Date: September 21, 2014
Ikari's finally meets the criteria to take the Genin Exam. Due to the recent defensive preparations against the Silence, many of the exams this year are being held by volunteer shinobi. When Kenta sees Ikari's name on the list of Genin candidates, he signs up to be her examiner. He realizes that the Akimichi girl would rather have a more challenging task placed in front of her than the more lackluster version of the exam that most candidates will be getting. He refurbishes a training house in the woods with traps closer to a Genin's skill level for this purpose. Ikari's locked inside after she's told that she must locate the Leaf forehead protector hidden within and bring it out safely. Kenta and one of Ikari's brothers watch her progress in a surveillance shack nearby.
"Ikari's Genin Exam"
The testing of academy students is usually overseen by academy instructors or Jounin, but Konoha is experiencing occasional shortages of staff due to preparations for the village's defense against the Silence. As a result, a call is send out to Konoha's Chuunin to volunteer for administering a Genin exam to the latest batch of students that are considered for promotion. Kenta is already volunteering many of his hours between hospital shifts for other tasks, including helping Atsuro with paperwork and less sensitive budgeting issues. Nevertheless, he jumps on the opportunity when he sees that Ikari's name on the list. Each examiner is allowed to come up with a different set of tasks to test the prospective Genin's skills, as long as the basic requirements is fulfilled. Since he has a high opinion of Ikari's abilities, Kenta decides to set up something a little more difficult than merely have her stand in a classroom to showcase random jutsu.
A note is dropped off at Ikari's house with the instructions on how to reach the location of the exam. The mark on the hand sketched map shows that the location is in the woods outside the village itself, but is still fairly close. An older sibling or other family member is expected to escort Ikari there. Kenta had already arrived an hour to wait for them. He sits at the steps of a two story house nestled in a small clearing among taller trees. The house is sometimes used as a training area by older shinobi. With the help of a few accomplices, the medic-nin downgraded the normal settings to a level more appropriate for a newly minted Genin.
Ikari happily tries to hop from rock to rock as she follows the path to where the map marked for her to be. "Don't tire yourself Ikari-chan, you don't know what they might be testing you on. You could ruin it if you get too cocky." Her older, but still middle, brother Masafumi says as he walks with her with his arms languidly propped up behind his neck. "Nuuh! You better just remember what Papa said. Be nice an' don't sleep through it." Ikari giggles a little, but does heed the advice enough to go back to a quick paced walk. "Yeah yeah…" He rolls his eyes a little and looks down at the map to lazily glance it over. When they arrive, Ikari waves happily at Kenta and looks around for any other students nearby while she approaches him. "Hii Kenta-sama! Ready and reportin' for duty." Masafumi lifts his hand to salute and wanders off to find a tree to prop himself against.
Kenta bows towards Masafumi before he turns his attention to Ikari. He knows her older brother by sight, but they hadn't really interacted much before. "It's only you today, Ikari-chan. The other candidates are being tested at other locations. Their tests are also going to be more boring than yours," he informs the little girl when he sees Ikari looking around for her peers. Kenta pats her on the head, pauses and gives her a brief hug too. "I hope that you rested well, because you're going to have to be very active today to complete the test. I have no doubt that you can do it, since you're the best student in the academy right now." The young Chuunin reaches for her hand to lead her up the short steps. "Do you need to take a potty break or anything before I explain the instructions?"
Ikari smiles brightly and returns the hug snugly, taking Kenta's hand in hers when he starts to lead her up the steps. "That's great! I didn't wanna make them jealous. And nope! I made Masa take me before we got here, so I wouldn't have to worry about nothin' but passing." Her eyes still wander to try and get an idea of what she might have to expect. "Active? What do I gotta do? I'd like anythin' but plain laps…just plain runnin' with nothin' to jump over is no fun…Oh! Y'said you'd explain…okay! I'm listenin'!" She goes quiet and looks up at Kenta with a wide, admiring gaze brimming with excitement. Meanwhile Masafumi is watching his little sister from afar, trying his best to hide his look of hopeful suspense with his usual lazy uninterested expression. He would definitely be one've the first to brag to his other teammates about his sister being one've the youngest to pass the test.
Kenta laughs softly. Ikari still acts like so many kids her age despite her rapidly budding abilities as a shinobi. He gives her hand a little squeeze. His other hand comes up to splay flat against the front door, which has a seal carved into it. In fact, there are seals carved around the wooden frames of the glass paned windows flanking the door on both sides too. "You sound so eager, Ikari-chan. Don't worry, I'll explain quickly, so that you can stay as soon as possible."
The young medic-nin slaps the door. "What you have to do is pretty straight forward. Inside this house somewhere is a Leaf forehead protector. You have go in alone to retrieve it and make your way back outside. Once you enter, all the exits are going to get sealed up and hidden traps will activate. You can only succeed if you properly use the skills that you learned. Meanwhile, I'm going to watch your progress from inside a special room. You just have to yell out your surrender if you want to give up at any point." Kenta opens the door. "Ready?"
Ikari cants her head and looks up at the sealed door the moment Kenta lays his hand on it and starts explaining. She hmmms thoughtfully and bobs her head quickly, "Hmm, yup! I'm ready! Do I gotta not break stuff? Momma and Papa fuss when stuff gets broken at th'house…but since this is a test house…is it different?" She bounces in place while she waits for the question to be answered and the door to be opened. Masafumi squints and turns his head in their direction to try and better eavesdrop on the conversation, "Looks like they might be going in…it'll be tough to watch from here. Wonder if I'll be able to peek through the window…"
"Don't worry. You can break whatever you need to. This house is used for training even other times, so the furnishings have to be replaced often anyway. It's mostly old things." Kenta leads Ikari inside a few steps before removing his hand. The first room is a small living room. The Chuunin wasn't lying when he said that all the furnishings are old. Most show signs of wear and tear, although they're not in such bad condition that they've turned fragile. An enormous woven grass mat dominates the center of the room with a low tea table set on the middle of it. Faded cushions are scattered around it to serve as seating. A few plates of sweets and snacks make the setting look more domestic despite the shabbiness. Most of the walls are lined with wooden shelves that holds various knickknacks. Two closed doors lead to other rooms, one on the left and one on the right. "I'm going to leave you now, Ikari-chan. Remember what I told you. Good luck!"
Kenta jogs out the door and closes it tight. The young medic-nin places his hand on the seal to run chakra through it. All the seals carved into the perimeter of the house starts to glow a soft blue as they activate. Kenta waves at Masafumi before he jogs around the corner, where a small shed with surveillance equipment is waiting for him.
"Okay! See ya on the other side!" Ikari waves and waits a few moments after the door has been sealed shut. "I wonder if I'll hear him say start…couldn't hurt to just start lookin'…ohh what's this…" Her attention is immediately caught by the snacks left out and she licks her lips as she inspects them more closely. "These look really good…but what if they're testin' if I'll eat anythin'…what if it's pretend poisoned…I could fail…" She pouts and hmms to herself. "Maybe I can ask to eat it after I pass…" She shakes her head and looks around to pick out a place to look. "If I were a headband…where wouldn't I be…" Her eyes drift down to the ground to the mat. "If they was there, there'd be a bump there…like when I hide my clothes under th'one in my room…" She heads over to the cushions set on the ground by the table, poking and proding each of them to feel for the metal part of the headband before she just flips them over to see what's beneath them. Masafumi watches Kenta heads for the shack and mosies over to it and knocks on the door. "Room for two in there? Preferably three though…don't like feeling cramped."
Kenta blinks when he opens the door to see Masafumi filling out the entire space behind it. "Ummm… sure, Akimichi-san. It'll be a tight fit, but there's enough room." The young man moves to the furthest part of the little shack to allow Masafumi to squeeze inside. While snug, it's not too bad. There's a bench to sit on in front of a panel covered in buttons, blinking lights and levels. Above the panel is a screen showing the various rooms of the house. Ikari's process in the living area can easily be observed. "Ikari-chan is pretty smart. She didn't go for the sweets at all, even though that's her weakness. Too bad she's about to trigger something else…"
Inside the house, Ikari finds that the headbands aren't under any of the cushions so far. Some of them turn out to be so thin that any objects hidden underneath would show as a lump, just like an object hidden under the mat would. Others are still chubby with stuffing, but there's no telltale sign of a hard object inside. When Ikari's halfway through the cushions, she flips over a cushion with a seal stitched on the bottom. It flashes and the floor underneath her suddenly heaves upwards. The world turns upside down as she ends up dangling from the ceiling in a rope net.
Masafumi cranes his head a little as he carefully steps inside and lowers himself onto the bench to sit. There are some creaks of protest, but otherwise everything is settled ok. "Yeah, pop's been filling her in on all sorts of horror stories they've tried to trick the fighters with during their initiations. Like how they replaced the tea with dyed salt water and made everything on the buffet with the hottest spices they could find. Or how they they replaced the 'tempura' with…well, you don't want to know. Put enough batter on anything and it'll look edible…" He laughs and shakes his head, laughing louder when he sees his little sister get caught up in the net. "Not smart enough it looks like…"
Ikari squeals and flails around in the net. She hmms to herself and closes her eyes, focusing on making herself swell and swell until the ropes strain and snap under the tension. She bounces and comes to a rolling stop on the ground. "Well, wasn't there…" She looks around and heads over to one of the house plants, digging through the dirt amd scattering it on the floor. "Sorry mister tree, but you could have the head band I need."
Kenta makes a face at Masafumi. "The sweets weren't altered -that- way. They just contain a mild sedative that'll make Ikari-chan dizzy for a little while, so that she'll make more mistakes. It doesn't look like she's that lacking in wits either. That's a pretty interesting way of getting out," he says and reaches up to tap the section of the screen that shows the living room. Bits of frayed rope is scattered on the ground and hanging from the ceiling in lonely strands. That room's turning into a mess already after only a short amount of rummaging from Ikari. Now, there's dirt getting scattered all over too. Unfortunately, the forehead protector isn't in the potted plants either. Ikari just disturbs a some a few earthworms and probably killed the plants too.
Masafumi ahs in understanding and grins a little bit, "That would've been funny to see. Like getting a peek at what kind've drunk my baby sister might be." He chuckles and shakes his head before looking back up at the screen again to watch Ikari. She scrunches her nose and giggles at the worms she finds before hmming and patting the plant. "They'll fix your dirt when I'm done and you'll be all better." She brushes her hands together to free the dirt from them before wandering further into the little house. She eventually ends up in the bedroom and immediately pries open the dresser to start throwing its contents over the floor too. "Come on head band…come out wherever you are…"
The forehead protector isn't in the dressers either. There was a brief moment of elation when Ikari finds something the right size and shape. In fact, it -is- a forehead protector. Unfortunately, when she pulls it out, she sees that a face with its tongue sticking out had been etched into the metal plate instead of Konoha's leaf symbol.
Inside the shed, Kenta watches the screen raptly. "Umm… a drunk Ikari-chan would be very odd. I'm not sure that I'm allowed to get students drunk either… Oh! She found the decoy forehead protector! This is when I have to press this button." The young medic-nin stabs his thumb down on one of the dozens of buttons on the panel. Instantly, the first floor's bedroom door slams shut to trap Ikari inside. The windows of the bedroom are covered by a chakra barrier, so she's going to have to find a way to open the door. Gears also rotate within the walls of the hallway right outside the locked door to set more traps that'll be waiting for the little girl when she gets out.
The solution to the locked door is actually in plain sight. There's a key hanging on a nail above the mattress. "Just so that this isn't -too- easy… Let's see if Ikari-chan paid attention on how to detect and dispel genjutsu." Kenta presses a second button. All the objects inside the bedroom begin to blur and seemingly shift to different locations when the built in area genjutsu begins to activate.
"Yay! I got it! Hey…wait a second…" Ikari squints at the fake head band with confusion, but it takes her a minute to figure out that it's a decoy. "Meanies…tricking me like that…" She yelps when the door slams shut and she hmphs to herself. She walks over to the windows first to check them, and stumbles a little when the Genjutsu starts to take effect. She ooo's softly under her breath and looks around with fascination before she surges a brief burst of chakra through her system to try and shake it off. Once her vision comes back into focus, she looks to the ceiling finally and climbs up onto the bed. She jumps until she can finally grab the dangling key. Unfortunately the string holding it cannot support her weight so she comes crashing down onto the bed. It doesn't deter her much and she's scrambling back to the door to use the key on it. She hmms to herself and wanders to the kitchen, digging her way through the food stuffs in the counters and drawers.
"Not too bad…how'd they manage to trigger a genjutsu like that without anyone being there to actually handle it? " Masafumi asks with a confused tone to his voice.
Inside the shed, Kenta points to a vase in the bedroom. "There's actually a nozzle inside the vase that sprays out a special powder. It affects the chakra system of whomever breaths it in, making them more susceptible to manipulation. Then, there's some seals behind the first layer of paint on the walls that actually casts the genjutsu. I'm not sure about the exact mechanics behind that, since I'm not a genjutsu specialist." He goes silent to watch Ikari's process. "Ikari-chan's already done with almost all the rooms on the first floor. I hope she doesn't avoid the food in the living room only to eat the stuff in the kitchen. That's treated with sedatives also…"
Kenta turns to regard Masafumi. "Remember that second button I pressed earlier? When she gets out of the kitchen, she's going to find that all the doors are locked again, including the kitchen door once she closes it. The only direction available is up the stairs, which has motion detecting kunai launchers inside the walls on both sides every six inches. They take about a minute to reload, but they shoot pretty fast, so Ikari-chan's going to need to think of something more clever than running straight up."
Ikari sighs after she gets done tearing the kitchen apart trying to look for the headband. There were more than a few looks of temptation from the food, but she supresses the urge with the even greater one she has for finding her hidden prize. She wanders out and tries the other doors in the house to find they're locked. "Guess I gotta go upstairs now.." She walks over to them and starts up there, only to jump back when the first set of kunai are set off by her movements. She hmms and squints up the stairs thoughtfully. "Yeah…yeah that could work…" She takes a few steps back and takes a running start, quickly cycling through hand seals. She seems to barrel her way halfway up the stairs and gather her share of kunai along the way before a cloud of smoke poofs around her. When it clears, a large light blue vase that was set against the wall at the foot of the stairs crashes against the floor. Ikari brushes herself off, standing in its place before she wanders off to a different rooms. She continues to rummage through dressers, closets, and the furniture to try and find the headband.
"Interesting. Don't think I'd ever understand anything like that…" He hmms and nods his head. There's actually a look of fear when it seems like Ikari's gotten impaled, "We don't have to wait until she's surrendered if she's…really hurt…right?…" The fearful look fades when he notices it's just the replacement technique.
"Clever!" Kenta exclaims. He looks over to smile proudly at Masafumi. "Don't worry, Akimichi-san. Ikari-chan will have to be very careless in order to get serious injured in there. I also have a way to instantly deactivate all the traps from here. If it looks like she gets into real trouble, all we need to do is to pull that lever." Kenta points to one that's sticking out of the side of the control panel, completely separate from the rest.
Inside the house, Ikari finally finds the forehead protector that she's looking for in a bedroom designed for a child. The space is filled with dolls and stuffed animals of all sizes. The headband is wrapped around the waist of a creepy life-sized toddler doll with a diaper over it for concealment. Less than second after Ikari finds her quarry, it escapes her grasp again. Every single doll, including the toddler, within six feet of the little Akimichi girl is instant repelled from her in a circle wave of flying bodies. If she takes a single step forward, the dolls in front of her shifts by the same distance. Those that are pressed against the wall flies sideways to avoid her.
"More motion sensing seals," Kenta explains to Masafumi while they watch the screen inside the shed. "There's one inscribed in each of the dolls. Touching the forehead protector activated them. They'll try to move away from anything that's human shaped."
Ikari's eyes light up when she finally finds the headband and she reaches out to try and take it, "Come here dolly…you need to be changed." When the doll springs away from her with the others, she frowns and spends a few minutes trying to chase it down away from the others. She stops and flops onto her back, panting in an attempt to catch her breath. She looks around the room and finds a pillow on the small bed to throw it at the doll she was chasing. She waits a moment and when she notices that it doesn't try to flee from the pillow. she hmms to herself. Another few hand seals and poof! She's henged to look like a fluffy panda cub. 'Heh. Just like a baby Xun! I bet Daisuke wouldn't be able to tell the difference!' She immediately crawls over on her four paws and takes the headband away from the doll with her maw before she tries to waddle out of the room.
Masafumi looks to the lever and relaxes even more before he nods. He hmms to himself and snorts when he sees Ikari's choice of henge. "You know she came home one day trying to brag that she fought a gigantic panda?…What do you make of it? Some kid's story, or you think there's some truth to it?"
Kenta nods in approval at Ikari's solution. He doesn't take his eyes away from the screen when he answers Masafumi. "Umm… I'm not sure. I thought that it was only a tall tale at first, but she said that some other people about the giant panda. At least one of them is someone that I respect a great deal. I thought about asking him, but wasn't sure how to bring it up. I guess it's not really -that- important in the long run…"
What's important is that Ikari finally has her forehead protector. Once she's out the child's bedroom, the only thing left to do is to escape from the sealed up house. All the doors downstairs are still locked tight and the windows are still protected from damage by seal barriers. There's a big glass door on the second floor that leads to a balcony, but it's also sealed with a barrier. The same characters that are carved into the window frames glow with the same blue light on the wooden frame of the sliding door. Only, not quite. A rectangular depression in the frame at the very top where it meets the ceiling has a different seal carved into it. A series of tiny characters surround the same leaf symbol on the forehead protector.
Ikari unhenges once she's out've the room and looks around, furrowing her brow in thought. "All those doors downstairs are probably still locked up tight…and I probably wouldn't be able to just break 'em…probably wouldn't get many points if I just went that route anyways…think…what would Kenta or Nobunaga-sama do…" She pauses, lightly wringing the cloth the protector is attached to. "They'd probably look around first to make sure they didn't miss anything…since I looked down there, let's look up here some more." She wanders around the upstairs until she finds the sliding door that leads out to the balcony. She squints at it suspiciously and reaches out to touch the seals and marks on the frames. "Huh…some've these kind've match the headband…wonder if it fits…" She looks around and tries to find some furniture she can stack on top of each other to reach the depression so she can carefully try to fit the metal part of the forehead protector into it.
Masafumi chuckles a little and shrugs, trying to look indifferent. "Yeah I guess it doesn't matter much…more work than it's worth anyway. How's uh…work at the hospital? You heard how Eiko's doin' around there?"
"Eiko? I'm not sure that I know that name…" Kenta says, trying to place whether there's a medic-nin around the hospital that matches. He nearly misses Ikari's actions as a result. Thankfully, he exploration of the second floor is vigorous enough that the motions catch his attention. The young Chuunin turns back to watch the screen. "There's a lot of people that work at the hospital. Some of them rarely or even never get the same shift as I do. For instance, I rarely encounter Usagi-san, even though I know that she's around."
Kenta goes thoughtfully silent when he notices that Ikari had discovered the special part of the balcony doorframe. He absently taps a button. Another door slides shut behind the little Akimichi girl, cutting her off from everything except the small section of the second floor that leads to the balconies. There's very little useful furnishings; no tables, chairs or hearty plants. The balcony door is flanked by some sturdy curtains on both sides, but they're too far from the middle for her to simply reach over to touch the depression even if she manages to climb them. There's also a woven grass mat on the floor for dirty feet walking in, a big rubber exercise ball in one corner and some cleaning rags.
Ikari peers behind her when the door is slammed shut. "Darn it…" She grumbles a little and looks around the room to see what she has to work with. "Bouncy ball…mat…" She sighs a little and hmms to herself. "I guess I could bounce up there…but I'd need somethin' to grab…" She walks up to the curtains and rips one side of them down before she retrieves a kunai from her belt. She carefully aims for just above the depression and throws the kunai with all of her might, lodging it deep into the wall. She drapes the curtain around the kunai handle and focuses on tying it into a knot. She tugs the fabric a couple of times to test its durability. "Won't last very long…gotta do this quick." She steps in place a couple of times before she expands her legs to spring into the air. Even though the kunai strains, she tries to work quickly to fit the headband into the impression before it gives way under her weight.
Masafumi nods at Kenta and yawns a little. "She's our older sister, works at the hospital sometimes, but most've her works in the village making sure we're all healthy and stuff. Not sure, but I think they might work with the Nara on the combat pills and the treatment for the people who've taken them."
Using a kunai to keep a pierced length of fabric in place definitely isn't the most suitable use for the weapon. The curtain tears quickly once Ikari's weight hangs from it. Thankfully, she doesn't have far to go and bracing her feet against the chakra enforced glass door after her leap helps reduce the weight a little. The curtain tears completely right after she manages to fit the forehead protector into the depression. It forces the little Akimichi girl to perform a snap assessment of how to land correctly.
The seals on the door frame flashes a few times before they go completely dark. A second later, the forehead protect pops back out and hits the ground with the loud ping of metal impacting hardwood. The balcony door slides sideways, clearing Ikari's path to freedom. There's no ladder or trellis to climb down. Now, Ikari's last task is how to get off the balcony without breaking a leg. This should be easy after everything else.
"If Eiko-san works with the Nara on the Akimichi combat pills, we definitely wouldn't have worked together," Kenta tells Masafumi. He pauses to watch Ikari handle the sealed door. "This is overkill," Kenta admits. "Ikari-chan already showed that she's as capable as any Genin even before she was a third of the way through the house. I just hope that this has been fun for her. You don't think she'd be mad when she fully finds out how much harder her test has been than the other students, do you?"
Ikari makes sure to land on her rump when she hits the floor. It might not be the most graceful of landings, but thanks to the way she can manipulate her muscles and fat in her body, she does have enough cushion to save herself from any serious damage. She carefully rocks herself to her feet, gathering up the headband. "Jackpot! Now I just gotta get out've here." She proudly parades out onto the balcony, only to find the lack of ladder or anything to really climb down on. She hmms to herself, "I'm not -that- good yet…even if I tried to grow…what should I do…" She leans against the balcony, taking her time to think thoroughly about the answer. "Hm…yeah, that could work." She takes her headband and tosses it off the balcony before she cycles through the hand seals to replace herself with it. This gives her a much shorter drop to fall from by the time she's done, and she can come to a rolling stop to safety. She stands up and brushes herself off before she focuses on growing her hand to the size of a full person and stretching up to the balcony. She extends her pinky and carefully nudges the headband off the edge so she can catch it. "I did it!"
Masafumi hmms a little and shrugs, "I guess that's true…and it's definitely harder than what I had to do. Figure I'd fail if it were me in her shoes…but knowing Ikari-chan, she'd probably be happier for it. She loves it when people don't take it easy on her. She doesn't complain at all hardly when the other kids tease her."
"Ikari-chan does seem to thrive on challenge. She's bold, sometimes too much, hard working, tenacious… There's so many good things about her. I know that she'll definitely be an important person one day. Look at how she did here. She succeeded resoundingly at all the tasks that faced her and kept her head no matter what happened!" Kenta says proudly. Ikari is Masafumi's sister, but she's almost like his own student, even though he's not officially her sensei. The young medic-nin hops to his feet. "Let's go tell her the good news!" He turns towards the door, but quickly realizes something. With Masafumi sitting on the side closer to the exit, there's no way that Kenta himself can make it pass, no matter how petite he is. Akimichi have a way of taking up every inch of space available without even trying. "Ummm…"
Masafumi snorts a little and shakes his head, "Only sometimes? I just gotta pray that I get sent on a lot of missions whenever she's going through her rebellious phase…" He stands up and looks at Kenta in confusion before ahhing in understanding and carefully pushing his way out of the shack. He immediately stretches out after, giving Kenta enough time to stretch out as well before he makes his way around the building to where Ikari's looking over her headband. "Hey small fry, looks like you did it! How's it feel? You know, mom and pop are probably going to cut your allowance when you start going on all the missions they'll send you on…so you'll have to think really hard about how much work your treats will be worth later…"
Ikari is plopped on the ground and looking at her headband with pride. She does look up at Masafumi and Kenta when they arrive, and waves at them eagerly. "I got it! This is gonna be so awesome!…Wait…you really think they'll do that?" She does huff at the thought of her sweet budget getting cut when she starts getting more rewards for being on missions. "Oh wait…speakin' of treats…is there somethin' you can do to open the doors again? Those snacks looked really good…and I did pass so…maayyybe I've earned it."
Masafumi smirks and looks aside at Kenta, lightly nudging his side with his elbow, "I dunno, I think she did kind've earn it…maybe we should let her stuff her face."