Date: November 5, 2012
Taiki continues to practice chakra shaping, running into Berii, and some interesting conversations.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Chakra Shaping; Exams and Traps"
Just like that, she was back to training again. Her last mission warranting more mental confusion than any injury, Berii was unsure if she'd be ready to go wandering around the forest again but, here she was, alone in the trees without a care in the world.
Well, there was a slight care, despite this day being cooler than the rest of the summer days, it was still kind of hot. So where she sat, she was fanning herself but, that was about it. She sat and stared at a rabbit. The rabbit stared right back, the two in silence. Berii's Sharingan eyes twirling, tomoe swishing as she squints and unsquints her eyes. "Neh… is this even woiking?"
Berii sighs, the rabbit couldn't talk back, this may not be the best of training partners. But, there was obviously progress. It wasn't running away at least.
The forest? As still as the human and rabbit inhabiting it. No wind, just still, warm afternoon air.
Taiki and his ninken seem to be wandering the forrest, and they weren't being silent. Instead every once in a while a screeching sound of lightning element being formed echoes throughout the forrest. As they draw closer, another such sound echoes, followed by Taiki's voice. "While we need this for water primarily Shinobu, it will also help our lightning techniques. I have this idea for a B-rank lightning Jutsu…" This is followed by the sound of lightning chakra being formed nearby, likely making the poor rabbit very nervous.
Of course, if this rabbit knew what was coming, it would be running away very fast. Taiki and Shinobu are well-known for their love of rabbits, and not as pets. Though they're not actively hunting, they are practicing something. This is evident by a nearby dead tree-limb being struck by short, brilliantly white shaft of something… making a hole in the limb. The strike was far enough away from Berii to ensure that she was safe, but whatever that was wasn't something known…
The rabbit should be freaking out, right? Well this rabbit must have a heart of steel because it didn't budge a bit. Though, Berii would sort of shift, the sound coming far enough initially to ignore it. That was well, until it started getting closer and closer and then the final one puts her on the defensive edge, Berii's focus on the rabbit shifts to the assaulted tree limb.
As soon as the rabbit's genjutsu is broken it freaks out, leaping into the air with a panicing twitch, limbs bouncing in and out while it was mid-air. When it actually falls back to earth it was gone as soon as its feet touched the floor.
The Uchiha stares off ahead at the damage, belatedly glancing back to where the rabbit was previously sitting with a sigh, "Bweeeeh." Planting her hands onto the ground, she pops up into a standing position. Heading over, she was too focused to really notice who was speaking earlier so, caution was up. This wouldn't be the first time she was jumped inside the village.
Berii is not the only one somewhat used to being ambushed inside Konoha, after all, Taiki has made almost a reputation of that very thing happening. But as Berii nears, she can probably hear Taiki again. "This isn't exactly easy," his voice echoes. Another shriek and annother "crack" is heard before Berii gets close enough to see what is going on.
Taiki and his ninken are standing there, watching as Taiki seems to be trying to form something out of lightning chakra. He starts out with a few hand-seals, then expands his hand, forming a loose column of electricity between them. It holds for maybe a second before it blinks out, causing Taiki to sigh. "No, this is definitely not easy." Just then he glances over toward Berii as she approaches and says, "Hello Berii-san." He looks a little more animated, a litte more alive, than he had been before, though he has a long way to go before he's back to the way he was before everything fell apart…
"Hnn." Berii peers at Taiki, from a bit of a distance. "Neh, what the…" Berii squints at the lightning column. She didn't really make any effort to focus on it, already knowing neither of her elements could make no use of it. "Uh, hey Taiki…" Berii waving at the three, she steadily makes her approach, concerned that even Taiki didn't know what his technique would do next. "I guess that's what I get fo' twaining out in the middle of nowhewe, hnn." The girl mumbles to herself squinting at the boy for a moment.
"Soooo, what's this aw about, neh?" Berii looked a bit agitated but, did her best to not blame him for messing with her… not too successful training session.
Taiki actually frowns a little as the energy bleeds away. "Totally wrong shape, and no cohesion," he says to Shinobu who barks once. He then looks up at Berii and says, "Sorry if we interrupted anything, just that this exercise is not easy, but if I can get it down the results will be well worth it." He forms the same set of hand seals, a set similar to lightning arc, but at the same time different. This time instead of a column there's a line of electricity that seems to arc between Taiki's hands, surprisingly straight, but still only very loosely formed.
It surges, and Taiki makes a throwing motion away from all of them toward a nearby rock. The shaft strikes, sparking widely as he stands there. "Perhaps I need to look up a currently made jutsu…" He then sighs and shakes his head. "Well, as you know I am pretty decent with changing chakra's nature into elements, since I have managed to achieve both lightning and water manipulation. But to use water manipulation in my taijutsu, I have discovered I need to be able to master chakra shaping as well. So that's what I'm working on, using the element I'm most familiar with."
"Neh, no need to apowogize, you didn't intewwupt anything. Eh…heh." Berii observes the next attempt on the technique in silence. Her eyes sort of unintentionally bouncing with the arcing lightning, the Uchiha one of the few able to sort of keep up with such movements. Though she can't read anything worthwhile to help him out. "Hnn, to be faiw whitning is much mo' unstabwe. I'm suwe you'd have compwete contwow ovew watew befo' whitning." Of course it'd be best to master lightning regardless.
Berii silently thought for a moment, that probably wasn't the best words of encouragement. "Hnn, ignowe what I just said." She dusts her hands together. "I'd ask Fuyu-sama but, I haven't seen hew. Since wind and whitning chakwa seem to be unstabwe, we can find someone with advanced jutsu in one of those stywes?"
Berii nods, "Then I can watch it, and twy to expwain it? Or… I guess you can just ask them, that'd pwobabwy make sense."
"I've done some work with water already, as I needed that to master water manipulation," Taiki explains. "But there's a difference in forming a ball of water and a javelin of lightning, a large difference," Taiki says as he focuses another attempt, this one escaping and arching straight to the ground between Taiki's feet, causing him to jump. Taiki lowers his hands and sighs, then shakes his head. "And that tells me to stop for now," he says ironically.
"I know two other people with lightning manipulation. I don't know how much, if any Eremi-san has progressed with it lately. Our meeting was centered around… other things." Taiki leaves unsaid that at first he threated to kill Eremi as a spy. Upon reflection that wasn't one of Taiki's best moments. He gives another frown and shakes his head. He'll have to make sure Eremi knows that Taiki doesn't hate him in the near future. "And the other one… well, last time I saw her I was focusing on water manipulation and thus not focusing on everything she said, and I must have really angered her. I guess you can say we're back to not being on speaking terms at the moment…" Yeah, there were a lot of unresolved issues there…
"Neh?" Eremi's name brought up, that sounded vaguely familiar. Then the avoided name of the second person, leaves Berii more or less in the dark, not ever really working with Naru. "Hnn, that's twoubwesome." Berii then smirks, when Taiki jumps up. The Uchiha feeling it was safe to fully approach him now that he decided to take a break from training. "Must be a twick. How about putting something to conduct the electwicity in between. Twaining wheels in a sense." Berii shrugs, slightly. "A smaw sphewe of something conductive." She squints one eye trying to picture it herself.
"Eh, then once you get ove' that. Focus on doing it on you'we own, hnn. Then stawt fiwing things." The last bit Berii's bit of annoyance pops up again but, with a smile her tone switches back to pleasantries only. "Maybe not even shoot them at awl, just focus on making a usefew shape."
When Taiki isn't being all angsty or angry, he actually is quite perceptive. "I thought you said I didn't interrupt anything, Berii'san," he says with slightly narrowed eyes, as if determining what caused the momentary mood change. "If I did, then I'm sorry. I'm not so much focusing on firing it off, as I am trying to minimize damage to me and or the environment. Everyone is always on me to curb my destructive tendencies, after all…"
Taiki then sighs, shrugs and shakes his head before getting back to it. "As you saw, when lightning becomes unstable it can be dangerous. I thought I threw it away far enough from you to avoid hitting you, and provide a safer way to get rid of it. But your way sounds like a really good idea. It might provide just the focus I need."
"Wh-whaa? No. As fo' you bweaking stuff. I guess it'd be kinda hawd not to, given youw cwan and, ewement…" Berii gives a small smile, moving away from the subject of him breaking things "Hnn, Hiwo might have something good fo' you. Anyway I shouwd pwobabwy get back to my twaining." Shifting on her heels she looks off to the side. "Oh, hnn.." Her eyes slowly trail back to Taiki, or at least near him, not necessarily making eye contact but, instead looking through him.
Berii's hands clasp behind her, "I heawd Chuunin get theiw own thing again too, dunno if that's a wumo' but, you going?"
Taiki's face falls flat at the mention of exams. "Yes, they're holding Jounin exams at the same time. I don't think I'll be participating though, for a couple of reasons. First, it's the same thing as last time, I'm not ready yet. My skills are not where they need to be to take on jounin level opponents. And secondly…" Taiki pauses for a moment, looking between Shinobu and Nozomi. They both give their forms of encouragement, to which Taiki nods before turning back to Berii.
He then shrugs and says, "I don't like the timing of all of this. Yes, its great to try to stave off the war that everyone is sensing is coming right around the corner, but at the same time… I smell a trap. Kiri hates us, and Suna, who held the last exams, are now strongly allied with them. I probably have at least one of my genin participating, who I intend to warn heavily to be on his toes, but… I want to be ready to break apart any traps that might happen."
Berii looks a bit disappointed but, doesn't blame him. With all the beatings he's taken he should be more than ready! But, she doesn't make this joke, it might be a bad one. Nodding slowly, she makes no comment as he appears to plan on continuing. She listens carefully and then shifts her jaw a few times in thought. "Neh, that might be white but…" Berii doesn't really have a compelling argument, not that this wasn't thought of before, she was going to enter this time and nothing was stopping her.
Even if it was blatantly dangerous, she was still annoyed with not taking part last time. "Yeah, hnn." Berii smirks at Taiki. "Meh, if it is a twap." Berii gives a small shrug with a smirk, her Sharingan getting slightly more vibrant. "It'd be that much bettew fo' me." Maybe Berii looked a little crazy for a moment but, it was probably the whole eyes flowing with so much chakra the red almost appeared to glow for a split second.
The slowly shift back to a dull color. "You think the Hokage is wowwied? Maybe twying to make an awiance with someone, neh?" Berii leans in, seeing if the Chuunin had any secret info he wanted to spill.
Taiki appears thoughtful for the moment as he thinks on Berii's words. At first he is concerned that Berii would leap into a known trap and think it would be better if it was, but then he remembers when they found out Hitoshi entered the last one. Taiki was very upset with his teammate then, at least he could have let them know. "Just… be careful, okay Berii-chan?" Taiki says in a quietly concerned voice. "I'll be watchful during the third part of the exams, but the chance for disaster in the second part is high… I just don't want to see my friends die again…" Its plain to see the whole eppisode with Ryo and Naru is still rather fresh in his mind, he is genuinely concerned.
As far as secret information is concerned, the goings-on of the Hokage's office is far beyond this new chuunin sensei. He only ever finds out anything from the Hokage's office if it deals with the Recluse and they have had nothing new yet. "I'm afraid I've been too busy as of late, trying to help out with village security. I've heard nothing about allies with anyone. Atsuro may know more, but I don't. Does he know you're planning on taking the Chuunin exams?"
"No I don't," comes a voice from somebody hidden in the trees, "And no I didn't." Out from the darkness jumps Atsuro! And Taizen! They land in the open, Atsuro in a bit of a crouch. He stands up straight and dusts himself off a little. "So I assume you're talking about those exams?" he asks. Just from the way he says 'exams' you can tell he's less than impressed with them. "I was kinda hoping we were done with those. The first one was a debacle, I have no reason to think the second one will be any better."
He nods to Taiki. "And yeah, probably someone's gonna pull some smoke. Start a war from inside the enemy's own village or something. Fire, Kiri kidnapped the daimyo's niece in the last ones, didn't they?" He shrugs. "Maybe they figure it's worth it for all the posturing to impress nobles.
Usagi slips in from the eastern part of the forest, crouched and moving along slowly, quietly. she takes a deep breath and sighs, looking up at the others as she furrows her brow. already, talk of the exams…just fantastic. She stands up and leans against a tree, crossing her arms. "Maybe it's an honest attempt at peace that someone's going to take advantage of. You never know"
Berii blinks, tilting her head to the side. "Hnn, I don't think I'm dying in this. Something's been poking at me…" Berii looks a bit bothered, "I guess, feewings awen't something to go off of, if uh…" Berii looks like she doesn't really know what she's talking about. "I'w, do my best." Berii rubs her shoulder, eyeing the uncomfortable Taiki. "Ah no, I haven't seen him, hnn." Actually Berii hasn't even attempted looking for him.
"S-" Berii twitches, Atsuro just comes popping up out of no where. "Oookay, yeah, he knows." Berii squints at Atsuro and Taizen giving a very flat. "Hi." The Uchiha settles against a tree nodding, when Usagi appears, seeming much more relaxed with this sudden appearance as she just tacks in with Usagi. "Maybe it's some sowta big, I'm sowwy?" Berii, attempts to join in being optimistic. "I mean, they'we putting a big opening up fo' themsewf." Berii's arms go wide to show just how big this opening was.
"Kinda odd, some pwace wike Iwa ow something didn't do it." Berii could imagine the turn out would be much better if that's the case.
Taiki is actually surprised that Atsuro is so nearby, but considering that the elder Inuzuka is more experienced than Taiki, it's not a /huge/ shock. Instead he turns sideways to include him in the conversation. "I don't trust this either. While I'm not going to out and out forbid Ryo from participating, I plan to make it very clear to any of my genin that wish to participate that they should expect and plan for a trap. This does not smell right. I for one will not be participating in the Jounin exams. That's one of the reasons," he says with a shrug. "As popular as that decision is likely to be in certain circles, I'd rather be standing by to intervene should things go south."
Taiki then looks at Usagi and shrugs. "It may very well be, but as a vetran of both Kiri wars, I don't exactly trust them. I suppose I never will. I don't hate them, but I can't trust them." He then looks back to Berii and says, "If it had been Iwa, I would not be nearly so nervous about this. As it is, enterring the Jounin exams would be a death wish for me. Even if this wasn't a trap, I can bet the Recluse would not pass up an opportunity like this. They didn't the last time…"
Smelling a new scent, Atsuro looks over to see Usagi. "I can't help but notice you didn't allow for the possibility of a proper exam going down," he observes, "Well, I mean, even if nobody does attack, they're a total farce. But either way, it's a pretty suspicious situation, isn't it?"
He nods to Berii and grins. "Hi," he responds. "Looks like you're going down the same road as Hitoshi, eh? Well, I'm sure you'll put in a good showing. Just be careful. You're probably stronger than Hitoshi was when he went in, but you could be up against some stiff competition." He shrugs. "As for sorry… I dunno. They've got a new kage, but it's still the same village. There might be plenty of other problems in their leadership."
He nods to Taiki. "I'm a little suspicious myself," he agrees, "And as far as getting promotion, I'd rather they looked at what I'm capable of and how I perform than how impressive I am in an arena." He nods. "You think they'd try something? I'd think security would be pretty tight under the circumstances."
Usagi shrugs. "It may be an honest exam. But from the sounds of everyone here save for her" She motions to Berii. "You all seem to think it's going to be an excuse to try and pull something against someone" She pauses, then looks around. "Not saying it won't, but there's always the chance" She looks Taiki square in the eye after a moment, and raises a brow. "I'm pretty sure you already know what my answer is" She clasps her hands behind her back, her face neutral for the time being.
Berii looks over the three. The thought of it being a trap was somewhat combating her eagerness but, her mind was still set on going. In fact, the thought of her potentially being swayed to not go kicked her back into remembering that she needed to return to training like she mentioned to Taiki earlier. After just settling on the tree, she was standing up straight again, snickering slightly at the thought of Hitoshi. He was… pretty awful back then and he lived. "Since you'we so wowwied. I guess I need to make suwe I'm weady."
With a light bow and a smile Berii takes to the trees, on the hunt for another rabbit to tort- practice with. Looking down to the group below she waves, "Aye! See ya awound!" With that she takes off into the trees in the direction of Team 10's training ground.
"Given how many people they've lost sending assassin after assassin against me? I hardly think they care much about where they operate. Besides, remember what dad said about their attemtps? No… you thought me going to look in our own back yard was a danger, and yelled at me for it. I'm sure as tinder not going to /beg/ them to try something. Now /that/ would be suicidal." Taiki's pretty firm on that conviction. He has more reasons not to attempt this exam than he would for the attempt.
Usagi gets an eyebrow raise of her own. "I would hope that you would wait for another time, given that your graduation from the academy wasn't all that long ago," he says flatly. "What I told Berii-san is true, I expect any genin in my team participating in this exam to expect and plan for a trap. Are you sure you can handle that?"
As Berii runs off, he sighs and shakes his head. "I knew I interrupted something. See you later Berii-san!"
"The last exam wasn't," Atsuro says to Usagi, shrugging. "The announcement for this one doesn't even seem to acknowledge that someone was kidnapped during the last one. You'd think they'd at least say something about beefing up security or whatever. Of course, Kiri are the ones who did the kidnapping, so who the flint knows." He shrugs. "I'm just saying, this is the sort of thing people use to cause trouble."
He looks over to Berii. "I think you're probably ready," he says, "Can never tell, because you don't know who you'll be up against. Just train hard and do your best. All you can do, right?" He nods. "See you. Let me know if you need anything."
"It /was/ a danger," he points out to Taiki. "I'm just saying though. Last time, they attacked you on your way back from the exams, not during them. I was just wondering if there's any significance to that timing."
Usagi shrugs again. "You know my answer. Else you wouldn't have responded the way you did" She doesn't smile, doesn't crack a grin, nothing. She's dead serious. and still standing at semi-attention. She acknowledges Atsuro's statement with a nod, though she turns her attention back to Taiki afterwards. She again seems to be waiting on his response once more.
Taiki closes his eyes for a moment, then shakes his head. "Straight answer, Genin Nara-san, are you enrolling in these exams or not? I suspect I do know the answer, but I will not base my reaction on an assumption." His eyes narrow and look directly in Usagi's. Now is not the time to play word games with Taiki. Now is the time to stand and declare, and Taiki is not above forcing her to do so.
While Taiki's gaze does not falter, his words indicate the person he's addressing the next words to. "And the second exam is practically cut off from the outside world. Only Kiri would know what would happen inside of them until the exams are over. These are the same peope whose base we're trying to find in Konoha. I don't think even Kumo could keep them out. I think one reason they're so gung ho to finish me is that I know too much. Just from what we know… they're expert infiltrators."
Atsuro glances between Taiki and Usagi. "Obviously I don't understand this relationship," he says simply. He nods to Taiki.
Atsuro glances between Taiki and Usagi. "Obviously I don't understand this relationship," he says simply. He nods to Taiki. "So you think things have probably changed too much this time?" he asks, "We'll have to be extra careful then. Maybe you could request an ANBU guard for the duration of the exams or something like that. To be honest with you, it might be better to avoid entering exams altogether until we've dealt with the situation. Too easy for them to enter someone in the exam and have them hunt you down." He pauses. "What about your dad? You leaving him behind, here? He'll need guards for sure."
Usagi nods. "I already did" Possibly not the answer Taiki was expecting, but one he likely shouldn't be surprised by. She only takes a moment to blink once, her gaze coming back to him. Atsuro's words draw her attention for a moment, and she says to him "It's certainly an interesting one, to say the least…non romantic, though" She shrugs this time, looking his way. At the mention of the ANBU, she pauses, hmming. "that's not a bad idea at all…with people focused in another direction, someone may take the time to try and slip something in" Once more though, she turns back to Taiki. "And if you wish to go by rank from now on, simply say so, Chuunin Inuzuka-sensei"
Taiki closes his eyes and sags slightly when Usagi mentions she already had entered the exams, his fears come to reality. "I hope then, Usagi-san, you are taking your training very seriously," he says gravely. "I know I will be upping the team training until everyone leaves for the second phase," he adds with a narrowing of the eyes. "And as far as terms of address, I only use rank when I am tired of word games, which you were playing with me. There are times when I require a straight answer, and get… annoyed when you refuse to give me one."
Taiki looks to Atsuro and says, "She summed it up rather well, I think. No romance, but the relationship is interesting. And as far as the ANBU is concerned, otou-san and I have discussed it. He can't defend himself, so the request is already in for increased ANBU security on him. As far as my own security? The best thing I can do is practice like I'm going to take the Jounin exams, as hard and as long as I can. Having an ANBU guard in a another village while not possessing the appropriate rank for such is fairly demanding that Kiri take insult. I might not trust them, but giving them an excuse is just plain silly."
"Sure," says Atsuro, a tiny trace of a smirk touching his lips. "Give it a few years and you two'll be married. I think you'll make a cute couple, various ethical issues aside." He pauses to consider Taiki's ideas on his security arrangements. "For you at least, Recluse is probably a bigger threat than Kiri. You could at least think about it? We've had this conversation before, you'll recall." He shrugs. "And I'm not sure that putting an ANBU guard on you would be all that insulting. Even if you think they'd need a certain rank to require it, you're still the clan head's grandson."
Usagi nods slowly to him, taking a deep breath. "I'll be as prepared as I'm going to get, Taiki. I'm taking this very seriously. Honestly, unless we're on a mission, I'll likely either be training with you, or my brother. If not both" She closes her eyes. "I have some personal reasons why I'm doing this…but I have no plans of just going in half cocked. I'll be ready…but I'm not going to die trying to reach the rank. Dying while trying too hard's about the stupidest way to get yourself killed….because you're no help to anyone dead"
"Oh 'that'd' be interesting to see" She gets a look to her face, but sighs softly. "Those ethical issues is part of why it doesn't get romantic. As for the Recluse….at this point, I'm more worried of them striking while he's ready, and then still demolishing him….I don't want to see that, and for what it's worth, I'd vote for asking an ANBU member to stay around for him myself…"
Long distance to Narusegawa: Taiki chuckles. Atsuro and Usagi are trying to convince Taiki to have an ANBU guard when he goes to Kiri…
Taiki looks at Atsuro, his face serious as he raises a brow toward his sensei this time. "Not funny Atsuro. Honestly, she's like a little sister to me," he says, obviously not wanting to have said that /in front/ of Usagi. It's evident that the self-same ethical issues is one of the reasons he's put her in that pigeon-hole. "Please drop that line of teasing."
That said, he moves to lean up against a tree as he looks to Usagi. "I would hope you would not mind if I ask Ryo to ensure that you leave the second exam alive, though not to interfere otherwise, as much as it is possible then? Teaming up with him may not be a bad idea, but I don't know what format they will use for the second part, and I think I've already stressed my concerns enough."
Taiki then frowns as Atsuro reminds him of his position within the Inuzuka Clan. "One of many grandchildren. Even with the offspring of my dear traitorous uncles out of the running, there's still Kenichi-sama's two children and the Alpha Clan heads three children. I will be quite satisfied staying as a diplomat, thank you. I am finding it more enjoyable than I thought I would as a little boy. But…" He shakes his head and sighs. "I don't want an ANBU guard, okay? I happen to believe it will paint me as a target for one of Kiri's kidnapping schemes, if not assassinations from them, if not targetting by any number of other organizations out there… Do you get my point? To me, it's like painting a big target on my chest with the words, "Here I am. Shoot me now.""
"Sorry," Atsuro says, "Didn't realize you were so sensitive about it. I'll drop it." He shakes his head at Taiki's thoughts on a guard, though. "Well, the point of having ANBU escort you, as opposed to someone else, is that they'll be subtle about it. In any case, one organization is already acting like you've got a target on you. You need some help against them as well. Just consider it, okay? We both know it's getting dangerous for you." He shrugs. "Anyway, we gotta be going. I'll see you guys later." He waves, then he and Taizen walk off, back into the forest.
Usagi pauses slightly at that thought. "That's….honestly not a bad idea. Ryo and I could team up. It allows him to follow your request, and helps at least one if not both of us pass" She takes a deep breath. "If you see him before I do, let him know that if we get two differing scrolls, he'll get them first. We can work on both of mine if need be. If we get the same, then we're good to go, and we'll hunt people with the opposing kind" She smiles. "May work to honestly just get what we can…though you know I'm a lot….sneakier than most of the rest of the team, save yourself" She smiles a bit at that. "So, if I'm lucky, I can snag a few without even having to fight" She nods to Atsuro as he declares his intent to leave, going back to leaning against the tree. "Well…there we have it. So Ryo's coming too. what of Ryuunosuke?"
"While I have not had confirmation from Ryo yet, anyone that knows him knows that he will be participating. So I don't have to even think of asking him, aside from the same requests I have made of you," Taiki before turning his attention to Atsuro. "Okay, I'll think about it. You're getting nearly as stubborn as I am… That's not good sensei." He gives the man a smirk before turning his attention back to Usagi. "Work out what you want to do together with Ryo, though I will put my request of him through as I said, as well as the suggestion. I hope you're studying your medical techniques as well?" he asks, tilting his head to the side. "As far as Ryuunosuke is concerned, I don't know. He's brash enough to attempt it, but I don't know if he is interested at this stage."
Usagi nods slowly to Taiki after a moment. "Fair enough….and alright, please do. I'd much prefer working with him than against at this point. And in all honesty, if it can only be one of us, then while I may not actively 'work' towards it being him, I will not either work against him if it can be helped. But if it's obvious, I will not stand in his way either" She closes her eyes. "I'm split between hoping Isato 'does' come, and that he doesn't….I hope he does so I can sneak his scroll off of him, but I also hope he doesn't so that he doesn't get himself killed"
Taiki arches a brow and tilts his head to the side at Usagi's last comment as if to say, 'Gee… where have I heard that recently?' He doesn't come out and say it though, instead opting to just shake his head. "That's all I ask, is that my team returns to me in one piece. If Isato-san is stubborn enough to enter despite Atsuro's comments and probable admonishiments otherwise, then he can face the consequences, though I do not wish him to die either. I'm afraid my concentration will have to be on my team during this."
Usagi smiles softly at him, nodding. "I know. And I intend to give you no reason to worry, Taiki. I may be a tad bold attempting it now, but I'm not stupid enough to try something that'll have a good chance of getting me killed to get the rank…I'm of no good ot anyone dead, and I know it. If I need to wait a year…I'll wait a year, though depending on how well my training goes, I may go for Jounin at that point"