Hello FanFiction! This is pain17ification posting the next chapter of "Mai's Teacher"!
Please note: pain17ification doesn't own Naruto or Avatar the Last AirBender
AN: Most of you were right with your guesses on Naruto's red eye being a Sharingan. However, the owner of the eye was not guessed correctly. The answer will be revealed in this chapter. Enjoy!
"Higher Being Speech"
'Higher Being Thoughts'
Scene or Time Change/Chapter Name
Chapter 3: Shinobi Way Year 1
The following morning found Naruto in a forest clearing less than a mile out of the capital city of the Fire Nation. He sat in a lotus position and meditated while waiting for his new student to arrive. It didn't surprise him in the slightest when Mai asked to learn from him; especially after the display he gave Ozai and the spectators.
During his meditation, he felt the energies of three individuals heading toward him. Mai's reason was obvious, but the feeling of Azula and Ty Lee coming slightly confused him. He knew that he only extended the courtesy of teaching to Mai alone, so he didn't have much of an idea as to why the other two were coming. However, while not knowing why, he decided not to waste this opportunity to figure out why Azula's energy felt so familiar to him.
Opening his eyes, he lifted the hair away from his right eye, revealing a fully mature Sharingan to the world. While using its chakra detection abilities, he thought back as to how he acquired the eye.
Flashback to Naruto's Tenth Year of Self-Exile
The blonde Jinchuriki sat on the head of the Yondaime, gazing out to the destroyed village. He did this every day after properly burying the bodies of his loved ones and only moved when he felt the need to train, eat, or walk through the village ruins. Over the years, he had scavenged scrolls from the various clans of Konoha and stored them all in a scroll that he kept hidden in a seal on the top of his left hand. The history of the people of Konoha would die with its last citizen; him.
During his gazing, he felt the energies of a group of Iwa-Nin heading towards the destroyed village gates. Narrowing his eyes, Naruto pulled out a single kunai and disappeared in a flash of lightning before reappearing in the center of the village. He kept his narrowed gaze on the approaching shinobi and thought to himself, 'If they think they'll find any secrets in this place, then they are dead wrong.'
The group of Iwa shinobi totaled at about fifty members, with all of them in groups of 10. The leader of them noticed Naruto and grinned maliciously. "Well well boys, look at what we have here… A relic from a once 'powerful' village. Ha! What are you doing here, Namikaze scum?"
Naruto's response was to chuck the kunai in his hand at incredible speed. The knife flew at the man while covered in Raiton chakra, making him tense before using Kawarimi to avoid taking the hit. Naruto glared at them and ground out, "This village has suffered enough for one lifetime. Leave now, or join the everlasting calm of the dead."
The shinobi merely chuckled at Naruto's warning before they all flew through handseals and called out, "Doton Doryūdan (Earth Dragon)!" From the ground, fifty dragons made of jagged rocks rose up and flew at the blonde shinobi.
Naruto gave them a blank look before pouring chakra into his right pointer finger. In midair, he began to form the kanji for 'earth' and 'void' before he formed a circle around the symbol. The floating seal pulsed brown as Naruto muttered, "Fuinjutsu: Tsuchi Fūji Hōhō (Earth Sealing Method)." The many dragons were met with a brown barrier that absorbed their power, causing them to disappear and the Iwa shinobi to gape in shock. Naruto glared at them with slit-red eyes. "My turn…"
In a blur of black and red, the last Uzumaki tore through twenty of the shinobi and sliced off each of their left arms. The men cried out in shock and agony while clutching their bloody stumps. However, one of them managed to swing a kunai at the blonde.
When Naruto reappeared behind the Iwa-Nin, he held his right hand up to his bloody eye and snarled in pain and anger. 'Damn it! I got careless and it cost me!' he raged in his mind while Kyuubi tried to do damage control. To the fox's shock, its youki was drastically weakened due to a foreign substance in Naruto's wound.
"Kit, there was something on that kunai that's blocking me from completely healing it!"
'What?! What the hell could've-' he started before he remembered that Orochimaru had come up with a serum that screwed with a Jinchuriki's healing. He growled in rage and asked his tenant, 'Damn that fucking snake to hell! Is there any way to repair it?'
"Not immediately… Unless…" the great fox mused to itself.
'Unless what Kurama?' Naruto pressed as he hid behind some rubble since the Iwa-Nin grew confident at the blow Naruto had received.
"It's a stretch, but I want you to call out that raven Itachi had you swallow…"
Naruto's eyes widened in surprise as he asked, 'I still have that thing in me? I thought it flew off after it used the Kotoamatsukami (Distinguished Heavenly Gods)…'
"Yes you still have it! Now, create a Kage Bunshin to pluck the eye out of the raven, along with your slashed eye." Naruto complied and had a Kage Bunshin form while focusing his chakra to find a source reminiscent of Itachi's. When he found it, he used his to pull it out, causing a raven with Shisui Uchiha's Sharingan to wriggle out of his mouth.
'Oh Kami-sama, I forgot how disgusting that was!'
"Alright, all that's left is to have your clone switch out the eyes and I'll use my youki to handle the rest."
The next thing the Iwa-Nin heard was a cry of immense pain coming from one of the wrecked buildings. "He's over there!" yelled one as he launched many boulders towards the rubble.
When the rubble got demolished by the boulders, the Iwa-Nin smirked before they heard heavy breathing. They all turned to see Naruto who was leaning on another piece of rubble for support and had blood dripping from the right side of his face. They all chuckled at his beaten look before he raised his head and glared at them with his blue and red eyes. Staring at them, inside of a scarred eye socket, was a fully mature Sharingan.
"H-How is that possible?! How the fuck does he have a damn Sharingan?!" one of them asked in fear.
From Naruto's mindscape, the Kyuubi told the blonde, "Kit, you should know that my youki changed the genetic structure of the eye. Before you ask, that means that Shisui's Kotoamatsukami has been replaced with a different Uchiha power."
'What exactly was it replaced with? And what will happen if I try Mangekyou?'
"Even I don't know the answers to those questions. You'll have to see for yourself, Kit."
Naruto mentally nodded before he focused chakra into his Sharingan. His eye seemed to become completely red before his Mangekyou revealed itself to the Iwa shinobi. The sclera of the right eye became blood red, his pupil became pitch black, and the once black tomoe turned crimson (1). 'Alright, let's see what happens,' he mused to himself before he was met with a few more Doryūdan from the intruders. Something from the eye called out to his mind and he felt his body distort before the many earth dragons phased right through him; as if he wasn't even there (2)! Naruto released the distorted feeling before he glared murderously at the frightened Iwa shinobi. "Get the fuck out of my birth home!" he raged before he charged.
Naruto shook his head from the memories and focused on Azula's energy. He felt a dark chakra from her, although it was civilian-sized at the most. The feeling came from only one group of people that Naruto would never forget.
"Uchiha…" he murmured as the girls entered the clearing. Luckily, they didn't hear him so he addressed Mai, "I thought that I was only teaching you?"
Mai was about to answer, but Azula cut her off. "And just why exactly does Mai alone get the honor of being taught by you?"
Naruto narrowed his visible eye at her and retorted, "I chose Mai, therefore she alone will be taught by me. A girl like you, who has many teachers and tutors at her beck and call, does not need my guidance."
Azula scowled at him while Ty Lee nervously asked, "W-Well, what about me?"
Naruto gave her a calculative glance before answering, "I'll give you a few exercises to help you better defend yourself, but don't expect anything else from me. Do you understand?"
The brunette nodded before Naruto took out a random scroll and tossed it to her. When she opened it, she noticed that it was about the human body and the many different pressure points that could either help or harm it.
"That scroll should help you know where exactly to strike your opponents to take them out swiftly and without killing them. Actually training your body to be able to strike efficiently will be up to you, Ty Lee," Naruto explained to her.
Ty Lee squealed in gratitude and crashed into the blonde to hug him. Due to his larger stature and honed reflexes, he remained standing with no problem. The girl then went to a nearby tree to study her scroll. Azula rounded on the blonde, "I don't understand why you refuse to teach me!"
"I already answered you; you already have plenty of people to help you. My teachings would be wasted on you anyway since your chakra levels are far too low for me to even think of doing so."
Mai chose this moment to ask, "What's chakra?"
He turned to her and answered, "It's the energy within all things that allows them to call upon incredible power, depending on how much a person has. It's also as important as blood or oxygen since a person without chakra is dead."
"Why have I never felt it?"
"The answer is because you never consciously drew upon it. You've been living on the bare minimum, so you never felt anything new. When we actually tap into your chakra for the first time, then you'll feel it."
He then gazed at Mai with his Sharingan to see her chakra levels, causing her eyes to widen in surprise. 'I thought I only imagined that eye… But why does he have different eyes?'
"Well Mai, it appears that you have chakra levels of a high Genin; surprising for one who hasn't accessed their chakra yet."
"Ooh! What about my levels?" Ty Lee called out.
Naruto turned his gaze to her and shook his head. "Unfortunately, you barely have low Genin reserves, Ty Lee. I can't help you access your chakra anymore than giving you a small burst of energy that will immediately have you exhausted to the point of needed bed rest."
The girl pouted at his response but waved it off in favor of the scroll in her hands. Azula then asked, "What would happen if I tapped into this 'chakra' you're talking about?"
"You'd die from chakra exhaustion; plain and simple. Your reserves are too low to use except for bare minimum used to survive. I can't teach you even if I wanted to, Azula."
Azula scowled at that before leaving in a huff. Naruto sighed in slight relief along with Mai, causing them to look at one another in confusion and Ty Lee to giggle. When they turned to her, she commented, "Wow, you guys are already acting like teacher and student!"
Naruto shook his head in amusement while Mai muttered, "Troublesome…"
"Now Mai, I want you to sit in a meditative position like I am," Naruto said to his student.
Mai complied and sat in a lotus position like the blonde man in front of her. "Okay, I'm guessing you want me to 'clear my mind' or something like that?"
"Not exactly… I want you to calm yourself, but I also want you to try and sense your inner chakra. It should feel like a hidden well of energy waiting to burst out. When you feel it, I want you to pull it out and spread it throughout your body. Understand?"
She nodded before closing her eyes and began to breathe slowly. Naruto was helping her by watching her chakra levels with the Uchiha dojutsu while Ty Lee watched on in anticipation. After what felt like forever to the Nara descendent, Mai sighed and said, "I can't feel anything."
Naruto closed his eyes in thought before deciding that her chakra just needed a jump-start. So, he poured chakra into his thumbs and beckoned her to him. When she was standing in front of him, he placed his left thumb on her forehead while his right touched her naval. These were the two main chakra points of the body; the mind and the core respectably. He then willed his chakra into her system in search of her own. What he didn't count on was his chakra affecting her reserve levels, pushing them from high Genin levels to mid Chunin. Kurama noticed though, but remained silent for the moment.
When his chakra found hers, he pulled it out of her core and spread it throughout her body. To Mai, it felt like her body had just received the biggest surge of power she had ever felt. She felt amazing, powerful, and unbeatable… That is until Naruto flicked her on her forehead, causing her concentration to break and her chakra to recede back into her.
"Why'd you do that?" she asked with narrowed eyes, only to meet his stern gaze.
"If I had allowed you to continue, your chakra would have left your body completely, resulting in death." At her shocked look, he continued, "The first thing we will work on, now that you've unlocked your chakra, will be control." He then looked to the sun resting high in the sky and said, "We'll continue later today. For now, go eat something and rest. That should restore your reserves by enough to start our first lesson."
Mai nodded before she and Ty Lee left for the town. Once they were gone, Kyuubi commented, "I hope you realize that you actually raised her reserves when you did that little trick of yours?"
'Yea, I didn't notice immediately, but I felt it before I stopped her from accidentally killing herself. I didn't think my chakra would affect hers in that way though… We'll have to make sure her control is at least at water-walking levels before I teach her any jutsu.'
"What exactly will you teach her, Kit?"
'I plan to make her my apprentice in the ways of the Gama Arts. That means she'll sign the contract when I feel she's ready…'
"What about the Sennin Arts? Will you teach her that as well?"
'We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I'm going to spend this break to talk to Kichi. I haven't seen him for thousands of years.'
"Ha! How does it feel to be an old man?" the fox asked with a smirk.
Naruto smirked back and retorted, 'I may be old, but at least I still look young.' He then flew through handseals and used the Gyaku Kuchiyose (Reverse Summoning) to transport himself to Mt. Myoboku.
Naruto found himself in the densely forested home of the Gama Clan and smiled at the memories he had of this place. 'It's like nothing's changed since I was last here… Except that Kichi is now the Grand Sennin of the clan. Better not keep him waiting since I'm sure he sensed my arrival.'
The blonde shinobi trekked through the dense forest and made his way to the Toads' village. When he stepped through the dense fauna, many toads turned their gazes to him and most widened their eyes in surprise at how a human found this place. A small few were able to see the whisker markings and murmured, "Naruto-sama…" The whispers caused others to realize just who this intruder was.
Suddenly, a loud boom was heard followed by an intense tremor signifying the arrival of Gamashun. He turned to the blonde and greeted, "Welcome back to Myoboku after so long, Naruto-sama."
Naruto nodded in greeting and replied, "It's good to see this place again. I actually came here to speak to Kichi. Can you take me to him?"
"Of course; this way, Naruto-sama," Shun answered before leading the Uzumaki to a large courtyard that had a large crystal ball and an ancient looking toad.
The toad was orange and blue with many wrinkles and wheezing breaths. He turned his head towards Naruto's general direction, presenting foggy eyes to him. 'So, Kichi's become blind over the years; same as the Grand Sennin of my time.' Naruto then smiled to Kichi and stated, "It's been a long time hasn't it, Kichi?"
"Nii-san? Is that… really you…?" Kichi asked in between wheezed breaths.
"Yea Kichi, it's me Naruto. I'm glad to see you again after so long," Naruto commented while embracing the blind toad. "I assume that everyone else is…?"
"Yes… They're all…dead. I was given…the title of…Grand Sennin by…tou-san before he…passed on. Although, Fukusaku-sama left something…for you in…his will nii-san."
"He did?" asked a surprised blonde. "I'm sorry to hear that I wasn't there for the service and about everyone else…" After a small silence in short memory of the deceased toads, Naruto asked, "So what exactly did Fukusaku-sama leave me?"
Kichi's answer was to press his left forepaw to the ground next to him, resulting in a small plume of smoke. Once it cleared, an old-looking staff was seen in Kichi's paw. "He left you…his Senjutsu Staff. You remember…the one that knocked…nature chakra out of…someone if they had…too much?"
"Yea, I remember…" Naruto said in a whisper as he took the staff. He felt nature chakra flowing freely through it and remembered the times when the old toad used it on him. It brought a melancholic smile to his face as he thought of all the bumps he received throughout his Senjutsu training. "So, did he want me to do something with this, Kichi?"
"Yes he did. He wanted you…to pass on the ways of…the Gama Sennin to…this generation. Aside from me…you are the last Sennin…of the Gama Clan. Not only that…but I think my time…has finally come…"
Naruto turned to his oldest friend with wide eyes. "Kichi, you can't possibly mean that! We… We just saw each other again after so long, and now you're about to die?! You can't die!"
The old toad gave Naruto a sad smile. "Yes… I am about to die. However, I'm glad…that I was able…to see you one last time…nii-san. Be sure to…honor Fukusaku-sama's…last wish." He then gave one long, final wheeze for air before whispering, "Goodbye…nii…san…"
The grand Sennin then bowed his head forward and became still. Naruto felt his eyes water and proudly let the tears free in memory of his dead friend. Many other toads that had come to see the meeting between the two were also in tears at the loss of their oldest clan member. 'Kichi… I promise that I will keep the Gama Arts alive…for you and for all members of the Gama Clan.'
Naruto then turned to the other toads and raised his right fist over his heart; a gesture that they readily returned. Gamashun spoke up, "We are proud to have you as our Grand Sennin, Naruto-sama."
The Uzumaki nodded and replied, "I promise, to all of you, that I will keep our teachings alive! I have already found my apprentice and I will make sure that she becomes a Sennin worthy of the Gama Clan name!" He then slammed the staff on the ground, causing a flash of green to emit from it. "That is my promise of a lifetime to you all!"
The toads all smiled to the blonde with determination while a small white and green toad hopped up to him and bowed. "Naruto-sama, please allow me the honor of accompanying you as your familiar toad," she requested.
Naruto gave her a small smile and nodded. "Thank you. I have a feeling that I'll need someone like you to assist me. What is your name?"
"Gamayuki, Naruto-sama… But you may call me Yuki for short."
"Very well Yuki, hop on my shoulder and we'll return to the Human Realm." When she was resting on his shoulder, he turned to the toads and stated, "Remember, the ones who love us never really leave us. Kichi will always be in our hearts so long as we honor his memory and live how he wanted us to." At their nods, he and Yuki disappeared from the Toad Realm in a plume of smoke.
When the duo reappeared, they noticed Mai and Ty Lee already waiting for them. Ty Lee was still reading her scroll while Mai leaned against a tree and watched the clouds drift by. This caused Naruto to sweat-drop and think, 'Yep, she's definitely a Nara through and through…'
Mai turned her gaze to her teacher and actually gave a small smile. "Well, I was wondering where you went… Where did you go exactly?"
Naruto pointed to Yuki and replied, "The realm of the toads. I…picked up my inheritance." He then presented his Sennin Staff to her and allowed her to hold it. Strangely to the kunoichi in training, it felt right in her hands. The aura emitting from it felt empowering and amazing to her. The feeling left when Naruto took it back and sealed it in a storage seal drawn on his right palm. "Now, we are going to work on your chakra control. The first thing I want you to do is to try and focus it to certain points; hands, feet, etc."
Mai nodded and closed her eyes while feeling for her chakra. She felt it in her core, but moving it around was hard for her. She was then broken out of her concentration by Naruto standing behind her and moving her hands to form a strange gesture.
Noticing her confusion, Naruto explained, "This is called a Ram Seal. It's beneficial for initial chakra control for beginners. Hold that seal while focusing your chakra and you'll see the difference." He then backed up and watched her get to work. He saw that she had little trouble moving her chakra around while holding the seal and gave an unnoticeable smile at her progress. Most would have trouble even with the seal, but she seemed to barely have any problems. 'If she truly isn't having much problem, then she must have decent control already; which is strange for a beginner with low Chunin reserves…'
Mai liked the feeling of moving her chakra around her coils. It felt incredible to be so in control of something. Then again, she didn't have much control over what happened in her life. It took a lot of convincing to her parents to even let her learn. Even if they knew of Naruto's legendary status, they still felt that being associated with a war veteran wouldn't be best for her. Luckily for Mai, her mother saw how badly she wanted to learn from the Uzumaki and gave her daughter her blessing. It was worth it in her eyes since she saw Mai give her a bright smile and a small hug in thanks; two things she rarely saw her daughter do anymore.
After spending a few minutes getting a feel for moving her chakra around, Naruto called her over to show her the other eleven handseals; bird, tiger, boar, rat, dog, dragon, horse, ox, serpent, hare, and monkey. It took the rest of the afternoon to get Mai to perform the seals fluently and at a decent speed. When Naruto dismissed her, she surprised him by smiling at him and saying, "As troublesome as you may be, I want to thank you for doing this for me. By the way, what's the word for 'teacher' in the old language?"
"Teacher in stated as 'sensei', and teaching you is no problem. After all, I did say you'd be my deshi, Mai."
"I'm guessing that means 'student'?" she asked with a small smirk.
"Close; it means 'disciple'," he replied with a matching smirk.
"Well anyway, I'll see you tomorrow, sensei."
As Mai left the clearing, Yuki spoke up, "Your student seems promising, Naruto-sama."
"Yea she does… By the way, you don't have to call me 'sama'. Just 'Naruto' is fine with me."
Little Yuki stammered a bit at how her summoner seemed so disinterested in his respected title, but she calmed down and replied, "If you say so…Naruto."
For the following two weeks, Mai worked on her control with the help of her sensei while Ty Lee watched on in curiosity and wonder. After she had gotten a feel for her chakra, Naruto moved Mai onto tree-climbing. It surprised the two girls when they saw the Uzumaki walk straight up a tree and stand under a tree branch with only his feet.
Obviously Mai had some trouble with this one, but not as much as Naruto believed she would. She merely kept putting too much chakra into her feet which forcefully pushed her off the tree. He easily helped her solve the issue since he knew what it was like to use too much chakra at one time. With his advice, Mai was able to steadily progress up the tree, each time getting slightly higher than the previous.
After the two weeks of tree-walking, Naruto moved his student on to physical exercises to increase her strength, stamina, and endurance. He had her run around the clearing, perform push-ups, mad her do chin-ups on a low branch, and had her wear Taijū Fuiin (Weight Seals) during it all. She had the seals on her wrists, ankles, and abdomen. The ones on her wrists and ankles were ten pounds each while the one on her abdomen was fifteen. This went on for another two weeks.
The following three months were spent teaching Mai water-walking to further increase her chakra control as well as basic weapons training with kunai and shuriken. For her safety, Mai was allowed to keep her weights off during the water-walking and used blunted weapons during her weapons training. It surprised Naruto at how proficient she was with her weapons; especially since she claimed that she'd never used them before.
'I can't believe how good she is already… Maybe one of Tenten's descendants married a Nara down the line.'
"That would make since… That Higurashi girl was a terror with those weapons of hers, but she was especially good with bows and arrows. You gonna have Mai learn how to use those?"
'I don't see a reason not to. Tenten would kill me if I didn't have her descendant learn her skills; even if I was already dead.'
After those months, Mai had master water-walking and was as skilled as Tenten used to be with kunai and shuriken. She was able to hit targets many yards away, moving and stationary, and score perfect bulls-eyes on them.
The fifth-seventh months of training had Naruto teaching Mai how to properly use the Kawarimi, Henge, and Bunshin techniques. Since she was still relatively new to the shinobi arts, seeing the techniques demonstrated to her made her eager to learn, even if Naruto wasn't able to fully demonstrate the regular Bunshin to her. Naruto was glad to see how Mai truly was without her emotional barrier up. She reminded him of himself so much that it was both refreshing and scary. Refreshing to see that he was able to help someone that was like him, and scary at how similar they were.
The fifth month was spent on Kawarimi and learning on when to properly use it and time it. Month six was used for Henge training. It amazed Mai at how Naruto was able to successfully fool Ty Lee with this as he acted like her. That month was also a fun one for her since she used it to fool so many people around the city, which made Naruto think that he had somehow passed on his old pranking ways to his student. The seventh month was challenging to say the least.
Since Naruto was unable to perform a simple Bunshin, but knew the handsigns for it, he couldn't properly demonstrate it to her. When she asked why, he replied, "My reserves match that of three Kage level shinobi alone. More chakra equals harder control but it also makes some techniques impossible for me. The Bunshin is merely one of those techniques." Understanding that even her sensei is not above everything, she tried her best with the technique. The first two weeks of the seventh month only resulted in pale or dead illusions. Week three had them pale still, but none looked dead. It wasn't until the last three days of week four that she successfully made illusionary clones. While pleased with her progress, Naruto reminded her that Bunshin were not physical, so they didn't make a sound. A trained warrior would be able to notice the difference the real her and her clones on that alone.
Months eight and nine were spent on reviewing all she had learned. Handseals, chakra control, physical exercises, the three basic jutsu, and weapons training were all reviewed and raised up to almost an art form. Naruto and Kurama were pleased with her progress and Naruto saw her as an incredible learner. She learned just like he did; through trial and error. The explanations helped her, but having her actually try something and pointing out her mistakes was the best way Naruto saw Mai learn.
Month ten would have been for training, but something horrible had happened.
Fire Nation Palace
The master and student shinobi entered the palace after being invited by Iroh for some afternoon tea. Naruto still looked the same, but Mai went through an incredible change.
Her hair was styled in a single tail that was held by two senbon needles; the needles were extra weapons. She wore black kunoichi sandals that Naruto had ordered for her, dark red hakama pants with a kunai holster on her right side, a black belt that held a weapons pouch for her shuriken and senbon, a long-sleeved mesh shirt under a sleeveless Chinese style shirt, and a hiate that Naruto made for her. The shirt was black with a crimson fox wrapping its nine tails from the back around the right side. The hiate was made of a crimson cloth with the kanji for 'kunoichi' on the metal plate.
When they entered, they saw Iroh talking to Zuko with a worried look on his face. When the retired general noticed them, he beckoned them over. Naruto saw how worried Iroh was and questioned, "What's going on?"
Zuko answered, "I spoke out against a Fire Nation general during a war meeting."
'So, even this time is still at war… Why can't the world ever learn that war brings nothing but pain? Nagato, you'd be ashamed at this…'
"Speaking out of turn during a meeting usually results in the two parties, the speaker and the interrupter, engaging one another in an Agni Kai (Fire Duel). Zuko has already accepted the challenge," Iroh explained with a concerned look on his face.
"I'm guessing that you know who Zuko is facing, Iroh?" Naruto asked.
"What do you mean?" Zuko asked back in confusion. "I'm facing that general, right?"
"Zuko," Iroh started with a stern gaze, "you may face him, but I'm not entirely sure. Whoever you face, make sure you stand your ground, or else the shame will be almost impossible to forgive."
Zuko hesitantly nodded as Iroh pulled Naruto over to the side, leaving Mai to catch up with her friend. "What is it you wanted to tell me in private?" Naruto questioned.
"I have news from my associates…"
"And these 'associates' are…?"
"They belong to your old council; the Shiro Renge."
Naruto looked surprised at that and stated, "Explain. I thought that the Shiro Renge dispersed years ago?"
"No they didn't. It still remains a fully operational organization to this day with members in all parts of the world; except the Air Nomads of course."
Naruto nodded at that. While he taught Mai the ways of the shinobi, she told him of the current events of the world and what she knew of Bending and Benders. He also learned of the near genocide of the Air Nomads barring the Avatar who went into hiding. "So, what is this news you have?"
"Fire nation colonies are capturing many small villages around the Earth Kingdoms and putting the EarthBender rebels into prisons or work camps. The colonies are expanding and they plan to move on to the Water Tribes soon."
Naruto nodded and replied, "I'll be sure to look into it when I can. I may not be the peacekeeper of this time, but I despise slavery with a passion. Thank you for the information, Iroh."
The man nodded before they both returned to their respective charges and headed for the arena. Zuko's Agni Kai was later that afternoon and Naruto wanted to be sure that his and Iroh's suspicions on the teen's opponent were correct.
Naruto turned to his student and stated, "Mai, no matter what takes place here, don't look away."
She turned to him confused and asked, "Why not?"
His eyes glazed over in disappointment as he answered, "Because there are some cruel things in the world that you need to see to truly understand."
Still confused, Mai hesitantly nodded and turned her attention to the arena floor where Zuko and a shadowed figure were kneeling with their backs turned to one another. Once they stood and turned to each other, Mai's eyes widened in shock at who Zuko's opponent was.
"I knew it…" Naruto muttered sadly. "The man would choose his pride over his son… He truly has no honor."
Mai watched on as Zuko pleaded to Ozai and begged for forgiveness. The Fire Lord would have none of it and told his son to rise and fight. Zuko refused to fight his father and looked to him with tears in his eyes.
"You will learn respect, and suffering will be your teacher," Ozai stated before burning Zuko on the left side of the prince's face, causing the left eye to look horribly wounded and dead looking.
Mai closed her eyes to hold back the tears as she watched her friend get burned by the one he called 'father' and Naruto comforted her by holding her close to him. "This is how cruel the world can be, Mai. As shinobi, it is our duty to fight for the world's peace so that events like this won't happen anymore."
Mai slowly calmed down and asked, "D-Do you really think we can make any difference, sensei?"
Naruto gave her a reassuring smile and answered, "I believe that, so long as hope remains in the hearts of the people, we can make all the difference in the world. We just have to show them that peace is not a lost dream. My father, sensei, and cousin all fought for peace; as do I. I fight for their dreams and I'm asking you to do the same. Will you help me show the world that peace is not impossible, Mai?"
The Nara descendant wiped her eyes and gazed at her teacher determinedly. "Yes I will sensei."
Naruto nodded with a smile and stated, "I'm glad to hear that. We still have plenty of training to do for you, and by the time we're done, you'll be a successful kunoichi; I promise you."
1~ Think of it like a Sharingan in reverse color
2~ I feel as if a Mangekyou power comes from the desires of the heart. Tsukiyomi and Amaterasu are the heart wanting to see their dreams made reality. Susano'o represents the will to stand up for your belief. And Kamui is the heart wanting to either remove what stops your dreams (Kakashi's) or make yourself unmovable on your quest to make your dream real (Obito's). That's how I see it anyway, which is why I gave Naruto the Kamui Obito had.
Anyway, that was chapter three! I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and the future chapters to come! If you have any questions or concerns, PM me!
Now please: Review! Review! Review!
Naruto: (physical) 26; (actual) 5114
Lo and Li: 79
Fire Nation Girls: 15
Aang: (physical) 12; (actual) 110
Next Time: Way of the Shinobi Year Two! Stay Tuned!