olympaforged: Thank you, my friend! I appreciate the support but unfortunately, no I don't plan on using Hagoromo in this fic... no, that would be too... generic? No offense to any authors who use Hagoromo. But I'll have you know I already have the climax planned out and it doesn't involve Hagoromo. I have something much better planned and there is a reason why Naruto has the Tenseigan. I assure you, it will be brilliant. Also, Satsuki has a role in the plot that will lead up to the climax. I despise the Uchiha clan but I have a plan for Sasuke, Satsuki, Itachi, and Mikoto. I'm actually taking the time to carefully plan out this story because I want it to be the one I finish and I want it to become one of the greatest Naruto fanfics on the site.

Netto Hikari1 I didn't plan on saving Kin but I will try to develop a plot that involves Fu. Extracting bijuu is a process that doesn't always guarantee the death of the host. I can plan out several different routes I can use her since she is one of my favorite female characters. I'm leaning towards one of them that will definitely add some substance to the plot.

regib I won't be adding Kurenai to Naruto's harem. She will have a ship but it won't be with Asuma.

atengawchok I won't be adding Ino or Shizuka because their roles won't be big enough to the plot. My story is a rewrite of canon and every major deviation has role in leading up to the climax. Even Samui, as minor a character as she is.

As of now, Naruto's harem will be:

Tayuya

Satsuki

Anko

Temari

Kurotsuchi

Samui

Fu

Hint: The ship with Fu, Satsuki, and Kurotsuchi are very important to the plot.

So, in this chapter, I will be expanding on some of the characters. The plan is to rewrite canon and make it fit my own tastes. This is where the plot will begin to come together. Enjoy!

••• Origin •••

Chapter 2: Genin Exams

(6 Years Later)

"Thanks for the breakfast, Tsunade-kaachan. It was delicious. I'm heading out now." Naruto runs up to Tsunade as she's cleaning up the dishes and kisses her on the cheek. Leaving the compound, he flies off towards the Academy, excited for the Genin Exams. Previously, students graduated the shinobi academy at age 12 unless they were advanced. But with Hiruzen's reforms implemented, the tests were more rigorous and frequent, the curriculum more practical, and the lessons more realistic and unforgiving, having students experience first kills in gruesome fashion.

To ready students for real world action, Hiruzen added a 'Blooding Exams.' The academy gathers bloodthirsty bandits and death row convicts to have the students execute them. To add to the real-life simulation aspect, the students were not given weapons to carry out the act. They had to choose the method of execution themselves. The targets would be released in a confined forested area with the words, "This is your chance. Outrun or kill these students and freedom is yours." After 5 minutes, the students will then be tasked with hunting down and killing a target in an allotted timeframe, bringing back their head and incinerating the body. This would be completed a total of 3 times throughout the course of the academy. It is a gritty, cruel, and inhumane practice but a necessary one to produce the finest shinobi for the village.

Another reform to the shinobi selection program is the method of graduation. Instead of a few small exams that are basically the same as the ones taken year round, it was changed to become a small-scale chunin exams, effectively called the Genin Exams. The first is a written exam broken down into history, strategy, physics and anatomy, and basic math, reading, and writing. The second exam is to test agility, reaction speed, and shurikenjutsu. Students are tasked to run a course under the allotted time, testing the speed, comprehension, and aiming skill of the students. The third exam is a display of singles combat. Students pick a number at the beginning to see who is facing off against one another in a tournament based exam. Victors of the first round are paired up against one another and those who lost are paired up against one another to try to get the most accurate results possible. The one who wins the entire exam is given the title of Champion of the Stage. The genin with the highest overall grade out of all three exams is given the title of Rookie of the Year.

Naruto is, of course, confident in his abilities to win the title. He smiles happily as he makes his way to the academy, waving at those who greet him as he flies above the rooftops of Konoha. The academy is ruthless nowadays and many of the civilians who aren't cut out for the shinobi life quit. Especially when it came to the killing. D-ranks are also given to academy students as a way to make money and act as a requirement to pass each year. Students must complete 25 D-rank missions each semester to pass. Add that along with written exams, practical exams, Blooding Exams, and the lessons themselves and the pressure comes into perspective. By graduation, modern day genin are more than a match for the chunin of old.

... And this is a time of peace?

Arriving at the academy, Naruto makes his way to the classroom. He takes his normal seat between Tayuya and Satsuki. Over the years, they each have changed. Tayuya is now one of the most beautiful kunoichi in the entire village. Couple that with her deadly skills in kenjutsu, and people call her the Second Coming of the Red Death. She still goes by her moniker of the Raging Fireball though. Standing at 5'2", Tayuya sports a curvy athletic build with a sizable bust and derrière. She wears a form fitting long sleeve red shirt and black tights, the academy issue vest, and she keeps her sword strapped to her back. Her long red hair became more vibrant and hangs below her back which she keeps in a ponytail. She also has a rhombus in her forehead, a symbol of her apprenticeship to Tsunade due to her precise chakra control. She had also been undergoing lessons from the village's Genjutsu Mistress, Kurenai Yuhi, alongside the Kurama clan heiress, Yakumo.

Satsuki, on the other hand, hasn't fallen behind Tayuya in neither beauty nor skill. A fellow kenjutsu specialist, she poured much effort in developing her ninjutsu, taijutsu, and strategic skills. She stands at a healthy 5'4", curvy where it counts with similar dimensions to Tayuya, and sporting a similar fashion. She wears a form fitting black long sleeve shirt, black tights, and an academy vest. Like Tayuya, her pouches are secured to her legs as well and they both wear black shinobi sandals. Her black hair hangs at a similar length to Tayuya's and she also keeps it in a ponytail. The difference is that, where Tayuya has bangs that cover her right eye, Satsuki sports two bangs that frame her face. Satsuki's skill with her Sharingan has grown under the tutelage of her mother as well as Kakashi Hatake. She has mastered her fire element to an alarming degree as well as her lightening element. Kakashi even taught her his signature Chidori and Raikiri, which, to his dismay, she improved to the point where the 'chirping' noise was eliminated and she could control it without the tunnel sighted charge.

The effectiveness of the Academy Overhaul was alarming. Hiruzen even began to receive reports of students being able to challenge some of the village's jounin in combat. This basically proved his point, however, stating that he knew that if the students were nurtured to grow at an early age, they could flourish greater than the old generation that preceded them. The rigorous academy curriculum filtered out the students with weak constitutions. Sakura Haruno had been the first of many to be removed from the academy for not meeting their standards. Many more would follow from their year, leaving a class that started off with 34 students in their starting year to only 12 in their graduating year. Those 12 being Naruto Namikaze, Tayuya, Satsuki Uchiha, Sasuke Uchiha, Shikamaru Nara, Choji Akamichi, Ino Yamanaka, Kiba Inuzuka, Hinata Hyuga, Shino Aburame, Sai, and Yakumo Kurama. Yakumo joined at the start of their second year but quickly proved her mettle. Befriending Naruto, she explained that when she was younger she had a weak body but with help from Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Kurenai, she was healed and strong enough to enter the academy.

Naruto had grown a lot over the past 6 years as well. He's much more muscular, taller, and his hair had grown longer. He stands at 5'11" tall and sports a swimmer's build, lithe but strong with no excess fat or muscle. His hair is now shoulder length but spiky with two bangs framing his face. The gorgeous white sheen of his hair has grown brighter and he is considered one of the most desirable shinobi in the village. Given the strength of his arsenal, over the years Naruto mainly focused on developing his fuinjutsu. He became a sealmaster last year, surpassing even Jiraiya in the field thanks in no small part to his parentage. As far as his other skills, Naruto had no real need to focus on elemental mastery and only invested in developing his Yin and Yang control. His true focus was on his dojutsu. He is capable of now controlling gravity in multiple areas instead of only focusing on one area or having to use shadow clones. He also trained the finer control of his Tenseigan so that he won't have to worry about destroying parts of the village when using it.

When approached with the possibility of training in kenjutsu, he declined since he didn't really need a weapon with his kage level power as it is. He specializes in heavy assault and ninjutsu, a mid to long range specialist if you would. He can create powerful genjutsu on par with an Uchiha due to his chakra control and because of said chakra control and bijuu level reserves, his surrogate mother's super strength technique is mastered to an even more terrifying degree. Just as this generation's genin surpass the classes of old, Naruto surpasses his so-called peers by tenfold.

As Naruto ponders his thoughts, Iruka walks in and the class grows so quiet, you could hear an ant fart. Iruka smirks, his lessons and disciplinary liberties had been engraved on his students greatly. Clearing his throat, he addresses the graduating class.

"Alright class, let's get started." He creates a shadow clone to assist in distributing tests. The class takes note of the ANBU stationed in the back. Taking his seat at the head of the class, Iruka takes out the timer and starts it. "Begin."

•••

After they finish the grueling 3 hour exam, several of the graduating students are drained. Kiba and Choji in particular are the most exhausted since they aren't ranked in the upper echelon in terms of academic performance. Sasuke also displays noticeable frustration. Compared to Kiba and Choji, Sasuke has a better comprehension of the academic courses but Ino, Yakumo, Sai, and especially Satsuki, Shino, Shikamaru, and Naruto all far outclass him in intellect.

Iruka gives the class a 30 minute recess to eat, rest, or relax. Afterwards, he leads them out of the building and towards Exam Site 8. He then explains to them what the exam will be.

"Ok class," he begins, getting their attention. "Welcome to the second exam. You will have 2 hours to navigate the terrain, complete the objectives, and make it to the outpost in the middle of the exam site to conclude the test. Any questions so far?" None of the students speak up. "Good. Instructors will be using Shadow Clones to act as targets. Your 1st objective inside the forest will be to dispel 10 targets using 5 shuriken and 5 kunai. Your second objective will be to locate one of the totems hidden within the forest and bring it to the outpost. Am I clear?" The examinees all nod in affirmation. "Good. Begin!"

The 12 examinees all take off at impressive speeds. As they enter the forest, they see the instructors' clones leaping through the trees, keeping close eyes on the students. The students launch their weapons at the clones, many of them dispelling. The students then take off in different directions, tracking the subtle clues the instructors left behind. Disturbed shrubbery, slight impressions in the forest floor, chipped bark, etc. Naruto is the first to find a totem. He finishes up the required target amounts and heads to the outpost. He finishes in a record time of 28 minutes and 32 seconds.

Tayuya finishes second after a total time of 58 minutes and 24 seconds, followed by Satsuki at 1 hour 3 minutes and 44 seconds. The other students start filing in afterwards. Satsuki, noticing her brother not showing up, can't help but worry.

Tayuya notices something is bothering Satsuki. "What's got your bra in a bunch, Pinkeye?"

Satsuki, accustomed to Tayuya's crass language, responds, "Sasuke hasn't finished yet. This test should be easy for him."

Naruto comes over, listening in on the conversation, and speaks up. "You know he doesn't have the advantages we have, Suki-chan. I have my Tenseigan, Tayu-chan is a sensor and she can sense the slight chakra signature that the totems emit, and you have your Sharingan plus you're a natural sensor like Miko-baachan. Sasuke doesn't have that." Satsuki nods her head, knowing the truth behind Naruto's words. While both Tayuya and Naruto could care less if Sasuke passes, concern weighs heavily on the younger Uchiha twin.

Meanwhile in the forest depths, Sasuke searches desperately for a chakra totem. Having completed eliminating all 10 required targets, he is having a difficult time finding a totem. "Dammit!" he curses to himself. "If only I had my Sharingan, I could pass this exam without a problem!"

Kiba Inuzuka had already found a totem and finished his required targets. As he was heading to the exam outpost, he spots a desperate looking Sasuke. Deciding to mess with him, he heads over to him. Landing near him, he teases, "What's wrong, Uchiha? Can't find a totem, huh?"

Sasuke looks towards the Inuzuka with a scowl. "Shut it, mutt! If I had my Sharingan, this pathetic test wouldn't even phase me!"

Kiba snickers at Sasuke. "Oh yeah, keyword is 'If', Uchiha. Too bad for you, huh? Guess you gotta try again next year." Sasuke growls at the Inuzuka heir. The truth is he's afraid that the boy is right. Satsuki has always been better than Sasuke at advancing. She was so alike with Itachi in that regard. Since they were young, Sasuke had to scratch, claw, and climb desperately for his strength. Yet, everything came so naturally to Satsuki. This exam is no different. Kiba's words struck a cord with Sasuke like never before.

Sasuke snaps and launches at Kiba, delivering a punch to his face. Kiba looks at him, more shocked than hurt. "What the fuck is your deal, Uchiha?!" he shouts.

Sasuke snarls. "You running your filthy mouth, dog lover! Don't you think I can see how much I'm struggling with this fucking exam?! I don't need you here antagonizing me! Leave me alone!" Sasuke finishes shouting and turns around, heading off to try to find some way to track down a totem that hasn't been taken yet.

Kiba on the other hand is stunned by Sasuke's outburst. He hadn't expected to get under his skin the way he did. Thinking about it, he realizes the position Sasuke is in. He learned about his older brother, Itachi, and that he was considered a prodigy before going rogue, comparable to Madara Uchiha even. Sasuke's sister is also being recognized as a genius, woefully outshining Sasuke at every turn. It was evident to everyone that Satsuki is the true genius between the two. It suddenly struck Kiba. "He's a runt, just like me and Akamaru."

Kiba, being the youngest in the clan, always was picked on, sometimes even bullied. When he told his mother about it, she laughed it off and said a little push is good for him to build character. It went on for years, making him train twice as hard to be able to fight back against his bullies. He finally was able to and his mother congratulated and told him she was proud. But it always bothered him that she and his sister always left him to fend for himself. And when Kiba first got Akamaru, he was the smallest in the litter. Akamaru was always last to feed, furthest to sleep away from his mother, and suffered the most nips from his siblings. He was smaller and weaker than them. Kiba and Akamaru built a bond based on striving to win against the odds. And here Sasuke was doing the same.

Gritting his teeth, Kiba shoots to his feet. "Oi, Uchiha!" Sasuke turns back with a scowl.

"What, mutt boy?" he spits out.

Kiba takes his totem and looks at it in his hand. Then he tosses it to Sasuke. Sasuke looks at it questioningly. "What the hell is this for?"

Kiba turns his head away from Sasuke in embarrassment. "You need it more than I do, Uchiha. Now go get to that outpost and pass already."

Sasuke growls and squeezes the totem until his knuckles turn white. "Is that what this is?! Pity?! I DON'T NEED YOUR FUCKING PITY, DOG BOY! DON'T EVER PITY ME IN YOUR LIFE!" he screams.

Kiba growls back. "It's not pity, Uchiha! Don't be so damned daft!" he shouts back.

Sasuke doesn't buy it. "It's not pity, huh?! Then why are you just giving me this damned thing?!"

Kiba scoffs and turns away. He gathers his thoughts and let's out a sigh. "Because I know what it's like to work twice as hard as everyone else when nobody wants to help you." Sasuke's eyes widen. "I know how everyone compares you to the rest of your family, Uchiha. And I know you work harder than her. I don't pity you at all. But I just understand what you're going through." Kiba walks off, leaving a gobsmacked Sasuke to think about his words.

After a moment, Sasuke scoffs. "Who is he to claim how he knows what I feel..." He turns to head towards the exam outpost. In... that direction? Shit. "... where the hell am I?"

Kiba heads to where he smells the residual scent of the proctors. He was able to find the first totem by this method, as he assumes the totems were placed only a few hours prior to the exam. He finds one hidden and turns to head towards the outpost... only to find the lost Uchiha again.

Kiba blinks. "What now, Uchiha?"

Sasuke doesn't look him in the eye. Blushing, he says, "...mnmmnhnmmmnnnhmmmnn" Even with Kiba's sensitive hearing, he couldn't make out Sasuke's words.

"Umm... I'm sorry, what did you say?"

Sasuke blushes even harder. Shutting his eyes he takes a breath and says, "... I can't find the outpost... I'm lost." Kiba just blinks. Processing the words, Kiba falls to the ground, clutching his sides in laughter. Sasuke's blush only worsens. "It's not funny, dog breath! I don't have a dog's nose and smell like piss like you do!" he huffs and turns away.

Recovering from his laughter, Kiba wipes the stray tears from his eyes. "... oh my gosh! Ohh shit! Holy shit, that's hilarious Sasuke." Kiba sees how pouty Sasuke is and smirks. He walks up to him and slaps his back. "Come on, Uchiha. Let's get going before we both fail this exam."

Kiba takes off into the trees at a moderate speed. Sasuke watches him and goes to follow until he notices a strange feeling inside of himself. As he notices this feeling, he catches a glimpse of Kiba's face. There's an ever present half smirk half smile on the face of the Inuzuka heir. Seeing it, Sasuke finds it almost contagious. "Hmph." he grunts out with a smirk of his own. He follows behind the Inuzuka while thinking to himself that maybe this exam wasn't so bad after all.

•••

"He isn't here yet, Yuya! Oh my gosh, what if he's hurt?! I need to go find him, you guys. I'm going!"

Satsuki is hysterical. The clock is winding down and there's no sign of her brother. Every worst case scenario is running through her head at the moment. Tayuya and Naruto are doing their best to calm her down but Naruto realizes that trying to calm her down is like trying to pacify a distressing Tsunade.

Naruto sighs as Satsuki voices every one of those 'what ifs' a woman goes through when she can't find her child. Suddenly, Kiba lands at the outpost followed closely behind Sasuke.

"Sasuke!" Satsuki shouts, running over to her twin. Sasuke flinches uncomfortably as Satsuki checks him over for any injuries, questioning why he was so late. Naruto smiles as his friend, Kiba, made it in time. Kiba gives him a thumbs up.

"What held you up, Kiba?" Naruto asks.

He rubs the back of his head sheepishly. "Damn clones were hard as hell to hit. Plus they made sure they weren't anywhere near the totems." Naruto nods his head in understanding. He then glances at Sasuke.

"And what's the story there?" he asks.

Kiba shrugs. "Figured he could use a hand. I mean, we're probably gonna end up fighting alongside each other so what the hell." Naruto is shocked at Kiba's reasoning. He never expected someone as stubborn and prideful as Kiba to lend a hand to Sasuke of all people. His gaze softens but nods at Kiba.

"That's a good choice you made Kiba. Though, if Sasuke was gone any longer, I'd have had to use a Mokuton to keep Satsuki from rushing off after him." Kiba laughs at how he can see how true that is. He glances at Sasuke who sighs in exasperation at his fussing sister.

Getting annoyed, Sasuke growls. "Get the hell off me, woman! Dammit, can't you see I'm fine?!" he shouts. Satsuki gasps and everyone else present widens their eyes. A few say a silent prayer for the wayward Uchiha.

Seconds later, a fist slams down on the top of his head. Sasuke's face slams into the wooden floor of the outpost. A smoking lump emerges from his scalp and Satsuki huffs and storms away, grumbling about ungrateful brothers.

Shaking their heads, the rest of the class continue chatting away about the exam and the shinobi life. Concluding the two hour exam, every student was accounted for and passed.

Sasuke and Kiba finished last at a time of 1 hour 47 minutes and 53 seconds.

•••

Iruka congratulated the class for passing through the first two parts of the Genin Exam without issue. Giving them an hour long interlude to prepare for the final portion, Iruka tells the to report to the exam stadium for the final test.

During the break, some students eat a light meal, some take naps, a few simply talk and chat as they make their way to the stadiums. Naruto is one of the latter. He joins Tayuya and Satsuki as they make their way to the stadium. Neither of them are even remotely winded. Naruto smiles as he converses with the two beautiful young women.

"Sure hope I get placed with you two. Naruto knows I love him and at least you're tolerable, Pinkeye." Tayuya states.

Satsuki nods. "I hope I get placed with you two, as well. I just pray I'm not on Sasuke's team. He's my brother and I love him but he's hard to work with."

"I agree." Naruto adds. "While I wouldn't mind teaming with any of them, I love you two girls. We'd make a great team. Plus, it's obvious that Sasuke doesn't like me."

Tayuya laughs boisterously. "Got that right! Although I think that stick is lodged so far up his ass, he couldn't bring himself to like anyone anyways."

Naruto laughs while Satsuki looks at Tayuya incredulously. "Yuya-chan!" she exclaims.

Tayuya just looks at her. "What? You know it's true! Hell, him and that Hyuga from last year are competing at this point to see how far that stick can go up their asses!" This has Naruto wheezing while causing Satsuki to blush in disbelief at her friend.

Tayuya just laughs at their reactions.

As they arrive at the stadium, an ANBU directs them to the competitors box. The trio carry on talking while more people file in. Civilians, shinobi, clans, most of Konoha ended up coming to attend the matches.

Tayuya turns to Naruto. "Looks like people came to see the son of their hero kick some ass." she says with a grin. Naruto returns her smile.

Satsuki, not wanting to be left out, places a hand on his arm and gives him a fond squeeze. She sends Tayuya a glance, which doesn't go unnoticed.

The hour long interlude ends and it's time for the Genin Exam Finals to begin. The 12 participants converge in the arena. Iruka goes over the rules and each student picks a number.

Naruto draws 6.

Tayuya draws 2.

Ino draws 9.

Sasuke draws 1.

Satsuki draws 10.

Sai draws 5.

Choji draws 3.

Kiba draws 4.

Hinata draws 8.

Yakumo draws 12.

Shino draws 11.

Shikamaru draws 7.

Iruka smiles and announces the matches as they are displayed in the stadium screen. "The matches are decided!"

1. Sasuke Uchiha vs. Tayuya

2. Choji Akamichi vs. Kiba Inuzuka

3. Sai vs. Naruto Namikaze

4. Shikamaru Nara vs. Hinata Hyuga

5. Ino Yamanaka vs. Satsuki Uchiha

6. Shino Aburame vs. Yakumo Kurama

The matchups draw massive excitement from the crowd. They shout and cheer at seeing the promising young children battle. In the stands, Naruto can hear a particular woman shouting.

"Place your bets! Taking bets here!"

Naruto looks to the stands and smiles as he sees a woman with a spiky purple ponytail, tan trench coat, and mesh top taking bets from people on the matches. She notices Naruto and smiles at him. He waves back.

The woman in question is Anko Mitarashi. She is a fun, eccentric, and outgoing young woman. She and Naruto became friends years ago while he was training in the Forest of Death. The two developed a close bond with one another, bearing seals of burdens although Naruto's life was considerably easier than hers. The two are very fond of one another and last year, Naruto lost his virginity to the older teen.

"And a damned good lay he was." Anko sees, remembering the night fondly. She licks her lips, sending an unexplainable chill down Naruto's spine. He visibly shivers, giving Satsuki concern.

"What's wrong, Naru-kun?" she asks.

Naruto shakes his head. "I'm in danger."

The students head up to the competitors box. Naruto looks over to the Kage box and sees his family. They wave at him, which he returns. Naruto also notices Mikoto standing with them. A bit strange since she isn't a Sannin and is the current Uchiha clan head. Naruto turns to Satsuki.

"Ne, Suki-chan. Why is Miko-baachan standing with Jiji?" he asks.

Satsuki looks over and sees what he means. She shrugs. "I don't know. The Hokage has been talking with her a lot lately. I figure it must be clan business. I hope she's ok..." Naruto frowns at the concern laced in her voice. He pulls her into a warm hug.

In the Kage box, Mikoto chuckles at the sight of Naruto hugging her daughter. Tsunade catches it and chuckles along with her. "A good pair, aren't they Miko-chan?"

Mikoto nods in agreement. "Absolutely. I can't imagine how strong their children will be."

Hiruzen nods sagely. "Indeed. Tenseigan and Sharingan. What kind of eyes will that combination make, I wonder." He then turns to Mikoto. "But enough of that. Are you ready, Mikoto-chan?"

She nods. "Hai. I am, Ji-chan." He chuckles at how she addressed him.

Standing, Hiruzen walks forward to make an announcement to the crowd. Strengthening his voice with chakra, he says, "Good citizens of Konoha! We are gathered on this fine day to witness the dawn of a new era! The passing of a torch! The emergence of the new generation of Konoha shinobi!" He pauses as the crowd cheers. Continuing, he says, "The 12 genin gathered here today mark a special day for me. Especially young Naruto here. 14 years ago, Konoha witnessed the noble sacrifice of a young man who loved this village, who died a Kage's death! A death to ensure that their village will survive and live on! Naruto-kun, your father was a man who lived up to every bit of his legend. He was a great hero, a great kage, a loving husband, and a doting father. Fellow citizens of Konoha, I ask that we offer a moment of silence as we honor the memory of our beloved, fallen Yondaime Hokage."

Hiruzen's words brought many of the citizens to tears, all of those gathered loved and respected the Yondaime greatly. Those who knew him, who watched him grow up, who fought alongside him, who were taught by him, who had feelings for him, who witnessed his sacrifice on the night of October 10th. Minato Namikaze was a man of legend who embodied to Will of Fire. And the love the people of Konoha had for him lives on in the form of his son, Naruto Namikaze.

Hiruzen gathers his thoughts and says one last silent prayer for the memory of Minato and Kushina. He continues his speech. "My beloved Konoha... I am old. Far older than a Kage should be. I have lived through three Great Wars. I have fought, killed, bled, and suffered to protect the Will of Fire. And through all that, I lived to retire and pass on the mantle of Hokage to Minato. And yet... here I am again. Another tenure as Hokage, another generation of shinobi to welcome and guide, another speech to the people of Konoha that I so dearly love, and another Hokage to pass the mantle to." He pauses as he lets the gasps and whispers die out.

Clearing his throat, he continues. "Fellow citizens, I have spent the last few months grooming the one to take my place as Hokage. Lecturing, instructing, imparting, and teaching everything I know about this duty to the one I have chosen to succeed Minato. And I have, without a shadow of a doubt, chosen the perfect successor. Time and again, this person has displayed that the Will of Fire burns brightly in them! Time and again, they have fought tooth and nail, through blood sweat, tears, and shear grit to preserve the Leaf! Their loyalty, honor, dignity, and sense of duty has been proven and their strength has never been doubted! My fellow citizens, this person has proven themselves as skilled a shinobi as our very own Sannin and powerful enough to stand alongside Kushina Uzumaki as the deadliest kunoichi in our village." Eyes widen in recognition of who the man is referring to. Satsuki gasps, Naruto is stunned, the crowd is in disbelief.

"Citizens of the Leaf! I give you... the Godaime Hokage! MIKOTO UCHIHA!"

The arena shakes as the crowd cheers for the announcement of the first female Kage in history! Mikoto Uchiha, best friend and fierce rival of Kushina Uzumaki. Her strength is known throughout the Elemental Nations and she is certainly worthy of the hat. The benevolent Uchiha matriarch observes as the crowd cheers for her. She gives a warm smile, causing the men to cheer louder, much to the ire of Sasuke.

Hiruzen hands Mikoto the hat, which she adorns. Jiraiya applauds and Tsunade hugs her tightly. She turns and waves to the crowd, causing the cheers to grow. Naruto smiles fondly at the woman he loves as an aunt.

Allowing the cheers to cease, she begins her address. "My beloved Konoha, I am honored to uphold the position of Godaime Hokage. It is my privilege to protect and serve you all as your leader. All I ask is that you help me grow as a Kage as I will help Konoha grow as a village and together, we shall all flourish under the Great Tree." The crowd applauds the beautiful words of their newly appointed Hokage. She them proceeds to address the current exam. "Today, we welcome our next generation of promising young shinobi in our ranks. Children, fight well, for the Will of Fire guides you. Good luck, and above all, stay safe." A Kage she may be, but a mother she is above all else. Mikoto is a fierce fighting and loving mother all in one. She nods at Iruka, indicating that she is letting him take the stage.

•••

As the excitement dulls, the attention falls to the arena. Sasuke and Tayuya stand on the field along with Iruka. The crowd goes silent as they wait for the match to begin.

"Sasuke, you ready?" He nods. "Tayuya, you ready?" she nods. "Ok. BEGIN!" Iruka leaps backwards as the two charge forward and clash. Sasuke and Tayuya engage in a taijutsu exchange to feel each other out. Sasuke quickly finds himself at a disadvantage as Tayuya is able to parry and counter more often.

Anko smiles. "Straight to the punch! I like these two!"

Separating, the crowd sees that Sasuke has more wounds than Tayuya and is visibly more winded. 'Dammit! She hits way too damned hard! Fucking tomboy tomato...'

Tayuya suddenly gets the urge to kill Sasuke. And Satsuki sees her eyebrow twitch.

Sasuke growls and flashes through a set of hand seals. He calls out, "Katon! Crimson Lotus!" Tayuya easily dodges the jutsu. As the jutsu explodes, leaving a crater in the field, Tayuya dodges a kunai slash from Sasuke and ducks into his guard to deliver a kick to his side.

The two engage in another close combat engage and Tayuya knocks the kunai out of his grip. The two exchange blows as Sasuke tries to create distance and launch another jutsu. Sasuke begins to realize that his attacks are missing more and more and he's also taking increasing damage.

At the end of the 40-50 second exhange, Sasuke is bloodied and battered. His breath is labored and blood is trickling from his nose and mouth. Tayuya is virtually untouched. She smirks and puts a hand on her hip.

Satsuki picks up on Tayuya's strategy and frowns. "Tch. She's so cruel." The other genin hopefuls hear her and turn their attention to her.

"What are you talking about, Satsuki?" Kiba asks.

Satsuki sighs. "Tayuya is using a tactic my brother used. Our older brother." Their eyes widen. "After each exchange, she casts a silent genjutsu on Sasuke. It's subtle, almost undetectable. Especially since Sasuke's genjutsu defense is average at best. For Tayuya to use this in the middle of a fight without having a Sharingan is unheard of. I doubt even Kurenai-sensei is that advanced in genjutsu."

The other examinees look on in disbelief. "So... what kind of genjutsu is she using?" Kiba asks.

Satsuki scoffs. "A very, very, VERY subtle one. She's basically making Sasuke see an attack that's coming from a different direction, different angle, different body part, perhaps an attack not even coming at all. It's so subtle he can't even notice it. She's making Sasuke fight an imaginary fight."

In the arena, Sasuke is completely baffled. 'What's happening?! She's hitting me when I know I dodge and I'm missing when I know I hit her. How is that... unless... no..."

He looks as Tayuya charges forward with a fist raised. She says as she attacks, "I see you figured it out." He moves to dodge but suffers a hit anyways.

"When did you-" a blow to the gut cuts him off.

"The whole damned time." she answers.

He lands on his back, wincing in pain. "Kai." he hears.

Tayuya breaks the illusion she trapped him in. Sasuke opens his eyes to see Tayuya standing over him with a sword pointed at him. She smirks. "You were dancing to my tune the whole time, duck ass."

He growls and scoffs, looking away in shame. Mikoto frowns as her son took the loss very personally. She is upset her son loss but it upsets her more that he wasn't accepting or acknowledging of her opponent's skill. Tayuya is strong, much stronger than she was at her age. Her full arsenal was not displayed but her decision making and battle IQ was obvious.

The two combatants head up to the stands. The crowd cheers at the exciting display of skill that Tayuya showed. While the jounin talk about the match, the raven haired beauty, Kurenai, couldn't help but be both proud and jealous at the genjutsu mastery of her redheaded student. Even her skills hadn't reached that level. She smiles and continues to applaud the performance of her student.

In the Kage box, the legendary shinobi talk amongst themselves. Tsunade speaks up. "So what do you think, Hokage-sama?" she says with a smirk. Mikoto knew that would get under her skin.

"Tsunade-sensei, please..." Mikoto looks down and shakes her head, earning a laugh from Tsunade and a chuckle from Hiruzen and Jiraiya. She answers, "The girl's skill in genjutsu is nothing short of extraordinary. To cast a genjutsu in the heat of battle with no words or seals puts most Uchiha to shame." She shakes her head sadly. "This was a bad matchup for Sasuke. His skills had no chance to be displayed. From the moment he engaged the girl in a direct close quarters combat match, he was doomed."

Hiruzen nods. "She began to put him under her spell from the start."

Jiraiya nods. "And he kept singing her tune. A slow, gradual victory that never suffered any deviation. Outstanding."

The crowd cheers as the next two contestants take the stage. The Genin Exams rage on, and the excitement continues to build.

••• TBC•••

A/N: I absolutely loved writing this chapter! Especially the interaction between Kiba and Sasuke! So many dominos begin to fall in this chapter. And we haven't even reached the canon events yet! Stay tuned, readers! WYW out!