AN: Time to update this fan favorite. Well between this an Curse of the Samurai I don't know which one is more loved.
"Uzumaki Naruto! Inuzaka Kiba!"
Following Hayate's call Kiba leapt over the railing, his dog Akamaru rolling a few times in midair before landing on all fours. Kiba smirked, obviously impressed by his own acrobatic exercise.
"Show-off." Naruto took the stairs, conserving his energy.
Kakashi nodded in approval. He was kneeled next to Sakura, checking her pulse. Her battle had just ended and he was in no rush to wake her. She would wake soon enough. He winced realizing that his overt concerns for his student might have been a tad insensitive.
"It's all right Kakashi," Gai's voice was devoid of the usual fire. "You should look after your student."
Kakashi winced in sympathy. They had just seen Lee and the foreign genin, Gaara's battle. Though the future of Lee was at stake Gai had remained behind. Tenten had lost as well but Neji had won. Normally this would be a cause for celebration but the match had ended in Neji's favor under unsportsmanlike circumstances. That along with Lee's current condition was more than enough to put a damper on Gai's usual mood.
The one-eyed jounin knew that nothing he said would be the right thing to say. He sighed and looked around the stage. It was a two story building built precisely for the chuunin exams. He remembered having his own exam here. Except now he was on the second floor looking down at the ground where Naruto had just gotten off of the stairs. While Kiba was jumping lightly to and fro on his toes bustling with energy his own pupil was the pinnacle of calmness. He knew that Naruto wasn't one to lose his temper or lose control of his emotions and for that, he was extremely proud of him. Then Kakashi averted his gaze to find Kurenai looking at him with an absolutely predatory grin. Her arms were crossed emphasizing her… well, Kakashi didn't want to go there because rumors dictated that she was taken. The person who had apparently taken her (though he didn't know how metaphorical the word 'taken' could be in this circumstance) was leaning on the railing, supporting his head with two hands. He had adopted a cocky grin on his face. Ino, Sakura's opponent, was already awake and she was looking down at the battle that was about to start.
"Naruto has no chance against him." Kurenai mouthed to him from the opposite side of the arena. Kakashi was too well trained to make a response. Instead he smiled at her, his one visible eye turning into an upside down-U.
Kurenai pursed her lips, slightly sour that her remark had gone ignored. She looked down at the battle to find Kiba looking up at her expectedly.
"Do it." Kurenai mouthed to him.
Kiba caught the message from his teacher. He looked down at his partner who yipped at him. The Inuzaka smiled in reply and reached down scratching him just behind the ears. Akamaru sat down and scratched the same spot with his hind legs. Kiba looked up at Naruto who was watching him without a care in the world.
Kiba cleared his throat.
"You're going to lose."
At Kiba's words the people in the arena strained forward to hear his voice. Usually these little conversations before the battle were just as interesting as the battles themselves. It added a little spice to the fight that would soon happen.
Naruto raised an eyebrow and scratched the dirt with his toe feeling it shift with his weight. He wondered if he should deign that with a reply.
"Might as well play along." The blonde shrugged to himself.
Kiba seized on that little word. So far as he knew the blonde allowed actions to speak. Everything was a weapon for shinobi. Kurenai had taught Kiba that words were weapons as well, something that not many people used. If Kiba could get into the head of his opponent half the battle was already won. This type of strategy was something typical for a Genjutsu Specialist, a fitting lesson that Kurenai taught to all her students. Of course considering Shino and Hinata's character and personality it wasn't a lesson well suited for them. However for Kiba it was perfect. In a way it was a compliment for Naruto it meant that Kiba wasn't looking down on him. He was doing everything possible to beat Naruto.
"Because I have a reason to win… and you don't."
Naruto raised an eyebrow in reply. He was growing bored of the chat already. He looked at Hayate.
"Can I hit him now?"
Hayate simply did his trademark cough and looked away from Naruto.
Kiba waited expectedly for Naruto's reply.
The blonde complied making a vague hand gesture. "So… what?"
Kiba frowned. That wasn't the answer he wanted or was expecting. He expected Naruto to scoff and challenge his claim but Naruto was-
"You don't need a reason to be strong." Naruto felt a smirk creep into his voice. "I'm not like you other weaklings." He gestured around at their audience. Each of the Jounin shared a look.
"Did he just…" was the general thought consensus being shared around the stadium.
"I fucking hate this village and its motto." Naruto suddenly snarled his expression darkening.
An audible gasp circled around the room.
"The bullshit of Will of Fire?" The blonde turned away from Kiba and faced the crowd. He saw Kakashi begin to shake his head.
"Strength lies in protecting someone important to you?" Naruto continued. "True strength? Friends? Comrades?"
He slashed his hand in the air. "That holds no meanings for me."
Naruto's eyes turned cold.
He looked at every single one of them.
Even the Hokage.
"You weaklings might need a reason to be strong…" He turned back to Kiba. "But I don't. So don't spout that bullshit to me."
"A dead friend? The will of fire? A precious person?" Naruto spat on the ground. To the Konoha Shinobi in the audience it was a symbolic act.
He was spitting on the very thing they stood for.
"I don't need a reason to be strong."
"Power just is. Power doesn't exist to protect or to destroy." Naruto held up a hand getting into his stance. "You might need a reason to force yourself to be strong. I don't. I'm going to be strong… because I want to be. That's all the justification I need."
Hayate looked between Kiba who was staring open mouthed at the blonde then at the audience around them.
Each of the jounin, every single one, had death in their eyes.
The mood is always important thought Naruto.
His little speech and talks was him spitting on the Konoha shinobi and of course, Kiba was one. Right now he had insulted the very foundation of the village. The Jounin was angry, Hayate was angry and the Hokage was angry and the air itself was hostile. The hostility became a physical thing choking out all other thoughts and smothering all thoughts of sanity.
It was that thought that drove Kiba towards Naruto, losing control of his senses and control.
He had played the game.
Except that Naruto was the one who had done the engineering.
Kiba threw three shuriken each flying on alternate paths and angles. Naruto quickly reached within himself and his chakra came to the surface at once, answering his call. Chakra surged to the surface of his skin, covering it with a thick solid palpable shadow. Naruto slapped the three shuriken down with his bare hands knowing that the chakra would protect his skin.
Kiba was right in front of him.
"Fast." Naruto remarked.
"But not fast enough."
Naruto spun to the side like a dancer, pivoting on one foot. Then he lifted one foot off of the ground slamming the sole of his sandals into the back of Kiba's head. He followed through with the kick slamming Kiba's face into the ground behind him. Naruto was about to turn to follow through and finish the fight when something furry and white rushed towards his face. Acting on instinct Naruto raised a knee, his shin snapping out. His foot slammed into Akamaru's side sending the small dog tumbling on the ground.
Kiba, with the precious seconds that Akamaru bought him, got to his feet realizing that his back was exposed.
"What kind of counter was that?" Kiba swallowed taking out a few shuriken to buy some time.
Naruto was already in front of him.
"Middle." Naruto muttered.
Kiba barely had time to respond "What?" as something very solid slammed into the side of his body crushing his kidney.
Naruto felt satisfaction as spit flew out of Kiba's mouth in an explosive spray. Naruto leaned back to make sure that none of them landed on him.
Kiba saw Naruto's right leg coming up and guarded his left using what semblance of coherence he had left to do it.
In a movement that was too fast for Kiba to see, Naruto's feet flickered through the air and he suddenly switched feet slamming his left leg into Kiba's ribs. Kiba actually grunted in pain but managed to keep things within his mouth. But Naruto didn't give him a time to rest.
"Low." With the same leg Naruto changed it angle and trajectory surprising Kiba. His shin slammed into the back of Kiba's thighs who flexed unconsciously. But the kick was more than that.
Naruto's Tenshingan was spinning.
The Tenshingan, known as the Heaven God Eye was a gift of the Kyuubi. Naruto had used it to see pressure points, weaknesses in the opponent's stance and body. It was the ultimate taijutsu doujutsu. Using it Naruto had a deeper understanding of the human physiology.
Kiba fell to the ground his leg going numb.
"If you get hit there," The three triangles placed evenly apart touching his iris were spinning idly. "Not even the Hokage himself can stand up."
But Kiba wasn't dumb either.
Taijutsu was obviously not an area that he should face Naruto in.
His ever present partner, Akamaru leapt on top of Kiba's head just as his master finished making the hand seals.
"Human Beast Clone Technique."
Smoke surrounded both of them as the chakra transformed them.
Two blurs shot out of the smoke.
"Fast… and faster." Naruto lowered one hand, the other guarding his face. He shifted his weight making sure no matter which side each of them came from his legs would be able to react.
They were moving too fast for Naruto to get a good look at his face but he got glimpses. It was obvious from the size that both Kiba and Akamaru had grown a bit bigger but not substantially. He caught pictures of claws, sharp teeth and feral eyes. Akamaru had transformed into a bestial version of Kiba and Kiba had done the same, albeit his was less drastic. They were running circles around the blonde forcing him to shift his head left and right making sure one wouldn't rush him while the other occupied his attention.
It was exactly that happened.
Either Akamaru or Kiba rushed in from the side causing Naruto to respond. He leaped towards Naruto in a lunge his claws slashing the air in front of the blonde. To his credit Naruto, instead of leaping backwards as most people would have done, took a step towards him. Black chakra arced through the air, following the trajectory of Naruto's kick as it slammed on top of the clone's head slamming it chin first into the ground.
The other one rushed him from behind drilling into Naruto's back.
The blonde hissed in pain and he turned around immediately but Kiba was already dancing out of reach once more. In the time that it had taken Naruto to turn around the other one had escaped as well. Naruto snarled as they began to fall back into the same pattern running circles around Naruto in opposite direction confusing his sense of direction.
"I can't allow this to continue." Naruto's head began to work in overtime assessing the situation and a counter to get out of this little predicament. "Remember… there's two of them. If I took the time to finish one off the other one would probably rush in to attack me. That attack would keep me from finishing off the first guy and the whole cycle would continue. I need to finish one of them off quick and fast before the other one can even approach me."
Just as Naruto was turning over the situation in his head one of the two darted in again, teeth and claws flashing. Without thinking Naruto arced his foot over his head, drawing a semi circle with his black chakra. Just as his foot was about to slam into Akamaru or Kiba's face he felt something drill into his back causing his body to wrack with pain. As his body bent backwards his kick was thrown off of its trajectory and the initial assault slammed into him, leaving deep lacerations in his chest and stomach.
Then just as soon as they had come in the two darted out again.
Naruto fell to the ground, hissing in pain. He touched a hand to his stomach and it came back slick with blood.
Black chakra began to leak off of the boy.
Before they were simply covering his hands and feet leaving trails of black smoke when he moved. But now his whole body began to give it off sending off smoky trails into the air.
"Screw strategy." Naruto snarled mentally throwing away all of Kakashi's teachings and lessons. "I'm going to fucking kill you."
Kiba and Akamaru saw the black chakra and they had heard the rumors. They weren't going to wait for Naruto to show off whatever moves he had.
They were going to end it here.
"Akamaru!" Kiba yelled stopping a distance away from Naruto, facing the blonde. He didn't need to elaborate. He saw Akamaru stop behind Naruto the same distance away as Kiba was standing swaying his body from the sudden momentum.
Everything seemed to be in slow motion to Naruto as Kiba executed his ultimate move. Kiba seemed to lunge towards Naruto but his feet were still planted on the ground. Then his whole upper torso twisted and the jinchuuriki could have sworn he heard a crack or two in his spine in this feat of flexibility.
Then just as soon as it had happened the slow motion effect seemed to disappear and Kiba turned into a blur of white as his feet left the ground. Gatsuuga was an extreme taijutsu move that involved the user spinning like a top increasing his destructiveness. Kiba flew, not in a straight line, but wavered slightly indicating his less than perfect control of the skill. The gatsuuga flew like a torpedo towards Naruto threatening to blow the blonde full of holes like Swiss cheese.
Even without looking Naruto knew that Akamaru was doing the same thing.
Shikamaru looked up at his teacher. "Are you sure?"
"Naruto was good. He established his superiority over Kiba in an instant. If Kiba stayed in close quarters and continued to challenge Naruto in taijutsu he would have inevitably lost. Kiba has a good head on his shoulders and he decided to change the battle into one of ninjutsu."
"With Kiba's mobility," Kurenai interjected. "Naruto will never catch him." She smirked. Of course her reasons for smirking wasn't just because her student had beaten Naruto. It was deeper than that. These three were the first students that Kakashi had taken a respected and well-known jounin. These three were Kurenai's first students as well. Everyone had wondered what Kakashi's students would be like. If her student exerted strength above that of Kakashi's it was a personal feat and achievement for Kurenai's abilities as a sensei. She had nothing personal against Kakashi, just that he was more like a benchmark for her to measure her abilities by.
"No…" said a voice.
The three turned around to find Shino.
Shino was shaking his head, breaking his usual silence.
"No. Naruto is stronger."
Ino nodded as well. "I don't know how you jounin senseis measure strength. I don't like what Naruto said either but it's true." She hugged herself while leaning her back against the wall. "Naruto… has something that Kiba don't." She took a deep breath. "Naruto's strength is real… and there's something about him that scares me."
"Something that Kiba doesn't have."
Asuma and Kurenai looked at each other frowning.
Then the two turned their attention back to the battle at hand just as Kiba crashed into Naruto from the front and Akamaru from the back.
Smoke covered everything.
The dust and debris thrown up from the moment of impact between the three figures had caused a small explosion of chakra. Hayate covered his eye as the wind raged throwing up small pebbles, rocks and dust. He strained his eye trying to see through the cloud of dust. He had a pleasant image of Naruto lying on the ground beaten and Kiba standing over him in a victorious pose. He imagined that most of the jounin and konoha ninja was rooting for Kiba. Naruto was definitely the underdog of this battle because of what he said. No one wanted him to win and now that Kiba had clearly shown that the boy had virtually no skill in ninjutsu, the Inuzaka's victory was clear.
Until the cloud cleared.
He didn't just stand.
The ground he was standing on was caved inwards with little plates of rock pointing away from him. He held out one arm on each side of him his palms open. His palms were covered by a skin of black chakra. On each palm was Kiba and Akamaru, each of them still spinning in their Gatsuuga form. They were grinding into Naruto's palms sending up waves of black chakra flying past them but it was futile.
Naruto stood fast, his knees bent his arms out using one hand each to hold the Gatsuuga in place.
Kiba and Akamaru was still spinning.
Asuma opened his mouth in shock.
"Is that… even possible?" Shikamaru swallowed.
"Look at the ground he's standing on." Asuma was staring still shocked. "It's all broken. It means that at the point of impact not only did he stop each of them with one arm but he channeled the force into the ground."
"Yes." Asuma answered. "He channeled the force through his own body. It must have been painful." He quickly glanced at Kurenai.
"This is impossible…" Kurenai muttered. "Not even a jounin should be able to stop Gatsuuga in that manner. The only one possible would be…" She swallowed and looked across at Gai who also seemed shocked.
"Apparently," Shino whispered so that no one else heard. "There's one more."
Naruto felt Kiba and Akamaru grinding into his palms. Then in a display of raw strength and exceptional body control he wrapped his fingers around the spinning missiles. Naruto screamed in effort slamming the two Gatsuugas into the ground causing the two to stop spinning immediately. Kiba immediately got back up to his feet, leaping backwards on all fours like a beast. Akamaru attempted to do the same still in Kiba's shape.
"No you don't." Naruto snarled and took a step in that direction. Akamaru growled and scratched the area in front of him. Naruto leaned back with his torso dodging the claws. However he kicked straight out slamming his foot into Akamaru's stomach. As the dog's eye bulged in pain Naruto rushed in.
Akamaru got a look at Naruto's eyes.
Blue, cold and those three triangles spinning wildly.
Naruto stabbed his index finger right into the middle of Akamaru's chest sinking it knuckle deep.
Akamaru exploded into smoke turning back into a white puppy.
A small splotch of red began to spread across the middle of the unconscious puppy's chest.
Naruto turned slowly, his Tenshingan visible for all to see.
"You're next." The words were said without any emotion or inflection.
Kiba lunged forward swinging wildly with a fist headed towards Naruto's face. Naruto swayed to the side easily dodging the punch. He repeated the same move as before spinning in place. Right before he completed the spin to resume the original position he lifted one leg slamming the soles of his foot into the back of Kiba's neck. Kiba sprawled onto the ground but quickly recovered and threw himself at Naruto again a kunai in his hand.
Naruto remained standing until Kiba stabbed towards him with the kunai. Naruto ducked underneath it while taking a step towards Kiba.
"He got beneath his center of balance." Gai noted.
The blonde thrust with one hand all the fingers pointed straight out stabbing it straight into Kiba's abdomen. With his other hand Naruto grabbed Kiba's wrist black chakra trailing from both hands. Kiba couldn't even make a sound as Naruto suddenly lifted the Inuzaka up into the air using one hand stabbed into his abdomen. Following up quickly Naruto took his hand out of Kiba's stomach causing the boy to fall towards him. Simultaneously Naruto brought his feet off of the ground flying parallel to the ground. Immediately he completed one spin and slammed his shin into the side of Kiba's neck.
Kiba rolled on the ground tumbling a few feet away unconscious.
Naruto landed on the same leg that he kicked with, standing up with it. He looked expectedly at Hayate.
The arena was silent.
"Winner," Hayate's quiet voice sounded like a roar in everyone's ears.
A week had passed.
Naruto walked into the Hokage's office.
"I'm here old man." Naruto feigned disinterest, his blue eyes hidden by his bangs. "What do you want?"
"Naruto!" Iruka snapped frowning.
Naruto rolled his eyes in reply. "Hi to you too Iruka-sensei. Happy now?"
"That's not what I-"
Sarutobi held up a hand stopping Iruka's response. The chuunin grumbled but turned back to the paperwork on his desk scribbling furiously. The Sandaime cleared his throat and stapled his fingers in front of him, resting his chin on it.
"It's nice to see you Naruto. I congratulate you on passing the preliminaries." Sarutobi smiled at the blonde in front of him, his eyes crinkling.
Naruto shrugged. "Hard not to." He thought to himself and stood at attention, suddenly all business. He took one hand out of the pocket and placed a piece of paper on the desk. "You asked for me?"
Sarutobi nodded studying the boy. He was wearing black ninja clothing that jounin and chuunin favored. However the boy had yet to advance to the rank of chuunin so the green vest was missing. There was a strip of bandage wrapped around one thigh and the shin of the other. His Konoha Headband was tied loosely around his neck. The long unkempt hair hid the eyes but there were flashes of brilliant blue whenever he moved his head.
"I have a little C-rank mission for you."
The blonde raised an eyebrow. "C-rank missions are usually reserved as solo missions for chuunin… or a team of experienced genin. I've never heard of a genin going on a solo C-rank mission. If it's a C-rank and he's sending only me on it-"
"Of course it's only natural that you're not the only one."
There was a visible lowering of the shoulders as the blonde's ego deflated. He glanced at the Hokage from the corner of his eyes.
"We know all too much of your record." Iruka released the pencil and picked up a piece of paper reading off from it though he already knew it by heart. "Apprehension of the missing-nin Momochi Zabua and the former hunter-nin Yuki Haku. It says in Kakashi's report that you were instrumental in that mission. Also your second C-rank mission states you single handedly captured the missing-nins… Fuudou and Raidou, the Fat Brothers."
Naruto nodded at a listing of his accomplishments.
"You're going to be traveling out of the village."
"What?!" The blonde showed the first sign of emotion since entering the room.
Iruka raised an eyebrow. "Did you just raise your voice at the-"
"I have the Chuunin exam is less than four weeks," Naruto ignored Iruka speaking over him. "I can't afford to leave the village on some wild goose chase. I need to train-"
"It looks like the prospect of the chuunin exam has you nervous huh?" The Hokage said with humor. He enjoyed cracking Naruto's outer shell. Iruka smiled as well. Despite his harsh words it was heartwarming to get a glimpse into the boy's inner psyche.
"These two…" Naruto fought down the initial surge of panic schooling his expression. He took a deep breath realizing that they had fished for that precise response from him.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to turn this one down." He crossed his arms.
The hokage shook his head. "I never said you can't train on this mission. The person who's accompanying you on this mission… well perhaps it's best if I let him explain." The Sandaime took out a piece of paper and handed it to Naruto.
The blonde accepted it. He opened the note to find an address and name.
"Jiraiya? Who's that? And this is a little place outside of the village. Not too far if I remember." Naruto folded the piece of paper and pocketed it.
"It's not an escort mission. The man can more than take care of himself." Sarutobi mused. "He's going on a mission to visit some old ruins. I want you to follow him and learn a thing or two from him. I assure you that this mission will help you more than any training."
Naruto considered the Third Hokage's advice. Truth be told he had already asked Kakashi to train him but the one eyed jounin had given him an excuse about Sasuke. He felt jilted by the response but he had expected it. Sasuke and Kakashi were both users of the sharingan of course Sasuke could learn more from Kakashi than Naruto could. Naruto knew that was an excuse. Kakashi clicked better with Sasuke and even from before he could see the special attention that he paid to the sullen Uchiha.
"By Kami… it's better than following Kakashi's advice and following that green tights around." Kakashi had let Naruto know that Gai had taken an interest in Naruto. He had even suggested that Naruto might go and ask Gai for some tips.
But Gai was Neji's teacher and Naruto knew that Kakashi knew that. The man was lazy and selfish, not dumb.
Naruto's reply had been along the lines of 'go fuck yourself.'
The one eyed Cyclops shrugged in reply. In reality he knew that he deserved it. He was neglecting Naruto and he had given him no route to follow. He felt a bit guilty but this was bigger than Naruto.
Sasuke had been approached by Orochimaru and-
Either way the Cyclops had abandoned Naruto and they both knew it.
"He's offering me mentorship… not by himself but someone he knows." Naruto considered the offer. "Obviously it's this Jiraiya person…" Naruto pursed his lips.
"I promise," Sarutobi pushed realizing that Naruto was turning the matter over in his mind. "That it won't be a waste of time. He's an excellent teacher. I assure you."
Iruka smiled inwardly.
"Fine." Naruto muttered. "This wasn't a mission at all. Sarutobi was just trying to look out for me." He looked up at the smiling old man's face. He wondered if his words the previous weeks at his fight with Kiba had affected their relationship in anyway. He shrugged. If the old man had harbored any ill will he would not have offered this opportunity for Naruto. He nodded in gratitude.
"I'll look into it." He muttered. The blonde wasted no time. He turned on his heel and abruptly left, forgoing the usual bow that was used as a gesture of respect towards elders, especially the Hokage.
Iruka shook his head at the fragrant disrespect in the blonde's attitude.
"It's fine Iruka." The Hokage thought back to his days with Jiraiya. The young-sannin had also been one who had not been too eager to show respect. At least Naruto didn't call him things like 'closet pervert' or 'old lecher.' Naruto's disrespect was more subtle than that, the way he held himself, the tone of his voice and his obvious disregard for protocol.
The Hokage felt the hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
Jiraiya smiled as he saw a small blonde approach him.
"Black Ninja-clothing… no kunai pouch to speak of. Little streaks of red in his head… not to mention those whiskers on his cheeks." Jiraiya finished his small lunch that he had been eating, popping the last dumpling into his mouth. "Looks just like his father."
Naruto in turn studied Jiraiya. He was a large man, taller and wider than most ninjas were. He had long spiky white hair that hung down his back. The man was sitting on the small annex of a restaurant underneath the shade provided by an umbrella. The veranda was made of wood and attached to the first floor building. Naruto quickly glanced inside before approaching the man, noting that there wasn't a lot of customers.
"Jiraiya?" Naruto inquired once he was close enough.
The man in question raised an eyebrow.
Naruto didn't bother adding any title of respect for the elderly though it was clear the man was old enough to be his grandfather.
"Little shit…" Jiraiya grumbled getting up out of his seat. He put the money on the table, more than enough for the small lunch he ate.
It was Naruto's turn to raise an eyebrow.
"You know who I am?"
Naruto shrugged. "The Sandaime told me to come meet you. I've never heard of your name before this."
"What are they teaching in the academy these days…" Jiraiya sighed and shook his head. Then realizing something he smacked his fist into the palm of his other hand. "Oh yeah, you were the dumbass of your class weren't you? You were dead last if I remember correctly?"
The blonde narrowed his eyes.
"You know I don't really like taking Sandaime's word for it." Naruto stabbed a finger in Jiraiya's direction. "Are you even qualified to train me?"
Jiraiya sighed and looked up at the sky. "Oh Kami… I have a lot of work cut out for me huh…" He looked at Naruto. "I've read over your file gaki and it's pretty clear that you're just a thug who got lucky a few times. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here." The sannin felt a tinge of pride as he continued. "I assure you that I am more than qualified to waste my time training the dead last of… of anything really."
"Anyone can talk like the Hokage," Naruto shuffled his feet. "Doesn't mean they are."
"Are you challenging me?"
Naruto didn't reply but the silence was answer enough.
The white-haired man sighed. He didn't really want to waste time drilling pain and lessons into Naruto through the physical way.
"The boy obviously has issues with authority figures… I wonder how Kakashi deals with this." Jiraiya frowned, thinking. "If I don't deal with this respect issue right now… it might affect our training and journey." Jiraiya surprised Naruto by snapping his fingers. Then he shrugged.
"It's not like I can do anything about it now. Maybe something will come up." Jiraiya sighed and looked at the blonde.
"Go?" Naruto frowned. "Go where?"
Jiraiya smiled realizing the next piece of news might actually get him on the boy's good side.
"The ruins of village hidden in the whirlpool… Uzushiogakure no Sato."
AN: Rewriting the last few chapters.