Naruto groaned as his head knocked against a table, stealing the breath out of his lungs and making his body numb as he tried to breathe in as much fresh air as possible. He opened his eyes and looked above him imagining a starry sky, with constellations that pecked hauntingly at his memory. His forehead continued to bleed even as he looked up at his attacker.
His sight was blurry, but that did not stop him from recognizing his surroundings. He seemed to be in a large hall, which had numerous tables and chairs within it, and to his immediate right were many people who were looking at him with pity and alarm. He turned to look at what was to his right and gasped soundlessly.
As he regained his senses, he groaned, "and to think that all I wanted was a bowl of ramen," even as he tried to stand up, while being assisted by two young men, who came in to help him, while giving chiding looks at his attacker, who was seemingly being scolded by an old man.
"That was totally uncalled for, Renka, you need to stop attacking any and everyone who enters our restaurant," a voice, particularly soft came out, with hints of outrage disguised within.
"Uncle Hakubi, we do not know which gang he belongs to, or to whom he owes allegiance. Do not forget, the triad has already made seventeen attempts on your life within the last week itself. We cannot trust anyone," she retorted, even as Naruto groaned, while his helpers moved him into something soft, most likely a bed, considering that the other guy was covering him with a blanket.
"Whoa, you really worked him good, Renka – oujo," another voice, more active and perky came out; even as someone smoothened the blanket he was covered with.
He groaned softly and then tried to sit up, tried being the operative word. His arm stung and gave out, resulting with him falling back onto the bed, dignity now lost and leaving him gasping in pain. He was about to try again, though slower this time, when a girl bustled over to him and stepped into his path of vision.
"Awake, are you?" the second voice, which he now assumed to be that of his attacker's came out, as the girl came into view. As he looked at her, Naruto could not help but admire the view. Standing in front of him, was possibly one of the hottest girls he had ever seen. Standing nearly five and a half feet tall, with black hair tied into two traditional bun styles (much like Tenten's he idly recollected) and an extremely robust physique, which still maintained its voluptuous feminine figure, she was a beauty to behold. A strong angular face, black eyes, a huge, and that was near Hinata level bust, and strong legs, this girl was a serious fighter with high chunin to low tokubetsu jonin level skills as far as he could see.
Looking at her, Naruto couldn't help but be reminded of Hinata. This girl looked like an amalgamation of Hinata's figure, coupled with Sakura's strength, and Ino's attitude.
He suddenly stopped gazing at her as he realized that he was no longer at the entrance of the hotel, but was in a clean, white room, lying on a comfortable bed. Suddenly, the other person in the room waded near the boy. An old man, in his early seventies, who was wearing traditional Chinese kung fu attire, with black sunglasses, and sporting a lengthy black beard. Despite his easy-going appearance, Naruto was not fooled. The old man was a serious fighter, nearing elite Jonin level considering his spiritual pressure.
"My apologies, young man, my grand-niece has a tendency to over-react. Our restaurant has been recently targeted by some of the local criminal elements, and when she saw you coming in, she mistook you for one of them, and attacked," he proffered a bow, while the girl snorted.
"This is one of the weirdest ways of greeting a customer, which I have ever seen. If that is what she does to those whom she mistakenly targets, I would hate to be in the shoes of the ones she would intentionally target," the boy snorted, while the girl glared at him, even as the old man restrained her.
"Ah, my apologies, I am a poor host. My name is Ma Ryou, but everyone here calls me Uncle Hakubi," the old man introduced himself, even as the boy raised an eyebrow at him.
"Ma Ryou, the Ma Ryou who is the trainer of Ma Kensei and Ma Sougetsu?" he asked in surprise, as the old man subtly shifted into a guarded stance, which only he noticed, while the others in the room took a step back, clearly surprised.
It was the first time, that he took notice of the other two in the room. They were two young men, near his age was well. The first one was wearing quite trendy and fashionable clothes, along with sunglasses resting on his black hair, which was quite lengthy. A sturdy physique, with special attention diverted to developing his leg strength. A near mid-level chunin in pure skill. The other boy had a somewhat meek appearance, and was wearing normal clothes with suspenders of all things, and a pair of glasses. He had a more sleek physique, but very well developed arms as far as he could see. Another mid-level chunin in ability. Seeing the two boys, Naruto could not help but remember Izumo and Kotetsu for a second.
"And how do you know of those two?" the girl asked with anger in her voice, while Naruto flinched, noticing that he had once again reacted without watching his surroundings.
"Who in China does not know of them?" he asked rhetorically, but seeing that it had no effect, he sighed.
He got up, and then grasping his fists in greeting, he bowed, "Please allow me to introduce myself. I am a journeyman apprentice of Wudangquan. My name is Uzumaki Naruto. It is an honor to be in your presence, Ma Sifu."
Clearly taken aback, Hakubi intensely stared at the boy for the first time. What he noticed, made him quite worried, and yet left him impressed at the same time. An extremely agile physique, coupled with a pair of eyes that seemed quite discerning, and that quiet aura of confidence. "I see, that is quite a surprise, I have never seen a man of Wudangquan, especially a journeyman who was allowed to leave the monastery, so please, excuse me if I am a bit surprised and hesitant," he replied, while the boy physically winced.
"There were extenuating circumstances, which allowed me to leave the confines of my home, I apologize if I have caused you any inconvenience," Naruto replied while Hakubi waved him off.
"Not at all, oh, where are my manners? Here, please meet my two students, Ryu Genson," here the guy with the trendy clothes gave a wave, even as the old master continued, "and that is Shokatsu Kouan," even as the other guy bowed in returned.
"And, last but not least, my niece, Ma Renka, the daughter of Ma Kensei, and my grand niece," he concluded as Renka snorted and bowed, while Naruto did the same.
After a few minutes, everyone had settled themselves down for dinner, while Naruto found himself the object of intense scrutiny from all sides. He had expected nothing less.
There were valid reasons for their suspicions, because, in China, generally, the martial arts are dichotomized into two major groups: Wudang and Shaolin. Wǔdāngquán (or Wudang fist/Wudang boxing) included only the arts applied with internal power; this typically encompassed Tai chi chuan, Xing-Yi chuan, and Bagua zhang, but also included Baji chuan and the legendary Wudang Sword. Although it simply distinguishes the skills, theories and applications of the "internal arts" varies greatly from those of the Shaolin styles, or external arts (hard arts); and the Wǔdāngquán monastery was known to be the birthplace of the said internal arts.
On the other hand, his hosts were all practitioners of the Shaolin arts, or what were generally known as the external arts. He wielded arts which were technically the anti-thesis of what they practiced, and although traditionally the two forms never collided with each other, they treated each other with courteous antipathy.
"So, what brings you to Japan, young Naruto?" Hakubi asked, even as he stared at the boy, while Genson, Kouan and Renka, sat alongside at the table.
"Frankly speaking, Sifu, I am simply on a journey of self-discovery you could say, I am just wandering around, if you know what I mean," he said, with a pointed stare, as Hakubi understood the significance of what was being conveyed which was lost on the others.
"So, what will you do now? Do you have any plans?" he asked genially, while stroking his beard, as Naruto shuffled awkwardly.
"Well, I suppose my first task would be to find a place to stay, and then a job in that order," he admitted, while Hakubi narrowed his eyes.
"Oh, and what sort of employment are you looking for?" the old master asked, to which the young man, narrowed his eyes.
"Well, I am a good cook, apart from being a martial artist, so …," he began, when Hakubi interrupted.
"That is good, when can you start?" the old man asked, as everyone looked shocked, even Naruto at the unexpected offer.
"Eh, master are you serious?" Genson asked in shock, while Kouan just gaped.
Renka however did not take it well and jumped up, "Uncle, you can't be serious," before she was interrupted again.
"Of course, we won't be able to pay you much," the old man admitted, even as he continued while stroking his beard and looking resolutely at the ceiling even as he continued, "but … we can give you a place to stay, and all you can eat for free, along with a small stipend. So, what do you say?" he concluded, while his two students groaned.
So that is it, the old cheapskate is trying to bamboozle another chump to get cheap labor.
"Well, I wouldn't want to impose," the young man began, while the old man waved it off.
"Not at all, it would be my pleasure to assist a young man in search of his springtime of youth," he laughed, while Naruto was taken aback for a fleeting moment.
You have to be shitting me, it is almost as if he is the reincarnation of, no … don't even think about it Naruto, the result will be too horrifying to even contemplate.
"Very well, I accept."
"This is delicious, big brother, can I have some more?" Genson asked even as he held up his bowl for a fifth helping.
They were all sitting in the restaurants cellar, where all the residents of the restaurant were gorging themselves upon the feast that Naruto had cooked as his first meal.
In the morning, Naruto had gone inside the kitchen, when he had run into Ryu Genson and Shokatsu Kouan, who apart from being disciples were also part-time cooks, and told them to beat it, as he took over the kitchen. Another thing he had found out was that despite their modern outlook, the two were quite traditional in their upbringing and had started to address him as big brother out of respect.
Naruto found that quite odd, considering that his appearance was that of around 19, while those two were around just 17 with no such major differences between their ages, but he shrugged it off afterwards as something of no importance.
Suddenly, Renka cut through his thought cycles with a question, "What exactly is this, Naruto – san?"
"Renka – san, Confucius once said, be glad for what you have on your plate, eat, and ask not," he replied with a smirk, while Hakubi smiled at the jibe. He was the only one who had recognized what the boy had cooked.
"Just answer the damn question," Renka spoke through mouthfuls as she glared at the boy, "And you are going to cook this for us, everyday," she smirked even as she glared at him with a haughty smirk, while Naruto sighed.
"It is your fault, for volunteering," Genson smirked, as he too gorged herself upon the mouthwatering dish.
"Well, if you must know, it is called as Gǒu Ròu, coupled with rice porridge," Naruto finished, even as he noticed uncle Hakubi give him a sly wink.
"Gǒu Ròu, huh, what is that?" Kouan asked, even as he poured himself a sixth helping.
"Grilled Dog Meat," Naruto replied nonchalantly, while everybody except Hakubi became still.
The next second, apart from Hakubi and Naruto, everybody else raced out, dropping their dishes and cutlery alike. Sounds of retching and heaving, intermingled with curses could be heard from outside, while Naruto and the old master roared in laughter.
After a while, all three walked in, with murder in their eyes as they glared at the blond boy, who was nonchalantly eating along with the others.
Before the situation could turn violent, Hakubi addressed Naruto, "So, you trained in Wǔdāngquán, huh? Not bad, I myself am from Shaolin. It has been years since I have met anyone who trained in the arts which rival my own arts," the old monk admitted as he gazed at the boy, who became silent.
Everyone else too became silent as they looked at the boy expectantly to hear his reply.
"Well, I did train there, but mostly my training was done with the intent to become an acupuncturist and a healer. My training mostly included making herbal remedies, and Chi healing," the boy admitted, while everybody pondered over those words.
"Still, am I right in guessing that you have trained in Nèi Jiā?" the old master asked in a shrewd tone, while Naruto became still, which was not unnoticed by everyone.
"Yes," Naruto replied after a moment, at which the old sifu nodded in satisfaction.
"Excellent, let us go to the dojo then, and have a little practice spar, what do you say?" the old master replied, at which all the people in the room looked at the old master in surprise.
For Hakubi to challenge, or rather test someone was unheard of, at least in their existence.
"I don't really …," Naruto began, when Renka interrupted once again.
"I will prepare the dojo along with Kouan," the girl replied as she walked out, with a haughty smirk, while Naruto groaned.
Soon, in the dojo, all the members of the restaurant were present, and all the three disciples came in their training clothes and sat at the corner, even as Naruto & Hakubi stared at each other.
With a graceful bow, both the fighters took their guarding positions.
After a split second, the old master attacked. With a flurry of explosive punches & kicks, the old master began to weave around Naruto, aiming for his vital points. Naruto, however, on the other hand, began to parry away all the attacks, by making subtle jabs with his own palms, even as he twisted and glided through the old man's attacks like a snake.
The watchers were amazed at the scene in front of them. Apart from Renka, and to a certain extent, only Genson, nobody had ever managed to last this long against the old master.
To their eyes, it appeared as if the boy was involved in an elaborate and masterfully orchestrated dance.
After a moment, the old master paused and leapt back, as he reanalyzed the boy. After a thin smirk, the old master himself dropped into a stance similar to the one used by the boy, who narrowed his eyes at that.
Again, the two collided in a flurry of movement, which included numerous sweeps, and precise jabs and palm thrusts. However, after a certain amount of time had passed, the old master stepped back, and bowed, while Naruto returned the gesture.
The audience on the other hand had been shocked into silence.
"So, you can mark even the Tanden, huh?" the old master asked with a quiet tone as he gazed at the boy who appeared to be pondering something.
"Yes, but I prefer not to indulge in this art, if necessary," the boy replied again, at which, the old master nodded in agreement.
"A wise precaution, but, for you to have mastered this art to the level of pinpoint precision which allows you to mark even the Tanden points, you are without a doubt, a prodigy," the old master spoke with a thin smile, while Naruto bowed quietly in gratitude.
"Fight me, Uzumaki Naruto," Renka spoke softly as she stood up and gazed at the boy, with reluctant admiration in her eyes.
Apparently, she now wanted to test her own skills against this boy, who had now proven beyond any doubts that he was a master of martial arts.
"No, it is quite enough for today, and you children need to attend to your duties still," Hakubi interrupted, at which everybody turned towards the old master in surprise.
After a moment, Naruto gave a stiff bow to the old master, and after a small bow towards the others, quickly made his way out through the exit.
Before Renka could reply, Kouan interrupted them all with a question of his own, "Sifu, why did you prevent Renka – oujo from fighting that guy?" he asked quietly, at which everyone looked at the old master in surprise.
"Because, she would have lost, and would have received critical injuries in return, if she had fought that boy. I myself had to use everything I had, to fight to a draw," the old master admitted softly, while that brought out an explosion of noise.
"No way, you are way overestimating him, Sifu," Genson protested, while Renka and Kouan were literally stunned into silence.
"What did you mean by 'Tanden', Sifu?" Kouan asked quietly, while the old master sighed even as he massaged his forearms.
"Kouan, what do you recall about Nèi Jiā, when I instructed you all in the two principles of martial arts?" the old man asked while everybody became silent at that.
After a moment's pause, Kouan began to reply as he recalled what he had been told, "Nèi jiā is a term in Chinese martial arts, grouping those styles that practice nèi jìng, which literally means internal strength; and is usually translated as internal martial arts, occupied with spiritual, mental or qi-related aspects, as opposed to an "external" (physical) approach focused on physiological aspects," he concluded softly.
Renka continued in the same soft tone, "Internal styles focus on awareness of the spirit, mind, qi ("energy") and the use of relaxed (sōng 鬆) leverage rather than muscular tension. The reason for the generally slow pace is to improve coordination and balance by increasing the workload, and requires the students to pay minute attention to their whole body and its weight as they perform a technique. At an advanced level, and in actual fighting, internal styles are performed quickly, but the goal is to learn to involve the entire body in every motion, to stay relaxed, with deep, controlled breathing, and to coordinate the motions of the body and the breathing accurately according to the dictates of the forms while maintaining perfect balance," the girl concluded softly, as she too became silent.
At that, Genson continued on and recited the third principle, "Compared to that, External style (外家, pinyin: wài jiā; literally "external family") are characterized by fast and explosive movements and a focus on physical strength and agility. External styles include both the traditional styles focusing on application and fighting, as well as the modern styles adapted for competition and exercise. Examples of external styles are Shaolinquan, with its direct explosive attacks and many Wushu forms that have aesthetical aerial techniques. External styles begin with a training that focuses on muscular power, speed, and application, and generally integrates their qigong aspects in advanced training, after the desired "hard" physical level has been reached," the boy finished as he too became silent.
"Exactly right," the old master admitted as he looked at his three students, with something akin to pride in his eyes.
"As you all know," the old master began again, "I have trained you all in the arts of Shaolinquan, and as such, you are all proficient in a form of martial arts, that makes use of external forces, to cause physical injuries to your opponents that are external in nature, like breaking bones, causing external wounds, so to speak, but his form of martial arts, also known as internal arts, are aimed at creating damage to a body's internal organs. While not as flashy as the Shaolinquan or Wushu arts, it can cause extreme and irreparable damage. That is why, Shaolinquan & Wǔdāngquán are considered as two halves of the martial arts system, similar to the Yin Yang system," the old master explained carefully, while all the disciples carefully made note of his words.
"I was remiss in not training you all to adapt to this sort of fighting; clearly, it was a mistake on my part. I had never expected that someone so young could actually possess so great a mastery in this art," the old master spoke with reluctant admiration rife in his tone.
"Uncle, what did you both mean, by the word 'Tanden'?" Renka asked once again, as she focused on her teacher.
"In the human body's circulatory system," the old master began after pausing for a moment, as he tried to explain what was going on, "there are 361 points which are known as 'Chi Points' or 'Tanden' as you call them. Their width is as small as the tip of a needle – point, though. And, in theory, if you manage to hit them accurately, you can stop or increase the chi flow of the body. You're basically able to control it. And with precise, controlled strikes, one can completely paralyze an opponent, with just a few jabs, or even kill a person, with a single controlled strike. That is why, it is a forbidden art. Even at the best, many of the masters are able to block at the most a few Tenketsu, but this boy; I believe he has progressed beyond any other master I have ever encountered. He is truly, a prodigy among prodigies," Hakubi finished while an uneasy silence befell in the rooms.
"So, where would you rank him, if you could, sifu?" Kouan asked after a moment, while the old master again became silent.
"As he is right now, I would say, he is above disciple class, but not yet a master," Hakubi admitted, while the three stared at him in shock.
"Above disciple class?" Renka asked in surprise.
"Exactly. Even though he is far above any disciple, he does not yet have enough experience, which would allow him to break out of his shell and be recognized as a master. That is why he called himself a journeyman. His journey to the path of mastery has just begun, and as he gains more experience, he will, without a doubt, earn his place among the hallowed ranks of masters," the old man concluded.
"I will speak with a few colleagues, and confer with them, to discern what effect this may bear upon the martial arts world, this intervention warrants it, but that is not your concern, now get going, the customers are going to start coming soon," Hakubi warned them all, and on that note, closed that impromptu conference.
Unknown to them all, Naruto quietly slipped away from the wall side, and made his way to his room, clearly pleased at the turn of events.
Three months later,
Life had settled into a comfortable routine for Naruto, as he made himself at home at the restaurant. Apart from being a cook, he also acted as an assistant teacher of sorts to the three disciples at the place, who came close to idolizing him in the short time frame.
Ryu Genson reminded Naruto somewhat of Kiba, wherein he had the same level of cockiness and yet tried to appear cool like Sasuke, and ended up being a comic mixture of both.
Shokatsu Kouan on the other hand, reminded him somewhat of Choji with his attitude, coupled with the mannerisms of Sai, which made for an interesting mix.
Renka on the other hand, was a hybrid of what he could only describe as Anko and Shizune, mixed together. A dangerous, dangerous combination of personalities.
All in all, Naruto had now inserted himself into a place from which he could gain certifiable intelligence upon the world of martial arts, as he had planned all along, after he came out of his hibernation. The world had changed a lot since his last hibernation, because the last time he went into hibernation, was during the period of Genghis Khan, whom he even now swore to date, was none other than Madara reborn.
For 8 years, he had hidden himself within the monastery of Wudan, wherein he had slowly reacquainted himself with the world and acclimatized himself to the changes that had occurred in the last few hundred years. After gaining all the necessary knowledge he deemed sufficient, he had set out to test the new breed of warriors who had emerged. The ones who called themselves real martial artists. Fighters who had taken the art of Taijutsu to the extreme, but had ignored every other aspect of spiritual and physical training that was now lost to the world, along with his people.
Recently, he had noticed that Hakubi had been getting tenser as of late. But he did not intervene and ask the reason, as he knew that when the problem would become too much to bear, the old man would come to him for aid, as he must. And he was proven right, for the very next night, Hakubi asked him to come aside to speak in private.
"Naruto, I believe you have noticed the reason for my discomfiture for the last few days" he asked quietly as he poured himself some tea, while Naruto nodded.
"Of course you did," the old man sighed and retorted wanly, even as he set down.
"There is a very dangerous man, who is about to come into our area," the old man spoke bluntly, while Naruto raised his eyebrows. For the old man to be worried, it had to be someone serious.
"Ma Sougetsu is coming to China Town," the old man added calmly, while Naruto snorted.
Well, that explains his worry.
"As it stands right now, the only ones in entire China Town, who can even remotely stand against him, are myself and you of course," the old man continued, while Naruto raised his eyebrows.
"You are not seriously thinking about …," he asked, while Hakubi interrupted him.
"No, I am too old for that kind of nonsense," the old master shook his head.
"But there is one man in Japan, who has been waiting for nearly 7 years to have an opportunity to face him, and make him see the error of his ways. I would like you to go and pass on a message to this man that Sougetsu is coming to Japan."
"Oi … Oi, you are not thinking of …," Naruto started in abrupt surprise, when Hakubi interrupted him.
"Yes, I want you to go to Ryouzanpaku and inform Ma Kensei, that his brother Sougetsu is coming to Japan, and that his long wait is over."
It was not like Naruto was against it, but he had believed that there was still time before getting involved with Ryouzanpaku, the abode of the masters of martial arts, who if rumors were to be believed, possessed near elite Jonin to Low Kage level abilities in martial arts.
Well, no plan is perfect.
"All right, old man, I will go to Ryouzanpaku, and warn Ma Kensei that his elder brother is coming to Japan."
Two days later,
On the way to Ryouzanpaku, Naruto wondered about the masters of Ryouzanpaku, and how he would deal with them, when he suddenly noticed a commotion occurring in one of the alleys at the side. It appeared as if a group of delinquents were mugging a young teenager and his girlfriend.
Upon closer observation, he noticed that it was a group of ten or so delinquents, who were accosting the two teenagers. A boy and a girl.
He noticed that the girl was very beautiful for her age, and very well endowed as well. With blonde hair, and a cheery face, it was hard for anyone to notice that this girl was an exceptionally talented fighter. Looking at the well defined muscles in her body, and her posture, he could tell that she was more talented than all three of Hakubi's disciples, Renka included. He estimated her skill as a martial artist, to something similar of that of a high-ranked tokubetsu jonin or a low-level jonin.
The boy on the other hand, as soon as he looked at his face, Naruto was strongly reminded of Sasuke, as the boy's features somewhat resembled his, although the boy had a far more softer look, than his friend. But his body, Naruto could see that some highly specialized effort had been expended to modify the boy's body to endure the rigors of a supreme level martial artist. It appeared as if the boy was not even aware of what was being done to him yet. Naruto had no doubt, that once effectual, it would turn the boy into a martial artist of unparalleled skill; maybe he could even actually approach Sasuke's level as well, with his aid of course.
From the group of delinquents, there was only one boy worth noticing. Wearing the attire and having mannerisms akin to a street hoodlum, the boy appeared to be some sort of Taekwondo user, with low skill. An Academy level student at best, he was of no consequence.
As he approached them, he could hear the boy weeping, "How could Sakaki-shisho abandon us like that Miu-san?" he sobbed, while the girl awkwardly patted his head.
Well, that was interesting.
"Hey kid," he interrupted, drawing the attention of everyone present to himself, as he walked in.
"Are you by any chance, referring to Sakaki Shio, of Ryouzanpaku?" he asked while looking at the teenagers, who were looking at him with apprehension.
Of everyone present, only Miu instantly fell on her guard, as she looked at the new arrival. At nearly six feet tall, the young man was wearing traditional Chinese clothing similar to that of Kensei, and was carrying a duffel bag. Miu could faintly see the tip of what she realized as the hilt of a sword sticking out of the bag.
But of his spiritual pressure, she could feel nothing of his Ki, nothing at all. He was a martial artist, of that there was no doubt, but to completely erase one's presence like that was unheard of. Even her grandfather, the most powerful martial artist in the world, could not erase his presence as clearly as this man. It put her at unease, as she instinctively realized that the man facing her was far above her in level, and was quite possibly a master as well.
"Uh …," Kenichi Shirahama, dumbly retorted, even as he nodded in agreement, without realizing it.
"Great, I am here looking for Ryouzanpaku, I have some business there, could you please show me the way?" he asked, while Kenichi looked at him in surprise.
Miu instantly stepped up, and stood in front of Kenichi with her guard up, "And who are you? What is your business at Ryouzanpaku?" she asked as she glared at him.
Naruto held up his hands in surrender laughing, "You misunderstand me, miss. I come bearing a message to Ma Kensei-dono from his relatives. I am just a messenger," he spoke, at which Miu relaxed her guard and smiled at him.
Suddenly, they were rudely interrupted as one of the delinquents, who had been watching the proceedings butted in with a roar, waving an iron road, and screaming, "Don't interfere in Ragnarok business, asshole!"
Without even looking at the guy, Naruto hooked him in by his collar, and threw him away with the slightest push of his hands. The punk flew nearly 50 feet, before crashing into a wall opposite the street, as he slid down, dazed.
All the delinquents looked at him in shock. It had taken him merely 1.2 seconds, but apart from Miu and to some extent, Kenichi, none of them had even seen him move.
"Tch," Naruto groused, as he glared at the group of hoodlums, "Can't you see I am talking here? Beat it, you load of bums!"
"You sure have a lot of guts, talking down to the members of Ragnarok, like that," the kicker-punk retorted as he stepped forward, even as he nodded to another of his guys, who pulled out a switchblade and moved forward.
Kenichi instantly freaked out, "Waah! He has got a knife! A knife! Miu-san, we should help him, knives are dangerous," even as he freaked out, while Naruto just gave a sigh and walked towards the punk with the blade.
"What? What are you …," the guy stammered, and that was as far as he went, because Naruto had snatched the blade from his hand.
Then, in front of all the assembled people, holding the knife between his hands, he literally tore the steel blade in half; similar to how one would tear a piece of paper, casually, and threw the two halves away as he walked back.
The reactions as he expected, were extreme. Half the punks instantly ran away screaming their heads off, while he could see sweat rolling down the forehead of the kicker, even as his legs trembled in abject fear.
Kenichi on the other hand, was lost in la-la land, even as his body involuntarily shivered with an adrenaline rush. Now, I have met another monster in human skin. So, Ryouzanpaku is not the only place with monsters within. There are even scarier ones outside.
While Kenichi was lost in his thoughts, Miu was more analytical in her approach. That level of skill indicates near mastery, but Kensei never told me that he knew someone of this level, just who is he?"
Unfortunately, the kid who was leading the delinquent gang failed to get the message Naruto had been trying to convey, and after composing himself, chose to attack him the moment he turned his back towards them all.
"Don't underestimate Ragnarok, motherfucker; I am Koga the Kicker, and I don't scare as easily as the rest of these trash," he snarled as he jumped and launched a spin-kick to the back of Naruto's head.
Without even bothering to turn around, Naruto caught the boy's foot in his hand.
"You are a thousand years too early to even think about dreaming of kicking me, let alone actually kicking me," he snorted, and with a simple spur-of-the-moment reflex action, he broke the boy's ankle brutally, causing the boy to give a ear-rending howl even as his remaining subordinates ran away leaving him alone.
"And a piece of advice…kid, learn how to kick properly, before calling yourself 'the kicker'" he pointed out, as he turned back from the moaning boy, and looked expectantly at the two teens from Ryouzanpaku, who were gingerly stepping away, and had a look of oh shit, he caught us, written all over their faces.
"So, are we going to Ryouzanpaku or what?"