Hey, guy. Sorry for such an extended delay, but I've been busy with working off my insurance and rent bills. I'm finally caught up with this month's dues and even went ahead to pay off next months, so I should have some more free time on my hands for the story. Hopefully, it'll pay off. I've tried rewriting this chapter roughly six times, but each time kept coming back to the usual confusing time-skip methods...so i decided to completely start this style from scratch.

I hope you guys are still interested in the stroy, and I hope you continue reviewing, so that with each chapter I can get a feel on what works and what doesn't. Also, we'll see who gets the references within the story.

Read, and enjoy!

-TIoO

-^(*)^-

Looking down at the robes in his arms, he took in the sight before him; serving only to further confuse him. However these going to serve them in combat? They held no defense against any form of weapon, and to be honest...the dark brown robes, when placed with the black leather vest and boots looked...depressing...

"Hey! How the hell is this supposed to help us?...a dull shuriken could tear these things up completely..." griped Tayuya, voicing Naruto and Juugo's opinions. Her outburst, however, caused Shisui to sigh, as he stood up; revealing similar clothing.

"You'll find that often in a shinobi's career, you will come across situations, in which conventional armor only holds you back...such as if you were s-"

"-starting on an assassination mission..." finished Naruto, only to be answered by a tense silence. Shisui could immediately tell, that he wouldn't have to worry about teaching the three teens any lessons in reality.

They already realized the prospect of having to kill another human being...interesting, the only person I've seen to so readily accept that fact was It-

"I feel like some old hermit that lives in exile, in a giant desert..." stated Juugo, as he put on his own robes, while Naruto finished sliding on the leather vest.

"Yeah, let me tell you, Juugo...I'm going to be some legendary Chosen One, who's eventually going to be turned evil, by being manipulated by some evil force, who uses my own loved ones against me..." added the blonde, as he brushed his hair, allowing it to return it to its natural wild self.

"You two are dumbasses...talented dumbasses, but still a pair of idiots..." replied Tayuya, her arms crossed as she tapped her foot.

"...you three are hopeless at times, you know that?" declared Shisui, shaking his head, before looking over a small scroll.

What are you thinking, Pein?...are these three seriously as promising as you say? I was confident when I saw Naruto's abilities, but...they're still young and rather easy going...

"So we have a C-rank mission, already? I thought new squads only got D-ranks?" asked Tayuya, who was leaning behind the Uchiha; along with Naruto and Juugo, The trio were eagerly reading the contents, much to the man's surprise.

"Wh-what!? Hey! You aren't given proper clearance to read these documents!...as a matter of fact, how did you three even sneak up on me like that?" he asked, curious as to how the Genin had managed the feat. He was a former Konoha Anbu operative, after all.

"How?..." replied Tayuya, as if he had grown a second head.

"It wasn't anything?..." continued Naruto, syncing his words to his redhead teammate's.

"...we simply walked up behind you?" finished Juugo, who was staring in a perplexed manner at their sensei.

Beautiful, either they're diamonds in the rough, or I'm losing my touch...I hope you're right about this, Pein...

"So...what's the first mission, Shisui-sensei?" questioned the redhead, as the Uchiha took a final glance at the mission report.

"We're meeting at a rendezvous point, near the border of Wind country, with a contact of mine...so prepare for a possible attack by low-level shinobi...possibly simple mercenaries, if anything..."

"...wait...attack? I thought C-rank missions didn't involve any danger of combat?" asked Naruto, receiving nods in agreement form his teammates. Shisui smiled inwardly a tiny bit, relieved they at least agreed on something.

"Under regular standards, yes, that would be the case...but Ame implemented its own systems, Standard Class and Operative Class...Operative ranked missions pose greater dangers then their Standard class counterparts...that being said, a good idea would be, C-rank Operative missions, are essentially B-rank Standard class mission that must be taken with complete precaution...all operative missions, regardless of their rank, are politically-focused operations..."

"So every mission we go on, will tie into the relationship with other villages?" stated Tayuya, summarizing Shisui's answer as best she could.

"That's a crude generalization, yes...but they can extend further then just villages and Kages, they can extend up to the Daimyo of a given country" he added, forcing the trio to slightly pale.

"Sh-shouldn't we be training for this, sensei!? You mean we're getting literally tosses into this without preparing?" stuttered Tayuya, her bravado quickly fading.

Naruto, however, closed his eyes, deep hidden memories resurfacing to his mind, from his last mission. This wouldn't be the first time that he;d be on a mission involving possible combat, his last one being a testament to it. Nonetheless, it would only be his second, and with the overall lack of experience...it could turn ugly within given moments.

I don;t get it, though...why would Pein send us out on this mission? I mean, sure, we've been doing basic exercises and Shisui's helped us with the foundations on martial arts and chakra enhancement...but this suddenly?...what's going on?...

"-trip in itself would normally take a week, however, since the meeting will take place a month from now, we will be traveling at a slow pace...there are four Ame outposts along the way, so we will stay a week at each one..there I will train you in preparation for the mission..."

Letting out a sigh of relief, the redhead nodded, taking some comfort in knowing she could at least train for it. Juugo let out a soft grin, before pumping his fist in the air.

"Whoo! I'm going to prove to everbody that I can be an awesome ninja! That way nobody can say I'm a useless fatty!" he yelled, causing his female teammate to roll her eyes. Naruto, on the other hand, chuckled quietly, admiring his optimism.

Heh...I like him, he's not such a letdown...

"-and Naruto, Konan wishes to know how your...assignment is going..." stated Shisui, drawing a loud groan from the blonde, as he remembered their previous meeting with the azure-haired angel of Ame.

-Flashback-

"...not bad Naruto, not bad at all...you've been making good progress, despite the little time you're given to actually practice your technique..." smiled Konan, as Shisui helped the gasping blonde teen to his feet. Naruto didn;t have a mirror, but he could easily tell he looked like a wreck. He could feel the sweat that clung to his body mixing with the dirt and grime from the ground he had repeatedly been thrown into. In addition, his mesh shirt and vest were torn all around, to where they were only barely managing to cling to his body.

"Th-thanks...wh-what...was the point...o-of me getting...my butt...handed to me on a platter?..." he asked, his knees trembling from the beating he took in their so-called friendly spar.

"I needed to take notes on how you are doing with the fighting technique you told me you were creating, so that I could pinpoint any signs of weakness or flaws in the form...okay, so...let's see..." she whispered, before mumbling something to herself, at a volume neither Shisui, nor Naruto could hear. Standing up from large boulder she had been leaning against, Konan took a few glances at the notepad, before walking up to Naruto. Giving him a curt nod, Naruto slowly got into his stance, his feet shoulder-length apart, before he turned slightly to an angle, his left-hand outstretched in a loose manner, He held his right hand in the same direction, though it was kept slightly bent.

"So...what did you find?..." questioned Shisui, eyeing his student's technique. He knew it was wrong, but he was tempted on activating the Sharingan to copy his form. He knew it was still rough, and unrefined, but he had personally experienced its effectiveness in person.

"First of all, the form, which has yet to be names, relied heavily on Naruto's strength and agility to overpower your own attacks, in a series of counters...an example was when you tried to sidekick the boy, Naruto threw himself backwards, lowering the damage received, but managed to grab your leg in the process...from there, he used a combination of his strength and agility, coupled with the momentum of your attack, to spin you directly into the wall that was behind you two...now, naturally, given your experience, you were able to stop yourself from crashing, but the fact remains he was able to counter your movement..."

Shisui nodded, before studying Naruto, who was still in his stance.

"So, Naruto's form focuses on countering hits?"

"No, more then simple hits, it creates openings in your own attacks while using your own force against you, by actually taking them, rather then entirely avoiding them"

"What do you mean?"

"When Naruto reversed that kick of yours, most people would have ducked the attack, or attempted to dodge it in any manner...instead, he simply lessened the blow, using your momentum against you, similar to a mirror reflecting a beam of light back towards you...not only does he reflect it, but it hits you with the same amount of power you used initially, if not slightly more"

"So, by using the aggression in the opponents' attacks, he puts himself in positions, where the damage is simply reduced, but allows him to simultaneously redirect the enemies' physical strength in any direction he wants?"

"Precisely, although it comes with its own drawbacks, also"

"And they are?"

"The fact that despite him reducing the pain from incoming hits, he still receives a portion of them...and even a stone wall will eventually crumble...the main this works for him, more then anybody his age, is due to his unnatural pain tolerance...were it a Genin his age, they would have been on the ground in less then a fifth of the time he lasted"

"What about flaws in the foundations? Any weaknesses that an enemy ninja could exploit?"

"Yes, and that would be his footwork"

"Wait, how? I was watching that the entire match, the manner in which he used his feet as both anchors and a means by which to swiftly move in a constant flow were rather impressive for a form that has yet to be refined..."

"That is both a strength to the form, but also a weakness...the footwork was a solid supplement in the defensive aspect, but when it came it him attacking you without need to counter you, his movements were much slower then when he was on the defensive...not only that, but it also used the smooth surface of the leveled ground for balance...the few moments when you two stepped onto the less even terrain, Naruto-kun quickly began having to double his efforts on maintaining that same footwork...which in turn caused him to focus less on countering as efficiently..."

"Hey!...so...why am I in my pose? Can I get out of my stance?" asked Naruto, his legs tiring from having been in the same constant position.

"Huh? Oh right, sorry, Naruto-kun!...about your stance, it needs to have more flexibility in order for you to optimize your reaction timing...the rigidity of how you are currently standing, delays your ability to react accordingly to any strike that is launched against you..."

"Ohh...so why did you need me to spar with Shisui-sensei? Konan-chan, couldn't you just have fought me yourself?" asked the blonde, causing the kunoichi and Uchiha to chuckle.

"Heheh, because kid, I can help with your style...by copying it"

Raising an eyebrow, Naruto crossed his arms, casting his sensei a dirty glance.

"You just want to copy my style, sensei...cheater, you get the Sharingan...if I had that, I could copy any moves and fighting forms..." he griped, sighing in utter exasperation.

For the first time in what was to be years, Shisui did the only thing that he had been previously incapable of even imagining. He shook his head, in disagreement.

"Naruto, believe me...with the price that comes with this kekkei genkai...you're better off like you are, too many people become arrogant and begin to turn to complacency"

"But the Sharingan is so powerful? How could it be a bad thing? You can copy the opponents' movements...its the most practical kekkei genkai that I can imagine, besides Pei-...er...our leader's ability..."

"Trust me, Naruto...never get these eyes, okay? They're a curse to me, and my clan...never cripple yourself, by coming to rely on one single trick"

"...but...I promise, sensei..."

"Good, now go practice your stance, and remember Konan's advice...also, have you come to name your style, yet?"

"...Seinaru Gyakuten, sensei"

"...Seinaru Gyakuten?...I like that, kid...Holy Reversal..."

-End Flashback-

"Wait a moment! You mean Naruto has been training even more then us!? That's not fair, sensei!" yelled Tayuya, pointing at the offending blonde teen behind her.

"That's why we're heading out a month early, to have you two catch up to Naruto's progress"

"Wait, sensei...why are we so rushed in this? I know Pein-sama wants to create an elite task force of shinobi, but isn't this still a bit too...much?" asked Juugo, to Naruto;s agreement.

"...that's right, it is...but for good reason"

"What's that?"

"The Chunin Exams, which were originally meant to be hosted at Konoha a year ago, were delayed and are being conducted in three months in the village"

"So?...aren't we being jumped directly to Chunin, regardless? What's the point of us participating?"

"We're not going to participate, though...are we?" interrupted Naruto, earning the Uchiha's confirmation.

"That's right, Naruto...we're sending in two teams of Genin, Team Eight and Team Fourteen to the exams, while you two of you will act as personal body guards, while a third member continues on as a spy to detect flaws in the defenses of Konoha...specifically, one clan particular"

"Wait, are we planning on..kidnapping?..." asked Tayuya, a look of disgust on her face. Naruto and Juugo weren't casting any happier glances, however.

"...the career of a shinobi isn't always pretty, kids...and at times, you may just find that you'll be the villains in the eyes of others..."

Remaining in total silence, the three shinobi in training simply stood there, taking in the objectives of what their second mission would be.

-*(^)*-

"...Narumi? Are you in here?" asked Minato, as he opened the door to his daughter's room.

"Yeah, I'm in here, daddy!...how do I look?" smiled Narumi, as she zipped up her Chunin vest. It had been only a few months, since the day that Naruto had left the village, but if there had been things to change...it had been her work ethic. Only since then, had Narumi taken tutulage under Jiraiya, her own father's former master.

"You look pretty nice, Narumi-chan" he chuckled, as Kushina followed suit behind him, smiling softly at her daughter.

"Heheh, my baby girl is already a Chunin, and she's still not even 13! I think she might just beat Kakashi-chan's record!" she yelled in pride, clenching her fists as Narumi and Minato broke into a cold sweat.

"Uh..y-yeah, Kaa-chan!" chuckled Narumi, scratching her head sheepishly as she broke into a foxy grin, alongside her dad.

"Oh! And Minato, that reminds me! Fugaku needs to talk to you...it's uhm, Miko-chan...he says she's been acting strange lately, and that she..well...has been going through mood swings..plus she does look like she gained a few pounds...I think she might be going through a phase...it's almost like she's pregnant..." stated Kushina, drawing a cold sweat from the blonde Hokage, who was now blushing badly. His normally calm face, was now contorted in a combination of fear and apprehension.

Karma does have a habit of turning the bad one commits, into an even further horrible retribution...it is my own fault for having done what I did...

"Hey, dad!...so when can I go on my own first solo mission!? C'mon! Naruto-kun woud've been doing his own assignments by now! I need to get serious if I want to find him, and bring him back!" exclaimed Narumi, her fiery red hair almost glowing with excitement.

"Huh?...w-what? Already? Naru-chan, I know you're the most promising prospect of your class, but even Sasuke-kun admitted it'd be a better idea to hold off on single-man mission for you two..." stuttered Kushina, her husband held speechless by their daughter's bold exclamation.

"Nah! That's Sasuke, though! He's more of a leader! I'm the soldier! I want to get in the fight and end it already! Naruto-kun isn't going to come back, if I'm constantly depending on other people! I need to get stronger! Give me a B-rank mission! I'll do it in half the allotted time limit!" she laughed, causing the two adults to sweat nervously.

She's still just as stubborn as she was when Naruto-kun was here...

Oh, Narumi-chan...for the skills you possess, you're still too overly-eager...

"Narumi, you can't just request a B-rank solo mission, as if it was a D-rank...there are proper prot-"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, dad, I know...proper protocols that need to be followed, and guideline that must be heeded with the most utter precaution...honestly, though, what's the big deal? I held off Itachi-san for almost five whole minutes, doesn't that show where I stand? I bet I could take on all f Konoha's Genin and Chunin one-on-one and I'd beat every single one!" grinned Narumi, before Minato tossed her a serious scowl.

"Narumi, Itachi was going easy on you during your field exam, he was not giving tthe match everything he had...had he done so, you would have been dead within moments after I calld the start..."

"Besides, Naru-chan...what will you do if you are forced to...kill an enemy? Are you even to the point that you would take another's life?..." asked Kushina, praying her daughter did not give her a bad answer.

"C'mon, Kaa-san! I won't kill anybody! I'm going to bring back Naruto-kun! He wouldn't come back if his sister was a mass-murderer! Besides, it's wrong to kill a human being! I'm going to return my onii-chan and then I'll become the greatest Hokage ever! I'll burnig world peace to the villages, so that other people don't have to lose their family ever again!" smiled the young girl, drawing exasperated sighs from her family.

"Child, you're still as hard-headed as always..."

Shaking his head Minato shrugged before casting a glance at his wife, who was biting her lip.

"...alright, I will give you a solo mission..."

"Yes!"

Widening her eyes, Kushina turned to face her husband, only to find him casting a soft and reassuring smile at her.

"But!"

"B-but?"

"...it will be a C-rank"

"WHAT!? BU T THOSE MISSIONS DON'T HAVE ANY ACTION AT ALL!" screamed Narumi, much to Kushina's relief.

"For a moment, Minato, I thought you would actually give her a B-rank" she giggled nervously.

"C'mon Kushi-chan! Give me some credit!" he grinned, his face blushing.

I'm not that bad of a Hokage am I!?...am I?

"Yo! Minato!" cried a loud voice from outside, earning the blonde's curiosity.

Walking towards the front door, the Namikaze-Uzumaki family took a peek to see who had called his name, only to find Fugaku waving at him, in a fully-outfitted shinobi uniform.

"Hey!...huh, Fugaku?...what's with the uniform? I thought you were on

temporary leave?..." asked Minato, in confusion as to what was going on.

"Yeah, I was...but that changed, since this morning...Itachi and I are heading out for an emergency recon mission, though it could turn bad"

"Huh? So why not tell me? I can call up a squad of Anbu to help you gu-"

"I appreciate the offer, friend, but...this is strictly Uchiha clan business, so anybody side from you, the Hokage, would be forbidden from knowing..."

"Uchiha...business?...wait, is this about...him?..."

Nodding, Fugaku cast the blonde a distant look, before turning away.

"Shisui was reported having been seen on the outskirts of Amegakure territory...any group larger then three shinobi would be instantly suspicious...the fact that Itachi is also well known already puts us at risk, but Itachi is the only available ninja we have that can stand toe-to-toe with Shisui in combat..."

"Fugaku...Shisui is no laughing matter...please, wait until tomorrow, so that Kakashi may return from his own mission, he'll be able to ai-"

"I wish we could, Minato..but, as it is, we are behind...we can't spare a single day..I apologize for the last minute notice, but we have no choice"

"I...I understand...Fugaku, take caution...as it stands, Shisui's...defect...left us undermanned...we can't lose another Uchiha...when Shisui defected, and abandoned the village...he massacred nearly the whole Uchiha village...your family, and a few others are that's left..."

"I'll be fine, Minato...I know what the effects were, and still are..." whispered Fugaku, before walking towards the village gates. "Minato!"

"Huh, what is it?" asked the blonde, only to see Fugaku grinning confidently.

"We wouldn't be so short handed in the future, if you had simply promised Naruto to one of the Uchihas like I suggested you do!"

Blushing, Minato shook his head, before growling in a joking manner.

"If I did that, then all of them would be walking permanent limps, after their honeymoon!" he yelled, before being punched upside his head by Kushina, who now bore a feral-looking scowl on her face.

"BAKA! YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT OUR SON LIKE HE IS SOME MARRIAGE CONDUIT AT YOUR POLOTICAL DISPOSAL!" she roared, causing Fugaku to run away quickly.

Nyyaaghh! I pity the fool that ever marries a red head!"

-*(^)*-

"ACHHOOOO!" sneezed Naruto, as he sat down in his chair, while dinner was being prepared.

"Shut it, dumbass!...jees, I swear if you even sneeze anywhere near the food, I'm pouring the boiling water down your pants.." growled Tayuya, as she carefully stirred the pan.

Idiot, I swear he's going to be the death of me...ugh, why am I even cooking for him! All he did was say that my red hair was cute on me...stupid! Stupid! STUPID!...oh well, I have to admit the blonde hair is kinda sexy, the way it's naturally soft but spiky...

-*(^)*-

"Achoo!"

"Yo, you okay, Sasuke-kun?" asked Narumi, as she sat next to the raven-haired boy, who nodded,

"Yeah, must have been the heat or something, though..." he replied, as he took his spot in between Narumi and Karin, the girl who had just recently been adopted by the Sandaime Hokage, Hiruzen.

"I bet he was up all night training, again!" giggled Karin, smacking the bakc of the Uchiha's head.

"Ow!...I was not!...actually, yeah I was..."

"Ha! Told ya!...oh, Naru-chan would you please pass the chopsticks?" asked Karin, as Narumi handed her the small pack.

It feels good having friends...

-*(^)*-

"So, would you care to explain just how exactly this is going to work?" asked Karui, the dark-skinned kunoichi crossed her arms behind her head.

"Just shut up, and stop asking stupid questions, Karui...maybe the, if you will pay attention, I wouldn't be explaining myself for the seventh time!" growled Ei, the Yondaime Hokage.

Shrugging the young girl sighed, before nodding. Taking the chance to finally be able to speak without his young apprentice butting in, Ei cleared his throat.

"Due to our..tension with Suna and Konoha, we have decided to seize the opportunity to negotiate a treaty with Ame, in order to strengthen our tactical standpoint"

"Okay, I know that I', not a general or anything..but what good is Ame? They aren't a recognized Great Village, nor do they possess any sort of extraordinary shinobi...we don't even know who their leader is..."

"It's not the shinobi that makes them so valuable, Karui...ut's their location"

"Their location?"

"They are located directly between the surrounding Great Villages...whoever takes control of Ame, would be removing whatever border separates us as a whole"

"Huh...I guess that would be a gain on our part...but, how do you know Amegakure will accept the treaty?"

"Because, we'll be offering a political marriage to one of our finest kunoichi!'

"Oh!...poor Samui...well, at least it's for a strong cause..."

"I meant you, Karui"

"Yeah, she'll be devast-WAIT WHAT!?""