The Virtue of Knowledge: Power Unrivaled

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. There, now will you lawyers PLEASE stop stalking me?

Note: If there are any grammar, spelling, or information mistakes, please tell me. I hate mistakes.


Kai, or was it Kyuubi?, woke up.

She sat up and looked around her: an obviously ridiculously expensive room, decorated with good taste. The drapes were slightly open, letting in a thin rectangle of sunlight.

Ears on top of her head twitched, and one part of her regarded it as an everyday thing, another with wonder. She blinked, then clapped her hands when she noticed how sharp her eyesight was. She had never been able to see that far and that clearly out of the window before. A flash of memories, and she frowned. Never before as Kai, but as Kyuubi, everything had always been this clear.

The door opened, and Yuna walked in with the implements for a sponge bath.

There was a pause, as the two females regarded each other with surprise.

Kai's (or was it Kyuubi's?) fox ears twitched.

Yuna squealed. Loudly. Then she proceeded to drop the things she had been holding and tackle Kai into the bed. "You're awake! Oh, we were so worried about you! Naruto-sama came in looking like a full-grown hunk with a foxy, and I MEAN foxy, you in his arms and started screaming for everyone to prepare the best EVERYTHING for you!"

Kai finally managed to get a word in. "You're not...afraid of me? Even if I've bonded with Kyuubi?" She wished she hadn't said the last part. Maybe they didn't know about the bonding? They were her friends, but being bonded to the strongest of the Bijuu could really test the limit.

The tan woman blinked. "Bonding?" She glanced at the furry fox tails on the bed, then she rolled her eyes. "Okay, so you're one with the Kyuubi, so what? You're still the sweet red-eyed redhead we all know and love. And besides," Yuna proceeded to slip both her hands into the Kitsune's clothes, grabbing her breasts and squeezing.

Kai shrieked. "Wha-Yuna! What are you doing?" The tails moved menacingly, fire sprouting from the tips. Kai put them out before they could start firing at her friend.

The brown-haired woman giggled, pulling back. "Last I knew, you were a D. Those were DEFINITELY Es."

Kai blushed. One side of her wanted to wring Yuna's neck, while another knew that that was just Yuna acting Yuna.

Yuna took a lock of red hair, smiling at it. "Your hair's so much redder. And your skin, so pale. And even though you're not wearing any lipstick, your lips are scarlet." She squealed. "Oh! I wish I was the one bonded to Kyuubi! You look so sexy!"

Screaming abounded as Yuna proceeded to rip Kai's clothes off and comment on the 'improvements' on her body. "My god! If you were curvy before, now you're-you're-EEH! So sexy! And you don't have any of those scratches or blemishes anymore! OOH! Is that cute birthmark on your butt still there?"

"Yuna! Let me go! This is embarrassing!"

Naruto barged into the room, having been silent as he stalked near it, thinking that someone had attacked Kai. He was greeted by the image of a rather disheveled Yuna with a naked Kai roughly on her lap, her ass facing in his direction. And yes, apparently, that cute birthmark on her butt WAS still there. Currently, however, his only thoughts were; 'That, is one nice ass...'

Kai froze when Yuna suddenly stopped, before slowly turning her head to gaze at Naruto. She tried to resist the urge to drool.

Naruto, no matter how well-developed, had been twelve years old. The man staring at her with that hungry look that made her sex clench was no boy.

Five feet and ten inches of shirtless, muscled male graced her eyes. He was breathing heavily, sweat dripping sexily down his muscled arms and chest. Blue eyes that had captivated her before now made her want to stare and giggle deliriously. His hair, which had been relatively short and businesslike, was now longer and in disarray, reaching halfway down his neck and slightly covering his eyes, giving him a sexy, rugged look.

She gulped, feeling herself getting wet as she gazed at his toned body. She sniffed daintily, and she had a feeling her pussy had started leaking when she smelled the intense smell of his arousal. "Naruto..." She said, in a breathy, sultry voice made for sin. Naruto visibly stiffened, before blushing and running out, slamming the door closed.

There was silence, before Yuna said; "Oh, and I forgot to tell you; he changed when he came back. He's such a hunk isn't he? And he's been training with Yareno nearly all the time for three days, something about acclimating himself to new proportions. You know, that stiff butler can be really hot once he takes that shirt off and starts sweating. Ahh, two hot males duking it out, for hours on end. You have GOT to come with us sometime."

Kai swallowed. "Y-Yes. That would be fine." Oh god, that body, those eyes, that scent, she wasn't going to be able to think of anything but him for weeks!


Naruto panted heavily as he leaned against the door.

He groaned as images of Kai assaulted him. Ah god, that girl had an ass to make any man drool. And the way she had been looking at him had had his heart beating faster, feeling as if he was in the same room as a furnace.

Then she had said his name in that new voice of hers...

Naruto moaned in frustration.

"If you're quite done daydreaming about your Kyuubified servant, would I suggest getting back into the fight?" Yareno's monotone voice broke him out of his reverie.

Naruto twitched, before facing the shirtless butler. "Shut up. I wasn't daydreaming."

"Fantasizing then. Or would ogling be a better word?"

A yell of embarrassment and rage, followed by several dozen explosions, then; "Ow. That actually hurt. Allow me to pay you back in kind." Explosions abounded.


"AUGH! I can't take it anymore Yareno! Those girls are going to be the death of me! And those bastards! Snickering behind my back!" Naruto shouted in his soundproofed room.

Yareno was utterly still save for his eyes, which traced his pacing master back and forth. "Are you quite done yet?"

"Oh HELL no. I have a lot more to complain on. And Kai! Damn it, what madness had her asking if she could resume her maid duties? She's bonded to the freakin Kyuubi! I know Kai herself would be humble enough for that, but Kyuubi herself would rather drown than be a servant to ANYONE! It wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't around to look at her. These days, I can't seem to stop looking at ANY female. And with Kai, it looks as if her clothes have shrunk."

'Not madness. Yuna. And the only reason you keep ogling your female servants are because for some twist of fate, all of the females you hired are drop-dead gorgeous. And no, Kai's clothes didn't shrink. She's just gotten curvier. Just be happy I got her new ones and she finally figured out how to retract those fox tails and ears.' Yareno thought to himself. "It's called puberty."

Naruto's eyes twitched. "You don't say."

Yareno rolled his eyes. "Allow me to attempt an explanation for your sudden awareness of your servants' sexuality and unexpected impulses to have them undressed. When you put the Kyuubi in her, the long hours of being saturated by the bijuu's chakra changed your body, aging you from a twelve-year-old to a fit man in his twenties. However, there is more to it than that."

"And that would be?" The twitching was getting decidedly more intense.

Yareno continued. "One way or another, you're faster, stronger, more durable than anyone I know. Your body is on high-speed all the time, as if it expects a war to erupt anytime. You have a ridiculously high metabolism because of this, and a faster metabolism means a more intense sex drive. You have a lot of energy to burn, and if you don't use them up on something else, your body encourages you to use them up on sex. Being around a lot of beautiful women just makes it worse."

The blonde looked as if he wanted to kill himself. "Well fuck."

"Indeed. An S-class spar would certainly be adequate, but I do not recover as fast as you do, and you recuperate completely the next day, so according to my calculations, you would need five S-class warriors of my level and type to have a sparring schedule that will last indefinitely."

Naruto proceeded to slam his head on the wall. He scowled when he found that it didn't hurt all that much and that he was actually breaking the stone surface. "Any otherideas?"

"You could always take the girls up on their offers." The butler suggested.

The blonde blinked. "Offers? What offers?"

Yareno inwardly sighed. 'You can manipulate a hundred politicians so finely, they practically dance on tightropes for you, but you cannot even comprehend basic innuendos.' "Their offers of their doors always being unlocked if you wish to visit them in the night and make love to them." Some had suggested a foursome. And then there were the quadruplets...

A moment of silence, before, "WHAT? That's what they meant with that? No! HELL no! They're my servants! That's"

"Some big businessman having a secret love affair with his secretary who always wears that ridiculously-short miniskirt?"

"Yes! Exactly like tha-I mean no! I mean yes! AH!" Naruto was running around like a headless chicken now.

Yareno sighed visibly. "If you wish, I can always call in some professionals."

The ex-Jinchuuriki blinked. "Professionals?"

Yareno clarified.




"NO!" Naruto shouted. "No! Never in a thousand years!" Then he blinked. "Wait a minute, why multiple?"

"Because considering how much energy you have to burn, it would take at least three girls before you're satisfied. Every. Day." The butler explained.

"Burn me. Just burn me now." Naruto said in a deadpan.

Yareno shook his head. "That will be extremely hard to do. It seems that your body has developed an especially high resistance to heat and fire. I would need something like the Sharingan's Amaterasu to burn you properly. Or throw you into an active volcano. Either way."

The ex-Jinchuuriki groaned. "I hate my life."

'You have everything any self-respecting male would ask for; money, women, power, but you're too socially and sexually inept to appreciate them all.' Yareno stifled his male urge to punch his lights out. It would be bad on his rep if everyone found out he punched his master out of simple jealousy.

Sighing, Naruto stood up, scowling heavily. "Whatever. Either way, I'll deal with that later on. It's time I met up with Danzo."

Yareno nodded. "Ahh, about that. Are you sure Danzo is a good choice? He has a rather shady reputation."

The blonde shook his head. "He has simply lost his way. Once, all that he did was for Konoha, but bitterness, jealousy, and the years have gotten to him, and now he does what would be good for him, because he is best for Konoha. The man I want, the man that shone so brightly in the war, is still inside him. All that I have to do is to pull him back out."

Yareno sighed. "Aren't you at least going to let me come with you? Spars are fine and good, but a real battle is different. You still haven't acclimated to your new body." Naruto still sometimes crushed what he was holding.

Naruto waved him off. "And the best way to do that is a real battle. Better one I myself will orchestrate than one an enemy did. And two S-class warriors will put Danzo and his ANBU too much on edge. I can't have that."

The butler nodded. "Very well." Naruto opened the window and prepared the leap out. Yareno raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you going to teleport?"

Naruto shook his head. "Hell no. I'm going to run. Like you said, I need to burn up all that energy, and I don't want to be full of it when around women." He turned to leap, then blinked, before looking back to Yareno. "Oh, and by the way, you're going to be training someone when I get back." With that, he disappeared before his butler could protest. A quick glance outside showed him running towards Fire Country at speeds that should not be possible without any jutsu, not even leaving a dust cloud.

Yareno rolled his eyes, then walked out of the room to resume his duties.


"Sir. There's an intruder in the compound."

Danzo glanced at the ANBU. "Is there something special I should know about this intruder?" Aside from the fact that he had been told about the intruder while it was still inside. Typically, he was told of intruders at the end of the day, after they had been successfully captured and interrogated, then disposed of.

"It seems as if he's heading for you. He knows all the routes, and as far as we know, he's moving in a straight line to here."

The answer made the gears inside Danzo's head spin. So, someone somewhere knew about him, about his compound, and had probably sent someone to either capture or kill him. Probably the latter.

The aged ninja stood up, grasping his cane tightly. "Seal off all the exits. No one gets out or goes in until the man is apprehended." With that, he strode outside, where half a dozen ROOT members were already waiting for him. He opened his mouth to speak, but before he could utter a syllable, footsteps were heard.

They turned to face the direction of the sound; from the far length of the corridor they were in. Danzo frowned. If it were his ROOT ninja, they wouldn't make a sound, and as far as he knew, there were no visitors today... "He's here already?"

"Apparently, sir." One of the ANBU answered, settling into a stance.

The footsteps shifted, suddenly being heard behind them.

Before any of them could turn, one of them flew forward, skidding against the floor and crashing to the wall, unmoving. In the time it took them to face the intruder, another had had his head slammed face first against the ground. He didn't stand up.

The interloper was blonde, crouching, still holding the head of his last victim, and one of the remaining four ANBU sliced down with his ninjato. The blonde stood up, seemingly casually, and yet he had moved so fast he was a blur, and he batted the weapon away by the flat of its blade almost condescendingly, with enough force to make the ANBU stumble to the side.

He turned, facing the others, and another found the intruder in front of him. An instant of stillness, before the blonde punched him in the stomach, then the chest, before spinning, and his raised foot struck the ANBU at the neck, dropping him to the ground.

The three ANBU and Danzo leaped away, casting jutsu. Wind, earth, fire, and a thin stream of bugs.

The blonde walked. Walked, that much was certain, but it was like watching someone walk in fast forward. They knew he was walking, but he was moving so fast he was a blur. He strolled around the attacks, and when the smoke of the fire jutsu covered him and they blew it away with wind, they found him gone.

One of them grunted, and when they looked, he was gone. They tensed, forming a triangle, looking at every possible angle. They didn't expect him to be inside the triangle. Casually, the blonde grabbed the heads of the two remaining ANBU, and knocked them together.

Danzo spun around, drawing his sword, but for all his hard-won speed and experience, was barely able to draw half his sword before he felt a fingertip touch his throat. There was a tingle. Electricity. Weaker than any E-class jutsu, but enough to show that there WAS electricity.

Danzo froze. If he activated Izanagi he might be able to escape the situation. But if he was too slow...

The man withdrew. "I could have killed you, but I didn't. I could have killed them, but I didn't. I want to talk. Will you listen?" With that, the man drew up his hands, palms open in a gesture of harmlessness.

The aged ninja blinked, surprised, before studying the features of the intruder. For a moment, he saw instead the Fourth Hokage, resplendent in his power and youth, before he shook off his shock at the man's likeness to the Fourth. It was impossible. The Yellow Flash was dead, and this man was too old to be his son. "Who are you?"

A pause, before, "Maelstrom."

Well, that changed everything.


Maelstrom. It was a name spoken always with respect, usually with reverence, and sometimes with fear.

He was a man who had unceremoniously entered the game of thrones and business, and proceeded to rise to the top with so much ease it made everyone else grind their teeth at the sheer effortlessness of the man. It was a testament to his reputation that despite said teeth-grinding, when he had covertly let out that he preferred Mist-nin to any other, Mist had suddenly gotten a ridiculous influx of missions. Unfortunately, it seemed that Mist was managing to keep the customers satisfied, and thus was stealing Konoha's share.

Danzo had thought him a man who had trained his entire life in business and politics by the best of the best. He did not expect him to be a warrior. A warrior, who was apparently good enough to best six jounin ANBU and a grizzled war veteran like himself singlehandedly.

Right now, sitting in front of him in his office drinking tea, Danzo wondered WHAT to think. "Why are you here?"

Maelstrom continued to drink tea. He drank two more sips, before placing the cup on the table. Finally, he deigned to speak. "To talk. Tell me, Danzo, what do you know of Orochimaru's plans?"

The aged ninja frowned. Orochimaru was a rather sore spot for all people of Konoha. Didn't the man know how rude it was to talk about him? Nonetheless, he answered. "He wants eternal life and to master all jutsu in the world. As far as I know, he plans to achieve the former through sick experiments, which were exactly what had him driven out of Konoha."

Maelstrom clicked his tongue. "Current, Danzo. Current."

The frown deepened. "I do not know. If there were someone to have knowledge of those, it would be Jiraiya."

The blonde leaned into his chair. "He has created a Hidden Village, the Village of Sound, and has made an alliance with Sand through killing their Kage and impersonating him. He plans to attack Konoha with their combined forces and the rabid Jinchuuriki of Shukaku. Furthermore, he intends to capture Uchiha Sasuke and take over his body. He thinks the Sharingan will help him learn jutsu faster. Believe me on this: my sources are secret, but trustworthy."

Danzo froze, staring at him, wondering where the hell he had gotten the information and why he was telling him this. "What do you want, Maelstrom?" Information like this always came with a price.

Maelstrom sipped his tea before speaking once more. "Want?" He closed his eyes, and he seemed to be savoring a memory. He opened his eyes. "I want peace, a world without war, where everyone is content. I know what you have done, and what you want to do, and I commend you for it. You always thought of Konoha in everything you did, because you believed it was the only way. But let me tell you, there is another path. Tell me, Danzo, what do you think of peace?"

The aged ninja shook his head once more, wondering how much Maelstrom knew, from his subtle hint that he knew of his plans and dealings. "That is a fool's dream. Perhaps there are times when the entire world is not at war, but peace? True peace? Where everyone is content? That does not exist."

The blonde nodded. "It is as I expected. Such a pessimist."

Danzo frowned. "Do you actually believe in that idea? I expected more of you."

Maelstrom's eyes seemed to darken, and when he spoke, it was with a conviction that shook him to his core. "I believe it because I have seen it. It is beautiful, and it is possible." He lunged, too fast for Danzo to react, and the leader of ROOT found himself looking into a pair of azure eyes, two fingertips touching his forehead. "Look into my eyes, and allow me to show you what I have seen."

The world shifted.


A kingdom. A beautiful kingdom. A peaceful kingdom.

Children played happily, parents smiled at their happiness, and everyone else grinned at their joy. Danzo felt it. Their happiness, their joy, and he couldn't help but smile. All throughout the kingdom, happiness abounded; something he considered an impossibility. Time moved faster, and he saw it grow and prosper, but never change for several hundred years, with the adults growing old and dying, and the children growing to replace them, followed by their children, and their children's children, and so on, but always with a smile on their faces.

The vision shifted, showing an attack by an army against a keep. His face turned grim, expecting them to react badly, to panic, to be caught completely off-guard just like everyone else who had never experienced a battle. He did not expect them to kill like they did it everyday of their lives, faces grim and determined, hearts filled with a fiery resolve for...something.

He saw the army turned back and routed, he saw the victorious defenders take the dead and mourn them for a day, their sadness bringing him to tears. Then it was over, the corpses from their side sent to their families, the enemy's sent to the country from where they came from, and the joyful life resumed.


Danzo shook his head to clear his thoughts, before looking at Maelstrom, who once again sat before him. "What was that? After a thousand years of peace, how could they fight like that?"

Maelstrom was smiling faintly. "Because they do not forget."

Danzo blinked. "What?"

The blonde gestured vaguely. "Tell me, would you show a child the horrors of war? Of starvation and sickness, of corpses and blood? Will you show a child your greatest shames? Your worst failures? No, you will not. You will try to forget them." The smile widened, and he gazed at something only he could see; probably the kingdom, with reverence. "These people didn't forget. These people preserve their memories for access to the next generation. Their finest hours, and greatest shames. All of them. No secret too dark, no indignity too great. Children experience war. They see bloodshed, they see suffering, and they wish to god it would never happen."

Danzo stared at him. "That is ridiculous!"

Maelstrom shook his head. "No. It is what should be. They see people who have suffered, they experience suffering, and know how good their life is. They feel the horror of taking a life, of seeing your friends die all around you on the battlefield, and they understand how important life is. And yet, they also experience happiness. They live the few times when the world is perfect. When no one is killing someone and love is in the air, and they appreciate it when they actually experience it all the more because they have seen the worst."

"The children grow up wishing for peace, and loving it where they find it, but not in any way naïve. They cry when they lose someone dear, but move on, in the hope of better times, always buoyed by the support of their friends. People support other people in need when they know how much it hurts, and when they are attacked, they fight, and kill, so that others do not have to fight or die. True peace, if true peace could ever exist."

Danzo stared at him, shock and wonder in his eyes. "And the kingdom, does it still exist?"

Maelstrom nodded. "Trust me when I say it does, though it is inaccessible to us. Do you see now? Do you still think of it was a fool's dream? It exists Danzo, and I want to make the entire world just like it."

Danzo settled into his seat, mind reeling. "It is beautiful, and as you have shown me, it is possible. I shouldn't believe you, but..." He gulped, remembering the images, the feelings, vivid and clear and rooted deep into his mind. "...I just know that what you showed me was real. What did you do?"

"I opened my mind to you. One day, you will understand how much trust I put in you in doing that."

Danzo breathed deeply. "You want peace. True peace, as you have shown me." A nod. "That will be hard. A momentous undertaking that will take more than our entire lives."

Maelstrom's eyes shone with emotion. "But it is worth it. You felt it. All that happiness, all that joy. It is worth it, for that."

Danzo let out his breath. "Yes. Yes it is." He looked at Naruto. "You have my support. But before you go, tell me; why me, why help Konoha?" Konoha he could understand. It was the greatest Hidden Village, but didn't he say he preferred Mist-nin? And why him? There were better people than him to work with for a goal such as this.

Maelstrom stood up. "Why Konoha? Because you have to start somewhere, and if I wish to stand under the banner of that dream, I must learn to forgive." He looked him in the eye, and smiled. Danzo, for some reason he could not fathom, felt pride at his next words. "Why you? Because I wanted you. I wanted you on my side." Maelstrom's voice intensified, filling with conviction, and Danzo's eyes widened, feeling as he did in the presence of the First Hokage; a man who would make his mark on history unlike any other, only this time, it was so much stronger.

"Change is coming, change the likes of which you could never have imagined, and my mission is to prepare the elemental nations for it. I didn't want the manipulator, Danzo. I didn't want the leader of ROOT. I wanted the man the Second Hokage trusted to do what's best for the village. I wanted the man Sarutobi Hiruzen trusted to guard his back in the war. The Sandaime took down every enemy in front of him, but he wouldn't have gotten as far he did if you didn't kill every ninja that would have stabbed him in the back. I wanted that man, and I have found him." He turned around and disappeared after a step.

Danzo stared at the space he had occupied, wondering if it was all a dream. But no, the cup of tea was there, and the memories of that kingdom were still fresh in his mind. He didn't think he was likely to forget it. Ever.

He looked up at the ceiling. "Forgive, eh? Just this once, I'll be the one to extend the laurel leaf. For that dream, I'll work with you again, you old monkey." He promised himself, even as he wondered what possible sin Konoha had done to Maelstrom.


Naruto looked upon Konoha on top of the Yondaime's head, thoughts whirring through his head.

"So. I've done it. Danzo believes, and that'll make a big difference when the time comes." He looked up to the sky, as if searching for something...or someone. "Three weeks more until the Chuunin Exams. Just a bit more, and we'll finally see each other again." A breeze ruffled his hair, and he closed his eyes to savor the feeling. "Hmm, I wonder how everyone else is doing..."

A gust of wind, and he was gone.


Sasuke Uchiha smiled at the large crater he had made. His entire body hurt after everything, but he had done it.

Kakashi nodded. "You did it. You can do Chidori now."

"I can win this." The Uchiha survivor proclaimed with a smile.

Then Kakashi said; "Sure you can. Now let's work on making your chakra level higher. It wouldn't do if all that you could do was a single attack." Sasuke paled at the idea. Training, he meant. Fortunately, the son of the White Fang added, "Tomorrow. It's already sundown."

The Uchiha sighed with relief, but as his sensei turned to disappear, he called out, "Wait!"

Kakashi turned back. "Hmm?"

Sasuke took a deep breath. "I've been thinking, about what Naruto told me." Kakashi nodded, understanding how serious of a subject the mysterious blonde was. "What's your opinion on Itachi? When he killed my entire clan. Do you think there was something more to it?"

Silence, before, "I talked with Itachi just days before the massacre. He was just as he always was, except he seemed...resigned, for some reason. Yes. I do think there's more to it."

Sasuke nodded. "Thanks sensei."

An eye-smile. "What are senseis for?"

In the background, a figure nodded in approval before disappearing.


"Having a hard time, girl?"

Hinata Hyuuga stopped in mid-strike at the sound of certain blonde know-it-all's voice. She turned in its direction, finding a blurry figure facing her from the shadow of a tree. "Naruto?"

A clap. "Bingo." He walked out of the shadow, and he smiled not a little bit disquietingly. "Hello girl, how have you been?"

She blinked, then rubbed her eyes. The image didn't change. "Naruto? Is that really you? You look...different." Taller. Older.

He glanced faintly at himself, then shrugged. "A side-effect of something I did. Took a while getting used to the new proportions, but I managed."

"Oh." She fidgeted, wondering what to say. "Umm...why are you here?"

"Checking up on you." He said with all seriousness, though the smile was still there. It was getting unsettling. "You're fighting Neji, and the boy's good, very good."

She pouted. "I know that, but what does that have to do with you being here?" She asked, her voice tense. Naruto was smiling like the cat that got the canary, or someone who knew someone he hated was about to get blown up, and no one was going to help the guy. In fact, if she didn't know, it was-YES! It WAS widening. Okay, now that was disturbing. If that wasn't a hint to be wary, she didn't know what was.

Honestly though, when were the guards going to earn their pay? So many people kept on getting in and out of the Hyuuga compound without getting caught!

Naruto was blunt and to the point with his answer. "I wanted to see if you've gotten good enough to win the battle, and I'm disappointed to see that you're not."

Hinata slumped. 'E-Even Naruto thinks I'm a disappointment...' She thought dejectedly.

"So I've decided to help you get better, faster!" The blonde added, smile still on.

She blinked, then gaped at him. "You mean..."

"Me? Hell no! I'll probably crush you accidentally." He replied chirpily, the smile growing until Hinata knew for a fact that she should run away now if she wanted to avoid trouble. She was even pumping chakra in her legs in preparation for a jump. Nothing good was coming out of this, she just knew it.

Then of course, he just had to move so fast she didn't notice he had her hand before making a half-seal.

The world shifted, and she suddenly found herself in what seemed to be a training grounds.

Naruto's smile reached its peak, then he spoke. "Yareno."

Someone coughed behind her, and she turned to see a giant of a man dressed in a butler's uniform with a closed fist in front of his mouth. "You called me?"

Naruto placed a hand on her shoulder. "Hinata-chan, meet Yareno. Yareno, meet Hinata-chan, who'll be your student for until the Chuunin Exams start, and possibly beyond. Teach her whatever you think she needs, but if it's too personal, it's alright not to teach it to her. I understand. Oh, and she has to be home by ten, so call me when it's time. Well, get to the training you two!" There was a blur, and he disappeared.

Hinata turned to Yareno. Wondering what the hell she had gotten herself into. The man was a giant! She didn't even come to his chest! She breathed deeply, and decided that just because you were intimidated by your new teacher didn't mean you shouldn't be respectful. " is an honor to train under you...Yareno-sensei."

Yareno's reply was a piercing stare, and he didn't stop for minutes, to the point where she started sweating nervously.

Then, "Show me what you can do."

She blinked, then nodded determinedly. "Hai!" She charged, and was surprised to see he was settling into a taijutsu stance. Didn't he know that fighting a Hyuuga in a taijutsu battle was suicide?


Walking away, Naruto chuckled as he heard the explosion, followed by a high-pitched scream from Hinata.

"Get back here, girl! You'll never get anything done if all you do is run away!" Yareno's voice barked out, followed by another explosion. Chunks of rock flew into the air. Another scream.

Naruto laughed. "Hinata, if you're not in a full-body cast in three weeks, then beating Neji would take so little effort you'd make Hiashi proud." There was a sudden clank of steel on steel, then a sound like the earth being torn asunder and a wrecking ball crashing into its twin. Naruto turned in the general direction of the supposed carnage. "Yareno! That was overkill! No borderline S-class moves on the poor little genin!"

Yareno shouted back from far away. "When you made her my student, you put her life in my hands. This is how I trained every one of my students, and this is how I'll train her, no exceptions just because she's Hyuuga."

Naruto blinked at his logic. He was right. But still... "At least TRY not to kill her too much!"

"Sure." Yareno responded. Something powerful shattered a very large rock formation, if the size of the shards in the air were any indication.

In this, Hinata added; "How do you not kill someone too much?"

Yareno's response; "You only fatally wound the person partly."

"What?" To Hinata, this made no sense whatsoever. In truth, it didn't. Naruto and Yareno were just shitting her. Poor girl.

More explosions, and Hinata, shy, sweet, patient Hinata, saw something so horrible she actually swore.

"What the fuck is wrong with you? Those things are gonna freakin kill me!"

"They're supposed to."


Another explosion, and the earth shook with its magnitude.

Naruto actually whistled in appreciation at the dust cloud.

Poor, poor, Hinata.


"Oh come on, it wasn't THAT bad." Naruto consoled her, patting her head soothingly.

"Yes it was!" Hinata shouted at him, shuddering at the memory. She had been pristine when Naruto teleported her to his place, but now, she looked like she had been through a meat grinder, a wood chucker, and a thresher. Giant ones. Simultaneously and not necessarily in that order.

"Well, on the plus side, you only have twenty days of that to go instead of twenty-one! Isn't that great?" Naruto asked cheerily.

Hinata just cried.