Chapter 5: Journey to the Land of Waves
Summary: After enduring years and years of abuse for longer than he can remember, Uzumaki Naruto finally decides that he has had enough. He resigns himself to the fate that no matter how hard he tries, he will never be accepted as a human, and that he has no happy ending. Instead, he makes a deal with the demon to become the most powerful shinobi in history and make the village regret all the suffering they have caused him. Konoha wants a demon, oh he'll give them a demon all right. Wind, Fire, & Lightning Affinity Naruto/Fuinjutsu Naruto/Powerful, Smart, & Dark Naruto
Author's Note: Hello readers, I'm back with another chapter and not just any chapter, it's the start of the Wave Arc. Get ready for some great fights and this Naruto's first exposure to the outside world. I'll probably have the Wave Arc done in 2-3 chapters, maybe 4, then we'll move on to the Chunin exams arc and that's were things will start picking up. Enjoy and GIVE REVIEWS! Chapter 3 recieved a lot of reception for which I'm grateful, but the reception for Chapter 4 was lackluster. I can understand because it was kind of a filler chapter, so let's see what happens with this.
Two months had soon passed since the formation of Team Seven, however if one took a closer look at the tension that surrounded the trio of Genin, they would have believed that the team had been commissioned only two hours prior.
Sasuke still hated Naruto and disliked Sakura.
Sakura still worshiped Sasuke and feared Naruto.
Naruto still wished that Sasuke and Sakura would suffer the most painful of deaths a thousand times over.
And poor, poor, Kakashi was caught in the middle of it all.
The silver-haired Jonin was trying his damned hardest to keep his team from falling apart, or rather keeping Naruto from killing his other two teammates.
The horribly dysfunctional team was standing in front of the Hokage's office, and Iruka was there helping the elderly shinobi take care of his rampant paperwork.
"Alright then, Team 7. There are several D-rank missions that are available for you. You can paint an elderly couple's house, walk the Inuzuka's dogs, mow the lawns of the Training Fields, or re-capture the Fire Daimyo's wife's cat, Tora, ag-" began the Sandaime, before he was cut off by Naruto.
"Screw that bullshit. I refuse to search for that damned cat again. If I find it, I will kill it, simple as that." said Naruto, his annoyance rising at the mention of the accursed animal.
"I'm going to have to agree with the dobe on this one." said Sasuke, as much as it irked him to see eye to eye with the Uzumaki.
"Yeah! We need a higher ranked mission!" yelled Sakura, supportive of her crush as always.
"You brats, who the hell do you think you are?! Settle down and show some respect for Hokage-sama! Besides, you've only been out of the Academy for two months, you aren't ready for higher ranked missions." shouted Iruka, with a vein popping out.
Naruto merely turned to the scar-faced Chunin and gave him a glare that said, "If you want to die, say that again." which caused the man in question to gulp audibly.
"I'll settle for that C-rank mission in the scroll that you're trying to hide, Hokage-sama." said Naruto, catching the elderly shinobi red-handed.
Sighing at being busted, the aged shinobi tossed the scroll to Kakashi before giving his permission.
"Very well, Naruto-kun." said Hiruzen.
"Hokage-sama, please see reason! Fresh Genin can't handle C-rank missions." complained Iruka, trying to make his leader see reason.
"The Uchiha and Haruno may not be prepared, but I sure as hell am. In case you've forgotten, I've already defeated Hatake-sensei in battle before." said Naruto.
"What was that, dobe?!" growled Sasuke, once again portraying his inability to learn that you do not antagonize a sleeping dragon.
Sakura mimicked Sasuke's threatening growl, although it was a pathetic attempt.
"Sasuke-kun could hand you your ass any day of the week, Naruto-baka!" screeched Sakura.
Meanwhile, the silver-haired Jonin's head dropped in shame at the reminder of the fated day.
"Why did he have to bring that up again?" thought Kakashi, in embarrassment.
The blonde-haired jinchuriki turned to his "teammates" with a venomous snarl. It was time to deal with the annoying pests, right here and right now.
"Listen up, you pathetic excuses for a shinobi. You don't like me, and I sure as hell hate you. The difference between us however, is that I can end your pathetic lives with the utmost ease at anytime and anywhere, while you two simpletons couldn't even give me the slightest of scratches, even if I let you. So why don't you do us all a favor, and sit your asses down, shut your fucking mouths, and let the real shinobi talk." growled Naruto, his ire at its peak.
Sakura quickly shrank back in fear, while Sasuke clenched his fists so hard that he nearly drew blood.
"Who does this fucking commoner think he is? You dare to call me, an Uchiha, pathetic?" thought Sasuke angrily.
Not even the worst enemies of the Uchiha clan had dared to go that far.
Sasuke was about to charge forward and foolishly attack his blonde-haired teammate, when he felt a firm grip on his shoulder.
The young Uchiha looked up and saw Kakashi shaking his head, with a serious expression.
"Don't do it, Sasuke. Remember what happened the last times. Think before you act." whispered Kakashi, in a stern tone.
"Hmph. You'd do well to remember that, second-best." sneered Naruto, with a triumphant and infuriating smirk.
His blood boiling at the insult, Sasuke was about to attack again. However, Kakashi squeezed down on his shoulder once more and the Uchiha reluctantly decided to back down.
For the time being.
"Ahem. Now that that little distraction has been taken care of, your mission is to escort a master bridge builder to the Land of Waves. You may come in now, Tazuna-san." said Hiruzen, clearing his throat.
The door to the Hokage's office swung open, and a drunken old man stumbled in while chugging down large gulps of sake.
The master bridge builder glanced at the shinobi who were supposed to act as his bodyguards, before snorting in disapproval.
"These are my escorts? I paid good money and all I get is a trio of milk-sucking brats and a porn-reading scarecrow? These children look like they'll be killed five minutes into a fight, especially the emo princess." mocked Tazuna, while pointing at Sasuke.
Said Uchiha snarled in rage, before charging the bridge builder. But he didn't get too far before Kakashi restrained him in a full nelson.
"Maa, maa, Sasuke. No attacking the clients, it's bad for business." said Kakashi, trying to calm his student.
While Kakashi was holding Sasuke, Sakura was free to launch her verbal rebuttal.
"How dare you call Sasuke-kun an emo princess!" roared Sakura, before charging the bridge builder as well, ready to unleash her feminine fury on the hapless man.
Her rage power didn't get her very far, because she was hanging upside down all of a sudden and facing Naruto's disdainful sneer.
"Enough, you useless girl. Quit acting like a bitch to anyone who doesn't worship Sasuke like you do. Besides, what use is anger if you're too weak to harness it?" growled Naruto, before unceremoniously dropping Sakura to the floor who was almost in tears.
"Naruto, that was uncalled for." said Kakashi sternly, although he completely agreed with the Uzumaki's reasoning.
It was nice to know that at least one of his students listened to him, which was ironic since Naruto was supposed to be the most difficult of them.
"No, the situation calls for more, but we do not have the time. I don't want her tears to make her more useless than she already is. But you are at fault here as well, sensei. If you taught her something every once in awhile, maybe she wouldn't be so pathetic… probably." said Naruto, angrily.
This was the angriest that anyone had seen Naruto, normally he was calm, cool, and collected.
"He must really hate that cat." thought all the adult shinobi in the room.
Seeing that the discussion had changed from its original purpose, Sarutobi dismissed Team 7 before anymore arguments could break out.
Once the five had exited the Hokage's office, Kakashi told everyone to meet at the village gates at 8:00 the next morning, before they split off to tend to their own devices.
The next morning, Sakura and Sasuke, along with a sober Tazuna, were waiting for their sensei and teammate at Konoha's front gate.
"There both late! I can't believe it!" screamed Sakura.
The two surrounding males wisely took a step back from the raging fangirl.
"Raiton: Ugoki. (Lightning Release: Motion)" said Naruto, appearing out of nowhere in a flash of electricity.
Sakura and Tazuna jumped at the jinchuriki's flashy move, while Sasuke flinched before glaring.
"You. What was that technique?" demanded Sasuke.
"Raiton: Ugoki. It's a high-speed movement technique utilizing the traveling properties of lightning." answered Naruto, seeing no harm in humoring the Uchiha with information.
"Teach it to me." said Sasuke.
And there it was.
"No." replied Naruto, evenly.
"Excuse me?" growled Sasuke.
No one refused an Uchiha's demands!
"I said no. Are you as deaf as you are talentless? You can't learn this technique, because you do not have a trained enough Raiton affinity to utilize it." repeated Naruto, before counting down the seconds to when Kakashi would arrive.
Three… two… one…
"Yo." greeted Kakashi, arriving in a standard Shunshin.
"What's an affinity?" asked Sasuke, ignoring his sensei's arrival.
"It's a nature transformation that your chakra network is most aligned with. For example, Kakashi's elemental affinities are Raiton as a primary and Suiton as a secondary." answered Naruto.
Sakura decided to butt into the conversation before Sasuke could demand anything else.
"Um… what's my elemental affinity?" asked Sakura.
Naruto stared at her for a couple of seconds, creeping her out before he spoke.
"Your elemental affinity is Doton. And before you ask Uchiha, your elemental affinities are Raiton as a primary and Katon as a secondary." answered Naruto, without even batting an eye.
Kakashi stared at Naruto wide-eyed as the Uzumaki deduced his own and his teammates' affinities in a matter of seconds. Sensing elemental affinities without chakra paper was supposed to be impossible except for the most experienced of Kages, yet here he was spouting them out like he was some kind of a mystic.
Sasuke on the other hand, seemed satisfied with his blonde-haired teammate's answer, resolving to ask Kakashi to help him train up his affinities to defeat Naruto and eventually Itachi.
But one person wasn't satisfied.
"What are your affinities, Naruto?" asked Sakura.
Kakashi turned to look at his student in question as well. He already knew the answer thanks to his Sharingan, but he wondered whether Naruto would be willing to enlighten his teammates.
Naruto deliberated mentally for a couple of seconds, before shrugging and answering the pink-haired kunoichi.
"Futon is my primary, Katon is my secondary, and Raiton is my tertiary." said Naruto, before heading past the group and out of the gates, ready to start the mission.
Kakashi and Tazuna followed, while Sakura and Sasuke stared in shock at the blonde's statement of possessing three affinities, before shaking off their surprise and following after the three.
Team Seven and Tazuna made camp about five miles from where they were supposed to catch a boat to cross the river to Wave Country. Sakura and Tazuna were exhausted from all of the walking and they promptly fell asleep.
Sasuke was barely awake, but the prideful Uchiha forced himself to stay up. Kakashi and Naruto didn't seem tired in the least, so they would most likely talk to pass the time. Even Naruto had to get bored at some point, so he waited and pretended to be asleep.
He was hoping to find out more information on his blonde-haired teammate, specifically weaknesses. They might even talk about techniques. But, he should have known that this wouldn't happen due to Naruto's secretive nature. The Uzumaki would just give little tidbits of information, things that weren't important in the long run, but would leave you wanting to know more.
Both Kakashi and Sasuke got the feeling that Naruto was just taunting them with the information that he did give. Taunting them with things that they had no hope of learning. Telling them that he knew much more than they did, and would continue to learn while they were kept in the dark… or the light, depending on your view.
As it's said... knowledge is power.
Naruto took to sleeping in a tree, while Kakashi sat next to the campfire with everyone else. They were still in the territory of the Land of Fire, so the only shinobi that were likely to show up were the patrol ANBU.
Sasuke stayed awake for about half an hour more, but once it became apparent that Naruto wasn't going to say anything, he quickly succumbed to sleep.
Right after that occurred, Naruto spoke.
"Now that the Uchiha has stopped trying to eavesdrop, there's something Tazuna isn't telling us." said Naruto.
Kakashi sighed at the lengths the Uzumaki went to spite Sasuke, before agreeing.
"You think so too? Yes, there's more to this mission than meets the eye. Look underneath the underneath." said Kakashi.
"Indeed, sensei. I do hope that we encounter someone worth our time." said Naruto, with a bloodthirsty grin.
"Careful what you wish for." said Kakashi, a little freaked out by his student's smile.
"Oh? You of all people should know how this world works. If you want something to happen, it won't, but if you don't want something to happen, it will and at the worst possible time. If I hadn't said anything, we probably would have had a pair of S-rank missing-nin after us by tomorrow. The fact that I said something means that they'll probably only be B-ranked… you know maybe I should have kept quiet. Oh well, we'll see what tomorrow brings." said Naruto, before slipping into a light sleep.
Kakashi spared Naruto one last glance before he too went to sleep.
"He sounds just like Itachi." thought the silver-haired Jonin, before turning in for the night.
Kakashi awoke with a yawn and rubbed his eyes… eye. Then, he looked around camp and saw that everything was intact and everyone was still there.
The sound of Kakashi yawning woke up Sasuke and he yawned as well. He then felt a presence next to him and looked to his right. The Uchiha almost screamed in terror when he saw Sakura's pink hair. Somehow, the kunoichi had rolled out of her sleeping bag and had been stopped by his body.
The Uchiha heard muffled giggling, before turning to his sensei who looked like he was close to laughing his ass off.
Sasuke glared at the silver-haired Jonin before mouthing the words, "Help me."
Kakashi just shook his head. Sasuke rose his eyebrow and Kakashi pointed at Sakura. The silver-haired Jonin put his hands together like he was praying, then tilted them sideways and laid his head on them like he was sleeping. Then the man shook his head again.
It took a couple of seconds for Sasuke to figure out what his sensei's gestures meant, but when it hit him he turned and glared at Sakura's "sleeping" form.
"Let go of me." said Sasuke, in annoyance.
Sakura's eyes opened and she pouted.
"But, Sasuke-kuuuunnn…" whined Sakura.
When Sasuke didn't respond, the kunoichi reluctantly let go of the Uchiha.
"Fine, be that way." said Sakura, before she turned and glared at her sensei who was smiling innocently.
"Good morning, Sakura!" greeted Kakashi, causing Sakura's glare to intensify.
"It would have been a good morning if you hadn't interfered!" snarled Sakura in her thoughts.
"Good morning, Sasuke!" greeted Kakashi.
"Hn." was the Uchiha's response.
"Good morning, Naruto!" finished Kakashi.
The Uzumaki in question slowly turned his head to face his sensei.
"What exactly, is so good about it?" asked Naruto, monotonously.
"Nothing different from other mornings, I suppose." said Kakashi, shrugging.
"For me? No. I'm used to waking up in a tree, on a mission with people that I hate." snorted Naruto, the sarcasm ever present in his tone.
"You're not a morning person, are you?" asked Kakashi with a sweatdrop.
"What was your first clue?" answered Naruto.
"Did you even sleep at all last night?" asked Kakashi.
"I don't sleep, I wait." answered Naruto, before jumping off the tree he was lying on.
It was after this that Tazuna woke up and once they packed up camp, the group of five was off again. About a mile from where the boat dockings were, the team came a across a puddle. Sasuke, Sakura, and Tazuna didn't think anything of it but the Jonin-level shinobi who accompanied them sure did.
"Kit, do you feel that?" asked Kurama, making his presence known to his jinchuriki for the first time during the mission.
"Yeah, there's a low-Chunin level genjutsu around the puddle. I feel a pathetic killing intent emanating from there, probably two mid-Chunin level shinobi at best. Sigh, well beggars can't be choosers." mentally responded Naruto, in disappointment.
After the group passed the puddle, two figures dressed in black and white camouflage pants and tattered cloaks arose from the water. They both had spiky black hair, they wore gas masks, and they wielded wickedly clawed gauntlets on opposing arms that were connected with a chain made from interlocking shuriken blades. They also had horned forehead protectors with the Hidden Mist symbol engraved on it, but there was a slash that went across it, signifying their status as nuke-nin from Kirigakure no Sato, the Village Hidden in the Mist.
One of the shinobi stood on the other's arm, like a bird. Then, he was flung at the team of Konoha-nin and the bridge builder. The duo quickly wrapped the chain around Kakashi, before yanking hard and slicing the silver-haired Jonin to pieces.
"One down…" chuckled both ex-Mist nin.
Naruto didn't even flinch at his sensei's dismemberment, but he did smirk when he saw the remains of the silver-haired Jonin's Kawarimi substitution that were disguised by an amateur Henge transformation.
Kakashi really was a sneaky and conniving bastard. The lazy asshole was probably hiding in a bush and observing the scene, most likely wanting to see how his team would react to an enemy encounter for the first time.
Oh well, less competent shinobi around meant more blood for him.
Sakura, on the other hand, screamed in horror at the bloody chunks of meat that were the remains of her sensei. Sasuke's eyes widened and his heartbeat sped up rapidly as he tried to keep the cool guy act up.
The two Kiri nuke-nin nodded to each other, before charging at Sakura and preparing to rip her to shreds with their poison tipped claws.
Sakura froze in absolute fear and fell to her knees in despair, before covering her face with her arms and hoping for the end to be swift and painless.
Nothing happened however, and after a couple of seconds she slowly lowered arms to see why she wasn't dead.
The pink-haired kunoichi promptly gasped in a myriad of emotions, once she saw the cause.
Her blonde-haired teammate was standing protectively in front of her with his katanas drawn, while two of his Kage Bunshin held the enemy shinobi in choke-holds. The Kiri nuke-nin writhed furiously in the clones' grips, but the Kage Bunshin's grasps were firm making it clear that the duo weren't going anywhere soon. The shuriken chain that they had used to tear apart Kakashi was on the ground and split in dozens of pieces.
"So tell me. What exactly are the Oni Kyodai (Demon Brothers) of the Hidden Mist doing in Land of Fire territory?" interrogated Naruto, who sheathed his katanas after slicing the Oni Kyodai's bladed chain to bits.
"What the hell? How do you know who we are? You're way too young to be anything other than a Genin." muttered one of the brothers, while gasping for air.
The blonde Uzumaki snorted before pointing at the brother that his Kage Bunshin on the left was holding.
"I know a lot about you fools, in fact. You with the gauntlet on your right arm, you're the older brother Gozu. And you, with the gauntlet on your left arm, you're the younger brother Meizu. You two along with several others defected from Kirigakure about five years ago after your failed assassination attempt against the Yondaime Mizukage. So, I assume that you two along with your leader, Momochi Zabuza, are in Wave Country, correct?" asked Naruto, nonchalantly.
Everyone present gaped at the jinchuriki, amazed at his knowledge.
"How do you know so much, kid?" asked Gozu, struggling to break free of the Naruto clone's grip.
Naruto shrugged like it was no big deal.
"I've memorized every name in the Bingo Book as well as the offenses that got them there. I even have copies delivered from other countries and villages. You two, Zabuza, and Hoshigaki Kisame, hold the four highest danger levels for the Kirigakure section. I've got to say however, for a couple of B-rank nuke-nin, you guys are complete pushovers." said Naruto.
The brothers bristled at Naruto's insults, but squeezes from the clones who were choke-holding them immediately rendered the two nuke-nin silent.
"Now, tell me what you were after that would make you stupid enough to cross into Land of Fire territory. While you're at it, I'd also like to know where Zabuza is located, and if he has any other accomplices." demanded Naruto.
"Hmph, you think you can insult us and then expect us to reveal our secrets to you? Fuck that, I'd rather die like a man with some dignity than go out as someone who sold out his comrades." snarled Meizu.
"So do your worst, but you ain't getting anything out of us." taunted Gozu.
Naruto rose an eyebrow at the two's stubbornness, before shaking his head in resignation. He had to give them some credit though, they did have some guts.
Too bad he'd make the brothers see their guts before sending them to hell.
"Very well then, I didn't want it to come to this, but it seems that I have no choice." said Naruto, sighing in mock surrender.
The brothers stared at the blonde jinchuriki warily, before beginning to sweat buckets when they saw Naruto calmly stroll towards them while cracking his knuckles.
"I will systematically break every bone in your bodies, one by one, until one of you tells me the information that I want to know." threatened Naruto, with a demonic glint in his eyes.
The brothers' eyes widened in alarm, before they began to struggle futilely to free themselves from the maddened jinchuriki's clutches.
"Naruto, stop it! You don't need to go that far!" screamed Sakura, horrified by her teammate's callousness.
"Shut the fuck up, Sakura. Someone as useless as you shouldn't even think about giving me orders on protocol. Next time you collapse so pathetically on the battlefield, I will leave you to your fate." growled Naruto, while turning to the pink-haired kunoichi.
Naruto's terrifying glare immediately shut Sakura up, although she began to break out in tears from his harsh words. Snarling in disgust, the jinchuriki turned to his other teammate who gulped at being at his point of attention.
"I hope your watching closely, princess. Take some notes because this is how it's done in the real world." said Naruto.
Having said his piece, Naruto turned back to the demon brothers, before walking up to Meizu's side.
Meizu snarled at the jinchuriki, before taking advantage of Naruto's close proximity with a backhand to the face.
Unfortunately, said backhand was easily caught by the Uzumaki, who gave him a sickening grin in return.
"Aw, you're too kind Meizu. Offering me the appendage in which you want me to start with will make this much easier." said Naruto, with a bloodthirsty smile.
"Wait! Wait! Let's talk about th-AAAAGGGGHHHH!" began Meizu, before he roared in agony when Naruto clenched his palm and shattered his gauntlet in a frightening display of strength.
The bent metal dug into his skin, but the pain was exasperated when the jinchuriki mercilessly ripped the metal accessory off of his arm, leaving it bare and bloodied.
"You bastard, stop hurting my little brother! I swear, I'll kill you for this!" roared Gozu, frothing at the mouth in anger.
"You're in no position to be giving me orders, maggot. The only way you can save your brother is by telling me the information I want to know now." sneered Naruto, in disdain.
When Gozu hesitated, Naruto grabbed Meizu's arm and crushed the bones in his pinky finger. Meizu screamed bloody murder, and he continued to wear out his vocal cords as Naruto broke finger after finger after finger.
"Stop, please!" cried Gozu, unable to stand the sight of his brother's agony.
"Will you tell me what I want to know?" asked Naruto, pausing at Meizu's wrist.
"I… I can't…" whimpered Gozu.
"Then suffer the consequences." said Naruto, with no remorse whatsoever.
Naruto snapped Meizu's wrist and the man erupted in another episode of pain-filled howling, before Gozu finally gave in.
"Okay… OKAY! I'll tell you everything! Just stop hurting Meizu!" whimpered Gozu.
"Took you long enough. Now what were you after?" demanded Naruto, pausing his torture session once again.
"We were after him!" yelled Gozu, while pointing at Tazuna.
Tazuna gasped in horror at being found out, while Sasuke and Sakura stared at him in confusion. Naruto raised an eyebrow, before returning to the topic at hand.
"Why?" asked Naruto.
Gozu wanted to shut his mouth again, but Naruto's warning point at Meizu's forearm quickly shattered his resolve.
"We were hired by Gato of Gato Shipping Industries to kill him. Gato has taken control of Wave country by buying out all of its seaports, but the man that you are guarding wants to build a bridge to connect Wave and the mainland so they can bypass Gato's monopoly. Therefore, Zabuza, his protege, and us two were hired to take him out. Zabuza and his protege are in Wave Country, probably at Gato's base, but that's all I know! Now please, leave Meizu alone!" yelled Gozu, in a frantic rant.
Sasuke and Sakura gasped in shock at how much there was riding in their mission, while Tazuna silently cursed. Kakashi, who was currently hiding behind a tree and watching the scene, shook his head at how the old drunk had put one over Konoha like that.
Naruto nodded in acceptance at the information, before walking in between the brothers and preparing to put them out of their misery.
"Thank you for the information, this will no doubt make our mission much easier. This unfortunately, is the end for you two. Any last words?" asked Naruto, before raising his palms in front of him.
"Just… one. Who… are you?" asked Meizu, struggling at getting his message across because of the debilitating pain that he was in.
"I am Uzumaki Naruto. Remember that when you get to hell." said Naruto in monotone, before his palms began to crackle with electricity.
After a couple of seconds of lethal amounts of voltage sparking around his fingers, the jinchuriki's hands were engulfed in a haze of blinding whitish-blue lightning.
"Raiton: Raitsume. (Lightning Release: Thunder Claw)" chanted Naruto, before he grabbed the demon brothers by the face.
The two Kiri nuke-nin writhed uncontrollably as thousands of volts of electricity coursed through their veins from Naruto's touch. After a couple of seconds, their bodies went still and Naruto removed his hands. The jinchuriki's Raiton technique fried the Oni Kyodai completely, and smoke rose from their bodies to show the severity of the internal damage.
The two Kage Bunshin unceremoniously dropped their victims to the ground, before grabbing two stasis seals from the real Naruto and sealing the brothers' bodies within them. Once their tasks were complete, the Kage Bunshin nodded to their boss before dispelling.
"Hmph, B-rank nuke-nin my ass. I wouldn't give these tools anything higher than a mid C-ranking." snorted Naruto, before stuffing the stasis seals inside one of his pants' pockets.
It was at that time that Kakashi decided to make his appearance.
"Yo." said the silver-haired Jonin.
"What took you so long, Hatake? I've already dealt with the nuke-nin." said Naruto, evenly.
"I can see that. But, don't you think you took it a little too far?" asked Kakashi, with a sweatdrop.
"Why is that?" asked Naruto, in confusion.
Kakashi pointed to his other two students, and Naruto turned to see the shocked expressions of Sasuke and Sakura.
The two Genin were experiencing a whole myriad of emotions, they couldn't believe how their teammate could kill two Chunin level ninja without an ounce of remorse or pity.
Naruto snarled at his teammates' dumbfounded expressions, before heading towards them to give them a piece of his mind.
"Dammit you two. Wipe those looks off your faces! This is what the shinobi life is like, we are trained to kill! What? Did you think that being a shinobi would be all fun and games? That you would never have to get your hands bloodied? That you would never have to do any dirty work? You two are even more pathetic than I thought. Did you ever stop to wonder why targets at the Academy were shaped like humans? Or why the areas where vital organs would be were circled and pointed out? And if it hasn't gotten through your thick skulls, every famous ninja in history has gotten their fame by killing more people than others. Even the peace-loving Yondaime Hokage got his nickname by killing hundreds of Iwa-nin during the last Great Shinobi World War." growled Naruto, in annoyance.
"Do you think Hatake got his title of Copy-cat Ninja by just copying enemy techniques? No! He got it by copying them AND THEN turning them against his enemies and killing them. That's how legends are made, the survivors of the attacks tell others of the carnage that they witnessed, and that shinobi's fame spreads." continued Naruto, before pulling out two Bingo Books and shoving them in his teammates' hands.
"These are copies of the most recent Bingo Book. Read it all the way through, read about what some of these shinobi have done to get themselves into this book. Then you will truly understand what a shinobi really is. And if you don't, then you might as well quit right now while you still have a head atop of your shoulders." finished Naruto, before brushing past his two shocked teammates.
Kakashi held a look of sadness in his eye as he watched Naruto stalk after Tazuna. But he knew that what the Uzumaki had said was absolutely true.
"They really should start teaching that stuff in the Academy. If they did, then the Genin mortality rate wouldn't be so damn high." thought Kakashi.
"Alright old man, you've got some explaining to do. Why would you lie about a mission?" asked Naruto, with a growl.
The Uzumaki wasn't necessarily pissed about there being an enemy encounter during the mission, for he relished battle. Naruto was just annoyed that the man tried to skimp on payment for an A-rank difficulty mission.
Naruto valued time and effort above all else, and therefore he expected to be compensated adequately for when he did things for people.
"You're absolutely right, I owe you guys an explanation and an apology for pulling one over you like that. As you heard from the Oni Kyodai, Gato has sent mercenaries after me because I'm trying to undercut his shipping monopoly. Ever since Gato has taken over, Wave has become extremely poor and we don't have the resources to cover anything higher in difficulty than C-rank." said Tazuna, in resignation.
"That's fine and all, but why didn't you come clean to the Hokage and explain to him about your dilemma? All shinobi aren't heartless you know, we could have easily worked something out. However, according to the circumstances, we are fully within our rights as of now to abandon the mission." questioned Kakashi, sternly.
"I understand your anger completely, but I beg of you to complete the mission. Wave might be poor as of now, but once I finish the bridge and our trading activity resumes, everything will be back to normal. Then, I'll make sure to pay for the actual difficulty level AND a bonus for all the trouble I've caused. Please! If not for me, do it for the benefit of my people!" pleaded Tazuna, who was on his knees by this point.
Kakashi sighed at the bridge builder's begging, before giving his response.
"It is not my decision alone. My team will have to agree on a course of action." conceded Kakashi.
The blonde-haired Uzumaki scoffed at his sensei's reply, however.
"Come on Hatake, if the kiddies want to run with their tails between their legs, then let them. But I'm staying, whether you like it or not." said Naruto.
Kakashi's eye narrowed at his student's response.
"And why do you care so much?" asked Kakashi.
"I don't really care at all about the plight of Wave. However, I am looking forward to an exhilarating fight, which is what we'll encounter if we continue onward. The chance to fight against a former member of the Kiri no Shinobigatana Shichinin Shu (Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Hidden Mist) is an opportunity that I will not pass up, especially as a blade-wielder." answered Naruto.
Kakashi just shook his head at the blonde's answer.
"Just like Itachi." thought Kakashi, with a weary sigh.
"So, what will you do? Will you stay, or will you turn back?" asked Kakashi, while turning to his other two students.
Sasuke growled at Naruto's casual dismissal of his resolve to fight, before giving his answer.
"If the dobe can do it, then I can as well." said Sasuke, with an arrogant smirk.
Sakura snuck a glance at Sasuke and Naruto, while thinking, "I can't run away from this! I'll show you, Naruto! I'll show everyone that I'm not useless or pathetic!"
"I'm with them, we'll continue the mission." said Sakura, while turning to her sensei with newfound determination.
Kakashi nodded at his pink-haired student, before smiling under his mask.
"Naruto, you're methods may be questionable, but you get results. And in the shinobi world, the ends justify the means." thought Kakashi.
"Looks like today is your lucky day. We'll stay and continue the mission." said Kakashi, with an eye smile.
"You will? Thank you! Thank you all so much! You have no idea what this means to me, to my entire country!" yelled Tazuna in sheer gratitude, before shaking Kakashi's hand eagerly.
With all that said and done, the group began to travel once again. Along the way, Naruto walked up to Sakura.
"Well Haruno, you've taken the first step and have overcome your doubts. But can you overcome your fears, your insecurities? Can you come face to face with death itself and walk away alive? Can you become a true shinobi? Personally, I think not. But, maybe you can prove me wrong." muttered Naruto.
The pink-haired kunoichi jumped slightly when she first heard Naruto's voice beside her, but not nearly as much as she used to. She was slowly getting used to her dark teammate's habits.
"I will prove you wrong. I will become a true ninja. And one day, I'll rub your face in it!" said Sakura, with determination burning in her eyes.
"Hmph, that'll be the day hell freezes over. But. at least you're on the right path. Don't screw up, Haruno." said Naruto, before walking up to Kakashi.
"What's up, Naruto?" asked the silver-haired Jonin, who didn't even bother to look up from his porn.
Despite his nonchalant attitude however, Kakashi was unnerved terribly by the fact that he could barely even sense Naruto's presence, even though the pre-teen was only about half a foot away. It was like the Uzumaki was a ghost or something.
"It seems that I was right, Hatake." said Naruto.
"About what?" asked Kakashi.
"That we would encounter B-ranked shinobi, even though they were pushovers." said Naruto.
"Hm, you did say that didn't you. Don't tell me that I have to add psychic abilities to your profile." said Kakashi, with a chuckle.
"Hmph, don't flatter me Hatake. I can't predict the future anymore than you can, instead I just assume the worst-case scenario and then work from there." snorted Naruto.
"Oh yeah, the whole two S-rank missing-nin spiel you said last night. In hindsight, it was a pretty ridiculous notion." said Kakashi.
"Yeah, that was a little far-fetched. However, an A-rank nuke-nin like Zabuza will be a perfect test of my abilities. I hope he lives up to all the hype he's given in the Bingo Book." said Naruto, with anticipation.
Kakashi frowned at Naruto's disregard of danger. The Uzumaki was strong no doubt, but his arrogance was going to cost him sooner or later, like it did a lot of people.
Him included, as well.
"You're getting overconfident." said Kakashi, warningly.
"How can I be getting overconfident, when I don't even know the extent of my abilities? I have too many limitations in Konoha, too many rules and stipulations." said Naruto, with a shrug.
"You do realize that even though you beat me in our fight, I held back a good deal because I couldn't fight to kill." said Kakashi, trying to get his point across.
"Could've fooled me, Hatake. Don't kid yourself, the only technique you held back on was your famed Raikiri and you know as well as I do that it would have been one hell of a struggle to even nick me with it. Besides, even if I was hit, because of my status as a jinchuriki you know that I possess advanced healing capabilities. I on the other hand, withheld myself from using two of my three nature affinities, and any combat fuinjutsu." said Naruto, with a raised eyebrow.
Kakashi sighed in resigned aggravation, but he didn't say anymore. Words obviously had no effect on the blonde-haired Uzumaki, so he would just have to learn the hard way. Hopefully, he wouldn't die or suffer a debilitating injury in the process.
"Check, and mate." said Kurama in response to Kakashi's silence, to which Naruto agreed.
"Alright Tazuna, this is as far as I go." said the boatman, who had ferried the group of five across the ocean to the island nation of Wave.
"Thanks old friend. You take care of yourself, you hear?" said Tazuna.
Team Seven and their client were now in Wave Country and there still hadn't been any attacks, although Naruto and Kakashi expected one anytime soon. It was after all, best to attack someone when they were in unfamiliar territory.
Naruto was paying attention to his surroundings very carefully, while thinking that things were going way too easily. Most of his attention however, was on sensing any killing intent at all. His childhood had made him extremely sensitive to it, as he had been the target of a lot of it all his life.
Though in hindsight, the killing intent of the average civilian was quite pathetic, it had proven useful to attuning him to such things. The suppressed killing intent of a trained shinobi wasn't that different from a non-combatant.
That's when he sensed it however, a very faint killing intent coming from the bushes. Purely on instinct, he acquired a kunai from his forearm guard storage seal and flung the projectile into the bush.
Almost immediately, the killing intent vanished which caused the jinchuriki's eyes to narrow in suspicion.
A cute, but terrified squeaking sound revealed that he had nearly sunk the kunai into the head of a white snow rabbit. Naruto ignored Sakura's chastisement about frightening the poor animal for he was utterly certain that it wasn't the rabbit who had been the source of the faint killing intent.
"That rabbit shouldn't have a white coat at this time of year, meaning that it's been raised indoors." thought Kakashi, in realization.
"GET DOWN!" yelled the silver-haired Jonin.
Sasuke instantly obeyed, Naruto kicked Sakura's legs out from under her before he flung himself down as well, and Kakashi tackled the bridge builder. It was all done just in time, for a giant cleaver sword spun through the air where they were standing just moments before.
The massive sword implanted itself into a tree, and a tall, shirtless man with a leather strap over his chest suddenly appeared on the long hilt of the blade. The enemy shinobi was wearing camouflage patterned arm and leg warmers, a scratched through Kirigakure forehead protector that identified him as a missing-nin, and he was distinctly missing eyebrows for some odd reason as well as having the lower half of his face wrapped in bandages, creating a similar effect as Kakashi's mask.
"Momochi Zabuza, the Kirigakure no Kijin (Demon of the Hidden Mist)." stated Kakashi, identifying the newcomer.
"Sharingan no Kakashi, the famous Copy Ninja of Konohagakure." said Zabuza, slightly amused.
Kakashi quickly raised his hitai-ate, revealing his matured Sharingan.
"Ahh, you're bringing out the famous Sharingan so soon? I'm honored, but this doesn't have to get bloody. Hand over the old man and none of your little brats have to get hurt." said Zabuza, mockingly.
"Stay out of this, I'll fight him. And Naruto so help me, if you disobey me this one time, I'll pull rank when we get back to Konoha and have you court-martialed." said Kakashi, with an annoyed glare being pointed at his blonde-haired student.
"Tch, fine you greedy bastard. Excuse me for wanting to have some fun." groused Naruto, in a defeated tone.
With that dealt with, the silver-haired Jonin turned his attention back to his Mist nuke-nin adversary.
"Well if you won't give up, then there's only one way that this will end." said Zabuza, readying his sword.
"You can try, but it won't be easy. That I can assure you." said Kakashi, before slipping into a fighting stance.
"Ninpo: Kirigakure no Jutsu. (Ninja Art: Hidden Mist Technique)" chanted Zabuza, while holding a one-handed seal.
A dense cover of mist formed around the area rapidly, obscuring sight and making Kakashi a great deal more wary, as his Sharingan was useless if he couldn't see.
"Everyone, whatever you do, do not lower your guard. Zabuza is a master of the Silent Killing technique." warned Kakashi.
"Silent Killing?" asked Sakura, nervously.
"As the name suggests, users of the technique are able to kill their opponents without a sound. Most of the time, the target is dead before they even realize it." explained Kakashi warily, while looking around for a glimpse of the Mist nuke-nin.
Naruto was trying to pinpoint Zabuza's position by the feel of the man's killing intent, but he wasn't having any luck, as it seemed to be coming from several directions and even then he could only get a general location. The Uzumaki ignored the swordsman's little speech about the eight points in the body that he could strike for a lethal blow, as he knew that the man was just doing it to freak them out.
Kakashi then used a chakra burst to disperse the mist, making the jinchuriki wonder why he hadn't thought of that. The rising pressure of the killing intent being tossed around by the two Jonin was considerable and Naruto could see that it was getting to Sasuke, as the Uchiha survivor looked like he was about to kill himself. The only reason it wasn't getting to Sakura and Tazuna was because they weren't attuned enough to feel it, although if it was directed at them they probably would have been reduced to vegetative states.
"Sasuke, calm down. I won't let my comrades die, I'll protect all of you." said Kakashi, breaking the Uchiha out of his panic episode.
Immediately after that, Naruto sensed the enemy's presence in the middle of their formation. Moving quickly, the jinchuriki drew one of his katana and stabbed it into Zabuza's forehead, only for the man to turn into a puddle of water.
"Looks like you've got a fast one there." commented Zabuza, not letting on the fact that the blonde's action had thwarted his plan to attack Kakashi.
Zabuza decided to reconsider his opinion on the blonde Genin, after that display of battle competency. The blonde was bigger, looked meaner, and was better equipped than the other two Genin, but when Kakashi had told them to stay out of the fight, he had dismissed them as inconsequential. But with that speedy disposal of his water clone, Zabuza realized that he needed to keep the blonde from joining the fight or else this could turn out badly in his favor.
Kakashi had pinpointed the location of the voice when Zabuza had spoken this time and immediately rushed at it, ramming his kunai into the surprised man's abdomen.
Only for the nuke-nin to dissolve into another puddle of water and for another Zabuza to re-appear behind him, already swinging his sword to cleave him in half. Having no time to dodge, Kakashi was cut in half, but he too dissolved into water.
A half-second later, Zabuza felt a kunai on his neck from a re-appearing Kakashi.
"It's over, Zabuza." stated Kakashi, confidently.
"Yes, it is." said another voice, which tipped off Kakashi to the notion that something was wrong.
The silver-haired Jonin ducked hastily and stabbed the Zabuza in front of him for good measure, and the fact that water leaked out of the wound and a sword swung over his head was an indication that his maneuver was wisely played.
Zabuza proved to have great mastery of his sword however, and as the missed swing sank into the ground, instead of trying to pull it out of the ground, he used to sword as extra leverage to kick the silver-haired Jonin into the lake.
Kakashi was finding it extremely difficult to get out of the water, as it was unusually heavy. He just processed the fact that being in the water while fighting a Suiton specialist was a bad idea, when all of a sudden he was encased in a sphere of water.
"Suiton: Suiro no Jutsu. (Water Release: Water Prison Technique)" said Zabuza, with a smirk.
"Shit!" thought Kakashi, in alarm.
"It might be a prison of water, but it's stronger than steel. You won't be escaping from here anytime soon and now all I have to do is get rid of that blonde and those two brats of yours." said Zabuza, boastfully.
After his initial reaction of surprise and worry however, Kakashi's features morphed into his own smirk and he began to chuckle.
"What's so funny, Copycat?" asked Zabuza, frowning.
"It's just that your problems have gotten a whole lot worse." gloated Kakashi, his smile widening.
"What the hell are you talking ab-" began Zabuza, before he was brutally cut off by a chakra-enhanced fist slamming into his face with a sickening crunch.
The Kiri nuke-nin was sent flying across the water, skipping and bouncing like a stone that was thrown across a pond. After about ten skips, the bandage-masked Jonin was able to regain his bearings and flip in mid-air to land on his feet, skidding to a stop across the lake's surface.
Zabuza looked up and glared at the audacious brat who had slugged him. Then, said brat released the inhibitors on his chakra reserves and was engulfed in a wild aura of blue chakra, while his features took on that of a feral animal.
"Wha… what the fuck?! This guy… what kind of monster is he?" thought Zabuza in shock, as he felt the full force of Naruto's power.
Naruto strolled up to Kakashi, who was crouching on the water surface and gasping for air, while keeping his eyes on Zabuza. Regardless, he couldn't resist the temptation of getting some snide remarks in.
"If you're done embarrassing yourself, Hatake. I will take over this battle now. Seriously though, you should start training again because it seems that you've gotten even weaker from when we fought." mocked Naruto, before unsheathing both his katanas which gleamed in the sunlight.
The silver-haired Jonin shrugged, brushing off the insults before responding.
"He's all yours. Though you are right, I need to get back to training. I'm getting rusty." said Kakashi, nonchalantly.
Naruto simply nodded, before cracking his neck as his fearsome power caused the water beneath him to splash wildly and the air around him to whip around ferociously. After a couple of seconds, Naruto Shunshined forward, appearing before Zabuza in the blink of an eye.
Kakashi on the other hand, walked back to his students and client. Sasuke glared at the Uzumaki, seething at being upstaged once again, Tazuna gaped in amazement, and Sakura looked worried. Even though she didn't have a very good opinion of the blond, she was still worried about the well-being of a teammate.
"Sensei, what are you doing? We have to help him, he could get killed!" worried Sakura.
"Don't worry, he can take care of himself." said Kakashi, waving off the kunoichi's concerns.
Zabuza wearily stood and took a defensive stance. That punch had hurt like a bitch, and he was still reeling from it. Whoever this boy was, he was on a completely different level. Kakashi had nothing on this kid, and seeing how easily the silver-haired Jonin had handed the reins to this kid it was safe to say that the man had confidence in his skill as well.
"Momochi Zabuza, A-rank nuke-nin from Kirigakure and former member of the Kiri no Shinobigatana Shichinin Shu it is an honor to meet you. Unfortunately, you will die here today by my hand, the same as the Oni Kyodai." stated Naruto, stoically.
"Listen here you little brat, I don't care who the hell you think you are, but you have no chance of matching me." growled Zabuza, regaining his poise and arrogance.
"... I thought that was obvious. I'm already stronger than you." said Naruto, with a raised eyebrow.
"Pretty big words for a no-name punk. But this is the major leagues kid, you're outclassed." snarled Zabuza, while clenching his fists.
"Pretty big words for a lightweight bitch who was sent flying by a 'weak' punch. Now enough talk, come Kirigakure no Kijin! Fight Konoha's Resident Demon Child, and we shall see who is most deserving of their title." retorted Naruto, before charging forward.
Author's Note: Aww! Cliffhanger, once again. I should let you guys know that I love to utilize cliffhangers and will continue to do so throughout the entire story so don't bother trying to change my mind. Moving on, next chapter will be Naruto vs. Zabuza, however don't expect a chapter long fight between these two, it'll be lengthy an descriptive but not on the scale of Naruto vs. Kakashi. Until next time.