I must apologize, I have been heavily distracted with some things recently which have hampered this story's progression.
And also, admittedly, I have become addicted to a new game that has just been released, Star Wars: The Old Republic, so my time writing has been cut down significantly.
Not much of an update for such a long wait I know, but this is the best I could do, better something for an update than nothing however, so consider this my early Christmas present for all of you.
Previously, on The Village of Chakra:
"She doesn't have to be very big or very strong, Rei's deadliest weapon is her mind, and while she might be young her mind is razor sharp, her power is likened to your Kurama clan's genjutsu, only far more potent." Naruto said with a laugh. Kurenai's eyes bulged at this revelation.
'She's like Yakumo…and he said this girl's powers were far more potent than any Kurama's.' Kurenai thought as the horrifying reality of what was about to happen to Ino settled in on her.
"Let's see how good you are." Rei said as the apparitions became clearer revealing themselves to Ino, whose eyes widened considerably.
"You could be so much more than you are Ino, you disappoint me. You said you would make me proud but all you have done is bring shame upon yourself and your family." An elderly woman said sadly. The Leaf gennin, Ino's teammates and sensei in particular were at a loss for who this was, they had never seen her before.
"G-Grandma?" Ino stammered. Eyes widened hearing this admission, this was Ino's grandmother? She looked quite like Ino herself, platinum, almost white hair in a similar style to that of Ino's own, just a bit shorter, wearing a white kimono. Shikamaru narrowed his eyes at this sight, just how was it that this foreign kunoichi knew what Ino's grandmother looked like?
"You told me that you would enrol into the ninja academy and become a strong kunoichi, to make me proud of you as my granddaughter. Do you remember?" Ino nodded hastily, having slipped out of her taijutsu form.
"Y-Yes grandma, I remember." The preteen blonde stammered.
"You are a Yamanaka, born to a family of mind walkers and telepaths. Seeing you as you are, you have not honoured your promise to me, you cannot even perform our basic family jutsu correctly."
"B-but Grandma, I met someone! Someone who I can get married to who is really hot. He's an Uchiha, the last one in the village." Ino hastily explained. The elderly ladies face grew grim.
"You dishonour me Ino, you threw away your promise to me over a boy, I am ashamed of you." Ino hunched over as she'd been nailed in the gut.
'Something is not right here.' Observed Neji, activating his Byakugan. With his bloodline active the colour of the world bled away into black and white, whilst also confirming Neji's suspicion, The Yamanaka was in a powerful genjutsu, and was completely hypnotised into talking with her 'grandmother' while her opponent was free to move around the field unhindered. He also noticed the second illusion/mirage was in another layer of Rei's illusion, setting up wire traps and explosive notes. Neji's eyes narrowed further when he realized, he could not find the smaller girl in the arena at all.
"But he's not just a boy Grandma!" Ino said defensively. "He's the only Uchiha left in the village!"
Naruto looked at the display in front of him quizzily.
'What are you doing Rei, you could have ended this fight at the start, why are you dragging this out?' Naruto thought curiously.
"What? What do you mean so?" Ino asked incredulously.
"An Uchiha is not anything special, they were all wiped out, save one, in a single night, what is so special about this lone scion?" the elderly Yamanaka asked.
"You cannot give me a proper answer can you? Other than being an Uchiha you know next to nothing about him, do you?"
"I…I….no, no I don't." Ino answered dejectedly.
"Let this match be the eye opener you need to become a true Yamanaka, and maybe help save the world when the time comes." Ino looked at her grandmother in confusion before she faded away, leaving Ino surrounded with ninja wire rigged with explosive tags.
"You have been in an illusion since the beginning of the match, I have you trapped on all sides with no escape viable, surrender or die." Rei said from her starting position, having not moved a fraction. It took Ino a moment to realize what had just happened before an idea popped into her head.
"You might have me surrounded but I'm not out of this just yet." Ino formed several handseals, ending the string in the bird sign with the likeness of a window, aiming it at Rei. "Shintenshin no Jutsu! (Mind Body Switch Technique)." Instantly Ino's body slumped to the ground. Rei didn't even react to Ino's technique, her body beginning to fade away. When Rei's body vanished from sight another Rei could be seen behind the slumped form of Ino.
"Procter call the match, she has lost consciousness and is unable to continue." Rei declared.
"Winner: Rei Shioha." Hayate announced. Ino's body was collected and brought to the stands by her teammates as Rei returned to her comrades.
"That was an interesting strategy Rei. If you don't mind me asking though, why did you end it like that, you could have won it right from the start." Rōshi asked.
"My opponent is a fangirl, my strategy was to target that trait of her personality and attack it. Since I did not know if she had an extended family or not I used her appearance as a template and aged it to be the appropriate age, then I implanted the thought that she was seeing her grandmother in front of her. When that worked, I went about setting up my trap around her, leaving a mirage in my place while I moved around unhindered and unseen. I did what I did to try shake her of her fangirl tendencies in the event that she might become an ally in the future, a fangirl is useless in the field and in every day circumstances, only having their crush on their minds all the time." Rei explained.
"Very well done Rei, keep in mind however that your opponent was not up to your usual standards, do not grow overconfident, she is a fangirl so the victory is minor." Naruto advised.
"Hai Lord Reikage, understood." She replied.
"I find it interesting that you tried to shake her fixation on the Uchiha." Hanabi added.
"She can be an extraordinary kunoichi with that mind technique of hers, she just needs to shake the dead weight holding her back." Rei argued.
"Agreed. Now be quiet, the next match is being decided." Rebuked Naruto as the board cycled through contestant names.
Rock Lee VS Kimimaro
"Yosh! It is my turn now, I will reclaim what is lost!" Lee shouted, prompting those closest to him, sans Gai to block this ears.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Neji demanded through ringing ears.
"Before the start of the First Exam someone did something to the Springtime of Youth. During this match, I will reclaim it!" Lee declared with fire in his eyes. Gai teared up at his mini doppelgangers exclamation.
"OH Lee! Do it for the Springtime of Youth!" the older man cried. The universe twitched suddenly, the sound of a lone cricket penetrating the area, making Neji and Kurenai, the only two present that knew of what could of happened, sigh in relief.
Kimimaro had jumped down to the arena floor and began clicking his joints with very audible snaps drawing the attention of the crowds in the stands.
"Kimimaro, don't use any of your Dances past number 1 if you can help it, save them for later." Naruto called to the white haired teen. The 15 year old nodded in acknowledgment before bending over backwards, clicking the joints in his back, before moving to his legs and doing the same.
"Lee be very careful, this boy is dangerous." Gai warned his student before the fuzzy browed boy jumped down to the arena floor.
Moving to the starting position Lee shifted into his Strong Fist Taijutsu stance, Kimimaro doing the same.
Naruto's body shifted suddenly, Hitomi's visage on the outside with her quite noticeable baby bump.
"A taijutsu fight huh?' Hitomi said suddenly. "This is going to get interesting."
"Yes, it sure will, let's see how far this little green thing will push Kimimaro, this will be quite a show." Naruto added, his head sprouting on her shoulder.
"Hey mom, how's my baby sister?" Hanabi asked moving away from the railing to stand by her parents. Hitomi took hold of Hanabi's smaller hand and touched it to her bulging stomach. Hanabi's hand rested there for a moment before she felt a kick.
"I think she recognises you, little one." Naruto said proudly ruffling his daughters hair affectionately. Hanabi squirmed and groaned at the act but Hitomi spotted the large grin on her face showing how much she liked it.
Hayate cleared his throat, coughing a few times after before announcing the start of the next match.
"Rock Lee of the Leaf VS Kimimaro of Spirit. Begin!" the referee called before jumping backwards and out of the way.
"In this match, my opponent, I will reclaim my Youthfulness!" Lee shouted before vanishing in a burst of speed. Lee reappeared right in front of Kimimaro with a leg swung back to strike, Kimimaro calmly bent over backwards letting Lee's kick pass harmlessly over him. Lee reset his footing and kick at Kimimaro again, only to have his opponent jump gracefully over the attack.
"Come on Kimmi!" Hanabi shouted. "Give him a chance, it's not fair otherwise."
Kimimaro scrunched his face up in distaste as he realigned his bodies orientation.
"These exams are not about being fair Hanabi. But ok," Kimimaro turned to Lee. "I will allow you 2 full minutes to attack me without my retaliating, after that I will begin to fight you." Kimimaro shifted to a neutral pose, standing completely straight.
Neji's eyes widened a fraction, he and Lee were just about even in taijutsu, with Lee just a bit below himself, but even then, to give Lee 2 minutes free rein in a fight showed either that Kimimaro was extremely cocky, or that Lee was about to be in some serious trouble.
"It is not honourable to fight an opponent that is not fighting back, but if you insist I will do as you ask." Lee blurred out of sight again, reappearing in the air above Kimimaro.
"LEAF HURRICANE!" Lee's foot slammed into Kimimaro with great force, so much so it cracked the ground where Kimimaro was standing; Kimimaro however, was completely unaffected. Asuma, Kurenai, Shikamaru, Hinata and Neji's eyes all widened at the force behind Lee's kick and even more shocked that Kimimaro was completely unaffected, his body hadn't even shifted an inch.
'What the hell?' Neji mentally cried. He'd seen kicks like that from Lee destroy entire trees with ease, to see it have no effect on the white haired teen was indeed frightening.
'It…had no effect?' Lee gaped as he observed his opponent.
"If this is the pinnacle of your power then you have no chance. 1 minute 50 seconds." Kimimaro said dully.
For the entirety of Kimimaro's countdown Lee attacked with various taijutsu combos, all being for naught as they did absolutely nothing to Kimimaro.
"Hey Bones, is your countdown finished yet, your boring us up here!" Isaribi complained, speaking up for the first time since the fights had begun.
"Leave him alone Fish, he was only giving his opponent a fighting chance." Rei countered.
"…3 2 1. Time is up." bone spikes shot out of Kimimaro's elbows and palms as Lee came in with another roundhouse kick towards the chest.
'Remember Kimimaro, do not kill him, wound him as Gaara did his opponent.' Naruto reaffirmed. Kimimaro sighed, using his right elbow bone blade to block another kick before pulling all four bone spikes back into his body.
"Consider yourself lucky I can't use any lethal moves in this fight." In the blink of an eye Kimimaro slammed a closed fist into Lee's face, smashing him into a wall which dented heavily.
"Why doesn't Lee use any jutsu, he can't seem to even harm this guy." Ino asked, having returned to her body following her missed Mind Body Transfer.
"It's because he can't use them, he's completely incapable of moulding chakra, nin and genjutsu are impossible for him." Gai answered as Lee removed himself from the wall. "When I first met him he was completely useless, with no talent whatsoever." Pairs of eyes turned to the Gai clone in bewilderment. "It's true that ninja with no ninjutsu or genjutsu skills are rare, that's why the only option open to Lee if he wanted to be a ninja, was taijutsu." Gai seemed to be thinking about something before coming to a decision.
"Lee! It's time, take them off!" Gai shouted.
"But sir, I thought you said-" Lee asked befuddled.
"It's alright Lee, I'll allow it this once." Gai said giving a good guy pose to his look alike. Lee was quick to jump to high ground, perching atop of the statue of the ram hand seal and removed his leg warmers. About to unhook the weight on his ankles Lee was punched square in the back by Kimimaro sending him flying once again.
"It may not be sporting but the way of the ninja is that we attack when it is most advantageous, before our opponent can form a strategy to counter your own, you should have done whatever it was you were about to do during my 2 minute grace, now you will lose." Kimimaro took hold of a bone in his arm and pulled it out, revealing a hilt-less short bone sword. There was a cry of 'Disgusting' from Ino before Kimimaro vanished appearing in front of Lee with his sword poised to stab Lee right through.
Lee however was not to be underestimated and was quick to dodge the attack before throwing one of his leg weights at Kimimaro in his zeal to create some distance. The weight smacked into Kimimaro's arm causing it to suddenly bend outward with a snap. The weights had been caught on a set of bones that sprouted from Kimimaro's wrists, the weights having snapped one of the hook like bones because of the force of the hit. Kimimaro picked up the weight and tossed it aside causing a huge crash on the floor as dust rose up.
'How heavy is that?' many were thinking as Kimimaro's wrist bodes retreated into his arm leaving unblemished skin in its wake.
"Let's see if that made any difference." In an instant Kimimaro was upon Lee once again, slashing wildly as Lee who was desperately trying to make ground to remove his other weight.
"Stay still." Kimimaro stomped/planted his foot into the ground, before the ground began to shake. White spikes erupted around Lee prompting him to leap upwards where Kimimaro was waiting for him. Taking the chance, while in mid-air Lee removed his leg warmer and unhooked his other weight, leaving it to crash to the ground while Lee tried to parry Kimimaro's sword strike.
With both legs now free and at his maximum speed Lee was able to narrowly escape a sword stab at his side, kicking at his opponents sword arm. Lee's kick moved Kimimaro's arm off course opening the white haired teen to a follow up kick that slammed into Kimimaro's side. Lee back flipped several times before landing on the ground and retaking his taijutsu stance before eyeing his opponent. Kimimaro it seemed, was relatively unharmed from Lee's attack, the only sign that something had happened was that his clothes were slightly ruffled.
"You had caught me off guard, before. I will not make that mistake again." Lee declared before taking off towards his opponent again. In an instant Lee had his heel hovering millimetres from Kimimaro's neck while Kimimaro had skewered Lee through the sides of his stomach from bone spikes from Kimimaro's knees and another from Kimimaro's arm going through his shoulder. Kimimaro looked at Lee's wide, stunned eyes.
"You are not a taijutsu Master yet, you still have a long way to go before you can even think to be one." Kimimaro said before retracting his bodes making Lee fall to the ground as his wounds spurted blood. The older boy moved toward the stands before turning back to the bleeding Lee. "You do have potential however."
Hayate was quick to call the match and called the medics for Lee who was quickly removed from the arena. Gai was torn, with concern for his taijutsu only student and staying for his last gennin's match.
"Gai sensei, you should go with the medics tending to Lee, not to mention Tenten, you needn't stick around for me since we don't even know when my match is going to be." The long haired boy reasoned. The eccentric jounin turned to Neji with a look that the younger man could not discern.
"Are you sure Neji?" Gai asked in a rare bout of seriousness.
"Yes, they are my teammates, I want you to see to them, I'll be fine." Neji said with a grim expression. 'At least, I hope so.'
"Alright, if you're sure, I will see to your teammates. Good luck Neji." Gai threw a good guy pose at his Hyuuga pupil before disappearing.
Moments after Gai's departure, the board flared to life again cycling through the rest of the combatants.
Hanabi Namikaze vs. Neji Hyuuga
"Alright, my turn!" Hanabi declared with joy, dancing a small jig before vaulting over the railing to the arena floor, summersaulting in the air several times before landing with grace in front of the referee.
'Won't this be an interesting match…' Hayate thought as he watched Hanabi go from hyper one second to calm and collected the next, taking a neutral stance. Neji moved to stand opposite Hanabi, taking up the traditional Gentle Fist stance of the Hyuuga family.
"Before we begin," Neji spoke up, deterring Hayate from starting the match. "Can I interest you in a small bargain?" Hanabi's eyes viewed him shrewdly.
"Depends on what's on the table." Hanabi countered.
"An exchange of information, we are from the same family line; win or lose all I want is to exchange life stories." Neji asked.
"That seems fair, I accept; don't expect me to just kneel over, I might just end up killing you if you don't take me seriously." Hanabi answered. Not moments later Hayate started the match.
Instantly Neji shot forwards at Hanabi, poised to strike at the younger girl with a palm strike. Hanabi pivoted on the spot, raising her leg in her turn to meet Neji's palm. There was a small pop of displaced air as the chakra from Neji's hit met the chakra coming off Hanabi's foot. Caught off guard at the result of his attack Neji was unprepared for when Hanabi slammed her raised foot into the ground, causing the ground to shake fiercely, fissures spreading from the point of impact.
Eyes in the stands popped open at the display of strength produced by Hanabi, who had quickly reset her stance and darted towards Neji's staggering form.
'Do NOT let her hit me!' Neji thought quickly, twisting his body out of Hanabi's way to avoid a hit in the stomach. Turning on the spot Neji lashed out with a Gentle Fist strike, scoring a hit on Hanabi's shoulder, popping it out of place.
"AGH!" Hanbi exclaimed as she gripped her dislocated shoulder with her opposite hand.
"You caught me off guard with that heel drop but I've dislocated your shoulder, you won't be able to continue." Neji spoke up, breathing a bit unevenly.
"Don't be so sure of yourself Neji, I have a few tricks up my sleeve." Hanabi said with a low grunt, as she popped her shoulder joint back into place, her hand on her injured shoulder glowing a feint green hue. Neji, stared at her in shock, he hadn't accounted for something like this.
'Scolding Bullet!' Hanabi said mentally before firing a boiling gob of water from her mouth at her opponent. Neji was quick to jump out of the way, the water impacting the floor and turning to a thick vapour an instant later that began to spread itself throughout the arena.
Neji activated his Byakugan to compensate for the lack of proper sight, the colour of the world fading out into black and white, instantly scanning for his challenger within the steaming vapour.
'Left…right…back…front…ABOVE!' Neji snapped his head skyward to see a falling Hanabi zeroing in on his position from the air.
"Kaiten!" Neji began to spin on the spot, able to bring the spiralling defence up in time for it to take the brunt of Hanabi's sky dropping punch. He had started to learn this technique on his own after having it used on him during his spars with Hinata, and this was his first time using it outside of his private training. Expecting Hanabi to be thrown off to the side he was unprepared for his defence to collapse as the chakra build up within Hanabi's fist dispersed the chakra at the top of the dome, opening him up to a follow up punch from Hanabi's other fist, right into his shoulder that broke under the force of the hit. Neji fell harshly to the ground, gasping out in pain as his broken shoulder was jostled around as he rolled back on the floor.
Hanabi took a neutral stance once again as she looked at her downed target, whose face was scrunched up tightly to stop from screaming in pain..
"His shoulder is broken, he won't be able to continue." Hanabi told Hayate after a moments analysis, who declared her the winner. As soon as that was done Hanabi approached her family member, kneeling at his side before she began setting his busted shoulder back into place.
"This is going to hurt." Hanabi said before suddenly shifting the oddly angled clavicle (Shoulder Bone) back into place. Neji gasped in pain as his bones were reset, before slumping to the ground unconscious.
"Get someone to take him to the medics, he needs a place to rest." Hanabi instructed the referee before leaving towards the stands. Stopping at the wall to the observers stands, Hanabi turned her head back to where she came, and sucked in air to her lungs. Eyes watched as the steam premating the area was sucked back into her mouth before she walked up the wall back to her comrades.
"You want to exchange life stories with him?" Naruto asked her as she took her spot against the wall.
"To the point where he can understand how we came to live such different lives, given that our living situations are so different." She answered. "He and those with that seal on their head might be intrigued enough to find out more." Hanabi added hastily noticing her dads stare did not waiver.
Eyes turned back to the electronic board that was cycling through the remaining participants.
Kankuro VS Shikamaru Nara
"Argh….what a drag…" Shikamaru muttered under his breath. Kankuro turned to eye the Nara boy briefly before vaulting over the railing to the arena floor.
'Ok, from what I remember Shinkou Sensei telling us about this clan, they are all very well versed in battle strategy and shadow manipulation. Don't leave him alone long enough to analyse any of my moves, take him out quickly.' Kankuro thought quickly. Shikamaru had misgivings about this match, even more so because he was the one that was supposed to be fighting.
"Come on Shika! Kick his ass!" Ino cheered, slamming her palm on her teammates back sending him over the rail that he was leaning on, leaving Shikamaru to fall to a pile of limbs of the floor below.
"Geez Ino, why did you do that?" he grumbled before standing up and shuffling his feet to stand opposite his opponent.
"Combatants ready, fight!" Hayate declared, fighting back a cough in the process.
Immediately Kankuro threw his palms forward, a barrage of darts flying from his wrists at his opponent. Shikamaru dodged the swarm of projectiles.
"Kankuro's throwing those out, he must really want to finish this fight quickly." Temari commented as she watched her brother dish out volley after volley of his chakra created darts at his opponent, who was jumping every which way to evade the arrows of death.
'I can't do anything whilst he's throwing those darts all around the place.' Shikamaru thought , throwing a hail of kunai at his opponent. Shikamaru's eyes narrowed when he saw a handful of the darts littered around the field shoot up from their resting place and deflect Shikamaru's attack.
'Spider's entrapment.' Kankuro commanded. The darts scattered around the field all shot out almost transparent webs between them, completely enclosing the young Nara within their confines.
"What the hell is that?" Ino cried when she saw her teammate become completely surrounded in the webbing.
"It…looks like insect webbing." Asuma said in wonder.
'Ok, he's in. Now I just have to close it in.' Kankuro thought before commanding his cacoon to shrink around its occupant.
'Let's see how this goes…' Naruto thought as he watched Kankuro's technique unfold.
Kankuro was rewarded for is efforts when he heard a pained grunt emanate from within the webbing.
"Right, now to finish you. Binding coffin." The webbing was sucked inwards, sprouting from within an X, Shikamaru's four limbs stuck to each point.
"Well that was quick." Isaribi commented with a huff.
"Yes, but I have a feeling that the pineapple wasn't even trying to fight." Hanabi countered.
"Yeah but still…it's no fun watching a quick fight." Isaribi pouted.
"Your just cranky because you haven't had a chance to fight yet." Gaara piped in.
"No one asked you, sand man." Isaribi soured.
"…so not fair, I got an unwilling opponent." Kankuro complained.
"I was going to forfeit but my troublesome teammate pushed me down here; it was too much of a drag to go back up there so I stayed here. I was thinking about fighting back but figuring out a way to attack you while you were flinging those darts at me was just such a drag that I gave up thinking and let you catch me. I didn't really want to be in this thing anyway, it's such a drag." Drawled Shikamaru.
"Damn, I was just about to win the match too." Kankuro grunted.
"If you can even call this a match. Proctor, I forfeit," Shikamaru announced before looking Kankuro in the eye. "Now let me down, your binds are cutting off the circulation in my wrists and ankles."
"Yeah yeah, can't believe I put that much effort into thinking of how to fight you." Kankuro grumbled as Shikamaru's binds vanished along with all of the webbing used to trap him.
"Winner by forfeit, Kankuro of the Spirit Village." Hayate declared, waiting for the two to clear the floor before starting the selection process again. There was a seconds pause before something occurred to him.
"Man that has to suck, at least I got to fight; you didn't even get that chance, Fish." Kankuro snickered before getting whipsplashed across the face by a fuming Isaribi.
"This isn't fair! I wanted to fight too!"
AN: I must stress, I am NO GOOD at writing fighting scenes, and because I'm making this all up on the fly it might not make a whole lot of sense, but progress had to be made for progress' sake.
If anyone wants to, they can submit their own version of the above fights with something a bit more theatrical, as I am the first to admit, these fights are not at a great standard.
Additionally, I need ideas on what to do next, who should Isaribi fight, and how, and all that junk.
Once again, I apologize profusely for the poor chapter, it is the result of running out of creative steam that fuels my writing.