Bringing you new stories for the ages

WMB: Naruto

Wind Monk Banishment: Fox Chronicles #2

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Fox Chronicles

Chapter 2: Collateral Damage

Naruto Age: 14


Soft plops of falling droplets spoke of the sole ambient sound in the confined space of metal. The dreary autumn-colored illumination wavered from their endless duty of combating the encompassing darkness. Only two living creatures remained in the metal sewer, and they were currently facing each other down.

“Come on already,” Naruto felt tense as he continued his attempt to weasel info from his symbiotic resident. “Is it that hard for you to start spilling what you know about my parents?”

It had been roughly a few months beyond a full year since his induction into the Wind Temple. Hours upon creeping hours had been eaten away through meditation, inching himself further and further into gaining access to his mindscape. It was only recently that he could access it under his own power at will.

Despite his best efforts in co-existing with the fox, pride rankled it’s every fiber. It boasted a massive repository of knowledge and age, which engraved a sense of self-worth and pride beyond that of a human’s, yet was forced into such an unsanitary and confined space that it craved freedom. To have its pride be stepped on by its jailer’s mere existence did little to make the idea of a peaceful partnership appealing.

The Kyuubi snorted. “Once again, not until you do something about this confounded seal.

Rising frustration made itself known. Involuntarily, the corners of Naruto’s mouth sipped to form a grim pout. “I’m working on it, but the sealing style is made of two Four Symbol Seals that overlap. I just need to figure out which part of array is the most prominent in dealing with the mindscape appearance.”

The level of condescension the fox held to him revealed itself in the form of a smug grin that bared ivory fangs. “In that case, I may as well be waiting until you hit your mid-100s given your IQ. You only graduated from the Academy on a technicality and because of your reserves, not your brain.

“Cheap shot!” The jinchuuriki unleashed the tension by stomping. Furrowing his brows, he proclaimed, “You know damn well I was sabotaged by Mizuki and those lousy instructors. I’ve been flourishing in the temple!”

Shifting its shoulders, the chakra demon showed just what it thought about his progress. While his knowledge had been expanding, it was beneath a level that the ages old demon would consider flourishing. Comparing it’s jailer to it’s creator, it was barely noticeable at best.

The futility of his efforts ate away at his patience with the jailed creature. Fearing the dissolution of their minor tolerance of each other, Naruto turned his back on the fox. “You better keep your promise. You don’t want your coat to smell bad from soaking in it until the day we both pass away, do you?”

A twinge of malice rolled off the creature at the barb. Narrowed eyes bore down upon the miniscule human. “Don’t compare me to your kind. I am a superior being, and unlike your kind, I don’t lie.

The sudden change of disposition grabbed Naruto’s attention. He peered over his shoulder on observation. “Is that so?”

I only tempt. I offered you power when needed, and had you accepted it I would have destroyed whatever earned your ire in exchange for my freedom.

He arched an eyebrow. “But I’d be dead once the seal broke.”

The fox’s lips curled. “A minor detail I’d be willing to overlook.”

Naruto could only sigh at the blatant lack of concern over his well-being if the fox got out. “You see, its lines like that make me less that eager to take your help…”

At that, the world melted away and slowly faded back into reality.

Naruto sighed once again as he freed himself from his mindscape. His legs felt the numb after spending so much time in a lotus position, meditating in his room under the light and warmth of a lantern that fought the darkness in a struggle that would last until it was extinguished.

The change in the fox’s attitude told Naruto something new about its morals. Or rather, it had them. He would add it to the mental checklist he complied for his future interactions with it.

Stretching out his arms as he made his way to a small desk in his room, Naruto eyed the stack of books there. Generalized Seals for the Moderate Maker was the one he was currently focused on. He had taken to sealing in deference to its utility and out of remembrance of his clan.

Seals were versatile, but also a major pain in the ass. There was so much freaking math and planning involved in creating seals from scratch. Whoever said that it was just scribbling lines on paper and feeding it chakra should be beaten with a Bo…and then made to catch Tora endlessly…

It was difficult—more so than anything else he had ever done. Being the sole known survivor of a clan meant carrying the entire weight the clan’s past and being forced to be compared to them forever. You have to live up to their standards, and must carry the acts and duties of multiple generations on your back.

It helped him better understand why Sasuke always had a stick up his ass and the Uchiha pride thing…although, Sasuke had a brother responsible for said clan’s destruction. That couldn’t have helped things.

As he pulled out a brush and ofuda-sized slip, he began to work on another one. The Uzumaki was currently dealing with a seal for storing sand, on contact for complexity’s sake. It was practice that every night he would write a seal up that he memorized until the motions were done by muscle memory.

He’d like to do something cooler, but he couldn’t risk it while still inside the temple. Not after he screwed up the conversion symbol and didn’t adjust for the expulsion of the chakra, turning what was essentially a chakra venting seal into a bomb…

Or the time his reinforcement seal overflowed and blew up that training staff…

Or when he tried that barrier seal and it ruptured from an imbalance due to the faulty chakra redirection formula…

No wonder there were so few seal masters or creators. You fuck up once and it could be your last. He could swear some of the other monks-in-training were taking bets on when he would blow himself up trying body seals.

Even the process of writing them was difficult. Each stroke of a brush had to be infused with chakra for a reason—conservation of energy. Having an ocean of chakra didn’t help, as too much would simply overstep the bounds of the array code being written, so his reserves did little to aid it.

He eventually decided to just soak his ink well in his chakra and let it stew for a while, rather than trying to control the flow directly. He would get it eventually, but until then baby steps. Sealing was an art and to be learned over the course of a lifetime.

One interesting tidbit Naruto realized was why exactly scrolls were used for storing items rather than something like a bangle or solid object: Space. Items didn’t just vanish into the scrolls, they merged into it. They were broken down and actually integrated into the coding on the paper itself through a careful systematic formula array.

But they were fragile. If you so much as even cut a sealing scroll by a few centimeters, it would cause a catastrophic failure and botch the holding—possibly unleashing the entire payload and rendering the array inert. Something like steel would be better…so he would set that as a goal.

In the case of elemental or personal storage seals like they used for water here, the symbol in the center of a seal determined what was held. To hold things like water or fire, the array had to be fitted to store things like the properties, the molecules, and convert the states from an immaterial form to the solid materialistic form. That was what the center symbol was for.

Explosive tags for instance held not only fire, but force as well. They were tripped by chakra fed into the paper and triggering the intake to set up a chain reaction with chakra already stored inside, The invasive chakra merely pulled the pulled the pin, the stored chakra did the real work once it was converted into fire and kinetic force.

But seals that affected humans and animals were so much more complex. He had to get some lessons in human anatomy by Instructor Marin in her free time since the medical monk knew human anatomy like the back of her hand. Her figure reminded Naruto of Shizune, but with brown hair and eyes.

That wasn’t to say Naruto wasn’t making any advances on his own. He could make those seals now and kept them stored away for a time of need, but more impressively he could dissect more common and a few obscure seals that used the universal sealing code language in mere minutes and modify them to an extent.

Not to mention by experimenting with the arrays, he found his own personal abbreviated pseudo-code for his personal seals, reducing the size and time needed. He started by using the books they had and the common sealing formulas. It took over 285 nights of study and quick naps, but it was a start.

He needed more practice on custom ones though, not to mention familiarizing himself with various nations own array coding languages. Then again, that was only if he planned to work as a seal master, designer, or specialist for them. He could be a freelancer instead.

Looking at the Sand Absorption Seal, he took a bit of sand he kept in a small dish on the desk and placed it on the ofuda. One…Two…Three seconds later, it was gone. He must’ve screwed up the time-lapse on the contact…or was it the pressure sensitivity anchor of the array.

“Bah!” Frustration forced him to run his fingers through his hair. “Sleep now, bitch about what went wrong later…”

Next Afternoon

Naruto’s body felt heavy. The Four Limbs Weighting Seal forced his muscles to stay tense and strong as they were wrapped in prayer beads. He would deactivate them when he needed to by venting the chakra that kept the seal active, but for now they served an important role in increasing his strength.

It was training time and Naruto stood at the top of the huge cliff bordering the temple. The flat and solid surface was good for a change, and the abundance of boulders made for good target practice. Had he been alone, he would have crafted the Rasengan to see how long he could sustain the concentration for it while in use since he could do it without a clone now.

Extending his fingers, he pushed chakra towards the tenketsu at the tips until thin blue needles began to push outwards. You didn’t need to be a Hyuuga to attack from the tenketsu, only see them. Once they were out halfway, he pushed a block chakra out to fire them. The chakra needles—a technique used by the medical-focused monks for acupuncture healing—barely pierced the rock beyond the tip.

It hurt the first time he tried it and took a while to get the points used to processing the chakra being so condensed, but he got it after a month with the shape manipulation exercises. Naruto weaponized it to give himself a sense of armament, and while it wouldn’t do much harm to rock, it could go into flesh. If only he were better at using the Wind Chakra affinity he possessed.

Moving his right forefinger to the ground chakra flared and set his fingertip ablaze with cerulean fire. The superheated chakra of the Finger Carving Seal burned another count mark before Naruto cancelled it. Four months of practice and he could only hold it for ten second increments before it would give him a chakra burn.

Rasengan for close range and Chakra Needles for long-range, not nearly close to the usefulness of the clones he had, but good enough for now…baby steps. He had to focus on sealing instead and training his body. But for now, he rested and turned his attention the other person on the plateau.

He watched as a girl his age performed what seemed to be a Body Flicker. Her violet hair wrapped in a bandana as she touched the ground at one point, adjusted, and then appeared at the next point faster than an untrained eye could track. What was her name again…oh yeah, Mina.

However, he noticed it wasn’t a Body Flicker. That technique was simply vitalizing the entire body with chakra to move at a quicker pace than the eyes could typically track without chakra or experience. This was similar to it, but it didn’t allow chakra to flow through the entire body, just the legs and feet to work the bone and muscle.

Vital Step was what it was named. Since ninja monks had shinobi roots it was probably another variation or branch. Naruto found it difficult because it required turning your foot in a certain manner as you touched down and threw him off because of his ninja training. That led to him flying because he couldn’t stick the landing.

Not to mention their rationality. Monks would visualize the space between them and the point they wanted to go, and imagine the earth itself contracted to reach it in one step. The chakra would adjust accordingly if enough was present and bring them to it in a single movement. It was more about letting the chakra flow naturally with the earth rather than forcing it.

That was a clear contrast to the years of practice he did as a ninja.


The ringing of a gong symbolized the end of his training. It was time to meet with the monks and discuss a task to be done, requested by one of the minor villages that couldn’t afford to hire Suna to do it. Having heard about it this morning, something resembling anticipation bubbled up inside his stomach at the thought, and he made his way from the plateau shelf to the temple below…

Two days later

The assignment had been to simply assist a small village in reinforcing their homes to defend against the brutal windstorms that appeared annually. Their finances have to go towards paying the carpenters for permanent restructuring to avoid the constant reinforcing, and it left the villagers in a tight spot, so they appealed to the Wind Daimyo.

He sent the monks of the temple to assist. There were three elder monks, including Ashua, and twelve monks-in-training who had at least a year under their belt in the service of the temple, as well as a few more experienced ones, so they would be ensured to have the stamina necessary to endure any desert travel or other tasks.

“This reminds me of D-class missions,” Naruto mused out loud. “Is there any particular reason the Wind Daimyo asked this many of the monks do such a small task?”

“It makes the Wind Daimyo looks good because he’s taking care of even his poor villagers,” Mina stated, helping him carry some of the materials for the carpenters when they arrived. “After the last guy nearly caused a war, he needs to rehabilitate image of the position and get in good with the people before someone takes advantage of the situation and plan a coup d’état out of fear. ”

The fox decided to chime in. “Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of your other missions…With your luck, it’ll be…a B-class mission by the end of it.

We’re in the middle of a desert,” Naruto retorted. “What’s the worst that can happen?

Right on cue, Instructor Diemia—the instructor for the advanced chakra control classes—appeared and shouted, “Everyone inside! A storm is coming!”

Not. A. Word.” Naruto warned the fox. His luck did not have effects over nature. He did not tempt fate.

The windstorm that came took hours to die down, raging against the walls of the building they housed everyone in.

Naruto decided to spend the time working on his chakra control by utilizing the Cube Exercise—shaping his chakra into a small, translucent cube that was hollowed inside. The technique was rumored to have helped in the development of the Second Tsuchikage’s Dust Element technique.

It goes that before Muu became Tsuchikage and was young, he infiltrated a village and was injured. His escape was facilitated when his ability to become a non-person with the Hiding with Camouflage Technique was just starting out, but he found himself within the care of a sect of monks on a pilgrimage. He witnessed their shape manipulation exercise before parting and worked into developing it to aid in manipulating his Bloodline Selection.

In was in the honor of the monk’s belief of separation from the physical plane and ascension to the spiritual, that he named the Dust technique Detachment of the Primitive World…although, there was sincere doubt that they expected him to go out and turn it into a technique that pounded the enemy into dust through the earth, wind, and fire elements. There was nothing physical to be attached to afterwards.

Once he fully developed it, numbers didn’t matter anymore. After all, reinforcements in battles only counted if they weren’t killed in one hit. The second Mizukage had his illusions to fall back on, which was the primary reason they killed each other. How befitting for the fate of two Kages.

Instructor Diemia was capable of creating boxes and barriers of various sizes, to be used as platforms and defenses. He was a middle-aged man from overseas getting along in years, with white-hair that was a bit shaggy and wore glasses. He oversaw Naruto’s development in the chakra control department along with his other students.

Naruto found shaping it into a box was easy compared to the Rasengan. The main difference was he was hollowing it out, which meant not filling it with chakra and molding what was present, meaning he needed better control. Actually separating the box from his body took concentration and a steady flow of chakra to maintain it—also, the durability was shot since it was so thin and not rotating.

He was in the middle of crafting a cube between his hands when another one of the monks-in-training tapped him on the shoulder. The guy went by the name Sabo and had a shaved head, emerald green eyes, and prayer beads around his forearms.

“Head Monk is calling for you,” he told Naruto and led him to the room.

Naruto gave a curt bow in respect. “You called for me, Head Monk?”

“It would seem some of the building materials were damaged due to the sudden windstorm,” Ashua spoke grimly. “Without them, I am afraid that they cannot continue their restructuring.”

It is not my fault, Naruto repeated the mantra inside his head. I don’t control the weather.

It was true this time. It was a random act of nature. His luck blowing up in his face would come later on.

“However, it would seem that they managed to get a contingency fee scrapped together to replace the funds and need someone to retrieve the supplies when the carpenters arrive in four days at Namisar, which dwells at the edge of the Land of Wind. Kino, Naruto, Mina, Sabo, and Instructor Diemia will also escort them along the way.”

“Ummm, why us?” Naruto asked.

“My reasons are as follows,” he faced Sabo. “Sabo has prior experience with the city itself, and can guide you through it. Also, I have no doubt he has people he wishes to see after so long.”

The monk-in-training laughed lightly and scratched his cheek. “It has been some time…”

“Mina and Naruto need to become more acquainted with the world beyond the five nations, and the culture shock will be a good experience. Also, Naruto’s new sealing slips will be needed to house the materials. They are impressive…although I worry when you deviate from the formula, so use the ones that are stable and I’ve reviewed, not the experimental ones.”

You blow up a few things and everyone’s a critic, Naruto mentally sighed, ignoring the fox’s chuckle. “Understood.”

“Kino will be acquiring space for the temple stand at the market, which will be put to use later this year as always.” He looked at his protégé and nodded. “To accomplish your goal, you need to familiarize yourself with the various tasks we do.”

“As you wish,” Kino nodded deeply. “I shall carry out my assignment dutifully.”

“Instructor Diemia will be acting in my stead,” he finished. “I trust you will contain yourselves?”

That was directed more towards Kino in relation to the whole shinobi-Naruto affair. The two barely spoke to each other unless required after that whole ordeal. Ashua had seen the slight trembles in his hand, the eyes always watching, recalling the killing intent he felt from the fox. He would have to do something about that. Fear breeds hatred. Hatred led to the path of self-destruction, and both of them needed to steer clear of that road.

They answered in unison. “Yes, Head Monk!”

As they left and he thought of a way to get them past their hurdle, he noticed the teacup he used had been cracked suddenly. “Well, that’s not an omen or anything…I hope.”

Two Days Later

As they ventured south, the endless sands gave way to patches of green, eventually becoming grass plains that bordered the stretch of sea. The salty sea breeze peppered their faces, and they basked in the scent beyond that of the dry desert. It had been so long since they experienced such a sight, if at all.

“Whoa…” Naruto muttered, his cowl dropping from over his head and exposing his hair. His eyes were fixated on the town as they peered at it from above. “This place seems different that what I’m used to. Not like Spring or Moon.”

His fox-state eyes—which the fox still wouldn’t come clean on fixing—observed the various buildings of all kinds of material, the roads, the people of different colors and clothing all wandering around. The main street led to a round-about that served as the market bazaar, where numerous people had gathered, while the alleys led into some less glorious appearing places hidden from the main street view. Canals divided the town into sections, and the beach was lined fine sand on one side and rocky outcroppings on the other.

“Namisar was named in remembrance of a foreign sailor who guided his ship here through a fierce storm and set up trade between the Land of Wind and the continents beyond the 5 Major Shinobi nations,” the instructor lectured him. “Because of the diverse population and culture, many different influences can be seen in the building structures, citizens, and stock they carry.”

Naruto frowned a bit when he thought about how such a place could have his identity exposed. The last thing he needed was for someone to give away his location on the off-chance some loon tried to kill him for revenge or turn him into a weapon. “Is there any chance that a Konoha shinobi could be there?”

“Not very likely,” Instructor Diemia nodded to ease his suspicion. “As a rule, the use of ninjutsu is restricted and all shinobi are required to register ahead of time before entering. You see, not every continent in the world is knowledgeable about ninjutsu or chakra.”

“Yeah…” Naruto scratched his head. “I met a guy named Temujin who said it was comparable to witchcraft. His power came from this freaky stone instead. He had armor and a sword different from a samurai or shinobi—and this really sweet retractable shield bracelet.”

“Even so,” Sabo chimed in. “It’s easy to smuggle yourself into this city, and if you don’t have a headband it’s easy enough to pass yourself off as a civilian and lay low. A lot of guys who want out of the shinobi game, need to disappear, or on an undercover mission might be hanging around.”

He leaned in close and whispered in Naruto’s ear. “Plus, a pretty shrimp like you might run into other problems, since there’s an active Skin Trade going on here due to all the foreigners—that includes your age. You’d fetch a pretty penny, so I’d suggest covering up.

Naruto gulped and proceeded to wrap his head and face up in the head scarf they carried whenever they crossed the desert during the worse heat or windy weather. Only his eyes and the bridge between them were exposed by the face mask. “Okay, I’m good.”

Kino only sighed and shook his head. Unnatural chakra or not, he was still a dunderhead. The monk-in-training wonder if he had been possessed or something at the time and the Head Monk purged it. “Whatever.”

Once inside the town walls, the group split. Kino went off on his own, while Mina and the instructor departed towards the dock to confirm the arrival in two days and then to ensure the materials had been prepared. That left Naruto alone with Sabo, who he barely knew anything about since he hadn’t been all that social with his studies and training.

“So…” Sabo broke the ice between them with a small jab. “Where do you want to go first?”

“I want to pick up some rarer supplies for a few new seals I have planned, but the only money I have on me is what I came to the temple with,” Naruto told Sabo. “That’s not much.”

“Well, how’s your luck at betting?” He noticed Naruto only grinned slightly behind the mask. “That good, huh? Come on then. ”

He led Naruto into a different part of the town, where ramshackle wooden buildings were thrown up with highly mismatched rooftops. Clothing lines and wooden beams ran between them, and the stones of the streets weren’t as polished. Tarps were draped over exposed parts, and windows were little more than uneven holes.

The atmosphere was different than the main street—less vibrant, more downtrodden. It reminded Naruto of the poorer areas of Konoha—even poorer than the apartment that the old man had gotten him, but roughly the same district. Not that Naruto minded the place; really it said more about what was really going on than what was on the surface.

Not too hostile, but not too inviting. It was comforting in a way.

Yet, Sabo was navigating through it like a native. He avoided women of momentary comfort, although he eyed a few along the way. The pickpockets—which Naruto was no stranger to, having been one himself to get by occasionally—smartly avoided the pair with their cloaks making targets hard to spot. Small detours were taken to miss the thugs that would only wind up getting their asses kicked collectively.

He finally stopped at the entrance of an alleyway that led to a brothel and pointed from behind the curb. There were a group of young men who were around a game of Find the Lady. “Easiest way to get the cash you want, but try not to cause trouble for us, because news gets around here.”

“That depends, is he honest?” Naruto asked, familiar with the game. There was a chance that the guys around were shills or he could pull a slight-of-hand.

Sabo only tilted his hand side-to-side, noticing a girl not too far from here. “He’s honest until about 2000 ryou, after that he starts getting slippery. Those guys are marks; since he knows how to use chakra he doesn’t usually need muscle if they get a little rowdy. ”

On cue, the three men gave up and went on their way to the brothel, now that their hopes of earning enough to get another hour of comfort were dashed. “See? Now go play while I go chat with a pretty lady.”

Naruto was ushered down the alley, while Sabo went to the right and met with the girl. Upon seeing the beads weighing down Naruto’s body, the dealer winced as if recalling a painful memory. Naruto put the money down and the game began.

The dealer’s hands were fast, but Naruto’s red-rimmed eyes were faster. Even when he got distracted, he took a lucky guess and came out on top. Eventually the dealer called it quits after Naruto cleaned half of his earnings for the day and gained a small audience filled with marks, leaving the jinchuuriki with more than enough money.

Making his way around the corner after storing his winnings away, he noticed Sabo talking to the girl in what looked like a blouse with shorts before she hugged him. Not wishing to pry, he stayed around the edge of the corner until they separated and he came back around to lead them out. Naruto noticed his shoulders were loose and relaxed, and his eyes didn’t dart around, waiting to catch someone ready to do something.

Combined with the ease of how he pointed to where Naruto could gamble quickly it made something clear. “Sabo, you’re familiar with this neighborhood, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I was an unwanted child who grew up on these streets,” he admitted without an ounce of edge. It was like it didn’t even bother him. “One day I woke up and learned my mom caught a boat back to her homeland and left me behind. Never knew my dad.”

“Sorry for bringing it up.”

“I’m fine with it,” he said. “It happened in the past and nothing I can do can change it…so, since we’re bringing up sensitive topics, how’d you join the temple?”

“They found me in the desert after I got banished from my shinobi village,” Naruto answered. “I underestimated the travel conditions.”

Sabo’s eyebrow rose at that. “What’d you do to get kicked out of a shinobi village?”

Naruto winced. “Completing a mission apparently. The paper came from the top ninja, and what she said goes…Old Hag.”

“That’s rough buddy,” he slapped him on the back in condolence. “Weren’t your parents upset?”

“I’m an orphan…” Naruto sighed beneath his mask. “So, how’d they get you?”

“When there was a pilgrimage that brought them by here a few years ago, me and a few guys tried to pick the pocket of an old monk. Got caught, got interested, and joined up. That dealer you played and a girl who I ran into back there also came along, but they couldn’t handle it. This lifestyle isn’t easy by any means, and while life in the Alley might not be easy, but it’s a whole lot more fun and profitable than temple life.”

“Yeah, to be honest it is a lot harder than I expected,” Naruto agreed. “I may not stay forever, but there’s merit to what they teach and I don’t have anywhere else to go for a few years.”

“Why not travel around the world then?” Sabo asked when they were back on the main street.

“I don’t know…” Naruto muttered. “I might go to Uzushio once all this is done, but the world?”

“Look, see that building?” He pointed to the distance. “Meet us there in two hours. Until then, just walk around and get a feel for the different vibes of this town. It’s like a micro-scale of the world, so you can see just diverse it is.”

Naruto raised an eyebrow. “Where are you going to be?”

“Finding some more of my old friends,” he answered. “There are some places here I really want to go, but you’re a little too young for that. Try not to sell yourself by accident.”

And with that he used Vital Step to go back into the Alley. Naruto only sighed. “I have got to learn to do that.”

With no guide and two hours to himself, the jinchuuriki walked around the port town filled with canals. Konoha had a distinctive feel compared to that of the temple, but this city had a more robust and gritty appeal to it as well. They all had their own charms and follies in the end.

As he walked through the crowd of strangers in foreign clothes from all walks of life and vendors pitching unfamiliar items, Naruto’s nose picked up a strange scent and he wound up going over to a food vendor. He had never heard of a pizza before, but the scent was so tantalizing he bought one.

After he took his first bite, his eyes perked up. “This is my new second-favorite dish!”

Twelve slices later he wondered how far the vendor had to travel to sale the magnificent dish and how different things were there. How different was the world from what he imagined? The vendor had been happy to tell him, given the jinchuuriki had just been his best customer so far.

The vendor mentioned his journey from Itaria and his travels through several different countries with different lifestyles and cultures. Naruto was no longer a villager of the Leaf, he was free to go wherever he wanted. He was banished for three years, but he didn’t have to return.

Better yet, why should he? “Maybe I should travel around when I get older.”

Yeah, like you did when you entered the desert?” The fox chimed in. “That turned out well.

Oh be quiet,” Naruto told it mentally, before following a train of thought that led to him asking it a question. “Hey, Fox. Do you know anything about what Uzushio was like? If I’m going to go by the name I should at least know about it.

I was sealed at Konoha roughly a hundred years ago,” it answered with spite in its voice. “Your mother and distant relative never returned to there after they became jinchuuriki. However, my last host would often look upon a map in remembrance, so I merely know the location by proxy.

Nearly a hundred, huh?” Naruto imagined being placed inside a box and being denied his freedom for over a century. Isolated, alone, and miserable, if he compared it to the near decade of going through that as a child, he could see the fox becoming jaded and malicious to its jailer. “Sorry to hear that.

Apologies won’t grant me my freedom, nor my time back,” the fox growled. “It was a mistake for my Old Man to entrust us to your kind.

Naruto’s ears perked up at that. “Old Man?

The fox didn’t answer. Naruto took it as a hint to quit while he was ahead. He had inadvertently learned more about his apparent connection to the previous two jinchuuriki and considered it enough for the moment. “Thanks for the answers. I’ll go over the notes on the top layer of the Four Symbols Seal tonight and see if I can pick out the array for the mindscape appearance again.

It only snorted in response.

Walking further down into the bazaar roundabout, the wares changed from foods to foreign equipment. As he passed a wooden stand with a guy wearing a black cowl standing in front of a display of weaponry from across the sea—broad blades, kite shields, plate mail and helmets—he asked him if he had one of those shields that Temujin had.

“Hmm…” The man shifted through his inventory until he found something. He placed a cold-blue gauntlet on and pressed a button on the bottom, expanding three layers of diamond-shaped metal, extending the defensive wall to a little more than a foot. “The model you are describing is not native to my homeland, but this one was a standard for the assassins of my homeland to block arrows.”

Naruto decided it was good enough and would make it a personal project to have it spring open on command through chakra by having a seal trip it instead. Plus some seals to enhance it’s durability, since those were covered in his text already and he had less of a chance of shrapnel blowing up in his face. He squirreled it away inside a storage slip. “Pleasure doing business with you.”

The man nodded. “Likewise…”


A loud explosion occurred from one of the branching streets and reach Naruto’s ear.

At the scene

At the sight of the explosion was a wrecked mechanical puppet, several Nadeshiko kunoichi in cloaks with their headbands hidden, Kino, and the man who built the thing in the first place.

Kino had been making his way back to the planned meeting spot ahead of time when the puppet-user attacked the kunoichi known as Shizuka. She destroyed the thing, but in doing so had drawn a crowd towards them and earning Kino’s ire for being a shinobi. He had problems with shinobi, if it weren’t obvious, and thought to confront them.

This could interfere with the mission,” one of the kunoichi whispered into Shizuka’s ear. “This town doesn’t condone shinobi who aren’t registered and we did sneak in. Master Tokiwa hasn’t gotten back yet either.

“What’s going on?” Naruto wondered out loud as made his way toward the crowd to see what the commotion was about.

At the same time, another man was leaving the crowd, finding the situation a bore. He was an oddity with black hair that had green streaks in it in a zig-zag pattern, and a slump posture. His baggy long-sleeve shirt didn’t even rustle as he moved with a fluid grace. Once he parted the crowd, his lackluster gaze was drawn towards the gathering of kunoichi a final time, at the same time Naruto’s focus was on the argument between Kino and Shizuka’s supporters. The man bumped into Naruto on pure accident.

“Sorry about—” Naruto was about to apologize when the sound of metal hitting the stone pavement echoed through the street like the lone ring in a cavern. He looked down to see what it was, and his heart skipped a beat. “A shinobi’s forehead protector?”

The tension in his voice was from the protector being face down, meaning he could be one of the hundreds of Konoha shinobi he knew nothing about. It reached the ears of the trained kunoichi and they began to move.

Sensing the change in the atmosphere, the man dropped all pretexts of being a civilian and made the Tiger Seal to buy some breathing room and punish the fool that exposed him. “Water Style: Water Surface Slicer!

A jet of water spouted from the earth and tore down the street, catching Naruto in the unexpected blast along with dozens of others. The kunoichi managed to avoid it with minor difficulties, but the civilians and two monks-in-training weren’t so lucky. The force of the attack swept people into the air and shattered bones, while the stone shrapnel from the paved ground caught several with enough force to embed themselves firmly into bodies.

The resulting panic had the civilians fleeing in terror, pushing each other out of the way and trampling those who were too slow, leaving injured and dying in their wake—the puppet-user being one of them.

“Go aid the injured, I’ll take him down.” Shizuka commanded her followers as she tossed her cloak away and chased after the fleeing shinobi from above on the rooftops. This would not end well at all. What was supposed to be a simple assassination and capture had gone awry because of the puppet-user and ended with corpses and injured.

Once Kino regained his senses he noticed the battered bodies, mass destruction, and wails of the injured. A vivid scene of a burning village with corpses lining the street overlapped at that moment and rage filled him. Noticing the man fleeing ahead, he summoned his Bo staff from a seal scroll and chased him as well.

Owww…it hurts…Naruto thought. The world was spinning, and several spots on his body radiated pain from being at the focal point of the attack. Running his hand over the spots, he felt hard rock and sticky moisture, only to lower his gaze and see he had been made pincushion for a great deal of shrapnel. What…happened…?

A sense of nausea overtook him when his sense of smell returned and picked up all the iron from the spilled blood. The memories of the attack began to appear as his mind cleared from the disorientation. The screams of many in shock bought his attention toward the direction that the man had fled to. He had to get up. He had to stand.

A…little help, please…” He asked the fox and silence was received. In the place of a verbal response the wounds closed, after the body rejected the shrapnel that tore his cloak and clothes beneath it. The jinchuuriki stood up and sprinted towards the site, venting the chakra in his weighting seals. What he witnessed was a stand-off.

A woman was on the ground, bleeding out as crimson life blood seeped through the furrows in the ground and stained the stones red. A kunai dripped blood and was placed before the neck of a little girl, with a patch of red from a gash in her stomach, in the shinobi’s other arm. The little girl had tears in her eyes, and softly cried “Mama, it hurts,” repeatedly, hoping for a response but afraid of speaking out loud and being killed.

Shizuka’s eyes bore a twinge of regret at the sight. Kino’s glare became murderous, and his fingers gripped the staff tight enough to crack the grain. Eying them both, the man placed the kunai at her neck. “One step, and the brat will get worse!”

“My, my…” Instructor Diemia slowly approached with Mina and sighed at the sight of the man wielding a weapon against a hostage. “Is that really necessary? Was killing an innocent woman in front of her child worth it?”

“Can it old man! This isn’t a—” The man was cut off when a chakra construct formed a thin wall between the dagger and the girl, while another one sprang up at his feet and directly impacted the elbow of the arm holding the girl, releasing her. She was then sealed inside a final one and isolated.

No longer having a hostage, Kino allowed chakra to flow through his staff and thrust it like a spear towards the center of his forehead, piercing through it with intent to kill. There was no rain of blood of brain matter, but the body melted around it while turning clear blue, before collapsing in a puddle…with an explosive tagged kunai inside it.

“Get away, it’s gonna blow!” Naruto yelled as it caught fire.

A triple layer of chakra blocks surrounded the tag before it ruptured and the blast was restrained for the most part, but the shockwave blew Kino off his feet. “What the Hell!?”

“A Water Clone…” Naruto realized. “He must’ve pulled a substitution with it after he lost the hostage and took off! The seal on it wasn’t timed, but limited remote for detonation. Meaning he can’t be too far!”

Kino gritted his teeth and chased after Shizuka—who picked up the screams of panicking civilians to the west a split second beforehand—using Vital Step. Mina and Instructor Diemia worked to stabilize the girl, whose wound was made worse by the explosion and critical.

“Uzumaki, go after Kino!” The instructor ordered. “He doesn’t think rationally in these circumstances and may get himself hurt. Bring him back and let the guards handle this!”

Naruto nodded and took off with very little intention of actually doing that. That shinobi crossed the line.

Shizuka attacked the shinobi in a dead-end alley, next to a canal that was lined with several jerry-built three-story buildings that housed members of the poorer class. With a kunai in each hand imbued with the pale glow of wind chakra, they left luminous arcs as they flowed in an alluring pattern and targeted his head.

The metal forehead protector was pierced in two by the wind-coated kunai as it dug into the skull of the shinobi…only for it to turn into water and then burst in an explosion of force that sent her flying into the wall of the building at the back of the dead end alley. The Clone Great Explosion technique was more effective with a shadow clone because they had more mass, but water was a good medium as well.

Pulling himself out of the canal, he wiped the blood from his head and looked at the ruined forehead protector with a myriad of emotions. He had let his skills degrade to the point where even with a seal-less water clone and substitution he was too slow to avoid any damage. Now he had lost something that simply couldn’t be replaced by pride.

Pulling out two kunai, he sent a murderous gaze towards Shizuka. The kunoichi was stunned from the impact, her head slamming into the wall enough to knock her out. A stab to the head and heart would kill this stupid brat.

He took a single step forward…and then grinded his teeth as he sensed the arrival of another enemy and raised them above with earth chakra flowing through the blades to increase their durability. The kunai crossed each other and halted the hammer strike of the Bo staff as Kino dropped from above, the impact cracking the paved earth beneath the shinobi’s feet. With burst of strength he edged it past his shoulder and stepped in to slash at the monk-in-training.

Kino leaped back, fury in his eyes that called for blood. Extending his chakra flow, he used the limited shape manipulation taught to form a pyramid-shaped tip of hardened chakra at the end of his Bo, turning it into a spear. Then he attacked again.

The spear lashed out in streaks of ethereal blue. Each thrust invading his territory and being deflected by the reinforced kunai. Heart, throat, and forehead—the streaks were accurate to a point, targeting the fatal spots with every intention of killing.

A strained voice escaped the man’s lips in the face of the relentless assault by the monk-in-training. That last thrust towards his throat was deflected into barely passing his head by the left and then retracted. He was by no means an expert in close-combat…But he was a Jounin damn it. He stepped in, taking the range advantage away from the spear-user and getting in close. His kunai were black blurs as they moved in fluid arcs, intent of cutting the kid apart.

Kino had pressed his luck, the folly of thinking that he could match someone who put time, blood, and sweat even greater than his own lifespan and expecting to come out on top unharmed. The reality of the situation was showing itself as he was forced on the defensive, his weapon being chipped away, lacking the time to commit to any defense.

“Ngh—!” Pain exploded in his abdomen from a knee slamming into it, cracking a rib at the very least. Air forced itself out of his lungs and staggered him for but a moment…but that was enough. He could only watch as the kunai prepared to take away his life and cut out his throat—


—it was redirected, while the second came around and nicked just beneath his ribcage as the enemy stepped back and the kunai that was to tear at his throat had been sliced in two. Kino didn’t need to know why he was spared; only feeling resentment it was thanks to a shinobi that it happened. It was because Shizuka had gotten back on her feet and imbued wind chakra into a shuriken. Had he not stepped back, he would have died after killing Kino.

“Damn brats!” The man had had enough of these upstarts. Without a single hand seal, he spat out a blast of concussive water to knock the monk-in-training away and dodged the eight kunai that embedded themselves into the ground, up to the hilt thanks to wind chakra. He bit his thumb, made the seals, and cried “Summoning: Axolotl!

The smoke cleared to reveal a twelve-foot long, eight-foot high, obsidian-black salamander creature. It held gills and a long fin running down it’s spine, shaking as it stood on four legs. Shifting its wide head and lidless eyes, it noted the environment it was summoned into and gurgled as it dived into the canal next to his summoner.

The shinobi formed a hand seal as the Axolotl sucked water down it’s gullet with vacuum force, storing it in it stomach and lacing it with chakra. With a loud spurt, it spat out the regurgitate water at an angle from below and churned the surface of the water in the canal out as a wave, at the same time it’s summoner used his next jutsu. “Earth Style: Mud Spores!

The barreling wave of water became a muddy wash as it rode towards the pair. The panicked screams of those who resided nearby were nearly drowned out by the rushing water. The shinobi finished the collaboration technique with a final jutsu. “Earth Style: Earth Flow Spears!”

The wave hardened as it approached and formed spikes with his next technique, driving them forward into a wall of death at the duo. The cries of those who lived in the path of attack made it clear that if they dodged, more innocents would die. The pair stood in defiance of that outcome.

Shizuka pulled out a shuriken on the tip of finger and exhaled a thick layer of wind chakra, gracefully covering it with the Wind Style: Vacuum Blade technique. The spinning saw was flung, cleaving cleanly through the wall.

Virtuous Art:—” Kino spun his staff and streamed his own elemental affinity of fire into the weapon. The staff was set ablaze with roaring crimson that seemed to scorch the air. Holding it into a thrust position, he launched it forward. “—Agni’s Sacrificial Strike!

The burning missile was fired, streaking like a comet burning the horizon as it passed. It crashed head first into the mass of hard earth and ruptured with an explosion that shook the buildings and threatened to collapse them within the plume of smoke that rolled out as the rubble fell into the canal and onto the streets…with the sole exception of a single block large enough to smash a small hovel on the top of the building.

“Shit!” Kino swore as he prepared to intercept it when Shizuka pushed him down before they were both impaled by a lance of water. Neither would be able to stop the debris from causing more collateral damage…when the jinchuuriki appeared.

Naruto silently dashed across the rooftop and approached with the spiraling sphere of destruction in his hand. Leaping at the incoming clump of hardened mud and spikes, he pushed forward and shattered it. The rain of pebbles did little more than annoy those below as the jinchuuriki dissipated the Rasengan and chambered his hands.

Two swift sweeps unleashed a barrage of Chakra Needles towards the shinobi. The blue darts flew with lethal intent before they were knocked down by a spout of water, and Naruto charged forward, his makeshift mask hiding his expression barring the grim determination in his eyes.

The shinobi went on the offensive, summoning three water clones that ran forward with Water Whips in their hands and lashing out, while the summoning surfaced and used Water Style: Liquid Bullet to spit out condensed balls of water.

The spiraling sphere reappeared in his hand as he slammed it into the balls of water and dispersing them before he darted to the right to avoid the whips as they lashed. With a swipe of his hand another wave of needles pierced the clones and dispersed them as he sped towards the summoning and its master with burst of chakra behind each step.

The Axolotl spun around and lashed out with its tail, catching the jinchuuriki at his stomach and launching him backwards towards the other pair, who were briefly stunned by his sudden appearance. He rotated in the air and skidded to a stop on his feet, his tattered cloak ruffling as he stood again while the fox subtly healed the damage.

“So much for the element of surprise,” his slightly distorted voice came through the mask. “Kunoichi-san, who the hell is this guy?”

Shizuka bit her lips. At this point too much damage had been caused for absolute secrecy. She would tell them the bare minimum. “A missing-nin my village received a request to apprehend him from the Water Daimyo personally since the Village Hidden in the Mist was undergoing some…problems after the civil war. He’s been working for a certain man who runs the underworld here and sinking Land of Water and foreign ships that refuse to pay ‘taxes’ to him ahead of time.”

Left unsaid was how that certain man was in the tender care of her mentor as per a second set of orders to prevent this from happening again. Of course the evidence would only show he had a heart attack from an improperly cut blowfish. By the time the hired hands popped up to check on him, their meal ticket would simply be a cold corpse.

“His name is Mardius, former Jounin of the Hidden Mist. He’s known for his proficiency in water and earth techniques. Thank you for stepping in, but he’s my responsibility so I’ll deal with him.”

“And you’ve done a great job with it so far,” Kino stated coldly.

“Enough,” Naruto said as another a blast of water was fired by the summoning. The pulse of water had enough force to plow them through the building and would tear the arteries from the heart if hit through blunt trauma. Naruto pulled out a sealing scroll and unraveled it, revealing a water sigil in the center.

He had kept it for if they needed spare water at any time in the desert, having learned his lesson the first time. His chakra fed it, and the water from the attack was drunken into the scroll that rolled itself up when done. “Now, I was supposed to bring this hothead back and leave this mess to the guards, but since Kino obviously isn’t going to come back on his own and I don’t want to see anymore needless death, we work together.”

Let’s see, I have only one explosive tag since the Head Monk didn’t allow me to make more of them on principle, a barrier tag, a chakra venting tag…Damn, that’ll have to do for now since I wasn’t expecting a fight. Naruto looked at Shizuka and nodded. “Loan me a kunai will you?”

She tossed him a kunai and it spun in his hand before being reverse-gripped as he charged ahead. Shizuka watched as the masked monk-in-training charged ahead once again and tossed eight shuriken into the air after infusing them with wind chakra. “Wind Style: Rotating Shuriken!

The shuriken manipulated by Shizuka passed by him and tried to cut away at the shinobi’s flesh, but the Axolotl’s interference knocked them out of the air. The missing-nin followed up with a set of hand seals and water from the canal became a floating blob that darted out tendrils of water like striking snakes at the jinchuuriki.

Naruto flipped back before tossing an explosive seal slip into the blob, breaking the chakra mold that held the attack together, as a blur passed him in the form of Kino. In the monk-in-training’s hand was a jian with fire chakra streaming through it as he clashed with Mardius and his kunai streaming water chakra.

The Axolotl prepared to devoured the blade-user when Shizuka dropped from above with her leg wreathed in the glow of wind chakra. “Nadeshiko-Style Hardliner: Revolving Cut!” The attack came down and crushed the summoning, slicing through the head and scattering green blood and brain matter with bits of the flesh mixed in. As she took a minute to center herself from a lack of chakra, she heard the clashing of steel and observed the two monks-in-training facing off against the missing-nin.

Mardius bought a kunai up to parry the jian as he spun, lunging the other towards Naruto. The jinchuuriki dodge and thrust his borrowed weapon in retaliation, which was avoided as he shifted his leg and kicked Naruto into the canal—unaware that Naruto slipped a seal on his leg as he landed the blow. He then jumped and rotated his other leg to come down on Kino’s shoulder dislocating it only because Kino avoided having it shattered with a side step.

Before he could do anything else, blue chakra blossomed from the seal, pouring out like a raging torrent and draining him of his chakra. Chakra venting seal—normally used to vent chakra on things like restraining cuffs, so rather than simply blocking it until it built up, it would seep out. By weaponizing it, it acted as one large tenketsu and emptied the man’s reserves like water through a broken a faucet that was turned on. By the time he managed tear it off, he was near empty.

Mardius scowled as he used both kunai to divert the jian targeting his forehead upwards—leaving him open for Shizuka’s blow as she stepped in with a fist shrouded in wind-chakra. “Nadeshiko Style: Hardliner Gale Fist!

Pain exploded in his torso and the shinobi was sent flying down the alley mouth and struggled to stand. She took out five ribs with that blow. They weren’t broken—they were gone. “Fucking brats!”

He was a Jounin—an elite among the best in the system! Just because the guy didn’t have a big name like Zabuza, he was not a small fry. He would not be bested by a bunch of toddlers, two of which weren’t even shinobi! “Earth Style: Earth & Stone Dragon!

Earth grinded from beneath the paved stone and churned to create rose and formed a dragon that howled and lunged at the trio. While Shizuka and Kino were catching their breaths Naruto went forward, piercing eyes narrowed at the attack as he faced down the dragon of rubble.

On the rooftop above, Tokiwa sighed at just how much the collateral damage was going to cost to repair. She prepared to interfere with a kunai in hand when her eyes narrowed at the sight of the blond wielding the spiraling sphere of blue and charging towards the dragon of the missing-nin—smashing it with a mighty blow. “The Rasengan…?”

Shaking her head and putting it to the back of her mind, she used the distraction caused by the dragon’s destruction to toss the kunai at the missing-nin. Her eyes never left the target as his eyes rolled up into the back of his head, which had a kunai buried to the back of the skull.

Breathing heavily and looking at the woman on the rooftop, Naruto’s attention perked up to the surrounding. He noticed people in their windows looking at him in pure fright, closing them as soon as his eyes drifted upwards. Why are they looking at me like that?

Foolish boy,” the fox spoke up. “It’s not just you. They are afraid of all of you.

“What do you mean?”

Confounded child, it took just four of you fighting to demolish a portion of their home with your jutsu. Bodies of the uninvolved lined the street where he attacked, and the maimed and injured will be lucky to gain full mobility and senses. Not to mention their pathetic sense of security was now shattered.

You were told that many foreigners resided here. How do you think they would react to seeing such actions committed by things wearing the flesh of their kind?

Naruto realized then how the weak saw themselves in comparison. To the many who observed, they would spend their time wondering if the person next to them was a monster wearing a human skin. If shinobi thought he as a jinchuuriki was a monster, civilians thought shinobi were monsters.

You three!” Naruto, Shizuka, and Kino’s attention was grabbed by approaching guards, who brandished their weapons. “Don’t move! You’re under arrest!”

Oh sure, NOW they show up. Naruto thought as he noticed the woman had left. A somber exhalation escaped his lips and the jinchuuriki held his hands up in submission. “Head Monk isn’t going to like this…”

In the Guard Station

Shizuka, Tokiwa, and the rest of the Wind Temple group were at the Guard Station.

Things were tense with the Head of Namisar’s Guard forces as he opened a folder and began to put pictures down on the table of the various issues involved. “17 Causalities, of which included a mother who tried to prevent her daughter from being kidnapped, 26 Injured, some of whom will not be able to function productively in society, and the damage to our town was fairly extensive.”

He slammed his palms on the table hard enough to make the wood crack. “I. Am. Not. PLEASED WITH THIS OUTCOME!

Naruto and Kino winced. They hadn’t caused most of the damage.

The Head Guard rubbed the bridge between his eyes. “The Wind Daimyo will be coming in a week to assess the damage and since you three were involved, while Tokiwa-san was the Jounin leader of the mission, he will be expecting explanations in person to set up communications with the Water Daimyo.”

Focusing his eyes on the two monks-in-training, he nodded. “Given that the monks of the Wind Temple itself are known as practitioners of chakra, we were informed of your arrival purpose ahead of time, and your involvement was to prevent further devastation, we will most likely not press charges. That being said, I insist that you stay out of the public eye for the remainder of your time here.”

He turned to Tokiwa. “As for the kunoichi, the damage could have been mitigated had your forces been more careful and you did not inform us of any mission taking place in our home. By all rights, I should have you all locked away if it weren’t for the fact that you came willingly and the Water Daimyo’s signature seal verified the mission documents. Compensation will be demanded, and we will have to ask that all uninvolved in the upcoming meeting depart immediately.”

“Understood,” Tokiwa nodded. “Reparations towards the repairs, compensation for loss of life and injury, as well as the subterfuge shall be personally contributed by myself, if not through the Daimyo.”

Translation: The money she took from the vault.

The group was then allowed to leave.

“Punishment is in order once we return,” Instructor Diemia stated. “The only reason you are both alive is because that Jounin was out of practice.”

“That and stupid,” Naruto agreed. “He could have just transformed and fled. I think it was because that Nadeshiko kunoichi broke his forehead protector that he decided to fight. Hell, I charged a Jounin only a few months out of the gate in order to get mine back…”

“Why did the guy keep his protector anyway?” Mina asked. “If you were hiding, it was dumb to have the one thing that would confirm you as a shinobi, barring chakra levels.”

“Iruka-sensei often went on about how it was the pride of a shinobi,” Naruto told her. “It was proof of everything they went through, everything they aspired to, the sum of the efforts to become who they are in service to their village. Even missing-nin will have a little pride in their abilities and would hesitate throw it away—maybe scratch out the symbol instead to show they’ve abandoned it—but considering how much one has to go through to be a Jounin, he probably couldn’t justify throwing it away. Especially since from what Kakashi told me about the Mist graduation ritual before Zabuza’s time.”

Zabuza never scratched out his forehead protector because he loved his village. He was intent on overthrowing the Mizukage and ending the purges. Had he not met his death, he would have attempted and possibly succeeded before Mei did.

“Monk-sama,” Tokiwa called to Naruto from behind. “Are you by chance a shinobi?”

Naruto arched an eyebrow. “What makes you think that?”

“Just now, your voice spoke from the heart with no doubt in it, which meant you learned it firsthand and believed it. Also, the way you carry yourself is different than the others. Your stance is slightly more fluid and better suited for moving and using a kunai, in contrast to the rigidity of wielding a staff. Not to mention you used the Rasengan—which is an A-class technique known only to Jiraiya-sama and his apprentice, the Fourth Hokage…at least as far as the Bingo Book listed.”

“The Toad Sage?” Instructor Diemia looked at Naruto curiously. The instructors had been informed he was a jinchuuriki and previous shinobi, but they didn’t know everything. “One of the three legendary shinobi of Konoha?”

“…I have got to get a new signature move,” Naruto sighed, uncaring of how Kino flinched at his affiliation with the famous Konoha shinobi. “Konoha and I aren’t affiliated anymore, and unlike the idiot I left my forehead protector behind as proof. As for Pervy Sage, I’m not sure what he’s doing or even why you’re after him.”

Tokiwa smiled faintly. “I encountered him many years ago and witnessed his technique firsthand. We tried to capture him after he infiltrated our village to spy on several women for his erotica research alone.”

Naruto shook his head in embarrassment. “Yeah, that sounds like Pervy Sage alright. Only he would spy on a village full of kunoichi for his orange-covered smut. Seriously, I met him peeking on women at hot spring on the back of a toad.”

Sounds like my kinda guy,” Sabo whispered to himself.

“So, did you maim him like Granny does?”

Tokiwa merely shook her head. “He fled on a giant toad. I managed to catch up and fought him, ending it in a tie, upon which a promise was made involving his disciple.”

“I think I was the only disciple that he had,” Naruto admitted. “He really doesn’t seem like the type to take students often.”

“Then I must request you duel Shizuka-sama…”

Non-Canon Jutsu:

Virtuous Art: Agni’s Sacrificial Strike – Using Chakra Flow to infuse his staff with fire, Kino throws it like a streaking comet and causes a fairly strong explosion on impact, decimating the staff in the process.

Wind Monk Banishment: Fox Chronicles #3

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Fox Chronicles

Chapter 3: Duel with Shizuka

With Naruto – The Past

Naruto’s eyebrow shot up at the request. “I’m sorry?”

“Allow me to explain,” Tokiwa went on about the promise of their apprentices dueling for each other’s hand in marriage…or death, and how Jiraiya had screwed him over in his younger years.

Damn you Pervy Sage! Naruto heard the Sabo chuckling in delight at that. “Listen, about that…”

“I must protest,” the Instructor interrupted. “As his representative, I cannot allow him to do so. The sins of a master cannot be transferred over to a student. In addition, Uzumaki is no longer a shinobi, therefore the promise his former master made can no longer apply to him.”

“Sorry, Tokiwa-san, Shizuka-san, but he’s right. What the pervert promised was only applicable if I was a Konoha shinobi and thankfully I’m not anymore.”

Naruto walked off with the others as Tokiwa looked on. She had no intention of giving up after finally finding the apprentice of that man. After all, it was for the good of the village and the only way for Shizuka to move on.

That Night

“So you were trained by a sage?” Sabo asked. The group in general was bundled together in a single large room, but the instructor was preoccupied with other business.

“Sage or not, I wouldn’t know,” Naruto answered while keeping his focus on the desk in front of him as he worked on more seals. There was a knife he picked up on the way back lying on the table as well. He needed something else in case he couldn’t settle things with a seal and wasn’t confident in his Taijutsu yet. His growth spurt hadn’t kicked in and he still lacked some power behind his punches. “I trained with him for a few weeks at best.”

“What was it like?” Mina asked out of curiosity. “Sages are rare and even monks rarely ascend to that level during a lifetime. Their balance with nature is said to be so in tune that the world itself empowers them and becomes one with them.”

“He never did anything that could be considered sage-like to me. He only taught me one jutsu and had me sign a summoning contract for Toads…then he tossed me off a huge cliff and into a ravine.”

Kino scoffed. “You’re kidding, right?”

Naruto leveled a stare at him. “I’m not. If I didn’t have enough chakra in my reserves to summon the Toad Boss, then I would’ve died. He took a gamble that just so happened to work looking back.”

“I call bull,” he rebutted Naruto’s words. “I’ve done my research on shinobi techniques and know that when you summon a boss, you need more chakra than normally available to most shinobi. No fourteen year old would have the amount of chakra needed.”

“I wasn’t normal,” Naruto said coldly, his finger set ablaze with chakra as he inscribed a seal into the knife’s blade. “The amount of chakra I have on a normal day could surpass an elite jounin. The cost was that my control was shot to hell and back—once I start pouring it into a technique, I couldn’t stop. That’s why I always do chakra control exercises.”

A lot of good it did you if you were kicked out of your village,” Kino muttered.

Thunk! Naruto stabbed the newly engraved blade into the wood of the desk in aggravation. He had good hearing. “Look asshole, I’ve been incredibly patient—for me anyway—and I’m trying to ignore those smartass comments you keep sending my way out of respect for the Old Monk, but you keep up the insults and I’m going to show you what it feels like to get hit by a Rasengan.

“You’ve probably got some sob story that I’m not privy to and it’s probably got something to do with Konoha, but I’ll be damned if I turn myself into a punching bag for you to work out your issues, not after that pink banshee. That Naruto died on his way into the desert. Now if you quit making jabs and sit down to talk about it, maybe we can discuss this like rational people.”

“I’ve got nothing to talk to you about,” Kino replied.

“Fine by me,” Naruto pulled the steel from the wood and sheathed it. Making his way to the door to use the bathroom at the end of the corridor, he continued. “Rather than being a coward, either you speak up or you keep your mouth shut.”

On his way to the bathroom, he crossed a corridor that passed by the garden and found Tokiwa waiting for him.

“So, that’s what you look like without a face mask,” she said calmly.

“Wow, you are persistent…” Naruto leaned against the railing with a blank stare. “If you’ve come to try and convince me to fight then I’ll have to turn you down.”

“I see,” her voice didn’t change but the friendly atmosphere wavered a bit. “Very well, then I’ll have to go to Konoha and talk to him about it. In the process, they may learn of your affiliation and begin to dispatch ANBU to ensure any secrets of Konoha are not unveiled.”

Naruto gritted his teeth. He felt the scarlet haze of anger wash over him, but he controlled his rage in order to play it off. “So you’ve decided to blackmail me with the knowledge that you know who I’m affiliated with. And here I thought you were fairly straight forward as a kunoichi.”

“I prefer the direct method,” she said with her voice straight-laced and crossed her arms. “As much as I would dislike interfering in your affairs, my village comes first and I feel that Shizuka-sama needs to realize herself through an encounter with you.”

“What make you think a former Genin would elicit enough attention to warrant their interest?” He asked. “I wasn’t anyone special or belonged to a clan. I have nothing beyond basic knowledge that any rookie infiltrator would.”

“While Genin are low in the system, they are a part of a military force,” she answered. “Being banished may have been the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge, but you still hold a strong connection to the Sannin to utilize one of their techniques. They won’t let such matters pass easily.”

Naruto clicked his teeth. The Rasengan was merely an advance chakra control technique but it still qualified. “Why the hell are you so intent on having me fight her?”

“For her, destiny has declared she will marry a disciple of the Toad Sage. Only by facing that destiny head on will she be able to grow and eventually lead our village to prosperity.”

“Despite the fact that we could kill one another?” Naruto pointed out. “Chances are she’ll kill me in combat. You’re willing to get someone uninvolved killed for the sake of your village?”

Her eyes hardened. “That’s what it means to be a shinobi or kunoichi. Innocent or guilty, we do what is best for our village, and Nadeshiko needs a strong leader. I won’t lie and say that the chances of her killing you aren’t fairly great.”

“I became a shinobi to earn respect,” Naruto told her. “For a village that ignores a child and kicks him out of an orphanage for simply living, I held no love for Konoha. There are only a handful of people even worth considering the village in a positive light and those were who I’d protect.”

He sighed. “It’s not like I’m getting anything out of this, but whatever. We won’t get anywhere with philosophical discussion, so I’ll do your stupid match. But the time and place are where I set them.”

Tokiwa agreed. “That is acceptable.”

Some Time Later

The sun peaked over the shoreline as Shizuka of Nadeshiko and her mentor Tokiwa made their way to the battlefield chosen by their opponent. It was a distant bank of sand that bordered the ocean, where the head wrapped jinchuuriki sat down, the cloak and cowl hiding his closed eyes and his breathing was calm. The distance from the port city ensured that no one sensed the battle that was going on and no one would get hurt besides the two combatants.

Shizuka subconsciously shifted the pouch containing her tools as she thought of the upcoming battle. From what she had seen at the previous battle he was an alright opponent for her skill set, but he didn’t demonstrate anything resembling an elemental affinity or weapon specialty—barring the typical use of a kunai, but he was a former shinobi so that was expected. What made him so special that her destiny said she would have to marry him upon losing?

She supposed it didn’t matter in the end. While she didn’t know how her mentor had gotten him to agree to this match, she had no intention of losing. If he was too weak, he would die and if he was strong enough to best her then she would follow the laws and duty of her village and marry him.

Shizuka had closed her heart after her beloved Sagiri’s death, quietly accepting that it was her fault in the end that he died. She went against her village’s laws, falling in love with a simple merchant rather than obliging her duty of marrying one stronger than her. If she hadn’t loved him, then he would have been a thriving merchant she was sure. He wouldn’t be with her, but he would have been alive. So she threw herself into training, becoming as strong as she presently was by the sheer determination to adhere to her duty.

As Shizuka took a position in front of the monk-in-training, who finally stood up, she measured the distance between them. It was six meters, hardly anything at all, and once the iron walls came crashing down courtesy of her mentor playing overseer and forming the perimeter of the battlefield, she nodded to her mentor to signal her readiness for combat.

Tokiwa returned the nod and then focused on the boy. “Are you ready, Monk-sama?”

“Anytime,” the boy said. Shizuka noted his voice held was rather calm barring a twinge of annoyance.

Tokiwa nodded and then began the match.

Naruto had to admit he really didn’t want to do this. He disliked having someone blackmail him and spent the time he had before the pair arrived going over the deal with the fox to ensure his cooperation. He immediately dismissed the notion of throwing the match since it was clear with the first move she made that she wasn’t going to hold back and, after having fought alongside her somewhat against that jounin from mist, they both knew she was far more capable than him in both short and long range.

What’s new there? Naruto mentally sighed. Since when hadn’t he been pitted against opponents who should by all rights be far above his skill level? After all, if he only fought people weaker than him then life would be fair and, for Naruto, that was like the moon reflected in the pond—even if such a thing looked close, it was an illusion he could never reach.

The kunoichi began with a dance of steel that rained kunai at him, a steady flow of projectiles that were frighteningly accurate and forced him to be nimble on his feet or suffer the consequences as the sharp steel occasionally punched through his cloak and grazed the flesh beneath. Trickles of blood flowed from the wounds before they were healed just as quickly until the rain stopped.

The jinchuuriki moved, sweeping his arms and unleashing a barrage of azure needles made of chakra as he spun. The first sweep went high and the second sweep went low. The sheer abundance of them ensured that he would hit and she could only avoid by jumping up or blocking. If she jumped, she wouldn’t be able to dodge as he fired from below again. Therefore…

Shizuka exhaled with puckered lips, wind-chakra lacing the expelled air. Her Gale Fan kicked up a torrent of sand that followed the surge of wind. It was a fearsome precision blast that would slam into him like a wall.

Naruto jumped to the side to avoid the stream of air and sand, only to have it follow him as she turned her head. So he kept running to the side, closing in at an angle and pulling out his knife. With a quick side dash he managed to get close enough to attempt to stab her.

Shizuka avoided the stab and slipped behind him to deliver a merciless round kick into his ribs and knock him against the wall. Her fist was laced with wind chakra and followed up with an attempt to crush his head. Instead her fist punched deep into the iron wall as Naruto ducked and spun on his heel.

He raised his knife to strike again and thrust to her face—

WHAM! He was sent spinning like a pinwheel as she shifted from a wind-chakra charged punch to upwards kick. Landing on all fours, he saw several shuriken hover in place with a layer of wind chakra coating them to expand their range and lethality.

Naruto charged as they were thrown towards him. Slipping into a slide, he sheathed the knife as he slid under the shurikens and their extended range. Once past them he went into a spin and unraveled a scroll.

Shizuka’s went wide as she recognized it and threw her arms up before a torrent of water poured out like a burst dam. The seal unleashed all the water it had absorbed from the fight against the missing-nin, effectively hitting her with the attack from before. It sent her tumbling onto the ground…where she noticed the expanding shadow beneath her.

Naruto descended with a Rasengan in hand, aiming for the center of her torso. “RASENGAN!”

She rolled out of the way as the monk-in-training slammed the spiraling sphere of chakra into the dampened sand and scattered it, splattering her wet figure and clothes with clumps of clingy and heavy sand. Her foot coated itself in wind-chakra and came around in a horizontal crescent, cleaving through the space as he leapt back to avoid the attack while unleashing another barrage of Chakra Needles.

Unable to avoid them all in her position, she shielded her vital organs and head, allowing them to bury into her flesh and draw blood. The attack as it was had too little penetrative power to do anything crippling as long as she didn’t receive a hit in vital spot or a pressure point. A quick flare of her chakra purged them and she stood, reaching into her pouch for another set of kunai.

“You’re going to run of tools and chakra well before I do,” Naruto told her in an almost bored tone.

“Then I’ll simply need to destroy your heart or head before then,” she responded.

With the opening of the match out of the way, the two really went at it.

Shizuka felt like her lungs were on fire. She took a deep breath of air as a drop of sweat fell from her forehead and trailed down her cheek. Her emerald eyes were focused solely on the boy in front of her, wondering if it had been minutes or hours since they had begun.

The opponent by all means should have been killed or at least incapacitated. He was a mere boy with some talent, but he himself seemed to regard this duel as merely unpleasant business that he would rather end now.

“Wind Style: Divine Down Current!” She continued her attack and a vortex of wind tore down the path towards him. He darted to the side, his cloak being caught at the edges and torn by the force of its passing as he pressed on and she made her next move to stop him from getting in close again. “Wind Style: Divine Wind!”

Several small tornadoes came into existence and began to circle the jinchuuriki, picking of sand and becoming a sand storm that closed in on him. Sealing him within a prison of spiraling wind that would grate and grind him from all sides, she—


—could only be shocked when there was a flash of azure charka so great it seemed like a newborn star coming into creation and scattered the sand and wind everywhere. She covered her eyes to avoid being blinded and took a step back—

“Ah!” Shizuka’s eyes widened as she found herself backed against one of the iron wall panels and the monk emerged from the sand spout with a knife in his hand and neutral chakra flowing through it. The knife drew a luminous arc as it tore into the iron walls, shearing a deep furrow into the metal and a few strands of Shizuka’s hair as she ducked.

“Enough!” Channeling wind chakra into her fist she drove it towards his chest. The blow was strong enough to completely turn his organs and ribcage into a mess of pounded viscera and powdered bones if he hadn’t intercepted it by catching the wrist with his other hand to redirect it, at the same time applying a chakra-venting seal patch to her skin that was hidden on his palm.

The blossom of wind chakra from the vent hindered her technique, but her sheer strength and remaining chakra was enough to knock him a good distance back on impact. The jinchuuriki went rocketing to the opposite side of the makeshift arena and slammed into one of the panels. The knife fell from his grip and blood spilled through his face wrapping on impact, seeping through from where he coughed it up and tasted the bitter iron flavor. He was really taxing his healing factor and he was damn sure he was going to be feeling it for the next few days. At least he managed to avoid having his heart torn from the arteries by directing the blow lower.

Shizuka tore off the seal and felt the creeping horror of chakra exhaustion consuming her. Her attention snapped to the sight of her enemy approaching, already on his feet with the sphere of coalesced chakra in hand. Forcing herself to stand she reached for her tools…only to discover she had indeed ran out.

The jinchuuriki charged sensing her inability to prolong the fight anymore, determined to end this in a single blow. “Eat this!

Gritting her teeth, she channeled the remnants of what chakra she had into her clenched fist. Pouring determination into her weary body, she let loose a battle cry as she charged with her fist chambered to meet the opponent head first. “Hardliner—

RASENGAN!|GALE FIST!” The crossing of chakra and chakra, one riding on a fist and the other spinning in hand, signaled the end of the battle. With her longer reach, she would strike deeper. She would win!

…at least she would have, if the jinchuuriki hadn’t abandoned his attack. Dissipating the sphere of chakra and leaning back deep enough to form a bridge out of his body, he avoided the lethal blow of the Gale Fist. And then he brought his foot up from below.

She saw it coming, but could do nothing to stop it. The kick struck her chin and snapped her head back, the whiplash of it enough to rattle her brain and drop her to her knees. As the world spun, she felt the despair of loss overcoming her once again and fell into a sea of black…

Tokiwa watched as the match ended with mixed feelings, her charge taken down after a surprisingly long battle and the boy who seemed to tank or skirt around any and everything she threw at him. With the match over she landed by Shizuka, whose consciousness was slowly returning.

“I…lost…” Shizuka wheezed as her mentor used a healing technique to alleviate the damage done while her enemy sat cross-legged next to her.

“Yeah,” he stated. “You might have been stronger than me, but you gave me too much time and advantage when you let me select the terms of the duel. All I really had to do was outlast you until you fell down to my level.”

She lost despite everything. The realization left her bitter. “The village law…”

“Has nothing to do with me.” Naruto finished for her. “Let’s get something straight. Say that we followed that law and got married, would that make you happy?”

“It wouldn’t,” she admitted.

Naruto nodded. “For starters, if you forced us into a relationship, there would only be friction between us because neither of us wants that. Besides, I’m not a shinobi anymore, so you didn’t lose to the apprentice of the Toad Sage. You lost to someone who’s fighting against a lifetime of misery and their destiny of being someone who swears themselves to a leader, village, or duty that they have no love for.”

Tokiwa listened in silently as the boy spoke, eyes weighing her charge’s reaction. So far so good.

“From my point of view, that law is what you should have been fighting against than rather than me,” Naruto said tiredly. “As long as it is in place, you or someone else will eventually run into the same problem again. Killing me would have only delayed the problem rather than fix it, an easy way out for the moment.”

“I…” The words didn’t come out as easily. She already knew that. She was but one of many who had been strangled by the hands of an outdated law that many others loathed and yet never sought to change. At the same time she would be condemning him as well to the shackles of a village.

Seeing as the conversation ended there, Tokiwa tossed a scroll to Naruto. When she saw his expression, she explained. “As you said, there was nothing for you to gain from that battle. So I’m offering the techniques listed on that scroll. They would probably be well suited to you.”

Naruto put away the scroll after browsing the contents and nodded. “And my status with the Leaf?”

“We’ve never met should there ever be an encounter between our two villages,” she confirmed and then left after lifting her future leader to carry away. “Live well, Monk-sama.”

Naruto replaced his face wrappings that formed a mask, retrieved his knife, and made his way back to his hotel. Boatload of chakra or not, he was exhausted and just wanted to get some rest.

“I’m going to make things right,” Shizuka promised her mentor as she faded back into the black. “I’ll get rid of the law and fight it. For Sagiri and the others. I’ll become a stronger leader for our village, to make it a happier place where I can fight for it out of love rather than just duty…”

“I know, Shizuka-sama…” Tokiwa stated softly. “I know.”

More Time Later

Naruto spent the rest of the time studying the scroll in private until the time for the meeting with the Daimyo came. He was a rather…well-fed individual, to say the least, and somewhat jovial during the meeting. However, the biggest shock that came was when he asked to speak to Naruto alone.

“So, you’re Naruto Uzumaki?” he said with mirth. “Come now, there’s no need for you to hide you face when speaking to me.”

Naruto took off the makeshift facemask and could only blink in confusion. “You know of me?”

“After that fiasco with the failed invasion that got my predecessor ousted? Of course boy,” he said. “One of the first things I did was read up on how the situation spiraled out of control and young Gaara’s report. Not many people are capable of summoning a Boss Toad and defeating Gaara…in addition, the Head Monk is very thorough in his reports on everyone’s progress since they may end up in my service at one point or another. Sealing experts are hard to come by.”

“I see…” was all the jinchuuriki could say.

“To be honest, you and young Kino have both been selected as potential candidates for positions in the Eight Wind Spades in the future. Please keep up your efforts, as I would not mind having you in my service one of these days.”

“I will, Damiyo-sama,” Naruto responded as politely as he could.

Before anything else could be said, a young woman entered the room. “Yes, sweetheart?”

“I want to go shopping,” she said.

“Very well,” the Daimyo consented and ended the meeting. “Until we meet again.”

Naruto put back on his mask and went to join the group and say goodbye to Namisar. It was time they got back to the other monks, where the Head Monk would be. Naruto doubted he would be pleased over the course of the events that had transpired and he himself found this entire fiasco a pain itself, but it was a necessary step for him to take in finding a direction in his life.

Wind Monk Banishment: Fox Chronicles #1

Naruto: Wind Monk Banishment – Fox Chronicles

Note: Now that I’ve gotten some motivation for doing this series back, I’m splitting the flashbacks up.

Chapter 1: After Banishment

Somewhere in the Land of Wind

Naruto: Age 13

How long had he walked?

The desert winds ravaged the cloak Naruto had bought on his way past the border of the Land of Fire and Land of Wind. The few possessions he held were stored away, leaving only a bag slung over his shoulder, as he tried to face off against the desert wind. The merciless sun unleashed its wrath upon the former ninja from Konoha.

He had been banished by the one he saw as a surrogate grandmother, and berated by the one he would call his most loved person. Two women who made up the majority of his affection had sentenced him to banishment from his home nation. They took his home that he once swore loyalty to.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, he bought the water flask up to his lips in hopes of quenching his unbelievable thirst. Yet, all he received was a meager splash of liquid relief before the droplets ceased. He was out of water.

It was times like this he wished he had learned some water jutsu that could pull water out of the air. He was sure that the man who claimed to have copied over a thousand jutsu would know some paltry trick like that. Maybe if the man had actually spent some time teaching him some of those techniques, he could have relied on something other than the fox.

Not that it mattered away.

The blond looked at the array on the back of his hands. These seals spelled the end of any simple attempt of trying any technique that required hand seals. The dozens of times he tried to use his signature technique since they had been applied to his flesh, all ended the same.

Fire would wash over his hands, and the nerves would smolder in pain. As if a kunai had been shoved through even the bone, the pain would radiate, and agony would overtake him. The chakra control he utilized through the seals would flux, and all control would be lost.

The Rasengan was beyond him without the use of a clone, leaving him virtually nothing but the basic training, water-walking, and tree-climbing techniques. He couldn’t be Hokage with only those techniques under his belt. They had taken his dream away from him the moment they took his jutsu away…

Then again, why did he even wish to be the leader of the village?

Was it to continue to protect those who humiliated him? Those who shunned him? Those who tormented him?

Looking back, there was only one answer: Their respect.

Like a child coddling a phony ideal, he clung to the belief that he could receive the respect and admiration of those who saw him only as the demon fox reborn. He would’ve drowned carrying those ideals. Why should he spend his final days defending those who only saw him as a demon?

How he truly detested that word, along with being called a monster or the fox itself.

The number of people who truly cared for him could be counted on one hand since the death of his grandfather figure. The Ichirakus, Iruka, Shizune maybe, not Granny—not after what she did—and definitely not Sakura…So few people, out of a village of tens of thousands, if not more?

In anger, he threw the flask into the distant sand. “FUCK!

Why did he journey into the desert sands in the first place?

He couldn’t rely on Gaara, his jinchuuriki brethren still had people who loathed him. Yukie was busy as the Daimyo of the Land of Spring. Without his jutsu, what could he do as a ninja for either of their forces?

The answer: Nothing.

He never learned to cook, instead relying on the salvation of cheap ramen that sustained him whenever he couldn’t get to the Ichiraku family. He couldn’t go to Wave and help Tazuna, since he never learned a thing about construction. He never learned another trade at all besides being a ninja, since in a hidden village they were the ones who held the best but most dangerous jobs. Not to mention as a jinchuuriki he realized he never had another choice but to be his village’s weapon.

From the beginning, he could only be a ninja and nothing else. Now they had taken that away from him. The blond could feel an emotion he had long since tried to mask behind a phony smile: Hatred.

Spilling out like torrent of malicious fluid, it would not be completely bottled until it came down to an acceptable level. Years worth of anguish and misery embodied hate. How long had it been since he let it out freely and showed it on his face?

He would never again put on that mask for the likes of that rotten village. He would never return to their service should he survive the three years. The headband he left behind and the necklace that was once a promise to take the hat of the Hokage, were the two remaining things that tied him to them.

Grating his teeth, he attempted to hold back the anger inside of him. The best he could do was reducing the flow to prevent the tainted chakra of his tenant from flowing untamed. The reduced amount was enough to fixate his eyes to their fox state.

The desert winds had picked up now. The former ninja covered his face and pressed on. The flask was lost in his brief fit of rage, swallowed by the desert itself as a tribute.

Hours passed.

The sun was nearing it’s time to set, and the sky looked painted by a somber blaze. The winds carried sand and became a storm that battered against the jinchuuriki. As if not satisfied by his meager tribute, the desert wanted a greater offering.

The jinchuuriki fell to his knees tired, and thirsty. Smacking his lips for any moisture he could, his body begged him to simply rest. In a way, the desert was offering him a reprieve to his suffering.

Maybe…” The jinchuuriki gave a mirthless chuckle. “Maybe I should’ve thought this through…

With those final words, he fell over the dune that shifted beneath him and into the bed of sand beneath. The desert wind offered him a blanket that gradually took form. His eternal rest would be comfortable with the shifting sand fitting into a perfect coffin for him.

Hope and light faded, as Naruto Uzumaki of Konoha closed his eyes for what he assumed to be his final time…

I shall not perish like this,” a demonic voice echoed across his mindscape. Red chakra leaked from his pores and knocked the sand that blanketed him away—unleashing a gale that trumped the sandstorm. It strove to move the boy’s body, but while it could heal injuries, it could not stave off death by thirst.

“Head Monk—” A voice reached the fox’s ears and it dialed back the chakra. It would seem that luck or fate was for once not against the boy. “—someone’s here!”

The fox settled back down, unaware or uncaring of who the two figures draped in worn desert cloaks that trekked over to him were, so long as they saved the host that had become a more acceptable container.

The pair slipped a canteen to his lips to give him a minor relief from dehydration. The unconscious jinchuuriki coughed violently as it slid down his throat. Lifting him up before the desert could claim him again, they took him to his new life…

Two Days Later

Naruto opened his eyes.

The world was blurred and slowly coming to focus. The scent of vanilla wafted in the air, from a candle burning on the dresser near him. The light from the candle fought back the darkness of the enclosed space in a struggle that seemed never-ending.

“Head monk, he’s come to…” A young man’s voice entered the blond’s ears. It was followed by the creaking of a door, and harder foot steps against the floor.

“…Ah…” Naruto tried to speak, but his throat was parched, and it came out as little more than a tiny grunt.

“Drink this,” an older voice reached his ears. A figured stood above him, still blurred by the wavering jinchuuriki’s vision, and placed something cold and wet to his lips. Liquid mercy slid down his throat and quenched his dying thirst.

“…Thank you,” the jinchuuriki muttered weakly, as his vision finally cleared and revealed his saviors.

The older man had a rough face and bald head. A battle scar ran from his forehead across his face, narrowly avoiding his eyes. He was dressed in loose robes that were tanned.

The younger boy had his hair in a ponytail, with two bangs hanging in front of his face. His eyes peered down at the jinchuuriki in a mixture of contempt and concern. The tanned short-sleeved shirt and pants were plain, with the only thing abnormal being the strap across his shoulder that supported the Jo staff on his back.

“You were lucky,” the older man warned him. “Had Kino and I not been passing by, the desert would have claimed you. Most people would have died by then.”

A weak, humorless grin etched itself across his face. “Since when did I have good luck?”

A frown graced the older man’s face. “I take it your past has been unpleasant? Not surprising given your career choice. Your body is fairly above average in strength and I sense chakra within you. What village do you hail from?”

“Konoha—” Naruto noticed Kino’s hands ball into fists, but paid it no mind. He struggled to lift his own hands. Staring at the seals on the back of them, his fox-like eyes simmered with a raging warmth and hue. “Formerly of Konoha.”

The older man nodded slowly. “You are searching for a new path in life?”

Naruto closed his eyes in thought, before he nodded. “I can’t leave behind the life I had, since it is all I know…but I do.”

The older man exhaled deeply. “When you feel able to move, there is food on the dresser to your left. Regain your strength, and we shall speak of a possible path. You will find us downstairs. I am Head Monk of the Wind Temple, Ashua, and this young one is Kino.”

“My name is Naruto Uzumaki,” he returned the courtesy. “Thank you for saving my life.”

The pair left and Naruto weakly reached over for the meager meal. Despite not tasting like Ramen, it was filling. He would soon gain back his strength…

An Hour Later

The stone steps leading down the stairs were quickly traversed, as Naruto made his way down them. Upon stepping down the last one, he found himself in an open room. It was filled with various monks, all sitting lotus style with the Head Monk at the front.

As if sensing his arrival, Ashua opened his eyes and pointed to a door at the opposite end of Naruto’s current location. The former Konoha shinobi nodded in understanding and silently made his way to it.

The office held two cushions for the Head Monk and a guest to sit as he addressed matters, with candles dancing on their wicks in a sultry manner. A Monk’s Spade hung on the wall by two hooks, serving as a reminder of a distant past. The scent of vanilla wafted in the air and soothed the rage beneath the surface of the jinchuuriki, whom sat down on a cushion and waited.

His patience was rewarded, as Head Monk Ashua entered the room with a serene calm. “Have you regained your strength?”

“Yeah, a bit…” Naruto bowed to the monk. “Once again, thanks for saving me.”

“It was what anyone should have done. Think nothing of it.” Ashua waved him off. “More importantly, what do you think of becoming a ninja monk.”

“Is that different than a regular ninja?”

Ashua nodded. “When ninja are called into a matter, they are normally to be used as a weapon—a kunai to strike down a target—good or evil are not relative. Wartime is…unpleasant, since many your age are sent to kill and be killed. The last one was particularly cruel. Ninja monks act as a shield for the weak, using violence as a last resort above all else.

“For example, there are numerous smaller villages that require aid yet cannot afford the prices offered by the major hidden villages. We offer our service to nearby villages free of charge, and when we pilgrimage around the continent, we assist them as well.”

Naruto recalled one of Iruka’s lessons—that he was forced to listen to under the threat of no ramen otherwise—and asked, “How can you afford to maintain everything if you don’t take any money?”

“Our supplies are paid for through donations, but the majority comes from the Wind Daimyo.” Ashua closed his eyes in thought. “The last one was a man who bought a major village to its knees simply because of a disagreement with their leader and greed. He paid no mind that this led to the tragic loss of life during the attempted invasion, nor the rippling effects felt all over the Land of Wind. Desperation led to many degrading to violence and theft, leading to death and sorrow. For that, he was deposed of his title, and a new one has taken his place.”

Naruto filed this information away, putting the facts to the face of his fellow jinchuuriki. He could somewhat understand how desperate they could have been to attack the Leaf. “What about Sunagakure?”

“We don’t have many ties with Sunagakure,” the Head Monk shook his head. “We are neutral. Otherwise, we might have found ourselves involved in a battle that only propagated bloodshed and death.”

That sounds good I guess…Naruto thought.

“Basic clothing and food will be provided, and you can study alongside the others here seeking a path between a role of virtue and a defender of the weak. However, you may be called upon to assist in matters that may or may not require violence as an absolute last resort.”

“I’d like to, but…” Naruto showed him the seals on his hand. “These seals will prevent me from doing any jutsu, so I don’t know how much help I would be.”

“I see,” he nodded. “The dodecagon in the array outline covers the basics used by shinobi in general, with the inward markings covering specific ones. The seals will activate all the pain receptors in your hands, using them to overwrite any attempt at control…but they burned it directly into your nervous system, so I don’t think I can remove it without taking off your hands. Still, it won’t hamper the lessons we will teach you here if you decide to become a ninja monk.”

“Wait,” Naruto stared him in the eyes. “You’ve seen this before?”

“One of the minor subject taught here are sealing arts and I have a hobby in it, since they have many uses in the lifestyle of the desert dweller, such as sealing water to prevent repeated trips to an oasis…” He looked at Naruto with a disparaged face. “As an Uzumaki, I would have expected you to be aware of such things.”

Naruto was dumbfounded. “Why?”

“The Uzumaki clan were renown for the expertise in sealing. All those who study sealing will eventually run across such information. You even carry their spiral on the back of your orange jacket. Did no one in your village inform you?”

The blond gritted his teeth. “No. I didn’t even know I was a part of a clan.”

How dare they not tell him he was part of a clan—extinct or not. That he had a legacy, or something he should have strived to. If the Uzumaki were so close that Konoha bore their symbol on his back, there was no way the older generation shouldn’t have known by his name or even asked him.

Naruto showed cold steel in his eyes. “Sign me up…”

A Few Days Later

The sand lightly blew across the desert dunes, with the wind howling as it passed. The Wind Temple was located at the bottom of a U-shaped plateau, offering it protection from the desert winds in three directions. It also severed to offer shade and keep the sweltering heat of the desert at bay.

The temple itself only appeared to be a three-story building, made of desert stone and illuminated by candles and lanterns to compensate for the lack of windows and power—barring the medical area. However, in truth it had several lower levels that were used to house supplies and other things. The absolute bottom led to a small reservoir of water for daily living.

Currently, Naruto was in the back of the temple. He was carrying a boulder roughly half his size up the side of the plateau that surrounded the temple, until he hit the point marked as the stopping line. It was basically the Tree-Climbing exercise mixed in with strength training.

So far, life at the temple was calmer than it was in Konoha. The ninja monks-in-training were more reserved and pretty nice, although Kino seemed to avoid the jinchuuriki like the plague. Naruto didn’t know why and had other things on his mind, so he couldn’t be concerned with the other monk at the moment.

He woke early like the rest, at 5 AM. Taking off his nightcap and slipping into the plain clothes given to him—much better than the jumpsuit for desert weather—they would gather on the ground floor and warm up with stretches. This limbered the monks-in-training up.

Next they would go out for a morning jog around the entire plateau, taking roughly an hour to complete it twice. They ran on the sand the first time through, constantly adjusting to the loose sand and maintaining their balance while going at a set pace. The second time, they would run along the wall, perpendicular to the ground using chakra to cling to the surface. The morning chill and breeze, before the sun baked the sand, felt great on the jinchuuriki’s skin.

After washing, each monk-in-training would train in a different method of chakra control. Some would use pure chakra to spin a coin on their finger tips, while others went through more physical activities. Naruto focused on trying to recreate the Rasengan without the use of clones. It was going slow.

That was followed by an hour of meditation, and then lunch. Afterwards was more free time devoted to things that could benefit their fellow man. Some took medical jutsu lessons from a healer that used to work in Suna named Marin. Naruto was using the reference texts they had to learn more about the art of sealing in all its glory.

Then sparring and drills to work in their forms and taijutsu. Naruto never was strong in the taijutsu department, mostly relying on straight up numbers to mob the opponent until they were down, trickery to lower their guards, and finishing with the Rasengan…In retrospect, he really should have more aces up his sleeve.

To close they would meditate once again, eat dinner, and then have an hour’s free time before going to bed.

Despite the grueling training and calm setting, Naruto couldn’t ease the creeping malice in his heart. Konoha betrayed him, and kept the fact that he belonged to a clan of seal masters a secret—if he had to guess, it was so he didn’t tamper with his own seal. In a way, they denied him his heritage.

Had he known his mother or father—whichever one was an Uzumaki—were part of an extinct clan, he would have worked on restoring it like Sasuke kept going on about. It was sad, in a way. He could relate better to the Uchiha now, after denying him the opportunity to do the same by dragging him back to that hellhole.

Still, better than allowing him to go to the Snake Bastard’s side. The snake would get his comeuppance for the Old Man’s death too. Eventually.

Upon making it towards the point marked for the boulder, Naruto made his back down the rock face. He was excused from sparring practice since they were using weapons, and Naruto wasn’t particularly skilled with anything more than the basic kunai.

“Naruto,” the Head Monk walked over with Kino in tow. “I’ve decided to have Kino instruct you on how to use the Bo Staff today, since the others have been at it for longer and he’s the best we currently have with most weapons. However, given your…small stature, we will be using the shorter Jo Staffs in their place.”

The Head Monk then produced two wooden Jo Staffs from a seal and handed them off. The jinchuuriki nodded, and looked over to the monk-in-training, who had a barely visible scowl on his impassive mask of a face, before examining the staff and noticing the sealing array on them. Ashua, on the other hand, seemed to pick up on Kino’s thoughts and whispered something into his ears, getting a small nod in return.

“If you’ll excuse me, I have…paperwork.” The monk’s face slightly frowned at that. Nobody liked paperwork. He went back inside and left the two in the shade of the plateau.

Kino snapped his fingers to get the blond’s attention. With the wood at the ready, he began the lecture. “The Bo Staff is one of the staple tools of the wind monks—only second to the body and the Monk Spade. It is your shield, your sword, and your primary instrument when dealing out justice and punishing the wicked. The path of the Bo leads to the Spade and Spear, and until you master it, you will touch no other instrument barring your own body.”

He spun the wood between his fingers to start. The staff became a blur as it circled his body in a demonstration. It spun in his hands, around his arms, and then his body, flowing in a circular pattern that would be an even more magnificent sight if on fire, at night.

He planted the staff into the ground when done, holding it erect. “To start with, get into position. Hold the staff horizontally at the center, with your right hand facing up, and the left facing down. Put about a foot of space between your hands and don’t put them both up or down, those are advanced techniques. This grip allows for rapid strikes and stabs.”

Naruto did as he was told, feeling the weight that lurked in the center. “Now what?”

“Get into a stance with your legs,” he slid his foot across the sand so that his legs were apart, just past the length of his shoulders. “Bend them for better balance and support.”

They began with the basic strikes, blocks and thrusts. Kino corrected his stance dozens of times, and pointed out what not to do by speaking slowly, like Naruto was an idiot. Part of this was because he never had a form aside from the academy basics, and they weren’t really suited for more than being a stepping stone.

Eventually, Naruto snorted. “Dude, you don’t have to speak to me like I’m an idiot.”

“You address the person teaching you here by the title of ‘Instructor’ or ‘Master,’ not ‘Dude.'” Kino sighed, before muttering under his breath, “Then again, I suppose manners aren’t required for murderers.

He was unaware the jinchuuriki had fairly good hearing when he wasn’t distracted.

Naruto scowled. “Who are you calling a murderer? Didn’t your parents teach you not to slander people!”

The monk-in-training winced, before twirling the staff, and getting into a fighting position. “Something tells me you learn better with a hands-on approach.”

Naruto’s fox-like eyes narrowed. “Bring. It.”

Kino moved. The first strike was actually a combination of the basics. Right to the head, left to the ribs, a thrust inwards—which became a downward rowing block, and then an overhead smash, by changing his grip to both facing down.


The first blow was blocked by the same strike, followed by the second. The thrust was avoided by stepping to the side, and then countering it with a thrust of his own. Unfortunately, the blow was shifted off by the downwards rowing block, and freed his head up for the counter. The jinchuuriki staggered and avoided a blow to the temple, taking it on the shoulder instead.

Gripping the struck spot that was sure to bruise, Naruto chided the monk-in-training. “No fair! You said changing the grip wasn’t allowed!”

“For you.” Kino made the eternal gesture for ‘Come get some.’

The blond charged, and Kino unleashed a thrust towards his forehead. Maintaining his grip, he came in for a cross strike. Raising the staff up to divert the thrust, it came across and aimed for the monk-in-training’s jaw.

“Useless!” Kino used another rowing block in an upwards position, turning and stepping, while shifting the position of the staff. The counter was an immediate low strike using the step and nailed the side of Naruto’s leg—narrowly avoiding the knee.

Ignoring the sting, the jinchuuriki struck from above. His strength and weight were put into the attack, in aggravation at being nailed so many times. The strike would hit the left shoulder and dislocated it at the minimal on impact—smashing the entire region and possibly crippling him otherwise at the most.


Kino raised his staff like a steel bar, forming a barrack between his body and the weapon. The monk-in-training shot his knee up. Blunt force slammed into the jinchuuriki’s abdomen and sent him staggering back. “The staff is part of your body, and the body is a weapon. Don’t become fixated on simply what’s in your hands and leave the rest unprotected or unused.”

The monk-in-training went on the offensive. His left hand guided the staff, as he quickly withdrew it and shot forward in succession, thrusting at the vitals numerous times. If the weapon had been a spear, each stab would have been fatal. Changing the grip to the basic he showed Naruto, he began to strike fast and hard.

Naruto blocked as best he could. The impact of each blow between the colliding wood resonated through his body, and made his arms quavered. After a left strike, he spun and leaned into a side kick, allowing the staff to pass overhead and then deliver a blow towards the monk-in-training.

Kino batted the leg aside hard, before coming in with another overhead strike. When the opposing staff was raised, the two clashed. Naruto’s bad footing, because of the smack to the leg, made him fall on his ass.

“Is all you’ve got?” Kino had a calm, but tense air about him. The hostility was obvious to Naruto, given he had long since been on the receiving end of it from the citizens and shinobi of Konoha. But to anyone else, it would probably seem like he’s being a strict instructor.

So Naruto decided to fight dirty. Grabbing a scoop full of sand, he tossed it towards Kino’s face, causing the monk-in-training to turn his back to avoid it. He wouldn’t be able to turn in time to strike the jinchuuriki, who rushed in with the staff above head.

GHOP—!” Naruto stopped cold, as his own strength was used against him. The monk-in-training had slipped the staff under his own armpit, stabbing the point into Naruto’s solar plexus. The jinchuuriki vomited from the blow, and fell to the ground, clenching the struck part.

“If this had been a Spade or a Jian, you would’ve been killed.” The buried anger had surfaced at this point, as he looked down on the former shinobi. “Your pathetic little tricks won’t do you any good here, Konoha Dog.

The monk-in-training’s disdain for the former profession and home the jinchuuriki held was now clear as water. Eyes that reminded him of the Uchiha when he met his brother told Naruto of what lied behind that impassive mask. With a blur, the staff came around again to shatter his collarbone, effectively taking him out of this fight—


—but Naruto was faster. His fist came up and made contact with Kino’s face in a moment of surprise from the feral roar and faster movement, sending him flying a few feet. Naruto snarled at the young man, his whisker marks becoming pronounced and nails sharpening.

Bearing fangs at the young man who was his elder in the lifestyle of a monk, his grip on the staff became stiff. “I don’t care what problems you have with that village, BUT DON’T YOU DARE TRY TO TAKE IT OUT ON ME YOU SON OF A BITCH!

A red coat of chakra began to wash over the jinchuuriki, imparting the wood in his hands with chakra flow, and reducing the welts from the impact of solid wood against flesh to nothing. Anger and hatred, years repressed by the jinchuuriki, baited an even greater source. One that surpassed the life of a human came to the forefront and blasted over the monk-in-training.

A killing intent that dwarfed any other he’d seen, Kino felt fear for the first time in years. Kill or be killed. Those thoughts drove him to use chakra flow to strength his staff. It would unleash a killing blow towards the skull of the jinchuuriki.

The two young men charged, each bring their staff towards the other’s head with the intent of crushing the skull of the other.


There was a blur that got between them. Wood met flesh, and rested in the luminous palms of chakra-coated, strong hands. The Head Monk had interfered. Grabbing hold, he twisted and sent the two flying into opposite directions. “Restrain yourselves. AT. ONCE.”

His tone left no room for argument. The coat of chakra vanished and the features retreated—minus the eyes. Both youths laid down their arms, and Ashua wanted answers. “What happened?”

By the time the recollection was through, the Head Monk looked down upon his protégé. “I am ashamed at your behavior. I instructed you to teach him, not take out you aggression on him for your past.”

“But he—” Kino started, only to be cut off.

“ENOUGH!” Ashua was furious and disappointed. “He stated he was a former resident of Konoha, you slandered him for a minor mistake based on his past, and more importantly—WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE BASED ON OCCUPATION, OR NATIONALITY! HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT?”

The monk-in-training flinched.

Seeing he got the message across, the Head Monk sighed. “For one who claimed to wish to take the title of Head Monk, you have taken several steps back today. Go to your room. We shall met out a punishment later.”

Kino closed his eyes and nodded in acceptance, walking back towards the building. Naruto looked on as he walked, his thoughts on the matter not yet solid. Then he noticed the Head Monk facing him.

“First off, I will apologize for Kino’s behavior.” Ashua told Naruto, but his face was just as stern. “He has a bad history with Konoha shinobi and I purposely put you two together so that he could perhaps get over it. I foolishly thought he would have listened to me and followed my instructions with bringing his emotions to the front. I failed you there and you nearly unleashed the tainted chakra of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. ”

Naruto looked at him in shock.

“Do not underestimate my knowledge, young Uzumaki. I have heard whispers of what has happened during the invasion of Konoha, and I have seen the young container of the demon raccoon. You carry similar traits on your face. Not to mention when a pilgrimage group passed through the Land of Fire and Konoha a few weeks ago, the medical instructor overhead a few of the citizens speaking openly of a blond, demon fox-possessed, boy.”

Fucking loudmouth villagers! Naruto swallowed. His secret was exposed. “Are…are you going to make me leave now?”

“I will not turn away someone who seeks a new path in life, but I cannot allow you to endanger anyone in anger. No matter how painful your past was, do not let it happen a second time. If you need to leave the temple in order to vent your rage, do so with my permission. But never again attack another member here with that tainted chakra.

“As for your tenant, I have instructed the Marin to keep it quiet for now. However, it would be grossly incompetent for me to not inform the other instructors of this. Should any show you hostility, they have not ventured far enough into indifference as I had hoped and see me immediately. Do not cause a commotion.”

A cynical part of Naruto’s mind bought the next words to his lips. “You sure you want to shelter a demon child?”

“You are no demon child. Merely one filled with justified anger. Hopefully you will find the peace of mind you seek here and quell your anger, before it consumes you.”

“Easier said than done,” Naruto was decidedly honest. “They lied to me, used me, abused me, and betrayed me. I’m starting to understand why Sasuke was willing to leave the village for revenge—it’s starting to sound like a good plan right now. To me, it was more about who he was going to.”

“Rather than seek vengeance, why not seek indifference?” Ashua offered his opinion. “Vengeance is done out of hatred. To hate something is to acknowledge you feel something beyond a casual relationship. By showing indifference, you sever your connection with it entirely. It is the same advice I gave Kino when he arrived years ago.”

That worked out magnificently, Naruto thought sarcastically. “I’ll give it a try.”

Ashua nodded, before pulling out four beaded bracelets. “Now, about your punishment. Both you and Kino attempted to cause permanent damage to one another. Therefore, you shall both suffer the consequences, regardless of who started it.”

Naruto eyed the bracelets placed on his wrists and ankles. “…You’re punishing me by having me wear bling?”

“Four Limbs Weighting Seal,” Ashua pronounced, and suddenly the prayer beads felt heavier than he could have possibly imagined. As if his limbs were encased in solid steel, it weighed him down.

The Head Monk smirked. “Those will stay on for the next two weeks. This way you get further body conditioning, and a punishment all in one.”

Realizing how much of a nightmare the extra weight was going to be, Naruto sighed. “Well played, Old Monk.”

A Month Later

Naruto had fell into a routine after his first, and so far only, lesson with Kino solely. The two rarely communicated with each other and rarely showed that either one was aware the other existed. The jinchuuriki acknowledged it to be an improvement over the hostility, but it reminded him a bit about how the others would ignore him in his childhood…leaving him watching as the children left with their parents from the swings.

No! Focus! Naruto mentally snapped himself out of his memories. He was supposed to be meditating, to reach enlightenment of some kind, while on top of a boulder and basking in the setting sun. Unfortunately, being the unpredictable teen he was, his trip on the path of enlightenment was hindered as he stepped into his mindscape.

Looking around, he sighed. “I was going for enlightenment, not sewer…”

Foolish kit,” the Kyuubi snorted. “The seal links your mindscape to here. You can never reach said enlightenment.

Naruto glared. “Oh great, the fur ball.”

Arrogant child!” The giant fox roared. “You will show me the respect you owe me and never address me by that title again!

“Respect is earned!” Naruto snapped back. “I owe you nothing!”

Have you forgotten?” The giant fox looked down upon the former ninja. “The leader of these outcast humans said he found you in time, but do you think he would have if I had not cleared that sand away? To think you would be so careless and enter a desert without proper supplies…

“Because of your help, I got kicked out of the village in the first place!”

Without my chakra you would have been cremated, and had your name placed on the stone of the lost, unlike your parents…

The jinchuuriki’s eyes narrowed. “You knew my parents?”

A menacing grin etched itself across the fox’s face, revealing fangs that could penetrate steel. “…That is for me to know, and you to find out. Now…GET. OUT.

And just like that, he was thrown out of his own mindscape…with enough force that he fell back in the real world and off his boulder, onto the sand with a yelp, and disrupted the others. Thus earning him another meeting with the Head Monk in his office, where Naruto explained what his tenant said.

“I see…” Ashua nodded and closed his eyes in thought. “I can’t say that I fully trust this chakra demon inside of you…but have you ever thought of making peace with it?”

Naruto blinked. “Why would I try to make peace with a gigantic demon fox that’s been related to as a natural disaster?”

“It spoke, correct?”

Naruto raised an eyebrow in curiosity. “Yeah…”

“The ability to communicate, especially with a species different than yours, is a sign of intelligence. From what you’ve told me, your relationship is more parasitic than symbiotic.”

Naruto pouted. “Yeah, he’s leech…”

The Head Monk shook his head. “I was talking about you. You are stripping the chakra demon of its chakra and offering it nothing in return. As a chakra demon, you’ve basically been feeding off his life force, and seeing as how the seal is purifying it into your own…you’re killing it. Is a little respect too much to ask for?”

“But he caused a lot of death and stuff!”

“True, his attack on your home in the past was devastating,” Ashua rubbed his chin in thought. “But you’ve only heard about what others have told you, and then pushed the blame onto you. Have you heard it from the fox itself?

“No. Things got heated…” Naruto admitted sheepishly.

Ashua sighed tiredly. “I’m not telling you to be best friends with it, but I imagine a portion of its rage stems from the fact that a once free, intelligent creature is now trapped—in a sewer of all things. You can’t release it obviously, but you should find some way to alter it into something more comfortable at least. It would make things better for you both if you take the first step towards coexistence.

“If you study the seal on your stomach, you can probably learn how to arrange the mindscape…providing you’ve been making an effort in learning about them?”

Naruto nodded. “I’ve been working on the seals lessons, and I spent all night trying to get how a storage seal works. It’s basically working on the same principles of space manipulation jutsu in some aspects…”

The jinchuuriki trailed off into a long, detailed deconstruction of the process and Ashua blinked in surprised silence, before putting in his two cents. “First, don’t let me hear about you staying up too late again. Second, you managed to figure out the principles of a storage seal that fast, rather than just learning to write a predetermined formula?”

Naruto nodded.

“You truly are an Uzumaki…” The Head Monk smiled somberly. “Such falls in line with the your clan’s talents. Now if only there was another around to teach you more, I have a feeling you would blossom into a great seal expert.”

Naruto cheeks took a sanguine color. Being praised was nice in the end. But it still only reminded him that he had been denied a heritage, and his loathing of his village slowly grew further in the shadows of his heart.

Fanfic Recommendations 10

Fanfics that I find interesting and have been updated recently:

Young Justice Series

Young Justice: Red X 16

Summary: Robin, leader of the Teen Titans, wakes up in a world not unlike his own. Deciding to continue down the path of a hero, he takes up an old alias and joins a new team, the Titans. As Red X, he starts to make a name for himself, as well as a number of new enemies.

Naruto Series

Take Two Round Two

Summary: What do you get when you cross several interdimensional god like beings, raw boredom, a world of Naruto that went wrong, several years worth of off screen training, common sense, insanity, humor, sarcasm, the Log, explosions, plot, and overall chaos? Apparently a lot of headache medicine for Tsunade. May the Games Begin. Sequel to Yet Again With A Little Extra Help.


Summary: Sakura is ensnared in a world of deadly intrigue her last year in the Academy. As an unwilling agent of Oto, can she discover what it means to be loyal in a world that promotes deception? Will that loyalty conflict with her growing sense of self-worth? AU

Fate Stay Night Series

In Flight 39-41

Summary: Honestly, Shirou was beginning to think that he should be used to this; being unwittingly selected to take part in brutal tournament that he had no idea existed until he found himself in the middle of it. Then again, second times the charm, right?

Promises of a Wandering Hero 11-12

Summary: He promised to be a Hero capable of saving everyone. But before that he made other promises he can’t remember under a different name. How will Shirou react when he finds his lost past?

Path of the King 23

Summary: “With swords that aren’t yours, with skills that aren’t yours, for dreams that aren’t yours. Your entire existence is a lie!” – “Then I’ll show you that even fake dreams can become reality.” A different choice, a different path, a different FATE. Shirou/Multi

Nanoha Series

Power Games 3

Summary:  There’s no such thing as happily ever after. Life goes on – even dearly bought. All Precia’s plans may come to nought as shadowy actors take to the stage. But nothing unmasks a man like his use of power.

Fanfic Recommendations 9

Fanfics that I find interesting and have been updated recently:

Naruto Series


Summary: Kakashi made a mistake. Shikamaru is smart. Shino is skilled. Naruto is strong. Maybe something amazing could happen, with the right … motivation.

Fate Stay Night Series

From Fake Dreams 28

Summary: Emiya Kiritsugu was happy living the rest of his short days. He had put his past behind him… until he began to dream of futures that had yet to be. Let it be known that the Magus Killer was not dangerous simply because he was dying and had no plans to fight.

In Flight 38

Summary: Honestly, Shirou was beginning to think that he should be used to this; being unwittingly selected to take part in brutal tournament that he had no idea existed until he found himself in the middle of it. Then again, second times the charm, right?

Promises of a Wandering Hero 11-12

Summary: He promised to be a Hero capable of saving everyone. But before that he made other promises he can’t remember under a different name. How will Shirou react when he finds his lost past?

Path of the King 22

Summary: “With swords that aren’t yours, with skills that aren’t yours, for dreams that aren’t yours. Your entire existence is a lie!” – “Then I’ll show you that even fake dreams can become reality.” A different choice, a different path, a different FATE. Shirou/Multi

Negima Series

The Oncoming Storm

Summary: After spending five years on his trials to become a Magister Magus, Negi Springfield returns from Mundus Magicus with his title, an ugly scar on the back of his hand, and far too many regrets plaguing his sleep. Desperate for a quiet life, he asks for a job and finds employment as a teacher in Mahora Academy. ‘Quiet’ is not exactly the word he’d describe his class with, though…

Nanoha Series

Swords and Shields

Summary: No one could have anticipated the chain of events stemming from that cool Autumn night. That night where a sword came upon a shield.

Fanfic Recommendations 8

Fanfics that I find interesting and have been updated recently:

Naruto Series

Wind Monk Banishment 11

Summary: It had been over 4 years since Sasuke’s attempted defection to Orochimaru, and his subsequent return. It had also been over 4 years since Naruto had been cast out of the Land of Fire. It may have been a mistake on Tsunade’s part, but he won’t return…

Young Justice Series

New Kid On the Block

Summary: Wally West is the newest Rogue in The Flash’s Rogues Gallery, with superspeed nearly as impressive as the Flash’s own. Hunter Zolomon is the Flash’s sidekick, so he’s going to bring down this new thief…

Fate Stay Night Series

Want and Need 9

Summary:How does the Grail choose a Master or a Servant? Fact of the matter is, it knows the difference between want and need. Masters of the Fourth Holy Grail War know they want a strong Servant, but the Grail knows the Servants they need.

Kariya’s Legacy 3

Summary: Due to a chance meeting with Kariya before the events of Fate/Zero, Shinji strives to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and save Sakura from damnation of the Matou Clan. To do so, he must make many sacrifices and will endure pain like no other to compete in the next Holy Grail War, including becoming a Spellcaster—all for Sakura’s sake. An AU Fate Stay Night story.

Promises of a Wandering Hero 11

Summary: He promised to be a Hero capable of saving everyone. But before that he made other promises he can’t remember under a different name. How will Shirou react when he finds his lost past?

Naruto Wind Monk Banishment & Sugar Bits

Naruto WMB has been updated: Here

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Grim Tales GTFO & WMB 9

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Next chapter of Naruto Wind Monk Banishment is out

WMB Naruto 8 & Bleedman

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Read WMB 8: Here

Mid-May Update

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Wind Monk Banishment 7

WMB 6 & Grim Tales

Next chapter of Wind Monk Banishment is out: Here

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Birthday Releases

It’s my birthday, so I decided to release somethings:
WMB 5: Here
ASN 7: Here

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics


Next Chapter of WMB: Naruto: Here

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Wind Monk Banishment Update

The latest chapter of the Naruto fanfic WMB can be found here: Here

Major Updates

Both Naruto fanfics have been updated, as well as Fate Extra New Moon:

Wind Monk Banishment

Advent of the Spiraling Ninja

New Moon

Also, new PPGD:

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Another Naruto Fanfiction

A New Naruto Fanfic can be found: Here

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics

Read the rest of the comics at Snafu-Comics