|An Alternate Path
Author: Surarrin PM
[Alternate Reality] A single action as you stare death in the face can have adverse effects. Instead of hate, Naruto grew up with the fear of Konoha. Now watch as he backed by the ninja population of Konoha leads his life ultimately to his final goal.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Naruto U. & Hanabi H. - Chapters: 27 - Words: 160,037 - Reviews: 1,066 - Favs: 674 - Follows: 647 - Updated: 01-01-07 - Published: 10-03-05 - id: 2603786
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
1This chapter is exactly 12,200 words. more then twice the length I'd set as the average for this story, which mean's you all should be damn satisifed after reading this. I'm not going to say much, or rather, anything at all. I'm too tired, and i feel like watching some Tomb Raider, anyway, enjoy it if you can, and any feed back would be appreciated.
2 I normally wouldn't comment about a review in here, ever since they implemented the Review system I haven't had the need to, however, this particular review warrants it.
"You bitchy-hebi woman i despise you this is the framework of MY story created 2 years ago in Japan when i went for a visit!
I curse you to a life worse than the seventh dimension of hell!" By Tori Kasyike Oliyrtafe
As I said, I normally wouldn't but as you can see this isn't exactly something I can just ignore. I'll list the thing's I find offensive in it.
1. I'm a man, please read my profile, I honestly don't think I act like a woman at all, so please respect my gender. Also, if you can't be bothered clicking on my name to find out then please note 'Jon' at the end of each of the Author notes. Jon is pronounced John, and is part of the name Jonathon, which is my name, not at all feminine, in my opinion.
2. Since this was for the first chapter I will assume that they are refering to what happened to the Kyuubi. As far as I know, I have read no other stories which coincide with exactly what occured. If I ahd read it somewhere before I wouldn't have used it, I make it a point to be as original as I can at all times. As noted by the title of the story.
3. Hell doesn't exactly have dimensions, if you wish to believe Dante's writing, Hell has Nine levels, So please, if you are going to condem me, please send me as far down as you can, I'm a very egotisical person when it concerns my own damnation, and I expect nothing but the worse possible.
4. Please leave contact details next time so I don't have to defile the reader's eyes with my discontentment with your reviews.
3 Stal you dweeb, thanks for pointing out the errors! Everyone thank St. Alicon for pointing out the flaws early on so you don't have to suffer! (No sarcasm.)
He, ever since he had entered the tower, had been having a strange sense of oppression which weighed down upon him. No matter how hard he tried to ignore it, he could ignore neither it, nor the pain, which was even still going through his body. The pain had lessened to the point where it was a simple scratch, which just broke the skin, but it was still there. Although, the uncertainty he felt was kept only to when he was in the presence of others, while it was slightly less with Hanabi, it would not escape him, unless he was completely alone.
And so he sought solitude, climbing higher and higher in the tower until he had reached far past the levels they were supposed to enter. Past the signs which read 'Off Limit's to Genin, Instant disqualification upon being found past this point', but Naruto did not care, he reasoned, he could easily avoid being seen either way, he would remain. It took seemingly forever to navigate the maze like upper structures, but what seemed like eternity Naruto finally came to rest upon the literal top of the tower, above him the sky stretched endlessly, clear as any day he had seen, far down below he could see the canopy of the tree's, but no sounds, or visions of fighting came to him, for once, he was utterly alone, and at peace.
But- even with that small piece of calm he had attained, the small bit of sanctity of mind he needed to reach faded away. Without the presence of his friends around him or anyone at all, without the overbearing sense of being pulled down to distract him, his mind kept jumping to a single line of thought. A line of thought, which revolved around a single subject; Orochimaru. No matter how hard Naruto tried to put the serpentine man out of his thought's, but that proved impossible, as every single fibre of his body was tainted, from the very inner fabric of his body, hat being his muscles, to the tissue which composed his brain.
The most glaringly obvious thing to have happened to his body was his eye, his left eye. Never before had his eye seemed to gorge itself on chakra, there was a supposed limit to the tissues ability to absorb, store and use chakra. That was the reason that the body limited itself to twenty percent of its available chakra, because when a certain amount of chakra had been infused with tissue, it began cellular degeneration. When he had been fighting Orochimaru in the forest his judgement had been impaired, that much was obvious, from the fact that he had attacked with little to no plans, to the actuality that he had pushed more chakra into his eye then should have been humanly possible without the eye becoming unusable. In fact, without a doubt, the amount he had put in should, have caused his eye to explode. Naruto thanked his lucky stars that it was not the case. However, at the same time, he condemned them; there was no way that should have been possible naturally.
Which left one possibility, the single possibility that was obvious. Orochimaru, as he had done with the rest of his body, had managed to pervert the nature of his eye. The original function, if Naruto assumed the ability to perceive actions at a highly developed rate, was fine. However, Orochimaru was only able to influence his actions once the doujutsu had been activated. That worried Naruto slightly; He was unable to control his own body, he had been unable to directly influence at all, and at the same time, he had been completely aware.
Never the less, Naruto resolved to understand what had happened, and if possible work around the disadvantage within the advantage that the bastard had given him. That was another reason he had wanted solitude. Without anyone around him, the chances were that he would be able to move his understand forward via practical application without chance anyone would realise what he had been doing. As it was, he doubted anyone knew what had happened to his eye.
Under the cloudless sky, Naruto sat down. The calm that radiated with him was unabated as before, in fact, with the gentle breeze which seemed to flow endlessly over him he found himself at a new level of tranquillity. Naruto slowly closed his eyes and shifted his legs under him until they came into a stressless position. Ever so slowly, Naruto combined the two separate components of his chakra and gentle ebbed them towards his eye. He had expected it to take a fair while, and a fair amount of chakra to activate. However, he was mistaken. A shiver ran through his body as his eye malformed under his eyelid. It felt disgusting; Naruto could feel the changes against his eyelid.
Ever so slowly, Naruto lifted his eyelid up and revealed his eye to the world. While he had no time to be shocked prior, when he had been engaged in battle with Orochimaru, there was no such distractions to take his mind away from the sheer magnitude of the eye as opposed to his normal eye. Without any objects moving within his sight, all Naruto could assess was the small differences that the eye showed him.
The first and foremost, was that his vision on his left side had increased exponentially. In fact, it was beginning to make him slightly nauseous, even though it had been less then a minute since it's activation. A sound from overhead had Naruto snap his head upwards, it took milliseconds to identify the source of the noise, and Naruto in the aftermath of those milliseconds was grateful, the area of his vision had shrunk exponentially and was focused upon a bird which was flying overhead.
The appearance of the bird had allowed him a second thing, other then to remove the nauseousness that had begun to overtake him. It wasn't immediate, the focusing upon the bird, so it allowed Naruto a few seconds of insight into the working's of the eye. The speed at which he was able to view the avian's motions had been average for a second or so before his eye had focused upon the bird. After that however, the motion's had become slow, so slow in fact, that Naruto could probably knock the bird out of the sky with ease, if his aim, which was average, held up. The moment that his focus was removed from the bird however, his eye's vision range had increased again to it's first area. Naruto, however, found that the feeling's of nauseousness had evaporated.
Naruto reached up to cover his left eye, before, with his right eye, he focused upon the bird again. It was moving in the average speed Naruto would have assumed a bird of it's size and species would be capable of. Without hesitation, Naruto broke his hand away from his left eye, and allowed it to focus on the bird. As had happened before, the range of his vision had shrunk, and the bird's movement's had become laboured. It was at that moment, that Naruto noticed a secondary change; The bird's feather's had become vivid, in fact, Naruto wouldn't have been surprised if he was able to count the exact number of feather's it had upon it's wing.
Having decided that he had 'toyed' with the eye implant enough, Naruto briefly wondered how he was supposed to deactivate it, before he felt a small disturbance in his chakra located at, amazingly enough, his left eye. The disturbance in it's entirety was just a small siphon which was located at his eye. A small halt in the chakra flowing past the region had his vision black out, before slowly reforming to a natural function, much to Naruto's relief.
A frown formed upon Naruto's lips as his chakra went back to it's formal routes. Something else was wrong, had he not been working with his chakra with his mind entirely focused upon it, Naruto wouldn't have noticed, his techniques had been working as well as ever, but then, his proficiency was beyond what was needed for the majority of his techniques. The highest echelons however required the utmost control, a small slip and he would be ravaged by his own chakra, as happened many times when he had been training, and without a certain blue haired Hyuuga medic, he wasn't sure he'd have the ability to go on in one piece.
His chakra was erratic, by all accounts it should have been as smooth as the flow of water from a tap which was releasing water at an average pace, with minimal pressure, in other words, a calm flow. It wasn't, however, instead it was easy for Naruto to compare it to a river littered with jagged spike's. The water, like his chakra was moving impulsively, at certain area's it was worst. Certain area's, such as his muscles. It didn't help that his tenketsus were still healing.
One thing, that had become obvious when Naruto had taken up meditation, was while when he was calm, and completely undisturbed, his mind, his body, his soul, were perfectly calm, nothing could throw him from the state- or so he had thought. His chakra had begun to react to his emotions, even though he was unable to properly focus on them. In the state, he for all purposes, unable to control his chakra. In a normal situation, out of his calm, he would have been horrified. But as it were, he couldn't care any less. His chakra had begun to rise in fluctuations, steadily.
"Uzumaki Naruto." called out a blank voice.
Had Naruto not been certain that it was a male voice, he would almost swear he had gone back in time and that whoever it was, was Hanabi. As it were, Naruto partially recognised the voice, it was the same voice he had heard when he had first met Temari and Kankuro, it was her brother; Gaara.
"Gaara." said Naruto unsurely as he forced his chakra down and tried to calm it.
The act proved hard on a good day. Placing together the alterations which had occurred in his body and with the mental calm which had been placed upon him moments before he was unable to substantially force his chakra down. And it proved to be a good thing moments later as a yellow spiky cloud erupted towards Naruto from Gaara's position. Had he noticed a fraction of a second later Naruto wouldn't have been able to avoid it at all. As it were he had been slightly slow, and had paid the price as a spurt of crimson issued from his arm. The sand had flowed past him and grinded away a small fragment of skin.
With his chakra fluctuating and raging against his control, it wasn't very hard to get it into a violent form. Naruto lashed out against the yellow cloud, which he came to realise was sand, with his chakra. The wave of chakra tore through the sand particles, causing them to fall apart, but the moment they hit the ground again they began to gather, but instead of moving towards him they withdrew back to a common point, which was Gaara.
Naruto scowled lightly as he felt the skin covering his shoulder slowly reform. As with his eye it wasn't an entirely nice feeling. His eyes were focused on Gaara, who had a similar expression upon his face. It didn't last long, for a moment Gaara's visage was calm, before it cracked into a mask of agony, his hands found their way to his head and clutched it, a series of grunts came from Gaara before he straightened again and his eyes landed upon Naruto's.
"Mother doesn't want your blood." he said bewilderedly before going blank.
"She says it has been tainted." the red headed boy said in a monotone voice.
For the moment all hostile feeling's from Gaara disappeared, and in their stead a curiosity began to show.
"How did you taint your blood?" Gaara asked blankly, as if he was not interested in his own question at all.
"That doesn't concern you." Naruto spat out angrily as he forced his chakra to calm down again, against it's volition. "Why the hell did you attack me?!" Naruto demanded to know as his eyes scanned Gaara for any sign of hostile intent, there, however, was a complete lack of what had previously been abundant in the form of the attack he had launched, which had drawn the blood, which 'she' had called Tainted.
"Because I wanted to kill you" he stated as if it were obvious, despite the complete lack of emotions which should have been parading across his face.
"Why the hell would you want to do that?" asked Naruto perplexed as he finally regained complete control of his chakra. His mind briefly turned to the conversation he had had with Temari.
"Because it is the purpose which I was created for." Gaara said calmly.
"Purpose?" Naruto echoed bemusedly as his brow furrowed.
"Every living essence has a purpose, I was created to destroy all traces of human life." the red headed boy explained. As he spoke the loose grains of sand which littered the roof began to accumulate and withdraw to Gaara, before they drifted upwards and spiralled into the gourd which Gaara had upon his back.
"What is your purpose?" asked Gaara curiously.
A small frown appeared on Naruto's face as he considered Gaara's words. Had he been asked that question the moment he had become a Genin he would have easily been able to answer, and the answer would have been that his purpose was to become an ANBU. However that was no longer a worthwhile purpose, it was a goal, a means to an end. If it had remained a purpose, it would have been a flawed purpose, such as Gaara's current one.
"Your purpose is flawed, what happens once you destroy all of humanity? You'll cease to have a reason to live." Naruto pointed out as he shifted upon his feet.
Normally pointing out that someone's purpose in life was flawed as a sure fire way to get in their bad books, and Naruto had assumed Gaara would have been no different, but as it was, all Gaara did was frown. It appeared that Gaara was thinking, which gave Naruto some time to pick apart the boy's question.
There was no honest answer to his purpose.
"What if someone has no purpose?" asked Naruto out loud by accident, only to realise he had spoken allowed when Gaara answered his question.
"Those without purpose have no excuse to be in this world, they must me exterminated." answered Gaara without looking up to Naruto.
"You have no purpose?" asked Gaara before his eyes flickered to Naruto. At that moment sand began to flow out of the gourd and form into spikes, which hovered ominously above Gaara, all the while pointed to Naruto.
"I'm trying to find my true purpose, like the purpose you gave yourself, my purpose was flawed." Naruto explained slowly as he began to manipulate his chakra again, just in case Gaara decided that he needed to be 'exterminated'.
"Those without purpose have no need to live, but those searching for purpose should be allowed to find it." said Gaara slowly before he began to turn away from Naruto.
"What purpose could have no end? All purposes are flawed thus all purposes mean little." said Gaara blankly, along with his words, the sand spikes which floated above Gaara wavered slightly but remained airborne.
"Protecting those close to you is an endless purpose." stated Naruto calmly as his mind focused upon the deadly sand-made objects in the air.
The words that Naruto had uttered did not sit well with Gaara it seemed. The sand spikes without warning shot towards him like an arrow out of a bow. Instead of dodging, Naruto gathered up his adjacent chakra in front of his body and broke it up into individual 'plates' in front of the various sized spikes. The moment the sand came into contact with the chakra shields they diffused harmlessly only to, as they moved past, form into needle-like projectiles which continued and peppered Naruto's body. The projectiles lost all form as they were forced out of his body via his chakra. Naruto took special note of the fact that his chakra reacted without command to removing the foreign substances.
Naruto grimaced as pain lanced through his chakra circulatory system. He was still in no form to fight. Even shielding himself like that and forcing the sand out of his body was wreaking havoc on his nervous system. No more attacks came at him, Naruto noted absently as he watched Gaara walk away, back the way he, himself had come to the roof.
"I have no such people to protect." Gaara's voice echoed from the stairwell along with his footsteps.
Yet another frown formed upon Naruto's lips as Gaara's words echoed in his mind. Gaara had a brother and a sister, both who were on his team, by that information by itself Naruto doubted in any other situation he would have believed Gaara, without having met him. His sister had seemed nice enough, having gone out of her way to tell him that her brother would probably try and kill him. Then again, the fact that he had made two attack's, one being semi-major and a small one, on him lent a bit of plausibility to the idea that Gaara didn't have any people close to him.
Gaara reminded him of Shino slightly, with his attacks and his personality. They shared some similarities, but only on the surface.
Naruto shook his head and removed his mind from thought's of foreign ninja, and focused upon his inner problems, every single one of them. He didn't have long until the end day of the tournament, he knew that, every single moment of time he wasted was a moment of time he could have used to fix the problems which were inhibiting him, however slightly.
Gaara would be the last person to see Naruto until the morning of the fifth day, at which he would descend into the unrestricted area of the tower, tired and hungry, but despite that, all his inner problems would have been worked out, leaving him in more control of his own body then he had been since he had trained on the last day before his taking the Genin exam all that time ago.
Naruto stumbled down the stairwells, he was thoroughly exhausted. His body had gone through all the nourishment from his last meal, while he was lacking in the food department he was mentally satisfied. He was in complete control of his emotions, and more importantly his chakra. The chakra that had comprised the barrier which he had been able to erect in his defence had been illusive in the beginning of his mental quest, but in the end he had found the source secured at his navel, but unfortunately he was unable to access it while he was calm. He had attempted to draw upon it while he was calm and failed, but the more his frustration mounted the easier the chakra came to him. He hypothesised that if he had ever reached a point where he could feel nothing other then rage he would be unstoppable, although afterwards he would be surprised if he would be able to move.
But that didn't matter. With his mind, chakra and body completely in check there was no need for the unforeseen source of energy. But that didn't stop his mind from thinking about it. At first he had assumed it was a by-product of Orochimaru's experimentation. But he quickly realised that it didn't make sense; He had used the energy to protect himself unconsciously when he had been at Orochimaru's mercy.
His mind lingered on the possibility of an advanced bloodline but he haphazardly ignored the prospect, at his level the chakra was unfathomably powerful, his parents if they had access to it would not have been easy to kill, and at least one of them should have remained with him, unless they dumped him. But with such a talent he couldn't understand why they would do that. Unless the backlash killed them. He had observed that every time he had used the energy it would take It's toll on his body, his last bout in using the energy in the forest had his tenketsus ravaged to the point where it hurt to put them to use.
Naruto sniffed the air lightly. A small grin soon formed upon his lips as his nose caught wind of the predictable rich scent of meat. His body hungered for protein, and one sure source of protein was meat. Utilising the ability to recall his steps, Naruto soon found his way back to the breakfast area. To his immense surprise there were more then three teams present. Besides his own, Hanabi's and Gaara's teams, there were four other teams. He could easily recognise the 'Shika-Ino-Cho' team, or rather the Shika and the Ino were easy to spot, the Chou was no doubt behind the massive pile of dishes between them.
Shino's team wasn't as easy to spot, but they were none the less present. Even Sakura was there, relatively unharmed. There was also another team near them, two of the people he did not recognise, but the third he did, the third brought a smile to his face; It was Kabuto.
Naruto's eyes finally landed upon the last new team, one he honestly had not expected to see ever again, despite his last words to the female member of the team. The one and only team from sound were huddled in the corner. The boy with spiky hair seemed to be in perfect health, the bandage-wrapped boy however, seemed to be nursing his arm, his right one, the one Naruto had pulverised the shoulder's cartilage of. The final member seemed to be one of the only people who realised he had entered the room. Kin's obsidian eyes glinted deviously for a single moment, before it was washed away, but Naruto had seen it, he had no doubt Kin meant on some level for him to notice it.
His presence also registered to a few other people. Surprisingly Hinata was oblivious to it. Hanabi and Sasuke however took note almost straight away. Temari's face had a look of relief etched upon it. Naruto supposed she thought that Gaara had killed him. The red headed boy in question also took note of his presence before going back to his food.
"Hey Naruto!" Ino yelled out the moment she noted his presence, which signalled the majority who were still ignorant of his presence, which included The two male sound team members, Kankuro, Lee, Tenten, Chouji, Sakura, Kabuto's entire team and still surprisingly Hinata.
Naruto stood still as a small avalanche of heads turned towards him. Rock Lee was the first person to discard their seat and to rush to Naruto, barraging him with questions.
"Where were you Naruto-kun?! Were you training?! Why haven't you been eating?!" were a few of the question's Naruto could make sense of before his patience was used up, which was surprisingly quick considering how much conditioning he had just put his mind and emotions through.
"Calm down." Naruto commanded, to which, to Naruto's surprise, Lee obeyed immediately.
"I just needed some alone time, In a sense I was training, Because I forgot to." Naruto answered calmly.
The calm seemed to rub off on Lee as he spoke again.
"As I expected, Hanabi-Chan has been gracious enough to explain to I and Tenten why you were acting differently. When she told us of your remarkable recovery I was inspired! Only a worthy rival would battle the tides of insanity and come out on top, stronger then ever!" Lee's clam progressively weakened, although his extremely boisterous nature was superseded by a show of self-restraint.
In the time that Lee had taken up most of the people Naruto knew had gotten up and were already surrounding him in a semi-circle. At the foremost was Sasuke and Hinata who were smiling at him unsurely, which was to be expected in the wake of the time he had taken to himself which was undoubtedly larger then they probably considered normal.
"What took you so long?" asked Sasuke amusedly as he regarded those around him, who seemed to be busting with questions of their own. Unsurprisingly they were predominantly female, making Sasuke feel out of place. Lee however didn't seem to have the same feeling as he waited in semi-baited breath for Naruto's answer.
"Some…difficulties arose that I needed to take care of." Naruto said slowly, not entirely sure that he wanted such potentially hazardous information in the hands of anyone other them himself.
Lee and Tenten shared a knowing look with each other much to Naruto's amusement. Hinata seemed to have some idea also, but Ino seemed to be completely in the dark, something which Naruto had gathered she didn't like, it took only moments before Ino's curiosity got the best of her.
"What happened?!" she demanded to know as she stepped towards Naruto.
Naruto stared at Ino unblinking for a few moments before he frowned and shook his head.
"I don't want to talk about it right now." Naruto explained calmly before he glanced over Ino's shoulder to the tables of food beyond the small gathering.
"Tell me!" Ino insisted, going as far as to grasp Naruto's hands to stop him as he was about to walk away.
Naruto glared at Ino lightly before he removed her hands from his without a pause.
"I said I don't want to talk about it." Naruto repeated as he began to walk past the blonde haired girl.
"So you'll tell everyone else but me?!" Ino said angrily before she stomped her foot down. "I'm your friend dammit! Tell me!" she demanded shrilly.
Naruto's glare intensified and something inside him, which had been building ever since he had met Ino, snapped.
"Shut up." he spoke coldly, causing even Hanabi, who was still sitting down at her table to bask in the complete lack of warmth that was usually associated with Naruto's voice.
"You aren't my friend, You have done nothing for me. I am your friend however, as I've shown by putting up with you and helping you whenever it was possible. But don't ever tell me what to do you won't like the consequences." Naruto's voice was quiet, yet it seemed to cut through the room like a Wakizashi through tissue paper.
Ino seemed to shrink under Naruto's harsh words. At first she seemed to be unable to speak, unable to come up with anything to rebuke Naruto's comments. The reality of his words stung her more then she let show. She swallowed a single time before trying to speak again.
"Is… is that what you really think?" she asked shakily as she stared across into Naruto's infuriated eyes.
"It is." Naruto said sharply, before turning away from Ino and walking towards the table he had seen Sasuke and Hinata sit at, where there was an extra plate filled with food, his own, where he had eaten all those days prior.
Ino could not muster any words as she watched Naruto walk away from her. Indignation soon took root in the place of confusion.
"Is that what you think friends are?! Just something you can use?! I don't know how Hanabi can stand you treating her like that." Ino began to rant, drawing Naruto's attention back to her.
"Hanabi isn't my friend." snapped Naruto icily, drawing looks of surprise from the Hinata, Sasuke and Hanabi's team, along with Hanabi herself. "She's much more then that, she's my…" Naruto trailed off unsurely. His closing statement caused Hanabi to smile inwardly, not that anyone noticed with their attention fixated upon Naruto and Ino
The moment he opened his mouth to retort Ino continued. "Do you even know what a friend is!? A friend is someone you trust and care about, not just a means to an end, where the hell did you get that kind of idea from anyway?!" she demanded to know angrily.
"A good friend of mine gave me that definition of a friend." said Naruto calmly.
Ino began to scream incoherently before turning upon her heel and storming out of the dining area.
Naruto shrugged to himself lightly before sitting down and beginning to eat, oblivious to his friends shock and discomfort. After a few moments the rest of the Genin who were standing up when back to their tables in silence, and the silence continued for a few minutes, before Hinata, who had been fidgeting the entire time couldn't stand it anymore.
"Naruto-kun, what am I to you?" she asked quietly, almost silently, if there had not been complete and utter silence in the room Naruto doubted he would have been able to hear her.
"You're Hinata-sama." Naruto said as if it were obvious, before taking note of the mortification that appeared upon her face and correcting himself. "Hinata-chan."
Naruto didn't react at all as Hinata visibly brightened and gifted him with a smile.
Across from Naruto Sasuke sat silently observing Naruto. Inside he was filled with dread, his mind was going back to the day when Naruto had failed that fateful exam and left the Academy. His memory was as vivid as ever, and he could recall the exact words he had spoke to Naruto. Combining Naruto's comment with his recollection he felt ashamed, in more then one way. At various points through Naruto's meal he almost gathered the courage and wits he needed to speak his mind, but it was never enough as the conversation that Naruto and Ino shared rang through his mind.
"Are you gonna eat that?" asked Naruto suddenly causing Sasuke to stop his observations.
"Huh?" Sasuke grunted in confusion before glancing down at his plate and seeing some left over's.
"No, you can have it." Sasuke said nonchalantly before he tore his attention away from Naruto.
As Naruto reached over across the table to pick up the piece of food with his chopsticks his senses caught hint of something unexplainable, he snapped his head to the right just in time to feel an influx of chakra followed by an explosion of smoke.
"Let's get this party started!" shouted a female voice from beyond the smokescreen.
A pale hand slashed through the smoke, and almost instantly the smoke was dispersed revealing the second examiner; Mitarashi Anko in all her semi-indecent glory.
"You punks follow me!" she exclaimed rambunctiously as she thrust her fist up into the air and began marching towards the exit which led to the junction of all the corridors.
"Oh it's just her." Naruto mumbled to himself as he resumed stealing from Sasuke's plate, ignoring the fact that everyone in the room, even Hinata and Sasuke had risen and were moving towards the exit.
Anko's hand twitched lightly, and then she vanished, to the surprise of everyone who was standing. A second later she reappeared behind Naruto with a Kunai in her hand, as she brought it around to Naruto's neck she frowned, she was unable to move the Kunai closer.
"That's the second time you've tried that, Anko-senpai, After the first time everything will fail." Naruto said calmly as he pushed the kunai away from his throat with a single chopstick.
"Seem's like someone has gotten even better." Anko said silkily.
"You remind me of someone." said Naruto as calmly as he could. "You have the same… aura as him."
"Are you related to Orochimaru?" asked Naruto suddenly as he turned around upon his chair to face Anko.
The act didn't work out as well as one would have hoped, Naruto was only just able to make contact with the woman's eyes without tilting his head too far up. Naruto frowned as he found Anko's hand grasp the front of his shirt and pull him upwards as she leant down.
"Repeat that name." she hissed out.
Naruto blinked before repeating it.
A scowl appeared upon Anko's face before she shoved Naruto back down into his seat and turned to face the rest of the Genin in the room.
"All of you follow the sign's to the arena, we're missing someone else so someone go find her, you don't need to, I suppose, just go." she yelled out semi-calmly, before turning back to Naruto.
"We need to have a little talk Uzumaki." she whispered out angrily before grabbing Naruto's shirt again with one hand and raising her other hand up into a seal. Naruto frowned lightly as his body seemed to warp along with Anko, and the world seemed to blur, only to reform in a blank room.
Without the seat under him to balance his weight Naruto fell to the ground unceremoniously. While Anko remained standing up glaring down at him.
"That wasn't very nice." said Naruto blandly as he stood up in front of Anko.
"How do you know Orochimaru?" she demanded to know, before thinking for a moment and asking a second question. "What made you think I was related to him?"
"So you do know him personally." Naruto said to himself.
"Answer the god-damn question!" snarled out Anko angrily as she stepped forwards towards Naruto.
"He gave you that didn't he?" asked Naruto emotionlessly as he pointed to Anko's neck.
Subconsciously Anko's hand found it's way to her neck, covering an inky black mark.
"As your superior I order you to answer my god damn questions." Anko managed to say calmly.
"He's the one who decided to experiment on my body." Naruto said calmly as he stared up into Anko's eyes. "He did the same to you didn't he?" Naruto asked blandly.
"You didn't mention any of this before the exam, perhaps you saw him in the exam?" Anko mocked Naruto lightly.
"Actually I did." snapped Naruto angrily.
Anko stared down silently into Naruto's eyes as he glared up into hers.
"He seems to have a little fetish about my team-mates."
"First he tried to get Hinata, then he got me and decided to play Mad Scientist then he gave my other team-mate a hicky, I mean he's disturbed really."
"Wait, he bit the Uchiha on the neck?!" Anko demanded to know.
"He did." Naruto said slowly.
"You still didn't tell me how you know him." Naruto said as his eyes narrowed.
"He was my sensei." said Anko offhandedly, at the look that Naruto gave her she continued. "Don't worry, I want to kill him." she assured Naruto before seeming to zone out into her own world.
"What did he do to you?" Anko asked softly as she kneeled down in front of Naruto.
Naruto frowned lightly as he stared across into Anko's purple eyes. Naruto couldn't find the words to explain what had been done to him, so he settled for a small demonstration. Anko's body seized up as she watched Naruto's left eye discolour and his pupil divide.
"I see." Anko murmured quietly as she stood up again.
"We need to get back to the arena and continue with the exam." she said conflicted.
She smiled down at Naruto half heartedly before placing her hand upon his shoulder again, before bringing her other hand up into a replica of the seal she had used prior. She took note of the discontent upon Naruto's face.
"Don't worry, we're still going to see what you're good at after the exam." she said to Naruto with a wink, causing Naruto, much to her satisfaction, to flush lightly. Just like before the room seemed warp before vanishing and being replaced with the slightly familiar view of the arena.
Naruto stared down into the fighting zone, where, to his surprise, the third exam had already started, Both Kiba and Shikamaru were standing on opposite sides of the ground.
"Oh, what an ass, they started without me." Anko said with a pout, before turning to Naruto and slapping him on the shoulder.
"Talk to you later you freak." she said happily to Naruto before beginning to walk away.
Naruto frowned lightly as he surveyed the balcony's surrounding the arena; The woman had dumped him on the opposite side of everyone, he was half tempted to walk around to his team-mates, but decided quickly, that he'd prefer the view from the angle he was at. Ino glaring across the arena at him didn't help the idea much. For some reason it seemed that Kabuto was missing, as far as Naruto could see, he was unable to find his grey haired friend.
"Long time no talk." whispered a voice into his ear prompting Naruto to turn his head towards the source.
"Kin-san." said Naruto neutrally as his eyes met the seemingly delicate face of Kin.
"What did the examiner want to talk to you about? Was it something to do with that man you spoke about? Orochimaru?" she asked innocently as she stepped up to the side of him.
"You heard that?" Naruto asked surprised.
He hadn't been very vocal when he had been talking, he was sure only the examiner could hear him, along with his two team-mates. Kin simply smiled and tapped her ears.
"Not hidden sound just for our techniques and lovely singing voices." Kin said amusedly, which to Naruto's surprise, drew a smile from his lips, but he quickly squelched the show of emotion.
"Yes, she wanted to know why I mentioned him." Naruto said calmly as he stared down into the arena.
A frown appeared upon his lips as he watched Kiba throw down a set of smoke grenades at Shikamaru's feet. Naruto honestly felt like going down there and smacking some sense into Kiba, but it didn't really matter if he did or not, Kiba was about to get his ass handed to him.
Five seconds later Naruto's unspoken prophecy came true as Shikamaru's shadow shot towards the smoke cloud which was barrelling towards him.
"Kage mane; success." Shikamaru said in a nonchalant manner as he removed his hands from the seal that he had placed them in.
"Kiba you idiot." he said with a sigh. "You might have won if you hadn't used the smoke bombs."
"Shut up you bastard." snarled an angry Kiba from within the smoke. Somewhere else in the smoke a few angry barks sounded out, but Shikamaru only sighed and turned around. He began to walk away, to none of the leaf's surprise both Kiba and Akamaru had walked out of the smoke, in the exact opposite direction that Shikamaru had. The difference was that, while Shikamaru had a lot of room to walk, Kiba didn't; he had moved backwards at the beginning of the fight to avoid the Nara's technique until he could work a way around it to attack.
"Surrender or get a concussion, yeah?" Shikamaru said as he glanced over his shoulder to check if the distance between Kiba and the wall was appropriate.
Kiba grinded his teeth together and glanced out of the corner of his eye to Akamaru, who, to his surprise, was also caught in Shikamaru's technique, he didn't know how it was possible with the different physical disposition, but it seemed it was. While he didn't care for his own health, he wouldn't allow his best friend to get hurt, just because he wanted to win.
"I… I give up." spat out Kiba angrily.
"Winner is Nara Shikamaru." a sickly looking man to the side of the arena said nauseously, before covering his mouth with his hand and coughing.
"Next up is." the man began before he glanced over to a panel high above the arena on a wall. "Yamanaka Ino vs. Tsuchi Kin, would both combatants please move to the floor." he said after he checked the board, which had brought up two names.
"Good luck." Naruto said to Kin as she began to walk away.
"I don't need luck, although." she paused before glancing back to Naruto unsurely. " I do need you to help me with the other matter." she said as she bit down upon her bottom lip.
Naruto nodded to Kin.
"As soon as this is over I'll take you to see someone who can make it so." he explained to Kin, before turning his vision back to the arena floor, where Ino was standing, glaring up at both him and Kin.
"You'd better go." he said after a few more seconds of Ino glaring up at them.
"Yeah, yeah, this won't take long." Kin said dismissively with a wave of her hand.
"You shouldn't underestimate her, or you'll lose." Naruto said amusedly as he watched Kin jump over the balcony and land on the floor.
Naruto watched on as Kin and Ino faced each other in the middle of the arena. Ino looked livid, she was glaring at Kin with a ferocity he had rarely seen on her face, if ever. Kin however, was not reacting in the simplest to Ino's glare, on the contrary, she seemed to be smiling happily at the blonde girl. Kin began to talk, but Naruto couldn't hear her words from where he was, he doubted anyone could except Ino and the referee. Whatever she said it caused Ino's glare to vanish, and instead it was placed with a look of shock, before the glare returned.
The referee raised his hand up above his hand before glancing to both of the combatants and throwing it down. At the instance all three of the people on the arena floor jumped backwards. Kin at first seemed to be a patience person, or at least, that's what Naruto had thought at first. Before she had even touched the ground after her jump she had already attacked, and immediately put Ino on the defensive.
Naruto only got a small look at the projectiles Kin launched; She had thrown two needles. Ino however seemed to be nimble enough to dodge the attack. He took special note of the bulge upon the end of both of the needles, which only made sense the moment they struck the wall behind Ino.
A jingle rang throughout the arena, drawing everyone's attentions to the wall behind Ino, including Ino's. That proved to be her first mistake. A cry escaped Ino's lip, and a gush of blood escaped from her shoulder. Kin smirked as she observed the blonde girl, she had no idea why Naruto had worried, the girl had fallen for such a cheap trick, there was basically nothing to worry about.
Ino clutched her shoulder and glared across the arena at the sound Genin. She reached into her weapons pouch and withdrew a kunai. She knew what she had to do, she had to get closer, or else she'd be at a disadvantage. Ino prepared to charge at the girl, but yet again a jingle caught her attention from behind her, she immediately dodged to her right, only to gasp in pain as a piercing pain erupted in her abdomen.
"Strings?" grunted out Ino as she clutched her stomach and glanced at the end of the needle's which were imbedded in the wall.
"That's right." Kin said with a small smile as she dropped a single string which she has tucked around the base of her thumb.
Ino grimaced as she clutched the end of the needle and yanked it out. She was about to charge again when Kin began to talk.
"You know, I'm confused, Naruto spoke of you as if you'd be a challenge, but this is pathetic, Is this all you can do?" Kin asked mockingly as she twirled a single needle between her finger tips.
Ino furrowed her brow, that didn't sound like Naruto's words, if what they had argued about not that long ago was to be remembered. Kin's words weren't entirely impossible, after all he had said he was her friend even though she wasn't his.
"He's rarely wrong." Ino said with a half-hearted smirk as she forced herself to ignore the pain, to prepare for what she was about to attempt.
With a lacklustre flare Ino launched the kunai in her hand at the sound genin across from her, before slipping her finger's into a single seal. Even though she had not shouted the techniques name, as it was tradition by ancient ninja show-ponies, everyone knew the technique, thus the two images of Ino that appeared upon her sides was not unexpected. Simultaneously the three Ino's charged at Kin, to everyone's surprise, except for a few, she was as little as much as a yellow and purple blur as she, and her images ran towards the black haired girl known as Kin.
A frown quickly appeared on Kin's face before she quickly reached into a special weapons cartridge upon her hip and withdrew four more needles. At first she had assumed the girl wouldn't have any interesting attribute, but now, it was obvious that the girl wasn't thin as she could possibility be without looking obscene for a reason. Without the excess weight her enemy was more agile and nimble then one would have first assumed.
Kin hadn't even needed to move to avoid the kunai, it sailed harmlessly over her shoulder before hitting the wall a few meter's back, and to most people's amusement it fell to the ground, and had not imbedded itself in the wall.
"This is boring." shouted out Kin as Ino's blur-ridded form came within ten meter's of her. In a flash of steel Kin flung all five of the needles at the blur's of Ino. It was overkill, probably, but she didn't want to miss, three of the needles were aimed at the Ino's, while the last two were aimed at the outside of the formation.
As Kin predicted the two Ino's on the outside dodged, right into the path of the needles, and instantly vanished. The third Ino, which was in the middle however managed to surprise Kin, and everyone else in the room. The moment the needle can come close she had ducked down, and lunged to the side. The surprise was, that from the single Ino two separate images of her became apparent, each had lunged to a different side and were still charging at Kin, who was instantly put on the defensive as both of the Ino's cocked their arms and slammed their fists forwards at Kin.
Both of the Ino's smirked as Kin, in her surprise, had only managed to get in a position to defend from one of the blows. The Ino she had defended against vanished, as if it had never existed, the second Ino however remained solid as her fist connected with the side of Kin's body, causing the pale black haired girl to cry out in pain. The momentum built up from the charge had given Ino an extra boost in strength.
Ino instantly followed up the Combo with an elbow to Kin's nose, which she was just able to block. The moment her elbow was blocked, Ino kicked off against the ground with her left foot and spun around. As she spun around she arched her foot up into the air, and brought it down upon Kin's collar. Unfortunately for Ino Kin was quick to recover and was able to catch the leaf Genin's heel before it made contact, placing Ino in a compromising position. The reality of the act occurred to ino the second that Kin's fist planted itself in her stomach. One effect of the punch, was Ino being winded, the second was that it had enough force behind it, surprisingly, to send Ino flying backwards for a few meter's. It probably didn't help that Ino was light on her feet.
A low growl came from Kin's lips as her hand rubbed the spot where Ino had managed to hit.
"You bitch, that actually hurt." Kin said as she glanced down at Ino, who was slowly picking herself up off the ground. "I wasn't going to use this, but since you had the audacity to hit me, I think you deserve it."
Kin began to flash through a set of seals with unbelievable fluidity, causing Ino to instantly become cautious, so cautious in fact, that she, herself slipped her hands into a seal, which to some of the people present was familiar, but before she was able to do anything Kin had finished her sealing process.
"Majutsu: Chime of the False Heart" Kin hissed out.
Almost instantly the bell's at the end of the needles began to ring softly, before the volume began to pick up. At first Ino seemed confused, but the confusion was quickly erased and a look of abject terror appeared upon her face. A high pitched scream erupted from her mouth and she began to clutch the sides of her head, before falling backwards onto the ground. Those who knew Ino were shocked and immensely worried, even Naruto was worried, despite his fallout.
"Declare me the winner or I'm going to go for a Deathblow." Kin said calmly as she regarded the Referee.
Amazingly, even over the screams of Ino's voice, Kin's voice managed to carry to the referee and around the stadium, as crisp as it would have been otherwise.
The brown haired referee glanced down at the writhing form of Ino, who was still screaming and frowned, before nodding to Kin and raising his hand, before shouting. ' Winner! '
Kin smiled in satisfaction before bringing her hand up into a half seal and focusing upon Ino's form. Almost instantly Ino's screaming stopped, and she stopped moving, before slowly, she sat up.
From where he was Naruto could see the a small bit of Ino's face, it was blank, as if confused, unthinking, and then, slowly Ino's eyes rose up to meet Kin's, who was smirking down at her, and then Ino's face morphed into an ugly perversion of it's former beauty as it was over taken by rage. With a guttural roar Ino lunged at Kin only to be stopped by the referee.
Kin smiled cheekily at the raging blonde, only to begin to walk away as her attempts to afflict bodily harm on the sound Genin increased.
"The match has been declared, please cease, Yamanaka-san and return to the balcony. The sickly referee said through grunts as he held Ino back, after a few more moments of struggling Ino gave up and stopped trying to enact revenge upon the sound nin.
With that Ino stalked off the arena floor, and made her way back up to her team. Kin on the other hand seemed as casual as ever, despite having such inflicted, from what Naruto could gather, severe mental anguish upon Ino.
"That was fun." Kin said amusedly as she came within normal hearing distance from Naruto, who could only stare shocked at the black haired girl.
Naruto's no responsiveness seemed to quickly get on Kin's nerves, who swatted him on the arm lightly.
"Speak you idiot." she demanded before smiling. "Unless you want a taste of that technique yourself?" she teased lighty, which surprisingly drew Naruto instantly out of his tupor.
"No thanks." he coughed out, before turning his attention to the floor.
Kin's technique disturbed him. The genjutsu had reacted almost immediately upon Ino, he didn't think he'd be able to find the genjutsu's connection in time to stop it from effecting him. Especially since it seemed to be centred on a foreign object, rather then inside the body.
"I was joking." Kin said with a small pout before latching onto Naruto's arm and tugging down upon it.
"Don't you believe me?" she asked softly as she stared up into Naruto's eyes.
Naruto snorted and shook Kin off his arm.
"You can't defeat the master with his own mastery." Naruto said amusedly before swatting Kin upon the nose.
"Begin." shouted a voice from the arena floor, causing Naruto to focus upon the arena floor, to find that Hinata and Chouji were beginning to fight.
Naruto slightly reprimanded himself upon his lack of observational skills and the fact he hadn't had time to wish Hinata luck with her match. He briefly contemplated yelling out, with nothing to object to the idea, he did.
"Good Luck Hinata!" he yelled out, causing Hinata's gaze to find him.
Hinata stared up at him through the Byakugan for a few seconds, before smiling. She quickly jumped away however, as the big moving ball that Chouji had become. The crowd of Genin watched on as Hinata nimbly avoided being run down by the larger then average life wrecking ball that Chouji had become. Naruto could tell, by the amount of chakra Chouji was wasting with his continuous use his Meat tank ability he'd be down soon enough, and if he didn't and just reverted to hand to hand, he'd lose anyway, Hinata was only doing the bare minimum to avoid the attacks, she was as fresh as she could possibly be. Naruto felt sorry for Chouji, he had one of the worse match ups, but then, was there any good match ups for Chouji? His technique really wasn't suited for one on one, kit was suited for doing a large amount of damage to a large area.
The moment Chouji got tired, Hinata struck, and in a few strikes Chouji was unable to properly move, much to no-one's surprise. Naruto felt sorry for large boy. In almost no time at all after the match Naruto's ears twitched as he caught wind of his name, along with a second from the arena floor.
"Uzumaki Naruto versus Kankuro, would both combatants please move to the floor." called out the referee.
Naruto smiled lightly before beginning to walk towards the staircase. His eyes briefly flickered to Hanabi, who had just moved closer to the railing. A small scowl formed over the smile at the innocent look Hanabi gave him. He wasn't about to lose to Hanabi, he had the means to end the fight in a split second, and that is what he would do.
Half a minute later, Naruto found himself facing Temari and Gaara's brother. Naruto had to admit, he looked slightly different when compared to how he first met him, something was off, but Naruto didn't know what. Before the Referee had even begun to call the match on, Naruto had already forced a portion of his chakra down across to cover Kankuro's body. He doubted Temari would like it very much if he killed her brother, so he was going to go for the next best thing, disabling his limbs, he was going to do what he did to Kin's bandaged ridden team-mate, except not as powerful.
The moment his chakra touched Kankuro however, he knew something was wrong. The face-painted boy's body was not reacting as it should against foreign chakra, there was no subtle pressure against his advances, no nothing, that is, until he let the chakra move over the surface of the boy's skin, he found minute dot's of chakra, exact replicas of a certain ability Aiygou had taught him. They were points of chakra strings, as Naruto followed them back to their source he found them all attached to two points, both points where located in the large object attached to the 'boy's' back.
Naruto smiled viciously as he stared across into 'Kankuro's' eyes. He was going to be clean at first, but since his 'opponent' wasn't exactly human right now, he decided he didn't need to be subtle. The moment that the referee had thrown his hand down, and Kankuro jumped backwards, Naruto lunged at him, To almost everyone's surprise, Naruto's right arm was bathed in a pale blue light.
With an almighty swing of his arm, Naruto backhanded his enemies head. Everyone watched on in morbid horror as Kankuro's head seemed to crumble against the force of the blow Naruto had dealt. Hanabi in particular looked shocked and annoyed, before she unconsciously activated her Byakugan. She understood immediately why Naruto had attacked in such a vicious manner, and allowed a smile to surface upon her lips.
Kankuro's head deformed with a pained expression upon it's face, only to, as it was blasted from his body, explode into fragments. The people in the arena watched on in morbid fascination as Kankuro's head exploded into fragments of food, metal and grains of sand. The body followed in suit as a gush of sand fell off it's joints to the ground, revealing a brown wood puppet.
"Gaara…" Temari said through a slight stutter. "Karasu was made for battle right? It shouldn't be easily destructible, right?"
Gaara nodded his head slightly, he was beginning to feel an urge that had been with him through most of his life.
Temari watched in horror as the blonde haired Genin slashed his hand down across her brother's puppets body. It didn't stop there, Naruto repeatedly slashed at the inanimate body of Karasu, as he continued to slash at it he continued to move faster, and faster, until all Temari could see was a spinning light, signifying where Naruto's arm was. Beyond the light she could see Naruto. A frown appeared upon her lips. He looked like Gaara, the same revel in battle.
After ten second's Naruto stopped. In front of him The body of the puppet was entirely intact, or so it seemed for a single second afterwards, until Naruto brought his foot up in a clean sweep and slammed the heel of it into the puppet's chest. The body of the puppet fell apart around the foot, and behind it the package unwrapped. Revealing a disgruntled, shocked, and horrified Kankuro.
"Give up, I could have killed you easily then along with your puppet, and I will do so if you don't give up." Naruto said with a decidedly disturbing cheer in his voice.
Kankuro could only stare at the blonde Genin in front of him and shudder. He was normally a calm collect person, but this, this was on the level of Gaara, and the boy hadn't even used a foreign object to do the damage like Gaara.
"I-I give up." Kankuro managed to get out as he observed the remains of his weapon. There was no possible way that it could be reconstructed considering the amount of pieces it was in.
"There that wasn't so hard was it?" asked Naruto happily before slapping Kankuro on the shoulder and walking away.
"I haven't even declared the match yet." mumbled the referee before raising his arm up and shouting through a cough. "Winner, Uzumaki Naruto."
A yelp of pain issued from Kankuro, causing Naruto to look back at his beaten enemy. A glance to the older boy's hand told Naruto that his aim needed more refinement, it was stained with a bit of blood.
As Naruto ascended back to the balcony, he decided, instead of going back to where Kin was, to go and rub it in Hanabi's face, that he had completed his match in under fifteen seconds. But before he made it half way there, the referee had already called out the next two names, which happened to be Sasuke and Shino.
When he saw both of his fellow Genin walking down the stairs towards him, Naruto smiled briefly at them before nodding and wishing them both good luck. The moment he made it up to the balcony he was ambushed by Tenten
"Boom! Crash! Scary! Awesome Naruto!" exclaimed Tenten as she crash tackled Naruto to the floor, unfortunately for Naruto he had been looking for Hanabi, who had seemingly vanished, and had been caught unaware by Tenten.
Naruto stared up bemusedly at Tenten, who had taken seat upon his stomach, she was grinning stupidly down at him.
"Excuse me?" Naruto asked perplexed, drawing a snicker from Tenten.
"I mean, good match, that was awesome." she said as she slowly removed herself from Naruto's stomach, before reaching down and grasping his hand, pulling him up onto his feet.
"Where's Hanabi?" asked Naruto as he glanced around, he only caught a small sight of the frown that appeared upon Tenten's lips.
"She went to freshen up." the weapons expert said with a shrug. "Shall we watch the match?" she asked with a smile.
Naruto nodded and turned to face the arena floor, just in time to see Sasuke release a burst of flame towards the incoming mass of bugs. Surprisingly the flames didn't stop once they consumed the first section of bugs, instead it continued on and set alight the entire stream of bugs. Shino was able to break off the stream in time to save the rest of his allies, but the damage had already been done, the floor was littered with the crisp corpses of insects. Although it wasn't obvious just by looking at Sasuke, some of those present could see the amount of pain having used the technique had caused him. Naruto and Hinata in particular had a large inkling to what caused the pain. Shino seemed to be weighing up the odds, and after a few minutes off a silent stand-off Shino spoke.
"I concede, the mortality rate is currently too high as opposed to the rewards of succeeding." he said quietly, as he spoke the hordes of insects raced back towards him, and vanished up his sleeves.
Naruto snorted lightly but nodded. Shino wouldn't willingly fight someone if there was a high chance that his bugs would be destroyed. While the Aburame had a symbiotic relationship with their bugs, they also, as time went on become
a cohesive unit, to the point when there ceased to be a difference between them, as such they wouldn't willingly let 'themselves' die unnecessary.
"Where is she?" Naruto demanded to know as he glanced around the balcony.
"Don't worry about her, she'll be back eventually." Tenten said with a wave of her hand, dismissing Naruto's worries. "It isn't like her match is up next." she finished as she stared down at the referee.
"The next match is Hyuuga Hanabi versus Haruno Sakura." the examiner said through a cough as his eyes met the board up on the wall.
"Well what are the chances of that?" Tenten said with a hesitant laugh, but Naruto wasn't listening anymore, his eyes were searching the balcony for Sakura.
After a few seconds Naruto finally found her, sitting next to a sulking Kiba and a Stoic Shino.
"Sakura." called out Naruto as he moved towards them.
Sakura perked up slightly at hearing her name called, but the moment her eyes landed upon Naruto she deflated again.
"What do you want?" she asked irritably.
"Can you do me a favour? Last at least sixteen seconds against Hanabi?"
"Why?" asked Sakura dumbly as she regarded Naruto.
"Well you see-" Naruto began.
"You shouldn't force people to fight against their own will, Naruto-kun." said a cold and collected voice behind Naruto, causing him to seize up.
"A-ah, you're back Hanabi-chan." Naruto said nervously, before his hand found it's way to the back of his head and began to scratch it.
"Like I'd give up now, I'm going to beat you and advance to the third exam!" exclaimed Sakura as she stood up in front of Hanabi.
Hanabi stared coolly into Sakura's emerald eyes, before speaking.
"I am going to kill you." she said calmly.
Sakura recoiled like she had been slapped, everyone around them stared in shock at the casual way Hanabi had made her declaration, except Naruto, who seemed to become frantic.
"Don't listen to her, just go out and do your best!" Naruto said to Sakura encouragingly, which seemed to cause Sakura to further doubt herself.
"Once I kill you, I'm going to kill your family, and then every person you hold in your heart." she continued, completely ignoring Naruto's attempts to calm Sakura down.
Sakura's eyes widened and she glanced back and forth from Hanabi to Naruto.
"He just wants you dead to." Hanabi said as she glanced to Naruto.
Naruto instantly shook his head.
"No, I just want you to try your best and last as long as you can, that way you have a better chance at becoming a Chuunin!" Naruto said with semi-absolute resolve, even going as far as to mimic Gai and Lee's thumbs up, of-course a toned down version
"You don't seem like the kind of person to use Ninjutsu or Taijutsu." stated Hanabi as she regarded Sakura. "Do you use Genjutsu? If you do it'll be even more fun for me." she said, before her lips twitched upwards slightly.
Sakura didn't see what was funny. With Hanabi's assurances of death, and Naruto actually telling her to fight the madwoman, she was hard pressed to not be afraid.
"I-I give up." Sakura said shakily, much to Kiba's and Naruto's dismay.
"You can't be serious?!" Naruto and Kiba all but yelled, before glancing at each other and then back to Sakura.
"Sakura-chan, you can't just let some black-haired freak tell you what to do, and you shouldn't let Naruto freak you out!" Kiba growled out.
"You can't just give up it isn't fair to m-you, it isn't fair to you, you need to try!" exclaimed Naruto angrily.
"She's made up her mind." Hanabi said with a small smile as she turned away from Sakura and to Naruto, who seemed to darken. "I believe that I win."
"Thanks a lot." snapped Naruto at Sakura before he stormed off in a huff.
Sakura, and everyone around them seemed to be confused why Naruto had become angry, and why Hanabi had said such an obvious thing, of course she would win the match if Sakura surrendered.
"What was that about?" Tenten asked confusedly as she glance between Naruto's retreating back, and Hanabi.
"Just a little wager between myself and Naruto." Hanabi said as she also watched Naruto each the other side of the arena balcony, to where a certain other black haired girl was residing. A relatively unfelt emotion began to surface within Hanabi, one she quickly identified as jealousy.
"Akado Yoroi and Tenten, please come down."
Tenten frowned and glanced to the arena floor.
"Give me a few seconds and I'll be back." she murmured, before turning around and walking down to the arena floor.
Five minutes later and Tenten came flouncing back up the balcony, below the field was littered with weapons, and a few medic's were removing a metal ridden body, the body of Tenten's opponent.
"Where were we?" asked Tenten.
Hanabi snorted lightly.
"It isn't important." she stated coldly.
Tenten took note of the fact that she was still glaring at the girl from sound. She knew that, if she was in Hanabi's position she'd be pretty pissed that someone from another village was spending more time with her friend then she was. As it was, she WAS annoyed, just not to the extent that Hanabi was, it seemed.
"Rock lee, and Kinuta Dosu." called the brown haired referee.
The call of his name had Lee gushing out with enthusiasm, so much that Hinata found it hard to approach him.
"Lee-san." Hinata called out quietly.
To her immense surprise, Lee quietened down immediately and listened intently, but she could see still the excitement underneath his enforced calm.
"You should.. Be careful, that guy can attack without touching you, but Naruto did something to his arm and I don't think he can use it well, the longer you fight the higher the chance he'll get you with his invisible attacks, so you should beat him quickly." she said slowly, glancing alternatively between Lee and Naruto alternatively. The more she glanced to Naruto the more and more coherent her voice became.
Tenten snickered lightly. It seemed that the Hyuuga girl's had the same feeling where a certain blonde haired boy was involved.
"If you're sure, then I will explode my youthful ways in an instant to win this battle!" exclaimed Lee.
A second after the match had begun, it ended, with Dosu implanted in a wall.
Across the arena Naruto scowled, even Lee had managed to win his fight faster then him. He was slightly consoled that his match hadn't lasted the longest
"You know, Gaara, his sister, your other team-mate and the other Genin from my village are left, it look's like the odds are against him." mused Naruto as he glanced across to the other Genin.
"He doesn't matter, or he won't if everything works out." she said slyly as she moved closer to Naruto and wrapped her arms around his.
"Do you really have to do that?" asked Naruto annoyed, the annoyance increased as Kin grinned bemusedly.
"What ever do you mean Uzumaki-san?" Kin asked before letting out a soft laugh and detaching from Naruto.
"If I didn't know you were only doing this for show I'd be offended you know." Naruto said as he turned his gaze away from Kin.
"Yeah, but it's funny to make those girl's over there jealous." Kin said deviously, before smiling innocently, a disturbing combination.
"Those girls?" echoed Naruto as he glanced over to where Kin's gaze had wandered momentarily.
He was surprised to find Hinata, Hanabi, Tenten and least shockingly Ino glaring over at them.
"Those two with the white eyes seem to like you quite a bit, the girl who likes to play with sharp stuff doesn't as much, I don't think, at least not in the way those two do. The blonde may just be glaring at me for doing what I did to her, but I think she may kind of dislike you to now." Kin said in a conversational tone as she glanced down at the arena.
A small wince escaped Kin as she watched Gaara crush her team-mate Zaku into a bloody mist. She felt a small amount of pity for him, but it was quickly squelched. With her team-mate's death, and consequential loss, it left her, and her alone in the competition.
"My condolences." Naruto said to Kin.
Another laugh escaped kin as she regarded the blonde boy next to her.
"You don't really mean that, but thank you anyway." she said with a smile.
"Only two people left, the girl from sand and another weirdo from your village." Kin said as she glanced over to the opposite side of the arena again.
"At first I didn't recognise those two…" Naruto mumbled "But I did recognise the guy's name."
"You know him?" asked Kin as she arched her eyebrow.
"I used to train with them." he said as he stared across the arena at the second Genin from Kabuto's team, or rather, his former tag-along team.
"You're on your second team?" Kin asked, it was a surprise to hear, but not entirely impossible, after all, the boy before her was impossibly strong for a supposed rookie.
"Oh look, they're starting the final round." Kin said airily before pointing down to the ground level, where Temari was already standing, tapping her foot on the ground irritated. It didn't take much longer for her opponent to come down to the arena floor.
It didn't take long after that for him to be beaten to submission by the wind's Temari was able to generate via her fan.
Naruto was honestly shocked at the amount of power that Temari was able to generate with the winds. It had far more power than his Guraundozero Boufu, and had a wider range. From her words, it wasn't even as powerful as it could have been, she had only revealed two of the 'stars' Naruto could only imagine the power that would be unleashed with the third.
"Where's Sasuke?" Naruto asked suddenly.
He had not seen Sasuke since the end of his match, now that he thought about it, which was disconcerting.
"Did you think I'd forget about what you said?" whispered a voice into his ear causing him to seize up slightly.
A hand dropped down upon his shoulder and squeezed it tightly.
"We need to have a little chat, Uzumaki-kun."