Authors Note: Okay, im back again with a fresh new chapter just written two hours ago! Here it is, hope you will enjoy it and that it will answer some of your unasked questions :)
An eight years old Rei was sitting in the clearing, panting and struggling to regain his breath. He spent the entire morning and afternoon preparing himself for the academy he will be attending in just three months. Tsuba asked him if he was willing to become a shinobi, and he gladly agreed to the offer. Now, when he actually started thinking about being a shinobi the requirements came to him like a brick falling on his head. He knew absolutely nothing about being a shinobi, though he knew the basics of the basics. Tsuba once explained to him what chakra was and what it was used for and speaking of chakra, Rei gleefully recalled, Tsuba once said that he was special because he was one of the rare people who could mold chakra in a very young age. Rei discovered that he could mold chakra three years ago; though he couldn't mold it effectively he improved himself in the three years, though he wasn't that talented. He lacked something that Tsuba called 'Chakra control' though he didn't quite explain to him what it was.
Now, that he understood that he practically knew nothing, he didn't want to go to the academy completely unprepared and unable to even throw a shuriken, which was what he was practicing now. Tsuba said that he doest need to know how to mold chakra properly at this age, so he should concentrate on other important things, like building up stamina and using weapons. He was very lucky today, he managed to find several shuriken and kunai in one of the training grounds, they were in poor condition, but they were sharp enough to get imbedded into a tree. He tried buying them, but no shop sold anything to him, claiming that he was too young and that he might kill somebody.
With a sigh he stood up and walked to his targeted tree, frowning the whole time. Only three out of the eight he had had hit the tree, with only two of them getting stuck there. After a minute he gathered all the shuriken and placed him in an old pouch he had and reviewed his training plan.
Now, after weapon throwing training he should build up his stamina, which would be running around. He doubted that the villagers would be very happy if he would be running around, since they didn't even like seeing him walking near them so he would need to be running outside of the walls. He stood there, thinking over his options until he decided: he will run to the mountain gates and back here, which was around four miles running.
"That should be enough I think." He mumbled to himself and started with a light jog towards the direction of the mountain gates, completely unaware that he had a set of eyes laid upon him.
It took just a little over an hour. He ran back to the same spot he started from and when he reached to the tree he used as a target, he collapsed panting on the ground.
As far as he saw it, he didn't really need to work much on the stamina part, he managed to run the whole way without stopping once, but it exhausted him completely. This was like an obstacle course, first running through the trees, and then through the rocky landscape to the mountain gates and then back to the starting point. Now, after a quick rest, he was going to do more target practice, this time adding some kunais to it. It was really troublesome, but he sincerely thought that if he would keep this up, he will improve in no time.
He leaned against the tree for a few minutes, thinking about how to make the training more effective and if he needs to add more varieties to it but a chuckle broke him from his musing.
"That's quite impressive, for an eight years old kid." A voice said. Rei almost jumped in surprise, frantically looking around until he spotted an old man leaning against a nearby tree.
The man was tall and aging, with several wrinkles on his face. He had graying hair which was tied into a long pony tail. He wore a black long robe with some red markings over standard ninja armor and his hazel eyes were scanning Rei.
Rei stared at him worryingly. He didn't even sense anything, yeah, he might be a little tired but he didn't hear a whisper or see him on his way here. All those facts only lead him to a single conclusion: this man was a shinobi.
"W-what do you want?" He said, not really sure if he could trust him. Whenever shinobi wanted something from him, it wasn't always something good.
"I was just watching you. It's pretty impressive, running all the way from here to the mountain gates and back to here. My guess is that you train for the academy?" He asked him. Rei simply nodded, not knowing what to make of the mysterious stranger.
"In that case, let me tell you one thing. You won't be a shinobi if you keep it this way…" The man said in a rather harsh tone and Rei's eyes widened. "Unless… you will get some help." He finished with a smirk.
Rei almost tilted his head to the side with bafflement. "What do you mean?"
"I'm offering you training. With my help, that academy stuff will look like a child's play after you're done with me."
Now Rei's head really tilted to the side. This is too good to be true. Why would anyone, a ninja above all else, would offer him help? He already noticed that the villagers and some of the shinobi didn't really like him that much, it wasn't serious but they sometimes wouldn't sell him food or would scold him for no apparent reason. But now, one of them was actually coming to him and offering him help.
"What's the catch?" He finally asked him.
"Oh, going straight to the deal? Very well, no catch at all. I want to see if you will survive my training regimen." He simply said. Rei considered his words, trying to find some clue about his intentions though one word was highlighted.
"Survive?" he nervously asked.
"Yes." He said and walked up to him and Rei could take a better look of his face. Now he noticed that some of the wrinkles of his face were actually scars. "My training… is not easy. If you will pass them, I guarantee that these three month you have will make you into a genin level ninja, if you will pass them to begin with." The man said and stopped in front of Rei. "I have nothing to gain except a student and you have everything to gain if you succeed."
Rei considered his words. It was tempting, very tempting. This man was actually the second person to show him kindness, and asking for nothing in return, but it always could be some trick from the villagers or whatever else it could be, but then again, what did he have that he could lose?
"Okay, I agree." Rei said.
"Good, I hoped you would say that. Meet me here at noon tomorrow and we will begin our training." He said and turned to leave.
"Wait." Rei said after him. "How do I call you?" The old man stopped in his tracks and looked over his shoulder.
"Just call me Shinji-sensei." He said and disappeared in a swirl of leaves and wind, leaving Rei standing in the clearing completely alone, wondering if he did the right choice.
Rei smiled fondly at the memory.
'It was sure worth it' He though as he grinned even wider. He managed to get through the training Shinji put him through, gruesome as it was. And he got stronger in a short period of time; even though he had to keep his progress a secret, for whatever reason he had to. The first thing Shinji asked him to do, is keeping his skills a secret. He protested but it was futile.
Now though, he couldn't keep doing that. Now, his team relied on him and he couldn't afford not getting serious now that they would be doing mission that could be potentially life threatening. He though on that word, 'his team'… maybe he would get to know them better, and they would be his friends… unless they would start ignoring him almost like everyone else did.
He sat on his bed, holding his hitai-ite in his hand, feeling the material with his fingers while staring at it. He finally did it. He always strived to become a shinobi, and now, he was one. Ever since he was a little kid he wanted to become a ninja. Ever since he was a little kid, he felt unwanted and unneeded… like it would be much better if he wouldn't exist. Now, he had a chance to prove them wrong, they would regret classifying him as 'unneeded'.
He stood up and tied his hitai-ite to his head for everyone to see it, the three diagonal wavy lines on a metal plate. The sun already rose up but it was still early and almost no one was awake yet.
He did a quick change of gear, starting with his clothes. He now wore dark blue knee length shorts with many pockets and a black sleeveless hooded shirt. Both his arms hand bandages covering them, from the hand to the elbow and the same with his right leg. He grabbed his pouch filled with shuriken and kunai, ones that Tsuba gave him for his birthday last year, and four braces which were chakra weights.
Yesterday he didn't wear them; he didn't expect to need them. He strapped them to his legs and arms and tested the weight, and nodded to himself. Satisfied, he then went outside for his morning run.
Yesterday he did many mistakes, as Hayato-sensei pointed out. He didn't plan making them again.
'I guess that after 4 years of hiding my skill level I kinda wanted to show off…'he explained to himself, though he didn't why. '…Though it doesn't mean that I have to stop.' He grinned.
It was almost the time Hayato said he would be waiting for them in that same clearing they were yesterday. Surprisingly, the traps that were set yesterday were gone now and this small forested area was just that, a forested area.
Miyu and Kaito were already there sitting in silence at the edge of the river shore, waiting for everyone to show up. After several minutes Hayato 'poofed' into existence right beside them.
"Good morning. Is everyone here?" He asked cheerily.
"No, Rei isn't here yet." Miyu answered.
"Oh well in that case… oh, here he is." Hayato finished and looked towards the road. Miyu and Kaito turned to look at that direction but the were blinded by a sudden cloud of dust that came from seemingly no where.
When the dust cleared they saw a panting Rei standing there, with a still visible dust train behind him.
"Tell me, do you use chakra to run so fast?" A curious Hayato asked.
"What? How do I do that? I just run with the seal activated…" Rei answered, looking a little confused.
Miyu and Kaito were a little dumbstruck; using chakra to power up your body was one of the basics taught in the academy… Hayato though, felt a chill run up his spine.
'If he runs this fast now I don't even want to imagine how fast he would be if he will add chakra to his run.'He mused.
"It will be something I will teach you later, that is, if you will pass the test. The last time the only one who showed what he can do is Rei, while you two were tied up. You should be grateful that I'm giving you a second chance, not many get it." Hayato explained. "I'm giving you five minutes to prepare yourselves… and catch your breath." He said while sending a glance at Rei.
"Hai!" the three students said in unison.
Rei walked up to his teammates and greeted them.
"Ohayou." He said. Kaito greeted him back but Miyu just said a weak 'hey' and turned to look at Hayato.
Rei frowned. He already saw where it was going, though it didn't hurt any less. He sighed. At least Kaito acted normally, though he noticed that he was a little… distant. Still frowning, he sat down on he ground and waited for Hayato to begin.
Exactly five minutes later Hayato came to stand before them and the silent group became even more silent and focused their attention on their sensei. Hayato yawned and started talking.
"Alright, since yesterday only a single member showed me something, ill give another try. Now, what are you going to do?" he paused, rubbing his chin as though deep in thought. "Okay, you will have to land a hit on me. Just a single hit. You have 2 hours and if none of you will hit me even once, you will go back to the academy. But, if you show great me some good skill and potential, I might recommend you to be added to other teams, so you get to go on as a ninja. Is everything understood?" He finished.
"Hai!" The genins said in unison.
"Oh, and one last thing: This time… I will fight back, if the need will arise." Hayato said with a worrying huge smile. "Begin." He barked.
Rei immediately retreated some good ten feet while Kaito and Miyu remained where they were.
'Idiots! What are they doing? Theres no way they can beat a ninja of this caliber…'Rei thought.
Hayato chuckled at the scene. 'Looks like Rei understands what he's up against.'
"Good. Looks like ill manage to get the nap I wanted after all." He said loudly while yawning. These words seemed to piss Kaito and he charged first, which caused Hayato to smirk.
"Don't underestimate me! Doton: Doryu Taiga!" Kaito shouted and the ground beneath Hayato turned into mud, causing him to lose his balance and fight for footing. He then charged forward, intending on delivering a punch to the unbalanced Hayato but when he got there and launched his punch, Hayato easily evaded, grabbed the punch and Kaito's head and sent him face first into his own jutsu.
"Futon: Daitoppa!" A feminine voice cried and Hayato jumped out of the way, just in time for a powerful gust of wind to miss him. Kaito wasn't so lucky. While he was trying to get up the gust of wind caused him to lose footing again and fall again, continually getting thrown backwards.
Hayato landed into a sprint run, easily covering the ground between himself and Miyu but just a few steps away from her he stopped just in time to catch a flying kick from Rei, swinging him above himself and smashing him into the grassy ground. Before Hayato could do anything he felt another strong gust of wind hit him. It didn't wound hi but it forced him away.
Rei got up, seemingly unwounded, and locked stares with Hayato.
'This guy barely has any openings… and when he shows one, it's a damn trap.' He thought.
Hayato still stood there unmoving and yawning. Rei had to admit that it started to irritate him. He wasn't taking them seriously at all!
Without warning, or any indication whatsoever, Kaito jumped out of the ground, delivering a spinning kick to Hayato's side. Kaito cheered, seeing that he actually managed to land a hit, but the beaming smile disappeared when Hayato suddenly disappeared in a puff of smoke. Before Kaito could even land a hand burst out of the ground and pulled him down into the ground, both of them disappearing from sight.
Rei and Miyu looked nervously about, searching for either Kaito or Hayato. There was a muffled sound, like someone screaming and then the ground burst out, sending stone and dust into the ground, Kaito among them. He rolled to his back, groaning in pain and holding his forehead, presumably where Hayato hit him.
This unnerved Rei even more, Kaito was here, but Hayato was still there! He was about to warn Miyu when Hayato jumped out of the ground, much like Kaito, and kicked him in the side of the head, sending him flying a few feet before eventually landing. From the yelp he heard he guessed that Miyu was kicked too.
Rubbing his bruise Rei got up again and looked at the situation. They were already wounded, nothing serious but wounded, and Hayato didn't even have a spec of dirt on him.
"Well, what do you say? Don't you think it's my turn to go offensive?" he said, evilly grinning while dropping into a fighting stance. Rei visibly paled. So far, he knew that Hayato's defenses were amazing, and he could hit pretty painfully… he didn't know how he attacked, nor did he really want to find out.
Starting to feel the familiar feeling of depleting chakra and sudden power in his muscles, he formed a single handseal, deactivating his weights, he picked up Miyu and rushed to pick up Kaito, with a screaming and complaining Miyu over his shoulder.
Hayato actually laughed at the scene, right before attacking but luckily for the genins, he was too slow. With Rei's seal powered speed he managed to cover the distance faster then Hayato, picking up Kaito without even slowing and disappearing in the brush.
Hayato stopped and smirked. This was getting more interesting.
"Put me down!" Miyu screamed for perhaps the twentieth time.
"Shut up! He might hear us!" Rei retorted. Kaito groaned, whether from annoyance or pain, Rei wasn't sure.
Hoping that he was far enough, he stopped and placed both his teammates on the ground. Kaito sat down, still rubbing his head. And Miyu leaned against a tree, looking a little dizzy, and green.
Rei chuckled at this, remembering what happened a few minutes ago.
A few minutes ago:
"Damn! Slow down! Its way too fast!" Miyu screamed as she watched the trees they passed near, too near in her opinion.
"I'm not slowing! No way, that maniac will kill us; my face still hurts from when he smashed me into the ground!" Rei answered.
"How the hell do you even manage to steer yourself like that?" She asked him. "I mean, how do you turn in time instead of running into a tree?"
"Oh, well it takes getting used to. When I just started using them I ran into trees on few occasions but not anymore, though considering that I'm not balanced now, carrying you two it might happen again…"
"Put me down! NOW!" Miyu screamed again.
"I think it's far enough." Rei mumbled while looking at the direction where they left Hayato.
"How the hell are we supposed to hit him? It's like he has eyes on the back of his head." Kaito said.
"I don't know… this whole test seems suspicious. There's no way we can hit him." Rei spoke, getting annoyed stares from both of his teammates. "I gave him everything I had yesterday; he either blocked or avoided everything. He's too good. We need to try something else."
"Well, he saw everything you had, didn't he?" Kaito asked.
"Almost… I still have a couple of techniques or so, but two of them are defensive, so it won't really help us that much. And I can't surprise him this time with my speed; he expects it and reacts way too good to be human." Rei lamented.
"So what do we do?" Miyu finally spoke.
"What else? Were going to work up a plan, and luckily for us, I'm already thinking of one."
"Great! Let me think of something… I think I have an idea too." Kaito said with a smile.
"First of all, we need to stop him from moving." Miyu said. "I can't hit him with any jutsu like that if he keeps dodging and he can attack any of us if we won't take care of it." Miyu added.
"I think I can take care of that, though it won't hold him for long." Kaito said.
"Good. Okay, let's share our plans. Here's what I have…"
A/N: So whats the plan? You'll find out next chapter :) Okay, this was shorter then the last one, much shorter but hopefully just as good, if not better. Please review! :D