Chunin Exams Begin!
The Exam room was truly a sight to behold, it had all three of team Anko on edge, the entire room filled with foreign ninja, allies, and neutrals and soon enough all of them, every single last one of them would become hostiles in this exam to become chunin. All three made sure to keep to themselves and keep a low profile, last thing they needed was an army of Genin out for their blood.
Naruto lead the girls over to a quiet corner of the room and all three took a knee.
"Remember; don't make eye contact … if who I think is leading the first test then we should see a significant drop in teams passing on the next stage, at least by half … that means we will be dealing with the smartest and sneakiest candidates in the second exam" Naruto spoke, reciting what information he had been able to acquire from Kakashi.
"What do we do in the second exam?" asked Sakura.
"We don't hesitate to kill, because I can guarantee they won't give us any quarter, so long as were a threat they will try to kill us, it's the same for us" Naruto said without remorse.
"Other leaf shinobi?" asked Hinata as sent a glance and nod in the direction of team ten who had just entered the room with team seven.
"Allies, we help them, within reason … if that isn't an option then we incapacitate, I won't be responsible for leaf deaths" Naruto shook his head.
"The Uchiha?" asked Sakura with a raised eyebrow to which Naruto nodded once.
"Him we can kill, if the right circumstance presents itself" Naruto spoke seriously and without regret, as if the answer to the question should have been obvious.
"That's fine with us" Sakura mumbled, Hinata nodding her agreement.
"Hey Sakura, Hinata" Ino came bounding over, dragging Shikamaru and Chouji along with her.
All three members of team Anko deadpanned, so much for low profile when Ino was around, the three stood, and turning to Ino, both Sakura and Hinata waved in greeting.
"I knew we'd see you here, all the jounin are betting on whose teams will make it to the second round and they are even already making bets on who's going to win the tournament" Ino spoke excitedly.
"r-really?" asked Hinata in mild surprise.
"You already knew about that didn't you Naruto-san?" asked Shikamaru with a sneaky smirk.
"Who do you think set it all up, I have a bet on my team to make it to the second round" Naruto smirked as he rubbed his neck.
"I heard the Hokage put a rather large sum on the person he thinks will be the tournament winner" Chouji munched through a mouthful of chips.
Naruto frowned slightly "who'd he bet on? Do you know?"
"He bet on you" Shikamaru spoke tiredly before yawning.
Naruto laughed slightly, how could he have not seen that coming? After all, the old man had taken a deep interest in his training and knew what he was capable of.
Naruto just smirked "A sound investment if you ask me" he laughed lightly.
Hinata just smiled and shook her head while Sakura actually nodded with her own smile.
"Have you seen the Uchiha anywhere?" Naruto asked seriously.
"Down stairs with some weird kid in green spandex" Came another voice from behind the group.
All turned to see Kiba and Shino arrive and greet everyone.
Kiba turned to Naruto and smiled "Sasuke's got eyes on you during this exam, claims he's going to … what was it he said again, Shino?" Kiba asked Shino with a smirk.
Shino pushed his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose as he spoke "Rip off Naruto-sans Genitals with his bare hands and then kill him slowly whilst Hinata-san watches" He recited word for word.
Naruto only laughed quietly whilst shaking his head; surprisingly it was Hinata that spoke up, surprising everyone with her comment.
"If he so much a brushes up against Naruto-kun … I'll kill him myself, Uchiha bloodline be damned!" she spat out with a slight glare.
Everyone silently stared at Hinata's scowling form for a moment until Ino broke the silence.
"It seems you do have your fathers mean streak after all" she squeaked.
A new voice emerged behind the Genin as it closed in on them "hey, you kids might want to try and make yourselves less noticeable, can tell you're all rookies of this exam"
Naruto turned his head and took the older boys appearance in, grey-silver hair pulled back into a tight low ponytail, large round glasses and a condescending smirk plastered across his face.
"And you are?" the blonde asked.
"Yakushi Kabuto … a veteran of this exam, so trust when I tell you … don't draw attention to yourselves" the still present smirk on the face of the now identified Kabuto. He stepped closer to the group.
"No need to ask your name … Uzumaki Naruto, you've made a name for yourself throughout the village" the boy mused.
Naruto narrowed his eyes slightly toward the older boy "Did you want something Kabuto-san?" he asked, though it clearly was not an invitation to stay.
"Oh I just thought I'd impart some of the knowledge of the exam onto the newbies … you never know, might save your life" Kabuto smirked, trying to fake a friendly smile as he retrieved a deck of cards from the inside pocket of his torso wraps, "I have these you see, each card has any and all information I have gathered over my seven attempts at this examination. I'm sure at least one of you would like some form of information?" Kabuto chuckled to himself as he pushed his glasses back up on the bridge of his nose.
Sasuke pushed forward "I want all the information you have on Rock lee, Gaara and Uzumaki Naruto" he demanded as the other rookies looked at him in slight shock.
"Aw that's not even a challenge if you know their names" Kabuto chuckled as he drew three cards from his deck, charging chakra into all three of them, he lay down the first card.
"Rock Lee, Genin, Jounin sensei is Might Gai, teammates are Tenten Higurashi and Hyuga Neji … this kid is a Taijutsu freak, no discernable skills elsewhere, his team have a considerable amount of C and D ranks beneath their belts and his team mate, Neji was rookie of the year last year" Kabuto mused, reading out the cards contents.
Sasuke snorted to himself and gave a nod for the next card.
"next is Subaku no Gara … His teammates are his siblings Temari and Kankuro, my information on his skills is near non-existent … though he has a few B,C,D and even an A-rank under his belt … no known skills but he's never been injured on a mission" Kabuto frowned at that last part.
Sasuke clicked his tongue and glared in Gara's general direction. He looked down at Kabuto and snorted "And?"
"And last … Uzumaki Naruto-" Kabuto started to read before he leapt back a few steps as his information card was incinerated courtesy of Naruto's low level Katon Jutsu. Kabuto looked at the younger boy to find the blonde giving him a subtle glare.
"You must be fucking Insane if you think I'm about to allow you to divulge my personal information" Naruto spat as he advanced on the older body slowly, reaching for one of his Wakizashi at his hip.
"I meant no offence Naruto-san" Kabuto looked up at the blonde with a fake smile.
"Wipe that smirk off your face … your charms may work on him" Naruto nudged his head toward Sasuke who glared in response "But not me, now piss off before I run you through" Naruto glared, releasing a formidable amount of killing intent and bloodlust toward the older boy.
Kabuto got on his feet, still smiling "I was merely trying to give you rookies some information to help you survive this test … that's all" He said before walking back to his own team.
Across the room.
"He seems dangerous … I like him" spoke a boy with shoulder length black hair, a kirigakure Hitai-ate hung loosely around his neck.
Not a moment later did the room erupt in grey smoke, catching all of the Genin off guard, emerging front and centre stood a man in a long black trench coat with a grey jumpsuit beneath it, a Konoha hitai-ate bandana covered the top of his head, his face was adorned in ugly rough scars reaching across his face and retreating under his bandana. His facial expression could be described as contemptuous, his eyes scanning the fresh meat before him. In the same way a hawk would lock onto its prey long before said prey knew what was going on.
"Shut up! All of you, there is a chart on the wall with your seat number, anyone not sat down in their designated place within the next minute will be automatically disqualified!" spoke the man, his voice angry and sharp.
"You can't do that we have rights!" spoke a Genin from amegakure.
The man pointed at the Genin, his face contorting to one of rage "You and your team, disqualified, leave!"
All the other Genin rushed to the board, getting their seat number and getting to their seats as quick as possible. Naruto quickly found his seat followed by Hinata who was coincidentally sat next to him, they both just smirked. Whoever had drawn up the seating plan was an idiot.
"Right listen up, my name is Morino Ibiki … the proctor for the first test, I shall now explain the rules of this exam so listen carefully as I will not repeat myself!"
"I'll put two thousand Ryo on team eleven!"
"I second that bet, the Ino-Shika-Cho trio is a tried and tested formation!"
"No way, team seven has the last Uchiha; I'm putting two five hundred on them!"
"Yes but team nine has last year's rookie with double the experience of the Uchiha, two thousand on team nine for me !"
This was the sound that greeted Anko, Kakashi and Kurenai as they entered the jounin lounge. Anko smirked and reached into her inner pocket, walking up to the betting table.
She retrieved a roll of bills and tossed it onto the table "Fifteen thousand on team 13 … my own team" she stated cockily.
Genma looked up at the Anko from the table, senbon between his lips as he gave her a cheeky grin … You're seriously going to bet that kind of money on a rookie team?"
"Yes I am, Genma, are you going to record the bet or what? You seem to be running the books here" Anko crossed her arms over her chest, the entire room quiet as they watched the conversation unfold.
"Anko … fifteen thousand is a lot of money, are you sure about this?" Genma asked seriously.
Anko glared "Just take the damn bet, other people are waiting to lose their money to me!"
Genma simply shrugged and wrote up Anko's ticket and handed it to her.
For the next few minutes, more and more jounin and even a few of the best known chunin of the village had made bets.
Genma was busy writing up a ticket when someone dropped a huge wad of cash on the table "Fifty thousand Ryo on team 13"
Genma looked at the huge wad of cash up to Hiashi Hyuga who stared back at him.
Genma shakily wrote out the ticket and held it up to the Hyuga patriarch who accepted it and strode out of the room in silence.
"You, leave and take your team-mates with you!" Ibiki pointed at a Kumo Genin who huffed and stormed out of the room arguing with his team.
Naruto sat back in his seat, hands behind his head and feet up on the desk as he watched the clock tick away the seconds.
Hinata decided to fill in her sheet using her Byakugan to gather the answers from Sakura who had been filling the sheet in from sheer boredom and book smarts. She looked over to Naruto worriedly as he had yet to move at all.
After a few more minutes Ibiki had locked his eyes on the care free blonde "New Rule! Listen up!" this got the entire rooms attention; he stared directly at Naruto who barely lifted an eyelid to regard him with a look of slight annoyance.
"Your team cannot pass this portion of the test without each individual answering at least five of the nine questions on the paper … any questions? No? Go-"
"Just to clarify, we have to answer 5 of the questions and you also said that if we were caught cheating three times, then that persons team would be disqualified … am I correct?" Naruto interrupted as he stood.
Ibiki growled slightly at the blonde's abrupt interruption but none the less he would answer the boy's question.
"Yes, that is correct"
Naruto nodded for a moment as if in deep thought then looked down to the Amegakure genin that was sat on his right. With lightning fast speed and force, Naruto grasped a handful of the other boy's hair, pulling his head back and then thrashing it forward and down into the wooden desk, effectively knocking him out cold.
The entire room watched with wide eyes as Naruto took the other boys paper, scribbled his name out and signed his own, he then proceeded to fold the paper up into origami crane and threw it gently to Ibiki.
"I have answered six of the nine questions on that paper and have decided to submit it early" Naruto smiled as he sat back down.
Ibiki caught the paper crane, looking between it and Naruto before muttering "Crafty little shit just used my own rules against me …" he looked back up to see Naruto give him a sly smile as the blonde relaxed back into the position he had been in beforehand.
"Alright pencils down! Time for the tenth question" Ibiki spoke loudly gaining the attention of the room.
"But first you must choose whether or not you will risk taking the question, if you answer the tenth question incorrectly then you will never again be eligible to qualify for the rank of chunin" Ibiki spoke, inwardly smirking as more and more of the Genin started to stare back at him.
"You can't do that!" a blonde kunoichi from Suna shouted.
"This is my exam and my rules, it's just unfortunate for you that I was proctor this year" Ibiki shrugged indifferently.
Soon enough teams started to get up and leave one by one.
"Is that it? No one else want to pack it in and try again in six months?" Ibiki asked, scanning the room with his eyes.
A few more teams got up and left.
Naruto could feel Hinata's gaze as if she were looking for reassurance from him, he turned his head toward her slightly and let the corner of his lip curl upward slightly and then gently took her hand under the table, giving it a gently squeeze.
After a moment of silence Ibiki spoke once more "Congratulations, you all pass"
Sarutobi was sat at his desk, laughing like he hadn't laughed in a decade, wiping tears from his eyes as he and several of his top jounin and Chunin had watched the first portion of the exam through his crystal ball.
"Did her seriously just do that?" Kakashi sweat dropped.
"That kid just twisted Ibiki's own rules to win … troublesome … I wonder if he plays shogi?" Shikaku spoke to Chouza
"Ibiki is so going to be royally pissed later" Izumo said with a shiver as Kotetsu visibly cringed.
"I think Naruto-kun may have just secured his rank, eh? Kurenai-chan?" asked Asuma.
Kurenai simply stared at the crystal ball dumbfounded, then to the laughing Hokage then back to Asuma and nodded dumbly.
Those who had passed had started filing out of the exam room after the second proctor had introduced herself and given them an hour to prepare before the second exam began at training ground forty-four.
Naruto waited with Hinata for Sakura outside her house so that she could collect any last minute supplies.
"I was thinking … we have a h-home field advantage in the f-forest, we train in there, we know where t-the other teams will go to find w-water and f-food" Hinata spoke as she looked up at the sky.
Naruto's curiosity was now piqued; he looked directly at his girlfriend as she looked down to lock eyes with him "Yes hime?"
"We also know where about in the forest we should seldom wander … think of how another team who have no knowledge of the creatures or the geography within, we have an unlimited potential to wipe out a lot of the competition" she smiled, an evil glint in her eye.
Naruto smiled "Why expend our energy fighting when we can let the forest do it for us? I like that plan, I like it a lot!"
"That's all well and good but we still need to be prepared for an aggressive assault" Sakura said as she dropped down from an upstairs window.
"Personally I'm up for a good fight, I haven't had a good scrap since wave country" Naruto grinned, his hands behind his head as the team walked quickly to the Hyuga estate so Hinata could pick up any equipment she needed. As for Naruto … he always carried what he needed wherever he went.
Once they all had what they needed they walked toward training ground forty-four as they played off possible scenarios they may face in the forest. Anko was in mid speech about the rules when they arrived; she gave her team a slight glare mid-sentence but otherwise continued, holding up two scrolls.
"One heaven, one earth, each team will only get one of either scroll … do whatever you have to, to get a scroll! You will be needing one of each to pass this test, you have five days to get your scrolls and get to the central tower in the centre of the forest with all three of your team alive, if a team member dies you cannot advance to the third exam … I have papers for everyone to sign that releases Konoha of any responsibility should you die in this exam, if you don't sign, you don't enter, simple as that" she spoke loud and clearly as she started handing out the release forms to each team.
Naruto took the sheets from Anko and handed one each to his team mates to sign "There are twenty-six teams entering the forest with us … from this point on, everyone is a potential enemy, we should treat them as such"
"We can trust Ino, Shikamaru and Chouji … I'll vouch for them myself, they said if we need allies during the exams then we could rely on them" Sakura stated quietly.
"Are you sure that is wise?" asked Naruto sceptically.
"Naruto-kun, Sa-Sakura is right, we c-can trust them" Hinata spoke up.
"If you both trust them, then there's no reason why I shouldn't" Naruto smiled slightly.
"Okay everyone listen up!" Anko announced, getting everyone's attention, she pointed to a small curtained booth "Take your release forms there and exchange them for your scroll, I advise you not to advertise what you have to the other teams, you will also be told what gate your team will be assigned to, once you have your scroll, make your way to your assigned entrance! Also I have been told to point out that there is a residential area within the forest, under no circumstances are you to trespass on this property for any reason, no exceptions, There is an ANBU on guard that will kill perpetrators on sight!" she spoke loudly, her speech over and done with, Naruto walked up to her "Anything to tell us before we enter"
"Don't die" Anko shrugged and moved to walk away leaving her team to sweat drop at her words.
"Oh!" Anko half turned back to her team, getting their attention once more "watch out for the team from Kusagakure … they're trouble"
All three gave a firm nod before making their way to the booth to collect their scroll before making their way to their assigned gate.
Anko watched her team go with a slight look of worry "Oh who am I kidding, they won't even flinch in there … now then, I think it's about dango o'clock!"
Team Anko stood at their assigned gate, waiting for the exam to start, each one silently checking over their gear and weapons, Hinata and Sakura had their usual black outfits complete with the black ANBU flak jackets and had both elected to tie their hair back into ponytails.
Naruto unravelled a small scroll, he pressed his palm to the scroll and with a poof of smoke he revealed two wrist guards, he took off his usual wrist blades and resealed them into the scroll, he then picked them up the new ones and strapped them on tight before charging them with his chakra, extending the blue-ish metal blades, two per arm from the bracers. He charged the blades with his chakra, igniting them in a sheath of razor sharp chakra; he cut off his chakra and retracted the blades.
"I've waited a while to bring these out and play" he said quietly, gaining the two girls attention.
"You've upgraded?" asked Sakura curiously.
Naruto nodded, before kneeling down and removing both his Wakizashi, he unravelled the scroll further to reveal another seal, and pressed his palm to the scroll and pulled out a single four foot long, Chokuto. The sheath and handle was pitch black with a single white swirling flame pattern on the sheath, he strapped it to his back securely, the hilt of the blade at his left shoulder for ease of access.
"T-that's new too" Hinata commented as she strapped a medium sized medical pack to her back.
"Yup, and you two get these, I won't be needing them anymore" he spoke, handing the girls a Wakizashi each.
"Are you sure? These look expensive, Naruto" Sakura spoke, pulling the blade from its sheath to view the steel blade within; she closed it again, looking at her blonde team mate.
"Yes, I'm positive" He answered, rolling the scroll back up and storing it in a utility pouch.
"N-Naruto-kun … we never got you a-anything" Hinata spoke, a little crest fallen. She felt bad that Naruto always gave her and Sakura some of the most expensive equipment money could buy.
"Just survive this test and we will call it even, Hime … your father wants to speak with both of us after the exam … he would say why but it's got me curious" Naruto smiled.
"I'll buy you bowls of Ramen once we're done here" Sakura smiled with determination as she turned and faced the gate.
Naruto smirked as he too faced the gate with Hinata "Deal"
The Gates swung open with the alarm and red light above blurring into life, at once seventy five people threw themselves through their respective gates with reckless abandon … only three walked past the thresh hold, the gates locking back up after them.
My sincerest apologies to anyone who has waited for this, I think you all deserve to know why.
Good news! I'm a daddy to a 3 month old baby girl named Sophie. The bad part is her mother and I separated a couple of months before her birth and I'm being denied access by the mother, I've not seen my little girl at all yet. What my family can't understand is how I can't bring myself to Hate my Ex, not even be upset with her, I love that girl in a way I never thought was real, you can't just switch that off no matter how much you try.
The whole break up was a horrible ordeal for me, especially knowing that it was my fault and that it could have been prevented, I'm not going to lie. I have cried more in these past six months than I have in my entire life. I wouldn't wish this pain upon anyone. I also have to admit that the entire situation almost destroyed me, but its time I move forward with my life, get a half decent job, get access to my daughter … everything else is on a back burner at the moment.
Hopefully I can give you all another chapter very soon, 3-5 weeks, I'll most likely be fighting a court case soon, so expect delays but I will do my best for you all.
Overall my heart wasn't in it during this chapter, suddenly writing romance is bittersweet as my inspiration tore my heart out. So I'm sorry about that.
Anyway, until next time,