I have not given up on this story - it was just that after all the craziness of the manga - I have lost a lot of interest and stop following the updates a long time ago.

I also lost a lot of drive to write for the last few years due to personal reasons.

I apologize for the wait. I will try to update as much as I can and at the very least complete the story. If not, I will put it up for adoption.

Here is a sneak peek of what's to come and the beginning of the next chapter.

People like to sprout proverbs and moral lessons like "cheaters never prosper" or "the nice guy never win" or even "do onto others as you wish do onto them" - and while its great lessons for civilians and the overall safe and normal people of the world - those who work in the shadows don't have such luxuries. For the sake of the majority, the few must dirty themselves into the darker end of moral and ethical ambiguity. So if one must, follow the proverbs and moral lessons - heed this one: "Don't judge."

The second part of the exam began rather abruptly. There were hardly any warnings, just a lot of shouting and glass shattering. The front window was totally trashed. Anko stood proudly against the totaled window, lazily munching on the last of her dangos. Her face sports a bored expression as she lean leisurely against the side.

"Yo," she greeted Ibiki without any sort of apology for being both late and for crashing through the window. "So, where's the brats?" she asked instead, as if she didn't expect to see any passing genin at all.

"You're late," Ibiki raised a brow at the jounin before pointed in the remaining genins direction.

Slowly, Anko turned around towards the room. Her bored eyes widen in slight shock. "WTH?!" Anko shouted. "There are at least thirteen teams left! What have you been doing Ibiki?! You lost your touch or something?"

And indeed inside that testing room, thirteen teams left standing. Among them were: all of the rookie nine and Kabuto's team, one more leaf team, Gaara's sand team, a grass team, a sound team, two rain team, and three stone teams.

Ibiki shrugged. "There's a lot of potentials this year," he pointed out, ignoring the glares Anko send towards the heavily scared Jounin.

"Well," her eyes glinted maliciously, licking a kunai for extra effect, "When I'm done, I'll cut the numbers in half!"

The room shivered at the proclamation and the tension that had once been lifted at the end of question 10 came back full force.

The Forest of Death, while does not look too ominous, is filled with the gentle and quiet wildlife of Konoha. If you believe gigantic spiders and killer bees, and man eating tigers as gentle that is. Coincidentally, it was also the birthplace of Tora the cat.

Once again, readers must ask themselves if there is a significant to this trivial facts.

There is.

Not many knows this, but before Forest of Death was fenced off to the public, one Kushina Uzumaki often venture into the deep wilderness to either blow off steam or due to Kyuubi's urgings. The fox apparently was not fond of city life and would often refuse to let Kushina peace unless she brings him into the forest once very two weeks.

Kushina who grew up in a land with little trees but plenty of water took a liking to the vast greens and didn't mind too much. It was on these adventures that the animals who lived in the forest become more observant and dangerous.

Every time Kushina used chakara or Kyuubi's power within the forest zone - the life energies swirled and touched all that it had contact with. Slowly, the demonic aura twist and change the animals - and Kyuubi was their master.

So it wasn't a wonder that Team Seven never encountered any of the inhabitant of Forest of Death.

Demon recognize demon after all.

Kyuubi who was awake this time around, crackled manically.

"Payback is a bitch!" he hissed before sending a burst of his own energy outward - so small that no one noticed - but the orders were clear to those who had heard.

Snake in the forest. Hunt it down.

The headaches had faded into a dull pounding in the back of Naruto's head. His neck sore, and would painfully stiffen from the slightest movement. His temper too was in a constant flux. There are moments when he wanted nothing but to tear away at his teammates. Even as he trail behind them, all he could think about is how wonderful it would feel if he just slide blade across Sakura's throat - let t he warm blood flow out of her neck and onto the forest floor. Or how amazing if he could dig out Sasuke's eyes and crush them - let the last of the Uchiha die here and now.

Then suddenly the haze would disappear the the feeling of wonderment would turn into horror. Naruto shivers and breathes deeply - shaken but the excitement was still there.

What the hell am I thinking? I didn't came back here - get stuck in my younger version just to kill my teammates! I am here to save everyone and change things!

Naruto scream in his head. Warily, he distance himself a bit further from his teammates - unable to trust himself. An hour pass without any complaints. Vaguely, Naruto make a note of the difference this time around.

Anko came late. We haven't stopped since entering the forest. No creepy snake guy in sight. I wonder...

Things were changing. Naruto noted with glee.

Don't be too happy. There is a price for everything Kyuubi warn in sorrow. But Naruto was too happy to pay any attention.

After a few minutes - reason took a leave and the need to flood the forest floor red came back once more.

I'm sorry if this is so short, but I just got back on the horse on this story and Naruto in general. Things will progress differently from Canon from here on out. Like I said, I will try to get my muse back and hopefully update more regularly until I compete this story. no promises thought.