Originally Mika was going to run a part of the chunin exams, but I figured that was too much... so I didn't do it.
I am working on a chapter for Root to Stem if anyone reads that...
I think Field promotions make more sense, given the size of the Leaf's army...
Mika's fight with Kankuro spread around, with many Suna ninja giving him respectful looks. It was the oddest thing, he hadn't really paid much attention to how people were looking at him before but now everyone was giving him appraising curious stares. As if they respected him but were not sure how to process what they felt. He was sure it was Kankuro's fault spreading info on him to the general populace.
Some people were whispering about him, looking at him with some fear, when he walked with the other senseis into the monitor room. He relished in those looks, excited to be recognized as powerful and dangerous. Still, on some level it was annoying as well. There was a lot of amaninity that gave ninja power in their obscurity. It was easier to fight someone when you knew of their skills ahead of time. Mika hadn't thought of showboating or bragging, but here he was a now known Ninja and that came with problems he knew.
Sitting next to Kurenai, Mika leaned back in his seat. "So what now?"
"We wait, we make small talk and we pretend we are entirely at ease with being in a foreign village." Asuma said, sitting on Kurenai's other side. "Really it's about making a point that if your students are pointlessly attacked you will destroy those that did it."
Mika nodded. "That makes sense."
"I figured you'd get that. Who are you betting on passing?"
"Any and every one of those I personally know bar Kiba. Ino's kenjutsu has gained real teeth, she's a skilled sensor and her taijutsu has seriously improved thanks to sparring with my group. Hinata could beat Lee in taijutsu, her skill is high enough for that. She is as strong as Neji was when he took the chunin exams, only she has more skills to offer like healing and far better tracking. Hanabi is a beast, tiny but mighty. She could crush most of the Genin here, bar Hinata if I am being honest."
Kurenai sighed. "Kiba's strength is easily chunin level, but his mindset is the real issue. I just can't see him leading missions... I am hoping he'll grow up but it has been a long journey to get him to where he is now."
Asuma snorted. "Sick Mika on him, the kid made a killer out of three girls, two of which had no chance in hell of becoming real killers."
Everyone that heard that cringed, not Mika though. He felt pride in what he did, turning Ino, Hinata and Hanabi into powerful killers. They were ninja that was the freaking point. "So sweet of you to say, Asuma. I even made a killer out of Naruto. Give me Kiba, I'll deal with him."
"I want him to grow up, not end up in a ditch." Kurenai said, laughing a little. "You're liable to kill him."
"Maybe." Mika laughed too. "Or torture him into insanity, I could do that too...but we have our true mission."
Everyone turned serious. They knew their true quest, they had to defend Gaara from the Akatsuki, whom they planned to lure out. Mika had not believed he had been chosen for this sort of mission...
"Mika, Kurenai, Asuma, Gai... you four have another mission, one that you must take with dead seriousness. No jokes, no naivety. I need complete success here." Tsunade's powerful presence filled the room, reminding them of her extreme strength and righteous potential. "You are the four Jonin I trust the most, Bar Kakashi but he is on an S rank mission at the moment. Mika, you may be new but your record is with only a single failure which was not your fault given you were forced to fight a Kage level ninja.
The mission I have for you is simple. You are the guard the Kazekage. There is a serious risk that the Akatsuki, a powerful organization of S rank Ninja that seems to be seeking the Tailed Beasts, may come after him. Gai, you are the head of his mission, your skills are the strongest and you can fight a Sharingan wielder as powerful as Itachi. That style will be invaluable, and so you will instruct the others on the basics of your style, allowing them to resist Itachi if you are forced to go against him. I chose you for that reason and your raw skill and power."
Gai nodded, oddly serious. " Hai, Lady Hokage."
Her gaze turned to Kurenai. "Your genjutsu skills, both casting and breaking are unrivaled by any but Itachi. You are incredibly skilled at Taijutsu as well, and you're a sensor. I need your skills to dispel Itachi's genjutsu and keep the team safe. I also may need your sealing skills, they are the most advanced of this group. I need you to monitor Gaara, the Kazekage's, seal if something goes awry. Can I trust you with this?"
Kurenai nodded as well. "I am honored, My Lady."
"Asuma, you're the most experienced Ninja of your group. Powerful, skilled with great Ninjutsu skills. You can counter most jutsu and can still dish out powerful blows. You work well with others and have an adaptive style. Your power will blend well with Kurenai and Gai's."
"I will not fail you." Asuma said.
She finally turned to Mika. "You are the weakest of the group, but your style is by far the most adaptive. You are a skilled healer, sensor and hold the Raijin which you can wield to great effect. You can also break out of powerful genjutsu, through training with Kurenai and can cast physical illusions with that Haze Illusion Jutsu of yours. It will not be too useful but it cannot hurt. You are to act as support on this mission. You have a bit of everyone's power here, enough to assist and help them all. Remember the Third rule of being medic and do not die unless you are the last Ninja in your squad alive."
"I will do my best to not be a hindrance, Lady Tsunade." Mika said, a little concerned for the mission he was being forced into. It was beyond his paygrade, skills and so on,... defending a Kage spoke of tremendous skill, a skill he just lacked at that moment. When that Kage was a jinchuuriki and was being pursued by powerful S rank ninjas... well it only added to Mika's terror.
"You will do more than that, Mika, I expect excellence. This is a mission that cannot fail, if we lose Gaara then we lose Suna's alliance and that is something that cannot be afforded at the moment. You have to succeed here... the village's safety is counting on it. All of our safety is... they are after Naruto too. If we can reduce them, even slightly, then it is a victory. If you can gain information on them while fighting, we win something... you have to do all you can to learn from them. Now go and do not fail me."
The mission on mind, Mika settled into a meditative stance and just let his mind flow. Immediately he flinched, feeling Gaara's distinct chakra. "Hello, Lord Kazekage."
The boy in question came from a side door, looking a touch warmer than before with none of the madness he once held. "Hello... you are Mika, Kurenai, Asuma and Gai... thank you for coming. I appreciate your aid."
Mika smiled. "Your chakra is entirely drastically less manic than before." Mika leaned in, sensing the red head's power. "It's smoother, richer... you are a better person now. Naruto said you were more stable."
Gaara nodded, a smile on his face. "Naruto speaks of you in his letters. He says you trained him."
"I did, Jiraiya wasn't that helpful so I corrected Naruto."
"I am glad, he was rather unrefined. He has power but that was all he really had..."
"Same... so... how does this go down?"
Gaara went serious, approaching their group. "I was told you and Kurenai were powerful sensors. I am as well. My goal is simple, reach out with your minds during the second exam and monitor for any powerful chakra's that should not be here. If they are Akatsuki, dressed in black cloaks with red clouds, we attack. They cannot be allowed entrance into my village. We have two Jinchuuriki here, myself and the Seven tails, a girl named Fu." He pulled out papers, showing them. The girl in question had mind green hair and pretty orange eyes and very tan skin. She was cute. "She is participating, and so she is to be protected as well."
They all nodded, with Gai speaking up. "Is it wise, for two Jinchuuriki to be here? When the Akatsuki are present?"
Gaara sighed. "Waterfall doesn't know yet, they have not yet been informed due to the conflicts with our village and your village's desperate struggle to remain in power. We will do our best to protect her. Waterfall will be informed later, Naruto created a strong connection with them, saving their leader once before. We are counting on that connection to help."
Mika sighed. "Are we aware of her skill level?"
Gaara sighed more. "Not really. "
"I can send people to the Cats, my summons, in case of emergencies. It may be cowardly to some, but it would keep her safe. I can leave a messenger here, to return them in case I am killed."
"You are willing to die for me?" Gaara asked.
"For my mission, yes... and for a friend of Naruto. I used to hate him, but I have come to love him like a brother. He is smart, sweet and kind. I cannot deny that I care for him and he for you."
Gaara's smile was a thing of beauty. "I think I might find it in my heart to have you taught the chakra threads... if you do save my life. Kankuro said you were insistent on learning that particular skill."
Mika beamed a smile at Gaara. "If you weren't the Kazekage, I might have just kissed you."
Kurenai gasped, Asuma groaned and Gai chuckled... but Gaara, he blushed. Hard.
"Are you usually this free with people?" Gaara asked.
"Only those I respect... so... what's the first exam, I am curious?"
Gaara replied. "It is a test to see how well each team knows each member, using interrogation tactics to increase tension and fear. If they can deal with that, and the stress of the interrogation, then they pass. I set it up myself, realizing how few can actually handle mental manipulation. If I remember correctly, Lady Tsunade said you had a student here. Do you think she will pass?"
"She'll thrive, Gaara, she is a beast in battle and wickedly smart."
"Good, I look forward to seeing her on the battlefield."
"So do I." Mika turned to Kurenai. "I cannot wait to see Kiba and Hinata too, both have potential. Even Kiba. I hope to really see that here."
She smiled. "So do I."
"Same here, my students will show their youth and honor our fallen Neji."
That reminder humbled Mika, making him far more determined than ever before to make sure Hanabi and Hinata passed... if only to honor Neji. His fallen friend, one of the few people he ever respected, and the person that should have become Hokage.
Chapter end, tell me what you think in the reviews.
This was beyond fun to write. This chapter was hard to write, but it meant a lot to me...
Love, your Ninja Overlord,