The rest of Naruto's 'Private' training was much like that first. On Tuesday while Malik was bathing Naruto decided that it would be fun to steal his clothes. At first he had planned to leave him women's clothing but after some thought, he decided to leave poor Malik with nothing. While Malik was still bathing Naruto had managed to slip a harmless snake into Faheem's tent while he was still sleeping, his reasoning? "That lazy, good for nothing novice needs to be taught to wake up earlier." Then he went to cause more suffering for Faheem and Malik, first Malik. In Malik's tent sat a set of scrolls, unused and he was sure uncounted. Stealing one he wrote a 'love' letter to Malik from Hinata still holding that grudge from her slap. Plus, he knew Malik had a thing for her. He left this note in plain sight, making his hand writing so close to hers you could barely tell the difference.
As soon as this was done, he pocketed some ink and a brush returning to Faheem's tent to add a few adjustments to his old friends sleeping habits. As soon as he was done he heard Malik's cry of rage "AAAllttaiiirrrr!" that was when Faheem woke up, the snake slithering right beside his face and it's tongue flicking in and out tasting him, looking for fear. Faheem sprang to his feet, screaming as he did so. He knew exactly who was behind this, Altair. With a grunt of anger he stomped out of the tent, still unaware of the drawings on his face. There he caught a very guilty Naruto trying to act natural as he walked away. Suddenly there was laughter to his right, his comrades falling over and pointing at him, "What are you laughing at?" he asks through bared teeth. "Your face!" one of the Assassins replies through his laughter "Altair! What did you do?" he yells running for the river to view his reflection.
Altair was dying of laughter as soon as he was out of sight of Faheem, forgetting all about an enraged Malik who had come stomping through the camp uncaring on all the stares and whispers. Before Naruto knew it Malik stood before him, daggers in his eyes "Give me back my clothes Altair."
"Oh, hi Malik why aren't you wearing any clothes?"
"Altair if you don't give them back right now…" Malik was stating until he was interrupted by two familiar voices.
"Malik!" came a timid voice from behind him, his face paling as he heard Hinata's voice he could almost hear her blush.
"Altair, I know you're behind this, give him back his clothes." Then as if an afterthought "You were right Hinata, we should have come sooner…"
"I didn't do anything!" Naruto stated, trying to convince them he's innocent.
"Oh? Then who took his clothes, snuck a snake into Faheem's tent as well as draw in his face?" Colombina stated as she saw the snake finally slithering out of Faheem's tent then went to Malik's side with arms crossed over chest to stare Naruto down with a still fuming Malik.
"…fine. I'll go get your clothes…" he states in defeat trudging back to his tent.
Hours later Faheem could be heard yelling out for Altair to show himself, finally washing off all the ink that Altair had painted on his face.
When lunch came around Naruto attempted to feed Malik once again, the only difference this time was that Malik had added chasing and cussing Altair out as he threw anything and everything at him. Once again Naruto could be heard screaming "I was only trying to help!" Before he hid behind Colombina yet again who just sighed.
"Malik, now calm down, you shouldn't expect so much from Naruto right now. You know better than anyone that Altair is just anxious to get back to his village now that you have told him that he's got some missions." Colombina chided Malik, a soft smile on her face as Naruto's grin just grew. He knew Colombina would always have a way to get him out of trouble. "And besides that, you of all people should know that Naruto isn't exactly the brightest crayon in the box…" she added with a sly smirk.
"Yea, listen to my Bi… wait…" after a few moments of silence Naruto was storming off in the direction of the make shift stables while Malik was laughing his heart out and Colombina with a mischievous smile on her face.
"How dare she! She's supposed to be on my side… not his…" Naruto seethes as he finally comes to his horse. A toffee colored mare with a white spot on her muzzle. Altair had yet to name her, especially after his more favored stallion had died years ago. Those damn Templars, he had made them pay for what they did to his horse. That was when the idea struck him, seeing Faheem's horse tethered there and seeming ready to ride.
When training came around Altair took it upon himself to teach the novice's how it was done. He had instructed them in throwing knives and fighting with a sword as well as the Assassins signature fighting stance. That was when Hinata was about to try her hand again at beating him, but she was too late and Faheem had taken the opportunity.
"What happened to you Faheem? You look like you didn't quite make it to the restroom." Mocks Altair, Faheem's pants were soaked and his shirt wasn't all that far off.
"You loosened my horse's saddle stronzo!" Faheem yelled, pointing an accusing finger at Naruto who kept his head down to hide this guilty as sin grin.
"Now, now Faheem it's not nice to say such mean things." Naruto chided, mocking a parent's stance as they discipline a child. That was when Faheem started the fight.
Altair ultimately won, Faheem giving him a run for his money. "What is wrong 'Altair', growing old after all these years?" Faheem baits a smirk on his face; the rage of what Naruto had done now gone in light of some healthy competition.
"Not me my brother but you. You look like your about to fall over dead." Laughs Naruto as Faheem pants, attempting to catch his breath. A ghost of a chuckle escaping both men's lips Faheem opening his mouth for a witty response only to be interrupted.
"Enough of this, we are to meet now." Sounded one of the Rafiqs dispatching the fight instantly.
"Everyone is to go back to their respected villages, we will call everyone back together when we have more information on these groups." States Malik, his voice loud and strong like that of their former master Al Mualim. "These groups are shrouded in mystery still, we can't take action. Just as well, we have lost the location of the Apple… again. Orochimaru's lackey's killed the last informant we sent in search of its whereabouts. We have already given each of you your assignments, go with safety and peace my brothers and sisters." Malik states stepping down from the platform and heading to his tent once again. Briefly Naruto wonders if he had found the 'love' note he, or rather, Hinata had left for Malik. Once Naruto was sure Malik was no longer going to announce anything he dragged Colombina away for private 'training'.
"Kakashi, Naruto will be back soon. What are you planning to do?" Saratobi asks, taking in a deep breath of fresh air. The sun was bright, and hung high in the sky. The town's people were bustling all over the town, un-aware of what might become of that nuisance they had come to know and love.
"We're going to go on as if nothing has changed. Training will resume as normal that includes missions. Sasuke and Sakura will get closer to him; we're all hoping that he will tell one if not both of them his secrets." Then as if it's an after he adds "We went to search Naruto's apartment, he had nothing unusual however we did find a picture of a girl around his age named Colombina."
"Hm… and you left everything as you found it?" Saratobi asks; this little bit of information doing little for their situation right now.
"Where did you find this picture?"
"It was in a small drawer in his TV cabinet in the living room, bottom left hand side."
"Hm… You're free to leave; I'll arrange a mission for your team as soon as Naruto is back." Then he was alone, the soft click of the door closing being the only sound that disturbs the silence.
"I talked to the Hokage this morning. He said they got word from Naruto that he's coming back early." Kakashi states, his two remaining students stopping their training to look at their sensei expecting more from him.
"Okay, what's the plan for training when he comes back?" Sakura asks wanting to impress Sasuke with thinking ahead.
"Yes, we'll be assigned a mission." Kakashi replies, Sasuke just grunts in response to this. "We'll try to get Naruto to show his true self, or this other side of himself on this mission. Which means we need to do anything we can to provoke him somehow."
"What is our mission going to be?" Sakura asks green eyes innocent and full of curiosity.
"He hasn't assigned one yet." Kakashi replies, finally looking away from his book. "Why aren't you two training?"
"There you are Naruto, Malik wishes to see you."
"I'll be there in a moment." Naruto replies, giving Colombina a quick hug and kiss "I'll see you later."
"Safety and Peace brother." Naruto states, walking into Malik's tent yet again without calling out for permission.
"Your presence here denies me both." Malik sighs "You need to head out now, go back to Konoha and get some rest. You are to be sent out on a mission tomorrow."
"Yes of course."
"And one more thing, you wouldn't happen to have anything to do with this… would you Altair?" Malik states, holding up the note 'Hinata' had left for him.
"What is it?"
"Never mind, just go." Malik states, a sigh escaping his lips as he shoos Naruto out.
"I need you to go and find something out for me." Saratobi states his back turned once again to the ANBU he had called back to his office.
"Who may I ask am I seeking information on?" asks the ANBU member taking in all the information without even thinking.
"Her name is Colombina. She's all we have in connection to Naruto and this organization he's in."
"Yes sir. May I know what she looks like or a last name?"
"This is all I have to go on. Her picture is in Naruto's apartment, in a small drawer in his living room."
"Yes sir. Is that all?"
"Yes, you may leave."
"Art should be spontaneous!" yells Deidara, his face shinning as he explains his views of art.
"No, it should be eternal, so that all generations can look onto it with aw." States Sasori, a somewhat amused look on his face. Deidara on the other hand was getting irritated with his new partner's views on art. "If it's eternal then it'll fade in meaning and looks." Deidara retorts, his one eye shinning with a fire.
"Those two are already fighting?" Kisame asks no one in particular. Itachi just watched them, face expressionless, fighting back the emotion that was welling up in him. Watching Sasori and Deidara fight reminded him of his past, how Sasuke and him would 'fight' over small things as well. "Their annoying." Is all that he states, voice flat and onyx eyes hollow.
"Hiidaann!" yells Kukuzu from somewhere in the hideout just as Hidan ran into the foyer where the others where now sitting. "Hey you guys. If Kukuzu asks, I never came through here." He states before running off again, his maniacal laughter echoing back to them as yet again Kukuzu calls out his name in a fit of rage.
Moments later he was storming into the foyer, interrupting Sasori in his explanation of art and its meaning. "Where did he go?" He growls, eyes throwing daggers at everyone in the room. "Tobi knows where Hidan went!" Tobi practically yells seeming to come out of nowhere affectively scaring Deidara who then proceeded to yell at him not noticing a deadly and pissed off Kukuzu stomping towards him.
"Quiet Deidara! Tobi, where did he go?" He yells, affectively catching their attention.
"Zetsu, go and gather information on this object called the Apple of Eden." Pein says, eyes searching Zetsu's eyes for any hint of either defiance or betrayal. "We need to know where it is before our enemy does."
"Who is this enemy?" White Zetsu asks timidly, not wanting to over step his boundaries. "It doesn't matter who our enemy is you idiot. Only that we have them." Replies black Zetsu, Pein looking on with amusement as the two half's of Zetsu argue it out.
"The last known place it was located was in Nami no Kuni. Sources tell us it may have been moved from there." Konan says, eyes scanning over the letter that had been sent from one of their contacts, her amber eyes looking over at her companion as she informed Zetsu of what was last known of its location.
"And what does it look like?" he asks, curious as to why they are making such a big deal of this one item.
"Like this." Pein says, holding his hand out in Konan's direction as she shows him a picture of the Apple of Eden. Its rustic gold colors reminding Zetsu of Konan's eyes and its size that of an apple though why they called it an apple he couldn't figure it out. It seemed to have some kind of writing or map on it as well. It was definitely an odd looking artifact.
It was already late noon when Kakashi finally decided that it was a good time to stop training. "Well, I'll see you guy's tomorrow six o'clock sharp." Kakashi states already turning to leave them and go talk with his old team yet again.
'What is he talking about? He'll be late as usual, might as well sleep in until about eight.' Sakura's inner self states, rolling her eyes she glances back at the Uchiha in hopes of finally catching his attention. "So, Sasuke-kun, do you want to grab some ramen or something?" she asks, hope in her eyes.
"No." is all that he said after a moment of looking at Sakura as if she was crazy. Then he turned to train yet again 'If I stay at this pace, I'll never be able to kill Itachi.'
"Tobi, where did Hidan go?" Kukuzu yells once again at a cowering Tobi.
"He went that way." Replied Sasori, already tired of Kukuzu's yelling, he pointed down the hall that Hidan had only recently ran down. With this knowledge Kukuzu went storming down the hall, screaming profanities at Hidan and talking of how he was going to kill him once he was in his grasp.
"Do you think that was a wise decision?" Kisame asks amusement evident in his face and voice.
"I don't really care if it was wise or not, as long as it shuts him up or gets him away from me." Sasori replies, closing his yes and already enjoying the peace and quiet left in Kukuzu's wake.
"You're all so annoying." Complains Itachi, his emotion finally under control he stands and starts to his room. Kisame following shortly after, wanting to know more of his new partner and give a piece of advice on how to stay on his good side.
"What do you want?" Itachi questions, onyx eyes changing to his Mangekyo Sharingan, a warning sign to Kisame to tread carefully.
"I just wanted to see if you wanted to train." Kisame sweats, lying through his teeth and Itachi could tell.
"If you dare try to cross me Kisame, I will kill you." Itachi reassures, crimson eyes changing back to his normal onyx ones. "Go away, I wish to be alone."
At the end of the day, Naruto had gone back to the training grounds. That is where Hinata challenged him yet again, losing multiple times and each time challenging him yet again. Once, Hinata had almost beaten him, Naruto getting distracted as he heard Malik calling his name. It was brief, but Hinata saw and took that opportunity. Taking her short blade she attacks, staying low to the ground as she was taught. But Naruto saw this opening and adjusted moving out of her way just in time. Coming up behind her he releases his hidden blade, holding it to her throat daring her to move.
"What is it Malik? Can't you see that I'm busy?"
"Yes, yes I can see that. I need to have a word with you brother. Come to my tent immediately… and let Hinata go. You two have trained enough for the time being." Malik states waving his hand in front of his face as if to clear a stench, turning, he walks back to his tent fully expecting Naruto to follow. Slowly Naruto puts his arm down and takes a step back from Hinata. "Safety and Peace my friend" he states holding his hand out for her to take. She just stares at him, lavender eyes full of either hate or envy, he can't decide. "You know, you should wear your hood more often."
"Why?" she asks, completely lost as to the sudden randomness of his statement.
"That way, if you give people dirty looks they can't see it. It's going to get you killed one of these days… Dama Rossa." He states a smirk on his face as well as in his voice. Hinata's face in shock at his insolence, Altair new she didn't like to be called that anymore. Just as she was about to retort however she found Altair already walking away, her anger boiling up inside her, she grabbed for a throwing knife aiming for his back, she was about to throw it when Colombina got in the way.
"You shouldn't do that Hinata. Altair is just anxious to start on a mission; you know how he hates to stay in one place for too long." She reminds her, eyes full of compassion and sympathy for Hinata. With a sigh she putts the knife away "You're right, I guess it's just something I have to get used to… again." To this Colombina just laughs, her old friend ever present even in this form.
"Come, we should go and start packing, we leave for our villages tomorrow." Colombina states, walking back to the women's area. "Oh, and I have one more curious story to tell you that happened only recently."
"Really? It doesn't involve yours and Naruto's private 'training' does it?" Hinata asks cautiously seeing her friend blush she lightly laughs. "Don't be so surprised, it's not that difficult to figure out."
"No, it doesn't involve that… It involves Alexander, Assassin leader in Cyprus. Or as he's called now a days 'Sai'."
"Hm… I know Alexander from way back when but this Sai… I can't say I know him." So Hinata listened patiently to her friends retelling of the event, growing ever curious as to why Malik would wonder about such things.
"Malik, you wished to see me?"
"Yes, why are you not headed back to the village?"
"I thought as much. Go back to your village immediately Naruto. I will be staying there for a few weeks, while you are in the Hidden Mist on your missions."
"Yes Malik, I will head out shortly. I just…"
"Your things are already packed and ready to go. Now, leave."
'Well, at least I'll finally be busy.' Naruto thinks as he grabs his things and heads back to the Village, already changed to that orange outfit he hated so much, Colombina waiting for him at the outskirts of their camp, a sad smile on her face.
"I'll miss you Naruto." She states, standing on tip toes to give him a kiss.
"I'll miss you to." Naruto replies once they pull apart, his eyes are kind and gentle as he looks down at her. "My missions are taking me to the Hidden Mist Village, I'll write to you whenever I get the chance."
"I'll be looking for you letters…"
"Ghaa! Why do I have to come back to this dump?" Naruto thinks as he walks into the room, his eyes quickly searching over everything to make sure nothing was disturbed. Satisfied he goes to his room, dropping his bags he goes to rummage through his drawers for a clean set of pajamas. Opening them he found that some of his clothes looked as if they had been moved recently. "I wonder who was going through my stuff… ah it's probably nothing…" His sleep was restless; dreams of Altair's life flickering through his mind as yet another DNA sequence is synced.
His alarm went off at five a.m., rubbing the sleep from his eyes he switches the alarm to off. Yawning he stretches, crawling out of bed he strolls over to the bathroom.
Looking in the mirror before heading to the living room he decides to splash cold water on his face. Groaning he walks away from the mirror, not bothering to dry his face. His morning routine hadn't changed since Altair's time; still consist of sit ups, pushups, pull ups, and stretching. The only that did change was how much of each he does, almost doubling now with Naruto's body. Once his workout is done he moves to breakfast, he had taken a liking to ramen some time ago it was fast and easy to make. Malik knew exactly how bad of a cook he could be, each time poor Malik had sampled his food he sat in bed vomiting his stomach out. Colombina has yet to try his cooking, Malik keeps sparing her from the pain and suffering that he has gone through so many times. After breakfast, he takes a cold shower. Letting the water fall over his body he can't but help think about his mission, how good it'll feel to have his hidden blade in use once again.
Putting on that dreaded orange suit yet again he spends time meditating, reading his psyche for that facade he has to wear while here. He hated the Uchiha and his insolent tongue, despised Sakura and her attitude towards him and then there was his 'sensei' Kakashi, how he loathed that man. Always teaching him useless lessons, the latest are his 'teamwork' emphasis. Altair was always a loner type; he preferred solitude over any type of teamwork unless of course it was Colombina.
"So, this is where Altair has been staying…" mumbled Malik as he strolled through the village luggage strung over his shoulder. 'This is a nice place… Altair should be grateful he's living here. I wonder where he lives anyway…'
"Hey, you guys! Wait up!" yells an all too familiar voice, Malik could already feel a headache starting.
"Well, hurry up Naruto! We don't have all day, Kakashi sensei will there any minute now." Scolded another voice, this one female, looking around Malik finally catches Naruto almost tripping at the feet of a girl with pink hair. 'That must be Sakura… wow, Altair was right her voice is annoying.' Malik chuckled at the thought as much as from the idea of finally agreeing with Altair on something. 'I wonder then where the other two are… what were their names? Sasgay? No… um Sasuke? Yea that was it… and the other one… was Kakashi? Yea, I'm pretty sure those are right…' Then he caught sight of an irritated child with what looked like dark blue hair annoyingly awaiting his team mates to catch up already. Yet, he never did catch sight of Naruto's superior here.
Moments later they were walking down road, side by side like a team. Naruto his hyperactive self, yelling something about how he was going to become Hokage and then 'Believe it!' while fist pumping. At this Malik almost busted out into a fit of laughter, he had never seen Altair act like that.
Naruto hearing what sounded like a familiar stifled laugh stops to look around in search of its source. That's when he caught a glimpse of Malik, a goofy grin plastered on his face. Looking back at his team to make sure they didn't notice he had stopped he looks back at Malik, flipping him off and mouthing the words 'Fuck off'. Once again Malik was fighting off fits of laughter.
Once the first mission was complete, catching a cat which by the way scratched the hell outta Altair's face and left him seething, they went back to the office. The only ones the Hokage was willing to give were simple tasks such as babysitting some three year old, shopping with some lady and digging up potatoes. With these Naruto threw a fit, complaining that they were too easy and weren't even real Ninja missions. As a reward, he got hit on the head by Kakashi this time. Yet again, Altair was seething.
'What is wrong with these people? Everyone was thinking it, I was just saying it. That's no reason to hit me! I swear the first chance I get I'm going to kick their ass'!' That was when the Hokage thought it was his duty to lecture him on the ranks and how missions were arranged, he should have saved his breath. Naruto was more interested in talking about a ramen he had the night before.
Once the Hokage had established that Naruto really didn't care he decided to see if he can teach the kid a lesson, sending them on the mission Malik had stated; protecting the bridge builder. Now, Altair was smiling in victory.
While everyone else slept on the way to the Hidden Mist Village, Naruto was up contemplating and running through his missions from Malik. Kill Zabuza and Haku while protecting his 'team', find information on this Kisame character. 'I wonder if this Kisame is even in this village…'
When they had finally arrived Naruto was struggling to keep his composure with the old man. Sakura had already knocked him upside the head multiple times. Altair's persona was cussing like a sailor all the while.
"Orochimaru-sama, the Akatsuki are on the move." Kabuto says, keeling in front of Orochimaru who seemed to be more interested in the cup he was holding. His left hand propping up his head as his eyes dimly reflected the cup in the damp, moss smelling room. The walls were lit with only candles every yard or so, the halls being the same way. The screams and moans of the poor souls that were now his test subjects were no longer heard; apparently Orochimaru had finished his 'test'.
"Is that so… well then looks like we'll have to start working for our goal as well." He practically purrs, taking a sip from the cup he moans slightly as the taste awakens his taste buds. The rich liquid reminding him of blood, only this was a concoction he had made to try and make his current body last longer. Who knew how long it would take to find a new vessel, let alone to prepare that vessel once they had chosen a suitable one.
Kabuto then stands up; a smirk on his face because he knows all too well what his master has in store for this world. "Are we going to need new test subjects?"
"Yes, I believe we are…"
"You're lucky you can't die Hidan." Kukuzu says a devilish look on his face as yet again hating that he got stuck with him, of all people.
"Why did you have to so mean Kukuzu." Complains Hidan, scratching at the stiches Kukuzu had given him after he had finished venting. "Why are we going out… that bastard Pein hasn't even given us a mission yet."
"Stop complaining, if we're going to be traveling we need money. Therefore we bounty hunt people on this list." He states while holding the book up for Hidan to see.
"Fine, but you better let me do my ritual when we get into a fight. Jashin is getting anxious for another sacrifice."
"Alright, just don't take long."
"Hahaha that wasn't very nice! It really hurt!" Yelled Hidan as their target just stares in awe as he just pulls the sword from his chest.
"Who are you?" they cry out as Hidan's scythe lashes out barely cutting their flesh drawing the smallest bit of blood.
"I am a worshiper of Jashin. If you convert maybe then Jashin will spare you!" he cries out again, a maniacal almost animalistic look in his eye. "But I suppose you're too late now!" he grins licking the blood from his scythe and drawing his gods symbol of the ground in blood. The victim just watching in horror as his skin changes, their eyes darting to Kukuzu almost expecting him to jump in the fight looking back to Hidan they get ready for another attack never expecting him to wound himself.
Altair had a wonderful idea, try to scare the crap out of his employer. It was brilliant! 'This has to spice up this stupid mission.' It was settled, mischief was now Altair's middle name. Looking around as if he had heard something he throws a kunai in the direction of some rustle in the nearby shrubs. He knew it was nothing but a rabbit or something but it was just what he needed. With his back still turned to his comrades he smiles, judging by the sounds of it his plan worked. His excuse when nothing happened? "Hm… it was just a mouse I figured as much." Again, it was all Altair could do to not laugh as Sakura started yelling at him and then the old man. Kakashi reminded him that these were deadly weapons, he should be more careful with them but Naruto didn't listen, he was too busy trying not to laugh.