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You know, when I think about how actual ninja acted and operated, and then I look at Naruto, I just have to cringe a little bit. So, as with the wardrobe issues addressed in the previous chapters, I'm endeavoring to correct the operational aspect of ninja life as well. Therefore shinobi will now act carefully, think things through, have back up plans, lay traps, little things like that.
I am also updating their arsenal and tool kit to include actual ninja tools, such as the Water Spider, a flotation device which while un replicated and unproven in our world, might very well work with the application of chakra in Naruto-verse.
Chapter 5-The Demon of The MistEdit
Two Days LaterEdit
The twelve ninjas drifted over the water through the fog silently on their water spiders, collapsible flotation devices made from rings of upturned buckets connected by wooden rods and powered by chakra, allowing them to maintain a defensive formation around the boat Tazuna was riding in. The bridge loomed out of the mist at them, the Land of Waves only hope to break the control of the shipping magnate and mob boss Gato.
They slid silently through a tunnel and entered into a bright fog free town. The boatman pulled up to the dock, "This is as far as I go." The ninja slid ashore alongside Tazuna, silent as shadows, pulling their water spiders from the water behind them and sealing them back into the scrolls they had been summoned from. Tazuna looked around at them, he could only see about half of them, "Okay, take me home, and I mean get me there in one piece! No hanging me out as bait!" "We wouldn't dream of it Mr. Tazuna," Kurenai replied politely.
Might Guy laughed, "Don't worry Tazuna! We'll get you home so safe you'll wonder why you were ever worried! And if anyone does try to attack you, then we'll fend 'em off and make them feel the power of youth! Right Lee?" "Yes Guy sensei!" Lee exclaimed enthusiastically, "You have no cause to worry Mr. Tazuna!"
On top of the building they had pulled up next to, Naruto raised an eyebrow at Neji's teammate Tenten, "Are they always like this?" he mouthed. Tenten nodded, an exasperated look on her face. Naruto raised an eyebrow, that was either impressive, terrifying, or appalling, he thought.
The group began to move, Neji taking point, Hinata at three o'clock, Kiba and Akamaru at nine o'clock, and Shino at six. Naruto was in between Neji and Hinata, with Sasuke across from him between Neji and Kiba, creating a balance on the front edge of the formation, three with enhanced vision, two with animal senses, and three from a heavy combat squad. Tenten and Sakura were behind Hinata and Kiba, and nobody was entirely sure where Kakashi had disappeared to, but one of his shadow clones was in the center of the formation with Tazuna, along with Kurenai, because she was good at dealing with people, and Rock Lee and Might Gai to make Tazuna as miserable as he had been making everyone else, their tremendous and inextinguishable enthusiasm clearly driving the bridge builder to distraction.
Not long after they left the collection of houses near the base of the bridge, a thick mist began to roll in. "Be on guard," Kurenai said quietly, her voice carrying clearly to the edges of the formation nevertheless. "Confirmed," Kakashi's shadow clone said, "This is Hiding in the Mist Jutsu. Fall back around the client!" Before they could move a kunai shot out of the mist and nearly hit Tazuna, only for the Kakashi clone to move and catch it on the armored back of his flak jacket, which was in fact very real, being a spare Kakashi had had on him, before pushing up his forehead protector to reveal his Sharingan.
Sasuke stared for a second as he saw his teacher's Sharingan for the first time before turning his attention back to the mission as Neji leapt into the air and kicked the immense figure dropping toward the bridge builder from above, a massive sword in hand. As the immense figure attempted to land on its feet, Lee used his "Leaf Hurricane!" and knocked his feet out from under him. As the huge figure landed, Tenten appeared above him, a javelin in her hand and then in the huge swordsman's heart. There was a sudden sound of water running and a jet of water burst up from the point of impact, like poking a hole in a water hose.
Tenten staggered back as the water in her face caught her by surprise. Before the real Zabuza could launch a kunai into her while her guard was down, or take advantage of the opening in the defensive formation around the bridge builder his water clone had opened up, he had to leap upward as something red, furry and almost as long as his sword swung at him out of the mist. He looked down in surprise, trying to figure out what had gotten so close to him, and saw that it was a figure in dark orange and brown with a long fox tail. The fox tail was what had almost gotten him, and it hit with such force it left a crater in the tree Zabuza had been crouching in front of. Another hit or two could very well have knocked the tree down. That would've taken my head off! Zabuza thought.
Suddenly something huge came whirling towards him, looking for all the world like the business end of an angry drill. Zabuza dodged sideways and a second one plowed into him, slamming him backwards into a tree, then through the tree, and on backwards into another tree before stopping as Zabuza, covered in deep cuts, finally managed to strike it and push it off course. Upon being struck, it turned into a surprised looking little white dog.
The little white dog fell through the air only to be caught by a shinobi in a gray coat. Before Zabuza could land, a chain wrapped around his arm, the sickle at the end whipping around to strike him in the shoulder. Then what felt like a small tree hit him in the other shoulder. Zabuza felt his collarbone shatter under the force of the immense blow as it drove him down to the ground, the chain pulling him off balance, forcing him to land badly. He had just enough time to register something bright pink rushing at him before an armored fist slammed into his unarmored solar plexus, driving the wind out of him, and sending him flying backwards into a tree hard enough to make his vision swim.
As his vision cleared he saw a bright light and heard someone yell, "CHIDORI!" then there was a crash as something huge materialized in front of him and a woman's voice called, "Demonic Crystal Ice Mirrors!" Zabuza grinned as the bright light was stopped by the wall of ice, burning through it but not breaking it or allowing its user to pass. He started pushing himself back to his feet, "Get 'em Haku, finish this job!" A moment later Haku suddenly appeared next to him, "I'll try, but they've already begun breaking my mirrors, I may not even be able to hold them, let alone stop them!"
Zabuza stared as Haku helped him up, "That's impossible! Nobody can break that jutsu!" "That's what I thought," Haku said, "but there's too many of them for me to hit them all at once, and they're being hidden from my sight by some kind of genjutsu. I can aim where they connect to my mirrors and where I hear their voices, but they're still making a lot more progress than I am. At least three of them are hitting hard enough that it's cracking my mirrors every time they connect. That jutsu I stopped from hitting you was able to punch clean through one of my mirrors in case you didn't notice, and..." Suddenly Haku dissolved into water, leaving Zabuza leaning on thin air.
He narrowly caught himself as Haku leapt out of a mirror that she'd set up behind a tree as an escape route in case she needed it, "We've been tricked! The bridge builder was a shadow clone! So were at least three of those shinobi!" She ran and caught Zabuza as the Hidden Leaf shinobi suddenly burst free of the freshly released jutsu. Before they could engage the two assassins, Haku made a hand sign and they disappeared.
Kurenai spoke into her com link as Neji gave the all-clear signal while the mist cleared with Zabuza's departure, "Kakashi? Kurenai. Did you get the bridge builder to his home safely?" "We just walked in," Kakashi replied, "Safe and sound, without a single hiccup. Zabuza took the bait?" "He did," Kurenai replied, "We would've had him, but his friend with the Ice Release was here too and got him out before we could finish him. She's got some kind of ice jutsu that traps her opponents and makes her so fast even Neji had a hard time keeping track of her. She wasn't able to penetrate his defense though, just like Gai said she wouldn't, and between Gai, Lee and Sakura we were able to break enough of her mirrors to keep her from turning us all into pincushions."
"As is," she continued, "I think everyone but Neji's got at least two or three needles stuck in them, Naruto's got a lot in his tail from covering Sakura while she tried to clear an escape route, and Sasuke's got a lot in him too. We're going to be held up a little while administering first aid and making sure none of the needles were poisoned. We should be there in about an hour. Keep an eye out, Gai was able to land a hit on Zabuza, so Zabuza probably won't be using that sword arm of his for a while, but there's still that ice girl and whoever else is on their team."
"We'll keep an eye out," Kakashi replied, "Good work everyone. See you in an hour." He turned to Tazuna with a smile, "See Mr. Tazuna? I told you he'd fall for it." "Are Naruto and Neji okay? My Shadow Clone broke before I could make sure." Hinata asked from where she was keeping watch on the porch. "They all sound to be just fine," Kakashi told her with a smile.
"You know Naruto wouldn't let himself die without kissing you goodbye first," Shino added calmly from where he was seated in a meditative position, calmly listening to his bugs as they kept up a running report on the activities in the forest. Hinata smiled and turned back to the water she was watching, "Yeah, you're right. Thanks Shino." Shino smiled behind his high collar and turned back to his task.
Teams Gai and Kakashi stood in a clearing near Tazuna's house while Team Kurenai kept watch around the house. They were taking it in shifts to train and keep watch, so now Kakashi and Gai looked at the line of their students before them and compared notes about who should train with who. Gai rested his chin on one hand, "You say Sakura has the greatest physical strength and chakra control?"
"That's right," Kakashi replied, "I was thinking she should train with Neji or Lee." Gai nodded, "Yes a valid point. However she wouldn't really be able to use Gentle Fist without the Byakugan, so should we put her with Lee to improve her taijutsu? With the raw strength at her disposal she could be quite a force to be reckoned with if trained as a hand to hand fighter." Kakashi nodded, "Good idea. Okay, Sakura and Lee pair off, you two are going to be working on your taijutsu." Gai pointed at Lee, "Lee, show Sakura how to put all that youthful strength into her blows and utilize every ounce of her power."
Lee saluted, "Yes Gai sensei! Come Sakura, we shall practice our taijutsu until our blows are strong enough to defeat even the strongest opponents!" Sakura found herself being dragged along behind Lee as he hurried away to pick an unfortunate tree to practice on. Oh please just don't make me wear one of those jumpsuits... Sakura thought, as well as, Kakashi-sensei, why are you doing this to me? Why couldn't you have paired me with Tenten? Sasuke watched them go with an expression that spoke of internally mounting jealousy, but really he was thinking, I bet one of those jumpsuits would show off Sakura's figure really well...I wonder if she'd try one on...
He was pulled from his thoughts as Kakashi said, "Sasuke, you're with Tenten for weapons practice." Sasuke blinked, Weapons practice? Tenten grinned, "Ok, what do you want me to teach him? Swords? Sickle and chain? Staff? Knife work?" She inspected Sasuke so closely that Sakura might well have had a jealous meltdown had Lee not been occupying the entirety of her attention. Sasuke was slightly uncomfortable as Tenten went about her examination, lifting his arms and poking them, jabbing a finger at his face to test his reflexes, examining his hand very thoroughly and measuring the length of his arms.
After a moment she pulled out a scroll and laid it on the ground, pressing her hands to two seals. An instant later there was a puff of smoke and a pair of sickle and chain weapons popped out. She smiled as she handed him one, "Looks like you get sickle and chain." Sasuke took it and looked at it like it was from outer space, prompting Tenten to frown at him, "Hey don't give it that look!
"The sickle and chain was designed for taking out samurai, master swordsmen, very well armored master swordsmen at that. If there's any weapon I'd use against Zabuza, this would be it. Besides, it's good enough for Hanzo of the Hidden Rain, and he's one of the most powerful ninja in the world!" Sasuke blinked at her and then smiled as he remembered that Itachi used a sword, "Then let's get started."
Meanwhile Gai had gone to assist Lee in tutoring Sakura in taijutsu and Kakashi was teaching Neji and Naruto in the center of the clearing, "Well it looks like you two are stuck with me." He scratched his head, "Now what should I teach you?" He looked at them, "You're both hand to hand fighters, and you both have impressive chakra reserves, hmm..." He smiled suddenly, "I know!" He suddenly fished out some little sheets of paper, "Chakra paper." He grinned behind his mask, "Once I know which elemental affinities you have, I'll know what techniques to teach you!"
He handed them each one, "Run your chakra through the paper and it'll tell us what element you have." He raised a sheet between his fingers and it wrinkled tremendously, "For example I've got lightning, which makes the paper wrinkle. If you've got wind chakra, the paper will split. Earth will make the paper crumble, water will make it soggy, and if you've got fire, which is common in the Land of Fire, the paper will ignite and burn. Neji, you go first."
Neji frowned at the paper and a moment later it flopped over and dripped, "Water." Kakashi nodded, "Yes, definitely water. Okay Naruto, your turn." Naruto frowned at his paper and concentrated for a moment, willing his chakra to extend out past his fingertips. The paper wrinkled and tore in the middle, the two jagged edges looking faintly like the zigzag of a lightning bolt. Naruto frowned, "Does that mean I got a double?" Kakashi stared and then smiled, "Yes it does. You inherited your father's du-AH!"
The paper had suddenly exploded into flames with the power of a miniature paper bomb as the nine-tailed fox's chakra suddenly surged through Naruto's fingers, as though demanding to be recognized. Naruto, Neji and Kakashi all leapt back from the sudden burst of fire. Kakashi blinked and quickly regained his composure, carrying on as though nothing had happened, "As I was saying, you have inherited your father's dual natured chakra, both lightning and wind, and it appears your house guest has very powerful fire chakra."
"So in addition to your father's Thunder Release," Kakashi continued, "you likely also have extremely powerful Fire Release when you tap into that spare chakra." Neji stared at Naruto, "House guest?" Then his eyes lit on Naruto's tail and it clicked. He stared in shock for a moment while he found his voice, "YOU'RE THE NINE TAILED FOX?!" He clapped his hands to the sides of his head, "LADY HINATA'S DATING THE NINE TAILED FOX?! DOES LORD HIASHI KNOW ABOUT THIS?!"
Everyone else stopped and stared as Naruto calmly blinked at him, "Yes, yes and yes. Don't worry, I have an understanding with the fox and he's sealed very well. I am perfectly safe to be around, so just calm down. Hinata and Lord Hiashi know, Hinata doesn't care, and Lord Hiashi's always known and he still lets me see Hinata. They don't worry about it, and neither does anyone else who knows, so neither should you."
Neji tried to formulate some form of protest, but whatever he would have come up with withered in the face of Naruto and Kakashi's calm gaze. After a moment he nodded, "Alright, let's continue." Naruto turned back to Kakashi, "So I've got my dad's Thunder Release and the Fox's Fire. How do I use it?" Kakashi smiled behind his mask, "Well, I have lightning chakra as well, so I think a lightning jutsu would be the best option for me to teach you, especially since we're going up against water users."
Naruto nodded with a smile, "Right. Whatcha got?" Kakashi scratched his head, "Hmm, I wish I could teach you your father's teleportation technique, but honestly even I'm not entirely sure how it works. I could teach you my signature technique the Lightning Cutter, but that doesn't really seem like you, so for now, let's just stick to infusing your chakra with its nature elements and then you can experiment and see what you come up with."
Naruto nodded, "Alright." Kakashi nodded, "I may not be able to use your father's techniques, but I understand well enough how they worked thanks to my Sharingan. So to start, gather your chakra in your hands." Naruto nodded and did so after focusing for a moment. Kakashi nodded, "Good, now try to make a spark of electricity. You're good at transformations, you should be able to do this without too much trouble."
Electricity started jumping around Naruto's fingers as he smiled, "Yeah. Grandpa taught me how to use the wind half already, so..." He raised his other hand and air started to swirl around it. Kakashi raised an eyebrow, Grandpa? Is he talking about... Suddenly Naruto turned and tilted his hands towards each other. The lightning suddenly began jumping between his palms and wind started to whirl amidst the tiny lightning bolts. Kakashi and Neji jad just enough to time to be surprised before, BOOM!!!
A massive thunderclap made everyone within two or three miles stop and look at the sky wondering if it was going to rain, and it set the Leaf shinobi's ears ringing. Naruto staggered backwards clutching his ears, "AH!" Kakashi straightened up, "Yep," he said, then he repeated himself louder because he couldn't hear himself, "YES! THAT WAS THUNDER RELEASE!" The ground jumped suddenly and Kakashi turned to see the smoldering remains of three trees that looked like they had been struck by lightning and a giant axe at the same time, none of which had been small, all hitting the ground simultaneously.
Naruto finally managed to blink the stars from his eyes, "WHOA! DID I DO THAT?!" Kakashi patted him on the head, "Yes you did!" He said loudly, "Now the next thing I want you to work on, is AIM!"
Now, I'm sure you have many questions. Yes, Zabuza got his butt seriously handed to him by the Konoha shinobi and had to have Haku get him out. Why you ask? Because he lost to Squad 7 in canon and needed Haku to bail him out. This means he wouldn't stand a ghost of a chance against three jonin and nine of my versions genin, which are all considerably better at what they do. You are probably also wondeirng how Kakashi identified Hiding in the Mist Jutsu so quickly as well. Kakashi has had a lot of experience fighting Hidden Mist ninja, and because he was expecting Zabuza, he had his shadowclone keep an eye out.
You might also be wondering about Haku. Yes, Haku is a girl in mine. Why? Because I think Kishimoto is a troll and Haku was actually a girl all along. Also it will fit with the rest of the story better this way. Just trust me on that.
I expect you are also wondering about the last section of this chapter where the squads divide up to train, letting the older more experienced Team Gai tutor Team Kakashi. I put Sakura with Lee and Gai because it sets Lee up to develop his crush on her (I don't know why since she's already with Sasuke, I just felt like it) and because Sakura naturally has the raw strength to keep up with Lee and Gai's taijutsu, so I think she should learn from them.
I put Sasuke with Tenten because I felt that with Sasuke's lean build, speed and Sharingan accuracy, he would be better suited to armed combat. I picked the sickle and chain because as explained in the chapter, Itachi used a sword, and more pressingly so does Zabuza. Sickle and chain weapons are renowned for being used against armored sword wielding foes (samurai) to great effect, so it makes sense to me for Sasuke to learn to use them as they are an extremely effective countermeasure for dealing with swords. Also, with his Sharingan accuracy, he can attain accuracy and proficiency with the medium and long ranged uses of this weapon much more quickly than an average user.
I'm sure you're also wondering about "Thunder Release". This is because I feel that Minato should have had Lightning Release due to being the Yellow Flash, and having one of his signature techniques be the Flying Raijin teleportation jutsu. So, Minato is now double natured, and Naruto inherited that double Wind/Lightning nature, which given that it never appeared in canon, I have dubbed Thunder Release. I'm sure you're wondering why and how that thunderclap worked as well. The answer is simple: Thunder is the result of superheating air in clouds via lightning, so to combine lightning with wind (air) would make thunder. So to combine wind and lightning natured chakra would logically create a very loud thunderclap loaded with cutting and burning energy. Since Naruto wasn't really aiming, and simply angled his hands towards each other in the direction he wanted the energy to go, there was a considerable backlash. Once he learns how to aim, most of the sound will be focused toward his target along with the full cutting and scorching power of the mixed lightning and wind release. Yes, he did overdo it considerably because he wasn't aware of how much power the Thunder Release could cut loose.
The Nine Tails has Fire Release because its chakra has been repeatedly described as fiery.
I'm sure you're also wondering who he's talking about when he says Grandpa. Well, "My godfather" is just too much of a mouthful, and let's face it, Jiraiya is old. Yes, Jiraiya has been doing a better job upholding his duties as Naruto's godfather in this version and taught Naruto quite a lot. This is at least part of the reason why Naruto is now a better shinobi than in canon, and hangs around the Hokage so much.