him by removing a scroll from his pocket. The scroll was deceptively plain, but he knew better than to assume anything. Knowing that Kabuto would explain what it was, he waited patiently for the latter to do just that. And he didn't have to wait for long. Going by the smile that stretched his face, Lee assumed that whatever was inside the scroll must be really great.
"What you are looking at is my greatest achievement to date and one that you should fell honored to witness. You already know that I have found a way to apply the curse seal that Orochimaru created. And unlike him, I don't need to bite someone to do that." Lee nodded while reflexively touching his chest. "Until now though, I couldn't give anything more than the first level of the seal, not including the fact that the user must not be able to fully use chakra like you, but with this I can now give you the second level of the curse seal."
Kabuto finished proudly at that, while thinking on how Orochimaru thought he was manipulating him when he was in fact allowing the latter to do so, just to further his research and learn whatever the snake sannin had to offer until he was able to dispose of him. He had pilfered everything he had access to, while being the second in command of a man who had a veritable gold mine of information. Thanks to this, he had been able to replicate to an extent, the effect of the seal, after having thoroughly examined the first possessor of the curse seal.
After that it had just been a matter of finding one to experiment upon. That was when he had stumbled upon Lee during one of his mission in Rice country. And from there, everything had been going smoothly, and that was good news for him.
While he was thinking, Lee too was thinking about what he just heard and couldn't help but shiver in anticipation. The first level of the seal already gave him an ability that was truly fearsome, especially for someone like him, but knowing that the second level was supposed to increase the effect of the first, he knew that if he were to master it, he would become very powerful, easily able to rival his teacher.
As fast as the thought came, he quickly scolded himself. Because of this he had almost forgetten what stopped him from showing this to anyone, other than the fact that they would put him down for being a traitor. No, he couldn't act before he found a way to protect himself from his most glaring weakness, Genjutsu.
He may have damaged coils but that didn't stop other from affecting him with Genjutsu and no matter how much he tried, it was simply impossible for him to dispel them. Why? He didn't know yet, but he had an inkling that his nemesis Naruto knew why, that was the reason he was still inside this village. He was hoping for Naruto to tell him why, but the latter had never trusted him, no matter what he did. It was like Naruto knew who he truly was underneath the act. Deciding to think about it at a later time, he regained his focus and looked at Kabuto while the latter explained how to use it. Before long, he had the whole process down and put the scroll in a pocket of his used clothes that were in a corner of the room. After that he went back to sleep, already impatient of testing it once he was feeling better.
Standing in a training dojo, were three persons. The first one a man roughly fifteen years old, he was wearing a brown pants with a black muscle shirt. He also wore a headband with the Iwa symbol on it. The second person was a woman wearing a blue kimono fastened by a black belt around her waist. Like the man before her, she had a headband on her arm with the symbol for Kumo. She was standing beside the first person and the two were looking intently at the third figure in the room.
This one was none other than Tenten. She was looking sharply at them, her eyes darting from left to right, trying to pinpoint something that seemed invisible. After a moment, she looked back at the people in front of her and as if a signal was given, the three blurred into action.
Quickly taking several shurikens from her pouch, she launched them at her opponent in such a way that it flew in an arc pattern. While the weapons were flying, the man went through a few handseals before slamming them on the ground, raising a wall made of earth. The wall was enough to stop the weapons from reaching the two ninjas.
Tenten shrugged at that while taking several others kunais with paper attached on them, before launching them above, on the left and on the right side of the wall, covering any road by which her opponents could attacks. Before the exploding tags were triggered, she was forced to jump backward dodging a hand that erupted from the ground. Once touching the ground, she lost her balance because of the shockwave that came from the explosion that occurred soon after, and because of this, she didn't notice the second ninja that appeared beside her with her arm cackling with electricity coursing through it.
"Raiton: lightning palm" The girl yelled before slamming her palm on Tenten's back causing the latter to arch in shock before slowing falling toward the ground.
The Kumo kunoichi was about to finish the job when Tenten erupted in smoke, letting place to a charred log. 'Shit, she must have replaced herself before the attack' she thought while looking for Tenten. She quickly found her target because of the explosion that occurred several meters away from her position. She looked at where the explosion was coming from and saw Tenten in the sky slowly falling toward the crater that was created from the explosion. Squinting her eyes, she also noticed the Iwa ninja falling too, but unlike Tenten, he seemed unconscious from whatever happened.
She quickly used Tenten's distraction to run toward her with her hand being covered in lightning again. Upon being on arm reach, she swung her palm directly toward Tenten's heart. The latter widened her eyes upon seeing this, and closed them waiting for her end, as she knew that she couldn't dodge it this time.
The palm was just an inch away from her heart when everything slowly dissolved, letting place to Tenten standing upon an elevated platform and unlike before, she was completely unarmed.
"Simulation over. You failed" A voice said in a booming sound, making Tenten open her eyes and look around herself before releasing a sigh after seeing she was back in Naruto's training ground.
"What went wrong?" Another voice said to her left prompting her to look in that direction, only to see her teammate Naruto looking at her with the same impassive look he was famous for. After a moment, she reminded herself that he had asked a question to which she hadn't answered yet. Thinking about the whole simulation she couldn't help but look at him with a bewildered look that yelled 'I don't know'.
"I told you before you began this test that the primary goal of this simulation wasn't to win but to make a strategy that would effectively stop your opponents from implementing their own strategy."
Naruto said after seeing the look Tenten gave him.
"I know what you said, and that is what I did, or at least think I did. I analyzed everything I could about my surrounding, trying to detect any traps, then I attacked first to stop them from taking the reins in this fight, all the while implementing my own strategy to block theirs. I even dispatched the male ninja and if it wasn't for the last attack he did, I would have won." She said while glaring at Naruto for implying that she didn't listen to what he said.
But Naruto wasn't about to be shut down like that. "I commend you on trying to look for any traps before doing anything, but that is the only good thing I will say about your performance. Attacking first doesn't mean you are stopping your opponent from implementing his strategy. Maybe you are even acting just like he predicted. To stop someone's strategy, you need to know what it entails first, because by knowing your opponent strategy, you have done about eighty percent of the work. This platform was created to train your strategy making even during a battle."
"What you should have done was first analyze your opponents, everything about them. What did you deduce from them?" he asked Tenten who was looking at him.
"Only that they were from Kumo and Iwa, if their headbands were anything to go by."
"Fair enough, but what proof do you have that those headbands weren't stolen ones?" Naruto asked to Tenten who had nothing to say about that, not having thought about such thing.
"This will be your first lesson then: assume nothing or in other words never trust what your opponent show you without any proofs." Seeing Tenten was still listening to him, he continued.
"There were others facts you could have noticed about your opponents. Like the fact that the male had rough hands, which meant that, he worked physically and with the earth too. This was enough to deduce that he was strong physically and could have earth as elemental affinity. The woman had a small stature and was stiff, always contracting her hands. That could mean several things but the most accurate idea would be that she was a lightning user. These are the things you were supposed to detect."
Naruto finished while Tenten widened her eyes at everything her teammate was able to detect with only a small glance. She couldn't help but marvel at that and determination filled her to reach such level.
"Right now, you don't have to worry about creating a strategy to stop your opponents. You first need to be able to determine every strategy possible, every action that you think your opponent can make, and all of this as fast as you can."
"I can understand why it is important to be able to do that, but how would that help me if I know what my opponents will do but I can't counter it?" Tenten asked wondering what good it would do, but she wasn't expecting the answer she received.
"That will help you in knowing when to retreat to fight another day." Naruto said with such seriousness that she was certain something like that already happened to him. Nodding at him, she went back to the platform and sent chakra to it before her world went black for a moment before changing to another scenery, completely different from the last one.
While Tenten went back to her training, Naruto moved toward another training facility to begin his own training, as he didn't want his teammate seeing it.
It wasn't long before he arrived in a facility filled with rock of any kind. The area looked like a mountain range with several rocky formations. Exactly what he wanted for the training he would be doing this day. He chose an area where the ground was flat before sitting on the ground in a meditation posture.
Soon enough, Naruto had reduced his breathing to such a low level that for anyone else, they would have a coughing fit to breathe in some needed air. What he was trying to do wasn't easy to say the least. After all, who said that it was easy to become a wind master?
Then again, unlike other ninjas, he considered that what he was trying to do was to complete the first part of the training to become a wind master. Indeed, he had divided the training of the wind elemental chakra, in two parts. The first one consisted in mastering the wind available in the air to be able to create sharpened wind, concussive force or even whirlwind. The second part was completely different though. It involved the understanding and mastery of vacuum.
He had seen Danzo use vacuum but couldn't help but be disappointed by the way the latter used it. He had a very good idea and understanding of what one could really do if they were to master vacuum, and what Danzo did with it wasn't anything to gawk at, it was more like a stronger cutting wind than anything else.
But coming back to the matter at hand, Naruto had already reached the upper part of the first level and was now trying to master it by doing the one jutsu that would determine whether or not he could continue to the next level. This jutsu was very simple at first sight but the amount of work behind it was tremendous.
He just needed to surround himself with a rotating sphere of air and be able to change at will, the nature of the wind, from a sharpened wind to a concussive force.
After a few moments, the air around Naruto became agitated and slowly the air was gathering around him, rotating faster and faster with Naruto at the epicentre of the phenomena. During the whole thing, Naruto was calmly breathing in and out, trying to calm himself and control the force of nature that was the wind.
This wasn't his first try though. He had attempted it in more than one occasion and each time he had failed. But now he knew why he failed all those times. Before, he was trying to force the wind to do his binding but it was a lost battle because no matter what, he couldn't rival with the nature. Now though, he wasn't trying to force it but rather he was guiding it to do his binding. It was like he was creating a path for the wind to take, a path that couldn't be broken. This solution had several advantages because of one fact alone.
He wasn't creating a wind current or forcing the existing ones to do his bidding.
That was the mistake that several wind users did, and this had the result of wasting huge amount of chakra to do something that could have cost you almost nothing at all. By using his wind natured chakra to create the road that the wind would take and then manipulating the air pressure, he could create a whirlwind with the amount the chakra other wind users would need to create a high C-rank jutsu.
In the field, the currents were now so strong that everyone standing across him would need a good amount of chakra to stay put on the ground, and then just as if it wasn't even there before, the current was calmed and everything went back to normal. The only difference being that Naruto was now surrounded with a see-through sphere of air that constantly rotated around him.
He opened his eyes and surveyed his surrounding, all the while looking at the sphere around him in awe. He didn't dare touch the sphere though, and instead chose to test if he could change the nature of the air. He concentrated a little in sharpening the sphere and after a moment, he noticed that the ground he was sitting on had a circular slot where the sphere was.
Nodding to himself, he change it to a concussive force and was a little surprised to see himself rose a few inch from the ground, with the sphere acting as a platform. The surprise was enough to make him lose his concentration and the wind forming the sphere was dispersed in a violent shockwave that even pushed several huge slob of earth.
His mind was already thinking of way to use that shockwave to his advantage before he slowly rose from the ground and discarded those thoughts for later. He still had training to do after all.
He took a short break after this to calm his nerves as he was still trembling from the technique he just did. While taking this break he was thinking about all of his future opponents, especially a red haired one.
'That boy… I know I said that he was pathetic for just using one kind of jutsu for offense and defense, but even I have to admit that it is damn effective. There are several ways to bypass his defenses. The first and maybe most effective outside of a sandy field, is to use water jutsus to slow down his sand attacks, but I am not a water user, so that void this solution for me.'
Slowly he rose from the ground and moved toward the rocky formation for the next part of his training. 'The second solution is to use my speed to outrun the sand. That is a possibility as Lee was able to do so too, but like him, I can't rely on physical attacks to do the job as it was proven that he has another layer of sand as protection. I can also use my Kekkai jutsus but I prefer to keep it for the direst situation.'
He was finally a few meters in front of a boulder the size of a house and stopped there. 'The last solution and the one I prefer is to use a jutsu powerful enough to cut through whatever protection Gaara will use, and I happen to have the perfect one in mind.'
Indeed he had one jutsu that he had been thinking about for a while now, but hadn't found the time to create it. Now that he was free, he had all the time in the world.
First, he sent chakra to his eyes to activate his Bunsekigan, and then he slowly moved through handseals. The rate was very slow but was understandable as he was creating something from scratch, so he had to perfectly set the instructions. This went on for almost a minute and by the end of it, he could see his chakra in a shape that described all the instructions for the jutsu.
Satisfied with what he created, he now went about reducing the amount of handseals needed, as he now had the final shape the chakra was to take. In the end, he reduced the amount of seals to thirty, but knowing the complexity of the jutsu, it was a miracle that it wasn't above the hundred. Now began the testing part.
He looked at the boulder and went through the seals before finishing with his left hand holding his right shoulder, which seemed to shine with a bluish energy. Slowly but surely, his right arm transformed in wind, just like when he used his Fuujin jutsu. He frowned at the transformation though. 'I will have to hide it somehow as it is a dead giveaway.'
Once the process was over, sweat was rolling down his forehead because of the level of focus he had to maintain just to keep the jutsu from blowing. With the jutsu done, he slowly moved his right hand to check its mobility and found that he could still move it just like before. That made him sigh in relief, but this caused him to lose his focus for just a moment. But it was enough to cause what happened next. Indeed, because of his lost of focus, he didn't keep the tight reins he had over his right arm and swung it in front of him.
By the time he gained back control, the deed was done, and he could only look in shock as the giant boulder that was in front of him was cleanly severed in two, in a vertical line. Apparently whatever did it was strong enough to even cut through the ground.
He didn't know for how long he stayed there gawking at what he had just done, and frankly speaking he didn't care one bit. His mind was going over what happened repeatedly and he couldn't find where he went wrong when creating his jutsu. The jutsu was supposed to imitate the technique Hatake Kakashi was famous for, the Raikiri, except with wind instead of lightning, but what he did was nothing like it. He was called back to reality when a voice said behind him.
"I see that you are as frightening as ever, Naruto – kun."
It didn't take long for Naruto to recognize the voice and a small smile formed on his lips while he turned around to look at the only person that he could say he trusted and the one that helped him in his training.
"Sensei" He said while smiling at the figure that stood about twenty meters away from him. The person was obviously a male going by his stature. He wore black pants with a green vest. He had white bandage fastened around the ankles and ninja sandals. Protecting his tibia was a platinum metallic guard. He also wore a necklace around his neck. The necklace was strange as it was adorned with six fangs. He also wore a black cloth that went from his neck to just under his eyes. His white spiky hairs were covering his forehead only leaving his eyes visible. Finally he wore a white coat with several red designs on it.
The person smiled under the black cloth after hearing how Naruto called him. "I thought I told you to stop calling me that. After all, the only thing I ever did was give you some pointer when you asked."
"That was enough to solve several of my problems so to me, you are my teacher." Knowing that it was a lost battle, the person shrugged and moved around the training facility, inspecting it.
"Did you come here for training?" Naruto asked to his sensei who slowly nodded his head. "Yeah that was the idea, but it seems that it is already in use." He looked pointedly at Naruto whom knew that the latter wanted some explanations.
"You must be wondering why I brought someone here, don't you?" He sighed knowing there was no escaping that. His sensei knew him since he was little so it was very difficult to divert his attention or outright lie to him.
"I am simply enacting plan C."
The moment Naruto said that, the person widened his eyes and looked at him with a strange look that even sent shiver down Naruto spine. At that time, it reminded Naruto that he may be powerful but he was still far away from his sensei's league. One thing that did calm him though, was the fact that even the so-called sannin wouldn't hold a candle of the person that was before him.
"So you finally chose someone for that plan of yours then." He questioned Naruto who nodded quietly. "Why her though and why now? For that matter, why did you chose to reveal your bloodline now, because I know you well enough to know that you could have got the same results in the exam, without using your bloodline."
This time, it was Naruto who smirked as he looked at his sensei, knowing that when it came to strategy, he was in a league all of his own. "Tell me sensei, what is the most important reason villages participate in this exams?"
"For advertising." The man answered without hesitation.
"Indeed. That means that almost everyone in the world will know whatever happens during this exam. Now answer this question for me. What is the best way to draw someone from the shadow?"
This time, he took a few moments to answer. "By baiting him with what he want… Oh!" Naruto smirked as his sensei reached the correct conclusion as to why he chose to reveal his bloodline to the world.
"Are you sure they will take the bait though? You may have done this all for nothing." He said skeptically but Naruto just waved his concerns. "They WILL take the bait. They have searched for the existence of a member of the Namikaze clan for too long to let this chance slip by. I am even willing to bet that by the end of this exam, they will make their moves to at least confirm the existence of the compound."
The man just looked at Naruto with renewed interest. "No matter how many times I see you create perfect strategy, I am still stunned by how far you can plan ahead. I assume that you are finally ready then, that means I have to prepare myself too."
The man finally said before going toward another training facility where he knew he could train without uninvited guest. But before he got out of the training ground he said something that made Naruto's blood ran cold.
"Before I forget, I also came to warn you that she has decided to come back by the end of the exams."
It was a good thing that the man decided to say it once he was close to the exit, because by the time he was out of sight and thus well away from the training ground, an explosion of epic proportion occurred there. In the center of it all, stood Naruto with a look of pure rage on his otherwise impassive face. He clenched his fists so much that blood was leaking from it. Surrounding him was a strange purple energy that seemed to distort even the space around him.
But he was perfectly justified to be this angry though. After all, who wouldn't be after hearing that the person that was behind the death of your mother was coming back?
That night, Tenten was forced to wait until late in the night to be able to go back to her home, as Naruto completely forgot about her until he was calm enough.
10 DAYS BEFORE THE FINALS –
The finals of the chuunin exams were fast approaching and only a few days were left. While events of all kinds were unveiled, two of the most important ones were about to take place, and strangely enough at the same time.
In a sandy field, several people slowly walked toward their destination. Surrounding them was a caravan and given their disposition, they were guarding whatever the caravan contained. Inside it was none other than the current Kazekage. Despite the heat outside, he was still wearing his Kage attire and didn't seem to be affected in the slightest by the temperature.
Four ninjas stood guard around the caravan, each one standing at one of its corners.
Currently, the contingent was passing through a canyon, so they were particularly alert for any kind of ambush, not that they expected any as no one knew the path they chose to bring their kage to Konoha.
Unfortunately for them, their luck seemed to have run out that day, as standing above them, at the edge of the canyon was none other than Danzo himself. Beside him stood two ninjas, his personal guards and his most powerful members of Root.
Danzo watched as the caravan slowly moved under them and snorted. "It seems that the Kazekage is as arrogant as ever, for not taking more guards to protect himself in case of an attack. But who am I not to take advantage of this situation."
Without even looking at his bodyguards, he addressed them. "Torune, Fu, go!"
In Konoha, another event was also taking place. Unlike the above mentioned, this one would decide the future of the Hyuga clan. Two young girls stood in a ring while several members of the Hyuga clan surrounded them.
Those girls were none other than Hyuga Hinata and Hyuga Hanabi. Sisters by blood, but that was where the similarities ended.
While one was gentle to everyone, the other was cold.
While one disliked fighting, the other thrived in it.
While one was discarded like a failure, the other was trained since birth to be the most powerful Hyuga to foul this earth.
The elders of the clan, each sporting a smirk, stood close to the ring. The fact that their scheme went by without any itch certainly played a huge part in this. They didn't and couldn't have known that their actions would bring about the end of their side of the family. But they were too proud to notice the wind of change that blew in their faces.
Too proud to see what was in front of their very eyes.
Too proud to see that they were being manipulated all along.
But soon they will be forced to discard the veil that blinded them from the truth.
I hope you liked this chapter. Now reviews if you liked the chapter or if you have a comment to add.
Next chapter coming soon.