Disclaimer- I don't own any characters. They belong to Masashi Kishimoto.

"Congratulations to all of you for coming this far. By this time tomorrow, you will all be put into squads and considered to be true shinobi of the Village Hidden among the Stones."

Lord Tsuchikage, ruler of the village and head ninja, was talking to a large class of academy students. They had completed their tests and training, and were to be graduating the next day.

One girl sat in the back of the room, shifting anxiously in her seat. She had heard the speech the Tsuchikage was giving before. She heard it almost everyday. Her parents had been killed on a mission in the Wind Country, leaving her as an orphan. Luckily her uncle, consequently the Tsuchikage, took her in and raised her with all knowledge of being a good person and an even better shinobi.

"I'm proud of each and every one of you."

The Tsuchikage finished speaking and went up to a group of parents to chat. The kids were dismissed and ran amok happily. The girl left, seeing that her uncle was too busy, and went off to the middle of the village.

It was about noon, so she decided to grab some lunch. She loved ramen.

She sat at the counter of a popular ramen stand and ordered some miso ramen. While waiting for her bowl, she removed her headband from her pocket. She ran her fingers gingerly over the engraved rock symbol and felt the soft, black fabric band that was attached to the metal plate.

"You're finally a ninja?" the owner asked, setting the bowl in front of her.

"Yeah. It's just so hard to believe. I've worked to the bone to achieve this."

The owner looked up and smiled.

"Afternoon, Lord Tsuchikage. Can I get you anything?"

"Miso, please."

The owner turned to continue cooking. The Tsuchikage stood next to the girl and picked up her headband. He put the band to her forehead and tied it in the back.

"I'm so proud of you, Cheyenne."

After eating and talking to her uncle, Cheyenne headed home. She lived alone. She went into her bedroom to rest and prepare for the next day.

Sitting on her bed, Cheyenne opened a shuriken holster and dumped the contents out. She separated the two types of weapons and counted how many there were.

"Hm, twenty shuriken and three kunai. I'd better buy more before starting missions."

"Yup, you'd be a goner."

Flinching in surprise, Cheyenne quickly turned her head to see a figure in the doorway.

"Krin, do you ever knock?"


Chuckling softly, she invited Krin, her best friend, to sit down.

"Aren't you happy to finally be a ninja?"

"Of course I am."

"Plus, being a relative of Lord Tsuchikage makes being a shinobi even better. By the way, isn't he supposed to go on a trip tomorrow?"

"Yeah. He was going to let me come, but when he saw that graduation was close, he said I had so stay behind."

"Where was he going?"

"My uncle was going to meet with Lord Hokage in the Land of Fire. Anyway, tomorrow we're getting split into squads and put under the leadership of a jonin. I couldn't miss that."

"That's too bad."

Looking out of the window, towards the horizon, Krin noticed how low the sun was.

"I should probably get going now."

"Alright. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay, bye."

Krin left and closed the door behind her. Cheyenne put away her weapons, preparing for the next day.

It was about 12:00 A.M. when Cheyenne awoke. Shivering, she pulled the blankets up to her neck, before realizing the window was open.

'I didn't leave that open,' she thought to herself, getting out of bed.

Cheyenne tried closing the window, but it was jammed. In the moonlight, she saw something wedged in the frame. Removing it, she knew exactly what it was. She walked to a light switch beside the door, flicking it upwards. The light flashed on, blinding her for a moment.

When her eyes adjusted, she looked at the object in her hand. It was a sharp kunai with a note attached.

Undoing the origami-like fold from the handle, Cheyenne opened the paper and read it aloud.

"Everywhere, life ticks away, but the clock has stopped in the Rock Pyre. Nobody could have saved the day."

Confused by the message, she read it again. It didn't make sense, until something in her mind clicked. She knew what the Rock Pyre was. Her uncle lived there and controlled the whole village from there.

"Wait a minute, Rock Pyre and the clock had stopped?"

Suddenly, she knew what was going on. Getting dressed and grabbing the kunai, Cheyenne ran from her house towards the looming obelisk in the middle of the village.

Throwing open a door, she quickly dashed up the stairs to the top floor. At the end of a long hallway, she stopped in front of the door, knowing it was too late.

Cheyenne could almost smell the sickening, decaying stench of a corpses flesh. Not to mention, the small crimson pool of blood she was standing in was a dead giveaway.

This is the start of a long story. I hope all of you who read this enjoy it. I left chapter one on somewhat of a cliffhanger to build suspense, but it's pretty obvious as to what happens.

Please review and enjoy!