Chapter 10

Author's note: Hey guys! Thank you Ky111, speedsters and arrows for your awesome comments and words of encouragement. Infinity mask, I commend you. I was wondering when someone would spot that. But no, not all abilities. He can't predict his opponent's moves, he can't cast genjutsu, he can't copy his movements. Knight121198, I thought of that before, but that would make Naruto too much op, so please accept my sorry. XenoLucifer, MY story, MY rules. And if you can't read beyond a point, don't. You don't need to ridicule people's work. But you ought to look at the no. of followers of this story. People seem to like it, don't they? Thomaspheasant, sorry but updates will only be once a week. Onto the story!

Naruto had the others arrange into a formation. Sasuke and Sakura would guard Tazuna from the front while he would protect them from the rear. Sasuke had rudely questioned who had made him the leader. Naruto had coolly responded that if he had a better idea, then speak up.

As Naruto suspected, Sasuke didn't exactly have a lot of bright ideas. With a glare hot enough to burn metal, he had growled at Naruto, "Just because I am doing this doesn't mean you can order me around, dobe. You will tell me everything about your sensing ability."

Naruto had sighed at that. It seemed Sasuke's inferiority complex was acting up, probably because of what happened with Zabuza and the demon brothers. Maybe he was also pissed about seeing the hunter nin from before. Someone their age and already a part of the hunter nin program must set him off. They thankfully made it to Tazuna's house without any more attacks.

They all saw it, the lakeside house. They all waited on the porch as Tazuna went and knocked on the front door. After a minute, the door swung open and a slim, pretty woman rushed out and embraced Tazuna. Naruto raised an eyebrow at her, 'Probably must be his daughter.'

"Tou-san, I'm so glad you are safe!" She spoke with obvious relief in her voice before she spotted the ninja behind him. She gave them a small bow, "I'm sorry, where are my manners? I'm Tsunami, please come in. Is he hurt?" She asked, pointing towards the half-conscious Kakashi on the stretcher. Her eyes widened at the three identical blondes, but she was quick to recover.

Naruto spoke up, "He's simply exhausted, Tsunami-san. Is there a room where we can put him?" She smiled and moved aside for them to come. Sasuke and Sakura removed their shinobi sandals and went inside while Naruto first removed Kakashi's sandals and then removed his shoes, going inside. The small gesture of caring brought an unseen smile onto Kakashi's face.

Tsunami answered, "I just need to put down a futon. I'm sorry, but I didn't get your names….."

Sakura smiled, "Haruno Sakura, Tsunami-san." Tsunami smiled tightly at her. Something about the girl just unsettled her.

Sasuke was much ruder, "Uchiha Sasuke." He barely glanced at her, dismissing her as unimportant. Naruto threw him a dirty glare for that, which was whole-heartedly reciprocated.

Naruto turned around and smiled, "I'm Uzumaki Naruto, Tsunami-san. Nice to meet you." When you are nice to others, they are nice to you. This was demonstrated when Tsunami returned his easy grin and replied, "Nice to meet you too, Naruto-kun. Follow me upstairs where you can lay your sensei down for rest."

After the futon was laid down and Kakashi on it, Naruto just stared at the wall blankly, processing what happened to them so far. A hand on the shoulder snapped him out of trance. He looked up to see Tsunami's face, full of concern. It was a bit strange, having someone look at him like that. It gave him a funny feeling in his stomach.

"Are you ok, Naruto-kun?"

Naruto took some time to respond, "I'm ok." Standing up and putting a small smile on his face, he turned to her and asked, "So, Tsunami-san, how about I help you cook dinner?"

XXXXXXX

It took two days for Kakashi to regain consciousness. Naruto dutifully changed his bandages, helped Tsunami cook dinner and kept a watch on Kakashi while Sakura and Sasuke…..Well, they really didn't do anything significant. Sasuke trained; Sakura did too, but not as much. She only did a little before sitting on a rock and watching Sasuke with hearts in eyes. What those two didn't know that twenty of Naruto's shadow clones, divided in to two groups were learning the two new jutsu Naruto brought with him, far deep into the forest.

Naruto was in Kakashi's room, drawing up ideas for new types of flash tags and explosive tags when he noticed Kakashi's breath hitch. Putting his sealing supplies aside, he walked over and knelt down, removing the wet cloth from Kakashi's forehead. Something just in case Kakashi caught a fever.

"Sensei?" he whispered. He saw as Kakashi attempted to get up while keeping his eyes closed. He placed a firm hand on the man's shoulder, pushing the man back down, "That would be unwise, considering it might set your recovery back."

Kakashi opened his eyes with a pained groan, persisting even when the light seemed to burn through his eye. After finally opening his eye, he looked around and assessed that they had safely made it to Tazuna's home. He figured that his genin might have gotten pretty bored, especially Sasuke if the occasional tremors indicating Sasuke's great fireball to burn off some steam.

He looked to his side, seeing a mildly concerned Naruto looking down at him with his azure blues. He was reminded of another blonde who used to give him the same look. He pushed that aside and smiled cheerily.

"Oh hello, Naruto."

A small smile came onto his face and he replied back, "About time you woke up. I'll alert the others." He stood up and walked over to the window and saw what he had been seeing for the past two days. Sakura sitting on the ground and having hearts in her eyes and Sasuke blowing off trees. He decided to break their peace.

"HEY SAKURA, DUCKASS!" He ignored Kakashi's snort at the nickname. "SENSEI IS AWAKE!" With that he went back to Kakashi's side, not even checking if they were coming or not.

Two minutes later, Sakura and Sasuke walked through the door, coming to stand in front of their sensei. Sakura sat down in a whirl of pink and red, exclaiming in relief, "Sensei, you are awake!"

Naruto quietly scoffed and looked to the side. She was saying it as if she was the one looking after him for the past two days, skipping her training. 'Quick to claim others' credit, isn't she?' Kurama's voice spoke, faintly lined with disgust.

Naruto mentally rose an eyebrow, 'Quite a long nap you took.' Then he shrugged, 'Also, she's not taking credit. She's just …useless. She just wants to be seen doing something. I'm actually glad sensei keeps his sharingan covered, otherwise he would hate to accidentally copy her uselessness', he commented, prompting a snort of laughter from the fox.

Kakashi decided to find out what he'd missed. "So, what happened after I went down?"

Sakura spoke before Naruto could, "Well, after you went down, we carried you to Tazuna-san's house. You've been out of two days, Kakashi-sensei. We've just been training and guarding the house."

Naruto wanted to say that she has been only fangirling Sasuke, who was the only one who watched the house. He also wanted to say that he has been taking care of Kakashi the whole time, but decided that it would look very petty on his part and opted to keep quiet. Also, what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them. He decided to speak up.

"Sensei, we're gonna have to train to fight Zabuza again", he said with a serious look on his face.

Sasuke turned to him, an eyebrow raised as if mocking him, "Zabuza died when that hunter nin hit him with the senbon. Or did you forget that, dobe?" Sakura nodded, as always, in favor of Sasuke. Does she even think for herself or does she just follow him, he mused.

Naruto shook his head, "I never forget, Sasuke. But you probably have forgotten what we read about hunter nin in the academy. They are supposed to destroy the body on the spot, not take it away. Also, the senbon hit a very specific spot, in the back of the neck", he trailed off, opting for Kakashi to continue.

Sakura scoffed, "Please Naruto, sensei checked and there was no pulse-" "I'm afraid that Naruto is right, Sakura. It is very much possible that Zabuza is alive", Kakashi grimly said.

Sakura and Sasuke both had disbelieving expressions, letting Kakashi continue, "The back of the neck where the senbon hit…I think that the nin most likely put Zabuza in a death like state, which is most likely why I couldn't find a pulse as it was so weak."

He further explained, "The weapon that nin used has a low fatality rate unless it hits a critical spot. The nin took Zabuza with him, even though Zabuza was much heavier than him. Also, he used a weapon with low fatality rate. With these two points, we can conclude that the nin wanted to help Zabuza."

Tazuna looked skeptical, "Is it possible that you are over thinking this?"

Kakashi's reply was swift, "No. Once a ninja fells that there's something out of place, they must prepare for it before it's too late."

Naruto folded his arms across his chest, "So how long do you think we have, Kakashi-sensei?"

Kakashi rubbed his chin in thought and said, "I'd say….about one week. He'll need that much time to come back to full strength from a death like state. That's what I'd need as well."

Sakura gave him a look as if he was crazy, "Sensei, how are we supposed to train if you're to rest?"

Kakashi eye smiled, "Don't worry, my cute little students. I don't need much to train you. A crutch is all I need."

"Excuse me everyone, dinner is ready", a voice came from the door and all of them turned to look at Tsunami, who was wiping her hands of a towel.

Kakashi eye smiled and asked her, "Hello, you might be…?"

Tsunami smiled, "Oh, so you've finally woken up. Naruto-kun took good care of you then." He looked at Naruto who had a faint blush on his cheeks and was looking away, arms still crossed. Kakashi resisted the urge to ruffle his hair, because the kid looked damned cute right now.

"Anyway, I'm Tsunami, Tazuna's daughter. Pleased to meet you", she bowed. Kakashi bowed as much as he could while sitting, "Pleased to meet you too, Tsunami-san."

Tsunami turned to Naruto, "Please help your sensei down, Naruto-kun. And thank you for your shadow clones' help in the kitchen."

Naruto waved his hand, "They are an excellent kitchen crew for me too. Don't mention it." With that Sakura and Sasuke filed out of the room, not bothering to help Kakashi up.

Naruto gave a disgusted shake of his head and stood up. Putting Kakashi's left arm over his shoulders, he helped him up, supporting his full weight like it was nothing.

"Arigatou, Naruto. For taking care of me", Kakashi murmured, eye smiling. It was quite weird for him. Only two cared for him like Naruto did in the last two days and they were both Naruto's parents. Naruto shook his head, smiling, "You are my sensei. I didn't do it because it was my duty to take care of you like you do, I did it because I wanted to."

Kakashi gazed at Naruto with a wide eye, who ignored it and slowly helped the man downstairs. Using what little strength he had, he pulled Naruto into a one armed hug. Naruto initially stiffened, but relaxed after a few seconds. No words needed to be spoken.

He helped Kakashi sit on the table and sat beside him, close in case he needed to feed him. But he hoped Kakashi had enough pride to not face fall during eating. The small gesture caused Tsunami to smile, 'Such a sweet boy.'

Kakashi couldn't stop the eye smile. He didn't show it, but he was glad there was someone like Naruto to care for him. Kami knows he has no one left close to him now. This feeling made him want to do everything not to disappoint Naruto.

Naruto gazed at the small boy who was sitting beside Tazuna. Somehow, he cast a somber atmosphere around him. Half of his face was hidden beneath his hat. Tazuna smiled and spoke up, "Inari, greet these nice ninjas. They will make sure I'm safe while building my super bridge!"

Inari looked up and Naruto immediately understood why the boy felt so sad. He had that look in his eyes, he had lost someone very dear to him.

"But jiji, they're all going to die!" he cried out, as if he was stating a fact.

Naruto suddenly understood the boy's position a whole lot better, so instead of being angry, he just felt a deep sense of empathy and sadness for such a young child hurting.

Of course, Sasuke didn't take it too well. "You don't know that, brat", his voice had a little bit of scorn added into it along with his usual rudeness.

Naruto's head snapped to glare at him, "Sasuke!" he snapped. That was not how someone talks to a child. Particularly a child who has eyes like that.

Sasuke returned the glare, but he to turn his eyes away after a few seconds. He didn't speak after that.

Dinner went quietly after that, though Naruto got a bit embarrassed when Tsunami thanked him again for his help for cleaning the dishes. They set up their beds in separate rooms. Naruto and Sasuke would take the room with Kakashi while Sakura would share the room with Tsunami. As soon as he went into the bathroom and quickly made a half ram sign to dispel all the shadow clones. As the memories came into his mind, he sorted through them and clicked his tongue in annoyance.

The two jutsu needed a lot of work. The fuuton jutsu was a bit too complicated, so it would require time. He had to first gather air in his lungs, which was the easy part. The hard part was the shape manipulation; it was not easy to compress all of the air into an explosive ball of high density. He also had to be extremely cautious about it; if that ball exploded while inside him, game over. All of his clones practicing this jutsu were dispelled because of this, so Naruto had to discreetly create another batch and have them flash to the other clones' location. It was also taking him too long to do all of this.

'Well, I can personally work on it tomorrow, now that Kakashi sensei is awake', he thought.

The suiton jutsu was not as hard as wind jutsu, just tricky. He already knew how to expel water from his mouth. But making that jet of water highly pressurized so it could cut through stones was no piece of cake. Still, his clones managed to make it sharp enough to put a deep scratch on the barks, but not cut through it. 'Better than nothing. I have to master these jutsu before we confront Zabuza again", he thought resolutely.

He walked out of the bathroom and laid down on his bed, closing his eyes and trying to work out theories to master the two jutsus faster. He found himself laying beside Kurama in their mindscape, and it looked like he wanted to talk.

"You had quite a fight", he remarked, looking faintly amused. Naruto shot a blank look at him.

"Just how long do you sleep in a single stretch anyway?"

Kurama gave a graceful shrug as he settled his head on his hands, eyes gazing peacefully at the moon. "Depends. You handled you first actual fight quite well", he commented.

Naruto raised his eyebrows, unimpressed, "You were impressed with my fight with the demon brothers ?

Kurama returned his own unimpressed stare, "I don't mean those weaklings. I meant Zabuza. You kept your mind calm, analyzed the situation, figured the best way to escape and a way to attack your enemy. Nice touch with the Hiraishin, by the way. Gives you a way to track him now", he said, grinning at the end.

Naruto smiled, "Thanks, it means a lot to me."

Kurama sat up a little, "I saw that you had some trouble with the two new jutsus."

Naruto gave a grunt.

The fox glanced at him, "If you want, I can give you advice on how to master them quickly." He got the desired response as Naruto sat up, curiosity almost burning in his eyes.

"Really? Thank you so much, Kurama!" he smiled, his big blues shining a bit.

Kurama made a disgusted face, "Keep your sappiness to yourself, you brat."

Naruto laughed, "Sorry, couldn't resist it." He didn't look sorry at all. After he was finished laughing, he gave Kurama his full attention.

Kurama began his explanation, "Your fuuton jutsu is only a bit tough, if you look at closely. You are simply overthinking it. What you should do is when you gather the air inside you, gather it in a way that it is spinning and compressed. That way you can control its explosive effect and power. It should be fast enough to catch someone off guard, so build up a lot of pressure simultaneously when you create the air ball by creating a bit of vacuum. Use that pressure to give explosive speed to the ball."

Naruto nodded, having made sense of the entire explanation. He would try that tomorrow, and hopefully prevent a Sasuke tantrum. If he saw what Naruto was practicing, he would throw a fit.

Kurama continued, "Your suiton jutsu isn't hard as you think. Think of it this way; if you have a pipeline with water blowing out of it onto a wall, you would only get a wet wall. But if that pipeline's opening was as made a whole lot smaller…"

He left it to Naruto to finish his line of thinking, and he wasn't disappointed. "Then the pressure would be considerably high if the speed were to be kept the same. The high pressure would make the water sharp enough to cut through rocks. You are brilliant, Kurama!" he exclaimed with wide eyes.

Kurama looked considerably smug, "Of course I am. The jutsus of you humans are laughably easy to us demons! There are only a few of them we can't do!"

Naruto shook his head, smiling softly. Kurama was entirely too proud of himself, but Naruto bit his lip, not wanting to offend the demon by pointing out that he got sealed for a total of three times.

"Alright Kurama, thanks for your tips. I'll master them in no time!" he flashed a monstrous grin, which was returned by the demon in front of him.

With that, he finally entered REM sleep.

XXXXXXX

Naruto's eyes opened at his regular time of five, but he stayed in bed, thinking things over. He suspected that Kakashi might know about his use of Hiraishin against Zabuza. He hadn't exactly hidden himself with smoke bombs, after all. And Zabuza might have been surprised by his trick, but Kakashi had already seen it in the bell test. Even though it was kawarimi, but this time Kakashi had seen it with his own eyes. With him watching with the sharingan, there was no way he would dismiss it as a simple replacement.

He sighed heavily. He was not looking forward to the talk. There was so much to explain…..

Realizing his thoughts were leading him into nothing but distress, he got up, hoping to get some morning air. Keeping his steps quiet so as to not disturb Kakashi and Sasuke, he dressed up and headed outside, hoping to put Kurama's theories to test.

He got outside, getting some relief from the slight chill of the morning air. He allowed his senses to spread and a tiny frown made its way onto his face when he sensed someone making their way from behind him. Noiseless steps, probably hoping to catch him off guard.

"I didn't know you were awake, Kakashi-sensei."

"Well, I wasn't until I heard you move out", he came up beside him, eye scrunched up in a smile. Naruto returned a small smile.

The two of them sat in silence for a while, lost in their own thoughts. Kakashi finally broke the silence with a question.

"What jutsu was that on the bridge, Naruto?"

Even though he had prepared for that question to be asked, Naruto was still caught off guard. Kakashi noticed the minute flinch that Naruto couldn't hide, accompanied by a slightly fearful glint in his eyes. Realizing he had probably scared the boy, he backtracked.

"I was just curious, Naruto. It was something like what you tried in the bell test", he trailed off, silently asking Naruto to elaborate.

Naruto hated when Kakashi got like this, demanding answers from him. And the worst thing was that Naruto had no reason to hide anything from him. Steeling himself, he looked into Kakashi's single eye.

"Before I say anything, Kakashi-sensei, can you promise me that you will keep this to yourself and only yourself?"

If Kakashi looked surprised by his request, he didn't show it. He wondered just what Naruto was hiding that was so important as to not tell his team members. He was also requesting total secrecy, but Kakashi drew the line there.

He narrowed his eye, "If Hokage-sama asks me, then it's my duty to tell him, Naruto."

Naruto relaxed a bit at that, "The old man already knows of this."

Kakashi too, relaxed at that. Keeping secrets from his leader, then having the said leader interrogate you was not fun at all. "So, you will show me?" The slight hope in his voice made Naruto smile, if only a little.

Naruto gestured to his hand, where his sleeve was folded, exposing his wrist before the metal plated gloves. Kakashi shrugged, offering his wrist, "Sure."

Naruto wrapped his hand around Kakashi's wrist for a moment, then let go, turning back to watch the sunrise. Kakashi examined his wrist curiously, wanting to find out just what Naruto did.

His eyes widened and he almost choked on his spit upon seeing a seal formula that looked remarkably similar to what his sensei used. His neck snapped towards Naruto, who was looking back at him with a smirk.

"I-is this…..?"

"Yup! Sure is!" Naruto claimed proudly. "But unlike his, the flash is blue. Since my chakra is a deep blue, you know…"

Kakashi tried to recover from the surprise that Naruto had figured out the technique that made the Yondaime the most feared shinobi across all lands. Trying to keep his voice steady, he asked, "Can you….demonstrate?"

Naruto frowned but nodded. He flash stepped to a tree about a hundred meters away, missing Kakashi's look of surprise at the use. Without wasting any time, he flashed behind Kakashi, the jonin's neck turning so fast Naruto sworn he heard it crack.

Kakashi's mind was blown out of proportions when he saw the blue flash of Naruto's Hiraishin. The fact that Naruto had mastered one of the most complex techniques he had ever seen, hell, even his sensei had ever seen was nothing short of stupefying. He recovered and looked at Naruto, who was watching him carefully.

"…..I can see why you want to keep this a secret. Sasuke would throw a fit if he saw you using something that", Kakashi admitted. He could already imagine the scene.

Naruto hmmed, not at all bothered. He will keep it a secret until the chunin exams, and if Sasuke finds out before that, it's not like he could do anything. Sasuke could throw all the tantrum he wants; he would never be able to learn the flying thunder god, ever.

"It's not like Sasuke can do anything. The amount of understanding of fuinjutsu, chakra theory along with the dimension of space time was just unreal. He won't be able to make it beyond just level 7 fuinjutsu. Also, space-time is a very rarely studied branch of ninjutsu and fuinjutsu. I very much doubt the Uchiha library has any research materials related to that. I was lucky my father had done his research so thoroughly", he shrugged.

Kakashi nodded; he would hate to see, even though it was inherently and incredibly selfish of him, his sensei's legacy fall into someone else's hands other than his son.

He got up, using the crutches Tazuna was able to find him last night. "C'mon, let's get some breakfast."

They arrived inside to find Sasuke and Sakura already at the table, surprise in their eyes when they saw Naruto and Kakashi entering together. Sasuke narrowed his eyes in suspicion, but thankfully kept silent.

Tsunami was mildly surprised, "I was just coming to see if you two were out there, Kakashi-san, Naruto-kun."

Kakashi smiled, "We were just enjoying the morning air outside, Tsunami-san. It's quite peaceful."

Tsunami smiled and gestured to the table, "Please sit, breakfast is ready."

After everyone's breakfast was over, Kakashi took his squad outside, into the forest to train.

"Ok, training will begin now! You will learn chakra control exercises so you don't waste chakra in excess while performing jutsus. This exercise is one of the basics, so you have to master it, no matter what." He observed their reactions closely.

Sasuke had a….. predictably disappointed expression on his face. He was hoping that Kakashi would teach them powerful jutsus, but he conceded the fact that basics were important to master. There was, undeniably, a small amount of curiosity on his face.

Sakura was also curious, but she was more confused than she was disappointed. She didn't exactly know what Kakashi-sensei was trying to teach here, so she just waited until he explained.

Naruto….well, he looked supremely bored of Kakashi. The one-eyed cyclops found his right eye twitching at the distinctly unimpressed look Naruto was giving him. Sasuke was looking faintly amused at the looks Naruto was sending to Kakashi.

"You're going to teach us tree walking, aren't you?" the deadpan in his voice was unmistakable.

Kakashi sweat dropped. 'This could be trouble. Naruto already knows how to walk on vertical surfaces. I could get him started on water walking, but then Sasuke and Sakura might get the impression that I am favoring Naruto', he thought as he tried to figure a way out.

But Naruto and Sasuke were starting to get impatient. Naruto spoke up, "I already know tree walking, sensei." This revelation caused Sakura and Sasuke to stare at him, one with confusion and the other with a twinge of jealousy.

Kakashi mentally sighed, 'No use hiding now.' "And before you ask, I know water walking as well. Remember where I was standing after pushing Zabuza back?"

Kakashi's memory was jolted as he suddenly remembered jumping in between Naruto, who had his kunai out coated in wind chakra and Zabuza, who was just a moment away from beheading his student. Naruto was standing on water.

'Is he deliberately making this worse for me?' Kakashi thought. Sasuke walked up to Naruto with a scowl on his face. "When did you learn all this?"

Naruto raised an eyebrow at him, "What will you do if I tell you?"

Fortunately for Naruto, Sasuke didn't have an answer for this question and with a deeper scowl than before, walked back to his place.

Kakashi, to avoid any further trouble, immediately explained the exercise. "What you have to do", he said while walking up to a tree. "Is to direct your chakra to the soles of your feet", he put a put onto the bark, "And stick to the surface." He was now walking perpendicular to the ground until he turned onto a branch and looked up, or down, to them.

Sakura looked up at him with awe in her eyes, while looked at him with narrowed eyes. Probably thinking about how this will make him stronger, Naruto mused.

Kakashi threw two kunai in front of Sasuke and Sakura, "Get to it, then." As Sakura and Sasuke picked up the kunai and walked away to a tree, Kakashi slowly walked down to Naruto, who was simply looking at him. "What do you plan on doing?"

Naruto said, "I'm currently working on two jutsus that I took from the shinobi library. I'm planning on mastering them before tomorrow night."

Kakashi rose an eyebrow, "Nobody can master two elemental jutsu in span of a day, you know."

Naruto shrugged, "This 'nobody' that you speak of, can't use shadow clones like I can, sensei."

Kakashi's visible eye widened, "You know the secret of Kage bunshin?"

Naruto smirked, "Figured it out a long time ago, sensei. Now if you don't mind, I'll be training. Try to keep Sasuke away from me if you can." With that, he flash stepped away, leaving a gaping Kakashi.

XXXXXXX

Naruto found out that Kurama had hit bullseye on the analysis of both the jutsus. He created forty clones, dividing them into two groups to practice while he tested the memories of last night himself.

He was able to reduce the time required to form the compressed, explosive ball of air, but it took the clones the better part of four hours to reduce the time required to form the high pressure inside him to launch the ball off at high speeds.

At the end of five hours, he was panting, sweating flowing down like waterfall on his naked upper body. All his clones were dispelled, including the ones practicing the suiton jutsu, just to return him the chakra needed for one last try at the jutsu, before he fell to chakra exhaustion.

Naruto had his hands on his knees, trying to get his breathing to get normal. Once he had, he wasted no more time in thinking. Speeding through the hand seals, he mentally shouted 'Fuuton: Kaze gyorai no jutsu!'

He expelled a compressed ball of air from his mouth at great force at a tree. His satisfaction knew no bounds when the ball exploded on the bark, blowing away a large section of it and making the tree fall.

He chuckled tiredly, falling on his back. 'Man! These elemental jutsu sure are tiring! Hey Kurama, would you mind replenishing my reserves just enough so I can walk? I would rather not eat the soldier pill I have."

Kurama's chakra rushed into his system, though not so much that he went into a rage or was full of energy again. He groaned as he sat up, putting on his t-shirt and jacket. He walked back to the house, thoughts of tasty food filling his mind.

He walked across a clearing when he heard the sound of bark exploding. Curious, he walked towards it and had to suppress the chuckles in him.

Sasuke was tree climbing….and falling off. Naruto could see with the many slashes on the bark that showed Sasuke had improved much in just one day, but he was nowhere near the top.

Naruto would have moved away if it wasn't for Sasuke discovering him and calling out, "Naruto? Is that you?"

Naruto turned around, "Yep."

Awkward silence descended upon them as Naruto waited for Sasuke to speak while Sasuke did not know what to speak. Naruto, tired of the silence, made to walk away when Sasuke called him out. And dare he think that he was…hesitating and nervous?

"Um….well…"

Naruto raised an eyebrow, 'It's rare for him to come to talk to me. Especially that he's hesitating.'

Sasuke glanced away, a faint blush on his cheeks and voice hesitating, "You said you have mastered this exercise before, right? C-can you g-give any tips?"

Naruto was inwardly laughing with Kurama at how awkward Sasuke looked while asking him. 'As much as I hate to say this, he looks more normal in his usual, arrogant self.'

On the outside, he smiled and walked to Sasuke, putting a hand on his shoulder. Sasuke looked surprised by this, even when he heard Naruto speak, "You know, you could save a lot of trouble for yourself if you just asked instead of demanding." Amusingly, the faint blush on his face was instantly replaced by his regular scowl.

Naruto spoke up before Sasuke, "But I will help you. You know, out of the goodness of my heart", he added sarcastically.

Sasuke reminded himself to calm down, otherwise he wouldn't be able to master this exercise. Hell, even Sakura mastered it before him! He was never in this position of being last, ever!

Naruto spoke, holding up a finger, "First, chakra uses your spiritual energy, so don't be tense or angry. Basically, don't allow your emotions to reach an extreme point. Second, relax and concentrate on your energy, and collect a constant amount of chakra at the bottom of your feet. That's all I will tell you."

Sasuke nodded and for the first time in his life, he thanked someone other than his family, "T-thank you."

Naruto simply smiled and turned around, "Though you should save it for tomorrow. Dinner is ready, and it's no use training on an empty stomach."

Sasuke looked like he wanted to train more, but ultimately agreed on dinner and they walked away.

Dinner was a quiet affair. After eating, Naruto helped Tsunami wash the dishes as the others relaxed. Sakura was inspecting a picture on the wall, which had a piece torn off from it. When she enquired about it and how Inari was gazing at it, Tazuna replied that the person whose face was torn off was the hero of this town. The atmosphere in the room was very somber, Naruto noted.

Inari had walked off after that, his mother going after him to console him. Tazuna told them the story of Inari's stepfather, how he was considered a hero by everyone and how Gato killed him. Inari had began to rely on the man to the point where he wouldn't stand up for himself. Gato had him killed to destroy any form of hop in the land and succeeded, traumatizing Inari in the process.

Naruto digested this, and slowly got up from his seat. He had enough of this depressing atmosphere.

Sakura spoke up, "Where are you going, Naruto?"

Naruto didn't turn back as he answered, "I've got some unfinished training to do." That was all he said before the door was gently shut.

Sakura turned towards Kakashi, "What's up with him?

Kakashi shrugged.

XXXXXXX

[Sorry for not putting up this part earlier. The timeline is same though, Zabuza wakes up after a few hours of the fight]

The mysterious nin had taken Zabuza to a small house far away and took him inside, placing him onto a bed.

"I will have to remove the bandages so he can freely cough up the blood, if he has any to cough", he mused, his hand reaching to pull down the bandages. A rough hand suddenly reached out and grabbed his wrist.

"I can do that myself, Haku."

Zabuza opened his eyes, which were quite bloodshot. He sat up, painfully groaning. He reached behind him to take out the senbon in his neck, small squirts of blood coming out as he pulled them roughly.

"Please don't pull them out like that Zabuza-sama or you will really die", Haku commented with a light voice, which failed to convey his seriousness.

Zabuza grunted as he laid on his back, "You're as vicious as ever, Haku."

Haku watched his master lay on the ground. After a few minutes of silence, he spoke up, "How will we face them next time, Zabuza-sama?"

Zabuza got a murderous look in his eyes, "Next time", he growled out, more to himself than Haku, "I'm taking away that sharingan from that damned monkey!"

Author's note: I have some people to address this time.

Guest alex: Hey pal, I found your nose. It was in my business. If you have got something to say to me, say it after getting a legit identity on the website. No one is foolish enough to use their real name as a guest on any website. It just gives you an excuse to hide, and those type of people are cowards. You don't like my story? Aw, what a shame. I'll pencil in a time to cry about it later. Right now, I'm busy enjoying my life. Hate my story and me? Join the club! There's a weekly meeting at the corner of fuck you street and kiss my ass blvd. By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you…blocked and deleted. You may kiss my ass. All you managed to convey through your review is what a bully you are in real life.

To the guest who thinks my story is juvenile: I think you've got me confused with someone who actually gives a shit. My story is an acquired taste. Don't like it, acquire some taste. Let me put it this way; if I had a bucket of water and you were on fire, I'd drink the water. I'm an author who, by your message, conveyed five-year old mentality in his fourth story. What does that say for you who doesn't have a SINGLE story? Your level of mentality is so low I can't even see it from where I am. Let's talk when you catch up with me, shall we?

aratakasugatrinity7: No offense pal, but you are somehow thinking this happens in a real world. This is simply a fiction, MY fiction to be specific. And anything I say goes.

This is a message for everyone who read this story from now on. Just because there is an option for you to review doesn't mean you can write down anything. If you are a reader, you can write down some tips and suggestions for the writer. Same for fellow writers. Discouraging anyone without reason means you've got some insecurities. DEAL WITH THEM YOUSELF! DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON US! If you want to write something, write something positive to either encourage or to give tips and suggestions to make us writers better.

I haven't reported any review for abuse yet, but if this continues, I will not hesitate to do so. And I will enjoy while doing it. In addition to that, I will publicly call you out like the above mentioned people. This is my final warning to haters: Keep your hated and goddamn comments to yourself and BACK. OFF.