Anko Mitarashi was hard at work. Her office was Spartan except for sealing arrays scattered throughout the walls and floor, an office table and desk with chair, and an operating table. Sitting in the chair with snakes coiled tightly to secure him, Mizuki tried to summon all the courage and strength he could to not flinch or show fear. He knew he was in the Torture and Interrogate Department of Konoha and many talked of the horrors this department brought.
"I smell Orochi-baka's handiwork…" Anko called out from the shadows.
Mizuki didn't react to her, but he couldn't help but cry out when her snake bit into his neck.
"Tsk the poison of a reject like you can't do jack shit thanks to my body mods!" Mizuki defended. True enough a clear liquid shot out of the wound in his neck.
"Oh that silly body mod again? That would make you just one of his bottom bitches." Anko pointed out before slowly caressing one of Mizuki's arms.
"If there is one thing rejects like me have a nasty obsession over. It's the people and things those who rejected us take their time to choose. That Orochi-baka hadn't mass produced this jutsu when I was around." Anko began to reminisce all the while lightly pulling on the pinned down rouge nin's arms.
"This jutsu you are so proud of. It is one of Orochi-baka's personal jutsu. To mass produce it, he has to inject some of his own Chakra into you. The drawback is the extension on your part is quite acidic." Anko hissed while pulling his arms to the point they began to physically strain when extended.
Mizuki wanted to cry out, but found his voice had left him. He couldn't move, but he could still feel things!
"Orochi-baka's Chakra will force yours to fuel the jutsu even at the cost of your own limbs!" Anko declared before she ripped the appendages off with sheer strength and over extension!
Mizuki could only stare in sheer horror at the massively bleeding stumps he once called arms! Medic-nin came rushing in to stabilize him while Anko decided to go cool off in the showers.
Waiting for the showers to heat up, Anko begrudgingly rubbed her curse mark and waited to see if that familiar voice and surge of pain returned. The private bathroom filled with steam before the Snake Mistress came to her senses and let the hot water boil away her woes. Why did she subject herself to every case that even remotely involved him? Why did his curse mark torment her to the day? When would she be free?
Washing away the blood of one of his flunkies just didn't feel the same. None of them could hope to compare. Anko sighed and shook her head, which flung water everywhere. Hey she got to rid her thoughts of him and get water out of her hair; who said dogs didn't have the right idea.
Drying off and getting dressed, Anko went to check on the status of their newest prisoner, but was stopped by Ibiki of all people. "Oh don't lecture me about extreme force or whatever. You would have paralyzed his spine. At least he can walk my way."
"No lecture is needed. People sent here know not to expect mercy. No I am here to take over the case. Hokage-sama has called for you regarding a mission directly from him." Ibiki related to the Snake Mistress.
That got Anko's interest piqued. A mission directly from the Hokage and not through the mission log meant the ranking was at least B rank and the price for those were nice in themselves. With a shrug, the Snake Mistress left in a burst of speed and leaves via a Body Flicker jutsu.
"Anko had to take all the fun. I doubt I can physically break him anymore than she has. I'll just have to give him to Inoichi for some mental breaking." Ibiki prioritized the case off to someone more suited for interrogating mentally…
In a swirl of leaves, popping party fare balloon, and a banner that read 'The Sensual Anko Mitarashi!' the purple pineapple haired woman made a showy entrance!
"You wanted to see me, Hokage-sama?" Anko asked with a toothy smirk.
"Ah yes, Anko-chan. I have a S rank mission for you." The Third Hokage declared while restocking his pipe.
Hearts shot out of the Snake Mistress' eyes as the words S Rank completely charmed her into a little dance. S ranks were not only the highest ranked and thus paid the most, but she was just one S Rank away from a promotion! Special Jonin of T&I into a full Jonin!
Naruto actually snorted at the idea of his probation being a S rank. Even he knew most S ranks were long term and there was no way such a mission could take longer than a month or two. Right?
The Third tossed Anko a black scroll with a gold binding. She gladly caught it and unraveled it to see the details of her mission. Seeing her cheery face go to a scornful frown then to eye bulging disbelief and finally to drooling was comical to say the least.
"May I ask why such a high price for what is basically babysitting? Even if it is the Kyūbi kid." Anko asked.
"It's Naruto Uzumaki." Naruto corrected.
"I believe in Naruto's Will of Fire, but there is a Darkness in the Shinobi world that may see this event as a sign Naruto is easily influenced. I would feel better if I had more of a closer eye on him from now on." The Third explained.
"Works for me. So I just give this to the treasury and I'll get that in monthly payments or one lump sum?" Anko asked.
The Third explained since the mission is indefinite the treasury had already been informed and would pay her accordingly. With the mission accepted, they were both dismissed and the Hokage was left alone to his musings.
On his desk were the team placements for the recent graduates of the Academy. Teams 1-6 would be filled with the more basic graduates with C rank Jonin, like Ebisu, instructing them. Teams 10-16, 16-22, and 22-28 were still active and thankfully didn't need any replacement Genin.
That left team numbers 7-9 inactive and most in need of filling. The Jonin for each were tricky in their own rights. Each one capable and some easily A rank Jonin, if they weren't limited by their own personal demons. Kakashi Hatake of Team 7 never let anyone claim the number and yet never passed any Genin sent his way. He was easily an A rank Shinobi, though his emotional turmoil has dulled him to a B rank.
Kurenai Yūhi was a recently promoted Jonin, who ranked a solid B. She had tried to be a Jonin Sensei before, but her inability to help her previous Genin with Genjutsu has made her hesitant to take on another. The Third was sure the only reason she was putting in her bid was because Hinata Hyūga had graduated and would need a Jonin Sensei. The Hokage thought of such a team as hyper focused on everything but the one area Kurenai aced.
Each member of Team 8 would be from a clan if the team was made up of Hinata, Kiba Inuzuka, and Shino Aburame. Tracking would be the team's specialty, but most of her Genin would receive training from their clans. Kurenai would need a Genin to help her overcome her self induced shame. Kakashi needed a team to help pull him out of his depression over his old team. That left his son, Asuma Sarutobi. The rebellious Jonin who went to become a Guardian Shinobi for the Fire Daimyo.
After Biwako's death, the two Sarutobi fought over the traditions of clans. Asuma wished to leave the Leaf to explore the temples of the monks. Hiruzen wanted him to stay to train a generation of Ino-Shika-Cho formation as the Sarutobi clan had done for generations. Funny how things tended to work out. In the end, Asuma got to live out his passion and Hiruzen got his son to train the next Ino-Shika-Cho.
The team placements were made up of suggestions from the instructors based on grades, recommendations from the Academy Sensei based on the skills of the Genin and the Jonin themselves, and finalized by the Hokage. Suggestions and recommendations were nice for professors to have to form informed decisions, but the final say is on him and his say was only slightly different…
Naruto walked from the Academy, where the Hokage's office/Administration office was, to the gate that would lead him to the Uzumaki Mask Shrine. He expected Anko to slither in the shadows out of sight. Nope. She just walked next to him with her hands behind her head and whistling a tune.
"You could at least try to hide and observe me from afar. Aren't you here to see if I'm still loyal to the village?" Naruto asked more than a little hurt and offended.
"Nah. I have a knack for getting people to open up for me. Besides is it really so crazy to think you might go rouge? It isn't like this village has been the nicest place." Anko pointed out while seeing the mistrustful looks she received.
"I'm not saying it doesn't make sense. I'm just mad no one seems to know me besides the Old Man. He knows I would never betray the Leaf..." Naruto huffed.
"Right… You sure did convince me." Anko snorted.
"Despite all the bull crap, this village has so much life. It just… Has so much hope and potential; I can't give up on that." Naruto stated in a rare moment of maturity.
"That one was better. Where are we headed anyway?" Anko asked curiously.
"To the Uzumaki Mask Shrine. It is the only part of my clan left and I want to go there to try to learn as much as possible." Naruto answered.
"Yeah I bet as an orphan getting to know anything about where you come from is too compelling to ignore. I've heard of that place; real shit show. I wonder if I can get in if you escort me in." Anko thought aloud.
"Look just because you're apart of my probation doesn't mean you get to go EVERYWHERE I go. I do need some privacy after all." Naruto stated.
"I suppose you are of age. Wouldn't having a sexy lady around help you in your private time?" Anko leered much to the reddening of Naruto's face.
"I don't mean that! I would never do that in the shrine; not with the Uzumaki spirits watching…" Naruto said under his breath, but Anko just smirked.
"In that case, I have to be escorted in to make sure no spirits possess you or anything."Anko jested with her tongue sticking out at him.
"You doubt me? Alright fine I will see what I can do about you being allowed in." Naruto promised.
In truth, Anko didn't doubt him completely. The Yamanaka could send their consciousness into other beings to control them. She once came across a summoning that remained active even beyond its summoner's death. Stranger things can and have happened in the Shinobi World and she knew of the Uzumaki longevity.
The two walked out of the village and into the outskirts. Once they reached the shrine, Anko walked through the gates and felt a weight start to build on her. She followed Naruto into the inner shrine and once she was near the ornate wall the weight brought her to her knees! There was an overwhelming presence inside the shrine that seemed to ooze a deadly aura. Naruto made a clone, who placed a mask on and went stiff as green Chakra began to whirl and howl around him before settling inside the clone.
"Hmm. Well you could stand to do worst than bonding with a Special Jonin." The possessed Clone stated.
"I actually have a few questions for you, Old Man Uzumaki, but could you make it so Anko can enter the shrine unhindered?" Naruto requested.
"Not like I have anything else to do. If she wants to be allowed to enter without the seals effecting her all she needs to do is bond with an Uzumaki." Ashina stated.
"Bonds to an Uzumaki are sources of strength and worth. We form bonds through shared memories. A custom being two Uzumaki place a memory transcript seal on one another to truly see the other's life through their eyes."Ashina explained.
"If it gets this pressure off, I'll show him the time I lost my virginity. Wasn't as bad as people make it out to be. You just have to…" Anko started getting lewd to try to get her mind off the increasing weight.
"Let's keep this PG-13. I'll make the seals needed. Just don't go anywhere until then." Ashina remarked.
"Are you sure you aren't just a Naruto clone pranking me? If I didn't know any better I'd say you were being a smart ass." Anko stated.
"It hadn't occurred to me, but I suppose you can't really go anywhere anyway." Ashina shrugged and went off to make the seal tags.
Even in the decayed state of the shrine, sealing supplies could still be found in bulk supply thanks to generations of visiting Uzumaki. It became a custom, before the Clan Downfall, to add your own stocks of sealing paper, Chakra-infused ink, and calligraphy brushes of various sizes and shapes into a seal and place the seal somewhere for other Uzumaki to try to find.
"So for one of your memories, I want to see one of you with your old Genin team. It can be anything from a mission to a hangout." Naruto requested.
"Hmm. Alright, but I want an embarrassing memory of you. Maybe one before your time in the Academy." Anko offered.
Naruto growled, but didn't outright reject the offer. He really wanted to have some experience with a Genin team. Just to see how one worked so he could have a better idea what to expect. Maybe he wouldn't have to be a complete idiot if he had at least an idea what was going on. In the end he decided to agree and made sure to have one in mind.
Soon Ashina returned with the seal tags and began the ritual of memory exchange. Using up all the clones Chakra, it went poof as the tags glowed to life and transcribed memories between the two! Anko saw the memory of a red scarf and how Naruto got beat up trying to come to the aid of the Hyūga Heiress. She saw how he saw her be dragged away and told never to go near him. Naruto saw Anko as a Genin, but she was younger than he was at the time.
She was a member of Team Orochimaru along with Tanoshī Tsurī and Tesuto Kenmai. Naruto saw them participating in a Chunin Exam in a place called the Forest of Death. Their team was going against a younger Ibiki Morino, Hayate Gekkō, and Tokara. Tanoshī clashed his tanto with Hayate's katana in swordplay that showed boths skill with their blades. Tokara used the water gourd on his back to use Water release jutsu against Tesuto's Fire release jutsu.
That left Anko to clash with Ibiki. Unleashing her snake jutsu against his 'Lady Luck' themed summoning jutsu. With but a flip of a coin and the odds in his favor, Anko would find herself having to dodge anything from a giant coin, to iron maiden styled neyo cat that tried to bury her deep underground. It was not a battle one ever forgot…
Anko felt the sweet release from the weight and sighed in relief. Seeing Naruto's memories made her job seem a little less like a chore. She found herself curious about his life and what he thought of her Chunin Exam. Naruto had gained respect for Anko. He didn't really pay too much attention in class, so he had no real idea who Orochimaru was, but the way each member of the team seemed to play off each other and seemed to cover the other's bases was oddly welcoming.
With that in mind, he tried to think of who would best cover his bases. He prayed it wasn't Sasuke since that emo raven death lord would sooner let him die than cover him. He hoped Sakura was on his team. Maybe time away from Sasuke would help her see how awesome he was. Ino was a gossip little bitch so he hoped she wasn't. Shikamaru or Chōji would be cool to have on a team; especially together. Kiba? Nah he's a prick. Shino? Too quiet. Hinata? Eh she probably hated him or thought he wasn't worth her time.
He shook his head to get focused. There was a bloodline limit among the Uzumaki men and he needed to know more about it!
"Hey Old Man Uzumaki!" Naruto called out looking for the mask after it used up his clone and seemingly disappeared.
"I'm back in my spot, Naruto." Ashina called out. Naruto rubbed his head sheepishly before he got serious.
"What do you know about the Uzumaki Bloodline Limits called Chakra Chains and Chakra Gates?" Naruto asked it.
Anko decided to just listen since she could actually hear the mask herself; again stranger things have happened. She had read in the mission report that Naruto was from the Uzumaki clan and a briefing on the clan itself. The only Uzumaki she ever knew was Kushina thanks to Kakashi. Unlike most others back in the Third Shinobi World War, Kushina just had this fiery cheer to her. She would even smile in the battlefield chains restraining dozens of enemy Shinobi. Missions with her were always a blast! In a way, Anko modeled herself more from her than Orochi-baka.
"To think Kushina-Senpai had a kid all this time… I mean I knew they had the same surname, but the hair threw me off. She always said Uzumaki had red hair…" Anko thought internally.
"I know more of the female variant of of Kekkai Genkai than the male. Chakra Chains as you so casually call it are known as Kongō Fūsa or Adamantine Sealing Chains." Ashina explained.
"Each user of this fuinjutsu variant had their own unique brand to it. My wife had the variant and she could add her Fire Release affinity to it; called it Hellfire Sealing Chains." Ashina spoke proudly of his variant wife.
"Adamantine users have extremely durable chains that can bind and restrain even the most mighty of foe; it is considered the strongest in terms of sealing and barrier fuinjutsu." Ashina explained.
"Sounds like the Chakra Chains was more common at some point. Given how few there are now though… Do you know anything of the Chakra Gates?" Naruto asked wanting to know more.
"You mean Yamatsumi, or Spirit Dwelling within a Mountain. Adamantine Sealing Chains are a result of a female Uzumaki using her advanced chakra control to manipulate her own Chakra into the shape of chains." Ashina explained.
"Yamatsumi is a result of a male Uzumaki using his massive Chakra reserves to make seals with pure Chakra instead of having to use chakra ink and chakra paper to make seal tags." Ashina explained.
"Whoa you made it sound way cooler than being an advanced storage seal." Naruto remarked.
"Yamatsumi was a rarity even in the Warring Clan era. The mountain represents the Uzumaki and the Spirit within being your Chakra. The mountain houses the Spirit until it is ready to send itself outward to be requested and ultimately accepted by the outer world." Ashina recited.
"OK… So… What I get from that is Chakra is inside me and is just waiting to come out and be used on awesome jutsu and seals!" Naruto deciphered.
"… Yeah… Sure. Anyway, I did not possess Yamatsumi. I was aware of it and even know of an Uzumaki enshrined here who had it and was known as the greatest of the Uzumaki thanks to his mastery of it." Ashina explained.
"Now that sounds interesting. So he was like the Madara of the Uzumaki?" Anko asked.
A question Anko soon regretted when the overwhelming force seemed to magnify times 10!
"Do not speak of that Lunatic Uchiha in this shrine! We Uzumaki separated from our brethren the Senju to escape his and Hashirama's feud. It was the most bloody of the Senju-Uchiha feud…" Ashina declared before lifting the seals at play.
"Alright… No need to be so rough; I'm more into a gentle touch myself." Anko purred.
"Can I talk to this Uzumaki? My mom had the Adamantine Sealing Chains so maybe I could have a higher chance ya know?" Naruto asked.
"If you cannot hear him, then it is not your time to speak to him. We Uzumaki speak with our seals and a rite of passage for an Uzumaki is to be able to talk with our seals and Chakra alone. You can hear me because I value the basics." Ashina pointed out.
"Unlike other Uzumaki, I will talk to any Uzumaki who at least knows what a storage seal is. It is my goal to help young Uzumaki learn the basics of seals and unlock the culture and legacy of the Uzumaki." Ashina informed them.
Naruto pouted but accepted the situation for the moment. Ashina didn't say it was impossible to talk to the Uzumaki spirit who had the Chakra Gates Bloodline limit. He merely stated he lacked the skill to do so at the moment; nothing some training couldn't fix.
"With that said, it is time to start you on the path of the Uzumaki and the first step is truly learning what the Kage Bunshin no jutsu can really do." Ashina explained.
The genius of the Shadow Clone jutsu was its versatility. Truly one of the 2nd Hokage's crowning jutsu. First Ashina had Naruto summon 12 Shadow Clones and asked how making that many made him feel. When Naruto responded with he didn't feel any different or drain on his Chakra reserves, Ashina decided to put the 1st wave to work. He possessed one of the clones and began making 3 kind of seal tags he wanted the remaining 11 to practice.
"Why are you having my clones practice making seals? Wouldn't it take too long for them to get good penmanship?" Naruto asked not seeing the point in not having him do the work.
"How is it that we read the same scroll and yet you still haven't even scratched the surface of this jutsu? This jutsu allows your clones to transfer any experiences they learned back to you when they are dispelled." Ashina sighed deeply.
Naruto still didn't understand completely but he figured if he had Shadow Clones at least start the work he could always finish it himself afterwards.
While they did that, Ashina instructed Naruto to make double the amount he just made and soon 24 more clones puffed into existence. Ashina had 12 clones practice weaving hand seals and the other 12 untie their hands from a series of binding rope supplied by and done by Anko. Ashina kept Naruto summoning more and more clones until finally the teen felt fatigued at around 1,000 clones! Narutos filled the shrine to the brim to the point a lot of them had to wait outside. Ashina was both amazed and thrilled at the blonde Jinchūriki massive reserves and having so many Narutos to speed up his training.
Once the 1,000 clones were split into 83 groups of 12, Ashina went about giving each group a basic task to do that followed either the Uzumaki way of training with seals or just skills he thought would benefit Naruto the most. Not wanting to be left out, Anko agreed to help with a sick glee.
"Alright so I was thinking 13 of the groups should work on trying to escape from various bindings. Tell me Anko-san, what binding tools do you have at your disposal?" Ashina asked, but the sheer gaze of excitement Anko had at the question was troubling to say the least.
"The real question is what binding tools DON'T I have on my person. The answer to that is just seal tag bindings. I have rope, steel wire, steel cables, iron wire, iron cables, handcuffs, leashes, oh! Of course I have ball gags too; I even have butt plugs for those who need a little more incentive to talk." Anko went through her jacket as she listed off all she could find in the many pockets of her jacket.
"I feel the ball gag and butt plug won't be necessary…" Ashina sweatdropped.
"Alright on the butt plug, but the ball gags go in their mouths. You're not gonna ask me to bind these guys and not gag them too." Anko stated.
The Naruto clones that were grouped in the unfortunate group assigned to Anko all turned a deep shade of fearful blue and all ran as fast and far away from the crazed Snake Mistress as the possibly could.
"Oh I love it when they run…" Anko smirked with rope in hand at the ready.
Try as they might, none of the 156 clones could escape Anko and her Body Flickers. She made catching and binding them seem too easy and simple. She dusted off her hands for a job well done, before Ashina tasked her with practicing shuriken and kunai training with the real Naruto. The blonde Jinchūriki soon discovered with each popped clone, he would not only get some of its Chakra added back to his own, but he got their memories as well. It also seemed the other clones would too.
Each bond clone that struggled until they dispelled gave their brethren new insight into what didn't work to escape the expert bindings. When Naruto asked why weren't the other couple hundred weren't also practicing with kunai and shuriken, Ashina responded by showing him that the other clones had their own tasks. Aside from those who were bond, you had those who were still practicing the 3 different seals, some were working on their calligraphy, some were practicing deflecting kunai and senbon thrown by Anko, who could not be happier she had so many clones to pop!
It was a grueling day for Naruto. In that one day alone he felt like he had trained more and harder than he ever did by himself. Come nightfall, Naruto bid Ashina farewell and made his way to his apartment back in Konoha with Anko following at his side. With the Team Selections being a week away, the blonde Jinchūriki was determined to get as strong as he could so that his Genin rank was not called into question. He would finally get to be a Shinobi and he wouldn't let anything stop him!
Naruto wasn't the only one getting in as much practice as he could before team placement. Sasuke had waited literal years for the opportunity to become a Genin and be that much closer to achieving his ambition. Becoming a Genin meant he didn't have to be lumped in with a large group of weaklings and people who would only hold him back. He stood in a target range in the Uchiha compound. The targets were all littered with kunai and shuriken stuck in the bullseye or near it.
Sasuke scoffed at the display; knowing Itachi could easily do better while blindfolded. He knew he couldn't hope to kill his treacherous brother if he kept trying to play catch up, which is why he had a crossbow with a bolt locked and loaded. It was time for Sasuke to branch out and make a path of his own. He shot the bolt at a free target and grinned when it easily hit its mark at three times the speed of his shuriken. The crossbow may have reminded him of better times which had a bittersweet sting to it, but it was the only thing Sasuke had that Itachi simply didn't or couldn't use as well. It was a start and that was what Sasuke needed.
Sasuke spent most of his sleepless night getting accustomed to his crossbow. It had been a few years since he last used one with Itachi when they went hunting. That being said, it just felt right to the raven haired Uchiha. While practicing, the young Avenger noticed a dark green snake slithering nearby. He would have left it be, but the snake seemed fixated on him. To the point it followed him around while he was aiming at, firing bolts upon, and dodging shadow enemies. Feeling a great sense of unease, Sasuke shot a bolt at the snake and killed it by nailing it in the head.
With the death of the snake and finally feeling enough fatigue to sleep, Sasuke went to his family home and into his bed to rest for another day of training tomorrow; except he could train all day without having to waste his time at the Academy.
"Senbon Sparring Match #1,000! Hyūga Hinata against Hyūga Hanabi!" Hiashi declared with his hands raised.
Both Hyūga Heiresses activated their Byakugan with a series of hand seals before sliding into the Gentle Fist stance. Neither moved a muscle least they tip off their opponents' ever keen white eyes. They didn't even have to tilt their heads to see Hiashi call the spar to begin with a slashing down of his hand! Hanabi rushed her elder sister hoping to finally end their spar. She knew everything about Hinata's Byakugan, use of the Gentle Fist, and even her Killing Intent (KI) through their daily 1,000 spars.
Hinata in turn knew her baby sister just as well, if not better. She allowed Hanabi to thrust the first strike only for Hinata to dance around it and lash out with a palm packed with Chakra! Hanabi was forced to spin herself along with a random burst of Chakra to try to repel her sister away. Hinata saw the clear holes in the desperate burst, but chose to gain distance instead of go in for a blow to a Chakra point. The younger of the Hyūga Heiress could only laugh in between pants. Both girls were exhausted and covered in wounds from previous spars. She could have ended it; no doubt their father saw the same. His skill with the Byakugan was said to be strong enough to remain in effect even when inactive.
"That is enough." Hiashi called the match and both of his daughters bowed to one another and then to their father, but did not break the bow until he spoke on their Senbon Sparring ritual.
"Hinata. You need to steel your resolve. You hesitate too much and left yourself open far too many times. Your strikes would be fine if you could be more of a true Hyūga." Hiashi criticized before he saw tears begin to misty her eyes. He sighed and made sure no All Seeing Eyes were watching…
"That being said you have improved your endurance considerably. You can actually last through the entire ritual. Perhaps you and I could perform a spar or two in the ritual someday soon." Hiashi declared. It wasn't much, but he could see the tears dry up and a small smile creep on Hinata's face before it went blank to fit the Hyūga mold; which brought a small smile to his own face just as briefly.
"Hanabi. You need to temper your flames. For the first 200 spars your sight and focus were sharper than any I have known at your age. However as the spars drew on, you started to falter and take more risks that cost you in more than a few spars. Focus will see you be even greater than I can see." Hiashi declared. Hanabi graciously accepted the criticism and both were dismissed to go bathed, healed with the best healing salves, and finally rest for an early morning of Senbon Sparring ritual now that she didn't have to go to the Academy.
"Oh and Hinata. With team placements being made official in a week, I have decided to give you this week off of the ritual. Use the time wisely." Hiashi stated.
It wasn't anything unheard. Neji was given the same privilege when he became a Genin. Most Jonin Sensei respected the Hyūga custom of the ritual and allowed for at least one every 3 days. Hinata bowed more times than needed before hurrying to bathe. It was short, but sweet and lead to applying the salves to each other while bonding as sisters did.
"No fair, Hinata-Nii! I want to be on a Genin team so I can get a week off too!" Hanabi whined, especially when Hinata had to apply salve to a really sore spot.
"You have to go to the Academy first, Hanabi-chan." Hinata giggled.
The two were able to just be themselves during these moments of rest. There was no Senbon Sparring ritual, no gentle fist sealing off chakra points, just steamy air and soothing lotions, balms, and of course salves.
"Compared to sparring with you, Father or Kami no Neji-Nee those children are fodder." Hanabi stated plainly.
"Now, Hanabi-chan we have talked about that attitude Missy. Let's no go popping off like a little firecracker." Hinata teased. Hanabi blew raspberries at her elder sister calling her by her nickname.
"I am sure there will be kids there that might surprise you. I believe Third Hokage-Sama's grandson will be attending with you and he has had a Jonin instructor for years." Hinata informed her.
"A Kage's grandson… I'll have to be on the look out… Not like you with Naruto-baka though." Hanabi teased much to the embarrassment of Hinata.
"Wow I didn't know your whole body could blush!" Hanabi laughed.
Hinata was so embarrassed she ended up gentle fist striking Hanabi in the back and causing her to go limp long enough for Hinata to dash out of the room for her bedroom! Hanabi recovered soon enough and laughed since that was the spot her sister didn't strike when she should have to win the spar.
Sakura spent her night brushing her hair. She tried many different styles to try to hide her forehead, but just couldn't seem to settle on anything better than how she normally wore it. With a sigh, the young clanless girl took out her books on genjutsu and medical. Contrary to popular belief, the bubblegum haired girl cared about other things than her looks.
Sakura had the highest grades in Chakra Control with only Hinata managing to beat her. Both genjutsu and medical jutsu required precise chakra control and thus became obsolete by her times. That just made them more dangerous since less people would know about them. She ended up falling asleep in bed thinking of a way to project genjutsu of her inner Sakura.
If it were up to Shikamaru, he'd spend his week watching the clouds drift by, taking a nap, or both. Instead, he had to go through the Nara ringer! Holding the Rat hand seal to maintain his Shadow Possession over his mother's own Shadow Possession jutsu.
"Too bad you took your shadow training and seriously as you do everything besides napping and cloud watching. If I gotta possess you to get you to do anything then so be it!" the Nara Matriarch shouted before overpowering her lazy son who could only sigh deeply.
His day was spent being possessed into tending to the Nara compound elk. Sensing his shadow was possessed, the deer and elk would flee and only then was he freed. He was out in the compound chasing down and then tending to elk all day! Evading their scat, chasing them down, calming them down, and finally trimming their horns was hard work.
Come nightfall, a clan dinner with both the Yamanaka and Akimichi clans joining brightened his spirits if not his body. He got to eat with Choji and watch Ino sniff the food for her smell collection of perfumes and smoke bombs. He smiled and looked forward to continuing the Ino-Shika-Cho formation. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad out beyond the gates of the village. Get to see where the clouds drift off to past the trees.
Kiba and Akamaru were hard at work learning their clans collaboration jutsus with their ninken. The main way his mother saw to teach him was with a demonstration with them as the target!
"If you can't even take a tame Fang passing Fang, how can we even hope to show them the Fang rotating Fang?" Tsume asked Kuromaru while tearing her son a new one with tunneling claws!
"No idea, Tsume. Guess we just have to tear down a layer or two to build up their endurance!" Kuromaru communed with her.
Hana and her trio of dogs just watched and thought back to all her own lessons. She of course learned faster than Kiba seemed to, but she did have the help of a trio and not a single.
The Aburame compound was built into a grand oak and housed various nests for the many species of insects the clan utilized and hosted. Shino was accepting his own swarm of parasitic beetles to start him off on his Genin career. Each brand of insect had a ranking based on years of sound logical experience and study. The Kikaichū were given as a rite of passage and meant that insects he hosted before went into a cocooning stage and were devoured by the newer insects. It was a slow and grueling process.
I'll end it there. As you can see, this is a much longer chapter. In fact, this was going to be 3 whole chapters and I was going to post all 3 one by one. One a week, but I wanted to see how it would feel if I wrote longer chapters and try to see how you all felt. Let me know in the review section or PM. How does the chapter work? Where can I improve? Do you think you can tell what the teams will be?