Sorry about the update time. I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. The last couple of weeks I’ve been attacked by several months. Ok for the record, I’ve chosen Naruto’s Pairing and I have all the armor and weapon ideas figured out. So no more voting or suggesting for those things. Not much action in this chapter or the next. Both are short and mostly focus on the after effects the mission has had on the members of team 7. Also I’m splitting this story into different parts. This one will go to the training trip, the second will hold the training trip, the third will be the akatsuki arc and the fourth will be the uzumaki arc. It’ll be easier that way and I can feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m able to mark a part complete. Hope you enjoy this chapter and please review! Thanks. Happy reading.
After collapsing on the bridge Naruto found himself back in his soulscape. The clearing was the same and the forest was as dense as ever, but the sky was dark with many stars shining in place of the sun. He felt Yvonne arrive, but didn’t hear her. She could move like a ghost through the forest. He didn’t know how he knew that.
“Why have I been acting so different?” Naruto asked as he crossed his legs and leaned against a nearby tree.
Yvonne sat down in front of him and crossed her legs in an identical fashion. Her yellow slitted eyes watched him intently as she formulated an answer that wouldn’t piss him off.
“I’ve been destroying the mask you wear,” she stated and hoped he’d be calm.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Naruto shouted as he stood up and glared at her.
“You wear a mask all the time Naruto. To show those fools what they want to see and it’s nothing but a hindrance. I’m destroying it so you can be yourself,” Yvonne stated calmly as she folded her hands in her lap and watched Naruto pace.
“How is this who I really am? I snapped at Sakura and Kakashi Sensei! On the bridge when I was talking to Sasuke I was acting cocky and arrogant! I Killed dozens of people and I don’t feel bad about it! How the hell is this the real me?” Naruto shouted, his face contorted in distress.
Yvonne’s face softened as she watched him vent. She was surprised it took him so long to confront her about the changes to his personality.
“Sakura needed to have things put into perspective for her. She truly is a waste of a kunoichi at the moment. She has amazing potential if she applies herself. Yes you went about it the wrong way, but you were angry and tired of being berated all the time. Your attack on her is understandable even though it was wrong.
“Kakashi is a horrible teacher Naruto. We both know it. He’s pretty blatantly favored Sasuke and I’m not really sure he’ll change. He’s only taught you and Sakura one thing, tree walking. He hasn’t taught you anything else and he let you go on a mission that required more skills. I probably wouldn’t have been awakened if those ninja had not attacked. I woke because you needed me, because he didn’t teach you enough to survive when faced with dangerous enemies.
“On the bridge you weren’t cocky or arrogant. You were confident as you should’ve been. You had the advantage even though your opponent was stronger. Your opponent was a close range fighter and your primary fighting style is distance oriented. With me you were easily able to defeat him. There’s nothing wrong with being confident in yourself.”
She noticed that Naruto was calming down as her explanation went on. He knew she was speaking the truth, but he didn’t like it. He didn’t want to face the truth about the mask he’d been wearing for years and the way people really treated him. She took a breath and finished her explanation.
“Finally in regard to killing and not feeling bad about it. You’re wrong about that. You do feel bad, what you lack is regret. You don’t like killing, but you know it’s necessary. It’s part of your job to kill Naruto. You don’t regret killing that masked ninja because that’s what you had to do. He would’ve killed Kakashi had you not. Those other men were nothing but scum. They deserved to die slower than the death you gave them. They wont be missed and you know it. That’s why you don’t regret killing them. You don’t like killing and you feel bad about it, but you don’t regret it.”
Naruto frowned and leaned against a tree while he thought. She was right, but it was still weird. He didn’t like not regreting killing. It made sense though. He was a ninja and ninja killed. Take away the naive thoughts of princess’ and heroic battles where only bad guys died. Take those away and you get death on both sides, death of innocents, assassinations and genocide. He couldn’t begin to imagine what life was like for the ninja who participated in the third shinobi war. The things they saw and did had to have been terrible.
“I still don’t understand how this is the real me. I don’t understand the changes that are taking place in my personality.” Naruto said with his eyes narrowed, he didn’t like being confused.
Yvonne sighed as she looked up at him.
“You weren’t always a loud and cheerful idiot Naruto. You use to pay attention to things. You use to watch people and see underneath the underneath. It’s how you survived the few years between the Orphanage and the Academy. What you did with the knowledge you gained was the wrong way to go. You gave them what they wanted, but let it consume you. They wanted someone that they could blame for everything and who didn’t fight back. You became a doormat. You tell yourself that you just smile because you don’t want them to know it gets to you, but the truth is you let them walk all over you. You let everyone walk all over you. The villagers, your peers, and your teachers, they all walk over you and you let them.
“They wanted the container of the Kyuubi to be an idiot. They don’t want him to be a danger. They want him to be a fool that they can berate and insult. That’s exactly what you became. You gave them a rash, loud, and stupid doormat.
“That would’ve been OK if it had stayed just a mask. You let that mask consume you. You became your mask and lost yourself. I’m destroying the mask so you can retake yourself. Feel free to wear a similar mask of loud stupidity, but I will not let it consume you as it did before.” Yvonne finished her explanation and stood.
“You’ve got to wake up now. We’ve talked about your problems and it’s time for you to wake up and think about it. We’ll talk again when you’re back in Konoha.”
With that Yvonne walked away silently into the dense surrounding forest. Naruto sighed and closed his eyes. When he opened them again he was staring at the ceiling of the room he used in Tazuna’s house.
“Wear a similar mask huh? Forget that.” Naruto stated as he sat up to start the day.
Naruto was growing annoyed. He was trying to eat his breakfast, but everyone in the room was either looking at him warily or with awe. Nobody was really talking either. It was disconcerting to have his teammates watching him cautiously, well two of them anyways. Sasuke seemed to be trying to set him on fire with his gaze. If Naruto had known the true depths of the Sharingan’s abilities that thought would’ve been much more disconcerting than the cautiousness Sakura and Kakashi were watching him with.
“It’s not polite to stare,” Naruto muttered as he pushed his breakfast away and stood up.
Everyone except Sasuke turned away with an embarrassed blush. Naruto let out a sigh and walked out of the kitchen.
Kakashi frowned as he put his book away and stood up as well. Sasuke and Sakura both looked up at him questioningly.
“You both finish breakfast and then go to the Bridge with Tazuna. Just because Gato is dead doesn’t mean our mission is over. We protect him until the bridge is finished. I need to go talk to Naruto so we’ll meet you at the bridge later.”
With that Kakashi walked out after Naruto while everyone else went back to their breakfast.
Sasuke glared down at his breakfast while clenching his fists. ‘Damn him! How could that idiot defeat someone I couldn’t? It makes no sense!’
Sakura bit her lip as she watched Sasuke work himself into a temper again. She wanted to tell him that even though Naruto beat that masked ninja it didn’t make him stronger. Naruto just had an advantage with his bow being a long distance weapon and his enemy being a close range fighter. Though she knew if she said that, it would just make him even more angry so she stayed silent and finished her breakfast.
It was only a few minutes later that Tazuna was ready to go and the two genin followed him to the bridge which was filled with many more workers than had been there since their arrival. For lack of anything better to do Sasuke helped with the construction, after all the heavy lifting was a mild workout.
Kakashi followed Naruto to the nearby dock. Naruto was sitting on the edge with his feet dangling just above the water. Kakashi walked up and sat down next to him and fished out his book.
“Naruto I wanted to talk about what happened yesterday.” Kakashi said as he glanced over at the boy.
After a minute with neither saying anything Naruto let out an annoyed sigh,
“Well Talk if you’re going to.” Naruto said sharply.
Kakashi sighed and his shoulders slouched a bit. He put his book away and turned to better face Naruto.
“I wanted to talk about your first kills. You passed out right after you took out Gato and his men and didn’t wake up until this morning. You haven’t talked about it and you seem to not be affected by it. It’s not healthy to bottle things up so I wanted to talk about it so it doesn’t eat away at you.”
Naruto chuckled and shook his head.
“I’m fine and I’m not bottling anything up. I’m not as much of an idiot as I make people believe. I know what being a ninja entails and a large part of that is killing. I feel bad about killing that masked ninja, but I don’t regret it. I feel bad about killing two of Gato’s thugs before I came to bridge and I feel bad about killing all of Gato’s men because I don’t like killing. I don’t want to ever like killing. I don’t feel regret though, not at all.
“If I hadn’t killed the two thugs before I came to the bridge then they would’ve killed Inari and took his mother captive. If I hadn’t killed that masked ninja you would’ve been killed. If I hadn’t killed Gato and his men they would’ve probably overwhelmed us and we’d all be dead and who knows what they would’ve done to Sakura. They would’ve raped the women of the village and probably destroyed it before moving on to take advantage of another poor town or country. They were truly scum and I don’t feel regret about killing them, I feel bad about killing, but I don’t feel so about killing those scum.
“So you see I’m fine really. I’ll be OK and I know how to handle it. Thanks for offering though, it’s one of the few decent teacher oriented things you’ve done for someone other than Sasuke.”
Kakashi winced at the last part, but was over all impressed with Naruto’s maturity in dealing with the events of the previous day. Naruto had truly gained the right outlook for a shinobi. He understood that he’d have to kill again and though he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t regret it. He nodded to himself and stepped out onto the water.
Naruto raised his eyebrows as Kakashi walked around to stand a few feet away from him on top of the water.
“I want to teach you how to walk on water. This way you can boost your control and maybe not pass out the next time you use that powerful trump card of yours.” Kakashi said with his annoying closed eye smile.
Naruto grinned at that and focused chakra to his feet and in excitement stepped out onto the water. He immediately sunk down and came back to the surface cursing.
Kakashi chuckled at Naruto and then instructed him on the proper way to channel his chakra to walk on the water. He watched as Naruto worked and was surprised when he formed a dozen Kage Bunshin who all took part in practicing to walk on water. He didn’t know Naruto would be able to figure out that ability of the shadow clones so early. ‘Maybe Sasuke would be able to form a few clones. That’d boost his training ability by four times if he could make just three.’ Kakashi thought to himself as one of Naruto’s bunshins finally managed to run across the water without falling in. They all dispersed and Naruto managed to do several flips and excitedly run around on the water.
“Good job Naruto, now lets go join the others at the bridge.” Kakashi said as he turned to walk towards the bridge.
Naruto decided to give into his arrogant side and decided to run over the water to get to the bridge. ‘Try acting superior now Sasuke.’ Naruto thought with a chuckle as he set off over the water.
Kakashi sighed and shook his head as he knew his other two students would want to learn water walking the moment Naruto showed up.
“Well I guess I’ll spend tomorrow morning teaching them and let Naruto take guard duty.” Kakashi said to himself as he made his way to the bridge.
Sasuke was glaring out at the water as he leaned against the railing of the bridge. He and Sakura were on a break along with the rest of the builders and he wasn’t pleased with standing around on a bridge all day. ‘Where the hell are they?’ He thought as he sighed in annoyance at the several hour absence of Naruto and Kakashi.
Sasuke tensed as he saw someone suddenly appear around a bend and running on the water. His han began to glide to his kunai pouch, but then clenched into a fist as he noticed that the figure running on the water was Naruto. ‘Where the hell did he learn that?’ he thought in a rage as he tightly gripped the side of the bridge.
Sakura had been scribbling in a small notebook during the break, but had noticed Sasuke’s sudden tenseness. She set the notebook down and turned to him.
“Sasuke what’s wrong?” She asked with concerned eyes as she turned towards him.
Her answer was given by a shout from Naruto instead of Sasuke. She turned and her eyes widened as she saw Naruto running across the water and leaping into the air before landing on the rail right next to her. She shrieked and fell back onto the bridge amidst Laughs from Naruto and the rest of the workers.
“Ha you think you’re such hot stuff Sasuke, lets see you do that!” Naruto said with an arrogant grin.
“Naruto where the hell did you learn that? And you know it’s not good manners to just jump at people like that!” Sakura shouted with narrowed eyes.
“Kakashi sensei taught me how to do it.” Naruto answered while ignoring the second part of her shouting and sat down in her vacated spot.
He picked up her notebook and looked at what she’d been writing down. It was a list split into two parts. One side said strengths while the other said weaknesses. Chakra control and Genjutsu were under strengths while Chakra reserves and stamina were in weaknesses. ‘Interesting, she’s actually analyzing her own abilities. Maybe she took what I said seriously.’
“Give me that!” Sakura shouted as she yanked the notebook out of Naruto’s hands.
“You shouldn’t just go looking at other people’s stuff! It’s not polite!” Sakura shouted while slapping the notebook down on Naruto’s head, though not as hard as she normally would’ve.
Naruto chuckled and let her hit him. She was right after all, it wasn’t polite to look at people’s stuff.
“Alright everyone get back to work! Lets get this bridge built!” Tazuna shouted.
Everyone began returning to work just as Kakashi showed up. Naruto grinned and summoned fifty kage bunshin. The workers all looked surprised, but then delighted as all the Narutos began picking up tools and equipment and asking what they needed to do.
The real Naruto stayed lounging by the side of the bridge as Kakashi walked over to his team.
“Hey guys.” He said casually as he waved with one hand and held his book in the other.
“Kakashi sensei when are you going to teach me and Sasuke how to walk on water?” Sakura asked as she put her notebook back into her supply pouch.
Sasuke’s posture straightened and his eyes darted over to Kakashi as his interest was peaked. Naruto chuckled at how obvious he was being and leaned back against the bridge railing.
“Why does it matter anyways? Sasuke’s never going to figure out how to do it.” Naruto said with a chuckle.
“Shut up idiot.” Sasuke growled as he clenched his fists. ‘The idiot should have more respect for his betters’ he thought in a rage.
“Don’t worry about it Sasuke. I’m going to teach you and Sakura how to do it tomorrow morning while Naruto takes guard duty.” Kakashi informed him as he leaned against the railing and continued to read his book.
Sasuke smirked and Sakura smiled while Naruto’s grin faded and his shoulders slumped. ‘So much for having something special’ Naruto thought with a frown.
The next morning Naruto created a Kage Bunshin to follow Kakashi and Sasuke and Sakura to watch them train while he went on guard duty. ‘It’ll be fun watching Sasuke struggle’ Naruto thought as he made his way to the bridge.
The Kage Bunshin followed the three other members of team seven and grinned as he settled into a small group of trees near the dock by Tazuna’s house. Kakashi gave them the generic instructions he had given Naruto, but then began to explain something that made the Naruto bunshin furious.
“OK Sakura I’m going to show something to Sasuke. You don’t have the reserves to do it now, but you may in the future so I want you to pay attention. First I’m going to show you how to make Kage Bunshin” Kakashi was interrupted by Sakura before he could go on.
“Isn’t that Naruto’s jutsu sensei?” Sakura asked with a confused look.
“Technically it’s the village’s jutsu. It’s a forbidden one because it cost a lot of charka to use. Naruto learned it during a run in with a traitor a while back and he has unnaturally large chakra reserves so he can use the technique like nobody else. Most people can create maybe a dozen at most.” Kakashi explained as Sakura’s confusion cleared.
“Now like I said most people can’t create very many, but Sasuke should be able to create a couple of them and in time Sakura you should be able to create a few as well” Kakashi was again interrupted, but this time by Sasuke.
“What does that idiot’s jutsu have to do with teaching us to walk on water? If it takes so much to make then it’ll be useless to us in battle. From what I understand of it, the jutsu splits the user's chakra evenly among the clones. That would deplete me too much to be useful.” Sasuke complained with a frown.
“Yes it would be useless to the both of you in battle. I’m not teaching it to you so you can use it in battle. I’m teaching it to you so you can use it for training. One of the rarely known aspects of the Kage Bunshin is that when they disperse everything they learn is sent back to the mind of the original.” Kakashi said as Sasuke and Sakura’s eyes widened.
“That’s how Naruto got so good with his bow and how he learned to walk on water so quickly!” Sakura exclaimed loudly.
Kakashi grinned and nodded.
“That’s correct. For Naruto this is an excellent training method. By creating 23 kage bunshin and himself he can get a day’s worth of training done in one hour. For someone like Sasuke creating one clone can double the training he does and two clones can triple it. I’m going to teach it to you and Sasuke you should be able to use it right away if you copy it with your sharingan. Sakura you shouldn’t try this until you’ve got bigger reserves. I'll let you know when you should be able to create one, but it probably wont be until you're a chunin. Now after I show you this I’ll show you how to water walk and then you can begin practicing it.” Kakashi explained.
Suddenly Killing intent erupted from the nearby trees and froze all three of the people at the dock. Kakashi vanished from the dock and appeared in the trees where the source of the killing intent was. When he got there it was empty, but the killing intent lingered for a few moments before vanishing.
‘That was unusually powerful killing intent. To linger after the source is gone is unheard of’ Kakashi thought as he looked around. After several minutes he shrugged and went back to Sasuke and Sakura.
“What was that Kakashi sensei?” Sakura asked with a quiver of fear in her voice.
“I don’t know, nobody was there when I went over. Don’t worry about it though. Now watch carefully while I give you an example.” Kakashi said as he stepped out onto the water.
Back at the bridge Naruto was getting the memories from his bunshin. He was furious that Kakashi gave away not one, but two of his trademark techniques. His kage bunshin and his Kage Bunshin training technique. ‘How dare he teach those to them..How dare he treat my trademark techniques like casual genin abilities. Damn him!’ Naruto thought furiously.
His fury had leaked into an outpouring of killing intent that froze the workers on the bridge. He looked up as he noticed the stillness and looked around. He flushed slightly as he noticed them all staring at him in fear. He chuckled sheepishly and muttered a ‘Sorry’ before turning around and staring out at the water.
With Naruto’s bunshin forming a small army of construction workers the bridge was finished within the week and team seven was saying their goodbyes to the Wave Village.
As they crossed the bridge Naruto took one glance back at the village. ‘Too bad Konoha couldn’t be like this..’ He thought with a wistful smile before turning back and following his team on the road back to Konoha.
“So father, what are you going to name the bridge?” Tsunami asked as she rested a hand on Inari’s shoulder.
“Well it’s thanks to Naruto that Gato was dealt with and the bridge was able to be finished and finished so quickly. Lets call it The Uzumaki Crossing.” Tazuna decided with a nod a sip from a sake bottle.
The surrounding villagers nodded in agreement and they watched the saviors of their village until they were out of sight.
End note: yes I changed the bridge name. A Crossing is a point where a road, railroad track, river, etc. Can be crossed. So I called it the uzuamki crossing. It actually winds up being important later in the story. Well not this one, it becomes important in the uzuamki arc. So yeah. Well remember PLEASE REVIEW and I HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT. Heh. Sorry, the next chapter wont have much action either. The one after that will have training though, and Naruto’s meeting with the Hokage regarding his bloodline. Well that’s all then.