AN: Hello to all my loyal fans. It has been a long time I apologize for the delay. Life has just been getting in the way. Between work and school I have had almost no time to write the last several months. Also writer's block is a horrid bitch. I am aiming to correct that now. So without further ado, I present you chapter three of Forest of Flames.
Chapter 3 – The Fire Grows
It had been a year since Naruto had first set foot in the Shinobi academy. In that time he had risen to the top ranks of his class. Naruto held the top spot since the first month of his instruction. This made Uchiha Sasuke his top rival, something the Uchiha was not happy about. Naruto had also made friends with a few of his classmates. There was Kiba, the heir of the Inuzuka Clan, Shikamaru, the heir of the Nara Clan, and Chouji the heir of the Akimichi Clan. Not only had Naruto been maintaining his position at the top of his class he had also progressed well in his kekkei genkai training. He had completely mastered the first two techniques his grandfather had shown the year before. He was now on the next two techniques of the Namikaze Clan arsenal, the offensive Bakuhotaru (Exploding Firefly) and the defensive Moeteirumon (Burning Gate). Naruto was currently remembering back to when his grandfather first showed him the two techniques.
"Naruto you have done well to master the first techniques, now you will begin on the next two techniques of the Namikaze Clan. They are known as Bakuhotaru and Moeteirumon. The Bakuhotaru is an offensive technique that allows you to cast multiple glowing spheres of fire that you can then control to surround your enemies or to cover the battlefield. We'll start with this technique before moving on to the defensive technique." Yamamoto stated as he looked upon his grandson as they both stood in the training field behind the Clan compound.
"Yes, Oji-san." Naruto replied with a bow.
"Now to begin you must learn to compress your flames into a small sphere, once you achieve that the flames should take on a yellow color and be no bigger than two inches in diameter." Yamamoto explained as he cupped his hands together and produced a small glowing yellow ball of flames that he then released into the air. As the small yellow ball of fire rose into the air Yamamoto pointed his finger towards a training post and the small ball of flames quickly headed in that direction. Once the ball of flame had landed on the post it stayed there without causing damage. "Only when you desire to attack do you flare your chakra which will cause the ball of fire to explode. Hence its name, Bakuhotaru the Exploding Firefly." With that Yamamoto lightly flared his chakra causing the ball of yellow flame on the training post to explode. When the smoke cleared the top of the training post was gone and the remainder was ablaze.
"I'll get started right away." Naruto said as he cupped his hands together and began to compress his flames into a small yellow ball. 'This shouldn't be too difficult. All I have to do is compress the flames into a shape and then maintain control over its form.' Naruto thought as he made his first ball of flames. Once he had compressed the yellow ball of fire down to the required size he pulled his hands apart and tried to direct the small ball of yellow flames towards a different training post. The ball made it about fifteen feet from Naruto's position before he lost control and the small ball of yellow fire exploded.
"You must put more focus into maintaining the shape of the fire after it has left your hands seito." Yamamoto instructed as he watched his grandson practice the technique.
"Yes, Oji-san." Naruto replied as he created another ball of yellow fire. This time when Naruto released the flame he kept his focus on the shape of the flame while he directed it towards the training post. The yellow ball of flames slowly made its way towards the post and after several seconds finally landed on top of the post. 'Now I just have to flare my chakra.' Naruto thought as he sent a burst of chakra towards the ball of fire. The ball of yellow fire exploded and when the small amount of smoke cleared it showed that the top of the training post had a black burn mark on its surface. "How was that, Oji-san?" Naruto asked as he looked towards his grandfather.
"Not a bad start, seito." Yamamoto replied with an approving smile. "When you master this technique you'll be able to create multitudes of Bakuhotaru at once and send them in multiple directions at the same time." He demonstrated by creating ten balls of yellow fire and having each one go in a different direction from the others before each one exploded at random.
"That was impressive, Oji-san." Naruto complimented with a grin. He had always enjoyed watching his grandfather display the skills he was being taught.
"Thank you, seito. Now, are you ready to move on to the Moeteirumon?" Yamamoto questioned as he looked at his grandson.
"Yes, Oji-san." Naruto replied with determination.
"Very well, to begin the Moeteirumon is not all that different than the Higara. The Moeteirumon has the same basic intention of protection but is created differently. I'll demonstrate." Yamamoto said before his hand was covered in a dark reddish-orange flame. With a quick swing of his arm a large rectangular wall of the reddish-orange flames had appeared between him and Naruto. The wall was fifteen feet high and twenty feet wide and Naruto could feel the heat from the wall from where he was standing almost twenty feet away. Just as quickly as it was made the wall of flames dispersed and Naruto was looking at his grandfather again.
"That was very large, Oji-san. But I noticed the flames seemed different than the regular flames we use for the Higara. Why is that?" Naruto asked as he walked towards his grandfather.
"Good to see you noticed. By adding chakra into the fire you can alter some of the properties of the flames you produce. The Moeteirumon requires you to 'thicken' the fire by layering your chakra throughout the technique as you shape it. Not only does this increase the heat of the flame but it makes it harder for things to move though the fire. With so much chakra layered into the technique it makes an almost semi-solid construct and can block most thrown weapons and any Suiton ninjutsu that doesn't have enough liquid volume to overcome the density of the wall and the intense heat. Though as a warning, seito, Doton ninjutsu are sometimes able to pierce through the Moeteirumon especially if you haven't layered enough chakra into the technique." Yamamoto said before motioning Naruto to try the technique.
Naruto concentrated on his right hand and flames covered it rapidly. He quickly added more chakra causing the flame to grow larger. 'That's not right. It doesn't need to get bigger. It needs to become denser.' Naruto though as he pulled his chakra back and the flame returned to its original size. 'Oji-san said I had to layer my chakra throughout the fire as I form the technique. So, maybe like this?' he thought to himself as he began to send chakra into the flame in alternate waves from slow-moving large waves to quick-moving small waves. Through his intense concentration he noticed as the flame in his hand became heavier and began to take on the reddish-orange coloration that his grandfather's had. 'Alright, let's try it out.' He thought as he swung his arm while molding his chakra through the flame into the correct shape he wanted.
"Moeteirumon." Naruto stated as his own wall of reddish-orange flames formed in between himself and his grandfather. Right away Naruto noticed that his wall was a bit misshapen, it was more of a triangle than a rectangle and it was rather small, only about seven feet high and maybe eight feet wide. Plus it wasn't all that thick either close to ten inches thick at the most and in some places as little as four inches in thickness. "Well, that could have gone better." Naruto said as he watched his technique disperse.
"A good first attempt, seito." Yamamoto congratulated as he approached his grandson. "You'll get better with experience and practice. But for now let us head to the onsen and soak away the day's tension before dinner." Yamamoto said as he led his grandson towards the private onsen off to the side of the Namikaze compound.
Naruto was pulled from his thoughts by the arrival of Iruka and Mizuki. He, along with the rest of the class, turned towards the front of the room as the two instructors prepared to start class.
"Alright students today were going to start with conditioning followed up by some new Taijutsu practice." Iruka announced as some of the students groaned about it being too early in the morning for physical activity.
"Man, this is so troublesome." Naruto heard Shikamaru mumble as the class made their way down to the school yard and the exercise field.
"You think everything is troublesome, Shika." Chouji said with a smile as he popped another chip into his mouth.
"Because he's lazier than anybody else in the Academy." Kiba remarked with a smirk as he walked beside the two with his hands behind his head.
"Troublesome." Shikamaru replied with a sigh. Naruto just shook his head slightly at his lazy friend and his insistence that everything was troublesome. The class finished their conditioning roughly an hour after arriving at the field after which they were given a ten minute break before Iruka called them all over to explain their new Taijutsu training.
"Ok class, today were going to practice fighting multiple opponents at the same time. We'll start off with two-on-one and if anyone shows a lot of skill we might let them try three-on-one." Iruka explained as Mizuki picked up a clipboard and called out the first three students to try. "Watch closely students, try and learn from watching what your classmates do before you're called up." Iruka instructed as the first three students were beginning to practice against each other in turns.
Several minutes later Naruto was called up along with Sasuke and Shino. When all three were in the designated area it was decided that Naruto would be the first single fighter while Sasuke and Shino teamed up against him.
"You're going down, Namikaze." Sasuke said while shifting into his Taijutsu stance. Shino remained silent but also slid into his Taijutsu stance.
"We'll see, Sasuke, we'll see." Naruto replied while giving a nod towards Shino which the quiet boy returned with one of his own. Naruto dropped into his Taijutsu stance and waited for the match to start.
"Begin!" Mizuki stated while bringing his hand down. Sasuke instantly rushed in and through a roundhouse at Naruto's head. Naruto blocked the roundhouse with his right arm and redirected Sasuke's follow-up punch away from his stomach. Naruto quickly pushed Sasuke away just in time to avoid Shino coming at him from behind with a side kick. The quiet Aburame was quick to strike out with a back fist but Naruto blocked the blow before grabbing Shino's arm and sweeping the boy's feet out from under him. Sasuke tried to take advantage of Naruto's position while he was dealing with Shino but his punch was side-stepped as Naruto made a two hundred seventy degree spin and slammed his palm into Sasuke's back sending him crashing into Shino who had barely gotten to his feet before Sasuke collided with him.
"That's enough." Iruka called out as the three boys moved back into their starting positions. "Well executed, Naruto. Sasuke, Shino your Taijutsu was good but neither of you worked together. If you had you would have been able to put more pressure on Naruto during the fight. Now this time it'll be Shino's turn to fight alone." Iruka said while Shino nodded at the critique and Sasuke grimaced at not being able to land a solid shot on Naruto. The rest of the class went mostly the same before the students went back inside for History class which would be followed by Strategy and Tactics and then lunch.
While the Academy was in session Namikaze Yamamoto, Hiruzen Sarutobi, Utatane Koharu, and Mitokado Homura were having a secret meeting in the Hokage's office. The meeting was to discuss what should be done about the information ANBU operative Weasel, also known as Uchiha Itachi, had delivered to them about a planned coup de tat of the Uchiha clan.
"Sarutobi, we can't let this go on. The Uchiha clan has to be stopped." Homura spoke as he looked over the information Itachi had provided.
"I agree, Sarutobi. The Uchiha haven't even made an attempt at talking peacefully about anything they want in the Council sessions. It's always one demand after another, without regard for whomever they would be taking from. Now, we find solid evidence of treason along with this ever increasing demand for what they want. They need to be brought to heel." Koharu said with a grimace. It wasn't like they hadn't tried to negotiate with the Uchiha clan during the Council meetings, the doujutsu wielders simply wouldn't compromise.
"What are the Daimyo's feelings on this Yamamoto?" Hiruzen questioned with a sigh. He didn't want to have a civil war in Konoha but he also couldn't reach any agreement with Uchiha Fugaku during any of their non-Council meetings. The man was too damn stubborn.
"The Daimyo has declared that to ensure stability of Konohagakure no Sato, the Uchiha clan must either call off their planned coup or the Uchiha instigators must be punished for treason against the village and Hi no Kuni. He's even signed an Imperial Order for termination of all hostile elements within the Uchiha clan if they refuse to comply." Yamamoto replied as he showed them the handwritten order from the Daimyo.
"Very well then," Hiruzen said with a sigh of disappointment. "If we can't make the Uchiha clan see reason before they attempt to execute their scheduled coup. I will have no choice but to follow Daimyo-sama's order."
"How should we go about terminating the hostile Uchiha forces if worse comes to worst, Sarutobi?" Homura questioned as he put his elbows on the table and rested his chin atop his interlocked fingers.
"I will take care of it personally." Yamamoto stated with finality. "Daimyo-sama has decreed an Imperial Order and it is the duty of the Namikaze to fulfill the Daimyo's highest orders. If the hostile Uchiha refuse to comply I will be forced to take their termination into my hands." Yamamoto finished with a stone-like expression on his face.
"Agreed, however, I will station the majority of the shinobi forces around the perimeter of the Uchiha district during this operation, if it comes to that." Hiruzen said as three of the elders stood up from the Hokage's desk and left the office. Hiruzen slowly turned his chair to face the window of his office that overlooked Konoha. 'Please, Fugaku, don't continue down this path of violence. There won't be anything left of your once proud clan except ashes if you force the Daimyo to have Yamamoto move against you.' The old leader thought to himself while staring at the faces of the past Hokage.
And that's a wrap for this chapter. Sorry it's shorter than normal, but like I said in the first author's note work, school, and writer's block has become a near constant trifecta of hell for me in the last several months. Anyway, let me know what you guys think in your reviews. Will Yamamoto be forced to reduce the Uchiha Clan to ashes? Will Naruto master the next Namikaze Clan techniques? When will Naruto meet the first girl he'll have feelings for? Why am I asking you all these questions?
But seriously, feel free to suggest a girl or two for the harem as well as a reason why or a situation that could be plausible for the pairing in the context of this story. Fair warning, I already have one girl picked out and my harems are never more than four or five girls at the most. See you all in the next chapter.