Struggle For Greatness, The Final Exam From Hell


Kaido, Kyoko, Isamu

Date: August 6, 2015


Two of Konoha's finest students take their final exams and await the word as to whether they will graduate.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Struggle For Greatness, The Final Exam From Hell"

Konohagakure Ninja Academy (various rooms)

The testing room feels pretty omnious as the class of graduating students are ushered in, being guarded by cloaked and masked instructors (in an homage to the ANBU). The whole procession almost feels like a criminal proceding rather than the final exams before graduation. The image is reinforced by Kaido, Bandit, Bolt and Doborou all sitting on a raised platform overlooking the class behind a podium. Once the last student is led to their seat at a long table, the instructors all move to either side of the podium in a semi-circle.

There is silence for a long moment before the clock chimes on the hour. It's 9 am and after the sound of the bell trails off, Kaido speaks, "You came here a blank slate, wanting to become a member the ranks of Konohagakure's shinobi. You knew nothing, and before me when I accepted your application to these hallowed halls, you swore to learn what I and other instructors would teach you. Now that you have been taught the lessons from those of us who have been out there, it is time for you all to demonstrate what you have learned and be judged worthy… or unworthy." He takes a breath, pausing and then reaches up and removes the hitai-ite from his forehead and holds out it almost reverently and says quietly, "This is what you earn if you are worthy, the hitai-ite, the symbol of a Konoha shinobi. It is a honor and a privilege to wear this, it shows that you can be relied upon to complete missions and tasks assigned to you by the Hokage and Jounin Council, as a soldier, as a SHINOBI!" He bends over the podium to look everyone in the eye, making sure everyone gets eye contact.

He sits back and then speaks once again as he puts the headband back on and gets to the meat of why they are there, "Your Final Exam will consist of 3 stages and a failure in any stage will immediately cause you to completely fail and will require you to return for another year at the Academy before you can retake the Exam. The first stage is a written exam on the history and general knowledge of Konohagakure and the Jounin Council. This written exam will be multiple choice and you will have one hour to complete it. The instructors will be observing to ensure that no one attempts to cheat, cheating is very bad… if you are caught doing so… well, you will have shown just how much you disrespect this Academy, your peers, your instructors and yourself and you will be ceremoniously expelled and will be forever barred from attendance to the Academy, bringing everlasting shame upon yourself and your family and Clan, if you are part of one." He emphasizes this sternly.

He then continues, "The second stage is your practical exam, you will be demonstrating the ability to perform the basic skills that you were taught, including Henge and Replacement Technique. You do not need to be perfect, but you must show that you can do it reasonably well." He then takes a sip of water to quench his parched throat and finishes up, "The last stage will be an oral examination. Bandit, Bolt, Doborou and myself will be asking you questions relating to your desire to be a shinobi and your motives in doing so." He glances at each of the students and says, "I wish you good luck, the Exam begins now… instructors to your places!"

The instructors fan out, one to each student, placing a test booklet, answer sheet and N.2 pencil in front of them. and Kaido clicks a stopwatch, syncronizing it with the main clock on the wall.

Isamu was just a face in the crowd that day, one of a multitude of students who had been eligible to take the final exam. But he didn't feel like as insignificant as he looked. In his mind, he was well on his way already, a shining star ready to take off and show the world what he was made of! … But first, he had to take this test. A written test. His throat grew dry at the thought, staring down at his booklet and pencil as if they contained a thousand plagues, a Pandora's Box of misery and uncertainty. It was only when he heard Kaido click his stopwatch that he slowly flipped open his test questions and started reading over them slowly. 'Don't overthink it,' he advised himself, twiddling his pencil nervously in his fingertips. 'It should all be stuff we've studied before..'

One of the worst things about the Academy: getting up early. Of course, that's nothing compared to the times that many shinobi have to get up… There are all sorts of missions that happen at dawn, earlier, or later. Not that Kyoko knows that. Or maybe she ignores that fact..? Well, regardless, the girl is ready to graduate so she can become a genin. And then she can get a good sensei and beat her rival! Mwahahaha! Ahem… And so the girl opens the booklet when instructed and stares at the gobbledygook questions that make no sense to her tired brain. Though even if she were fully awake, she probably couldn't have answered a majority of these questions… 'The Jounin Commander's favorite kind of underwear? What kind of question is that?' she thinks to herself, almost head-desking…

Indeed, the written exam is full of minutae that no sane student would know unless they were psychic. In fact, there were no questions on the written exam that were 'real' questions. But failure is not an option, and getting caught cheating is grounds for expulsion, so…
The instructors were watching the students, yet not in such a way that if they were careful and used whatever skills they had, could manage to find a way to get the answers off of the instructors or their fellow students. Intelligence gathering, one of the things you were taught in class how to do, sometimes the village may need that information and you need to find a way to get it.

Well, Isamu had done a good job of remaining optimistic until now. But these questions were ludicrous! Why would they ever need to knwo these things? They certainly hadn't studied them - EVER. The boy groaned and leaned back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling with a frustrated huff of breath. This was a joke… right? He sighed slowly, thinking over the options in his mind. Kaido had told them not to cheat… And he had given very clear explanations as to why cheating was not an option. But this test… They would never be able to answer this alone.
Isamu closed his eyes and tried to quiet his spinning mind with a few deep breaths. This.. was surely a trap. A test. Kaido was infamous for those… He just had to think like Kaido… 'A shinobi's best tool is the art of deception. Playing the obvious in the guise of the tricky.' That was it… They were /supposed/ to cheat… but not get caught! There was no room for simple-mindedness here. He knew that nothing could be taken at face value… It was up to him to use his own brain to make smart decisions in light of his situations. Quickly, Isamu flicked his eyeas towards his neighbors, being careful not to linger too long or be obvious. A boy to his left was busily writing, a stark contrast to most of the other students who were staring in shocked silence and making uncertain movements with their pencils. That was the guy…
Isamu's eyes were pretty good, so he could kind of see what the other boy was writing. His eyes moved quickly before his hand started copying what he perceived to be the answers, pretending like he was thinking of them all on his own, even putting on a disgruntled and frustrated face to mask his upwelling sense of victory. This was gonna be easy.

Kyoko perhaps has an advantage in this case. The girl can use her bugs to get various information. The problem is planting the bugs in a way that they won't be noticed. … The girl sighs and puts her hands together, gathering a bit of chakra to Henge the bug in her hands to a normal housefly. It starts to buzz around the room to seek out someone who seems to know what they're doing, though it goes in a rather aimless pattern like any normal housefly, then lands on the ceiling. Hopefully none of the shinobi around here feel like climbing up to get it…
It happens to be Isamu that she sees writing so busily. Or rather, her bug sees him. It doesn't take much for Kyoko to read some of the various signals from the bugs within her body. They look up and translate the 'fly' on the ceiling, then they form small shapes on the back of her hand. It's a rather slow system, and perhaps even one that isn't particularly efficient. But it works for the time being!

The hour passes by fairly quickly and once people catch on to what the test is really about, the students use their various skills to copy answers off of their neighbours or trick the instructors into telling them what they are. A couple people end up getting caught and are immediately sent packing (crying… but later everyone will learn they weren't expelled, just forced to repeat the year before trying again). Everyone else finishes and Kaido clicks the stopwatch and says, "Pencils down…" When all the tests are collected, they are brought to Kaido and Kaido simply rips the answer sheets down the middle, and drops them into the wastepaper basket and says, "This test, was a test of your ability to perform under pressure, and to use your skills to accomplish what needed to be done." He nods, "We will procede to the next stage… each of you will go with your proctor and perform the 4 basic skills for them, if you pass, then you will be brought to a room for the third and final stage. Good luck."

With that said, each instructor takes their student to a separate part of the room so that they will all have enough space to be able to show off the basic skills without worrying about bumping into others. The sounds of Henge and Replacement Techniques can be heard.

Isamu couldn't help but smirk when Kaido ripped up the tests and explained the objective. So his guess had been right on the money. Well, at least he had managed to get his answers without alerting any of the proctors. Now it was on to stage two. Isamu walked with his instructor to one corner of the room, where he was instructed to show all the basic skills he had learned. Easy! Well… some of them. Isamu decided he would start with the ones he was confident about.
First, he asked his proctor to bind him up with rope so that he could demonstrate his used of the Escape jutsu. It didn't take long, and Isamu was free in 3 seconds flat. Victory number one, done. The next he would demonstrate would be…. *POOF*. He was gone in a puff of smoke. Sure, he had used one of his little smoke bombs to distract the proctor, but once the haze cleared, he was well hidden and making no noise. He was sure the proctor had no idea where he'd gone. Or maybe he did. He just didn't act like it, and continued to jot notes down onto his clipboard.
Next skill… Replacement! Isamu looked around until he found a desk chair within his line of sight, and grinned as he poofed again, his body appearing next to the desk and the chair sitting unassumingly in the place where he was standing just a second ago. Pass!
The rest of the skills, Isamu knew would be more tricky. They all relied heavily on ninjutsu, something that… well, he sucked miserably at. But, here went nothing. The boy placed his hands together and started trying to focus his chakra. Fail. Only after MUCH effort was he finally able to coat his body enough to make a shaky illusion of the proctor in front of him, which dispelled itself after only a matter of seconds. And already his body felt nice and drained. It took way too much of his stamina to focus even a little bit of chakra for ninjutsu. But, he hoped that his display was just good enough for a passing mark.
That left… Clones, and being able to see through Genjutsu. He'd get the hardest out of the way first, while he knew he still had a little energy left. Sighing, Isamu went to focusing once more, grunting and groaning and looking quite constipated as tiny flares of chakra seeped out around him, his face visibly sweating. He could do this! After several solid minutes of trying to gather enough chakra for the technique, Isamu mamnaged to produce one transparent-looking clone of himself, that looked more like a mirage than anything else. But still, it was something. It lived for one whole second before it poofed into nothingness, and Isamu collapsed onto his butt with heavy, panting breaths from the exertion. Gah… When would this torture be over???
All that was left was Genjutsu perception. But… Who was going to try and cast a genjutsu? Isamu frowned, taking a look around the room to see if anyone else was doing it (as if he could tell by looking). Then his eyes wandered absently up to the clock. It took him a minute to fully grasp what he was looking at. The clock read 2 pm! There was no way that was right! And just then, he remembered Kurome-san using the same genjutsu when they were learning about it before, and how he had noticed it then, too. Pointing up at the clock, he looked back to his proctor. "Hey! Somebody changed the time. I bet that's the Genjutsu, isn't it? Am I right?" The proctor only smirked and made some final notes on his clipboard before nodding to Kaido, Isamu's demonstration of his basic skills complete. Now all that was left to do was wait for the mysterious third stage…

Hey, what the heck?! Kyoko had worked hard filling out those bubbles, and Kaido had the trials to rip them to shreds? I mean, sure Bandit didn't have any, so that meant that he wasn't a candidate. And Dorobou would rather blast the papers to smithereens rather than tear them up. Bolt wasn't even a contender, being so happy-go-lucky that Kyoko was sometimes sickened by it. But he was also so happy that sometimes it was mildly contagious. The things Kyoko has to live with!
The young Aburame sighs softly and calls the single insect still flying around as a fly back down to her. It was one of her favorite kikaichu, actually. She took special care in breeding it and its line so that it would become more durable and longer-lived. "Domo," she whispers quietly to the insect as she follows her proctor. The proctor for her is a Chuunin-level kunoichi with purple markings on her cheeks. They look a bit like- oh boy… An Inuzuka. /Another/ one. The clan was a thorn in Kyoko's side, and they apparently weren't going to make the removal process easy.
"Alright. As Kaido-sensei instructed, you'll need to demonstrate the six basic techniques," she instructs as they walk to an empty room. It was… completely empty, too. The only thing there was a stupid chair that the proctor sat down in. "Begin," she says, clicking her pen and holding it to the paper on her clipboard. 'At least she doesn't have her dog with her…' Kyoko mutters inwardly, staring at the woman through darkened goggles for… a long time. A very long time, even. So long that one has to wonder if there's something wrong with the Aburame.
A few more minutes pass (after about five), and Kyoko still has yet to do anything. "Aburame-san, nothing will come of this if you continue to do such. I suggest you get a move on bef- *POOF*" The clone disappears in a poof of smoke, leaving the woman startled. When did- wha? Kyoko managed to sneak away from the scrutiny of the Inuzuka by leaving a clone, transforming into a bug, and then making her way stealthily (in bug form) to just behind the proctor. "What else is there? A few things, I guess… But you better check mark Henge, Stealth, and Clone," Kyoko mutters before leaning away from over the proctor's shoulder.
Sadly, the Chuunin is a bit too well trained to actually react. Sigh! Oh well, Kyoko tried. "I have another magic trick for you," she says cheekily. "Just watch as I make that chair under you… disappear!" Then she makes a handseal, and a multitude of insects are holding up the proctor instead of the chair, which Kyoko oh-so casually sits upon. "Umm… You still gotta tie me up, I suppose… So we should do that," Kyoko says a tad bossily… Oh boy, that might not work in her favor. The female Inuzuka walks over and ties the binds none-too-loosely, making sure they're quite secure so that Kyoko is stuck in her chair. The woman steps back with a satisfied look.
And then Kyoko isn't there. "Okay. There's one more thing, I guess. Right?" she asks. "Genjutsu?" The proctor snarls lightly, baring her fangs at the young Aburame. Kyoko had quite an attitude, and it might not be so welcome as she got older. But she did have a bit of skill… The woman growls softly, and then it seems to echo around the room until … a puppy shows up in front of Kyoko! Aww, it's so cute! Look at the adorable thing~. Kyoko's urge to pet the puppy, a young golden retriever with floppy ears and big brown puppy eyes, is so great that she almost barfs. Knowing that it's a genjutsu from that emotion alone, she struggles her way free from the stupid illusion, closing her eyes until she can't feel the urge to pet that ador- blasted pup. "There! Happy now? I passed all those stupid tests," she mutters, not all too happy after that genjutsu.

Kaido hears what his cousin has to say about Kyoko's attitude and he raises an eyebrow and makes a note of it himself. As the practical exam ends, each student is taken one by one from the room (the rest are forced to wait for their turn… and each student takes 30 minutes to come back and all look drained. The class is about 30 students so… yeah… the last student is going to be waiting almost 15 hours for his turn. This last stage is sure a test of patience and endurance! about half-way in, Isamu is tapped on the shoulder by his proctor and led out to the interview room.

Isamu had been sitting cross legged on the ground, his eyes closed in a sort of meditative state while he waited for his name to be called. One student after another, they all went in, and they all came out… changed. Isamu knew that it must be a difficult test. All he could do was to mentally prepare himself for it. He let go of everything around him and focused only an his breathing and his internal body functions. He calmed his mind and found his center. He ignored all discomfort that he was faced with - hunger, thirst, the need to use the bathroom. He could quell them with the right focus. This was just what he needed after the exertion of the previous test. Mental and spiritual rejuvenation.
When he was finally tapped on the shoulder, Isamu rose slowly to his feet and followed the proctor to the room where Kaido would be waiting. This was it… His final test. He was ready.

You're shoved into a very dark room with a chair in the middle of it illuminated by a dim spotlight. Kaido, Bandit, Bolt and Doborou are barely visible in the shadows and Kaido says, "So… Ishikawa Isamu, welcome to your final test. My nin-ken and I are going to ask you some questions. But first…" Kaido makes a few handseals and bites his thumb and draws blood over something and a seal all around the chair lights up. You would find it impossible to lie (unless you had an S-Rank Genjutsu defense) and compelled to tell the truth.

With that done Kaido says, "You are constrained by the Seal of Truth, and your answers will be the truth." He waits for that to sink in before he says, "Why do you want to be a shinobi?"

Isamu's brows furrowed slightly when he was brought in, squinting to see Kaido and company in the darkness. This was… intense. He took his seat silently, looking around himself uncertainly when the seal takes effect, and he swallows quietly. A Seal of Truth? Right… The boy takes a deep breath. He just had to remember to keep his head clear…
"Why I want to be a shinobi," he repeats slowly, the answer coming to the front of his mind surprisingly quickly. It must be the truth, dragged forward from the depths of his mind by whatever seal Kaido had in place. "I want to be strong," he says clearly, his eyes looking upwards to where he knew Kaido was lurking. "I want to be strong so that people can depend on me to help them. I want to be needed…"

Kaido's expression cannot be seen and Bandit speaks up next, "Are you strong? If you were in a real fight against real enemies, would you be able to fight and win, or would you run away?"

Isamu could feel his jaw tightening. "I might not win," he says evenly, his eyes burning brightly. "But I would NOT run away… I'm not a coward, and I don't stop fighting… Even when I know I might die. That's not what strong people do. And I AM strong. And I'll prove it with everything I do."

Bolt then speaks up in his happy-go-lucky tone, "But what if that's what's needed? To run away? The way of the shinobi is to master the environment. Are you so fixated on strength that you'd throw everything away, including your friends, your family and your teammates to prove that you're strong?"

Isamu shakes his head slowly. "… What I mean is that, if what's needed is to fight, then I'll fight no matter what… But I'm smart, too… I'll do whatever it takes to keep my friends safe… You know, a retreat is not the same thing as giving up and running away… A retreat is smart sometimes… Cause you know you can come back and fight better and stronger when you're ready…"

Doborou then asks, "So which is it? Are you strong? Or are you just smart? What IS your idea of being a shinobi?"

Isamu frowns slightly. "… Well, you gotta be strong /and/ smart… And I don't mean being so strong you can make a crater in the ground, though that can be useful too… Cause you know, there's more than one way to be strong… And I think the most important way is to know what you want, and to chase after it and never give up… If that's being a master of your skills… Or completing a mission… Or protecting your friends… The most important thing is to be able to not give up, and the give everything you have into what you do… It's your decisions that make you who you are… So you have to make good ones… Ones that you won't regret… Ones that you'll be proud of… And for me, that means being strong enough in my heart to do anything I set my mind to… And that includes being an excellent shinobi."

Kaido finally speaks and says, "One final question, what lesson… if any, will you never forget from your time here in this Academy?"

Isamu looks down and grins a little. "… That things are often a lot simpler than they appear… So don't overthink things, cause that's exactly what your enemy wants you to do… A ninja must see through deception."

The door opens then and Kaido says, "You will return to the main exam area, when everyone is done, I will announce the results of the Final Exam and who has graduated."

After about 3/4 of the way through the entire group (roughly 12 hours or so since you completed the practical exam), you are tapped on the shoulder and led down the corridor to a darkened room and locked inside. In the middle of the dark room is a simple chair illuminated by a single light, Kaido, Bandit, Bolt and Doborou can barely be made out in the shadows that the light casts in the somewhat big room. Kaido speaks, "Welcome to your final test. My nin-ken and I will be asking you questions, your answers will determine whether you pass or fail. Sit down…"

Kyoko just waited where she was, impatient to get the test over with. Irritation and impatience can only get one so far, though, and she'd likely end up falling asleep if she weren't busy considering various attack strategies with her Kikaichu. "No, if you go that way, then that group has to go this way," she instructs, soundly oddly amiable until someone taps her on the shoulder. "Finally? Took them long enough," she mutters, holding a hand out to pick her Kikaichu up before making her way to the testing room. It is there she sees Kaido and his partners, and the girl crosses her arms, on guard, when Kaido starts talking. Something tells her it'd be a bad idea to actually speak up, so she moves to sit down, Kikaichu crawling around curiously to examine things.

When you sit down, Kaido makes some handseals and bites his thumb and lets a few drops fall onto the ground. As soon as they do, a seal lights up around the chair. You feel compelled to tell the truth and hold nothing back and Kaido even says, "This is the Seal of Truth, you will tell nothing but the truth and hold nothing back. For this, there can be no lies, no half-truths, no obfuscations, excuses or explainations. If you are to be a shinobi, you must be honest enough witb yourself to show that you are worthy." Kaido's tone is neutral, but it's clear there's some disproval in the Head Instructor's carriage. He then says, "Let's begin…"
The four move to sit down in the shadows on some chairs, but Kaido stands up and says, "Why do you wish to become a shinobi?"

Kyoko feels the urge to tell the truth, and she almost wants to stab her heart out. The Kikaichu feel the disruption to her chakra, and she can feel them shifting restlessly. Their usual patterns had broken for a bit. "Hmph. I just want to explore the world. Gather new experiences. And if I know some good skills to help my travels, then all for the best," she says. "I also want to get away from my parents. They hate it here. So I figure I can either show them it's not so bad, or I can get out of their hair so that they can do what they like."

Kaido listens to the answer, and then sits down, Bandit then stands up and says, "Why the attitude towards the instructors? You have been rude to the point of disruptive, in the practical exam, you decided to talk back to the proctor administering your exam, why?"

"The instructor was new here. She should know how to handle disruptions, right?" Kyoko shoots back. She takes a breath to calm her initial irritation at the mere memory. "I haven't slept in what feels like ages, so I'm sorry if I'm a bit cranky. I'm still working on controlling my chakra sensitivity. It's way higher than most for some reason, and I can barely rest because Daisuke's shining as bright as the stupid sun when it's midnight." Her tone gets more bitter, irritated, and angry as she continues, but she doesn't act on anything. It's just words. Venting, in a sense…

Bandit sits down and Bolt steps forwards, even he's a bit disapproving, "Have you asked for help in controlling your sensitivity? There are ways of reducing it via the med-nins until you can control it. Have you asked the med-nins to give you something to suppress your chakra sensitivity at night or ask them for something that will allow you to sleep?" The venting is ignored, and the questions come hard and fast, but with purpose.

"I didn't even know they could do that," Kyoko admits, sounding surprised. "I'd rather haut get some way to suppress it, though. Pills make my Kikaichu lazy, and I don't need them lazy when they're supposed to be helping me out. I let them stay in my body, they help keep me alive. That's the deal." She gives a small nod. "As for actually asking people to help, not many seem to be Able to. All they give me is the same advice. 'Keep practicing. You'll get it.'" She rolls her eyes, though it's unseen behind her goggles. "I've /been/ practicing, though. The only thing I can tune out right now are people Genin-level thanks to me always hanging out with that Tatsuo kid."

Bolt sits down and Doborou stands up, "Do you feel you deserve to be a kunoichi?" is his only question before he sits down again.

"You probably don't want me to be," Kyoko says bluntly. "You probably just hate me for how I'm speaking to all of you. But I don't care. I have the skills to be a ninja. And I'll get jobs done to the best of my ability. If the client can't handle a sharp tongue, that's their problem. If my fellow teammates and teacher can't figure out how to deal with it, they need to work on their problem solving skills. And if I don't learn some respect, I'll just get my butt handed to me by some ticked off Chuunin or Jounin. Do I deserve to be a kunoichi? Isn't that all up to you? I've jumped through all the hoops I could." Kyoko forces herself to shut up for a second. "So I have no idea. I have the skill, but not the attitude you might want. If that makes or breaks a Shinobi, though, then Konoha's probably deserving of my parents' dislike."

Kaido stands up and says, "I'd argue that your attitude could get someone killed, because you seem to disdain those who you consider beneath you. You have a distinct hatred for authority and that gives us all pause. Without our clients, there would be no village, part of being a kunoichi is understanding that you will have to work with, and tolerate those who you dislike. So my final question to you before we let you go is simply this… IF we graduate you, can you curb your tongue and follow orders and act like soldier in the army of Konoha? Or are you going to mutiny at every turn if you encounter someone who you hold in contempt? Think hard on this question, because the answer will say more about your future prospects then you may even yet realize."

Kyoko stares at Kaido for a long while. A few minutes. Then says, her tone even, "Yes." She may not /like/ holding back, but she could do it just to get a mission done. "And I don't mutiny… What I've done is far from the worst that could ever happen."

Kaido nods and says omniously, "That's what we're afraid of…" The four all stand up and Kaido says, "You may go back to the main testing area, we will announce the results of the exam when we have finished the oral exams of everyone." Which means another 3 hours of waiting again.

Kyoko stands and bows grudgingly, muttering softly to herself. The girl doesn't care that she has to wait longer. She just wants to make sure she doesn't fall asleep before the whole thing gets started. A few Kikaichu sweep past Kaido's face as she moves out of the room, but they ignore the Jounin completely.

After the last student has had their interview, Kaido and his nin-ken walk back in and move to the podium. He claps his hands loudly, to be able to wake up those students who might have fallen asleep while waiting and says, "I will now reveal the results of the exam, but before I do, I would like to say a few words." He smiles then, "When you first came here, you came here with a dream, a dream to be shinobi. You absorbed the knowledge I and my fellow instructors gave you, even though our lessons were harsh at times. I tell you now, it is because the land outside our village is harsh and unforgiving. No matter what skills you learn, whether it be taught by us, by your team leader, or learned on your own as you discover your hidden abilities it sometimes isn't enough."
Kaido turns solemn, "I tell you this because I have been out there, the textbook you have learned from came from my experiences, everything you were taught was to prepare you for the day you leave these halls and enter the real world." He looks at everyone, "Not a day will go by that I will worry about you, even though I no longer have control over you, unless we are in a mission together. And I will grieve if any of you should fall. Not many of you may know that once a day, I go to the memorial in the Forest, and I read each name of those who have fallen who were either trained by me, or by my friends and I wonder if perhaps there was something more I could have done, or said, or taught. This is the loneliness that comes with command, with being a Jounin and a member of the Council."
Kaido and his nin-ken look down for a long moment in silence before they all look up and Kaido's face shines with pride and his tone is now orational, "I say this to you, because all of you… all of you are worthy to be a shinobi, all of you have earned the RIGHT to be a shinobi of this village and I and my fellow instructors are proud to welcome you into our ranks." He and the instructors bow to you all and then begin to clap before Kaido says, "Will you please come up as I say your names and receive your hitai-ite." He then turns and is handed one by Bandit and says, "Aburame Kyoko…"

Huh. Kyoko wasn't expecting her name to be called. Her parents weren't here, either. They didn't want to attend the ceremony, even if it's for their daughter. No matter, though. The girl wouldn't have noticed them anyway if they had! … right? The young Aburame steps onto the stage, taking the hitai-ate and giving the four a small bow. Just because she knows how rude it'd be to not show at least /some/ respect to her sensei in front of the entire class and their families.

Isamu sat up straight as a pin when he heard Kaido say that all of them had earned the right to be shinobi. That meant him too… right? Right? The boy swallowed hard, his eyes shining and eager as he craned his head, watching Kyoko go up and receive her hitai-ate. Man, this was for real! This was really gonna happen! Isamu's palms became sweaty with excitement, waiting to hear his name called.

Kaido bows back to Kyoko and puts the hitai-ite in her hands and says, "Wherever you may go, whoever you may meet, remember that they too are people just like you… be patient with them and you'll be able to go far." With those words of wisdom, he continues to call up each student, giving them their hitai-ite and some words of wisdom. Finally halfway through, after the two Inuzuka students were given their hitai-ite, Kaido calls out, "Ishikawa Isamu… come forwards and receive your hitai-ite."

Kyoko considers the hitai-ate for a bit, wondering where she should even put it. The headband of the Leaf; a village that she believed her parents hated. The girl didn't think it'd be wise to wear it at home… "Hai," she says to Kaido's words, though whether or not she truly absorbed them is another matter entirely. She moves off the stage so Kaido can call up the next few folks, watching each Student advance to Genin until her rival showed up. 'Ishikawa Isamu'. Heh… She'd have to keep that name burned in her mind…

Isamu stared in mild shock for a moment when he heard his name, making sure that he had registered Kaido's voice correctly. Ishikawa Isamu…. He rose slowly to his feet and marched toward Kaido, his eyes still holding a it of disbelief in them as he looked down to the gleaming hitai-ate in his sensei's hands. "… That… for me?" he managed to stammer out, just wrapping his head around the whole thing. This had to be a dream.

Kaido nods and puts the hitai-ite in Isamu's hands, "Yes, it is… congratulations, you've more then earned it. Now you are officially on my team. Never forget what I told you the other day when you sparred me. Focus on making yourself proud, not trying to please other people with your skills. If you can learn some humility, one day you may even surpass me." He bows to Isamu and then continues with the ceremony until finally all have gotten their headbands and Kaido then says, "Congratulations, you are all Genin… now go and enjoy it for tonight, because tomorrow I expect you back in this room for your assignments to your teams…" He grins and then says loudly, "DISMISSED!"

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