The leaves are rustling in the wind while the sun is gradually rising in the sky on this early Summer morning. People are slowly exiting their doors and walking down the road. Some speak to one another as they shuffle past each other. In the midst of their groggy start to the morning a shout of pain? Anguish? Confusion? No it is clearly anger. The outcry begins. First it was the clothing merchant Diasuke Yuni, then the fruits and vegetables shop owner Kakuno Iida, and before you know it a fourth of the shopping district joined in.
"Hey! Hey! Diasuke-san! What happened?, said a man running to all the commotion. Diasuke stopped to stare at the man who seemed to have a genuinely curious expression on his he pointed at his shop's sign. Along with the cleverly composed store title (Fit for You) was a big colorful promotional poster that read: Special one day 50% OFF SALE. The man raised one eyebrow and asked, "What's so wrong about that besides the fact that you could potentially lose a lot of money for making a sale like that?" Diasuke simply pointed at the door to his shop. Despite the fact that just a couple of minutes earlier people were groggily starting their day, people were now pushing, shoving, and rushing through the door of Diasuke's shop. The cashiers' heads were spinning at the constant sells of the very expensive clothing that was being bought at half price off. The store was nearly half empty. Diasuke then took this opportunity to point toward Kakuno-san's shop and the entire store was bare already due to a similar sale.
"You should be happy now that you are selling out", said the man who now was sporting a smile.
At that moment it seemed as if Diasuke would burst from anger because he begin to turn red and sweat profusely. "ARE YOU SERIOUS? MOST OF THOSE CLOTHING MATERIALS SOLD HERE WERE TOO VALUABLE TO SELL AT FIFTY PERCENT! I HAVE NOW MADE LITTLE TO NO MONEY OR MORE LIKELY LOST MONEY! THERE IS NO PROFIT!" The man listening could swear that he saw the tiniest inkling of a tear welling up in Diasuke's eyes. This thought made him burst into laughter. He laughed so much in fact that he fell to his knees and begin to pound the ground. While in this fit of laughter he did not notice that everything around him went quiet. As a matter of fact, everyone was looking at him now. He was shaken out of his fit of laughter by hearing Diasuke shout "NARUTO"!
The man who was now a boy wearing an orange jumpsuit immediately began to run down the road. This boy, identified as Naruto he people chasing him, continued to laugh despite the mob of merchants chasing him down the road. After escaping to his home he burst into another fit of laughter that was interrupted by a voice. Wait, a voice? There is no one here with me.
Naruto opened his eyes to see a pink haired girl and a raven haired boy staring at him.
The pink haired girl whom Naruto's mind now registered as Sakura asked him, "What were you laughing at?" "I just had the greatest dream about pranking ever", said the blonde, orange jumpsuit wearing ninja. At this response the raven haired boy whom Naruto's mind identifies as Sasuke remarked, "Idiot". "No one asked you stupid jerk!" "Don't call Sasuke-kun a jerk idiot!" At this Naruto pouted and asked, "Why do you have to defend Sasuke?" At this moment the classroom door opened. A spiky mess, yet vertical, shock of white hair entered the threshold of the door. Before this person could step any further into the room, a dry eraser full of chalk residue fell onto the white hair. As the white hair lifted, a face covered by a mask with a leaf hitaeite over the left eye stared at the trio of genin in the room. A male's voice emanated from this figure with these words: "First impression: I hate you." One thought crossed Naruto's mind: 'It was worth it'.
After regrouping on top of the building the man with the white hair told the three young genin that he is Kakashi Hatake, their jounin sensei. He then started an exercise that was intended to help them learn more about one another by stating their likes, dislikes, and dreams. Sakura asked Kakashi to give an example. This proved to be unfruitful as his answers were very cryptic and revealed nothing about himself. Then it was Sakura's turn. Her response was oddly enough similar to Kakashi's because she never revealed the answer to her statements. It was rather obvious that the reason was her infatuation with Sasuke. Well, she did reveal one dislike.
To the dismay of the young orange jumpsuit wearing ninja, he was the dislike.
"Alright me next. My name is Naruto Uzumaki. I like ramen and Sakura-chan. I dislike the 30 seconds it takes to make ramen. My dream is to become Hokage so that everyone will give me respect and acknowledge me." 'Very interesting', thought Kakashi, 'but not surprising.' "You next Sasuke".
"My name is Sasuke Uchiha. I like very few things. I have a few dislikes. And my dream is more of an ambition. It is to kill a certain man." 'You do not need three guesses to figure out who that is', thought Kakashi. "Ok, great. Now that we have learned a bit about one another we can begin training. Meet me at training ground 7 at seven in the morning. By the way, do not eat breakfast. You just might throw it up", said Kakashi in a very grave voice, effectively giving the three young genin a sense of dread.
That night Naruto lay awake in his bed thinking over the past week. He recalled failing the graduation exam, learning the Shadow Clone jutsu, and saving Iruka-sensei. Naruto was truly grateful for being given the opportunity to be a ninja because it allows him to take one more step closer to accomplishing his dream of being Hokage. 'I really have to work hard in order to accomplish my dream. I will not allow anything to prevent me from being acknowledged and gaining the respect of all.' As he finished saying that he thought to himself, 'I guess being a ninja means that I have to become more mature and stop doing things like the prank I played on Kakashi-sensei. With that thought he began to drift asleep. 'Do I want to do that though?...'
At ten this morning Kakashi strolled into the clearing of Training Ground 7 immediately igniting the ire of Naruto and Sakura for being 3 hours late. After the usual excuse, Kakashi explained to his genin that their real exam begins now. Thus the bell test, which is by far the hardest thing they have ever done, commenced.
'Obviously we were not prepared for this', thought Naruto as he found himself strapped to a log in the middle of the training field while Sasuke and Sakura were beginning to eat their food. 'My stomach wasn't either'. A loud gurgle emanated from Naruto's stomach at that very moment. His teammates were given instructions to not help Naruto or they would fail. After the lunch break they would be given another chance to complete the test together. 'Wait a minute' thought Sasuke as he heard Naruto's stomach grumble. 'If only two of us can pass, then what is the purpose of having all three of us do it together. Either way, we can not get those bells alone so we are forced to rely on each other. It's like he expects us to work together to get those bells. And if that is the case, Naruto would not be useful to us if he is hungry. He must eat.'
At that moment Kakashi saw something that he never expected to see from this team: Sasuke offered Naruto some of his food. He was surprised once more a few seconds later after seeing Sasuke speak that Sakura offered some of her food to Naruto as well. 'Are they the ones that finally get it? 'The true meaning of this test?' "I don't believe it", an incredulous Kakashi said as he shushined to their location. "WHY DID YOU DISOBEY THE RULES?", shouted Kakashi with a weird ominous genjutsu. After an impassioned defense of their actions by Sakura, Kakashi suspensefully told them that they passed. "The true meaning of this test is working together as a team. Although the rules are important, your team is essential. There is a saying that those who disobey the rules are trash. Well I would take it a bit further and say that those who disobey the rules are scum, but those who abandon their comrades are worse than scum." Naruto with a jubilant expression on his face said, "Does this mean we are an official team now Kakashi-sensei?" "Yes it does Naruto", replied an amused Kakashi, "Now your ninja careers begin."
Ten minutes of celebration later, the genin prepared to leave the training ground. "Hold on guys, I have a couple of things to say. First, meet me at the Hokage tower tomorrow for your first mission.
Second, I have something to speak with Naruto about so go on home Sakura and Sasuke." After his teammates left, Naruto turned to Kakashi with a confused look. "What do you want sensei?"
Kakashi stared at Naruto for a moment before stating, "Your pranks are annoying", at this Naruto made a face, "but I must admire the intelligence in them. I think that if you applied the same amount of effort to your ninja tactics, you would become quite the formidable ninja." "Sensei I am sure that is cool and all but what does "tactics" and "formidable" mean? At this question, Kakashi paused for a couple of minutes hoping that Naruto was not serious, but much to his dismay the inquisitive stare Naruto was giving him proved to him otherwise. With a sigh, Kakashi began to explain what tactics were and what the word formidable meant.
As Naruto was leaping through the trees on his way to Ichiraku's Ramen, one could not help but notice the big smile on his face. Not only is he progressing toward his dream, but he is also gaining new friends as well. 'This is going to be great! Especially now that Kakashi-sensei is teaching me to use tactics...wait, what does that mean again?...Oh yea I got it!..I think.'