When Squad Five wakes up, Arashi is already in the kitchen preparing breakfast. As they wolf down the food, he looks at the gravely, “Remember guys, you’ll be up against a lot of people who will kill you without batting an eye. Now I know it is not exactly orthodox, but you guys should take the rings I gave you, just in case there’s an emergency.” He seems to consider something for a moment before saying, “And bring lots of blankets.” Kai and Yasei nod and give their sensei a hug before leaving.
At the written test center, the 40 teams that passed the written exam gather; some carry lots of equipment while others carry none. As they arrive, each member is given three slips of paper to infuse their chakra into. The proctors tell the participants that the cards, meant to display a ninja’s strengths and weaknesses, may be traded at the owner’s volition; everybody has an hour to trade before leaving for the Survival Exams. Squad Five trades most of Kai’s cards for information about Uzu II and previous allies, such as Denmark of the Eastern Kingdoms. After an hour, the participants are loaded up into covered wagons and depart to the testing site.
Two hours later, the wagons jolt to a halt and the tarps are thrown off the carts. As the squads filter into the clearing, they are dwarfed by the shadow of a large mountain pockmarked with holes throughout the exterior. As the ninjas stand in awe of the mountain, a proctor hands out star chip gloves while another stands in front of the group and explains the rules of the Survival Exam.
“As you can see, each member of this exam will receive a star chip glove with 10 empty chip places. You will be given 2 chips to start with, but, within the week-long time limit, each squad member must acquire at least 5 in total in order for the team to pass; should anyone neglect to do so, they and their squad will be disqualified. Each additional star acquired past 5 will result in an additional point towards your nation’s standing. Now,” he gestures to the mountainside, “you all will be competing for star chips within this mountain’s cave system. Should you stray more than 1 miles outside of the caves, you and your squad will be immediately disqualified. You will notice that your gloves have an area which currently glows red. In an hour, a proctor will escort each squad to a location in the mountain and the exams will begin when the lights on the glove turn green.” He surveys the crowd gravely, “Once the exams officially begin, you will not be subject to any rules of conduct. You have an hour to prepare yourselves.” He steps away from the crowd.
It seems as though the rest of the participants begin to move off in clumps, either approaching other squads or standing staring at the mountain. Squad Five looks around and sees that the squad from the Holy Land has not been approached by anyone. Figuring that not many people would help the controversial upstart nation, Squad Five offers them support should they encounter them, an offer to which the Holy Land squad accepts. With that taken care of, Kai searches the crowd for the tall figure of Denmark and immediately succeeds in finding him. They approach the Eastern Kingdom squad while they are bargaining with the Island Nation squad. Denmark convinces the leader, Zong Hue to accept an alliance with the Shattered Sky, curtly telling the Islanders, “Your services will no longer be necessary.”
With alliances out of the way and the hour coming to a close, a proctor approaches Squad Five and asks a single question, “Upper, middle or lower?” Kai and Yasei look at each other briefly before simultaneously responding, “Upper!” The proctor looked surprised, “If you say so,” and proceeds to utilize a wind technique to fly the squad to the top of the mountain. As they approach, they quickly note that their sensei was right to have them bring blankets. The proctor set the squad down amidst the swirling snow and biting cold on the top of the mountain. As the proctor ascends and rapidly disappears from sight, Kai, Yasei and Tezka begin to shiver.