E - Chokuto Sword, a straight katana. A good weapon in close range and well balanced. Shinji wondered what kinds of sword styles Konoha had? He hadn't studied them a lot. (literally won by 1 vote more than 2nd place)
Chapter 14 - It's All About Power
Shinji looked through the many weapons, from the most exotic like the weapon that Hanzo used, to others. But in the end, his eyes settled on weapons that he could master and at last learn how to use from someone. He saw the tanto, a short sword, good for someone his age, but not overall good usage once he grew stronger.
"How much is this?" he asked, picking a chokuto sword. A straight katana, the balance was perfect and swinging it down, it left an arc of steel in the air. This would also give him more range, something he needed against adult ninja. "Easy to use too."
"4000 Ryo," answered the burly shopkeeper, looking on with a melancholic smile. "Be careful not to die out there."
"Of course," Shinji smiled back at the man, taking out his wallet and paying for the sword. "Also better keep a chakra metal sword in store for me."
'There goes half my budget. I need to get a C Rank soon and get some money. That way I could get myself a Chakra Blade sooner.'
"Heh, of course, I will, brat," muttered the old man, covering his eyes with his big hands, while using the other to wave him away. "Now make sure you don't die or I will haunt you down to the afterlife."
"Family, and losing someone dear to you," Shinji muttered quietly as he walked out of the shop, looking at the new sword that he had just bought. Showing it, the sword's edge glimmered in the moonlight. "Family…" that word sounded unfamiliar to say in his mouth. Never having it being applied to him.
As he walks back home at a slow pace, Shinji thinks of many things, but he also wonders if maybe someone was following him. His senses didn't pick up anyone, nor were there any signs of someone following him he could pick up. He didn't have something like a sixth sense of feeling it when someone looked at him. But it was just a simple deduction.
After all, he had been involved in a spy discovering mission. Leaving him alone wasn't a good idea. Shinji wondered if calling out to them would be weird, they wouldn't harm him since they were here to protect… probably. Still, Shinji was on the more cautious side and was ready in case anything happened.
'As a Genin, I won't be able to get my hands on anything confidential. Especially something involving Orochimaru, who seemed to cause great worry within the village. Going dark alleys, and staying too long in deserted places with no one around isn't a good idea for some time until this thing passes.'
As the next day came about, Shinji, like always, was in the training grounds first with Yamato. Though unlike usual, they weren't sparring this time.
Shinji of course was doing his usual training, doing pushups and all that. Yamato was standing in a tree branch, overseeing his student and pointing out any mistakes that needed fixing. Though Shinji was a little careful on not wasting too much Chakra. "Yamato -sensei, how do you think I compare to the average Genin. Recently I heard someone say that I am good, but was that true?"
"Was it Kakashi?" Yamato asked rhetorically, already seeming to know what he was talking about. "For a Genin, you're very good. I would say that you're more than ready, and just need some practical experience. Which can be earned by going on C Rank Missions."
Shinji nodded. He was a good Genin, for his rank he was good. But that wasn't the place he wanted to stand for long. His ambition wasn't to sit lazily in a comfortable place for the rest of his life. "Do you know anyone good with a sword? Maybe they can help me a little."
Yamato smiled. "Well, I might not be the best sword user out there. But I used to be in Anbu, and know a couple of shinobi who are good at it. Also, soon I should be able to convince a wind style user to come and teach you."
Shinji was glad, since just like with most things in life he wasn't talented with the sword. But sometimes hard work can trump geniuses, how many times faster does a talented person learn? 2x, 3x, or more? Then you just have to work many times harder than him and you'll surpass the genius. To Shinji this wasn't some grand saying or anything, just a simple mathematical solution of how hard work can surpass talent. Though there were exceptions to that rule too.
"By the way, sensei, when will the Chunin Exams come around this time?" Inquired Shinji, the Chunin Exams were always a big deal. But it was such a secret event that unless the finals came around, no civilian would know that the exam was happening.
"That's something that isn't allowed to be revealed right until it comes," Yamato clarified, and Shinji sighed in disappointment. But the jonin smirked. "But you need eight officially completed missions to be applicable for the Chunin Exam."
Shinji instantly caught the hint. 'We have officially completed eight D Rank missions. So that means that the Chunin Exams are quite close. If I was to try a guess, maybe around a month? Yeah, that would also correlate somewhat with the finals the years before.'
Yamato smiled at Shinji, and the genin smirked back. Both understand what had been hinted at. Still, Shinji was a little cautious in entering as his teammates weren't at his level. Of course, he didn't mean to sound arrogant and would never say this to them as an insult. But that was the truth, Sayuri and Kota couldn't keep up.
"Yamato -sensei, I think we should start working a little more in our teamwork, at least for a month," suggested Shinji. While his teammates were a little weak, that didn't make them useless as in a fight anything would help. Even a kunai thrown at the right time could change a fight's results.
Still, Shinji suggested this also had the effect of confirming to his jonin teacher that he understood the rough timeline when the Chunin Exam would happen.
"That's what I was thinking too, one month is perfect," Yamato nodded in confirmation, essentially telling Shinji that he had calculated the time perfectly of when the Chunin Exam was going to happen. "Kota and Sayuri will also be ready for a C Rank in another week or so."
"Yo! Yamato -sensei! Shinji!" Kota's loud voice permeated through the training grounds as he excitedly ran towards them with a huge smile on his face. He then saw the new sword Shinji was carrying and his eyes shone like stark. "Woah!! That looks cool as hell! Can I try it?"
Shinji shrugged, seeing no reason to stop him. "Just make sure to not cut off your hand or something."
"Oy! I am not that stupid~" Kota whined jokingly. "As long as I don't cut my middle leg, then everything else is okay."
As soon as he said that, a small stone hit Kota on the head. "Ow!" he winced, looking angrily towards where the stone came from and saw a cold-eyed Yamato. "I don't wanna hear those kinds of jokes when Sayuri is around, am I understood?"
"Sorry, Yamato -sensei," Kota was quick to apologize, with the perfect 90-degree bow. "Won't ever do this again."
He then took Shinji's sword and gaped at the weight of the sword. Shinji smiled and started giving his friend some simple instructions. "Be careful, try an overhead slash, but keep in mind that swordsmanship is more about the back muscles than you think-"
But Shinji was surprised, as this was likely the first time Kota had a sword in his hand, and probably the first time he swung a sword too. But the arc was perfect, creating a gleam, and the sound of cutting the air was something that had taken Shinji around ten minutes to get the hang of.
Now overall, that might not sound impressive to some, but the instinctual understanding of how to use a sword wasn't something that could be learned. There was only one word that describes this… talent.
Shinji was overjoyed and felt excitement burst out of his heart, they had finally found something that Kota was good at. Even Yamato had a wide-eyed look when they saw this.
"YES!" Yelled out Shinji in happiness, this freaked out Kota. Most teammates would be jealous that their teammates were talented at something, but Shinji wasn't like that and was glad that he had a teammate who could help against fights.
Shinji understood that this might have been just due to luck that Kota was able to do this for the first time. But with a smile on his face, he instructed his friend on how to get a handle on swordsmanship.
Yamato smiled, seeing Shinji who was so willing to help. But also, Kota's talent with a sword, the young genin barely had talent in anything else. No, he was barely above the average ninja, even passing the Academy Exam must have been hard. So he was quite un-talented, even though he had ambition.
But now this changed, even Yamato in his long years as a jonin showed a surprised expression as Kota got the basics of Kenjutsu down easily. "If he had half the talent he does with a sword into other things. He would be giving even Shinji a hard time."
Shinji's eyes on the other hand shone as if he had found a diamond and thanked all the gods out there if they even existed for having him pick a sword as a weapon. "Good, Kota! You've already surpassed me that has trained the basics for a whole hour and you did so in just ten minutes. As long as you work hard, with a sword, you will cut a path to your dream."
Kota stood there, looking at Shinji as if he had grown a second head. Then finally his mind seemed to comprehend what his friend had just said and tears welled up in his eyes. "Shinji… am I good at something?"
'Though he always shows a happy face and smiles. He must have been worried about his progress and lack of Chakra.' Contemplated Shinji, as the smile on his face widened and he gave his friend a thumbs up. "You're not just good, but you're so damn talented with a sword that it makes me look dumb when using it."
Kota tried to wipe away his tears, but more kept spilling out and snot covered his nose. "Shinji, I think I am crying out of happiness and can't stop. Damn… I will finally be able to stand by your side. We will be called the Demon Sword Brothers of the Setting Dark Sun Overshining The Moon."
Shinji's smile slipped off his face, and he cringed. "That name…"
"Did I miss something?" Sayuri arrived and looked on weirdly, seeing a crying Kota whose sleeves of his shirt were covered in snot and tears as he tried to wipe them away. With a cringing Shinji, and a proud Yamato looking on. "What's going on here?"
Shinji smiled at her words. "I am just thinking of destroying everyone in the Chunin Exam, I and Kota are gonna make a name for ourselves out there."
As he said that, Shinji contemplated how he should spend this week and when it would be the best time to take a C Rank Mission. Yamato seemed insistent in taking one and Shinji agreed too, but when would it be the best time?
'How hard should I work this coming week?'
[Pick one and put your choice in a comment down below.]
A - Train Ninjutsu, Taijutsu, Genjutsu, and Teamwork too. Of course, sparring with Kota now too, as your talented teammate will help your Kenjutsu (swordsmanship) get better faster and push you further. This will be very hard work, but Shinji is willing to give it his all.
B - Train just Ninjutsu, Taijutsu, and Teamwork. Since Kota was already talented at Kenjutsu, you decide to try and corporate that into the team. It's hard work, but Shinji believes he can handle it.
C - Train just Ninjutsu and Kenjutsu (swordsmanship) with Kota. Send the whole week sparring against your best friend and pushing each other to be better and stronger. Hard work, but not enough to make Shinji feel intimidated.
D - Train just Taijutsu with Guy. Get your strength, speed, and stamina up to levels you would feel safe. Not that hard, and Shinji won't have to work too hard, to the point of Chakra Exhaustion.
P.S: If you like the story, give it some power stones.