IMPORTANT EDIT: it was brought to my attention that the first part of the story (reaching as far as chapter 45) has been… broken from the lack of a better word; the separation of scenes was gone being the most major issue and thus I'm in the process of fixing that. I'll be re-writing all, first 50 chapters to make them more 'reader friendly', however with a tight schedule (including normal updates) that will most certainly take time. So, if you're a new reader how does not wish to wait for me to fix the chapters, I apologize for a bit troublesome structure of the story. Back in 2005 when those chapters were uploaded it was more bearable. Also, if you wish, you can easily read on up to the latest chapters for I will not be changing the plot… by "re-writing" I only meant putting in scene changes and fixing the issue with the quotation marks from the early installments. The actions and dialogue will remain the same with a possible word added here and there to make the flow less simplistic. As I always stated, this piece was planned out from the beginning to the finish and I'm not about to shatter what it has established thus far, out of respect for the story itself if nothing else. So, if you still wish to read it, then thank you. I certainly hope you'll enjoy the ride.
This is the first fanfic that I've written. Hope you'll like it.
Chapter #1: The New Team Number 7
It still was early morning, but the sun was already high. The Shinobi Academy was quite crowded at this time… which should be understandable, since the final exam has finished just two days ago. Today young shinobies were supposed to meet their new teachers.
"My, it's been a while" thought Naruto. "This place hasn't changed a bit."
Iruka was sitting next to his desk, filling out some papers, when Uzumaki jumped into the room by the window. Iruka looked at his direction. If you would judge only by the looks, Naruto hasn't changed much: he still had a little messy, blonde hair, blue eyes… only his height changed.
But Umino did changed. His hair became grey and way longer then they used to be. He grew a beard and the scar on his faced seemed to be smaller then before.
"Konnichiwa, Iruka-sensei" he said stepping into the room.
"Naruto, you should stop calling me that" Iruka responded. "After all, you're a higher rank shinobi then me now."
"I know, I know. But it's hard getting used to being a jounin."
"I guess Hokage-sama choose you for being one of the new teams leader?"
"Well, that's why I'm here."
"Then here" said the chuunin, giving him some papers. "You're team number is seven. That brings back memories, doesn't it?"
"Yeah. But a lot of things changed since then. Well, best I get going…"
"Naruto, be aware of the fact, that you're team is a bunch of troublemakers. You should watch out for them."
"No need to worry about that, Iruka-sensei. I know how to deal with such."
---Some time later---
The Kyuubi vessel opened the door to the class, but didn't walk through it. Only thanks to that, he was able to avoid the blackboard sponge, coming from above.
"Oh, it didn't work" said sadly a blond kid with small, green eyes, clad in yellow.
"Of course it didn't, you bonehead. He's a jounin, how could he fall for such a lousy bobby trap?" responded a kid with long, black hair, clipped into a ponytail. What really drew Naruto's attention in him, was a scar on his left eye… he definitely could use it, but the scar was really visible.
"Forgive them, sensei" begged a young girl with long, brown hair (way longer then scar-face), also clipped into a ponytail. She had brown eyes and was wearing a violet, female shinobi dress. "They're always like that."
"That sure brings back memories even more" signed Naruto.
"Okay, first I'd like to learn something about you, so why don't you tell me about yourselves? Tell me your name, likes, dislikes, plans for the future and such. Maybe we should start with the ladies? You go first" he pointed a girl with long, dark brown hair (again, a ponytail!) in a black outfit.
Things did change since he became a jounin. One of the changes where that the gennin teams now consisted five members and a jounin.
"My name is Tanken Ibuki. About the things I like and don't like… I don't feel like talking about that. Plans for the future? I have one, but for now, I'd rather to keep it to myself."
"Well, well, well" thought Naruto with a smile. "An heir of the famous Tanken clan. Who would have thought that she would land in my group?"
"Guess you're next" he said to the other, browned hair girl (the one in a violet dress), this time out loud.
"I'm Murasakki Kumiko. I like… umm… I mean, my favorite thing is… uh…"
"Sakura-chan, this girl's so like the old you" smiled Uzumaki. "Okay, let's continue…"
"The name's Haisha Kai!" said the blond kid. "I don't have the time to waste it on talking about my likes and dislikes, but I will become the Hokage one day! What, you got a problem with that?"
"Damn, this seriously is a déjà vu. And what's with that name, was his father drunk when he gave it to him or something? " thought Naruto with a sweat drop. "Next."
This time it was the scar face:
"Name: Gekido Takaru. There are a lot of things I don't like, but none that I would especially enjoy. As for the plans for the future… well, I have someone to kill… and a person to surpass…"
"Figures" thought Naruto (A/N: he's done a lot of thinking, didn't he :D ?). "Well, you're the last one on the list it'd seem..."
And thus a boy with messy, short, black hair and blue eyes, wearing green, began to talk:
"I'm Hagane Kusari. As for likes… well, probably girls" at this point, he looked in Kumiko's direction, which gave her shivers, so he continued: "I don't like too many rules. As for my aspirations… to win Kumiko-chan's love!"
"This guy… he creeps me out" Uzumaki concluded with distaste. "Well, guess that's enough of introducing…"
"Wait a minute, how about telling us something about yourself?" interrupted Kai.
"Well, I guess it should be done" responded Naruto with a nod. "I'm Uzumaki Naruto and I like ramen. About the things I don't like… well, the list grew in the last years and there's no need to bore you with it. As for hobbies… probably just laying on the ground, doing nothing. My dream…" at this point he looked at Kai. "… I'll keep to myself for now. Is that enough for you guys?"
The four of them nodded, but Kai couldn't leave it without comment:
"I've heard better introductions…"
"Such as your own?" Uzumaki smirked, much to the boy's annoyance. "Never mind. As for now I suggest a goodnight sleep. Tomorrow we'll meet at a place mentioned here…" at this point he gave each of them an information note. "… and play a little game…"
"Game?" Kumiko was surprised.
"You didn't know? Just because you've passed the final exam at the Shinobi Academy, doesn't mean you become a gennin. In order to receive that title, you need to pass another test. The test that'll take place tomorrow morning. And I'll tell you this: the chances to fail it are over 50%."
"Isn't that right, Kakashi-sensei?" he thought to himself.
"I suggest bringing all the shinobi equipment and be prepared to go all out, or else you'll fail."
And with those words, he left them to their own thoughts.
---The next morning---
The next day the weather was also great (a little to hot though). All five rookies gathered in the place mentioned in the notes from Naruto. It was an opened field with a stone monument in the center and the forest surrounding it (a little they didn't knew, it was the same place where Uzumaki took his gennin exam).
Soon after them, Uzumaki appeared.
He placed an alarm clock on the nearby trunk and set the alarm on noon. Still not saying anything, he picked out four, little bells.
"I have four bells" he finally announced. "Your task will be to take them away from me till noon. Each person needs only one bell, but there are only four, so at least one of you will end up with no bells… and the one to do so, will automatically fail this exam and will return to the Academy…"
"But sensei, that's not fair!" yelled Kumiko with panic in her voice. "How come one of us will have to return to the Academy?"
"Who said that it'll be only one?" responded Naruto simply. "I said that at least one of you will finish this test with no bells, but it could be all five. To put it simply, all of you may fail."
Kai swallowed his saliva loudly. Takaru just smiled under his nose.
"As I announced yesterday, you can use shuriken and any other shinobi tool" continued jounin, tying the bells to his belt. "I'll tell you right now, if you won't go all out, there's no way for you to get the bells."
"He sure is confident in himself" thought Takaru with a smirk. "Well, we'll see what he's capable of…"
"I'll get that bell even if I'll have to kill him" Kai announced in his mind. "At all costs, I have to become a shinobi!"
"Calm down Murasakki…" Kumiko tried to calm herself. "You can do it…"
"Getting some bells? That's lame…" thought Kusari, barely holding in a yawn. "But if I'll do this, Kumiko-chan will find out what awesome shinobi I am…" he added, entering his own lala-land.
"I can't fail here…" Ibuki reminded herself. "I have a goal to achieve…"
"Well, you all seem to be ready" noticed Naruto as he looked around his students. "Guess there's no point in keeping you waiting" he looked at the clock. "From now on, you got three hours to take the bells away from me. Best of luck, you'll need it. Okay, enough chit-chat. Ready and… begin!"
And hearing that commend, the five rookie scattered.