Disclaimer: The writer of this story does not own Naruto or any of its characters. All characters in this story not from Naruto are original characters created by the writer, and in no way borrowed or stolen from anyone else, and similarity to persons real or fictional is purely coincidental and entirely unintentional.
WARNING: This story takes place thirteen years after Naruto's "time skip" and as such the characters are older, the Genin of Shikamaru's team are original characters, most of the villains are original characters, that said enjoy if you dare.
First Scroll: The Next Generation
Enter Team Ten!
Iruka glared at his class. "From this day forward you are no longer mere students of ninjutsu, but full fledged shinobi." He'd said this before. "But among the ranks of the Shinobi you are mere novices, the lowest of the low. Your greatest challenges all lie ahead."
He looked out at the students, oh so many of them wouldn't make it. "Normally we would assign you all to temporary teams of three to be evaluated by a Jounin . . . those deemed unworthy would be sent back here for additional training. I've received word from the Hokage that this will not be the case this year." Iruka almost choked on the words, not because it was a break in tradition but because he was meant to pretend that this wasn't being done because Konoha's ninja were coming close to being wiped out . . . every novice Genin was needed at this point and most of these kids would die because of this desperate act. "You're all exceptionally skilled," Iruka forced the words from his mouth. "There are thirty of you, and you'll be assigned to ten three man squads." One or maybe two of which will survive if we're lucky. Iruka thought.
He read the names off of all the squads, they'd been balanced as well as he and the Hokage could manage but he couldn't help feeling like he was sending more than a few of these kids to their deaths.
He came to the final three names, "Finally . . . Sarutobi Yomiko, Hatake Kotaro, and Ishida Naomasa, as you've probably deduced, you're squad ten."
He looked at the three young faces, Sarutobi and Hatake, the children of Asuma and Kakashi . . . Ishida came from no notable ninja family but maybe he'd stand a chance on the same team as these two.
Heck most of these kids were the children of powerful ninja that Iruka knew well . . . it gave him hope for their survival yes, but it would also make the loss, and having to explain to their parents that he hadn't properly prepared them for life as Genin, that much harder if anything happened.
Not that the death of a child was ever easy to accept. And these children were, despite all appearances, soldiers. Shinobi trained and ready to serve Konoha . . . and he could see it in their eyes. Each and every last one of them was proud and pleased to have reached the rank of Genin, some of them were whooping and cheering even, and Iruka kept himself from scolding them.
Since the war had started there were so few reasons to celebrate anything, let the children be happy for now, who knew when they might have such a chance again.
Yomiko squirmed in her seat. She couldn't believe it; at last she was finally a Genin.
Well okay she'd been a Genin for a few days now; Iruka-sensei sure had been keen on letting it sink in while the Hokage assigned them all to their squads.
But now the wait was over, she'd be given a Jounin mentor, or teacher to guide her down the path of being a ninja, and she was ready to report for duty.
She'd spent so much time practicing and training to be able to pass whatever test her Jounin teacher would throw at her that now that she knew no such test would occur she felt . . . well, relieved.
She felt her heart skip a beat when the doors opened and a Jounin with red tattoos on his face entered. If the tattoos were anything to go by he was from the Inuzuka clan, and the pair of huge dogs that followed him in confirmed it.
"Alright," He said, "I'm Inuzuka Kiba, where's squad four?"
Yomiko slouched a bit, so that wasn't her Jounin mentor. Too bad because she was eager to get started, and a punctual sensei would have been great.
Next came a rather pretty woman with foreign clothing and her hair in a double bun. She smiled a cheerful, pretty smile and Yomiko felt her whole heart leap with joy. A female mentor, oh the joys of learning from a woman, a fellow Kunoichi, they could be like sisters and--
"Oh I could just take you all home with me, I remember when I was like you, brimming with youth. But anyway I'm Tenten, who's from team two?"
So Yomiko waited . . . and waited.
She sighed as teams one through nine were all called, and over the course of the hour that that took she stole more than a few appraising glances at her teammates.
There was Kotaro; he'd had rather good marks in the academy. He had spiky, silvery white hair and wore a coat that went down to his ankles when he stood up. He wore a mask over his face and some sort of claw pendant tied to a rope around his neck. Yomiko hadn't noticed him wear that before so it'd probably been something his parents got for him after he got promoted to Genin . . . maybe it was a family heirloom.
Then there was Naomasa. He didn't have brave and noble ninja for parents so Yomiko hadn't bothered to pay any attention to his marks. Medium length black hair, brown eyes and nothing really significant to note about him aside from the fact that for some reason he, a merchant's son had decided to abandon his comfortable life of wealth to become a Shinobi.
Yomiko wondered when her teacher would finally show up! Whoever it was he had better be worth the wait, better be someone legendary, like Hyuuga Neji or something.
She began to pace back and forth by the third hour, everyone else was gone . . . aside from herself and her team. She looked out the window and groaned, "What's going on? Where's our new sensei?"
"Maybe he was assassinated." Kotaro said cheerfully, "Ambushed on his way here by a vastly numerically superior force, he fought bravely but in the end he was overwhelmed and with his dying breath he used a final Jutsu that wiped out his killers and destroyed his own body, leaving nothing but a crater."
"Uh . . . yeah, that's not likely." Yomiko scoffed.
"Well . . ." Naomasa said calmly, "he was probably on his way when he met an old woman who needed help crossing the street, and then he ran into a little girl whose cat was caught up a tree, and then there was this dog see, and its owner had fallen down a well. While trying to save the boy however he fell down the well himself and now needs our help if he's going to get out."
"Now that doesn't even seem possible!" Yomiko scoffed.
The door suddenly creaked open, and master Iruka came in. He looked quite surprised indeed, "What are you three doing here?"
"Waiting for our Jounin to show up!" Yomiko burst out.
Their former sensei looked at a clip board, "Team ten . . . team ten . . . ah. Well that explains it." He laughed and shook his head, "You'll have to forgive him, he'll be here soon." Iruka said.
"How do you know?" Yomiko asked, "It's already been three hours."
"Yes . . ." Iruka said calmly, "But you see the clouds? They're getting black, it'll rain soon. He'll come then."
"Oh really?" Naomasa raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry I'm late." A bored voice said as a young Jounin entered the room. "It's troublesome, but there was this kid lost down a well . . . and then I was attacked by assassins."
"I'm half surprised you showed up at all." Iruka laughed. The young Jounin shared the older man's hair style, and wore black clothes and the leaf village flack vest; he wore his head band around his arm instead of his head.
"But weren't you just telling them I'd be around sooner or later?" The Jounin smirked.
"Just to ease their little minds," Iruka-sensei laughed, "I would have sent them home if you weren't here by the time the rain started."
The Jounin smirked now at Yomiko and her teammates, "Ah, I take it by your confused looks you don't know who I am . . . but I'd have thought Yomiko would remember me . . . you were six weren't you? The last time I saw you." He sighed, "This is going to be . . . so troublesome." The Jounin looked at Iruka, "I know one of them too well, so I can't lead this unit."
"They're hand picked for your command by the Hokage, you know that." Iruka said, and Yomiko felt a little bit of a thrill. So the Hokage, the Hokage had hand picked her for this Jounin's team?
Well it must be because both her parents had been Jounin, as well as Kotaro's . . . there was no explaining Naomasa but maybe his parents had paid the Hokage for the privilege. Yes this Jounin must be top mark, strong and powerful indeed.
"Well anyway this is Nara Shikamaru; he'll be your mentor." Iruka-sensei said with a smile.
"Commanding officer is more like it." Shikamaru-sensei sighed.
Yomiko gapped. "Nara Shikamaru? Nara Shikamaru! I know you!" She exclaimed.
"I would hope so; I was a close friend of your family before the war started." Shikamaru said.
"You're the legendary Konoha Lazy Ass Ninja!" Yomiko wailed in shock, "I've been hand picked to be trained by the Legendary Laze? Oh master Iruka what did I do wrong? Did I fail the last test? What's to become of me?"
Iruka just sighed.
"A drag, isn't it? I know just how you feel." The Legendary Laze commented.
Juukei Keiji looked at the small army he'd amassed for the sake of Iwa.
Of course it wasn't a legion of thousands upon thousands of warriors . . . a small group of six ninja was all it was. Four Chuunin, or Journeyman ninja, and a pair of Jounin or Elite ninja, himself and his brother Toshiie.
In an age where just this small group of ninja would have been enough to turn back an army ten, perhaps twenty times their size, such armies were unnecessary save in the most desperate of situations. The war was being fought, and for the last few years had been fought by small armies such as this one.
A six man army readily capable of destroying a little border town like the one before them.
But Keiji liked the idea of inspiring fear in the hearts of those fire country villagers bellow him. "Formation B." He said to his team and he waved his hand.
The Chuunin dispersed, Toshiie slapped him on the shoulder, "Don't waste too much energy, brother . . . remember this is only a warm up."
Keiji grinned wickedly as his brother left . . . he looked at the village . . . how like people the animals living inside of it looked.
Beasts that resembled mothers bidding their offspring "goodbye" as they went to school . . . animals that resembled husbands holding, or kissing their wives as they left to work in the fields . . . ah how like people these animals looked.
Well they were Fire country and so their lives were forfeit. Perhaps they understood it was part of the risk of building a town near the border . . . perhaps they assumed they would be left alone because they were no threat.
And if they were people that might have been true. Perhaps if they'd been beings whose lives had a value greater than trash Keiji's team might not even have considered the annihilation of this village.
But now, simply to whet their appetites for blood, simply because his strike team needed to get some target practice in, a "warm up" as Toshiie had so eloquently put it . . . well for that sole reason all of these things that so resembled people were going to die.
Down to the last smiling child.
Keiji began his Jutsu; the rocks around him began to move, to take shape, to grow . . .
Toshiie had said not to waste too much energy . . . so he only made a dozen stone golems.
Forged to look like armored warriors on horseback the invulnerable stone minions raised their spears in salute to their creator, and Keiji bade them forward.
There was a cry of alarm . . . the attack had begun.
And it might even be over quickly since just as soon as Keiji and his strike force decided they weren't having any more fun . . . they'd kill the last of the villagers and move on.
To Be Continued . . .
Note: Yomiko is the daughter of Asuma and Kurenai, and Kotaro is the daughter of no one. He is however the son of Kakashi and Anko. Years ago when this story first began both their fathers and mothers were still alive in the manga, and Kurenai's pregnancy was pure speculation, I chose to write her a daughter based on the possibility that she and Asuma might get together and then he met up with Hidan which ended . . . well most fans know how that ended. Much later Kurenai's pregnancy was confirmed in the manga and I'm sure she'll end up having a son, but I really don't care. This is a Fan Fiction. Believability is key but even the most believable fan fiction is still fan fiction so let's not split too many hairs over this.
I also want to thank all the readers and reviewers and non-reviewers who helped make New Blood such a blast to write.