I really thank all the people who favorite and reviewed this fict (even though your number can be counted in my fingers TT_TT). Thank you very much. OTL. Now, here's the second chapter. ˆoˆ
Okay, this is weird. Everyone kept on taking glances in my direction. Am I too paranoid or did they really look like they pitied me or something. Maybe it was just me. But hey, one could never be sure. Maybe they thought I am a new face and thus be very well-liked by the bullies in school. Well, that could be extremely annoying.
And so I walked in the corridors, trying my best to ignore the stares. Maybe if I glared at them they would stop? Yeah, right. Or they would punch me on the face without any word.
I scratched my nape as I walked. I was getting self conscious and these fucking, I mean that's a bad word right?, so these annoying students were looking at me. I hate it when people look at me like I am a rare creature or an endangered species.
I noticed that the number of females were really not very large. I could see at least ten males before I saw one female. It seemed the rumor about the number of females was true after all, though it seemed there was just a slight miscalculation in the ratio. But I am not interested in girls so I just kept my focus on the map I was holding, feeling slightly embarrassed that I needed it to navigate in the school. But in fairness, the school is a lot bigger and more decent-looking than I originally thought.
And of course, I was kind of late when I arrived in the classroom that I was supposed to have my first class. I opened the door, ready to apologize to the teacher for being late, when I was greeted by, well, what did you expect, a fight. There is no teacher and a fight is going on at the front of the classroom.
A teen, obviously a freshman like me because of the color of his necktie which is green, with overly large and long scarp was fighting a senior student, one with silver hair and violet lipstick. Oh, he's so gay. And why is a third year student inside a first year classroom? Needless to say, when I opened the door, all attention went to me and the two figures fighting kind of stared at me. Oh, Naruto, what a way to get everyone's attention.
I just looked at them, unknowing what to do.
"Well? Are you getting inside or what?" The freshman asked quite bluntly. So that's what Orochimaru said about the attitude. I see. And so I walked in the classroom, with all eyes glued onto me, and sat at the very back of the room. Thankfully there was an empty seat. Actually, there are a lot of empty seats. I just didn't want to seat anywhere near the fighting males.
"New kid." The older male smirked. He's quite good-looking, really, except for the violet lipstick part. Maybe if it were pink or carnation… oh what am I thinking?
"Oy, Sakon, are you sure you want to fight a kid? That's a waste of time!" A second male entered the room and oh hell, he looked just like the guy whose name was Sakon. And he has a lipstick too. Maybe they are twins.
The guy named Sakon smirked. "There are two of us now, kid. Are you still going to fight or are you going to start begging for your life?"
Wow, I didn't expect to hear such strong words in a classroom setting. This really is the school of thugs. The kid looked like he still wanted to fight, but seeing as he is short on manpower, he knelt on one knee and bowed. Oh, how unmanly. I'd rather fight the two of them than kneel in front of an enemy and beg for forgiveness, especially because that Sakon guy doesn't look like he is the type to forgive so easily. The other Sakon, I mean his twin, kind of smirked at the scene and I knew they both enjoyed it so much.
As for me, I am not the type to pry in a fight that isn't mine to start with. Yeah, criticize me if you want but I wouldn't go there and stop those two third years from doing anything. It's just isn't me if I start playing hero now. And so I watched along with everyone else just as the kid was kicked on his back repeatedly. Yeah, I am not the hero type, but I am not heartless either to not feel anger towards that Sakon guy. They already won the fight. Why the hell should they still step on the other guy's dignity?
But like I said, if I knew I would get kicked and stepped on anyway, why not fight until the end? That is way manlier than kneeling while being stepped on.
"Don't even try to stop them, or you're dead." A voice from behind me startled me and I turned around to see a somber-looking male with raven hair ponytailed so high on his head that it somehow turned into a pineapple. No, I wasn't insulting him. I was just stating the fact that his hair looked like pineapple. From beside him is a chubby male who is quietly eating some chips while watching the fight intently.
And oh, the first guy talked to me, right? "Who are they?" I asked, hoping to get some decent answers.
"Those two are the third years Sakon and Ukon. They're twins, underlings of the third Knight. They are Fighters too so it's not really all that unusual to see them here. They both have red magatama so they're B Class Fighters." Okay, I think he was using some jargon there. I couldn't follow. Please speak English, pineapple guy. And when he started talking again, I knew he is not a mind-reader for he didn't read my muddled thought. "And that first year is Konohamaru. He's green." Okay, now I'm beginning to think that maybe he can't speak straight English so he's code-switching. Damn.
"I…" I was about to say something but then he looked at me meaningfully. He blinked before he somehow realized something. By that time, the twins were already finished stepping on the poor kid and were already bored out of their mind. They left the classroom without further ado.
Many students went out of the classroom and only a wimpy-looking boy with ever-present snot on his nose leaned down and helped the kid.
"You're a new kid, aren't you?" I looked back at the chubby guy who spoke for the first time before I nodded. The two of them look like they wanted to tell me I'm out of my mind for transferring in this school. Well, I guess I will get that a lot, huh.
Pineapple-san then shook his head and continued. "Come on, let's go to the cafeteria and eat something."
"Eh?" I'm confused. Go to the cafeteria? Eat something? "But it's just the first class."
And he actually laughed at me. The bastard laughed at me. Oh, damn. "You're funny. I bet you came from some elite school whose rules are so unbreakable you become so rigid." My eyebrow twitched at that statement.
"This is Konoha Gakuen, new kid, a place where there are only a few rules and regulations which students hardly ever follow. Eating in the cafeteria when you're hungry is not something the Knights won't allow." The chubby male said. Oh, there they go again with the jargons.
"Come on, follow me." The pineapple male started to walk towards the exit followed by the chubby male when the teacher arrived. Oh, God. But they didn't stop! They continued walking outside and just passed the old lady without even a glance. That was rude!
"Hey, wait!" I called and only then did they stop and looked at me with confusion. I sighed. This is really, really a culture shock to me. Is my quiet and cool brother really studying here?
I stopped in front the teacher who actually looked a little surprised, what the hell. I let her sign my admission paper before I excused myself from him. I followed Pineapple-san and Chubby-san through the throngs of students in the corridors and then we went down some flight of stairs before we walked on the plain pathway covered on either side with grasses. On our left is the vast field, and are those students in the field fighting?, and on our right are the three-storey buildings. Okay, this school is weird. Have I already said that? Let me say it again then. THIS SCHOOL IS WEIRD.
We went to the cafeteria and I was a bit surprised to see that many of the tables are turned upside down and there are many broken plates and glasses on the floor. There were squashed foods that had been obviously stepped on but the surprising part is that the students are eating as if everything is normal. Okay, so this is normal in this place too. I guess a fight broke out here and then it escalated and all the other tables were also caught in the middle of the brawl.
"We won't be able to eat here because the tables are full." Pineapple-san said and I could actually agree. I don't think I can eat in a place so messy and disgusting.
We ordered some food, I didn't order much because I'm not used to eating heavy meals in between classes, especially when I am in school. The chubby male just laughed at me as he held two huge chip snacks. We went to sit under the shade of some tree at the playground while watching some people bet on a fight not too far from our place. That was… okay, that was weird. I didn't know gambling on a fight is legal inside the school grounds.
"So, what's your name?" Pineapple-san asked me and I took my eyes off the fight and looked at him.
"Naruto Namikaze." I answered seriously. He arched an eyebrow at that, but I didn't know why.
"Namikaze?" I nodded. "Okay. I'm Shikamaru Nara, first year, D Class Fighter. And this is Chouji Akimitchi, also a first year, E Class Fighter." Okay, what was that again? I looked at them, quite stunned at their self introduction. Shikamaru chuckled when he noticed that. "Okay, okay. So you don't know anything about the Student Hierarchy System?" And I kept on telling you to speak English.
"No, I don't." Please enlighten me, Pineapple, I mean, Shikamaru.
He heaved a deep sigh. "Well, this is troublesome." Yes, it is, so please tell me everything now, or I would look even more of an idiot. Chouji continued eating without a care in the world. "Okay, okay. First, you have to know that there is a student hierarchy in this school." I nodded. Hierarchy? Like peasant, middle class, and upper class? "The first and the lowest is the Slave." I arched an eyebrow at that.
"The Slave is composed of weak or cowardly students who are not into fighting. They are, in common term, the normal students who get bullied by mostly everyone. They do different works for the bullies and serve as everyone's entertainment. They have black choker on their neck with silver spikes." Now, that is harsh. But I didn't voice my comment. "The next category is the Medic." I held back a snort. Of course, if there are people fighting everywhere, the school nurse won't be able to handle it alone.
"This category is in the middle of the hierarchy. As you might have guessed, they are the ones who tend to the idiots who dared challenge a class higher than theirs. Medics have black rings in their right middle finger."
I realized that I stopped eating so I bit my burger and sipped my soda as I continued to listen to Shikamaru. "The highest place in the hierarchy is the Fighter. Almost two-thirds of the whole school's population is comprised of Fighters. Of course, they are normally the ones who are fighting with other people."
"Fighters can't fight Medics and Slaves. And those two lower level categories can't fight Fighters either, even if they are bullied endlessly. Only a Fighter can fight another Fighter." Chouji added in between his munches.
"Do you understand so far?" Shikamaru asked. And if I should answer truthfully, I'd answer no. No, I don't.
"So," I started. "There are three student categories: the 'Slave' which is the lowest, the 'Medic' which is the middle, and the 'Fighter' which is the highest. Fighters can't fight Slaves and Medics and vice versa. Why?"
Chouji blinked at me. "Well, Naruto, Fighters are strong. What do you think will happen if a Fighter is to fight a poor Medic or a poor Slave? Those people chose to be stepped on and ridiculed just to escape fighting."
"I mean, why is there a fighting system in this school?" I asked, though from their faces, it seemed I am the only one who doesn't know the answer.
"Well, duh. This school is full of gangs and gangsters. What will you do to keep them from creating too much mayhem?" Shikamaru asked and I tried to think about it for a while. To prevent them from creating mayhem? I guess they should be expelled.
"Expulsion?" I asked, and their eyes widened. Okay, wrong answer.
"No! They have to create a system where everyone is satisfied!" Chouji blurted out, eyes almost bulging out of their sockets. I wasn't expecting that. "The students who love fighting can still continue fighting while also studying at the same time, fighting an opponent who equally loves fighting. Those who do not like fighting can just escape it by being either a Medic or a Slave."
"And you two love fighting?" I asked out of curiosity. They both looked at each other before they both shook their heads. They don't? Now that is kind of contradictory from their explanation.
"It's not that simple, Naruto." Shikamaru explained, seeing my confused expression. "You see, the Slaves get ridiculed and laughed at. No one would want to be in that category except those who are really lame and cowardly. Now, for the Medic category. You either have to know about first aid and all that crap before you can join that category. And the last place where everyone will be is the Fighter category."
"There is a positive reinforcement, you know." Chouji spoke and I turned my attention to him. "High ranking Fighters receive a monthly allowance."
"Really?" I knew I looked incredulous, but I couldn't help it! How could being in a fight get you to receive allowance? That doesn't make any sense at all.
"All Fighters have a magatama earring on their left ear." Shikamaru said. I unconsciously looked at their ears and true enough, they wore a magatama, though Shikamaru's earring was red while Chouji's was green. Now that I think about it, most people here wear the same earring. Even that Sakon guy and that Konohamaru kid wear those things. So that means that they are all fighters.
"The color of your magatama shows your Class. The hierarchy is from F to S, and by that I meant F, E, D, C, B, A, and S. The F Class is the lowest or beginner's Class and S is the highest." Chouji munched again as he spoke. "The lowest or beginner Class' color is green. E Class is Yellow, D Class is Red, C Class is Blue, B Class is Violet, A Class is color White, and S Class' magatama is colored Black. There are many yellow and red magatama holders because people who are not a beginner anymore can level up to color yellow. But the higher the color, the lower the number of earring holder. Right now, only four people in this entire school have a black magatama and they are called the 4 Knights."
"Fighters level up through fighting. You'll understand more once you see the form." Shikamaru added. "And don't worry. Being a Fighter can mean that you can challenge people or they can challenge you to a duel. But it doesn't mean that you'll constantly be fighting."
Chouji nodded. "Just look at me. I have no intention of ever trying to level up my magatama so I can relax and enjoy my high school life. After all, the higher the color of your magatama, the greater the risk of getting into a fight, you know."
Oh, I see. So that's what they've been talking about since the beginning. And Shikamaru is a red magatama holder? Wow. Now, I wonder if my aniki is a Fighter too. And if he is, what might his color be?
"So, have you decided on what you will become?" Chouji asked.
"Me?" I unconsciously pointed at myself. "I… It's a bit too much information so I can't really decide yet."
"It's okay. It's your first day here anyway." Shikamaru said, and I somehow felt a little better. "But you're expected to have a category on your second day." Now that was fast.
"I think there are some people who think that you'll try to be in the Slave category." Chouji said. Now who are those people? Surely not you, right?
"W-Why?" I answered instead. I couldn't understand why they would think that. Am I too wimpy-looking? Damn those guys who think that way about me.
"Because they thought, uh…" Chouji looked at Shikamaru, obviously asking for back-up. "You see. We kind of saw you earlier…"
Shikamaru sighed before he continued. "Earlier, you came here complete with a car and a driver. Just one glance and we immediately knew you're a rich kid. Everyone hates rich new kids." I looked at him, wondering if they thought that way too. "Well, we felt that way earlier, but it seems you're okay. So don't stare at us like that." I blinked and shook my head. "There are also those who think that you'll try for the Medic since that's the most convenient category."
I could feel my insides flaring. People are really very judgmental. I hate it when people judge me because of my social status or my physical feature. It's all so superficial and I don't like it. I'm glad Yahiko saw me as to who I really am. Oh, Yahiko. I wish you're here… Wait. Could Yahiko be a Fighter? If he is… then aniki too? Or are they actually Slaves? Is that why aniki doesn't want me to greet him in school? Because people might bully us more? No… maybe I'll just ask him later… if he wants to tell me, that is. Aniki can be very stubborn sometimes.
"If I choose to be a Fighter…" I found myself voicing. I saw silent concern in their eyes and I felt that that is a silent warning for me to think about it more.
"Naruto, I think people will challenge you more if you become a Fighter." Chouji said. And why?
"Why?" I asked, though a little curious, I somehow already has an idea. Just like they said, people hate rich new kids. Of course, I would be challenged into a fight more than Shikamaru or Chouji just because more students are annoyed at me. The end. And when Chouji explained the same exact thing, I was already prepared. I sighed.
"Shouldn't we have a class?" I asked instead. Shikamaru arched an eyebrow and Chouji laughed. Why do people keep on laughing at me? Am I that funny? Really? But I wasn't even joking!? I was being serious!
"What's so funny?" I asked, a scowl is taking its place on my face. They stopped laughing and explained.
"People here don't care much about school. If you're a Fighter, as long as you're on top or at least close to it, then you're an honor student. If you're a Medic and you're able to give medical treatments thoroughly despite the dire condition of the student, then you're an honor student. If you're a Slave and you're able to obey most of the Medics' or the Fighters' difficult commands, then you're an honor student."
Okay… that is so uncool. It means that if I were to become a Slave, I'd have to excel in being a Slave? No way! Who would do such a thing anyway? And if I were to become Medic, then I have to perform some operations if the student had it tough in a fight? Oh, I don't think so. Again, no way. And if I were to become a Fighter, all I have to do is fight, fight, and fight to the end. That is harsh and brutal, but I don't think I'd have any complaint. Aside from the fact that I might become more of a target than a challenger…
"You mean I don't have to attend class at all?" I asked again, clearly incredulous at the whole ordeal. Who wouldn't be? I just came from one of the most elite schools in the country only to end up here doing nothing but take orders, heal people, or fight? No studies at all? No wonder aniki said I'd only last a week. Hell, I think I'd be lucky if I lasted a week here!
"We don't mean that. Of course, we will not pass high school if we don't at least pass four out of eight subjects every year." Shikamaru said, looking a little bored. Well, sorry if I kind of bore you.
"It means that students get to enjoy fighting as long as they continue with their studies once in a while." Chouji said. Oh, so that's how it is. Positive reinforcement, huh…
After that, Chouji and I continued our conversation while Shikamaru settled on just listening to us. It seemed he was exhausted from having to talk so much. That is so not my fault, you hear that? Not my fault at all. I learned that Chouji actually wanted to be in the Medic category because he didn't want to fight, but he didn't pass the screening test. Shikamaru, according Chouji, chose to be a Fighter only because it's the least tedious of the three categories, or so he thought.
I only knew them for a while but I immediately found out that they are rather fond of each other. It seemed they grew up together and were childhood friends together with a certain girl named Ino whom Chouji said is also a Fighter. I have no idea about her, but when they talked about her, it seemed as if they are bitter about her or something. I just can't place the feeling that their friendship was somehow broken by something that has happened in between the three. Well, I'm just a new kid and I certainly am not someone nosy. I was curious but that's that. Haha-ue would kill me if she knew I was being rude by prying on the lives of other people without their consent.
And before I knew it, many students are already on the field due to lunch break, fighting and/or cheering for the fighters. It seemed a normal occurrence to them. And it's quite frightening, actually, but I think it's somehow becoming a normal scene to me too. And I am just in this school for half a day!
"Shall we have some lunch?" Chouji asked and we both looked at Shikamaru who was now leaning on the tree trunk while having a nap. I am beginning to think that this pineapple head is actually lazy. I am not the type to give first impression to people just because of their actions, but I think I am actually right.
We were about to stand up and go back to the cafeteria when a shadow loomed over us. We all looked and saw a guy who looked like he just ran a lapse or two and circled the whole school. He looked too out of breath and sweaty for my liking. He has a bowl-cut hair and bushy eyebrow. Now I really didn't want to look at him. I knew I was being a bastard, yes, but still! Look at him! He's not even in a uniform! He wore one-piece clothing in the color of green! I bit my lip when it started twitching. I didn't want to be rude by laughing out of my mind at his sense of fashion.
"Shikamaru!" Oh, he's so loud. I hate loud people. "Fight me!" And that caught my attention. He's wearing a magatama alright. But wasn't that blue, C CLass? I thought people fight so they could level up? Then why the hell is he trying to challenge Shikamaru whose magatama is red, meaning D CLass?
"Lee, how many times do I have to tell you that my level is lesser than yours so fighting me won't accomplish anything?" Shikamaru simply yawned.
"But young people should learn to accept challenges and–!" He started with so much enthusiasm but was immediately cut off by Chouji.
"You want to fight someone weaker than you?" Chouji asked. I didn't know what he was implying, but then I realized what it was when this Lee person looked shocked.
"No, no! I wasn't taking advantage of someone weaker than me! That's not my intention! I apologize, Shikamaru!" He bowed with a dogeza. That made me wide-eyed, though by Shikamaru's bored expression and Chouji's nonchalance, it meant that this is an everyday event too.
He then looked at me and furrowed his bushy eyebrows, making it a single line on his forehead. "And who might you be?" His voice was clearly curious but the way he asked me was way too blunt. I didn't like it in the least.
"Naruto." I answered, not at all enjoying his enthusiasm. What can I say; I guess I really am a stuck-up bastard from an elite school.
"Oh, I'm Rock Lee, second year, C Class Fighter! Nice to meet you, Naruto!" He grinned at me and immediately took hold of both of my hands and shook them fervently. He looked so happy I didn't know how to react. Well, I guess he isn't all that bad once you got over the initial shock.
I chuckled and returned his grin. "Nice to meet you too."
"Oh, Naruto! I think you're handsome!" He suddenly blurted before he gave me a thumbs-up and a toothy grin before running away in a breeze. That left me in a daze. Did he just call me… handsome? Not cute… but handsome?
Aniki, I think I might actually like this new school of mine.
Well, that's it. I know it's a bit like the anime Ikki Tousen but this is something different, I think. Please review, people! ˆoˆ
And for the list:
S Class Fighters – Black Magatama
A Class Fighters – White Magatama
B Class Fighters – Violet Magatama
C Class Fighters – Blue Magatama
D Class Fighters – Red Magatama
E Class Fighters – Yellow Magatama
F Class Fighters – Green Magatama
Again, I thank all of those people who actually gave me a little of their time and left a comment. Though, as I've said in the first chapter, my grammar isn't that bad… sometimes. Also, this is the first time I wrote a first person point-of-view so I'm having a bit of a challenge. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter! ˆoˆ