As Midori talked, she could see the Hyuga girl getting angrier and angrier, which, of course, made her words just keep coming and coming, like she was unable to stop them. Sort of because she was unable to stop them, actually. She'd worked up the courage to start talking, but then just... just couldn't make it stop. That's all it was. Even when the girl's expression started to scare her, she'd finally managed to try to fix it by offering to leave her alone instead. It didn't really work, though.
The other girl was really, really aggressive, and did not seem to like that she had been apologized to, or maybe it was just that she couldn't make her mouth stop talking? In any case, the little girl was really beginning to regret having tried to make things right. Even though the other girl didn't actually say anything mean, or try to attack her, her tone and her expression were more than enough. Before the girl even said anything, Midori had backed up a step without even realizing it. When she was told that she didn't owe the girl anything, and told to go back to her seat, Midori nodded quickly, never taking her eyes off the other girl.
It felt like she'd been yelled at, even if the girl had only spoken.
Midori kept watching the other girl as she backed up a bit more, wanting to be further away from her before she turned her back. It was just after she'd turned that the girl said another word, then clarified that it was her name. And, though it would probably make the other girl angry, Midori mumbled politely, though softly, "It is nice to meet you, Hyuga Misaki..."
It was everything she could do not to run back to her seat. And she sort of wanted to sit farther away, but that would probably insult the girl, and she did not want to do that, either. So, she sat, tucking the partially-eaten lunch under her seat, then folded her hands in front of her on the desk, leveling her gaze on them and refusing to look anywhere at all other than there. While she sat, staring at her folded hands, the young girl wondered just why she had tried to interact with another child: so far every one her age that she had met here seemed to be hostile or rude, except for Hyuga Ibiki. And maybe he just hadn't been given enough time to become aggressive as well?
Perhaps she should stop trying to be social. Father had said she needed to interact with kids her own age, but... this was not working. She would attend the Academy, assuming that she passed the tests, and she would graduate even though Miss Jinmi thought she couldn't do it, and then she would see if Father would take her back. If she did well enough, he had to, right? Even if she did not get good at interacting with people her own age, she did fine with adults, shouldn't that be enough?
____ ___ __ _
Noboru looked up from the test he was currently evaluating, for a Yamanaka Mika who was one of the few to stick around in the classroom after having been dismissed, when he heard someone approaching the door. As he looked up, one of the support staff for the Academy handed him a scroll from the Hyuga family. What fresh hell was this? Not like dealing with brats was going to be enough: now he had to deal with their pompous parents, too. Great.
"Thank you," he muttered to the staff member, who nodded and quickly exited the room. Then, he unrolled the scroll, scanning it quickly.
Well, at least it wasn't what he had expected, which had been for the scroll to demand special treatment for the Hyuga girl in attendance. No, instead it was to make sure neither child received special treatment, except that the girl and her brother not be separated. That was fine, it wasn't like the kids would be singled out and split up until they graduated. If they graduated, actually. And then, he had no say in how the teams were split, though with the influence that the Hyuga had in the village, likely the clan head would get his wish anyway.
The odd little interaction with the students had finally worked itself out as well, with the meek Yuhara girl retreating to her seat to stare miserably at her hands. If she made it into the Academy, she would have a lot of work to do on her backbone, that was for sure, though her instinct to try to forge an alliance with the Hyuga wasn't too bad. On the other hand, the Hyuga's response, while expected, meant that she lost the opportunity for an alliance that might prove beneficial in the future. Not that Yuhara was anything special, but more that no one could predict the future, and so that refusal and intimidation tactic meant that she had lost future opportunities with the other girl. Already, he could see from Yuhara's body language that she was closing herself off: she would not even look up to give anyone an opening to approach her, and her jaw was set stubbornly.
There was only about ten more minutes before the physical tests. Noboru shook his head, then got back to his work, quickly jotting notes on the rest of the tests he had. Only about half seemed to have any potential, and most came from shinobi families, though not all...
____ ___ __ _
"Hey brats, come on outside. Hurry up!" Teacher barked once everyone had filed back into the classroom. He had waited for everyone to sit back down, though there were two empty seats that had had kids in them before: they hadn't come back. That was weird, right? And, since this was a test, being late was foolish, wasn't it? And not coming at all was giving up. Midori stood with the rest of the children, but she waited until they started leaving before she followed, wanting not to be in the middle of the crowd. As they were leaving the classroom, one of the late children ran up, panting and out of breath. He received a stern look from Teacher, but fell in line with the rest anyway, even if Teacher was muttering under his breath, "...stupid brats..." she heard him anyway, and figured if she did, this far away from him, that most everyone must have as well.
In her pocket, Sunako stirred, murring softly and wriggling until she could poke her head out. Quickly, before the kitten could try to climb up her leg on her own, Midori scooped her out of her pocket and stuck her back on her shoulder. Happily, the little ball of fur settled right into her usual spot, purring loud enough that her entire tiny body vibrated.
Teacher lead them outside, then around the building to a big oval of flat dirt, and inside of it there were some logs with targets on them and a big patch of grass that seemed really flat too.
"Okay, first test! All of you are going to run three laps around this track, got it? If any of you know how to use chakra, you better not use it to cheat. That's not what this test is about, got it?" Midori nodded while some verbalized their understanding. Chakra? So... only shinobi used chakra, right? Wasn't that what Father had said? What kind of Academy was this, anyway? At least she couldn't cheat, since she didn't know how. But... but that would be a neat thing to know how to do, right? Use chakra?
"Now, brats, line up right here, and on my mark, complete your three laps as fast as you can. Ready. Set. Go!" Midori started running: this was something she was good at and liked doing.. it wasn't too long before she was ahead of most of the kids, but she didn't really notice, mostly she just liked to run. It wasn't long before she'd completed her three laps, and even if she was a little bit winded, she wandered around while the ones who were slower than her finished up. A lot of the kids collapsed into the grass the moment they passed the starting line for the third time, but Midori knew that it would be way harder to get back up again if she sat down like they did. Plus, walking around made breathing come easier so much faster. Some of the kids who collapsed were panting hard, their chests raising and falling and their mouths open like dogs.
And, it was weird that they were so tired, since she couldn't even run like normal: she'd had to hang on to Sunako the whole time, since the kitten could not be in her pocket when she ran or she'd get hurt, and she couldn't stay up on her shoulder on her own, either. Now, she had the grumpy kitten back on her shoulder: Sunako did not like the prolonged and bumpy sensation of the running at all.
After the last kid limped over the finish line, Teacher immediately shouted, "Brats! Break's over, next test! Come here!" he was standing over by the logs with targets on them. There were only five of them, so he made everyone line up in five lines. Midori made sure she was last in one of the lines, because she did not want to go first, or be trapped in the middle either. Teacher then had them throw little yellow balls at the targets. They each had three balls, and when they were done throwing them, they were told to go wait on the flat patch of grass.
While Midori wasn't really all that good at throwing things: really, she'd never tried, it seemed sort of rude, she didn't do too badly, and after her first one hit the outside of the log, her second one hit the middle just below the target. Then, her third hit almost the center, it was only a little bit off. Each time she threw, she was learning to compensate quickly, so maybe that was good. The last one had been almost perfect. If they were given a second chance, she was sure she could hit it all three times. But they only got the one chance.
The third test was really weird. Teacher had them all line up, and then would call two names and have each potential student step forward. Then, he asked them each a question about the other. For her, it was a question about Mori Chizue, a girl with long red hair and big eyes. He asked how many of her balls had hit the target. They had been throwing at the same time, Midori remembered, but she'd been focused on her own target. She had heard the girl groan next to her, twice, and sort of gasp once, though, so... "Umm... one out of three, Teacher?" Same as she had done. Mori Chizue was asked where in the classroom Midori had been sitting. The girl didn't even remember Midori being in the classroom, and said so, clearly hoping it was a trick of some sort. Every time an answer was given, Teacher didn't say if anyone was right or not.
Then, when it was all over and everyone had been asked a question, Teacher looked them all over and barked, "You brats are dismissed. If you made it, you'll get a message tomorrow at home letting you know when to come to class. If you didn't make it, too bad. Try again next time if you wanna," with a dismissive wave of his arm, he started meandering back toward the building, effectively ignoring them.
Quickly, Midori hurried after him, but once she almost caught up she decided it was better not to get too close, since she did not really know him. She only needed to get back to the classroom to pick up her lunch box anyway, then she would go back to Uncle Kanetaro and Miss Jinmi's house like she was supposed to...
____ ___ __ _
Noboru was being followed. He knew it from the moment he had left the track, and he knew it was one of his would-be students. Which one, he didn't even care, but he slowed his pace further. Probably, when he got back to the classroom, he'd be bothered by whatever brat it was, so he took his sweet time doing it. No use rushing; last thing he wanted was to deal with whatever it was the kid wanted. Once in the room, he took his seat, grabbing the tests to make his additional notes on the physical and observational part of the exams. He completely ignored the child when it walked in.
Oh, it was the Yuhara girl again. And, rather than bother him like he predicted, she just hurried to her seat, pulled her lunch box out from under it, and hurried to the door. At the doorway, though, she paused, and he looked up. Meeting his eyes a moment, she bowed, said a clear, if shy, "Thank you, Teacher," then ran down the hallway toward the exit.