Disclaimer: Greetings all of Kenchi's current and hopefully soon to be fans. Welcome to my 5th story attempt and hopefully this one gets over as well as The Sealed Kunai did… I'm holding my breath on that one, but you never know eh? Anyway the concept is simple enough, my take on what the storyline would do if Naruto never found out he was the Kyuubi jinchuuriki from Mizuki the night he graduated. An important event for sure (Duh, it was the first event). Simple, but let's see how I mess with this in the end eh?
Let's give it a shot and jump right in… oh, and I don't own Naruto. There.
Better Left Unsaid
Chapter 1: You Are The-!
"What do you think you're doing out here Naruto?" An out of breath and seemingly irate scar-faced, brown ponytail wearing chunin Umino Iruka asked rhetorically to a young blonde boy with whisker-marks on his cheeks. He already knew of course, everyone his level and higher knew. Naruto had been caught leaving the Hokage Tower with the Forbidden Scroll of Seals, the scroll with tons of Konohagakure's secret and most well guarded techniques ever amassed. This was right up there with treason, even for a child like Naruto. Hence why Iruka had hunted him down and found him deep inside of the forests outside of the village walls.
Said boy simply held his hand behind his neck, rubbing it while grinning sheepishly, "I found you Iruka-sensei!"
Iruka's eye twitched, "Idiot! I found you!" His expression then softened, "Naruto what on earth possessed you to take the scroll like that? Don't you know it's forbidden?"
Naruto chuckled like a goof for a moment before standing up and looking proud of himself, "You caught me fast Iruka-sensei, I only had time to learn one jutsu from the scroll." That one tidbit of information made Iruka's eyebrows rise under his headband in surprise, "But everything's okay now because I can graduate! That's how it works isn't it? I get the scroll and learn a jutsu from it and I can graduate even if I failed!"
There wasn't an inflection of lie in his voice at all that Iruka could decipher, not that Naruto could effectively lie to a ninja his level anyway, but he was completely sincere. He honestly believed what he was saying, "Naruto, who told you this? I have to tell you now right off that it's not true. Someone lied to you." Iruka asked, seeing Naruto's face drop from one of triumph to disbelief.
"What?" He said in a panicked voice, "B-But Mizuki-sensei was the one that gave me the test. He said it was a make-up for the graduation exam." Hearing the despair in his voice worked Iruka's heart for the boy. He was deceived by someone that should have had his best interests at heart and was to be used as a scapegoat. And what could Naruto do? To trust your sensei to do what was right was no sin, no crime. If it were than Mitarashi Anko would be locked away or dead by now for what her sensei had done while she was under him.
Iruka shut his eyes so that he could think. Naruto was lucky he was the first one to find him, others would have probably destroyed him before he even knew what was going on. Speaking of which, Iruka sent out a pulse of chakra so that he could see if anyone were around. It was one of Iruka's best techniques, sending out the pulse of chakra to get something of a momentary sonar image of his surroundings; the secret behind how he was able to tell if anyone in his class was slacking off or goofing off even when he had his back turned to the chalkboard.
Naruto looked up at Iruka, his eyes on the verge of tears, "I-Iruka-sensei am I in trouble?" Naruto had no idea what to do in case he were. Fight Iruka? Yeah, as if. He may have had a lot of bluster but he wasn't a fool when it came to his own capabilities as a ninja. He knew Iruka could pick him apart if necessary before he could even do the seals for his new super-strong technique… and what good would beating up Iruka do even if he could somehow pull it off? If he did that he definitely wouldn't be a ninja afterwards which meant no Hokage for him. There was no reason to even fight.
Iruka sighed before letting out another pulse of chakra, no one around yet. What was he going to do? He placed a hand on Naruto's hair, "To be frank, more than likely. But you were just doing what your sensei told you to do to become a ninja. If you come with me I swear on my status as a Konoha chunin that I'll do whatever I can to vouch for you and help you get out of this." He said with as much conviction as he could. He could see the subtle movements of Naruto's body, he was trying to decide whether he would run, fight, or just give up.
If he ran and Iruka couldn't catch him again the next person that found him would leave Naruto a bloody smear on the forest floor, and the sad thing about it would be that he really didn't think that too many people would care if that did indeed happen. Poor kid, Hokage-sama was right about him.
Naruto looked at Iruka intently. Mizuki had already lied to him today apparently, who's to say that Iruka-sensei wouldn't either? But he did give him his word. Not just his word, his word as a chunin of the village, and if there was one thing Naruto took seriously it was people giving their word, "Do you promise?"
Iruka gave him a reassuring smile, "I just gave you my word stupid." He sent out another pulse absentmindedly, he needed to get Naruto back to clear his name quick, as long as he kept doing this he was burning right through his chakra rapidly, "Now let's get going Naruto-." His pulse actually got something this time, and it was coming at them fast, "Naruto look out!" Iruka tackled Naruto to the ground just as a massive shuriken passed right where he had been standing a second earlier.
"Nice work Naruto." Mizuki stated as he appeared standing on a tree branch looking down at him and Iruka who had gotten back to his feet standing defensively in front of Naruto, "Now give me the scroll."
Iruka's fingers flexed right by his kunai and shuriken pouch on his thigh, "He already knows you deceived him Mizuki. You should have been a bit faster, or maybe you couldn't find your own decoy? Maybe you should be the one going back to the academy." Iruka took a moment to pat himself on the back for riling Mizuki up.
Mizuki sneered at Iruka before turning a kinder look to the young boy behind the scar-faced chunin, "Naruto did you ever wonder why everyone hates you? Everyone in the village knows about it but you."
Naruto glowered at Mizuki, "I don't care what you have to say you bastard! You tricked me! Now who knows what's going to happen to me. If you think you're getting this scroll from me you're going to have to walk over my cold, dead body to get it!"
Mizuki frowned, he really wanted to take the demon brat down a peg, but he was going to die whether he told him the truth or not so it didn't really matter in the end. He shook his head before taking another large shuriken from his back, "Well that was the general idea when I had you take it for me Naruto. No one would miss you once you were gone, trust me."
Iruka looked back and saw that Mizuki's words cut deep inside of Naruto from the change of expression on his face. Even he knew it was true, "Mizuki…" Iruka growled lowly, "Surrender now. I don't want to have to hurt you, it doesn't have to be this way."
Mizuki let out a loud bark of laughter, "Why would I possibly surrender? All I've got standing in my way is a lackluster schoolteacher and the talentless dropout dead-last of his class. If I lose to a glorified babysitter like you Iruka I deserve to be punished."
"Naruto." Iruka said firmly, keeping his eyes on his fellow teacher, "I'm going to need you to stay out of the way. Can you do that for me? Get far out of the way so that you don't get caught up in this fight." He would have told him to go and get them some help, but if he went to anyone else other than himself Naruto would probably have been immediately detained or even killed. It would have been a boy who cried wolf scenario.
Naruto nodded hesitantly and picked up the scroll, however the second he made his move to leave Mizuki launched three shuriken at him. The only thing that saved him was some spot on marksmanship from the instructor seemingly on his side in this situation, Iruka.
"You're going to fight for that little monster Iruka?" Mizuki shook his head as he saw Naruto vanish into the woods, "I thought you were smarter than that. You know you can't beat me. All this grading papers for the last several years made you lose what little talent you have, clearly you couldn't move up."
Iruka wanted to laugh in Mizuki's face. Oh well, he was about to get his in just a moment anyway. Obviously he had been whipping himself into shape for this little plan of his, but it wasn't like Iruka had just been sitting on his ass doing nothing.
Being the teacher he was he had free reign and plenty of reason to head to the library, not just to gather extra material for his lectures, he also dropped in from time to time in the section set aside for exercises and jutsu, and while there was never anything too high level in there for all to see beyond basic and at the most intermediate techniques, that was never really a bad thing. Basics were basic for a reason, because they worked, and the tactics and theoretical ideas in tome were more than enough for someone like him, it helped him develop his sonar technique all on his own.
Being the teacher he was he also stayed after school plenty of times to finish his work for the day when Mizuki simply got to head home as he was simply his assistant. Seemingly a good thing, but Mizuki had to isolate himself to set all of this up, to plan and prepare. How much could he train and improve on his own? Iruka didn't have that problem. All teachers were at the very least chunin by prerequisite, and they all trained together regularly after school to ensure their skills stayed sharp in case they were needed. He never remembered Mizuki ever getting that memo as it was an ask-receive basis for that privilege, no one was going to make you train.
Being the teacher he was he may have been just a chunin, but he was a chunin with every single battle scenario worth memorizing and remembering ingrained in the back of his brain. Mizuki may have been treacherous and cunning, but Iruka could be just as cunning as he was, and he had the technical nuances of being a ninja all locked up in his head. While they may have been on a similar level of strength and while Mizuki may have been slightly stronger than him he knew he was better, Mizuki simply thought he was better, but in a straight up fight Iruka was positive that Mizuki couldn't beat him.
"Naruto's no monster, I learned that a long time ago. The only monster I see here is you, turning a student's trust into a weapon against him for your own bidding." Iruka held a kunai in his right hand, ready for combat.
Mizuki chuckled and drew his own kunai to humor Iruka, "You should have just left Iruka. I tried to talk you out of this just so you know. Why are you defending him? He's just the-."
Iruka cut him off sharply, "I'm done listening to you talk. The next words I want to hear from you are your pleas to Ibiki to stop." With that both men flew at each other in a blur of speed, at least it was a blur of speed to Naruto who knew full well he couldn't move that fast on his best day.
Iruka and Mizuki met on the ground, clashing their kunai against one another in a test of strength. Mizuki had a smirk planted on his face while Iruka's face was one of focus and intent. In a burst of energy, Mizuki overpowered Iruka and threw him off balance before making a move to stab Iruka and end the fight.
Iruka let the kunai sail past his throat, coming short of slashing out his esophagus, and returned with a short backhand with his free arm to Mizuki's face that the man blocked. Iruka was not deterred and fired off a side kick that caught Mizuki in the body, sending him back. It was just as he thought, Mizuki wasn't that much better than him, if he was at all. He hadn't used any jutsu yet, but then again Iruka hadn't either.
Mizuki growled at being the one to take the first hit in this fight and threw the kunai in his hand at Iruka. Iruka simply used the kunai in his own hand to deflect it and came back in to press his new advantage; he was armed, Mizuki wasn't. Mizuki stepped back as he saw Iruka coming in to attack him and threw a handful of caltrops from his pockets right in his path to keep him from advancing any further.
Iruka was forced to stop in his tracks or have his feet impaled by the spikes, but he was forced to take his eyes off of Mizuki who immediately responded to Iruka's situation. He drew the large shuriken from his back and threw it. Iruka had ample time to prepare a Kawarimi to switch himself out for protection, but the shuriken sailed right past him, 'What did he throw at? He missed me by a mile!' The sound of the shuriken sailing off into the distance and cutting through things rang out, even something that sounded like a person… "Naruto!"
Mizuki chuckled, "Did you really think that brat could hide from me Iruka? It was either let me kill him or let the others kill him once they found him. I just did it faster than they would have. I'm not surprised he didn't see it coming, he was ranked dead-last for a reason after all." His gloating was cut off when Iruka's fist slammed right into his nose, spraying blood with the impact.
All Iruka wanted was to beat Mizuki to a bloody pulp at the moment. After all of the things that Naruto had to deal with and he was cut down by someone like Mizuki before he even had a chance to change the way he was seen by the villagers. One punch wasn't enough, he wanted to make Mizuki suffer for this. He never got to apologize to Naruto for being so hard on him all the time, he never got to tell him how alike they were and how much of himself he saw in the boy. But he could at least clear his name at Mizuki's expense if nothing else.
Mizuki was reeling after the first punch from Iruka, but after clearing the tears from his eyes that sprang from getting his nose broken he realized that Iruka had gotten sloppy. His punches stopped being crisp and started looping far more than before and he almost completely forgot about the kunai he had in his hand, well Mizuki remembered that it was still there.
Mizuki shot out a short punch as a counter to one of Iruka's emotional haymakers and hit the man right in the throat, delighting in watching his eyes bulge out. It was a pity though, a little harder and he could have watched him strangle to death and been done with it. Iruka dropped his kunai to clutch at his throat, trying to catch some air after nearly having his larynx smashed by Mizuki allowing the silver-haired man to pick up the discarded weapon and drive it into Iruka's shoulder to the hilt before he could aptly defend himself, he was only able to avert it from going into his heart.
Mizuki scoffed, "You're being irksome Iruka, just die already." He said, standing over the fallen instructor, "All of this simply to protect that useless monster, I bet you feel proud." He held his heel right on Iruka's throat, slowly descending it to crush it under his sandal.
Iruka choked out a cheeky response, "He's twice the shinobi you are for sure, but then again what's two times nothing?" Seeing Mizuki's face twist into that scowl almost made the fact that he was about to die slightly better.
"I'm good enough to kill you apparently." Mizuki said right before he planned on stomping right on Iruka's neck, planned because it never came to be. An orange blur came out of nowhere and plowed right into him, sending him flying back.
Watching the battle between Mizuki and Iruka made Naruto feel completely out of his league, they weren't even using any jutsu. There was no way he was going to step into the midst of that, he'd get killed by accident, every move was fluent and flowed. Either one of them would thrash him before he could finish hand-seals for any of the jutsu he knew, except for the new one of course. He'd smash anybody with his new jutsu.
But then Naruto was stunned, Mizuki really was trying to kill him. Once he got out of sight so that Iruka and Mizuki could fight he started skulking around the battlefield, making use of his new jutsu to cut off any escape routes Mizuki might try to take once Iruka started kicking his ass. And then he felt his own death and heard Iruka shout his name getting him to look from his cover out at the battle between Mizuki and Iruka, talking about how he had just died and how Mizuki had been planning to kill him all along.
Seeing Iruka explode in rage after thinking that he died brought some happiness to Naruto, at least there was someone out there that would feel something if he just up and kicked the bucket one day, it was better than he thought it was at least. But when he saw Mizuki take the advantage over Iruka and move to finish him off he couldn't take it anymore and sprang to action. Luckily Mizuki figured he had killed him with that shuriken and never saw him coming when he slammed right into him, taking delight in the fact that he sent him flying with a glorified body check.
He stood in front of Iruka and glared out at Mizuki, "If you try to lay one more hand on Iruka-sensei I'll kill you." He threatened.
Mizuki stood up and dusted himself off before laughing at Naruto, "What exactly can you do? I just beat the only threat here? I'll kill you right out in one shot!"
"Come and try it then! I'll send it right back a thousand-fold!" Naruto roared at him, clinching his fists tightly. Mizuki must have taken that as a personal challenge because he came storming right in to take Naruto out. Naruto made a cross sign with his index and middle fingers on both hands as a large cloud of smoke engulfed the field, "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Jutsu)!"
When the smoke cleared, the entire area was filled to the brim with copies of Naruto. Every nook and cranny of the area was filled with them, even all over the branches of the trees, "What's the matter Mizuki-teme?" One of the Narutos shouted.
"Yeah, I thought you were going to kill us all with one shot?" Another quipped.
"Well since you're not coming to us, we're coming to you!" And with that, the countless number of clones descended upon Mizuki and began beating the daylights out of him, the numbers were simply too much for someone like him to handle alone.
Iruka was astonished. Less than 18 hours earlier Naruto couldn't make one regular Bunshin, but here he was able to fill an entire forest clearing with the most complex clone jutsu known to Konoha, and he had done it seemingly effortlessly. That had to take an ungodly amount of chakra, how could he-?
Oh, yeah that... duh.
In a matter of moments Mizuki had been beaten to a pulp by Naruto and his countless Kage Bunshin, leaving one remaining Naruto standing over his prone form grinning sheepishly, "I guess I went a little overboard huh?"
'Not really.' Iruka thought to himself, "Hey Naruto come here for a minute and close your eyes." The boy blinked but curiously did as he was asked, allowing the wounded Iruka to quickly swap out the boy's goggles for his own headband, "Now go ahead and open them. Naruto looked at Iruka strangely when he saw that he was no longer wearing a headband, "Congratulations, you graduate!"
Iruka wasn't sure if the sunshine hitting him in the face came from the sunrise or from the smile that spread across Naruto's face once his words had sunk in.
(The Next Day)
Naruto had gotten one hell of an earful from the Sandaime Hokage after returning the Scroll of Sealing with Iruka the previous night. Naruto wasn't sure what he was more angry about, the fact that Naruto had actually gotten away with the scroll, or that Naruto had actually gone through the Hokage himself to get it. And people called Oiroke no Jutsu (Sexy Jutsu) a stupid waste of time.
Anyway, after getting chewed out for half an hour the kindly old man told Naruto he was proud of him and that protecting Iruka the way he did showed that he did indeed have the Will of Fire. He supported Iruka's decision to allow him to graduate and proceeded to give Naruto all of the information he needed for orientation the next week; where to go for the actual orientation itself, where to go to get his ninja ID photo taken, etc.
Anyway, Iruka asked him to meet him at the Academy the next day. Why, he didn't know since he was told orientation for new genin didn't happen until next week, but he figured he would humor his teacher and show up. He proved the previous night that he was someone Naruto could trust and for that the least he could do was show up when he was asked to, it wasn't like Naruto was doing anything else either to not do so. With that in mind Naruto headed through the streets of Konoha towards the Academy.
Iruka sat on the edge of his desk waiting for Naruto to show up. He was very glad that he showed the skill needed to graduate last night, but the conversation he held with the Hokage after Naruto headed home stuck out in his mind
Iruka sat in front of Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Sandaime Hokage who had lit up his pipe as he waited for Iruka to speak. For some reason the man had something else he needed to talk about regarding the events of the evening. Iruka looked like he was thinking on how to address the issue, but eventually opted to just speak, "Hokage-sama, Mizuki came this close to telling Naruto about the you know what. If he hadn't cut him off when he did it would have gotten out."
The Sandaime nodded and let out a puff of smoke, "Sometimes I wonder why I don't just tell him myself. I kept it a secret because it was supposed to help him be a normal boy like everyone else, but as we all know, that didn't exactly turn out as anticipated. You yourself can attest to that."
Iruka nodded in concession to that, "Do you want me to tell him?" Iruka wondered, "I think I'd be willing to, and I think he might take it better if he hears it from me in case another person like Mizuki tries something."
The old Hokage laughed, "I don't believe that after what Naruto-kun did to Mizuki there will be too many people lining up to attempt to use him for anything. As if Naruto-kun himself would let that happen again. He learns his hard lessons well enough. No, I don't think that will be necessary Iruka-kun. I have someone I intend to have tell Naruto-kun himself when I can get him to return to Konoha. I appreciate the thought though. I just want him to enjoy his first days as a genin before I let him know about such a dark secret. He hasn't had a normal childhood as we all know even as far as orphans go, he at least deserves to get a normal experience as a genin."
Iruka couldn't even imagine having the pressure of holding back what Naruto had the responsibility of doing right now, and he was doing it unwillingly and unwittingly as a child. Knowing that an entity of chakra that nearly obliterated your home and snuffed out countless lives was sitting behind a construct of ink on your belly would turn the hairs of lesser men gray with stress. Iruka blinked at realizing what his leader had just said, "Wait, you mean you're going to tell him at some point? From the way you just put it I would agree with never telling him, it's worked so far."
Hiruzen shook his head, "I'm risking Naruto-kun's spite by not telling him for as long as I have, but one day he will need to know. The burden placed on him isn't just going to disappear Iruka, no matter what he does it will always be the elephant in the room. To anyone that doesn't know Naruto-kun personally they will always see the shadow of the Kyuubi over him if they ever even see him at all. I could reiterate to the village over and over again that he is a hero, but that would do no good, they must come to their own conclusion on the matter, unfortunately for the most part it is usually the wrong conclusion."
"Iruka-sensei?" Naruto called out, sounding kind of hesitant. He slid the door to the room up at the top of the rows open and looked around before seeing Iruka at his desk, "Hey there sensei. You wanted to see me?"
Iruka sighed before smiling, "Yes I did Naruto. I wanted to say that I'm very proud of you for proving that you were good enough to graduate, and also for saving my life."
Naruto grinned widely as he started walking down the stairs towards Iruka and rubbed the back of his neck in what had to be his signature posture, "No problem sensei, I mean you saved me first didn't you? I just returned the favor heh."
Iruka smiled warmly at the boy, "Well how about I teach you something in return for helping me out yesterday?" Hearing the word 'learning' from Iruka sent a shiver down Naruto's spine. Learning was usually associated with lectures, lectures were boring, Naruto hated boring.
Naruto slowly backing away towards the door, "Uh that's okay sensei I didn't do anything big. And besides, I don't need it, I graduated right, dattebayo?"
Iruka gave Naruto a deadpan look, "Naruto I was going to teach you a jutsu."
The word 'jutsu' stopped Naruto right in his tracks and he seemingly teleported right into Iruka's face, "A jutsu? You're going to teach me a jutsu? What is it? Is it a giant fireball? A tidal wave? What is it Iruka-sensei?"
Iruka calmed Naruto down, "I'll teach you this jutsu but I want you to listen to me okay?" Naruto stood still and had a face of intent listening. Iruka cleared his throat, "Now as I said I'm very proud of you for what you accomplished and you should be too." Naruto beamed a smile at that, "But you should know that things are only going to be harder from this point on. I want you to take everything I'm telling you to heart, as if I've never tried to tell you anything before this, but this time I want you to really listen to me and take note."
Naruto frowned but he was getting a jutsu out of this, "Alright Iruka-sensei. I'm listening."
Iruka nodded and continued, "You're going to be a ninja of Konoha and that means that you're a soldier of this village, just like me. And just like me you need to be ready to defend the people of this village with your life and do missions important to our prosperity." Naruto wanted to yawn, he knew this already, "You have a responsibility to be the best that you can be. Whenever someone, especially another ninja, tells you something important you need to listen. You also need to work at your weaknesses. Now tell me, what are you good at?"
Naruto immediately started, "I've got the Oiroke no Jut-."
"Be serious Naruto." Iruka said seriously.
Naruto squinted at Iruka, why did no one take that move seriously. It's an effective technique, "Alright… I have Henge, Kawarimi, I can't do the Bunshin but I have Kage Bunshin now heh." He tapped his chin in thought, "Um, my taijutsu is awesome!" He felt Iruka's glare on him, "Okay, my taijutsu could be better. And my genjutsu…" He trailed off.
Iruka sighed and patted Naruto's head, "That's okay Naruto, you're just starting out, but that's what I mean. You have to get yourself together. You need to get all of the Academy katas down and finish learning the taijutsu. I know you still have all of the take-home things I gave you for when you all were learning them and I want you to practice."
"But Iruka-sensei I'm a good fighter!" Naruto whined.
Iruka shook his head, "Those are the most basic forms there are Naruto, made so that everyone can learn them and they're good for branching out further for original styles later. It's a fantastic stepping stone. Everything you've learned in the Academy is a stepping stone, the concepts of the three jutsu you had to learn are all rooted in the basis of many other far more complex jutsu. Kawarimi and Henge are two of the most adaptable ninjutsu in existence, hence why we teach it, but I'm going off on a tangent."
'You're telling me.' Naruto told himself, still listening intently.
Iruka rested his hands on Naruto's shoulders, "I know you can be a splendid ninja if you put your mind to it, but you need to work hard. I don't want you to slack off like you were doing in the Academy, because if you do it out in the real world it can get you killed. Tons of genin die on their first real missions because they weren't ready for what the life entailed. I don't want that to happen to you, so if nothing else I want you to keep these things in mind."
Naruto saw that Iruka's expression was completely genuine and he had said these things out of concern for his well-being, "Okay Iruka-sensei. I'll try."
"Good. I'm counting on you to prove me right. After all, when you're Hokage I want a raise for being the guy that was behind you all the way." He got a chuckle out of Naruto before he made a motion with his head, "Now come on, let's teach you that jutsu I promised."
"Yatta!" Naruto shouted, almost making a dust cloud on his way out of the building, "I'm getting an extra jutsu right out of the Academy. Nobody else is getting that!"
Iruka sweatdropped and followed him out.
Iruka had brought Naruto outside to the obstacle course field that was now deserted seeing as school was not in session, "Okay Naruto I'm about to teach you a move that I created myself." Hearing that Iruka had created his own jutsu made Naruto stare at him in awe, making Iruka feel pretty cool. People never think he's cool so it was refreshing.
"Did you really make your own jutsu Iruka-sensei?" Naruto asked, gasping when Iruka proudly nodded, "Wow…"
"Yep." Iruka rubbed under his nose pridefully, "It doesn't need any hand-seals, and it's pretty simple in theory too, it just takes a burst of chakra really. It's kind of wasteful, but for someone like you I don't think you'll have any problems with it, especially after your little exhibition on Mizuki." Naruto laughed, remembering what he had done to get his rank, "Alright it's called Chakura Hankyouteii no Jutsu (Chakra Echolocation Jutsu). It can be used to find things around you, like finding the location of things that you can't see. It's really good for tracking, or for scouting ahead for traps, or all kinds of things. It's a great sensor technique." Naruto squinted at Iruka throughout his entire explanation as if deep in thought, eventually unnerving the man, "Naruto do you have a question."
Naruto simply kept staring at him with his closed eyes expression before he pointed abruptly, "That's how you were always able to find me when I did stuff?" Iruka face-faulted, seemingly validating Naruto's theory, "Damn it I knew I wasn't making mistakes of leaving tracks! Do you have any idea how insane that kept driving me? I thought I just sucked at hiding, I was about to throw all those stealth lessons away and start just running in before fights since it looked like I could never stay hidden, dattebayo!"
Iruka stood up and rubbed his face. If one thing was for sure, whenever he did his pranks Naruto definitely got some training in, "So you started wearing that orange jumpsuit because I kept catching you and you decided to just discard all of the stealth lessons?"
Naruto looked away, "Um no. I started wearing this last year remember? Well that was when I had the idea to paint the Hokage Monument. Ha, I had it all planned out at the start of this school year I just needed to test it… that and orange is awesome!"
Iruka looked at him strangely, jutsu lesson temporarily on hold so he could make sense of this, "Wait. So you wore an orange jumpsuit to help you pull that off?"
Naruto nodded with a huge grin, "Yeah! See I started painting before the sun came up and I kept painting all through the sunrise in the suit. No one could see me when the sun wasn't up because it was pitch dark out and during the sunrise-."
Iruka's jaw dropped. The idea was actually brilliant. In the early sun, Naruto's jumpsuit would blend right in as the sun hit the mountainside, making the mountain glow orange, and as the sun rose over the direction of the mountain anyone looking that way would be blinded by the sun, even if they could distinguish Naruto while he was working. Did he even know how tactical that was? He needed to make sure Naruto cultivated that before he lost it, this kid might be able to write a book on tactics when he got older.
Iruka shook that thought off for later, he wasn't letting this one go, "Alright Naruto, now it's really simple. All you have to do is gather your chakra throughout your entire body and exert it outwardly in a single layer burst. You should get a feeling of everything around you, closer objects should give a stronger presence than things further away. Got it?"
Naruto nodded, "I've got it Iruka-sensei!" He placed his hands in the ram seal. When Iruka gave him a questioning look Naruto blushed out of embarassment, "I kind of don't know how to focus my chakra without making hand-seals yet."
Iruka shook his head, "That's another thing you need to work on Naruto, but it's alright for now."
Naruto did as he was instructed and projected his chakra outwards in a quick burst. He looked at Iruka after doing so and blinked blankly, "So how was that?"
Iruka scratched his head, "I don't know, you have to tell me. Did you feel anything?"
Naruto shrugged, "How am I supposed to know? Can you tell me what it feels like when done right?"
Iruka took a moment to think, "I'll be right back. Just yell for me when you're ready to do the jutsu again, I'll hear you and come running. Just see if you can feel which way I'm coming from. That should work." With that, Iruka disappeared from sight, leaving Naruto to build his chakra again.
Naruto stood for a moment before getting an amount he thought was good before shouting at the top of his lungs, "Alright Iruka-sensei! I'm ready!" He waited a second before letting the pulse go. He felt something moving at 7 o'clock and turned in the corresponding direction, "Got you Iruka-sensei!"
A few seconds later Iruka made it right next to Naruto, "You felt me coming from all that way?" He sounded surprised, 'That was from 400 meters away... That's a quarter of a mile.' He tried to hide his shock under a guise of indifference, "That's pretty good for just having gotten the jutsu down, but you need to get better at sensing things and reacting before they get close. If someone was throwing something at you being able to sense it wouldn't do any good if you still can't dodge it. You'll get better the more you try it."
Naruto had been expecting something big and flashy, but this was cool to him as well, "Ha, no one's ever going to sneak up on me again with this Iruka-sensei. I'll get better with this jutsu than you are, and then I'll rename it to something cooler, dattebayo."
Iruka curled over by a tree with a raincloud over his head, "Why does everyone say the name of the jutsu isn't cool? I think I came up with a great name for it…"
Naruto ignored his thoughts on his jutsu and kept talking, "I mean it explains what it is and all but you've got to come up with something that just screams 'bad-ass'! Something like, 'I-see-you-motherfucker-jutsu' or 'get-out-here-and-get-your-ass-kicked-jutsu, you know?"
Iruka coughed and got over his momentary lapse in self-esteem, "Well that's it Naruto. That's all I've got for you."
Naruto smiled up at the man, "Thanks for everything Iruka-sensei. I promise I'll make you proud."
"I know you will Naruto." Iruka said, "But remember the most important weapon a shinobi could ever have."
"A kunai?" Naruto guessed.
"A log for Kawarimi?"
"N-… Well yes, but that's a lesson a lot of ninja don't know until much later so good for you." Naruto grinned widely at the compliment while Iruka continued, "I'm talking about your mind." He accentuated by tapping his temple, "Your mind is the most dangerous weapon that an enemy can encounter… especially your mind. Because I'm not really sure what goes through it 90% of the time and anything you can't anticipate is always scary."
Naruto nodded, "Right. My mind is scary. Got it."
Iruka palmed his face and dragged it down, "Ugh, just don't be afraid of learning things Naruto. Trust me, the smarter you are, the tougher you are to beat. Just look at Hokage-sama, they call him 'The Professor' because of all of his amassed knowledge. The better understanding of things you have the stronger you can be."
Naruto laughed, "Well then I'll just have to get smarter than the old man too! Thanks a lot Iruka-sensei, I'll see you later!" Naruto turned and took off away from the Academy, "I'm going to get some ramen! Wait until I tell everyone I passed!"
Iruka watched Naruto leave with a smile on his face, "Konoha wasn't built in a day I suppose… Heh, you know I think he actually listened to me more today than any other time in the last six years."
Hiruzen was watching Iruka and Naruto's impromptu session from his crystal ball, "Good work Iruka. It seems that you're one of the most willing shinobi out there when it comes to passing the torch to the next generation." The old man let out a fond laugh, "If only we had more shinobi like you in our ranks."
Chapter one of the new experiment. the change in the universe is subtle, but hey... butterfly effect eh? I hate that movie...
The chapters will get longer as the actual direction of the story starts to play out, but I figured that would speak for itself once things got underway for real. This one is going to be a divergence away from the usual themes my stories take, but I believe I can still make it awesome, and if I can't I'll know my limits in storytelling.
Whatever, I don't care. It's not like I'm getting paid for the shit I write… Who would pay for my crap anyway?
Any questions? Concerns? In the realm of things I can answer of course.