Yup, I know… another next generation fic. I'd promise that it's the last, but frankly, if the popularity will be high, then it won't be, coz I have more ideas concerning future "Naruto" that I'd be willing to put to life if I'll see a point in doing so.
But to calm all you NNG fans out there: the upload of this fic will not effect NNG in any way. Right now this is just a pilot to see if anyone will be interested in reading. If this piece will get a fanbase, then I'll turn it into a regularly updated tale. So, to all you readers: if you enjoy this story and wish to know what happens next, review!
At the beginning I'd also like to point out that with this piece I wanted to combine the elements of both NNG and "Those…", adding a few original ones that didn't cut to the final version of either from above… and so, for example, the gennin exam in this fic is different then a simple "bell test", but the teams are once more 3-manned. Well, those of you who read my, other two next generation fics will see some resemblance in the structure and setting, but this is still a character-driven tale, like the original "Naruto" supposed to be (until it went into Part II).
With that said, I believe there's nothing else left for me to do then invite you to read the very first chapter of "Legacy of the Leaf"!
Chapter #1: Enter Uchiha Enkou!
A man with long, black hair sat at the desk, scanning the papers before him with his hazel eyes. Dressed in a black t-shirt, covered by a samurai-like, green vest, he left his headgear with the fire symbol on the desk, not giving it much attention. He also didn't even seem to acknowledge the fact that another figure appeared in the room. He didn't rise his head and only spoke up calmly, perfectly aware of who the new arrival was: "You're late, Naruto-san…"
"Forgive me, Hokage-sama" the visitor bowed slightly, even though the other man was still going through the documents. "I… overslept" he added, scratching the back of his head in shame. The guest was a man around thirty-two years of age with short, spiky, blond hair and sky-blue eyes. He wore a jet-black jacket, decorated by a large, yellow whirlpool on the back, a line that went down the buttons in the same color and a pair of blue flames on the sleeves. A hitae-ate with a leaf symbol covered his forehead, while his cheeks carried whisker marks.
"Well, either way, it's fine" the Fire Shadow replied, picking out a sheet of paper and handing it to the blond: "I have a lot of duties, so I'll make this brief: this is the file of the gennin team I assigned to you this year. All the information you need should be there…"
Naruto went through the document quickly, narrowing his eyes upon noting the name of the last member of his cell: "This kid… are you sure? A lot of people will be pissed if he'll become gennin and it won't be easy for the brat either…"
"I know" the Hokage assured him, still seemingly paying little attention to the guest. "That's preciously the reason why I'm placing him under your care. Frankly, all three of those youngsters will require guidance. I wouldn't call them a troublesome bunch, but without a doubt each has issues that I'm hoping you'll help them resolve."
The blond just gazed back at the paper before him, hesitating for a moment. Finally he turned around and headed for the window, stopping just before he was about to leave: "I'll do my best, Nanadaime-sama" he announced and then he was gone…
---A little earlier, another place---
"Enkou, wake up or you'll be late!" a man with raven-black, gelled-up hair called as he placed a katana on his back. He wore a black t-shirt and short, white pants, completing the look with a pair of black, shinobi sandals and a headband.
In a flash a boy, twelve years of age, appeared downstairs, already fully in gear. He had short, black, gelled-up hair in a similar fashion to his father and a pair of black eyes. He wore a dark blue t-shirt with a symbol of a paper fan on the back and a little baggy, white pants. One could also note a headband with Konoha's symbol located on the boy's forehead: "Hmm… you're up awful early today…"
"Well, it's not everyday that one officially becomes a ninja" stated the boy, Enkou, with a wide smile, crossing his arms. "And don't think I've forgotten your promise, dad" he added, pointing to the blade on the man's back: "You said I'll get Kusanagi once I become gennin! So, cough it up" he added, extending his hands.
"What the hell?" the boy snapped annoyed. "You promised!"
"And I intend to keep that promise" the man assured him, making his son look at him, confusion spread all over his face. "You'll soon understand" he announced, seeing the skeptical look in Enkou's gaze. "For now get to school" he said and after a moment of hesitation, the boy ran out of the compound at top speed. The man merely let out a sigh at the sight, slowly following in the youngster's footsteps.
Enkou reached his destination in a record time, yet stopped just before the classroom, calmly walking in. All the other graduates seemed to already be there, chatting with one another and making a huge commotion. The boy found it as no surprise that none even seemed to notice his arrival. His eyes however then caught a sight of a girl, sitting far away in the corner, also avoiding any form of interaction.
She had long, brown hair, clipped in a high ponytail and hazel eyes. She wore a brown, sleeveless top that revealed her belly and short, white cargo pants. She tied her forehead protector around her neck, while Enkou also noted a large scroll located on her back.
Hawatari Rokku the boy remembered, looking at the young kunoichi. From all the people in my class, she's the only one, besides me, who never made any friends. She's always avoiding people and rarely talks, so I don't know much about her, but she's certainly not a social type… but with that thought, he suddenly got pushed, stumbling to the front in order to keep his balance.
"Move it, dumbass, you're in my way" announced a boy his age as he walked through the doorframe, entering the classroom. "Seriously, letting someone of your kind become gennin is a joke, but at the very least you should try to not annoy people with your petty existence, dead last" he added, calmly walking towards his desk. Enkou however was not about to let all of this go and in a flash grabbed his classmate by the collar.
"Listen here, bastard, I'm not gonna let you push me around! Apologize, dammit, or I'll kick your ass!" he threatened, yet the other boy seemed completely unfazed by this. He just gazed at the hand that held him with a bored look and then shifted his green eyes back to raven-haired kid, his face still as emotionless as ever.
"Don't get tough with me, Uchiha" he warned simply with a monotone voice. "Despite what you may think, I won't hesitate to hurt you. I find the very fact your father was allowed back into the village demeaning and studying the history of your clan I simply don't trust the likes of you…" he announced, this time coldly, making a vein appear on Enkou's forehead, yet before the boy could reply, a new voice joined the conversation.
"Causing trouble on your last day?" asked a man with medium-length, black hair, clipped in a ponytail and a scar going horizontally across his face. He kept his arms crossed as he glared at the two, instantly making both boys apologize. "Good, then get to your seats" the chuunin said in an ordering tone, while the boys complied.
Arashi Shindo Enkou thought to himself with a twitching eye as he observed the one who pushed him. The boy had spiky, brown hair with a ponytail falling down his back and wore a black t-shirt with a green vest on top of that. His pants were somewhat baggy and in the same color as the waistcoat, while his right arm was nearly completely wrapped in bandages. A hitae-ate with the Leaf symbol on his forehead completed the look. Supposedly the top student of our class, who thinks he's the king of the world. I really hate this guy.
The man with the scar only sighed at the sight, shaking his head: "Why is it that every time I see those two together, their relationship seems to worsen? It's not that big a deal for Shindo, but for Enkou something like this isn't good" he summed up as the two took their seats. The chuunin decided to shake this off and spoke up, gaining the attention of the class: "First off I'd like to congratulate you all on passing the final exam and becoming shinobi! But keep in mind you are merely gennin and the journey ahead is very hard. From now on you'll receive duties, which you'll have to fulfill for the good of the village. You'll be divided into three-man teams, each under supervision of a jounin. He or she will be your guide during these missions. Also, since we wanted to balance the teams, I have already assigned you to your cells, basing my judgment on your skills and grades. Here are the teams…" he began, reading from the list.
"Oh man, a random selection!" Enkou complained, grabbing his head. "This isn't good! What if I land in a team with people I don't get along well? But, now that I think about it, is there anyone I actually do get along with?" he questioned and for some reason shifted his head towards Rokku, shivering at the very thought: "Well, whatever… as long as it won't be that Shindo bastard, I'm cool with it…"
"Next stop is team number four" announced the chunnin, completely ignoring comments that came from the members of the previous cell about the choice: "Hawatari Rokku… Arashi Shindo… and Uchiha Enkou…"
"NO!" our young hero freaked, completely devastated.
---An hour later---
"Where the hell is he? Enkou snapped, totally annoyed. "All the other teams have already went somewhere with their instructors! Even Iruka-sensei disappeared somewhere! Just wait till I get my hands on that lame excuse of a jounin!"
"Sit your butt down and shut up already!" now it was Shindo, who lost his temper. "You're really starting to work on my nerves! Not only do I get stuck on a cell with two, freakiest people in the class, now I need to listen to a drama queen about how much her life sucks! Man, that's annoying…"
"Well, I'm not thrilled getting you as my teammate either" the young Uchiha assured him angrily, but quickly restrained himself and calmed down, staring at the other boy. "But there's no helping it really, so I suggest we at least try to get along. How about it?" he asked, slowly extending his hand, yet the brown-haired boy only glanced at it and then turned away from the peace offering.
"What's the point in socializing with the Uchiha? You'll just betray me. That is the only thing your clan is good in. It's even more pointless, since you're just a nobody who got assigned to the same team I did for the sake of balance. You do realize the reason we're in the same cell is because you stink as a ninja, right?" he said in insulting manner, making anger blossom in Enkou anew.
"That's it!" he roared, pressing his face against Shindo's. "I'm gonna beat you senseless and then we'll talk who's weaker then who! I don't care that you're an Arashi, I won't let you badmouth my clan just because you feel like it!"
"Won't you now?" the ponytail kid asked with a smirk in a playful voice. "Well, I accept your challenge. Frankly I was hoping to do this for ages. Just name the place and time…"
"Guys, cut it out…" Rokku begged shyly, but neither of the two seemed to hear her.
"How about here and now?" asked Enkou and without even waiting for a reply, he launched a kick to young Arashi's face…
---a clash between friends!---
And this concludes the first chapter. Hope you enjoyed it and that you'll leave a review after reading. I could explain a few things about the characters at this point, just to defend myself from possible accusations, but I'll let that slip… I assure you that, just like NNG, this tale is generally planned out from start to finish and the characters weren't choose randomly.
With that said, until next time, hopefully.