Disclaimer - All original Naruto characters are not mine

A big thanks to all the nice people who reviewed the last chapter.

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Chapter 8

It was a very early morning, the sun has not even risen yet, but a pink haired girl and raven haired boy didn't seem to mind.didn't seem to mind the early hour as they engaged in a sparring match. It wasn't a really great show at all considering that the girl used to be really pathetic at taijutsu but with the boy's help she's steadily improving. The match was halted abruptly when Sakura hit Sasuke squarely in the nose.

"Argh! My nose!"

"Sasuke-kun! I'm so sorry!" Sakura said as she approached Sasuke who was rubbing his nose.

Sasuke waved Sakura away. "No, I'm fine. You're just getting better."

"Really!"

"I just didn't expect you to hit me though..."

"What's that supposed to mean!"

"You two seem close..."

Both turned towards the speaker and was surprised when they saw who it was.

"Kakashi-sensei!" Both said in unison

"Hmm, I must say I'm impressed with the two of you."

Kakashi circled the two while mumbling things to himself. Sakura and Sasuke just eyed him warily.

"Sakura, I'm glad that you're improving steadily. Sasuke, it's very kind of you to train with Sakura. If only you took Naruto too."

Sakura and Sasuke were slightly appalled by the idea of training with Naruto.

"Pfftt...Like that idiot will be of any help. He'll just annoy the hell out of me."

"Naruto? Train with us? No way! I finally have Sasuke-kun all by myself and there's no way he'll be ruining it!"

"Oh nevermind, the reason I came here is because I was going to take Sasuke for one-on-one training. But since you're here Sakura, you can come to."

"Really!"

"Yes, after all the Finals in just two weeks away."

"Enough talk let's just start."

"Fine,fine but we need to go to a more suitable location. Follow me."

Both gennins nodded and went after Kakashi.


Temari returned to her usual training ground. Kankurou was being an asshole again so she left him at the inn they were staying in and she couldn't find the guy she previously met anywhere. In a word she was pissed off. The finals were getting nearer everyday. She had spent the past few days meditating to boost her chakra reserves and practicing her newly learned jutsu as well as some she already knew and felt confident she will win in her match. She inhaled deeply, then whipped out her fan, snapped it open and threw it and began forming handseals.

"Kage Bunshin no jutsu!"

She still could not create more than a dozen clones but she was using her chakra more effectively, using the least amount of chakra and still produce good results.

"THAT WAS GREAT DO IT AGAIN!"

Temari turned towards the person doing the yelling and saw the familiar orange-clad eyesore accompanied by a black-garbed girl.

"Hey, you're the guy who did the Suiryuudan no jutsu back at the prelims."

Naruto smiled sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head.

"Heh! You ain't seen nothing yet! You just wait until the finals!

"Oh really, You know, you're more interesting than I thought."

Kyuubi, who felt a little left out stepped between the two. "Sorry girl, he's taken. Let's go Naruto-kun."

"Sorry, about that, and don't listen to what she says, she's a little bit nuts. By the way I'm Naruto."

"I see, my name is Temari."

"Well see you later Temari-chan! I have to train and goodluck in your match." Naruto said and went after Kyuubi while still waving to Temari."

"Good luck to you too." she replied and also waved back at Naruto. She continued to look into the direction Naruto and Kyuubi went off to for a while.

"Temari, what are you staring at?"

"Huh? What? Gaara! What are you doing here?" Several things instantly ran through her mind. "Oh great, now my evil, psychotic little brother is here! What the hell does he want!' She then thought that being nice was a great idea.

"I mean what does my little brother want now?" she added in a smile.

"That person you were talking to just a while ago..."

"You mean Naruto?"

"Not the boy, the girl. Shukaku is screaming in my head that I should run."

"Well this is news, my evil, psychotic little brother is afraid of someone, and of all people a girl he just saw. What an idiot." she then said aloud "Scared, why would you be scared? She doesn't look that tough. And how did you find me?"

"Kankurou says you go out early and arrive home rather late and looking like hell. So i followed you."

Gaara then turned around and left. "And I think that new jutsu of yours is nice."


"Ok Naruto I think that's enough running for now."

Naruto, after their meeting with Temari, had continued his daily routine for a month already of running laps around the village , which Kyuubi said will help boost his endurance. He stopped as Kyuubi had said, panting heavily.

"So, what do you want to do first, ninjutsu ,genjutsu or..."

"Teach me some cool fire jutsus! Like the ones Sasuke-teme has or even better!"

"Fine,fine but first things first." Kyuubi said in a serious tone.

Naruto didn't say anything but just waited for her to talk again.

"Listen to me carefully, I had been thinking over what happened to us..."

"What happened?" Naruto interrupted causing Kyuubi to bonk him on the head.

"Dummy, my release from the seal the Yondaime placed on you to imprison me. Now don't interrupt me again."

Kyuubi waited a bit for any retort but seeing Naruto won't say anything else continued speaking.

"You must have known before that you're huge stamina was because of me. Now that I am out of you, you're stamina should be normal as anyone else's. But seeing your performance during your daily run, it seems as your stamina is still the same as before."

"Uhm, so what does this mean?" Naruto piped up.

"You still has your monstrous stamina AND my chakra is still mixing with yours. Which means..."

"Mean what?"

Kyuubi glared at Naruto and was about to hit him again but decided against it and continue talking.

"A side-effect of that "thing" that snake-guy did to you back in the "Forest of death" Kyuubi held up her index and forefingers on each hand and made a punctuation marks in the air "was for some weird reason, our chakra must somehow have been linked."

Naruto scratched his head. "Linked? I don't understand..."

"Look at it this way, during the prelims you used a Suiton jutsu and there wasn't a drop of water in that place. At your level that should have been impossible maybe not if there was a lake nearby. Using Suiton jutsu's without a nearby body of water takes double the amount of chakra. How is this possible? You used my chakra that's why."

Naruto appeared dazed when Kyuubi finished talking.

"And why are you telling me this?"

"I'm telling you this well, because...it's uhm...important! So you wouldn't hold back during a fight. But I'm not really sure the rest of the details. I think that the snake-guy either made a mistake or didn't know that somehow our chakra were linked or this must be an effect of the Yondaime's seal. Anyway enough of talk, I'm going to show you stuff you would love."

"Yay! Finally! Teach me that jutsu Sasuke-teme used against Kakashi-sensei!"

"Naruto-kun, that's duck soup, I'm going to teach you jutsus Kages use."

"Really! Well, I've never seen the old geezer fight but he should be great he's a Hokage for crying out loud."

"Yeah you talk too much Naruto-kun, let's just train shall we?"


The Third was lazily looking over the day's paperwork assisted by Ayako when a Chuunin entered the office.

"What is it?"

"Hokage-sama, there is someone outside who insists that he must see you right now."

"Oh? Who is it? What does he says he want?"

"I think it must be Dan, Hokage-sama." Ayako whispered. "Last night he said something about dropping by."

"He won't tell us why but he looks dangerous. And I can't really distuinguish his face since he's wearing sunglasses. What shall we do?" the Chuunin replied.

'Hmm...I'll handle this. Send him in."

"Hai.."

The Chuunin left and a few minutes later, someone knocked on the door.

"Come in."

The door opened and young man went in, then removed his sunglasses.

"Hello Sarutobi-sensei."

"Is that you..Dan?" The Third said, while rising from his seat.

"Oh, and hello to you too Ayako-chan."

"Good morning." Ayako replied with a big smile.

"Dan, I'm surprised it's been a while. Where have you been all this time?"

"Oh nothing much. Been around from one village to the next. I study any useful jutsu i may come upon and I'm proud to say, I mastered quite a lot."

"That's good, just don't get to addicted to jutsus or you'll become like him."

"Don't worry sensei, I won't sink to that level. And speaking of him, Have you heard about the Hidden Village of Sound? It's a relatively new village."

"Yes, in fact in the current Chuunin Selection Exam, there are some participants from that village."

"Did you also know that the Hidden Sound's leader and founder is Orochimaru?'

"Yes, and unfortunately we discovered it only late in the exam. He made an unpleasant incident in the Forest of Death."

"Incident?"

"Ayako? would you kindly leave us for a moment? We have some sensitive things to discuss."

"Sure, Hokage-sama. I'll just be outside."

Ayako bowed, and went for the door. As soon as she was outside, Sarutobi resumed speaking.

"During the second test. Orochimaru killed some gennins from the Hidden Grass, took their faces with one of his jutsus. Then went after Team 7 consisting of Haruno Sakura, Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke."

"Uchiha? Is he..."

"Yes..." The Hokage interrupted. "Uchiha Itachi's younger brother."

"And The Yondaime's Legacy...i don't know anything about the other. But what was Orochimaru's motive?"

Sarutobi cleared his throat first. He then walked to window and gazed at the Hokage monument.

"I'm not really sure what it is. But he placed a Cursed Seal on the Uchiha."

"The one like...ummm.." Dan stopped to think for a moment but couldn't remember what it was. "I forgot her name, who was the woman that you say used to be his apprentice?"

"You mean Anko and yes, it's the same one as hers. However, based on what I saw he's resisting the Cursed Seal quite well."

"And what about Naruto?"

"Orochimaru only placed the seal on Sasuke. He didn't do anything to the other two."

"Then he must be after the Sharingan."

"That's the same conclusion I also came to."

Both men stopped for a moment to think. Sarutobi went back to his desk and sat in his chair

"Anyway, I'm really glad you're back. I hope you spent your time away here wisely." he then exhaled deeply, blowing a lot of smoke from his pipe in the air. "I always regretted that you were born twenty years too late, if you were just born earlier, I could have thought you everything I knew."

"Don't say that Sarutobi-sensei, I always thankful for the short time I have been your "student". And you should quit smoking too. You're getting old already, it might kill you."

Sarutobi laughed out loud and blew another puff of smoke into the air.

"Don't say that. I think I'll live for another ten years or so. Anyway, Ayako told me that you wanted to know where Naruto lives, Why?"

"I'm just interested on how he's become. He has great potential, specially with that unlimited chakra of his."

"Ah...talk about that troublesome kid. He was really impressive during the preliminaries for the third test. Did you know he can use Kokuangyo no jutsu and Suiryuudan?"

"Suiryuudan? Where was the test held?"

"In the tower in the forest of death. There is no body of water there."

"Impressive, it should be impossible for a gennin to do that. He must have use the Nine Tail's chakra."

"I think so too. Anyway the the third test is tommorrow. A lot of people are going to watch and there will also be the some Feudal Lords who will also watch."

Sarutobi handed him a piece of paper showing the match-ups for the third test.

"Hmm...Naruto's up against a Hyuuga?"

"Hyuuga Neiji, last year's top rookie."

"And the Uchiha is against a Gaara.."

"He's a gennin from the Hidden Sand. His team was the first to complete the Second Test. Took them only 10 hours."

"You're not impressed?"

"You really are getting old, The only exam i took is the Academy Graduation Exam."

"Oh, I forgot you were such a genius." The Hokage laughed. "Anyway, i have a hunch that Orochimaru's going to do something during the exam."

"So what's your plan?"

Sarutobi put on his hat and walked to the door.

"Let's step outside for a moment shall we?"


Temari was polishing her battle fan while Kankuro was tinkering with Karasu. Both went quietly on what they were doing.

"The Main Matches are tommorrow." Kankuro said out of nowhere.

"You know, if you took the Chuunin Exam earlier you may have been Chuunin already."

Temari looked up from her work. "Don't say that." Though inwardly, Temari knew it was true.The only reason they took part in this exam was so they can infiltrate Konoha.

"Your opponent is someone fron the Hidden Sound, isn't that the new village and from you know."

"I won't go easy on him just because we're supposed to be "allies". And it's not like I'll lose to someone his level."

"I'd rather have your opponent. Mine is sort of creepy. Ugh, did you see the bugs coming out of jacket? That was disgusting, I hope I don't lose because I was to grossed out."

"I know what you mean." Temari replied. "If that guy was my opponent I think I'll back out. Anyway whatever happens we must succeed in our mission. I hope Gaara is prepared."

'He'd better be." Kankuro resumed tinkering with Karasu. "This mission's success depends on his performance. And it's not like anyone can defeat him."

Temari smirked. "Right, even if he's Uchiha Sasuke, too bad I think he's cute."

"O.O"

"What!"


Kakashi looked over his two students. Sakura and Sasuke both sat on the ground breathing heavily.

"You two are doing great. Specially you Sakura, that training you did with Sasuke helped a lot. However, don't use your new jutsus too much, your chakra reserve is not that big as Sasuke and doing so will quickly deplete it. Think carefully before using them. And as for you."

He glanced at Sasuke.

"Your limit is two shots."

"And if I do more?"

"Will not happen. The worst thing is if you force a third one you'll die. The last time i used it four times in a day, i was asleep for a week. And you have to use it with the Sharingan so it takes up a lot of chakra."

Kakashi then took out his perverted book.

"Well, that's all for now. Go home and get a lot of sleep. I've got something to do."

Sakura and Sasuke stared at an empty space for a while after Kakashi left.

"Uhm...Sasuke-kun?"

"Yes?"

"Uhm...Would you like to grab a bite with me?"

"Not now Sakura." Sasuke replied while getting up. "I'm too tired to do anything. I just want to go home and sleep."

"Waahh! Sasuke-kun dumped me again!" Sakura wailed to herself, almost in tears.

"Why don't we just go home, I'll walk you to your house."

"Then again, there may still be hope. YAY!"

"Uh, sure Sasuke-kun."

They didn't say anything to each other on the way to Sakura's house. However they drew some stares from some fangirls on the way.

"Thank you for walking me home, Sasuke-kun..." she said as they arrived at Sakura's house.

"It's nothing."

"See you tommorrow then."

"Yeah, see you too."

Sakura was about to close go inside when Sasuke spoke again.

"Sakura, wait."

"Hm?"

"Goodluck tommorrow."

"Ah..uhm...Goodluck to you too Sasuke-kun."

Sasuke smiled a little and then went off. Sakura stared dreamily at the direction Sasuke went to for a while before her mother yelled at her to come inside and close the damn door.


Dan was walking home after seeing the Hokage and talked about various things. Orochimaru's return to Konoha was news to him but wasn't really worried. He was sure he can handle Orochimaru. But The Hokage was another matter. He was certain no one in Konoha can fight with Orochimaru head on. Dan was still musing on what he and Sarutobi had talked about that he barely noticed the bright blonde head wearing the orange jumpsuit as it passed by him. But that wasn't the one he noticed first. He stared at the girl that was with Naruto. He felt the enormous power she was concealing. There was no doubt about it. For some reason

she was free. He doesn't know why. But he'll find out soon. He began following Naruto and his "friend".

"Bah! I'm so hungry! I can eat the Ichiraku whole!"

"Not going to work Naruto-kun, you'll have wooden splinters in your stomach."

Both were walking home after today's training and decided to stop by the ramen stand to get dinner.

"Naruto-kun, your big fight is tommorrow. You should stop yelling your head off and save your energy for tommorrow."

"Hmph! I got a lot of jutsus now! My fight will be a piece of cake."

"Now, don't show too much and use too many of your jutsus in a fight. You should never show all your techniques to the enemy and besides, it's not even a real battle for crying out loud."

Naruto was about to speak again but Kyuubi abruptly pulled him towards an empty sidestreet.

"What the..."

Kyuubi motioned for him to keep quiet. Someone's following us." she whispered

Naruto instanly got into a stance and looked around.

"Ok whoever you are. Better come out now. I know where you are."

A crow fluttered down to the ground near Naruto and Kyuubi. A moment later, it went out in a small cloud and in it's place, a man stood.

"Ooohhhh! Flashy entrance!" Naruto said to himself, keeping in mind to imitate it sometime.

"Who are you?" Kyuubi asked.

Kyuubi paled as she saw the mans eyes changed from normal.

"No...it can't be..."

"It's been a while...Kyuubi no Yoko."

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A/N: Sorry for the long update. Some might have noticed that some characters are a bit OOC. I didn't notice until i re-read the whole story again. Anyway, i hope this one's a good chapter and I want to thank again the nice people who reviewed the last chapter. Happy Holidays!