Chapter 9

Raven woke early in the morning, or least that's what time he guessed it was, however it wasn't a natural wake up. Raven distinctly heard 2 voices outside his tent, pretty close too. The voices emanating from the direction of his campfire.

Yawning deeply he reminded himself he didn't have to worry about any attacks, he was back in konoha. Back where he was safe. And still naked. Having had tiredness catch up to him after last night's events he had fallen asleep without putting new boxers on.

Leaving Raven to search around for his boxers, after a few seconds of looking he decided to give up, instead he took hold of his luggage scroll and unravelled it till he saw the familiar seal. Channelling enough chakra Raven activated the seal, a pair of sparkly clean boxers poofing into existence.

Back in sound Orochimaru would have punished his Nin for such stupid uses of sealing methods, but Raven always did it in private, it was easier. And gave him practise with sealing to.

Slipping his new boxers on Raven stretched and edged towards the tents door; unzipping it he braced himself for the light that he hated so much, so early. Once the door was pushed aside he was blinded for a moment.

"Raven, you're finally up, what took so long?"

Letting his eyes adjust for a moment Raven eventually focused in on Tenten's signature hair buns, then turned towards the other figure, who was standing in the middle of the sun rising over the tree's. Unable to tell who it was he decided it didn't matter and crawled on out anyway. Slowly Raven Stumbled to his feet and rubbed his mouth to get rid of any possible drool before acknowledging what was said.

"Tenten, what are you doing here so early?"

"Early? It's 6am already."

"6am? That case I'll repeat myself. What are you doing here so early?"

"Raven gotten into the habit of sleeping in late has he?" Tenten questioned in a mocking tone.

"Konoha gotten into the habit of getting up before the sun has it?" Raven mocked back.

"It always did." the person next to Tenten added, Raven could tell it was a male, and only one person he new could sound so bland and emotionless.

"Neji! How poetic of you." Raven instantly smiled at his revelation.

"Poetic?" Tenten asked, genuine curiosity in her voice.

Nodding Raven smiled and signalled her over, "Neji stay there for a second. Tenten have a look from my angle."

Walking over Tenten walked into the same spot as Raven and looked up at him, a smile instantly hitting her face.

"Hyuuga." Tenten chimed out. Raven instantly nodding in agreement.

Raven could tell Neji didn't understand but when he turned around to see behind him and noticed the sun. He turned back around and sighed. "Wasn't intentional."

Tenten and Raven just laughed.

"So what are you 2 doing here anyway? Wanted to see me so badly couldn't wait till I was up and around later?"

"No." came Neji's response, which Raven just turned to Tenten for her answer.

"What Neji means is; we was passing by. We come this way to get to our usual training grounds."

"Oh, so you just thought you'd drop on by?"

"Tenten did." Neji added, as coldly as always.

Rolling her eyes Tenten returned back to her place at Neji's side.

"Mind if I follow? I don't have much else to do today"

Neji just turned around and started walking off, Tenten however was polite enough to send a small wave, the kind that says follow but don't interrupt. Which Raven was happy enough with.

Grabbing his cape and putting it on as he went, Raven tripped over a few times but made his way behind them. Keeping silent and not getting too close. Slowly they made their way through a small part of the forest, following a dirt track till they made their way into an open field.

Beautifully lush grass, a wall of tree's with a single opening. 3 wooden posts spaced apart slightly with numbers on. Truly a nice serene place to train. After examining the area Raven noticed Lee already hard at work, laying punch after punch into a battered up tree trunk. He didn't even notice when Tenten greeted him, instead just continued counting down each punch.

Yawning Raven looked around again before picking a particularly comfortable looking spot against and under a tree. Walking over Raven sat himself down and took a moment to catch his breath. He hadn't ran. And wasn't out of breath because he was out of shape. But he had his reasons.

Enjoying the soft breeze on his bare skin, the sound of Tenten and Neji getting to work on their training. Lee's punching at the log. It was very nice. Pretty quiet once you was used to the training noises. Closing his eyes Raven relaxed, in truth he almost fell asleep a few times but kept that from happening. Wouldn't be polite to fall asleep after requesting to follow them and effectively sit in on their training. Only to fall asleep. So every now and then he'd fluctuate his chakra, keeping himself awake and practising chakra control at the same time. Was a win, win situation.

At least it was until Lee finally noticed who had ventured into the clearing.

"Raven, what are you doing here?! This is our secret training ground."

At which Raven didn't move and instead just pointed towards a sign he'd noticed on his way in. Describing the area as a designated training area. Open for use by anyone.

After hearing silence for a second, Raven gathered that Lee had only just noticed that. Probably been too busy hitting a stationary target to notice. Just as Raven was getting relaxed again, Lee started up again.

"We were here first!"

Which Raven just re-pointed to the sign.

By which time Tenten and Neji turned around to find out what the noise was all about, seeing Raven sat innocently against a tree and Lee getting more worked up by the second.

"Lee! Stop causing hassle." Tenten shouted across the clearing. Which Lee stopped to listen to before stubbornly getting back into a kafuffle.

"He could be stealing our techniques!"

"Lee all your doing is basic taijutsu. Any gennin knows how to do that," she quipped in quickly

"Lee, just get back to training." came from Neji this time.

"But Tenten, Neji. This is a training ground, if he's not training then he's obstructing anyone else from doing so by filling up the area."

"Lee, there's plenty of room for all of us."

"Lee does have a point." Neji mentioned while nodding towards the sign Raven was pointing at.

"It's a training ground, not a resting ground."

"Neji, how about you check out my coils with your byakugan." Raven requested while relaxing once more.

Neji did check his coils and inwardly smiled, his chakra was slowly increasing and receding. Even escaping his chakra pours every now and then.

"He is training." Neji said blandly before going back to his training, leaving a confused Lee and Tenten in his wake.

Raven was sure Lee would be the first to make a comment but he was surprised to be wrong.

"Uh Neji, how is he training?"

"He's focusing his chakra to advance and recede through his coils. Effectively, chakra control."

With a nod and an 'oh' from Tenten, she slowly went back to work training, throwing her projectiles at their targets with deadly accuracy.

Though living up to his recent reputation of being stubborn Lee wasn't happy. To train hard, one must sweat. And one can't sweat if one doesn't move around.

"Fine, Raven, I challenge you to a friendly spar."

"Not sure how friendly it'll be, but sure." Raven slowly stood up and stretched his legs and arms. "Yo Neji, I don't want to interrupt or anything, but mind being the referee here?"

With a sign from his direction Neji turned around and sat down on the spot, taking a bottle of water out of his pocket and taking a sip. Tenten copying his action but also throwing her senbon, kunai and shuriken at a target where she could still see the spar. The hell she'd miss this. The chance to see Ravens new skills. Which in all honesty was one of the main reasons Neji agreed. Though he wouldn't openly admit it, he wanted to see Ravens improvements.

Watching Neji and Tenten take watching positions, Raven smiled. Cracking his knuckles, Lee on the other hand had already warmed up.

"Tenten if you'd do the honours of stating some rules and starting us off?"

"Why me?"

"You know Lee better than I do.."

"Don't see why that matters but fine. When I say go, you go, when either me or Neji say stop, you stop. Match is over when either of you lose consciousness or give up. And lets keep it clean."

Raven and Lee both nodded to the rules and went through their plans in their heads.

Few seconds went by and the anxiety skyrocketed. Both wanted to get this underway, and Tenten was making them wait.

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"Go!" Tenten shouted from her spot near Neji.

Both Raven and Lee kicked off at each other, Lee in an offensive lunge and Raven in defensive. Lee's speed gave him an advantage, but having progressed from gennin to chuunin had taught him not to underestimate his enemy. First he had to gauge Ravens speed, a basic lunge was an easy enough attack to avoid, which Raven sidestepped at the last second. But that was the decoy; Lee instantly dropped to his knees to avoid a haphazard punch and made a leg sweep at the same time.

Raven easily avoided the leg sweep by back flipping till there was enough distance between them. It was a slow start, but it was all about gauging each other first. So Lee gave Raven, the chance to move next. Ravens movements weren't lightning fast but weren't slow either, he only seemed to move when he had to and didn't seem to over compensate either. Lee could spot good taijutsu well, and Raven had definitely improved to the point where he wasn't giving it his all.

Raven was in control, he knew Lee wasn't giving it his all yet, but he'd planned on that. Lee was a taijutsu expert, no genjutsu and no ninjutsu skills. Taking that along with the fact Raven was well versed in all aspects of the ninja he had the advantage. The last time they fought Raven only used one ninjutsu on Lee, albeit a strong katon technique. But a single jutsu none the less. He knew Lee knew none of his styles and only that one jutsu. He was a mystery and hence why Lee's hesitation to go all out. Though Raven had to admit, didn't seem logical considering Lee's attitude towards him lately. So instead of going all out he decided to go basic. Make Lee underestimate him till he had him in the palm of his fist.

Raven quickly went through scenarios in his head and came up with his plan of action, making the necessary hand seals he gathered his chakra, Lee looked on in foolishness, giving Raven the time needed for whatever it was. He was too arrogant and proud of his speed to believe it was anything that could stand up to him anymore. His arrogance was his downfall.

The moment Raven had finished gathering his chakra, the air around his entire body started swirling and moving like some kind of gas, blurring the outline of his body from Lee's and Tenten's sight. Effectively it looked as if there were multiple afterimages of Raven as well as fumes surrounding him. Lee was unsure what had happened, Tenten was sure she'd never heard of nor seen this jutsu. And Neji hadn't either.

However using his byakugan, Neji analysed the situation, though without his byakugan he couldn't pinpoint Raven directly through whatever technique he was using. With his byakugan equipped he could see Ravens outline but was clouded by thick chakra, he could no longer see his inner coil system or tenketsu. No matter hard he focused, no matter how much chakra he pumped in, he just couldn't. Which infuriated Neji to such a level he hadn't felt before, the byakugan had been bested.

"Oboro no Jutsu! Successful!" Raven yelled out happily.

Neji heard the name but had never heard it before so knowing its name only helped by allowing him to research it later. A jutsu that could beat the byakugan was a technique that needed note taking of it. Surely the hyuuga clan must know of it. Yeah, surely he just hadn't found it in the family scrolls yet.

With his image hazed Raven ran towards Lee, landing a solid punch into Lee's face. Sending Lee to the floor, skidding towards the trunk he had been earlier abusing. He hadn't put all his strength behind it but enough to make him know to not take him lightly. Though he had to make it quick. His jutsu wouldn't last long. The technique required large amounts of chakra being pumped from all his tenketsu at the same time, then to manipulate katon and kaze elements to keep it effective. The blurrier his image the more chakra needed. If he wanted to use his other jutsu to end this he'd have to drop the Oboro and chance being hit.

The punch he had taken had shocked him at first, he was confused as to the nature of Ravens jutsu, a truly formidable technique. Shaking his head Lee smiled, "I'm glad you're not going to take light of this. Neither will I"

And with his comment made Lee rushed him, punching as hard as he could as fast as he could. But all for not, not a single punch landed. With Ravens technique he just couldn't work out where to hit. And it was really starting to tick him off the more he fought. It lasted a little while, kicks, punches, sweeps and swings. But nothing, Raven either dodged or let the attack simply miss.

Raven new he'd reached as much as he could afford from that technique, the result was enough to put Lee not only on edge but tire him a quite a bit. Lee had underestimated him more than he thought. But that added to his advantage. Dropping his technique Raven smiled and made a set of quick one handed hand seals. Reaching his other hand into his pocket, he pulled out his tuning fork and threw it towards Lee like a kunai. His hand seals finished and he took a deep breath, the tuning fork which was inches in front of Lee stopped mid flight, hovering on the spot. Raven released his technique and sent a medium sized burst of sound waves. Connecting with the fork, the area went quiet for a second before erupting in a deafeningly high-pitched noise.

Everyone but Raven recoiled from the noise, Tenten and Lee put their hands over their ears in a futile attempt to muffle the noise. While Neji just bared it as best as possible. While Lee was incapacitated Raven appeared behind him and knocked a nerve in his neck. Within seconds of falling unconscious the noise was silenced.

Neji, while wanted to put his hands over his ears to rid himself of the noise, hadn't instead he continued watching. To say he was surprised that Raven had won, so quickly as well was a huge understatement.

"Raven, you… you beat Lee with only 2 jutsu." Tenten questioned when her ears stopped ringing. Though it wasn't so much as a question as it was a statement.

Before Raven could make a reply however, Neji was up and in his face.

"What was that technique?" Neji demanded in his coldest voice he could portray.

"Which one? The noisy one or the blurry one?" Raven replied simply.

"You know damm well which one I mean."

"Ah, judging from your anger I'm assuming the blurry one. You saw it through your byakugan didn't you.."

But Neji didn't reply instead he inched closer, a large angry scowl covering his features.

"Neji, what's going on?" Tenten asked while standing up.

"That's what I'm trying to find out, Raven here found a way around the byakugan."

Tenten audibly gasped and stepped closer, she knew thanks to training sessions with Neji how there were slight hicks with the byakugan but no way to outright best it. If what Neji was implying was correct Raven had done the impossible and beat the most prestigious bloodline in konoha.

Before anything could be said though, the bird faced ANBU appeared, kneeling over the limp form of Lee. Checking his vitals he turned to Raven before looking to Lee's teammates, "You two, I suggest you sort this out another time and take this boy to the hospital. He's going to be fine but just to be sure you should have someone check him over."

In all honesty Raven had actually forgotten he was being watched by ANBU, not like it made much difference. He knew he had done no long-term damage to Lee, nothing other than a battering to his ego. But he had been recovering from that for a while since he left.

Without so much as a glance, Tenten and Neji picked up their fallen comrade and carried him off towards a hospital. Leaving Raven in silence with his watcher.

"I only knocked him out," Raven defended himself. Though no comment had been voiced from the ANBU Raven knew he was thinking it.

"I know, but you did a lot more than that as well."

"Oh?"

"Don't play dumb, you just beat the bya-"

"I know I know, I beat the byakugan."

"You're aware that hyuuga boy is going to find out that it's not a jutsu his family knows of, right?"

"I know."

"Did orochimaru teach it to you?"

"No, he doesn't even know of its existence."

"So who taught it you?"

"No one. I created it myself."

The conversation ended quickly though as the ANBU disappeared into the canopy above. Leaving Raven to his thoughts.

'I know it's a big deal, but jutsu are created everyday. Mine just happened to be a controversial one.'

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Turning towards the training grounds exit Raven slowly made his way back to his tent, sitting down on the same spot as he had yesterday. Setting his fire going again he set about making himself a quick breakfast.

Once his breakfast was cooking he took a drink of water and looked around. 'Hmm, there's plenty of wood and enough space. All I need is permission and I could make something a little more substantial than my tent.'

Smiling at his plans Raven finished cooking his meal and eat it quickly, having seconds thanks to working up his appetite from his earlier, 'spar'. Once his meal was finished he cleared up his things back to their places and left with his money towards the Hokage mansion. Hoping to have a talk with the Hokage about building permission.