„What can I do for you, Kuma?", Inoichi hummed upon noticing the young girl standing in the flower shop.

"Sparrow and Lynx told me to speak with you. During the mission… I, we ran into my brother´s uncle and some of his men.", she admitted, her fingers fidgeting with themselves.

"I see. I see. Did it intervene with your mission?"

"Lynx and Sparrow took- they helped by taking control. I attacked Lynx and almost blew our cover if Sparrow did not intervene. I froze.", She sighed with her head cast aside.

"You are still young. Not even yet a Chunin. Don´t be too hard on yourself and keep that in mind. For someone of your past and with your training you did exceptionally well.", he smiled, trying to reassure the young girl, "Does Genma know of this?"

"No. I came to talk to you first. I, I don´t want others to get into trouble because of me."

"It honors you that you want to keep your friends and comrades safe. But most of us are experienced Ninjas who know when and how to act. Even though some seem to forget that quite often *couch * Kotetsu *Cough *. Go, be a child and annoy your teammates and Genma."

"Will do. Thank you, Inoichi san."


Two months went by without anything happening.

Under the surveillance of their Sensei, the Genin learned their first elemental Jutsu.

Hiraku decided to learn cutting blades first, a wind release that would send sharp gusts of wind toward the enemy. He combined it with his clan´s traditional palm techniques and quickly became very unerring with them.

Raidon figured out how to electrify any weapon he was holding (he managed it more or less on accident and electrocuted himself the first few times). Soon it became his favorite pastime to shock them whenever he could. And each day the shocks became stronger.

Kuma, well Kuma concentrated on merging into the ground, using it as a place to hide and move without being seen. She also started to train and form a wall made of stone to protect her team from explosions and such.

"You are becoming better each day, and I am proud of you. Tomorrow we will take another mission that brings us outside of the village. So pack your bags and be prepared to leave for a few weeks."

"Hai, Sensai" / "Hai, Sensai."

"Good. 8 o´clock at the mission room.", he dismissed the kids who bowed and made their way back from training ground 42.

"What do you think the mission will be?", Raidon mused, trying to once again shock his teammate. But he failed and himself received a small chakra-infused jab into the side by the clan kid.

"I don´t know. But I am sure Sensai already knows. Otherwise, he would not have told us to pack for a long trip."

"Kotetsu started to behave strangely a week ago. Like he wants to say something but whenever he tries his mouth would be glued shut."

"Mhm. Makes sense to seal his mouth shut, after the messed with our hidden test.", Hiraku mused, "We should stock up on anything we might ever need or think we might need."

"You have an idea?"

"When was the last Chunin test?", he continued.

"About a year ago I think.", Raidon answered with a shrug, this time trying to shock the girl on his left who did not even flinch. She never did.

" We really need to make sure we have everything. But why did Sensai not say anything?"

"Who knows. For now, we have to buy shit. Kuma, can you take care of the food? Lady Amikichi always gives you extra."

"Sure. But I have to get other stuff as well."

"What kind?"

"If we are away for a few weeks I need enough utensils to tend to my bleeding twice. Or even three times. I don´t want to be in enemy territory and go looking for supplies."

Hearing those words the two boys slightly flinched. No matter how long they already knew about the monthly cycle of their comrade (both from classes and from being in a team with her), they still felt strange hearing her talk about it so casually. They both had women around growing up but they never had heard them talk so casually if at all about that theme.

"Alright. Then you go and get food and your -essentials-, and we will get weapons, poisons, seals, and the usual.", Hiraku nodded, switching places with a stool to get away from another shock.

"Will do. I have to get teas as well. I will stock up on potions as well. We split the costs as always?"

"Sure. Meeting at Raidon´s in three hours."

"See you then. ", and with these words, the three young ninjas split to prepare for the upcoming mission.


Hiraku had been right with his assumption and before noon Team 4 had left Konoha together with five other teams. All of them were older and (a bit) more mature than Raidon, Hiraku, and Raidon. So they decided to use it to their advantage and behave childishly on purpose. Never let your enemy/opponent know what you are capable of.

It annoyed the other Jonin a bit, but Daisuke sensei had fun and even encouraged them to be childish. To an extent.

"So where are we going again?", Raidon asked for the fourth time that day with an evil glint in his eyes, he had fun poking the other Genin.

"AMEGAKURE. FOR- don´t they teach you to listen anymore?", Ni, one of the oldest Genin shouted, ready to punch the blond boy.

"Amegakure. Amegakure. Oh, the village hidden in the rock.", he winked

"That´s Kirigakure. We are on our way to the village hidden in the snow.", Hiraku added with a stern voice, though Kuma and Daisuke sensei knew he had to fight to suppress a smile.

"RAIN! We are going to the village hidden in THE RAIN!", one of the other Kunoichi couldn´t control her temper, "How did you even manage to graduate? Two idiots and a weak mute."

That was when Kuma could not suppress a small snicker to leave her lips. Especially when she caught the eye roll of the only Nara-genin that was with them.

She knew he had already figured out their game and wondered how long he could hide his annoyance with the other Genin before blowing their cover.

"ENOUGH!", the oldest jonin sensei bellowed, "Now get your asses down and prepare the clearing to spend the night. The watch will be split into 3 groups with each group being one team."

"HAI!", every single Genin called out and immediately got to work.

"Did you tell them to behave like this?", Kuma heard one of the other Jonin whispers ask their sensei who shook his head.

"This is all their doing. Looks like they want everyone to underestimate them.", he answered proudly, "Though it already failed with your Nara boy and the Inuzuka from Blakie´s team. Their clans are used to interact with Kuma."

"She is quite famous within the higher ranks. And Tsunade-sama would not send them to the Exams if they weren´t ready. As soon as the other teams understand that, we can turn it into an advantage. But if they keep being annoying shits like today, I will personally make sure they won´t be able to any longer. "

"Don´t threaten my team. Just because we no longer wear a mask, does not mean I won´t hurt you.", Kuma had never heard her sensei's voice that cold.

"You need to turn down the game a bit tomorrow. Or else we will be responsible for a dead ex-ANBU.", Kuma told her friends once she understood what she had just heard, "Apparently Sensei and the blue-haired one are."

"Who in his right mind would allow Sensai to be ANBU?", Raidon grumbled but promised he would tone done a tat the other day.

"That would explain his need to sit in strange ways and positions.", Hiraku added, " And I guess ANBU are with the best in Infiltration."

"What do you think his mask/ animal was? I say it´s sloth."

"Squirrel.", Raidon suggested.

"Moose.", Hiraku guessed.

"Let´s find out. And whoever manages to can decide where to eat for the next five times."

"Deal. And whoever finds out the other name can choose the five after that."



It took them three more days to reach the border between Rain and Fire, and while the three youngest had toned down their childishness to a bare minimum, most of the others still believed them to be useless though.

"As soon as we step foot over the border we are in enemy territory. There might be a truce, but each one of you needs to be alert." Blackei- Sensai called out and the very next second they had crossed over.

"Kiddies get in the middle.", one of the other Genin no one from Team 4 had bothered to remember the name of called out.

"You idiot want the Hyuga, not in the front?", Raidon frowned.

"A Weak one just stands in the way. He isn´t a real one. Just a cheap copy called a branch member.", the boy sneered back.

He was lucky Kuma had quick reflexes, otherwise, the lightning user would have shocked him for that comment.

Raidon had become rather protective of his Team. And the feeling was consensual.

Kuma would die and kill to protect them, and the boys had already exclaimed they would eliminate a whole clan for her sake.

"Ouch.", she grumbled, decking her friend with a fist over his head, "Did you want to kill him? We build up resistance but that damn well hurts!"

"Then why did you stop me?"

"Because Sensei was about to as well and he would not just grab your wrist. Last time you wanted to Zapp someone outside our team and training you couldn´t walk right for a week. We are about to enter the Chunin Exams."

"Fine. But if we have to face each other: He is mine and I will punch him where the sun doesn´t shine."

"You can have him after me."

"What are the two of you planning again?", Daisuke-sensei ask between them all of the sudden. Resulting in a surprising punch by Kuma at his gut. Luckily he was able to avoid it.

"Who can have his ass should we have to face each other later on.", Raidon answered truthfully, nodding at the comrade in question, "Just because he is from Konoha as well, doesn´t mean he can talk like that without feeling the consequences."

"I think Hiraku can do so on his own. Don´t you think? How else should he learn to never underestimate someone.", their Sensei scolded him.

"Fine. That doesn´t mean I am happy about it."


"Sensei, I need to pee.", the young girl exclaimed for the whole group to hear, "May I go?"

"Yes. You know the rules. It´s already time for a short break.", Daisuke-sensei nodded.

"Yes. I will be just behind that big oak over there."

Doing as she had said, Kuma did her business and just wanted to go back to the group when her eyes caught something shimmering beneath the roots of a nearby tree.

There next to, what looked like a skeleton, laid a scroll that looked a lot out of place.

"Sensei, could you come over here? I think I found something.", she called out to her team leader who appeared by her side within two seconds.

"That looks old.", he stated when his eyes followed his student pointing arm, "But that is not a detonation scroll. Or anything like that. Stay here. I will take a closer look."

Nodding in understanding, the girl stood back and awaited more orders from the adult.

"It´s a summoning scroll. I cannot say what animal or clan. But I would say it is yours. I cannot say what village the ninja belonged to, there is no headband left, but that would change nothing either way. Finders keepers I say. Let´s get back to the others."

"Yes, Sensai. Thank you Sensai.", she smiled upon accepting the scroll.

"What took you so long Pity? Stuck in a root again?", Raidon teased his friend who answered with a stick-out tongue.

"Not this time. Little Kuma here found a skeleton with a summoning scroll. She didn´t know what it was and asked for backup by someone who did.", Daisuke- sensei answered, "When we camp tonight we can go a bit aside and you can use it if you want."

"Yes, Sensei. That would be awesome."

"You did? Damn, Luck really is with the stupid.", the blond teased further only to get kicked by the other boy on the team.

"Then you should have found it. Between the three of us, your brain barely registers on the charts. I hope there is no test of knowledge or you will fail for writing your name wrong."

"Oh shut it Eyes.", he grumbled.

"Really something scarce to find. Hopefully, your student did not use all her luck for the upcoming weeks.", Blackie-sensei nodded taking a look at the scroll.

"I would say that depends on what animal she gets. If it´s a fish, I would say she´s screwed.", that comment of the third sensei made everyone chuckle.

It was three hours later and the group had taken up camp in a small clearing when Daisuke-sensei pulled Kuma aside so she can use the contract in a secured area.

Mamoru, the other former ANBU, had joined them for extra security. Depending on the animal it might pose a huge threat.

"Open the scroll and poke your finger with one of your Kunai or Senbon- Good- Now write your name there- Done? Good. Now you have to concentrate Chakra in your palm and let it flow into the contract after you did these hand signs. Just follow my lead, I will do them as slow as possible."

"Hai, Sensei."

Following her sensei´s lead, Kuma did the required signs before pressing her hand into the scroll and sending a surge of her Chakra into it.

A second later a loud poof was heard and Kuma was engulfed in smoke. When it cleared, the young girl was staring into copper eyes that were framed by brown fur.

"It has been long since this feline has seen this world. Many moons have passed since one of us was called to this realm. This one is curious about who has called Khaji to these woods. A kitten? Khaji greets the kitten.", the summon purred with a heavy accent Kuma could not pinpoint.

"Pfffffhahahahah. A cougar. I will take my leave. It seems the two of you are in familiar company. ", Mamoru- sensei chuckled barely loud enough for Kuma to catch before returning to the group.

"Mhm, Khaji wonders why this kitten does not speak to this one.", the cougar blinked, tilting its head from side to side.

"Kuma does not speak. She communicated through hand sings and a Jutsu that allows her to speak in your mind.", Daisuke-sensei answered for his student, giving the summon a slight bow.

"Ah, this one was wondering. Well kitten, Khaji approves for the kitten to speak to this one. How was it that I was called to this realm?", the cougar continues.

"I found this scroll in the woods. Sensei says I could use it since I found it. Apologies if I disturbed you."

"Mhm. Khaji admits, this feline was bathing in the sun when she heard the call. This one does not know jet how she feels. Say kitten, what happened to the last caller of this scroll?"

"Dead. His skeleton is three hours that way.", Kuma pointed out where they had come from.

"Mhm. This one thought he would be. That one was never able to sneak up on prey. This one hoped the kitten is better with that. If not, Khaji will teach the kitten to disappear. Khaji had grown bored and will join the kitten on her journey. The Cougars of the great canyon accept the kitten as one of ours."

"Thank you."

"No, this Cougar has to thank the kitten. For allowing this one to have an adventure. Say, where is your litter? I remember Kittens are traveling with more than just a tomcat.", the feline purred, stretching and walking a circle around the girl.

"The group we are traveling with is over there. We believed it to be wise to summon whoever this scroll belongs to at a safe distance.", the adult answered.

"Mhm, Smart decision this one thinks. Are you the one responsible for her litter of kittens?", Khaji asked, her eyes trained on the sensei now.

"Yes, Kuma is one of my Genin students, that makes me responsible for her and her two teammates.", he answered with a nod.

"What is that one name?"

"My name is Daisuke Shizu, nice to meet a member of your pride.", he bowed.

"Let´s get back to the others. Raidon, Hiraku, and I are on firewood duty again.", Kuma addressed the other two.

"Yes, Kuma, let´s return. But I think Mamoru has already informed the others about what has happened."

"Yes, Sensei."


Khaji did not leave the groups side for the whole remainder of the travel, stating she had been far too bored to return just then.

She also used the time to (try and) train the Genin in stealth and how to notice someone who was sneaking up on them.

It stopped though when she sneaked up on Raidon on the last day and was shocked so hard, her fur kept staying in all directions for hours, and Kuma was sure she was able to hear small sparks coming off from her as well.

"We will be entering Amegakure later this day. Remember the rules and what we taught you. This is to be considered a peace-keeping mission: No unprovoked fighting or aggression. Gather as much information as you can while following the rules that will be given by the authorities of the village, we are guests. Any interesting things you see or find, you let us know. We are representing Konoha. We all do. That means as long as you are not directly told you are forbidden to work together or are direct opponents, you should do good with sharing information and working together.", Mamoru- Sensei exclaimed," We, as your sensei, will not be allowed to be with you during the exams."

"Understood sensei." /"Yes Sensei." The Genin answered.

"This one will take her leave. Khaji likes this one´s fur to dry. Farewell, little kitten. Call if there is help you seek.", and with another poof the feline was gone in a cloud of smoke.


Two hours later the group stepped through a huge gate and was intercepted by a team of Kiri-ninja.

"State your reason for entering Amegakure.", a Ninja stopped them.

"We are participants of the Chunin exams and sent by Konohagakure. Here is the official scroll, signed by the Daimio and Hokage. And the Paperwork we were required to fill out.", Mamoru answered.

"We are being watched. I think. ", Kuma shivered, immediately being glad their Senseis had taken post around them, with the older Genin forming the ´outer-circle of the formation and the youngest (Team 4) being in the center.

"Carry these passes with you at all times. You are permitted to walk freely within the marked area on this map. You will stay at the tower that is marked with an X as well as every other team that is participating and not from rain.", the ninja continued handing over the things he had spoken about, "Any fighting out of the restrains of the exam will be the reason to kick all of you out. Have fun."

"Thank you.", Mamoru-sensei bowed and the group followed him after a short nod.

Kuma and the other Genin were in awe of the huge towers that formed the city. Though they tried to net let anyone see it. The lower levels of those towers often seem to have a shop, with living quarters on top.

For ten minutes they walked through crowds that send them curious and suspicious looks until they closed in on another large tower, that had "EXAMS" written over the entrance.

"This is where we will be staying. We are sharing a floor with two teams from Sunagakure if I read this sign right. Each team has its own room. And each floor had one bath for men and one for women. A kitchen area is to be shared as well."

"Hai."/ "Hai."

Entering the staircase going up to their floor (No. 7), Kuma caught a glance of a boy with fiery red hair that was carrying a pumpkin on his back. The second she saw him, the hair on the back of her neck stood up and she imagined she smelled a raccoon.

Those things could be vicious if they wanted, she had encountered one too many during her time in the woods.

The room Team 4 shared was neither small nor spacious. The four beds stood to the left and right of the door, with a large storage box at the food of them.

As usual, Kuma and Daisoku sensei took the beds next to the door. They were by far the lightest sleepers of the four and they hated sleeping beneath a window.

"Hiraku, look for any signs this room has been tampered with. Raidon, prepare our usual seals, Kuma will help you with that. When you are done we will take a look at the public areas."