Date: November 26, 2012
With the announcement of those that had passed the written section of the Second Exams, many of the participants meet up in Kirigakure just before the start to ease nerves and see the rest of the competitors.
"Awaiting the Inevitable"
Just outside the Blood Marsh in Kirigakure
It was a long trek from The Land of Fire to that of Water, one that took several days by foot or wagon and then a boat ride across the waters just to reach the island of Kirigakure. For those that left together, they'd arrive just around afternoon. The daylight of the sun blotted out by the thick, grey mist that envelops all of the land, leaving an uncomfortable clinging and wet feeling to those not accustomed to such temperatures and climates. Which from the many other boats that were arriving or had already docked some time ago, many of the crowds gathered at the docks were tourists or competitors for the Exams and Festivities to follow, while few others were the guards and local shinobi of Kiri.
Being no friend to overcrowding and people in general, Eremi was quick to shoulder his backpack and make his way toward the location of the Blood Marsh. It wasn't something that he found too difficult as moving through the bone decorated streets had signs showing the directions of where people are to go. Other candidates were making there way as well or splitting off to get a snack at the local market, but Eremi had all he needed to survive for the days ahead in his backpack. This only due to having experienced the exams before and scounging for food was too much of a chore and hassle while also trying to protect your life.
The boat ride was slow and long, but finally they would arrive in the Land of Water, soon to head to Kirigakure. The docks were…not a place where Etsu found herself comfortable. She didn't mind the crowd, but it wasn't someplace she'd like to stay long. So, she decided to push her way through until she found herself in the open to head to the village.
Before long, she'd be in the gates and more importantly, at the meeting place for the exams, the Blood Marsh. She can understand how it comes by this name. She finds it unusually nice. Unique in its own way. She'd slip her hands in her pockets at this time and walk her way to the meeting grounds according to the signs around here. While doing so, she was trying to think of how this exam would be and so far, she thinks she may do a good job. She's already begun to assess her surroundings.
The boat ride had Ryuu on the sickly side. The young Senju was so nauseated he couldn't even be excited for the exams. He clings to the railing and hangs on for dear life while trying to keep his stomach from sending a gift by way of esophagus. When the boat finally docks Ryuu drags his backpack off. He couldn't be more grateful to be on land. After walking around Kirigakure looking for the Blood Marsh Ryuu finally recovers from his seasickness. He noticed a few other foreign shinobi walking around Kirigakure. He decided to follow some of them and see where that took him. Luckily for Ryuu he'd end up at the entrance of the Blood Marshes.
There was a thickness and tension unlike anything Ryuu had felt in Konoha. Perhaps this was anxiety. This was his first time in the Chuunin Exams. He also had Taiki's words on the fringe of his mind keeping him from completely relaxing. Ryuu lets out a gruff sigh and sets his things down before sitting on them. He notes that shinobi are still moving forward. RYuu blinks as he observes and then gets up to follow. The meeting grounds seemed to be the destination of these shinobi according the signs and what not. Ryuu didn't recognize anyone from his village yet. But then again his attention was divided to say the least.
Usagi was on the boat as well with Ryuu, and though she seemed to be better off than her Team 6 comrade, she nods slowly, her own backpack in hand. She had a few things set already, pretty much anyhting she'd need for both survival and for capturing food….or even enemies. Unlike her friend though, she went straight for the exam area due to the signs, coming up to it readily enough and making her way to the grounds.
Her first look at the surrounding area garners a frown, but she continues to look around, hmming softly as she sizes up what she can see for the time being. She does note other shinobi already present, and for the time being, is staying to herself. No need to jump the gun.
"Neh, not even enjoying the food? You didn't find the bones evewywhewe appetizing?" Berii smirks somehow already lurking around the Blood Marsh with food in hand, she had gone through what seems to be a plate of food already, a plastic plate on the lap of the sitting girl, stained with the remnants of food. While in hand was a simple fried fish on a stick. However Berii got here fast enough was probably top secret and she wouldn't share it if her life depended on it.
"So happened to have a mission that bwought me to one of the iswands that way." Berii points over her shoulder, "Decided to just stop hewe instead of heading home, hnn." Berii then extends her other hand to who she was speaking with, in this case, Eremi from her makeshift seat of a former tree. "Want this at weast?" The second fried fish is dangled at the Satonezu down below.
"You don't pwan on eating wations onwy even befo' the exams, neh?"
It was a bit unsettling to discover that the entrance to the Blood Marsh was almost as crowded as the docks themselves, but it was to be expected. Even though Eremi had planned to simply get away from the masses by coming here, the other candidates likely wanted to check out the location to get a feel for the area, loosen the tension in the tightening muscles, free the butterflies in the stomach and hopefully wisk their nerves away about fighting for survival for a week or so straight. Something that for most of them wouldn't disappear until the ending day when they either have both scrolls or are sent packing home with none. If they do survive that is.
Looking this way and that, Eremi would spot a few familiar Konoha faces, but it isn't until being spoken to that he actually glances over to catch Berii sitting on a stump, stuffing her face in what he can only assume a natural fashion for the girl. "No, Berii." Offering a smile and a wave, "I'm not and I didn't." Taking a few steps to stand next to Berii, "Well, that's good fortune. You been here for a while then?" Eyeing the offered fish and accepting it in his free hand, "I did plan on eating rations actually. It's not the best, but you get used to it. Though I won't say no to free food." Taking a bite of the fish, "Normally…"
The entrants were beginning to gather here. That's good news for Etsu as she can assess more this way. She won't be able to get an immediate feel for people, but she imagines a first impression will work out just fine. She continues to stand with her hands in her pockets while locking her eyes onto various people until she settles on Eremi and Berii nearby a tree stump. She lifts one hand to wave at them, but doesn't move much from her spot. Instead, she continues looking upon the others here. Hm. "You look pale," she stated bluntly to Ryuunosuke. "Will you be needing some sort of assistance? Has a leech bitten into you already?"
Ryuu keeps to himself mostly. He's too anxious to really speak to anyone. He can't help but notice how capable everyone looks here. Needless to say he was starting to feel a little discouraged. Ryuu couldn't help but evaluating and criticizing himself. Was this a good idea? Was he ready for this? Ryuu groans softly as all this second guessing starts to give him a headache. -You look pale- Ryuu blinks looking around now. A woman in tinted goggles seems to have noticed his distraught. Ryuu can't find words for a moment but he opens his mouth anyway. "N-no I'm…I'm fine. I think." he nods to Etsu. "Thank you for asking." He smiles softly. He starts to spot more from Konoha now, besides Etsu there was Berii over there with some guy. Ryuu sighs "This isn't going to be a walk in the park, that's for sure."
Usagi raises a brow as she watches people talking for now. She knew some of them, some of their abilities, but at this point, ther ewas no telling what everything would bring. She stood near a tree, crossing her arms and watching for now, staying out of the way, and quiet.
"Weiwdo." Berii comments as he lays out his plan to eat rations and rations only. Berii almost wanted to retract the fish to see Eremi live up to his lousy idea but, it was already gone. "Hnn, so Etsu made it thwough." Berii looked a bit bummed knowing that there are going to be ninja controlled bugs along with whatever other awful things are hiding in the marsh. "Gweat…" The dry comment is followed by a large smile and a pleasant wave to Etsu down the way, unintentionally waving at Ryuu too. "Oh hey seems wike they we'we wight, hnn." Berii quietly commenting and her and Ryuu's last mission together. "Neh, Usagi's hewe too? I guess it makes sense fo' a Nawa to pass a witten exam." Berii smirks, attempting to make eye contact with Usagi before nodding.
Gobbling down the fish, Eremi could only look at Berii with a bit of a confused face as to why she would call him a weirdo. After all they've been through; four day trek to guard a wedding, surviving an S rank criminal and much more! Maybe. c.c; "Umm…" Grasping the solo strap of his backpack with one hand that was resting on his shoulder as he turned around with Berii mentioning Etsu, "I'm not surprised. She's a bit of a genius. Probably already releasing her Kikaichu into the Marsh as we speak." Offering a wave to the Aburame as well as the /some guy/ she was hanging around. "Lot's of competitors this year. More then last for sure." Looking over to Berii, "You worried at all?" The boy would shrug as he turned back toward the rest, "If I fail like last time then I probably shouldn't be a shinobi anymore. So that's why this years important that I do succeed."
Berii peers at Eremi when he mentions Etsu letting out bugs, "Neh? Isn't that kinda cheating?" Berii's attention shifts to Etsu, "Not that she cawes… wait, awe they'we even wules fo' this?" The Uchiha doesn't remember anything like that, maybe they'll explain them shortly before they step in. Berii then thinks back on the ragged condition of Hitoshi when all of this was done, it was probably all nothing but, try to stay alive once beyond those doors. People even died last time! "Hnn, anyway, nope not wowwied at awl, just gonna hide behind you and make you do the woik." Berii nods, "It's cawled the suvivawl exam, neh? I just need to not die, seems easy enough if you stay hidden." True words of a brave kunoichi. "Anyway, I'm gonna be back." With that Berii's gets up and waves, heading back to the marketplace.
"…" Etsu hadn't a response at the moment while Ryuu looked as if he was about to cough up his insides. She waited until his initial jitters passed and then spoke saying, "You're welcome. You don't have to worry about the fighting. What's most important here is to try and survive. You'll learn important things like hunting and how to make a home out of what surrounds you. Defending yourself will be a requirement of course, but you'll be facing the elements often. It's best to try and figure out how you're going to get around and if you happen to run into a shinobi, you do your best. Use what knowledge you have gathered to your advantage…" She explained to him. "Survival round is not ment to be a walk in the park," she paused, "You might want to ask around for some information for cures in this place."
Catching a hand moving, she looked up to see it belonged to Eremi and in turn, she waved back. "I may even need to invest in some medical supplies myself…" She folded her arms then as she gave the idea thought and no, she wasn't releasing insects. She didn't want to be disqualified that easily. That wasn't a risk worth taking.
Berii's waving is somewhat comforting to Ryuu. He waves back at her but then stops as he sees Etsu wave as well. Perhaps she wasn't waving at him at all. It seems Berii was heading off, to where Ryuu couldn't be certain. She was the strangest Uchiha he'd ever had the pleasure of working with. The young Senju then idly wonders about the young man that was with Berri. For some reason this makes him think of Ryo. "Oh…I wonder if Ryo is here yet." Ryuu muses to himself.
Ryuu is then rather stupefied by Etsu's breakdown and advice. He was fairly certain she was trying to reassure him though. Ryuu sighs once in relief "You're pretty knowledgeable. Uh thanks again." Ryuu had brought some basic herbal ointments and medicine with him but it may or may not be useful here. He had no idea what was out there in the Marshs. "Yeah I probably should ask around. But…" Ryuu looks around at the other contestants "Not too many of them look to be the friendly helpful time like you." Ryuu stated feeling anxious all over again.
Eremi could only shrug in response to Berii's question before she headed off. He had no idea what the rules were for the Kirigakure Exams. For all he knew, cheating was allowed and he was going to expect it, regardless if it was or wasn't. "Later." Waving off Berii and watching her leave before looking off at the rest. "Oh yes, that's right." Scooting over toward the now unoccupied stump, he'd drop his backpack off at his side and place one leg up before rolling up the pant leg, unstrapping the leg weight and then doing the same with the other leg. After which, both weights would shoved inside the backpack and then slung over his shoulder. These were the exams and if he was going to compete properly, he wanted to be at his best.
"I mean asking around the village. The exam itself hasn't started yet," Etsu replied to Ryuu. "You. Come with me," she offered to him to go with her and ask about. Just then, an official showed up stating, "Greetings and welcome to the Promotional Exams. I am honored that Kirigakure has been chosen as the place of which these exams are to take place. First and foremost, we want you all to feel welcome and comfortable here. Feel free to move about wherever you like, but it is highly advised that you all do not wander off into private clan villages. For well, obvious reasons. If you happen to be invited, which will be extremely rare, be on your best behavior! Otherwise, Kirigakure is open to be accessed. Our medical facilities and such are all open to you!" The official explained as he cracked a smile toward the group of examinees. "Oh! And just to let ya know, the exam won't be starting for another hour. Still got some setups and stuff to work on, so you guys should take this time to eat and rest up. Survival rounds can be a bit tough so a bit of advice…" He paused. "Don't die," he remarked dead seriously before piping up and smiling again. "Anyway, that's all there is to say about that. Good luck to all of you!" Once he finished, he'd flicker away.
"Hmm. A stroke of luck. Let's go and look around for a bit…"
Ryuu grimaces "They're just as 'inviting' as these guys." Ryuu mutters quietly in response to Etsu. Still he was willing to try. She'd lifted his spirits a little bit. Out the corner of his eye he spots Eremi removing his weights. 'Oh man…why didn't I think of that!?' he thinks. He turns a head Eremi's way to watch until Etsu beckons him to follow. Ryuu looks back to her already starting to follow her. "Huh? Where are we going?" He then nearly runs into the back of her when the official showed up. In an hour, just a short hour before they'd all be hurled into this survival test. Ryuu swallows hard once. "I wonder what's in there…" he peers as far into the Blood Marsh as he can. This place would more than live up to its name. Ryuu rubs his head and looks back to Etsu "On second thought I think I'll go ask around." he bows. "Thanks for all your advice. It was really useful." Ryuu begins to walk off. "I'm Senju Ryuunosuke. It was nice meeting you by the way." he adds his name at the end there as he departs.