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IYour FatherCarry a Big Stick Chapter 10: Playing Oneself

Author:Tom Category:urban Update time:2022-09-12 23:14:09

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Chapter 10: Playing Oneself

Though there was no Naruto present, Hiruzen was once again waiting for Wu upon the latters return. He knew the boy would have questions, and he felt obligated to thank him for bringing Narutos circumstances to light.

“Welcome back, my boy. Did you enjoy your leisure time at the Academy”

Returning a smile, Wu retorted, “Have you ever known me to laze about I chatted with a few of my classmates during lunch, but I spent most of the day studying the third and fourth-year curriculums.”

Unsurprised by Wus words, Hiruzen just exhaled a soft chuckle before adopting a marginally more serious expression and asking, “Did any of your fellow students or instructors have anything to say about Narutos absence”

Shaking his head, Wu revealed, “Daikoku-sensei just told us the school was undergoing an audit. As for my classmates, most of them care little for Naruto. Once they learned we had been assigned self-study, most of them just split off into their usual groups to play.”

“Hmm…I see…”

Stroking his beard, Hiruzen briefly considered how much he should reveal to Wu. If not for the boys honesty, Narutos situation may not have come to light for the remainder of his stay in the Academy.

Shaking his head, Hiruzen reminded himself that Wu was only eight years old. More importantly, it had barely been a month since he came to reside in Konoha. While the boy possessed a certainwisdom, well beyond what a child his age should possess, it was a little too soon to involve him in the villages internal affairs.

It wasnt, however, too soon to begin preparing him…

Having made his decision, Hirzuens silvery-grey eyes twinkled as he met Wus gaze and questioned, “What would you say to me hiring you another instructor I know you probably feel stifled at the Academy, so this could be an opportunity for you to grow outside the classroom.”

Catching Hiruzen off guard, Wu didnt hesitate to answer, “Not right now. I have only been attending the Academy for two days, so Id like some time to acclimate. I wouldnt mind if it were Kurenai-sensei, but I presume you had someone else in mind.”

Recovering by the time Wu had finished speaking, Hiruzen gave a curt nod, admitting, “I was thinking of introducing you to Nara Shikaku, the father of one of your classmates. Shikaku-san is currently the highest-ranking Jonin in the village and someone whose advice I value over most others. I believe you could learn much from him.”

Hearing Hiruzens admission, Wu would be lying if he said he wasntvery interested in meeting Shikaku. What he didnt want was to meet the man without any time to prepare. It was easy to imagine that Shikaku was incredibly intelligent to receive the praise of Hiruzen, so Wu needed time to establish abaseline before their first encounter.

Meeting Hiruzens gaze, Wu firmly replied, “My answer remains the same. Im still getting to know the people in my class. While Im certain Shikaku-san could teach me many things, wasnt I brought here to adapt to living among other humans As eager as I am to improve, focusing on too many things at once will just stress me out.”

Instead of forcing the matter, Hiruzen gave Wu an approving nod, saying, “There is truth to what you say.” Then, with a grandfatherly smile on his face, he mused, “Very well, Wu. For now, you will concentrate on making the most of your time at the Academy. Once you are prepared, I will invite Shikaku-san over for tea and a few rounds of Shogi. He will likely want to challenge you, so be sure to acquaint yourself with the rules before then.”

Realizing that Hiruzen had seen through his intentions, Wus eyes briefly widened before a wry smile developed across his face. He had never once doubted the mans intellect, but it appeared Hiruzen was slier than he anticipated. In hindsight, he should have realized that the leader of an organization that delved into subterfuge and assassination would be able to see through his facade…

Amused by Wus brief panic, Hiruzen narrowed his eyes and exhaled a hearty chuckle. Then, with a toothy grin, he mused, “You still have a ways to go if you want to pull the wool over this old mans eyes…”

Returning a smile of his own, Wu did not attempt to excuse himself or his action. Instead, he narrowed his eyes and mused, “So it would seem…” in a sing-song tone. Afterward, both he and Hiruzen exhaled audibly similar chuckles…

..

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After being absent for four days, excluding the weekend, Naruto surprised nearly everyone by showing up to class in comparably normal clothes. He still resembled a traffic cone, but there was a marked improvement in the quality and fit of his clothing. His toeless sandals, in particular, were from a famous brand that caused even Ino to do a double-take.

Noticing everyones eyes on him, Naruto couldnt keep an enormous grin from his face as he rubbed the underside of his nose and said, “Hey, guys. Long time no see.”

Recovering from their stupor, the children that had always looked down on Naruto adopted various expressions of displeasure. Fortunately, while they made up the majority, their opinion didnt matter. The founding clans were the ones with real power in Konoha, and, unlike the civilians, most of the heirs had never actually hated Naruto. After all, unlike the parents of the civilian children, theirs knew the truth.

Unable to contain her curiosity, Ino ignored the warning look from their Sensei as she openly inquired, “Since when were you able to afford such high-quality clothing”

Though it seemed impossible, Naruto managed to smile even wider as he responded with a cheeky, “Its a secret.”

As no one, not even Ino, expected Naruto to respond in such a way, the entire class was left at a momentary loss for words. Some people were visibly annoyed, but they werent given the opportunity to express it as Daikoku asserted, “Thats enough chit-chat. Everyone to your seats. The bell has already rung.”

Though he wanted to continue being the center of attention, Naruto made his way over to his seat, located to the right of Sakura. The latter was one of the most surprised by his changes, but before Naruto could personally ask what she thought, his world abruptly came crashing down as Daikoku coldly declared, “I hope you all took advantage of last weeks self-study because the first thing on todays agenda is a Quiz. Anyone who scores lower than fifty percent will need to attend remedial classes after school.”

Hearing their Senseis proclamation, it wasnt just Naruto whose spirit had left their body. Kaia looked like she was experiencing an existential crisis, while Kiba just straight up groaned, “There goes my free time…”

Hearing the young heirs grumble, Wu would be lying if he said he wasnt reveling in Kibas misfortune. He knew everyone had their own strengths and weaknesses, but knowledge was something anyone could obtain. He might help the duo cheat if it benefitted him somehow, but they only had themselves to blame for their lack of preparedness. Heck, Kaia had spent the last week studying alongside him. She should have at least picked up on the basics.

Interrupting Wus reverie, Kaia uttered a faint, “Aniki…” while pressing the tips of her index fingers together. When he looked directly at her, a ruddy hue colored her cheeks as she lowered her head and softly inquired, “Do you mind if I copy your paper…”

Resisting the urge to refuse immediately, Wu eyed the uncharacteristically bashful Inuzuka for several seconds before answering, “No. Im curious to see how well you can perform on your own.”

Reacting like a kicked puppy, Kaia shrank into herself and responded with a soft whimper. She had anticipated that Wu might refuse, but it still made her sad.

Seeing the usually energetic girls dispirited reaction, Wu surprised both her and Kiba by extending his hand to pat Kaias head. Many of the hags back at Jigokudani would pat his head whenever he was feeling angry or frustrated. More importantly, Kaia was a member of the Inuzuka Clan, so Wu presumed she would react to act in a positive light.

As expected, Kaia immediately perked up, doubly so when Wu added, “Dont worry. If you fail the exam, Ill attend remedial lessons alongside you. In exchange, I expect you to pay closer attention during our private study sessions. Understood”

Nodding her head enthusiastically, causing Wu to ruffle her hair even further, Kaia practically shouted, “You got it, Aniki!” in a spirited tone. This earned them a warning look from Daikoku, but, as he had been advised by the Hokage to let Wu do as he pleased, the portly Chunin quickly returned to passing out test papers…

..

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As it took time to grade papers, it wasnt until the final period that Class 3-A received their results. Wu, Sakura, Sasuke, and a bespectacled girl named Shiho were the only ones to obtain perfect scores. Everyone else scored around 60-70%, the only exceptions being Narutos 42%, Kibas 48%, and Kaias 0%.

Seeing the puppy-like girl holding up a paper with intentionally incorrect answers, Wu realized he had played himself. The outcome didnt change, as he had always expected Kaia to fail, but her doing so intentionally was a metaphorical slap in the face. If he didnt know she was a genuine idiot, he would probably resent her. Instead, he was a little impressed…at least she knew how to get what she wanted…

True to his word, Wu attended the remedial lessons alongside the bubbly Inuzuka. However, while Naruto, Kiba, and Kaia were the only ones to fail, there were actually nine people present for the remedial lessons. Wu was obviously among them, but there was also Hinata, Sakura, Ino, Choji, and Shikamaru. The presence of so many heirs placed a considerable amount of pressure on the instructor, so, while the lessons were supposed to be a form of punishment, they ultimately became a fairly pleasant group study session…

..

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After remaining fairly tight-lipped for several days, Naruto eventually gave in and revealed the secret of his newfound wealth. More specifically, Wus frequent yet careful probes had ultimately worn him down, compelling him to reveal, “Get this. It turns out my Kaa-san was a big shot who helped to defeat the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Jii-san said he cant reveal the details until I became a Chunin, but she left me an inheritance. I dont know the exact amount, but Jii-san said its enough to support me for my entire life if I wanted to give up becoming Hokage.”

Raising his brows, Wu willfully swallowed the bait dangling in front of him, asking, “And what did you say in return…”

Adopting one of his characteristically toothy smiles, Naruto exclaimed, “I told him theres no way Im giving up becoming the Hokage! In fact, now I have even more of a reason to become strong and protect the village, just like my Kaa-san…!”

Unsurprised by Narutos outburst, Wu gave a curt nod, stating, “I have no doubt youll become an exceShinobi in the future. After all, you still owe me one for that Bento.”

Remembering Wus act of kindness, Naruto was tempted to say he could repay him right then and there but stopped himself. The compassion Wu had shown that day was something he would never forget, so, instead of trying toweasel his way out of the debt, Naruto adopted a toothy grin and said, “Leave it to me, Wu! Once I become Hokage, Ill purchase you an entire Bento shop! Hahahaha~!”

Exhaling a soft chuckle of his own, Wu left even the ever boisterous Naruto feeling a little speechless as he mused, “Ill hold you to it~” in a sing-song tone. He had no interest in running a Bento Shop, but it was better to have and not need, than to need and not have…

..

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