A note from koforeme

Not too important a chapter, but hey. Hope you enjoy.

Shinku landed next to the river, running through the middle of the forest. As much as he wanted to rest, he needed some food first and he didn’t feel like eating fried giant snake or centipede, even tiger for that matter. Instead, he attached a wire to his kunai, and Imbuing it with wind chakra, threw it into the river and straight through a fish, then pulled it back out along with it. He did this several times until he was satisfied with the amount of fish he caught. He gathered some wood and stones and made a fire pit. He also picked up two bigger stones which he placed on the firepit’s either side and laid green tree branches over the top of.

He used a small burst of fire release to start his fire and let it spread as he cleaned the fish’s innards and split each into two pieces, throwing the heads away back into the water, though he left the scales and skin on half of them, placing those on the branches with the skin down, essentially using the branches as a grate to cook them over the fire. The rest he cut down to small pieces which he started smoking over the coals after the fire had burnt out some, and while peeling the skin off of his freshly cooked fish, before eating them. If he had known he was in for a survival challenge he would have brought some salt, but even without it the fish wasn’t bad.

Survival skills were one of the essentials of a ninja and he hadn’t neglected training them. Cooking was also a skill that while not important or valued, would be highly appreciated in a team surviving in the wilderness with any experience of what it’s like without anyone capable in it, and there was a reason Shinku was almost always in charge of cooking in the Uchiha household. The only times that wasn’t the case was when he came back late or was eating out, which left Sasuke to fend for himself. The reason his best friend enjoyed the meals so much being that, in truth, Shinku had quite the talent for cooking.

Smoking took a long time though and there was no way to speed up the process, Shinku had to regulate the temperature of the fire for hours, though he did make sure to at least drink his fill of water and fill up his bamboo canteen with it. Another essential tool for a ninja as missions could take long times in which a ninja might not always have the chance to drink unless he has water on his person.

He heard a slight whistle of the wind, much smaller than when the grass ninja had tried to ambush him with the great breakthrough jutsu. He bent his body slightly and a kunai flew past him, klinging off of the rocky ground. “You guys should really try looking for an easier opponent. You don’t really stand a chance here.” He called out. The answer was a wind release projectile heading towards him. ‘Shit!’ He thought, quickly kneading a few signs together and slamming his hands on the ground, raising a wall of earth in front of him just in time to block the wind. “You bastards you almost fucked up my smoking fire! You know how long I’ve been waiting for this?!” That being said he couldn’t show his mangekyo to these guys. They were too weak to warrant killing them. ‘Well whatever.’ He went back to adjusting his flame. ‘Should be over in a few seconds.’

His opponents were three. Ninja from Takigakure. The wall of earth, blocking both their sight and their attacks was a problem so they decided to go around it. The three split up, going around the wall in different directions. Yet. As one was jumping between two branches Shinku suddenly jumped onto the branch in front of him “What?!” he screamed out loud as the Uchiha jumped at him from the branch, punching him in the face in mid-air and knocking him to the ground, robbing him of his consciousness. Another, who was running through the underbrush suddenly felt something stop his foot, tripping him and causing him to fall forward. He looked at what tripped him and saw a hand grabbing onto his ankle, then screamed as he was dragged under until he was buried up to the neck, he felt something strike him in the back of the head and everything went dark.

The last one managed to get the closest, jumping at Shinku with a kunai from a blind spot while he was tending to his fire. Shinku turned around looking into his eyes, the sharingan activated, before he suddenly exploded into kunai, the genin screaming as he crossed his arms in front of himself to guard his vitals. The kunai stabbed into him painfully, until he fell to the ground, only to find himself in a dark place. He tried to get up, but he couldn’t feel the ground. He screamed, but he couldn’t hear his voice, he couldn’t even feel the pain from the wounds anymore. What was happening? Was he dying?

He grabbed one of the kunai, unable to feel it with his hand before trying to get it out of himself. Instead of the kunai being pulled out though, it was his hand that was easily ripped off, remaining around the kunai’s handle. Distressed, he tried to scream again, but nothing came out. He tried moving about, but he could only kick at nothing, his legs eventually falling off just like his hand, decaying in the emptiness surrounding him almost as if melting in acid, along with his hand. His one remaining hand started decaying while still attached to him as well, more and more of his body melting away, starting from that hand and then once that was done all of his remaining limbs, becoming shorter and shorter. Left with nothing to do, but despair as he screamed in terror, the genin simply lost consciousness.

Shinku broke his eyes away from the genin who fell forward onto the ground, unconscious. “That’s why I told you, but nooo. You had to go and almost mess my fire up.” His shadow clones brought the other two and picked up the last guy too. They checked what scroll they had just in case, finding an Earth scroll, but Shinku wondered if he should take it. The less scrolls, the less of a chance for people to pass, less of a chance for him to encounter interesting stuff later on… yeah no. He didn’t need it. He left them there, collapsed while he finished smoking his fish and then went off. If they were lucky nothing would eat them. If not well that’s their problem. He didn’t kill them, but he can’t be asked to babysit them. Next was deciding where to sleep. But most places in this forest were about the same. His chances of being eaten alive while he slept, didn’t change much no matter where, and he didn’t like those chances being higher than zero.

This was the biggest disadvantage of not being in a group for this phase in his opinion. He couldn’t sleep soundly as there would be no one to look out for enemies. He could set traps but there was no guarantee the enemy would fall for it. He could make a dome with earth release but there was no guarantee someone wouldn’t break into it and he would be trapping himself, not to mention it would be screaming “There’s a shinobi hiding here!”. And lastly, he couldn’t make clones, as they disappeared if he lost consciousness, hell even if he just lost concentration.

Should he head to the tower after all? Sleeping inside there would probably mostly be safe. Not that he would let his guard down. What to do, what to do? ‘Alright. That should work.’ Shinku jumped from tree to tree, eventually finding a place with less grass than usual, instead having a large patch of dirt, noting there was also a small shelter under a tree which seemed to be held up by a few rocks, its roots reaching down into the ground from there. That wouldn’t work for him though. He formed the handseals for the technique and slammed his hands to the ground ‘Earth Release: Moving Earth Core’. The ground in front of him, not covered in grass, lowered by several meters before it stopped and he jumped down, forming some more seals, he slammed his hand against the hole’s wall ‘Earth Release: Earth-Style Wall’ a wall sprouted from the side of the entrance to the hole, covering it up and leaving Shinku in the dark. ‘If it’s down here I won’t be found too easily.

'Now then.’ He laid down on the ground. It was nowhere near comfortable, but Shinku was used to it. Closing his eyes, he finally got the chance to recover some of his stamina. He might not have showed it, but he was quite exhausted. He recovered fast though. Tomorrow again. He would be at full strength.


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