Date: June 4, 2016
Daiki finally receives his hitai-ate.
Kumogakure Ninja Academy
Not too long after Daiki's assessment (No, really!), Michiko once again sent word for Daiki to meet her in the Academy's training grounds. She was waiting patiently, standing in the middle of one of the sparring areas that the academy laid out. A black fox sat beside her, looking just a bit bored with waiting.
Ever since his test, Daiki had been anxiously awaiting to hear his results. It took him no time at all from getting his summons to arriving at the training grounds, out of breath with a nervous grin on his face. Slowing his walk, he approached Michiko and the fox quietly, trying to compose himself a little and stand up tall. All he could do now was pray. "Michiko-sensei," he said by way of greeting, clasping his hands behind his back. They were sweaty.
"Daiki-kun," Michiko greets with a slight incline of her head. Then she pulls out a sheet of paper and looks at it, though she's reviewed it several times before. "Yotsuki Daiki, Student. Age 8. Your best skills lie in Taijutsu with promise in Kenjutsu and ninjutsu, but you are lacking in Genjutsu. You'll need to work on that when you face more difficult enemies." The Head Ninja glances over the sheet of paper to judge Daiki's reaction for a moment. "Your assessor noted that you were eager to prove yourself worthy of becoming a shinobi, and now today we answer whether or not you will officially join our ranks."
Michiko would carefully fold the paper and tuck it into a pouch at her side. "Daiki-kun, you are a bit more important because of that which is within you. I don't know what kind of hardships you'll go through, and I expect for there to be a few incidents, but I'm sure it won't be anything you can't handle. With some help, on occasion. Now, with all that being said… Do you promise to protect and serve Kumogakure, even at the cost of your life, Daiki-kun?"
Daiki swallowed. This was all sounding really serious. 'It /is/ serious,' he reminded himself, remembering the grave conversation he first had with Hiei-sama when he was told of the decision to seal the tailed beast within him. But he hadn't chosen the life of the shinobi for nothing. "Yes, ma'am," he says, locking fervent eyes with Michiko's gaze and nodding slowly. This was his chance to do something bigger than himself. He wasn't about to let it slide by. "Even if I die… As long as I die for a worthy cause… As long as I die doing something great… I will accept this duty with all my heart."
"Good. Now do me a favor and don't put yourself in danger when there are safer alternatives. The last thing we need is you dying and your friend disappearing or escaping," Michiko says with a small smile. She would poke Daiki in the stomach to prove her point before removing something from the pouch the earlier paper was stored in. It was wrapped in such a way that the symbol of Kumogakure gleamed proudly on the hitai-ate. "I believe this is yours," she says, offering it to the young Yotsuki.
Daiki glanced down to Michiko's hands, and his face lit up like a beacon. He reached out and touched the cool metal plate with slightly trembling fingers. Then he took it carefully from her grasp and, after pulling off the thin strip of cloth he had worn previously around his head, placed the gleaming hitai-ate against his forehead and knotted it securely in place. The look he gave Michiko after that was emotional, though for an eight-year-old he retained his composure quite well. "Arigatou.. Michiko-sensei," he said, bowing his head low before rubbing his eyes with his sleeve and grinning proudly.
Michiko smiles to Daiki, and she pats him on the head (likely messing up his hair if it isn't messy already). "Hai. Hopefully I can find you a good team that will mesh well with your abilities. I can't say whether or not you'll get along with them, but it'll work out for the best, I'm sure." She pauses for a moment, then adds, "You're dismissed, Daiki-kun. Expect your first mission sometime soon, and be sure to keep up with your training in your free time. And if you have any questions, you can feel free to ask me."
Nodding with a bright expression, Daiki clicks his heels and gives her a sharp salute. "Hai!" He couldn't imagine what sort of cool missions he'd get to go on now, but he'd finally done it! He was a full-fledged shinobi!