Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait…
Oh, for the reviewer who pointed out this wasn't dark at all, well... you're right, I suppose. But I don't really seem to care about it... You see, I decide when characters die in this story, so tough break... Wait and there'll be deaths.
Anyway, hope you enjoy!
"What, you want to have a try too?" He spat out coldly as he glared at the Kunoichi behind him. "What are you whimpering for?"
The almost in tears soaked pink-haired female behind the cold blonde Shinobi responded with a stifled sob.
If possible, Naruto's glare grew in its intensity. "Pathetic…"
In truth, Sakura was too afraid to run for Sasuke, who was unconscious. She was afraid Naruto might kill her if she ran past him now, what with all the Killer Intent he was obviously holding back. Her legs wanted to carry her towards the Uchiha, but her wits told her to stay where she was, if she valued her own life.
Naruto glared at the Konoha Genins in front of him. Inuzuka Kiba, Hyuga Hinata and Aburame Shino.
"You are new." Shino stated. "I don't know your full Chakra Capacity, therefore, we will move with caution." He seemed to order.
"Heh! We've already taken care of one of their team, so it's three versus two now." Kiba boasted. 'But I somehow doubt Uchiha Sasuke was the one Akamaru was afraid of…' He thought as Akamaru was standing beside him, in Kiba-form.
"I've had a rough day, so forgive me for killing you without hesitation…" Naruto whispered before red Chakra surrounded him.
- Chapter 4: Killing Time
Kiba's eyes widened as the blood seemed to float in front of his eyes. "Shino!" Kiba didn't know what to do, with the Killer Intent roaming freely around him. He wanted to run, but his pride told him he couldn't leave his teammates alone.
As Shino fell to the ground, with about half of his body missing, courtesy of a strange red claw made out of Chakra, Hinata was also frozen on the spot.
Naruto chuckled as his murderous gaze focused on Kiba and the whimpering mess of fur in his coat. "Now what's with the sobbing, little girl?" Naruto commented as he slowly walked towards the dog-like boy.
Kiba's eyes widened as he felt his heart beat through his throat. Seeing Naruto as he was approaching him, with all the red Chakra around him, it seemed as if the devil himself was going to smite down upon him. He couldn't move… 'Run! Run! Run! Run! RUN! RUN!'
The next thing he knew was that Akamaru was barking to him as he was lying on the ground. All that blood on the ground… 'That's… That's my blood! MY BLOOD!'
"I'll leave that little dog alive for you, weakling…" Naruto said as he stepped through Kiba's blood and walked towards Hinata.
"I…" Naruto sighed. "I can't kill women… as easily as I can kill men. Give me the scroll or die." He warned.
Hinata's arm trembled as she pointed to Shino, who was still breathing. Naruto looked a bit surprised that the bug-boy was still alive. He ignored Hinata and walked over to the bleeding mess that was Shino. "I'm impressed. With half of your body missing, I'd think you'd faint and die while you sleep." Naruto chuckled. "I commend you for fighting for your life." He sighed. "Now…" He ruthlessly ripped the coat Shino was wearing off of Shino's body, making his body bleed even more. "Where's the scroll?" He said to himself as he was searching the coat.
Naruto finally found the scroll and shot one glance to Shino and Kiba. "You weaklings will not survive, I'm sure. I hope you'll die slow and painfully, although… I would have liked it more if you two had been on my team instead of those two insects."
He then turned to the freaked out Sakura. "You will carry Sasuke. I have no need to carry such a disappointment."
It had been an hour after they had arrived at the tower. Kakashi had greeted them and congratulated them on passing the Test. He was surprised to see his team have so many scrolls. All of his subordinates were alright and needed no treatment. He remembered that Orochimaru had attacked them along with another demon-vessel.
'Somehow I don't think Naruto has allowed them to grow much during this Chuunin Exam…' Kakashi thought as he left them in a great area, where they get rest, drink and eat whatever they want.
Stepping into the area, Naruto immediately noticed Gaara and vice versa…
Temari and Kankurou could feel the lust for death roll off of Gaara's body. They shivered as Gaara's eyes seemed to beg for the blonde's death. Sakura and Sasuke were in the same predicament, feeling Naruto's Killer Intent even more intensely as they were standing close to him. The two demon vessels seemed to want to finish the battle they had started in the Forest a little too badly.
Without warning, Naruto appeared in front of Gaara in a speed too fast for Gaara's shield. What happened next astounded Temari and Kankurou to no end. Gaara was hit in the face and was slammed into, no, half through the wall behind them.
Now, standing close to the blonde, Temari and Kankurou felt the same creepy aura around Naruto as they felt around Gaara. Sasuke and Sakura were ready for a fight, but a bit afraid because Kakashi hadn't come inside with them. Temari and Kankurou knew they didn't stand a chance against someone who could blast Gaara away like that and were frozen on the spot.
"Gaara, vessel of the Shukaku..." Naruto whispered. "Rise and meet me once again!"
Before anyone could react, a hand of sand surrounded Naruto and tried to squeeze him to death. "Sabaku SouSou!" Gaara let out violently.
As the sand squeezed Naruto, everyone thought it was over.
Until the sand was blasted away by Naruto's Chakra. "Impressive... That pressure... To think I had to use this much Chakra to shield me from it."
Gaara simply glared, but inside, he was in turmoil. Someone strong enough to survive his Desert Graveyard? This meant he could only defeat this one by transforming even further, like he did before in the Forest.
"Enough!" A voice suddenly yelled out. Bystanders seem to be relieved by theyell.
"The Second Test is over for you two teams! There will be no more fighting until the other survivors arrive!" Mitarashi Anko yelled out. Still, she saw what these two kids were capable of and doubted she could stop them.
It was when Naruto and Gaara both seemed to want to kill her as they glared at her lethally.
Suddenly, behind Naruto, Kakashi appeared and behind Gaara, Baki appeared. "No fighting until you are allowed to do so. I don't want you disqualified." Baki scolded, but feared the red-haired maniac quite clearly.
Kakashi simply shook his head, but was very aware of the red Chakra around Naruto. "Naruto... You can't fight here. You'll be disqualified. You want to be Chuunin, right?"
The demon hosts seemed to ignore their teachers as they glared at each other. The three present Jounins were all very aware of the Killer Intent the two gave off.
"Fine." They both said as they turned away from each other. Now they had to wait for all the other teams to arrive.
It turned out to be a long wait...
Darkness, there was only darkness...
The sense of recovery, the scent of life, the whimpering of realization.
After what seemed like an entire month, Naruto heard a Jounin order them to assemble in front of the Hokage. Naruto's attitude changed slightly as he stared at the Sandaime. They shared a look of respect and bowed very shortly towards each other. It went by unnoticed by everyone, as if the Hokage had cast a Genjutsu so no one would.
Naruto wasn't even interested in who had survived this Test and listened to what the Third had to say. What it would take to make him a Chuunin, finally.
After close to ten minutes of explaining, Gekkou Hayate appeared, telling them to pick numbers for the final Test tomorrow and to rest for today. The Third Hokage knew a lot of Shinobis had perished during the Second Test. Probably a lot by Naruto's hands.
But now, there were only few survivors. The Third saw Maito Gai's Team, Sarutobi Asuma's Team, Hatake Kakashi's Team. The remaining were the team of the Sand, one from the Sound, two from the Rain and another Leaf Team; several years older than the Rookies.
In total, there were 24 participants left. If this was going to be a tournament, there would be three participants left in the end. Which meant the final would be a battle between three Shinobis...
The Third saw the list of the names of the remaining participants.
From the Leaf, Maito Gai's team, Hyuga Neji, Rock Lee and Ten-Ten.
From the Leaf, Sarutobi Asuma's team, Yamanaka Ino, Akimichi Chouji and Nara Shikamaru.
From the Leaf, Hatake Kakashi's team, Haruno Sakura, Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto.
From the Sand, Baki's team, Temari, Kankurou and Gaara.
From the Rain, Baiu, Midare, Shigure
From the Rain, Kagari, Mubi, Oboro
From the Leaf, Tsurugi Misumi, Yakushi Kabuto and Akadou Yoroi
From the Sound, Tayuya, Sakon and Kaguya Kimimaro.
The Third frowned at the last name. 'Kaguya? Wasn't that from a deceased Clan? Interesting...' He didn't really care much for the Jounins from the foreign Countries. 'Hyoumaru?' Was the name of the Jounin from the Sound. The Third wondered shortly.
The next day, Mitarashi Anko and Morino Ibiki entered the Hokage's Office with a list of the match-ups. A lot of interesting battles were to come and the Third was sure to increase the ticket price for the Stadium, where the final test of the Chuunin Exam would be held.
Yakushi Kabuto versus Gaara.
Akimichi Chouji versus Shigure.
Ten-Ten versus Baiu.
Sakon versus Oboro.
Uchiha Sasuke versus Midare.
Nara Shikamaru versus Akadou Yoroi.
Haruno Sakura versus Yamanaka Ino.
Temari versus Mubi.
Kankurou versus Kaguya Kimimaro.
Kagari versus Hyuga Neji.
Tayuya versus Rock Lee.
Uzumaki Naruto versus Tsurugi Misumi.
And then there was another surprising team that might make an appearance, the Third wondered. If an opening was created, there would be room, but the chances of that happening were really slim... The Genins had two weeks to train, before the Final Test would commence.
After two weeks, Gaara of the Sand found himself face to face with Yakushi Kabuto, a Leaf Shinobi. The stadium was full of Shinobis, villagers, daimyous and all other filth, Gaara noted. Their cheers were really working on his nerves, almost tempting him to just release Shukaku to devour them all...
But he wanted to enjoy it. So he focused all of his annoyance on his opponent. "Let me enjoy this..."
Kabuto smirked. "Oh, you will, Gaara-kun."
Genma, the referee this time, announced the start of the match with a simple "Begin!"
Neither of the two moved for a good twenty seconds. Kabuto grinned and performed a few handseals. "How well are you... against Genjutsu?"
Gaara simply continued his glaring.
Kabuto narrowed his eyes. The Genjutsu he created was supposed to make Gaara cringe in pain, even a bit if not much. He knew Gaara was very tolerant, and a Jinchuuriki on top of that. But this Genjutsu made thousands of insects play with his organs. And yet...
Kabuto suddenly was attacked from all around him and found himself trapped in a sphere of sand. "I will enjoy your torture..." Gaara whispered as he rose from under the ground behind where Kabuto stood before.
The Gaara who was under Kabuto's Genjutsu crumbled to the ground. It was a simple Sand Clone. "Sabaku SouSou!"
The Sphere of Sand grew smaller and spectators were sure they heard bones crumble. That was, until the sand reformed and spiked towards Gaara. As Gaara's eyes widened and he got impaled by the sharp end of the huge spike of sand, he saw Kabuto grin from where he stood, at the exact same spot. "You know, if you insert more Chakra in a technique that's being used against you, quite often, you gain control of it..."
Kabuto snorted as he saw Gaara crumble to the ground as sand again. "Those tricks are getting old." Kabuto said as he threw a few Kunais over his shoulders, only to see all of them stopped by a shield of sand. "Ah, quite a defense you have there. Automatic too, it seems, as it costs you no Chakra." The ever analytical Kabuto noted.
Gaara's facial expression didn't change as he continued his assault of Sand hands towards Kabuto, who easily dodged every one of them. "These attacks are too slow, Gaara-kun."
Gaara suddenly was hit in the face several times, as Kabuto's speed was clearly higher than Gaara's protective sand.
Temari and Kankurou both looked stupefied as Kabuto rammed his fists numerous times in Gaara's face. "What? How come you're not fighting back, Gaara-kun? Are you not used to feeling pain?" Kabuto asked as he stabbed a Kunai through Gaara's chest and jumped away before he could be attacked by sand.
Gaara held in a scream as he pulled the Kunai out. 'This guy... I need to kill him for spilling my blood...'
Naruto narrowed his eyes as he watched how Gaara's wound was already healing. 'His regenerative skills seem to be slower than mine...'
Kabuto had his eyes narrowed behind his glasses as well, before he closed them and turned to the referee. "Referee..." Everyone was curious as to what he was going to say. "I forfeit... I tire from this battle, as it seems futile for me to continue."
Up in the stand, a Sound Jounin's left eyebrow twitched. 'He clearly doesn't want to show more of his skills... Also, the old blood in his system seems to have awakened during the fight... He can barely hold back the bloodlust now...' Orochimaru thought as he saw how blood seemed to appear in Kabuto's eyes. 'Understandable he wants to forfeit... For our plan to work, his skills need to be a definite surprise. I guess my orders for him contradicts my plans at this point... He realises that much.' He finished his thoughts with a grin. 'The two Jinchuurikis here... are quite powerful.'
Gaara glared at Kabuto's back, as the grey-haired Shinobi was walking away from him. "You are scared of me, coward?" Gaara let out calmly. "Once a fight starts, it has to be finished, one way or the other."
Kabuto turned around, with perfectly fine-aimed Killer Intent only noticeable to Gaara, revealing at the same time his blood-filled eyes and grinned. "Oh, it will, Gaara-kun... Have patience for a change...' With that, Kabuto jumped up to where all other Genins were waiting. Gaara followed suit, using his sand to transport.
Naruto observed Kabuto as he appeared on the same floor he was waiting on. 'Yakushi Kabuto... He's holding back a lot... I wonder how strong that coward really is...'
Naruto zoned out, while Sasuke activated his Sharingan every now and then during the next few matches, trying to copy useful techniques.
Akimichi Chouji lost against the Rain Shinobi, Shigure and was carried on a stretcher because of the many wounds caused by the needle attack from Shigure. Ten-Ten defeated a Rain Shinobi by usage of many Shinobi weapons. Her arsenal was truly unreal. The Rain-nin Oboro got pummelled to a bloody pulp by the Sound Shinobi Sakon, who seemed to enjoy beating the crap out of the younger Rain-nin.
Sasuke had easily defeated the remaining Rain-nin with amazing Fire Techniques and swift Taijutsu, which he had partly copied from an ally, Rock Lee. Akadou Yoroi was only good in Taijutsu and needed physical contact to win, so against Nara Shikamaru, he didn't really stand a chance.
Naruto was very tempted to finish both participants of the next match off after a minute or two, seeing that they weren't getting anywhere fast. After half an hour, the match had a draw as conclusion, which further pissed the blonde Shinobi off. Yamanaka Ino and Haruno Sakura both knocked each other at the same time.
Mubi, a Rain-nin in tight yellow/white suit, was easily thrown against the wall, several times, by the Wind attacks from Temari, and so the blonde Sand-nin had beaten her adversary without a problem. Her brother Kankurou, however, was very quickly defeated by his opponent, Kaguya Kimimaro, by simple and quick Taijutsu. Kaguya didn't reveal any powerful techniques while doing so. Hyuga Neji had wasted no time on his opponent Kagari and had silenced him with Jyuuken under one and a half minute. The Taijutsu Specialist Rock Lee stood no chance against Genjutsu Specialist Tayuya. And Uzumaki Naruto's match against Tsurugi Misumi...
Well, let's just say that someone got killed in less than thirty seconds. Red Chakra was involved.
The Third Hokage rose from his seat as the first Round was over. "Participants... There was another team who had made it to the final Test of the Chuunin Exam. They had both scrolls and made it to the tower, their injuries however, didn't allow them to stay for the explanation I gave about this final Test. Their team has chosen a single member to participate in this final Test, seeing there is one opening because of the draw between the Leaf Shinobis Yamanaka Ino and Haruno Sakura."
Naruto's eyes narrowed as Aburame Shino appeared in the same 'waiting area' he was in. 'That's impossible... I'm sure he couldn't have survived what I did to him...' Aburame Shino felt Naruto's stare, but decided not to stare back.
"Aburame Shino has joined us in this final Test. His opponent will be... Uzumaki Naruto."
Naruto's frown disappeared and he regarded the bug user with a feral grin. "Heh, looks like I get a second chance..."
"Man, just barely being able to still enter and already facing that monster..." Kiba shuddered as he stared at the waiting area, sitting in the crowd along with Hyuga Hinata and Yuuhi Kurenai. "Sensei, his opponent right now, was the one who almost killed us in that Forest."
Kurenai nodded her head and sent a glare towards Naruto. "I'll make sure he won't try that again during this test, Kiba-kun."
Hinata wasn't so sure about that as she heard the referee call out to the next two Shinobis to join him in the fighting area. "Gaara of the Sand, Shigure of the Rain... Come down!"
The entire crowd resisted the urge to vomit as Gaara had squashed his opponent to death using Desert Graveyard. Shigure's attempts on hurting Gaara with his needles were easily stopped by Gaara's Shield of Sand.
The next match was Ten-Ten versus Sakon. The match was almost as short as the previous one as Sakon skilfully avoided every weapon Ten-Ten threw at him and proceeded to knock the brown-haired girl unconscious with only four effective blows.
The third match of the second round was between Nara Shikamaru and Uchiha Sasuke. This match was really long. Sasuke had already seen how Shikamaru fights in the previous round and did everything he could to stay away from Shikamaru's shadow. Often, he came close to getting caught, but in such a situation, he'd use either high speed to move away or a Fire Jutsu to make Shikamaru run. The winner was Uchiha Sasuke, after Shikamaru realised he had no Chakra left.
The blonde Temari was easily defeated by Kaguya Kimimaro by a speed that rivalled Rock Lee's without weights. Her wind blasts were simply too slow to be able to even come close to hitting Kimimaro.
Hyuga Neji, a Byakugan user and a genius of his Clan, was defeated by very high-levelled Genjutsus that made Kakashi reveal his Sharingan. Sasuke had also activated his Sharingan, but couldn't see as much as Kakashi did. Tayuya really was a talented girl. 'Those Genjutsus are way too high-levelled to be that of a Genin... In fact, the entire Sound Team seems to be overpowered in this Exam...' Kakashi read, as Hyuga Neji was defeated, although he did manage to hit Tayuya a few times.
And then, Naruto jumped down to the arena. A second later, Aburame Shino stood before him, only with his back towards Naruto. "Referee... I forfeit." Shino bowed in respect. "I have no desire to feel a similar pain I felt two weeks ago."
He turned to regard Naruto. "One day, you will receive what you give to others, Uzumaki Naruto-san." Naruto simply grinned, although he was a bit disappointed not to have a fight.
"Tcheh, so disappointing, Aburame-san. I wanted a fight so much, too. Tell me, though... How did you survive in the Forest?"
Shino gazed at Naruto with a frown. "Medic Ninjutsu."
'Hmm, seems like I'm supposed to fight one of the Jinchuurikis, eh?' Sakon thought as he observed Gaara from a distance. 'Too bad Orochimaru-sama forbade to use the Curse Seal, otherwise I would have stomped the little brat away... Now, I'll have to lose this...' He finished with an inward grumble.
"Sakon, don't screw up, you stupid faggot." Tayuya let her presence known as she appeared behind him. "Kimimaro will kill you afterwards if you use even the slightest bit of that." She said. "Remember, he never disobeys him."
Sakon snorted. "Can it already, redhead. As if I'm going to screw up before I can be part of the greatest battle of all times..." He let out. 'Truly, the war between Leaf and Sound, with Sand as our puppy... This is going to be such a blast...'
"I wonder where the other two are hiding, though." Tayuya wondered out loud as she seemed to gazetowards the higher parts of the stadium.
"Sakon of the Sound, Gaara of the Sand! Get down here!" Genma yelled out lazily.
"Hyoumaru-sama." Orochimaru, in his disguise, turned around to see a normal Sound Jounin behind him. "Our Kimimaro has to face the prodigy, Uchiha Sasuke. Surely, Kaguya-kun would not kill him?"
'Hyoumaru' laughed. "Nonsense..." He smirked at Kabuto in disguise. "He will not ruin my plans. I want you to focus on your task after the final matches. Surely, when he's tired, you would stand a chance?"
The Sound Jounin seemed a bit perturbed, but only for a second. "Even when not, I would still gain the upper-hand."
'Hyoumaru' chuckled. "If you say so..."
"Tayuya has to face Uzumaki Naruto... I don't have any information about the blonde Genin, but I don't think he's really good against Genjutsu..."
'Hyoumaru' chuckled again. "No... He'll probably be really good against it... I can only hope Tayuya will be smart enough to forfeit, if she values her life..."
"Ah, because she can't use that, hm?"
Hyoumaru shook his head. "Even if she was allowed to do so, she would still stand no chance."
Genma sighed tiredly, he had been standing in this fighting area for way too long, he found. "Begin this match!" His voice awkwardly similar to a certain Nara.
Sakon rushed forward, intent on breaking Gaara's face.
Maa, I've decided to not write too many battles in this Chapter. If you prefer, I can write out a few battles in this chapter, if you do, please let me know. The next Chapter will be the fight between Leaf and Sound (and Sand) A final clash between the Shukaku vessel and the Kyuubi vessel and two certain Akatsuki Members arrive a bit earlier than 'expected.'
Sorry for the long wait! Seeyaaaaa...