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Arc 01 Childhood: Chapter 02: Division.
An almost seven year old Namikaze Naruto walked down the stairs to of the Namikaze mansion. Correction. He was gliding down the stairs with a grace no seven year old had any right to posses as he constantly expelled a small layer of chakra from his feet, creating a cushion on which to walk on. There wasn't much point to the exercise, but it did allow him to improve both his control and his reserves with every step he took.
Due to his rigorous training he was quite tall for his age, with compact and well defined muscles. His chakra reserves were large for his age. Nowhere near Kasumi's of course, but enough that he could now safely create a Shadow Clone to help speed up his learning. As a result, and thanks to his dedication to the task, while his overall level as a Shinobi was roughly that of a third year academy student, his Fuuinjutsu level was already that of a Journeyman.
He and Kasumi had started the Academy shortly after their sixth birthday, along with many of the other clan Heirs. He was the strongest in the year by a fairly large margin, but through a combination of certain instructors trying to sabotage him and his own lack of showing off, he was classed as nothing more than an average student. For a while he had entertained the idea of showing his true abilities and taking the number one position from his sister, but reason had quickly caught up to him and he had abandoned the idea. If word got out that the Demon Brat was showing up the class prodigy, the Princess of Konoha… no, things were much easier if he stayed unnoticed.
Reaching the ground floor he passed through the dining room, paying no attention to his 'family' as he headed for the kitchen. He stepped through the door and almost bumped into one of the maids carrying Kasumi's food. Ramen... Again.
He rolled his eyes. 'It's no surprise she's so short! She rarely eats anything but ramen and sweets. With her parents spoiling her too much to make her eat properly… she's lucky she has your youki to compensate for the lack of nutrients or she'd be in a pitiful state.'
"Mah! Leave it alone kit, it's her problem. Besides its kind of funny. When, and if, she starts making a name for herself they'll probably call her the 'Midget of Konoha'"
He snorted in amusement. It was an appropriate name. if he was that short he'd be rather insecure about it. The only reason the other kids didn't tease her about it was because she was the most popular girl around.
Ignoring the mild glare from the cook Naruto fixed himself a healthy meal: some vegetables; lots of meat for protein; a good bit of dairy product for calcium and some fruit for dessert. Putting everything on a tray he left the kitchen, passed through the dining room and back towards the stairs. He didn't spare a glance for the house's other inhabitants. He didn't even ask himself if they noticed his absence. Honestly he had stopped caring.
Just as he placed his foot on the first step a part of his family's conversation caught his attention.
"…and Naruto's birthday party."
He stopped. Hearing his mother mention his name was a rare enough occurrence to catch his attention, although the fact that she did so without even noticing that he was there was rather sad. He shook the thought away. He ignored them, they ignored him, and everyone went about their life happily enough.
His father's voice carried around the corner. "Of course I'll wait until after their birthday party! From what Jiraiya-sensei told me it'll probably take at least a few months to get a handle of. That's why I'm only doing it now that the village has fully recovered."
Kasumi's voice floated over. "Hey, hey! Otou-san! What is Sage training? Is it cool? Can I do it?"
The Yondaime chuckled at his daughter's enthusiasm. "Sage training is a special technique that the Toads will be teaching me Kasumi-chan. It'll make your Tou-san even stronger. Hmm, I'm sure you'll be able to do it, but you'll have to wait until you're a bit older okay?"
Kasumi pouted cutely, then dug into her ramen.
Kushina looked at her husband worriedly, speaking in a low voice that Naruto was barely able to hear over his sister's slurping. "Are you sure she can learn it Minato-kun? What if it creates a problem with Kyuubi's youki?"
Minato frowned. "I hadn't thought of that… I'll ask the Toad Elders what they think. Besides, there's still a long ways to go before she reaches that level."
Naruto made his way up the stairs as their discussion turned back to uninteresting topics. When he was back in his room he sat at the desk, placing his tray down in front of him, and started to eat taking the time to properly chew all his food.
He tilted his head to one side as he swallowed a piece of beef. 'Have you ever heard of Sage Training Kyuubi? I know it wasn't mentioned in any of the books or scrolls I've read.'
There was a pause, which he assumed was due to the Demon thinking back over centuries of memories before supplying an answer. "No I haven't. there have been a few nicknames with the word 'sage' in it, but nothing to indicate that it actually means anything. Sort of like that old guy Sarutobi is called the God of Shinobi when there's really nothing godly about him. The closest I can think of is the Six Paths Sage, and even then I doubt it meant much."
Naruto frowned as he crunched on a juicy carrot. 'Six Paths Sage? I think… Yeah there was mention of him in one of the rare scrolls in father's Library, something about a rare Doujutsu, but it made it sound like he was just a myth.'
He got the impression of a mental shrug. "He probably is. When I first heard of him it was almost a hundred years after my… birth… but from what I heard he died even before I existed. The thing you have to know is that, back then, samurai had a lot more influence that ninja. The Ninja Clans and the subsequent Clan Wars were only just starting and I really didn't pay much attention to them. The rumor I heard was that this Six Paths Sage somehow managed to kill a Ten Tailed Demon, split it into nine, and then went on to create what would become Ninjutsu you humans practice."
Naruto almost choked on his food. 'Are you serious? That's how the Bijuu were created? The scroll said something about him being the founder of modern Ninjutsu, but to actually create the nine Bijuu!'
Kyuubi growled. "Don't be ridiculous boy! There are only nine of us, although I'm loathe to class those eight mindless beasts in the same order as myself. Your father is considered one of the greatest seal Masters ever and he doesn't even know how he survived sealing me. I wasn't even in control of myself at the time. Do you really think that a mere human could actually kill a Demon that was supposedly even more powerful than myself?"
Naruto paused in his meal. He thought back to the introduction to Fuuinjutsu that he had read when he started his studies and how it claimed that seal Masters had once been able to create the Summoning Contracts, something he knew his father couldn't replicate. The Flying Thunder God was an incredibly impressive work of Fuuinjutsu, but it was still not as impressive as the contracts that bound entire families of the great beasts that were summons animals. If that had been the level of a Master back then, who was to say that they weren't capable of killing a Demon and splitting its soul. Not that he would suggest such a thing to his tenant. The Fox may not be able to harm him, but it could give him a killer headache.
Naruto went back to his meal. 'You're probably right, no human could possibly be that strong. Hey… do you think soul manipulation could be another Higher Branch of Fuuinjutsu? Like Space-Time manipulation is?'
A noncommittal grunt echoed through his mind as the beast let his change of subject slide. "How the hell should I know Brat? You'll just have to work that out yourself. Now finish eating and get back to your training!"
Stifling a sigh, he finished his meal and pushed the tray to one side. He pulled a scroll open and set it down on his desk.
The Art of Sealing. Fujikawa Style.
Like most of the works on Fuuinjutsu it was hand written, and In this case it was his father's handwriting. Naruto was fortunate enough that, unlike most who took an interest in Fuuinjutsu, he didn't have to travel to study more seals. He knew that when Jiraiya, and his father to a lesser extent, were at the journeyman stage they had to gather information from many other Countries, both allied and enemy. Naruto however, had the collective results of years of research at his disposal.
The Codex of Sealing was a compendium of all the higher quality seals that Minato had seen and created, and he was still adding to it. Then there were other, lesser, works such as the one in front of him that, while interest, didn't merit a place with the cream of the crop.
Naruto knew that it would still take him years of study to master it all since, unlike his sister, he couldn't use an army of Shadow Clones. But with his intelligence, which had continued evolving and had now grown to startling levels, he knew that he was well on his way to surpassing his father.
"Get to work!"
Knowing better than to roll his eyes, Naruto crossed his hands in the appropriate seal and pooled as much chakra as he could. When he felt that he was near his limit he released it, letting the jutsu take shape.
With a pop and some smoke a single clone came into existence and went straight to reading at the desk.
Naruto panted in mild exhaustion. While he could create a Shadow Clone without draining himself, Kyuubi had instructed him to always use as much chakra as he safely could. Firstly because it would allow the clone to 'live' longer, thus study more. And secondly because it was a good way to improve his chakra stores.
"Get a move on Brat! You know what to do!"
Naruto nodded and jumped to the ceiling. His execution of Taijutsu and Kenjutsu stances was near perfect, so he didn't bother with darkness training anymore, but the upside down and resistance bracelets part was still very much in use. He winced at the steady drain on his already diminished reserves, but refused to let tiredness slow him down as he rapidly worked his way through more and more advanced forms.
Physical training was what took up most of his time nowadays, to the point where he was often performing push-ups or squats while reading. The only day that he didn't train his body was Sunday, and that was so that it could recuperate in preparation for the next week. With his mind being so advanced, the physical training was necessary to strengthen his body and force his cells to create more Physical Energy since the Spiritual Energy that composed the other half of his chakra was so abundant.
It was a lot of hard work but the results were starting to show, soon enough he'd be able to create two Shadow Clones.
"As you all know today is the monthly ranking tournament."
Iruka smirked, there were few things that could make a chattering academy student shut up as effectively as his Big Head Jutsu, but the ranking tournament was one of them. Unsurprisingly Kiba was letting out whoops of joy, arrogantly stating that he would soon 'take the top spot'. Sasuke was glaring competitively at Kasumi, silently planning his strategy to move up from the second best position in the class. Ino and Sakura were bantering over who would be the best placed…
He shook his head and got back on track.
"Yes, yes, I know you're all excited, but this time it'll be a bit different. With so many Clan Heirs in this class you've been gathering quite a bit of interest so, rather than just your teachers, your families have exceptionally been invited to watch."
Sakura's hand shot up but she didn't wait to be called on. "But Iruka-sensei if the tournament is today how are we supposed to tell our parents?"
"Don't worry Sakura, Hokage-sama has had his ANBU take care of that. Now, take the time prepare because you'll be fighting in front of some of the most important people in Konoha."
Naruto sighed and looked out the window as his classmates started chatting enthusiastically about how they were going to impress the village leaders. He doubted that any of them had bothered looking at the statistics of ninja ranks so they were probably ignorant of the fact that less than sixty percent of career ninja advanced past Genin rank and even less became Jounin. After all there was a reason that the higher ranking ninja were called elites and Clans, such as the Uchiha, who produced large numbers of Jounin were so revered.
'They really don't realise how pathetic they are…'
A small smile curved his lips as he heard Kyuubi snort in amusement. The Demon always loved it when he spoke of humans as if he wasn't one and, strangely enough, he was more and more enjoying the fact that the Demon didn't refer to him as a human either.
He closed his eyes and focused on some of the seals he had been studying.
"Uchiha Sasuke and Ami please step onto the ring."
Itachi watched his little brother's fight with distaste. While Sasuke was at an acceptable level for someone his age, the girl he was fighting against was not only weak but she was obviously a fan girl. It was a little known fact that after the Third Great Shinobi War the Council had voted that Academy standards be slowly relaxed to a less demanding level, placing an emphasis on history and academics rather than skill and tactics. The result was a generation of weak hearted and poorly skilled graduates, most of whom were either sent back to the Academy or chose another path after failing their Jounin sensei's test.
Compared to his own progression, graduated top of his class at seven, promoted to Chunin at ten and now, at twelve, a full fledged member of ANBU and well on his way to becoming Captain, the differences were glaring. The only reason Konoha still held it's standing as strongest of the Hidden Villages was because of it's many clans, who gave their children extra training, and the importance that was placed on teamwork.
Itachi held his expressionless mask in place as the purple haired kunoichi wannabe fawned over every hit his brother landed on her as if each touch were an intimate gesture. He frowned slightly when he saw that Sasuke was pulling his punches, an action that he found both understandable and regrettable. Given the girl's strength, or lack thereof, there was no need for his little brother to go all out, but he also felt that there was no need to go easy on her and prolong the fight.
On the battle field kindness was a weakness. The images of what happened to those who hesitated had been burnt into his memory by his Sharingan and would haunt him for the rest of his life. The horrors that he had witnessed at the end of the Third Great War had taught him one valuable lesson, if a conflict couldn't be avoided it should be ended as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.
He would have to find a way to impart his brother with that valuable lesson.
"Winner! Uchiha Sasuke!"
He forced a smile on his face as Sasuke's victory was declared and their mother rose to her feet, cheering happily and enthusiastically. The smile gained a little warmth as he saw colour rise on his brother's cheeks at the woman's extravagant, and rather loud, proclamations of how proud she was of her 'baby boy'. It was a good thing that their father hadn't deigned to come as he would have frowned heavily on such behaviour.
Itachi smirked a little predatorily. 'Not that she would let that stop her.'
"Haruno Sakura and… Naruto please step onto the ring."
The elder Uchiha Heir's eyebrows rose imperceptibly. He glanced at the Hokage and his wife who were sitting a few spaces away and noticed that they didn't seem to take notice of the instructor's omittance of their son's family name. His mask slid back into place, although nobody would notice the difference.
Like anyone else in the village he was well aware of the general enmity towards the Namikaze boy. While he himself didn't really care one way or the other, he did find the situation rather stupid. In his opinion, to treat the vessel as if it were the Demon showed a pitiful lack of intellect. But to treat young Naruto, who held nothing but the Kyuubi's powerless soul, as if he were the source of all the fear they felt years ago…
He let out a soft sigh that went unnoticed. 'The people of this village are all the same. They focus on the trivial, and lose sight of what's most important. Change is impossible, in this fog of ignorance. How can we evolve if our leader does nothing to clear it?'
He felt his respect for the Yondaime diminish slightly. Sacrificing the one for the many was a hard choice, but creating a scapegoat to comfort the populous when a firm hand was what they truly needed showed only bad leadership. Nonetheless, he would keep his silence.
The instructor's disappointed voice broke into his musings. "Naruto wins."
Itachi blinked. A single punch to the face had ended the fight and the pink haired girl was now sprawled on the floor unconscious. The movement had been well executed, with none of the clumsiness that was seen in the other students. There had also been restraint and patience, he had waited for her to approach and then returned her own momentum against her.
He was only slightly surprised when his mother cheered for the pseudo-Jinchuuriki just as much as she had for her younger son, she always was a kind hearted woman. He saw the boy go a bit wide eyed in surprise at his mother's encouragement and there was also a glint of recognition, which was strange since he didn't know when his mother could have met the young Namikaze. Naruto glanced at his own parents' lack of reaction to his victory and adopt a mask of indifference not too dissimilar from his own.
Itachi quirked an eyebrow. 'Interesting… This one bears watching.'
Naruto sat down and tried to ignore the warm feeling inside that the Uchiha woman's cheering had caused. It was starting to bother him that he still didn't know her name, but he didn't really have a way to find out what it was. He didn't want to ask his parents, and he certainly didn't have time to waste looking through the public files.
He sighed as he mostly ignored his sister dominate her fight against Kiba. 'Maybe she'll be invited to Kasumi's birthday party and I can find out then.'
"It's your birthday too you know."
He blinked. 'Kyuubi? I thought you were sleeping.'
The Demon snorted. "I'm a Demon, I don't need petty things like sleep and food, even if they are rather enjoyable. Don't change the subject."
Naruto sighed, drawing a curious glare from the civilian born student that was sitting beside him. 'It may be my party too, but we both know that I'm only there because it would reflect badly on the Namikaze if I wasn't. I doubt they'll pay me the slightest bit of attention.'
The voice in his head grunted in agreement. "Well don't let that stop you from being productive! Make sure you take some reading material with you so that you aren't just wasting your time loitering about."
'Yes, yes, of course…'
"Alright! Now for the first quarter final match: Namikaze Kasumi and Namikaze Naruto."
'…finally I can lose and be done with this pointless tournament. And he actually said my full name, wow.'
"Why don't you cut down on the sarcasm and actually win for once?"
Naruto ignored his tenant's question and watched his opponent join him in the ring. He had to admit that, for all their parents' spoiling of her, Kasumi hadn't turned out too badly. She was prideful and believed that she was the best, but she wasn't overly arrogant about it like the Hyuuga or the Uchiha who constantly shoved it others' faces.
He let his wonder as the instructor blabbed on about… something. His relationship with his sister was… nonexistent really. And it was mostly his fault. At first he had resented her for the attention that their parents gave her and denied him, but he had come to accept that it was hardly her fault. She had been a bit bratty about it at the beginning, but that was just how children where, he had little doubt that if their situations had been inversed he would have acted the same.
In retrospect he could remember a number of occasions on which she had tried to play with him only for him to blow her off in favour of his studies and training.
Kasumi smiled at him hesitantly as they stood opposite each other and just he nodded back.
Yes, their lack of relationship was his fault for almost the same reason that there was no bond between himself and his parents. He knew that, but he couldn't find much incentive to do anything about it. He was already contemplating the possibility of leaving the village at some point and, even if it seemed like an impossibility right now, he wasn't going to bother getting closer to her just to leave later on.
He stepped back gracefully as a fist came hurtling towards his head, keeping his weight well balanced despite being caught off guard. He had missed the instructor's signal to begin.
He spun on his heel to evade the following punch and, following through with the rotation as his sister overextended a little, landed a sharp jab in the small of her back. Fortunately for his plans, his surprise hadn't prevented him from holding back so she only stumbled a bit, rather than being knocked to the floor.
He held back a wince as Kasumi turned around to face him, shock written all over her features.
"Ha! Look at that! The one time you don't pay attention to the fight and you're already humiliating her."
Naruto cursed under his breath. He would have to make a fool of himself now, so that people would be too occupied mocking him to question his sudden increase in skill, then they would just put it down to a fluke.
With that in mind he charged his sister, fist cocked back for the punch. He paid careful attention to his footwork as his sister prepared her defence, positioning himself with pinpoint precision as their fists came towards each other. As planned, and despite his longer reach, Kasumi's fist slammed into the side of his head with a crunch and he was sent flying out of the ring.
Ignoring Kyuubi's growl of disappointment, he briefly wondered if it was weird that he felt a certain pride in how well he had caused his own defeat.
Naruto paid no mind to the party going on around him, sitting in a corner comparing two seals. This year had been a surprisingly good haul. He had gotten a book from Old Man Sarutobi, a copy of one of his ancestor's journals that held several entries concerning the Uzumaki Clan. His parents had been surprisingly generous, all things considered, and had gotten him a set of kunai made from a high quality chakra conductive metal.
A slightly monotonous voice broke into his figurative bubble of silence. "Good evening Naruto-kun."
Naruto looked up in mild surprise as Uchiha Itachi pulled up a chair and sat opposite him, gazing at him with an intrigued expression.
Getting over his shock, the Namikaze nodded slowly. "Good evening. Um… Itachi-san, right? Sasuke-san's brother?"
"That's correct." There was a nod and a pause. "I have a gift for you."
Naruto took the scroll the young teen held out to him with a small bow of thanks. Unrolling it he saw that it was a Generic Storage Seal with simple parameters. He read through the kanji of the seal with practiced ease, methodically picking out the details of the pocket dimension it created.
'A one and a half meter diameter. A maximum weight of ten Kilograms. No propulsion upon unsealing. The scroll and ink are sturdy and of good quality, but not the high quality stuff that's used for important seals. It's just a basic 'active duty' storage scroll. It could hold anything from a big ball of iron to a fluffy feather hat.'
He looked back to the older boy. "May I ask what it is?"
Itachi quirked an eyebrow, his lips twitching up in amusement. "Do you not have an idea."
Naruto frowned. "The seal is rather 'all purpose', it could hold anything."
His frown deepened when the Uchiha nodded as if a suspicion had been confirmed.
Itachi offered a small but genuine smile. "I'm impressed Naruto-kun. You have a good knowledge and understanding of Fuuinjutsu for your age. I suspected that there was more to you than meets the eye when I saw you throw the match against Kasumi-chan during the tournament."
Itachi chuckled when his remark caused the younger boy to stiffen. "Do not worry. I have no intention of informing anyone of your true skills. While you did do a very good job of masking your initial success and making your defeat seem natural, any observant Shinobi should have been able to detect the subterfuge. If they are too blinded by their own prejudice to see what stands before them, I have no reason to correct their misconceptions."
He chuckled again when his words made him sag a little in relief. "As to what the seal contains… a sword. A plain ANBU issue Ninjato. I'm sure you can find a use for it."
Naruto's eyes widened. He had tried to get a sword for his Kenjutsu training but he was too young to legally buy one and his parents had refused to get one for him, saying that he could start training when he had a Jounin Sensei to supervise him. It was one of the things that he truly resented them for, especially his mother, because his Uzumaki heritage made him eager to learn the Art of the Sword. Admittedly, it didn't matter too much since he couldn't choose a definitive style until he formed his Tamachiiken, and normally that wouldn't happen until his late teens to early twenties. But being denied the tool that would allow him to start at least the basics of swordplay… It was almost an insult to his ancestry.
Naruto bowed, a good bit lower this time. "Thank you Itachi-sempai. I assure you I will put your gift to good use."
Itachi simply nodded, content to sit there in silence.
Knowing better than to unseal his gift in view of his parents and run the risk of it being confiscated, Naruto slipped the scroll in his pocket. He then went back to comparing the two seals he had been looking at for over an hour now, drawing a raised eyebrow from Itachi.
The first seal was a printed one, torn out of a page of a common book for beginning sealers. The seal was the same, only handwritten in Naruto's own hand. It was a simple seal that worked a lot like a hot plate, by keeping a constant flow of chakra it could be used to heat a pan and cook a meal. The problem was that, while both seals worked, Naruto's worked better.
He had noticed completely by chance, but his provided a more constant heat, whereas the book one's temperature fluctuated slightly. Normally that would be a good thing, but what was really bothering Naruto was that he couldn't work out why his worked better. The kanji were all the same. The ink and paper were different, but that couldn't account for the differences he had observed.
It was frustrating.
He was interrupted by an upbeat and familiar voice. "What are you two doing squirreled away in your corner?"
Naruto looked up to see the kind Uchiha lady, looming over them with her hands on her hips. A look in Itachi's direction told him that the older boy didn't plan on answering.
Naruto gulped, uncharacteristically nervous. "Um… Itachi-sempai was just giving me a birthday gift Uchiha-sama."
The slight glare on the woman's face turned to a pout. "No, no, no! That won't do Naruto-kun! You can call me Mikoto. Or Mikoto-baasan. No… that makes me sound too old. Hmm… That's it! You an call me Mikoto-neesan!"
Naruto blinked. "Mikoto… neesan?"
She nodded happily. "Yep!"
Despite himself, Naruto felt a grin stretch his lips. He wasn't sure if it was her bubbly attitude, or the fact that he finally knew her name, but the woman just made him feel like smiling.
"What's this you're looking at?"
Naruto's eyes widened as she bent forwards to look at the seals he had in front of him, her low cut kimono inadvertently revealing a nice amount of cleavage. He dipped his head down.
He could usually ignore it because of the general enmity he received from almost everyone in Konoha but, with the accelerated development of his mind, he had also gained an early interest in the opposite sex. There were even a few times when he had caught himself looking at his own mother. Which, while she was an attractive woman, was disturbing for more than one reason.
Mikoto remained completely unaware of his dilemma. "Seals? You're studying Fuuinjutsu Naruto-kun?"
He nodded, keeping his face down to hide the slight blush that he was sure had crept onto his cheeks. "Yeah, I'm trying to find out what's different about the two seals."
She frowned and activated her Sharingan. "Sorry Naruto-kun, they look the same to me."
Before he could respond Kushina waved over from the other side of the room. "Mikoto-chan come and have a look at this."
"Coming!" She turned and ruffled Naruto's hair affectionately. "Happy birthday Naruto-kun."
Itachi got up from his chair and picked up one of the seals in each hand. He activated his own Sharingan, looking at them both with a bit more scrutiny that his mother had.
He handed them back. "She's right Naruto-kun, the only difference is the hand writing."
Naruto sighed in disappointment. "Oh well, thank you. For that and the gift too."
Itachi nodded and walked off, disappearing into the crowd.
Feeling a bit thirsty, Naruto got up and meandered over to the drinks table. Just as he started on his long glass of orange juice another conversation caught his attention. He shifted over to a better eavesdropping spot.
He only caught the end of Jiraiya's question. "…with the Toads Brat?"
Minato's voice had just the slightest slur to it. He had obviously been drinking. "'Course I am sensei! I just hope it doesn't take too long! I don't wanna stay away from the village."
Jiraiya frowned. "Don't think you can just breeze through this brat! Sage training is a long process if you try to rush it you'll just end up taking longer. Besides! You don't have to worry about the village! Sensei will be sitting in for you and I'll be sticking around just in case so you don't have to worry about your family."
Minato nodded a little morosely. "I know, I know! You'll take care of Kasumi right? Maybe you can help her with Kyuubi's chakra. I think she's ready to start on that so long as you take it slow."
"It's a bit early but I don't see why not. I'm gonna be here anyway so I might as well give it a go."
Minato nodded. "So… Any tips you can give me for the training? How's it going to work anyway?"
Jiraiya groaned in annoyance. "The short of it is that you have to learn to be one with nature by remaining perfectly still. Then you draw in the Nature Energy and balance it with your Physical and Spiritual Energies. If you want more details you'll have to wait and ask the Toad Elders."
Minato's head bobbed up and down with the music, which combined with his slightly tipsy expression was giving the impression that he was nodding like an idiot. "And what about Kasumi? She was asking if she'll be able to do sage training. I told her that she'd have to wait but…"
Jiraiya laughed. "Already wanting to follow in her godfather's footsteps is she? I was going to let have her sign the Toad contract when she graduated the Academy, but maybe I'll let her do it early. I don't see why she wouldn't do the Sage training… She'll probably be better than the both of us. The only real requirement is to have extreme chakra levels and with Kyuubi boosting her reserves there's no way she won't be able to."
Naruto scowled as they chatted about more and more ways they were going to train his sister.
Deciding that he had been at the party long enough to satisfy social politeness, he crept back to his room undetected. He had a sword to try out.