9 First & Second Phase
Very quickly, time arrived for the Chunin exams to begin. Reo, along with Kakashi and his team; Sasuke, Sakura and Naruto headed towards the academy.
He quickly noticed Hanabi chatting with Yugao and laughing once in a while.
Reo was pleased as he thought, 'Looks like it's all good'.
Instantly, the academy grounds were filled up with ninjas from several different villages, but despite the large number, the majority of the competitors belonged to 'Konoha'.
A little later, a person draped in an typical 'Konoha' nin-attire walked up to the centre and announced the official start of the Chunin exam.
Naruto was elated, so was Reo. But soon enough both of their happy expressions deflated as the first part of the exam was written, which was proctored by Ibiki Morino.
On the front, it looked as a test of knowledge, but in reality it was a test of information gathering and will power.
Reo was average in academics, but his brain worked well enough to understand that the questions were supposed to be answered by cheating, so he did just that.
Both Reo and Sasuke had been training under Kakashi. Thus, it was not such a major problem, for the ones in possession of Sharingan.
Naruto, on the other hand, was struggling pretty hard. Being weak at academics, coupled with the fact that he did not figure out the true purpose of the test, in itself made it almost impossible for him to succeed.
But his partner had a set of different plans.
The person beside Naruto, was none other than Hinata, the girl who had cute little crush on the kid.
She made sure, Naruto was able to pass the exams, by showing him the answers from her own answer sheet.
The day ended like this, where almost half of the Genins', failed and the other half of the passing ninjas included Team Kakashi and Team Yugao.
Both Reo and Hanabi, cleared the exam, which resulted in a treat from Yugao.
Next day, the second part of the exam, a survival exam in the Forty-Fourth Training Ground, also known as 'The Forest of Death'.
Team Kakashi; Sakura, Sasuke and Naruto went on their way into the forest after biding farewell to Kakashi and Team Yugao.
# Inside the forest
Sakura seemed a bit alert, so was Sasuke. Naruto, as always, was the first one to jump and hover around.
Sasuke was about to reprimand him, but before him lips parted, a kunai came from the bushes ahead, towards himself.
Sasuke pulled out his own kunai, to deflect the former and swirled around in the air as he came to a stop.
He looked over at the trees ahead as he spoke in loud and clear voice, "Who the hell is there?"
A voice, seemingly a bit downcast, sounded out in response, "You have a pair of nice eyes, kid. Give me those eyes and I will make sure not to hurt your dear friends".
Out came a person, who was none other than Orochimaru himself. His slitted eyes were enough to cause the trio to take a step back, and think carefully on how to handle the situation up front.
As if remembering something, Sakura widened her eyes as she screamed out on horror, "No! It's not happening. You... aren't you the S-rank missing-nin, the rogue Ninja of 'Konoha', one of the three legendary Sanin, Orochimaru!"
Orochimaru's eyes shined a bit in appreciation, before letting out a desolate smile, "Not bad, not bad. Never did I thought that I will be quite popular among the youths."
He then looked over at Sasuke and said, "So let's get started, kiddo!"
Before he completed his sentence, Orochimaru threw kunai and attacked on the trio with his Fire and Earth jutsus'.
# Outside the Forest
It was finally the turn of Team Yugao to enter the forest. Both Reo and Hanabi walked into the forest.
After their mission, from the 'Land of Waves', it was the first time, that both Reo and Hanabi got to spend some time alone, even if it was during survival test.
Hanabi seemed to hesitate to say something to Reo, but finally decided to let it out.
She faced Reo, stopping him in his tracks, and said, "I'm sorry for earlier. You must have also felt wrong and disappointed in me, but it was out of my control".
Reo knew she had something on her heart during their return to 'Konoha', and now it was the time to see what it was.
He nodded, as he indeed felt a little disappointed.
Not letting Reo to explain himself, Hanabi continued on, "The truth is father always wanted my elder sister, Hinata, to take up the position of the clan head. But because of her kind heart, she seemed not fit for the role. Seeing an opportunity to present itself, where I could help my father, I decided to fight for the clan head position".
Hanabi's eyes seemed to sparkle a bit as she carried on, "It seemed dream come true for me, as my father, who did not look me in the eyes, even once, now started to whole heartily guide me on my training".
Hanabi's eyes seemed to sprinkle water as she continued, "But then I met you. I don't know why, neither do I know how, I just liked to be in your company. Seeing you, talking with you, it seemed to make me feel happy. And thus, that was the start of true nightmare for me".