Summary: Death can mean a shift in worlds. Some are better than the last, some are worst. The ones that involve magical ninjas are terrible for everyone involved. OC Self-insert set in Silver Queen's Dreaming of Sunshine Universe.
This was the Naruto-universe.
I fumed silently over the new revelation. Really would've preferred the Pokémon-universe.
What did I remember about the Naruto-universe? It was a fighting manga franchise based off of basically magical ninjas who performed their dark arts with chakra. I only remembered up to Tsunade becoming Hokage in the original Naruto, and sparse, unconnected plot points in Shippuden. Plot details may not even be relevant though, as I had no idea where I was in this world's timeline.
I said I had gotten back into Naruto before my death. That may be too strong a claim. It was essentially just playing the new video games, watching some clips on YouTube, and watching Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals. Not sure how advantageous Rock Lee and Tenten's manzai comedy was going to be against giant snake people, or whatever the antagonists were.
Wait, if I was in the Naruto-universe that meant…
No video games. No T.V. No internet. Alright screw this reincarnation. I wanted a do-over!
Then I felt It. I was really lucky the old man's chakra was there, it acted as a buffer from the full force of It. A foreign energy crashed over my senses, invading my sensory organs by the sheer magnitude of it.
The two energies, invasive as they were, were like two very fundamentally different burglars. The old man's chakra quietly snuck in through my back door. This Chakra broke my front door and blasted apart all my windows simply by being there. It was basically the antithesis of all good feelings. It was a poisonous pain that enveloped every fiber of my being.
This warranted crying. By god it hurt. The other babies joined in a cacophony of wails. The old man's parental aura became that of a soldier's in an instant. He handed me back to my caretakers and immediately left in a blur. Sounds of destruction rang out.
What the hell was going on? Some kind of monster attack or invasion? I'd felt signatures of, what I was assuming people's chakra, being snuffed out in the distance.
Whatever it was, it solidified my position on becoming a ninja.
This was a fighting manga. There wasn't a reason for me to let that horrible, painful power that assaulted me scare me. No matter how terrifying or strong the threat, you could probably punch it in the face if you had enough ridiculous magic powers or training. And I'd done plenty of running in my previous life. I was going to deck my problems in the schnoz now.
Since I had nothing better to do, and because the discovery I was in an extraordinary reality made the idea of spending my time pranking adults sound trite, I decided to train. Since at this point a light fall could probably break my spine, I decided on messing around with this chakra stuff. I mean, I probably should have tried to learn the language more, but chakra was an energy force from another universe. That was awesome.
I may not have been a huge fan of Naruto, but that didn't mean I wasn't still a huge nerd. My interest shifted from Anime and Manga to Video Games and Live-action shows.
I had become an avid fan of fighting games and their oddly almost universal concept of chi. The idea that one could simply train hard enough to manifest their life energy into general superhuman feats, like punching an island asunder, or chucking plasma via Hadoukens really resonated with me. I was honestly a bit excited to actually be able to mess around with chakra, as it was vaguely similar.
In my crib, at night when no adults were around, I tried to concentrate and channel chakra into my tiny baby hand. Time came to a crawl, my eyes began to bulge, and my nonexistent muscles began to tense.
I was just squeezing my hand real hard.
I suppose I shouldn't feel too bad about that. I was sure there wasn't a social stigma against babies not being good ninja wizards. I also had no idea what I was doing.
Well then, I'd try and figure this whole chakra stuff out the way I've always solved my problems. Not through intelligent analysis or clever planning, but brute force. Try every conceivable way until it works!
Every night I would try new things, and every night I would continue to be unimpressed. But bit by bit my hand felt warmer, and warmer. I'd felt like I had an intangible, all-encompassing muscle that would keep growing bigger and bigger.
Finally, one day, there was an unmistakably bright, thin, blue-white aura coating my hand.
I let out a loud, baby giggle in pure jubilation. By Kishimoto's holy ghost I'd earned super powers! I was like the Immortal Iron Fist (or Batman, if you wanted a more mainstream, less accurate simile)! No radioactive animal bites or innate genius intellect (well, relatively speaking, adult mind and all), I'd gained strength through sheer work and willpower!
My brain quickly ran through things I could do with this new-found power. I remembered that in the Naruto-universe, one could use their chakra to stick to surfaces, even walk on water. That seemed to be a good start as any. I tried sticking myself to the wooden bars of my crib and my sheets.
...and nothing happened. In frustration I pressed against the surfaces with more force. I yelped and yanked back my hand in terror as the crib began to slightly tip in response.
Huh. At least I figured out how to use chakra to hit stuff real good.
What was I doing wrong? Did I need to do those lame hand signs? I examined my glowing hand. Trying to sense the same chakra I felt other people had I got… nothing, strangely. Were you unable to sense your own chakra like you were unable to smell your normal scent? Maybe, but you could use your own eyes to see yourself so you might be able to sense yourself.
I could definitely make out I had some sort of chakra signature myself; I didn't get any feelings from it though like I did from that old man and everyone else. I didn't feel there was a concentration of chakra in my hand, even though I could blatantly see it. Ugh, was I going to have to wait until I entered that Ninja Academy to get taught about chakra to find out what was going on?
Regardless I continued to practice this way. Even though I was sure I was doing something wrong, that invisible muscle I was exercising to make this Not Chakra slowly but surely got stronger. For now I'd assume it was my chakra pool, or whatever. When I learned to actually make chakra properly I'd probably have a sizable amount of it to play with.
By the time I was four months old I could walk. By the time I was three, I begrudgingly admitted to myself I barely understood Japanese.
I could say it was because I was so focused on my training I didn't have time for the lame and boring things like literacy and being comprehensible, but that'd be a half-truth to save face. I only trained in secrecy at night; I had plenty of time during the day to do whatever.
Honestly I was a bit terrified. Not of the learning, but the social interaction. I kinda felt shameful and stupid for being talked down to about something like really simple sentences. Whenever I'd feel uneasy about my language skills I'd just think of new spins and methods on my training. Funny, how the most obnoxious baby was now the quietest child.
On my third birthday though, when the only things I understood were "Happy Birthday Rin" and "Shinji stop crying" (that dork was a huge crybaby); I finally recognized that notion as ridiculous.
As the celebration of my third birthday was wrapping up I walked over to the small shelves with the children's books, grabbed a picture book, punched the butt of one of the shorter caretakers to get their attention, and shoved it in their face (as much as my height allowed).
The female caretaker turned and laughingly questioned for the identity of her assailant. Noting the book, she smiled warmly, took me by the hand to a table, and read to me.
"The three of us are going to the Academy Rin. We know you're all crazy about being a ninja, so try and stay away from us. You're so weird. You'll make us look bad." Ami, I recognized, head brat of the Bratty Bitch Trio, said to me.
"I barely even talk. And besides, if I'm so weird, wouldn't I just make you all look a lot cooler and prettier in comparison?" I replied, not looking up from my novel. The monster man had just ripped off the protagonist's fiancé's arms with a sick bloodline jutsu and beat her to death with them, it was pretty rad.
Kasumi and Fuki, the other members of the Bratty Bitch Trio, murmured amongst themselves, considering what I said. Reaching some sort of conclusion they looked to Ami and gave a nod.
"Even though you're obviously just thinking of excuses to stick with us, I guess we'll see if what you said is true." With that, the trio walked off.
I sighed to myself, something I noticed I did every time I communicated with the three. This was no way the social group I intended on associating with. It's just… what else was I supposed to do?
I was a girl now, so they accepted me on that alone. I couldn't talk to normal people in my past life, let alone kids! With no video games, kids shows, or Pokemon in this world I was at a loss of whatever the hell kids were interested in. Plus the three almost never partook in the physical games I'd long grown tired of, so I could sit around with them and quietly do whatever. Those are all terrible justifications but… ugh, being social is really not my forté.
They weren't completely irreprehensible monsters though; they were just… incredibly abrasive young girls. Doing what young kids did: classifying everything into groups. Having kinda accepted me into theirs, they helped me pick out clothes, which was rather helpful to one as fashion-blind as me.
They insisted on shoulder length hair, which I complied to, but kept in a single pigtail in the back so it wasn't in the way. Whenever they'd pick out a nice but blandly colored outfit for me, so I'd be less noticeable than them, I'd get it in bright red to spite them.
At any rate, the three were definitely going to get what was coming for them at the Academy, just like in all those High School movies. What was the ninja world equivalent of being covered in paint at prom, or hit by a bus?
Noting the time from the clock, I closed my book and got up from the playground steps. Today was the day us orphans decided our future.
When the kids at the orphanage were five, we had to make the decision what school we went to. I was six, barely scraping into this year's pool. If we went to the Ninja Academy we'd get our own digs, kind of apartment deals near the academy. Kids who didn't would just move to another part of the orphanage that accommodated older children better. What scared off kids from this apparent no-brainer were the stories.
When you lived in a village that specialized in ninjas, it was pretty easy to terrify the young. If one man could terrify the criminals of Gotham City, an army of Batmen could definitely scare stupid kids trying to get free digs.
Because you lived so close to the Academy the 'teaching' didn't stop outside of the class room. It was pure hell for five year olds. Have you ever had to do disarming maneuvers against attackers midst shampoo? Defend against genjutsu monsters under your bed? Disarm traps around your silverware? Catch fake kunai with your teeth as it shoots out of your soup?!
It was kind of absurd surviving that torture did nothing to boost one's grades; you weren't penalized for failing. It was a test of conviction, a ninja trial by fire. The 'consistent-advanced-character-and-aptitude-testin g-that-isn't-hazing-at-all-kids-don't-even-know-wh at-that-means-shh' usually stopped after a year or so. That was usually when all the freeloaders dropped out.
There was no way that was going to stop me though. Not even an Academy consisting of a clone army of the Bratty Bitch Trio! Okay, maybe that would, but nothing else could stop my dream of doing cool stuff with my ninja powers!
Kaoru, the woman who taught me how to read, was at the desk where you turned in your forms for sign-up. She gave me a familiar warm smile; she was a rather pretty woman in her mid-twenties.
"Hello, Rin-chan. I'm guessing by the fact you're turning your form in so early you're going to the Academy?"
"I couldn't live with myself if I didn't, Kaoru-san." I firmly answered as I handed her my form. This was after all an opportunity that didn't exist in my lifetime.
Her smile whilst still warm took on a resigned quality. "We've already talked about this at length before. Good luck. Remember though that you can quit whenever you want, so don't feel like you have to become a ninja no matter what when you get to the Academy."
I appreciated her respecting my decision, even offering future emotional support if I decided to quit. She felt I was too kind and adverse to conflict to be a ninja, a soldier. Honestly she wasn't too off the mark. Kaoru was the only person I really opened up to, felt comfortable with sharing. I really did hate people fighting with one another, and it was nigh impossible for me to hold a grudge or honestly hate anyone. It just didn't seem logical to me.
But hey, maybe the world needed more ninja like that.
"Ah, also! Remember that if you ever need help, food, someone to talk to, anything, I'll always be there for you."
"Not sure about needing someone to talk to, but I'll definitely think about raiding your fridge. I'm very grateful for everything, Kaoru-san."
I truly was.
I was at an introduction ceremony for a NINJA Academy.
I could easily contain my excitement. I had just kind of gracefully accepted that this was real, and I'd eventually be pretty awesome.
There were also a lot of children here, I couldn't express too much how much of a giddy dork I was inside. I regained my composure and remembered to scan and try and spot out any familiar faces in the crowd. The Third Hokage was there talking about learning and friendship and something called the 'Will of Fire', so I might be in the right time frame for what little I remembered about the Naruto storyline to be useful.
After two teachers had called out their class list, I was incredibly anxious about the fact that even if I was at the right place in the timeline, I might not even be in the class I had any knowledge about. I was biting the inside of my mouth in anticipation by the time the guy with the scar across the bridge of his nose came up.
"Right. With me are: Aburame, Shino…" That sounded familiar. Was that the dog face or the bug guy? The child who walked up to wait with the teacher was looking like a mini-drug dealer, with the shades and mostly obscured face. Hell yeah, it was bug face! I had not useless future knowledge! Now I only had to hope I could get into this class with all the relevant characters.
"… Inuzuka, Kiba, Kazama, Rin…"
I was so happy I could've energetically and awkwardly flailed around and called it dancing, ruining my reputation for the next few decades. I only displayed a faint smile to demonstrate my feelings as I walked up to where the others were waiting, and was content to bask as horrible-sneezing-accident read off the rest of the names.
One name he said made me pause.
Huh. The smart kid who controlled shadows, Shikamaru, had a last name. I never recalled that.
He also had a twin sister: Shikako.
I definitely didn't recall that.