The Fateful Uchiha - Chapter 22

Published at 14th of October 2022 05:50:55 AM

Chapter 22

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Shiba accepted to register his team for the upcoming chunin exam in Konoha. The genins began an intense training regiment. Throughout the summer, they did several exercises to polish their skills. They also worked on team formations. Jun asked some of his chunin friends to train with them.

Anko and Kurenai were a tough duo to deal with. The latter trapped them in detailed illusions while the former tried to defeat them with kunais while laughing like a madwoman. Genma was incredibly versatile. Kotetsu and Izumo worked in perfect sync. As for Gai… he swept through them like a tornado.

“And that’s him taking it easy…” Susumu mumbled, sprawled on the ground, and covered in dust.

“Indeed, young one. But don’t let this setback diminish your passion. You fought valiantly with all the strength of your youth. Keep up the good work.” Gai said enthusiastically.

He was a formidable adversary but also an excellent teacher. He taught them different moves and how to counter several styles. He never lost patience. His only problem was that he was incredibly intense. His workouts were insane. They came out covered in bruises. But they were getting better at Taijutsu. Even Susumu was improving.

Summer went by slowly. Yugao’s father passed away. His health hadn’t been good since Kyubi’s rampage. He died in his sleep. Yugao cried for many days. Then she went on, like everyone else. She trained harder. Jun suddenly wondered if Shisui, who had lost his father not so long ago, was doing well. He had been his friend before all the issues with the clan drove them apart. But, he remained a friend in his eyes. He had to focus on his family, but he was sure they would meet again.

Jun was already noticing some details of the tension between the Uchihas and the rest of the village. Some people didn’t greet them; others complained about their smug attitude. There were exasperated whispers when the police didn’t arrive fast enough. The members of the police were tenser and drier than before. The arrests were more violent.

It wasn’t obvious. Most people probably didn’t think much of it, but Jun knew the situation would only get worse. If Konoha didn’t change their attitude toward the clan, the Uchihas wouldn’t change either. Or if the clan changed, it wasn’t guaranteed the village will do the same. Three years had passed since Kyubi’s attack. The seeds of discord had taken root long ago. Nothing could prevent the disaster.

He still wanted to see Shisui again. He would have liked to go back to the time of their training and friendship. But time was running out. He knew Shisui was going to die and would be sad about it. He would miss the Uchiha. Should he reach out to Shisui? Should he try to help him? He didn’t know. He did nothing. Days passed. He trained with his team and carried out missions. He didn’t try to reconnect with him.

Jun celebrated his twelfth birthday. According to his memory, this was the age Naruto and the others graduated from the Academy. But, he had been a genin for two years already, and he was happy with his level. He wasn’t the same as Shisui, Itachi, Kakashi, or even Gai, but he was versatile. His Jutsu repertoire was becoming impressive. His Sharingan training was slowly progressing. He had memorized a few Genjutsus from training with Kurenai. His Fuinjutsu project was on hold for now, but he was still confident about it. He had plans, drafts, and theories to help achieve his goal. He was certain to obtain some kind of result within a year if he devoted himself to the project on a regular basis.

The teenager was also confident about the chunin exam. He was more relaxed thinking about it. The pressure from his family was significantly reduced. His success or failure in the exam wouldn’t impact the well-being of his loved ones. His mother was starting to regain some color. She could now cook and help with the cleaning of the apartment. Her assertive personality was coming back.

Jun had been afraid that she would fade away little by little due to her health issues, like Shisui’s father or Yugao’s. However, Hazuki’s spirit was strong. It was just that her body needed time to bounce back.

Genma, Kotetsu, and Izumo still came by regularly to bring her groceries or just to make sure everything was fine. However, the rest of the chunins had quietly stopped coming when Hazuki regained some strength. Only Anko still dropped by occasionally to babysit during the day. She had grown attached to Kazuma. It seemed babies were one of her weaknesses.

The exam would soon start. Shiba-sensei told his disciples they would start seeing genins from other villages. He gave them a speech about not starting fights with them. The jonin also made them understand that Konoha shouldn’t be seen as weak. If someone was seeking trouble, they mustn’t cower away. The traces of the previous war still remained.

“I cannot tell you the details of the exam. But you should know that it will be dangerous. There are deaths every year. You must be careful and watch each other’s back.” Shiba declared, looking at them seriously.

It wouldn’t be a problem for his three genins. They worked well together. They knew how to coordinate their attacks. Natsumi crossed her arms bravely.

“Don’t worry, sensei. We are ready.”

“And we have the home-field advantage,” Susumu added.

The jonin frowned.

“Don’t just focus on the other countries’ genins. Some clans in Konoha refuse to send their genins to take the exam in other lands. Their members only participate in the chunin exam when it takes place in the village.”

He didn’t give any name.

“The Uchiha clan.” Jun pointed out.

“And other clans that lost many people during the war. But you are right, the Uchihas will probably dominate this exam. How is your relationship with the clan?”

“Well… I wouldn’t describe it as good. We stay out of each other’s way.”

The jonin frowned in concern. Jun picked up on it. During the exam, everyone was competing against each other. It’s no exception for members of the same village. The teenager realized some people were anticipating the Uchiha to turn against the village. Maybe it was just in his case only.

Everyone knew Jun’s family was not best friends with the Uchiha clan. He must be cautious. He could understand the implicit message behind his sensei’s words and behavior. He must be wary of the Uchihas during the exam. Natsumi and Susumu looked at Jun worriedly. He gave them a reassuring smile.

He later found out that the other Konoha teams hadn’t received the same warning. He got the information from innocently questioning his friends. Iruka’s team was not going to participate. He was sad about it, but Jun thought it was the best decision. Their team was lacking teamwork. Yugao’s team had only been warned about the dangers of the exam, namely the risk of serious injuries and even death. Nothing was said to them about the Uchihas. Jun was certain there would be a clear separation between the Uchihas and the others as soon as the exam started.

The teenager didn’t mention anything to his friends. They would find out soon enough. And he didn’t want them to associate him with the clan. He didn’t say a word to his family either. There was no need to worry them. Izumi was excited at the thought of her big brother becoming a chunin. Jun didn’t want to ruin her joy.

Moreover, she had taken their departure from the clan very badly. She lost most of her friends. She had suffered from loneliness. It was behind her now. And this was not the time to remind her that the Uchihas may be affecting their lives again.

Jun believed his mother already knew what was going on. She may be weakened physically, but her mind was still as sharp as ever. It was pointless to tell her. His mother would talk to him if she believed she could help. Perhaps she thought it was something her son had to go through. Either way, he was happy not to discuss it with his family. He spent time with them. He helped his mom cooking, talked to Izumi about training, and played with Kazuma. He tried to enjoy his time with them. He wanted it to be free of worry.

Jun trained hard. He knew he could handle the exam. According to his memories, the first trial was a preliminary test of skill. Unless it changed, Jun was sure to pass it with flying colors. The second test would involve fighting. He was also confident about it. However, he could be eliminated during the final test. If the exam was dominated by the Uchihas, he was bound to encounter someone stronger than him. It was even likely for him to be out of the exam before that. He knew nothing was guaranteed, but the teenager believed in his abilities. That didn’t change the fact he was a bit nervous.

The day of the exam finally arrived.

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