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This article, Meeting of Fresh Faces, is property of Kenji Hiroshi & Garet Strife

This article, Meeting of Fresh Faces, is property of RazeOfLight.

Almost a month had passed since Kenji and his team-mates returned to Konohagakure after successfully reuniting with an old friend they thought dead six years previously. Now, the three who'd spent time as Genin's under Shin Takahiro made their way across the border into the Land of the Moon; this time without their Sensei as back-up.Getsugakure awaited them...

Kenji stretched his arms and yawned after their voyage on boat to The Land of the Moon. Gray Kazuki knuckled his back like a man three times his age might do and looked around with a lazy eye and equally lazy posture after his own stretches to try and awaken muscles that still felt half asleep.

Harumi was the only lively one of the three. All her memories had yet to return, though she did recall bits and pieces about some aspects of her history. Running forward and waving the other two on, Kenji and Gray could only sigh and follow her. "At least she's not as wary as she was," Kenji thought with a grin.

Sitting on the wall of their Village, Van, Shori, and Kaori were out watching the coast a week after their fight with Teiou Asakura. "Man, its been awhile since we got a good thrashing like that. But at least it allowed us to get back into shape of things." Shori smiled at his two friends as the wind blew through his hair.

Kaori looked into the sky breathing a sigh of relief. "Yea..who knew that we would have to face a former kage so early, and come out of it alive with the titles of Sannin. I wanted to be a legend but whoa! These are some big shoes to fill." Turning to look at Van she continued "What do you think Van? Are we ready?"

Staying silent for a moment Van turned with a wide grin on his face "Of course! If we weren't then he woldn't have given us the titles in the first place." Spotting a boat approaching off the coast Van stopped. "Looks like we have some guest guys. I don't recognize this ship. Why don't we go see what's up." Jumping off the endge of the village wall Van jumped into the trees below.

Sighing, Kaori tucked her arms in asshe started speaking to Shori. "Sometimes I wish he would ask us what we thought beofre just jumping along his own way. Right Shori?"

"WAAHOOOO!!!" Ignoring Kaori, Shori jumped after Van.

"Whatever."

Kenji and Harumi stood hand-in-hand, spying the local markets that swamped the street the moment he got off the boat at the small port town they'd been sent to. "Do you think this looks good on me?" Harumi asked him; holding up a rope necklace with small sea shells adorning it. "Yeah," Paying for it and moving on, he allowed the sights and sounds of the market place to wash over him. "I missed this," He thought with a warm smile directed towards Harumi.

Gray ignored the usual lovely-dovey moments of Kenji and Harumi and walked alone towards the outskirts of the port where he was supposed to mert their contact and deliver the scrolls tucked into his pocket. He chewed casually on a meat pie he'd bought on his way and cursed when some of the hot juices landed on his finger. "Why couldn't I get little deliveries like this more often?" He mused to himself as he passed beneath the first trees and into the forest proper. "This beats the hell out of hunting missing-nin..."

Spotting the strange man Van stopped, perched atop a tall tree with Shori and Kaori stopping behind him.

Shori looked around the area confused. "What happened? Why did we stop Va-" A hand quickly covered his mouth

"Shh! There's someone there." Van motioned toward the ground as he pointed toward the stranger "Don't make any sudden movements ok guys?"

A tall man with a straw hat shadowing his face intercepted Gray who pocketed the scrolls the red-haired Shinobi procured. Turning to walk away, Gray pocketed the coins in exchange and grinned. "One easy favor done and dusted." He thought as he turned to walk back towards the port town. He did feel uneasy though... Like someone was watching him. "I seriously need to learn how to ignore things, or I'll be jumping at shadows the remainder of my days," He thought grimly. Deciding to keep walking, Gray suddenly began to feel quite isolated...

"Van take point. I'll back you up, and Shori you stay put until we give you the signal." Kaori directed the group as they followed the man while hiding in the trees.

"On it!" Van suddenly sprang forth from the trees as he landed behind the man "Hold it right there villian!" Stiking a kabuki pose he continued on "I am the hero of justice! Van Kamiya! I will protect my village from all evildoers!"

Following suit Kaori landed to the side of the man "I am the deliverer of peace! Kaori Misaka!" Sighing she thought to herself "Why do I follow him in doing these outrageous stunts? Then again its kind of fun"

Unraveling his puppet Shori waited in the trees "Do they really have to do that? What happened to the espionage aspect of the shinobi?"

Turning at the sound of rustling leaves, Gray managed to catch the entire pose being struck by the two newcomers and landed on his backside from laughing at them. "What... the hell was that!?" He said, wiping a tear from his eye as he finally got back to his feet. "If that's how all the Shinobi of Getsugakure greet 'supposed evil doers', I'm surprised you aren't one of the Five Main Nations." He dusted himself off and shook his head with a large smile. "With stunts like that your enemies would be to busy pissing themselves to fight back."

Looking at each of the newcomers in turn, Gray got a strange feeling from the one with indigo hair. "He feels similar to Kenji..." Discarding the thought, he analyzed the girl and began nodding his head. "I'm Gray Kazuki of Konohagakure." He inclined his head to the new arrivals and made a mental note of their wacky entrance. "Obviously not that experienced." He concluded. "If it had of been me, I'd have taken me down from behind while having one wait at a distance... Hold on a minute! Genin's work in teams of three, so where's the other one?" His stance became slightly more cautious. "Now, what are you doing here?" He asked, stalling for time.

Scratching his head in annoyance Van sneered "You dear insult us!? We aren't any average shinobi you know! Don't take us lightly just because you found some error in the way we do things around here, we're the new sannin."

Punching Van in the side, Kaori whispered "Don't mention that to him, we don't know what he's up to just yet and we don't want to give away any information." Turning back to the stranger "You know, you have some guts insulting the shinobi of a foreign land when you don't know how many could be listening and the only exit off the island is a port controlled by us. So instead...what are YOU doing here?"

He smile and shook his head in spite of the situation, though the smile soon gave way to a sigh. "I've stared down angry Jinchūriki and more missing-nin than I care to recall, so forgive me If I'm not scared." His smile returned afterwards, though. "The Sannin, eh? You'll no doubt be powerful Shinobi one day, because that title is quite a name to live up to." His interest in these two were beginning to grow at the mention of the title. "Only a fool would claim that title without being granted it, so allow me to apologize for my last comment." He still held his defensive stance, though. "If you must know, I was here delivering a scroll as a favor for an old friend who couldn't make the trip himself. But tell me, where's your friend?"

Alarmed at the mention of another Kaori glared "What you mean where's our friend? He's off with our leader off on a different mission."

Van grinned "Well at least you know of our titles. That make things a little easier. But since you're finished with your mission why don't you leave quietly? I mean there's no need for anything to go down here. Am I right or am I right?"

Sitting in the trees, Shori sighed "Good job Kaori, but there Van goes running his mouth again...this is going to be a long day"

Gray began pacing, though he didn't appear apprehensive at all. "The girl's eyes nearly popped, meaning I ruffled her with that question. So the friend is here." He turned to regard the two and made a waving gesture with his left hand. "While neither of us need to become enemies," He said calmly, "I can't leave yet. To occupy my time, would you mind showing me your skills? Someone obviously thinks rather highly of you if they've dubbed you the next Sannin, and to be honest, I'm curious."

Kaori laughed "If we don't like you, and you're the one that's curious of us. Then why would we show someone who could be a potential dangerous threat anything at all? Right Van?"

"Ice Release: Ice Darts Technique!" Van was already performing a technique aiming directly for the stranger

"VAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!" Kaori shouted as she punched Van in the back.

Arching an eyebrow in surprise momentarily, Gray adopted a more serious expression. "The kid's hot-headed all right, but I wouldn't have guessed him to be a user of the Ice Release. I thought they were long extinct..." He placed his hand on the ground and brushed the leaves before leaping backwards a fair distance, an explosion from his laid explosive tag obscuring his location in smoke. "Lets see what they try..."

"Fine Van. I guess you got his attention so if we're gonna do this then let's do this right. He's hiding in smoke hm?" Drawing a card shaped object from her holster she filled it with chakra before aiming it toward the smoky area.

Van smiled, "Oh you're going to show him that are you? And you were yelling at me."

"Shut it Van. Now let me do this. Tarot Release: The Magician!" A large blue flame shot through the smoke as it approached the man. "Van get ready."

Emerging from the smoke, Gray took a deep breathe, preparing the initial stages of Wind Release: Vacuum Wave. Though he didn't exhale just yet, using the sudden inhale of air to starve the flame of oxygen; causing it to wink out of existence before it reached him. Holding the air a little longer, the red-haired Shinobi finally exhaled as he spun; releasing the compressed air in a single solitary blade that covered a large area because of his spinning motion. The trees immediately around his location were cut clean in two and toppled against one another.

"Is that a Hiden jutsu?" Gray asked as he slowed his motion to a stand still. "I've never seen anything like that in my life and I've seen a fair assortment of skills and techniques from the various Missing-nin I've hunted." Admiration entered his tone as he spoke. "But I guess this isn't the appropriate time to ask questions, is it?" Two Kunai's, one aimed for each of his opponents left Gray's hands as he strafed to the side, ducking through the trees; using the lay of the land for cover against their numbers.

Two large hands grabbed Van and Shori from the path of the wind and kunai. "Got ya guys!" Shori was standing to the side of the them as he pulled his comerades to safety. "No old man is going to slow us down! Time for me to join the fray" Releasing the two from his puppet's grasp, Shori fired Regla's arms into the sky before releasing a cascade of senbons to rain into the trees. "Something should hit him!"

Van smiled as he looked upon Shori's attack "TEAM 4 NEVER DIES!! KOGARSUMARU.....CHARGE!!" Van formed a hand seal allowing him to form a thin sheetof ice around him "Kaori! Guard me for a sec would ya?"

"On it Van!" Kaori began charging chakra into her hands as she drew another card "This should do the trick, Tarot Release: The Hermit!"

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