Hi, everyone! Belated Happy New Year to all of you! I once again thank everyone who continues to read, support, and comment on this fict! Thank you very much!
Anyway, this is the fourth chapter! I hope you enjoy it!
My hands were sweaty and I knew they were trembling a bit. I inhaled and exhaled deeply for about five times before I knocked and opened the door without waiting for the words 'come in'. I knew he would laugh at me anyway.
"How's your first day, Namikaze?" His raspy voice greeted me. Well, at least he ceased from calling me 'new kid'.
I bowed before I spoke. "It's fine." Actually, I didn't know how to answer that. I was certainly not involved in any fight, yet. But I still couldn't help but feel like it was a very exhausting day. A very exhausting first day.
He chuckled. "Let's see your admission form." I gave it to him in silence and waited as he checked it. I knew I didn't go to some of my classes, but I was still able to let them know there was a new kid in their subject. Of course, all of those were only possible with the reluctant help of the lazy Shikamaru who kept on muttering the word 'troublesome' under his breath like a mantra while we walked in some corridors and halls in search of these teachers. Chouji was more than willing to help me. I was starting to find him kinder than anyone else in this school by the minute.
Orochimaru looked at me with those yellow eyes of his and exhaled. "So, have you heard of the Student Hierarchy System?"
"I learned it from two of my classmates." I answered calmly as I sat in one of the chairs in front of his table. He looked a little surprised that I already know about that Hierarchy System.
"Well, that makes everything a little more uncomplicated." He said as he shuffled some of the papers on his desk. I was afraid for a while that the high stack of paper would fall on the floor with the way he was clumsily trying to find something.
He looked at me and started explaining. "As you know, there are three categories in the Student Hierarchy: the Slaves, the Medics, and The Fighters. The Slave category is the lowest and Fighter is the highest." I nodded. "Well, since you already know most of it, then you can just read and fill in this form."
I took the form with quiet interest and I unconsciously bit my lower lip. It's the form where I was supposed to choose my category.
"Oh, before you choose," he looked at me and spoke. "This school opened a category which became effective since last school year." He grinned. "This category is called the Noble category." I tilted my head. I didn't know what that meant and I didn't know why he's telling me this now. "It means that you will be in a category equal to that of a Fighter but you don't have to fight. Instead, you'll be the one responsible for the funding of every event of this school. In short, the Nobles would be the elite people who think that fighting isn't suited to them. They will be the spectators and the money that the Fighters will receive monthly will come from their pockets."
Oh, how corrupted…
"There are people from the Slave category and the Medic category who switched into this category when it was first opened, by the way, making some of those Slaves feel even more dominant than the Medics or the Fighters."
Well, it was a nice category, really. But I transferred here because I lack the money to continue studying in my previous school. There's no way I'd try to get in that category. "My classmates didn't mention it to me." I said instead, a little curious.
"Oh, that's because it's not that popular." He smirked. "It's because the Nobles are often called rich and stuck-up bastards and bitches." And damn, you want me to go there, don't you!?
"I'll be a Fighter." I said instead. And I really thought he'd be disappointed because I rejected his 'kind' offer. But man, his grin totally widened, if that was even possible. I guessed that's what he was trying to make me pick right from the start. He was trying to use some reverse psychology against me to make me become a Fighter. Well, obviously someone like me neither knew how to treat injured people nor follow orders and be bullied so it was safe to assume that I would pick the Fighter category. And I did.
I glared at him before I filled in my paper and handed it to him quietly. In return, he gave me a small red box. I eyed it suspiciously before I reluctantly took it from his hands. His fingers brushed against mine in the act and I involuntarily shivered.
What's inside this box anyway? A ring? Why would he give me a ring?
I opened it and my eyes immediately widened. I saw, to my surprise, a green magatama earring. Would you believe me if I tell you I felt really happy? Yep, I kind of felt like I was just handed a treasure that I needed to keep safe. It looked ordinary if I look at it from other people's ears. But it looked truly marvelous up close! I liked it! It looked really beautiful and glossy. I tentatively touched it and I couldn't help but smile as I admire every part and every glimmer of my magatama.
"You like it." He said, sounding so sure. I nodded. "But, do you like the implication of having a magatama earring?" I scowled at him. Way to ruin my dreamy admiration, Orochimaru!
"Anyway, this magatama is very important. You cannot get the magatama of another Fighter because that magatama is programmed to be used by him or her alone. The magatama is the one that records your every fight. It means that if you lost it, you need to go back here and ask for another one. You also need to wear it all the time inside the campus for everyone to know that you're a Fighter too. It automatically becomes active the moment you accept a challenge, verbally or not, and it will automatically shut down after one of you gives up or if one of you is out." Orochimaru said after a while. "People may challenge you and it is your choice whether you want to fight them or not, though they also have the choice to either let you just escape or pursue and force you to fight them. You need to fight a certain number of people and win in order to gain a level up." I kept feeling it sounded like an RPG.
"For beginners, you need to win against twenty green magatama holders or ten people wearing other color of magatama earring in order to become an E Class. It is up to you whether you want to do that or not." I nodded.
Of course, I'd want to level up. But that didn't mean I could just go and fight anyone blindly, like that Konohamaru kid. It was very important to know beforehand whether you could go against a certain person or not. It would give you a better view of how the fight will end and thus would give better choice of what to do.
It meant that I must not fight those who were beyond my level, and by level I meant not my magatama level but my level as a Fighter. Of course, a person who is green doesn't necessarily mean that he is weak. Every beginner, whether strong or not, begins as green. And thus, it meant that I needed to know my opponent more beforehand and I mustn't base my judgment on his magatama color, though that would really help a lot.
"You can go home." He smiled at me, not a very encouraging one but a rather creepy smile. "Tomorrow will be a very memorable second day for you, Namikaze. Not that I'm worried." I arched an eyebrow at him. Somehow, I felt that he was not lying. He was confident about his words.
"I'll be leaving then." I said before I turned around and held my magatama box tightly. I really loved this little baby.
I went out of the building and was a little surprised when I saw Kakashi standing beside the gate, clearly waiting for me. Some students were eyeing him suspiciously while the others were visibly gawking at his attire. Of course, he was wearing a black suit which told me he just got back from the company.
He grinned at me and waved his hand. "Yo!" Don't 'yo' me.
I greeted him meekly before I walked passed him and went to the car parked just outside the school gate. How embarrassing. When he entered, I immediately looked at him in utter seriousness. "From tomorrow onwards, I'll walk to and fro school."
He blinked at me before he smiled. "Okay, I knew you'd say that." He patted my head before we drove away. I scowled at his action though we both know I liked it, making him chuckle aloud. They always, always treated me like a kid.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I knocked on the furnished door for a while before it opened. My aniki arched an eyebrow. Is it that strange to go to his room after dinner?
"Can I ask something?" I asked. He exhaled before he smiled. Lucky, he's in a sociable mood right now. He could be really grumpy sometimes.
He opened the door fully and let me enter. I always admired how clean my aniki's room is, not that my room isn't clean. My mother always cleaned it after all. But that isn't the point. Okay, I just have to ask him about things, right?
"Naruto, if you want to ask if I am a Fighter. Then, yes." He immediately said, making me turn around and arch an eyebrow at him. I didn't even ask anything yet. He smiled as he sat on his bed. I sat on the chair beside it. "You look like you want to ask me that question for a while now. You keep on biting your lower lip during dinner and I knew you're trying to make up your mind whether to ask me in front of our parents or not."
Wow, that was one of the few times aniki spoke volumes of words. It was a bit surprising. And was I really that transparent?
"I think they'd be worried if I mention anything about fighting." I answered. "And I don't think you'll answer me in front of them either." He smiled. Heh, I was right!
"And if you want to ask, yes, Yahiko is also a Fighter." He added and my eyes went wide. "And no, I will not answer you if you ask me about my or Yahiko's Class level."
"Aniki is stingy." I pouted and he chuckled.
"You chose to be a Fighter, didn't you?" He asked me and I nodded. He looked worried for a while before he exhaled. "Well, considering your ability, I guess it's okay."
I grinned and crossed my arms on front of my chest. "Of course! Aside from self-teaching, I have the most magnificent teacher for self-defense since childhood." He smiled at the compliment. Oh, did I just imagine it or did I see some pink tinge on his cheeks? Aniki, you're easily embarrassed? I didn't know!
"Did you tell anyone about me?" He asked again.
"I didn't. You told me not to tell anyone." I answered. I was curious as to why he didn't want anyone to know of our relationship. But if aniki said so, then I'd do it.
"Aniki, is the reason why Yahiko refuses to go out of his house has something to do with fighting?" I asked again. He took a book from his bedside table before he nodded. He started reading the book again. It seemed that's what he was doing before I interrupted him.
I stayed for a while and watched my brother. He was at least a foot taller than me, though Yahiko was taller than him by some inches. He had pale skin, unlike me, because he got his complexion from our mother. His hair was crimson and it's very silky and soft, unlike mine. I knew it might sound like I was having some inferiority complex because of my brother but no, that's not it. I just find my brother very handsome even though he was just as slender as me. I sighed.
"Naruto, if you're finished checking me out, you should go to your room and sleep. It's already late." He said casually, which made me blush deeply as I gape at him, wide-eyed at his accusation.
"I wasn't checking you out, baka aniki!" I shouted at him and stormed out of the room. I heard his chuckle just before I slammed the door shut. He really was a stupid aniki. Geez…
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
He arched an eyebrow at me. "Where are you going?" His expression was in between confusion and curiosity. I would have laughed, but to mock him just because he's a little worried wouldn't do me any good.
"Going to school, aniki. What do you think?" I answered. Well, I wasn't being an impolite younger brother. But he really looked like he wouldn't believe me if I stated it as a matter-of-factly.
"Then why are you walking? Where's Kakashi?" He asked, a little confused and annoyed even though his face looked serious.
"I told him not to drive me to school." I answered, not bothering to explain. But alas, by now I should know better than that. Aniki is not the type to settle for hanging answers.
"Why?" He asked again. He was sitting on his motorcycle but it didn't look like he was in a hurry to leave yet.
I sighed. "It's annoying, okay? People look at me and some even glare at the new rich kid. They think I'm some stuck up bastard who thinks that money is everything. It'll be a disaster if they keep on thinking that way about me."
His eyes narrowed, an act which said he's not convinced. "And you refuse to ride in a car because of that?" He sounded incredulous and I scowled. Really, aniki could be a jerk sometimes.
He sighed and shook his head before he grunted. "You can ride on my motorcycle just for this day. You better fix this problem tomorrow."
My mood lifted up at that. "Yes!" He arched an eyebrow and I grinned. It's kind of exciting when he offered something like that. Well, what could you possibly say? I was too attached to my brother for my own good. One could even say that I had a brother complex. Just kidding. Well, jokes were half meant, right?
I sat behind him and he gave me a helmet. "You better ask Chichi-ue to buy you a motorcycle if you don't want to go to school in a car." I circled my arms on his abdomen and hugged him from behind, not because of what you all think! He's my brother, you know! It's to serve as leverage for me not to fall over. After a while, we drove off.
"I can't." I answered, knowing that we're having some financial crisis.
To my surprise, he chuckled. The idiot actually chuckled! I was being serious here! "You're an idiot, little bro."
My eyes narrowed at his annoying remark. "And why is that, baka aniki?"
"Our financial problem isn't that serious, you know. Chichi-ue is just having some minor setback regarding the company, but that doesn't mean we're already poor enough that we can't even afford a motorcycle." He explained. But, but… I really thought we're having some big problems… "And besides, if we're really having some problems, Chichi-ue will not continue hiring Kakashi and the other staffs anymore."
Well, that made sense. Aniki is an idiot but he's too smart for his own good sometimes. "I feel selfish, having to ask chichi-ue to buy me something like that just because I don't want to look too out of place."
"I'll tell him." He said and I knew from his tone that it would be final. I didn't answer anymore.
There were many other motorists on the road but aniki was the coolest, of course. Talk about biased. But hey, aniki really was very cool when he was on his motorcycle! He wore black uniform, black helmet, and his motorcycle was also black. Awesome, right?
We stopped some blocks away from school and he dropped me off, saying something like he didn't want me to be in a huge trouble and drove off. Well, that was very heartwarming, stupid aniki! And because of that, I was forced to walk some more before I reached the school gate. Well, I originally thought I'd be walking or commuting publicly so I should not have any complaint, right? Well, yeah.
Oh, I was already wearing the green magatama earring on my left ear when I entered the school and some eyes looked wide as they looked at me. Was it really hard to fathom a rich kid wanting to be a Fighter too? How annoying.
"Naruto!" A voice called me from behind and when I turned around, I saw Kiba running to catch up to me. He was panting hard when he finally caught up. "Wow, I didn't know you walk fast."
"Are you alright?" I asked, and he nodded. "What's your class?"
"What class?" Kiba looked incredulous. Okay, the last time I checked, we're in a school. And what do we do in schools? Yes, we're supposed to be studying. So… WHY THE HELL DID HE LOOK LIKE I WAS OUT OF MY MIND!?
Kiba blinked. "N-Naruto… nobody told you?" Okay, what's that?
"Told me what?" I looked partly annoyed and partly curious.
"Well, that third year Jirobou challenged one of the 4 Knights the other day, you know." Kiba looked really excited. I could tell, if the shining shimmering splendid eyes that he had was any indication. "He's a B Class and yet he so undauntedly challenged one of the only four people who wear the black magatama earring!"
Okay, and because of that, we didn't have any class? That's… not cool at all. "Okay… Why don't we have class when the fight is between the two of them?"
Kiba stopped and stared at me, as if the idea of going to class when a fight is going on was preposterous. Hey, I did not come from an elite school with a whole shelf of books for rules and regulations for nothing, right? "Well, Naruto, if there is fight going on, students tend to prefer watching the fight than go to classrooms and study. If there are very few or no students at all who want to go to class, then there's no one the teacher can teach, right?" Thanks for the long explanation, Kiba. Now, I looked like I was the only one who didn't know 'common sense'.
"And besides, I think–, Woah, Naruto!" His voice changed and I immediately looked at him in confusion.
"What?" I asked. He looked like he just saw something extremely rare.
"You're… You're wearing a magatama earring…" Oh, so that's the extremely rare thing that he saw. "I personally thought you'd be…"
"A Slave? A Medic? A Noble?" I asked, annoyance clear in my voice. I didn't like it when people judge me based on my physical feature or my social status alone. I knew Kiba could think that way now because he fought me and I kind of humiliated myself in front of him and everyone. But still.
And now he looked apologetic. "S-Sorry. I just… didn't think you'll be interested in fighting."
"Well, my bro–" Oh no, not that. "I mean, being weak doesn't mean I can't be a fighter, right?"
He scratched his nape and grinned. "I guess so." And I instantly calmed down. Well, there's no need to stay annoyed at someone who just apologized, right? "And oh, Naruto." I looked at him again and my eyes narrowed in curiosity. He looked kind of nervous. "The earring. It looks good on you."
Say what? My eyes widened at that comment. Okay… that was not something I expected. "T-Thank you…" I smiled.
He chuckled. "Come on, let's go. I bet Chouji and Shikamaru are already there, waiting for us." 'There'? Was it just me, or did it look like this fight was meant for everyone? I mean, even a first year like Kiba knew where the fight would occur. Well, just another natural occurrence in Konoha Gakuen, right? And so I didn't ask. He might look at me like I was out of my mind again. I've had enough of that, thank you very much.
"Are the 4 Knights really that influential?" I asked. By now I already knew that they were really powerful, though I still had no idea how much. But influence was different, right? Or so I thought…
"The 4 Knights are the four most influential students in this school." Kiba explained while we're walking to wherever 'there' was. "They are the ones who basically rule over everything. They rule over the teachers, the students, and the whole school is considered as theirs. They're very influential, I tell you."
Okay, based on what he said, I thought they're really influential enough. But for the four most powerful people to rule over everything… wasn't that like some dictatorial or something? We were in a democratic country the last time I checked, right? Right?
We walked some corridors and some other buildings before we stopped in front of a huge stadium. Okay, first, I didn't know there was a stadium in this place. Second, why the hell was a simple street fight had a stadium!? And third, I think I wanted to just go home.
Kiba grinned. "Come on. It's fun watching the 4 Knights. They're really awesome, beyond any compliment, Naruto."
And so we walked inside. There were many people waiting outside and there were many people already sitting in the half dome-like stadium inside the school. There was no ceiling. Instead, we could see the clear morning sky above. From the number of students, an outsider would think that there would be some grand concert here right now. But no, just some street fights. I mean, school fight. In the middle of the stadium was a stage-like circle where the fight would happen. I guessed.
"Hey!" Chouji waved his hand, the one that wasn't carrying a chip snack, and motioned us to come over. Kiba and I gladly accepted seeing there was no way I would stand up together with the students on the far back. Shikamaru looked like he's sleeping.
Our seat was in the middle row. And when I asked, they told me it's too dangerous to be in the front row. Now, I was sure earlier that the ones who would be fighting were humans, right? How could it be so dangerous that no one would seat so close?
"So, this isn't the first time that someone challenged a Knight, right?" I asked them. Chouji nodded.
"It's probably the hundredth time that someone challenged a Knight. But it's only the third time that a fight ensued." Chouji said. Well, I kind of understand that. If they would fight everyone who wanted to challenge them, then there's no way they could still have time to study. It's just the third week of school, my first week, and already hundreds and hundreds of people challenged them. Must be tough to be a Knight…
"There's Jirobou." Kiba pointed to the center of the stage and I saw a bulky man with bright hair color. His size was at least thrice Chouji, and that's saying something. I was quite far so I couldn't see very much what his magatama color was, but since he's B Class, it's sure to be violet.
From the other side, one where there weren't many students, four grand chairs were on display. The chairs have certain distance from one another though they had the same design. So far, only one of the chairs was taken. The man is pale; I could see it even from this distance. He has a silver hair and a very tall and lean figure. And even from here, I could feel that he emitted an air of authority and superiority. So those four chairs were the seat of the 4 Knights? Is he one of them?
"Who's he?" I asked Kiba. I didn't point the male with my finger because it's rude to do so. I also wouldn't like that so I refrained from pointing at him directly, even if Kiba had to look everywhere to find who I was talking about.
"That's Kimimarou Kaguya-sama." Shikamaru answered even before Kiba found the man I was pointing at (figuratively, at least). "He's a third year, one of the 4 Knights." I knew it. Something about his aura looked really daunting, not that I was daunted. Hell, aniki's aura looked even scarier than that, especially if he's angry. And don't even talk about my mother. Her aura, when she's so angry, was so dark it felt like there's a blackout inside the house. And she's five times scarier than aniki. And my father? Simple, beyond words.
The other three remained vacant though, and I was having the impression that these Knights actually didn't feel threatened by the challenges at all. A huge guy suddenly jumped on the stage from nowhere, making all students cheer very loudly. Yep, my concert analogy was not at all that far off from the incredible noise.
He was huge, really. But just a little bigger than that Jirobou guy. He wore black sunglasses, why do people here liked wearing that kind of glasses?, and had a blonde hair combed neatly. He had a moustache and four swords!? Oh God… And I thought this was a normal student fight? Though it didn't look like he's readying to use it any time soon… And his complexion. It was really literally mocha in color. I've never seen a complexion like that.
So he's a Knight? And while I was wondering if he was in fact a Knight, a weird one at that and so different from that Kimimarou guy, he actually started singing? No, that wasn't it. He's rapping! Ugh… If he's one of the rulers of this school, no wonder it's godforsaken.
"Yo! Yo! I will defeat yowh! Fools, ya fool!" He rapped very loudly. "Yeah!" And everyone cheered for him. I personally think that this is the end of dictatorship…
"Bee-sama!" Kiba shouted and I looked at him incredulously. I was so not expecting him to act like one of those other students.
Chouji chuckled. "Bee-sama is the only playful and kind member of the 4 Knights. He's really different from the other three. That's why people like him very much." I could see that. He certainly was very, and I mean very, different from that Kimimarou guy. I couldn't help but smile. Let's forget the insults I threw in his direction earlier. He was actually quite cool, if you get past the initial surprise of rapping.
"Why is there only one Knight watching?" I asked them.
Shikamaru yawned. "It's because Jirobou is Kimimarou-sama's subordinate. He wanted to watch. The other two may or may not watch since they might think it doesn't concern them at all." I nodded just to assert that I understood. So, this Jirobou guy was Kimimarou's subordinate? No wonder he was given the opportunity to fight Bee. Well, I might be just being judgmental, though. Let's watch this then, shall we?
Haha, I know, I know. I really said it's a Sasunaru fan fict. But hey, I can't just make them see each other and immediately fall in love, right? And there's still the problem of Naruto having another lover. Well, people, actually it's a YahikoXNaruto fanfict and not Sasunaru. Hehe, just kidding! Don't flame me!
Okay, folks. Let's review! ˆoˆ
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