(OOC) The Life of a Shinobi: Chapter 1 Squad 5 Remastered

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(OOC) The Life of a Shinobi: Chapter 1 Squad 5 Remastered

Post  The Flow on Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:04 pm

The Life of a Shinobi
The Fourth Shinobi World War was a conflict between the Allied Shinobi Forces and the Akatsuki. The war began when Zetsu and the Hebi attacked the Hokage Summit and lasted until the complete collapse of Akatsuki and the sealing of the Ten-Tails. In its harsh battles, many brave shinobi died fighting for their homes and families. At the war's end, the world knew peace.

Soon after the war was over, Naruto Uzumaki had reached his goal of becoming Hokage and was celebrated as the “Hero of all Shinobi”. Yet, not all was well after the war was over. Soon, criminal organizations and rouge warriors returned to the world. Some countries even became plagued by terrorists and bandits. As the Sixth Hokage, Naruto worked hard to keep the village and the world safe; often fighting on the frontlines. But one day, something went wrong and in the resulting battle Naruto was killed.

It has now been thirty years since the end of the Fourth Shinobi World War, and many of the shinobi from those days have gotten stronger and started families.  Now, the world that Naruto Uzumaki fought and died for is in the hands of a new generation. This is the life of a shinobi.


Chapter 1 Squad 5

Two weeks ago, 21 students graduated from the academy and became Genin. After being placed in their teams, the students were released to give them time to get to know one another. Kaori Yamanaka, Mugen Kakusu-Ken, and Ryan Kasai made up one such team.  Kaori Yamanaka was a very athletic girl whose face showed her confidence. She wore her hair long like many in her family and was an expert in mind-centered techniques. Despite her girlish charm, Kaori was a total tomboy whose determination earned her the respect of her male classmates, sensei, and father.

Mugen Kakusu-Ken was much different from the rest of his class (even the whole village). His darker skin and dreadlocks showed his cloud heritage even though he was born in Konoha.  Mugen was slightly tall for his age and had the face of a slacker. As a kid, Mugen grew up in the Hyuuga dojo with his big sister Akira under the care of Naruto and Hinata when their parents died. When Naruto died 3 years ago, Hinata continued to take care of the two kids until Akira became a chunnin and the two moved out into their own place.

At the academy, Mugen was bullied for being an outsider. Wanting respect he soon made himself known through his skills with his father's wakizashi and tanto. Mugen even went as far as learning marksmanship and weapon smithing in his spare time.

Ryan Kasai was a weirder kid then one may think. For starters, he wore wheels on his feet; which was an unheard of concept in Konoha. Ryan was one of the smallest in his class with two-tone red and black spiky hair plus a child-like face. Ryan was also one of the most undisciplined students, always causing trouble with his silly and comical nature. It was said that the 7th Hokage, Konohamaru, felt he needed more discipline and decided to place him in squad 5 with Mugen and Kaori.

As the trio left the academy, Ryan thought it was a good time to try out the skates (as he called them) that he had recently made. The boy rolled slowly down the walkway in the courtyard next to Mugen and Kaori. “Y’know, when you said that you wanted to put wheels on your shoes. I thought you were crazy” said Mugen as he watched Ryan, “Now that I see it…I know you’re crazy.” “Come on it’s really fun,” Ryan replied in a cheerful voice as he continued to roll. “What?” Mugen asked, “Rolling around like an idiot or falling down on your ass?”

“Hey…” Kaori interrupted, “we’re supposed to be building teamwork.” Mugen turned and gave her a smug look as he asked, “And what…we’re not?” Before Kaori could respond to Mugen’s comment, Ryan crashed into a bunch of garbage cans, spilling trash all over the ground. “Hahahaaa…clean up on aisle dumbass,” Mugen shouted as Ryan tried to get to his feet. Kaori watched the poor kid repeatedly fall into the trash. “O’man…” she thought to herself, “why did I have to get stuck with the two of them?” As the three were in the courtyard messing around; a jonin by the name Raiku Zari watched from a nearby roof.

Raiku was a tall and handsome man who had black curly hair. He was built like a soldier and honed his jonin skills since he was 16. Raiku watched as he wondered if this group would really work together. He took a closer look at Ryan as he read the profile that he had on him. Neither Ryan’s profile nor his actions gave Raiku the reassurance he needed to be confident about Ryan’s ability to work in a team. “Does the Hokage truly think that I can change this boy?” he thought himself as he continued to watch the three, “I guess only time will tell…”

The next day, Raiku, along with the other jonin, arrived at the academy to meet with his new students. After watching his new squad the day before, Raiku already had an idea of who they were. As he looked at them in the classroom he thought about what he could do to test their teamwork and skills.

After picking up the genin, Raiku took them to the training field that he picked out the day before. Wanting to know more about his students, Raiku had the three sit in a semi-circle around him. “Alright then,” he said looking at each of them, “let’s begin.” The man gave off a presence that resembled an angry pit-bull. His eyes went back and forth, staring each of them down as he looked for any signs of weakness. Raiku then quickly shot his eyes toward Mugen “you there,” he said, “tell me your full name, a hobby of yours, and give me one word that describes you.” As Raiku stared down Mugen in an effort to intimidate him, Mugen never even flinched. With a cocky smile Mugen answered, “The name’s Mugen Kakusu-Ken. My hobby is reading manga or whatever keeps me entertained. And I guess I’m what you’d call a ‘friendly A-hole’ heh heh heh.”

After hearing Mugen’s answer, Raiku was quite intrigued. Mugen not only stared him down without fear, but he made a smart remark almost mocking him. From past experience, Raiku noticed that genin like Mugen weren’t very good at working with others. “Well I think the two of us should have a lot of fun together,” he said. Raiku then turned his gaze over to Kaori who stared back at him with confidence. “Alright,” he said, “you’re next.” “My name is Kaori Yamanaka. I’ve always enjoyed drawing and painting and I’m usually described by others as determined.” The fearless confidences displayed by Kaori impressed Raiku. She showed many traits that made a great leader. “Well I hope to see that determination of yours in the field,” he said to her.

Raiku finally turned to Ryan, who looked as if his wasn’t paying the slightest attention. Raiku had hoped the report on Ryan was wrong but it appeared to be the most accurate report he ever had. “Hey kid,” he said sternly, “pay attention…it’s your turn!” Scared after Raiku’s outburst, Ryan fell back as if he was being attacked.

“Ah…well…my name is Ryan Kasai. I like rollerblading as a hobby and I guess you can describe me as hyperactive, easy going, and laid-back,” Ryan said as he stumbled over his words. Raiku sighed and mentally face palmed. The others showed strength and confidence while Ryan was playing with the wheels on his feet. Not to mention his inability to follow simple direction wasn’t a good sign. “Rollerblading…is ‘that’ what you’re callin that crap?” asked Mugen, “why don’t you call it looking stupid as you crash into trash cans?” “Come on man,” said Ryan, “it’s going to be next big thing I know it…” “That’s enough you two!” Kaori said as she interrupted the argument. Raiku became concerned with his new squad. He wasn’t even sure if they would pass the test he came up with for them.

Mugen was a reckless hothead but he had potential as a shinobi, growing up in the Hyuuga dojo with the Uzumaki family.  Kaori was strong and smart with a creative mind and noticeable leadership potential. But Ryan was undisciplined; he focused more on his wheeled shoes than his own teammates and didn’t even follow Raiku’s directions.  Ryan’s foolishness brought out the worst in Mugen and could potentially be the downfall of the team. “I guess I’m stuck with him for now,” thought Raiku.

Raiku took a deep breath as he sat down in front of the genin. “My name is Raiku Zari,” he said calmly, “from now on I will be your sensei. And as your sensei my goal is to train you and guide you in becoming proper shinobi.” Raiku reaches into the pouch on his hip and pulls out an Allied Shinobi Forces Headband. “This headband was once used in the last Great War. It symbolizes all shinobi as a whole. Today’s training will be simple: retrieve this headband before the day ends. You can use whatever weapons you’d like, if you want to take the headband then you need to be ready to kill me. If one of you gets the headband, you all pass. However, if no one gets this headband before the day ends I will fail you all.” The three genin knew what he meant the moment he said “I will fail you all.” The day before, as the three were eating at Ichiraku Ramen, an older genin that was eating there told them that if they fail a jonin’s test they would be sent back to the academy.

Seeing no one raise their hand, Raiku lays the headband on the ground then bites his finger drawing blood. He then quickly makes hand sighs before placing his hand on the ground.  “SUMMONING JUTSU!” he exclaims.  Out of the smoke came a pair of huge black wings that in one great flap blew away the smoke, revealing a giant hawk. Taking the headband, Raiku jumps on its back and says. “You may start when you hear the whistle.” The bird once again flapped its wings, launching itself into the air and sending a gust of wind at the three genin. As the bird flew away, the three waited in silence. A few minutes later they heard the whistle cutting through the forest and echoing in all directions.

“Let’s go!!” shouts Kaori as they jumped to their feet and made a mad-dash into the woods. Once inside the forest, they gathered at a large tree. “Alright…first things first, we need to find out where we are,” said Kaori. Mugen steps up to her and says, “If I can get high enough I might be able to find that out for you.” Kaori liked Mugen’s idea and nodded her approval to him. He quickly jumped onto the tree then bounced off of it onto another one then back to the one before. Mugen repeated this as he made his way to the canopy of the forest. Now in the canopy, Mugen hopped to the tallest tree and looked at the surrounding forest. As he was memorizing the area he noticed four possible places in the forest where the headband could be.

After Mugen was done looking around he dove off the tree, landing next to Kaori. He then drew a detailed map of the forest into the ground. “Good work,” Kaori said happily as she looked over the map. “While I was up there, I saw four places where the headband could be at,” said Mugen. Based off of what Mugen said, Kaori draws a circle with three lines in it on the top right corner of the map. “So we have four places to look but where do we start?” asked Kaori. Ryan, who was taking off his skates, said “why don’t we just split up and look around one person in each section? If one of us finds it then we win right…?” “Too risky…” said Kaori, “we don’t have any radios to call each other if we’re in trouble.” “And I know those skates of yours are having trouble out here too,” Mugen said as he pointed to the grass and leaves stuck in Ryan’s wheels. “Come off it,” snapped Ryan as he tried to fix his skates. “Hey, pay attention…” said Kaori, “unless you want to go back to the academy we need to work together. You need to stay focused,” she said to Ryan. “And you need to stop being an asshole,” she said while pointing at Mugen.

Now with everyone’s attention, Kaori pointed at the map and asked, “How are we going to find the headband?” “Well instead of splitting up and searchin the whole circle. Why don’t we take it slow and check each section one at a time?” asked Mugen, “the sections ain’t that big. If we spread out and search while using bird calls as signals we’ll cover more ground and be able to communicate with each if something happens.”

Kaori thought about how well they were trained in different forms of communication. The idea of using bird calls as codes seemed like a great idea since they were in the forest. “Alright any objections?” she said looking at the both of them. Neither Mugen nor Ryan said anything as Kaori wiped the map away. In a nearby tree, Raiku sat and watched the group as they discussed their plan. He liked the leadership that Kaori displayed and Mugen’s ideas where great but he was still unsure about Ryan.

Ryan seemed to be working with the others so far, but it was only the first few minutes of the test. The genin ran through the forest as quickly and as quietly as they could. Once they reached the first section Kaori signaled them to split up. Mugen jumped into tree tops while Ryan and Kaori searched through the forest floor. The two looked around only to find nothing while Mugen scanned the area from the trees.

After spending some time looking, Mugen jumped from the trees when Kaori made a bird sound. He jumped down using branches to quietly make his landing. “Well…” asked Kaori as she kept a look out for Raiku. “Sorry, don’t see anything” replied Mugen, “what about you guys?” “Nothing,” she said with disappointed, “let’s move on.” “I found some traps to the east so I think we should move by tree…” Mugen quickly suggested.

As the two were about to leave they noticed that Ryan was missing. He had wondered off into the forest instead of staying with the group. As Ryan walked, Raiku watched his every move, “what a fool” he thought as he saw Ryan walking toward the traps that Mugen had seen. His foot was quickly caught by a rope hidden under some dead leaves that dragged him across the ground to another trap that catches his arm then hangs him in the air like a hammock.  “Kaori...Mugen…anyone…HELP ME!!!” exclaimed Ryan as he swung from side to side.

“A shinobi must be able to conceal their movements and effectively hide from the enemy,” Raiku says as he approaches Ryan, “you on the other hand carelessly wondered away from your team and now look at you.” While Raiku was lecturing Ryan, who was still struggling to get free, Mugen and Kaori quietly approached the two from the trees. They knew at they had to save Ryan. “Mugen,” Kaori said using hand signals to speak, “I need you to distract sensei while I save Ryan.”

Mugen nodded with understanding before diving out of the tree while firing three shots from his small hand held crossbow at Raiku. The bolts flew through the air directly toward Raiku who simply deflects the first two with a kunai then catches the last one without even turning to look. “Nice try,” he said twirling the bolt as Mugen landed, “but, did think such a simple attack would get the best of a jonin?”

Mugen smiled as he reached and drew his wakizashi from the back of his hips. “No…not really,” Mugen replied sarcastically, “but I’m sure that will get ya, sensei.” From behind Raiku another Mugen appeared and placed his tanto against Raiku’s throat. Raiku was surprised; he wasn’t expecting such a young shinobi to know the Shadow Clone Jutsu. “Huh, this one is quite skilled,” Raiku thought with an impressed smile on his face.

“Y’know sensei, I’m willing to bet that you’ve got the headband on you right now,” said the Mugen. “And what would you do if I did?” asked Raiku. Mugen pressed his tanto against Raiku’s throat and smiled. To this Raiku simply gave a small laugh before saying, “shinobi battle techniques part one: Taijutsu.” Raiku grabs Mugen’s knife hand and twists it.

The suddenness and power of Raiku’s counterattack caught Mugen off guard as he was quickly disarmed. Raiku then leapt into the air and with a spinning kick to the head, destroying Mugen’s clone. As he landed, Raiku ducked underneath Mugen’s sword as he tried to cut off his head.  Raiku followed up by sweeping his legs with a kick and tripping him. Mugen fell onto his back, dropping his sword as Raiku stood over him.

“He seems to be well trained with his sword and knife,” Raiku thought as he picked up Mugen’s sword, “plus he moves and fights like an assassin: quick, quite, and precise.” He then looks over at Mugen as he scrambled to his feet. “That was a great effort,” Raiku said as he tossed Mugen’s sword into air, “but you fail to see the bigger picture.” Mugen gritted his teeth in annoyance that his sword was taken from him. “Oh yeah…so what is this big picture…?” Mugen asked as he looked up at his sword.

While Mugen was slightly distracted, Raiku was suddenly behind him. “To start…” he said as he grabbed Mugen’s shirt and pants, “try not letting your opponent get behind you.” Raiku then throws Mugen against Ryan who’s still trapped, while the sword lands right in front of Kaori as she was trying to cut the rope. “A ninja sees through deception,” said Raiku, “I realized this was a diversion from the beginning.”

Kaori grabbed Mugen’s sword and then jumped in front of Mugen and Ryan. “Oh…” said Raiku as Kaori set herself to fight, “do you know how to handle a weapon like that?” “I guess we’ll have to find out,” replied Kaori, “Wind Style: Great Breakthrough.” Kaori takes a deep breathe then blows a strong gust of wind that almost knocks Raiku off of his feet. While she was blowing, Mugen takes the sword from her and cuts Ryan free.

“Kaori let’s go!” shouts Mugen as Ryan stubbles to his feet. Kaori gives Raiku an even stronger dust of wind that blow heavy debris at him before running away with the others. The three ran for a while and then stopped to rest at a large tree. “What the hell were you thinking?!” Kaori exclaimed to Ryan, “If this was a real mission you’d be dead right now!” “Dude, I just wanted to find the headband,” Ryan said. While the two argued, Mugen was carefully looking around, he knew that they had been running for a while, yet, they appeared to be in the same place they ran away from.

“Guys…” Mugen said quickly, “we’re not safe yet.” The three looked back and forth waiting for something to happen. Suddenly the ground that they were standing on came to life and reached out to grab the three. “Ahhh…” screamed Ryan as each arm slowly turned into Raiku. The Raikus crawled out of the earth grabbing on to the three as they struggled. “What the hell is going on!” exclaimed Kaori as she tried to use her kunai to cut away at the Raikus on her. As they struggled, Raiku watched from one of the branches of the large tree. “Shinobi battle techniques part 2: Genjutsu,” He said as he watched the three. Raiku noticed that his genjutsu wasn’t affecting Mugen as much as the others. Mugen began to stand still as the Raikus grabbing him tried to pull him into the earth.

“Mugen…” Kaori called out as she laid on the ground. Mugen looked over at her and said, “just relax…I’ll take care of it.” Mugen focused his chakra into a strong surge then released it, disrupting Raiku’s jutsu. With his genjutsu now gone, Raiku jumps out of the tree, landing in front of the three. “That was a good job seeing through my genjutsu,” he said. Ryan hops to his feet and says; “Okay that does it!” Ryan quickly made some hand signs and his eyes became red. “This is why they call me Spitfire!” he exclaimed,  “Fire Style: Phoenix Flower Jutsu!” Mugen and Kaori looked back with fear in their eyes; they’d hoped Ryan wouldn’t use a fire style ninjutsu in the forest during the dry season, and to make things worse, they were in path of Ryan’s jutsu. “Kaori…RUN!” exclaimed Mugen as he jumped out of the way.  Ryan began spitting out random volleys of fireballs that went everywhere.

Kaori ducked and dodged each ball of fire as she ran to safety and Raiku simply jumped out of the way of the mass of fireballs that Ryan tried to hit him with. “He’s a bigger fool then I thought,” Raiku thought, “he almost killed his own teammates.” When Ryan was done shooting fireballs, Mugen jumped out of the tree and pointed his crossbow at Ryan’s head. “Dude, what are you doing,” asked Ryan as he looked at the loaded crossbow pointing at him. “I could ask you the same damn thing,” replied Mugen, “this makes twice that you could have gotten us killed.” “Mugen!” shouted Kaori as she jumped next to the two, “calm down!” “Kaori, let’s just leave him here,” suggested Mugen, “he doesn’t think about anything he does.” “Calm down Mugen, let sensei decide that,” Kaori replied..

Raiku watched from a distance, he liked Kaori’s level headed leadership and how she calmed down Mugen. He also took notice in the raw power and recklessness of Ryan’s jutsu and could understand why Mugen was ticked off with him. “This kid is a danger to himself and everyone around him,” thought Raiku, “I may have to send him back to the academy even if they succeed.” Raiku continued to watch his students as Mugen once again climbed to the top of a tree and looked around. It was already passed noon and they still didn’t know where the head band was. As Mugen was searching for the head band, Kaori was planning on how they would take it while Ryan kept an eye out for Raiku. While Mugen was looking around he noticed something off in the distance. A small flash of light that flickered in the forest.

“That’s strange…” Mugen thought as he looked at the light, “is it a mirror or something.” As he thought about what the light could be he remembered that the head band was made of steel. With this thought, Mugen became excited and dove out off of the tree to tell Kaori. “I found it,” he said as he landed by her, “I found the head band.” Kaori and Ryan looked at Mugen with excitement in their eyes. Mugen pointed to a single spot on the map that Kaori drew on the ground as she was making plans.

“It’s close by,” said Kaori as she examined the map carefully, “are there any traps?” “I don’t see any but I know sensei can’t be too far from it,” said Mugen. “Dude! What are we waiting for?” asked Ryan, “Let’s just go get it!” “Calm down Ryan,” said Kaori, “or do you want sensei to catch you again?” “Don’t worry,” said Ryan, “I know sensei is fast but I’m hyperactive so I can match his speed.”

“Really…” said Mugen, “do you seriously think you can keep up with a Jonin? You can’t even match my speed and I was the class’s fastest genin.” “Well we’re going to have to think of something or else you’re going back to the academy,” said Kaori. “Well you could just use your Yamanaka skill to control his mind or something,” Mugen said jokingly. “Wait…” Kaori said suddenly, “Mugen, say that again.”

Mugen gave her a puzzled look as he asked, “what the mind control joke?” Kaori immediately started thinking of a plan to grab the head band. “Okay you two we’ll only have one shot at this,” she said, “Mugen, you and Ryan need to get sensei’s attention. You guys just keep him still long enough for me to use my Mind Distruction Jutsu.” “You think you can control a jonin wit that jutsu?” asked Mugen. “I should be able to,” replied Kaori, “long enough to get the headband at least.” “Works for me,” said Mugen as, “alright dumbass, try not to get me killed this time.” The three then raced to the spot where Mugen saw the headband; being careful not to fall for any traps this time. The group stopped just outside a clearing where they could see the headband hanging from a tree. “I knew it,” Mugen said happily as he and his teammates readied themselves to fight.

Taking the time to look around, Kaori noticed that Raiku was nowhere to be found. “Where is he?” she thought. “Hey Mugen,” she said, “What else do you see out there?” “Nothing much,” he said, “but I’m sure he’s just waiting for us.” “Guys the headband is right there,” said Ryan, “let’s just go get it.” Before Kaori could stop him, Ryan jumped out of the tree and ran through the clearing to the headband.

The two could only watch as Ryan stood next to the tree waving back at them. “Hey we did it,” he called out before trying to grab the headband. Suddenly Ryan’s feet where again caught in a rope trap that pulled him upside down into the tree. “Come on…not again!” exclaimed Ryan as he swung back and forth. “Dammit I told that idiot to be patient,” said an irritated Kaori.

As Ryan hung by the tree, Raiku again appeared by him and said, “How many times do I have to tell you? A ninja MUST see through deception.” Mugen and Kaori jumped out of the tree throwing kunai and shuriken at Raiku. Quickly turning around, Raiku effortlessly blocked them with his kunai. “So this times a frontal assault, huh?” he thought. As Kaori and Mugen ran toward Raiku, Mugen used his shadow clone jutsu.

“I see you have a lot of energy, Mugen,” said Raiku as he watched the group of ninja approach him. He then places his hand on the ground and says, “shinobi battle techniques part 3: Ninjutsu. Chidori Current!” An electrical current discharged from Raiku’s body then spend out into the ground, shocking all nearby clones. The attack stopped Kaori and Mugen in their tracks as all the clones were blown away. Mugen laughed as he drew his sword, “this is great…I always wanted to fight lightning with lightning.” He then focused his chakra into is sword channeling his own Chidori into his blade. Seeing Mugen’s Chidori Blade surprised Raiku.  “I wonder how many more tricks he has up his sleeve,” he thought as he channels his chidori through his kunai.

Mugen then charged towards Raiku at speeds above average for a genin. Ready for the attack, Raiku extended his arm to intercept Mugen’s sword only for it to fade through his kunai. “An afterimage…” thought Raiku, “but how can a genin be that fast?” From behind, Mugen used his blade to launch blades of electricity at Raiku.

But before the blades could even make contact, Raiku leapt into the air, avoiding the attacks that sliced into the earth like butter. To this Mugen simply smiled, while Raiku was in the air, Mugen took aim with his crossbow and fired three bolts at him. With little time to react, Raiku could only defend against the first two bolts while the third struck him in his right shoulder as he landed.

“Dammit,” thought Raiku, “I underestimated this kid…a mere genin shouldn’t be capable of…” Raiku’s train of thought was suddenly interrupted when his body began to move on its own. When he was younger, Raiku studied a lot about the kekkei genkai of the clans in the Leaf Village. “Damn…” he thought, “I was too careless.”

Kaori made Raiku throw his kunai at the rope holding Ryan in the tree. She then made him lie down on his stomach and put his hands behind his head. With Raiku in Kaori’s jutsu, Mugen walked over to the headband and pulled it off the tree. “And that’s that sensei,” he said proudly displaying the headband.

After Kaori undid her jutsu, Raiku took the time to patch up his shoulder with a first aid kit he brought. He would normally use it to take care of the students that were hurt during training but never would he have thought he’d need it for himself. Raiku glanced over at Mugen who was grinning with a sheepish smile.

“Well,” said Raiku as he stood up, “congratulations you’ve all passed my test and are now genin.” The three became excited after hearing it when Raiku added, “All except for you, Ryan.” “What…why?!” asked Ryan. After clearing his throat, Raiku answered, “Because I don’t think you even know the FIRST thing about being a ninja. Instead of working with your teammates, you wondered off and got yourself captured twice. You let your anger get the best of you and almost killed your comrades. And your lack of basic discipline and focus led you to fall for every one of my traps.”

Although hard to hear, Raiku spoke the truth about Ryan. He hardly paid attention and put everyone in great danger. If it would have been a real mission the whole squad would have been dead or captured. “Wait a minute sensei,” said Kaori, “didn’t you say we’d all pass as long as one of us got the headband?” “Yes I did, but after seeing Ryan’s poor performances I decided to change my mind for the sake of the team,” he answered, “Ninja missions can be dangerous and difficult at times,” he continued, “and the only one you can count on is the ninja next to you.” Raiku then turned toward Mugen and asked, “If Kaori was hurt badly and could no longer fight…would you in good faith trust Ryan?” Mugen turned toward Ryan and saw the worry in his eyes. Mugen gave a short sigh as he said, “no…I couldn’t sensei.” Mugen’s words seemed to hit Ryan like a sledgehammer and yet to Raiku they were of no surprise.

“Team cohesion is the most important thing on a mission, if the team has a weak or injured member, then the team is less effective,” Raiku said. Mugen and Kaori couldn’t completely hide the fact that they were slowed down by Ryan’s foolishness. Mugen openly challenged Ryan’s goofy nature while Kaori tried to keep the peace and take control. The plans and tactics that she came up with were ruined by Ryan’s impatience.

Ryan stood up with his face full of sadness and looked at Raiku. “Can’t you just give me another chance?” he asked sadly. “No I can’t,” said Raiku, “in battle there aren’t many second chances at all. You must learn this and grow more as a person as well as a ninja. You can try again next year but if you don’t learn from what happen today…you’ll never be a ninja.”
As he finished speaking, Ryan turned to the others and said, “I’m…I’m sorry…I promise to work hard and become a real genin next year.” Kaori jumped to her feet and gave him a hug. “We’ll be waiting for you,” she said happily, “Right Mugen?” “Yeah, that’s right,” said Mugen as he stood to his feet, “just be sure to focus more on your training then your shoes.”

After saying their goodbyes, the three began to make their way home as Raiku watched, still holding the headband. He thought about all that Kaori and Mugen had ahead of them as ninja. “I hope you two are ready,” he thought, “The life of a shinobi is not an easy one.”
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The Flow

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