Hi, here is chapter 10, thanks to all of you that left reviews. I'm back to my normal update schedule after the huge Christmas special updates. happy reading.
Team ten was not amused that their sensei had arranged for a sparring match with another team. Ino was annoying Shikamaru with her blabbing about impressing Sasuke and showing up Sakura.
"Just make sure you aren't too loud. You know how Naruto will react." Shikamaru warned her.
Ino obviously remembered the incident at the academy well enough from the look on her face.
"Why are we even doing a sparring match with another team so early into our training? We didn't learn that much yet." Choji asked.
"You were just unlucky to be the first ones that will have those matches. Kurenai, Kakashi and I decided that it would be good for the developments of the rookie teams if we had them spar against each other regularly to get you all used to multiple fighting styles." Asuma explained. "Once you have got more experience we will probably also ask some older genin teams to be included."
"Troublesome." Shikamaru said.
Then they saw team seven appear from the entrance of the training ground.
"Hello, Asuma." Kakashi greeted.
"Hello, Kakashi. It's really strange to see you nearly on time." Asuma replied.
"Well, you know how that is. So much to do with the team to get them up to snuff. No time to be properly late." Kakashi sighed.
Asuma grinned. He knew Kakashi was ordered to be more punctual because he needed to get his two male students improved in the mental area. And that meant keeping them busy. He wondered just what pace Kakashi had set for his team.
"Okay, how do you want to do this? Three against three or one-on-one fights?" Asuma asked.
"I think for now one-on-one fights will work out better. It will take some time until they can work as a coherent unit. After all, they just trained a bit more than a week under us. Too little time to get them trained on team formations." Kakashi answered.
Asuma had expected that. He would make sure the next match against team seven would be team-fights; that was the strong area of his genin team.
They drew the matches. Shikamaru had to fight Naruto, Choji Sasuke, and Ino Sakura. First Naruto and Shikamaru were up.
"What a drag." Shikamaru complained.
Naruto decided to just go with taijutsu. Shikamaru was no match for his speed and he still needed to work on his shadow possession. Even if he got caught in it, Shikamaru couldn't hold it for long yet. When Asuma started the match, Naruto shot forward, always keeping an eye on the shadow, but as Shikamaru needed to be stationary for it to work, Naruto had the advantage. He quickly kept Shikamaru busy in a taijutsu match. Naruto was clearly superior in taijutsu and nailed Shikamaru to the ground with a kunai to his throat after a short time.
"I yield." Shikamaru hurried to say. Naruto nodded and helped Shikamaru back up. "Geez, you were holding back even more than I already thought Naruto. So troublesome." He said.
Naruto just grinned and let the next two take his and Shikamaru's places. Sasuke won the match against Choji, though he noticed that the resistance seals slowed him down considerably compared to his former speed at the academy. It took him more work to defeat the physically strong Choji. As he didn't want to use harmful jutsus in a simple training spar against a boy who was weaker than him, he kept it to taijutsu and the basic three academy jutsus. Having trained under Kakashi had shown him the great possibilities of them, especially the replacement jutsu. Soon Choji got frustrated with Sasuke always switching places with logs, tree branches, stones and whatever else he thought useful. Finally Sasuke managed to tie Choji up in ninja wire and place a kunai at his throat.
"Is it my imagination or was Sasuke slower than at the academy?" Shikamaru asked Ino.
"No, he was slower, I just wonder why." She answered.
"Part of our training." Naruto said.
"So he is wearing weights?" Shikamaru asked.
"No, resistance seals. They work similar, but strengthen the whole body without adding additional weight which wouldn't be good for a growing body. Weights are mostly used by taijutsu specialists as they need much muscle power for their attacks." Naruto answered.
"Are you all wearing them?" Ino asked.
"Yes. Kakashi sensei made sure we all used them the second day of our training." Naruto said, not giving out too much information.
Then Ino stood up and faced Sakura. She was sure she could beat her, especially if she was slower than before thanks to the seals Naruto spoke about. What followed was a surprise for Ino and Sakura. While the pinkette had mostly stood in the shadow of the blond in the past and tried to show her up in the fight over Sasuke, Ino had had the advantage of clan training. Now, even if she was slower than before, Sakura found it was easier for her to react to Ino's attacks. She wasn't good enough in taijutsu yet, after all she had only trained a week under Kakashi sensei, but she noticed improvement. In the end, Ino tricked Sakura with a replacement jutsu and hit her with shuriken in the arm from behind. The resulting short lapse in concentration was enough for the blond girl to secure her win.
Both senseis had watched their students intently, memorizing the points where they needed to improve their students.
"Okay, take ten minutes break, Kakashi and I will discuss a few things and then return." Asuma said.
Sakura let out a relieved breath.
"Hey, forehead, too weak to stand ninja training?" Ino asked mocking.
"You don't have any clue how much training I have already done today and today was a fairly easy one." Sakura shot back.
"Oh, did you have to run a few laps around the training field and do a few exercises?" Ino continued, knowing that physical exercises were a weakness of Sakura. This was such a good opportunity to show Sasuke how much better she was than forehead girl.
"Just so you know, Ino-pig. Our team starts training at six in the morning. We have to run laps around the village while we are wearing resistance seals that make you feel like wading through water the whole day. Then we have to do physical exercises for two hours before we can eat a small snack. Then follows whatever Kakashi sensei has thought up for that day and it is always hard work. Even today, when we worked on survival techniques I had to gut two fishes that Sasuke caught; otherwise I would only have had some berries, nuts, eggs, mushrooms and apples for lunch."
Sakura loved rubbing into her rival's face that she had got fishes that Sasuke had caught.
"So what? That's normal for a ninja to know. My mum taught me how to gut fishes that dad caught on some trips with his old team-mates when I was nine. I also know how to cook the fish so that it tastes great." Ino replied scoffing. "And if you start that early you only have more free time in the afternoons, what's so hard about that?"
"That we don't have the afternoons free. We never finish before six, mostly it's later, especially now with the missions. We do one each day, today is an exception because we had this sparring session with your team, which my team was better in than yours. And I only lost to you, because the resistance seals made me slower." Sakura stated.
"You wouldn't have a chance against me even if they were off. Why don't we prove that right now?" Ino challenged Sakura.
"I can't. Kakashi sensei is the only one who can release them at the moment. He says until we go on C-rank missions outside the village he won't let us have control over our seals. The only one who can turn them on or off on his own is Naruto, but he had them before our team was even built. I don't know why, he is just trying to look better than Sasuke." She complained.
Shikamaru heard what Sakura had said and put it into his file of clues about the blond. What exactly had Naruto done to train during his academy time? The image of the talentless idiot was made up to throw somebody off, but whom?
Naruto just ignored the complaints his so called team-mate brought up with Ino. Both needed to realize that being a ninja was no game. You could die on a mission. Even a C-rank if you weren't prepared. After all, even bandits knew how to use poison and if they got close enough, or just mixed it under the food in a restaurant, things were over. It was improbable, but still possible. And if the girls didn't improve their fighting abilities, the occasional rogue ninja that led bandits could be a massive problem for them if they were ever separated from their teams or had bad luck in a fight. It had happened often enough in the past. And the things bandits did to girls were sometimes worse than death.
Kakashi and Asuma returned and gave their students comments on their fights and where they needed to improve. To the horror of team ten, Asuma announced that in three weeks they would also get resistance seals to train their physical strength.
"Why then and not now?" Choji asked.
"Because I first want you to have learned to properly work as a team and get you up to speed in the basics. If you know the moves, you can then retrain your skill easier when you get the seals." Asuma said.
"But why did Kakashi sensei then have us train with them from the second day?" Sakura asked. Asuma's way to do things was making much more sense to her.
"Because I have a different way to train my genin team and we have a different focus. I think you all need to build up strength, well Naruto not so much as he has trained like that before becoming a genin, but you and Sasuke had more than enough room for improvement in the strength area. And if you are used to the increased difficulty of training, missions will be easier for you." Kakashi said.
'That and I need to break you and Sasuke out of your bad habits.' He mentally added.
Sakura just thought her sensei was a sadist. Her fangirl and damsel in distress mentality still was resisting being broken.
"So next week you are going up against Kurenai's team?" Asuma asked Kakashi.
"Yes, after that we have a break from the sparring matches. I will just have them take missions then. Until the end of the month I intend to have them done around twenty D-ranks. After that, if all went well, they should be ready for C-ranks." Kakashi replied, having Naruto and Sasuke perked up at the prospect of doing C-ranks after only a month being genin.
"Ambitious, aren't you, Kakashi?" Asuma asked.
"Perhaps a bit, but you know that C-ranks only involve bandits and the like if any. Mostly they are pretty boring and only are C-ranked because they have the genin outside the village for a certain time frame." Kakashi reminded him.
Asuma nodded. It was true, most C-ranks were messenger jobs, escorting merchants, delivery jobs that needed to be done by faster methods than a civilian could manage, some low profile guard duty, things like that. And with Kakashi being there, normally there would be no risk for his team.
Kakashi turned to his genin. "We are returning to our training ground and will do advanced tree climbing for the next hours." He informed them.
They nodded and stood up from the ground.
"What is advanced tree climbing, Asuma sensei?" Ino asked, not having heard of climbing on trees being a ninja training exercise.
"I only know normal tree climbing. It's an exercise to learn to control your chakra better to fight more effectively. You'll also learn that soon. I guess Kakashi has thought up his own version to make it more difficult." Asuma answered.
Sakura shuddered. Her sensei's ideas of training exercises bordered on insane in her eyes.
"Ah, there are so many beautiful ways to make the exercise more difficult. I have them climb trees while sticking a leaf to each hand for example. But today we will practice the version where you have to ignore disturbances from outside." Kakashi told his students eye smiling.
"Which means Naruto's clones get to pepper us with rubber balls again." Sasuke translated sighing, determined to get the better of Naruto's clones this time.
"Be glad that Kakashi sensei keeps it at rubber balls, we could also do the same with senbons." Naruto said grinning evilly.
"You are crazy, you know that, Naruto?" Sasuke asked.
"Only a little bit, nothing to be worried about. All ninjas have to be a little crazy to survive in this job." The blond played it down.
'The whole team is crazy.' Thought the genin of team ten.
"Well, we are on our way then, until next time, Asuma. And that makes two victories for me and one for you." Kakashi told Asuma while leaving.
"The only thing that counts is the end result. The bet is for the whole time until the next chunin exams." Asuma countered.
"And I am sure I will win." The silver haired jonin replied.
When team seven had left, Shikamaru turned to his sensei.
"What kind of bet is that?" He asked.
"Oh, just whose team will win the most fights with another team. The ones in the bet are Kurenai, Kakashi and I. The winner gets the pot of fifteen thousand ryo." Asuma said. "So I intend to win.
"And how would that work? If you didn't notice, Naruto is clearly beyond genin level, I would guess from his speed and how hard he hit he is high chunin level and if Kakashi sensei is really training team seven like that I don't see either us or team eight winning against Naruto or Sasuke." Shikamaru demanded to know.
"Ah, but there you are mistaken. Only the first fights will matter in that way. We will also have team matches and there it matters that all members of a team solve the given task together. And face it; Kakashi has two strong individual fighters in Naruto and Sasuke but no teamwork. And Sakura isn't their level. If she constantly loses her fights it will also cost Kakashi points. This is completely open for now." Asuma assured them.
"Does that mean you will also make us do some crazy training?" Ino asked.
"I will up your training, that's for sure, but I don't like overwhelming fresh genin from the start. The first month is to get used to ninja life, after that things will get harder." He informed them.
Meanwhile on training ground eight Kurenai was copying Kakashi's idea of keeping her team busy. She knew Hinata was ridiculed by her clan for her shyness and her problems with learning gentle fist. If only she had more of an idea about the style, but taijutsu and especially secret clan techniques were not her forte. She was a genjutsu specialist. Shino needed to get more contact with others and learn how to open up more. His team-mates needed to be able to have an idea how he worked. Kiba needed to get over his brashness, which was somewhat typical for his clan. All three were talented and she didn't doubt they would be ready for the chunin exams in six months.
"Okay, team, I have something to tell you." She said.
Hinata, Shino and Kiba sat down around her.
"As you perhaps know, three of the nine teams of your year have passed the genin tests of their jonin senseis, you, team ten under Asuma Sarutobi and team seven under Kakashi Hatake. Now Asuma, Kakashi and I decided that to improve all our students' fighting skills and other abilities that are important for ninjas, we will have you compete with the other teams. This month will be one-on-one fights against the members of the other teams. After that we will have other tasks which will be decided later. Next week we have a match against team seven, the week after that we will face team ten. Today teams seven and ten have their match." She told them.
Shino took the information stoically. Kiba was excited at the prospect to show his strength and Hinata hoped she wouldn't embarrass her team.
"During all of this, we jonin senseis have a bet going on. The jonin whose team collects most points over the period of six months will win fifteen thousand ryo. We all placed five thousand in the pot. If you manage to win the pot for me, I will invite you to a great celebratory dinner. I want to prove to Kakashi and Asuma that a team specialized in tracking can be as strong as any other team." She said.
"Count on us, Kurenai sensei, we will make sure you win your bet." Kiba loudly exclaimed.
"Don't be too sure of our abilities. We are good, but it will depend on the tasks we will get how well we can do. Why you ask? Team seven has the two top genin of our class in it." Shino said.
"Sakura wasn't top of the class." Kiba protested.
"Not Sakura, Naruto. If you didn't notice, he faked his idiocy and his bad grades. Naruto is the most dangerous opponent of all the new genin." Shino stated.
"No way, he was the dead last. I will give you that his show with shutting up Sakura and Ino with senbons and poisons was cool, but you don't really think he was a good fighter." Kiba protested.
"N-No, Kiba. Naruto is s-strong. H-He has more chakra t-than even K-Kurenai sensei." Hinata said.
Kiba looked at her disbelievingly.
"You can't be serious, Hinata." He said.
"Damn, how can he have more chakra than a jonin?" Kiba asked indigenised.
"Naruto is a special case." Kurenai only said.
Shino nodded. He had asked his father after graduating why Naruto had so much chakra, but he was told it was classified information. Something was odd about his old classmate and he would find out what it was.
Alright, I hope you liked the update. Some asked if thanks to Naruto being stronger than in canon the other genin would become stronger as well, here is your answer, the senseis are working towards that by letting them spar against each other and training them harder.