Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto… yet. I'll buy a pack of Oreo cookies and a quart of milk and eat them in front of Kishimoto, let's see how long he can hold out. He he he… It's only a matter of time… He he he…

Chapter 3: Konoha Business


Naruto slumped against a tree and sat down as he saw Jiraiya talking to Maito Gai, with Sasuke over his shoulder. Itachi had really done a number on that kid and Naruto knew it was mostly his fault, but defended himself with the fact that Sasuke either didn't notice or didn't care that Itachi was in such a pissy mood. And what kind of genin tries to stay and fight Itachi Uchiha by choice? Itachi looked pissed off when he beat Sasuke too, Naruto called his bad on that…

Naruto had gotten his ass saved by Sasuke's 'assistance' and he knew it. It had given Jiraiya enough time to find him and drive the nuke-nin duo off before they could refocus on him. Thank goodness the old sage could back up all of that posturing with skill.

"Gaki, come over here!"

Naruto stood and walked over to Jiraiya and Gai. While he was pissed off at Jiraiya he had to admit, without his timely interference he would have gotten turned into hamburger. Gai gave Naruto a blinding smile as he got close, "Yosh Naruto-kun, you have certainly shown yourself to be quite flushed with the power of youth today! Holding off those two like you did!"

Naruto looked at Gai strangely, "Thanks Gai-san. I was useless though. They could have killed me whenever they wanted, they needed me alive."

Gai shook his head, smile still in place, "And you are alive are you not? And that means you have another day to get stronger! Another day to prepare yourself and make sure this doesn't happen again!"

Naruto smiled faintly, "You're right. I need to worry about getting ready for the next time something like this happens." Naruto clinched his fists, 'There's no way that guys like that are going to get the drop on me ever again…'

Gai shifted Sasuke on his shoulders, "Well I do hope that you two are successful in your mission, we could use her expertise for more than just Sasuke-kun here. Kakashi got hit as well."

Naruto looked at Gai, "Kakashi made eye-contact?" Gai nodded and began reaching for something on his person.

Jiraiya grabbed Naruto by his shoulder, "We should go kid. We'll lose the trail if we stay after all of this."

Naruto grunted as Jiraiya pulled him away, "Uh, later Gai-san. Tell Rock Lee, and Tenten I said hi!" Gai gave him a thumbs up and a smile in return before turning to blaze a trail back to Konoha.

Naruto noticed Jiraiya was hurrying him away, "Why are you pulling me so fast ero-sennin?"

Jiraiya looked down and back out at the road ahead, "He was going to give you one of those God-awful jumpsuits kid. There was no way I was letting you go back to such horrendous clothing after you just started looking decent."

Naruto scoffed and slapped Jiraiya's hand off of his shoulder, "Don't touch me. You aren't off of the hook yet. You and the old man screwed me over, I'm a joke in Konoha these days because of what you guys did. Itachi and Kisame treated me like a piece of crap back there, and while it helped keep me alive and out of their hands, it was insulting."

Naruto grumbled as he stomped down the road, "I've got at least two S-rank nukenin after me and I'm a sitting duck if they decide to get serious on me. We seriously need to finish this mission so I can work on getting back up to snuff."

Jiraiya shook his head as they traversed the roads.

XxX

Naruto had calmed down over the course of the next few days. He was still incredibly testy due to still not finding any time to train himself properly. Jiraiya tried to placate him by saying he had proven himself to be far stronger than a genin should be, Naruto countered by blankly stating that he wasn't supposed to be at genin, he was Anbu level at 8.

Jiraiya didn't like Naruto fretting over his skill level like this, but then he remembered what he met Naruto doing, infiltrating an unknown country. When he saw Naruto again at the hot springs years later he was rather underwhelmed. After taking the Gogyo Fuuin off of Naruto and watching him immediately stand on water he wasn't surprised, he figured he subconsciously knew how to do it already.

What had been done to him was a damn shame, and he had every right to be angry. Years of blood, sweat, and tears… Ok not so much tears if he was trained by Danzo, but everything else, all of that was spent to give him his strength, and to have a considerable amount of it ripped away by the folly of a pair of old men? Jiraiya knew he would be in an uproar about it too if it were him.

And he knew Naruto had all the reason to worry about it. He had just been attacked by two of the most infamous ninja actively listed in the bingo book and only sheer folly on their part and raw luck and hard-nosed skill from his got him out of it. His teammate had been injured in the fracas as well.

Jiraiya looked at the boy who was practicing running through hand-signs quickly, "Hey kid, don't worry about your teammate, he'll be fine."

Naruto stopped working on his hand-signs and looked at Jiraiya, "Oh, that. Meh, it'll be good for him. A little beating every once in a while builds character." Naruto shrugged when Jiraiya stared in shock at his nonchalant attitude, "What? It's how I was trained. Getting your ass kicked makes you really want to avoid getting your ass kicked again so you do what you can to improve, it's good for him."

"Huh, well yeah that does make sense." Jiraiya nodded in agreement to Naruto's logic, "Alright then, let's go find Tsunade!"

Naruto almost stumbled, "Tsunade? As in your old teammate, best damn medic-ninja ever, gambles like shit, Tsunade?"

Jiraiya chuckled at his description of her, "Yeah that's the one kid. Though, I think you should refrain from using that last one in front of her unless you want to end up a smear on a wall." Jiraiya pulled out a picture of her and handed it to Naruto, "We're to find her and bring her back to the village."

Naruto put the picture in one of his pockets and kept up with making hand-signs that looked like a blur. Jiraiya saw him resume his task, "Hey kid, how about I give you that jutsu now. I guarantee you don't know it, and it could be useful to you. You can even train with it while walking like you are right now."

Naruto thought for a moment, "Sure why not? It's not like I can go out of my way to handle any other kind of training while we're out here."

Jiraiya grinned, "Good choice kid. I promise you won't regret it. We'll start when I can get the necessary supplies."

XxX

Naruto and Jiraiya came upon a town where a festival was taking place. Jiraiya suggested he take this time to relax and they would pick up with the search soon while he would go and get some information on where she was.

Naruto agreed and ditched Jiraiya before the latter could try and mooch off of his money.

Naruto spent a few hours going through the town, cheating in- err…partaking in some games and winning some prizes, getting a bite to eat. He had to admit, he may have lost a step or two in battle, but he was having more fun now than he would have been having in Ne if he was still one of them. That was one thing he had inherited from his old self and learned to love since he broke the seal, the value of a good time.

He eventually got worried about the white-haired pervert he had been taking company with and set out to find him. It didn't take long for him to hear his rather distinctive laugh booming from a nearby tavern. Naruto entered to find Jiraiya with alcoholic beverage in hand and pleasurable company on both sides, one of which was hanging off of him, "Eh? Hey Naruto! Come over here and take a load off!"

Naruto shrugged and walked over, sitting down to the woman on Jiraiya's left, a brunette with hair going down her back, "So Jiraiya-sama, who's the little cutie here with you?"

Naruto raised his eyebrow, 'Cutie? Yeah right… I can't get a girl in Konoha to even so much as look at me with anything less than a sneer when I speak to them.' Naruto let out a bitter chuckle that was missed by everyone else.

Jiraiya grinned, 'This is my student Naruto Uzumaki, Naruto say hello to Tokoko and Tsukina."

Naruto waved and let out a small hello. Tokoko, the girl he had been sitting next to that wasn't on Jiraiya, leaned on him, wrapping her arms around his neck. Naruto figured she must have been around five years older than him, "He's so cute Jiraiya-sama." He heard the girl let out a gasp as she touched the scar on his face, "How did you get something like this? You're so young."

Naruto shrugged, "Life is hard… It's just a scar. It's nothing important, just a reminder to duck next time." He was a good sport about it as he let her trace the mark over his eye. Naruto and Jiraiya stayed and talked with the women until a few hours after nightfall. Naruto had refrained from drinking the entire time, letting Jiraiya get his fill for now, he knew the man would pay for it in the morning.

Naruto waited until Jiraiya was blackout drunk, (which took way longer than Naruto figured it should have been, what the hell was his alcohol to blood ratio? Kami.) bid goodbye to the women they were with and proceeded to haul Jiraiya out of the bar towards an inn for the night.

As he got a certain distance down the road Jiraiya seemingly got a second wind and rose from Naruto's shoulders, "Wow you are strong gaki. That was quite a ways to haul dead-weight like me."

Naruto looked up at Jiraiya who had seemingly shrugged off the effects of an entire day's worth of binge drinking, "You should be laying face up choking on puke right now. How in the hell are you even standing straight?"

Jiraiya smirked at the boy as he continued looking for a place to stay, "I'm no lightweight kid." Naruto deadpanned a look at him saying that he didn't drink a lightweight's share, "While Tsunade would have dropped hours ago, I'm just that good. I'm surprised you didn't drag me out or call me an old perv or something."

Naruto sighed, "I'm not adverse to enjoying myself… And those women were hot… Besides, you said we were relaxing today, even a brainless sealing asshole like you needs to rest, and that's obviously how you take the edge off so why should I have interrupted you?"

Jiraiya chuckled, "You sure are different these days gaki. I think Tokoko liked you, that damn scar is going to get you all sorts of pity sex when you get older."

Naruto snorted, "It's just because she doesn't know who I am. If we were in Konoha I'd have been shoved to the backburner there and you know it."

Jiraiya hmm-ed in response, "Maybe you should get your head off of that pink-haired girl then? There are plenty of other women that won't try to give you brain damage."

He expected him to start ranting about how he'd never betray Sakura-chan, or how she was just complicated or something, what Naruto said made him almost fall in the street, "Huh, so true… Well, you were the one who did it."

Jiraiya looked over at the calm expression on his face, "What?"

Naruto looked at him with a cocked brow, hiding his slight glare, "The first thing I thought of her when I had time to think about my team again was what the hell was my other self smoking to think she was any good for me? My dumbass, childish self was the one that was attracted to her, therefore it's your fault. However I don't interact with any other girls, my age or otherwise, not before you sealed me and sure as hell not after, they all got used to the me that was terrible at everything."

Naruto looked up at the moon, "All the kunoichi my age all think I suck, or they can't stand me, all of the civilians fawn all over Uchiha-teme, or are too weak to be able to put up with my life and the ones that don't, all hate me anyway. I think Danzo might have been on to something when he told me to get rid of my emotions, because knowing you'll never get laid out of love kind of sucks ero-sennin."

Naruto scratched his chin in thought. Jiraiya flinched as he noted how calmly he had just said that he would never find anyone to be with. No one should just accept that kind of thing as a fact of their life.

Naruto left Jiraiya with one more thought for the night, "That Tokiko girl was pretty cute though…"

XxX

As they had woken up the next day and headed out on the road Jiraiya tossed Naruto a water balloon. Naruto looked up at him blankly, "What the hell is this? It's not that hot ero-sennin. You're a grown man."

Jiraiya held out another in his own hand, "The jutsu you're learning has three steps, the first one is to pop that balloon with just the rotation of your chakra."

Naruto yawned, "Uh huh… Well does this mystery jutsu have a name, or will I have the pleasure of doing that?"

Jiraiya held out his other hand as a rapidly spinning blue ball of chakra formed in it. Naruto noticed the speed and the size of the jutsu compared to the massive amount of chakra rolling inside of it. Jiraiya smirked as he saw Naruto's eyes affixed to the ball, "It's called Rasengan. It was one of the Yondaime Hokage's prized jutsu."

Naruto nodded, "Whoa…"

Jiraiya let the jutsu fade, "Indeed… Now lets-."

He was cut off as the sound of water splashing rang out. He turned to see Naruto shaking his hand and picking pieces of rubber off of it. Jiraiya held out his balloon, "Do that again."

Naruto grabbed the balloon from his and popped it like clockwork. Jiraiya had to rub his eyes, "What? How?"

Naruto shook more water off of his hands as he kept walking forward, "I saw that the jutsu had chakra flowing in all directions, I just did that to the balloon and, pop."

Jiraiya shook his head, "A genin shouldn't have gotten something like that so quickly."

A tick mark on Naruto's head appeared, "Yeah well I'm not supposed to be a genin either. I'm supposed to be a Ne Anbu, remember? Noticing a detail like that is amateur-hour stuff." Naruto looked at him expectantly, "What's the next step?"

Jiraiya dumbly held out a rubber ball, "Pop this with your chakra. It should be the most difficult step, it has to do with just power-."

BLAM!

Naruto's hands snapped to his ears as the rubber ball exploded in his hand, "Damn it, why was that so loud?"

Jiraiya almost had a seizure out in the open road, "How did you get it that time! Generating a consistent amount of power like that takes time!"

Naruto dug into his ear, "And I have what sealed inside of me again? I've been dealing with powerful chakra since I was little, my own naturally got stronger. Danzo had me spamming high level jutsu all over the place by the time I was eight."

Jiraiya opened his mouth but nothing came out, "I'll show you the final step later. I need to find something new to start you on. What about your elemental affinity?"

"Wind, and I have several jutsu for that element, I just need to re-learn the big ones again." Naruto walked along with a bored expression on his face, "Where is Tsunade damn it? Did you find out anything in that town we were in?"

Jiraiya ceased his thoughts on Naruto's training and answered, "I did actually. She was heading up towards the edge of the country, she'll probably wind up in Tanzaku Gai, so that's where we're going."

Naruto grunted, "Tell me the third step so I'm not wasting time on the way. If I can't get my conditioning in then I'll have to work with this jutsu until we get somewhere where I can actually work on it."

Jiraiya sighed and blew up a balloon, "The next step is to mix the first two steps in this balloon."

Naruto looked at the balloon in Jiraiya's hand, "So what am I doing?"

Jiraiya lifted his other hand and formed a Rasengan for Naruto to see. Naruto opened his mouth, forming an 'o' in recognition, "So I'm doing that, just inside the balloon instead right? So I can get the spatial composition down?"

Jiraiya nodded, 'It took me two months just to get this far. It hasn't even been an hour yet for him. Kid what were you like before you were sealed? Thinking about something like that terrifies me.'

Naruto attempted Jiraiya's instructions. Jiraiya actually breathed a sigh of relief when Naruto's balloon popped. If the kid got Rasengan in one day then he would have had a fit. Naruto received the pack of balloons from Jiraiya and took out another to blow up, "Well it looks like this will keep me busy for a while."

XxX

"What happened here?"

Jiraiya and Naruto looked at what used to be the famous castle of Tanzaku Gai. It was nothing but rubble at this point. Jiraiya and Naruto walked over to the scene and looked around. While Naruto kicked at the rubble under his feet Jiraiya noticed holes in the wall nearby, a sign of his wayward teammate.

Jiraiya jerked Naruto by his arm to lead him away, "Come on kid, we're close, very close."

After searching the town all day they stopped at a tavern for a little meal before retiring for the night. Jiraiya stopped as he walked inside, "Tsunade?"

A blonde woman with a jewel looking mark on her forehead looked up in shock, "Jiraiya? What are you doing here?"

Jiraiya and Naruto walked over to her table where there was a black haired woman holding a small pig, "Well we just stopped here for a bite to eat. Imagine meeting you here of all places."

Naruto took a seat alongside Jiraiya and looked out at the two women, 'Tsunade… So this is the last of the sannin. Looks like I've met the full-set. Lucky me…'

Tsunade's eyes drifted over to him, "So who's the brat Jiraiya?"

Naruto's eye twitched, 'Yep… Lucky, lucky, lucky…'

Jiraiya looked at Naruto, who was wearing an unreadable expression, minus the twitching, "This is Naruto Uzumaki, my new apprentice."

Naruto's eyebrows shot up, "Apprentice? Since when?"

Jiraiya smirked at the boy, "Since you signed the toad contract before the invasion kid. Congratulations."

Naruto grumbled and placed his face on his hands, "Great… The guy that locked away my strength and skill wants to make amends and teach me how to fight again…"

Jiraiya looked confused, "Kid don't you want me to do that?"

Naruto slammed his palms on the table, "I'll tell you what I want. I want to go home so I can get my shit together and get strong again. I want to yell at you and beat you to a pulp. I want something or someone to cling to, because I think I'm starting to lose it with all of the shit running through my mind!"

Naruto was standing now, "But I can't have those things, not for a bunch of reasons. I can work on one of those things now though." Naruto pointed at Tsunade, "You. We're going back to Konoha. Time to go home."

Tsunade was stunned silent by the sheer fact that some kid just ordered her to do something of that magnitude, and he didn't even blink. Jiraiya palmed his forehead, "Smooth kid… Really subtle stuff there."

Naruto glared at Jiraiya, "You can shut up too. I'm still pissed at you damn it."

Jiraiya groaned, "When won't you be pissed at me?"

Naruto smirked, "When I can do everything I used to be able to do and then some." Naruto looked back at Tsunade, "So let's go. Come on."

Tsunade flipped the table over angrily, "Who the hell do you think you are runt? Where do you think you can get off telling me to go back to that place?"

Naruto didn't bat an eye, "I think I'm the unfortunate bastard tasked with dragging your sorry alcoholic ass home, and I don't fail missions." Naruto kicked his chair backwards, "You can come with us, or I can beat your ass and drag you back myself."

Tsunade pointed to the door and stomped outside. Naruto followed briskly. Jiraiya groaned as he stood to leave as well, "Come on Shizune. Someone needs to sweep that kid's remains off the street after Tsunade is done with him."

XxX

Naruto stood across from Tsunade in the middle of the street. He looked around, "You know this really isn't the place for something like this, unless you like paying for property damage. But don't you have enough debts."

"Shut up and get ready to face the music you brat." Tsunade lifted her index finger, "One finger. That's all I need for a runt like you."

Naruto smirked, 'I thought I was rusty after four years… Well when was the last time she was even in a fight? Sometimes life cracks a window for you, well she just opened the goddamn front door for me.'

Jiraiya and Shizune walked out, "Tsunade let it go… We can talk about this."

Tsunade glared over at Jiraiya, "Shut up Jiraiya. He has this coming. Brats like this need to know their place."

Naruto glared over at Jiraiya also, "Yeah, shut up ero-sennin. Old ladies like this need to learn how to deal with their problems before they turn old and grey instead of just running away."

Tsunade growled at Naruto, "Give me your best shot brat. You won't get another one."

Naruto's eyes went cold as his face went blank, "If I do this right, then one shot is all I'll really need." His eyes narrowed, "You'd better hope I miss."

A slight shiver went down Jiraiya's spine as he saw the look in Naruto's eyes, "Uh Tsunade? You might want to use more than-."

Tsunade snapped at him again, "I said shut up Jiraiya!"

Naruto kept his stone cold eyes leveled on her, "Looks like the crabby old lady needs an attitude adjustment… Yelling at her old friends like that."

Tsunade had enough of Naruto's mouth and charged at him. Naruto's body tensed as he counted the steps until she was in range, 'Shouldn't a sannin be faster than this? I guess she really is rusty.'

Tsunade attempted a backhand swipe but Naruto swatted it away, leaving her guard wide open. Tsunade was shocked as Naruto moved far faster than she expected a kid his age to be able to, ending up with him sinking a fist into her ribs.

Jiraiya had to let a small smile come on his face as he saw Shizune's jaw drop. Shizune's grip on the pet pig, Ton-ton almost squashed the poor thing as he saw a child get the first shot on Tsunade in a fight, "Jiraiya-sama, how can that genin land a blow like that on Tsunade-sama? He hit first."

Jiraiya shook his head, "Just because he's a genin doesn't mean he has to fight like a genin does it?"

Tsunade ran green glowing hands over her torso and glared at Naruto who had simply reset himself in his stance, "So you can move with some quickness? You're still a brat! I still only need one finger."

'She won't even acknowledge when someone is a threat… This is going to work out better than the fight with Itachi.' Naruto formed a cross-seal and formed several Kage Bunshin, "You got disoriented by just one of me, how are you going to handle eight? SCATTER!"

Naruto's clones blurred around the street, looking more like an angry hive of bees rather than a group of boys. Tsunade's eyes kept themselves on all possible threats. She ended up blocking a few pre-emptive strikes with just one finger, per her boast, and kept looking for a prime target to hit.

The sounds of something swirling made Tsunade turn her head to see Naruto forming a blue ball that Tsunade could label from a mile away. Realizing just how damaging that move could be she chopped at the ground with her finger, disrupting his footing and forcing him to break the attack and fall down.

Tsunade looked over at Jiraiya, "Jiraiya, what were you thinking? Teaching a kid like this that kind of jutsu."

Jiraiya wasn't even looking at her. He was looking in another direction with a grin on his face, "Hey Naruto! Don't embarrass her badly kid, she's supposed to be our next Hokage!"

Naruto strode out of the darkness of a nearby alley holding something in his hands. He had a dumbstruck look on his face, "Really? Her? Are you sure? Because for all intents and purposes I just killed her."

Tsunade watched as the 'Naruto' in front of her burst into smoke and was about to ask what he meant. All of a sudden she felt a draft around her chest and looked down to see her gray kimono/blouse open and fluttering in the breeze.

Shizune looked mortified at the sight of her master's busty glory out for all the world to see. She was thankful solely for the fact that the street was clear.

Naruto smirked in a mean-spirited fashion as he slung her obi around like a rope, "I think you're missing something there." His eyes widened as he actually got a decent look at her, "Whoa… Good on you though. Bravo."

Jiraiya ran up to Naruto and shook his hand with stars in his eyes, "Kid that was amazing! You're my hero!" Jiraiya dropped to the ground and bowed down, "I'm not worthy to train you kid. You should be training me!"

Tsunade's senses came back online as she proverbially saw red and rushed over to Naruto, hitting him dead on and sending him flying into the front wall of a nearby building, utterly turning it to rubble. Jiraiya and Shizune ran over to where he had landed as Tsunade held her clothing shut with her hands.

Amazingly they found him still conscious, but not in any condition to get back up. As Shizune started running a diagnostic jutsu on him he coughed up some blood, "*cough* I win."

Tsunad stormed over and ripped her obi from his grasp, reapplying it, "What do mean? Look at you brat! You're a mess."

Naruto grinned, showing her bloody teeth in his smile, "You still used more than one finger to beat me. You lose." Naruto shakily picked himself up off of the ground, shocking all who witnessed it, "Now play time is over. Time to go back to Konoha already."

Tsunade sneered at him, "Why would I? Why should I? I already said I'm not going. That place has taken too much from me. It isn't getting my life too!" She turned to leave, "Shizune! Come on. The brat is fine, we're leaving."

Jiraiya stood in front of her path to leave, "Tsunade. Like I said, the elders have chosen you as our next Hokage. Now that we've caught you we're not just going to let you vanish again. We'll stay on you until you decide to come along."

Tsunade scoffed and turned away, looking out at the road. She saw the marking from the attempted Rasengan and looked back with a devious smirk, "Alright since you won't just leave how about we have a little wager."

She walked over to the injured Naruto, "That move you tried to use on me back there. You know it was once used by the Yondaime Hokage. If you can master that move in one week then I'll give you the necklace I'm wearing and I'll return with you to Konoha. If you fail then you'll give me all of your money and give up the mission."

Naruto looked at the necklace and back up at her, "Deal. One week. I'll learn how to perform the Rasengan in one week or we'll go home without you."

Tsunade had a victorious look on her face and turned to leave, Shizune in tow. Naruto got Jiraiya to help him walk down the street as they went to get their own hotel room, "Are you going to be alright gaki?"

Naruto's teeth were gritted as he tried his hardest to stay upright with Jiraiya's assistance, "Yeah. I just need to sleep it off for the time being, I'll be fine in the morning. I'm okay."

Jiraiya rolled his eyes as they hobbled down the street, "You know I kind of wasn't kidding back there kid. You're my hero today. That sight you gave me, absolutely glorious. I've wanted to see that again for over fifteen years and I finally have. The best part; I didn't even get beaten up for it this time!" Jiraiya finished with a lecherous grin on his face.

Naruto sweatdropped, "That's… great ero-sennin. Glad I could help, I guess."

XxX

The next day Naruto was awakened from his deep slumber by a knock at his door. Lumbering over to the door he opened it to find Shizune, "Shizune-san? What is it?"

She came inside and looked him over, noting the fact that he was shirtless and had scars littering his body, "Are you sure you're okay from last night? Tsunade-sama has liquidated men using less force than she used on you."

Naruto sat on his bed and stretched, "I'm fine, I've had worse. So what do you need? I need to go train for this bet already."

Shizune rubbed her arm awkwardly, "That's what I want to talk to you about. I don't want you to think of Tsunade-sama as a bad person, she's just bitter."

Naruto nodded, "Because her brother and lover were killed during wartime. I know."

Shizune's eyes widened in shock, "How do you know that?"

Naruto shrugged, "The guy that trained me made me learn all kinds of stuff about Konoha's famous ninja."

Shuzune looked at him strangely, "The academy in Konoha sure goes over some classified things these days..."

Naruto chuckled darkly, "No they don't. I didn't learn that in the academy. I learned things of that nature elsewhere."

Shizune recovered admirably, "Well if you know that then you must know that that necklace is cursed. It will kill anyone who wears it other than Tsunade-sama."

Naruto stood up and walked towards the door, "Well then I guess I'm next. Because I'm winning this little bet of ours, so tell her to get all of her affairs in order and get ready to go back to Konoha. I'll see you later Shizune-san."

Naruto left Shizune sitting in the room as he left the hotel entirely.

Naruto made his way to the outskirts of the town where he found Jiraiya sitting against a tree waiting for him. He had a smirk on his face, "Kid you must have the biggest set on you. You made a bet like that with Tsunade."

Naruto smirked at him, "Well I have a week to train my body back up to normal. It won't be even a drop in the bucket to what I need, but free time is free time."

Jiraiya looked at him strangely, "Kid you need to work on the Rasengan and win this bet. You can wait to do everything else right now, finish the jutsu and then do everything else."

Naruto looked at him mischievously, "Oh you mean this Rasengan?" Naruto formed the perfect blue ball in his hand and pushed it against the tree Jiraiya was sitting against, forcing it to explode in a shower of bark and wood chips.

Jiraiya looked at him stunned, "You finished it?"

Naruto grinned widely, "Deception is just another tool of the game. When I fought her last night I used it as a distraction. I just needed to get her attention so my clone didn't really focus on the attack. I can do the Rasengan, but showing her that I could last night would have done no good. She would have just made another 'impossible' bet that I would have had to actually work at."

Jiraiya was still confused, "Well why didn't you just show her last night?"

Naruto gave him a dry look, "Ero-sennin I was seeing sextuple last night. She gave me a concussion, I still feel my head pounding even today. There was no way I could focus to show her the finished product last night after the bet was made."

Naruto stretched out as he prepared to work, "I'll just milk this for the week of training I can get in and show her on the last day. I don't have to tell you to watch her, you know she's a flight risk."

Jiraiya looked at Naruto seriously, "Yeah. There's a good chance Orochimaru is here as well."

Naruto stopped stretching to look up at Jiraiya, "Really? Well then that's all the more reason for me to get to work now isn't it?"

Jiraiya turned to head back to town with a grin on his face, "Damn brat is going to be stronger than all of us one of these days."

XxX

Over the course of the next week Naruto threw himself into training as hard as he could. Regaining intense control of his chakra was his primary concern, he trained in this facet by way of mass kunai balancing. He attempted to reacquaint himself with the movements of swordplay once more, but until he could get in some decent sparring there was only so much he could remember.

He still needed weights to get his speed up, and he figured his strength was alright for now. Not being able to activate his true levels for years did a number on his muscles.

Contrary to popular belief, gravity seals aren't really a form of training. The seal weighs you down by connecting to your chakra and manipulating how much you would be able to pump to your muscles, decreasing the greatest amounts that you attempt to generate. Depending on the nature of the seal it could seal away any percentage of your maximum. The difficulty and obscurity of the seal gave rise to the rumors of it being used as a training method.

Jiraiya had been using the seal in combat for decades since he had discovered its uses. When Jiraiya came across a powerful or dangerous ninja that he didn't necessarily want to kill he would sometimes place the seal on them to make sure they couldn't challenge him again. Most of them however never realized this and went the rest of their careers lagging in their physical skills unknowingly until they were later killed in battle.

Naruto had to sigh in relief when he realized that Jiraiya had placed something like that on him, 'Who knows what may have happened if he had kept it on. With dangerous ninja after me and me lacking the ability to get faster or stronger I would have been a dead man.'

At least he still had enough speed to deem manageable against most opponents for now anyway. He found that he was as fast as Rock Lee with his weighs off. Naruto chuckled when he though of the boy, "Now that would be a hell of a spar."

He then realized that Lee had been crippled by Gaara during the exams, and that stoked his resolve further that Tsunade wasn't going to get out of this bet with him, 'If anyone can help Lee get better it's her. Just another reason to drag her back, kicking and screaming if I have to.'

Naruto rubbed his hands together as he felt a familiar presence at the edge of the woods, 'Okay, kill two birds with one stone. Train this jutsu of mine and rattle her with my training. Serves her right for trying to spy.'

Naruto made a mass of hand signs and drew his hands apart as wind whipped around them. He turned to a boulder and thrusted out his fists pushed together at the thumb and index finger, "Fuuton: Fuujin Seiken (Wind Release: Divine Fist of the Wind God)!" A fierce wind pushed from his fists and impacted hard against the boulder, leaving the imprint of his two fists the size of his entire body.

Naruto smirked as he felt Tsunade leave the area of her hiding, "Alright. Finally, one down, eight more to go. I'm getting all of my jutsu back. Just wait till I bust out the big ones."


Jutsu List

Fuuton: Fuujin Seiken (Wind Release: Divine Fist of the Wind God): B-Rank Ninjutsu. Mid-to-close range. Forces the user to direct wind chakra around their hands in the blunt shape of their fist and thrust it out at their target. The impact is equal to the amount of chakra pumped into the attack, however the control must be adequate in order to use the jutsu at such a high level, violent backlash can occur if the control over the amount of chakra is not satisfactory. Theoretically the attack can be used to crush an opponent into paste against a solid surface, or can throw an enemy an unmeasurable distance with blunt force trauma.


Happy birthday to me! As a present to myself and my greatness the next chapter is up. I will now vanish, as I'll be playing Red Dead Redemtion until I give myself brain damage. I'll post the next chapter when I get around to it. If you're aware of my work then you're aware that I work fairly fast anyway, faster than most other authors so be cool.

Like always questions are welcome. I'll do my best to address them unless the answers give away future plot or something. Read, review, and go party. It's Friday, it's summer, and that's what I'll be doing so later.

Kenchi out. …I need a vacation… A REAL vacation.