As I Wake

The Bell Test

'Quor-ra…'

It was the following morning and the word still echoed in my mind. Quorra… What is that? Does that mean something I am not aware of? I looked up at the blank white ceiling, repeating the syllables in my mind. The word floated above me as the letters came to life before my eyes.

Why would he— why would Kakashi call me this? Who's Quorra? My mind was still as blank as it was on day one. As discouraging as it was, lying in bed wasn't going to solve anything. It was time for some answers.

I leapt out of the hospital bed. On the nightstand, there was a fresh pair of clothes with a note on top. The note said:

Good morning,

Here are some comfortable clothes. Training in a hospital gown isn't very practical. Meet me at the training grounds just southeast of the hospital.

~K.H.

At the training grounds? I looked down from the note and saw a plain white T-shirt with capris that were similar to Kakashi's. I took the clothes and changed in the bathroom.

After changing, I signed out of the hospital and took my first steps outside. It was just as lovely out as it was yesterday.

Wait, which way is southeast? Does he expect me to be a human compass? Feeling like a complete idiot, I walked around the premises. So far no training grounds but a school, shopping center, and playground came into view.

In a distance, there was a huge field with random nick-knacks like targets and posts. Finally! I found it! Look at my navigation skills, sharp as a tack. Smiling at my own stupidity, I walked southeast to the site.

Kakashi was nowhere in sight. I assumed that he would be here to greet me.

"Good morning," said a voice behind me.

Startled, I jumped and whipped around to face Kakashi. He's late! How professional. I said my good morning by giving a half-smile and a slight eye roll.

"Are you ready for your tests?"

Cutting to the chase, I wanted this Quorra mystery to be solved. Slowly, so he could understand me, I pronounced each syllable. 'Why did you call me, Quorra?'

As if he couldn't understand me, he explained the tests. "We are going to be doing a wide variety of exercises. Each being on different aspects and will gradually get harder. In the end, there will be an ultimate test which I will explain later. If, of course, you make it that far."

Obviously he was ignoring me. If I wanted to get any answers, I needed to be more forceful. Grabbing the collar of his vest, I pulled him towards my chest, meeting eye to eye. Feeling annoyed but determined, I silently ask again, 'Why did you call me that?'

Nonchalant as always, he looked me dead in the eye. He didn't look mad nor rip my grasp off of him. He didn't even attempt to pull away. But he does say, "I'll answer whatever questions you have if you past the tests."

My annoyed expression changed to shock as I quickly let go of his vest. No ideas conjured up on how to pass these tests. Only ninjas could pass, which clearly I was not, but I understood what I needed to do to succeed. I won't give up that easily. Ultimately, I nodded my head, firmly, as if saying 'You're on!'

He mimicked my same stern face. "Good. Now we'll begin with something simple. Let's see how well you can throw at a target." He pulled a kunai knife from one of his trusty o' compartments and threw it at me, landing at my feet. "Let's see how good your aim is," as he pointed to the target. It was simple with blue, yellow, and red being the target’s center.

Grasping the cold metal weapon in my hand, I walked towards the target. If I so happened to have any talent, any magical abilities hidden within me, they needed to freaking come out. Raising the kunai knife, I aimed and threw it with all my strength. Hearing it make a PING, I realized my eyes were closed and opened them to see that the kunai didn't hit the red center; it wasn't even on the target board. The red cloth of the handle caught my eye and saw that the knife perfectly hit smack middle of the tree— the tree next to the tree with the target on it. So much for magical abilities, I couldn't even hit the right tree let alone the damn red dot.

"Try again and concentrate," said Kakashi as if that was the obvious solution.

Grunting in frustration, I pulled the kunai out and walked back to my position and concentrated as Kakashi suggested. Come on, I know you can do it, just hit the target! I aimed, threw, and… hit the target? No, but I did hit the right tree this time. At least I was improving. I sighed and pulled the knife out of the tree.

Ignoring my surroundings, I stared at the prize, that stupid little red dot and made it my prey.

Just breathe and concentrate, I thought.

I inhaled sharply, aimed, and threw the kunai knife. Kakashi made a 'mph' sound as the knife hit the blue section of target. I couldn't help but smile. It was most likely pathetic in ninja terms, but in ordinary girl term, I think that’s a pretty damn good try.

I wanted to try to do a better job when- "Alright, that's enough. Let's test you on something else," Kakashi interrupted me.

Although I wanted to perfect my poor throwing skills, I wasn't complaining.

"Now, let's see your agility. See the hospital back over there? I want you to run as fast as you can. Run there and back. I'll time you."

Running? I never tried running before, making me feel dumb. But, I had to do better. I took my starting stance, which for me was just standing there clueless.

"Ready? Go."

With that I began to run, or attempted to run. It was more like a jog. I felt like the runt duck trying to catch up with my family.

Trying to fix my pace, my heart pounded in my chest— ready to drop dead. I was so out of shape, my lungs yelled at me to stop and take a nap under ones of those trees. But, gradually, I began to like it—the pain in my chest and the adrenaline pumping in my body. For some reason, it was reviving— reassuring that this was my body and that I was alive.

My arms and legs moved faster. Iced blood pumped through me, warming me with power. I felt in complete control for the very first time.

In no time at all, what took me fifteen minutes to walk, only took minutes to run. As if I had to touch the wall of the hospital to prove my distance, I tapped the wall and ran back. My lungs were still yelling, like they were being fried, but my legs just wanted to go and go fast. Everything around me seemed to be a blur. Both from the fact that I was running that fast and also because I was so focused, so concentrated on the goal ahead of me. Like I was in a tunnel with only one way out. And to make things more interesting, someone thought it would be fun to set the tunnel into flames making me run that much faster. This speed would be too much for some people, but I realized by now that I was not any ordinary person. I was certainly different.

In record time, I made it back to Kakashi and screeched to a stop. I placed my hands on my knees and bent over as I tried to refill my lungs with deprived oxygen. Looking up at Kakashi, he still wore his stone-cold expression, but his only visible eyebrow arched— intrigued, perhaps?

Waiting for him to respond, I began to jump up and down to show that I was ready for more. Ready for anything that he had to throw at me. Bring it!

“We will start another test now.”

Giving him a dirty look, I straightened and listened for my next test. With that, we continued our day with many, many different exercises. When Kakashi said we were doing a variety of tests, boy, he was not exaggerating. Holy shit! I ran, jumped, and rolled. I even attempted to climb a fucking tree! Of course that went very well. Kakashi even made me spar with him. He went easy on me and still kicked my scrawny ass. After that and much more, I was very tired and very over it.

"Ready for more?" He asked as if this was just the warm up.

I answered him by sticking my tongue out, convinced he was trying to kill me.

"Good. But before we continue, I want to explain something to you. Let's talk by that tree over there," he said as he pointed behind me.

Thank you, Almighty! We walked to the tree and I collapsed. Kakashi leaned against the tree as I stared at him, curiously.

"I want to explain a few things to you before we go any farther." He looked down to see my approval and I responded with my usual nod. "Remember when I was telling you yesterday about ninjas? And how they are called shinobi? Well, shinobi aren't just ordinary people. Each shinobi has something called chakra, a form of energy that is found in all living organisms and naturally in every individual to some degree. Long story short, the amount of chakra in shinobi are greatly significant compared to the amount found in a civilian’s. In shinobi, there are different type techniques that uses chakra— allowing an individual to perform a wide variety of abilities. Just to scratch the surface, there are ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu."

I was lost. I understood that these shinobi people have this thing called chakra and with this they could do special abilities but what did that have to do with anything.

Continuing, "Now when I was telling you your health record back on the roof of the hospital, I didn't mention something."

Shocked, my eyes jolted to his. Why wouldn't he tell me something when I was in this desperate state of wanting to learn every little detail about myself?

As if he read my mind, "I didn't mention this yesterday because you were learning so many new terms that I didn't want to confuse you any further, but what the doctors discovered that you have a very low amount of chakra. It's slightly higher than the usual amount found in an average civilian, but not by much. That's why I truly wanted to test you because you had such unique blood work and muscle components that obviously point towards you being a shinobi but compared to your chakra levels, they didn't match up. They didn't make any sense."

I sighed. This was getting harder to figure out. So complicated that it was discouraging.

"They don't make any sense unless you mainly use taijutsu, Kakashi explained. "There are different kinds of techniques— ninjutsu involves transformations. Genjutsu, illusions. But, taijutsu is different because it requires practically no chakra use whatsoever; stamina is all that is needed. It’s all about hand-to-hand combat and barely any complicated techniques."

Taijutsu, huh? But what does that mean for me? Is he saying that I use taijutsu? That I am really a ninja after all? I pondered.

"As a final test, I want to test you the same way I test all my students. It’s called the bell test." He started to walk towards the center of the field again and I obediently followed him.

"I will modify it slightly because you do not know all the shinobi techniques but see this bell right here?" He rose a simply, silver, tiny bell. "All you need to do is to try to take this from me. You can use whatever techniques and weapons that you have." He handed me a kunai knife and a shuriken. "How you do it is up to you."

I accepted his challenge, even if I hadn’t the slightest clue how to accomplish it, and we got into our fighting positions. This was my final test and the results from this could change my life. I wanted that bell!

"You have until noon. Good luck." With that he took a kunai knife out of his vest and threw it. Instinctively, I blocked it with my own kunai and charged at him.

What should I do? How am I going to take the bell away from him? He beat my little punk ass before when we were sparring. He's going to do the same this time! The questions rattled off in my mind.

I hit him, but he simply blocked me as if he was swatting a fly. Hoping to knock him down, I dropped down and used my leg in attempt to swipe him off his feet, but he jumped back, avoiding the attack.

Still determined, I continued to fight with kicks, punches and throws. I fought him with everything I got, but it wasn't enough. Would I ever have enough?


As we continued to fight, he blocked my every move with ease. It was almost noon now and I needed to think of a plan. Something he would never expect and could distract him with. Suddenly, a realization just clicked in my head. It was not only a plan but something from my past, something from my lost memory and I was going to use it against him. I ran to distance myself. I needed him to think I was getting tired, that I was weakening.

"You are giving up already?" Kakashi instigated me.

You wish, I thought, placing my hands on my knees. I pretended to wheeze.

"I thought you had more in you," Kakashi said, making tsk tsk noises.

More than you think.Gleaming at him, I disappeared out of sight.

At a distance, I could see Kakashi holding his kunai knife, searching. I was ready; I was ready to win this.

I reappeared in front of him and attacked, hard. With my left leg firmed in the ground, I kicked him square in the stomach with my right. He grabbed my foot, making me grin. He made a mistake. I used the foot he was holding as leverage and pushed off to perform a backflip. As I was midair, I threw my only shuriken at him. Of course, he dodged it.

"Nice try, but you need to think harder if you want the bell," he said.

I smirked at this choice of words. Kakashi was confused and explained myself by looking to my left. He followed my gaze and we both stared, me in triumphant and him in shock, at what walked towards us.


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