Hi, a new story from me.
This is a sequel to the oneshot I did called Team Nine. It's about three Genin who failed Anko's variation of the bell exam and get sent back to the academy. I'm assuming you've read that one already, so I don't need to worry about spoiling it.
This story is about two boys in their quest to become Ninja after failing one year ago.
This is Team Nine: Bakumetsu.
I looked myself over in the mirror and considered how I'd changed in the past year. A year ago I was an academy student hoping to become a Genin. I'd grown a good few inches since I was twelve.
I'm Kaito Yamamoto, the inheritor of the Yamamoto clan. It's a pretty minor clan of Konohagakure, but we've got the most awesome bloodline limit ever.
Bakuton: Bomb release. The power to create and manipulate explosions
I know, it's the best power ever, right? Screw the Sharingan, Byakugan, or whatever bloodline you wanna throw at me; I can make your head explode, your argument is invalid!
Still, I failed the Genin exam last year. In fact, out of the thirty cadets in my class, only nine of them became Genin. The rest of us either returned to the academy or were failed as ninja. Hell, out of the 15 that came back to school, there's only five left, including Kota and I.
Oh yeah, Kota Watsuki. He was in the same team I was last year, and we've been best friends ever since. Hell, we've even formed a battery together; He can spot the weakness in anything, and I blow that weakness to hell.
He doesn't have a Kekkai Genkai, but he's really good at noticing stuff and putting two and two together. He's a lot smarter than I am, and is constantly paying attention, trying to learn something new.
Me? I just wanna blow stuff up. It's what I was born to do.
I grabbed my blue Konoha Hitai-ite and tied it across my head as a bandanna over my spiky blonde fringe. Even though I didn't pass last year, Kota and I still got Genin headbands, even though we really didn't deserve them. But, our teachers said that if Anko Mitarashi thought we earned them, then we did, so Kota and I wore them with pride.
Oh yeah, Anko Sensei. She was our Jonin-sensei last year, and she failed us. I'd almost managed to repress that memory.
Anyway, I'm getting late for the academy, so I'd best be going. I shoved on my orange jacket, zipped it up and jumped out the window.
"Hey man." Kota said as I caught up to him. "Talking to yourself in the mirror again?"
I sighed. "It's my inner monologue, get it right."
Kota smiled. "Sure, whatever."
I smiled back. He'd also changed a fair bit in the past year. He'd bulked out and grown his spiky black hair. He wore a short sleeved burgundy jacket with matching long shorts, and wore his Genin headband around his neck. "Checking me out?" He asked, poking me in the ribs.
"You wish." I elbowed him back. "Hey, you do your homework for Iruka-sensei?" I asked him.
He nodded. "Didn't you?"
I shrugged. "I was practicing my explosion control all night." I told him. "Finally able to do it without fire."
"Iruka's gonna have your ass." Kota pointed out.
"He'll have to catch me first." I laughed.
"Gotcha." Came a voice from behind as I was lifted by the collar. "Been looking for you two."
Kota paled. "A-Anko Sensei!?"
Oh hell no not her again.
I could fell her grin boring into the back of my head. "Come on brats. We're gonna have a little chat."
It was starting October, and the next Genin exam resit's gonna be soon, so we really wanted to be in class right now, not in this café with this crazy woman.
"Right then." Anko told us once she'd brought us all some tea from the counter. "I assume you know about what happened last month, right?"
We nodded. Everyone did.
"Sasuke Uchiha was kidnapped by the Otogakure," I told her, "And Naruto Uzumaki left the village to train."
"Only that's not the case, is it?" Kota asked her.
Anko was surprised. "Wow, you have improved since last time." Kota always had a natural knack for listening and watching people, and now he's able to work out just when someone is lying or hiding something just from how they talk or how their face moves when they hear something. I don't get how he does it, but it is damned scary sometimes. "You're not drinking your tea." Anko pointed out.
I reached for the cup but Kota grabbed my wrist. "She's poisoned it." He warned me.
"Hey, last time was part of the test!" Anko protested. "No need to be suspicious!"
"You suppressed a smirk when you talked about the tea. You've done something to it."
Right, that's it. I used the poison removal Jutsu I'd taught myself on my drink and watched as the purple mist rose from the tea. "You're right." I told Kota, before exploding the cloud.
Anko sighed as I sipped my now safe drink. "Man, you just aren't fun any more…" She reached into her bag and pulled out a file as Kota removed the poison from his tea for me to destroy. "You ever heard about Yuri Akado?" She asked, tossing us the file.
I opened it as Kota took a drink. There was a picture of a girl around our age with short black hair and a blank gaze. She didn't look familiar.
"Yeah, she's in the year below us." Kota told Anko. "She's got a brother that betrayed the village to join Otogakure right?"
Anko smiled. "That's the one. Anyways, since our last Sharingan user's left the village…"
"What about Kakashi Hatake?" Kota asked. "Though, I suppose an implanted Sharingan isn't hereditary…" Dammit Kota, just how much do you know?
Anko nodded. "There you go. Anyways, as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted…" Kota flinched. "Lady Hokage's gone all anal about preserving the remaining Kekkai Genkai, and young Akado's got herself an especially rare one."
"She can drain chakra like her brother?" Kota asked.
Anko smiled. "Better. Her right arm nullifies chakra flow."
"What do you mean?" Kota asked.
"We call it Genso Goroshi." Anko explained. "Anything her right arm touches can't use any chakra, be it a person, clone, weapon or ninja tag."
"Whoa, slow down." I asked. "How the hell does that work?"
Anko shrugged. "Dunno. Just that if she grabs you, you can't do ninjutsu, no genjutsu, can't use a kekkai genkai, or use chakra to make yourself stronger, faster or stick to walls." She took a drink from her tea. "She can destroy a ninjutsu cast at her by catching it in her hand, can end a henge by touching it, and your chakra won't defend you from her punches."
"What about the rest of her?" Kota asked.
Anko shrugged. "Same as any other Genin really. She's got enough chakra to jutsu fine, but since only one hand can contain jutsu, she can't make the hand seals."
"So… how does this concern us?" I asked Anko.
She sighed. "Man you are slow. Basically, the higher ups want to put her in a Genin team, but they want her to be safe so she doesn't die or get kidnapped. The natural solution is to put her in a Genin team like everyone else, but with two confederate Genin by her side."
"So why us?" Kota asked her. Wait, this is actually happening?
Anko sighed and explained. "The test I gave you a year ago was a variation of the standard bells test used to imprint the ideals of teamwork and sacrifice into the recruits." True, we'd heard about that from the other rejects. "However, out of all the brats from your class, you two were the only ones to actually get a 'bell'."
Anko grinned. "Why the hell did you think I let you keep those headbands?" She asked us. "Because you damn well earned them. Just idiot face let you both down."
Damn… so we could've been one of the teams in Chunnin exam alongside our nine other classmates? That sucks balls…
"So, basically we're the only competent ninja around her age that aren't already in a team or is in ANBU."
"Pretty much." Anko said. "This's gonna be treat as an Special Op, so you'll be directly under the Hokage for the duration of the mission and will be granted additional rights in order to accomplish your mission, which is to strengthen and protect the target; Yuri Akado." She looked at us. "Do you accept?"
"Kaito." Kota immediately stopped me from answering the question. "Do you really want to do this?"
"Become Genin?" I asked. "Well, sure, of course I do!"
He shook his head. "Not that. She's asking us to become ANBU."
Anko smiled. "You really are observant. So," She asked. "Yes. Or. No?"
I glanced at Kota, who read my face and caught my answer, nodding to it.
"So… why did you come to find us Anko-sensei?" Kota asked while Anko led us to the ANBU headquarters.
"Well…" She shrugged. "I was kinda the one who put your names forward for this, so I was the one sent to find and recruit ya." She shook her head. "Still, you got the mental exam to go through first before you get your ANBU tattoo."
"Mental Exam?" I asked. "ANBU Tattoo?"
Anko nodded and slipped her right shoulder out of her jacket. "See this?" She asked, pointing at the tribal tattoo visible through the mesh shirt. "You'll get one on the left arm." She explained, tugging her jacket back on.
"Right…" I said, turning to a bright red Kota. "Dude?" I asked him.
He shook his head violently. "A-and the mental exam?" He asked.
Anko smiled. "Ibiki will be in charge of that."
I honestly didn't see what all the fuss was about. The guy in the bandanna basically asked me a load of questions about my sanity and tried to make me confess to something, dunno what. I got some freaky drill thing out which I admit scared the hell outta me, so I did the only rational thing and blew whatever the hell it was to pieces. He must've liked that because apparently I passed with flying colours.
Kota looked pale afterwards though. Maybe the mind tricks worked better on smart people, or maybe drills work on people who can't explode them. Either way, we both got our Tattoos.
"You'll report here every day at oh-five hundred hours each day for the next week." Some guy in a bear mask told us as we were about to leave. "You will be receiving intensive training in preparation for your mission."
Intensive and Training. Those were two words that never spelt good news when they were put together.
Well, either way, time for Udon. "Come on Kota!" I told him. "Udon! My treat!"
"Sorry Kaito…" He told me. "I think I'm gonna just head home…"
"You are kinda pale…" I admitted. "Alright, get to sleep." I told him. "See you tomorrow."
"Yeah, see ya."
Tell you one thing. They call it Intensive Training for a reason.
I mean, if they're not making us max out our chakra, they're teaching us how to resist torture, or treat wounds, or kill things, or Jutsu. We just did not stop.
When they let us have a short water break, I checked up on my teammate. Whatever was bugging Kota before was gone now. He was completely drenched in sweat and gasping for air, but he looked more determined than I've ever seen him.
"We gotta make this work." He told me. "I am NOT gonna fail ANBU."
"Same here." I grinned. "It's not so tough, right?"
"You shouldn't have said that…" Fox, the ANBU watching us, pointed out. "What happens next is your own fault."
"Huh?" I asked as Kota slapped his forehead and Anko grabbed my shoulder.
"Oh?" She asked. "You think we can work you harder?"
I do not like that grin.
I was right not to like that grin.
Damn woman doubled the training schedule while laughing her ass off! I need food and sleep.
"Kaito?" Mom asked as I came home. "Where've you been? You missed dinner!"
I need sleep.
'Course, I can't tell anyone I'm in ANBU, so I had to make up an excuse as to why I wasn't going to the academy anymore when mom and dad got a call from one of the instructors.
They didn't buy special training, so I just apologised and decided to shout at Anko about it.
"Was I supposed to cover your backs?" Anko asked when I confronted her about it around day four of training. "I don't think I ever promised anything like that."
"But sure, why not." Anko grinned. "We'll sign you off."
"And you believed her?" Kota told me as we were doing 500 press ups shortly after.
"Why would she lie?" I asked him.
He sighed as he pushed himself against the ground. "Because it's Anko-sensei." He replied. "Look, was she smiling when she said it?"
"Yeah…" I admitted. "Why?"
"Was it the grin she does when she does something evil?"
So, apparently my excuse is that I'm cleaning toilets for a week as punishment for peeping in the hotsprings.
I hate that devil woman.
But, thankfully, the training ended a couple of days before the graduation exam. We were given some ANBU uniforms, a short sword each, the basic ANBU kit and our masks, with our ID.
Kota was given a flat, lizard like one with wide, somewhat rectangular eyes with soft horn/ears on each side. "You are Varanus." Owl told him as he handed him the mask.
"Like, a Monitor lizard?" Kota asked as he donned the mask. "Okay."
Owl then got a wrapped up package and handed it to me. "And you get a family heirloom."
Huh? I unwrapped the package to get some kind of demon-dragon mask. What the hell?
"It's Bakumetsu." Owl told me. "One of the few ANBU masked that are kept within a specific family." He put an arm on my shoulder. "There's a lot of prestige in the Bakumetsu between the old members of ANBU." He added. "Make sure you live up to it."
I nodded and donned the mask. "Got it."
Varanus and Bakumetsu. I might enjoy being in ANBU.
Still, it's not like I can tell anyone. To everyone outside ANBU and the Godaime Hokage herself, I'm still just an academy repeat student.
I can't complain though. The so called 'intense' revision for the test was a welcome rest after last week.
We were told that a similar process to last year's exam was going to happen this year. The main difference would be that we would be joined with last year's class, which is a first.
Of course, it's so they can make sure Kota and I are grouped together with Akado, but the explanation given was because Lady Hokage wanted us to benefit from a chance of a fresh start, and that the graduation to becoming Genin was now going to be decided on performance on the test itself, not on position anymore. There was cheering, but we were told to keep any information pertaining to the test to ourselves and not tell the kohai.
I'm calling bullcrap on that one.
"Alright, everyone line up alphabetically!"
Now it's the time for the exam, and the four remaining members our class (Yes, one more had dropped out in the previous week) were cueing up for their chance at the mystery test. Hope it's not gonna be like last time, I suck at clones.
Well, I say I suck, but I'm comparing myself to the stuff Naruto pulled during the Chunnin exam. That was plain crazy.
Hell, wasn't he bottom of the class at clones? Just like almost everything else except for henges?
That brought a smile to my face. I liked Naruto's henges. They had nice-
Kota elbowed me from in front. W and Y; there aren't many names beginning with X. "What?" I hissed at him.
He pointed the door into the exam. "There she is." He hissed.
Oh yeah, Akado should be right at the front. Yep, there's Yuri. She wore a tight black shirt that cut off at the right side of her neck, exposing her right shoulder and arm completely, but extended down her left arm into a fingerless glove. She wore matching tight black trousers that stopped at the ankle, where she had the standard ninja sandal, which was black.
Add her shortly cut black hair and her blank gaze, I'm gonna make a flashjudge and call her emo.
The door opened and Kira Ahara from our class came out proudly wearing his headband. Kota and I had kept ours in our pockets for now to not attention to ourselves.
Man, long cue is long. Why am I always at the back of these cues?
"Because no-ones family name begins with Z." Kota whispered. Man, he is good at reading people.
FINALLY! Kota's turn!
A fair few had come out empty handed, which was surprising since everyone except Naruto passed last time, though Naruto apparently did something awesome after the exam and earned himself a Genin headband. Still, Yuri passed so all was well.
Kota came out of the room, pulling his headband from his pocket and tying it around his neck. "See you outside." He told me.
I nodded. Since I was the last student in the room, I didn't even wait for my name to be called before going through.
"Hey, I remember you."
"Shikamaru!?!?" I shouted.
"He's the other Chunnin in charge of the test." Iruka explained as Shikamaru rose to his feet. "And starting tomorrow, he'll be teaching here."
Wow. He's moved up in the world. "So, what do you want me to do?" I asked, standing to attention. I noticed that there was a fair amount of Hitai-ite left on the table, even though I was the last student. Man, there were a load of failures this time round. Guess this test is gonna be stricter.
"Move." Iruka said.
"Huh?" I asked.
"Shikamaru-kun just got you trapped in a weak shadow bind." He explained. "Your task is to break it before the time runs out."
"How long do I have?" I asked him.
"Thirty three seconds and dropping." Shikamaru explained, his hands in a seal.
Right. Well, I can see how Yuri would've gotten out of this, but how would Kota have done this?
Who cares? I'm not Kota.
I'm Bakumetsu dammit.
If there's a problem, I destroy it with my explosions.
"You blew up the classroom." Kota sighed when we were outside.
"Not all of it!" I protested. "Only enough to flash out the shadow bind!"
Kota slapped his forehead. "The Nara Shadow techniques work better in bright light you idiot!" He shouted at me. "If Shikamaru didn't defend the fact that you did beat his shadow jutsu by almost blowing his head off!!"
I grinned. "Hey, that's how I roll."
I felt a cold hand on my shoulder. "And how you roll is treating me to lunch." Shikamaru told me. "And Chouji's coming too."
Oh crap. "Where is he?" I asked.
"I'm here." Said a skinny guy with spiky brown hair.
… "Dude, did you lose weight?" I asked.
"Very funny." Skinny Chouji mocked. "Come on, I'm starving!"
I shuddered and Kota put a comforting hand on my shoulder. "I'll see you after tomorrow's day off then." He said.
Wait, you're not going to help me?
Kota shook his head and walked away. "Later!"
DAMN YOU AND YOUR CHEAPSKATE WAYS!!!
Thankfully, Chouji's going through rehabilitation from burning all of his fat a few months ago, so I didn't end up in debt.
They still burnt through all the money in my wallet though.
Kota's gonna pay for this.
"And Team Nine consists of: Yuri Akado, Kaito Yamamoto, and Kota Watsuki!" Iruka declared two days later.
Hm. Déjà vu.
There we go. The start of the sequel to my oneshot.
As always, rate and review. The better the story does, the faster I'll update it.