Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ Training for the Job ❯ Volume 3 Chapter 10 ( Chapter 20 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
Volume 3 Notes: Okay, a couple things. The 'hokage no jutsu' technique wouldn't work with the kage bushin, as I have it described here, because the kage bushin links chakra. It would work with the sealing kinjutsu, however, because his SOUL (which I view as a different entity) isn't linked to the clone -- does that explain why one would work, and the other wouldn't, sufficiently? In essence, any kinjutsu which damage the soul may be attempted without harm using a kage bushin, but most other kinjutsu would not. About Sakura and her treatment of Naruto... she's trying to distance herself from him because of something which hasn't been revealed, yet. For that reason, she'll leap on any chance to look down on him that she doesn't think will honestly hurt him (i.e., she wouldn't jump at him for the kyubi, because that would crush him, and she wouldn't be able to work with him any more. She will leap to conclusions about his perversity, because he can stand the insult without it crushing him, and it would give her a chance to distance herself without necessarily distancing herself too much -- she'd have an excuse to turn down dates with him and the like, but she wouldn't kick him so far to the curb that he'd be unable to work with and -- possibly -- unable to resume a relationship with at a later time). It isn't that she doesn't like him, or REALLY thinks poorly of him -- she's just grasping at straws as an excuse to keep herself away from him. It's largely because she is trying to remain loyal to Sasuke, as Naruto was loyal to her, and feels guilty because she isn't being as loyal. This all will be resolved within the next ten chapters or so, I believe -- or at least the start of the resolution will. Meantime, sit back -- there will be a number of 'two steps forward, one step back' situations for the next few chapters before things get better for them. As far as 'mysteries of the manga,' regarding Naruto's age: Yes, he graduated at the same age as everyone else. In this fic, though, I figured he managed that because he was entered into the academy early... like Itachi and Kakashi supposedly were (and Sasuke as well, I think, as I believe Sasuke may have lost a year or two due to his family having been slaughtered. I might point out that, for the purposes of this fic, Naruto entered the academy just one year before Sasuke... which means Sasuke left the Academy, and didn't return until Naruto's final year). He was held back, however, because despite his apparent promise (in Taijutsu, in this case... I know a lot of people don't think much of his taijutsu, but I think that's because he's rougher at that then most ninjas. When he's at his toughest, his taijutsu works pretty darned good, he's just slow) he didn't show much sign of improvement in any of his skills... because he wasn't being taught until he got Iruka as a teacher, which was when he met Shikamaru and Chouji (as I have written in this fic) and actually learned most of his early ninjitsu from them. In other words, my idea of how this manga mystery works is already in my fic. Also, Naruto specifically says that all three times he failed the Academy were because he was called to do the bushin no jutsu. The henge no jutsu incident he was seen to have flubbed was NOT a final exam. Therefore, I suspect the bushin no jutsu is required to pass.
Chapter 10
Much to Ino's surprise, she didn't see either Sakura or Naruto before her first class. She was fairly certain nothing... too interesting had happened, yet, but it was certainly amusing to think of all the things she could tease her friend with when she finally returned. It had been two nights, so far, and Ino had only locked Sakura out one of them -- which meant, of course, that thier talk had gone well. You don't spend any more time then you had to at the home of a boy you were fighting with, after all. You certainly didn't sleep overnight at their home -- even platonically -- if you could avoid it. That success had put Ino on an emotional high for quite some time.
However, she had never had a chance to finish her plans for this class with Sakura, which made her a bit nervous. It wasn't so much that she didn't know what to teach -- she did -- but she wasn't sure how to teach it. However, it was her job, now -- she'd been given babysitting missions, before, so she supposed she could handle this.
"Okay, ladies," she finally said, looking out at the assembled girls. "In this class, we will be teaching you the special skills of a kunoichi -- tea ceremony, flower arranging, and other skills which will help you fit in at a noble court when engaged in covert missions...."
* * * * *
"You're home!" Ino exclaimed. She had just returned from her class, and was astonished to find that Sakura was busy heating a simple dinner. "After you failed to return yesterday, I figured you and Naruto had just decided to quit that 'part-time' stuff and go on to living together permanently."
Sakura did blush slightly, but she shook her head nonetheless. "No. That won't be happening any time soon, at least, but I'll probably be splitting more and more time between homes. It's not what you think, though -- yesterday was work-related."
Ino blinked in exaggerated confusion. With a inuendo-laced lilt to her voice, she asked, "Work related? How can something like that be work-related?"
"All right," Sakura snorted. "Enough of that. You know as well as I do that nothing of the sort happened."
"More's the pity," Ino sighed dramatically. "It might have improved your sense of humor if it had. Still, why did you stay there last night, anyway?"
"Well, we had our 'talk' the night before -- and it came out pretty good, I think," Sakura admitted. "I won't tell you anything about it, though, because I'm not one to kiss and tell."
"Ooh!" Ino cooed encouragingly, even though she'd been expecting something like that to come up soon.
"But afterwards, we agreed that we should co-ordinate our lesson plans so that they would work together better. Or rather, I told him we should, and he was too dazed to disagree even if he wanted to," Sakura explained. "We spent all of yesterday figuring out what we were going to do, and we didn't finish until it was much too late for me to come here for the night. We then spent most of today going around, arranging for 'guests' to demonstrate certain things we figured needed someone else's expertise for. We also found out that we're going to be splitting our time even further from our 'regular' jobs -- Jiraiya and Anko-san are apparently going to be training the two of us specifically to counter Orochimaru's fighting style. It seems they suspect Sasuke-kun will be using a lot of his techniques when we finally meet him again."
Ino winced. "Well, it figures the three of you would meet in battle, again. You three are the apprentices of the sannin. Still...."
Sakura shrugged. "We're expecting him to come here, sometime soon. That's partly why we're on this particular expedition. I have suspicions as to what a couple of other motives Tsunade had in sending us out here are, but the one we were told was that Sasuke was looking for us and wouldn't come to Konoha to see us. We're being prepared for the fight... which I'm fairly sure you knew was coming."
Ino sighed. "Yes... although I thought it would be you looking for him, when the both of you were ready. When does your training start?"
"One week from today," Sakura sighed, pulling the tonkatsu out of the oil and setting it to rest on a sheet of paper. "While you're teaching. How did that go, by the way?"
Sensing an attempt to change the subject, Ino decided to drop that line of questioning. "Oh," she said, trying to think back over her day. "I suppose it went pretty good. They all seem ahead of where I remember being my first day of kunoichi training, anyway. Might be because they've all had time to learn 'women's skills' when you and I were learning basic taijutsu in school."
Sakura smirked wryly. "Which, of course, means they'll be way behind for what Naruto and I have to teach them. Well, we were expecting that... and we'll be ready."
* * * * *
It was Sakura's turn to take the reigns of the academy students. She had intended to meet with her mother, beforehand, to discuss the progress these potential ninja were making, and whether any of them had displayed any special talent for anything. Unfortunately, her mother wasn't home the one chance she'd had to stop by, so she wasn't as prepared as she would have liked. Still, this class was mostly just an introductory class, so she'd have enough time to meet her before the real lessons began.
She looked over the class she was supposed to be teaching, standing on the stage area of an open amphitheatre on the Academy building's grounds. She recognized Inari, of course -- it wasn't a surprise that he was here, especially as she'd already known of his application to the academy before she even knew about the existence of Blossom. She was surprised to recognize one of the others, as well -- the boy begging for food in the marketplace. She got to know him after Gatou's fall, while still serving guard duty for the bridge's final construction. Adaha, she vaguely his name was, only really resembled the boy she remembered in his face -- he'd filled out in the four years since. He was shorter then a boy his age should have been, probably because of an extended period of malnourishment before the bridge had been built, but he'd put on a lot of muscle and looked fairly healthy. His eyes, however, retained much of their youthful innocence, proving that he was the boy she knew.
There was no way she would play favorites, however. "Hello, class," she began. "My name is Sakura, and I'll be your instructor for chakra training. I'm sure we'll all learn each other's names in time, but I'll save that for an exercise later in this class. Now, has mo-- I mean, has Haruno-san given you any instuction as to what chakra is, yet?" At numerous blank stares, she sighed. "Okay, does anyone here have any idea what chakra is?" A number of hands went up, including Inari's and Adaha's. Sakura nodded to herself, glad to see about half of the class had at least heard about one of the basics of ninjitsu. "Good. For those of you who didn't raise your hands, chakra is the basic 'power source' of most ninja techniques, especially those of ninjitsu and genjutsu. Chakra is very useful, and with proper control can do a remarkable number of things. As an example... I want you all to write down your names on one of these sheets of paper and stick it into this bag I'm going to pass around."
She handed a leather pouch to Inari, smiling at him slightly. "Yes, ma'am," he said.
The stack of special papers she handed to Adaha, which he took without comment. Passing out the little scrolls, he glanced at his own sheet with surprise. Narrowing his eyes, he glanced up at her in surprise. Sakura wasn't quite sure what to make of his scrutiny, but she had her suspicions... which, if right, would mean that he might actually have some unexpected talent in this field. However, it might not.
Once the pouch was returned to her, Sakura set it aside for a moment. "Okay, did anyone here see anything on the paper before you signed it?" Adaha and one other student in the back raised their hands. "Good. You -- what did you see?"
The boy who's name she didn't yet know hesitated. "Well... for a split second, I thought I saw writing, but I wasn't sure."
"There definitely was writing," Adaha broke in without being called on. "I also noticed the whole paper was glowing slightly."
That took Sakura aback. Even she wouldn't have been able to see the glow of chakra on those pages in the daylight. It would have taken someone with a doujutsu, like byakugan or sharingan, to see it... which meant Adaha likely had a bloodline ability. Which, in turn, meant that at one point, part of his family line included ninjas. She would have to speak to someone about that, privately, later... but for now, she had to teach the entire class.
"Well, that's very good. Because, you see, there was writing on all the papers. Most of you couldn't see it... because I was using a simple genjustsu to hide the writing. Genjutsu, like ninjutsu, requires that you mold chakra -- which, for those of you who are not yet aware, is essentially the mixture of spiritual and mental energy in a person. Just having chakra, and being able to draw it out, is not enough to perform genjutsu or ninjutsu. In Konoha, there is a ninja named Rock Lee. He has massive stores of chakra, which he can draw out to enhance his taijutsu, his hand-to-hand combat. However, he is also the only ninja to be completely unable to perform any ninjitsu or genjutsu whatsoever. He has no talent for it. I've never heard of anyone who has no talent for it, before, but he doesn't. It took me a whily to figure out why: While he has large amounts of chakra, and can even access that chakra, he cannot control nor manipulate that chakra with any degree of accuracy. If he tried a specific ninjitsu, using the correct procedure, a thousand times... he might get it to work once. If he was lucky. It is abnormal, to lack that ability, so I suspect all of you will be able to learn ninjitsu and taijutsu... if you ever build up enough chakra. It will be my job to teach you how to use that chakra."
A girl slowly raised her hand. "Sakura-sensei," she quietly stuttered. Sakura was strongly reminded of Hinata by the girl.
"What was written on the papers?"
"Ah," Sakura replied, glad to have had someone ask the question. "Why don't I demonstrate." She pulled a random sheet out of the leather bag and glanced at it for a moment. "Which one of you is Hiniku Butakatsu?"
A portly boy with a pig-like nose raised his hand and waved carelessly. "That's me," he answered a bit too casually for Sakura's taste.
Sakura grinned. She tossed the sheet on the ground, licked her forefinger, and swiped the little bit of spittle from that lick across the name. Suddenly, with a puff of smoke, Butakatsu disappeared from his seat in the amphitheatre and reappeared on the stage where the sheet of parchment had been moments before.
"These parchments were minor summoning scrolls," Sakura explained. "Summoning is one of the techniques just about every ninja village has practitioners of. There are different types of summoning, including the variety I just demonstrated -- one-time use scroll summonings. Most summons of this type require a trigger -- I've seen some which can be activated by breaking the wax seal of a scroll. This particular scroll was activated by the application of my saliva. Most of the more powerful summons require more powerful triggers, and sometimes sacrifices. The most common of the major summons involves making a sacrifice of your own blood and the application of a certain ninjitsu technique. Now, in order to learn the names of the rest of you, I will be summoning you all one at a time... which will give most of you your first experience dealing with chakra... and your first experience with the summoning technique."
Butakatsu yawned. "Um, can I go back to my seat, now?"
Sakura clenched her fists in annoyance, but nodded. "Okay, now, let's get started." She pulled the remaining papers out of the bag, and sorted them briefly so as to next summon Inari and Adaha. Getting them out of the way, she moved on to the next person who she didn't already know the name of.
"Okanemoto Akane," she summoned. A rather nondescript boy in a hat appeared, but he seemed to have a dark frown in his face. Sakura noticed that Inari seemed to flinch as the boy's name was called, and suspected there was history between them.
"Ran Umiko." This was a rather attractive girl -- for an eleven year old -- who wore a pair of wristbands with a horse motif on them. She had a long ponytail with horse-themed jewelry in many wild colors braided into it. Inari had a reaction to her, as well, but it was a rather different one -- Sakura recognized it as the same look Naruto had given her when they were both eleven. Obviously, there was a bit of a crush going on, here.
"Seiteki Pansuke." This, another girl, wasn't exactly what Sakura would expect to find from a twelve year old ninja cadet. From a distance, it looked like she was wearing normal clothing, if a bit tight in some areas. Up close, however, the red top was revealed to be a see-through mesh, revealing that the girl was pierced in places Sakura could only wince at. The short pants she was wearing had holes revealing much of her rear cheeks, which had a racy tattoo for decoration. Somebody, Sakura mused, is just asking for the sort of duties a kunoichi doesn't get until after courtesan training.
"Hiyowai Shiro" turned out to be a rather sickly looking boy with a very pale face. He wasn't really fit to be a ninja, Sakura could tell instantly, but she figured she had to give him a chance. He'd been accepted to the academy for some reason, that was for sure.
"Komakai Chikan." The name was completely unfamiliar, but the face reminded her of something. Sakura couldn't place it, however.
"Munamoto Sousou" was the hesitant young girl who acted so much like Hinata. She was sent blushing when, upon being summoned, a button popped on her shirt exposing some cleavage. She's already got more there then I do, Sakura moaned to herself.
Yeah, but I bet you we know how to use what we've got better, Inner Sakura answered.
By this point, much of the class was either waiting their turn or talking amongst themselves. Sakura noticed that Komakai Chikan kept pointing at her while he discussed something quite excitedly with another classmate -- Okanemoto Akane, if Sakura wasn't mistaken. Sakura decided she wanted to know what he was saying, and so secretly bit her thumb when she went to lick it for the next person. She called forth Kainashi Rouhi, being careful not to get blood on the scroll (as that might had unintended consequences), and proceeded to secretly perform a kuchiyose no jutsu as well. The slug she summoned was tiny, but useful nonetheless -- its size made it the ideal spy for her.
Using the same skill set that was required for a replacement technique, Sakura managed to place the slug in their immediate vicinity without them being any the wiser. Then, she started a second technique -- one she'd learned not from Tsunade, but from Tsunade's best slug -- Katsuya. With a silent motion, she was able to use the senses of any slug as her own, be they one she summoned or even just a random slug in the woods. It didn't take much stamina -- which was fortunate, as even so light a summoning as she'd done with the slug was a great strain on her chakra what with all the other things she'd had to do that day such as preparing the parchments and hiding the writing with a genjutsu she'd had to learn that very day (from Kakashi, in this case -- although Sakura knew that the ANBU, Yuugao, was supposed to train her in genjutsu at some point). She would have to really conserve chakra until she'd had a chance to rest and recover her drained reserves.
She tuned in to her slugs hearing, determined to find out what her students were talking about.
"I'm telling you the truth," Chikan was insisting. "I know that she's Sakura, one of the four great Heroes of the Bridge. So what? That doesn't have anything to do with what she looks like naked. I know that she doesn't seem to have anything with what her shirt is showing. The thing is, she has to be binding them -- I saw her in the shower, and I can tell you that she's got pretty decent sized tits on her. True, she's not as big as that wierd woman they were calling 'hokage' during that visit a year ago, but--"
Sakura had heard enough, and immediately shut down her connection to the slug. It was then she realized just why Chikan seemed so familiar -- he was the boy she'd almost killed for accidentally coming into her shower just a few weeks ago. It seems he was taking his survival for granted, and was expecting her to just let him discuss her as if she were a piece of meet. Well, that boy was about to find out the hard way that you should never talk about a kunoichi of her experience like that. Not a kunoichi like her, anyway.
"Chikan-san?" she called upon finishing the roll call of summons with three or four other unremarkable teenagers. Chikan looked up at her. "Can I please remind you that I am a kunoichi of four years experience, trained personally by the hokage of Konoha, and a master of many skills?"
"Uh..." he replied, clearly confused.
"Which means," she grinned dangerously. "I can, if I want to, hear every word you're saying without you realizing it?"
"I told you so," Akane muttered just loud enough to be overheard.
"Okay, now that roll call is over, I think I'll dismiss you early," Sakura said, closing up her leather pack. In truth, she'd wanted to accomplish more that day, but she didn't have enough chakra to do everything she wanted at that time -- she'd known that the moment she finished preparing the attendence sheets that morning. Still, she should give some excuse. "Today was supposed to be mostly a meet and greet session, anyway. You'll need your energy for tomorrow, when you are having your first class in sparring and combat tactics with Naruto-kun." Here, she shot a significant look at Chikan. "My boyfriend."
The horror-struck look gracing the boy's face was priceless, and apparently most of the rest of the class thought so as well. Sakura left to the swell of only partially surpressed laughter.
* * * * *
Naruto was surprised that night when Sakura burst in through his door. They hadn't agreed to meet until that weekend, although she was always welcome in his home (he'd given her a spare key). Seeing her this early was a sure sign that something was wrong. The fact that she was hyperventilating only added to this assumption.
"Did you have another fight with Ino?" Naruto asked, before either of them even said hello.
Sakura shrugged off the lack of courtesy -- this was Naruto, after all, and whatever else he might be he wasn't the most civilized person she'd ever met. Besides, she was too frustrated with other things. "No, I'll be going home later I think. This is about class today."
Naruto winced. "Are they that bad?"
"No, not really," Sakura admitted, letting her anger slip only a half of a notch. "A couple of them even show a bit of promise -- I think one of them even has a mild bloodline ability, likely a doujutsu."
"We'll need to get someone to help us with that one," Naruto mused. "I don't know anything about doujutsu. Kakashi does, but I know he's too busy to work on that."
"I'm don't care about that!" Sakura huffed. "I'm talking about that boy!"
Naruto blinked. Normally, Sakura made a lot of sense, even if he didn't always understand what she was saying, but this was downright bizarre. "Boy?"
"You know!" she growled. "The boy! The one from a few weeks ago! The boy who saw me naked!"
"Saw you... naked?" Naruto asked, now both confused and jealous.
"Oh, come on, Naruto -- even you aren't that dense!" Sakura growled. "Remember? The bathroom incident?"
"Uh, yeah," he answered, remembering that particular image very clearly. "But I thought you had a towel on."
"Not when he walked into the bathroom, I didn't," she replied, her eyes daring him to make a comment. "That was bad enough, but now... now he's already going around class, talking about it! He's... he's being perverted, and you know how I feel about that!"
"Well, being a boy, I'd probably have done the same thing at his age," Naruto pointed out, only to recieve a fairly nasty glare in return. "But I shouldn't have done so. If I did. Which I didn't, because I've never seen you naked."
Sakura grinned at that -- he was kind of cute when he was flustered, wasn't he? Well, he can be, anyway. Now, let's get this plan started, Inner Sakura chirped gleefully.
"Naruto-kun, you were quite the trickster in Konoha, right?"
* * * * *
Notes: My first named created characters for this fic -- huzzah! The students names, save for Adaha, Akane (given name only -- made up the family name) and Inari (which come from the manga and\or databooks... I only really use the databooks for names, mind), are all puns -- or at least are all supposed to be puns. My Japanese isn't good enough to even attempt a pun without a japanese-english dictionary, and as anyone familiar with learning a language can tell you, dictionaries aren't always very reliable for that, as sometimes a word in a foriegn language dictionary will only mean what you think it means in very obscure usages. Nonetheless, in the spirit of how all the characters are named in the series, I tried, even if I know I'll probably get some of them wrong -- see if you can guess each name's pun, if you want, although I make no guarantees that my puns actually work, and in at least one case I didn't find a good name for the 'right' word, so I used a not-as-good word. *sigh* Anyway, next chapter: Next chapter: Naruto's class, and Sakura gets her revenge. (again, I didn't get quite as far as I expected to, this chapter -- I intended to get through the start of Naruto's class, at least, but I think it breaks better here)