Being a pre-genin was incredibly boring, muse Naruto one fine day. It had become especially boring ever since Itachi had stopped following Noriko around. The last exciting to happen was the Taijutsu Incident, which was already three months ago and six months since he'd started classes with Sakura. Nothing particularly interesting had happened during those times. Noriko's birthday had come and gone, with Haruno-san had baking a huge birthday cake decorated with henohenomoheji and stuffed it full of peaches for her. There was a joke somewhere in that cake, he was sure of it.
Hinata had been invited, of course, as well as the rest of the girls from Noriko's class, not that Naruto had actually expected anyone to come. It was the day of the Kyuubi Festival after all and most people would rather be out in their yukata to gush over painted lanterns, paper flowers and cheap glittery jewellery than to attend a small girl's party. Kakashi had outfitted Noriko in a bright yellow yukata with pink patterns all over, there were hidden pockets in the sleeves, sparkling senbon hair sticks and a sakura patterned mask to match. She had some suspicions about the origin of that yukata, that old bag of bones Utatane had appeared at her 'birthday party' too and had brought a camera with her. All too ready to pinch Noriko's cheeks and cooing about how cute Noriko looks in the festival yukata. It was all rather creepy actually. He came this close to stabbing someone with the hair sticks.
Regardless, there was Sakura's dad's cake. Sakura herself gave Noriko a matching headband and mask set that she had painstakingly stitched together all by herself. Hinata gave Noriko a book on pressing flowers. It was interesting enough, Naruto thought, especially when he got his 'girl friends' to send letters to each other coded in pressed dried flowers, potpourri and the occasional scented paper. Kakashi was mildly impressed by their secret messages, it certainly beats passing notes via kunai in classes.
Ino was invited too, as were a number of other small girls, but she was the only one to turn up, armed with a small potted plant which she handed to Noriko with much ceremony. Naruto suspected Inoichi, after some prompting from Nara Shikaku, for putting up his daughter into establishing a connection with Noriko. A junior infiltration exercise so to speak. The old hag that hung out with the old man was there with her camera. Oh, and there's doctor Minami scowling at everything and Iruka-sensei making sure to keep at least two people between himself and Kakashi. The party had been prepared with at least fifteen kids in mind, possibly, judging from the amount of food on the table. It was too bad the classes weren't co-ed yet. He would have liked to invite Choji and Shikamaru, and Kiba would have been great for a laugh.
In any case, it had been fun though a little heavy on the female side. He was able to utilize Kakashi's disappearing food trick much to everyone's amusement and Utatane's disapproval. Noriko's eight years old that day. It had been more than a year (two years?) since the Major Incident. It turned out that a lot of time had passed during his incarceration underground, twice. Apparently that was more than enough time for shopkeepers to forget what Noriko had looked like and did not treated her much differently than other patrons. Her new reputation as a badass killer and a major genius child also had people, ninja and non-ninja alike, looked at him with a different kind of troubled eyes. They saw him now as a threat, an opportunity and a challenge. And really, he didn't need that kind of eyes on him all the time. The attention itself brought all kinds of trouble on its own, such as speculations on his friends which he could do without. People looking for power, political and otherwise, in the hands of the next 'prodigy' were always a pain to deal with.
Regardless, Naruto was a practical person. He reasoned that there was really nothing he could do about all the silly hype and attention, so there was no reason for him to lose sleep over it. Therefore, Naruto tried to act normal, for his friend's sake. Go to school, hang out with Hinata and Sakura, play with the thrice damned fox which had somehow grown on him and being generally polite to the people around him. The last one was made easier by Noriko's new reputation. It's much easier being polite to people who work hard to please you (heh) and doing their personal best not to annoy you into killing them. It helped that Naruto had been similarly treated in his past life as 'The Rokudaime' and responded with the usual graciousness.
In the classroom, Naruto sat near the windows, Sakura on one side, Hinata lurking behind them with Suzume-sensei droning on and on about something or other. Operation to get Itachi off his back had worked almost too well, Naruto was reasonably sure that the Anbu Weasel now totally hates Noriko's guts, along with the majority number of persons with last name Uchiha. Not that he cared. Itachi's sobs story aside, it was his stupid headedness that had caused Sasuke to go all crazy ass and anti-Konoha like that.
… … …
God, class was really boring.
The bell rang for break. The sound barely twitched his interest. Being with Sakura and Hinata was fun and all that but Naruto was NOT a girl, and more importantly, NOT an eight year old. No offence to his current age friends but if he had to speculate more about doll's clothing and games and whatever the hell kids those age do, he'd probably go kyuubi on something and kill someone.
"Pssst," Hinata hissed, "He's there again,"
Not to mention that extra complication he had not anticipated but in hindsight should have seen a mile away.
"I see him," Sakura hissed back, "Eww, he's not coming closer is he?"
Naruto smiled grimly, he should have known, really, how Uchiha Sasuke have this thing for people who had beaten him up. First, he took everything Itachi said as gospel truth after 'That Man' had pretty much massacred the entire clan. When Orochimaru had given him a cursed hickey that time in the Forest of Death and got his lackeys to beat him up, the fool had reacted by trashing up friends he had grown up with and abandoning them to go after the murderous paedophile. As for Uchiha Madara, also known in certain parties as Tobi, when the giant idiot found out the man had been party to the Uchiha Massacre thing, the teme had then made himself the personal attack dog of that lunatic. And, well, the only time he really did acknowledged Sakura was after she had picked up a tree and walloped him with it.
So yeah, following crazy Uchiha Sasuke logic, the eight year old boy was now stalking the girl who had beaten him up in a public fight and threatened to do him in the next time. All pretty normal day to day happenings in Uchiha world.
"He's coming over," Hinata flinched.
"D-don't worry," Sakura had a small canister in her hand, "i-if he comes closer, I'll spray him with this."
"Give me that!" Hinata actually lunged for the canister, "I don't want to get cooties,"
Oh, and did he mentioned?
Naruto had, utilizing his awesome and influential presence, convinced all the girls in the playground that Uchiha Sasuke somehow carried the dreaded cooties plague. Girls now hissed and flinched at his presence. The only cooties deterrent known to man (and girls) was lemon juice and the most effective spot to target for are the eyes.
"Fight me," the diminutive Uchiha demanded.
Noriko sniffed, "Do I know you?" several busybodies tittered nervously in the sidelines. The chuunin minders stood alert, but a little far in the sidelines, Noriko observed. They would not be able to stop Noriko if she suddenly decided to lop off the idiot's head.
Sakura made a rude face at the Uchiha boy. Noriko was the best person in the world and she was usually kind to most people, even to that weird fish eye boy who seemed a bit afraid of her. So if she thinks that this boy was bad news, Sakura would support her all the way. Indeed, most of their friends seemed to be a bit afraid of Noriko. Which was a totally silly thing in Sakura's opinion because Noriko was like the nicest person in the whole world, except to cooties carrier, because since they were like, sub-human and had very bad manners.
"I am Uchiha Sasuke," said the cooties carrier, "you will fight me!"
Noriko gave the pre-genin a contemptuous look, "I don't associate with crazies, let's go Sakura, Hinata"
Sakura gave the boy a last poisonous glare. What a terrible attitude. There must be something wrong with this person, she decided. Only an idiot would openly challenge Noriko like this. No one challenges Noriko unless they were stupid or super awesome. And Sakura could tell that the Uchiha boy was definitely not awesome material. It was quite possible that the cooties had damaged his brain processes. Sakura reminded herself again to keep her distance in case the incredibly contagious cooties jumped into her brain and turned her into an idiot.
Hatake Kakashi was a ninja of great skill and re-known and his talents were always in demand. In demand for what, Naruto could not have said for sure, but the man was always absent. Whenever the man was in the village, he was usually found recuperating at the hospital under the watchful eye of the medical doctors. It did not bother Naruto to be left alone in the large Hatake mansion. The walled in house was made to keep others out, and as such, it did little to keep Naruto in.
Living with Hatake Kakashi was not a hard thing to do. The man was not properly trained in social niceties and was therefore unaware how much attention should be given to a child. Noriko was similarly dysfunctional enough in the eyes of Konoha's society to not attract attention whenever she ventured out alone with a shopping bag bigger than herself to stock up food. There had been inquiries made, of course, on the actual care and attention Kakashi should have showered upon the prodigy, but these were brief and short lived.
Once, some official lady had turned up at the Hatake house determined to prove that Noriko was suffering from malnourishment and debilitating loneliness and should be fostered with 'nice' and 'normal' family. Kakashi was five days past the deadline he was suppose to return and the woman wanted Noriko to stay with the incredibly nice Lee family who had five other foster children with them. Naruto had at first been amused, then later irritated by the woman. Needless to say his retaliation had been anything but mature, but really, the stupid woman had it coming. It did not hurt at all when he found out she was an Uchiha civilian working for the domesticate branch of the police force.
Kakashi was incredibly apologetic to the woman, in that passive aggressive way of his when he found out. There had been some threats thrown around, all of which ended when Naruto made time to send clones to follow nosy, 'well meaning' persons and having her clones looking blankly at them through their windows and doing absolutely nothing. It was hilarious how freaked out they became. Even the Lee family were not spared. That little stunt put an end to civilians trying to interfere with Noriko's unconventional life for good.
That morning found Naruto craving something more than steamed vegetables or the wizened looking apples on the counter. So he put on Noriko's scarf, hoisted a backpack upon her small shoulders and made for the morning markets. He had not made any plans with either Sakura or Hinata, choosing to spend the day alone. The damned fox had been released to the woods to do whatever foxes do whenever they were not harassing other people's hair.
The morning breeze felt fresh and cool against Noriko's skin.
The ever present ninja shadow detached from the shingles of the Hatake house to fleet overhead. He vaguely wondered who the new anbu could be. The shadow moved differently from Itachi. Less flowing and more fleetish. Naruto did not bothered to acknowledge the shadow, he had had enough experience with bodyguards as a hokage to know them as necessary evil. Regardless, it had always tickled Naruto to know that he could kick all of his so called bodyguards' asses if he wanted to. Being immune to most poisons also made it that much more difficult to be killed.
For Naruto, being left alone was something matter of fact. It was enough that Kakashi always took pains to inform Noriko when he would be absent. Naruto had pretty much raised himself when he was at this age the first time round. Doing so again had posed no trouble at all. Especially since the people at the market place prove especially effusive and helpful whenever Noriko went grocery shopping, he did not even have to bring money along. Just visit the stalls that Kakashi usually went to and put everything on the bill. Kakashi kept tabs at two meat stalls and three vegetable stalls that included fruits as part of their ware. Not that Naruto had to go shopping all the time, there is only so much one person could eat after all.
It occurred to Naruto to try and act normal for the sake of everybody's peace of mind. 'Act' being the important word here. What was normal for Naruto at this age was ramen with Iruka-sensei, hanging out with some of the rookie nine, being teased and harassed by Kiba and Ino, getting his ass handed to him in Shoji with Shikamaru.
What was normal for Noriko again?
Killing chuunin traitors?
Terrorizing uppity academy students?
Yeah… not unless he wanted more parents after his ass. Naruto had spotted that woman with Sasuke's face poking her nose around Noriko, pretending to shop and taking paths way out of her normal route for the scenery. It was pretty creepy considering how many women with Sasuke's face had been sent by Kabuto to beat him up in some loopy sense of revenge. Naruto cast a wary eye at the woman with the Uchiwa fan on her back two stalls away, taking inordinately long time choosing tomatoes, trying to convince himself that he was being crazy paranoid.
He waved a thank you to the fruit sellers and moved to a different stall. The woman finally paid for her wares and moved to a stall right next to him. So much for just being paranoid. With a sigh, Naruto ignored the woman. One can't just blow them all away with a well place Rasengan after all. A bitter lesson he had learned long ago sitting at that one political meeting with the Daimyo and the many snooty courtiers of Fire Country.
Perhaps he could adopt more random wild foxes?
Haha, funnee, no way.
Hang out with Sakura?
Naruto pondered on the wisdom of the last thought, before shaking his head. As nice as being able to hang out with Sakura, or Hinata and Sakura together, the thought of having to do girl things together would probably break whatever leftover sanity he might have had in his head. So, in the interest of the general safety of Konoha, no hanging out with girl friends.
Still, Naruto was bored. And a bored Naruto was never a good thing as Iruka-sensei might have told the general populace. He could train, of course, but that would bring too many spectators to any training grounds Noriko might go. Besides, Academy students were not actually allowed at training grounds anyway. Not officially. That he was still being followed around by an anbu was not really big deal. The watch business was a tedious and boring job after all, one that Naruto had always used to punish his own errant ninjas. The tedium of watching a boring individual day in and day out doing nothing of interest will eventually cause the watcher to become careless and inattentive.
Contrastingly, Naruto was always very thoughtful to provide his anbu watchers with many, many kinds of interesting things to report. There was this one time when he persuaded Sakura and Hinata to build an edible version of the hokage tower using doughnuts, chocolate sprinkles and sticky icing. The result was brought to the school to be devoured by greedy classmates. Other times, he would sit on the edge of the lake and talked to the stones there, pretending to have a grave conversation with the unanimated things, shushing the fox when it tried to convince him to play. He would sometimes scatter kage bunshin about, leading the watchers down false trails and popping up in the most unexpected places doing nothing in particular.
The prankster in Naruto delighted in all these weird 'harmless' activity. Danzo's Root shadows were probably driven half mad by these meaningless excursions, unable to make sense or find a pattern in Noriko's movements. They were probably convinced Noriko was Up To Something and would push more resources into investigating her movements, thereby reducing Root's efficiency in other plots. Plots that involved Orochimaru and the eventual creation of Pein for example, as well as all the random Sharingan and Tobi related complications.
Speaking of random Sharingan related complications, Naruto had finally taken the time to put some serious thinking into the Uchiha business. While it was fun to antagonize the traitor brothers and the rest of the Uchiha in general, the resultant evil eye, Naruto had decided pragmatically, was probably not worth it in the long run. For Konoha to be strong, she would need all her fighters to be strong. The loss of the Uchiha clan had taken a lot of firepower, literally, out of the village. The loss of moral was pretty bad too.
Naruto knew he had to think like a kage again and not as a brat that goes around threatening every stupid people he encountered. Cause the world was made up of all kinds of people, even the nuts and the squashes. The Uchiha had been destroyed because they became a threat to the village. It became a threat to the village because Uchiha Fugaku-baka had taken into his stupid head to assassinate the Kage of his own village. Worst still, the man had thought he could get away with it. A pretty stupid thing to do considering that the elders and the hokage was already suspicious of the whole clan in general and that extra monitoring had been placed upon all of their correspondents and unassigned 'trips' on behalf of the clan and suspicious private gatherings at private temples.
So, Naruto had be mature and set aside his hatred and totally reasonable disgust against the Uchiha in general. For the moment anyway, he's sure that some Uchiha or other would probably try to rebel and turned traitor because that's how they were wired. Perhaps Konoha would allow Noriko to burn the person slowly from inside out, or stuck the traitor to the side of a mountain and let the rain and sun do his job for him. Noriko would enjoy burning people. Perhaps he could indulge her every now and then. There will always be traitors to kill.
Naruto sighed to himself, so no Uchiha baiting. He would have to think of something else to occupy his time. Vaguely he wondered how he had talked himself out of making trouble for the Uchiha. Well, maybe he won't give them actual 'trouble' trouble, but surely a teeny weeny totally tiny prank wouldn't be too bad? Kakashi was not scheduled to be back for another two weeks, Naruto would probably expire from boredom by then.
He could… do something weird yet harmless and make the Anbu, a Root recruit, bring interesting reports back to Danzo. Hmm… wait, that thought seemed strangely familiar. Had he just thought himself into a loop? Ah, well, it was still worth a second thought. It had been five days since Naruto had dedicated three hours arranging river rocks into interesting but totally meaningless patterns at training ground 23. He was still pondering over this dilemma when an opportunity for fun presented itself most opportunely.
With gathering cheer, Naruto bounced and skipped forward in an incredible burst of speed.
"Mi-Na-Mi-Sen-Seiiiiiiii!" Noriko squealed behind her scarf, one eye inverted into a curve, arms wide open to execute The Glomp, much to the horror of the people around them.
Dr. Minami's head stuck up suspiciously from where he had been perusing some cakes. The good doctor had a serious sweet tooth as Naruto had found out from Noriko's last birthday.
"Kyaa~" Noriko leapt up, and smacked face first into a very creamy cake, "Obb brbrb!" Noriko dropped to the floor, dripping cream everywhere.
The good doctor picked up his purchase, "She will pay for that one," he gestured to the fallen cardboard circle that had been the base for the smashed cake.
Not to be outdone, Naruto immediately filled Noriko's hands with cream and grabbed Dr. Minami's pants, "Uwaah! Minami-sensei is mean!"
To the shock of the people surrounding them, the good doctor simply put his hand into one of his shopping bags, brought out a fly swatter and swatted the Cursed Child on the head. Smack! Smack!
"If you do not let go this very instant, I shall shove the handle into your remaining eye," he threatened.
Naruto gave the man a watery look. Then, with malicious deliberateness, he rubbed Noriko's face against the doctor's leg, spreading cakey goodness all over the dark material.
It was a good day.
"Greetings, Hokage-sama," Maito Gai greeted after executing a perfect Dynamic Entry into the hokage tower via the wide windows. It was perfectly acceptable to come in through the windows if you were summoned by the hokage himself.
"Ah, Gai, so good of you to come," the runner that had been despatched to find Gai had only left five minutes ago, "and thank you for your prompt arrival,"
"It is but the power of youth, Hokage-sama," Gai flexed a bicep at the praise.
"Excellent, excellent," he ignored the increasingly incredulous faces of his old teammates, "I shall get to the point then, Gai,"
"If it pleases hokage-sama!"
"It pleases me indeed," said Sarutobi evenly, "How do you feel about becoming a jounin sensei?"
"Hokage-sama," said Gai with utmost graveness, "it would be my honour to assist in fanning the Fires of our Youths,"
"That's very good," Sarutobi said with similar gravity. He ignored Utatane and Mitokado's barely concealed shudders of horror.
"However, I had thought to do so in another year or two," Gai continued unexpectedly, Sarutobi blinked, he would have thought the man would have leapt, literally, at the chance to spread his Fires of Youth right away.
"I see," he said, curious now, "and what are your reasons?"
"There is a student. He will finish his schooling in a few months. The child is strong in his Will of Fire. However, the good and honourable medical staffs had determined that he may never use ninjutsu. I am pleased to report, however, that this does not deter the child in the least as he practices Most Diligently in the Taijutsu Arts. He will become a good shinobi," the light pinged off his teeth.
Understanding dawn on them. If Gai spoke true and the child really was unable to use his chakra, then it made sense that the school would hold him back for another remedial year, possibly even place him among the washbacks of the academy. If the child persisted in his current choice of career, he would probably be ended up as a desk ninja or a teacher of taijutsu for very young children. That was, unless a jounin took an interest in him.
"I believe I know the child, Rock Lee wasn't it?" grunted Mitokado, "An orphan with distant ties to the Lee clan,"
"Mitokado-sama is most well informed," Gai grinned at the man, offering his thumb up for viewing, "The power of Youth burns strongly within you!"
Mitokado's eyebrow twitched.
Sarutobi quickly intervene lest Mitokado decided to show Gai just how powerful his 'Youth' was.
"As the medics indicated that the boy would not be able to use chakra outside his body," he said, "I believe you intend to train the boy in body arts?" stealth was another option, but considering they were speaking to Gai, well…
"Hokage-sama is most insightful," Gai enthused spiritedly, "Lee will be trained in the Arts of Taijutsu and become a genius of hard work, just like me!" he flexed his other bicep. The muscle bulged and danced under his green leotard.
"So, the boy will be graduating soon?" Utatane asked a little desperately, trying to keep her eyes off the undulating muscle. It was making her seasick.
"If he passes his genin exam," Gai said neutrally, his arms now at his sides, much to the relief of his audience. Which Rock Lee would not, as they all know since the ninjutsu portion of the test will take up at least a third of the points. However, washbacks could return to school and gain another year of study and eventually go into the more mundane stream of ninja work. Gate guarding, paper work and finances unless they caught the eye of a jounin willing to train them. Rock Lee was now almost twelve years old. Technically, he should be taking his genin exams at the end of the year and, considering his chances, the academy should be able to release him in the following year after another year's worth of remedial lessons.
It was to Rock Lee's advantage that he already had the attention of a jounin and would not have to actually stay back for another year before graduating.
"While this is all fascinating, I believe that it is time we go back to the main objective," Utatane grunted, Maito Gai's talk of youth always made her feel older and crankier.
"Ah, of course, of course," Sarutobi regarded the Beast of Konoha with grave eyes, "What do you know of Uzumaki Noriko?"
"The ward of my Eternal Rival is a Rare Blossom indeed," he said, "Very hip and modern,"
"What do you think of her?"
"Powerful chakra, dangerous," he said at once, "odd, but kind to her friends,"
Interesting, thought Sarutobi. Gai was a ninja with no real political ties beyond those that he had made for himself. Having Noriko trained by a politically neutral ninja with a strong personality streak would only be good for her. Furthermore, Gai's affinity for 'Hard Work' and 'Friendship' could only be good thing for the increasingly isolated genius.
"We want you to be her jounin-sensei," Sarutobi said, going right to the heart of the matter. It was not a request.
Interestingly, Gai's face and body language… paused, he supposed. Yes, paused was a good word as any to explain the sudden stillness of the taijutsu master. His entire body paused. Gai appear to give the matter very serious consideration, "It would be a pleasure to fan the fires of her youth." He said finally.
"So you agree?"
"Hokage-sama, I most respectfully request to have Lee-kun in my team also. His fire is strong, but even the Most Valiant of Flames will gutter out without proper care,"
It was an unexpected request. While they now knew that Gai had his eye on the boy, they had not expected him to actually ask for the boy to be put into his genin team right away. That rather put a loop into their plans as they had wanted to have a Hyuuga and an Uchiha in Gai's team in order to balance out the power play. They had expected Gai to jump at the chance to train his rival's 'ward', they did not expect him to have an opinion in the matter.
This complicated matters quite a bit.
Sarutobi considered. Having a ninjutsu cripple in a team with Noriko's brand of chakra genius could be a disaster waiting to happen. Rock Lee's inability to utilize chakra outside of his body could seriously counter balance Noriko's heavy ninjutsu use. Furthermore, most genius children have no patience with those less brilliant then themselves.
Most genius children but Noriko, Sarutobi suddenly remembered. While Sakura and Hinata were bright enough, their abilities was a far cry from Noriko's brand of genius. However, for all her vaunted brilliance, Noriko was, as Gai had said, kind to her friends. Friends, Sarutobi thought suddenly, who were neither academically nor physically brilliant as herself. Perhaps, they ought to encourage this aspect of her personality. Having Rock Lee, an obvious 'hindrance' to the team might actually encourage this character trait.
He did not know what Lee might bring into the team equation, but Gai seemed insistent on having him. Lee had no political ties beyond those of his distant relatives who had fostered him when his parents died five years ago. His most obvious character trait was a 'to die' attitude towards becoming a ninja of Konoha. He did not even have Sakura's obvious academic brilliance, or a bloodline trait to back him up. The only real thing he had going on for him was Gai's dubious recommendation.
The possibility of a half trained ninja dying in a D rank was small especially with a jounin-sensei in charge, but it was understood that a team with Noriko's kind of power would eventually be given tasks that would bring them into close contact with battle. They could not afford to have her hang around chasing cats and delivering groceries for long. Her teammates would be expected to advance with her or be lost to battle. Perhaps, Sarutobi considered, as experiment goes, losing a half crippled ninja to battle would be no great disadvantage to Konoha. If Lee managed to survive and became a halfway decent ninja, he could even be promoted into chuunin level, eventually.
Yes, he thought, liking the idea more and more. Having two politically neutral members in Noriko's first team would be advantageous in the long run. Now he just has to decide on the final teammate. They could not put an Uchiha or a Hyuuga in without being seen as bias against the other. Perhaps an Aburame? But, there were none within that age bracket…
"Very well, a formal graduation exam will be held in three months time." they will decide on the third genin later, "Any academy student, regardless of their age or clan affiliation may participate. Those who pass this exam or catch the eye of a jounin sensei willing to train them will gain an automatic promotion to genin level," said Sarutobi.
"Yosh!" Gai jerked into a salute, "Lee-kun shall be ready for the exam. If he fails I shall run up and down the Hokage Mountain fifty times. On my hands!" with this final declaration, Gai threw himself out the window to inform Lee about this tremendous news.
"I do hope you know what you're doing," Mitokado grumbled, "all this talk about youth just isn't normal,"
"Normal is overrated anyway; hopefully, Gai's enthusiasm will rub off Noriko a little. She had been a little standoffish lately, and I believe Gai will have a good influence on her. Even Kakashi responds to his bracing presence,"
"That is all and well," Utatane muttered, "however, if I ever catch Noriko-chan running around in green spandex, I shall have your head for this, hokage or not,"
For once, doubt entered Sarutobi's head on the wisdom of letting Gai train Noriko. "Let us hope it does not come to that,"
Yup, this chapter's finally up. Any thoughts on who might be the third genin? Hehe