"Are you sure this is fine?" Kind of …hypocritical to ask that question when you're eating takoyaki, boss. "I mean, shouldn't we be waiting at the apartment?"

"It's fine," I gave a dismissive wave of my hand, "It's his fault for not specifying the time anyway, I mean, lazing around and watching anime is nice and all, but it's the Tanabata festival today, so we might as well enjoy it." I took a bite out of my yakisoba bread before continuing, "I left a clone there anyway, so it's not like we wouldn't know immediately when he finally decides to show up."

"Eh, it still feels… wrong… somehow, not being there when he shows up."

"You're probably just conditioned from Hatake being constantly late." I shrugged before continuing, "Anyway, do you want to make a wish or something? I've got some paper strips and there's a bamboo tree right here." I nodded towards said tree.

"Ah, errm, sure." Boss nodded, so I handed him some colored paper and a mechanical pencil. (Aren't you supposed to use an ink brush for this?) …Maybe? Not like it matters anyway. "Aren't you going to write a wish yourself?"

"Everything I might write would fall under one of three categories: Things that can't happen, things that shouldn't happen, and things I can make happen by myself." I shrugged before continuing, "So there's really no point in writing anything." Unless… do you want something? (Nah, what you've said pretty much sums up my situation as well.)

"Isn't that the point though?" boss asked me. "Wishing for things that can't happen, that is."

"Maybe, but my impossible wishes are logically impossible, rather than physically impossible." I shrugged, "That is, the reason they're impossible isn't because I'm not strong enough, but rather because the requirements are logically contradictory."


"Like having an object defined by its non-whiteness become white while still remaining such an object. An object defined by its non-whiteness, that is." (Kind of like a reverse tautology, then?) Not really… tautologies are true regardless of the underlying logic of the universe. But this… this is just something that can't be accomplished while remaining true to the spirit of the statement. "It's kind of like how seal masters make sure that their seals can't be broken with just a key. A key that's logically impossible can't exist, so if breaking the seal requires logically contradictory things, then it can only be broken by brute force."

"Huh…" Boss mused silently to himself as he attached his paper strip to the 'wish tree,' "Want to go goldfish scooping?" That was… a quick change of topic. (You don't say?)


"What do you mean ninjas can't do the ring toss!?" Boss complained, "I mean, sure, most of us are idiotically accurate at hitting things, but this is a hidden village, shouldn't you guys have expected that?"

"Besides," I added with a shrug, "It's not like we can't just transform into a random civilian if we really wanted to." Not that we would, since boss won't go for it, but this guy doesn't know that.

"Hmm… Let me think." The carnie pretended to be deep in thought for a moment, "No."

"Whatever," I dragged boss away from the stand, "Let's go try some of the rigged games. They'll probably be fine with us since most of them are supposed to be unwinnable." Keywords being 'supposed to be.' (Wouldn't they wise up after the first couple of times the ninja here won those games?) You'd think so, but you'd also think people who setup carnival games in a hidden village would take into account the fact that the majority of the population has at least basic training as shinobi, even if most of them are working civilian jobs right now.

"Hey, hey!" Kiba's voice (and Akamaru's bark) greeted us from behind, "I thought you were going to be busy today?"

"So did I," boss replied with a shrug, "But the perverted old guy that's supposed to be training me didn't show up even though we waited till noon, so Hikari figured we might as well enjoy the festival while we're waiting."

"Wait…" Kiba narrowed his eyes, "Did Hikari just randomly show up at your house, asking if you wanted to go to the festival, or were you two hanging out while waiting for this... pervert?"

"The latter," I replied, "Why?"

"Huh…" Kiba frowned slightly, "Ah, right. I keep forgetting that you always make sure that you don't smell like anything." He nodded in my direction, "Guess I've been relying on my nose a bit too much."


"Well… You know how me an' Akamaru have good noses, right?" Boss and I nodded, "See, usually we can tell when two people are close because they have the other person's scent on them. But that doesn't really work for you two, so I've been kind of confused."

"…Because we hang out a lot but you keep thinking we don't like each other?" I guessed.

"Right," Kiba snapped his fingers before turning towards boss, "Anyway, since you're free now, want to spar for a bit? I figure your clones would be a pretty good simulation of fighting someone a lot faster than I am, I'll just pretend they're afterimages or something."

"Sure," boss agreed with a nod.

(So... you have any ideas on how to deal with people that can apparently survive 'exploding heart syndrome' yet?) Well… there's always the option of ripping off boss's seal and letting Mr. K take care of it. But that's kind of a last resort kind of thing. (I know, right? Especially considering the first thing he's going to do is send humanity into another dark age.) …Pardon? (Well, after more than a thousand years humanity finally advanced enough to be able to seal him; previous attempts generally resulted in K laughing it off before eating the seal masters involved. Of course, that in and of itself wouldn't really be a problem, since K would just reform after nine years of being gone from this world. Problem is, the first thought of people who managed to seal a Bijuu isn't 'oh, this thing is a walking weapon of mass destruction, we'd better hide it away so no one can use it,' but rather, 'oh hey, a weapon of mass destruction, let's see how we can exploit this to wage war for fun and profit.') I fail to see the issue here. (If K could stay free there wouldn't be a problem, since K can just slap down anyone who gathered the other Bijuu for walking weapon purposes, being stronger than the other eight combined. Considering the fact that even Matatabi, err, Two Tails, has enough power to destroy the planet if she wanted to… Yeah, having someone who can overpower idiots with walking planet destroying weapons is kind of important.)

Ah, looks like boss and Kiba finished their spar, we'll talk later, okay? (That's fine.) "So, do you need me to carry you to the hospital or something?" I asked Kiba, who's currently lying on the ground. "I hope you're not planning to leave Akamaru behind for the fight, otherwise you'd probably end up in the same situation as right now."

"…No. I'll get up by myself." He began while slowly picking himself off the ground, "And the entire point of training without Akamaru is to up the difficulty, it's not really good training if it isn't hard, ya know?"


Now the old pervert decides to show up. It's almost dinner time… "Hey, Naruto, want to go eat at Ichiraku's? The pervert of a Sannin finally decided to show up, but I can send a clone to tell him to meet us there." I shrugged before continuing, "You can join us too if you want, Kiba."


"By pervert of a Sannin… do you mean Jiraiya? If yes, then sure, I'll come."

"Yeah, why?" I responded with a question of my own.

Kiba gave us a feral grin, "Let's just say my mom an' sis told me to show him a few tokens of their… appreciation, if I ever got the chance to meet him." Well, I see no problem with that. (Indeed.)

"So then we we're like: 'oh, hey, we're the team full of tracking specialists, but we're just going to stand around while being completely oblivious to our surroundings.' And then some random fodder were like: 'oh, hey, there's a random team of newbie Genin who are just standing around being oblivious, let's go attack them!' Cue falling leeches, and us getting a set of scrolls half an hour after the second phase started." Kiba shook his head, "It's like those idiot never heard of trickery or deception."

"Cool, but why didn't you get to tower first then?" I asked, "The recordings in the security room showed that the team from Suna was first, they made it in about an hour and a half, but you should've beaten them if you just headed straight to the tower."

"Ugh… those guys," Kiba made a face, and Akamaru whined softly, "You'll probably be fighting Gaara in the second round, Naruto. Bit of advice… forfeit. He's not someone you can deal with." (…If having a hundred and twenty eight times the power of someone else means you can't deal with someone else, that's kind of sad.) Pardon? (Nothing, it's just that he's hilariously bad at predicting the outcome of a fight between boss and Gaara.)

"You don't know me very well if-"

"Your ramen is ready!" Ayame interrupted, "Here's a large miso and pork for Naruto, a medium miso for Hikari, and three bowls of pork ramen for Kiba." I thanked her before digging in.

"Anyway," Boss continued between mouthfuls of ramen, "If you think I'm going to give up… Then you don't know me very well."

Kiba shook his head, "It's because I know that that I'm telling you to give up, idiot." He added something from an unlabeled bottle to the bowl he's saving for Jiraiya before continuing, "But let me finish my story. So there I was, pretty chill because our plan worked, so I asked Hinata to scout for some other teams, figuring that we might as well thin out the competition a bit before moving on… Well we found them, the sand nin and a team from Ame. (Rain.) Long story short, the guy has perfect control over sand, it blocked senbon from three hundred and eighty degrees like it was nothing, but that's not the problem, the problem is that he can crush people with the sand while being perfectly protected."

"Is that it?" I asked after drinking a spoonful of broth, "I mean, being able to block attacks from any direction is nice and all, but the fact that he blocks them at all means that if you happen to have an unblockable attack… he's kind of screwed."

"…And you guys have one?" Was Kiba's response.

I shrugged and summoned a shuriken on the table, deliberately producing a puff of smoke in the process, "Imagine that, except the shuriken gets summoned where his heart is supposed to be. I mean, it didn't work on Orochimaru, but that's because the guy apparently doesn't need a heart." Seriously, how was I supposed to know that there are people who can survive exploding heart syndrome? (I can survive it.) …You don't count.

"Huh," Kiba gave the summoned shuriken a curious glance, "Is that the same technique that let Kurenai sensei summon paper from nowhere?"

I shrugged, "No idea, I've always thought that was more like the log from a Kawarimi, i.e., you're summoning something real. The shuriken right there is a chakra construct, break it and it disappears." I let it break down in a puff of smoke to demonstrate.

"Sorry I took so long," a new voice cut in, "but apparently the entire city was sold out of water balloons, so I had to buy some at the festival instead." Kiba offered Jiraiya the bowl of ramen he tempered with. "No thanks kid, you act like I can't smell the laxatives from a mile away." The old man turned towards Ayame, "I'll have a large chicken ramen, the kid's paying." He pointed towards Kiba.


"Your fault for trying to poison me, kid, just be glad I'm not taking it out on your hide."

"So what happened to your eye-patch, girlie?" Jiraiya asked me between bites of his ramen.

"It stopped being a thing that exists." I shrugged, "Less literally, I took it off since my eye got better." (Odd definition of better.) Please, blue is a way better color than red.

"What happened to it anyway?" Kiba asked, "Your eye, that is. I didn't ask before since it would've been rude."

"It became a portal that allowed an eldritch abomination from outer space to posses me," I grinned, "Luckily, it turned out to be one of the friendliest eldritch abominations this side of Barney the Dinosaur, so Konoha wasn't destroyed or anything."

"…Please answer seriously." Kiba frowned, and Akamaru paused briefly in his attempts to tilt his bowl to drink the broth, "Hinata was worried, you know? Said there was something off about it."

"A snake wizard did it." I shrugged, "It's nothing to worry about, really." (Besides the fact that red eyes are a kind of tell tale sign of demonic possession!?) Ah, but it was a singular eye, so it's all good. (…Touché)

"If you say so…" Akamaru gave me a dubious look as well, so I scratched his ears. "Well, I've gotta go. Need to go to bed early or it's gonna be hard to get up tomorrow. Comon Akamaru." Akamaru gave me a playful nip before jumping down to follow Kiba. (…Good thing you can create another clone to late your place, at the same location you're occupying, seallessly and without any visible signs, eh?) Oh god you're a Canadian. That explains everything. (…)

"Here," Jiraiya tossed boss a water balloon, "Pop that balloon with the power of your mind and we can move on to the next part."


"…Not with wind chakra you smartass," Jiraiya tossed boss another one, "You have to pop it by swirling the water around." He demonstrated by popping one of the water balloons himself. Which was totally helpful and not completely useless despite the fact that we don't have x-ray vision and so only saw the balloon popping. (Well, we did see the balloon deform a bit, some bits jutting out and other bits sinking in, so it's obvious the water isn't all swirling in the same direction.) …Quit ruining my sarcasm with your logic.

"So…" I began after watching boss struggle with the water balloon for five minutes, (the smart money's on the water balloon,) "Can you show us what the finished jutsu is supposed to look like? We'll be here all night at this rate." Some of us have anime to watch, after all.

"Ah, sure," glowing blue under the moonlight, a perfectly smooth sphere popped into existence in Jiraiya's hand, "Anyway, I've wanted t- Why did one of your clones stick her hand into that?" Hmm… I felt at least sixteen separate directions of 'oh god it's ripping apart my arm.'

"Because just looking at a technique wouldn't tell me how it works?" I shrugged, "Anyway, you were saying?"

"Right," Jiraiya nodded and let the sphere dissipate, "I've wanted to ask you what you know about Senjutsu."

I gave a slight shrug, "Poisonous in large quantities to untrained humans, that is, people who didn't go through a couple decades of training to be Sennin, tailed beasts are made of the stuff, and that it's kind of everywhere. That's about it, I think." I tilted my head slightly, "Wait, you're a pervert right?"

"…If I say yes, am I going to be in imminent danger of bodily harm?"


"Then yes."

"Okay, quick question." I gave Jiraiya a quick once over, "How did you stay perverted after becoming a Sennin? I thought the entire point of that kind of training was to remove impure and extraneous thoughts."


"Moving on…" I began while rubbing my temples, "I hope you don't mind me trying my hand at this," I picked up a water balloon from the pile, "You can go back to peeping on the girls in the festival." At least, that's what I think the spyglass and our location atop the Hokage Monument is for. "It's getting late, so do you mind if we just took the balloons and continue by ourselves?"

"Yeah, sure," Jiraiya gave me a absentminded wave, "I'll come check up on you guys next Sunday."

"Are you sure you don't want my help?" I asked boss.

"Yes, I'm sure." He sighed before picking up another water balloon, (they keep ripping due to his wind affinity, apparently producing only non-elemental chakra is rather difficult when you've been training on producing wind chakra for the past two months,) "I told you, it's pointless for me to train if you're holding my hand the entire time."

I frowned, "I'm not arguing about that, since I agree with you on that point." I nodded before continuing, "But don't you think you should at least get strong enough to fight, or at least run away from, the typical Jonin first? I wouldn't worry if you aren't so bullheaded sometimes. Never killing is good and all, but frankly, if it comes to choosing between you and the human population of the elemental countries… I'd slaughter them all myself." I can probably do it too, barring freaks like Orochimaru.

He frowned as another balloon ripped in half, "I told you, I don't want you to do that."

"And I told you, I'd much rather have you alive and sad than dead and dead, because you can't be happy if you're dead." I tossed him another balloon before changing the channel. (Aww, I was watching that.) …'That' was a commercial about toilet paper. (And indoor plumbing is quite possibly the best invention of all time, so your point is…?) ...That reminds me, how would K cause 'another' dark age anyway?

"…I'm going to sleep," boss announced in a tired voice, though I can't tell if the tiredness was because he's depressed or because it's midnight.


Boss shook his head, "It's fine," and went to his room.

(So… about that dark age. K would probably just introduce an extinction event, volcanic eruption or something, and use that as a distraction to burn all the books. Hard to care about books when the world enters another Ice Age, after all.) …I don't suppose I can convince you that that's a bad idea? (You can. You'll note I'm not trying to convince you to do something that drastic.) Then… why? (Why would K start something that would kill most of the life on the planet? …I'm like this because I'm a relaxed kind of person, so a hundred years or so of being forced into a situation that completely opposes my natural elements isn't that bad. But usually, like in K's case, something like that would make you… filled with enough hatred to destroy all living beings on the planet doesn't begin to cover it.) …That bad? (It's fine, K promised not to do something like that. The only reason the dark age thing would be necessary is to prevent something like the destruction of all life on the planet, like, say, if a Jinchuriki or whoever controls one decides to blow up the planet. Sort of a less of two evils kind of thing.) …I'm going to watch anime now. (You do that.)