Chapter 5-His First True Mission

Naruto sat with the others around him, his parents, the other Rookies, and the parents of the Rookies were all celebrating the success of the graduation of the next generation of Shinobi. Kiba would have been there, but his injuries by Naruto during their spar had messed him up pretty badly, and was kept in the hospital for a few days of observation. Tsume sighed when she heard the news and part of her wanted to see the dumbass of a son she brought into the world so he could "learn" not to act so stupid like her dumbass of a husband who has the same mind set. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact the man hadn't fled in fear of her wrath, Tsume would have killed him already, and had long since prayed to Kami that her boy didn't inherit that mindset.

Sadly, it seemed Kami had other things to do then hear her words.

Tsume also realized that as much as she would like to see her son, it just wasn't in her to do it, and decided against it entirely. It seemed harsh and no doubt Kiba would brashly demand his question be answered on why she didn't come to see him? Why she didn't come down hard on Naruto and try to teach him a lesson on why no one messed with the Inuzuka Clan? If anything, Tsume was being far too merciful to her own son to let him recover from his injuries so he could take many more when she got a hold of the baka, and drilled manners back into his head.

Even if they left it at a far faster then he received them.

'Talk about in one ear and out the other,' thought Tsume, as she was thinking about her son not being there for the celebration, and no doubt would throw a fit over that too.

"Tsume-chan, is something wrong? You seem...off right now. Is it because of your son?" asked Kushina while Tsume nodded since there was no point in denying it.

"I don't know how to handle him Kushina. On one end, I want to smash his face in, and the other compels me to be merciful because he is my son. I don't want him to cause any problems between your son and cause some kind of feud between our families. With my daughter marrying your son in a few years, the last thing we both want is for my son to do something stupid, and ruin things for us," answered Tsume while keeping the talk to a whispered tone so the others wouldn't hear it.

"I understand Tsume-chan. Just handle him as best you can, but make him realize that if he gets out of line with my son, or anyone close to him...there will be no mercy on either end from both our families," replied Kushina with some sympathy to the woman, but also had Tsume realize that the Inuzuka brat was not going to receive mercy, and any move any hostile move would be his last.

"I'll try Kushina, but my son is a hard headed baka," replied Tsume with a sigh.

"It will work out Tsume. One way or another," stated Kushina with Tsume nodding.

"I hope so Kushina. My boy is becoming a real problem," said Tsume, as she decided to put her baka for a son out of her mind for now, and focus on the party at hand.

"Do you know what the teams selection are going to be like?" asked Minato to Shikaku since the man could pretty much predict who was getting paired with who in terms of teams in the past.

"The next generation of Ino-Shika-Cho has been approved by the Hokage and with all the extra training they've gotten, the team will be able to keep the enemy guessing. As for the other teams, it could various ways at this point, but given the hostilities between Kiba, and your son I'm willing to wager the two of them will NOT be on the same team. The same could be said about Sasuke too so either Hinata, Shino, or Sakura will have to fill the two spots with the last one being with Kiba and Sasuke. I would imagine Shino will be paired with Naruto since the Aburame Clan has been neutral yet fair to your son in the past since they know what it is like to be discriminated against on account of what people think of them due to their bloodline. Meaning either Sakura or Hinata will fill in the last spot with the 'losing' kunoichi being with Kiba and Sasuke," stated Shikaku with Minato sighing since that did present a problem given how Kiba could be paired with Hinata due to the risk of him doing something inappropriate with her.

There was also something about Uchiha Sasuke that made the former Yondaime Hokage watchful of the boy when it came to Hinata. But its not like he could pair the girl up with her future husband, right?

"I think Hinata should stay on more as Tsunade's apprentice and only join a Genin team when required while Sasuke and Kiba do the same in providing assistance to the other Shinobi teams we have like Maito Gai's team. The man has a good head on his shoulders and has quite the experience team under his command. I think Sasuke and Kiba could learn something from them," countered Minato with Shikaku nodding since that would help diffuse the situation surrounding the tension with Sasuke and Kiba.

"Meanwhile, Sakura is paired with Naruto, and Shino with their Jounin sensei making sure the fan girl in her doesn't come out," added Shikaku with Minato nodding with a smile on his face.

"Exactly! Hinata and the other three Genin will get their chance to get the needed outside experience when the time is right with other teams we can trust will work well with them. Hinata can work with any of the Rookies with the exception of Sasuke and Kiba with Sakura being neutral for the most part though I would keep a close eye on her just in the off chance she tries something to get Sasuke's favor," explained Minato with Shikaku nodding.

"I'll relay your interest in this matter to Tsunade. She'll most likely agree given how your ideas for team selection are solid," explained Shikaku before he left to report this to the Hokage.

While this was going on, Naruto was having a good time with the other kids his age, and even with Hana since she wished to join the festivities in order to strengthen the bond she was going to have with her future husband. Hana had spotted a blushing Hinata moving slightly closer to Naruto when the Inuzuka woman sat down near them, it was a subtle hint to Hana that Hinata wasn't going to give any ground to her, and it showed that the Hyuuga girl had some backbone. Naruto easily noticed this, but decided to be quiet on the matter since the competition between the two was healthy, and there was no malice in their movements. They were merely staking their claim on him and showing the other that they would not surrender their position in terms of being his wife.

Ino herself was quiet on the matter, as she clearly felt neither the right, nor had the might to defend, or advance in making claim to him when it came to their arranged marriage. Ino had been mean to him during his early childhood, not through her parents mind you, simply by picking up on it from other children, and no doubt their parents bribing her with treats if she did what was asked of her. Ino had apologized for her behavior and she did mean it, but the guilt of the acts themselves in following what was now considered the "bad crowd" was still there. Naruto had no doubt the girl would earn the right to hold the position as his wife, but it would require nudging on his part, and those around Ino herself.

Not to mention Naruto had sensed a sinister plot aimed at Ino, as he saw the looks the Uchiha had given the platinum blonde girl moments before his arrival, and later after the graduation had ended. If Ino was going to be around the Uchiha for any short or long period of time, Naruto was going to make certain someone he could trust was watching to protect Ino from Sasuke's inevitable actions against the girl should she ever be in a weakened state or caught off guard in a moment where she wasn't expecting it.

But that could wait a little longer. Now he was enjoying himself with the others and was not about to have someone like the Uchiha (even if he wasn't here) ruin it for him.

(Hokage Tower)

"Minato suggested this?" asked Tsunade, as she heard Shikaku explain to her the reasons behind the Genin team selecting process, and had to admit the man had created had a solid plan in terms of picking teams.

Not to mention the Uchiha brat would be upset when hearing he was being benched until further notice while being stuck in the village to train.

"Yes. While we were all eating. Kiba and Sasuke were both being a pain in the ass earlier so he doesn't trust them with his son. I also suspect something might happen to Hinata if she is put on a team with them. Sakura will be put on Naruto's team since she's not as weak as she was from the start, but the girl will no doubt make it a serious issue when she learns the Uchiha is in the reserved list, and make some kind of protest over the matter," answered Shikaku with Tsunade scoffing.

"I don't give a damn if the girl goes on a hunger strike! She'll be on the team I've set for her and like it regardless!" exclaimed Tsunade with Shikaku nodding in agreement.

"What about Minato and Kushina? They are part of Naruto's Fraccion and I wondered what would happen if Naruto went on a long distance if not long term mission outside of Fire Country," questioned Shikaku with Tsunade sighing for a moment.

"Minato and Kushina explained this to me sometime ago after things settled down with Danzo's little rebellion being a complete flop. Fraccion's are servants to their Masters and in this case the Master is Naruto with the servants being his parents. The purpose of the Fraccion is to serve the Master in anyway that the Master sees fit and in our case with Naruto's own parents they will be fiercely loyal to him. Even if he wasn't their son, I have no doubt that they would give their lives for him if given the command, and would obey the boy without question," explained Tsunade with Shikaku nodding.

"Hypothetically, if someone were to kill Naruto...what would happen to them?" asked Shikaku with Tsunade's eyes narrowing dangerously at her.

"Tread carefully here Nara-san," said Tsunade with sharp eyes ready to explode with anger at the genius in front of her should he say something stupid the next few seconds.

"I'm not suggesting anything in terms of foul play on our part Hokage-sama, I'm just wondering what would happen to his parents in the event the boy died?!" explained Shikaku quickly with Tsunade calming down slightly.

"Minato and Kushina would survive I imagine. They do have freewill of course so its not like they would just drop dead like puppets with their strings cut. Though I imagine the loss of their only son would cause them to lash out and possibly bring about the end of the world just to spite everyone alive," answered Tsunade with Shikaku starting to sweat.

"Well...let us hope that the boy doesn't die anytime soon," stated Shikaku with Tsunade nodding.

"Yes. Let's hope," replied Tsunade simply.

"What about each team's chosen Jounin sensei?" asked Shikaku curiously.

"Sarutobi Asuma will be in charge of the next generation of Ino-Shika-Cho, but given his own connection to his Father, I will have him secretly watched to make sure he's not like my former sensei, and try to sabotage them. Hatake Kakashi was going to be the Jounin for Genin team 7, but I've decided against it, and will assign someone else more suited for the job. Yuhi Kurenai was going to handle Genin team 8, but given how Hinata is now my apprentice, things have changed, and the ideal tracking team she wanted will be shot to Hell," answered Tsunade with Shikaku frowning.

"Kurenai pushed for Hinata to be on Genin team 8?" asked Shikaku curiously.

"She was assigned to watch over Hinata while Hiashi was busy handling clan duties and couldn't walk with her to the Academy. The girl's cousin Neji, who is part of the Hyuuga Branch family loathes the girl, and Hiashi doesn't fully trust the boy enough since Hinata simply refuses to use the Cage Bird Seal. Hence where Kurenai steps in and has acted like a true bodyguard to the girl," answered Tsunade with Shikaku frowning further.

"The rumors about the woman state she acted like a surrogate Mother to the Hyuuga girl during that time. To be honest, I disagree with Kurenai being Hinata's Jounin sensei if the girl was on Genin team 8," replied Shikaku with Tsunade's eyebrow rising.

"I heard the rumors too and the woman has confessed she felt that way. But why do you disagree with Kurenai being a sensei to Hinata?" asked Tsunade curiously with Shikaku sighing.

"Troublesome. No offense to Yuhi Kurenai in any aspect of being a Shinobi or a woman in general Hokage-sama, but she would hurt Hinata's growth rather then help it," replied Shikaku with Tsunade frowning.

"How so?" asked Tsunade with Shikaku sighing again.

"She'll act more like a loving Mother to the Hyuuga girl rather then a Jounin sensei. She'll smother her student with too much love and not give the girl the full confidence needed to go beyond limitations. Don't get me wrong, I think Kurenai-san could, and would be a great sensei if it was anyone else. Unfortunately, Hyuuga Hinata brings all the motherly instincts out in the woman, and to be honest Hokage-sama...such instincts have no place in the Shinobi world when such a woman is using them in training one of her students on a Genin team," answered Shikaku with Tsunade nodding since Kurenai seemed to have a shaky past when it came to training students individually.

Hence why Tsunade thought training three of them would be a good experience needed to one day qualify for one on one apprenticeship. Now that hope seemed lost to the woman.

"She won't be happy about this. Kurenai had high hopes in having Hinata on her team and I had hoped it would be a good experience for her professionally," replied Tsunade with Shikaku nodding since he knew of the woman's sketchy past with the Kurama Clan.

"She will understand Hokage-sama. If she truly cares about Hinata, as an actual person, and wishes to see the Hyuuga girl's potential be reached...she will accept your decision," replied Shikaku with Tsunade nodding.

"I'm confident she will accept it," said Tsunade with Shikaku sighing.

"To be blunt, I don't share your confidence in this matter Hokage-sama. Inoichi did a full psyche profile of each potential Jounin sensei for this years batch of graduates. I suggest you read Kurenai's file before you explain your actions to her in order to reinforce your decision for team selection," replied Shikaku before he produce the file and handed it to the woman before leaving while Tsunade went to handle some last minute work.

Only to be rudely interrupted by a slightly limping Jiraiya and one Sarutobi Hiruzen, who was now walking around on a crutch since his leg was still broken.

"We need to talk Tsunade," said Jiraiya with his face full of seriousness.

"I'm not in the mood to talk to you pervert. Come back another time. I want to go spend a few hours with my Godson while he celebrates his graduation with the other Rookies," said Tsunade, as she rose from her seat, and saw Jiraiya was blocking her way.

"This is about Naruto," explained Jiraiya with Tsunade's eyes narrowing.

"Make it quick and this better not be a suggestion to have his abilities sealed away or that he's some kind of threat to Konoha. If you do...those words will be your last," threatened Tsunade while she saw her former teammate and sensei looking a bit tense.

"Its not about that Tsunade. I just wanted to warn you about the Akatsuki," replied Jiraiya with Tsunade's eyebrow rising slightly.

"The Akatsuki?" questioned Tsunade with Jiraiya nodding and she saw him take a look back at Hiruzen who nodded before deciding to continue.

"Yes. A group of S-class Missing Nin banding together to collect the Biju from each of the Jinchuriki who possess them. Orochimaru himself was one of their members before he left the organization a few years ago after an...altercation with Uchiha Itachi occurred sometime after the boy became a member," explained Jiraiya with Tsunade listening a little more intently though she was clearly skeptical.

"Really? Well I'm sure the Akatsuki will be disappointed to hear Naruto is no longer a Jinchuriki of Kyuubi since Kyuubi is dead so they will have no reason to pursue him," replied Tsunade with Jiraiya shaking his head.

"If anything, they will come after him to be spiteful Tsunade. Either that or they might try to take the power he has no a extract it for their own purposes. As far as this organization is concerned, Naruto is a marked Shinobi, and is endanger now more then ever from what my spy told me," explained Jiraiya with Tsunade's eyes narrowing at him.

"Oh really? Tell me Jiraiya...given all that happened to Naruto in the past, if the boy had not done what he did, and lived the life you along with sensei dictated...were you ever going to warn Naruto about this threat to his being? Perhaps you planned to prepare him to fight these Shinobi? And if so when?!" questioned Tsunade with Jiraiya sucking in his teeth at her question.

"The time wasn't right. We felt that the boy needed to bond with his teammates, learn from his Jounin sensei while on his Genin team, and eventually learn to control Kyuubi's chakra," answered Hiruzen with Tsunade scoffed at his explanation.

"If that were true, you would have made sure his education wasn't sabotaged from the start! You wanted him weak enough that he couldn't oppose either of you and yet strong enough to handle the Akatsuki for a time while giving him little to no time to be trained to combat them. You were gambling with his life! My Godson's life!" exclaimed Tsunade with Jiraiya and Hiruzen frowning at her.

"He's my Godson too Tsunade," challenged Jiraiya with Tsunade slamming her fist on the desk and making the room shake.

"Don't you dare say that to me! You abandoned him within days of his birth. And for what? A stupid, unclear, and uncertain prophecy based on a hunch without any proof that Naruto was in fact that child. Yet you treated him like a monster all the same! Like he was an demon! A person infected with a plague could say they were treated better! And now you dump this news on me so you can have some key influence in Naruto's Shinobi training. Do you really think I'm that gullible? I know why you want to involve yourself in his life now and not for all the right reasons. You want him restrained. Controlled. You just want to know what kind of skills he possesses so a counter his skills or maybe a Jutsu can possibly be developed against them all so when the time is right you will try to seal his power away. Or maybe just enough to weaken him so the boy dies by your hands like you wanted from the start in a slow, painful, and unforeseeable manner," stated Tsunade with Jiraiya frowning at her with their shared sensei doing the same.

"The Akatsuki know about him Tsunade. They will come after Naruto with everything they've got. Only I can properly prepare him for them. There isn't a Shinobi alive that can teach the boy how to go up against all of them like I can and you know it!" challenged Jiraiya with Tsunade smirking now.

"You haven't been keeping your ear to the floor when it comes to Konoha. It seems your age is catching up with you. Both of you actually," stated Tsunade while seeing the two of them frown at her.

"What do you mean?" questioned Jiraiya while Tsunade's smirk grew.

"Your old student and his wife are alive again thanks to Baraggan. Didn't you know that? Surely some of the Leaf Shinobi or civilians in Konoha are still loyal to you to the point of coming into your hospital rooms panting from running so fast to tell you the wonderful news," answered Tsunade mockingly with Jiraiya and Hiruzen looking at each other in complete shock.

"How did this happen?" demanded Jiraiya with Tsunade shrugging.

"The only one who can really answer that is Baraggan-sama, but he merged with Naruto a short time ago, which means you would have to ask the boy himself, and we both know he'd never tell you the truth much less give an answer you would like hearing. Besides, it can't be duplicated, and no we won't be trying anytime soon," answered Tsunade with the two men frowning at this news.

"So Minato and Kushina will be training him," concluded Hiruzen while not liking this news one bit.

"Correction old monkey. They already have been training him. Naruto-kun is showing his potential is in fact limitless. They will bring it out fully while the two of you watch from the sidelines and do absolutely nothing!" replied Tsunade with both men now looking to protest this decision.

"This isn't fair. What about the Toad Contract? He needs to sign it!" demanded Jiraiya with Tsunade shrugging again.

"Take it up with Naruto if you dare, but make no mistake Jiraiya, the boy will most likely kill you, and sensei here on sight. And even IF he doesn't kill you, his parents certainly will before you can get within a mile of him," answered Tsunade with Jiraiya gritting his teeth and Hiruzen scowling further.

"Minato will understand. He always did and will listen to his sensei. Something you have failed to do with ours from the start!" Jiraiya nearly shouted at her and then left with their sensei right behind him.

'Bastards. Oh well. Let them have their hissy fit moment. Its only going to get worse for them when Minato and Kushina see them with the desire to kick their asses,' thought Tsunade before she left her office to go see her Godson and properly congratulating him on becoming a Shinobi.

(Namikaze Estates-Sometime Later)

"What do you want sensei?" demanded Minato, as he saw Jiraiya appear in the front of his home, uninvited with the former Sandaime Hokage, and neither Shinobi could believe it.

"Minato! How...How is this even possible?!" asked Jiraiya while Hiruzen was not so enthusiastic.

"You would be surprised what my son and his allies can do when given the chance. Not that you would know anything about giving my son a chance sensei!" answered Minato, as he saw Jiraiya look away, and Hiruzen kept on scowling back at him.

"We needed your son to be controlled Minato in case he was the child of prophecy. The prophecy itself threatens Konoha. It threatens your home! The Shinobi way! A way we have lived for years!" explained Jiraiya after a moment of silence between them.

"So my son should suffer? Is it simply because of the prophecy that you did this? Or did you do it because of the Kyuubi? Because of the Biju he once held? Out of some stupid need to get revenge for me over the fact I died saving this miserable village that refused to honor my dying wish! Something I know was made known to the people, but knowing your baka for a sensei, he deliberately spun things in a way that would make the people NOT honor it, and do the exact opposite!" exclaimed Minato with Jiraiya looking away since that was exactly how it happened.

"How was I suppose to react? You were dead, Kushina was dead, and the Kyuubi had just been sealed up in your son. All signs of the boy being the child of prophecy were showing, the village endanger, and I reacted in the best interest of Konoha. You may have been my student, but I stressed the importance of putting the village first, and your family second. That if you had to choose, it was the choice that was for the greater good, and not that of your family," answered Jiraiya with Minato scowling.

"Yes. You did teach me that Jiraiya, but I never embraced that part of your teachings to me. What point is there to serving the greater good if your own children suffer for it? In the end, they would hate you, despise you, and resent you for it. The greater good is not worth the sacrifice of your own family. You would agree if you actually had one instead of peeping all the time on women," countered Minato with Jiraiya wincing slightly at the jab.

"You are the closest thing to family I have Minato," replied Jiraiya with Minato sneering at him.

"You lost the right to be a surrogate Father to me the moment you betrayed my family for your so called greater good. I don't even acknowledge you as my sensei either. As far as I'm concerned Jiraiya...that man I knew is dead and you are just a fraud," stated Minato with Jiraiya looking like he had just been hit hard in the gut by one of Tsunade's super punches.

"You don't mean that!" exclaimed Jiraiya, but Minato's face told him that his former student did indeed mean it, and was moments away from attacking.

"Get off my property Jiraiya and take that crippled old fool with you. Kushina is out with Naruto, but her sensory skills are greater then mine, and she won't be so merciful if your signature is detected by her," commanded Minato, as Kushina along with Naruto were still out, talking with Naruto's favorite people over at the ramen stand, and were no doubt enjoying a couple dozen bowls of the stuff too.

Minato secretly dreaded the ramen bill that would come his way.

"I'm not going anywhere. Not until you agree to let me train your son," stated Jiraiya with Minato scowling at him.

"Why? He doesn't need any form of teaching you could provide him. Besides, I doubt you would even try to actually teach him anything, and just go about how to best seal away his abilities before trying to manipulate him. I think you would even go so far as to try and manipulate his parents if successful," accused Minato with Jiraiya's eyes flashing with anger.

"I will fight you Minato," threatened Jiraiya with Minato scoffing.

"You can try Jiraiya, but I long since surpassed you years ago, and with my new abilities I could kick your ass along with your sensei's life at their peak without breaking a sweat," stated Minato with Jiraiya wincing since he wasn't physically one hundred percent.

"This isn't over Minato," stated Jiraiya since he would need to come up with another plan to deal with his former student and his son.

Minato watched them go, sighing after they did, and wished his wife was hear to unleash that infamous Uzumaki temper on these two idiots.

(Hokage Tower-Sometime Later)

"What do you mean I'm not getting the tracking team I wanted?" demanded Kurenai, as she was shocked when the Hokage had denied her the means to not only have the best upcoming tracking team in Konoha, but keep Hinata in reserve to further teach the girl more advanced medical skills, and take her on as an apprentice.

Asuma was given the next generation of Ino-Shika-Cho and he was the son of a heartless Sandaime Hokage so why couldn't she get what her heart desired?!

"It's as I explained before Kurenai-san, Hinata shows great promise in the Medical Arts, and I am going to take her on as my apprentice. She will be on reserve for a little while longer until I deem her fit for active duty outside of Konoha's walls," explained Tsunade with Kurenai scowling and the female Hokage mentally sighed since the report Shikaku left for her to read about Kurenai was not encouraging.

Yuhi Kurenai's lack of confidence in teaching solo after the incident with the Kurama Clan has left long lasting mental scars and a blow to her confidence. She will handle her team gently, which in some cases should be done, but not with a tracking team, or with Hyuuga Hinata due to the bond the woman wishes to have with her. Kurenai's motherly instincts have awakened in the Hyuuga girl on account of the events no doubt seen in the Hyuuga Compound when dealing with the Hyuuga Clan Head talking poorly about his eldest child. While such compassion is good in the short term of things to help Hyuuga Hinata, it cannot be used in training a Genin team, and thus will only weaken the team overall. Kurenai will hesitate in training her students properly, afraid she'll hurt, or push them too far. She will feel they are fragile like glass and should be handled with care out of fear of them breaking under pressure.

At the same time, I've noticed Kurenai's constant aggressive behavior when around male Shinobi, who have a tendency to express their "male pride" to impress others, and some have even tried woo her in a few cases. While this female pride is in fact a way to motive Kurenai to push her Genin team, it can in fact be a weakness, as she might feel compelled to send them on a mission they might not be ready for, and all out of pride in wanting to put her male comrades in their place. With the upcoming Chuunin Exams happening in a few Months, I would expect the various Jounin senseis assigned will try to nominate their students regardless if they are ready for them, and Kurenai will be no different since she would be one of the few kunoichi to take on a Genin team.

It is my personal recommendation that while Kurenai IS qualified to be a Jounin sensei with what experience she has in being a Jounin of Konoha, it would be best if she did NOT have the tracking team desired by herself, and that the woman be given an alternate team so more effort on her part is applied. If Yuhi Kurenai is kept in her own "comfort zone" with the students she wants with the tracking team she wants, the team itself will not grow with each individual Genin not reaching their full potential, and that could lead to future problems if not addressed now.

"But its the best tracking team you could ever hope for and I'm the best Jounin around to train them to further enhance that team dynamic. How many battles has Konoha won from tracking teams scouting ahead and learning of enemy advances? They can find the best places to setup camp in strategic terrain where our forces could defend themselves or even go on the attack when required. I can do that with them!" exclaimed Kurenai with the woman in front of her not liking how the Jounin was nearly in her leader's face.

"I seem to recall several overspecialized tracking teams Konoha had getting decimated in a fight or when caught. They were all speed and sight with no combat strength to their names. How many Shinobi did we lose? Most were killed, others were captured, tortured for information, and some of them broke because they had no resistance to it. You are asking for an overspecialized team Kurenai-san. I've seen enough of them during the last Shinobi war to know they aren't worth the loss of such promising Shinobi and let's not forget these Genin you're requesting are all Clan Heirs. If they were ever in trouble, caught by enemy Shinobi, they would be dragged back to enemy villages, and used to reproduce their clan bloodline there in order to use such offspring to press for clan Jutsus here via the political arena while making up any excuse they want on how they got such bloodlines on their side," countered Tsunade with Kurenai scowling.

"Then I request you at least give me Hinata to train personally in my art. I can help her in my field of Genjutsu just as much as you can in your field in being a Medic Nin Hokage-sama," offered Kurenai with Tsunade shaking her head.

"Denied! Inuzuka Kiba and Uchiha Sasuke are also benched given how their past actions leave much to be desired. I'm having those two being trained together with Maito Gai's students. Instead, you can have the honor of training Haruno Sakura, Aburame Shino, and Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto. Something I know Kakashi here is unhappy about since he wanted the team very badly though I'm denying it for the obvious reasons we all know exist. Besides, I need him on standby to teach the Uchiha if and when the brat awakens those damn Sharingan Eyes," said Tsunade with Kurenai gritting her teeth.

"I respectfully decline Hokage-sama. I refuse to be Jounin sensei for that team. Hatake Kakashi can have them for all I care," replied Kurenai with Asuma looking shocked by this and Tsunade herself raising a single eyebrow.

"Just like that? You refuse to be the Jounin sensei of two Clan Heirs with one being my Godson? The girl is an Uchiha fan girl, but I thought you of all kunoichi would enjoy beating that part out of her so she take this lifestyle seriously, and not act like a damsel in distress while hoping someone like the Uchiha would save her," said Tsunade since she knew Kurenai like most kunoichi, who took this life seriously, hated fan girls, and tried to push for some kind of academic reform to stomp such things out for years.

"The Aburame boy is more insect related and the Haruno girl is a fan girl. Anything I teach her will go in one ear and out the other," explained Kurenai with Tsunade's eyes now narrowing dangerously.

"And my Godson? Considering he is the son of a Hokage, many Jounin would jump at the chance to teach him something, and make themselves famous," responded Tsunade with Kurenai stiffening a little.

"I can't teach him anything and I doubt my skills in Genjutsu hold any real value to him," answered Kurenai though her voice was a bit shaky.

"Is that it? Or do you dislike him for the fact he will one day marry Hyuuga Hinata in a few years? Don't bother to deny it Kurenai-san. I know you have a motherly attachment to Hinata and I know you are one of the people who lost your family to Kyuubi all those years ago," stated Tsunade with Kurenai looking away.

"He's not worthy of Hinata. The brat doesn't even know her. For all you know, the brat is secretly a pervert of the highest level rivaling your old teammate, and will force Hinata to do lewd perverse things for his amusement," replied Kurenai with Tsunade narrowing her eyes at the Jounin.

"Don't you EVER compare my Godson to that asshole again Kurenai-san. As for getting to know your former charge, I have it on good authority that Naruto is interested in her, and has been getting to know her. In fact, Naruto is getting to know all his future wives now so they can have a strong healthy bond for when they all tie the knot, and form a strong family relationship," said Tsunade with Kurenai taking a step back from her out of self-preservation.

"I'm sorry Hokage-sama, but I believe the standards for any boy being worthy of Hinata are too high for someone like Naruto to reach, and the only reason he's marrying her is because of the entity that once possessed him," replied Kurenai with Tsunade letting out a growl.

"You can have standards that are rivaled by Kami himself, but make no mistake when I tell you that boy has been through pure Hell, and don't you forget about the suffering my Godson went through because bigots got there way up until recently. I would have hoped a woman with such a loving nature toward Hinata would give something similar to the boy who will one day be her future husband," Tsunade shot back with Kurenai looking away.

"You were mistaken Hokage-sama," replied Kurenai with Tsunade shaking her head in disappointment.

"Fine! Fortunately, I anticipated this action thanks to reliable sources, and have a suitable replacement to take the job in the event this happened," said Tsunade while waving the now shocked woman away.

"What? Who do you have that could possibly train this team?" questioned Kurenai since it was clear she had believed Tsunade would make some kind of concession to her in exchange for some form of moderate cooperation.

"A friend of yours and fellow kunoichi...Mitarashi Anko," replied Tsunade, as she saw Kurenai look at her in shock, and gapping like a fish in water.

"A-Anko? B-But...she's never taught anyone in her life! She's not qualified!" exclaimed Kurenai with Tsunade raising an eyebrow at her.

"I think she is more then qualified. She can track, capture, interrogate, and while I loathe her sensei with all my being...he did a good job teaching the woman many things. She won't pull punches or sugar coat the truth when things need to be spoken. Besides, I think Anko would make a fine Jounin sensei, and just needs to be given the chance. Something this village has not done for either her or Naruto while the former is long overdue for it," answered Tsunade with Kurenai scowling.

"Anko would never agree to this," replied Kurenai with Tsunade smirking at her.

"Actually, she already did. I told her earlier today," stated Tsunade while Kurenai's jaw dropped at this news.

"This was all a test, wasn't it?" accused Kurenai with Tsunade shrugging.

"For the most part. To be honest, I was going to assign you as Jounin sensei to Kiba, and Sasuke so they could get some additional training outside of Gai's team when they are on a mission of their own. However, your actions here today have just shown me that you're not fit to be a Jounin sensei just yet, and won't be teaching anyone for an unknown period of time," answered Tsunade with Kurenai looking like her world had just been destroyed.

"You can't do this!" exclaimed Kurenai with Tsunade shaking her head.

"I can and I will. Now all of you leave. Asuma, I expect a report on your team's progress every week, what you plan on teaching them, and what they have succeeded in learning from your teaching. You understand me? Do NOT screw up their training," commanded Tsunade with Asuma nodding while trying to keep himself from sweating.

"Yes Hokage-sama," replied Asuma before he and the others left the room.

"I can't believe her!" exclaimed Kurenai once they got out of the tower.

"Yes, I agree," replied Kakashi simply while reading his book.

"Shut up pervert! We both know you don't care," replied Kurenai with a scowl on her face.

"True," replied Kakashi before he went off in another direction.

"I don't suppose you want to explain to me what happened in that office?" asked Asuma with Kurenai giving him a glare since she felt cheated out of the team she wanted while he got the team he wanted.

And he was the son of the Sandaime Hokage!

"Leave me alone!" exclaimed Kurenai before she went off to go drown her sorrows at home in private.

(Academy Roof-With Genin Team 7-A Few Days Later)

"Okay you three, my name is Mitarashi Anko. I'm your Jounin sensei for Genin team 7 from here on out and I will be expecting each of you to give this lifestyle as a Shinobi your all. No doing things halfway and then quitting like some chicken shit pansy simply because its too hard. Got it? Good! Now, as all Jounin sensei's normally do, we usually tell our Genin something about us, but I'm not like others so we're going to skip that for now, and we're only sharing stuff about each other if we want to share stuff," said Anko, as she sat down with her first ever Genin team, and gave them a mental once over in her mind while taking.

Aburame Shino was Clan Heir to the Aburame Clan, could communicate with his hive of insects, calm, stoic, kept his emotions in control, and embraced the way of logic. Silent, a bit creepy in certain aspects, but Anko knew the boy wasn't a cruel kid, who would use his bugs to scare people, or have them attach to food people were eating. Which was a plus since Anko didn't want them hovering over her dango or anything else she partakes in eating. She also knew the kid's belief in logic was matched by his high intellect, which was almost as high as the Nara's own, but kept quiet about it, and would only speak when necessary.

Haruno Sakura was a fan girl if there ever was one and loved the Uchiha prick regardless of how he acted around others. Anko knew that even with all the intense training done during the crash course a short while back, the pink haired girl was still more focused on getting the attention the Uchiha then focusing on training, and knew Sakura was starting to slack off again only a few days after her graduation. Anko had already expressed her dislike in having the girl on this team, but Tsunade explained there was no alternative, and would just have to take this as a challenge.

As for Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto, it was no secret that Anko had long since respected the boy before the events of his life changed when putting on that crown, and had even watched out for him secretly in the past. She would have done more, but her own past kept nipping at her heels, the threats of the Councils retaliation against any who helped the now red haired boy would have made living in the village worse. So she had to help when possible, as rare as those moments were, and kept herself from being seen by other Shinobi walking around taking great pleasure in seeing the boy abused by mobs. After the incident with the Scroll of Sealing, she saw Baraggan had laid down the age old law of might equals right, and you couldn't get much mightier then that cruel entity. After Baraggan merged with Naruto, the boy himself continued to follow that path, but did so with honor, and dignity that told her the Namikaze wouldn't abuse it.

And now here he was on her Genin team.

"If that is the case sensei, then logic dictates we begin doing missions for the village, and expanding our teamwork in the process," said Shino calmly with Anko grinning.

"Correct. Normally, we would do D-ranked missions to expand that teamwork, BUT after much talk with the Hokage, we both feel this team doesn't need it so much as it needs the old fashion out in the field experience, and so that's what we're going to do. Besides, I've always felt D-ranked missions made the civilian populace fat, and lazy because they don't want to do the work themselves. We Shinobi earn our bread and butter doing the more aggressive stuff like escorting, protecting, guarding, stealing, and of course killing people when required. The greater the danger, the bigger the pay we get from the client, and don't think that the rank of the mission can't change because it has on multiple occasions. It has and many Shinobi have either been severely injured, crippled, or killed as a result of such changes," replied Anko with Shino nodding along with Naruto doing the same.

Sakura looked a bit green in the face.

"What is our first mission?" asked Naruto with Anko grinning.

"Well personally, I'd prefer that you get your feet wet all the way up to your knees, but the Hokage feared I would make you lose your minds, and go insane if not quit being a Shinobi. SO, with that stipulation in mind, we're going to just get this team's feet wet up to our ankles by just doing a simple C-ranked mission to Wave Country, and escorting our client to his home their," answered Anko while the Aburame and Namikaze nodded since they felt the best kind of experience was hands-on experience.

Sakura looked unsure.

"When do we meet the client?" asked Shino curiously.

"Tomorrow morning at the North Gate. The client's name is Tazuna. He's been told who to expect and has been reassured by the Hokage that he's getting the best team around to get him back to Wave Country in one piece. He's an old guy who loves to drink so expect to meet a grouchy old guy with a hangover tomorrow and don't be late. You don't show up, you don't go, AND you don't get paid!" answered Anko with the Genin in front of her nodding before they left after she dismissed them.

"You are giving them a C-rank right off the bat?" asked Kurenai, as she appeared behind her friend turning around, and smiled a somewhat friendly smile.

"What? They're big kids now. The Aburame has a good head on his shoulders and do I really have to ask about a certain red haired Namikaze?" answered Anko with Kurenai scowling.

"And the girl?" asked Kurenai since Anko left out Sakura.

"She needs a strong kick in the ass. How else am I suppose to get the fan girl stomped out of her? Through a few lectures? A little training, which let's face it will count for nothing if she doesn't maintain a strong regiment? Or perhaps I should smother the pink haired girl with motherly affection? That's not my style nor should it be yours either Kurenai," answered Anko with Kurenai scowling.

"You don't know if they will work well together as a team Anko. You have to give them a teamwork based exercise!" replied Kurenai knowing all other Jounin that took on the role of sensei did.

"And you do? As I recall, you specifically wanted one person among three on a tracking team to teach that would have been of your own creation. The Hyuuga girl does not need to be smothered with love Kurenai. Putting her on a team with a horny mutt and stoic bug user won't bring out the girl's potential with you watching over her like a worried parent rather then a competent sensei. She needs middle ground and Tsunade can give it with the needed field experience when required," answered Anko with Kurenai scowling.

"She's fragile Anko. Her Father and family put her down all the time. Calling her a failure and putting Hinata under my care during the time she learned at the Academy. How can I not feel concerned for her?" countered Kurenai with Anko scoffing.

"Please! She's not made of glass that with one touch will fall over and shatter into a few hundred pieces. Sure she needs a good motivational kick in the butt, but nothing too hard, or too soft to get the girl moving in the right direction. You're so use to seeing the frail Hyuuga girl escorted to the Academy that you don't see the potential everyone else sees in her. I can see it, Tsunade sees it, Naruto sees it, and even the boy's parents can it in her so why can't you?" stated Anko with Kurenai growling in anger.

"Its all that boy's fault," mumbled Kurenai while looking away with Anko hearing her.

"You're blaming Naruto? Seriously?!" questioned Anko with Kurenai scowling back at her.

"Why not?! His actions have made Hinata more daring. More bold. She's not the daring or bold type. He's filled her head with delusions of grandeur, believing she can overcome impossible odds, and with their marriage in a few years time...she'll be utterly ruined!" Kurenai replied furiously while Anko was shocked the woman would say such a thing.

"And you prefer the alternative? A shy, meek, and scared of her own shadow kind of girl with a family that will walk all over her? To be like that around a so called family that was, until a few Months ago, just itching to put that Cage Bird Seal on her forehead, and make life even worse for her? Naruto inspired her. Still inspires her to get stronger. Why would you want her to be meek, shy, and all that other wallflower girl crap?!" countered Anko with Kurenai walking over to the railing.

"I just don't want her to be hurt Anko. I don't want her to be unhappy," answered Kurenai with Anko scoffing.

"If that were really true Kurenai, you wouldn't blame Naruto for the changes in her, and you would not smother the Hyuuga girl in surrogate Motherly love. You see the little bird trying to fly away from the nest and deep down you don't want her to go because you fear she will never come back to visit the surrogate Mother who nurtured her," replied Anko with Kurenai's head turning quickly to glare at her.

"She's not ready to fly away. Not yet," stated Kurenai firmly with Anko smirking.

"Well whether you think she's ready or not to fly...I think we both know the Hyuuga girl has already has flown away and plans to one day make a nest of her own with the help of another bird with Namikaze blood in his veins," remarked Anko while Kurenai felt her scowl increase.

"He's not worthy of her in any sense of the word regardless if the Kyuubi was sealed in him," said Kurenai with Anko raising an eyebrow at her.

"Oh really? Well who the Hell is worthy of her? Some snooty noble? A Daimyo's son?" questioned Anko with Kurenai not answering.

"Just keep the boy on a leash Anko and remind him to keep his perverted urges at bay or I will find a way to castrate him," replied Kurenai before she left.

"Perverted urges? She should be more worried about me giving into such urges with him in a few years," Anko mumbled to herself before she let out a small giggle knowing that Naruto would be quite the hunk when he became a full grown adult.

(The Next Day)

"So this is my protection detail I hired? You don't really look like much. Especially the pink haired girl. She stands out like a sore thumb with that hair color," said Tazuna with Sakura looking upset at being insulted while Naruto and Shino ignored it since they did not care for the client's opinion.

Anko just smirked.

"Don't let their appearance throw your belief in us off. The one with dark shades comes from a clan well respected and feared for their mastery over insects. The red head here can practically be considered overkill if you only knew what his power was capable of and actually feel sorry for any poor bastards that get in his way," remarked Anko with Tazuna raising an eyebrow.

"And what about you? You're not exactly dressed in what many would consider Shinobi attire," replied Tazuna with Anko grinning further.

"Let's just say if we do run across any danger and need to get questions out of those we capture...I'm the woman to do it," said Anko confidently with Tazuna raising an eyebrow further.

"Hey! What about me sensei?" questioned Sakura with Anko turning to look at her.

"You have yet to prove yourself brat. You were trying to impress an Uchiha with your looks rather then actually training to be a Shinobi. This mission will give you the chance to impress me with your skills so if I were you I'd make sure to not fuck it up because you won't get a second chance!" stated Anko with Sakura flinching at her words.

"Yes sensei," replied Sakura with Anko looking at her for a second.

"Okay. Is everyone packed with their essential traveling gear? Good! Move out!" said Anko with the group in front of her nodding and following the woman to Wave.

"Hey gaki, why do you walk with a cane? Some kind of past injury?" asked Tazuna with Naruto smirked at him.

"Hardly. Though I will admit I should probably be dead or at the hospital in a coma after all the crap I've been through. The cane is my weapon of choice when in combat," replied Naruto with Tazuna raising an eyebrow in disbelief.

"No offense kid, but canes only work so well before someone with muscles, and a strong enough sword slices it in two," countered Tazuna with Naruto letting out a chuckle.

"There is more to this cane then meets the eyes sir. Trust me, you may have heard all the stories of Shinobi doing incredible things, yet you haven't seen what this item in my hand can do, and should pray that such an event never happens," replied Naruto with a grin on his face.

"Why is that?" asked Tazuna curiously.

"Because then you would look upon the face of death should I unleash my full power and even then the release of such power might kill you," answered Naruto cryptically while Tazuna looked a bit worried, yet a hint of disbelief, and yet...something told the old man this boy was telling the truth.

'Weird kid,' thought Tazuna since he didn't understand half of what Shinobi could do and decided to leave it alone for now.

As the group walked for a few hours, Naruto glanced at a nearby puddle, which was a bit of a surprise since there was no rain in the area for several days, and no sign of anything remotely causing such a puddle in sight. It was like the puddle had magically manifested itself and was just sitting there doing nothing.

Or at least that is what it would like to the untrained eye. Naruto knew better. His powers of sensory perception and Shinobi training told him otherwise. The puddle was no puddle at all, but rather a Genjutsu of sorts to hide a pair of assassins in waiting, and itching to strike if the hint of bloodlust leaking around them was any indication. Glancing at Shino, the Aburame noticed it too, and nodded slightly to not give away the fact that he knew the truth. Anko clearly knew as well, as her lip twitched in a way that told Naruto she was suppressing the smile that wanted to manifest over the joy of hurting people coming after the client.

Sakura seemed oblivious to it while chatting with the client about his home and acted like this was a simple trip to visit a relative.

After the group got 10 feet from the puddle, it soon shifted to reveal a masked Missing Nin with gauntlets in his hands followed by another, who looked like his twin standing next to him, and the two leaped into the air to target Anko. The woman leaped out of the way, into the tree, Shino grabbed the client, and dove for the nearby bushes, Sakura drew a kunai from her holster, apparently not the scared fan girl Anko thought she was so that was encouraging, and as for Naruto...he just stood there looking at the two Missing Nin currently encircling him with their razor sharp chain linked to one of their gauntlets.

Their plan was clear in using the chain, their speed, and momentum to rip the Namikaze to shreds in a horrifying gory fashion. A good combination of teamwork on their part, as they were taught during their years at Mist's Shinobi Academy despite the...means that was required to graduate, and become a Shinobi in the first place.

However, no amount of teamwork could prepare these two for Naruto, and his Hollow powers given to him by Baraggan. First, he let the chain wrap around him, let the two Missing Nin think they had succeeded in killing him, ignored Sakura shouting at him to use the kawarmi to escape, and then watch the chain snap from the strain they put on it along with themselves from all that momentum they used to make it happen.

They damn near lost their arms from the sudden yank back when the chain reached its limit in being pulled before the chain broke.

The two Shinobi looked at each other in shock for a moment, wondering how the red haired boy survived the chain's razor's edge from obliterating him, and decided to move to plan B. The one behind Naruto moved for the client while the other moved for the red haired boy with each attacker using the gauntlets as the means to end the lives of their targets. Shino quickly called his bugs out to swarm around him in a way that would shock and even terrify the Missing Nin from Mist for a moment long enough for the Aburame's swarm to attack. The insects swarmed over the attacker, devouring his chakra quickly, and bringing him to the point of falling unconsciousness.

As for the second one, who went after Naruto, he found himself missing his strike aimed at the boy's head, and was promptly elbowed in the face with his body being sent flying into a nearby tree. Before the man even had a chance of getting up, Naruto was in front of him in a second, and was hit viciously again in the face with the boy's cane while a foot was on the hand with the gauntlet.

"Well done you two. Same to you Sakura. Stance is defensive, weapon drawn, and your eyes are surprisingly sharp. There is still hope for you yet," replied Anko before leaping from her perch and threw the Missing Nin from Mist over to where Naruto had the other one pinned.

"I don't want to disappoint you Anko-sensei," answered Sakura with Anko looking at her for a moment before focusing on their two attackers.

"Okay you two bakas, who do you work for?" questioned Anko with the one pinned by Naruto glaring at her.

"Fuck you bitch! Maybe if you blow me I might drop a hint," replied the Missing Nin with Anko grinning all too sweetly at him.

"Naruto, be a good student, and stomp this explosive tag in my hand down on this guy's crotch," said Anko with Naruto grinning too.

"W-Wait! Don't do that! I want to have kids someday!" protested the downed Shinobi in a panic.

"You should have answered my sensei's question. To be honest, you're getting off easy compared to what she can really do, and don't forget about me. As cruel as my sensei is when it comes to these matters...I'm respectfully much worse," replied Naruto with the Missing Nin looking from him to Anko, who just smirked with a brief nod, and it made the former Shinobi from Mist start to panic further.

"W-Wait! Spare me and my brother. I'll tell you anything and everything you want to know!" exclaimed the Missing Nin from Mist with Naruto looking at Anko who nodded in approval at the offer though she clearly wanted to see someone get their nuts blown off.

"Talk or my student here does something unimaginable and horrifying to your manhood," commanded Anko before the Missing Nin from Mist, now identified by name as Meizu, who was one of the two Demon Brothers explained they were hired by Gato to kill the bridge builder, and prevent the completion of a massive bridge that connected the island country to the mainland.

Why was Gato doing it? Because the ruthless business man was suffocating the country using his shipping company to monopolize what came in or out while crushing the life of the people in the process. If the bridge is completed, Gato's hold is broken, and Wave Country would be free from his tyranny.

"Well this day is just full of surprises," remarked Naruto while Sakura was tying the two Missing Nin up.

"Yep! This mission just went from C-rank to A-rank with this new information. Instead of protecting the client from mere bandits, we now have to protect the old man from high level Shinobi, and since the Bingo Book has these two having been known for partnering up with another Missing Nin...this changes things for us," answered Anko before looking over at Tazuna, who was currently pale in the face, and clearly knew what it meant.

Higher ranked mission meant higher the pay was required by the client to be given to the Shinobi guarding the client to continue going through with the mission.

No cash. No protection.

"Please! You have to understand. My country is poor. Just like he said! All I could afford was the C-rank escort. I just need your help getting back home so I can build the bridge so our country's economy can kick jumpstart itself," said Tazuna with Anko looking at her students.

"Well...what do you three think? Keep going? Or leave the old man high and dry?" asked Anko with Tazuna looking ready to get on his knees and beg them.

"I say we keep going. We're more then qualified for this regardless of our age. Besides, this Gato guy sounds like someone I should hate with all my being, and should kill on sight regardless if I get paid for it," answered Naruto since this cruel businessman used his money to buy power, but the truth was in the red haired boy's mind was power could not be bought, and had to be earned.

At best, Gato could rent such power to those interested in money, but he could never buy it, and would never be powerful in his own right.

In Naruto's mind...he was a false king claiming a country that was not his to take.

"I agree with my comrade. It is illogical to go back now when we have already made so much progress in such a short amount of time. We know who the enemy is and who his employer is too. I say we proceed," stated Shino with Naruto giving him a nod of respect at his words.

"I say we should go. The country is suffering and I can't back out now simply because the rank has gone up," answered Sakura with her answer surprising Naruto and Anko since they didn't expect it.

"This is a bit unexpected. Since when did you decide to do the opposite of a fan girl?" questioned Anko with suspicion while Sakura looked away.

"You said I had to prove myself to you. We both know that if I back out now I'll prove I'm worthless and unfit to be a Konoha Shinobi," answered Sakura with Anko narrowing her eyes at her further.

'What is going on here? She shouldn't be acting like this so suddenly. Not to mention her interaction with Naruto has been civil. No glaring. No name calling. Something is off about her,' thought Anko before glancing at Naruto, who nodded slightly, and knew that they would get to the bottom of this soon enough.

For now they had a mission to complete.

With the Demon Brothers tied up, Naruto had opened up a telepathic link to his Father, which he learned to possess during his time training with his parents, given the unique situation that caused both of his parents to have it, and told the former Yondaime of what was going on. Minato's first instinct was to provide his son with backup with himself and Kushina, but Naruto told him no, and just told the man to pick up the Demon Brothers before informing the Hokage so she was brought up to date on the matter.

After he gave his Father and Mother reassurance, Naruto focused on the road in front of him, and even to the pink haired girl walking to the right of Tazuna. Since that morning, the girl's behavior was off, different then usual, and not once did she glare at him. By all accounts, Sakura should have done that, or at the very least called him a baka once during this entire trip. Yet she was respectful, showed resolve, and acted like a Shinobi should in a situation like they just encountered.

Naruto quickly came to the conclusion that this girl on their team was NOT one Haruno Sakura. Focusing his Pesquisa on the girl, Naruto narrowed his eyes, and gripped his cane tighter while they walked. Looking over at Shino, it was clear from the subtle frown on the Aburame's usually stoic face that he came to the same conclusion, and the two looked over to Anko with the woman nodding in agreement.

This was not Haruno Sakura at all. It was an imposter!

But how to expose the imposter? Do it right now? In front of the client?! No. That would be a stupid and amateurish move on their part since it would just make Tazuna think that Konoha had disorganized Shinobi. Granted, Naruto along with Anko thought most of the Shinobi in Konoha were idiots for their bigoted ways with Shino agreeing from a logical standpoint on past behavior, but if Tazuna could make other potential clients think ALL Konoha Shinobi didn't know their head from their ass, and that was unacceptable!

So with the same mentality, the trio agreed that they would expose this false Sakura after getting to Wave Country, and get an explanation on why this Shinobi was impersonating the pink haired girl. If by some chance the enemy Shinobi they would no doubt encounter forced her hand, the better it was for them because it gave the trio the excuse to confront the imposter, and find out what happened to the real Sakura.

They would decide to wait.

(Elsewhere)

"Those two you sent after the bridge builder failed their mission Zabuza. You and your Shinobi aren't worth the price I'm paying!" complained Gato while in Zabuza's current hideout.

Zabuza's response? Pointing his giant sword at Gato's face.

"Watch it pal. You think my price is high? Try going to Kumo, Suna, or any of the other villages. My fee is small compared to them. Besides, the idea of having a hand in making an entire country suffer, and die via your shrewd business practices will make their Kages hesitant to even act. Hell, some of them might even try to assassinate you just to get some future clients, or simply because they don't like you," answered Zabuza, as he didn't like the man right now, and it was only because the money was needed did the Demon of the Bloody Mist stay his sword hand.

"Be as that may, I'm still paying you quite a hefty sum, and I expect positive results. Now Tazuna's escort will be on alert for future attacks and might even stay to protect the old fool until the bridge is built. If that happens, my control over this country will be ruined, and you don't get paid!" exclaimed Gato with Zabuza narrowing his eyes at him.

"I know what will happen Gato. I don't need a seedy shrewd tightfisted businessman like you telling me things I already know. Trust me, the game isn't over yet. We've only just begun to fight," stated Zabuza before turning to look at his masked subordinate, who just nodded to him in knowing what to do, and the Demon of the Bloody Mist smirked behind his bandages.

The enemy won the first round. Now it was time for round two.

(With Anko & Team 7)

"So that's the bridge?" asked Naruto while seeing the massive incomplete construction project Tazuna was put in charge of that would bring hope to his dying country.

"Yeah. Is it something. Once completed, our country will have a chance to become strong again, and life will return once more," answered Tazuna, as he along with his escort, and the boatman slowly ferrying them across the large body of water made their way in Wave Country.

"That is the next logical step, but why hasn't Gato destroyed the bridge using his less then honorable employees?" asked Shino curiously.

"Because he doesn't want to attract unwanted attention. Killing a few people inside the country is easy to sweep under the run with enough money and influence. BUT if he blew it up, something like that can't be ignored, and word would reach other countries. He would risk notice from Shinobi villages, Daimyos, rival businesses, and cause a whole slew of problems that no amount of money can stop," answered Anko, as she knew that if Gato did destroy the bridge at this late in the game, it would draw a lot of eyes toward him, and Wave Country's economic plight.

"She's right. Destruction of this thing on any scale turns heads and inquiries are made into what is going on here in this section of the world," added Naruto while glancing at the fake Sakura next to him to see her looking at the bridge yet keeping quiet.

Again it was unlike the Sakura he and the others knew.

"How far away is your house Tazuna-san?" asked "Sakura" curiously.

"Its not that far from the bridge. A few miles past it actually. Its by the water so if Gato were to try anything, I could get my family out of the country, and onto the mainland," answered Tazuna with the group nodding.

"We're almost there Tazuna. Its fortunate that Gato's boat patrols haven't come this way yet," said the boatman carrying them across the mist filled area.

"Yes. Fortunate," remarked Naruto with narrowed eyes.

'We're expected,' thought Anko and Shino.

Roughly 20 minutes later, the group disembarked from the boat, the ferryman paid, and they were soon on there way to Tazuna's house. Along the way, the group noticed it was extremely quiet, too quiet for their liking, and they knew something or someone was here waiting for them. Bringing out a kunai, Naruto threw it into a nearby bush several feet ahead of them, hearing the sound of movement behind it, and upon inspection found a single scared white bunny.

"Your sensory ability seems...off today Naruto-san," said Shino while Anko picked up the bunny to examine it.

"No. I sensed someone there. It was a person. Not an animal. Whoever was there used substitution to escape the kunai," replied Naruto with Anko nodding.

"He's right. This is a winter coat for a bunny in winter, but its Spring right now, and all wild bunnies in Spring should have brown coats," added Anko with Naruto nodding.

"That means this bunny is domesticated," stated "Sakura" with Anko narrowing her eyes at the imposter.

'Not once has she even yelled at Naruto for his actions with the bunny. She is acting so calm and completely professional. Not one single action of a fan girl,' thought Anko, as she looked from Sakura to the bunny, and was trying to figure things out while putting the animal in a storage scroll.

Before the whistling sound of a projectile was heard behind them.

"DOWN!" yelled Naruto with Anko, Shino, Sakura, and Tazuna obeying the command while the Namikaze himself grabbed the projectile with his bare hand before throwing it into a distant tree.

The projectile in question?

It was a giant sword. A zanbato to be exact.

"Impressive kid. Not many Shinobi can do what you just did. In fact, you would be the first person I know to even do that," stated a gruff voice of a shirtless man with bandages on his face and wearing grayish camouflage pants while standing on the hilt of his sword.

"You should see me birthday parties," commented Naruto with the figure smirking at him.

"What's your name brat?" asked the figure.

"Naruto. Namikaze Uzumaki Naruto of Konoha. What's yours?" answered Naruto with the figure's eyes widening slightly.

"Zabuza. Momochi Zabuza formerly of Mist," replied Zabuza with Anko's eyes widening in shock and she tensed at the sight of him.

"The Demon of the Bloody Mist. Master of the silent killing technique," stated Anko with Zabuza smirking at her.

"So you know of my reputation," replied Zabuza with a hint of pride in his voice.

"Difficult not to considering what you did to become a Shinobi. What you did at the Mist Academy was overkill even by their standards," stated Anko with Zabuza's smirk getting bigger behind his bandages.

"Its ironic when you consider the only way to pass the exam is to kill a fellow student in combat. I got a lot of extra credit that day," replied Zabuza with a small chuckle from his mouth.

"Clearly. I take you are under Gato's employ," stated Naruto with Zabuza nodding.

"Correct. Gato wants the bridge builder dead. Hand over the old man and I'll spare all of your lives," offered Zabuza with Naruto scoffing at him.

"No deal," replied Naruto with Zabuza smirking at him.

"Good. I was hoping to get in a few kills this week," remarked Zabuza before he dropped down to the ground with his sword in hand with his killer intent flooding the area around him.

"Protect the bridge builder!" commanded Anko with her Genin team moving into triangle formation around the old man.

"So pointless," remarked Zabuza, as he was between Tazuna, and Sakura with his sword ready to slice the old man in two.

Only to miss the man completely along with the others a second later.

"Care to rethink that statement?" questioned Naruto, as he used Sonido to save his team, and the client from being sliced in two.

"Your fast kid. That was...unnatural," stated Zabuza with Naruto smirking.

"At least your original in how you described me just now. At least its not as negative as you could have made it sound," countered Naruto with Zabuza narrowing his eyes.

'Those eyes...they are the same as...,' thought Zabuza before his instincts screamed at him to move and dodged an incoming projectile of energy from Naruto if just barely.

"Good instincts. Aside from my parents, no one has ever dodged my Bala before today. Though something tells me that was a luck," said Naruto with his hand outstretched and saw Zabuza look at the damage the boy's projectile did.

'That attack tore through the trees like they were nothing. If I didn't move...I'd be dead,' thought Zabuza knowing he had to get serious here.

'Damn! I don't know what this gaki just did, but I'm SOOO glad I hired his team,' thought Tazuna while slightly wondering if he should actually stop drinking just to make sure that his mind wasn't playing tricks on him.

"Hidden Mist Jutsu!" stated Zabuza, as he covered the entire area in a heavy mist, and vanished from sight.

"Careful. Momochi Zabuza can use this to kill us all with ease without making a sound," stated Anko with her team being on guard while Tazuna began to sweat.

"How very true. I've used this particular Jutsu on many occasions and some of my easier kills were always in places where mist was a general occurrence that no one suspected it was created for the purpose of bringing about instant death," replied Zabuza while letting his voice echo around them so they couldn't pinpoint his location.

"So how do we stop him if we can't even see him?" asked "Sakura" before the presence of Zabuza was behind her and could feel his breath on her neck.

"You can't," answered Zabuza before swinging his blade down on the girl in the belief that one less Genin was one less defense standing in his way.

CLANG!

Only to be stopped by Naruto's own weapon that was his zanpakuto that was in the form of a double-edged battleaxe was being held in the hand of his outstretched right arm.

"Care to try again," offered Naruto, as he was easily held the weapon in its position, and it was even more impressive given how it was holding back Zabuza's blade too.

'This gaki isn't natural,' thought Zabuza before he was stabbed by Anko with one of her kunai.

And turned into a puddle of water.

"He was a Water Clone!" exclaimed Anko in surprise with Zabuza appearing behind her.

"Yes. He was," stated Zabuza before he swing his blade and aimed to take the kunoichi's head off.

Only for Anko to duck and kicked him in the stomach.

"You won't get me that easily," stated Anko before the Zabuza she hit turned into water.

"He must have a large source of water nearby to make them so easily. To draw them out without a water supply is draining," deduced Shino since he had read up on Water Clones and the drawbacks of using them.

"I think its time Zabuza realized just who it is he's dealing with," remarked Naruto while Anko nodded in agreement since it was her time to get more active in the fight.

She decided to use her acute sense of smell akin to that of snakes she had developed from years of training along with her connection to the snakes themselves. In a way, Anko had to thank her bastard of a former sensei that was Orochimaru for the training she had that even made this possible, and was able to pinpoint Zabuza through the thickness of the mist.

"Hidden Shadow Snake Hands!" called out Anko, as she launched her snakes from the sleeve of her trench coat toward Zabuza, and they quickly tried to bite into him.

'Damn it! It seems Orochimaru of the Sannin's former student can wield snakes just like him,' thought Zabuza while dodging each snake, chopping their heads off, and trying to get close to target the bridge builder.

Only to find himself surrounded by bugs thanks to the Aburame and that were draining him of his chakra. Cursing further, Zabuza ducked into a barrel roll to dodge Naruto's weapon of choice aiming to cut off his head, and began fighting the red haired boy with his own weapon. It was clear to the former Mist Shinobi from the start that Naruto was stronger then he first realized and was pushed back violently against a tree.

"This is the end Zabuza," said Naruto, as he moved in for the kill, but the former Mist Shinobi ducked again under the strike, and went through hand signs.

"We'll see about that you little brat! Let's see if you can try this on for size! 'Water Style: Water Dragon Jutsu!'" exclaimed a slightly peeved Zabuza, as he unleashed a massive dragon made up of water at Naruto, and hit the boy dead on.

When the Jutsu died down, Naruto didn't look the least hurt by the attack! Soaking wet yes, but uninjured with an amused expression on his face.

"My turn Zabuza. 'Water Style: Water Dragon Jutsu!'" exclaimed Naruto, as he sent the same Jutsu back at Zabuza, only with more chakra, and more power behind this one.

'Shit! His water dragon is twice the size of mine!' thought Zabuza, as he was hit hard by the Jutsu, and sent crashing down to the ground.

"Time to die!" stated Naruto with his zanpakuto raised and ready to bring it down on the Demon of the Bloody Mist.

Only for Zabuza to be hit in the neck by senbon needles and the man to fall down...dead.

"Thank you for your assistance in combating Zabuza. I've been tracking him for awhile now and waiting for the right time to strike," replied a masked Shinobi resembling a Hunter Nin from Mist.

"You sure took your sweet time," commented "Sakura" with the masked Shinobi looking at her for a moment and then went to pick the downed man up.

"I did not wish to interfere with the fight due to the risk of myself and to yourselves in the event my sudden unexpected appearance became a distraction for your group at a crucial moment during the battle," replied the masked Hunter Nin.

"So you say," replied Naruto with narrowed eyes.

"You believe me to be something other then what I appear?" asked the Hunter Nin while tightening the grip around Zabuza's body.

"I don't just believe it. I know it! I sensed someone in the bushes where that white haired bunny was located. It wasn't Zabuza because he is too big and the sword would have stuck out like a sore thumb. It had to be someone of smaller height, who could fit in it when crouched, and then there is the fact the energy signature I felt was identical to your own. So unless you have an identical twin with that exact same chakra signature as yours, I don't believe for one second you're here to destroy the body, but save the body, and the life of Momochi Zabuza," answered Naruto with the Hunter Nin getting tense.

"We will meet again. Count on it!" replied the fake Hunter Nin before the two were gone in an instant.

"Should we pursue?" asked Shino with Naruto and Anko shaking their head no.

"No. That's not our job. Our mission is to get Tazuna back to his home and after that is done...we are going have a team meeting," answered Anko while looking at "Sakura", who looked nervous, and the suspicion the former student of Orochimaru had about the identity of the impersonator was getting stronger.

"Then we should not delay ourselves any further," replied Naruto with the group walking forward with his zanpakuto changing back into a cane.

"You guys were super awesome! I'm SOOO glad I hired your group," said Tazuna while he walked with them to his house.

"Stop! You're making me blush old man," replied Anko with a grin though inwardly she was seething over her suspicions of the impersonator of Haruno Sakura and didn't like it one bit.

(Tazuna's Home-Sometime Later)

"Father! Oh thank Kami I feared Gato's men had killed you!" exclaimed Tsunami, who hugged her Father, and gestured the group to enter.

"I would have been Tsunami if it wasn't for these super awesome Shinobi I hired," stated Tazuna while making sure his daughter knew it was because of them that he was alive.

"Thank you for protecting my Father. I know he's not one of the most...likeable of people at times while drinking or has a hangover," replied Tsunami with her Father grumbling about not being treated with respect.

"Don't worry about it. He's tame compared to the people we know," replied Anko, which was true since she, Naruto, and even Shino for his bloodline knew people in Konoha with bigoted views.

"Still, I'm glad you were able to bring him home safely," said Tsunami while the sound of tiny footsteps was heard and everyone saw a child glaring at the group before leaving for the second floor.

"Who is the runt? Yours I take it?" asked Anko with Tsunami nodding.

"Yes. My son Inari. He's not...a happy boy right now," answered Tsunami with the others frowning.

"His brooding reminds me of an emo boy back in Konoha. He better get out of this emo state or I'm going to make him," stated Naruto since he was not going to tolerate such a child being near him or his team.

His team was its own emo free zone and Naruto planned to keep it that way!

"We do have rooms upstairs. The two boys can bunk together while the girls can be in the room next to them," said Tsunami with the boys nodding and Anko doing the same while "Sakura" looked a bit nervous.

And rightfully so.

"Time to hit the hay!" exclaimed Anko while dragging "Sakura" upstairs while Naruto and Shino calmly walked up the stairs.

"I have observed that our sensei is quite...eccentric," stated Shino with Naruto smirking at him.

"Yeah. Let's go with that," replied Naruto before his face became serious.

"So you noticed it too," stated Shino with Naruto nodding.

"Sakura is not Sakura. We have an imposter. Judging from the chakra level and signature I sensed coming off of the girl...I know who it is," answered Naruto with a scowl now forming on his face.

"You've had dealings with this person before?" questioned Shino with Naruto shaking his head no.

"Not me. Grandpa Baraggan met her once soon when he first took over my body," replied Naruto with Shino frowning.

"I do not recall when that happened. Could you be more specific?" Shino probed further with Naruto nodding and told her.

With the Aburame stopping in his tracks.

(With Anko)

"Drop the disguise," commanded Anko once the door was shut after throwing "Sakura" into the room and put up a Sound Barrier Jutsu.

"S-Sensei?" asked "Sakura" before Anko took a step forward.

"You have five seconds, exactly five fucking seconds to remove that Genjutsu over your body, or I am going to seriously fuck you up! 5...4...3...2...1!" said Anko before "Sakura" put her hands up.

"All right! All right! 'Kai!'" exclaimed "Sakura" before the form the Haruno girl vanished in front of Anko's eyes.

And revealed Yuhi Kurenai in her place.

"I expected someone would try sabotaging my Genin team. Kakashi. Jiraiya. Even the former Sandaime Hokage himself, but you taking their place in the matter? Never saw coming. Never! So tell me why? Why are you doing this? Revenge of some kind against Naruto? Me in some way? Where is the real Sakura? Did she agree to this? She must have if you thought a short to long term mission outside the village to another country was possible without raising any red flags with your disappearance mixing with your own," questioned Anko with Kurenai looking away from her.

"I didn't approach Sakura. She approached me with the offer to take her place on the mission. I had some time saved up for time off and put it in so no one would miss my presence in the village. Sakura was going to lay low within her house until my return where I would tell her what happened in detail so she could make it seem like she had actually gone on the mission," replied Kurenai with Anko raising an eyebrow at her.

"Somehow that doesn't surprise me. You accepting the mission does. Why the Hell did you accept in the first place? Did you want to discredit me? Are you doing it out of spite against the Fifth because she wouldn't give you the team and Genin you wanted?" asked Anko with Kurenai sighing.

"Because I wanted to observe Naruto while on the mission. To see how strong he truly was so I could determine if he was truly worthy of Hinata," answered Kurenai before she was shoved against the wall and Anko looking her dead in the eyes.

"Bullshit! I know when you're lying and this is one of them! You're telling a half truth in wanting to observe Naruto, but not to see if he was worthy of the Hyuuga girl's hand in marriage. You were observing Naruto to see when the time was right to get close to him so you could to take a kunai out to slice his neck open. You were planning to kill him! Kill my student! Kill the son of a Hokage!" said Anko accusingly with Kurenai scowling at her.

"He's not worthy of Hinata! I will not have that bringer of death tied to a girl with the desire to heal others and protect life!" exclaimed Kurenai before she was slapped in the face by Anko.

"You listen to me Kurenai! When we get back to Konoha, the Hokage is going to own your sorry ass, but until then, I own your ass, and I own you so any order given will be obeyed to the letter. Also, don't bother trying to hide yourself from Naruto, or from Shino since I know they can tell you are not Sakura. For the moment, you will have to keep the disguise of being Sakura for the sake of the client, and his family so Konoha isn't filled entirely to the brim with incompetent Shinobi," commanded Anko with Kurenai nodding since it would look bad for Konoha if they knew the truth.

"I understand," answered Kurenai in a submissive tone.

"Good. Now let's get some sleep. We have to prepare for Zabuza and the fake Hunter Nin he had with him. Not to mention Gato's hired thugs," ordered Anko with Kurenai nodding in agreement.

(With Zabuza)

"Damn it Haku! You know how much I hate it when you use those needles and target my neck. Sometimes I think you do that just to spite me," stated Zabuza while the fake Mist Hunter Nin named Haku took of the mask to look at him.

"Sorry Zabuza-sama, but it was the only way to save you, and make the Konoha Shinobi believe your death was real," replied Haku with Zabuza frowning.

"Lot of good that did us. They knew who you were instantly after I got hit by the needles and used the Mist Hunter Nin bit. Not to mention that red haired gaki was different from the others. His strength was unreal. I still can't believe the kid grabbed my sword and just threw it away from his team like it was nothing. Didn't even blink when my killer intent filled the area. What was his last name? Namikaze? There was an Uzumaki in there too I think, right?" questioned Zabuza with Haku nodding.

"Yes. Though I don't see how that seems possible Zabuza-sama. The only Namikaze in the Leaf died roughly 12 years ago and so did the last Uzumaki around that time too," answered Haku with Zabuza frowning and letting out a growl.

"So we and everyone else in the Elemental Countries has believed until now. This boy is clearly their son and he's been trained to do the impossible. If you fought the boy while I took on the rest of the team with him protecting the bridge builder, could you defeat the brat in combat?" asked Zabuza with Haku thinking for a moment.

"I believe I can, but it would require going all out with my bloodline, and you yourself can't fight until your injuries heal," replied Haku with Zabuza frowning.

"That purple haired kunoichi is something else. Orochimaru's former student from what I've heard. She lives up to her reputation in being skilled with snakes. Same with the Aburame. That pink haired girl...she seems weak at first glance, but...I thought I sensed a Genjutsu around her. There are too many variables here Haku. I don't like it. Not one bit," replied Zabuza with Haku sighing.

"Well its not like we can demand Gato pay us more due to the risks increasing," remarked Haku with Zabuza growling angrily at the mention of the businessman.

"That stingy tightfisted fuck acts like he can boss us around simply because of the money in his possession. Remind me to sneak into his base and rob the greedy fucker blind when this mission is done," said Zabuza with Haku nodding since that was their secret policy when it came to jerks like Gato with lots of money that they left on a sour note.

And right now Gato was as sour as a bucket full of lemons.

(A/N: YAY! Another update with a super long chapter. Sorry for the wait, but I was, and still am busy with stuff so writing has been slim on rare days so I write when I have those rare chances. Fortunately, when I write during those times, I write ALOT, and make sure to make those days count. Until next time...PEACE!)