Disclaimer: If I were to add 7 to a value of 35, divide by three, multiply by four, divide by sixteen, square that value and subtract by 12 and a quarter, you would have exactly how much of this story/content is mine. Also the number of fucks I give about that.
Last time on Naruto: Fractured Fate
"Ok kiddos, gather round." Anko said, taking her customary place in the middle of the group. "Now what do you kids know about the Chunin Exams?"
All but Anko were there at Training Field 9, bright and early.
And we all had to wait until she showed nearly an hour later, with mussed hair and clothes, and a decided limp that I decidedly ignored.
"Ok kiddos, gather round." Anko said, taking her customary place in the middle of the group. "Now what do you kids know about the Chunin Exams?"
Naruto: Fractured Fate
Silence met Sensei's announcement, before being broken by a gush from Ami.
"Oh my Kami, you're signing us up for the CHUNIN EXAMS?!" Ami clenched her arms together, and was practically dancing on the spot in her excitement.
"Uhuhuh," Anko responded waving a finger in her face with one eye closed. "That's not what I said, I asked what you three know about it."
"The Chunin exam is the primary method of determining promotion from the rank of genin to the rank of chunin during peace time." I explained in a matter-of-fact voice. "It takes place twice a year and is held on a rotating schedule. I believe the soonest one is to be held here, in Konoha."
"Top of the class." Anko remarked before settling down and motioning for us to do the same. "And normally you would be correct. But something has changed."
"Does this have something to do with the," I coughed a bit. "'Reaming' you spoke of?"
"No." Anko immediately denied before reconsidering. "Kinda, but that part comes later. What we're talking about right now is the displacement of the Chunin Exams."
I nodded my acquiescence. And she continued with her original topic. "So, as I'm sure you've heard, word has reached Konoha of the Kirigakure regime change while we were away. And with that news has come something else."
"The Hokage himself received an…invitation from the new Mizukage." Anko elucidated. "An invitation to have the cycle skip one placement this year, and proceed directly to Kiri."
'Of fucking course it is…' I thought sourly. 'It seems as if everything in this life is similar to my previous, but changed just ever so slightly. I'm guessing next Orochimaru really is a woman or something.'
"That invitation didn't happen to be of the monetary variety, did it?" Ami intelligently groused, earning an affectionate hair mussing.
"As far as you're concerned, the invitation might as well have had a marriage proposal attached to it with nude pics of Kiri's shinobi." Anko said with a candy coating of bitchiness, before bopping the bedraggled Ami on the head. "Now hush while I lay out what's actually goin' on."
"I'm going to go ahead and say that while you got that reaming, I mean the one from the Hokage and not the one that came a bit after," I guessed, suppressing a cold shiver while Anko smiled toothily. "That you made a point to mention exactly how much we did in that mission, and how much of it was above genin level. The Hokage made note of this and told both you and the famous Copy nin Kakashi about the upcoming Chunin Exams, inviting you to register us."
Anko nodded. "No." And then she hit me again.
"Damnit, sensei!" I called out, rolling back to a sitting position again.
"I only hurt because I love." Anko sniffed. "Anyway, most of what you said was right on, but it was more to the point of Hokage-sama challenging what Kakashi and I had said with the Exams. Point is, that there is a choice for you guys."
At this point she reached into a pocket and pulled out two different colored scrolls. One scroll had a deep blue binding, and the other a deep red, or mahogany.
"Now, if you choose the blue scroll, we go out and do whatever C-rank mission is here. But there is the possibility that we miss the deadline for registration, and the departure date for the Chunin Exams." My eyes naturally went over to the red scroll after she said that. "But if you take the red scroll, then we go to Kiri, and I show just how dangerous the Chunin Exams really are."
Hibachi, Ami, and I stared hard out our choices, taking small glances at each other to make sure that we weren't the only ones doing so.
After a short time, one of us looked up, and asked. "What do you think sensei? Are we ready?"
Anko gave her head a shake. "I wouldn't have offered if I didn't think you were."
Sitting closest to Anko, it seems the job had fallen to me to make the final decision. I looked to Ami, and receiving a confident nod I looked right to Hibachi, where I received a slightly more tentative, but very real nod.
I leaned forward to take the red scroll, when Anko stopped me. "Remember, all this is, is a chance to be chunin."
I continued forward, clasping my hand around the scroll, and pulling it out of sensei's reach.
"Then it's decided," Mitarashi-senpai said with a smirk. "Kirigakure, here we come!"
Naruto: Fractured Fate
The training schedule that we hashed out that morning was, itself, pretty plain by all standards, especially considering the things that come out of Anko's brain on a regular basis.
Sensei would meet with each member of Team 9 for one whole day a week, and one whole day was spent on missions and team training. The rest were for 'personal development' that we would see to ourselves. Team Mondays, Me on Tuesday, Ami on Wednesday, and Hibachi on Thursday. Friday and Saturday for personal training or family training and Sunday 'off'.
'Meaning that she trusts us enough to have us to learn on our own.' I thought stumbling back from the training ground, a limping Ami beside me, purple hair clumped and dirty.
'But what to do with that time…' I asked myself ponderously. 'Aside from learning, obviously. I could meet up with some of the guys. I haven't talked to Chouji or Shika for a while, and the last time I saw Kiba was when I was asking Hinata on a date.'
Hitting upon that topic though, sprung a new line of thought.
"I wonder what Hinata is doing now," I pondered aloud. "I should go by her place later-"
That line of thought was interrupted however when I felt a warm weight on my shoulder.
Eyes widening at the invasion of space, I dipped my shoulder, ending the contact there, and leaped back from whatever touched me.
"Ahh, fuck!" Ami cried out falling to the muddy street. "Warn someone before you just drop them like that!"
"Sorry, I just… I wasn't expecting that." I spoke lamely
Ami leaned against a lamp pole on the side of the street, futilely brushing the mud from her blue shinobi pants. "Yeah, I can see that." The purple headed genin spoke in an irritated tone.
"Sorry" I said, moving to help her to her feet.
"Seriously, who just drops someone like that?" She said after I helped her up, and leaning against a stack of crates.
"Look, I just don't like getting touched, Ok?" My hand rubbed the back of my neck sheepishly. "It's…weird."
"Just help me, would you?" Ami asked after a moment of grumbling, holding out an arm.
Peering at the limb for a few seconds, I gradually helped my teammate up off the ground, and resumed the march towards her apartment, or home…or wherever the hell it was she lived.
After a while march/limping down the muddy main road, I found myself finally letting go of a bit of anger.
"Where the hell do you live anyway?" I asked, redistributing her weight on my shoulder.
"Merchant quarter," She grunted, slipping a bit in the mud, but leaning on me more heavily to catch herself.
It was another five minute plod down the muddy main street before pulling off into a slightly less muddy side street.
The taller buildings of the Konoha's main avenue started fading further into the background as suburban housing took over the low sprawl, the single story housing quickly falling into an identifiable patter broken occasionally by a two story store, or grocer.
And then one building really broke the pattern.
"What the hell is that?" I muttered incredulously, staring at the gaily colored building, complete with a partially unrolled scroll over the door, and giant kunai marking the doorway below.
"Oh, that." Ami grunted beside me, giving a hopping to a more comfortable position and keeping her weight off of her bad ankle. "It's supposed to be some discount weapons store. They're one of, like, the three major ones in Konoha."
"How?" I asked, slightly stupefied by the giant bright pink and lavender monstrosity.
"They make really cheap stuff, so they sell it in bulk for traps and the academy and stuff." She tossed her grimy bang. "Or something. Whatever. Why does this even matter?"
"Sorry, just startled I guess." A pause. "I mean what the hell kind of shop even does something like that?"
"Fine! Remind me never to take you there!" Amy shouted in my ear before continuing to hobble, muttering under her breath. "Can't wait to see what you think about the uniforms."
While a few brain cells wasted themselves on trying to imagine the horror she spoke of, my attention was gained when Ami gave a none too gentle tug on my shoulder, grunting in the direction of a particular house. It stood one story, same as all the other housing in the area, and it's wooden frame seemed sturdy, and the off white coloring of the walls giving it a clean and homely appeal.
Performing our shuffling walk up to the door, I had to slide and hold it so Ami could make it through, the corridor beyond having walls close enough so that she could balance herself (to the immense relief of my shoulder).
Steeping inside and slipping out of my muddy sandals, I had to help Ami do the same, during which she let out a particularly loud grunt of pain.
"Ami?" A voice came from the end of the hall. "Is that you?"
"Yes, Aunty." Ami said in a high, tight voice.
"Are you all right? You sound like you're having a bit of trouble."
"Yeah," Ami grunted out, bracing herself against the wall again. "I twisted my ankle in training today, Naruto had to help me get home."
The sound of a metal bowl being set down preceded the sound of footsteps as a tall woman rounded the corner at the end of the hall. She wore long dark pants, and an all-black turtleneck covered by a very frilly, very effeminate looking, pink apron. Her long purple hair showed her familial relation to Ami straight away, and her height and figure marked her a woman. And judging by the way she carried herself and the shape of her face, I had to say one partway through her twenties.
Ami gave a snort as she caught sight of her aunt. "You're actually wearing that ridiculous thing?"
"It's bad luck not to use a gift," she said walking over to Ami, barely giving me a glance. "And bad manners besides. Now let me see your ankle."
Ami leaned back as her aunt gently began poking and prodding the offending limb, drawing hisses of pain from the younger girl.
A moment or two passed in silence as I stood awkwardly in the still open doorway, not quite sure what to do with myself in this situation. After a rather repetitive thought process I finally decided to put myself out of my embarrassment and just leave. Before I could dismiss myself, Ami's aunt spoke up.
"Well it isn't broken." She said with a measure of relief
"I could have told you that." Ami whined petulantly.
"Yes, yes, now let's get some ice on it before we bring you to the hospital." Standing up, she began helping Ami shuffle into the kitchen before looking back over her shoulder at me. "And Naruto, please come in and have a cup of tea, I was just making some."
"That sounds nice." I said in an awkward tone, before shutting the door behind me and following the girls into the kitchen.
Ami was already seated when I got there, with her aunt pouring some ice from their freezer into a clear plastic bag.
"I don't believe we've been introduced," Ami's aunt said from her spot near the freezer, tying up the bag she held as she spoke. "My name is Yugao Uzuki, and as you might have heard, I'm this little flowers' aunt."
"You said you'd stop calling me that." Ami grumbled from her seat.
"Did I? Sorry sweetie." Yugao said, bringing the ice pack over to Ami and placing it on her knee, and a small kiss upon what might have been the only reasonably clean part of Ami's forehead. "But you're still my little flower."
"Aunty!" Ami whined.
"So Naruto, how do you like your tea?" Yugao asked gently, ignoring Ami and making her way over to the stove, where a merry little teapot stood, short and stout piped happily.
Shaking my head, I answered simply. "Warm, please."
Yugao chuckled. "Yes, I'd assumed."
Getting out three glasses, Yugao poured into them equally, before adding a sprinkling of sugar to two of the glasses.
"Here you go," she said, placing a glass in front of Ami, who grumbled her thanks as she shifted the ice pack on her ankle.
"And here you go Naruto." She said placing a glass down in front of me.
There was a moment of silence while we sipped our piping hot tea. I never really had much of an occasion to drink the stuff myself, but having it made for you after a long day of training is nothing to sneeze at, and at least in my view, rather relaxing.
Enjoying the silence for a moment, it was broken not to much later by a frowning Yugao.
Ami grunted out, "Yes, Auntie?"
"Didn't you tell me Mitarashi-san taught you the mystical palm technique?"
"We only learned the first stage." I answered in lieu of Ami. "It's good for accelerating the process, but it's really basic. We can't heal major cuts, poison, burns, broken bones, or even sprained ankles."
Ami grunted an acknowledgement. "She says we can move on, but only when we master what we know."
The older purple haired woman gave an understanding nod. "It's more than what most genin your age know, and for that I'm grateful. It just sounded like more when you described it to me."
"I was exaggerating!" Ami barked, shuffling her leg to a more comfortable position. "It was my first mission and everything on it seemed a bit bigger than I expected after cleaning a shitload of basements for geezers!"
"Language!" Yugao spoke tersely in turn, staring at her niece with a piercing gaze.
"Why'd you exaggerate?" I asked, breaking the tension. "We killed like a hundred people, including rogue sort-of ninja, got our client where he was supposed to be, defended the caravan against overwhelming odds, and liberated a whole bunch of prisoners/abductees!"
The two women were staring at me as I wound down, for entirely different reasons I wagered. "I'm just saying, it's pretty impressive on its own
"Yes Naruto," Ami ground out. "I know, I was there! But perhaps there was a reason that I played everything up, like convincing my mother that it was mostly pretend and that I never did something as dangerous as trying to kill an entire enemy encampment as a genin! Or make my aunt think that my sensei has some kind of sadistic death wish!"
"You see though, that second one is really no problem to me."
Yugao gave a small smile at my response. "Do you have some kind of revenge fantasy against your sensei?"
"Not really," I admitted honestly. "But getting her back for all of the trauma, innuendos, training so hard that my bones are threatening revolution, and making me carry a smelly Ami for kami knows how many blocks has at least some appeal."
Ami glared murderously across the nice, floral print covered table.
"When I can hobble again, I am SO going to murder you."
"Yeah, yeah, you love me and you know it." Was my smirking response.
"Loathe." She bit back immediately. "The word is loathe."
"Ahh come on," I tried in an amused tone of voice. "If you killed me, who would make all the jokes?"
"Sensei, Hibachi, me, some retarded monkey I would feed bananas to in a moment of desperation, possibly a future summons for anyone on the team still alive." She listed off before I interrupted her.
"Yeah, true, but they don't have my flair!"
Yugao was chuckling to herself at our little display, only encouraging my behavior to a greater level. Or it would have if she hadn't bitten down on it and spoke before Ami could fire off her next lethal quip.
"Speaking of a smelly Ami, however"
"HEY!" Shouted aforementioned smelly, and now livid, kunoichi.
"You should go and take that bath before I take you to the infirmary." Yugao finished as if there had been no interruption before turning back to me. "Naruto you can stick around for a while, I'd like to talk to you about your team."
"I talk to you about my team!" Ami spoke petulantly from her seat.
"Yes, sweetie," Yugao spoke getting up and moving towards her young niece. "But I'd like another point of view on it. Plus, you said yourself you haven't been entirely truthful."
"Fine," Ami grudgingly spat after a few seconds. Getting up on one foot, she shook the hand she wasn't using to steady herself at her aunt. "But if any baby pictures are brought into it, I swear, I WILL tell mom exactly where you put her cd collection!"
"Deal!" The older woman nearly shouted immediately, scurrying to help her niece out of the room. "And you told me you'd never use that as collateral!"
"Desperate times…" Ami said, her voice fading away from the kitchen as she was led out another door that I presumed led to the baths.
The house grew quieter after they left, interspersed with the grumblings and hisses of pain from Amy, platitudes from Yugao, and the hissing steam of hot water being drawn for the bath.
'Gotta love that perception' I thought to myself with a smile, enjoying the tea.
It was a few moments longer before Yugao came back into the kitchen, wielding a laundry basket filled with Ami's filthy clothes.
"Just another minute, Naruto-san." She said, moving past me and into the other opening, leading to the hallway I came in through.
"Ok." I answered complacently.
Another moment passed before a gentle whirring noise came from the hallway, and I was joined again by the older woman.
"Sorry about that," she apologized while I tried to wave it off. "Can I refresh your tea?"
"Oh, yes please."
Taking my cup and hers back over to the stove, she passed a query while she poured.
"So, Naruto, how long have you and Ami known each other."
My face scrunched up a bit. "Well, we technically knew each other back in the academy, but that was more like knowing 'of' each other. We never really talked until we were placed on a team together."
Turning back from the stove with two refreshed cups of tea, she set them down again on the table, before taking a seat herself.
"And what do you think of your team?"
"We really mesh well," I answered honestly, taking a small sip of tea. "We nag each other, but it's all in good fun, we cover each other's backs during missions, and we have overlapping areas of expertise and specialization."
She nodded at this, taking a sip of her own. "And what do you think of Ami?"
"Good swordsmanship, good illusions, even branching out into some medicine now, and, along with the rest of us, pretty decent at stealth and interrogation too. She's a great teammate with a good head on her shoulders, and I'm glad to be on her team."
Again a nod. "And that other boy on your team, Hibachi, how is he?"
"He's talented with traps, deadly at a distance, and the best of all three of us at stealth. He's really a natural at scouting ahead, and flanking whomever or whatever we're engaged with." I answered.
"She's great with every subject I've approached her about, but just a little off kilter. She's a hell of a teacher, a good friend, and probably the closest person I have in my life right now."
"Hmm." Yugao hummed to herself, taking another sip of tea. "That's all fine, Naruto, but I asked what you thought of them, not what their skills were."
I was taken a little aback at that. "Well, I mean…It's like… they're my team you know?"
She gave an understanding nod at my vocal fumbling. "First genin teams are often tightly knit, I believe that one of my teammates called the bond our, 'family away from family'."
"That seems like a good description for it." I said with a nod. "It's just, it's nice having people to look out for you, you know? To know that somebody cares. And that somebody respects you too."
"Proper care goes hand in hand with proper respect." Yugao spoke back. "But on the subject of your team, what has Ami and you training so hard?"
"We're registered for the Chunin Exams." I said simply. Yugao, for her part, was so shocked that she actually spilled her tea, and for a lady that's been pretty unflappable so far that's kinda saying something.
"The Chunin Exams, THESE Chunin Exams?" She asked, eliciting a nod out of me. "The ones that are taking place in Kiri?"
"Yeah, that's right." I said complacently while it seemed my host was getting more and more nervous. "Supposedly, our team and Kakashi-sempai's are both considered so good, that the Chunin Exams were necessary."
"Oh, and when did that decision occur?" Said my host with a small measure of sarcasm.
"Sometime during our sensei's meeting with Hokage-jiji." I retorted evenly.
A measured look overtook Yugaos features as she pondered what I had said. When she did speak after a moment, it was with a change of direction for our conversation.
"So you were training so hard to get ready for the exams?"
I shrugged. "Anko-sensei likes to keep us on our toes, kinda ever alert. So today she stepped it up by showing us what different teams from different countries will look like in terms of combat. Which ninjutsu each region prefers, the illusions, the tactics, etc, etc. Today we went over Iwa and a couple of its satellite countries."
"Information is key to warfare." Yugao said in a soft voice.
"I like Anko's way better." Yugao looked at me with a quirked eyebrow. "Anko-sensei uses the six P's. 'Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance."
The purple haired kunoichi smiled a little. "That sounds like something she would say. But what steps are you taking in your own personal training?"
"Well," I answered, snuggling into the chair to get comfy. "it being the start of the month, I haven't really put too much thought into it yet."
"What were you working on before you heard about the Chunin Exams?"
I thought back over the last things I had gotten when I leveled up. "I've worked on my Ninjutsu, studied a bit of Medicine and Fuuinjutsu technique, and I threw some points on for my swordplay."
"Points?" Yugao asked curiously.
"I meant time." I said back quickly. "Also I leaned a few jutsu recently. The Great Fireball, that worst nightmare genjutsu, and the first tier of Mystical Palm."
Her brow creased. "That's quite a range. Typically Genin are a lot more focused than that."
"Well, those are just the things I have been working on recently." I said, a little embarrassed. "My primary skills, my strongest, are Ninjutsu, Taijutsu, and Chakra Control."
"That's a little more typical." Yugao said with a nod. "Trying to be a powerhouse later, hmm?"
"Well I always wanted to be like the Hokages," I explained. "And when people talk about them it's never been, 'Oh his Genjutsu', or 'What stealth he had', or even 'His ability to pick locks was unrivalled'. It's always been the Hokage, versus either a great opponent or horde of enemies, and the Hokage earning victory thanks to some ungodly powerful ninjutsu."
Yugao nodded again, accepting my little ramble for what it was. "And I can understand the need for chakra control later on with higher levels of techniques, and Taijutsu for when someone or something gets inside the area where you can use your most powerful mid to long range techniques."
She looked at me levelly. "I wasn't judging, I was merely commenting."
My mouth opened once, closed, and then opened again. "I'm used to having to defend my actions from …people."
A moment of silence passed between us, both Yugao and I taking sips of our rapidly cooling tea to avoid talking in the awkward moment that followed.
"Well," She said, clearing her throat after a moment. "You seem well rounded enough then, and if your sensei had enough confidence to select you for possible promotion, then I'm sure your 'primary' skills are nothing to sneer at either."
"So any advice you could pass along?" I asked, gently prompting her to avoid another awkward pause.
She stared at the off white ceiling for a moment, lost in thought, before answering me. "I would say to find some training or activity that you have accomplished in the past from which you derived achievement or skill, and then increase the difficulty until it suits your present skill set."
"The only times that I've had something like that, were facing off against some long/impossible odds. Once when I was out on my 'C'-rank and the first time when I was facing off against like a hundred spiders deep in …the…" I trailed off.
Yugao smiled at me and I hopped to my feet.
"Thank you for the advice, and the tea." I said with a hasty bow. "Tell Ami I hope she gets better soon!"
Rushing down the hallway to the door, I heard the older kunoichi stand up and give chase.
"Where should I tell her you're going?" the purple haired kunoichi asked in a voice betraying concern, standing up and walking after me.
"Tell her I'm going to sensei's home away from home, and if anyone needs me to come on out for bear steaks!" I yelled back slipping on my shoes and running out the door.
"I'm going to need some more explosive tags…"
Naruto: Fractured Fate
On my sprint back home, I ran into the super ridiculous looking store that Ami and I had seen on our way to her home, marked with a giant Kunai and partially unfurled scroll as the front door.
'Just do it quickly, and maybe none of the crazy will get on you.' I told myself, pushing through the invisible barrier made from my loathing.
Then I spotted the teenage blonde at the counter, whose outfit of bright red and white was complete with a bow tie in back about three times the size of her hips, and what looked like half a castle on her head, also dyed that brilliant red.
'And the loathing returns.'
"WELCOME TO SHOGUN ARMS!" The girl at the counter shrieked when she saw me. "Is your mommy or daddy helping you today?"
'…With a vengeance.'
"Only from beyond the grave." I grunted out before hopping up on a stool next to the counter, bringing me closer to the banshee's height. Stupid puberty and the stupid growth spurts not happening yet.
"Do you sell explosive tags here?"
"Awww, You're an adorable little ninja!" Urge to kill…rising. "We have explosive tags, flash bombs, tripwires, ninja wires-"
"What grade of explosive tag do you sell?" I asked, perhaps a bit more harshly than I needed to but damn did I want to cut her off before she kept me here for a half an hour.
"We sell E-rank through B-rank!" The answer came back shriller than I wanted it to, not helping my attitude at the moment.
"Great, how much do you charge for each C-rank explosive tag?"
"C-rank tags cost 350 ryo each!" Again, the answer was mercifully short, and painstakingly shrill.
"I'll take 10." Hurrying to bring out my wallet, I wanted to stay here for as short a duration as possible.
"Uhuh," She gave a perky nod, before looking up…down at me again. Stupid height. "And you are a chunin right?"
'Oh not this again.' I thought with a mental groan. 'But wait…she seems like kind of a dull edge…maybe…'
"…Yes." I said with a slow nod. "I am totally a Chunin."
SKILL CHECK (SPEECH 32/25): PASS: 40 XP AWARDED
"OK!" She squealed, giving me a vapid smile that made me feel really bad about our village security.
She reached into a bin behind the counter, taking out a handful of tags, and counting off ten. "That'll be 3, 500, please!"
'This girl needs to learn to speak in sentences that don't have exclamations.' I grumbled mentally, draining my formerly full wallet of most of its funds.
"Do you need a bag for that?" She asked in her own politely shrill way that had a direct connection to dark and angry centers of my brain.
"Nope. Got pockets."
Grabbing the tags off the counter, I tore out of there.
"WE HOPE TO SEE YOU-" The cashier shouted after me, mercifully cut short by the door closing.
Naruto: Fractured Fate
After rushing back to my place, and taking a quick shower, I saw myself ransacking my closet.
At one point in the distant past I might have found myself pushing through two or three orange jumpsuits, several shirts, underwear, and a laundry hamper that smelled even when there was nothing in it.
These days, however, my closet had been converted into a miniaturized arsenal of everything that was either too worthwhile to simply sell off, or that I tried to sell off and that the merchant just simply didn't have enough money for.
Inside were all manner of goodies now, old weapons found lying around or taken from the odd dead body stumbled across in dark basements across Konoha, and the shinier, newer ones gained from the decimated bandit encampment on my sort-of second C-rank.
Running my hands over various pieces of deadly metal, however, I found myself wondering about a particular phenomenon.
"I want to take as much weaponry as I possibly can, that can cause the most damage," I spoke out loud. "But I can't take too much else I won't be able to loot anything when I get there."
My best sword was already in the bag, as well as the new explosive tags, two spools of ninja wire, a pack of twenty flares (unused), backup clothes in case my armor gets damaged…again, rations and as many kunai and shuriken as was feasible.
'Actually…' I thought, running my hands once more through the armory. 'I already have the weapons I enjoy using, and have gotten the most out of in the past. Anything on top of this is just going to be dead weight better suited for loot.'
Taking my hand off of a battle-axe that had somehow been found in the stomach of a particularly puny rodent, I grabbed the leather and steel outfit from where it hung.
Strapping it on, I started to plan my time out.
'According to my training schedule, I've got another three days before I need to be back.' Pants done, I turned to the shirt and jacket.
'I only get a minimum amount of experience when I am actually working with my team, and in order to 'level up' fast enough to be where I want to be for the Chunin Exams, keeping in mind that the Hebi-Teme was here in the last exam I have to go someplace truly diabolical.' Top done, boots next.
'There's only one place I know of where I can get that kind of training.' Goggles on, and backpack shouldered, I turned towards the door.
'Let's see how much death that forest can take.'
Naruto: Fractured Fate
I walked to the gated opening of the feared Forest of Death. At the open gate stood a man, a bit less than 5'6, probably around 10 stone soaking wet, and only a few years my senior. His attire was so stock and standard it was almost enough to make me yawn. Blue shinobi pants, green shinobi sandals, blue shinobi shirt, and green chunin vest.
"I'm sorry, genin, I can't allow you to pass." The man with a chunin vest proclaimed at the gate, not sounding very sorry at all.
"WHAT? I've already spent like a week in this place! Why aren't I allowed back when I actually want to go?"
"Please. A genin like you fending off the beasts of this place for a week? Don't make me laugh. And where was your jonin sensei when this 'week' supposedly happened?"
"Mitarashi-sensei is the one who sent me in there." I said defiantly, before muttering to myself. "At least this time I have my pack."
"Mitarashi-sensei? As in Anko Mitarashi?" A nod answers his question and he adopts a thinking pose. "I never realized the Snake Whore had students."
My blood froze. This man had just dared to insult my sensei. "The only reason that you, sir, are not dead at this moment, is because you wear that Kanji." I hissed, pointing towards the insects' forehead. "Do us a favor by not insulting it, or her, anymore. Understand?"
He grinned at my threat, his eyes glinting maliciously. "Oh? Did I hit a nerve there?"
I was silent, cold fury pouring from my eyes as I tried to convey exactly as much hatred as I felt by gaze and will alone.
"Even a bit of killing intent from the baby genin!" He said with a laugh. "How cute!"
Making a shooing motion with his hand, he spoke dismissively. "Why don't you run on back to momma snake now, baby? Who knows, maybe if you pay enough money, she may even put you to bed with a nice lullaby and a blow jo-"
Alright, let me point out something for my audience here.
I am a nice person. I go to extreme lengths to not bash in people's faces when they insult me. I keep my tongue, hold my temper, and make sure to show them up the first chance I get.
And that's alright.
That's fine for me. Hell it's even expected from some of these assholes.
But when some cheapass, lowlife chunin starts talking smack about my friends when he is over in the ass end of nowhere, and his only job is keeping genin out of the Forest of Death. I start becoming a bit peeved.
'Time for a not so friendly sodomy.' I thought with a growl, red coloring my vision, and my hands automatically snapping into two hand seals, launching the first jutsu of the fight.
The man's eyes immediately went blank as the Demonic Illusion took place, allowing me the first of many freebies.
My right palm rammed flat into his sternum, my left hand forming into a fist and slamming into his floating ribs, already feeling something give.
Unfortunately, the pain cast him immediately out of his stupor, just in time to feel his rib get crushed.
"RAAAghfr." The chunin exclaimed, jumping back and holding his torso.
"You pompous little shit!" The insect spat at me. "Do you know the penalty for attacking a superior officer?"
"Is it the same as enticing inferior ranked personnel to attack? The same to insult MY jonin sensei while your pansy ass stands around here playing patty-cake on the fence pole?" I growled back at him. My logical mind was somewhere off in the background thinking something along the lines of. 'No it isn't, the penalty of attacking a superior officer is, like, way higher.'
Mostly during fights I just ignore that part of my brain.
Something the other half of me had said must have sparked something in the older man, because his face went a deep shade of red, and he got out a kunai.
"I'm going to fuck you up you little monster!" He said in an almost lustful whisper, leaning forward.
He rushed forward with a cry, kunai leading the way.
Holding it in a fore grip, that's the blade extending towards his front if it were to be at rest by his side, he started slashing madly in the air.
Cross, reverse cross, stab, rising slash. Opening.
I kicked out his knee, and he stabbed again, catching a bit of my thigh. Not enough to cripple, but it bled freely.
Back on his feet again, he cried out in wordless rage, getting another kunai into his free hand.
'Uhoh,' I thought waspishly. 'Two kunai? Whatever will I do?'
I flared up my chakra sense, feeling the energy pouring off of the older man as he tried a series of low jabs and slashes, seemingly aiming at whatever limb of mine happened to be on the ground as I dodged about, waiting for an opening.
A double reverse slash sailed by harmlessly, at what would otherwise have been chest level had I not leaned backwards as far I had.
The chunin took a hesitant step forward, off kilter from the last attack.
I could feel hair brushing against the dirt, and my arms came up over my head to support myself, leaving my legs tantalizingly free for a decisive counter.
Snapping my legs up, I delivered a powerful rising kick right into the chunin's jaw.
He rose off of the ground, already bending backwards, using the momentum from the kick to direct his movement in midair. The kind of thing that any experienced shinobi would do in a similar circumstance.
Provided of course, that they were faster than their opponent. Something the leaping chunin could not boast.
Fingers digging into the hard packed dirt, I pulled myself hard towards the dirt, completing my own flip much sooner than my opponents.
Enough time for me to clap my hands in the vicinity of his chest.
Funny thing about air pressure, right? It kinda loses its potency with distance.
I fire my Reppoushou at someone standing a hundred yards off and they might ask me for more because they hadn't finished blow drying their hair that morning.
At around twenty feet, I could bowl some wannabe samurai over and over again, until I ran out of chakra.
So if I can knock a pretty tough fighter on his dainty little ass at twenty feet, imagine what I can do at about two inches.
To a man's stomach.
In the same vicinity as his broken rib.
His eyes practically exploded out of his head, the kunai he had been wielding dropped immediately arms and legs both deciding to reject whatever they thought they were doing before and instead going limp, trailing behind the flying body of the pained chunin, looking oddly like the tail end of a comet.
He hit the steel chain fence almost four feet of the ground, jangling it noisily as he plummeted the rest of the way, falling to the ground and pained unconsciousness.
"Nobody insults my sensei." I growled
The world was eerily silent after that. The only sounds that I could hear was the labored breathing of the now injured chunin, my own rapid breath, and the pounding of my blood coursing through my eardrums.
Even silent and calm as everything around me seemed to be, it still took me over ten minutes just to calm down.
Regarding the large gate once more, now sans guard, I returned to my original purpose here.
Picking up the errant equipment, including the now sleeping guard's kunai, which for some reason had an odd red sheen before I picked it up, I heard a small drum going off somewhere in the distance.
No sooner had I heard it then a small message popped up, with a little stick figure sporting kabuki mask and black robes waving a finger back and forth, like I was a child being told off.
YOU HAVE LOST KARMA!
YOU HAVE LOST REPUTATION WITH: KONOHAGAKURE
I canceled the message with extreme prejudice, not feeling like thinking about the moral implications of what I just did. Shouldering my pack, I turned back towards the gated forest.
'After all, I do feel like dishing out some hot, steamy murder right about now.'
…Ok, so maybe I hadn't completely calmed down, but hey! Sanity is for the normal people.
Part one of a split chapter. Next one should be out when I can manage it…
Sorry everyone. I got sidetracked on the road of life.
Still looking for both a beta, and someone that might do a cover for this story. Message me if interested
Also I want to thank Ibskib for helping me with some mistakes this chapter. If any of y'all see any that he or I missed, let me know in the reviews, or shoot me a PM.