AN/Warning: This story is probably going to become one of my favorites. I don't know honestly, tell me what you think. Now for the warning. Naruto and Kushina are going to be a family and they will very much be in a relationship (A sexual/loving relationship). This will not happen immediately but you can count on it happening. If you don't like that or in some way find it offensive then please turn back now. I don't want flamers yelling at me over something I warned you about. Also, this story will seem a little weird till Tsunade appears, stick with it till then.
Also. There will be Character Death in this story. The main Characters.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Secrets can help win wars, start conflicts, and topple giants. Some are so powerful, so consequential, that once they come to be they can never be spoken of again without fear or change.
There are some so horrible that if others learned they would look at the subject with disgust and venom. They have the power to turn husband against wife, brother against sister, and pit legions of men against each other.
There are times when some secrets come out.
Naruto learned this the night that Kyuubi was revealed to him. Four things happened that night. Naruto lost someone he considered to be a brother. Iruka died fighting to protect him. Next was the event that dirtied his hands. With the same weapon Mizuki had used to kill Iruka, Naruto killed Mizuki. A swarm of shadow clones and finally the real him landed the final blow. The truth sank in then.
He'd been lied to all his life. Every time he'd been insulted or beaten he'd asked why. His answer, 'the village is ignorant.' Tears formed in his eyes as he realized that the man he'd trusted his life with, the man he considered a grandfather had lied to him about his own life.
The final straw, however, was by far the most life changing. He met Kyuubi.
Naruto had talked to Sarutobi that night and the elderly man admitted the truth of Kyuubi to Naruto. Unfortunately he was late. Kyuubi had already explained everything the man said. How the seal was fool proof and how Naruto was perfectly safe and Kyuubi couldn't harm him.
Kyuubi had explained things differently though. The beast had full access to his body simply because of his blood. The blood of an Uzumaki ran through him, the blood of his mother who happened to be Kyuubi's previous host. She had connected and bonded with the beast and together with the fox she became powerful. Kyuubi fully intended to form the same bond with Naruto.
He was already in the process of reconstructing the blond.
Naruto listened to Sarutobi with a small frown on his face. He'd lost his bond with the old man but he'd gained one with Kyuubi. He knew the night couldn't get worse. He was wrong.
Kyuubi wasn't the only secret that Naruto would learn of that night and Kyuubi wasn't as heavily guarded as the next.
"We've been able to keep her alive." Sarutobi said. He tired to remain as calm as possible when he saw the shocked look on Naruto's face. "She's been in a coma all this time."
"Where…" Naruto asked after what seemed like hours.
His mother was alive. She had been alive all this time. Why hadn't he been told? He pondered these questions while he followed behind the Hokage. He'd never call him Jiji again. It had been a sign of his trust in the old man and after this there was nothing left between them. He was simply the Hokage and Naruto was a failed academy student (without Iruka living through the fight Naruto was never made a ninja).
Naruto expected to go to the hospital instead they entered the clan district of Konoha. He'd been there several times mostly when he wanted to pull a prank of some sort. This was nothing like those times. They arrived at the gates to the most well known compound in the hidden village. The Namikaze's. The first thing Naruto noticed when they passed the gates was the size. The compound itself wasn't extremely large and the house was only a single story tall and it alone didn't look larger than some of the larger civilian homes.
Sarutobi led the way through the house. It consisted of a living room, a kitchen, two bathrooms and three bedrooms. Not large by clan standards but Sarutobi was quick to explain that no more than four people had ever lived in the house at once.
Naruto was quiet while he explained things but he had unspoken questions. Why were they in the Namikaze house, the fourth's house? The first conclusion he'd come to was that his mother was married to the fourth. That meant that he'd of been the fourths son. It would have explained why he was chosen to hold the Kyuubi apart from his heritage. He'd quickly ignored that possibility though.
He knew that it probably wasn't the case and he wasn't about to let his hopes get high only to be crushed when he learned the truth.
His heart broke when he saw her.
The red hair that he was sure shined was dull from lack of care. Her face was pale and clammy. To top it all off there were tubes and machines connected to her and around the master bed she was lying upon. She looked like a mechanized ghost but he could tell from the soft beep of her heart-rate monitor that she was very much alive. It was a pitiful sight and Naruto knew that his mother wouldn't want to be seen like she was.
"Please leave, Hokage-sama, for a little while." Naruto said as he sauntered toward the bed.
Sarutobi stood still as he watched the young boy walk forward. "Please." he nodded and turned away, closing the door behind him. Naruto needed time to adjust to his new situation. So much was being revealed to him so quickly that it was a surprise he was doing as well as he was. He briefly wondered if it was wise to tell Naruto of his mother but he quickly shook the thought aside. Naruto had gone far too long without already.
He'd lied to the boy for too long and he was going to start trying to make it better.
(Nine months later)
It was time for the Chunin exams.
Sarutobi sat in his office as he went over the nominations. Several teams from Konoha had entered but three honestly surprised him. The three rookie teams were all signed up; their sensei's saying that they were fully prepared and ready for the trials.
He wasn't about to disagree with his best Jonins' opinion but he also wouldn't be responsible if any of their Genin died and he'd made that clear during the meeting. They were all confident in their teams and agreed without thought. The Hokage sighed as he signed the approval of their entry. Despite his caution he was curious about how Naruto would do.
After the 'incident', as he called it now, Naruto had become cold and distant toward nearly everybody. He'd even gone as far as to deny everyone but the nurses responsible for taking care of his mother entrence to the Namikaze estate. After he'd revealed that Naruto was, indeed, the fourths son Naruto moved in. Sarutobi couldn't do anything because, with Naruto's mother in her coma, Naruto was technically clan head.
Sarutobi didn't reveal that fact simply because Naruto asked him not to. He'd kept the Namikaze a secret for so long that continuing too took almost no effort.
Still, It was a complete one eighty from Naruto's normal personality. He'd proved that he still had the same thought process though, he wanted to become the Hokage and he wanted to be stronger. Sarutobi had told him that he'd do everything he could to help him and Naruto asked for the same scroll he'd stolen before.
He was hesitant but he didn't deny Naruto's request.
Naruto was only a Genin, he'd given him the headband himself, and he was sure that it would take years for him to master the Jutsu on that scroll.
Naruto knew otherwise though. Nobody had reported that he knew the Kage Bunshin and he'd yet to use it in public. Even on the mission to Nami no Kuni he'd resisted the urge to use any of the Jutsu he'd learned from the scroll using the 'shadow training method' as he called it. He spent the first month after he'd gotten the scroll on Chakra control. With a thousand shadow clones working for twelve hours a day every day for a month he gained nearly forty two years of chakra control training (I did the math myself so forgive me if I'm wrong)
This not only improved his control but his Chakra reserves skyrocketed. He had to learn how to put a suppression seal on himself to keep the combination of his and Kyuubi's Chakra from leaking off.
After that he separated his clones into groups of a hundred and had them each pick a Jutsu on the scroll and practice it for the same twelve hour runs. At the end of that month he'd gained roughly four years of straight practice with those Jutsu. He'd simply had the clones move on to the next set of Jutsu.
He continued to train with his team and do his own physical training to improve his body. His clones, sadly, couldn't help him improve his physique.
After the sixth month, he'd mastered all the Jutsu on the scroll and had a library of fifty of the most deadly Jutsu that Konoha had ever produced at his disposal. He moved onto other things after that. He focused all his clones on Kenjutsu for a month and became a master of that. Kyuubi had taken control of his body and taught his clones the Kitsune Kiba (the Fox Fang). After that they practiced it.
He'd spent another month focused on seals and by his calculations he'd become a second degree seal master with a first degree being the highest possible rank. The next month he'd tuned all his skills while he rested. It was the month after their mission to wave and they had gotten it off due to the stress of their first real mission. He didn't hold back that month. He'd used nearly all his Chakra and cut a decent dent into Kyuubi's by summoning two thousand clones. He'd actually had to move away from Konoha to conceal his training that month. Usually he'd simply train behind the Hokage's monument. The mountain went back nearly two miles and it was a perfect ground for his training.
He moved further for that month and it proved useful because he'd learned that the Chunin exams were coming up. It'd been nine months since he'd gotten the scroll and he felt that he was more than ready for anything that the chunin competitors could throw at him. He'd accumulated more years training than Sarutobi was in age and they'd all been focused on a select few Jutsu. The only thing he lacked was experience.
The Chunin exam was a perfect opportunity to get that experience.
It was going to be held in a week and he still wanted to learn one thing before it. He'd spent no time on basic strategies or plans. He had a week to do that now. He raided the library with henged clones and read up on nearly every fight Konoha had ever had. After the first day he was disappointed to learn that the libraries books only gave the general outline of the battle plans. So Naruto went to Sarutobi asking for them.
The Hokage was currently at his desk filling out the final forms for the exam when Naruto walked in.
Hiruzen Sarutobi wasn't an easy man to surprise but the sight of Naruto walking into his office without his team and without looking for a mission was certainly a surprise. The boy had all but ostracized him after he'd gotten the scroll.
He had black, knee length sandals that went up to the black pants that he'd rolled up. He wore a black version of the Chunin vest on his torso with a fishnet bodysuit under it. His hands were covered with forearm length, fingerless, gloves that had metal plates on the back of the hand and on each finger. Strapped to back of the vest was a Katana. It had, in accordance to the rest of Naruto's new uniform, a black cover with a white handle. There wasn't a guard on it.
The boy had grown as well. Five' five if Sarutobi was to guess.
It was expected though. It'd been nearly a year after all.
"It's been a while since you've visited me, Naruto-kun." Sarutobi said.
"Yes, it has been." Naruto responded as he sat down in the chair across from Sarutobi's desk. "I'm here for a reason though."
The old man saddened at that. He had expected that there was some reason other than visiting that Naruto had come. He'd still hoped though and it hurt to see the boy remain so cold toward him. "I'd expected as much. What can I do for you?"
Naruto smiled at him. "I was wondering if it was possible to see some of the strategies and plans from the last two Shinobi wars?" he asked politely. It had been almost a year since the incident and Naruto was finally willing to forgive the old man. It would be impossible to form the bond they had once had but he still wanted the man in his life. It was his nature to forgive. Sadly it wasn't to forget.
Sarutobi had wronged him and that was never going to go away.
"Of course," the Hokage nodded. "Not all of them, of course, and I can't give you the names of the teams who performed the missions. I have a condition though."
"And that is?"
His face softened, "You tell me how you've been."
Naruto sighed when he asked. It didn't hurt to tell him and it certainly felt good to see that the old man still cared. "I was bitter and angry at you for months." Naruto answered honestly. "I wanted to hurt you, give you the pain I was feeling, after you showed me my mother. I knew I couldn't so I came to you looking for the scroll to get stronger. At first all my training was to be able to get back at you. It was all that was on my mind."
"It faded after a little while though. I was angry because I wasn't alone, I had a mother, and I'd still been alone most of my life. I realized that even if I'd known her she wouldn't have been able to be there for me, take care of me. I've had that thought process for months now." Naruto looked Sarutobi in the eye. "Despite this I still know you lied to me. I can't forget that… ever." Sarutobi lowered his head at that. "I'm… willing… to forgive though."
The old man's head jolted back up.
"I want you to watch me in the Chunin exam, after that we'll talk again." Naruto said as he stood. "Send whatever you can to my house." with that he turned and walked out. As soon as Naruto was out the door Sarutobi began to collect whatever files he could find. Naruto was giving him a chance to redeem himself and he wasn't going to screw it up.
(Academy- Chunin exam)
Naruto walked behind Sasuke and Sakura. Sasuke's attitude had improved slightly and Sakura was his devoted follower. He wasn't fond of either of them. Still, he knew that if the test to become a Genin was teamwork then this test was to test both the skills of the individual and the skills of the team. He could handle himself and if he had to, he could handle their jobs as well.
As Sasuke told off the Chunin guards at the fake exam room Naruto focused on his clone's link. He'd left five hundred clones at his estate for the test since he'd been 'informed' of the second part of the exam. One clone, which wouldn't do anything, had a much larger portion of his chakra than the rest. He would stay at his house and re-spawn the clones every day.
They were beginning to go through his family's library. He'd found a quite a few Jutsu that he could use in there and he wanted his clones to learn them for him.
It wasn't till they entered the exam room did he refocus. Ino's squeal as she launched herself at Sasuke made his head hurt but he ignored it as he settled against the wall. "What's with the new get up Dobe?" Asked someone one who Naruto recognized to be Kiba.
"I change my clothes. You may want to try it eventually mutt." He responded quietly.
The rest of the Rookie nine watched as Kiba laughed. "Like an insult from a loser like you would bother me. You probably wanted to look cool for the exam. Doesn't matter, I'll still beat you. Hell I bet Ino could beat you!"
He was instantly slammed into the ground courtesy of Ino. Naruto raised an eyebrow at her before she shrugged. "He was implying that I was weak." she huffed before turning her attention back to Sasuke. Naruto rolled his eyes at the action. Instead of focusing on them he looked to the white haired boy that was walking toward them.
"You should quiet down." the boy instructed when he arrived. "You don't want to draw the other team's attention to you. Some of them are quite powerful and some are new and their skills are relatively unknown."
"Who are you?" Sasuke asked. The boy looked older than almost everyone in the room.
"I'm Kabuto," he said with a polite smile. "You're Sasuke Uchiha," he looked to the rest of the group. "And you would be the rookie nine, the only first year Genin participating in the exam. Some of you are quite powerful yourself."
"Um, Kabuto-san, how old are you?" Sakura asked.
"Nineteen. And before you ask, this is my seventh attempt at the Chunin exam. I'm my team's medic and I've never been able to make it all the way through the exam, it's not something you should go into unprepared."
Naruto rolled his eyes. That much was obvious. Going into a ninja examination unprepared was like committing suicide and he hoped that his classmates understood that. He stopped listening to the boy when he pulled out a deck of cards. It wasn't untill he heard his name said that he looked up.
"Naruto Uzumaki." Kabuto started. "This is… odd." He glanced at Naruto. "I don't have anything even saying he's a Konoha Shinobi."
Kiba, who had gotten up, laughed, "So he isn't even good enough to be recognized as a ninja!"
Naruto ignored the comment as he turned toward the front of the room.
"QUIET DOWN MAGGOTS!" The head examiner yelled as he walked into the room followed by a group of Chunin.
Killer intent flooded the room and even Naruto buckled under it. He'd trained relentlessly but he'd never been subject to so much killer intent. Not even Zabuza had been able to create so much.
"Okay! Take a number and get to your seat. The test will be passed out and you won't touch it till I explain the rules." He didn't say anything further as he went to sit down at the desk in the front of the room. The Genin followed his orders. They each took a number that was randomly given to them and they sat in the seat that corresponded with their number. Naruto ended up sitting next to Hinata Hyuga.
"Now that you're all seated listen up. I'm only going to explain this once. There are ten questions. Nine on that sheet and one you'll get at the end of the test. You got an hour to answer as many of the questions on that sheet you can. If you're caught cheating you will have one out of five points deducted. If you lose all your points you and your team are disqualified. Your hour starts… NOW!" he finished, letting out a burst of killer intent upon the group.
Naruto looked around as the hour passed. He glanced at the sheet before he flipped it back over and drew a rather expert picture of a bowl of ramen with a tomato placed inside it. He doubted that anyone would get the reference. (If you want to get the reference read chapter 498 of the Naruto manga.) After he finished with that he glanced around the room. There were a few teams gone and he could see a few people cheating in various ways.
He commended most of the methods but the only question of any real importance to him was the last question. He didn't know the answers to the rest. Despite his training, he'd never gone into the academy notebooks.
"Okay Maggots! Times up!" Ibiki smirked when he saw the frantic looks on some of their faces. "Now before I give the final question I've got a few more rules to explain. The first and foremost being that you have the choice to take answers this question." His smirk grew when he heard the shouts of 'what?' and 'why?'. "The short answer to those questions is if you get this question wrong you'll fail this exam and you'll never be allowed to take the Chunin examination again!"
"What! You can't do that!" was the yell from Sakura. Naruto rolled his eyes at her for her outburst but he wasn't exactly unexpected. She was always the most outspoken of his group.
"I can do anything I want. It's the privilege of the examiner. You have five minutes to decide, if you're not up for it then you can leave." He said with a laugh.
A few teams left the room, those that weren't confident of their skills, but most stayed. There were twenty seven teams by his count. If there were eighty one Genin and three were in each team that left twenty seven. He sighed when he looked back to the front of the room and waited for the examiner, who hadn't given his name, to finish the exam. He glanced at the Chunin assistants that lined the sides of the room.
He noticed Sakura, when he looked for his team, was about to leave the exam. A small growl escaped him at the sight. She was the 'smartest' of the group yet she always made the stupidest choices. Before she could fully make the choice Sasuke stopped her. He supposed it was sad that he could change a decision like with a single glance but he was glad that he'd stopped her.
"Times up!" the examiner shouted. "This is your final chance to leave." He looked around, waiting for someone to get up. Nobody did. "Okay, to all those that have decided to stay… You Pass!"
"Well then what were the first nine question's for?" Temari, if Naruto remembered, from the sand team asked.
"They served their intended purpose, to test your individual information gathering abilities." He explained. "The questions on the test were questions that most of you couldn't hope to answer. Because of that I'm sure that most of you came to the conclusion that you'd need to cheat to pass. There was a team of Chunin in the exam." as he said that one of the teams stood from their seats, waved briefly before joining their fellow Chunin along the walls of the room.
'Twenty six teams.' Naruto thought dully.
"They entered the exam knowing all the answers and were meant to be the main targets for those who decided to cheat. Obviously those that weren't skilled enough were removed from the exam. Those that were…"
One of the window shattered as a black ball flew into the room. Naruto watched as two Kunai flew out of the ball and it unwrapped revealing that the ball was a sign and inside of it was a person. The sign was pinned to the ceiling of the room behind her, blocking the first examiner.
He ignored the sign but the person was interesting. She was barely wearing clothing that was the first thing he noticed. A trench coat and a skirt were the only real things she was wearing. Underneath was a fishnet body suit much like the one he wore except hers stopped at mid thigh while his extended to his ankles.
"Hello runts! I'm Mitarashi Anko, the examiner for the second test!" she yelled.
"Anko," the original examiner deadpanned as he stepped out from behind the sign, "You're early."
Anko shrugged and took a quick look at the genin. "Twenty six teams? Come on Ibiki you're going soft!"
"There are a lot of outstanding applicants this time." The now named Ibiki said.
Another shrug, "its fine, I'll cut then down by at last half in the next exam." She smirked, "All those feeling up to it meet me at training ground forty four in a half an hour. Those who aren't there will be disqualified." She disappeared via shunshin immediately after that.
After all the Chunin hopefuls had left the room Ibiki was walking around the room, collecting the tests. Finally he found Naruto's. The sheet was answer side up but it was empty. This brought a smirk to his face. He noticed the darkness of the picture through the paper and, out of curiosity, flipped it over. The picture surprised him but he understood it. His smirk fell into a smile. "I didn't know the brat knew." he muttered.
He folded the test and put it in his pocket. He'd visit the kid later and ask about it he decided. He'd have to wait till the second exam was done though.
(Outside the forest of death)
She looked over the teams. They'd all made it there with ten minutes left to spare. That was a first for her so she supposed that Ibiki had been right and those that were left were good. It didn't change the fact that there would be thirteen or less teams after her exam. "Welcome," she started, "To training ground forty four. Better known as the forest of death."
"And the playground for the Jonin." Naruto muttered.
The Jonin regularly used the training ground just to work out. They were hardly afraid of it and Naruto was confident that if they could take it then he could. Besides, a Jonin training ground plus other teams equaled the real fighting experience he needed.
He noticed a kunai coming at him but he didn't move out of its path. It wasn't going to do any real damage and Anko had been the one to throw it. The instructor wouldn't actual do anything to him so he wasn't worried.
"Aren't you a smart one." she said as she leaned over his shoulder. Her tongue slid out of her mouth and touched his bleeding cheek. She didn't notice Naruto's mouth spread to a grin or his eyes glint evilly before twisted his head, his tongue snake around hers and invade her mouth. He could taste his own blood on her which surprisingly sent an excited tingle down his spine.
He pulled back just as quickly as he'd turned. "Thank you Anko-san, I'm definitely ready now."
Anko stood silent for a moment, staring at the blond. There were hushed comments and she also noted how his pink haired teammate was staring at him in shock. She, too, was slightly in shock. The kid had balls. Either that or he simply didn't care about dying. His attitude was impressive though so she was going to let him live. "Bold, gaki, very gutsy." His eyes seemed to light up at the last word, she ignored it, "you live for now."
She turned back to the rest of the group and pulled out a handful of papers. "Moving on. You have to sign these forms to enter this part of the exam. There will be deaths in this forest and unless you sign these I'll be held responsible. I'll pass them out after I finish the explanation and you'll hand them in at the booth behind me." She said motioning to the small booth next to the gate labeled with a 'one'.
"Now then. In the center of this forest is a tower. Each team will be given a scroll like these." She pulled two scrolls from her weapon pouch. One was marked heaven while the other was marked earth. "You will have five days to find the scroll you don't have and take it from the other team. Once you have both you will bring them to the tower. You can use any means necessary to get the scroll. This is why you'll need to fill out the forms."
"Now we go over how you get disqualified." She continued, "First, those who don't get to tower within the time limit, five days. Second, Those who lose a teammate. It doesn't matter what happened to them. All three of you must be at the tower at the same time. The final one is the simplest. You don't open the scroll at all."
"Why not?" One of the random Genin asked.
"On missions you will be asked to handle classified information. This is a test to see if you're capable of being trusted with those documents without looking at them." she sighed, "That's it for the rules. Come get your forms and fill them out. You team will exchange three forms for one of the scrolls."
She smiled a frighteningly innocent smile. "Any questions?"
There were none.
She kept the smile as the Genin took the papers. Signing and getting the scrolls was a quick process. Each team walked to one of the gates that were spread out around the fence that guarded the forest.
"That was disgusting Naruto!" Sakura yelled as they walked to their gate.
Naruto just sighed as he continued walking.
"How was it dobe?"
Naruto chuckled at the question. He wasn't expecting it in the slightest but it was still funny. "It was surprisingly exciting. Tasting my own blood was an interesting spin." He said, his tone never changing.
"Really now." Sasuke said in a quiet voice.
Sakura simply looked at the small back and forth with an outraged expression on her face. She would have yelled if Sasuke hadn't been a part of it.
Naruto kept the small smile that had settled on his face. He hated Sasuke with a passion but just that quick little display had made him smile. It showed… potential. The bastard would have to tone down his 'mightier than thou' attitude but it was worth looking into, he supposed. He'd spent nine months with him and hadn't really seen anything but that attitude so it would take quite a bit to change his opinion.
(Forest of Death)
"Katon: Gōryūka no Jutsu (Fire Release: Great Dragon Fire Technique)!" Naruto yelled out as he spewed a fireball in the shape of the dragon head out of his mouth. He smirked as the giant snake swallowed the ball of fire. The snake writhed around in pain, destroying the area around it, before finally dying and exploding into smoke. "A summon." Naruto cursed himself as he turned and charged back toward where he'd been blown away from his group.
They'd only been in the forest for a few hours before they'd been attacked. Naruto hadn't felt the attacker approach but he'd felt the chakra surge and then the gust of wind blew him away. He wasn't sure which Jutsu was used but it was obviously a low class jutsu. It hadn't hurt him in the slightest which meant it was a supplementary jutsu not meant for damage.
He surged his legs with Chakra, forcing them to move faster.
When he arrived at the scene Sasuke was being chased up one of the larger trees by a man that was wrapping himself around the tree as he went. 'Like a snake.' Naruto sneered as he recognized the man. One of the jutsu on the scroll was made by Orochimaru. It had simply said 'made by the Snake Sannin' so Naruto got Curious.
He now knew each of the Sannin and their achievements. Seeing Orochimaru here, in the exam, was a disheartening concept. Naruto knew he needed to protect his team and that meant fighting the Sannin. He didn't know if he could do that. "Shit." He muttered before he jumped from his tree, throwing a few kunai directly into Orochimaru's path.
Naruto looked down at the man as he stopped, looking for his new attacker, and allowing his lower body to catch up to him on the tree. Naruto knew that if he had any chance of walking away from the fight he couldn't let up. Stopping for even a second would allow Orochimaru a chance to fight back and that would be devastating to him. Deciding it would be best to keep his distance Naruto dived forward preparing to use the few wind jutsu he knew.
"Ku ku ku ku." Orochimaru laughed as he stood up on the side of the tree. "So you survived Naruto-kun."
Surprise claimed Naruto's face. Orochimaru knew who he was? How?
"Don't be so Shocked Naruto-kun. Everybody from the elder generation knows who you are. I'm sure you know that." Orochimaru said. "Now stay there while I play with Sasuke-kun." He refocused on the Uchiha.
"Wait!" Sasuke said. He fished out the scroll from his weapon pouch. "I'll give you the scroll. Take it and leave us."
A smirk appeared on the snake's face. "Very smart Sasuke. Escaping a predator by presenting another meal. Ineffective though, considering I'm hardly after the scroll." He started walking toward Sasuke. "I'm after you."
"Fūton: Shinkū Renpa (Wind Release: Vacuum Serial Waves)!" Naruto blew a series of insanely sharp blades of wind at different angles toward Orochimaru as he appeared next to Sasuke via Shunshin. "Where's Sakura?" he asked immediately. Sasuke pointed to the girl who was standing on one of the trees not too far away. Naruto nodded. "Take the scroll, grab her, and run."
"Fūton: Daitoppa (Wind Release: Great Breakthrough)!"
Naruto grabbed Sasuke and jumped backward as the branch was destroyed by Orochimaru's attack.
"Run."Naruto stressed as he pushed Sasuke.
The Uchiha grit his teeth as he turned, moving toward Sakura. He hated to admit it but the man was more than he could take. The killing intent alone brought visions of his death to his mind. He didn't know how Naruto would fight that. 'He'll probably run.' Sasuke thought as he touched Sakura's shoulder. "Let's go."
Naruto was good at running. The blond was faster than him.
"Orochimaru." Naruto turned back.
"I'm impressed, Naruto-kun." The man said as he walked up the tree, his gaze never leaving Naruto's spot. "Those two jutsu were impressive. High class as well. It's a shame your almost out of Chakra after using them."
Naruto nodded. "Yes… It was three though. I killed your snake with a Katon Jutsu."
"Truly amazing for someone your age. I'm sure we can thank your tenant for that achievement."
Naruto scowled. "My tenant helped me in the beginning of my training. This is all me and now that they're gone I can cut loose." Naruto reached up and unzipped the vest. He stopped wearing real shirts for this reason. A real shirt blocked access to his chest and he needed quick access to it in situations like these.
Once the vest was open, an array of seals could be seen on Naruto's chest and Orochimaru recognized them all.
The man's yellow eyes widened. He had three suppression seals on his chest. Even one of those seals would bring him down to nothing. It was the seal that was put on prisoners when they were captured to keep them from using Chakra. This boy was wearing three and he was still able to use such high class Jutsu.
"People with normal Chakra reserves could never hope to do the training I do. It would kill them. Even at your age I'd bet you haven't even accumulated ten years of Chakra training." Naruto said. Few people spent mass amounts of time on Chakra training. An average person got maybe eight or nine years of it and that made great ninja. He'd gotten over forty. "I don't want to attract the Anbu but I know a lot of people will feel this."
He placed two fingers over the seal in the middle of his chest. "Kai." Wind flared around him and pressure filled the area. Naruto's control faltered as his Chakra reserves shot up. The branch he was sticking to exploded under him from the excess Chakra. He stabbed a kunai into the tree and caught himself. "Damn." He breathed. He hadn't released his even that much in a while. He was pretty sure that the entire forest had felt the release.
"So much power." Orochimaru muttered as he stared at the boy. "So much potential." Before he could do anything else he noticed that Naruto was moving his hand to another one of the seals.
Naruto had planned on immobilizing him with just the pressure plus his killer intent. One release hadn't worked but he could see the man faltering. One more seal might. "K-kai." A blue outline surrounded him as even the tree next to him blew sideways, unable to stand up to the chakra his body was beginning to leak. He could feel Kyuubi's Chakra start to leak into his system to make up for the Chakra he was losing.
He jumped up, letting his feet just tap the tree to keep from destroying it, and bounced away from Orochimaru. The man was struggling to stand on the branch.
Orochimaru watched him go as the pressure filled the area. "S-So much Chakra." Orochimaru said, even his voice strained under the pressure. It was almost equal to Kisame and the boy had one seal left to release. Kisame was considered to be a tailed beast without a tail. This boy… it was unbelivable.
Naruto resealed his Chakra before he'd caught up with Sasuke and Sakura and he'd claimed that it had been the man and he'd run. They believed him because he was the dobe and would never have as much Chakra as he'd released.
Naruto simply hoped that the fact that he hadn't released all three seals kept Orochimaru from trying to attack them again.
(With Orochimaru later that night)
He was risking a lot. Truly he was. But he'd waited until the pink haired one was on guard that night and his targets were asleep. He'd placed a suppression seal on himself to keep Naruto from noticing him as he snuck into their camp. The seal lowered him to almost nothing, as he had guessed. But his cursed seal took no Chakra and he had enough for one Shunshin and that would be all he'd need… Hopefully.
He used his Shunshin appearing behind Sakura and slamming his hand into the back of her neck knocking her out instantly. She was obviously the weakest in the group.
Now it was time to focus on the others. Naruto was first as he was the strongest. The pain of the seal would either stop him from attacking or kill him. Either option was acceptable to him. His teeth sunk into the boy's neck and he released his cursed seal into the boy.
Naruto's eyes shot open immediately before they rolled back into his head and his body started to spasm. Sasuke was next and happened almost the exact same way.
With everyone in the camp unconscious he left. Not before placing his heaven scroll on the ground to match theirs. He needed the boys to pass this section of the exam and with his gift getting out of the forest would be difficult enough.
"Kyuubi!" Naruto yelled as he raced down the sewers system that was his mind. Orochimaru's taint was behind him. His normal pathways were marked by blue pipe that lined the ceiling of the sewer. Orochimaru's taint was coursing through the sewers as purple pipes that were, not only forming, but damaging and fusing with his pathways. He had to get to Kyuubi. The beast could flood his pathways with his chakra and destroy the taint.
"It'll hurt like a bitch, Naruto. Be prepared." Kyuubi said as he started to gather his Chakra. "I've channeled my Chakra into you before you but I've never flooded your entire system. It will hurt and I don't know if it will have a lasting effect on you."
"I don't care." Naruto said as he dropped to his knees in front of the cage. The taint was taking all his energy.
"I'm doing it now."
Naruto shot up, his spine going straight as pain seemed to splash around him. It was like he was dumped into a vat of lava and it was only getting hotter. "AHHHH!"
Sakura awakened to her teammate screaming. She shot out of her resting position, not remembering how she'd fallen asleep. She looked over to her teammates. Sasuke was standing. His body seemed to be covered in a flame like tattoo. His hands were pressed to his head as if he were in pain. Then she looked to Naruto. He was still on the ground. His fingers… claws, were digging into the soil as his back arched off the ground.
"What happened!" she yelled as she rolled over.
Sasuke ignored her. "This power." He whispered. "It feels so… horrid." He said as he squeezed his eyes shut. It felt dark, painful. He remembered this feeling. He'd felt it when he'd been pinned to the wall staring into his brothers Sharingan. He hated that feeling. He wasn't going to let it control him as he felt it trying to. "No." he ground out as he forced the seal back down.
'It's done Naruto.' Kyuubi's voice sounded in his mind. He was still in pain, he could feel the burning around him but it was a dull spark compared to the initial pain. 'There is a small physical affect but there was a large internal one. I was able to flush out the foreign Chakra and repair your pathways but the new pathways are still there. There being flooded with your Chakra at the moment'
'What does that mean?'
'It means more chakra will be able to be in your system at a time. It's the equivalent of opening the first gate of the Hachimon (Eight gates). You're body will be faster and you'll hit harder but you won't suffer the drawbacks of the gate reclosing because… well… it can't.'
"Wonderful." He muttered aloud. He'd actually meant it but his body was still shaking with pain. He cracked open an eye to see Sasuke looking tired and Sakura leaning over him. Despite her worship of Sasuke she still seemed relatively concerned.
"We have both scrolls." Sasuke said holding up the scroll that Orochimaru had left. "We shouldn't head out now. Naruto, can you move." Naruto shook his head, knowing he couldn't. "I'll carry you."
He didn't want him too but Sasuke was right. They would be safer at the tower and he wasn't sure if Orochimaru would come back. He shouldn't have gone to sleep, he had known that, but he was tired from letting so much Chakra free at once. It was physically tiring to use it. Another reason he had the suppressers on. Opening one seal was usually enough to fight just about any enemy. Opening two seals, according to Kyuubi, put him on par with Shukaku the one tailed demon and opening three… well he hadn't opened all three yet. After he sealed it he hadn't re-opened it.
They moved slowly to the tower, all of them being tired. Sasuke and Naruto because of the seals and Sakura simply because she wasn't use to moving so far.
"Set me down." Naruto said when they entered the tower. Sasuke did but he didn't relent his hold on Naruto. Naruto didn't stop him either and letting Sasuke hold some of his weight was helpful. "Open both the scrolls now." Sasuke handed them to Sakura who listened without a comment. Kakashi appeared in front of them. "Orochimaru." Naruto started. Not allowing Kakashi a chance to speak, "He was in the forest. Sasuke needs a seal on his neck looked at and I need rest."
Kakashi's visible eye lost its carefree look once Orochimaru's name was mentioned. "Are you sure it was him, Naruto?"
"Who else uses these?" Naruto said as he pulled Sasuke's shirt to the side, revealing the cursed seal.
"Sasuke, come with me, Sakura, take Naruto to the fourth floor. There's a medical area there. Wait for either me or the Hokage himself." he wasn't asking and the Genin obeyed him. Naruto knew that Sasuke was going to have a Fūja Hōin (Evil Sealing Method) placed on him. It wouldn't remove it but it would seal the affects of the seal.
Anko was sitting in the medical area when they arrived. Naruto could barely stand on his own and Anko was fast to pick up on it.
"So you got here. Pretty good, though I expected better with that little display you put on yesterday. You look like shit." She laughed.
Sakura helped him into the bed before going back to the chairs at the front of the medical area. Naruto focused on Anko after Sakura was gone. She slid off the bed she was on and it pushed her trench coat aside for Naruto to get a rather interesting view of her breasts through the mesh but the small seal at the base of her neck drew his attention more than her boobs. He didn't care about her feminine parts. The seal was what he cared about.
"Sasuke has the same seal on his neck." he said. "Orochimaru put it there. That's the reason I look like shit and it's also the reason you shouldn't be sitting here. Kakashi-sensei may need help with the sealing and I need to rest." He laid down on the bed. "Help them if you could."
He didn't even hear a reply before the gust of the Shunshin brushed against his face. He didn't know if Sakura had seen his cursed mark and he knew that Sasuke hadn't. Sakura was his only problem. "Hey, Sakura." Naruto called weakly as another bolt struck him.
"What is it Naruto." she asked as she peaked into the main area.
"Have you ever seen a mark like the one Sasuke had?"
"No… I've never seen anything like it before."
Naruto nodded. "I was just wondering if you knew what it was. He told her before laying back down. "I'm gonna go ahead and pass out now. Please don't wake me up."
(Four Days Later)
Naruto had regained his strength and Sasuke had recovered. Neither really wanted to move but today was the end of their time in the forest's tower and they were all being called to top floor of the tower.
His four days in the tower thus far were all slow. His clones had been slowly teaching him the details of his family's Jutsu. He'd actually mastered a few of the lower class ones. Other than that he'd been interrogated several times by his sensei. Sarutobi had never come but he didn't expect the man to have the free time. Orochimaru was in the village and he had no doubt that the Hokage was busy with him and the outrageous surge of Chakra that he'd created.
Kakashi had asked him if Orochimaru had been the one to do that. He'd lied and told him yes. It would be easier if people believed Orochimaru was stronger than he actually was. If they prepared for worse than what was the reality they would have an easier time dealing with what was actually going to happen.
Sleep was really the only other thing he'd done with the time.
He nodded to himself as he stood in the lines, listening to Sarutobi give the Chunin exam Speech, sleep was definitely the best part of the time he'd spent.
A new face took over with the explanations of the preliminary. Gekko Hayate, as he'd introduced himself, told them the basic rules. You fight till either the other opponent is dead or disabled or the examiner, Gekko, calls the match. It was that simple and it brought a smile to Naruto's face.
He was going to limit himself for the trial. He hadn't truly tested himself yet and he thought it would be a good time to test his sword skill. He knew that his style was all but perfect, as were his forms, but he hadn't fought anyone but clones with the style. He would now.
"The fights will be random. When your name appears –cough- on the bored behind me you will enter the arena." He pointed at the bored as it roared to life. The electric red lines buzzed around for a moment before settling on the names Sasuke Uchiha and Yoroi Akado. "Will everyone but the competitors please leave the arena." Everyone filed into the stands before they focused on the two contestants about to fight.
Naruto didn't care enough to watch the fight. He was personally voting on Yoroi to win but he knew that Sasuke did stand a chance. The Uchiha had use of his Sharingan and it did give him an advantage over other nin. Especially Genin.
"Winner, Sasuke Uchiha!"
"Winner, Shino Aburame!
"Tie, neither competitor will advance."
"Winner, Shikamaru Nara!"
Naruto stared at the arena. He wasn't really watching the fights as much as he was judging each person. The outcome didn't concern him all he wanted was to see how good he was at judging peoples abilities. He'd known Kankuro was going to win even though it looked as though he was losing nearly the entire match and he had guessed that Shikamaru would see through Kin's Genjutsu. He hadn't misjudged a single fight except for the first. Sasuke was slightly more skilled than he'd predicated.
He should have expected that though. He hardly paid enough attention to his team to know their secrets. Well, Sasuke's secrets anyway. Sakura didn't have any, not with her mouth.
"Naruto Uzumaki! Inuzuka Kiba! Please enter the arena!" Hayate yelled, his sickly voice bouncing around in Naruto's ear. A small smirk formed on his face.
"Perfect." He whispered.
"Alright!" Kiba yelled as he jumped over the rail. "We got an easy win, Akamaru! Let's kick his ass!"
Naruto, too, jumped over the rail. "I hope you're as skilled as you claim, Kiba, I don't wish for this match to be as boring as those before us." Naruto said as he walked forward, drawing his sword as he did. The blade was the same color as the handle and without the guard it made the blade look as though it was made of bone.
"Ready –cough- Hajime!" Hayate yelled as he jumped back, giving the boys room to fight.
Kiba jumped forward immediately. Naruto was the dobe of his class. It was going to be an easy fight. Even with the sword Naruto held, Kiba knew the boy was just trying to look cool. Naruto couldn't actually know how to use it.
Naruto simply took his stance. His legs were spread, each holding equal weight, both hands were on the handle in front of him.
He waited for Kiba to turn sideways, expecting to surprise Naruto with the sudden change in direction, before he moved. He twisted the sword, and his arms, swinging them sideways. The smirk that was still on his face grew as the blade slammed into the dog boy's shoulder.
Kiba grunted as he moved away, his free hand coming up to his shoulder. "What the hell was that?" He questioned. "Your sword isn't sharp!"
"Your observation skills astound us all." Naruto mocked dryly. "Of course it isn't sharp, the edge is rounded. I don't want to kill you yet so I kept it dull." He could make it sharp by channeling his Chakra into the blade. His natural affinity was wind so adding a sharp edge to his sword was child's play for him.
Kiba growled at the insult. His anger had stemmed, though, not from the fact that he'd been insulted but from the fact that if the sword had been sharp he could have had one less arm. "You should have taken that chance Dobe! You won't get another! Come on Akamaru! Jūjin Bunshin (Beast Human Clone)!"
In a puff of smoke Akamaru turned into an exact copy of Kiba, though he was slightly hunched over. "Is that it?" Naruto asked. "Kage Bunshin (Shadow Clone)!" A single clone appeared next to him. "Now there are two of me. What are you going to do next?"
Kiba snarled at him before starting the hand seals for his next Jutsu. "Shikyaku no Jutsu (Four Leg Technique)!" A layer of Chakra covered Kiba before disappearing. Kiba gained an animalistic look as his teeth and fingernails sharpened, and his back hunched. "Get ready Dobe." Kiba growled.
"Hokage-sama," Naruto started, making the Hokage focus on him. "Do you remember what I told you in your office?"
"Yes, Naruto-kun." He answered, remembering that Naruto asked him to watch him. He simply wanted to know what Naruto wanted him to see.
"Let me show you what I've learned." He said as Kiba yelled his attack.
"Gatsuga (Dual Piercing Fang)!"
"Ninpo: Tekkai Utsugi (Ninja Art: Iron Mass)" This was one of the few defensive Jutsu on the scroll. It also happened to be one of his favorites. Especially for a jutsu like the one Kiba was using.
Sarutobi was actually amazed that Naruto knew not only the Kage Bunshin, but this Jutsu as well. Both were on the scroll and he honestly hadn't expected him to even get two down in the time he'd had the scroll. He was also amazed because Naruto was about to win the match.
Both Kiba and Akamaru spun rapidly, their actual bodies disappearing and being replaced by a cyclone. Naruto, felt disappointed in himself for not ending the match with his blade like he'd told himself he would but Kiba wasn't really that good an opponent. He didn't have the skill to keep up and give Naruto a decent test.
Naruto puffed his chest out and spread his arms, giving Kiba a perfect target.
"What is that idiot doing?" Sasuke asked from the stands.
"Showing just how skilled his truly is." Kakashi responded. He didn't know that Jutsu, and he knew a lot of Jutsu, so for Naruto to know it surprised him. It pleased him as well.
Both Kiba and Akamaru hit dead on. Naruto simply stood there and took the attack, his body not moving an inch. Within seconds of the collision the two cyclones shot away from him, both slamming into the first thing they came in contact with. Luckily that was the wall.
"Winner, Uzumaki Naruto!" Hayate yelled when Kiba and Akamaru became visible, unconscious.
Naruto sighed as he moved back toward the stands. The match had been too easy. Kiba's boasting had been just that, boasting. He was simply petting his own ego and it went to his head.
"Care to share, Naruto-kun?" Kakashi asked as Naruto settled back into his spot on the wall behind his team.
"What would you like to know?"
"That Jutsu." Sasuke said immediately.
"A dense layer of Chakra forms just above the skin. It absorbs and reflects whatever hits it. Kiba and Akamaru attacked with their bodies so all the force of their attack was shot right back at them. Their attack was powerful. Enough so that the force of a single strike knocked them out." He shrugged, "They might have won against a different opponent."
"Where did you learn it?" Kakashi asked. He didn't mind that his student knew something that he hadn't taught him. It showed that Naruto was taking initiative and training on his own, outside of their usual training. He was glad to see his student excelling. He simply wanted to know how.
"Sarutobi-sama owed me a favor." Was Naruto's response. Kakashi, of course, was disappointed in the lack of detail but he assured himself that he would talk to Sarutobi after the preliminary.
"Hyuga Neji! Hyuga Hinata! Please enter the arena."
"This won't end well." Naruto muttered as he looked across the arena to see Neji's face. It held a grim smile, one Naruto didn't like. "Hinata-Chan," Naruto said as she passed in front of him to go down the stairs, "Don't let anything he says get to you." he smiled encouragingly at her. "Just do your best."
She nodded, timidly, before continuing down the stairs. She wanted to say something back, thank him for showing his support to her, but she couldn't find the words. she was going to fight her cousin and she knew he wouldn't be merciful. There was also the fact that her mind partialy shut down when Naruto spoke to her.
The match ended with Hinata raising her hand, preparing to forfeit… she never got the chance.
Neji growled at her as he rushed forward, moving faster than he previously had, and slamming his open palm into her chest.
Blood burst from Hinata's mouth as she fell. Neji had missed her heart in his rage but he'd managed to hit her left lung. It was a more painful death simply because the victim didn't die instantly.
"Winner, Hyuga Neji!"
There was no cheering or clapping. Kurenai, as well as the medics rushed onto the floor, hoping to do something to save the young girl before she died. The medics began to heal her as soon as they were over her. One was trying to repair her lung while the other kept the blood where it was supposed to be. They weren't working fast enough and both knew it. Kurenai could only watch in despair as Hinata's eyes dimed.
Everyone looked over in surprise. Even Shikamaru's grim expression broke into surprise at Shino's outburst.
"I'll kill you!" Shino yelled as he raised his leg to the safety bar, preparing to jump. Kakashi was behind him in an instant pulling him back. "Calm down. You can't do anything right now." Shino didn't hear him. He couldn't hear anything other than his own shouts of rage.
Naruto watched with a blank expression. He didn't know anything that could save the girl. Kyuubi might though…
'I'm a beast of destruction, kit. Don't mistake my kindness toward you to care for you for care for humanity.'
Well that killed that option. Naruto simply sighed and closed his eyes. He felt bad, he truly did, but this was part of their lives. Being a ninja wasn't a job choice, or a profession, it was a life choice. You place your life on the line every day. It was saddening that Hinata's day had come but he had no control over it. "Rest in peace." He said reverently.
Naruto stood in the field behind his home.
After the Lee and Gaara's fight the match line up for the finals were decided and fate had given him Neji. He was going to kill the youth and he made no secret of it, openly declaring it as soon as the match had been set, before he left the tower.
He was training now, really pushing himself, for his big moment. They had been given a month to train, perfect whatever they could, to help them win their fights and prove themselves worthy of the Chunin rank. He was going to master his element in that time. Wind was a powerful affinity if used correctly and he fully intended to learn every possible use for it.
Temari had given him several ideas in her fight with Tenten but he wanted to take it to the next level. He wanted to be able to manipulate it like she had without a medium, without a weapon. There were a few ideas circulating in his head but only one was really sticking out. He had more than enough Chakra to control any affinity but wind had one major difference than the other affinities and that difference made his mouth spread into a smile.
Wind was all around them.
Earth was beneath them and water could surround a person if they were submerged but wind was the only element that was almost constantly around them.
He had a thousand clones sitting in various places around the village, some henged, and they were all leaking their Chakra into the air, trying to take control of it. Wind manipulation was, at its base, using Chakra to control the air. In almost every case this involved a Jutsu or a weapon.
This was more complicated, yet, simpler than that. It was simpler in theory but the actual application was straining. It was like an advanced form of Chakra control, releasing it from his body while he still maintained control over it, but he was an expert at Chakra control. With his training method and chakra control he knew that he could perfect his new affinity.
Naruto broke his concentration to look at one of his servant clones. He'd created several tiers for his clones.
There were the fighters, which had relatively little Chakra so he could spawn more so they could swamp the opponent with sheer numbers.
Then there were the casters. They had much more Chakra than any of his other tiers because they needed to be able to cast multiple Jutsu. He usually summoned two at a time with each capable of using A-class Jutsu if necessary.
Next were the dummies which he'd named because they were his training dummies. Their Chakra reserves varied from use to use because he always gave them each enough to last for twelve hours. They were the ones he used to train his main skills. Most of the time they had less than the casters but there were the rare occasion that he gave them more. He had to tap into Kyuubi's reserves when he first started making them.
Finally there was the servant. He gave them enough Chakra to cast a single A-class Jutsu. It was enough for them to last a week because they didn't use Jutsu. He had four in his home at any single time. They kept things clean, cooked, and in this rare case, told him someone was at the front gate.
Naruto nodded to his clone before walking around his home, not bothering to go inside to fetch the shirt he'd discarded earlier. He had a sleeveless black body suit on with pants covering his legs so his seals were covered. Really the only reason he thought about it was because he couldn't think of an instance where anybody had seen his bare body. The body suit couldn't count as a covering because it molded to his skin, not hiding his physique.
He opened the gate slowly and looked up, having no choice in the matter, to see the face of the giant he recognized to be the first examiner. Ibiki if he remembered. "Ibiki-san." He nodded. The giant opened his mouth to speak before Naruto interrupted him. "Why did you come here?"
Ibiki hesitated slightly before answering. "I'm here for you. To discuss this really." Ibiki stated as he pulled Naruto's test out of his trench coats pocket.
Naruto glanced at the picture on the back, realizing that Ibiki either knew the picture or he wanted to ask about the blank test, before he hardened his gaze. "How did you know this was where I lived?"
"You didn't expect to make a death threat toward the Hyuga's clan head's nephew without someone following you, did you?" He asked.
Naruto's gaze visibly softened. The blond thought that Sarutobi might have told him which was the exact opposite of what he asked the old man to do. He was glad that the Hokage kept his word.
"Anko was tight lipped about where you lived though, saying that it wasn't supposed to be common knowledge." He glanced around the compound before grunting slightly. "I can see why. I'm sure that not many people would enjoy the fact that… umm… YOU… live here…" he finished clumsily, not sure how to say it without offending the boy.
"Yes. My living here would have that affect; it's one of the reasons that I asked the Hokage to keep it from the public. Come in if you plan on it. I'd like to keep away from the street as much as possible." Naruto turned, leaving the gate open for Ibiki to enter.
Naruto stopped on his porch, sitting down on one of the pillows that one of his clones had laid out for him and Ibiki. The man sat down next to him, after closing the gate. "Tea will be out shortly." Naruto stated as soon as the man was down. "Now what would like to talk about?"
Ibiki nodded before placing the test in between them, the picture facing up. "What does this mean?"
"Don't you already know?" Naruto asked as he closed his eyes, letting the minor manipulation skills he had create a breeze to cool him off.
"Kushina… and you if I had to guess. I was in her Genin class and I, unfortunately, was one of the ones who created the name for her. You… well, people know you like ramen." Ibiki told him. "I wanted to talk to you, ask you about it. Nobody has seen Kushina since the Kyuubi attack and I was wondering what you knew about her."
"You're avoiding stating that she was my mother." Naruto stated. "I know my heritage, it's one of the reasons I live here."
"Tea." A clone said as it walked out, placing the tray in between them, next to the sheet.
"Thank you." Ibiki muttered as he accepted the drink.
Naruto waved the clone away before sipping his own drink. "You're not nearly as frightening as you were before." Naruto noted.
"This is a domestic environment." He responded, "Would you enjoy me smothering you in killer intent while we're in your home." He chuckled at the amused smile that lit Naruto's face. "Though, somehow I doubt that would bother you as much as I imagine. It didn't work very well in the test."
"No, it worked quite well. I'd never felt so much pressure before. I was more prepared for it though. I'm sure you read Kakashi-sensei's mission report from our trip to wave."
Naruto nodded. "He gave us a scare with his own killer intent. My teammate almost cut his throat to escape it."
Ibiki laughed, "The elders believe that Sasuke is the best competitor in this year's final, Hatake is going to personally train him for the next month."
Naruto let a light laugh escape him. "Sasuke won't be able to beat Gaara even with my sensei's help. Gaara is relentless in his quest for battle, for blood. He sees Sasuke as a powerful opponent and he wants to destroy him, prove himself stronger."
The short summery of Gaara amused Ibiki, especially when it came from Naruto. The main reason it was amusing was because he'd come to the same conclusion. "How'd you find out about Kushina?" Ibiki asked after a while. The short silence that had appeared when they each decided to take a moment to drink gave him the opportunity to change the subject back to his original one.
"She's inside, asleep." Naruto said, surprising Ibiki.
"Inside? H-how? She's been missing for so long. How is she…?"
"A coma." Naruto explained stopping the flood of questions he saw coming. "Sarutobi kept her existence a secret after she fell into it. Her body was under insane levels of stress and her mind couldn't take it. The surge of Kyuubi's Chakra around her was the final straw and she… well, coma."
Kyuubi had said that when he'd been released, by Madara Uchiha, Kushina simply collapsed. That was all there was to it. He wasn't going to tell Ibiki that though.
"A pair of nurses come in daily to take care of her. They're going to be here soon actually. Someone from the Yamanaka clan replaces their memory as soon as they leave. Her very existence is a secret, though I'm sure from you scars, you're very good at keeping secrets." Naruto told him.
Ibiki sucked in air, letting it cool him briefly before releasing it. "Can I…"
"I'm sorry." Naruto answered the unspoken question. "Nobody can see her."
"Ahhh." The giant downed his tea then, ignoring the slight burn as it slid down his throat. "That's all I came for, Uzu… should I call you Namikaze?"
"I prefer Uzumaki." Naruto responded.
He nodded. "Thank you for the tea Uzumaki-san. I'll head out now unless you have anything you'd like to add to our conversation."
Naruto shook his head. "Have a good day Ibiki-san."
S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
Okay, this story will only be another Chapter or two long so tell me what you think. I don't care if you absolutely hated it tell me what you thought. I don't mind criticism as long as it helps me become a better writer. If you like it, tell me what you liked so I can aim for something close later on in different works.