Rippling Future @airheaded_dude
Succession part 3 book 2 END

Rippling 29: Inheritors Part 3 Book 2 END


"Kuchu Yosei Takamagahara (Flying Fortress Plain of High Heaven)?" Jiraiya repeated Naruto's words, trying to make sense of what his apprentice's words. Still finding it in himself just to what the hell Naruto meant with its name. He hoped to high heaven that the name was not named after something of what it really is.

"Yeah. Did I stutter?" Naruto asked, genuinely. Was what he said truly couldn't be grasped when the name meant what it literally meant?

"No! No, absolutely not." Jiraiya replied hurriedly, the man looked around, seemingly impressed with the bridge. The Toad Sage began to hum as he looked around once more and Naruto excitedly pointed to another door.

"You should totally check out the areas here! I'll show you!" Naruto said excitedly with a grin as Jiraiya followed his apprentice and began to take in Naruto's impromptu tour of this… Thing.

He and Jiraiya began exploring and the man whistled, this place was huge! Almost the size of at least five city blocks! This probably meant that this place would have been manned by at least fifty people. But then, a question came to Jiraiya's mind. What would such a huge structure serve for the Uzumaki? Being so hidden away that the only entry point to this place was via a scroll that was also hidden away?

"You wouldn't believe this place, Ero-sennin, this thing has everything!"

"No doubt." Jiraiya replied as he looked around, there was a large open space within this place with what he could tell was a wall that would fold outwards and act as a gate, or a ramp. Then another hallway and this time, with a flight of stairs leading upwards. Naruto wordlessly went ahead as Jiraiya followed suit until they reached to a hallway with multiple doors in them, Jiraiya peeked to one of the doors and noted them to be living quarters and with bunk beds to boot. There were approximately two pairs of these things per room that would number into the twenties in total if not more judging from the sheer size of the place. Further into hallway, there was a split into two differing pathways, from what Jiraiya could tell by the signage posted on the wall, to their left was the mess hall to the right was a room called the sun dome.

Thinking that the sun dome was the more interesting of the two, Naruto turned to the right with Jiraiya once more following his apprentice and made it into the sun designated place with another signage posting on the wall indicating they have reached the place and another hallway reaching to a place that Jiraiya could read as a 'med bay'.

This place was turning more and more into something that Jiraiya didn't want to think about.

When they made it into the sun dome, Jiraiya noted that this temperature in the room increased what with the thick almost a meter-thick tempered glass that was probably so sturdy that it seemed unbreakable. And this material surrounded the room outward from the roof to the walls.

Seals were lined up from wall to wall on to the support beams that these tempered glass were put on, from what he could discern, the seals placed on this thing were fortification seals that further increased the sturdiness of the place. Jiraiya looked up and saw sunlight above, with only focusing on such a small hall that expanded towards them, he noted that this place was on a cove of some sort within Uzushio. The fact that no one seemed to have discovered this place for decades meant that this was as much of a secret as their secret weapon was.

Jiraiya then looked around, countless flora he was not familiar with were planted on ground that seemed to be partitioned perfectly.

This was most likely the greenhouse.

It was so pristine if a bit warmer than most of the area, Jiraiya wasn't sure how they were able to do it, but they also probably had a working irrigation system within this room alone if the plants here were kept alive for years.

Naruto then motioned for Jiraiya to follow him to the 'med bay' and when they arrived, the whole thing looked like a large hospital wing with enough equipment meant for patients in the ICU if a bit dated. But if this were at least four decades ago, the whole thing would have been state of the art and would have beaten Konoha's burgeoning medical services by a wide margin.

As they continued their way, Jiraiya was coming closer and closer to his conclusion and it chilled him to the core.

As they went in further and further, passing the large med bay, they were now entering into the storage room which was even bigger than the hangar bay and the med bay. Jiraiya watched as they entered the storage area and saw a stock pile of weapons, kunai, swords, shuriken, supplemental items like smoke bombs and even large iron spheres the size of which were about as big as a home appliance that were laden with paper bombs. These things looked heavy if the dented floor was anything to go by.

This was a fortress alright.

In another storage room were logistic supplies; bandages, medicine and rations, many of them had preservative seals on them, something that had stumped Jiraiya, there were no seals that functioned this way to his knowledge! The Uzumaki certainly denied the world of their knowledge with their destruction. Jiraiya sighed, it was such a waste and even the great clan of the Uzumaki fell to the paranoia of distrust as much as the other hidden villages. Imagine how they could have blazed a trail for the future if they weren't killed off.

The tragedy of war was that its first victim was the truth.

But after that, the tragedy of war was absolute destruction.

Jiraiya sighs again as they left the storage rooms, Naruto then motioned for Jiraiya to follow him again and they went for another way. The blonde then pointed to the sign.

Training room.

This place was turning more and more into a small city than it was some base.

'Or a fortress, so what's the flying part?'

As if answering his question, there was another way that Naruto pointed and they went in, the sign said by the top of the door was the engine room.

"I went to see the engine room. It looks like whatever it is there also serves to power this place or at least that's what I think. The problem is that from what I can tell, there's no energy source to it."

Jiraiya hummed for a moment and let his mind run. An engine meant there was something that converted power into motion. Moving gears, spinning rims and all that.

Jiraiya looked around the engine room and noted to be the unit itself to be massive enough at the center with four cylinders laid horizontally behind it. More pipes that anyone has seen in their entire life intertwining and connected to almost every direction of the room, no doubt serving also to power up the entire place.

Now, Jiraiya was convinced.

This really was a mobile fortress.

A mobile fortress that can move in the air, apparently.

Naruto mentioned that the place has no power source only that the seals present here were placed and activated by the ones who made it and maintained with their chakra ever since. That was the thing about Fuinjutsu, to keep a seal running the chakra it has been given doesn't end up getting consumed, it only remains there to keep things running.

"So where is this power source?"

Naruto shrugged, "It's just behind the engine. Or supposed to be. I don't know. Probably because whoever built this thing didn't think about how much energy this was going to consume for it to be running."

That was an understatement. This place would require power from something like a bijuu.

"Kid, out of all the shit we did out of this entire trip, this has to be something that we should never speak out. And I mean it, Asura? Minamoto no Banbutsu (Gathering of All Creation) and now this? Kid, this trip has been a clusterfuck for all the wrong reasons. If I didn't know better, I'd say we just triggered a doomsday event in the future." Jiraiya said to his apprentice and scratched his head, how does this happen? HOW!?

"Ah, damn it, I knew you were going to say that. This thing is practically a good secret base, if we can get it running too."

Jiraiya asked the blonde, "With what?"

Naruto began thinking and hummed.

"I'll think of something."

Jiraiya had put a stop to this immediately, "And blow us up along with this sweet piece of property from your ancestors? No more experiments, kid! For now, we're going to do things my way! And my way will be a multi-step process of having an entire team looking up at whatever it is you cook up in that head of yours."

"But you just told me not to talk about something like this."

Jiraiya nodded, "And silent we will be about this topic. But that's not to say we can get some eggheads back home to look up how we run this thing up to scale. Who knows, maybe if we finish it, we'll be honoring the sacrifice of your ancestors by completing this thing. Now, how the hell did you know this thing can fly?"

Naruto grinned and replied, "Oh that's easy, let's get back to the bridge and I'll tell you."

"Hey, Ero-sennin, we should totally let Baa-chan in with this." Naruto grinned and Jiraiya was skeptical at best.

"Why not just kill me here, then? I think we've done enough damage that will give me another damn scar from her."

Naruto did not know this, "Really? What was the first?"

"I peeked on her." Jiraiya said this as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

Naruto's respect for the man lowered. Naruto looked at his godfather with pity and disappointment.

"What's with that look? Don't tell me you didn't think of doing that to your significant other once!"

A vision of Hinata in only a bath towel entered his mind and Naruto's face lit up like a lantern.

Jiraiya had to laugh at his apprentice's face at that.

"Got it into your head, huh?"

"I-It's only natural that I want to see my girlfriend that way!" Naruto defended himself and unexpectedly, his godfather nodded sagely at this.

"That indeed. Maybe there's hope for you yet, Naruto! My future star pupil!" Jiraiya laughed with a lecherous grin on his face as he could only imagine his apprentice's future encounters with the fairer sex. With his new book so close to publication and roll out, he was sure he was going to roll on the Ryo when it sells.

Nothing keeps a good erotica novel writer down!


Training Ground Fifty:

Ino was anxious. She noted at the time.

One hour and thirty minutes left.

The chaos of what was their training exercise for this occasion had made its way known and smacked them right in the face. Plans went up in smoke. What was supposed to be Kiba and Sai's role devolved into support. Kiba was nowhere to be seen and probably knocked out, Neji and Sasuke were squaring off in an area filled with landmines that Ino's teammate had oh so generously used against them, their premiere medic was nowhere to be seen too, probably figuring out what the hell she was supposed to do and what turned into a distraction ended up as the main force to get to their objective.

Of course, Ino had to take notice of the fact that Shikamaru took a page out of Naruto's handbook of crazy as hell plans that didn't make sense until you got into the receiving end of it.

"So… This is how it goes, huh? You against Chouji and me. Of course, you do know that we know how you play this, right?" Ino mentioned as she looked to her right, Chouji remained silent as he held his staff.

Shikamaru grinned and said, "Please, Ino, you and Chouji aren't the only ones who's changed."

Shikamaru then twirled two kunai with both his hands.

"Doton isn't the only thing I've been learning about, anyway."

"And you never told us? That's low Shikamaru."

Shikamaru simply snorted at this and laughed, "That's rich coming from an intelligence agent. So are we doing this or not?"

"Are you acting out of spite? Come on, at best it was a prank!"

"Uh, I don't think you have room to talk there, Ino."

"Not you too, Chouji!"

"Is this what you call as unresolved sexual tension?"

Ino and Shikamaru looked sick at the thought and shouted at Sai, "HELL NO!"

"Okay, just for that, you're going down, Sai." Shikamaru threatened

Shikamaru then tossed the boy a small round pellet. Sai reacted on instinct and cleaved the object in two with his short sword before a large cloud of smoke popped open, Shikamaru grinned and let his shadow do the work as he ordered Lee, "Lee, strike hard and fast, your target isn't Chouji, go for Sai!"

Lee nodded wordlessly and with Kongosho still active rushed into the smoke where Sai currently was.

Sai had no idea what was going to come up next as he was suddenly met with the force of a bull with Lee slamming on to him with flying kick.

Sai was tossed out of the smoke and was sent crashing to one of the ruined houses. Sai retaliated by deploying ten ink lions from his scroll and launched them all at Lee.

Lee, for his part, kicked the ground and left a crater to his feet as he jumped, he smashed an uppercut to one of Sai's ink lions as it was immediately dispelled with a splash of ink. Lee then stomped one more as he landed and inhaled as he charged at the rest.

"Genryuuken (Illusion dragon fist)" Lee seemingly disappeared from view as he smashed one ink lion to another in puddle of ink. Sai was quick to replenish his creations as for every destroyed ink lion, had replaced it just as quickly.

Lee was not going to stop though.

Lee exhaled this time, letting out the air from his lungs earlier and went into a stance, his hands outstretched to his sides and performing a circular motion. As if in a trance, Lee had suddenly began firing his fists in lightning fast strokes.

"Kongosho: Senju Kanon (Diamond Way: Thousand Handed Guanyin Bodhisatva)! WATATATATATATATATATATATATATATA! WACHA!"

The rapid fire fisticuffs came raining down on all against his way as the ink lions splattered all around him, none were left.

Meanwhile, Ino and Chouji were still in the smokescreen that Shikamaru had tossed at them. Ino had the mid to prepare as she commanded to Chouji, "Jump!"

The muscle bound Akimichi obeyed and he did so, clearing himself from the smoke screen as Ino stabbed her sword on the ground and began performing a set of hand seals before being taken over by Shikamaru's shadow. It was then that Chouji began to form unfamiliar hand signs and aimed at Shikamaru. He ended his set of hand seals with the seal of the tiger.

"Sorry about this, Shikamaru! Katon: Endan (Fire Release: Fireball)!" Chouji let loose a stream of flame towards Shikamaru who had no time to dodge as Chouji's flames obscured Shikmaru's form whose shadow was centimeters away from Ino.

"Magen: Hyakka Ryoran (Demonic Illussion: One Hundred Flowers Blooming in perfusion)"

Lee was about to advance at Sai when he noticed a violet flower petal swaying at the corner of his vision. One turned to three and then suddenly there was countless flower petals dancing in the air spinning around him. Lee's focus became affected, his eyes became half-lidded and his vision became blurry.

He was trapped in a genjutsu. He had one way to refrain himself from succumbing, he had to stop the use of Kongosho immediately. Deactivating his technique, he could feel the connection of the genjutsu waning and contained all of his manageable chakra within. Lee then resorted to his Gokken taijutsu and came face to face with Sai who had already closed the gap between him with his ink creations, he was suddenly sent spinning as Sai managed to land a punch at him.

Lee shook his head to maintain his focus, Genjutsu truly did debilitate any and all shinobi. Lee was then held down by Sai's ink lions and was pinned on the ground.

"It looks like I win, Mr. Eyebrows." Sai said with a smile and Lee seemed to take it in good naturedly.

"It is a good attempt, Sai-kun! But know that I still have a trick up my sleeve!" Lee then with all his unnatural strength, smashed one of the lions that was holding his left arm into the other and spun crazily like a top as he fended off the other two who had let go of his leg and went by their creator's side.

Lee then landed on the ground with a small piece of candy in his hand, Gai had given him a choco bon-bon and told him that under no circumstances should he eat it and only do it if he ran out of options. Lee didn't know why his sensei forbade him to eat candy so vehemently, but he trusted his sensei's words.

Since he was forced to use Goken and being trapped in a genjutsu wasn't an option being way too vulnerable for it, Lee decided that it was all or nothing.

Lee popped the piece of candy into his mouth and immediately, he blacked out.

Sai was left stumped when Lee had decided to eat the candy and promptly passed out. He was thinking that Lee had more to show than just Taijutsu, but it seemed this was all Lee was known for. If this failure had managed to enter their forces with Taijutsu alone, then it spoke volumes to how talented the boy was despite being handicapped.

As Sai was about to leave, he stopped when he felt something behind him, he dodged just in time to see Lee gliding through the air like a missile before the boy landed on the ground and rolled on it before he got up, his gait was sloppy.

"HEEEEEY, HUH? WHA? WHERE'D YA' GO YA' METRO LOOKIN' BASTARD!?"

Slurred speech, was Lee intoxicated? Sai had to ask that question when the said taijutsu practitioner turned to him with half lidded eyes and a face as red as if he was slapped on repeatedly.

"AH THERE YA ARE! I WUZ WONDERING WEN YA WERE GOING TO FIGHT ME, YA COWARD!"

Lee then went into a stance, it was loose and sloppy, Sai noted. It seemed like he was inebriated.

Lee then laughed out loud, "AHAHAHAHAHA! WHAT? TOO CHICKEN TO FACE ME? THEN IF YA' AIN'T GOIN', I WILL!"

Lee then dashed at Sai who was on guard but Lee tripped midway and skidded on the rock hard ground before just stopping in front of Danzo's agent. Sai was about to make himself scarce and observe everyone to have a grasp of their skills when Lee had somehow rolled from his mishap and stood on his hands to deliver a revers axe kick at Sai who was slammed on the floor before Lee somehow adjusted his momentum in midair and landed perfectly on his feet.

'Suiken user… This class is quite troubling.' Sai thought as Lee pointed at Sai and laughed.

"AHAHAHAHA GOT YA' THERE, YA DAMN CREEP!"

It was then and there that another presence made itself known as a fireball was sent at Lee's way. The inebriated brawler lazily and sloppily dodged to his side and landed on a hand stand and looking around as if he was finding out who did it.

"It's a good thing I woke up after three minutes thanks to Akamaru because what happened back there was embarrassing." The voice had said and Kiba came into view, Musai Setsudan-ki in hand before dispelling it.

He had relied too much on the blade's ability to keep him from being discovered. The jutsu that was planted into blade was useful but now he had discovered the weakness of the weapon, Kiba was sure to keep in mind this lesson in the future. He can't have others figuring out what the blade can do or the jutsu would not take effect as much anymore.

"WUZ ZAT YOU YA BASTARD!?" Lee hollered out loud to Kiba who looked at Lee curiously.

"Lee, what are you…"

"LESS TALKIN', MORE BRAWLIN'!"

Lee then leapt at Kiba.

At the same time with Chouji and Ino, Chouji panicked a little as he had engulfed Shikamaru in flames. The smokescreen thinned out and vanished as Shikamaru's shadow receded back. Ino gave a sigh of relief as she almost came close to being captured. She noted another arrival of one of her allies as Kiba who had been stationary at the north for at least ten minutes. Why he changed direction was beyond her so she asked out loud, "Kiba what are you doing? Why didn't you stick to the plan?"

"Because the target wasn't at the base! No one was there!" Kiba shouted as he dodged Lee's attempt to attack. Akamaru was about to counter when Lee jumped through a broken window and rolled on the second floor before looking confused.

"What!?"

When the flames cleared, Shikamaru remained standing there, unarmed, a wall of shadow protected him from Chouji's flames.

"Kageheki no Jutsu (Shadow Wall Technique) … Well you got me, the original plan was to turtle down at the base but with how spread thin we were, we decided to do things a bit differently." Shikamaru said this as the wall of shadow came coming down and back to his own shade. Shikamaru had his hands in his pockets.

"You asshole! You used my familiarity against me! That's my shtick!"

Ino was fuming. She had never thought of Shikamaru to suddenly come up with a back-up plan after knowing how they were spread thin in their line of defense, when they had successfully separated Sakura and Chouji in the middle, she was forced to make the effort to push at the frontline and support Chouji to leave Neji to face Sasuke. Shikamaru knew full well that they were going to do an attack on three different angles and that two would remain hidden as they got close. Tenten and Hinata's job was to find that angle and disrupt it. The two had met their objectives twice.

But the push in the middle was what they had the most in advancing, with Neji being hampered down against Sasuke and the infiltration group effectively halted, the middle was all that was left to barge into. And already seeing that no one could stop Chouji once he literally got the ball rolling, Shikamaru came up with another solution.

"You had Shino run with the target."

Ino answered when she figured it out. Ino was obviously pissed, Shikamaru had been playing them for the entire time! It was why having a strategist in any team was so vital!

"Sai! Kiba! New plan! Search and retrieve! Find the target and take them to the evac zone! Take to the skies, Sai! I can't sense Shino or the target, something is jamming my sensory abilities!"

The two nodded and leapt away as Sai had produced a large ink bird and ascended to the skies.

Kiba had run away just in time before Lee could notice him.

"Hey, where'd the doggy go?" Lee asked, still in a drunken state.

"Chouji, fend off Lee, I'll handle Shikamaru."


CLANG!

CLANG!

CLANG!

Two girls clashed with swords just a few kilometers away from Shikamaru and Ino's group.

One was holding two double edged swords while the other was holding a Naginata.

In a battle of weapons, those with the longest reach to win most of the time.

Sakura and Tenten had been fighting for a few minutes now. One couldn't take advantage over the other. Surely Tenten had the advantage in range. Her Naginata was longer and didn't need to reach in to deal damage, but Sakura could initiate by having different avenues for attack. Tenten was impressed with this supposed style that Sakura was using, it was quick and versatile. One sword could be used for offense, the other to parry and create openings. As long as one is aware of their position, their angle and their range, then this one was a style truly meant for maiming and killing.

Tenten had encountered different styles only around the village, but this was the first time she had seen this peculiar style.

"Are you self-taught?"

Sakura answered, "I guess you could say that."

Tenten wasn't convinced, "Don't be coy, I know all of the schools of thought existing in this village concerning armed combat even the ones ANBU use. I've never seen that style before. So it's either you had a teacher from a foreign land or you were self-taught. Only someone like Lee who has dedicated his life in Taijutsu can come up with their own style. You don't seem like the type, being a medic and all."

Sakura answered, "Well, the style does actually exist, it's just that I only understood the concept and from there, work my way around with the help of Kakashi-sensei."

Tenten seemed to nod at this, "I see, no wonder you have such a vicious and a dangerous training method and has it ever occurred to you? It looks like Gai-sensei and Kakashi-sensei's rivalry extends to his students."

Tenten twirled the Naginata with both hands and grinned, "But I don't intend to lose this one, either."

Sakura had a grin of her own, "Oh, this is on!"

The two then dashed at each other and swung their weapons as they play a dangerous game.

Tenten brought down the Naginata, Akisazame (Autumn Sand Rain), down hard to Sakura as she dodged to her right and advanced quick enough before Tenten could come up with a defense.

Sakura lunged, thrusting one of her swords forward but was immediately blocked by Tenten retractable glaive, Tsukishiro acting as her shield.

Sakura noted that Tenten's greatest asset wasn't her knowledge about weaponry, but her versatility.

Tenten deflected the blade upwards, causing Sakura to lose balance for a second and Tenten let go of the shield and tossed it at her. Sakura leaned back and noted that the shield suddenly turned into a throwing glaive with the outer pieces of the shield suddenly expanded and three blades made itself known as it went past her and on to the walls, the shield ricocheted to a wall then to another and another as it returned back to Tenten who made the shield vanish and was now holding a huge single edged blade whose blade was about as arm thick. Sakura noted a pommel by the curved blade's hilt.

"Gurenjigoku (Pyorclasm)" The sword of the living flames, Tenten swung the weapon to Sakura who made a x pattern above her head with her swords and blocked it. A stream of fire escaped from the blade as Tenten grinned.

"It's been a while since I had a challenge like this. Too bad you'll lose."

Sakura grinned as well, "Don't be too sure about that."

It was then that Sakura looked the blade in Tenten's hand by having the blades narrow to Tenten's sword and had it moved sideways, Sakura then proceeded to kick Tenten by the stomach as Tenten returned Gurenjigoku to its storage and the weapon mistress herself staggered back.

Sakura then sheathed one of the swords to her back and began perfoming a set of hand seals before ending at o-hitsuji

"Genjutsu: Rokubuso no Shisai (Illusory technique: Six-armed Priest)"

Tenten suddenly saw Sakura then waiving her hands around her and two arms suddenly multiplied forming six arms holding her blades in three different forms. The upper arms held their swords diagonally upwards, the middle arms were holding the swords sideways away from Sakura and then the lower arms holding the swords in her hands in an x formation once again.

"Yaban na Ookami no Sakebi: Mie Tsumibukai Seishitsu (Cry of the Savage Wolf: Threefold Sinful Nature)"

Tenten immediately summoned Suigintou in her hands and met Sakura's slashes and Tenten could have sworn that Sakura's attack just tripled as she felt an increase in the strength in her attacks!

She knew it was simply genjutsu, yet there seems to have no connection with her chakra! How was that possible?

"This genjutsu was inspired by the Bunshin no Jutsu, only instead of creating something intangible separate from me, I made this technique as part of me."

'That would explain why there was no sound when she tried to swing her swords. But if that's the case…' Tenten then sent a wave of water at Sakura who dodged but not before seeing one of the arms being disrupted and forming back together.

'I knew it, the aim of the technique isn't to increase the power of her strikes, it's to leave opponents open to where she will really attack. That's quite a technique.'

"Mue no Kugyo (Six-Fold penance)!" Sakura then let go six chakra crescent strikes that made its way towards Tenten. Konoha's self-proclaimed weapon mistress summoned Tsukishiro back into her arms once more and crouched as she braced for impact.

Six concussive blasts were endured and Tenten thought, 'The hell? She sends six of these things as if four of these were actually real?'

Tenten then sprinted to the side and threw Tsukishiro straight at Sakura, the shield turned into a glaive once more as Sakura jumped to her side to avoid being hit and the glaive bounced around again before returning back to Tenten.

"Kokuzo Bosatsu: Juu Tetsu Dan (Boundless Space Treasury: Ten Iron Bullets)!" Tenten then summoned five kunai and shuriken and had them launched directly at Sakuira who deflected the first two coming at her way and rolled to the side as she sheathed her swords and smashed the ground with her fists

"Oukasho (Cherry Blossom Impact)!" The ground cracked and fissured and the earth trembled, uprooting the earth and stone from beneath Sakura to act as a personal barrier around her.

Tenten was impressed, she was like seeing a miniature Tsunade in Sakura. When she had heard of Tsunade making it known throughout the village of having an apprentice, she was ultimately jealous at first as to who that person was. To be apprenticed by the person kunoichi look up to everywhere was a dream come true for many of those aspiring to reach the level and even beyond Tsunade. But with her skillset, it was just not meant to be. Tenten aspired to reach the heights of her idol, not someone she could emulate. Given that Tsunade was a medic nin first and foremost, something she had no interest in, she would rather just aim as high as she could in order to reach that level of ability.

She would have preferred to have the legendary strength that also made Tsunade known far and wide but she took what she was given.

Tenten had to mind the time in the clock, only thirty minutes left.


To the southern part of the training grounds, Neji and Sasuke were exchanging blows as they began to enter into high speed combat.

Neji, who had by now switched for Denko Sekka (Speed of Lightning), had managed to outrun all of the traps that befall him while Sasuke chased after him and occasionally clashing as they did so.

Kanmuru was a technique of high-velocity and the Shunshin was a technique of extreme agility. While Neji was leaving behind a streak of lightning, Sasuke was only showing after images, meaning that he moved much faster than what was perceived by the naked eye.

Neji and Sasuke clashed once more, arcs of lightning shooting up everywhere as the two of them faced each other.

"The fact that you can keep up with Kanmuru is a feat in of itself, Sasuke."

Sasuke grinned, "Same to you, not many can boast about being able to match Shisui's Shunshin no Jutsu to the point that it is almost comparable to the Hiraishin!"

Sasuke was having the time of his life, this fight was showing more and more promise as it continued.

As Neji had switched once more from Denko Sekka to Shippu Jinrai, Sasuke countered and surged lightning around him as well, effectively repelling each other as they were blown back by their techniques.

He had never expected Chidori Nagashi to have that effect on Neji's Raiton technique.

'Pitiful.'

Sasuke stopped for a moment as a voice enters his head, it seemed all too familiar as well.

'You have amassed great power, but you're not using it. You should have taken care of this earlier.'

Sasuke shook his head to maintain his focus, all the while back talking to this voice in his head.

'I don't need the Mangekyou Sharingan in this fight, I don't need the cursed seal as well! I'll use those abilities against my brother but for now, I'm fighting with the skills I learned through years of training!'

'What is power if it won't be used?'

'Power that is meant for something else!'

Sasuke then performed a series of hand seals and ended with the Tora seal.

"Katon: Goukakyou no Jutsu (Fire Release: Grand Fireball Technique)" a large orb of fire was sent towards Neji's way as Neji performed a Kaiten. Sasuke wasn't done and gripped his mother's sword at his back as he flickered out of Neji's view with an arch of fire descending on Neji from above and another from behind him and then another to where Sasuke stood earlier.

"Uchiha ryu: Higasa no Mai (Uchiha Style: Dance of the Sun Halo)" Flames surrounded Neji from all sides as his Kaiten continued to spin, a torrent of a flaming tornado happened as Neji was suddenly surrounded by flames all around him. Not wanting to be starved off of breathing air, Neji stopped the Kaiten and aimed four powerful air palms above him.

"Hakke: Shitenkuushou (Eight Trigrams: Four sky palms)!" Four powerful compressed air shells aimed at the sky as Sasuke watched his flames slowly dissipate into the atmosphere. His vision returned to Neji who was already dashing towards him without Kanmuru.

Sasuke obliged and created two eight pointed stars from his fires and threw them at Neji who evaded just in time with the stars curving in a different direction before they exploded.

Sasuke wondered which was better, the ability to predict the movement of his enemies, or the ability to detect intent by the flow of their chakras. Either way, he knew that he and Neji were at par currently against each other. It was why they were Jounin.


Up in the skies, Sai was scouting to where their target was. Danzo had trained him for years to make use of his jutsu to its logical conclusion. It was for this reason that Sai had a good view of what his jutsu was capable of. He was reminded also, to never use it near someone who has seen it. Root had an unfortunate complication of leaving their targets dead, if one of them escaped, it means that someone would be able to trace their assault back to Danzo, and they couldn't have that.

It was why Naruto was such a high priority target for them. Not only did they attempt to capture him, they failed to brainwash him and he had seen Sai's jutsu. There was no mistake now, they had to cut their losses and make sure that their work remained in secret. The problem was the commotion of what Naruto's death might entail.

The jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi was not only in good favor of the Hokage, he was also in good favor of two of the three Sannin. The boy was untouchable in politics and in the shinobi arts. Danzo was wary of these two shinobi for the fact that they were of legendary status respected by both civilian and shinobi alike.

That secured him on the spot as a target that would have to be approached in a different way or else, Root's tangled web of structures would be snapped at the seams.

So it was why if there was nothing left for him to observe, Sai would slink back into the shadows of the organization and never reveal himself until the very end.

As he looked down on the whole training area, he could see the multiple fights that were happening around but then, he saw it. He saw two figures running away from the battlefield, He sees the target and prepares to swoop down and take the target to the extraction point.

Sai then noticed another figure approaching the target, from what he could tell, it was the cocky Inuzuka that was knocked out earlier and the one who came to help him.

He was going to fulfil his mission.

The ink bird prepared for a diving run and descended below as it nearly went into subsonic flight.

Down below, with Shino and Fuu, the two were running away from the battlefield as much as possible, though Shino wanted to participate, they all had roles to fulfil. His job was to make sure none of the blue team members get their hands on Fuu.

Fuu was enjoying her time as the target for once, she was intrigued as the Konoha shinobi participated in their plans to fulfil their roles, everyone seemed to defer to Shino's friend, Shikamaru as the leader and helped coordinate their plans successfully without unneeded interruption or friction. She was happy as Shino and Shikamaru talked with her as if she was normal. It was thanks to Shino that she suddenly felt like she belonged in this wonderful group.

"Oi! Oi! Oi! Shino! Holding hands and being lovey-dovey during a training session isn't part of the simulation, you jackass! Let go of Fuu this instant!" Said the person in indignation, Shino watched as Kiba jumped over in the air and landed on the roof of one of the destroyed buildings and pointed at Shino looking mighty pissed at that.

"Fool around someplace else! This is why people tend to ignore you!"

"Hey Kiba!" Fuu waved at him with a smile on her face as Kiba waved back.

"Yo, Fuu! Hey wait! You're the VIP!?" Kiba was surprised at the fact that Fu had willingly participated in the event

"Yep! Anko-sensei offered me the role and I accepted!"

Shino remained quiet. He had used the Mushi Jamingu no Jutsu (Insect Jamming technique) to remain hidden under sensors as they weaved away into town. He thought of hiding to one of the intact houses nearby until time had run out. It was just unfortunate that their tracks couldn't be hidden by scent.

"Shino, quit holding hands, damn it!" Kiba shouted indignantly again as he pointed to his teammate. No way Shino going to have a girlfriend before he does! No freakin' way!

Unfortunate for him though, it wasn't Shino who objected, it was Fuu, "No way, Kiba! I like holding Shino's hand."

And she said it with such an innocent smile that it looked like Kiba was trembling in jealousy.

"Alright, that's it! This party is over! Akamaru, secure the target! Shino! You're dead to me! Inuzukua-ryu Taijutsu Ougi: Tsuuga (Inuzuka style Taijutsu Finisher: Piercing Fang)!"

Shino raised an eyebrow at this as Akamaru had suddenly vanished from Kiba as the said boy launched at Shino and began spinning like a drill in midair. Shino replied, "Why are you acting so illogical, Kiba?"

Before being shredded to bits by Kiba's technique.

It wasn't Fuu who reacted panicky, though, it was Kiba, "Ah shit, I forgot about how much of a pain you are to deal with on a regular basis! Get off me!"

The image of Shino dissolved into a mass of insects as Kiba rolled on the ground to get those that had managed to cling to him to drop him. Fuu on the other hand was laughing at Kiba's antics as Akamaru was on his back with his belly being rubbed by Fuu.

"Who's a good boy, who's a good boy? Yes you are, yes you are!" Fuu was cuddling with Kiba's dog as Shino reappeared just in front of Fuu and said, "Let's go, Fuu."

Fuu seemed reluctant at this, "Do we have to? Akamaru looked like he wanted to play."

"We'll do that later, right now we…"

It was then that a large pair of wings had managed to swoop in and grabbed Fuu by the shoulders. Shino could only watch as Fuu was immediately taken away into the air and headed straight southeast. Shino was about to give chase when Kiba blocked him off.

"Nope, nuh uh, not seeing your girlfriend until this whole thing is over!" Kiba denied him and Shino seemed somewhat peeved at Kiba's behavior at this.

"Fuu is not my girlfriend."

"You want to tell that to someone who actually believes your lies, you bastard!?" Kiba shouted as he went through a series of hand seals and ended it with the Tora seal.

"Oh you are so going down, Shino! Katon: Housenka no Jutsu (Fire Release: Mystical Fire Flower Technique)!"

Small and quick gouts of flame escaped from Kiba's mouth as he began blasting Shino with his jutsu. Shino acted accordingly as ducked and weave at the flames, Shino then adjusted his glasses and said to his teammate, "It looks like I have no choice but to comply, Kiba. Very well…"

Shino's insects started swarming outside as if they were acting like his chakra. There was then a crackle beneath Shino's feet but Kiba didn't notice it until more started arching around him.

"I will not hesitate to hold back."

Time, ten minutes left.

As Sai held on to the former Taki Shinobi, he had immediately raced to the extraction point as instructed by Anko, he made a beeline there as fast as he can before anyone could take notice. However, it would not be as an air shell had managed to rip through his ink bird and destroyed it completely. Fuu was able to land safely when a giant white tiger had made its way to catch Fuu from the skies while Sai corrected himself and landed on the ground.

The tiger then went to its summoner and Sai noted that it was Hinata.

"Good work, Byakko-sama."

"Think nothing of it, Hinata-sama. I exist to do your bidding."

Sai watched as Hinata went into her stance as Byakko had Fuu secured far and away from her.

Sai slowly went for his sword. The fact that this girl had managed to find the extraction point was not to be trifled with, he could still remember the sting of the girl's slap on his face. The way she looked down on her just as much as Sasuke and Naruto did.

"You're pretty ruthless, aren't you?"

Hinata didn't reply. She wasn't going to give Sai that satisfaction of riling her up.

Instead she had called upon Byakko.

The said white tiger landed behind her in a second as Hinata commanded, "Let us sync together, Byakko-sama!"

"It shall be done, Shitenno: Nishi no Seiritsu: Byakko (Four Guardian Gods: Alignment to the West: White Tiger)!"

Winds picked up and they began to howl in fury as Byakko roared and his form glowed before Hinata began to absorb him. Drops of chakra flames began to surround her as her nails became sharp claws, two flames of chakra sprouted from her head by the sides of her skull and a long tail of white chakra appeared from behind her.

Hinata had switched stances now as she leaned a bit forward and her hands were not as straight as that of a jyuuken but looked like they were holding something.

"You will not get past me at this point!"

Hinata declared as she focused on Sai. The power she was emitting was coming off in wave after powerful wave.

Hinata then charged.

It was instantaneous, in less than a second, she had closed the gap between Sai and her and managed to land a claw strike to Sai's abdomen. It was by sheer reflex that Sai had managed to evade by narrowly dodging to the right but Hinata had left a mark even if it was shallow.

"Senkoushou (War Cry Palm)!" Hinata shouted and with her outstretched hand that had delivered the first blow, let out a powerful concussive blast in the shape of a tiger's head as Sai was violently sent through a wall and the one behind it before landing on the opposite side.

Indeed, this group showed a lot of promise. He had underestimated their abilities. Each one he had observed had shown jutsu way too different from the norm. From the artisan's daughter, up to to the noblest of clan members. They all exceeded his expectations.

He got up and staggered a little, he noted that the Hyuuga heiress was not one to take lightly.

In fact, all of them were.

"TIMES UP, MAGGOTS! ALL SKIRMISHES ARE NOW TO BE ON HOLD!"

Sai stopped for a moment and looked around, apparently the whole place was rigged with cameras and speakers to boot.

Behind a set of screens were Anko, Kurenai, Chouza and Shikaku, all of them were assessing the trainees together and each of them had a few things to say.

"So, what do you think?" Anko asked with a grin and the three of them were looking each other before they gave their assessments.

"Better leader? An obvious choice, it's Shikamaru." Chouza remarked and Shikaku agreed, "Agreed. He's been training in delegating forces for the job. He's got an eye for ability and talent. The fact that the girls on Shikamaru's team were capable enough to hold off and actively stopped the infiltration team is a testament to his decision making ability." Chouza commented as Shikaku nodded at this. Kurenai looked thoughtful at this.

"Judgement does tend to be a good factor in deciding their competence as well."

Chouza agreed with this and said to Shikaku, "Which is why Sasuke, Shikamaru and Hinata are on your top of the list then?"

Shikaku nodded. Kurenai seemed to swell in pride for her student.

"They have made very good logical choices. Sasuke for deferring command to Shikamaru, Shikamaru for coming up with a backup plan after knowing that they were spread thin to defend and then Hinata for her foresight of actively searching for the evac point and ambushing Sai."

"But they were at an advantage, were they not?" Kurenai asked, playing devil's advocate and Shikaku nodded.

"That may be true, but advantage or no, the ability to recognize your shortcomings prior to engagement makes you an indispensable part of the planning phase. You'll be able to predict the outcome better if you knew the holes in your plans. Shikamaru knew that, Hinata knew that with the remaining time, the blue team would have to resort to extract the target to the designated point as they were all locked into a stalemate one way or another. And Sasuke knew that because he had foreseen that he would be locked in combat with Neji."

"What about Tenten, Lee and Shino?" Anko asked and they nodded as well, Kurenai gave her assessment "Tenten adjusted enough that she could finally take down opponents with a Hyuuga much different from Neji. She's a good support to have for long range and she kept Sakura from coming back to the center or looking for any injured on her side. I doubt that was intended, though. Sakura's main goal was to find the sniper once she was separated."

Chouza then added, "In regards to Lee, he's performed well under pressure, Chouji never expected Lee to withstand him that much and manages to keep Sai from helping Chouji and Ino."

"Shino had been vital and followed orders to the letter, he's a good teammate to have in situations such as this because he can get things done quicker when he's asked to. He also helped Shikamaru to come up with plans." Kurenai made that input and the other two nodded.

Shikaku remarked and then asked the other two, "A good observation. What about the other team?"

Kurenai answered, "Neji is obviously their best asset. He has taijutsu skill, a good tactician and came up with a solution once presented with what his team knows. He considers their input and comes up with a logical and sound strategy. He can see holes within the enemy's plan and accurately predicted that a three pronged attack would work. Unfortunately, they leave no room for improvisation once Kiba was knocked out, Sakura was separated from the center and Sasuke locking with Neji in combat. Ino was forced to be the one to aid Chouji, and the others, immediately seeing Chouji making strides in his advance, decided to push that line. It was ill advised that they use the distraction become the tip of the spear. But they did it anyway, which gave Shikamaru an opportunity to have his backup plan."

Shikaku then asked, "Best members of the blue team?"

It was Chouza who gave the assessment, "Neji, Sakura and Chouji."

"Like we said, Neji is a talented kid, he's a jounin for a reason the same as Sasuke is. Sakura, as the primary objective of a medic is to not be taken out, she prioritized her role as the premiere medic and kept herself safe as much as possible, but once separated from Chouji, instead of continuing on and ignoring the sniper's attacks, Sakura made the best choice to take down the sniper and THEN get back to assault the base seeing as Tenten would not stop unless she ran out of ammo. Chouji because it's obvious, isn't it? He made the most progress out of the group and was past the midpoint by the time Shikamaru had backed up Lee. It's impossible to get him to stop once he was fired up. His only mistake was not checking if Sakura was still with him or not. But I'm sure it'll pass." Kurenai mentioned.

Kakashi was going to have field day with this.

Once it was announced that the red team won, Anko then continued that the teams would be swapping places and that the blue team was now defending the city while the red team would be the one performing the assault.

However, they only managed to do this part of the training on the next day seeing as everyone was exhausted with this training exercise.

The next day, when the training exercise did happen, the blue team surprised everybody by winning against the red team on the defensive end. It was the fact that not only did they have the advantage of the terrain, they lasted longer due to Sakura and Ino healing the team and providing enough support for the others to repel their invaders. Instead of proactively whittling down the enemy force, the blue team decided to turtle and hunker down to keep the red team busy and obstruct their way to Fuu.

To Naruto's peers, it talked about the huge advantage of a defensive team during a siege that had enough supplies to last them for months.

Of course, when it came for their Jounin instructors to give their insights, Kakashi was the one who started celebrating as his students managed to reach the top twice!

Bragging rights were aplenty that day and Kakashi gloated his students like they were the second coming of the legendary Sannin.

If only Naruto would be part of that and he was going to make Gai dress in an apron and recite the whole Icha Icha book at town square like he did four months ago.

When it was time for a team briefing, the instructors allowed their students to meet with their Jounin leaders and they met somewhere they could have plenty of talk to have. To Kakashi, it was always near the monument meant for the those who died in service. Sakura and Sasuke usually met him there, Sai was there for the first time.

During the months of intensive war time drills, Sai was acquainted quite well with this group. They were diverse and inconsistent to Konoha's military doctrine by personality but when it came to actually dong Shinobi work, they were competent. Competent enough that they could even smack him around.

During his stay, he had come to know the many facets of the group. And it seemed even with their emotions intact, they still were competent shinobi, by far.

"I just wanted to say that you guys made me proud out there, damn proud." Kakashi said this and smiled beneath his mask.

"You've all grown so much that I think by the time Naruto comes back, you're all going to be even better. Speaking of which, he's due to return home in a few weeks. How many years has it been? Three years?" He continued as he turned to the newest member.

"Once Naruto comes home, where will you be, Sai?"

Sai merely gave a smile, "That seems to be up in the air, I think I'll be joining another team."

Sakura sighed at this, "Ino won't like that. She now has a buddy that would like to tear my hair out just because."

"Oh? I didn't know you were a masochist, Sakura."

The three men in the group were looking at Sakura wordlessly with Kakashi sliding a small step back.

"I swear, Sai, if ever there comes a time when you read the situation better…"

Sasuke shrugged a little and said, "Whatever."

"Whatever, duck face and ugly."

"SAI!"

Kakashi laughed and he looked at Sasuke and Sakura comparing them three years ago to now. They grew up and became better people. Circumstances couldn't have been better and they became motivated when Naruto was promoted.

A vision of his three students came to mind, the past bringing back not memories of sadness and death, but now of hope and redemption.

'You should hurry back, Naruto, see for yourself how much your teammates had improved and gone through.'


Myobokuzan:

A year has passed and Naruto and Jiraiya were about to set off. In that year, Naruto had learned the hardships of training in Senjutsu, he was clobbered too many times to count and fell off a cliff with the same amount. He had thought he was going to die with the same amount too. But he was glad that he was over that hurdle and could enter sage mode now. He had finished his sage training however incomplete as it was but that was going to improve over time. But the problem now was that he could only maintain Sage mode once because the Kyuubi couldn't allow 'Some filthy toads' to mix with his chakra.

Naruto thought that Kurama was being a dick on purpose.

Asura seemed to think so as well.

With that out of the way, Naruto could focus on perfecting sage mode, he still couldn't use it in battle but the fact that it was enough for now certainly hadn't put a damper to his spirits. Especially when he just started to learn about his dad's famous technique, Hiraishin no Jutsu

"Got everything you need?" Jiraiya asked and Naruto nodded.

Naruto grinned, "Yeah, so which portal is the way to Konoha again?"

Naruto asked his sensei who pointed to the one on the far left.

"Naruto-chan! I know there were a lot of difficult roadblocks you had to go through but Ma and I think you've been our best student yet! At least as good as Jiraiya-chan was!" Fukasaku yelled at Naruto as he waved goodbye to his student.

Naruto gave the two toads a salute and said, "Thanks, Ma and Pa! Being compared as a good student like Ero-sennin here is a real honor!"

Jiraiya swelled with pride at this.

"Just make sure to keep that whipper snapper out of trouble! And find him a wife that could at least bring some discipline in him, he's practically a middle-aged teenager!" Ma then added.

Jiraiya dropped his head in shame.

"Ma, Pa! I am a responsible adult! I'm the one with the important job here!"

Both Ma and Pa looked at each other and Ma shouted back, "Ya' get to be an adult when ya' stop with yer vices! Naruto-chan is less than half your age and he doesn't have yer stupid ass hobbies!"

"Language, Ma!" Fukusaku reprimanded his wife while Shima turned back to her husband and shouted at him as well, "I talk about what I want, ya' old coot!"

"Who's an old coot, ya old coot! I was raising tadpoles when you went out and had parties!"

"Ya got that mixed up ya senile fart!"

"I'm senile, now? Really?"

"Let's just go, kid, the more we stay here the more we'll get caught with their arguments." Jiraiya sighed in exasperation. He had to deal with this when he was younger, he's certainly still dealing with this now.

Naruto had nodded and went to the pool that Jiraiya was pointing at and shouted filled with enthusiasm in his voice.

"Alright back to the village it is! Next stop, Konoha and Ichiraku ramen!"

He hadn't had Ichiraku for three years and three years is a long drought of Ramen for one Uzumaki Naruto.

Naruto made the leap first and Jiraiya soon followed.

There was no place like home, as they say.

Konoha:

Outside the village, two men exited a small pond with a toad statue about the height of a normal human's knee.

The first, a blonde boy with whisker marks on his face, with hair growing out wildly as his blue eyes looked on in wonder to the familiar red walls of his village. He wore a green red long haori with short sleeves reaching to his knees, with black flame designs at the hem and at the edge of his sleeves, underneath his red haori was a flak vest that covered his orange long sleeve shirt that was all black at the sleeves, his pants were all black reaching just above the angles with his sandals in the same color. His forearms were covered by a dark blue pair of arm and hand guards and his neck was covered by his supposed forehead protector now with a black cloth and tied neatly behind his neck as a pair of goggles now rested on his forehead. At his lower back and placed horizontally was a wakizashi, a small sword with a red saya, and tied at the hand guard was a purple rope meticulously tied in different knots and a single fuuda dangling at its base. Tied behind his back was a wooden board about as long as his leg and thigh and just about a little thicker with countless seals written with his back large backpack covering it.

And soon, the other man emerged with long and unruly white hair tied to a ponytail and wearing a red haori over his green kimono.

"Three years, Ero-sennin! We were gone for three years! Time flies when you've got a lot to do and a lot to see!"

Naruto said with a grin, he couldn't wait to see everybody now. Jiraiya seemed like he was relieved that it was finally over.

"Three long years… This training, after all that shit we just went through, all of the things we discovered, Sage of Six Paths, am I glad this is all over."

Naruto seemed to agree with the perverted sage at that.

They made their way to the entrance by the southern gate. Izumo and Kotetsu, who happened to be the guards at that time, had looked over to the two gentlemen walking towards the gate as they greeted both Jiraiya and Naruto.

"Finally back, eh, Naruto-san?"

Naruto made a fist and grinned at them both, "You bet!"

The two chuunin noted the height of their query and were surprised that the boy that they once knew as the runt of the group was now at least as tall as Sasuke now.

"Looks like puberty was mighty kind to you, Naruto-san. Here to see the Hokage?"

Jiraiya was the one who answered, "Yep, looks like it's going to be quite a discussion when we enter."

As they entered the village itself, Naruto couldn't help but notice the monument just beyond the horizon, Tsunade's face was added just after the face of the Yondaime. Naruto whistled and said, "Took them a while."

Jiraiya nodded at this, "With what she has to deal with having her face carved on that mountain should be the least of her worries."

Naruto agreed to that. It seemed like forever since he saw Tsunade and his peers.

"Naruto, is that you?" A voice had interrupted his reminiscing when he caught sight of his teammate.

"Sakura! You've grown! I haven't seen you since forever!"

Naruto grinned in seeing one of his friends. Sakura had grown much from what he could tell. She was tall, but not as tall as him. She was wearing her civilian clothes for now being off duty and noticed the one behind her was a black and red clad shinobi with that duck butt hairstyle of his.

"Sasuke! How are you? Wait, what are you two doing?"

Sakura looked beside her and pointed to Sasuke, "Oh, we were just heading out to eat. Kakashi-sensei just dismissed us from a meeting and we're thinking of eating out before we go home. We happened to think of some ramen before we go."

Naruto looked at the two jealously and streams of water was leaking out from his eyes.

"Damn, I wish I could go with you guys but I've got a report to make to the Hokage before I could have a bite! This sucks!"

"Stupid, priorities first, remember? Also, I'm now higher ranking than you, eat it, dobe."

Sasuke answered with a that smug of his and Naruto looked like he was grinding his teeth at it.

"Three years, bastard! I was gone for three years! Don't worry, by the time I walk through those doors, the Hokage is going to give me my promotion, just you wait!"

Sasuke gave a small chuckle at this, "As if that's going to happen. I'm going to watch you cry when the Hokage rejects your delusions then."

"Oh? Naruto, you just arrived! Glad to see you in one piece." Kakashi said this as the man jumped from the roof and landed in front of the blonde.

"Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto grinned at the man and his Jounin instructor smiled back.

"Aren't you the chipper one. I'm happy to see that you still are a bit happy go lucky."

Naruto then remembered something and set down his bag as he grabbed a book from it and handed it over to Kakashi.

"I've got you a present, sensei! It's the newest book made by Ero-sennin!"

Kakashi looked down and his single visible eye widened in surprise. Angels appeared from the heavens and its holy light shone upon the grace of the golden throne, as the gods have gifted upon Kakashi, its most holy treasure.

It was a copy of the new Icha Icha Tactics.

Kakashi's hand trembled as he reached for the book shaking in absolute astonishment as he held it for the first time.

"This… This is…"

His voice quivered.

"Yeah, I had to read the manuscript from Ero-Sennin. I don't know what's the big deal with this book anyways, I found it boring."

"Naruto, did I ever mention that you are my favorite student?" Kakashi said this as he read a sample of the incredibly austere writing and cried in absolute tears of joy.

Jiraiya however, found Naruto's comments about his books insulting.

"Hah! As if a brat like you could appreciate such fine art! A man of culture knows when to look for good material! Those magazines can never compare to my books! Never!"

In the middle of Jiraiya's rant, Tsunade had appeared just behind the man with a glare that could turn even the most hardened shinobi to stone.

" .YA!"

Naruto and Jiraiya stiffened and stood straight as a pole as Tsunade was glaring at them both. Her tone of voice screamed of bloody murder as she pointed to the office.

"MY OFFICE. NOW."

Boy, imagine what Tsunade would do when Naruto was going to drop another bomb in the office. Maybe he could give the woman a slip and let Jiraiya handle all the fallout. This was payback for almost marrying him off!


To be continued to book Three…

Okay, as promised, before I go to book three, I'm going to make a list of abilities and jutsu that each member of the cast has just for the audience to keep track of what our protagonists can do.

Team Seven

Uzumaki Naruto- Power wise, Naruto is a living battery that almost never runs out, his greatest asset is that his wide chakra pool allows for very strenuous techniques that would otherwise leave a normal human exhausted or dead. His skill is no slouch either, at heart, his Taijutsu is more of a freestyle form of movement that allows creativity in dealing with enemies. His shadow clones allow him to cover for his openings that allows Naruto to freely move himself and come up with strategies to take down enemies quick. Due to his status as a jinchuuriki, he is stronger than average and faster than average as well, with reaction times that could put an unskilled Uchiha to shame. His genjutsu ability is near zero, he relies more on his Ninjutsu and Taijutsu.

His Ninjutsu list are as follows.

Kage Bunshin no Jutsu

Fuuton: Tenrin

Fuuton: Ura Tenhin Kazahana

Fuuton: Kuukanzangeki

Rasengan

Fuuton: Rasengan

Kuchiyose no Jutsu

Fuuton: Hien

Unnamed Fuinjutsu-Fuuton jutsu

Unnamed Fuuton Jutsu

Bunshin Daibakuha

Fuinjutsu specialist

Incomplete sage training

Uchiha Sasuke- a very much improved version of Sasuke who can do just about anything Canon Sasuke can with a little improvement. He can use blaze release this early on and his skill with the blade is better, he can also use Shisui's Sunshin no Jutsu and then some. His Jutsu list are as follows

Katon: Goukakyou no Jutsu

Katon: Housenka no Jutsu

Katon: Gouryuka no jutsu

Chidori

Chidori Nagashi

Chidori Eisou

Kirin

Enton: Bakuseika

Mangekyou Sharingan

Kuchiyose no Jutsu

Shisui's Shunshin no Jutsu

Haruno Sakura- This Sakura isn't just a monster in the power department, she's also a skilled swords user, taking to heart lessons about a former swordswoman of the mist, Sakura has learned a fighting style foreign from Konoha. With this much improvement in her overall skill, she is more precise and accurate as a medic as well, as discipline was placed on her before meeting Tsunade. Her style relies on quick and twitchy movements. As a medic, her skill is not without praise as she is hailed as the second coming of Tsunade herself along with her legendary temper.

Sakura's jutsu list as follows:

Oukasho

Mankai: Oukasho

Shosen no jutsu

Soryu no Kajo

Soryu no Kajo Kamitsuku

Genjutsu: Rokubuso no Shisai

Mie no Tsumibukai Seishitsu

Kuchiyose no Jutsu

Unnamed Doton Jutsu

Unnamed Katon Jutsu

Team Eight

Inuzuka Kiba- Kiba is a fan favorite in canon. Kiba has the speed and agility to perform high maneuver techniques if there is a need of it. To improve upon this, Akamaru gets the biggest update as not only taller and thus more powerful, but also now with armor to withstand attacks made to him. Kiba gets the upgrade of the knife Musai Setsudan-ki via weapons summoning. The knife allows Kiba to conceal his presence making him almost invisible to the naked eye. However, this ability only works if you are not aware of him. The weakness is that if Kiba is noticed, the effectivity of this jutsu is lessened. Leaving Kiba Vulnerable to attack.

Kiba's jutsu list for now:

Tsuuga

Gatsuuga

Katon: Goukakyou no Jutsu

Katon: Housenka no Jutus

Entenga

Soutourou

Garouga

Migi Buso: Yaiba

Kuchiyose no Jutsu

Hyuuga Hinata- Another fan favorite and was elevated due to popularity. Hinata's taijutsu is improved here by leaps and bounds as she can perform the Kaiten, I've expanded further into her mother's clan with some original jutsu but it mostly pertains to her ability to summon the Shitenno (Four guardian gods) to aid her in battle. This specific brand of summons has the unique ability to synchronize with the summoner. In that the summoner can absorb the powers of Shitenno and allow her to use their abilities.

Hinata's jutsu:

Hakke Kuusho

Hakke Sanjuunisho

Hakkesho Kaiten

Shugohakke Rokujuuyonsho

Kuchiyose no Jutsu

Shitenno: Nishi no Seiritsu: Byakko

Senkousho

Byakko no Takashio

Aburame Shino- Alright, I have to address this now, many of the plot points I had for Shino did not come to pass much especially in his early focus about his family and the dealings that had to happen with Danzo, it's still there and will come to head once Konoha does confront him. But for now, it's to establish that Shino isn't just a levelheaded kid with emotionless logic, he has feelings just as much as anyone here and has to overcome the problem of being ignored (even if for gags). I think Fuu will help with that. Also, for his improvement, a lot may assume that Shino did not improve much and I'll say that he did when off-screen, especially on Taijutsu I've wanted to improve the rest of Naruto's peers but I think that I may have placed the focus too much on them and almost left Naruto behind. But he is implied to have been training as well and his Kuchiyose abilities are still to be opened.

Shino's Jutsu:

Kikaichu

Mushi Bunshin

Mushi Jamingu

Unnamed Raiton Jutsu

Mushidama

Kuchiyose no Jutsu

Team Ten

Nara Shikamaru – For Team Ten, I always envisioned them as the Knight, the Mage and the Thief with the thief being Shikamaru. He has more emphasis on agility, short sword usage and Doton Jutsu to extend the range of his shadow manipulation skills. He also has been starting to learn how to use his shadow past just his Kagenui. His shunshin ability is just below Sasuke's ability although He can't reproduce the after images, Shikamaru's Shunshin is described to be quiet and silent, as if vanishing completely without herald.

Shikamaru's Jutsu:

Kagemane no Jutsu

Kage Kubi Shibari no Jutsu

Kagenui no Jutsu

Kageheki no Jutsu

Doton: Chikyu no Sento

Yamanaka Ino – The magus of the trio. With her learning under three branches, she can certainly keep start being a mind walker. Given her understanding of the mind, she should have the ability to plant suggestions in it, therefore she has genjutsu to supplement her abilities. Along with this, she has combined her training with the sword with her illusions. In part three, my plan is to let her shine just as much as I did with Tenten, Hinata and Sakura

Ino's Jutsu:

Shintenshin no Jutsu

Shinranshin no Jutsu

Shosen no Jutsu

Magen: Hyakka Ryoran

Genjutsu-Kenjutsu skill

Akimichi Chouji- The knight of the trio, Chouji is built to tank. I've made Chouji like a tank and he can endure a lot of damage so I had to increase his endurance and stamina as well as training with his father with bojutsu. Learning a thing or two from the monks made Chouji a little bit ascetic. He has forgone eating chips in favor of something less destructive. He has learned to reign in on his temper, somewhat but once he does get angry, very few people can actually stop him. Even Neji would have to get serious to stop Chouji.

Chouji's Jutsu:

Bubun Baika no Jutsu

Chou Baika no Jutsu

Choudan Bakugeki

Nikudan Harisensha

Kuppo

Katon: Endan

Team Gai

Rock Lee: In order for Lee to keep up with his peers, he not only has to improve his speed, but also create more options. Taijutsu is a branch of the Shinobi arts that was absolutely vital by the end of the series and Rock Lee needs to have more options than the gates, while powerful and OP, leaves little room for else. Even Gai can do jutsu, so why can't Lee? In order to compensate for this, Lee has learned how to use other Taijutsu styles. Currently, he has three and those three will probably be all that he needs against his enemies. Gokken, Rakanken and Suiken

Lee's Techniques (In order to compensate, instead of doing Ninjutsu, Lee will have Taijutsu maneuvers and techniques):

Konoha Senpuu

Konoha Shofuu

Omote Renge

Ura Renge

Dynamic Entry

Kongosho

Genryuken

Bakuryuuken

Senju Kanon

Hachimon

Hyuuga Neji: Another Taijutsu specialist. Hyuuga Neji's bases are above average signifying his genius status, but aside from that, beyond Jyuuken, he has little else. So in order to improve that, I've made him upgrade with his Raiton abilities to "push the jyuuken" to greater heights. I've improved his speed and his delivery of jutsu making him the pinnacle of Taijutsu that is worth surmounting by Lee.

Neji's Jutsu:

Raisho

Hakke Kuusho

Hakke Shiten kuusho

Hakkesho Kaiten

Hakke Rokujuuyon sho

Kanmuru

Denko Sekka

Shippu Jinrai

Tenten- Tenten is an interesting case, she knows a lot of bukijutsu but apart from that and her aim, she has no jutsu that could stand out. You could say that she's a jack of all trades but a master of none. So to improve upon that, you have to look at very exotic weaponry that could have an impact against the enemy. If no named Kumo Shinobi can do it, then someone like Tenten surely can too. It's unfortunate that her upgrade came with the Bashosen, a weapon she was entirely unqualified for. So let's compensate that with something a little bit different.

Tenten's arsenal and Jutsu:

Suiginto

Suiginto: Amenbo (Mercurial Blade: Water Strider)

Gurenjigoku

Akisazame

Akisazame: Hien Renzokuzan

Unnamed Axe

Unnamed Spear

Kokuzo Bosatsu Juu Tetsu dan

Tsukishiro

Chishiomaru and Kuraimaru

Chishiomaru: Shinkusatsu

Sanzuryukon

Shinkyu

Unnamed Kusarigama

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