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SHINOBI: The RPG - New Game

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Fulcon, Jun 17, 2020.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1: Character Creation
    Fulcon

    Fulcon Wim Hoff Method Initiate

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    The Following is a fan based work of fiction: Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden are owned by Shueisha, Viz Entertainment and Masashi Kishimoto. Please support the official release.

    * * *

    I don’t know how long it’s been.

    It was early in the morning. I was driving to work before the sun had even come up. Took my eyes off the road for one second to wipe them and when I looked back up, there was this pickup truck with red paint right in my way.

    Don’t quite know what happened next or how I wound up here. I vaguely remember some kind of argument? Though I don’t know who I would be arguing with or what we’d be debating about after a fiery car crash.

    But I do know I wasn’t supposed to die. Not that young.

    I feel oddly betrayed.

    It doesn’t matter now. I’ve been floating in this warm, dark abyss for a long time now. Occasionally, I get light shining through the walls, but the walls looked fleshy for some reason. So am I in an egg? How did I get in an egg?

    Those glimpses gave me a chance to look at my body. For some reason, my hands are all stubby. Like instead of a real person, someone decided to remake my body out of beef franks covered in skin. Downright unsettling. At least it would be if I had the energy to just think about my problems for a single moment, but everything felt hazy.

    Really hazy.

    Like the last time I was on meds, hazy.

    I didn’t like it.

    The only thing in this thing is the cable.

    The cable perplexed me, just like everything else about my situation did. I couldn’t tell if the thing was symbolic or what, but it was attached to my bellybutton and I couldn’t get it off. Really annoying since it tended to get tangled around my limbs and I could barely move worth anything to get myself untangled.

    The only good thing about it is that it’s supplying me air, so I don’t have to breathe. I don’t know how it’s doing that, we’re underwater.

    I think it has gills.

    Which means that I have gills.

    If I have gills, I don’t need it.

    So lets try to get rid of it and actually use my lungs and stuff. It’ll feel really good to actually inhale and this thing won’t let me inhale!

    Come on...move!

    Move!

    Get off!

    It’s really stuck in there.

    Now I’m upset.

    Who put this here? It’s a health hazard! One of these days I’m going to drift off to sleep and it’s going to wrap around my neck and strangle me! I don’t want to die twice!

    Dying sucked!

    At that point, I nearly had a heart attack as my first real intellectual stimulation in centuries arrived!

    Welcome to SHINOBI: The RPG, a game set in the shadowy, sinister world of the Naruto manga! Fight challenging enemies, cast jutsu and work toward a brighter future in this Alternate Reality Ninja life-simulator.

    The words came in an emerald box, that just...floated there. Like, not even floating in the abyssal fluid, because if it was doing that, it would started turning and changing with the current and I could grab it and see if it tasted like cabbage.

    I was curious.

    Then the windows changed.

    Please select your gender: Male/Female.

    I picked male because I saw nothing wrong with remaining as such.

    Customize appearance?

    Nah, I already looked amazing.

    Please Enter Your Name.

    The window gave me two empty text boxes, the first labeled ‘surname’ and the second labeled ‘given name’. I appreciated the clarification, because I was going to put my first name in the first box and my last name in the second box and that would’ve been backwards! Next to the text boxes were two buttons saying ‘random’.

    So I’m going to be playing a Naruto RPG, which I’m really not sure how I’m going to play without a keyboard and mouse but I’m sure it’ll show up somehow in my black abyss. Back on topic, I need something that sounds suitably Japanese-y. Uh...Naruto? No, that’s the name of the main character. Idiot.

    Ash? No, no. That’s the English rename of dubbed anime. I don’t know his Japanese name...heh, I remember watching that show as a kid. They had a bunch of rice balls arranged on a picnic blanket and called them donuts. Those were the weirdest donuts that I’d ever seen in my life.

    Okay, uh...actually, speaking of renames, Digimon did that too. And I remember my favorite character from that entire series was Davis. I don’t know, I just thought Veemon and his digi-eggs were the coolest thing ever, especially Raidramon. Plus, the guy chose of his own free will to get eaten by a giant monster to save all his friends, so he was just awesome.

    The reason I’m talking about this is that Davis was renamed for the dub too; his original name was Daisuke.

    So that’s going to be my first name. Daisuke.

    I thought it really hard and the name filled into the text box.

    For my family name...I’m just going to hit random a bunch of times since I don’t care that much. Miyamoto, Yamada, Yamato, Bucktoothed, butt faced, baby eating O’brian?

    I’m kidding.

    Bonus points if you get the reference.

    ...and I don’t remember.

    Wait, I don’t get the bonus points from my own pointless game.

    This is lame!

    I kept using the random button when I finally landed one that I liked. ‘Shimoda’.

    Uh...yeah. That looks good.

    Shimoda Daisuke. That’s my name. I thought ‘Accept’ really hard and the window faded, taking with it the most light I’ve had in a long time.

    It was then, that something changed.

    Like a shift in the wind as I heard the sound of something weird. I couldn’t place it until the walls around me started to close in and force my head toward...a tiny hole as I felt the liquid start to drain, leaving my feet up above dry.

    Oh.

    Oh.

    Oh no.
    * * *​

    I don’t really remember much about what happened after my...rebirth. Apparently my new birth donors didn’t really want me, so I wound up in an Orphanage. From there, I went more insane than I already was because, well...I couldn’t walk.

    Because I’m an infant and infants can’t walk. The only time I felt more frustratingly powerless is when I was a fetus but even then it wasn’t constantly rubbed in my face like it is now, when I’m stuck in a crib.

    But to make things even weirder, I don’t need to sleep. I spent over two weeks just lying there in my crib completely awake twenty-four seven until I realized that I had to actually use the crib, like a video game character, to sleep. Then I could sleep for up to twenty four hours, so I slept all day, every day just to pass the time.

    Of course, that didn’t work out to well either, because when I slept for too long, people came to wake me up and take me out of my crib to...socialize. They placed us all in a play room together filled with childrens toys and I would watch the other rugrats crawl around and play or gnaw on stuff. Nothing wrong with infants and toddlers, they were adorable...but they weren’t on my level.

    What I really wanted was to learn how to read. You know how people, when they see a beautiful person of the opposite gender and they start ogling? That’s how I was looking at that bookshelf in the corner. If I could read, I could stave off the boredomand immerse myself into this new world in a way that I actually enjoyed. This is supposed to be a game, for Pete's sake!

    I mean, actually I’m a person reincarnated into the Naruto world with a video game system tacked onto him like this was a fan-fiction or something. So it made sense that I had to experience early childhood. But I sure didn’t like it!

    At least they used bottles. A wet nurse would be stupidly awkward.

    Of course, as fun as the kids thought I was...I was able to sleep anywhere. Well, wait anywhere. In reality, I didn’t get to sleep unless it was on a bed, but I could lay down on a couch and engage the Wait function, further proof that all the Bethesda’s game budget went into figuring out how to break through dimensional barriers.

    Personally, I thought it all went to Skyrim remasters, but boy have I been surprised!

    The only difference I notice between waiting and sleeping is that I don’t feel phenomenally refreshed after waiting like I do sleeping. I wonder why that is?

    Another thing I noticed is that I don’t have any hunger or thirst bars. Now, I don’t ever feel hungry, but I wonder if that has more to do with the constant supply of formula I’m getting. If I had a manual, I could read up on this stupid game and figure everything out.

    Like, is there SPECIAL stats that I need to worry about? This is clearly based on Fallout.

    Oh. Wait.

    What is that I spy?

    That is a child’s picture book, but all the other kids were ignoring it, almost like they couldn’t even see it.

    I crawled forward and felt my heart stop.

    ‘You’re Special!’.

    It was a book made out of plastic instead of wood. On the cover was the title, written in big, black letters against colored squares. Beneath the title was a little, blonde baby Vault Boy, standing up in a baby carriage, holding a book and giving me a thumbs up. It was written in English. Blessed, merciful English!

    Thank you, game!

    I opened it and started reading.

    S is for Strength, and that means that I am strong! I can carry lots of toys and swing stuff all day!

    On the left was a graphic of the Vault boy with a herculean figure. On the right was the description with twin black arrows on either side, marked with a plus and minus. I was just smiling, so happy to have this tiny children’s book in my hand that I could read.

    ...wait, this means that there are stats. Okay.

    I began to turn the pages, reading each description happily.

    P is for Perception, a long funny word! It means what I tasted, smell, saw and heard!

    E is for Endurance, and that’s how long I can play! I’m always really healthy and have energy all day!

    C is for Charisma, it’s why people think I’m great! I make my friends all laugh and smile, and never want to hate!

    I is for Intelligence, it means I’m really smart! I use my brain for lots of stuff, like science, math and art!

    A is for Agility, that’s how I get around! I move real fast and easy, and I never make a sound!

    L is for Luck, and it’s simple, you see! It means that good things always happen to me!

    I laughed at the last illustration, which showed a black cat getting out of the Vault Boy’s way on his happy stride to wherever he was going. Then, on the last page, was Let’s Review! On the left was a picture of the Vault Boy deep in a giant text book, sitting on two more. On the right were each of the SPECIAL stats arranged in order, with black arrows on either side of the numbers. All the stats were set to 5 by default and I had 5 free points to put wherever I wanted.

    With a grin and smile, I went back to the beginning and read the book again. And again. Drinking in the illustrations, pondering the majesty of the rhymes within this book. I didn’t want to let it go, because I had a sneaking suspicion that after I set my stats, this book would disappear from the world.

    But if I kept reading the book, then someone might see me use it.

    Looking around, I could see the adults still watching the kids and me. They were still talking and the kids were still playing. The world didn’t pause just because I was holding this book.

    So, I went to the back of the book and started allocating my stats.

    In Fallout games, I always subtracted all the points from Charisma. Well, in Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Reason being that there weren’t any charisma checks. In fallout 3, persuasion happened by a die roll and if you had a maxed out speech skill, that was always a 100% chance to succeed. In New Vegas, you could persuade people with an Intelligence check or a Strength Check but there were no Charisma checks. Period. For those times when you had to convince someone through raw diplomacy, you had Speech and Barter.

    In Fallout 4, though, persuading people was actually directly tied to your Charisma.

    But this book here is making me believe that I’m in something closer to Fallout 3, which means that Charisma is superfluous. So I took all the points I could out of Charisma, leaving it at 1 and giving me 9 free points to work with.

    You know, I wonder if I could take a point out of somewhere so I can make two stats perfect 10’s? I mean, I’m in Naruto and if I remember correctly from Tsunade and Sakura, physical strength can be perfectly substituted with just Chakra. So...one point out of Strength, bringing that to 4, giving me 10 whole free points to work with.

    Both of those went straight to Intelligence and Luck.

    Intelligence because that meant I’d get more skill points and allow me to patch the gaping hole in my social prowess that dumping Charisma left with me by leveling up Speech. Luck because I was in the world of Naruto, which if I recall correctly, had physical gods roaming around causing havoc. If I wanted to survive, I seriously needed the deck stacked in my favor and that was the best way to do it. If I ever needed money, I’d just walk into a casino and just take their money until they threw me out. Best way to pay for SPECIAL enhancing implants, which I will probably wind up finding, or making, with Chakra.

    So my stats now sat at…

    4 Strength.
    5 Perception.
    5 Endurance.
    1 Charisma.
    10 Intelligence.
    5 Agility.
    10 Luck.

    Nice.

    I closed the book and placed it on the floor ahead of me.

    ...it didn’t fade away.

    So I reached for it again but I blinked and the book disappeared.

    Aw man…

    Still, I wonder how long it’ll be until I get to tag my skills.
    * * *​

    You cannot rest while there are enemies nearby.

    Wait WHAT?!?

    Are you joking me?

    What is going on? This is an orphanage! I’m in a nursery for Pete’s sake!

    It was at that point that I heard the roar off in the distance. I remembered that it’d been about a year since I got stuck in this forsaken excuse for a game and put two and two together.

    Yeah, I guess the Kyuubi had to show up sooner or later, huh? Great. The Fourth Hokage’s gonna smack the fox and seal it inside Naruto and then everyone’s gonna ignore the crap out of the kid because of misinformation and emotional trauma.

    That’s what happened in canon, right? Naruto wanted people to look up to him because he hated being ignored? I only watched the first season of the dub, so I don’t know that much.

    Wish I could go back to...to…

    At that moment, something evil entered the room. Like a wave of crimson death, it washed over the room, painting the moonlight with blood. The presence was cloistered around me, and I felt like it wanted nothing more than to eat my very soul and destroy me utterly.

    Immediately, the other infants woke up and started screaming and crying as loudly as they possibly could. It sounded like their lungs were going to run up their throat. But I was quiet, rapidly looking around the room, watching the walls, and trying to climb like a monkey over the crib walls.
    I needed to get out and find help.

    I needed to run, but I couldn’t even jump over the crib bars.

    I had to save my soul.

    I had to let it out so it could run.

    So I stuck my head through the bars of the crib and turned my head sideways. With my throat against the bars, I pressed in as hard as I could. In my vision, I could see an oxygen meter, usually reserved for swimming to keep track of how much air you had, appear and start ticking down.

    Had to let the soul out, I didn’t want to get eaten.

    Don’t get eaten.

    Don’t get eaten.

    The oxygen meter ran out, and I started taking damage.

    190/200 Hitpoints.

    180/200 Hitpoints.

    I could feel it getting closer, so I pressed harder.

    160/200 Hitpoints.

    140/200 Hitpoints.

    Blood started to pour out of my eyes and things started to get fuzzy.

    Have to get away.

    Have to...get...away...

    120/200 Hitpoints.

    100/200 Hitpoints.

    Don’t get eaten.

    Right as I hit half health, the door burst open and in came the Orphanage Matron. I didn’t see her at first, but I heard her smash into the nursery and with a shout, she ripped the bars I was using to free myself out from the crib.

    That was when I started screaming. I needed to get away, and I pushed against her, but her arms were wrapped around me like steel friggan bars and no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I pushed and kicked, I couldn’t get out of her grasp.

    I couldn’t even get a look angle to continue my desperate flight from life on her arms and I noted with despair that my oxygen meter had already filled back up.

    But just as suddenly as it came, the malevolent presence left and immediately I calmed down. My arms and legs went lax. The other kids were still crying, but I guess none of them were trying to commit suicide.

    The Matron was singing some soft lullaby, but I couldn’t fall asleep unless I were on a bed. Still, it soothed my nerves enough that I could actually breathe properly.

    It was gone.

    Eventually, a Shinobi, one of the Chunin on security detail here in the orphanage showed up. The Matron passed me over to him and told him to take me to the hospital. Because blood running down your cheeks is apparently cause for concern.

    ...well, if I’m good enough to joke, I guess I’m okay.

    I don’t quite understand what happened next. All I know is that I was put in a hospital bed on oxygen and left to sleep.

    But I couldn’t sleep.

    Well, I could’ve.

    But I didn’t want to.

    I curled my knees up around me and started sobbing.
    * * *​

    Fully healed and fully cognizant when I woke up. My head wasn’t fuzzy anymore and the Doctor’s were pretty surprised at that fact. I was allowed to go home the next day, mostly because they needed beds to help with the wounded in the aftermath of the attack.

    I was surprised too, but this was a Bethesda game; resting heals.

    The Matron kept a close eye on me since the attack, and I kept a close eye on her in turn. She did a good job at hiding them, but she slipped a couple times and I could see the large bruises on her arms.

    I mean, I knew I gave her trouble, but her arms were black. Still, I owed her my life, so I did what I could to make things pleasant. Trying to convince the other kids of anything was beyond hopeless since they didn’t care about words.

    Still, the years went on and things were normal. I actually learned how to speak properly. Took me a bit longer than normal since my brain defaults to English but I got it. I learned how to read, too. Better than the rest of the kids, most certainly.

    Was pretty difficult to get them to let me have access to the Bookshelf but once I did, I always had a book. Always.

    Shame, they didn’t have skill books. Did this game have skill books? It should have skill books. I always wanted to know what Lying, Congressional Style had to say about speaking to people. But I think ‘You’re Special!’ is about as Fallout-y as the books get.

    What books were available were all fiction. Feel good books that our caretakers could read to us during story time. Normally, I’d give these reads a hard pass, but when you’re dying of thirst, you don’t really care about quality of the water.

    “Children! Gather around!”

    I looked up and there was the matron and standing next to her was the friggan Hokage himself.

    Dressed in his white robes and large, triangular hat, that was Sarutobi Hiruzen. Holy cow.

    I joined the kids in assembly and we all bowed, like we were taught.

    “Children, this is the Hokage,” The Matron introduced the old man. “He’s brought a new friend to join us today.”

    Around the Hokage, rubbing the back of his head with a giant grin on his face, was a blonde boy with whisker marks on his cheeks.

    Naruto.

    I remember idolizing him when I was a teenager. Well, a teenager the first time, since I’m going through it all again. But then I also remember getting bored with his show because of all the filler in the Anime and I kind of just...dropped it.

    This is weird.

    “Now everyone make sure you make him feel welcome,” The told us all.

    The Hokage looked down at Naruto like a kindly grandfather.

    Ten bucks says its an act, but I can’t tell.

    Charisma Check Failed: Success not possible.

    Never saw a Success not possible before. That’s...a new one. Even in the old Fallout and Elder Scrolls games, if there was a check, it could be beaten.

    Wonder what that means?

    Feels like the game is cheating, though.

    “Go on, Naruto-kun,” Hiruzen told the blonde. “As you were, children.”
    We all bowed and went right back to our activities. I jumped back on one of the couches in the corner and reopened my book, a stirring read about a talking frog who fell in love with a slug and is fighting with a snake.

    This place is weird sometimes.

    I became aware that the chair next to me was occupied. I looked up and saw that Hokage.

    “Hokage-sama,” I replied politely, acutely aware that something was wrong. Because he came to speak to me directly. “How are you?”

    “I’m well,” Hiruzen replied, smiling gently. “What’s your name?”

    “Shimoda Daisuke,” I replied, feeling vaguely uncomfortable with that introduction for some reason. Is it because I don’t do it often?

    “Nice to meet you, Shimoda-kun,” Hiruzen replied with a friendly smile. “I’m told that you are a very strong little boy.”

    What did he just call me?

    I’m not a little...ugh. Whatever.

    “I didn’t mean to hurt Nakazawa-sensei,” I replied. “I just needed to get away.”

    He frowned. “You aren’t in trouble. I was just wanting to meet you is all.”

    “Why?” I asked with a frown of my own. “No one talks to me unless they want something.”

    Being honest, the 1 charisma is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it kept my contact with the kids down to an absolute minimum and a curse because it meant none of the adults really wanted to talk to me either.

    “Well, that doesn’t sound right,” Hiruzen replied with a much more serious frown. “That goes against the Will of Fire.”

    I blinked. “What’s the Will of Fire?”

    That actually hasn’t been explained to me yet, so this is cool.

    “It means that the entire village is like a big family,” Hiruzen answered. “And if we want the village to be strong, we all need to love and cherish each other like a big family, no matter who we are. It gives us the strength to fight against all odds, building up our strength of will and our character.”

    On one hand, that sounds oddly familiar. Like the concept of the human family, but much more localized. On the other hand, this sounds really cultish.

    Which to be fair, that might not be a bad thing in a world like this.

    “Oh, okay,” I replied.

    “Have you thought about becoming a Shinobi?” Hiruzen asked with a smile.

    “Yeah.” Why is he asking? That’s the dream at this point.

    “I’m glad,” Hiruzen nodded. “We all could use someone strong like you defending our home.”

    Oh, recruitment drive.

    Actually, come to think of it, where does that strength come from? My strength is 4. And I’m a kid...wait...oh. I get it.

    My physical strength isn’t dependent on my age, so I’m technically as strong now as I would be when I’m an adult. Packed into this tiny, five year old body of mine and wait, if that’s true, why couldn’t I jump over the crib bars when I was a kid?

    Unless my jump height is tied to my character size and I’ll need chakra or something to break that limit.

    Stupid game mechanics. Making real life all buggy and stuff.

    “Yeah, that makes sense,” I replied with a shrug. “I just want the cool jutsu I hear people can do. Is it true that a Shinobi can cut a lightning bolt with a kunai?”

    Speech Check Failure: 9/10.

    Hiruzen’s expression got oddly pensive. “Some can, yes.”

    What’s his problem?

    Charisma Check failed: 1/6.

    Those checks have long since worn out their welcome.

    “Is there something wrong?” Hiruzen asked.

    “Nothing,” I replied with a frown. “I’m just thinking.”

    “Well, I hope they’re good thoughts,” Hiruzen replied.

    “Not really,” I replied. “Just something’s annoying me.”

    Charisma Check Failed: 1/7.

    Seriously?

    “I see,” Hiruzen replied, standing up. “Well, I’ll let you return to your book. It was nice meeting you.”

    “You too, Hokage-sama,” I said with a bow in my seat.

    He bowed back, turned and left.

    I went back to my book, hiding behind it to see if I could stop anyone else from bothering me. But that plan was ruined when someone jumped up on the couch next to me, causing me to shake a little, even though our couches weren’t connected.

    “Hi!”

    There saw Uzumaki Naruto.

    “Hi.”

    “What’s your name?”

    “Shimoda Daisuke.”

    “Cool. Want to come play with me?”

    “Maybe when I’m done with my book.”

    “Aw, but reading is boring,” Naruto exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air like he was proclaiming the gospel truth.

    I turned to him. “How old are you?”

    “Four!” He announced triumphantly. “You?”

    Let’s try a joke. I put my book down.

    “I’m five,” I replied, holding up six fingers.

    Charisma Check Success: 1/1.

    “That’s not five!” Naruto said with a laugh. “That’s six!”

    I put down two fingers.

    “That’s four!” Naruto pointed. Then he held up five fingers. “This is five!”

    “Well, yeah,” I said with a shrug. “I was just joking.”

    “Oh. Well, you want to come play Ninja with me?” Naruto asked. “Or did you really want to keep reading?”

    Ah...fine. “Sure.”
    * * *​

    Occasionally, people came into the orphanage, looking to adopt. These were anything from civilians who finally got over losing their child in the Kyuubi attack. Others were Shinobi who were looking for an apprentice to teach. But no matter who it was, none of them ever even approached me. Took one look and it’s like they’d freeze for a second before pretending they didn’t notice.

    I didn’t mind it one bit.

    But Naruto was a different story.

    The adults made every conceivable effort to ignore and avoid Naruto, who made repeated and more desperate efforts to get noticed by these adults and try to get adopted. Every time someone came by, Naruto seemed to get more determined and more desperate.

    Not that I blamed him. Our caretakers tried to ignore him almost as much as they succeeded int ignoring me. Though I made it really easy for them to ignore me; I didn’t even need to eat, I found out. Naruto, however, did not take it easy. In fact, the more he was ignored, the harder he tried to be noticed.

    He never missed a meal. He was never abused and the other kids knew better than to pick on him...because if they picked on him, they’d have to deal with me.

    None of them wanted to deal with me.

    But I was the only one who didn’t deliberately ignore him.

    But I was surprised today.

    Apparently an adult had come looking for adoption. While the other kids were all getting ready, making themselves presentable, I was sitting with a book in the couch. In the couch next to mine sat Naruto, who looked positively depressed.

    “You aren’t going to try?” I asked with a frown.

    “What’s the point?” Naruto muttered. “They all hate me.”

    That’s not the Naruto I knew. The Naruto I knew never gave up and knuckled down on his goals until he either accomplished what he was trying to do or he died.

    Did he have to grow into it?

    He probably had to grow into that kind of bare-knuckle determination.

    “Sucks,” I replied with a shrug.

    We looked up as the adult walked into the room.

    Immediately, I got chills running down my spine.

    The man had long black hair, immaculate and flowing down past his shoulders. He wore a green battle Kimono and upon locking eyes with Naruto and I, he smiled and made his way over to us. Up close, I saw that his eyes were crimson, and the scleroses were pitch black. On his robes had a floral pattern, but on closer inspection, those weren’t flowers – they were scythes.

    “Why hello there,” He said with a friendly smile. “What’s your name?”

    Am I the only one who sees how creepy this guy is?

    “Uzumaki Naruto!” Naruto immediately beamed, grinning like a madman.

    “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” The stranger gave a bow. “And whose your friend?”

    “C’mon, Daisuke,” Naruto urged. “Don’t you want to get adopted.”

    No, but the matron would have my head if I were hostile to a guest. “Shimoda Daisuke. What’s your name.”

    “Oh, I’m no one important,” The stranger replied easily. “I just felt like coming to see the future of Konoha and I’m quite glad I did. I found the two most peculiar little boys I’ve ever seen.”

    I’m not a-

    “What does peculiar mean?” Naruto asked.

    “It means that you’re quite special,” He replied. “And that you’re going to be making waves across the entire world.”

    “Yeah, I am special!” Naruto agreed, his confusion turning to happiness. “I’m going to be Hokage some day!”

    “I know you are,” He said with a grin that reminded me of a shark. “I will be following along with your career with great interest.”

    “Really? Cool!” Naruto said. “Are you going to adopt us?”

    “I’m very sorry, but I actually am not in a position to adopt,” The man replied apologetically.

    “Aw…” Naruto frowned in crushing disappointment.

    “But I did have a present for the two of you,” He said, reaching into his jacket.

    He’s going for a gun to shoot us. No, this world doesn’t have guns. Kunai. Yeah, he’s going to grab a couple kunai and stab us.

    The stranger pulled out a pair of small, black notebooks with a steel coil making up the spine. In those coils were a pen each.

    “A notebook?” Naruto asked in confusion.

    “Certainly,” The stranger replied. “That way if you’re feeling sad or angry, or something amazing happens to you...or if you simply want to keep track of something, these are great for that. That way, you can flip back on stuff and remember it.”

    “Thanks?” Naruto asked with a confused look on his face.

    I opened the notebook and felt my heart stop.

    On the first page was a vault boy, wearing a Shinobi hitai-ate walking forward. Engraved on the plate was the symbol of Vault-Tec and he was walking forward, animated. Near each limb was a health bar, reminding me that, yes, my limbs can be crippled.

    I shut the book immediately – no one can have this. “How did you-?”

    The stranger hummed then realized what I was asking. “Oh. Yes, it was going to do that the first time you got a notebook.”

    “Do what?” Naruto asked with great interest, surging forward and trying to take the notebook from me.

    I stopped him from doing that. “Naruto, it’s mine! Respect other people’s property!”

    This is going in my pocket and never leaving.

    “But mine’s boring!” Naruto whined. “It’s not doing anything cool!”

    I pushed him back into his seat and glared. “Naruto! No!”

    He stopped and folded his arms, muttering under his breath, sniffing from being upset.

    The stranger laughed and stood up. “Well, I think I’ve worn out my welcome and I’m afraid I must be off. It’s been nice visiting with you two.”

    “Wait,” Naruto said. “Are you going to be watching Daisuke too?”

    “Oh, I’ve been watching Shimoda-kun,” He said, getting that unsettling smile on his face again. “I’ve quite enjoyed the show. You two take care now.”

    He left and I let out the breath that I had been holding.

    I don’t remember him from the Anime.

    “He seemed like a nice guy!” Naruto said. “I hope he comes back!”

    Does he know I’m a game character?

    I’m chalking that up to naivete. Shouldn’t the Kyuubi be giving him super awesome bestial instincts that let him detect evil or something?

    Or is that just fanon?

    Who was that guy?
    * * *​

    I don’t believe it.

    It’s the PIP-boy in Paper form. Not does it only have my stat screen, it has a list of all my skills.

    Taijutsu (Endurance): 17/100.

    Melee Weapons (Strength):15/100.

    Ranged Weapons(Agility): 17/100.

    Genjutsu(Perception): 17/100.

    Ninjutsu(Endurance): 17/100.

    Speech(Charisma): 9/100.

    Barter(Charisma): 9/100.

    Sneak(Agility): 17/100.

    Pick Lock(Perception): 17/100.

    Fuinjutsu(Intelligence): 27/100.

    Medicine(Intelligence): 27/100.

    Survival(Perception): 17/100.

    Chakra Control(Intelligence): 27/100.

    And a list of perks! I mean, I don’t have any yet, but I can now officially start planning my build, which is probably going to focus a lot on survival. My survival, not the skill Survival. Which means fighting and murder in this crazed death world.

    ...I wonder if maybe when people start running when they’re nearly beaten, if I can actually let them live instead of them getting up and then trying to murder me after showing mercy? I always hated that about Skyrim.

    If that weren’t enough, this incredible little book has the game manual, written into the chapter on Data, letting me actually understand this crazy world and how it all works.

    Had to stop myself from leaping up on my chair and celebrating, I was reading this during play time for the kids, which meant I had my manual hidden behind the biggest book we had. I already read the thing so it’s not like I look suspicious, but if I keep acting happy, people are going to know something is up.

    Welcome to SHINOBI: A Naruto based Role Playing game. In this world...blah, blah blah. It keeps going, but I skipped it to focus on the more important spots, like how skill points are actually calculated.

    Yeah, just like how I remember. Twice the skill’s governing stat added to half my luck stat then you add two to the whole thing. How’s damage calculated? Oh, it uses realistic physics. Well, that’s interesting. Can you add more skills to the lineup?

    No, and I didn’t expect you to be able too. Fallout never let you invent skills out of nothing, why should a game inspired on it do that? That’d be stupid.

    Now about Jutsu...oh, Jutsu is learned through Jutsu scrolls, books and taught by NPC’s. Once I’ve learned the jutsu in question, I need to match it’s appropriate skill and the chakra control to cast it. Need to learn the hand signs to pull of whatever it is I need. It also says that jutsu can be modified or invented, but doing so can make the jutsu cost more, especially as the modification gets more and more extensive.

    Also the rules for making my own jutsu say I have to create it on my own and that it takes a lot of time. I don’t quite know what it means by that...probably just code for ‘you can’t magic new jutsu out of a hat’. Which to be fair, that’d be completely broken and make things no fun.

    Well, for a given value of fun. I’m trying to survive here, fun comes later.

    Wait. I only get 15 skill points per level? Is this thing being serious right now? That’s awful! I need like 10 more of those per level to get anywhere quickly. I’m going to need...actually, wait. I don’t know how much Chakra Control and...Taijutsu? I’m guessing Taijutsu, in order to get Tsunade’s megaton punch.

    Because that thing will make my less than average strength irrelevant. Plus it’d be fun to have a Two-Step-Goodbye built into my fists.

    If I wanted to increase my Charisma...that’d be the perk Intense Training. I can take that perk 10 times total, so I can take my Charisma to level 10 and still have one instance left over, which I can use to bring strength up to 5. The problem with that is that my maximum level, according to this handy-dandy manual, is 50. And also according to this manual, I only get a perk every other level. So I have 25 total perks, each of which I want to use to help my combat potential.

    Besides, there has to be stat enhancing items, I’ll just use those. If I can find one. I mean...actually do my current clothes affect my stats at all?

    No.

    Well, the shirt has a DR of 5, so that’s cool. I take 5% less damage while wearing this shirt.

    Oh, the intersection of real life physics and game mechanics is going to be fun to see.

    As for the perks I actually want to consider for my level 2, there’s Taijutsu Enthusiast, Swift Learner, Wall Crawler and Lady Killer.

    Taijutsu Enthusiast would increase the power of my Taijutsu by 10%. Swift Learner increased all XP gain by 10% which, if this were a contained game with a definitive beginning, middle and end, that would look tempting. But this is, by it’s own admission, a simulator. No real beginning, middle or end, so I’ve got all the time in the world to get to max level. Wall Crawler...immediately let me walk up walls without chakra. I mean, cool but why though?

    Then there’s Lady Killer. Increase your damage to women by 10% and improve your interactions with them.

    ...I’m going to be honest here, and just tell myself that I’m getting this perk at some point. I want to date, I want to get married and rear a family at some point. If Lady Killer can help with that then by all means, I think I can take a couple quality of life perks.

    But it’ll be a while.

    As for the rest...I haven’t even really been playing the game yet, so I don’t know what’s going to be useful.

    Actually hang on, is there…?

    Come on.

    Please?

    Can it be in here?

    No.

    It’s not here.

    Almost Perfect is not a perk in this game. My favorite perk in Fallout 3 isn’t a thing in this Naruto simulation.

    Blast it.

    I’m actually upset right now.
    * * *​

    It’s been several years since the man in green showed up at our orphanage and he hasn’t shown his face since. Good thing too, I was getting massive ‘final boss of the game’ vibes from him. Actually no, not the final boss. He’s more like a secret hidden boss that’s dozens of times tougher than the final boss and everyone who can beat him earns bragging rights for the rest of their lives.

    Anyway, it was now time for me to enter the Ninja academy.

    Naruto was insanely jealous, but gave me a hug and said he was going to miss me all day.

    Gotta say, I think the kid’s my only friends right now and as far as friends go, I couldn’t be luckier.
    We were standing in the academy, the gates having been opened. Everyone was standing there in the center, ready to hear a speech from the Hokage.

    To be honest, I was super excited. I was going to be a Ninja. I had wanted to enter the military in my old life, become awesome, see the world, all that stuff. But I just didn’t have the stones. Now, with the game basically making it impossible for me to be exhausted, sore or even injured for more than a day, I was ready. I was going to learn how to jump stupidly high distances, throw fireballs and become an ultimate punch wizard.

    It’s probably not going to be ideal, but I’m immune to most of the garbage the instructors will throw at me. Worst they can do is mind games.

    The Hokage’s speech was on the Will of Fire, unsurprisingly. We’re all family, love is the key to peace, that stuff. I mean, it’s not wrong. Awful hard for people to want to wage war on everyone if everyone loves each other, but it takes a certain type of person who can overcome human nature and most people not only can’t do it, but don’t want to.

    Well, maybe if everyone could reach each others minds or something, it’d be easier. At least, it’d be easier to identify people who threatened the public. Or something.

    Once the speech ended, us first years were all herded into an assembly and told where our classroom was and who our teacher was.

    For myself, I got a seat in the far back with my name on it, and my instructor was Sensei Okawa. He was an older man, a full head of gray hair and an eye patch. I knew his name because he wrote it on the black board. As for my class, I didn’t see anyone I would recognize. Not Neji, Tenten or Lee at least, since the rest aren’t coming to the academy for another year.

    Our sensei stood up from his desk and clasped his hands behind his back. “Good morning, class. I’m Sensei Okawa Yuko.”

    There were some mumbled answers.

    “What was that?” Sensei Okawa snapped. “I couldn’t hear you!”

    “Good morning, Sensei,” We all chorused.

    “Very good,” Okawa replied. “Today marks the first day of your service to Konohagakure and the Will of Fire. You will learn the basics of how to defend yourselves and the Academy Three jutsu, Substitution, Transformation and Duplication. What you put into yourself, how much you train and how much you work hard will be how much you get out of yourself.”

    I wonder if training exercises will improve my skills while I’m here?

    First guess is no, but I’m open to being wrong here.

    “There are no shortcuts to success,” Okawa continued, having everyone’s rapt attention. “But we here at the Academy are going to help you along the road as quickly and efficiently as we can. To help us do that, I have a questionnaire. Each line of circles corresponds with an answer to the question above it. There are no wrong answers and you have an hour to finish before moving on to the basics of Taijutsu, Shurikenjutsu, History, and Chakra Shaping.”

    He handed the first stack of questionnaires to a boy with glasses, wearing a yellow shirt. “Take one, pass the rest.”

    I was in the very back of the glass in the corner, as far away from Sensei as I could possibly be, so I was the last to receive a questionnaire. I skimmed each of the questions briefly, and saw that it was mostly a personality test, with some interesting questions I couldn’t quite tell why they would put it in a test like this.

    “Begin.”

    I took the pencil on my desk and started filling it out. Only took me ten minutes. Once I was done, I got to the...back of the packet and immediately started looking around in a panic.

    “Is there something wrong, Shimoda?” Sensei Okawa asked.

    “No, no, Sensei,” I replied, trying to smile. “Thanks for asking.”

    “Are you sure?” He pressed.

    “Yep, I’m completely sure,” I replied.

    He shrugged.

    Charisma Check Failed: 1 / 4.

    Well that’s annoying. I’m glad he didn’t press it, but I’m guessing that he’s still watching.

    Shinobi are always watching.

    On the final page of the questionnaire was a list of all my skills, written in black ink. Three of them were marked with a black arrow on their left side. This would be where I would tag my skills. In Fallout 3 and New Vegas, during character creation you would take three skills, which would give a free 15 point bonus to the skill. Presumably, that’d be what you’re character chose to specialize in their backstory, before the game started.

    The skills tagged were Melee Weapons, Ranged Weapons and Barter.

    Going to be honest, that doesn’t fit my plans at all. How do I untag a skill?

    I lightly pressed my pencil on Barter, and the arrow disappeared, causing the skill to go from 24/100 to 9/100 on the sheet.

    Okay good.

    I untagged the other two and instead tagged Taijutsu, Chakra Control and Speech, bringing them to 32, 42 and 24 respectively. Taijutsu and Chakra Control because Tsunade’s Megaton Punch, which is what I’m calling it, is going to be my main early game weapon when my chakra levels are low and I can’t really afford to use chakra intensive jutsu to keep them at bay. Speech was entirely to patch up the hole I dug for myself in dumping Charisma. I should be able to communicate like a human being now, though I don’t think I’m actually going to be able to get people to like me outside of strenuous situations.

    There’s got to be a way to raise my stats outside of Intensive Training. I wonder, since this is a simulator classified as a simulator, if I can use the Medicine skill to create some kind of therapy to increase my SPECIAL stats. I mean, Fallout: New Vegas had implants you could buy that would, basically, be an increase as if you used the perk.

    Anyway, that comes later.

    Right now, I just pressed the done button at the bottom corner and watched as the sheet disappeared completely.

    Alright then. That’s a good thing, I was really worried for a second.

    An hour came and went and the bell rang for the next class.

    “Leave your questionnaires on your desk,” Sensei Okawa said as we were dismissed. “I will collect them. For now, follow me to your next class.”

    We all lined up together to head to the next class and I’m glad I was in the back of the line, because I wound up with another surprise.

    Quest Added: (Tutorial) Four Long Years.
    Complete Ninja Academy! (0/4)
    Optional: Pass the graduation exam early.


    Wait, why is the first objective divided up into four parts?

    Oh, that’s right, the Academy lasts for Four Years. Though I didn’t think you could take the Graduation Exam early...actually, that makes sense, since Naruto took it a bunch of times before in canon, so I guess he was trying to get out early.

    ...which makes sense if he was being ignored by the adults and getting picked on by the rest of the kids.
    * * *​

    Character Sheet: Shimoda Daisuke.

    Health: 200.
    Chakra: 85.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L Stats:

    Strength: 4
    Perception: 5
    Endurance: 5
    Charisma: 1
    Intelligence: 10
    Agility: 5
    Luck: 10

    Taijutsu (Endurance): 32
    Melee Weapons (Strength): 15
    Ranged Weapons (Agility): 17
    Genjutsu (Perception): 17
    Ninjutsu (Endurance): 17
    Speech (Charisma): 24
    Barter (Charisma): 9
    Sneak (Agility): 17
    Pick Lock (Perception): 17
    Fuinjutsu (Intelligence): 27
    Medicine (Intelligence): 27
    Survival (Perception): 17
    Chakra Control (Intelligence): 42

    Perks:
    (None).
    * * *​

    Author’s Note: Yeah. Yeah, I did this.

    If everything went like it was supposed too, you should’ve read something in the previous rendition that said that this was coming. If it didn’t, because I’m a fickle author, then let me give you the run down.

    Every problem that I had with the first Draft’s second Act was a natural consequence of decisions I made while writing Act One. The godlike power to drawn any jutsu out of thin air, the elimination of all stakes, his ultimately fairly shallow personal vendetta against the village...the story ended when Daisuke made his peace with how he died. Then...I kept going.

    You all know I had plenty of issues continuing the story. I know that for many of you, it was your favorite. But I couldn’t continue it. Not with what it turned into and what it became. Nothing was satisfying anymore. He leveraged his power to get everything he wanted. Then...what? Okay? So what? No threats, no stakes, no satisfaction in writing the story any more.

    So...I made the difficult decision to do a rewrite. Yeah, I know. You see these all the time on FF, where people get dissatisfied with the story they wrote after like ten pages and then after they rewrite some small part, they give up.

    If you want to tie it to the first draft, make it so the game went from Beta to release and Daisuke lost all his progress as often happens when a game makes that transition. You’ll note the many, many nerfs I did on the gamer power as a result, including the removal of Almost Perfect, the first drafts big McGuffin. Because in order to keep that things power, I had to make a lot of decisions that hurt the plot and were nonsensical.

    You’ll also note that I’m trying to introduce some big Act 2 characters while Daisuke is still vulnerable so that their inclusion doesn’t feel as jarring as before.

    As for the character sheet, I understand it was difficult for you to keep up with the nonsense, so I made some formatting changes and whenever he levels up, I’ll post the updated character sheet down at the bottom.

    mce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchormce-anchor Shout Out goes out too Melden V, Anders Kronquist, Ray Tony Song, Volkogluk, Aaron Bjornson, iolande, Martin Auguado, Julio, Hackerham, Tim Collins-Squire, Maben00, Ventari, PbookR, Seij, ChristobalAlvarez, Apperatus, EPiCJB19, Seeking Raven, Handwran, Russel Beatrous, Richard Whereat as well as our newest patrons Juan Pendragon and Samuel Reed. Thank you all for your continued support!

    ...this will be worth it.

    Until the next time.

    ~Fulcon
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  2. Kojivsleo

    Kojivsleo Know what you're doing yet?

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    Looking forward to your changes for this fic.
     
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  3. asdo

    asdo Experienced.

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    I look forward to this rewrite, I also really liked your last version as well, all the way to the end, shame no concrete ending will be given but oh well, sometimes you just don't to do it and that's that. Hopefully this will last much much longer and be as entertaining for you as it will be for us. cheers.
     
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  4. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Getting sticky.

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    Once more unto the breach, I suppose. Almost Perfect being missing is kind of a huge change already, honestly. If he finds bobbleheads again I guess he won't have to save them.
     
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  5. Zaynal

    Zaynal Gotta get dat power fantasy~

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    ngl, that tilted me hard. Though if there ever was a moment that telegraphed "This is not the story you're familiar with," this would be it.
     
  6. Cefta

    Cefta Getting out there.

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    Thanks for continuing to give this another go man.

    I'm a little inspired by how hard you try with all your work and how dedicated you are to it and on another note I'm very glad to see someone else with Asperger's do so well in going so far to communicate, it can be really hard sometimes I know I've gotten plenty frustrated at spending a literal week trying to explain something that seems so obvious but just never quite getting it across, or worse having the opposite happen and feeling dumb as a rock, I got vibes of that with Daisuke's CHA checks back in the 2nd pass of Part 1 since I wasn't around for the first one.

    but I've nattered enough, thanks for your work man, it's really good and even the stuff I ended up disliking (mostly in your other stuff but I wasn't too hot on the whole Deity thing tbh) still felt well crafted, just not to my tastes, I hope to continue seeing you around on here for a long while yet, I'll buzz by your patron and see if the other stuff and release scedual are to my liking.
     
  7. CmirDarthanna

    CmirDarthanna Versed in the lewd.

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    So who is the big bad this time? Some shit stain that stumbled on the system and decided to turn some random Joe Shmoe's life into a living hell for shits and giggles?
     
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  8. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Pfft, just going to have to type: ~
    Player.setav strength 10
    Player.setav perception 10
    Player.setav endurance 10
    Player.setav charisma 10
    Player.setav agility 10
    Player.setav fuinjutsu 100
    Player.setav chakracontrol 100
    Player.setav taijutsu 100
    Player.setav speech 100
    Player.setav barter 100
    Player.setav sneak 100
     
  9. Chrisleech

    Chrisleech Versed in the lewd.

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    Not sure exactly why but I'm not finding this as interesting as the original. Meh, I'll keep watching for a few updates but I have a feeling that I'm gonna end up dropping this anyway.
    I will say though that there actually wasn't a reason to introduce Jashin here rather than in Act 2. He felt perfectly fine being introduced once Daisuke gained God power, since that would be the point where they were actually relevant to each other. If either God was going to show up this early and be ominous but mildly helpful it probably would have been Shinigami since he's actually aware of you since he actually had to deal with transferring your soul into this body and thus would also know a bit about how you work. A God of Death can be just as weird and ominous as a God of Evil after all.

    Edit: I was right, I did end up dropping it, and I only ended up coming back to comment about it here because someone liked this post and I didn't feel like catching up and announcing it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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  10. Galacticplumber

    Galacticplumber Know what you're doing yet?

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    Don't think I didn't see that pokemon reference there... Looming.

    Also if we're talking digimon I gotta lay my fav on Tamers season, and Takato in particular. That thing was a masterpiece. Adventure 2 is in this funny place where a lot of the moment to moment polish is higher than adventure 1, but the long term character development and plot are a bit sloppier due to infighting in the ranks of the writing staff. Thus it fluctuates whether I like it or adventure 1 better. Any of the first three series are radically superior to the series that came after though. Yes this is important, and not elaborating on an amusing tangent to lighten things up after the heavy positive feelings brick I threw at the last thread to send it off. Don't believe me? Big whoop, wanna fight about it?

    But in more direct news I like the way the low Cha is behavior changing, and not just a social awareness fog. I approve of adding a good character from later early on officially such that you have every excuse to use him for fun and profit without necessarily dominating early. I like that no almost perfect means no winging about needing to save points, and put off solutions to mitigate if not solve the issue. It was fun once. Twice would be tedious.

    I like killing intent being portrayed seriously as opposed to just that tropey anime pressure for the pre-fight genitalia measuring contest it's often used for.
     
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  11. Grimnar

    Grimnar Versed in the lewd.

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    Hmm, I saw this and my hackles came up, so I came in this thread with the intention of calling this trash.

    I dropped the first story early on because I had serious issues with it. OP protagonists are fine if they exist in a world where there are OP people. The issues with your story were many, but the most egregious was nerfing everyone and lowering the bar so the OC was more powerful by contrast.

    Most of the main/named characters of Naruto are OP as fuck. Kakashi can sneak up on a hundred year old S-rank Ninja and shove a fistful of lightning through their chest without anyone noticing. The Raikage can Speed Blitz most anyone in the setting, Itachi is a fucking Monster. It goes on and on.

    You can do Overpowered without outweighing the entire setting if you tell if from the approach of someone climbing and clawing to power in a world full of equally monstrous enemies.

    Hopefully you can rebalance it to tell a better story this time around.
     
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  12. High Lord Rokland

    High Lord Rokland Getting out there.

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    No Almost Perfect? Harsh...

    I look forward to more!
     
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  13. Edifier

    Edifier Trusted within thoughts.

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    It feels like only the part of the status -page or -line, the protagonist is looking at should be shown.
    Like if he increases strength, it's in the prose saying straight increased by 2, to 8,
    Or if he's simply checking what something does.
    Well, simply having it part of the prose and no status pages at all in the text sounds more elegant to me. But then there are compromises.
    Regardless, regardless, your writing is awesome.

    Soo~, 10 luck and 10 intelligence with good physical stats. How Orochimaru is that?
     
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  14. Darkarma

    Darkarma Loli Tentacle Slime

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    Depends on if luck is the same as last time, IE, it doesn't scale as he gains power. All the other stats scaled with each level.
     
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  15. lancelot

    lancelot Grand High Poobah

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    Well a lot of people myself including have been burnt out on Naruto stories for years now. I wish you luck but I'd rather see more of the Young Justice SI then a rehash of a story read years ago.
     
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  16. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Then why bother commenting on a new Naruto SI story? Also, the Young Justice SI story has been going for almost 7 years now. There aren't many that are even in its level of quality, and all the new ones that start up, just try and ape WTR and suck, or just suck.
     
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  17. Threadmarks: Chapter 2: One Short Year.
    Fulcon

    Fulcon Wim Hoff Method Initiate

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    The Following is a fan based work of fiction: Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden are owned by Shueisha, Viz Entertainment and Masashi Kishimoto. Please support the official release.

    * * *
    We all arrived in the Taijutsu training hall and I noticed that Okawa left us the second we got in eyesight of our other instructor. The training hall had places marked in the floor for us to stand we did so to the loud and repeated instruction from the guy at the head of the room.

    “Welcome everyone.” I recognized our new instructor, with the bandanna tied around the top of his head and shoulder-length white hair. Or at least, he looked really familiar. “My name is Mizuki and I’ll be your Taijutsu Sensei here at the Academy!”

    Oh, right. The jerk who tricked Naruto into stealing a scroll of forbidden jutsu and then told him about the Kyuubi in just about the worst way possible.

    You know, I think I might tell Naruto about the Kyuubi instead and help him pass his graduation exam to prevent that from happening. Because screw this guy.

    “Just to start, I’m going to demonstrate a simple Kata,” Mizuki explained. “You will follow along exactly. Then I will repeat until we’ve all learned five different katas. By then, the class will be over and you’ll move on to the next period.”

    Oh, fun. For some reason, I thought we were just going to devolve straight into full contact sparring and try to straight up maul each other. I guess that comes later.

    Just like he said, we learned his katas and then moved on to the next class. He escorted us straight to there. It was a large room with poles stretching up to the ceiling with targets painted on them. Here we had yet another Sensei, this one a woman with black hair tied in a bun.

    She introduced herself as Nara Kumiko, which made me blink as I subconsciously tied her to Shikamaru. We got passed a small pack, and I opened it up to see that it contained a kunai and four shuriken.

    “Class, this is a Shuriken,” She said, holding up a four-pointed star. “It is really sharp and will cut you or someone you care about if you are careless-”

    “Ow!”

    Did someone just lose a finger?

    “Like that,” Kumiko said, exasperatedly, before running off to her desk to grab a tissue paper in the blink of an eye, before running to the student who got cut.

    It was the boy with glasses and a yellow shirt, who was nursing a bleeding finger. She wrapped the finger up. “Hold that there. What’s your name?”

    “Nakamura Nichiren, Sensei,” He responded.

    “Okay, give me your kunai,” She said, more snatching it from him than anything. As she examined the edge, she frowned, and called over one of the Chunin standing at the entrance. “Get him to the nurses office.”

    With that, he was escorted from the room. Curiously, I looked at my own kunai and noted, with disappointment, that my edges were sharp. Then again, they had to be if they were going to pierce the wooden targets.

    Still, it’s a good idea to ingrain into the kids heads early that these are not toys. They are weapons. If someone almost has to lose a finger to prove the point...well, so be it.

    “As I was saying,” Kumiko continued, holding the weapon in between her fingers. “It has four points. You hold them like this to prevent cutting yourself. The point does not come past the skin of your fingers.”

    She then went into an explanation about how to throw it.

    What was my throwing skill, 17? Well, it’s good enough, I guess, for the early game. For the tutorial, surely. In the games, you could have a skill as low as 9 and still be able to hit stationary targets if they weren’t too far from you.

    And those targets didn’t look that far.

    The Shuriken buried one of its points into the wooden target without a sound. Then, she drew a kunai, and went into an explanation. “This is a Kunai. It’s main feature is the single point here at the top which you stab with.”

    Makes sense, trying to cut with that thing looks like a nightmare. Unless chakra fixes that little issue? I mean, it would neatly solve that logical conundrum. So it probably does.

    Once she was done explaining every inch of the kunai, she threw it and buried it in the wooden target.

    I noticed there were only four targets in this room, so only four of us got to practice. We were given a stack of ten shuriken and four kunai. We were told to hit the target, and not take too long aiming.

    Presumably because there were a lot of kids and we couldn’t really afford to take our time.

    When it came to my turn, I picked up a kunai and took a breath.

    “Today, Shimoda.”

    She startled me with that, but I still hit the target.

    Then I hit it again.

    Yeah, okay. This isn’t that bad. It’s a big target that’s not moving. Easy to hit, something I proved by landing all my shots. On the final kunai, though, is when things got interesting. It buried itself in the post up to the ring, letting out a small shock wave that might as well been thunder for how startling it was.

    I blinked. “Uh…”

    Kumiko ran over to the post and put her finger in the ring. She tried to pull it up and failed. She tried again, placing a foot on the post, and pulled it out, taking some of the target with it as the wood had been pulled up by the kunai’s bent tip.

    She looked at the weapon and she looked at me. “How did you do that?”

    “I don’t know,” I replied, growing keenly aware that the students behind me starting to whisper.

    Charisma Check Failure: 1 / 4.

    Yeah, I need to find a shirt or something that boosts charisma, because this is stupid.

    Her eyes narrowed. “Alright. Next round of students, we can still use the target.”

    I moved to the back of the class.

    ...but seriously, how did I do that?



    Wait.

    That was a critical hit.

    Hah, my Luck stat came in hot there. That’s Hilarious! Well, I’ll know when I get a critical hit when someone’s head explodes from a Kunai.

    Intelligence Check Success: 10/5.

    Actually, hang on. I just realized that with my strength scaling with my level and that I’m really strong for my age...I might actually have to be careful when I’m sparring with people. No going all out. Because these really are just kids right now. Chakra might change that as time goes on, but right now?

    I don’t want to kill anyone.
    * * *​

    History was...I don’t know.

    I can almost guarantee that it was mostly propaganda. Because Konoha did nothing wrong ever while those huge bullies in Iwa and Kumo were mean and wanted war for no reason. That’s...not how real wars go. Though if what happened with Neji’s father did happen then Kumo is absolutely as viscous as advertised.

    Doesn’t mean Konoha isn’t either.

    Chakra shaping was, what do you know, taught by Okawa, who demonstrated sticking a leaf to his finger and just let it dangle, explaining it as slowly and as clearly as he could to those of us in the class who had never heard of chakra control in our lives.

    Jutsu Learned: Chakra Shaping!

    You can now use chakra for a variety of tasks, like sticking and connecting to things!

    Okay, neat.

    “On your desks, you each have your own leaf. Stick it to your finger.”

    I did so.

    Chakra Control Check Success: 42 / 10.

    Yeah, that was pretty easy. I even spiced it up by making it stand up on my finger and spin around like a vertical windmill. Made me snort and I tried challenging myself by pushing it slightly to flip it over so it would spin on it’s tip instead of it’s stem.

    Chakra Control Check Success: 42/10.

    The kid next to me, a red-headed girl saw what I was doing and hunched over her desk, muttering to herself. “Creepy weirdo.”

    Who needs you? I can make leaves spin. To prove the point, I flipped it over again so it’s stem was connected to my finger, then I made it lay flat and made it spin like a propeller so I could pretend my finger was an airplane.

    I did not make the noise, though, even though I really wanted too.

    ...I’m so bored.

    Wish I had my laptop so I could play video games. Miss League of Legends so much.

    Wait, wasn’t there a technique where you could make strings out of Chakra? I think there was, because I remember a puppeteer ninja in the show, dressed up in all black. Yeah, let’s try that out.

    Chakra Control Check Success: 42/40.

    What, no experience for that? Annoying.

    I let the leaf drop just a little bit on a chakra zipline before I immediately snatched it up and looked around.

    Daisuke, you fool. That puppet Shinobi was from Suna and he was competing in the Chunin exams! Doing something like that on the first day of the academy is guaranteed to get you all of the wrong attention!

    But nothing happened, and I let out a sigh of relief, contenting myself with returning to boredom.

    Soon, class ended and we were let out for the day.

    You know, I’m wondering if maybe I should just rush Chakra Control.

    Just because of how absurdly useful it is in the entire series. The only reason Sakura was really able to use Tsunade’s Megaton Punch and be a good medic-nin was because of how impeccable her Chakra control was and if I can get The Punch in the first few levels of my play through, weaker enemies aren’t going to stand a chance.

    I may or may not be slightly biased since my Naruto waifu was always Sakura but it always bugged me how she got sidelined for Sasuke and Naruto. There were like a million ways to make Sakura relevant in the show with Chakra control like hers.

    After several minutes of making the leaf do the Can-Can, the bell rang.

    “Class dismissed,” Okawa called out. “Homework for today is continuing the exercise. I expect you all to have mastered this exercise in two days.”

    I was the last to leave the classroom, simply because I didn’t want to have to deal with the rush of students trying to get out of here as quickly as possible. I mean, I didn’t mind, because it was way, way better than the grand total of nothing I got to do before today.

    Got to wonder how long it’ll be before I get tired of it, though.

    Perception Check Success: 5 / 5.

    As I left the classroom, I could feel Sensei’s eyes on me. The fact that he didn’t say anything only made the odd knot in my stomach worse.
    * * *
    For our next Taijutsu class, after we had practiced the katas for a week, making sure we could perform them without following along, we got broken off into full contact sparring. I find it interesting the Mizuki never showed anyone what the moves were supposed to look like with a volunteer, but then, maybe he doesn’t want to program us into thinking our opponents were going to be cooperative.

    Because they most certainly wouldn’t be.

    My partner was a girl. Her hair was tied into a thin ponytail with twin locks of hair falling down past her chin, framing her face and obsidian eyes. She was wearing a red jacket that seemed a couple sizes too big for her and was kind of worn.

    “Hi, I’m Shimoda Daisuke,” I said, introducing myself. “What’s your name?”

    “Yamada Hisako,” She replied.

    “Bow to your partners!” Mizuki called.

    We did so.

    “Start!”

    We both went into our stances. I noticed that hers wasn’t quite right, she left herself too open in the center and she had too much weight on her back foot. She threw the first punch, and I dodged to left and walked around her.

    I didn’t really want to attack her because I could accidentally break something. Having the strength of an adult in an eight year old frame was really dangerous. All that power in the small surface area of my fist could cause serious problems if I wasn’t careful.

    Need to limit test to see how hard I can hit and how much I need to hold back, but I haven’t found a good opportunity to slip away so I could do it without anyone watching.

    She threw a kick to my head and I just leaned my head back and watched her foot sail past my nose with a breeze following through after it. Walk around to the right this time, following her back as she tried to whirl around to face me.

    This went on. She kept attacking and attacking and I just kept not getting hit. Back up, back up, duck under the leg and run forward out of her reach. Eventually, she winded herself, bracing herself on her knees as she panted.

    “Aren’t you going to try to hit me?” She asked with a growl.

    “Not really,” I replied.

    “Why not?” Hisako demanded.

    “Because I don’t want to.”

    She glared. “We’re supposed to be training. Now stop being an idiot and hit me!”

    Okay, I’ll give her one hit. After she’s caught her breath.

    She growled in frustration and threw a punch at my face, which I simply leaned to the side to dodge and threw a punch to her stomach.

    It was a little bit too hard, though because the second it landed, she made a sound like she was going to be sick. I leaned back and she collapsed to her knees, clutching her stomach with tears dripping from her eyes.

    I think she’s going to be okay, she’s just clearly winded.

    Glad I didn’t punch with everything I had, because then I might’ve ruptured some organs and that would’ve been bad.

    I knelt down and patted her back. “Breathe. Breathe.”

    She took a deep gasp of breath, shakily panting as her breath returned.

    “Everything okay?” Mizuki asked as he appeared right there.

    “I just knocked the wind out of her,” I replied. “I think she’ll be fine.”

    “Look at me,” Mizuki told Hisako, kneeling down to get to her level, grabbing her cheeks in one hand to look into her eyes. “Yeah, she’ll be fine. Try to tone it back when you’re sparring with your classmates, okay?”

    I tried. “Yes, Sensei.”
    * * *


    Finally, a moment of peace alone.

    Since I started going to the academy, Naruto had been pestering me for details on what it was going to be like. He seemed really disappointed that there was a lot of reading books and stuff but still seemed keen on going. Maybe being prepared for what it was like will help him get better grades, who knows.

    But still, I was allowed to remain behind this time as Naruto was summoned to the Hokage’s office for something. I think he’s just checking in on him, but I don’t know the Hokage all that well.

    Anyway, since I was alone in my room, that I shared with Naruto since we both became too old for a nursery, I could finally do some testing.

    First, wall walking.

    I put my foot on my bedroom wall and stuck to it.

    Chakra Control check success: 42/20.

    Just like that, I was anchored to the wall. I brought my other foot up and stuck it to the wall too. With a nervous laugh, I started walking up toward the ceiling. It felt so weird to have gravity pull me back instead of down but I guess you could get used to it.

    Then I stepped up on the ceiling and noted, with glee, that not only could I walk on the ceiling, I could do it without it collapsing under my own weight.

    All that chakra reinforcing the structure helps a ton.

    Still, I can’t help but feel a tad disappointed that I didn’t get EXP for pulling this off on my own. Like, it’s a new technique. Sure, I didn’t get exp for the Jutsu chakra shaping...wait, I should’ve gotten EXP for that too.

    Well, that’s lame.

    No EXP for skill checks, no EXP for new Jutsu...is quests the only thing that’s going to level me up? I guess so. Need to go looking for quests when I can.

    Well, I mean, I have one quest already. Four Long Years, which I can complete early by taking the exam. Can I complete the exam?

    I think I can. I mean, so far the only skill checks I’ve seen are twenty and below. I just need to wait for them to host the final exams and then take them. See, that’s the cool about the Konoha Academy is that when they held the exams, any one could take them and if you passed, you graduated, got a Hitai-ate and everything.

    They hold exams at the end of the year, right? Just make it until then, make sure I can do everything and-wait I can’t cast the jutsu.

    Alright, looks like I’m making a trip to the Konoha library before I return to the Orphanage tomorrow. I’ve kind of been avoiding the Library, not because I didn’t want to read everything, but because I’d probably give into temptation and read all the skill books before I was ready for them.

    At level four, there’s a perk called ‘Comprehension’, which increases the number of skill points I get from books by one, which makes those limited and treasured resources way more useful. Then at level six, I’d grab ‘Educated’, which gives me two flat additional skill points per level. So I grab comprehension at 4, hopefully hit four skill books which will pay for the points I missed by not taking ‘Educated’.

    Look, the only reason I’m prioritizing Comprehension at all is because this isn’t a post-apocalyptic setting where all the books burned in nuclear fire; there’s tons of stuff available, I just want to be able to use it to it’s greatest effect.

    I looked up to the floor and with a great deal of trepidation, let go of the ceiling.

    Agility Check Success: 5/5.

    Didn’t even flip, I just turned in the air and landed on my feet. Which was good because I didn’t want to land on my head there...but better to land on my head here instead of in the middle of a quest.

    Okay, now for the real test.

    I walked up to the wall, made a fist and tried to punch the wall, like I remembered The Punch being described: You bunch up chakra in your fist and release it the instant you make contact.

    Chakra Control Check Failed: 42/80.

    Taijutsu Check Failed: 32/80.

    180/200 Health.

    Ow!

    My fist throbbed in pain at the impact and I held it with my other hand.

    Okay, that’s about what I expected. Still, I can get the required Chakra Control in three levels and then Taijutsu in another 3, so I’ll be level 7 when I can throw around Tsunade’s Megaton Punch.

    ...now I need a nap to heal my hand up because this is starting to annoy me.
    * * *​

    The Academy Library is a secure facility. It was a four story building for all of Konoha’s needs. The first level was accessible to anyone, or at least, it was accessible to Academy Level students. Second level was accessible to Genin, the third Chunin and the last one could only be accessed if you were a Jounin.

    At the entrance there was a Shinobi acting as librarian, sitting at the reception desk. She was an old girl with her gray hair in a bun. I don’t know what her rank was, but she had a Hitai-ate and that was enough for me. “Hello there, young man. Please remember to stay on this level while you’re here.”

    Luckily for me, I only needed the Academy three. “Thank you.”

    I walked around the desk and into the main library. Like I expected, there were books on books on book on books, scrolls tucked away in shelves, which reached over my head and reached the ceiling. Since the Librarian didn’t offer to help and I didn’t want to bother with asking, I decided to look for myself.

    Check the labels and sections...luckily for me, they had an entire section on Ninjutsu. Also, luckily for me, it was literally just a tiny corner of the library with the sign ‘Ninjutsu’ hanging from the ceiling by chains and most of them were scrolls.

    The shelves contained a lot of titles. Beginner’s theory, Chakra Shaping for Beginners...here we go! A scroll marked as E-ranked Jutsu. Good stuff!

    I grabbed it and moved to a table, unfurling it so I could read it all and I did.

    Ninjutsu Check Success: 17/15.

    Ninjutsu Check Success: 17/15.

    Ninjutsu Check Success: 17/15.

    You have learned the Transformation Jutsu, the Substitution Jutsu and the Duplication Jutsu!

    Henge, Kawarimi and Bunshin. All important techniques, so let’s test them out.

    Chakra Control Check Success: 42/15.

    That clone looks like a marble statue from hell. I mean, I saw him every day when I looked in the mirror, but this just solidifies it. He wasn’t reacting when I was looking at him, because this wasn’t a clone with any sort of free will.

    I dispelled him to try my next technique.

    Chakra Control Check Success: 42/15.

    With my Henge applied, I dug my manual out from my pocket and looked up my stats.

    Charisma: 4 (+3).

    YES!

    Okay, that makes things so much better.

    Made another clone and yeah, that’s way better. It’s still pretty pale, and those hazel eyes still look way too blank for their own good, but it’s not a moving statue made out of gray clay. With hair made out of wire.

    Finally, let’s test the substitution jutsu.

    Chakra Control Check success: 42/15.

    So I didn’t even make a smoke-screen, though I could overfill the jutsu with chakra if I wanted one, but I was pretty disappointed in this one. All it does it create a chakra construct. A really durable one, but a chakra construct nonetheless. One that looks like me and lets me run away while the log takes the hit. In other words, it’s meant to either be used with deliberately poor chakra control to create the smoke screen or with the Body Flicker, which is a D-rank jutsu that probably exists in written form on the floor above me.

    Personally, I was hoping for teleportation like I thought it was. I mean, it sure looked like it, but it’s like the predecessor to shadow clones; only you make a log that’s transformed to look like you. Probably why Naruto didn’t have trouble since this jutsu is designed to be overloaded.

    Unlike regular clones.

    Speaking of which, I wonder if there’s a way to teach Naruto the shadow clone so he doesn’t wind up fooled by Mizuki later...

    Quest Added: Chasing Shadows.

    Learn the Shadow Clone Jutsu.
    Learn the Mass Shadow Clone Jutsu.


    Teach Naruto the Shadow Clone Jutsu.
    Teach Naruto the Mass Shadow Clone Jutsu.


    Looks like it. So that’s two quests I’ve got now, but I’ve got no idea on how to get the Jutsu scroll, then teach Naruto that Jutsu without also getting annihilated by the Hokage. Sure, Naruto beat the Hokage with the...Sexy Jutsu, but I also think Naruto is given a lot of leeway to go wherever he wants. I’m pretty sure the Hokage’s going to give him an apartment when he gets into the Academy so he can leave the Orphanage.

    This is also confirmation – no experience for learning Jutsu. This sucks. Actually, I wonder if I can modify Chakra shaping to replicate the Body-Flicker jutsu…

    You do not know that Jutsu.

    That’s also a no.

    Well, it was worth a shot.

    I put the scroll back and started my walk out of the library, when I got to the door, I got stopped.

    “Now hold on,” The librarian said. “Who are you?”

    “Oh,” I said, turning in place. “I came in earlier? I’m wearing a henge right now.”

    “Wait...oh, right, I recognize you now.” Recognition lit up in her eyes. “Why are you wearing a henge?”

    “Because without it I look like a statue.”

    “...fair enough.”
    * * *
    Okay, it’s been a year and it’s been...a painful one.

    Not really because of all the stuff I learned or had to learn, but because kids could be cruel when they thought no one was looking. Sure, no one tried anything to my face because it only took one punch to send them to the floor. But they did talk about me behind my back and tried to pull pranks, usually to try to get me to drop the henge. Which, frankly, wasn’t happening.

    The only real exception to this was Hisako.

    I honestly didn’t expect her to come to me for a rematch, but she did. Every chance she got, she came to me for a rematch and every time, she lost. But she got better every time. She even asked me what she was doing wrong and I was able to help her out a little bit. Mostly it was just that she was an eight year old with the strength and speed of an eight year old trying to fight an eight year old with the strength and speed of an adult.

    Honestly though, I think she relished the challenge.

    I think, I don’t know for sure.

    I’m just glad the year is over.

    But the year was up and they were hosting the graduation exam. Most of the exam takers were twelve year olds that towered over me, but there were some others who were closer to my age. Closer, I was the only one who actually looked nine.

    But I passed the test. Sparred appropriately with Mizuki-sensei who was grading my Taijutsu. Hit all my targets with the Shuriken and Kunai and for the final evaluation, performed all the jutsu flawlessly.

    “Well,” Iruka was one of the evaluators, sitting behind a table with two other Chunin-instructors. On the side of the table were three boxes filled with headbands...and arm bands. And belts. I wanted a belt. “Shimoda Daisuke, you...passed the test. Congratulations.”

    “Thank you, Sensei,” I replied with a bow.
    “I don’t think you’ll get on a team, however,” Iruka continued. “If only because you’re so young.”

    “But other Shinobi got onto teams when they were younger than me,” I pointed out.

    Charisma Check failed: 4/7.

    Oh, shut up, game.

    “Well, that would be because we were at war,” Iruko said, his eyebrow starting to twitch. “If we were at war, you’d have no trouble finding a place to land. But since we aren’t starved for manpower, you aren’t getting on a team.”

    “But I did get my promotion, right?” I asked quickly. “Because I graduated?”

    “Yes, you are officially a genin of Konoha,” Iruka said quickly. “Congratulations. But because there were enough graduates for even teams, there isn’t really a spot for you.”

    “Okay good,” I replied with a sigh of relief. “So I don’t have to go to class anymore.”

    “That’s right, you don’t,” Iruka’s eyebrow twitching got even worse. “But I highly recommend you keep coming to class so that the other students can learn from your example.”

    “No thanks.” I just shook my head.

    “Come on, at least think about it!” Iruka finally exploded with a giant head. “They could really use you!”

    “Nah. I only like one other student, the rest are jerks.”

    Iruka sighed and sat back down. “Fine.”

    “Can I get one of those cool belt protectors instead of my forehead?”

    “Yes, check this box right here,” Iruka replied, rubbing his eyes.

    Quest Completed: Four Long Years.

    Completed: (Optional): Pass the Graduation Exam early.

    Bum-bum-bum-Bum!

    LEVEL UP!

    Level 5!

    Wait, what?

    I just leveled straight to level 5, what the heck?

    Oh, I get it. The quest objective was divided into four steps and I was going to get an automatic level up for each year I completed. Okay, cool.

    For perks, like I talked about, I went Taijutsu Enthusiast and Comprehension. Since I was level five, I had 60 skill points to mess around with. So I immediately dumped 38 of those into Chakra Control, bringing it straight to 80/100. For other 22 points, I put them all into Taijutsu, bringing it to 54/100. Another 26 skill points and I can get Tsunade’s Megaton Punch.

    Experience until Level 7: 0 / 12,000.

    ...should I be worried that apparently this game is apparently supposed to start you off at level 5? Because going by RPG logic, I’m in for a bad time.
    * * *​

    “You graduated?” Naruto asked in shock.

    “Yup!” I replied with a really big grin.

    “But I start the academy tomorrow!” Naruto whined. “You’re not going to be there?”

    “Well, I’ll be in the library,” I reassured him. I did need to go check for all those skill books and see if I could get Tsunade’s Megaton Punch faster than level 7. If I could find seven Taijutsu skill books, that’d be ideal since I could just get it relatively quick. “So you can come see me in there.”

    Sneaking suspicion that I won’t find seven.

    “Okay I will,” Naruto said, folding his arms together. “But you better be there.”

    “I will,” I said with a nod. “I am going to be studying though...and spending lunch outside of the library.”

    “It’s only going to be a year, though,” Naruto replied with a grin.

    “Why do you say that?” I asked.

    “Because I’m going to graduate in a single year,” Naruto bragged. “Just like you!”

    “You’ll have to work and study really hard,” I told him, knowing full well that he was going to do neither of these things. He’s a kinesthetic learner, so he was only going to get better after he graduates and can start doing proper training exercises.

    It’s why Taijutsu is his best subject, there’s a lot of physical practice. Actually, giving Naruto exercises that he can do to improve his chakra control might allow him to actually use the regular clone technique. Maybe.

    “Pft, it’ll be easy!” Naruto said. “I’m going to be Hokage someday, so this should be a breeze!
    * * *​

    Of course, even I can get bored in the Library with all the books, so I would come out and stretch my legs.

    The academy was let out for recess, so the grounds were all filled with people and...way out in the distance, I could see a little girl in a red jacket sitting against a tree.

    Oh, I haven’t seen Hisako in months. I wonder how she’s doing.

    She looked up at me as I approached. “Wait, Daisuke?”

    “Hey.”

    She stood up and threw a punch. I caught the punch and twisted her arm behind her back.

    “Don’t do that,” I said flatly.

    “They-ow-told me that-ow-you graduated,” She grit out. “Let go of me!”

    “Are you going to try to hit me again?” I asked with a frown. I do not like that a girl hitting a guy is considered funny by some here in Konoha.

    “No!”

    I let her go. “Now, are you okay?”

    “Yeah,” Hisako said, shaking her arm out. “Did your grip get even stronger or something?”

    “No,” I said. “Just got better at grappling.”

    “Cool,” Hisako said. “But they told me you graduated. Where have you been?”

    “Library,” I answered. “I’m not allowed on a team yet since they’re all even or something. I don’t know, it’s kind of stupid.”

    “So you did graduate,” Hisako asked to confirm.

    “I did,” I said with a nod. “Pretty easily, too.”

    “Congratulations,” Hisako said with a smile that looked kind of off, but I couldn’t place why. “I’m really happy for you.”

    “Thank you,” I beamed. “So, why are you out here by yourself?”

    “I just didn’t want to hang out with anyone right now,” Hisako asked.

    “How come?”

    “Because,” Hisako said, sitting back down and letting out a breath.

    Charisma Check Success: 4/4.

    “Well, I mean if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine,” I said with a shrug. “I just wanted to see how you were doing. It was good seeing you.”

    “Wait!” Hisako started. “I didn’t mean for you to leave, I just...I don’t know. I’m not in a good mood right now.”

    “I’m sorry,” I said, taking a seat. “You want to talk about it?”

    “Well,” Hisako started. “It’s my Dad. He’s a Shinobi and he just left on a long term mission. Really long term.”

    “You must miss him a lot,” I replied with a frown.

    “Yeah,” Hisako replied. “This is the first time he’s been gone for this long since I was born. I wish he didn’t have to go.”

    “Do you still have your Mom?” I asked.

    “Yeah,” Hisako replied. “But she misses them too.”

    ...I’m starting to wonder if maybe he died and her mom hasn’t told her yet. Maybe?

    Charisma Check Failed: 4/7.

    Shut up, game.

    “So I’m just not feeling good,” Hisako said.

    I hummed. “Well, I mean, I’m not the best company, so if you want me to go…”

    “No, no. You’re fine,” Hisako replied earnestly. “We can sit and talk about...I don’t know. How’d you graduate?”

    “Just aced the test,” I replied with a shrug. “No team, though.”

    “I’m sorry,” Hisako sympathized. “Do you want to talk about it?”

    “Nothing to say,” I answered. “It just sucks.”

    She hummed. “You want to spar?”

    I blinked. “Sure, I guess.”
    * * *
    Chakra Control increased by 4.
    Chakra Control increased by 4.
    Chakra Control increased by 4.


    I managed to find the skill books, but reading a different copy of the same book didn’t work. I mean, I didn’t expect it too, but it’s just a drag.

    Taijutsu increased by 4.
    Taijutsu increased by 4.
    Taijutsu increased by 4.


    Still, it didn’t take long for Comprehension to pay for itself. It’s already netted me six extra points to compensate for the four that I lost by not taking Educated. Good stuff. I honestly wish I knew which books were skill books, I didn’t get the increase until I had finished reading the book in full and not every book here that looks like a Skill Book is a skill book. They're informative, sure, but they don’t give me skills based on what they’re about.

    There’s not even really a thing they all have in common; some of the ‘books’ are scrolls.

    Ranged Weapons increased by 4.
    Ranged Weapons increased by 4.
    Ranged Weapons increased by 4.


    Pretty annoying, I have to say. Still, my life could be a lot worse. Since I don’t have to go to school any more, I spend most of my days either in the Library, going to meet Hisako during recess or sleeping since I could sleep on demand.

    Ninjutsu Increased by 4.
    Ninjutsu Increased by 4.
    Ninjutsu Increased by 4.


    Really is peaceful. Seems to be going a lot faster to boot. Kind of weird that there was only one book on each subject on the student floor of the library, but then again, I think that has more to do with how not every book is a skill book. Thankfully, the Genin floor had more material.

    Genjutsu Increased by 4.
    Genjutsu Increased by 4.
    Genjutsu Increased by 4.


    Genjutsu, as a branch of study, is kind of screwed up. You can take someone’s sense of reality, their ability to perceive their environment, and just force them to hallucinate. And the brain believes it! A person’s first instinct when they’re hit with a Genjutsu is to believe what they’re seeing, no matter how insane it is. Part of our training in the Academy was recognizing when we were in a Genjutsu, but there was no way it was going to be enough until we’ve been in one. And we haven’t.

    Survival increased by 4.
    Survival increased by 4.
    Survival increased by 4.
    Survival increased by 4.


    There were plenty of books on survival in the student section. Like, a lot. Given how survival information is really important no matter what grade you were, it made sense. Especially if the village got invaded and the students had to go into hiding.

    Rounded up that brings my Chakra Control to 92, my Taijutsu to 66, Ranged Weapons, Ninjutsu and Genjutsu to 29 and my Survival skill to 33. Honestly a really good haul. Downright incredible, as far as games are concerned, but I’ve got 886 points to go before I max out all my skills. Since I’m getting Educated next level, which gives me 17 points per level, and I’ll have 44 more levels to go, that’s 748 skill points just from leveling. At the end, I’ll be 138 points short of full skills, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it will bother me. I’ll need to find 35 more skill books to finish that off.
    * * *
    Today was the day Naruto failed for the first time to graduate from the Academy early.

    I mean, he hasn’t come to tell me about it in the Library yet, but that’s what’s going to happen. I know this because he can’t produce a Clone and he can’t produce a clone because he basically told me that he didn’t want my help when I offered while he was telling me about how unfair it was that he couldn’t make a simple clone.

    The guy’s got way too much chakra to properly manage.

    Currently reading the one book by Jiraiya that I can actually stand: The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi which...is okay. So okay, it’s average, in fact. I’m reading it because I’ve been curious as to why the guys been locked into the erotica industry and I see why.

    Not a lot of talent here, which makes me sad.

    I was pulled from my book when Naruto pulled himself up a chair and held his head in his hands.

    “So, how’d you do?” I asked with a smile.

    “Not good,” Naruto grumbled.

    “That’s too bad,” I replied.

    “It’s just can’t make one stupid clone,” Naruto slammed the table. “I don’t know what it is and don’t say it’s because of chakra control, I do all the other jutsu fine.”

    “Doing a jutsu with tons of smoke is the opposite of fine,” I pointed out to him. “That’s only a good thing in one case.”

    Charisma Check Failed: 4/9.

    “It’s totally fine,” Naruto argued hotly. “It happens with the other two jutsu and they work perfectly.”

    “Yeah, but overloading the Bunshin just causes chakra bleed as the chakra shape can’t contain everything you’re putting into it,” I replied with a frown.

    “But that’s not my fault,” Naruto glared. “No one will help me develop my chakra control!”

    “Hey, I gave you three different exercises you could do to improve your control-” It was at that moment that the Librarian’s killing intent flooded the room and made us regret living.

    Then it faded when we shut up.

    “Whatever, you’re no help,” Naruto whispered, standing up and stalking off. “I’ll figure it out on my own.”

    Alright then. I’m trying to figure out in what world I wasn’t helpful. I even did the exercises with him at first to make sure he knew what he was doing.

    Charisma Check Failure: 4/6.

    Alright then. There is clearly something going on that I don’t understand. So, best thing to do is find a way to figure it out, because it’s already been a year since I graduated and I still haven’t been put on a team. Not entirely sure I trust the official explanation I was given. Wonder if it had something to do with how the Hokage and I spoke all those years ago. Back when Naruto and I first met?

    Charisma Check Success: 4/4.

    I tweaked him somehow. That’s a little annoying, but whatever. I think it’ll pass. Once the rest of my class catches up to me, I’ll be on a team and doing quests like a good RPG. Or I can start looking for a quest or something to do while I’m waiting, but the issue is that I’ve got no idea where to start looking. And to be honest, I kind of don’t want to. I don’t want to die again and traveling around with a team is a great way to avoid that.I’ve just been sleeping most of the day away since the Library’s not open all day, every day, 24 / 7.

    Makes things go really fast.
    * * *
    Ninjutsu Check success: 29 / 25.

    Jutsu Learned: Body Flicker Jutsu.

    By super charging your body, you can move at blinding speeds! Disclaimer: Vault-Tec is not responsible for injury sustained while moving at blinding speeds.

    That one actually got a chortle out of me.

    Ninjutsu Check Success: 29 / 25.

    Jutsu Learned: Temporary Paralysis Jutsu.

    Medusa’s got nothing on you! With this technique, you can paralyze someone with eye contact alone!

    Well, as long as there weren’t anyone with a reflective shield around, I guess I should be safe, shouldn’t I?

    I rolled up the scroll and put it back where it came from, using that new, nifty body flicker technique I got today.

    Figured today was as good a day as any to actually pick up the two jutsu publicly available to Genin. I’ve been putting it off because I kept getting absorbed into another book and, well, they weren’t going anywhere.

    Today was the day. As I expected, I wasn’t allowed to get a team until my classmates caught up with me...three years later. So, as I walked the Academy, as I felt a tinge of nostalgia for...ah, who am I kidding, I hated this place.

    Still, I was able to make my way from the library to classroom where teams were assigned without getting lost. In I walked and I noted, that it was a pretty mixed bag. Not even half of the kids in this room were kids from my class, though I did note Hisako and...what was his name...yellow shirt? Nichiren! Nichiren was here.

    “Daisuke!” Hisako called with a giant smile on her face. She waved, and then patted the seat next to her. “Come sit by me!”

    I don’t see why not.

    “Hey, good to see you,” I said with a smile.

    Not a very good one, but a smile nontheless.

    She returned it, and I noted that her jacket actually wasn’t so loose on her anymore. “Same! Do you think we’ll be on a team together?”

    “I hope so,” I replied with a smile. Wouldn’t mind that at all, actually. She was really cool.

    “Good morning, Genin,” Okawa, who hadn’t gotten any older since last I saw him, started. “Good to see some new and old faces joining the Shinobi force. We need you. I know it’s been said a lot, but it’s true. Konoha cannot stand without new Shinobi like yourselves joining the ranks. Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made and the ones that you will make in the future.”

    I don’t remember it being said a lot to me. But then, I graduated in a single year because screw the rest of the class. Except for Hisako.

    ...and maybe Nichiren, now that I think about it. Did he do anything to tick me off?

    No, he didn’t.

    So screw everyone but Hisako and Nichiren. Well, the guys in my class. I didn’t share a class with Neji, Rock or Tenten, who are also in the room right now.

    “Now, for teams.”

    As the teams were announced, each Sensei entered the room like they had been called and collected their genin. Biggest entrance was Team 9, who had Maito Gai enter the room with a flying kick, landing on a turtle that appeared from nowhere.

    People like to dump on his bowl cut, but honestly it looks fine in real life. Reminds me of Bruce Lee, which was probably intentional, but I don’t remember.

    Then...Team 13.

    “Shimoda Daisuke, Yamada Hisako and Nakamura Nichiren,” Okawa rattled off.

    “Yes!” Hisako threw her hands up in happiness and then gave me a tackle hug. Which I returned. Because...I like Hisako, and I like hugs. I didn’t get many hugs since I was reincarnated, so this was really nice.

    “Sensei: Hatake Kakashi.”

    Wait.

    Uh...you know, this might be a golden opportunity. I mean, canon was screwed already just because I’m friends with Naruto, so it’s not like there’s much reason to cry that canon is getting messed up. I mean, if I can help, I will.

    The only real issue is my Charisma being below average.

    But that’s just a few inventory items away from being rectified. An amulet, a ring, a shirt, whatever.

    Quest Added: Shinobi, Assemble!

    Meet your Jounin Sensei.

    Right now, my main concern is...helping my teammates survive the wait for Kakashi to finally show up.

    * * *
    Name: Shimoda Daisuke.

    Health: 220.
    Chakra: 85.

    Strength: 4
    Perception: 5
    Endurance: 5
    Charisma: 4 (+3)
    Intelligence: 10
    Agility: 5
    Luck: 10

    Taijutsu: 66
    Melee Weapons: 15
    Ranged Weapons: 29
    Genjutsu: 29
    Ninjutsu: 29
    Speech: 30 (+6)
    Pick Lock: 17
    Fuinjutsu: 27
    Medicine: 27
    Survival: 33
    Chakra Control: 92.

    Perks:
    Taijutsu Enthusiast
    Comprehension
    * * *
    Author’s Note: Well, at the time of this writing, I haven’t posted anything so I’ve stayed the course. So far. A key difference between this draft and the first one is the presence of Hisako’s mother. In the first draft, both of her parents left her to return to active duty but here, only the father did. I made this choice because I wanted a Hisako that wasn’t so starved by loneliness that her crush on Daisuke became her single, defining feature.

    Basically, I gave her a boost to her mental health so I could have a more dynamic character. Hope it works!

    Second key difference, and likely the one you all are more interested in, was that Daisuke got out of the academy really quickly. Much faster than the first draft. The reason for that is that...well, he could’ve gotten out the first time and chose not too. Here, I had him take steps to remove himself from an unhealthy situation and then do things that were actually productive. All the books he read took a long time to actually plow through and were a lot more productive than the training he would’ve done normally. Also, Daisuke kept sparring with Hisako and because she’s in a much healthier place, doesn’t necessarily mind that he’s ahead of her.

    Hope you all enjoyed!

    Shout out to Melden V, Anders Kronquist, Ray Tony Song, Volkogluk, Aaron Bjornson, iolande, Martin Auguado, Julio, Hackerham, Tim Collins-Squire, Maben00, Ventari, PbookR, Seij, ChristobalAlvarez, Apperatus, EPiCJB19, Seeking Raven, Handwran, Russel Beatrous and Richard Whereat, your continued support blows me away. Thank you so much.

    Until the next time!

    ~Fulcon
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  18. Chrisleech

    Chrisleech Versed in the lewd.

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    It's a bit weird to me that they'd have a genin just sit around for a year without working, but even weirder is the fact that Daisuke knows about his problems with CHA, knows how to fix them(with equipment), doesn't have anyone stopping him from doing so and thus is willing to do it, and just... doesn't for some reason, despite being out of the Academy for a full year.
     
  19. Fulcon

    Fulcon Wim Hoff Method Initiate

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    Knows how to fix them, doesn't have the funds to do it.

    The reason he was sitting there without work was because he accidentally hit the Hokage's Orochimaru sensors. So they spent the time having him under surveillance.
     
  20. Galacticplumber

    Galacticplumber Know what you're doing yet?

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    SKILL BOOKS HOLY SHIT! I think we can all agree that reaction is warranted.

    Also yes I VERY much appreciate what you've done with Hisako. Now there's believable non-hormone based chemistry with at least some reason behind it even this early. One nice person in a sea of shitty people is far from the worst reason for him to form a connection.

    On a tangential note, if we're talking who is best waifu from the original graduating class I gotta go Hinata. Sakura is physically abusive, screechy, pushy, and obnoxious. Ino at this point in time is most of those things except not punchy. I do, however, share your opinion that Sakura was done dirty. She got to be useful for exactly one mission at the start of shippuden, and then never again.

    They get better later, but Hinata is the only named character in that age group that isn't setting off all manner of deal breaker flags. Shy but nice.

    Also building that Naruto jealousy hook hard and fast like the skill books.
     
  21. Chrisleech

    Chrisleech Versed in the lewd.

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    I'm not sure how he got Orochimaru vibes at all from him. No matter how I read it I just can't see it. I mean I can see Hiruzen realized that Daisuke doesn't really get the Will of Fire yet, but that's easily explainable due to the thing Daisuke said right before that about nobody even wanting to talk to him unless they wanted something. That bit was extra weird since it looked like Hiruzen was lecturing/chastising him for the actions of others. Then they talk about him becoming a Shinobi and Daisuke brings up the cool jutsu they do, like a little kid, and his question about capabilities even seems to be one based on defensive feats rather than something very destructive. Then Daisuke gets annoyed at the CHA pop ups, and I honestly have no idea what Hiruzen thinks is going on there, but being super suspicious of a little kid because of random annoyed thoughts leads to one hating a LOT of little kids. Honestly if he's worried about the lack of will of fire then it would probably be better for him to push Daisuke to interact with the community and see the good in people, which is part of what the D Ranks are for(although it's often focused on the getting used to a squad bit). Maybe put him with a Chunin or Special Jonin minder to make sure things don't go wrong and develop bonds. Since he had told Iruka that he wouldn't go back to the classroom, because the other kids were all hostile to him.
     
  22. Galacticplumber

    Galacticplumber Know what you're doing yet?

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    I was chalking that up to minimum Cha and almost minimum speech making that interaction go as badly as physically imaginable even beyond all realms of reasonable. Dump stats MATTER in the Fulconverse. Which is why, for the love of the will of fire, should you ever find yourself wanting to stat focus, Take From Other Stats Semi Evenly Goddammit. Also non int 9s are acceptable focus stats. Seriously.
     
  23. Fulcon

    Fulcon Wim Hoff Method Initiate

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    I didn't use Skill books that much in the previous rendition and that feels wrong. So I'm rectifying it here and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    *fist pumps*

    YES. That makes me happy.

    Yeah, see, Sakura was my original waifu, if only because she's sleeveless and hits like a freight train. Her personality...can use some work.

    Agreed, actually. Had to grow up a bit to see her value, but yeah. Hinata is nice.

    Need that thing. It's really important to act 2.

    It's mostly to do with how Daisuke looks like a Weeping Angel sculpted by C'thulhu, plus the skill check failures adding onto it. Your first impression is your appearance and Daisuke is downright unsettling without his charisma bonus.

    And if you must have a dump stat, for the love of the Will of Fire, do not dump luck. Dump literally any other stat. Make yourself an idiot savant by dumping intelligence and making out one skill, make yourself a sperg-lord by dumping charisma and spiking int, build a dandy by dumping strength and spiking charisma but never dump luck.
     
  24. Galacticplumber

    Galacticplumber Know what you're doing yet?

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    If I were minimaxing in a world I knew you were running in this system? Step 1 Int 10. Skill points, and logical thought are things you can have when you pry them from my cold, dead organs. Why not hands? I found a way to consume concepts just to spite corpse robbers with the grossness.

    Step 2: Cha to..... 3 if I'm a safe boy, 2 if I'm feeling Saucy. The DM WILL spite me if I take one, but Henge still helps and I'm willing to rely on it and speech to an extent.

    Step 3: Dump those points in luck.

    Step 4: Strength and perception to 4. Agility and endurance to 6.

    Step 5: In addition to Naruto, try to befriend one of the weird eyed kids, the dog kids, or the bug kids to supplement my below average perception. THOSE are the opening moves.

    Tag speech, chakra control, and taijutsu to not get murdered for taking mostly late game powers. Daisuke isn't FAR off. He's just overzealous.
     
  25. Edifier

    Edifier Trusted within thoughts.

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    I am worried for Daisuke.
    Him failing Kakashis trial is likely, as he is the guy who fails every team. Or had failed all till Narutos turn.
     
    Relyt33 and Fulcon like this.
  26. kingslayer98

    kingslayer98 Getting some practice in, huh?

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    i am glad you decided to rewrite the whole story. i had gone back to reread part 1 after your announcement of a rewrite and it felt disjointed, the writing itself rather than the lowcharisma pov you were trying to portray. the writing for this is much better
    i am looking forward to more
     
  27. Fulcon

    Fulcon Wim Hoff Method Initiate

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    This would actually work really well. Dumping a stat to one is just asking for trouble, but a 2 or a 3 gets you...well, a lot more checks than just 1. Seriously, there are some stat checks requiring a two only to spite people who make a dump-stat.

    That's a good point. I could've balanced the story out another way by making Daisuke an early game power house and then make him progressively useless as the story goes on until he has no choice but to work with his team/friends to get things done.

    ...I like that. Not going that way for this story, but it's a fantastic idea that you've given me. Have a cookie, good sir.

    It would be pretty likely, except for the fact that Daisuke already understands what the test is. The trick is to convince his teammates that that's what the test is.

    Yeah, I really wasn't the best writer back then. I had talent, but I hadn't quite sharpened it into a craft just yet. Still, it is what helped me do just that.

    Also, thanks for the kind words. Have a cookie.
     
  28. Galacticplumber

    Galacticplumber Know what you're doing yet?

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    Daisuke actually likes these two, or at least finds the less attached one acceptable. He also knows about Kakashi Hat Take's game. Dramatically better odds than canon team 7, who more or less hated each other mostly. Like actually.

    Having seen that Fulcon already answered it, I'll point out that all writing is the prototype of later less bad writing. It's an Elder Scrolls skill system thing, and most of us start in the low 20s if we're lucky.
     
  29. Edifier

    Edifier Trusted within thoughts.

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    I figure one way to achieve an success is to convince Hisako with his low charisma so she'd convince the other. Leverage her superior charisma by deligation.
    Another way would be to provide clues to them that don't involve charisma checks, whatever they might be. Messages? No idea.
    :V There's a chance for him to pull it off, but I'm uncertain in him managing.

    Funnily enough, I have an image of him setting up overly complex dominos that would puzzle anyone who isn't a genius. It's not his characterization so far... but that 10 intelligence and luck just... makes me think...

    In both cases, a success or a failure, I'm loving the story.
     
  30. Galacticplumber

    Galacticplumber Know what you're doing yet?

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    Shout at the top of your lungs at the beginning of the test that you'll give your teammates the damn bells if it means no squabbling while trying to contest a Jonin. That shit is how you assume newbies get murdered on their first mission outside the village, and you're having NONE OF IT!
     
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