Time skip part one
Four days later
Bending down from my perch on the sofa, I stared intensely at my training urn – said urn sitting a foot away from me and open invitingly.
Inside, I could make out a small mound of pebbles and stones, the littlest no bigger than my thumb, and the largest among them the size of an apple. They were all coloured a pale sandy brown and were roughly hewn lumps – full of hard angles and straight edges.
Upon my lap, there sat my letter from the hokage.
In truth, it had been a long time since I'd interacted with this damnable urn and it was only shame that had brought me back to it now.
My first attempt at training had been a disaster. No matter how I tried, I could not achieve the focus needed to move a single rock. Yes, I had expanded my chakra like the hokage had explained and yes, I'd permeated the stones with energy until they felt like an extension of my body, but try as I might, I could not move a single stone.
Frustrated, I reread the hokages letter and remembered what he'd told me during our meeting.
Apparently, my new family's past had not always been civilian-oriented. The clan that we descend from were known to be experts in the art of rock based chakra manipulation. In fact, people could go so far as to call the chakra a Kekkei Genkai due to the way it could seep into stone. The hokage revealed tales of brave ninja who battled missing-nin using only earth-release ninjutsu.
They appeared to use less chakra than others to form earth-based Jutsu and had some of the best chakra control in the village. I suppose this explains my rapid improvements in the chakra manipulation department - despite my average chakra reserves (Naruto has no idea how lucky he is when it comes to his ocean-like chakra pool.)
All in all, I felt relieved to have gotten a unique ability, however it was nowhere near as cool as the sharingan eyes or the usumaki vitality or even (as disgusting as they seem) aburame bugs.
Despite all of this knowledge however, I still felt out of my depth during my rock training. Be it the strangeness of my task, the unfamiliarity with the ability or even the unnatural sensation of my chakra inside the rocks, they just refused to be affected in any way my attempts.
This was bad.
Not only that, it was disruptive to my advancement (and I did not want to get left in the dust by the shows protagonists. That would probably lead to me dying… painfully)
My current training schedule consisted of waking up, eating breakfast (bacon and eggs, my favourite!) and then entering my garden to begin some chakra control exercises – water walking and senbon balancing were my newest activities. After a few hours of this, I would start to run through my katas and perfect my new Taijutsu style; Yoda's fist. Once it was lunchtime I would open my lunchbox and practice my kunai throwing whilst munching, before spending the rest of the day practicing the academy jutsus: henge, body replacement and shadow clone.
By the time evening began, I would be completely exhausted and would either fall asleep or practice some fuinjutsu just for the hell of it. What? It's interesting and potentially useful. Why wouldn't I practice sealing?
However, despite my brutal and tiring regime, I knew I could improve it. The problem was that it hinged on the success of my urn attempts. In order to kick my training up a notch, I should complete my usual days practice whilst constantly floating the practice stones. Clever? Yes, to a degree. Whilst it would be helpful to condense my training and do several things at once, it could seriously burn through my chakra reserves and potentially stall my training with chakra exhaustion.
On the other hand, I was never one to do things by half measures.
Back in my old world, I would occasionally injure myself during my martial arts classes and would be the last to quit an activity – be it physical exercise or mental puzzle. That mentality even seeped over to my work ethics. People knew that I always got the job done and part of my popularity with 'clients' stemmed from my reliability.
Besides dying, I feel like my skills developed well enough.
In the real world, it had been several minutes of subtle chakra manipulation since I'd begun. I was still having no luck on the stone floating front and I was beginning to get antsy. 'Think to yourself, what are you missing?' I questioned myself impatiently.
'The letter said to make them one with myself – as if it were another limb… what does that mean?!' I continued. 'Okay, if I were to move my hand what happens? It's not like I force my own hand to move, it's more like I instinctually respond to brain signals which are created by my subconscious - It doesn't work when ordered to, it instead responds to my familiarity of its presence and my will for it to do something… is this how I could get the stones to work? By acting as if they were body parts?'
This theory was starting to make sense. All this time I had been telling the rocks to move rather than moving them through instinct and feelings.
Deciding that it was worth a try, I sought out my connection to the stones and imagined them being attached to me physically. Doing this felt weird. It wasn't like I was controlling the stones; more like they were a part of me which had always been present – I had just never noticed it until now.
Assuming that this was a good sign, I pressed onwards and willed the topmost stone to slide (as if the stone were my hand and I was willing it to flex)
Instantly, the stone reacted. The movement wasn't gradual, and it didn't seem to wait – it just moved; exactly how I wanted it to and with the slightest of provocations. It made me feel both giddy and excited (rare emotions for me to display) and I let out an unbidden squeak.
Curse this infant's body!
Liking where this was going, I connected to all of the surface stones – 24 in total – and willed them to rise into the air.
Immediately (once again) all of the affected stones began to hover. Was this how Gaara felt whilst controlling his sand? Because if so, I can see why it was so dangerous and effective. This amount of control was beyond my expectations – and I'd barely used any chakra!
'This is going to be good…' I thought before returning my stones to their urn.
Three months later
This night had been on my mind for weeks.
Days had been spent preparing.
Nights had been wasted, skulking in the shadows like a ghost.
All of my efforts were in anticipation for this day. The day I would gain my jutsus.
You see, I had begun to tire of just the three academy jutsus. They were fun whilst they lasted, but I was reaching the limits of my ability to improve. I could create a near perfect henge of my parents. My bunshin were passable and I could create 5 at once with chakra to spare. Finally, my kawarimi/body replacement technique (which I'd focused the most on – everyone uses it!) was versatile and effective enough to fool even chunin… possibly…
It was high time for me to collect some new jutsus, and I knew the perfect place to do so.
The library upper levels.
High on my shopping list was the shunshin (body flicker). Not only was it a damn awesome traveling aide, it had been known to spawn quite a few famous shinobi – chief among which was shizui – a man able to surround and confuse his enemies using the shunshin alone.
I was also looking for some earth release jutsus to complement my earth natured chakra affinity. Using a combination of both, I would have a high chance of making a name for myself in battle.
The plan which I had created was a simple one, but cunning none the less. Using a small lapse in security, I would enter the library and sneak passed the guards. On this particular day of the week, I had noticed (after almost a month of careful observation) that far less competent guards were on duty. It was at this moment in the day that their concentration became lax and they ended up eating lunch together outside. Why they had never been punished for this, I'll never know…
Nevertheless, in the coming hour, I planned to take advantage of their incompetence and sneak into the restricted areas of the library, nab the scrolls I needed and make a clean getaway - all before the chunin guards had finished their sandwiches.
Shuddering slightly in anticipation, I adjusted the fit of my black robes, and pulled up my grey hoody. My outfit had been suitably modified; it now featured a hooded grey shirt inside a flowing high-collared cloak. Adorning it were brown trims at its edges and a split down the middle starting just under my navel.
Now was the time.
Putting my stealth skills to the test, I left my perch on the opposite building and leapt effortlessly towards the library's window, where I crouched noiselessly and peered inside. Seeing that the coast was clear and that the guards had left their duties, I slipped silently into the building.
'So far so good…'
Now that I was inside, I could see that the library was almost abandoned and there would be no potential witnesses. Putting on a burst of speed, I glided across the scattered desks and chairs without a single snag or stumble.
Soon, I stood before my goal: a thick mahogany door that separated me from my treasures. Luckily I could see nor sense any seals.
I breathed a sigh of relief - if the door had been as protected as the windows, I would be in a whole heap of trouble.
Gathering my remaining resolve, I pried open the door and entered. Inside it was dark - much darker than I had expected. Suddenly the idea of an ANBU mask was not as petty as I had thought on my birthday. Night vision seals would be a life saver in circumstances such as these.
Despite the oppressive darkness, I made my way towards the ninjutsu section (the buildings schematics had been a useful discovery for me a few days ago) and began to search among the papers. Overall, I discovered five separate earth release ninjutsu scrolls, the shunshin and even the Earth release: shadow clone which was a huge bonus.
Now all I had to do was start a new training schedule and I'd become an amazing ninja in no time!
That is, after I got out of this place… yep, definitely need to leave…
'I love it when a plan comes together.' I thought to myself, grinning all the while.
One month later.
I stood in a clearing by myself. Its name was training ground 56 and was practically abandoned – well, it had been until I'd taken up permeant residence there.
It was my new base of operations. Secluded, stocked with training equipment and with enough space to cast A ranked Jutsu. What more could you want?
Deciding that id rested for long enough, I raised my hands into a familiar position; both arms at ninety degree angles with palms facing inwards. Suddenly they whirred into motion, forming a single seal: tiger
My first clue about what had happened was a strange visual distortion. I looked like was seeing through a filter – time crawled at a snail's pace and the edges of my vision were blurry.
Next I felt my chakra drain. The depletion was alarming!
Only seconds into the Jutsu, I was feeling the strain on my reserves and doubted that I could hold on much longer. My cue to end the Jutsu was fast approaching and with that in mind, I took five steps forward.
Ending the Jutsu, (and shrugging off my debilitating nausea) I took stock of my surroundings.
To my left, a butterfly was moving once again. Above me some leaves began their descent once more. Finally, I turned around and watched a twig land where I had been standing previously.
My Jutsu had worked – the shunshin was at my disposal!
After almost a month of training, I had decided that I would focus half of my day on training just the shunshin no Jutsu, so that I could eventually perfect it – and I would be starting today. For me, the shunshin seemed like a cheat code (it just felt that ridiculously OP)
I knew for a fact that once you get good with the shunshin, you can teleport with next to no side effects. Shunshin no shizui ring any bells? I also knew that once you're good enough at a Jutsu, you don't need to use hand seals. Also, I felt like nobody (apart from maybe shizui) used the shunshin properly.
Usually, a shinobi will use the shunshin for basic long range movement. This is costly but effective and allows them to arrive at places quickly. The fundamentals of the shunshin are that the further you move, the more chakra you expend and the more chakra control you have (like with any Jutsu) the less chakra is wasted on a Jutsu.
This got me thinking.
What if instead of going long distances, you travelled mere yards – you would hardly expend any chakra. This allows the user to essentially teleport behind their enemy and behead them. With virtually no chakra needed…
If someone were to master the shunshin the level that they could teleport without hand seals, they would decimate enemies on the battlefield. The wielder could wreak havoc similar to Minato Namikaze and his space-time shenanigans.
I did not stop practicing the shunshin until dinnertime.
Whatever it took, I would master this Jutsu…
Two weeks later
I walked through the underbrush hastily, making short work of the forest shrubbery that blocked my path. Sounds of pursuit were ominous behind me, and I could tell that there were more than one Genin on my tail. 'It looks like I'll have to lose them somehow. Best not speed up though… I may be fast, but they have four years of experience against my one – plus they're all older than me. I'm just gonna have to lose them some other way.'
I steeled my nerves and focused on masking my trail. I might not have experienced a chase in this body, but I still have a repertoire of tricks on my side.
However, before I could consider an escape route, I heard a rush of wind behind me.
Normal children wouldn't have noticed, but I was no ordinary child. After a lifetime on the run, and now a reservoir of chakra to enhance my senses, I heard the faint whistle of air and jumped on instinct alone.
It's lucky that I did.
The projectile aimed at my thigh was sure to have maimed my still maturing leg. Instead, I was flying through the air like a toddler-sized bullet – landing safely on a thin, bare branch.
Again I heard a whistle, but this time I saw its source; a fast approaching shuriken.
I jerked back reactively, narrowly avoiding the weapon and leaving a large gash along my right arm.
'Damn it!' I cursed mentally.
Taking in my surroundings for a split second, I located several blurred movements within the forest, blending in with the accented shadows.
I jumped again and launched my own projectile (a stone that I picked up earlier) and then blurred through some hand seals "bunshin no Jutsu!"
Around me appeared eight perfect copies of me in mid-air, subtly adjusting themselves in order to land on separate branches. My heart beat violently against my chest and I shook with pent up energy.
How many attackers had I spotted?
Too many for me to fight right now. This was going to get dangerous.
Giving a nod to my gathered doppelgangers, we separated - some heading backwards, one following me protectively, the others dispersing into the foliage. Hopefully this would be enough of a distraction for me to escape.
Faster than ever before.
Jumping between branches was becoming easier as my fear grew. I could hear the tell tail signs of one-sided battle and realised that they would find me soo-
My frantic thoughts were interrupted by a massive pain from my ribs. The force of it was blinding – any harder and I might have lost consciousness. Trying to aid my fall was useless; my attacker made sure of that.
The next thing I knew I was in a circular clearing, lying on my side. Maybe I did black out?
My face was buried in dirt and my eyes stung. On the edge of my peripherals were feet.
6 pairs of them.
No matter how prodigious I may be, I was still a one year old and stood no chance against even a single competent Genin…