A note from koforeme

This one is just normal length, but I hope it's enjoyable anyway. Changed canon things up a bit since... I mean it makes sense.

Shinku stood outside the fence of the 44th training grounds, also known as the forest of death, ignoring Anko’s explanations as he watched a giant snake eat some sort of bird off a branch and slither out of the forest, hissing at the group of genin and moving back inside. He’d heard of the forest of death before, but… wow. This was something else. He should have come here for training at some point. It seemed perfect. He didn’t know if shinobi are always allowed inside. A kunai was suddenly thrown to the side of Naruto who was standing on Shinku’s right. Shinku caught it out of reflex.

“Oh. Oops.” He threw it back at Anko at an arc, making it easy to catch. “Sorry.” Anko clicked her tongue.

“Looks like we’ve got a few cheeky ones this time. Well anyway. Before we start the exam I’ll hand these out to you.” She took out a bundle of papers from inside her coat and proceeded to explain it’s a consent form that we have to sign, saying that we’re aware of the risk of death and have accepted it. Naruto walked up and took the papers, taking one and handing the remaining bundle over to Shinku, him doing the same before handing it over to someone close to him, which just happened to be one of Kabuto’s teammates. While they were passing around the forms, Anko continued, explaining the exam.

She took out a rough map of the training grounds, showing a river running through the place and a large amount of forests all over it, with barely any land being free of them, and a tower in the very middle. The radius of the circle, the training grounds were stationed in, in other words the distance from any part of the fence to the tower, was around ten kilometers. The exam was supposed to be a survival challenge. There are forty-four gates to the place and each team would start from a different one. Each team would also receive either a scroll of Heaven or a scroll of Earth. In order to complete the test a team would have to bring one of each scroll to the tower in the center. Which meant at the very least half the teams would be disqualified, though that was a very optimistic estimate in reality. The time limit was five days. ‘Simple enough.’ Thought Shinku, though in reality he was excited. The prospect sounded incredibly fun to him.

The rules for disqualification didn’t really apply to Shinku, excluding the last… If all three members of the team can’t make it to the tower with the earth and heaven scroll within the time limit you’re out. If a team loses a member or if a member became incapacitated you’re out. And finally, absolutely not to look at the insides of the scrolls, the test also tried their trustworthiness with secret information, which chunin could find themselves handling. The assistant proctors put a curtain around the hut they were supposed to exchange the consent forms for the scrolls at. Unfortunately, there was a half an hour pause before the exchange would take place. Shinku laid his back against a tree nearby and waited it out while everyone seemed to be either staring at the consent forms, discussing strategy with teammates, or lost in thought. As it became time Shinku instantly hopped up and went behind the curtains first of anyone else.

As he heard Anko announce that they’d simultaneously start half an hour from now, he wrote his name down on the form before signing it and exchanging it, receiving a scroll of Heaven in return. Leaving the curtains, one of the assistant proctors accompanied him as he walked over to his chosen gate. Gate 14 that is, one he’d chosen completely randomly. Another half an hour wait was hell to him, as he restlessly tapped his foot against the floor or paced back and forth in front of the gate as his escort blocked it. As the time approached, half a minute before the start, the assistant proctor unlocked the chain holding the gate closed and right on mark, the gate opened, causing Shinku to run inside the forest at full speed, looking for his prey like a hungry predator. Jumping between trees as he thought of his strategy.

The most logical idea here would be to set traps around the tower. Unfortunately, Shinku wasn’t there to use logic but rather to have fun. He would never afford such complacency on an actual mission where he was in charge of a team though and that was what the chunin exam was testing. Remembering this Shinku suddenly stopped himself, putting a hand to his chin while standing horizontally on a side of a tree. If he rushed forward would he really have that much fun? Considering he found someone who was a challenge then yeah, but what were the chances of that if he just ran around blindly?

No he needed to focus on it. Focus on finding someone that would get his blood boiling. Why did he even end up like this again? Was it that boring for him to do those missions? It really sucked to outclass everyone by so much, he guessed. Maybe that Zabuza guy from Sasuke’s mission would’ve given him a challenge? By the sound of it not really. The guy was freaked out by Kakashi’s sharingan and he played around with him with the eye of hypnotism like he was leading along a small child. Then there’s the fact he used the hidden mist jutsu a lot. And Shinku, as a capable user of wind release, could completely blow that away, taking away any advantage. Shinku also had confidence in his chakra supply, so he didn’t think he’d become tired before his opponent if it came down to a jutsu battle. What was he thinking about again? Right finding someone strong in the exam.

He had a lot of moments where he thought ‘Man, the byakugan would be useful right now’ and this was one of them. Maybe he could ask Hinata if he found Kiba’s team? No, he didn’t know if he could find them and there was always the chance that they wouldn’t listen to the reason of “You can’t beat me so how about if you do me a favor I don’t beat you up and take your scroll?”. In that case... he looked towards the treetops. It’s had to be up. If he could get above the treetops he could observe from there if anyone used any sort of flashy jutsu.

If its effects could be observed from above the forest, whoever the user was, they should be quite powerful. The problem is that the highest point of the forest was not the treetops. Shinku looked deeper into the forest. It’s the tower. So he should head there first, climb up to the top and observe the forest from there. Alright. That decided he jumped forward onto the next tree, adjusting himself in the air to land on the branch and continuing to hop from one to the other, heading deeper into the forest. At his speed he should have arrived at the tower in about twenty minutes, but about hallway there he heard the whistling of wind. as he landed on the next branch he suddenly threw himself back, a powerful gust of wind emerging in front of him, cracking branches and digging a trace in the ground itself.

He landed on the ground of the forest, thankfully having avoided the gust when a guy with some kind of stone mask suddenly rushed at him from the side. He wore gloves that had claws protruding out of them and aimed to swipe at Shinku’s neck with them. Shinku activated his sharingan in that moment, easily seeing through the move, he used his legs which have a longer reach to kick his arm away, the enemy raised his arm for another swipe but was knocked away by Shinku’s fist before he could execute it. Shinku heard the sound of water from behind him. Using the foot he had remaining on the ground, he jumped up, being missed by a torrent of water, which hit the claw user instead. Looking towards its source he saw a grass ninja, this one looking fat and having paint around the eyes and mouth.

A large amount of white smoke suddenly appeared over Shinku, before he could do anything else. A snake exiting it, falling towards him, opening its mouth with the aim to eat him. Shinku went through his options quickly, before putting his hands together, Snake, Ram, Boar, Horse, Bird, he formed the seals, wind gathering around his palms before he pointed them at the shinobi that was only now ending the water jutsu, releasing the wind, knocking himself backwards and out of the way of the snake, while simultaneously sending a powerful gale towards the fat grass shinobi, sending him flying backwards and smashing him into a tree.

Shinku himself adjusted himself in the air and planted his feet on the tree behind him, attaching himself to its side with chakra, as the snake fell to the ground with a loud thud. A part of the snake, close to the neck split open, a human figure exiting it, revealing the last grass ninja, a very feminine-looking, but still male shinobi with long black hair. The slime-covered shinobi from Kusagakure looked up at Shinku and smirked, his long, almost snake-like tongue, licking around his lips. Shinku grinned back. This seemed like it was going to be fun.


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