61 CH_3.2 (061): C-rank Jutsu!

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Takuma gazed at the sign of the multi-storied building situated in the industrial district. It was his first time in this part of the Leaf, and it had taken a bit before he found the address. Panka Couriers— said the blue and white sign over the entrance. He looked down at the mission slip in his hand that he had received from the Mission Desk Central with the mission specifics. On it, Panka Couriers was written under the patron's name. He had arrived at the right place.

His first mission. He felt jittery like a child about to go on their first errand. He knew D-rank missions were busy work and odd jobs, but he still felt nervous and wanted his first mission to go as smoothly as possible without any problems.

Even from the outside, Takuma could tell that the building was a large warehouse. Long and tall shelving racks covered the floor. In the back, Takuma could see people packing items in boxes and packages. He talked to the first person he saw, who walked him to the owner's office.

"Boss, a shinobi is here for the job."

Inside the office, a pot-bellied man in a white cotton shirt that hugged his torso was sitting behind a desk with a towel hanging from his shoulder. The man raised his top-bald head from the papers on his desk and looked at Takuma.

"Shinobi… you're here for the job?" asked the owner.

Takuma nodded and showed him the mission slip. The owner studied it for a moment before nodding.

"Yeah, this is the one," he said and asked Takuma to sit down.

The mission, if Takuma could use that word for this job, was to work as a delivery man for Panka Couriers. According to the contract, he was to work for an entire week with a minimum quota of deliveries in a day. A certain number of package deliveries counted as 1 D-rank mission, and as long as the patron had enough work for him, he could do as many deliveries as he could, and at the end of the mission, he would be paid for the amount of D-rank missions he had completed. There were a couple more stipulations in the contract, which ensured that neither side could exploit the other.

All in all, it sounded like a simple enough job.

"It's good that you're here, one of the boys left suddenly without warning, and I couldn't find anyone to replace him," said the man. He stood up and asked Takuma to follow him. They walked deeper into the warehouse, where the owner was introduced to one of the employees.

"This is Ran; he will be giving you work," said the owner before leaving Takuma with Ran.

"Have you done this before?" asked Ran. He was a tall and well-built man dressed in a sleeveless vest, blue pants, and a yellow hard hat on his head.

Takuma shook his head.

"Alright, listen well then," Ran pointed at the map behind him on the wall. It was the map of the Hidden Leaf village, but it was marked differently than the maps Takuma had seen before. "We have divided the village into areas, and we divide the packages according to the areas, so when you go out to deliver, you will only serve one of those areas. You go straight to the area and then move around to deliver the packages. You will either get your load from here, or we will tell you to go to a client, and you will pick the load from there and then deliver it."

Ran then showed him the 'equipment'— a bag so large that when Takuma hung it on his back, it towered over his head. It was to store small and medium-sized packages. For large packages that couldn't be carried on the back, carts were used to transport them around the village.

"Donkey or horse pulls them, but shinobi usually pull the carts on their own."

Takuma nodded. Shinobi didn't use horses for travel. Traveling by foot when you could jump from tree to tree and cut through a forest or outlast a prancing horse which would tire down long before a chakra-enabled shinobi who could run for hours. Even when cargo was involved, shinobi would use storage seals to put away the weight and travel by foot.

Like most shinobi, Takuma didn't know how to ride a horse or control a cart-pulling animal. As for storage seals, he had only learned how to imitate the fuinjutsu script and chakra application to make the most basic storage seal that could only hold a few kilograms. Maruboshi, pushed for time, had chosen not to explain any theory behind the scrolls and only taught Takuma to make a monkey copy so that he could make a scroll without understanding what he was doing.

After a final explanation of how to approach delivery orders to take the least time and the rules, do's, and don'ts while delivering the packages, Takuma was off with the most oversized bag the warehouse had filled to the brim.

The bag was heavier than anything an average person could lug around, but for Takuma, it was simply a heavy bag. Other than the fact that it hindered his mobility due to its size, Takuma felt he could do deliveries all day long and get employer of the week by a long shot.



Enthusiasm could take humanity to the stars. For Takuma, it took him to overperforming to the point that on Day-5, the owner sent him home earlier because they didn't have anything left for him to deliver when he returned in the middle of the work day to get another load. By the last day, Takuma had done everything from solo small-package deliveries to cart deliveries to pick-and-drop deliveries.

He had even accompanied another employee for a delivery run who had told him that his route order was terrible. The only reason he could do so much was that he could brute rush through the order deliveries faster than people who knew how to order their delivery route properly.

That was fine for Takuma. He was only in the delivery business for a week. By the end of the week, he had completed eight D-rank missions in his first week, which got him a commendation from the owner that turned out to be a plus point for Takuma as it went on his record.

But, at the same time, eight D-rank missions were all he did during the week. He didn't train, meet with friends, relax at home, hike on a nearby nature trail, learn other skills, or do anything. Every moment of his 'work' time went into fulfilling deliveries.

Before the contract, he had visited the jutsu archive every day to look at jutsu, but in the week, he had only visited once. He decided it wasn't worth it to dedicate that much time to missions. He needed time to train and do other activities. As long as he did two to three missions a week, he would make the monthly minimum, and he could supplement more to ensure he wasn't seen doing the bare minimum.

After he submitted his signed and stamped mission slips back to the mission desk, he was told that he could take a week off before returning to take missions which he complied with and spent the hours every day for the rest of the week in the jutsu archive, looking at C-rank jutsu, trying to figure out what he should choose. He looked at Doton (Earth Release) jutsu, he looked at Raiton (Lightning Release), and he looked at Raiton jutsu at the D-rank library— as Doton was supposed to be weaker against Raiton and he needed to know which Doton jutsu could be completely screwed over with a weaker Raiton jutsu and avoid those jutsu.

'Fuck me, choosing Raiton as my first jutsu,' Takuma felt he couldn't blame anyone but himself for choosing the one affinity opposite his primary affinity.

The chakra induction paper only showed the primary(highest) affinity, and while it could be possible that Takuma wasn't weakest at Raiton as just having Doton didn't mean he was automatically weakest with Raiton, but from his proficiency with Raiton: Shokku (Lightning Release: Shock) it was very well possible that he was dog shit with Raiton jutsu.

Takuma had entered his free week intending to choose his C-rank jutsu. By the end of the week, he had achieved his goal.

His choice—

Doton: Tsuchi Domu (Earth Release: Earth Dome)

His first jutsu, Raiton: Shokku was an offensive jutsu, something he chose to increase his firepower; even if it didn't go entirely as he wished, the jutsu did provide him a boost in offensive power. His second jutsu was Suiton: Kirigakure Jutsu (Water Release: Hidden Mist Jutsu), a supportive class of jutsu, something he had chosen to hinder his opponent while allowing him to put his existing options and weapons to better use. Other than his two D-rank jutsu, he had Bunshin no Jutsu (Clone Jutsu), which Takuma had plans to incorporate into his fighting style under certain circumstances.

Takuma's fights while competing in the basic training final tournament were one of the most valuable experiences he had gained regarding combat. The second day had especially told him, through his beaten body, that he lacked a defense option. The long recovery period and his weakened state in his fight against Nenro clearly indicated that he needed to protect himself.

Moreover, he had also noticed how, similar to him, none of his opponents had a defense option. Nenro had shown Raiton: Shokku, a genjutsu, and a Katon (Fire Release) jutsu— all three fell under the offense classification. Yuhi Kame was a genjutsu user, and while that fight hadn't lasted very long, she hadn't shown any sign of using a pure-defensive jutsu. And finally, Fuma Arisu utilized her fuma shuriken from a distance to target him and had a modification in melee— she had only used bukijutsu against him and, yet again hadn't pulled a pure-defensive jutsu against him.

While all of them were still early in their growth as shinobi, and they could pick a pure-defensive jutsu in the future— his fights did tell him that if he could outlast his opponent by taking comparatively less damage, the chances of victory skyrocketed in his favor.

And with the offensive capabilities, everyone had shown him, it was only wise for him to choose a defensive jutsu.

Fortunately for him, Earth was the most associated with protection, and Doton had good options for Takuma.

His first choice was Doton: Koka Jutsu (Earth Release: Hardening Jutsu). By utilizing earth-natured chakra, a shinobi encased their body in surrounding rock, creating an armor. This casing could also create extendible weapons to strike a target with.

Takuma liked the jutsu as not only did it provide him with a great defense, but it also provided him with an option for boosted melee offense by extending the casing armor to form bludgeoning weapons to strike the opponent with. For the first three days, his heart stuck to the jutsu, but a single point shattered his favorability towards Doton: Koka Jutsu.

The armor that caused the user added weight to the body. Takuma was a poor match against faster and more agile opponents, with his taijutsu capabilities unable to keep up. His recent opponents had been a genjutsu user with weak taijutsu capabilities, a bukijutsu user who hurled around a heavy chunk of pure metal as her weapon, and a half-beaten shinobi who leaned towards strategic use of genjutsu to hinder opponents and use ninjutsu to deal severe damage from the distance.

But he knew the reality against the nimbler opponents. Further reducing his speed wouldn't do him any good.

So, he turned his eye to another jutsu and stumbled upon Doton: Tsuchi Domu, which according to its description, was a simplified version of B-rank jutsu Doton: Iwa-He (Earth Release: Rock Shelter)— he didn't know what made it a simplified version as it wasn't mentioned, but both jutsu created domes around the user.

It was a simple jutsu, which Takuma liked as it meant that it could be utilized in various situations without any circumstantial limitations.

The second alternative that Takuma considered was a Doton: Doro Gaeshi (Earth Release: Mud Overturn). Another defensive jutsu that brought a mud wall up for protection. Due to its composition, the jutsu was highly effective against Katon jutsu, but for the same reason, it was weak against Raiton jutsu— and for a Doton jutsu which was already vulnerable to Raiton to be weaker didn't seem like a positive outlook. The reason he had considered the jutsu in the first place was that the primary affinity for a great majority of people in the Land of Fire was Katon— and having a jutsu strong against Katon seemed like a legitimate option.

However, in the end, Takuma decided to walk toward the side of neutrality and confirmed his choice to be Doton: Tsuchi Domo.

Takuma turned to the shinobi with him in the room. "I have decided," he said.

The shinobi stepped closer, asked Takuma's choice, and walked out with Takuma's shinobi registration— and when he returned, he had a jutsu scroll with him.

Takuma looked at the scroll on the table in front of him, and with nervous hands, he rolled it open.

It was time to start learning.



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