Answers to reviewers' questions or statements:
Mythfan: There's plenty of more to come.
Disclaimer: I don't own any Marvel or Naruto characters seen, mentioned or used.
"Yagura, are you sure this is a good idea?" eleven-year-old Pītā asked nervously as he followed after the slightly shorter boy in front of him in the late hours of the night, just shy four hours until the two's scheduled wake up time.
Yagura stopped mid stride before he glanced back at the brunette with his piercing pink pupiless eyes that Pītā sometimes thought were creepy "Pītā, this will be the last time we can speak with Mizukage-sama before he has to return to the village for almost six months, the Chūnin are in only two months. If we want to get out of this place, this will be possibly our best and maybe even only chance for a long time"
Pītā blinked at that "Oh, well when you put it like that…"
Yagura nodded at the taller boy's answer before he gestured for him to keep up as they silently ran down a long hallway that would occasionally branch off into another long hallway. The lighting was rather bright, a little too bright for Pītā's liking though Yagura and others have never felt bothered by it.
Finally, after running for what felt like hours to both boys, and evading several of the facility's resident ANBU, the two found the Mizukage on one of the few balconies located along the upper levels of the facility. He was clad in the typical Kage robes but Pītā and Yagura both knew that under the seemingly gentle fabric was the Mizukage's armor plated armor along with numerous Kunai and Shuriken, all modified to have a serrated edge to them.
The two carefully approached the man, nothing bothering to try and mask their presence, chances are the Mizukage sensed them coming long ago. The fact that he didn't seem to alert the facility's ANBU filled the two boys with some relief and even a little bit of hope. Pītā glanced passed the Mizukage to see what the man was looking at and was greeted to what looked like a wall of mist slowly creeping towards the facility from the nearby bay.
"M-Mizukage-sama?" Yagura asked carefully as a small breeze ruffled the boy's messy hair and the Mizukage's robes.
"What?" the man said with a hint of annoyance in his tone as he continued to stare out into the mist, almost as if he were willing it to approach him and blanket this facility from the world.
Yagura and Pītā both shared looks of unease, when the Mizukage spoke in such clipped tones, it usually meant he was in a foul mood and didn't wished to be disturbed. However, he has seemed to show some leniency towards the two Jinchūriki in the past, perhaps this will be one of those times…
Yagura took a deep breath before he took a small step forward "Me and Pītā were wondering… were wondering if we'd be rolled over into the upcoming Chūninexams being hosted in Ame…"
The Mizukage was silent as the three stood there, one in thought and the other two in slowly growing unease and fear. Finally, after what felt like an eternity to Yagura and Pītā, the Mizukage spoke in a calm but icy tone.
"No, you both are not ready for such exams and even if you were, I'd prefer you take them somewhere where I can keep an eye on you both. Ame as it is under that snarling bastard Hanzō's rule is too risky"
Yagura and Pītā both deflated, both at the Mizukage's words and the possibility of leaving this facility escaping their grasps. Before either one could try to appeal to the elderly Kage, find some sort of compromise, the man turned towards them, his grey eyes burning into the two eleven-year olds as he spoke.
"In two weeks' time, I'm having several of the Swordsman come here to aid the staff in their training of you. If you manage to pass their tests and impress them enough… I will strongly consider letting you two take part in the next exam being hosted in Kusa" The Mizukage stated, his words at first sinking both Yagura and Pītā's hopes and igniting their fear at being placed under the command of some of the Seven Swordsman of the Mist before what seemed like a life line was thrown towards them.
"R-Really?" Pītā asked with wide hopeful eyes as the Mizukage nodded, his icy expression warming ever so slightly as he returned his gaze towards the approaching mist.
"Of course, am I not a man of my word?"
Pītā's eyes suddenly shot open and he was greeted to the blank stare of Bū. The dark furred feline let out a loud meow before it hopped back as Pītā sat up with a yawn and rubbed the back of his head.
"Alright, alright, I'm up" he said with another yawn before he glanced over at his digital clock to see that it was ten in the morning, the first stage of the Chūnin would be starting soon.
His attention was drawn away from the clock as Bū let out another meow while he sat in the middle of the doorway, an expectant look on his face as he watched Pītā climb out of bed. The Jinchūriki let out a chuckle as he followed the cat out of his room and into the main area of his house and towards the kitchen portion of it. Bū had hopped on to the counter beside the fridge while Pītā opened it and searched for something for him to eat, and also for the purring feline beside him, his tail twitching as his yellow eyes darted around the room.
"Man, you are impatient" Pītā said as he pulled out some fruit to eat and half a bottle of milk for Bū.
Pītā made a mental note to have Tenzō come by and check up on his cat and feed him when necessary. Aside from Anko, and Gai, the sole user of the Moktun seemed to be the only one of Pītā's four friends, six if he included Jiraiya and Yūgao in that group.
It was then that Pītā glanced at his pet with a raised brow "Why don't you like Kakashi anyway? Every time you seem him, you always hiss and growl at him like he's some dog or something"
Bū's response was to give the man the cat equivalent of a deadpanned stare before he meowed again in hunger. Pītā hummed at that as he fetched a bowl for Bū and began to pour the milk into it while Bū sat by and purred in delight as his eyes followed the white liquid into his food dish.
"I swear, your more obsessed with milk then any other cat I've ever met… and I've met a lot of cats in my time" Pītā said as he pushed the bowl towards Bū and watched as he immediately dived into it with a meow of approval, allowing Pītā to fetch a knife for him to cut up his breakfast for the day before he returned to his room to fetch a new change of clothes and take a quick shower before he headed over to the academy.
An hour later Pītā was slowly making his way towards Konoha's Ninja Academy, the location of the first portion of the Chūnin exams which will deal with covertly gathering intel without getting caught. Pītā silently wondered how many Genin will pass, normally this portion of the exams wasn't overtly difficult but given that Ibiki is the Procter this time around, he wasn't so sure.
That man sure did love screwing with people's minds.
'Well here's hoping enough do pass for the second portion of the exam, I'd rather not have to see that all those hours of taking apart those complex traps and obstacle courses in the Forest were a waste of time because no one passed the first damn part of this thing!' Pītā thought with a sigh as he nodded to a few people as he approached the Academy, already hearing and sensing several dozen Genin had arrived and were making there way inside.
Pītā let out a low whistle as he sensed some of the Genin, there were quite a few powerhouses in this year's bunch.
"Well if anything, it'll be entertaining" Pītā said to himself as he turned a corner and saw the academy up ahead.
He quickly hastened his pace and was just about to reach the main entrance when he felt a tingling at the base of his skull as his enhanced hearing picked up the sounds of someone wearing some rather heavy weights fast approaching from behind. Pītā carefully stepped to the side as young boy rushed past him clad in a bright green jumpsuit, orange leg warmers, white bandages around his forearms that reached down to his fingers, a red forehead protector with acting as a sort of belt and to top it all off, the boy had a bowl cut style haircut and large bush eyebrows.
"Yes I've made it in only two minutes!" the young boy shouted before he shot Pītā a very familiar pose that he's long associated with his friend Might Gai "I've beaten my record of making it to the Academy by twenty seconds! Next time I hope to make it in only one minute and thirty seconds, and if I cannot do that, I'll run from here to the main gate and back three hundred times on my hands!"
Pītā blinked at the student of Might Gai before he nodded "Uh, okaaaay…"
Rock Lee blinked at Pītā for a moment before he gave the man a slight bow "Good morning Pītā-san, how are you?"
"Fine" he replied with a small nod as he glanced around for the other two Genin on Gai's team "Where's your teammates?"
Lee was about to answer before they suddenly heard a young girl's voice rushing towards them "Lee, slow down!"
Pītā and Lee looked to see a girl dressed in a pink sleeveless qipao-style blouse fastened together by three yellow buttons and a pair of dark green pants. Her hair, which was held up by a blue forehead protector, was in a two Chinese style bun, causing Pītā to briefly think of a panda bear before the thought was gone as quickly as it came. He also noticed that the girl had a few sealing scrolls on her hips and likely even more hidden on her person, signifying that she seemed competent at Fūinjutsu.
"Tenten…" Pītā nodded at the weapon specialist of Gai's Genin team before he looked past her to see the last member of Gai's team approaching, Neji a member of the Hyūga clan, the branch family specifically.
He was clad in a beige-colored shirt with a dull blue shirt underneath and a mesh armored shirt beneath that as well for added protection. He also wore a pair of knee length dark brown shorts while his right arm and right chest were wrapped in bandages, partly from the intense physical training he's endured under his sensei, though not to the same extreme as Lee. His fairly long hair was tied into a loose pony tail that ended just above his tail bone while he sported a black headband for his forehead protector which laid over a smaller headband with two straps that framed his face.
Pītā gave the teen a small wave as he came to a stop "Hey Neji!"
"Pītā-san" Neji gave the higher ranked shinobi a small bow "I take it your one of the proctors for the Chūnin exams this year?"
"Yep, second stage" Pītā beamed with pride before his shoulders slumped "Well assistant proctor, which I didn't even know was a thing, but hey what can you do"
Neji hummed at that before he glanced at Lee and Tenten "Let's go, I'd rather not be late if it can be helped"
The lone Kunoichi of the team gave Neji a sheepish smile "C'mon Neji, we still have plenty of time. No harm in socializing a little… Kami knows your people skills need some work"
Neji merely stared at the girl with his monotone expression before he spoke "We can socialize with others inside the Academy. Once more, Pītā-san here likely has to see to the preparations for the second stage of the exam"
"Nah, did that yesterday" Pītā said with a grin under his mask, causing Neji's brow to twitch before Lee spoke up.
"Pītā-san, were the Chūnin exams the same when you took them?" he asked.
"Ehhh not really" Pītā admitted.
"Oh… well what was it like if I may ask?" Lee questioned.
Pītā was silent for a moment as he thought back to his 'Chūnin exam'…
"If you accept my offer, you will be instated as a Chūnin of Konoha and be given the same privileges as them. If not, then I'm afraid that we'll have to extract the Biju from within you which will likely result in your death... So do you accept?" Hiruzen asked as he stood before Pītā.
Pītā glared up at the elderly Kage with a black eye, split lip and numerous bruises dotting his face. He would have pounced on the old man and tore his throat out if he wasn't restrained by several seals that were struggling to keep the chakra of the Robuki in check. Around them, stood over twelve of the best ANBU currently in the village, their swords drawn and at the ready should Pītā once again try to get out.
After several tense minutes, Pītā spoke with a scowl "Fine… it's better than having you rip my Biju out of me and sealing it in some random asshole"
Hiruzen nodded at that, a look of relief on his face happy that the boy had accepted his offer and not force him to look for a possible candidate for the Robuki within his own village, something he doubts he has "Good, good…"
He then gestured for the restrains that kept Pītā secured to the chair to be released but have the ones around his arms remain… Hiruzen couldn't afford to have another one of his ANBU have their arm crushed beyond saving by the horrifically strong young man...
'I dare say he's even stronger than Tsunade is…' Hiruzen thought before he was dragged out of his thoughts by a yelp of pain from one of the ANBU.
"GAAHHH! He bit me!" the rabbit masked ANBU yelled as he pulled his now bleeding hand back from a growling Pītā before he spat out a small bit of blood and skin and fabric from the ANBU.
Hiruzen sighed at this "Never let it be said that Kiri doesn't produce some rather interesting shinobi…"
"It was very… intense" Pītā said with a snicker before he nodded towards the entrance to the academy "Well get going you three, and good luck… trust me, you'll need it"
"Thank you" Tenten and Lee said at the same time as they bowed to the man while Neji simply nodded politely and led the three of them towards the first stage of the Chūnin exams.
Pītā watched them go for a moment before he used a Shushin to get inside the building and head for the lounge that's been reserved for the Jōnin senseis of the competing Genin teams. Pītā idly wondered if the sensei of Fū would be there too, he'd like to have a talk with the man about letting some of his Genin abandoning their teammate in a foreign village.
"Then again, it is Taki… they haven't produced a decent Jōnin since the Second Great War…" Pītā mumbled to himself as he silently made his way through the empty halls of the academy before he arrived at the lounge to see that it was already filled with ten Jōnin senseis. Most of them were from Konoha, Gai being the most prominent while the other two were both from Suna based on their attire and forehead protectors.
Gai noticed Pītā's entrance and flashed the man one of his 'teeth sparkling smiles' along with that infamous 'Nice Guy Pose' before he resumed his conversation with one of the Konoha Jōnin who looked a bit put off by the man's exuberant behavior. Pītā silently chuckled as he made his way towards one of the couches in the lounge before he fell back on to the soft leather sofa and let out a sigh of content as he settled in and waited. It was the better part of half an hour before more Jōnin began to pour into the lounge, most of them being Konoha with every other fifth being either from Ame, Kusa, or Suna.
'Damn, Konoha has a lot of Genin teams compared to some of the other villages… can't tell if that's good or bad' Pītā thought as the former ANBU operative examined some of the Senseis before he mentally shrugged 'Then again, Kiri doesn't have many Genin compared to the other villages, so I suppose it balances out somehow…'
Either that, or Kiri really needs to preform some radical reforms to its Genin Graduation ceremony…
The seconds soon turned into minutes as more and more Sensei's for the competing Genin arrived and begun to mingle with one another or tried to. It was during this time that Pītā felt a slight tingling at the base of his skull, causing him to sit up and scan the room for whatever triggered his 'Shit's about to get real sense' before his gaze fell upon two Jōnin at the far end of the room, the source of the tingling in his head.
One of the Jōnin was an Oto nin, clad in a dark maroon body suit with a black flat jacket over it and a rather pale complexion. Beside the dark-haired shinobi was another Jōnin, the forehead protector tied around her neck showed that she was from Uzu, a breathtakingly beautiful woman with long red hair that reached to her hips. She was dressed in some sort of dark-pink qípáo-like garment with purple, grey and yellow lining, light-purple spandex shorts and black low-heeled boots that reached her calves. She was fairly tall, almost Pītā's height and with her slender and shapely figure and attire, she made just about every male and even a few female's eyes were kept on her.
The woman seemed to sense Pītā's eyes on her and she turned towards the masked shinobi and gave him a quick once over before she smiled coyly at Pītā and gave him a wink before she returned to speaking with the seemingly bemused Oto Jōnin beside her.
'For a possible ally of Orochimaru, she doesn't seem that bad' Pītā thought before his eyes centered on the Oto nin beside the woman, there was something about him that put Pītā on edge.
Before he could put any more thought into the matter, Kurenai was suddenly standing in front of him with a small grin on her face as she looked down at him with her hands on her hips.
Pītā blinked at her for a moment before he realized that she was speaking to him and he quickly filed his thoughts on the Shinobi from Oto and Uzu away for later "Hey Kurenai, fancy seeing you here"
"I could say the same for you as well" she said with a grin "I wasn't aware you also had a Genin team"
"I don't" Pītā said with a shrug as he relaxed back into the soft sofa "I'm one of the proctors for the second stage at the Forest of Death"
Kurenai quirked a brow at this "Oh, then why are you here then?"
"Anko told me to meet her here for when we came to pick them up" Pītā said before he scooted over a little and patted the seat next to him.
Kurenai gave him a nod of thanks as she sat down beside him and let out a sigh of relief as she settled into the sofa before she turned towards the man next to her "So, how've you been since…?"
"Oh, fine, fine" Pītā said with a small chuckle "Nothing too exciting. Fed my cat, met up with a friend and showed off one of my awesome and super cool Jutsu to a Genin"
"Oh?" Kurenai said with a smirk as she leaned towards Pītā "What did you show this Genin that was 'awesome' and 'super cool'?"
"It's a secret" Pītā snickered.
Kurenai pouted before she shot him a coy grin "Can I get a hint maybe?"
Pītā was thankful that his mask, hood and goggles covered virtually his entire face, else the red eyed beauty would see the growing blush "M-Maybe…"
Kurenai smirked at this and was about to press for more details when she noticed that Kakashi was standing only a few feet from them. Her brow twitched at the man's presence "Yes Kakashi?"
Pītā followed Kurenai's gaze and was greeted to the relaxed form of Kakashi standing not too far from the pair, his lone eye watching them with amusement. The silver haired nin gave Kurenai an eye smile as he spoke.
"Hello Kurenai, you look lovely today"
"Thank you" Kurenai said with a slightly twitching brow as the man sat across from them "I take it your students have arrived?"
"Yes, I just saw them off not even a few moments ago" the Copy nin replied as he pulled out his infamous Icha-Icha book and opened it "By now, Naruto's probably antagonized half the competing Genin by declaring he'll beat them all"
"Nice to see you've rained in that thing's arrogance" Kurenai said with narrowed eyes.
At this, Kakashi glanced up at his fellow Jōnin and his eye narrowed ever so slightly "I'm sorry, you say something?"
Before Kurenai could offer up a retort, Pītā loudly cleared his throat "So Kakashi, how's you day been? Gai challenge you to any crazy competitions again?"
Kakashi kept his gaze on Kurenai for a moment longer before he turned towards Pītā, his expression lightening "No, not today… thank the Rikudō Sennin, I'm not really up for another race or Taijutsu match"
Pītā chuckled at this before he glanced at Kurenai "What about you? Gai ever challenge you?"
"No, unless you count putting him and Kakashi under a Genjutsu and see which one breaks out of it first" she stated with a shrug.
"Who won?" Pītā questioned.
"Who do you think?" Kurenai asked with a deadpanned expression, causing Pītā to blush in response.
"Oh…" Pītā said before he then glanced at Kakashi with a sympathetic gaze "It's okay Kakashi, we can't win them all"
"He didn't lose!" Kurenai's brow twitched.
"So, it was a tie?" Pītā asked with barely surpassed amusement "Or you Genjutsu was so good that you had to end it"
Kurenai sighed at this as she rubbed her brows "It was Hatake"
"Ohhhhh" Pītā sounded with a nod "That makes sense!"
"Was there any doubt" Kakashi stated dryly as he continued reading his story.
Silence soon fell between the three as the hour ticked by and the last of the Jōnin senseis arrived and the first stage of the Chūnin exams began in the form of a test where the Genin participants had to covertly acquire the answers to a nine-question test without getting caught by the Chūnin observing them.
After a good twenty minutes into the exam, and a Chūnin appearing to list off four teams that have already been failed for being caught cheating five times, Kurenai finally spoke.
"Are you doing anything after the second stage of the exams?" she asked.
Pītā, who was busy scanning the various Jōnin from Taki to see if he can somehow figure out which one was Fū's sensei, paused and glanced at the red eye woman beside him "Huh?"
Kurenai rolled her eyes at this as she repeated her question "After the second stage of the exams, are you doing anything later?"
Pītā blinked at this as the Kunoichi's words reverberated through his head for a few seconds before he shook his head "Uh no, not to my knowledge, why?"
"Well…" Kurenai said before she adverted her gaze to something on the other end of the room "I was wondering if you would like to get something to eat… my treat"
"Your treat?" Pītā said with surprise before he saw Kurenai's smirk.
"For paying for my drinks the other night…" she said before she leaned forward, and her voice lowered a little as she gave him a coy look "And for the amazing time afterwards…"
Pītā felt his mouth go dry as his face heated up before he nodded "Uh yeah, uh I don't mind getting something to eat later… just uh, just don't think that offering to buy me food will get me to pass your team"
At this Kurenai giggled as she leaned in even closer until she was looking directly into his goggles and whispered "Trust me Pītā-kun… if I wanted you to pass my team in these exams… I'd offer far more than simple food to sway your judgement"
Pītā was practically gaping at the woman as she gave him a coy wink before she suddenly pulled back and stood up and gave him a smirk as she walked away towards the other end of the room, a subtle sway in her hips.
Pītā's eyes practically remained glued to her ass as he watched her go before he heard a sigh from within his mind.
'I swear, your worse than my previous host…'
Pītā grumbled at that as he sat there while other senseis in the room continued to mingl with one another, some boasting that their team would make Chūnin while a few others were making bets on who would make it to the final round. Others were being told that their team had failed the first part of the exam and left to retrieve their team and the rest just simply socialized, going on about their day, what new jutsu they learned, or debating to change their appearance, simple stuff.
Kurenai, from what Pītā could see had made her way into the middle of a debate between Gai and Hayate on why Genjutsu was a more underrated shinobi art compared to Fūinjutsu and should have more focus then what's already offered in the Academy and even to fully fledged Shinobi.
The Robuki Jinchūriki would have kept staring, kinda hard not to be enthralled with her beauty, before Kakashi grabbed his attention by clearing his throat, rather loudly.
"So, you and Kurenai hmm?" Kakashi said as he kept reading his book.
"Huh?" Pītā sounded, turning his attention towards the silver haired man "What was that?"
Kakashi had to resist the urge to sigh as he nodded towards Kurenai "You and her, kinda odd is all"
"What makes you say that?" Pītā asked with a raised brow.
"Well, she isn't Naruto's biggest fan for starters" Kakashi stated as he glanced at Pītā.
"Well the kid's loud, a little annoying, and wears bright orange and blue, who would be?" Pītā snorted in amusement as he leaned back in his seat.
"You know that isn't what I mean…" Kakashi said with his eye narrowing slightly in annoyance.
Pītā's grin fell as he glanced towards Kurenai for a moment before he shrugged "Well I'm not worried, far as I can tell she's never been affected by… well you know, like… well you know"
"She may not see it like that" Kakashi countered.
"And she may surprise you" Pītā countered his counter with a smirk before it fell "But hey, if she doesn't see the difference and lops me in with Naruto, which I find kinda insulting since I'm waaaaay cooler than him… well at least I can say I got it with Kurenai, if only for a single night… and morning if I want to get technical about it"
Kakashi shook his head at that before returning his attention back to his book "Pītā, it's times like this where I think you intentionally seek out women that will end up hurting you in the end"
"You're the third person that's ever said that to me" Pītā grumbled as he folded his arms and pouted beneath his mask.
This seemed to amuse Kakashi as he turned a page in his book "Oh, who are the first two?"
"Anko and… you know who" Pītā said as he tapped on his chest, the location of the seal that held the Robuki within him.
"Hmm… perhaps you shout listen to them from time to time, might save you a headache later on" Kakashi said as the conversation came to an end with the arrival of Asuma Sarutobi who sat next to Pītā, right where Kurenai was sitting just a few minutes ago and across from Kakashi.
"Kakashi…" Asuma nodded towards his fellow sensei before he glanced at Pītā in mild surprise "Pītā, surprised to see you here"
"I'm one of the proctors of the second portion of the exam, just waiting for Anko to show up" Pītā said with a sigh while trying to ignore the fact that the ex-boyfriend and former fiancé of the woman he just slept with not even three days ago, and intends to do so again, is sitting right next to him.
'I swear, only I can somehow end up in this situation' Pītā thought with a sigh as Asuma pulled out a lighter and lit a cigarette with it.
The three sat there for some time, neither one saying anything as the hour slowly ticked by until there was only a mere ten minutes left in the test and a handful of Jōnin left in the room. Asuma was already on his second cigarette while Kakashi had made it through six chapters before Kurenai made her way over to them. Her small smile fell when she caught sight of Asuma beside Pītā.
"Asuma…" she said in a blank tone, her face devoid of any emotion, even her usually expressive red eyes seemed to be as blank as white paint on a white wall.
Asuma stared at the raven-haired beauty for a moment as he took a drag from his cigarette before nodding "Kurenai…"
The Genjutsu mistress replied with a grunt as she sat on the other side of Pītā, much to said man's hidden displeasure because now the awkwardness he was feeling had skyrocketed to the point even Kakashi seemed a bit bothered by the sudden tension in the air.
Several minutes of awkward silence passed as Pītā resisted the urge to squirm at being literally in between a rock and a hard place.
'Seriously, it's like going out with Hayate and Yūgao after that mission me and Yūgao went on where we… yeaaaaah… this is exactly like that' Pītā thought as he mentally prayed that nothing will happen as the first stage of the Chūnin exam reached its final two minutes.
It was then that Asuma spoke as he took a drag from his cigarette "So Kurenai, how's things been?"
"Fine" the red eyed beauty responded as she had folded her arms under her bust and stared at the floor with an unreadable expression.
Asuma nodded slowly at that before he took another drag of his little unhealthy habit before he blew out a steady column of smoke, causing Pītā to let out a chocked cough.
"Huh, oh sorry" Asuma winced as Pītā let out another cough.
"It's fine…" Pītā waved off the man's concerns as he ceased his hacking.
"Still insensitive as ever when it comes to your smoking habits, huh Asuma?" Kurenai said with annoyance.
The son of the Hokage sighed at this as he put his cigarette out in the ash tray on the small table beside the cough "I figured with his mask he wouldn't be bothered by it, Kakashi never seems to be"
"That's because I hold my breath" Kakashi said with a snort "Plus, Pītā's has rather sensitive senses"
"Oh bite me" Pītā scowled at the man who responded with mute laughter.
Kurenai on the other hand didn't seem as amused by the situation as she fixed a glare on Asuma "That doesn't give you the excuse to light one of those damn things and start puffing out smoke like a damn chimney! In case you haven't noticed, not everyone likes the smell of whatever cheap nicotine your using!"
At this Asuma turned towards Kurenai with a hark look "Never seem to mind my smoking before"
"Of course, this is happening when I'm literally in between them… fuck my luck" Pītā mumbled lowly as his shoulders slumped while the two's argument began to heat up before Anko suddenly kicked down the door to the lounge, causing the remaining Jōnin present in the room to slip into various fighting stances, Jutsu at the ready before they saw who it was.
Anko stared at Pītā with a scowl on her face as she marched towards the man "Dude, where the hell were you?! I had to do the grand awesome entrance on my own, and I did it too early too!"
'Anko, you're a life saver' Pītā thought as he suddenly slipped past a surprised Asuma and gave Anko a sheepish expression "Sorry Anko, got distracted"
Anko scowled at the man before she grabbed him by the collar and dragged him out of the room "Yeah, yeah, come on let's go before we're late to our own portion of this damn exam!"
"Aye, aye ma'am!" Pītā said with a salute as he was dragged through the hallway.
A little over an hour later, Pītā found himself standing beside Anko and examined the Genin teams that made it to this portion of the exam as the purple haired kunoichi spoke to them.
There were a lot more Genin that made it passed the first portion of the exam than he thought. Thirty-two teams to be exact.
'Either Ibiki went soft on them… or this bunch actually has what it takes' Pītā thought as he scanned the crowd of teenagers 'Or just sheer dumb luck. Heh, it's how I've made it this far'
He already saw Fū towards the middle of the group, waving at him excitedly as she stood in between two boys around her age with Taki forehead protectors on their heads that looked less than thrilled to be near her, further adding weight to his theory on her. He also saw the Genin team from Uzu who like their sensei were also no longer wearing cloaks to conceal themselves.
The tallest of the bunch, a red head with a pair of brown narrow glasses over her crimson colored eyes and her forehead protector partially covered by her hair, was wearing a mesh shirt and stockings under a light brown short sleeved jacket and purple skirt and black heeled sandals. The second girl of the team, also a red head, whose hair was kept from getting in her face by a black hat with pipe-like stripes and bandaged sides was clad in a black shirt under a tan tunic with elbow-length sleeves and black skin-tight shorts. On her arms were black arm-warmers that ended just before her elbows, traditional black shinobi sandals and calf-length leg warmers covered by bandages.
The lone male of the group was in a white high-collared kimono shirt, dark blue arm-guards that covered his forearms, dark blue pants, and a pair of dark blue open-toed boots with distinct zig-zag treads.
Pītā glanced at Anko with a slight tilt of his head and saw that she was watching them as well, likely already told of Uzu being aligned with Orochimaru 'Or she's wondering if the boy has ever stepped out into the sun before today'
It was than Pītā saw Naruto, who was oddly enough dressed in orange pants and a black jacket with orange along the sides rather then his orange and blue jumpsuit start repeating what Anko just said, only in a more mocking tone.
"It's called the Forest of Death, and soon enough your gonna find out why" he said before he shot Anko and Pītā a confident expression "Do your worst, you're not gonna scare me away. I can handle anything, Believe it!"
Naruto's teammates and a few other Genin that made up the 'Rookie Nine' sighed in exasperation at the blonde's antics while Pītā glanced at his fellow proctor.
'Naruto, Anko is the last person you wanna piss off… believe that' Pītā thought as he watched Anko's eyes harden briefly before she closed them and gave the boy a large grin.
"So… looks like we got ourselves a tough guy" she said before she suddenly drew a Kunai and threw it towards Naruto, taking him by surprise as the dangerous weapon just barely grazed him on the cheek before it embedded itself in the ground behind the Kusa Genin standing a few meters behind him. A stray black hair fell from the lone Kunoichi of the group as she watched on with a blank look on her face.
'Impressive, she didn't even flinch' Pītā thought as Anko suddenly appeared behind a startled Naruto.
"You tough enough to handle this?" she whispered to Naruto in a darkly amused tone "You're not afraid, are you?"
Naruto swallowed nervously as Anko leaned forward and cupped his right cheek "Tough guys like you usually leave their blood all over this forest… and those are the ones we find"
She had just begun to rub her finger on the now bleeding scar he had on his cheek from her Kunai when she suddenly tensed and turned to look over her as she drew another Kunai to see the Kusa Kunoichi handing back her Kunia from earlier… with her elongated tongue.
Pītā blinked at this "Huh... must be from the Tokage clan"
The Kusa Genin grinned at Anko as she tipped her hat to the older woman "I was… just returning your knife"
"Why thank you Kusa nin" Anko said with a smile that didn't reach her eyes as she held the younger woman's gaze, something about her didn't sit right with Anko… and that was before she even begun to broach on the
"You know, I only really recommend you stand this close behind me… if wish to reach a premature end" Anko said as she took her Kunai back from the Kusa nin's tongue.
"My pardon" she said after she retracted her tongue back into her mouth as it contorted into a grin "With the sight of blood and your blade slicing through my hair… I'm afraid I got a little excited. I meant you know harm"
She then turned and made her way back to the rest of her team while Anko watched her with narrowed eyes "Yeah… likewise"
'Oh great, another sociopath in the making… I swear someone needs to really start holding quarterly psyche valves for shinobi' Pītā thought with a shake of his head as Anko made her way back to him before she returned her attention back to the assembled Genin and pulled out the stack of consent forms from one of the inner pockets in her overcoat.
Pītā listened as Anko began to go over what the reasoning behind this test was and how to pass it and what not to do. For the most part it was pretty standard stuff, at least in Pītā's mind.
The Genin had to show that they can survive for long periods of time out in the wilderness by putting their survival skills to the ultimate test, and face down enemy combatants that want what they have, either a Heaven or a Earth scroll, while also trying to get the scroll they need, and cant open it or it'd be an automatic fail, before booking it to the tower in the center of this training ground… all in five days.
'Seems like a long time, but those hours are gonna tick by fast' Pītā thought as he scanned the various Genin with a critical eye 'Though for some of these guys, those hours are gonna feel like days in that of themselves. Ever on alert for either enemy Genin or the animals that live here, the nights are gonna be especially brutal. Hell, that's even before getting into the possibility of catching some sort of illness in the forest which opens up a whole new shit creek to paddle up and get stuck in'
It was than that Anko tapped on Pītā's shoulder, dragging him from his thoughts "Yeah?"
"You spaced out there for a second 'assistant proctor'" Anko teased as she tapped on one of the lenses to his goggles.
Pītā blinked at her before he saw that the Genin teams had broken off to sign their consent forms before going to collect either a Heaven Scroll or an Earth Scroll and proceeding to one of the forty-four gates to this forest to begin the exam.
"Oh… so I have" Pītā said with a sheepish grin before he saw Fū approaching him. He gave her a od of greeting when she was close enough "Hey Fū"
"Hello Pītā-senpai!" she beamed at him with barely contained energy "This is so exciting, I didn't think I'd pass the first test but now here I am!"
"Yeah, good job" Pītā said as he glanced at her teammates that were at gate four already "Your team ready for five days of hell?"
"I was born ready!" Fū said with a determined expression before it fell and her demeanor became slightly sadder "Though my teammates don't seem to thrilled…"
"Not the outdoors type?" Anko teased before she saw the sadness in Fū's eyes.
"No… it just means they have to be around me longer than they'd like" she said with a sigh before her mood lifted "But hey maybe being out here will change that, right?"
"People do tend to grow closer in situations like these" Pītā said with a hum before he shrugged and patted Fū on the head "Stay safe out there, rather not have to tell the Ichiraku's that their new favorite customer got eaten by a giant bug or something"
Fū giggled at that "Bugs never bothered me, it's the other animals and Genin in there that im not so sure about" she said as she turned to leave to rejoin her teammates "See you at the tower in a few days Pītā-senpai!"
"Yeah, see ya!" Pītā waved her off while Anko smirked as she glanced back and forth between her friend and the Taki Genin. Pītā noticed this and frowned "What?"
Anko stared at him for a moment before her smirk turned into a more thoughtful smile "I guess you'll make a decent Sensei…"
"Heh, maybe" Pītā said with a chuckle as the various Genin begun to make their way towards one of forty-four gates that surrounded the massive training ground.
Several hours passed as the numerous teams got into position, some going to the other side of the massive forest before several Chūnin, monitoring the various gates through a series of monitors in a small building not far from the training ground itself, signaled that everyone was in place and ready for the second stage of the Chūnin exams to begin.
"Would you like to do the honors?" Anko asked as she glanced at Pītā with a grin.
"Might as well" Pītā sighed as he gave the various monitor screens one last look before he flipped the switch and opened the gates and watched as the various Genin teams rushed into the Forest, some of them may never even come out of ever again.
Anko nodded at this before she clapped her hands, gaining the attention of all of the Chūnin present "All right boys and girls, make your way to the tower and prepare it. Also, while we're at it, get the preliminary stage set in case we get too many brats this year"
Several of the Chūnin nodded as they began to file out of the room followed soon by Anko and Pītā. The two Jōnin watched as some of the Chūnin headed towards the hidden tunnel entrance that will take them straight to the Tower in the middle of the field while a few others headed back to the village to escort the foreign Jōnin senseis to the tower through what some call 'the visitor passage'.
Pītā and Anko stood there for a few moments before they stared back towards the foreboding forest in silence for a few minutes before Anko glanced at Pītā with an amused expression on her face.
"How long you give some of them?"
"Eh, I give it ten minutes before they start fighting based on the positioning of some of the teams and the eagerness of some of them and another twenty before the first team loses its scroll" Pītā said as he folded his arms across his chest.
Anko nodded at that before she cupped her chin "Who do you think will get to the tower first?"
Pītā thought it over for a few moments as he mentally ran through the abilities of the Genin within the forest "I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it'll be either that Suna team made of the Kazekage's kids or the team from Uzu. Hate to say it, but our Genin this year aren't what I would call eye poppers, at least on the whole compared to some of the other Genin from the other villages that I've seen so far"
Anko nodded at that "Yeah, hell even Kusa's brats looked more capable then our Genin and its Kusa, KUSA!"
Pītā nodded at that before he shot a web line out and snagged his bag sitting on a chair in the small monitor building before yanking it towards him and caught it in one motion and used another web line to close the door. He popped open his bag and pulled out a small container filled with Dango and handed it to Anko while he pulled out another box filled with spicy calamari.
Anko made a face at the sea food as she took a bite of her Dango.
"How the hell can you eat that stuff?" she questioned as she and Pītā made their way towards the set up that the Genin teams received their scrolls from "I mean sushi's one thing, but that crap right there… just eww"
Pītā scowled at Anko "It's called having good taste, besides everyone knows seafood is the best… except octopuses"
At this Anko smirked "Still haven't gotten over your unjustified hatred for Octopi?"
"Their evil!" Pītā grumbled as Anko giggled "No seriously, I feel like that one of them will kill me before somehow taking my place and then going on to ruin the lives of everyone that I care for!"
"Oh sweet Kami this is just priceless!" Anko said as she broke down into a full on laugh all the while the Jōnin beside her grumbled about 'evil octopi'.
Next chapter, Anko is called away when something comes up back in the village, leaving Pītā to head into the Forest of Death on his own to check up on the various Genin teams…
Also, quick note, this will be my last update for any story for a while, at least a few months. The earliest that I'll begin to start updating again will be August at the earliest.