Chapter 11: Damn you, Hiruzen…
With the supplemental lessons ending after a week, those that had been forcing themselves to attend returned to their usual afterschool activities. Naruto stuck around a few days longer, largely to spend time with Sakura, but he eventually got bored and started hanging out with Kiba, Choji, and Shikamaru.
After Naruto left the group, Wu expected Hinata to follow suit, but she ended up sticking around. She could justify spending time with him while they were in the Academy, but if she were caught following Naruto around outside, someone from the Hyuga Clan would quickly show up to retrieve her.
Instead of Hinata, the last to leave the study group was Ino. She had fun at the beginning, but spending 3-4 hours a day learning things that would be taught to her in class quickly lost its appeal.
Following the departure of Ino, Wu began looking for reasons to justify his own. Unfortunately, his excuse of wanting to train just led to Kaia asking if she could come over to play. Hinata and Sakura also had good reasons for becoming more powerful, so it wasnt long before Wu found himself in the awkward position of having to explain to Hiruzen his reasons for bringing over the three girls.
Though he listened attentively and nodded his head in response to Wus well-craftedexcuse, Hiruzen had a mischievous twinkle in his eyes as he inhaled from his ornate wooden pipe. After inhaling a mixture of tobacco and a few minor narcotics, Hiruzen exhaled several rings of smoke before adopting aknowing smile as he mused, “Ah, to be young…”
Before Wu could ask if the old man had finally gone senile, Hiruzen stared directly at him and added, “So long as their parents permit it, you have my permission to bring them over. However, as all three are girls, you must treat them delicately and with due consideration. Boys have a much easier time building muscle than girls, so you shouldnt hold them to your standard. If you injure them, even accidentally, it could become a serious incident…”
Revealing his thoughts on the matter, Wus usual smile was nowhere to be seen as he groaned, “You could just say no…spare me the hassle…”
Exhaling an amused chuckle, the twinkle in Hiruzens eyes became more prominent as he said, “Trust me, Wu. You may not understand it right now, but there will eventually come a time when you look back on this day with fondness. You can thank me then.”
Finding Hiruzens words difficult to believe, Wu shook his head in mock exasperation, muttering, “Whatever you say, old man…” He couldnt see how he could ever bethankful to Hiruzen for allowing him to spend his precious training time looking after a bunch of frail and feeble girls…
Staring up at the gate bearing the Kanji for Monkey on it, Sakura couldnt help feeling nervous as she weakly inquired, “Can an ordinary civilian like me really enter the Hokages mansion”
Stopping just over the threshold, Wu looked back to the trio of girls that had followed him home, saying, “If you want to turn around and leave, I wont stop you. Just dont complain to me if you find your strength lacking in the future…”
Furrowing her brows, Sakura said, “You dont have to be rude, Wu-kun. I came all this way; Im not turning back now.”
As if to prove her point, Sakura stomped toward the estates entrance but stopped just short of the threshold. However, instead of hesitating at the last moment, she turned around to ask, “Are the two of you coming, Kaia-chan, Hinata-chan…”
Tilting her head to the side, Kaia replied, “Im waiting for Aniki. Kaa-san said I shouldnt enter someones home without their permission.”
Playing off of Kaias words, Wu said, “Feel free to make yourselves at home. The only off-limits places are the Hokages quarters and private library. Ill show you where theyre at so you dont accidentally wander inside.”
Without needing to be told twice, Kaia ran across the threshold with her arms spread like the wings of an airplane. Wu didnt know what an airplane was, but it was theimpression he got when seeing the petite Inuzukas antics.
Following shortly after, Hinata gave a slight bow and said, “Pardon me…” before stepping across the interior. This left Sakura as the only one stilloutside, so Wu raised his brows at her and asked, “What are you waiting for”
Furrowing her brows a second time, Sakura looked like she wanted to say something but decided against it. Instead, she followed after Kaia, doing her best not to look around like an idiot as she made her way inside…
After a quick tour of the Sarutobi Estate, including his room, Wu showed the trio to the clearing where he usually conducted his training. Hiruzen had purchased him all kinds of equipment during his training with Kurenai. This included a number of straw mannequins, a massive log that had been treated with some kind of liquid to make it tougher than iron, and a dozen weighted staffs ranging from 50kgs to 600kgs.
Interrupting the trios silent gawking, Wu explained, “Ive never trained another person, and Lord Hokage told me to avoid pushing you too hard. So what Ill do for now is show you how I usually train. After that, Ill have you demonstrate the training methods youve been using until now.”
Without waiting for the girls response, Wu crossed his arms and grabbed the base of his t-shirt before removing it in a single smooth motion. At the exact same moment, Sakura stepped forward to punch him in the back of the head, exclaiming, “What do you think youre doing, Wu! You cant just take off your shirt in front of a bunch of girls…!”
Instead of answering Sakuras question, Wu stared at her with curiosity, asking, “Is your hand okay…”
Confused by Wus words, Sakura looked down at her right hand to find it was already beginning to swell. Wu hadnt used his Adamantine Body, but his toughness drastically exceeded that of an average human.
Seeing the pinkette begin to tear up, the words of Hiruzen appeared in Wus mind. Thus, even though he felt like she deserved to experience a bit of pain after carelessly attacking him, he grabbed her hand and said, “Hold still…” in a firm tone.
Though she was initially going to pull her hand from Wus, Sakura stopped herself when the formers palm began emitting a pale green light. Most of the pain in her hand immediately faded, replaced by a gentle warmth that caused the tips of her fingers to tingle.
Releasing the befuddled girls hand, Wu preempted her query by holding up his own and explaining, “Its the Monkey Clans version of the Mystical Palm. It didnt have a proper name, so Ive taken to calling it the Monkeys Palm Technique. Creative, I know.”
Lowering his hand, Wu turned to Kaia and Hinata, asking, “Do either of you care if I remove my shirt I tend to sweat a lot during my exercises, so Id rather not have to wear it.”
Without any hesitation whatsoever, Kaia raised her hands and shook her head vigorously, insisting, “No, no, no! Shirtless is good!” with a little too much excitement coloring her face. Wu might not have been a paragon in terms of physique, primarily due to his age, but he was moving in the right direction.
Ignoring the red-faced Inuzuka, Wu shifted his attention to the equally crimson Hyuga, patiently awaiting her answer. She had covered her face with her hands, but the sizeable gaps between her fingers allowed her pearl-like eyes to peer through.
Realizing that Wu was expecting her to say something, Hinata hesitated for a moment before muttering, “I…I think I should go home…”
Instead of insisting she stay, Wu gave an understanding nod and said, “Then I guess well see you at school tomorrow. Take care on your way home.”
With Wu turning away almost as soon as he was finished speaking, Hinata found herself at a loss. Just as she was about to turn around and leave, however, Kaia tugged her sleeve, asking, “Are you really leaving, Hina-chi Didnt you want to get stronger to impress that boy…”
Blushing even fiercer than when she had been staring at Wu, Hinata averted her eyes and began nervously pressing the tips of her index fingers together. While it was true she wanted to impress Naruto, the real reason she had come to the Sarutobi Estate was because she had been invited and didnt know how to refuse. She expected her father to forbid it, but he immediately gave his permission when she told him she would be training to get stronger…
Realizing that her father would likely be disappointed in her if she just turned around and left, Hinata buried her face into her hands, gradually gathering her conviction. This went on for so long that Kaia abandoned her to get a closer look at Wus training, but she eventually mustered up enough courage to raise her face, revealing veins bulging at the corners of her eyes…
Feeling a sudden sense of discomfort, Wu ceased swinging his bo staff and immediately looked toward Hinata. He immediately noticed the veins around her eyes, but while they were kind of creepy, the look on his face was one of intrigue as he asked, “Is that the active form of the Byakugan Mind if I get a closer look…”
Having just formed the courage to raise her face, Hinata was unprepared to hear Wu ask if he could stare into her eyes. She knew he was probably just curious, but the thought of him leaning toward her like the day he had cornered her in the hallway caused her brain to short-circuit.
Seeing Hinata suddenly collapse, Wu clicked his tongue, surprising Kaia and Sakura as his figure seemed to blur for a moment. In the next, he was guiding Hinata to the ground, muttering something neither of them could hear.
“Damn you, Hiruzen…grateful my ass…!”
Resisting the urge to smack Hinata awake, Wu looked to Kaia and said, “Run inside and ask one of the servants for a cold compress and some towels. Our little princess here seems to have fainted…”
Straightening her body, Kaia gave a salute and replied, “Roger that, Aniki!” before zooming back to the manor as fast as her feet could carry her. The Inuzukas were fairly famous for their speed, so even though her form was horrendous, she was suitable for fetching things.
Trusting that Kaia would carry out his order, Wu picked up Hinatas almost weightless body, prompting Sakura to narrow her eyes and ask, “What are you doing”
Deadpanning in the pinkettes direction, Wu flatly retorted, “Arent you supposed to be the smart one If a patient faints and doesnt wake up within a few seconds, you should treat them as if they have heat stroke. What Im doing is carrying her to the shade. Any other stupid questions”
Though she frowned deeply, Sakura didnt say anything and just watched as Wu carried Hinata to the shade. She hated being called stupid, but, at the same time, she couldnt fault Wu for being quick to act in a situation where most children wouldnt know what to do. He was only eight years old, but he always seemed to have everything under control…
(A/N: Kaia be like, “I am speed…!”)