Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor The Gamer. I own nothing, really.

Cover Art: Kissuli.

Chapter 94

"You need better control, Princess," Eiji called from where he sat, off to the side of where the spar was going on at the moment. He'd been let out of the hospital the day before, and things were back to normal… ish.

He couldn't do much by himself, sadly. He couldn't even walk long distances without Kabuto getting on his case, so he spent most of the time sitting. Not that it really mattered, all things considered. While he couldn't use strong jutsu either, Living Thread was perfectly within his capabilities at the moment. At least if he didn't push it too far with those. Using those as his pseudo-limbs if he needed to get something, he was confident that he wouldn't go insane while he continued recovering.

"Jirobo, use more than just your body. I know you can use Jutsu, so do it," He said then.

His commands were said in his normal voice, no shouting or anything of the sort. They could hear him, he knew, and if they couldn't then it was their problem not his. Besides, it added another layer of training, which was perfectly fine in his opinion. They might hate him for it, but they'd do so anyway.

"Kabuto, healing and supporting is all well and good, but sometimes you have to attack too," He reminded the med nin, who gave a quick nod, before charging. Or faking a charge, as it seemed, because he went to help Jirobo instead. Then he actually ran forward. 'Good,' Eiji thought. After all, if he'd done as he instructed instantly, it'd be stupid. It would have given him away.

Relaxing a little, he leaned back against the rock behind him. It wasn't the most comfortable thing ever, but Jirobo had shaped it a little. It was still rock, but at least it had roughly the shape necessary to lean against it and not have his back complaining about it… too much.

He closed his eyes and focused solely on Tayuya's music. He was still baffled by the girl. How she'd managed to merge two things as complex as music and genjutsu so that both worked perfectly, he had no idea. He offered no small amount of compliments in regards to that, because she honestly deserved them.

"Tired already, Fearless Leader?" Tayuya asked, and Eiji noticed that her music didn't stop, for some reason. If he had to guess, she'd placed him in a Genjutsu to keep hearing it. Or her voice had been the illusion, either or, really.

He almost chuckled at the new nickname she'd given him. Apparently, his actions during the battle against the Akatsuki had guaranteed a change. He wasn't sure why, but it amused him to no end. Maybe a hint of a memory somewhere in his mind from his last life? It was as good a guess as any. Maybe it was the fact that it could almost be mistaken as a compliment that amused him, considering that all her nicknames were rather insulting.

"Just… enjoying the peace while it lasts," He said, a slight smile forming on his face. "If I know my luck, something will happen soon. Either before we leave Iwa or when we arrive at Konoha," He continued. "So, I'll just make sure to make the most of this."

"Real positive there," The girl chuckled, but he could hear it in her voice, that she wasn't as dismissive as her words made it seem.

"Remember what we talked about before arriving at Iwa?" He asked all of a sudden. She didn't reply instantly, which he supposed meant he'd surprised her, even if she didn't stop playing.

"Yes?" Tayuya replied, almost sounding unsure. He had a hunch that she knew exactly what he was talking about. He'd let her get away with playing dumb though.

"I'll do as I said," He told her with a half-smile. "I'll pull all the strings I need to. You guys, you are my team now. I'll need your help with my missions, with training, with lots of things."

"I know we are awesome, Fearless Leader," Tayuya replied, and he could tell she was trying to act like normal. She failed, evidently. "You don't have to explain it to me. Especially me, since I'm the best."

"Sure are," He agreed with a chuckle. "Just for your music you are the best," He praised, as he normally did. "You guys will continue to be my team. Not until we deal with Akatsuki, but for as long as you wish. I'll make sure you are given a chance to make things right."

For a long moment, the two of them sat there in silence. Only the music was heard and Eiji wondered if the spar had ended or Tayuya was hiding that behind a Genjutsu. If it was the latter, he was grateful.

"So, do we have a team name?" She asked eventually, and he could hear the grin on her face. He rolled his eyes without even opening them.

"Yeah, Suicide Squad," He answered.

"If all missions are like this one? I'd say it's appropriate," Tayuya replied, as if he'd been serious. "It has a nice ring to it. I like it."

'Now that name's gonna stick, isn't it?' Eiji thought, unsure of how to feel about that. In the end, he just shrugged. At least she was happy and wasn't cursing up a storm. 'Did she stop playing?' He wondered, before he heard her again.

"Fearless Leader, Bimbo number one and Bimbo number two want to talk to you," Tayuya announced and he sighed. 'At least she's not that afraid of Yugito anymore,' He mused. "And they are too fucking scared to call you themselves, might I add."

"Thanks, Tayuya, your help is appreciated," He said, giving her a look through the corner of his eye. She nodded seriously, but he could see the corner of her lips twitching up. "So, I'm guessing you guys want to discuss the spar?" He asked the two blondes in front of him, who nodded. "Let's get on with this then."

[}-o-{]

"I mean, the body isn't made to withstand so many boosts," Eiji commented from where he sat, a notebook in his hands. The team was sitting down and simply going over strategy, training ideas and technique ideas. He was currently working on two things himself. A Fire Release Jutsu and one or two thread based ones, since he had such a buff to them with his title now.

His comment, though, was directed at Tayuya and Kabuto, who were going over what they'd used with Temari against Akatsuki. Apparently, the poor girl hadn't taken both techniques at once well. They were currently brainstorming how to make that combination better for the target. Eiji was actually surprised that Kabuto hadn't realized the problem and the solution.

"You have to add something to increase how much the body can handle. Alternatively, regeneration so that the target will feel the strain but recover quickly," He explained, when both of them turned towards him. Instantly, he saw Kabuto's eyes narrow.

"That's how your regeneration works right? I thought it was two techniques at once. A power up and healing, but it's two in one, huh?" The ex-spy noted, the cogs turning in his head. "I see," He added, a smile that would unnerve many people forming on his face.

"So, you are the medic here. You got a solution, Four Eyes?" Tayuya asked with a raised eyebrow.

Eiji simply sighed, shook his head, and turned back to what he was doing. There was much work to do and since he couldn't actually train at that moment, he thought it would be better to take advantage of that fact. Thus, he focused simply on studying and working on theory projects like new jutsu.

He paused though and clicked his tongue.

"Are you going to pretend to ignore me for much longer?" He asked, his eyes turning to the side. There, on his shoulder, rode Shirakumo. He'd sent a message to the Spider Clan as soon as he'd managed and the response he got was the small white spider. The little princess had also, apparently, been quite put off by his time of silence, even if it wasn't his fault. Thus, she wouldn't leave his side, but also wouldn't talk to him.

"I don't talk to idiots," The spider muttered and he almost laughed. That wouldn't do him any favors, so Eiji resolved to keep that to himself. "I was worried," She mumbled, and he almost didn't catch it, despite the fact that she was talking basically next to his ear.

"I know you were, Shira-chan," He replied with a sad smile. "But I couldn't have you here. You could have died, your mother could have died if you guys were here," He explained, setting down the notebook and taking a hold of the spider to pull her in front of him. The little one gave token resistance, but that was about it. "I know you understand that, so, please, can we stop this? I'm sorry, ok? For what it's worth, I'm sorry that you were worried, but I wouldn't do anything differently."

"Then don't apologize, idiot," She told him, although he wasn't sure if she was annoyed or just sad. "Can you put me down? I'm not angry anymore?" The way she said that last part more as a question than a statement had him doubting, but he did as she said anyway.

"I'm happy to have you here, Shira," He told her with a small smile as she climbed her way to his shoulder once more.

"I'm happy to be here too, Eiji," She replied, and he could almost picture a tiny grin in her voice. "I've been training with the Clan," She added out of nowhere, surprising him somewhat.

"Oh?"

"Yeah, especially with mum," She continued, and he could tell she was getting excited. That excitement died a quick death though. "She keeps making me train with genjutsu though."

He chuckled at that.

"Well, it is your weakest," Eiji reasoned, although he knew she knew that already. Still, the spider huffed at him.

"I know that!" She protested, proving him right. "It's just so frustrating… Anyway, just you wait. Next time, I'll be ready to help too. I don't want to be left to the sidelines again," She resolved.

He had to be careful not to show anything on his face. It was unlikely she would be ready for the next time he'd have a fight like that. Very much so, actually. Hell, it was unlikely that Kumohoshi would be able to join. Maybe against Kakuzu and Hidan, but Pain? Konan? Itachi? Kisame? Hell no. The Spiders weren't going anywhere near those. He wasn't even sure about those first two, if he was honest. Chances were he'd leave them out of that just in case.

"Awww, she's so cute," Tayuya exclaimed mockingly. "You didn't tell me about this cutie, Fearless Leader."

Predictably, the spider started protesting that 'accusation' vehemently. Eiji, for his part, looked at his Genjutsu expert and saw the glint in her eyes. She was doing that on purpose. Eiji made a mental note to do something nice for her. He wasn't sure what, but there had to be something. 'New flute? Clothes? Genjutsu training/ideas?' He mused, before putting a pin on it.

"Say, Tayuya, can you look after Shirakumo? I'm sure she'll love to spend time with you," He asked, earning a positively mean smile from the girl that spelled nothing good for the small, white arachnid. Eiji dutifully ignored his poor summon's pleas. Unfortunately, he had something to do, and he was pretty sure that bringing her with him wouldn't be appreciated. "Everyone, don't destroy the Training Grounds while I'm gone, yeah?" He added, looking around the rest of them.

He blinked when he saw both Yuki and Jirobo with their eyes narrowed at Yugito. For a moment, he considered asking what was going on there. It wasn't to be though, because a pair of ninja appeared on a side of the clearing, just like he'd sensed with his threads.

"Eiji Satou, the Tsuchikage called for your presence," One of them said and Eiji was still somewhat surprised by the fact that there was no hostility hidden anywhere in his tone. Despite his new title and what he'd been experiencing since he woke up, he still couldn't quite believe it.

"Eiji," Kabuto called, a stern expression on his face. "Be careful, alright? You aren't hundred percent recovered yet."

"I know that," The boy acknowledged with a nod, before waving his concerns off. "I'll keep it in mind and I'll try my best," He replied, carefully not saying that he would actually hold back or anything of the sort. If the annoyed expression on the boy's face was anything to go by, he noticed. "Lead the way," He said to the Iwa nin, preparing himself for what was to come.

[}-o-{]

"Are you sure about this?" Onoki, the Tsuchikage, asked Eiji, which felt all sorts of wrong. Honestly, when had he become the kind of person that was in these situations?

"When you were put in this world?" Kage offered, and Eiji could almost hear the smirk on his face. Maybe he was projecting it or maybe the boy just knew him that well, he supposed. As for his point…

"When you decided to make friends in high places and go far in the world?" Hachi suggested then, making him grimace. The woman had a point though, maybe if he'd tried to be average. "You'd never have been average, Eiji. No matter what path you took," She said and he thought he got a hint of pity in her tone.

"I should have been a civilian," He thought to himself and his companions. Tsuchigumo simply offered him a wave of comfort, which he appreciated.

"I feel like I should be the one to ask that, you know?" Eiji replied out loud to the village leader, a wry smile on his face. The grimace on the old man's face told him that he also knew the situation was unusual at best.

"Indeed. You have a good track record, but I have to say, I don't like this. However, I'll allow it," The man said with a sigh and a stiff nod. "Now, let's get on with it so we can continue with our lives, ok?"

"Oh, meeting with the Princess soon, huh?" Eiji noted with a slight smile that widened when he saw the denial on the man's face. "No way you are actually eager to get back to paperwork, old man," He added, seeing the Tsuchikage's expression sour.

"I think I preferred it when you called me Tsuchikage-sama," Onoki grumbled.

"I find that nearly dying again really showed me that I worried too much," Eiji mused out loud with a lazy smirk. "Also, I think I earned enough goodwill to do that much, don't you?"

"Do you think just anyone can call me that?" The village leader asked with a raised eyebrow.

"No, not really," He agreed with a nod, before sending the old man an amused expression. "But you wouldn't be talking with just anyone either, would you?"

To that, the Tsuchikage sighed.

"Anyway," Eiji continued then. "I want to get this done too, honestly. So…"

With that said, he opened the door in front of him and entered. His smile vanished, replaced with a blank expression as he walked in. Calmly he made his way to the only chair in the room and sat down. Then, Eiji took a look at the piece of paper on top of a small pile and the pencil that were laid in front of him on a table.

'No,' Was written there. Short and simple. A single word that gave him all the answers he could need. Then, his red eyes moved up and he stared at the other person in the room.

"Well, there was an easy way and a hard way," Eiji mused out loud as he leaned back on his chair. "Tsuchigumo," He called mentally, receiving an almost eager bark in response. "And we'll have to do this the easy way," He added with a smile on his face as he went through hand seals.

[Yin Release: Wit's End has gone up a level.]

Then he waited.

"How long do you think it'll take?" He mused to his mental companions

"A minute, tops," Was Kage's guess.

"Half that," Hachi said, humming.

Tsuchigumo barked, although she wasn't making a guess or anything, simply wanting to join the conversation. That's just what she was, cute. And a little ball of overpowered and barely controlled chakra, but mainly cute.

"So, how about now, huh?" He asked, as he deactivated the jutsu after a long moment. Around ten seconds, although he hadn't been counting, really.. Internally, he felt his body protesting what he was doing. 'Kabuto did warn me,' He mused with an inward grimace. Outwardly, he had to keep looking like he was perfectly fine.

In front of him, the pencil moved, raising and writing on the notebook. It shook a lot, Eiji noticed, the words that it produced were barely legible compared to the perfect letters of the first word he'd read in the notebook. Then again, Wit's End had that effect on everyone.

'What do you want?' It wrote.

"Well, Sasori," He started, tilting his head slightly and smiling at the cylinder that contained the remaining humanity of the Akatsuki member. "First, I want all the information you have on Akatsuki."

There was a moment of pause, in which nothing happened.

Then the pencil moved again, this time a little more firmly. The shake was passing, but there was a certain hesitance to its motions. Eiji picked up on it easily. How could he not, when it was basically the only thing that he could look at. That, and the words being written on the paper sheets.

It wrote slowly, at first, like it was dragging the words along. Steadily though, the speed increased. More and more words appeared and Eiji felt his lazy smile turn into a feral grin.

Instead of an answer, Sasori started writing down information. Every Akatsuki member, not only what they could do, but everything the puppet master knew about them. Backgrounds, personalities, descriptions, everything was in the notes the man wrote down. There were old missions the organization had been part of, some of them not quite so old. There were even prospective missions for the future. Eiji would have to share those as soon as possible.

Before anything else was said, he wrote down said tasks separately and stood up. After passing the sheet he'd written out to a ninja that waited outside the door, he moved to sit back on the chair. Taking a moment to gather his thoughts, he went for honesty.

"Not gonna lie, I thought it would be harder than that," Eiji said as he read over the notes again, confirming to himself as much as he could from what he already knew. From what he could tell, it was all true.

The pencil moved again.

'I won't risk that…' There the pencil paused and started shaking once more. 'What was that?' Sasori asked in the end.

"That is my personal brand of hell," Eiji replied, almost proud. Maybe that made him a bad person, he supposed. However, the Void Genjutsu had done wonders for him. They'd helped him so much that he was hard pressed to feel bad about using them.

Sasori seemed to wait for a moment more, probably expecting more of an explanation. Eiji wasn't going to reveal more than that though, especially not with Onoki and who knew who else was watching from outside. Thus, they remained unmoving for a long moment before the puppet master wrote something else.

'You said information was only the first thing,' He wrote, the pencil twitching in a few places there, but he seemed to be recovering from the Void already. At least, from what Eiji could see. Still, the boy smiled.

"I was waiting for you to mention that," He commented, shifting his position to something more comfortable. "You saw my team. I want you to be part of it," He said bluntly. He could try and say more, offer arguments, pros and cons, and really give a sales pitch. However, he didn't feel like doing that. Sasori was a smart man. Surely he could come up with those by himself.

So, leaving it at that, Eiji simply waited and observed. The pencil seemed frozen in place, floating over the paper sheet. Then, after some time passed, the tool seemed to move to write before hesitating. It did so several times, each time pausing before Sasori could communicate anything.

Eventually, it managed to do so.

On the sheet, the puppet master started writing a list. Wood, metal, wire, tools, senbon, plants, venoms, and so on. The more he read, the more Eiji's grin widened. He knew exactly what it meant. He directed a smug expression towards where he knew Onoki was looking at them. He could almost see the annoyed expression on the man's face.

When Sasori finally stopped writing, Eiji addressed him again.

"Well, you'll have to wait until we leave Iwa, as I'm sure you'll understand," He told the puppet master. "I'll see about this and maybe some more. For the moment, welcome to the Suicide Squad, Sasori," He said, almost chuckling at using that name.

For a moment, Eiji thought that would be it. However, as he went to stand up, the pencil moved once again. 'I have many questions,' He read before chuckling to himself and shaking his head.

"I'd be more surprised if you didn't," He admitted, moving towards the door. "You'll have answers, if I can and want to give them. So, for the moment, you'll have to wait on that too." And with that, he left the room.

"I really hope you know what you are doing," Onoki said, eyes narrowed and still staring at the cylinder that was Sasori at the moment. "If this blows up on our faces…"

"It won't, and if it does, it'll be solely on me," Eiji reassured, passing him the list that Sasori had given. "I'll take him away with me anyway. So, unless we have to come back here, you and your people will be fine. Besides, I have no doubts you can take on Sasori, especially after he lost most of his puppets, including his strongest ones."

"... I'll get all this ready for when you have to leave," Onoki told him as he read over the list, his eye twitching at some of those things. Eiji understood, especially the ones related to poison. Those, in the hands of someone like Sasori, were a very dangerous thing. If Eiji were less confident in the fear the Void could strike in a person and of his chances of taking out Sasori by himself, then he wouldn't even consider doing this.

"I'd appreciate that," Eiji replied with a nod. Then, he sighed, feeling his hands start to shake. "If you'll excuse me, I'll go back to my team," He added, trying to act like everything was fine.

"You take him to the Training Grounds," Onoki barked at one of the guards. Evidently, Eiji hadn't hidden his weakness as well as he hoped, or maybe the Tsuchikage already had suspicions and was just guessing. Regardless, the boy was grateful for the assist.

"Thanks," He said with a slight smile.

"We should be the ones thanking you, boy," Onoki shot back, shaking his head. Eiji noted that none of the ninja present so much as twitched at those words. No signs of opposition at all. 'Huh, interesting,' He noted.

Then, one of them put a hand on his shoulder and shunshinned him away.

'Kabuto isn't gonna be happy with me,' Eiji mused, grimacing. He was very glad that the med nin was still somewhat afraid of him, otherwise he'd look forward to his annoyance even less.

"Maybe you'll take your orders to rest more seriously then," Hachi pointed out unnecessarily.

"Oh, shut up," Eiji barked at her. Then, as he appeared right outside the training grounds, he saw an angry Kabuto and a very amused team waiting for him. 'Of course,' He thought resignedly.

"Welcome back, Fearless Leader~ We've been waiting for you~" Tayuya said with a singing voice. For once, Temari seemed in agreement with her, because she giggled behind her hand.

"Eiji, just come and sit somewhere. I'll check to see if everything's still alright," Kabuto ordered, for once not showing a single sign of hesitance when interacting with him. 'I kinda hope he did,' Eiji lamented as he did what he was told.

"Just wait until I'm ready to train you myself again, guys," He called over his shoulder, and the laughing stopped. "Because you can be sure I'll remember this!"

[} Chapter End {]

Hey guys! How's it going?

Well well well, wonder if anyone saw that coming. Eiji's pulling no stops to get every card he can in his favor while trying to deal with Akatsuki, you can bet on that.

This was an interesting chapter to write, that's for sure, and also kind of fun.

I hope you enjoyed the chapter too.

As always, if you can't wait until next week for next chapter, there's up to three new chapters in my Pa tre on:

P a treon . com (slash) AdrianKing

Discord Link: discord .gg/UTDransjJZ

Random Question: I'm curious, when did you come across this story? Did you arrive when it was only the first chapter? Still during the Academy Arc? The Genin Arc? When?

See you.