Alas, I have not been blessed with the presence of Ereshkigal this time. Not even an SR to show for all the Saint Quartz I sunk into her banner. Oh well, that's the gacha for you.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Betaed by Danga.
As soon as Kakashi yelled start, kunai and shuriken were thrown Kakashi's way. Kakashi didn't even bother dodging, picking one of the incoming kunai and using it to deflect the rest of the incoming projectiles. Not that any of the three expected that to work, merely using it as a distraction so that the real fight could begin.
Kakashi raised his hand to redirect a Gentle Fist strike, throwing her aside to block one of Shirou's twin swords with a kunai. "Nice swords you have there. Did you get them from the same place you got your bow and arrow earlier?"
Shirou didn't answer, merely swinging the other sword at Kakashi's abdomen. Kakashi took out another kunai and blocked it as well.
"Not going to take it out?" Shirou asked as he broke off the engagement. "It'll be a shame if I didn't get to see it in action after all the work I put into restoring it."
What he didn't say was that he'd be able to better fight Kakashi if he knew all his moves before Kakashi used them. His ability to read the history of the sword worked to his advantage there, though Shirou believed that there was enough of a gap between their strength that he would at best only be able to match him.
"Maa, maa, that would be overkill." Kakashi eye smiled. He then proceeded to jump back as Sakura's shadow extended to trap him in her clan's signature technique.
Kakashi landed, right where an annoyed Rin's fist came to deck him out. Kakashi leaned away from the punch, ducking and weaving away from Rin as she laid it out on him. 'Hmm, she's rather proficient in her clan's Taijutsu. Though it seems as if this isn't her preferred way to fight.'
"Stay still!" Rin yelled in frustration as she tried to lay a hit on him. Even one would be debilitating with the Gentle Fist's ability to seal chakra coils. Not that Kakashi would let her.
"I'd rather keep my chakra," Kakashi said cheerfully, before Rin's fist collided with his stomach. Only for 'Kakashi' to poof away, leaving behind a broken log.
"Why are there so many perfectly shaped logs around Konoha anyway?" Rin wondered as she regrouped with Shirou and Sakura. They looked around, searching for Kakashi. One with her eyes while the other with her six sense.
Kakashi jumped out of his hiding spot in a shrub as several shadow tendrils slammed into it, followed by several kunai.
"Nice try, but you can't hide from us, sensei," Sakura said.
"Maa, that does seem a little pointless," Kakashi said. "A sensor and a Hyuuga… Stealth does seem to be irrelevant with you two around."
"How are we supposed to pass when there are only two bells?" Shirou asked, watching his sensei warily. "Even if we did get them, one of us would have to be left out."
"Well, that way, one of you is guaranteed to be tied to that post," Kakashi said. "So, now that the warm-up is over, why don't we take this up a notch?"
"Fall back and regroup," Shirou said as he traced his bow and several arrows. "We need a plan."
Kakashi deflected the arrows Shirou shot at him with his kunai, avoiding them easily even without using his Sharingan. It did give them the opening they needed to get away from him.
"Interesting," Kakashi said as he looked at the now empty clearing. The three of them had given him more trouble than most experienced chunin had. Already, he had to take the fight more seriously than he did for his last few genin teams.
'Not to mention Shirou's ability to materialize weapons and Sakura being so advanced with her clan's technique, though she seems to display abilities that I've never seen used by the Nara's before' Kakashi thought to himself. 'Did she create them on her own? Rin's Taijutsu was excellent, as expected from a Hyuuga. But she's just not fast enough to lay a hit on me. I have to be careful. Something tells me they haven't shown me all their tricks.'
"Well… that was impressive," Asuma said.
He and Kurenai were watching Kakashi's genin team fight him after Anko all but dragged them to watch it with her. They were about a kilometre or so away, watching the fight with binoculars.
"I know right?" Anko said. "Mark my words, those three will do something that will embarrass Kakashi sooner or later."
"I don't know," Kurenai said. "It's Kakashi."
"And he's not taking this fight anywhere as seriously as he would if he knew just what he was up against," Anko said. "What's your take on this, Gai?"
Gai, who had just finished testing his team earlier that morning and brought them along to watch their former classmates test, gave his comment.
"Yosh! Their Youth shines brightly against my Eternal Rival!" Gai said. "However, Kakashi's hip and cool attitude is not so easily overcome!"
"I believe Rin, Sakura and Shirou can win, Gai-sensei!" Lee said.
"And they just might be able to," Asuma said, easily understanding the Youth speak after years of repeated exposure. "They don't need to beat him to win, just get his bells. Not that that's any easier."
"Is Kakashi really that powerful?" Tenten asked. "He didn't seem like much to me, he hasn't even drawn that sword of his yet." She remembered the weird shinobi when he would come to her family's shop, and she vividly remembered that day when Shirou presented the man his father's restored sword. However, aside from that, her knowledge of the shinobi known as Hatake Kakashi was minimal.
"My father and uncle say he's one of the strongest jounin in the village, if not the strongest after Itachi," Neji said, watching the fight with his Byakugan. "In fact, they believe a fight between the two could very much end in a draw."
"Hatake Kakashi," Kurenai said. "Graduated the Academy at age 5, promoted to chunin at age 6 and jounin at age 12. He was taught by the Yondaime, fought in the Third Shinobi World War and has since then only become even stronger. He's completed over a thousand missions, half of which are classified. He's quite literally the strongest shinobi of our generation."
"Whoa…" the genin said.
"Hmm, looks like they're about to get back in the fight," Anko said, making the others turned their eyes back to Training Ground Three.
"You know," Kakashi said as he jumped over a fissure in the earth from Rin's Earth Release Ninjutsu. "There are D-ranks for fixing training grounds. Guess who's going to get them?"
"Shut up," Rin mumbled as Kakashi dodged, again. "Shirou, now!"
"Trace on." An even dozen of nameless swords came into existence. "Continuous fire!"
The dozen swords fired towards Kakashi at high speeds. Kakashi's sole eye widened before he replaced himself with yet another log. Said log resembled a pin cushion after several of the swords hit it, destroying it.
'Perhaps I shouldn't have told them to come at me with the intention to kill…' Kakashi thought as he looked at the shattered log.
From behind him, several shadow giants rushed towards him. Kakashi wasted no time in ducking under a clumsy swing by the dark giant, before swiping at it with his kunai.
'Ok, that didn't do as much as I thought it would.' Kakashi looked at the small cut he inflicted on the shadow giant closing. 'I might have to get serious… Or target the summoner. But since when could Nara's do that?'
Sakura dodged from a thrown kunai by Kakashi. 'How did he find me!?'
'He's a jounin,' BB said. 'And he probably didn't get that rank just because Konoha needed to fill the ranks.'
'Right… jounin at age 12. You'd think that was why he was promoted so young in the first place.'
Kakashi rushed towards her, dodging shadow giants and tendrils only to have to leap away from a fireball sent towards him by Rin and several arrows from Shirou.
"Well, at least you three have teamwork down," Kakashi said as Shirou and Rin stood next to Sakura. "Perhaps it's time I get just a little more serious."
Rin cursed as she saw Kakashi make hand seals in rapid succession.
"Water Release: Water Dragon Bullet!"
A giant dragon of water was spat out by Kakashi and headed towards the three.
Rin quickly made several hand seals of her own.
"Earth Release: Mud Wall!"
A wall of mud three times her height and as thick as she was emerged from the ground, taking the brunt of the water dragon. However, the wall soon crumbled under the strength of the jutsu, breaking up.
"And.. they're gone again," Kakashi sighed upon seeing no one behind the destroyed earth wall.
Kakashi quickly turned around and blocked Kanshou as Shirou tried to attack him from behind. His other hand went to block Bakuya with another kunai. Rin soon joined Shirou in the melee. They tag teamed Kakashi, not enough to truly worry him, but enough to impress him greatly with how in sync they were working together.
Avoiding Rin's fists and Shirou's swords was no easy matter, especially with how well the two fought together, but Kakashi managed. This was hardly the first time he had to fight a Hyuuga or a swordsman, but it was the first that he fought both at the same time. It was an interesting experience.
Every time he moved away from Rin's fists, he would have to deflect sword swings from Shirou, which Rin then took advantage of to try and hit him. It was a continuous cycle that left him no chance to counterattack so long as he kept himself to chunnin levels of strength and speed.
In truth, Kakashi knew he could end this in seconds, prodigies or not. However, he was here to test them, not crush them. So far, he liked what he saw. 'Lots of potential, good mental health and excellent work ethics. It's like looking at what I could have been with a better childhood.'
Rin and Shirou broke off as a shadow reached out for Kakashi. Kakashi was no slouch however, and easily evaded the attempt by Sakura to ensnare him in her shadow.
"You know, I'm starting to see a pattern," Kakashi said. "You two engage me in a melee, hoping to create an opening for the Nara to catch me. A bit repetitive and uninspired, but not too bad for genin."
"Well, if it works, it works," Sakura shrugged.
"Too bad it isn't," Kakashi said. "You'd have to try harder to get the bells. The clock's ticking."
It was at this moment that Kakashi decided he'd have to go on the offensive. First, he had to separate them. Time to assess them individually.
Tiger. Ox. Dog. Rabbit. Snake.
"Wind Release: Great Breakthrough!"
Kakashi blew out a huge gust of wind that caught the three by surprise, blowing them throughout the training ground. No longer together, Kakashi could now fight them one at a time.
"Time to hunt," Kakashi said as he disappeared.
"Someone's getting serious," Anko said as the leaves around her fluttered in the wind. Kakashi's jutsu was so powerful that even as far away as they were, it's effects could still be felt.
"So, this is what it means to be a jounin," Neji commented.
"You wish, kid," Asuma said, frowning at his now finished cigarette. "Kakashi at most is treating them like a well-coordinated chunin team. Good, but not quite enough to treat them like a legitimate threat."
"Maybe enough to make Kurenai work for a victory," Anko said. "But she's a Genjutsu specialist. If she has to fight at close range, somethings gone wrong."
Kurenai didn't refute that. It was true after all.
"Where are they?" Tenten asked, putting down her binoculars. "I can't see them anywhere."
Neji frowned and focused his vision. "They have been blown throughout the training ground. And Kakashi is now hunting them."
"Ah, so my rival is on the hunt," Gai said. "This shall not be enjoyable for them."
"It'll be a good learning experience," Anko said. "Teach them that they're not the biggest fish in the pond that's Konoha, let alone the ocean that's the shinobi world."
"Doesn't this seem a little harsh?" Kurenai asked, frowning. "They are just genin after all."
"Prodigy genin," Asuma said. "They're used to being the best. Having that notion beaten out of them will be good for their life expectancy. I mean, just think about how many so-called geniuses we knew that didn't live past twenty?"
The jounin there frowned, remembering fallen comrades that died due to their own arrogance. It wasn't that common, jounin sensei's making sure that they knew not to underestimate their enemies, but it happened.
"Gai-sensei, you didn't test us like this earlier," Lee said.
"Ah, well every sensei has a different way of testing," Gai said. "It really depends on what the sensei in question values above all else. For example, I value determination. The three of you didn't give up despite my challenge that you would be sent back to the Academy if you could not lay a hand on me. Even after you were defeated, you were determined to try again next time. That was enough to show me the power of your youth!"
Lee was teary eyed. "Gai-sensei!"
Anko slapped the two over their heads. "Back to Kakashi's test you idiots!"
"Ah, sorry, Anko-san," Gai said. "Anyway, my rival believes that teamwork is the most important thing any shinobi must have, hence why he said that only two of them could pass, to test how they would react to the knowledge that they must abandon a comrade. As you can see, they've demonstrated remarkable teamwork and coordination by attacking Kakashi as a team."
"So, they've already passed?" Tenten asked.
"Looks like it," Asuma said. "Doesn't mean the test is over yet though."
"I wonder how much of the training ground will remain standing after all this," Kurenai wondered.
"Well, perhaps it shall be a most excellent D-rank to use as training," Gai said.
The two sane members of the newly minted Team Nine felt a chill down their spines.
'Damn you Team Kakashi!'
Except for Lee, who like his sensei, thought it would be a wonderful way to train.
"Make a note to have a D-rank prepared for the restoration of Training Ground Three," Hiruzen told his secretary.
"Yes, Hokage-sama," his secretary said, immediately going to write down a mission detailing just that.
He had Shikaku and Hiashi join him in his office to watch the fight. Well, officially Hiashi was here to talk to him regarding his clan's business dealings out of the village, but that was a paper-thin excuse and everyone knew it. No doubt, he wanted to make use of the better details his crystal ball could show of the fight. Wouldn't do to have his daughter call him out on watching her test now, would it?
Shikaku didn't even bother trying to come up with one, just showing up at exactly nine and sat his lazy ass on his sofa, waiting for the fight to start.
Hiruzen sighed. "Was it too much to ask for an intact training ground after testing them?"
He went back to watching the fight from his crystal ball. Hmm, he wondered how they would fare one on one against Kakashi. Would they stop holding back?
Shirou was worried. It had been five minutes since he had been separated from Rin and Sakura, and already they were being singled out.
"Note to self, invest in teamwide communications," Shirou mumbled. "Tech, Fuinjutsu or magecraft, as long as we can keep in touch with one another."
"That sounds like a wonderful idea!" Kakashi's all too chipper voice sounded out, instantly putting Shirou on edge. He looked around, not seeing a trace of his sensei.
All he saw were trees and plant life, something any good Konoha shinobi knew how to hide in. No doubt, his sensei was a master in the art.
Perhaps it was instinct, intuition or years of experience, but Shirou's senses screamed at him that danger was coming from the right. In an instant, sparks flew as Shirou's Kanshou and Bakuya clashed against Kakashi's White Light Chakra Sabre.
"Shinobi tactics lesson one, Bukijutsu," Kakashi said, his lone exposed eye locked onto Shirou's. "You wanted to see what I could do with this sword. Well, let me show you!"
The two swordsmen held the blade lock for a second, before separating and resuming the clash. Their hands were in a flurry of motion as sparks flew. Kakashi's blade trailing white light with each swing while Shirou's were a flurry of white and black, resembling Yin and Yang.
Shirou read the history of the White Light Chakra Sabre, seeing every swing, thrust and parry ever made by it. The moment it broke, the moment it was re-forged and all the skills of the swordsmen who had wielded it in battle, Shirou saw it all. That fact alone allowed him to keep up with his sensei, however briefly.
Eventually, Kakashi managed to disarm Shirou of Kanshou, sending it flying, or so he thought. Shirou continued fighting with only Bakuya in hand, slowly but surely being pushed back by Kakashi's superior strength and speed.
Kakashi ducked his head down as Kanshou came spinning back towards Shirou, the blade returning to Shirou's hand.
"Well that was interesting, if not unheard of," Kakashi said. It wasn't unusual for shinobi to have their weapons returned to them, either via strings attached to the weapons or other techniques. He couldn't quite tell how Shirou did it though. "Tell me, do you know how to channel elemental chakra through your weapon?"
Kakashi's sword was instantly covered in Lightning Release Chakra, the blade crackling in the otherwise quiet clearing. He charged at Shirou, sabre coming down at him as Shirou raised his twin blades to block it.
Kanshou and Bakuya cracked under Kakashi's lightning enhanced sword, eventually destroying both blades.
Shirou jumped back, tracing replacements immediately.
"Now that's just unfair," Kakashi said. "People who are disarmed should stay that way."
"Since when did shinobi play fair?" Shirou shot back.
"Good point." Kakashi smiled at him. "Well, we've established that I'm the better swordsman. What now?"
Shirou thought about his options. None of the more destructive or costly Noble Phantasms, this was just a test after all. Gae Bolg? No, he didn't want to kill his sensei just a day after meeting him. Caladbolg? The village would probably not be pleased with having to replace a training ground.
'What about…" Shirou found something that just might give him an edge against his sensei.
"I am the bone of my sword."
Kakashi's eyebrow raised as the swords in Shirou's hand disappeared and was replaced with a bow and… arrow.
Said arrow was a pitch-black weapon with a few small edges coiling around the thin core, spiralling around it and somewhat curving outward. It resembled a sword more than it did an arrow.
Shirou notched the arrow and fired it at Kakashi.
Hrunting: Hound of the Red Plains. Once fired, it would continuously seek the target until it found its mark. So long as Shirou didn't turn it into a Broken Phantasm, Kakashi should survive it. Maybe.
Kakashi instinctively knew that the arrow was bad news and quickly put as much distance between them as possible. He parried, dodged and just tried to keep himself from getting impaled by the oversized arrow.
First pass, Kakashi eventually moved away from the arrow, allowing it to fly past him.
The arrow turned mid-air, swinging around to target Kakashi again.
Second pass, Kakashi was quick to respond and parried it away, now keeping his attention on both the 'arrow' and Shirou.
Third pass, Kakashi took out a kunai to block arrows shot at him by Shirou while his sword redirected Hrunting away from him. Kakashi hid a wince as the 'arrow' was accelerating, each pass coming for him at higher speeds.
Fourth pass, Kakashi made sure to redirect Hrunting into a tree, only for the 'arrow' to go through it and head for him again.
No matter what he did, the arrow would just turn around and come after him again. Like a hunting hound after its prey, with the prey being Kakashi. Shirou occasionally took potshots at Kakashi, keeping him busy trying to fend off attacks from multiple directions.
'What is this? A Kakashi seeking missile?'
At the very last second, Kakashi replaced himself with a rock, the arrow unable to go through it and detonating with the force of several explosive tags, sending rock fragments everywhere. Trees either fell or had many holes put through them as rock fragments flew about like shrapnel from a hand grenade.
Shirou searched for Kakashi, having been far enough that none of the shrapnel came even close to him. He found his sensei, far away enough and hidden by enough trees that he didn't have a clear shot at him.
Kakashi looked at the devastation from afar with a sweat drop. 'I really shouldn't have told them to come after me with the intention to kill.'
Time to seek his other students. Hopefully, the Hyuuga would be less destructive.
Shirou noticed that Kakashi was headed for the general direction of where Rin had been blown to. 'Hopefully, Rin won't unleash some of her nastier stuff on him. Now, where's Sakura?'
"Since when could he do that!?" Neji exclaimed.
"Did that arrow follow Kakashi?" Kurenai said.
"It did," Gai said. "It changed directions multiple times and only seemed to gain speed while doing so."
"Almost like a hunting hound," Anko said.
"That's impossible," Asuma said. "Was it some kind of jutsu? I didn't see him making any hand seals."
"It's his own unique brand of Ninjutsu," Anko said, giving the official explanation for Shirou's abilities. "It's really something, isn't it?"
"He's been holding out on me," Tenten pouted. "Why didn't he make me a sword like that?"
"Considering Kiri's record when it comes to their Seven Swordsmen, I can't blame him," Asuma said.
"What do you mean, Asuma-san?" Lee asked. "And who are the Seven Swordsmen you referred to?"
"The Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist was an organisation consisting of only the greatest blade-wielding shinobi of their generation that Kirigakure can produce," Kurenai explained. "There can only be seven members at a time — hence the name. The swords of the Seven Swordsmen were passed down from generation to generation since the First Mizukage's era. They're considered mystical blades, and together, the Seven Swordsmen were capable of bringing down an entire nation, regarded as being the strongest shinobi in the village behind the Mizukage."
"My father fought them," Gai said with a frown. "All seven of them at once. Four of them were killed by him before he died."
Gai remembered that day well, considering his father died fighting them to protect him and his teammates. It was one of the many defining moments of his life that made him what he was now.
"Shame he never got as much recognition for it as he deserved," Anko said. "Anyway, over the years, the wielders of those swords either died or turned traitor, taking their swords with them during the start of their bloody civil war. As far as we know, only one sword, Hiramekarei remains in Kiri's hands."
"What does that have to do with him giving me a normal sword?" Tenten asked.
"Well, for the most part, they were over reliant on their swords," Asuma said. "Without them, most of them were barely jounin level. With the bloodline purges and the loss of those swords, even when their civil war ends, Kiri will never be as strong as it once was."
"You seem to know a lot about other village's, Asuma-san," Lee said.
"Well, when you're a jounin, you need to know these things," Asuma said. "Keeping up to date with current issues is a job requirement."
"So, before you ask him for a better sword, I believe it is best if you master using a regular one first, my student," Gai said.
"Yeah, I suppose you're right, sensei," Tenten said.
"Kakashi's found another one of them," Neji said, bringing their eyes back to the fight. "And it's Rin-sama!"
Rin didn't even bother to pretend she didn't see her sensei coming. Not after seeing and hearing the giant explosion that could only come from Shirou using one of his Noble Phantasms on their sensei, she knew that either she or Sakura was next.
"Earth Release: Earth Flow Spears!"
Kakashi leaped away as the ground beneath him erupted into several giant spikes in order to skewer him.
Rin was undeterred and merely used one of her chakra jewels to power up another jutsu.
"Water Release: Droplet Spear!"
Several orbs of water crashed down on where Kakashi was, drenching the area with water.
"Maa, maa, violent one, aren't you?" Kakashi said as he reappeared a few metres in front of Rin. A Hyuuga who likes to use Ninjutsu? What next, a Nara who liked housework?
Sakura sneezed, before going back to making her way towards where her teammates were, which was probably where all the explosions were happening.
"Die!" Rin yelled.
"I'd rather not," Kakashi shot back. "Alright, shinobi tactics lesson 2. Ninjutsu!"
Kakashi's hands blurred into a series of hand seals faster than Rin could follow, ending with a tiger seal.
"Fire Release: Fire Dragon Flame Bullet!"
Kakashi spat out fire from his mouth, the fire forming into the shape of a dragon before flying towards Rin at high speeds.
Rin leaped away from the fire dragon, only for Kakashi to complete a second set of hand seals.
"Wind Release: Air Bullet!"
A great gust of compressed wind slammed into Kakashi's earlier fire dragon, redirecting it towards where Rin was now and greatly increasing its speed.
'Crap, no time to form hand seals!' Rin quickly grabbed one of her magecraft jewels and slammed it to the ground.
A great big explosion erupted from where the wind enhanced fire dragon struck. Smoke blanketed the area, obscuring vision as Kakashi surveyed the damage.
'She didn't dodge…' Kakashi was actually a bit worried that he had accidentally deep fried the Hyuuga heiress. Only a bit though. These kids had already shown that they were far from ordinary genin.
"YOU COULD'VE KILLED ME!"
"Maa, you survived, didn't you?" Kakashi replied as the smoke dispersed, revealing a very irritated Rin who had the edges of her clothes singed. Around her, was a red protective barrier that was being emitted from a Ruby in the centre. "Interesting barrier you have there."
Rin gave him the Look. The Look that many a Hyuuga had learned to fear ever since Rin had begun her first steps. It was the Look the White-Eyed Witch gave you when she was royally pissed off at you.
She took out a green jewel and clenched it in her fist, making Kakashi feel something he never thought he'd feel from a genin.
"Oh dear," Hiashi couldn't help but say. "I hope Hatake-san can handle a few weeks in the hospital."
Shikaku snorted in amusement. "He pissed her off something real fierce, didn't he?"
"Am I even going to have a training ground left after all this?" Hiruzen asked. "Even my test against Jiraiya-kun, Orochimaru and Tsunade-chan didn't result in this much damage."
"To be fair, that was before they became the monsters they are today," Shikaku said before turning to Hiashi. "You didn't seem particularly worried when Rin didn't dodge."
"I trust she knows how to handle herself in a dangerous situation," Hiashi said. "Besides, Hatake-san should be the one we should be worrying about."
"The hospital staff isn't going to be pleased," Hiruzen muttered. In fact, the hospital staff despised Kakashi, considering that he was the worst patient possible, always escaping mandatory bed rest and not giving a damn about doctor's orders.
Especially that one time he kept swapping places with the doctor. Damn near had the entire hospital in revolt. Ah if only Tsunade-chan was here and in charge, then this headache would be her problem, not his.
"It's half past ten," Shikaku noted. "Just my little girl left and then they'd regroup and hand Kakashi's ass on a silver platter."
"He'd have to escape my daughter's wrath first," Hiashi mused.
Hiruzen sighed. "Have that mission to clear up Training Ground Three upgraded to a C-rank. Whoever gets it is going to have a lot of work on their hands."
"GET BACK HERE AND TAKE YOUR PUNISHMENT LIKE A MAN!"
"Hell no! I like my skin the way it is!"
Kakashi ducked under a particularly nasty rotting curse, which struck a tree. Instantly, the tree's leaves turned a sickly yellow and shrivelled, the bark peeling off and the grass around the tree turning a dry yellow. He did not want to find out what that unknown jutsu did to humans!
Paling, Kakashi quickly came up with a plan to get out of there alive. He sure as hell hoped that none of his friends were watching as he replaced himself with a Lightning Release: Shadow Clone.
Rin's eye twitched as she saw the 'Kakashi' she hit turn into electricity, stunning her for a moment while her Byakugan showed the real Kakashi far, far away.
"Rin-chan is scary," Lee shivered.
"You just realized that?" Neji asked.
"I don't think I've ever seen her so mad," Tenten muttered.
"She's going to be a handful, I can just tell," Asuma said. "Poor Kakashi, having a spitfire of a kunoichi to teach."
"Yosh! I am sure my rival will prevail and turn them into the most splendid shinobi!" Gai said.
"Oh, that was never in doubt," Kurenai said. "It's rather if he keeps what passes for his sanity in the process."
"He's already got a head full of grey hair," Anko snickered. "We won't notice the difference."
"… Did Rin just destroy a tree with one punch?" Tenten asked as she saw a tree collapse while Rin gave another cry of frustration at having the scarecrow escape her wrath.
"You wouldn't expect it with how thin her arms are, but she's crazy strong," Neji said. "Uncle and father are the only ones left in the clan who can give her a challenge."
"They never showed us this back in the Academy," Lee said.
"That would've been overkill," Anko said. "Besides, now that they're genin, they've decided to stop holding back, even if by just a little."
"Now I wonder what Sakura has up her sleeve," Tenten said. "She's a Nara, whatever she's going to show us can't be all that impressive, right?"
Anko chuckled. Oh you sweet summer child.
"Oh sensei, I know you're here!"
Kakashi grimaced from where he was hidden. After barely escaping with his life from the witch, here he was now, stalking his Commander's niece, and didn't that sound weird? Hopefully, she wouldn't display any weird abilities like the other two had.
Sure, he could've used his Sharingan and ended the fight pretty quickly, but if word got out that he had to resort to it to deal with genin, his rep would never recover.
Sakura looked around, stretching out her senses to find her sensei. She took out a kunai and prepared for whatever her sensei had in store for her. Hearing a bush rattle, she threw the kunai at it, only to hit nothing.
"Shinobi Tactics Lesson 3." Kakashi suddenly appeared behind her, making her turn and look him in the eye. "Genjutsu."
"Demonic Illusion: Hell Viewing Technique!"
Kakashi disappeared from Sakura's view, and suddenly she was back in Matou Manor.
"Did you really think you could escape?" Zouken mocked as worms and his other insect familiars swarmed around her. "Your friends? Oh, they put up a good fight, but in the end they were just more food to sustain my existence."
"S#k($ ! Sn p * *$ #t!"
Sakura took a step back. "This isn't real. It's just a Genjutsu."
"Oh, is it?" Shinji appeared. "Now let's go to my room and fulfil our duties."
"This isn't real. It's just a Genjutsu."
"W k% UP!"
"Pathetic! Useless!" Zouken walked towards her, the sound of his walking stick tapping the ground. "I'll make sure to break you more thoroughly this time!"
The illusion fell apart as Sakura gasped for breath. She was back at Training Ground Three, surrounded by trees and nature… and she was standing in the middle of a large circle made of shadows.
"What did that show you?" Kakashi asked in worry. He had leaped away the moment he sensed something was wrong, barely avoiding getting trapped in the shadows. The Hell Viewing Technique was pretty tame as far as Genjutsu went, playing on the victim's fears. Though D-rank, it could have devastating impact depending on what exactly the victim feared.
Sakura closed her eyes and breathed. When she opened them again, they were crimson and Kakashi could make out several markings appearing on her face. However, just as quickly as they appeared, they receded.
Sakura glared at her sensei with her purple eyes, reminding him of a certain someone's mother who also had purple eyes. It was honestly quite frightful to watch this twelve-year old child channel the Red Hot Habanero.
BB had asked if Sakura wanted her to handle this, but Sakura declined. BB had a tendency to go overboard and she knew her sensei hadn't meant to bring those memories back up. It was the result of a Genjutsu playing with her mind. She'll have to work on that. Can't have a simple Genjutsu paralyzing her in battle when it actually mattered.
Shadow tendrils and giants came out from the circle of shadow Sakura was standing in, forcing Kakashi to back off. Taking out his sword, Kakashi swung it at a shadow giant, slicing it in half. But there were many more of them, not to mention the shadow tendrils coming in from all sides.
Kakashi retreated, realizing that there was only an hour left before the test ended. 'What an interesting team I have here. If I wasn't, well, me, I'd be dead.'
'Kakashi' was caught by several shadow tendrils, then poof. Kakashi had replaced himself with yet another log that was soon crushed under the shadow tendrils.
'And he's gone again,' BB sighed.
'Let's regroup with the others,' Sakura said, feeling mentally exhausted from having to see those memories again. 'Come up with one last ditch plan to beat him.'
'They shouldn't be too hard to find,' BB mused. 'Just head in the general direction of where the explosions were.'
"So…" Shirou looked at his two teammates. "Did any of you manage to lay a finger on him?"
Rin grumbled. "Stupid sensei. Dodging all my jutsu and spells."
"Mine didn't last too long," Sakura said. "He put me under a Genjutsu, I broke out, he avoided all my shadows and here we are."
"He's a better swordsman than me," Shirou said. "He actually broke Kanshou and Bakuya."
"I thought your projections didn't break so easily anymore?" Rin asked. "And he actually broke them!?"
"They don't," Shirou said. "They're as good as Archer's were. Sensei channelled Lightning Chakra through his sword and managed to crack them both."
"Well, that's impressive," Rin said. "We still have to get the bells. Any ideas?"
"Well…" Sakura had a mischievous look on her face, something that was quite rare as far as Rin and Shirou were concerned. "Remember when you told us about his… literature choices?"
"Yeah, I remember," Shirou said, wondering where this was going.
Sakura beckoned them closer as she started telling them what her plan was.
"That's positively evil!" Rin declared. "I love it!"
"I'm surprised he didn't notice," Shirou said. "But this might just work, if they weren't exaggerating about his love for it."
The three of them laid out the plan to beat their sensei. They would pass, no matter what it took!
Kakashi was patiently waiting back where they first met on the training ground, looking as if he was bored out of his mind when in reality, he was anything but. Though physically untouched, it was honestly a close-run thing as Kakashi had a feeling that if he didn't separate them, they would have forced him to get serious quite quickly. He thought about his fights with his three soon to be students.
'That should teach me to underestimate prodigies said to surpass both me and Itachi. All three display abilities that bear no resemblance to any known form of Ninjutsu. They aren't forbidden clan techniques, otherwise they wouldn't be throwing them out like kunai. Creating weapons out of thin air, techniques that don't seem to be chakra based, shadow monsters… I really am looking forward to that briefing Hokage-sama's going to give me later.'
Kakashi looked up. 'Oh, they're here? Well, back to work.'
The ground beneath Kakashi erupted as Rin popped out behind him. Without even looking, Kakashi ducked down, avoiding her spinning kick. Grabbing her foot, he threw her away. Rin corrected herself mid-air and landed on her feet, facing him in a Gentle Fist stance.
Kakashi was just beginning to wonder where the other two were before he felt his body freezing up.
'The hole!' Kakashi realized, as out from the hole Rin popped out from, a shadow was extended from it, connecting with his own to catch him in the Nara's Shadow Possession Jutsu.
"You do realize that I'm strong enough to break out of this."
Rin grinned. It was never their intention to hold him for that long, already, Sakura couldn't even move Kakashi's arm as he fought back against her control. Kakashi easily kept Sakura from making him reach for the bells, but that was fine with her. It would have been nice for him to hand over the bells to them himself, but they didn't count on it.
An arrow flew through the air, cutting the strings holding the two bells there. A tiny shadow familiar popped out from Kakashi's shadow to grab them and made its way to Rin.
Kakashi felt Sakura's hold on him release and sighed. He saw the other two join Rin in front of him. "Well, you've got the bells, with plenty of time to spare. Now, which one of you is going back to the Academy?"
"How about a counter deal?" Shirou suggested.
"Oh?" Kakashi felt his eye widened as he saw Sakura holding up a familiar looking orange book. Opening his back pouch, he found it empty.
Kakashi was dodging the shadow tendrils and giants sent his way by the purple-haired Nara, not noticing that a tiny shadow familiar had reached into his back pouch and made off with his book.
"What are you planning on doing with that?" Kakashi asked warily. What did they plan to do to his precious.
Rin held up a finger and made a small fire appear from the tip. "Oh, I'm sure it'll make good kindling. If you don't pass all of us, say goodbye to your book."
"Maa, there are always more books," Kakashi said, hoping to bluff his way out of this. "What makes you think that one is so important to me?"
"It's a limited-edition copy of Icha Icha Paradise, with the author's signature as well as various extra scenes," Sakura said. "Also, the laughter coming from Anko is also a pretty obvious sign that she finds this hilarious."
Kakashi glared at Anko's general direction, already knowing that this was going to spread to the shinobi rumour mill in no time.
"Fine, you all pass. Now give me back my book!"
Sakura tossed the book back to Kakashi, who immediately hugged it to his chest. "There, there. The bad children can't hurt you now."
The three sweat-dropped at his antic. This was their new sensei?
Kakashi kept the book and recomposed himself. "Anyway, did the three of you find out the hidden meaning of this test?"
"Hidden meaning?" Shirou asked.
"Yes," Kakashi said. "A shinobi always has to look underneath the underneath, find the truth hidden beneath what seems obvious on the surface."
The three thought about it.
"Teamwork?" Sakura said. "You tried to sow discord among us by saying you would only pass two of us, but that wasn't true, was it?"
"Perceptive, aren't you?" Kakashi sighed. "As expected of a Nara. In fact, this is the first time anyone's passed my test on the first try."
"First try?' Shirou asked.
"Well, normally I just play around with my students until the times up, then tie up the most annoying one to that post and make the others eat lunch while I forbid him from having any," Kakashi explained. "Then, I go off somewhere and wait and see if they care about their teammate to disobey me. If they did and gave their teammate some food, they pass."
"That's your grand test?" Rin asked. "Sounds rather… difficult for genin, isn't it?"
"I have no interest in teaching genin who aren't willing to work together." Kakashi shrugged. "Follow me."
Kakashi guided them to a different area of the training ground, where a large stone memorial with many names written on it stood.
"Do you know what this is?" Kakashi asked quietly.
"The Konoha Memorial Stone," Shirou said.
"Correct. On it is written every shinobi who has ever given their life in defence of this village. My best friend is on that stone, as are the rest of my team."
Kakashi looked down at the stone solemnly. "I failed to learn the importance of teamwork until it got my first team killed. It took the death of my best friend to knock me off my high horse and realize its importance. That's why my test is so hard, to teach them this lesson I learned the hard way before it got one of them killed."
Sakura knelt down and traced her finger on the stone until she found two names.
"Your parents?" Shirou asked.
"Yeah," Sakura said. "I've never come here before, actually. Usually I just visit them at the Nara clan's memorial. I'll have to bring flowers here later." She looked at her sensei. "Do you come here often?"
"Too often some would say," Kakashi joked. "Anyway, I guess we are now officially Team 7."
The three of them smiled. They were now officially shinobi!
"Meet me here tomorrow at seven in the morning," Kakashi said. "I have to go report to the Hokage that we are now officially a team."
"By seven, do you really mean seven or nine?" Rin asked sceptically. "You won't pull off that coming late thing you're so well known for, will you?"
"Who knows?" Kakashi answered cheerfully. "See you."
Kakashi disappeared in a shunshin, leaving the three genin alone.
"So…" Shirou looked at the two. "Want to go get lunch? I hear that the new hotpot place in the old village area has the Akimichi seal of approval."
"Shouldn't we clean up first?" Sakura asked, looking at the many, many potholes and fallen trees, not to mention kunai and shuriken scattered about everywhere.
"Nah, there are D-ranks for that, remember?" Rin said. "Come on, I'm hungry!"
"Well, that was something," Asuma said.
"Oh really?" Kakashi appeared behind them, scaring the hell out of the genin. The jounin there were used to it, however. "And did you all enjoy the free show?"
"We enjoyed watching you struggle against three genin, yes," Anko said with a large grin on her face.
"Yosh! My rival, you have a most youthful team!" Gai congratulated. "I am sure you'll make their flames burn white hot!"
"Oh, did you say something, Gai?" Kakashi asked.
"Curse your hip and cool attitude, my rival!"
"This is going to be a thing with them, isn't it?" Tenten asked.
"I'm afraid so," Kurenai said sympathetically. To have Gai as a sensei and his rival teaching another team their age. They were bound to get up to various shenanigans sooner or later.
"My rival! I challenge you to…"
"Don't you two have to report to the Hokage right now?" Asuma said. "Reporting the results of your tests and genin teams."
"Ah, yes," Gai said sheepishly. "I suppose we shall postpone the challenge to a later time."
"Mine are cuter than yours," Kakashi said.
"Why, my students are the very definition of cuteness!" Gai replied. "Look at them!"
Lee looked enthusiastic, Tenten looked exasperated while Neji wondered if it was too late to look for a different sensei.
"If you say so, Gai. Oh, if you want to meet them, they're headed for that hotpot place in the old village area for lunch."
"Yosh! We shall go there to congratulate them in person!" Lee dragged his teammates to head out.
"Lee! The old village area is the other way!"
"Ah, sorry Neji! As punishment for my forgetfulness, I shall run fift laps around the village with Tenten on my shoulders!"
"Don't pull me into one of your crazy challenges!"
The three genin bickered as the jounin smiled, remembering their own memories with their genin teams. Good times.
"Any interest in joint training?" Kakashi asked as they walked towards the Hokage Tower.
"Perhaps if time permits," Gai said. "It would be good for them to meet each other often. Keep the bonds of friendship strong."
"So long as you and that apprentice of yours tone down your youthfulness, I don't see why we can't help each other out."
"THE FLAMES OF YOUTH CANNOT BE CONTAINED!"
"Whatever you say, Gai."
"Well, we better get out of here," Shikaku said. "Don't want the men thinking we were spying on our kids now, would we?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about," Hiashi said. "I was here, discussing with the Hokage regarding my clan's foreign business affairs while you just so happen to be in the office as well. When did we ever mention anything about spyi… I mean observing our children?"
Hiruzen snorted. Even Naruto could come up with a better excuse than that. "Get out of here, both of you. I can see Kakashi and Gai making their way here in three… two… one."
The window slammed open as the two jounin entered the room.
"Hokage-sama! I have a most youthful report!"
"Save it for when the others arrive," Hiruzen sighed, seeing the two clan heads already gone. "I already know that the both of you passed your teams, anyway. And you might just give a few people heart attacks for turning up early, Kakashi."
"Oh, is that so?" Kakashi did his signature eye smile, taking out his book to pass the time.
They waited for a few more minutes for the other jounin to arrive at the time given for the meeting. Many of the jounin did do a double take upon seeing Kakashi there early. Some of them went so far to check for a Genjutsu.
"Yes, I know, he's here early for once," Hiruzen said. "Now, your teams?"
"Team One, fail."
"Team Two, fail."
"Team Three, pass."
"Team Four, fail."
"Team Five, fail."
"Team Six, fail."
"Team Seven, pass."
The other jounin aside from Gai looked at Kakashi in surprise. He actually passed a team?
The Hokage coughed, getting the jounin to return to reporting the results of their tests.
"Team Eight, fail."
"Team Nine, a most youthful pass!"
"Right, three teams," Hiruzen said. "Within expectations. All of you aside from Kakashi, leave."
The jounin did so, Gai giving them a curious look before leaving as well. Kakashi turned to looks at his leader. "So, I'm finally getting that briefing on why three genin have files classified at the highest level?"
"Partially." Hiruzen took a puff of his pipe. "Those files were empty anyway." He signalled for his secretary to enter. "Please inform Shikaku and Hiashi to enter."
The two clan heads entered the room, leaving the new jounin sensei really curious about what he was about to be briefed on.
Kakashi looked at the father and uncle of his two female students. "Must be serious if their clan heads themselves are here to tell me about it."
"Well, it first came to our notice during the Hyuuga affair…"
"Cheers!" the six genin there cheered with raised cups of fruit juice.
Team Nine had indeed met Team Seven at the restaurant they were going to, and the two teams decided to celebrate passing by having lunch together.
"So, the first team to reach chunin wins?" Rin challenged.
"Oh, you are on!" Lee grinned before frowning. "Though, we won't be able to see each other like this often now that we're genin."
"Oh, I don't know about that," Neji said. "Our two senseis are 'rivals'. Chances are we'll be having joint training more often than not."
"That's great!" Tenten said. 'More chances to get Shirou to notice me!'
Rin and Sakura narrowed their eyes at the lone kunoichi of Team Nine. Shirou was theirs!
"Food's here," Shirou said, not noticing the tension among the girls.
"Oh, that smells lovely," Sakura said. "Well, let's dig in."
Once the genin finished their meal, they chatted and groaned about their senseis, or in Lee's case, youthfully shouting out their virtues.
All was fine until Lee reached for a cup that the waiter had accidentally given him, thinking that it was plain water. Unfortunately, the waiter had mistakenly poured sake into it and gave it to the genin, to disastrous results.
"What the? LEE!"
"Lee, what's gotten into you!"
"Lee-kun, calm down!"
"Everyone down!" They all ducked as Lee flipped the table over their heads, thankfully only holding a few cups at that point. The table crashed to the floor, scaring many civilians. However used to shinobi and their antics, an out of control one was still something no civilian wanted to deal with. Best to let the shinobi there to handle it.
Lee drunkenly stood up, pointing a shaky finger at Shirou.
"I shall fight Shirou to show my love for Sakura-chan!"
"Say what?" Shirou hastily blocked a kick from Lee, the civilians in the restaurant wisely exiting as soon as the first sign of trouble showed up. The genin soon got into the difficult task of subduing their friend who had become an impromptu Drunken Fist master.
A minute later, when an Uchiha Military Police patrolman arrived on the scene, Lee was wrapped around in chains Shirou had projected, also being held by Sakura's shadows while Rin and Neji had used Gentle Fist strikes to disable him. The entire restaurant was a mess, tables and chairs upturned everywhere, food and drinks splattered throughout the floor and walls.
"You're all going to have to come with me," the officer finally said.
They five of them that were conscious sighed. What a way to start their careers as genin.
First day as official genin and already they've gotten into trouble. What an auspicious beginning! Hopefully, Lee's team will keep him far, far away from anything containing even a drop of alcohol.
Omake (Girls 101 with Shirou-sensei)
"What's this about?" Shikamaru asked Naruto. They and the rest of the boys in their class had been called for a 'boys only' class being given by his brother in his house, a week after passing the 'actual' genin test. He was annoyed by this. He could be cloud watching with his sister, but instead, he was here, eating cookies and being around his friends, which wasn't unpleasant, just something he considered troublesome when he could be with his sister. She was so rarely home these days.
"I don't know." Naruto shrugged. "Shirou-nii wouldn't tell me anything about it, just told me to get my guy friends here so he could give us some important advice."
"I could be training right now," Sasuke grumbled as he helped himself to the baked goods on the table. "But Itachi-nii insisted I attend. Something about it being of vital importance to my future."
"Whatever it is," Choji said in between snacks. "I'm sure Shirou wouldn't call us all here unless it was really important."
"What makes him qualified to give us advice anyway?" Kiba asked. "He's barely older than us!"
"And already, he has achieved the rank of chunin six months after graduating, Tokubetsu jounin a month after and is one of the most famous upcoming shinobi in the village," Shino quietly said.
"Yeah, well I'll catch up in no time!" Naruto shouted. "I didn't bust my ass off to beat Kakashi-sensei's stupid test for no reason!"
"Literally," Sasuke smirked. "How was sensei's little poke up your backside? Still hurt?"
"Make me, dobe!"
"Alright you two, settle down," Shirou said as he entered. "You can beat up each other later."
"Are you finally going to tell us why we're here?" Shikamaru asked, annoyed.
Shirou looked at them with a serious expression, getting them to stiffen. "What I am about to teach you, you shall value for the rest of your lives. It is something I had to learn via trial and error, but you shall have the benefit of an education before experiencing it yourselves."
"What is it?" Choji asked.
Shirou took out a flipchart with the words 'Girls 101' written on them.
"Today, I shall be educating you all about girls and the various personalities they come in," Shirou said.
"Excuse me, but how is this relevant to us as shinobi?" Shino asked with a raised hand.
"None of that raised hand stuff," Shirou said. "We're all full-fledged shinobi here. And this won't matter much to your prospects as a shinobi, but for your lives as men it is worth its weight in gold."
"I don't believe it," Sasuke mumbled. This was what his brother wanted him to learn?
Shirou began his lecture. "First off, we have the most common type there is. The tsundere."
He flipped the chart, showing a picture of Rin.
"That's Rin-nee," Naruto said.
"Yes, yes it is," Shirou said. "Hyuuga Rin is the epitome of a tsundere. Girls like these act all tough on the outside like, they say mean stuff to their crushes or punch them whenever they get nervous around them, but they are actually really sweet and caring on the inside."
"That explains so much," Kiba muttered, comparing this to what he knew of the demon in human skin that was Rin.
"She does usually act like this sometimes with Shirou," Choji said.
Meanwhile the girl in question had the strange urge to strangle said lecturer.
"This is what he wants our students for?" Kurenai said in disbelief.
Beside her, Kakashi and Asume looked on in the utmost seriousness.
"What a great lecture," Kakashi said. "I wish we had this when we were genin."
"I wish I knew this stuff back when I was younger," Asuma mumbled.
"And what is that supposed to mean?" Kurenai asked him with a dangerous glint in her eyes.
"Nothing!" Asuma quickly answered.
"Sounds like Kushina-sama," Kakashi said as Shirou finished explaining what a tsundere was.
"Next, we have the yandere." The chart flipped to show…
"Nee-san?" Shikamaru said in disbelief as he saw a version of his sister that had a different colour scheme.
"Yandere girls are the somewhat opposite of the tsundere girls. They tend to be really violent and, most often, they show their feelings for the person of their affections… by murdering anyone who hurts them. But they do it out of love, so they're not all that psychopathic (I think) – or at least they have a reason."
"How is Sakura-nee anything like that?" Choji asked in disbelief.
"Oh, this isn't her," Shirou said. "This is the other side of her that you better hope you never see. I don't think even the Kyuubi would dare stand in her way."
Inside Naruto's seal, the Kyuubi grumbled. He was so not afraid of some girl that gave out abnormal feelings to him and made every cell in his thousand-year old body scream out in terror. He was not!
Elsewhere, Sakura felt great displeasure at her senpai, for reasons she did not know.
Kakashi shuddered, remembering his own run-ins with yanderes. Truly women that were not to be trifled with.
"Now, we have the kuudere." Shirou showed them the picture of Sasuke.
"I'm not a girl!" Sasuke yelled.
"And these personality types aren't restricted by gender, deal with it."
Sasuke sat back down, thoroughly embarrassed as his friends snickered at him, or in Naruto's case, laughed so hard he fell out of his seat.
"Anyway, kuudere girls are the kinds that are super cool on the outside, maybe even emotionless, but they are on par or even above the tsundere girls when it comes to their person of affection. These girls are usually emotionally strong, or indifferent as some might say, not only that, they are also serious. They will protect and care for their person of affection on the sidelines like a guardian angel, you know, a typical cool/aloof trait. But most probably, they'll fangirl inside like all other girls when it comes to confession."
"Well, anyone you want to tell us about?" Kiba ribbed the Uchiha. "You know, this sounds like your brother as well."
"You leave Itachi-nii out of this!"
While helping out the Hokage sort out the paperwork in preparations for the Chunnin Exams that was coming up, Itachi wondered why he felt the desire to kick a puppy.
"And last but sure as hell not least, we have the dandere."
The chart flipped to show a picture of their classmate, Hyuuga Hinata.
"Hinata-chan?" Naruto said. "She's on this?"
"Dandere girls are just painfully, painfully shy. Yes, they are so shy it hurts. When it comes to the person they like, they freeze or stutter. But these girls are quite determined in their own ways, making their person of affection recognise them and their abilities as a person. A more down-to-earth personality than the tsundere and yandere girls. These girls will most probably faint or cry in shock if they get a confession."
Everyone there looked at Naruto.
"Huh? Why are you all looking at me like that!"
They sighed. Damn dense idiot, they just knew it would take something drastic for him to realize Hinata had a crush on him. Maybe something like her getting stabbed in front of him as she confesses would do.
"And that's all we have for today's class," Shirou said. "Any questions?"
Safe to say, the boys had plenty of them as their sensei's outside watched in amusement.