Check me out on Inkitt under the name Michael Rauch and my story Cursed by Blood. Inkitt is a reader driven publisher so the more likes, reads and reviews I get the closer I am to a publishing deal.
A lot of this is inspired by the Nobodies from Kingdom hearts and how they are their own person but not... and how they grow hearts.
Rai watched, reaching out with all of his senses as his teammates hid. He personally hid in a tree, behind the foliage where his green and grey clothes blended in well with the environment. He felt oddly safe and yet completely exposed.
'Jonin are masters in all areas of shinobi combat, the elite of the elite, dedicated and powerful. One Jonin is worth a hundred genin, twenty chunin. An Elite Jonin is even greater, especially if they rank A or higher as some do.' The quote from the academy book drifted in his mind as he considered how exposed he felt.
Slowly, he managed to locate the others. Sasuke in the far east, hidden the in the brush. Sakura in the south, on her belly under a bush...
And Naruto, the idiot he was, standing dead center right in front of Kakashi. Arms crossed and face in an ugly look, he had no stance, no preparation, no power behind his body. Just sheer arrogance.
Rai wanted to groan at his brother's stupidity.
"You and me, Right now. Fair and Square! Let go!"
'Ugh, your not actually that dumb Naruto, neither of us are so why do you insist on acting so freaking stupid. He is a jonin, miles and miles ahead of us, why fight him head on! You saw what he did when you first charged him... moron. I will be yelling at you later.'
"You know compared to the others, your a little bit... weird."
Naruto didn't even flinch. "Oh yeah the only thing weird here is your hair cut!" Then he charged at full speed... and Kakashi reached into his pouch.
"Shinboi Battle tactics part one. Taijutsu, the physical art." Only to pull out a dirty book.
"What the?" Naruto barked out.
"What are you waiting for? Make your move?"
"Why are you reading that book?"
"Why? To find out what happens in the story of course. Don't let it bother you, with your weak attacks it won't really matter if I'm reading or whatever."
'Oh great, that will do it.' Deciding to watch and see what happens, to see how good this man really was, Rai got comfortable and settled in to watch.
"I'm going to crush you!" Naruto barked out before shooting at Kakashi... only to have each and every strike blocked with ease and barely glance in his direction. With some annoyance, Rai realized Naruto wasn't using any of the Kata's that he had learned over the last few days. His moves were sloppy, dramatic and filled with tells that even from several meters away he could read with ease.
Then Kakashi disappeared, reappearing right behind Naruto with his hands in a handsign.
"Don't let your enemies get behind you all the time." It was only then that Rai realized that sign was for fire jutsu.
Kunai went flying towards Kakashi as fast he Rai could throw them, he sprinted towards his brother with panic and fear and anger in his heart.
"Get out of there Naruto, he's going to-!"
Kakashi all but cackled. " Too late. Leaf village secret finger jutsu!"
Then he rammed his fingers up Naruto's butt...
"Thousand years of death!" Naruto shot into the air, a horrified look on his face.
Rai stopped just as Kakashi turned, catching his kunai with a single hand and tossing them back, forcing him to backflip away, dodging the retaliation even as he struggled not to laugh at his brother's expense eve as he fell into the water of the nearby pond.
Quickly landing on his feet, Rai turned and yanked out the Kunai from the tree they were stuck in and shot at the man himself, throwing the kunai before throwing a low kick to the man's , which was blocked by an open palm. Using the palm to lift himself, he throw himself up and unleash a kick towards the man's head. This was dodged, and so was the shuriken he tossed whilst in the air.
"Hmmm only a few days old and your already better at being a Ninja then your brother. Your technique is actually quite good. I see what your doing too, aiming with your kunai and Shuriken at the bells while I block your attacks. Clever, but not clever enough." Kakashi, quicker the lightning, grabbed his ankle and tossed him towards the water, just in time to land on his brother who was crawling out.
"Sorry Ru." Rai gasped out as he struggled to stand, the sudden weight of the water in his clothes, the feeling of pain in his back... it was a lot. Gasping he helped his brother to stand, then turned to the man as something blossomed in his mind. "Together, use your clones."
Naruto looked at him for a moment and nodded. " Shadow clone jutsu!" Fifty clones appeared and they charged the man, alongside the real Naruto and Rai.
The man sighed. "You know for somebody that's going to surpass the Hokage, you look pretty wobbly."
The real Naruto growled, his eyes glinting with sheer challenge that Rai knew would make him dumber.
'Good thing I'm counting on that. Time for my new plan, human sacrifice... sorry Ru, but I will become a ninja! I am actually training my butt off while your slacking hard. I will fulfill my dreams with or without you.'
"Great technique, but I don't think you can maintain it, Naruto. You talk like you the best but your still the worst student. You won't beat me with that skill... and Rai, your above your brother but one time zero is still zero so don't think your going to be able to best me."
Rai smirked just a little when he saw it, another Naruto throwing itself onto Kakashi's back, looking smug as always. 'It won't help much, but anything is helpful in this instance.'
Kakashi gasped. " What he got me from behind?"
Rai tossed his shuriken and Kunai, aiming for the man's torso and the bells, before blasting ahead of the clones. He was, for some reason, oddly faster then Naruto. The Man, stunned by the clone or at least faking it, did nothing to stop the Shuriken that cut one of the bells free, knocking it to the ground. Rushing to attack Kakashi, he threw punch then threw himself to the side and stole the bell from the ground before rushing away into the forest alone.
"What! " Naruto and his clones screamed, but Rai didn't care, he got a bell damn it! He would graduate!
He ignored Naruto's self aggrandizing speech about getting his clones to sneak up behind Kakashi all quiet like, too dedicated to reaching the forest, when he heard something odd...
"What the?" It was Naruto, and turning made him see the truth.
Naruto's final attack hit Naruto not Kakashi... and he realized the trick instantly. "Naruto he used a replacement, not a transformation!" He screamed, but Naruto ignored it deciding to settle everything but having it clones kill each other...
Like an idiot.
Quickly, he looked down at the bell and squeezed it between his fingers. It stayed in place, making him sigh.
'At least this is real.' A sense of smugness overtook him and he felt satisfied with himself, even if a little guilty...Still, he had accomplished his mission and so shot into the woods to hide for a while... he had until noon... He would be successful damn it.
No one would see him for a while, he would make damn sure of it...
' That was cold, but smart. He is far above his brother indeed. His skills are marginally above Naruto's own but nothing special by themselves but his mind is far more advanced, With being a being of pure logic and rational without Naruto's emotional hampering his capacity to plan works out far greater then what Naruto is capable of. He thinks further and with more accuracy, he doesn't underestimate me either... but he's too cold.. I never expected him to take advantage of his brother like that.' Kakashi smirked just a little, watching the boy rush away from his brother. 'He speaks of loyalty but is willing to abandon even his brother, where does his loyalties truly lie... or is this another cover? I can't get a full read on him, he is too young, too new to exist to get a firm read... oh well technically he did used teamwork to get the bells, but should it really count... Time to abuse the others.'
Sasuke wasn't sure about Rai, sure he was curious about him. Who wouldn't be with a clone becoming a living being, but he seemed too much like Naruto to be really interesting. Watching him collect a bell by taking advantage of Naruto solidified their differences. Naruto would never have done that and in that he gained respect for the other boy.
'Maybe he can be of some used to me afterall.'
For what felt like forever, Rai hid away. Never staying in one spot for long, moving through the forest with as much skill as he had inherited from Naruto, which was considerable given his years of pranking and evasion. It was oddly easy to hide from the man whom was beating his brother and teammates. He knew he should have gone back, teamwork was the key after all to being a Shinobi, but that didn't make sense in this context. A jonin would defeat him all at the same time...
He wasn't sure when, but eventually guilt began to set in...
And then he heard Sakura scream and everything he planned went out the window. Turning he shot off in that direction, oddly desperate to help the bully girl who's scream pierced his very heart and filled his blood with ice.
It took about five minutes to find the girl, all but drooling on her side, her body shivering with fear. He reached over to her, shaking her lightly to wake her.
"Sas-" She almost screamed before he put a hand on her mouth.
"Shhh, we need to hide... if you want to win, use teamwork. That's the point of being a Ninja, I even said so in class when I asked about your skills. That's how I got a bell, I used and worked with Naruto. Work with me for the others... please?"
She frowned at him before ripping away, leaping across the ground with him at her back. Within minutes they saw a new battle, that of Sasuke vs Kakashi and it was impressive.
'Sasuke is miles ahead of me.' Rai could feel Sasuke's strength, behind each blow, and the raw skill he showed was easily beyond normal genin. Just in a short burst he forced Kakashi to put away his book and managed to touch one of the two bells. 'I should help him, Naruto has no chance to get a bell on his own. I just got lucky really, so maybe I should help Sasuke… gah! I wish I could just prank him like Naruto does, everything seemed to go well with those things. We rarely got caught and we could do so much damage. Even Kakashi wouldn't win with... '
Then his eyes widened as something became clear.
A quote from yesterday, from the Academy books themselves, rang true in his ears and he knew how he had failed this test in his own way. This was no different then a prank, a misdirection based on word play like getting them to not eat...
He felt so stupid to have missed it.
"Well, you are different from the other two, I'll grant you that." Kakashi said, impressed with Sasuke's skills. His easily pushed the envelope, reaching chunin skill in terms of sheer combat skill. "Rai is probably the only one closer to your abilities, but even then the gap is massive."
Then, before his very eyes, he watched Sasuke rush through handsigns ending in tiger. "Fire style, Fireball jutsu!" Sasuke bellowed out.
"Genin can't do fire jutsu, takes too much chakra. There's no way!" And then Sasuke did it, to his surprise, but he shot underground. "Where, I'm where you least expect me!" His hand shout out, but before it touched the boys ankle a kunai cut a path across his pinky, forcing him to release and watch as Sasuke shot away.
Shooting out of the ground, Kakashi followed the only place where the kunai could have come and realized that Sasuke had been given help... using his superior senses, he realized it was Rai, it smelled earth and musky like a fox mixed with something that Naruto just didn't have. It was a colder scent...
"Not very wise, Rai. You already got a bell, helping him could cost you."
Rai stepped out of the forest, a smirk on his face as he walked closer. He all but whispered his words, but Kakashi heard them clear as day.. "No... teamwork is the point of this test." He said confidently. " I can't believe I never saw it before, but it makes sense. You a Jonin, your far beyond all of us combined but only combined do we stand even a sliver of a chance. I told Sakura to work with me, that I needed Naruto to fight you. TO my shame I abandoned him and failed to realize that it was teamwork that was the point... but that was the answer all along. We need teamwork. That is the point of this test. The Leaf village is teamwork central, it's our bread and butter. I even said that yesterday right before you came in. I can't believe I forgot that... sigh... I guess Naruto's impulsiveness is too much apart of me even now." Sighing the boy rubbed the back of his head.
Kakashi smiled for a moment. "Well, I guess you pass then... just don't tell the others. They need to figure it out too, it's the whole point of this."
"Will do, Kakashi but I'll still help them if I can, okay?." And with that, the kid vanished, leaving Kakashi with a rare sense of pride that finally someone figured it out... who would have guessed it was the clone of Naruto that would do it?
To his shame and relief, Sasuke realized that it was Rai that saved his butt. His pride ached, realizing that it was Naruto's clone of all people that saved him, but he was saved so he could fight again once he regrouped. On some level he owed the boy, and he would pay him back but that would happen later. Once he got a bell...
'I need a bell, I need to do this one my own. If I can do this, then I am one step closer to killing Itachi. If I can overcome this jonin, then I can overcome Itachi one day...'
With that mantra fueling him, Sasuke shot off into the woods, waiting and planning on his success... he would succeed... He had to.
Too much was counting on it.
Chapter end, tell me what you think in the reviews.
This was fun to write. He won't win at everything but this is an example of what critical thinking and the power of new knowledge can do for you. Sakura has her head up Sasuke's but, Naruto and Sasuke up their own... but Rai is open minded and I think that shows... He also just read a book on teamwork, is reviewing academy things and is growing...
So here is a list of Naruto vs Rai in terms of skills etc...
Tai 1.5 Vs 2 ( Naruto is sloppy and his brother more refined)
Gen 1 Vs 1 ( Same as neither is trained in this)
Nin 2 Vs 1.5 ( No clones for Rai so... yeah)
Speed 2 Vs 2.5 ( Naruto is bulkier and Rai is lighter due to being made of chakra)
Strength 2 Vs 1 ( Naruto is a real boy and bulkier)
Stamina 4 vs 2 ( Rai has less chakra and no active bloodlines as he was made to be a fraction of Naruto like any other clone)
Handsigns 1 vs 1.5 ( rai has been practicing more over the weekend, just a slight difference really)
Intelligence 1 vs 3 ( I am incorporating Knowledge and patience into this since that is mainly what is holding Naruto back)
Love, your Ninja Overlord,