The next day, after the morning workout, Renjiro had another discussion with his team. He said, "You have made good progress over the last month. So I'll now tell you how to progress further." The genins nodded and listened attentively.
Renjiro looked at Mieko and said, "The jutsus you know currently are sufficient enough. So you don't need to learn any more Ninjutsu. Just focus on mastering the ones you know currently. Especially Fire Release : Four jutsu. In addition to Ninjutsu, you also need to learn Genjutsu. So in your free time, ask your parents or clan elders to teach you more sharingan based Genjutsu. And keep working on your physique. You need to be able to complete the morning workout while enduring 10% pressure from your Training seal." Mieko nodded and said, "Yes Sensei. I'll work hard."
He then looked at Fujin and asked, "Have you decided on your second element?" Fujin nodded and said, "Yes Sensei, I have decided to choose Earth as my second element." Renjiro nodded and asked, "Any ideas on which jutsus you want to learn?" Fujin replied, "I've decided to learn Rock Shield jutsu, Earth Instantaneous Body jutsu and Earth Holding jutsu." Renjiro asked, "Why?" Fujin replied, "Rock Shield jutsu will provide me with a very good defense. Earth Instantaneous Body jutsu is a movement jutsu. And I can use Earth Holding jutsu to trap the enemies, or keep me and my squad on the ground."
Renjiro thought for a few seconds and said, "Rock Shield jutsu will be good for you. But why do you want to learn Earth Instantaneous Body jutsu? You already have 2 movement jutsus. Also, Earth Holding jutsu is very slow to actually trap anyone capable enough. So it isn't very useful. So why do you still want to learn it?" Fujin replied, "Well there's no harm in learning more movement jutsus. Also, escaping through the ground will also provide a good defense as well as stealth. If the enemy isn't a sensor, it can also be used to sneak up on the enemy. As for Earth Holding jutsu, my main aim is to split the enemy's attention and have him keep an eye on the ground. Especially if I can do it without hand signs. I also wonder if I can suppress its chakra signature to perform it very stealthily. If I can trap the enemy momentarily, it'll be enough for us to incapacitate him." Renjiro thought, 'Hmm, nice thinking once again. Though learning a third movement jutsu is wasteful even with his explanation.' Renjiro nodded and said, "Alright then. Rock Shield jutsu you can learn by yourself. The remaining two will be learnt under my supervision. In addition to these, we'll work on mastering the jutsus you already know."
Finally, Renjiro looked at Hoka and said, "Hoka, your current status in Ninjutsu is much better than before we began the training. However, it's still not enough." Hoka nodded and paid attention. Renjiro continued, "You will learn 4 more Earth Release jutsus. They will be Boulder Throw jutsu, Quicksand jutsu, Stone Spear jutsu and Earth Instantaneous Body jutsu. Boulder Throw is a mid-range offensive jutsu. Quicksand is a trapping jutsu. Stone Spear is a mid-range jutsu and Earth Instantaneous Body is a movement jutsu." Hoka sighed and nodded.
Renjiro smiled and said, "Don't worry. These would be the only rank C jutsus, I'll force you to master. I will advise you to learn more in the future, however the decision is in your hands. Learning rank C Water Release jutsus will help you. In addition, once you have mastered these Earth jutsus, you should learn 2 rank B Earth Release jutsus. The first is Earth Dragon jutsu, which will increase your capabilities in fighting a ranged battle. And Earth Wall jutsu, which is one of the best defensive jutsus in existence. They will complement your Gentle Fist style perfectly and you can then focus entirely on your Taijutsu." Hoka showed a look of determination and replied, "Yes sensei. I'll master these Ninjutsu."
Renjiro continued, "In addition to your Ninjutsu and Taijutsu training, we will also focus on your Genjutsu training…." He wanted to continue, however, Hoka's expression was a sight to see after hearing that. Renjiro chuckled and continued, "Whether you learn Genjutsu or not will be left for later. For now, I will teach you how to counter Genjutsu." Renjiro's chuckling and his gaze gained the attention of his students. Both Fujin and Mieko looked at Hoka and had a laugh.
The training under Renjiro continued. Over the next 6 weeks, Fujin and Hoka had got all the jutsus down and were practicing to master them. Fujin could now do all the newly learnt rank C jutsus with just one single hand seal. Renjiro's instructions while learning Earth Release jutsus were much better as compared to Wind Release jutsus. He also had a more in-depth explanation regarding how chakra should be moulded and how to do it faster. Due to this, Fujin's speed of learning Earth Release rank C jutsus was almost comparable to when he was learning Wind Release jutsus.
The practice of combination jutsus too continued and they got much faster at performing them. For Genjutsu, Renjiro's clones started by casting rank D Genjutsu on Hoka and Fujin. Within a couple of days, Fujin was able to break them. Renjiro's clone then moved onto Rank C Genjutsu for him. He began breaking the rank C Genjutsu in a couple of weeks and was currently working on breaking rank B Genjutsu. Hoka needed a month before he could break rank D Genjutsu.
Fujin's swordplay too had come a long way. All the basics of Samurai Saber Techniques were drilled into him by Renjiro. They were now moving on, to the more advanced maneuvers. Renjiro had informed him that after he got these advanced forms down, he'll teach him the flying slashes.
In these weeks, they had done 6 more rank D missions. It started with bathing the dogs in the Inuzuka kennels. Renjiro pranked his genins by telling them that they would have to clean all the excrement in the kennels, causing Mieko to flicker away, only to be caught by Renjiro and carried over by the back of her neck. On hearing the real mission, the kids sighed in relief.
The next one was finding the dreaded cat, who scratched Mieko's face all over and bit Hoka a couple of times. Fujin now understood why everyone struggled so much to catch the cat. It was a freaking Ninja cat and was a master in sneaking and using diversions! Even with that, the mission wouldn't have been challenging, however, Renjiro added a condition. The genins weren't allowed to walk or run on the ground and were only allowed to run on the walls. If there weren't any walls, they had to create rock shields in order to create such a surface.
It was followed by cleaning all the emergency shelters. Fujin figured that it was the village's way to make them remember all the shelters around Konoha. After that, they had to deliver mail all over Konoha to various clans and nobles. It was followed by babysitting a couple of Yamanaka kids. And lastly, they had to sow seeds in a farm. Observing his teammates, Fujin was sure that they were very close to completely triggering and making a scene.
One difference Fujin noted was that after the first mission, the remaining missions weren't handed to them by Hiruzen. They were instead collected from the mission room on the first floor of the Hokage tower. Fujin thought, 'Didn't Hiruzen assign all the missions personally in Naruto? So why not for us? Or perhaps, why for them?' He thought a bit and concluded, 'Either he only assigns the first mission, or he assigned their missions due to their importance. Naruto was a Jinchuriki, Sasuke was the last Uchiha as well as the Uchiha heir. And Team 8 and 10 were entirely made of heirs of important clans in Konoha. I guess he had to take responsibility in ensuring their safety.'
One day, after the morning workout, Mieko asked Fujin and Hoka, "Hey, I saw a few ninjas from other villages earlier. So the chuunin exams will be conducted soon. Do you think that we will participate too?" That gained the attention of both her teammates. Hoka excitedly said, "I hope we do. I would like to fight against the ninjas from other villages." Fujin thought, 'If I recall right, the squad needs to have completed 8 missions before being eligible. I wonder if Renjiro planned this way so that our team won't be eligible for the exam and hence no one would pressurize him.' Seeing Fujin in thought, Mieko asked, "What are you thinking about?" Fujin replied, "I heard that chuunin exams have a lot of danger. So I really doubt they would allow us to participate so early." Mieko angrily replied, "Hey! We are ready to take the risks." Hoka nodded and said, "I agree. We are ninjas, how can we back down from a little risk." Fujin shook his head due to his teammates' naivety. He replied, "Yeah, but we are still only babysitting and cleaning dust." That statement downed their moods. Soon they went on a mini-rant. And looked at Renjiro begrudgingly when he appeared, causing him to raise an eyebrow and ask, "What happened?" Mieko and Hoka merely humphed and looked in the other direction.
Despite waiting for a few days, Renjiro didn't inform them about the exam. The next day, Hoka informed his team, "I heard that Teru and Yori will be participating in this exam." Fujin asked, "Oh, didn't they participate earlier?" This time, Mieko replied, "No, Yori didn't participate in the earlier exams." Fujin nodded and said, "I see, I guess we won't be participating in the exam until next year too." Right then Renjiro appeared, and Mieko quickly asked him, "Sensei, can we participate in the chuunin exam?" Renjiro shook his head and said, "No, you guys aren't ready yet." Mieko replied, "Why? We are very ready sensei!" Renjiro denied her again and said, "I'll be the judge to decide that. No more questions."
The next day, when they visited the mission room, the chuunin in-charge searched for a mission and said, "Team Renjiro, your next mission is to babysit the newborn of Lord…." However, he was cut. Mieko finally had enough. She yelled, "Hey you! Why the hell do you always give us such lame missions? Which ninja babysits kids? Get a nanny to do that!" The chuunin replied with authority, "Brat, you are just a…." However, he was again cut, this time by Hoka. He commented with a stoic face, "I agree with Mieko. This is a mockery of our skills."
Fujin observed Renjiro's reactions, and saw that he was chuckling. He thought, 'I guess we are finally moving onto rank C missions. Oh well, I might as well say something then.' The chuunin was pissed at being cut twice, he angrily began saying, "Now listen you brats. I ma…." Poor guy was cut again. Fujin commented, "You know mister, in the last mission we were very worried that Mieko would burn the whole farm down. Even though sensei can use Water Release jutsus, it would have still caused a lot of damage. I am really worried what will happen if you make us babysit a little kid today." The chuunin shuddered when he understood what Fujin was implying. Renjiro was very amused too. He thought, 'Well I was planning on making them do a few more rank D missions. But if they are able to win a debate against a chuunin official, I won't mind starting to do rank C missions now.'
If Fujin knew that Renjiro didn't plan on taking rank C missions just yet, he'd have kicked himself for opening his mouth. As boring as rank D missions were, they took very little time and left a lot more time for training and didn't have any danger. The chuunin was left speechless and didn't know how to reply. He opened his mouth a couple of times, but didn't manage to say anything. He looked at Renjiro, who nodded his head. He relented and said, "Alright, let me search for a rank C mission for you." When he moved to grab the rank C mission file, Renjiro stated, "Just pick out a few bandit clearing missions in the vicinity of the village. Would be preferable if the bandit bases are near each other."
The chuunin nodded and searched his file. He soon took out 4 papers from the file and handed them to Renjiro. Renjiro read them. He then looked at his squad and said, "We'll do our first rank C mission today. Meet me at the main gate in a couple of hours. Pack up for a week-long journey." The genins nodded and dispersed.