Daiki stared at the spot where the One-Tail Jinchuuriki had been standing in before he departed for a few moments.
Hopefully that didn't come back to bite him in the ass.
'Why can't they just be like Fu?' he groaned inwardly. Besides himself and Killer Bee, she was the most well adjusted Jinchuuriki by far, having none of the hang ups and angst Naruto, Gaara and the like had.
…Actually, considering Killer Bee's obsession with rap and his own…everything. Fu was probably the most well adjusted Jinchuuriki of all now that she had gotten a little bit of freedom from her village with the shadow clone jutsu he'd taught her.
'Lucky number seven, indeed.' Isobu piped in, 'How envious, to have a host that isn't a complete basket case. While I get stuck with you.'
'Shut up bitch, you love it,' Daiki snorted back, 'Besides, you can leave at anytime, remember?'
'After I've finally managed to bring your pitiful chakra reserves up to a level where I can comfortably submerge in them and got my pond built the way I like it?' Isobu snorted right back at him in return, 'Fat chance, this is my house now kid. Ride or die, I go down with my ships like a true captain, you get me?'
Daiki's gaze turned dry and he said nothing in response.
In his minds eye, he saw Isobu shrug unashamedly, 'Bijuu get bored too y'know. And I can see your memories better even than you can.' he defended himself.
Rolling his eyes, Daiki turned around and paused, "…Speaking of basket cases that need to become well adjusted people." he mused to himself and looked directly at Rock Lee, still training himself.
With his eye sight he could see the way his body shook, how sweat formed in his pores and dripped out from his face onto the tiled floor of the hospital, and how his arm and leg, both in a thick casting while they healed from being crushed by Gaara's sand, trembled with pain.
He should leave. He should walk away and leave the idiot that couldn't take a moment to rub two brain cells together even after being given advice to save his life and spare himself a useless, fruitless fight.
'But you won't.' Isobu mused.
'Fucking Rock Lee.' Daiki ground his teeth together and moved, disappearing in a blur of speed.
He touched down a blink later, atop the ledge of the open window, not a sound being made from his feet as he landed.
Rock Lee, face angled towards the ground, did not react and continued his way through a struggling one handed vertical push up, "One thousand, eight hundred and thirty…seven!"
He really needed to work on his sensory abilities. And that was coming from him, the laughing stock of the Chameleon clan for his atrocious sensory abilities in comparison to them.
"You really can't help yourself, huh?" Daiki commented after he finished the push up.
Lee flinched and gave a cry of surprise, tipping forward in his surprise and would have smashed his back into the wall if not for Daiki putting his hand out and stopping him, holding him in place.
"D-Daiki-kun!?" Lee, exhaustion evident on his face and slick with sweat tilted his head back to look up at him from below.
"That's the name, don't wear it out b-, " he stopped himself before he called the older bud, he was mad at him after all, "So what's this then? Shouldn't you be resting?"
"I…I cannot!" Lee shook his head, "The longer I lay around, the further behind I fall!"
Daiki shook his head, "This would just make things worse, you can't train your other side after all, you'll be lopsided," he pointed out, "Not that it matters, your career as a shinobi, is over."
Lee's eyes widened and his whole body stilled, his face scrunching up with something close to despair, and only barely stopping from reaching that tipping point by sheer will. The boy did not want to show such a thing to him after all.
Daiki didn't blame him for that. He would be the same, his pride could never allow it.
"You…found out?" Lee asked, a tremble shaking his body that was not at all related to the training he had been forcing himself through.
"I knew before anybody," Daiki told, levelling him with a serious gaze, "With these eyes, I could literally see your bones breaking down the second things went serious."
"Ah…yes…." Lee trailed off and ducked his head down to avoid his scarlet gaze, "Gaara-san, truly…was not merciful at all."
"You did this to yourself," Daiki replied bluntly and without any mercy, he wasn't going to let him evade, "You were stupid, ignorant, arrogant and did I mention stupid? Because you were stupid."
Just thinking about it again was riling him up the point where his vocabulary was failing him.
He saw Lee's hand below clench into a fist atop the tile, but Daiki wasn't about to stop right now, otherwise he'd just repeat the same mistake in the future without learning anything.
"Sure, Gaara crushed your arm and leg into paste, but given enough time, with help from medic ninja, they'd heal," he continued, "The real problem is what you did to yourself. You weren't ready for the gates, your body wasn't strong enough. And the strain of the gates, cracked your entirely skeletal structure, including your spine. You have fragments of bone across your entire body, and most importantly, a bunch of it lodged in your spine. We don't have a single medical ninja capable of fixing you. Even Tsunade herself, the greatest medical jutsu user in the world, couldn't fix you without you dying on the operating table."
"…s..p…" he heard a bare whisper come from Lee below him, "Stop…please Daiki-kun." the older boy looked back up at him, his resolve and brave face having faded away and in its place, were tears.
The words he wanted to say, were lodged in his throat. In response to the boys tears, he couldn't bring himself to continue lambasting him.
"I know…I know, it's all my fault, I know I was stupid Daiki-kun!" the boy cried out in despair, "But…but if I gave up, if I retreated, I would have lost something important, how could I continue to believe I could be a splendid shinobi using only taijutsu if I bowed then?"
Daiki sighed, "You were already a splendid shinobi."
"W-what?" Lee's crying sob stopped abruptly, but the tears didn't stop flowing as he stared at the younger boy, gobsmacked.
"You were," Daiki shrugged and admitted, "Despite your lack of talent, you kept on going, you worked hard, you put yourself and your body through hell and dedicated everything to the grind and getting strong enough to become a splendid shinobi. And you became one. Being a splendid shinobi doesn't mean you have to be the strongest. The fact you're only sixteen and could beat tons of jonin in a straight up taijutsu battle, shows how hard you worked. But you threw that away Lee."
"I….threw it away?" he whispered, struck. The strength in his arm gave out and he almost fell directly down.
Daiki caught him by the back of his shirt and threw him up, spinning the boy through the air, orienting him around and catching him by the collar a second later, holding him aloft in the air so he could stare directly into his eyes.
"You are a shinobi of Konoha. Promoting the interests of the village and protecting the village, you were already on that path, and you were already on the path to becoming a powerhouse like Gai," he told him, "But you threw that away for a pissing contest. You turned your back on your dream of being a splendid shinobi, to feel strong and impress everyone watching, nothing more, nothing less."
"I…I just wanted to show that I could do it, that I deserved to be there, that I was strong too…" Lee bit his lip, and did not resist, just hung there in his grasp.
The defeat radiating from his form, was palpable.
"To who? Gai? He already knows how strong you are? Sakura, because you took a liking to her? She already knows how strong you are as well, you showed her after all. Me? The Hokage? No, we both know you deserved to be there," Daiki replied, eyes narrowing, "No it was about none us. Well, maybe a bit of you wanting to show off to Sakura, I mean, who doesn't like to show off for the girls? No, in the end, you did it all to show off to Neji, your big time rival. You wanted validation from him."
He got right to the true meat of the issue.
Lee said nothing, but the way his face scrunched up and he looked away, told him all he needed to hear.
"You wanted to prove that hard work can surpass a genius' innate talent. The problem being, you seem to be under the impression that these genius' don't work had too," he told him straight up, "I respect your dedication to the grind Lee, nobody in this village gets it like you and Gai do. But do you think you're the only ones that work hard? Do you think you're the only ones that suffer with not being talented at everything? Here's a newsflash for you Lee, you're not. But you overcame that, at least physically. Suffering and disappointment aren't enough Lee. You can't just be strong, you have to be smart, you can't just hope others will think you deserve it, you have to make yourself worthy and full heartedly believe in it. But all you could think about in that moment even though your future was as vast and as wide as the planet itself, was proving a point to a jackass that believes in nothing but an arbitrary pre-destined fate and put everything, your life, your effort, your dreams, the bitter tears you cried and used as motivation, on the LINE!"
He got so worked up, that by the end, Daiki actually found himself panting as if he'd sprinted through the night and traversed hundreds of miles.
For a few moments, there was silence in the hospital room, only interrupted at all by Daiki's panting.
It didn't take long for him to get himself back under control, a sigh leaving him as he did.
"…Sorry," he apologised with a grimace, realising he'd let his emotions get the better of him again, "I'm just angry at you for doing this to yourself."
"No…it's okay," Lee sniffed, shaking his head as he turned back around to look Daiki in the face, giving him a watery smile, "You…are right after all Daiki-kun. I…was stupid, I did not think things through. Harsh as you were, I am…happy to have heard them, it means a lot to me that you thought I was a splendid shinobi in the end. Even if I can no long-"
"Yeah, I'm gonna cut you off there bud," Daiki sighed, "This isn't the end for your dreams yet."
"…Ah?" Rock Lee gave him a confused look.
Daiki said nothing in response and instead, drew upon some of the stored chakra within his Heavenly Star Seal and made a single hand seal. The hand holding Lee, lit up with a soft green aura, that turned into a shimmering white as he directed the stored chakra into it with his eyes and amplified it.
"Ah!" Lee's eyes widened as the white aura spread from Daiki's hand until it covered his whole body. The bowl-cut haired boy looking to his arm in the cast in something akin to awe, "The pain…it's fading away?"
Within moments, it was done and Daiki lowered the boy he was holding up to the ground. His feet, one in a massive cast just like his arm touched the ground, and beyond hunching over slightly because of the bone fragments lodged in his spine, he stayed on his feet.
"…My leg and arm…you healed them?" Lee stared at him, mouth agape.
"I healed everything I could," Daiki nodded, it had taken a not so small chunk of the stored chakra to do so, but it not all that much in the grand scheme of things, conversion wise, about a year or so of life force, "I can't do anything about the fragments of bone in you. If I could, I would have already."
"…Yes, I suppose you would, you are kind after all Daiki-kun," Lee replied, hiding the disappointment, "Even if I cannot continue the path of being a shinobi, this act and your words, mean a lot to me."
"Look, I know this will sound weird after everything I just said, but you'll be a shinobi again, I promise," Daiki declared, "I don't have the skill to heal you fully, and Tsunade doesn't have the ability to keep you alive without a doubt during a surgery, not to mention she isn't even in the village anymore. But, I'll get her back here to fix you up, and I'll use my jutsu to keep you alive and make sure you don't die in the process." he promised.
"Daiki-kun….?" Rock Lee's eyes filled with tears, and the boy spread his arms wide, cast and all and absolutely bawled as he hugged Daiki.
Daiki grimaced at the contact, but did let him cry it out, "There….there?" he awkwardly pat him on the back.
In the end, Lee outright ended up crying himself to sleep in Daiki's arms. Despite the brave face he'd put on and how he tried to shoulder on regardless, it really, truly had been weighing on the older boys mind heavily.
And Daiki would not hold it against him. Despite his unfortunate position being all his own fault and the height of stupidity, the dam had simply broken when Daiki made his promise to heal the older boy and the emotions he'd been holding back had surged out all at once and overwhelmed him.
Once he'd conked out, Daiki had simply put him back into his bed and left via the window he'd entered.
Which led him to now, walking through the streets of Konoha, back towards his home, 'The question is, how the hell do I deliver on that promise now?' he mused.
He really did have a bad habit of talking big without being one hundred percent capable of backing it up.
Sure, he could deliver on his half of things and keep Lee alive during the operation to remove the bone shards from his spine, and even fix it up good and proper afterwards so he didn't even need to go through a long recovery time like he did in the other timeline.
The problem was-
'How the fuck am I going to convince Tsunade to come back here?' he wondered. He highly doubted she'd return over a threat of being branded a nuke nin.
Nor would he go that far anyway. Tsunade was the greatest medical ninja in the entire world, the strongest woman in the world barring Kaguya who didn't really count, and a high tier S-class combatant.
Turning her against the village, was stupidity and he needed all the help he could get in the future.
'Maybe…Naruto?' he wondered, cupping his chin. It had worked in the other timeline, but there was extenuating circumstances that allowed him to bring her back in that world.
He couldn't be sure at all that would work here.
Especially since, if he had his way, Orochimaru wasn't going to be walking away after the invasion with something as little as two soul munched arms.
For one, he wasn't going to let the old man get to the point where he'd have to use the Reaper Death Seal. Even if he had to trap Orochimaru in the Four Red Yang Formation and spam Bijuudama after Bijuudama until he was sure he erased the snake man from existence.
Old man Sarutobi might not have wanted to get his youth back, but Daiki for sure wasn't going to let him croak that easily.
'Oh also, note to self, check out the Uzumaki mask temple and release Minato's soul from the Shinigami's stomach.' he paused as he remembered.
Though that of course would have to wait until after the invasion, so he didn't need to worry about Mr. Flash By grinding his innards to pulp with a Rasengan.
"Daiki!" a familiar voice calling his name broke him from his thoughts and the muscular looked over his shoulder to find a familiar pink haired, green eyed girl jogging up to him.
"Yo," he greeted Sakura as she reached him, "What's up green eyed lady?"
"…Is that a jealousy quip?" was the first thing she asked, giving him a frown and searching look.
"No?" Daiki tilted his head to the side, confused him, "Why, are you jealous of something I should know about? You just have green eyes, don't tell me you forgot about that?"
"Oh…" Sakura blinked, and then laughed, "It's just you have this habit of making stupid quips and little digs like that, especially when you're around Kakashi-sensei so I thought you were being you know…you."
"I am so not that bad." he denied.
"You kinda are."
'You kinda are.'
Both Sakura and Isobu replied at the same time.
….Damn, was he?
He coughed, "Fine whatever, I wasn't doing it now though," he waved it off, "So, what's up?"
"I should be asking you that," Sakura rolled those emerald greens of hers, "I've not seen you since the end of the preliminaries. Honestly, I've not seen Naruto or Sasuke-kun or Kakashi-sensei either. I mean, I know they're training, but I kinda expected to see them around y'know? I was on my way to visit Lee when I saw you jumping out of his window so I decided to catch you."
'…Seriously Kakashi?' Daiki deadpanned inwardly. Did that idiot seriously disappear on the girl and leave her with nothing to do? Sure, she wasn't in the final rounds, but come on, it was literally a full month where she was left with nothing to do, not even missions since she was allowed to take any herself yet being a kunoichi under Kakashi's command.
What if she was an orphan like him? How was she supposed to make ends meat to get by? That dude needed a kick up the ass.
"Sasuke and Kakashi are up in the mountains behind the training grounds," he replied out loud with, at least that was where he remembered they were training. He then turned, eyes searching and pointed in the direction of where he left a certain busty blonde, "Naruto, is somewhere around….there."
Sakura blinked, "…How'd you know that?" she wondered.
Daiki grinned, pointing at his eyes, "These eyes baby. Amongst other things like seeing chakra and through solid objects and such, I can also see up to ten miles away."
"Oh…" she made a small 'o' shape with her mouth, before stepping forward to look deeper into their eyes, "They're pretty. Kinda like Sasuke-kun's Sharingan, but a gentler colour and doesn't have the little comma things. And actually, I was meaning to ask about them, how did you get them? Are you from a clan or something I don't know about? Do you have a blooodline?"
'Actually, you kind of do,' Isobu interrupted him before he could get to replying, 'Putting aside this status screen of yours, which I can't confirm is one or not, you do have abilities that will pass on through your blood. For one, your chakra is naturally much more potent, not just from my influence, but because of multiple different chakra's in your Heavenly Star Seal. Not to mention, my Coral Style, are full on a part of you now, even if I was taken out of you, you'd still have it. I'm fairly certain that will pass on to your children as well.'
'Cool,' Daiki grinned, filing that tid-bit away for later, "Well, I'm not part of a clan, but I do have a bloodline. These eyes aren't part of it though. I killed a guy with these out on a mission and took them for myself."
"You mean…those aren't your own eyes?" Sakura gave him an odd look.
"Yup," Daiki confirmed with a nod, shamelessly, "Plucked them right out of his skull and them used the Mystical Palm Jutsu to implant them in my own after plucking my own out.
"….Ew," Sakura wrinkled her nose in disgust, "You seriously plucked out your own eyes to implant the eyes of someone you killed?"
"I mean, when you say it like that, you make it sound like a bad thing," Daiki pointed out, before adding, "Besides, I don't see you saying anything about Kakashi running around with another dudes Sharingan in one of his eye sockets."
"Kakashi-sensei doesn't brag about murdering someone and stealing their eyes." Sakura deadpanned back.
"What can I say, I'm just built different from that scrub," Daiki gave her a shit eating grin, "Besides, it was hardly murder. He was part of a duo that was enslaving and murdering civilians for kicks."
Saying it like that and telling himself that, helped him sleep better at night. Not that he actually needed all that much sleep now.
"…It's still gross though," Sakura shook her head, "Anyway, now that you've brought it up again, I was wondering if you could maybe give me some pointers on learning the Mystical Palm Jutsu?"
Hmm, right, she had shown an interest in it, hadn't she?
"Sure," Daiki shrugged, the quicker he got her started on things, the stronger she'd become in the future, "It'll have to be now though. I'm heading out for a mission first thing tomorrow morning."
"Okay that should be…." Sakura began replying only to pause, "A mission? Now? With the third round coming up? Where to?"
"Yup and the Mist Village." Daiki nodded, confirming.
"The Mist Village, now? Why are they sending a genin there? and will you even be back in time?" Sakura gaped at him.
He noticed quite a few people stopping to stare because of how loud her voice got there, so he put his hand on her shoulder, "Let's take this somewhere a bit more private."
"Alright." Sakura agreed and he made a single hand sign, before disappearing in a blur with a Body Flicker, taking the girl along with him.
They appeared not long later, at his home away from home. The origin and birth place of the one true grind.
Training Ground 69.
"The Body Flicker sure is handy," Sakura mused, "Do you think you could teach me it as well?"
"Shouldn't be too hard," Daiki shrugged, "Though it won't be much help in a fight for you. Without the Sharingan or reflexes the Yondaime Hokage, the tunnel vision will be killer."
"Ah…still, it's pretty good for getting around," Sakura hummed and followed him into the training ground, she paused though at the sign designating the training ground number, "You know…now that I know what you're like, I'm not at all surprised you chose this training ground." she looked over her shoulder at him to give him a deadpan look.
He smirked and looked down, staring blatantly at her ass stretching out those skin tight spats of hers.
Sakura snorted and gave him a dry look, "Yeah, that's about right," she nodded, and continued on, making her way into the actual training ground, this time though, there was a definite wiggle in her walk, "So, what's the deal with your mission? Why'd you have to bring me here to talk about it?"
Peeling his eyes off of her ass, Daiki shrugged, "Well, we needed to come to a training ground anyway for me to teach you," he replied, "That is unless you want to use the training spot I have at my place."
Sakura snorted, "No I know better than to go home with you," she turned to him, "I get a feeling there would be a whole lot less training going on there."
"Not really," he shrugged, "I might push things a bit, but you already know I'm not gonna force anything."
Sakura grinned at him, "Who said anything about you forcing it?" she teased, making him blink at the implications, "So, mission?"
"I'll be gone for at least a week, maybe two," Daiki shrugged, "I'm heading there to open up talks about the Hidden Mist Village allying with us."
"…You what?" Sakura goggled, "Why are they sending you? You're just a genin. Sure, in a completely different league from the rest of us Genin, but shouldn't a higher up be doing this kind of thing?"
"I am a higher up," Daiki shrugged, feeling no need to hide it, "I mean, it was already pretty blatant I'm just in the chunin exams for us to show off right?"
"…You did mention something like that…" Sakura's brows furrowed, "So does that mean, you've already been picked to be promoted to Chunin after the exams?"
"Jonin actually." he corrected her.
Her eyes widened, "A jonin, like Kakashi-sensei?" she gasped.
"Something like that," Daiki confirmed with a nod, "Not to mention, I'm next in line to be Hokage."
Sakura blinked, before bursting out laughing, "Hahahahaha!" great peels of amusement erupted from her lips, and lasted a good twenty or so seconds, before she managed to manage it down to just some small chuckles, wiping a tear of amusement from eye, "Oh, that was a good one. You as Hokage."
In response, Daiki said nothing, merely smiling at her, not at all bothered.
Slowly, the grin on her lips dropped and her eyes widened as realisation set in, as always, she was quick on the up take and his lack of reply said more than enough to her.
"….Oh god you weren't kidding," she gaped, staring at him in almost horror, "You, as the Hokage….how?"
And thus we return with the chapter 51 eroo too poo? Fucking hell Jord you can do better than that can't ya?
Well anyway sorry for taking so long to update this. Production has been hella slow this month for certain reasons I'm sure most already know at this point, with my grandfather passing away and all and burying him a couple weeks ago. So the muse has been a little bit of a pain lately, sorry about that, again.
Well anyway we're only one chapter ahead alongside part one of a what if Kushina Omake lemon on the Pa-atreon if you wanna read ahead. Man, I gotta spank my muses ass and get back on the horse for this and crank out a bunch of chapters. It'll happen, it always does, just taking a little longer than usual though.
Anyway not a lot happened this chapter, Daiki had a heart to heart with Rock Lee and met up with Sakura and that's about it. Oof, that does look like a tiny amount of progress, huh? Next chapter he'll be packing up and heading for Kiri though, so yay?
Anyway, shameless Pa-atreon plug. I've got one, go by the same username on there, easy to find and all that jazz. Support me if you want, it'd be swell, but don't feel pressured lads and ladies, I'll be uploading my stuff outside it regardless and not keeping it all behind a paywall or anything like that.