Sakura Haruno: Game of the Year Edition
Disclaimer: I am making no money from this fan fiction, nor do I own any of the characters or settings.
Note: In this story a few things have been changed from canon, the main difference is that Sakura will start the Academy at 9, with the standard graduation age being 14. I have also made Konoha a lot bigger, and although there may well be mention of OC's their presence shall be limited and they will have no important role to play. Lastly Ino and Sakura have not met yet – due to the fact that they have not started the academy yet.
The forest of death faded and grew black as Sakura Haruno's life ebbed away. Multiple stab wounds inflicted by Kin Tsuchi littered her body and once pink hair was stained red with blood. She had failed completely, both herself and her teammates. More blood showered down on her. This time it belonged to her friends. The friends she had failed. Kin's laughter echoed in her ears, she could no longer see. So she heard rather than saw the glee on Kin's face as she pronounced the words...
The world went completely black for a few moments before small spots of light started to appear in front of Sakura. After a few moments of rapid blinking she realized that the dots had started to form several lines of words. Was this a dream? She would have thought that this was a genjutsu – except for the fact that she prided herself on being able to spot and break most genjustus.
Upon turning her attention back to the words Sakura was quite surprised to see her name, and as she read the words below her name her astonishment only grew.
Player: Sakura Haruno
Wait, how could she be dead? Sakura was pretty sure that this was not at all what death felt like. For one thing she was thinking, and feeling. A quick pinch to her arm and the sharp pain that followed also assured her that she was alive – somewhere at least.
The words which were proclaiming her death then started to disintegrate and form something called a scoreboard?
Highest Academic Score in the Academy: +100 points
Learnt Academy Taijutsu Style: +10 points
Graduated the Academy: +30 points
Became Genin: +60 points
Scrolls Read (210): +210 points
Completed 13 D Rank Missions: +65 points
Completed 1 A Rank Mission: +75 points
Mastered 5 D Rank Jutsu: +100 points
Learnt Tree Walking: +20 points
Chuunin Exam Part 1 Passed: +50 points
Perfect Chakra Control: 200 points
Lived to age 12: +120 points
Total: 1040 points
Only D Rank Justu's learnt: -100 points
Water Walking never learnt: -25 points
Poor Aim with Shuriken: -15 points
Poor Aim with Kunai: -15 points
No Advanced Taijutsu Style/s Learnt: - 30 points
Weak Chakra Coils: -80 points
Weak physically: -80 points
Total: -345 points
Well... that wasn't so bad Sakura thought. After all she had only been 12 at the time and she could have worked on all of these things later – had she survived. The thought brought some tears to her eyes and she had to blink rapidly to hold them back so that she could read the final list.
Lost precious person Ino: -120 points
Lost precious person Naruto: -120 points
Lost precious person Sasuke: -120 points
? Precious People never met: -200 points
Never tried hard: -300 points
Never taken seriously: -300 points
Failed to protect self: -200 points
Failed to protect Friends: -500 points
Overall Score: -1165:
Ranking 99/100 – With this score you would have done better not becoming a ninja!
By now the tears in her eyes had multiplied and were streaming down her face. She had failed, she had died and now her friends were dead because of her. Why did she even become a ninja in the first place if all she could do was be a hindrance? Why? Why? Why tell her now when all she could do was cry! Why not tell her when she was alive... when she could do something about it?! If only... if only she knew what she knew now, everything would change. She would do anything for a second chance... Anything! It was as she thought this that the darkness around her began to shake
"A SECOND CHANCE ACTIVATED"
CLICK TO ACCESS
Now Sakura was thoroughly confused. Shocked from her tears she simply stared at the button hovering in front of her.
CLICK TO ACCESS
"Click to access what?" She thought briefly before glancing upwards... "A second chance – what is that supposed to mean?"
She was thinking quite logically for someone who had just died a violent and gory death, Sakura mused. But she supposed that it was understandable. Shock and trauma did not set in until a while after the event. Having reached that conclusion Sakura decided to get through this weird event before she started freaking out and having a panic attack. Thus resolved she reached out and tapped the "CLICK TO ACCESS" button. She then watched as another page of text appeared.
Sakura Haruno: Game of the Year Edition
Rule 4, Subsection a, paragraph 2
If a primary character dies...
After the start of the Chuunin Exams and...
Is below level 10
They will be given a chance to replay provided that they either
Play on maximum difficulty or...
Play in Expanded Universe: Ultra Mode
Does Sakura Haruno wish to replay?
It was an easy choice for Sakura. If she went back then she could help everyone. Sasuke was no longer a major interest, but her friends were. No matter what she would not die if her very existence had been a burden on the people that she cared about. So, with the most confidence she had had since the start of the Chuunin Exams she clicked on the "YES"
Once again the words changed and Sakura found herself facing yet another choice.
PICK YOUR HANDICAP
Play with difficultly permanently set to impossible
Play in Expanded Universe; Ultra Mode
This was once again an easy choice for Sakura. She was returning to change things and how could she do that if the difficulty level was impossible. Sakura had never played a video game in her life, but she knew that impossible was the hardest difficulty. She would rather take her chance with the unknown option, thank you very much. Although, there was still a nagging feeling that there must be something really bad about this "Expanded Universe; Ultra Mode" to make it equal to "Difficulty; Impossible" Still her hand shook slightly as she reached forwards and touched option B.
You have chosen Expanded Universe: Ultra Mode!
START NEW GAME
Sakura's hand was significantly steadier as she selected "START NEW GAME" What happened next knocked away all her newfound composure though.
NEW SETTINGS DETECTED
To Sakura's immense surprise she found herself looking at a map of the ninja world. She could see the hidden villages of Konoha and Suna, and the numbers showing a scarily accurate population count - of both ninja's and civilians.
Then the map began to expand dramatically. Not only were the hidden villages that she knew of growing, both in size and in population – new ones were appearing! The world as she knew it was increasing in size – this must be what they meant by expanded universe she thought. By now the map was taking up the whole screen! The only space left was directly around her, and even that was being rapidly absorbed by the maps growth.
Then Sakura found herself floating above the map and being drawn towards the village of Konoha. The map started to fade once she was directly above Konoha and she found herself falling through the clouds towards the ground. Sakura struggled in panic – she would die again if she hid the ground at this speed! Now she could see her house roof approaching her and Sakura closed her eyes and braced herself for the impact.
The impact never arrived. Instead a young Sakura sat up in bed gasping for breath. After a quick glance at the window told her that it was morning she looked around her room for clues about the date. It appeared to be shortly after her ninth Birthday, if the card from her parents with a big pink nine on the front was any hint. What did surprise her was the fact that there was none of her ninja equipment that she needed for the Academy there. From what she recalled, at the age of nine she had had kunai and shuriken scattered everywhere – yet this room was spotlessly clean.
Sakura was however disturbed from her thoughts by her mother's voice calling her from downstairs. After getting dressed and brushing her hair she rushed down the stairs, tripping on the way down and practically skidding into the living room. A living room with both of her parents in... And what about Iruka-Sensei, what was he doing here?
Her question was answered soon enough by her mother.
"Sakura, did you forget that today is the day your interview to attend the ninja academy takes place? Iruka san has been waiting for 10 minutes already!"
This only caused Sakura to have more questions but she had no time to voice them as Iruka-Sensei had started to speak.
"Sakura san could you please fill in this personal assessment form for me. It will determine your strengths and weaknesses."
The world then dimmed and the screen appeared once more.
Sakura Haruno: Current Stats
Points to spend: 36
The words then scrolled down to a new page, but to Sakura's disappointment all of the ninja techniques were locked. Still, she reasoned, entering the academy would probably unlock them. After all how could she learn the Academy Ninjutsu and Taijutsu if they were locked?
ELEMENTAL AFFINITIES: Locked
Parents: 60 / 100
Iruka: 50 / 100
Having read the entire page Sakura then turned her attention to the question marks next to each of the attributes, and started looking at the information that was popping up.
Beauty: This is how you appear to other people and affects their initial relationship with you.
Sakura was quite offended at her score for beauty. None of the attributes were high, she would admit that much but still! No! She shook her head abruptly. She was not going to be the same this time. This time she would be a strong kunoichi, one who was determined and worked hard, and a kunoichi who would not let her friends die due to her weakness. She would spend those points on something useful, something like...
Control: This is your ability to control chakra, and is vital for medical Ninjutsu
Then again, her score in control was by far the highest. She probably should not overspecialize in one area – relying on her chakra control was a mistake she made last time. Also, this time she wanted to be able to hold her own in a battle, not just watch incapacitated from the sidelines. So maybe she should go for...
Dexterity: This is your skill in dodging attacks and in Taijutsu
Shannaro! Now that would be useful!
Sakura startled and her eyes filled with tears, but happy ones. She had completely forgotten about Inner Sakura – now she would not be quite so alone.
Inner Sakura was not quite as touched as Sakura about the reunion, muttering something about 'forgetting your other half'. Either way Sakura was currently trying to figure out how to give Inner Sakura a mental hug, she was not completely alone anymore!
Yeah, yeah touching reunion and all that, can we get back to deciding what we are going to be awesome at now? I vote to see what comes up next.
Sakura agreed and moved on to the next attribute description, which also happened to be one of her worst.
Endurance: How much damage/pain you can take before falling unconscious or dying
Now that would be good to have, Sakura thought... but it would be better to have the skills to not need the extra endurance.
But what if the enemy gets in a lucky hit – you could die you know, again.
Reluctantly acknowledging the fact that Inner might actually have a point this time Sakura added Endurance to her mental list of 'things to look at', alongside Dexterity. Next up was...
Intelligence: Affects general knowledge and speed of learning Justu's
This would be useful except that, much like control, the value for that attribute was already high. It was probably due to the fact that her scores appeared to match what she was like before she died. Still, the beauty score was haunting her... was her forehead that big? Honestly?
Snap out of it and get on with the decision making. Who cares what people may think? We'll just kick their ass with our amazing skills Shannaro!
Sakura was grateful to Inner for the encouragement... it was actually helpful, and allowed her to keep her focus as she moved on to the next attribute.
Luck: Affects everything and anything, but particularly the chance of scoring a critical hit
That would be useful as a secondary choice, but Sakura had decided that she would take the long road this time. There would be no more mooning over Sasuke and no more waiting helplessly for a situation to resolve itself. So while good luck would be nice she would prioritise the more useful skills first.
Perception: Your skills at observation and predicting opponents moves
Since this was at the already decent (for the current Sakura at least) value of 19, she decided to leave that as it was for the moment.
Social: Your ability to interact with, manipulate and lead people
This was tempting much like Beauty had been, promising to fulfil Sakura's dreams of popularity and Sasu-. Once again she pushed those feelings down, this time with the help of Inner Sakura, and moved on to...
Speed: How fast you are when moving, using Taijutsu and at casting Ninjutsu
Now that is what I am talking about!
Well she could not deny that it would be useful, so she would consider it, but still... she would have to know Ninjutsu or Taijutsu in the first place in order for it to be really effective. A good general skill though.
Strength: How much damage physical attacks do, and how much you can carry
This would also be a good skill, Sakura thought despairingly – how was she supposed to choose when they all seemed to be viable options. And so another option was considered, along with speed, dexterity and endurance as needing the extra points put in.
Willpower: Your ability to break and cast genjutsu
The last attribute on the list sounded like it could be useful, in a sense. She had never really come across many genjutsu users, but it could be a vital skill to have. In the end, after some discussion with Inner she decided to leave it for the time being.
In the end Sakura decided to place 10 points each on Endurance and Strength, 5 points on Dexterity and Willpower, the remaining points were divided equally between Beauty and Speed (she chose beauty because after bringing up her other values it was one of the lowest scoring ones). This made her final stats...
ELEMENTAL AFFINITIES: Locked
Parents: 60 / 100
Iruka: 50 / 100
Thank you for reading this far, If you enjoyed it please review! Constructive criticism also appreciated.