Date: November 4, 2010
A surprise lies in wait for Risu at the ninja academy. But is it a good surprise or a bad surprise?
Ninja Academy - Sunagakure
Nai has been asked to head to Sunagakure's Ninja Academy with certain forms, papers, and other documentation. Technically, as Head of Records there are any number of others who could fulfill this task, but Nai does not care overly about positions. It is part of his job to do things like this. Who cares if it is tedious to do the same thing day in and day out for the past three years? As long as he is doing his job, his mind is kept off of certain OTHER things… Troublesome things…
So he waits at the entrance of the Ninja Academy with a set of keys to open the doors in one hand, and a thick collection of file folders and so forth under one arm. He is dressed as is normal for him. Brown robe and hood; dark, baggy clothing; white linen bandages wrapped about his body underneath the clothing; goggles over his eyes; a face wrap; and some simple sandals on his feet — these make up his attire.
It is perhaps odd to be dressed in so many layers in the desert, but other than that, nothing in particular stands out about him. The Academy is locked up tight. It has been ever since they stopped having to use it as living space for the homeless. The charity event had yielded spectacular results, and Nai had even donated to it himself, even though he had already volunteered his home for the purpose. Thus, many houses have been either repaired or deemed safe, and people are starting to return to their normal lives… Or as normal as anything can be after an attack like that.
It is afternoon, and the sun is sending down waves of sweltering heat, as normal. Nai seems not to notice.
Meimei has been busy of late. Spending time with Risu has not been a priority. Or rather, it has been a priority, but there have been slightly higher priorities. Like making sure Risu has a future here in Sunagakure beyond living with a fugitive from the Land of Snow. But now the business is done with, and it's time to show Risu the fruits of her labor!
Yoko heads along the street, presumably with Risu in-tow, having said she had, 'A surprise' for Risu. She has been grinning the whole time and has answered any questions about the nature of the surprise with vague and mysterious replies. But now they are coming up on the Academy, and Yoko sees Nai standing out front. She continues to approach and then bows towards him briefly. "Good afternoon, Nai-san," she offers.
Risu has been doing her best to keep occupied whiel Yoko has been busy. She even took part in a bit of a Halloween mission with Itami! One where no one tried to stab her, which was nice. But now the holiday is over, and she is quite glad to be spending time with Yoko again. She's trailing along, curiously asking questions but each one is pushed to the side. She gives up after a bit and just trails along, trying to think of what could be going on. She's staying close to Yoko, just in case she gives a clue away. As the pair approach Nai and Yoko greets, Risu waves, not saying anything since she doesn't know the person personally and all.
Nai turns when greeted, and bows slowly to Yoko, as though he were very stiff. He then rises back into a standing position and bows his head to Risu. "Greetings to you both," his raspy voice offers. He introduces himself to Risu with, "I am Hone Nai." Then he turns to Yoko again. "I take it that this is the one you mentioned?" the records keeper inquires while indicating Risu with the hand holding the keys. "If so, you will both need to fill out some forms before we may proceed…" He starts rifling through the many papers under his right arm, withdrawing the appropriate ones and then holding them out to Yoko, along with a pen to sign with.
Yoko puts a hand lightly on one of Risu's shoulders at Nai's question. "Yep, this is her!" she says happily. "Her name is Risu." When the forms are brought out, Yoko startles and says, "…Uhh, that's alright. Are you sure we can't fill out the forms later? Or… Can I sign in her stead with you as a witness? She's… Well, I'm still teaching her some things, and I don't want her to have to sign something she doesn't fully understand." She tries to side-step the issue of Risu's ability to sign.
Yoko has realized by now that Risu can't read. But she has a plan to fix that. Just… Right now is not the time. "And while I'm signing papers, you can explain to Risu what this is all about, okay, Nai-san?" (Re)
Risu looks a tad worried when forms are mentioned. She thinks she's hidden her lack of reading from everyone, including Yoko, but like many kids she doesn't realize how much adults really see. When Yoko tries to side step the issue of the forms, Risu looks a tad relieved and hopeful, lookig back to Nai, "Yes, um, what's going on?" She asks, not aware of whatever is going on quite yet. She looks a bit nervous, hesitant as she shifts her weight slightly from foot to foot in a nervous way. She gives a little smile though, trying to be cheerful, after all Yoko told her it was a surprise, not a torture session or anything like that!
Nai hesitates for a moment and then says, "That should be acceptable. It will still need to be explained to her what is being signed on her behalf, however." He then hands over the forms and papers to Yoko, and turns his attention on the nine-year old girl. "Hibiki Yoko has volunteered and submitted a request to be considered your legal guardian. This would result in you being eligible for all the benefits that come with citizenship in Sunagakure, as well as eligibility to join the Ninja Academy." He then looks towards Yoko briefly. "As specified by Yoko-san, once you reach the age of majority you are free to live where you please and be in charge of your own finances and similar. She has also specified that you are not obligated to obey her as one would another legal guardian or parent, and that if you ever have any objections to how you are treated or feel that you are unsafe with her, you can submit a request for aid to the Administration Department, and you will be removed from her home as soon as possible. Do you, Risu, consent to having Hibiki Yoko as your legal guardian, protector, and provider?"
Yoko is busy reading the forms still, making sure there's nothing hidden in them, and is just starting to lower her pen to the paper, but she pauses when Nai asks Risu that question. She looks towards Risu calmly, but subtle signs of concern tug at her features. "Also, Nai-san, she doesn't have to join the Academy if she doesn't want to. That's her choice. Just wanted to make sure that's clear. She is eligible to attend and be taught and all of that, but she doesn't HAVE to. I won't force her."
She may be speaking to Nai verbally, but everything she's saying is directed at Risu in actuality. She's concerned about taking away freedom of choice.
This was not what Risu was expecting. She blinks a few times, looking outright stunned. She stands there, her jaw going a bit slack then she looks over at Yoko, then slowly back to Nai. She can't seem to find her voice. She definately had some other idea about what was going to happen and this has really caught her off guard. But she manages to slowly nod, cause… well, yes! She nods more firmly until it looks like her head might snap off. She breaks into a huge smile then without saying a word lunges at Yoko to wrap her arms around her, giving her a very big hug!
Nai nods in agreement with Yoko's words, perhaps not catching on that she is speaking more for Risu's benefit than his. But then, after a period of silence, Risu starts nodding her consent eagerly, and leaps at the woman who is nearly the same height as her and clings on. Nai watches this display of affection in silence, the sight reflected in the lenses of his goggles. His inner thoughts and emotions remain his alone.
Yoko is a bit more worried when Risu just looked shocked. Her jaw hanging open and eyes bugged out and all makes her think maybe she messed up big time. 'Nice going, Meimei.' she thinks to herself. And then Risu starts nodding. Then she nods BIG TIME! Then she is leaping at Meimei and hugging her and Yoko laughs as she hugs Risu back. "Careful! You're nearly as big as me! You could knock us both down!" she chides lightly, not seriously worried about that, and instead just making sure to hug Risu and sway back and forth with the young girl in her arms. "Glad you like the idea! Hehehe! So did you want to join the Academy too, or do you need time to think about that? Cause Nai-san has all the papers right here. I can get you registered and enrolled. You'll be the first new student this year!" She grins down at Risu.
Risu really can't believe all of this, it's like the biggest birthday present ever, or some special holiday gift. She squeezes Yoko tightly, swaying as Yoko sways a bit. She looks up and smiles, "Sure!" She says, "I mean, if you think I'd do okay?" She asks as she continues to grin then glances over at Nai, "I can join the academy? I mean, um, as a… uh… 'citizen' and all, that mean I can join and not have to pay or… um, or will you pay for it all?" She asks as she looks back up at Yoko, still not having let go quite yet. "Then I can be like my costume, a real ninja and everything. It'll be neat! I can help people and beat up the bad guys and all kinds of good things!"
Nai shakes his head briefly once Risu speaks to him. "There is no payment necessary, but someone must be recognized as the legal guardian of any child who wishes to enroll," he rasps. "In some cases, this legal guardian is made the Kazekage in the event that there is no one else who can look after the child in question. However, he is a busy man, and has not the time to properly raise or instruct a student. We thus prefer, when possible, for an adult of good standing who has demonstrated a willingness to take care of such a prospective student to be the legal guardian. I am actually not sure why you were not assigned to the Kazekage before now. When the orphanage was shut down, you should have been given a small apartment of your own, and begun training when you were old enough… I am going to do some investigating to see what happened to the other children as well."
He pauses and then says, "Also, just so you are aware, any money you earn from performing missions if you graduate to Genin will first be given to Yoko-san, and then distributed to you in a fair amount. Legally, she must give at least 30% to you, and the rest is to be used on your upkeep. Food, water, clothing, and similar. It is not her personal money to do with as she pleases, as I am sure she already knows. But that minimum of 30% can be spent however you please, Risu-san."
Meimei nods eagerly. "Of course! Remember that game we've been playing with the cards? The fact you can use Chakra that easily means you'll--" she almost said 'probably' "--be a great ninja! And yeah, what Nai-san said. They won't charge you to attend. They just need to know for sure that you belong here in the Hidden Sand before teaching you. Otherwise some random person could walk in from the desert and be taught all the secrets they have to offer, you know?" At the mention of the costume, she grins again. "Definitely. There are loads of options for what kind of ninja you can be. Healer, sensor, courier, special operative — that's like a spy — and hundreds of others. But that's all further down the line. You don't even have to decide when you graduate!" She definetely said WHEN Risu graduates, not IF like Nai did. "But for now, you can at least start. Now that I have official permission I can teach you more than just sticking cards to your head too. How to untie ropes when your hands are bound, how to tell when someone is trying to make you see things that aren't there, how to spot when something IS there but is hidden, making clones, making yourself look like someone else… So much stuff!"
Pause. "Oh, geez. I better start writing up a course schedule for all this." Then she turns to Nai and asks, "Hey, can I sign all this later? I want to show Risu around the Academy first. Or… Maybe I can sign it along the way?"
This day just keeps getting more and more overwhelming for Risu. Just a month ago she was barely eating, stealing to make do, and now… this? To her it is as if a dream came true, she can hardly wrap her mind around it all. A guardian… adopted… other kids got adopted at the orphanage but never her… and now… She shakes her head a bit, as if not quite believing it all. And she gets to go to the academy too! She finally lets go of Yoko from that hug, looking a bit sheepish about holding it as long as she did and then looks to Nai, "I know a few other kids ended up on the street too, but I don't know what happened to them all when the big attack happened. I haven't seen many of them lately." She says as she thinks about his all. "But… but I'm really glad I can try to become a ninja and all. I'll do my best!" She says very eagerly.
When Yoko speaks of putting off the documents and all… Risu hesitates then says, "Can… can you please sign it now, Yoko-san?" She seems to really want the paperwork signed to make the guardian thing formal. She looks hopeful, "Please?"
Nai pauses in the middle of holding out Yoko's personal set of keys to the Academy, and then says, "She is correct. We cannot proceed until all has been made official. It should take only a moment."
Yoko shrugs and looks a bit embarassed. "You're BOTH right. I guess I just didn't want to keep Risu-chan waiting." She takes up the pen again and the papers that have been a bit bent/crumpled by the hugging of moments before, and starts signing. She's excited too, and happy that Risu likes the idea. But she's also nervous. She doesn't want to mess this up. She has never taught anyone but herself before. How is she supposed to teach a little girl? 'Stop worrying,' she tells herself. 'Just be happy that things are going so well.' She finishes signing the last form. And then kicks herself mentally for adding on, 'So far.' as she hands the forms over to Nai.
Risu was kind of worried that delaying signing the guardian papers might let Yoko change her mind. She's still rather insecure after all. But… once the forms are all signed, Risu gives Yoko another big hug and smile, "Thanks…" She says softly then she lets go and tries to stand up straight and all. She grins, "So… um, how do we start? Are there other students? What… do we do first?" She is just bursting with positive energy now, all happy and bouncy almost as she grins and looks between the two adults.
Nai could check the records to make sure. And infact, he does. He makes a big show of looking at the student records, even though he is the one who wrote them up and made a copy and everything. Peering at the nearly-blank piece of paper with boxes for the photographs of various students along with lines beneath each box for writing in important details or notes, Nai hmmmms thoughtfully to himself, and then flips to some other piece of paper briefly, before looking back.
"No, Risu-san. It appears that you are the very first student this year. Technically, enrollment has been pushed back to begin on November 13th, but Yoko-san wished to make sure you were enrolled ahead of time. That way she can be your teacher even if there are enough students that the class room needs to be split between multiple instructors, because she is assigned to you." He looks up and says, "Yoko-san may begin teaching you either once a full class is established, or 'private tutoring' may be performed before then, as she chooses."
Meimei grins and pats Risu. "First, we're going to have lunch to celebrate. After that, we can get started on some training exercises if you like." She nods to Nai. "As Nai-san said, there aren't any other students enrolled yet… But if he finds more kids that were put out on the street, and gets them guardians as well, then you'll have a much larger class than if we just recruit from the kids that are already registered. Right, Nai-san?" she asks of the records keeper.
Risu ohs and then nods and smiles, "Yay! Special lunch!" She grins and hops a tad, "So Yoko-san can teach me now and then if more students show up we can have them join in too. It'll be great!" She says, just full of cheer at the events of today. She really seems to just be bubbling over, and a bit at a loss all at the same time! But in a good way! She can't help it, and gives Yoko another hug, but a quick one this time. "Okay!"