Chapter 4

Naruto was getting quite tired of the game. He flipped, dodged, ducked, and dropped from the trees. He had not got a single glimpse of a single one of his attackers, and he knew there were a dozen or so attacking him at this point.

They were wickedly fast; they blended in with the foliage and the bark. And their blades were something to be wary of, they were definitely channeling wind chakra through the blades and they were quite capable of cutting through branches that were a foot or two in diameter before disappearing in the next moment.

It was through sheer luck alone that he had yet to get diced to pieces by the unknown summons.

When would the test end? They seemed to get more ferocious in their attacks the closer he got to the massive tree in the center of the forest. Was that where he was meant to go? He could run faster, but that would alert his position to more of the unknown summons.

And if more began to attack him, he wasn't sure if he'd be able to get there unscathed.

He growled as he ran up a tree and flipped over an attack, a green blur disappearing and hiding his attacker as he landed once more. He glanced at the massive tree, visible even through the dense canopy.

"Oh fuck it!" Naruto could handle a bit of pain.

He raced up the tree his feet barely touching the branches for more than a few moments, even as his attackers began to swarm him. He heard a sort of scraping as their feet scrambled up the bark. He didn't dare look, he needed to focus on the tree, and he needed to run fast enough that he'd have tunnel vision.

Naruto turned and began to run for the tree. He ran as fast and hard as he could. He didn't dare drop any explosive tags, even though he knew they'd slow or kill his pursuers. It would just piss off the creatures he was trying to make a contract with.

Naruto felt the wind rushing by, the leaves bounced under his steps but he moved too quickly for them to collapse under him.

His survival instincts ran high and he dodged to the left, just a little bit. The flash of blade that had been aimed to take his head off caught him at his right cheek. Pain and blood erupted from that side of his face, and he felt a distinct lack of his earlobe. He reached up; pressing his teeth shut as much as he could and held his cheek as he ran. It would probably be one ugly wound.

A dozen blades slashed out from under the canopy at him, and he leapt off of each of them. He was a hundred meters away; he could cross that in about fifteen seconds. Naruto came to a dead stop, using chakra to stick to the upper most branches of the canopy and causing his assailants to move past him.

Naruto dipped down into a sprinter's pose, he'd reach top speed at about fifty meters, and he wasn't going to slow, he was just going to barrel into the tree and then go straight up. At the flash of a blade, Naruto took off.

He remembered everything he could about sprinting. Sprinting wasn't done the same as running. A Shinobi sprinted long distances in emergencies only. Most of the time, they ran. Running took less energy, and a Shinobi could recover from running faster.

Sprinting on the other hand, you put your entire body into it. The heart and lungs had difficulty keeping up because of the higher demand for oxygen that your muscles needed.

If a Shinobi had to sprint, then he crashed into the enemy and attempted to kill as many in a single charge as he possible could.

Naruto's lungs burned as he hit the tree and he shot up it. He could hear the bark cracking underneath every step he took. He broke through the top of the branches and the tree, landing in a roll as he came up. He glanced around at the verdant sanctuary in the midst of the tree's limbs.

Wood had been brought up and stuck together with a resin or a sap of some sort to make it resemble a flat platform. Water came up from the bottom through a basic, but sturdy, pulley system, feeding it constantly into an artificial spring that poured off the side of the tree

Naruto didn't feel his attackers around him either.

He glanced around, breathing heavily. He cupped some of the water into one hand and began to wash his face with it a bit. His right cheek was cut cleanly through; in fact Naruto could stick his tongue back towards his wisdom teeth and slid it out of his cheek still.

And his right earlobe was missing, having been cut cleanly off.

"Sharp ass blades." He muttered, feeling his cheek pulling strangely.

Naruto took a scroll from his vest and unsealed some basic medical supplies. He got a needle and some wire and began to seal up his cheek. Just another scar to his collection, and he welcomed it. Well, so long as he made it out of the summon realm alive. If he didn't, well he wouldn't be able to welcome it.

He tucked the scroll away once he was done with the simple stitches. He was glad he still remembered how to do it, a little rusty but not a bad job either.

Naruto then stood up as he heard a strange clicking sound almost.

He glanced around, but the summons were still unseen. He then snapped his head forward at the sound of the wood creaking and he came face to face with what was undoubtedly the boss summon.

Mantises.

She, and Naruto knew it was a she from his entomology reading, was a dark vivid green that was capable of hiding with the leaves of the forest. She had to be the size of a smaller Biju; In fact, Naruto didn't even come up to the first bend in her legs.

Naruto squared his shoulders and raised his head as he stared at the compound eyes of the Queen Mantis. She had heavy armor plating, probably made from a chitin that was lightweight. But what drew Naruto's attention was the wicked scythe where part of her left arm should be. He could see everything securing it in place.

He was really feeling low on the totem pole at the moment.

"You have entered my domain at your own risk. You have made it all the way here to my throne. Do you think such an act would go unpunished?" The voice boomed and echoed off all the wood, Naruto's head feeling the press of such a mind.

Naruto held his hands out to both sides. "If you are going to punish me Queen of the Mantises, then punish me. I do not fear death." He said boldly.

The slash of the scythe came out but he did not flinch. He did not back down, even as the tip dug into his chest, blood staining his black vest. It was not a deep puncture, but it brought her point across. "Many have claimed such a thing in the past human; many have failed to back up such a claim."

Naruto kept his head held high. "I am a Shinobi, I am an Uzumaki, and I am a Sociopath. I know better than most how death works. If it is my time to meet the Shinigami, and if it meant to be you to bring my death, then so be it. I welcome death like a brother."

"I could make you suffer in ways you could not dream of. Does that scare you little Shinobi? Are you terrified of what I could have my children do to you? You would beg for months, years even to die and we would not allow it."

Naruto allowed his eyes to lose the warmth they usually held, a show he had that would keep people from being nervous around him. He stepped closer onto that scythe blade, feeling it scrape across his ribs. "I do not fear pain, I do not fear torture. I am already a broken man Queen of the Mantises. My first sensei, when I was but a child, threw me into a table full of chemicals. Dozens of acids and toxins invaded my body, it destroyed parts of my system but I allowed my rage to take deep root, I allowed it to mend my body and mind because Rage is the best anesthetic that can be offered."

Naruto stepped closer, feeling that blade force through his ribs. "I spent six years killing people, men, women, children, it mattered not to me. The old, the young, the smart, the stupid, the ugly, the beautiful, the rich, the poor were all my victims because life makes a victim of us all." Naruto glanced upwards, holding his head high and proud. "I was caught and I spent ten years in a seven by seven by seven hole in the ground filled with concrete and steel. I had my chakra stripped from me, slowly, agonizingly, and had it fed into the very village I had preyed upon."

Naruto watched her with unflinching eyes. "Do your worst, because I guarantee that it has already been done to me."

The Queen Mantis stared into his eyes as though she could see his past, see into the demons that still held their spurs on his very soul. Some scars never faded, some scars dug into the very soul without mercy and Naruto had plenty to show, even if they were seen without his command.

Suddenly, the Queen reared back, laughing. It was a chilling sound, almost like a wail really. But Naruto didn't flinch, even as the blade was drawn back and she came down close to his face. He could see the reflection of his face hundreds of times in the compound eyes. "You are quite the interesting little Nymph, aren't you? Very well, the Mantis Clan shall enter the world of man once more! Who is the name of our summoner?"

"I am Naruto Uzumaki, the Stew Maker of Konoha and a Shinobi of Kumo." The blonde said, staring at the Queen of the Mantis Clan.

He was suddenly surrounded by twelve man sized mantises, each having their left arm in a bladed scythe like their queen. They wore a darker green armor, mixed with brown. Naruto noticed these had been the summons that had attacked him on his way in. He glanced up at the Queen with a slight rising of his brow.

"My most trusted children Uzumaki-kun, and those that had tested your resolve. Had you waved in your advance, they would have cut you down where you stood. But you kept pressing onwards. Hold out your arm. The Mantis Clan does not have a traditional contract."

Naruto did as she asked, sticking out his left arm. Her bladed scythe came down and began to dig into the flesh of his arm, deep enough he'd need stitches. Her blade circled his arm. The dozen mantis warriors moved forward after their queen and began to make another ten circles, from the elbow down to his wrist. Two lines, from his wrist to his elbow on both the upper and underside of his arm were formed next.

The queen mantis then grabbed his arm and channeled chakra. For all his strength, for all his pain tolerance, Naruto yelled out in sheer agony, it was an almost rippling pain that felt like he plunged his arm into molten steel.

Naruto's hand was released and his arm fell limply to his side as he fell to his knees. He grabbed at his arm watching with morbid fascination as the blood acted like sealing ink, forming a summoning tattoo on his arm. He breathed heavily before he stood up once more, tall and proud, even after his pain.

He glanced to the Mantis Queen. "What do I call you?" he asked her.

"You don't. We are the Nameless ones. We are the Shadows that lurk within the Summoning Realm. We are those that strike without hesitation, without remorse. We do not battle at the front lines like the toads or snakes; instead we attack from the shadows. We are those that are a Sure Kill." The Queen Said.

The Mantises were like Naruto then. He glanced around at all the potential warriors, realizing that if they truly wanted to stop him from getting to this place, there wouldn't have been a damned thing he could do to stop them.

"As you summon us, concentrate what you need us for and the appropriate one shall appear. Now, be gone. We do not wish for company as much as you primitive apes do."

Naruto was surprised when he found himself back in his home inside Kumo. "Huh… isn't that handy?" he asked himself, glancing around. It didn't seem like he had been gone that long either.

(Scene Break)

Naruto walked with Omari towards Kumo's academy. It was graduation day, and he had less time to get Omari ready as well as two other rookie Genin. Thankfully, the week he had taken to see where Omari was at had been plenty for him to note something.

Omari was really, really fucking good at the basics.

Omari could rig traps like no one's business, he could set ambushes and wait things out. He had managed to catch Naruto off guard a few times, nothing that would have killed Naruto but it had been a pain in his ass.

He was also one stealthy little shit, and Naruto knew how that happened.

When Omari didn't want to be anyone, he was no one and nobody paid attention to no one.

Naruto had done much the same in Konoha, especially since most of the time all he had gotten was dirty looks. It was harder when you had a rank of any sort or a family, but when you didn't have those, it was very easy to turn invisible and blend in with everyone.

Naruto entered the academy with Omari trailing behind him as quickly as an almost ten year old could. Naruto flashed his headband to the person at the desk, and Omari followed suit. Naruto had managed to get Omari as a registered Genin. He had also adopted the little bastard.

No one could say Naruto didn't have a nice bone in his body.

He went to the door to the classroom and pushed it open, stepping through and glancing at the variety of students. He had to get two of these brats up to snuff and working with Omari so that they could go off to be Chunin.

He still wasn't sure if that was an entirely good idea or not, but he'd figure that out later.

Naruto found a dark skinned girl with blonde hair sitting next to another dark skinned girl with black hair. "You two," he said getting their attention. "Follow me." He said and turned on his heel, leading the three out.

Kumo was much stricter with their rules than Konoha, and so the two girls knew to follow orders without hesitation.

That could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Naruto led them all to the training field that he had been frequenting, working with one of the Mantises on his Taijutsu so that he had a real style. No one knew about his summons just yet, and he planned to keep it that way.

Well, Samui and Mabui knew he had summons, but he neglected to say what clan he got a contract with.

Naruto turned on his heel to face his three knew brats, folding his arms a bit as he leaned against a particularly large boulder. "Omari, introduce yourself. Name, likes, dislikes, hobbies, dreams." He said simply.

"My name is Omari Uzumaki; I like traps, training, and my father. I dislike my sensei. My hobbies include giving my sensei hell and my dreams for the future…" Omari shrugged. "I don't know I'm not even ten yet."

"What?!" the blonde girl sputtered out, turning on Omari. "What sort of bullshit is that?! You're four years younger than us and a Genin?!"

Naruto looked to the blonde. "Shut up and go girlie." He said to her.

She glared at him, crossing her arms underneath her budding bust. "Fine, my name is Setsuka. I like fish, swords, Yugito-sama. I dislike you currently Sensei, the brat, and Bee-sama's rapping. My hobbies including training. My dream for the future is to become the Godaime Raikage." She said looking a little sullen.

"And lastly we come to you." Naruto said looking to the dark haired girl.

"Akuma, fighting, talking, training, and to fight the strongest of people, in that order." The dark haired girl said.

Naruto pinched the bridge of his nose. He had a pubescent boy, a hotheaded female, and a battle crazy girl. "My name is Naruto Uzumaki, yes the brat is mine by adoption, and yes it's allowed. My likes are trophies from the people I've killed," he was pleased to see their eyes widen in surprise. "As well as Mabui-chan and Samui-chan. My dislikes are the brat when he's pissing me off, and right now the two of you. I also dislike redheads and senseless abuse. My hobbies include training, giving massages, and tending to my sociopathic tendencies. My goal for the immediate future is to get the three of you up to snuff for the Chunin Exams, which happens in Konoha in three months."

Naruto regarded the three and watched them. "Now, I will push you hard. I will break you and I will make you despise me. But I will also reward you; I will see you all grow into splendid Shinobi, capable of destroying any that get in your way. But this shit between you two and Omari," he motioned to the two girls and his adoptive son. "Ends right now."

"I'm not working with-" Setsuka started.

Right before Naruto slammed his fist into her gut, making her cough heavily and fall forward.

"You will work with Omari and Akuma, Setsuka!" he barked out with his point across. "You are a Shinobi of Kumo, and you will act like one. Do you have to like either Akuma or Omari? Fuck no. But you will respect them, you will work with them. You check all prejudice at the door when you leave your house every day. You think Omari is weak? Then you help him get stronger. You think Akuma is too battle hungry? Then you are an anchor for her."

Naruto regarded the three once more. "I see a kid before me, a battle hungry fool that will face someone too strong for her current strength, and I see a hothead." Naruto said looking at the downed Setsuka. "And it's my duty to change all of that."

He looked to Omari. "You need to grow up some more, and that will happen as time passes." He then looked to Akuma. "You're going to want to thrash every opponent in front of you, but you need to learn to retreat and attack from a different angle." He glanced down to Setsuka. "You need to control your impulsive urges and funnel them properly. Do I make myself understood?!" he barked out.

He got three yeses, even though Setsuka's was ground out.

Naruto nodded. "Then let's get to training. You three against me. Go!" he barked out, lashing out with a kick immediately aimed for Akuma.

Akuma's golden eyes widened before she blocked the kick with her forearms, sliding back a little bit from the blow but trying to retaliate by grabbing Naruto's leg and literally throwing him, being quite a bit stronger than her lithe frame appeared.

Naruto moved with the throw, spinning in the air and landing against a rock before he kicked off of it, moving to attack Setsuka. The blonde drew her sword and slashed out at Naruto's incoming form, but his sword came out of his sheath, blocking the sword with his own. "Not good enough Setsuka!" he called out. "This piece of shit sword isn't cutting it!" he then channeled his wind through his blade and cleaved through the steel of Setsuka's sword.

Naruto caught Setsuka in the gut with a kick and he turned on Omari, moving over and attacking the youngest member of the team. "You're not always going to be able to set up a trap Omari! You need to be able to adapt and retaliate to any situation!" he barked out as he slashed at Omari who used a kunai to deflect Naruto's sword as best as he could.

Naruto caught Omari under the chin with a palm strike, launching the boy back.

Naruto then swayed backwards, dropping onto his back to only pop up backwards onto his feet. He was surprised by the onslaught of Akuma. She was a vicious scraper and she had a clearly defined hard style of Taijutsu. Not to mention her skin took on a sort of angry reddish color, like some sort of Kekkai Genkai.

But Naruto already saw one thing that he expected to change with the girl and he was going to exploit it in the harshest ways possible. He stepped forward, flowing around her punch, and caught her under the jaw with two fingers, literally yanking her back and out of the rigid stance she had.

"Enough!" he barked out as he saw Omari and Setsuka were moving to help Akuma so they could try again. "I've seen all that I need to see." He said and he debated who he'd start with.

"Akuma, you rely too heavily upon your style and your stance. Your style will telegraph everything about you, from the way you punch to the way you kick, even how you block. You must constantly keep a ready stance that is loose, unreadable and has nothing to do with any style. Your attacks must be kept unpredictable. So we'll be working on that.

"Omari, you're too used to bait and switch and trap tactics. You need to be able to fight if a circumstance demands it, and circumstances will demand it of you to fight. All it takes is one little moment of your trap not working, or your prey not taking the bait. You'll have to be able to pull your own weight, because eventually you will have to do solo missions.

"Setsuka, you shouldn't be so quick to go for your sword. Your style is good, rigid but with the proper amount of flexibility. But as you saw against me, a superior swordsman will be able to bully you, and quite possibly cleave through the blade like it was tissue paper. Wind chakra will always trump just plain metal." Naruto said, looking to the last of his three students. He certainly had his work cut out for him, but he needed to get into Konoha.

Oh… he supposed if the brats made it to Chunin that'd be awesome too.

Naruto reached into his vest and grabbed his scroll. He unsealed three strips of paper and handed it to the three. "Channel some chakra into each of those. They're specially crafted paper from the Land of Iron that have been fed chakra from the moment the tree was planted to when it was turned into paper. It will show me what each of your elements is."

All three Genin channeled chakra into their paper with surprising results.

Akuma, unsurprisingly to Naruto really, had Earth, with her paper crumbling away.

Setsuka, again unsurprisingly given that they were in Kumo, had Lightning, her paper crumpled up on itself.

It was Omari who was a bit of a surprise.

Chakra was… a variety of factors. It was the classic Nature versus Nurture argument. More so perhaps with chakra, because it literally seemed like a coin flip at times. Chakra specialists had been running tests since the Warring Clans time.

Naruto believed it was at least a bit of both. How else could places like Konoha, Iwa, Kumo, and Kiri have common elements of fire, earth, lightning, and water respectively, but Suna didn't have an abundance of wind users?

Naruto thought it took on your nature as well.

So it begged the question on how Omari had Fire, his paper burning to ash.

Fire was one of the more common ones, sure, but in the Land of Lightning it was generally a one in every ten shot. Omari wasn't even that much of a hothead either, a bit of a prankster, but not a hothead.

"Well, would you look at that? With me and my little brats, I cover all the bases." Naruto held up a fourth slip of chakra paper and showed the group as it split in half with both halves getting soaked. Naruto had been working hard at his secondary element, which was a pain in the ass by itself.

Thankfully Darui had no problem giving some tips on Water Manipulation.

Naruto took out a second scroll from his vest and from that unsealed three scrolls. "One Jutsu each." He told the three, giving them each a scroll. "Practice it, learn it, and master it. I actually wanted to work for my victory next time." He told them. "Team dismissed, go get some lunch or something."

"Where's Sensei going?" Setsuka asked as the older blonde turned and walked off with a wave of his hand.

Omari shrugged. "Probably to hang out with Mabui-san and Samui-san."

(Scene break)

Naruto stood in his bedroom, adjusting his clothes as he looked in a mirror. He had been with Samui and Mabui for three weeks now; they were incredibly patient with him since he was taking them both out on the first date instead of slighting either one of them.

For a first date, he wanted something memorable. What people tended to forget was what made a first date memorable was that it sort of set the mood on how the relationship would go. And that very first date would be used as a sort of measuring stick for every other date after it, no matter if someone were going out with someone else or not.

This was literally Naruto's first ever date. He was a sociopath, sure, but even he wanted things to go the way they should. He had nothing to compare the date to, so he wanted it to be memorable incase future dates didn't go so well.

But at the same time, he had to make it special for Mabui and Samui and that took time and effort. Between his training under the Mantises, working with Omari, figuring out the team, training under Mabui, Samui, and Darui, Naruto had little time for himself anymore. Plus he still had to manage to make time to continue working his massage parlor.

Then there were his interrogations.

But Naruto had managed to find a place, and managed to get a Mantis to deliver the messages to Samui and Mabui completely unseen. He had told his girls to dress in a semi-formal fashion. They didn't need to go with the whole fancy Kimono route.

Naruto ran a comb through his blonde hair, trying to tame the spiky mess and failing. He sighed as he regarded himself in the mirror once more.

Naruto had on a dark blue, silk long sleeved shirt that buttoned down the front. He left the top two buttons undone. He also had a pair of black dress pants that he tucked the shirt into. Naruto wasn't too worried about being attack, but he was ready for anything, just in case. He had his sword sealed up in a spot he could easily get to it from.

His eyes were really shining blue with the way the light hit his shirt, and Naruto knew he smelled clean and fresh. He was as good as he was going to get for the date; he just hoped that it went well enough as he had hoped it would.

Naruto stepped from his bedroom out to the living room and saw his three students there waiting on him, as though they were going to judge what he was wearing before the two women in his life got to see it.

"Wow pops, you can actually clean up." Omari's smart mouth got ahead of him already and Naruto rolled his eyes, pulling his adoptive son into a headlock.

"Watch yourself kid, you do have two baby sitters tonight… Unless you're trying to be like your old man, you sly dog." Naruto teased the boy who blushed brightly at the implications. Naruto ruffled his hair before moving past him, pausing as he saw the blush on Setsuka's face. She couldn't even look him in the eye. He glanced over to Akuma who was reading a book on Taijutsu. "She uh… she doesn't have a fetish for older men does she?"

Akuma glanced up from her book, about to give a physical motion of affirmation or denial, like she had done her entire academy tenure. Naruto crossing his arms and giving her a pointed look gave her pause. He had been working on getting her to talk a little bit more. Nothing too much, but she was to always answer his questions verbally. "She does." Akuma said.

Naruto glanced away from the reading Akuma to the blushing Setsuka and shook his head. "Oi!" he flicked her forehead with two fingers. "If you're not within five years above or below me in age, don't fantasize about me. At my guess, you're about ten years younger than me. If you want a boyfriend, Omari's right there."

"Dad!"

"He's nine!"

Naruto chuckled softly at the sound of outrage from both Omari and Setsuka. Oh yeah, his boy was going to be a player when he got older, he just needed the right influences. Setsuka would probably fall head over heels for the boy, along with Akuma. How did he know? He read it in a book somewhere and the plot had almost his team's dynamics.

Naruto chuckled a little bit at his own thoughts.

"Time to see if I'll regret my decision or not." Naruto said as he grabbed the flowers. Behind him, he locked the door. His two older students would be watching Omari.

Naruto flipped a coin as he got to about the halfway point between Samui's apartment and Mabui's apartment. He then headed off towards Samui's to pick her up first. Hopefully the girls wouldn't be upset with his method but he supposed that was where he came in. He had to keep them from going at each other's throats, and from going at his.

Naruto arrived at Samui's apartment and knocked on the door politely. It was soon unlocked and opened, Yugito poking her head out. "Come on in Naruto-san."

"Thank you Yugito-san." Naruto said, stepping over the threshold. "Is Samui-chan ready?" he asked her.

Yugito shook her head. "Just another few moments Naruto-san, she's just putting the finishing touches on."

Naruto nodded and he waited patiently, turning to look at the things Samui had about her room.

"Just so you know, if you break either of their hearts, you're a dead man." Yugito said politely as she sat in a comfy looking chair.

Naruto turned to regard Yugito. "Then I suppose I best not break their hearts, huh?" he asked his fellow Jinchūriki.

Yugito chuckled softly. "Yeah, you best not break their hearts."

Naruto turned as he heard a door open and came face to face with Samui. Naruto's tongue felt heavy and thick. He didn't even attempt to get words out.

Samui's hair remained the same, when it was short it was impossible to do anything with it really. She had put on some light red lipstick, just dark enough for it to be noticeable, but not enough that it stood out with her paler skin. She had forgone her usual Jonin attire for something definitely more appealing.

She stood in a light blue dress that hugged along her breasts, her sides and her waist. At the waist, it stopped being so form fitting and flared out to a relaxed skirt that swished as she walked and came to just above her knees. She completed the outfit, surprisingly, with a pair of heeled leather boots that came up to just below her knees. The sharp click of the three inch heels on the hardwood floor got Naruto to continue looking her over.

He whistled softly when he started having his brain working. "You look really good Samui-chan." He told her in an appreciative manner.

"Thank you Naruto-kun." She said as she walked over. "You look rather cool yourself." Samui's face felt heated and the blonde woman was trying desperately not to blush. She was standing before one of her few friends, about to go on a date. It was Yugito that had gotten her the clothes, wanting her to stick out and for her beauty to be more known.

Especially considering that Naruto was going to have to be beating men back with sticks for having both Mabui and herself.

"Are the flowers for me?" she asked glancing to his hand a moment. She saw his eyes flick down to the bouquet and quickly he recovered from checking her out. With Naruto, she felt womanly and not like a piece of meat or a prize for men to try and win.

Naruto remembered the flowers at the mention of them. "These are." He said and removed one of the bouquets, offering it to her. It was a dozen teal irises. The flowers grew only in Uzu, and it had taken Naruto quite some time to get them to grow in his small rooftop garden. There were among that first batch he had managed to get to grow.

They had beautiful teal petals with an inside that was a nice vibrant pink. Naruto plucked out the thirteenth of the bouquet as she took it and he stepped forward as she inhaled the gentle scent of the irises. He placed the flower behind her ear, making her cheeks take on a faint dusting of red.

Naruto turned and offered her his left arm. "Shall we go Samui-chan and pick up our girlfriend?" he asked her. Just as he had two girlfriends, Samui and Mabui both had a boyfriend and girlfriend. It was all about equality in the relationship, and if Naruto was dating them both, then they were dating each other as well.

Samui put the flowers on the counter and moved over to Naruto, slipping her arm around his offered left arm. "Let's." she whispered softly.

Naruto led Samui out of the apartment and led her slowly towards Mabui's house. He didn't move at a rushed pace, but he didn't move at a slow pace. The two blondes ignored everyone around them, instead choosing to whisper to each other softly. They just talked about everything they could possibly think of and when they got with Mabui, the same would happen.

When they got to Mabui's apartment, Naruto knocked on the door. He was surprised to see C open the door. "C-san, I thought this was Mabui-chan's apartment." Naruto said.

C shrugged his shoulders. "It is, I'm just here to answer the door tonight Naruto-san. Come on in, she's putting the finishing touches on."

Naruto walked in with Samui and relinquished the blonde woman's arm so that he could learn his surroundings once more like he had done at Samui's apartment.

Mabui had heard C entered the door and sighed softly to settle her nerves. She rubbed her arms a little bit before she checked herself in the mirror one last time. She had asked for Yugito's help in getting dressed. The Jinchūriki woman had more dates than Mabui had, so she would likely know more about what would make an impression on a man.

Her silver hair was taken from its usual bun and brushed out into its usually wavy self. She chose a dark burgundy color lipstick that went well with her skin tone. She chose a dark green dress with slightly lighter shades striped through the dress that conformed its way along her body and was completely strapless. Depending on how the light hit the dress, her eyes would either appear as a darker shade of green or a lighter shade, offering a wonderful illusion. She inhaled slowly and exhaled once more as she ran her palms along the sides. The skirt of the dress ended at just above her knees. She wore a pair of three inch heels with long straps that came up along her calves. She had even gone with a pair of thigh highs with the outfit.

She felt more womanly than she had felt in a very long, long time.

And she was so very nervous.

She turned and went to her door, breathing slowly again as she tried to find her calm. She soon stepped through and was hit with a hefty blend of scents. One, she immediately associated with Naruto. It was a sort of spice blend, mixed with his natural scent and it sent a shiver down her spine. She had woken too many times from a dream of having smelling that scent.

The second scent, she associated with Samui. It was a vanilla mixed with lavender scent. Oddly enough, it sent a shiver down her spine as well and only strict control kept her toes from curling inside her open toed heels.

Samui bit her lip at the sight of Mabui exiting her room. Samui had opted for a traditional dress that had the straps so she wouldn't have to worry about trying to find a strapless bra. Mabui had gone for the strapless dress and it looked amazing on her.

A scent hit her, the scent of Mabui that sent a shiver up her spine. Combined with the spicy scent Naruto had that she had been enjoying on the short trip over there, it caused Samui's toes to curl inside of her boots. It smelled like a mix of jasmine and something sweeter, something that took the harshness from the jasmine. Whatever it was, Samui approved for the dark skinned female.

Samui blushed a bit as she realized she was staring at Mabui. And with C there, too!

Naruto kept the chuckle from trickling out of his throat as he saw Samui checking out Mabui. He checked out his darker toned girlfriend a bit more himself and he had to say, he definitely approved. Unlike with Samui, he managed to keep himself from tripping over his tongue and walked forward to Mabui.

"I got you these Mabui-chan." He told her as he offered up the dark blue irises. They didn't have the luster of the teal irises that he had given Samui-chan, but the dark blue with yellow fit better for Mabui in his opinion. He took the thirteen from the bouquet of irises and placed it behind Mabui's right ear, making her cheeks turn darker with a slight blush.

Naruto then led both girls from the apartment and out towards the main streets. He offered Samui his left arm and Mabui his right arm and walked with them on either arm. He really, really tried hard not to think about how good their large soft breasts felt against his arms.

He enjoyed the gentle conversation between the three of them, completely ignoring everyone else on the street so long as they didn't bring any problems their way. He was surprised at the two personally; they flirted with one another and him of course. It was almost hesitant between the two of them, like they still weren't entirely sure on the whole, girlfriend situation.

He didn't blame them that one either.

He took them to a slightly upper end sushi restaurant that he had managed to get good reviews about. They wouldn't make a fuss about him having two girlfriends and they'd treat him like just another customer.

The fact he had already pre-arranged for a private booth was also a reason he took them there.

Thankfully, despite some teasing, flirting, and some petting through their clothes, the date was uneventful and very much successful. He and Samui led Mabui back to her apartment first as hers was closer and C didn't live with her like Yugito did for Samui.

As the trio got to Mabui's apartment, she unlocked it and turned to regard the two. She bit her lip for a moment before she blushed softly. "Would you two like to come in?" she asked, being a little bold.

"Sure." Samui said after a moment's thought, nodding as she moved to pass into the apartment.

Naruto inclined his head in a slow nod. He then walked in following Mabui. He watched the dark skinned beauty take the flowers from the counter and find a vase to put them into.

Samui went over to Mabui and Naruto couldn't make out what the two were whispering amongst each other. He felt as though he should find out, but their voices weren't getting raised or anything so he simply waited.

"Naruto-kun," Samui said after a moment. "Mabui-chan is wondering if we'd like to spend the night here with her. I would like to I think." The blonde woman said. "It would give me a night away from Yugito for a time."

Now Naruto was having a bit of difficulty, his tongue felt full and heavy. He didn't trust his voice so he nodded once more. He got control of himself and went over to Mabui. "Are you sure?" he asked her, brushing her cheek softly with his hand.

Mabui slid her hands around his neck and leaned up, kissing him softly. Naruto could taste her lipstick as well as feel her tongue sweep along his lower lip. He opened his mouth and he brushed his tongue along hers, drawing her closer into the kiss, and his hand stroking along her back.

Mabui drew back first, licking her lips from having tasted the blonde. He tasted as good as she had anticipated. She stepped back and glanced to Samui. "Don't think I forgot about you." She said and drew the other blonde into a kiss.

Samui's eyes widened for a moment before they closed and she wrapped her arms around Mabui's waist as they kissed. Her tongue brushed over Mabui's lower lip, and she felt the dark skinned woman's tongue slide against her tongue. She wasn't sure if she was more surprised or if Naruto was more surprised.

Naruto was completely taken aback by Mabui kissing Samui. That had been most unexpected. Worse yet, the two were doing it in front of him and were having a really heated kiss. He briefly wondered if he should break it up, but then he vehemently stomped that notion down.

He'd have to kick his own ass.

Slowly the two girls parted, both blushing lightly as they looked to the other. Naruto almost felt like a third wheel until both girls turned his way and blushed deeper. Samui moved over and kissed him, pressing against his body. He had no problem kissing her in return and stroking her spine like he had done with Mabui. He felt Samui arch into him as his tongue slid against hers.

Naruto drew back after a moment and then politely got a paper towel to wipe the lipstick from his mouth. He even offered some to both girls who blushed a bit and wiped their mouths.

"This way." Mabui told the two as she turned and headed for her bedroom. She was glad her bed would be big enough for all three to sleep on it comfortably. She wasn't disappointed when the two followed her. Samui's heels clicked a bit on the floors and Naruto was almost like a ghost, but she could see he stepped through her doorway in her mirror.

Naruto regarded everything in Mabui's room, debating something for a moment. It almost pained him to look at the bed, knowing the words that would be coming out of his mouth. "I'll be out in the living room if you two need anything tonight." He then felt both Mabui and Samui's eyes on him and he squirmed a little bit.

Did he say something wrong? Had he just ruined the entire night? Maybe he was supposed to go home?

Samui was about to say something when Mabui beat her to it. "Naruto-kun, we both want you in here tonight with us, on the bed and there is nothing you're allowed to do to stop that from happening."

Naruto blinked at Mabui's words. He then saw Samui give him a nod and he took a deep breath. "Alright," he said softly.

Now what the hell was he supposed to sleep in? The pants he wore weren't exactly comfortable and that's all he usually slept in when he was at home was a pair of pants.

He supposed Mabui would have an extra t-shirt she could loan Samui to sleep in, but he was broader of shoulders than the two girls. Not to mention sleeping in a shirt always bothered him, it always rode up.

His thoughts were derailed when he saw Mabui turn her back to him and reach up to unzip the dress. She then began to push it down, exposing the bodice that she had worn under that to help keep her breasts supported without having to wear a strapless bra. "Naruto-kun, could you help me with the laces?" she asked.

Samui glanced to Mabui wanting to almost glare at her for her well played ploy for attention. She saw the way Naruto's eyes clouded with lust. He strode over to their dark-skinned girlfriend and began to unlace the bodice. His arms had a slight tremble as he did so, his fingers brushing over Mabui's undoubtedly smooth skin. 'Well played Mabui.' She thought to herself.

Naruto got to the last of the ties and felt the entire piece relax with Mabui letting out a breath of relief. He turned to look at Samui who was having difficulty with the zipper of her dress. He made his way over and took it in one hand. "Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you." He whispered in her ear as he drew it down, exposing the black lace bra. He reached up and unhooked the hooks at the back of the bra, making it loose.

Naruto stepped back so that he had both Mabui and Samui in his field of vision. Mabui struggled slightly with her dress, drawing it over her widened hips. Soon though, her body was exposed and he could see the swell of her breast, but it was the shapely rear that caught his attention. She wore a dark green set of garters that led to the thigh highs with dark green silk panties. Naruto felt really uncomfortable in his pants at the moment.

Samui didn't help much as her dress fell down her body. Again, he could see the swell of her breasts as well, and from there it led down to a pair of black, lacy boy shorts clinging to her shapely rear and upper thighs. With the knee high boots, it was definitely a sight that was quite arousing to Naruto.

Mabui moved to sit on her bed, drawing Naruto's attention. She had already removed the garters and hung them up, leaving her in the panties, the stockings, and the heels. "Naruto-kun, would you mind helping me out?" she asked.

Naruto moved over slowly, his eyes roaming over Mabui's body. In the lighting, he could see things that he usually couldn't in the dimmer lights of his massage parlor. For one, he could see the scars that marked her body as a Shinobi, as well as the toned muscles along her legs and abdomen. His mouth watered at the darker nipples with the rich dark chocolate colored areola. It was taking quite a bit of restraint on his part.

His knelt down in front of her and began to unstrap the heels from her legs. He took his time with it and rubbed the ball and heel of her feet before he set them down. He then reached up and began to draw off the thigh highs. He kissed his way down along each thigh as he exposed her smooth legs.

Naruto watched as Samui moved over and sat beside Mabui. "Would you mind?" the other blonde asked.

Naruto shook his head as he slowly unzipped Samui's boots. He drew them off of her body with the same care that he had taken with Mabui. He kissed at Samui's toned legs as well, nibbling on a particular scar that stood out.

A small smile was brought to his face at the sight of the plain socks that he also removed from Samui's feet before he rubbed the balls and heels of her feet.

Naruto stood up and regarded Samui, seeing the deeper scars that she had. It was obvious who was out doing more missions, but that didn't mean Mabui was unwilling to perform the necessary training to be a splendid Shinobi. She had light pink nipples with a touch deeper shade for the areola.

Naruto also felt really overdressed.

Mabui stood up and moved around behind him while Samui slid to her knees in front of him. Naruto's spine went ridged until Mabui's hands moved around him to the buttons of his shirt. Her fingers were slow as they undid his shirt and slowly helped him out of it. He felt it slide from his shoulders and her breasts brushed up against his back. Her lips pressed against his shoulder, gentle kisses trailing over both shoulders.

Samui undid his boots and helped them out of them as well as his own plain black socks. His belt and pants were soon dropped to the ground and he stepped away from them. Samui kissed up along his stomach and chest as she moved to stand, her breasts brushing along his body.

Naruto almost felt a little self-conscious around the two. His body wasn't scarred in the normal way; instead he had chemical burn scars along his body, besides from the fact that he had scars marring his body from the glass. Even after all the years since it happened, he was still scarred up.

"Let's get some sleep." Mabui said and led him onto the bed. Samui soon joined him, pressing up against one side while Mabui had the other. He wondered if this was what it felt like to be desired, to be loved. He honestly didn't know. He had no mother or father figure in his life to be able to tell him and his Sensei had certainly never been in a situation like this.

Naruto closed his eyes, holding his two beautiful girlfriends. It didn't matter what it was, but for once he felt like he could trust someone while he slept.

(Scene Break)

Naruto felt like his feet were lead as he walked his way up towards A's office. He knew he was about to ask something big of the Raikage and he doubted that such a conversation was going to go perfectly the way that Naruto wanted it to go.

He wished he had made the meeting for the night after with Mabui and Samui, then he would have been in a really good mood to handle A and his antics.

Alas, it had been almost two weeks since that very nice night and his students were coming along nicely. He needed to get A to sign off not only on him going to Konoha for the Chunin Exams with his students, but to also taking Bee with him, which was going to be the harder thing to handle.

Naruto waved to Mabui as he went towards A's office and opened the door to see the big man himself doing paperwork like all Kage were stuck doing. Admittedly, Naruto wasn't sure how bad it got but it looked to be at least a little amount of paperwork. "A Ji-san." Naruto said, knowing it irritated A, which was why he did it.

A's eye twitched before he looked up. "What can I do for you Naruto?" he asked as he put his pen down.

Naruto sat down in a chair across from A and sighed as he realized there was no easy way to do this other than to come out with it bluntly. A would at least respect Naruto's bluntness. "I want to take my team with me to Konoha's Chunin Exams and I want to take Bee with."

A's head jerked back like he had been smacked. "Denied." He said simply. He was defensive when it came to Bee leaving and that would make it problematic. "He's Kumo's shield, he can't just leave."

"Oh come on!" Naruto said. "You'll still be here most of the time. You don't need Bee here every single day, of every single week, of every single month, of every single year. When's the last time he got out of Kumo?" Naruto asked. "Without escaping and risking your wrath?" he amended.

"I'm not letting you take Bee with you Naruto. I won't risk my brother." A said.

"You're insulting all the training he went through A." Naruto said sharply. "How much blood, sweat, and tears has Bee shed to get as strong as he has? How many times has his best not cut it for your father?" Naruto asked. "By not trusting him to be able to handle himself, you're making it seem like you don't trust him."

"That's not true!" A said, his voice rising as Naruto poked at feelings that had been eating at him all his tenure as Raikage. "Bee can handle himself, I know it, you know, he knows it."

"Then what is it?" Naruto asked. "Do you not trust Kumo's strength? Do you not trust all your Shinobi to hold down the fort while a hundred or so of us go to some exams for three months?" Naruto asked.

A grit his teeth before he sighed and slumped his shoulders. "You're a prick you know that?" he asked the blonde. "Why do you want to go to Konoha? Why do you want to take Bee? Why not his team? Why not Yugito?"

Naruto sighed. "Okay you know I've killed a lot of people in Konoha right? I need my trophies back." Naruto said, emphasizing the need. "It's this constant scratching on my skull that I don't have those trophies and the only place there is to get them is Konoha. It's like a thousand ants running around on my brain because I do not have my trophies." Naruto said, his sociopathic tendencies showing up as he clutched at his hair. Most days he had it under better control, but since he started his trophy room which was lacking his favorites… Naruto was having problems and none of the kills felt good enough anymore. Not so long as he didn't have those trophies.

"And what of your team? If you're just using them, it wouldn't explain why you're pushing them so hard." A said as he regarded the blonde sitting in front of him. He might allow the blonde to go to Konoha for the upcoming Chunin Exams.

Naruto looked out the window. "Alright, alright. I admit I'm a little attached to the brats. I don't want them to get killed in the exams and I actually want to see them promoted. Especially Omari, his situation is a lot like my own." He said.

"Now why do you want to take Bee with you? You had to know my reasons coming into this meeting on denying you the chance to take my brother." A said, curious.

Naruto looked to A and then nodded. "Bee is essentially an escort, a chaperone, and a body guard all in one. The Hyuuga clan will likely want my head on a fucking platter, so Bee will protect me from Konoha forces. While at the same time, he'll also keep me from scratching that itch while I'm in Konoha. Last thing we need is for Kumo to be banned from the next run of Chunin Exams due to an international incident." Naruto shrugged a bit. "He's got a name for himself and he's a badass, don't let him know that last bit though, and Konoha will think twice about attacking me if Bee is nearby, a known Jinchūriki that has mastery over his Biju. Even with the likes of Itachi Uchiha there, there's too much of a high profile. I mean, assaulting the Raikage's brother's charge? Konoha won't do that. They can fight, sure, but they like peace too much."

A nodded slowly and began to stroke his chin. The blonde haired brat had a point. His brother would be an excellent deterrent for Konoha. He didn't need his T&I specialist killed off for his crimes. A knew of the blonde's kill on sight status for Konoha Shinobi, in fact it had increased even more.

Granted the blonde's bounty to be returned alive was even higher than most S-ranked missing Nin's heads. Naruto was really wanted badly to be captured by Konoha.

"I want Uzu." A said suddenly. "If Bee goes with you, Uzu becomes a protectorate of Kumo."

"Excuse you?" Naruto asked, his spine going ramrod straight as fury gripped at him. He had to remind himself that as good as he had gotten, A was still leagues ahead of him.

A held his hands up, trying to placate the blonde. He didn't want the blonde to leave the office angry and to do something stupid that he would regret. "Allow me to explain, you owe me that much." He said. He got a stiff nod from the blonde and so A put his hands on his desk, clasped together. "Kumo teamed up with Iwa and Kiri to take down Uzu for one reason and one reason alone. While I admit the stupidity behind the reason, it wouldn't have been necessary had Uzu been willing to trade with us in the first place. It wasn't fear that motivated us like the other villages, but greed.

"Keep your clan secrets, I don't want them. Clan summons, Jutsu, sealing techniques, books, I don't care for them. I don't want them. Five percent of the treasury is all I'm asking for at first. Kumo will help Uzu come back to be a civilian village, a protectorate under Kumo." he told the blonde. "We'll have Kumo Shinobi stationed there, those that want to become Kumo Shinobi may. We'll handle any invasion that may occur to Uzu, you'd be head of the ruling family and we'll have the heir to the name of Uzumaki, the one that will be clan head next, be trained as a Shinobi."

"And if they have no desire to become Shinobi?" Naruto asked his voice still sharp. They were talking about his clan's homeland. "And what of Konoha?"

"Naruto, you're the last known Uzumaki Male, you technically own all of Uzu to do with as you please. You could sink it for all anyone would care. Konoha can't do shit." A said. He grabbed a cigar and put it in his mouth, lighting it with a match. "I only require the heir to the Head of the Clan to become a Shinobi. But I would like it if people were blacksmiths, seal masters, things that Uzu would benefit from, things that could make Kumo benefit from. Say we give Kumo five percent of Uzu's treasury every ten years. We could have people living there, making money in five. Tax your people as you see fit; you're technically the ruler of Uzu.

"Now, here's why I want Uzu. The whirlpools surrounding Uzu kick up a lot of stuff at the bottom of the ocean, mostly precious minerals and metals. Things wash ashore and create large deposits of even that expensive chakra conductive metal. Kumo gets say… six mines for the metals all surrounding Uzu." A said. "We could increase the quality of Kumo's weaponry without going through more expensive merchants."

Naruto scratched his chin a bit. Some of his anger had deflated at what A was suggesting and he was actually thinking with a critical mind. "Four mines." Naruto said simply. "And a Minimum of Five hundred Shinobi stationed there with at least one hundred of them being ANBU certified." Since ANBU drafted from all ranks, rarely from Genin however, they tended to certify who they drafted. While wearing the mask, they were considered at a solid Jonin level, even the Chunin. They had the skills to back it up and they weren't some of the poseur Jonin Naruto had encountered.

A let out a sharp whistle at the blonde's demands. It was rather steep, but it was understandable. They were talking about Uzu's protection forces. "Uzu will have to have a standing army then, a Samurai nation like Iron but a protectorate under Kumo."

Naruto nodded his head slowly. "And when we want to pull away?" he asked. He knew his people would eventually want to sever ties with Kumo and be a nation onto themself once more.

A scratched his chin. And there was the kicker. "I'll set up a clause that will allow Uzu to pull away from Kumo for a flat fee, it won't be cheap either." A did have to think about Kumo's future after all. "We'll also keep ties with Uzu, mostly business transaction. Uzu will stay out of Shinobi affairs that Kumo are involved with to retain some neutrality like Iron."

Naruto nodded again, scratching the back of his neck. On one hand, he was gambling on the future of his people, on his people's ancestral land. On the other, he'd have his bodyguard to Konoha. Naruto ran his hand through his hair, really thinking about it. "I need some time to think on it and any other possible negotiations. Draw up a contract though." Naruto said finally and stood up.

He headed out, needing to get a massage. His shoulders were bothering him with all the stress of the situation.

(Scene Break)

Naruto regarded the shop right across from his while leaning on the front counter. A smoke shop in Kumo really wasn't that big of a deal. It was the man running it that had Naruto's attention. Naruto felt like he knew the man from somewhere, but that couldn't be possible.

Naruto ran a hand through his hair, trying desperately to figure out who the hell it could be. It was none of the people he killed, and it wasn't his Sensei. Naruto narrowed his eyes at the man, trying to figure it out.

"Gah! Come on damn it!" It was on the tip of his tongue. Who did he know that smoked? He turned to regard the face once more, narrowing his eyes as the man put a cigarette in his mouth. Naruto knew that brand, but the face was off…

Naruto imagined the man with a beard and sucked his breath in between his teeth. He knew it had to be a matter of time before Konoha sent someone after him and it was unsurprising who they sent after him. Why shouldn't it be after all? He had spent a lot of time over at the Sarutobi compound after he got hurt originally.

Naruto tucked his hands into his pockets and drew out the Kumo headband. He tied it around his arm and headed over towards the smoke shop, shaking his head as he tucked his hands into his pockets once more. Damn, he just couldn't catch a break with Konoha, not a single fucking break to be had.

He entered the smoke shop and caught eyes with his target. "All Civilians and Shinobi below Tokubetsu Rank are to leave the premises immediately!" Naruto called out. The civilians and Shinobi looked over at him, before their eyes went to the headband and soon they were shuffling out, except for Naruto's target.

When everyone finally left, Naruto glanced to the man and shook his head a little bit. "Good to see you again Asuma." Naruto said, gathering a few things. He got one of those big fat cigars, a book of matches and a cigar cutter.

"I can't exactly say the same to you Naruto. You sort of betrayed everything that my father taught you." Asuma said still smoking his cigarette. "That'll be 200 Ryo." He said.

Naruto handed Asuma the notes and cut off a bit of the cigar, like he needed to. He put it into his mouth and light up a match, soon igniting the end of the cigar. Naruto took a heavy puff, letting the smoke fill his lungs. "Good stuff, you roll it yourself?" he asked.

Asuma nodded softly. "Some of Konoha's finest tobacco." He said as he regarded the blonde.

Naruto looked to Asuma, rolling the cigar in his mouth a little bit, inhaling a bit more. "Take the wig off Asuma, and what happened to your beard?"

Asuma removed the wig, running a hand through his actual hair. "Hokage-sama didn't want me to look anything like myself, and the most distinguishable feature is the beard. It had to go." He said as he kept puffing on the cigarette.

Naruto regarded Asuma, a Jonin a decade and a half his senior, he really didn't want to fight the man. He couldn't exactly let him go, but Naruto didn't want to fight him either. Despite Naruto's actions ten years ago, he had a good relationship with the Sarutobi clan.

"I'm a wind element." Naruto said suddenly, getting Asuma to raise an eyebrow. "Primary is wind, secondary is water." Naruto shifted a bit under Asuma's gaze. Despite his actions ten years ago, Naruto still felt like that little kid that considered Asuma his cool uncle and was constantly working to gain his praise.

Asuma nodded softly, trying to determine how to handle the situation. Naruto was dangerous, his mind extremely sharp. And despite that, Asuma knew this was essentially a suicide mission. His boy was probably going to grow up without a father. "Where are you at with your wind manipulation?" he asked

Naruto shrugged. "I can almost cut a waterfall in half single handedly." He said. "It's slow going." Naruto inhaled on his cigar and used the ashtray that Asuma was using to ash his cigar.

Asuma nodded. "Not surprising to tell you the truth. How is your Kyuubi training going?" he asked, mildly curious. Kumo had a perfect weaponized Jinchūriki; they could teach Naruto how to use his Biju.

"I'm not." Naruto said. He wasn't going to lie and boast about his abilities, Asuma would see right through it. "I haven't ever made contact with Kyuubi, and I'd like to keep it that way to the day I die." He said.

Asuma sighed. "I don't suppose you'd just be willing to come back to Konoha with me, would you Naruto?"

"Asuma, Tsunade will put me in the ground. Either back in a tiny ass concrete cell, or in a pine box." Naruto said bluntly. "Neither are exactly good options for me. Not to mention I got people that care about me now. Two girlfriends, an adoptive son, a team of my own. I can't just leave all that behind."

Asuma sighed again, exhaling smoke. "And I can't exactly go back a failure either Naruto. I got my own family to think about, wife and a son." He said as he put out his cigarette and started a second one.

Naruto rubbed his face. Had it been anyone but Asuma, he'd have accepted the challenge and fought them until his heart stopped beating. Unfortunately, it was Asuma he was dealing with and he couldn't just go toe to toe with the man. It'd be like killing a part of himself oddly enough.

Damn, his girls were making him softer.

Naruto looked to Asuma. "Go back to Konoha Asuma. Tell Tsunade I'm coming to Konoha for the Chunin Exams. I'll fight one individual, anyone she wants, during the finals. We'll make it an exhibition match for the clients. I win, I keep my head. Konoha doesn't come after me anymore, no more kill on sight orders. I lose, well… I lose my head. Can't exactly take much more from me." He said.

Asuma rubbed his face, wishing he had his beard to rub on. That had sort of been a comfort for him. "I'm not sure Hokage-sama will sign off on it." He said. Truth be told, he didn't want to exactly fight Naruto either.

"Make her sign off on the deal Asuma. I really don't want to have to fight you here and now and I don't want to kill you. Kono and I were somewhat close before I was thrown in jail. It would kill something inside of him if he were to find out that I had a hand in your death." Naruto said.

"And Kono will try to fight you himself if he gets the chance." Asuma said. "Finding out that you weren't who you said you were sort of broke something inside of him." The older Jonin pointed out.

Naruto hung his head slightly as he inhaled on his cigar. "Look, I didn't lie to you guys. I'm still that person I was. I became a sociopath due to my very first Sensei. But aside from that, I'm still that guy the Sarutobi clan came to know."

Asuma shook his head. "That's not true Naruto. Being a sociopath changes things. How many people did you kill? How is that the Will of Fire?" he asked.

"How was beating on a child the Will of Fire?" Naruto countered.

"And what about Shikaku? Shikamaru? Hinata? Hanabi? Neji?" Asuma countered back.

Naruto gripped his fists tight, breaking the cigar. "Shikaku was getting too close. I couldn't risk being found out, not until everyone paid for what they did to me. Shikamaru got too close as well. I freed Hinata from that Hellish existence she had. I freed Hanabi from suffering Hinata's life and I killed Neji because he was someone that was to protect Hinata and Hanabi and he only made their lives Hell. You've never been inside the Hyuuga compound Asuma, I have!" Naruto said, that itch of his dragging up as he recalled the events surrounding the various murders he made.

"Is that what it was about?" Asuma asked. "Some sort of perverse form of justice? You should have told me, or my father, hell any Shinobi would have helped you."

"It's only perverse because you think the 'just' way would have worked!" Naruto said loudly, shaking as he tried to keep from lashing out at Asuma. "But every complaint I brought up got brushed under the table. People kept saying that I was just lonely, just seeking attention!" Naruto's palm was bleeding from his nails digging into it too deeply.

"I tried, for so long to keep the urges in check. But then they decided to have another of their 'fox hunts'." Naruto said with a snarl. "I tried to bury what my very first Sensei had beaten into my skull, over and over again. I tried to keep it hidden and be something of a normal child. Yet every time I walked the streets, I got these glares, people whispering behind my back. At the park children were pulled away from me by their parents. I had a crushing existence that was lonely. By the time I started playing at the Sarutobi Compound, it was too late for me Asuma." Naruto was breathing heavily. "I was too far gone, too addicted and the wrong doers hadn't been fully punished yet."

Asuma regarded the blonde for a moment before he got Naruto another cigar. "Have it, free of charge." He said and shook his head. "I'll be out of Kumo in a week Naruto, on my way back to Konoha. I don't know how far into the darkness you've been plunged, but I don't think Tsunade would mind giving you a mercy killing. And so you know, I will be one of the ones volunteering to fight you."

Naruto accepted the cigar and gathered the cutter and the matches. "I pray it doesn't come to that Asuma." Naruto said, his eyes showing his deadened emotions from the way the conversation had turned. "Because you may feel righteous now, standing on your soap box, but when you kill me, you'll understand the madness I've been drowned in." Naruto turned on his heel and walked out of the smoke shop.

He couldn't stop shaking.

End

A/N: And here we go, chapter four of Stew Maker. Asuma isn't as dead as most would predict!

The feels of this chapter really had me going up and down.

So, this is my Christmas present to y'all. I celebrate Christmas, so that's the sort of present I'm giving. But I will wish everyone a Happy Holidays to cover everyone.

HBW, signing out.