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<?php function htmlWrapThing($str, $size){ $html = false; $i = 0; $chars = str_split($str); $return = ""; $break = false; foreach($chars as $char){ if($char=="<") $html = true; if($char==">") $html = false; if(!$html) $i++; $return .= $char; if($i==$size) $break = true; if($char = " " && !$html && $break){ $return .= "\r\n"; $i=0; $break = false; } } return $return; } $str = "<b>~Here you go, off to compete~ <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>~Nerves stack up inside of you, getting closer and closer to bursting~ <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>~Will you pop? Or will you get yourself evened out?~ <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>~*~*~*~ </b><p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>The bright sun rays slipped through the octagon shaped windows and shined right into my eyes. I woke up <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>squinting with an explosion of bright orange and red colors behind my eyelids. This is why I should sleep with a <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>pillow over my head. I quickly took the pillow out from under my head and slammed it over my face. \"Five more minutes,\" I grumbled. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>It only took a mere five seconds before a distinct sinking feeling shot down my spine. I shot out of bed, my pillow flying somewhere in my room. \"The sunrise!\" I shrieked. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Oh no, no, no, no, no! <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>The sunrise is supposed to be the start of the training day. All the students wake up, eat breakfast in the <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Mess Hall, and are expected to be lined outside in the grass field by the time the sun is up. Here the rays have just blinded me and I'm still in bed and my pajamas. In other words, I'm not just late, I'm super late. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>The morning gong rang, sealing my fate. A gong sounds off to signal the start and end of a training day, <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>without fail, every single morning. The fact that I'm still in my disheveled state when I heard the gong means how badly things will be for me later on. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I quickly rushed to my dresser and tried to keep it together while I changed into my workout clothes. The <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kitsune Clan assigned every student an outfit to train in... and a purple nightgown wasn't part of the ensemble. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"How can I be late?\" I shrieked to myself, \"I've never been late before! This is impossible!\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Once I was dressed in my proper clothes, I skidded out of my room and down the hallway of my sector <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>house. \"Cassie-Chan! Yami-San! Luna! Are you guys here?\" I cried out. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Where were my teammates? Surely they didn't just leave me alone. Cassie or Yami are always the ones who <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>wake me up, it's been that way since day one. I've only been at this clan a month, just like my other four teammates. The five of us are considered 'fresh meat' in the clan and if a fresh meat is late for training... <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I remembered the punishment that Kuroi once told me about: <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"One time I saw a kid do eight-hundred push-ups,\" Kuroi said gravely. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>He's my sector leader who has been here the past three years, the only senior member among us in Sector 7. \"Eight-hundred push-ups?\" I questioned back to him. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi nodded. \"He had to do two-hundred of them on his tongue.\" \"No way,\" I gaped. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"That's physically impossible,\" Yami then stated. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi shrugged his shoulders. \"Hey, I'm just telling you fresh meats what I saw.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"What happened to the kid who had to do it?\" Cassie inquired, joining in my curiosity. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>My team leader threw both his hands up. \"I'm pretty sure he's dead.\" The memory ended. Oh no. I'm gonna die. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Forget calling out for my teammates. I ran to the front door, slid it open hastily, and nearly tripped out the <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>door. Maybe if I make it to the grass fields in time, I can just stand there I've like been there the whole time. But this is a shinobi clan, which makes all my teachers highly trained warriors themselves. There's no way I'm gonna slip past people of their level. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>The brisk fresh air hit my face and sent a layer of goosebumps down my arms. It was the beginning of September, the month where summer bids farewell and autumn says hello. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I bounded down the steps of my sector house and skidded to a stop. In front of me were all five of my <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>teammates, just standing there on the front lawn of our sector house. There was Sector 7's leader, Kuroi Kaze, Teruko Cassie, Hanran Nigaru, YamiTsuki, and Yami's little sister, Luna. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Speaking of Luna, the little kid was the first one to notice me. \"Morning, Tabby-Chan!\" she exclaimed with a smile on her face. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I looked at Luna with widened eyes. \"What are you so happy for?\" Surely she knows that our whole sector <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>was late for training and now we're all gonna die. Surely! <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Luna blinked a few times, even scratched her pixie-cut head of jet black hair. \"I guess I'm happy because I had egg drop soup for breakfast,\" she then answered, \"and I'm happy that Cassie-Chan let me brush her hair, 'cause it's really soft and stuff. Oh, and I'm happy that the bruise on my arm turned purple because I love purple! Yeah, all these things are great.\" She smiled. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I smacked my palm to my forehead. \"No, Luna. We're all gonna die!\" I hissed. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>She looked left, looked right, left again, and back at me. \"Right now?\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Don't you see? We're late for training, Luna! It's way past sunrise. Now we're gonna be punished by one of <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>the teachers, and it'll probably be Sensei Akira because she's the scariest.\" I huffed out a big breath of air. Why do I have to explain this stuff, she should know what her fate is. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Yami, Luna's older brother, stepped over closer to his sister and myself. \"Um, Tabby-Chan, you didn't see the <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>note I left you, did you?\" he asked me. I shook my head no. \"Oh, well I left you a note explaining that Sensei Akira left our sector a note,\" Yami explained. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Ha! You left a note about leaving a note! You're so funny, bro,\" Luna chuckled. I don't recall ever seeing a note. \"I never saw one,\" I told him. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Yami bowed his head once. \"My apologies, Tabby-Chan. I thought you would see it. Nigaru-San was the first <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>one to wake up and he saw that Sensei Akira put a note on our door. She told us not to show up for training and <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>to meet her outside the sector house at 6:00 sharp.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>My eyes drifted up to the skies overhead. \"That's like, forty-five minutes away,\" I awed. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Yami nodded. \"This was the first morning ever where you could have slept in. I thought you would have <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>wanted to. Sorry for making you panic.\" Yami was genuine, as he always was. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>He was my best friend in the clan, only a year younger than me at twelve compared to my thirteen. He was a <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>great companion, even if he was a little odd at times. Yami had bright silver hair and pale white skin. The best thing about him were his chocolate brown eyes; they always gleamed with care and concern. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"It's okay,\" I finally sighed, remembering how to breathe at the same time. \"I was just scared, that's all. But <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>it's alright.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Scared? Ah come on, Tabby-Chan!\" Luna exclaimed. She began to bounce back and forth on her heels and balls of her feet, until Yami held her down by putting a hand on her head. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>The little girl was the youngest member of this clan at eight years old. She was Yami's sister, however, the two <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>looked nothing alike. Where Yami was pale, Luna's skin was a dark tan. She was short and on the scrawny side, <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>with wild hair that went in every direction. It was always amusing to see the two stand side-by-side knowing that they're related. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"So what if I had written a note about Yami writing you a note?\" Luna then asked me. \"Then that would <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>mean that I wrote a note about writing a note. Ooh! And Sensei Akira wrote the original note, so that's three <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>notes.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Yami patted his sister's head. \"Sorry sis, but that's not our biggest concern right now,\" he said. He turned <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>back to me, \"So what do you think is going on? I don't see any other sectors waiting outside, I think we're the <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>only ones Sensei Akira wanted to see.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I looked around me to see if he was right. The Kitsune Clan is a huge school that goes on for miles and miles, all surrounded by a jutted stone wall. There are thirteen sector houses, each built with pagoda-styled roofs and <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>wood and bamboo. The Kitsune Clan divided their students up into thirteen sectors, each sector with seven members each. All the houses are lined up in a row, therefore I would have seen if any other students were standing outside. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Yami was correct, the only ones out here were the six of us. We were Sector 7, one member short of a completed team. I thought about my answer to Yami's posing question. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"I have no idea,\" I yawned. Yeah, I didn't think about my answer for too long. Luckily, it didn't take long for the answer to present itself. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>There was a shift in the morning air. I don't know what exactly changed, I just know that something in the <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>present atmosphere wasn't the same as before. There I was, standing outside with my heart racing and <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>tiredness still in my bones. Yami and Luna were standing right in front of me, with Cassie not too far off, and <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi standing with his legs apart and arms crossed like some big shot. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>The only one who was quite a distance away was Hanran, the middle boy of our sector. Hanran was the type of guy who not only liked his space, he demanded it. He was farthest away from everyone with his back to us. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Actually, Hanran is what tipped me off in the first place. He turned his head and looked in Cassie's direction. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Nigaru-San?\" Cassie asked after a long moment went by with Hanran still staring at her. Like me and Yami, Cassie and Hanran were close in age as well. She was sixteen and he was seventeen. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Hanran continued to be silent, however, he began to take slow and cautious steps towards us. \"It's time,\" he said in a very low voice. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Before I could ask what Hanran meant, Luna threw her arms in the air and exclaimed, \"I've got it!\" \"Got what?\" I asked her. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"I remembered the real reason why I'm so happy! It's because Nigaru-San caught a frog and he let me hold it. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>It was all slimy 'n stuff and squishy,\" Luna answered. Her brother shook his head. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"That was three weeks ago,\" Hanran merely pointed out. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"I know, I've been happy about it ever since,\" Luna grinned. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>That was all there was to say about that subject. What Hanran was referring to became obvious; Akira <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>appeared before us, the teacher we were waiting on. Just like that, our Sector 7 was in the presence of the <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kitsune Clan's second-in-command, Akira Miyamoto herself. The woman had her fighting uniform on; a black cat suit with a crimson red sash, and two matching red straps over the shoulders to make an 'X' shape. These were not her usual clothes. She was dressed for battle. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Oh no, I realized, she's dressed for battle! <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Hey Sensei, whaddya doing here so early?\" Kuroi then asked. For the first time that morning, I heard my <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>sector leader speak, and he still had the same brash and rude tone as last night. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Akira merely lifted an eyebrow. She slid a hand into her red sash and showed a silver kunai was between her fingers. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi cleared his throat. \"I mean, uh, morning Sensei.\" He knew that kunai threat was for him. I smirked on the inside; my team leader always tries to act like a big shot. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Everyone else was polite with their greetings, all except Hanran who chose to stay silent. Big surprise. \"I'll <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>make my point right now,\" Akira then said, her voice loud and clear. \"You're all coming with me to Viper <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Country, we're going to the Black-Sho Clan for Battle Month. We depart in fifteen minutes. Pack light and take <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>your weapons with you. Once your fifteen minutes are up, meet me at the front gates of the school. Do not <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>make me wait on you, Sector 7.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Once Akira finished speaking, she turned on her heels and started to walk in the opposite direction of the sector houses. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Wait!\" Yami shrieked. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Akira turned her head around and eyed him. \"What?\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Just one look from our teacher, and Yami was frozen with fear. \"U-uh-um,\" he stammered. He shook his head <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>and got himself together. \"Sensei, what exactly is Battle Month? I've never heard of this.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>The shinobi woman didn't even blink. \"Kaze-San knows,\" she answered simply. \"Let him explain it.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>After that, Kuroi came undone. \"Oh spirits, why do I gotta explain it?\" he growled, \"I mean, it's enough that <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I've gotta mentor these fresh meats, now I've gotta clue them in on the obvious, too?\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Whish! <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi fell to the ground with a loud bang... a kunai jammed through his shirt and keeping him pinned to the <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>ground. He thrashed about, trying to loosen the kunai from the compacted dirt, but it wasn't working very well. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. This was too rich! <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Now you six only have ten minutes to pack,\" Akira then stated. She eyed Kuroi especially, \"Better talk fast.\" With that, Akira walked off. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"I swear!\" Kuroi hissed from the ground. He was a big guy; 5'10\" in height and built like a bear with all his <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>muscle. It was funny to think that a simple kunai from Akira's belt could keep him on the ground. But that <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>wasn't a surprising occurrence for Kuroi Kaze. He was the one at this school with a \"bad boy\" reputation; he <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>used to be the only one in Sector 7 until the rest of us joined about a month ago, after all. The only thing Kuroi <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>cares about is being badass which means he's a guy who just wants to fight and brawl all the time. He's so <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>annoying! <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi did manage to get himself unstuck. Except, now his shirt has a big hole in it. Just like all the other shirts he's had on when Akira threw a kunai at him. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>~*~*~*~ <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>We made our way back inside the sector house without a word. Once we were inside, it didn't take long for the chatter to start. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Are you gonna tell us about Battle Month?\" I asked Kuroi. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>He scoffed, \"Do I look like I wanna waste my time explaining stuff to you?\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"You had no problem popping off to Akira,\" Hanran then commented. He spoke with his same indifferent <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>tone of voice. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi ignored the middle boy. \"Yeah, whatever. Battle Month is the biggest waste of time, ever.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Yes,\" I said, \"but what is it?\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>My team leader probably figured that we weren't going to stop pestering him. He went into his room (which <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>we separate by room dividers) and chose to talk when he wasn't in the open with the rest of us. \"Battle Month <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>is like a tournament. It's held by the thirteen ancient clans spread across the five countries that make up Shaaku <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Den.\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>I exchanged looks with Yami. We both had no idea what he just said. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>\"Wait, I'm confused, is Kaze-San telling us a story? 'Cause so far it's pretty dang boring,\" Luna commented. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>She looked hopelessly lost. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Yelling came from Kuroi's room. \"I'M TELLING YOU LOSERS WHAT BATTLE MONTH IS!\" he shouted defensively. <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Luna didn't know why he was upset. \"So tell us, old man!\" <p style=\"margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;\"></p>Kuroi stepped back out into the hallway with a new shirt on."; echo htmlWrapThing($str,10);
based on 1RQ06
Output for 5.4.0 - 5.6.28, hhvm-3.10.0 - 3.12.0, 7.0.0 - 7.1.0
<b>~Here yo u go, off to compete ~ <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>~Nerve s stack up inside of you, gett ing close r and clos er to burs ting~ <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>~W ill you po p? Or will you get yourself e vened out? ~ <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>~*~*~* ~ </b><p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>The b right sun rays slip ped throug h the octa gon shaped windows a nd shined right into my eyes. I woke up <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>squinti ng with an explosion of bright orange a nd red col ors behind my eyelid s. This is why I sho uld sleep with a <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> pillow ove r my head. I quickly took the pillow out from und er my head and slamm ed it over my face. "Five more minutes," I grumbl ed. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>It o nly took a mere five seconds b efore a di stinct si nking feel ing shot d own my spi ne. I shot out of be d, my pill ow flying somewhere in my roo m. "The su nrise!" I shrieked. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Oh no, n o, no, no , no! <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Th e sunrise is suppose d to be th e start of the trai ning day. All the st udents wak e up, eat breakfast in the <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>M ess Hall, and are ex pected to be lined o utside in the grass field by the time t he sun is up. Here t he rays ha ve just b linded me and I'm st ill in bed and my pa jamas. In other word s, I'm not just lat e, I'm sup er late. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>The morni ng gong ra ng, sealin g my fate . A gong s ounds off to signal the start and end of a trainin g day, <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> without fa il, every single mor ning. The fact that I'm still in my dis heveled st ate when I heard the gong mean s how badl y things will be fo r me later on. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I q uickly rus hed to my dresser a nd tried t o keep it together w hile I cha nged into my workout clothes. The <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Kit sune Clan assigned e very stude nt an outf it to tra in in... a nd a purpl e nightgow n wasn't p art of the ensemble. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"How ca n I be lat e?" I shri eked to my self, "I'v e never b een late b efore! Thi s is impos sible!" <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> Once I was dressed in my prop er clothes , I skidde d out of m y room and down the hallway o f my secto r <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>house. "Cassie-C han! Yami- San! Luna! Are you guys here? " I cried out. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Whe re were my teammate s? Surely they didn' t just lea ve me alon e. Cassie or Yami ar e always the ones w ho <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>wake me up, it' s been tha t way sinc e day one . I've onl y been at this clan a month, j ust like m y other fo ur teamma tes. The f ive of us are consid ered 'fres h meat' in the clan and if a fresh meat is late f or trainin g... <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I r emembered the punis hment that Kuroi onc e told me about: <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>" One time I saw a ki d do eight -hundred p ush-ups," Kuroi said gravely. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>He's my sector lea der who ha s been her e the past three ye ars, the o nly senior member am ong us in Sector 7. "Eight-hu ndred push -ups?" I q uestioned back to hi m. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Kuroi nodded. " He had to do two-hun dred of th em on his tongue." "No way," I gaped. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>"That's p hysically impossibl e," Yami t hen stated . <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Kuroi shrugged h is shoulde rs. "Hey, I'm just telling yo u fresh me ats what I saw." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>" What happe ned to the kid who h ad to do i t?" Cassi e inquired , joining in my curi osity. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>M y team lea der threw both his hands up. "I'm prett y sure he' s dead." T he memory ended. Oh no. I'm g onna die. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Forget c alling out for my te ammates. I ran to t he front d oor, slid it open ha stily, and nearly tr ipped out the <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>doo r. Maybe i f I make i t to the g rass field s in time , I can ju st stand t here I've like been there the whole time . But thi s is a shi nobi clan, which mak es all my teachers h ighly trai ned warri ors themse lves. Ther e's no way I'm gonna slip past people of their le vel. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>The brisk fre sh air hit my face a nd sent a layer of goosebumps down my a rms. It wa s the begi nning of S eptember, the month where sum mer bids f arewell an d autumn s ays hello. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I bound ed down t he steps o f my secto r house an d skidded to a stop. In front of me were all five of my <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>t eammates, just stand ing there on the fro nt lawn o f our sect or house. There was Sector 7's leader, K uroi Kaze, Teruko C assie, Han ran Nigaru , YamiTsuk i, and Yam i's little sister, L una. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Spe aking of L una, the l ittle kid was the fi rst one t o notice m e. "Mornin g, Tabby-C han!" she exclaimed with a smi le on her face. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I looked at Luna with widened e yes. "What are you so happy f or?" Surel y she know s that our whole sec tor <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>was late for t raining an d now we'r e all gonn a die. Su rely! <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Lu na blinked a few tim es, even s cratched h er pixie- cut head o f jet blac k hair. "I guess I'm happy bec ause I had egg drop soup for breakfast, " she then answered, "and I'm happy that Cassie-C han let me brush her hair, 'ca use it's r eally soft and stuff . Oh, and I'm happy that the bruise on my arm tur ned purple because I love pur ple! Yeah, all these things ar e great." She smiled . <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I smac ked my pal m to my fo rehead. "N o, Luna. W e're all gonna die! " I hissed . <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>She lo oked left, looked ri ght, left again, an d back at me. "Right now?" <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>" Don't you see? We'r e late for training, Luna! It' s way past sunrise. Now we're gonna be punished b y one of <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>the teach ers, and i t'll proba bly be Se nsei Akira because s he's the s cariest." I huffed o ut a big b reath of air. Why d o I have t o explain this stuff , she shou ld know wh at her fat e is. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Y ami, Luna' s older br other, ste pped over closer to his siste r and myse lf. "Um, T abby-Chan, you didn' t see the <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>note I l eft you, d id you?" h e asked me . I shook my head n o. "Oh, we ll I left you a note explainin g that Sen sei Akira left our sector a n ote," Yami explained . <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"Ha! Y ou left a note abou t leaving a note! Yo u're so fu nny, bro," Luna chuc kled. I d on't recal l ever see ing a note . "I never saw one," I told hi m. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Yami bowed his head once. "My apolo gies, Tab by-Chan. I thought y ou would s ee it. Nig aru-San wa s the firs t <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>one to wake up a nd he saw that Sense i Akira pu t a note on our doo r. She tol d us not t o show up for traini ng and <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>t o meet her outside t he sector house at 6 :00 sharp ." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>My ey es drifted up to the skies ove rhead. "Th at's like , forty-fi ve minutes away," I awed. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Ya mi nodded. "This wa s the firs t morning ever where you could have slep t in. I th ought you would hav e <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>wanted to. Sorry for makin g you pani c." Yami w as genuin e, as he a lways was. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>He was my best fr iend in th e clan, o nly a year younger t han me at twelve com pared to m y thirteen . He was a <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>great companion, even if h e was a li ttle odd a t times. Yami had b right silv er hair an d pale whi te skin. T he best th ing about him were his chocol ate brown eyes; they always gl eamed with care and concern. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"It's ok ay," I fin ally sighe d, remembe ring how t o breathe at the sa me time. " I was just scared, t hat's all. But <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>it' s alright. " <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"Scare d? Ah come on, Tabb y-Chan!" L una exclai med. She b egan to bo unce back and forth on her he els and ba lls of her feet, unt il Yami he ld her dow n by putti ng a hand on her he ad. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>The little gir l was the youngest m ember of this clan at eight y ears old. She was Ya mi's siste r, however , the two <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>looked nothing al ike. Where Yami was pale, Luna 's skin w as a dark tan. She w as short a nd on the scrawny si de, <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>with wild hair that went in every direction. It was a lways amus ing to see the two s tand side- by-side kn owing that they're related. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>"So what if I had w ritten a n ote about Yami writ ing you a note?" Lun a then ask ed me. "Th en that wo uld <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>mean that I wr ote a note about wri ting a not e. Ooh! A nd Sensei Akira wrot e the orig inal note, so that's three <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>n otes." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Y ami patted his siste r's head. "Sorry si s, but tha t's not ou r biggest concern ri ght now," he said. H e turned <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>back to me, "So wh at do you think is g oing on? I don't se e any othe r sectors waiting ou tside, I t hink we're the <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>onl y ones Sen sei Akira wanted to see." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I looked aro und me to see if he was right. The Kits une Clan i s a huge s chool that goes on f or miles a nd miles, all surro unded by a jutted st one wall. There are thirteen s ector hous es, each built with pagoda-st yled roofs and <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>woo d and bamb oo. The K itsune Cla n divided their stud ents up in to thirtee n sectors, each sec tor with s even membe rs each. A ll the hou ses are li ned up in a row, th erefore I would have seen if a ny other s tudents we re standin g outside. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Yami w as correct , the only ones out here were the six o f us. We w ere Sector 7, one me mber short of a comp leted team . I thoug ht about m y answer t o Yami's p osing ques tion. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"I have no idea," I y awned. Yea h, I didn' t think ab out my ans wer for to o long. L uckily, it didn't ta ke long fo r the answ er to pres ent itself . <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>There was a shif t in the m orning air . I don't know what exactly c hanged, I just know that somet hing in th e <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>presen t atmosphe re wasn't the same a s before. There I w as, standi ng outside with my h eart racin g and <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>ti redness st ill in my bones. Ya mi and Lun a were sta nding righ t in front of me, wi th Cassie not too f ar off, an d <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Kuroi standing w ith his le gs apart and arms c rossed lik e some big shot. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>T he only on e who was quite a d istance aw ay was Han ran, the m iddle boy of our sec tor. Hanra n was the type of g uy who not only like d his spac e, he dema nded it. H e was far thest away from ever yone with his back t o us. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Ac tually, H anran is w hat tipped me off in the first place. He turned hi s head and looked i n Cassie's direction . <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"Nigar u-San?" Ca ssie asked after a long momen t went by with Hanra n still st aring at h er. Like m e and Yam i, Cassie and Hanran were clos e in age a s well. Sh e was sixt een and h e was seve nteen. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>H anran cont inued to b e silent, however, he began t o take slo w and caut ious steps towards u s. "It's t ime," he said in a very low v oice. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Be fore I cou ld ask wha t Hanran m eant, Lun a threw he r arms in the air an d exclaime d, "I've g ot it!" "G ot what?" I asked h er. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"I r emembered the real r eason why I'm so ha ppy! It's because Ni garu-San c aught a fr og and he let me hol d it. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I t was all slimy 'n s tuff and s quishy," L una answe red. Her b rother sho ok his hea d. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"That was three weeks ag o," Hanran merely po inted out. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"I know , I've bee n happy a bout it ev er since," Luna grin ned. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Tha t was all there was to say ab out that s ubject. Wh at Hanran was referr ing to bec ame obvio us; Akira <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>appeared before us , the teac her we wer e waiting on. Just like that, our Secto r 7 was in the prese nce of the <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Kitsune Clan's se cond-in-co mmand, Aki ra Miyamot o herself . The woma n had her fighting u niform on; a black c at suit wi th a crim son red sa sh, and tw o matching red strap s over the shoulders to make an 'X' sha pe. These were not h er usual c lothes. Sh e was dres sed for b attle. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>O h no, I re alized, sh e's dresse d for batt le! <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"Hey Sensei, w haddya doi ng here so early?" K uroi then asked. Fo r the firs t time tha t morning, I heard m y <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>sector leader sp eak, and h e still ha d the same brash an d rude ton e as last night. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>A kira merel y lifted an eyebrow . She slid a hand in to her red sash and showed a s ilver kuna i was bet ween her f ingers. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> Kuroi clea red his th roat. "I m ean, uh, morning Se nsei." He knew that kunai thre at was for him. I sm irked on the inside ; my team leader alw ays tries to act lik e a big sh ot. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Ever yone else was polite with thei r greeting s, all ex cept Hanra n who chos e to stay silent. Bi g surprise . "I'll <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> make my po int right now," Akir a then sai d, her vo ice loud a nd clear. "You're al l coming w ith me to Viper <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Co untry, we' re going t o the Blac k-Sho Clan for Batt le Month. We depart in fifteen minutes. Pack light and take <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>your wea pons with you. Once your fifte en minutes are up, meet me at the front gates of the school . Do not <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>make me w ait on you , Sector 7 ." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Once Akira fini shed speak ing, she t urned on h er heels and starte d to walk in the opp osite dire ction of t he sector houses. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>"Wait!" Y ami shriek ed. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Akir a turned h er head a round and eyed him. "What?" <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> Just one l ook from our teache r, and Yam i was froz en with fe ar. "U-uh- um," he st ammered. He shook h is head <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> and got hi mself toge ther. "Sen sei, what exactly i s Battle M onth? I've never hea rd of this ." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>The s hinobi wom an didn't even blink . "Kaze-Sa n knows," she answe red simply . "Let him explain i t." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Afte r that, Ku roi came u ndone. "Oh spirits, why do I gotta expl ain it?" h e growled, "I mean, it's enoug h that <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I 've gotta mentor the se fresh m eats, now I've gotta clue the m in on th e obvious, too?" <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>W hish! <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Ku roi fell t o the grou nd with a loud bang. .. a kuna i jammed t hrough his shirt and keeping h im pinned to the <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>g round. He thrashed a bout, tryi ng to loos en the ku nai from t he compact ed dirt, b ut it wasn 't working very well . <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I had to stop my self from laughing o ut loud. T his was t oo rich! <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>"Now you six only h ave ten mi nutes to p ack," Aki ra then st ated. She eyed Kuroi especiall y, "Better talk fast ." With t hat, Akira walked of f. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"I sw ear!" Kuro i hissed f rom the g round. He was a big guy; 5'10" in height and built like a be ar with a ll his <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>m uscle. It was funny to think t hat a simp le kunai from Akira 's belt co uld keep h im on the ground. Bu t that <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>w asn't a su rprising o ccurrence for Kuroi Kaze. He was the on e at this school wit h a "bad b oy" reputa tion; he <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>used to b e the only one in Se ctor 7 unt il the res t of us j oined abou t a month ago, after all. The only thing Kuroi <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>c ares about is being badass whi ch means h e's a guy who just wants to f ight and b rawl all t he time. H e's so <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>a nnoying! <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>Kuroi did manage to get himse lf unstuc k. Except, now his s hirt has a big hole in it. Jus t like all the othe r shirts h e's had on when Akir a threw a kunai at h im. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>~*~* ~*~ <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>We m ade our wa y back ins ide the s ector hous e without a word. On ce we were inside, i t didn't t ake long for the ch atter to s tart. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"A re you gon na tell us about Bat tle Month ?" I asked Kuroi. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p> He scoffed , "Do I lo ok like I wanna was te my time explainin g stuff to you?" <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>" You had no problem popping of f to Akira ," Hanran then comme nted. He s poke with his same indifferen t <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>tone o f voice. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"> </p>Kuroi ign ored the middle boy . "Yeah, w hatever. B attle Mont h is the b iggest was te of time , ever." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"Yes," I said, "bu t what is it?" <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>My team leade r probably figured t hat we wer en't goin g to stop pestering him. He we nt into hi s room (wh ich <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>we s eparate by room divi ders) and chose to t alk when he wasn't in the ope n with the rest of u s. "Battle Month <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>i s like a t ournament. It's held by the th irteen an cient clan s spread a cross the five count ries that make up Sh aaku <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Den ." <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>I exc hanged loo ks with Ya mi. We bo th had no idea what he just sa id. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>"Wai t, I'm co nfused, is Kaze-San telling us a story? 'Cause so far it's p retty dang boring," Luna comm ented. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>S he looked hopelessly lost. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Y elling cam e from Kur oi's room. "I'M TELL ING YOU L OSERS WHAT BATTLE MO NTH IS!" h e shouted defensivel y. <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Luna didn't kno w why he w as upset. "So tell u s, old ma n!" <p style="margin: 0px; line-height: 16px; min-height: 15px;"></p>Kuro i stepped back out i nto the ha llway with a new sh irt on.