Well, first of all. Just, wow. Thank you, everybody, for the reviews. I'm trying to take into consideration what people are suggesting. Hopefully, it will show with improvement in my writing.
Several people noted my typos and improper word usage. This was partly (a small part) a function of the word processor I was using. It sometimes, silently, incorrectly replaced a word when I misspelled it. So I switched from using it, and started using OpenOffice. This will hopefully help somewhat with the inappropriate words.
Anyway, I'm sure there will still be plenty of typos and incorrect words, hopefully, they'll be significantly reduced. I am looking into getting a beta, and a couple of reviewers volunteered, but I thought I should mention what I'm looking for in a beta. I'm looking for a beta that will not only help me with me with grammar and spelling, but also someone I could occasionally bounce ideas off of, and perhaps the beta could suggest ideas, also. Additionally, I'd like a beta who could be critical of my writing in a general sense – somebody that could help me become a better writer. This last part would probably require an experienced writer. So, if you want to beta and fit my criteria, or can suggest someone else who can fit my criteria who may want to beta for me, please, let me know.
A few people mentioned that I goofed up the scene with Anko and Naruto because Anko wouldn't have had her seal on display. Yep, I screwed up, and that was a detail I knew about and simply forgot. So, yeah, apologies for that error.
Gosh, I really think this chapter is not that great. I've rewritten it in my head and on the computer several times. I think it's better than what I started with, though. And I need to release something – it's been too long since my last chapter. Sorry about the long wait. This writing stuff is hard for me.
As always, please review. Oh, if you have ideas for seals, please feel free to mention them in the reviews. If I use your seal, at the end of the chapter that uses it, I'll give you credit. All power levels of seals are welcome, especially the weaker ones, and even just prank type seals.
I don't own Naruto. But I own several cats (ignore the cats' snickering – they don't own me - I think.)
EDIT (8/8/2010 5:45 EDT : UTC - 4) : Some text got italicized when I uploaded (I checked my original and it was fine), so I fixed this issue. I use italicized text mainly for inner thoughts. Let me know if I missed any.
Credit goes to jcogginsa for alerting me to the issue. Thanks.
Originally published on 8/8/2010.
EDIT (8/8/2010 6:30 EDT : UTC - 4) : Tried to clear up the passage on bloodlines. Really messed up what I was trying to portray, hopefully, it is more clear. It still may not be. Thanks to He Who Rules With an Iron Hoof for pointing out the issue.
EDIT (8/11/2010) : Fixed my edit dates (the earlier ones on this chapter showed 8/2/2010 instead of 8/8/2010). Also fixed my usage of 'sannin'. Thanks to the anonymous review who pointed it out. I was using it correctly earlier, but somehow got confused. Anyway, it should be fixed now.
'Geez. He must think I'm such an idiot. 'So, umm, want to eat lunch?' That was all I could think of to say? Well, what the hell? Throwing out creating seals like he just baked a pie or something,' thought Ino and she led Naruto to where she usually ate lunch.
"Hey guys, what's up?" asked Ino as she sat down at the bench where Choji and Shikamaru were playing a game of shogi.
"Um, hi," said Naruto as he rubbed the back of his head with right hand.
Shikamaru raised an eyebrow when he saw Naruto he simply said, "Hi", but thought, 'Troublesome female. What exactly is she playing at?'
"Hi Naruto," said Choji as he munched on some chips and contemplated his next move.
"Ew, Choji, don't talk while you eat!"
"Aw, Ino. It's lunch time. Talking while you're eating doesn't count at an actual meal," complained Choji, but gulped and held up his hands in apology and said, "Sorry! Sorry!" when Ino gave him an angry glare.
Naruto looked at the group nervously. He knew all of them, but he wasn't friends with them. Naruto watched silently for what seemed like an eternity as they conversed. He never really never knew how to interact with people, he wondered what he should say.
"Hey, guys, want to see to a really awesome seal I made?" Naruto blurted out suddenly.
"You know fuuinjutsu, Naruto?" asked Choji, sounding impressed.
'Fuuinjutsu? Naruto? That would explain what he's always studying in class. I suppose I should have made some effort to see what he was up to, but it seemed so troublesome at the time. But still, Naruto? Sure he hasn't acted as dumb for awhile now, so I suppose he's finally gotten serious. But fuuinjutsu is supposed to be difficult,' thought Shikamaru.
"Well, only a little and just the basics," Naruto blushed and rubbed the back of his neck as he said this. "But I've made a couple of seals, this is easily the best one I've made so far. Watch this!" said Naruto as he pulled out three scrolls from his jumpsuit's numerous pockets.
Naruto set two of the scrolls atop the third one and he then applied chakra to the bottom scroll.
"Tada! Isn't that amazing?"
Shikamaru, Choji, and Ino could see that Naruto was clearly excited but they they were utterly confused as to why. They had seen him lay down the scrolls and it looked like he might have applied chakra to them but they saw nothing .
"Uh, what exactly did you do Naruto?" asked Shikamaru. 'Don't tell me this has been some lame prank.'
"Heh, heh. Oh yeah, I guess I did forget to tell you. Here smell it," said Naruto as he picked up the bottom scroll and handed it to Shikamaru.
Shikamaru looked askance at the scroll, but sniffed it. "I don't smell anything."
"Pass it to the others to try."
"Nothing here," said Choji.
"Er, I don't smell anything either, Naruto," said Ino.
"Exactly!" said Naruto as he beamed with pride.
Ino finally lost her patience with Naruto. "Baka! Scrolls don't smell to start with. What the hell was the point of this?" yelled Ino.
"Huh?" said Naruto as stared at them in confusion for several seconds.
'What...the..hell? Genius? I think this kid is seriously brain damaged. What was Dad thinking? I think Naruto is just delusional or something.'
"Oh!" said Naruto as smacked himself in the head. "Here, use these" said Naruto as he handed Choji a pair of chopsticks and the scroll. "Go ahead. Give it a try."
Choji looked dubiously at the scroll, but at the urging of Naruto, dipped his chopsticks at the scroll, or actually, into the scroll and found himself pulling out noodles. He stared at the glistening noodles for a second and then placed them into his mouth.
"Hot ramen!" exclaimed Choji.
"That's right. Really instant ramen. I got tired of waiting the three minutes it took to boil the water, so I made a seal to make ramen faster. I just lay the ingredients, ramen and water, or the storage scrolls containing them, such as I did in this case, over the cooking scrolls and apply chakra."
"You're a genius!" exclaimed Choji and he slurped down some more ramen from the scroll. Ino and Shikamaru both rolled their eyes at this.
"Ok, so what was the deal with us smelling the scroll?" asked Ino.
Choji's eyes lit up as he suddenly understood the full brilliance of Naruto's creation. "You made the perfect ration scroll. When you go out on missions, you have hot food without alerting anybody with a fire, or even the smell of food. Can you do this for other foods?"
"Well, not this particular scroll, I suppose I could adapt the techniques for other foods, although it would take some experimentation to get the food cooked correctly, and I don't know anything about cooking except for ramen."
"I know a lot about cooking. Maybe I could help you..."
Naruto and Choji talked about cooking and how Naruto could adapt recipes for the seal, while Ino and Shikamaru finished Choji's now forgotten shogi game and reconsidered what they knew about Naruto.
"Sasuke," said Iruka. Sasuke walked up the front of the class and retrieved his test.
"Sakura." She too retrieved her test.
'Yes! Take that Sakura,' thought Ino. Ino normally received very good grades, and, in fact was only behind Sasuke in overall class rank, but Sakura quite often came out ahead in the written tests.
"And finally, Naruto." Naruto blushed and went up and retrieved his test. Iruka always handed back the tests so that in reverse order of grades. Those with lowest grades got their tests first and those with the highest received theirs last. It was meant to shame the lowest performing kids into better efforts, though it usually failed to make any difference.
"Wow, Naruto. You've had the highest grade on every written test so far," said Choji. After their the discussion three weeks ago at lunch, the group had grown closer with Naruto and now Choji, Ino and Shikamaru sat with Naruto every day, so it was easy for them to converse.
"Good work, Naruto," said Ino. Shikamaru was going to remain silent, not finding any particular reason to say anything – Naruto's name was called last, so it was obvious he had done well, but Ino's glare towards him convinced it would be less troublesome just to praise Naruto.
"Yes, good work Naruto. It is troublesome though. Hanging out with Ino is bad enough. Associating with another high achiever sets a bad example for my parents. My mother already nags me enough about working harder in school. So troublesome."
"Bah, ignore the lazy bastard, Naruto. You're kicking ass," said Ino.
"Thanks." Naruto blushed at the praise that he was unaccustomed to receiving. "But like Choji said, written tests. My taijutsu still needs a lot of work. I work on it, but..." Naruto left his thought unfinished. Taijutsu frustrated him. He worked diligently on it and he did improve, but he was still only middle of the class at it.
"You know, we could help you Naruto," said Ino.
"Yeah, I should talk to my father about how we should train, though. We could meet this weekend, right guys?" Ino said the last part like a question but Shikamaru and Choji both knew it was a demand.
"So troublesome. Whatever."
Anko sat in the dango shop eating quietly. Occasionally, her hand would reach towards her neck and she would quickly pull it away.
'Damn seal. Damn brat. What hell does that kid think he is? Thinks he can remove the seal. Not even Jiraiya – one of the freaking sannin – can remove this seal. Why the hell does the old man think some punk kid can? I don't care if he does have the Kyuubi sealed in him.
Still, what if he can? But, how could he? How does a kid learn fuuinjutsu anyway? Still, the brat was in the jonin section of the library and that does require special seals.
If he can, though...I wouldn't have to worry about my fucking bastard, former sensei being able to put me down in no time flat because of the damn seal. Hmm...maybe I could surprise the bastard and actually put a kunai through his eye.' Anko smiled at she pictured Orochimaru lying dead on the ground with blood running out of an eye socket.
'Maybe he wouldn't die right away, and I could see him squeal in pain.' Anko chuckled at that, making a few patrons of the establishment, who knew of her tendencies toward violence, nervous.
'Nah, better if it kills him straight off. I think only an instant kill blow would really take him down. A girl can dream, though.
With the seal gone, maybe the village would finally see I'm not under Orochimaru's influence.' Anko recalled her treatment from the village over the years and realized that nothing would probably satisfy them.
"Assholes. The only person treated worse than me is that damn kid. The entire village would probably shit themselves if he actually did become Hokage.
Well, the Hokage seems to like him. I suppose if the old geezer can last long enough he could choose him as his successor. Hmm...The kid would need a lot of help to become powerful enough to be considered for the position.
If, and that's a big fucking if that could fill the Valley of the End. If he could remove the curse, I suppose I would owe him and could help the little shit train a little."
Anko growled, the whole thing was moot until Jiraiya arrived.
"It's been a month. Where the hell is Jiraiya anyway?"
"Well, I'm glad to see that you finally made it here Jiraiya. I trust you had a nice relaxing trip," said Sarutobi. The Hokage's words, themselves, were friendly, but the tone was quite icy.
"Well, I had important work to do you see..."
"It took you a month to get here."
"What? No, hm, it was..." Jiraiya paused while he thought about the recents events and started giggling as he thought about the topless beach he had stopped at.
"What? Um yeah, it was only three and half weeks since you requested that I return. You did say at my earliest convenience," Jiraiya gulped at the snarl Sarutobi gave his former student. "Hokage-sama."
"Jiraiya, when I say at your earliest convenience, I mean that you should return in the fastest possible manner without endangering any vital missions," growled Sarutobi.
"And judging from the mission report you handed me, you could have returned immediately," continued Sarutobi.
"Uh, heh, heh. It won't happen again, Hokage-sama."
"See that it doesn't."
"So...what do you wish of me Hokage-sama?" asked Jiraiya deciding that it would be wise to show some respect for a while longer.
"Here, look at these reports."
Sarutobi waited patiently while Jiraiya read through the folder of papers that he had handed him.
"How does this happen? I mean, going from dead last to creating fuuinjutsu on his own? I know Minato picked up fuuinjutsu at an amazing rate, but everybody knew he was a genius well before then. Earlier reports showed Naruto having no academic aptitude. In fact, reports made him seem like quite the dunce."
"I've talked at length with Ibiki and Inoichi about this. While quite unusual, it's not unheard of for a child's intellectual abilities to take massive jumps. It happens with children that probably should have been prodigies, but for some reason have had their intellectual capabilities stunted. In Naruto's case, it was, as you no doubt know, the emotional trauma he's suffered from being a jinchuurikki. Finding something that truly interested him and took his minds off other matters apparently acted as catalyst."
"So, he really does take after his old man, then."
"Well, it seems so. That's part of why you're here. I want you to examine the seals Naruto has come up with and evaluate Naruto's skills."
"You said that was part of it. What else?"
"Naruto would like to examine Anko's curse seal and possibly attempt to remove it."
"Even if it is possible to remove it, there's no way he's ready to attempt something like that."
"Jiraiya, look how far he's come in so little time. At least look at his seals and then make the decision." Sarutobi knew that he could have ordered Jiraiya, but he felt it was important to place trust in his subordinates' areas of expertise if he truly wanted to have their trust and their best efforts.
"Fine, let's do it."
"Jiraiya, you should know that he knows about the Kyuubi."
"I guess I shouldn't be surprised. If he's as talented at sealing as you say, he would have had to have figured it out at some point. So I assume he knows about his father then."
"No, he hasn't figured that out. I don't believe Naruto is responsible enough at this point to handle keeping that a secret, so I haven't told him either."
Jiraiya stared at Sarutobi. To the Hokage's credit he did at least look guilty about keeping Naruto in the dark about his parentage.
"We have to tell him."
"We will. But now now, when he's older."
"Damn it, old man. He's got the right to know!" Jiraiya had his hands planted on Sarutobi's desk and his face was inches from the Hokage's as Jiraiya yelled at him.
Despite Jiraiya's anger, Sarutobi remained calm. "Yes. Yes, he does. But the safety of the village overrides the rights on an individual. We both know that there are many that would love to get their hands on the son of the yellow flash. And we both know that Konoha can't afford to lose Naruto."
"Bah. This village didn't deserve Minato. And it doesn't deserve his son." The anger was still present but Jiraiya wasn't yelling.
"Minato thought the village was worth sacrificing himself."
"Damn, fool. His sensei should have taught him better." The anger was gone, and the sadness was evident in Jiraiya's expression and voice. Minato had been like a son to Jiraiya and thinking about Minato still pained Jiraiya.
"His sensei did an excellent job, and right now I could use his help."
"Fine," Jiraiya sighed. He felt Naruto had the right to know, but Sarutobi did have a point – after the way the Naruto had been treated by the village he might blurt out about his father in some attempt to validate his existence. "Let's get this over with."
Naruto waited outside the Hokage's office. He wondered why the old man had summoned him. He talked to him on a somewhat regular basis, he supposed, but it was unusual to actually be summoned. It made no difference to him, either way, he just worked on his chakra control seal while he waited.
"You may go in now, Naruto."
Naruto noticed an older shinobi with spiky white hair sitting in the Hokage's office.
"Come in and take a seat, Naruto," said Sarutobi.
"Naruto. This is Jiraiya," said Sarutobi as he gestured toward the other person in the room.
Naruto turned and looked at Jiraiya. He squinted his eyes and cocked his head to the side while he stared the man up and down.
"Jiraiya, of the sannin." said Sarutobi.
"Um...wait a second, that rings a bell." Naruto had actually recognized the Jiraiya's name from the first mention and knew of the sannin, but he had decided to have some fun. "Oh yeah, he's the author of those books you read when you think nobody's looking."
Sarutobi blushed as he said, "You're mistaken Naruto. You must have me confused with someone else."
"Nope, you. And a orange book. I remember because your nose always bleeds when you read them." Jiraiya laughed at Sarutobi's embarrassment. Of course, he knew that Sarutobi was one of his fans, but he knew the Hokage tried to hide that particular hobby from the public.
"Oh, wait. Didn't he also write that book on fuuinjutsu?"
"Why, yes, I did write a book on fuuinjutsu."
"Meh, it was only mediocre," said Naruto. Sarutobi then got his chance to laugh at Jiraiya's embarrassment.
"Oh, what was wrong with it, mister fuuinjutsu master?"
"Hey, I'm not claiming to be a fuuinjutsu master. The book was okay, but the seals were more complicated than they needed to be."
Jiraiya sighed at this, he now knew what the deal was. "Hold on a second." He then started going though several scrolls he had with him. "Found them," he said as unsealed two books from a scroll.
"Is this the book you read?" asked Jiraiya as he handed one one of the books to Naruto.
Naruto quickly scanned through the book and found the same, overly complicated seals. "Seems to be."
"Here, now look at this book," said Jiraiya as he handed him the second book.
As Naruto scanned though the second book, he saw the organization was similar but it had simplified seals and different explanations that were expanded and more detailed. "Wow, this one is much better. The seals in here have been simplified and the explanations are much better."
"That first book is an introductory book. The second book is an advanced book on fuuinjutsu."
Naruto scrunched his face in thought for a few seconds. "I don't understand. The seals in the second book are simplified. Don't they belong in the introductory book?"
"They're simplified, but they're more advanced-"
"But they're simpler. They're much less complex and easier to understand. Come on, even the explanations are easier to understand in that second book."
"Yep, definitely taking after his father now. Only Minato or his progeny would think the advanced fuuinjutsu book is simpler," thought Jiraiya.
"Naruto, although those seals would typically be said to be simplified, I think that for the purpose of this conversation, you should think of them by the other term they go by - reduced."
"But the seals are in their simplest form. They are simpler," insisted Naruto.
"Look, Naruto. You may think those seals are simpler, but most people find the introductory book hard enough -"
"That's because you give them complicated seals. If you gave them something like your second book or the Yondaime's book then they would find it much easier."
"Doesn't work that way. It's been tried. People find the introductory books fit better with their intuition because those complex seals are closely related to hand seals. Heck, when I initially learned fuuinjutsu it was with seals similar to the ones in that introductory book. I'm considered a master of fuuinjutsu and I can tell you I wouldn't have been able to learn from those reduced seals very easily."
"But...I don't understand." The look on Naruto's face expressed utter confusion. Jiraiya found the look comical and found himself chuckling at Naruto which caused his expression to change to a scowl.
"Ah, don't be upset kid. I'm only laughing because you remind me of the only other person I've met that thought the reduced seals were easier to learn from."
Naruto looked unconvinced as he glared at Jiraiya with his arms crossed in front of him.
"No, really. You're in good company. It was the Yondaime."
"Yeah, really. You may have some talent. May."
"Yes! One step closer to Hokage."
"One out of about a million."
"It doesn't matter. I won't give up. I will be Hokage."
Jiraiya gave Naruto an appraising look. "Maybe."
" First thing's first, hotshot. Let see if you really know anything about sealing. Let me see these seals you've created, and I'll actually judge you on your work."
"Um, ok." Naruto bravado disappeared at the thought of showing Jiraiya his seals and the criticism he would receive. He had secretly harbored a fantasy about being called brilliant when he revealed his seals to a fuuinjutsu master, but in the face of an actual one, he knew that it was as foolish as he had always really thought.
"Start off by telling me what the seals are supposed to do, and how to activate them."
"Er, can't you tell that by just inspecting them?"
"I can tell how they actually work, but not how they're intended to work."
"Yeah, 'oh'. There can be a big difference in what a seal is supposed to do and what it actually does. Keep that in mind, both with your seals and those from others. It will save you a lot of trouble in the future."
"Here's a storage seal. It, um, stores things things and-"
"Just show me your own original creations, Naruto."
"I only have one of my own seals with me, but it's the best one! The rest are back at my apartment."
"Actually, I'd like to see all of them. Let's go to your apartment."
Jiraiya watched as Naruto unlocked his door and stepped into his apartment.
"Aren't you coming in?"
"Aren't you going to deactivate your seals kid?"
Jiraiya palmed his face and groaned. "You're a moron, kid. Didn't you think about putting seals around your place to protect stuff and keep the riffraff out? "
"Ooh, that is a good idea." Naruto had a thoughtful expression on his face as he considered the types of seals he should place around his apartment.
"I've read about some of your exploits Naruto. You should have figured out seals to keep people from trespassing when you had bypass jonin restriction seals in the library."
"So, they were to keep jonin out! That explains why I never saw any jonin in there. Except for the one scary lady with seal. Maybe she wasn't a jonin."
"Baka! The seals are supposed to keep anybody but jonin, who happen to have seals to bypass them, out. And Anko is a jonin." 'Well, she's a special jonin, but they have the seals too. She should have been a jonin by now, anyway. The Hokage lets village politics interfere way too much in ninja affairs.'
"Oh," Naruto said and paused to think about it. "I don't get it."
"What's there to get, kid?"
"How come I didn't see any Jonin there?"
"A few reasons. Some have narrowed their skill sets and advanced their skills past the point of what's contained in the library. Some have their learning materials. A few have gotten lazy and don't bother learning anymore – those ones either learn a very painful lesson out on some mission or end up dead.
Many, however, try to avoid being seen by others in the library. Some are a bit too paranoid about showing any weakness."
"That seems to make sense, though. Don't you want to conceal your weaknesses?"
"You do. However, among your comrades you have to show some trust. If you can't show your weaknesses among your comrades you're just interfering with your own progress.
Now before I give you the mistaken impression that Konoha has a bunch of jonin afraid of showing any weakness, you should also know some of them just make it into a game to see if they avoid being seen by other jonin. You, being an academy student, were easily avoided by jonin.
Enough about that. Let's see some of those seals of yours."
"Um. Oh, here's a chakra storage seal. You channel into this seal," Naruto pointed to a seal at one end of the scroll, "and it'll keep storing the chakra as you apply it. You can also use it as the chakra source for powering ninjutsu. It has to be in direct contact with your body to work. You do the hand seal sequence for your jutsu, then grab your the seal with a hand, and with your free hand you do the hand seals. I could have chosen any, since, in this case, they are just the trigger mechanism and don't have anything to do with the actual jutsu formation, but I chose dog, monkey, snake. Of course, since you only have one hand and the signs normally require two, I made it respond to half seals."
"What factors determine when it collapses? Do you have a collapse rate formula for it?"
"What determines when the seal will fail?"
"What good would it be if it failed?"
"Let me see the seal, Naruto." Jiraiya's eye widened as he examined the seal. Chakra storage seals were problematic. The storage seal itself always tried to consume the chakra, which caused it to eventually completely consume what it was storing, or, even worse, explode at some random time when seal grew unstable from too much energy. The actual details were pretty complicated; he ought to know since he had attempted to create a perfect storage seal many times.
'Naruto's a genius! He doesn't even have access to the advanced chakra theory that his father came up with, not that he needed it, apparently. This seal uses only the theory you can find readily available in any of the decent fuuinjutsu books.
Effectively creating a second storage seal with part of the storage space sitting it another dimension yet sharing some common dimensions with the original storage seal's space was brilliant – each of them attempt to draw on the chakra being stored but the way he constructed the seal he has the forces drawing on the chakra canceling each other out. Not just a brilliant idea, this took amazing technical ability to construct. Given the idea, Minato or I probably could have constructed this seal, but very few others could have. Still, the seal would have ended up constructed differently if I had made it. Naruto used some very clever techniques in its construction.
I could definitely incorporate some of the ideas here into my own designs.' Jiraiya stared off into space while thinking and then frowned. 'Something about this seal seems vaguely familiar. Damn it, it's going to drive me crazy until I figure out what it is.'
"Good work, kid. You've managed to avoid the parasitic problem with chakra storage seals that most encounter." Jiraiya decided he'd keep it a secret, for nor, that everybody encountered that problem.
"Yes! I'm awesome. What did I tell you-"
"However, this is an advanced jutsu that you should not let other know about-"
"But I've already told others about it."
Jiraiya palmed his face in exasperation. 'Kami, this kid is a moron.'
"Have you told anybody about the details of the seal or given anybody a copy of it, Naruto?"
"No, I haven't told anybody about the specifics of any of my seals or given anybody any copies. Nobody else I know really seems that interested in fuuinjutsu."
'Thank Kami for small favors,' thought Jiraiya.
"If anybody asks, your storage seal has the parasitic problem too, Naruto. No bragging to others. I mean it," said Jiraiya.
Naruto crossed his arms and scowled but relented. "Fine. Whatever, I have better seals."
"Much better. That was one of my earliest original creations, well discounting any obvious derivatives I used basically just for learning purposes. Here look at these," said Naruto as he handed Jiraiya a bunch of scrolls.
"Kid, you and me need to talk about creating original seals and how important it is to keep them a secret."
Naruto frowned as he sensed a long lecture coming on.
Jiraiya was back in the Hokage's office. He had recently left from Naruto apartment where he had spent several hours inspecting Naruto's work and talking with Naruto about fuuinjutsu.
"So what do you think, Jiraiya? Is Naruto is as talented as he appears? Or is old man just being hopeful?"
"The kid is a moron."
Sarutobi frowned. How could he have so misjudged someone's talent? Perhaps he was getting too old for the job? His musing were interrupted before he could further doubt himself.
"However, he is also brilliant. He's a brilliant moron. He lacks common sense and doesn't think things through usually. When he actually does start putting that brain of his to work, though, it's simply amazing."
"Naruto is as brilliant as his father. Until today, I never thought I would mean somebody as gifted with fuuinjutsu as Minato. Minato learned fuuinjutsu at an unbelievable rate and started creating original seals early in his sealing career. Naruto is just like him. Most people take years before they even start creating their own original seals. Naruto's already done complex seal work with less than a year of self-training. It's incredible."
"So the chakra storage seal was an original seal, then, I take it?"
"Yeah. Amazing, and really no advanced theory required for it. I'm surprised Minato hadn't come up with." Jiraiya frowned for a second. "Of course, the knuckle-head probably did and neglected to tell me about it. He was always coming up with seals, then blew off the majority of them thinking them too trivial to mention. Damn geniuses."
Sarutobi chuckled at that, he remembered Jiraiya's struggles with Minato. Jiraiya had always been justifiably proud of his student, but at the same time, it had been vexing dealing with such genius.
"You don't give yourself enough credit, Jiraiya. You, yourself, are a genius at fuuinjutsu – ah, don't bother denying it, it's true. It is one of the primary reasons you are one of the sannin."
"Maybe. For the most part I see things pretty linearly. I go from A to B to C.
Sometimes, I can make the jump from A to C. Minato could go from A straight to the letter Z, and from there figure out the intermediate steps so us normal folks could understand it. Sometimes anyway. Minato was a once in a lifetime genius – no, once in history genius. Or, at least, it seemed that way until Naruto."
"I don't know. If so, Minato was the first one to exhibit it. I don't know. Maybe it's just a regular genetic thing that any civilian could have had. Not that I really know the difference but Tsunade claims there's a difference between a bloodline and plain old inheritance. She tried to explain it to me once. Something about bloodlines having some common identifiable trait due to their relation to chakra, while regular inheritable traits don't. Didn't really get it - not my area of expertise. Cured my insomnia, though. Either way, Naruto has the potential to go further than his father."
"Oh? Why do you say that? Is he that much more talented than even Minato?" asked Sarutobi.
"I don't know. I'm not qualified to say who is more talented. I don't think anybody is. But we lost Minato in his prime, he still had many productive years left. Naruto has his whole life ahead of him. Additionally, Minato developed a lot of theory on fuuinjutsu and chakra that will save Naruto a lot of time. Naruto has a much better starting point than Minato did."
"How does Naruto rate now? Is he as skilled as the typical fuuinjutsu master?"
"No, definitely not. Outside a fight, sure, some would consider him a fuuinjutsu master. He's already a great theoretician, but he's not ready to use his knowledge in battle. Even if we disregarded his other ninja skills, Naruto would get slaughtered in a battle against a fuuinjutsu master. There's still a lot of tricks and techniques that he needs to learn. He also hasn't actually memorized many seals. He can figure every thing out... eventually. He won't have that time in a battle. But he's definitely got the potential to be a true master – with the appropriate training. Which is why I think you should let me take Naruto with me for some extended training."
"Absolutely not. Naruto is only now starting to form bonds with this village. All his skills will do us no good if he cares nothing for Konoha."
Jiraiya could tell from the vehemence in Sarutobi's voice that he would not be able to convince Sarutobi to let him take Naruto with him. Not immediately, at least. "Fine. What if I were to take him just for the summer? That's several months away from now."
"I will take it under consideration. For now, though, what shall we do about Anko's seal?"
"I say we let Naruto examine it. He may have some new insight. But, as I said before, he's not ready to remove it even if he does figure out a way to do it."
"Then, I will arrange for Anko and Naruto to meet us here, tomorrow. Ten o'clock?"
Sorry, still haven't got to Anko's seal. I'm still working on that, but I wanted to something out since it has been so long since the last chapter. Thanks for reading, and please review. Oh, don't forget to mention ideas for seals if you have any (powerful or trivial, they're all good).