Okay, first of all, school ended about nine days ago for me. I started writing again about seven days ago. I was working on The Unsealed Path when I discovered something: I have no flipping idea how I want to do the Wave Arc! What the heck?! Anyways, I decided to work on this little story while I am puzzling this out. Read, enjoy, review, preferably in that order. Don't review if you haven't read it. Don't enjoy it if you haven't read it. Sound easy enough?
Also, I am holding a little contest, shall we say? The first person who can post a list of the charaters in this chapter (in order of scene appearence) can ask any question about either of my fics. And no, answers like "That one guy with the hair" won't count; I'm looking for names. people.
Right, and I don't own Naruto or anything else I might reference. Yet.
A young man awakes. With a large yawn, he steps out of bed. He makes his way to the kitchen in only his boxers and a loose T-shirt, his hat having fallen off back in bed. He rubs his belly the whole way. As he reaches the kitchen, he reaches for the fridge handle. The man has yet to open his eyes, so it takes a few attempts to get a firm grip on it. Tugging gently, the young man pulled the door open. The light was blinding, forcing the young man to squint his eyes despite the fact that they were shut tight. He opens his eyes slowly, revealing a tired blue color. The young man grabs a carton of milk and backs away, almost forgetting to close the door. Perhaps we are using the phrase "young man" too easily. The person we see here can be no older then eleven or twelve years old. We will, however, continue to call this boy, who has milk dribbling down onto his shirt, a young man. We will do this not because of his height or his age, but rather because of his lifestyle.
No mere boy could live in an apartment by himself. Only a young man could be expected to do that. No mere boy could train to become a killer. Only a young man could be expected to do that. No mere boy could put up with hateful glares directed at his person for their entire life. Only a young man could be expected to do that. No mere boy could live without positive human contact for months at a time. Only a young man could be expected to do that. No mere boy would still be alive. Living required becoming a young man.
And so, we turn our attentions back to this young man. He has finished his milk and is getting dressed. We see him discard his white sleep shirt in exchange for a black one. He also sticks his legs through holes in a rather large piece of orange fabric. Closer examination shows us that this piece of fabric is indeed a pair of pants. A similar piece of orange cloth makes its way over the black shirt. Again, careful inspection shows it to by something like a coat or a jacket. Perhaps it is even a wind breaker. If asked, the young man would probably say it was the future Hokage dress code, but that is not of our concern.
A few perceptive readers may be wondering why we are watching this boy, pardon me, I mean young man, perform such seemingly standard tasks. Why does it matter to us? Quite simply, it does not. It matters to us not if this young man puts on his pants before his jacket, or if he pours himself milk or if he drinks it from the carton. No, what matters to us is what happens to this young man over time.
You may have guessed by now that this is a very special young man. What makes him special he does not know, for there are laws forbidding it from being spoken. While it is arguable whether or not this is a good law, it is a rather effective one. The few who did choose to breach its confinement were sentenced to maniacal punishment. The side-effect of this was that a special boy grew up not knowing who he was, or what he was capable of. The many who despised the boy for what made him special made it quite clear. The beatings he took, both verbal and physical, served to mold the boy into the young man we see here today.
Speaking of the young man, we must hurry to catch up with him. He has left his apartment and is moving towards his school. This school is another thing that makes this young man special, for this is no normal school. In this school, rather than teach you your ABCs and your 123s they teach how throw tiny blades and perform unnatural displays of power using one's life-force. This life-force, called chakara, is one of the main tools of shinobi, or ninja. The young man we have been following is a shinobi in-training. Given time, he may even become one. This is the other thing that makes him special. He plans not only on becoming a shinobi, but to become the greatest in his whole village. His dream is to become the Hokage, the leader and strongest shinobi in the village.
If his teachers have any say, that dream will never come to pass. He has failed the capability test required to become a shinobi twice already. Today will be his third attempt. Should he fail again, then he is required to spend another year in class before he can try again. The young man we have been following is filled with anxiety. He rubs his hands together until he notices he is doing so, and then stuffs them into his pockets. A weak smile is plastered on his face. He knows the odds are against him. The last two years the test to become a genin, a low ranking ninja, had consisted of Bunshin no Jutsu, a ninja technique that uses chakara to create multiple illusions of one self. This just so happened to be the young mans worst jutsu. No matter how hard he tried or how hard he practiced, he simply could not control his chakara enough to use the simple technique. His other classmates could do it; he was the only one not capable.
He shrugged such thoughts off. There was no way they would use the same jutsu three times in a row. Why would they do that?
That day at school he was unable to create at least three bunshins, clones, and failed the test.
Yes, our hero has failed yet again. We could continue to follow him and watch him sulk. We could watch him go back into his room and slam the door. We could watch him throw his shuriken, or ninja stars, at the wall. We could even watch him crawl into bed to sleep in the middle of the day. We, however, have someone else to look at.
Who else shall we watch? To where should we turn our eyes? I could show you many things. For example, I can show you the young girl fighting with her younger sister. We can see that the elder girl is pulling back her thrust in order to prevent hurting her younger sibling. It leads to her defeat, however, as the younger girl takes advantage of her elder sister's gentleness and goes for the winning thrust. We can also see an elderly man shaking his head off to the side.
Shall we leave these family matters alone? Let us now go to the sunny hills. There we see another young boy, sprawled out on his back. We can see him staring up at the clouds. We can only wonder what it is he is thinking. He does appear to be relaxed, enjoying himself even. Next to him sits another young boy, this one eating a bag of chips. Both appear to be at ease with the world, completely serene.
If we go to a large stone found near one of the village's training grounds we will find a full grown man. He is standing in front of the stone, mind wandering. The man is thinking of times long gone, what he could have done, what he should have done, and what really happened. Dwelling on such thoughts is unhealthy and he knows it, but he dwells none the less. Some things hurt too much to think rationally.
If we look near the edge of the village we will see an abandon estate. In front of said estate is a young man, again around the age of the other young man we watched this morning. This young man is throwing kunai, small throwing blades, at multiple targets, trying to hit several at once. He still has a long way to go. The young man doesn't give up he refuses to be bested. Rage fuels his throws as he tries again. He has long since lost count of his attempts.
Going back into the village we will stop by a flower shop. Inside is a young girl, thinking about how she will proclaim her love for the boy of her dreams. She can already see the white dress she will wear and hear the wedding bells ringing. As she helps another costumer find a nice bouquet for his wife, she thinks of the happy life they will live together.
In the residential district we will see another young girl with similar thoughts. This girl just so happens to be the rival of the last girl we visited. Coincidentally, she was also her best friend at one point or another. In a way, it's funny how time changes things.
Moving off to a small estate there is a boy and his dog. The small fuzz ball jumps his master and the boy happily tucks the dog into the hood of his jacket. Neither of them have a care in the world. They sit back as they watch the young boy's older sister train. The young woman and her canine partners move in intricate patterns and the younger pair looks on in awe. They can only hope to become as good as their older counterparts and plan to practice 'till they achieve such a level.
Off in the woods we see another young boy. He is examining trees, flowers, and other plants. In his hand is a netted cage meant to hold insects and other such bugs. Several paces behind the boy is his father. The man is pointing out plants that commonly hold the bugs that the pair is looking for. The boy takes his schooling well and is quick to learn and notice small details. If we knew this boy well, we could tell that pride was pouring off his body. To anyone else his expression is one of complacence.
Here we see another odd duo. A young girl slings several pointy objects towards her friend who is seated comfortably, back to a tree. The pointed objects embed themselves in the tree behind the boy, making a nice outline of his head. As the girl smiles at her accomplishment, the boy appears to be concentrating, or perhaps counting. If we could see into his mind we might see several birds flying around, but alas, we cannot
I can show you an old man sitting in a poorly lit room. He is gazing into a crystal ball placed on a soft red cushion. The image in the ball is changing. Its gaze follows a man with a cigarette in his mouth. He is sitting on the dojo floor, speaking with a red-eyed woman. The old man removes the pipe his is smoking from his mouth and sighs. When a man looks at his son he sees everything that was once in himself. He is not sure if that is a good thing. He lived a life filled with regrets, the old man. Being the necessary tool of evil for the greater good can leave unforgettable scars on a man's life.
Follow, if you will, the sounds of passionate yelling. We will find two figures hugging. One of these odd creatures appears to be a full grown man. He is wearing a green jumpsuit and vest. Wrapped in his arms is a boy, one who might also be considered a young man. He is wearing a jumpsuit similar to the elder man. Both of these strange things have rich black hair shaped like a bowl on their heads. Should we come closer and hear what they are saying? Perhaps we should. Yes, let us fly closer and listen to them speak.
"You can become powerful! I will help you find your inner youthfulness and through hard work, you can become a taijutsu master! The power of youth burns brightly in you!"
"Sensei, I can do it with your guidance! With your help, I will find the youth that burns within me! I will prove to all that I can be a strong shinobi even though I can't use ninjutsu or genjutsu! I will become the strongest, even more so than my eternal rival!"
They proceeded to yell each others names several times.
While we could continue to observe this strange pair, let us instead shift our eyes over to the side. There we will see a young girl, perhaps the age of the recently failed young man. The girl's eyes light up at the pair's words. She has heard both his dreams as well as his limitations. This had been worth seeing for her. This boy was an embodiment of how she felt. She would have to mention this to her sensei, that is, her teacher. Careful not to run so fast as to injure herself, the girl made her way back to the training dojo that her sensei was waiting at. She walked briskly and full of hope.
On our fantastic ride around the village we have seen many things. We have seen hope and despair, drive and idleness, friendship and rivalry. We could continue watching until the world ends, seeing every detail of everything. We shall not, though. Instead, we will move forward. There is nothing left to see here, so we will move forward. We will move to tomorrow, a tomorrow where the young man we followed so closely thing is back to his usual self with the stress of the test way behind him. We will move to a tomorrow where an elder sister aids her young sibling with making breakfast, where a relaxed boy is speaking with is feasting friend. A future where hope and depression reign in equal measure. We will skip to the future.