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Old 11-08-2018, 06:33 PM   #31
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Halfway through the pot of fish soup they heard it. A wailing, mournful call, like that of a spirit whose soul could not leave this mortal realm. “Shut up, Hisao.” Kanehisa Hidehiko shot the boy a vicious look. “I know what I heard. It was definitely a girl's yell.”

“I didn't hear anything.” Choei put his hand next to his ear.

“Me either.”
Slurped Hisao, spraying soup from his mouth as he spoke.

“Itou heard something.”
Raiju perked up and looked towards the cliff. “You can trust a bat's ears better than a human's.”

The tall boy remained silent, his animal wrapped up in his arms like a weird, long-limbed teddy bear.

The sun finally set and plunged the island into an eerie night. Without trees or foliage, the moon could shine its pale blue light freely. Even so the various rocky outcroppings cast their own strange shadows, making Shineshell Island look bleaker than ever. The wind began to pick up as well as the shifting temperatures encouraged the sea-side winds to blow. “It isn't uncommon for the breeze to sound like a woman's cry.” Choei nodded in affirmation to his own statement. “Plus, it's probably just nerves. Everyone's a little shaken up after that bear encounter.”

“I've been meaning to ask this, too.”
Raiju put his soup bowl down and looked straight at Choei. “How did you find us so fast, anyway? Ichi was leading us, but you don't have a flying animal.”

“Yeah, where the heck is your animal?”
Kanehisa Hidehiko slurped up his own soup as his animal crept closer to the warm coals. “You and Hisao both haven't let them out of their cages yet.”

“Oh, you want to see mine?” Hisao grinned and Raiju frowned as his question got ignored. “I let him loose as soon as we got on the island. He's a master of stealth, I bet none of you even noticed him!”

“My good friend is aquatic.”
Choei played with a button on his sailor uniform and spoke dismissively, as if bored. “I let her act independently, I don't like to drag her around and show her off like a toy.”

The greasy Kanehisa Hidehiko snorted and pointed his spoon as Choei. “No wonder you failed your exam. That's a terrible way to raise an animal!”

“There it was again.”
Raiju stood up and gave a hard stare towards the black horizon. “Surely you guys heard it this time. It was way louder.”


“Not a thing.”

“I heard it, too.”
The tall boy's words came out loud enough that everyone flinched. “That was definitely Ringo!”

The call back came instantly, though the voice was distant and weak. “Kurusu! Call me Kurusu!
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:46 PM   #32
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Soup sprayed out of Kanehisa Hidehiko's lips in a stereotypical display of surprise. “Oh my God!” Even as the fishy broth dripped down his face he managed to give a look of pure horror. “That brat died and now her ghost is haunting us!”

Everyone gave the short genin a look of confusion. Raiju saved the awkward silence from going on too long with a sudden proclamation of his own. “Itou, go check the cliff face!” With that order the brown bat roosting on his shoulder flapped off into the dark night, emitting tiny chirps as it did so. “I should have checked down there too! I can't believe I didn't think that she might have fell.”

Choei casually waved his soup spoon around as the rest of the boy stood up and rushed to the cliff in unison. “Oh, don't make a scene, please. This isn't that big of a deal.”

Walking through the dark across a rocky, uneven path proved difficult enough that progress to the nearby cliff was significantly delayed. The air was filled with the curses of the young boys as they fumbled their way towards the edge. “Don't fall off yourself, morons!” Kanehisa Hidehiko lead the charge, either because he was particularly reckless or because he was the most motivated. “How could that stupid girl even end up down there, how idiotic do you have to be to fall off a cliff!”

The tall boy shouted even as he stumbled his way across the island. “Keep making noise so we can find you!”

The only answer was the howl of the wind. Now everyone was sweating, making the night even chillier than normal.

The first to reach the edge was Kanehisa Hidehiko, who nearly bumbled over himself. The light-absorbing ocean and sheer black rocks that made up the cliff made it very difficult to tell where one ended and the other began. “Oy, Shinshou!” He grabbed the lizard clinging to his pant leg and slapped the animal on the rock below him. “Find her!”

Raiju was next to approach and he tripped over the prone Kanehisa Hidehiko as he reached the threshold. “What the hell! Move your butt, I could have knocked us both off!”

“You got a whole island to move around on, numbnuts!”
Kanehisa Hidehiko hissed but didn't dignify Raiju by facing him. “I'm tryin' to save someone from dying, not watch your sorry hide!”

The pointed, snarky response from Raiju would have to wait, as at that moment the tall genin collided with the two tangled boys himself. “Ring- I mean, Kurusu! Oh my God! We found you!”

“No,” Raiju's voice was muffled as he spoke into the back of Kanehisa Hidehiko. “Try again.”
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:58 PM   #33
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In the midst of all this wailing and gnashing of teeth came a very clear and distinct splash. All three boys froze up. Being halfway over the edge already, Kanehisa Hidehiko made the obvious observation. “That sounded awfully heavy.”

“Why didn't anyone bring a torch?!”
Raiju's voice filled with frustration as he pulled away from the dogpile. “What was the plan, anyway, can any of us even use wall walking!”

“Gila monsters can stick to surfaces, I'll have you know.”
The greasy genin nervously ran a hand through his jet black pompadour. “Shishou could go down and find her and, uh, we could drop a rope or something.”

“Oh, nice!”
The tall boy exclaimed. “You brought a rope!”

“Of course not! What kind of weirdo just carries rope around?”

“Ringo has rope.”


“Kurusu has rope. I saw it on her belt on the row over here.”

“What kind of weirdo pays attention to girl's clothes?”
Kanehisa Hidehiko growled defensively, but relayed the orders down to his pet. “Shinshou! Go down in the water and...look for rope!”

“It's hopeless.”
A despair filled cry came from the tall genin. “She's already fell back in. We're too late.”

“Where the hell is her bird, anyway!”
Kanehisa Hidehiko pounded the rock below him with his fist. “What a lousy animal! Letting his owner get away like that! This is why birds make bad pets, they have no loyalty!”

“Everyone, calm down.”
Raiju fell back a few steps and held his head with both hands. “Choei has an aquatic animal, right? Where is he? We should get his help.” Despite his best attempts to be clear-headed, the boy's voice was likewise filled with panic. What could a bunch of failure genin do in a situation like this? None of them were trained to walk on walls or rescue bodies from the base of ocean cliffs. Not only that, but they might endanger themselves trying to save their...well, not their friend, but still!

For a precious few seconds everyone just lay in the night's all encompassing shadows and let the reality sink in. Finally, the always reliable Kanehisa Hidehiko had the solution.

“This is all Choei's fault anyway. He shouldn't have left her alone.”
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:12 PM   #34
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Without warning a brilliant white sun exploded. All three boys shielded their eyes at the intensity of the glow, not understanding what was happening. It became apparent who the source was a little while later when the light slowly started to move towards the camp, accompanied by the crowing of a rooster.

Everyone scrambled to their feet to chase after the light. “See, what did I say? She's a ghost now!”

Soaked to the bone Ringo sloshed from rock to rock on sore muscles. For hours, hours, she'd been clambering up the cliff face at a snails pace. Every time she stopped to rest she screamed out for assistance, but only her last call produced any help. Yes, you could always count on the generous spirit and comradeship of Mist soldiers.

Which in this case meant Ichi. All those other genin could bugger off for all the good the did her.

Her chicken served its thankless role with pride, strutting at Ringo's heels with it's usual level of plucky spunk. Ringo didn't want to think what she would have done if Ichi hadn't helped secure her shoge for those last couple dozen feet, and she didn't need to. Ichi's accomplishments were her own, after all. They weren't a team but rather a single unit. So no thanks were necessary!

She held a warm emergency flare in one hand, something she'd been saving for the three weeks in case of, well, an emergency. Night navigation wasn't quite as dangerous as climbing an ocean cliff but after all she'd endured today Ringo very much didn't want to risk falling on the sharp rocks of Shineshell. She didn't expect it to draw out pests like moths to a flame.

“Oy, Ringo!”


“It's Kurusu, guys.”

Hearing these voices made her face sour. This was not how she wanted to spend her time recovering. But the able-bodied genin caught up to the girl before she could make too much headway, and the peppering of questions began.

“What happened? Why are you all wet?”

“Do you have any idea how much trouble it was to look for you? Don't you have any self-respect?”

“Were you stuck on the cliff? Why didn't you just use wall walking?”

Ignoring them wouldn't be very professional, Ringo decided. A quick and efficient answer should satisfy all their demands.

“I was training.”
Ringo shivered from the cold but kept her voice firm and anger free. “And I made a miscalculation. It was my own error, don't worry about it.”

Last edited by Junge; 11-09-2018 at 02:14 PM..
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:41 PM   #35
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The foursome made quick work back to camp, where Hisao and Choei sat still eating their soup. Both appeared unsurprised by the arrival of a sopping wet Ringo. She and Choei stared at each other for half a second before Ringo broke eye contact and took up a spot near the hot coals. Not a word was shared.

“Training, huh?”
Raiju made a chittering noise as he called his bat back to his shoulder. “This seems like a rotten place to train. If you mess up, who could possibly save you?”

“Yeah, our instructor still isn't around, stupid!”
Kanehisa Hidehiko laughed a hearty, pompous laugh. “You should have saved those stunts for when she got here, if you were trying to impress people!”

Hisao offered Ringo a bowl, who declined.

“My stomach is full of seawater.”
Ringo gave Hisao an evil stare as well, but left it at that. All that time on the cliff gave her time to reflect. To think about what really mattered. She held both her hands up to the coals, showing off her torn and rubbed-raw fingers. Shinobi work meant putting your life and limb on the line, sometimes for reasons you didn't understand. Choei, their secret instructor, had tested her that evening. He seemed to think she was more capable than she was, but Ringo couldn't fathom a jounin making a simple mistake like that. Jounin were the leaders of shinobi, the all powerful and wise juggernauts that could level armies and make history. They didn't just...throw kids off cliffs and expect them to not die. Nobody could be that irresponsible.

In that same vein, Choei must have had a good reason for keeping his identity a secret. Ringo wouldn't reveal that the feminine looking boy was actually their instructor. She was his superior and all his actions must be for a good reason. This was the foundation Ringo based on life on. A shinobi always follows orders, even the unspoken ones!

“How was the swim, Ms. Kurusu?”
Choei smiled. His voice wasn't the one he used back on the cliff, but instead the childish immature one he used during their introduction.

Ichi took up residence next to Ringo and poofed himself up against the cold. Any animosity or ill will between these humans the rooster didn't pay attention to. Like Ringo, his existence was all about following orders.

“While you were screwing around, we had an adventure of a lifetime!”
Kanehisa Hidehiko remained standing and jumped up on one of the taller rocks in the camp. “There we were, looking for this dumb lost child,”

The tall boy poked Ringo and pointed to himself with a smile. “That's me!”

“When this huge, black monster emerges from the ground...”

Ringo tuned out the story as she tried to warm up. The pieces made sense now. This three week training course would likely involve a lot of these 'tests', disguised as random events. She might have appreciated the cleverness of it had she not been so dang exhausted.

“...roaring, stomping like a crazed beast...”

“There shouldn't even be bears on this island.”
Raiju spoke towards Ringo now, as it seemed everyone tuned out Kanehisa Hidehiko story-telling. “There's not enough food.”

“Well, there's us!” Hisao shrugged. “Maybe it gets fed a steady supply of genin.”

“-then, out of nowhere, Choei shows up with a fishing pole-”

“It would guess,”
Ringo stared into the hot coals until her eyes dried out. “There are at least two more animals like that on the island. Possibly more.”

The tall boy shook his head. “There's no way, Kurusu. Your pet didn't find anything, and Raiju's pet-”

“-his name is Itou-”

“-and Itou didn't find anything either.”

“Just like how we didn't find this bear and it just magically appeared, right?”
Ringo gave a dull look towards the other two genin. “This might all be a setup.”

“Oh, that's so paranoid, Ms. Kurusu!”
Choei twirled a lock of hair in one hand as he dismissed Ringo's conjecture. “How could you make such a bold claim without evidence?”

Ringo gave Choei another hard stare-down and he smirked. The jounin clearly wanted Ringo to accuse him of deception. In the back of the girl's mind, she really did want to show the smug little guy up and get her revenge. But after that thought was filtered through several layers of careful consideration, it became obvious that she couldn't. One, the jounin must be expecting it, and probably had some argument or lie that he'd tell to cover everything up and just make Ringo look bad. Two, he was technically a superior officer, and it wasn't Ringo's place to indict her superiors.

And three, which was the most important one, Ringo took great pride in following orders. She'd been assigned this three-week training course and by god or gods above, Ringo would take no action to jeopardize getting her pet permit. Even if it meant getting thrown off more cliffs.

With all that in mind Ringo only offered a barely mumbled response to Choei's demand for proof. “I'm just saying, we should expect the unexpected. That's a shinobi's life, isn't it?”
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:02 PM   #36
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Sleeping arrangements proved easy enough as there simply weren't any. The stone huts that dotted the camp site were devoid of any kind of bedding or furniture or even doors. “I'll take sleeping under the stars to sleeping in a stone tomb any day.” After a great deal of rock rearranging Raiju made a flat enough area to unroll his sleeping mat. “Wake me up when it's my turn.”

Under his breath Kanehisa Hidehiko muttered something about luck, but otherwise took his spot at the night watch without too much fuss. Everyone agreed it was too dangerous to not have at least one person awake at all times, in case this mystery bear returned. Six genin split up over one night would mean about 2 hours of dull patrolling duty for everyone. That was pretty reasonable, wasn't it?

“Only if you think we can all be trusted.”
Ringo, tired as she was, couldn't sleep. Kanehisa Hidehiko frowned at the sudden intrusion of the girl who'd beaten him so soundly a few hours before, but otherwise said nothing. “Do you get what I'm saying?”

Kanehisa Hidehiko spat. “You don't trust me.”

Ringo shook her head. Little flecks of water flew from her hair, since it still wasn't dry yet. “No, you can be trusted.” She crossed her arms and nodded to herself. “I can't imagine anyone as emotionally fragile as you would be a good undercover operative.”

“The hell did you say, you little twerp!”

Ringo tried to hush down the upset Kanehisa Hidehiko. “What kind of stealthy ninja are you, screaming out everything so people can hear it?”

“What kind of ninja are you, falling off a cliff and needing rescuing!”

“Okay, fair enough.”
Ringo kept her voice hushed and thankfully the short, ill tempered genin seemed to do the same. “My point stands. We can't trust that everyone in the group are genin. We should be on guard.”

After a moment of deep though, Kanehisa Hidehiko shot back. “Even if I wanted to believe you, why should I trust you, sis?” He bared his teeth in an attempt to be intimidating.“You ditched the group to run ahead, attacked me, and mysteriously were absent from the whole bear fiasco. To me it seems like you're the one I should be on the look out for!”

The only response Ringo could rummage up to that accusation was a few bewildered blinks. Shoot. She hadn't thought about that. It really did look suspicious when put that way. That must have been the ace Choei was hiding. If Ringo tried to accuse the girl-like boy of anything, he could just throw her under the bus and reverse the accusation. What a scary situation!

With no other option, Ringo resigned herself to the argument. “That makes sense too. You shouldn't trust anyone, myself included.” She pounded a fist into her open palm. “Listen, Kanehisa Hidehiko! I don't like you, but as a fellow Mist soldier, I'd die for you in an instant.” This she stated with such resolve that even in the darkness, she could tell the boy opposite of her was blushing. “We are here to be trained in proper pet ownership, but being a good owner means being a good person as well.” Ringo didn't believe that at all, but it's what Choei had said so she had to roll with it. “We're going to be tested, not just in how we treat our animals, but how we treat each other.” As best she could in the night's blackness Ringo made as stern and stoic a face as possible. “So I promise to you now I won't attack or provoke you again. I respect your autonomy as a fellow genin of Kirigakure!”

The mighty monologue finished Kanehisa Hidehiko remained silent for almost a full minute. Then he broke the silence. “Buzz off, sister.”

Well, she tried.

Last edited by Junge; 11-09-2018 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:36 PM   #37
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Staying up all night would have been impossible, even for Ringo's considerable stubbornness. Thankfully, she had the loudest animal on the island as a partner. Between her and Ichi, they could sleep in 2 hour shifts, keeping an eye on each genin as well as their surroundings. As the moon climbed higher in the sky the shadows became less contorted, allowing even the untrained chicken eye to keep solemn watch over the darkness.

Kanehisa Hidehiko's patrol came and went with Ringo perched silently within one of the empty stone huts. The tall genin was next, and Ichi stood like a statue watching that goofball try to entertain himself for his shift. Because she'd seen that guy back during her exam, she figured he wasn't any risk and could trust his watch to. The least suspicious genin were out of the way first, at least.

Then came Hisao. His animal was still unaccounted for, and Ringo paid close attention to make sure a spider or crab or rat didn't jump on her while she stealthily kept watch on the camp. Hisao's normally bouncy personality appeared to evaporate at night, and he simply stood watch like a good soldier the entire time. Maybe the island was getting to him, finally.

Next it was Ringo's turn. The night had progressed without a single incident so far. She leaned up against her stone hut and face forward, angling her head in such a way to look as though she was at attention. Then she passed out from exhaustion. Ichi roosted on the roof above her and was the real look-out. Once or twice he gave off a soft cluck that stirred the girl from her sleep but nothing else transpired. The night was as still and dead as ever.

“You seem quite chipper, Ms. Kurusu.”
Hearing the voice of Choei woke Ringo up immediately. Ichi hadn't even given her a warning cluck! She was slow to acknowledge him, choosing instead to feign disinterest.

“I'm a light sleeper.”

“Is that so~?”
Choei gave a stretch and a bend. “It'll be morning in a few hours. Go get some rest.”

The two stood there in the late-night dark for a while. There was a lot Ringo wanted to say, but wouldn't. 'Don't throw me off a cliff again' was high up there but somehow that seemed passe now. There was no reason to hide her feelings to Choei though, was there? Even if someone was listening in it wouldn't matter that much. “I take a lot of pride in being a good solider.” Ringo rubbed her still raw fingers tenderly. “Sir, I would never cheat or lie to a comrade.” She pushed off from the rock wall and took a few wobbly steps towards Choei, giving him as ferocious a scowl as she could. “I hope I can meet your expectations.”

Perhaps because he was wanting a bit more of an overreaction Choei looked disappointed. Or maybe the jounin was just impossible to please. Either way, he let the comments roll off his shoulder and only responded to Ringo with a slight sigh. “Enjoy your sleep, Ms. Kurusu.”

The way he said it put Ringo on edge. Truthfully she hadn't been off her edge since getting tossed off the cliff. The night was not yet finished.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:49 PM   #38
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Ringo remained awake for the entirety of Choei's shift, but once again nothing transpired. The tall kid left camp for a bit, presumably to relieve himself. He came back soon enough and didn't seem any more suspicious for it. Otherwise the night was just as empty as it had been. Well, that was the nature of stake-outs, wasn't it? Ringo silently yawned, keeping the silhouette of Choei in her vision at all times as she did so. This was a three week course, and this first day had already been filled to the brim with exhausting ordeals. The jounin might not spring any sort of trap today. It paid to be prepared though, so Ringo's time didn't feel wasted.

Raiju's internal clock was something else, and he was up and ready to switch even before his shift came up. The sky's black color was slowly shifting to indigo as the sun prepared to emerge over the horizon. Only two more hours until dawn! Ichi was always naturally awake during these hours, so it just made sense for Ringo to fall asleep and let him do his thing. When the first crack of sunlight appeared he would crow nonstop and everyone in the camp would hear it. Early to bed, early to rise.

As Ringo drifted off into another light nap she felt unsettled by something. It nagged at her, as though it was an obvious detail she was forgetting. That couldn't be true, right? Little ever slipped her notice. Ringo might not be the fastest or strongest or most clever, but she honed right in on imperfections and flaws like a bloodhound. All night she hadn't noticed anything amiss. Everyone was accounted for. Her lids drooped with a heavy weight and she slipped away. She dreamt it was raining.

Her sleep was sundered by a powerful ray of sunlight. The camp remained quiet. Raiju could be seen making haphazard circles around the camp and jogging in place. Shineshell Island was as empty as ever.

It was empty.

It was empty.

Too late Ringo realized what she'd forgotten. A quick scan of her surroundings instantly confirmed her fears. How could she have missed that? It was so obvious!

A renewed vigor pumping through her veins Ringo literally leaped from her sleeping quarters and nearly face planted into the rocks for her excitement. She cast her gaze around to confirm her suspicions one last time. Everyone seemed to still be asleep. What a setup! Raiju noticed the wild-eyed girl stumbling around and ceased his morning exercises to wave at her. “Morning, Ringo-”

Cutting him off she held her arms out wide, shouting as she did so. “Our animals are gone.”
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:00 PM   #39
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As was becoming routine, the other genin responded to Ringo's interjection with confusion. “What do you mean? Did you lose Ichi?”

Ringo squinted in the early morning light, casting her gaze everywhere for some sort of clue. “Ichi always cries at dawn. Always.” She pointed back towards her hut. “He was right on that grass roof when I went to sleep. If he was in this area, he would be crowing right now.” She glanced back at Raiju. “Where is your bat?”

“His name is Itou, and he's fine.” Raiju gave a low whistle to call his pet. “Bats are nocturnal, so I let him run around and feed while we were sleeping. He's an adult and can take care of himself.”

“He's not coming back.”
Ringo coldly stated. Raiju scoffed at such an outlandish comment. “Look, Ringo-”


“-your animal might not respect you, but Itou and I are brothers. He would never abandon me.”

“I'm not saying he abandoned you.”
Ringo's attention shifted towards the hut as the other genin began to emerge. “I'm just saying, he's not coming back.”

“Morning, everyone.”
The tall boy yawned and rubbed his eyes. “Anyone see where Hoshimaru- er, my sloth went? He sometimes sleepwalks.”

Ringo and Raiju both exchanged glances, then Kanehisa Hidehiko came to the same realization. “What- hey! Shinshou!” He ran back into his hut and yelled. “Shinshou! Wake up, you lazy bum!”

“So much ruckus this morning.”
Choei emerged from his hut with a placid expression. “What's the deal, friends?”

Typical, Ringo thought. Her tunnel vision kept her focused on the boys, but she'd completely ignored the animals. Kanehisa Hidehiko's lizard hadn't been with him, the tall genin's sloth hadn't been present when he was doing his shift, and Raiju's and her own animal likely both disappeared at the same time while she'd been sleeping. Of course it was Choei's doing, but how? And where?

Too many variables, too many unknowns. Ringo was a soldier, not a detective. She was out of her element.

The whistling from Raiju grew more frantic as his pet failed to return. Everyone began searching the camp for the missing animals. Rocks were flipped over, bags were dug through, even the cliff was checked again. There wasn't a single sign of the missing pets.

So the paranoia began in earnest.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:12 PM   #40
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On a personal level, Ringo wouldn't have felt a great deal of loss if Ringo died or otherwise went missing. True he was a dutiful bird, and the first to have survived her training regimen, but she managed a whole flock of chickens which were ripe for new recruits. Ichi was a tool to her- a means to an end. But for most beast-raising genin, this wasn't the case. Their animals were more than just pets, they were like family.

So it only stood to reason they would react to their abduction as if losing a family member. Kanehisa Hidehiko got angry and started screaming. The tall genin appeared devastated and wore a grim, teary frown. Raiju refused to acknowledge it and continued his frantic whistling.

“Big deal.”
Hisao shrugged as he started working on the morning soup. “Animals have their own lives, dudes. You can't get upset if they went out to do their own thing.”

“Quite right!”
Choei had been helping with the search but now retired to squat near the coal fires. “It seems unlikely all our pals would just disappear without reason overnight. I'm sure they are fine.”

“It's a test.”
Ringo flatly stated, not to anyone in particular. “Part of the training.”

“Are you sure, Kurusu?”
The tall boy seemed at the verge of tears. “The bear- it couldn't have been the bear, right? We would have seen or heard it.”

It was baseless speculation, but Ringo felt compelled to share. “The bear isn't the only unaccounted for animal on the island.” Raiju and Kanehisa Hidehiko were still busy in their searching so they didn't seem to be paying attention. Their searches took them outside the camp as the rest conversed. “The...our instructor, this jounin 'lady'.” Ringo briefly glanced at Choei, who seemed to be suppressing a smile. “I'd would guess the bear was one of her pets. She probably has one or two more on the island as well.”

The tall boy let out an exasperated gasp. “Why? What purpose would that serve?”

“Like I said, training. This is supposed to be teaching us something about taking care of animals.”
Ringo didn't say it, but she wanted to add 'also the jounin is mentally deranged and enjoys torturing us'. That would be disrespectful to a superior officer, after all.

“So, what, then?”
Hisao turned over some dried fish with a wooden spoon. “No reason to get all panicky then. Everything will resolve itself.”

“That's right!”
Choei clapped and tried to pat the tall genin on the back. “Nothing bad would happen if we're being watched by a jounin. We just have to play along.”

And stay away from cliffs, Ringo silently added to the end.
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