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Private/Closed Leaves and Their Shadows: A Naruto AU

One year ago, the bright future of Konohagakure was hurled into turmoil.
The Nine-Tailed Fox - Kurama - wreaked havoc upon the village, killing a large portion
of the Leaf's civilian and military populations almost effortlessly. The Fourth Hokage -
Minato Namikaze - defeated the demon fox, but at the added cost of the lives of his wife,
Kushina, and their newborn child, Naruto.

Furthermore, village relations with their infamous and powerful Uchiha Clan
have broken down almost utterly. Rumors continue to swirl about their mysterious lack of action
during the Nine-Tails attack. And after several outbreaks of police violence, the Uchiha
have found their position of power in Konoha infiltrated, with ANBU Black Ops now
forced to work side-by-side with the Uchiha Police.

Legendary Sannin and potential Hokage Orochimaru has his own plans as well.
Taking a formal route, Orochimaru personally met with the Daimyo to request an inquest
into the night of the Nine-Tails attack, claiming Minato showed "willful negligence",
leading to the high number of deaths and property damage during the incident.
Though public rumors have persisted for years around Konoha surrounding some of his
more surreptitiously vile experiments, many proclaim still: maybe someone else
should be Hokage...

And still, the younger generation of Konoha presses on. The village prepares, anxiously,
for the upcoming Chunin Exams. Not without drama in its own right, Kirigakure

and the Leaf's own Uchiha Clan have withdrawn from the Exams under protest.
But people of the Leaf are excited nonetheless; because they have their eyes on

an impressive crop of young rookies entering the field.
Hokage Mansion, Minato's Office
8 AM

Morning shadow cast itself across the left side of the Fourth Hokage's face. He lazily twirled one of his special kunai around in his right hand, yawning even as his top advisor - Danzo Shimura - droned on about some report he'd already read twice the night prior.

"-expecting some sort of cowardly infiltration into the Leaf during the Exams, some point during the lull of the second portion. It's possible the Uchiha Police were planning to let some things slide in a couple security checkpoints around the village as well, though that could just be their typical vindictiveness coming in-"

"That's enough, Danzo, thank you," Minato said. He'd heard the same spiel from Shimura for the last year. As tiring as it was to hear, so far the man had proven his accusations to be at least mostly on base, "I don't see what more can be done about the Uchiha at the moment that doesn't set them off completely. Let's just tighten up security as much as we can during the Exams."

"Yes, Lord Fourth." Danzo replied through grit teeth as he always seemed to do.

"And the three jonin squad leaders I requested?" Minato asked.

"Should be arriving any moment."

"Perfect," Minato said with a grin, twirling his kunai with a more aggressive quickness, "You've got the knack for listening, but you're not much of a talker, Danzo."
Elsewhere in the Leaf
Ninja Academy Lecture Hall.

8 AM

It was nearly time. After a long year, asked to do more than the typical genin due to village circumstances, Konoha's Rookie Nine found themselves alive (for now) and vying for promotion. To some, it might not seem like much -- but to make chunin was akin to a shinobi opening their own door toward greatness and legend. Since Konoha united into the first ninja village, all shinobi started from the same point.

They attended the Academy, they made genin, then they conquered the Chunin Exams and would never look back again.

A once familiar place now seemed thoroughly foreign; of course the Leaf genin could recognize each other, the room, the ten, long rows, its wooden walls, and maybe even the chunin instructors milling about in front of the blackboard while they waited to get things started.

But there were almost one-hundred shinobi from three of the other Great Nations: Iwagakure, Kumogakure and Sunagakure ninja collected together in tight-knit groups, getting a good look at all of the ninja they'd be going up against.

There were even a handful of genin from other, smaller nations: Takigakure, Kusagakure, Amegakure. More seemed to fill in through the lone door at the back of the room with each passing moment.

And of course, there was the wait -- still an hour left until the first part of the Exams started proper; enough to kill a more impatient shinobi. Sure, they were free to wander the halls of the Academy until 9, when the exam began, but be even a minute late...
~Hisato Gato this morning...~

"Ohayo sakai good morning woooorld!!!" Hisato yelled as he lay in his bed. Hisato sang to himself while running to the kitchen, and kept singing until his mom told him to stop talking with his mouth full.

"Stop doing that! Nobody wants to see you chew your food" Hisato's mom Hana said.
"Manners Hisato. Manners" his father, Hizashi said.
"Today is the big day! The chunin exams!" Hisato cheered.
"Finish your breakfast and stop jumping around! Your gonna break something!" Hana said.
"This is why I day drin-" Hizashi was cut off.
"Excuse me, dear" Hana said.
"Nothin' deeeaar... " Hizashi said before sliding his coffee mug under the table. Taking a flask from his pocket and emptying its contents into the mug. He shuddered afterward taking a drink from the mug, and Hana shot glares at both of them. The rest of breakfast was quiet.

Hisato continued later on in the bathroom while brushing his teeth. Hisato began punching his favorite cliffside. It had bamboo covering it so Hisato wasn't outright punching stone. He took a shower, and you bet he sang there too. He got dressed and readied himself for the big day.

~Hisato Gato now, October 13th 8AM...~

"Fourth hokage is so badass! I can't wait to challenge him to a fight one day! Watch him be my best friend by the end of the week" Hisato thought to himself. He chuckled to himself.

Hisato leaped from roof top to roof top attempting to perform flips as he leaped through the air. Hisato thought about the chunin exams with wild thoughts of how the chunin exams would go. Hisato feared they would have a written test, and Hisato would fail causing him to lose his chances of becoming a chunin until the next year.

Hisato also assumed there would be an obstacle course. That seemed easy enough. Possibly even fun. More ideas flooded Hisato's head as well.

He would eventually arrive at the Ninja Academy and make his way to the Lecture Hall.

"OOOoooOOOooo I'm heeeeere!" Hisato said waving his hands like jazz hands.


Previously Night's Shadow
That morning, 5:42 AM
“Shinrin! Where are you this time?! I swear, if I find you at the bottom of that pond again—“

To be fair, it sounded to Shinrin like garbled gibberish, where she was… at the bottom of the pond. She looked up through the water, filtered sunlight casting eerie rays through the greenish liquid, darkened by the layer of algae on the still surface. A hole in the algae layer allowed more light to shine through, and through that hole she could make out a shadow—the very distorted face of her mother. More garbled shouting came through the water, and Shin rolled her eyes, pushing off the sandy bottom to rise slowly to the surface. Her head and shoulders broke through to the air, and she inhaled deeply before shivering and ducking back into the water. It always felt a little chilly after she emerged. She looked up again, this time meeting the glare of her mother.

“How long—exactly how long—were you under there, young lady? You’re going to kill all of your insects that way!”

Shinrin gave a sheepish, but unapologetic, grin. “Four hours, seventeen minutes and three seconds,” she said proudly. “And the only reason I came up was because I heard you yelling… I didn’t feel any need for air at all! The water breathing techniques I’ve been developing for my insects must be working, it’s been a few times since any of them drowned!”

Exasperated, but used to this behavior by now, Shinrin’s mother sighed and gestured to her soaking clothing. “Get out of the water and change into something dry. Do something about that mess of your hair, too, while you’re at it. By God I hope the chunin examiners know what they’re— are you even listening, Shinrin?”

Of course, she wasn’t, already back on course for her family’s house. “Thanks, Mom!” she called behind her. “And I keep telling you to call me Shin, everyone does!”

Present Time
Shin finally managed to escape the clutches of her overprotective parents and their desperate attempts to flatten her hair down. Hair rebelliously spiked as usual, several insects buzzing around her head like a bizarre halo, Shin leaped across the rooftops of buildings in the village, agilely making her way towards the sign-up station. She landed a little wobbly, but on her feet, and once her balance had been found again, she strode over to the table, straight-backed (not that it did much for her height). She noticed Hisato, being as flamboyant as ever, and suppressed a laugh as she snuck her way into the line towards the front. No one really noticed a random shock of red hair at around waist height cutting in line, so Shin was in and out quickly. Once she was done putting her name in, she boosted herself up to another rooftop with steps made of insects, where she squatted to observe the competition.
"Eimi, come here!"


"Young lady, you better listen or it will be no fish for a month."

"That's child abuse!"

"It is not, drama queen, now get over here and wear a coat."

"Have you seen the weather outside? It is nice and warm, we're not in Kiri anymore. Besides, a coat will only get in the way."

Eimi had managed to get her parents to shut up, which was all the time the girl needed to leave the house. "Bye! See you tonight!"

"Wha- Hey! Get back here, young lady!"


As Eimi ran outside, the sun cast rays down onto her pale skin. Thankfully she did listen to her parents about wearing sunscreen, as she was notoriously fast to get sunburnt with her relatively lower resistance to sunlight as a Kiri native. She did like Konoha's weather better though, as it was warmer and less dreary than the weather in Kiri. Arriving at the lecture hall, the sharp-teethed girl signed up her name and looked at the competition. She was ready for anything, no one expected her kekkei genkai save for her teammates and she was absolutely going to use it as an ace up her sleeve.


Previously Lily May
Chishima Toko, 6:00 am, Chishima Household
Toko was hella nervous for the chunin exams. He didn’t get as much sleep as usual. He worried most of the night about the exams and questioned whether or not he’d be good enough. But then he remembered that Byukia-sensei wouldn’t put him into a life threatening exam without him being ready…and then he remembered that it was life threatening. Even if he was ready, there is still a big chance he could die.

He walked around his mother’s garden and took in a deep breath of fresh air. He liked the outdoors because of this. It was one of his favorite pastimes…
He sighed. “It’s happening, dad…” He mumbled. “I’m going to enter the chunin exams. Just like you did…I sound like I’m talking to myself, don’t I.” He let out a weak chuckle. “I miss you.”

Chishima Toko, 8:00 am, Lecture Hall
It took him a lot of courage, and a literal push from his mother, to enter the building. He was scared. He knew Momo Yoshi would be there. She had said to him the previous day that she was going. They ran into each other while he was walking home from a walk. Eimi and Risu were such great shinobi. He was amazed by their skill. They were both women too. A lot of people don’t think ladies can be as badass as men, but this team said otherwise. Byukia-sensei was amazing as well. His team never ceased to amaze him.

He was intimidated greatly by all the genin from other villages. There had to be at least a thousand genin in here, if not way more. But he noticed Eimi a few feet away and went up to her. “Hey.” He said to her. She made him a little nervous sometimes. He always tried to act laid-back and calm around her, even though he was usually super shy and worrying about everything.


Momo Yoshi, 7:50 am, Momo Household
Yoshi never really ate breakfast. She’d sometimes have a granola bar but that was about it. She wasn’t a big eater, which is probably why she was so skinny. Her parents always told her to eat more but she couldn’t. She could barely finish a slice of chocolate cake. It was like she couldn’t swallow anything after a few bites. It worried her, to be honest. Her parents just thought she was either sneaking snacks at random times or was being picky.

As she finished her granola bar and bid farewell to her parents, she headed out the door. She was excited. Hisato and Zeren were gonna be there and they were gonna destroy the exams, no doubt. I mean…a freaking katana, crazy taijutsu skills, and…there wasn’t actually anything cool about Yoshi. She was pretty normal. She was more of the support, really. At least, that’s what she thought.

Momo Yoshi, 8:00 am, Lecture Hall
Yoshi was very excited when she entered the lecture hall. There were so many people there! They were from all over too. She noticed Hisato and went up to him. “Hey, Hisato!” She said with a smile. “Have you seen Zeren yet?” She had still yet to gain the brooding teen’s friendship. They were closer than they were in the Academy, but still weren’t the closest.

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~Hisato Gato...~

Hisato waved at Eimi and Toko with a goofy grin, then heard a familiar voice. Hisato leaped back, landing on one hand, "Yoshi! Hi!" Hisato said waving his free hand.

"Zeren...? Yes! I have not. I don't know where he is. Prolly sleeping. Sleepy boy" Hisato said.

"You ready to become a chunin, though? Niko Sensei is expecting us to pass. Be ashamed if one of us let him down. No pressure! I believe in Team twelve golden, baby! We'll be just fine. I'm totally ready" Hisato said now sitting in meditative posture.


Previously Lily May
Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall
He waved back at Hisato. Hisato was very crazy and excitable. Toko never really hung out with him in the Academy because he was like this. He was a really nice guy, though. Always encouraging others.

Momo Yoshi, Lecture Hall
Yoshi waved to the white haired boy, who was balancing on my hand. “Sleepy boy is a cute nickname.” She chuckled.

‘Ready to become a chunin?’ was an interesting question. She felt ready but was unsure of her skills. “I’m super ready! I can’t wait for this thing to start.” She told him, clasping her hands together. “Hopefully we impress Niko-sensei. I want to show him what we’re truly made of.”

Niko Hokori
Hokage Mansion, Main Hall

Just outside the large double doors that led into the Hokage’s office stood an intimidating, broad-shouldered blondie wrapped in a dark cloak. The man remained absolutely silent, awaiting the two familiar voices inside to finish what sounded like the end of a private conversation.
The room finally fell silent, signifying that Niko could make his entrance.

The Leaf Jonin knocked twice and then entered, immediately giving a small bow to both of his superiors.

“Good morning, Lord Forth. And you as well, Lord Danzo. Hokori Niko reporting for duty.”

After giving his greetings, the Hokori prodigy filed ‘in line’ off to the right of Danzo and stood at rest.
He didn’t dare break standard protocol just because of this unexpected visit with Lord Fourth.

“Wonder what he needs me for…”

Niko couldn’t lie, though he wouldn’t visibly show it, he was excited to be in the Hokage’s Office. He had always admired the Yellow Flash of the Leaf.
After the man saved the village and lost his family, he was met with controversy and outrage as a reward- but still he pressed on.

It was no longer the Yellow Flash’s immense strength or unbeatable skills that Niko admired… it was the unbreakable mental fortitude wielded by Minato Namikaze- this was why Niko had so much admiration for the man.

“I swear, if one of those damn kids filed a complaint…”


Amaririsu Manto
Ninja Academy, Lecture Hall

Risu had been the first one to arrive at the Lecture Hall. Despite the length of time she’d been there, the Manto girl remained like a statue with her gaze fixated on the front entrance.
This was all in an attempt to get a read on every arrival she could. If she had to take a wild guess, maybe one in every twenty seemed like they might pose a challenge.

Amongst the few that could be a bother were her own teammates; both capable of utilizing extraordinary skills.
She had an inherent advantage in the fact that she actually knew how their abilities functioned, and she could take measures against that. While she didn’t necessarily like the idea of making contingency plans for her own ally’s- this Exam was too important to let feelings get in the way. It was time to put her families training to the test.
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Previously Gamingfan2
Uchiha Bastard
Zeren trotted towards the Ninja exam, his early awakening meaning he didn't have much reason to hurry. His expression was neutral as he walked into the academy. He had very little expectation for the exams, although he would prefer a hands on approach. After all, no one bothers to recall the answer to question four in the middle of a fight.
But he had little choice, so he simply sucked it up, put his name in, and relaxed in a corner while he had time alo-
"OOOoooOOOooo I'm heeeeere!"
Hisato was here, and Yoshi soon followed. Zeren watched them conversate, mulling. Back then he would've pretended to not know them, but he long since accepted they were decent teammates and completely impossible to ditch. As such, he walked towards the pair and made himself known with a wave.
"Sup Lovebirds" however, he still refused to call them by name, and enjoyed teasing them whenever possible. "For the record, I was definitely here earlier than you both."

Lucky Shot
Clover managed to make it a bit easier than average, luckily finding a shortcut on the way. He entered the academy, face obscured in random lottery tickets that were blown into his face. Clover sighed as he brushed them off, taking note there was a few more than normal. He swore, his luck was getting stronger by the day. Sure, that could be a good thing, but ugh.
Now ready for the exam, Clover looked around, not seeing Sachi but catching sight of his other, more wild teammate. Luck aside, it was pretty easy to spot her, her bright red hair and bugs pretty much acting like a beacon.
Clover waved from below, already looking exhausted despite his grin.
"Hey there Shin. How's it going?"
~Hisato Gato...~

"Hopefully Niko Sensei will be the most impressed! Not that that's a shocker... We are team twelve golden, baby after all..." Hisato said with smug grin.

"Look what the cat dragged in! Good to see ya Zeren. For the record, the chunin exams is about to start, but no need to worry! Were here for you! Isn't that right, Yoshi?" Hisato asked.

~Byukia Katzuke...~

Byukia sat outside the Hokage Mansion drinking green tea from a wooden cup decorated with her signature cherry blossoms. She sat there admiring the morning view. She wondered how well her team would do. Risu, Eimi, and lil Toko. She was confident in all of them. She chuckled before taking another sip.
Ugokasenai Keito, Konohagakure Jonin
Hokage Mansion, Outside

A long year had finally passed, and Keito felt tired; though it wasn't a dreary, night-time tired -- it felt more like the drowsiness of waking up, before one could see the day with a clear mind.

Of course, a quick visit to Ichimimizu had done him well; though he felt bad having to leave just before the Chunin Exams began, the jonin leader figured his genin team could do without him for just a couple of days. Master Ubontobo rarely called upon his student as he once had -- Keito knew his being summoned was not taken lightly by the honored Worm.

Keito's train of thought cleared when his head passed through into open air. Having harnessed and channeled nature energy in his common - almost meditative practice - the jonin had wriggled from Ichimimizu and through the earth back to Konoha, as he'd done hundreds of times before.

Poking his head out of the ground more like a mole than a worm, Keito spied one of his fellow jonin - the flowery Byukia Katzuke - drinking tea just outside of the Hokage's Mansion.

"Ah, morning, Byukia-san," Keito said with a cheery greeting as his arms poked up from the ground one after the other. Using them to pull the rest of him from the earth, Keito asked, "Hokage-sama called you here this morning as well? I hope there hasn't been an issue with the exams..."

Dusting himself off (unable to faithfully remove 90% of the muck stuck to his clothes), Keito motioned toward the Mansion.

"Shall we?" He asked Byukia.


Previously Night's Shadow
Hmm, that Rain shinobi looks formidable… the sand guy over there looks pretty strong too. Then there’s that chick from— Shin’s thoughts we’re cut off by a call from below. “Hmm?” She tilted her head to look down where Clover was, and her face split into a wide grin. “Oh, hey, Clover!” She leaped down from where she was situated on top of the roof, executing a backflip for show before landing on her feet, fingers twitching in anticipation. “I’m super excited,” she confessed, as though it wasn’t obvious. “I’m sure we’re going to crush this exam!”

Shin had opened up a lot more to her teammates and sensei than she had to anyone at the academy, quashing some of her more antisocial tendencies to be just as wild— but friendly now, so it was okay. Well, to the three others on her team, anyways. She knew the other Leaf genin taking part in the chunin exams, but likely wouldn’t end up going out of her way to help them unless her team decided to. The bugs around her burrowed into her skin and new ones emerged to take their place, seemingly without Shin taking notice, a subconscious response to the adrenaline beginning to seep into her system. “Once Sachi gets here, we’ll be at full strength,” Shin said animatedly, pantomiming a fighting stance and some mock punches at the air. “We’ll make Keito-sensei proud!”
Byukia smiled at Keito, "Morning, Keito-San..." Byukia said before taking her last sip. Byukia dug a small hole next to the bench she sat on. placing her cup in the ground, she covered it up before using a little bit of chakra to give the plant some energy to grow. The tip of the plant began poking from the dirt. Should the flower remain there long enough, it would take root and eventually grow beautiful flowers.

Byukia nodded at Keito before getting up and approaching the entrance, "I'm guessing Ubontobo is doing well?" Byukia asked before heading inside.
Ugokasenai Keito, Konohagakure Jonin
Hokage Mansion, Interior

Following his fellow jonin leader inside, Keito nodded as they moved in stride up the stairs toward the office of Minato Namikaze.

"Yes, Ubontobo Sensei is doing quite well," He said, replying with a grateful smile, "And Ubontaba sends her regards to you, she quite appreciated those tulips you had me deliver to them a few months ago. They're looking quite healthy."

As they approached the doors to the Hokage's office, Keito noticed they were slightly ajar.

"Ah, I hope we're not late-" He said, adding a pep to his step to enter the room, worried about appearing unpunctual.

Namikaze Minato, Fourth Hokage
Hokage Mansion, Hokage's Office

"Good morning, Niko," Minato said with a warm smile, setting his personalized kunai beside his right forearm, which he rested on the fine oak desk fashioned by the ninjutsu of the First Hokage, "You didn't have to wait for us to finish to join us in here, of course. We were discussing matters relevant to you anyhow."

As the Fourth spoke, Danzo looked to the Hokori shinobi with a quiet grimace; of course to him, no conversation he had was worth making privy to the public. The elder advisor always referred to Minato's open-door policies as something like a tumor needing to be removed from the Fourth's brain. Stubborn as ever, Minato still found it difficult to keep secrets. Not all secrets, however.

"Oh, and there are the others-" Minato called out, noticing Keito and Byukia enter his office.

Ugokasenai Keito, Konohagakure Jonin
Hokage Mansion, Hokage's Office

"Good, good, you came in right on time," The welcoming voice of the Fourth Hokage called out as the Leaf's Yellow Flash waved the pair in.

Keito had trained with the Sages of Ichimimizu, and still he felt ever the insignificant worm, paling in comparison to the almost deific presence of Minato Namikaze. Though he never felt the need to impress anybody for the sake of it, something about Minato made Keito feel in need of...approval. He felt like a genin again, almost.

"Good morning to you as well, Hokage-sama," Keito followed Niko's suit (though he'd not been around to see it), offering a deep, honorific bow to Minato and even Danzo alike, "Danzo-sama. Hello there, Niko. It's been a while, I hope you and your genin have been well?"
"That's fantastic. I was hoping she would" Byukia responded after the tulips comment.

"I don't think we are late. The sun would be higher in the sky if that were the case" Byukia said with a cheerful smile. Using the sun to tell time was a rather old school way of telling time, but Byukia preferred it. That and she didn't own a watch.

Byukia smiled and gave a friendly wave to Minato, Danzo, and Niko, "Good morning Lord Fourth. To you as well, Danzo-Sama. Good morning to you as well Niko-San" Byukia said with her usual soft tone of voice. Byukia gave a bow before entering the room. Byukia then gave a deep bow to both Minato and Danzo.

Byukia stood in the room wondering if her being there had anything to do with her three genin. Byukia had trained her genin squad for a year, though even then, this was still her first time teaching genin, so Byukia was slightly nervous. Though not nervous enough for it to show. Byukia remained silent, patiently awaiting a response from Minato as to why they were called down there.
Eimi looked up as someone greeted her, that someone turning out to be Toko. Baring her sharpened teeth as she grinned, the Kiri girl punched him on the shoulder. "Well well well, looks like little Toko managed to get here as well! You didn't chicken out at the end?" Throwing an arm over his neck, the girl taunted the boy. "It's good to see you dude, that way I know that I won't be first out."

Eimi always had a habit of bullying those around her, but Toko always was at the brunt of it for no other reason than the fact that he was the sole male on her team and she liked his reactions. There was no real ill intent behind it, but the kids in Kiri were rougher and she had to adapt to them. The downside to it was that she had yet to adapt to Konoha's relatively softer policy.


Previously Lily May
Momo Yoshi, Lecture Hall
The strawberry blonde saw Zeren walk over. "Hi-" She was cut off by the tall shinobi calling them lovebirds. "Oh hush." She replied. She was never sure if he was teasing them or actually shipping them. Most likely the first one but you'll never know with this kid.
"Hm? Oh, yeah!" Yoshi replied to Hisato with a smile.

(@ThAtGuY101 @Gamingfan)

Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall
The thing is...Toko use to hate it when Eimi would bully him. But now, for some reason, he kinda liked it. He pondered whether or not he had a crush on. He thought it was impossible... I mean, this girl loves to punch him and insult him and all sorts of things that would drive someone to hate her.

"Ow..." He said, having received the punch. She wrapped her arm around his neck and he immediately started blushing like crazy. He look downward at his feet. Why do I like this?... He wondered if there was something wrong with him. He always hated bullies...but this bully...if she would bullied him 24/7 he would not mind. Man I sound insane, is this normal?? He was sorta freaking out in his head. "I-I would never chicken out because of t-this. It only happens every couple years or so.."

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"Exactly! And if you fail, only half of the world will see you fail miserably." Eimi taunted Toko, though his sudden blush just had to be mocked. "Awww, does widdle Toko still not know how to handle physical touch? You're pathetic, really. You spent a whole year surrounded by girls and this is how you react? Hopeless, truly and truly hopeless."

Eimi smirked as she looked at the blushing face of Toko and got closer to his ear, whispering into it. "If you do well, I might have something for you, To-ko-kun~." If her assumptions were correct, Toko would be a nervous mess and probably fumble his tests. Although it was rude, Toko would have to be made of stronger stuff if something like a little teasing threw him off this much.

(@Shikowara )


Previously Lily May
Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall
The boy's face was bright red now. What she said was true. He didn't exactly know how to handle physical touch. He liked it but he also didn't.

Toko sank to the floor when the voice of the beautiful foreigner spoke his name. He could feel his face become very hot. The poor kid didn't know how to react. All he could do was stutter. Her voice was just so...word that Toko wasn't allowed to say.
If Eimi could read his thoughts, he'd be dead before the exams even started.

(@DarkHydraT . I was not ready for that post XD)
Eimi reeled back in laughter as Toko sank to the floor. "AHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Oh, you pathetic excuse for a ninja, get up already!" Kicking Toko to get him to stand up, the girl crossed her arms. "Seriously, dude. Get a grip of yourself, you look like some lovesick kid who is about to ask their crush out before getting horribly rejected. How are you going to pass the Exams when you cannot even handle a single girl? What if we're up against each other? I'd have you on the floor with a few words, and I wouldn't even have to fight!" Kicking Toko again, the girl furrowed her brow. The kid was nice, but he was such a softie.



Previously Lily May
Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall
Toko was still pretty red as he stood up again. He looked downward. He thought about what she had said. "...You're...You're wrong." He managed to say, quietly. "I'm not pathetic..." And that was all he could say. He was too nervous to say anything else. Her bullying still did bother him sometimes... The 24/7 bullying thing was an exaggeration. "If...if..." He tried to say more but he couldn't. And through all of his thoughts, one of them was completely off topic... I kinda hope she puts her arm around me again... He had to admit...his thoughts were weird.

"If what, little boy? Come on, spit it out. Normally you're not this tongue-tied around me, don't tell me my teasing got you thinking that I actually have a reward for you?" Eimi chuckled as she tried to noogie Toko. "Come on man, harden up. If you don't, you'll be eaten alive out there. There are genin all over the world trying to reach the title of Chunin and are willing to risk it all right now, I would be willing to fight you if it meant I could become Chunin. Either buckle up and get a backbone or drop out whilst you still can, these Exams are not for the faint of heart."

Crossing her arms again, the Kiri girl bared her sharpened teeth as a sly grin crept on her face. "Since you're obviously out of your element at the moment, I'll help you where possible. In return, you owe me until I think you no longer do. Do we have a deal, To-ko-kun?"



Previously Lily May
Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall
He didn't respond to the kunoichi. He didn't do anything when she gave him a noogie. He was kinda embarrassed that he'd thought she was going to reward him. Such an idiot he was. His face became more red by the sound of his thoughts. He also realized how close she was to him. He backed up a bit.

"Help me?..." Toko was surprised. "I...why would you help me? I mean...I guess we have a deal. But why?" He tilted his head slightly, distracted from his thoughts now. His face was going back to normal color.

"We're teammates, dingus. We're supposed to help each other." Eimi once again smiled at Toko, though this time it seemed more genuine and less fueled by the drive for chaos. "That and I can use it against you whenever I need it, you can't get something for nothing, y'know. Atleast you found your tongue again, keep a hold on it before you lose it again and make a fool out of yourself. Now come on, the worst thing that can happen is that Byukia-sensei will give us an hour long lecture on the importance of studying dilligently. Or death. One of the two."

Amamririsu Manto
Ninja Academy, Lecture Hall

“All you’re doing is throwing off his concentration, Eimi.”

Risu only made her presence known after Eimi and Toko had settled down, hoping to avoid embarrassment amongst all these Shinobi.
Though, now that the pair had settled, the Manto girl was quick to physically force her way between the two. Her cold, blue eyes were piercing right through Eimi, giving off almost no emotion, other than a hint of disdain.

“It’s like you forget that we’re in a squad who will inevitably receive jobs based off our overall skill, rather than independent skill. If any of us fail, it impacts the reputation of every member in Squad Eleven.”

The Genin archer immediately fell silent after finishing her small rant, realizing she might’ve been a bit intense. Over the last year, she’d come to realize that being surrounded by so many lively personalities quickly put a damper on her mood. She wasn’t gonna deal with these two goofing around the whole exam.


Sachi Nendo
Konahagakure, Academy Grounds

Due to being caught up in a ruthless argument with Akari over some suspiciously muddy footprints along the outer edge of his bedroom window, Sachi found himself arriving to the exam grounds a bit later than his teammates.

The young Mud-Nin was determined to arrive on time, so just to be safe- he utilized his Mud Release- Quick Slick to essentially surf along the roads of Konaha, allowing him to make it to the Academy grounds with plenty of time to spare.
He skidded to a halt outside the Academy, before quickly trudging inside, leaving dark, muddy footprints in his wake.

Luckily, Sachi’s teammates had already found each other, making it easy to pick them out from behind.
The mischievous Genin slowly crept up behind his allies, listening to what they were talking about, before jumping out and wrapping his arms around either of their necks in a half-huddle, half bear-hug.

“Speaking of the teammate that makes you guys strong- I’m here!”


Niko Hokori
Hokage’s Mansion, Minato’s Office

“I try not to intrude, sir.”

Niko replied to Minato, before passing a knowing glance to Danzo.
Thankfully, there was no time for an awkward silence, as fellow Squad Captains, Keito and Byukia, both entered the room right after the small exchange.

“Keito. Byukia. I’m well, thanks.”

Niko gave a small nod, keeping his greeting short as Lord Danzo didn’t care much for repetitive conversations. It was very apparent that Lord Fourth likely just told him something he didn’t wanna hear, and Niko wouldn’t be the one to fuel those flames.
"Oh, calm down Risu. I'm just teasing him, toughening him up before others take advantage of him. You might not like it, but I'd say it is better to get these things in early. Who knows? It might get Toko to try and outperform us, everyone loves a good underdog story." Eimi flashed a grin at the archer girl, unbothered by the cold ice. Back in Kiri, these taunts were commonplace and seen as a method to gauge how resillient the new genin were. Those who bit back usually ended up doing better and those that were affected by them ended up having lower scores. It was essentially bullying and not too healthy mentally, but it helped weed out the weak and Eimi really did want Toko to pass. She just had a different method of training than the others.


Previously Lily May
Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall
His eyebrows raised slightly when he saw Eimi's smile. It wasn't the usual smirk that was placed upon the Kiri girl's face.
Eimi was right about the whole 'Byukia-sensei lecturing them' thing though.

Risu suddenly made her presence known and walked over, putting herself in between the two. He admired the young archer's confidence. She gave Eimi a death stare.
Risu reminded Eimi about the exams and their teamwork. She was right, of course. Toko felt safer behind her... He still wanted to be close to the one who made him a blushing mess...but also didn't? He was confused.

(@DarkHydraT @~Nilion~)
Namikaze Minato, The Fourth Hokage
Hokage Mansion, Hokage's Office

"I know the...three...of you must be nervous, what with your genin teams about to participate in the Chunin Exams and all," Minato said, casting a side-eye glance to Danzo, who remained stone-faced in spite of the almost-accusatory glimmer in the Fourth Hokage's eye, "And while I wish I could congratulate you on what seems to be a fine crop of shinobi you're raising, and to send you off to watch and aide them during their struggle, well -- I don't think the Leaf can afford to sit on its feet like that this year."

Lord Danzo stamped his cane down on the floor, not to cut Minato off of speaking, but more to draw attention from the Fourth over to him.

"Konoha finds itself to be a target once again," Danzo said, shaking his head shamefully, "After recent actions the Leaf took were...perceived as slights by Kirigakure and the Uchiha Clan, we've begun expecting retribution from either group. And soon."

With a dissatisfied grunt, Lord Fourth called attention back to him as he looked out his window toward the horizon beyond the village.

"We've been expecting retribution for the last hundred years," Minato put his head into his palm, "But now is about as good a time as any, it seems."

"Some of the genin on your teams seem to be the target of Kirigakure," Danzo interjected, the Hokage and his advisor switching off giving details like long-time collaborators would, "Lord Fourth and I are doing what we can to make Konoha safe from subterfuge or attack alike."

"However," Minato continued, slowing down the speed with which he spoke, "We need the three of you to help run down the direct leads we have on the people targeting your genin, to ensure their absolute safety during the Chunin Exams. Questions?"
Amamririsu Manto
Ninja Academy, Lecture Hall

Risu stared on through her teammate, not buying a single word she had been saying. After about halfway through, the young archer had all but tuned out; simply waiting for her opportunity to speak.

“…well- you ‘toughen Toko up’ every single day. How about we lay off the ‘training’ just for today. Fair?”

At this point, Eimi likely knew Risu wasn’t afraid of stopping divides. The Manto-Nins gaze had still been fixated in on the fish-girls, almost as if she were challenging Eimi to look away first.


Niko Hokori
Hokage’s Mansion, Minato’s Office

Niko’s eyes darted back and forth between Lord Fourth and Lord Danzo, not sure who to acknowledge during this…strange briefing. The young Jonin was so thrown off by this internal struggle, he didn’t even acknowledge the obvious tension building between Minato and Danzo as they kept cutting each other off short.

“….No, sir.”

The Hokori-Nin obviously had questions, but he couldn’t get past the idea of his commanding officer’s voice being split amongst two ever-differing individuals… made him think back on the times he had split into two.
They were also a lot like Minato and Danzo at first.
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Eimi shrugged as she grinned at Risu, the archer girl never was afraid to step in when she was teasing Toko. "Fine by me. As long as he does his best, I have no issues with it. The offer still stands, Toko, feel free to act upon it. Nerves won't do you any good after all, just stay calm and keep going. Maybe you can pass based on the determination you've shown?"
~Byukia Katzuke...~

Byukia chuckled when Minato talked about how nervous they must be when leading their genin.

"Last year was a... Pretty educational experience" Byukia chuckled. "Leading Amamririsu, Eimi, and Toko into training and on missions this past year had been quite an experience. They've improved so much that I hardly recognize them" Byukia said still chuckling.

Byukia stopped chuckling when Danzo began talking. Her face turned more serious when he discussed genin being targeted.

Byukia smiled and nodded as they were instructed to run down the leads.
Namikaze Minato, Fourth Hokage
Hokage Mansion, Hokage's Office

"Good," Minato breathed a sigh of relief, as if he tired of having to spell everything out for everyone at all times, "I apologize for having to keep this meeting brief, but as I'm sure you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate leading up to the Exams alone -- let alone all that we have going on."

Behind the Yellow Flash, a distinctive, silver-haired teen in an ANBU mask appeared at the windowsill, all but silent but the soft ruffling of his clothes and armor.

"Lord Danzo will see you receive your mission files for this," The Hokage spun about in his chair to greet his personal guard, "Be thorough, be careful, be quiet. Thank you."

Minato turned from the four others in his office, and leaned in to speak - quietly - with Kakashi.

Ugokasenai Keito, Konohagakure Jonin
Hokage Mansion, Hokage's Office

A pit welled up deep in Keito's empty stomach. The practice of an intra-village Chunin Exam was still relatively new to Konoha, and the fledgling sage despised the idea of anyone - foreign or domestic trouble-makers - intruding on what should be a sacred tradition.

"We've personally assigned you to look after the target you're most familiar with," Danzo spoke of the genin like objects. Of course. They were the mission now, in a way -- boiled down to the files the Hokage's advisor now passed out to the jonin, "The files themselves are thinner than I'm comfortable presenting, but they share some...explicit information nonetheless. Use each other as resources, but for the love of God, use discretion."

Danzo handed off to Byukia first, then Keito - who bowed when he received his - and finally to Niko, whom Danzo seemed to pause in front of.

"Of course, Lord Danzo, thank you," The Worm Sage said with another, quicker bow, "And thank you, Lord Fourth. I'm on it already."

Though he shot his fellow jonin an odd look, Keito spun quickly on his heel and walked out of the office, the envelope already open, the scroll of information thoroughly un-scrolled.

Ugokasenai Keito, Konoha Jonin
Hokage Mansion, Second Floor Hallway

Keito's eyes darted across the scroll multiple times in seconds, reading and re-reading like the information on the parchment he held were in fact a large fist that had struck him in the solar plexus.

"What the fu-"


Previously Lily May

Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall

The exchange between the two kunoichi made Toko feel like a child watching two adults talk. He had nothing to contribute. He was just there.

Eimi usually made it down like the noirette couldn't do anything. Fight someone? Nope. Go on an A-rank mission? No way! Chunin Exams? Puh-lease... She'd been teasing him since they'd met. The words were the only thing that bothered him. Not all the time, though.

He sighed. Eimi was the one who'd made him somewhat self-conscious about his abilities. He looked over at team 12 for a bit. Zeren teased Hisato and Yoshi a lot but they always brushed it off or stood up to him. He wished he were like them.

Toko didn't respond to the Kiri girl. He just looked at her. He wasn't actually sure if he even had to respond. His eyes moved to the ground, then back to her several times.

(@DarkHydraT @~Nilion~)
Niko Hokori
Hokage’s Mansion, Entrance

The Konaha-Nin read over his case file with ever-growing interest. These assignments seemed high priority and he wasn’t very comfortable with high-risk solo missions.

“Great. When something goes wrong, they’ll know who to blame.”

With a heavy sigh, Niko closed his file and quickly took a giant leap backwards; giving him just enough height to catch the lip of the mansions roof with his right hand.
He kicked his legs forward, causing him to smoothly flip upwards and land- just barely- on the edge of the roof.

He looked on at the six large pillars jutting from the Hokage’s mansion. They were easily the highest landmark in the city other than the great stone faces, and pointed outwards in every direction.
Some would say…the perfect location for a scout.

“Yang Release- Nikoling Scouts!”

After casting what most would consider a rather long string of hand seals, especially for a Jonin, Niko was enveloped in a thick plume of smoke.
Moments later, it would now be possible to see Niko and his group of ‘clones’. Though, it wouldn’t take a sensory-nin to notice these clones were…different.
There were six in total, all completely naked, and all standing at about one foot in height…but they were Niko, nonetheless.

“Alright boys, you know what we’re up to.”

With that, all six Nikolings gave a nod of confirmation, before dispersing out amongst the pillars where they began shimmying up to the very peak.

Now, the top of the Hokage’s mansion, and a large area around it, was constantly being surveyed by six tiny Niko heads, all peering out with large, focused eyes in every direction.

“I’m off to gather some intel. Shouldnt be more than a couple hours, but I can’t be certain…”

The Hokori Squad Captain quickly pressed his hand flat against a seal located on his kunai pouch, causing a large bindle of food to appear in his grasp.
He gently sat it on the ground between the Nikolings, before giving them a small wave.

“Stay safe, guys.”

All six Nikolings waved back, before speaking out in unison,

“You got it, boss.”
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~Byukia Katzuke...~

Byukia gave a respectful bow to Danzo, as he handed her the file document. She then bowed to Minato, then Danzo, and to the others before making her leave. Byukia smiled at Minato, Danzo, and the others, "Slow and steady wins the race, aye?" Byukia said with a grin. Byukia made a handsign, causing flower petals to form around her. as the flower pedals surrounded Byukia, the flower pedals eventually began do fade away. A few of the flower pedals fell to the ground where Byukia stood.

Just outside the Hokage Mansion, Byukia sat on the bench from earlier, now biting into a piece of dark chocolate with a hint of mint. Casually enjoying herself for a few moments before getting up and heading to her next destination. The Blacksmith's house. Byukia knocked on the door. No response. Looked through the window. Dark. Blacksmith must have been at work. Byukia then made her way to tthe blacksmith's shop where he was working, like an average day.

Byukia snuck up behind the blacksmith, "Scuse me, good sir, may I have a few moments of your time, if that's okay with you?" Byukia said in a soft gentle voice.

~Hisato Kaguya Gato...~

Hisato smiled at both Yoshi and Zeren before patting Yoshi on the back, "Hope you guys don't mind if I check something out real quick..." Hisato said moseying his way over to Team Eleven. He gave a cheerful smile before standing next to Toko and Risu.

"Team Eleven! You guys are taking on the chunin exams too! I mean... I'm not surprised cause Team Twelve Golden, Baby is taking on the chunin exams too, but I digress... Good for you guys! How are you guys been? Sharp shoota Risu! Whale girl Eimi, aaaand... Toko! You haven't changed much. Nice to see your doing well" Hisato said patting Toko on the back.


Previously Gamingfan2
Lucky Shot
Clover shivered slightly at the sight of Shin's bugs enter her body. He was sure he'd never get used to the sight, but continued to grin anyway. Luckily, it became more genuine when Sachi came in, wrapping him in a bear hug.
"Hey Sachi. How's it going?" he replied to his calmer, somewhat unfortunate teammate. Clover was always somewhat jealous of him. He was always so skilled despite the events in his life and the universe's vendetta against him. Least he had luck to spare, not that it affected anyone but him.

Uchiha Bastard
Zeren watched Hisato be his social self and introduce himself to another team. He never really understood why-in a way, they could be enemies-but he wasn't one to argue anyway. He doubted he would change much.
Being his unsocial self, Zeren stood back, looking around at the other participating teams with a hint of suspicion.


Previously Lily May
Momo Yoshi, Lecture Hall
Yoshi waved goodbye to Hisato, who walked over to team 11. Yoshi liked team 11 they were super cool. She looked back at Zeren, who was looking around. "See anyone that might be any trouble?" She asked the tall genin.


Chishima Toko, Lecture Hall
Hisato Gato from team 12 walked over to the three of them. He was as cheerful as usual. Maybe his presence would calm people down. "Hi, Hisato." He greeted him.

(@ThAtGuY101 @~Nilion~ @DarkHydraT )
"Well well well. Look who decided to show up, Loudmouth Hisato." Eimi returned the favor of the nicknames, attempting to punch him on the shoulder. "I've been doing juuuust dandy, and keep calling me a whale and whale see what happens next." The girl bared her teeth as she forcefully smiled, sending Hisato a message that she did not approve of her nickname.

Amidst the groups of genin, a silver-haired chunin stood in one of the corners, overseeing the ensemble and making sure nobody died. There was plenty of taunting and friendly banter, as expected, but nothing that required immediate attention. She just had to wait until the exams could begin.


Previously Lily May
Lecture Hall
A red haired chunin stood in the corner next to his comrade. He was thinking about what he would say to all the genin standing in the room. There were so many of them.
He was very nervous. He was only 16 and was put in charge of hundreds of genin. And some of them were older than him too. He was very responsible and often babysat the neighbors’ kids. People could give him any task and wouldn’t have to worry too much about it.
He went to say something to the silver haired chunin but closed his mouth. Then he opened it again…then closed it. He wasn’t sure how to converse with the woman. He didn’t really know how to converse with anyone. The poor child was awfully awkward.
“What should I do to get their attention when it’s time?” He was finally able to say. He didn’t really want to yell or anything so some ideas would be nice.

(@DarkHydraT )
"Either tap loudly on the wall or send a pulse of chakra through the room, I'm willing to get attention if need be. You'll do fine though, don't worry. The first Chunin Exams that you proctor are always nerve-wracking, but keep in mind these genin are more nervous than you. Just stay calm and everything will be fine, you're not alone here after all." The silver-haired chunin, Sorano, signed to her colleague, smiling at the young boy before placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.