Naruto was walking around the village in the Land of Waves. He could see that everyone was a little happier now that Gato had been dealt with. It was like a veil was lifted and light was returned to the country. Naruto felt happy that he could help with that. Still, his mood was not as happy as the people. He was pretty down about something. It happened earlier today when Naruto went to thank Sasuke for saving him. He was stopped by Sakura. His female teammate gave him a very harsh glare and told him off, blaming him for the condition that Sasuke was in. She then went on to say that he should quit being a shinobi because he was useless. The berating hurt Naruto and he quickly fled the house.
He sighed and thought about what was said to him. He began to think that maybe it was his fault that Sasuke got hurt. It was as the teme said, he should have attacked from outside the jutsu that Haku used. All he really had was the Shadow Clone Jutsu and it did little to help. Maybe Sakura was right, maybe he didn't have what it took to be a ninja.
"It's you!" a voice exclaimed, knocking Naruto out of his funk. He turned to see a woman tending to a ramen stand. Feeling hungry, Naruto made his way to the stand and sat down at it. The woman was smiling at him. "I can't believe that one of our heroes is at my ramen shop. How about a bowl of ramen, on the house?"
"Okay!" Naruto exclaimed and waited for the ramen to come. She served it to him and he dug in. While not as good as Teuchi's, it tasted good. "This is really good."
"Thank you. My father taught me but he was one of the first killed by Gato. I had to learn on the fly. So, why were you walking around?" she asked.
"I'm just thinking about something." Naruto said.
"Secret ninja stuff, I understand. My older brother use to be a shinobi in Hidden Mist Village. He was killed when the Kaguya clan went nuts." She explained. That's when she suddenly got excited. Naruto watched her as she made some noise in the back. She returned later with several scrolls, including one big one. She held it out to him. "Here, consider this a thank you."
"Wow, I couldn't possibly take this." Naruto said.
"Don't worry about it. My brother can't use it and I don't want them anymore. I think that it would be better serving you. You can't let your skills drop right?" She said with a smile. Naruto just blinked owlishly and took the scrolls.
Naruto returned to Tazuna's house with the scrolls in hand. When he entered, he saw Kakashi sitting with a book in his hand. The sensei looked up and saw his blond student with the scrolls.
"What do you got there Naruto?" Kakashi asked.
"Someone handed me some scrolls that use to belong to her brother. I was thinking of giving these to Sasuke as an apology. I messed up sensei when we fought Haku." Naruto said.
"Now Naruto, you shouldn't feel bad just because Sakura said some harsh words to you. You know how she is." Kakashi said.
"Yeah but I still feel bad. I'll give him these smaller ones while I keep this big one." Naruto said. Kakashi just nodded and returned to his reading. Seeing that no one was around, Naruto steeled himself before sitting across from his sensei. "Hey sensei, if I ask you a serious question, will you give me an honest answer?" The question made the copy ninja raise an eyebrow. He put his book away and gave Naruto his attention.
"What do you want to know Naruto?" Kakashi asked.
"Do I have what it takes to be a ninja sensei?" Naruto asked. He was surprised that Naruto asked that question. Usually, he would brush anything that Sakura told him off and continue on. Sakura's words must have really stuck with him. He saw that he was waiting and faced him.
"You don't really fit the mold of a ninja Naruto. You're loud, brash and exposed. You don't use your head and tend to rush into things. You chakra control is still pretty bad but that is because you have so much of it. Your Shadow Clone Jutsu is impressive but you should be a bit more diverse in jutsu." Kakashi said. Naruto looked down at that explanation. "Still, you come up with these amazing plans out of nowhere. You are great when it comes to group battles. I can count on you if things get bad. You have the potential to become great Naruto you just have to focus."
"You really think I can be great?" Naruto asked.
"I truly and honestly think that you can become great Naruto." Kakashi said with an eye smile. He ruffled the boy's hair and was happy to see him smile.
After a week, the team returned to Konoha. After speaking with the Hokage, Kakashi allowed the team to rest for the week. Naruto took this time to follow some advice that Kakashi gave him. He went to see Iruka, who decided to give him some books. They were books on taijutsu, chakra control, genjutsu detection and other various things. Iruka helped him and became his tutor. It was rough but Naruto stuck to it.
He was now sitting on a park bench, looking through a taijutsu manual. The manual had several styles but Naruto found them to be too hard or too stupid. He sighed in frustration and wondered what the hell he was going to do. Suddenly a shadow fell over him. Naruto looked up to see Shikamaru standing before him.
"Hey Naruto, what are you doing with a book?" Shikamaru asked.
"What do you think I'm doing? I was reading." Naruto said.
"No really, what are you doing with a book?" Shikamaru asked again.
"You think that you're so funny, don't ya? Anyway, I was looking through this manual to find a taijutsu style that would fit me. Iruka-sensei is helping me relearn the academy style but that just doesn't suit me." Naruto said.
"Well, good luck with that." Shikamaru said and was about to walk off when Naruto stopped him.
"Hey, do you know anyone who is good at taijutsu?" Naruto asked. Shikamaru paused for a while before looking at him.
"My sensei, Asuma, is pretty good. I can take you to him if you want." Shikamaru said.
"Yeah, that would be really helpful Shikamaru." Naruto said. He stood and followed the Nara heir.
"So, you're looking for a style that would suit you?" Asuma asked. He had a cigarette in his mouth as he faced the two boys. He was surprised that Shikamaru seeked him out until he told him the reason. He looked Naruto over and attempted to decide on what to do. "What about asking Kakashi for help?"
"I would if I could find him. I thought I had him when he went to that store but it turned out to be a straw dummy. I'm using that as a punching bag." Naruto explained.
"Well, I don't know what can help you with. Truth is, I'm not the best taijutsu fighter out here." Asuma informed him.
"Well, do you mind if we spar and you can tell me what I need work on?" Naruto asked. Asuma nodded and the two took fighting stance. The spar lasted for a while as Naruto threw punches and kicks at the bearded jōnin. Asuma was impressed that the boy barely looked winded but he was concerned about Naruto's fighting style, if you could call it that. He would have to ask his father to look into the academy teachers. After another ten minutes, Asuma called for a stop. Naruto was a little confused by why he stopped the spar.
"What's wrong? I still have some energy to burn." Naruto said.
"Yes, I know but I have seen enough Naruto. Just out of curiousity, who was you taijutsu instructor?" Asuma asked.
"It was Mizuki." Naruto answered with a tone. Asuma nodded his head in understanding.
"Ok, here are the facts Naruto. Your taijutsu is horrible and it will take a lot of work to fix. However, I can help you with your stance and footwork. How long do you have before you go back on duty?" he asked.
"Three days." He answered.
"That should be enough time. So, meet me here at noon and we can get started." Asuma said. Naruto nodded and thanked him for his help. He left the training grounds to return home.
Naruto dragged himself home and to his bed. He fell on his mattress with a thud. After a few seconds, he managed to roll onto his back. He stared at the ceiling and released a sigh. He had underestimated Asuma-sensei. He assumed that he was like Shikamaru and would be a little laid back. He learned in these three days that Asuma was not like that at all. The smoking jōnin explained to him that he was going to fix his stance and improve his footwork. He did this in two ways. To improve his stance, he had him assume a stance when his fist was to his face and his arms in tight. His feet were apart slightly. This was to help his defensives as he was not allow any tennis balls to hit his chest or face. Asuma threw the balls at various speeds, confusing and annoying him. He was getting better but was far from perfect.
To improve his footwork, he used the same method only Naruto had to avoid the tennis balls while in the stance Asuma taught him. He enlisted the help of Choji and Shikamaru. The balls came at him at various speeds and volumes, forcing Naruto to move faster. He would trip up and get bombarded but he also improved bit by bit. What made these exercises so exhausting was that they didn't stop until he dropped. Since he always had such high stamina, the exercises seem to go on forever. Still, he was thankful for the training and promised to keep up with it. The Shadow Clone jutsu would help him greatly.
As he laid on his bed, he turned and looked at the wooden scroll he picked up in the Wave. He had forgot about that scroll when he got into his training. He forced himself to get up and made his way to the scroll. He un-rolled it and was surprised to see a symbol. It looked like a big circle with several rings within it. Under it were nine red magatama. He was very confused until he read the words next to it.
To my sons and/or descendents,
My name is Chishiki, known as the Sage of the Six Paths. This scroll is my will and testament to my descendants who will one day gain the eyes of a God. Use this scroll and let my knowledge help you in mastering your new powers. May this scroll also help you in life. Do not allow your power to corrupt the good that I brought to the world. May this help you find and understand everyone and all things. I wish you great success and longevity.
Naruto was scratching his head. Who was the Sage of the Six Paths? Was that someone they talked about in class? He decided to ask Iruka-sensei after his meeting and missions. Maybe he might know something. Unknown to him, a force that was placed in him since birth began to stir. It was as if something was calling to him. He wondered what this feeling was.
Asuma walked into a bar after another D-rank mission. Tomorrow, he would be taking his team on their first C-rank. He felt that they were ready and had asked for one. Shikamaru might be annoyed but he would get over it. Knowing that he would be gone for a while, he decided to get a drink or two with Kurenai. They agreed to meet at this bar. His eyes landed on her but she was not alone. Anko, Kakashi and Genma was with her. She sent him a hidden message which he received. He went up to the table and attacked surprised to see them.
"Hey guys, funny seeing you here." Asuma greeted.
"Hey smoke-stack, are you going to join us?" Anko asked.
"Sure, I'm taking my team on their first C-rank and I can use a few." Asuma said. He sat next to Kurenai and ordered something to drink. As he waited, he attention was grabbed by Genma. "I'm sorry Genma, what were you asking me?"
"I was asking you about your team." Genma said.
"They're interesting. It takes a little to motivate both Shikamaru and Choji. Ino's a little too loud and bossy. In all, they are a great team. What about you guys?" Asuma asked.
"Hinata is still a bit shy but she is improving. Kiba is way too brash and it is a headache to deal with him. Shino is my most trusted student but I wish he would open up more. They all have the ability to be a great team." Kurenai said.
"My team needs a bit of work. Sasuke is arrogant and believes his team to be a burden. Sakura is still very much a fan-girl and does not take things seriously. Naruto is like Kiba in a lot of ways but I am happy to say that he is beginning to take this seriously. Our C-rank was an eye-opener for him and he is doing things to change himself. Iruka has been a great help." Kakashi said.
"Expect some more from the kid Kakashi. He has some potential in him." Asuma said.
"Something I should know?" Kakashi asked.
"He came to me for some help with his taijutsu. I've improved his stance and his footwork. You may want to help him find a style." Asuma said.
"Well then, your drink is on me. Thanks for helping him." Kakashi said. Asuma nodded and the group went into other topics.
Authors' Notes: I would like to apologize to all my fans for my careless act. I deleted this story without good reason and I am very sorry. I have decided to rewrite this story and make it much better than before. There will be more detail in the chapters and much more story. I don't really have a good reason for why I took the story down but that means nothing. I only hope that my reviewers forgive my decision and continue reading. Again, I apologize for my stupid decision and I hope you enjoy the re-write of this story.
If you haven't noticed that the first chapter has changed a lot from the last one. It stays within the realm of what I had but it does have some differences. I did feel that I made Naruto improve a bit to quickly. In the last one I gave him six days of training with Asuma. Even with six days, he couldn't have improved that much. I'm gooing to have Naruto develop at a much slower pace but he with still kick a lot of ass.