disclaimer: don't own Naruto
The two dark clad figures had just appeared behind the group out of an unnatural puddle. They sent a glance at each other and that seemed to be the only thing needed to launch their assault. They took off, a chain connecting the gauntlets on their wrist. The chain proved useful, as they charged the group, they were able to wrap the legendary copy nin in the razor sharp chain and with a vicious pull of their arms, the chain ripped him into a plethora of Kakashi-chunks. Both Sakura and Sasuke were frozen in fear, there sensei was just killed and their teammate was nowhere to be found. Sasuke began to wonder if he had also been killed as he tried to catch up. Sasuke quickly rediscovered his ego and began to charge the duo recklessly, after all, he was an Uchiha, and for some reason, Sasuke thought that made him invincible. As he neared the offending ninja, they moved faster than he could react, and they both backhanded the last Uchiha away like a fly.
Sakura was now panicking, her sensei was dead, her crush was just bitch slapped and although she wouldn't admit it, her only hope was a boy, no, a man named Naruto. The duo charged her, and although she was on the verge of pissing herself, she held her ground. As they drew closer, she closed her eyes and waited for the end.
She waited for what seemed like hours, though it was by a second, until she heard a sound she was unfamiliar with, it sounded like a sword being sheathed, but along with this sound, was the sound of gurgling. Curiosity got the better of her and she opened her eyes to see what it was. What he saw shocked her, in front of her, the two men stood motionless, seemingly frozen in time, with a mixture of shock and fear on their faces. They both toppled over to reveal her "Teammate" Naruto, and the look in his eyes sent her mind deeper into shock. It was the look she had heard her father speak about, the look of a man that just protected something he considered precious, though at the same time it was mixed with something that just didn't fit on Naruto's face, sorrow.
"N-Naruto?" she questioned, then looked at the men that had attacked, a kunai in the base of both of their skulls.
"You both alright?" even his tone seemed like it didn't belong to the blonde idiot that she was teamed with.
"Fine" stated Sasuke with a hint of venom in his voice, just returning from the bitch slapped induced flight.
"Good, then we can continue the mission" stated Naruto as he made three hand signs, when he was done, Kakashi appeared out of nowhere, reading his book "But I think it's time that Tazuna tells us why he lied about the mission details"
-45 minutes later, Hokage's office-
The Sandaime was currently battling the second greatest enemy to mankind, a creature far worse than any experiment created by the traitorous snake Sannin…paperwork. He was absentmindedly wondering how much more paperwork he would have to do if he torched all of the paperwork. He was pulled from his musings as an ANBU appeared before him.
"Lord Hokage, we've just received word from a team on a c-rank, seems the mission has been upgraded to at least an A-rank. What are we to do?" asked the Baki masked ANBU
"What team?" he asked absentmindedly
"Team 7 sir. Though they haven't asked for any help, just for us to retrieve 2 bodies." answered the ANBU
"Ah, makes sense, thank you for the information, you may go now." answered the Sandaime, not showing any worry at all, if it was any other genin team, he would send backup immediately, however, this was Kakashi's team, which meant Naruto was also there, and those two alone could handle almost any A-rank.
-55 minutes later, border of the Land of Fire-
"So we just need to wait for a boat? Well I'm going to take a nap, wake me up when it gets here" stated Naruto as he dropped where he stood and covered his eyes with his Konoha headband.
"How can you just sleep? There's a man out there trying to get us all killed and you're about to take a nap?" asked Sakura, it wasn't yelling at him, she was truly curious as to how Naruto could be so calm. After all, Tazuna had informed them about Gato and his criminal empire after the demon brothers attacked, who, by the way, Naruto killed.
"Yep" was all he answered with as he started to drift off.
"Sorry Naruto, your beauty sleep will need to wait, it seems the boat has arrived" stated a bored Kakashi, though he was smirking under his mask.
"Crap." was all Naruto said as he got up and made his way over to the shore where the boat was about to land.
-35 minutes later, shore of the Land of Waves-
"Naruto, formation K" was the command delivered by Kakashi. Naruto nodded and shot off into the woods next to the path they would be traveling.
"Why is Naruto going into the woods? Wouldn't he be better with us?" asked Tazuna
"No, Naruto specializes in stealth, information gathering and being a juggernaut to hit the enemy after the fight starts, that's why he wasn't with us until the demon brothers attacked, he was watching from a distance." explained Kakashi "His stealth is also to the point that he could sneak up on my replacement and current ANBU commander, an ANBU named Tora."
-42 minutes later, 10 minutes from Tazuna's house-
"EVERYBODY DOWN" yelled Kakashi as he tackled Tazuna. Sakura and Sasuke soon followed in the act of hitting the deck. They were lucky to do so, because a giant, cleaver like sword flew threw the area once occupied by their necks and stuck into the tree behind them. They turned to see a man standing on the sword's handle, facing away from them.
"Hand over the bridge builder and I'll leave you three alone" stated the odd man in a gravel like voice
"Zabuza Momochi, A-Rank missing nin from the land of water, wanted for the assassination attempt of the Yondaime Mizukage, what a pleasure to finally see you again, you won't walk away from me twice" came a disemboweled voice from almost everywhere at once.
"There were only 3 idiots that would talk to me like that, Kisame, who I know you're not. Raiga, you're not crazy enough to be him. And finally that fox bastard who killed my second apprentice. So why don't you show yourself before I kill your comrades." listed off Zabuza.
"Hmm, why don't you show your little hidden ANBU? I'm sure that he's here, if he shows, I show." came the same disembodied voice as before. Sakura and Sasuke along with Tazuna were both shocked and confused. Did the kid know this maniac?
"Don't know what you're talking about, I'm a lone wolf after you literally tore Tumain's head off, so why don't we settle this like men? You and me, so I can finally get revenge for my apprentice." barked out Zabuza.
"hmm, how about a deal, if I win, you join us, if you beat us, well it's obvious what would happen then" stated the voice, with Naruto slowly sneaking up behind him
"Ha, you got yourself a deal kid, if you win, I'll join you, but I decide when I'm beaten, now show yourself!" yelled Zabuza
"Gladly..." came a ghostly whisper behind Zabuza, he spun around almost too fast to see and swung his massive sword, cutting Naruto in half. Or so it seemed. The moment before the sword connected, Naruto turned into an outline.
"What! An after image?" shouted Sasuke, he had only heard of people that fast, he always thought it was a myth.
"I must admit, you're better than last time, but then again, so am I." he stated while flashing through hand sign "Hidden Mist Jutsu!"
The air became thick with mist and chakra, separating Naruto from the view of his team. There was a loud clang of metal on metal, followed by a taunt "Zabuza, this mist won't help as much as you think it will, I was a member of ANBU, don't take me lightly!"
Sasuke was scared shitless, the pure amount of killing intent rolling, no, exploding off of the blonde and the swordsman where almost too much for him. He brought a kunai up to his throat and was about to plunge it into his jugular, when Kakashi grabbed his hand and pulled the kunai away "Don't be a coward, you're a leaf shinobi, act like it!"
"Punk, you're dead!" shouted Zabuza as he brought his blade around once again. Naruto had to wonder just what kind of strength one would need to be whipping around a blade that big, sometimes even with one hand.
Naruto knew he had to go all out to even have a hope of winning this little battle, he silently released his weights and activated his eyes. Just as his eyes started to draw chakra he felt it, he somehow unlocked the second level of his eyes. It felt like his whole body was energized, even with the first stage of his eyes, he felt like he was moving at his normal speeds, and combining the first and second levels of the eyes produced an incredible ability, the first levels ability to slow down his perception of time, along with the ability to predict attacks along with the second, a boosted nervous system that allowed faster reaction time and swifter movements, were an incredible advantage.
Zabuza was getting pissed, he just could not hit this kid, he could react far too quickly. Zabuza increased the mist to the point that Naruto quite literally couldn't see past his nose, but thanks to his ability to predict attacks along with his increased reflexes and ANBU training kept him from being caught by the edge of the sword, but not by much. "How can you keep dodging me, god dammit!"
"It's a secret, but I'll tell you when you join us" stated Naruto as he dodged another swing, silently deciding he needed to end this or he might lose his life
"You're never going to beat me kid, not even if there were a hundred of you" stated Zabuza as he continued his onslaught of slashes.
"Now there's an idea! Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu!" in less than a second about 300 Naruto's appeared in a plume of smoke "Let's even the playing field, Wind Release, Great Breakthrough!" an amazing wind literally blew the mist away "Kakashi, let's finish this, formation 2!"
After he said that, Kakashi appeared by his side "Formation 2 huh? You're finally done messing around then. Let's end this." he said lazily
"Same as Demon country, bring the heat!" "Fire Style, Great Fire Dragon Bullet!" "Wind Release, Tornado Dragon!" the two powerful jutsu combined to make a raging inferno of a dragon. "Water Style, Water Wall Jutsu!" the wall of water was just able to stop the fire side of the attack, unfortunately for Zabuza, his wall didn't stop the Wind dragon and Zabuza took almost the full force of the dragon to the face/chest. He was thrown back into and through a tree.
"It's over Zabuza, join us and your life will be spared" stated Naruto as he approached the man currently having a large tree in.
"I guess I've been beaten, you win the bet, I'll go with-" Zabuza was cut off by two needles that buried themselves into the neck of Zabuza.
"Thank you all for keeping him occupied for me, I've been chasing him for the last 3 years." stated the hunter nin as he appeared from behind a tree.
"Here, let me help with the decapitation" said Naruto with a knowing smile, then the hunter nin shot forward and grabbed the body of Zabuza and disappeared in poof of smoke
"Kakashi, how long have you have your headband up?" thump! Kakashi collapsed over, sharingan still uncovered. "Hmm, that's a good idea!" stated Naruto before his eyes rolled back and he too fell to the ground.
"Umm, which way to your house, Tazuna?" asked Sakura
-Next day, noon-
After Naruto and Kakashi had passed out, they were carried to Tazuna's home by Sasuke and Sakura. Kakashi had just woken up, though Naruto was still in a deep sleep, though Kakashi just figured that he was either talking to the fox or having a ramen dream.
"So what are you saying exactly?" asked Naruto
"I think the reason you suffered from chakra exhaustion isn't because of the 3 high powered jutsu you used, but because of the extensive use of your eyes, I don't think you've mastered this new level and because of that they drew way more chakra than your your first stage did, though it's only a theory, you really should ask the Hokage to allow you to go search the ruins of Uzushiogakure. I bet you could find some answers there, hell I bet that there's a good chunk of that village still standing." stated the Kyuubi with a bit of a laugh, though Naruto didn't know why, he just filed it under 'Wait for right time.'
"What do you mean mastered? All I needed to do was unlock it right? That's how the sharingan works?" questioned Naruto
"You're right there kit, that is how that damned sharingan works, but you don't have the sharingan. Have you decided what your going to name in yet?" asked the great fox, truly curious as to what he would come up with.
"Don't know? I'm probably just going to wait until I'm able to go to Uzushiogakure. That way I can hopefully get some more information on this thing... Did you just call me Kit?" asked Naruto with a raised eyebrow.
"No, now get out of here, your team is starting to freak you that you're not waking up. Oh and look in a mirror" and with that, kyuubi faded out of sight and Naruto "woke up"
"Naruto? You in there?" asked Sasuke, the only reason he was asking was because Naruto seemed to be switching between emotions like Choji goes through pork barbecue.
"He's fine, he does that when he dreams about ramen" lied Kakashi, he knew that Naruto was conversing with the fox, he would have to ask later.
"It wasn't just about Ramen! There was a sea of ramen! But it turned out to be a bunch of snakes! I hate that dream..." said Naruto, expertly covering the fact he was conversing with his tenant.
"Again?" Kakashi added to the cover story "that's the second time this month? Maybe you should see your old friend and see what that dream is all about."
"Yea, that's probably a good idea, though we should probably discuss what to do when Zabuza returns." stated Naruto.
"What do you mean? That hunter nin killed him?" questioned Sasuke.
"No, the area the needles hit couldn't kill, it put him in a death like state, he's going to be back and this time Zabuza won't take me lightly, I'm not on his level, and that ANBU of his was low chunin last time we fought and uses weird jutsu." stated Naruto
"Well I still can't move, so Naruto, you handle the training. Every morning until I can come help out. Start with tree climbing and whatever else you can think of. Now get going, I have reading to get caught up on" stated the copy nin with an eye smile.
"Damn you Pervy Hatake, alright you heard him, get some food and meet me in the clearing on the west side of the house in 45 minutes, and get ready for my version of tree climbing" said Naruto with a sadistic grin.
-45 minutes later, clearing-
"OK, today you will be climbing to the tops of those trees, using only your feet. This workout is a slimmed down version of my ANBU workout" stated Naruto while pointing at 3 tall trees on the edge of the clearing
"Two questions. One, how the hell do you do that, and Two, how is this going to make me stronger?" asked Sasuke, excited that he would finally get the training that he had demanded a month ago.
"Focus chakra to the bottom of your feet, use that to form a type of suction to the tree. Too much chakra and you rip the bark off, to little and you fall off, the key is a good understanding of the balance needed for this exercise. To add to the usefulness of this exercise, every time you fail to make it to the top, do 5 push ups, sit ups and squats. Mark your progress with a kunai and try to make it to the top in the next 3 days. Go!" instructed Naruto, he watched as Sasuke made it about a fourth of the way before he overloaded the bark and shot off "Wow, it took me an hour to get that far" stated Naruto. He then turned to see Sakura sitting on a tree branch panting. He figured that would happen, she has near perfect control but almost no reserves. "Keep going Sakura, when you can't go higher come down and take a 10 minute break, then do your workout."
-2 hours later-
"Sakura? You alright?" asked Naruto. She was laying face down on the ground, and every 3-4 minutes she would moan in pain. Sasuke was a little better off. He was leaning against the tree with his eyes closed, too tired to actually keep them open. "You both did pretty good, almost an entire quarter of my morning workout."
"A quarter! How the hell is that a quarter!" shouted Sasuke, he had to be lying, no human being could possibly be able to do that times four!
"Yep, a quarter, and you didn't even make it to the hard stuff. C'mon, I'll carry you both back and give you a medical pill do you can at least move." they both just nodded, they couldn't even move so there wasn't much choice. The both figured he would make a shadow clone each to carry them, they were wrong. Naruto scooped up Sasuke and slung him over his shoulder, while he picked up Sakura bridal style and without using hand signs, disappeared in a swirl of wind.
-15 seconds later, Tazuna's living room-
"Yo!" stated Kakashi, who by this point was able to brace himself against the wall and scoot along, was sitting in a recliner and, much to the dismay of Tsunami, reading his book "How was the training?"
"I had them do my warm up, it was funny to watch" giggled Naruto. Sakura and Sasuke just grunted as Naruto set them down on the couch absentmindedly, not realizing he put Sasuke on top of Sakura while they were facing each other.
"How far did they get?" asked Kakashi
"Sasuke can consistently make it up the tree, but he can't seem to stay focused enough to make it all the way. Sakura can make it to the top, but only once, her reserves are minuscule. What do you want them to work on after they're done tomorrow? I was thinking water walking and elemental affinities?"
"Hmm, we could, and you could still use some work on your wind affinity, so we could do that... I would like to "see the trees though", wouldn't you?" asked Kakashi in code, Naruto nodded and lifted Kakashi out of the chair. The two then left through the front door and sat on the porch.
"What did you need to say that couldn't be said in there?" asked Naruto
"I would like to ask what you and the fox were talking about this morning, and I was wondering how you could react faster than Zabuza could move." stated Kakashi plainly.
"There two in the same, I was talking to fluff ball about about the new level I've unlocked, he said I haven't mastered it so I lost more chakra than I should have." stated Naruto
"Hmmm, let me see your eyes, I think i have a theory" stated Kakashi as he turned to Naruto. Naruto activated his eye to show there was two diamonds on one eye, but only one on the other. "I believe that to master a level of your eyes, you have to have the diamond for the other eye, maybe then it won't suck the power out right out of your body? Try just using the first level."
Naruto did just that an was stunned, the draining he had felt earlier was down to almost a trickle. "It's way less than the second stage, but that might be just because the difference in level. Wanna head back inside, I'm really hungry!"
"When aren't you hungry!"
"Ahh! Son of a bitch! Do you always have to go for the neck?" asked Zabuza as he pulled the needle out of his jugular.
"I'm sorry Zabuza sama, I had to make it look like I had killed you as not to raise suspicion, though they know already, that blonde boy is quite smart." responded Haku
Zabuza sat quiet for a minute, several emotions running through his eyes. He sat up, even though his body was barely able to do so. He hung his head, this was something he really didn't want to do, but he had to think about the future "Haku, what do you think about the leaf village?"
-4 days later, Bridge, 2 days till Zabuza is back to full-
The last 3 days had been what some would call hell, those that would call it that were Sasuke and Sakura. The training regiment had only increased with each passing day. They were now at a level with tree climbing that they could practice on the beams of the bridge, so they all could be on the bridge the whole time. After showing proficient skill in tree walking, Naruto started on stage 2 of his special training regiment, sparing on a horizontal surface... Upside down. This helped chakra control, reserves, and taijutsu, but also helps with speed and strength, sense you're fighting gravity the whole time you're sparing. Needless to say both Sakura and Sasuke were getting much stronger. Though Naruto wasn't slacking, Kakashi had found a way Naruto to train his wind affinity while also working on his water affinity, though it's was very taxing and Naruto could only do this training for about an hour a day. Naruto would make 5 clones and go out in the water. Naruto would stand in the middle of his clones and spin wind chakra around himself while the clones would spin the water around him making a whirlpool. The real Naruto would hover himself in the middle of the whirlpool while keeping the sides from closing in on him. Overall it was very effective training, but the chakra output of the 5 clones along with his own output was testing even his ridiculous reserves.
Currently Kakashi was having them all do physical training by helping out with the bridge building. This served two purposes, as the genin would get physically stronger and the bridge was becoming well ahead of schedule do to the genin, and Naruto's clones, which would pressure Zabuza to fight earlier than his body was ready for. So far, both ideas seemed to work perfectly.
-Tazuna's home dining room-
"Hmm, I fold, I hate your poker face Kakashi," stated Naruto as he set his cards down. It was true, when Kakashi had his mask on, which is always, he was unreadable
"Well maybe if you too wore a mask you could play poker like me?" suggested Kakashi with an eye smile
"Why do you guys try so hard?" it was a little voice, timid and weak, but you could tell that it once held joy. It was the voice of Tsunami's son, Inari.
"Cuz he's won almost half the money I have and I want it back" stated Naruto as he dealt another set of cards
"No you idiot! Why do you train so hard? Gato is just going to kill you. You have no chance! No one can beat Gato!" shouted Inari
"Kid, I've lived through way too much to just roll over and die now, I'm not going to give up until I achieve my goals, so there's no way I'm going to let some smelly midget do what my own village couldn't." stated Naruto with an amount of sadness in his voice.
"You think you've lived threw a lot? You live in a hidden village! You're a ninja! How could you have had a bad life! There's no way you even know what pain is!" shouted Inari. Kakashi's eye widened, this wasn't going to end well, it never ended well...
"Hey kid... Come outside with me, in fact everyone come outside if you would." Stated Naruto with no tone in his voice. Kakashi knew what was coming, it was something no man should witness.
Everyone got up and walked out behind the young blonde, one Kakashi knew what was coming, and Naruto was smart to bring them all outside. Everyone was now standing in the clearing on the side of the home, waiting for whatever the blonde had In store.
"So kid, you don't think I know what suffering is? Let me show you some moments of my life through my eyes. Ninja Art, Memory Vision Jutsu!"
-End of chapter-