Date: March 19th, 2010
Nobu takes a class of students out to the forest to the north of Konohagakure for a game of hide and seek. Hopefully the fun of the game will make learning stealth a bit easier on the rambunctious youngsters. Tagging along are a few Genin the Academy Instructor has asked to help out. Who will win in the epic, or not so epic, showdown of Hide and Seek!?
"Nobu-sensei’s Training: To the Miati Forest!!"
Tamotsu looked around the snow stricken area. All the white would make it a bit easer to find his targets. He'd been annoyed about being it first but someone had to do it. The genin placed the bag with Kinari in it under a fallen branch and then took a seat facing the tree with his eyes closed. His fluffy ball of an Akita pup was asleep, quite cozy cuddled up to the blanket lining his backpack. "One, two, three…" The student began. He couldn't believe Nobu-sensei had passed this off as training. The Inuzuka wished that all his teachers were as fun. "Ten, Eleven." The boy continued. At twenty he'd leapt up and looked around. The sun reflected off the white snow and blinded him some. It didn't matter though. He wasn't going to rely on his eyes like most kids.
Taji came along for the fun of it. He remained pretty quiet on the way up here. Once the 'it' was chosen Taji would scan the area for a good place to hide. He lept up into a tree and jumped from branch to branch, so he wouldn't leave a trail of foot prints in the snow. Of course he knocks a bit of snow off so a very very keen eye might spot that. He makes his way to a spot up in a tree, behind the trunk, trying to keep the tree between him and Tamotsu.
Tsukiko was a little nervous about the new training, especially about the new people. She dashes away throughthe snow to try and find a good hiding place. She leaves a very blatant trail through the snow until she reaches the base of a tall, leafless tree. She scrambles up, then back down. She retreats through her own footsteps to another tree so her trail continues past where she stopped to climb. she leaps from tree to tree after that, trying to hide among the branches.
To help out with teaching this class, Nobu has recruited a few of the more experienced ninja from around the village (he can be very persuasive!), and sorted everyone out into random groups by lottery. Now the whole class is playing Hide and Seek, with the unfamiliar forest and winter snow added to make things a little more… interesting. As for Nobu himself, he's been grouped up with only a single student, Tamotsu, as well as Taji and Tsukiko. And with Tamotsu being It, it's time for him to hide!
Though he's noticed that the others have chosen to climb up into the trees to avoid leaving footsteps, it seems like this is a bit too obvious to make a good hiding spot. He hurries his way over to a large boulder, then turns around and makes a few seals. He thrusts his palms out in front of him and the wind suddenly seems to pick up, blowing snow and dead leaves all about. By the time the gust has dissipated, Nobu's footprints have been blown almost completely away, and he's ducked behind the boulder, waiting and listening for sounds of someone approaching.
Tamotsu raised his hand to keep the sun out of his eyes. The glare of the snow was rather intense today and the boy couldn't help but wonder if Nobu-san had set it up that way. A breeze of air passed by him, ruffled his hair, and severed to chap his face some. The first thing the academy student noticed was a trail. He slowly followed it, trying his best to keep the tree, which served as base, in his sites. Being up against true shinobi he couldn't be too careful. The trail ended at a tree and upon surveying the trees nothing really caught his eyes. "Hm… well, this is getting me no where." The boy muttered. He made a handseal, prepared to focus chakra, but then something stuck out. There was some snow missing from a branch. "Maybe…" The boy muttered, barely a whisper. Heading off in the direction, and leaving the tree unguarded, the Inuzuka rushed over.
As he scanned the trees he noticed a few other branched that had been missing their snow. Following the trail lead him straight to Taji. The student slowly crept around the tree, attempting to keep out of sight. A surprise attack always worked better with animals and the student hopped to use the same technique here.
Taji is so focused on hiding that he has lost track of Tamotsu, unaware of where the 'it' has gone. Tamotsu is able to sneak back behind Taji as he clings to the tree. He is caught off guard when Tamotsu manages to sneak up on him, and Taji starts to fall from the tree. He manages to land in a nice pile of snow, so doesn't take any damage. He rolls with the fall, so he's okay but he is 'caught' as it were. "Dang!" He grumbles as he starts to stand up, brushing off the worst of the snow, "How'd you spot me?"
Tsukiko remains quiet in her perch. She quickly forms the seals for the clone technique, creating a second version of herself. The new Tsukiko heads back accross Tamotsu's path, dashing towards the goal leaping from tree to tree. Meanwhile, the real tsukiko drops to the forst floor and uses henge to take the shape of a winter hare and dash along the forest floor.
Nobu listens carefully to the sounds of the forest. The wind rustles the surrounding trees slightly, and the sounds of the other groups playing can be heard as well, but from behind the boulder, Nobu hears what sounds like Tamotsu heading off in another direction. He carefully peaks out from the boulder and looks around, then, seeing nothing but a hare (was that there before?), he darts out and makes a break for the base, moving quickly, but stealthily. Or that's the plan, at least.
Tamotsu smiled at Taji. He couldn't believe it. He actually snuck up on a Genin. "The snow on the trees." The Inuzuka replied while pointing to the first branch he'd noticed. "Using the trees to keep from leaving a trail was pretty smart. I don't know that…" Tamotsu trails off upon spotting Tsukiko making a dash for the tree. He wasn't about to let anyone get home on his watch. The boy hunched down on all fours and raced toward the illusion in full canine fashion. "Gotacha!!" The boy yelled out. As he passed through the fake girl the pup let out a yelp before falling face first into the snow. He laid there for a few minutes and then slowly rose up.
"No fair!!" He shouted as the hare proofed into the real Tsukiko, safe at the tree. The boy was about to run toward the tree, to protect it incase Nobu made a break for it, but then he saw the Chuunin was already there. "No way!! When did yo…" The boy trailed off in awe. Why did Chuunin have to be so darn fast. "Well, at least I'm not it again." Tamotsu sighed and then added a grin at the others.
Taji shakes his head, not quiet believing it himself, "Yep, you got me." He agrees to Tamotsu. He moves back to the 'it' tree and says, "My turn I guess. Okay, you guys all go hide and I'll start to count." He waits for the rest to be ready then he hides his head and starts to count upwards, "One… Two… Three…" He counts up towards twenty, giving the other three all a chance to hide as he counts. He keeps shaking his head, not quite beliving he was caught so easily. though.
Tsukiko heads into the woods, again, starting with a trail through the snow. She reaches a tree and jumps off of it towards another tree where she drops a gain. She repeats this making short trails leading nowhere, bouncing off trees and stones. She finally leaps back to a spot on the path she bade and henges into a snow covered boulder.
"I snuck back over when I heard you going after Taji-san," Nobu explains, "Good work catching him though. I was worried that you might not be able to keep up since you're the only student in this group." Despite the compliment, Nobu's voice is still as flat and weary as ever. "Next round." He waits for Taji to take his position at the tree and start counting, then he hurries to get himself hidden. Nobu isn't certain, but he knows Taji had the opportunity to see the way he hid before. It seems prudent to use a different tactic, should the genin think to track him down by listening to the wind or somesuch. This time, he takes to the trees, first sneaking his way up the trunk of an old oak. From there, he jumps to another branch. But he's not going to just stay here. He reaches out and rustles some branches higher up in the tree, dislodging a little snow and making some noise, hoping that it will give the impression that he's hidden in the leaves. Rather than do that, though, he hops down, landing in a crouch by a small, snow-covered bank, careful to land opposite from Taji. Then, like before, he waits and listens.
Tamotsu bit his lip as Taji began counting. Hm… he needed a good hiding place. The academy student decided to walk in one of Tsukiko's trails, then grudgingly climbed into the tree she had. From there he had planned to jump along Taji's old path so as not to make a new one but he didn't quite have the balance to pull it off. "Think… think." The boy mumbled to himself. There was a bush right over there, he could probably make it. The Inuzuka jumped from the tree, fell over the bush, and then proceeded to craw underneath it. Hopefully the coating of snow, from his fall, on his cloths would serve to somewhat camouflage him.
Taji finishes counting, "And Twenty…." He uncovers his face and looks around, slowly. He takes in subtle clues here… there. Little things giving him a hunch on where each person is. He frowns in concentration as he ponders. Shadows, that's part of it. As he picks out each target, without being overly obvious about it, he calculates then after a moment he starts to move, slowly, like he's still looking. Perhaps he's just trying to be fair, either that or its just luck that has him move diagnally towards Nobu, then… leaps, as he tries to jump over the snow covered bank to tag the person behind there, in this case, Nobu, while he tries to keep his attentions divided enough to try to keep track of the others.
Tsukiko stays motionless as her henged boulder, unaware of her failure to hide. Her tracks having given her away. She waits until Taji chooses Nobu as his target, leaving the path to the tree open. When the way seems safe, she makes a break for it, dropping her henge and running to base while taji goes after nobu
Hearing the sound of someone approaching, Nobu tenses slightly, getting ready to stand up and bolt as he looks to either side of the snowy bank. The one possibility he hadn't considered was that of Taji actually jumping over. Being in a crouch, and having positioned himself to get out of the way of someone walking around the side of the bank, he isn't able to get out of the way, and Taji's aerial assault proves a success. "Ah," he says, "Good job, Taji-san." He stands up and brushes himself off. "I guess I must be It now." He walks over the bank over to the base, leaving a trudging path through the snow.
Tamotsu pondered as he watched Taji from under the bush. Then the genin made his move. The Inuzuka took that as his cue to move. He was amazed at how quickly and easily the genin had pulled it off. Did Taji maybe let him win before? Tamotsu shook the thought off as he continued his slow creep toward the tree. Then the craziest thing happens. A boulder poofs and then there is Tsukiko making a mad dash toward the tree. The commotion was bound to get Taji's attention so the Inuzuka ducked behind a tree before seeing the results of the tag attempt. Hopefully he'd be too focused on Nobu-sensei and Tsukiko-san to notice.
Taji rolls after tagging Nobu, and hops up, "Oh, not done yet." He says as he leaps and runs, trying to beat Tsukiko back to the tree that is goal. It's a tough race, but Taji hadn't moved that far from the tree yet, so he has a chance, one chance. If he misses, well… Tsukiko will easily touch, but if he makes it… one more tag is possible. Taji bolts, moving pretty darn quick for a genin as he tries to tag Tsukiko, ignoring Tamotsu for the moment, even though he spies the other ninja.
Tsukiko runs towards the tree, but Taji runs faster. She tries to stop and leap sideways, but her footinggives out. She slips to the ground and Taji tags her. She sits there in the snow a moment, nodding, "I thought I had the distance.. you're a fast runner" She sighs and stands back up, dusting herself off
Watching the rest of this round's action out of the corner of his eye, Nobu continues on to the tree and waits for everyone to gather around again. "It's my turn now," he says, "So I'll count to twenty…" He turns around to face the tree, and puts his head up against it, then begins counting aloud. "One, two, three…" He slowly makes his way up to twenty, giving the others their time to hide.
Tamotsu can't help but give a grin when Taji goes for Tsukiko. Well, it was now or never. The academy student darts out from behind the tree, on all fours again, heading for base. When Tsukiko went down the Inuzuka's heart leapt. No one else was there to distract Taji from him. All he could do now was hope that Taji was too far away to catch up to him.
After being tagged or not, the student would look around for a new hiding spot. Where could he hide? The Inuzuka pondered as Nobu counted. Then something donned on him. He should hide close to the base. Then, even if he is caught, he could probably get to safety in time. With this new plan in mind Tamotsu trotted over around five feet behind the tree Nobu was counting at. He ducked behind a fallen trunk and then waited. Ready to lunge forward at a moments notice.
Taji couldn't get all three, and after getting Tsukiko he let Nobu take over as 'it'. He laughs and then shakes his head. Pondering where to hide. This is not as easy as it should be. Stupid snow is something he's not all that used to. He glances around then makes a run for it, using the same path he used to go where he tagged Nobu last time, and the same jump only to roll in the snow on the other side and try to bury himself in it. With luck, the snow will conceal him as he lays still in the white, if he can manage it.
Tsukiko takes off the opposite direction. She jumps into the ait and, in mid air, uses replacement technique to disappear, leaving a log in her place. Reappearing in trees she remembers the lesson from earlier and leaps from tree to tree, careful to not disturb the snow on the branches. She uses her own wind technique to send a small storm accross a clearing to knock the snow off the branches and returns to hiding in the tree she's in.
Finally reaching twenty, Nobu turns away from the tree and takes a look around the area. Recalling the sounds that he heard while counting, he considers that one set of footsteps stopped much sooner than the others. Obviously, this person is nearby. Looking down to the ground, he traces the now numerous footsteps surrounding the tree, until he finds a set that leads to a fallen log nearby. He takes a step towards the log, thinking to investigate, but his attention is grabbed by another fallen log. One that fell just a second ago, in fact, making a sound as it hits the ground. Finding this suspicious Nobu walks over to investigate. There's nothing over here, of course, but a short ways away, he stops a line of trees with snow missing from their branches. He takes a few seconds to examine the exact pattern of the missing snow, but eventually finds that they have a narrow cone shape. And whoever did this must be at the point of that cone. He leaps into the tree and reaches into the branches, trying to find whoever's in there.
Tamotsu held his breath as Nobu-sensei approached. Lucky for him something made a sound off in the distance. After watching the Chuunin get off to what he felt was a safe distance, Tamotsu began to creep toward the tree. He wanted to take this slowly, convinced that Nobu was bound to be super fast. "Just a little more." The Inuzuka whispered to himself as he continued his agonizingly slow walk toward the base. With any luck he might actually not get tagged this round.
Taji got lucky, he wasn't in the line of fire this time. He tries to very carefully sneak back to the tree, while Nobu is distracted in the branches. Sneak sneak sneak…. He tries to circle around, low to the ground, in the snow.
Tsukiko yeeps as the chuunin follows the path of her wind backwards to her instead of following it. It figures that he, knowing wind techniques himself, would have deciphered that. She is caught and barely holds on in the tree, keeping from dropping to the ground. She sighs, "caught twice in a row.. I thought i had a good idea."
"It wasn't bad," Nobu says, "But you should have focused your wind into a straight line." Knowing that leaving the base open like this will likely have caught the attention of Tamotsu and Taji, he looks back to see both of them creeping their way over. Near instantaneously, he hops to the next branch over, then the next, then the next, then the next, then down onto the snow-covered forest floor. He lands lightly, then dashes over to the base tree, reaching to tag both Taji and Tamotsu before they can get there.
Tamotsu had it, he was going to make it. There was no way Nobu was going to get back in time. Then a in a wave of air the Chuunin appeared behind him. "Wha!!" The Inuzuka voiced as he attempted to maneuver out of Nobu's grapes only to be lightly tabbed on the shoulder before falling into the tree. "Aw!!! I almost had it!!" The boy shouted in annoyance. He couldn't believe it. Every single time. The Inuzuka set there for a second, stewing in his own annoyance while waiting for whoever was next to begin counting.
As Nobu tries to move in for the tag, Taji tries to pull off a replacement technique, but he's just not quite fast enough. Close, but no cigar. He gives a groan as he's nabbed before he can get the jutsu off, then touches the tree. He shakes his head, "So close, so very very close." He says as he sighs, then looks at the others, "Um, so… who's it now?" He asks as he gets ready to hide again if it isn't him.
Tsukiko turns her head to the tree and closes her eyes. "I suppose its me. I don't know how well I'm going to do" She begins the count, "One. Two. Three"….. Her eyes are closed and covered just in case.
Once more, Nobu finds himself trying to think of a way to hide. He scans the surroundings, looking for something that might be of use. His eyes fall on an old log. A truly ancient log, in fact. Even in the winter, it's covered with more fungus and lichen than snow, and it's completely hollowed out, making it little more than a thick shell of bark. And it's fairly generous in size. He jumps into a nearby tree, then down to the log where he quickly lies prone on the ground and crawls in, careful not to disturb the nearby snow.
Tsukiko's voice snaps Tamotsu out of his thoughts. The Inuzuka had noticed it was close to time to be packing up if they wanted to make it home before nightfall. "Aw… this'll probably be the last one." The boy mumbled. He needed an extra good hiding spot to finish off the day with. The Inuzuka looked around taking in the site. There were tracks everywhere now and most of the branches had lost their snow. Well, all the hiding around the area had made leaving a trail less of a problem.
The twelve year old took a deep breath of the cold air and then set off. He found a ditch in the ground, more like a sink hole. Being careful not to sleep too far down, the Inuzuka decided to lay across the side of the hill. He covered himself with a light powder of snow and then laid there. It was getting colder out now and his hands were beginning to sting. It was worth it to him though. He was going to make it to base this time, as sure as he was going to graduate someday.
What to do, what to do? Taji ponders then thinks. He moves quickly then… tries to hide not in a log but… behind a log, a log left by that substitution. He tries to move quickly and quietly, using the already existing foot paths to hide his new path. But, no fancy jutsu, just… Taji hiding behind a tree stump left there in the snow.
Tsukiko treks into the woods, following the trails her prey left.. or the ones she thinks they left. She slowly turns a circle, having lost all trails of the others. She frowns before getting an idea. She takes her senbon, the ones with the mirror bangles and throws them all over, leaving littke metallic reflection spots all over the forest. Maybe she can see the ninja moving before they get too close. her extra eyes planted she moves back slowly to try and defend the base.
Watching Tsukiko through a small crack in the bark, Nobu waits until she walks a little ways away from the base, then quickly slips out of the log, crawling back out, then raising his body into a kneeling position. Taking another quick look over to Tsukiko, he waits until he's sure that she won't be able to see him, then gets to his feet and hurries over to the base in a hunched over run, stepping carefully so as to avoid making any sound.
Tamotsu froze upon hearing clanks around the forest. He inched up the hillside a little and then saw what it was. Shinning things and Tsukiko was throwing them up in the trees? What could she be planning? He sure hoped it wasn't some amazing jutsu that would create a net or something like that. Well, he couldn't wait here all day and it didn't look like the kunochi was going to get too far away from the base. The Inuzuka stands up in the classic four legged stand. That Akimichi sensei had taught him that a low center of gravity was key to stealth. All he'd have to do was avoid any branches and he was confident he could get by Tsukiko. As long as those things she was putting up around the forest didn't somehow alert her.
Taji peeks over the log as Tsukiko heads off along one of the paths. He waits… waits… waits… then tries to sneak back to the tree when he thinks she isn't looking. He misses the whole mirrors thing, being a bit distracted by the idea of actually getting to the tree without being seen. Let's see if he makes it… or if he's spotted?
Tsukiko watches not only the open area, but the reflective surfaces she planted. Sure enough, no one can be seen in the open areas. Ninjas are trained too well for that. But even these ninja can't avoid making any reflections on the bangles she planted. She sees a black form cross the white reflected snow on the mirror. She dashes quickly to try and cut Nobu off, leading, not with a hand, but a small pellet.
Nobu spots Tsukiko coming to intercept him in his peripheral vision, as well as throwing something smaller at him. To avoid the small bomb, he momentarily increases his speed, getting away before he can be caught by whatever it is the little thing has in store for him. Then he ducks under her hand and touches the base. "Well, that round's over." He pauses and looks around at the little group. "I think we ought to finish up." And that he does, quickly gathering up the rest of the groups he's brought out to this forest, then marching them back to the village, satisfied that the students have learned something.