Chapter 3: Saisho no Hana Saku (First Bloom)

As days passed and Team Seven performed more and more missions, though to their chagrin none of them were more than a glorified chore, all members save Naruto noticed something strange about the blonde.

No, it wasn't how he didn't act like a complete retard, or that he had gotten over his crush on Sakura (which he hadn't, he was simply too deep into thinking about his jutsu to really think about her).

It was how quick he was at growing stronger and stronger.

It was as if every day he became visibly more skilled.

Normally, that would delight a teacher, especially one as bored and inactive as Kakashi. After all, if his student grew so fast on his own, that left more time for Icha Icha, right?

But Naruto was anything but normal.

He had been worse than an idiot, he had been the most retarded student in the whole damn Academy! And now you expect Kakashi to not be worried when the boy suddenly seemed to gain insight and power that he shouldn't have?

Preposterous! He cared for each and every one of his students! He knew everything there was to know about them!

Well, not really, he knew far less than he'd like to admit, but he still cared for his brats. They were his brats. Until they made Chuunin anyway, where he could just dump them to someone else or something.

Icha Icha comes first. Always.

Still, it was worrying for the Copy Ninja, and the rest of the team as well. Even though Sasuke would never admit it, he was curious, and so was Sakura. The latter was more along the lines of annoyance, since she kind of missed the old Naruto (and his constant work at keeping her happy), but let's just say she cared. In some convoluted, incomprehensible way that tsundere girls do.

Kakashi was more worried about the source of the intellect. Or more like how furry that source was.

Could it be the Kyuubi? Could the demon have broken free? Could it be twisting the boy into an omnicidal maniac with a fetish for slaughter?

All joking aside, he was worried. So, he did the logical thing…

No, not stalk, who stalks people anyway (far away, one certain Hyuuga sneezed and promptly fainted from embarassement)? No, he acted like a logical adult (one of the few times so far in his life) and decided to ask Naruto.

"Say, Naruto… You've been improving rather fast lately. Care to share the secret to success?" He asked kindly, or as kindly as a man can ask with seventy-five percent of their face covered.

"Uhh… I guess I shower lots?" Cue blinking. "No wait, that's the other line, I guess it's 'cause I like, work out a lot and then eat a lot and then sleep and then work out a lot. I do this all day, so it's really good for me."

Kakashi sighed and sat down next to the boy. It wasn't about physical growth he was worried, anybody could work on that, it was the mental growth he cared for. "Not that. I mean, you are smarter now, you don't shout as much and you actually make sense. It's not a bad thing, I'm just curious, that's all."

"Well, I don't shout that much 'cause my head hurts most of the time from the training, if I shouted as well, it would be killing me, sensei. But, I guess it's because I started reading for a change. Hell, I'm still reading right now."

Kakashi, and the other two members of the team, blinked. "Naruto, you're not reading right now. You don't have a book in front of you to read from." He drawled out slowly, trying to make sense of the blonde.

"Sure I am! Wait, no, I'm not. Well, I am, but it's not I, it's me and… well…" He stopped ranting and took a look at Sakura's face, she was almost the most expressive of them, seeing as how she lacked a stick up her bum and had more than fifty-percent of her face revealed. "You think I'm crazy, right? Well, I'm not! I'm not crazy! I really am reading! It's about the Second Hokage and various fungi indigenous in Rai no Kuni!" He shouted, getting up suddenly and almost sending Kakashi rolling away.

"What does the Hokage have to do with fungi?" Sakura's question came, along with a 'I think you should see the nice people in the white coats' look.

One has to wonder how so many words can be transferred with a look and why language was made if looks could say so much, but I digress.

"It doesn't. They are completely unrelated. If it was the First Hokage, I'd wonder, but the second had nothing to do with it, he never even went in Rai no Kuni!" Naruto kept on going crazy. "Don't you see?" There was a frantic look in his eyes now and Kakashi was slowly, calmly moving closer to the blonde. The boy needed help…

"Easy Naruto, calm down and talk about it calmly. I'm sure we can all resolve it peacefully…" Well, even Kakashi had learned a bit of psychology.

"Calmly? CALMLY? You think I'm crazy! You all think I'm crazy don't you?" Naruto backed away. "But you are the crazy ones! Who the hell reads about the Second Hokage and various fungi indigenous in Rai no Kuni anyway?"

Sasuke decided to end this with his characteristic, one-word way. "You."

"What? No! They are completely unrelated things! I'm reading on the Second Hokage and on various fungi, but it's not I who's reading!"

At that moment, Kakashi wondered if Naruto had taken a 'hands on' attempt to research mushrooms and ate a few of them. Pretty-pretty colors and all that nice things.

Giggle. No bad Kakashi, think about the wonders of psychotropic flora while in huge orgies another time! Your student needs you!

"Naruto… How can you be reading books when you don't have one on you?" He tried to bring the discussion back to normalcy.

"I can't, of course. How could I?" Naruto deadpanned. "But I'm not reading, me is, or was. Guess me ran out of chakra and popped. Damn, wanted to know what happened next…"

Wheels began to turn in Kakashi's mind as he took in that last sentence. "Naruto… who exactly is the I that was studying?"

"Eh? A Kage Bunshin of mine, what, who did you think it was? It's just so confusing to name them so I just call them 'Me'. Do you know how hard it is to name one thousand 'yous' every time you summon? One name is enough."

The crow that flew over the stunned team sounded awfully like cawing 'Idiot, idiot', but Kakashi tried to ignore it in favour of sighing.

"Oh, you were using the Kage Bunshin's secret, the ability to transfer memories when the clone dispels… I was worried there for a second. Still, how did you realize it so early? It usually takes much longer to find that little trick…" It was a legitimate question. Mostly due to the fact that it took Kakashi several months to realize it, how could an idiot find it out in less than sixty days?

Instead of an answer however, Kakashi was presented with a nasty, dirty glare.

"You… kicked me in the 'gnads." Naruto stated, hostility evident in his voice. "Even though I never attacked you personally, in the test, you kicked a clone in the 'gnads. It was kind of hard to miss that particular memory Kakashi-sensei…"

Feeling the sweat-drop growing on his head, Kakashi decided to let the matter drop, he didn't want to be pranked any time soon, if ever. "A-ah… I see… Well, I'm really sorry…"

"If you're sorry about it then do something!" Naruto yelled suddenly, giving the clear image of him being bipolar. "As penance for giving me phantom pains for a week,… YOU BETTER TEACH ME SOMETHIN'! Got it?"

Naruto wasn't considered Konoha's most unpredictable shinobi for nothing; he's the only gennin that would threaten a jounin… without any substantial blackmail material to boot either!

Still, his declaration had the wanted effect of appearing so hilarious that it brought the entire team (sans a confused Naruto) to laughter.

"Oi, why are you laughing? Oi!" He tried to get it but… Smarter he might have become, but also he had become more insane.

But that did not prevent him from working on his new 'leaf jutsu', maybe he should call it 'haton (leaf release)' instead of Konoha Ninpo? Would certain types of leaves work better? Maybe if he could infuse leaves with his chakra, in a raw form, and then withdraw it or shape it after? Then again, he had so much chakra it would be pointless to do so.

So, for now, he worked on making his Konohagakure smaller so he could control it easier. Wouldn't do to blind his team while trying to do it to his enemy, right? But for now… "Hey, Kakashi-sensei, I saw you Kawarimi at the test when Sasuke threw some kunai at you, but you didn't use any handseals! How did you do it?" It was a necessary part for his new technique, or collaboration jutsu as it were.

"Hm? Oh that, it's simple really. Once you use a technique enough, you can start removing handseals from it until you don't need them anymore. Don't expect to do it any time soon, you'd have to do it hundreds of times." Kakashi tried to squash Naruto's hopes.

It didn't work; the blonde just grinned and thanked his sensei, his crazy mind already working on iy. Hundreds of times? No problem; he was hundreds of people!

"Speaking of Naruto… how did you know where I was in that mess, Sasuke?" Asked Kakashi, he was still curious.

The raven-haired boy nodded grimly. "Seems the dobe has better control than we thought; he made them converge on you mostly. Not to say it was much better for me, but you looked like they had completely covered you…"

While Kakashi hummed, Naruto instead had his eyes glaze. Covered by leaves, sticking on him… Stiff leaves, hard as leather or almost steel, an armor that wouldn't be near as cumbersome since he could control it with his chakra.

A small, giggle-like chuckle escaped his lips.

JUTSU WERE AWESOME! More! More jutsu! More ideas hopping around in his head like rabbits on speed!

It was safe to say that every member of Team Seven wisely backed away from the less-than-sane blonde.

"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!" Several dozen clones appeared, once again astounding poor Kakashi with the amount of chakra the boy had, before running off, identical crazed smiles on their faces.

Admittedly, seeing so many crazed blondes running with a purpose towards some unknown objective… It made most of Konoha write their last wills; the boy had finally snapped!

But the truth was that he was sane, for the most part anyway. Simply, he had more and more ideas on how to use leaves.

Still, he had to finish his early projects first. Amusingly enough, his ougi (he still refused to go by Sasuke's suggestion of hissatsu waza) would probably be harder to make, if much harder to actually execute.

Which meant he had to use the Kawarimi no Jutsu thousands of times first to cut off the handseals required for its use. And then he'd have to do the same with his Konohagakure. Of course, the second jutsu was more in order to master his ougi, rather than to create it in the first place, but still it was a necessary part.

Back in his home, another clone read a book on wind manipulation. Having swiped it from a retired chuunin's garbage bin, he was deep into it. After all, he had found out that he had a wind affinity, which made Konohagakure no Jutsu possible to make in the first place, but he still had to get better if he wanted to perform the rest of his techniques.

"Wind is an element that is all around us, we breathe it with every breath we take, we feel it on our skin and we need it for our very survival. However, wind-users, not merely those knowing wind jutsu, but those who can use it freely, are by far the rarest in the shinobi community. They are at their most common in Kaze no Kuni, but even there they are few compared to Katon users."

"Many have speculated why that is so, why it is that an element so common and so in touch with everything is so hard to manipulate. Could it be some countermeasure to its great power? Could it be that we lack understanding of that force?"

"No. It is neither. The reason stems from the physicality and yet ethereal nature of wind. Despite it having a physical representation, it is still treated as an energy much like fire or lightning. It is this dual nature that makes it so hard to understand and use."

"As a widely accepted belief, the first step to learning to use wind chakra is to try to cut a leaf in half. However, that is merely a primer on its combat uses, a 'quick and dirty' way to quickly learn to use wind chakra for combat. True wind manipulation on the other hand uses the power of the wind for more things."

"As every element has its niche, something that it is inherently good at, Wind's most common ability is 'cutting'. It is easy to create and launch a blade of wind, an invisible edge that cuts through all in its path, be it wood, stone or steel. One can easily reinforce a weapon with wind chakra, making them much sharper and increasing the cutting edge, more experienced ninja can cut an enemy several feet away. However, it need not be a solid blade, once a certain level of mastery is reached, one can create a 'vacuum', a place with no wind pressure that, for lack of better words, 'implodes' the target area outwards."

"However, that is not all the wind can do. With proper manipulation, one can enhance their speed, reduce falling speed, even deflect incoming projectiles and techniques."

"It is due to the constant presence and flexibility of wind that its handseal is called 'Dragon', the ever-present force. It also signifies the wisdom needed to wield the element as even a small miscalculation, especially in new jutsu, can damage the user far more than the enemy."

The clone hummed as it read and re-read the passages. It had done so several times, but it couldn't help it. There was something in these lines, some hidden fact, just under the tip of its tongue that it just couldn't voice.

It felt like a large hint, a huge idea, was hitting it on the head and it just couldn't put it to words!

It was aggravating...

"Hmm... reinforce the blade... wait what?" The clone's eyes widened as it read it again and again. Could it mean that Wind-users were good for 'Reinforce' jutsu? But then, almost right above it said about launching blades and such, that's an Emit-type's signature way! "No... No way! No freaking way!" He shouted. "Wind manipulation is so hard because it's using 'Combine' type archetypes!" Then a whoop of joy as it realized he could very well be one of the few destined ones who can actually use, or better yet make, Combine type jutsu! "HELL YEAH! I'm the best dattebayo!"

But for now he had more work to do, he knew what its Boss would want; learn how to use wind chakra!

"Aside from the method noted previously on quickly learning how to use wind chakra for cutting, there are several other excercises to be used for budding Wind masters, those that actually want to use their element to the fullest. The first exercise is melding chakra into the air to feel the various currents and how they change. In actuality, this exercise has no ending, it serves to better understand the ever-changing element of wind. The next exercise is to take small, light items and levitate them off your palm, leaves are the best for beginners. Once it feels comfortable to do so, the aspiring wind user may try to use other parts of the body to levitate leaves from, or levitate multiple items at the same time. The third exercise is cutting a leaf in half is the last exercise, even though it becomes usable in jutsu easier than the others. The last once is taking a small amount of water and lifting up small drops of it by sucking away the air above the liquid's surface."

" These techniques teach how to feel the wind, create pressure, create blades and create vacuums in order. Further exercises and techniques involve combining these aforementioned four and increasing their magnitude, though individual villages may possess secret training techniques not easily available. To access those, a master would be needed, this world's most valuable resource."

"Levitate a leaf huh..." Naruto hummed as he took a small leaf and placed it on his palm. That would be awesome since it would train him to use less chakra with his Konohagakure, maybe even figure out what seals to add to the sequence so it can be easily usable by other Konoha ninja.

Then his ingenious/insane mind had another idea; leaves that could levitate... on their own! Maybe he could make them stay there, in the air, without any chakra spending after using the technique. If he could do that, then he could almost walk on air! It would be awesome!

Of course, that would require extensive planning, maybe even a meld with fuinjutsu, since he would need to 'seal' his chakra into the leaf to sustain the levitation.

Hmmm...

Fuinjutsu...

Ideas, ideas everywhere, raise your voices into the air! Shout them out, make a clatter, fill this mind with endless rattle!

The ensuing 'evil' laugh that issued from the 'Demon's House' was foreboding enough that no civilian would approach it for months.

And so it was that Naruto began unleashing clone after clone in an effort to put his ideas to practice. Of course, he knew he couldn't do everything that came to mind, even he couldn't do that. Instead, he used his clones to write down the best ideas and slowly work them out. So, while some clones worked on wind-chakra control, the better to understand which hand seals they should add to Konohagakure, some of them would break off from the others when inspiration struck, write down their ideas, practice them until they could no longer and, if they had more time left, go back to their original training.

Because making techniques required a great amount of understanding, it also meant learning a lot, which in turn forced Naruto to study even more than he had originally planned. He hadn't started on Fuinjutsu, he thought he should start with at least some Konoha Ninpou jutsu, jutsu that would define him and his style before branching out. He was good with multitasking, Kage Bunshin's the ultimate tool for that, but even he had his limits. Or more like, if he learned things that were too diverse from each other, it gave him headaches that made the worse migrane seem like a pleasant lullaby, not to mention possibly also damage his brain. And considering the brain was a necessary part of jutsu making, not to mention living, he was quite keen on keeping it healthy and happy.

So, for now he was content with his 'Haton' or 'Konoha Ninpo', he still wasn't sure what he should name them.

Still, at the end of the day, all this reading did Naruto a lot of good. It didn't smarten him up, but it did mellow him out, it gave him a way to use his common sense and the street smarts he had gained in his short life as a vagrant

Sasuke actually looked at him as if he were more than an insect under the mud under the sole of his sandals.

Sakura-chan still didn't like him much, but at least she tolerated him. That had to mean something, right? Unfortunately for the blonde, it was much less than he hoped it did.

As for Kakashi? The jounin kept getting more and more impressed every day. The gaki might have the most insane ideas, but somehow he still managed to play them just right to make them work.

Which is why Kakashi had them do several D-rank missions every day now, so he could take his brats out for a C-rank early on. Something simple, like taking an item to a village within a time-limit. Nothing much but just enough to let them know of the world beyond the Gates. Who knows, it may even give the brat some more ideas. Granted most of them were insane and impractical, but skills like the Konohagakure were... they were pure gold at the hands of someone who can use them properly.

So, it is obvious that Kakashi's surprise was great when Naruto called him over while on the job, bouncing up-and-down excitedly.

"Kakashi-sensei!Kakashi-sensei! I made a new jutsu! Look, look, look!" He said and showed a leaf floating above his hand.

"You... made a leaf float?" Kakashi deadpanned. He expected more than just a floating leaf but... but... wait, what? There was a distortion on the wind around the leaf? He was lucky he could pick that little detail out, probably because he had something stable to compare it to... "Naruto, what's that technique?" He asked, curious this time.

"Well, well, sometimes, you just run out of shuriken right, or you don't have time to pick them up or something! Or you just want to surprise someone, right? So, I made this! Konoha Ninpo: Konoha Shuriken! I put in my chakra to make it reaaally stiff and then some wind-chakra to give it an edge! Watch this!" Right after, the excited blonde threw the leaf at a tree.

Or rather three inches into the tree.

Kakashi gaped. Imagine an enemy knocking you to the ground. You cower and scramble for help, inconspicuously clawing around for traction. Then you pick up a leaf. As the enemy readies to deliver the final blow... you throw the leaf, straight into their throat! Or any other vital spot for that matter! Instant surprise-counter-killer move!

"Well done Naruto! That's a useful little jutsu, if you can surprise your enemy. Of course, after the first time it's used, no one is going to fall for it of course, but it could help."

Naruto nodded semi-sadly. "I know, but it isn't ready yet..." At Kakashi's inquisitive look, Naruto rubbed the back of his head. "Well, more like, I originally wanted to throw the leaves as well, with my chakra I mean, but I just can't get it right yet. Maybe I need more training, dunno. But I was really thinking about the name, something like 'Konoha Ninpo: Ha-dan (Leaf Ninja Art: Leaf Bullet/Shot)' or something like that... Seems I have to train more..."

Chuckling uncomfortably was all Kakashi could do. It seemed one of the world's most innocent items would soon become something fearsome.

A/N: Next chapter's out, enjoy while it's still hot! Next chapter, we are revealing Naruto's Hissatsu Waza/Ougi/Bank- err, scratch that last one.

Yeah, well, anyway, this fic's light hearted and fun so it's easier to write, but it's not going to be more than that. Of course, if anyone wants to take these jutsu, go right ahead. Just send a PM and I'll send you all the jutsu I've made.

Remember; a review is more important to an author than ten or twenty fav's or alerts! So don't hesitate to review!

Oh, and since I forgot, I guess I have to present the jutsu used so far, right? Here we go:

Konoha Ninpo: Konohagakure no Jutsu (Leaf Ninja Art: Hidden In The Leaves Technique)

Cost: C, Control: C, Rank: C

The Konohagakure no Jutsu picks up surrounding leaves and spins them violently around the target, making it very hard to see in an area surrounding him. Said area is dependant on the chakra used. In comparison to the Mizugakure no Jutsu, the Konohagakure can be at times more powerful and less powerful. Not only does it depend on an external medium (while the Mizugakure requires far less, even in water quantities, a large bottle is usually enough) but also it doesn't conceal as completely. However, unlike the Mizugakure, it ruins more than just the sense of sight, but also the sense of touch and the sense of hearing. Leaves used with the Konohagakure no Jutsu are not ruined and may be used with another technique.

Konoha Ninpo: Konoha Shuriken (Leaf Ninja Art: Leaf Shuriken)

Cost: D, Control: D, Rank: D

One of the easiest Konoha Ninpo possible, however it still requires training with wind chakra to eschew more than a handseal (the others are used to create the wind currents that give the leaves their edge, removing them would make the jutsu pointless). By imbuing one or more leaves with wind chakra to create a wind blade around them and then reinforcing them wtih normal chakra to ensure they will fly as expected and withstand initial impact, the user throws innocent-looking leaves that can actually cut better than shuriken. As a technique it is mostly dependant on the user's skill with shuriken, but it can definitely surprise an enemy. Beyond that, it is mostly used as training to learn how Konoha Ninpo are used. Leaves used this way may or may not be destroyed depending on opposition and supplied chakra. At any rate, the jutsu burns itself out in seconds, so even if they survive, the technique would need to be cast again before throwing them once more.

Konoha Ninpo: Ha-dan (Leaf Ninja Art: Leaf Bullet/Shot)

Cost: D, Control C, Rank C

The improved form of Konoha Shuriken, it is only slightly harder than the original when used with the handseals necessary, but quite a bit harder when used without. The user not only reinforces the leaf's hardness and grants it a wind blade around it, but also creates a small explosive core of wind between the leaf and his hand (or from wherever he chooses to launch them). As a result, the leaves gain superior velocity and speed, allowing them to travel much further than the previous technique. Thanks to the increased range and very little sound (most of it negated by the wind around the leaf), it can even double as a sniping jutsu.

Question: Haton (Leaf Release) or Konoha Ninpo (Leaf Ninja Art)? Either way works with me, just having entirely too much fun messing around with one of the world's most innocent items turned into leathal weapons.


Today, on this 9/6/2012, I, Soulblazer87, do hereby leave this site, possibly forever.

I shall not update this, or any other story.

I shall leave them on, however. Should you desire to follow my stories, do so in my new site of residence: www dot yourfanfiction dot com.