Author's Rant:

Thank you for the reviews and PMs. Flamers are not welcome, except those that are constructive that pointed out certain flaws in the story. However, flames that merely states that you don't like the story, won't be reading anymore, and slip in a few derogatory remarks - definitely a waste of time and review. If you don't like it then don't read it. This is fan-fiction after all so anything goes.

I think I ranted enough. Enjoy the story.


Guidelines for suggestion inventions:

1. I accept invention ideas that are viable with the current technology Naruto has developed. Keep in mind that Sephiroth is a fighter, not a scholar, but he had education along that line. Naruto IS an inventor and based his many inventions and experiments on Sephiroth's memories.

2. When suggesting inventions, make sure you add a brief explanation on how it is going to be invented (using Naruto's variation) and how it works.

That's it for now. I'll add to this when I think of something. ^_^


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.

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. MASS CROSSOVER WARNING!

Naruto was quite excited of joining the Chuunin Exams in the coming months. Sure, he was vying for the rank upgrade but he was more excited in satiating his lust for battle with the different shinobi from other villages. He wasn't concerned that they were Genins but the idea of fighting someone with different or unique abilities appealed to him. He chalked it up to his inventor side and Sephiroth's memories, blending together to form a personality that was uniquely Naruto's own. He loved to fight and discover new things – two birds with one stone. This was the real him.

He easily sealed Ido, Yakumo's negative personality, with the Five Point Evil Sealing Method, but there was a side-effect he didn't expect.

Instead of completely sealing Yakumo's negative personality, the sealing matrix combined both personalities to something totally new. This result was a different Yakumo with a totally new personality – flirty, an epitome of posture and poise, seductive, loves lollipops with a passion, and had a thing for leather outfits that was too tight for Naruto's taste. It bothered him a bit that Yakumo was practically a lollicon in the making but he didn't want to get on her bad side. He might be powerful but there was just something about Yakumo's bloodline that made him fear her a bit.

No, her being a lollicon can be easily overlooked since she actually had the looks that would make other lollis drool with envy.

Back to the girl's rehabilitation, Yakumo's physical disability was easily remedied by a combination of three spells – Remedy to remove the virus, yes a virus, from her system that eats away at her muscles that hinders its improvement; a Curaga to rejuvenate her body, and a Regen that had to be maintained for a month to keep her health at peak efficiency while her body countered her weakened muscles, and couple that with a steady diet of healthy meals courtesy of Haku, she was on her way toward recovery in time for the Chuunin Exams with plenty to spare for training thrown in for good measure.

While her body healed, Zabuza was conscripted to give Yakumo a crash course in the shinobi arts. She had no problems with taijutsu since she spent five years either painting or watching her clansmen practice their family taijutsu style. She did what she could but her physical disability hindered her improvement so she ended up memorizing the stances and nothing else. This was the first thing she practiced when her body completely healed with Naruto cheering her on since he wanted to really see her in action because her family's taijutsu style involved acrobatic dodging and quick strikes. It was something he looked forward to documenting if Yakumo gave him her permission.

Naruto didn't know why but Yakumo reminded him so much of Cloud's two friends – Tifa Lockheart and Yuffie, a perfect blending of their fighting style.

In terms of ninjutsu, Yakumo didn't have the chakra reserves to pull it off except for the basics. This was the reason why the Kurama Clan focused on genjutsu since not only were they genetically predisposed towards illusions; they had small chakra reserves to make ninjutsu almost nonexistent in their arsenal. Naruto did give her some books on genjutsu from his personal collection to help her along with her natural abilities which she gladly accepted.

Another important earmark to Yakumo's improvement in the shinobi arts were the inclusion of weapons that Naruto recently completed - guns. Unlike regular guns commonly used by Shinra forces, these guns were modified to fire bullets made of solidified chakra.

Naruto was dumbfounded when Yakumo tried her hand at the weapon upon their completion. The girl was an excellent marksman and was already contemplating combining her taijutsu style with said weapons. After a month of practice and experimentations, Naruto could safely say that Yakumo was a force to be reckoned with, that and the fact that she took a liking to wearing black leather outfit that hugged her frame. She was still young and her...assets were still developing but the curves she had, though undeveloped, gave testament to how she would turn into a bombshell in the future. Zabuza definitely liked what he was seeing if the blood seeping out of his nose was an indication, though he made a special point not to show such perversion in front of Yakumo since the first time he did that, he was almost riddled full of holes with chakra bullets since the girl was practicing with four guns at that time, a pair on her hands with another pair attached to her stilettos with seals.

With Yakumo ready to become a Genin and the Chuunin Exams, Naruto allocated three hours a day for team training with Zabuza keeping watch to point out problems that needs to be addressed. Kakashi joined them from time to time to get his skills back but they were a long time coming since he couldn't let go of his team, no matter much he wanted to do so.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Naruto finished grafting the seals inside Crucifix's framework before flipping a switch on the console that activated various mechanical hands to hold the heavy metal in place while a tube poked out on the side to weld it together. He sighed as he set aside his grafting tools before wiping the sweat off his face. It was a gruelling eight hours of work grafting the seals while taking it slow to make sure that there were no problems in their creation. One mistake could lead to catastrophic consequences that made him shiver since he was dealing with complex seal matrices.

All that was left was to assemble the different parts together and his first heavy-arms prototype was good to go for a test run.

The blonde inventor was thankful that he started small with the project through the creation of Chakra Guns that Yakumo was now using as her primary weapon, or in her case, weapons. The guns were a modification to the ones Vincent Valentine used. Instead of bullets, these guns absorbs a tiny amount of the user's chakra, amplifies and compresses them before firing out of the barrel using another set of seals on the trigger and piston. The condensed ball of chakra was capable of piercing the target depending on how hard the surface would be - a civilian would be full of holes; a shinobi would suffer some wounds because of the increased defence thanks to the chakra circulating in their bodies, while those with defensive bloodline might be able to avoid one or both effects.

That was with neutral chakra alone. What effects would it result to if elemental chakra was channelled into the guns? The thought made Naruto giddy. He made a mental note to test Yakumo to find out what her natural element was. He added another note to that note to find out what HIS affinity was since he didn't have such training under his belt.

All in all, the Chakra Guns were a success and the first four were given to Yakumo as part of her arsenal and her membership into Team Shinra and Project Black Leaf. She was still experimenting with them a bit to see what they were capable off and the data he collected looked promising. He instinctively knew that Yakumo would bring out the gun's full potential if she had anything to say about it.

"How long will it take to assemble Crucifix, Kuroto?" Naruto asked as he made his way to the corner where a cooler was located. He definitely needed a drink after working on Crucifix's seal matrix for eight hours straight. He could have assigned a clone for the job but it wouldn't be the same. He made a special point to work on the prototypes himself while the clones were for production, testing, and research. He chalked it to an inventor's pride.

"Completion time is 23 hours and 35 minutes, Naruto-sama. The progress would have been faster if you took the time to finish the manufacturing station underneath your apartment complex."

"Damn. I knew designing that thing with so many parts would bite me in the ass. Fine, I'll make a special point to finalize the production system underneath the apartment. Set a schedule for the requisition of the items and make an inventory of everything we have so I know which ones to get." Naruto grumbled. He could have made Crucifix into a single-purpose weapon but his ego got in the way so he practically turned the thing into a one-man-army in terms of weaponry, that and the fact that he procrastinated in the expansion of his laboratory and work area underneath his apartment. "What's the status of the three projects in priority?"

"Still analyzing and breaking down the blood sample you took from subject Mitarashi Anko. No estimated time of completion since the enzyme is resisting almost all forms of analysis. However, we are successful in separating the enzymes from the blood so the project is underway." Kuroto reported with Naruto nodding as he took a sip of the bitter iced coffee he liked so much. The beverage was his first foray into integrating Sephiroth's favourite into Konoha's market. Who knew that shinobi would take a liking to it? He was currently earning quite a sum from that alone.

"Good. We are not in a hurry so keep at it at normal pace. No need to allocate additional resources considering Anko-san has that thing on her for more than a decade. I don't think a few months would make a difference." Naruto said with a shrug.

"Will do, Naruto-sama. The Barrier Upgrade is still under study. One of the clones informed me to tell you that they needed a fresh batch of chakra metals."

"Huh? Why in the world do they need chakra metals for? The last memory transfer I got from a clone working on that project involved making chakra into a solid construct." Naruto asked with some confusion. Granted the last time he dispelled the clones on that project was two days ago so it was quite possible that this batch made a few discoveries he didn't know about. They weren't scheduled to be dispelled for three more days.

"Should I tell one of them to dispel, Naruto-sama?"

"Yes please." said Naruto as he relaxed his mind to prepare for the memory transfer from his clones. It was a few seconds later that the clone's memories entered his consciousness. The blonde couldn't help but admire the clone's more radical idea in using chakra metal as a conductor and amplifier to increase chakra potency. They theorized that since the barrier was already using chakra, it might be possible to solidify it if the energy output was increased. With that said, they needed chakra metals since the sealing array for the barriers weren't strong enough to handle such a large amount of chakra. The metal would provide a solid foundation to make it work...if it works. "I see. Could you please forward a memo to Hokage-ji-sama citing a request for a Genin team to acquire a ton of chakra metals to be delivered to my compound? I'm not sure if Tenten's shop has that much in stock so jiji might need to dispatch a team to Tetsu no Kuni to acquire it in bulk. Oh, make an additional note to that to buy an extra ton or two just in case we need more for experimentation or production."

"As you wish, Naruto-sama."

"Thank you, Kuroto. Any news on Project Dragoon?"

"The Dragoon is currently at 75%. The frame and durability seals were completed yesterday. The clones you assigned on the project are now grafting the Float Matrix onto the shell before testing it."

The Dragoon was the name given to the modified airship approved by the Hokage. After months of thousands of clones, they finally completed the combination of seals that now formed the completed array called the Float Matrix – a combination of more than a dozen seals to absorb and convert the ambient chakra in the air, amplify it, float the construct it is applied to, and a steering mechanism to give it direction. In other words, as the name dictates, the Float Matrix was a series of seals to make things fly. Speed was still an issue since the matrix wasn't tested on a full-scale model but they could hopefully test it soon with the first prototype.

Besides, the initial test of the Float Matrix on the hover board allowed greater speed if chakra was channelled directly. It was quite possible for the Dragoon to achieve such a speed if the battery has enough power to sustain it.

"Nice. If we're lucky then we can unveil it during the Chuunin Exams in two months time, maybe earlier if we're lucky. We can practically use its maiden voyage to transport dignitaries from other villages. Inform the clones to take time with the project. If they need more manpower then get back to me immediately so I can make more." Naruto informed his AI as he made his way to his laboratory. "Any updates on the teams Hokage-jiji sent out?"

"Out of the twelve teams dispatched, only three of them were successful in finding their targets while others reported the leads they found and still in search."

"Who?" Naruto asked excitedly as went to his workstation and pulled up the reports from the recruitment teams.

"Urahara Kisuke of Yugakure, Tessai of Yugakure, and Takani Megumi of Kusagakure."

Naruto smirked as he read the reports from the teams the Sandaime sent out to find certain rogue shinobi and offer them a job in his department. The advisors didn't have any problems with these individuals since their crime records weren't that severe to merit elimination. Danzo wisely withdrew from the discussion since they had blackmail material on him. In fact, most of them were more along the line of scientists rather than fighters though Naruto knew that these individual were formidable since they would be dead already for being in the Bingo Book.

The first was Urahara Kisuke. The man was known to conduct various experiments in utilizing the spiritual aspect of chakra, calling it Reiryoku. The reason why he was banished from the village was the 'supposed' experiments on humans for research. Naruto knew that reports were oftentimes modified to suit the reason of the individual, or in this case, the village of Yugakure. Naruto theorized that Urahara was banished because Yugakure was no longer a shinobi village, more along the line of a business locale if nothing else which merited its rise in the economic and financial ladder.

Tessai was Urahara Kisuke's assistant, an expert in Urahara's studies as he devised various techniques for Reiryoku. His banishment was also attributed to Urahara's experiment.

The last was Takani Megumi of Kusagakure, a prodigy and expert on medicinal plants. She was marked as a rogue shinobi due to her running away from Kusagakure when she was forced to produce certain plant-based poisons that could wipe out an entire village. She rebelled and ran away. Due to her medical knowledge, she was branded as an A-rank rogue shinobi.

Naruto definitely wanted them on his payroll considering the knowledge they possessed in their respective fields.

The blonde's smirk turned into a grin when he saw the reports from the shinobi who found them. All three were now being escorted to the village and would be arriving in two days time. Thankfully, all agreed to hear him out instead of rejecting his offer. He activated the GPS system and found the position of the three groups. They were now in Hi no Kuni, taking a direct route to Konoha.

Naruto exited his office and to one of the spare testing chambers to prepare for a welcoming surprise for his guests. After all, if he wanted them to take him seriously then he needed to show them what he was capable of.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Urahara Kisuke looked at the gates of Konoha with different emotions churning inside him. He was usually a fun-loving guy, loves experimenting, but a vicious fighter when crossed. However, the sight of the large wooden gates of Konohagakure no Sato made him a bit nervous.

The reason why he was being escorted to the village was his curiosity regarding an offer given to him and to his partner, Tessai. An opportunity presented to them by the head of the ANBU Research and Development Division, one named Uzumaki Naruto. He interviewed the Jounin who found him deep inside Swamp Country and couldn't help but be amazed that a 14 year old Genin was able to invent technology that could turn Konoha into a powerhouse. Of course, being the inventor he was, he immediately grabbed the opportunity to meet this amazing young man that may eventually become his employer if he answered his questions right.

Yes, he and Tessai didn't accept outright, opting instead to talk to the person who offered the opportunity to them to find out what he really wanted. In truth, he didn't want to invent things for war and most people in the higher ups were a greedy bunch. This was the reason why he and Tessai ran away from Yugakure in the first place. Of course, Yugakure made it look like they were banished to put them in good light towards their business partners; however, the truth of the matter was them running away because the village leaders, the council of advisors, were planning to use his discoveries to create weapons to subjugate other villages.

Sure, they were making it look like they were no longer a Hidden Village but behind the tradesman facade, warmongers the lot of them.

He turned to the right when he heard another group flanking them. What he saw made him raise an eyebrow before a grin crossed his face.

"Takani Megumi-chan. How delightfully charming to see you again, my dear. You are still a beauty even after all these years. " Kisuke swooned causing Tessai to roll his eyes behind his ever present sunglasses, his moustache twitching in irritation.

"Here we go again." Tessai thought, making a face that made the Konoha shinobi look at him curiously. He shook his head before tilting his head towards Kisuke and Megumi.

A woman clad in purple kimono with long dark hair huffed while giving Urahara an evil eye.

"Urahara Kisuke. Still looking stupid in that geta-sandal-bucket-hat outfit you still wear. Even the fan thing is getting old. It has been five years now and still no fashion sense whatsoever." Megumi snarled while resisting the urge to shove her most potent poison down the man's throat.

"I'm hurt, Megumi-chan. You still haven't forgiven me from the last time we met. Really, it was an accident!" Kisuke whined while making exaggerating movements with his hands.

Megumi scoffed. "Sure, it was an accident that you led five Hunter teams from Kusa into my secret hideout. If it weren't for my traps, I would be dead by now." she growled at the man who gave a nervous chuckle.

"And ingenious traps they were too." Kisuke said with amazement. "I never knew you could use medicinal plants like that. They died a horrible death you know. I swear I saw one of them melt before my very eyes after they inhaled those green mists your traps produced."

"As if I care." Megumi shrugged. They were Hunter shinobi after her head. She really didn't care HOW they died as long as they didn't pester her.

"Still as cold hearted as ever, Megumi-chan." Kisuke said with a look of respect on his face before grinning lecherously at her. "I can thaw it out for you with my unique brand of tender loving care. What do you say?"

"Call me –chan one more time, I'll shove one of my poisons down your throat." she growled, pulling out a capsule-like item from one of her hidden pockets in her sleeves.

Genma decided to stop the two before they do something they would regret. Knowing how infamous these two were, they might not get back to the village and complete their mission in one piece.

"Takani-san, Urahara-san, Tessai-san. We have arrived. I'll just register your entrance then we can proceed to our destination." Genma informed the group who, thankfully, stopped bickering, well, two of them anyway. Tessai just stood behind the group with his eyes and moustache twitching in irritation. Genma turned to the Immortal Chuunins – Izumo and Kotetsu - at the gate to register the completion of their mission, as well as logging in the identity of their 'guests'. With that done, he pulled out a small box-like object from his vest and flipped it open. He pressed a few numbers before punching the green button causing said item to produce a ringing sound. The three 'guests' looked at Genma and the item curiously though they were shocked when they heard a voice from the thing.

"Uzumaki Naruto, how can I help you?"

"Uzumaki-sama, your guests have arrived." Genma reported with a smirk.

"Genma?"

"Hai, Uzumaki-sama."

"How many times do I have to tell you not to call me Uzumaki-sama. Naruto or Naruto-san is fine."

"This would be the twenty-fifth time, Uzumaki-sama. Wait, make that twenty six."

"I shouldn't have given you a senbon launcher. I don't know why I did it in the first place."

"Come now, Uzumaki-sama. It's only right that we give our respect to Konoha's leading inventor."

"Har har har. Very funny, Genma. Anyway, I already cleared it up with Hokage-oji-sama. Please escort my guests to my apartment. I'll be there to take them to HQ myself."

"Right away, Uzumaki-sama."

"I hate you, you know that right?"

"I love you too. Bye, hun."

"Arrrrrrgh!"

Genma snickered before ending the call. He really loved to rile the kid up. He turned to the group to see the 'guests' looking at him and the phone he was holding in shock. "Yes?"

"Is there a...spirit trapped in that box?" Kisuke asked with interest while eyeing the phone.

Genma smiled as he showed them the item they were staring at. "Actually, this is one of Uzumaki Naruto's inventions. He calls it a cellphone or something like that. I really don't know where he gets the names for these things." He added the last part with a shake of his head.

"So...this Uzumaki Naruto is inventing items for the military? Like weapons?" Megumi asked seriously.

"Well, you could say that, but to be honest, he just improves the ones we already have. This cellphone, for example, can be considered an upgrade from the usual ear-piece ANBU wears. I can't really tell you all about them." Genma admitted. "If you want details on his experiment then you might want to direct them to Uzumaki-sama."

"You mentioned that Uzumaki is a fourteen year old, right? Why do you address him as such?" Tessai asked curiously.

Genma smiled. "Wouldn't you do the same to someone who does his best to make your lives better by invents things that can practically save you in a pinch?" he asked rhetorically causing the trio to nod in agreement.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Naruto was standing in the middle of the expansive grounds of his apartment complex as he watched the group make their way towards him. Genma stopped in front of him and gave a short bow.

"Mission complete, Uzumaki-sama."

Naruto glared at the man before sighing. "Thank you, Genma. I already informed oji-sama of the mission's success. You can go directly to his office from here for a debriefing and pay."

Genma gave him a two finger salute before exiting the ground in a puff of smoke and leaves.

Naruto turned the trio with a smile on his face.

"Welcome to Konoha, Urahara-san, Tessai-san, Takani-san."

"Glad to be here, Uzumaki-san." said Kisuki with a small bow mimicked by Megumi and Tessai. "Maybe we can go directly to the business at hand and hear your proposal?"

"Agreed. However, we need to go to HQ since there are plenty of unwanted ears about that might be listening to our conversation." Naruto said, nodding to trees on his left. The trio gave the direction a glance before nodding in agreement. Naruto pulled out a small device from his pocket and pressed a few buttons causing a large contraption behind him to materialize.

"What is that?" Megumi asked with surprise as the thing materialized behind their host.

Naruto smiled as he waved a hand towards the machine, a modified limousine that he pirated from Rufus Shinra's many collections. It was modified since instead of wheels, the thing was powered by his already-tested Float Matrix. "This is what I call a car, one of my many inventions. It is a transportation device powered by chakra." he explained while pressing a few more buttons causing the doors to open. "Please get in so we can make our way to HQ for the interview. I know it's going to be an experience for the four of us." said Naruto as he entered the limo first followed by the three curious guests.

After making themselves comfortable, Naruto pressed a few buttons on the console on his seat causing the doors to close before taking off to the skies at moderate speed. He also activated the illusion seal that mimicked the cloaking device Shinra employed on their many war machines. He resorted to using seals since he didn't know how cloaking technology worked nor does he have the technical know-how to produce one.

Megumi felt her stomach drop at the sudden change in altitude. "Are we flying?" she asked before looking out the window. "We are really flying. This is amazing!"

"Thank you." Naruto said with bit of pride. He punched the coordinates for the HQ since he didn't want to drive the thing there. "This is just of the many inventions my department produced."

"You are definitely an interesting young man, Uzumaki-san." Kisuke said with respect.

"Please, call me Naruto. We are all friends here, and if you accept my offer, co-workers." Naruto said to the group. "You might want to relax. We will be at HQ shortly and all your questions will be answered there."

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Naruto brought his guests to the conference room in ANBU HQ since it was the only place they could talk in total privacy. He could have done this at his apartment complex but it was totally unethical since he wanted to set the mood for a business relationship. He wanted to indirectly tell his guests that this was purely business and nothing personal. He sat himself at the head of the long table while beckoning for the tree to sit anywhere they liked. Kisuke and Tessai sat themselves on his right while Megumi sat to his left.

"Before we begin, I would like to thank all of you for accepting my invitation. I know you're curious as to why I invited you over despite your...reputation as rogue shinobi. Let me make this clear, I didn't bring you here to make a quick ryo but a potential working relationship that would benefit us all in the long run." Naruto started with a smile. "Can I interest you three in some refreshments? Lunch perhaps?"

The trio shook their heads since they want to get down to business to see if they wanted to join or not. If it's the latter then they want to leave as soon as possible since they were very open to anyone who wanted to apprehend them. Sure, they could take care of themselves but it was a hassle to do so.

"Thank you for the offer, Naruto-san, but can we get down to business?" Tessai asked, not really comfortable being in an enclosed space.

"Of course." Naruto nodded as he pulled out a data pad from his pocket and pressed a few buttons. A large screen on the wall behind him came to life showing the details of Project Black Leaf, as well as information of the three guests in the room. Naruto noticed that the three were shocked at how detailed the information was. "The screen behind me holds the information of my department which I dubbed as Project Black Leaf. It is a Research and Development Division attached to Konoha's ANBU under the full backing of the Sandaime Hokage. The scope of the division is to research, experiment, and invent for the betterment of the village. In order for division to achieve its goals, I needed people of similar minds with different specialization to assist me. My name is Uzumaki Naruto, a Genin of Konohagakure no Sato, and dubbed as Konoha's Inventor. I specialize in the Sealing Arts and weapons development, as well as other advancements dealing with machines."

Naruto pressed a few more buttons on his data pad causing Takani Megumi's information to expand on the screen.

"Now, let's discuss why I chose the three of you. First, Takani Megumi, a rogue shinobi of Kusagakure. Takani-san is famous for her knowledge and application of medical plants and herbs for medicine and poisons. My purpose in hiring you is to take charge of the Medical Division of Project Black Leaf. Your job is to create potions and elixirs to help both civilians and shinobi in the village. It is also in your job description to analyze poisons and come up with antidotes for them." Naruto stated, looking at Megumi who was reading the information on the screen with slight amusement.

"You definitely did your research, Naruto-san." Megumi said seriously while locking her brown eyes with Naruto's blue. "However, let me ask you this, is this purely for medical purpose or will you be asking me to create poisons to be used in the field?"

Naruto shook his head, understanding what the woman beside him was trying to say. "No, Megumi-san. What you see on the screen is the scope of your job description. Your main responsibility is to develop medicines to be used for healthcare. The subject of poisons will only come up if it needs to be analyzed for a working antidotes, saving lives in the process. Besides, you have the right to deny any projects assigned to you if it's against your morals."

Megumi nodded, satisfied with what she heard. "And in regards to payment?"

"Like me, you will be paid for every successful research or invention. For example, if you made a medicine, let's say a universal remedy for ALL poisons then you will be given an S-rank mission pay for it. Other than that, you will be given a monthly stipend, an allowance if you will, for personal use. Lodging is also provided in my apartment unless you want to live somewhere else." Naruto informed her. "The Sandaime Hokage offered a slew of residential complex if you chose the latter. As I said earlier, you are not a prisoner here in Konoha. You are free to go anywhere that is not restricted and live in the village peacefully without worries."

"Quite generous if this is what I will be getting for my work. Tell me, considering the amount of money involved, how the Hokage will be able to afford all this?" she asked with a dainty eyebrow raised.

"Easy. The inventions will be sold to the public, of course, after going through a thorough study on how it would affect the economy and the safety of the village. As with the example, the universal remedy will be sold to the public with the proceeds going to the village coffers while a percentage of that will be diverted to Project Black Leaf to keep it afloat. To summarize, you are paid for the discovery, the village will pay for mass production, and sold to the public. All proceeds will be added to the village coffers with a percentage going to us to fund projects and the stipends allocated to us every month."

"Ah. I'm surprised that such a group is effective despite the limited number of personnel." Megumi nodded. "No more questions for now, Naruto-san."

"Then let's proceed." The screen shifted to reveal Tessai and Kisuke's information. "Urahara Kisuke and Tessai are both into the study of Reiryoku, a name they dubbed the spiritual component of chakra. From what I heard through the grapevine, both of you were able to create techniques totally different from shinobi jutsu. The reason why I hired the both of you is to help me study chakra down to its base form. I am currently looking for a certain rogue shinobi that only used physical energy and like you, he called it Chi. You two will be working alongside this person to research these energies and how it could be used by shinobi and civilians, and possibly, harness both energies for the good of Konoha."

"Can you give me an example like what you gave Megumi-chan?" asked Kisuke, totally ignoring the glare being levelled at him by said person.

Naruto chuckled in amusement. "Of course." he agreed before putting a shinobi on the screen. "This is Rock Lee, a Genin of Konohagakure no Sato, and a part of Team 9 under Maito Gai. He has a disability that hindered him from using chakra. He has physical energy in spades, making him a taijutsu specialist. But from what I gathered of his condition, there is something in him that stops him from accessing the spiritual energy in his body. As we all know, all human beings are born with physical and spiritual energy that makes us tick. Shinobi are trained to combine these two energies to form chakra. Rock Lee can't use the spiritual component of his body to form the basis of shinobi techniques. This is where you two come in." he explained to the two who were reading the information on the screen but listening intently to his words. "One of your jobs is to study why this happened and look for a solution. While doing this, you are free to conduct any experiment you want since I don't like to restrict knowledge from growing." He turned to Megumi. "This also applies to you, Megumi-san. You are free to use the resources you are given to further your studies. The sky is the limit. You can even commission me for any technology that you might need. The only restriction to this rule is when you are given a project by me or the Sandaime that takes priority."

"I see." said Kisuke who turned to Tessai who nodded. "Then I would be more than happy to join Project Black Leaf, Naruto-san."

"It is a pleasure to be working with you, Naruto-san." said Tessai in his deep voice.

"Thank you." Naruto said happily before turning to Megumi. "And you Megumi-san?"

"I'll join but," started Megumi, looking at Naruto seriously. "Considering this is an organization, I presume you have a failsafe prepared just in case someone decides to renege on the contract?"

"Smart and beautiful. Quite a deadly combination" Naruto praised the woman who just scoffed though there was a slight tinge of a blush on her cheek making him chuckle. "Yes, I do have a failsafe." The screen changed to reveal the logo of Project Black Leaf. "This is a standard tattoo for members of Project Black Leaf. Division Heads, like you and Kisuke-san, and other members are required to wear it." He raised a hand and showed him the back of his palm that sported the same tattoo. "This is one of my creations which I don't have a name yet. In truth, this is a seal matrix that incorporates three different functions. The first function is a tracking and diagnostic seal that would monitor your health, making it easy for us to see to your needs. This is very important since, as inventors, we lead a very dangerous life. I will tell you later how this is monitored."

"The second function of the seal is a hybrid storage seal of my design. It will allow you to store unlimited number of items of a certain size. It is advised that you store all your research notes and important documents on this seal since this will be attuned to you through your blood, which will be the ink used to apply and activate it. Meaning, no one can access it other than you. Finally, the failsafe is a mind-wipe sealing array. If a betrayal occurs, we can immediately turn it on that would wipe out anything related to Project Black Leaf. I should know since I tried it out on a shadow clone." Naruto said with a grin before wincing. "I practically suffered a migraine for three days thanks to that."

"Is there anything else we need to know about this...tattoo?" Megumi asked suspiciously.

"No. I am very honest in this regard since I want this relationship to work. I value knowledge above anything else but I don't want this knowledge to harm my village in any way. I hope you understand what I'm getting at."

The trio was silent, pondering Naruto's words before all three nodded. In their own way, they deduced that their 'boss' was honest in his statement with no hint of malice or deceit.

"So the failsafe will only be activated, if and only if, we betray the organization?" Kisuke asked curiously.

"That and if you decide that you want to resign." Naruto said with a smirk. "Considering who I'm talking to, I am sure that all of you are already thinking of means to safeguard the information of your research just in case the seal activates. I respect that since I also have safeguards of my own. However, if the information of your safeguards is directly connected to Black Leaf then it would be wiped out as well. Anything personal is safe."

"Definitely a genius in seals." Tessai murmured before raising his voice a bit. "So, Naruto-san, care to tell me how you were able to acquire detailed information about us and our work?"

"Well, since you asked nicely, I will tell you. Jiraiya of the Sannin through the Hokage provided your individual information. From what I can tell, the man has a very long reach, if you know what I mean." Naruto answered with a grin.

"Ah, Jiraiya. No wonder you are well informed, Naruto-san." Megumi said while making a face. Remembering the time he met the pervert of a Toad Sage and made a pass at her. "A perverted spymaster."

"That he is." Naruto chuckled. "Anyway, let me continue. Your workplace is not in this building. You will be stationed in an underground complex underneath the apartment we left from earlier. Each of you will be given an office, a work area, and direct access to Kuroto. If you need helpers, give me names and I will see if I can hire them after a thorough background check. You are also free to take apprentices but it should be approved by both me and the Sandaime Hokage for safety reasons."

"Kuroto?" asked Megumi.

"You called, Takani-sama?"

"What in Kami's jiggling asset was that?" she screamed in surprise causing Tessai and Kisuki to snicker while Naruto merely looked at her in amusement.

"That was the first time Kuroto garnered such a response." Naruto said. "To answer your question, Kuroto is an artificial intelligence of my own making. He controls all the machines and computer system in this complex and the underground laboratory. Kuroto will also monitor your health through the seal and will immediately report if you are in need of help. If you have any questions or require assistance, please simply call Kuroto and he will answer. I will provide you with your own computer terminal with direct access to Kuroto's server for the data sharing. I will also issue you one of these," Naruto raised his data pad "Since this will greatly help when you're on the move or far away from your computers. I will give you a week to get situated and you can ask Kuroto for information to help you use the machines effectively."

"Amazing." Kisuke said in amazement. "Glad to be working with you, Kuroto-kun."

"Likewise, Urahara-sama." said Kuroto. "Naruto-sama, Hokage-sama requests you and your guest's presence in his office."

"Well, I guess that takes care of the meeting." Naruto said as he stood up. "I will apply the Black Leaf tattoos later after our debriefing with the Hokage. On behalf of Konoha and Project Black Leaf, welcome aboard."

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Naruto spent the days before the Chuunin Exam helping the three new members of Black Leaf ease into their new position in the ANBU R&D, their respective roles in the organization, instructing them on the technology Naruto invented alongside Kuroto, and also, training with his team for the coming exam. He also received various request for new tech from Kisuke and Megumo – the former required a scanner to measure Reiryoku while the latter requested a microscope. Of course, Naruto had no problems with their request since the technology as familiar to him.

He assigned a few clones to work on their request while he busied himself with his projects and training. He knew that he was overusing his clones but he couldn't help it. They lacked the manpower so they needed to make do.

In truth, Naruto was very happy with the new people he was working with. In fact, he was no longer bored – shadow clones weren't really good conversationalist since it was like to himself. Besides, new people meant fresh ideas to thrown around with, leading to new possibilities.

Megumi settled quite nicely into her new position as head of the Medical Research Division of Black Leaf. She requested a budget allocation for a greenhouse where she would grow various plants and herbs for her experiments while dabbling a bit in experimenting new strains for better medicines and antidotes. Since the grounds behind the apartment complex were spacious, Naruto and the Sandaime approved her request and hired a construction crew to get the project started.

She almost hugged Naruto to death when the blonde told her that Kuroto compiled a complete encyclopaedia on all plants in the Elemental Nations courtesy of the research notes left by Senju Tsunade before she left the village with her assistant and pet.

Urahara Kisuke and Tessai were definitely enjoying their jobs with Kisuke as head of the Energy Research Division of Black Leaf with Tessai manning the sub-division in regards to use Kisuke's discoveries. The two made a special point in uploading all their research notes on Reiryoku into Kuroto and gave Naruto and Megumi their blessings to have fun with their work. Of course, the two immediately spent hours interfaced with Kuroto through their respective terminals to check it out.

Naruto couldn't help but be amazed at the amount of time Kisuke and Tessai spent on their research and he couldn't help but be awed at the application of Reiryoku Tessai devised with a few input from his partner. From what he could tell, Reiryoku was similar to magic that they could perform certain techniques called spells, similar to his own but totally different. These spells were sorted into two categories – Kido and Bakudo. Kido was mostly used for offense while Bakudo, its counterpart, specialized in containment and defence. The two also included their training regiment to separate Reiryoku and Chi to use the former.

Naruto couldn't wait to get the other person into the team to complete the set. The possibilities of what these three could come up were endless.

Naruto also instructed the new members to spend time training since it was important as members of Black Leaf. In fact, the organization itself would be undergoing specialized mission per the Hokage's orders. The trio had no problems with that since they trained daily anyway. This time, they were doing it not because of self-preservation but to gain enough strength to better serve the Hokage and Black Leaf.

The trio also met Zabuza and Haku and enjoyed hours of sparring together, one-on-one or in teams. Since they were even, they formed two squads of three. One squad was Team Shinra composed of Naruto, Haku, and Yakumo. Team Spirit (Kisuke decided on the name much to Megumi's ire) was composed of Megumi, Kisuke, and Tessai. It was safe to say that Naruto had a whole new respect for the three after a few sparring sessions. Contrary to popular beliefs, despite being researchers and inventors, Kisuke, Tessai, and Megumi were adept in the shinobi arts with specialities of their own.

Urahara was a kenjutsu and Kido specialist – the front line fighter.

Tessai on taijutsu and Bakudo – he was the front line support because of his defensive and containment spells. It's not that Kisuke didn't know Bakudo but Tessai was more skilled with them.

Megumi was a long-range fighter similar to Haku but mostly used her vast repertoire of poisons to get the job done. Megumi revealed that all of her senbons were coated in different kinds of poisons and all of them were stored inside the Black Leaf tattoo for easy retrieval. It was safe to say that Megumi was the deadliest out of the three since most of her poisons were debilitating in nature.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

It was a week before the Chuunin Exams that Naruto finally finished Project Dragoon. They were now in the hangar underneath ANBU HQ that Naruto excavated for this purpose. He was accompanied by the Hokage, Homura and Koharu, ANBUs Neko and Tenzo, and the entirety of Black Leaf.

"This is amazing, Naruto-kun." the Hokage breathed out after finally finding his voice the first time he laid his eyes on the huge airship Naruto invented. "You said it was big but I didn't know it was this big."

(Refer to FF7's Highwind if you want a description)

"She's definitely a beauty, Hokage-ji-sama." Naruto said proudly. "The Dragoon is a transportation vehicle exclusively for Konoha use. I'm not sure if you're going to enlist her under the military but I suggest that you hold that thought since we don't want to look like we are preparing for war. As such, I created Dragoon to transport our shinobi as reinforcement or to safely escort dignitaries or Daimyos anywhere in the Elemental Nations...well, technical anywhere since I don't want to enter someone's airspace without permission. Imagine what Kumo would do if they suddenly find Highwind making its way to their village. It would be a disaster."

The Hokage nodded in agreement. A, the Yondaime Raikage, was a brute and followed the creed of 'fight first, ask questions later'.

"Are you sure she can fly?" Megumi asked with some disbelief in her voice. She couldn't put it in herself to belief that such a large chunk of metal could fly, much less lift itself off the ground. Sure, she was used to the hover board and Naruto's personal limo but the Dragoon was thirty times bigger.

"Of course, she does. How do you think she stays up there without any mooring wires to keep her up?" Naruto said dryly. He noticed the group were now discovering the lack of wires and ramps that kept the airship afloat. It was safe to say that they were shocked. "As you can see, Dragoon is floating on its own power. It is currently on hover-mode, staying a few feet off the ground to take in passengers."

"That it is." Kisuke said in awe. "How does she stay afloat or fly for that matter?"

"Ah, the secret to that is the Float Matrix I created for this purpose. You see, the Float Matrix absorbs ambient chakra at a rapid pace and stores them in a chakra storage array I invented. The stored energy is then funnelled to the actual float seals on the frame of the ship, making it float. Some of chakra are then amplified and converted into electricity using Raiton Chakra Converters and stored in a separate battery to be used for the turbines. This gives the airship a means to move, change direction, and speed up."

"Ingenious. Considering the amount of ambient chakra in the Elemental Nations, the airship can easily stay up forever if you want to." Tessai breathed out. "Definitely your best work yet, Naruto-san."

"Well, not necessarily on that level but you can say that." Naruto said modestly causing the Hokage to chuckle. "Well, let's go and check the interior out. I know you're going to be surprised. Besides, I assume you all want to be a part of its test flight." he told the group as he sent a signal to Kuroto who immediately opened up a ramp to accommodate the excited group of passengers.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

"The Dragoon is a transport-only non-battle oriented airship commission by the Hokage for the sole purpose of transporting shinobi and their clients during high-class missions. Its assignment is an only-needed basis since we don't want our shinobi to be dependent on aerial travel. In most cases, the Dragoon will be used to transport high-ranking individuals, like daimyos, dignitaries, and ambassadors. The airship will also be used to ferry reinforcement to and from Konoha if speed is needed." Naruto explained to the group as they traversed the walkway towards the front of the ship that housed the controls. "The Dragoon can easily accommodate up to 50 passengers. There are 15 rooms in total, a currently-empty medical bay, a spacious room for high-profile individuals, and of course, the cockpit that serves as the heart of the airship."

"Amazing, Uzumaki." said Koharu while studying the metallic interior. "Who will be the ones to pilot this...airship?"

"We have no pilot at the moment but Kuroto can do so without problems." Naruto admitted as he led them to the airship's spacious cockpit. "However, I think it would be best if we train some pilots and engineers to keep her manned. Considering that Black Leaf is shorthanded at the moment, Kuroto will be piloting the Dragoon on any voyage the Hokage deemed her ready for."

"Welcome to the Dragoon, Naruto-sama and guests."

"Thank you, Kuroto. Have you run a diagnostic on the entire ship?"

"I have, Naruto-sama. All systems are green. The Float Matrix is working properly. Chakra absorption is normal at 15% and keeping up with the drain of the ship currently in hover mode, the batteries are at 100% capacity and ready for high-altitude flight. Navigational system is operational with the GPS active and monitoring our location. I await your command."

"Very good. Please record all functions for later review. The Dragoon will now initiate its test flight. Route will be from Konoha to Wave Country then return. Speed at average for the first 20 minutes of flight before gradually speeding up to maximum." Naruto commanded while looking out through the floor-to-ceiling window in front of them. "Open the hangar door and initiate test flight."

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

The citizens of Konoha were looking up as a foreboding shadow loomed over the village, both shinobi and civilians alike were sporting looks of disbelief, shock, fear, and awe as they watched the Dragoon appear from behind Naruto's apartment and slowly gaining altitude, taking to the skies.

Shinobi and civilians alike burst into cheer upon seeing the large Konoha symbol on the bottom and sides of the huge airship. The civilians couldn't believe that the village they were living in had such magnificence hidden away. The shinobi, however, were grinning like mad since they knew who created the masterpiece above them.

With the first flight of Dragoon into the skies of Konoha, the legend of one Uzumaki Naruto spread throughout the Elemental Nations.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

"Status report." commanded Naruto as he tried to tune out the cheer coming from the group behind him. He couldn't help but chuckle seeing adults smashing their faces on the reinforced glass to see the ground below and the skies around them.

"She is currently at optimum performance, Naruto-sama. We are currently 10,000 feet above sea level maintaining a speed of 90 km/h. The current absorption rate is staying ahead of the drain on the batteries as the Float Matrix absorbs powers to keep the Dragoon afloat. Steering and navigation equipments are fully functional with no irregularities detected." Kuroto reported.

"Nice." Naruto nodded proud of how his 'baby' was performing. The Dragoon was definitely living up to its predecessor, the Highwind, before it was stolen by Cloud and his group of misfits. "Take her up to 20,000 feet while continuously running a thorough scan of the ship to ensure that the framework remains stables against the pressure. Slowly increase the speed until we reach the safety margin and keep her there. Inform me immediately if problems come up."

"As you wish, Naruto-sama."

"This is amazing, Naruto-kun. You definitely lived up to your title as Konoha's Inventor. You definitely outdid yourself." Sarutobi crowed in delight. He practically threw dignity out the window since it's not every day one get to fly in the first airship in the Elemental Nations. "Any problems so far?"

"As you heard from Kuroto, the Dragoon is working at optimum efficiency. We are currently travelling at more than Jounin-level speeds towards Wave Country." Naruto said with a grin, happy to see his surrogate grandfather not stressed for once. Maybe he should let the old man drive. "Hey old man, maybe you want to drive her from Wave Country and back?"

Naruto couldn't help but laugh at seeing the goofy grin on the aged leader's face.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

"HIRUZEN! YOU WILL NEVER DRIVE THIS AIRSHIP AGAIN! DO YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!" screamed Koharu, sweaty and pale due to the roller coaster ride they were just put under thanks to the Sandaime taking the Dragoon for a spin. "UZUMAKI! YOU WILL NEVER LET HIRUZEN DRIVE THIS THING OR I'LL THROTTLE YOU!"

The reason why the advisors were screaming their lungs out was because of the Hokage who practically put the Dragoon through its paces. Naruto couldn't believe how daring the Hokage was in steering and was actually praying that the airship held against such acrobatic display. The old leader practically did a few loops, a daring dive before pulling up before crashing, and finally driving side to side like a drunk driver, dodging imaginary enemies and projectiles.

Naruto made a special point to bar his surrogate grandfather from piloting any of his flying inventions or vehicle to avoid accidents or a blow to his sanity.

"Settle down, Koharu. Naruto made sure everything is safe." the Sandaime brushed off his advisor's concerns and ignoring the glares he was getting from a rather miffed Megumi and Homura. He turned to Naruto who was shaking his head. "You did make sure that everything is safe, right?"

"Jiji, the Dragoon is the first of its kind and I made sure that it is equipped with all the safety measures I could think of. However, you putting it through its paces might have been pushing it." Naruto told the paling old man in a condescending tone. "No worries. I talked to Koruto for a diagnostic after you almost ploughed the airship to the ground. Aside from the drain on its batteries, no damage was incurred. Where in Kami did you learn to drive like that anyway?" he asked with some disbelief.

"Call it talent, my boy." the Sandaime said expansively, buffing his fingers on his robes. "You know, I never felt this energized since I went to war with sensei. Maybe I should take this airship for another spin." he said while he gazed longingly at the controls. "For further testing of its capabilities of course."

"NO/NO!" everyone, including Kuroto, shouted before the humans in the group dog-piled the Hokage who was slowly making his way to the Dragoon's navigation system while Kuroto disengaged the manual controls just in case the aged leader escaped his predicament.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Naruto raised Masamune to block a slash from Kisuke's Benihime before lashing out with a kick that would have hit the man in the stomach if he didn't disappear and reappear a few meters away from him, smirking at the failed counter.

"Your new speed technique is definitely noteworthy, Kisuke-san." Naruto noted with a bit of annoyance while analyzing the speed technique the man used in the short time he experienced it. "And annoying too."

"And I can't fail to notice your trying to break it down to see how it worked. I already uploaded the schematics to Kuroto's private server so you can easily read it there, Naruto-san." Kisuke quipped while channelling spirit energy into Benihime, causing the blade to turn red with energy. He slashed forward while shouting "Sing, Benihime!"

An arc of pure spirit energy shot out towards Naruto who easily deflected the attack with a flick of his blade, grunting at bit since he needed to add more strength since the attack was quite powerful. He thrust Masamune forward to initiate a counterattack of his own. "Tempest Thrust"

Kisuke took a step to the side to dodge the energy beam before blurring behind Naruto, Benihime already in mid-swing. However, his attack didn't connect since Naruto twirled to intercept it. Both blades clashed with a loud clang that reverberated throughout the training chamber. Both smirked as the dance of blades continued – parries, thrusts, slashes, and swings caused a continuous staccato of metal against metal ringing around the room.

Naruto tilted his head to the side for Kisuke's blade to pass harmlessly a few inches from his ear before flipping back to hit the man's chin with his steel-toed boot. However, Kisuke saw through the attack easily, moved his head back a bit resulting in Naruto's counter to miss. The two paused for a second before disappearing and reappearing in another area to continue their spars, leaving sounds of metal and destruction in their wake.

Above the training chamber, three individuals observed the battle below with interest.

"So Tessai, what do you call this new speed technique?" asked Zabuza with some interest as he watched Kisuke blur in and out between Naruto's many fireballs before running circles around the blonde, sneaking in a few attacks in hopes to incapacitate him. Try as he might, he couldn't follow it. How the brat could dodge the man's attack in conjunction with the speed, he would never know.

"Kisuke-dono called it Shunpo, a speed technique that use pure spirit energy." Tessai answered.

"Interesting." the Sandaime voiced out, enjoying the spar of the two inventors below them. He was done with today's paperwork and decided to visit Naruto to pass the time. He arrived at the start of the match between the two Kenjutsu Masters. "And this speed technique can be learned by anyone?"

"Not necessarily, Hokage-sama." Tessai replied and explained seeing the inquiring looks from the aged leader. "Shunpo requires a person to be fully attuned to the spiritual energy in their body. As it stands, Kisuke-dono and I can use Shunpo in varying masteries because we have been exposed to Reiryoku for ten years. I have no doubt that one such as yourself can learn this technique easily through its schematics but actual performance will require complete control over your Reiryoku to pull it off."

The Sandaime nodded in understanding. "Hm, interesting as it is it is to learn this technique, Tessai-san, I don't think my body will be able to handle it. I may be hailed as the Kami no Shinobi but that was in the past. I am old and limited to what I can do and learn."

"That may be true, Hokage-sama, but we can't deny the fact that your experience in battle will trump skill and ability any day." Tessai pointed out causing the Hokage to chuckle in amusement.

"Correct." he said before turning to Zabuza whose hand was twitching and looking at the battle with longing. "How is the team coming along, Zabuza?"

The Demon of the Bloody Mist grunted. "Team Shinra will easily dominate the Chuunin Exams, Hokage-sama. Hell, the brat can pass the tests alone if he wanted to. Add Haku and the trigger-happy Yakumo then you have a team that can easily bring down any opponent with their teamwork and individual skills." he informed the man.

"Naruto is rather skilled." the Hokage quipped in agreement.

"Skilled is an understatement." Zabuza scoffed. "He is a monster in the battlefield, Hokage-sama. I don't know where Naruto learned his kenjutsu style or those spells of his but whoever taught him is one hell of a teacher."

"Well, from what I could tell, Naruto trained himself. He invented his own kenjutsu and taijutsu style while his spells are a product of his bloodline. You might not believe me, Zabuza, but Naruto became what he is now through his own effort. He studied and trained for hours either alone or with his clones. He definitely came far from the hyperactive-boy I knew nine years back." the Sandaime said with pride in his voice.

"Indeed." Tessai agreed. "I was skeptical at first due to his age but when I saw his inventions and learned of their use, I can safely say that Naruto trumps Kisuke-dono and I in terms of discoveries. I don't know where he gets these ideas but they are definitely out of this world. The Dragoon is a testament to that fact."

The Hokage chuckled. The Dragoon was definitely a success. Not a day passed, his office was swamped with inquiry from the clan heads and civilians since it was quite obvious that the huge airship was a Konoha invention. The shinobi already knew who invented it but the civilians didn't. In the end, he had to call a council meeting to explain everything he learned of the Dragoon while leaving out Project Black Leaf since some were not entitled to the organization's existence, especially the loudmouthed civilians. The Shinobi Council was awed at what a 14 year old boy could produce and accepted the explanation with grace and pride. The civilian-side of the council, however, demanded that the Dragoon be used by everyone and become a personal 'chariot' to the council.

That 'request' was smugly denied much to the Shinobi Council's amusement.

He was brought out of his thoughts when he felt the temperature of the room rise to something stifling. His, Tessai's, and Zabuza's jaw dropped when Naruto brought out something that scared them out of his wits.

Naruto decided to give Kisuke a scare since the man was starting to get on his nerves. Sure, he was more than equal to the man in terms of kenjutsu and experience but that speed technique of his was downright annoying.

"I think it's time we bring this fight to a close, Kisuke-san." Naruto told the man who was currently on the other side of the room, catching his breath. His speed technique might be faster than the eye could follow but using it as many times he did was draining. He raised his hand over his head before bursting into red flames. "I will grace you with a bit of my power, Kisuke. I know you've been asking a lot of questions about me so, as respect to your skills, I will show you one of my abilities." He said with a smirk as he brought his magic to bear. When he accumulated enough magical energy for his next attack, he started the words to bring forth one of his partners from the Lifestream. "I CALL UPON THE GOD OF HELLFIRE. BRING FORTH DESTRUCTION AND BURN THE INFIDELS WHERE THEY STAND WITH THY PURIFYING FLAME. I SUMMON THEE, IFRIT!"

A large seal appeared on the floor in front of him before five pillars of flame shot out, causing the room's temperature to drastically rise. Slowly the flames combined to form an 8-foot tall armoured beast with horns, smoke and fire spewing out of its mouth. When it fully materialized, Ifrit released a powerful roar the shook the entire building.

"Hellfire Cannon!" Naruto commanded while channelling magic towards the summons to activate its attack.

Ifrit grunted before raising his clawed hands in front of him as flames exited his mouth, gathering into a large ball in between his open palms before squeezing them together, compressing the red ball of flame into a smaller form, turning white as its intensity increased. With a roar, Ifrit released his hold on the technique before a stream of intense white fire flew towards a startled Kisuke who had no choice but to use one of his strongest barrier spells or suffer the consequence of being burned alive.

"Bakudo 81: Splitting Void!" Kisuke intoned as he channelled as much Reiryoku he had into the spell. A large translucent barrier appeared in front of him just in time to block the fiery beam of white hot flames threatening to turn him to ash. The barrier held as it fought against the flames but he could feel the scorching heat as the flames licked the corner of his spirit construct. Thankfully for Kisuke, the attacked died down as its energy was consumed. No longer having the energy to maintain the defensive construct, he cancelled the spell causing the cracked barrier to wink out of existence. He felt to his knees, gasping for breath as he was utterly drained of Reiryoku. "What in the world was that?"

"That, dear Kisuke is one of my summons." Naruto said with some amusement as he walked out from behind Ifrit and stood beside the behemoth. "This is Ifrit, my summon that governs everything that is fire." he explained before releasing the ties that bound Ifrit into the physical plane. With a grunt, the fiery Guardian of Fire disappeared in a pillar of flame back to its home.

"Kami," Kisuke gasped out as he used Benihime to push himself into a standing position, wobbling a bit. "Remind me not to pick a summon fight with you."

"You have a summon?" Naruto asked curiously as he fired a Regen at the man who nodded thankfully at him as he felt his reserves filling up slowly.

"I do. I don't usually bring them except I'm in a pinch."

"What animal?"

"Bears. Brutish bunch but good in a fight." Kisuke admitted with a grin before looking up to see their three wide-eyed spectators. "I guess you win this round, Naruto-san."

"That I did, Kisuke-san. That I did." Naruto said with some amusement as he cast Float on himself to levitate over to where the watchers were perched. "Hokage-ji-sama, fancy seeing you here."

"Good afternoon, Naruto-kun. Quite an amazing match especially that...thing you brought out in the end. I couldn't help but overhear your conversation with Urahara. I didn't know you had a summon" the Hokage asked curiously. Summons in the Elemental Nations were animals but the one Naruto brought out was definitely not your typical summon. He was definitely curious and itching to find out.

"I do but it is of a different variety." Naruto answered. "Tell you what; I'll upload some info about my summons to your computer terminal. You can read it from there. Just keep it a secret. I don't like people learning of my abilities."

Sarutobi nodded as he followed his surrogate grandson out of the training chamber. "So, Naruto-kun, already done with my request?"

"I already gave the large monitor screen you requested to Tiger. I don't know what you need it for but it's already tested. I added an interface there to connect to Kuroto so you can display anything you want as long as Kuroto has the information."

"Thank you." Sarutobi thanked his grandson. "Also, the Konoha Council requested for the Dragoon to pick up the Fire Daimyo and the rest of the important figures planning to watch the third part of the Chuunin Exams. I know you already know about it but I want to discuss logistics since you are in charge of the airship."

Naruto shrugged as he opened the door to his office, gesturing for the Hokage to enter first. He followed and closed the door, locking it, before taking a seat himself. "In regards to logistics, I suggest that they meet with the Fire Daimyo at the capital so we won't have to make different trips to pick them up. Same can be said when they leave. I'll make a memo to prep the Daimyo's Quarters for his stay. However, I suggest that we post some ANBU on the airship since I heard through the grapevine that there are rumours of other villages interested in stealing the vessel or acquiring the plans for it."

"Yes. Jiraiya also informed me via toad messenger." Sarutobi agreed. "Very well, I will have Neko and Tenzo's group guard the airship during transit. Will Kuroto be in charge of the navigation?"

"Of course, the ANBU Team to man the navigation is still in the middle of their training. Give Panther and his team a month more in simulations to hone their skills."

"I'll leave that in your expert hands, Naruto."

"Thanks, old man. I won't let you down." Naruto said with a smile before a frown appeared on his face. "Any news about the pervert?"

"Jiraiya? Yes, he will be coming to Konoha after the second part of the Chuunin Exams. He agreed to help you commune with Kyuubi."

"What in the world is that pervert doing?" Naruto exclaimed with some irritation. He requested for the Toad Sage a month ago to help him access Kyuubi's chakra and it seems the guy wasn't taking him seriously.

"He is Konoha's spymaster, Naruto-kun. The job is time consuming so his coming back is delayed." Sarutobi chided though he knew why his former student was delayed in his return to the village. He couldn't wait for the new installation of Icha Icha.

"Busy my ass. That old pervert is doing his...research again, peeping in hot springs for his smut." Naruto growled. "You know, jiji, if you keep reading those books of his, you're brain is going to rot."

"I don't know what you mean." Sarutobi denied but there was a hint of blush on his face.

"Pervert the lot of them." Naruto said in surrender.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

It was the day of the Chuunin Exams and Team Shinra was making their way to the Konoha Academy for the first test. The group garnered quite a lot of attention for different reasons.

Yakumo was currently wearing her best black leather outfit that didn't leave much to the imagination. That and the fact that she was practically strutting around, jiggling her assets everywhere that made quite a lot of men and teens drooling or passing out from blood loss.

Haku, as always, was reserve though he was getting quite a lot of looks from the female population. Thanks to the allowance provided for them by the organization, he was currently decked out in a battle kimono similar to the ones he wore in Wave. The only difference was the lack of an undershirt that showed quite a bit of skin and muscles that had the girls staring with lust. In fact, Haku no longer looked feminine thanks to the rigorous training Zabuza subjected him to and his spars with Naruto. Since they were no longer worried about Hunter shinobi trying to kill them, Haku devoted a lot of his time training and studying. The abundance of food also helped in filling him up.

Naruto, however, received varied reactions from the populace. Shinobi who saw him bowed in respect while others who knew him quite well wished him luck on the exam. The civilians, however, were eyeing him with both speculation and hate. The blonde swordsman didn't know the reason for the former but he didn't care.

"Did the both of you study the rosters for this year's exam?" asked Naruto as he took out his data pad, synchronizing it with Kuroto just in case he needed exact information on the fly.

"We did, Naruto-sama." Haku answered while Yakumo merely nodded.

Naruto sighed. "Haku, how many times do I have to tell you to drop the honorific?" he asked the amused ice-wielding teen.

"Many times that it was no longer funny counting it, Naruto-kun." quipped Yakumo, pulling out a lollipop from the seal on her hand and gave it a good lick before popping it into her mouth. "You should be immune to it by now."

"I should be but I'm not." Naruto admitted before turning to an amused Haku who also had his data pad out. It was a standard issue for all Black Leaf members since it gave them a quick interface to Kuroto and allowing them to send messages if the standard communication line wasn't available.

"I already reviewed everything, Naruto-sama, and I know Yakumo did the same." Haku said, pulling out the summary of the information they acquired from the Hokage. "There are a total of 59 teams this year. It was originally 35 teams but we had a large influx of late registrations a few weeks back. As it stands, every single Hidden Village in the Elemental Nation joined this year's Chuunin Exams, even Iwa and Kumo sent teams to join despite the fact that they aren't in good standings with Konoha."

"Well, considering that the Dragoon made a debut for the whole world to see, it is only obvious that many would be curious to check it out. Joining the Chuunin Exams was one way to acquire such information without being suspicious due to the diplomatic treaty." Yakumo said with a snort. "If I remember correctly, Kuroto-kun detected quite a few attempted entries in ANBU HQ and the apartment. Thankfully, Kuroto was able to activate the minor defences that locked them out. Though I have to wonder why you didn't apprehend them, Naruto-kun. I mean, I know Kuroto has a standing order to do so and with the stun seals you placed all over the place, you can easily knock them out with no one the wiser."

Naruto nodded in agreement. Both laboratories were prepped with stun seals just in case intruders make it inside. "That I could, Yakumo, but keep in mind that the diplomatic treaty is in effect two weeks before the exam and a week after that. Meaning, every single shinobi visitor in the village has a pass. If one of them is knocked out and interrogated then we can safely say it would result in a diplomatic incident Konoha wouldn't want to be part in. Sure, they would be in the wrong but you can safely bet that the other villages would classify that as an unwanted attack on their soldiers. I'll spare jiji the headache." he informed his teammate as they entered the building. They had to stop by the entrance since there was a commotion at the front involving two teens blocking the way to the examination room. Naruto raised an eyebrow since the testing area was in the third floor. He also detected a faint trace of genjutsu in the room meaning, the test already begun.

However, Naruto saw red when he saw one of the teens throwing a punch at Tenten who was playing weak kunoichi. In a burst of speed, Naruto appeared beside the teen and had Masamune out, the blade a few centimetres from the disguised teen's throat causing him to stop his advance or risk being beheaded by the sharp blade.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." Naruto warned coldly, making everyone in the room shiver as the temperature dropped by a few degrees and killing intent flooding the room.

The other teen was about to attack Naruto when a hand slipped under his arms and felt something metallic touch his chin. Yakumo used Shunshin to appear behind the man, held him in place while positioning one of her guns with the tip pointing at the chin.

"Now now, boys. Let's not get carried away now. After all, we don't want...to scare these pretties even before the exam starts." Yakumo purred, nudging the man's chin with the tip of her gun. "You're going to behave now, right?" The teen nodded. What else could he do unless he wanted his brains blown off?

Yakumo smiled sweetly before letting the man go since she felt the genjutsu hiding their true forms. Being a genjutsu specialist, she could easily feel illusions from a mile away. She didn't dispel the ones on the two because they were there for a reason, possibly thin the numbers a bit.

"So, are you going to back off or should I start slicing?" Naruto growled out. He didn't know why but he was overly protective of Tenten even if she could take care of herself.

"Cut it out, Naruto." Tenten said with irritation. "I can protect myself. I don't need a bodyguard."

"I didn't do this because you need protecting, Ten-chan. Let's just say that I'm...adverse to people touching you, especially of the male variety."

"Fine." Tenten said with a defeated sigh. There was no use arguing with the teen if he was in one of his stubborn moods. She noticed the glares she was getting from some kunoichis in the room. Great! With that simple 'romantic' act, Naruto now had a few fans from the competition. This was going to get nasty if she had anything to say about it.

Naruto nodded before whispering to the person he held hostage, recognizing the two as chibi version of their older counterparts. "Is there any reason why you and Kotetsu are under an illusion?"

"He he he. Just part of the test, Uzumaki-sama." Izumo answered nervously, his eyes never leaving the blade.

"And trying to harm my Ten-chan is part of the test?" Naruto whispered ominously.

"I-I wasn't g-going to h-hurt her." He managed to stutter while stopping himself from pissing himself from fear.

"Good." said Naruto with a nod before making Masamune disappear. The temperature in the room went back to normal. He grabbed Tenten's hand where a seal was located and transferred some items into it. He leaned down to her ear and whispered. "I added a few more spell tags to your arsenal. I have a few new ones there as well. Read the scroll for information. Tell me if there are problems with them, would you?"

"I will and thanks." she whispered back with a strained smile on her face. She knew that the Naruto was overprotective and a worrywart concerning her but this takes the cake. This was an exam for crying out loud. "Damn overprotective men though it is flattering for him to worry about me."

Naruto nodded, gave the girl a smile before letting go of her hand. He was about to call the attention of his teammates when someone said something that made him palm his face.

"Drop the genjutsu!" demanded Sasuke, his one-tomoe Sharingan activated for everyone to see. His teammates were behind him, Sakura looking at him with stars in her eyes while Sai's eyes were twitching.

"Idiot." Naruto scoffed. "Haku, Yakumo. Let's go." he called out to his team who immediately appeared beside him before they made their way up the stairs, ignoring the shocked and jealous looks he was getting.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Naruto was bored as he waited for the exam to start. They were currently trying to relax amidst the cacophony of sounds coming from the various teams around the room, mostly coming from the Rookie 9 as they dubbed themselves, and the odd occurrence of killing intents that seemed to be directed at him. He couldn't find the source though since the room was quite full and it was all mixing together due to him being the only target so he just ignored. He was currently hooked to Kuroto's server through his data pad to add some ideas for study in the future. He stopped in the middle of typing when he heard his name being mentioned.

"Give me whatever information you have on Sabaku no Gaara, Rock Lee, and Uzumaki Naruto." demanded Sasuke to the glasses-wearing Genin. Naruto recognized the teen from the hospital, Yakushi Kabuto if he wasn't mistaken.

"You already know their names." Kabuto whined as he picked out a card from his deck and laid it on the table. He channelled a bit of chakra to it to reveal the information it contained. "Let me see, Sabaku no Gaara from Sunagakure no Sato. He is the same age as you guys and is part of a team composed of his siblings, Sabaku no Temari and Sabaku no Kankuro. No information on his abilities aside from the ability to use sand. His mission record shows that he had 15 D-rank, 5-C rank, 4-B rank, and 1-A rank. It also says here that he came out all of his missions without a scratch – an impressive feat for a Genin. It seems that Suna brought a powerhouse this year."

Kabuto pulled out another card. "Next is Rock Lee. According, he is a pure taijutsu fighter since he has a disability that hindered him from channelling chakra. His is part of Team 9 under Maito Gai. His teammates are Higurashi Tenten and Hyuuga Neji. Mission stats are 35 D-ranks, 14 C-ranks, and 2 B-ranks."

"Finally, we have Uzumaki Naruto." started Kabuto but stopped when the card he was holding was blown to pieces due to a chakra bullet courtesy of one annoyed Yakumo. "What was that for?"

"You know, it's curious that you have such information being a Genin. As far as I'm concerned, mission reports are directly reported to the Hokage so how come a Genin was able to acquire them, hm?" Yakumo purred before blowing the smoke coming out of the tip of her gun. She waved her hand causing said weapon to disappear.

"You have no right to..."

"Actually we have the right to destroy it." Haku added his two cents, interrupting what Kabuto was about to say. "It is up to us if we want our information to be shared to everyone in the room or we can put a stop to it so we won't have to worry about the competition."

Kabuto grudgingly nodded, pocketing the rest of his cards to spare them from getting destroyed by the trigger happy kunoichi.

"Afraid of a little competition, dobe?" challenged Sasuke, activating his Sharingan to intimidate Naruto who was looking at him in boredom.

"Afraid no. Cautious, yes. Keep in mind, Sasuke, that this is an exam. Information is the be all and end all for a shinobi." Naruto pointed out before a sly grin crossed his face. "If you want information so badly then let me tell everyone here all about you and your team."

Naruto pressed a few buttons on his data pad causing a holographic projection to appear on the wall. Everyone was staring at it in disbelief, thinking that it was a new jutsu or something.

Name: Uchiha Sasuke

Rank: Genin

Bloodline: Sharingan (incomplete)

Affinity: Lightning (major), Fire (minor)

Mission Roster:

D-Rank: 25

C-Rank: 0

B-Rank: 0

A-Rank: 1 (bumped up from C-rank due to encounter with the Demon Brothers and Momochi Zabuza)

Ninjutsu: Above Average

Taijutsu: Above Average (Uchiha Interceptor Style)

Genjutsu: None

Kenjutsu: None

Fuuinjutsu: None

Chakra Level: Low-Chuunin

Techniques:

Katon: Grand Fireball

Katon: Phoenix Fire

Kawarimi no Jutsu

Bunshin no Jutsu

Henge no Jutus

Name: Haruno Sakura

Rank: Genin

Bloodline: None

Affinity: Earth

Mission Roster:

D-Rank: 25

C-Rank: 0

B-Rank: 0

A-Rank: 1 (bumped up from C-rank due to encounter with the Demon Brothers and Momochi Zabuza)

Ninjutsu: Below Average

Taijutsu: Below Average (Basic Academy Taijutsu)

Genjutsu: None

Kenjutsu: None

Fuuinjutsu: None

Chakra Level: Genin

Techniques:

Henge no Jutsu

Bunshin no Jutsu

Kawarimi no Jutsu

Name: Sai

Rank: Genin

Bloodline: Ink Manipulation

Affinity: Water (major), Fire (minor)

Mission Roster:

D-Rank: 25

C-Rank: 0

B-Rank: 0

A-Rank: 1 (bumped up from C-rank due to encounter with the Demon Brothers and Momochi Zabuza)

Ninjutsu: Above Average

Taijutsu: Above Average

Genjutsu: None

Kenjutsu: Above Average (Tanto user)

Fuuinjutsu: Below Average (Basic Level Seals)

Chakra Level: Mid-Chuunin

Techniques:

Henge no Jutsu

Bunshin no Jutsu

Kawarimi no Jutsu

Ink Clone Technique

Ink Flush Technique

Ink Mist Technique

Super Beast Imitating Drawing

Naruto was inwardly giggling at the sight of a red-faced Uchiha who literally blew his top after seeing his information plastered on the wall for everyone to see. Sakura had a sick look on her face when she saw her stats being the lowest in her team, which was made worst when Ino started telling her that she was basically an Academy Student without any improvement. Sai, on the other hand, was looking at him with speculation, his face an emotionless mask.

"How come you have this, Naruto-baka. Your teammate said that only the Hokage has such information." Sakura screeched causing those with sensitive hearing to cover their ears.

Naruto merely smiled but someone answered for her.

"Troublesome." Shikamaru said with a sigh. "Naruto has the information and leave it at that. He won't answer you since keeping things to himself is an edge in battle. If he displayed your information on the wall then that was your fault since you technically didn't stop him. You could have told him to remove it but you didn't. You simply stared."

"I couldn't have said it better myself, Shika." Naruto complimented the lazy Nara heir.

"You're a pain, Naruto." said Shikamaru before seeing Naruto's finger twitched on the data pad he was holding. "Don't show our information please. It would be troublesome if you do."

"As you wish, Shika." Naruto said with a grandiose bow.

Any further conversation stopped when the exam started. Morino Ibiki just entered the room.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

It took Naruto 15 minutes to answer all the questions, which for him, was relatively easy. Haku did the same since his training with Zabuza actually put him on par with a Jounin with experience to boot. Yakumo, on the other hand, used her bloodline to place an illusion around the room making the others see her struggling with the test while her real self was walking around memorizing answers while enjoying her green lollipop.

Naruto, bored after flipping his test over, decided to check out the competition. He used the scanner bracelet he invented that was a variation of the Black Leaf Matrix. The scanner came in the form of a wrist band that would release a pulse of chakra, similar to a sonar, and acquire specific information on anything alive. The seals were tweaked to relay information such as basic health signs, chakra capacity and potency, bloodline detection, and illusions. In truth, this would be its first test to see if it worked as planned.

Naruto channelled a bit of chakra to the scanner before it released said chakra in slow pulse around the room. He raised an eyebrow when some of the Genins stiffened. "Interesting. We have sensors in the room...one...two...three...eight sensors." he thought as information started entering his consciousness from the scanner. He frowned when the information he acquired made certain truths come out.

One, there was a Jounin in the room that wasn't an examiner basing on that person's chakra reserves. He couldn't pinpoint who that person was since the device didn't have any seals for identifications. He made a mental note to find a way to connect the scanner's information relay to Kuroto's database for identification.

Second, there was someone in the room with Kage-level chakra reserves. He knew it wasn't him since the scanner excluded him from the scans.

Lastly, he detected three minor illusions in the room, small enough to avoid detection from a well-trained sensor but not small enough for a precise scanning device.

Naruto couldn't help but grin. This exam was going to be interesting.


End of chapter 3.

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