Mori Shintaro studied the three boys waiting quietly in front of him, inwardly pleased, though he was careful not to show the emotion on his face. He let the silence stretch, wanting to see how they’d react, but they did not fidget or shift from their respectful stance. A glimmer of a smile showed in his dark eyes.
“So. Here ends another summer, as well as your training.” He said quietly. All three heads jerked up in surprise and protest, but he forestalled their actions with a sharp shake of his head, and they subsided, although reluctantly. “While I may always have things to teach you, they will no longer be pertinent specifically to the physical arts of the ninja. From here, it is a matter of refining the skills and technique that is already ingrained within you.” He paused, considering each of them. “You each have specific strengths and weaknesses that are true to your core personality traits. Rocky.”
“Sir!” The teen straightened to attention, the response automatic after so many years.
“Ah. The oldest, the leader, and still cool under pressure. You have an unique ability to assess a situation and see all of the possibilities before reacting. That is your strength. However, it is also a weakness.”
Rocky frowned slightly, a bit confused. He had always been praised for his ability to remain calm and not react in volatile situations, despite how frustrated it made his younger brothers – especially Colt.
“There will be moments in your life where you will have to react first, rely on your instincts instead of your intellect. Learn to trust yourself, and let go of that hard control that you have worked so hard to maintain.” Mori elaborated, watching the emotions flash over the fifteen year old’s face. “Colt!”