Welcome one and all to the sixth chapter of Iron Shinobi. I deeply apologize for the horrifically long wait. Over a year and a half! What the hell, right? My only excuse is life. For the last year or so I've been going to work and college full time so my time to write was zero. But now that I'm on summer break from college I can start updating my three stories and give my fans what they've been waiting for. So let's get right into it.

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Chapter Six – Solo Mission the Stolen Sword

It had been almost two weeks since Naruto had seen the birth of Hayate's new katana. In that time he had done team training and missions with Kakashi, Sasuke, and Sakura. All the missions however were nothing but D-Ranks which was seriously starting to grate on Naruto's nerves. His family's infamous battle lust had been growing stronger and his urge to fight had been slowly making him more short tempered.

"I really need some kind of combat mission soon." Naruto remarked with a sigh as he walked with his team towards the Hokage Tower.

"I know you're getting annoyed with D-Ranks Naruto but as new Genin Team Seven won't be approved for higher ranked missions for a while longer." Kakashi stated while reading his Icha Icha Paradise book as he walked alongside his team.

"I know that, Kakashi-sensei. It doesn't change the fact that sparring isn't taking the edge off my thirst for battle as much as it used to." Naruto replied with a dissatisfied grunt as the Hokage Tower came into view.

"Maybe you should ask for something more combat oriented this time Kakashi-sensei." Sakura suggested as she looked between her sensei and teammate. It was no secret that Naruto had been getting more short-tempered lately as evidenced by the time he'd sliced a small tree in half to get Sakura to stop talking about how amazing Sasuke was.

"Hn." Was all Sasuke added to the conversation. Even though he agreed that D-Ranks weren't good enough missions for an elite Uchiha like him.

"We'll see." Kakashi stated as the four of them entered the Hokage Tower and walked towards the mission assignment office. When they arrived they noticed the Sandaime was sitting behind the desk looking over a scroll with a stern expression on his face.

"Hokage-sama, Team Seven reporting for mission assignment." Kakashi said as he and his team bowed slightly in respect of their leader.

"Good to see that you four are looking well." Hiruzen Sarutobi replied as he looked up from the scroll he was examining. After taking in the appearance of the team and noticing Naruto's agitated state he asked a question. "Naruto, how are you feeling lately?"

"Annoyed and aggravated, Jiji." Naruto replied with a small scowl. As he looked at his surrogate grandfather.

"The need to battle for real is building up isn't it, Naruto?" Sarutobi questioned as Naruto nodded at the question.

"Sparring isn't taking the edge off much anymore, Jiji." Naruto replied with a shake of his head. Sarutobi nodded in response to the statement before perusing the contents of the scroll he had been examining earlier once again. Team Seven stood at attention as the Hokage looked over the scroll in his hands.

"Kakashi, what would you rate Naruto's skill level at currently?" Sarutobi questioned the Jounin as he looked up from the scroll. Kakashi responded while his faced betrayed only slight confusion.

"Naruto's current skill level is close to an average Chuunin's in combat ability. His lack of experience on the battlefield is the only thing holding him back from being high Chuunin combat wise. His proficiency in his Kekkei Genkai, Taijutsu, and Kenjutsu are the highest in his graduating group. Overall I'd say Naruto could take on most Chuunin level opponents and come out the victor without serious injury, sir." Kakashi reported while staring directly into his leader's eyes. Both Sasuke and Sakura looked at Naruto hearing their sensei praise the boy's combat ability so highly in his report. 'I doubt the dobe could beat any truly skilled Chuunin. Only an elite Uchiha like me could easily accomplish such a feat at our age.' Sasuke thought to himself with his normal egotistical arrogance. 'Naruto still isn't better than Sasuke-kun.' Sakura thought with a nod of her head at her own reasoning.

"I see." Sarutobi stated with a nod before placing the scroll he held on his desk in front of him. "Then I've decided that Naruto should be ready to take his first solo combat mission."

"Seriously Jiji!" Naruto exclaimed in surprised joy. Both Sasuke and Sakura stood in shock of what the Hokage had just stated. Kakashi, however; couldn't have been prouder of his student's strength being recognized. The fact that he had a hand in bringing out some more of that strength in the time Team Seven had been together only made him prouder. Proving to himself that he was a capable sensei just as the Yondaime Hokage had been to him and his old team. Sarutobi nodded in response to Naruto's exclamation before going over what Naruto's solo mission would entail.

"A shinobi by the name of Rokushou Aoi has been spotted within the borders of Hi no Kuni. Aoi is a known Konoha missing-nin and is to be captured or killed on sight for his crimes against Konoha and Hi no Kuni." Sarutobi explained to Naruto as the rest of Team Seven watched on.

"What did he do to become a missing-nin anyway Jiji?" Naruto asked as he looked at the picture of Aoi that was on the scroll. Aoi was a man with dark green hair who stood at about five feet and eight inches tall. In the picture he was wearing attire typically worn by Shinobi of Amegakure, including a weaponized umbrella strapped across his back and an Amegakure forehead protector tied to his forehead.

"Aoi's crimes stand as treason, desertion, theft, and allying himself with an enemy village." Sarutobi said as he listed off Aoi's various crimes against Konoha and Hi no Kuni.

"I understand the treason, desertion, and allying himself with an enemy village. But what did he steal that was important enough to mention?" Naruto questioned as he continued to look over Aoi's profile.

"He stole the Nidaime Hokage's famous Raijin sword." Sarutobi stated with a serious tone. He had never forgiven Aoi for taking one of his sensei's most prized possessions.

"Where do I need to go to find Aoi?" Naruto asked as he remembered the lessons given about the Nidaime's famous sword in the academy. A sword of lightning would be a weapon any village would want to possess.

"Apparently Aoi was attacked by a patrol of Kumogakure shinobi who wanted to take the Raijin back to Kumogakure. The report from our spy says that Aoi crossed the border into Hi no Kuni to escape pursuit. He is currently hiding out somewhere in Zaimoku village about twenty miles away from the border. It should only take you a day or so to reach the village travelling by yourself. Find Aoi and either capture or kill him, retrieve the Raijin sword and you'll be rewarded with Aoi's bounty upon completion of the mission." Sarutobi briefed Naruto who nodded and bowed to his leader.

"I will not fail, Jiji. I'll return the Raijin and Rokushou Aoi to Konohagakure shortly." Naruto stated as he rose from his bow. "Though whether Aoi comes back alive or in a body bag will be up to him." Naruto stated with a grin as he turned to Kakashi and the rest of his team. "I'll be heading out a soon as I'm packed up for the trip. I'll see you later Kakashi-sensei, Sakura, Sasuke." Naruto said getting a nod from Kakashi a quick 'good luck' from Sakura and a grunt from Sasuke. Naruto quickly left the office and headed to his and Yachiru's apartment to pack for his mission.

~Timeskip – Thirty Minutes later~

"All packed Naruto-kun?" Yachiru asked her surrogate son as he headed for the door of the apartment.

"Yeah, I've got it all Yachiru-neesan. I'll see you in a few days." Naruto replied with a grin as Yachiru nodded.

"Be careful out there Naruto and good luck on your mission." Yachiru said as she gave him a quick hug before he headed out the door and closed it behind him.

On his way to the village gates he stopped by the Yamanaka flower shop to tell Ino about his mission and his absence from the village for the next few days. After talking for a few minutes and Ino giving him words of luck and a hug Naruto left the Yamanaka flower shop and headed for Suchiirubusou to tell Tenten as well. After another round of encouragement and a hug from Tenten, Naruto left the weapon shop and made his way out of the village. Once outside of the gates Naruto took a deep breath and with a grin jumped off into the trees and made his way towards Zaimoku village. As he was jumping from tree to tree Naruto couldn't help but get more excited at the thought of the battle to come. Aoi was ranked as a Special Jounin when he was a part of Konoha, but according to the last few reports from various spies and scouts Aoi had been slacking in his training after acquiring the Raijin. Using the sword's power to cover for his lack of dedicated training. Now his estimated level without the Raijin's power was close to an average Chuunin.

"I'll just have to teach this guy that training is the only way to keep true strength and that no sword, no matter how powerful, is enough to make up for laziness." Naruto thought out loud as he continued jumping through the trees. It was just after nightfall when Naruto made his way into Zaimoku village. Knowing that Aoi would be keeping as much of a low profile as possible considering he was in his old home village's territory Naruto simply checked into a small Inn for the night and decided to start his search in the morning. Waking up the next morning Naruto went through a brief version of his morning ritual before using the Henge no jutsu to appear as an average teenager and walking through the village streets. After a few hours of searching the various areas of the village Naruto was beginning to think that Aoi may have already skipped out of Zaimoku.

"I wonder where he would go though." Naruto mumbled to himself in thought as he scanned the crowd walking down the village road he was sitting on a bench near. Naruto searched for another hour before deciding to get some lunch at a small restaurant near the main road of the village. After his meal of fish and rice with tea, Naruto was leaving the establishment when he spotted a man wearing an inconspicuous grey travelling cloak and a straw gasa hat leaving the main road and walking into an alley. Naruto knew from his own exploration of the village that several of the alleyways could connect to make an almost unseen path out of the village and decided to follow the man that could very well be his target. Naruto kept himself a safe distance away from the man he was following through the back alleys of Zaimoku. After emerging from the last alleyway Naruto found himself at the edge of the village with the forest no more than fifty feet in front of him. Knowing that his target would more than likely still be walking so as to not be noticed jumping through the forest, Naruto gave chase and after several minutes of quietly dashing from tree to tree always staying out of sight he spotted his target lightly jogging through the forest in the direction of the border.

Since he couldn't be sure that this man was actually Aoi without seeing him Naruto wasn't going to attack the man and possibly kill and innocent drifter. So deciding to forego stealth Naruto jumped into the trees and dashed ahead of the man while dispelling his Henge no jutsu. Naruto jumped down in front of the man causing the man to stop in his jog and look up at Naruto. When Naruto saw the man's face he recognized Aoi's look from the picture instantly. Likewise upon seeing Naruto's Konoha headband Aoi's eyes widened before he threw off his cloak and gasa hat and pulled his umbrella off his back and holding it in a defensive position.

"Found you, Rokushou Aoi." Naruto stated with a grin as he got into a Taijutsu stance.

"Konoha must think pretty highly of themselves if they've decided that a mere child can take me out." Aoi responded with a cocky smirk as he quickly threw his umbrella into the air. The umbrella opened in midair before it started to spin and released dozens upon dozens of senbon at high speed towards Naruto. "Ninpo: Jurou Senbon! (Ninja Art: Sprinkling Needles)" Aoi called out his attack as the senbon flew towards Naruto at high speed. As the senbon struck Naruto and the area surrounding him a cloud of dust rose up obscuring Aoi's view of Naruto. "Ha! That was pathetic. He didn't even last half a minute." Aoi laughed as his umbrella slowly floated into his hand. As the dust cleared Aoi was expecting to see a dead teen with multitudes of needles riddling his body. What he saw made him take a step back in shock. Naruto was still standing in the same position without a scratch on him surrounded by all of Aoi's senbon.

"Is that it?" Naruto questioned with a grin as he took a step forward. Aoi quickly brought his umbrella into a defensive position in front of himself while closing it. "My turn then." Naruto stated before almost disappearing from Aoi's line of sight in a blur of high speed movement. The next thing Aoi knew his umbrella had been sliced in half by a knife hand chop from Naruto. Aoi was quick to jump back to make some distance between himself and Naruto while discarding the broken umbrella.

"I don't know who you are or how you're doing this shit, boy. But you're a hundred years too early to challenge me when I have this!" Aoi yelled at Naruto as he pulled a dark grey sword handle out of a special pouch. With a small movement of his hand Aoi brought the legendary Raijin sword into the battle. The lightning blade sparked as Aoi pointed it at Naruto with a cocky smirk on his face. Naruto looked upon the weapon of the Nidaime with appreciation before grinning at Aoi.

"Bring it on! Let's see if you know how to use that sword." Naruto exclaimed as he charged at Aoi and went for a bladed roundhouse kick at Aoi's head. Aoi quickly brought the Raijin in between Naruto's kick and himself. When Naruto's leg made contact with the Raijin he got a large shock from the electricity of the blade, but he completed his kick and the force sent Aoi skidding back several feet. "Damn, that actually stings a little bit." Naruto muttered as he shook his leg to rid it of the sparking sensation.

"Now do you see, boy. You can't beat me when I'm wielding this sword, no one can!" Aoi exclaimed as he charged at Naruto with the Raijin held high. Naruto used Kyorioomata again and blurred towards Aoi with a bladed spear hand. Aoi was just fast enough to bring the Raijin down to meet Naruto incoming attack. With a shower of sparks and another strong shock for Naruto the two pushed each other back and reassessed their opponent. Naruto shook his hand to get rid of the stinging sensation from being struck with the Raijin again. 'Alright, that's really annoying. Time to get a bit more serious.' Naruto thought before calling on his chakra and cloaking himself in the dark blue energy. Naruto had realized after his clash with Kakashi's lightning technique that his chakra seemed to nullify Lightning Chakra so with that thought in mind he decided to put his chakra aura into use and nullify the Raijin's electrical shock against him.

Aoi took a step back as he saw the visible cloak of chakra surround Naruto. 'This is insane.' Aoi thought as he saw Naruto get back into a Taijutsu stance. 'This boy is producing more chakra then most Chuunin have. What the hell is he?' Aoi wondered in shock before he noticed Naruto blurring towards him again. With a swing the Raijin met Naruto's chakra cloaked fist with another shower of sparks. Naruto started laughing in exhilaration when he noticed that his plan had worked and the Raijin wasn't electrocuting him anymore. Aoi noticed this as well and jumped back several times to make more distance between himself and Naruto.

"How the hell are you not dead yet!" Aoi yelled in frustration as he got into a defensive stance with the Raijin. 'Shit! This kid must have Wind Natured type chakra. He'll make the Raijin almost completely useless if he keeps that chakra cloak up.' Aoi thought as Naruto put both of his hands by his sides.

"I'm not sure myself to tell you the truth." Naruto said with a laugh. "But my chakra seems to cancel out Lightning Chakra. So let's continue our fight!" Naruto yelled out with another laugh as he maximized the density of his Koutetsu in his arms and then coated them in iron from the pores of his skin. With his chakra cloak flaring and his arms ready Naruto used Kyorioomata again to blur towards Aoi who quickly brought the Raijin into position to block Naruto's attack. "Konbouteashi!" Naruto called out as he swung his iron coated fist into the Raijin. The force of the blow sent Aoi skidding back several feet while Naruto used another Kyorioomata to close the distance again. Naruto swung both of his iron coated arms down towards Aoi's arm that was holding the Raijin. The loud snapping sound of Aoi's arm breaking was a welcome noise to Naruto especially when it made Aoi drop the Raijin.

"Damn it!" Aoi yelled out in pain as he tried to use his other hand to pick up the Raijin again. Naruto wasn't about to let him get his weapon back so he brought his iron coated arm around and slammed it into Aoi's face sending the missing-nin back in a shower of blood as his nose broke from the strike. Aoi tried to get back up and attack but Naruto was already on him and with another swing of both of his iron covered hands he delivered a double hammer fist to Aoi's chest. Several snaps were heard as Aoi's ribcage collapsed under the force of the blow puncturing his lungs and heart and causing him to cough up a large about of blood before he closed his eyes in pain and then stopped moving entirely. After a minute of no signs of life from his enemy Naruto stopped using his chakra cloak and pulled the iron coating his arms back into his body. A quick check of Aoi's pulse confirmed the missing-nin was dead.

"Thanks for the fight, Aoi. I'll be taking the Raijin back to Konohagakure where it belongs." Naruto said as he went and picked up the deactivated Raijin and took out a sealing scroll from his pouch. Yachiru had said that he might need the scroll in the event he killed his target and she had been correct. After sealing the corpse of Aoi and the Raijin into the scroll Naruto quickly headed back to Zaimoku village to retrieve his pack. Once he had gotten to the Inn he was staying at Naruto decided to stay for the night and head back to Konoha first thing in the morning. After a shower and a light dinner Naruto went to sleep much more relaxed than he had been recently with his battle lust currently sated.

~Timeskip – One Day Later~

Naruto stood before Sarutobi in the morgue of Konohagakure's hospital. On the metal table in the center of the room was Rokushou Aoi's corpse being examined and prepared for autopsy and dissection by Konoha's Medical Research and Analysis Squad.

"You've done excellent work Naruto. You'll be paid for a B-Rank mission and Aoi's bounty of twenty million yen is also yours." Sarutobi stated as he looked proudly at his surrogate grandson.

"Thanks, Jiji. I'm just glad the Raijin is back in Konoha where it belongs. Though finally having a battle to the death was a nice experience, my battle lust has been sated completely for now." Naruto replied as he stood at attention. Sarutobi nodded as a medical examiner came up with the preliminary findings folder in his hands.

"Hokage-sama, we have completed the preliminary analysis." The examiner stated. When Sarutobi gave him a nod to continue both he and Naruto listened to the report. "Rokushou Aoi's cause of death was punctured heart and lungs from massive blunt force trauma. His right arm was broken in multiple places and his nose was also shattered. His ribcage is in pieces and his organs are crushed as well as punctured. We believe that we'll be able to glean quite a bit of Amegakure's medical techniques, including what treatments they use along with what medicines they have access to from the corpse. We'll have everything catalogued and in a report for you within forty eight hours, sir." The examiner finished as he closed the folder.

"Very good, see that it's done." Sarutobi responded with a nod as the medical examiner bowed before going back over to the table. Sarutobi lead Naruto out of the morgue and then the hospital before bidding him a good day and heading back to his office via Shunshin no jutsu.

Naruto quickly went home and told Yachiru about his mission after a congratulatory lunch made by Yachiru Naruto went out to find Ino and Tenten. He found both of them at their usual training grounds and was hugged by both the moment they saw him.

"You're back! How was the mission? Are you alright?" Ino asked in rapid succession after she let him out of her hug. Tenten let go just after Ino and looked just as curious as her blond friend.

"I'm fine Ino-chan, Tenten-chan." Naruto told them with a smile as he sat down against a tree with the two girls. "The mission went fine as well. Konoha now has one less missing-nin on the loose and the Nidaime Hokage's Raijin is back in Konohagakure where it belongs." Naruto said as Tenten and Ino looked at him for more information.

"I'd like to hear the whole story, Naruto-kun." Tenten said as she sat back and used her arms to support her body while looking at Naruto.

"Me too, Naruto-kun. Don't leave out a single detail." Ino told him as she moved her legs into a more comfortable position so she could listen to the story. Naruto sighed before smiling at his friends and began regaling them with the story of his first solo mission.

-End Chapter-

So? Do I still have the touch? Was it good? Bad? Tell me in your reviews! I plan to have a new chapter for Forest of Flames and Dokushu, The Poison Master within the next week or so. Make sure you read and review them too. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and plan to stick with me through the end. See you next chapter.