The Band of Nine

Summary: The Kyuubi no Youko is sealed into Naruto at the age of 12 by the Shinigami, who follows it up by sealing the rest of the bijuu into eight other shinobi. This is Naruto's story. Will be epic length. Pairings undecided. Powerful!Naruto

Prologue

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Deep in the hospital of Konohagakure, a blonde man with dull blue eyes stared up at his wife. The machine he was hooked up to continued its incessant beeping.

"No, no, no," the woman cried. "Don't leave me and our baby alone. He needs a father, and I need my husband!"

"I'm...sorry." A cough interrupted his reply. "My time is approaching. I just want to say...I...love...you-"

Beeeeeeeeeeeeep...

The life-support machine signaled a flat-line, showing that the greatest hero of Konoha and greatest shinobi in the world, Namikaze Minato, the Yondaime Hokage, passed away in the dead of the night.

A month later shows the woman back in the hospital, except this time she's the one in the bed.

"Push! Push!" the medic yelled at her. "Now take a deep breath and just push one more time!"

Just as the woman took a breath a bolt of red lightning seemed to appear from nowhere and struck her bulging abdomen. She let loose a piercing shriek. The red light was so powerful that it immediately killed the two medics in the room.

The door burst open to show an old man with many wrinkles, followed by a second old man, whose white hair seemed to reach past his back.

"What happened?" the first old man yelled in horror. The sight of the two dead medics was not pretty. Both were burnt beyond recognition, and both men found the smell overbearing. However, the pregnant woman ignored the smell and the sight as she continued to pant.

"He's coming, oh kami-sama, he's coming," she moaned.

The first elderly man headed right towards her and put a reassuring hand on her right shoulder. "It's ok. Just push, and you'll make it through."

"No. My time is approaching as well. It's my time to go meet up with Minato-kun up in the firmament. Please, please Sarutobi-sensei, take care of my child. He will take up my name, since Minato-kun's enemies would love to get their hands on his baby."

Her pleas to the Sandaime were interrupted by a loud wailing. Sarutobi picked up the small baby and handed him to his mother. The baby's blue eyes opened up and stared into his mother's green eyes for a brief moment.

"My...precious...Naruto-kun." And thus, Uzumaki Kushina, wife of the greatest ninja to appear in the Elemental Countries, passed away in the dead of the night.

Chapter 1: The Ninth Container

The crickets chirped. The owls hooted. The leaves swayed as a weak gentle wind blew on it. It was a normal night in Konoha. Unfortunately, the tranquil peace was disturbed by a flash of light.

A young blond boy was peacefully sleeping on his bed, when the clock in his room struck midnight. Immediately, a bright flash erupted from nowhere and engulfed said blond. The boy, who was immediately awake at the flash, brought his hands up to his face to block out the bright light. When the light faded, the boy's surroundings had changed. The blond swung his head back and forth. He was in a small dingy apartment a second before, sleeping on his small dingy bed. Now, he was looking at a vast wasteland, full of decrepit trees and rotting land.

Ahem.

The boy's head immediately snapped to the direction the voice came from. Above. There, towering over the short blond, was a giant figure, dressed in a black garment. The sides of the cloth were frayed, as if it were thousands of years old. The cloth complete covered whoever was under it, as no skin was seen. Not even the bottom of the figure's feet could be spotted. Glowing red eyes could be seen through the hood of the cloak, and honestly, they terrified the boy, despite the fact that the boy was known to be the king of stoics. Too bad it wasn't as scary as the scythe in the figure's hand.

It is time. As you may have guessed, I am the Shinigami, young mortal.

The mortal, terrified beyond all belief, stuttered out a question. "A-a-are you here to take my soul?"

Oh no, your time is not up yet. The figure chuckled.

"Then...w-what am I doing h-h-here?"

I am here to award you your birthright, as it is my job to do when you turn twelve.

"W-what birthright?" His stuttering began to stop.

Have you not wondered why everyone seemed to dislike your very presence, no matter what you did when you were younger? This is because you, young Namikaze Naruto, carry the genes of the Kyuubi no Youko. Those genes naturally give off a pheromone that hits the "danger" nerves in a civilian, and thus, they felt threatened by your presence. And we all know that fear leads to hatred.

"Wait, wait, what?" he asked. The source of his confusion came from the influx of information he just received from the Shinigami in front of him.

A deep rumbling laughed escaped from the place where one would assume a shinigami's mouth would be.

You see, Kami-sama placed the genes into you when you were still in your mother's womb. Why she chose you, I have no idea. The genes altered your DNA, which is why you are so unnaturally tall and strong for a twelve year old, and gave off a "warning" signal to everyone nearby, so they became scared of you. Anyway, the whole point of placing the Kyuubi's genes into your body was to prepare it for the sealing.

"Sealing? What do you mean?"

For some odd reason, Kami-sama commanded me to seal my nine bijuu into nine different mortals. But since they were full-blooded demons, a normal human would not be able to withstand the youki being forced into their body. So, the genes were placed into you to accustom you to your bijuu's power.

"Wait! Nine?!" The boy exclaimed.

Yes, nine. You are one of nine to be chosen. One for each bijuu, the Shinigami said in what could have passed for an irritated voice. It was hard to read emotions from an immortal. As I was saying, twelve years is the exact amount of time necessary to prepare one for the sealing of a bijuu. Since you have just turned twelve, now is the opportune moment to commence with the sealing.

"But-but-but I don't want to get sealed with a demon!"

Do not fear, there are more benefits to this than liabilities. For one, you will gain the bijuu's powers. Two, even if it was possible to reject this, you would still be hated. Three, all bijuu come with an automatic healing ability (as long as they have chakra, they can heal you). And four, your powers gained will become a kekkai genkai, although your descendants' will never be as strong as you are.

"Alright then. I have one more question though. Is it possible for me to find or sense the other 8?" Naruto said.

Yes. One way to tell who the other eight are is by focusing on sensing the specific youki of the bijuu (which is only possible if you are a specialist in tracking). The only other way is based on the number of tails your bijuu has. The Gobi can sense any bijuu with four tails or less, but no bijuu that has six tails or up. Luckily for you, this means that since you will have the Kyuubi sealed into you, you can sense any of the other eight when they get within a certain distance to you, but none of them can find you (unless you reveal your youki purposely of course). Now close your eyes, this might hurt a bit.

A bloodcurling scream was let loose. It was a good thing that the building was relatively empty.

"A bit my ass!" Naruto growled. The pain was like nothing he had felt before. It was good thing he had such a high level of pain tolerance, or else the sudden pain would've killed him.

Naruto got up and prepared for his morning. He brushed his teeth, got dressed, ate two cups of some instant ramen, and then left for the academy.

Flashback

"No." The lone word came from a young blond boy. The person he said it to happened to be the strongest ninja in the village; the Hokage.

"What do you mean no? I thought you always wanted to be a ninja," the Sandaime said in a confused voice.

"Yes that's true, but after living in this village for so long, I'd rather not become a ninja for them," he spat.

"I'm sorry, Naruto, but you know it's your father's wish. You know he wanted you to become a ninja and to love this village like he did."

"No, I'm sorry, Sandaime-sama, but that's never going to happen. I refuse to go to the academy."

"Then please forgive me. I have no choice but to do this." Drawing himself up, the Hokage prepared for his small speech in his official voice. "Under the provisions of Amendment Nine, Paragraph Four, Line Three of the Konoha Consitution, you are hereby declared a ward of the state. Under the orders of the leader of this village, you are required to go to the academy." The Hokage visibly deflated, before continuing. "There, Naruto, now you have no choice but to attend."

"Fine," the boy ground out. He turned around sharply and walked out the door, missing the look the Sandaime shot at him.

'I'm sorry, Naruto, but it's for your own good.'

It was a good thing that the Sandaime could not read young Naruto's mind, or else he would've regretted making the boy go to the ninja academy. 'Sure, I'll play along for the time being. I may go to the academy. I may become a ninja. I may serve the village. But the first chance I get, I'm leaving this shithole village and never coming back again. Unless I'm here to bring about its downfall of course.'

End Flashback

The day passed as usual. Naruto would enter the classroom, and sit in a corner of the room at the back. Then two loud girls would enter screeching about sitting next to the Uchiha. After that, the instructor, Umino Iruka, would arrive and shout at them to be quiet. Following that, a long lecture would take place, forcing many students to fall asleep. Lunch came next, and everyone except Naruto rushed out. Naruto took his time going out. When the lunch bell rang, everyone would come back inside for another boring lecture on the history of Konoha. After another quick nap, everyone would spring up and leave the class as soon as the dismissal bell rang.

Now, Naruto was heading towards one of the training grounds, hoping to find a place where he would be able to discover his new powers. Once there, he immediately sat down to prepare to meditate.

Ten minutes passed before Naruto felt himself drifting off. Immediately his eyes opened and he looked around, finding a large cave.

"Where am I?" he wondered aloud. As soon as those words left his mouth, two red eyes appeared near the back of the cave.

So you're my container...

"Kyuubi-sama?" Naruto asked.

Yes, it's me. It's really nice to see someone so young know how to use honorifics correctly, the demon mused. Now, I suppose you are here to find out how to use your newfound powers? Actually, don't answer that. Of course you're here for that. Now let's see...

Naruto patiently sat and waited for the Kyuubi to finish.

Ah of course. Give me a minute, ya brat.

The Kyuubi then turned around at seemed to rummage through something. A minute passed before a satisfied grunt was heard. Ah, found it. Turning back around, the Kyuubi faced Naruto and seemed to stare straight through him. Hey brat, I got some things for you. And before you get any smart ideas, I'm not giving you things because I like you. I'm giving you things because if my container was weak, it'd make me look weak, and I don't like that.

"Of course, Kyuubi-sama."

Good boy. Now, here. The Kyuubi shoved what appeared to be a...violin? and some scrolls in his hand. Alright, lemme explain the two things you inherit from me. The first is the elemental control over fire. With enough practice, you can create fire with a snap of your fingers; you can mold things from your fire; you can walk through fire without harm; any fire jutsu will come naturally easier to you; and the best part is, your human affinity is wind. When fire and wind jutsus are mixed together, mass destruction becomes child's play. All you have to do is spit out some fireballs and then follow it up with some wind, and the fireball will become a fire STORM! You might as well call yourself the god of fire. The scrolls in your hand are some jutsu scrolls I happen to have for wind and fire.

The second gift, while not as good as my first, is still pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I'm a fox demon, and we are known to be tricksters; we are cunning, clever, and tricky. As a result we are naturally gifted in Genjutsu. A real fox demon could easily weave a Genjutsu over an entire village without them noticing. It's also impossible for a human to dispel our illusions (without the help of at least ten of your kage-level ninjas, of course). Unfortunately, you only get a portion of our skill in Genjutsu. For you, you must focus your chakra into an intermediary since your power is so uncontrolled, and through that intermediary the Genjutsu will be released. It also will be infinitely easier to dispel enemy Genjutsus by using that violin. Now, this violin here is probably the best intermediary for you to use to focus your chakra through. How to use it though, I'm afraid you're going to have to find that out by yourself.

"Thank you very much," Naruto said in as much of a sincere voice as he could muster.

Now go practice. And with that final closing shot, Naruto jerked awake. He got up and stretched his muscles, before looking at the violin and bow.

Naruto decided to practice his affinity with fire and wind first, since he honestly had no idea to use the violin. Opening his fire scroll, his eyes widened at the sight of so many fire jutsus. In fact a small footnote at the bottom of the scroll read, "This is a list of all fire jutsus created up to this day." He quickly opened the wind scroll and showed his surprise again when the wind scroll was just as big. The same footnote was at the bottom of this second scroll.

Now Naruto was faced with a dilemma. What to practice first? Fire or wind? Naruto settled on an answer by closing the 2 scrolls, and then throwing it into the air. Whichever one landed in his hand would be the one he would practice first.

Plop.

The fire scroll landed on his hand.

'The fire scroll it is, then,' he said in his mind. Opening up the scroll again, he looked at the first technique written in it.

"Goukakyuu no Jutsu (Great Fireball Technique). Interesting..."

The next hour was spent practicing the C rank fire technique. At first, it took about five tries just to get fire to come out of his mouth. At the end of the hour, Naruto decided that he finally mastered the technique.

'Hmm...I expected that to take a lot longer to master a C rank...'

Didn't I tell you that you had control over fire? With my control over fire, the time needed for you to master a Katon techniques is reduced significantly.

'Ah! Kyuubi-sama?'

Obviously. What other voice would you have in your head?

'Forgive me Kyuubi-sama. I was...unprepared for that.'

Right. Anyway, since you still take an hour just to master a weak technique, I'm thinking that I should give you another technique to study. This one I learned when the Bijuu were allowed to travel the lands. It's called Kage Bunshin. It will further reduce the time you need to practice a technique. You can also practice your chakra control this way.

After learning the hand-seal and the benefits of this new technique, Naruto immediately employed it. Ten bunshins appeared. Each had their own scroll.

"Alright, you five go practice some chakra control, and you five practice the Katon: Housenka (Fire Release: Mythical Fire Phoenix) technique."

The real Naruto started to run laps around the field, since the Kyuubi had told him that the Kage Bunshin cannot be used to develop stamina or strength.

Five hours later, the sun was gone, and the moon was starting to appear. Naruto dispelled his clones. The rush of knowledge from the ten clones nearly knocked him out, but since he was already sitting, he merely fell into a deep sleep.

The next morning, Naruto woke up from a pleasant dream with a jerk.

'Shit, it's morning already!'

He quickly got up and headed home to take a shower and get some food.

When he finally made it to class, Iruka-sensei was just calling his name. "Uzumaki Naruto?"

"Here," he said in his best monotone voice.

Once roll call was finished, Iruka continued to lecture in the same manner as he always did. The day passed too slowly for Naruto's liking, but eventually the dismissal bell rang.

'Finally,' he mused. 'The academy is so boring. We don't learn anything except the history of Konoha (which I couldn't care less about) and how to throw kunai and shuriken (which I already know how to do).' His thoughts on the dullness of the academy continued all the way to the training field he used yesterday. Once there, he opened the fire scroll again, and looked at what he would be learning today.

'Well, I've learned all the C rank Katon techniques, and some B ranks. I'll finish up the B ranks, and then work on some A ranks.'

True to his word, Naruto's clones finished the B rank techniques and mastered one A rank, while the real one left the training ground to find a place to buy training weights and weapons. Ten minutes of wandering led him to a nondescript store that happened to have kunai in the store window. With a quick Henge, Naruto changed to a tall, brown-haired man with a long mustache. He walked into the store and went through the aisles of ninja accessories. After picking out several different weights, he started to head towards the counter to pay for his things, when an aisle of scrolls caught his eye. One labeled "Genjutsu Techniques for Dummies" especially caught his eye. He picked that up and added it to his things to purchase. He resumed his trek to the counter when a voice in his head popped up again.

Hey ya brat, why don't you try looking for a weapon?

Naruto immediately walked to the back of the store, where rows upon rows of all different kinds of weapons hung from the wall. He started to look through each one. Some he touched, and immediately replaced, since he got a weird feeling that it just didn't suit him. Just when he thought that there was nothing for him, he reached the last section of weapons. On the wall were several gauntlets. He picked one up, and this one gave off a feeling that it would work well for him, but it just wasn't the one. He put it back and picked up another one. This one gave the same feeling.

Naruto spent the next ten minutes trying different gauntlets on, when the shopkeeper, a big burly man with a thick mustache, walked up to him.

"Do you need any help sir? I see that you've been looking through my gauntlets for awhile."

"Yes. I just get this weird feeling that a gauntlet is the weapon for me, but none of THESE gauntlets," Naruto said in his disguised form.

"Well, I do have this one pair of gauntlets in the back. The owner gave it to me to repair quite some years back, but he died in a mission and never managed to pick it up. It is quite expensive though. Would you like to see it?"

"Yes," Naruto replied. Price was not a problem for Naruto. The Sandaime Hokage told him about his heritage when he was six, and started to periodically give him the money that was rightfully his. Of course, when the young six year old asked if he could live in his parents' house, the old man replied that it was destroyed in the Konoha-Iwa war. The only things that still remained of the Yondaime's legacy was his money, his scrolls, and his special kunai that was used with the Hiraishin no Jutsu. Unfortunately, the old man refused to give him the scrolls or kunai until he reached the age of sixteen.

The shopkeeper, a man named Higurashi Toto, led Naruto to the storehouse in the back of the store. After rummaging through several haphazardly thrown boxes around the room, he came back to Naruto and presented to him a set of blood red gauntlets.

"There are two modes for this gauntlet. The first one is battle mode, which includes several special qualities. For one thing, if you send your chakra into it, the blades will shoot out. The blades themselves are made from the darkest and strongest metal I have ever seen. It's called mythril. If only that man had told me who made this weapon...Anyway the blades are nigh indestructible, and they can pierce through even steel. They look so deadly..." The man paused here, and shuddered in pleasure. "Anyway, you have a total of six blades, which means that there are three blades on each gauntlet. Depending on how much chakra you send into the gauntlets, the number of blades that pop out vary. The smallest amount possible gives you one blade. A little more and you get two blades. A little more than that, and you get three blades. All together, you spend very little chakra to retract and extend the blades. The only bad thing is that you can't use handseals while in battle mode. With enough practice, you'll be able to switch between this mode and the other mode instantaneously.

"The other mode is civilian mode. The gauntlets turn into fancy blood red fingerless gloves made of silk. When you put chakra into the gloves during civilian mode, it activates a storing seal. It's a boon for ninjas, since you can store everything you need to carry in the seal when you have to leave for long term missions. And the best part of the storing seal is that it has been modified so that there is no limit to the number of things you can place in it! There are also more seals in the gloves, most of which don't have any active effect and are hidden. There's a comfort seal, which makes the gloves always extremely comfortable. It's also temperature regulated, so that the insides of the gloves never heat up. A cleaning seal is also attached, so that the gloves will stay clean. I haven't tested out all of them though, so you're going to be in for some more surprises.

"And that's not all. If you sprinkle a few drops of blood onto the seal, then the gauntlets will be bonded to you. It's not in the sense that it will magically gain a conscience or anything, but in the sense that only you will be able to utilize its special abilities. It also prevents anyone with harmful intent from removing them from your hand. This means that if you get captured on a mission, the enemy shinobi can't take off your gloves, and you can use the blades to cut yourself loose (if you're tied up). This is truly a wonderful weapon."

At the thought of all the great things about this gauntlet, Naruto knew he had to have it, "How much for it?" he asked.

"200,000 ryou." That was going to be put a dent in his savings.

"Well, I don't have that much money on me. However, if you give me a piece of paper, I can give you my account number so you can withdraw the money from the bank."

"Of course." Toto left Naruto for a minute to get the paper. While he was alone, Naruto marveled at the craftsmanship of this wonderful weapon. He slowly slipped it on to try out the properties, when a wonderful feeling overcame him.

'This is the one. This is the gauntlet for me,' he thought while staring at the seal on the back of the gauntlet. He focused some chakra into, and the thick gauntlet immediately started to shrink. The shrinking eventually stopped after a few seconds, and in its place was the blood red glove.

The storekeeper came back then, and handed a piece of paper and a pen to Naruto. Naruto graciously accepted it and wrote down his account number and his signature.

"Oh, I still have to find kunai, since I recently ran out," Naruto commented. "And I wish to purchase these things." He handed the weights and scroll to Toto, before moving back to the short knife section of the store. There he spent another ten minutes browsing through the daggers and knives. After picking out several sets of good quality kunai, he walked up to Toto, presenting to him the extra things he wished to purchase.

Toto rang up Naruto's things and changed the price of the IOU that Naruto had given him. Naruto signed it again to approve of the transaction, before thanking the man.

After leaving the weapon store, he headed straight towards the training field he was on before. Upon arriving, he immediately put his gloves on. After that, he placed his fire, wind, and genjutsu scrolls, his weights, and his violin into the seal on the back of the left glove. As soon as that was done, he added some more chakra into the gloves themself (not the seal), and the gloves turned into the gauntlets. Following that, he channeled a little bit of chakra into the gauntlets, and six blades, three on each gauntlet, slid out from its hidden hiding spot. He stopped for a minute to admire them.

Stop standing there like a buffoon and go train yourself or something.

The Kyuubi's voice once again startled him out of his admiration of his new gloves.

'Of course, Kyuubi-sama.'

Naruto walked up to one of the trees in the training ground and prepared to try out his new gauntlets. Deciding that one blade first would be good, he retracted four blades so that only one was left on each gauntlet. Dashing past one of the trees, he slid his blade into the bark of the tree. What surprised him was the lack of resistance that met his blade when it went through the three. Turning around, he saw the tree fall to the ground with a loud crash. The remaining stump was so smooth...

Naruto grinned maliciously at this new revelation. His blades were now a force to be reckoned with.

"Alright, you guys go dispel yourselves." The clones then punched themselves in the face, and the result was a big headache for the blond. "Ugh..." he groaned.

As soon as the headache disappeared, he looked up into the sky. From the position of the sun, he estimated that the time was around six o'clock. The local library closed at nine, so he had three hours to read a ton of books. Before he left for the library though, he created fifty more clones. This left him a bit drained, but he didn't show it. "You twenty read the genjutsu scroll and practice using genjutsu with the violin. You ten go back to the fire scroll. You ten go run up trees and walk on water some more. And the rest of you (the last ten), practice using the blade to fight and switching between the two modes. I gave you enough chakra to last exactly four hours and ten minutes. Dispel one clone every ten or so seconds when four hours are up, got it?"

With a loud chorus of "Hai!", the clones set to work.

Naruto then left the training ground again to visit the library. He walked right past the librarian, who chose to ignore his presence. Naruto went straight towards the back of the library, where there was a large space for people to read their books. There he created another hundred clones. This time the drainage of the technique left him gasping for breath. It took him a minute to catch his breath.

"Alright, I want each of you Henge into a different person and grab a book. Keep reading until it's nine. When the time is up, dispel one clone every ten or so seconds."

The hundred clones immediately left the reading area into the shelves of books.

After that, he decided that he could probably create only a few more clones; a maximum of ten. 'So my limit is 150 clones at one time...I'm going to have to work on that.'

Following that, Naruto left the library and headed towards his house, where he planned on storing some things into his gloves so that he will always have emergency supplies on him.

Upon entering the apartment he lived in, he headed straight for the closet in his room. There he pulled out two identical shinobi outifts. 'Which hand should I put it in?' he asked himself. 'Alright, how about this. My left hand is for my weapons and things I need for training. My right hand will be everything else.'

Since he was expecting to fit a lot of things in each hand, it worked out fine. Naruto picked up the two shinobi outfits and stored them into his right hand. Then he went to his small living room, where he found some scrolls and a pen.

'I should probably store that too, in case I'm ever in trouble and need to send a message.' Sealing that into his right hand too, he then headed towards the kitchen. He rummaged through the cabinets and pulled out some instant ramen. 'It's good for emergency food, I suppose.' Naruto stored the food into his right hand. 'Now I need something to boil the water in...Ah! That kettle'll work. I might as well get some utensils and other pots and pans while I'm at it.' He quickly pulled all the mentioned things out of the cabinets and stored them into his right hand, before deciding that was enough. 'Now what to do? I guess I should start using my weights."

Naruto unsealed his weights from his left hand and strapped them on. Five pounds on each wrist and ten pounds on each ankle. After taking a few minutes to adjust, Naruto started his slow trek back to the training ground. It took him twenty five minutes, fifteen minutes longer than usual, but he did make it. He took another five minute break, before starting to slowly jog around the field while watching his clones practice their assigned job.

Nine o'clock came, and he started to receive small bits of information, from tips on cooking to a how-to book of doing origami, to a book on legendary shinobi.

'Another hour until these clones dispel,' he thought.

Naruto upped his pace from a slow jog to quick dashes around the field, although he had to take many more breaks now. Deciding that he had enough, he told the clones to start the dispelling now, rather than in thirty minutes. He felt much more powerful from all the training he did (which equaled about 190 hours; ten clones training for four hours and fifty clones training for three hours).

"It's time to go to sleep. I got to go back to the academy tomorrow, and we all know how much fun that'll be. Hey! Maybe I can send a kage bunshin to class!" Naruto said to himself.

Four months later, after having completely mastered the fire jutsus up to A rank, getting a basic understanding of S rank fire jutsus, mastering all the C and B rank wind jutsus, and becoming familiar with the arts of using genjutsu through a violin, Naruto was once again interrupted by his life-long companion.

Hey brat.

'Kyuubi-sama! What a pleasant surprise. It has been quite some time since you've last spoken to me. I believe your last words were something along the lines of "Stop standing there like a buffon and go train yourself". What do you require of me this time?

Well after watching you practice, I've decided that you are almost a master at controlling fire. You just need some experience using those jutsus in combat and finish mastering the S rank techniques to call yourself a true God of Fire. Therefore, your ninjutsu is at a pretty high level. Your genjutsu is at a passing level, as you still have only mastered a few useful genjutsus. However, your taijutsu is like watching a drunk civilian fight. Your movement is unrefined, although fast. Your attacks are stiff and easily predicted, although strong. Because of this, I'm willing to give you another scroll. This one is a taijutsu style for people who use claws, and it's called the Tsume Kuracchi style (the Claw Clutch style). Basically, this is probably the best taijutsu style for one like you. Here, we need to see each other face to face for this to work.

A sharp tug and Naruto's world immediately went black. When his eyes opened, he was once again standing in the cave that signified Kyuubi's place. The Kyuubi's back, however, was facing Naruto, and he could see the great nine tailed fox searching for something in its large pile of treasures. The fox then turned around again, and threw a scroll at Naruto, whose hand immediately shot up to catch it.

There. Study this, and your taijutsu should get a lot better. Now begone from my sight.

As soon as Naruto disappeared, the Kyuubi's voice could be heard, echoing throughout the cave.

Yes, this one is strong. He will bring much respect and fear to my name. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

"Ugh, now I have to incorporate learning a new style of taijutsu into my schedule. Hmmm...well I can keep a total of 400 kage bunshin at one time, since each time one is dispelled, both its knowledge and the chakra used to make it are returned to me. I have one that goes to school, one that is still at the library (Naruto quickly stopped sending 100 clones to the library, as that caused way too many headaches, despite being dispelled with an interval), one that's getting violin lessons from a music teacher under a Henge, one that acts as a housekeeper, and one that I use as a guard for my home. So I have 395 clones remaining. How should I divide them up? I know! I'll divide them into five equal groups, with seventy nine clones in each group. One group will practice the Fuuton jutsu, the second group will practice and create genjutsu techniques, the third group will work on expanding my chakra reserves, the fourth group will practice this new taijutsu style, and the last group will practice manipulating the fire and creating new techniques so that it becomes second nature to me."

After splitting up the jobs to the massive amount of clones, Naruto left to grab some lunch at Ichiraku's. As he made his way through the streets, he passed by a dango store, where a certain purple-haired snake mistress caught his eye. Now, this wasn't the first time he saw her, but this was definitely the first time he was so close to her.

'Hmmm...that youki. She's one too! I've seen her around before, but I never expected her to be one too! Kyuubi-sama, are you awake?'

Silence was the Kyuubi's reply.

'Kyuubi-sama?'

What you damned brat? I was so enjoying my nap...Sigh...

'Can you tell me whose youki that is? I know she is a jinchuuriki too, but I'm not experienced enough to recognize which bijuu she holds.'

Hmph. It's the Hachibi no Hachimata. That's the eight-tailed snake.

'Thank you for the assistance, Kyuubi-sama.'

Finishing his mental conversation with the bijuu that was sealed in him, he calmly walked up to the purple-haired woman's table and beckoned the nearby waitress over.

"Please give me a plate of dango."

The woman, although uncomfortable with his presence, merely nodded and left to bring him his food.

"Hey, pipsqueak, what the hell do you think you're doing?"

"Hello, Hachibi-san."

'Well, fuck,' the woman thought.

This was not a good day for one Mitarashi Anko. She had woken up, gotten dressed (if you could call what she wore "dressing"), did her morning rituals, and then left to the Torture and Investigation department, where she worked under Morino Ibiki. However, just as she was about to enter the place, her old curse seal started to act up.

Her sensei Orochimaru gave her the curse seal back when she was ten, before she got the Hachibi sealed into her. It hurt like hell, and she nearly died because of it. When she turned twelve, the curse seal's harmful effects were immediately purged from her body, although a small amount of the evil chakra and the tattoo itself remained. Nowadays, the tattoo would randomly act up and give her bouts of pain, which was very dangerous for one in her profession. A mere moment's worth of hesitation would be enough for any skilled enemy to kill her. And boy, she had a lot of enemies.

After the pain subsided, rather than go to work, she decided to go train some more, as it usually took her mind off her want for revenge against her old sensei, who had abandoned her the moment he found out that she could no longer access the seal's effects. When she arrived at her favorite training place, the Forest of Death, she noticed that it was "under construction". That pissed her off a lot, since well, who the fuck would want to build something in the Forest of Death?!

Following that, she decided a plate of dango would do her good, and when she finally started to enjoy her peace, some snot-nosed blond brat decided that he was brave enough to sit with her! Her! Mitarashi Anko!

But that's not the worst part. The worst part is, the boy merely greeted here with three words, which scared the fuck out of her.

"Hello, Hachibi-san."

Her only thoughts were 'Well, fuck.'

After having opened up the conversation with three words, Naruto sat back to see how the woman would react. And boy, react she did.

"How the fuck did you know that?" she whispered angrily, with a kunai in each hand. Only one person knew her secret, and that was her best friend. She knew her best friend wouldn't have told him, since she knew her dark secret too. They even swore a blood pact that they would be never reveal each other's secret to an outsider. There was no possible way for someone to have caught her training with the Hachibi's youki, since she always made sure no one was around.

"Don't make me repeat myself. How the fuck did you know that?" Her voice was laced with a lot of killing intent and a little bit of...fear?

"I got a little tingle in my head," he replied.

Her kunai dug into his skin. "Stop fooling around you little brat, or I'll gut you. How do you know my secret?" she asked once more, this time enunciating each word.

"He didn't tell you?"

"Who tell me what?"

"Shinigami-sama. Didn't he tell you about how fellow containers could sense each other?"

Anko's blood ran cold at that. 'How did he know about Shinigami-sama? Perhaps he is one too?'

"No! If that's true, then I'd be able to feel you too!" Anko muttered back.

"Yeah, that's the funny part," he stated. His voice was still calm, despite the fact that their was a kunai piercing his neck. It wasn't deep enough to be harmful or anything; it was just a little prick. "Shinigami-sama said that you can only sense the youki of someone who has less tails than you."

Anko's mind stopped at this revelation. "T-this means...You're Kyuubi?"

Naruto chuckled darkly. "Yeah that's me. Now, do you mind removing that kunai from my neck? Even though it doesn't hurt, it's still quite bothersome..."

"Why? I like blood," she commented, before reluctantly removing the kunai from his neck. The small wound immediately started to close up.

"I do too, but you don't see me walking with a kunai in my hand every time someone looks at me funny. Now how about you introduce yourself? I'm Uzumaki Naruto, age twelve (I got my sealing a few months ago), and I'm a genin."

Anko answered, "I'm Mitarashi Anko, age seventeen, Chuunin rank."

The waitress then came back with his order. "Ah, well, it was nice meeting you. I'm a busy person, and my lunch has arrived. I have to train, you know? Bye!" And with that, Naruto left the dango shop.

'I better go find her. She's going to want to know that I met the Kyuubi kid.'

After leaving the dango shop with his food, Naruto hurried back to his training ground and sat down at the bottom of a tree while watching his clones work. He quickly finished his food before pointing at one of the clones in the group that was practicing the Tsume Kuracchi.

"You! Dispel yourself!"

The clone immediately complied, and with a puff of smoke, the clone was gone. The real Naruto received the information the clone had learned about the style, and then decided to practice it a bit himself. After all, it wouldn't do to go into battle without actually having used it himself. He quickly finished going over everything the clone had provided, and performed a few katas before deeming that he now had a basic understanding about the style, even though he wasn't too good at it yet.

When that happened, he set out to practice using all of the stuff he learned already from past clones. Naruto walked to a side area, a little bit farther away from the clones, and started to use all of the Katon jutsus he knew once, before moving onto the Fuuton jutsus and the genjutsus.

"Alright, now I just need some real battle experience. But where to get some?"

Naruto looked around himself in deep thought, before a simple thought came to him. 'The clones of course!'

Walking back to the original training field, he pointed at one clone from four of the groups (the only one he didn't pick a clone from was the group practicing his new taijutsu style), and dispelled them. Again, he took some time to assimilate all the information he received, before replacing them with five new clones.

"Alright, I want each of you to attack me, but you can only use specific moves. The five of you will decide who does taijutsu only (taijutsu-clone), who does genjutsu only (genjutsu-clone), who uses Katon jutsu only (fire-clone), who does Fuuton jutsu only (wind-clone), and the last one will use anything he wants (omni-clone). Understand?" Naruto received five nods, before sending them off to discuss who does what. Before they left, he yelled, "You have five minutes! Either come to me, or I'll come to you when those five minutes are done!"

The clones then departed. Five minutes later, Naruto stood back up and dusted his pants off. He took his time walking through the wooded area where his clones had passed through. Within a minute, one of the clones got impatient and jumped down to where he was, blocking the path.

"I wonder which clone you are," Naruto commented offhandedly to himself, literally. His reply was a stoic look and a Katon: Goukaykyuu.

Naruto immediately batted the flames to the side effortlessly, seeing as how the fire technique was fire, and it was a mere C rank attack. The clone, seeing as how that did not work, disappeared back into the foilage. Naruto continued on, eyes alert and scanning the forest for any signs of movement. Off in the distance, he could hear his original clones still practicing their assigned job.

Crack!

Naruto spun around right away at the sound of a branch cracking and saw another clone. He was again, unsure of which clone it was. Then a second clone stepped out.

"Katon: Goukakyuu!"

"Again?" Naruto asked.

Unfortunately, the second clone then used its own jutsu. "Fuuton: Daitoppa (Wind Release: Great Breakthrough)!"

The wind, combined with the flames, immediately created an extremely large flame, much too large for Naruto to just bat away. Instead, he chose to leap to the side. The flames just barely missed him, and Naruto sighed at this revelation. "Well, fire and wind makes big fire..."

He turned to face the two clones, only to find them gone again. His reprieve, however, was quickly over when he heard the whooshing of something approaching him from behind. His instincts told him to duck, and he did as he was told. His gauntlets, which were currently in its glove form, immediately switched to battle-mode, and Naruto threw his leg out at an attempt to leg sweep the clone behind him. The taijutsu clone responded by jumping over the leg and bringing its own gauntlets down to try to smash into Naruto.

There was a poof of smoke, and the branch that was hit was destroyed at once. The clone turned around and blocked the incoming punch from the gauntlet, and followed it up with a kick to the stomach. Naruto, seeing his surprise attack fail, leapt back and sent a minuscule amount of chakra into his palms. The chakra was released and poured into the gauntlet, where the six mythril blades erupted. Each blade looked extra shiny today, even though Naruto hadn't yet done anything to it to give it such a shine.

While Naruto put chakra into the gauntlets to get the blades out, the clone was doing the same thing. Now both sported six blades protruding from their gauntlets. Both the real and the fake Naruto then charged again. Right before the two hit, Naruto used a quick Kawarimi, and appeared behind the clone...again. His fist shot out, and smashed right into the back of the clone.

Or at least, that's what Naruto thought had happened. His fist went straight through the clone, and he felt six small pricks on his back.

He groaned in his head. 'God damn, I fell for a genjutsu.' He flared his chakra a bit, and the genjutsu immediately collapsed. He turned his head around a little and saw the taijutsu-clone standing behind him with his hand extended, pointing at Naruto's back.

"Nice one, but it's not over," Naruto told the clone.

He leapt forward just as the clone pressed the blades down, to try to actually make the blades sink into his skin. Naruto's unexpected leap forward sent the clone out of balance, and Naruto appeared behind it. A quick stab at the head and the clone disappeared.

"One down, four to go."

When Naruto looked up again, the remaining four were standing in front of him. "All at once then?" he asked.

One clone shot forward, blades extended, intending to sink them into his skin; this was the omni-clone, since the first one already used taijutsu. Two followed up, each flashing through the hand signs of the previous C rank combo. The last one stood at the back, also flashing through hand signs.

Naruto sighed. 'My clones don't seem that smart after all.' It was obvious that the clone at the back was the biggest threat at the moment, and the two ninjutsu clones were pretty redundant. 'Well I guess it's my fault for not giving them enough chakra to do any techniques over a C rank or do fire jutsus without hand signs...'

Using chakra-enhanced speed, Naruto sidestepped the charging clone and complete bypassed the two ninjutsu-clones. He ran straight for the genjutsu-clone, and pulled a spare kunai from a pouch from his hip. However, since his gauntlets were a bit bulky, it made throwing a kunai a little awkward. This was evidenced by the fact that the kunai had not struck the genjutsu-clone in the heart, as Naruto had intended, but had struck a glancing blow to the clone's side. This was still enough to dispel it though, thankfully.

His instincts once again rang out at him to jump, so he did so. It was good thing too, or else his clone would have struck him on the back of the head with the pointy blades. 'I wonder if Kyuubi-sama can fix that. Best not to find out.'

His jump had led him to land on a thick branch on one of the trees, and he turned around to face the clones on the ground. There he saw what he presumed to be the fire-clone going through a quick motion of hand signs, and guessed its intention. It was going to burn the tree he was in. Considering that he was in a forest, this was not a good idea.

'Alright, next target, fire-clone.'

He leapt off the tree straight at the fire-clone. Right before he was about to strike it, the omni-clone appeared and blocked his attack with both hands in an X-shaped fashion.

Seeing as how the omni-clone's hands were both "tied up", Naruto wound his other fist back, and punched as hard as he could, breaking through the X guard, and knocking both it and the fire-clone down. Before they had a chance to react, Naruto swung his fist down and struck them both, causing the two clones to dispel.

Now it was just a one-on-one fight.

Quickly changing his gauntlets back to civilian modes, he then summoned his violin. After all the practices with his genjutsu and violin, Naruto had figured out that the weaker genjutsus he could do without handseals and without a violin, but the more difficult ones required the violin to act as a mediator, as to force the chakra into the instrument, whcih would then convert the chakra into the genjutsu the user wanted.

Naruto started to play a haunting song, one that would fit perfectly with a movie that depicted something bad about to happen to the main character, while the wind-clone released a powerful gust of wind, clearly hoping to disrupt Naruto's playing. Once again, Naruto proved to be victorious.

"Magen: Jigoku Gouka no Jutsu (Demon Illusion: Hellfire Technique)," he whispered. The clone immediately dropped the gust of wind and began to scream while waving its arms around as if on fire. Naruto, looking for a quick win, had an on-the-spot idea. The clone was too far away to attack (and it was swinging its arms around wildly) and he only had his violin and bow out. Thus his idea came to him when he spotted a sharp stick on the ground. He slung the violin onto his back, using its strap, so it would not fall off. Then he took the violin's bow and quickly loosened the string, forming a makeshift bow for arrows. Clearly the stick was to be the arrow.

Naruto notched the stick to the bow and pulled back, before releasing it. He manipulated the wind around the stick so that it flew true, and dispelled the wind-clone.

He was in awe of the idea he had. No one would ever expect him to be able to use a violin bow as a bow for archery. Although he knew he was low on chakra, he summoned one clone and told it to pull out a piece of paper and a pen, and to write down this new idea and to expand on it.

The clone immediately set to work, while Naruto headed back to the clearing where all the clones were still practicing. He sat himself down on the tree where he had eaten his dango earlier today and quickly fell asleep.

Two ocean blue opened and blinked as the sight of the moon up in the sky hit him.

"Whoa how long have I been here?" he asked.

Looking around he saw that all the clones were gone. He figured that he slept for three or so hours, before the clones dispelled themselves. This meant that the fight was around two hours long. It was almost nine, and he considered going straight home, but then the sound of a rumbling stomach told him that food was more important right now. He quickly Henged himself into one of his many personas, one of a middle-aged man with no special features that would make him stand out, and hurried to one of the restaurants in the nearby vicinity. Even though no one would've bravely kicked him out of their shop, it made everyone present uncomfortable, thus leading him to use a disguise every time he ate at a public restaurant.

This time, he went to one of the middle-classed restaurants, owned by the Akimichi, popular for its all-you-can-eat buffet. He quickly went in and was seated at a table. He ordered a drink before heading off to the food. There he spotted Anko and a black-haired lady, standing in front of a plate of dango. He walked closer to them, and stood a few plates down in front of the rice. He gathered a bit and placed it onto his own plate.

"-won't believe what happened to me earlier today. I met Kyuubi!"

"Really?" the black-haired woman asked in surprise.

"Yeah, turns out that he just turned twelve several months ago and received his sealing then," Anko replied to her friend.

Upon hearing that, Naruto's eyes shot up. For Anko to reveal his secret like that, when she shared the same one, it would have to mean that her friend was one too, or that she was a close confidant. Naruto was heading towards the former, and to find out, he focused on her chakra, and sensed the youki of one of the nine bijuu within her.

'Huh! So she is one!' Aiming his next thought at the great kitsune sealed inside of him, he thought, 'Kyuubi-sama?'

It's the Gobi no Houkou, Kyuubi growled without waiting for Naruto's question. Stupid dogs. I hate dogs.

Naruto's response was a sweatdrop. 'The great Kyuubi-sama gets worked up at the mention of a dog. How entertaining.'

...Shut your mouth mortal. And I meant that the Gobi is a dog demon. All dog demons suck! In fact...

Naruto then tuned the rest of Kyuubi's rant about dogs out, as he walked over to the two ladies.

The two aforementioned ladies immediately stopped talking when they saw the man approach. Anko, being her usual insane, bloodlusting self, turned towards the newcomer with a creepy grin and a kunai aimed at man's best friend. And there weren't any dogs around.

"Can I help you?" Anko asked, her scary grin still in place.

Naruto, in his Henge, paused to think. "I think you can. Perhaps you can introduce me to your friend Gobi-san."

Anko's eyes predictably widened. "Oh! Naruto-kun!" She paused before cheerfully waving her hand at the black-haired woman standing beside her. "This is Nai-chan!"

The only sign that Naruto showed that he heard her added suffix was a twitch to the eyebrow.

"I'm actually Yuuhi Kurenai, Chuunin," she said, her manners taking over, before continuing. "But how'd you know that about me?" she exclaimed in surprise.

Naruto's eyes swiveled to Anko, who shrugged in response. "I don't really get it myself," she said.

Naruto sighed. The three of them piled the food onto their plates and headed towards Anko and Kurenai's table. He took his time retelling what Shinigami-sama had told him the day they met while he enjoyed his dinner, still under the guise of a middle-aged man. Once their dinner was finished, Naruto and the two ladies separated; Naruto to go home to sleep, and the two ladies to go gossip or whatever kunoichi did when in the company of another kunoichi.

Halfway down the street, Naruto turned back around. He was no longer in his Henged form, since dinner was already over. "Kurenai-san!" he called.

One of the two figures in the distance turned around. "Yes?" she asked.

"Do you think you can make some time to tutor me in genjutsu tomorrow? I heard that you were the genjutsu mistress of Konoha."

Kurenai paused to think for a moment. "Sure. Meet me at Training Field 14 tomorrow at 3 in the afternoon."

Naruto called back his thanks before turning back and walking home.

The next day, Naruto woke up extra early so he could get a head start on training. He did his morning rituals before heading towards the training field he used yesterday. He made the standard five groups and divided them up again to do the same thing they did yesterday. After his normal routine was established, he decided he wouldn't send a clone to school today. He didn't have anything else he wanted to do, and if the class was just going to do lectures again, he would go back to sleep.

Luckily, he chose to go to school on a good day. The moment roll call was finished, the teacher, a Chuunin named Umino Iruka, decided that today would be a good day for practicing the practical part of being a ninja.

"Alright class, we're going outside today to spar and to throw projectiles. The spar will be in a tournament form, so whoever wins will get this scroll for Doton techniques, and whoever does the best at kunai and shuriken throwing will get this Suiton scroll."

Several students perked up at this announcement; namely, Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto. Several observant Uchiha-fangirls also perked at this, since they realized that this was a chance for them to earn the everlasting love of the great Uchiha Sasuke so that they could give him the scroll if they won (which we all know is impossible; after all, fangirl philosophy says that the great Uchiha Sasuke could never be beaten). For the Uchiha himself, this was a chance to gain some more power on his quest to defeat his older brother, who had killed off the entire Uchiha family, bar Sasuke. For Naruto, this was a chance to learn a few Doton and Suiton moves, since his arsenal of jutsu was composed of only Katon and Fuuton techniques.

Naruto silently followed the rest of the class outside, his stoic and cold persona up. On the inside, he was thinking, 'This could be a good chance to test my Tsume Kuracchi style on real people. Of course, I can't show off too much.'

Once at the academy training field, Iruka announced that they would start with the projectile throwing first. He called up the students one by one in alphabetical order to throw ten kunai and ten shuriken, and Mizuki, the assistant teacher would check the targets to determine their score. The closer they got to the bullseye, the more points they would score. The highest score possible for each portion was a hundred, so this meant that each bullseye was worth ten points.

When the Uchiha got up, all the girls (save one inconspicuous girl) cheered their heart out for "Sasuke-kun!"

Sasuke, annoyed by all the weak fangirls, stalked to the line, and took the ten kunai handed to him from Iruka. He put four down on the table next to him, but kept six in his hands. Three kunai would slip in between his fingers on each hand, so that he looked a little bit like Naruto when Naruto had his blades out. Sasuke took a deep breath and released the six kunai. The two targets were each hit three times by the kunai, all in the bullseye.

"60 points so far," Mizuki announced.

Sasuke then took the remaining four (two on each hand), and took a step back, so that he could do a dramatic finish. Just as he released the kunai, an extra loud shriek was heard by his "number one fan," the big forehead girl Sakura. Unfortunately for the duck-haired avenger, the shrill shriek of the banshee startled him out of his concentration. As a result, one kunai missed the bullseye and hit the circle that encircled the bullseye. He winced. That shriek really hurt his ears and affected his score. Ah well, he still got a 98 on the kunai portion. It's not like anyone else was going to beat it, right?

His shuriken portion went as expected. He hit ten out of ten bullseyes, so his total score was a 198. His smug smirk only widened at that. No one could possibly beat him. After all, he was an Uchiha, and Uchihas always come out on top.

Next up was the class mute (not counting Shino, who actually did speak up occasionally to his peers and offered wise pieces of advice; Naruto would ignore all the other students, and never raised his hand in class so that the teachers never called on him). Without even looking at Iruka, Naruto grabbed eight of the ten kunai and threw them.

Fwip. (sound effect of kunai hitting target)

Only one kunai hit the bullsye where the heart would be. Even some of Sasuke's fangirls hit more than one bullseye.

The brash Inuzuka boy immediately laughed at Naruto. "Is that it? Even Sasuke's weak fangirls did better than that! Oh man, you must really suck!"

Iruka stared at the targets for a second before noticing something weird about them. Walking up, he noticed where each of the eight kunai were located. What he noticed surprised him. That kid was good. "Actually," he interrupted Kiba's taunt, "Naruto here hit each of the eight killing spots: the throat, the spinal column, the lungs, the liver, the jugular vein, the sub-clavier artery, the kidney, and the heart. If you are hit in any of these spots, it would count as an instant death. Because of this, I'll give Naruto a 98. You lose two points for not following directions, but it was still a very nice throw." This shut Kiba up immediately.

The other two kunai lay forgotten as Naruto picked up his ten shuriken, and this time, all hit the bullseyes.

"All of them are perfect," Mizuki reported.

"In that case, we have two winners. I'll make a second copy of the Suiton scroll and give it to you at the end of class."

After that, Iruka decided it was time for the tournament. The scarred Chuunin explained the rules of the tournament. "I will split you into groups of two. Each group will spar one at a time, while Mizuki and I judge. The winner (and to win, your opponent must be knocked out or concede) will move onto the next round and fight the winner of the previous battle. Whoever wins the entire tournament will get the Doton scroll."

Iruka then split the students up. "Alright, let's start the tournament!"

An hour later, there were only two combatants left. One was Uchiha Sasuke, who beat everyone through the use of several flashy Katon jutsu and by using his clan's taijutsu style. The other winner was Uzumaki Naruto (to be expected of course), who had won using what could be described only as a fierce and animalistic style of taijutsu. There were a few times where his attacks would miss by a little bit, or he would stumble a little, before regaining his balance. The two teachers of course had spotted that and were wondering what had caused those deficiencies in what could've been an extremely successful taijutsu style.

"Alright, the final round. Uchiha Sasuke versus Uzumaki Naruto. Begin!" The crowd gasped as Mizuki dropped his hand in a signal to begin. What they saw though, was that neither combatant had moved.

"You're not bad, Uchiha, but you're not that good either," Naruto commented offhandedly.

"Shut up," Sasuke snarled back angrily. He'd show that good-for-nothing.

"Then why don't you try and hit me, Sasuke-chan?"

Both Iruka and Mizuki stifled a snicker at this, as neither liked the arrogant Uchiha too much. Of course, some of the boys in their class wasn't prone to subtleties. They were outright laughing at Naruto's use of the -chan suffix for Sasuke.

Ignoring the indignant shouts from the fangirls for him to beat the silent kid up, Sasuke chose to totally crush and humiliate that blonde idiot for that slight against him.

His hands moved through several handseals, which Naruto immediately recognized as the handseals for a Katon: Goukakyuu. Rather than jump away, Naruto just stood there. The girls, watching him stare silently at the oncoming fire, screamed, since they believed they just witnessed the death of a fellow classmate, no matter how much they disliked him. When the fire died down, all present were shocked to see Naruto stand there, as if bored with the entire ordeal.

"Is that it?" he asked with a yawn. "Allow me to show you a real fire jutsu." Without even using handseals, he announced his attack. "Katon: Goukakyuu."

The spectators looked on curiously. A "real" fire jutsu? And as soon as the fire left his mouth, they understood what he meant. Sasuke's flames were the size of a spread-out fan. Naruto's on the other hand, was the size of a horse, and in fact, actually took the shape of a horse! The fire horse neighed and charged straight at Sasuke, who quickly dodged to the left. Unfortunately, he dodged right into a left knee in the face, courtesy of Naruto.

The Uchiha flew back several feet and skidded another few feet. His fangirls screamed when they saw their Sasuke-kun get hit in the face, and some even fainted! Sasuke, however, slowly stood back up, his eyes burning with hate. Without warning, he suddenly ran forward, kunai in hand, and jumped. The kunai sunk right into the blond's skin, and he yelled in triumph.

Too bad for him that his victory call was interrupted when the stabbed blond disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Sasuke immediately fell to the ground and stumbled, since he was leaning on the aforementioned blond, who was no longer there to support his weight. He quickly spun back around only to see Naruto standing there calmly, once again looking as if he was bored with this fight.

Sasuke let loose a growl as he saw the flippant way Naruto was dealing with him. He would not stand for such a mockery of his skills.

"Katon: Housenka!"

Several fireballs streaked straight towards Naruto. Naruto, in response, waved his hand at the fire and they all died down, revealing the shuriken hidden within them.

Naruto's eyes widened when he saw the shuriken. He didn't think that Sasuke knew how to do that. 'I guess I underestimated him.'

He quickly ducked to avoid two of the four shuriken and caught another in his hand. However the last one grazed his cheek, and blood immediately spouted from the minor wound. Naruto calmly wiped the blood off his cheek, before commenting, "That was impressive. Just because I think you are a worthy opponent, I'll play a little bit more serious this time.

The girls were pissed. Some nobody was insulting their Sasuke-kun! The boys, on the other hand, were stunned. The class mute actually spoke! More than once! AND he insinuated that his already-impressive skills were actually just him playing around!

Naruto bent down and removed several weights from his ankles, followed by the weights around his wrists. "It's been a long time..." he sighed wistfully. This was the first time that Naruto had taken off his weights since getting them several months back, except for when he was in the shower or when he slept. He proceeded to place them almost lovingly in a pile off to the side. "One more time, Sasuke-chan."

Falling to his anger again, Sasuke charged right towards Naruto.

Wham!

Sasuke's entire world went black, as he saw the figure in front of him disappear, only to feel a blinding pain in his stomach and in his jaw.

When Sasuke charged at Naruto again, the crowd collectively sucked in a breath. It was only let out in gasps of surprise when the blond boy disappeared, only to reappear less than a foot away from the charging Uchiha. What was even more surprising was the two quick punches from Naruto, which even the two Chuunins had trouble spotting.

Iruka could only spot a flash of red as Naruto buried his fist into Sasuke's stomach, and a second blur of red. Where the second blur hit was apparent, when Sasuke flew sideways and landed on the ground with a large fist imprint on his jaw.

"You are weak," Naruto spat spitefully, ignoring the screams of Sasuke's fangirls on the sidelines.

Brushing off a piece of imaginary dirt on his shoulder, Naruto continued, "If you were not so caught up on getting power for power's sake, you could be stronger. If you could be less arrogant, or act like you don't have a fucking stick shoved up your ass, you could be stronger. You try to steal other people's skills, you demand people to teach you things...I pity you, Uchiha Sasuke, because at this rate, you will never defeat your brother."

Turning back around, Naruto stared expectantly at Iruka. "R-right," Iruka said shakily, "the winner of the tournament is Uzumaki Naruto. Here Naruto-kun, this is your Doton scroll for the tournament, and this is the Suiton scroll for the projectile throwing. I'll make another copy of the Suiton scroll for Sasuke-kun later when he wakes up. Class is dismissed."

Naruto calmly took the two scrolls from Iruka and walked off silently. The rest of the students left in groups, either to gossip about what they just saw, or to just hang out together.

Uchiha Sasuke, the lone avenger of Konoha, stared up at the sky. He had just received a crushing defeat from some los- no, from someone stronger than him. Someone he could respect. Of course, he was also envious about the boy's power, but he would never admit that...yet. When he heard the Uzumaki kid rant at him, he was stunned. What he said rang true in his mind, and Sasuke was ashamed that he was so arrogant.

He vowed that he would one day surpass Naruto, and he would do so by his own means.

Getting up, Sasuke gratefully took the Doton scroll from Iruka and limped home.

Naruto strode to "his" training field after Iruka dismissed them. He noticed that he had about 30 minutes until he had to go meet Kurenai on Training Field 14. He took this time to redistribute the number of clones into seven unequal groups to add in the two new scrolls to his training regimen.

After everything settled down, Naruto headed towards Training Field 14, only to find it empty. He looked up at the sky, and the position of the sun told him it was indeed three o'clock. He glanced around the surrounding area, only to find nothing. Sitting down at the base of one of the trees nearby, he prepared to take a quick nap when his instincts told him that was something was...missing. Or wrong. He quickly gave a cursory glance around again, yet still found nothing wrong. The feeling got stronger, before his eyes widened.

He hastily flared his chakra, and the genjutsu faded away to show Kurenai standing in the center of the field with her hands in a hand seal, with Anko standing next to her, arms draped around Kurenai's shapely waist.

"Took you long enough, ya brat," the purple-haired chuunin remarked cheerfully. Naruto's eyes widened, and it was only through extreme mental control that his nose did not explode with a fountain of blood from the surprisingly erotic image. However stoic and cold he may be, he was still a boy coming into the joys of puberty.

"Oh don't mind her, Naruto," Kurenai reassured kindly. "It was a good attempt for an academy student. You see, genjutsus work-"

"Excuse me, Kurenai-sensei, but I already know how to do genjutsus and how they work. I just need practice performing the harder genjutsus with hand seals. Because I have so much chakra (so much, in fact, that I have more chakra than you two and the other six like us have combined), I need a medium to send my chakra through to do the more complex genjutsu. My medium happens to be this violin." And with that, he sent some chakra into his civilian-mode gloves and the violin and bow popped out. "Allow me to demonstrate. Kage Bunshin!"

One Kage Bunshin appeared in a poof of smoke and looked curiously at the original Naruto. "Stand there. I'm going to perform a genjutsu on you," the original commanded the clone.

"Magen: Jigoku-"

"Wait!" Anko interrupted loudly.

Sighing, Naruto towards the sadistic chuunin before he irritatedly asked "What?"

"When'd you learn the Kage Bunshin?! That's an A-rank technique for jounins!"

"Kyuubi-sama taught me it when he deemed my training was not moving along fast enough," Naruto retorted.

Anko shouted in indignation, "What?! Your bijuu actually helps you?!" Poking the seal on her right shoulder, she shouted, "Hear that? You stupid overgrown snake! How come the Kyuubi teaches his container stuff and you don't teach ME anything?"

A brief pause came over Anko, before she yelled to her own shoulder, "Hey! Stop ignoring me you stupid...Argh!" Throwing her hands up in the air, Anko muttered quietly to herself, "I'm going to make this wonderful snake skin purse out of you one day..."

Kurenai, who had been listening on Anko's rant to her bijuu, slapped a hand against her hand and sighed. Why was her best friend so psychotic?

After Anko finished her rant at the Hachibi no Hachimata, she turned back towards Naruto and told him, "You're teaching me that move. Understand?"

Naruto's reply was a sigh and a small nod. "Yeah sure." He took another five minutes to explain how to use it properly to Anko (and Kurenai, who only listened because she thought this would be a helpful technique). "Just to make sure that I'm not doubting your intelligence, I'm going to ask you one question. Do you understand the benefits of this jutsu?"

Anko looked at him blankly before replying, "Ummm...no?"

Naruto sighed again and asked, "Then why the hell would you want to learn it?"

"It looked cool. And besides it means I can hit myself!"

Naruto could only slap himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming. He didn't think it was possible for someone to be so dumb. He took another five minutes to explain the benefits of the jutsu, before Anko shouted in triumph. "Now I can eat more than one dango at a time!"

Cackling madly, Anko rushed away, all the while giggling and jumping around.

This time, it was Kurenai's turn to sigh and slap herself. "Anko! Get back here! You promised me you'd stay and help me!"

Stopping immediately, Anko turned back around in fear and apprehension. "Nooooooo! I need to eat a lot of dango right away!" Anko yelled out, all the while pulling the 'I'm-a-kicked-puppy' look.

Without warning, Naruto announced, "Mugen Orugasumu no Jutsu (Orgasmic Dreams Technique)!"

Anko immediately dropped to the ground and started writhing. Kurenai was about to dispel whatever genjutsu Naruto placed on her until the purple-haired chuunin started moaning in pleasure.

"Yes! Yes! More!" Anko screamed.

Kurenai raised a brow towards Naruto's direction. "What'd you do to her?"

Naruto, starting to turn red by Anko's yells, replied, "I made a genjutsu some time ago. It was probably after I started getting the hang of doing the genjutsu without my violin. This is the first time I tried it on an actual person though, and I guess it's successful. The genjutsu is designed to give extreme amounts of pleasure to the victim, and since shinobi are trained to be used to the pain, pleasure will be unexpected." A few more minutes of Anko's obscene yells of pleasure passed until Naruto released his genjutsu.

Anko immediately sprang up and tried to grab Naruto, but the blond was too quick for her initial lunge. "Get back here! Do it to me again or teach it to me!"

Watching Anko chase around the normally stoic blond was quite an entertaining sight, Kurenai decided. She blushed when Anko brazenly made a grab for the boy's...lower parts. "Anko! Stop that right this instance!"

"Why?" Anko asked with a pout. Naruto stood several feet away from her, looking at her warily from the corner of his eyes.

"Because he's still a twelve year old boy!" Kurenai answered and smacked her hand against Anko's head.

The rest of the day passed by quickly. Naruto taught Anko his genjutsu, and she immediately went crazy with it, using it on herself and occasionally Kurenai. Kurenai, in return, taught Naruto a little bit about the mechanics of how genjutsu work, why they work they way they do, and all the other technical aspects of genjutsu.

The Ides of June was soon approaching, and Naruto's skills could only grow in bounds. At an unprecedented young age, he was truly a god of fire. He was so at ease around it that he could do all fire jutsus save A and S-ranked ones without handseals. If handseals were used to do his fire jutsus, their power would increase exponentially. Fire jutsus in general took so little chakra that if compared to the amount of chakra a ninja with a fire affinity needed to do an S-rank, it would be like comparing a bucket of water to a tub.

Naruto, finally realizing that the wind jutsus were a lot harder for him, slowed his training down on them and decided that mastering all the C and B rank wind jutsus was enough for now.

The stoic blond also learned all the C-rank Suiton and Doton jutsus that Iruka-sensei had included in the scrolls, which wasn't much. The Doton scroll was mostly defense jutsus, and the Suiton scrolls required a large body of water around to use.

His taijutsu also improved drastically. Hours of Kage Bunshin training gave him a perfect memory of how to strike, block, and counterstrike against all types of attacks using his gauntlets and blades.

His genjutsu, however, was still not up to par with the rest of his skills. He could easily ensnare anyone weaker than a chuunin in his genjutsus even with the violin, but if the person was jounin-level, then that person could more than likely crush his genjutsu. Without the violin, his genjutsu was at an average genin level. Kurenai had imparted to him many different genjutsus, including her own personal favorites. He also learned more about the powers both she and Anko had gained as a result of the sealing. Both admitted that neither bijuu gave it to them willingly, but rather that it had come naturally, and that was what made him so different from the two ladies. Also, due to the time he spent with Kurenai (and as a result Anko, since Anko liked to go with Kurenai when they had their genjutsu practice), he had become close with both her and the crazy snake woman, who had become the Assistant Head of the Torture and Investigation Department (and with that came a promotion from chuunin to tokubetsu jounin). Kurenai however wasn't the only to be promoted. She made jounin soon after Anko.

Luckily, he had studied the scroll his clone had made that day on the concept of using the violin's bow as an archery bow. Even though the clone was basically a copy of him, Naruto had to go over the scroll several times to edit or add some things. He also learned that by using small amounts of chakra to manipulate the wind, he could get 100 percent accuracy with his arrows.

Speaking of his arrows, the day after he read upon the scroll his clone created, he hurried to Higurashi Toto's ninja store and commissioned the man to make several hundred arrows, using the finest metal for the arrowheads. Of course, this had cost quite a dent in his savings, but hey, he knew that the Sandaime would continue to send him money until he could access his inheritance by himself. However, after collecting his arrows and a quiver to store them in from Toto, the twelve year old blond decided that he was more of a close range specialist and would only use his bow and arrow when absolutely necessary.

And to top it all off, the Genin Exam was today.

When Naruto woke up that morning, he decided that he could afford a day off training and instead focus on the Genin Exam, despite the fact that it was way below his skills. Soonafter arriving at the academy, he walked in, his pose full of confidence and power. He took his customary seat at the back and leaned back on his chair while looking out the window, waiting for the class to start.

Nothing of importance really happened, Naruto decided, as Iruka congratulated him on passing the Genin Exam. 'I probably could've spent my time with Kurenai and Anko,' he grumbled mentally, thinking about the only two people he could call friends.

Grabbing the hitae-ate from Iruka, Naruto walked away to a place he could have lunch. Within ten minutes, he was eating a bowl of ramen. Just as he finally finished his bowl, Anko came in and grabbed his arm.

"Passed, did you?" she asked.

"Of course," Naruto replied calmly. He threw some coins down on the counter to pay for his ramen before Anko dragged him across the street to get some dango. Anko quickly ordered three plates of dango and 2 bottles of sake while Naruto asked for a simple cup of tea.

"This calls for a celebration! My little Naruto-kun passed his Genin Exam! Here," she said, before pushing a bottle of sake into his hands. "Drink it!"

Seeing no alternative to Anko's idea, Naruto sighed and put his cup of tea down. He slowly took a sip of the sake before coughing loudly into his hands.

"HA! My little Naruto-kun is no longer an alcohol virgin!" Anko yelled aloud while stressing the word virgin. Her emphasis on the word was not lost on Naruto, who blushed despite being Mr. Stoic.

Quickly paying for his tea and her meal, he hurriedly left the store, shouting over his shoulder, "I have to go train...or something!"

As Naruto passed the fluttering curtains to the entrance of the dango shop, he heard Anko's cackling laughter trail behind him.

At 8 in the morning, Naruto walked into the classroom. He scanned his classmates, and noticed that only two were currently absent: Yamanaka Ino and Haruno Sakura. Looking back again through the students, he noticed one girl he had never before seen in the class. She was a Hyuuga, no doubt about that, but she was so...small. The small Hyuuga was sitting by herself near the front in one of the corners of the room, looking haughtily (as all Hyuuga's and Uchiha's tend to do) at all who came near her.

Naruto sat down next to her and asked her a simple question. "Aren't you a little late to be joining the graduating class? We already had our Genin Exam yesterday."

The girl, who was about to fire off a condescending question about the reason why he was approaching her, stopped. "Excuse me?" she asked in a squeaky voice, anger hidden behind her high-pitched words.

"I said, aren't you a little late to be joining the graduating class?" Naruto repeated slowly, as if speaking to a small child (which she was).

Shaking with anger, the small Hyuuga barked back, "I am not late in joining this class! I have been here all year, you dumb commoner! Why don't you go back to your corner and pretend to act all cool again before I beat your ass!"

"All year? Really? What's your name?" Naruto asked.

"I am Hyuuga Hanabi, but you can call me Hanabi-sama," she replied while crossing her arms over her chest and turning her nose up, the classical pose for arrogance.

"Funny, I never noticed you. I guess it's because you're so tiny," Naruto shot back as a closing remark before heading towards his normal seat.

Hanabi, on the other hand, seethed with indignity. Some commoner insulted her! Her pride screamed for her to Jyuuken his ass all the way to Iwa, but she realized that with Iruka walking into the room right now, it would be futile.

"Alright, I hope you guys are ready for your teams. Team 1..."

Naruto drifted off as Iruka slowly listed the members of each team. When he snapped back to attention, all he heard was, "-have been selected to receive a more," a brief pause, "specialized training."

Looking around, he noticed the Haruno girl dancing with joy, while all the other girls around her were looking disappointed, so he guessed that she was on the same team as the Uchiha. 'I better not be on the same team as those two...'

He noticed that the lazy Nara boy and the always-eating Akimichi boy gave each other a high five, so it was logical to assume that the two of them had also made the same team.

His eyes scanning around the place another time, he discarded all notions of the non-clan academy students of actually becoming genin, and was left with only a handful of students left: Aburame Shino, a bug using tracker; Hyuuga Hinata, a shy but friendly girl with confidence issues; Hyuuga Hanabi, the short arrogant girl with an explosive temper; Inuzuka Kiba, a brash boy who smelled like his dog Akamaru; and finally, Yamanaka Ino, a beautiful blond girl who could be a much more powerful kunoichi if she wasn't such a devout Uchiha-ist (Naruto's term for the Uchiha's fangirls).

Thinking about the current four people he placed on a team (Sasuke and Sakura on one, and Chouji and Shikamaru on another), he quickly guessed that the Yamanaka girl was to join Chouji and Shikamaru to reform the trio that their fathers were famous for.

Counting him, that left only five more people. Once again going through the mental profiles he created of the students, he figured that one of the Hyuuga, probably Hanabi since she was stronger, the Inuzuka boy, and the Aburame kid would make another team, since all three made excellent trackers due to their respective bloodlines.

That left just him and the shy Hyuuga, Hinata her name was. Having eliminated all possible candidates for the "specialized team" that he just heard about from Iruka, he surmised that it would be him and Hinata. 'But why us two? I did show that I was pretty strong when I defeated the brooder over there, but that shouldn't have been enough for me to get specialized training. And the Hyuuga girl too! She's not that strong...Speaking of the brooder, I bet some no namer kid is going to be on his team. Wouldn't make sense any other way.'

Time passed by slowly as the academy graduates waited for their respective senseis to pick them up. Ten minutes crawled by when Kurenai poked her head in. "Team 8- Oh hey Naruto-kun!"

Naruto blinked slowly. "You're a sensei Kurenai?"

"Yup! Team 8 is mine! Now hurry up you three and meet me at the dango shop. I'll see you later Naruto-kun." Kurenai said in a cheerful tone.

As expected, Shino and Kiba got up, but when Naruto glanced at the small Hanabi, he saw that she was still sitting. "Aren't you going with your sensei?"

"No, she's not my sensei, you commoner. My sister is on team 8. I'm receiving special training, however unfortunate that it has to be shared with you," she said disdainfully.

Off to the side, Sasuke was annoyed by the fact that some nobody and one of his most hated fangirls were on his team. The girl just wouldn't stop screaming into his ear! The urge to backhand her into the wall was quickly becoming too great, and soon he had to use his left hand to hold onto his right arm to keep that from happening.

'Hmmm...So I was wrong in my assumptions. The younger one is to receive the special training with me, while the older is on the Aburame's and Inuzuka's team. I wonder why this is.'

Within five minutes later, a bearded jounin opened the door and shouted for Team 10. The Ino-Shika-Chou trio got up and followed the man outside. Following that, several more jounin that Naruto had seen around the village but never spoke to appeared and called for their teams, until a woman with brown hair came into the classroom. "Umm...I'm here for a...Hyuuga Hanabi and an Uzumaki Naruto," she said while looking at her hand. "Meet me at the Inuzuka Veterinarian Compound in fifteen minutes.

She then disappeared in a puff of smoke. Naruto and Hanabi looked at each other before Naruto shrugged his shoulder and left the classroom, closely followed by the small Hyuuga girl. They reached the compound in ten minutes and waited another five until a second puff of smoke announced the arrival of their sensei.

"Alright, let's start this meeting!" the woman said. "I'm Inuzuka Hana, and Kiba's big sister. I'm a tokubetsu jounin, meaning I am jounin-level in one field of expertise, and everything else about me is chuunin. You two are my first team, and I hope to be successful with you guys.

"Due to several observations, it has been noted that you two are the two powerhouses in your graduating class. There are some other kids who may be powerhouses too, but none as strong as you two are. And for that reason, you are here under my tutelage, because I specialize in tearing down my enemies without much trouble.

"I also work here when I'm not doing missions," Hana paused here to wave her hand towards the many sick animals, "and I can act as a field medic too, although I'm a much better vet. And I have three loyal friends that I want you to meet. Oy, Kiiroimaru, Enshokumaru, Aoimaru! Get over here!"

Three dogs appeared before the two new genin.

"This is Kiiroimaru." One of the three dogs barked. "Enshokumaru." A second dog barked. "And Aoimaru." The last dog barked its greeting. "All together, they are the Haimaru siblings! They won't ever accompany us, so you'll always find them here watching over the injured animals." Hana exclaimed. "Alright, you shorty, your turn. Give me an introduction about yourself. The basics, you know?"

Hanabi sighed a long suffering sigh before answering, "I'm Hyuuga Hanabi. I'm eight, I like beating people up, and I dislike weak fools. My hobby is watching my enemy crumble before my power."

"Right," Hana replied with a look that said "Wow, what a crazy little dipshit."

"I'm Uzumaki Naruto. I'm four years older than the pipsqueak," cue indignant shouting, "and...my favorite hobby is to train myself to become as powerful as I can. I like...few things, and I dislike many things. I especially hate weak, fangirls."

"Ok, now that our introductions are over, let's begin our training! I'm going to test your skills, to see what you guys need help with, and what you are good at. If you tell me now, it'll make my life so much easier," Hana told the two genin.

"I'm good with fire, and my taijutsu is pretty good. My genjutsu is above average," Naruto told his new team. No need to reveal everything.

"I'm quick, I can use the Jyuuken style, and I found out that I'm decent with fire jutsus," Hanabi admitted.

"Alright then. Now, let's get ourselves to Training Grounds 5!"

On the way there, a question suddenly popped up into Naruto's head. "Hana-sensei? What team number are we?"

"We don't have a number. We are just the Special Demolition Force, or SDF. See, the thing is, Hokage-sama recently decided to deviate from the normal Konoha customs. We aren't going to be working on teamwork while doing D-ranked missions like the other genin teams. I'm going to be training you to be as destructive as possible and to be able to take and dish out an ungodly amount of damage to your enemies, so that in cases of war, you two will be the first Hokage-sama send out to the front lines to demolish the enemies. Once you get your job done, the backup will arrive and finish off the rest. But again, that's only in cases of war, which we hopefully won't see anytime soon."

The two trailing genin nodded their heads in understanding.

"Now," Hana commented once they arrived, "this is how we're going to do this. I'm going to test one of you at a time. I'll test you on your taijutsu, your ninjutsu, and your genjutsu, and see what we need to work on. If you aren't too good with your genjutsu, that's ok, since genjutsu is mainly for support. If you really want to, I might be able to find you some wide scale destructive genjutsus for you to learn, but otherwise...Anyway, Hanabi, you first!"

The black-haired girl stepped forward and slipped into the basic Jyuuken stance while staring straight at her instructor.

The two stared at each for quite some time until Naruto lazily called out, "Begin!"

Hanabi immediately jumped forward at an attempt at a charge to get close to Hana. Her left hand darted out to try to close off the tenketsu points in Hana's right arm, but the tokubetsu jounin skillfully diverted the attack by using her left arm to push aside the attacking hand. This left Hanabi's entire torso wide open for an attack, and Hana took advantage of this fact. She cocked her right fist back and aimed for Hanabi's open stomach. Her punch was deflected by Hanabi's knee, which was brought up to defend her stomach.

Jumping back, Hana commented, "That's not a normal Jyuuken style. I've never seen a Hyuuga use their legs and feet when fighting."

"I've incorporated other styles of taijutsu into my own Jyuuken style, making my taijutsu superior to the rest of my clan's style," Hanabi replied to the unasked query. "I've never used this in front of my own family though, so I'd prefer if you wouldn't tell my father of this."

"Of course, I'll keep your secret. You might have to worry about Naruto over there," she added as she nodded at the calm spectator.

"Don't worry, your secret is yours," he replied.

Getting back to the fight, Hanabi once again rushed at Hana, hoping to use her distraction against her. However, the Inuzuka woman wasn't a tokubetsu jounin for nothing. With her head still looking at Naruto, she quickly sidestepped Hanabi's strike at the chest, and turned her head back towards her student.

"That wasn't too bad," Hana commented. "Taking advantage of your enemy's distraction by attacking them. If I was a lesser opponent I probably would've failed to avoid that."

As soon as her quick advice was given, she smashed her hand into Hanabi's chest, thus pushing her so hard she hit a tree fifteen feet away. Hanabi coughed several times and groaned before slowly getting back up.

"You're persistent. That's good."

Without warning, Hanabi's head snapped up and she shouted, "Katon: Housenka."

A multitude of fireballs erupted from the fallen girl's mouth and roared towards Hana. Hana, being surprised that someone so young would be so proficient with a C-rank fire jutsu, was slow to react, and as a result, was clipped by one of the fireballs near her arms. Luckily, her arms were covered with a bracer, thus protecting her from most of the damage. However, the small Hyuuga was not finished.

"Katon: Goukakyuu!" A large flame spread from Hanabi's mouth in a fan-shaped manner, before Hanabi followed up with a second "Katon: Housenka!"

The wave of fire roared so loudly that Hana did not hear nor see Hanabi perform a second Katon jutsu. After she dodged the Katon: Goukakyuu, the surprise on her face was apparent when her eyes widened and she hastily dived towards the ground, cursing as she did so. The fireballs from the Katon: Housenka narrowly missed her head as she hit the ground.

Hana got back up and brushed the dirt off of her, before complimenting Hanabi. "That was very good. You used the Katon: Goukakyuu and obscured my view of you, and used this distraction to perform a second fire jutsu, aimed at where you thought I would appear. Very impressive. Your taijutsu passes and your ninjutsu passes. It doesn't matter that you didn't show me any genjutsu, since, as I said before, I am going to make you a front line specialist. Now, take a breather. Naruto, your turn!"

Naruto got up slowly and ambled towards the center of the field where his sensei was waiting. His gloved hands were jammed into his pockets, and his gait looked like he had no care in the world.

"You're going to need to come at me with the intent to kill if you're going to impress me, kiddo."

Pulling his hands out of his pockets, Naruto looked at her before tilting his head. "Alright sensei, if you say so."

Slowly slipping into the basic Tsume Kuracchi stance, he added his chakra to the gloves and they evolved into his deadly-looking gauntlets.

Deciding that it was her turn to play referee, Hanabi threw her hand down to cut the air and yelled, "Hajime (begin)!"

Without warning, the blond boy in front of Hana disappeared. She blinked, and he reappeared three feet in front of her, with his clawed hands ready to strike.

"Whoa!" the gasp of surprise involuntarily slipped out of Hana's mouth as she jumped back to put some distance between her and Naruto. 'He's fast,' she thought.

Again, he disappeared, and she expected him to reappear close to her. That was half true, as he appeared behind her and aimed a punch at her spinal cord. Twisting around, the experienced Inuzuka avoided the punch narrowly, and she retaliated by kicking her foot up in a vertical split at an attempt to force Naruto into the air. Naruto leaned back and the kick sailed over him. However, he didn't expect Hana to bring her foot down in an axe kick. The kick successfully hit his stomach and sent him plummeting to the ground. Unluckily for Hana, the moment he hit the ground, he disappeared in a poof of smoke.

"Kage Bunshins!" she gasped in realization. She spun around, only to be met with a punch to the jaw, sending her careening into the tree Hanabi had hit.

Getting up, she cracked her neck a few times before stating, "Taijutsu, more than passing."

Satisfied with his result, Naruto's hand formed the shape of a gun (index finger aimed at target, thumb pointing straight up) and he pulled his hand back several times, as if there was a recoil. Several fireballs shot from his fingertip towards the target, which happened to be Hana.

"Shit! What is it with you genin and your damn fireballs?" she cursed.

"Gatsuuga!"

Hana jumped into the air and started spinning. She formed a small tornado as she rushed towards Naruto. He noticed that her attack gouged deep slashes into the ground every time she spun, and thus deemed that it would be a good idea to not get touched by that.

He leapt to the side and shot several more fireballs at her. The fireballs hit the spinning cyclone, and Naruto nearly freaked at the result. Rather than stopping the cyclone, the fireballs merely added their strength to the technique, so Hana became a spinning cyclone of fire.

Just as the cyclone was about to hit him, Naruto jumped into the air above Hana. The moment Hana hit the ground, he took a deep breath and let loose a torrent of flames from his mouth.

Hana was kneeling on the ground looking around for her prey when she felt the air around her heat up. Looking up, she saw a wave of flames come at her.

"Fuck!" A quick kawarimi and she was safe in the woods while a piece of wood got roasted.

Stepping out of her hiding place, she applauded Naruto's efforts. "Ninjutsu, pass."

The new team SDF then gathered together. "Alright, now that we are an official team, let's have our first official training session. I'll teach you a new move. It's called the Exploding Clone technique. This is the hand seal."

Hana performed the hand seal to make a Kage Bunshin, before sending it off to wander. The team watched her clone walk to the other side of the field, before Hana made a hand seal.

"Bunshin Bakuha no Jutsu!" The clone that had appeared exploded. "The more chakra you put into it, the bigger the explosion. However, it takes much more chakra away. In fact, just making the Kage Bunshin itself should be difficult for you two. I'm not even sure I should be teaching this to you..." she trailed off.

Naruto, however, responded by making one hundred clones. "Go practice the new technique," he ordered.

Hana's jaws dropped. "Wh-wh-wha..."

"I have a large chakra reserve," Naruto answered her unasked question.

Hanabi, not to be shown up, tried to make as many clones. Unfortunately for her, only one appeared, and she almost fainted from the exertion. Her breath became ragged as she tried to find the strength to remain standing. With another gasp, Hanabi fainted.

"Shall I wake her up?" Naruto asked Hana.

"Nah, just let her sleep. How exactly do you have so much chakra?"

"I guess you could call it a bloodline, I think."

"Interesting. You know, I think you could easily make chuunin. No, I think you're way past chuunin. With a little more work on making strategies and planning, you could be promoted to chuunin in a few months. Now, take Hanabi home. I have to report to Hokage-sama about the success we have as the new team."

"Hai, Hana-sensei."

The two shinobi leapt off, one heading towards the Hokage tower, and the other carrying a small girl to her home.

A month passed, and during that time, Hana taught them several more destructive jutsus, along with a few supplementary techniques. She was a patient teacher, going over things again whenever they needed the help, and correcting things that needed to be corrected. The first week had been all training, where she taught them to each be as destructive as possible while saving chakra. Following that, they started to do C-rank missions. However, of the C-rank missions, they only did one kind: the eliminating-bandit-camps kind of mission. When they attacked the bandit camp on their first mission, Hana had to console Hanabi on her first kills, while Naruto remained stoic and uncaring in the face of his enemies' death. Pretty soon, Hanabi grew a resistance to her guilt of killing.

Also during that time, Hanabi and Naruto grew closer. They weren't exactly the best of friends, but they (Hanabi) weren't insulting each other as much anymore. Now, if insults were used, it was in jest. Despite not doing any basic teamwork-building missions (also called D-rank missions), the team (sensei included) found themselves working along much better. This was a drastic improvement from their first mission.

Now, today was their first day off in a while. Naruto, being the training freak that he is, decided to go train by himself on all of the techniques he's learned since becoming twelve. Eight hours passed before he finished everything, and soon after, a shinobi dressed in all black and wearing an ANBU mask appeared.

"Hokage-sama requests your presence, Uzumaki Naruto."

"Hai. I'll be there immediately."

With a nod, the ANBU disappeared.

Five minutes later, Naruto was shown into the Hokage's office by the secretary.

"Uzumaki Naruto is here, Hokage-sama," the secretary announced.

"Thank you," the elderly Hokage replied.

When Naruto walked in, he saw the rest of his team there. Hana was there looking bored out of her mind, and Hanabi stood there at attention.

"Now that Team SDF is all here, I can give you a mission. This is an emergency mission. Team 7 was sent on a C-ranked mission to accompany a bridge builder to Wave a week ago. Unfortunately, they were attacked by two chuunin enroute. The chuunin were easily taken care of, but they were again attacked by an A-ranked missing nin. Momochi Zabuza was defeated by Kakashi, but he was injured and went into a coma. He woke up a day ago and sent me a directive asking for backup, since he feared that Zabuza would be back soon. He also had suspicions that there was an accomplice waiting in the bushes. Therefore, this mission can now be classified as an A-rank mission. You are needed because Kakashi heard from the locals that Gato, the man hunting after the bridge builder that he was guarding, was building an army of mercenaries, samurai, and a few missing nin. Your primary objective is to back up Kakashi's team and your secondary objective is to eliminate Gato and his army. Understood?"

"Hai, Hokage-sama."

"Good, now go home and pack your things. Be at the East Gate in fifteen minutes."

"Hai, Hokage-sama." And with that the three members of Team SDF disappeared.

A/N: Here ya go! My first Naruto story. The previous chapter is an index of the bijuu. Their powers and such. Be warned though, I may change their powers, or add more later on in the story.

Sorry if the beginning talk with the Shinigami was confusing. I thought that it might've needed some work, but I don't know what to do to improve it so that it makes sense.

If you spot a contradiction, please tell me so I can correct it. By contradiction, I mean something like: if I say Naruto is eight when he meets the shinigami but he's twelve when he gets the Kyuubi sealed in him. Simple mistakes like that.

I hope you enjoyed my first chapter of the Band of Nine.

Original Techniques: (If you're good at Japanese and my translations are wrong, please correct me.)

Mugen Orugasumu no Jutsu - Orgasmic Dreams Technique
The victim of this genjutsu experiences extreme pleasure rather than pain, and since shinobi are used to pain, it will make this technique much harder to dispel.

Power Levels: (as of the end of the chapter)

Civilian male - 10
Civilian woman - 7
Civilian child - 3
Normal genin - 60
Normal chuunin - 150
Normal jounin - 300
Sasuke - 80
Naruto - 1000 (in fire jutsus), 100 (in wind jutsus), 250 (in taijutsu), 200 (in genjutsu), 300 (overall)
Anko - 400 (both her and Kurenai would be at least 1000 if they knew the Kage Bunshin)
Kurenai - 400
Hanabi - 120
Hana - 350
Sandaime Hokage - 600
Yondaime Hokage - 800