Hello again lovelies! Thank you all for waiting diligently, but I have some news for you! I suggest you go and re-read chapter one, as it has gotten a major facelift. I was pretty dissatisfied with how it was written, and redid it some time ago. Anyway, to the chapter!
Lol nope, still don't own.
After a few minutes of running, the masked Konoha-nin came to a halt, looking at the scenery around them. The Bolt caves were nothing like Team Jiraiya expected. The walls were a dark slate blue, illuminated by the odd glowing blue stones that covered all available surfaces. They came in various sizes, from ones the size of a hand built into the wall, to ones larger than all three Genin squished together. No other teams appeared to be in sight, Hinata having activated her Byuakugan upon entering the cave. Multiple roads stretched out in front of them, three options for them to take to the next route. One went up while the others stretched down, but nothing could be heard other than steady breathing and the drip of the cave walls. Naruto had been the one to hold the medal, the yellow-plated metal cool in his hand. The kanji of 'wind' had been stamped onto the front of the octagonal shaped object, and it sat a little larger than his palm.
"So, what now?" None said anything, and Naruto found himself annoyed by the masks that restricted him from seeing the other's faces. He wasn't as good at reading body language as the other two were, but it didn't take a ninja to realize they were all nervous.
"Well, a-a plan would be best…" Hinata offered, never turning off the stream of chakra to her eyes.
"Hinata, can you see through the passages?" Shikamaru finally questioned, watching as she nodded her head. "Alright. Keep your Byuakugan on, and Naruto, give me some paper and ink. A map in going to be our best bet in here. You describe it Hinata, I'll draw it out, and Naruto, keep watch."
Both Hinata and Shikamaru sat crossed-legged on the oddly-clean ground, Naruto pulling out the necessary supplies from his bag. Hinata's eyes didn't have a very large range yet, but it was definitely helpful. Every so often they would move farther in, having picked the path on the middle on their female teammate's advisory.
An hour in Hinata suddenly squeaked, stiffening ever so slightly. "T-there's a room, about 30 ft left through the wall..." She trailed off, pushing her range a bit farther. It was difficult to determine the paths as all the walls had chakra running through them, but the longer she stared the easier it became. "It doesn't look like anyone has found it y-yet." Shikamaru quickly sketched it down, before stopping as both of his teammates stiffened for a second time.
"You see them, Hokori?" Naruto whispered, listening to the quiet patter of footsteps as her quickly switching over to Hinata's code name. She nodded, watching as Shikamaru stood, moving in front of her along with Naruto.
"Y-yes, from the north end of the tunnel. Taida, they've all got small chakra levels, so this should be an easy fight. I'll leave it to you two." She spoke to Shikamaru, watching as he nodded slightly. Naruto had already set up traps on both walls, and the Nara had already thought of a plan to deal with them all. Now, all they had to do was wait.
The incoming team was easily heard after a few seconds, making no attempt to silence their footsteps or their bickering. It wasn't until they were in range of the traps that they noticed Team Jiraiya, whose ANBU attire made it measurably easier to blend into the shadows. Three young Kumo Nin who seemed to still think they held a home advantage stiffened as they saw them, the tallest boy sneering. "Are you kidding?! Someone entered babies into this stupid exam, and Konoha ones at that!" The girl behind him rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, giving warning glares to the one who declared himself 'leader'. The other boy simply nodded, not really knowing whose side to stay on.
"Gekkido, number three."Shikamaru whispered, switching to Naruto's codename. The blond simply snapped his fingers, only the girl noticing the action and moving from the trap area. The unlucky boys, on the other hand, did not. The simply found themselves wrapped in spools of ninja wire, the steel cutting into their flesh, enough to hurt but not harm. Shouts of indignation bounced off of the walls, and the remaining Kumo Genin grated her teeth angrily and pulled out a set of Kunai, moving to set the boys free. "I don't think that would be a good idea."
The girl froze, looking at the Genin that had spoke before her eyes widened. A small flame danced in the palm of his gloved hand, the boy beside him holding the end of the ninja wire. It would be comically easy for his to ignite it...
And her teammates with it.
"We'll give you the stone." The Kumo kunoichi finally stated, ignoring the twin shouts of "Risuna!" from her teammates. "Just, don't set them on fire, please." The now identified Risuna dug in her pockets for a minute, pulling out a dark blue stone similar to the yellow one Naruto held. Shikamaru nodded at her, watching as the Kumo Nin carefully placed it a few feet in front of herself, backing away slowly with both arms raised. That was nice, but they had forgotten on thing:
Risuna, nor her teammates, saw the small girl creep behind them, the shadows masking her small frame perfectly. All it took was a senbon to the back of the neck and the girl was out, her teammates soon following. The administered poison was potent enough for 48 hours of sleep, in which team Jiraiya would be long gone. Five minutes later and there was no trace, save for the tied up team of Kumo Nin settled safely against a cave wall.
It had taken almost a day, if Naruto had been counting right, to reach the room Hinata had first found. It was quite small, only large enough for a circular table and a bit of moving. The table itself was circular shaped, a large glowing stone jutting out from the very center. Around it were the smaller token stones, thankfully in the color red. Naruto added it to his collection, pocketing it and ignoring his growling stomach. Slightly.
He could only chuckle as the masked faces of Hinata and Shikamaru turned towards him, the latter sighing in exasperation. "I suppose we can stop for now. Its no use working on an empty stomach and low chakra levels." The blond Genin could only sigh in relief, a eliciting a giggle from his female companion. "Hinata, if you could as we discussed?"
The girl nodded, facing towards a sturdy wall and running through hand seals with a quick mutter. "Earth Release: Earth Style Wall." A section of the wall surged for a moment, before collapsing with a shudder and revealing a carved out cave large enough for all three to fit inside. Earth Style Wall was normally used as a defensive move, but Jiraiya had taught them a tactic he had used when traveling, which was to make a safe hideout when one was not readily available. Literally, it could be done anywhere.
After a quick meal of ration bars, Shikamaru pulled the first shift and watched as the others tried to make themselves comfortable. Hinata had curled up in a ball almost, while Naruto simply slumped himself against a wall. As silence crowded over him, the Nara began to find himself thinking, something that he oddly didn't like to do. Thinking led to bad thoughts, things he would rather not think of.
The one thing he almost always thought of was why he was a Genin. As a Nara, he found himself wanting to understand things at quite a young age. He remembered his father telling him that the brains of Ninja children tend to develop at a faster rate than civilians, due to years of children soldiers. Shikamaru thought those had been done with years ago, but he was clear proof they hadn't. The things he had seen and done as an eight year old would have destroyed some people, and it was thanks to his precious people he hadn't. His thoughts wandered to his teammates.
Hinata was much different than when she first was added to the team. She had gone from a shy, stuttering child to a calm, but confident girl. The stutter was still there, but nowhere near as bad or noticeable. She held her head high, something that had been ingrained in her mind from weeks of harsh words from the female Sannin. She was definitely the Taijutsu specialist of the team, and her skill in poisons was incredible. They had yet to find a new method to using them, but her immunity was strong already.
Then there was Naruto. The boy that never stopped smiling or laughing, but could turn cold at any second. Had Shikamaru not known him better, he might have thought the happiness was fake; yet, the boy really acted that way. Something about him just made people gravitate towards the blond in ways the Nara couldn't understand, but didn't need to. Naruto was a friend, and an amazing trap maker. Jiraiya-sensei had made a good call on choosing that as a specialty, and seals went hand in hand. His stealth and ninjutsu skill was nothing to laugh at either.
Shikamaru could have dwelled on his team for hours, but Hinata had woken right in time to relive him. Taking a spot next to Naruto, he found himself dreaming of one of the happier times as Team Jiraiya.
"Oi, Jiraiya-sensei! What are we doing!?" Naruto whined, dressed in civilian clothes and trailing after his master. The cool October air blew against his face, and the blond choose to ignore the sighs from his teammates. Both wondered where they were going, but after an hour of walking it was clear they would get no answer from the oddly stoic sensei.
"N-Naruto-kun, maybe you should just wait."
"Yeah, quit being so troublesome for once."
Jiraiya hummed thoughtfully, paying no mind to the exasperated Genin as he headed down the worn dirt path. It was almost nighttime, and the sun could still be barely seen above the treetops. The Genin were surprised to see a town in the distance, and an oddly lit one at that. A red glow bounced from the streets, and as they moved closer they saw the full picture.
A festival was spread out before them, vendors and people of all ages simply having a good time. Children ran around with fox masks tied to their faces, adults standing and drinking merrily at the bar. Men and women with large puppets ran around, children jumping back in mock fear and excitement as the Kyuubi Attack was played out with childish simplicity. Jiraiya could only grin, nodding towards the center of town. "Meet me back when the final puppet show is over. You won't want to miss the fireworks."
With that he was gone towards the bars, and the three Genin were given a chance to lay back and relax for once. While they would never be like the children heir own age, they enjoyed themselves just the same. Games were played, food was eaten, and they shared in the simple delight of watching the large puppets dance and the 4th Hokage miraculously slay the large fox.
When they met Jiraiya back at the town exit, he led them a little ways out of town and onto one of the grassy hills. None moved for a while, but Hinata was the first to speak. "I-I didn't' know they held K-Kyuubi festivals outside of Konoha." She admitted.
"They do, all of Fire Country celebrates it. If the Kyuubi hadn't died, they would have been killed as well." The sage noted. "Though, most don't tell the right story."
"You mean there's another version?" Shikamaru asked, immediately interested. Jiraiya nodded, taking note on the fact Naruto was oddly silent.
"Yeah. I suppose it would be a good way to pass the time. It goes like this:
"In the time before the 3rd Shinobi war, a princess was called to Konoha for a task only she could do. Her job was to be the jailor for the Kyuubi." Three pairs of eyes widened, but Jiraiya continued. "She was a stubborn girl, with determination none could match. After she had been given the beast to protect, she vowed to let none ever be hurt by the creature, deciding it would die when she did. But when she went to return to her home, the princess was crushed when she learned it had been destroyed. She had no choice but to stay and learn to be a soldier.
"Years passed and she grew stronger in the want to become the next Hokage. She worked day after day, but at the age of only fourteen, she could not stop all enemies. Captured and defeated by Kumo, she had no choice but to leave a trail of her shining red hair behind her, in hopes that someone would find and save her. Luckily, someone did.
"A boy her age, with a soft smile and glowing blue eyes saved her. The princess soon grew to love her knight, just as he began to love the princess in return. When they were older they were wed, having survived the war and misery and eager to start a family. Soon, she learned she would have a son. Yet, on the day she gave birth, welcoming her new baby into the world, she was captured once again.
"The enemy took advantage of her weakness, forcing her to let the beast go. It rampaged, and the knight knew he must stop it. At the cost of his and his princess's life, they made their son into the next jailor, hoping he could accomplish the job they could not. That boy, turns eight today." None of the Genin had noticed the fireworks going on in the background, and Naruto could only squeak.
"M-me?!" Shikamaru and Hinata's eyes widened, watching as their teammate shook where he sat. "I'm the jailor for the Kyuubi?"
"Yup!" They could only falter at their sensei's cheerful expression. "You have nothing to worry about, and you're doing great at your job already." Naruto processed it al over again, his teammates looking at him in awe. And then he realized it.
"I'M THE SON OF THE HOKAGE!?"
I'm slightly curious; can anyone tell me what the Bolt caves are based off of? I'll give an Omake (with reasonable circumstances) to the first person to guess it correctly. I'll give you a hint:
Good luck, thanks for everything, and see you next time!