Disclaimer: I don't own nothing okay… nothing – well maybe the plot but that's it.

Chapter 3 – Test (Edited)

Sakura woke up the next morning finding the campsite… empty. She looked around for her folks, but they were also nowhere in sight. What the hell? Maybe they left to get some water… ya that's it, she thought positively. She waited hours looking at a distance just in case she sees her folks coming back. Losing patience, she growled. They ditched me! Wow, they ask me to leave Konoha just to ditch me afterwards. She stood up, stomping away from the campsite. That's it I'm going back to Konoha.

She kept on walking until she realized that she going in circles. She wasn't quite familiar with the surrounding that she was in. It was definitely obvious that she was lost. I don't even know how to get back… and they call themselves parents. She snorted, "TRAITORS!"

Somehow venting out her anger in one breath calmed her down, even a bit. "Ha, its nice to let off some steam sometimes." She continued walking; this time in different directions, but still… she was lost.

But still, she didn't give up. She refused to run because she knew that she'd just waste her chakra and stamina for no particular reason. It was now the afternoon, which made the traveling harder because of the heat rays radiating from the sun. "It's so hot," she said, fanning herself. She kept on walking and walking until she saw a big rock blocking her path. She looked up only to indicate that she was at the foot of a cliff. She growled, "Damn it! Dead end!" She was mumbling curses under her breath until an unfamiliar voice spoke.

"You look like an idiot just standing there, you know," said an unfamiliar voice.

She turned around to look at whom the voice belonged to, and to her disappointment she saw a little boy around the age of 10. He had brown hair and chocolate colored orbs. From the looks of his clothing, red shirt and black trousers, it was definitely clear that this boy wasn't at all dangerous… well—from the looks of it. He looked like a normal boy—but what's he doing in a place like this.

Sakura raised an eyebrow, not expecting a little kid to be out here in the middle of nowhere. "And who might you be?" She asked, rather annoyed.

The little boy ignoring her question came up to her to examine her features, "From the looks of your clothes, you look like a Shinobi, but then again from what you were doing it looks like you suck. From what I know Shinobis look cool and you don't even count to be in the category of cool." He sneered.

Her hands twitched in annoyance. How dare he… a little kid insult her. He thinks she isn't cool. She happened to be the trained by the famous Tsunade-sama herself. Then again, kids these days don't know anything. All the words these kids' say these days are just full of hot air. "Well, as you might know, I am a Kunoichi, but not just any kind of Kunoichi." Restraining herself from doing smacking the kid at the head, she crouched down so that she could see observe him more closely. "What are you doing at a place like this?"

"What are youdoing in a place like this?" The kid parroted.

Damn brat, Sakura thought with her eyebrow twitching again in annoyance. "None of your business." She snorted.

"Well, I could say the same thing, but then I do need you to bring me at the top of the cliff." He ordered, pointing above.

"Give me a reason why I should do that?" This kid was really getting on her nerves. First, he insults her and now he thinks he can order her around. Who does he think he is? Curse this; a little kid is getting the better of me!

"Well, you just said that you are a Kunoichi, and not just any Kunoichi, so you can help me, ne? Besides, don't Shinobis do missions that helps others?"

Sakura smiled to herself. Heh, kids are just kids after all. "Shinobis don't just help others for free, brat. They do it with something in return."

"Man, I can see how your village looks at you… how weak you are." He mocked.

"Why you lit—"

"Tell you what, just bring me at the top of the cliff, and I'll give you a place to stay. Besides, it'll be dark soon and the woods are a dangerous places to be during night." The kid interrupted her.

Sakura raised an eyebrow, getting curious at him. "How did you even get here? Don't tell me you were that clumsy to fall down the cliff. Then again, you would have been dead…" She looked up to see the top of the cliff, "… it's pretty high up, or did you get lost in a place you were suppose to be familiar with."

He tilted his face to the side feeling defeated, "It's none of your business."

Seeing that the tables have turned for once Sakura turned around and bent down, her back facing him. "Come on let's go."

He looked at her in curiosity, probably because of the position she was in. "What?"

"Well, arguing won't get us nowhere, so we have to get going. I don't have anywhere else to stay, so I'll help you." She smirked, "Besides, I could go for a nice comfy bed to sleep on. Come on, and ride on my back."

He climbed on her back relived that he can finally get out of this place. "Okay, let's go."

"Before that, what's your name?" Sakura asked.

"Why?" He answered her with his own question.

I knew he was going to say that. She thought with a sweat drop, "Well, I can't just call you brat now can I."

"Its Shin." He said simply.

Standing up, she went towards the edge getting ready to climb up. "Okay then let's go."

She was climbing up for hours now, but she still can't seem to get to the top. I swear I just saw that it wasn't this high before; we should've gotten to the top already. What the heck is going on? She stared at her companion who was riding on her back for the whole time, suspiciously. "Hey brat, aren't we suppose to be there yet? The sun is going to set soon, and from what I recall this cliff isn't suppose to be this tall." She told her relaxed companion with slight irritation evident on her voice.

"Hey, my name is Shin… not brat—didn't I tell you that already." He hated it when he was called like that.

"Just answer my question will you." Sakura said impatiently.

"Oh, the mountain is higher than what you see 'cause it uses Genjutsu—you know illusions, but then again for a Shinobi such as you not able to notice that, you can only be described in three words…" She was twitching in annoyance yet again. Why do I get a bad feeling? She thought in suspicion.

"… man you suck!"

She growled getting really tired of Shin's insults. He was getting on her nerves. Good thing he was a kid. She tried ignoring his last comment and just resumed climbing, mumbling in her breath along the way.

"Why didn't you tell me?" She asked out of the blue.

"Tell you what?" Shin replied, pretending not to know anything she was talking about.

"Do I have to rephrase it for you?"


She growled, but she didn't stop on climbing. "Why didn't you tell me that this so called cliff is really high that you can't even see the top, huh?"

"You never asked," Shin snorted.

Smart, very smart. Sakura snorted. If another insult came out of this kid's mouth she wouldn't know what she would do. Heck, she might even drop the kid and… uh… its sayonara. She needs to restrain herself; she wouldn't want to deal with a dead kid afterwards. I don't know what's better, him dead or him alive. She thought of the incomes of the two choices. Then again, she would prefer the second one. She wouldn't want to be responsible for the kid's sudden death. She had already lots of things in her mind as there already is. Having to worry about another thing would too much for her puny mind.

She wasn't paying much attention to her actions that her hands slip without her noticing until it was too late. Uh-oh… she hurriedly grabbed the rock that she was grabbing earlier. She turned her head around to check if Shin was still behind her, hanging on… but she was wrong. She looked at the bottom, and she saw a figure getting smaller from her view. She cursed under her breath; she just couldn't let him die. She didn't know why but she was getting rather… comfortable with the kid.

I'll just have to risk it. She dived down to catch Shin before he fell to the ground. She knew that she was getting near him, now that she can hear him screaming. She reached her hand out, and grabbed his shirt. Surprisingly, his screaming didn't stop. "Hey, can you stop screeching, you're hurting my ears."

"Can't you do anything right!" He continued yelling.

She was taken aback, "Listen here bud, I am here doing you a favor of bringing you back home, you should be grateful." She said calmly, ignoring the pain in her ears.

"You let me fall! Baka!"

"At least I saved you, so you didn't die or do you really want me to drop you so you can really fall and die." She said threatening him. Seeing him flinch, she stopped and pulled him up so that he could ride again on her back. Now I know what Sasuke feels when I ask him on dates. She sighed.

She kept climbing and climbing up hoping to see the end of the cliff once and for all, but all she sees are dirt, rocks, and the color gray… no trees… nada. Shin became mute since the falling incident, and it was getting uncomfortable for her. Not being able to take the silence she decided to comfort him. "Hey…" Shin turned his attention to her in confusion. Maybe, he thought that she had a problem when he's quiet too. "… um… I … uh… sorry about that."

"Don't you know the difference of an adult and a child, jezz. I'm still a kid, and kids have big sense of egos, you know." He scoffed, returning to his old self.

"And you're proud of it?" She asked, rising am eyebrow.

"Hell ya! Get use to it."

He reminds me of my inner self, but she doesn't seem to bother me much anymore. Since… Sasuke disappeared. She paused; oh man can't she forget about him for a whole day. Her days don't go by anymore without her brooding about Sasuke. She needs to stop brooding, and do something. Do something like…

"Hey—stop delaying and climb." Yes—climbing, that's the one. "Riding can also be tiring, you know."

"Listen here, shrimp, I've been climbing for like—forever now and all you do is complain. Maybe instead of complaining you could you know—help me." She replied impatiently.


"You know this place, don't you? So, tell me when does this end." She was getting too tired of climbing to nowhere.

"Oh, do you mean the cliff? Sorry, but I don't know." He replied calmly.

She turned to face him in disbelief, "WHAT!"

"Well, how should I know?" He was still as calm as ever.

This kid is useless. Should she give up? She can't keep climbing forever. She's only human; therefore, she won't last for very long if she keeps this up. Besides, by the looks of the sky, it was pretty clear that it's going to be nightfall soon. But then again, she is a long way up. If she tries to go down, it also might take a very long time. Either way she'll just get tired. Therefore, the only choice is… up.

Why can't I see the top? She thought, trying to see if she was near the top. Maybe, she's much closer to the top than she think she is. If this cliff uses undetected genjutsu so that people won't see how high up the edge is, then perhaps… There's only one way to test her theory. She glanced at Shin who turned to look at her as well. Hehe, this might scare him quite a bit. She tightened her hold to the rocks, and she grabbed one of his arms that was hanging onto her, making him fall towards the ground, but grabbing his hand in time, so that he wouldn't fall any further.

He blinked in confusion with a mix of fear, "Wha—what are you—"

He only got a smirk in response, which troubled him greatly. Without warning, she threw him up in the air making him fly to the sky, with his screams echoing in the air. She could only hear the word "baka" coming out from his mouth. He was cursing at her again. She gathered chakra to her hands and feet, so that she could push upwards with the help of the rocks, making jump high enough to be at the same level as Shin.

When he saw her, he started cursing her for doing such a crazy thing. She ignored him, and examined the crag, looking if she could see the top… the end of it. Nothing… still rocks. I knew it. She thought, smirking to herself. Only one other way… Grabbing Shin's arm, she gathered chakra on the foot, and kicked the crag only to go through it, landing on the ground, dragging dirt on her clothes.

She released his arm, and collapsed on the ground panting. She carefully looked at her surroundings. Well, there was only one thing she could see… and that was trees—and lots of it; however, she couldn't see a town nor houses near by. She tilted her head towards the sky that changed its color to reddish-orange. She felt relieved; at least she won't be tiring herself anymore, climbing that supposedly never-ending crag.

Sakura decided to look at Shin checking if he was okay from their little trip. His back facing her, so she didn't notice what his reaction was. She didn't know if he was relieved or happy, now that they reached their destination. Knowing him, he was definitely neither happy nor relieved. I can see it now.

She noticed him as he abruptly stood up, gazing at a particular oak tree. What could be so interesting about an oak tree? Before she could say something, a figure came out behind the oak tree. She looked at the figure, and noticed that he was a man. She couldn't see him properly until he came a bit closer to the setting sun's rays. He had a weird clothing, and holding a long red rod with golden ends. Who the hell is this guy?

Shin started to walk towards the 'strange guy' (well for Sakura that is, she thinks that his clothing is a little bit weird), leaving Sakura without any words of gratitude coming out of his mouth. He sure is grateful. Sakura snorted.

Shin was now standing in front of the 'strange guy' when Sakura saw Shin nod to him, making him smirk. Shin turned around when guy started walking towards Sakura. She stood up, not taking her eyes of him. She was quite suspicious of this guy; however, she didn't feel like he was going to harm her. She didn't know why, but she felt like she'd known him before… somewhere, she just can't remember where. Not only that, but it seems that he was pretty close to her.

"What—there's something on my face?" He said rather suddenly, snapping her out of her reverie.

"Who are you?" She said rather seriously.

"Straight to point now are we," the guy replied with great sarcasm evident in his voice.

Sakura kept quiet, waiting for him to answer her question.

"Yuki." He said simply.

She just raised an eyebrow, indicating that she wanted him to elaborate his answer.

He sighed. Straightforward, she still is to the point eh. "I am the one who gave you the test for you to be able to go to Mystic Valley."

She blinked her eyes in confusion. What test? What is he talking about? Mystic Valley? What the hell is going on? It's so confusing.

Yuki noticed this and tried to explain, "Well, this was suppose to be the place where Sora and Sumire are suppose to bring you, and we had to test you first to see if you are capable and worthy of going here." He looked at her again seeing if she understood, but it seems that she didn't even believe a word that he had said. He scratched the back of his head. She doesn't believe any word I've said.

He sighed, still scratching his head, "Um… care to help me out." Sakura noticed a rustle from the bushes from the corner of her eyes, and she saw two figures coming out. When she saw them perfectly, she gasped.

"Mom," glancing at Sumire, bewildered. "Dad," glancing at Sora, confused. But all they did was smile at her in response.

Sumire suddenly turned her attention to Yuki, who in turn stopped scratching his head now had a serious expression on his face. "That was it," Sumire said with a vein popping on her head. "You made us worry and it wasn't even that dangerous. And I thought she would have to face some—monster!" She said exploding, with Sora trying very hard to restrain her.

"Hey—are you trying to insult my ways of doing things," Yuki replied, slightly insulted.

They were throwing insults with one another for quite sometime. Sakura was just looking at them feeling left out. They sound just like Naruto and Sasuke. She became quite irritated. She felt like she had to stop this bickering. I can't believe even my mom is acting like a ten year old. And what is she saying about not dangerous—is she kidding.

Sakura suddenly notice Shin walk towards Yuki who was still bickering with Sumire. She growled getting rather annoyed, also trying to gain their attention. No avail. She tried clearing her throat as loud as she could, "AHEM!"

The two turned their attention towards her. It seems like they forgot that she was even there. "I'm sorry to intrude your silly argument, but you people are confusing me at the moment, and I want to get things clear."


"For one…" she turned to Sumire and Sora. "…why did you leave me without saying anything?"

"Because Yuki here told us not to interfere with your test." Sora said glancing at Yuki.

"And who is he?" She pointed her index finger towards Yuki's direction. She didn't believe anything this guy was telling her, and the only way she would was if it came from her parents' mouths.

"Didn't I just told y—" Yuki started.

Sakura glared at him with emotionless eyes, "I'm not talking to you."

She glanced back towards her parents waiting for them to answer her.

"His name is Yuki, and he's one of the people you'll be meeting here at Mystic Valley." Sumire explained.

"One? You mean—there is more?" She said in a disbelieving voice.

"Hey—what's that suppose to mean?" Yuki said. It seems like he wasn't affected at all at Sakura's remark awhile back.

Sakura walked towards him, and stopped when she was three feet away from him, "Get this straight, my first impression of you is that you are an arrogant, lying bastard." She said coldly.

"That—that's mean." Yuki said taken aback.

"Face it, I don't like you." She told him frigidly.

She walked away from him, like she didn't want to be near him longer than a minute. She walked back towards her parents, yet again asking another question. "What's that test you were talking about?"

"It is a test that will make sure you are worthy of coming here, and also if you were ready…" Sumire said giving as little detail as possible.

Sakura knew what her mother was doing, but she still wanted to know more about this so-called test. "This test is to know if you can actually go—here in Mystic Valley." Yuki said, reading her mind.

He continued, seeing that Sakura was now turning all attention to him. By the look at her eyes she still wanted more information, "When people see Mystic Valley, all they can see is mere crag. There is an undetected Genjutsu so that even Shinobis would think it was an ordinary place.

"However, if they try to climb it , all that will happen is that they will be climbing and climbing and climbing until their stamina is depleted, thus forcing them to fall and die. It was like climbing onto a never-ending wall. The only way to break it is if you die or give up."

"Then, how did you guys get here?" Sakura asked.

"We are able to take break the genjutsu… like you." Yuki continued.

"What?" Sakura asked, baffled.

"You broke it out didn't you, that was the only way to get here."

Sakura thought about the incident for a while. It could be possible. After all, she is a Genjutsu type.

Yuki noticed Sakura looking at the direction beside him intently. He then turned his attention to the forgotten Shin who was standing beside him the whole time. "Shin, good job, you can turn back now."

Shin nodded silently. Smoke suddenly surrounded him making Sakura turn her full attention towards the kid. After a minute, the smoke subsided, making Sakura gasp at the real form of Shin.


A/N: Hello again, now I am here to present my fellow reviewers Chapter 3. I decided to put some humor in it—well if you can call it humor—because I didn't want to put the fanfic with only angst. This fanfic will be mostly angst/action/adventure/romance and a little bit of humor… that is if I get a chance to squeeze in some. Oh ya and try guessing what Shin really is… hope you guess right. If you guess right then maybe I might be able to update sooner (but my computer has a virus so I am not sure— so sorry for not being able to respond), just guess. If people would be wondering what couples there will be—vote. They are only side couples but hey.







The 3 winning couples will be the couples when Sakura get back to Konoha, which is on chapter 5… I think.

If you are wondering if Sasuke will be in this fic well he will be… soon.

Next Chapter- Meeting Old Acquaintances