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A Nugget Of Advice, Chapter 2

One Week Later...

Ebisu, after being pleased with Naruto's progress with chakra control for the day, stopped Naruto from doing anything. "That is enough for the day, Naruto-kun. We are finished for now."

Naruto nodded, dispelled the two clones he created to help him with the exercise, and felt his chakra returning to him. A small burst of memories as well came with the chakra. The blond-haired boy was starting to get used to the rush of memories his clones gave him after they popped, especially after hours of training. How he didn't realize the clones gave him memories before was beyond him.

However, the change in pace would be great to Naruto. Hours of training with his chakra control became days, and Naruto had done this for a week. It felt like forever that he was doing the Water Walking Exercise. There was little to gain now that he has moved on the water, actually sparred a little on the water with his clones (in the hopes to simulate a real battle), and stayed on the water for extended amounts of time. All it could do was strength his pools of chakra, to which they were already strong enough. The blond-haired boy felt he had a good grip on his control now, and wanted to move onto something else.

He had voiced this opinion to Ebisu a few days ago, but his temporary teacher had stated Naruto still had the week to finish working on his control. The jōnin didn't want Naruto to move on from training his chakra. Naruto felt compelled to try again today. After all, it was the end of the week.

"So, Sensei, what are we going to do next? We're doing chakra control, but I wanna know what we're going to do next?" Not exactly subtle in his question, Naruto nevertheless felt like he needed to ask.

"I think it is about time to move on and put your new handle on your chakra control to use." Ebisu smiled, seeing Naruto's face light up in glee. "Yes, it is time to work on some new ninjutsu for you to learn. Tomorrow, I will see how much you know, and gauge from there where I want to take your training at."

Naruto did a silent cheer in his head. Instead of the dull things like practicing his chakra control, he could learn exhilarating things in ninjutsu. Learning more ninjutsu would kick so much butt. Naruto smiled, and cheered. "Right! I see you then, Ebisu-sensei!"

"Farewell, Naruto-kun!" Ebisu waved, then disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

Naruto recognized that technique immediately, rubbing his chin. "Hmm. I've just gotta get Ebisu-sensei to teach me how to use that technique one of these days..."

Naruto grinned, walking away from the training grounds and back into town. Already, he was progressing quickly. Pretty soon, he would be twice as strong as he was before.

"Chūnin Exams, here I come! I can't wait to show up Neji's ass, hell, even Sasuke while I'm at it." Sasuke was a potential opponent after all. If he did beat Neji, he would have to worry about others as well. "Gonna show Sakura-chan I'm so cool!"

A pity he could not show Sakura – or anyone for that matter – any of his ninjutsu before the match. Ebisu stressed that Naruto needed to keep the element of surprise on his side, otherwise potential opponents could get information on him in order to counter him. It made sense seeing that four of his potential opponents – Shikamaru, Sasuke, Shino, and that shithead Neji – were denizens of Konohagakure. Ebisu had promised him that Naruto would learn ninjutsu before the month's end. Ebisu stressed a powerful shinobi kept his trump card to himself until the optimal time to use it. Nothing trivial like everyday life affairs or to show off/up a person.

And Ebisu was right, for what it was worth. Naruto personally didn't like it, but he was right. He needed to not show off to anyone. A ninja should save his best tricks for last.

Plus, now Naruto thought about, there wasn't really anything he could show. Yeah, so what that he could walk on water perfectly, and fight on it? That wouldn't help in a place like the Chūnin Exams, where they would be fighting in a stadium.

"Not to mention, Sasuke-teme isn't even here." Naruto muttered, thinking about his troublesome teammate and rival. His eyebrows furrowed, and a frown appeared on his face. "He's out training with Kakashi-sensei..."

It still hurt knowing his teacher refused to help him out when he needed it the most. After all, he was in the Chūnin Exams as well, wasn't he? He needed Kakashi-sensei's help shaping up. He hated how he felt in the Forest of Death. If the man who attacked them, Orochimaru, wanted to kill them, he could have easily done so.

Now that he thought about it, what about Sakura? Just because she wasn't in the exams didn't mean she didn't need any training either. She needed a bunch of training as well. Even how awesome she was. That was messed up, and it annoyed Naruto. The irrational part of him screamed out, once, that his teacher was playing favorites, but he knew that it was much deeper than that. He could see why Sasuke would need a lot of help – Gaara didn't look like anybody you messed around with. Kakashi was also the only one that could teach Sasuke how to use his Sharingan as well because he had one Sharingan eye.

Then he could see Ebisu's reasoning as well. Sasuke was not just the Uchiha boy he knew. He was the last of his clan. He was a symbol, and ultimately, a target. That bastard, Orochimaru, would stop at nothing to get the boy's Sharingan. Sasuke was the only living person who Orochimaru could obtain it from as well, and compared to Orochimaru, Sasuke was a kitten. The snake bastard could easily take Sasuke, kill him, and take his eyes. However, from what Naruto got from Ebisu, Orochimaru wanted Sasuke for himself, to take him, and to bring him over to his side. Sway him away with power.

Admittedly, Naruto realized that it had been a good tactic. Sasuke always talked about his wishes to get stronger, and better. It paralleled with Naruto's own desires to become a great shinobi, but Sasuke never talked about getting stronger to serve his village in good ways, like becoming a jōnin or ANBU. In fact, now that Naruto thought about it, Sasuke only wanted to be in these exams to "test himself". To fight strong opponents, and gauge how strong he had gotten. Unlike Naruto who wanted to become a chūnin, to get missions to help him climb the ladder to become a Hokage, Sasuke seemed less interested in becoming a chūnin and more about obtaining power.

Then… he remembered back in the mission back in Nami no Kuni. Naruto frowned thinking about that one, remembering how close Team Kakashi came towards death. He remembered how Sasuke almost died, and his wishes for Naruto to kill a person who had plagued him for a long time. His own brother, Itachi: the source of all Sasuke's ambitions to become a terribly strong shinobi. Believing he would die, Sasuke asked Naruto to kill Itachi for him. That was all taken back when Sasuke actually lived. He acted like he never said anything to Naruto about anything.

Not that Naruto ventured to try to get Sasuke to speak about it. It was a touchy subject. Naruto hadn't done much research on Sasuke's older brother, but he knew Itachi Uchiha was a missing-nin, wanted for the genocide of the Uchiha Clan. If that was true, then talking to Sasuke about it – who was always so standoffish, and aloof – was a big no-no. He would get nothing out of it. Still, he could understand. Sasuke's own brother killed everyone in Sasuke's clan.

A feat that Naruto couldn't even imagine. How could anyone kill all those people, and be okay with that? Them all being family? If Naruto knew how it was to have a brother, and have his brother betray him, he would probably hate him as much as Sasuke hated Itachi. Sometimes, Naruto could hear Sasuke whisper his name under his breath, when he thought no one was hearing in a spiteful, almost obsessive tone.

Naruto had no idea what was the deal with his rival/teammate, but perhaps it was good Kakashi-sensei was looking after Sasuke. He didn't like how him, and Sakura-chan got ignore because of it, but perhaps he could not exactly fault his sensei for attending to Sasuke. Especially if Sasuke was as bad as Ebisu-sensei said he was. He didn't want Sasuke doing something hectic if Orochimaru really was someone who could get in the Uchiha boy's head.

Bah. Worrying about something just wasn't his style, Naruto decided. If anything, he should be worrying about getting some chow in before the night began! All that training and burning up energy put his hunger up to high gear.

"Still," Naruto frowned. "What does Kakashi-sensei's words mean? How do I become a chūnin without winning the tournament?" He wondered out loud. The silence being his own answer.

He found his trip back to the village, and his dinner at Ichiraku Ramen strangely quiet and thoughtful. Ayame-nē-chan and Teuchi-jiji asked him what was wrong later that night, but they could do nothing much to bring him out of his thoughts. Not even food could do it.

The Day After…

"Today will be a shorter day, Naruto-kun. I have other duties to attend to. My training of young Konohamaru-sama hasn't stopped now that I have accepted to train you," was what Ebisu told him when they started their training session. "I hope to first see how many ninjutsu you have at your disposal, see your chakra affinity, and have you started on working with your element."

"Um, chakra affinity?" Naruto questioned. "I never heard of that phrase before."

"You have not?" Ebisu raised an eyebrow. "It entails back to Nature Transformation." Naruto gave him a blank look. The instructor sighed, a little in irritation for Naruto's ignorance. "Nature Transformation is an advanced form of chakra control where one molds and defines their chakra into their preassigned chakra nature. In Layman's terms, it simply means changing one's chakra to emulate an element. Fire, water, earth, lightning, or wind."

"Oh!" Naruto's face lit up in realization. "So… Th-That's like, using Katon or Suiton techniques?"

"Yes." Ebisu did a small smile. "Everyone has a different chakra nature, where their chakra is naturally attuned to an element. A demonstration perhaps will help you understand even more."

Slowly, Ebisu did a small set of hand seals. Naruto watched curiously as Ebisu formed a small Fire Release technique where it involved summoning a small fireball in his hand. "This is my natural chakra nature: fire. My chakra naturally is attuned to fire, and thus, I have an affinity for Katon techniques."

"Hot damn! So, I'm going to be learning how to use elemental techniques?! Kick ass!" Naruto said excitedly, jumping up and down while cheering loudly, "Yes!"

"Settle yourself, Naruto-kun." Ebisu frowned, finding Naruto's use for profanity a little off putting. "This is not something you'll get down in a day or two. You may have an easier time learning techniques from this path of ninjutsu but learning and developing techniques take some time doing since you are getting used to using your chakra in that state. This is a skill many people take years developing and mastering." The man hid away a small smile. He exaggerated a little bit with this. While what he said was quite true, it wouldn't be so bad for Naruto since the technique he had been provided with before could help him with training quite a bit. A lot of shinobi did not have the luxury using the Kage Bunshin in that way. Many could not manage making more than one clone without suffering some sort of ill effect.

However, Ebisu had accomplished making Naruto annoyed. Naruto's reaction was predictable. "Years?! I don't have years to figure this stuff out. I got only to the end of this month to get stronger. What's the point of showing me something I can't learn now?!"

"Fortunately, you do have the Kage Bunshin to use to condense some of this training down to simply a month." Ebisu admitted, deciding to stop teasing Naruto for now. It was amusing seeing Naruto get riled up, but he had to remind Naruto not to always take things at face value. "I told you to not show so many emotions in battle, Naruto-kun. Enemies might use your anger to just make you trip up. Do not believe everything everyone says is truth."

Naruto blushed in embarrassment, realizing that he did get incensed fast because of that. "Sorry, Sensei. You're right. Okay, so we're doing this thing now? You're going to show me my element?"

The tokubetsu jōnin pulled something out his pocket. Naruto realized it was a piece of white paper. Instead of asking off the fly what the hell it was, like Naruto wanted to do, the boy waited until Ebisu provided an explanation. "This is a special paper that reacts when a person channels chakra into it. The following reaction from the chakra shows what chakra nature you have. If the paper ignites and becomes ash, you have fire-type chakra. If the paper cuts in half, you have wind. If the paper becomes damp, you have water. If the paper wrinkles up, you have lightning. Finally, if the paper becomes dirt and crumbles away, you have earth."

"Gotchu." Naruto nodded, understanding what he had to do. "Gimme the paper."

Ebisu handed it over, and Naruto held the paper up with his two thumbs. Naruto furrowed his brow in light concentration and focused his eyes to the paper. Then, he applied the smallest amount of chakra into the paper, knowing going overboard with it would be a waste. The reaction of the paper was instantaneous. What was white paper was transmuted into brown dirt.

Naruto wiped his hands of the brown grime and looked at his teacher expectantly. "I guess my element is Earth."

Ebisu looked in interest, grasping his chin with his fingers. "Interesting. I expected more of an offensive element like fire for you. A major of Konohagakure's forces have fire as their affinity. Nonetheless, this does not make it difficult to train you. I am proficient in three chakra natures myself."

"Really? Which? I thought you said you only could use fire."

"I said fire was my original chakra affinity." The jōnin corrected his student. "Many jōnin as myself can use more than one element, and I can use Fire, Earth, and Water Release."

Naruto whistled. "I wanna use more than one element one day..."

"You can. It could take years to do so. Knowing a few ninjutsu in an element is one thing, but to master it means you can use ninjutsu in the element almost without thinking about it."

Naruto frowned slightly, thinking a bit back when Ebisu said he could use three elements. "Sensei, if it's not so rude to ask, but I've got a question for you."

The bandanna wearing jōnin shrugged. "Ask away."

"You said you're good in three elements, right?" The man nodded, prompting Naruto to continue his lines of questions. "So, if you're good at ninjutsu, how come you're not a full-fledged jōnin?"

"A good question. Well, while it is true I am proficient in ninjutsu, and my chakra is slightly above average, I lack jōnin-level skills in taijutsu, or genjutsu. I also am one of the best tutors of Konohagakure. Years before as a chūnin teacher, teaching the youth at the Academy, has helped with that." Ebisu nodded, admitting to his faults very easily, not in the slightest insulted by Naruto's question. He withheld in a sigh, however. The man thought the question Naruto had for him would related to his secret "affinity" for literature written by Jiraiya-sama. The mischievous little scamp.

Naruto nodded, absorbing the information in. Pretty cool that he was proficient in ninjutsu, something Naruto aimed to one day be the best in. Out of all three of the main class of ninja combat, ninjutsu was something Naruto found himself enjoying. Taijutsu was a close second, but ninjutsu was where it was at. "Alrighty. So, what's next again?"

"Show me the amount of ninjutsu you know." Ebisu then moved a bit away for Naruto to have some breathing space to use any technique.

"Okay." Naruto quickly did a hand seal and demonstrated first the Henge no Jutsu… Or rather a variation. One Ebisu has come to know and despise. "How's this, Ebisu-sensei~!" Naruto cooed in his Oiroke no Jutsu form, his voice imitating a woman's.

That earned him a punch to the back of his head from a now irritated Ebisu, who rushed up to Naruto. "Ow!" The boy exclaimed, returning to his normal 13-year old form while holding his head. "What did I do?"

"BE SERIOUS!" Ebisu yelled, trying his best to hide his blush, but failing miserably as Naruto mischievously smiled his way. "A simple transformation would have been just fine!"

"Heheh, sorry Ebisu-sensei." Naruto apologized, though it sounded very insincere to Ebisu. The man's right eyebrow twitched. "Alright, I can do Henge, Oiroke-"

"Feh! That technique is hardly useful." The man scoffed and moved back to the space he occupied before.

"Hey! It is too!" Naruto protested childishly, watching Ebisu's retreating form. "It worked on tons of people. You, Sarutobi-jiji-" That earned him another smack to his head. "Ow!"

"Do not address Sarutobi-sama so informally!" Ebisu barked, turning his head to glare at Naruto. "Plus, I do not believe you. As if Hokage-sama would fall for such a trick."

The blond-haired teen snorted. "Try reading the report with that Mizuki-teme in it..."

"Be serious, Naruto. My time is short, as is my patience." Ebisu warned, his frown deepening. "Show me your other techniques."

Naruto sighed, a little pout on his face. "Fine..." A single hand seal later, and Naruto showed next the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu, with producing one clone. "I can do the regular and tajū version." A small grin lit up on his face. "As you know."

"As I do know." Ebisu admitted with a sigh, remembering the memory of Naruto using the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu… in conjunction with Naruto's perverted version of the Henge no Jutsu. "What else?"

"Kawirimi no Jutsu!" Switching positions with Ebisu, who blinked in slight confusion until the effect ended, Naruto grinned. "I can switch with full-body targets easily. Heh."

"Interesting." Switching with humanoid targets was a little hard than doing such with smaller objects. Then distance was added in, and the technique got a bit harder. It took much chakra to do so, for most genin and some chūnin anyway. So, it was somewhat impressive Naruto had managed it. Not exactly awe-inspiring since the boy had a large amount of chakra at his disposal but it was something. Not a problem for Naruto since he had quite a lot of chakra to begin with it. "Do you have any offensive ninjutsu?"

Naruto frowned a little. "No, I don't."

"I suppose it is time to fix that." Ebisu smiled. "Well, I am satisfied with what I seen. Meet me back here tomorrow at our usual time, and we will go over with the first exercise with working with your chakra nature."

"Eh? More exercises? I thought from here you can start learning your affinity's jutsu?"

"You must first get used to being able to mold and convert your chakra into the element first. Do not worry. Once you learn the steps, you will be able to start learning some ninjutsu."

"Alright, Sensei!" Naruto pumped his fist. "Tomorrow's going to kick some butt!"

Ebisu beamed, finding Naruto's excitement contagious. "See you soon, Naruto-kun."

Ebisu disappeared in a plume of smoke. Naruto pouted, and reminded himself to get his temporary teacher to teach him that Shunshin no Jutsu.

Right after he learned some awesome Earth Release techniques after all.


A/N: I decided to take it slow, and not give Naruto a huge power-up. So, a considerable shorter chapter than before. I also decided to change up a little bit of canon Naruto with a new elemental affinity. Earth Release. Shake up the usual Wind Release affinity. Naruto's gonna be an Earth Release master! Yay! Ha, not really.

Still though, I got plans for Naruto and some ideas on what to bring him next. Originally, Chapter 2 was more into giving Naruto an immediate change, but I realize I would have just ruined the flow of the story. So, slower, shorter, more concentrated chapters. This story will not focus on Naruto getting god-tier as soon as he entered the exams. If you want that, go look at Stop The Future instead for a strong-as-hell Naruto. This one will be more balanced.

While in the anime/manga, we don't really see much of Ebisu's techniques, I decided to make him stand out (and give an explanation of his rank) and give him specialization in ninjutsu. Nothing else, of course. I also decided to be faithful to canon and not change around Naruto's personality too much around. A far cry from The Disciple's sullen Naruto, and Stop The Future's obsession about making sure another Fourth Shinobi World War doesn't happen. So more than likely no stoic Naruto with a magic sword, capable of getting many of girls with his stark, dashing looks.

Thanks for reading. Up next, we shall delve more into Naruto's new found affinity, and more pondering from Naruto on Kakashi's advice.

Translation List:

Katon - Fire Release

Shunshin no Jutsu - Body Flicker Technique

Suiton - Water Release

Update: 1/24/17 – Fixed up some grammar, removed any sort of possible continuity errors, and took out anything I didn't like.

I will admit, this chapter has been controversial. People did not/do not like my changing of Naruto's elemental affinity due to it turning out to be weaker than Sasuke's chakra affinity in Lightning. However, in canon, Sasuke also has a set of Fire Release ninjutsu that are ultimately stronger against Naruto's canon affinity of wind anyway, so….

But I do have plans with the Earth Release ninjutsu to quell such naysayers… Maybe. I hope I just don't alienate more people doing so. Haha.