Hanzō National Academy
Section 1: Combat Practice
It’s a new day at the Hanzō National Academy. Inside the ninja room from within the school, Asuka is sleeping while her teacher, Kiriya, is teaching. Kiriya notices Asuka sleeping and tries to wake her up. After a couple of attempts, Asuka finally wakes up from her dream. Kiriya mocks Asuka by asking her if she finally found her path of the shinobi. Feeling surprised, Asuka asks Kiriya how he knows about that. Another student, Katsuragi, intervenes in the conversation and explains to Asuka how she talks in her sleep while also making suggestive noises. Asuka didn’t understand while the rest of her classmates, Ikaruga, Yagyū, and Hibari, either sigh or chuckle to themselves. Kiriya then tells Asuka to try and stay awake and to read up on Secret Ninja Arts to the class. Asuka nods as she begins reading.
As she reads out loud, Kiriya helps elaborate by reminding everyone what guardian they have. He then explains how to use Secret Ninja Arts, which can only be done by wielding the secret ninja arts scroll at all times. Katsuragi states how she keeps her secret ninja arts scroll under her skirt while Asuka keeps hers in her cleavage. Surprised to hear that, Katsuragi sexually harasses Asuka about wanting to check out her cleavage. However, Kiriya tells Katsuragi to not sexually harass others during class. With that said, Kiriya tells Asuka to continue reading out loud to the class.
As Asuka reads about the Super-Secret Ninja Art, she becomes confused about the fact that the description is short. However, Kiriya questions Asuka why that’s the case while saying that there’s a reason behind that. The reason being is because the Super-Secret Ninja Art Scroll is the school’s pride and joy and its content must be kept an absolute secret. Asuka begins to wonder what’s inside the scroll, but as she does so, the school bell rings. Kiriya tells the class that it’s time for basic martial arts instruction and that all students must meet him on the school’s rooftop. With that said, the students did as they were told and went to the school’s rooftop.
On the school’s rooftop, Kiriya begins explaining about how there are shinobi out there known as “evil shinobi”. The class nods while Asuka states that as good shinobi, they must work to uphold justice. Kiriya then states to the class that from the moment they set foot on Hanzo National Academy, they were shinobi and that he would like for all five of them to set aside their instincts as students. With that said, Kiriya believes that he worked the student hard enough for them to be prepared to face what awaits them.
The class nods as Kiriya begins explaining about the shinobi barrier. It is a shinobi dueling space that blockades off a space of a fixed size, impenetrable to the average person. While it can be useful to covert activities, the downside of using a shinobi barrier is since shinobi can sense its activation, you’ll give away your position.
The class nods again while Kiriya tells them that it’s time to begin practical combat training. He then explains to them that they’ll be fighting dummies he made himself. Since there’s no regular students around, he’s allowing all five of them to give it everything they got. With that said, Kiriya begins the training and disappears into thin air and the students begins their training.
After the training, Asuka wonders if she’s the first one to finishing taking out the dummies. However, Kiriya tells her that both she and Hibari were the lasts ones to finish and how Katsuragi, Ikaruga, and Yagyū already went back to the ninja room. Asuka went from being cheerful to being depressed while Kiriya instructs her to go back to the ninja room as soon as Hibari returns. Asuka nods while she wonders if she should just drop out.
Section 7: Hibari's Tutoring
In the ninja room, Hibari is apologizing to Kiriya while Kiriya explains to Hibari how difficult it is to take the particular class without a kunai, which Hibari forgot her own back at home. As he sighs, Kiriya tell Hibari that she’ll have to take supplemental lessons after school, which shocks Hibari since she was planning on eating banana crepes with everyone after school. Suddenly, Asuka intervenes and states that she and the other students are going to take those lessons as well. Kiriya asks her why and Asuka responds by saying how they’re all in this together since that’s what friends do. Kiriya understands and tell the students that the lessons will take place outside in the yard and whoever scores lowest will be remanded for additional lessons. With that said, the students went out and beings the lesson.
Afterwards, Hibari was surprised to see that she won while Asuka was in last place. However, both Kiriya and Hibari realizes that Asuka lost on purpose. Asuka tries to hide the fact, but it only makes Hibari feel even worst. She begins to sincerely apologize as she states how hard it is being the shield for your friends. However, Hibari understands what Asuka was trying to do for her, which she appreciates. With that said, the two prepare for their extra lessons.
Section 1: Katsuragi's Training
After the thrashing from Hebijo Clandestine Academy, the ninja room’s atmosphere becomes thick and heavy. Kiriya notices his students’ faces filled with despair. He isn’t surprised since there’s a world of difference between classwork and actual combat. Finally speaking, Kiriya tells his students that the principal told him what happened to them. He stops speaking right there not being able to find the words to continue. He begins to feel conflicted if he should praise them for managing to stay alive, which is noteworthy since what they went through was their first real battle. Suddenly, Asuka calls out to Kiriya with a despair look in his eyes. The looks reminds Kiriya of a former student of his that goes by the name of “Rin”. He then remembers that he’ll never let what happened in the past happen again. Finally, Kiriya was able to find the words to continue speaking by telling all five of them that if it bothers them so much that they’ve been defeated by Hebijo students, then they should all give up on being a shinobi and get out. As he said that, he begins having more flashbacks of Rin.
Kiriya tells his students again that they should just give up and get out if they’re going to let their defeat by the Hebijo student bother them so much. Suddenly, the change in the atmosphere changed in the ninja room. Ikaruga tells Kiriya about what he said sounds a bit harsh while Katsuragi follows up with a nod but with irritation. She then tells Kiriya how it doesn’t matter what he says about her, but how Asuka is still a 2nd year and she took on some serious competition while surviving, which isn’t a small task. Katsuragi then asks Kiriya to at least praise her for that. However, Asuka looks downward with the rims of her eyes becoming red. Kiriya wants to praise her, but she knows a half-hearted praise will only result in more sorrow down the road. Next, Kiriya explains how Hebijo is known for producing shinobi involved in politics and business while also having no qualms about very nasty work. The students remains breathless at Kiriya’s words. Kiriya continues by saying how they cannot be bargained or reasoned with and how they absolutely will not stop until they achieve their goal, which is much like their namesake, the serpent. Ikaruga asks Kiriya with a frown on her face if there’s no way of avoiding the conflict. Kiriya answers by telling her that they don’t negotiate and how they’ll attack. With that said, Katsuragi asks Kiriya what if they go on the offensive themselves. Sadly, Kiriya shakes his head slightly while explaining how even though that’s a nice thought, they don’t have any idea where the Hebijo Headquarters is located. The explanations causes Katsuragi to sink at his words. However, Hibari speaks up to break the tension by saying how Kiriya is now around, so they’ll all be fine while Ikaruga agrees with her. The statement causes relief to flood the students faces while Kiriya realizes that they all rely on him and how it’s true that he can help them, considering the students are still studying as shinobi and how they left their normal lives years ago. It’s only natural for all five of them to feel intimidated at fighting a powerful opponent.
However, despite all of that, Kiriya tells them that he will not be assisting them against the Hebijo, which stunned the students into silence. Both Ikaruga and Hibari pleads Kiriya with Hibari being on the verge of tears with the thought of Kiriya abandoning all five of them. However, with an authoritative voice, Kiriya reminds them that they’re shinobi students and they must always be prepared for the worst. Suddenly, Kiriya remembers what happened on Rin’s final examination.
Kiriya tells the students that those who rely on him during the fight with Hebijo should give up on being a shinobi and leave. He knows that if he helps them fight off Hebijo, it wouldn’t help them at all. The Path of a Shinobi is a harsh one. One must continue to fight, even with no help coming. Despite what Kiriya has said, there is one thing that he can do for those who seek to become a part of that world, which is teaching them not to be overcome with emotion. He knows that he can’t let Rin’s fate happen again. With that said, the students’ beings to listen to Kiriya’s words in silence. No one of them decided to move.
Suddenly, Asuka speaks up with her hands raised by telling Kiriya that she needs more training. Katsuragi follows up and does the same. Afterwards, the other students raises their hands as well. Hibari also tells Kiriya to work her hard. Despite what the students said, Kiriya is still feeling a natural doubt, but since their passion was so infectious, he smiles. With that said, Kiriya tells the students that he sees their resolves and then tells them to prepare for training. He knows that he can’t protect them directly, but he will teach them everything he knows since that’s the only way for him to protect them.
Section 3: Intercept Hebijos
Outside, Ikaruga is training as hard as she can with her weapon, Hien: the Flying Swallow, which is her family’s heirloom. As she sheathes Hien, she realizes how her swings are becoming lackluster as her endless training is tiring her out. Despite that, Ikaruga feels that she can’t cut corners in dealing with the Hebijo. However, she knows that pushing herself when she’s not at her best will only cause her harm.
As she walks back inside the ninja room, she sits down quietly while settling her thoughts and breathing. She begins maintaining Hien with respect and care when suddenly, Asuka and the others walks into the ninja room. They all exchange a friendly “good morning” and then a lively conversation begins. Despite all of the hardship and rigorous training they all go through, Ikaruga is impressed with Asuka the most since despite what happens, she never loses her bright and cheerful expression. She greets everything with a smile. While Ikaruga also goes through the same difficulty to keep her classmates organized as class representative, she begins to wonder if Asuka should lead the team instead of her.
As Ikaruga begins to lose herself in her thought, Kiriya walks into the classroom. He tells the class that he’ll be teaching them genealogy as part of the day’s lessons. Quickly, Katsuragi complains to Kiriya about how they should be focusing on training instead of family trees. However, Kiriya lets out a sigh and explains to her that breaks are a crucial aspect to training. With that said, Hibari questions Kirya what they’ll be doing with genealogy while Kiriya explains to them that they’ll be making a shinobi family tree to see if they have any shinobi ancestors while learning what they might have inherited from them. Suddenly, Asuka raises her hand and asks Kiriya how far back they should go, which Kiriya answers by telling them to start from the earliest shinobi, up to themselves. Asuka nods with enthusiasm as she quickly makes her shinobi family tree, which consists of three generations: her grandfather, her mother, and herself. Asuka then explains how her mother is a shinobi like her grandfather, how her father is a civilian who wasn’t completely happy with Asuka becoming a shinobi. However, Asuka wishes to be a powerful one, just like her grandfather. As Katsuragi and Yagyū writes in silence, Hibari begins to moan about how she has to write down everyone from her long line of shinobi. Suddenly, Kiriya asks Ikaruga what’s wrong as Ikaruga stops writing. Ikaruga apologizes as she notices that she’s almost finished making her family tree. However, when she thinks about her family, she’s reminded of her older brother. He is studying business management, following in the footsteps of their father. In truth, however, he wished to become a shinobi.
Ikaruga finishes her family tree by writing down her own name at the end. Her family tree is simply a straight line, from the head of the family, to herself. However, her brother’s’ name wasn’t included. His name would be where Ikaruga’s name is at if he was a shinobi. With that thought of feeling a burden of what happened in the past, Ikaruga’s eyes begins to well. Asuka notices Ikaruga looking upset and asks her what’s wrong, but she tells her that it’s nothing while forcing a smile.
Section 1: Summer Mistake
In a flashback, Yagyū questioned Kiriya why they should go on a vacation given what’s going on with them at the moment, but Kiriya responds by telling them how there’s no better time. Yagyū then figured what Kiriya meant by his statement considering how in the future, the battles will grow more intense, so it would be wise to grow memories as regular students first.
Section 3: Infiltrate Hebijo
Outside of the emergency room in the hospital, everyone, including Kiriya, is waiting for the doctor to come and give them the update on Yagyū’s condition. Hibari recalls the doctor telling them beforehand that Yagyū was hit by a poison-coated bullet, causing her life to be at risk. As Hibari blames herself for what happened to Yagyū, Asuka mutters to Hibari and reassures her that Yagyū will pull through while Katsuragi agrees. However, Hibari continues to blame herself and wants to take responsibility. She begins to wish for someone to just tell her that it’s her fault, but everyone has been kind and understanding, causing her to feel even more miserable. Suddenly, the group begins to hear footsteps approaching down the hall. As they stand up in unison, a female nurse runs in. Kiriya asks her how Yagyū is and the nurse smiles saying that the operation was a complete success. Everyone is in relief. Due to Yagyū needing to sleep off the anesthetic for the rest of the day, they all decide to leave and come back tomorrow. Before they left, Hibari tells the group that she has an errand to take care of and that they should go on without her. Asuka asks why and Hibari explains that she needs to buy something and that she’ll be back. She then turns around and runs off.
Section 1: The Grey Area
Back at the ninja room in Hanzō Academy, Katsuragi tries to cheer up Hibari by being as cheerful as possible, but Hibari’s still down in the dumps. The group have realize that Hibari has been acting strange ever since she got back from Hebijo. Ikaruga then tries cheering her up, but it was no use. With Hibari not acting like her usual self, the mood has dropped. Suddenly, Kiriya walks in as he looks exhausted and sighs. He then tells everyone that he would like to have a moment with Hibari alone. Katsuragi tries to ask Kiriya what they’re going to talk about, but Kiriya didn’t reply. The group left Kiriya and Hibari by themselves as they left the room. Once they were outside, Asuka, Ikaruga, and Yagyū went in separate directions. Katsuragi understands how the others feel, so she decides to be by herself as well.
When Katsuragi went back to the ninja room, everyone’s standing at the door, looking confused. She’s surprised that Kiriya isn’t finished talking to Hibari. She then begins to strain to hear them. Kiriya asks Hibari that if she feels responsible for what happened, she should try and retrieve the Super-Secret Ninja Art Scroll. However, Hibari didn’t say a word. Katsuragi begins to feel that the conversation has been like that the majority of the time. She then decides to head inside the ninja room, disregarding Kiriya’s wish to speak with Hibari by himself. Kiriya asks Katsuragi who told her to come in but Katsuragi responds by telling him that he’s not getting anywhere. Yagyū then walks in and tells Kiriya that they would like to participate in the discussion while Ikaruga and Asuka walks in as well. Ikaruga then tells Kiriya that if it involves the Super-Secret Ninja Art Scroll, it’s a problem for all of them while Asuka agrees. Beaten down by his own students with words, Kiriya understands and tells them to take their seats. He then stands on the podium, looks out at all of his students, and then tells them that due to the Super-Secret Ninja Art Scroll not being in their possession, all shinobi studies at Hanzo Academy are suspended. The announcement causes all of the students to look pale. This also means that no shinobi school would accept them. Asuka then asks if it means they can’t be shinobi, which Kiriya nods to. Asuka begins to slump but Katsuragi gives Asuka a big slap on her back. Katsuragi then tells the others in a firm voice to cheer up because all they have to do is get the scroll back from Hebijo. Deep inside, Katsuragi knows that she can’t give up on being a shinobi since it’s the only way for her to reunite with her parents. With that said, everyone except for Hibari became motivated to get the scroll back. Katsuragi asks Hibari what the problem was and then Hibari asks Katsuragi how exactly are they supposed to get the Super-Secret Ninja Art Scroll back from Hebijo. Katsuragi replies by saying that they just have to beat them, but then Hibari begins telling them how the students at Hebijo are similar to them since they study just as hard and they look out for one another, meaning they’re not bad people as they thought. Just by saying that, Hibari looks like she threw up something she was holding back for a long while. She looks like she’s about to cry. Hibari then asks what’s the difference between a good shinobi and an evil one and why do they have to fight each other.
The Ninja Room goes quiet as Katsuragi didn’t have anything to say. She never thought of Hebijo as anything other than opponents before. Now that Hibari mentioned that, it all makes sense to Katsuragi that what’s considered good and evil is all a matter of perspective. She then remembers how even though renegade shinobi are “evil”, Katsuragi’s parents aren’t bad people since they did what they felt was right to protect her. She also now understands how Hebijo is the same since they’re doing what they feel is right. Hibari starts to say how she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do after learning all of that. Suddenly, Asuka broke the silence and asks Kiriya for a favor. Kiriya asks what it was and then Asuka asks Kiriya to let her train. Kiriya wonders what Asuka is thinking while Katsuragi begins to think that Asuka has an idea and wants to show Hibari through training. She also begins to think that overtime, Asuka has turned into a real leader type, so she’ll let Asuka do as she pleases.
Hibari asks Asuka why she wants to train all of a sudden, but then Asuka tells Hibari how she didn’t want to fight Homura, so she understands how Hibari is feeling. However, with what happened up to now, things have changed. Hibari asks why but Asuka insists on Hibari watching her train to understand. Asuka then pleads Kiriya to allow her to train and Kiriya understands. He decides to act as her rival for the training. Asuka becomes surprised about that but she accepts the condition. With that said, Asuka begins her training.
In the middle of training, Asuka was losing breath, but he continues to push herself until she can’t stand anymore. However, Hibari tells Asuka to stop training while telling her that she understands that the only way for her to understand is for her to become a shinobi. Asuka nods and tells Hibari how both good and evil shinobi want to be the best shinobi they can be, which is why they work very hard and how it doesn’t matter which of them is right. They’re all working for a specific goal. She also tells Hibari that the only way to be able to communicate with the Hebijo students is in battle. Hibari understands but she wonders if they’ll understand her better if she fights them. Asuka nods and tells her that she’ll realize that they’re all after the same thing. She then tells Hibari to please fight alongside her.
Section 2: Yin Ninja Scroll Trial
In the Ninja Room, Kiriya tells the group that the virtuous must be broad-minded, so Hanzo Academy teaches both Yin and Yang as written in two scrolls. He then said that he’d hoped to instruct them sooner, but the headmaster forbade the scrolls’ use, so the info must be kept in absolute secret. What Homura stole was essentially the Yang scroll, but there’s another one: The Yin Scroll, according to Kiriya. With that said, Kiriya would like to entrust Asuka with the Super-Secret Ninja Art Scroll to her. Asuka becomes shocked with the news and asks why since she feels that both Ikaruga and Katsuragi are stronger than her, so they should be the one to use it. Kiriya agrees that both Ikaruga and Katsuragi are stronger in terms of power and technique, but to learn what the scroll has requires something more than just power and technique. It requires harsh training while also testing your resolve while also possibly breaking your body and spirit. Basically, it requires a strong spirit. The reason why Kiriya decides to choose Asuka was because she has the strongest devotion in her Path of the Shinobi. As for the others, he has arrange specific training for them to get stronger. With that said, Asuka understands and accepts the training in order to use the Yin Scroll while Kiriya tells her that she must overcome the trials he has prepared for her. Asuka’s training then begins.
After the first trial, which was obtaining the Yin Scroll, Asuka becomes happy for overcoming it. However, Kiriya tells her they’ve only just become. In order to use the Yin Scroll, they have to go through even more intense training. Asuka understands and prepares herself.
Section 1: Hebijo Battle Plan
Night has fallen completely. Kiriya stands at the entrance of the shinobi village, waiting for his students to come back from their training. Little by little, footsteps are drawing near. Kiriya notices his students are all present and they’re shining more brightly than before. He even notices how Asuka mastered the Yin Scroll and everyone else’s blood boiling from the training they went through. As Kiriya spreads his arms and welcomes them, Asuka, Katsuragi, and Hibari approaches him while Yagyū and Ikaruga stand back, but their facial expressions was filled with joy instead of reserved. Asuka tells Kiriya with confidence that they’ll be going to Hebijo now. However, Kiriya shakes his head and tells them that they have a vacation day tomorrow. The students look at Kiriya confused while Asuka asks him why. Kiriya explains that before a decisive battle, you should spend the day before doing what you like. Right as he said that, the students’ faces become clear and determined. With that said, the students nod to one another and leave simultaneously. As they leave, Kiriya heads to the dressing room.
When he arrives there, he presses a hidden switch in one of the lockers and the door to the armory slides open. Kiriya never thought he would come back to armory again to arrange equipment. As he looks around, he takes what was needed for the mission. Kiriya remembers that he pulled away from fighting as a shinobi because he won’t treat his students as pawns on a chessboard, to be strategically used and sacrificed when it’s convenient. However, he realizes that his students are sacrificing themselves, so he doesn’t want them to have regrets if they meet their end during the mission. Kiriya is aware that at Hebijo Academy, there are many students there, and because of that, he feels that his students might be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, possibly causing them to not be able to reach the Super-Secret Ninja Art Scroll. If Kiriya can do anything about the numbers, he knows that Asuka and the others could just fight Homura and her friends in single combat. Kiriya begins to wonder if what he’s doing is any different to what he did with Rin because of the fact that he felt compelled to help Rin become a shinobi, which causes her to not mature, which also lead to her death. However, he knows that Asuka and the others are different since they went through severe training and battles, to the point of attaining true strength. Because of that, Kiriya believes that they’ll be able to acquit themselves well as shinobi, even on a larger scale. Eventually, Kiriya finishes arranging the equipment.
Suddenly, Kiriya hears Asuka calling him from behind. He looks back surprised seeing all of his students. He realizes that he couldn’t feel any signs of their presence, to the point where he believes that they’ve become advanced enough to utterly deceive his perceptions. He begins to think about how far they’ve, to the point of showing a wry smile. Asuka tells Kiriya with no uncertain terms to not worry as they’re going to settle the fight with Hebijo Academy. However, Kiriya still feels worried that they all might die. But Asuka tells him that even if they die, they have no regrets since they’ll die as the shinobi they’ve always wanted to become. The others nod in agreement. Suddenly, an image of Rin appear in Kiriya’s mind as he wonders if she was the same in regards to dying as a shinobi. In the end though, Kiriya feels that he’s right back where he started. He still can’t get over Rin’s death. With spirit, Asuka tells Kiriya that they’ll all come back alive and safely. Kiriya looks at all of his students and notices how they’re no longer young girls of students, but adult shinobi. Something within Kiriya’s heart begins to grow lighter. Kiriya begins to understand and decide to trust them. If they come back alive, Kiriya feels that he could finally get over Rin’s death. With all of that talking, Kiriya realizes the morning sun peeking out from over the mountains.
Asuka tells everyone to huddle up. As they did, they all place their hands down in the middle and Asuka tells them to beat Hebijo and come back in one piece. All of their fists lift in the air as the sun climbs high, shining down on them. The curtain for the final battle has risen.