Naruto: Lost Arts
Chapter 12: Chunin Exam Finals
AN: Hello all been a while hasn't it? In all honesty I have no reason for the lack of updates aside from a lack of inspiration for this fic and a boost of it for others. This fic will probably be my last update of the year because once I'm out of school for break I'm going to try and work at least forty hour weeks. That said here's the chapter.
There was electricity in the atmosphere, a sense of excitement that all of Konoha could feel. The mood all around was festive and most everyone was anticipating the day to come. For those old enough the signs were as clear as could be, the Chuunin Selection Exams Final Tournament was set to begin. For nearly a week people had been flocking to the village from all over not only Hi no Kuni but all over the Elemental Nations. Because of the flock of visitors coming to see the tournament the market place was packed as venders were out in force. From the hill outside of the village, one could see that the gates for once were wide open an invitation to enter. There were also now four chuunin guards instead of the usual two as well as a pair of ANBU members who were perched atop the gate. As they passed through the gates Naruto, Lee, and Hinata couldn't help but breath in the atmosphere and be thankful to be home once more.
"Alright you three get out of here. Kensei and I will go see the old man." Said Jiraiya.
Almost immediately Lee saluted and was gone in a green blur taking to the rooftops. Naruto didn't get the chance Hinata had almost immediately grabbed him by his hand and began dragging him through the streets an action he couldn't resist even if he'd wanted to. Chuckling at the sight the two adults worked their way through the crowd as well only they were on official business.
As they moved through the streets the two older men ignored the crowd many of whom moved to step out of the way as the two had quite the serious expressions upon their faces. Finally they found themselves in front of the office building that housed the Hokage's office and began making their way up the flights of stairs after crossing through the initial lobby. As they made it to the Hokage's floor Kensei fell behind Jiraiya as the man took the lead. As they reached the double doors that led to the old man's office Jiraiya pushed them open ignoring the squawking secretary. As the duo entered the Sandaime looked up as did the two people he was talking to. Jiraiya easily ignored the glares that his sensei's old teammates Mitokado Homura and Utatane Koharu.
"Jiraiya, you've returned. How was your trip?" spoke Hiruzen kindly.
"Things went well. I'd like to introduce you to one of the monks of the Fire Temple Uzumaki Kensei."
At the man's name the two elders stiffened which did not go unnoticed by Jiraiya who narrowed his eyes if only slightly. Hiruzen himself was also surprised though he didn't show it, he'd been quite sure that the last full blooded Uzumaki had passed quite some time ago. To find that another had been occupying himself in the Fire Temple of all places was actually a rather pleasant surprise.
"It is a pleasure to meet you Kensei-san." Said Hiruzen.
"You as well Hokage-sama. I'd like to thank you for looking after my sister and nephew in my absence." Said Kensei surprising the Hokage.
"Sister?" questioned Hiruzen though he already knew the answer.
"Yes Uzumaki Kushina was my younger sister. As such this makes young Naruto my nephew." Said Kensei.
"Is he aware?" questioned Hiruzen turning his attention to Jiraiya.
"Hai. I informed him of his heritage within the safety of the temple." Said Jiraiya.
"You had no right to do that Jiraiya we forbade it from ever being spoken thirteen years ago." Said Koharu hotly.
"Something you had no right to do. As the boys godfather, with no known family at the time all decisions regarding him should've gone through me. Instead not only do I find this out but I find out from his mouth that the funds I have been sending him all this time never reached him." said Jiraiya just as hotly a strong focused killing intent paralyzing the two elders.
"Wait a minute Jiraiya I was told it was your idea." Said Hiruzen.
"I'd have never agreed to it, much less actually say that! I'd have rather had him known for who he is, with Konoha's protection from Iwa and Kumo than have him as the most hated person in the village of his birth!" exclaimed Jiraiya hotly.
"It seems to me then that this is a case of perjury. In this case it seems like your village elders overstepped their bounds and interfered in clan affairs along with endangering the life of the son of a Hokage." Said Kensei calmly.
"Excuse me; who the hell do you think you are!" demanded Koharu.
"I am Uzumaki Kensei, rightful heir to the Uzumaki clan. As it was the Uzumaki clan that helped to found this village we are technically a part of this village. This is why since Mito there have been Uzumaki's in the village even if the presence was small. Not only that but if you were to ask a member of your Daimyo's court or your Daimyo himself they would tell you that do to our action of actually funding the building of this village that we are in fact the first noble clan of this village."
As Kensei was speaking the two elders were paling greatly. Jiraiya himself loved it as he'd never actually liked the two of them. Hiruzen was sitting back absorbing everything that was being said as the young man was spewing out laws of the village as if they were nothing. Though he wouldn't admit it out loud it was actually good to see the two of them being put in their place after all of the grief they'd given him over the last decade.
The noise of the expecting crowd could be heard even outside of the massive stadium. As one entered the stadium proper however and arrived on the field it was the sight of the packed seats that would catch their attention. For Naruto it was an amazing sight as he made his way across the field towards the other gennin that'd arrived ahead of him along with the man who would be proctoring the event. As he arrived he greeted both his teammates and took a moment to observe his male teammate. Though he and Hinata had returned the previous day they had been unable to see the Aburame heir as he had still been gone training with his father. While most wouldn't be able to tell as his teammate Naruto noticed a subtle change in the way the bug user carried himself. The two months of training had definitely seen a change in Shino as the Aburame heir now exuded an aura of calm confidence.
Shino wasn't the only one to change he noticed however. As he looked he could feel that the Uchiha was also confident, yet not arrogantly so. Absently he wondered what miracle had happened in his absence that had allowed for that. Shrugging it off for later he turned to the next only to sigh upon spotting the Hyuga boy Neji whose arrogant air seemed to have doubled in the two months he was gone as if he absorbed all that the teme had lost. Glancing at Hinata and Lee he could see that both had noticed the same and appeared to be annoyed by it, Hinata more so at the moment. In another portion of the stadium however the Sandaime Hokage sat calmly speaking with both Jiraiya and Kensei who joined him in the Kage booth. It was to this that the Kazekage arrived and for a moment only allowed his eyes to widen in surprise upon spotting Jiraiya before they returned to normal.
"Ah Kazekage-dono, I trust your journey went well." Greeted Sarutobi.
"As well as could be expected. It's a good thing the exams are taking place here, I don't think you'd have made the journey as well as I. Perhaps the time has come for you to choose a fifth." Said the Kazekage only for Hiruzen to snort.
"Please I still have some years left in me." Said Hiruzen.
"Jiraiya-Sannin, it is a surprise seeing you here. I'd heard you had left the village to travel." Said the Kazekage.
"True I had. However I still return every now and then." Said Jiraiya from his position slightly behind his sensei.
"Well now I suppose its time." Said Hiruzen as he rose to his feet and stepped up to the balcony. Clearing his throat and channeling a bit of chakra he spoke his voice echoing over the stadium.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure as the Sandaime Hokage to welcome you all to the Chuunin Selection Exam Finals." Said Hiruzen causing the crowd to cheer.
"Before you stand the best of the best from both the Hidden Leaf and the Hidden Sand villages. With that said let us begin!" His piece said Hiruzen retook his seat.
"Alright everyone stop gawking and bring your eyes up front." As the proctor spoke Naruto realized that it was not the same guy as the one from the preliminaries, as while the guy still wore the leaf uniform his hitae-tae was on a bandanna and he held a senbon in his mouth as if it was a tooth pick.
"First off my name is Shiranui Genma and I'll be proctoring the main event. The rules of this round are simple and the same as the prelims, if you forgot them then ask someone when you get to the waiting area. Now if you needed a refresher this here is the order of the matches." With that the man held up a sheet of paper allowing each of them to view the match order.
"Now then since everyone has been refreshed I need everyone but those fighting in the first match to head up to the competitor's box." Said Genma
With that the gathered gennin stepped to leave with Naruto lingering a bit to wish Hinata luck along with Shino and Lee. As the rest of the fighters left the two Hyuga turned to face each other. Looking at the two anyone could tell that there was tension between them and it wasn't just from the fact that they were fighting in the match against each other. Neji himself took a moment to look at his cousin and her change in outfit. Instead of the blue pants and baggy coat he was accustomed to seeing her wearing she now wore a blue sleeveless vest embroidered in yellow on the front. Along with this she wore a blue unitard with yellow stripes along the sides and blue shinobi sandals with her hitae-tae still wrapped around her neck. He could see she also appeared more confident than usual but as far as he was concerned it was simply posturing from a weakling who was fated to loss. Within the stands several members of the Hyuga clan began to pay more attention even activating their Byakugan's in an effort to not miss a thing that was done on the field.
"Hinata-sama I'd have thought by now you'd have come to your senses. Give up you are fated to…"
"Neji shut up. If you are going to fight, then fight for real." Said Hinata catching the elder teen off guard because she actually interrupted him.
"Very well, don't say I didn't try and warn you." Said the male Hyuga as he slid into his stance.
"Hyuga Neji vs. Hyuga Hinata; Hajime."
Immediately after the words were spoken the two shot forward Byakugan eyes blazing to life just in time for them to clash against each other with their hands expelling powerful blast of chakra that succeeded only in negating each other. Despite this neither faltered and instead sent a barrage of palm strikes towards the other only for the strikes to once again be nullified by their opponent. As if mirroring each other the two sent a final strike out which collided once more the force of which was enough too succeeded in pushing both of them back. Recovering quickly Neji quickly retook his stance only to be surprised as Hinata charged him covering the ground between them quickly. Scoffing the Hyuga praised genius lashed out with a strike as she neared only for her to leap over him easily. Flipping while still in the air Hinata lashed out with a strike of her own which Neji ducked under. As she landed Neji tried to capitalize only for the girl to flow around his strike and turn and lash out once more. Despite moving to dodge Neji still caught the blow in his left scapula which caused him to spin out and away from her.
Regaining himself Neji frowned heavily as he eyed the girl who had managed to not only score the first blow but to actually score a decent one. The blow though not hitting her intended target had still managed to do some damage as he could now only barely move the shoulder, meaning she'd gotten a lucky hit and hit a tenketsu there. Regaining himself the Hyuga prodigy dashed back towards the smaller girl who didn't falter in the slightest and quickly began flowing around all of his blows only for Neji to quickly nail her with a palm strike to the stomach. Neji smirked at the sight at least until the girl turned into a destroyed log, turning quickly he dodged a pair of kunai that had been on course with his back and lashed out with a palm strike which parried Hinata's. As the two clashed flashes of chakra could be seen leaping from their hands telling all of the power the two were putting into their blows.
Suddenly Hinata leapt back dodging a blow that possessed so much power chakra could be seen pouring from Neji's hand before it abruptly stopped. Panting slightly Hinata eyed Neji wearily while his while his showed nothing but anger and resentment. As the two fought they had appeared evenly matched but many of the Hyuga could tell that it was a battle that Neji would eventually win, his stance was more solid and his strikes more powerful, whereas it was Hinata's quickness that was allowing her to last at the moment.
"Have you seen the error in your ways yet Hinata-sama; my skill with juken is greater than yours." Said Neji spitting the title out as if it was a foul poison
"You haven't seen my best yet. Let me show you!"
"Very well your fate is sealed. There is no escape now."
After saying this Neji slid back into his opening stance while Hinata took on one herself. However unlike before this stance had slight differences as she didn't crouch low and instead took a higher stance with her left leg out front yet only the tip of her toes touched the ground. In the next instant she'd launched herself forward and Neji's eyes went wide as she quickly covered the distance. As he lashed out with a palm strike hoping to catch her off guard Hinata seeing this however surprised him by launching herself to the ground and using her hands to catch herself flipped into the air. As she was still in the air her legs came apart in a perfect split as she flipped forward.
"Hazanshu (Supreme Mountain Kick)!"
It was only his Byakugan allowing him to see the chakra in her foot that had Neji leaping away just in time for her to land her leading foot creating a small crater were he'd just been standing. While many were impressed with the action the Byakugan allowed all the Hyuga to see exactly what she'd done with that attack. Unlike regular chakra attacks Hinata had sharpened her chakra into needles and injected them into the ground with the attack, the result being the crater that had been formed. This meant that what Hinata had done was what many had called impossible as she'd found a way to channel a juken style strike through her feet. Taking the opening for what it was however Neji took his own stance.
"You are in range of my divination. Hakke Rokujūyon Shō (Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms)"
With that exclamation Neji charged forward and Hinata's eyes went wide in shock at Neji's usage of a main house only technique. As he approached and launched the first of his blows Hinata went into action and expelling her chakra outwards and sent herself into a quick spin.
"Hakkesho Kaiten (Eight Trigrams Palm Rotation)!"
As she spun a large dome of chakra made its appearance surrounding her just as Neji threw his strike. As the two techniques met there was a fierce clash of chakra before Neji was suddenly blown back and off his feet landing in a roll and tumbling backwards. Once that happened the dome seemingly collapsed revealing Hinata on her knees panting heavily. After a few moments however the two struggled and pulled themselves to their feet with Neji glaring at Hinata hatefully.
"How the hell did you pull of a Kaiten. I know for a fact that no one would train you in its usage." Said Neji spitefully.
"The same way you apparently learned the sixty-four palms. Observation and trial." Said Hinata
"That isn't possible. Your fated to be a weak loser, the entire clan knows that!" exclaimed Neji angrily.
"It is not weak to value life!" exclaimed Hinata her voice loud and silencing even the cheering crowd.
"Just because I'd rather do my job and actually protect my younger sibling does not make me weak! It is not an act of strength to beat down on someone younger than you, when they look to you for protection! But because I'd rather not fight my own sister or anyone in the clan at all, I'm labeled a weakling! Well I'd rather be a weakling than see that disgusting marking upon my sister!" finished Hinata hotly with an uncharacteristic glare in her own eyes.
"This coming from a failure that has perverted the juken by using an outside technique." Said Neji with a sneer.
"Well excuse me for wanting to live. But I will not allow the whims of pathetic fossils that have never even seen a battlefield to dictate to me what it is that I learn to keep myself alive." Said Hinata.
"That doesn't matter; today's the day you die."
With that Neji charged forward overcome by rage. Hinata however also shot forward and as they closed the distance Hinata suddenly nailed Neji right in the gut with a kick the staggered him. What happened next however was something that once again could only be truly appreciated by those with the Byakugan as Hinata still standing on one leg suddenly launched into a flurry of kicks with such speed it appeared as if three feet were doing the kicking. What the Byakugan saw however was that for each kick a cluster of tenketsu were hit and taken out leaving Neji's body nearly devoid of chakra before with a final kick Hinata nailed Neji beneath the chin without the chakra the force of which sent him into the air before he came back to land hard on his back.
"Hyakuretsukyaku (Hundred Rending leg)!" exclaimed Hinata as she finished the attack and settled down.
"H-how?" questioned Neji finding himself unable to move, his Byakugan having deactivated during the onslaught.
"Neji it is true you are a genius, and in terms of juken you are better than me and perhaps always will be. However unlike you the juken does not fit me and as such I've had to adapt it to do such. I learned an entirely new style and after that combined it with what I knew of the juken to give myself my own fighting style, one that would allow me to take full advantage of my quickness and flexibility. Because of this I've done what everyone claimed was impossible and developed an entirely new way for me to attack my opponents. As for how I beat you it is fairly simple, things don't come easy to me and I have to work for them. As such unlike you and the rest of the clan I have no time to cry about fate and instead spent that time training to improve myself. I know you blame me for the loss of your father and the suffering of the branch house; however I promise you here and now, once I become clan head I'll do what my father didn't have the heart to do remove the seal, banish its usage, and abolish the entire division between houses. Trust and believe it will happen, they will not deny me for I will be the strongest woman in the world."
As Hinata finished Neji chuckled lightly upon hearing despite all that had been done to her she possessed such a goal. Still he had much to think about and apparently plenty of time to do so. Seeing that Neji apparently wouldn't be getting up anytime soon Genma smirked both at the outcome and at her message to Neji before declaring Hinata the winner. With the declaration officially made many of those watching began to cheer while the Hyuga clan were all also still blown away and left with much to think about, none more so than Hyuga Hanabi who'd witnessed the entire thing. Hinata meanwhile had fallen to her knees right after the declaration only for Kurenai to suddenly appear and catch her smiling proudly at the outcome of her students match. Kurenai was met at the entrance to the arena by both Shino and Naruto both congratulating the girl on her victory before Naruto had snatched her up and given her a kiss that not only stole her breath away but put a blissful smile on the girls face.
"That was quite the interesting match." Said the Kazekage as the two Hyuga were being cleared off the field.
"Indeed I had no idea young Hinata had reached such a level already." Said Hiruzen.
"That kick of hers reminds me of your student Tsunade's, though to a lesser scale than what I've heard she's capable of." Remarked the Kazekage.
"True it is similar to that of my old teammate but the execution is very different. Now if you gentlemen will excuse me for a moment." Said Jiraiya a proud grin on his face as he stood and left the three alone.
Elsewhere the members of the newly named Konoha 12 that hadn't made it to the finals were all discussing the last fight in excited tones. None could actually believe that shy, soft spoken Hinata had actually been the one to just dominate the previous year's rookie of the year. Tenten herself was in shock simply because Neji had always referred to Hinata as the weakling of the Hyuga clan yet here it was the girl had just handed him his ass. At the same time she couldn't help but think that Neji had deserved to lose, he hadn't taken the match against her seriously the entire time they'd had to train much like he did everything else, assuming he would win due to fate. Apparently fate had other things to do this time around though.
Hinata was surprised completely when her little sister appeared and launched herself into her arms talking excitedly about the match between herself and Neji. It was refreshing as the last time Hanabi had been this way with her was before her father took on an active interest into her training after which she seemed to become as emotionless as the rest of them. The sound of chuckling had her looking up to see Jiraiya as he entered the room.
"Congratulations Nata-chan, I'd say you've just earned yourself a promotion with that performance." Said Jiraiya causing the girl to blush.
"Ne nee-san, who's that?" questioned Hanabi.
"That Hanabi-chan is Jiraiya of the Sannin. He is also our mother's father, making him our grandfather." Said Hinata.
This news shocked not only young Hanabi, but Kurenai, Neji who was in a bed within the same room, and the medic-nin who was looking over Neji.
Naruto blinked at the words that had come out of the mouth of one Nara Shikamaru. Unlike the first match the second between Shikamaru and Temari had not been fast paced in the slightest and had been more about tactics. Despite this however the match had drawn people in due to the impressive tactics each were employing Shikamaru trying to catch Temari, and Temari avoiding being caught. In the end Shikamaru managed to catch her within his shadow only to lead to his previous words.
"Excuse me, what do you mean forfeit?" demanded Temari hotly.
"I don't particularly care about becoming a chunin so going any further would be too troublesome. Aside from that I wasted too much chakra trying to catch you in my jutsu this entire time, and at this point can only hold you for about another ten seconds."
At Shikamaru's explanation many sweat dropped at his pure laziness, yet every Nara or Akimichi in attendance merely nodded as if expecting both the outcome and his reasoning behind it. Many of the proctors however were smirking as they realized the true depth of his strategy and made notes for his promotion. As the two genin left, both under their own power which was rare, Genma called for the next matchup. As the two came down many of the gathered spectators became excited as the long awaited match of the Uchiha was about to kick off. Once they appeared Genma noted that both seemed to be a bit excited as well but paid that no mind.
"Match three: Rock Lee vs. Uchiha Sasuke; Hajime!"
Immediately the two launched themselves at each other with Lee opening up with a Konoha Senpu only for the Uchiha to duck under it. Undeterred and still in mid spin the green clad teen lashed out with a second foot that the Uchiha was only able to block at the last moment yet still sent him skidding back. Narrowing his eyes the Uchiha sent a pair of shuriken at the green clad youth only to be shocked as Lee didn't dodge but instead snatched them out of the air and added them to his own collection. Standing to his full height Sasuke closed his eyes before they snapped open the scarlet red of the Sharingan replacing the original ebony orbs. Seeing this Lee dashed forward his speed surpassing the previous level as he lashed out with kick only for the Uchiha to counter with one of his own matching the force of Lee's.
Breaking the rather short lock Lee lashed out with a punch which Sasuke once again copied the two quickly engaging in very fast paced taijutsu bout with Sasuke copying Lee's every move in order to negate them. As they broke apart once more the Uchiha ran through seals and after taking a breath launched a barrage of small fireballs at the green clad youth. Lee wasted no time in dodging around the balls of flame only for Sasuke to meet his charge with a kick to the chest that sent him stumbling back a few paces. Suddenly Lee vanished and appeared with a rising kick from beneath the Uchiha only for it to miss as the Sharingan user had already leapt backwards. Dashing forwards while he was still open Sasuke nailed the elder genin with a kick to his unprotected side sending him skidding back then as if mocking him the Uchiha assumed the opening stance for Lee's goken taijutsu style.
"I see so you copied my style already that's how you've been matching me hit for hit." Said Lee as he stood to his feet.
"Even if I hadn't you'd have fallen before me regardless. In front of these eyes your future is already seen." Said Sasuke
"I see in that case I will no longer hold back."
As he said this Lee lifted up his pants legs revealing a pair of black leg warmers that had been beneath them, over them however near his ankles were what Sasuke recognized as weights causing him to scoff. As he removed one set and then removed the other Lee stood back and holding both sets out tossed them up and behind him at the same time he removed his vest and likewise tossed that behind him revealing his muscular frame and getting many of the younger females to squeal. At the same time all three of the tossed items hit the ground causing it to shake as each piece created a crater causing several eyes to widen. Just after this Lee took on a stance yet instead of taking the Goken stance he stood in a new one his feet spread out while his right arm was held up in a near fist next to his mouth while his other was held straight out and down towards his forward knee as he began bouncing on his toes.
Suddenly Lee darted forward his speed far surpassing his previous one and Sasuke's eyes could only widen before he appeared in front of him connecting with a trio of punches, the first two softening him up and the third knocking him into the air before he fell on his ass though he quickly rolled to his feet. Lee however had not remained idle jumping forward and performing a flying kick only to flip himself while in mid-air and land a kick directly into the Uchiha's stomach as soon as he stood up.
"Rekkukyaku (Air Tearing Kick)" exclaimed Lee the force sending Sasuke slamming to the ground and sliding back several feet.
"Kami Gai what have you done with that kid?" questioned Kakashi as he turned to face the taijutsu specialist only to find him wide eyed with shock.
"This, this is impossible." Said Gai his tone shocked.
"Oh, what's wrong Gai shouldn't you be happy?" questioned Asuma.
"It's not that I am unhappy just surprised that Lee was able to hide the fact that he knew this style from me." Said Gai his serious tone sobering the entire group and catching the attention of the genin as well as the chunin examiners around him.
"Care to explain?" questioned Kurenai with a curious eyebrow raised.
"The style he is using is known as Hitenryu. However its true name is Jeet Kune Do a taijutsu style that was lost decades ago. During the time of the Nidaime Hokage there was a taijutsu master without equal here in Konoha who went by the name of Fei Long; it was he who created Jeet Kune Do. Though he took on several students none could completely grasp the style as it was meant to be used and the master himself died along with the Nidaime Hokage when they held off a brigade of Kumo nin. My sensei's sensei's sensei was one of the selected students and upon finding he could not completely adapt to the style he created the Goken. The style itself as I said was lost with the master's death, yet somehow Lee managed to get ahold of it." Explained Gai
"How powerful is this style?" questioned Asuma.
"Very powerful in the right hands. It is termed as the style without style as it has no set patterns or fixed movements. Against the Uchiha it will be even more dangerous because they are used to fighting a certain way and this style is impossible to read when done right, meaning Lee's movements cannot be predicted." Said Gai causing Kakashi to narrow his visible eye.
Back on the ground Sasuke panted as he stood back on his feet, his Sharingan eyes narrowed in aggravation. Due to the fact that he had copied what he knew of the Goken from Kakashi during their earlier training he'd been able to match Lee thanks to the fact that he'd known how he would strike and could tell where the blows would be coming from. On that last exchange however he hadn't been able to see anything ahead of time as far as the chakra shadow was concerned. On top of this Lee's style had seemingly changed fundamentally whereas the Goken was about strength this new style of his seemed about speed and strength. His thoughts however were cut off as Lee quickly closed the distance and lashed out with a chain of kicks that Sasuke only barely managed to backpedal away from. Undeterred Lee pressed forward throwing out a punch only for it to phase right through the Uchiha. With Lee overextended Sasuke leapt into action quickly tossing out a pair of Fuma Shuriken which Lee managed to dodge. Smirking Sasuke flexed his fingers causing the attached wires to pull themselves taut binding the taijutsu ace completely.
"As I said before in front of these eyes the future is revealed. You've lost." Said Sasuke causing Lee to chuckle.
"Truly the Sharingan is fearsome; however it's not over yet."
As Lee said this Sasuke's eyes widened as chakra blasted out from his body and he flexed his arms out shredding the wires with ease. In the next instant Lee had disappeared only to reappear right beneath the Uchiha to slam a powerful rising kick into his chin launching him up into the air. As Sasuke flew and arched Lee leapt up after him shooting right passed him before he stuck his leg out and began to spin. Sasuke himself opened his eyes just as Lee neared him once more and planted his heel right into his sternum sending him rocketing back towards the ground where he created a crater upon impact while Lee landed heavily yet on his feet. As he landed Lee looked down on the young Uchiha who was clearly out cold.
"You see Uchiha-san a fight is not all about a Kekki Genkai. In truth when it's all said and done, the winner is decided by the strength of one's spirit and mine burns brightly with the power of youth!" said Lee.
"Winner Rock Lee." Called Genma.
As the results of the match were announced many were in a mixed state of shock and elation within the crowd. Many found themselves elated by the match as a whole yet shocked at the loss of the Uchiha. Many of the rookies were in such a state, while many would honestly say they didn't really care for Sasuke none could refute the fact that he was among the strongest of their class. Many of those who placed bets found themselves cursing quite loudly as the odds had heavily favored the Uchiha over the previous year's dead last student. At the same time others were cackling in delight at having beaten the odds with the bets and seeing money signs within their eyes. Within the Kage booth however Hiruzen simply watched the scene with hidden astonishment. Not since Fei Long had a user of the Hitenryu been seen and while far from mastered Hiruzen could see that Lee knew enough of the style that him learning the Goken so easily made much more sense than it once had.
Of course he had known Naruto had taken the scroll however within that scroll many such styles of combat were sealed away and he honestly had no clue of which ones had been given out. However to see Hyuga Hinata with a grasp of the Kikouken of such a level that she could adapt it to the Jyuken and Rock Lee with such a high skill in the Hitenryu was truly astonishing. He was one of the few old enough to have seen both Chun-Li and Fei Long at work and could honestly say that once those two mastered their respective styles they would both be a force to be reckoned with. The Kazekage however was of a different mind. As he sat within his seat the Kazekage merely narrowed his eyes having been one of the many expecting the Uchiha to walk away with the easy win. Also unlike the Hokage he had no clue of the significance of the styles used in today's matches being more of the ninjutsu focused mind. Because of this as far as he was concerned the green clad youth had merely gotten lucky which he highly doubted would happen again.
Over with the sensei's Gai while happy with the results was silent as well. His mind was busy breaking down all that he saw and dissecting it for further study. While he hadn't commented on it he had recognized the usage of one of the eight Celestial Gates by Lee to break out of the steel wires. He had also thought the boy was going to use a move he'd taught him for the finisher after seeing the initial set-up only to be surprised by the youth's change of action. Even still hearing Lee's final words but a blinding smile on the man's face and had him shouting out about the power of youth with his regular enthusiasm.
As Sasuke was collected by a pair of medics Genma called down the next two combatants. He needed only to wait a few minutes as the two appeared in a whirl of leaves and sand respectively. While many wouldn't admit it out loud this was a match many of the leaf shinobi had been looking forward to if only to see just what Naruto could do when he was pushed. There were rumors going around the village already that he'd put down one of the members of Kiri's Seven Swordsmen but as all of them were jounin that was hard for people to swallow. Gaara on the other hand was an unknown and in the shinobi world an unknown factor was something to be especially wary of.
"Fourth match Sabaku no Gaara vs. Uzumaki Naruto; Hajime!"
Immediately after his exclamation Genma leapt away and just in time as Gaara's gourd burst apart forming into a wall of sand just in time to stop Naruto's fist from slamming into his face. In an instant the sand tried to swallow the blond only for him to break away and leap back. Undeterred the sand gave chase with several tendrils that the blond dodged around as he tossed a pair of kunai back at the redhead the sand dropping as more pulled up and formed a shield, or rather a wall to block the kunai. With the short reprieve he created a pair of clones with all three blondes darting forward far faster than his previous speed only to have a wall spring up around the redhead to catch their fists as they arrived. Once more the sand surged forward causing the two clones to disperse while grabbing hold of the originals wrist at least until he vanished to be replaced with a log.
Hidden within the branches of the trees Naruto frowned deeply as he looked at the motionless form of the Suna gennin. From what he could tell he fought in a defensive style relying on the sand to stop all attacks and allowing him to finish his fights quickly. The sand was remarkably quick in its actions and appeared to require no outward movement from the redhead. That meant that he would have to outmaneuver, outpace, or overpower the sand in order to get to Gaara. With that thought in mind the blond took a breath and as he released it his wristbands began to glow slightly before dying down. Dropping down from the branches the blond locked eyes with Gaara before suddenly vanishing reappearing in midair to deliver a flying kick that would have connected with his jaw were it not for the sand that came up to block. Almost as soon as he hit the blond was in motion flipping back off the wall and vanishing again as he touched down. As he reappeared behind Gaara he began a bombardment of punches which the shield of sand only barely managed to block the hits coming with such force that holes began appearing where hit. Vanishing once more he reappeared in the air aiming a falling knee strike towards Gaara's head. As the sand surged up to protect him however there was a blast of smoke as another Naruto appeared crouched in front of Gaara for but a moment before he leapt.
"Shoryuken (Rising Dragon Punch)!"
Gaara could only go wide eyed as the blond connected with a leaping spiraling uppercut that hit him dead in the chest with such force it carried him off the ground sending him flying not just upwards but back several feet. As he completed his spin and came to rest on the ground the blond could only smirk at seeing the redhead laid out even if the sand had managed to catch him at the last second. The smirk died however as Gaara was slowly lifted by the sand until he was standing on his feet with sand covering him everywhere but the torso which had a huge hole in it which was slowly being filled as more sand took that place.
'Great so he not only has a shield of sand but apparently armor made from the stuff too. That means I'll have to give him a real battering just to do some damage.' Thought the blond with a scowl.
After these thoughts went through his mind Naruto's face suddenly turned completely serious. Suddenly he took off at a dead sprint straight for Gaara and as the sand lunged towards him he jumped flipping right over it before continuing his run. Undeterred himself Gaara sent several bullets of sand flying only for Naruto to leap once more this time spinning through the air and sticking his leg out as he did.
"Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (Tornado Whirlwind Leg)!"
Despite the bullets of sand Naruto slipped right through before beginning his rotations. Gaara didn't even move to dodge as the attack struck Naruto connecting with three consecutive strikes of the leg to his face the second one shattering the armor and the third doing real damage and sending him flying before Naruto hit the ground. Almost as soon as he touched down he was enshrouded in smoke before two Naruto's burst out each charging towards the airborne redhead. Two of the blondes pulled ahead and began flying through seals before they pulled to a stop letting the techniques fly.
"Katon: Gokakyu no Jutsu (Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique)!" exclaimed one of the blondes exhaling a large fireball at the redhead.
"Futon: Daitoppa (Wind Release: Great Breakthrough)!" exclaimed the second expelling a massive blast of wind.
As the two forces of nature travelled they combined causing the speed of the fireball to nearly double as did its size. Gaara wide eyed summoned as much sand as he could causing his gourd to burst open and join the shield which formed just before the attack hit. At just that moment as the redhead was flying out of the smoke caused by the combination technique the ground exploded as another Naruto burst out a swirling sphere of pure power in hand much to Gaara's shock as he brought the sphere to bare. For a moment both were still eyes locked before Naruto slammed the sphere into Gaara's torso and the redhead was suddenly rocketing towards the ground.
"Rasengan!" exclaimed the blond
Gaara hit the ground with all the force of a missile creating a large dust cloud upon impact. As he landed the other two Naruto's both burst into smoke leaving only the original glaring into the smoke panting lightly.
"Holy shit!" exclaimed Kiba as he jumped up from his seat an action that many of the spectators followed.
"Man, that's some kid you got there Kurenai." Said Asuma whistling in appreciation.
"Thank you, I try." Said Kurenai grinning
"That last bit was impressive using a collaboration technique just to set up for a finisher." Said Asuma
"I know Naruto's a virtual tank. With his chakra reserves all he needed was some chakra control and some jutsu to take advantage of it." Said Kurenai
"Man that last technique was crazy! What the hell was that?" exclaimed and questioned Ino.
"It is called the Rasengan; an A-class technique that was created by the Yondaime Hokage." Said Kakashi catching the attention of the entire group genin and jounin.
"His trap and timing was perfect. First he created a pair of shadow clones, which is another A-ranked technique, and while covered by the smoke hid himself while sending the clones to attack. The two clones then combined a pair of C-rank techniques boosting the power to at least B-rank forcing Gaara to throw all his sand into the shield which ended up being blasted away. Then in just that moment the original emerged from the ground to finish it while he was defenseless. That move alone should buy his promotion." Said the Copy Ninja.
The Kazekage meanwhile looked on with wide eyes beneath the rim of his hat and expression hidden by the veil. He had not foreseen that Gaara would be going up against such an opponent and thus had never factored it into his plans. Hiruzen meanwhile was also wide eyed though in this case due to the move young Naruto had just pulled off. The Rasengan was a rather well known technique and quite difficult to learn taking Jiraiya four nearly five months to learn the technique Naruto had apparently done so in half the time.
'Naruto my boy you really have come far.' Thought the old man with a grandfatherly smile.
As the smoke cleared Naruto was greeted with the sight of Gaara struggling to his feet. His armor of sand was completely gone showing a truly demented visage covering his face. However he had no time to think on this as the sand suddenly rose and flew towards Gaara eventually collecting until the redhead was hidden within a large sphere of sand. Narrowing his eyes Naruto created yet another clone which charged straight at the sphere only for large spikes to erupt from the surface almost as soon as he neared catching the clone off guard and causing it to disperse.
'Great so now I can't get in close at all. I mean I could try to close in with a Rasengan but I'd only get skewered for the effort. Even if I tried from different angles the result would be the same thanks to that thing. Guess I've got no choice.' Thought the blond as he eyed the floating eyeball that Gaara had created above the sphere.
Turning around he dashed away putting some distance between the two of them before he came to a sudden halt. Turning back to face the sphere he saw he'd put at least fifteen feet between them giving him plenty of room. In truth he wasn't completely comfortable with what he was about to attempt but at this point didn't have a choice outside of waiting for Gaara to come out, or quitting. With that thought in mind he closed his eyes and began to take a series of deep breaths. Stretching his arms out diagonally he began to slowly circle them in front of himself. Thanks to a rather blatant abusive usage of his clones he'd been able to learn this technique even if it was nowhere near mastered. Originally he'd thought he'd developed it but had been informed otherwise by Dhalsim who'd caught him while he was at it, that however was a story for another time.
Slowly and much to the shock of everyone watching small balls of chakra began to appear surrounding the blond flowing along with the motions of his arms. Following this streaks of blue light began to shoot around him as if forming a triangle in front of him before the multiple balls suddenly combined turning into a large ring that quickly shrunk down into a small orb between each of the blondes hands. As this happened the orb began to shoot of arcs of lightning like energy as he brought it back and cocked it near the right side of his hip. His eyes opened glowing completely white with power and he grunted in an effort to contain it. Even more arcs of lightning like energy began appearing around him hitting not just the orb but each of his limbs focusing mostly on his arms. Sweat poured off his form as he struggled to maintain and stabilize the energy.
'C'mon focus, you can do this. Just don't lose focus. Even if it feels like you're going to explode you've handled worse, you're an Uzumaki so suck it up.' Thought Naruto headedly.
With that thought the small orb suddenly swelled in size until it completely filled the space between his palms. Suddenly his blue eyes came back into focus and he could see lights shooting around him jumbled into a rainbow of colors. Suddenly the lights stopped shooting every which way and instead only one horizontal one remained right in front of the sphere of sand. Arching his back Naruto surged forwards throwing his hands outwards towards the sphere and letting loose a blast of light.
"HADOUKEN (Surge Fist)!"
AN: That's it chapter's done. I was originally going to make it longer but it's gotten pretty late and I wanted to make updates tonight. Anyway thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the reviews. Next chapter while unwritten has a basic plan and I'm throwing curve balls your way. Till then though, LATER.