Chapter Twenty Nine ~ Team Leader

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"Before we go into Tsunade's," I began, lazily leaning against the wall opposite of said door, "you need to decide who is going to be leading this mission."

There were varying sounds of confusion. "Surely you are, sensei?" Michiko questioned slowly. "Unless..."

"Yup." I nodded, answering her unspoken theory. "I'm sitting back for this one. It's far simple enough for a couple of genin to handle without me—especially if those genin are you."

This mission was an insult to me and my team. As such, I refused to participate in it. I'd make it a practical exercise as part of training.

"So who's gonna lead?" Kento asked bitterly, clearly awaiting my "favoritism".

"Thats for you guys to decide, on your own. I don't care who you pick. Just hurry up," I ordered.

Kento's eyes widened, then grew a little fearful. If he could barely handle my judgement that he wasn't prepared to lead, he probably wouldn't be able to handle his teammates' judgment. Which was exactly why he wasn't ready, in my eyes: he cared too much for other people's opinion and respect.

"I'm cool with leading again," Aisa shrugged. "So long as someone else actually listens, this time."

Kento glared, fire sparking in his eyes. "What if I want to lead this mission?" He snapped. "You don't have sensei to coddle you and just hand you the position for no reason other than that she likes you better, this time!"

The two boys glared at each other, Kento visibly angry: hands clenched, shoulders up, breathing harsh. Aisa was clearly trying to copy his brother's offstandish, "I'm far above this argument" look. He ruined it with angrily crossed arms and a childish glare.

"What if I want to be the team leader?" Michiko interjected.

Both boys took a step back, turning to stare at Michiko. "Uh... Do you? Want to?" Aisa asked.

"No," she shook her head. I hid a snicker behind my hand. The boys stared incredulously. "But that does mean that I have all the power, right now."

"Huh?" Both boys asked.

She smirked, and I can't help but smirk as well. The manipulative little brat. She could start a bidding war between them until she got the best deal possible.

"I cast the final vote." Aisa visibly relaxed, and sent a smirk towards Kento. "Aisa."

And oh, how that smirk grew on everyone's faces but Kento's. Mine, because I was proud of how she was about to manipulate these two. Hers, because she knew her plan. Aisa's, because he thought he had her vote in the bag.

"Aisa, you were team leader last time. I think we should give Kento a try."

I slipped from my position leaning against the wall and barely catch myself before I crashed to the ground. None of them turn to look at me and the commotion, too caught up in their little battle. Michiko had held all the power... And she threw it away.

Kento looked shocked, unprepared. He's volunteered himself to be the team leader without even thinking he would win, and now he had no idea what to do with the position.

"I guess that makes sense," Aisa shrugged. "Your turn, man."

Kento is staring open mouthed at the two of them before turning to me, as though I would reject their decision and let him off the hook in a way that wasn't his fault.

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