Author's Note: STOP RIGHT HERE if you haven't seen up to Naruto Episode #80!
If you haven't, spoilers follow immediately!
This story takes place in the span of time after the great Chuunin Exam arc and right before Itachi Uchiha comes to Konoha after Naruto. (Think of this story as a bridge between the two.) Though Orochimaru has been driven away and temporarily defeated, the Third Hokage is dead, and Konoha Village is in shambles after the war. At this point Jiraiya hasn't seen Naruto since before the Chuunin Exam finals, and neither has he made his presence known to anyone in the village. Konoha is under drastic reconstruction, and, in order to pay for damage repairs, the Leaf Ninja are hiring themselves out with near-desperate zeal. . .
Before we begin, some terms defined:
Kunai: the knives that the ninja use
Tanuki: a "raccoon-dog"
Shuriken: ninja stars
Levels of Ninja-hood: Genin (lowest), Chuunin, Jounin, Sannin, Hokage
Mizukage: the Mist Village's equivalent of Konoha's Hokage
Baka: what you are if you don't know what "baka" means
Arashi Shikyo: Rain ninja, servant of the Water-lord
Garyu: highest feudal lord of the Water Country
Chizuru: the Water-lord's wife
Moritome: currently the highest ranking officer among the Heikou, now that the Elite are dead
Heikou: the swordsmen who act as guards for the city
the Elite: the most skillful Heikou, who act as both ambassadors and honor guard for Lord Garyu---or at least they did until they got whacked
Toru: Moritome's son; a Heikou swordsman. However, he's been revealed to possess chakra-molding abilities, despite the fact that the Heikou hate shinobi, and he has become instrumental in the kidnapping of Chizuru