Date: December 31, 2012
Jon reflects on the critical decision he made in the chuunin exams.
"What If? Ibiki's Exam - Bowing Out"
Konohagakure in an alternate universe
Jon sits on a bench outside of the ninja academy, mentally reviewing his brief run in the exam. It had been…an interesting experience. He hadn't caught on right away to the hidden agenda. Expecting straight-forward dealings from those in authority, he'd carefully gone over every question in the paper test, looking for those that he could figure out. A couple of them he actually did, those oriented toward logic and psychology. For the most part, though, they seemed to press specialized knowledge, things that only a ninja studying a specific field — medical, seals, etc. — would be able to answer. As he waited for the final question, it dawned on Jon — why would they ask such questions? Surely they don't expect all chuunin to know all of these things. So there must be something else going on here…and after thinking about the examiner's words before the start of the test, Jon figures it out. They want the examinees to cheat. -.-
By the time Jon realized this, there wasn't much time left for covert operations even if he'd wanted to do them. The examiner called for all test-takers to put down their pencils, and explained the rules of the final question: get it right and pass, or fail and be excommunicated as ninja…along with your entire team. For those who didn't wish to take this risk, there was the door. Jon furrowed his brow. He already knew to expect tricky dealings from this examiner, and he figured this choice had a hidden agenda too. But what was it? He could've be trying to find out which candidates were 'willing to stick it out', or which ones were 'reckless idiots'. Or maybe it was something else entirely. Jon didn't know, and he knew he didn't know, and he knew his team's future could've be ruined by one of these choices. After a moment's contemplation, Jon stood and calmly announced that he was out.
Jon's recollection is interrupted by an arm looped in a half-nelson around his neck and an elbow grinding against his skull. x.x "You spoiled our shot at chuunin!" Jon's teammate Chizue complains. "Now we gotta wait a whole year to try again, and that's if they'll let us!"
"We waited around outside the Academy doors after the test," Jon's other teammate Taro reports. "The examiners tried to shoo us off while they were escorting those still in the exams to the next area, but some bigmouth bragged about how they passed before they went on. Turns out all we had to do was stick around for the 'final question'."
Jon pulls free from Chizue's headlock enough to nod. "Yeah, figured it might be something like tha — gak!" XP
Chizue noogies him harder. "Then why'd you quit!? I was all worried 'cause I couldn't answer any of the questions, then he told us about the last one and I thought we could win anyway, then you just gave up and we could've gone on like the others just that easily and AAAARGH!!!" Chizue flings Jon off the bench. >.<
Jon coughs and picks himself up. "Lighten up, Chizue-san. We're all, what, thirteen? Almost nobody passes the chuunin exams on their first try anyway. It wasn't worth the risk that he actually would strip us of our rank, even if it seems unlikely that he could."
Chizue clenches her fist. "Don't you get it?! We're not worthy to be chuunin if we can't take risks like that! You should've forged ahead and faced the unknown with GUTS and DETERMINATION!" >O
Jon dusts himself off and turns to head for home. "Chizue-san, you read too much manga." -.-