Ranma blinked a few times, looking down at the body at his feet with a grimace before he knelt down and began rifling through the dead man's belongings. "Hey, Ed. C'mere a second. Need your opinion on something." He called out after finding scroll in the dead man's bag.
"Ranma?" Ed called back, hopping down from the tree he was in and landing with a small noise before walking over to where Ranma was crouched, he looked at the body for a moment before back to Ranma. "What? That better not be our target."
"Nah, here, take a look at this." Ranma tossed the scroll over his shoulder. "This is one of those Sound guys. Killed himself when he saw me." Ranma sighed, running a hand through his hair. He then tapped his headpiece and spoke into it. "Kakashi, Sakura. I've got a body over here. Sound spy by the looks of things."
Ed meanwhile opened up the scroll and looked it over a few times before letting out a low whistle. "Man. You'd figure he'd've tried to get away if this was legit."
"He didn't even put up a fight." Ranma complained and continued to loot the dead body while getting a confirmation from Kakashi. A couple seconds later, they were joined by the Jounin and the other Genin. "This is some C-rank we're running on. Already dealing with spies."
"Heh." Kakashi chuckled. "Let me see the scroll." He caught it after Ed rolled it back up. Giving it a once over, Kakashi nodded and rolled it back up before slipping it into one of his pockets. "Well, since we're a day out from the Village, there's no point in heading back with this. "We still need to meet our client too. Sakura, inspect the body though, see what you can tell us about his death?"
Sakura nodded, dropping next to Ranma and ran through a bunch of hand seals before her hands started to glow green. "He really is dead. Poison, the same kind Orochimaru uses..." her eyes widened. "Shit!" she swore suddenly and jumped back causing the others to do as well at the same time, nearly catching them in the resulting explosion."
"Son of a bitch!" Ed swore loudly, bringing up his left arm to cover his eyes from the flash.
Kakashi however had the semblance of thought to run through his own set of hand seals, "Doton: Doryūheki!" His hands slammed onto the ground cutting him and his squad off from the explosion and body parts.
"Sakura! You okay over there?" Ranma called out.
"Yeah!" She called back from the other side of the wall, up in a tree. "It was reaction in the poison to a medical scan to set off...something. A chain-reaction in a store of chakra."
"Kami-damned Sound." Ranma muttered, hopping to the top of the wall Kakashi had made. "Let's get the hell out of here and finish this mission."
A moment later they were all jumping through the trees once again, this time staying a bit more together than before when they had split into groups of two. It was a precaution since there was a Sound Spy so close to Konoha, after all, if there was one, there might be more and that explosion might've alerted them if so. The four kept on the move for several hours, stopping momentarily here and there to just make sure they weren't being followed.
"Alright, we're almost there." Kakashi spoke from the front.
Ranma blinked a few times and looked down from where he was standing in the tree. "This is just a simple escort, right?"
"Normally, I'd say yes." The lazy Jounin drawled out.
"But, with that Sound Nin we saw earlier..." Ed quipped in.
"Can't be too careful." Sakura said with a shrug.
"Bah. I'm sure as long as we mmfph!" Ranma started to say but then was cut off by Ed's hands covering his mouth.
"Shouldn't you have learned by now to not say things like that?" The blonde raised an eyebrow.
"Right, right." Ranma grimaced. "That's like calling down the Brigade on me..." he trailed off and shuddered at the thought of the third worst thing he always went through.
"Brigade?" Sakura asked. "Why would a brigade of some sort be after you?" Oh right, she didn't have the full story still.
"The third worst thing in my life at current, and I've been going through it almost every day for the past two years, except since I got here. This has been the quietest my life has been, and I'm basking in every second of it." Ranma said with a grin. "Not that I don't mind my bunch of fiancé's, it's just they're rather...violent." Well, that was an understatement. "And don't you be gettin' the wrong idea, Sakura. I ain't want anything t'do with it. They're all of the opinion I'm t'be won as a prize." He spoke quickly to cut off the twitching eyebrow of the squad medic.
"Anyway." Kakashi cut them off. "As much as I'm sure we'd all like to laugh at Ranma's expense," he grinned with his eye at his minions, "I'm sure we should start and finish this mission first so we can get back to report to Hokage-sama about the Sound Nin."
Ed and Sakura both snickered while Ranma rolled his eyes and Kakashi did his usual laid back smile. They then hopped down from where the trees they were on and proceeded to their destination within Tanzaku Quarters.
"So, what, we doin' an escort mission? Right?" Ranma blinked a few times, looking around the town.
"Yes. We're to escort some people from the Construction site back to Konoha so that Hokage-sama can pay some of the debts she owes." Kakashi stated.
"Wait. Debts?" Ed asked.
"Sensei has a problem with her gambling." Sakura said with a small cough into her fist.
"Serious?" Ed blinked a few times at that then laughed.
"That's not everything though." Kakashi said blandly. "This is where she was before she became Hokage. Her, Jiraiya-sama, and Orochimaru had a fight and Orochimaru destroyed the castle. It's a sign of goodwill that we're helping pay for its reconstruction."
"Huh. Well, let's get going then." Ranma sighed, putting his hands behind his head. "The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can get back to training."
"Addict." Ed snorted and the others laughed.
"Pfft. Hardly. I just want to be the best is all. With this kind of thing, I should finally be able to put the Old Ghoul in her place and get Shampoo off my back." Ranma snorted as they continued to walk. "One less psycho chick means fewer hazards to my continued health." He grinned then. "That and the look on Pop's face would be priceless."
"I don't understand how you can call that man your Father." Ed replied blandly. "With what he put you through and all. Hell, I can't stand my own and all he did was leave."
Ranma rolled his shoulders in a small shrug. "I forgave Pops a long time ago for that kinda stuff. He's apologized more than enough anyway. Hah, y'shoulda seen him. Was a week before I ended up here really. Said since my birthday was comin' up he wanted to have a man t'man chat. Stupid old fool." Ranma snorted and walked by a spray of water, turning into a girl without faltering a step while still talking. "Yeah, said he regretted only four things in what he'd trained me in, but he'd do it almost all over again if he had the choice." She paused, looking back at Sakura and Kakashi as they had just paused and stood there dumbfounded. "What?"
"You're a girl again." Ed pointed out, snickering at their reactions.
"Huh." Ranma scratched the back of her head. "Didn't even notice."
Kakashi and Sakura still gaped a little bit. Sure they'd seen the difference between Male-type and Female-type Ranma, but until now they hadn't actually seen the transformation or just how sudden it was. "S-sorry. It's just so sudden and you acted as if nothing changed." Sakura finally murmured.
"Meh. Been dealin' with this shit since I was fifteen or sixteen. Adjustin' is jus' automatic. Can we get on with things? I'll find some hot water later." Ranma grumbled and dropped her hands once she got a nod from the others and they continued on.
"Right. Sorry." Sakura murmured, quickening her pace to catch up while Kakashi shook his head ruefully.
"No big. Come on, where we headed?"
"We're to pick up Foreman Eizou, escort him back to Konoha, and that's that. A simple C-Rank." Kakashi shrugged. "The spy was just an accidental coincidence and doesn't actually change the ranking of the mission." The three members of his squad just looked at him as if he was crazy for a moment before he waved cheerily at them. "Now now, not all missions this team undertakes go insane."
"D-ranks don't count, Kakashi-sensei." Sakura snorted.
"They're still missions, Sakura." Kakashi responded cheekily before pulling out an orange book with the words 'Icha Icha Paradise' on the front.
"Hope for the Best. Plan for the Worst." Ed stated with a snicker. "Oh well. It could be..."
"Don't say it!" Ranma yelled, suddenly looking very nervous. "You should know better than that by now."
Ed stared for a moment before comprehension dawned on his face. "Oh yeah. Odds point to that kind of thing."
"Yeah. No discussing it now. Let's get on with things." Kakashi snickered while pulling out his usual orange book.
"Another Mission complete. Hokage-sama." Kakashi said in his usual lackadaisical voice, his book put away so that he didn't get his face beat in. "The Foreman is at one of the local hotels and will be prepared to speak to you tomorrow."
"Excellent." Tsunade said with a nod. "Anything else?"
Kakashi looked around the office with his only visible eye. It seemed pretty ordinary, but with the last few intrusions from Sound, one couldn't be overly careful. So the one-eyed Jounin snapped off a few hand signs, a flash of white flushing through the room before he nodded to himself. "We came across a Sound Spy on the way out. Committed suicide when he was caught by Ranma...then exploded when Sakura tried to do a medical scan." Kakashi paused at that point. "If we went by the original plan of just me and Sakura, we wouldn't've even known there was a spy."
Then the silver haired man pulled out a scroll and laid it gently down on the desk. "It's odd all things considered."
Tsunade reached for the scroll, giving the exterior a once over before looked up with a canted blonde eyebrow. "How so?" She asked as she opened up the scroll, her eyes widening as she read. "Never mind." She muttered. "I can see why now. Tch."
Kakashi watched in almost wry amusement as his Hokage nearly spat in annoyance. "All in all, it's as we suspected with the two of them, outside of these various parameters." He paused again, reaching back to pull out his book for when he left the room.
"Saotome's a got a bit of a sarcastic streak going, and Elric's a bit violent." Tsunade nodded. "Both are very smart, and if it wasn't for Elric's arm and leg, he'd probably have utterly perfect chakra control. Even with that, he's still around Sakura's level."
"Pretty much. He's got lower reserves, but that's probably because it's mostly used to haul his fake limbs around." Kakashi agreed. "It's like he knows and understands how to do every technique I show him after the first try. Ranma himself is more like Sarutobi-sama though. He's got a thirst for knowledge for these kinds of things and he's just lapping up every technique, refining it, and just adding it to his vast arsenal."
"So, do you think they're trustworthy?" Tsunade finally asked after a moment of thought.
"I'd compare Ranma to Naruto in that department." Kakashi said with a half shrug. "They have some of the same ideologies, including those they have on their own promises. Edward is a bit more of an open book and carries his emotions on his sleeve. But I'd say they're good for it when the chips are down.
"Alright. Provisional Genin status it is, even if they really are higher ranked in their skills. Saotome still needs to get over the killing thing." Tsunade mumbled, half to herself. "This'll mean you have a team together for the next Chuunin Exams because of them."
"It'll be easier since they're being held in Suna this time." Kakashi agreed. "I'll go tell them and get them prepared. We'll be back tomorrow for another mission. Ja."
With that, Kakashi disappeared in a puff of smoke leaving the blonde and busty Hokage by herself in her office, dragging out a bottle of sake to have a drink. She'd have to get a message to Jiraiya and tell him of what was going on to see his reactions and just to get word to Naruto and see how well the brat was doing. All in all, it would probably be a quiet three years.
Naruto Uzumaki's apartment was pretty small, all things considered. It consisted of three rooms altogether, a bedroom, a living room, and a bathroom. The living room was somewhat small too, it having enough room to have a small kitchen, a place to eat, a couch and a single chair. All in all, it really wasn't much of a place to live for a single preteen, but to house two actual teens, one of which was nearing adulthood?
Ranma Saotome was, because of the lack of space, rather annoyed. If he wanted any space, he'd have to be a she, and despite accepting the curse after what happened at Jusendo, it still irked him to no end that he had to be a girl to get comfortable if he wanted to sleep on the couch. Sure he could sleep on the floor, he was used to it after so many years on the road with Genma, but when something's available, you take it. The upside that was living with Edward Elric was nowhere near as annoying as living with Genma. He wasn't accused of anything, which was a bit of a novelty, he wasn't attacked for his food every morning, and he wasn't thrown out into the yard to land in a pool of water.
Ranma was almost ashamed to admit that he actually liked living in this Konoha place. Sure he missed the Tendo Dojo, but with each passing day, he came to understand more and more of what a train wreck his life back home really was. After three weeks of not being beaten about the face every day for his commentary, and being able to sit back and think about his own situation without being interrupted by being bashed on the skull, Ranma was able to conclude that for all of the pro's he had seen, the cons sure as hell didn't make up for it.
Suffice to say, after giving it some thought, he no longer liked Akane Tendo one bit. Out of all the girls, she was probably the closest to someone he wanted to spend his life with too, but now? He'd prefer Shampoo's advances, and there was no way in any of the Nine Levels of Hell that was ever going to happen in his life.
Edward Elric, on the other hand, enjoyed his time spent in Konoha, but also missed his brother. Outside of a few scant instances, this was the first time he had been away from Al for a prolonged period of time, especially this length of time. He'd been in Konoha for three weeks now, and his combat skills were increasing rather impressively. His hand to hand skills were much improved, but his two fake limbs were bringing down his speed when compared to the other Shinobi. Of course, he was still pretty fast, having gotten used to the weight years ago.
Since his arm and leg were reinforced, and he had added some extra durability to parts of his fake limbs, they wouldn't be destroyed in combat as easily, which was very useful to him. He understood though, that it could and would happen, and finding a replacement arm without it being Automail would be very hard. Losing his leg would also be very annoying, but he'd still be able to move around. To counter that, Ed had been looking into one handed seals and was starting to gain progress.
It really gave his real hand some serious cramps though, as he had only been doing it for a couple days now, ever since they got back from Tanzaku Quarters.
It also didn't help that he felt horrible after a day of training with Team Gai. That man was a fanatic, worse than Sensei! Ranma seemed to love all the training though, but was a little perturbed by the smaller clone's declaration of rival hood.
Ranma was able to beat all three of Gai's students while Ed was able to edge out a win against TenTen and come to a draw against Neji because the Hyuuga's Gentle Fist didn't disrupt Ed's Automail limbs. Rock Lee was too straightforward, but he was about as fast as Ranma was.
Both travelers thought the fight with TenTen was amusing in that weapons kept being tossed back and forth like some extreme version of juggling.
Gai of course, concluded they were the epitome of Youth.
Ed thought it was a crack at his height.
Thankfully for Gai, that's when Kakashi intervened with his appearance, grabbing both Ranma and Ed with one hand each, nodding his head at Gai ever so slightly, then disappearing in a puff of smoke with both teens like they had never even been there. Gai's yell of 'OH MY GOD!' could be heard throughout Konoha for the next minute or so.
Of course, Kakashi ignored it and went about reading his book once he had stopped with Ed and Ranma. Of course, he still managed to start up a conversation. "How long have you two been here now anyway?"
"About three weeks?" Ranma held out his hands and counted up. "Give or take. Why?"
"And what a three weeks." Ed put in with somewhere between half a sigh and half a snort.
"Well, The Chuunin Exams are coming up soon, you both are obviously skilled enough to participate in them, and I need two people to go with Sakura. Interested?" Kakashi asked from over his book as they all started to wander the streets.
"Chuunin Exams? I ain't so hot with tests." Ranma grumbled.
"Easy stuff I say." Ed snickered and put his hands behind his head, kicking a stone as he walked.
"Well, it's not just a written exam." Kakashi directed that Ranma. "It'll be held in Suna, and they've adopted an exam similar to ours. Information Gathering, A mock mission, and then finally a tournament of one on ones. The first two you need to get through together with your team, and the third is usually held a month thereafter so Genin can train for their opponents." It was almost a lecture...almost! If Kakashi spoke in more than a laidback deadpan that was."
"When's this exam again?" He could fight more people, learn more things! Ranma was interested, most assuredly.
"Just shy of two months away." Kakashi nodded.
Ranma and Ed looked at each other and nodded, almost as one, holding out their hands and shaking them in agreement. "We're there." Ed piped in.
"Excellent. No missions today, we'll get one tomorrow when Sakura's off from the hospital. So, more chakra training." Kakashi smiled beneath his mask as he watched Ranma's expression light up like a flame while Ed just rolled his eyes. "Now this is a bit of a secret, so don't tell anyone. Who's up for learning what their element is?"
"Element training? Like the Soul of Ice?"
"Of sorts, though that's just your Ki, as you've said. Remember what I did when that Sound Nin blew up?"
"Kinda like one of my transmutations." Ed scratched his chin absently.
"Similar, I suppose. That was by use of Doton. The Earth Element. I can also use Suiton, and Raiton. Water and Lightning respectively."
They continued to talk about elements and what they could, Kakashi bringing up the fact that Katon users could spit fireballs out of their mouth like nobody's business and Fuuton users were some of the most dangerous combatants since nothing is sharper than a blade made of wind. Soon enough they ended up with a training ground with a decent sized lake, several trees surrounding the area and a few small opened up hills. It was a great place to use all of the elements for training, but not many people used it anymore since Elemental Training was falling on the wayside for the younger Ninja since it was harder for them to use and train in unless it came naturally to them.
"I'll show you guys a big one, since it'll be easier to understand." Kakashi finally put his book away, snapping it shut with a snap and pocketing before moving closer to the lake and then finally onto it. "It's a big one, about forty-four signs altogether." Without further notice, Kakashi went through the hand seals at a decent clip. By no means to fast because this wasn't combat, but not to slow that it would take forever. "Suiton: Suiryūdan no Jutsu!"
Ed and Ranma could only watch in awe as the dragon made entirely of water and had glowing yellow eyes, and a mouth full of sharp teeth that somehow managed to defy gravity formed up and around Kakashi in an archway before streaking upwards, coiling about in the air, managing even a screeching roar before smashing back into the water. Ed was used to his working with transmutations on that scale, but the sheer mobility of the dragon was something that put the prodigy's skills to shame. Ranma was similarly used to stuff that massive, his Hiryu Shoten Ha was more than enough to measure in that department, especially in cases like against Saffron, but...still!
"Every element has their own Ryu technique." Kakashi said, walking back to the shore. "Admittedly. The Second Hokage could do that technique with only a single hand sign and with no water around, that's how powerful his affinity with the water element is."
"You mean, water isn't your affinity?" Ed blinked and asked, the scientist in him intrigued.
"Nope. Lightning is mine. You can't use an element technique without the training in that element either. Of course, you could train yourself into being able to use it, but it can be extremely hard. I personally can't use Fuuton or Katon techniques at all. Suiton, Doton, and Raiton, on the other hand..." Kakashi trailed off and pulled out a couple slips of paper. "Channel your chakra into these and it'll be able tell us what your chakra affinity is."
"Any bets?" Ranma asked, taking the two and handing one to Ed.
"You're either Wind or Water." Ed shrugged. "Water because of the curse, or Wind because of your techniques as is. Then again, that finger thrust thing could be a Doton technique."
"Bet you're either Earth or Lightning." Ranma responded as the same. "Yer transmutations sure look like lightning cackling around, and that thing? You learn it by smashin' heavy boulders into yourself. Everything has a breaking point, y'just gotta figure it out. Ryouga's got the better build for it, what with actually bein' smashed by the ol' Ghoul. I just picked it up by watchin'."
Regardless, they both channeled chakra into their slips of paper and smirked at the results.
Several Weeks Later:
Suna was in a desert like any other. Sand as far as the eye could see, storms shifted across the sky out in the distance, and all in all, a rather miserable place to find a place to stay for the night. Thankfully, it was only a four day trek for the modified Team 7 and only a day and a half was spent in the actual desert.
"So, any hints for us?" Ed asked after they had finally settled into their new accommodations for the rest of the day. "Any experiences to share?"
"Maa, you'll have to ask Sakura-chan that. I can't go sharing anything." Kakashi said, pulling his usual orange book out.
"Well?" Ed turned, directing his golden eyes onto Sakura's own green ones as she finished unpacking.
Sakura paused, arching her back in a stretch before answering the blonde's question, tapping her chin as she did. "Well, the exams are meant to gauge your skills and to see if you can become a Chuunin, thus the exam name." She smirked wryly at that bit of redundant information while the two older teens rolled their eyes. "I did a bit of studying since my last exam and found out they're pretty much all the same. The first part is information gathering, the second is a mock mission, and the third is a tournament."
"Well, that sounds pretty easy." Ranma remarked, having finished his own stowing of gear. "Y'got some examples from yours?"
Sakura blushed a little at that, toying with her pink locks. "Ah. The first exam in Konoha we were doing a written exam. We were supposed to cheat and find out the answers. I didn't have to though. I could answer them all myself."
Ranma smirked at that. "So I know who to goto then. Sweet. I ain't too great with most written tests. They bore the hell outta me."
"The second test," Sakura went on with a roll of her eyes at Ranma's semi-boast. "Consisted of us going into the Forest of Death with a scroll to retrieve an opposite scroll from an opposing team. We barely managed that and even then there were…complications." Sakura grimaced there, remembering everything vividly even if she tried to block it out. "It wasn't pretty and we wasted a lot of time there which was a mistake. It'll probably be different here."
Ed and Ranma exchanged glances and nodded. "They won't know what hit 'em." Ranma confided out loud.
"Well, hopefully there won't be any unforeseen consequences like the one in Konoha so it shouldn't be too difficult." Sakura shrugged slightly and went on. "The third exam consists in a one on one tournament to show off your skills."
"So…pretty much we're here to takes names, kick ass, and get you a promotion." Ranma nodded with another smirk.
The three of them looked at each other for a few seconds before Ranma turned away and snorted in amusement. "Are they being serious?"
"Mhm." Sakura mused with a nod. "The first exam is different depending on the village. Konoha's is an Information Gathering exercise. Cheat and don't get caught kind of thing."
"So. Know anything about here in Suna?" Ed asked softly.
Sakura shook her head at that. "No, Genin don't get told, it forces us to think our way through things. It's the best way to learn."
Ranma snorted again. "Please. That might work with most people, but us?" The pigtailed boy pointed at Sakura. "Medical Genius, strength ain't bad either." Then shifted his hand to Ed, "Chemical Genius. Pretty good at fightin' too, and can create stuff." Then he jerked a thumb at himself. "Fightin' Genius. Though, s'pose I ain't the best at Academics an' people. You tell us something, it doesn't take us long to understand it."
"Exception to the rule." Ed shrugged. "No big deal. We'll pass this, get you your promotion and we can go back to figuring out how to get to our homes."
"Thanks you two." Sakura dipped her head, both boys waving it off. "Speaking of which, how long have you been to the Elemental Countries now?"
Both boys looked at each other. "Two and a half months?"
"Yeah, give or take a few days."
Sakura frowned slightly. "Why do they trust you both so easily?"
"You got me. Like they were expectin' us or somethin'." Ranma shrugged it off. "No big deal in the end. I'm sure we'll figure it out eventually."
"Let's just get this exam out of the way, we've wasted enough time talking." Ed grumped, crossing both his arms, gloves on each hand clenching tightly.
Sakura looked around the room as she stepped into it, her aqua gaze taking in the room. Less people than the exam in Konoha by far. There was no team from Kumo like there had been in Konoha but there was a team from Iwa. She recognized the team from Getsu from the First Exam from six months ago in Konoha. A bunch of the same teams from Suna from last year were in the room as well. Only four teams from Konoha though since they had remained behind to help finish off the last of the repairs and take more missions.
Ranma whistled absently while Ed looked severely unimpressed. "That's it?"
"There are less people here than there was six months ago in Konoha." Sakura murmured softly. "It's two fold. We're in a desert so there are no teams from Mizu or Kumo, and only one from Iwa."
"Politics." Ed sighed as he shook his head.
"That being the other, yes. Suna and Konoha are allies right now, and we were against Iwa and Kumo for the last Great War and a few smaller ones. Kumo still shows up on occasion to our Village, but only a token showing.
They smirked at each other and entered the room, keeping to themselves off to the side. Sakura had learned the definition of Stealth since last time and was making sure they didn't stand out until they needed to.
And they waited.
They had found a spot to sit, watching the rest of the room. It had taken almost an hour before the first team left the room in disgust and that was what started discontent with the rest of the teams, even the Nin from Suna themselves were starting to get impatient.
"Are y'sure this is the right room?" Ranma whispered softly to Sakura after another hour passed.
"I triple checked my information." Sakura respond in a hushed voice. "And I've been constantly checking for Genjutsu. I don't understand why there hasn't been an examiner in to see us yet."
Ed sat on the ground between them, absently going over formulae in his head before glancing between the two of them. "I think this is part of the test. To weed out the impatient, sometimes you just need to wait and wait until the right opportunity comes by."
"Well that's borin'." Ranma mumbled. "What kind of exam is that? Patience? Are they really that unoriginal?"
"Well, like I said earlier, each village is different. This is a desert, sometimes not moving is the safest and most secure option.
He was finally answered five minutes later when a rather bland looking man wearing the Suna Chuunin Vest came in and looked around the room. "If you would all follow me, we can move onto the exam."
"We waited that long for that?" Ranma complained bitterly. "That felt like months."
"Oh quit complaining, we managed to at least stick through it like a bunch." Sakura murmured as they trailed the pack, making sure to be the last ones to leave, just in case they were being tricked.
They were brought into another room, this time one surrounded by people, they took a seat near the wooden window that was closed and waited some more.
"Welcome to the Suna Chuunin Exams. We apologize about the wait, though any teams that left have been disqualified." There was a faint smirk on his lips. "Patience is a virtue in a Chuunin, you're meant to be leading other people and you might not always have the luxury of having subordinates that can sit still. Now that we've officially started, this first stage of the exam is going to be a paper exam."
"They're ripping right from us." Sakura murmured. "Are they that lazy?"
"Seems to be, the guy who thought this up should be shot." Ed deadpanned, looking forward with flat eyes.
"Whatever. Jus' follow the original plan then." Ranma shrugged after a moment, flicking his pigtail over his shoulder. "We'll ace this first part and keep down. No doubt if they're rippin' from the rest of your last exam, we'll know exactly what t'do in the second part."
He had no idea how right he had been.