Kitsune and Dragon
I don't own Naruto but Denko and Akane are mine.
Yea I'm alive, I've been having some trouble with some of my classes but that's getting taken care of. Another reason that I haven't updated for a while is that I've found some good stories to read and added some to my favorites and my C2, Lightning's Uzumaki and Hyuuga Pairings. Ja ne!
Chapter 8: The Forest of Death
"Alright you brats, listen up! This is training area 44, The Forest of Death! There are plenty of ways to die simply just walking into that place that don't involve other teams. So I'm gonna need all of you to sign these waver forms so Konoha is not responsible for anyone being injured or killed." Anko yells to the twenty seven teams that are gathered in front of her as chuunin pass the waver forms to them and collected them back. "There are forty four gates into this training ground that you may enter. There is a tower in the center of this forest ten kilometers from all entrances. Your goal is to obtain both of these scrolls and make it to the tower within five days. You may use any means necessary if you wish though we would prefer you not to kill. Each team will be given a scroll and seeing that there will not be a matching pair from the start means that one team would be eliminated right from the start and the other half of you will be eliminated from the exam because you don't have the Earth and Heaven scrolls at the tower by the fifth day. Now each team is to go to that tent to obtain their scroll and you will be escorted to your gate. Before you start I have a word of advice… don't die!"
Soon all of the teams were standing by their gates and rushed in as soon as they opened dashing for the forest where poisonous plants, large animals, traps, and other teams were sure to be found. Team Kakashi were soon ambushed by a single Kiri nin who was driven away by Sasuke's use of Katon: Housenka no Jutsu and Kiba's Gatsuuga. Team Asuma were simply wandering through the forest watching for traps and other teams. Team Gai is currently in pursuit of a fairly light footed team who Neji found with his Byakugan to have the Earth scroll they needed. Team Anko had already found a team and had taken their scroll in the first ten minutes but it wasn't the one they needed but they kept it anyway. Team Kurenai were jumping across branches at high speeds on their way to a team that Hinata found with her Byakugan.
Naruto and Kohaku dashed into the clearing where the team from Kiri was trying to set up to use as a base and threw a few kitsune bi balls at the surprised Kiri nin and covering them with a thick cloud of smoke and dust. Hinata used her Byakugan to see through the dust and told Shino where to direct his bugs that drained their targets when they found them. As the dust cloud thinned out Hinata sent Gina to grab the scroll while Naruto and Kohaku were taking the other team down slowly. Gina returned shortly with the scroll in her mouth and Hinata sent a small blast of kitsune bi into the clearing as Shino called back his bugs signaling that the scroll was in their possession and they were leaving. Unfortunately like Team Anko they had grabbed a second Earth scroll. They decided to attempt to find the other Konoha teams in hopes of them having an extra Heaven scroll and were willing to trade for their extra Earth scroll.
With Team Kakashi, things weren't going too well, it was already getting late, they haven't had anything to eat, and they had just been separated by a huge blast of wind that sent Kiba and Akamaru flying. Sasuke and Sakura were alone fighting a Kusa nin that had just frozen them with just his killing intent that was so strong that they had just envisioned their own deaths.
"Ah, Sasuke-kun, I was hoping for a better challenge from the last Uchiha." The nin laughs before he threw two kunai with a flick of his wrist.
'I will not die now!' Sasuke thinks to himself as he stabs his leg with his own kunai to override the fear with pain, grabbed Sakura, and ran away to hide barely dodging the kunai.
"Very clever using pain to escape your fear, Sasuke-kun. I want your body even more now, as well as a few others here that would be quite suitable for me. So much power and talent in this generation, I get excited just thinking about it." The Kusa nin says as he emerges from the back of a giant snake that Sasuke had just killed by throwing several kunai and shuriken into its face.
"You're a sick freak, ne? Well I'm just gonna have to make you a dead freak!" Sasuke yells as he engages the man in taijutsu and several times he attempted to impale the freak with his kunai. "Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu!" Sasuke yells blowing a huge fireball that forced the nin to jump back against the trunk of the tree that they were fighting on and quickly followed up the jutsu by throwing several shuriken that wrapped wires around the tree and bound the nin to the trunk. Some seals later Sasuke unleashed his most powerful attack in his arsenal, "Katon: Ryuuka no Jutsu!" A large dragon of fire rushed at the bound nin and burnt straight through the tree. Sakura who was watching had little doubt that both the nin and the tree were now dead. 'Poor tree' she thinks to herself.
"Impressive power Sasuke-kun, most impressive. Now I know that your body is the one that I desire!" The nin says as the smoke clears revealing that half of his face was burnt and melted away exposing a face without any color beneath it as the nin removes the rest of the face. "Allow me to formally introduce myself, I am Orochimaru, one of the legendary three Sannin." Orochimaru says with a sick smile and a mocking bow. "Before I leave you I wish to give you a small parting gift." He says as his smile gets larger and sicklier as he starts a series of seals. Suddenly his neck grew long and he sank his fangs into the joint of Sasuke's neck and shoulder before pulling away revealing a black mark on Sasuke's skin in the shape of three commas arranged in a triangle.
Orochimaru leapt away only to be struck in the face by Denko who had saw Orochimaru bite Sasuke. The Sannin was surprised to be honest, he never expected to be hit and he never noticed anyone in the immediate area. But now as he landed on his feet on a tree a dozen or so meters away from where he was hit he saw one of the people that he deemed worthy of receiving his 'gift'.
"Hey snake freak! What the hell were ya trying to do to Sasuke, give him a hickie?" Denko smirks from his branch near Sasuke, Sakura and Kiba with an injured Akamaru in his arms. By his sides are his teammates Haku and Akane ready with senbon and kunai in their hands.
"Very impressive if you can hit a Sannin, even more if you can surprise one." Orochimaru says carefully looking Denko's body over.
"Whatever ya pedophile! You're gonna be in a lot of pain when I hand you over to the Hokage if I let you live. I better not take my chances by leaving you alive and kill you now." Denko says before disappearing in a display of speed while Haku and Akane sprang in opposite directions throwing their weapons with great speed and precision. The snake Sannin jumped back to avoid the oncoming weapons and blocked the roundhouse kick from Denko with his arm but he did not expect the huge jolt of electricity to run through his body from the contact that left his arm numb.
"Very good, you managed to disable one of my arms however I should be the least of your worries at the moment…" Orochimaru says as one of his huge summoned snakes tried to eat Denko from behind, the same happened to Haku and Akane. The three of them dodged the attacks and attacked the snakes. "Arare no Jutsu!" Haku yells as chunks of hail shoot from the water pouches that she has strapped to her waist and back like bullets that shattered once inside the snake and killing it. Akane used Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu to give her snake a serious case of heartburn when it tried to strike her a second time. Denko leapt under his snake and slashed its head off with his kodachi. The distraction was all that Orochimaru needed to get feeling back in his arm and bite Denko to deliver a curse mark, but at a price, piercing Denko's skin with his fangs he found was like trying to eat lightning fresh from the cloud. It was a miracle that he lived but he contributed that fact to the large amount of chakra that had to be in his mouth when he delivered the curse that blocked most of the lightning yet it still fried him enough that his hair was fluffed up by the lightning. Akane would have laughed at the scene if Denko wasn't injured but Haku put her teammates' health aside for the moment to fill Orochimaru's arms and knees with senbon so he couldn't escape or make hand seals easily.
That was the scene that Team Kurenai saw when they arrived, Sasuke on his back being tended by Sakura, Kiba tending to Akamaru's injuries on a nearby branch, Akane holding a barely conscious Denko in a sitting position who was holding the base of his neck with one hand, and Haku staring down Orochimaru who had an afro and arms and knees filled with senbon.
"What the hell? Haku, is that Orochimaru with fluffy hair?" Naruto asks as he lands on the same branch as the girl with the other three kitsune b his side and Shino on the branch above.
"Hai that's him. He did something to Denko and Sasuke when he bit their necks. It's like they've been poisoned but there was no poison involved, just that bastard's chakra." Haku explains.
Before anyone knew what happened, Naruto had hit Orochimaru in the face with a ball of kitsune bi, it's unnatural flames causing more damage than natural flames but getting the desired effect; horribly burning half of the mans face, burning the clothes off of his upper body leaving burns that don't even compare to his face, and best of all exactly half of his hair burnt off of his head and without any chance of growing back. Before the surprised Sannin could even curse at the kitsune hanyou a second ball of kitsune bi guaranteed that he would no longer have the equipment to reproduce. The second ball was thrown by Hinata. Both kitsune hanyou have kitsune bi burning on their feet, hands, and the ends of all of their tails, Hinata's Byakugan is active, and the whites of their eyes was red. Needless to say that they were pissed as was Orochimaru who was in as much pain as he was mad. The kitsune leapt at him with full intent on gutting him where he stood with their claws but Orochimaru used a jutsu to quickly bind them in branches and vines and gave them both curse marks before they burnt and ripped through. As soon as he did he took off the best he could with his burns and limbs filled with needles. The kitsune hanyou ripped from their bounds just before they succumbed to the effects of the curse marks and the burst of rage, passed out, and fell to the forest floor but they were caught from their fall by Team Gai who had come to investigate the fight.
It was dark because the sun had set a few hours ago and the teams had decided to stay together since there was strength in numbers, three teams were weakened considerably, and because Team Kurenai and Team Anko could trade their extra scrolls with each other so they would have both scrolls that they needed. Gina and Kohaku were keeping watch over Naruto and Hinata who had somehow curled together into a comfortable fur ball in there sleep even though they were on opposite sides of the group that was tending to them and nobody had noticed until they were together. Although the group was surprised about the unconscious kitsune hanyou stealth they were relieved to see that both of them visibly relaxed at the others touch. In the darkness of the night one could see the glow of their red demonic chakra slowly eating away the curse mark.
Denko, under Akane's care, was doing just as well; his draconic chakra was eating away the curse though small sparks of electricity would leap from the area randomly. Sasuke was in the worst condition, not only staying but at one point during the night he had woken and tried to sit up only to be knocked out again by a kick from Sakura that was aimed at Haku because they were fighting over who gets to take care of him. The rest of them were either asleep or keeping watch for other teams. During his watch that night Neji had seen the Oto team spying on them from the bushes but they soon retreated out of range of his Byakugan. He figured that they didn't want to attempt to attack a large group even if a third of them were in no condition to fight.
The next morning however the Oto genin team returned and attacked the Konoha teams. Sasuke was in no better condition than last night, Denko, Naruto, and Hinata were clear of the curse mark but were still unconscious. The Oto nin had first sent a squirrel into the clearing with a paper bomb on its back but Sakura scared it away by throwing a kunai in front of it. One of the Oto nin, Zaku, then came charging out of the brush to attack the group but his attack was prevented by a trap that swung a large log in his path. His teammate, Dosu, ran in front of him and somehow destroyed the log with one swing of his right arm that had a strange device on it.
"Clever, but futile. You cannot defeat or defend yourselves from our attacks." Dosu says as the group looked on in surprise.
"Nothing can stop us! Those lame jutsu that you use are nothing to ours. What we use are the jutsu of the future!" Zaku laughs as small jets of air shoot from his palms.
"Would you like to test that theory? You look like you have nothing but hot air." Neji smirks.
"Let me test myself against them Neji! I will prove myself to be worthy of the heart of Sakura-chan!" Lee shouts.
"YOSH! I WILL SHOW THEM THE POWER OF YOUTH!" Lee shouts at the top of his lungs and vanished from sight in a burst of speed. "Konoha Gouriki Senpuu!" Lee yells as he spins and slams his heel into the head of Dosu, sending the nin flying a few meters away. Not to leave Zaku out Lee smashes the boy in the face with a straight punch before jumping into the air as Tenten throws kunai at the two he had hit. Dosu recovered just in time to block the kunai thrown at him with the device on his arm while Zaku used his air holes to blast the kunai off target.
"You like playing with wind, ne? Well I can do that too." Neji says as he approaches Zaku and sliding into his Jyuuken stance.
"As if you could beat me! You're a Hyuuga, your pitiful clan only use taijutsu to close your opponent's tenketsu. Lets see how well you fight if you can't even touch me!" Zaku smirks as he sends a few tiny jets of air through his palms.
"Like I said before, I like to play with wind myself…Hakke Kusho!" Neji says thrusting his open palm at Zaku releasing a huge blast of wind that threw the surprised boy a tree leaving a good impression in the wood. Zaku didn't move from where he fell to the ground and the kunoichi of the team, Kin, didn't make an effort to do anything as she watched from the relative safety of a high branch at the edge of the clearing. That was quickly changed when Haku decided to use the girl for target practice with her senbon and effectively disabled her.
Lee was having a much worse time with his opponent who used a sound amplifier to amplify sounds and direct them with his chakra into his opponents' inner ear to disrupt their balance. Unfortunately Lee had already been subjected to that technique and was knocked out when it was used on him a second time. When he attempted to finish him off he was stopped by a small blast of flames that turned out to be Akane's fists that were aflame without causing her any harm.
"If ya know what's best for ya you'll run away really fast." Akane warns.
"Ah but we have orders to kill anyone that Orochimaru-sama has marked." Dosu replies.
"You will not touch my Denko-kun!" Akane screams as she swings her burning fists at Dosu unsuccessfully before he hit her in the face with the amplifier knocking her into a tree barely conscious.
"I think we should make some nice kitsune pelts to keep warm during the winter Dosu. There's so much fur here." Zaku says after he had slipped away from Neji and had blasted everyone inside the cave shelter against the walls either knocking them out or stunning them enough that they were no threat at the moment. At least that's what Zaku thought, as he calmly walked into the cave three chakra signatures flared. Sasuke rose as the curse mark spread across his body, Denko stood in his hanyou form, his hair is longer and more wild, claws, fangs, pointed ears, and wings from his back. His eyes glowed blue in the darkness as he stalked forward with Naruto who had become more uncontrollable and had red eyes.
"You hurt Akane-chan/ Hinata-chan." They say as one as they approach Zaku who was getting more scared by the second. Behind him Neji had also gone into a silent rage though one could tell by the claws on his hands and the wings on his back as he slowly walked towards Zaku. To his left was Sasuke with what he recognized as the curse seals' level one activated.
"You hurt Haku-chan." Sasuke says as he grabs Zaku's left arm as Neji grabs his right arm, Denko grabs his left leg, and Naruto grabbed his right.
"W-why don't you two have curse marks? Orochimaru-sama said he put it on the Uchiha, Hyuuga heiress, and both Uzumaki. How is that only Uchiha has it on him?" Dosu asks with obvious fear and confusion in his voice.
"We're not entirely human, not even the Hyuuga genius after we shared blood a few years ago." Denko says with obvious joy at making the Oto nin too scared to move while the one in his grasp wet his pants in fright.
"So what should we do with this trash?" Naruto asks with a sadistic grin.
"He seems pretty attached to his arms, lets' fix that." Sasuke says as he tightens his grip on Zaku's arm and puts his left foot on his ribs.
"I agree but we should do the same with his legs so he can't sneak around anymore." Neji says as he tightens his grip and places his right foot on Zaku's ribcage.
"Sounds like a great idea." Naruto and Denko say as one as they both place their feet between his legs and putting a little pressure on the sensitive area.
"All together?" Neji smiles.
"Ichi… ni…san…hajime!" they all count down and pull on the boys limbs as they push with their feet crushing his ribs and groin while the limbs are dislocated and he was dropped to the ground in a heap. Seeing that Zaku was unconscious from the pain the four boys turn their gaze to Dosu.
"I will take my team away and leave you our scroll." Dosu says as he slowly places the scroll on the ground.
"Let them go." Haku says stumbling from the cave and Sasuke was at her side in an instant and the curse mark began to recede and he passed out in her arms. Sakura saw the whole thing and was hurt that she couldn't do the same for the last Uchiha that she cared for. Naruto had already ran back to Hinata, passed out from overexerting his already tired body and curled back up with Hinata as Kohaku and Gina joined the fur ball to keep watch over them. Denko walked over to Akane and carried her back to the cave and fell asleep with her in his lap and her head on his shoulder. Neji kept his wilder appearance until Dosu left carrying Kin and Zaku under each arm before giving the scroll to Sakura because it was the scroll that they needed to enter the tower. After that he helped a dazed Tenten to her feet and they dragged Lee back to the cave.
The next morning the group was capable of proceeding to the tower, even if they moved slower than normal they maintained a decent speed and made it to the tower by evening after taking out a team from Ame. There they found that the Suna team had made it on the first day and had killed an Ame team within a minute. After they had med nin take care of their injuries they told their sensei and the Hokage about their confrontation with Orochimaru and the curse marks. Sarutobi took Sasuke to a secluded room and sealed the curse so that it wouldn't spread or gain strength until he could get one or both of his old students back to help him either seal it even better or remove the curse. Hiashi was outraged that his daughter and the heir of the Main family of the Hyuuga clan had the curse mark put on her but after he was shown that the curse was somehow gone, not just from her but Naruto and Denko and told him what they did to the Sannin he could only praise them. When he told the Elder council they were impressed, they were thinking that even if Hinata had the power they expected from her, they did not like the fact that she is a kitsune hanyou because her pure Hyuuga blood was tainted by a youkai, specifically Kyuubi. Now they saw that even if she was soft spoken she had the courage and power to be a powerful leader.
During the next two days the Oto team, Team Asuma, and Kabuto's team made it to the tower. Kabuto and his team looked like they had simply taken their time with this part of the exam while Oto team came with a limping Zaku who had both arms in slings. All of the genin teams stood in front of the Hokage as he announced that the arena in the tower would be the site of the preliminaries for the third round of the chuunin exams since there were so many that made it to the third round. The judge for the preliminaries, Gekkou Hayate, stepped forward.
"Are there any of you who wish to quit now?" Hayate asks with a few coughs.
"I quit!" Kabuto calls out with his hand in the air. The other genin looked at him in confusion, he didn't look tired or even injured, and the most was a few smudges of dirt.
"Anyone else?" Hayate asks and after a few seconds of silence he continued. "Because there are twenty three of you someone will get through without having to fight. The matches will be one on one, and you may use any jutsu or weapons you wish. The fight is over if your opponent is unconscious, unable to continue, gives up, or dead. We would advise you to give up over being killed to keep the mortality rate down. The matches will be displayed on the screen." The stone cover over the said screen slides down as he says this. "Your matches will be chosen randomly. You may watch the matches from the balconies on either side of the arena. First match, Uchiha Sasuke versus Akadou Yori."
"They didn't waste any time calling me out there?" Sasuke scoffs as the other genin climb the stairs to the balconies, separating into two groups; Konoha on one side and all others on the other side.
Sasuke and Yori stand in the middle of the floor ready to fight, just waiting for…
"Hajime!" Hayate says before jumping out of the way.
Yori did a few hand seals before his right hand glowed blue and he thrust that hand at Sasuke who dodged only to find that the older boy was as fast as or faster than him as he grabbed Sasuke's arm. Sasuke tried to pull away only to find that he was feeling weak.
"You're draining my chakra." Sasuke says before kicking Yori away.
"You only noticed that now? My Sabaki no Genki drains you of chakra and physical energy, making you as helpless as a kitten or in your case even more helpless.
Sasuke frowns at what his opponent says before performing an attack that he had seen once while watching Lee train with his Sharingan activated. "Konoha Senpuu!" he yells as he kicks Yori's chin sending him high into the air before jumping under him. "Kage Konoha Buyou. From here it's all original…Shi Shi Rendan!" Sasuke kick is blocked by Yori's left arm but he uses the momentum of the kick to flip around and slam his leg into Yori's stomach. Continuing his spin Sasuke delivers a backhand to his sternum before dropping his heel in the same spot just as he hit the ground.
"The winner is Uchiha Sasuke." Hayate announces seeing that Yori wasn't moving. Med nins came and carried the boy away on a stretcher as Sasuke joined his fellow Konoha genin and their Jounin sensei. "The next match is Haruno Sakura versus Momochi Haku!" Hayate calls after reading the screen.
"Good luck Haku." Anko says as the girl walks by.
"Nani? She should be able to beat the girl no problem." Denko says to Anko loud enough for Haku to hear.
"Ya got that right, Sakura's the weakest genin here." Akane says loud enough for everyone to hear her that was in the room. Sakura had a vain popping out of her forehead at the comments that were said while Haku simply smirked.
"I'm going to beat and win Sasuke-kun from you." Sakura says with determination in her voice.
"Words only go so far, let's see you back them up 'cause Sasuke-kun is mine." Haku smirks.
"Hajime!" Hayate yells before jumping back faster and farther away than he had for the first match because he didn't want to get caught in the middle of two girls fighting for a boy while Sasuke sweat drops with a tinge of pink on his cheeks.
Haku started the fight by throwing three senbon at Sakura who deflected them with a kunai before charging and creating two bushin alongside of her to confuse Haku who saw through the illusion and threw a senbon at each Sakura. All of the Sakura were destroyed which surprised Haku, Sakura had run behind the other girl while distracting her with the bushin. Now that she was behind Haku, Sakura threw two kunai at her back before jumping high and throwing threw more. Haku rolled to the side and created two Mizu Bushin from her water pouches and all three charged Sakura who was still falling. Sakura was engaged in taijutsu as soon as she touched the ground and was easily overwhelmed by skill, speed, strength, and numbers. Jumping out of the fray Sakura was panting hard and barely holding her own under Haku's attacks while Haku was hardly breathing hard. Haku gave the other girl no time to recover as she and her mizu bushin unleashed a rain of senbon. Sakura ran, jumped, dodged, and tried everything she could think of but she was rendered unable to continue within minutes and Haku was declared the winner. Sakura was taken away by med nin to have the senbon removed and to recover while Haku ran back up the stairs and hugged HER Sasuke a little too hard; everyone in the room could hear joints popping.
Even Gaara who normally kept an emotionless mask showed his surprise and confusion at the display of affection and decided to carefully watch the Konoha shinobi as some seemed to be a little closer than others, Naruto and Hinata had their arms around each other as they watched the other fights with their kitsune friends on their shoulders. Gaara felt Shukaku tell him to talk to the five-tailed kitsune hanyou because there were some questions he had that he wanted answers to. When Gaara began to question the tanuki, Shukaku just told him to do it and he could sleep for a month straight if he wanted without problems, Gaara didn't need to be asked twice and quickly took the offer since to him sleep was more valuable than anything.
"Round three; Uzumaki Naruto vs. Inuzuka Kiba." Hayate announces as the two boys and their partners jump to the floor from the balcony.
"I'm gonna beat you easy kitsune." Kiba sneers.
"You've said that the last time, and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that… kuso, I lost count how many times I beat you demo I know how many times you beat me, zero!" Naruto laughs.
"Hajime!" Hayate says before jumping back. It was a good thing he did because Kiba charged straight through where he had stood before punching at Naruto as Akamaru and Kohaku dashed away from the boys to fight each other. Naruto dodged Kiba's punch and drove his knee into his stomach before grabbing Kiba's jacket and throwing the stunned boy to the farthest corner from himself.
"Kohaku! Get over here and cover your nose!" Naruto yells as he jams his fingers up his nose as he runs into a corner. All those from Konoha instantly knew what Naruto did and they all franticly began covering their noses and mouths as the foreign nins looked on in confusion. Kiba was struggling to get the object of fear off of him by pulling his clothes off but all he got off was his jacket before the Hanabi Death Bomb exploded in a small cloud of pale green gas that quickly spread from Kiba who had already dropped to the floor swirly-eyed, twitching, and unconscious. Everyone in the room smelt the gas and all became at least a little faint before Naruto used the jutsu to suck the gas into an empty pill, after which everyone sighed in relief.
"The winner is Uzumaki Naruto!" Hayate declares as med nin wearing masks over their noses and mouths took the smelly Kiba, his discarded jacket, and a puppy that was in serious need of a bath away and Naruto jumped back up to the balcony next to Hinata.
"Why do you have Hanabi Death Bombs with you?" Hinata asks.
"They're a great way to avoid a fight ya don't want to get into, why?" Naruto says scratching the back of his head.
"Kuso! I forgot that I have a few with me too. I should've shoved one up the nose of that snake teme." Denko says angrily, mentally kicking himself for not using his opportunity to capture or kill the Sannin.
"Too late now demo you should try that if you meet him again." Neji says.
"Round four: Abumi Zaku versus Hyuuga Neji." Hayate announces. Zaku visibly paled at the fact that he was supposed to fight not just one of the four who had pulled his limbs from their sockets but he was fighting the Hyuuga genius as he slowly made his way down the stairs to where his opponent was already waiting for him with a barely noticeable smirk on his face. "Hajime!" Hayate shouts before jumping back once again.
'I had better make this quick or I won't stand a chance. I'm still healing from what those teme did to me.' Zaku thinks as he watches Neji slide into a basic Jyuuken stance. "I'm gonna make this quick ya teme, Zankuuha!" Zaku shouts as air blasts from his right palm directed at Neji who slid back across the floor even though he had anchored his feet with chakra until he hit the wall.
"Is that all you've got? Pathetic. Hakke Kusho!" Neji shouts as he thrusts his open palm at Zaku directing his own blast of air that sent the other boy crashing into the wall.
"I-I can't believe it, you fixed my shoulder. Now I can really fight you!" Zaku says pulling himself to his feet and releasing his left arm from its sling before charging the Hyuuga. Zaku tried to punch Neji in the face but that was blocked effortlessly and a few tenketsu were closed at the same time. Zaku jumped out of range of Neji's immediate attack range, raised both arms, and focused all of his chakra into the tubes in his arms shouting, "Zankuukyohuha!" Neji was blasted by powerful winds for less than a quarter of a second before Zaku's arms exploded.
"H-How did t-that h-happen?" Zaku gasps as he stares at the remains of his arms that had large chunks of flesh missing sporadically.
"Simple, I merely plugged your holes with my chakra when I closed the tenketsu in your hands." Neji explains before Zaku makes a desperate attempt to head butt him but he countered by stepping to the side and tripping him while chopping at his neck effectively sending the boy into a pain filled slumber.
"The winner is Hyuuga Neji!" Hayate says as the medic nin rush Zaku to the hospital for treatment and Neji walks back up the stairs to join his fellow Konoha nin where Tenten pounced on him with a nearly bone crushing hug.
Gaara observed their actions closely, trying to understand what they meant and why they were done. "It's something called love gaki. Talk to that kitsune, he'll explain it better than I can because I don't have much experience in that department." Shukaku says in his mind, Gaara simply nodded to himself.
"Round five; Tsurugi Misumi versus Uzumaki Denko." Hayate says as the two Konoha genin walk down the stairs and take their places in the middle of the floor. "Hajime!"
Denko started the fight by dashing in and punching Misumi in the cheek but to his surprise his opponent didn't at least stumble back like he expected him to, Misumi's arms and legs wrapped around his own arms, legs and neck ready to break his neck at any time.
"What the hell is this?" Denko gasps trying to move but Misumi just squeezed tighter to prevent him from moving.
"Do you like my shuushuku? I can dislocate all of my joints and then control my body perfectly with my chakra. Give up now and I won't snap your neck." Misumi explains adding a little pressure to Denko's neck.
"As if I'm gonna give up so easily!" Denko yells and releases a huge surge of electricity from his whole body. With his body wrapped around Denko's, Misumi had no way to avoid the shock and in his final moment of consciousness his jerked Denko's head causing a loud crack that everyone in the room heard before they both dropped to the floor.
Hayate examined Misumi first, finding burns where he was in contact with Denko but alive. When he turned his attention to the other boy he found that he wasn't on the floor anymore but walking to the stairs saying something about thanking Misumi for getting that crick out of his neck when he wakes up.
"The winner is Uzumaki Denko." Hayate says sweat dropping at the boys actions after his opponent nearly snapped his neck.
"Alright you won nii-san!" Naruto says still holding Hinata.
"What did you expect? Maybe if we become chuunin some of those shinobi and villagers won't hate you as much." Denko says recalling memories of some of the older ninja and villagers who openly admitted that they believed that Naruto was the Kyuubi that attacked the village that October tenth twelve years ago. Those who did had received various punishments; the shinobi were hauled away for a 'talk' with Ibiki and got a more or less dangerous prank when they returned, the villagers simply got the prank and a Hyuuga style warning.
"Round six, Tenten versus Temari." Hayate says and both girls walk down the stairs and face off. "Hajime!"
Tenten flipped away from Temari while throwing several shuriken and kunai with speed and precision that most jounin don't have but they fell to the floor harmlessly without even touching Temari.
"Ichi no Hoshi." Temari smirks holding her fan in one hand that revealed a single purple dot.
Tenten responded by throwing several dozen kunai and shuriken at the other girl but they too dropped to the floor without touching her.
"Ni no Hoshi." Temari smirks once again holding her fan that showed two spots instead of one.
"It seems that I'm really gonna have to get serious." Tenten says as she places two scrolls on the floor, one on each side, and performing a series of hand seals. "Soushouryuu!" she shouts as she jumps between the two dragons made of smoke that turned into open scrolls. Tenten merely touched the seals on the scrolls and weapons appeared in her hands with a puff of smoke and each was thrown at the fan wielder rapidly dozens of times.
"San no Hoshi." Temari says as she swings her fan with three spots showing and deflecting all of the weapons with a gust of wind.
"I'm not done yet!" Tenten yells as she pulls her hands back revealing that she had wires attached to the weapons she threw. They were lifted in the air and sent at Temari who blew them away again before attacking her opponent.
"Kamaitachi!" Temari yells as she swung her fan creating a small tornado around Tenten that lifted her off the ground while cutting her in various places before dissipating and dropping the girl to the hard stone floor, unconscious.
"The winner is Temari." Hayate says seeing that Tenten wasn't moving. Neji and Lee jumped to the arena floor to check her injuries before med nins took her away to the hospital for her injuries. Denko stayed on the balcony and saw that most of her injuries weren't too serious and knew that she was a tough girl so he knew that she'd be alright.
"Tenten…" Neji whispers as he joins the others on the balcony.
"Don't worry too much about her or people might start thinking you're a softy." Denko smirks.
"I'm no softy, I'm the strongest that the Hyuuga clan has had for a hundred years." Neji says in his defense.
"True but then again Hinata-chan is pretty strong as well, probably give you a run for your money." Denko smirks.
"It's…possible but I'd have to admit, a fight between the Hyuuga and Uzumaki would be something worth seeing." Neji says.
"A lot of Konoha genin here are powerful, ya just gotta find a good reason to fight to find their true capabilities. From what I've heard, all of us genin are the strongest that Konoha has produced since the Sannin, possibly a new generation of Sannin with even greater numbers and the best part is that most of us are heirs to our clans." Denko says.
"Round seven: Kankuro versus Yamanaka Ino." Hayate says as the two genin face each other in the arena. Kankuro dropped the heavy bundle he had on his back on the floor and was smirking at Ino. Ino was having second thoughts about fighting this guy.
'I don't think I can beat this guy by myself, maybe Chouji could but there's no way I can beat him unless I use my Shintenshin no Jutsu on him as soon as I can get a clear shot.'
Ino pulled out some kunai and threw them at Kankuro who dove to the side to avoid the projectiles and in the process he dropped the bandaged package. Ino threw some shuriken at the boy who was just getting back to his feet but they were deflected by Kankuro's own. She kept on the offensive trying to land a blow but all of her punches and kicks were either blocked or dodged while the older boy simply smirked at her and never fought back.
"You're really annoying you know that right?" Kankuro asks tauntingly.
"Well you're ugly and don't have any fashion sense!" Ino yelled back clearly frustrated that her opponent was merely toying with her. Pulling out another kunai she tries to stab and slash the boy to no avail, he simply dodged all of her attacks.
"Well I had my fun with you and you're getting boring so I'll just beat you now." Kankuro says as he slowly approaches the tired girl.
"I don't think so, Shintenshin no Jutsu!" Ino yells transferring her mind and soul into Kankuro but something wasn't right. This wasn't a person or even something that was alive! She canceled the jutsu and found that she was wrapped in a bone crushing hug with no way to escape or even move for that matter.
"Do you give up?" says a voice from the bandaged bundle. Inside something moves before the bandages unravel to reveal the real Kankuro as the face of the one holding Ino broke off in pieces to show a wooden face with three eyes as it squeezed a little tighter.
"I give up!" Ino gasps before the puppet gives one last squeeze to knock her out before dropping her.
"The winner is Kankuro." Hayate says as Kankuro rewraps Karasu while med nins take Ino away.
"So far it's two wins for Suna with one undecided, one loss for Oto with two undecided, and five wins for Konoha with six loses and seven undecided. Me, Denko, Neji, Haku, Temari, Kankuro, and Sasuke-teme have passed so far." Naruto says.
"So that leaves that Gaara guy, those two Oto nin, me, Akane, Shino, Chouji, and Shikamaru." Hinata says.
"I wonder who's next?" Naruto says as he looks at the competition.
"Round eight: Kin versus Honoo Akane." Hayate says and the girls jump from the balcony to the center. "Hajime!"
Akane jumps back as Kin throws six senbon at her and dodges them before throwing a kunai at her which is dodged by rolling to the side.
"Katon: Housenka no Jutsu!" Akane yells as she blows several small but powerful fireballs at Kin but only managed to give her a small burn on her thigh.
"You burnt me so I'm going to mess with your head so you can't hit me." Kin says as she throws two senbon at Akane but they miss and lodge themselves in the wall.
"Oh really? It seems that you can't hit me either!" Akane smirks as she holds three shuriken in each hand. Kin just smirks and moves her fingers and in the light Akane saw that there were wires attached to her fingers that ran to small bells on the two senbon that are in the wall. They jingled a light melody that caused Akane's vision to blur and soon there were seven Kin in front of her.
"Kami kuso." Akane grumbles as she tries to distinguish the real Kin out of the seven in front of her.
"You had better give up, you're a disgrace to kunoichi." Kin smirks as she throws several senbon into Akane's shoulders.
Up in the balcony Denko, Haku, and Anko all share the same thought, 'Oh shit!'
"I am a kunoichi of Konoha! There are no disgraces here!" Akane shouts as flames erupt from her body blasting the senbon out of her and her irises changed from brown to flame patterned originating from her pupils. "Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu! Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu! Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu! Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu! Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu! Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu! Katon: Goukokyuu no Jutsu!"
Kin barely escaped the fireball that was the result of the seven huge fireballs exploding and scorching at least half of the arena walls and floor. Dosu, Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari all had to jump to the stairs to avoid being roasted in the flames. Denko was currently making a mental billboard, 'DO NOT MAKE AKANE MAD!' and many mental notes on what could piss her off and how much they do piss her off so he could hopefully not get her mad at him.
Akane was not thinking about anything else but how to make the girl suffer for insulting her. She had activated her Kekkai Genkai; Kaen, which surrounded her in flames that harmed anyone who would try to touch her and she could use any Katon jutsu she knows as long as she has the chakra to perform it without hand seals.
"You really pissed me off. Burn, Katon: Kakryuu Endan!" Akane says as a flaming dragon head is blown from her mouth and destroys a section of the wall behind Kin who is knocked out from the explosion of fire and rock that she was on the edge of and suffered some horrible burns on her left side and most of her clothes along with some of her hair were burnt off.
"The winner is Honoo Akane!" Hayate says after he checks Kin. "Get the med nin in here now!" he shouts.
The med nin placed the girl on the stretcher before covering her body with a genjutsu to protect her modesty as Akane deactivated he Kaen and started to fall over from exhaustion until Denko caught her. Unfortunately her body temperature was still several hundred degrees from the flames as he found, the hard way, and let everyone know.
"HOOOT! HOT! HOT! HOT!" Denko yells waving his burnt, red hands in the air in an attempt to cool them off until Haku covered his hands in water. In the process Denko had dropped Akane and she was knocked out from exhaustion and slamming her head on the stone floor. "Kuso." Denko mutters when he noticed her on the floor.
"Don't worry about her, I'll carry her up." Haku says lifting the unconscious girl into the air with water before walking up the stairs with her teammates in tow where she set Akane on the floor to rest and cool down. Denko was stopped by Naruto who was laughing at him getting burnt by his girlfriend before he was kicked into the wall, Hinata was experienced enough to step away because she knew that was going to happen.
"That hurt you know." Naruto says as he stands rubbing his head.
"Sure you are, you gotta have one of the thickest skulls in Konoha." Denko smirks.
"And proud of it." Naruto grins.
"Round nine: Sabaku no Gaara versus Rock Lee." Hayate says. Gaara vanishes in a swirl of sand and appears in another swirl in the arena while Lee jumped from the balcony into his taijutsu stance. "Hajime!"
"I hope that you provide a great challenge for me." Lee says.
"Very well, I shall begin!" Lee says before charging at Gaara and tries to punch him but the attack was blocked by a wall of sand as Gaara stood there without moving a muscle. Lee tried to hit the sand user with multiple punches and kicks from all angles but nothing got through Gaara's Suna no Tate.
"Gaara's Suna no Tate can't be penetrated. It's not even under Gaara's control, it's an automatic defense." Kankuro says from the Konoha balcony. He had decided that it was safer here than on the other with his brother and the half collapsed balcony after the last match.
"I believe that it is time to get serious." Lee says and his movements become a blur as he pushes himself harder and manages to get through Gaara's sand Suna no Tate but still never touching him. Seeing that he wasn't getting anywhere Lee back flipped away as Gaara's sand tried to grab him.
"Lee!" Gai says with a smile, "Take them off!"
"Yes sir!" Lee salutes and lifts his orange leg warmers revealing weights.
"Leg weights? What will dropping a few kilos do?" Temari asks as Lee drops the weights to the floor breaking the stone slabs and shaking the room.
"That is much better, now I can truly fight you with everything I have!" Lee says before vanishing in a display of speed. He reappears with his leg extended in a high kick with Gaara flying through the air and his sand rising to block the attack too late. Lee jumps away from the sand as it tries to grab him while Gaara was caught by his sand. Lee started running circles around Gaara as a blur kicking up dust.
"I don't believe it! He hit Gaara!" Kankuro and Temari say.
"Is that all you got?" Gaara says.
"No I do not, allow me to show you the power of youth!" Lee says before pummeling Gaara's Suna no Tate when it was fast enough to block, most of the blows actually hit the Suna genin much to everyone's surprise. Lee suddenly started back flipping away from Gaara as waves of sand stuck at him and eventually hit him. Lee tumbled headfirst into the stone floor and sprang away just as another wave of sand attempted to crush him.
"Hold still." Gaara mutters as he continues his attack.
"I will not. Initial Gate, open! Heal Gate, open!" Lee says unlocking two of the Celestial Gates and him a huge power boost. Lee completely disappears and Gaara is kicked into the air and hit repeatedly with his sand blocking very few blows at Lee's amazing speed.
"Omote Renge!" Lee yells as he drives Gaara headfirst into the ground while spinning and jumping out of the way at the last second. Unfortunately all that was in the crater was the remains of a Suna Bushin falling apart. Just as Lee saw that his opponent wasn't defeated yet, Gaara wrapped his left arm and leg in sand.
"Sabaku Kyuu." Gaara says holding out his open hand before clenching his fist muttering "Sabaku Sousou."
The attack broke the bones in both his arm and leg before the sand released its grip and retreated back into the gourd on Gaara's back as he walks away leaving a defeated Rock Lee and Hayate announcing his victory. Gaara walked up to Kankuro and stared at him.
"Go to Temari… I need to speak with Uzumaki Naruto." Gaara says and Kankuro quickly did what his otouto told him to. Gaara then turned his attention to Naruto and Hinata who were watching him. "Uzumaki Naruto… I need to speak with you."
"Sure after these preliminaries are over. We can meet at Ichiraku's and eat while we talk. Okay?" Naruto says.
"Fine… I look forward to our talk." Gaara says before disappearing in a swirl of sand and reappearing with his siblings.
"Round ten: Akimichi Chouji versus Hyuuga Hinata." Hayate says.
"This should be fun, ne?" Hinata asks dropping into her Jyuuken stance.
"I just hope I win, Asuma-sensei said he'd treat me to bar-b-que if I win this." Chouji says as he drops into a ready stance.
"Hajime!" Hayate says and jumps back.
"Baika no Jutsu! Ningyoushibai no Koutestu!" Chouji yells as he becomes a giant ball of flesh and rolls at high speeds at Hinata who jumps out of the way and Chouji crashed into a wall where he got stuck.
'This is my chance to finish him!' Hinata says to herself as she activates her Byakugan and charges at Chouji who is trying to get out of the wall by spinning in reverse and finally spins free just as Hinata gets close and hits her.
"Hinata-chan!" Naruto yells seeing Hinata fly through the air from barely touching Chouji.
Hinata rights herself in midair and lands on her feet holding her left shoulder watching Chouji make a U-turn and roll at her again.
"Kitsune Bi!" Hinata says as she blasts streams of the mystical blue flames not just from her hands but also from the tip of each of her four tails all aiming for Chouji. The flames were enough to make Chouji turn away before he received serious burns and he crashed into another wall and getting stuck again. This time Hinata was fast enough to get to him before he started spinning and began closing the major tenketsu and stopped the jutsu. Chouji was too dizzy from all of his spinning and Hinata had blocked his chakra system enough to keep him from moving much.
"The winner is Hyuuga Hinata!" Hayate says as Med nin take the chubby boy away to rest.
"Hinata-chan! How's your shoulder?" Naruto asks as Hinata joins them on the balcony.
"I'm fine Naruto-kun, it'll back to normal in an hour or two. We heal faster than most other people remember?" Hinata says with a giggle as she hugs Naruto who returns the gesture. Gaara merely watched the exchange of affection.
"Final round: Kinata Dosu versus Aburame Shino. Nara Shikamaru passes by default." Hayate says as both opponents make their way to the center of the arena and Shikamaru simply sighs and watches. "Hajime!"
Dosu started the fight by engaging Shino in taijutsu, it proved to be a fatal mistake as the kekkai insects swarmed from Shino's sleeves and latched onto Dosu and began to eat his chakra.
"What the hell is this?" Dosu yells as he tries in vain to get the bugs off of him.
"They are called kekkai insects, a rare species of beetle that eats chakra. A swarm that size will drain you within a minute. I suggest that you give up now before you die of chakra depletion." Shino says in a calm monotone voice.
"I don't think so!" Dosu yells as he swings his amplifier and uses the sound waves to confuse the insects enough to get them off of him. He turns around just in time to see Shino hit him with a back fist that sent him through one of the holes made by Chouji and effectively knocking him out against a rock.
"The winner is Aburame Shino. Will all winners form a line in the arena now." Hayate says as the Sandaime and the twelve winners met in the arena.
"Each of you have proven your skill that separates you from the rest of the genin who attempted these tests. You will have one month to hone your skills for the one on one fights where you will be fighting for the rank of chuunin. You do not need to win the tournament to become a chuunin although it raises your chances. It is also a great way to display your skills for possible clients for your villages. I wish each of you luck and hope that you will all try your hardest in the next stage of the chuunin exams. You will be escorted out of the forest after which you may leave to train. I look forward to great results in this next round. You're dismissed." Sarutobi says then poofs away.
Sasuke, Haku, Naruto, Hinata, Neji, Denko, Akane, Shino, Shikamaru, Temari, Kankuro, and Gaara were all escorted to the hospital room where they were treated for any injuries they may have received during their fights and released shortly after.
"So we have three whole teams make it to the third round of the chuunin exams, highly unusual." An ANBU says to the Hokage as they head back to the Hokage tower in the village.
"Unusual yes, but that just proves that this generation may be the strongest in many generations. There is a lot of talent and potential in this group and I'd hate to see it go to waste if Orochimaru follows through with his threat. It's a good thing that I've convinced the Kazekage to help us capture Orochimaru instead of helping him invade Konohagakure." Sarutobi says.
"Hai Hokage-sama." The ANBU says.
"So Gaara, what did you want to talk about?" Naruto asks as everyone was leaving with his arm and tails around Hinata's waist.
"I have Shukaku, the one tailed tanuki sealed in me. He has never let me sleep at all without unleashing him into the world to cause massive destruction. Now he has agreed to let me sleep peacefully just to speak with you." Gaara explains. His siblings were shocked to hear their little brother not only say so much at one time but say it without an underlying death threat.
"So what does he want? I had the Kyuubi sealed into me when it was forced to attack Konoha when I was born and changed me into a hanyou." Naruto says.
"Tell ya what gaki, if Kyuubi was willing to combine himself with that gaki when he was sealed I could do the same with you. Of course you'd become a hanyou as well but you'd still have my powers and I wouldn't exist in this world anymore, I'll join my friend Kyuubi in the next world. Do we have a deal?" Shukaku says in Gaara's mind.
'Yes if it means keeping my sanity.' Gaara thinks back to Shukaku.
"Good but I have a few things for you to do before I really let you sleep. It should only take you a day to finish then you can go to sleep and I'll transform you." Shukaku says.
"Uzumaki Naruto, it has been very… helpful speaking with you. I will see you both in the finals." Gaara says before walking away with his siblings and Baki their jounin sensei.
"So what did suna boy talk to you about otouto?" Denko asks.
"Nothing much, lets go home." Naruto says as e walks away with Hinata to follow Kurenai and the other jounin out of the tower with the others right behind them.
To be continued…
AN: Hey everyone tell me what ya think of the story so far by reviewing. I'm also looking for staff for my C2 community and if anyone is interested send me a review. Anyway I'll be a little busy for a while so I probably won't update until around Thanksgiving when I'll be posting the other three or four chapters that I left at home.