Naruto Uzumaki was having a really bad day. No, he'd been having a really bad week. Since the grouchy grocery store lady only sold him rotten, or close to it, milk that was all he had to drink. Being stuck in the bathroom, particularly on the toilet, for half the morning had made him late to class, again, which meant he missed out on half of the graduation exam that took place today. And considering his instructors would not let him make up those parts, his only hope of passing had rested on the jutsu portion of the test.
However, that was the one portion of the test he could never get perfect. No matter how much he practiced, the clone jutsu never worked the way it was supposed to. At best he could create a rough facsimile of himself that was bleached of color and too lethargic to be considered a success. So, as the teachers expected, Naruto failed the gennin exam.
So, here he was storming down the streets of Konoha with the intention of filling up his ill stocked weapon pouches, training himself into the ground, and proving everyone wrong. Because come hell or high water he was going to try again and he was going to pass. It didn't matter that the teachers refused to treat him fairly. It didn't matter that he knew close to zero about the theoretical aspects of chakra or even ninjutsu. It didn't even matter that he'd already tried and failed twice. He was Naruto Uzumaki and there was nothing that would stop him from reaching his dream.
The first step to reaching that dream was stocking up on ninja gear, which was why he was currently headed to the Black Dragon.
The Black Dragon was a mildly known ninja store that was of average size. It had two rooms with the larger one being the shopping and display room where the customers were allowed to shop around as much as they wanted. The other room was the store room where all the extra equipment was stored as well as where the safe containing the days earning was locked away at night. The front of the store was a simple wooden sign with the name hanging over the door and a large window display case holding several flashy tools. Right inside the door was the check out counter where the shop keeper kept a diligent watch so that no one would dare rip off his store.
Upon spotting the weapons store Naruto walked right in and marched over to the shelves of weapons and slowly but surely a mountain of weapons grew in his arms. Naruto was so caught up in fuming about 'bastard teachers' and 'rigged tests' that he missed the look of disdain on the store keepers face.
Having gotten everything he could possibly need, and some he'd probably never use, Naruto walked up to the check out counter and set it all on the counter for the man to ring up the price. That was when he got his first look at the six foot two hulking man made entirely out of muscle and wearing a white sleeveless shirt and brown cargo pants. The expression on the man's face soured Naruto's mood even worse. He had seen that look on countless people's faces. And every time he saw it the person giving him that look would always over charge him, kick him out, or sell him faulty products. Well today was shitty enough without some stuck up old man making it even worse.
"Yes may I help you?" The man asked nonchalantly as if he didn't see the hulking pile of ninja gear that was accumulated right in front of him. Naruto narrowed his eyes at the man.
"Yes you may. I need to buy some ninja gear."
The man gave a snort and looked over the tools before a cruel grin spread across his face.
"Ha these tools aren't fit for you. Here let me go get you something more fitting for someone of your skills." Before Naruto could protest the man walked into the back storeroom out of sight of Naruto. A second or two later there was a snapping sound and not to long after the massive man walked back out with a sugary sweet smile on his face. "Here you go sir. Your weapon." From behind his back he pulled out a four foot long piece of a board of wood. It was obviously what had caused the snapping sound a second or two ago. The plank of wood was just a basic board maybe a inch thick and started out at about a food wide. However after about ten inches the board had been broken in half and started to gradually thin out until it reached the end of the wood.
Naruto took one look at the piece of wood before shaking his head and glaring at the man who glared back just as fiercely.
"No, no. Hell no! I gathered what tools I need." Naruto shouted while gesturing at the various supplies he had gathered. "And I have the money for the real tools. There is no way I am paying for that hunk of junk!" Naruto shouted while pointing at the piece of wood. The man growled and hurled it at Naruto who easily caught it and held it to his side.
"Well then get out! Cause I am not going to be the one responsible for equipping the demon with real weapons. And if payment is your problem then call it a favor and I will give that to you for free!"
Naruto growled. It was always like this! For no reason at all, they all hated him! So, just like always he'd respond in kind.
The rage swept off his face to be replaced by the stupid grin he always plastered. It didn't make the anger go away. It didn't make the loneliness go away. But it fooled all the fools who didn't want to see him.
"Okay Thanks! But first," Naruto grabbed the wooden plank around the narrowed point with both hands before cocking back for a full powered swing. "I gotta test it out!" The blonde shouted as he swung before the shop keeper could stop him.
When the wood impacted with the glass the window exploded outwards with enough force for some of the glass shards to fly all the way across the street. The shop keeper roared with rage but before he could move far Naruto was already out the door and running down the street at full speed.
"YOU DAMN BRAT!" The man shouted after the quickly shrinking orange blur that was fleeing at almost impressive speeds. Naruto grinned at having gotten away successfully though his elation was quickly ruined as sure enough fate decided that nothing could go his way. What the gods decided to use to play with him was the back of a green spandex wearing boy that Naruto had just run head into at full speed. Groaning and sitting up while holding his head Naruto saw that it was one of his classmates that had graduated earlier that day. The boy had a hideous black bowl cut hair style and two massive bushy things that he called eyebrows sitting atop of his face. To top of the fashion statement he was wearing a full body neon green spandex suit that screamed 'HOMO!' to all who saw it.
"Oh hey Lee! Hehe didn't see you there." The boy now known as Lee jumped up and offered his hand out to Naruto who gladly accepted it with his right hand as his left one was still clutching the plank of wood.
"DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT MY YOUTHFUL FRIEND! WHERE WERE YOU RUNNING TO IN SUCH A YOUTHFUL MANNER?" Lee shouted loud enough to make all nearby wince and cover their ears while glaring at the boy. Naruto shrugged and looked down at the plank of wood he was still carrying around with him. That low down good for nothing store owner hadn't even given him a new piece of wood. This was an old and faded almost grayish looking half of a board of wood. It even had three holes where the nails had been removed from the big side of the board showing that it had been used and neglected for most of its life.
Staring down at the beaten, ignored, and poorly cared for piece of wood Naruto made a decision right then and there.
"Hey Lee do you have a kunai I could use?" The spandex wearing boy opened his mouth to say something before pausing and running his hands all over his spandex wearing body in ways that sent shivers down Naruto spines. When Lee finished feeling himself up he shook his head so hard Naruto was sure it was gonna fall off.
"NO I DO NOT MY YOUTHFUL FRIEND! TO MAKE UP FOR THIS LACK OF WEAPONRY I SHALL NOW AND FOREVER CARRY TWO HUNDRED KUNAI ! IF I FAIL TO DO THAT I SHALL CARRY FOUR HUNDRED KUNAI! IF I FAIL…"
A gloved fist slamming into his skull shut Lee up real quick. Following the arm the fist was attached to Naruto saw a girl he was rather familiar with berating Lee for always shouting. She had a light brown hair that was done up into two tight buns that sat symmetrically on her head. She was wearing a pink high collared sleeveless shirt and a pair of blue ninja pants that stopped midway between her knees and her ankles with her ninja pouch secured tightly to her right leg.
"Oh, hey Tenten!"
The bun haired girl paused in her fussing at Lee long enough to wave at Naruto before returning to her nagging. With Lee thoroughly punished Tenten huffed before facing Naruto fully and pulling out a kunai and tossing it to him.
"Here you go you can use mine. Though why don't you have one of your own?" Naruto looked at her with a deadpan expression before mumbling about corrupt store owners and paint bombing them later. Tenten raised an eyebrow but Naruto either ignored her or just didn't take notice of it as he sat down in the middle of the street with both legs crossed and the thick end of the plank of wood in his lap. Naruto raised the kunai high in the air dramatically before hacking at the thick end of the plank for a few seconds with splinters flying everywhere as he hurriedly chopped at the wood.
A few seconds later and he hopped back up holding the newly shaped piece of wood above his head victoriously. Tenten and even Lee were both confused at his actions and examined the piece of wood closer to try and understand what was so important. Nothing had changed about it. It was still just a three foot long massive splinter that had come from a broken board of wood. The only indication Naruto had even done anything to it was that what used to be the thick side was now carved into a rough looking handle that was just big enough for two hands to fit. Bringing the 'sword' back down Naruto looked it over several times before tossing the kunai back to Tenten and then looking back at Lee.
"Hey Lee you got any training bandages I could use?" Nodding Lee quickly reached into a pocket hidden on his jumpsuit in a place Naruto probably didn't want to know about. Thrusting his hands out with his usual vigor Lee revealed a single role of white bandages resting in the palm of his hands. Before the boy could start to speak Naruto did. "Thanks. You wouldn't happen to have orange by any chance would you?" Naruto asked hopefully. Yet another self frisking that left Naruto feeling queasy and Tenten thoroughly disgusted revealed that Lee did not have another color. But he did have stack of white bandages easily half as tall as Naruto was.
"I DO NOT! I SWEAR TO YOU MY FRIEND I SHALL FIND YOU YOUR DESIRED COLOR! IF I FAIL TO DO THIS…" Naruto ignored the rest of his rant and took the roll from Lee's still outstretched hands and once again sat down on the ground with his 'sword' resting in his lap. Tenten ignored Lee's rant as well in favor or watching as Naruto tightly wrapped the entire length of the piece of wood with the white bandages. The only part still visible after he was done was the handle which was still the same ugly grayish color.
"There." Naruto said softly and stood back up holding what now looked remarkably similar to a wrapped sword. The wrapped portion, the 'blade,' was about three and a have feet long with a handle just over half a foot. The 'blade' was easily a foot wide close to the handle but slowly tapered off to a fine point in a smooth curve that Naruto had carved into the wood. The one nail hole that had been left in what remained of the 'handle' had actually been enlarged. The hole was now an inch in diameter and large enough to slip a finger through or two tie something to the end.
Both Tenten and Lee leaned in closer to examine it and had to admit it didn't look half bad but still the fact remained. It was still just a piece of wood in wraps.
"What is taking so long?" A cold voice spoke demanded in a controlled monotone from behind Tenten and Lee. Looking at where the voice came from all three saw a tall boy with pale skin and solid pupil less white eyes. He had a bandana under his headband covering a larger portion of his forehead than the usual headband would cover. The new comer had long brown hair that was almost female in appearance. His clothes consisted of an off white high collared t-shirt and blue ninja pants with a shuriken holster secured tightly around his right leg. "Lee, Tenten, why did you… Oh." The white eyed boy paused when he saw Naruto. Naruto growled and his hand instinctively tightened around the handle of his sword upon seeing the so-called 'prodigy' of his class.
"Neji." Naruto growled out and the boy named Neji just brushed him off.
"I see, the dobe is holding us back by being a distraction. If you are done entertaining the drop out we need to continue on to meet our sensei." The Hyuuga prodigy stressed the word sensei while glaring at Naruto.
That was the last straw. That was it! He was officially at his limit. His day, no screw that his entire messed up life had been a living hell. He didn't care if the two ANBU that were probably watching him as they always did reported him to the hokage. He didn't care if he lost his chance to go back to the academy. He didn't care about much of anything at that moment in time. In a flash he took a step forward, swung the sword upwards faster than he ever remembered being able to move, and knocked Neji Hyuuga flat on his ass.
A paper thin cut stretched from the base of Neji's jaw across his cheek and ended right before his nose started. Eyes wide with surprise for a brief instant Neji looked up at the blonde boy who was standing over him with the bandaged sword hovering a hair's breadth away from his left eye. Naruto's usually happy and carefree face was a visage of pure rage that shook Neji to his core. What used to be an ocean of never ending warmth was now a frozen glacier colder than the dark side of the moon. Blue eyes filled with a freezing rage glared down at Neji who finally managed to recover enough to activate his bloodline.
As his eye sight enhanced itself thanks to his bloodline, Neji was shocked for the second time within a second. Naruto's sword was nearly bursting with chakra. Through his byakugan Neji saw that the sword was actually vibrating just the slightest from the amount of chakra being forced through it. The sword itself contained more chakra in a square inch of its blade than Neji did in his entire body.
"I don't care who you think you are, what rank you are, what clan you come from, how much money you have, or who your parents are. I don't care if you're the fucking hokage! Don't you ever talk down to me again or I swear to kami I will rip your stuck up ass to so many pieces that sanctified rod will fall right out of it." Naruto growled out in a tone laced with more killer intent than any of the three genin had ever felt in their young lives. Pulling the sword away from Neji's face and resting it across his shoulders Naruto turned and walked away from the three dumb struck genin. Not even Neji said anything as Naruto walked down the street with a blade of wood wrapped in bandages and filled with more chakra than Neji would ever be able to muster.
The two ANBU who watched the entire thing were about to leave to tell the Hokage about how the demon had beat up a genin for no reason when a hand landed on each of their shoulders freezing them in place.
"Now… I don't think the hokage needs to know about this. Do you? I mean, there are far more interesting things to tell him." The dog masked ANBU with spiky silver hair said in a laid back tone. "Like the fact you two constantly neglect your duties to follow around a young boy…" Both the crane and sparrow masked ANBU tensed. "Or, we could all go together and tell him how you two use your ANBU status to…" The two ANBU vanished as fast as possible both rushing back to the locations they were supposed to be watching. Shaking his head dog silently watched as Naruto marched back towards the academy. Following the boy without ever letting him know he was being tailed Dog watched for almost an hour and a half as Naruto practiced using the sword he had been carrying earlier.
Now being ANBU, Dog was required to know how to use a sword. However, even without being a pro he could have told the boy that he was doing it all wrong. Sighing and moving to leave he paused when he saw the bandaged sword actually left a scratch on the wooden post. That peaked his interest. He had been almost certain that Naruto had been practicing with the wrapped sword to prevent it from falling to splinters as he thunked what should have been a blunt wooden plank against a round long. Had the boy gotten different sword in the moment he had been dealing with the ANBU? Opening the eye he almost always kept shut, Dog let out an audible gasp at what he saw.
Shaking his head, Dog looked around with his new eye open for a few seconds before closing the eye and looking at the world through his normal eye once again. Vanishing in a shushin Dog reappeared standing on the three foot thick log scaring Naruto witless.
Having a masked man suddenly appearing in front of you can do that. Before the blonde could say anything Dog spoke up and crouched down to peer at the boy who was sprawled out on his back.
"That's a mighty sharp sword you have there if it cuts while still wrapped up. Must be made of some impressive material."
Now there is a forbidden art that Naruto long ago mastered. It is an art which, if mastered properly, can get you out of the tightest situations and make you friends faster than anything else on this earth. It is an ancient and very powerful art that very few are blessed enough to conquer. Naruto is a natural born, grade A, prodigy and master of this art. It is the art of Bullshit no Jutsu.
"You bet! This really nice store owner let me have it after I spent most of the day helping him remodel his store." Smirking beneath his mask dog was impressed. It was an actually plausible story and if he had not been watching Naruto for almost the entire day he might have bought it. Sadly he had been, so he wasn't buying.
"So by 'nice' you mean wouldn't sell you anything. By 'all day' you mean about two seconds. And by 'remodeling' you mean you shattered his storefront window. That about sum it up?" Naruto's grin fell and his shoulders sagged as he sighed.
"You're gonna report me to the old man aren't you?" The blonde boy asked dejectedly. As the Dog masked ANBU stood there looking at the defeated boy a grin spread across his face beneath his mask where the boy couldn't see it.
"I should do that." Dog stated watching as Naruto's shoulders slumped forwards further. "But…" Hopping off the log as Naruto's head snapped up to look at him with hope filled eyes dog leaned up against the pole. "I would be far more entertaining to teach you how to use your special sword. Might prevent you from scratching up any more genin, especially considering you are still a civilian." If possible the cerulean blue eyes got even happier and then that joy spilled over into Naruto's body.
"ALRIGHT!" Naruto shouted at the top of his lungs leaping into the air and pumping his fist into the air.
"Calm down. I will only train you on one condition." Naruto froze mid air before falling down onto the ground in a heap. Jumping back up with determination in eyes Naruto didn't say a word. He just watched Dog carefully. "I will train you, if you can make it to training ground seven in the next ten minutes." To his credit the blonde boy didn't ask questions, didn't hesitate, or think about it. He instantly took off full speed across town towards the designated training ground. Laughing slightly dog vanished in a leaf shushin.
Unknown to him, the instant that Naruto was out of Dog's sight the blonde genin ran straight down a dead end alley still going full bore. Without a flash, a puff of smoke, or even a slight flare of chakra Naruto vanished into the shadows and reappeared a heartbeat later beneath a water tank half way across the city. He had not lost a shred of momentum and leapt off the top of the building. However, instead of aiming for the next roof he fell short of it and should have slammed into the side of the building. Instead of crashing Naruto vanished into the shadows a moment before he would have been plastered against the wall. This time he fell out of the shadows cast by the wall on the edge of the village. Without even touching down he fell into the forest below and vanished into the many shadows of the forest with the white sword in his hands being the last thing to vanish.
Dog arrived and sat down on a branch in the tree in the middle of the Training Ground Seven ready for a nice long wait. As he reached into his pocket and pulled out his favorite little orange book he sensed a slight use of chakra to his right. Looking in that direction the ANBU nearly fell out of the tree in shock at seeing a panting Naruto run into the training ground.
'That was barely five minutes!'
Naruto ran right up to the tree and smiled up at him.
"I-I made it silver sensei!" Dog quirked an eyebrow at the nickname but decided it would work as he had no intentions of removing his mask anytime soon.
"So you did. Now, shall we begin?"
"Hai!" And with that, Naruto discovered that hell did in fact exist on earth.
Midnight That Night
A tired, no tired doesn't do justice. An utterly drained Naruto slowly hauled his dirty and rather beat up self to his apartment complex. Resting on his shoulders was his white blade held in place by his right arm which hung limply from the blade. The blonde came to a stop at the base of the steps and groaned. Cursing both his new sensei and the fact he lived on the fourth floor of the apartment complex. It took nearly ten minutes for him to get up the will to lift his left foot and move it up to the first step.
Every step was agony. His body felt like it was a massive chunk of lead heated to the point of being uncomfortable yet not unbearable. The exhausted genin hopeful was silently cursing his new sensei to the deepest darkest pits of hell. In fact, the boy was almost certain that his sensei was some sort of demon come straight out of hades just to torture him for all the pranks he pulled. Thoughts of what his silver haired sensei looked like beneath his mask occupied the boy's mind the remainder of the way up the stairs. It wasn't until his foot went through the air that was supposed to be the next step that Naruto came back to reality. Looking around he saw that he had somehow managed to reach the top of the stairs.
A wordless groan of victory and the blonde hobbled over to his door before knocking it open by letting his head fall against it. Sure enough the door gave in and opened to a small room filled with empty ramen cups, to-go food bins, and clothes scattered all over the place. Kicking the door shut behind him he ignored the bright red spray paint on the walls that told him to drop dead, burn for all eternity, or go back to wherever the 'demons' come from. Marching over to his room he fell face first into the mattress not worried at all that the bed collapsed and he ended up laying on a mattress on the ground. Soothing blackness that was sleep welcomed him with opens arms. So Naruto fell asleep. Still dressed in his orange jumpsuit drenched in sweat. Still clutching his new sword in his right hand. Still wearing his now wore out shoes.
Four Hours Later
Naruto woke up with a jerk as the sound of someone banging on his door woke him from what he had intended to be a mini death. Grumbling he hauled himself out of bed and towards the front door his sword trailing behind him on the ground as he drug it around with him. Opening the door he saw an exuberant looking Lee saluting him.
Lee opened his mouth and was probably about to wake the entire neighborhood when he had a sword shoved into his mouth preventing him from so much as mumbling.
"Lee." Naruto growled out in a tone just above a whisper. "If you talk even a bit louder than I am right now I am going to cut off your tongue and feed it to the dogs down the street. Now what possible reason could you have for being up at this ungodly hour and waking me up?" Removing the sword from the spandex wearing boy's mouth Naruto grouchily awaited a response.
"Yosh!" Lee hissed out in a whisper, somehow still sounding as excited as when he shouted. "I found you what you requested my friend!" Sure enough he whipped out a single roll of neon orange bandages roughly the same color as the blazing orange jacket Naruto still wore. "As for why I am up, isn't it obvious? I am doing my pre, early morning workout, workout! Would you care to join me?" Lee asked even more enthusiastically. Naruto glared at the boy for a second before sighing and taking the roll of orange training bandages.
"No I don't." He was just about to slam the door shut when he paused. "And Lee, if you ever wake me up again and the hokage isn't summoning me, the village isn't under attack, or there is not a harem of bikini wearing women dancing down main street covered in tanning oil, I swear I am going to cut you into so many pieces your gonna make humpty dumpty look lucky. Do you understand?"
"I DO MY YOUTHFUL FRIEND!" Lee shouted at the top of his lungs with a salute before vanishing faster than Naruto could react. Slamming the door shut and throwing both his sword and the bandages onto the kitchen table Naruto marched back to bed and flopped down on it. Not ten seconds later Naruto heard and felt the landlord marching up the stairs. When the beating and fussing began Naruto pulled a pillow over his head and groaned loudly.
'WHY? WHY!' Naruto mentally whined. 'I can practically see were the landlord is standing with how loud he is yelling.' For a second the blonde boy laid there listening as the landlord threatened to throw him out if he didn't be quiet at night. Then Naruto jerked upwards with a huge grin on his face. 'I wonder…' Cerulean eyes filled with curiosity slowly wandered over to the orange bandages laying on the dining room table.