AN: Man, it's good to be back! Seriously, I've been planning this story for quite a while, but to actually start writing it is a completely different feeling!
Let's get some things out of the way. First of all, there is a 3 year time skip in place. Which means, Naruto will return to Konoha after three years of training. Those who came hoping that I would write about his training, sorry but you won't find it here.
Second, and one of the most important things to remember while you read this story: There will be no major changes to the Shippuden storyline. I'm still figuring a couple of things out, but the story will more or less be the same.
The only change will be Naruto.
I'm writing this story with a Naruto who is a completely different character from the manga. A Naruto who will have very different reactions to the events that happened in the manga. I'm not going to create an original storyline, so don't criticize me down the line for that.
Thirdly, Naruto will be powerful. VERY POWERFUL. After how powerful I made him in my previous story, I'm not about to nerf the guy, or everyone is gonna blow up on me. Call it an OP Naruto story, because this is exactly that.
This time, I'll try to do justice to Naruto and Sasuke's complicated relationship. I'll try to make it clearer this time.
But don't forget, NARUTO is the main character. Not Sasuke.
On a smaller note, there will be some behind the curtain developments, nothing big, just superficial to make myself feel better as a person and a writer, so please just roll with it. Not only that, but I plan to redeem Sakura in this story, so there's that.
Also, I've received some comments about the fox summons having tails similar to tailed beasts. I'm going to correct that- they will be just as large as before, but they won't have multiple tails. Please note this and don't bug me about it later.
About updates, I will try to keep at at least once every two weeks, since I've got a lot more to study now, exams coming and all that.
I sincerely hope that this story is enjoyed by the readers, and may you all make this story a bigger success than its predecessor.
P. S: Naruto- age 16 1/2
Temari- age 18
P. P. S:
Kurama speaking in head
"Naruto speaking to Kurama"
Kotohiwa was a small, but a popular town that was known for its rather delicious and large variety of tempura. Its population mainly consisted of low level merchants, and tourists were rare due to the town being dangerously close to the border of Iwa and Taki. Which was why the only people who visited the town belonged to those two countries. It was a place of good cuisine, if nothing else.
In one of the Tempura bars, one of the more popular ones called "Jinsei no michi", the "Road of life", on the bar stools, sat an ordinary looking young man, slowly eating his chicken tempura, eyes closed as if truly enjoying his food. The bar was almost empty, the people leaving for their homes at eight in the evening.
"Man, those people back there weren't kidding about the tempura in this town," he spoke softly to himself after swallowing his bite, smiling slightly at the plate. Looking up, he smiled at the bartender. "Do you guys have a secret recipe?"
The bartender huffed out a chuckle, writing something down on a notepad, probably the day's count of money. "Every restaurant has its secret sir. We wouldn't be so popular if we didn't."
The man nodded in agreement, putting another bite in his mouth. "If only I could purchase the chefs," he whispered, slightly sad that his plate was finally empty.
The voice cackled in his ear, but the man's face gave nothing away of the fact that someone spoke to him in his ear. Twirling his chopsticks in his hand in a manner that indicated a high level of dexterity, he offhandedly spoke to himself, but loud enough to be heard by bartender.
"I wonder if the lights still burn after nine."
The comment was nothing special in itself, except for the slight emphasis on "burn". The bartender momentarily paused in his writing, but continued with a slight smile, hiding his confusion behind the voice he reserved for his customers.
"It depends…..on whether you would like to try our brand of tea."
"I would like that."
The man slid a single coin towards the bartender, who picked it up and pocketed it. He nodded with a pleasant smile and made towards the chef's window. The man spoke again, stopping him for a moment, "Please tell them to hurry up though. I have business to attend."
"Of course sir."
Instead of speaking to the chefs directly, the bartender entered the kitchen through the door, coming out five minutes later. "Your tea is ready, sir."
The man nodded his thanks and left some change on the bar, getting up. Straightening out his brown jacket, he cast an eye around under the pretense of loosening up his neck. Seeing no one paying attention to him, he walked towards his right and entered the door labeled "Staff only" without hesitation.
Walking through the corridor, the bartender joined him by his side. "I must admit that you rather surprised me sir. I was not expecting that comment."
The young man smiled, his brown eyes meeting the perplexed ones of his companion. "Well, consider me temporary. This is the only time you will meet me."
The bartender nodded in agreement, motioning towards a door on the left. "May I have your name, sir?"
A slight quirk on an eyebrow caused him to elaborate. "It's just that my employer never informed me of a replacement and I was under the impression that I was going to entertain him tonight."
A slight grimace crossed the man's face. "You employer's…busy. Got sidetracked by a brothel. I'm sure you understand."
A sigh of long suffering escaped the older man's mouth. "He hasn't changed at all."
The man put his hand on the doorknob and twisted it, clicking it open. Just before entering he paused, and leaned back to face the bartender. "The name's Haruki, by the way."
With that, he entered the room and locked the door behind him.
Haruki stared at the small man as if trying to figure out a mystery. Sato Daiki was a small man, very small compared to Haruki's five feet ten inches. And looking at him, Haruki could tell that there really was nothing impressive about the man, except for how unnoticeable he was.
Maybe that was why he was part of the ring.
"I'm not going to waste any time on pleasantries, so let's skip to business," Haruki began with a no-nonsense expression on his face. "First."
Daiki followed him immediately. "Leaf."
Haruki stared at the man, judging with his eyes for any sign of deception. He kept staring until Daiki began to squirm in his seat. Finally, he dropped his stare and sighed. "Sorry, needed to confirm."
Daiki waved his hand with a nervous smile. "It's ok. I was informed that there was going to be a replacement tonight."
Haruki sat down in front of him. "Were you followed?"
"Sure you weren't," Haruki muttered and cleared his throat. "So, give me all you have."
For the next fifteen minutes, Haruki listened intently what Daiki had to say. Daiki seemed rather anxious at first, but he talked faster the more he talked. By the end of fifteen minutes, Haruki leaned back in his chair, looking up contemplatively. "Are you absolutely sure about all of this?"
Daiki bobbed his head. "90 percent."
"Four of them in town."
Haruki stood up abruptly. "That's good enough for me and him. Alright, you know what to do. Get out of here."
Daiki got up so fast that the chair almost toppled backwards. Nodding a hasty goodbye, he skid out of the office like a rat who saw a cat.
Haruki walked out of the office and straight towards the back exit, where the bar took out the trash from. Opening the door, he closed it and walked onto the main street. Looking left and right, one would think he was searching for someone at the first glance. His eyes narrowed as they passed a particular alley, but he let it go.
He walked towards the part of the town that led to the forests. He didn't know what to make of the information he had received. On one hand he felt impressed that the opposition had that much balls. On the other, it was a matter of a potential breach of security. If that breach ever happened…well, he didn't want to think about it.
To think that the network is being monitored. He's going to have a coronary when he hears about this.
Before he could enter the forest line, he stopped. His head drooped, a sigh of disappointment escaping his lips. "I don't have a chance, do I?"
He heard the tap of someone landing behind him. Four people, just as his scout had informed him. He turned around and came face to face with a group of four wearing traveling cloaks. He could see the weapons hidden on their person clearly, with one of them carrying his sword in his hand. A damn pitiful attempt of an intimidating glare worn by all of them, Haruki contemplated whether he should just ignore them and walk away.
They didn't look like the kind of people who could even give him a warm-up, let alone a fight.
"That's right punk," the one standing right in front of him spat in disgust. "You really think we would let you get away with what you did to us in Rice country?"
Haruki showed no signs of alarm on the outside, but was shaking his head inside. Gotta admire their persistence, if nothing else.
"So you found me?"
"Damn right we did, and once we're done with you, we'll-"
"How did you find me?"
The leader looked taken aback at the interruption, but then his scowl returned with a sneer. "Once we're done with you, you'll think twice before attacking a casino owner."
Haruki nodded to himself, his suspicions confirmed. "Kaito it is."
The leader snorted, and the next moment, he was surrounded on all four sides, facing the leader. The leader cracked his knuckles, "Kaito-sama doesn't like it when somebody threatens him. We're here for some payback for him….and ourselves."
Haruki snorted, completely amused. "If you think you really can."
Before the man could comprehend the statement, his jaw met with a fist. A fist that broke the jaw completely, knocking him out in one go.
The other three launched into action, the one behind Haruki grabbing a hold of his jacket in an attempt to restrain him. The asshole apparently forgot that the front chain was open. Which was why Haruki stepped forward easily, the sleeves turning inside out as he kicked the second straight in the chest. The force behind the kick sent the guy rocketing back, rolling until his head collided with a streetlight ten feet away, knocking him out as well.
Haruki spun on his right foot, pulling his arms out of the jacket's sleeves, but still maintaining a hold on the clothing. He cartwheeled to his left, and landed neatly on his feet. He lifted and spun the jacket over the guy who was still holding it, and gave a sharp tug.
The guy spun like a screwdriver in the air before slamming to the ground. Haruki knocked him out with a football kick to the head.
The last guy, the one who had his sword out, swung wildly at him, aiming to cut his head off. Haruki crouched and spun beneath the attack, letting his opponent get behind him. Completing his spin, he threw out the jacket in his right arm, a sleeve wrapping around the man's leg.
A harsh pull sent the guy in the air, spinning not unlike his partner, before he landed on his head. Haruki sighed, dusting his jacket off before draping it over his shoulder, continuing his walk into the woods.
He removed the radio in his right ear, brisk walking towards his destination. The small camp that was set up by him and his companions came in sight, and he spoke out to the red head that was sitting by the campfire, eating some roasted meat. "You know, I still don't get it why they came all the way here just so they could have a crack at me."
The red head looked up at him and grinned, "You did make an impression back in Rice. Honestly, just by the feel of his chakra I could tell that he would be getting even with you in some way."
Haruki tossed his jacket to the ground and sat down on the log. "I'm honestly kind of insulted that he sent just four men. Didn't he learn anything from our last meeting? Honestly, I don't know why he's still in the network. He's more trouble than his worth."
"That's not exactly true and you know it," Haruto shot back.
Haruki sighed, "Whatever. Mission accomplished."
Haruki reached beneath his shirt to pull off a piece of paper sticking to his chest. As soon as he pulled it off, smoke enveloped his form. When it finally dispersed, Haruto grinned at him. "Feeling better?"
"Loads. That seal is good for holding my henge, but when I do it for long it feels like I'm walking around in a blanket."
Naruto shook his head as he burnt off the seal tag with a small fire. He looked towards the red head, who was smirking at him. "What?"
"How many ladies hit on you this time?"
Naruto sighed and leaned back on his hand. "Three."
Haruto chuckled and said in a false suffering tone. "I feel for you, cousin. Being as handsome as we both are can be a curse sometimes."
Then he broke into giggles. "Man, it's fun watching you get uncomfortable with ladies, but it's even more fun watching Jiraiya steam about it."
"I can't believe this is what the perv calls an A-rank mission. It's like a scene straight out of a cliché detective movie. Where's the pervert anyways?"
"In the brothel."
"Still? Hasn't he gotten the memo that he won't be getting laid anytime soon?"
"Knowing how he always thinks with his dick, probably not."
There was silence for a few moments, in which both of them stared at the dancing fire. Haruto spoke up once more. "You could always give him some of your water clones disguised as prostitutes. No need for lubri-"
Naruto jabbed a finger at his cousin, speaking in almost a growl. "You shut your goddamn trash mouth, Uzumaki."
After talking for ten to fifteen more minutes, Naruto decided to inform Tsunade about the completion of his mission. Rolling open his large storage scroll, he pressed his palm on a particular seal and pushed his chakra into it.
In a small burst of smoke, came out one of his inventions that he simply called "The Pad." He found it rather perplexing that the ninja world had radio communications for missions, but they had invented nothing that could be just as convenient for long distance communication. They relied on eagles for that.
Yeah, he doesn't do that anymore. In fact, he hasn't been doing that for quite a while, if you count shadow clones and Hiraishin.
It was his second long term fuinjutsu project he had done, the first being the Hiraishin. It had taken him four months of research with his shadow clone to come up with the seal. Then again, he didn't have any reference material like he had with the Hiraishin. He had to create the seal from scratch.
He made full use of his shadow clones to get all the material he needed. If he ever needed something that he forgot to take from home, he would simply make a shadow clone, who would flash straight to his study back home and bring what he needed. Naruto had come up with an idea for a scroll that could be connected to another scroll on the other side of the nations. But Jiraiya pointed out the flaw in that idea, saying that connecting to only one scroll would be quite inefficient.
So Naruto set to work about creating a seal that would connect any scroll that had the communications seal he had created. The one thing that Jiraiya helped him with most was pointing out the flaws, like the blatant lack of security in the first draft.
Anyone could open a scroll and write into it, including an enemy. Which was why Naruto designed a basic, but clever (according to himself) security system. Integrating that system into his seal array without disturbing the space-time seals on the scrolls was a pain in the ass, but he managed it without Jiraiya's help. Not that the jerk was helping him in the first place.
The scroll would have a chakra lock. The scroll won't "open", as in the communication seals won't activate until the person the scroll belongs to puts in their chakra. If there is even the slightest irregularity in the chakra, the seals would deactivate completely and a security password would have to be written on the scroll to activate them again.
Another flaw that Jiraiya was happy to point out was that the recipient of the message wouldn't know who the message was coming from, and introducing yourself every time you write was annoying, something which they both agreed upon.
Looking back, creating the pad was most hair pulling project he had ever done. There were only so many things he could fit into the pad before the seal array crashed in on itself. The identity matrix was the last addition to the scroll that he made. It basically gave an identity to the scroll in the form of the user's name. So every time he sent a message to Tsunade, he wouldn't have to introduce himself because his name would automatically appear on her scroll.
All he had to do to contact her was write her name on the scroll, and they would be connected.
It was an invention that he was proud of, and he was sure that his dad was too, as a fellow seal master. The "Com scroll" as it was initially called, was a field success. It was handy, easy to use, secure and nothing that one would be interested enough to steal, considering it was just an ordinary scroll.
As happy and proud as Tsunade was about his invention, she surprisingly came up with a very practical flaw in the Com scroll. It was a paper scroll and as such, needed a flat surface to write. While they could manage writing while keeping the scroll on hand, what mattered to Naruto was that there was room for improvement.
Over the course of three weeks, he worked to replace the scroll with something better. "The Pad" at first appearance was a cylindrical, metallic black stick about 3/4th the length of his forearm. There was another small, cylindrical stick slightly smaller that was parallelly attached to its side that when pulled, paper was stretched out like a napkin dispenser that hardened upon straightening.
He could easily write on it with anything and whatever was written, it was transmitted to the receiver in real time.
"You never did tell me how you came up with this. Not even the clan had ever came up with this from what my parents had told me," Haruto remarked as he watched the pad in Naruto's hands with open curiosity and amazement.
Naruto smirked as he finished writing a summary of his mission. "I'll let you look at my notes sometime."
He put the cap on his ink pen and pocketed it. As the ink disappeared on his scroll, he snapped and rolled the paper back inside and put the pad back in his scroll.
Naruto turned to his cousin and gave him a small smile. "So, when did Jiraiya say he was returning?"
Uzumaki Haruto was Naruto's distant cousin in the Uzumaki clan. When the second year of his training had started, Naruto had questioned Jiraiya on whether the Uzumaki clan was truly wiped out or were there any survivors.
"Well, there are remnants, of course. Some of the Uzumaki managed to escape before it was destroyed, and they might be spread across the nations," was what he was told.
Naruto had longed to meet someone from his mother's clan, one of the strongest standing with the Uchiha and the Senju. It was only at the end of his second year of his training trip that he and Jiraiya found one, by pure chance.
Haruto was Naruto's many times removed cousin whose mother escaped the destruction of Uzushiogakure no sato. Only she didn't come to Konoha like Naruto's mother did. She apparently travelled to hot water country where she kept a low profile to avoid catching the attention of hunter nin.
Jiraiya and Naruto found Haruto when they were in the Hot water country for an A-rank mission. A missing nin was unknowingly targeting Jiraiya's spies for money, and they were there to take care of that.
They walked right into an ambush.
Of course, against Naruto and Jiraiya, an ambush was next to useless. Just as they were about to turn the tables, all the ninjas in the clearing, even the hidden ones, were pierced in the chest by blood red chains that came out of nowhere. Naruto had read about the Uzumaki chakra chains from his mother's journals, and recognized them right away.
Jiraiya and Naruto remained standing where they were, bodies tensed even though the shinobi that ambushed them dropped like flies. Naruto's eyes flickered towards his right, having sensed where their 'savior' was.
"To think we would run into one," Jiraiya chuckled as he relaxed.
Naruto returned with a smirk. "Guess I gotta count myself lucky, don't I?"
They were still surrounded by the chains, whose speared tips turned towards them as they hovered around, poised to attack any moment. Naruto guessed that they must be dealing with an adult Uzumaki with "special" chakra, because judging from the pointed tips, this was the mastered version of the Adamantine chains, the same one that his mother possessed.
"We won't attack you," Naruto spoke loud and clear, hoping to meet up with his fellow Uzumaki, "Can you reveal yourself? My name is Uzumaki Naruto."
The chains lingered in the air, but Naruto's and Jiraiya's eyes managed to spot momentary freeze in them, before they started moving again. Suddenly, they retracted sharply, as if being sucked away into a vacuum.
Naruto and Jiraiya turned towards their right when they heard hurried footsteps approaching. Naruto's heart started beating faster as a mop of spiky red hair came into sight, but he blinked dumbly when a teenager emerged from the forest, his face full of hope. He was of similar age to Naruto, and even though he wore civilian clothes, the muscle on his arms was a clear indicator that he was fit.
He was slightly shorter than Naruto, and had an angular face with purple eyes. His hair was long, reaching down to his upper back, but not tied. Two spiky tails hung on the front of his shoulders.
Naruto was a bit taken aback when the teenager lunged forward and grabbed his shoulders, shaking him a bit in hysteria. "Are you really an Uzumaki?!"
"Um, yeah, even though I don't have red hair," Naruto answered, gently prying the hands away.
He froze though, when the redhead buried his face in his chest and started sobbing. His arms clung around him in desperation, as if he had found something long lost.
"Oh thank god…thank god…."
Naruto slowly wrapped his own arms around the teenager, wearing a confused expression on his face. Jiraiya was understanding as he moved to give them some space.
"Oh thank god, I never thought I would ever find another Uzumaki!"
It tugged at Naruto's heart at just how broken his voice. Trying to distract the guy from what was disturbing him so much, he fished for a name. "So, what name do you go by?"
The teenager lifted his head and wiped his tears with his sleeve, but Naruto could tell the smile on his face was of genuine happiness. "My name is Uzumaki Haruto! And it's a pleasure to meet you!"
Suffice to say, their first meeting was interesting. Naruto had been thrilled to discover a part of his family, as distant as it was. He learned that Haruto was usually a calm person, but easily got excited about things that interested him.
He had been living alone in Hot water country ever since his parents were killed by hunters when he was . The only reason he got spared was because the nin weren't aware of his existence, and he was very good at hiding, despite his powerful chakra reserves.
That, and he killed the hunters in a fit of rage.
Ever since then, Haruto avoided attention if he could, working daily to earn his bread. Jiraiya was impressed that even though Haruto did not become a ninja, he had mastered the use of his chakra chains at such a young age, without anyone to guide him.
The kid had a lot of potential.
It didn't take much to convince him to go with them, since he was already considering it. Naruto had a feeling that Haruto would be glued to him for some time. He wouldn't want him to get out of his sight.
As the trip progressed, Jiraiya trained both of them. He was already unleashing hell upon Naruto, who couldn't help but feel pity for his cousin who hadn't worked this hard ever in his life.
But as the months passed, Haruto kept on improving. And as he improved, his self-esteem did as well. Naruto prevented Jiraiya from corrupting Haruto with his perverted ways, but the latter still developed a penchant for a making dirty jokes every now and then.
That, and he also became a bit of a smartass. Naruto had a feeling that Haruto was a natural at that.
Haruto shrugged, "Maybe when he's had his fill."
The wind blew a bit strongly, threatening to douse the fire but thankfully it sustained. Naruto's nose picked up a familiar smell heading towards their way.
"Guess he finally had his fill of the night," Naruto dryly commented.
He was right, when five minutes later, a large outline of a figure came into view, striding into their camp. "So how was the mission, brat?"
Naruto chucked a rock at his head, which Jiraiya easily caught in his hand. "You call that an A-rank?"
"What? Gathering information from my spies is at least mid A-rank kid. You should be thankful I let you go in my place," Jiraiya puffed up his chest, taking a seat before Naruto, Haruto making way for him to sit.
Naruto scoffed. "Operating so close to Iwa's borders…..I thought they would be a bit more vigilant about who is in town."
"So you managed to avoid the ninjas?"
Naruto frowned. "I thought we established before that my acting was acceptable," Naruto said with a sarcastic air, "enough for me to dodge my way out of those situations."
Jiraiya didn't even bat an eye at his answer. "Acceptable isn't good enough for me kid."
Naruto narrowed his eyes, but didn't say anything further. Jiraiya always was like this; his standards were very high, and Naruto gave his best to meet them. Bu no matter how hard he tried, it was never enough for the Sannin.
He never got anything above "acceptable."
Just wait, you perverted ape. I will make you eat that word tomorrow.
Naruto got up from the log, stretching his arms up. "Alright, I'm going to sleep. Make sure you're in top form for tomorrow, ero-sennin. I wanna beat you at your best."
Jiraiya snorted, waving the comment away. "You're a hundred years too young for that."
Once he was sure Naruto had gone to sleep, Haruto leaned towards Jiraiya. "Jiraiya-sama, must you be so harsh on him? He's performed the mission rather excellently."
Jiraiya was silent for a long moment before speaking. "It's not about the mission, Haruto. As his teacher, I have to make sure he's always motivated to get stronger and better. Even if that means I have to downgrade his performance."
"But Naruto has improved, hasn't he?" Haruto asked pointedly.
Jiraiya let out a soft chuckle. "By leaps and bounds. Every time I test him, he's better than before. Kid's got potential just like his old man, perhaps even more. I suspect he's been sneaking in extra training behind my back."
Jiraiya leaned back, staring at the stars and smiling nostalgically. "Naruto has built upon his father's legacy in a way I would never have even dreamed about. I never expected him to get this far in just three years. Did you know that he altered the Nidaime Hokage's shadow clone jutsu in a way that all the clones were linked together by mind?"
Haruto's eyebrows shot up at that fact. "You mean that jutsu wasn't like that when he taught it to me?"
Jiraiya shook his head. "Nah, not at all. Naruto merely wanted to see whether it was possible or not. It wasn't even one of his main goals to achieve on this trip. There's so much that he's achieved during this trip that I'm nothing but proud of him. I've run out of words to describe how proud I am of him."
Haruto contemplated on what he had heard. "How good would you say he is right now?"
Jiraiya gave a tiny frown at the question and pursed his lips. After a moment, he smirked, and Haruto detected pride in his voice. "Good enough to have a bounty on his head."
Jiraiya chuckled and exclaimed in his boisterous voice. "Come on Haruto, don't ask everything today! Save some for later. I gotta sleep now, be ready for tomorrow."
Haruto bit his lip. There was so much he wanted to ask Jiraiya, but one more question wouldn't hurt, would it?
"What is tomorrow anyways?"
Jiraiya turned back to him, and the light from the fire cast a glow on his face. His eyes were shining with such intensity that Haruto had to suppress a shiver. "A fight. The final battle between him and me, one that will mark the end of his training."
Jiraiya then glanced at his fist, clenching it tightly. "To be honest, I'm not sure whether I can win tomorrow or not."
Haruto didn't know what to say to that.
The sun's rays hit Naruto's eyes at six thirty in the morning, causing them to flutter open. He didn't get up immediately, but rather thought about what was going to happen today.
Today was going to be the end of his training.
The fight he would fight today would undoubtedly be one of the toughest battles he would ever fight. He knew well what Jiraiya was capable of, since the man had been training himself as well, over the course of the trip. Jiraiya had proved himself as one of the most powerful shinobi in the world. He had pushed him hard, hard enough that sometimes he felt his will to get up crack. It was only due to Kurama shouting at him and Jiraiya taunting his strength that he had got back up.
Every time he got up, Jiraiya sent him back down harder than before. Every time Naruto felt he had improved, Jiraiya was quick to knock off that feeling. He had learnt much from his godfather, but never once received a genuine compliment.
The man was completely different from the goof that Naruto was used to talking to. Naruto was torn on what to feel.
On one hand, he felt frustrated that never once he received acknowledgement of his efforts. On the other, he was glad that Jiraiya had made true on his promise. His promise of making Naruto one of the most dangerous men on the planet.
Naruto had gave it his all in training, and then some. He had pushed himself to his absolute limits, even after Jiraiya had performed the body enhancement ritual on him a year ago, using his father's seals. He was able to see his improvement though, even if Jiraiya didn't say anything- every time he and Jiraiya sparred, it took the other man longer to put him down.
Every time Jiraiya gave him a new technique, Naruto mastered it to the point that he could do it with only one or two hand seals. His body had gotten stronger every time it healed from damage, thanks to Kurama and the seal enhancements. His muscles had hardened to the point that a civilian would break his hand if he punched him, and Naruto wouldn't even feel a thing.
Naruto was sure that he had lived in hell for three years. He wondered if his father had been trained this hard as well.
He sat up, taking a deep breath. The cold air brushed across his bare torso, but he payed it no mind. Getting up, he attended to his morning rituals.
Today was the last day of his training. He would make it count.
Tomorrow, he would be home.
He wanted to see his wife.
After an hour, the three of them had packed up their camping supplies and were munching on some breakfast. Naruto finished off eight boiled eggs, while Haruto munched on some fruit mix he had made for himself. Jiraiya, like him, ate six boiled eggs for breakfast.
Once they were finished, Jiraiya told him where they needed to go. "You remember the grounds that I asked you to mark four months ago?"
Naruto nodded, having understood where to go. He touched his index finger to the ground, expanding his senses to feel for the kunai he left on the grounds. Withing seconds he had the location, and he motioned for them to hold on. Once they had, they were gone in a colorless flash.
Appearing instantly on the grounds, the others let go, shaking off the slight disorientation. Naruto looked around, seeing nothing had changed.
They were on a rocky hill, one of the highest among all the hills in the area. Jiraiya had brought them here four months ago, mainly because it was quite a secluded area and plenty of space to train. The view was great as well, as the hill overlooked a small village, the greenery around giving lots of fresh air to breath.
All in all, Naruto thought this was a great picnic spot. Training too.
Jiraiya took off his bags and put them down. He turned around and smirked at his blonde student. "All right, today is your final evaluation Naruto. I'm gonna be testing you to your limits, both physical and mental. Today, I won't be holding back on you."
Naruto's heart started beating faster at his teacher's words. The blood was rushing through his veins, excitement growing with each word. The prospect of a battle with a strong opponent…he could barely keep from grinning like a madman. "Do I get to drop my gravity seals for the test?"
"Yes. I don't want you weighed down by anything. You'll get crushed in no time."
The nonchalance and the confidence ticked Naruto off a bit, but he controlled himself. He had gained an ironclad control over his emotions over the course of three years. The training wasn't something he liked, but it was necessary. Kurama wouldn't accept anything less.
Naruto nodded. "Alright. How are we doing this?"
Jiraiya folded his arms. "I need two hours to prepare for the test. You use the time to do the same, but do it away from here."
Naruto tilted his head. "What am I going to wear for the test?"
Jiraiya rummaged in his pack and pulled out a scroll. Tossing it to Naruto, he informed him. "I had ordered a vest of your size from the village. Wear it over anything you want. And no peeking!"
With that, Jiraiya shooed him away. Naruto sighed but complied, walking down the hill with Haruto. Haruto was bouncing a rock in his hands, a thoughtful expression on his face. "I wonder what he will cook up."
"Yeah, me too."
"Do you think you can win?"
Naruto scoffed. "Against him? I don't think so."
Haruto frowned in concern, perceiving his statement as a lack of confidence. "You really should-"
"I know so."
Haruto stopped short at that, the rock falling from his grasp. The fire that burned in Naruto's eyes told him that Naruto had every intention crushing Jiraiya's test. Naruto continued, unaware of Haruto's thoughts. "He has a geographical advantage over me, that much is obvious. But he'll need a lot more than that to put me down. Plus, I'll make my own field advantage."
Haruto decided not to mention that Jiraiya already had doubts of winning against his pupil. Naruto was fully fired up for the test.
Both of them turned back towards the hilltop, where Jiraiya was waving at them, calling Haruto to him. Haruto started walking back to Jiraiya, waving a thumbs up at his cousin. "All the best, Naruto!"
Naruto nodded with a smile. "Thanks, cous."
Naruto watched the redhead hike back to Jiraiya, and turned away, walking down. He needed to make his own preparations.
For the next two hours, Jiraiya and Naruto busied themselves. Jiraiya prepared his field, while Naruto stocked up his hip pouches from his supplies. Both of them were dead serious while making their preparations, knowing that neither of them would hold back.
With five minutes to two hours, Naruto finished making his preparations. He glanced at the hilltop, which Jiraiya was no doubt prepping up with various traps. In fact, he was willing to bet that Jiraiya had booby trapped the whole hill, and removed his Hiraishin mark from any and everything that had it.
While no one except him could remove the mark, there were ways to disable any use of space-time jutsu. Jiraiya had been studying hard to overcome his weak spots in fuinjutsu.
"Dammit, I knew he was looking at my notes," he muttered, no longer sensing the mark that was on Jiraiya or Haruto. If he couldn't sense it on Haruto, that meant Haruto was a part of the test. But how?
He didn't ponder much long, changing into his jonin uniform for the first time in two and a half years. He wore a dark blue t-shirt with long sleeves, the neck going halfway up his throat. He wore ANBU pants of the same color than went down till it covered his calf muscles, leaving the rest of the leg bare. He stripped two orange bands on his forearm over the tee, one at the wrist and the other just beneath the elbow on both arms.
Taking the roll of black bandages, he wrapped them up over the exposed part of his legs, along with some clothing and put on his black shinobi sandals, just like the ANBU. He took the green jonin vest and put it over, strapping it in place. He took his hip pouches, stocked to the full, and tied them around his hips.
Last but not the least, Naruto tied his headband, automatically smiling when he did it. It felt good to put on his hitai-ate again. Not having worn in it months, he forgot the feeling that he still belonged to a place. He ran a hand over his newly cut hair, sighing as he did.
He liked the hairstyle he had back when he was in the village. Back then he felt that he was closer to his father with that hairstyle, but had to cut it because Jiraiya ordered him to. He said it brought too much attention to them.
Not only that, but he said that if he wanted to make a name for himself, then he had to step out of the shadow of his father. By retaining that sort of hair, Naruto was unknowingly pushing himself further into it. Grudgingly, Naruto had conceded the point, because he knew it would get annoying if he was only known because of his father.
Now, he sported a very normal haircut. He had gotten rid of the bangs, and kept his hair at a length that came to his eyebrows. It was as spiky and untamable as ever, but he kept most of it out of his eyesight. Some of it dropped down to the right of his forehead, but didn't obstruct his eyesight.
He clenched his fists and rolled them, cracking his wrists. He rolled his head to crack his neck, rolled his shoulders, jumped a bit, did a few stretches to warm himself up. He knew Jiraiya would be coming any second now, so he released the gravity seal that kept him at 10 times the Earth's gravity. He grinned joyfully as he did a few jumps- he felt as light as a feather!
Just as he finished warming up, Jiraiya appeared before him in a burst of smoke. There was nothing different about him, but Naruto knew better. This was merely a shadow clone sent to inform him of the test. Jiraiya had probably prepared to level down the entire hill. Maybe that was an exaggeration, but it was better to prepare for the worst.
Naruto was prepared.
Jiraiya's expression was stony, not revealing anything. Naruto knew better than to search for any sign of a tell. Jiraiya's decades of experience as a spy had trained him to control himself in the worst of the situations. The waterfall training was brutal, even for him, but it had payed off.
Naruto took a deep breath and calmed his excited heart down. Staring back at him, he returned. "Lay it on me."
"You have three objectives that you need to achieve in order to pass this test. I'll only tell you the secondary and tertiary objectives, the primary is yours to discover. Don't worry, you'll know it when you see it."
Naruto nodded in understanding.
Jiraiya continued, barely a hint of a smirk on his face. "I've hidden a scroll of information. You have to find it in order to complete the second objective."
Naruto nodded again. He already knew this was going to be tough, since Jiraiya would undoubtedly have used fuinjutsu to enhance his traps. Breaking fuinjutsu arrays was something that Naruto always looked forward to. Considering that Jiraiya's specialization was in sealing various types of objects and security, he had a challenge on his hands.
"The third objective to defeat me. By defeat, it doesn't mean that you have to land a critical strike on me. It's more than that."
Naruto frowned. What could be more than landing a finishing blow to your opponent?
Jiraiya held up five fingers. "You'll have to land not one, but five critical strikes on me."
Naruto gave the man a flat look, causing Jiraiya to nervously chuckle. "Ah hahaha….I meant, not actually land those strikes. That would kill me."
"You mean just give an impression that I could have killed you with that particular strike?" Naruto clarified, seeing Jiraiya having some trouble framing his sentence.
Jiraiya snapped his fingers. "Yes! Just like that!"
Naruto folded his arms across his chest. "I'm sorry, but why five strikes? I could simply imitate a strike that cuts off your head."
"Don't get too cocky, kid. It's to test your improvisation against an enemy who is as persistent as a cockroach and as genius as you are. Once you land a strike, you must release me from whatever trap I'm in. The fight will then continue after a ten second rest. You won't use the rasengan, or any of the variations as well," Jiraiya revealed.
An unusual test, but one that Naruto would relish. He was dying to test out some of his new moves that he had been developing in secret.
"I have told you everything you need to know. Any questions from your side?"
He received a fist to the stomach for an answer, that instantly popped him. "No, we can begin."
Jiraiya blinked as he received the memories of his shadow clone, and he rubbed his stomach as the phantom pain hit him. He scowled, "Hmph! Disrespectful brat."
He then gave an anticipatory smile as he stood with his arms folded, his gaze eyeing the edge which he expected Naruto to climb from. "Let's see how you go about this…Raijin no te."
Naruto spread out his senses, smirking when he felt fifteen signatures standing on the circumference of the hilltop. Jiraiya knew exactly what Naruto was thinking, and had stationed his shadow clones such that they will intercept him from whatever path he comes from.
Relying on shadow clones was never Jiraiya's style, but it went to show how high he thought of Naruto's skills if he was willing to copy Naruto's style.
Holding up a half ram, thirty shadow clones soundlessly came into existence. There was no need to speak, since they were all connected by mind. Naruto took the path that was on the eastern side with some of his clones, leaving a shadow clone to take the front.
He began the climb without wasting time, running up and relying on his danger sense to alert him. His eyes were constantly darting everywhere, checking for any sign of traps. He gave no sign of surprise when he found that six of his clones were taken out before halfway point. It only proved that his suspicions were correct- the entire hill was booby trapped.
The hair on the back of his neck stood up in alarm, causing him to halt. Bending down, he carefully felt for the tiniest bit of chakra. He gave a sigh of relief; he had stopped right before he stepped on a pressure sensitive explosive tag- essentially a mine. "Right, he can afford to cause a landslide on any side except the one facing the village," he muttered, taking a step back.
His statement caused an epiphany. He chuckled, looking towards the hilltop. "You smart son of a bitch."
Because the south side had the village at the base, the strongest of the traps would have to be concentrated elsewhere. It clashed with the ideology that the front path was the fastest, most expected one and therefore, the most dangerous. Jiraiya had laid the real trap within a false trap, and Naruto completely fell for it. He sent out a message to the clone on the front.
Clone on the front, have you encountered any traps?
It never failed to give him a kick that he essentially had telepathy, even if it was among his own clones.
How far along are you?
I'm beyond halfway point, hiding from the Jiraiya ahead of me behind a rock.
A hill mostly made of rocks didn't have much places for convenient trap placing, except for explosives. It made Naruto wonder just how many mines did Jiraiya place around the body of the hill.
Well done. Summon me.
Only a moment later he found himself beside the clone on the front. He dismissed everyone else. He looked at his clone and nodded, silently telling him to stay there. Jiraiya wasn't a sensor like him, so it stealth worked in his favor. Coming out from behind the rock, he hurled a kunai wrapped with a level 3 explosive tag five feet beneath the Jiraiya standing ahead of him.
The blast that happened when it struck was enough to shatter the rock in a 2 meter radius, as well as blowing away the clone. Naruto took his chance and sprinted to the top, taking a jump in the end.
When he landed, he let his eyes roam and take in the scene. The hilltop Fifteen Jiraiya, not counting the clone he blew up, stared at him. His eyebrows rose slightly when he took in the scene behind the Jiraiya standing in front of him, several meters away.
So Haruto is the primary objective. Jiraiya took him as a hostage, which makes him top priority.
Having figured out his primary objective, he stood up to his feet, brushing off some dust of his legs. "Didn't take you for the one to copy Kakashi," he drawled, appearing at ease. "Kakashi copies others, but you copied Kakashi's style of copying the others, which makes you a double copier, ero-sennin."
Jiraiya smirked but didn't say anything. Bastard was probably talking to his clones via the mind link, because the remaining clones except for two came to stand before him in a line, several meters away. The remaining two took guard beside Haruto Naruto took careful notice of their eyes which darted to the ground while walking to group up.
It mean that there were traps here too, likely mines. Naruto wondered if he should blow the clones away by deliberately activating the traps, but he had to follow the rules of a hostage situation.
Hostage takes priority.
Go around the back, take out the two guarding Haruto and attempt a strike at the one who is speaking.
Roger that prime.
"What are your demands?"
Jiraiya said nothing at first, but when he replied, it wasn't what Naruto wanted. "You arrived here faster than I expected."
Naruto repeated his question, getting the answer this time. "Rescue your cousin, Naruto."
Naruto spread his arms. "No threats? Nothing that will happen to him if I take a step towards you?"
Jiraiya shook his head with a smile. "I'm simply the resistance."
Naruto smirked, not believing his words for a second. If there was a hostage, the opponent will always take advantage of him to gain an edge over you. Jiraiya may be telling the truth, or he may not, but Naruto had to assume the worst. That, and he was buying some time for his clone to get into position.
In position prime.
He had to give credit to his clones. Even though they weren't as strong as him, they were almost as fast as him. He had improved his strength a lot, which is why when he threw his kunai, they were faster than one could react. They could at most dodge, but only the best could catch them.
The kunai went clean through the heads of the clones, dispelling them. Jiraiya's reaction was damn impressive, because he turned around and threw a kunai at the clone, catching the one thrown at him an inch from his eye. The kunai was slower than what Naruto threw, but it managed to catch the clone in the chest, dispelling him.
Naruto was even faster than Jiraiya, because he reacted the instant Jiraiya turned his back to him. Twelve clones popped into existence, each of them lunging for the remaining clones while Naruto went after the apparent original. A kunai in his hand, Naruto was ready to deliver a superficial cut to the neck, to mark his first critical strike.
But Jiraiya was a veteran, and the teacher of the yellow flash, currently being Naruto's teacher for three years. He knew about Naruto just as much as Naruto knew about him, and he knew exactly how he would react- stealing the chance to land a strike.
Which is why he spun low on his heel to throw the kunai. Naruto's kunai cut a few of Jiraiya's hair, the blonde passing inches over his head. He smirked, proud of how fast his student had gotten. If it were anyone else this tactic would have worked. It was only because he knew Naruto's fighting style that he was able to dodge.
Naruto far outstripped him in the speed department now, just like his father did at his age.
Naruto flipped in the air to land on his feet his back facing Haruto. He stole a glance around the field, seeing the status of his clones. Three of his clones had managed to dispel the Jiraiyas they had marked and were assisting the others.
Any clone that has taken care of their Jiraiya, free Haruto!
In response, one of the clones immediately left its partner to obey the order of the original. The clone that was left behind stumbled momentarily, being taken out due to getting distracted. The Jiraiya then moved to assist the others, moving to attack a clone from its back while it was still fighting another Jiraiya.
The clone cursed and caught an elbow going for his jaw, kneeing the clone in the chest out of existence. He used the same leg to back kick the clone behind in the gut, dispelling him.
Naruto himself was busy engaging Jiraiya in a bout of taijutsu when the man tried to go back to Haruto. Avoiding a slash at his thigh, Naruto delivered a powerful, two punch combo to Jiraiya's face, mindful to hold back his enhanced strength, stunning him for a moment. Jiraiya was open for that small moment, so Naruto took his chance to land another attack. Jumping a bit, he landed a devastating right spinning hook kick to the head. Continuing his momentum, he dropped down and swept the legs from beneath his master. Jiraiya went down, but recovered quickly. But the job was done.
Naruto's clone had taken a hold of Haruto and flashed them to a previously marked point.
Primary objective complete.
Prime! The secondary objective is right where Haruto was! I'm marking the spot!
Naruto grinned for a moment, before refocusing back. A Hiraishin kunai slipped into his hand, and he began fighting in earnest. He used his right arm to block, left hand to attack- a strategy that was meant to move the opponent into a position that could not be blocked. Jiraiya knew how to move around it, but Naruto improvised, deliberately loosening his hold on his kunai. Jiraiya saw the opportunity and knocked it out of his hand when Naruto went for a face slash, spinning it in the air.
Not hesitating at the loss of his weapon for even a moment, Naruto easily avoided the swipe to his legs and aimed a jump punch at Jiraiya, who left his side open to get a slash at Naruto's ribs. Not a superficial one like the one Naruto was aiming for, but a real one, that would injure.
But even Jiraiya hadn't seen it coming that Naruto had set him up. His kunai passed empty air as Naruto flashed behind him. The right fist continued its path, this time to the back of Jiraiya's head. He felt a savage satisfaction when the punch connected, sending the larger man rolling across the ground. Just for insurance, Naruto threw a kunai tied with an explosive tag three feet from Jiraiya. The blast knocked the bigger man back a bit more.
Collecting his kunai, Naruto flashed to where his clone had marked. Jiraiya would need a few moments to recover from that one.
His eyes flashed over the sealing formulae on the tag stuck to the small box that was in front of him, eyes narrowing in slight anger as he recognized the encryption matrices. He cursed as he took out his ink pen and sealing paper.
"Fucking pervert stealing my notes, dammit!"
It was true, since Naruto had been working on sealing encryption to try and make the messaging scrolls more secure. He had prepared his own brand of encryption, and what he was seeing right now was different, but it was the little parts that got to him.
Naruto knew his work when he saw it.
He could crack this seal, but he would need time. At least three and a half minutes, considering each level of encryption was designed to work with the other. To confuse and crack this system, care had to be taken. Otherwise the system would lock in on itself or worse, self-destruct along with the message.
Naruto began writing swift, but careful strokes. He planned to confuse the first two levels and sever the connection with the third, so he can break two of them at the same time without needing worry about the third. Just as he finished the first part of breaking the seal, the hair on the back of his neck stood up in alarm.
Jiraiya was up, and was moving towards him.
Naruto slammed his hands into the tiger seal, and the tags that he had placed around the hill in a square formation activated. Jiraiya, who was making his way towards Naruto, throwing several kunai ahead of him in case he didn't reach in time to disrupt Naruto's progress, was slammed down on the ground. Hard.
The kunai fell out of their path as well, falling to the ground and making a slight dent. Naruto smirked as he watched Jiraiya's face kiss the ground. He would be lucky if his nose was still in one piece. He had made sure that the gravity would be 15 times that of the earth, more than even his seals. The only reason he wasn't feeling the effects was because of the counter seal he placed on himself. Turning back, he refocused on breaking the seal on the box.
Jiraiya grunted in slight pain as he doubled his efforts to move any part of his body. With so much gravity, his body was crushing in on itself. It would be different if he trained with gravity seals as well, but his body wasn't used to so much. He was barely able to move his eyebrows, much less his face. Reinforcing his body with chakra was all he could do to not get turned into mush.
He had to give Naruto credit though. Placing a barrier around an entire hill was not difficult, but the chakra cost for the activation for such a large area was high. But his pupil had more than enough chakra, his reserves having grown larger than ever in the last three years due to intense training with Kyuubi and himself.
Naruto played to his strengths.
Naruto finished designing the counter seal for the third level. Placing the one for the first two on the box, he activated it, then placed the one for the third level on top of it. The seals glowed as the levels were decrypted and withing seconds, the lock of the box opened. Naruto quickly took the scroll from inside and smirked in victory.
Second objective complete.
Standing up and turning to where Jiraiya was, he flash stepped towards him. Bending down, he nicked a small cut on the man's jugular, just opening a small scratch.
"Strike one old man," he taunted, jumping back and deactivating the gravity barrier.
Jiraiya sighed in relief when he felt the weight disappear. Jumping up to his feet, his hand came up to grip Naruto's wrist when the blonde attempted to land a palm strike on him. "Ten seconds aren't over yet, kid," he dryly said.
Naruto grinned. "No they're not."
The next thing he knew, they were in the middle of a forest, far away from the hill that they were on. Jiraiya tried to kick Naruto away, but the latter had already released him and jumped back, laughing slightly. "Where are we?"
Naruto smirked. "Around."
With that, he attacked, engaging them in a furious bout of taijutsu. Naruto had refined his taijutsu a lot in three years, adding new moves to his repertoire. His punches, hooks, jabs, kicks, nerve strikes were more refined than ever, and had damaging power behind them. Jiraiya's large figure meant he had a better reach, but Naruto had more speed and better reflexes on his side.
Ducking under a punch to his head, he raised his right hand to block a chop from the same hand. He stepped a little to the left, his left hand diverting Jiraiya's right side kick away from his stomach. He then slammed his left elbow into Jiraiya's exposed ribs, causing him to let out a grunt of pain.
He kicked away Jiraiya's right leg, which came to his head in a spinning kick. Jiraiya spun on his leg, aiming for a knee to Naruto's gut, which was blocked by Naruto's own. A left fist flew towards his head, which Naruto caught with a grunt. Naruto caught the right one before his stomach.
Without wasting a moment, he switched to offense. He pulled Jiraiya close, kneeing him in the gut. All the air left Jiraiya in one huff, but Naruto was relentless in his attacks. Releasing his hands, Naruto landed a flurry of quick punches to the man's torso, ending with a punch to the face.
Naruto could have easily put his mark on his master, making it easy to use Hiraishin on him. But the thought of being a one trick pony was rather unappealing. His dad might have spammed the technique, but Naruto did not want to make it a crutch for himself.
Naruto's strikes had power, slowly withering away Jiraiya's defense. He ended with side kick-back kick combo to the chest, throwing back Jiraiya so hard that the bark of the tree he slammed into cracked a little, and he coughed up some blood. He stumbled forward, shaking his head to clear it, and was able to catch the kunai to his chest with eyes closed.
He realized it only when he opened his eyes, that the kunai was a tri-pronged one.
Naruto flashed behind Jiraiya, punching him to the head to his right, then flashed again to a kunai buried a few feet away. He kicked Jiraiya in the chest after appearing before him. Snatching the kunai from the ground, Naruto jumped up, flipping in the air to increase the speed behind his slash. The slash was actually supposed to cut off the enemy's head, or open a bloody waterfall, but Naruto made sure that only a superficial cut was made to Jiraiya's neck.
Hiraishin: Enkei kogeki (Flying thunder god: Circular slash)
"That's the second strike."
Jiraiya got up and took a deep breath, exhaling with eyes closed. Turning around, he smirked despite the pain he was in. Naruto's taijutsu was dirty, brutal, and never failed to cause pain. "Don't think the next three will be this easy."
"I'm not, but if you don't step it up, you're going to lose," Naruto scoffed back.
Jiraiya chose not to speak anymore and jumped back, flying through seals.
"Katon: Ryuka no jutsu!" (Fire style: dragon fire jutsu)
A large dragon of fire, as large as him, came roaring towards him, but Naruto stood his ground. His hands came together in the bird seal, and chakra molded in his stomach at a rapid pace.
Suiton: Suijinheki! (Water style: water encampment wall)
Naruto spit a large amount of water which formed into a spinning, protective wall before him. He continued spitting water until Jiraiya stopped spitting fire. Jiraiya wouldn't risk any chakra intensive jutsu against him, because Naruto could fire S-rank jutsu for hours before he began to get tired.
Jiraiya threw a cluster of shuriken at him, which were easily avoided by Naruto. He was in Naruto's face in a second, following up his attack, having taken a guess as to how Naruto will dodge. Due to his position, Naruto was unable to dodge and therefore, the punch hit him straight in the jaw, sending him flying.
Naruto recovered quickly though, and flashed to the kunai that Jiraiya dropped before the second strike. A punch like that would have cracked anyone's jaw, but Naruto was tougher than the average shinobi. He flashed through two seals, molding chakra again.
Suiton: Tenkyu (Water style: Heavenly weeping)
Sharp, thin needles of water came out of his mouth, aiming for Jiraiya. Jiraiya jumped from his position, avoiding most of them. But one of them buried right into his shoulder, causing him to give a sharp cry of hid behind a tree, breathing deeply to brace himself. He pulled the needle out sharply, a small spot of blood opening up where it was buried.
Jiraiya tossed it aside, looking ahead with a frown and lightly panting. Naruto was pushing him, that much was true. He checked his wrists where Naruto had grabbed earlier, looking for the kid's marking. A bit relieved and confused, he put them down. He would ask Naruto later why he didn't mark him when he had the chance.
He needed to pull back and think up a strategy, otherwise it would make it more difficult for him than it already was.
"Can't hide from me!"
Jiraiya was barely able to duck under the punch that Naruto threw at him, pulling back. The knee he attempted was blocked and he was forced to jump when a second one slashed at him. Looking up, he withheld his groan when he saw five more.
Naruto sure loved his shadow clones.
While Jiraiya was busy taking care of the clones, Naruto prepared one of his large scale jutsus, taken from the Nidaime. He held his palms outward, then clapped them back.
Suiton: Suishouha! (Water style: water colliding wave)
He made use of the abundant moisture in the air and in moments, a spiraling vortex of water came into existence, as high as 15 feet. The top exploded in the form of a wave, which Naruto directed towards where Jiraiya was fighting his clones.
Jiraiya was employing the use of complex acrobatics that a man really should avoid at his age, to take out the clones. Just as he had dispatched the fourth clone, he heard it. He heard it before he saw it, and substituted himself with a broken wood stick a few meters away just as it hit the area. The clones were taken out, but Naruto was able to see where Jiraiya was, and directed the wave towards him. He needed to hurry or else Jiraiya would run out of range.
Jiraiya jumped further away, and saw the wave die behind him. Landing on the ground, he listened intently for any sound. Upon finding none, he took out a scroll from his jacket and was about to unseal the contents when he jerked back, avoiding a kunai. He jumped further away when the explosion took place, out of reach.
"I hope you're not holding back on me, Naruto," he called out.
Naruto appeared in front of him in a flash, face completely serious. "Trust me, I'm not."
Jiraiya spread his arms. "You just wasted a huge amount of chakra on that water technique."
"Huge for you, drops for me."
Naruto then smirked, "You are slowing down in your age, old man. You are in worse condition than me. That torso must be aching right now."
Jiraiya scoffed. "Ignoring pain is no big deal for me."
But they both knew that wasn't true. Naruto had been steadily wearing Jiraiya down with attacks to his body, and it was only a matter of time before Jiraiya was forced down. This was a battle of attrition now, and Naruto wasn't about to lose. He was an Uzumaki, and they don't know how to give up. A battle of stamina is the one where an Uzumaki never lost.
Naruto's hand slipped into one of his hip pouches, taking out something. His smirk widened when horror plastered itself on Jiraiya's face when he recognized what it was. Naruto made sure to keep it out of reach, as well as watch out for any sudden grabs. Jiraiya fumbled, checking his pouches, but it was not there.
So shocked was Jiraiya that he was unable to form a complete sentence. Because what Naruto was holding in his hands was the latest draft of Icha Icha. No one was supposed to see it, not even Naruto, even if the kid had proofread Icha Icha Paradise. The reason he couldn't afford to lose it was-
"I wonder what Tsunade's reaction be if I give it to her," Naruto said in mock thoughtful tone.
Jiraiya lunged forward for the book, but Naruto was faster than him as they took to the trees. Jiraiya desperately tried to catch up, but Naruto remained ahead of him, occasionally throwing an explosive tag at him. "How do you even know about that?!"
Jiraiya was on a mental breakdown, and it was too funny to see. Naruto laughed as he tree hopped. "You study from my notes, I study yours. Tit for tat, don't you think?"
Jiraiya growled as he continued to follow Naruto. He knew what the blonde was trying to do, and he didn't care. There was no way he was losing two years' worth of research because Naruto decided it was good blackmail material. He created a shadow clone that put on a sudden burst of speed, attempting to tackle the blonde out of air.
As he predicted, Naruto jumped up, letting the clone go underneath, but this was what Jiraiya expected. He sent chakra to his feet and lunged, tackling Naruto when he was mid-air.
Naruto gave a surprised shout as he was body slammed by Jiraiya. He cursed when the book slipped from his hands, and Jiraiya used him as a board to jump off after it, as the book was directly headed for a puddle of water.
Time slowed down for Naruto as he used his danger sense to increase his perception. Jiraiya's right hand was outstretched towards the notebook, and he would catch it before he landed in the puddle. Naruto reached behind, pulling a card with a seal written on it from an outer pocket of his hip pouch.
Jiraiya had caught the book and was flipping forward to land on his feet.
Man, I hope a breeze doesn't blow it away, he desperately thought before throwing the card, aiming for the bottom of Jiraiya's feet. If he was accurate, Jiraiya would step on it and activate the seal, giving Naruto an opening to land his third strike.
His aim was true, as the card reached under Jiraiya's right foot just as he landed. The seal activated due to the pressure sensitive component in it, and there was a visible current of electricity that flew over Jiraiya's body, shocking him. The tag was designed to temporarily paralyze the enemy, just for five seconds, enough for the others to take him down.
The tag ran out of chakra, and Jiraiya fell forward, muscles twitching as the nervous system received a shock, causing it to get confused. Naruto landed on a bark of a tree and pushed off, landing beside Jiraiya and swiftly making another cut to the neck, marking his third strike.
"You know, I'm getting this feeling that you're making this rather easy for me," Naruto pondered, crouching beside his teacher.
Jiraiya growled as the control of his limbs came back to him. The brat was taunting him! Three strikes, and Naruto had yet to take any damage. Not only that, but Naruto was targeting his weak spots!
He didn't know whether to be proud of that or frustrated.
Jiraiya backflipped away from Naruto, in a fighting stance. "Watch out brat, I'm going on the offense this time!"
Naruto chuckled. "I've been waiting for a long time for that."
Jiraiya cut his thumb, and slammed his hand on the ground.
"Kuchiyose no jutsu!"
Naruto flash stepped away, because the figure that came out of the explosion of smoke was larger than the trees themselves. A gigantic red toad, with a blue sleeveless jacket and a tanto strapped to its belt. There was a smoking pipe in its mouth.
Clearly this was a boss level summon.
Naruto narrowed his eyes as the summon started to speak. "OI JIRAIYA! WHERE AM I?"
Naruto winced as the toad shouted out to Jiraiya, clearly peeved about being summoned. The shout reverberated throughout the entire forest, scaring away any birds or animals in the vicinity. Naruto however, hesitated to summon any foxes. Maybe he could fight Jiraiya before the toad noticed him. He was literally an ant compared to the guy.
Quickly, he ran around the toad to the back.
Meanwhile, Jiraiya tried calming the toad boss down. "Now now Bunta, no need for the tantrum. I summoned you to fight my student."
That only served to irritate Gamabunta more. "Fight your student?! You want me to fight Naruto?!"
"Yes, it's a part of his final test so-"
"Why the hell should I fight him? And who the hell is running up my back?!"
Jiraiya turned around with wide eyes when he saw Naruto running up to him. Cursing, he told the toad to move. "It's Naruto! He's coming to attack me!"
For once, Gamabunta's massive ego worked into Jiraiya's favor, because the toad boss completely lost all composure. Jiraiya had to make sure to stick to his skin, because Gamabunta was shaking himself like an angry bull.
"BOOOOOOY! NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO STAND ON MY HEAD EXCEPT MY SUMMONER!"
Naruto was caught off guard, because the next thing he knew, he was falling towards the forest from the toad's upper back. Quickly flashing to a kunai, he considered his situation. He really might have no choice but to summon one of the foxes.
Cutting his thumb, he slammed it down on the ground. "Kuchiyose no jutsu!"
An explosion of smoke, rivalling that of the boss toad, took place and when the some dispersed, Naruto was standing on a dark blue fox with a red haori, a chokuto strapped to his back. A single, bushy tail, with the end dipped in white moved lazily behind him.
"It's been a long time since you summoned me, Naruto."
The deep rumble that was his voice caused Naruto to smile in remembrance. "It has, hasn't Takeshi-san? Must be even longer in the fox realm."
"True, true. So, you brought me out to face Gamabunta, huh?"
Naruto shrugged and eyed the toad, who had gone silent with the appearance of the fox. "I figured, why not? One boss to another."
The fox chuckled and gripped his sword, giving a toothy smile to his opponent. "Nice to meet you, my name is Takeshi, the boss of foxes."
It seemed like Gamabunta had somewhat of a thug attitude, for he didn't bother with the curtsey, something that pissed Naruto off. Gamabunta took out his tanto and held it, a hostile look in his eye. "Gamabunta, let's begin!"
The two summons clashed, the weapons making a clang sound so loud that Naruto wished he could cover up his ears. But he had a job to perform. Concentrating chakra into his hands, he began building up the heat. A small, compressed ball of fire sat in his right palm in moments. Jumping up so that he didn't burn Takeshi, he thrust his hand towards Jiraiya.
Katon: Taika-fu! (Fire style: Great fire blast)
A large beam of fire shot out from the compressed ball, heading directly towards Jiraiya, who had wide eyes upon seeing it. Never had he seen Naruto ever practice that jutsu, whatever it was. It was easily A-rank, seeing how much chakra Naruto put into it. He flashed through seals of one of the few water techniques he knew.
"Suiton: Suidan no jutsu!" (Water style: water bullet technique)
The stream of water collided with the fire, neutralizing them both. A drop of sweat ran down Jiraiya's face at how much chakra he was expending. This is bad. At this rate, I would run out of chakra to summon ma and pa. I need to back off for now.
Thankfully, just as Jiraiya stopped his water technique, the fire in Naruto's hands ran out. Naruto landed on Takeshi's snout, just as the giant fox punched Gamabunta in the face, sending them back. The toad boss grunted, rubbing his nose. "This guy is no joke. Jiraiya, give me fire!"
Jiraiya winced, "Sorry Bunta, but I need to conserve chakra to summon ma and pa."
Normally, Jiraiya's refusal to co-operate would have pissed Gamabunta off, but the fact that he was calling the sages was shocking enough to abate the anger. "Jiraiya! Are you serious?!"
Gamabunta went completely silent at that, being serious for once. "…..I don't know why you need to go that far for just a test Jiraiya, but that is not my business. I will hold them off, you do what you have to do."
Jiraiya nodded and was about to summon them when he was suddenly thrown off the toad boss's head. Caught totally off guard, he was barely able to right himself in mid-air, hitting a few branches and making an awkward landing. Kipping up, he faced Naruto, who was standing in his fighting stance.
"How did you kick me off?" he asked incredulously.
The kind of distance Naruto covered wasn't possible by flash step, and Jiraiya hadn't seen any kunai heading towards him for Hiraishin. Naruto smirked and replied, "Body flicker."
Now he felt stupid for asking. "Oh."
"Yeah," Naruto agreed before attacking. Jiraiya doubled back before proceeding to go entirely on the defensive. Naruto's attacks were relentless, and were not limited to just punches or kicks. Naruto had a large variety of both of them, but he didn't hesitate to use his elbows, knees, or even head. It just made him a lot more unpredictable.
Jiraiya took out a kunai and slashed out, forcing Naruto back. Forming a shadow clone, the two of them teamed up on Jiraiya. Naruto managed to get a fist into Jiraiya's gut, winding him, while the shadow clone took advantage of the opening and front flipped behind jiraiya, driving his feet at the base of Jiraiya's back.
The older man let out a sharp cry of pain as he stumbled forward before faceplanting. Jiraiya grit his teeth as he fought to push the pain aside. Through a great amount of willpower, he pushed through the pain, knowing that he needed to summon the sages.
Technically, he would pass Naruto right now and then. Not many had come this close to hurting him, but he was struggling against the blonde. But he needed to see how Naruto would combat the sage mode.
He jumped aside from a fireball and put some distance between them. Naruto smirked, still in his stance. "Are you alright, ero-sennin? Do you need a break?"
Jiraiya really wanted to say yes, but damn if he was going to give up like this. He twisted his back, wincing at the cracking sound it produced. It gave him some relief, but it was enough for now.
"Nah, let's finish this test," he said with a grin, falling into his own stance.
His grin faltered at the maniacal grin that Naruto returned. "Good, my thoughts exactly."
Naruto slammed his hands into the snake seal, his legs wide in a horse stance. To Jiraiya's surprise, the ground started shaking. Whatever this earth jutsu was, it was going to reshape the landscape, of that Jiraiya was sure.
"I haven't mastered this nature release exactly," Naruto grunted, the jutsu taking great effort out of him, "but it should work for now."
To Jiraiya's shock, trees started uprooting from the ground. Only one thing came to his mind.
Impossible, he couldn't have…..
Naruto's grin widened till it reached his ears as he threw his hands forward. "Mokuton: Jukai kotan!" (Wood style: Nativity of a world of trees)
Jiraiya used body flicker to move back before an entire forest slammed to him. He didn't stop running as he tried to figure out just how Naruto managed to use the Shodai's one of the most devastating techniques. As he thought hard about it, one thing stuck out to him.
Naruto never announces his jutsu's names…..
But Naruto couldn't use genjutsu, so that meant only one thing.
Jiraiya released the biggest burst of chakra until date to disrupt the genjutsu. His act overloaded the seal that was stuck on his pants when the clone kicked him, knocking him out of genjutsu, just in time for him to see a flying kick colliding with his face, sending him flying through a tree.
Naruto lightly panted, not expecting Jiraiya to figure out so quickly that he was in a genjutsu. He was about to deliver his fourth strike when Jiraiya bust the seal, forcing him to kick him away.
The seal tag was something that he had created with Kurama's help, considering he couldn't use any genjutsu except for one. The tag had his yin chakra, that he had very carefully separated. This was the first field test, and now he knew the flaws. He wanted to cover his weak areas, but using genjutsu had never been his style, so he was unsure of how to proceed. Surprisingly, Jiraiya was weak at them as well, so he was unable to help.
Jiraiya panted heavily, not expecting a genjutsu of that strength from Naruto. Just how many things had he kept hidden from Jiraiya?!
Still, it was damn impressive. Checking his neck, he found only three partially healed cuts, which meant Naruto hadn't managed to land a fourth strike.
But now he was low on chakra, which meant he couldn't summon the sages. He was scratched all over, blood coming out from the scratches in small amounts. His body was in complete pain after taking so much punishment. There wasn't much a shinobi could do when they were low on chakra and completely wounded.
Jiraiya reached into his hip pouch and felt around for the chakra pill. He could count on one hand how many times he had taken it in his life, and still have fingers left. Without wasting time, he put it in his mouth and swallowed it directly.
He got up as the pill replenished his chakra to the full, and even partially healed his wounds. With his stamina completely back, Jiraiya could now go on the offensive.
Naruto eyed the recovered form of Jiraiya with narrowed eyes. To be honest, he didn't feel much worried. He had countered every attack from Jiraiya quite effectively, and there wasn't much that the old pervert could do now. Even fully recovered, Naruto had pushed him back. So just what was he planning to do?
"I know that you are still formidable when low on chakra," Naruto began, "but you must have something in mind if you of all people resorted to taking that pill."
Jiraiya smirked, but didn't say anything.
Naruto cracked his neck. "Fine, don't say anything. But I'm about to earn the fourth strike now, so you better brace yourself."
Jiraiya had different plans however, and was about to attack when Naruto formed a ram sign. Thinking that the blonde had traps set up in the area, he stood back in his position. But his eyes bugged out when he saw that Naruto had just performed an henge, and they threatened to pop out of their sockets at the sight before them.
Harem no jutsu: Subete no hito no yume! (Harem technique: every man's dream)
Out of the smoke, came various barely clad forms of the woman of his fantasies….Tsunade.
Each of them was clad in a bikini that was barely covering her nipples and private area. Blood rushed into the capillaries of his nose, threatening to burst. A small part of his brain told him that this was just another one of Naruto's pervy techniques, and he should snap out of it.
But then one of the Tsunade came to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and her left leg hooking onto his waist. Her mouth came near his ear, and she whispered in a seductive voice.
"Oh Jiraiya…." Her voice was husky, oozing sensuality, "I know how long you have been wanting to play with me-"
That was as far as the clone got after which Jiraiya simply couldn't take anymore. Breasts pushing against his chest, leg wrapped around him…his nose exploded in a fantastic shower of blood, knocking him onto his back. A perverse grin was spread on his face, even after being knocked out.
Naruto released the jutsu after his godfather passed out. He dearly hoped Tsunade didn't catch wind of this, but she was Jiraiya's most tender spot, and his main fantasy. He knew he would be asked to do it sometime again in the future, which he definitely won't, but for now, he had his fourth strike.
His solid henge was awesome.
He walked up and cut open a small scratch on Jiraiya's throat once more, and waited for the man to wake up. He would catch a rest while his master got up. Looking up, he saw that Takeshi had beaten Gamabunta up, but not before receiving an impressive shiner to his eye. The giant toad dispersed, shortly followed by Takeshi who gave Naruto a nod before returning as well.
Jiraiya came around after two minutes, groaning as he got up. "Man, I wish that wasn't a dream," he groaned in dismay.
"It wasn't," came a voice behind him. He was up in less than a second, scowling at Naruto who was merrily eating an apple. Naruto swallowed his bite and replied, "It really happened."
"You know, today is the first time that I've had this many moments where I'm torn whether I should be proud of you or just beat you up," Jiraiya growled.
Naruto just finished his apple up and clapped his hands clean. "Maybe we can talk after we finish this test? I've got only one more strike to land on you."
Jiraiya smirked. If Naruto was this confident, he wouldn't mind giving him some time to prepare for sage mode, would he?
"Say, would you mind giving me a couple of minutes to prepare for this one?"
Naruto frowned as he spun a kunai by its ring. "If you were anyone else, I would just say 'fuck you' and take you out, but since this is a test…..go ahead," he finished with a shrug.
"I'll give you a fight this time," Jiraiya muttered before cutting his thumb and summoning the sage toads.
The weird looking frogs surprised Naruto a bit, because one of them had a hippy hairstyle with a cloak and the other had a grandma look to her, wearing a similar cloak. Naruto recoiled slightly when he observed that the supposedly female toad had purple lipstick. Then he hid a shudder when they turned their gazes onto him.
Thank god he had a contract already. The toads already gave him the creeps, but this just looked something out of a disturbing dream.
"Jiraiya-chan!" The green toad barked out. "Is that Naruto-chan?!"
Naruto was trying not to snicker when the green toad called Jiraiya "-chan." But his face soured when the toad turned the suffix onto him. He probably recognized the resemblance between him and his father.
Jiraiya nodded as he fell into a horse stance, clapping his hands. "Yes, Fukasaku-sama. I'm going to enter it."
Immediately, the lady toad turned around and started shouting at him. "Are ya mad? Ya know how powerful sage mode is, and ya want ta use it against a boy? Not even a fully trained shinobi, but a boy?!"
"Who do you think put all these bloody scratches on me? This is a test, so please don't argue with me on this, Shima-sama."
So these were the toad sages, Shima and Fukasaku-sama? They sure do look and talk ridiculous, he mused.
Fukasaku tried to reason with Jiraiya. He very well knew how powerful Jiraiya was when he entered sage mode. It was very impressive that Naruto managed to wound Jiraiya this much, but sage mode was an entirely different league. "Jiraiya-chan, if Naruto-chan can't-"
"I wouldn't have called you if it wasn't absolutely necessary, Fukasaku-sama," Jiraiya pleaded.
Naruto watched as the sages deliberated for some time, before agreeing, though looking highly reluctant. "Very well, Jiraiya-chan. But you must hold back."
Naruto took offense to that, but before he could say anything, the sages jumped onto Jiraiya's shoulders, sitting in the same position as Jiraiya. Jiraiya cut both of his thumbs and drew two lines perpendicular beneath his eyes, and then all three of them went absolutely still.
Naruto remained in his stance, not sure what Jiraiya was preparing, not knowing anything about this "sage mode."
Oi Kurama, do you have any idea what they're talking about?
Yeah, and you're going to need my help if you want to win this one.
The growl that came back was reassuring, but not the reply. What is sage mode?
I'll tell you later, for now, concentrate. I can sense that they are almost ready. Keep your distance, and avoid hand to hand.
Naruto frowned, not knowing what to say to that. His body was enhanced greatly through seals, but this sage mode had to be something if Kurama was telling him to avoid getting close.
He blinked when he saw Jiraiya's face undergo a change. His nose grew bigger, and developed tarts, not unlike any of the toads he so frequently worked with. Facial hair grew on his face, and when he opened his eyes, they were exactly like those of a toad.
All in all, he looked hilarious.
Naruto was sensing a strange kind of energy within Jiraiya, and was able to place it after a moment's thought. It was the same thing he felt when he put his finger onto the ground to cover a greater radius with his sensing. It was the feeling of the abundant chakra that was in the ground, chakra that he used to boost his sensing.
So Jiraiya absorbed chakra from the nature? Wonder how strong that makes him.
But he couldn't help but ask. "Is sage mode supposed to look like that?"
Jiraiya grumbled and replied, giving Naruto a glimpse of his sharpened teeth. "No, but it works for me. I usually avoid using this because it scares the ladies away."
A snicker escaped Naruto's mouth. "You think too much with your balls, ero-sennin."
The toads laughed on that, but Jiraiya chose to attack. One moment, he was standing ten feet away from Naruto. The next, Naruto crossed arms were blocking the punch, sending him flying back through two trees, after which he painfully landed on the ground.
He may have enhanced durability, but going through trees like that hurts no matter what. That, and his arms were tingling.
A grin slowly grew on his face. His excitement was kicking in, at fighting such a strong opponent. Jiraiya might be physically better than him right now, which meant only one thing: he could go all out.
He kipped up into his stance, ducking immediately to dodge the kick at his head. He raised his leg up in a straight kick, which was blocked by Jiraiya. He followed up with a punch, which was blocked too quite easily.
Naruto kept on grinning, because he wasn't holding back his strength at all, and Jiraiya was blocking all his attacks like they were puppy taps. Usually, he would duck his attacks because even when not at full power, they were enough to daze him for a moment or two.
He kept on attacking, but Jiraiya blocked them all with without even moving from his spot. Naruto deduced that Jiraiya's strength and durability would have likely increased, along with the speed of his reflexes. Every hit felt like he was practicing his moves against a redwood tree pole back in his second year.
Spinning around, he sent his strongest punch to Jiraiya's face, and was shocked that Jiraiya only stumbled back a step. A chakra enhanced punch, with his already enhanced strength, only forced the man back a step. This was the sort of punch that would break anyone's neck, a one hit kill. Even more, his knuckles throbbed in pain. Retreating back, he sent his fingers right towards Jiraiya's eyes. But Jiraiya didn't block this time, sending his own punch against Naruto's face.
Naruto leaned away, avoiding the punch, but he was too close to avoid the invisible hit to his jaw. The hit sent Naruto back, spinning in the air before he managed to right himself.
He smirked, tenderly rubbing where he was hit. He would have a bruise, which was a rarity in the past few months. Memories of the first few months of training with Jiraiya came back, where he was bruised every day. Now though, he could no longer fight Jiraiya with normal means.
"Looks like I might be in some trouble after all," he muttered.
Jiraiya went on the offense this time, rushing towards Naruto with a fist drawn back. Not wanting to take a stronger hit, Naruto flash stepped 50 meters away and threw some shuriken at him. He watched with a lesser amount of surprise when the shuriken simply bounced off the sage.
"What is he, fucking superman?" he grumbled, readying up a jutsu.
Air compressed in his hand, just like the ball of fire. But if wanted to deal any kind of damage to Jiraiya now, he would have to be careful of his position. He jumped up, avoiding Jiraiya, who changed course and came after him.
They began a game of tag, with Jiraiya chasing Naruto, who was jumping around the trees like crazy to avoid Jiraiya who seemed to have closed the gap between their speeds. Compressing more air into the ball, Naruto ducked under the arm that would have caught his throat, and spun in the air, throwing a kunai high up in the air. He jumped back to avoid Jiraiya again, but the man caught him and threw him to the ground, rushing after him.
Naruto flashed to the kunai in the air, his jutsu finally ready. He thrust his arm towards Jiraiya, releasing a beam of air that if he aimed at the trees, would have destroyed the entire forest.
Fuuton: Arashi no Torai! (Wind style: coming of a storm)
Since Jiraiya was under Naruto and mid-air, therefore not in a position to dodge, took the blast head on. He grunted along with the toad sages, who braced themselves for the attack. The only had a moment to marvel at the size and the intensity of the attack before it slammed into them.
Jiraiya grunted as he slammed into the ground, creating a crater of a 10 meter radius. The wind cut into his clothes, tearing away his red jacket, but didn't do any damage to his body. The sages were a bit more ruffled, but no more damaged than Jiraiya.
Naruto's jutsu ran out, with him landing on the ground. It didn't even cut into him, what the fuck?!
His senses rang in alarm, and he ducked low to avoid the punch. But the next one caught him right in the gut. It drove all the air out of him, and even caused him to cough up blood. It was like his durability was nothing against sage mode, because that hit felt like someone slammed a pole into his stomach at the speed of a diving falcon. The hit was so strong that it lifted Naruto off his feet, which Jiraiya followed up with a punch that connected directly to Naruto's face.
Naruto let out the shout in pain, as he felt his jaw breaking. In addition to that, he flew through not one, but four trees this time, felling them. He landed on the ground painfully, his jaw in agonizing pain.
DAMMIT, THAT HURT!
He heard a scoff from the fox. I told you to avoid getting close, didn't I?
I wasn't expecting him to break my jaw like that! I think I need to you use your chakra.
A snort this time. You think?
But he was already sending his chakra to the jaw, rapidly healing it. Withing half a minute, which Naruto spent flash stepping away from Jiraiya, his jaw was healed.
You need to put some distance between you and him. In this state, his sensory abilities are enhanced greatly. Hiding isn't an option for you.
Without a word, Naruto flashed away to a kunai three miles away. If what Kurama said was right, Jiraiya would find him without a problem, and was probably on his way here.
"Time to power up," he muttered.
He opened three of the reservoir gates, allowing three tails of Kurama's power into him. Over the course of three years, Naruto had fully mastered seven of the nine tails of power. The reason he hadn't mastered all of them was because Kurama told him that Naruto's seal was already weakening, but the forcing out of Kurama's chakra had only accelerated the breakdown. If it broke, Kurama would be forced out and Naruto would die.
Jiraiya had warned Naruto as well when they were training in the training caves. It was him, Naruto discovered, who had the key to Naruto's seal. Jiraiya refused to give him the key though, despite Naruto's assurances that he could handle Kurama's power. He was afraid of the seal breaking, he told Naruto, and because of that, Naruto could die. In the end, he was the one who tightened it once more.
Naruto could still use seven tails of chakra, but it would take much more time for him to fully tap into that much power with the seal tightened.
Three tails made of chakra, but fully adopting the appearance of normal fox tails, came out from behind him. His features became feral, his whisker marks becoming prominent once more and his eyes became red with a vertical slit. His canines sharpened more than they already were, becoming visible outside his mouth. His nails increased in length, as his power grew. His control was so refined that only a thin sheet of orange covered him, except for the tails that were part of the form.
He could sense Jiraiya closing in rapidly, only 700 meters away now. Growling, he clasped his hands into the snake seal, slamming them onto the ground.
Doton: Tsuchi nami no jutsu! (Earth style: earth wave technique)
Normally, this jutsu would only send waves across the ground that were meant to disturb the opponent's balance. But Naruto deliberately overpowered it so instead of just normal waves, the waves that emerged were so powerful that trees and the ground itself got uprooted, chunks of the ground getting torn and flying into the air.
Jiraiya, who was running full speed to where Naruto was, stumbled, and was launched into the air. He quickly recovered and landed on his feet, which were quickly swept to the side by Naruto and he was kicked right in the ribs, sending him flying back.
Fukasaku grunted as he was forced to brace himself much more firmly. "Just how have ya trained him, Jiraiya-chan? The boy is a monster!"
"Ya pay attention, because he's comin' right at us!"
Shima's warning pushed him back into attention as Naruto came after them, no longer vulnerable to the sage attacks as his own strength and durability was enhanced.
Fist clashed with fist, the resulting shockwave powerful enough to send cracks along the ground. They fell into another round of taijutsu, with Naruto now fighting on par with Jiraiya. Naruto found it highly impressive that Jiraiya's sage mode was equal to his three tails of power. His excitement grew, and he attacked with even more ferocity.
Jiraiya aimed a left elbow strike towards Naruto's face, to which Naruto leaned back to avoid and switched to offense. Jumping to his right, Naruto buried his left knee into Jiraiya's stomach, a grunt escaping the older man's mouth, an indication that he felt that one.
Jiraiya stumbled back a few steps from the knee. He then ducked and dodged the attacks Naruto threw at him, blocking a few of them. Fukasaku and Shima joined hands, preparing an attack of their own. "Hold on a bit, Jiraiya-chan!"
"Easier said than done," Jiraiya grunted as his right cross punch was knocked aside by Naruto, followed by an elbow slamming into his ribs. There was an audible crack as the bone cracked inside. Naruto capitalized on Jiraiya remaining open and delivered three punches to the torso, followed by one to the face that drew blood.
Naruto then employed a side kick, using the momentum to spin a complete circle in the air and slamming a tornado kick to the side of Jiraiya's face, knocking him to the side and sending him flying once more.
Before he could recover however, Naruto flashed to him and kicked him again, sending him flying. Flashing to Jiraiya again, he punched him, sending him to the ground where he made a small crater.
He then caught a branch and pushed himself towards Jiraiya, intending to land a double fist strike and put him down for good. But he was surprised when Shima-sama launched her tongue at him, wrapping around his arm. The creepy thing was that even the tongue had a snake like face.
She then slammed him to the side, in a similar crater to Jiraiya's. Before Naruto could grip it and wrench his arm free, it let go of him. The tongue retracted back into Shima's mouth, who grimaced. "What a terrible taste of that Kyuubi's chakra!"
Jiraiya pushed himself to his feet and stared at Naruto, who stared back. The two stood still, gauging each other up. It was the moment of the battle where both of them knew where the other stood. Jiraiya knew that he couldn't keep this up forever- Naruto had him outmatched in chakra capacity and endurance, while even though Jiraiya had ate a chakra pill to replenish his chakra, he was going to run out of sage mode in another three minutes.
Naruto stood in his fighting stance, left leg on the front and right in the back, right fist near his face and left held before him, his tails waving behind him. He needed to think of a way to end this fight. Every time Jiraiya was open, the toads were there to cover up. And he had no idea what seal to use, because he really didn't want to kill his godfather because he used a faulty seal to neutralize the nature chakra in him
Kurama, think you got any ideas to beat him?
You could just wait until he runs out of time…but there's a better way to finish him. I need you to slap him.
Slap him, palm strike, whatever you humans call it. Here's what we're going to do.
Jiraiya watched Naruto closely for any sudden moves the blonde would make. But if Naruto decided to use Hiraishin, he won't be able to counter. Naruto was probably doing the same too, but he had a sneaking suspicion that Naruto was talking to his tenant. He couldn't say for sure, because Naruto's emotions were too controlled in fight.
Naruto kept a close eye on Jiraiya while listening to Kurama. The idea was completely crazy, but it had merit. Kurama assured him that it was only supposed to hold Jiraiya in place while disturbing the balance of nature chakra within him, ending the sage mode.
Let's do this!
Before he could make a move, Jiraiya did. And he broke the rules too, because he was coming at Naruto with a big ball rasengan, bigger than Naruto's upper body. He was thankful for his ability to perceive things faster, because he was able to react instantly.
A purple rasengan, equal to Jiraiya's size, materialized in his hands at a moment's notice. He thrust his hand forward, colliding it with Jiraiya's sage mode rasengan. A mild shockwave was released when they crashed, and both tried their hardest to overpower the other. Naruto grit his teeth as he pushed harder, with Jiraiya pushing equally hard.
Both the rasengan exploded, an enormous shockwave being released that cracked the ground in a 20 meter radius. Both the shinobi were thrown back, but recovered in seconds. Jiraiya's limbs switched to more toad like, allowing him greater dexterity in his movements while Naruto simply flashed to a kunai he threw earlier.
"Shinobi don't follow any rules in a fight, that is the only rule a shinobi must follow," Naruto muttered, remembering the lesson when Jiraiya taught it to him. He should have known better. A small amount of irritation passed through him, his lips pulling back in a snarl.
Naruto, switch with me now.
With Kurama now in control, he gave a savage grin. It always felt good when Naruto switched with him from time to time. Too bad he couldn't enjoy it this time. He flashed right where Jiraiya was, landing a palm strike right into Jiraiya's stomach. The man coughed up blood, being thrown back due to the strike rattling all of his insides despite the sage mode. Slamming his legs onto the ground, he skidded backwards so as to avoid losing the side of Naruto in a flip.
"Jiraiya-chan, give me fire!"
Jiraiya obeyed without hesitation, hands flashing through seals.
"Senpo: Gamayu endan!" (Sage art: toad oil flame bullet)
Kurama gave control back to Naruto, who came to his senses in a jerk. Naruto formed the tiger seal as soon as he saw the oil in slow motion heading towards him.
Katon: Menimienai hi! (Fire style: invisible fire)
He breathed out sharply, the colorless beam of gas heading straight towards the fire-oil combo. Colliding with it, the resulting explosion was so huge that both the fighters had to jump away. The force of the explosion created a new clearing in the forest, but Naruto was no longer paying attention, having sensed the Jiraiya was heading right towards him from the sky.
Falling into a stance to receive him, Naruto readied himself. Jiraiya was falling towards him with another big ball rasengan in hand. As soon as he was in range, Naruto grabbed his forearm with both hands, and pulled him right towards himself, moving out of the way from the side. The rasengan smashed into the ground and created a whole new crater, bigger than what the normal big ball rasengan could create.
Nature chakra must enhance the strength of the jutsu, he theorized, as Jiraiya turned back and threw a couple of shuriken towards Naruto. Scoffing in amusement, Naruto merely caught all of them in one hand and threw them aside, waiting for the follow up attack.
Surely, it came as Jiraiya had jumped up to a tree and used the bark to propel himself towards Naruto at great speed. But this time, Naruto was ready with his technique. As soon as Jiraiya was within five feet, Naruto activated the small bit of chakra that Kurama had passed onto Jiraiya in the palm strike. He snapped an open palm forward, where it glowed orange.
Jiraiya stopped right where he was, his entire form being engulfed in an orange cloak that manifested like a flaming fire. It was Kurama's chakra that manifested itself as a cloak, and both Naruto and Kurama could control it since it was their chakra.
"What the…?!" Jiraiya sputtered along with the sages as they were caught in a bind. The sudden engulfing in demonic chakra, it's extremely foul and chaotic feel caused all of them to lose their grasp on Naruto energy. In a visible snap, the sage mode was knocked out of Jiraiya, who looked at Naruto with saucers for eyes.
Naruto slowly lowered Jiraiya until he was standing on the ground, still engulfed in Kurama's chakra. Walking up to Jiraiya, he grinned triumphantly.
"Fifth strike, and I win."
With that, he knocked the sage out cold with a punch to the face.
Jiraiya groaned as he came into consciousness once more. His entire body was waking all over, especially his ribs. A memory came of Naruto cracking his rib during their fight, and he winced.
"Man, he totally whooped my ass," he grumbled, a bit sour about losing, but instead of taking a fall, his pride had shot up through the roof. He had trained Naruto, now one of the most dangerous men alive.
If he could take Jiraiya out with such ease, he would be just fine.
Getting up, he tenderly held his side as he walked out of the tent he was in. He took a deep breath and a moment to take stock of his surroundings. It was night, and he could see that they were by a river side, with the clean water of the river gently flowing down the slope.
Turning around, he saw Naruto and Haruto chatting over some meat. Haruto laughed at something Naruto said, while the latter just smirked and finished the roasted catfish in his hand. Jiraiya walked towards them slowly, and said out loud. "I hope you saved some for me!"
Both the Uzumaki faced him, with the red one showing him a thumbs up with a grin. "Great fight, Jiraiya-sama!"
"I hope my performance was 'acceptable'," Naruto remarked, making air quotes.
Jiraiya snorted and sat beside his godson, pulling him into a one-armed hug. "It was damn good kid. You blew all my expectations away," he complimented.
Naruto smiled, the feeling of satisfaction and pride feeling him up to the brim. "Glad to know that three years of hell was worth something after all."
Jiraiya snorted, taking a roasted salmon stick and bit a tiny chunk off. "It sure was. Your father said the same thing after he finished his test, you know."
There was silence for a while as they focused on finishing their food. While on his third salmon stick, Jiraiya spoke up, giving a glare to his student. "That was a dirty trick you pulled, by the way. Transforming into Tsunade like that."
Naruto gave an incredulous stare to his godfather, "I thought you would appreciate it!"
Jiraiya spit a burnt piece out. "You knew that she's my weak spot-"
"Strike where your enemy is weak," Naruto interrupted, staring at him. "I told you before, ero-sennin, you think too much with your balls. Hell, I even warned you that it might bite you back someday."
Jiraiya had no counter for it, for those were his own words, and Naruto had repeatedly told him before. But being a pervert was in his nature, in his blood! He couldn't let go of what he was!
Naruto turned back on his salmon stick. "Plus, it's not that hard to imagine what you think of baa-chan. Your fantasies are disturbing ero-sennin."
Jiraiya pointed an indignant finger at him. "You think of her like that too, brat! Otherwise you wouldn't have come up with that technique!"
"And I am more than disturbed to think of an old lady like that," Naruto snapped back. "I'm going to have nightmares for weeks now!"
"I hope you do," Jiraiya grumbled, still sour about that particular strike.
"So Naruto," Haruto began, leaning forward in interest, "Jiraiya told me you have a bounty on your head."
Naruto stopped chewing for a moment to frown, then swallowed. "You mean he never told you before?"
Haruto shook his head in negative. Naruto smirked before pulling out a bingo book from his hip pouch, handing it to the redhead. "Last page."
Haruto flipped to it, and as he read it, his eyes became as wide as saucers, jaw dropped and looked like someone whose mind was switched off. He looked up, and pointed to the book. "Is this shit for real?!"
Naruto gave a slow grin as he nodded.
"Man, I'd hate to be you, but this is totally awesome," Haruto said as he tossed the bingo book back to Naruto.
Name: Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto
Origin: Konohagakure no sato
Shinobi rank: Jonin
Caliber rank: SS
AKA: Raijin no te (Hand of the thunder god)
Known elemental affinities: Katon, Suiton, possibly Fuuton as well
Fuinjutsu- 5 (Speculated)
Intelligence- 5 (Speculated)
Stamina- 4.5 (Speculated)
Hand seals- 4
Weapons: Uses tri-pronged kunai with seal formula on the handle.
Physical description: Stands at five feet nine inches, weight is around 67 kilos. Golden blonde hair, azure blue eyes, tanned skin, wears leaf shinobi attire like Namikaze Minato.
Special abilities: Can sense chakra, S-rank chakra reserves despite his age. Extremely fast, high jonin level (natural speed).
Known family: Namikaze Minato (Yondaime Hokage, late father), Uzumaki Kushina (late mother), Uzumaki Temari (wife, daughter of late Yondaime Kazekage)
Other information: Has killed one jonin, two chunin from Iwa effortlessly. Can use Hiraishin no jutsu.
Advice: Flee on sight, engage at your own risk.
Bounty: 120 million ryo (Iwa)
"That's actually the bingo book entry from last year, when Naruto accidentally ran into a group of Iwa nin while he was wearing just a towel," Jiraiya stated, smacking his lips with satisfaction of the meal.
"They don't even know what he's fully capable of, and I'm 90% sure that they based this entry on his use of the Hiraishin and the way he killed the nin without any weapons," Jiraiya added, smug that his student was that good.
Haruto looked at Naruto in a new light, shaking his head in wonder. "Man, if they only knew what you were really capable off."
Naruto laughed as he leaned back on his arms. "Best keep them in the dark. I don't plan to reveal everything, you know."
He then focused on the night sky, which was full of stars. His mind formed an image of his wife, who was smiling and waving at him.
"Temari….I can hardly wait anymore for us to be together again."
AN: That finishes the first chapter. Once again, I'm repeating this- I'm keeping the original storyline. The only difference would be how Naruto deals with the significant events.
Don't forget to review!