Chapter Eleven: The First Exam, A Written Test
As we stood there, we were all approached by our former classmates. The first to appear was Ino Yamanaka, another one of Sasuke's fan-girls and rival to Sakura. Ino's teammates weren't far behind. Shikamaru Nara and Choji Akimichi soon appeared. Soon Hinata Hyuga appeared. Right beside her were her teammates, Kiba Inuzuka with his dog Akamaru, and Shino Aburame. The ten rookies were together again.
"Hello there." I heard someone say. I turned around to see a silver haired boy with glasses.
"My name is Kabuto Yakushi." He said.
"Uh hello, Kabuto Yakushi. My name is…." I started.
"Kazumi Hatake. You're one of the top female rookies who just graduated from the academy." He finished. "Am I right?"
"Yeah, that's right. How did you know about that?" I asked.
"I always make sure that I have information about the rookies and other ninjas that come and try to compete in the Chuunin Exams." He explained.
"Hmm, I see." I said. "That's pretty smart."
As we stood there, Kabuto pulled out info cards on both Rock Lee and Gaara of the Sand. Apparently they were both strong, so we should watch out for them. He soon started explaining about the ninja from the Hidden Sound Village. This was a newly formed village and little was known about the village or its ninjas. Suddenly three Sound Ninjas jumped up from their seats. The one with a metal object on his arm swung at Kabuto but missed. Just when I thought Kabuto was about to attack, he's glasses shattered and he threw up on the floor.
"I don't get it. That guy didn't even land a punch." I thought to myself.
Suddenly a cloud of smoke appeared in front of the classroom. Once it cleared, several high level ninja stood before us, along with a tall guy wearing a black jacket. We found out that his name was Ibiki Morino. He explained that the first test would be a written test and that we would be drawing numbers to find out where we would be seating. After taking our seats, I found that my teammates and I were scattered.
"A written test! Aw man, this sucks!" I heard Naruto yelled.
"Naruto, calm down. I can help you out but you can't give away our secret." I thought to Naruto.
"Oh yeah, I'd completely forgot about our new skill, Kazumi-chan." Naruto thought back. "I really appreciate this. I owe you one."
"Don't mention it, Naruto." I thought.
"Everyone, eyes front. And I won't answer any questions. So you better pay attention the first time around." Ibiki ordered.
"Hmm, this guy is strict. No wonder he's a test prompter." I thought.
"Rule 1, the written part of the exam is scored on a point reduction scale. You all will start with a total of ten points. For each question you get wrong, you lose one point." Ibiki explained. "Rule number 2, teams will pass or fail determine on the total points of all its members.
"Damn, they aren't kidding with this exam. It's as if they want us to fail." I thought.
"Rule numbers 3, the sentinels around the room are there to catch anyone who tries to cheat. And for every time they catch you, they will subtract two points from the culprit's score." Ibiki continued. "Be warned, their eyes are extremely sharp. And if they catch you five times, you'll automatically fail."
After finishing the lecture, the test began. Once I turned the papers over, I found that the questions were way above what I thought they would be asking. Not only did you have to answer the question, but you had to answer questions within the question. Plus to make things harder, they give us extremely hard scenarios that could take drastic turns at any time. Seeing that I wasn't going to answer these questions on my own, I figured I would have no choice but to cheat. All I need to worry about is not getting caught. As the test continued, several ninjas were taken out of the room because they were caught cheating. Soon it was time for the tenth question.
But before he did, he asked if there was anyone in the room who wanted to drop out. The reason for this is because they had two options. One, receive the tenth question. If they didn't take it, they automatically fail and that went for your teammates as well. But if they do take it, and we answer it incorrectly, we won't just fail but we would be banned from taking the Chuunin Exam ever again. Surprisingly, several got up and walked away. And what I saw next shocked me. Naruto had his hand raised. But he quickly slammed it down onto the desk.
"Don't underestimate me!" Naruto yelled. "I don't quit and I don't run! You guys are not going to scare me off that easily!"
"Heh, that's Naruto for you. He's not one to just give up so easily." I thought to myself. "But I have to admit, he had me for a second."
"Well then, I admire your determination." Ibiki said. "For those of you remaining, there's only one thing to do. And that's for me to tell you, that you all passed the first exam."
We were all a little shocked now. We couldn't tell if he was pulling our legs or not. He just told us we all passed, but it didn't make sense. Finally Ibiki explained that there was never a tenth question to begin with. Well, not a written one at least. Our decision to stay was the answer to the tenth question. Man, talk about mind games.
He soon continued explaining that the nine questions specifically had a purpose. And that was to test us, to see how we could gather information from the people around us. To make us feel really stupid, he said he had a couple of high level ninja sitting along with us, pretending to take the test. And all this time, they knew the answers. And they were right there in our faces the entire time. Man, I really felt stupid.
"The answers were right in my face the entire time!?" Naruto yelled.
"Yeah, I feel the exact same way, Naruto." I mumbled to myself. Suddenly a young woman flies through the window. "Who the heck is that?" I thought.
"Heads up boys and girls, this is no time to be celebrating." The young woman stated. "I'll be your next proctor, Anko Mitarashi. You ready for the second test? Good! Let's go, follow me!"
We all just looked at this woman like she was crazy. One, she came flying through a damn window, two she started yelling excitedly as if she couldn't wait for the second part of the test to start, and three, she looked like she was ready to knock anyone out who may disrupt her. Plus the look on Naruto's face was completely priceless and funny.
"You're early… again." Ibiki told her, which made her look embarrassed.
"Wow, there's a lot of them." she thought. "Ibiki, you let all of these guys pass? Your test was too easy. You must be getting soft." She told him.
"Or it could be a stronger crop of candidates this year." He told her.
"Hmm, they sure don't look it." She said. "Trust me; before I'm done with them, more than half will be eliminated. Heh, this is going to be fun."
"More than half, is she serious?" I thought.
"Alright, you maggots have had it easy so far. But things are going to be different first thing in the morning." She said. "Your squad leaders will let you know where to meet me, dismissed."
I didn't like what she said. In the back of my mind, I knew the next part of the test was going to be more than just a harder part to complete. In my gut, I felt that something bad was going to happen. I didn't know what exactly but all I was one hundred percent sure about that it wasn't going to be good. After exiting the academy, everyone separated and started to head home.
"Kazumi-chan!" Naruto yelled as he stood a few steps ahead of me. "Come on! Let's go get some ramen to celebrate!"
"Hmm, I guess it wouldn't hurt." I thought. "Sure. Why not." I told him as I made my way towards him.
Once at Ichiraku's, Naruto and I celebrated with ramen. I just had one bowl, but he ate several. Enough for the both of us. I really couldn't believe just how much he could put away. It kind of scared me to be honest. But now I had a new thought that caught my attention. The second exam. We didn't know what was in store for us. I guess the only way to find out was tomorrow morning.
The following day, Anko walked us all to the next location the second test was going to be held. As she did so, she promised that she would cut our numbers in half. Once we got there, we found ourselves standing before an area that was completely blocked off by a large fence.
"Wow, this place is huge." I stated quietly.
"Yeah, and it looks dangerous too." Sakura added.
"This is your next test." Anko started. "This area is called "The Forest of Death" and soon you will find out why. But before we can start, I have something for you all. It's just a simple consent form."
When Anko took out the papers, I saw a few of the other ninjas' faces. Some of them looked psyched, some looked normal and others had scared or freaked out faces. But really, they should have known that this wasn't going to be easy.
"The 44 Battle Zone is a large forest with 44 gates to enter. Once inside you must find your way to the tower that lies in the heart of the forest. Also you must contain these two scrolls if you want to enter the tower." She explained. "Both the Heaven and Earth Scroll, also you must finish the test within five days."
As we sat there and read the form, I was noticing some of the teams. If they all made it here then there is a good chance that they are deadly and dangerous. There was no room for error once we enter that forest. All I know was we needed to get in get the other scroll and make it to the tower within the five day period. This was going to be difficult.
"This is supposed to be scary?!" Naruto yelled. "Well let me tell you lady, I'm not!"
Anko just smiled innocently at Naruto but quickly pulled out a kunai knife and rushed forward. She threw the knife, in which had cut Naruto's cheek. Anko soon appeared behind Naruto and held him as she licked the blood off his cheek.
After that and the encounter with the snake group, we all signed the agreement forms and received our scroll as well. Once all the forms have been signed and the scrolls handed out, we were all assigned to a gate. Shikamaru's team was at Gate 27, Kiba's team at Gate 16, the Sound Ninja at Gate 20, the Sand Ninja has Gate 6, Kabuto's team at Gate 38, and we were at Gate 12. The mysterious Snake group had Gate 15 and Neji's team had Gate 41.
As soon as everyone was at their assigned gate, the instructors unlocked the locks and we all bolted into the Forest of Death. I knew that one of those teams had to be holding the scroll we needed. But the question was which team did. This was another condition that made this part of the exam harder. Now I see what Anko meant that more than half will be eliminated.
"Uh, did you guys hear someone…..scream?" Sakura asked making us stop. We all glanced back, looking in the direction we thought the scream could have came from.
"Well… That's one team down. Meaning there's one least team we have to deal with." I told them. "But that also means one less scroll."
"This place is creeping me out!" Sakura screamed. I quickly rushed forward and clamped my hand over her mouth, muffling her screaming.
"If you continue to scream like that, you will attract enemies' right to our location." I told her quietly. "And who knows who's nearby."
"Not only that, but you might attract wild animals." Sasuke added. "And from the look of the size of this forest, who knows what could be living inside this place."
"Exactly." I agreed.
Sakura slightly nodded her head, understanding what Sasuke and I was saying. Once she had stopped screaming completely, I removed my hand from her mouth, wiping my hand on my shirt. I walked forward and stood in my spot from before so I was standing in front of her and the others.
"Now, let's get moving." I said. "It's dangerous for us to be standing in one spot for too long. We need to be moving constantly."
"Right." Naruto and Sakura agreed.