Chapter 1: The First Ninja mission
Freddy smiled as he pulled his fabric shin guards over his legs, hiding the 500 kilos bands he was wearing. Although he possessed very little ninjutsu and zero genjutsu, his taijutsu, as well as his speed were off the charts. And, he was still only a Genin. He tied the ninja headband around his head with the symbol of the village hidden in the leaves. Next door one of Freddy’s best friends, Oliver, was also tying the headband around his head. He was fairly good at Taijutsu, Genjutsu and Ninjutsu, and, although not quite as fast as Freddy, he could use his ninjutsu to increase his speed. Across the street was Greta’s house. Greta didn’t see herself as powerful but she had no idea that she was the host of an incredible amount of chakra; the chakra of the nine tailed fox. Next door to Greta’s house was Myriam’s, one of Greta’s best friends. Myriam was not particularly good at Taijutsu or Genjutsu, but she was very skilled in Ninjutsu and very intelligent. Finally, last but not least, was Edie. She was probably the most powerful out of the five of them as she possessed the ancient technique of the Byakugan.
The five young teenagers felt a sense of elation as they left their houses and headed to the academy. This was the day that they became true Genin; true shinobi. They went inside and took their seats. A moment later their old teacher walked in: Iruka Sensei, a Chunin ninja.
“Today you will all meet your new Sensei.” Iruka Sensei said. “You will be split into squads of five or three. Squad one: Greta Hjarre, Myriam Meijer, Freddy Uchiha, Oliver Hinebauch and Edie Hyuga.”
The five friends smiled to each other. They barely listened as Iruka Sensei said the names of the remaining squads. Later, the teenagers were collected by their Jonin. Their Jonin was named Kakashi. He was about 6’2” with grey spiky hair. His headband was pulled down on one side, covering one eye and a mask covered his entire lower face.
“Follow me.” The Jonin said and leapt onto the next rooftop over. Freddy turned to the others and sighed.
“And so it begins,” he said before jumping over the next rooftop to follow the Jonin, the other teenagers right behind him. The group moved so fast that they were little more than blurs of movement, however the Jonin was far faster; they didn’t even see him when he was in movement. They only kept track of him because of his courtesy to give them a split second to see him, before he landed. Finally, they stopped near the third Hokage’s house and sat down.
“Now,” said the Jonin “My name is Kakashi and today was a little warm-up. Tomorrow your real training starts… oh and you might want to skip breakfast tomorrow.”
“What?” Greta asked, but it was too late. The Jonin was gone; leaping across the rooftops, in a path they could not follow. He wasn’t pausing this time.
The next day the five young ninja arrived at the training field at 5:00 A.M., hungry but determined to pass. Greta arrived barely awake, Myriam and Oliver arrived bleary eyed, Edie arrived looking like she hadn’t even slept at all, and Freddy… Freddy arrived looking wide awake and seemingly well-rested. They knew that this would be another test. The Jonin was in front of them and behind him were five wooden posts.
“The test is simple,” Kakashi said, taking four small bells out of a pack, “Take these bells from my hand and you pass; fail and you return to the academy.”
“Um, just like to point out there are five of us and only four bells,” Myriam said.
“I know,” Kakashi said. “That ensures that at least one of you will fail. Begin.”
The teenagers jumped into the trees.
“This is just perfect,” Oliver muttered to himself. All the same, he selected two shuriken from his pouch. Jumping from the cover of the trees, he threw both shuriken at the same time. The shuriken rocketed towards Kakashi Sensei. Kakashi didn’t even flinch. Instead, he just stood there reading his book. However, at the last moment, Kakashi raised his hand. On two fingers the shuriken spun slowly. Kakashi had caught them in the middle of a spin. Suddenly, he disappeared and immediately struck Oliver from behind, sending him flying into the bushes. At this point, Greta leapt at him from the top of a tree in an excellent flying crescent kick form. The Jonin wasn’t even fazed. He simply bent over backwards and Greta sailed over him towards a tree. Greta, reacting with lightning speed, twisted in midair and connected with the trees, pushing off with all four limbs. Greta then executed a 360 degree turn, her foot going towards Kakashi’s head. However, yet again Kakashi blocked it, this time with one hand, while his other hand held his book. Greta dropped, swiping at his feet. He easily jumped over her feet and high into the air, landing on a tree branch. Greta had no way to get that high. Apparently, she didn’t need to as several kunai knives came flying at her from the Jonin’s hand, forcing her to somersault backwards into the cover of the trees.
Myriam was looking on through the trees herself. Her eyes opened wider when she saw one of the small silver bells lying on the ground beneath the tree. She made quick calculations of the time it would take take for her to run across the field and grab the bell. It would take too long; the Jonin would take her down unless… Myriam made a hand sign in front of her: a cross with two fingers from each hand.
“Shadow clone Jutsu!” she said. Six clones appeared around her. These were not simple illusions; these were real solid clones. Suddenly, along with the clones, Myriam ran out of the bushes. The Jonin saw her and her clones, and without even looking up he pulled a shuriken out of his pouch and threw it. It collided with one of the clones and the clone disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The Jonin did the same thing five times in quick succession; enough time for Myriam to reach the bell. As Myriam reached the bell, she had just enough time to wonder why the Jonin hadn’t thrown out seven shuriken at once when she found herself hanging upside down from the tree branch. She mentally kicked herself. She had just fallen for the oldest trick in the book. The bell was the bait. Next to it was a tree snare. She had stepped right into the snare and activated the trap. The Jonin dropped from the tree and picked up the bell.
“Basic rule,” he said. “If the bait is obvious don’t go for it.”
“Thanks,” Myriam grumbled. “I hadn’t noticed,” she said sarcastically.
Meanwhile, Edie had been sneaking through the trees and was now as close to Kakashi Sensei as she could get. She went to step forwards, when all of a sudden she felt the cold steel of a kunai at the back of her neck. She didn’t need to turn to know it was Kakashi. She heard him make a hand sign and all of a sudden she felt extremely tired and closed her eyes. Kakashi stepped back into the clear. Freddy saw his opening with Kakashi’s back turned and he launched his attack throwing out six shuriken from his hiding place. Kakashi whispered so that no one could hear, “don’t you ever learn?!” The shuriken struck Freddy and he fell backwards. When his body hit the ground there was a puff of smoke and six shuriken were embedded in a log.
“Dang it!” Freddy thought as he raced through the bushes. “He used a replacement Jutsu.” All of a sudden Freddy stumbled into a clear spot where Kakashi Sensei was waiting for him. Freddy attacked, his foot aimed at Kakashi’s head. Kakashi brought up his fist to block it. Freddy punched towards Kakashi’s gut. Kakashi grabbed Freddy’s wrist with his spare hand. Freddy went into the air kicking out his other leg. Kakashi moved his other hand, catching that foot until Freddy was upside down. Kakashi had played right into Freddy’s hands. Freddy reached out with his free hand. Although Kakashi saw what Freddy was aiming for, it was too late. Kakashi was left with no choice but to push Freddy away from him, who had already touched a bell. Freddy had not caught the bell, but he had touched it. Freddy now stood in a ready position. He smiled, putting his hands together and doing a series of lightning fast hand signs.
“No way!” Kakashi whispered. “Genin can’t do fire jutsu, it takes to much chakra!”
“Curse, tiger… Fire ball Jutsu!” Freddy cupped a hand to his mouth and blew fire through it. A ball of fire flew straight towards where Kakashi Sensei should have been. However, when the smoke cleared, Kakashi had disappeared again.
“Where is he?” Freddy asked himself out loud as he looked around. A hand shot out of the ground and grabbed Freddy’s ankle.
“Where you least expect me,” Kakashi said. “Right under your feet.” In a moment, Freddy was buried up to his neck. Kakashi was now in front of Freddy.
“Earth style, headhunter Jutsu.” Kakashi said. Freddy tried to break free but couldn’t.
“Can’t move huh?” Said Kakashi “That’s too bad.”
Ten minutes later the entire squad was back in the clearing. Oliver and Greta were tied to the posts they had seen earlier and Freddy, Edie and Myriam both had lunches in front of them.
“I’m giving you four one last chance!” Kakashi said “You have three hours to get the bells! If you fail I’ll drop you all from the program… permanently. Because I defeated Oliver and Greta first they won’t eat and if anyone tries to feed them they automatically fail.” With those words Kakashi disappeared. Freddy, Myriam and Edie ate their lunches for a few minutes then Freddy stopped, quickly glanced around and picked up a piece of meat with his fork and held it out towards Oliver.
“Here eat.” he said
“Freddy what are you thinking?” Myriam asked “You heard what-”
“Kakashi isn’t here right now and we’re supposed to work as a team to get the bells, If Oliver and Greta don’t eat they’ll be weak and that’ll render them ineffective.”
Myriam thought for a second and then did the same and held a piece of her lunch out for Greta. A soon as they took a bite the ground practically exploded in front of them and a furious Kakashi stood in front of them.
“YOU DISOBEYED ME NOW YOU MUST SUFFER THE PUNISHMENT!” Kakashi said making some lightning fast hand signs. When he did the sky turned dark with lightning filled clouds. “ANY LAST WORDS?”
Freddy stood up. “You said that we had to work together as a team-”
“And a team needs to be able to work perfectly synchronised-” Oliver continued.
“Which means everyone needs to be at their maximum-” Greta continued
“And for that they need fuel and food is fuel.” Myriam finished
“If you want to drop us from the program or send us back to the academy you need to do it to us as a team!” Edie said over the sound of thunder
“That’s your excuse!?” Kakashi said “You need to work together!?” All of a sudden the clouds cleared and Kakashi’s tone changed.
“Congratulations you pass.”
“Huh!” The teenagers looked at him confused.
“You pass, All the other students they couldn’t think for themselves, they did exactly what I told them. It’s true that in the ninja world those who disobey the rules are scum, but those who forsake their teammates and friends to save themselves… they’re worse than scum. Come now let’s go home. Kakashi threw two kunai knives that sliced the ropes and stayed embedded in the posts. The next day the teenagers woke up early. Today was their first mission. To get to the academy to receive their first mission they didn’t bother walking down the street, they jumped across the rooftops instead to be faster. The teenagers were at the academy by 7:00 A.M. they collected the scroll that detailed their mission and then ran to the bridge where they were supposed to await Kakashi sensei. They were there for nearly two hours before Kakashi finally appeared on a the gate top of the bridge.
“Hi there sorry I’m late I got lost on the path of life” he said smiling.
“As if.” Greta said.
“So what’s the mission?” Oliver asked. Freddy opened the scroll and unrolled. Kakashi dropped down and pulled out a kunai knife. He cut his finger and with his blood he crossed out the missions that were already taken. Not surprisingly that was all of them except for one. None of them were very exciting but the ‘mission’ that they had was weeding.
“You’re joking right?” Edie said “We’re supposed to pull up weeds for our first mission?”
“As far as I’m aware that is what weeding means.” Kakashi said with a wide smile obvious even behind the mask. Kakashi took off running through the forest path. The teenagers quickly followed. All of them easily keeping up, they weren’t exactly playing keep away. Finally they reached their destination. A huge garden with many plants growing. A third of those plants however were weeds.
“Let’s get to work” Kakashi said far to happily. The five teenagers and their sensei worked tirelessly but all the same it was nearly four hours before they had pulled out all the weeds. They took a quick break for lunch but as soon as they finished they were off to another house with an even bigger garden.
“I am so sick of this!” Freddy said he made some lightning fast hand signs again.
“Curse tiger… Fireball Jutsu” Freddy burned a good amount of weeds but after that morning using that much chakra was too much He collapsed and fell sideways. Kakashi caught him before he hit the ground. The others got to work. Despite Freddy’s fireball the weeding still took until nightfall. Similarly lame missions continued for the next two days before the teenagers could no longer stand it. Instead of taking their mission from the normal room they went to the Hokage’s room with Kakashi.
“Lord Hokage can we have a real mission for once” Greta asked the third Hokage.
“What you have been receiving are normal missions for Genin.” the third Hokage said. “ There are four mission classes and four ninja classes. There are the Genin which are selected for the D rank missions and after a year or two C ranked missions, The Chunin are selected for the B and the C ranked missions the Jonin are selected for The A and B ranked missions and Although the Hokage are rarely called to action they too qualify for A ranked missions but if you insist you are receiving a C ranked mission although normally you would need a few more months of training..
“Yes!” All five teenagers said jumping into the air.
“A bridge builder from the village of waves has come here and must now return to his village, however there are brigands along the road, Your mission is to make sure that he makes it back safely.” The Hokage said.
Story by Daniel Le Goff Pollack (’19)
Art by Nadine Karapancsev (’18)