Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, Rosario+Vampire or anything else mentioned in this story. Everything belongs to their respective licenses holders. I will break something that I do own if it really turns out to be Obito under the mask in the next manga chapter.

Chasing Shadows

Chapter Five : Lecher Lycanthrope

"Summoning Jutsu!"

An intricate circular seal appeared on the ground as Naruto slammed a hand down upon the loose soil in the middle of his personal training ground. A moment later, a large cloud of white smoke filled the area obscuring all within.

When the smoke dissipated a large figure that stood taller than Naruto revealed itself. It was a very large toad with orange skin with intricate blue patters on it's body, yellow amphibian-like eyes, and a blue vest covering it's back.

"Yo bro!" The toad greeted with a wave.

"Sup Kichi?" Naruto grinned, pulling a candy bar from his pocket and throwing it to the giant toad.

The giant toad shot his tongue out catching the precious treat before instantly devouring it, wrapper and all. "So what do you need?" The amphibian addressed his summoner after smacking his lips together in satisfaction.

Naruto expression turned stern as he folded his arms in front of his chest and spoke in a serious tone. "First of all, any new leads?.."

The orange toad visibly deflated. "No bro, I'm afraid not..."

The blond sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "It's fine Kichi. I would have been more surprised if you guys actually had found something... I just felt I should ask anyways... just in case..." The blond trailed off and looked at the ground for a few seconds in silence before he shook his head to clear his thoughts and reached into his other pocket, pulling out a sealed scroll and a simple note. "I want you to deliver these to a couple people in Konoha for me." The sage spoke while handing the items to the overgrown amphibian.

"The scroll goes to Grandma Tsunade. Be careful when you deliver it though. I haven't given her an update in a couple months, and knowing that old hag, she just might kick your ass to get back at me vicariously." Naruto warned.

The orange toad gulped and nodded. He didn't need to be told twice. He would drop the scroll off and run for the hills. He'd seen Jiraiya get his ass kicked by his old teammate enough times to know to not piss the excessively strong woman off.

"As for the note, you should probably give that to Iruka-sensei. He'd know where to get all the things on that list." The shinobi advised.

Gamakichi skimmed over the note for a moment before raising a nonexistent eyebrow. "What the hell do you need a scroll on basic chakra manipulation for?..."

"I've got a friend here who needs to be able to access his chakra... but I kinda forgot how you do that the very first time..." Naruto admitted sheepishly while scratching the back of his head.

Gamakichi gave him a deadpan look. "How the hell do you not know? You're one of the strongest ninja alive!"

Naruto stuck his tongue out at the snarky amphibian. "Bite me. I learned that stuff back in the academy when I was like seven. I know how to access my chakra more out of instinct nowadays rather than knowing the actual mechanics of how it's done!"

Gamakichi shook his head exasperatedly before a thought occurred to him. "Wait a sec bro. I thought you told me before that this school was filled with people that were around your age?... Wouldn't this information be completely useless to someone who's already in their teen years?"

"Normally, yeah it would be." Naruto admitted freely.

"Then what the hell's the point?!" The toad barked, looking at his summoner incredulously.

"Do you remember that project Pervy Sage and I were working on during the training trip?" Naruto calmly retorted with a smirk.

Gamakichi looked down in thought for a moment before his eyes widened in understanding. "The thing that would help that loud green spandex kid that you're friends with?"

"That's the one." Naruto confirmed with a nod, throwing his arms behind his head.

"Wait... I thought that you and the old perv never finished that?..." The toad questioned.

The shinobi looked like his bubble had just been burst, but nodded reluctantly none the less. "You're right, we didn't. But that was mostly because Pervy Sage kicked up the intensity of my training and the idea kinda got put on the back burner." Naruto's grin returned. "I still think the idea is plausible though. Just give me some time to work out the bugs. If I'm still having trouble with it a week from now, I'll probably have you reverse summon me to Myōbokuzan so I can try and work it out with Pa."

The toad nodded in understanding.

Gamakichi glanced back over the note one last time. "And the scrolls on elemental affinities?"

Naruto smirked mysteriously. "Just an ace in the hole..."

Gamakichi rolled his eyes. "Whatever bro. Just have some snacks for me when you summon me later."

Now it was the blond's turn to roll his eyes. "No shit. You and Gamatatsu ask for the same thing every time. I'd have to be brain dead not to notice the pattern."

Gamakichi opened his mouth to say something that would obviously be an insult before the blond cut him off. "Just go. I'll have your damn sweets."

The amphibian smirked, gave a nod and a mock salute, then disappeared in a cloud of white smoke.

Naruto shook his head exasperatedly and turned on his heel to head back to the school.

The ninja looked up at the dead trees longingly, oh how he wished he could tree hop right now. He had tried doing so during his first week at this academy, but the experience left him groaning in pain on the ground with a hunk of wood impaled into his left ass cheek.

Damn brittle branches...


(Newspaper Club Room)

Kurumu instantly glomped Naruto as soon as he entered the room. "Oh darling, I'm so happy we'll be in the same club!"

Naruto smiled. While he still wasn't quite sure how he should handle the girl's rather straightforward romantic advances, he couldn't deny that the constant heartfelt affection she showered him with didn't effect him. He was an orphan who's greatest dream for most of his life had always been for the respect and admiration of others. So try as he might, he couldn't help but be a bit vulnerable against the honest affections that these girls showed him so freely... Even if he wouldn't admit it out loud.

"Yeah, I'm glad we're in the same club too." The blond admitted in a softer tone than normal.

The blue haired girl smiled widely up at him and reached her hands up for his neck to pull him into her embrace, but was suddenly frozen in a block of ice and pushed off to the side as Mizore appeared before him, placing one of his hands between her own. "I'm glad we'll be able to spend more time together now." The purple haired girl uttered calmly, looking up into his eyes with a small smile.

Naruto liked that look in her eyes. They had far more... life in them than they used to. She had only been a part of their little group for a couple weeks now, but he could tell that her friends already meant a lot to her. It made him think of when he was first recognized and accepted by Iruka... It was one of the best feelings he'd ever experienced. It warmed the shinobi's heart that he could bring that same sense of unconditional acceptance to this girl.

Before the blond could respond, Mizore was knocked out of his vision, similarly to Kurumu moments before, by a sudden hip check from Moka. The pink haired girl rushed forward and placed her hands on the blond's chest. "Oh Naruto-kun, I was wondering when you'd show up... I was hoping I could have some blood? I'm kind of feeling a bit lightheaded..." She asked cutely with an adorable pout.

Naruto couldn't help but be amused. These girls were always so lively that it made his time at this academy a lot more fun than it probably should be. "Sure, go ahead Moka-chan." Naruto grinned tilting his head to the side, exposing his jugular.

The pinkett squealed happily and brought her lips to his neck, sinking her fangs into his tan flesh.

"Why the hell are you never bothered when she does that? You're always so nonchalant about it!" A thawed out Kurumu asked Naruto indignantly after sending Mizore a death-glare for freezing her in the first place.

Naruto blinked then stared down at the pink haired girl, whom was sporting warm cheeks and a glazed look in her eyes as she happily drank his lifeblood. The look on the blond's face seemed to indicate this was the first time he'd seriously contemplated the question. "I guess I'm just kind of desensitized to it." Naruto finally answered the blue haired girl's question after silently studying Moka for a few moments.

"Desensitized?" Yukari's voice reached Naruto's ears as she and Tsukune walked in through the door. The two of them had just had the same class and arrived just in time to hear Kurumu's question.

Tsukune looked just as interested in the blond's response, but was also sporting that weird look that was somewhere between pity and envy. He still wasn't quite sure what to think when he saw Moka sucking on the blond's neck like that. On one hand, she was ridiculously cute and any straight man would kill to have her sucking on their neck. But on the other hand, she was sucking out his blood. His blood! It gave Tsukune the creeps just thinking about it.

Hence the black haired human's confusion on exactly what he should feel whenever he saw this little scene... He was broken from his thoughts when Naruto chuckled sheepishly and began to explain what he meant.

"Yeah, I've got a... friend... back home who's been drinking my blood for years now." The blond answered somewhat vaguely.

That comment caught all of Moka's attention. "What?... You knew another vampire before me?" She asked after quickly pulling back from his neck, sounding almost hurt.

"No, she's human. She's just kind of a nutter-butter." Naruto clarified bluntly. "I think she gets her kicks from freaking me the fuck out and licking blood from my cheek whenever she gets the chance."

To this day, Naruto still wasn't sure if Anko terrified him more, or turned him on more.

Before the inevitable storm of questions asking who this 'friend' of the blond's was could descend, Shizuka walked into the room and cheerfully greeted the teens. "Oh goodie! You're all here already!"

Oblivious that he'd just dodged the bullet of having to explain himself, the blond male waved happily. "Sup Sensei?"

The sandy blonde haired woman had quickly become his favorite teacher at this academy. Probably because her upbeat attitude kinda reminded him of his own... The fact that she was also rather beautiful and always wore miniskirts didn't play any part in forming the opinion in the blond teenager's mind.

Really, it didn't.

"Are you all ready to begin with the club activities?" The teacher addressed the assembled group after sending Naruto and acknowledging smile.

A moment of silence passed as the group silently glanced at each other and looked around the room, all taking notice of the same thing.

Tsukune rose his hand into the air and tentatively voiced the question for the group. "Uh, Sensei? Are we the only members in this club?..."

"What?! No, of course not!" Shizuka declared aghast.

"Sorry I'm late! And on the very first day too..." An unfamiliar voice sounded from just outside the door.

"Oh! Here comes the only other member now!" The sandy blonde gestured to the door excitedly.

The figure that stepped through the door was a tall teenage male a year or two older than the others. He had brown eyes, windswept black hair that hung loosely framing his face, and a red hairband just above his forehead that kinda reminded Naruto of his own headband, just without the metal plate or the social significance. The boy was wearing the standard academy getup but had the shirt unbuttoned revealing a bit of his chest, showing off a necklace that had an emblem that looked like a wolf's head on it. All in all, Naruto thought he looked like a pretty boy... Kind of like Sasuke.

The blond hated him already.

"Greetings! I'm the president of this newspaper club, Ginei Morioka. Pleased to meet ya!" he sent the group a charming smile as his teeth seemed to practically sparkle. It gave Naruto a flashback of Lee doing the same thing while giving a thumbs up. How the hell do they manage to do that?...

Gin's eyes landed on the girls, Moka in particular, then he rushed forward, pulling three bouquets from behind his back, and quickly placed them in Moka, Kurumu and Mizore's hands. "Oh! Shizuka-Sensei told me about you girls, but I wasn't expecting you all to be so beautiful!" He pointed at himself with his thumb and gave another charming smile. "You can call me 'Gin'... I hope those lovely flowers suit you lovely ladies!"

Now the blond had to fight the urge to sock him in the jaw.

From beside the blond, Yukari looked like she was having similar thoughts. While she didn't really want his attention, it annoyed her that he hadn't even acknowledge her as a female.

Tsukune looked freaked out and annoyed that he had yet another unique personality to deal with.

Moka and Kurumu stood slightly stunned at the forward behavior, while an unfazed Mizore simply flash froze the flowers and threw them over her shoulder without a care.

Naruto winced as he watched the flowers shatter into countless shards. Damn, that was cold. The blond didn't particularly like this guy, but he'd been shot down enough times by Sakura that he could sympathize with him... It then occurred to the shinobi that he'd essentially done the same thing to Kurumu a little over a week ago. Sure, he'd done it in a lot kinder manner, and he had a very good reason for his actions, but the facts were that he'd immediately shot her down just like that...

Fantastic. He just depressed himself again...

He needed to stop doing that!

Gin seemed to brush off the immediate dismissal easily enough though. 'When a man flirts with every attractive female he ever sees, he must have to get used to getting shot down a lot.' Naruto mused to himself silently. At least that was the blond's old theory when it came to Jiraiya... It seemed like it applied easily enough to this guy as well.

Shizuka stepped forward and gestured to the flirty boy. "Gin-kun is the only second year member in the club. I want you all to address any questions about this club you might have to him."

"Heh, you can always count on me!" The addressed boy said with another charming smile, pointing at himself with his thumb.

Kurumu suddenly clung to Naruto's side. "Naruto-kun! I'm not very good with this flirty kind of guy!" She whispered to him, looking somewhat distraught.

Naruto couldn't withhold his snort of amusement.

Kurumu looked at him sharply. "What's funny about that?" She asked with a bit of annoyance.

Realizing he was treading in potentially dangerous waters, the blond clarified himself. "It's just that you're probably the flirtiest girl I've ever known. It's just kinda of amusing to hear you say that."

Kurumu looked like she begrudgingly accepted that logic, much to the blond's silent relief. The last thing he needed was another woman pissed off at him. He'd gotten his ass handed to him by enough women for one lifetime, thank you very much.

The smirk that suddenly formed on the busty blue haired girl's lips brought a sense of dread to the shinobi.

The succubus straightened up and brought her lips near his ear, her breath tickling him as she began to speak. "You know, I think I'd probably like it if you decided to get a bit flirty with me though, Naruto-kun..." The succubus whispered in his ear as she trailed a finger down his chest.

Naruto's face flushed and he quickly looked in the other direction. Good lord, this girl could get past his defenses far too easily when she really tried. It was times like this that the shinobi silently cursed himself for not taking Jiraiya more seriously when he had tried to teach him about resisting seduction. At the time, he thought it was just some scheme of the old perv's to corrupt him. Which in retrospect, he still totally thought it was. But looking back on it, the info would have been useful to know... especially right now.

Luckily Naruto was saved from the forward succubus when Shizuka spoke up again as she began to walk towards the door. "Well, I need to be off since there's a staff meeting." She gestured to to the recently introduced male. "Take care of the rest of the club proceedings, Gin-kun."

Said boy gave the teacher a small thumbs up. "Leave it to me!"

"You've gotta go already Sensei?" Tsukune asked surprised, she'd only been here for about a minute.

The sandy blonde haired woman waved apologetically as she walked out the door. "Sorry, I'll see you later everyone! Make friends with your sempai, alright?!"

A moment of awkward silence passed through the room after the teacher left the room. Naruto looked outside, already bored, as the rest of the group silently watched Gin as he scanned over his new club members, seemingly noticing the two other males and the little witch for the first time.

His gaze stopped on Naruto and he blinked in mild bewilderment.

Gin raised an eyebrow and pointed at the blond's orange clothing. "Why isn't he wearing the school uniform?"

"A group of fanatical cultists used my set of the academy clothes in some sort of vile ritual... They couldn't find a goat or a virgin, so they had to make do." Naruto answered without turning his gaze from the window.

Gin face-faulted while everyone else in the room sweat-dropped and looked at Naruto as if he needed psychiatric help.

"Right... So anyways, first of all, I'll give you guys an explanation on just what kind of club this is!" Gin continued after he stood up and brushed himself off, totally ignoring the odd words that just came from the blond's mouth.

"The goal of the newspaper club is to publish the school newspaper!" Gin began, stating the abundantly obvious in Naruto's opinion. "Most of your activity will be in this club will be reporting on all kinds of things that happen within this academy and assembling them seamlessly into our school's paper!" He raised a fist into the air dramatically. "For the sake of an interesting scoop, you'll all be placed into dangerous situations time and time again! I'll tell you right now, this ain't gonna be an easy ride! Once you've joined this club, you should prepare yourselves for anything!..."

The group stared at him silently for a few moments as they went over his words in their minds.

Naruto's gaze narrowed, taking the warning far more seriously than the others. He wondered if this Gin character was embellishing things simply to make this club seem more glamorous, or if his little group really would face dangerous situations regularly.

If only the shinobi knew all the dangerous situations he would have to deal with in the coming months...

Naruto was broken from his musing as Moka tentatively spoke up. "He seems like... someone we can depend on, right?" She voiced optimistically.

"Huh? Uh... yeah." Tsukune hesitantly agreed with the pinkett.

No one other than Naruto caught the small self-satisfied grin that graced Gin's face for a split second. The shinobi narrowed his eyes again. This guy had some kind of hidden agenda other than being an annoying flirty pretty boy jackass.

Gin suddenly laughed happily. "Don't worry this club shouldn't actually be that dangerous, I was just messing with ya! Now, lets have some fun without all that strict talk!" He reached over to the teacher's desk and picked up some colorful papers before holding them up before the group. "This is our group's poster ad. Let's put them up on the walls, okay?!" He stated cheerfully, handing the posters to the group.

Naruto didn't immediately move as he took a moment to look the poster over. It was a simple picture of Shizuka pointing at, wouldn't you know it, a newspaper. It had a simple caption along the side that read: 'If you have a chance, make sure to read Youkai Newspaper! – Newspaper Club'. The blond was broken from his lazy half-interested inspection of the poster when Tsukune nudged him in the side.

"Naruto, somethings up with this guy." The black haired human whispered, gesturing towards their club captain.

Naruto followed his fellow human's gaze only for his hackles to immediately rise at the scene he found.

The girls were all standing on chairs near the wall on their tippy toes as they were trying to place posters up high on the back wall. That's not what made the blond want to kick someone's ass though, It was the fact that their club president was crouched down below them and had a goofy smile on his flushed face.

The pervert was totally looking up the girls skirts!

Immediately realizing that this guy had only suggested the whole poster thing so that he could peep at some panties, the blond walked over and called out the black haired pervert. "Oi, knock that off asshole!"

The club president stood up and took a few steps back. "Huh? What are you talking about?" He asked in fake confusion, feigning innocence.

Naruto glared. "You know damn well what I mean Pervy Pres. You were looking up their skirts!"

The blond cherished his ability to come up with fitting and insulting nicknames on the spot.

Gin smiled and waved his hand around in a dismissing manner, though the annoyed twitching eye showed that he'd heard his new nickname clearly. "Heh, nonsense! There's no way that I'm the kind of guy that would do something that lame!"

'Yes you freakin are!' Naruto thought, getting ready to yell at the club president some more. The arrival of the girls stopped his outburst though.

"What's going on over here? Why was there suddenly yelling?" Moka asked with the other girls at her side, also looking concerned.

Unfortunately Gin beat him to the punch. "Ah well, this guy here," He pointed at Naruto. "he says that he got an eye full of your panties!"

"Eh?!" The girls shouted, faces instantly flushing as they looked at the blond in shock.

'Uh-oh... this could turn ugly fast. Quick, think of something you blond dumbass!' Naruto screamed at himself mentally. He knew just how quick to anger women could get when they were on a pervert hunt. Luckily, a memory popped into his mind of the one time he'd witnessed the Pervy Sage escape from a rightful beating from Grandma Tsunade. The old Toad Sage had been so brutally honest and complimentary that he'd stunned his former teammate into inaction while he ran for the hills...

"Now, now, girls. Who are you going to believe? Someone you've just met, or me? I promise I didn't see anything." The shinobi spoke placatingly.

Tsukune stepped forward and backed his best friend. "Naruto didn't even get close enough to you girls to peek up your skirts in the first place."

Naruto was pretty sure he was in the clear from the calming faces of the girls, but there was still 'blood in the water' so to speak. He needed to hammer home that he wasn't the culprit. He reached out and put the girls hands together, then placed his own hands over theirs.

The shinobi then looked them dead in their eyes and spoke seriously. "I promise you ladies, if I ever feel the urge to see your panties, I will simply walk up to you and say: 'please, may I see your panties?'."

The girls blushes returned full force and they were left even more stunned then before as they tried to stutter out some kind of response to such a blunt statement.

Naruto grabbed a nearby poster, jumped in the air and slapped said poster to the wall, sticking it there with a tack before he hit the ground, then sprinted out the door. "I'll see you guys later!" He called out over his shoulder.

No way in hell he was sticking around right now when there was potentially pissed of women with super strength in the room.

The girls were left staring at the door with varying degrees of bewilderment and embarrassment.

Gin had a look that was somewhere between stunned disbelief and reverence, as if he couldn't believe what he just witnessed, but was contemplating taking notes from it anyways.

Tsukune's face looked strangely similar, but was tinged with a certain air of amusement. 'Naruto has got to be the weirdest and bravest person I've ever known...'


(Next Day – Naruto's Training Ground)

"Naruto-kun, wake up."

Eyelids slowly blinked open and blue eyes met blue eyes of a lighter shade.

"Mizore-chan?... What's up?" Naruto greeted her once he began to get his bearings. He brought a hand to his eyes and rubbed the sand from his eyes as he sat up. He blinked once he realized he was in the middle of his training ground.

Why was he asleep in the middle of a field again?...

Oh yeah, that's right, now he remembered. Once he left the others yesterday, he'd immediately went out here and summoned Gamakichi again. The toad and himself exchanged mild witty banter, with Naruto laughing his ass off as the amphibian mentioned that Tsunade had thrown an empty sake bottle at him, before the toad handed his summoner the scrolls he'd received from Iruka and dismissed himself back to the toad realm.

For the next several hours after that, the blond had been trying to work out the first step of the new elemental manipulation he was trying to learn. Abusing the hell out of the memory trick with his clones for all it was worth.

He must have dispelled too many clones at once and blacked out... Oops...

He hadn't done that to himself since trying to learn the Rasenshuriken...

He was broken from his musing when he turned back to the purple haired girl and caught sight of the worried look she was sporting.

"Tsukune needs our help." Mizore said plainly once she saw she had his attention.

"What do you mean?" The shinobi asked seriously as he began standing up and brushing himself off.

"Gin framed him as being a peeping tom." She elaborated more at Naruto's sharp glance. "Kurumu and I caught sight of him approaching Tsukune in the hallway, but something was off about the whole situation, so we followed them. He mislead Tsukune into looking through a window that was outside a girls changing room. Kurumu went to go try and prevent Tsukune from getting beaten up by the mislead girls, while I decided to find you." The snow woman explained the situation as clear an concise as she could. "Knowing our little group's luck, things will get worse before they get better." She joked somewhat cynically.

Naruto sighed. Another day, another asshole messing with him or his friends.

"Alright, lets get going then." Naruto began running towards the school at a pace his companion could keep up with. Said purple haired girl quickly fell into step at his side. "How'd you know I was out here anyways?"

The purple haired girl glanced at him from the corner of her eye. "I guessed. I'd suspected I might find you out here when you didn't show up today... I'm glad my hunch was correct. I wasn't expecting to find you asleep however, but I suppose that explains why you never showed up for any class..."

Naruto blinked again. "Never showed up for class?! Just what time is it?..." He asked shocked, looking up towards the sun only to find it already starting it's daily decent to the west. It was already really low in the sky too!

"Classes for the day have been over for several hours now." Mizore informed him dryly, a minor amount of amusement gracing her features at the blond's gobsmacked face.

'What the hell?! Why was I out for so freaking long?! The last time I did training like this I woke up within a couple hours after passing out. What the hell's different this time?... The fox should have healed me almo..." The blond's eyes widened as the answer hit him like a train, stopping him mid-thought.

'The fox...'

The blond's steps momentarily hitched, causing him to trip and fall flat on his face.

"Naruto-kun!" The purple haired girl shouted in worry, quickly rushing to his fallen form and helping him up.

Naruto's mind was a million miles away as his eyes glazed over. 'The fox... Kurama...' He thought sadly. He kept forgetting that he was alone now...

That he was a Jinchuuriki no more...

It's funny, even as little as a year ago, he would have probably found the concept to be a dream come true... But now... It left him with a profound sense of... hollowness inside. Like he'd lost a part of himself as well as one of his dear comrades...

He'd been without Kurama for almost half a year now, but he still wasn't used to it. For better or worse, that big ass fox had been a part of his life since the beginning. The blond had to keep reminding himself that he no longer had all the advantages he once had...

He would have to remember to be more careful with his clones from this point on... The memory backlash from shadow clones could actually kill him or leave him brain dead now, without the fox to pick up the pieces and heal him while he was unconscious...

"Naruto-kun are you alright?" Mizore's almost frightened voice reached his ears, breaking him from his musing.

"Huh?" Naruto blinked, shaking his his head slightly.

Mizore audibly sighed in relief before she looked up at him. "You tripped, then completely spaced out from the world. I've been calling your name for at least three minutes now." She stated with a mix of worry and confusion, squeezing his hand, which he just realized was intertwined with her own.

"I'm sorry for worrying you Mizore-chan. I'm just kinda clumsy sometimes, and I can get easily distracted!" Naruto plastered a wide smile on his face while he scratched the back of his head.

"Don't smile at me like that." Mizore spoke abruptly and sternly.

"Wha-what?!" Naruto asked startled and caught of guard.

She looked at him deep in his eyes. "Don't smile those fake smiles like that... I've been watching you ever since I've met you, studying your habits... I can tell when you're feeling lonely and sad about something... Don't hide it behind that fake smile I've seen you wear whenever you're feeling down... You don't always have to be strong around me." She uttered in a soft tone unlike anything he'd ever heard from her before.

Naruto stared at her with wide eyes. She saw through him that easily?... Only a handful of the closest people in his life had ever been able to tell when he was hiding his emotions behind a mask. And yet this girl, whom he'd only known a couple weeks, had figured him out already? Most people simply ended up writing him off as a one dimensional idiot after knowing him for a day. Or having one conversation with him, really. But this girl cared enough to notice the nuances of his personality and look deeper than almost everyone else?...

The blond felt liquid begin to pool at the edge of his eyes, but quickly rubbed his free hand over them, dispelling the potential tears. He then looked back up at the girl with a genuinely bright smile. "I'm sorry. I promise I won't smile at you like that again Mizore-chan!"

Mizore simply smiled back with a light shade of pink dusting her cheeks.

A few moments of comfortable silence passed between to two, still sitting next to each other in the middle of the forest.

Naruto looked down at their still interlocked hands and gave Mizore's hand a thankful squeeze, then looked into her blue eyes.

"You're a really good friend Mizore-chan. I'm glad I have someone like you in my life." Naruto said softly and sincerely with a small but meaningful smile.

The girl's eyes widened and her blush returned full force.

The blond then loudly cleared his throat, stood up, and abruptly began running for the school. "Come on, were using up too much time just sitting around, for all we know Tsukune could still be in trouble!" He called over his shoulder.

Mizore stood rooted in place as her heartbeat loudly hammered in her ears, watching the boy go as his heartfelt words echoed in her mind. After a long moment the girl got up and began running after Naruto, who was jogging slow enough for her to easily catch up.

While the boy's words filled her heart with more warmth than she'd ever felt, she couldn't help but wonder. 'Just a friend, Naruto-kun?...'


(School Roof)

When Naruto and Mizore arrived at they place Tsukune was supposedly being held, they found nothing. In fact, after over half an hour of searching, they couldn't find any of their friends. Naruto was just about to say 'screw it' and enter Sage Mode so he could find them, when a familiar blast of power from the school's roof caught their attention.

Moka's seal had been released.

Naruto quickly swept Mizore up into his arms bridal style, eliciting a cute startled 'eep' from the girl, and began to run straight up the side of the school, much to the purple haired girl's utter amazement.

"How are you doing this?" She asked with her arms clinging around his neck tightly.

Naruto grinned. "Ninja, remember?... I can do all kinds of awesome stuff that would blow your mind."

When the blond reached the base of the roof, he jumped over the railing and landed in a crouch. He quickly let Mizore stand on her own feet and turned to take in the situation. Tsukune, Kurumu and Yukari were all together staring with wide eyes at the sudden unexpected entrance, while in the middle of the roof the the silver haired Moka stood gripping the arm of some large wolf man, who Naruto suspected must be Gin.

"Sorry I'm late to the party, but I kinda got lost on the road of life." The shinobi grinned widely, feeling pretty good with himself for using the legendary line.

Everyone on the roof sweat-dropped.

The wolf man took advantage of the distraction and quickly freed himself for the vampires grasp, moving to the top of a nearby railing with startling speed. "Ho ho, good timing there blondie! Moka-chan almost had me in a check mate, but you distracted her just in time for the moon to become clear again!" He gestured grandly towards the full moon that was clearly visible in the night sky.

Naruto glanced at Moka to find her sending him an annoyed look, confirming the lycanthrope's words. The blond sent the silver haired vampire an innocent shrug. "Oops?"

The vampire merely rolled her eyes and folded her arms over her chest with a faint smile. "Hmph."

The werewolf spoke up, breaking them from there small exchange. "I was hoping you would show up Naruto. You were the original guy I was planning to frame earlier, but you were no where on campus today, so I decided to get Tsukune out of the picture first." He grinned, showing razor sharp teeth. "But now that you're here..." He disappeared in a sudden burst of speed.

"Watch out Naruto-kun!" Kurumu shouted.

The warning came too late however, as Naruto's head snapped back as the werewolf landed a heavy haymaker right to the blond's face that send his body sliding across the roof.

"Naruto-kun!" Several voices cried out, all of them moving to help their downed friend. But all stopped in their tracks when the blond's calm voice reached their ears.

"Relax. It'll take a lot more than some weak ass punch to take me down."

Naruto's legs bunched up before shooting out like a spring, the momentum lifting him off his back and back onto his feet. 'Shadow Clones won't do me any good here... they'd be taken out far too easily with how fast this guy is...' Naruto analyzed silently before a smirk overtook his face. 'Good. I kinda wanted to punch him in the face with my own two hands anyways.' The blond took a hand and ran it over his mouth, wiping off a small amount of blood, then spit a glob of blood off to the side. "Your speed caught me a bit off guard there, I'll admit..." The shinobi addressed the lycanthrope, then cracked his neck then took some kind of loose fighting stance.

"Alright, lets try that one more time, mutt. Lets see who the top dog is around here, shall we?" Naruto challenged with a feral grin.

Gin growled and disappeared in another burst of speed, only for his strike to be stopped by a raised forearm. The wolf man's form blurred and he tried attacking from another angle, only for Naruto to roll to the side, well out of range. The werewolf roared and attacked rapidly as he could from every angle he could manage, but every blow was either blocked or dodged. The same pattern continued for nearly thirty seconds in an exchange of lightning fast movements as the two males shot around the rooftop like ping-pong balls.

The others watched in amazement.

"Is Naruto-kun really as fast as a werewolf under the full moon?..." Yukari asked in awe.

"No. He's not as fast as the wolf." Moka answered from beside the witch, not taking her red eyes off the fight.

"What do you mean? Gin's not landing a single hit on Naruto-kun!" Kurumu protested.

The silver haired Moka smirked. "True. But even though Naruto is the clearly more experienced fighter, he has also yet to land any blows on his opponent. All he's been able to do is dodge or block."

The succubus opened and closed her mouth a few times, trying to come up with an answer to that before she gave up and closed her mouth with an audible 'click'.

"While Naruto is indeed moving quite fast, the only reason the wolf hasn't landed any blows is because Naruto seems to have some experience with fighting foes with such extreme speed." Moka explained her theory as she watched the blond's movements. 'How interesting, his movements are so random and almost illogical... it's like he has no actual style.' She watched as the blond ducked under a wide swipe only to finally land a blow on his opponent's midsection. 'It's definitely helping him here though, Gin is getting frustrated and sloppier with his movements.' Moka smirked excitedly as Naruto landed another blow. 'Show me what you can do against an S-class monster you unique little human...'

The werewolf suddenly launched a claw forward in a straight jab, intent on simply impaling the blond through the chest and ending this, but the blond rolled around strike, grabbed the extended hand, then threw the werewolf towards the railing.

When the airborne lycanthrope's feet touched the side of the roof, he immediately rocketed back at his opponent using his powerful legs. Just as the wolf was seemingly about to land a blow on the blond, Naruto bent his entire body backwards, placing his hands on the ground behind him, and snapped both of his legs upward and into the wolf's gut with the force of a sledgehammer. The blond followed through by rolling his legs forward and letting the werewolf go flying over the blond with the momentum the wolf himself had built.

The wolf went flying overhead where he slammed into the railing on the opposite side of the roof, bending the iron bars significantly, before landing in a heap. After laying on the ground for a moment wheezing and trying to regain some of the air that had just been violently knocked from his lungs, the lycanthrope stood back up and charged at the blond once more.

"What the hell! How are you keeping up with me?! I'm under the full moon!" Gin roared in rage and confusion. There shouldn't be another monster that could match his speed! Especially one that didn't even need to transform! What in the world was this blond haired bastard?...

Naruto grinned as he danced around another strike. "You're fast. Like really fast. In fact, you'd probably be able to take on a low ranking jonin with no problem with that kind of speed... but you've got nothing on Fuzzy Brows or Fuzzy Brows Sensei!"

"Fuzzy... Brows?..." Tsukune asked from the sidelines with a sweat-drop, getting shrugs from the others.

"But there's one major reason why your speed isn't hard for me to keep up with." The blond spoke vaguely as he jumped back, putted several feet between him and his opponent.

The werewolf jumped back as well, taking a moment to rub a few sore spots from the heavy blows the blond had landed. "Oh and why's that?" The wolf asked in a snarl, glaring at his opponent on the other side of the roof.

As soon as the words left his mouth, a flash of golden light filled Gin's vision. The next thing he knew, he had a kunai pressed to his throat and another aimed at his heart.

"It's because I'm faster than you." Naruto spoke coldly, his blue eyes glaring into his opponent's own eyes as small wisps of golden energy floated off the blond's body before dissipating in the atmosphere. "Now, I'm only going to say this once, leave my friends the hell alone!" The blond said in a fierce tone.

The eyes of everyone in the clearing went wide. While Gin was ridiculously fast, they could still see a traces of his movements as he rocketed around the roof. But when Naruto moved just now, it almost seemed as if he had just plain teleported across the entire roof in the blink of an eye.

'Just what are you Naruto?... Surely that kind of speed can't be normal even among your shinobi...' Thought an equally mesmerized Moka.

"If you could move that fast... why didn't you do so from the beginning?..." Gin voiced his confusion despite being more than a little shaken up at the sudden presence of a knife at his throat.

"When I move that fast, I have to tap into an energy tank that's limited... I can't afford to waste that energy on a small fry like you." Naruto answered honestly, seeing no reason to hide the truth. Naruto's eyes glazed over. "I know I'll end up needing Kurama's chakra before the end... I miss that snarky bastard..."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Gin asked confused.

Naruto blinked, seemingly realizing where he was, before chuckling lightly. "Nothing important."

Abruptly, the blond moved the kunai away from the Gin's vitals, turned on his heel, and began to walk away.

"Wh-what you're just walking away before we finish?" The wolf cried out in bewilderment, cursing himself for the slight hitch in his voice.

Naruto simply waved over his shoulder without turning. "Call it a hunch, but I don't think you're a completely bad person at heart, so I don't really feel like kicking your ass anymore... Besides, you're forgetting that I wasn't your original opponent."

Gin wondered what he meant when a sudden powerful hand clamped down on his arm. He turned to find Moka smirking at him like a predator with prey within it's clutches.

"Oh, and one last thing; you hit like a little bitch! I've been hit harder by twelve year old girls!" Naruto's voice reached Gin's ears as he watched in horror as Moka spun her body around in a roundhouse kick.

"Know your place!"


(Next Day – Walkway to the School)

"Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" Naruto shouted with a big grin, waving around a single page story their club had made. "Tsukune Aono proven innocent! The actual perpetrator in the 'peeper riot' was Ginei Morioka from the second year class one!"

The whole newspaper club, minus Gin, were standing near the school's events bulletin board handing out the information to the students who passed by.

Tsukune chuckled. "I never expected that this would end up becoming our club's first job!"

Naruto snorted. "Really? Personally I think I would have been more surprised if our first story had actually been on something boring. It seems like one of us gets into some kind of mess every other day at this place."

Tsukune grunted in acknowledgment, agreeing with the blond's point, but looking like he didn't like it.

"I wonder what kind of stories we'll get to write about when we do our first full issue?" Yukari asked, looking excited.

Kurumu suddenly jumped onto Naruto's back "I'm going to write all about the love between Naruto-kun and myself!" She declared happily, only to be knocked off his back by a hunk of ice waking her upside the head.

"No one wants to read about your wild fantasies boob girl." Mizore mocked dryly walking over to Naruto and silently placing one of her arms around one of his own.

Kurumu hopped back up and glared at the purple haired girl. "You wanna go stalker girl?!"

Naruto quickly held up a hand. "Whoa, whoa, that's enough girls. There's no need to fight right now."

Moka stepped up and not so subtlety took the blond's raised arm and placed it near her chest. "Naruto-kun's is right! This is our first project together as a club, we should be celebrating right now not fighting!"

Kurumu walked forward, and wrapped her arms around the blond's midsection, pressing her chest against the male's own. "How should we celebrate Naruto-kun?..." The succubus asked with a sultry wink.

It was at that moment the gravity of the situation set in for Naruto. The blond turned red, stuttered, and tried to form coherent sentences once he realized that he had three beautiful girls all clinging onto his form.

From beside a nearby tree, Gin watched the scene in amazement.

"That magnificent bastard." The Lycanthrope groused. "How the hell does he do it?..." He felt a hand land on his shoulder and turned to see Tsukune.

"I don't know, I've been asking the same question for weeks now!" The human exclaimed with over-dramatic tears running down his face.

Gin stood surprised for a moment that Tsukune didn't seem to hold a grudge against him for trying to frame him yesterday, then smiled and shook the human's hand.

A new beautiful friendship, forged by jealousy and the feelings of ineptitude, was formed that day...

"There he is girls! It's the pervert!"

Gin immediately used the hand still connected to the human's own to throw Tsukune towards the angry mob of girls that were out for the lycanthrope's blood. "He did it!" The werewolf cried running for the hills.

So much for friendship...

After running away for several minutes the wolfish male suddenly turned and spoke seriously to the mob of girls as he recalled how he witnessed Naruto avoid trouble with females the other day. "Please, ladies, may I see your panties?"



The werewolf's cries of pain filled the air shortly after.

Yeah... his technique could use a little work...

AN: So yeah, Naruto is a former Jinchuuriki. That's why he didn't immediately snap out of Kurumu's charm a couple chapters back, he's by his lonesome now. Naruto's seal is still loaded with the fox's corrosive chakra and he can use his golden 'sealed hatred' form (Or whatever they're calling it now), but once the blond uses the chakra up, that's it. It's gone and it won't come back. So he has to use the powerful chakra sparingly and only when he truly needs it. How all this came to be, and exactly where Kurama is now, will be expanded upon later...

Answer one question and even more pop up... ;P

Oh, and since I know some jackass is going to accuse me of nerfing Naruto just to make things 'more interesting', I'll say this: Naruto no longer being a Jinchuuriki is something that's deeply intertwined with the overall plot. The fact that it somewhat weakens Naruto is just an unintended side effect. Accept it for what it is, or kindly STFU. :)

Now then, one of the reviewers in the last chapter brought up some interesting points I feel I should address:

First off, he commented on how Tsukune is redundant in the story. It's something a few people have mentioned actually, saying that his only purpose is to make Naruto look better by comparison.

I... honestly can't deny that's how it must look if you choose to view it that way, but I will say this: At the moment, you're only seeing a small piece of the picture that I'm envisioning... Tsukune will actually play a pretty big role in things to come. In fact, there's one scene in particular, with him at the center of it, that I'm really looking forward to writing. Besides, I honestly think it would have been dumb to have him, a normal pansy human, at the center of supernatural fights from the get-go. Also, I kinda liked the idea of slowly evolving his character as I went along.

The second point the reviewer brought up was that there was a lack of conflict in the story. How nobody wants to read about a protagonist who just breezes through every trial.

My response is that is that I agree 100%. A story with no challenge whatsoever is boring as hell. It's actually why I've had such a heavy focus on humor thus far, to keep people entertained despite the lack of a real struggle while I establish the characters.

You have to take into account that this is a post Fourth Ninja War Naruto against a bunch of hot headed teenagers with no formal training that rely purely on instincts. To have Naruto not curb-stomp these cannon fodder would be an insult to his character.

Frankly put, no one other than the absolute elites of the Rosario-verse would even stand a ghost of a chance against Naruto. He's simply far too strong for any monster that relies solely on straightforward abilities.

Besides, the canon R+V is not really any different. Inner Moka pretty much one hit KO's everyone but the 'big bads'.

Don't worry though, I have plenty of ideas on how to make things interesting in the upcoming events. There are countless ways to test a protagonist outside of fair fights after all... I'm actually a bit worried I went overboard with a few of the trials ahead, haha.

Have a nice day folks. :)

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