From Ninja to Shinigami

Chapter 1: Promises!

By: jacke44


===July 10, 10:08 AM, Konoha Hospital===

After Hinata's crippling match against Neji, Naruto became worried about Hinata's condition and went to visit her. Yet, when he went to the receptionist to ask where Hinata's room is, the receptionist refused to answer Naruto's inquiries and threatened to kick him out for 'disturbing the peace'. Knowing that arguing with the receptionist is a waste of time, Naruto went outside then proceeded to locate Hinata's room through peeking into each window. After about 3 minutes of searching, he looked in a window on the second floor and found Hinata in a hospital bed hooked up to an array of medical equipment. As he attempts to gain Hinata's attention, a hand grabbed Naruto and dragged him into Hinata's room. Naruto looked around to find out who pulled him in and he froze on the familiar figure of Kurenai Yuuhi, Hinata's Sensei. As she stared down at him with her crimson orbs, she growled out. "What are you doing here, Uzumaki, and why were you trying to sneak in the window?"

Naruto stood up and stared at Kurenai. "I tried going up to the front desk but the nurse wouldn't tell me what room Hinata-chan was in. I wanted to make sure she was okay after what Neji-teme did to her. She was one of the only people in the Academy who cared about me. Like she said, I never go back on my word because that's mine and her nindo." Naruto replied, Kurenai smirked. "I'll give you 5 minutes, then you have to leave because visiting hours are over for the morning." As she heads to the door, she stops and looks over her shoulder. "She cares about you. If you break her heart, I promise I'll break a part of you that will make you lose all interest in girls, understood? She's the closest thing I have to a daughter."

After Kurenai left Naruto unclenched his legs let out a big sigh. "I've got to remember never to upset her." He walked to the bed, took the chart and looked at it, but can't make heads or tails of it. "Maybe setting up paint bombs in the Uchiha compound while Iruka-sensei was teaching us about medical terms wasn't a good idea." Putting the chart back on the hook, the only sound in the room is the continuous beeping of the machines hooked up to Hinata. He moved a chair next to the bed and paused a moment when he noticed Hinata had an ample chest, but then he'd never seen her without that big coat. He quickly pushed those thoughts aside, sat down and took her hand. "Hinata-chan, I don't know if you can hear me or not, but I'm going to train really hard this month and I hope you can be there to see it. I'm going to show Neji that fate isn't predetermined. Once the Exams are over, I'd like to get to know you better; we could go out to lunch. I'm not sure what you like to eat but we can always go for ramen, and if things work out the way they should we can do some missions or training together." As Naruto stands up, his gaze falls upon Hinata one last time before he jumps through the window promising to beat Neji for her.

A few seconds after Naruto jumped out the window, a smirking Kurenai walks out of the shadows. "Are you going to pretend to be asleep all morning?" Hinata gradually opened her eyes as her face goes bright red in embarrassment, then began poking her index fingers together.

===A block away===

Meanwhile, Naruto is walking down the street. 'Okay, the first thing I need to do is find Kakashi-sensei to help me start my training. I hope he'll teach me a lot of new jutsu.' He thinks. As Naruto continues walking, he notices Kakashi coming towards him. "Okay Kakashi-sensei, when are we going to start my training?"

As Naruto rants on about all the super cool jutsu he wants to learn, Kakashi quickly tires and shouts. "Naruto shut up and listen to me! I will not be teaching you. I'm going to be training Sasuke for the Finals."

Naruto looks at his Sensei in shock. "But what about me? I'm going to need training if I'm going to keep my promise to Hinata!"

Kakashi lets out a breath. "Naruto, you need to listen to me very carefully. The truth is you have no skills as a ninja; you were the dead last in the Academy. You had some of the worst grades I've ever seen, you only graduated on a technicality. Ever since you became a ninja, you've relied on pure dumb luck, you rush into battle without thinking, and all you've ever done in a fight is throw Shadow Clones at the enemy. You yell and scream when you go into battle about how the enemy can't beat you. The only reason I put you in the exams in the first place was to help Sasuke. Once he gets promoted, I'll be taking him as an apprentice and I'm going to have you sent back to the Academy if not dropped from the program completely. You have a zero percent chance at beating Neji, even if I spent the entire month training you, it would be a waste of my time. I have tried to teach you in the past but you don't pay attention to what I'm saying."

As Kakashi continues to rant about how bad of a ninja Naruto is, he's looking down with tears streaming down his face as he listens to the words of his Sensei. Having enough of Kakashi's verbal beat down, Naruto looks at him with fury in his eyes and shouts out. "Shut the hell up! You're supposed to be my teacher, but you haven't taught me anything besides how to climb trees! Now you are just standing here being a hypocrite; I remember the words you said the first day we became a team, you said 'In the ninja world, those who break the rules are trash but those that abandon comrades are worse than trash' and now you stand here and you're abandoning me to go train Sasuke. If that's not being a hypocrite, tell me what is." Before Naruto can continue his rant, Kakashi slams his fist into his stomach.

Naruto grunts as Kakashi brings him up to his eye level. "Now you listen to me you filthy fox demon, I will not stand here and get lectured by you." Kakashi then throws Naruto to the ground, but before he can retort, Kakashi is slammed against the wall.

Looking up to see not only Asuma, but Guy, Anko, Ibiki and Hayate, with Anko holding him against the wall. Ibiki steps forward. "You have a lot of nerve to treat your student like that."

Kakashi shouts out. "Don't get involved! It's between me and my student and you have no jurisdiction here!" As Anko releases him from the wall, Kakashi looks to see all the Jonin forming a wall between him and Naruto. He spits out a wad of blood and says. "Whatever; you can have the damn brat. I have better things to do." Then he disappears in a swirl of leaves, all the Jonin turn to look at Naruto only it see he's gone.

"Damn that Kakashi; if I see him treat the kid like that again, he's going to find out how many snakes I can summon." Anko said.

"I completely agree with you, that kid's got a lot of potential." Ibiki commented.

"I couldn't agree with you more, his Flames of Youth burn very bright!" Gai added.

"We should tell my old man about this." Asuma said, everyone nodded in agreement and disappeared.

===A minute later===

Needing to let off some steam, Naruto runs several blocks away. As he rounds a corner, he crashes into Sakura, which causes them to both fall with a grunt, followed by the sound of breaking glass.

Sakura begins to sit up and sees the new glass figurine that she bought shattered on the ground; her face scrunches up into a look of pure rage. Jumping to her feet and looking down at Naruto, she starts to yell at him. "God dammit Naruto, don't you ever pay attention to what you're doing? Do you know how much money that glass figurine cost me? I have been spending months looking for it, not to mention it was a limited run. You better be able to pay for that; but you wouldn't care about that, would you? All you ever do is goof off and mess around; I bet you are running away from one of your stupid pranks, when are you ever going to grow up and stop being such a baka!"

As Naruto gets up to his feet, he began to try to apologize. "I'm sorry Sakura..."

"I don't want to hear your excuses, just give me the money; it cost 5,000 Ryo." Sakura interrupted.

Naruto looked at her wide-eyed. "I'm sorry, I don't have that kind of money right now."

"Of course you don't, you probably spent it on ramen. Whatever, I don't care, just get out of my way; all you've ever done is be a pain in my neck. Why don't you get out of this village; nobody even likes you, Naruto, you are just a clanless orphan whose parents probably threw in a dumpster because they could tell how much of a moron you were going to be. I wouldn't be surprised if they were out laughing right now, happy that they didn't have to raise a baka like you. I bet you were trying to find Kakashi-sensei, well that's too bad because he already said he's training Sasuke for the month. It's not like he was going to help you anyway; the very thought is laughable. You can't do anything right." Sakura ranted.

Naruto couldn't believe Sakura was saying all these things to him; she knew his parents were a sore spot for him. Naruto looked her in the eye. "I want you to apologize right now for what you said about my parents."

Sakura burst out laughing, and between laughs she managed to say. "The day I apologize to you is the day you become Hokage."

"You're not leaving until you apologize." Naruto said strongly.

Sakura throws a punch at Naruto's face, but before it could make contact, she's tackled by a large black dog with an eye patch. As the dog has her pinned to the ground with its teeth inches from her face, Tsume Inuzuka walks up to the two of them. "You have a lot of nerve, you little brat. Let her go Kuromaru, you don't know where she's been." After intentionally drooling on her face he walks back to his Mistress and speaks to her in canine, she chuckles. "Kuromaru says that you need to lay off the shampoo. You also need to get out of my sight before I kick your skinny ass across Konoha... as for the glass figurine you said you bought for 5000 Ryo, I know for a fact it's only 250 because I bought one the other day for my niece. The fact that you were trying to con him out of that much cash shows you are a disgrace to all Leaf Kunoichi."

Sakura scrambles to her feet and runs away, Tsume puts a hand on Naruto's shoulder. "You okay, pup?"

"I'll be okay, I'm not having a very good day." Naruto answered before telling the story of what happened with Kakashi, having known the Inuzuka matriarch since he was a small child.

When he gets done telling her what happened, she profanity even he's never heard growing up on he street. "If I see his sorry ass I'm going to neuter him and give what's left to the new training dogs as a chew toy!"

Naruto bursts out laughing, but manages to say. "If you do, let me sell tickets!"

Tsume begins to laugh with him. "Just make sure you split the winnings with me, got it? So what are you going to do for training for the month? I would offer to help you but I gotta train Kiba."

Coming down from his laughing fit, Naruto finally answers. "Don't worry about it, I'll be fine."

"Well if you need any help, come look me up, you got it?" She reaches out to ruffle his hair. "Just make sure you look out for yourself and make sure you eat something besides ramen; you're going to need the energy for training."

Naruto looked up at her with waterfall tears. "Why is everybody always picking' on ramen?" Tsume burst out laughing again. After saying their goodbyes, Naruto heads up the street, deep in thought of what he's going to do for training. He looks to the left and smiles, especially because he sees Ino reading a magazine at the counter.

===Yamanaka Flower Shop===

When she hears the bell ring over the door, she looks up and to greet the new customer. "Welcome to the Yamanaka Flower Shop, how can I help you? Oh Naruto, what are you doing here?" She asked before getting a big smirk on her face. "Are you here to buy flowers for Sakura?"

She instantly sees his sad frown and comes around the corner, putting her hand on his shoulder and speaking in a very soft voice. "Naruto, tell me what happened." Naruto told her what transpired with Sakura earlier and became furious. "Naruto, don't listen to her, she doesn't know what she's talking about and I'm sure your parents would be very proud of you." Naruto hugs Ino and thanks her for kind words as Ino replies that it is of no problem. They separated and she spoke again. "Now seriously, what are you doing in a flower shop?"

"Do you know what type of flowers Hinata might like?" Naruto asked.

Ino broke out into a big grin. "Are you telling me you finally noticed the crush she's had on you since we were in the academy?"

Laughing and scratching the back of his head, Naruto responded. "I wouldn't go that far yet, but I plan to ask her out to get something to eat after the Exams."

"Well it's about time you two got together, as for the flowers, what you want to get is moon flowers, she usually buys a couple every month." Ino finally answered.

"Thanks so much, can I get an order sent to her at the hospital?" Naruto asked.

"Not a problem, come up to the counter." Naruto followed Ino to the counter, the platinum-blonde pushing the buttons on the register. "Okay, one order of moon flowers, do you want to send a card with it?"

Naruto grins. "Yes please."

Ino puts on a warm smile. "Okay, don't worry about the card, I will help you write it out."

"Thanks Ino, so how much do I owe you?" Naruto asked.

Ino looks at the register. "It comes to 49 Ryo." Naruto pulls out his frog wallet, getting a slight giggle from her, and hands her the money. "Okay, the flowers will be delivered this afternoon."

"Thanks Ino, I gotta go get ready to train." Naruto thanks her again and waved as he left.

Once Naruto leaves the store, Ino's mother walks in from the back. "It's about time he got over that Haruno girl."

"I completely agree with you... Mom, do you mind watching the store so I can run this order to the hospital?" Ino asked.

A big smile on her face, Inoiki nodded. "It's okay, you can take the rest of the afternoon off. I have a feeling you're going to go to look for Sakura." Ino scowled darkly and nods her head. "Before you head out I have a question, an order of moon flowers with a card is 44 Ryo, why did you charge him 49 Ryo?"

"Because I plan on getting an order of cinnamon buns; they are her favorite snack and it might help them get together faster." Ino answered.

Putting on a big smile, Inoiki shook her head jokingly. "I swear, I never should have taught you how to play matchmaker."

Turning around and laughing, Ino heads out before looking back at her mom. "But it's so much fun and you know as much as me how cute of a couple they are going to make. And who knows? Maybe for helping them get together, they will let me be Auntie Ino."

===16 minutes later===

After leaving the bakery carrying a small box of cinnamon buns Ino made her way to the hospital and walked up to the front desk. "Excuse me, can you tell me what room Hinata hyuga is in? I have a delivery for her."

"Certainly." The nurse looks at the chart for a second. "She's on the second floor, room 206."

Ino smiled, thanked her, took the elevator to the second floor and walked down the corridor until she came to room 206. She knocked on the door and a few seconds later it was opened by Kurenai. "Sorry to disturb you, but is Hinata awake? I have a delivery for her."

Kurenai looked behind her. "Are you up for visitors?" Ino heard Hinata say 'Yes' before she was let in, seeing Hinata sitting up in her bed. She put the flowers and cinnamon buns on the nightstand, pulled up a chair and sat next to the bed. "How are you feeling Hinata?" She asked.

"I'm doing okay, the doctor said I can go home in a few days but I won't be able to train for a month." Hinata answered.

"Sorry to hear that." Ino said before reaching over to the flowers and taking out the card to hand to her.

"Thank you for the flowers Ino." Hinata said.

"Oh those flowers aren't from me, they're from Naruto." Ino said, smirking at Hinata's crimson face. "Yeah, I was quite shocked when he came into the store, and even more when he said he was there to buy flowers for you. Now, can you tell me everything that happened?"

Hinata began to explain how Naruto came to visit her but she was too embarrassed and pretended to sleeping, Ino letting out a loud squeal. "Hinata, that is so romantic, you should know that Naruto told me that he is going to ask you out to eat after the Exams." By now, Hinata's face was neon red, Ino and Kurenai both had big smiles on their faces. "The first chance we get, you, me, and Kurenai-sensei are going to have a girls day out so that we can get you an outfit that'll knock Naruto right out of his sandals. By the time we're done, he won't recognize you."

Finally getting over her embarrassment, Hinata had tears of happiness rolling down her face. "Thank you so much Ino."

Kurenai was standing off to the side with a smile on her face, happy to see her student like this. "Excuse me, Ino, but would you mind explaining something to me? Why did you not include Sakura in the girls day out?"

Ino's face immediately fell into a scowl. "I want nothing more to do with that bitch."

"Ino, is this about your fight from the preliminaries?" Kurenai asked.

"No, this has nothing to do with that." Ino said before letting out a breath and told them what Naruto told her. With shocked expressions on their faces, Hinata's heart monitor starts to pick up in pitch, a nurse rushed in to see if everything was okay.

"Yes." Ino and Kurenai answered before Ino continued. "She just learned something that made her mad."

"Very well, but please refrain from doing it again, she can't afford too much strain on her heart." The nurse advised, receiving nods from all three women before she left, closing the door.

"Sorry Hinata, I didn't mean to upset you." Ino apologized.

"It's okay, you have nothing to apologize for Ino." Hinata responded kindly, having settled down.

"Okay, enough of this; let's get back to planning our day out!" Cheered the platinum blonde.

===10:41 AM, Business District===

A couple blocks away Naruto felt a cold shiver run down his spine. "I have a feeling something big is going to happen soon." He muttered to himself. "The first thing I need to do is get new equipment to train with, and there's only one store in the whole village that'll have it." He made his way across the village and walked up to one of the stores that always treat him well, and looked up at the familiar sign, The Silver Star.

Opening the door and walking in, he saw Akari, the wife of the owner, asleep with her head on the counter. Putting on the famous Uzumaki grin that sent ninjas running ever since he was a kid, he thought to himself that it had been a while since he pulled a prank while tiptoeing to the counter before he took in a giant breath.

"Naruto, if you even think about shouting, I'm going to use you as a training dummy." She said.

"Aw man, how do you always know when I'm going to do something?" Naruto whined.

"I'm a Mother, which means I have a sixth sense for children who misbehave." Akari answered as she stood up and stretched her back, chuckling at Naruto's pout and crossed arms. "Okay Naruto, now that we got that out of the way, how can I help you today?"

"I'm in the Finals so I'm going to need enough equipment to train for the month, including some new clothes. I love orange, but I think it's time for a change." Naruto said.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, finally! It's about time you got rid of that jumpsuit! I've been telling you for years that if you wear that much orange, it's like a giant bullseye!" In response to her comment, Naruto blew a raspberry, but before he could even blink, Akari's hand flew out and grabbed his tongue, causing him to flail his arms about and plead to Akari to let go. "If I let go, will you behave?" Naruto nodded his head and she let go while laughing a bit. "Let's see about getting you some new equipment and clothes to make sure you look good, I'm picking all your new clothes and I'm not taking no for an answer."

"Okay, I trust you." Naruto answered with a nod.

"Good, now take off your jacket so I can get a look at you." Akari said before Naruto did what was asked. She began to walk around him and looked him up and down for about three minutes before finally nodding. "I got an idea. Okay, go sit down in the chair while I get the clothes."

Walking over to the chair and sitting down, Naruto began to think about what he is going to do for training, that is until he remembered when he was back in the Land of Waves and those small structures he found in the woods on the way to the bridge, which he never got a chance to go back to. 'I guess I can always go back and see what's in it. Who knows, it might have something that I can use to win the fight with Neji. If I win, there will still be the other competitors.' He thought then he remembered everything Kakashi said about him earlier, about how he's always acting like an idiot, running into battle without thinking. 'I think it's about time I start changing the way I do things. If I'm going to change the way I look, I should change the way I act.' He was so deep in thought, he didn't notice Akari yelling his name until she reached out and knocked on his head, snapping him out of his deep thoughts. He looked at the clock and saw it had been over half an hour before looking back to Akari and saw a massive pile of clothes, causing him to sweat and look between the door and the clothes.

"Don't even think about trying to run Naruto. I'm going to get you out of that orange jumpsuit one way or another." Akari reminded him. Accepting defeat, Naruto nodded his head, Akari walked over to the front door, flipped the sign to 'Closed' and locked it. "I want you to take those clothes into the changing room and try them on, and I want you to come out and show me so I can help decide." Naruto picked up the clothing, and to the amusement of Akari, he had to 'model' the various outfits. She sometimes went to get even more clothes. before Naruto finally stepped out of the changing room, wearing black ninja-style pants, gray combat boots and an armored mesh shirt like Anko's under a black leather trench coat with fingerless shinobi gloves, meaning they had metal plates on the backs, his headband now acting as a belt buckle.

"Well, how do I look Akari?" Naruto asked.

Akari looked at Naruto with wide eyes. "Naruto, I can say for certain that you are definitely going to start turning the heads of all the girls in the village, but you need a haircut."


As he was standing in front of the mirror, looking at his new outfit, Naruto spoke. "I will admit it's a new style for me, but it's missing something; give me a moment." He walked off into the store and he returned a few moments later wearing visor style sunglasses with a red line running through it.

"Nice addition." Akari commented. "I completely agree that it completes the outfit. Okay, now that we got you a new outfit, let's get you some custom weapons." It took 30 minutes of wandering through the store to find the things he wanted.

"Okay, Akari, this is gonna be enough for a while." Naruto said.

"No wait, hold on." Akari went into the back of the store and came back with a small box. "Naruto, I was going to give this to you for your next birthday but now's as good a time as any." She put the box on the counter and opened it for him, showing Naruto 6 more scrolls.

"What're these?" Naruto asked, confused and curious.

"These are the collective knowledge I gained when I was a kunoichi." Akari answered with a smile.

"I'm sorry but I can't take these, what about your daughter? Don't you want to pass on the knowledge to her?" Naruto tried to refuse.

Akari burst out laughing in response. "Naruto, you know as well as I do she wants nothing to do with being a kunoichi, and she is quite happy running her store. I still remember when you used to have a crush on her."

Hearing her remind him of that time made Naruto's face go red. "Very funny Akari. I was 5 years old and she was one of the first people that were nice to me."

"I still remember how you used to follow her around. You know, she's still single." Akari brought up with a grin.

Naruto's face got even redder. "Okay, okay, can you stop teasing me now, please?" He begged.

"Okay, I'll stop. Now, in the scrolls are a couple techniques I was able to acquire in my short career with my fighting style as well. I know it's a more feminine style, so maybe one day you can give it to your daughter, or my granddaughter if my daughter ever decides to finally find herself a boyfriend." Akari said.

Naruto smiled. "Good luck with that. As much of a tomboy she is, all the boys are too scared of her now because she'll beat them senseless. not to mention they're jerks and just want to live off her grocery store so they won't have to work." Akari nodded in agreement and put all the scrolls back in the box. "So how much do I owe you, Akari?"

"Nothing at all Naruto, this trip is on the house, just make sure you tell everybody where you got the clothes and equipment, that way I can get more business." Akari responded.

Naruto jumped over the counter to hug her. "Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this means to me."

"Okay, okay, enough of the mushy stuff, let me take care of your haircut, then you can go start training." Akari responded, letting go of the hug.

"What style are you going to give me?" Naruto asked.

"I'll just trim it down." Akari answered, leading him to the chair, sitting him down. "Have you made any progress on the book you've been writing?"

"Yeah, I finished a chapter last week."

"Glad to hear, make sure when you finish it to let me have a copy of it."

"Already planned on it, you're the one who told me to start writing after all. You said it would help me calm down."

"And I was right, wasn't I?" Akari asked.

"Yes, yes you were. I'm not a big fan of reading, but it's fun." Naruto replied.

Akari finished the haircut and stood back. "See, I took off a few inches and trimmed it down."

"I like it." Naruto stood up and put the box in a storage seal on the inside of the new trench coat. "I'm not going to be around Konoha for training, I'm going to the Land of Waves for it."

Akari nodded. "You take care of yourself now."

"I will, I promise you." Naruto said, and noticing the wall clock on his way out said it was about noon, and smiling big left her shop and headed for Ichiraku's to get lunch.

===1:38 PM, Hokage Tower===

Heading up the stairs, he approached the secretary and when she looked up, she let out a loud scream.

The door to the Hokage's office swung up, revealing the urgent Third Hokage. "Aimi, are you okay? Why did you scream?"

Aimi raised her hand to point at Naruto, still a bit shaken.

Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage and God of Shinobi, looked at Naruto in disbelief. "Naruto... is that you?"

"Absolutely, like my new outfit?" Naruto answered with a grin.

Hiruzen nodded his head. "I must say, it is definitely an improvement over that orange jumpsuit."

"I know, right? Akari helped me pick it out. She also gave me a new haircut." Naruto pointed out.

"I see. Well, come into my office so we can talk, I was just about to send someone to find you. Aimi, what do you think of Naruto?" Hiruzen asked.

"You look very handsome, Naruto." Aimi said, causing his cheeks to redden slightly.

"Thank you very much." Naruto said before heading into the office with the Third Hokage shutting the door behind him and sitting at his desk.

"Just so you know, Naruto, my son and a few others have already informed me of what happened with Kakashi and I've already sent someone to get him; I want him to apologize for what he did. I never thought that he would do that when I originally placed him as your teacher. I thought he could be neutral with you. I've already had a few people put their names forward to become your new teacher. After the exams are completed, we will look at getting you a new teacher, but for now we need to talk about what you are going to do for the training. The truth is, I am short-handed right now and cannot spare anyone to train you. I am truly sorry Naruto." Hiruzen apologized .

Naruto nodded his head. "I understand, that's why I came here. I wanted to get your permission to go back to the Land of Waves for the month. Akari gave me a couple of scrolls to practice with and I'd like to get out of the village for a little bit. Between my Sensei and my teammate, today has not been my day."

"Oh yes, I forgot about that. Tsume has informed me of that incident as well. Sakura will be doing D rank missions for the next two months without pay and I can guarantee you, they will be the most demeaning missions possible. As for your request, I'm not supposed to let you leave the village during the Exams, but given that you are seen as a hero in the Land of Waves, and given that you have come to me with the request, I will make an exception and let you go, but you will have to send a messenger bird at least once a week." Hiruzen conditioned his answer.

"That won't be a problem, I'm going to be happy to get away for a while. I'm going to go pack now, I'll be leaving in the morning." Naruto answered.

"Very good, make sure you check out with the front gate and send me a message when you get to the Land of Waves." Hiruzen said. As Naruto stood up to leave, he looked at the Hokage with that grin of his. "Just you wait, in one month's time you won't recognize me. I'm going to win the whole Exam."

"I'm sure you will. Good luck with your training." Hiruzen responded.


After leaving the office, making sure to say goodbye to Aimi, and once out of the Tower realized there nothing else he needed to do, and had no other plans, so he fell back on his standby plan, he went to his favorite spot in the woods to train. As he walked down the street towards the woods he noticed he wasn't getting hateful looks and there are no whispers behind his back. 'All I did was change my clothes and get a haircut and they don't even recognize me. And people call me an idiot.' Naruto thought and shook his head in disappointment. Since it was basically on his way he stopped by his apartment to drop off his packages, he'd pack tonight.

===7:56 PM, Naruto's Apartment===

Naruto tiredly walked up the flight of stairs to the top floor and unlocked his door, stepping in he gathered his supplies and put them in a bag. After packing all of his supplies, he looks at it. "Well, that should do it." Then he remembered the book he's been writing. Walked over to the desk and opened the top drawer, he saw it and grinned at the title. 'Battles of the Heart: Love or Honor'. Smiling proudly as he remembered when he first started this book, it had been about a year now. "And to think when Akari first suggested that I write a book how I laughed at the thought. But now I like it, and who knows? When I finish it, I could talk to the old man about getting it published." Looking at the clock he saw it was almost 9 o'clock, he had some ramen and headed to bed. As he laid in bed, thinking about all the training he's going to do over the course of the month, the last image in his mind was the pale-eyed visage of Hinata as he drifted to the Land of Dreams.


End Chapter 1