Disclaimer: I own only my words…and that will take on a special meaning here, hehe
AN: Be gentle….After the rather astounding success of my Mage Naruto experiment I thought I would at least get my other idea out of the old noodle. I doubt it will be as appealing, as this will have as much to do with the scientific and the philosophical as it will the mystical, and some of the concepts here aren't as outwardly fun as magic or ninjutsu. So to that end I took a spoonful of one of my favorite fighting games and threw it in, though I'll be the first to admit that it was quite…surprising how it came about. Really, I never meant for it to become as big as it did ^_^ That can be fun though. Hope you like it.
Special thanks to AvalonNakamura for reminding me about an outfit :P scholars wear robes, your baka samurai ^_^
What's in a Name?
Chapter 1: Origins
The power of a name.
People will speak of such a thing, yet never truly know what it means.
For you see, once upon a time, people believed that if the 'wrong sort' knew your name, then they could gain power over you. Make you do what they wanted, or suffer curses.
Now, for those that feel the need to know, there is some truth in this. However, just knowing the name that everyone else calls you by is not enough.
Though for some it can be.
But for a select few, those that will dive deep into the ancient knowledge in the world, those that can find the right books, the right trails, leads, they can find the heart of it.
Words of power, the kind of things that gods used when they created whole worlds.
For some, they believe that such things still exist. You only have to find them.
Twin beams of light cut through the darkness, illuminating countless bookshelves and dusty hallways. "F-Forehead…are you sure about this…"
"Oh get over it Pig! It's just a library!"
The blond was currently half huddled behind her pink haired friend, her flashlight beam dancing over the path they had just come from, every little creek and whisper of wind setting her neck hair on end. "B-but you've heard the stories…t-this place is…you know…"
"Please. The Hokage is down here every night! How could you think there is a ghost?"
"But you've heard the sounds at night! Heard the stories! There is this weird light that will swoop down on you from above!"
"And what happened? So the light 'swoops down' so what? Anyone been hurt?"
"Anyone go missing?"
The two froze as a strange moan echoed through the stacks, something that sent a chill racing up their spines. Two sets of eyes swung around to one of the side isles, their lights vanishing quickly in the gloom.
There, hovering some three feet above their heads were two faint pinpricks of light, horribly faint, and seeming to bob along, like some massive, eight foot tall thing was moving through the halls.
Straight for them.
"F-F-F-F-Forehead…I think w-we need t-to…"
Then the lights vanished.
A tendril of air curled around bare legs, making the duo jump. After a long moment the apparent leader let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding, "S-See Ino, there's nothing t-"
A high pitched cry, a sudden blur, and the two girls found an odd, red streak was plummeting from above, one with two glowing eyes that were way to far apart, another set that were horribly bug-eyed, with blood red skin and a gaping maw.
The two looked at the creature coming at them, panicked, and in their haste, slammed into each other, knocking them cold.
A teen looked down at the two girls lying below him with a slight smirk before giving a nervous chuckle. "Um…Kyu-chan…it happened again…"
'Moron…I warned you about adjusting the counterweights. But nooooo….Naruto Uzumaki knows everything…'
"Hey…it's not like I meant for it to happen, I can't make a reliable system when you're having me snatching up enough books to double my weight every ten minutes!"
'Ya, well if you would take the time to research instead of just jumping from book to book like a monkey spotting something shiny then we wouldn't have to!'
"Ya right…and that animal wildlife book you made me look at was just for education's sake…"
'Y-You need to know how to survive in the wi-'
"Nu-uh, you had me flip to the section on foxes and only flip through it fast enough to get a look at the pictures…the mating pictures…Ero-kitsune…"
'Hey! A girl has needs!'
"And I have ears. Really…what you were thinking about would be illegal in three of the Ninja Villages…"
That had the fox stumped…he had a point…'W-well it's not like you are offering to help!'
That set his cheeks aflame, "Hey!"
Now she knew she had him, sending a purr echoing through his mind, 'You know I am a kitsune…we can change our shape…' the sing-song of her voice didn't help…
"J-just focus! We need to contact Jii-jii about these two, they're not supposed to be here!"
She let out an annoyed huff as she laid her head on crossed paws, 'True, if they find out you're here then the teachers will know, which means the council will know, which means were sunk…and this one book isn't nearly enough, you have to find the other two.'
"I know Kyu-chan, I know. But really I think we were lucky enough to find that one all those years ago…"
'It was only ten years. Your starting to sound old.'
"That's because you pulled me into my mind every night and trained me further for months at a time! I'm supposed to be sixteen, not thirty-four!"
'You still think that's old? And it's only mentally, physically your fine, better than fine considering what I have you doing every day.'
He hated to admit it, but she had a point. Crawling up and down bookcases all the time, jumping from rack to rack, lifting the books…it all had a better effect on his body than most would think. Still, it was approaching time, and he would have to dispel his doppelganger sooner rather than later…though it would be painful…assimilating his memories like that. While he certainly didn't have a technique as fancy as the normal ninja clones he had seen so many others use, not to mention read about, he had been able to create one with his seal work that was better in almost every way.
Problem was he needed to make a new seal for each one, and each seal took him a week to draw…Still, it would return all the knowledge like the Shadow Clone, was hearty like the Mud Clone, and even had a replenishing chakra network thanks to one of the other seals he had stumbled upon, one that drew on the ambient chakra in the world around it and would keep it going. Though it's own chakra use was shot to hell, so it was of little use in battle.
Still, seals, as useful as they were, were not why he was here, he was looking for something far older. Something to protect himself from enemies that only Kyuubi had known of.
Ones that had used her to their whims.
Naruto had come to learn of the fox, strangely enough, when he had first set foot in this library, as the scent of the musty tombs had apparently woken her, and almost at once she had started trying to speak to him.
But like any healthy six year old, he had run to his 'Jii-jii' and asked to know what it meant. That had been a bad day, as before the boy could blink the elderly leader had moved to slap a number of seals into his body only to be blown back by a blood red chakra, something that had almost burned the flesh off the old man.
It would seem, that Kyuubi didn't like the idea of suppressing tags being applied to her host…
However, after the Hokage had sat Naruto down and explained things, then the Kyuubi did something surprising, in the form of doing the same for the leader.
Apparently, as a demon queen, she had the ability to be summoned, like any spirit, however, this particular summoner had somehow tracked down her true name.
And had gained absolute power over her, before using her to attack a man in the Valley of the End. However, once the great fox had been sealed, in effect it had a different name.
And thus, the man, one Madara Uchiha, no longer had power over her, until the night that her current host had been born, but again, a seal had saved everyone involved, and now that she had a host that may be willing to listen, they could start the process of learning. Specifically, learning the boy's true, cosmic name, so he could better hide, and guard it.
It had been a grueling task at first, having to have a six year old, one who hadn't even been taught to read or write due to those that thought the little blond was her, something that had the Third rapidly try and correct both with Naruto and with those that had wronged him. However, as soon as the basics were done she had found the perfect pupil, he had been so eager to learn that she had to forcefully knock him out at times so that he wouldn't be permanently lost in his own mind.
Still, once he knew a bit larger vocabulary she had him describe what she was looking for in the Kage's vast library, something which was larger than anyone in the village ever truly knew, as it stretched in massive catacombs for seemingly miles and miles. The collected knowledge of a number of villages, for hundreds of years. In fact, not even the famed Professor knew how far it really went, and wasn't about to get lost trying to find out.
However, for a young boy, thirsting for knowledge, and seeking to escape the harsh stares from the village, this place had been a gift from Kami herself.
After perhaps a month of making his little runs from the first few floors down back to the top to sleep at night, the great fox had suggested cutting out the middle man, as it were, and just move his things down into the depths, and with the aged leader unable to keep tabs on the boy at all times he had, largely, gotten away with it.
Though getting a futon down here, unseen, had been a real challenge.
The initial boon for the…technical…duo came six months into their stay in the darkened depths when they had, quite literally, tripped over what could be the greatest find they could hope for.
The Lexicon of the Evolving Mind.
This ancient tome was something the elder demon was more than a little shocked to see here of all places. This book, according to her, was the first true step into a wider, wilder world. This book, she told him, would be the key to the old tongue. The true language of creation, penned by those who were whispered to by gods, demons and spirits before the current age of man, so that mortals could further their work in the world. Be it to create, or destroy. She herself had used this language to transcend her previous form and become something greater.
Whereas Madara used it to enslave others, and forced her to destroy.
She had asked the young boy what he would do with this knowledge, and was a bit disappointed, and more than a little sad, to find out that he would try and use it to make food for himself, a place to stay, and a place to hide from the stares.
After some time she managed to explain what he could truly be capable of. Knowing the true, cosmic name of even a mundane item would give almost total control over it. However, the more extreme the change the more difficult, and the shorter the amount of time the thing would be altered, should it be unnatural.
As it turns out, making a kunai sharper, was simple, and usually permanent, but making the same knife into…say…a frog…not so much.
The idea in of itself was simple, almost laughably so. You learn the word for something, add a descriptor, and it…it just…was.
The first time he had done it, he had been studying one item, and a descriptor. The item, at the time, had been obvious to him. His ramen bowl. The verb in question? Boil. However, it went deeper than that. Knowing the word for a ramen bowl, did not mean it was his ramen bowl. For that he literally had to find the name for 'red and white ramen bowl owned by myself'. It hadn't been easy, and the fox kept telling him that it was foolish to focus on something like his, even if he was making progress.
It hadn't ended well…the bowl had exploded, slicing his hands and arms to ribbons.
Then melted, all in the space seconds.
He had been in the hospital for three days for that fiasco, but he learned an important thing that day, to be very careful with his words. Though if anything this only spurred him into further action, the bowl had been a gift he couldn't stomach loosing, one given him by the nice family that ran the ramen stand he so loved. After he had been released he had thrown himself into his training, his research. Finding the specific words he would want or need for both protecting himself, and to be a more effective ninja for his home. These long hours of study had given him insight into the villages, and his initial goal of being a kage.
The victor wrote the books.
That idea just didn't seem right to him. There were so many important events, so many great warriors or skilled craftsman, artists, and poets. Yet the second there was a decisive winner their opponents were vilified, made to suffer and all but forgotten in the winner's books, unless it was something important that made the winner look better. So, rather than being a Kage, or a ninja, he wanted to be a scholar, someone that would tell it as was, see to the truth of it, and record it as it should be.
However, at the time Kyuubi's response had been less than pleasant, 'Oh, and what about the psychopath that wants to enslave you and destroy your home?'
Ya…that had changed his mind a little…Though it didn't discourage him from his goal, he would just…record the truth in the field.
It made sense to his more mature mind. Though actually achieving it was a bit more difficult. To that end he had to go to the academy, but at the same time, that would pull him away from his research.
Quite the little quandary. Until he had discovered seals.
At first, he had simply tried to spy. Focusing on seals not unlike those on the Hokage's viewing globe, however, that didn't really bear fruit, he would have to somehow infiltrate the classroom, something that he knew he wasn't skilled enough to do, to put one of the chakra markers on the room. As these markers were what was needed to lock onto a location in order to view it.
The Hokage had nin trained as sensors for that, Naruto, not so much.
And he couldn't actually attend yet anyway, as he needed to be eight, and he was still more than a year off, no matter his mind's abilities, his body simply wasn't ready for the training.
Then came the second option, finding someone that could slip him notes. Again, no luck. Being who he was, and what he held, none of those in positions to help were really willing, and should they be forced it was quite possible, nay likely, that they would give him false information.
Lastly, and this had taken well into his first semester of actual academy time, was his clone seal. Though initially it was a mix of his…unique 'jutsu' and his seals. Though that had proven disastrous when his utterance had decided to unmake itself half way through class one day, showing a pink haired girl in mud. It had been only dumb luck that they thought it was a prank of some form and had focused more on the girl rather than the now missing blond.
Now here he stood, currently over two of his own downed 'classmates' in a mild panic. He had to get rid of them, but at the same time they were quite deep, far deeper than he had ever been allowed to go before, and while he could carry one, there was more than a good chance that the other would wake up before he could get them both out…
'You know you're making this far harder than it needs to be…'
"Why, it's not like I can summon you…"
He could feel the great demon roll her eyes. 'Then use that…sword…thing of yours.'
His eyes widened in shock for a moment before thinking, though he did look slightly annoyed. "She has a name, she uses yours…You mean use her to carry one, then pick up the other myself, of course…"
'What? You thought I me-NARUTO!'
"You've been drilling me on ninja principles for a long time now…sorry, they are witnesses, and if this was the proper mission-"
'Which it isn't!'
"Which it isn't, I would have to deal with them."
'Whatever…well, seeing as you're so well versed in 'ninja arts', then we will review your TRUE passion while you are carrying them! Now summon your little toy…'
The blond growled a bit, "Hey! Don't call her that!"
'Complain later, we don't know when they're going to wake up.'
He grumbled a bit before closing his eyes and, to a watcher, whispered something, something…powerful. In an instant space seemed to warp around the three, before a massive slab of steel started to emerge from a ripple in reality itself. If it had been smaller, with more tines, it might be called part of a shuriken. However, as it was, it was simply a zanbato that utterly lacked a grip or hilt in any one. One continual piece of sharpened metal that utterly dwarfed his body.
This was his pride and joy. He had slowly gathered up the steel over six years, bit by bit from the 'useless' metal from the training grounds and smithies in the area. the first piece of it, and the heart of the weapon, had been the blunted practice kunai that the Third had given him when he first started asking about ninja at the age of four. This 'blade' had been the third, overall, name he had learned. The first being his own, the second was his lost, and later restored, ramen bowl.
This practice knife was then married with the scrap he had found, a clay mold he had made, then combined with 'boil' and the books he had found on smelting and forging, he was presented with his raw product. A large, vaguely 'S' shaped steel beam that was still a far cry from what most would call a weapon.
Thing is, one slightly adjusted name later, and she was tempered, polished, and sharpened. However, all his focus, alterations, power and miss-pronounced words had had a rather…unique side effect. Somehow the little blond had done…something.
Ya, he thought it was a lame explanation to, but apparently, according to Kyuubi, he had done something and had left a path open, or somehow his combination of words one day had changed things. And when he had finished one of his modification to the sword, much to their shock, the thing had talked.
Not in the way that Kyuubi did, by speaking to his mind, no. This sword would actually form a wicked looking serration, a mouth, and spoke.
Stranger still, it…she…was nice. Not something one would expect from a sword of all things, and while it didn't have any true will of its own, not able to get up and move around, it could act.
It could, and would, protect him.
The first example had been when he had been applying seals to the blade, the girl's laughter and slight vibrations making the process…difficult…but when he was done he could link the blade to some of the tattoos he had made for himself, and will it to move about his body, never once having to touch it. Still, when he made a test swipe he had taken out part of one of the shelves, bringing the massive thing down on top of him.
Only to hear a very feminine voice cry out to him as, suddenly, the thing was perfectly bisected, to fall around him harmlessly.
Then, with a blur, the blade was hovering around him, trying, ineffectually, to see if he was alright.
It had been a bit painful, but in the end he had laughed it off, though the sword had somehow sulked over the cuts she had given him and tried to stay away.
He wouldn't have it, and had asked her name, only to receive a slightly confused look.
So he had opted to name her, taking the first two letters of her Truename to fashion something he could use in everyday situations.
"Hello Nu-chan, have you been having fun?"
The blade gave a dull thrum for a moment before the odd mouth formed once more, then a hole, an 'eye' of sorts. formed, "I'm well Naruto-sama! It's still hard to turn the pages like this, but I'm getting better! What are we doing today? Who are they? They have funny hair, though that one kinda looks like yours, is she your sister? Are you dating any of them? Your outfit looks nice today, are we going outside? I haven't been outside in a long t-"
His hand came to rest on the flat of the blade, and if he wasn't mistaken he thought she…stiffened? "Easy Nu-chan, I'm happy your having an easier time of it with the books, though right now we have a little problem…"
Instantly the blade turned, seeming to regard the two more seriously, suddenly the seals along the flat lit up, and Naruto's voice filled the room, six iterations of it, causing the massive weapon split, quickly forming thirteen smaller versions of itself as they rapidly circled the two downed girls, "Shall I Master?"
"NO! Nonononono….Your going to help me carry one of them, I'll get the blond, you get the…pink one. We need to go see the old man."
Instantly the seals shut down, and with another of the ripples, like she had come from, she reformed, looking oddly sad at the idea of not cutting…then she beamed, "YAY! Jii-Jii!"
'I can't believe you like her…'
"Hey, I like you!"
The fox seemed to preen for a moment, 'With good reason, especially if you saw one of the other 'me's', but she, she's a complete ditz unless she thinks there's going to be a fight!'
"No she isn't, she's just…energetic…"
'Ya…like a squirrel..'
"Or a fox.."
Naruto carefully picked up the first girl, he thought her name was Sakura, and placed her on the flat of the blade, her hair making Nu giggle a bit before she moved to hover behind him, a slight tug on his reserves washing over him as the prime seal on his back activated. This one acting both as his 'sheath' and the main method for his communication in battle, the link allowing her to feel his will, his emotions.
And to act.
Those on his hands were for a bit more direct control, allowing his gestures to guide her, increasing her speed remarkably, and the control he could exude when she split into her parts. Her own seals would garentee that she could always feel him, always be able to find him, be it through 'normal' means of travel, or in a pinch, the more 'direct path', splitting the points in space and allowing her to simply be there.
"Alright girls, let's make this quick, we don't need them waking up. Nu, no banking."
"Kyu, no perving."
The boy could only snicker as they made their way up back through the maze like library, the only evidence the group had been there a couple of dropped books from a blond with a…unique…fashion sense.
"I'm not going to say it…" An elderly man sighed as he placed the last sheet of paper in the 'out' box. "Nope…not going to say it…"
He knew better. If he even so much as thought the phrase 'Finally don-'
"Jii-jii! We have a problem!"
One wrinkled head rebounded off the tabletop with a resounding *BAM!* just as his door was kicked upon, the blond haired, blue eyed boy dashing into the room, though said eyes were still obscured by his goggles, the twin flashlights he had taped to the straps still blazing brightly, however, even as the old man watched the blond muttered, and the goggles changed into part of his...above ground attire, "Y-Yes Naruto…what see-Is that the Yamanaka heirs and the daughter of the head of the trade guild?"
The boy shrugged as he sat the blond on the couch, the blade sliding her payload to the cushions as well, the blade then quickly upending itself and streaking to the side of the Kage, the had to force down the urge to duck as the thing 'bobbed' happily in place, repeating Naruto's endearment over and over until the aged leader patted the flat of the blade, just above the 'eye smile' the weapon bore.
He was too damn old for this…
"Naruto…where did you find them?"
"They were down in the library, way past the okayed sections for academy students."
He let out a sigh as he rubbed his temples, "Just like you…"
He gave a sheepish laugh, "Well, ya, but I know my way around down there, I know the traps, and the paths. I haven't gotten lost in years…"
"First, Naruto, there's no need for pretense here, you can act your age.' Almost instantly the blonds' features smoothed, the grin fading to a grim line as his shoulders squared. He actually kinda liked acting childish at times, but when the Hokage said 'jump'… 'Second, you yourself are not supposed to go to deep, I know you have your reasons, very good ones if Kyuubi-sama is to be believed,' That earned him a scowl from three parties. Say what you will about her, but she had been nothing but honest with all involved. She wanted her revenge, and after her own enslavement all those years ago she wasn't going to do something like that to another. 'However, there is some dark knowledge when you go to the true depths. The only one I know of that may have been deeper than you was Orochimaru himself, so please be careful."
"Now, how did these two end up this way?"
"Well…my counterbalance failed on me again and I went out of control, spun around almost sixteen times before the ropes failed and I dropped. I thought I was going to land on these two but they saw me, screamed, and ran into each other…I think their academy students…are they really this bad? Should I quit now?"
"No Naruto, you shouldn't quit, not if you want to get stronger."
"Naruto-sama is plenty strong!"
Again, the man had to fight the urge to duck as the blade got all the closer, it's 'eye' narrowed and the 'mouth' full of angry smaller blades. "Now now Nu, I know he is, but he needs to become far more powerful to stand up to those after him. You know that."
The blade seemed to deflate a little before perking up again, "Nu will get stronger to!" again the blade thrummed with power, for a split second the Hokage saw an image of a man in green spandex behind 'her' and shuddered.
"Now then, Naruto, it's actually beneficial that you came when you did, it saves me the trip down…' He pulled the top, and most recently finished, sheet off of his finished paperwork, 'A mission has come down the pipeline, something I believe will be of great help to you in the future…"
"Hokage-sama, I'm not a ninja yet, there's no way that the councils will allow a civilian to go on one."
The old man smiled, the look almost devious, "Yes…and no. You see, I'm not going to tell them you're going, and with your little trick in the academy, yes, I know all about it…' The 'teen' could only laugh nervously, 'they will be none the wiser. Now then…In three days time the team will head out, you will come with a cloak I will provide, as well as a mask, and travel with them to Suna. Once there our seal master Jiraiya will be working on their village's container, a boy by the name of Garra. You will be on site to observe, learn, and if needed in any way, assist. This mission comes directly from the citizens of Suna, their ruling council and Kage know nothing of it, meaning you are to be discrete. As a whole you will be acting a Leaf ninja returning from a mission and simply stopping to replenish supplies and rest, meaning you will only have two days to locate, subdue, and help Garra."
"Do you need me to help locate him due to my…talents?"
The eldest of the group nodded, "Indeed. Within this packet is all the information I believe you need to learn the boy's name between now and your arrival within Suna's walls. From there he will be subdued by those officially assigned to the mission and you will leave. Once you have returned you will have approximately two months until your graduation, and in this time I do need you to attend class. It seems that clone of yours has developed quite the personality in your absence and you need to correct that damage done. I've informed the teachers and the head master a version of the truth and they have sworn to toss out your former grades if you prove that you are better than…what did they call him…the Orange Menace…"
"Yes, it seems after he learned the henge he changed your attire to that of a glaringly bright orange jumpsuit. However, this has improved his stealth skills to a remarkable level, I think you will be pleased…"
Naruto, Nu and Kyuubi all blinked slowly at that, their minds trying to process the mental image of Naruto wearing that…A bright orange jumpsuit…rather than his current reds and whites, in honor of his sensei.
And his clothing was most definitely not a jumpsuit!
He wore a blood red, almost black, suit though the cut was different. Rather than the jacket being more open, showing where a tie would lay and a good portion of the undershirt this one coved from waist to collar bones and lacked the lapels others would have, though it did have a slight 'V', cut to fit, with five matching buttons holding it securely closed. The undershirt was also unique, a slightly higher collar, about mid neck, but again without lapel but with two silver buttons on the front. Next was a set of sunglasses, slightly wider than they needed to be, as one could see twin, almost un-seeable, lenses hidden just outside the more obvious shaded ones. His hair swept back into a spiky ponytail that reached the bottom of his shoulder blades. Competing the look was a pair of finely shined dress shoes that complemented the look nicely, making the blond look more like a high profile businessman rather than a green genin with no true home or belongings.
Hardly a 'jumpsuit', and a far cry from his normal robes, the things holding enough volume at times to be more akin to a tent. Why even Kyuubi had commented that if people could just ignore what he held that the women would be swarming him in that suit.
Now, this is hardly what he wore while in the depths, but over the years he had learned two important things. One, the henge was great for 'trying on clothes', and two, most clothing, at its most basic, was the same, so he learned a few of the needed words and simply crafted his own, and with another utterance, he could change it to what he needed, or mend the cloth. All useful things learned, initially, and in its basic form, from the construction of his most beloved weapon.
Kyuubi, initially, had thought the whole of it was silly, after all, one didn't need to know how to change clothing if one was going to survive in battle. Though when he pointed out that the current thread count of the raw silk he had…procured…for his clothing, when married with an utterance like say…'threads stronger than steel'…
To say the least she was quickly mollified. Especially when he shifted the clothing into something far more befitting his vocation, the outer jacket becoming some of his helpful robes, the folds holing many supplies, notes and books, the glasses shifting to his goggles with flashlights, spectacles to help with the extremely small text, and the shoes into things that hugged his toes, and allowed him to better grip the edges of the shelving, or comfortable sandals when at the desk.
"And why, in the name of Kami's green earth, have you not stopped him from wearing that!"
The elderly leader only shrugged, "It's his favorite, and as I said, it's helped his stealth skills remarkably. He's lead out ANBU on some rather impressive chases…"
That gave him pause, even the sword seemed to blink, "He can outrun and hide…from ANBU!"
"Yes, as I said, quite impressive."
Naruto seemed lost in thought for a moment before nodding to himself. "By your leave Lord Hokage, I think it would be best if I crafted a replacement seal for him as quickly as possible and dispel it, these skills will be invaluable for the mission, and with luck the…new and improved 'Naruto' will get my grades up to snuff by the time I'm back…"
Sarutobi seemed to think for a moment before nodding. "Agreed, but only on the condition that you believe it will not compromise your tracking of Garra."
'It should be fine Naruto-kun, focus all your time on completing the seal and it should be ready in two days, and at night I can prepare your mind for the influx of information. That last day we will spend in meditation and absorbing the knowledge. Then on the road we will find Garra's name.'
"Kyuubi's assured me that we will be able to get it done in time, she knows be abilities better than any, though if I may make a request,' the man nodded, 'Could you prepare a blood seal scroll with some special security in it, something I can transport the Lexicon in without fear of theft?"
He thought a long moment, idly stroking the cool surface of Nu as he considered it. While this wasn't beyond him, it was usually time consuming…"Very well. I'll make the scroll for you, though I need a vial of your blood for the keying of the seals."
Said blond gave a curt nod before taking up the offered vial, more a flask really, and willed Nu to return, though it took a bit of coaxing to get her to cut her 'Naruto-sama', she caved after a good bit of assurance, and with a small whimper slashed his palm, the wound already closing and almost beating out the filling of this flask. Naruto tossed it back and with a final bow the odd 'trio' left the office.
Though as they were leaving Naruto's eyes widened slightly as he spotted a rather striking woman, wild black hair, like she had just rolled out of bed, painted lips in a color that matched her deep red eyes. A generous figure clad in what seemed to be bandages, though she had one red sleeve, one that matched her eye color and was probably used to distract her enemies. Though in his opinion her beauty was enough to warrant that.
Although, he wasn't a scholar for nothing, and was well adept at 'reading between the lines'.
She had fine muscle tone, a slight grace to her steps that went beyond the female and into the predatory, a slight hardness to her eyes that would put the wise on edge. The squaring of her shoulders, and their general definition, though hard to read through the clothing, told of long hours of practice, be it in taijutsu or weapons he couldn't be sure, however, there was still a slight 'layer' to her, showing she still cared about being a woman rather than simply a soldier.
If there was an example of kunoichi ever to be found, he was sure he just had.
For one Kurenai Yuuhi she was having a less than stellar day…she was just so sick of being ogled…why couldn't she be like that Anko woman she had seen about town, most people looked at her with fear rather than lust. What about her friend Hana? That wasn't a bad way to be looked at…appreciated, but not looked at as a sex pot.
Worse yet, it wasn't just the men, she had looks from women to, though most of those were of jealousy rather than any kind of appreciation or perhaps affection. She knew that with the front she put up, trying to keep some of the more…undesirable men away from her, that she had almost made it hard for others to approach, earning the name of 'Ice Queen' around the village.
Was having standards such a bad thing?
Currently she was heading to the office of her leader, apparently there was an important mission coming up, one that had need of her special skills in illusions, something that was quite rare for her, as most requests were usually for the more…flashy…jonin, those that earned greater names than simply 'The Genjutsu Mistress'. However, just as she was about to check in with the receptionist, she spotted a man leaving the office, one unlike those she had seen around the village. His well made suit and rugged, angular features were more than enough to catch the eye, the sunglasses giving him an air of mystery, however, it was the massive blade that seemed to…float…behind him that really drew her attention, the odd weapon and the lack of an obvious headband were enough to put her on edge, although the receptionist didn't seem to be alarmed, if anything the civilian woman was busy blushing while looking up at him as he bid her good day and gave a slight smirk, probably more amused at the blush than anything.
That sent up another alarm bell, her poor day already making her weary of her greatest enemy, the player. Still, seeing his abrupt halt at noticing her had slightly buoyed her ego. She wasn't stupid, she knew that the man was checking her out behind those glasses, many had done it before. However, is she wasn't mistaken he was…studying her, rather than ogling her, something that did improve her mood a bit.
Perverts didn't study, they gawked.
After a standoffish moment for the two the man finally stepped forward slightly, bowing deeply to her as his right hand crossing his chest, the kind of bow from a gentlemen
The kind from her stories…
"Forgive me for my ill manners madam, I'm afraid I was startled by your appearance, but that is no excuse for staring. Naruto Uzumaki, at your service."
'Kiss ass Casanova…'
The crimson eyed jonin arched an eyebrow at the introduction but gave a small smile. So there were gentlemen left in the world.
Or at least a suave player…
"I appreciate your apology, though I'm not sure it's necessary…It is nice to meet you Naruto-san, I am Kurenai Yuuhi."
The teen gave a soft smile, one that finally did cause a blush in the woman, and a glare from the secretary, "A beautiful name for a beautiful woman. Perhaps with a bit of luck we will see one another again at a later date, however, I'm afraid I must depart. I have little time to prepare and quite the journey ahead of me. My apologies." He gave another, smaller tilt of the waist, though with a lower dip to the head added, something properly apologetic.
Kurenai's blush deepened slightly before she smiles, and had to fight the urge to curtsy in answer to his second bow. Though she did twitch slightly as he made to rush off, though she knew business was business, and from his suit he did care about his money… "Perhaps we will Naruto-san, maybe then you won't be so…distracted…"
The blond gave a small chuckle as he made to move past her, "Now that would be impossible my lady, as you are as distracting as they come…Until then, please stay safe out there, Kunoichi-sama"
As she turned to respond she saw him give a small smirk, ocean blue eyes smiling at her from the sides of his glasses as he rounded the corner, his blade seeming to…look at her…with a small smile of her own she spoke, more to herself than anything, "I guess I will have to…Naruto-san…"
Taking a moment to clear her mind she turned back to the office, noting the slight scowl from the woman before her, "Kurenai-san, the Hokage is expecting you…"
She gave a slight cough and a small smile, "Ah, y-yes…" She was quick to move past her towards the door and into the room, noticing the Hokage currently working on a scroll of some form, "You've sent for me sir?"
The old man glanced up at her and had to force himself to turn back to the scroll, he had been on the bad end of enough female furry in his time, he didn't need more…"Yes, Kurenai-san, thank you for coming so quickly."
"I live to serve my lord."
He gave a small smile and nodded, his hand moving with practiced ease as his left hand tossed her a scroll, "I have a mission for you that I believe requires your unique skills…"
Arriving back in the maze of books after a quick lunch the blond let his clothing shift back to 'normal' for the library, quickly settling in and pulling his sealing supplies from his sleeves before Kyuubi caught his attention, 'I can't believe that trash actually worked…you astound me sometimes.'
"Hey, I like those books…"
"Nu does to!"
'I don't know what I'm going to do with you two…though I suppose it's good for seduction missions…you had that kunoichi interested pretty damn quick.'
"Yes, but you have to understand, from what I gathered this village, hell, most of them, have a serious lack of good men. At least from the ninja side of things."
"Nu, you know if you're going to come on missions with us, and be as great as I know you can be, that you will have to get more serious, right?"
"Yes! Though we're not on a mission right now Naruto-sama! So Nu wants to have fun."
He could almost feel her pout, "Alright, alright. Just be ready, you're going to have to help gather some of the supplies while I'm making the seal for a new 'me'. And bring food to me when I need it, I'm going to be working nonstop…"
'Just don't overdo it, I can keep you going, but you don't want to be exhausted when we enter the deserts.'
"Fuck…I forgot about the desert…"
'Language Naruto-kun…and how could you forget? It's SUNA!'
"So sue me, I was focused on the idea of meeting another of the containers, and meeting Jiraiya-sama! With his knowledge of seals I'm sure I can improve all of my current projects, maybe even give you a bit of…flexibility…"
That made the demon perk up, 'Perhaps, but I don't think he's going to make it that easy on you, you may have to have the Hokage intervene.'
"Probably. I may even be able to give you Nu-chan a way of manifesting yourself outside of the sword."
'Appearing in a human form, lead for brains.'
She flinched slightly at his tone, while she couldn't be hurt in here, he could make things…less pleasant…after a moment she let out a sigh as she felt the hurt come through the link from the sword, 'Sorry Nu-chan, I know your trying, but you need to pay attention to more of what you read. Acting properly will make people respect you more, you know that, and I know that you're not as foolish as you let on, you just like to act like a child, like Naruto-kun.'
The sword seemed to…nod…"Nu loves Naruto-sama. She wants to be just like him!"
That made the two smile softly, she could just be too cute at times, "I know you do Nu-chan, but like Kyu-chan said, we both need to grow up a bit soon."
"N-Naruto-kun won't…throw Nu away…if she acts different?"
That made him stop suddenly, the sword going still in alarm, quickly the blond turned and pressed his hand to her smooth surface, letting a gentle wave of chakra pass into her, and setting her to shivering, "Never Nu-chan. You are my greatest treasure."
Seals lit up, voices rang out, and thirteen blades suddenly embraced the blond.
And his screams could be heard across the village.
AN2: For Naruto's suit, think of Will Smith's from the end of the first MIB movie ^_^ I liked that suit.