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File: ame_opening.jpg (123 KB, 1280x720)
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You are Uzumaki Shiki, a jōnin from the hidden village Amegakure on indefinite loan to your larger ally Konohagakure, Currently you’ve been assigned to protect Kae-hime, the princess of a nation friendly to both your homeland and to Konoha, while her father sorts out an apparent problem within the ranks of his own government. Probably some disgruntled ministerial-type who thinks his career would progress faster if he just kills a bunch of people so he can promote himself to what he thinks his appropriate station is.

Anyway.

Hana-sensei, the teacher in charge of Kae-hime’s class during her stay at the Academy here in Konohagakure, seems like an awkward but well-versed and well-meaning woman to you. She gives you a strong impression that there’s not a mean bone in her body, which is nice. It’s easy to relax around people like that.

Throughout her subsequent lesson, you’re able to chat with Sumirin as she watches through the classroom windows from a nearby building.

[How did you do it?] you ask with a slight frown on your face – you don’t really need to listen to the lesson, since you basically mastered all this information before coming to the Academy the first time. All you really need to do is make sure you’re not so distracted that you can’t answer a surprise question.

“Seventeen degrees,” you answer when prompted by a question involving practical mathematics.

“Correct,” Hana-sensei replies. “Good job, Shiki-kun.”

[Do what?] Sumirin replies.

[Disguise your ability so thoroughly,] you clarify. [Back in the day.]

She did manage to hide the fact that she was basically an ANBU-trained plant for several years, and you feel like you very nearly blew it on day one. [I didn’t, remember?]

True, you did suspect her.

[I wasn’t comfortable suspecting you.] And that’s the truth of it. You didn’t want to think that a classmate – a friend – could be capable of anything nefarious, so you rationalized everything you saw away.

[It works on adults and children alike,] she tells you. [To a certain extent. Just keep pretending and they’ll do most of the work for you.]

[Thanks, Sumirin.]

[Any time, Shikkun.]
>1/2
>>
>>6009699
During the lunch break you fish out your lacquered bento box – fresh orange slices in one compartment, rice with an umeboshi at the center and three slices of yubeshi, a small tray of various pickles, a larger tray with grilled eel, and a small tray with pink and blue nerikiri shaped like ajisai and filled with either sweetened matcha or lemon flavor.

“Wow, looks like your mom went all-out for your first day!” a vaguely familiar voice addresses you from one side as the pink-haired girl from before sits on top of the desk next to yours. Many of the class have either filed out of the room or gathered elsewhere, while this girl is the only one who deliberately approached you here. You set aside your hashi. “I’m Kamakura Osuka, by the way. You were Kagerō-kun, right?”

“Osuka-kun,” you return her greeting politely. “You aren’t eating?”

“I will in a moment…”

Another girl with mousy brown hair and half-rim glasses, both of which absolutely disappear next to Osuka-kun’s fluffy pink perm and expensive outfit, returns with food from the cafeteria. “I’m back, Osuka-kun.”

“Thanks, Neon-kun,” she answers, taking her cut along with a few coins – change, you’d assume.

Neon-kun bows to you politely. “That’s… quite a traditional bento. Did your mother make it for you?”

“Not all of it,” you lie effortlessly. “I made the wagashi.” Technically that part’s not a lie – in fact you made all of it. But despite the fact that none of it is actually that difficult, a child making a bento like this for themselves on the first day of school would be suspicious.

“You even made the yubeshi?” Neon-kun asks curiously.

You nod.

“Isn’t that supposed to be super hard?” Osuka-kun asks.

You shrug. “It’s mostly just time consuming. But things that are worth doing often are.”

Kae-hime peers across from the side opposite Osuka-kun, examining your work. “Those… actually seem quite good.”

“Thank you, Kae-hime,” you reply, not entirely sure where this is going.

“I was going to have a tea party this weekend,” Kae-hime declares. “As an opportunity for our class to spend time together. I hope that you will be there, and if you could make wagashi that would be delightful.”

>Of course I will be there. Just name the time and place.
>I can do one better and show you all how they’re made.
>[Use the wave transmission to chide her for not consulting you]
>Other?
>>
>>6009700
>Of course I will be there. Just name the time and place.
>Would you like to try making some with me?
>>
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> Hana-sensei replies. “Good job, Shiki-kun.”
> Shiki-kun
Uh...
>>
>>6010223
SHE IS ON TO US!
MISSION FAILED, I REPEAT MISSION FAILED!
>>
>>6009700
>Of course I will be there. Just name the time and place.
>>
>>6010223
In case anyone actually WAS looking to deep into this, this was a mistake on my end.
>>
>>6009700
>>Of course I will be there. Just name the time and place.
>>
>>6009700
>1d6, best three of four
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>6010558
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>6010558
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6010558
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>6010558
>>
>>6010558
“I’ll be there,” you assure her – though that’s not so much an answer as an admission, because you know what this is. This is her way of testing her control in this situation, springing a decision on you to make you scramble to adjust to her plans rather than letting you control what she does and when. “If you’d like I can even show people how to make wagashi.”

“That would be nice,” she replies. “This Saturday, then?”

“Just let me know where,” you remind her that nobody here knows that you know where she’s staying already.



The rest of the short, three-day first week of classes passes unremarkably, with just a pop quiz on basic mathematics. Noticeable however is that there’s some drama surrounding yourself, Kae-hime, Osuka-kun, and Hima-chan.

As “Kagerō-kun” you’ve become a standout for managing to be close to the three most popular girls in their year as much as for your undeniable skills in every subject, while Hima-chan is similarly skilled and is the daughter of the Hokage. Kae-hime is of course still a princess. But Osuka-kun isn’t any of those things – she’s the daughter of two famous actors and so she probably expected to be the center of attention. But at least she can try to get you ‘on her side’, which in some weird social butterfly sort of way probably makes her feel less overlooked.

The day of the party is lovely, and you meet with your classmates outside the rather reasonably-sized estate Kae-hime and her small entourage has been staying at since coming to Konohagakure. Kae-hime seems a little tired, but you learn that it’s for good reason. Evidently she was working hard last night to make a truly fantastic cake, on her own.

“I’m excited to see it,” you admit, before turning your attention to one of the tables where a boy is struggling to make the wagashi as you taught him. “You have to be more careful – overwork the dough and it stiffens, see?”

“Mine is stiff and I’ve barely touched it,” a girl at a different table protests.

“Your dry to wet ratio was off,” you observe. “This is going to have to be nice and thin at the end… I promise, it’ll be worth it.”

[We may have a problem,] Kōshū announces.

[What and where?]

[A drone trying to sneak into the building,] she informs you.

>Keep an eye on it. Follow it into the building if you have to.
>The operator has to be close. You track the drone, I’ll get the operator.
>I’ll find a way to quietly secure Kae-hime and the other students.
>Other?
>>
>>6011675
>The operator has to be close. You track the drone, I’ll get the operator.
>>
>>6011675
>>Keep an eye on it. Follow it into the building if you have to.
>>
>>6011675
[Track the drone,] you tell her after brief consideration. [The operator must be close. I’ll find them.]

[Consider it done.]

[Not yet it’s not,] you caution her, looking over the crowd of students and wondering – where could a shinobi be hiding on the grounds?

>1d6 first three
>DC: 10
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6012811
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6012811
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>6012811
>>
>>6012839
>>6012849
>>6012859
>those rolls
Yeah whoever is spying on you is fucked.
>>
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>>6012811
>>
>>6012811
There are a few things you look for in situations like this. The first of which is someone here who shouldn’t be, and such a person would likely be hidden. They could be using basic camouflage, using the moisture in the air to wrap light around themselves, or hiding underground. There are other ways they could be hiding beyond that too, though each of them would rely more heavily on more complex and specific chakra manipulations that might not be universally applicable.

The second thing would be behavior, which can fall into two categories. One of those comprises all the things that guilty people do when they’re not trained to avoid doing them – the furtive glances around the environment, the naturally tense body language, and so forth. Then there are the behaviors that trained shinobi exhibit when they’re undertaking the same sorts of behaviors. In this case things tend to veer the opposite direction – conversation feels stilted, and the focus and determination you see in the eyes contrasts with the deliberate lack of tension in the body.

And then there’s whatever the hell Neon-kun thinks she’s doing.

She’s separated from most of the rest of your classmates and tooling around on her phone, using two thumbsticks, and doing the whole glancing around thing that an untrained person would almost always tend to. In fact it’s stunning that you failed to notice it earlier despite being on guard, to a degree. You have to admit, you probably fell into the same trap as you did with Sumire – she doesn’t really strike you as a threat, even more so than anyone from your own graduating class.

Thing is, she still doesn’t seem like a threat even when you’re focused on her. Your strong impression is that she’s not actually trying to hurt anyone right now. There’s just no trace of bloodlust, or any of the sort of grim determination you’re used to from shinobi on their own respective missions.

>Quietly destroy her phone from here, in such a way that nobody will know that you did so.
>Walk over and interrupt her, in such a way that you let her know that you know what she’s doing.
>Push against her with a little bit of bloodlust. Her reaction will reveal whether she has training.
>Other?
>>
>>6013775
>>Walk over and interrupt her, in such a way that you let her know that you know what she’s doing.
>>
>>6013775
>Walk over and interrupt her, in such a way that you let her know that you know what she’s doing.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this is probably a child playing with her toy, and we probably shouldn't reveal ourselves in any way over it.
>>
>>6013932
I don't think so, she is to suspicious with it, simply playing wouldn't need her to hide whatever she is doing.
No, something fishy is going on.
>Walk over and interrupt her, in such a way that you let her know that you know what she’s doing.
>>
>>6013775
>1d6, best three of four
>DC: 7
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>6014786
Rolling for 1's
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>6014786
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6014786
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6014786
>>
>>6014786
You calmly walk over to Neon-kun and greet her cheerfully. “Hi, Neon-kun. Enjoying the party?”

She visibly flinches at the sound of your voice, and her head snaps up. “Kagerō-kun!”

“Hi!” you repeat. “You okay there?”

“I-I, yes,” she stammers awkwardly.

[It’s heading for the kitchen?] Kōshū reports, seemingly surprised.

“Whatcha up to over here all quiet-like?” you ask curiously, peeking over the top of her phone. She tries to hide it from you.

“Kagerō-kun, w-what do you…” she begins. “I-I’m not… that is… this is just…”

“I’ve seen the drone,” you add quietly, your cheerful facade lowering slightly to reveal a more serious expression. “Why the kitchen though?”

Neon-kun looks like she’s about ready to faint on the spot.

“I won’t be mad,” you insist. “But I’d like for you to answer me, okay?”

“I-It’s… that is, Osuka-kun… she wanted to…”

“Take a deep breath,” you tell her calmly. “What did Osuka-kun tell you to do?”

“Mustard… in the cake…”

[Shikkun, the drone was carrying…]

[Mustard?]

[Spicy, yeah. How’d you know?]

[It’s a prank by a jealous classmate. You grab the drone… I’ll handle things here.]

[Ah, I get it.]

>Quietly inform Osuka-kun that you caught Neon-kun in the midst of their mischief.
>Let Neon-kun off for now and just make sure things go smoothly from here.
>Make sure Neon-kun knows she owes a debt for your silence, and you intend to collect at some point.
>Other?
>>
>>6015989
>Make sure Neon-kun knows she owes a debt for your silence, and you intend to collect at some point.
Wooo, blackmail!
>>
>>6015989
>>Let Neon-kun off for now and just make sure things go smoothly from here.
>>
>>6015989
>Make sure Neon-kun knows she owes a debt for your silence, and you intend to collect at some point.
>>
>>6015989
>>Make sure Neon-kun knows she owes a debt for your silence, and you intend to collect at some point.
>>
>>6015989
>1d6 best three of four
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>6017993
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>6017993
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6017993
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>6017993
>>
>>6017993
“I see,” you muse, your voice quiet but your tone filled with a deliberately-menacing cheer. “Well then, I’ll keep quiet about this for now, Neon-kun.”

“… oh,” she gasps quietly in relief. “Oh, thank goodness.”

“That having been said,” you continue in the same tone, “don’t expect it to be free. You owe me, and I plan to collect.”

[Got the drone, on my way out now.]

[Nicely done.]

“W-what do you mean?” she asks, laughing slightly with an obvious nervousness.

“My intentions are good,” you insist. “You’re just going to have to trust me, okay?”

After a moment, she nods in agreement.

“Now, let’s go back to the party,” you suggest, gesturing towards the tables in the middle of the yard. “And try to have fun, okay?”

Neon-kun nods in agreement, eager to put this episode behind her… for the time being.



“May I ask what that was about?” Kae-hime asks you with a slight frown.

“I wanted to make sure Neon-kun wasn’t feeling left out,” you lie as easily as you breathe.

“I see,” Kae-hime replies. “Well, welcome back to the party then, Neon-kun. Are you okay?”

“Y-yes!” Neon-kun answers, sounding somewhat startled. “I-I mean, yes. I am, thank you.”

“I’m glad to hear it,” Kae-hime moves on to the next topic. “Because Kagerō-kun was not the only one to make preparations.”

A domestic servant (whom you have previously vetted) wheels out the cake that Neon-kun and Osuka-kun were trying to ruin, which you now see for the first time. And honestly? It’s quite impressive by any standards – if she weren’t already a princess she might have a promising career as a maitre patissier. It makes use of both layered chocolate cake and fruit jam ‘locked in’ around the edges with a thin layer of chocolate buttercream, but instead of being topped with plain icing or even ganache, it’s covered in a layer of chocolate mousse with little swirls of white buttercream around the edges. Those swirls are in turn topped with little strawberries.

It would have been an absolute crime to ruin this thing. Even the most sugar-numbed brats in your class have to take a moment to appreciate what they’re seeing.

“I do hope you enjoy it,” Kae-hime offers politely.
>1/2
>>
>>6019229
You can tell even at a glance that Osuka-kun doesn’t know that Neon-kun’s mission to spike the cake with spicy mustard failed – and that she clearly still expects to see the dramatic results of the prank play out. So when she doesn’t see those results, you watch the realization dawn on her that Neon-kun didn’t do what she was told. Neon-kun, for her part, fidgets nervously while everyone else enjoys their slices of the cake. Osuka-kun doesn’t miss the cue of course, quickly confirming that Neon-kun knows full well what she hasn’t done.

“Hmph,” she pouts slightly. “Showoff.”

It’s not your job to deal with that sort of nonsense.

“Is something wrong, Neon-kun?” Himawari asks curiously. “Do you not like chocolate?”

“T-that’s not it,” Neon insists. “It’s fine, thanks for asking.”

The rest of the party seems to go smoothly, until people start to go home – starting, predictably, with Osuka-kun.

“Well, I think that went nicely,” Kae-hime muses.

“Is that what you saw?” you wonder aloud.

She seems slightly indignant. “Yes, why?”

>Because you’re too stiff. It makes people a little uncomfortable.
>So you had no idea your cake almost got spiked with spicy mustard?
>It’s not my place to manage your social life. Forget I said anything about it.
>Other?
>>
>>6020411
>Osuka was forcing Neon-kun to try and ruin your cake with spicy mustard. I foiled the attempt, and now she's likely worried about Osuka's retaliation. Look at her face.
>>
>>6020411
>Because you’re too stiff. It makes people a little uncomfortable
>>
>>6020411
>>6020418
Should we not snitch and instead push Neon-kun to reveal what she did and why?
Teach a lesson or something, make her a better person by learning.
>>
>>6020411
>>Because you’re too stiff. It makes people a little uncomfortable.

Nothing wrong with helping her adapt and make friends. Or at least be better in informal social settings.
>>
>>6020411
>Because you’re too stiff. It makes people a little uncomfortable

No snitching yet, it has to be a bit more natural.
>>
>>6020411
“Because you’re too stiff,” you admit, crossing your arms. “It may have a time and place, but you’ve gotta remember nobody else here is a noble. So it mostly just makes people nervous around you.”

“… oh,” Kae-hime replies, dejected. “Is that really how it is?”

You nod. “See, when you look upset like that it humanizes you. Let yourself be upset, and let yourself communicate that. Let yourself be happy, and let yourself communicate that.”

“I see…”

“It lets people in,” you continue, “and shows trust. And for other people to let you in, and to trust you, it has to be mutual.”

“That seems odd, coming from you,” Kae-hime retorts.

“I’m completely open with my teammates and my family, less so with many of my former classmates,” you admit. “And I made it a point to explain the situation to you. I even told Himawari-chan, trusting her to keep my secret.”

“You told Hima-kun?” she asks curiously.

You shrug. “She’s not exactly Boruto-kun, so yeah. I trust her to keep her mouth shut.”

“Family drama?” she asks, cocking an eyebrow.

“You can say that,” you sigh.

She giggles a little at that. “I guess you could say that humanizes you… at least a little bit.”

You pause for a moment. “… did you just…”

By now she’s already heading back for the door to the estate house. “Keep up the good work, Kagerō-kun~”

>1d6, best three of four
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6020901
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>6020901
>>
>>6020901
Rizzing another princess today, are we shiki?
>>
>>6021065
Not if you're not voting, come on mate.
>>
>>6021072
I am an idiot, i obviously meant rolling ...
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>6020901
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>6020901
>>
>>6020901
A full week goes by without any real drama at all, though on a friday you hear that your class will have a trio of ‘special instructors’ on monday. There’s a lot of talk among the class in anticipation that monday morning, only for Hana-sensei to introduce Sarada, Mitsuki, and Boruto.

… how exhausting.

[You could have warned me.]

The tone actually manages to come across even despite not being able to hear it. [Could have.]

[Thanks.]

Boruto proceeds to show off with the rasengan, of course… silly. It’s not like any of these kids, aside from Hima-chan, even know what that technique is, let alone the fact that none of them are likely to ever be able to use it.

Sarada demonstrates something a little more accessible, creating a small ball of fire that floats above her palm, while Mitsuki runs lightning release through a rope, making it slither across Hana-sensei’s desk like a snake.

When a few students get too close for her comfort, Hana-sensei gently nudges them away with her own wind release, showing remarkable precision and control if not impressive power.



After the break but just before lunch, Boruto explains to your class what he wants them to do. He’s brought enough Lightning Burger combo meals and rubber balls for half the class – anyone who has a ball when the lunch hour starts gets a combo meal, and anyone who doesn’t gets to skip lunch. The way their team presents it, the point of the exercise is to simulate a mission with limited resources, where a shinobi may have to do their job without adequate food. They may work together or separately, Boruto tells you.

Which is stupid, because the whole exercise is meant to make a point about teamwork – but they haven’t given the class a shared goal over which they can realize the need to work together.

>Point that out before things escalate past the point where they can be managed.
>You have a ball. Kae-hime doesn’t. Cut a burger and split it with her to give the rest of the class the right idea.
>Just let it play out. Hold onto your ball and subtly give some lessons to some of the various students.
>Other?
>>
>>6022561
>>You have a ball. Kae-hime doesn’t. Cut a burger and split it with her to give the rest of the class the right idea.
>>
>>6022561
>Point that out before things escalate past the point where they can be managed.
>>
>>6022561
>You have a ball. Kae-hime doesn’t. Cut a burger and split it with her to give the rest of the class the right idea.
>>
>>6022561
>>You have a ball. Kae-hime doesn’t. Cut a burger and split it with her to give the rest of the class the right idea.
>>
>>6022561
You decide not to let this mistake continue to unfold until it turns into a shouting match between Kae-hime’s classmates – part of you thinks it’s not really your problem, and you’re definitely not here just to make sure that Kae-hime’s time at school is pleasant or anything. But there’s too much of your parents in you (one hundred percent, in fact) to ignore the fact that some of the kids in this room may be your future genin and chūnin subordinates, or the fact that you know for a fact that Himawari-chan has the kind of potential that makes you want to nurture it.

So even as the students in your class make their first bids for hanging onto the objectives Boruto and Sarada set for them, you draw a kunai from a holster on the back of your belt and grab a bag off Hana-sensei’s desk with a burger and a smaller bag of fries inside. Then you take the burger out, unwrap it, and slice it in half cleanly while the stunned academy students around you watch in complete non-comprehension.

“Kagerō-kun,” Himawari-chan asks you curiously. “What’re you doing?”

“Skipping ahead,” you sigh, handing half the burger to Kae-hime and dumping out fries from the smaller bag into the big one until they’re about equal. Then you hand that to her too. “Here.”

“… thanks?” she replies, glancing at Boruto, Sarada, and Mitsuki, who have yet to say or do anything in response. “Why, though?”

“Nobody said we couldn’t,” you reply calmly, glancing over at Himawari – who also has a ball still. “You can do the same, you know.”

She glances at her brother and other cousin, before doing the exact same thing you did with similar results. “Huh.”

“I still don’t get it,” Osuka-kun admits with a frown. “I thought the point was we were supposed to fight over these ball things?”

For her part, Neon-kun seems to be figuring out what you’ve done, but you speak up for everyone else. “The point of the exercise was for us to find a way for everyone to eat.”

“How do you figure that from a free-for-all?” Osuka-kun asks.

“We’re comrades,” you insist curtly. “Even if we’re not all from this village we’re still classmates, and that makes us comrades – even if some of us disagree on other stuff, you don’t let your comrades down.”

Boruto claps once. “Wow, you catch on pretty quick…”

“Kagerō,” you supply the name.

>Inform Sarada-kun and Mitsuki-kun of who you really are using the wave transmission method.
>Point out to Boruto that in not giving your class a common goal he accidentally stacked the deck against you.
>Leave it be for now, but keep an eye on how things go for the rest of the week just in case.
>Other?
>>
>>6023350
>>Leave it be for now, but keep an eye on how things go for the rest of the week just in case.

Let's see where this goes. Gotta let this baby birds fly on their own.
>>
>>6023350
>let boruto know about his mistake privately and anonymously, sometime later
>>
>>6023350
>>Point out to Boruto that in not giving your class a common goal he accidentally stacked the deck against you.
Can we do this privately?
Its not expected from a kid our age and might blow our cover, but its still important to point out the flaw in their Setup.
>>
>>6023350
>1d6 taking the first three
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>6024157
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>6024157
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>6024157
>>
>>6024157
… for the time being, it’s wiser to just keep your mouth shut. You’ve already planted a seed, so it makes no sense to risk anyone finding out anything they don’t need to because of what’s happened today. But after class, you do make it a point to swing by Anko-sensei’s classroom, taking a seat on your old desk and waiting for the last of her current students to file out.

“So, Kagerō-kun, isn’t it?” she muses. “I hear you had some guest instructors today?”

“That’s what I’m here about,” you admit, swinging your legs idly. “I’d like you to convey a message to Team Konohamaru, anonymously.”

“Can do,” she replies, resting her elbows on her desk and her chin on the back of her hands. “What’s up?”

“It’s a problem with their lesson today,” you tell her. “I got what the point was – it was basically just the bell test but with burgers.”

“That sounds like something Boruto-kun would do.”

“The guy’s obsessed,” you agree. “Anyway, the problem was that he didn’t give the class any shared challenge to overcome.”

“Which means they had no reason to think it was a group challenge.”

“I stepped in. If I hadn’t… well, they’re first-years. Kids like that don’t always play nice.”

Anko-san nods along. “Okay, I’ll let them know.”

“Thank you.”

“So what do you think of Hana-sensei so far?” Anko-sensei asks curiously.

>She seems nice. I don’t really have any other thoughts.
>She has the knowledge, but doesn’t really have any confidence.
>Honestly I’ve hardly paid attention to her. Why?
>Other?
>>
>>6026122
>She seems like a bit of a wall flower, pun intended. Maybe a bit nervous at times.
>>
>>6026122
>Honestly I’ve hardly paid attention to her. Why?
>>
>>6026122
>>Honestly I’ve hardly paid attention to her. Why?
>>
>>6026122
>1d6 taking the first three
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>6026928
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6026928
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>6026928
>>
>>6026928
“Honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to her after the first day,” you admit.

“And why do you think that is?”

You consider it for a moment. “She seems nice, and she knows what she’s talking about. But she doesn’t really ‘command’ attention, if you follow what I mean.”

“I understand exactly what you mean,” Anko-sensei tells you, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms. “And it’s a problem.”

“Okay,” you sigh. “Tell me more.”

“She’s got a nurturing, protective personality,” Anko-sensei summarizes. “Which makes her a great Academy teacher – better than me in some ways – but she’d be lousy in battle most of the time. And that’s always been a bit of a black mark.”

“You mean people look down on shinobi who specialize in support techniques,” you frown. “Healing, interrogation, sensing… even genjutsu.”

She nods. “Which doesn’t make sense – all the Hokages have abused the heck out of sensing techniques.”

“Both my moms too for that matter,” you add.
>1/2
>>
>>6027937
“It’s not even like she doesn’t have any interesting or flashy techniques,” Anko-sensei continues. “Black fire, wind release, genjutsu… she’s actually pretty good. She just hasn’t got it in her to use those things on people most of the time.”

“I get it,” you shrug. “Some people are like that. There’s nothing wrong with it at all.”

“I’m glad you feel that way,” Anko-sensei grins. “So you won’t complain if I ask you a favor?”

You pause. “Depends on the favor, and whether it interferes with my mission.”

“It shouldn’t.”

“Then sure, what do you have in mind?”

“Just… give her a hand behind the scenes, will ya?” she asks point-blank. “Help her build her confidence.”

You consider it for a moment. “Yeah, I think I can do that.”

“Thanks, I appreciate it,” Anko-sensei tells you. “If there’s anything I can do to help lemme know, okay?”

“Sure,” you nod. “Thanks for the offer… I’ll keep it in mind.”



When you’re finally outside the academy building, you get a sudden feeling – the overwhelming feeling that you’re being watched. You can say with immediate certainty that it’s not one of your teammates doing the watching either, nor is it Hanabi-sensei. None of them would provoke this feeling in you even if it were them, which you already know it can't be due to knowing where they are already.

You manage not to give any outward sign of what you're feeling, aside from perhaps a slight furrowing of your brow which you quickly get back under control.

>Go home, as usual, but see if you can't lead this watcher past one of your teammates who might identify them for you.
>Use senjutsu sensing to get a better feel for things. Hardly anyone would realize that’s what you were doing.
>Find someplace out of the way along the route home, where you can call out whoever it is doing the watching.
>Other?
>>
>>6029344
>Go home, as usual, but see if you can't lead this watcher past one of your teammates who might identify them for you.
Stick to our cover, we're just a genin.
>>
>>6029378
Not even - an Academy student.
>>
>>6029344
>>Go home, as usual, but see if you can't lead this watcher past one of your teammates who might identify them for you.
>>
>>6029344
>>Go home, as usual, but see if you can't lead this watcher past one of your teammates who might identify them for you.
>>
>>6029344
>1d6, taking the first three
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>6030674
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>6030674
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>6030674
>>
>>6030674
You have teammates, and so you decide that you don’t have to sacrifice your cover as ‘Kagerō’ to figure out who’s watching you. The trick is going to be to go home, but to follow a path that puts your pursuer close enough to one of your teammates as to put them in position to either observe or intercept the other party. With just two very specific turns along the way you maneuver in a direction that will make Wasabi the one you’ll rely on.

But by the time you get close enough to reach her with the wave transmission method, you’ve already lost the feeling that alerted you to the situation before. That changes the whole tenor of things.

[Wasabi, I was being followed from outside the Academy.]

[Could you tell anything about them?]

[Not much. Hostile but no bloodlust… perhaps ANBU-like would be a good description.]

[Do you think it could have been ANBU?]

[From Konoha or Ame? I doubt it.]

[An infiltrator?]

[Possible. But without having made contact we can’t say for sure.]

[True enough. I’ll find an out of the way spot where I can call the others, alert them to the complication.]

[Appreciate it.]

You head upstairs to the apartment where ‘Kagerō’ is supposed to live, flicking on the light switch in the entryway and opening the sliding glass door to the balcony. With the fresh air, you think things through.

>Call in a favor, send a text message to Sasuke-san who can forward it to Anko-sensei.
>Coordinate with your team to tighten surveillance on Kae-hime for the time being.
>Call in your favor with Neon-kun – she seems to have some skill with technological tools.
>Other?
>>
>>6031121
>Call in your favor with Neon-kun – she seems to have some skill with technological tools.
>>
>>6031121
>Call in a favor, send a text message to Sasuke-san who can forward it to Anko-sensei.

Yeah, when there's an ANBU-level ninja stalking us i don't think involving literal children is the play.
Better to get some assistance from a high-level ninja who is literally a teacher at the same school we're going to anyways.
>>
>>6031121
Also, since we're in our apartment it might be a good idea to go to the restroom and slip into sage mode for a minute, maybe sense around and make sure nobody followed us.
>>
>>6031339
>>6031335
>>6031121
Supporting these ideas.
>>
>>6031121
>Call in your favor with Neon-kun – she seems to have some skill with technological tools.

This is the more stealthy way to catch the stalker, it doesn't necessarily mean bringing Neon into the whole fight.
The trick here is to make sure it would be something ‘Kagerō’ would be interested in.
>>
>>6031121
>>Call in your favor with Neon-kun – she seems to have some skill with technological tools.

Hopefully I didn't forget to vote too late to matter
>>
>>6031121
>1d6, taking the first three
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6031994
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>6031994
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>6031994
>>
>>6031994
You elect to wait until tomorrow, relying on your teammates and a ghost-clone to offer you a measure of security until morning when you can put your plan into motion. This plan requires you to isolate Neon-kun at the morning break when she leaves to go get sweet bread from downstairs, which you do by barring her way back with your left arm. A little stereotypical, but she seems like the sort of girl against whom the stereotype will actually work.

“Good morning, Neon-kun,” you smile. “What’d you get this morning?”

“… melon bread?” she replies quietly.

“Nice, nice,” you reply. “Say, how about you and I have a little chat? You have time?”

“… I should get back…”

“It’s fine,” you insist. “There’s nobody in the room just across the hall, let’s talk there.”

“… okay…”



She seems understandably nervous, keeping her back to the front wall even after you take a seat in the first row. “Sorry about that. I was trying to make sure you’d cooperate, but I guess my acting was a little too effective. I’m calling in that favor you owe me now.”

After a few moments, she nods meekly. “O-okay… I understand. What is it you want from me?”

“You’re pretty good with technological ninja tools, right?” you ask her. “Would you say it’s a talent?”

“Y-yes,” she replies. “Why do you ask?”

“I need to secure some surveillance tools,” you tell her, “and you clearly have the means to either make or acquire tools like that.”

“Surveillance tools?” she repeats. “Why?”

“I can’t answer that,” you insist curtly. “At least not right now. All I can say is if you do this for me, we’re square.”

She looks at you with a mixture of curiosity and fear that makes it obvious what’s on her mind – she’s probably very nearly the smartest in her age cohort, and she’s starting to put it together that there’s something more to you than you’ve let on. As for what’s sparked that recognition in her, it’s not something you can know for sure. All you do know is that it needs to stop right now.

“Please don’t overthink this,” you tell her with a little frown. “Just keep your thoughts to yourself, okay? It’s important.”
>1/2
>>
>>6034094
After a moment, Neon-kun nods in apparent acceptance. “Okay, I think I understand Kagerō-kun. I can help you… you want nobody to know?”

“That’s right. Can you pull that off?”

“I… I think so, yes.”

“Good,” you nod curtly. “Thank you very much.”

“For what?” she asks, confused.

You watch her carefully, trying to figure out whether she’s actually trying to make a joke about hiding the fact that she’s doing something for you, essentially by feigning ignorance.

She’s not.

“For keeping this quiet,” you tell her calmly.

“Ah, okay. So, what do you want?”

>Hidden cameras. As small and difficult to spot as possible, with long battery lives.
>A flying drone with a rechargeable battery, preferably a quiet one.
>What would you suggest for countering and possibly identifying someone who’s been spying on me?
>Other?
>>
>>6034993
>>What would you suggest for countering and possibly identifying someone who’s been spying on me?
>>
>>6034993
>>What would you suggest for countering and possibly identifying someone who’s been spying on me?
>>
>>6034993
>Hidden cameras. As small and difficult to spot as possible, with long battery lives.

and in the case that telling her we're being spied on wins
>Remind her not to tell anyone that i'm being spied on, not anyone, not even her own friends or family. That sort of thing can get a ninja killed.
>>
>>6034993
>>What would you suggest for countering and possibly identifying someone who’s been spying on me?

She's the expert, better to make use of that.
>>
>>6034993
“If I were to tell you that I suspected I had a stalker of sorts,” you begin to quiz her, “what would you suggest to me?”

“S-stalker?” she repeats, seemingly aghast. “That sounds awful.”

“It is,” you admit, though to your mind it’s more of an ‘awful’ nuisance, and a potential problem. “That’s why I want to do something about it – identify them if I can.”

“Well, passive camera traps would be one way,” Neon-kun answers, digging at last into the problem you’ve presented her with. “Basically a fancier version of what wildlife photographers use.”

“That could be hidden?” you ask.

She nods. “The Kakuremino technique would be fine – they don’t move or make noise.”

“The Kakuremino technique?” you repeat, raising an eyebrow. “It’s simple yes, but using it well is a different matter entirely from using badly.”

In fact, you only knew a couple of students during your own Academy days who could put it to effective use – Sarada-kun, Sumirin, Inojin-kun, yourself (though you found it to actually be more effort than some more complicated techniques), and one boy from another class who had a bit of a thing for Sumirin for a while.

“I’m… pretty good,” she replies, somewhat nervously. You can tell she assumes that you don’t believe her.

>I’d have you show me. During lunch break maybe?
>I’ll handle that part. Any other tools you suggest?
>We’ll talk more at lunch, but I may ask for your help in deploying them.
>Other?
>>
>>6035732
>>I’d have you show me. During lunch break maybe?
>>
>>6035732
>>We’ll talk more at lunch, but I may ask for your help in deploying them.
>>
>>6035732
>>We’ll talk more at lunch, but I may ask for your help in deploying them.
I kinda wanna talk with her more.
>>
>>6035732
>1d6, taking the first three
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>6037627
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>6037627
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>6037627

Uh oh, stinky!
>>
>>6037627
“We can talk more at lunch,” you decide, “but I may need to ask you for your help in deploying them. Would you be willing to do that?”

After a moment, she nods. “Y-yeah, okay. If that’s what you want.”



At lunch you slip away to meet Neon-kun again, in the same room as before.

“So in this case, I’ll need to set up camera traps,” you tell her, picking up the conversation. “Outside the door to my home and the external windows, and viewing the exit to the Academy building. Can you think of anywhere else?”

“When did you notice that you were being followed?” she asks you curiously.

“Shortly after I left the Academy building, yesterday afternoon.”

“Then maybe aim one at the intersection across from the Academy building?” she suggests. “Instead of directly at the front entrance?”

“That makes sense, yeah,” you agree. “Then maybe one at an intersection partway through my trip home?”

“I think I can find four without drawing too much attention,” Neon-kun decides. “I can even position the one outside the Academy building for you without any trouble.”

“Thank you,” you offer her a nod and getting to your feet. “I appreciate the help.”

You then proceed to abruptly open the door, causing Osuka-kun to stumble and fall face-first into the room.

>Pretend not to understand that she’s been trying to eavesdrop on you.
>Scold her for eavesdropping on her friend like this. It’s actually really scummy.
>Explain to Osuka-kun what “helping” is, and why Neon-kun is doing it.
>Other?
>>
>>6038642
>>Pretend not to understand that she’s been trying to eavesdrop on you.
>>
>>6038642
>>Pretend not to understand that she’s been trying to eavesdrop on you.
>Who are you?
>Who am I?
>What is happening?
>Do i need a doctor?
>>
>>6038642
>>Pretend not to understand that she’s been trying to eavesdrop on you.
>>
>>6038642
>1d6 taking the first three
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>6040358
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>6040358
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>6040358
>>
>>6040358
“Ah, Osuka-kun!” you greet your classmate. “Sorry, I didn’t know you were standing there!”

That’s a lie, of course. But Osuka-kun doesn’t seem to realize that, and if Neon-kun suspects otherwise she keeps those thoughts to herself.

“O-Osuka-kun…” Neon-kun greets her friend nervously. “W-what are you doing here?”

“If you’re here to use the room, we were just leaving,” you add. This time, that much is true.

“You ran off right after class,” Osuka-kun answers, dusting herself off. “I wanted to know why.”

“Neon-kun and I were just having a little talk,” you offer. “If you two had something planned together I’m sorry I interrupted.”

“Since when do the two of you ‘just talk’ though?” Osuka-kun insists in bewilderment. “She doesn’t normally talk to anyone but me!”

You simply shrug in reply. “Sorry?”

“I-is there a problem?” Neon-kun asks. “I j-just wanted to talk… where it was… quiet. W-w-with Kagerō-kun.”

“I figured we probably don’t talk much cause Neon-kun gets nervous easily,” you add – something that’s self-evidently true even if you’re lying about it being some kind of primary motivation. “I don’t see why that’d be a big deal.”

“Is that so?” Osuka-kun quickly rallies. “Well then, can I ask what you were talking about?”

Neon-kun looks to you, almost silently pleading for you to help her make this whole conversation go away.

>It's personal, so it's not my place to say anything about it beyond that.
>I was just asking her about a technical thing. Tech tools aren’t exactly my strong point.
>I wanted to see if she was okay. I keep an eye on all our classmates, you know.
>Other?
>>
>>6041966
>>I was just asking her about a technical thing. Tech tools aren’t exactly my strong point.
technically the truth!
>>
>>6041966
>I was just asking her about a technical thing. Tech tools aren’t exactly my strong point.
>>
>>6041966
>>I was just asking her about a technical thing. Tech tools aren’t exactly my strong point.
>>
>>6041966
>>I was just asking her about a technical thing. Tech tools aren’t exactly my strong point.
>>
>>6041966
>1d6 taking the first three
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6042798
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>6042798
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>6042798



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