Naruto: Shichiyo Gaiden XXX
Chapter 30: Suna's Rookies Depart
“Come on Shizuko!” Masaomi yells. He uses his shadowless flight technique to appear at different positions throwing kunai towards Shizuko as she stands in the middle. Shizuko stands in the center with senbon in her hands. As the projectiles head towards her from different angles, Shizuko's only focus is coming out of the storm of weapons.
Shizuko begins by sliding her left leg forwards moving her up and she spins counter clockwise avoiding four kunai. As she spins she releases the six needles she has in her hands and they travel to hit six more kunai that come at her.
“Good! Keep it up.” Masaomi says continuing to move and an untraceable speed. Shizuko pants heavily, having expended a lot of energy already. She takes out more needles and shifts with light feet around the kunai and shuriken. Her natural flexibility works to her advantage, however she must remain vigilante. After a few short minutes of evading and countering the projectiles, she begins to tire quicker.
Shizuko slides backwards on her right foot she stumbles onto the side of her foot, causing her stumble backwards and she nearly runs into a kunai. She manages to avoid it by spinning counterclockwise yet as she comes to a stop a kunai runs past her cheek and cuts her slightly. Frightened, she stumbles back slightly and two kunai fly past her left arm and her torso, cutting the sleeve of her shirt and her shirt. Unable to keep track of the projectiles any longer Shizuko stands as several shuriken and kunai brush past her hitting her clothing, which is to symbolize her getting hit.
Eventually Shizuko drops to her hands and knees. She pants exhausted with her head hanging down where her black hair hangs in front of her on the ground. Masaomi stops and drops down and walks towards her. “Shizuko, you couldn't even survive one assault. You have to try harder.” Masaomi pushes.
“I'm sorry Masaomi-kun...” Shizuko says highly apologetically.
“We only have until tomorrow before we leave for the exams, we have to try to get Tenra to change his mind!”
As Masaomi raises his voice Shizuko quivers a little. “Stop yelling at her Masaomi!” Koga says leaning against a tree. “Yelling at her isn't going to make anybody change their minds.”
“Well I don't see you trying to help!” Masaomi exclaims.
“Shows what you know...we need another teammate now in order to take the exams.” Koga says, holding up a Suna headband.
“Koga-kun! What did you do?!” Shizuko says in a worrying voice shooting her head up.
“Calm down I didn't kill him or anything, I just made sure he wouldn't be able to take the exams, so now we need another teammate.” Koga says calmly.
“You two...” Shizuko says in a soft voice. “I'm not worth all this trouble, I'll only slow you down if I go with you. Tenra-sensei is right, I'm not ready for the exams.” Shizuko turns her head down. Her eyes fill with guilt and self shame as she looks at the ground. “I've always held you guys back.” she mumbles to herself. “Please don't wait for me.” She begs gently.
“Idiot, what did we tell you?!” Masaomi yells.
“We're not taking the exams without you. They said it was our choice so if they don't let you take the exams then we're not going to either.” Koga says reassuringly with a slight smile.
“Masaomi...Koga...” Shizuko grips her fists discouraged and with guilt. She shoots up to her feet and runs away from her teammates.
“Let her go.” A voice says from behind Masaomi. Masaomi and Koga turn to look at Tenra approaching them from behind. Both the genin get a look of anger when they see the substitute instructor. “She needs to cool off and you two have some explaining to do.” Tenra points to the headband Koga holds in his hand. “You honestly think you could make that look like an accident?”
“Look, that was all Koga I had nothing to do with it.” Masaomi says pointing to Koga.
“I don't care if you know or not, that's not going to change the outcome. Besides if he couldn't hold his own with me he didn't need to be taking the exams in the first place.” Koga says shrugging off Tenra.
“*sigh* There are still people waiting for placement, I'll simply pick another person to accompany you.” Tenra says.
“You just don't get it!” Masaomi yells. “We're not doing this without Shizuko and that's that!”
“can't you see that you are both making it worse? You're making her feel guilty that she's holding you back. Your efforts to try and get me to change my mind are only making it worse. What she's doing by staying back here is the best thing she can do for you and the team as a whole.”
“What did you say!” Masaomi yells. He makes a single seal and uses his shadowless flight to move himself to attack Tenra. Masaomi appears to the right of Tenra and launches a kunai into his side. Tenra disappears and is replaced with a block of wood. “What the?” Tenra appears behind Masaomi and puts him in a headlock.
Just then Koga appears from underneath Tenra's feet, his body seeming to assimilate with the earth and he shoots up without disturbing the earth. Koga attempts to place a tag on Tenra's leg and just as Tenra notices Koga, he brings his other hand up and makes the snake seal and a small section of the earth between him and Koga shoots up and wraps around Koga's arm just before Koga tags Tenra. Tenra pushes Masaomi into the tree and kneels down to face Koga, cutting clean through the tag with the edge of his hand.
“You lack respect, so much you'd try to kill me. Your bond with Shizuko and Maiyuri is strong, I understand that but the simple fact of the matter is no matter how strong your bonds are there has to be some level of restraint and respect for your superiors. Already knowing this before hand your lack of respect I still recommended you for the exams. Gratitude and respect aside, I expect you to learn some at least, both of you.” Tenra looks into the angered eyes of Koga as he releases the earth.
“*sigh* I honestly do want us to get along, which is why if you continue to insist on not taking the exams without Shizuko, I will allow her to try and change my mind. However this has to be her decision to do so and you will have until sunset to do it as we leave tomorrow. You must agree that you will take the exams regardless of my decision though, understood?”
Neither Masaomi or Koga say anything yet both turn their head with reluctance, silently agreeing to the terms. “You'll know where to find me.” Tenra disappears in a cloud of smoke and the two teammates look at each other. By the gate entrance to the training field where Masaomi and Koga sit, Koji leans against it, hearing the entire conversation between the two genin and Tenra. A brief moment after Tenra leaves, Koji vanishes in a cloud of smoke himself.
~Main Streets of Suna~
“Ahh, I can't wait! The day before what you're most excited for always seems like the longest one damn it.” Koichi complains out loud next to Ryoko. Koichi turns a few glances towards him at his loud mouth, however it doesn't bother him.
“Guess you like drawing attention to yourself.” Ryoko says sarcastically.
“See you think you or anybody else could ruin this day for me.” Koichi says holding is nose high, closing his left eye. “Although it's the day before, it's also the best day. As it is like waiting for succulent vanilla strawberry cake, the seemingly endless time it takes for it to get done makes it taste all the sweeter.”
“That's your analogy for waiting for the Chuunin Exams, vanilla strawberry cake?” Ryoko looks upon Koichi with bizarre confusion. “*sigh* just when I thought you couldn't get any weirder.” Ryoko says shaking her head. “Hey, isn't that Koji over there?” Ryoko says noticing Koji leap about the roof tops in front of them.
“Yeah, what's he up to?” Koichi asks. Koichi leaps up and to follow him.
“Always hasty.” Ryoko complains as she leaps up to follow him. The two shinobi follow their teammate as he makes his way through most of the village to a discrete road outside the main districts of Suna. When they finally catch up to him. They lay inside a large tree hiding within it as the see Koji facing Shizuko.
“You're pathetic Shizuko.” Koji says to her. Shizuko stands with her hands together and her left thumb in her mouth. As Koji says his harsh words, her natural timidness increases and she looks saddened. “You passed the academy barley and were carried by Masaomi and Koga to remain a genin, yet you still can't be of any help to them for these exams.” Shizuko bites her thumb even harder.
“You're right.” Shizuko mutters out softly.
“*sigh* And you have no self worth, a person like you really shouldn't be a shinobi, maybe you should just quit now and save your team and village the embarrassment. You'd live longer this way too.” Koji says. His expression is stoic as he stares in her eyes.
“You're wrong about that...” Shizuko says in her low voice again. “I know...I know I can become stronger.” She says shifting her eyes to meet Koji's. However once she looks into her eyes, fear overcomes her and she quickly shoots her head down again and steps back.
“What better time then now to prove it then.” Koji says. Koji darts out towards Shizuko keeping low to the ground. She notices Koji however she stands frozen in fear. “Stop being weak.” Koji says in his moderate tone as he appears under her and punches her in the stomach, knocking her back and onto the ground.
“What the hell is he doing?” Koichi says quietly gripping a branch. “Where the hell does he get off talking to her like that?!”
“Calm down Koichi.” Ryoko says.
Koji stands over Shizuko as she props herself up. She looks at him and she scoots back in fear on the ground. “You can't even block my simple attack. How do you expect to even be a shinobi if you can't defend yourself.” Koji extends his arm down towards her lending her a hand off the ground. She reluctantly grabs his hand and Koji grips her tight and yanks her off the ground, pulling her over his shoulder and throwing her onto her back. “And you fall for the easiest tricks. In what world of the shinobi does your enemy ever lend you a helping hand?” Koji shakes his head.
“Koji!” Koichi says under his breath. “I'm about to show you how it feels.”
“Calm down, we need a plan of action we can't just attack him he's too—”
“He's number 2, and I'm number 1 that's all there is too it, and I'm about to make him remember that.” Suddenly Koji shoots his head to Koichi and Ryoko's position and makes a the tiger seal. Suddenly wires shoot up from the tree beneath them and wrap around both of them. “God damn it a trap!” Both Koichi and Ryoko fall out of the tree and Koji walks towards them. “Koji what the hell are you doing?! Why are you attacking Shizuko?!”
“Masaomi, it's time you see just how weak she is and that you need to give up on her.”
“Masaomi?” Koichi says confused?
Ryoko looks and sees Shizuko looking with intense fear in her eyes as she looks upon them. She looks into her chakra and notices it's been disturbed and see's Koji's genjutsu. She turns and looks at Koji and he looks at her.
“Anything to say Koga?” She says nothing understanding what Koji's intentions are.
“Please, don't hurt them!” Shizuko pleas.
“Shut up, if I do there's nothing you can do about it.” Koji says. Koji takes out a kunai and holds it to Koichi's neck.
“Koji what the hell are you doing? Why did you call me Masa—”
“Calm down, play along she thinks your Masaomi and Koga just don't say anything.” Koji whispers.
“Please, I beg you!” Shizuko says, bowing.
“A shinobi never begs, I guess they're nothing to you then.” Koji kicks Koichi hard and knocks him back onto the ground hard. He then throws his kunai at Koichi, aimed right between the eyes. A few inches before reaching him a small needle hits the knife out the way. Koji turns and sees the look on Shizuko's face changed drastically. Her timidness has left her and she looks with great seriousness and intensity at Koji. “Think you can take me?” Koji challenges.
Shizuko shoots up and runs towards Koji. Koji releases several kunai towards her and Shizuko takes out a few more senbon and launches them. The four senbon she launches hit the kunai at angles which cause them to change course and hit the the other four away.
Koji throws a kunai to his side, snapping rope which springs two traps sending a volley of shuriken coming at Shizuko from all directions.
*Isn't that a little much Koji?* Ryoko thinks to herself.
Shizuko takes out six more senbon and launches them upwards, hitting a few of the shuriken and in a way where they knock several others out the way. Shizuko then then spins clockwise as she purposely falls. With her left hand trailing behind her she grabs two of the shuriken that would've landed on her just before falls and she lands on the ground in an obscure fashion, avoiding all the remaining projectiles, as they fall between the sections of her body. With her free hand she pushes up off the ground, and the two shuriken in her hand she launches them, lacing them with chakra to increase their speed. The knives fly past Koji and cut the wires on Ryoko and Koichi.
*Amazing, she's so flexible and agile* Koichi thinks to himself.
Just before she does a complete flip Shizuko spits a hidden senbon from her mouth towards Koji, right at his neck. Koji smiles and uses Shunshin and appears right behind Shizuko as she lands. “That wasn't too hard was it?” He places his hand on her back and releases his illusion. The images of Koga and Masaomi disappear and she sees Koichi and Ryoko in their stead.
“What...what is going on?” Shizuko says confused.
“You're own self confidence needs work but one thing is for sure, you're dedicated to Masaomi and Koga. In a case like this, you're the only person who could save them.”
“You mean...you set this up?” Shizuko says turning to him.
“Well it wasn't all me, Koichi and Ryoko agreed to help me so thank them too. I needed to bring out the inner strength you had inside you. You stifle the abilities you have that are exceptional, which is something you'll need to change in order to become stronger like you said...does this convince you Tenra-sensei?” Koji yells out.
Tenra reveals himself walking away towards the academy. “What is Tenra-sensei doing here?”
“He agreed to give you a second chance to prove yourself for the exams. Although it wasn't voluntary, if it was you never would've preformed as well as you did...well, not yet anyway.” Koji says. Shizuko lets out a wide smile and she turns and hugs Koji tightly.
A split moment later after realizing her bold move she pushes away from Koji and blushes. “S...sorry, I uh...” she puts her thumb back in her mouth looks down. She shifts her eyes back to Koji's eyes, “Thank you Koji-kun.” Just after saying that in her normal tone, she runs off back into the village.
“*tsk* Guess we don't get a thanks or nothing.” Koichi complains.
“Oh please you didn't even understand when Koji whispered in your ear.” Ryoko says.
“Hey shut up.”
~In the Main District~
“Come on Koga, we have to find Shizuko so we can tell her, we only have a few hours left.” Masaomi says.
“I'm not a sensor, I don't know where she is.”
“I just hope we have time to change Tenra's mind.”
The two genin see Tenra walking towards them, the jounin walks with his eyes closed and smiling. He walks in between the two boys, “Shizuko's taking the exams with you guys.” Both Masaomi and Koga stop in their tracks and turn to Tenra as he continues to walk, the dumbfound look on their faces shows utter confusion.
“Wow...we work fast don't we Koga?” Masaomi says with a big grin. Koga turns and looks with a blank disapproving expression as he shakes his head. “What?”
“Just shut up.” Koga says walking away from Masaomi.
With Shizuko joining the fray, all 9 of the rookies from Sunagakure prepare for their departure for Konoha the next day. Their journey towards becoming chuunin begins tomorrow.