Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, Final Fantasy 7, or any works that this story might be hitting along the way. Give credit to where credit is due.

I was inspired to do this story after reading some interesting Naruto-FF7 crossovers. I will not be following their plot (though you expect quite a lot of them to be similar in terms of powers, skills, etc.) but there will be similarities considering we are all using the same story as a base. So there!

Summary: Naruto suffered an accident that caused memories of his past life to slowly resurface in his mind. As he grew, he integrates the personality, memories, and abilities of the One-Winged Angel - Sephiroth. Enemies beware! Sephiroth-like Naruto. Inventor-Naruto Strong Naruto. Intelligent-Naruto. Minimal Bashing if possible. Slight AU but mostly similar to canon as the story goes.

A five-year old Uzumaki Naruto was currently sitting on his favorite perch on the Hokage Monunment while staring blankly at the village below with glazed eyes. If people saw him right now, they would think that the boy was brain-dead or there was something wrong with the normally hyperactive blonde. As it was, Naruto was oblivious to the world as he was immersed deep into his memories, meriting the blank blue eyes as if staring at nothing and everything without focus or thought.

Naruto knew that these memories started when he hit his head hard enough to black out. He was leading some Chuunins around the village and into a fenced forest after a successful prank. He didn't notice the pit in front of him so he fell, screaming all the way before being silenced when his head hit the hard packed soil.

After waking up in the hospital and getting a stern talking to from a very worried Sandaime Hokage regarding pranks and getting too close to the Forest of Death, Naruto spent most of his time reviewing the memories he didn't have before. It was like watching a movie – an action packed sci-fi fantasy movie.

Naruto was quite sure that these memories were not his own which was glaringly obvious after looking through all of them.

For starters, he was five years old, blonde, wearing an orange shirt and black shorts (the only clothes he had since the shops in the village would overcharge him for the most cheap clothes), and immature. The 'him' in the memories was tall – clearly an adult; long silver-white hair, wearing a black trench coat with metal pads on his shoulders, powerful, and carried a very long sword stained with blood. The man's eyes were green, glowing with power. The 'him' in his memories also sported a single black wing.

It took him a week to process all the memories in his head until his now-matured mind was able to come up with a theory that was the most probable among others he came up with.

He knew he was Uzumaki Naruto, the pariah of Konohagakure no Sato; but he couldn't deny the fact that he was also the reincarnation of Sephiroth, the One-Winged Angel of Midgar, The Destroyer.

Naruto frowned as he exited his meditation. If he was the reincarnation of Sephiroth then it was quite possible that the man's prowess also bled to him. He raised his hand, half pointing forward, wanting to see if this was true.

"Fire." He intoned as he channeled magic to his hand like Sephiroth did, expecting a large fireball to burst forth. Instead of the usual feeling of magic he felt in Sephiroth's memories, Naruto felt that there was something missing, something that was necessary for the spell to come to life. He frowned as he tried again, getting the same feeling, or the lack thereof.

"Interesting." Naruto murmured in a somewhat detached voice. After viewing all the memories of his past life, it was quite obvious that something changed in him. He was no longer the boy in a constant sugar-high. He was now calm, calculated, and somewhat aloof. His mind was no longer that of a curious child, but a mature adult. Naruto didn't mind losing his childhood since he never had any in the first place. "I know that I can do the spell but it lacked the energy I used as Sephiroth. It would seem that channeling the energy for the spell didn't necessary mean that the energy was there. Correction, it is there but lacking. Hm, I wonder…"

Naruto closed his eyes and looked deep within himself, going into the basic exercise that all SOLDIER were forced to do in order to cast spells. It was easy for him since he knew HOW to do it thanks to the memories he immersed himself in. He opened his senses as his mind probed his body for the core where magic dwelled. It took a while but he found it and was quite surprised at the difference.

Unlike his core that once contained untold amounts of Mako he was infused with during his time as a SOLDIER, the energy in his core was pure magical energy, not enhanced by Mako or anything that would prove negative to his body while enhancing his abilities tenfold. It was still as large as his core as Sephiroth but it was cleaner, purer without Mako mucking up the works or putting his body at risk. It made him giddy that his core was quite large despite being a child and couldn't wait at the prospect of how big it would grow when he reached his peak. If he was a powerhouse before, he was going to be a much bigger threat in the future. He couldn't wait.

That excitement, however, was blunted when Naruto discovered that his body didn't have a shred of Mako in it. This was relatively obvious since his eyes were blue. If he had Mako then it would have been green and glowing. However, he could work around that if need be but it would be hard considering that he had Mako in his veins all his life – his past life anyway.

Pulling a sliver of pure magical energy from his core, he opened his eyes and raised his hand again.

"Fire!" he chanted while pushing the magic out of his hand as he would when in possession of a Materia. This time, he was rewarded by a burst of flame that appeared as quickly as it disappeared. The size of the flame was similar to that of a small candle. It didn't deter him though since he knew that he could do the spell but improving its potency would require a lot of work.

"Blizzard." A block of ice appeared but it was no bigger than an ice cube. "Thunder." A small park of electricity appeared between his fingers that made his skin tingle.

The spells were puny but Naruto knew that he could work on it despite the lack of Mako in his body to improve his spell's potency. But despite this glaring setback, he was still happy that he had Sephiroth's abilities if nothing else. A thought occurred to Naruto, making him grin. He decided to try something that only Sephiroth was known to do – the ability to fly.

He stood up and channeled the energy to every single cell in his body and willed himself to fly. It was sluggish but he eventually covered the entirety of his body with the necessary energy. However, he was quite disappointed when all he got was floating a few inches off the ground before settling back down again. Sure, he had a large core but it was useless if it wasn't as potent enough to utilize his abilities.

"This isn't good." He murmured in total disappointment. "Even if I have Sephiroth's abilities, lacking the Materias of course, it would seem that I need to work on increasing my control over this…new energy since it's not amplified by Mako. I may not be able to fly but I can still do this."

With a grin on his face, Naruto walked towards the edge of the Yondaime's head and stepped off the edge to fall the unforgiving ground below without a care in the world. However, as he neared his destination and killing himself in the process, Naruto channeled as much of the pure energy as he could in his small body and willed himself to become light.

Thankfully, his foolhardy experiment worked since he could feel himself slowing down before landing softly without a sound. His landing didn't even stir up the dry ground, a testament to how he defied gravity.

"Well, I might not be able to fly yet but at least I can now go against gravity if I really want to." Naruto said with a grin as he walked towards his apartment with practiced gait, unlike the one he used to have before mentally incorporating everything that was his past life. "Oh well, at least I know how to train myself. Ku ku ku ku."

It went unnoticed that talking to himself out loud was another indication that he totally immersed himself in the personality of his predecessor.

Uzumaki Naruto and Sephiroth became one entity, not that he cared of course.


Naruto frowned. It had been a week since absorbing Sephiroth's personality into himself and tested all the abilities he knew his past life could do. He tested them and found that it was available to him. However, his body was too weak to use them effectively much to his ire. He didn't quit though and the many failures fueled his determination to get his old strength back.

During his experiments in a secluded area behind the Hokage Monument away from the prying eyes of shinobi and civilians alike; he discovered a few things concerning his abilities that needed to be addressed as soon as possible.

One, he no longer had Mako in his system so his enhanced strength and speed were no longer available to him. Considering that he was still 5 years old, his body definitely couldn't handle the stress without breaking down or suffer irreparable damage. Thankfully, he could still regenerate or heal himself to a degree even without Mako.

Cure was definitely a handle spell to have around and it didn't really take that much magic to use.

Regarding this problem, the best way to attain physical strength and speed was to train extensively. This was easy since he was in a shinobi village so there should be some training manuals of sorts in the library he could use as a guide. If not, he could always come up with something himself if he really need to or spy on the many training grounds around Konoha to take notes.

He was quite tempted to mimic his training during his SOLDIER days but it was glaringly obvious that it would be difficult since Konoha couldn't compare to Midgar's technologically-advanced training facilities.

Two, without Mako, he could no longer bring out the output he used to have. Mako was like an amplifier for magic, making it easy for SOLDIER to cast spells with more potency using only the barest of minimum, allowing them to cast more spells with plenty of fuel to spare.

However, the lack of Mako stopped him from casting ALL the spells he knew. Even a simple Haste didn't work and he considered the spell his weakest out of all the Support Magics had had in his past life. He didn't want to try his hand at Summoning since he knew that he would fail spectacularly to add to his already bruised ego.

The only way to counter this problem was to improve his control over his energy and practice with it often to increase its potency. He surmised that if he practiced with it every day, casting all the spells he knew even if they were laughably puny, he would be able to become an average spell caster in five years, give or take a few months.

Another five years then he would be a force to be feared, his spells comparable to the elemental and non-elemental techniques shinobi were known to use.

Give him another five years then he could spam Ultima, Flare, and Meteor that would make S-rank rogue shinobi tremble in their proverbial boots, and that didn't include his arsenal of summons.

Another method to speed up the process was to slowly saturate his body with magic, making it similar to being imbued with Mako. It might not have granted him the physical improvements Mako could give but it would make it easy for him bring out spells on the fly without having to bring out his magic every time as his body's conductivity towards his own energy improves.

Three, he was quite happy that he was able to summon his nodachi-class sword, Masamune, from its resting place in a pocket dimension that only he knew how to open.

However, he couldn't lift the damn thing; much less wield it, since it was way taller than him.

If he wanted to become a swordsman like his past life then he needed to get his body up to par and fast. It took a while to send the sword back to its pocket dimension but he eventually succeeded after a few minutes of intense concentration. It was actually quite weird to send the sword back to its hidden home from the ground as his hand remained on the hilt while channeling the necessary magic and focus.

Lastly, he could not enhance his body using magic without Mako running through his veins. He tried to do so by lifting his bed but couldn't even make it budge. Sure, he could channel magic to fight gravity to an extent (slowing down his fall) but he couldn't do so to increase his physical strength and speed. If he wanted to be strong then he needed to do this the old fashioned way – muscle training – making him wince.

Naruto sighed as he fell on top of his bed, his mind already whirling with ideas on how to get his skills back. Thanks to the increased IQ the merger brought him; he knew that the only way to achieve that goal was to resort to become the SOLDIER's alternative in this world – a shinobi.

To do that, he needed to attend the Academy next year.

That thought made the blonde frown. He heard from his surrogate grandfather, the Sandaime Hokage, that the Konoha Academy includes a 6-year course on shinobi basics to prepare them for the field. He had no problem with that since the thought of training appealed to him. Both his memories as Sephiroth and Uzumaki Naruto wasn't opposed to hard work. It would be safe to say that the two personas had something in common and that was working their butts off to attain strength.

However, the idea of attending the Academy as a weak idiot didn't appeal to him. No, his mindset as Sephiroth wouldn't accept that. Uzumaki Naruto's pride and dream to become Hokage didn't like it at all.

After a few minutes of deliberation, he decided to resort to a bit of manipulation and cunning if he wanted to achieve his goal. Of course, being a strategist, he needed to plan this out to ensure that it works.

Failure was NOT an option.


Naruto gave himself a mental pat on the back for a job well done. He succeeded in controlling the discussion he had with the Sandaime regarding the postponement of his attendance in the Konoha Academy for two years.

He had to chuckle upon seeing the disbelieving looks on the Sandaime's face when he laid out his argument on the table. Naruto inwardly smiled to himself since his past persona as a hyperactive knucklehead must have made it difficult for people to believe his new attitude and mindset. He couldn't help but sigh that there might be rumors going around that he must have hit his head a bit too hard to do a complete 180 in both personality and intelligence.

This didn't concern him though since his newfound maturity didn't really care what the idiotic villagers think as long as those he cared about accepted the change..

Anyway, his arguments were sound and the Sandaime agreed to enroll him after two years, granted that he passed the test the aged leader would subject him to in order to prove his claims of training.

First, he pointed out that he realized the 'folly of his ways' and he was a bad student so he would be using the two years to catch up on basic education – reading, writing, history, and basic subjects. He was an orphan so he would be fending for himself to know everything there was to know before going to the Academy since his peers had parents to teach them.

Second, it was also a good idea to postpone his attendance in the Academy since he wanted the people to get used to the idea of the "new" Uzumaki Naruto.

The Sandaime couldn't help but agree with the last one since it would take a LOT of time before the people would realize that he was no longer the prankster he was known to be.

Lastly, to drive his point home, Naruto informed the Hokage that he wanted to do this to honor his dead parents. This was the deal breaker, so to speak, which the old man grudgingly gave in.

Right now, Naruto was on his way to the library to get started with his 'study'. In truth, thanks to the change in maturity, he was able to compile everything he learned during his short years in Konoha to come up with a list.

He had no problem reading because the language used in the Elemental Nation was similar to the ones used by the people of Wutai. Of course, Sephiroth was well-versed in their language so that bled to Naruto.

Writing was not a problem but he needed to practice with a brush since the pens were not available. Ink and brush was a primitive way to write but who was he to complain. After all, there was a saying back during his SOLDIER days…When in Wutai, do what the Wutai's do.

Basic education was not a problem since everything Sephiroth knows, Naruto now knows. Mathematics, strategy, chemistry, battle tactics – you name it, Naruto knows it.

Considering that he had the basics down pat, his goal was to learn everything he knew about shinobi and the arts they practiced. The best place to do that was the library to check out the books he needed to read.

He was delayed a bit when he encountered the librarian, an old lady who hated his guts, why, he didn't know. A simple 'Confuse' was enough to stop her from throwing him out and ushering him inside the library as if he was her favorite. Naruto sighed in relief for having enough power to pull off a confusion spell. Useless in battle but would definitely work for a civilian librarian with no mental training whatsoever.

Thanks to the 'helpful' librarian, Naruto was able to list down the books he needed to look into regarding the shinobi arts. Such was the case; Naruto made a list of books to study that includes History of the Elemental Nations, Chakra, Ninjutsu, Taijutsu, Genjutsu, Kenjutsu, and Fuuinjutsu. Most of the information was basic since the advanced ones were located in the shinobi section of the library that no civilian was allowed to enter.

Naruto made a mental note to ask for a pass from his surrogate grandfather later if it was possible. But for now, he would stick to the basics and work his way from there.


(Month 1)

Naruto finished reading all the books on his list and couldn't help but compare everything he learned to Sephiroth's memories.

The various Ninjutsu and Genjutsu were similar to spells, except for Fuuinjutsu (Seals). It was categorized into elemental and non-elemental, combat to support, and so on.

Taijutsu was Martial Arts in his world while Kenjutsu was the Sword Art. He only got the basic info on them but it was enough to get him started.

He had no problems with Kenjutsu since his moves were stuck inside his head; he just needed his body to achieve the necessary strength to pull it off. Taijutsu, however, deserves some looking into since he was quite pants with hand-to-hand combat. He remembered Angeal pointing that out when he received one too many hits from Genesis during one of their mock spars.

His first month, however, was solely into the study of Chakra. Naruto learned that chakra was produced by the humans of this world. Shinobi were capable of using chakra after unlocking it at the age of six, the safest age to do so.

Using Sephiroth's memories as a base, Naruto was able to define Chakra as a combination of Mako and Magic. Chakra was capable of enhancing a person's strength and speed to inhuman levels depending on application – very similar to Mako.

Also, Chakra could be manipulated in a way to perform techniques similar to spells. This comparison made Naruto giddy. If he could channel chakra to augment his strength and speed then it was going to make his training more productive.

Using the instructions in the book, Naruto settled down on the grassy floor of his secret training ground and started to meditate. Before he could use this energy, he needed to locate his core to bring it out.

He couldn't wait.


(Month 3)

Naruto finally found his chakra and he couldn't believe the size of it. It was huge, way bigger than his magical core. Despite the fact that a large core was a boon to any shinobi, the book also mentioned that a large chakra pool made it difficult to control, resulting in piss-poor performance in channeling it or increase the difficulty in using it to perform shinobi techniques.

After experimenting with it a few times – trying to channel chakra to enhance his strength and only getting minor results – Naruto decided to take advantage of chakra control exercises to ensure that he could use it effectively since he didn't have Mako to fall back on.

Unfortunately for him, the shinobi section of the library was guarded by a Chuunin. He tried to cast 'Confuse' on the man but the lack of magical potency made it impossible to even penetrate the guard's mental training. With that avenue closed to him, he decided to 'spy' on the many training grounds in Konoha hoping to get lucky.

It took a week to finally find the right training ground with a team of Genins being taught by their sensei. He was in luck to find the sensei getting started to teach his charges how to control chakra through an exercise called Tree Climbing.

The concept was relatively simple, Tree Climbing requires channeling chakra to the soles of one's feet to stick to the tree and walking up, keeping the chakra at optimum levels and avoid fluctuations to stick to the surface properly. Less chakra would cause you to fall; more chakra would push your feet away from the trunk.

According to the Jounin, this chakra control exercise not only made it possible for the Genins to utilize the most basic of shinobi skills (sticking to solid surface), it would give them an above average control over their chakra since it was difficult to channel the energy to their feet due to the lack of chakra nodes there. This in turn would allow them to control how much chakra was needed for techniques, making them effective in and out of battle.

Naruto happily memorized the lesson before adjourning to his training ground to try it out for himself.

It took a better part of the month for him to finally get the hang of the exercise. With the staggering amount of chakra in his body, it was difficult for him to channel small amounts to stick to the tree. He blew up a lot of trunks during that month but he persevered. He thanked whatever gods was listening for his ability to counter gravity to an extent or his bruised would have bruises from the many times he 'fell', regeneration be damned.

Despite achieving the feat of reaching the top of the tree, Naruto decided to master it to the point that he could do it as reflex. This took another month to accomplish but he was satisfied when he was done.

To test himself, he spent the whole day stuck to a tree, walking up and down, side to side, and upside down while reading a book.


(Month 6)

Naruto walked out of the store with his purchase – a set of chakra weights for his physical training program. It took him quite a while to buy them since they were expensive, a set costing an average of 24,000 ryo. The better the chakra metal used, the more expensive it was.

As it stood, 24,000 ryo was the most expensive which he specifically chose since he would be using it for a VERY long time. He had to save all the orphan allowance he got from the Sandaime and cutting down on his ramen spree while supplementing his lack of noodles with vegetables and meat from the forest surrounding the village.

Unlike his past persona, he started eating healthy though he still treated himself twice a week for a bowl or two of ramen just to satisfy his cravings.

It took him two months to buy a set but it was worth the hunger he suffered for it.

Anyway, he used a Confuse spell on the attendant so he could buy the weights without question. Despite the lack of physical training equipment, he spent the whole two months after mastering Tree Walking improving his magic.

By saturating his body in magic every minute of the day, he was able to achieve average strength in spell casting. He couldn't hope to use the basic Elemental spells effectively but he could now utilize his Support Magic at full strength.

In most cases, he mostly used Confuse to get into the library or to buy items without getting overpriced; or Haste, Slow, and Stop when out hunting so he wouldn't have to exert much effort in bringing down his next meal. He also had fun using Warp to travel to and from his apartment and training ground to avoid detection.

Also, he started practicing Sephiroth's fighting style to commit them to muscle memory, mostly Kenjutsu with a stick instead of Masamune since he was still too weak to handle the nodachi without breaking his wrist. He supplemented this with the basic Academy Taijutsu thanks to the 'helpful' librarian pointing it out to him.

He didn't bother making it battle ready since that was impossible at this point but it had the side-effect of letting his body get used to the movements and committing them to muscle memory.


(Month 8)

Naruto was sweating like a pig after finishing his 10th lap of running around his training ground behind the Hokage Monument. He was already six years old and neck deep into his training program. He only had 16 months left before attending the Academy so he didn't want to waste any time doing anything useless or unproductive.

It was properly scheduled too in order to give his body time to adapt to his training.

Morning from Mondays to Saturdays was spent with physical training with his weights on – jogging, push-ups, pull-ups, sprinting; and practicing with his hand-to-hand and sword moves.

Afternoon was spent at home reading the various books he pilfered from a storehouse he found behind the library. It was pure luck that he followed the librarian put some old books away from the shinobi section in a shed behind the building. Naruto checked the books out and grinned from ear to ear when he saw moth-eaten scrolls and manuscripts of shinobi related subjects ranging from taijutsu training to jutsus.

Without a second thought, Naruto teleported into the shed and stored all the books into his pocket dimension so he could read them in the safety of his home, before warping back out with no one the wiser.

He laughed himself hoarse when he heard that there was a thief somewhere in the village stealing old books from the library. Of course, people kept an eye on him due to his record but they couldn't find any evidence. The books were in his pocket dimension so his apartment was devoid of the stolen manuscripts. His trip to the library was done in front of everyone so they knew he didn't take anything.

In other words, Naruto got away from this act scot-free. Besides, the books were going to be disposed anyway so he was just recycling them for his use.


(Month 12)

Naruto had been training for a year now and he couldn't help but be satisfied with the results. Sure, it was a tad slow compared to how fast Sephiroth breezed through Shinra's modified training program under Professor Hojo, but Naruto was happy nonetheless.

He was currently wearing 20 pounds of weight on each limb, totaling to 80 pounds on top of his body weight. He sighed in relief when he read that it was NOT a good idea to start weight training more than 50 pounds on each limb below 10 years old since that would hinder the trainee's growth. He didn't want to end up a shrimp, thank you very much.

Because of the weights, physical exercise, and going through taijutsu and kenjutsu katas; he was stronger than the average Academy student. He could lift Masamune but wielding it was a different story since the first time he did it left him eating dirt due to its weight and the force he exerted on the downward swing.

However, his strength doubled when using chakra, making it easier for him to swing the oversized nodachi but it was a handicap he didn't want to rely on since he didn't want to become too dependent on chakra's strength enhancement capabilities.

If he was going to wield the thing then he would be doing it on his own physical strength or die trying!

To counter this problem, Naruto carved a heavier wooden sword though this one was half the length of Masamune since he was too small to effectively wield a six-foot nodachi.

Thanks to the books he "acquired" from the library, Naruto took advantage of the many jutsus there to prepare himself for the Academy. He started with the basic chakra-based techniques, namely the Kawarimi no Jutsu (Replacement Technique), Henge no Jutsu(Transformation/Disguise Technique), and Bunshin no Jutsu (Clone Technique). He didn't have any problem with the first two but he was stumped when it came to the last one.

No matter how much he tried, his clones always came out like a pile of goop. It was an improvement if they came out pale with the consistency of rubber.

According to the scroll, Bunshin no Jutsu requires miniscule amount of chakra, which was the reason why it was introduced as a basic technique to Academy students with small chakra reserves as an introduction to ninjutsu.

Considering the size of his chakra supply, Naruto theorized that he needed a better control exercise in order to properly use the illusion-based clone. Sure, he could create hundreds of them without denting his chakra pool but he needed to fine tune his technique to create a single clone without overloading the construct.

It took a week of sorting through the books he stored in his handy pocket dimension until he discovered the next step after Tree Climbing…Water Walking.

Since he didn't have any body of water anywhere near his training ground, he had to travel to one with a waterfall on the other side of the village. He considered the sprint to get there as a speed exercise if nothing else. If he was pressed for time then he would use Warp to get there and back.

Fortunately for him, there was a hidden cave behind the falls so he could practice in peace without being discovered. Considering his reputation, he didn't want the villagers to rat him out and put a stop to his plans.

It took a month but he got the Water Walking exercise down pat. It took longer than Tree Climbing because he had to experiment with the output of chakra and stabilizing it under the water so he could stay on the surface without sinking. He decided to master it the same way he did with Tree Climbing to get the most out of the exercise.

Despite his improved chakra control, he still couldn't make a single clone. Sure, he could now make a dozen of them without overloading the construct compared to his early hundreds but a single clone was still beyond his grasp.

After a month of laboring over the technique, Naruto decided to set it aside for now since he could take up the problem again while in the Academy. Who knows, one of his teachers might be able to help him out, if they didn't hate him that is.


(Month 14)

Naruto was standing on top of a pole in the middle of the Uchiha district as he looked at the carnage below. He was cloaked in an invisibility spell so no one could detect his presence as he listened in on the Hokage and the various shinobi littering the Uchiha Compound as they tried to determine what happened.

From what he discovered, Uchiha Itachi murdered every single member of his clan but spared his brother but not before scarring the boy using a powerful genjutsu that Naruto knew would forever changed the young Uchiha. If his theory was correct then Uchiha Sasuke would be turning into another Sephiroth if no one was there to help him cope with the massacre.

Shaking his head at the unnecessary loss of life, Naruto jumped down from his perch as he channeled a bit of magic to slow his descent, landing on the ground with nary a sound. With a sigh, he went back to his apartment to get some rest. He would be training again tomorrow and he needed all the sleep he could get.


(Month 18)

Naruto was currently in the Forest of Death running for his dear life. He decided to follow through Sephiroth's training program to include live opponents to practice his spells. He sprinted up the tree to a branch high above the tigers chasing him.

When he got to a safe height, he held out his hand towards his targets then whispered out a spell.

"Fire." A fireball the size of a man's head flew out of his hand in a burst of magic, speeding through the air at Chuunin-level speeds to hit one of the tigers, turning it to ash on the spot. He raised his other hand above his head and brought it down as if throwing something.

"Blizzard." A small iceberg appeared on top of the panicking tigers before turning five of them into pancakes as it dropped on them before freezing the area around the impact zone.

It was a month ago that Naruto finally stabilized his body to be a better conductor to his magical core. After months of practicing his spells, he was able to bring out his offensive arsenal with a bit of kick into it. If he was to measure its potency, it was at 30% compared to what Sephiroth could do.

Naruto knew that the more powerful non-elemental spells were still out of his reach but the basic elemental spells, like Fire, Water, Thunder, and Ice were a cinch for him to bring out with devastating results.

Sensing an attack coming from behind his perch, Naruto whispered a defensive spell without bothering to turn.

"Wall" A prismatic barrier appeared behind him as a tiger was about to shred his back with its claws. The defense spell held as the tiger comically hit it, flattening its face on the constructs surface, before slowly falling to the ground as gravity took hold.

Naruto snickered upon seeing the comical tiger before deciding to end the battle with a multi-target spell since he could feel his body reaching its limit.

"Thundara!" the blonde shouted as bolts of concentrated lightning fell down from the sky to strike the tigers on the forest floor, electrocuting them to death. Some who were hit with the more potent lightning bolts were burned to ash in a second.

Naruto gave out a tired grin as he panted, tired from the amount of magic he channeled through his body. He realized that despite his large core, his body couldn't handle the amount of magic flowing through it without sapping his strength. If he wanted to bring out the heavy duty spells then he definitely need a stronger body and that meant…

"Oh well, more training for me then." He sighed as he vanished out of the forest with a whispered 'Warp'


(Month 23)

Naruto stared at his reflection in the mirror. He didn't know why he didn't notice it before but there was a seal on his stomach. He didn't study Sealing as of yet but he DID memorize the commonly used ones, like Storage Seals and Explosion Tags.

After racking his brain for an hour, he saw a few strokes on the seal on his stomach that was similar to Storage Seals. If it was there then there was a HUGE possibility that the seal was for storing something. The question was – what was it holding?

He tried different tactics to determine the extent of the seal.

Channeling chakra directly to the seal caused it to materialize.

Putting a bit of magic there made him feel as if he was on fire. He didn't know why but he decided against DIRECTLY channeling his magic there. Sure, he could channel it on his skin but as long as he didn't visualize putting magic on the seal then he was safe.

With a sigh, he pulled down his shirt as the complex seal on his stomach disappeared upon stopping the flow of chakra to it. He knew that it was there for a reason but as long as it didn't hurt him in any way, he would ignore it.

For now.


Naruto let out a huge yawn upon waking up from the blaring of his alarm clock. Today was the day he would attend the Academy. Sure, he was late but he didn't care. He didn't mind that he would end up being the eldest in the class as long as he was in it.

He didn't want to get up today but he had to if he wanted to make a good impression towards his teachers in the Academy. He wasn't a suck up but he would be damned if he would stand out for being late. His actions for the past two years made him careful on who was looking at him. As much as possible, he would be staying the background learning everything he could without drawing attention.

Besides, a shinobi lives by the creed of deception so he was just keeping in practice when he graduates.

He was still a bit tired and sore from last night. He celebrated his last day of training by going into a royal rumble of sorts in one of the dangerous sectors in the Forest of Death, a place where ANBU feared to thread unless they were in a large group.

After 8 hours of intense battle involving lots of destructive spells being casts and some of the more vicious predators being cut down by his now-light Masamune, he warped himself home, took a short bath to get the blood off then immediately went to bed. He was happy with the outcome of his 2-year training program but he was too tired to care.

Last night's rumble with the animals in the forest practically drained him dry of chakra and magic.

Shivering slightly from the cold shower as he exited his bathroom, he toweled himself dry as ha faced the mirror. He smirked upon seeing his physique.

He was lean and muscled, not bad for an 8 year old. He was developing quite nicely on the chest and shoulder but he made sure that he didn't go beyond the suggested training so he was flexible and lithe. He shuddered as remembered Angeal before his madness. The man was like a body builder and he had no intentions of becoming like him.

He also allowed his hair to grow. He wasn't aspiring to have a hairstyle similar to Sephiroth but he definitely wanted the silken quality of the man's hair. It took a lot of doing but he was able to get rid of the spiky locks with some help of a pair of scissors, shampooing it every day, and combing it until it dries after a bath. It was still standing but it was no longer as prevalent as before. He deduced that if he let his hair grow some more then it be more manageable than his previous hairstyle.

Naruto opened his wardrobe to check out the clothes he had in his collection, deciding what to wear for the Academy. His savings grew since he refrained from spending on useless things and his food was mostly supplemented by the animals roaming the forest outside the village walls. Since he didn't need any training equipment as the Academy would be providing them, he decided to spend it on clothes. A judicious application of the Confuse spell ensured that he wasn't bothered during his many shopping trips. The shopkeeper even thanked him after his purchase.

Service was indeed excellent in Konoha.

After a few minutes of checking out the selections, he decided to mimic his predecessor but with a bit of a twist. He opted for a pair of loose black pants, gray muscled shirt, and topped it off with a black jacket. He wore a plain belt on his waist and finished the outfit with a pair of combat boots he purchased from a merchant from Iron Country during a festival in the village. He pulled out a weapons holster and strapped it on right thigh. He observed himself in the mirror and couldn't help but smirk. He definitely looked the part.

To complete the outfit, he reached into his pocket dimension and pulled out a standard set of 10 kunais and shurikens before placing them on his holster. He didn't really need it but it was better safe than sorry.


(Academy First Year – 3 months later)

Naruto felt like banging his head on the table. The reason for such an urge was how the lessons were being taught. Instead of teaching them the skills to survive outside the village and during missions, the teachers were more interested in cramming their heads with history than practical skills.

Sure, they had weapons throwing and spars but it wasn't enough. If they wanted to have the best Genin in the business with the best chance of surviving in missions then they needed to do away with their current teaching method and shape up.

However, Naruto knew that if he did voice out his concerns, no would listen. After all, why would they listen to an 8 year old boy who entered the Academy late?

Naruto restrained himself from raining down lightning on the droning Umino Iruka before sighing. He needed to come up with a new schedule to train himself, again! If this was how the Academy was run then he was better off doing things his way.


(Academy Third Year)

A 10-year old Naruto finished of the last of his sandwich as he relaxed in one of the hidden branches on the tree in the middle of the Academy training grounds. His three years in the Academy was boring. The teachers were more interested in studying than honing the aspiring Genins' physical abilities. Naruto came to a cold realization that quite a lot of his classmates wouldn't last a year after graduation if they didn't do after-school training like he did.

The minority that would survive belonged to the clan heirs. Naruto couldn't help but chuckle at how fortunate he was to time his entrance to the Academy. He definitely liked the fact that his future comrades would be well-trained and ready for the real world.

Unfortunately, there were a few among the clan heirs that needed to shape up before ending up dead. He noted three of them and they were Uchiha Sasuke, Yamanaka Ino, and Hyuuga Hinata.

Naruto was correct that Uchiha Sasuke would be similar to Sephiroth after the massacre of his clan. The boy was always brooding and would treat his soon-to-be-comrades like dirt. He also didn't like the fact that the villagers treated the Uchiha survivor like a prince, showering him with praise and worship that was only reserve for this world's gods. He even saw the boy demanding those older than him to teach him their skills when he find something interesting or out of his reach – all for the sake of killing his brother.

How a boy could hope to defeat a man who slaughtered everyone in his clan except for his brother? He would never know.

All in all, he didn't like the pompous Uchiha one bit and Naruto was thankful that he decided to be lackluster in his position in the Academy to avoid letting the boy set his sights on him.

Yamanaka Ino was definitely a fan girl, an Uchiha fan girl to be precise. The girl was a disgrace to her family's legacy. If she doesn't shape up and train them she was going to be in for a short career.

Last, but not the least, was Hyuuga Hinata. Naruto was quite confused of the girl. He knew that Hinata was strong and could be stronger still. She reminds him a lot of Cloud's teammate, Tifa Lockheart. However, the girl was holding herself back with her timid and shy self. She also has confidence issues that needed to be addressed.

Naruto, however, decided against helping the girl. It wasn't his concern so who was he to butt in on other people's business.


(Academy Fifth Year)

"I only asked for one clone, Naruto, not twelve." said Iruka, shaking his head in exasperation as he looked at the twelve clones his student brought out.

"As I told you before, Iruka-sensei, no matter how much I try to minimize my chakra consumption for the technique, twelve illusionary clones is the best I could come up with. You would be having problems too if you have as much chakra as I do." Naruto grumbled.

Iruka sighed. He couldn't help but agree with the boy. He was a sensor so he definitely knew how potent and large Naruto's chakra was. In fact, Naruto's chakra rivaled a Kage, which was quite amazing.

"Fine. You either need to undergo more advanced chakra control exercises or you need to learn other clone techniques." Iruka mused as made a few notes on his clipboard.

"You mean there are other clone techniques?" asked Naruto in surprise though he shouldn't be since if there was an illusionary clone then there was bound to be other kinds as well. The books he acquired hinted it but nothing specific.

"Of course. Bunshin no Jutsu is considered as the basic of the basics." Iruka started in his 'boring voice' as the students dubbed it. "Other shinobi villages have their own unique clones. For example, Kiri is well known for their Mizu Bunshin (Water Clones), Iwa for their Iwa Bunshin (Rock Clone), and Konoha for Kage Bunshin (Shadow Clones), though the latter is classed as a kinjutsu because of the high chakra requirements."

"Kinjutsu?" Naruto asked curiously. This was the first time he heard of the term.

"Forbidden techniques," Iruka answered absentmindedly. "Techniques that are deadly to use or requires an extreme amount of chakra a normal shinobi doesn't have. Quite a lot of shinobi died in using kinjutsus without knowing what it entails. Most of them suffered extreme chakra exhaustion and didn't survive from it."

"A clone technique that requires more chakra sounds like the solution to my problem, right Iruka-sensei?" Naruto said slyly making Iruka give him a condescending smile.

"Sorry, Naruto. I can't teach you the Kage Bunshin since only the Hokage can give you permission to learn that. The other two I mentioned is a no go too since I don't know the hand seals or their schematics. Some Jounins might know but I definitely don't." Iruka admitted.

"Meh, not a problem, Iruka-sensei. I'll figure something out." said Naruto as he made his way back to his seat with a smile on his face, already deciding to visit the Hokage later for the possibility of learning another clone technique in order to pass the Academy.


"Let me get this straight. You want me to teach you the Kage Bunshin since you won't be able to pass the Academy's graduation exam without a clone technique, correct?" the Sandaime clarified while studying the smirking face of his surrogate grandson.

"Correct, old man. As I told Iruka-sensei earlier, I can't go below twelve illusionary clones with the chakra control I mastered." Naruto said with a nod.

"Hm, I could teach you Tree Climbing and Water Walking to help you out." the aged leader mused causing Naruto to give out an embarrassed coughed. He looked at the boy pointedly. "You already know them, didn't you?" he accused.

"Hey, it's not my fault that I happen to pass by a training ground where a Jounin is teaching Tree Climbing or Water Walking to his students." Naruto said defensively, crossing his arms over his chest. He lying of course since he purposely spied on said Jounin "If they wanted to keep it a secret then they better pick a hidden training ground or something."

"Uh huh." said the Hokage, not believing the boy one bit.

"You don't believe me, do you?" Naruto deadpanned before assuming a hurt expression. "Oh woe is me. My own surrogate grandfather doesn't believe me. Oh woe is me."

"Har har. You're not very convincing." Sarutobi gave the boy a mock glare. "Tell me how far you've gotten with the two exercises?"

"Fine. Ruin my fun, why don't you?" Naruto said with a huff. "To answer your question, I can walk up and down a tree for three hours while reading a book. I can also stay on top of the water for three hours while doing the basic Academy Taijutsu katas. I think I got the two exercised pegged to perfection if I do say so myself."

Sarutobi gaped at the boy before composing himself. "I guess you pretty much mastered them if you can do it that way." He sighed. "Fine, you win. However, if I'm going to teach you the Kage Bunshin then you need to promise me two things."

"They are?" Naruto asked with a raised eyebrow.

"One, you're not allowed to teach it to anyone without my express permission."

"Agreed." Naruto nodded. "The second?"

"You will be helping me with my paperwork until you graduate the Academy every afternoon when school lets out."

"What?" Naruto exclaimed. "How am I supposed to train if my time is occupied helping you in your paperwork? I barely have enough as it is."

"Well, the Kage Bunshin is not your ordinary clone. When it dispels, everything it learns and experiences are transmitted to the caster. You make a clone or two to train while you help me out." Sarutobi said smugly, enjoying the dumbfounded look on the blonde's face.

"Wait a minute. If Kage Bunshin can do that then why don't youmake some clones and deal with your paperwork."

The silence in the room was palpable.

"Why didn't I think of that?" Sarutobi exclaimed in surprise and annoyance.

Naruto didn't say anything but continuously banged his head on the table.


Naruto was on his way home when he stumbled upon training ground 9. A girl with twin buns on her head was going through kenjutsu katas, sweat glistening on her arms and face as she gracefully shifted between stances. He didn't know how long he stood there, mesmerized at the way she handled her weapon – a basic katana if he was correct.

He decided against disturbing her but the call of engaging in a sword fight was definitely winning. Sure, he had his clones to fight with every day after learning Kage Bunshin but it couldn't hope to compare to the satisfaction of crossing blades with a live opponent. His urge for a sword fight won in the end. He changed direction towards the girl before stopping at an acceptable distance.

"Hello there." Naruto called out to the girl.

Said girl paused as she shifted her head to look at him. "Yes?"

"I couldn't help but notice the fluidity and grace of your swordsmanship and I was wondering if you don't mind crossing swords...for practice of course." Naruto was laying it on thick since flattery worked in this kind of situation.

The girl raised a dainty eyebrow, which Naruto found quite cute, before a smirk crossed her face.

"I would if you have your own blade with you."

"Ah, let me remedy that then." said Naruto as he raised his hand and grasped the handle of a materialized Masamune. He could help return the smirk when the girl gaped at his sword.

"Where in Kami's name did that come from?"

Naruto paused before answering. "I have a storage seal on my hand where I hid all my equipments." He lied but the girl wasn't buying it if her doubtful look as anything to go by.

"I don't think so, buster. As far as I know, smoke is always associated with removing items from a seal." the girl pointed out as she moved closer and examined the blade with an expert eye. "This is a perfectly crafted nodachi. A bit long for my taste but whatever floats your boat. Are you a shinobi?"

"Not yet, I'm in my last year at the Academy. If I pass the exam in two months then I'll be a Genin. And you?"

"Genin for almost a year now." the girl said, her eyes not leaving the blade before shifting her gaze towards the owner of said blade. "What your name?"

"Uzumaki Naruto at your service." Naruto said with a nod of his head in greeting. "May I get your name, miss..."

The girl chuckled. "No miss here. Call me Tenten." she said with a grin. "Now that you have your weapon, why don't you show me what you got, Naruto."

"Indeed." He said with a smile before jumping back gracefully, his blade to the side in a ready stance. He made a 'come hither' with his free hand. "Shall we get started then?"

Tenten grinned as she dashed forward with a horizontal swipe but stopped when Naruto deftly countered it by raising his. Both blades made a loud clang that reverberated across the training ground.

"How long have you trained?" asked Tenten while trying to overpower her opponent but couldn't. Heck, the boy was holding onto his blade with one hand and he was holding his ground. "Quite strong." She murmured to herself but Naruto definitely heard it.

"I've been training with Masamune for two years now." Naruto answered, not finding the need to tell her that his past life was a swordsmaster.

"You gave your sword a name?" Tenten asked with a bit of disbelief. Naruto face took a serious expression, unnerving his opponent.

"If there's one thing I learned in handling a blade, giving it a name makes it more special to you, thus allowing you to do more with it than treating it like a mere tool." he explained coolly as he channelled a bit more strength to his arm and completed his swing, pushing Tenten back with a startled yelp. "Now that we have our warm-up, let's go all out, shall we?."

Naruto rushed forward, Masamune held in a thrust that threatened to impale his opponent but Tenten parried it to the side with expert ease while managing to change her grip on her blade for an overhand slash. Naruto saw it coming from a mile away, brought the sword back and parried the incoming blow that would have cleaved his skull. He grinned as the sound of steel over steel sang to his ears. He raised his free hand to block a kick from a grinning girl who used her position to get in a blow or two.

"Feisty. I thought this was a kenjutsu match?" Naruto asked mildly before pushing Tenten's blade back and returned it with a horizontal swipe which the girl evaded by jumping back out of range, increasing the distance between them.

"You didn't set parameters for the fight." she answered immediately, going into a defensive stance as she sensed her opponent was going to get serious. She was right too.

"You're right but I don't mind." said Naruto as the sword fight continued.


"Where in the world did you learn to wield a sword like that?" said a very tired and bruised Tenten. She couldn't help admire the blonde for his unorthodox kenjutsu style. It was unpredictable, swift, and accurate. She couldn't count the number of times she 'died' during their spar as the blonde seemed to switch to the blunt side of his 6-foot nodachi. This didn't mean that the blonde was left unscathed. His jacket was literally gone since no amount of repair would make it usable. His pants were sporting quite a lot of slices and with no belt in sight thanks to her efforts. All in all, it was a very invigorating spar. It was quite obvious that Naruto enjoyed it too with the grin he was sporting.

"I came up with it on my own." Naruto answered, telling the truth somewhat since he was the one who came up with it. He didn't bother to give it a name since it wasn't necessary.

Tenten stared at him for a few seconds before nodding. "I can safely say that you're not lying. I can plainly say that your style is unique and I studied quite a lot of kenjutsu styles being a weapon mistress so I know you're style is practically a new one. Your moves were wide, leaving you open for attacks, but you incorporate speed and unpredictability to your movements that you can turn your weakness into strength, drawing your enemies in for the kill. It is definitely powerful."

"Thank you. Coming from a weapons mistress such as yourself, I'll take that as the best compliment there is. You're right in your assessment; my style involves wide movements, speedy and accurate attacks, and a lot of feints. Took quite a while to get it working and to be honest with you, this is my first time to test it in actual battle."

"You're pulling my leg!" exclaimed Tenten in disbelief.

"I kid you not, Tenten." admitted Naruto. "That is the reason why I wanted to spar with you since I want to see how my style would fare to a fellow swordsman. I hope you don't mind if we do this often since I can see both of us improving in our respective styles if we put it to practice often enough."

"I'll definitely agree to that but I need to make sure I have the right weapon for it." said Tenten as she brought up her blade to reveal quite a few nicks on the edge. "I don't know what Masamune is made of but I can safely say that it's practically the hardest and most resilient metal this side of the Elemental Nations. I thought it was made of chakra metal when you fired off a chakra attack that almost sliced me in half."

"I'm sorry if I destroyed your katana, Tenten. I would be more than happy to pay for the repair job. And if that is not possible, I can buy you a better one."

Tenten shook her head before giving the blonde a grateful smile. "No need. This is a test blade. My main weapon is currently being serviced by my dad. I earned a B-rank pay last week and I earned enough money to upgrade my weapon to make it better."

"Your dad is a blacksmith?" Naruto asked with some surprise.

"Weaponsmith actually. My dad is Higurashi Kaito. We own the Higurashi Weapons Shop. I am proud to say that we are the best in the business." Tenten said proudly. "So, if you need any weapons, come by the shop. I'll give you a discount."

"That would be most appreciated, Tenten." Naruto said gratefully before noticing the sun on the horizon. "It's getting a bit late so I better head home. I need to freshen up for my daily personal training before resting up for the Academy tomorrow."

"You train outside the Academy?" Tenten said, amazed at the dedication of an student.

"Of course." Naruto replied dryly. "If I want to survive outside the village, I need to train my butt off considering the Academy seemed to coddle the students instead of preparing them."

"Noticed that I see." Tenten said dryly. "That is one of the reasons why our sensei held off our participation in this year's Chuunin Exams since he found our skills….unyouthful."

"That…a unique way of putting it." said an amused Naruto. "At least your sensei trains you to become proficient, if not, powerful shinobi. I daresay that next year's Chuunin Exam would be a breeze for you."

"You can say that." Tenten agreed. "Anyway, shall we do this again…let's say…next week?"

"You can count on it, Tenten." said Naruto as he stood up with Tenten doing the same. "Thanks for the spar and looking forward to the next one."

"Same here, Naruto...-kun…same here." she whispered wistfully as he eyed the blonde back moving away from her.


The concept of 'like', or its more serious counterpart, 'love', has always been an alien concept for Naruto. Sephiroth's memories didn't help him with his…attraction towards Tenten since the platinum-haired warrior never felt these two emotions in his entire life.

Naruto enjoyed his weekly spar with her and he could see the two of them improving as both strove hard to outdo each other. With each meeting and with each clashing of blades, Naruto was slowly starting to look at the weapon mistress to something more than a friend.

Naruto had a few 'precious people' in the village, namely the Ichiraku Family, the Sandaime Hokage, the ANBU Inu and Neko, and just recently, Tenten and his dad, Kaito. The latter was introduced to him by his daughter after their third spar when Naruto mentioned that his kunais were starting to look a little blunt.

Kaito was a no-nonsense man and was quite skilled with metal. He greeted Naruto courteously and catered to his needs, not like the other shops in the village. In fact, Naruto felt quite at home with the Higurashi Family as he visited the shop after every spar.

Naruto also saw Tenten as one of his precious people now and would sometimes find himself staring at her well-built form more times than usual. He even mustered the nerve to ask her out to dinner once which she accepted graciously. She practically wore an amused expression the whole night when he sheepishly brought her to Ichiraku's for a ramen dinner, telling her that he didn't know any good restaurants in the village; though he didn't tell her that it wasn't because he didn't have the money to try them out but the fact that they didn't want to render him service. He didn't mind since he knew how to cook and cook well. The forest around Konoha was well-stocked after all.

The blonde swordsman also met Tenten's sensei and team. He was almost traumatized after experiencing the Hug of Doom courtesy of Maito Gai and Rock Lee when they greeted him enthusiastically, hugging him in their spandex-wearing glory. Thankfully, Tenten was able to bail him out or he would have cut them to ribbons.

Despite the close call with insanity, Naruto liked Lee and Gai since both were geniuses of hard work and were quite sociable if they didn't start with their Rants of Youth. He didn't like Neji though. He refrained himself from slicing the Hyuuga Prodigy to ribbons since he knew that Tenten needed a stable team for the coming Chuunin Exam.

Naruto's personal training also progressed faster thanks to his newly-learned clone technique. After learning that he could bring out a hundred or so of them in one go, he maximized his training regime to the point of being called extreme. He took advantage of their memory transfer ability to indulge himself in chakra control, reading the books he acquired from the library, honing his taijutsu, and improving his master over his spells.

The blonde reached such potency in his magic that he was able to summon Ifrit on his first try though it left him quite winded afterwards. He knew that the more powerful summons was still far from his reach but he wasn't in a hurry. At least he could now do the second-tier elemental spells with ease while working his way to the final and more powerful third-tier spells. He also mastered Freeze and gleefully used it on the many predators in the Forest of Death.

Thanks to his Kage Bunshins freeing a lot of his free time as well as delegating the non-physical aspect of training to, Naruto found a hobby in inventing. He experimented in combining chakra, magic, and the Sealing Arts; experiencing various success and failures, spurning him to new heights.

His first successful experiment was a Hybrid storage seal that could store an unlimited amount of items without breaking down. He practically gave one to Tenten since the one she was using was limited. The kiss on the cheek as thanks was welcome after giving it to her and demonstrating its use. He made a special point of experimenting more useful items for her just to experience another kiss.

Kaito also pounced on the idea and contracted Naruto to issue him a few of these hybrid storage seals for sale. The blonde accepted the idea since he needed money to fund his experiments – sealing supplies were quite expensive – but on the condition to only sell them to Konoha shinobi of Jounin and above since he didn't want it to be used against the village.

It was safe to say that Naruto netted quite a lot of money and orders for his Hybrid Storage Seals. Thankfully, Kaito was tightlipped as to who was supplying the seals so Naruto wouldn't be placed in the limelight. Tenten also promised that she wouldn't say anything about it to Naruto's relief and happiness.

His second experiment was the creation of a transport vehicle of sorts since he didn't want to use warp all the time and the spell was limited to him alone, he couldn't take any passengers with him even if he tried. He already had a small model successfully flying around his apartment but making a life-size one for it to be useful was still in the experimental stage. Sure, he was successful in combining chakra and seals to allow the 'machine' to absorb ambient energy and using it as a floatation method but making one to power a larger machine was still out of his reach. He didn't quit though.

He was also successful in creating what he called a 'Spell Tag' by combining magic, chakra, and seals; he was able to create a storage device that could store magical energy in the form of a spell. Using an application of chakra, the user could release the spell from the tag and fire it at an enemy. He was currently successful in creating first-tier elemental Spell Tags but he kept it to himself since he didn't want the villagers getting their hands on it. He might be able to sell them off in the future but that would be later when the villagers no longer hated him.

He did, however, gave a set to Tenten to be used in case of emergencies. He got a kiss on the cheek again much to his happiness.

Speaking of which, Naruto also found out why the villagers hated him. It was by accident that he discovered the purpose of the seal on his stomach.

After overhearing a few shinobi casually talking about his past pranking exploits, they mentioned in a hushed whisper that his vaunted stamina may possibly stem from the Kyuubi he contained in his gut. That revelation spurred Naruto to dig into the history books and finally made the connection of his birthday and the defeat of Kyuubi.

The Yondaime Hokage didn't kill the Kyuubi. He sealed the most powerful bijuu inside a child.

To Naruto's mind, this was similar to how Sephiroth was injected with Jenova's cells by Professor Hojo of Shinra, altering his personality to become The Destroyer he was known to be. Fortunately for him, the Yondaime was a master of seals that he was able to come up with a way to safely seal a powerful chakra demon into him without the beast taking over or altering his mind.

If he was honest to himself, Naruto didn't hate the Yondaime since he would have done the same thing the man did if he was faced with the decision. To him, the Yondaime was and always will be a hero in his eyes.


Naruto yawned as he watched the taijutsu portion of the graduation exam. He was quite bored of watching the lackluster fights of some of the aspiring Genins taking down their opponents while waiting for his turn to be called.

The graduation exam was composed of four tests, graded accordingly to determine their rank upon graduation, the highest awarded the Rookie of the Year and the Kunoichi of the Year.

The first test was a written test that Naruto had no problems with. He was quite amused at how Mizuki placed a subtle genjutsu on his test to make him fail. A slight burst of magic was enough to counter the technique and reveal the real test behind the illusion. He didn't have trouble with the exam since it was quite easy. He could even answer the ones Mizuki gave him i due to his studies in the shinobi arts and his experience as Sephiroth.

The second portion of the exam was a weapon proficiency test, more specifically, an accuracy test involving kunais and shurikens. The test involved hitting the targets on the stationary dummies around the Academy Training ground. He almost laughed himself silly when Mizuki's face turned to a color of puce when Naruto accurately hit all the targets right on the center with the weighted kunai and shurikens he was given. Naruto knew that the man hated him and tried to sabotage his exams, hoping he would fail. He would have none of that though but had no plans of retaliating since he wouldn't stoop to the man's level doing so.

They were currently in the third test, a taijutsu test. They would spar against their senseis. They weren't required to defeat their 'opponent' but more along the line of surviving for five minutes. Extra points were given if they were able to land a critical hit. Iruka and Mizuki administered the tests. Naruto watched as his classmates took turns trying to survive the instructor's attacks with some of them doing it easily, and in Shikamaru's case, lazily; while the others failed spectacularly.

The clan heirs had an edge due to their family training them so all of them passed with flying colors, even Sasuke.

Naruto raised an eyebrow when Sasuke was able to get a good hit on Mizuki's stomach that would have downed a lesser man. It was quite obvious that the white-haired Chuunin threw the match since the opening was quite obvious. The blonde didn't mind though since his main goal was to pass, not the rank.

He knew that ability and skill mattered in the field, not the rank.

He scoffed when instead of his turn, Mizuki called Yamanaka Ino into the field and paired her off with Iruka. It would seem that Mizuki wanted a hand in making the 'demon brat' fail. An evil smile made its way to Naruto's face. Mizuki would definitely rue the day he messed with Uzumaki Naruto. He would make sure of that.

When Ino reached the five minute mark, Iruka called the match to a halt and making notes on his ever-present clipboard before calling out the last match of the day.

"Uzumaki Naruto, please come up and take your test."

"Hai, Iruka-sensei." the blonde said calmly as he strolled towards the ring. He saw Mizuki grinning evilly at him.

"Alright. Your goal is to survive for five minutes. If you land a hit on your opponent then you will be given extra points depending on where you hit. Understood?" Iruka explained.

Naruto nodded. "Clear, Iruka-sensei."

"Good. Now…start!" Iruka called out and was shocked when Mizuki shot forward at top speed towards a calmly standing Naruto. He was about to berate his co-instructor but held his tongue at what happened next.

Naruto calmly watched Mizuki dash towards him at top speed. To his peers, they would have seen the man disappear but to his trained eyes and honed instincts, Mizuki was moving in slow motion. He grabbed the fist that was about to liquefy his innards, positioned himself under Mizuki's guard and flipped him over his shoulder, slamming the man on the hard ground on his back. Wanting to get the exam over the done with, Naruto positioned himself beside the downed man and landed a chakra-enhanced elbow on the man's stomach causing him to scream before blacking out.

Nodding at a job well done, Naruto brushed off the dirt on his pants before walking out of the ring while ignoring the hushed whispers of an Academy student taking down a seasoned Chuunin in two moves.

"Uh…winner by knockout, Uzumaki Naruto." Iruka managed to get out before hastily scribbling on his clipboard.

Naruto grinned like a loon as he made his way to his favorite tree to wait for the next exam, not noticing the speculative and questioning looks being aimed at him by an Aburame and Nara clan heir.


"Alright, Naruto. For the ninjutsu portion of the exam, you need to perform the Henge, Kawarimi, and Bunshin." Iruka informed the smiling blonde in front of him. "I take it you have a solution for your Bunshin problem now?"

"Of course, I did say I'm going to find an alternative to that weakness." said Naruto with a grin on his face.

Iruka sighed. This day had been tough on his nerves. The blonde blew all of his expectations as he assumed the boy to do all the tests with passing scores as he did with the previous ones, average scores like the previous years. He was flabbergasted when the boy did everything perfectly, easily outclassing the Rookie of the Year candidate, Uchiha Sasuke. Out of all the aspiring students in this batch, it would seem Naruto took the shinobi code of deception to extremes.

"I kind of expected for you to say that. It was quite obvious you were hiding your strength considering how you knocked Mizuki out in two moves. You didn't have to hit him too hard, you know." Iruka said in an amused tone.

"Well, he was the one who went all out at me, sensei. I just returned the favor, so to speak." Naruto pointed out with a smirk with Iruka doing the same.

"Point. Alright, perform the three techniques please."

Naruto nodded as he channeled his chakra. He didn't bother with handseals since he already mastered the basic Academy techniques after meditating how the chakra was formed to activate the jutsu. He shimmered as his form shifted to that of the Sandaime Hokage. "What do you think, Iruka-sensei?" he asked, perfectly mimicking the aged leader's amused drawl.

"Perfect. You even got the voice down." Iruka noted. "Would you mind telling me how you performed the transformation without the handseals and smoke?"

"Well, I focused on how the chakra was molded and practiced with it a few times until I got it down perfectly. I don't know how I got rid of the smoke but maybe that is because I mastered the Tree Climbing and Water Walking exercise so my control is that good. Not good enough for a Bunshin but good enough for other techniques it seems."

"Um, understood." Iruka said with a sigh. He should have expected this already. It was clear that Naruto was definitely more than what people thought he was. "Do the Kawari…nevermind." He growled out as he took notes, ignoring a grinning Naruto in the corner of the room after replacing himself with the broom that was now in front of the now-grouchy instructor without bothering with the handseals. Really! He should have expected this already. "Let's get this over with. Do the Bunshin, Naruto."

Naruto replaced himself with the broom, depositing himself in front of the scar-faced Chuunin. He channeled his chakra and produced a solid clone of himself. Because of his everyday use of Kage Bunshin, he could now control how many clones he wanted to make without bothering with the specialized handsign. Really, it was just that easy to perform.

"Good enough, sensei?" Naruto asked cheekily while Iruka grumbled.

"Cheeky punk. Fine, you pass. How did you…nevermind. Knowing who you are, you definitely asked the Hokage and I don't even want to know how you persuaded him to teach you the technique. Anyway, you pass! Congratulations." said Iruka with a smile as he took a Leaf Forehead Protector from the stash on the table and presented it to the grinning blonde. "You deserve this, Naruto. I know you're going to be one the best shinobi of the Leaf. You make me proud."

"Thank you, Iruka-sensei." said Naruto as he tied the Leaf headband on his forehead as he adjusted his bangs to set it properly.


"Troublesome blonde." grumbled Shikamaru when he sat beside Naruto underneath his favorite tree.

"What got your underwear in a knot, Shika?" asked an amused Naruto, closing the book on seals he was reading.


"Why what?" Naruto asked, confused.

"Why did you hide your true strength? It was quite obvious that you bulldozed your way through the exam and you weren't even trying. You even took down Mizuki in two moves." urged Shikamaru while eyeing the sighing blonde.

"You're too smart for your own good, Shika." grumbled the blonde. "I guess it all boils down to deception. A shinobi should never show his skills unless necessary. I guess I just took it to extremes."

"You could have easily been the Rookie of the Year with your skills." the Nara heir pointed out. As it stands, Uchiha Sasuke got the award thanks to his scores the previous years. If Naruto applied himself then it was obvious that he would be taking that rank.

"I'm not concerned with that useless title." Naruto scoffed. "Being Rookie of the Year doesn't give you an edge in the field. It all boils down to skills and determination. The title doesn't earn you success, it's just a title. Nothing more, nothing less."

"Fine. You made your point. I still think you're better suited for the title."

"That's what you think, Shika. I have no desire to be in the limelight. I only showed my true skills during the exam because I wanted to graduate with a bang." Naruto said, grinning all the while. "Consider it as my last prank."

"Last prank?"

"The villagers, and by extension, some of the shinobi hate my guts. They ignore me because I showed average grades the previous years. Since I would be a Genin anyway and under the Hokage's command, I have no reason to hide anymore. I imagine they're gritting their teeth in frustration right now knowing that I passed the exam while outshining their precious Uchiha Prince."

Shikamaru sighed. He should have expected this answer considering who he was talking to. "Fine. You're troublesome, you know that, right?"

"Whatever helps you sleep at night, boya." Naruto said smugly to Shikamaru's irritation.


Naruto groggily made his way to the front door of his apartment after being woken up by the banging. He opened to the door to see three of the Hokage's personal ANBU.

"Don't you guys have anything better to do than wake me up at…" he looked at the watch hanging by the kitchen wall. "two in the morning?" he grouched.

"Uzumaki Naruto, you are hereby under arrest for the theft of the Forbidden Scroll of Seals."

Now that woke Naruto up. "For what now?" he deadpanned.

"I said.." one of the ANBU repeated but shut up when the cat-masked ANBU slapped him on the back of the head. "What?"

"The Hokage ordered us to take Naruto to him, not to arrest him on sight." Neko bellowed at Bear before turning to an amused blonde. "Naruto-kun, could you please get dressed. The Hokage wants to see your immediately."

"Fine. Give me five minutes." said Naruto and was about to head to his bedroom when he realized something. "Since I am being implicated for something I didn't do, why don't you come in and wait."

With that said, Naruto went to his bedroom and put on his usual gears grumbling about idiot ANBUs for ruining his beauty sleep.


"Alright, old man, what gives? I was having a nice dream before your ANBUs woke me up." Naruto complained upon entering the office but stopped when he saw the serious look on the man's face. "Let me guess, someone stole the Forbidden Scroll of Seal and that someone wore my face."

The Sandaime nodded. "I know you didn't steal the scroll, Naruto-kun, since I know you better than that. However, I needed you here to avoid implicating you further. I just received word that 'you' are currently making your way outside the village with the scroll. Considering you're here in front of me, I can safely say that you're not the culprit."

"Uh, that's good…I think." The blonde said finally smirking at the Hokage. "Can I go after him?"

"I don't think that is a good idea, Naruto-kun. Despite being one of the top graduates of your batch, you're still a Genin. Whoever stole the scroll is either Chuunin or Jounin level."

"That's what you think, old man." Naruto smiled as he used a silent Scan to sniff out the thief's signature. He smirked when he recognized it. "Tell you what, I'll just mosey along and capture the traitor and bring him to your for interrogation?"

"Do you know who took it?" the Hokage all but demanded to the smirking blonde.

"I recognized the signature in the room."

"You recognized…you're not a sensor, Naruto-kun." Sarutobi pointed out.

"Again, that's what you think. Anyway, I'll be back in a jiff, old timer." said Naruto as farewell before using Warp to exit the room and following the trail of the traitor wearing his face.

Sarutobi stood watching the place where Naruto was before he…disappeared before snapping at the three ANBUs. "Go find Naruto and make sure he's safe." he ordered.

"Hai, Hokage-sama." the ANBUs shouted in unison before exiting the room in a blur.

"That boy is going to be the death of me." He grumbled before pulling out his crystal ball and activating the technique to determine where his surrogate grandson went.


Mizuki was grinning like a loon as he jumped from one tree branch to another at top speed while carrying the Forbidden Scroll of Seals. He had to resort to wearing the demon brat's face when he stole the priceless heirloom of Konoha since the boy didn't fail the exam, ruining his plans. Good thing he had a backup plan which was quite successful. A few more kilometers then he was home free to deliver the coveted item to his lord and master. However, that plan went down the drain when a booted kick hit him on the side of the face that threw him down to the ground with a loud crash, letting go of the scroll in the process.

He groaned as he painfully pulled himself off the ground and shook his head to clear the dizziness away. He looked up to see something that made him growl.

"You!" he screamed at the boy he just implicated for the theft. "What are you doing here?"

"Why good morning to you too, Mizuki-teme. You know, out of all the faces you could have worn to steal the Forbidden Scroll, why does it have to be mine?" Naruto asked calmly as he placed the large scroll on his back, held there by a leather sling.

"I have nothing to say to you, demon." Mizuki growled as he took out the large shuriken on his back, preparing himself to bring down the blonde. "Why don't you be a good demon and give me the scroll before I kill you?"

"Let me think about it…" Naruto pretended to think about it before giving the man a smirk. "Nah, I think I'll take this back to the Hokage. But first, since you woke me up from my beauty sleep, I think I need to teach you a lesson about bedtime manners."

"You don't scare me, brat! Die!"Mizuki screamed as he threw his overly-large shuriken at the smirking blonde but was shocked when said boy grabbed the flying weapon by one of its blades when it came into his reach. "What the…?"

"Tsk tsk. You're supposed to be a Chunnin, Mizuki-teme. That is not how you use a windmill shuriken. Here, let me show you how it's done." said Naruto as he drew himself back and flung the weapon towards the traitor who jumped out of the way to avoid being decapitated by the furiously spinning projectile.

Mizuki was shocked when his weapon cleaved two trees before lodging itself deeply on the third. "You finally show your true self, demon." He snarked, hoping to take the boy off balance.

"Demon? I assure you, Mizuki-teme. I am 100% human." Naruto said with a smirk. He knew that the man was talking about Kyuubi sealed in his gut, mistaking him for the demon instead of the container. He also knew of the Sandaime's law concerning him and the sealed bijuu. "Come on, teme, say it. Give me an excuse to take you out."

"Hah! You're not a human. Do you even know what you are?" Mizuki taunted, an evil grin on his face.

Naruto adopted a confused expression. "Huh? I don't know what you're talking about."

"Now this is rich. The demon doesn't know why he is hated by the village." Mizuki exclaimed, grinning manically. "Do you even know why you're hated? Do you know why the villagers treat you like a pariah?"

"Well, I think that has something to do with my pranks. I assure you, I already stopped my pranking sprees." Naruto assured him, playing along and acting oblivious to what the man was implying.

"I'm not talking about your pranks, demon. The reason why you are hated is because you are the demon that attacked the village twelve years ago. You're the Kyuubi!" Mizuki shouted expecting the blonde to be shocked by the revelation. What he expected didn't happen since the blonde was now looking at him coldly.

"You think I don't know why I am hated, Mizuki-teme? You think I didn't know that the Yondaime sealed the Kyuubi inside me? I found out months ago and I am not the Kyuubi. I am its container, dumbass!" Naruto snarked though he knew it was a useless effort to prove the man's word wrong.

"Hah! Of course you wouldn't admit it." Mizuki scoffed before taking out a kunai. "Now die, demon!" he threw the kunai at the blonde.

Naruto sliced the projectile in half effortless with Masamune before disappearing from his perch and appearing in front of startled Chuunin. He kneed the man on the face that broke his nose before landing a spin kick to the man's face.

Mizuki managed to right himself to land on his feet, skidding back a bit due to the strength of the kick. He flipped through handseals.

"Katon: Grand Fireball." A large fireball flew out of his opened mouth towards the blonde who merely changing its direction with a flick of his blade.

"That's the best you can do, Mizuki? Let me show you what a real fireball looks like. Fira!" Naruto yelled as he threw out his hand causing three large fireballs to materialize before flying straight at the startled Chuunin who barely had time to flip through the seals for a defensive technique.

"Doton: Earth Style Wall!" shouted Mizuki desperately as he slammed both of his palms on the ground causing a wall of earth to shoot out in front of him. It didn't do any good since the fireballs struck the construct with such force that he was thrown back from the explosion and shockwave.


Mizuki didn't know what happened when he felt his body freeze. No matter how much he tried, he couldn't move an inch.

"Don't bother struggling, Mizuki. My spell placed you in a time bubble. You won't be moving anytime soon unless I free you from it." Naruto said coldly and was about to make mincemeat out of the man when Neko and the rest of the Hokage's personal ANBU appeared to his left. "Took you long enough."

Neko was amazed at how a fresh graduate from the Academy was able to stop someone of Mizuki's caliber. Sure, the man was merely an Academy instructor but he was a Chuunin, clearly someone stronger than a Genin in both skill and experience.

"What happened here, Naruto?"

"I was able to intercept, Mizuki, before he could reach the village's boundary." Naruto replied before removing the scroll from his back and throwing it to the cat-masked ANBU. "Here's the scroll, Neko-neechan."

Said ANBU caught the scroll and recognized the chakra signature telling her it was genuine. "Thank you, Naruto-kun. What did you do to Mizuki?" she asked before spotting the nodachi in Naruto's hand. "Where did you get that sword?"

"I placed him in a time bubble. He won't be moving anytime soon unless I cancel the spell." He said with a shrug. He raised Masamune to show it to his favorite ANBU guard. "This is Masamune, my trustee partner." He answered before returning the nodachi to his pocket dimension. He moved behind Mizuki and gave his neck a good chop, knocking him out before canceling the spell. Without the time bubble keeping him up, the man slumped to the ground unconscious. He lifted the man in a fireman's carry. "Why don't we go to back to jiji. I'm sure he has question he wanted to ask concerning the traitor and why he stole the scroll."

Neko nodded and gestured for the ANBU to leave for the tower and was about to do the same for Naruto but already found him gone from the area.


Considering that he was carrying someone, Naruto decided to use Haste to speed himself up, appearing as if he teleported out of the forest. It took a few minute for him to appear outside the Hokage's door and entered without even bothering to knock.

"Here you go, jiji! One traitor ready for interrogation." Naruto said cheerfully before unceremoniously dumping Mizuki on the floor and taking a seat in front of a startled Hokage.

"And the scroll?" asked the Sandaime after regaining his bearings while thinking "How in the world did the boy overpower a Chuunin?"

"I gave it to Neko-neechan." Naruto replied with a shrug. "She should be here any minute now…"

As if on cue, Neko and the two ANBU guards appeared in front of the Hokage. She was carrying the scroll of seals causing the Hokage to sigh in relief.

"Hokage-sama, we were successful in retrieving the Forbidden Scroll from the traitor. Naruto…" she paused after finally noticing said blonde on the chair waving at her. "Um, right. Naruto-kun took care of Mizuki but gave me the scroll for delivery."

"Thank you, Neko. Take Mizuki to Ibiki and Anko. Tell the two of them to wring the man dry of any information they can get out of him. Return to your posts afterwards. I don't want to be disturbed as I talk to Naruto." He ordered.

The ANBUs saluted before exiting the room in a trademark Konoha Shunshin of smoke and leaves, taking an unconscious Mizuki with them.

"So, what do you want to talk about, jiji?" Naruto asked though he already knew what his surrogate father was going to ask.

"There a lot of things I want to talk to you about, Naruto-kun. Some along the line of clarifications than interrogation." said Sarutobi while returning the Forbidden Scroll in one of the secure vaults in his office, ensuring that it won't be stolen anytime soon due to the Blood Recognition Seal keeping it locked tight. He returned to his chair and leveled his surrogate grandson a proud smile. "But first, let me congratulate you on the success of your first unofficial B-rank mission – apprehending the culprit and the return of the Forbidden Scroll of Seals. You can drop by tomorrow for your pay."

"Uh, great." said Naruto in shock. A B-rank pay was equivalent to two month's wage for a regular civilian and then some. He was definitely going to be buying a lot of supplies for his experiments. "Thanks a lot, jiji."

"You deserve it, Naruto." the Sandaime, nodding to the boy before his face turned serious. "I don't doubt that you singlehandedly took care of Mizuki since Neko didn't report otherwise. I know that it is almost impossible for a fresh graduate from the Academy to bring down an experienced Chuunin of Mizuki's caliber. I know you trained a lot before and during the Academy but I want to know the extent of your skills."

"Hm, you know that's a tough order, jiji. As a shinobi, it is necessary for me to hide my skills even from you." Naruto said cheekily before his face turned serious. "However, I trust you, old man. There are some things I can't tell you, not yet anyway, but I'll give you a general idea what I can do. Is that alright?"

"I wouldn't have it any less, Naruto-kun. You definitely took the creed of deception to a whole new level if you managed to hide your abilities for this long." Sarutobi said with pride. "I will respect your decision but I need to know the gist of your abilities so I can properly place you in a team. From what you showed me tonight, I daresay you're above Genin with your capture of Mizuki"

"You know, beating Mizuki isn't really that difficult." Naruto pointed out. "He was all bark and no bite. All it took was one kick to the head, smashing his nose in with a knee, another kick, and freezing him in place…that's it actually. Oh, let's not forget the chop to the nape that rendered him unconscious for transport."

"Uh huh, you mentioned something about freezing him in place. Did you mean you used a jutsu to incapacitate him?" the Sandaime asked curiously.

"I'll get to that." Naruto promised. "About my skills, as you said, I trained for relatively 8 years in total – two years before attending school and six years after that with no plans of stopping anytime soon. My physical training involves the use of chakra weights to improve my core strength and speed. My taijutsu is a derivation of the Academy Taijutsu, modified it to include feints, grappling, and high-speed strikes to incapacitate my opponent. I don't have a name for it yet though. I am also proficient in kenjutsu." He summoned Masamune to the shock of the aged leader. "This is Masamune, a 6-foot tall nodachi that has been my partner all this time. She's a beauty, ain't she?"

"That she is." Sarutobi murmured as he eyed the magnificent in his grandson's hand. Even the way he held the blade spoke of familiarity, and dare he say it, mastery as well. "Where did you get that blade, Naruto. As far as I can tell, it's not made here in Konoha since the shops here don't usually sell nodachi-class blades."

Naruto nodded. Thankfully, he already thought of this line of questioning so he decided to toy with it a bit. He didn't want to reveal his past life as Sephiroth but he already came up with an idea on how to divert the old man's suspicions.

"To be honest, old man, I really don't know how I manifested Masamune in the real world. One day I was training, she just appeared in my hands." said Naruto, schooling his face into that of amazement. "The same day I got her, I also noticed that I could do certain…jutsus that are quite powerful. I ransacked the library for what happened but all I can easily say that it might be a bloodline of sorts."

The Sandaime's face grew skeptical. "A bloodline? Naruto-kun, bloodlines don't just appear out of nowhere. I can safely say that your parents didn't have any, well, except for your mother anyway if what she can do can be considered as bloodline. You can say she's an oddity among her clan."

"You know my parents?" Naruto asked immediately, his face expectant.

Sarutobi sighed. He didn't expect to tell the boy so soon but he guessed that Kami forced his hand if nothing else. "Your mother is Uzumaki Kushina from Uzushio. She was brought here during the onset of the Third Great Shinobi War. Your father…is Namikaze Minato."

Naruto immediately recognized the name. How couldn't he since it was the name of his idol. "What? My father is the Yondaime Hokage? You mean to tell me that he sealed Kyuubi inside his own son?"

"How did you know about the Kyuubi?" Sarutobi asked in shock. He didn't expect the boy to know of his burden already. Sure, he planned to tell the boy after he graduated from the Academy but he didn't expect his surrogate grandson to already know about it.

Naruto gave the aged leader a look that spoke volumes. "It's not really that hard to figure out, jiji. After all, I hear the words 'demon brat', 'demon', and 'fox boy' to name a few from the villagers. It also didn't help that they hate my guts and had no problems showing it." he noticed the old man wince but didn't comment about it. "I also looked into the history of Konoha and found it interesting that my birthday was exactly on the day the Kyuubi was defeated. That and the fact that I have a seal on my stomach that appears when I channel chakra. I just connected the dots and found out the truth."

"I see. I was hoping to tell you this when you graduate from the Academy. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you." Sarutobi admitted, inwardly sighing in relief since the boy was taking it so well. "So, how did you react when you found out?"

Naruto shrugged before relaxing further into the comfortable chair. "I don't blame my dad for sealing the bijuu inside me, jiji. After all, he was the Hokage and a leader should always be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to protect his followers. Dad just took it to extremes." He said with a grin mimicked by his surrogate grandfather "Anyway, you mentioned something about my mother having a bloodline?"

"Well, it's not really a bloodline but an oddity. In fact, all Uzumaki, you included, have a body-based bloodline of sorts ever since the Uzumaki Clan formed in the Elemental Nations. The Uzumakis are known to have potent life force, resulting to a healing factor, larger than normal chakra reserves, and more potent chakra compared to your average shinobi. Your mother is an oddity since she had this ability to create chains made of chakra that had the power to even subdue the Kyuubi. In fact, she was container of the fox before you." Sarutobi informed the boy. "Oh yes, the Uzumaki Clan was feared for their use and prowess of the Sealing Arts. In fact, that is one of the reason why Kumo, Iwa, and Kiri banded together to wipe them out."

"My mom was the first container?" Naruto asked with wonder. He didn't know that this was a family gig, not that he minded since he felt happy that his father trusted him with the burden of holding the most powerful bijuu in the Elemental Nations. Now he knew that reason why Sealing came so easily to him. It was in his blood and a part of his legacy.

"No, your mother is the second container with you being the third. The first container of the Kyuubi was Uzumaki Mito, the wife of the Shodaime Hokage." He informed the shocked blonde in front of him.

"Alright, this is definitely a family thing so that makes it sweeter." Naruto exclaimed with a childish grin on his face.

"I don't know if I should be worried that you're taking this quite calmly."

"Meh, I don't think it would be productive if I freak out or reap vengeance on the villagers for how they treated me. If I did then I'm just proving them right and I have no intentions of doing that."

"How…mature of you, my boy." the Sandaime said proudly to Naruto who smiled at him. "Anyway, anything else you noticed about your bloodline?"

"Well, aside from Masamune, I can also do something else with my chakra. After meditating with it for a bit, I found out that I have another source of energy inside me." He saw the look the man was giving him. "And no, it's not the Kyuubi."

"How do you know that?"

"Well, I can't really say but the energy came from me and not from the seal since I can also detect a form of energy there that was quite potent and powerful compared to my own. I don't know what this energy is but I accidentally did a…um…I think you can call it a spell for the lack of a better term." Naruto said with a shrug.

"A spell? You mean like magic?" Sarutobi asked in disbelief.

Naruto huffed defensively. "Hey, I was seven years old when it happened so blame my childhood imagination. I called it spells since it is similar to those movies I watched, where heroes can throw fireballs and such without hand seals. In fact, I can do a lot of things with it that you could classify as ninjutsu or genjutsu."

"Is this how you incapacitated, Mizuki?"

"Oh yes, it is a spell I call 'Stop'. It places my target in a time bubble of sorts that freezes them in their place. I can also do elemental spells, like Fire, Ice, and Thunder."

"Are you sure you're not going crazy on me, my boy?"

Naruto shook his head and threw his hand out towards the open window. "Fire!" a fireball the size of a man's head flew out of his outstretched palm and out the window. He also channeled his magic throughout his body to make himself float while in a sitting position, startling the Hokage. "Oh yeah, aside from spells, I can also counter gravity enough for me to slow down my fall and to float a bit. Speaking of which. Float!" he targeted the spell on the Hokage making him yelp as he mimicked Naruto floating on top of his seat.

"Damn, I believe you. Now can you please cancel your…spell?"

Naruto nodded and lowered the two of them back to their seats. "Anyway, I can do a lot more with it after a bit of experimentation but I can show you some of them later if we have the time. Oh yeah, I'm also dabbling in Seals a bit and had a few successful experiments that might interest you. In fact, one of them is being sold by Higurashi Kaito in his shop."

Sarutobi pondered on that for a bit before realizing what Naruto just revealed to him. "Wait, you mean to tell me that you were the one who made the hybrid storage scroll that is being sold to Jounins?" he asked incredulously.

"Yeah, that's my first successful experiment actually. I came up with the idea when Tenten, Kaito's daughter, complained about her storage scroll having limited capacity and the telltale smoke during unsealing. I messed with it a bit until I was able to make one with unlimited storage capacity and removed the smoke. It's selling like hotcakes but I don't want it to be a common item so I limited its distribution to Jounins and above. Kaito and I also agreed to limit the stocks since I don't want it to end up in the wrong hands. I also modified the thing a month ago to integrate a blood recognition seal so it won't be used against our shinobi." Naruto informed the shocked Hokage before making a face. "Let me tell you, it was a bitch adding the storage seal since I didn't know we sold that much already. Thankfully, my shadow clones helped so I was able to get it all done in a week."

"Uh huh. Any other experiments I should know about?" asked the Hokage with some trepidation. "I need a drink later. This boy is going to be the death of me."

"One successful experiment and another one in progress. The former is something I call the Spell Tag – a fusion of chakra, magic, and seals – that allows the user to use a spell for each tag. I have one for Fire, Ice, and Thunder. I can give you some to test out of you like." The Hokage nodded resulting in Naruto pulling out a few seals from his pocket dimension and laid it on the table. "The red one is the Fire Spell Tag, the blue is the Ice Spell Tag, and the yellow is the Thunder Spell Tag. I consider those the first-tier spells because anything more powerful destroys the sealing matrix so I'm working on it."

"How do they work?" the Hokage asked curiously, studying the Fire Spell Tag with a speculative eye. The seal was quite complex and he could sense something powerful within it.

"All you need to do is channel a bit of chakra to it to activate and throw it to target. Here let me show you." said Naruto as he grabbed a Fire Spell Tag in between his index and middle finger, channeled a bit of chakra to it, and threw it towards the open window. The tag flew straight like an arrow before transforming into a fireball similar to what he used earlier. "See? Simple."

"Amazing. You are definitely a genius in the Sealing Arts." Sarutobi praised the boy since such tags would be a great boon to some shinobi who weren't proficient in elemental ninjutsu. A literal jutsu-in-your-pocket. "Why didn't you sell it?"

"I haven't came up with a way to control its use, jiji. What if a missing-nin with a grudge against Konoha got his or her hands on these? That would be a disaster. No, I don't think I'll be selling this anytime soon. I gave a dozen of each to Tenten for her use and here's yours. Other than that, all my Spell Tags are in storage for me to use in case I run out of juice."

"Understandable. You mentioned another experiment?"

"Yeah, I'm trying to make a transport device using seals. I have a small model, around a feet in length and half of that in height, as a test model. It can float and all but anything bigger or heavier than that is a no go." A thought occurred to him. "Which reminds me, who owns the apartment I'm using, jiji?"

"Why do you ask?" the Hokage steeled himself. The boy was definitely going to be the death of him if he continued to make the impossible possible.

"Well, since I'm the only one living there, might as well make use of the space. I was thinking of buying the entirety of the building and the grounds if it's for sale, turning it into a laboratory for my experiments since my living room and bedroom is not big enough to accommodate it. I can save some money or maybe you can sell it to me in an installment basis?"

"Well, the land is owned by the village so you can say that I own it. I can sell it to you at discounted price. You don't have to worry about money since your parents left you quite a sum before they passed away."

"You don't say?" Naruto asked with some surprise and curiosity.

"Your parents were powerful shinobi, Naruto-kun, and they amassed quite a bit of a fortune with their missions. In fact, your orphan stipend was one way of me giving it to you since you're not allowed to make withdrawals due to your age. Now that you're a Genin, I can have the bank transfer the authority of the money to you if you want since you're already considered an adult."

"That would be great, jiji. Can you sell me the apartment and just deduct the amount from my inheritance? How much did my parents leave me anyway?" he asked curiously.

"Well, the last statement told me that you have something of an excess of 50,000,000 ryo. The manager of the bank was kind enough to give your parents a nice interest rate to keep it growing. It's a good thing you're planning to buy the building since your parent's house was destroyed during the Kyuubi attack, taking everything your parents own with it." he said sadly causing Naruto to nod in understanding. "All in all, that's the entirety of your inheritance. I also have a few of your father's notes on Seals he kept inside the vault here in my office so I can give it to you if you promise to be careful with it."

"Wow! That's quite a lot of money and I can promise you that I'll be careful with my father's notes." Naruto said with some amazement, mentally thanking his father and mother for funding his current and future experiments. He wasn't sad about the house but he was dismayed that none of his parents' stuff survived the Kyuubi attack. He was, however, excited of his father's notes on Seals. "How much is the apartment building?"

"Since the place is old and in serious need of repair, I can sell it to your for…let's say…5,000,000 ryo?" Sarutobi said with some amusement since the boy's jaw was relatively hanging from the amount. He walked over to the vault where he kept the Forbidden Scroll and took out a thick notebook containing Minato's studies on Seals. He tossed it to Naruto who caught it easily.

"Thanks for this, old man. Are you sure you're going to sell me the building at such a low price? Considering the size of the land and the building, I can easily say that you're more than giving me a discount."

"Yes, it is. Consider it a graduation gift from me to you, my boy."

"Wow! Thanks a bunch, jiji. I don't know what to say."

"Just promise me that you're going to be careful with your experiments, Naruto-kun. Sealing is a complex and dangerous art. One wrong move then BOOM!"

"Don't worry, old man. All my experiments are done by shadow clones so I'm relatively safe in that regard." Naruto promised causing the Hokage to sigh in relief.

"That's good then. Anyway, I think I kept you from your sleep long enough. I'll have to stay up for a few more hours to finalize the team assignments for tomorrow. Why don't you go home and rest."

"Sure thing, old man. I'll keep you updated with my experiments when I have the chance. Good night." said Naruto as farewell before teleporting out of the office leaving a dumbfounded Hokage to shake his head in exasperation.


Sarutobi Hiruzen, the Sandaime Hokage, worked his way until the early hours of the morning finalizing the team assignments for this year's batch of newly-graduated Genins. He did a lot of revisions with the teams thanks to the recent revelation of Naruto's real abilities.

What he learned was quite shocking and the boy practically threw all of his assumptions and theories out the window. He couldn't help but be amazed at the boy he considered a grandson and how he matured right before his eyes.

For the first five years of the boy's life, Naruto was a prankster and a knucklehead. However, it's like a switch was flipped that made the boy change overnight. He blamed it on the event that landed the boy in a very deep pit outside the Forest of Death with a split scalp. Thankfully, it was already healed due to his Uzumaki healing factor coupled with the Kyuubi's chakra flowing through his veins.

The boy definitely changed, asking for a postponement of his enrollment into the Academy for two years since he wanted to be prepared when he attends. If that surprised him, he was definitely shocked when he learned of his surrogate grandson defeating a Chuunin in an all-out-battle, revealing his abilities that placed him a few pegs higher than his peers, a bloodline that allowed him to use elemental and support techniques without hand seals, and not to mention that intimidating sword of his. He couldn't help but look at the boy while envisioning a powerful warrior that would make hardcore shinobi tremble in their sandals.

He was also proud of the boy's maturity when informed about the Kyuubi. Sure, the boy already knew about it but the fact that his father sealed the most powerful entity in the Elemental Nations inside his body was definitely an eye opener and he couldn't help but puff out his chest in pride when he praised the man for the sealing instead of downright hating him for the life he went through.

No, Naruto could never be called a boy. He was a man, a full-fledged shinobi of the Leaf. He was sure that Uzumaki Naruto would make a mark in history that would put his parents' achievements to shame.

He looked down at the team rosters on the table and couldn't help but nod in approval. It was difficult rearranging the teams but he decided that it would be worth it in the end. He created a shadow clone to finish up before using Shunshin to take himself home for a short nap.

He needed all the rest he could get considering who he was going to deal with tomorrow.


Naruto was still sleepy when he was woken up by the blaring of his alarm clock. He immediately teleported home last night since he wanted to get a few hours of sleep before going to the Academy for the team assignment. He, however, created a clone to read his father's notes on Seals before going to bed. He might be tired but he was very much excited on what his father wrote in that notebook of his.

He warped to the bathroom and subjected himself to a cold shower to really wake himself up. He enjoyed the bath before exiting the shower and observed himself in the mirror. He was quite happy of his growth. He was quite tall for a twelve year old, standing at a respectable height of 5'5 with his body sporting muscles that would put an athlete to shame. He was careful with his physical training since he didn't want to bulk up. He was built for both strength and speed without the bulky muscles Barret, the leader of Avalanche, sported. Oh no, he won't be turning into a hulk of a man anytime soon.

Toweling the excess water that clung to his long hair that almost reached the middle of his back, he made his way to his bedroom and changed into an outfit he prepared in advance when he made it to Genin. It was similar to Sephiroth's outfit but totally different.

Instead of an all black ensemble, Naruto decided to change it to white instead. He removed the metal shoulder guards since he didn't want it impeding his movements. The only black in his outfit was the black pants and steel-plated boots.

All-in-all, he looked quite intimidating.

He exited his bedroom and created a clone to start with breakfast. He made his way to a hole in the wall that led to the adjacent apartment where his study and experiment room was located. He found his clone furiously taking down notes on a new notebook he kept in stock just in case.

"Found anything useful? Nevermind, dispel and give me the memories." Naruto instructed before the clone dispelled itself and his mind assaulted by an influx of memories. He couldn't help but drool at what discovered from his dad's notebook. It was amazing. "Damn, I knew dad was good considered he could seal the Kyuubi alone but I didn't know he was this good."

The notebook was Namikaze Minato's life's work on the Sealing Arts. All his experiences, modifications, and creations were recorded there down to the tiniest detail. Naruto was quite amazed that his dad could come up with unique concepts that even he, with his vaunted intellect and imagination, wouldn't have thought of. His father definitely taking the Sealing Arts to the next level with him doing the same – in another way of course. His father's achievement and research would be invaluable to his experiments. One of the seals there would definitely help him in his project in coming up with a flying vehicle for his use. He was drooling at the possibility.

Naruto glanced at the corner to see that he had an hour before the team assignment would begin. He decided to go ahead with his plans and created a dozen clones.

"Alright, guys. I'm going to go to the Academy for team assignment. I want one of you to go to jiji and get the deed for the property. The sooner we get the property signed over to me, the sooner we can start renovating. Three of you will go through my father's notes and concentrate on the ones that would help in our experiments. The rest of you try to come up with a way to modify the seal matrix to accommodate second-tier elemental spells and possible some of the barrier spells." Naruto instructed.

"Hai, taichou!" chorused the clones before going to their respective tasks.

Naruto nodded before going to the kitchen to fix himself something to eat before going to the Academy. With the commotion last night, he definitely worked up an appetite that would put Chouji to shame.


Naruto was making his way to the Hokage's office after Iruka told him to meet with the Sandaime for further orders regarding his placement as a Genin of Konoha.

The blonde reincarnation of Sephiroth couldn't believe it. He wasn't assigned a team!

The team assignment was finished, his friends and classmates already being informed who their teammates would be and their respective Jounin senseis. However, he was shocked when he wasn't mentioned but was informed that he needed to see the Hokage for furthers.

He didn't bother with the secretary who was glaring at him, walked past her and unceremoniously opened the aged leader's office to see him smoking his pipe with a smile on his face

"What gives, old man? Why in Kami didn't I get a team?" he demanded from the man he considered as grandfather in all but blood.

"Why don't you sit down, Naruto-kun. I will explain my reasons why I didn't assign you a team and I have a proposition for you that would make it worth your while."

Naruto raised an eyebrow but complied, tapping the floor with his foot as he waited for the explanation.

"I spent the whole morning deciding what to do with the teams and your…abilities would pose quite a bit of a problem with any team you end up with." He started causing Naruto to bristle but held up his hand to silence whatever the blonde was going to say. "I didn't say it as insult or anything Naruto-kun but answer me this – you think your capabilities would compliment a team? Any team for that matter?"

Naruto paused and really thought about what the Hokage said. Considering how much he revealed to the Sandaime last night, he couldn't help but grudgingly agree that team dynamics would be strained considering what he was capable of. In truth, he would most likely destroy the team and some would even consider it as him showing off. In another note, any team he was assigned to would be overpowered, not by their actions but mostly on Naruto since he would end up doing anything they couldn't, destroying their chance of growth. He sighed in exasperation.

"Fine. What do you suggest, old man? History states that all graduates from the Academy are assigned to a team since Konoha is well known for its teamwork."

"That's true, my boy, but you yourself is a team already. With your shadow clones, you could do anything a team could. You can overpower them to be more durable and you could keep on bringing them out if one of your clones dispel." Sarutobi pointed out. Naruto grudgingly nodded and prompted the aged leader to continue. "Now, I won't be assigning you a team nor will I be assigning you a sensei. What I want is to give you a position."

"A position?" Naruto asked, now very curious as to what the aged leader was up to.

"Yes. Your various experiments got me thinking. It would be a travesty if I let your abilities and discoveries hindered by a team. Such is the case; I am going to start a new department in the Konoha Military with you spearheading it." the Sandaime said with a bit of pride in his voice.

"I'm listening."

"The department will be a research and development division attached to Konoha ANBU. Your job is to work with a few plans I have for the improvement of Konoha while serving as a back-up team for any missions that requires aid. This will be treated as a long term S-rank mission and every successful discovery and experiments will be considered a mission with varying ranks. For example, if you developed your Spell Tags after your assignment then you would have been awarded a B-rank mission pay."

"Wow. That's a grand plan, jiji. Are you sure you want to put me in a position as its head?" Naruto asked in disbelief.

"Absolutely, Naruto-kun. Not only did you prove your capabilities as a shinobi, you also showed me that you inherited your father's knack for inventing and your mother's talent in seals. With these two combined, you will go far, my boy."

Naruto nodded. He couldn't help that he was excited in being given a reason to invent. He was limited to what he could come up with but with the Sandaime's backing, he would be doing a lot for his village.

"I definitely accept the position, jiji. However, what about work hours and training?"

"I already took care of that. You will be working for 8 hours at ANBU headquarters. I already have a laboratory prepared for you as we speak. I will be assigning you three ANBU guards to help you with anything you might need, as well as helping you keep up with your training. Except to be pulled out anytime for a mission."

"Cool!" Naruto exclaimed excitedly. "So I take it I won't be hiring any helpers since I will be conducting all my research and experiments using my shadow clones, correct?"

The Hokage nodded with a smile on his face. "Correct. Considering your chakra reserves, you can practically bring out an army of them to help you in your tasks. So no, you are your own department."

"Tasks? Don't tell me you already have a project lined up for me?"

"That I do." the aged leader nodded. He pulled out a folder from his drawer and slid it across the table for Naruto to reach. "I think that is enough for you to start with. I will have more for you if I have need."

Naruto curiously opened the folder and perused the contents. In it were various projects the Hokage wanted done for the betterment of the village. Some of them would be easy, requiring only a few tweaks, while the rest would requires hours of research to pull off. He was itching to get started. He saw the last project in the folder and couldn't help but raise an eyebrow.

"I see that you want me to complete my transport vehicle." Naruto said with a sly smirk on his face.

"That I do. I don't doubt your capabilities, Naruto-kun. I know you can do it. I'm just giving you an order to proceed. If you read down, you will see why I wanted this project to succeed."

"Logistics. Not only that, this would make it easy for our shinobi to bring reinforcements to other teams in a hurry without wasting their energy and time on traveling to and from their destination. Definitely a benefit. You mentioned that you don't want it mass produced. Why is that?"

"The vehicle will only be used if the occasion demands and not for anything else. We might use it for dignitaries but other than that, I don't want my shinobi getting lazy because there is an easier way to get from point A to point B. No, I don't want it mass produced. I think six of them would suffice."

"I agree. I guess all I can say is that I accept your offer, Hokage-sama." Naruto said with a deep bow. "Now…who's going to take me to my office?" he said cheekily making the Hokage laugh.


It has been two months since Naruto was given the position in the new Research and Development Division of ANBU and he couldn't deny the fact that he was quite happy. He knew that this was going to be difficult since he would be starting from scratch but with the Sandaime's backing, he had all the resource he needed to get things done without suffering any setbacks.

The first of the two months was busy prepping up his new laboratory. It was located in a hidden location housing the entire ANBU contingent of Konoha. It was safe to say that he was in the most secure location in the village and he preferred it that way considering what he was going to invent in the future.

His first task was combing through Sephiroth's memories of his apprenticeship under Professor Hojo. Despite the man being a warmonger and a demented scientist, the Shinra employee was a genius and passed most of his knowledge to his successful experiment. Naruto was fortunate that his past life had a photographic memory so everything he learned was accessible to Naruto for his use.

The first thing he created was a computer since he needed something to facilitate his many future projects. Thankfully, he knew how to get it done but it took quite a while to get a working model up and running due to the lack of technology for its creation.

It took thousands of clones, hours of sleepless nights, and a lot of reading and experimenting with seals that he finally managed to put together a working computer. He had to manufacture the parts and had some of his clones work on the programming but it was worth it.

When the computer was done, he assigned a dozen clones creating modules after modules for an artificial intelligence for his lab to function at optimum efficiency. He knew that he was cheating since he was practically copying Shinra's many achievements but he didn't let it deter him. If Kami didn't strike him down for bringing technology back to the Elemental Nations then he was free to do as he pleased.

Naruto also kept up with his training thanks to the training ground located underneath ANBU headquarters. He was brought up to speed in ninjutsu, kenjutsu, chakra control, and seals thanks to the many ANBU who was more than happy to lend a hand in his training. The library also helped and had an army of clones read through everything he could get his hands on. It also helped that he spent quite a lot of time sparring with Konoha's trained elites while his shadow clones worked in his now functional laboratory. His main training partner was Neko and someone named Tenzo who was capable of using the Shodaime's Mokuton. He found out that the man was experimented on by Orochimaru and was the only one to survive the process of being integrated with the Shodaime's DNA. The man was definitely strong and Naruto enjoyed hours of fun with the man in a no-holds-barred sparring match. He was slowly gaining grounds in his goal to reach Sephiroth's strength and ANBU was definitely helping with that goal.

The new inventor of Konoha also took the time to get a breath of fresh air from his dingy laboratory to interact with his friends from the Academy. However, most of his free time was spent with Tenten, engaging in a spar and taking her out for dinner or lunch if time permits. He couldn't tell her anything about his new role in Konoha but she didn't pester him about it since she understood the secrecy involved. He did, however, keep her updated with some of his personal experiments since she provided helpful insights to how things should work or not.

All in all, Naruto loved every second of it.


Naruto pressed a button on his computer console while sipping a cup of coffee. He was currently in the middle of testing his one of his many finished experiments – a long-range communication system powered by ambient chakra. Unlike the communicators ANBUs were using, this model was more advanced. Naruto, using Shinra's many inventions as a template, was able to increase the range and utilized seals to give it a self-recharging power supply. It helped that the Elemental Nations was rich in ambient energy thanks to the many chakra-using individuals running around.

"Testing testing. Do you read me, over?" Naruto started. Static was heard from the speaker system installed in his laboratory before a voice broke in.

"Read you loud and clear, Uzumaki-san."

"How many times do I have to tell you, Tenzo, call me Naruto or Naruto-san." He growled in irritation.

"I'm not sure. I lost count after five hundred." came the amused reply.

"Cheeky bugger." Naruto murmured as he started typing on the keyboard in front of him. "Alright, how is my voice on your end? Any static or interference I should know about?"

"No. Everything is loud and clear on my end. How is the tracking seal you installed?"

"Wait, I'm pulling up a map right now." said Naruto as he pushed a few more buttons. The screen on his left changed to a map of Hi no Kuni. There were two blinking blue dots, one in the capital of Hi no Kuni while the other one was in Tanzaku Gai. "Alright, the map is working perfectly and the tracking seal works. Your current location is the market district behind the Daimyo's compound. Confirm?"

"Confirm. I guess it worked then."

"Definitely. Wait, let me see if one of the features I installed is up and running." said Naruto, flicking a switch on the panel to toggle the conference mode one of his clones installed earlier. "Neko-neechan, do you read?"

"Read you loud and clear, Naruto-kun. I take it you're testing the conference mode now?"

"I am. You and Tenzo are on the line."

"Hello, Neko-san." said Tenzo from his end.

"Tenzo." Neko replied in greeting. "Are you hearing me loud and clear?"

"Clear as if you're beside me, Neko-san."

"Neechan, are you in a building right now in front of the plaza square?" asked Naruto as he triangulated the ANBU's position.

"Yes, I'm at the hotel packing my things. I just finished the mission so I'm going back to Konoha in a few hours. This GPS thing working?"

"Yes. I think I just need to update the map with the buildings to accurately point out the position of those who have a communicator or a tracking seal with a specific chakra signature." Naruto replied. "The communication panel is also working perfectly on my end so I'm going to flag this project as a success."

"You're definitely living up to your name as Konoha's Inventor, Naruto-kun."

"Aw shucks, you're making me blush, neechan." said an amused Naruto. "Anyway, I'm signing off. Do you want me to leave the communication line open between the two of you so you can talk?"

"No need, Naruto-kun. I'll be running at full speed so I have no time to talk. Anyway, Neko signing out. Take care, Tenzo, Naruto-kun."

"Safe travels, Neechan. By for now, Tenzo.

"See you when I get back, Uzumaki-san."

Naruto didn't grace that with a reply before turning off the communicator. He grabbed a scroll before teleporting out of the room to give his report to the Hokage.


"I am happy to say that the long-range communication system is a success, Hokage-jiji." reported Naruto as he stood in front of the aged leader with his two advisors, Homura and Koharu. The two were opposed to his position at first but when they visited his lab, they were convinced and eagerly waiting for what he could come up with. "I tested the GPS and communication range with ANBUs Neko and Tenzo who are in Tanzaku Gai and Hi no Kuni capital respectively."

"Excellent, Naruto-kun. Any problems with the…um…Global Positioning System? Did I get the term right?" Sarutobi asked with a chuckle. He didn't know where Naruto got these terms but they were quite catchy, hard to memorize though.

"You can just call them GPS, jiji, and no, there's no problem with it as far as I can tell. I just need to update the map to include the rest of the Elemental Nations down to the last building for accuracy, but other than that, everything is working perfectly. I already assigned a hundred shadow clones to mass produce the communicators for ANBU and Jounin use and linked them to a central communication system at ANBU headquarters. You might want to tell me if you are planning to assign ANBU outside Fire Country so I can check the range again. My goal is to ensure that the communication relays can catch any incoming and outgoing transmission all over the Elemental Nations. Anyway, all you need to do is to train an ANBU to handle the communication relays and to check on the system from time to time. When you have a person in mind, let me know. I'll train him for a few days and ease him into the job." The blonde reported before putting a scroll on the table. "Here's a duplicate of the communication panel for your use. I already took the liberty of adding a set of instructions so you'll know how to operate them. I also included a dozen communicators to use as you see fit."

"Thank you, Naruto-kun." said Sarutobi with a smile while giving the two advisors a smug look. They were wearing looks of shock and amazement when Naruto described his now completed communication system for Konoha's ANBU and Jounin. It was safe to say they were very much convinced. "I'll add this as an A-rank mission on your record. Your pay will be deposited in your bank account in the morning. Do you have anything else to report?"

"Aside from the fact that I'm itching for a mission outside the village and the hover boards are at 50% completion, I have nothing else to say." Naruto admitted as he slumped down unceremoniously on the chair causing the three to chuckle. "Man, I never knew that staying in my laboratory everyday for two months was going to drive me insane."

"Don't worry. If there is a C-rank mission among your group, I'll be more than happy to let you join them as back-up. Any problems with the hover boards?" he asked the blonde inventor who had a thoughtful frown on his face.

"The chakra absorption seals, converter seals, and hover seals are working perfectly without any glitch. The problem is the steering. I'm still looking for a way to steer it better instead of doing it manually with our feet. That's why it's taking a bit slow but I'm sure I'll have it done in the next month or so." admitted Naruto. "I'm toying with some of tou-san's experiments in mind seals if its possible to use it with the hover boards. I'll let you know what I can come up on that thought."

"What are these…hover boards?" Homura asked curiously.

"Hokage-jiji asked me to create a transportation medium for Konoha to easily send reinforcement to and from the village. The project is taking too long considering its size so I am making a more compact version of it in the form of boards." He pulled out a data pad from his pocket and tapped the screen a few times much to the amazement of the trio. He pulled up a picture of the hover board with one of his clones adding a few seals on the bottom and showed it to them. "This is the hover board. This is an ongoing project of mine that would allow our shinobi to go from one place to another without wasting their energy and cutting down on travel time. If this project is successful, I am thinking of incorporate a small closed vehicle version of it for dignitaries and important personnel."

"This is amazing, Uzumaki. I am looking forward to what you cook up next." said Koharu with a bit of respect.

"Thank you, Koharu-sama. Anyway, if that's it for today, I need to get a few hours of training in before calling it a day. I was working on the communication system for two days straight without any rest. Good bye for now." said Naruto before exiting the room and teleporting back to his room in his now-renovated apartment when the door closed.

End of Chapter 1

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