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Konohagakure (Hidden Leaf Village)
October 30th, 50 AKU (After Konoha Unification)
Earlier That Morning

Fourth Hokage Namikaze Minato did not look ready to inaugurate the new class of Leaf Genin; Only twenty days earlier, the Nine-Tailed Fox and a single, masked man brought devastation to Konohagakure unseen even in the Great Shinobi Wars. The Hokage looked tired, peeking out over piles of paper and files strewn over his desk. He took a good look at the jonin assigned as team captains.

One of the jonin - Ugokasenai Keito - stirred on his feet, unsettled by the Hokage's exhausted eyes, and the weight of responsibility that Minato was levying on his shoulders. Keito felt he could hardly take care of himself -- what the hell was he going to do with three kids?

"-due to our depleted numbers, your teams will be asked to do everything from helping rebuild the town to higher rank missions we would never normally send genin on. And to top it off, you'll have less time to get to know your teams and prepare them than ever," Minato said with a regretful sigh, steepling his fingers, "But as you're all aware, the war and the recent - tragedy - has left us with no other choice. It'll be thankless and deadly. But we need the shinobi of our future to step up now more than ever. I trust you you guide them well."

Nervous that he'd never taught anyone anything before, Keito gulped in a despair he hadn't felt in a long time.

"It won't take much for these students to respect you, revere you -- even fear you, if that's your thing," Minato said with a smile, trying to reassure everyone in the room, "Just do something unexpected. Catch them off guard. Show them what a Konoha jonin can do. And make sure everyone knows what it means to embody our Will of Fire."

As the contemplative crowd of jonin dispersed, leaving the office into the hallway and then out the building entirely, Keito wondered what was going on in the Fourth Hokage's head.

Konohagakure's Academy had withstood not only the test of time, but the recent Nine-Tails attack. Though slightly damaged, it stood throughout, as a bastion -- a pillar to the village's hope for the future: its Will of Fire.

Gathered out front of its doors were Konoha's newly-appointed genin; their Academy graduation just days before, having been postponed by the Kyubey attack.

The class's chunin instructor, Inuzuka Kishi, emerged from the Academy's front doors bearing a mixed look of beaming pride in her students, and radiant joy that she might not have to teach anymore. Her dog, Kuraijuhi, trotted behind and started running laps around the genin, equally excited as Kishi unfurled a freshly written list.

And then, the moment they'd been waiting for:

"Team 1!" As Kishi started reading off her list, older shinobi from the village started to trickle onto the Academy groups, eventually collecting the members of the numbered teams they'd been assigned to. Some took longer to arrive then others, with the slower jonin leaving their teams to assemble and chatter until their new sensei arrived. The process went on for a while, before eventually:

"Team 11! Koun, Clover! Rinha, Miko! Chishima, Toko! Your team leader is Katzuke, Byuki!"

"Team 12! Raikai, Zeren! Gato, Hisato! Momo, Yoshi! Your team leader is Yama, Akumo!"

"Team 13! Aburame, Shrinrin! Takahasi, Makoto! Nendo, Sachi! Your team leader is Ugokasenai, Keito! Please wait here until your team leader arrives! Good luck everyone!"

Pleased with her own poise and oratory skill, Inuzuka Kishi called Kuraijuhi to her, and the two walked back into the Academy in stride with the other.

And suddenly, there were only nine genin left waiting for their jonin:

Team 11, 12 and 13 -- last to be called, last to be picked up. But all that stood between them and starting their path as a shinobi was a simple waiting game.

@ThAtGuY101 @=Nightshade= @Stadium @Pinch @Gamingfan @Nilion @Shikowara
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~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!" 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 taking a drunk from his mug. He shuddered afterwards, 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 fis 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...~

"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.

"Watcha papa be on team one!" Hisato said.

"Ah... Watch bone daddy be on team two!" Hisato cheered again.

Hisato sat there bored outta his mind when his name failed to be called out so many times.

"Team twelve! Read and weep losers! Yee yee! Let's door thiiiis! Can I get a 'Teeeaaam 12 is golden, baby' on threeeee? One. Two. Threeeee! Team tweeeeeelve is golden, baby!!!" Hisato cheered throwing his hands in the air excitedly.
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Miko Rinha - Outside the Academy
Rinha laughed. It was a bright sound; the same as the silver bells attached the obijime she had tied over her sash made. "Gato... Team 12." She raised her index and middle fingers, splaying them in a 'V'-shape, "Team 11. Victory!" She couldn't help it. "Already have a head-start on becoming Chūnin." All of ten seconds, but she made the challenge to him clear with her smirk. Together, and with Byuki sensei to teach them, they'd leave the Gato and his team in the worm-covered dirt. He'd no doubt try to do the same now, which made being a genin all the more fun.

"Koun... on the same team as me and Chishima," Rinha spoke from behind a white sleeve, leaving only her sparkling eyes visible as flitted between first the blonde and then the freckled boy. Although enjoying this fortuitous turn of events, Miko's expression tensed for a brief moment before she lightly coughed into her arm. "I'll hold him close and... never let go." She had performed well on the written and ninjutsu graduation tests, somehow finding the time to study between her duties at the shelter. However, you never knew when the stars would align and Clover would snatch a top spot. And with the ambitious Chishima, too, she couldn't let up, and was glad they were all on the same team.

"Do either of you know Byuki sensei?" Feeling fairly certain that the Jōnin hadn't visited the hospital during the extra lessons she had with her mother.
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Previously Gamingfan2
"Let's get this over with."
Both Zeren and Clover sighed as they waited, muttering under their breath.

The Secret Uchiha smirked as his name was called. Though he had no idea who his teammates were, never having bothered to remember names. Not that had to, when one ninja began yelling, moving erratically, and generally being a massive annoyance. From his yelling however, Zeren managed to realize that Hisato was on Team 12...like him.
Zeren proceeded to scoot and lean away from Hisato, looking the other way as to act like he had no affiliation with the loud genin.

During that whole fiasco, the Four-Leaf Clover simply stood with a blank stare, not looking particularly proud or depressed. He simply wanted to graduate, though what he'd do then was anybody's guess. Still, he hoped that he wouldn't overshadow his team with his fortune. Then again, they probably were more skilled than him.
Speaking of which, one of them-Miko if he remember correctly-had just came by. Clover blinked, shooing away his previous thought and thinking over the question. Fortunately, he remembered overhearing gossip from a nearby team.
"Um...isn't she the ninja that uses cherry blossom petals as jutsu?"
And cheating on her husband? Clover almost continued, but he had a feeling that part of the gossip wasn't true.


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. “Twenty seven minutes, thirty-two 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! I think my insects might be developing some form of water breathing, I don’t think any of them drowned this time!”

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 Jonin you’re assigned to knows how to— 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
“Squad 13 then, huh?” Shin murmured to herself. She glanced at her teammates in question, Makoto and Sachi. They were both… tall, to say the least, at least when compared to her 4’8” stature, although she insists if the air is dry enough, her hair spikes up and makes her 5 feet. She hadn’t really talked much with either of them, although that was true with most, if not all, the academy students. As she recalled, Sachi was a mud user, and was pretty cool; not afraid to get his hands dirty, which she respected. She didn’t know much about the other, other than the fact that he was a genjutsu user with some dojutsu which she was pretty sure wasn’t the Sharingan.

As for the Jonin assigned to the squad, Shin was sure she had heard the name Keito Ugokasenai somewhere before, but wasn’t sure where. She ran a hand through her spiky red hair that still felt a little damp from her antics that morning as she stood and began making her way towards her teammates. Well, at least it’ll be interesting…
~Shortly Before Arrival~

”Sachi! Where are you?”

Tumbling down the ragged streets of Konaha’s slums came a rather panicked young woman. She was jumping over tables and shoving right through crowds, all the while screaming at the top of her lungs.

“Huh? Sachi, hey!”

Just then, off in the distance, the young woman caught sight of a head of wild, crimson hair just as it rounded the corner away from her.

“Damn it! Just remember, you guys made me do this.”

She took a moment to shove away the crowd around her for safety, before casting a set of somewhat...badly executed hand signs.


In an instant, the earth beneath the young woman ejected upwards as if she were on the light end of a seasaw-catapult. This, in turn, sent her careening above the buildings and rubble of Konaha in an arcing motion.
Now, with a birds-eye view of everything, she was able to clearly pick out the mud-coated young man passing through an alleyway nearby.


After locking onto Sachi’s location, the girl began her descent; aiming to slide down the shingled walls of one of Konaha’s last three-story-buildings.
Unfortunately, the girl clearly wasn’t the most skilled when it came to acrobatics; as her slide turned into a tumble, which turned into a fall.


“Huh? Hggaah!”

The young Mud-Nin was rather confused. One minute he was fine, about halfway through his walk. The next minute? He was flat on his back with a person sprawled out across him.

“Huh...? Akari? What’s going on?”

The newly revealed Akari quickly rolled off her younger brother, and flat onto her back. She proceeded to shuffle through her pockets for a moment, only to pull out a pair of fresh, clean socks.

“You forgot these.”


Upon hearing the names of his fellow teammates, Sachi wasted no time. He spun on his heel and immediately marched right over to Makoto, giving him a death glare.

“Alright, listen. I don’t care how we feel about each other. This is important to me, all of this. So if our history is gonna cause problems, you should say so right now.”

Sachi was clearly quite fired up, despite his internal attempt a restraint. He doesn’t know what it is about Makoto, but the guy always got Sachi in the brawling-mood.


Previously Lily May
That morning…
Chishima Toko woke up early that morning, being kind of excited. He usually didn’t get very excited for things, but today was different.
His mother wasn’t awake yet, so he decided to sneak out of the house and visit his father…’s grave. Yes, his father had died a few months ago on a mission. Apparently, he was trying to save one of his teammates, but it didn’t end well for him.
He visited twice a day. Usually after school and before bed. “I’ll make you proud.” He said quietly. His fists tightened and he looked down at his feet, black hair falling in front of his face, trying not to cry for the 17th time this week. He would know…he counted.

Present time…
Toko had been waiting for this day his entire life. He was grateful for the team he was given. He was looking forward to get to know them better. His two teammates, Koun Clover and Rinha Miko, were an interesting bunch.

Outside, he met up with his teammates.
“Katzuke Byukia? Yeah, she has some sort of flower related jutsu. She usually wears purple, I believe.” Toko told Miko. He liked to keep taps on people’s appearance. “Her hair is also purple. Very long.” He had seen Byukia around.
12? My favorite number! Momo Yoshi said to herself. Her strawberry blonde hair somewhat poofy this morning, which she liked. Her glasses weren’t the cleanest, but it was rare when they weren’t.
Her teammates were Raikai Zeren and Gato Hisato were very interesting people to her. Zeren was extremely tall and had a freaking katana! Hisato was extremely loud and had crazy taijutsu skills! No one could stop this team!…Except maybe Yoshi herself. She had no skills whatsoever. She was mediocre at everything, really.

Hisato’s loudness made Yoshi jump. She laughed, though. Finding him humorous and entertaining. He sounded quite competitive and confident in his team, even though they hadn’t even met their sensei. Yoshi was more interested in who their sensei was as a person rather than a ninja.
Miko Rinha - Outside the Academy
As expected of the lucky charm to know random yet useful pieces of information."Cherry blossom jutsu...!" Recognition flashed across Miko's pale face as she connected the clan's name with their hiden techniques. Toko confirmed the information before adding more tidbits to identify her.

While not all ninja knew every one of their clan's techniques, and the scattered Rinha clan had likely lost as many of their jutsu as they had retained, Miko hoped Byuki sensei knew one in particular. "Weeping Petal. I want to meet her... and observe sensei's ninjutsu first hand. Think we can learn a lot." Her mother had mentioned the unique medical ninjutsu used by the Katzuke during one of their private lessons and outlined its rough capabilities. Excitement ran up her spine at the mere chance to finally see it – to judge her competition.

The girl briefly hid her lower face behind her sleeve as she smiled. "Thank you, Clover Koun. Toko Chishima. Keep you... even closer now." She'd seal the former into an amulet using fujinjutsu if she could. Though she didn't say that out loud, knowing how he frowned whenever the references to his luck became too overt. While Chishima's eyes were as sharp as the Byakugan and not to be underestimated.

But, seeing things getting heated between Sachi and Makoto, Miko leaped into the air before landing gracefully on the orange shingles covering the entrance's roof. Better to stay out the way and observe. If Team 13 wanted to fight, they could.
Makoto Takahashi - Ninja Academy, Early Morning

Squad 13, and stuck with this guy for at least another couple years... great.” Makoto thought to himself upon hearing his and Sachis name called at the same time.

You could definitely say that the boy got under Makoto’s skin, as they’d bickered like small children throughout their academy years, sometimes getting into physical altercations, despite the teachers attempts to reconcile the two. Suddenly, Sachi turned and snapped at Makoto, it was clear that he was just as displeased as him.
“Sure, sure, whatever you say.” He replied sarcastically, clearly not taking him all that seriously. As much as he didn’t like the guy, it was kinda fun just trying to get on his nerves. “Just don’t get in my way and I’m sure we won’t have any problems. This is important to me too.” He said, slightly more serious this time around.

When it came to the other people of the newly formed Squad 13, Makoto wasn’t all that familiar with them. He hadn’t interacted much with Shin at all, and as such all he knew about her was that she was an Aburame, meaning bugs. Not to mention, their soon-to-be sensei, some Keito Ugokasenai, he’d never even heard of. Despite this however, Makoto’s time as a Genin would surely prove to be an interesting part of his life as a Shinobi.


Previously Lily May
He adjusted his forehead protector, making sure it was straight.
Toko never asked Miko why she often coughed into her sleeve. He wondered why she did. Was she ill? Or was it something else?…
“I want to meet her as well. She seems interesting. I’m curious about her fighting style.” He said, talking about Byukia.
Toko’s green eyes followed Miko as she jumped onto the roof. “What are you—“ But he didn’t need to finish his question, he heard the bickering of Nendo Sachi and Takahashi Makoto and looked over, sighing. Could these two just get along for ten seconds?
The noirette wasn’t sure if he was going to move too or just stand there and watch…Or if should intervene.
Akumo Yama - Outside the Academy
Akumo had arrived in time to witness the confrontation between Makoto and Sachi. Although seeing Keito holding back and deliberately not intervening, the elder jonin decided to leave Team 13 to the Worm Sage's capable hands. Team 11 had a less noticeable tension in the air but still existing between the brash Hisato and the quiet Raikai boy. And for a second believed he could detect longing behind Yoshi's foggy glasses, then it disappeared with her genuine and bright laugh. "Hoooh, what an eager bunch Minato assigned to us," was all the man said with his rumbling voice before performing the body flicker jutsu.

Smoke appeared in the center between the gathered genin. As it cleared, the massive, nearly seven-foot man rose to his full height. His dark eyes, the only part of his face visible behind his red cloth, seemed to peer into those of his trio as if they each were the sole focus of his attention. "Raikai. Gato. Momo. I am Akumo Yama, your jonin teacher." The ancient plates of his armored skirt, the style of which had to date to the first shinobi world war, clattered as he walked until looming before them. The leathery and tanned skin of his exposed chest and arm were covered with scars and wounds. Seconds passed without any movement as the giant man considered something.

Then he knelt on one knee. The edges of his eyes scrunched up into what should've been a broad smile if the rest of his face was visible behind the red cloth. His intimidating aura faded slightly. "The quality of Konoha ninja is continually improving. Hoooh," Akumo let out a deep breath, "I see why your teacher spoke so highly of you. All of you." He then added, his attention on Yoshi as if he had read her earlier doubts about her capabilities. "Prideful too." Something wry in his voice. "And eagerness in abundance. We'll learn more about each other in the coming months. For today, we have excursion to a place I'd like you all to see before we truly begin your training. There is time to say goodbye to your friends before we leave if you'd like."

@Shikowara @ThAtGuY101 @Gamingfan


Previously Night's Shadow
Shin stifled a laugh as she neared her teammates. They hadn’t even been a squad for twenty seconds and those two were already at each other’s throats. This might turn out to be a lot more fun than she had originally anticipated. She clambered up onto a nearby desk and kneeled on it, legs splayed out in a W-shape that probably wasn’t great for her knees—not that she cared. Despite being on top of the desk, she still needed to look slightly upwards to be able to make eye contact.

“Hey, so, you two gonna fight or what?” Shin asked, snickering involuntarily at the end of her question. “Because, you know, chaos is always fun, and I could help you beat each other up if you wanted…” It may have sounded like a joke to anyone listening in, but Shin was 100% serious; if Makoto and Sachi were about to cause a scene, you had better believe she was going to find a way to get in on the action. It had been a while since she could really go wild. “I’m Shinrin, by the way, in case you hadn’t figured that out yet. Call me Shin, I like bugs, yadda yadda yadda, introductions are a pain, especially since you should at least know my name already… But seriously, if you’re gonna duke it out, let me in on it,” she added with a grin.
“Oh, don’t you worry about that.”

Sachi retorted whilst turning away from Makoto. He spent the next few seconds acting as if he was searching through his pack, all the while subtly casting a short series of hand signs as he did so.

“Quick Slick!”

As the fiery-headed boy mentally shouted this simple command, a thin layer of the earth directly beneath the souls of Makoto’s shoes shifted into slick mud.
This was a little prank he’d perfected long ago. The change was subtle enough to go unnoticed while at a stand still, but would cause the targeted individual to slip and slide sporadically upon taking a step.

“I’m sure you’ll find some way to slip up all on your own.”

After finally spotting the girl he believed was Shinrin, Sachi quickly began making his way over to her so they could converse without shouting. As he did so, he ushered for Makoto to follow.

“I’m amazing.”
~Hisato Gato...~

Hisato quieted down for a moment to glance over at the other students. He saw Rinha and waved. He then glanced at Zeren. Zeren was slowly scooting off. Hisato assumed that Zeren was blissfully unaware they were on the same team, "Where are you going bud???!!" Hisato said in a loud cheerful tone. Hisato scooted closer to Zeren, "We're on the same team, bro! Hold your head high cause its ninja time, baby!" Hisato cheered while scooting even closer to Zeren.

"Now where's that one girl at..." Hisato said looking around. He saw Shinrin, and Sachi giving death glares. Hisato grinned when he saw her, "Yoshi! Yoshi! We're over heeeere! Over heeeeere! We're on the saaame team!" Hisato said pointing at Zeren. Zeren was the tall dude with a sword for shanking people with, and Yoshi was a pretty well rounded student. A jack of all trades of sorts.

Hisato saw his team, but continued looking around. He also saw Toko and Miko talking. He also saw Makoto. The other teams were slowly finding their way to each other. Hisato continued to wave at Yoshi, and point at Zeren, whom Hisato was standing way too close to.

Hisato had to stop cause apparently someone called his name out, "Woweewow! Look at you! You look like you belong in a museum! With that old looking outfit! Probably look like it came from the second shinobi war or something" Hisato said not knowing much about ninja armor throughout history. The man seemed to know just what to say when he spoke with Yoshi, "Huh... So this is what a shinobi is like... I'm totally gonna challenge him to a fight!" Hisato thought to himself. Hisato clenched his knuckles and gritted his teeth with an eager smile.

~Byukia Katzuke...~

Byukia sat there with a book in one hand. She flipped the pages, Byukia couldn't help but feel concern and worry for their beloved kage. "seeing Minato out here... The man needs to just stop and relax... He has way too much burden on his shoulders... and these new recruits...They seem promising, but... Talent is nothing without skill to guide it... Though that's why I'm here... and the other jonin... Oh my gooosh... The pressure... One step at a time Byukia... One step at a time. You got this!" Byukia thought to herself. Byukia had a nervous look in her eyes, but it faded when she saw Akumo. She smiled and waved at him.

Byukia had fond memories when Akumo was her mentor. Byukia wanted to be able to be a wise confident mentor to these kids. Just like Shara, and just like Akumo. There was also that worm sage guy, Keito. Byukia chuckled to the thought of him being a mentor to kids, but he was a good guy, and he always seemed good with kids. He always seemed to understand kids. Byukia could only assume he was a child at heart. His students were... interesting to say the least. Akumo had a wild bunch as well. Then there was Byukia's little group.

Byukia saw them, then smiled again. *Poof!* She was gone. A few flower petals floated in the air where she was sitting moments prior. Cherry blossoms began to form near where her students were standing. More and more cherry blossoms began to appear and as the cherry blossoms slowly fell to the ground, a long haired woman wearing purple with a 5 ft. staff in her hand stood there smiling at them. "Squad eleeeven? Chishima, Tokooo? Koun, Clooover?? Renha, Mikooo??? It's meee. Sensei Katzuke" She said in a soft voice. "I'm gonna be your sensei! I look forward to working with you, and hopefully teaching you." Byukia said cheerfully.

Byukia put a hand to her chin, "I do have a fun little exercise that I'd like you three to participate in" Byukia said smiling while holding out three pieces of cloth. She tucked the cloth around her belt. "What are these? You'll find out when we get to the area I'd like to test you at" Byukia said cheerfully.
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Previously Gamingfan2
Once Yoshi came up, Zeren's impatient foot tapping increased in speed, getting rather tired of waiting. For some esteemed ninjas, they certainly aren't all about making it on time.
Zeren nearly broke his spine as he leaned away from the way-too-close Hisato, cringing at the way-too-loud yelling. With his attempt a distancing himself failed, he began considering stabbing Hisato in the heart and moving on. With how loud he's being...maaaaybe everyone would be grateful instead of horrified.
Sadly, a sudden burst of smoke tore Zeren's eyes from Hisato's vital points to his new sensei. He released his hold on his katana and waited for the man to speak.
Akumo certainly exuded a sense of authority and seriousness, likely making a very intimidating aura. However Zeren, having been exposed to a similar aura from his father for most of his life, simply raised an eyebrow as he spoke, waiting for the horrid attempt at connecting with them to finish and start training.
"Mmh, sure. Let's move this along."

Meanwhile Clover grinned in response to the thanks. At least there wasn't any animosity between his team right now. He briefly got curious over the "keep you closer" comment, but decided not to think too hard about it.
It was then Byukia decided to appear. With her soft voice and drawn out speech, he had to wonder is she and Miko were related. Maybe the gossip had more truth than he thought. Didn't seem like the most appropriate thing to ask right now, so he simply nodded in response.
Here's hoping the test is immune to good luck.
Akumo Yama – Outside the Academy
"Hoooh?" Amusement danced in Akumo's eyes as Raikai raised a quizzical eyebrow. He had gone soft these last few years. But he could not begrudge the boy his confidence and surety as he rose either. Hopefully soon, he'd share that fierceness with his teammates. Gato, meanwhile, had another kind of reckless certainty that would serve the three ninja well once tempered. "You have a good eye." Placing one of his huge hands on the twelve-year-old's shoulder in a paternal gesture. "The first. I fought alongside Hashirama Senju, our first Hokage. Konoha is my blood and my roots here are deep. Although I still have a few years left in me, which should be more than enough to train a trio of skilled genin into chunin."

Miko Rinha – Outside the Academy
Miko brushed aside a stray lock of black hair, skirt and sleeves fluttering, as she felt the wind that carried petal blossoms sweep around them. At first, the young Rinha thought nothing of it and continued to observe the other genin. But as more gathered and took on the shape of woman, her eyes widened. Byukia sensei! She raised and clasped her hands before forming a hand sign to focus her mind as she gathered chakra in the soles of her feet.

The last of the petals had already fallen before Miko leapt down to land beside the woman calling out their names. "Miko Rinha... a pleasure to meet you, Katzuke sensei!" Forcing more energy than usual into her speaking her pitch reached a normally conversational tone. She glanced at the staff Byukia carried, barely taller than she was, and wondered if it was frequently used by the Katzuke clan or if the weapon simply suited her particular style. Then her eyes fell on the pieces of cloth she held out.

She felt eager. Not as imposing as Team 11's jonin, instead graceful. And soft spoken, like her. Miko held back from asking about the Weeping Petal jutsu for the moment and instead asked where they'd be going. "Is it far away?"
Makoto rolled his eyes at the boys retort and took a step forward.


As he began to fall over thanks to Sachi's sneaky jutsu, Makoto quickly began weaving hand signs in a futile attempt to use a fire style jutsu to harden the ground. Right before landing directly into the mud, he managed to catch himself with his hands and flip himself upright again. That was a close one, and it could've been especially bad if he had actually followed through with casting his jutsu. As he regained his balance he glared at Sachi. He wanted to fight back, but he didn't exactly want to make a massive scene in his first minutes as a shinobi either, so he just had to show restraint for the time being. He definitely had a few choice words for him later though.

"This already sucks..." he muttered in discontent as he walked over to where Shin and Sachi now were. "As I'm sure you already know, I'm Makoto Takahashi. We've all been in the academy together for the past couple of years, so I'll save the extended introduction for our sensei." He said, rather aloof, as he tried to play off what just happened.
Ugokasenai Keito
The Worm Sage breathed a quick sigh of relief; he didn't want to break up a fight the first moment he existed in the world as a team leader. Thankfully, the Makoto boy seemed restrained enough to hold back from decking the Mud Style boy. Keito wasn't crazy about a sneak attack on a teammate, but at least the both boys had their heads somewhat in the right place. And the Aburame girl, well -- she might be a bit of a wild card.

Watching the whole interaction while perched atop a tree directly across from the Academy, Keito saw the tension beginning to wind down; it wasn't gone entirely, but the jonin hoped it'd translate into a healthy rivalry as opposed to something far more sinister. With the crisis potentially averted for the moment, Keito moved down from his tree and across the street.

Though he'd hid himself well enough that only the jonin could see, Keito made a loud rustling noise that'd get the genins' attention as he climbed down the tree and walked across the street -- casually, hands in his jacket pockets, not moving in a particular rush, though his long legs helped bring him across to the Academy in a short, few strides regardless.

His spiky. brown hair hair tied together in a messy top-knot added about another four or five inches to his already impressive 6'5" height; over his regular clothes, the Worm Sage wore a special cloak his family at Ichimimizu wove -- reminiscent almost of a Hokage's cloak, although colored a forest green and earth brown, the word Wamufurendo (Worm Friend) in heavy black ink etched down the coat's spine. Underneath, he wore a normal chunin vest, which went over his dark green jumpsuit. It was hard to tell whether Keito was intimidating for any reason other than his size, or if his size was a misleading indicator of just how powerful he was.

Locking sights on his trio, Keito finished his casual trek over to them with a melodic, whistling tune -- something that betrayed a sort of nonchalance in the face of the genins' big day.

"Nendo, Sachi," He said, pointing a long finger toward the Mud Style user, as his soft and serious voice seemed to float through the Academy courtyard -- but in spite of its softness, his words were clear as the day itself, "Confrontational, confident and quick to act. Sneak attacks are good, but never to be used on a teammate."

Keito's finger moved to Makoto.

"Takahashi, Makoto: Serious, determined, and the way you found your balance after slipping was impressive. But, you were caught off guard."

Then the Worm Sage's finger moved to the final member of his group.

"Aburame, Shinrin: Provocative, opportunistic and spontaneous. Chaos is always fun. Be careful what you wish for."

With his hands still casually in his coat pockets, Keito looked around the two two remaining teams; he gave a reassuring look to Byukia, another young jonin roped into leading a team of genin for the first time, before turning his attention to the old and experienced Akumo; Keito's glance was more one of false confidence, like he was fine pretending he knew what he was doing with the genin to the genin, but with Akumo he seemed a little more vulnerable. The Sage shook that off, though, looking back to his students.

Ugokasenai Keito was a hard man to read -- he didn't seem particularly tough, but he did seem composed. Compared to Akumo, he wasn't much. Compared to Byukia, well -- he was taller, at least.

Those that possessed some ability to detect chakra or other forms of life, however, could feel something more about the jonin sensei; different, smaller chakra signatures mixed with his, their chakras passing through each other as chakra passed though one body -- but there was more, smaller masses on Keito's own. Though unable to see what those life forms are, there is the sense that they combine their chakra with the jonin's.

"We have little time to train as a team," He said, making sure to emphasize a team as he said it, turning about to the swishing of his flowing coat, "Follow me to the river. As we walk, I want you to tell me what you think of my observations -- am I right? Am I wrong? Do you think they make you a good ninja? Quick, though, quick!"

In spite of his hurried beckoning, Keito walked slowly, like he was slithering along on the ground -- except, again, because of his long, striding legs, this slow pace would still seem to covered quite a lot of ground to the genins' eye. The walk from the Academy grounds down to the river wasn't very far. though Team 13's new sensei seemed to take the trio a little bit further down the river than they might normally go. But as the group moved and talked, dense brush would open up into a perfect, green clearing beside the flowing, blue river. Unoccupied at the moment, it was clear what the jonin planned to do with his genin.
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Previously Lily May
Yoshi quickly walked over to the two boys. “Hi!~” She said with a smile, bowing slightly to both Hisato and Zeren.

Suddenly, Yama Akumo appeared, making Yoshi leaned back slightly. He was extremely tall. Much taller than Zeren. He intimidated her a bit, making her heart skip a beat. If he was their sensei, Hisato wouldn’t have to take back ‘team 12 is golden, baby’…Unless he was a total softy and had no means of hurting a single soul. If that was the case, they were dead.
She chuckled at Hisato’s comment on Akumo’s outfit.
As the man knelt down onto one knee and scrunched up his eyes, Yoshi felt a small smile spread across her own face, no longer leaning back. He told the three of them that their teacher had spoken highly of them. All of them. Her smile became bigger, happy that he had unintentionally read her mind.

“You must be ooold, then.” Yoshi said after Akumo’s explanation about fighting alongside the first Hokage.
Toko just rolled his eyes as he watched Sachi use a jutsu on Makoto. He decided to just ignore them instead.
He turned to Clover. “So…” But before he could finish, Katzuke Byukia appeared. Toko jumped about a mile when he saw her. She had a smile on her face.
He would have said something, but her suddenness and talkative nature gave him no time for speech. The ‘fun little exercise’ did interest him, though.
~Hisato Gato...~

"That's the spirit!" Hisato said grinning up at Zeren. Hisato chuckled before scooting away from Zeren, "Yeah totally! I can't wait for training! Team twelve is golden, baby!" Hisato cheered.

Hisato could tell by the sound of the man's voice that he was quite up there in age, "Sounds good, old man!" Hisato said extending his arm up and jumping to pat Akumo on the shoulder in a very similar manner.

Hisato nodded in agreement to Yoshi. Even Yoshi noticed the ninja's advanced age.

~Byukia katzuke...~

Byukia nodded back at Clover in silent agreement. He then looked over at Miko, "Its so nice to meet you tooo, I look forward seeing you three work together as a teeaam" Byukia said patting her shoulder. He then turned and waved at Toko, "Sooo... Off we go, that way" Byukia said pointing her staff towards a building. She looking back at her two jonin friends and their students before heading towards the building. As she approached the building she walked past it. In actuality, Byukia wasn't pointing at the building, that building was too close. Nope. She was pointing towards something more unusual three miles away. Byukia maintained the same cheerful walking pace the full three miles. They eventually reached a large structure. Stone walls covered in foliage and various wild flowers. The foliage grew so wild that it created a roofline structure over the stone walls.

"Here we are! The test! I look forward to seeing what sort of teamwork you come up with" Byukua said.

The maze was a large stone structure filled with many hallways. Large vines, bushes ,and other plant life loomed over the tall walls. These plants were special as they absorbed chakra thus anything living that touched it would slowly feel their chakra slip away. This maze was perfect for testing out the skills of shinobi. However what's worse than the chakra absorbing nature of the plants was that there were various birds called Paramims that reside in the maze which can emulate human speech sounds. These birds would constantly give people wrong directions ,and say all sorts of things to annoy people foolish enough to wander in the maze. These birds can even copy the voices of people they hear, so be careful when listening to a familiar voice as it could be your friend or a bird imitating your friend. Despite their mischievousness nature these birds are docile as they wont attack humans. They only eat fire mice. Fire Mice are mice glow bright orange ,and produce fiery sparks to scare away predators. The fiery mice are mostly docile ,and wont bother people unless they chase them. The cave walls are also filled with a strange yellow moss that glows. The moss grew randomly which created patches of light here and there. Just beyond the exit of the maze is a waterfall which can be heard upon nearing the exit.

Byukia described the maze to the genin, but didn't tell them about the creatures that lurked in the maze for surprise.

She pulled the three cloth off her belt and grabbed a pair of ear plugs, and extended them outward. "One of you wears one of these cloth as a blind fold, another covers their mouth, and theeese are ear plugs. You can wear this cloth over your earplugs if you want. The purpose of this test is to force you to rely each other's strengths and compensate for weaknesses. This maze is very long. Even the luckiest of people will struggle in this maze If they aren't careful. I'll let you decide who does which" Byukia said with a smile.

Byukia laid a few non-lethal dancing petals traps in the maze. Like the name suggests, they don't inflict damage. Merely burst cherry blossom petals in all directions. Byukia didn't tell them about these either as the mines purposes were to confuse and startle the group.


Previously Lily May
“No offense.” Yoshi added. She liked joking around but she didn’t like it when people took her jokes seriously. Especially if they got offended.
Toko nodded when Byukia waved to him, just to show acknowledgement.

He followed the purple haired jonin to a building—No, it wasn’t a building. It was something farther away, my mistake.
When they arrived at the stone wall covered in foliage and flowers, Toko just stared at it. A maze? This lady is crazy. What does this have to do with being a ninja?

Finally, Byukia explained what the cloth was for. This…should be easy, actually. As long as no one does anything stupid, they should be fine. Unless it’s a total hoax and there is no way to get to the end.
Miko’s coughing might be a problem. If she was the one with her mouth covered, she wouldn’t have to talk. But if that would make it worse for her, she should be one of the other ones. Clover could do any of them, really. I don’t want to be blind folded. I’d get scared and not want to move. Maybe I’ll take the earplugs? He sighed. He wasn’t sure. He turned to his teammates, wondering what they thought.
Akumo Yama – Outside the Academy
Akumo rolled his shoulders before massaging his neck. "Old, huh." The old man chuckled. "But there is a reason I am." Then his words bore the weight of his many decades. "We have spent enough time here. You're all eager to begin I suspect. Come, let's us walk."

Akumo Yama – 37th Training Ground
The Jonin glanced along the forested path leading up to the mountain that lay behind the wire fencing. The Land of Fire was somewhere between winter and autumn or as close as the region came to experiencing either season. The foliage of the trees was still green and thick, shading the undergrowth in a pleasant and soft light. But there were still splashes of yellow and red in leaves. And, as felt a rustling wind brush against his naked torso, Akumo could see flames dancing between the branches.

There was no easy way to the peak. The sheer cliff faces were the least of a climber's worries, with loose and treacherous footing where you least expected it. While the forest had its own dangers. A family of wolves prowled the testing grounds, and their pickings had been meager in the recent days. No certainty they were hungry enough to try their luck with humans, but the possibility was there. For a ninja, however? It should be a fine excursion, even should anything unexpected come their way. An opportunity for his young genin to bond and learn their and their team members' limits as they ascended up the mountain together.

Akumo scratched his craggy face behind his scarlet cowl, dark eyes narrowing and suddenly pensive. Once he retired, he should bring his grand daughter here. "Is the thirty-seventh testing ground is not a beautiful and serene place?" He breathed in, taking in the clear air. Not much hair she could hold on to when he rode on his shoulders, but he could figure something out. Could he pretend to be a horse and use a scroll case with a sash tied to either end as a bit and bridle?

Akumo raised his arm, pointing to the mountain in distance. Voice grave and full of force. "Your mission today, young genin, is to scale the peak; 12 miles of forest and cliffs are between you and your destination. I will follow behind and track your progress. I have only have two rules. One," he raised his finger, turning his eyes to each of the genin in turn. Gato. Momo. Raikai, "that you arrive before nightfall." The sun still stood high in the sky, so should be a simple task. "Two," a second finger followed the first, "you all survive."

The smile behind his cowl was cold as were his dark eyes. "Questions?"

Miko Rinha – Maze
Miko listened to Byuki's explanation, reaching the same conclusion as Toko that this sounded too simple. Even the twist she added at the end would ultimately only slow them down rather than prove a true hindrance. The young girl was silent for a while, taking in her surroundings. The overgrown path, the maze spreading out before them, and even listening to the waterfall's constant murmur.

The chakra absorbing plants fascinated her however, and without saying a word, walked toward a thick vine hanging down from the wall. She didn't touch the flora, just trying to quietly judge if her Kekkei Genkai could overwhelm its absorption abilities with hers. Likely resist it better than either of the other two in any case. "If either of you get tangled up in this... I will save you." Miko stated confidently, then took a few steps away. "Think I'll take the blindfold... don't need to worry about stumbling into the plants as much. Trust you two... to lead me. But willing to listen to your ideas."

She coughed again, reflexively raising her sleeve to cover her mouth. Miko felt fine with the medical ninjutsu running through her body, but she couldn't entirely disguise her weaker constitution.


Previously Gamingfan2
"Oh? Is that all?" Zeren smirked as he looked across the land. Sure it was an exhausting distance away, but he wasn't letting Sensei Fossil know that. Still, he was worried about his teammates....like what if they screw everything up? Hisato probably had the IQ of a toddler and would practically beg to get mauled by braver animals with his loud voice. And Yoshi....he didn't know much about Yoshi, but his point still stands!
In the end though, it's not like he had much of a choice. He may as well move on as fast as possible. So, Zeren simply shook his head, signifying his understanding. Though his foot tapping made it obvious it was out of impatience.

A maze? Clover slouched, rather disappointed. Sure it could be difficult, especially with the added challenge, but he doubted his luck wouldn't-
"Even the luckiest of people will struggle in this maze If they aren't careful."
Oh-Ho! Suddenly much more animated, Clover strutted as he grabbed the earplugs. Sure hearing things at the right time was part of his luck, but he was sure his vision and voice could at least warn everyone in case he saw something curious. Hopefully Miko and Toko were good listeners, though he wasn't sure how Toko would be able to warn anyone with their voice muffled.
Just to test them, he spoke. "Testing, Testing, one-two-three!"
Wow it felt weird not being able to hear yourself as you speak! Clover took off the earplugs, nodded in satisfaction, and prepared to put them on again, looking at his Sensei for the sign to begin.


Previously Lily May
The old man had chuckled. He chuckled! She had made a 50 year old laugh! She was victorious!—Uh, anyways…
Yoshi followed Sensei Fossil Akumo-sensei, wondering what they were going to do today.
The trees were beautiful. All shades of yellow, orange, and red leaves upon the twisted trees. The sound of them rustling in the wind made the four-eyed girl feel at ease. She kicked the leaves that laid on the ground, watching them fly a short distance into the air. She giggled.

She looked up at the peak. Her endurance wasn’t half bad but she wasn’t the biggest fan of walking for long distances. She exhaled, putting her game face on. She turned to her two teammates. “Team 12 is golden, baby! Let’s do this!” She said, holding out her fist to them.
Toko didn’t really want to do anything. He felt scared either way. He wouldn’t be able to call for help if he had something covering his mouth.
He stared at the cloth, hesitantly taking it. He tried to look as calm and casual as possible. Though I’m sure his fidgetiness gave it away that he was nervous.


Previously Night's Shadow
Shin hopped up off the desk she was on to follow Keito-Sensei, hurrying herself along as she had to take three steps for every one of his. As she speedwalked, she tried to pick apart what he had labeled her as, struggling to figure out the meaning of some of the words he had used. Provoc…ative? -tive is just an ending, right? Is “provoc” like “provoke?” Was he saying I provoke people? I guess that’s true enough, but that could be good in a fight, if the enemy gets pissed then they’ll make more mistakes, right? Opportunistic, opportunity… those words have to be related, right…..? And, uh… what does spontaneous even mean…..? She supposed she’d figure it out eventually, but made a mental note to check the dictionary ASAP, though she didn’t say anything to Keito-Sensei; it was all she could to to keep up with his stride.
Sachi felt it was a bit strange for someone to place their judgement on him so quickly. Confrontational? Confident? Was he? Did he actually give off that vibe?
In truth, Sachi was a pretty friendly guy, but after years of belittling from others, he’d grown a thick enough skin to state his mind when it was needed.
Almost like he knew what Sachi was thinking, Keito-Sensai interrupted his thoughts; asking what they thought of his assessment whilst leading them off towards a secluded area.

“I don’t think they tell you everything about us. They’re more so...a small piece of a bigger picture, Keito-Sensei.”

Feeling satisfied with his initial response, the Mud-Nin took a moment to chew on the second half of the question before replying. Typically, Sachi would come off a bit more spontaneous with his replies, but the fact that this was his first conversation with his Sensei? He definitely wanted to kick things off on a solid note.

“I know what a good ninja is. But you can’t really describe one in a few, simple words. My parents were good ninja- great ninja, and I could fill a whole book with amazing things, and it still wouldn’t be enough.”

Feeling as though he’d been a little too caught up in his response, Sachi was quick to bite his tongue.
He didn’t feel sad discussing his folks, per se- he simply felt it was a bit early to get into all that.
Besides, he’d made his point clear.
Makoto slowly followed behind the group as they walked to their location, thinking about the answer he should give to Keito's question. That aside however, their new sensei seemed interesting to Makoto, to say the least. The man wore no shoes, and the large cloak on his back was intriguing, especially since he could sense chakra other than Keito's own when close enough to him. Was he like an Aburame or something? He was sure he'd find out soon enough either way.

While he was thinking, the group had reached the destination Keito was leading them to. To Makoto, it seemed like he planned to test them here, which would make the most sense right now seeing as how he still needed to get a gauge on everyone's abilities. As for his observation, Makoto finally decided to give him an answer.

"I don't really care about whether your first impressions of me are right or wrong, because to tell you the truth, I won't know whether I'm a good ninja or not until I've actually got some experience." He explained. This wasn't really something Makoto had thought too hard about before, though he was nonetheless confident in his answer.

"So, are we gonna be conducting some sort of test here?" He asked inquisitively, almost immediately changing the subject, "because if that's the case I'm ready whenever."
Miko Rinha – Maze
A worried look flashed across the genin as she noticed Toko's hesitation in taking the last of the cloth. "Also nervous." Miko took her binding from Byukia and begun tying it around her eyes. An utter and absolute darkness descended on her field-of-view. She thought she could notice different densities in the shadows between objects close and those far away, like where Byukia stood, but that was likely an illusion. Once they entered into the maze, things would be different. Since there wasn't even the barest hint of light, her eyes didn't adjust to their new surroundings.

She steadied her breathing. Then her head turned to look at where Clover was being loud, only looking slightly of center from his face. She didn't have any better word to describe the noises the boy made, but was still grateful for it. "I can hear Koun... will be able to follow if you lead." The first few steps weren't quick as Miko adjusted to the sense of balance she had lost together with her sight. Soon, however she was picking up speed and getting steadier as she walked until she stood out beside him.

Miko reached out, running her hands over his arm to figure out which limb she was touching. "Left arm." She continued, going lower until she reached his wrist where she began searching for the ninja boy's veins. "One... two... three... Koun's heart: healthy."
With his eyes closed, Keito made sure to listen to his students -- even Shin's silence, which spoke volumes to the jonin in-and-of itself. When Makoto was done speaking, he kept his eyes closed, remaining silent for several, long moments. The chakra flowing between him and the worms on his body inflated, greatly, like he'd just taken a massive food pill.

"Good answers," He responded, genuine, "In life, we all react to people and situations differently, what we see and understand is only a piece of the puzzle. On the battlefield, however, your opponent has to observe your movements and your actions and make snap decisions based on them. These are life-or-death, split-second decisions. They're not always right, and no - Sachi - they certainly don't tell the whole story. Only you will know the whole story. To you, that's an advantage. You, and your teammates, know what you're capable of. The faster you can end a battle, the less time your foe has to figure you out and prepare a counter-attack."

The Worm Sage paused, opening his eyes.

"You'll have to forgive me," Keito said with a soft smile, "My colleagues prepared grandiose training exercises, but I can't quite say I have anything so exciting for you all. We're just going to do a simple combat exercise. I'll give you ten minutes, as a team, to attack me from anywhere. I won't leave this spot, but you three can go as far as you wish to go. All you have to do? Is hit me one time."

He folded his hands behind his back and waited patiently for his team to get their bearings together, counting under his breath as he did so, "I...2...3...4-"


Previously Lily May
(I liked Sachi’s reply, just so you know. ;))

Toko held the cloth in his hands. His father would tell him to suck it up and just wear the dang thing.
He put it over his mouth. It wasn’t that bad, actually. The kid had a lot of fears that he didn’t to chase out of his head. Maybe his team could help him. Looked from each person to the other. He didn’t feel comfortable ranting his problems to them yet. Maybe in a few days…
He took off the cloth. “Should we start then?” This was the first time he had spoken to Byukia. You have no idea how proud he was of himself. He was very quiet and somewhat shy, actually.

(Not as shy as Hinata but yeah XD)
~Byukia Katzuke...~

"There you goooo. As a team you will find strength in numbers as well in each other. Good luck" Byukia said cheerfully gesturing them to begin. Byukia heard a terrifying scream from inside the maze. Most likely a paramim imitating a person's voice. Too bad for the genin, Byukia didn't mention them. Byukia walked off until she was outside the genin's field of vision. "Twelve paces... no... 13 paces left, 8 paces forward" Byukia thought to herself. She looked and made sure she wasn't seen before biting her thumb and touching her blood with a small symbol on the ground which wasn't very visible in the tall grass. A hole formed.

Byukia jumped in and the hole collapsed. Byukia smiled as she headed down the tunnel. After getting out of the tunnel, she was at the end of the maze. She stood her staff up, and leaped atop her staff. She stood on top of her staff happily thinking about her students.

~Hisato Gato...~

Hisato cheerfully walked with his team. They were gonna prove to Akumo Sensei why they deserved to be genin. Zeren, Yoshi, and Fossil Sensei by his side, what could possibly go wrong? More specifically, what could Akumo Sensei have up his sleeve? Hisato chuckled to the thought. He grinned, clapped his hands and stood on one leg, "Thaaat's right! She gets it. She gets it! Team 12 is golden, baby!" Hisato said pointing at Yoshi. He continued walking with the others, wondering where they would go.
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Previously Night's Shadow
Shin paused for a moment to catch her breath, which didn’t take long; her constant attempts to drown herself had paid off, as her insects could almost breathe for her at this point. A second later, though, she jerked up. She hadn’t noticed it before, but the insects in her body were reacting to something in Keito’s, vibrating in almost the same way they did when she observed an Aburame fighting. It was different, though— the chakra system she observed through her insects wasn’t quite the same as the slightly-differing-but-much-the-same systems as other Aburame. It seemed… heavier, somehow, like it was drawn toward the earth rather than the sky, like her insects were.

The girl was broken out of her thoughts by Keito-Sensei’s voice, and immediately trained her attention on him. Shin wasn’t quite sure what he was about yet, but her intrigue had definitely grown with that one observation. She supposed she’d find out why he seemed vaguely familiar during the combat training.

Shinrin cocked her head to the side at his instructions. All they had to do was hit him… once? If she could sneak a single insect past his defenses and have it bite him, would that count as a hit? Judging by his chakra flow, I think his abilities must be linked to the earth, somehow… but he also might just be controlling his chakra flow to make it seem that way. I dunno… I should probably stay back for now, and send some kikai to investigate more… And she did. As soon as Keito-Sensei’s count reached “3,” she was backing away quickly before flipping onto the nearest tree branch, careful to keep her eyes on their sensei/opponent as she hid herself in the leaves, spreading insects out to her left and right to both observe and cause confusion about her location.


Previously Lily May
Yoshi laughed at Hisato’s statement as they walked. She liked this team already. She just need to get closer to Akumo-sensei and Zeren, specifically Zeren. She knew he wasn’t one for small-talk or anything.
She wanted to talk to him, but she was afraid she’d annoy him. She sighed. Maybe Hisato could help me. Though, he does a pretty good job at annoying Zeren so maybe not. What about Akumo-sensei? Yeah. I’ll have to ask him when we meet again.
Toko put the cloth back on, looking back at Miko and Clover. He wasn’t sure what to do besides go into the maze. He didn’t know who wanted to lead either. He made his way to the entrance of the maze, wondering what the blonde and the noirette would do.

(Sorry for the short posts, not too much to say lol.)
Akumo Yama – 37th Training Ground
The young genin seemed ready to begin, although their motivation differed from each other to some extent. Soon enough they would be moving with a singular and joint purpose. "Enough talking and wasting sunlight, you'll need it to reach the peak." Akumo opened the gate to the training ground, officially starting their test.

The giant man walked in a leisure pace. Occasionally looking at the the genin as he spoke. "Many of the barriers protecting Konoha are of my design. Both mundane traps and esoteric wards. The latter are cooperative ninjutus, requiring teams of ninjas to create and maintain. Creatures like the Tailed Beasts are fearsome because they possess the strength to break through and wreak devastation on their own. During such occasions we can only hope to minimize the damage before it can be resealed. Defeating it only means it'll reform later."

A notion that the massive destruction of so much Konohagakure would likely be hard to wrap around for their young minds. Even if he hoped they would surprise him, Akumo did not expect it of them yet. He continued, "Since we are neither Jinchuriki nor Tailed Beasts, we need to find other means of strength and that is by relying on our brother and sister ninjas to aid us. Our village was founded for that purpose."

The aged ninja formed a hand seal using a single hand. Somewhere in the distance, a mechanism triggered and clicked. The sound of leaves rustling absent of the wind was the only warning given to Zeren as several kunai raced toward him and his teammates. While he had an advance warning, it'd still be up to him to defend himself and had possibly enough time to rush over to one of his fellow genin. Both Hisato and Yoshi would both be slower in reacting, though neither would be defenseless – especially if they had advance warning. Perhaps through luck, fewer seemed to be in Yoshi's path.

As things settled, they could all see a very visible sealing tag that had a proximity trigger inscribed mounted on a tree ahead of them. Other, small things, were also out of place, like an unnatural pile of leaves. "Hoooh... our young Raikai could see this attack coming." A hint of pride could be heard in Akumo's voice.

@Gamingfan @Shikowara @ThAtGuY101


Previously Gamingfan2
Clover glanced between his teammates, noticing their distress. He grinned, attempting to lighten the mood.
"It'll be fiiiiine. All we need is to keep track of each other and our surroundings, and all should go great."
Besides, though Byukia stated the opposite, he was sure his luck would give them some edge. Not that he's gonna bank on it, of course.
It was then he felt someone feeling up his arm.
"Wha-oh." his initial confusion vanished as he saw a blind Miko...apparently checking his vitals? Well, he supposed she needed some way to navigate.
Wait...him lead?
"Uh...alright." Clover replied uncertainly. He felt like he wasn't the best qualified to lead between them, but he was the least nervous. For now at least.
Clover nodded at his Sensei and inserted the earplugs, with one hand obviously. He could've sworn that he heard a scream a split second before he did, but he couldn't take them off again to make sure, so he simply decided to move past it. If there was something, he had Miko and Toko to warn him...somehow.
Anyway, they needed to get a move on. Clover began shuffling towards the maze entrance, speaking as to lead his team
"Alrighty then. We shouldn't keep her waiting" he spoke rather slowly now, trying to avoid slurring his speech unknowingly.
"We got this." he added, just to add a spark of confidence.

As they walked, Zeren paid little attention to what Sensei Fossil said, instead focusing on what he did. Lucky he did, as he caught a glimpse of movement from Sensei's hand. Zeren grabbed his katana, expecting the Sensei to attack, until a brief sound of leaves caught his attention.
Zeren looked their way, catching sight of the wave of kunai flying towards them.
Now normally, this would be met with extreme focus and calm moods. Zeren, despite his initial attitude, did not show any of that. He suddenly grinned widely, barking out "Kunai wave coming, watch out."
And that was all the aid his team was getting. Zeren leapt backwards, deflecting a few kunai that got too close and spinning behind a nearby tree, taking cover. With a moment to rest, Zeren realized that he probably should've helped his team a bit more. If they got hurt that would be a strike against him, after all.
Damn, he could only hope they would make it out alive. For his sake.


Previously Lily May
Yoshi didn’t expect Akumo-sensei to come as well. She decided to still wait till later, tough. She listened to Akumo talk. She didn’t understand most of it, and it seemed quite boring…Wait, Zeren could see what?—
Suddenly, Zeren drew his sword. Yoshi quickly got into a fighting stance, facing Zeren. This was out of habit. Her father would randomly jump out at her sometimes for practice. It was helpful.
She gasped. Kunai wave?! Yoshi immediately focused her chakra to her feet and released it, jumping high into the air, dodging the kunai knives. She landed in the nearest tree, hoping she’d be safe. Hoping the other two were safe as well. She almost fell, losing her balance, but gained it back in a second. The four eyed girl couldn’t see much from the tree, there being so many leaves.
She heard someone deflect some kunai, not too many though. She wondered if Akumo set this up himself.
Clover’s leading? That’ll work. Toko thought. He nodded to Clover as he let him take the lead and followed.
He liked looking at the maze, actually. He made sure to keep on eye on Clover, not wanting to lose him or anything, but he still looked at the walls of the maze as they went by.
Ten days, twenty-two hours and forty-five minutes was the duration of Sorako's last mission, an A-rank to investigate kidnappings around the Sekai Sea. Normally missions involving kidnappings are high B at minimum, going up to A-rank when the site of the kidnappings is as far as the Sekai Sea. A-ranks were rarely given to highly experienced Chunin and required a team of two other people at minimum, but Konoha was short-staffed and needed all the funds they could get after the Kyuubi attack. That's how Sorako went from helping rebuild infrastructure to scouring the southern coast of Fire Country with two Kiri-nin. The cooperation between the three was stiff, to say the least, but the mission was a success and Sorako could report it to her Kage. What she didn't expect however, was the non-official mission that followed. As the girl walked through the streets of Konoha, the meeting with Minato Namikaze played through her head.


"Kutsu Sorako, 19 years old, Chunin. Proficient in Wind Style, Genjutsu and so-called 'Silent Sentinel' due to injuries inflicted by intubation as a child. Passed Chunin Exams at 13 years of age. Successfully completed 45 D-rank missions, 7 C-rank missions, 4 B-rank missions and 1 A-rank mission. Follows orders to a tee, capable on their own and impeccable rep sheet. Aside from the occassional fights at the Academy due to bullying, far from a troublemaker." The fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, read through Sorako's file as the girl was kneeling down in front of him. Putting the file down, the Yellow Flash smiled and stood up from his desk, walking over to a window as to overlook the rebuilding village. His back was turned to Sorako, leaving her to read the kanji on his back. "A respectable reputation for any shinobi, especially for a civillian born. Wouldn't you say so, Kutsu-kun?"

Sorako responded, her voice coarse and rough as if she spent all day and night screaming. "Yes, Hokage-sama."

"Six years you have been a Chunin, and you've always diligently done your missions without complaining. However, your mission reports that include other shinobi have a repeated point of improvement. There seems to be a consistent lack of communication between you and your allies, for obvious reasons that I shall not address. You and I both know why you stay silent and prefer to communicate non-verbally. Among Chunin and higher rank shinobi, this should not pose a problem due to everyone knowing the universal Chunin sign language, but genin and civillians are not aware of this language. That is why I am personally assigning this mission to you, Kutsu Sorako. Stand up."

Sorako stood up in one fluid motion, legs apart and hands on her back.

"The new genin teams have been formed, all of which are lead by accomplished and responsible jonin. These genin are the future of our village, and they need all the training they can get." Minato handed Sorako a scroll, sealed by a wax seal exclusive to the Hokage. "Your mission is to tag along with team 11, team 12 and team 13 on their road to the Chunin Exams. As a Chunin, you are not permitted to teach teams by yourself, that is the job of the Jonin commander. Your job is to assist wherever necessary, answer potential questions the genin have about the life of a shinobi and see for yourself how communication can make or break a mission. Your first three months will be under the tutelage of Katzuke Byukia-san, this scroll contains your mission and explains it to anyone who sees it. None of the Jonin are informed about this, as this is also a way to gauge their way to handle unexpected events and to encourage them to raise the bar of expectations higher. Of course, you will also participate in the trainings. You assist the Jonin where possible, but they make the final decisions. After your first three months, I will receive a mission report from Katzuke-san and determine if you can move on to the next team or have to stay with them for longer. Dismissed."


Having made her way to the maze where Katzuke Byukai reportedly would be, Sorako opened the secret entrance she was made aware of by the helpful Jonin that pointed her towards Katzuke and her team. Finding the Jonin on a 5 ft pole, Sorako coughed to get her attention and offered her the scroll, making eye contact that was just a bit too long for a nervous Chunin to maintain. Sorako knew she was dealing with a Jonin, but they barely looked older than her. She'd test the waters first, Katzuke didn't strike her as a weathered Jonin judging by her age and the fact that she was balancing on a pole which Sorako presumed to be her weapon. It was yet to be discovered if she could learn much from her, if anything at all. Still, these were the Hokage's orders and she knew better than to disrespect authority now.
~Hisato Gato...~

"Mundane and esoteeeric..." Hisato said to himself. Hearing Akumo Sensei talk about tailed beasts, barriers, and destruction really made Hisato think about tailed beasts attacks. He heard and knew about them but growing up, he never put too much thought to it. It's not like he could stop them anyways, but he wondered. For a subject so serious, Hisato couldn't help but wonder what that destructive force looked like. These thoughts were cut short when soon kunai came at them.

"Woah!" Hisato went as the kunai came by. Hisato's skin began to stretch as a bone poked from his right forearm. He crouched in a low defensive stance to minimize vulnerable targets. He swung his blade to deflect away kunai, angling his ostaclast blade so that the kunai would deflect off the side of the blade and miss Hisato. Hisato stood behind a large rock for cover. "Hoo boy!" Hisato said. "Kunai attack!" Hisato said. "I wonder, what's next..." Hisato said.

~Byukia Katzuke...~

"I don't wanna die! Not here!" A paramim mimicked the sound of a frightened woman.

Byukia looked at the exit. The sound of the waterfall, and occasional paramims filled the air. Byukia would soon notice someone else enter the area. Byukia smiled at the chunin, "Hellooo" Byukia said in a soft voice. Byukia made a handsign and cherry blossom petals danced around in front of Sorako before taking the shape of a woman. Byukia to be exact. The Byukia clone smiled at Sorako, "Thankyou" The Byukia clone said in a soft voice before accepting the scroll, and turning around and looking up at actual Byukia who was now sitting atop her staff, rather than standing.

"Thankyou" Byukia said.
"Thank me, and I'm welcome" Byukia's clone said jokingly said before handing Byukia the scroll and poofing.
"Hmmm... Hmmm... Is that so... Is that sooo...? Hmmm?" Byukia said looking at Sorako.

Byukia continued to read the scroll, and look it over. She put the scroll away before looking back at the exit of the maze and smiled, "Do you know why this place is special?" Byukia asked. Byukia liked asking this question to all people that made it to the end of the maze.
Sorako watched the exchange between Byukai and her clone, wondering why she didn't just jump down from her pole instead of conjuring a clone. As the Jonin asked her a question about the maze, the girl began performing sign language. Talking was still scary to her, only letting her voice be heard to those she completely trusted, like the Hokage, her parents and her therapist. "This maze contains rare plant life that siphons chakra out of anyone that touches it and has native bird species capable of mimicing human voices. I am unaware of their name, but they are probably related to parrots or corvids in some capacity. I've encountered both when trying the maze myself blindfolded, though I only managed to get this far a couple of times. Chakra depletion was always the limiting factor, as I only had myself to rely on. Why do you ask, Katzuke-san?"
Byukia smiled at Sorako before using sign language as well, "Very good answer Sorako, but that's only part of the answer I was looking for" Byukia said getting off her staff. She patted Sorako across the back before making more hand gestures in sign language. "Do you see the waterfall, over there? It's a special waterfall with healing properties. Its supposed to be able to be able reduce blood loss and heal minor wounds. Though I don't suggest drinking it thooough. The properties makes the water very bitterrr..." Byukia looked like she was sick to her stomach for a moment. It were as if she were reliving a memory. She played it off by chuckling.

"Since you been here before then you may have already known that. Theres a small little tree at the top of the water fall though(a small tree similar in shape to a bonsai tree) I don't know exactly how old it is, but it's very old. It was around even before the first shinobi war. Though I speculate it may even be much older than that. Though don't take my word for it. It's just a hunch hehe" Byukia chuckled.