Date: September 5, 2011
Noab challenges the genin of Konoha to a test, and Katashi comes forward to take it.
Training Area #26 - Genin Training [Konohagakure]
The Special Genin Training ground, in Training Area #26, is designed to suit all of a Genin's training needs. As well, it serves as an excellent place for Jounin to teach their Genin team members. The area is mostly a large expanse of grassy field, surrounded by forest, with a nearby lake, and various poles and tree trunks for practicing attacks on. There are boxes, carefully camoflauged, containing supplies of shuriken, kunai, smoke bombs, and similar basic ninja equipment, as well as racks nailed to a few trees, with weapons stored on them. They are all covered to be protected from the environment, and regularly checked to make sure they are clean and in good condition.
There are also medical supplies hidden around the area. Most of this equipment can't even be found by most Genin, since their containers are meant to be known to and used by Jounin only, but a Jounin teacher may point out the location of a few for when he or she isn't present and the Genin want to train anyway.
Noab sits on a stump in the midst of the genin training area, whetting the edge of his axe. Earlier he had put out a notice: a free package of shuriken and kunai for any genin who could win his challenge. What that challenge is precisely, hasn't been specified. The notice did say where he'd be waiting, though. Thus far nobody's spoken to Noab; maybe they're scared by the big axe? e.U Well, big deal if they are. Wasn't an intended part of the challenge, but if they can't muster up the gumption to talk to an old man with an axe, they don't deserve to be playing with knives. :P Anyhow, it's still early in the day.
The hat is the first thing that pops into most people's field of vision, being as wide as Katashi's shoulders and covering most of his face, the Genin's hat does an ample job of hiding his face from the sun and from wandering eyes. Striding into the training ground, he takes a moment to look around and speaks a parting word to some other Genin in the area before he marches up to Noab, "Mooshy-mooshy Sensei-san, how are you today?" he asks and bows slightly from the shoulders. He is wearing a blue uniform, his forehead tied around his bicep and his ankles taped. He looks to be ready for a mission, and he approaches the dwarf-like Akimichi.
Sliding his hands onto his hips, he declares, "I have come to claim the prize!" He punctuates his words with an out-thrust thumbs up.
Noab glances up from his task. His single eye roves over Katashi's form appraisingly. "Dress code's gone to heck these days," he mutters under his breath. Noab lays aside his axe. "Well then. Fancy a shiny new set of killing tools, do ye? Good thing I'm not just giving them away. From the look of you, you'd cut your ear off on the first throw." Noab fishes in his vest pocket for a moment, then pulls out a small slip of paper. "See this? This is a voucher for a free bowl of ramen down at the Ramen House. Your mission is to obtain the voucher, trade it for the ramen, and eat the ramen. Understood?" Noab encloses the voucher within his meaty fist, then pushes himself off the stump to face Katashi. "You have thirty minutes."
The boy's head tilt back slowly as he listens and reveals a pair of bright blue eyes for but a moment. The two are relatively close to eye level- though Katashi-kun's height is liable to explode at any moment. Hearing the contest, he walks closer and looks at the piece of paper for a moment before it is enclosed in the fist. Thinking quickly- like a Genjutsuist, he devises a plan. Turning away, he walks a few feet, and starts to dig a hole with his hands, shoveling out the dirt and when he is done, he settles down into the hole so that just his hat remains. A conical hat resting on the ground all that is visible.
He remains like that for several moments. Invisible to the eye, just a hat on the ground, the boy balled up underneath. Whispering as he whips through handseals to no outward visible effect.
Noab watches with a mildly furrowed brow as Katashi goes about his business. "Better be a darn good strategy you're working on there," Noab remarks. "You don't have a lot of time to waste. Huh, you're lucky I'm not attacking you too. Most missions, if there was somebody who knew you were trying to steal something from 'em, they wouldn't sit around waiting while you go dig holes or whatever." :P
After thirty seconds Katashi rises up and spends a disproportionate amount of time dusting himself off and making a real show out of it. He lifts his ankles and brushes them, takes off his hat and makes sure that it is clean and tied just >so<. When he is certain that he is appropriate, he looks up and laughs lightly, "If you were attacking me Sensei-san, I'd not have taken the time to steal the voucher from you while you were watching me." That said, he approaches the Akimichi, reaching into his garments as he walks he produces (seemingly) the voucher and inquires, "You mean this? Your reflexes are slow, Sensei-san. Thanks for the ramen!" he calls out and tilting his head back, laughs lightly, musically. His face drawing on a look of triumph as he prepares to walk off to the noodle house. "I'll be back for my tools later!"
Noab peers at the slip Katashi holds up. Is that an illusion, or a counterfeit? Pretty hard to tell at a distance. Noab shrugs. "Not a bad try," he remarks. "In a scenario with a fortified defense, that might just get an enemy to come out after you and abandon their position of strength. But, you need to be confident that you can win when they do come after you." Noab tilts his head slightly. "Let's suppose I'd been fooled just now. Maybe you even manage to grab the real voucher when I open my fist to look. How were you planning to get to the Ramen House and eat the whole bowl of ramen without me pounding your head into the ground?" e.U
The boy laughs and starts to run away. "Back in a little while, don't go anywhere!" he calls out again and runs out of the grounds at a fast trot. Leaving behind nothing but a hole in the ground and lingering questions in the air, even as he walks away, he draws out a flute from his clothing and starts to play it. A strange young boy indeed. He doesn't really seem to feel the need to answer, and is content to leave it at that. "Unless you want to come along!" he calls out again as he continues to walk away, spinning in place to call back towards the stout Akimichi.
Noab watches Katashi departing, then sits down on the stump again. "Kid's got some grasp of psychology at least," he mutters. "Won't save him all the time, but it could make some of his encounters less costly." Noab rubs his fingers along the voucher, feeling the texture of the paper. Yup, still there. Shouldn't have needed to check even that much, but a buzzing doubt like that can be awfully annoying. -.U;
Returning about ten minutes later, Katashi is patting his stomach as he walks and looking contented. Walking right up to the stump, he declares, "Mission accomplished!" and holds out a receipt towards Noab. "That's for you, Akimichi-Sensei," he tells the older man and then indicates the pile of killing tools. "Can I have those now, or was there a second part of the mission?" he asks. The receipt reads: 'Ikamatsu Ramen House- one voucher from Akimichi Noab.' It is followed by some financial details, like the cost of the ramen and the voucher. He is continuing to play that game, it seems. Or maybe not. Maybe this is something else entirely. "My name is Kinjo Katashi, by the way."
Noab takes the receipt and looks it over. He sighs through his nose. "Well, I'll give you points for lateral thinking, Katashi-san. Matter of fact, I'll give you a time extension. But this isn't quite good enough. The mission parameters said you have to acquire this voucher." Noab raises his fist. "Fooling an enemy is one thing. Fooling a client is another. We don't give our clients counterfeit proof of having completed an objective, even if we could get away with it." Noab folds his arms. "I hope that's just a fake receipt. A shrimp like you could get a stomach-ache trying to eat a second bowl so soon. Not to mention, if you bamboozled the Ramen House, you're paying for it later." e.U
Not replying, the boy starts to search through his pockets, begins to withdraw things. Including of all things, Mr. Usagisan, a rabbit wearing a pair of spectacles and a deep red jacket with kanji on the back, a pair of smoke bombs, some kunai, a backup hat, a pair of goggles, a shoe (ladies size seven), a handful of pieces of paper and sauntering closer to Noab, he says, "Did I give you the wrong one? Hold on, let me find the other one," he tells the man and continues to search through his pockets, the pile of stuff in his arms getting unmanageable. "Have you seen a pink receipt?" he asks and holds out the rabbit towards the other man, trying to free up a hand.
Noab declines to assist Katashi in his efforts to produce whatever it is (probably nothing really), although he does give a good long stare to some of the objects he dug up. Is that a live rabbit? e.U Hard to imagine how it could remain so in there. Noab shakes his head. "Son, I've been dealing with enemy ninja out to kill me if I looked the wrong way since before you were born. I'm a jounin, and you're a genin. You're not going to trick me, beat me, or outmaneuver me, and even if you did, you wouldn't be able to hang onto the voucher for very long. Now if you don't come up with a better idea for accomplishing your mission in the next two minutes, I'm going to declare it failed."
Setting the rabbit down on the ground, the boy starts to put things away and considers the Akmichi at length. "Can I please have the voucher, Akimichi-Sensei?" he inquires and folds his arms over his chest. Not looking upset, just looking frustrated that nothing seems to be working, though his face is thankfully hidden from view so he doesn't have to sport the best of poker faces.
Noab shakes his head. "Negative. This voucher has some value to me, after all. Wouldn't mind a bowl of ramen myself. If nobody manages to acquire it by suppertime, I plan to use this voucher. Waste not, want not."
"What is the value of the voucher to you?" Katashi inquires curiously, and reaches up to scratch at his nose. "In Ryo, that is," he tacks on, hoping that the man doesn't issue some sort of diatribe on the Akimichi arts of eating, because to be frank, just looking at Noab one must imagine that he spends a great deal of time not just eating, but thinking about eating.
Noab shrugs. "Same as a bowl of ramen, about 300 ryo. That's what I paid to get it in the first place."
Opening his bag, Katashi pulls out three hundred ryo and holds it out, "For the voucher," he explains and looks towards the man's hand. He can't get it through any jutsu, and he can't get it through trickery, that leaves only diplomacy and well, let's be honest, the ship is sailing on that working.
Noab grunts as he gets up from the stump. "Finally," he mutters, scooping up the cash and depositing the voucher in Katashi's hand. "I didn't want to give these to some idiot who'd use them as a first option," Noab remarks, picking up the weapons package. "It's easy for a ninja to forget that there are sometimes better ways of getting things done than fighting or trickery, since we spend so much time training in them. They usually don't call on us in the first place if those skills aren't needed, but never forget to look for less antagonistic ways to accomplish your missions. Never make an enemy you don't have to." Noab picks up his axe and starts walking toward town. "C'mon, let's go eat."
Taking the voucher, Katashi stuffs it into his inner jacket pocket and picks up Mr. Usagisan putting him in the satchel at his side. "Arrigato," he says and follows the big man with the axe. Folding his hands together behind his back as they walk, he explains his various ploys which the big man had seen through. "I think it's a context thing, you request a mission from a Shinobi and we assume that they are asking for someone who is good at doing something difficult, so we approach it with caution and try to do it, you know, like a Shinobi would," he agrees in a roundabout way with what the Akimichi has to say. "Missions are tricky like that, huh?" he asks, curious. His mission experience being rather limited, and his experiences during the clan wars even more so.
Noab chuckles faintly. "Affirmative. I've had missions where I did something a little different from what the client asked, because it seemed better to me. Instead of taking something from their foe, I found something that foe wanted more and traded for the objective. Instead of defeating an enemy force, I convinced them to settle for a truce and go back to their homeland. Sometimes the client appreciated it, sometimes they didn't." Noab glances at Katashi. "There's no hard rule you can follow to decide whether it's better to do exactly as you're ordered, or deviate a little, or even completely disobey. The only sure thing is, even if you're 100% certain you did the right thing…" Noab looks forward and trudges onward. "…you have to face the consequences of your actions."