AN: This features a Naruto who has had the experiences of, basically, Archer uploaded into him around the time of the Forbidden Scroll incident. Along the lines of Greyelle's Mischief Fragments.
Pure, intentional crack fic. Also a rather earlier work than the rest of my output.
Team Seven sat on top of the academy, introducing themselves to their new teacher.
"And the shorty?"
Naruto looked up at Kakashi with strangely old eyes. "Naruto Uzumaki. Likes: weaponry, tools, artefacts and Ramen. Dislikes: traitors, people who threaten my precious people and fools who put themselves on a pedestal. My dream is to protect everyone I can and to see all the weapons of the world."
Kakashi mentally sighed. Naruto was nothing like his profile suggested.
"Right, then, training exercise tomorrow. Nine o'clock, don't be late, training ground seven."
Kakashi tied the bells to his belt. "Now, I want you to remember. Come at me with intent to kill."
Naruto rolled his eyes. "You didn't read the ANBU report on the incident two nights ago, did you?"
Kakashi smiled. Not that anyone noticed. "Now why would that matter?"
The Jinchuuriki grinned. "Absolutely no reason at all. Sakura, Sasuke, protect me for a sec."
"Why should we defend you, baka?" Sakura shouted at Naruto.
"Hn." Sasuke made no move to defend, but no move to leave, either.
"This'll convince him to change the test setup if anything will." Naruto set his front foot in the ground, facing forwards, and turned his body to the side.
He reached out his left hand towards Kakashi, and his right to the floor.
"I am the bone of my sword…"
Kakashi watched in amazement as a huge bow, at least eight feet in height and made from what looked like metal, flowed into being in the Dead Last's left hand.
The right formed in its' grip a bokken, a wooden practice sword (adorned with a flag looking like a tiger's fur), which stood for a moment before crackling and reshaping into a brown arrow of pure light.
Naruto fitted the arrow to the bow, drew it back, and fired.
Kakashi, of course, was no fool, and was out of there before the shot was loosed, but the eruption of light and the huge smoking crater left behind made him think that perhaps he should have read that report. After all, he'd had the time yesterday to squeeze it in, after his staring at the memorial stone…
He focussed briefly on a figure in the trees holding up a wooden sign. It read, "You are explaining this to the Hokage, Kakashi-sempai."
Huh. Yamato was better at his Wood element these days.
Back in the clearing, Naruto was looking around him, still with the bow in hand.
Okay, so he's not a complete fool. So what now? Torashinai was the only chance I had to fire a nonlethal shot at him from the bow… at least that would still have him down for the count if it connected.
Right, new plan.
"Steel is my body, and fire is my blood…"
Naruto traced Hrunting, the sword of Beowulf, and converted it to an arrow without breaking the phantasm.
"What are you doing, Dobe?"
Naruto barely spared Sasuke the attention of an answer. "Trying to use ranged fire to stop Kakashi-sensei. I have the capability to do this, if I can spot him. Any progress on that?"
"How can you manage that, Naruto? That's stupid, thinking you can take out a Jonin!"
Naruto shook his head. Was I really anything like that before? "Hrunting doesn't miss. Ever."
Sasuke pointed. "Over there, in the clearing at the top of the hill."
"Got it." Naruto spun, aimed and let fly.
Kakashi frowned at the bunched up genin.
Really didn't show much initiative, even if it was still (he had to admit) displaying some teamwork.
Now, he needed to get some details on that accursed bow Naruto was using. To that end, he made the decision to try and draw some fire. He had dodged before, and he could move too fast for a genin to follow.
Kakashi briefly stood still at the top of the hill near the outer edge of the training ground, sharingan spinning as he watched Naruto slowly spin on his heel at Sasuke's prompting.
Kakashi jumped off to the left, far faster than Naruto could possibly account for in his shot.
Then everything went black and he was looking at a ceiling?
The Hokage walked in seconds later. "Kakashi. I have a few questions for you.
"Why is Training Ground Seven now possessed of a large glassy crater, how is it you did not keep track of the most recent reports on your genin team, and what the hell were you thinking?"
"Alright." The Hokage looked over team seven. "You pass. But unfortunately your Jonin sensei is in hospital for another week recovering from a hypersonic sword to the shoulder. So you've been classified a long range support team and attached to an ANBU unit until Kakashi is movement capable again, whereupon you will take on normal genin training. We may as well use Naruto's new talents and get you all used to the command structure while we can."
Sasuke barely reacted. "Hn. Perhaps it'll get me some useful experience."
Sakura said nothing at all, still glancing at Naruto fearfully on occasion.
Naruto, for his part, nodded. "I can serve as Archer well enough, though I also have capability to perform as Saber, Lancer and Berserker. Caster and Assassin are less in my style, and – while possible - Rider is just not a good idea for me. Ever."
The Hokage nodded. "That's according to the descriptions you gave of the categories after the incident?"
Already thinking of a few well dug in missing-nin bandit camps, Sarutobi smiled to himself. "Right. Report to training ground five, tomorrow at six sharp. Not everyone has the same tardiness standards as Kakashi."
The three bowed, this at least their training had prepared them for. "Yes, Hokage-sama."
Boar pointed into the box canyon. "In there, there's a wide area Veil effect. We only know that the base is somewhere in there."
Naruto nodded. "Sakura? Any way to disrupt a Veil class Genjutsu?"
The Kunoichi started in surprise. "Ah, er, usually they're only disruptable with sufficient power input near the centre, as that causes a cascade failure in the chakra network giving the false image. But I don't know how to tell where the centre is."
Sasuke looked over the valley. "Clearly the area of the veil is not extending over the sides, and it would be possible to determine the centre by causing some wide area effect and seeing what's affected, if the veil isn't programmed to correct for that."
Naruto nodded, already forming the bow again. "I think it's time to really show off. Trace on!"
Gáe Bolg appeared, twisted and broke, an arrow of red darkness shedding splinters of it's substance. Naruto fitted it to the bow, drew back, paused, gestured everyone else behind him, and fired.
" You ever wonder why we're here?"
" It's just one of life's great mysteries, isn't it? Why are we here? I mean, are we the product of some cosmic coincidence, or is there really a God, watching everything, you know? With a plan for us and stuff. I don't know man, but it keeps me up at night.
" What? I mean why are we out here, in this canyon?"
" Oh. Uhhhhh. Yeah."
" What's all that stuff about God?"
" Uhhhhh. Hm? Nothing."
" Do you want to talk about it?"
" Seriously though, why are we out here? As far as I can tell, it's just a box canyon in the middle of nowhere. No way in or out."
" I mean, the only reason that we set up a red camp here is because they have a blue camp over there, and the only reason they have a blue camp over there is because we have a red camp here."
" Yeah, that's because we're fighting each other."
" No, no, but I mean... even if we were to pull out today, and they were to come and take our camp, they would have two camps in the middle of a box canyon. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo."
"What's up with that anyway? I mean, I signed on to rob trade caravans, not endlessly stare at the other bandits stealing our stuff when we're not stealing their stuff, and-" Grifmaru stopped arguing with Simmonsmaru, his danger sense flaring. The two glanced to the canyon wall, and spotted the glowing point of light launch itself at them. "Son of a bitch."
Naruto dismissed the bow before the arrow was more than halfway to the target, and as everyone else dove for cover he traced Rho Aias. Broken Gáe Bolg in anti army mode was not something even he had experienced before, and-
Everything went white.
When the concussive force of the explosion had died away and the small team was able to think again, they saw Naruto driven to his knees, a single glowing petal pointing to the left from the construct in front of him.
The valley beyond was simply a glowing crater of magma, but for a circular area in the middle that still looked as it had done.
"Not much point in destroying the Veil now, really…"
"Yeah, nothing could survive that."
"Agreed. And Uzumaki? That is now considered to be a class S ability, only use it on direct specific command from the Hokage."
"Well, hello to my adorable little genin team, and sorry for the delay!"
"Come on, what have you been doing? A few D ranks? Some remedial training?"
Sasuke looked at Kakashi like he was some sort of idiot. "Naruto has been blowing up entire bandit or missing-nin camps, the first one in one shot, later ones with barrages of hypersonic overloaded holy weapons if I understand it right. We've been being taught by the ANBU, and Naruto, in proper use of weapons."
"Well, it sounds like that was interesting. Now, time for something even better."
Naruto turned a sardonic eye to their Jonin sensei. "Really? Perhaps the fifth great shinobi war, consisting of three days of walking and one very big explosion in what was until then Iwa? Ninjutsu lessons so that the team's a bit more balanced?"
Dead silence. Broken eventually by Sakura.
"D ranks? Is that like how D rank jutsu are the lowest apart from the academy ones?"
"Yes it is. They're the little odd jobs Konoha needs doing."
"Okay, no more tree felling missions. And Naruto, put that damn bow away."
"Painting a fence with the holy brush of Amaterasu is not to be repeated, the fence has been warping reality ever since."
"I don't want to see you use any more lethal weapons during D ranks! You nearly took the shopkeeper's head off!"
"Where did the house go? We were supposed to demolish it so that the parts could be retrieved."
Naruto held up a sword hilt. "Invisible air. You only said you didn't want to SEE any more…"
"No lethal weapons!"
"Winged sandals? Just… no. Not even for a mission in the messenger bird loft."
The Fire Lord's Wife's cat fled from Sasuke's hands, trying to make a break through the trees –
Kakashi blinked. "Did you just club the objective over the head with a Bokken?"
"It's Torashinai, it never deals lethal wounds."
"Nevertheless, it could be misinterpreted."
"Okay, sure. But you get us a C rank, sensei. I'm going stir crazy."
Naruto casually tossed a bone-white sword into the puddle next to him, then turned as two shapes formed from the water. The night-black sword he carried that was the white's double Broke, and shattered into a thousand glowing fragments.
Kanshou was drawn to Bakuya, and the shower of od-charged splinters obliterated the Demon Brothers in seconds.
"Naruto, please at least leave someone to question sometimes."
A wide Zanbatou spun through the air. Kakashi tackled Tazuna, Sakura threw herself flat, Sasuke ducked…
Naruto blocked it with the swirling Invisible Air he carried and took the handle. "Wow, this is amazing! I never thought I'd see a blade of such quality, especially in a world with so few known Noble Phantasms… But it looks like it hasn't found its' wielder yet, interesting."
Zabuza Momochi flickered to where his blade… should have been. He dropped to the ground, and glowered at the genin. "While I appreciate your interest, that is mine. Give it back."
Naruto nodded amicably and tossed the weapon back.
"Naruto! What did you do that for!"
"Well, I wanted to see how good he was if we fight with equal weapons, and there's no way I'm handing over Invisible Air." Naruto explained, discarding the hilt and blade.
"How could you have an equal weapon – what the hell?" Naruto hefted his own copy of the Kubuchiri Houkou.
"Well, shall we?"
"You won't last ten seconds, brat!"
The rest of Team Seven quietly left as Naruto and Zabuza tried to beat the stuffing out of one another with their enormous swords.
Naruto didn't enter the house until late that night, coming back with cuts in his clothes (none on his skin – the Kyuubi and Avalon combined left not much that could do permanent damage) and a huge smile. When asked, he only said that Zabuza had passed out from exhaustion, and that it was one of the best fights he'd had.
For most of the next week, Team Seven practiced first tree climbing, then a bit of water walking later on – though Naruto kept trying to find a way to sneak off to try to activate the powers of his Traced Kubuchiri Houkou. Sadly, he fell off the top of a tree after a week or so while seeing if it needed to be thrown, resulting in Kakashi confining him to his bed while the rest of the team guarded Tazuna at the bridge.
Naruto made to hang Invisible Air back on his belt, having dealt with the samurai disturbing his sleep, before realizing that this probably meant more trouble and hurrying off to the bridge.
"Well, not nearly as impressive as your student, sharingan no Kakashi. I wonder, was he sent along to take care of you?"
Kakashi's eyes flickered all over the place, trying to spot the Demon of the Bloody Mist. Both combatants had already expended a large fraction of their chakra in a clone war, and it was getting down to the wire who would run out first.
Sasuke, meanwhile, was trying his absolute best to not become a pincushion and Sakura was 'helping' by seeing how many explosive tags it would take to damage the demonic ice mirrors. She had really taken a liking to the paper bombs in their ANBU week, and Sasuke was considering whether the hunter nin was likely to be more resistant to concussion than him…
The mist eddied with the backblast from six tags detonating at once, and Kakashi spotted something through it. Back on shore was his greatest fear.
Naruto, bow Traced, and two arrows rapidly increasing in brightness on the string.
"Zabuza! Behind you!"
The Demon formed another Water Clone to keep tabs on Kakashi in case it was a feint before turning to look.
"Ah. So, is he as good with a bow as he is with a sword?"
Kakashi stepped up next to Zabuza, absently sticking the Water Clone with a kunai. "Apparently, his preferred codename is 'Archer'."
"So… should we run for it?"
"Probably a good idea."
Two bolts of light, one fiery orange and the other pure white, shot from Naruto's bow and obliterated the mostly built bridge, sending rubble a hundred feet in every direction from the impact points and flinging all six people on the bridge into the water.
Sakura was first to get back to shore, stomping across the water and slapping Naruto. "Damnit baka! Now we have to stay here for another week or three!"
A cough from behind alerted them that Gato had arrived. "I think that won't be a problem, all seven of you will be gone from here before nightfall. Of course, 'here' does mean this life when I say that…"
Naruto looked pityingly at Gato, before slowly dismissing his bow and tracing Gae Bolg. "Are you blind? Or are the dark glasses just because you like being unable to see indoors?"
Gato snarled. "Get them!"
Gato fell over. The lance curved around the people in the way and hit Gato in the heart. Naruto wound up and threw his traced lance at the mob… and casuality was restored to its' rightful direction.
Sasuke clutched his head, where a Sharingan was spinning. "What the hell was that?"
Kakashi covered his eye in case Naruto did something else like that. "It looked like it hit its' target before and after it was thrown at the same time… what was that?"
"It's a neat little attack called the Spear of Impaling Barbed Death. Basically, it hits the target first, and then sorts out the little stuff like being thrown afterwards." Naruto traced another Gae Bolg.
One of the mob, which had stopped in shock on seeing the strange red arc of light, sneered at him. "That's just the same weapon! You can't get all of us!"
Naruto grinned. "Oh, ye of little faith."
"So. This turned out to be an A rank mission of triple the planned length."
Kakashi nodded. "Yes, Hokage-sama."
"You blew up a bridge, turned the main square of a town into a glassy crater, and came back barely a day before the Chunin exams start with two missing nin who want to join Konoha 'Because of the brat with the awesome weapons'."
Kakashi twitched, and nodded again.
Sarutobi nodded. "Naruto. Assessment of the applicants?"
"Zabuza… by my rating, he could be Saber or Berserker, with a side speciality as Archer thanks to the throwing the sword attack… borderline there through. Haku, on the other hand, is amazing as a Caster, with the Ice Mirrors for the Territory Creation angle, and could probably manage Assassin or, again, Archer class."
The old man considered. Naruto's system focussed more on areas of expertise than on levels of power, and helped to construct an image when used with the standard one.
"Right. Accepted provisionally, we'll sort the details out later. Now, Kakashi, are you entering your students into the Chunin exams? You missed the meeting."
Kakashi put on a sorrowful expression. "It is my opinion that-" He spotted Naruto caressing the hilt of a Torashinai that wasn't there a moment before, and continued in a soprano voice "-they are entirely ready for the exams!"
"The tenth question will be given out forty five minutes into the exam. Now, begin!"
Naruto waited ten minutes, Traced Kabuto's exam paper and copied it, then let it dissipate into the ether. Easy.
Anko tossed a kunai at Naruto for interrupting her with his 'logic' about how the Forest of Death wasn't nearly large enough for it to take a week to cross, and noted with interest that the wound healed so fast there wasn't really enough blood to taste, before shoving him and the rest of the genin into motion.
Naruto picked himself up from the floor of the forest. "Ugh… damn random wind blasts…"
Looking around, he saw what at first appeared to be a green wall. This comfortable notion was removed when it began to move, and a large head rose above the coils of what looked like, in Naruto's professional opinion, a REALLY big snake.
Naruto grinned, clutching his hands around an imaginary hilt.
"I am the bone of my sword.
Steel is my body, and Fire is my blood."
Naruto focussed his Tracing abilities, forming in his hands a shimmering blade of crystallized light. Gawain's Reborn Sword of Victory shone with the light of the sun overhead, seeming to draw on it and become more radiant.
"Well, come on then you overgrown handbag! Excalibur Galatine!"
Three seconds later it rained snake meat.
"Ku ku ku… interesting, Sasuke-kun. Maybe you will make a good enough vessel for me…"
The freaky snake guy that Sasuke and Sakura had been keeping at bay by copious amounts of explosives finally got more serious, batting Sakura away and biting Sasuke on the neck to deliver the Cursed Seal of Heaven.
Sasuke collapsed in agony, and Sakura began to rush over to him, but heard something in the distance.
"unaware of loss,
Nor aware of gain…"
It sounded like that thing Naruto said before he… oh crap.
Sakura dove to the floor, just before a bolt of light cannoned overhead and smashed into Orochimaru with the force of a cruise missile.
The snake himself staggered back, his torso blown away, before using his Shed Skin technique and healing himself of the massive wound from Hrunting.
"What was that?"
Naruto replied with the decidedly hostile expedient of lobbing Gae Bolg at Orochimaru, piercing his heart and buying a few more seconds while the sannin regenerated himself again. "Sakura! Take Sasuke and go, I'll hold him here!"
Orochimaru, pristine once more, lunged at Naruto and took another Gae Bolg in the chest.
Naruto traced a third Spear of Impaling Barbed Death. "Just go!"
Orochimaru Shed his Skin yet again and drew out his legendary sword, the Kusanagi. "Damn brat!" The snake master attacked sword first, being met by a distortion in the air that knocked aside the first strike. When he went in again his sword was caught by the distortion crossed with… "What the hell? That's MY sword!"
Naruto's face sheened with sweat from the effort of tracing so many noble phantasms in a few seconds, but he was still quite impressed with the Kusanagi. From his analysis, it looked like it could shift length with ease, as well as become a snake.
Wait… become a snake… and the freaky snake dude drew it from his mouth…
"Damn it! Why do I have to meet an honest to goodness Noble Phantasm wielder?"
Orochimaru raised an eyebrow in interest as the two fought back and forth across the clearing, Invisible Air and the two Kusanagi ripping up the trees as the tempo increased. Naruto was having to Reinforce his own nervous system just to keep up by now, and the pace was still accelerating.
An idea occurred. As the duel reached the centre of the clearing again, Naruto cancelled the presence of Invisible Air to reveal the Sword of Promised Victory within, smashed Orochimaru back for a second, dropped Excalibur and traced Assassin's Monohoshizao.
Orochimaru gaped in astonishment as space broke around him, creating an impossible prison of sword blows that his frantic sidestep and block were only partially able to deal with, hence neatly decapitating him.
Naruto stepped back with a sigh of relief and gathered up the true Kusanagi, dropping it again when it formed into a viper and nearly bit him.
Orochimaru emerged from the neck of his old body, chuckling to himself. "Not bad… not bad at all. So, which one are you? I must speak with-"
Gae Bolg hit him again.
"Will you-" the old body broke off as the new one emerged and took up the conversation, "Stop doing that!"
Gae Bolg hit him again.
"Okay, this-" switch, "Is getting silly."
Naruto sighed. This was indeed getting ridiculous. Was this guy a relative of Hercules or something? Let's see…
Orochimaru's eyes bulged as he saw the nine dragon headed homing lasers flash from Excalibur. "Oh, come on…"
An hour later, Naruto had tried over half his armoury including but not limited to Gae Buidhe (unfortunately the replication had been shattered by the Kusanagi and the wounds had closed), Gae Dearg, three more tries of the Nine Lives including two Nine Lives Blade Works, the holy mirror and brush of Amaterasu, Caliburn (twice), Kubuchiri Houkou, Rho Aias (worth a try), the Yew Bow (no good, but entertaining), Durandal, Curtana, Joyeuse, three of the Masamune swords, the Bruncvik Sword, Skofnung, Suzumebachi, Hrunting again, Cadalbolg one and two, Colada, Tizona, Kring, Glamdring, Sting, a Morgoth dagger, White Death (the sniper rifle of the relatively recent Archer class spirit Simo Häyhä), Hyorinmaru, Senbonzakura, Shinso, Kanshou and Byakuya, Gram, Arondight, both Excalibur, the Vimana (dropped on Orochimaru's head), Zangetsu, the Argon Coin, Gram, Aestus Domus Aurea (Naruto didn't know that even counted as a weapon, but he dropped it on Orochimaru and it seemed to shut him up for a few seconds), Shamshir-e Zomorrodnegar, Melethling Thuận Thiên, Merodach, Tsumugari and at least fifty three Gae Bolg.
Orochimaru, meanwhile, was rapidly approaching the five hundred mark for his regenerations and could feel his Chakra dipping. He didn't want to have to use the Eight Branches technique, his plans would prefer the exam to continue, but this damn brat was just not tiring!
Naruto finally remembered that he had another weapon available that inhibited magical healing, and decided to use it before he ran out of swords, letting Orochimaru get used to his chucking Gae Bolg and work out a counter.
Speaking of… he threw yet another Spear of Impaling Barbed Death, ran to about two hundred feet off (Two more Gae Bolg buying him time) and Traced his bow, then Harpe, and Broke the gorgon killing holy sword.
Orochimaru, upon seeing the incoming bolt of light, summoned a Triple Rashomon that managed to block the attack from killing him but still gave him a punctured lung from the shrapnel. He was incandescent with rage when he regenerated and the wound was still there, before deciding to retreat until he could sort out the problem.
Around this time, Sakura came back to look for Naruto, finding him in the middle of a sea of overlapping craters and smashed trees. She guided him over to where Sasuke was sleeping off the effect of the Cursed Seal's implantation.
Naruto looked once at the Cursed Seal on Sasuke's neck, and Traced a Rule Breaker. Holding it carefully so as not to even touch himself with the blade, he nicked Sasuke' skin.
Orochimaru felt a faint tug at the back of his mind, but ignored it in favour of keeping his left lung held together with Chakra alone.
Sasuke's Curse Seal imploded instantly and he awoke with a gasp.
"Well, Sasuke, planning on napping any longer?" Naruto snarked.
Sasuke scowled, before getting up and heading for the tower with the rest of his team beside him.
Team Seven were third fastest getting to the tower, and also the third fastest ever on the second test. Naruto managed to peg Anko with another Rule Breaker while she looked in on the three teams of Genin who had finished so quickly, and after nearly returning the favour she was talked out of her 'revenge' by Naruto pointing out that if Rule Breaker cut someone it removed all contracts or seals with no ill effects. Anko had checked her neck, gasped, looked at Naruto's whisker marks and then at Rule Breaker, shuddered, and started calling him 'sama' in gratitude for removing the Curse Seal.
He wasn't sure what to think of that.
Sasuke vs. Yoroi
"So what was this guy's skill again?" asked Sasuke, as his opponent slid down the wall.
Kabuto chuckled faintly from the balcony. "He focuses on Chakra draining techniques, so… yeah, he's crap on his own."
Sakura vs. Ino
"Well, forehead girl? Got anything to – YIPE!"
Ino jumped away frantically as three explosive tags cratered the floor near where she had been standing.
Sakura tore another four off the roll she carried in a pouch, lobbing them attached to kunai in a fan that Ino barely dodged. "I have quite a few of these, thanks."
Ino tried her possession technique, only to be rebuffed by a giant mental projection of Sakura's inner mind. Carrying explosive tags.
"Er… sensei," Choji ventured, "Is Sakura going off the deep end?"
Asuma nodded sadly. "It happens to a lot of powerful ninja, though… she just needs to learn how to hide it."
After Sakura was (barely) stopped from bringing the roof down, she was informed that she had not advanced thanks to displaying signs of unbalanced behaviour. And that there were going to be dignitaries at the Chunin finals, so levelling the place would be frowned upon.
Many Genin took careful note of the first part.
Temari vs. Kiba
Temari neatly sidestepped the two chakra drills and blew Kiba into the wall with a fan based boost to his already accumulated speed. He was out for the count. It was kinda sad, really… Temari was damn good and not a happy matchup for anyone.
Naruto vs. Tenten
"So, my hip rival! What is Naruto's main area of skill?" Gai asked boisterously as the two Genin took their places in the arena.
"Maa, did you say something?"
"Damn you, Kakashi! It does not matter, though, Tenten's skill in ranged weapons will win the day against your pupil!"
Kakashi's eye widened. "Ranged… weapons?"
Gai nodded, oblivious. "Her skill is such that she can hit a hundred out of a hundred times!"
Kakashi, Sakura and Sasuke turned as one to the arena.
"Raising twin dragons!"
"Complete trace… standby! Removing stops! Complete trace… continuous fire!"
Kakashi gathered up his genin in his arms and ran for the door. "That's our cue to get the hell out!"
Clang! Clang! Clack! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clack! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clack! Clang! …
Weapons fountained into the air, from swords both mundane and legendary to scythes, spears, kunai and masses of shuriken.
Almost ten minutes later, the sound of steel hitting steel faded away and the spectators peeked over the edge of the walkway.
What they saw was a ground absolutely covered with weapons. Everything from senbon, to kunai, to swords, all the way up to a gargantuan axe eleven feet long, a length of chain, a small theatre and a nine foot glowing purple flowerlike shield.
Naruto stood over Tenten, a sword of impossible sharpness crossed with an invisible blade of wind in a scissor shape over Tenten's throat.
Tenten nodded absently, staring at her opponent. Looked like she had some planning to do…
The next match didn't take place for three hours, as it took that long for the weapons to be cleared up.
Naruto was drawn against Neji in the finals.
The girl stood tall, glowing with the light of her recent summons. "I ask of you, are you my… Oh, it's you. Another spar?"
Naruto nodded to the King of Knights. "It's hard for me to find someone around here who uses weapons that's good enough. That Hayate chap, maybe, but he looks like he wouldn't appreciate it if I accidentally smashed his sword. I don't have that problem with you, Saber-chan."
Arturia drew Invisible Air. "Sounds good. First touch?"
"You know as well as I that I'm essentially invulnerable with Avalon and Tamana-no-Mae in my body, while if I use Invisible Air too it can't actually damage your armour. I say we fight until we're exhausted."
Saber nodded, and then flashed into an attacking combination. Naruto brought around his own blade, and the fight was on.
Tenten took notes from the branches of a nearby tree. "That's just not good… he seems to know this girl far too well. And I could never match that insane speed…"
She broke off as Naruto lost an arm, broke combat for a moment and seemingly regenerated it, then vaporized the lost appendage as if it had never been.
Within a minute, she was half convinced she'd imagined it.
Naruto stood on top a small mountain about ten miles from Konoha proper, bow Traced and an arrow on the string.
Attacks that couldn't possibly miss were all well and good, but he needed to keep up his aim with normal weapons too. And find out what happened when he fired certain Broken Phantasms.
He fired the arrow and looked into a Traced crystal ball copied from the Hokage's. Five miles and only an inch out. Not terrible…
Alright, enough of that. Time to blow stuff up.
With a gesture, he formed a Broken Senbonzakura, loaded it onto the bow and let fly, watching with interest as the Gokei technique fired with the impact point as the epicentre. Interesting…
Pity he couldn't use the really big stuff, but then he was anticipating another anti bandit mission or something to Suna soon. It would let him test out some weapons he'd never dared use even when fighting Orochimaru (And he'd tried everything that was anti castle or below that could conceivably help, and quite a few anti army), and let him do it without flattening anywhere inhabited.
Ah well. He Broke White Death and fired it, this time as the rifle it was supposed to be. The stock and barrel dissolved, and the area hit by the bullet instantly froze completely solid – no heat at all - to a radius of a hundred feet. Neat. Neater still as the wind currents in the area, despite being mere breezes, were still enough to shatter the blast area into powder.
Better be careful with that one.
"Gentlemen. This is a mission of the utmost importance. An operative has vanished completely, and he should not be on any mission outside the village at this time. The briefing is in front of you, that is all."
The ANBU squad nodded in unison, and Flickered off into the village. After a soundless discussion, Shigeru Hyuga took point and began to quarter the village for chakra concentration on the right magnitude.
"I suppose I should appreciate your interest, but-"
"Quiet! You are making it longer before I get shiny weapon jutsu!"
Naruto wriggled slightly. He was tied up… quite impressively, and in so much rope he could barely move from the weight. Even were he not hanging from the ceiling.
"Look, my affinity is the only thing that makes my skill possible. Anyone else, it takes far too long to get an idea of the inner structure of even the simplest, most mundane weapon to-"
"I said quiet! And there's a reason I investigated to find out about this lab, it's got Bloodline Transfer equipment!" Tenten cackled in a most uncharacteristic manner. "Nothing will keep me from the precious, oh yes…"
Naruto mentally sighed. This was not the most fun way to spend the last weekend before the Finals.
If I could, I'd give her Gate of Babylon and be done with it.
"Where have you been, Naruto?" Shikamaru asked curiously.
Naruto rubbed his aching wrists. "I'd rather not talk about it."
I'm going to have to buy Tenzo a drink sometime soon… hell, the whole of his team…
"Naruto Uzumaki vs. Neji Hyuga!"
Naruto traced Durandal. It was a good weapon to start with, as it had no power drain to maintain its' edge.
"Your little tricks will be no match for the power of the Byakugan and the Gentle Fist!"
Ah, Neji was an arrogant one. Those were always fun.
"Eight trigrams sixty-four palms!"
Who would have thought a slap fight would hurt so much?
Naruto staggered back to his feet, and – after a few false starts – flared his Chakra to cancel the effects of the Gentle Fist strikes. Avalon was good, but not perfect.
Oh, what the hell. It's supposed to be an exhibition match.
"I am the bone of my sword.
Steel is my body, and Fire is my blood.
I have created over a thousand blades-"
"What are you doing?" Neji demanded, suddenly suspicious.
"Unaware of loss,
Nor aware of gain,
Withstood pain to create many weapons.
Holding back the mistakes of others.
That is my right and my obligation.
My whole life shall be…
Unlimited Blade Works."
A ring of fire spread from Naruto to the very limit of the battlefield, bringing change with it. A field of swords, under a blood red sun and a tired sky.
Neji's eyes told him this was no illusion, and if it was, if the academy dead last could craft an illusion on par with the efforts of the Mad Eyes… that would be worse.
"What is this, Naruto?"
The genin smiled sadly. "It's my soul. My inner world, made real." He reached out a hand, and a beautiful shining sword in a blue and gold scabbard smacked into it. "This is my deepest core, the layer that contains who I really am… and I use it as a battlefield. Does that shock you, Hyuuga?"
Neji simply gaped.
"Ah well, so much for direct conversation. If you'll excuse me for a second… Avalon!"
The scabbard dissolved into motes of faerie fire. A breath of wind carried the smell of honeysuckle and grass to Neji.
"Neji… this is private, so I'll share something with you. You're not the only one with a seal dictating your life." Naruto glanced up at the ruddy glow of the sun. "Suffice to say, I accept mine because it serves a purpose, and in that I'm better off than you. But there's no hope mine will ever be removed… it's too important."
Now he grinned, and traced a crooked dagger. "That's one way that you have the advantage."
Neji tried to fend off Naruto's advance, but it was like fighting smoke. Every blow he launched with his insane speed just failed to connect, like the other genin was dodging back just at the instant of the strike and all Neji hit was air.
Finally he was pinned against a massive shield in the field of weapons, and desperately resorted to the Kaiten.
The sword in his foe's right hand sliced through the Kaiten like it was paper, and the slim dagger sailed through that impossible rip in the Hyuuga's ultimate defence.
To the spectators, it was as if fire girdled the scene for a minute, blocking the view, and then receded to leave the Hyuga prodigy on the floor with Naruto pulling a dagger back out of his shoulder.
Sasuke managed to injure Gaara with his first Chidori for the day, but all that managed to do was send him completely mad.
Orochimaru gave the signal, and the invasion was on.
"Old man! Where do you want me?"
Sarutobi praised the heavens. He didn't have to go after both threats.
"Naruto, neutralize the Suna Jinchuuriki!"
Well, that was a tall order. What do I have that could possibly take care of a Jinchuuriki?
Wait, got it.
"Ku ku ku… well, teacher? Impressed? I've managed to overcome old age itself, as well as bring back the dead to… fight…"
Orochimaru tailed off, his eyes fixed on the sight to his side.
Sarutobi looked as well, and blanched.
Naruto was standing on the rooftop, holding his enormous bow and with a sword nocked to it. The sword was a simple daito of gloss black, with the guard the symbol for ban – but even as he watched, it reformed into an arrow of matte black, red tinged… something.
The red glow was beginning to intensify, and it seemed to both legendary shinobi that this could not be a good thing.
Naruto was aiming dead straight at the form of the Shukaku, to be sure, but he'd missed the slight distortion in the air from the fact he was inside the shield.
"Orochimaru," Sarutobi asked, a slight tremor in his voice, "What would happen if an explosion big enough to destroy the village of Konoha went off inside the barrier here?"
"Well, it would contain most of the explosion but then fail, I think. Though that would mean that we personally would be completely obliterated. Right down to the atoms – oh. Is that the brat who fought me in the forest?"
The Third nodded. "And now he's aiming at a target he's not close enough to that he'll worry about the blast size."
Orochimaru clapped his hands against his forehead for a moment. "Right, new plan." He stepped over to the nearest corner of the barrier. "I never liked Jirobo anyway…"
The Kusanagi sword went through the Four Corners seal and killed the indicated member of the Sound Four, collapsing the barrier.
Two seconds later the Broken Tensa Zangetsu flew high and far, into the forest around Konoha, and detonated in a massive pyre of red tinted black flames.
Fortunate that Sakura and Sasuke had spotted Naruto winding up the shot, really. They'd evacuated the area of everyone but Gaara.
Even so, it was bad enough. The enormous Getsuga Tenshou scythed the forest flat for two kilometres in every direction and turned the great majority of the mass of the Shukaku into glass.
Oh, and Orochimaru got hit with another Gae Bolg.
"I am seriously getting pissed off with gak."
Rule Breakers destroyed the resurrected Hokages, and Orochimaru decided to call a retreat.
"You… they do not fear you?"
"Some of them fear me, some of them hate me, everyone I've worked with just considers me handy to have around. You change people's opinions by doing things, and just not killing people will have an effect eventually."
"Thank you. I… will try. I hope that mo-my prisoner… does not intervene."
"Just tell it I'll deal with it personally if it tries to escape again."
Gaara's eyes lost focus for a second. "It… is whimpering. That is not normal."
"Normal is overrated."
"Just so I can be absolutely clear, those people left on the iceberg are all enemies, yes?"
Kakashi nodded. They'd just finished evacuating the film crew.
"Right." The new chunin – one of three, Sasuke and Shikamaru also having been promoted – stretched out his right arm.
"Er, Naruto? We are still near the iceberg."
"Right, yeah, gotcha. Ryujin Jakka!"
The iceberg melted. All at once, like it was an ice cube dropped into a blast furnace.
"Naruto…" Kakashi's one visible eye turned itself into what somehow seemed to be a smile. "Do we need to have that talk about restraint again?"
"Kakashi – sensei, a question." Naruto stared at the train. "Is everyone on that train an enemy?"
Kakashi answered in the affirmative absently, realized what he'd just said and dove to the floor. Sasuke and Sakura noticed the signs and followed suit, with the rest of the people on the Konoha-nin's side also getting the idea after the boy started doing the same thing that had melted the iceberg.
This time, instead of a katana he formed a strange, drill-shaped sword.
"Yes, good…" muttered Kidoumaru as the Sound Three beat Sasuke into the ground with their Cursed Seals' power. "You want this upgrade to your character, don't you?"
Sasuke grimaced from the floor. "No, I don't."
Tayuya blinked. "What the **** did you just say?"
"I said I didn't want it. There are no cheap powerups, everything has a price. The Dobe," Sasuke chuckled at the strangeness of applying the term to his fellow chunin, "told me about what happened to him when he got his power. He had a decade of war, loss, heartbreak… He sweated for that skill of his. My Sharingan is the same. Activating it is risky, so many of my clan died trying to activate it, and it messes with your head if it's on too long. You start forgetting that the speed things move in the Sharingan isn't natural, you get sloppy…"
The Sound Three listened with mounting incredulity. They'd been told he would be easy to convince, power mad, not… this. He sounded sensible.
"And then there's my sensei. He lost his first true friend and a family heirloom in the mission that ultimately got him one of my clan's eyes. And as for the-"
Sakon clubbed the Last Uchiha over the head with a log. "Let's just put him in the barrel and run."
"Naruto! Sasuke is missing, we believe he may have been kidnapped!"
Naruto traced a familiar daito so black it looked like an absence in space, except where the light caught it. "Direction?"
"North and slightly west. We believe they are headed for the Valley of the End-"
The poor abused sound barrier around Konoha shattered once again.
Kidoumaru held up an arm. "The retrieval team's coming! They just broke the ten kilometre perimeter seal I left – huh, that was both layers so close together I almost missed it."
Tayuya considered. "Slow them the **** down, ugly."
"Yeah, yeah. Curse seal level two active."
The elite ninja's body changed unpleasantly to take on the traits of a spider, and he drew back his bowstring, nocking an arrow spun from silk and chakra. He would show this 'Archer' who was truly best with a bow!
Broken Sting blasted him into pieces.
Naruto technically didn't even break stride, though having to dispel Tensa Zangetsu and lose it's speed boost was still annoying.
"****! Couldn't three eyes have actually delayed him?" Tayuya muttered to herself, drawing her flute. "Hey, double header! Go on ahead to the RV point!"
She jumped up into a tree to lay an ambush, and barely missed being skewered by an arrow flashing past.
Ukon and Sakon needed no telling twice.
Tayuya discovered seconds later, to her cost, that Suzumushi's cry deafened her special chakra constructs – and the backup strings weren't much help either, as Naruto absorbed the construct chakra into Derfflinger.
That was as much as he could do without staying to engage – and hence falling behind – so he darted after the remaining Sound ninja, firing a Parthian shot from the bow of Grishnark as he vanished into the north. Maybe she'd be useful to interrogate, and she wasn't going anywhere with that bow's arrow pinning her to the trunk.
Sakon skidded to a halt and began watching his brothers' back, as Ukon handed the barrel with the unconscious Sasuke in to Kimmimaro. "Run. Now."
Kimmimaro nodded and turned to leave, just as a loud BOOM echoed through the forest and Sakon shattered into ice shards.
Naruto skidded to a halt and fired White Death from the hip, taking out Ukon, then his last two shots in the clip collided with a quick barrage of bones from Kimmimaro.
The last Kaguya closed his eyes briefly. "You won't be able to stop me. I live only as a weapon and a tool for Orochimaru – sama."
Bones salvoed at Naruto, but he blocked them with Rho Aias and began to chant.
Kimmimaro blinked. Was this strange chuunin… reciting poetry?
…unlimited blade works!
Fire and wind reshaped the world.
Naruto gestured to the sky, with the red sun near one horizon and a yellow one across from it. "You're not a weapon, Kimmimaro. If you were, I'd know your history and your form from merely looking at you. As I did for all these weapons in here. Some of them are primarily something else, maybe, but all of them fit the definition of weapon. See that red sun? That's the Kyuubi no Kitsune, known to another world as Tamana-no-Mae. Her treatment in this world qualifies her as a weapon, though in that other she was an empress."
Kimmimaro looked around, interested. "So that bone club there?"
"The first weapon, Ug. There is Orochimaru's sword, the Kusanagi, and that's Excalibur, greatest weapon born of this or any other world."
Orochimaru's servant nodded. "I see. Well, I must fight you, despite this little display. But tell me, what's the yellow sun?"
A gourd appeared on Naruto's back, and sand cloaked him. "All the tailed beasts are weapons. Tell you what, Kimmimaro. I'll end Unlimited Blade Works, and fight you with only this legendary weapon and one other, the one I can never relinquish, Avalon."
"I don't want to kill you. And I think I can find you a healer. So, here are the stakes. You win, and I won't stop you from taking Sasuke, he'll have to escape Otogakure before I get involved again. I win, and you come with me to Konoha so we can sort your problem out."
Sasuke made disapproving noises from the barrel.
Gaara came over the hill to see a vast devastated area, covered alternately in sand and bones so like those of dinosaurs that it looked like a palaeontologist's dream.
His eyebrow quirked down. "That's my style."
Naruto and Kimmimaro panted in exhaustion near the centre. Both were essentially out of chakra, Kimmimaro's style having forced Naruto to activate Avalon on more than one occasion and use Shukaku's full power twice.
The Kaguya gasped out, "Is this a draw then?"
Naruto shook his head, and dissolved into sand.
With a sudden clonk, he cold-cocked Kimmimaro with the gourd, the last of his power having allowed him to suna shunshin behind the warrior.
The battle over, he reopened his link to Tamana-no-Mae, and refilled his reserves in bare seconds. He'd been scrupulous about his word.
The Hokage summoned Naruto into his office. "Naruto. We have received word from Suna that Gaara is in trouble. Something about being kidnapped by a faction inside the government and some blather about "ultimate weapon".
Naruto nodded. "I'll be there in minutes."
Sarutobi frowned. "How?"
In reply, Naruto Traced the Vimana outside the window. "It can go quite a bit faster than sound."
The Hokage shook his head in wonder. "Is there anything you can't do?"
He grinned. "Restraint!"
Orochimaru sighed. The Crystal Release was useful, but he so wanted his Sharingan eyes. Maybe he should have tried going after Itachi again?
No, no point. That boy was worse than Hanzo the Salamander crossed with Pein.
"Maybe I should try getting that weapon user child to fight him… well, it's worth a try."
"Tsunade Senju, you are hereby requested to return to Konoha for the purpose of healing the badly injured recent inductee, Kimmimaro Kaguya."
The Slug Princess snorted. "What's in it for me?"
Jiraiya gestured Naruto forward. "The kid here can settle your debts."
"Oh, really? How? Those debts add up to enough money to buy Konoha."
"I have A ranked luck and A+ Golden Rule. Give me ten minutes in a casino and we'll be done."
AN: That's as far as I did, several months ago. Don't think I'll be expanding this, Vulpine's a lot easier, but you never know.
A couple of interesting ideas here are White Death (as explained; Simo Hayha was probably the best sniper in history) and the idea of the red sun in UBW being the Kyuubi.