AN: I don't own Naruto, or Half-life, Half-life 2, Half-life Episode 1 or Episode 2, or Portal 1 or 2

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Chapter I: Training for the exam and taking a trip

Story starts during the month break before the Chunin Exam Finals

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Naruto stared dubiously at the crouched man in front of him. Jiraiya was hiding behind some bushes with a spy glass and checking out a few women in bikinis in the waterfall below. Every now and then the white haired man would giggle perversely and then jot down a few notes in a small notebook that was resting on his knee.

Naruto's look quickly turned to one of annoyance. He wanted Kakashi-sensei to train him but that was apparently out of the question since his sensei was off training stupid Sasuke. Kakashi had then handed his training over to the closet pervert Ebisu. After a brief fight in which Ebisu won, he was about to get some training only for the closet pervert to get knocked out by the mega pervert in front of him. His eye twitched at the turn of events. He just kept going up the scale of perverted Sensei. First Kakashi, who was a low level pervert, then Ebisu who couldn't stand his sexy jutsu, and then Jiraiya.

'I pray to Kami there isn't another sensei for me above Ero-sennin's level of perverseness.' he thought and kicked a stone into some nearby bushes. 'And now I'm not getting any training at all.' he frowned and sighed. If only there was some way that the pervert could be in two places at once and teach him while also fulfilling his apparent daily quota of perverseness.

Without an answer to that question, he decided to create a few shadow clones in order to get the perverts attention with perhaps use a Harem Jutsu but he soon thought against it. 'Maybe I'll punt him over the edge. He'll scare away the girls when he hits the water and then he'll focus more on training me, like he's supposed to be doing.' thought Naruto as the idea popped into his head and he smiled deviously. Putting his hand into the cross shaped seal, he stopped part way through creating his jutsu as something else had come to mind.

"Oi, Ero-sennin." Naruto called to his white haired sensei.

"What do you want, Brat? And quit calling me that!" whispered an annoyed Jiraiya while glancing briefly behind him at Naruto and then turning his attention back to the girls below.

"Can you use shadow clones?" Naruto questioned and Jiraiya just chuckled.

"I'm one of the Sannin, Brat. What do you think?" he said while never taking his eye away from his small telescope and then giggled at what he could see.

"So can you make a shadow clone to help me with my training while you stay here and peep?" Naruto inquired and Jiraiya's eyes widened as he thought about the question he had just been asked.

'Why the hell didn't I ever think of that before.' he wondered. While shadow clones did not have all of the originals personality, they could still talk, interact, and even teach someone else. As long as he just used a single shadow clone and replaced it when it was done, then he wouldn't have to worry about the influx of memories over the course of a day's worth of training Naruto.

'And I could spend the rest of the day here, quietly getting research done for my next novel.' he realized with a perverted smile and quickly put down the telescope to make a shadow clone.

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"And you'll definitely need one of these." the clone Jiraiya said and took the item off the shelf and added it to the pile that was forming on the counter. Naruto just stared at the pile as he had never seen so many interesting scrolls, items, and weapons. Usually he wasn't even allowed into most stores and the ones he was allowed in, he only went for the standard ninja supplies to replace the items present in the pouch he was given when he graduated the academy.

"Well that should be just about it." said the clone and he looked to the owner who just nodded with slight disbelief and then started adding up the total.

"Are we really going to need all that?" questioned Naruto as the cashier sorted through the weapons and items.

"Nope." Jiraiya clone began to say and Naruto nearly interrupted him in outrage before the clone continued, "I'm not going to need any of it, but you'll need all of it."

Pacified, Naruto just watched the cashier finish up and start sealing all of the items in the scrolls and then in the larger and thicker scroll. When the man was finished, the only thing left was a single thick scroll that was less than half a meter long.

'All that fit in there and with storage seals to spare?' Naruto thought and kept it to himself as no one else in the room seemed to find anything wrong with it. He really didn't want to look foolish in front of the clone and cashier.

Naruto was about to reach for the scroll before the cashier stopped him and pointed to the total on the register. Naruto's eyes widened at the price and he looked to Jiraiya but the man just shrugged and said, "I'm a shadow clone. I don't have any money on me."

And with that the clone left the building leaving a protesting Naruto to pay the huge bill. After several minutes of arguing with the cashier, Naruto pulled out Gama-chan and emptied the entire stomach of its Ryo.

Naruto wanted to dispel the clone but he still needed training and right now he had someone that was willing to train him. 'He had better teach me how to use all this stuff.'

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"Why the hell didn't I think of this earlier?" Jiraiya questioned himself out loud. Using a shadow clone for training the Brat while he kept up with his research was turning out to be one of the best ideas he'd ever had. Well...it wasn't actually his idea but it was his clone doing all the work. He had used a clone for training before but not exclusively for training. Usually it was a test for his student to see if they could defeat the clone in order to gauge how far along they were coming.

The clone could last nearly the entire day and he could focus on his own pursuits while he also trained a student. He was still conflicted over taking on a new student but so far it was turning out to be a good choice. From just his initial evaluation of the boy, Naruto's skills were poor in every category except chakra reserves and stamina. Even then, the boy wasted a great deal of movement and chakra because of his poor chakra control and poor self control. His clone was able to goad the boy into rushing at him and making academy student mistakes.

However, Naruto had showed great progress in just a couple of days. He absorbed everything that the clones had given him and he asked for more. Thinking on that subject, Jiraiya got an idea. Stopping his research and note taking, he put his hands in a cross shaped handseal. A shadow clone appeared and he had it start working on writing some lesson plans and a training regiment for his clones to work on with Naruto.

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Days later

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"Isn't there any better way to work on chakra control, Ero-sennin clone?" Naruto asked as he panted on top of the waters surface. He had been running laps up and down the stream that ran though Konoha using the water walking exercise in order to build up his chakra control.

The clone thought for a moment but really couldn't come up with anything better. Most people who mastered the tree and water walking exercises didn't need to work on any other chakra control exercises for the rest of their lives because those two were enough. They still needed to train but didn't need to worry about normal chakra control. Naruto however was very different and his chakra reserves were much higher than a normal kid his age. In fact Naruto had about 4 to 8 times as much chakra as most ninja in the village.

"Chakra control isn't going to be easy for you. You'll just have to keep working on these exercises. Tomorrow you'll be carrying rocks to make you heavier and then we'll change your sandals to geta to make it more difficult to walk on the water" The clone told him as it sat against a tree and lounged.

Naruto frowned as he caught his breath before continuing his training. He basically just kept running over the surface of the stream and from one end of the village to another. Despite being at it for hours, he just didn't feel like he had accomplished anything or noticed any difference with his chakra control.

It was incredibly frustrating but he wasn't about to give up. If he could discover a better way to received good training then he could figure this out too.

Wracking his brain, which he hardly ever had to use, he thought of any way that such a task could be accomplished. He could remember numerous times when he was unable to perform several of the academy jutsu because of his chakra control, though he didn't know it at the time and most people thought he just lacked any skill at ninjutsu.

His eyes widened when he finally remembered what had just happened a week ago. Jiraiya had removed whatever seal or whatnot that the Grass ninja had placed on him and his chakra control increased. He had been unable to perform the water walking exercise and then he suddenly could perform it after whatever it was had been removed.

From his perspective, it seemed that the seal or whatever it was on his stomach, had increased his chakra control and he decided that this was what he wanted.

"What about that seal?" he spoke up to the clone and he got a strange look in return from the clone.

"What seal?" it asked.

"The one on my stomach."

"What about it?" the clone asked carefully as it wasn't sure where the boy's thoughts were going.

"You did something last week and my chakra control got better." stated Naruto as he tried to explain what it was that he wanted. He really had no idea what had happened and he never really questioned it. At the time he was just happy about completing the water walking. All he knew he knew was that something had been placed on him and then removed by Jiraiya. The result was his chakra control getting better and him instantly being able to walk on the surface of the water, whereas minutes before he had failed.

"You mean the five elements seal?" questioned the clone to clarify Naruto's poorly explained description.

"Um...yeah that was it, I think." his uncertain reply was and the clone just sweat-dropped.

"That is a little too advanced for you to learn."

"I don't want to learn it, I want you to put it back on me." stated Naruto while pulling up his shirt and showing his stomach to the clone.

The clone just looked questioningly at him and then asked, "Put it back!? Why?"

"For my training." stated Naruto confidently and with a smile.

The clone thought about the request and quickly began to figure out what Naruto was thinking. The five elements seal was placed by Orochimaru to stop Naruto from accessing the Kyuubi's chakra. It worked but was not the correct seal to place. Orochimaru didn't know that placing the odd numbered seal on Naruto's even numbered seal would cause Naruto's chakra control to become erratic.

'Purposefully unbalancing his chakra in order to increase his control.' the clone mused and considered the possibility of what it might mean. Essentially it was like walking a balance beam under high winds. It wasn't impossible to get to the other side but with the wind constantly blowing, the simple task of walking the beam was made much more difficult. The seal would distort Naruto's control and his training would force him to work harder and thereby increase his control.

Deciding that it couldn't hurt, he held his right wrist with his lift hand and began the sealing technique. His finger tips glowed blue with the kanji for five elements. The clone waited for Naruto to come off the stream and then jabbed the boy's exposed stomach with the glowing finger tips.

Naruto was knocked back and lost consciousness. He awoke fifteen minutes later, which was much less than in the Forest of Death because he wasn't accessing the Kyuubi's chakra which had caused him to be knocked out for a much longer time due to feedback.

Naruto got up and moved to the stream. Putting the required amount of chakra into his feet, he stepped onto the surface of the water. His sandal bearing foot went right through the surface and didn't stop until it came to the body of the stream bed.

Whereas he would normally have started yelling in frustration as he did the previous week, now he couldn't be happier and cheered at his failure.

Looking to a nearby tree, he again put chakra in his feet and then got a running start and attempted to run up the tree like he had done so many times in Wave Country. He managed to get two steps up the tree before he fell back down to the ground and landed on his back.

The fall just made him laugh and got back up to try it again. He would have to learn the exercises all over again but it would be worth it in the end.

The clone decided his work was done for the day as it would take Naruto quite a while to finish relearning the exercises. Looking around, he decided to go and check out the hot springs and get in some research before he dispelled, that is, if the real him wasn't already there. 'Then I'll just find somewhere else to peep.' it remarked and left.

Naruto spent several hours trying to get up the tree before had another idea and stopped. If his chakra was messed up then just trying to perform any jutsu that he had while in his current state would also help his control. He smiled at the prospect and put his hands into a cross shaped seal. He expected to create twenty shadow clones but only managed to create less than half of that.

However the failure didn't get to him in the slightest as it just meant he would have to keep working harder in order to complete the exercises and properly work his jutsu again.

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One week later

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While a good portion of Naruto's time had been spent on chakra control in the past week, he also spent time learning weapons and a fighting style from Jiraiya. Naruto learned how to properly use most of the weapons that Jiraiya had picked out and that he had purchased at the weapons shop. He even learned numerous tips on making traps and weapon throwing that he hadn't learned, or that no one had taught him in the academy. It was also possible that he slept through those lectures.

Jiraiya taught him to use giant shuriken, fuma shuriken, wire strings, weighted chain (kusari-fundo) for capturing or grabbing on to things, smoke bombs, and how to use his new tanto chakra blade that he had purchased.

Jiraiya had also gone over the basics of sealing with Naruto and the boy could now makes his own storage seals. As sad as it was, the two weeks since the end of the preliminaries had been the most productive of his life in terms of training. No one else had ever given him so much attention or instruction and although he knew it was a shadow clone, sometimes it felt like he really had a sensei that was training him personally.

Naruto sat at the determined meeting spot and was working on some chakra control training. He had mastered the tree climbing and water walking but found that he needed something more. He had adjusted to the seal but he really wanted to keep going. For that he either needed more jutsu or more control techniques. Jiraiya had said there really weren't any more so he decided to devise his own.

Currently he was balancing on a piece of wood that was on the surface of a stream. The goal was to keep the piece of wood on the surface of the water which was much harder than just walking on the surface with chakra. Right now he was barely able to keep it floating about an inch below the surface with his weight on it but he was getting better.

He had his clones brainstorm new chakra control techniques and actually came up with quite a few that he had been testing out for the past day. He even remembered a chakra leaf exercise that Iruka had tried to teach him and a couple other students in the academy to work on their concentration and he had worked on that as well.

Jiraiya walked down a path he knew well in the forest surrounding Konoha. Naruto was at one of the places he used to train at when he was younger and where he had taken his genin team. Whereas he had been sending clones to train Naruto, today he decided to go himself. Getting memories of training his own student wasn't really what he wanted. A part of him felt a little guilty that he wasn't there and was sending clones to train his student. Since Naruto was doing so well and working so hard, he decided a reward or two was in order.

Making it to the meeting area, he looked to see Naruto balancing on a piece of drift wood in the water and raised an eyebrow at the sight. He knew from his clone's memories that Naruto had been trying to figure out and create other chakra control exercises but seeing them firsthand was a different story. He shook his head at the strange ideas Naruto had apparently come up with and decided to make himself known.

"Hey brat!" the man suddenly yelled in an attempt to disrupt the boy's concentration and send him into the water.

Naruto lost focus and the log went under the water, however he managed to keep the log from moving much in the water despite the distraction and recovered his balance. Jiraiya was slightly impressed. Naruto didn't move like the same unbalanced brat when they first met and in just under two weeks time he changed quite a bit.

"Stupid Ero-clone-sannin." the blond remarked and walked to meet what he thought was a clone on the shore.

"Well you've been doing pretty good in your training, so I thought we might take the day off and do some 'research.'" suggested the man lecherously as he wiggled his eyebrow and giggled afterword.

"Now way, I want to train!" Naruto with a frown said and Jiraiya stopped in his tracks as he starred at the child in front of him. Memories flooded of similar blonde haired brat that once said the same exact words to him.

"Well...maybe we'll do some research tomorrow. How about I teach you a jutsu instead?" he said with a smile and Naruto cheered.

"What kinda jutsu? Is it a fire jutsu? It is powerful? Does it explode!" questioned an exuberant Naruto as he demanded answers from what he thought was a clone. Jiraiya just shook his head and now thought that the blonde in front of him was very different from the blonde haired boy in his memories. Teaching Naruto elemental ninjutsu was likely out of the question as there was no way the blonde would be able to learn it in such a short time, but there were still other jutsu he could begin teaching the boy. The rasengan, his hair jutsu, an oil jutsu, summoning, and perhaps a few others that he could think of that Naruto might find useful.

At first he didn't think the Naruto could sit still long enough or comprehend enough to use most of the techniques he had but if Naruto could make such progress in less than two weeks under the instruction of a shadow clone then there was no telling just how much could be accomplished in the remaining two weeks before the exams. If anything he would get a good start on several techniques that Naruto could finish later on his own. Of course he would still take some time out to work on his research so a shadow clone could always fill in for him several times a week.

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A week later

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After completing the first step of the Rasengan, Naruto was by the stream working on the second step when the rubber ball he was working with ruptured and released the air inside in a steady stream and not the big explosion that he was supposed to get. Frowning, he went to pick up another balloon and found Jiraiya's shadow clone in a tree nearby.

It seemed to be going through one of the notebooks that he had seen Jiraiya jot down notes in. Stopping and looking at what he knew was a clone, Naruto wondered what other jutsu he might be able to get off his perverted teacher. 'He keeps going on about how he's such a powerful ninja. He must have hundreds of other jutsu and I don't know if he'll keep training me after the chunin exams are over.' Naruto realized as he had no idea if Jiraiya would stick around Konoha or leave for long periods of time.

Despite being accused of not listening to his teacher, he had picked up on things that Jiraiya had said and his sensei's actions. Jiraiya had not been in the village for quite some time and was not like other Konoha ninja. He could come and go anytime he wanted. 'And even if I do make chunin, I'll probably still go back to being on Team Seven after the chunin exams are over.' Naruto concluded and felt that he shouldn't pass up such an opportunity.

While trying to dupe Jiraiya would be difficult, tricking his clone wouldn't be that hard. He had empty scrolls nearby that he had kept at the training site since they started and could have the clone write down jutsu in them.

He had basically been living at the training ground for the past two weeks and gone through most of the field rations that the clone had told him to purchase at the ninja shop. They didn't taste very good but he didn't have to go back to the village for a meal and could eat something fast in order to get back to training.

Skipping getting another rubber ball, Naruto went for an empty scroll and then walked over to where the Jiraiya-clone was. Deciding on what to say and how to influence his sensei, Naruto used his Sexy Jutsu

"Ero-sennin." Naruto said in as a cute a voice as he could.

A shiver ran down the spine of the Jiraiya-clone as it nearly dropped the notebook and then looked to voice that had called him. 'The Brat's jutsu.' he guessed as he never actually looked at the face to confirm the whisker marks.

"I could really use some more jutsu." said the girl while grinding the toes of one of her feet into the grass and staring at the ground the shyly.

'I will not let this influence me.' the clone thought as he tried to put up a good front, "You have all the jutsu you need for right now. You haven't even gotten through the one that I gave you." said the clone. It knew that Jiraiya planned to give Naruto a few more besides just the Rasengan but decided not to say anything.

"I could pose for your books?" suggested the buxom blonde and the Jiraiya-clone blushed as it thought about the proposition. It may have been a clone of the original but that did not mean that it was any less perverted.

With what little self control it still had left, the clone managed to resist the temptation, "Finish learning what you've got and then we'll talk." it said while trying to go back to reading the notebook and not glance back at the blonde bombshell below.

"What if my friend asked nicely too?" inquired the blonde and the clone looked away from the notebook to find a second identical girl had shown up in a different colored bikini. They were both hugging the other and certain parts of their anatomy were touching.

'Oh Kami, Twins!' the clone thought with an even bigger blush as he looked both girls up and down.

"I...I..I suppose a few more jutsu wouldn't hurt." suggested the Jiraiya-clone however the eyes of the two girls narrowed as they both had the same idea

"What about if our other friend asked even nicer?" both girls suggested in unison.

'T-Triplets!' the clone thought as he saw a third identical girl move into his narrowed field of vision. A pause elapsed between the three girls and the perverted clone before Naruto won.

"SCROLLS! GET ME SCROLLS TO WRITE ON! AND A CAMERA!" demanded the clone as he lept down from the tree.

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Sitting at a small restaurant, Jiraiya sipped his sake and finished the last of his dinner. It was getting dark and he was about to head to his hotel for the night.

As the memories from the dispersed shadow clone flooded into his head, Jiraiya nearly choked on his drink as certain memories came to him and a blush grew on his cheeks. 'Lured by triplets posing in various positions and in different clothing.' he thought with a sigh.

'I really do have no self control.' he realized at the thought of his clone being coerced by his student. 'Such a technique would probably get me too.'

'Devious brat! I underestimated him.' admitted Jiraiya with a darker blush of embarrassment forming on his cheeks. His clone had been completely tricked into giving some of his best ninjutsu away. The clone had even outlined how to begin learning elemental manipulation.

A small smile then formed on his face as he thought about his student and he decided to let Naruto sign his Toad Contract the following day. He had put it off because of all the progress Naruto had been making in other areas and since his chakra control had been so terrible, it seemed better to wait.

'I also need to teach him how to pull on the Kyuubi's chakra.' he remembered and decided to wait until the last few days of training to try it.

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Four days before the Chunin exam

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Walking side by side, a Jiraiya clone took Naruto deeper into the forested training area and up a steep hill. After many unsuccessful attempts Naruto had only been able to summon small tadpoles in the time set aside for summoning training. The real Jiraiya's plan was to take the boy to an imposing physical feature called The Maw in order to get him to put more chakra into the summoning and even use the Kyuubi's chakra.

That had been the plan from the beginning and the seeing as it was only a few days before the exam, the clone decided to take the initiative and take Naruto there a little ahead of the schedule that the real Jiraiya had set. Naruto would need to access the Kyuubi's chakra and the clone thought there was no better time as he could do everything the original could.

Looking to his sensei and then back at the unknown path they were traveling, Naruto decided to trust the clone and wait and see where they were going. From what the clone had told him, the new training exercise that the clone was going to show him would help his lack of success at summoning. The clone even mentioned to him that he would be able to try and use some of the Kyuubi's chakra as well.

Naruto didn't understand the seal Orochimaru and Jiraiya had placed on him and although Jiraiya had tried to explain it to him, he had forgotten all about how the seal prevented him from using the Kyuubi's chakra at all. Apparently Jiraiya, or the man's clone, had forgotten about the seal as well.

Coming upon the chasm, the clone stopped before the feature was in view. The large tear in the ground was well concealed by bushes and Naruto had no idea it was there. By putting Naruto in a life or death situation, the real Jiraiya had hoped to force the boy to access the Kyuubi's chakra and summon a larger toad which was exactly what the clone was planning to do.

Positioning Naruto in front of one of the bushes, the Jiraiya-clone began his explanation of the training exercise, "Alright, now we are about to begin to having you start to access the Kyuubi's chakra." said the clone as he moved his outstretched hand towards Naruto and nudged him with his finger.

The seemingly innocent nudge pushed Naruto off his feet and through the bushes. His head turned with his body as he tried to regain his footing but he soon found that he was no longer over the ground. In a split second his brain registered the chasm that he was now over and he began falling.

The walls of the chasm were covered with spikes that made the opening resemble that of a mouth with unending rows of teeth. Naruto reached out for these blunted spikes but his hand slipped right off them. No matter how much he tried to use his chakra to stick, he couldn't grab on or stop his fall.

'You still don't have the chakra control for something like that. The rocks are too slippery.' observed the clone as he waited on bated breath for Naruto to turn to summoning. The bigger summoning that Naruto could make, the better chance of survival.

As Naruto fell, the wind whipped past him and he saw the approaching bottom. Spurred on to prevent his own death he immediately tried to summon something to help him. Biting his finger, he went through the seals and stuck his hand out, pouring all of the chakra he could into the technique.

Smoke erupted beneath his hand...and a small tadpole appeared. A brief moment passed as Naruto and the young toad looked at each other before the toad realized it was falling and unsummoned itself.

"Oh shit." Naruto said out loud as the water came up fast. He tried to use the jutsu again but couldn't and braced himself for impact. His body impacted the water hard, easily piercing the surface, going all the way to the bottom of the water in the chasm and his feet struck the bottom. He uttered an inaudible exclamation of pain that caused him to choke on water.

Struggling against a fast current, his body turned in the water and he could see through the dark turbulent liquid that he was being pulled into a large cave or tunnel in the rock wall ahead. Realizing that the water could lead anywhere, he frantically tried to get to the surface and get air but the current was too strong and he was pulled in.

Landing on the surface of the water, the Jiraiya-clone attempted to find Naruto as he had yet to see the boy surface. He quickly realized that Naruto was no longer in the water of the chasm and had been carried into the underground river. Creating another clone to dispel itself and contact the original Jiraiya, the clone sank under the surface and attempted to follow Naruto.

x-x

Perched on a tree and looking through his spyglass, Jiraiya was suddenly hit with the memories of his clone. He wondered why he was receiving the memories, as it was still early in the day, but soon knew why.

"Oh Kami..." he said out loud and before his treasured spyglass hit the ground and broke the lens, he was already racing through the trees to where Naruto was.

'Stupid clone!' he raged as he knew exactly what had happened. The seal preventing Naruto from using the Kyuubi was still in place and somehow his clone had forgotten that and taken it upon itself to train Naruto to use the Bijuu's chakra.

As he neared the chasm, new memories flooded into his mind. Another of his clones had been destroyed after it tried to follow Naruto into the underground river that was fed by the chasm. It hadn't even managed to see Naruto and had struck some rocks while fighting the current. The impact was enough to dispel it.

'Damnit, if my clone hit the rocks then that means Naruto's probably getting banged up too.' Jiraiya reasoned and tried not to think that Naruto's impact into the shallow water in the chasm or perhaps the rocks at the bottom of the chasm's floor could have killed him instantly.

The moment he reached the chasm, Jiraiya jumped right in without hesitation.

x-x

Holding what little breath he had left, Naruto was pulled along a winding course through a long tunnel. There was no surface to the water as it completely filled the tunnel and his body was at the whims of the fast current as it pulled him along.

There were no handholds to try and stop his movement and instead, he pushed forward as he saw it as his only chance to survive. In the pitch black tunnel, he couldn't see the fork in the river coming up ahead. While his body was being pulled to the left, he didn't quite make it all the way and his right side struck the middle of the fork.

As pain resonated from his entire right side, his body began surfacing as the current decreased in speed. The ceiling of the tunnel was now taller than the water level and Naruto surfaced, taking in his first breath since hitting the water. Coughing profusely as he tried to get the water out of his lungs, he tried to get on the surface of the water. His attempts however failed as the water was too turbulent for him to create a surface to get up onto and the ceiling was too low for him to stand or even lay over the water surface.

Gritting his teeth at the pain in his right side, Naruto pumped his legs despite the injuries he had and kept himself above the water. Unsure of where he was being taken and unable to see much of anything, he opted for letting the current take him. It was always possible that the river would end somewhere outside.

As he waited for the freezing water to take him somewhere, a sound began getting louder. It differed from the rushing water that was all around him and as it grew, even in the dark, he began to understand what it was. Frantically grasping at the walls, Naruto tried to grab onto something as the was carried to the waterfall ahead of him.

Unable to stop his progression, Naruto went over the edge of the waterfall.

x-x

Moving through the water, the real Jiraiya was pushed to the right at the fork and continued through the underground river. With the darkness, he never noticed the fork and had no idea that he was no longer following his student.

x-x

Naruto's body eventually stopped as the underground river expanded into a cavern. The fast moving stream flowed into an underground lake and slowed drastically as it entered the calm water. Naruto floated on the water and was slipping in and out of consciousness in the cold liquid. A drop of cold water from the ceiling fell from one of the stalactites and landed directly on his left cheek. The impact brought Naruto out of his state and into full consciousness.

Pulling himself to the water surface, Naruto laid on the top of the lake surface as he tried to figure out where he was. As memories flood back to him, he looked for anything that would tell him the way out. He didn't have a flashlight or a lantern to help him see and what nightvision he had only allowed him to see a few feet in the pitch dark cavern.

Struggling with the injuries to his right side, Naruto turned his entire body around on the surface of the water as he looked around the area he was currently in. While he could tell that water surrounded him, he couldn't see the ceiling or any walls. What he could see however, was a light source that was an unknown distance off.

After calling out to anyone that might be able to hear him, and receiving only echos, Naruto determining that the light was his best to shot to try and make it out. If anything, it would help him see better in the cave if it was a light-source that he could move.

Crawling across the water as his body hadn't healed enough to stand, Naruto moved an unknown distance as he progressed toward the lights. Eventually he came to the end of the water when he saw rock ahead. He wasn't sure if he was moving onto an island or he was on the shore but that didn't matter as once he crawled up the loose rocks in front of him, he found the light was much closer.

Moving between large boulders and over jagged stones of varying sizes, Naruto was finally able to see the lights up ahead. There appeared to be three individual lights and they were coming from the ground but he couldn't yet make out what they were. He doubted a lamp or outlet would be in the cavern and unless someone had left their flashlights on the ground, the light must have been coming from something else.

As he got closer, the lights seemed to be coming from some kind of plants that were sticking out of the ground. The plants however weren't green in color but looked to be orange-yellow. The light produced illuminated the area between the lights better than anything in the surroundings. Situated between the three lights was a flat rock surface which had large boulder that was situated near three large spikes and what looked to be amber colored crystals.

With more interest in the what the lights were illuminating and not just the light itself, Naruto moved to the area. As he neared one of the lights, the arched head of the light retreated into the base and the light was extinguished. Surprised at the movement, Naruto approached the now darkened area and had to pull himself up onto the solid and flat rock surface. Finding where the light had been, he reached out for the base of the plant but as his hand touched the object, he found something very different.

The light-source was not like most plants he knew of, given that it was warm and he could feel it moving slightly as if shivering. The 'plants' seemed more flesh-like and Naruto realized that it had reacted to his presence and retreated into itself, similar to how a turtle would. Since it was afraid of him, he wasn't sure if he could make use of the lights in order to get out, as they may not like being removed from the rock or provide any light for him.

Looking to the amber colored crystals, Naruto decided to inspect them a little further as his curiosity was peaked. Ignoring the pain in his body he moved between the three spikes which were arranged in a circular fashion around the crystals and equidistant from each other. The spikes were about eight feet long and tilted away from the crystals.

The crystals themselves were quite interesting. He had never seen amber colored crystals and the only ones he had seen were small pieces of quartz and other crystals sold at a few shops around the village. They also weren't anywhere near the size of the ones before him as they were at least a foot to two feet tall and four were grouped together.

Turning to go back to the lights, he was surprised when the light he had just passed, had come back out and was illuminating that area again. Turning back to the crystals, his eyes came upon something that he hadn't noticed before. Frightened by what he was seeing, and Pushing himself away from what he was seeing, Naruto's back eventually struck the amber crystals as he could go no farther without moving around them.

Right next to the spikes and crystals was a dark boulder that looked like it didn't belong with the rest of the flat green-gray colored rock in that area. It was jagged and looked exactly like the rocks he had crawled over to get to the light-source.

That however wasn't what had caught his attention, it was the white skeleton that seemed to be sticking out of the boulder. While he had never seen a skeleton before, he was smart enough to recognize that what he was seeing, wasn't human. It only had a single large socket for an eye, a very pronounced overbite on the top jaw, and what scared him the most was the small third arm that protruded from the center of the chest. He wondered if it was a summon but could not recall an animal that looked even remotely similar.

Only the top left-hand side of the skeleton was visible and he assumed that the rest was inside the rock, though he wondered how it had gotten there, 'A failed jutsu.' he thought but pushed the thought aside. Considering that it was dead and couldn't do anything to him, Naruto decided it was time to look for a way back to the surface.

It was at that moment that the hair on the back of his neck, and even the hair on his head, began standing up. Turning his head and looking over his shoulder, he noted that the amber crystals were glowing slightly and he started feeling odd. 'Is my chakra being drained?' he wondered and pulled himself away from the crystals before he was completely drained.

A few feet away, Naruto continued to move backward until he was transfixed into position, watching as whatever he had done began some kind of chain reaction. The three spikes around the crystals began sparking with white electricity. A hum began building and Naruto was about to start crawling farther away when white lightning started emanating from the tips of the spikes and striking the crystals.

The amber colored gems did not break but instead the hum became louder and something began forming just above the crystals. The hum of power built in at the crystals until it peaked. A bright flash of green light caused Naruto to cover his eyes with his forearm and when he lowered the arm so he could see what had happened, he looked upon a ball of...something.

It was a semi-transparent sphere with a green colored core that changed to orange close to the surface of the sphere. The hum of power had greatly diminished and Naruto looked for anymore lightning but it seemed to have dissipated or the process had been completed.

Struggling to stand on his injured leg, Naruto hobbled a a few steps closer to get a better look. He spent about a minute looking the sphere over and was cautious as he had no idea what he was dealing with. The sphere was about as tall as he was and hovered unmoving above the amber crystals. It produced a faint greenish light around itself.

As Naruto continued to stare and was unsure about what to do, he was startled when a ball of white light came out of the sphere. It flew right at his head and he fell backwards to the floor to try and avoid it. Turning over, he looked for the object and found it flying around the cavernous area he was in. It seemed to be exploring it and he was surprised to find himself thinking such a thought as it would imply that the light was somehow alive and curious. On one pass, it moved close enough for him to get a good look at it. While he originally thought it a sphere, it looked more like a star from the night sky with a white halo around it.

Moving out over the lake, the star-like object completed an entire circuit of the cavern, at least from what he could tell, and then returned to the area he was in. Circling around his head a few times, the star shot back to the sphere and stopped near the greenish phenomenon for a few moments before moving into it and disappearing.

Grimacing as he got back to his feet, Naruto was thoroughly confused at what had just happened. He had never seen or heard of anything similar to what he had just experienced. 'Did it want me to follow?' he questioned and wondered what the semi-transparent sphere was or where the 'star' had gone, or better yet, where it had even come from.

Limping close to the sphere, Naruto was about to touch it when he decided to try something else. Taking one of his kunai from his ninja pouch, he tossed it at the sphere and watched it disappear. There was no clang of metal-on-rock on the other side of the sphere and he clearly saw it disappear.

Looking once more around the cavern, he had no idea how he had entered it since he passed out after going over the waterfall. 'Is there even an exit to this place?' he questioned and looked back to the sphere.

"Well...it's not the stupidest thing that I've ever done." he admitted out loud and reached his hand into the sphere.