Souta yawned as their paths were selected. He didn't care to offer his opinion. He would try, at the very least, when they started, but he didn't much care what his team chose. The flamboyant girl, Kiko, he recalled, had chosen the green path for them, and Soga, the dragon, had informed that the green path was in fact the longest one. Souta shrugged at that; he was fine with taking a longer path, he hadn't exercised in some time and maybe taking a bit of a walk would be good for him.
"If you think flying ahead would help, then go right ahead," he said to Soga, not really caring who the leader of the group was. "I'll do whatever you tell me to do, I don't exactly have many plans." Souta shrugged again, with closed eyes. He put his hands into his pockets and observed the other groups, all seemingly excited in their own ways. Souta couldn't manage to get himself to be that excited, about much of anything to be honest.
God he was such a downer. At least he was self-aware about it.
He covered his face with a hand and scowled, grunting in disappointment at himself. Be happy Souta, you jackass.
The mention of possible sabotage from Mari caused Kai to look at her rather strangely. Cocking his brow and glancing over at the crowd of other students around them as he raised his arms up a bit to shrug. "Sabotage? Isn't that a little counterproductive? Why would anyone try to screw over the other teams? If they did, it's their rep that's getting trashed. Who would be dumb enough to pull that kinda stunt?"
Jeez, what is up with her? Why is she distrustful of everyone? Something must have happened to her...
Shooting a quick glance over towards Yasu to gauge her reaction to Mari's statement, Kai pushed the thought to the back of his head to focus on the task at hand. Moving in closer to his two team mates and looking over the map. Yasu's suggestion for scaling trees in order to gain a better view of their route causing the dark haired teen to nod to the plan. "Yeah, go for it. Having eyes both above and in front of us should keep us from running into any surprises. I'm probably the best for any up close and personal encounters, so I'm alright with being by myself for a bit."
As the intense girl started to walk off towards the beginning of their route, Kai stuck a bit closer to Yasu, pushing his glasses up before putting his hands in his belly pocket as he looked over to her, smiling a bit. "So, Haykawa-san, you get out in nature a lot? I'm more used to hopping around at parks and around small buildings myself. There's not many trees to climb near my place."
Kai thinks Mari is a little off her rocker for assuming one of the other students may directly try to disrupt their practice rescue mission, agrees with the plans the party had come up with before hanging back to try to make some small talk with the more approachable of the two, Yasu. The topic? Ya like trees?
To the south, closest to the white path, a plume of smoke rises into the sky, softly strangling the colour out with the wisps of gentle white. To the west, a noticeably larger volume of smoke, contrasting the blue and red above with a distressed grey that tore between the yellow and green paths. And of course, to the southwest, the most noticeable of all, was the flames of destruction that seemingly spread from nothing. It was just beyond the green path, raging with intensity.
Suddenly, all students with a phone receive a text from an unknown number. "This text is a hint - whoever figures out what to do will receive an instant pass for this test. Those that do not will be judged based on their rescue." A second text comes a few seconds later. "Your test has begun. The flames are your time limit. See if you can beat the blaze before it's too late. Good luck, Heroes. Oh, and one last thing..."
With that, the students are left to make their move. The test has finally begun.
Koumori's plan was simple enough, but the situation called for simplicity. Without any extra information to go by, they would have to play things safe until they could determine what the best course of action was. Having Koumori scout from behind while Akeno and herself flanked at the front wasn't a bad idea, and would allow them to maximise their talents and Quirks if the situation called for it. "I have no problems with it." She answers quite simply, nodding in agreement. They would have to adjust based on how things went, which was a bit annoying, but far from doing the impossible. She preferred having a plan if she could help it, always one to try and be a step ahead even if she was never quite smart enough to justify doing so. It was like an itch that wouldn't stop scratching; what could possibly be in store for them?
Azuki didn't have to wait long to find out. The explosion and subsequent fire took the emitter completely by surprise. Reflexively she turned to see if Koumori was OK. The explosion was distant, so it probably wouldn't end up being as frightening as Kiko's gunshots, but nevertheless there was cause for concern. "Excuse me, Yakkaimori, are you OK?" She spoke quickly, obviously quite shocked herself but managing to hold herself together for the most part. Jigokuraku sure liked to kick things off with a bang...
The text messages also came as a surprise - short and, in some way, cryptic. They gave the impression that whoever was sending them obviously knew more than they were letting on, meaning it was likely one of the teachers. It helped Checkers remain calm in spite of her own fear, knowing that this was all a planned exercise, just like with the exam beforehand. Nothing would go wrong, they had to focus on their rescue. If they rescued their target successfully, they were likely to pass. Anxiety got the better of her though, as her eyes, cast skyward, glanced at the flaming monstrosity to the south-west, gradually turning her head to face the south. They weren't going directly into the massive blaze, which was fine, but the smoke in the distance was a cause for concern. How did they create such a blazing inferno? Was this even legal? There was three fires, so were all three part of the plan, or was one a potential wildfire? Were they trying to burn the school down? The possibilities shot around her mind like a bullet.
She eyes the white smoke cautiously... "We should probably not waste too much time." Hardened now, if still a little bit nervous. At least they had icy winds and heat resistance. "There's smoke in the direction we need to go. If we can get there quickly enough I may be able to put the flames to rest. Of course, there's also the possibility we could find our objective there. I'm ready to go if you are." She figured it was at least worth a cursory investigation, since their path would lead them into direct contact with that particular fire, from the looks of things. Making sure nothing could further harm civilians was the first aspect of dealing with disasters, at least she figured as such. Heroism was still fairly new to her, after all. Not wanting to wait too long, she broke into a run for the red path, still caught with more questions than answers...
An explosion goes off in the distance, signalling the beginning of the exam. Two small pillars of smoke, one to the west and the other the south, flank a raging inferno to the south-west, at the end of the green path. Texts come through declaring there is a hidden objective, cooperation is allowed, that the fire is a time limit, and that cooperation between teams is allowed. They come to a close after a monster's roar cuts through the sky from the west. Azukina agrees to Koumori's plan, is taken by surprise from the explosion, and makes sure Bats is OK. She seems afraid for a few moments before stealing her courage and headed for the red path...
Mari almost seemed determined to rub Yasu up the wrong way in every way possible. Now she had gone from being rude over tardiness to being overly concerned with the possibility of sabotage of all things on the part of the others. Granted, Yasu could not fault her on the mere idea of thinking they would be mean spirited enough to try. Goodness knew Yasu had faced enough such pettiness at Nosaka, and she didn't exactly have a great deal of faith in people to behave appropriately. What she did have faith in was everyone's dedication to getting their own task done. Even the most selfish jackasses here would surely not be so stupid as to get in their way when they had a timed assessment of their own to complete. Adding to that what Kai raised, Yasu was quite sure they wouldn't have to worry about anyone sabotaging them. Of more concern was whether Mari would interpret any encounters with other groups as a potential threat and act accordingly. The last thing she wanted was to be dragged into a fight over Mari's paranoia. She certainly hoped Mari wasn't the type to engage in pre-emptive strikes.
"Yeah, I agree." Yasu said as Kai questioned who would be dumb enough to try and sabotage them. She shot him a knowing glance as he looked at her, communicating that they were more or less of the same mind on this issue. Otherwise, it seemed they were both happy for her to climb trees to aid in their search. At least she had a plan of action now. Otherwise all she might have been able to do was to amble down the path and hope to catch a glimpse of something useful.
"No, not really." Yasu told Kai upon him asking a question. "I used to climb around buildings, like you, back when I was a kid. Then I did some rock climbing before coming here, among other things. Nothing special. But I don't think I'll have any trouble getting up the trees."
But it would hardly matter whether she could climb trees or not, as a distant explosion signified the forest was on fire. Not only that, but it seemed it was on fire in the direction they were supposed to go in. As the text went out, it became apparent this was all part of the test. "You have got to be kidding me." Yasu spoke aloud, her annoyance apparent. Yasu couldn't stand this sort of "hidden test" nonsense. Here they were at a school, and they had chosen to not do the one thing they were supposed to at a school, and tell them what they were supposed to do. Instead it appeared they wanted to make this like a secret test of character or whatever. It was a load of horseshit as far as Yasu was concerned and it only served to make her opinion of the staff sink lower. She could just imagine them after this test waggling their fingers and saying "You should have figured out what to do! A real hero does this, that, and this!" She could also imagine herself kicking them in their smug little necks.
The addition of whatever that roaring sound was only made it all the more annoying. Now there might be some great secret threat out there they were supposed to fight. But how could she possibly be sure if they would not say it. All she could do was sit here and guess and have faith that their test was structured fairly. That was faith she did not have.
"Come on, let's catch up with Haruishi." Yasu said to Kai. "Hey, wait up! We need to discuss this!" She called out to Mari, who was a touch ahead of them. She gestured for them all to gather around to talk. "Alright, I know you both might be thinking time is of the essence, but there's a damn fire out there, and we need to think this through before we act. I've got some things to say about this ominous text thing they've sent us and we need to figure out what we're doing for real." She then took a deep breath before continuing.
"Going purely off the words at face value, it seems like they're suggesting that proceeding with the rescue as originally put to us isn't what we're supposed to do. That said, they haven't said that we're not supposed to go out there at all, at least not explicitly. Now I really have no idea what they actually expect from us, but given how they just proposed working together wouldn't affect our grades, I think the whole point of this test may be specifically to encourage teamwork." Yasu had never been the type to follow heroes religiously, but she had certainly heard the tired old wishy washy nonsense about heroes being paragons of virtue that worked for justice and the common good. It would be typical of an overly idealistic school to give them a task aimed at teaching them some pithy lesson about how good it was to work with your fellow students rather than against them. The thought of co-operation did not offend Yasu so much as the fact that they might be trying to make a really dumb point about it. "With that in mind, I think our priority should be to actually work with the others to fight the fires and whatever else is out there, and not to go snatching up whatever designated dummies are out there for us before the time limit. It's pretty clear they don't expect us to do nothing more than what they claimed to want from us originally, if nothing else. Any other ideas?" Frankly, Yasu would have loved nothing more than to be told she was dead wrong at this point and for a simpler course of action to be proposed.
But she had a horrifying feeling she might be right.
Yasu says some things and then finds the new situation for their test distinctly distasteful. She then huddles with her team and suggests that the whole point of the test might be to encourage them to work together.
Kaito smiled along with his classmates, eager but nervous to the task presented, and had taken the liberty of getting his teams' purple ribbons and maps for the exercise. Each one was tied to their right arm and the maps were tucked away. With the brief explanation given, he was already sitting on the grass with his messenger bag by his side.
"I.. guess we should plan this out. If you dont mind me starting?" Seeing no objections he jumped right in, map laid out on the grass in front of him. "Kenji, first things first you need to hydrate. I've got some food in my bag, please eat something. Your little nap is clearly a sign of exhaustion so its precautionary."
Kaito took out a container of fried rice and a utensil and slid it to the bug boy, along with a small bottle of water to go with it. Another bottle was passed to Suzaku. While they topped up he detailed his course of action. Suzaku nodded his thanks for the bottle of water, sipping at it contentedly.
"The p-path, it loops around a large body of water. Most incidents occur around lakes and streams so it should be the first place we check thoroughly, barring anything abnormal along the trail leading up. We should stick in a line with Kenji leading, Suzaku-san pulls up the rear, with me in the middle. Can either of you swim well?"
"I can swim pretty well. And my wings can be used for propulsion, if need be," said Suzaku, looking a little proud of himself for this fact. "They're not physical, so they don't get all wet and useless- they can be used in just about any environment."
"Oh, thankz!" Kenji's eyes themselves looked like they were about to absorb the food Kaito had on him. He couldn't believe someone had something so tasty on them without him noticing until now. His antennae moved themselves to thoroughly probe each bite of rice Kenji took. He probably looked most like a bug when he was eating but couldn't help himself while he was hungry. He would apologize later for his mutation, but there were more pressing matters to think about first. The path they had chosen was circling a lake. He just knew that their rescue dummies would be a water rescue scenario. He had to break the news to his team somehow. He took one big swig of water, nearly emptying the whole bottle in one go, he felt much better now.
"Actually, about that." Kenji said shortly after swallowing his last remaining food. "I can't zzzwim at all. My exoskeleton has no bouyanzy. I zzink like a rock. I uhh don't go near deep water a lot becauze of that."
"You'll.. uhh.." Kaito sat cross armed in thought, trying to think of a solution. "I got it! Kenji-san, we need to get a big rope before we go. Even if we can get a big log. You can pull me back to shore quickly."
Suzaku nodded at the plan, wincing with sympathy at Kenji's buoyancy issue, or lack thereof. He pondered for a moment. "If this is anything like the Entrance Exam, the rescue won't be the only thing we'll be dealing with. One of us should be on the defense, in case anyone or anything tries to come for us while you and I are performing the rescue operations, Kaito. Since Kenji can't swim, it's only logical that he perform the role."
He looked at Kaito, eyes curious. "Now, if you don't mind, before we go on, I'd like some specifics on your Quirk, Kaito. How long does it last, how many can you boost at once, that sort of thing."
"About.. 15 minutes per use. As long as I can keep playing uninterrupted I can get a double boost chained on you both the entire time, but.. multiple uses in short order leaves you exhausted. Kenji had two hits of power chord by the time we were done the displays. You could probably get 3 boosts in a row before you can't move so I'll be saving it. Situational usage only."
Suzaku pondered this information- it was a damned useful Quirk, to be sure, if a little limited. "Hm. I see. Can you use your Quirk on yourself, perchance?"
"Sorry but.. no. It only works on people I touch." Kaito was scratching his masked chin as he considered Suzakus winged quirk. If Kenji lead the way and took point, and any subsequent threats that entailed, Suzaku would be perfect for a boosted retrieval of the dummies in question. Kaito, however, was basically just an ordinary person along for the ride. His usefulness was as a booster or look out at best.
Kenji listened quietly while the other two boys did all of the planning for him, looking quite impressed and admittedly nervous at the same time. So, like he always pictured, he would lead the group without actually leading the group. It made sense, even to him, for the bulkiest guy to take up the defenses and support the faster heroes in their rescue op. He only hoped that he could truly do this important role up to their expectations.
His antennae continued to probe the area on their own, not that they could pick up much in a big open area like this. Still he could catch a few whifs of the other students depending on how... assertive their smell was.
"So, we're decided, then? Does anyone have any objections or other concerns? I'd like us to be as prepared as possible for this scenario."
The explosion in the distance and the subsequent fire had Kaito on his feet in an instant, no doubt the others following suit. The test had begun. Based on the direction of the explosion and the red on the sky, their path was close to a fire. The announcement that whoever solved the problem would automatically pass was an interesting concept. Initially he thought that meant they just had to put out the fires but that would be next to impossible without equipment.
"Lets get a move on!" *Kaitos eyes were the only indication he was smiling. There was a reckless look to them. "If we're lucky, we can take down whatever caused that roar while we're at it."
Akeno stood with her arms crossed and with a frown creasing her brow, staring at the raging fires in the distance. She’d known there would be some trick to this test, there had to be; rescuing civilians from a forest path was far too simple a task otherwise, even if the intention was just to see how they worked as a team. Even so, she hadn’t expected something of this magnitude.
Are all hero schools this crazy, or is Jigokuraku just trying to make a name for itself in its first year?
Ignoring the text for now, her phone vibrating in her pocket with unanswered messages, Akeno turned back to her team. Koumori had come up with a plan, or at least a formation of sorts, to help them better handle whatever they ran into out there; she’d placed herself in the middle, which Akeno approved of, with herself positioned to deal with threats up close and Azukina positioned to deal with threats from afar with her Quirk. It was a good plan which Akeno had no issues with, but more than that it was both surprising and pleasing to see the shy girl putting forward anything at all and Akeno was happy to go along with her idea to help give the girl more confidence in herself.
The situation may have changed with the fires that had been added to the mix, not to mention whatever that roaring sound was that came from a direction with no fires, but they would have to just deal with that when the time came. Azukina was already rushing ahead, breaking into a run that left the rest of them behind. “Hey! Azukina! Don’t forget the plan already!”
Grabbing Koumori by the arm, her hand closing around the smaller girl’s wrist much like Koumori had grabbed her earlier, Akeno ran after Azukina. She pulled her other teammate behind her, trying to keep her pace to a gentle jog so as not to pull the other girl off of her feet, gradually speeding up as Koumori got up to speed and letting go once they were both running.
The explosion in the distance blotted out all other sounds for a moment, causing Koumori's ears to swing behind her head and sway as if they were subject to the blast wave itself. As such, she was unaware of the mass messages that went around. The only next thing she knew, Akeno was grabbing her wrist and calling after Azukina. Koumori stood, resisted, twisted her wrist out of the grasp of the taller, stronger girl. This was a crisis. A real crisis. "Wait..." she stated quietly, before yelling out at the top of her lungs, "Wait!" Her mind was racing. But, unlike her usual panicked state, it was constructive. It made sense. She knew what she had to do. "E-everyone! S-stop!" she called out, as loud as she could, "W-we.... We have to be Heroes! Azukina-kun! Kudo-kun! S-Sakimoto-kun! Ito-k-kun! Yukira-kun! Tachibana-kun! C-come with me! W-we have to p-put out th-that big f-fire! Keekee! Takeda-kun! Yutsuko-kun! Y-you two split up, a-and use your w-wings to beat out th-the smaller fires! Suguro-kun! G-go to the fire c-closest to the water a-and help p-put it out! E-everyone else, g-go where you're b-best suited! K-keep the fires contained! P-please! Keekee, l-listen to me!" And with that, the short girl began to run headlong towards the massive blaze. It was actually a bit of a blur. She barely realized she had voiced her thoughts, let alone so loudly. In fact, she was already moving before she finished calling out her suggestions. So, she was a bit surprised herself as she passed the tree line, going down the blue path as fast as her legs would carry her- which was surprisingly fast for her height. Even if it was part of the exercise, this was real to her. Beyond the civilians that needed saving being automatons, this fire had to be contained. The wildlife in the area wouldn't make it out unscathed with the sudden onset of the flames, and, further more, if it spread to the school, or the city below, it could cause untold damage.
Her mind continued to calculate the best method. Azukina and Hiroki's wind based Quirks would be excellent at suppressing flames. That combined with Akeno and her apparent heat-resistance, at least to a normal human level, and Kenji's strength and, if he were actually like a beetle in more ways than what was obvious, digging ability would be great at flame suppression on this scale, as would Souta, being able to erect barriers, and spin away debris onto the flames. The major priority was getting the largest fire stopped, which is why she wanted to go that way herself, and use her keen senses to help things out. Elina had a particular, if not peculiar, advantage, in that she could use her own flames to rob oxygen from the larger fire's offshoots, then deactivate her own fire safely. The other fires needed to simply be contained, as far as she could see, and would eventually burn themselves out. But this larger one was critical. And that voice that called out- who was that? Could it have been Itagaki-sensei? But that wasn't important right now. She had to get there as quickly as possible. A straight line.
The explosion, the smoke, the roar, and the texts were, quite frankly, overwhelming for Mari. She wanted to settle into her dorm room. She wanted to sit in a class, read from textbooks, turn in assignments, and take exams. Bad teachers gave tests before teaching. Hadn't their 'heroic mettle' already been evaluated in the entrance exam? It was plenty clear that many of the students had misguided concepts of 'what a hero is' or 'how a hero should behave', herself included. So why continue to run the students through these flash-bang, off-the-cuff exercises that were essentially massive 'trick questions'? Education was inculcating the ability to run through a specific process of thinking that a student could then use to arrive at desired conclusions and methods of action. Education was not relying on a students inherent 'instinct' or preconceived notions based on their limited perspective and specific upbringing. Education was supposed to normalize and hammer out errors in thinking, not amplify them. At this point, nobody truly knew what they were doing or what they were supposed to do, and the ability to think through a crisis was not something hero students should be expected to inherently know how to deal with, it was something they were supposed to be taught. And teaching was something Mari had yet to see happen at this school. In the end, everyone would run off doing whatever they personally thought was best, and no one would be the wiser. But who would be to blame if someone made an error in judgment? Could this test really be considered fair? The way Mari saw it, the outcome of this 'test' no longer mattered. Pass or fail, no student could be blamed, whatever action they chose to make. If any student failed, Mari would have some words with the faculty. If there was any criticism or finger-wagging after the fact, if any student felt like a failure for their performance in this test, Mari would be there for them to reassure them that it's the teachers who are wrong. Mari had always been a model student as far as her grades went, but that was because she had understood conventional education, and her teachers had delivered on that front, so she had reciprocated. Even if material had been difficult, she couldn't fault them for being unfair or for improperly preparing their students. Now the performance of the entire faculty was questionable, and she wouldn't stay silent.
Of course, there was also the other issue that was making her impatient to be done with this farce. The promise of a bed, a roof, and hot meals were so tantalizingly close. It would be weeks of regular laundry and showering before she could cleanse the shameful stench of destitution from herself. Weeks of sleeping in a soft bed before the persistent aches melted out of her body. She was sure some of her classmates could tell and thought less of her for it, no matter how much she attempted to hide it.
As these thoughts circulate in her mind, her teeth and fists clench as her forward marched ceased due to indecision. But as Yasu and Kai approach, she is brought out of her introspection. Turning to them, she releases the built up tension, and even offers them a weak smile, feeling a strange sense of camaraderie in that they were all being equally dicked by the faculty. She was also somewhat relieved that the teachers at least explicitly stated that cooperation would not harm their evaluation, removing the fear of sabotage from earlier. As she listened to Yasu's proposed ideas, she nodded along, because what she had said made sense, but also because Mari didn't really have any better ideas herself. She did, however add a bit, saying, "Although from the looks of it, there are multiple fires, maybe three, judging by the plumes of smoke. I think the smaller fires should be dealt with first so that all effort can then be used to concentrate on the inferno. Concentrating on the big one first allows the smaller ones to potentially get out of control. And I'm sure that letting a dumm yget burned is probably really bad, so instead of saving all the dummies, we should just prioritize saving any dummies that are under immediate threat from the fires. Since I don't think any of us is ideal for handling fires, we should probably focus on clearing dummies out of the way of the fires, and fulfilling any requests the fire teams have for us. It seems Yakkaimori will be leading that front. I think that for now, we should still stick to our designated white path and do what we can there. Also, I can't run at top speed, not with the fires drying out the plant material. I shouldn't add any more sparks to the situation."
Mari has an internal philosophical disagreement with Jigokuraku's methodology of education that spirals into an existential crisis. Mari agrees with Yasu's plan, adding in her own two cents.
The casual conversation was cut short by the last thing Kai ever expected to hear was an explosion, and to be bathed beneath the light of a red sky. His head turning up to gawk at the pillars of smoke rising into the sky before him as he visibly tensed, gritting his teeth a bit. "...Well well, this just got a hell of a lot more interesting. Didn't the teacher just make a point of not damaging any of the historical sites up here?"
His question was answered with that dominating, powerful roar that echoed throughout the forest. The deep bellow of what sounded like a giant monster straight out of the movies. A cold drop of sweat rolling down the teen's neck as he starred at the forest for an extra few moments after Yasu called him over. Nodding slowly, Kai's hand shot down to his pocket at he heard the text tone go off, pulling out his phone and scanning his narrowed eyes over the messages. "I'll be...right there."
There's a hidden objective? What the hell is this, a video game?...If the texts are hints, when it says 'beat the blaze'...Wait, what if this is all just a red herring? What are we really supposed to do?
The bespectacled teen stuck close to his two teammates, crossing his arms with his phone still in hand as each of them said their piece. His attention being stolen for a few moments as he heard the scream from the bat-like girl, perking up as he heard a semi-familiar name called to the aid of the fire by the lake. Suguro...She was the girl that got scared off earlier. That bat-girl told her to go near the lake fire by herself, so she must have some sort of Quirk that uses water really effectively...That's our ticket. We gotta support her.
His brown eyes going back and forth between Yasu and Mari after they had both finished, his hand slipping back into his jeans to pocket his phone as he loosened the backpack from his shoulders and let it drop behind him, adopting a rather serious expression as his brows furrowed, and he frowned. "The way I see it, they're expecting us to think fast, act fast, and work together with everyone so we pick up each others slack. Yeah, they sprung this on us out of nowhere, and haven't taught us anything yet, but right now, we shouldn't care about that. The teachers aren't going to magically make us into heroes, the only people who can do that for us is ourselves."
Pointing off to what looked like the closest pillar of smoke in the sky, Kai turned to face it as his dark red tentacles suddenly shot out from his back, and settled into something resembling a thin cape made of liquid with a split down the middle. "I'm with you guys on fighting the fires. What else could 'beat the blaze' mean? But I also think it's important to pay attention to the dummies. We should stick to the path we chose, bring back any dummies we find along the way, and try to meet up with somebody who has a Quirk more suited to handling giant balls of flaming death. My arms can probably stamp out some of the flames, but if it gets bigger, I'm a bit less useful on that front."
Looking over to Mari specifically, Kai shot a thumb back into the crowd of other students near them. "Mari, Surguro's Qurik must be really great with water, right? We should support her on her way to the lake. If she's that timid around strangers, I think she'll need the help getting there safely."
Kai reacts to the sudden, extreme change of pace, not knowing what to think at first, before pushing the thought out of his mind to focus on what to do. After overhearing Yakkaimori's call for action, he comes up with a plan to support Umi on her way to the lake. He convenes with his other two teammates, and offers his thoughts and plan. Also he made a cool cape out of his freaky liquid tentacles.
Kenji's antennae shot up like he was just struck by lightning as an intense look came over his face. The smallish girl he saw in the quirk demonstrations already started running towards the fire and had called his name specifically to help. Kenji couldn't ignore that, but he also couldn't ignore his teammates, and there was already a path they had to take. But, with a huge fire like that, shouldn't they try to contain it? Or maybe that was a test too? And the roaring...
In his entrance exam, he had ignored hostages and even the classmates he had with him to go face his Uncle Croc. In his head he had rationalized it as a way to allow others to rescue hostages uninterrupted, but what would have saved more dummies in the end? He shook his head and cleared that thought for his mind. His classmates were running towards that big fire and Kenji needed to make sure they would be okay.
"Kaito-kun, Suzzzzaku-kun, I'm going! Zzzorry! I have to help!" he said to the two boys he had paired up with as he scrambled to his feet. "Come with me! We can go back for the dummies when the fire izzz contained!"
He didn't know what he was doing, but it felt right to him. That was his gut feeling. Answer when he was called, and help where he was needed the most. So the bulky student ran as fast as his body could take him after Koumori. Which... wasn't fast at all.
Kenji loses any thoughts of a plan in his head and runs face first into trouble.