In Naruto: Reborn With Talent
Chapter 84 - Ch84. Meis graduation

Chapter 84 - Ch84. Mei"s graduation

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Rei, Konan, and Tsunade in her disguise were sitting in the VIP lounge in the Kiri arena. The Kiri arena was a place where the chunin exams were usually held but its more important function was to execute traitors. The nuke-nin were usually killed on spot but in rare cases, they were caught alive and then proceeded to be interrogated only to end up in the arena and fight to the death. It didn"t matter how many rounds they won, they continued to fight until their eventual death. This arena was also a place where Kiri shinobi could enter to hone their skills or try new techniques on "moving" targets without any repercussions. And today, a yearly event was taking place. It was time for the academy graduation exam... which was basically just a bloody spectacle of kids killing each other. Despite that, the arena was full of spectators, mostly civilians seeking some bloody entertainment.

Rei could also see many prominent jonin from Kiri who were looking for a good seedling. After all, if they took a disciple, they couldn"t be forced to take another so everyone wanted to take a peek at what is offered in this batch and if there is somebody promising. Contrary to the cheer of civilians, these shinobi were mostly bored since seeing kid"s brawl wasn"t really entertaining for them.

The graduation was one versus one deathmatch. The matches were said to be random... meaning they were pre-selected beforehand and just for show, there was an actual electronic board for choosing names like in Naruto"s chunin exam. The proctors knew well who is likely to pass and who to fail. They watched the kids for years by now and as experienced chunins, could take their guess. That meant every match had a favorite. There were also a lot of other factors... like if somebody wanted to take a specific child under his care, the child would get an easier opponent and so on. Rei didn"t really care nor did he try to manipulate Mei"s match though. He knew Mei would win but her opponent would end up dead due to their own luck and not Rei"s manipulation. He could do at least as much as leave it to "fate".

"This is really barbaric." Tsunade said disgruntled. Despite living in Kiri for years, she never once saw the graduation exam but now that she was present for it, she really thought it was too much.

"Yeah... and stupid too." Konan added. Kiri was killing off 50% of their ninja candidates. Not to mention those killed by their actual teachers for whatever reason. In the end, not even 35% of academy graduates would survive long enough to be really counted as a ninja of Kiri. For Konan, it was no wonder Kiri had so little ninja. All it would take is to give the children better guidance and not kill them off... but it seemed the higher-ups of Kiri were too stupid to realize that.

Rei wisely kept silent. Speaking up right now would start a debate he was not really willing to partake in at the moment. In his opinion, every village was utterly retarded in these practices. Kiri had this exam. Konoha had another one that also cut the graduates to a really small number. The difference was that the rest who didn"t manage to graduate, could either drop-out and forever close the option to become a ninja or after three failures, the kid would be entering the genin corps where the entire training would be up to him... these were the so-called cannon fodder. Suna was the same and also had their own means of how to differentiate between "elite" and others. He wasn"t about to think about Iwa... as their cannon fodder was mostly made up of slaves. Kumo was the only village that was kid-friendly when it came to these practices. They took enormous effort to nurture their younger generations and most kids already left the academy knowing their elemental affinity and basics of kenjutsu. At times like these, Rei was really happy he made the spy network out of the Biri-Biri traders. These "unimportant" details were exactly what helped most when one didn"t really expect it.

The event was about to start and the kids lined up in the arena. There were thirty of them in total but this was quite misleading as every class had a different day of graduation so the final number of kids graduating this year was around 240. Which meant at least 120 would die. It was a big number but a few years back, Kiri started to "recruit" kids from orphanages all over the country to have enough genin for the war. There were still 2 years until the start of the war and Rei was sure the Mizukage was thinking he had at least five more years to train these new recruits... alas, the truth was far from that.

"Ah! It"s Mei!" Tsunade said and a smile lit up on her face as she said the ten years old redhead down in the arena. "I trained her so well! She is not afraid at all!" She cooed like an overprotective parent. "Just look at her bored eyes!"

Konan rolled her eyes at the almost bouncing Tsunade, but her lips also twisted into a slight smile. "It was me who gave her mental conditioning." She quipped, getting a stink-eye from Tsunade.

Rei just embraced the two girls and shushed them. "It"s starting. Don"t argue now."

Down in the arena, Mei was despondently watching her former classmates. For her, they were utterly unimportant and it was times like these she was really glad for Konan"s teachings. While her bigger sister taught her how to recognize indoctrination, she also didn"t cover the fact she was making her more loyal to Rei. Mei didn"t really care though.

Now that she was looking at the nervous kids with shining eyes, just waiting to lay their lives down for a village that couldn"t be bothered to give two f.u.c.ks for them... she could only pity them and be horrified at the idea she could have been one of these gullible children. The older she was, the more disgusting the idea of helping Kiri became for her. The people stopped beating her when Rei "subtly" indicated he would be very "displeased" if it continued but they still glared at her and generally avoided her. She was not close to anyone in the class so this little test wasn"t really that big of a deal for her. But she knew she had to take it seriously as her family wanted to see if she had the resolve to kill on her own... not like she had any choice in the matter and Mei knew well why this was important. She would shortly start doing missions with Rei and they needed to know she was ready for them.

The Mizukage gave a speech about them being the future of Kirigakure or whatever and the matches started. Mei watched the kids around her quickly become disillusioned when the first match concluded. They knew this was a match to the death but Mei doubted the kids had a clear idea of what that actually meant. When the kunai sunk into the skull of Miki, a girl from her class, every classmate of hers went instantly rigid, watching her unmoving body hit the ground. The matches continued despite all protests and finally, after two hours of utter boredom, it was time for Mei"s match.

She stepped inside of the arena and the spectators became instantly quiet, reminding her that she wasn"t the most loved person in the village. Only the supporting look on her family"s face made her smile to herself and confidently walk towards the center where her opponent and the referee were waiting. Her opponent was... she forgot his name. Scratching her cheek, she played it cool by bowing slightly in a show of respect before the referee started the match.

Her opponent instantly sprang forward to attack her but for Mei, he was moving extremely slow. She didn"t see any reason to prolong this battle and as he was at arm"s length away from her, she sidestepped to the right, just enough to evade his dash. The boy couldn"t stop himself anymore and as he was passing by the spot she was previously at, he ran right into a kunai Mei was holding in her hand. Match over.

The arena was again engulfed in even deeper silence when Mei won so effortlessly but she didn"t care and just walked away, towards the waiting area where her former classmates looked at her as if she was some kind of monster. Every match up till now lasted at least five minutes but hers didn"t take even five seconds. For them, she was quite frightening.

All around the arena, many jonin gained an interested light in their eyes at the spectacle and the Mizukage was deadpanning at Rei because of how much trouble this would bring him. Many of his jonin would want Mei and will most likely try to "challenge" Rei for her... And he would have to prevent just that. Great!

"Yes... I trained her so well!" Tsunade smiled proudly, fully knowing Mei was aware enough to know just how big of a shitstorm her quick win would cause to the Mizukage.

"Damn right." Konan added, also proud of Mei as she hid her smirk while giving the Mizukage a side-glance, enjoying his dejected look and speechless expression. "Somebody gonna pull all-nighter." She giggled.

Rei just snorted and gave the man an eye-smile and V sign. Needless to say, the Mizukage was not the happiest camper right now.

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In Naruto: Reborn With Talent Chapter 84 - Ch84. Meis graduation