The Flowing Water's Whisperings
Chapter Four: Crush the Reaper
Power is an insatiable obsession. Nothing stops it, nothing controls it. It has been a part of human history since the beginning. Power is the definitive proof of superiority; those who deserve to bear its fruits are therefore, superior. The weak are the stepping stones of this pyramid. If one does not strive for power, then he shall be stepped on by those who do. Existence means nothing if there is no significance in value of one's self.
This has been the code of ethics to young Sasuke ever since he was six. He was worthless when he is weak, but significant when he is strong. He was an advocate of the law of nature; the strong shall live, the weak shall die.
He had also lived in the code, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
To him, justice means a punishment befitting to a criminal. If one commits a crime, then an appropriate punishment is in order. Vengeance is no stranger to this than redemption is.
To that, he had sworn on the graves of his clan members, that he shall avenge them, seek the monster that had killed them and kill all the associates that involved themselves with him.
With a look of apathy, Uchiha Sasuke descended on the flight of stairs, gazing stoically on Akado Yoroi. He held Guren Zanpaku, the scarlet wavy kusarigama, firmly with his right hand.
As the proctor of the exam gave the signal to start…
Within mere milliseconds, Sasuke had immediately closed in on Yoroi, this was his chance. This was his stepping stone to closer and closer to his brother.
Naruto noticed the sudden speed that Sasuke had used and with his mind, he had concluded it as he said, "Teme is pulling out all the stops."
Kiba who had heard the blonde, glanced to his side and noticed Naruto's frown, with a curious look, he asked the blonde, "Why are you frowning?"
Naruto didn't answer, instead, he focused on the battle below.
With a swing from the Kusarigama, sideways, Yoroi had jumped and stepped back, the cloth that covered his abdomen was shredded by the sharp crescent blade. Yoroi cursed, his technique won't work if he couldn't get close.
Sasuke, not skipping a beat, jumped up, his Kusarigama raised. Descending towards Yoroi like a bullet, Sasuke swung his right arm that held the Kusarigama.
Yoroi, grabbed a kunai from his pouch and parried the blow. Sparks flew as metal clashed against metal.
With an immediate counter, Yoroi reached out with his free arm, and grabbed Sasuke by the ankle. Sasuke, while still in midair, grabbed the base of the crescent blade and extended pulled it out, revealing a chain that's longer than its handle.
The raven haired boy then tangled the chain, catching the outstretched hand. Sasuke then arched his back and flipped down on the floor, he then pulled the chain and threw Yoroi down with an unconventional hip toss.
Once Yoroi was down Sasuke followed it up with a dropping heel kick to the stomach. But was immediately grabbed by Yoroi's arm. Sasuke cursed, going for a set of handseals, he stopped at Tora and breathed in.
"Katon: Housenka no Jutsu (Fire Release: Mythical Fire Flower Skill)"
Fire consumed Sasuke's opponent, as he was pelted with small fireballs.
As the fire died down, the man that was taught to be burned to a crisp was replaced with a log.
Up in the rails, Naruto held his nose up and pouted, "And they say I'm irresponsible with my techniques."
Ino shouted from the other side, "Well, you are!"
Naruto merely said, "At least that guy lived! He was just thrown out of the arena. Sasuke's got no reservations in roasting this guy!"
Naruto then pointed to the guy that was on the roof who was annoyed he was spotted. The blonde, looked Yoroi in indifference and said, "Oi, baka, you're too obvious in your stealth capabilities, even teme there could have seen you because you cast your shadow below."
And on cue, Sasuke had appeared immediately in front of Yoroi from the rooftop, Sharingan eyes flaring to life.
"Not good at hiding are you?" Sasuke asked as he slammed his foot directly at the man's jaw, flinging the man back as he staggered and lost his control.
He dropped below on the floor but quickly recovered stepping back seeing Sasuke deployed the blade of his Kusarigama below. The blade pierced the floor below, the chain following suit.
Yoroi, then looked up again, seeing Sasuke's foot was centimetres away to his face. Yoroi tried to block but found that he couldn't do so as Sasuke pierced the defensive posture.
Yoroi staggered back and Sasuke spun around, aiming a spin kick at Yoroi's abdomen, forcing the said man to side step as it hit his side. Sasuke wasn't done yet, as he then punched Yoroi in the gut forcing the man up slightly and then another punch aimed, this time to his cheek.
Sasuke's eyes darted to the handle of Guren Zanpaku as it gave of a certain feeling of dominance. Sasuke then shifted his gaze to his opponent, Sharingan eyes blazing. He grabbed the base of the crescent blade and stretched it, the chain brandished and Sasuke began spinning the blade...
All the while, Guren Zanpaku gave an ominous red glow…
The scarlet glow of the blade began to brighten as Sasuke had begun spinning it faster and faster. Yoroi, who kept his distance from Sasuke was quick to recognize the glow as a danger sign, the masked ninja cursed and had to attack before Sasuke could throw that thing.
In an instant, Sasuke had thrown the blade, the blade making a straight line and a dust clouds at its wake, flew towards Yoroi who dodged it in time.
Sasuke was quick to notice the dodge in time, as his eyes trailed to Yoroi, the blade seemingly changed directions as it headed back to Yoroi.
Naruto nodded, this was one of Guren Zanpaku's ability, and he called it jiseki (trace) as it literally homed in on the opponent.
To Naruto, Guren Zanpaku was a useless weapon, it was weaker than Tachikaze, wasn't as long range as Gufuu no Te, and was a mere test for his remaining weapons, it was the very first weapon he had ever created. It had a tracing capability and almost unimaginable reach, but it was useless if he couldn't keep up and know what the enemy was thinking.
It was a weapon meant for counters but with Naruto's style of fighting, it was near impossible to use its second ability.
The streak of red light danced like a wisp as it traced Yoroi down, with the sunglass wearing ninja avoiding most of its strikes, but few managed to chip the man by the shoulders and torso, one almost sliced his head off but his head tilt managed to only cut his cheek. The streak of red light glowed as it followed Yoroi around, Sasuke, then appeared right beside Yoroi, whose attention was focused on the scarlet blade, the last Uchiha gave a thunderous punch to Yoroi's cheek forcing him back. Yoroi staggered back but regained his footing; he refused to be defeated by some rookie! He outstretched his left arm back, a sound of metal cutting flesh was heard as Yoroi caught Sasuke by the neck of his shirt, Sasuke was quick to notice that the trace ability had connected, he cursed, is it the only thing Guren Zanpaku have!?
Yoroi snarled in pain as his left hand was pierced by the scarlet blade but with the blade incapacitated, the Uchiha no longer has an advantage in range. With a quick follow up, his right hand started to glow and absorb the chakra from Sasuke. Yoroi, who knew his height and strength advantage, lifted up Sasuke as he started draining the boy's chakra. Sasuke cursed as his chakra was being sucked, he would not be the one to be stepped on in his quest for power!
He looked around, he saw Naruto who was leaning against the rails, no sign of emotion on his face, the blonde was giving the message to figure everything out on his own, he looked to the left and saw the stoic face of the red headed Gaara who was crossing his arms and not giving a care. It was then that he noticed the sand jinchuuriki's eyes as it seemed to give him the message,
Is this your worth? Pathetic…
An image of his brother was seen behind the sand jinchuuriki as Sasuke gritted his teeth in anger, no one dares to judge him! He is an Uchiha, the elite of the elite, the pinnacle of what exactly is a true shinobi, his Sharingan eyes then looked at Yoroi once more…
The third Tomoe finally appeared on both eyes, signalling its complete evolution.
He grabbed Yoroi's arm that was holding with his left as Sasuke took excerpts from his bastard of a brother,
"Before these eyes, all your abilities are useless."
Sasuke then twisted the arm with merely his left hand, forcing Yoroi to bend down. Sasuke, now had his feet on the ground, kneed Yoroi straight to the face, forcing the man to let go, Sasuke retracted Guren Zanpaku's blade from Yoroi, forcing the man to flinch from the pain, a mule kick to the chest and Yoroi took a few steps back, Sasuke then held Guren Zanpaku with his two hands, twisting the handle in the middle.
Sasuke remembered Naruto's words as he descended that flight of stairs earlier,
"You want to know Guren Zanpaku's abilities? Then solve this puzzle, the power of the mind is greater than the power of jutsu, it extends to knowledge that once solved, anything is possible. The first puzzle, is to break down the tower in the middle that supports the beam."
The said weapon began breaking down, as Sasuke separated the now, twin hilts that was the base form of Guren Zanpaku, the angled blade on his left hand snapped down as the hilt pushed Sasuke's hand, away from the blade, the blade extended as it began to form a circle shape, forming a shield the size of Sasuke's head, the stick on his right hand, glowed in blue light, as it stretched far from the hilt to the ground, the ground was pierced by the luminous, formless blade.
Up in the stands, Naruto said with a grin, "Ni no Ryuu: Taiyou to Tsuki (First Form: Sun and Moon)"
Sasuke looked at the shield as he saw the seals of 'Rensa (Chain)' and 'Jizou (Spike)'
Sasuke touched both seals with his left right hand and out came spikes that protruded from the edge of the shield, a chain connected to the base of the centre of the shield and to the handle and Sasuke grinned.
The last Uchiha flung the weapon straight to Yoroi who dodged the attack by jumping up, the said chakra leech cursed as he looked down to the last Uchiha,
Not only had the Uchiha regained his advantage in range again, but also increased his proficiency in close range!
Sasuke spun the weapon around him as it gave a fan like sound the winds rustled on the floor of the arena as Sasuke retracted the bladed shield and jumped straight to Yoroi, chakra blade drawn.
Yoroi cursed as he was trapped in midair, the force of the Uchiha had him caught. As he descended to the floor, he narrowly dodged the vertical slice sent at him by Sasuke.
It was then that timed seemed to slow down as Yoroi was inconveniently trapped when the bladed shield had extended and coiled around the unsuspecting man, both fighters landed on the ground as Sasuke said to Yoroi, his Sharingan eyes spinning
"Surrender." Was only Sasuke's statement, Yoroi looked unfazed by the Uchiha's demand.
A few more minutes of silence and Sasuke received his answer,
"No." Was only Yoroi's reply.
Sasuke smirked, fine then, he'll receive this punishment, as he bit the chains, Sakura recognized the technique
"Hey, it's that jutsu he used on that snake freak from the second test…" Sakura said, Naruto raised an eyebrow as Sasuke ended it in a Tora seal
"Katon: Ryuka no Jutsu! (Fire Release: Dragon Fire Technique)"
Fire seemed to explode from Sasuke as it traced itself on the chain in a fast motion engulfing the target in smouldering flames, Yoroi cried out as the flames surrounded him and began to eat him away. A water jutsu from Kakashi had stopped the display of carnage as Yoroi passed out from the pain.
Up in the stands, Gaara's eyes widened from the scream of anguish, his bloodlust was rising. He looked at the people that were around him, his mother tempting him to spill their blood, he held his head tightly, as the flow of Shukaku's words were driving him mad…
Down below, Hayate had checked on Yoroi and looked at the crowd as he raised his hand.
"Winner of the fifth match, Uchiha Sasuke."
As Sasuke walked up the stairs of the bleachers, he was met by a clearly upset Naruto, such was his feeling of anger when Sasuke had displayed no inhibitions, to Naruto, it seemed to form an all too chilling progress from the Uchiha, it wasn't the cursed seal that was implanting the suggestions…
The suggestions were being implanted from Sasuke's own conscious thought, such ill regard to the responsibilities in obtaining such a weapon was something that sent Naruto to a wake up call; he needed to put Sasuke under control.
"I didn't give you Guren Zanpaku so that you could kill him Sasuke."
The Uchiha sneered at that and remarked to the blonde, "But I didn't."
Naruto shook his head, as his anger spiked up and turned to fury as killing intent seemed to pour out of the blonde's eyes, "He was lucky! That Katon technique you did would have been more than enough to burn him to the ground. "
The blonde then continued, "The next time you do shit like this again Sasuke, or even worse if you try to betray Konoha and its ideals… I'll kill you myself, mercilessly."
Sasuke seemed to shiver at that seeing the blonde's almost calm and unwavering threat, Ino took a step back as the tension between Naruto and Sasuke began to rise.
It was then that the names began randomizing again, as it begun to check out the remaining fighters, all of them looked anxious, except for Gaara and Neji who looked at the screen with an aloof expression.
The screen had stopped, and ended with the names…
Abumi Zaku VS Aburame Shino.
Shino quietly left the stands and descended into the arena below, his enemy, who had a bandage and a sling on his right arm looked at the sunglasses boy that hid his lower mouth, his hands in his pockets.
"Fifth match of the preliminaries, Abumi Zaku VS Aburame Shino, begin!"
At that shout, Hayate stepped back as Shino's hands went out of his pockets. The boy raised his right hand and adjusted his sunglasses, carefully looking at Zaku and said, "Are you disgracing me with fighting a handicap?"
The boy asked, not a hint of emotion in his voice,
"Though I commend your spirit to fight against me in such a manner, I am the one with the advantage right now, why? Take a look at your back…"
Zaku looked at his back and saw thousands of bugs that littered around the floor, Zaku stood agape at the massive colonies of insects slowly creeping their way towards him.
"It is said that in the rule of fighting, you must always have an ace up your sleeve." Said Shino as he slowly pointed to Zaku
"Choose… Face my insects, or face me."
Shino's hand outstretched, bugs began to come out of his sleeves and from his neck.
Zaku seemed intimidated
Shino was not one to waste time, to him, efficiency is a thing of utmost importance, logic was his guide in fighting, unlike Shikamaru, Shino wasn't as smart, but he made up for it by showing more effort in his work, though he barely shows it. And unlike Naruto, Shino would rather stick first to the basics than advancing further, to him, the basics were the foundations of everything, it held a general idea to lead in situations, and it was his ideas that made team eight mostly survive throughout their excursions in the Forest of Death.
Up in the bleachers, the blonde member of Team Seven looked on in half interest as he said, "Shino's got this in the bag."
Kiba smirked and said, "You know your stuff blondie."
"Shut up, this is just as obvious to me as is to you, Shino's not one to take things half-assed like Shikamaru over there." To this he picked his nose and flung the revolting projectile straight to the pineapple headed boy.
"And unlike Shikamaru, Shino takes initiative and most of the time, his victims falls into his hands."
Kurenai seemed proud at Shino, what teacher wouldn't? Shino was, ideally anyway, a good embodiment of what a shinobi should be, logical, decisive and quick. To him, whatever works best, applies.
He wasn't as analytical as Shikamaru who was more or less better served for strategic tactics, nor was he theoretical like Naruto who was a master of seals and put all of his things to practice. No, Shino was someone in the middle, a jack of all trades one might say.
"Who the hell do you think you are? You think I'm helpless just because I can only use one arm?" Zaku exclaimed, as he forcefully lifted his broken arm, aiming his good arm at the horde of insects, and then aimed his broken right arm at Shino.
Zaku bit his lip from the pain, blood coming out of his lips as he endured the painful opening of his broken hand.
He began to breathe heavily, just maintaining that posture for long when his arm was injured was taking a toll, but Zaku persevered, the pain in his arm was not enough compared to the pain of scurrying the streets with no food and shelter.
Zaku grinned, that smile escaping his lips as he said to the boy with the sunglasses,
"You said that in a fight, you need to have an ace up your sleeve right?"
Shino remained silent, as if there was nothing to tell to the oto nin…
Zaku then turned his eyes to Shino whose hands remained in his pockets.
"Looks like I got a better hand…" Said Zaku as he pumped chakra to his palms
"Zankuuha! (Air Slicing Wave)"
Zaku expected the blast of air to come out of his palms; he expected the wind to blast the bug boy and his pets to oblivion.
But what he felt, was a very painful outbursts of chakra coming from every tenketsu on his arms, the chakra seemed to go out small geysers as they shot out, earning a powerful yelp of pain from Zaku. It was then that Shino had advanced in a blink of an eye, immediately closing the gap between him and Zaku. Shino unleashed a right straight on Zaku's cheek that sent him tumbling towards the path of insects, Zaku looked at him in shock as he asked the Aburame.
"Y-You… How did…?"
Shino, with the his aloof disposition replied in monotone, "Before you could have even prepared in opening that broken hand of yours, I capitalized on that opening and sent a swarm of insects straight to those chakra holes, plugging them shut."
"You were too busy ignoring your pain that you failed to notice my swarm had already closed that gap."
Shino then turned on his back as he said,
"I have the better hand."
With that, Zaku's chakra was consumed by the insects as the said Oto Nin began screaming in horror.
"Winner of the sixth match, Aburame Shino!"
Not much was to be said from Shino after letting his bugs consume Zaku almost bone dry of his chakra, as the next set of fighters began to be reeled in, Naruto looked forth at the sound Jounin that was smiling ever since the match between Sasuke and Yoroi.
The man remained unnoticed by the rest, as the blonde began to hold the handle bars in restraint.
That smile reminded him of that smirk that the Snake Sannin made in front of him, he had never forgotten that smile, that grin that made him remember that snake bastard, it was menacing, unsettling, mocking.
Naruto was barely able to keep his anger in check, as he struggled not to initiate an assault on the man, for fear of incidents that he didn't want to happen, he made a mental note to himself that he needed to report to the Hokage of someone infiltrating the preliminary exams, such an enemy slinking this deep in the village meant one thing,
An inside job.
Some bastard infiltrated Konoha, or someone from Konoha that defected went past the security or worse, someone in a high ranking position were giving away Konoha's defensive countermeasures and strategic locations.
Such a deep infiltration during a high security state event meant one thing,
Full Scale Invasion.
The blonde cursed, he had not realized it sooner, a list of the most powerful members of the ANBU would have probably been handed out already, along with the possibility of potential threats and that meant him being included in the list due to his very important status as a member of Konoha's military force.
His thoughts were interrupted when the names of the next set of fighters came up,
Inuzuka Kiba VS Sabaku no Kankurou
Kiba nodded in a serious expression as he jumped down from the bleachers and landed on the floor below, the one with the giant… Something on his back walked down the stairs apparently cradling his head as he smirked, "Heh, never thought I'd be up for somewhat a challenge."
Kiba gave a feral grin and said to the puppet user, "Watch it make up boy, or you'll be using vanishing creams in areas you don't want it on."
Kankurou seemed unfazed as he unloaded the pack of his puppet down and grabbed it by the end of the white cloth wrapped around, his left arm on the top of the puppet's still clothed body.
"My, my, I do hope that mouth of yours is more bite than bark, it would be a shame if I impale you with Karasu's blades early on."
That seemed to bring a smile on Kiba's face as he crouched down and placed his hands in the hitsuji seal.
"Trust me, after this is over, you wish you'd have taken a plastic surgery, not that you don't need one right now."
Kankurou grew irate at that, if the vein bulging at the back of his head was showing, "The hell is that? Okay that's it; you're going to be a new pin cushion for Karasu."
With that, he unfurled the puppet from his side as he let go of his left hand, and seams of chakra strings began appearing at the edge of his fingertips,
"Ninpo: Kugutsu no Jutsu (Ninja Art: Puppetry Skill)"
Kiba added salt to the wound, "What? Got your pride hurt? Well, might as well give you an apology, what would you like? A marionette or a blow up doll?"
That seemed to bring another level of anger from Suna's puppeteer,
"You are so dead."
Kiba then looked serious as he handed activated his Shikyaku no Jutsu (Four Legs Technique)
"Bring it, puppet boy!"
Kiba then gave Akamaru a red soldier pill,
"Akamaru, we're going to be double teaming this creep, you ready?"
The dog gave a single bark for confirmation and Kiba tossed him the pill,
"Gijuu Ninpo: Juujin Bunshin! (Beast Mimicry Ninja Art: Beast Man Clone)"
With that command, Akamaru transformed in a plume of smoke, revealing a clone of kiba, crouched down with his arms crossing each other,
With that Hayate had initiated the battle.
In an immediate burst of speed, Kiba and Akamaru dashed at a surprised Kankurou, who jumped back and shielded himself with Karasu pulling out some blades from the said puppet's torso that made Kiba and his pet think twice about slashing through the puppet, both Ninja and Ninja dog jumped to the side as Karasu spun around like a top.
Kiba smirked as both he and his partner dashed towards Kankurou, in a near zigzag pattern.
Kankurou glanced back and forth his mind being confused by the pattern of the dog and its master's footwork.
The kabuki nin cursed inwardly, jumping as again as both opponents closed the gap, Karasu was still retreating, almost unable to keep up with the speed of Kiba and his pet.
As Kankurou dodged another blow by jumping up, Karasu was dragged into the air as well, Kiba grinned as he jumped after Kankurou, with Akamaru jumping straight upwards,
Kiba spun much like Karasu did only this time, Kiba spun faster as he looked like a torrential torpedo about to slam and drill through the puppeteer, Kankurou put Karasu close to him and then stepped on its back, with a push with his feet, the puppet was used as a platform to dodge the drilling Kiba as the said boy sailed past Kankurou only to be surprised when he felt to slashes across his back…
Marks of a savage animal slashing Kankurou on the back was proof as Kiba's pet, descended below landing on all fours as Kankurou fell on the ground, With Kiba clung to the ceiling observing down below.
"This isn't over." Said Kiba, but stopped when he saw the prone form of Kankurou drizzled down into a form of sand.
"Tch… Knew it was a replacement, he must have done it when he kicked the puppet a while back…"
Kiba's sense of smell immediately kicked in as he jumped to the side avoiding Karasu's attack, forcing him to land on the floor below, he then ordered his pet,
"Akamaru! You know what to do!"
It was then that the pet obeyed his master, as it began sniffing the ground below, it looked around as it then located the scent of its target. Kiba, unknown to Kankurou, distracted the puppet master as Akamaru began to dash silently and neared to the giant hand seal statue and the dog spun around, piercing through rock and then almost hitting Kankurou who was hiding behind the statue. Kiba grinned as he landed on the floor dashing behind Akamaru.
Kankurou then cursed as the pet pierced through the tunnel with its own piercing fang, Kankurou sidestepped, barely hitting him by the skin of his teeth, until he realized Kiba was already on top of him, his own piercing fang activated
"Gatsuuga! (Double Piercing Fang)"
With a sudden burst of explosion courtesy of flying debris, Kiba appeared standing in the cloud of smoke his silhouette was ever present along with his pet dog, on the floor, was a knocked out Kankurou.
Naruto studied Kiba for a moment and realized why the boy had won.
"Kiba had a weapon that was his key to taking down Kankurou. It's his ability to pick up scents. He immediately discerned Kankurou's scent with the puppet and then used Akamaru, who's better in tracking scents to find the hiding Kankurou. Pretty impressive actually, he used his advantage of tracking and double teaming quite nicely."
"Winner of the match, Inuzuka Kiba!"
To this, Kiba jumped for joy along with his pet, as Kankurou was taken to the medical bay, As Kiba was ascending up, he felt his feet suddenly losing control and fell down.
"Kiba!" Kurenai shouted, she jumped down and looked at the boy for any signs of injuries, a small cut on Kiba's shoulder.
"Poison, most likely a neurotoxin, it seemed like he got cut when he was on the ceiling narrowly being cut. It's either the poison is slow acting or Kiba's rush made him ignore the pain." Mentioned Naruto, obviously, he had done his fair share of studying puppeteer ninjas, in that they rely on all those jack-in-the-box type of weapons that was like the uncle that you didn't want, it keeps appearing in parties that you know are going to kill you. Puppeteers were ambush tacticians, they relied on the surprise of the weapons hidden compartments around the puppet.
To Naruto, Puppets are only limited to a fight for only so much. If all the weapons had been revealed in a fight, then it was over, the puppet would become terribly predictable, giving the opponent the chance for the opponent to dodge and counterattack.
Quickly, the medics from the medical bay tended to Kiba putting him on a stretcher and taking him to the emergency department.
Another selection of fighters began to be randomized with the flash on the screen…
It was a match that the others had never foreseen off… To this, the Jounins cringed in worry, as the names were flashed before the screen,
Hyuuga Neji vs Hyuuga Hinata
Kurenai looked on to her charge in worry, as she said to the meek girl, "It's alright. You don't have to fight him if you don't want to…"
Hinata looked worried at Kurenai and then to Naruto who was staring intently down at Neji as if there was something within the blonde that was making him boil in absolute rage.
No. She shouldn't be scared… She had promised, she had promised to change herself! And right now, right in front of the boy that she admired, she would do anything for that approval!
As she approached down on the arena floor below, she looked rather hesitant in front of her cousin.
"I suggest you surrender now, your fate has been decided Hinata-sama." Neji said in monotone, as Hinata seemed to stop, as she stared into those icy white eyes that carried an inner hatred.
"You do not stand a chance against me, even if you were to put an effort, as of right now, you won't be able to put up a fight, much more a challenge."
Up in the bleachers, Naruto was getting furious, that bastard was berating Hinata! He hated people like them, loathed them with a passion, as he looked at Sasuke who remained indifferent, Naruto was looking in contempt, the grip on the handle bars were tightening the pressure applied on it was slowly crumpling from Naruto's anger.
Down below, Hinata was now starting to feel her nervousness catching up, she was slowly starting to tremble, as despair was now catching up within her. Her habits were resurfacing.
"The way you put your finger in your mouth, it shows your uncertainty, you are beginning to be afraid. You're heavy breathing is a sign of fear, you want to run, but you feel that you can't."
To this, Neji stared Hinata straight in the eye, "I feel the need to tell you this Hinata-sama; you are a failure."
As if a sword had driven into her heart, the Hyuuga Heiress stood stunned, as she began to see the image of her father from behind Neji.
You are useless… Get out of my sight!
Such fear made Hinata step back further
No… No… No! Stop… Don't continue anymore!
Her inner self was crying now as Neji took a step forward, his unwavering gaze upon his relative
"Useless trash, you are the symbol of the Hyuuga clan's shame, quit now before you give the main house anymore dishonour. A failure, will always be a failure, for it is fate. These eyes, they see everything, they do not lie."
Naruto finally had enough.
"Don't you dare…"
He muttered, his voice growing louder as he stared at Neji, he shouted to the older Hyuuga, the blonde's eyes becoming darker, as hatred began filling him…
"DON'T YOU DARE TREAT HINATA LIKE SOME OBJECT, YOU SCUM! IF YOU BERATE HER ANYMORE, AFTER THIS MATCH IS OVER, RULES OR NOT, I WILL MAKE SURE YOU PAY FOR CALLING HER A FAILURE!"
Neji looked in disdain, such barbaric behaviour of a wiped out clan,
"Meddling fool… No wonder your clan was wiped out, must be a family full of failures unable to produce a shinobi that could control their powers…"
It was then that Naruto's voice grew Icy cold, "What?"
His voice had been from one with anger, to absolute loathing as his eyes grew as cold and as murderous as Gaara's. The jinchuuriki of the One Tail smiled gleefully at Naruto's expression.
The older Hyuuga turned around, meeting with the stern gaze of Maito Gai.
"Focus on your match."
"HINATA! PROVE HIM WRONG! DON'T LET HIM DEEM YOU A FAILURE, KICK HIS ASS!"
Hinata seemed to snap out of her fear suddenly as she looked up at the blonde, his focus was on Neji, and in his eyes, it showed all of the contempt that Naruto had held back against Neji.
She knew Naruto was not one to hold back his compulsions, by chance, Hinata saw that Naruto wanted to channel his anger to Hinata, beating Neji would bring that satisfaction to himself and to hers as well.
"No… I won't run away… I don't want to run anymore." She said, a strong resolve exiting her voice, no more was her stutter, as it now was replaced with one thing,
In her resolve she looked at Neji, "Neji-niisan… I won't back down."
Neji smirked, his arrogance now showing, "I am going to enjoy this…"
Hinata then began concentrating as she used the same handsigns that activated her Doujutsu (Eye Technique)
"Byakugan!" Hinata shouted, as veins began to bulge around the outer axis of her eyes, Neji doing the same
Both fighters then assumed the Gentle Fist stance
"Eighth Match, Hyuuga Neji vs Hyuuga Hinata! Begin!"
In that very moment, the fighters dashed at each other.
As they met head on, their right arms outstretched at each other, as they both aimed it at their opponent.
Both hands hitting their respective palms, the force of chakra repulsing each other created a small shockwave around the two fighters, as the hands were both parried away, Neji took initiative and extended his left arm, aiming for Hinata's cheek, Hinata ducked and gave a swiping upward palm, Neji raised his chin slightly making the heiress miss her target, she turned around and gave a forceful straight palm at Neji, who sidestepped and delivered another palm, this time straight to Hinata's chest.
To many that watched, it looked like a choreographed set of moves, like a very graceful dance, as both fighters switched with their foot work and both trying to land a blow on each other, for Jyuuken meant one blow was equivalent to early incapacitation.
Hinata leaned back, the blow barely touching her, she then parried with her left hand and struck another palm strike straight at Neji's abdomen. Neji parried the blow as began to reach out with his left with a straight Palm thrust, this time to Hinata's shoulder, Hinata countered parrying it with her own hand but surprised Neji, when she resulted to slide her left leg to his left side, and allowed Neji's extended hand to pass through, missing Hinata by a mile. Neji stumbled, as he looked at Hinata who was now aiming to strike his side, Neji gritted his teeth.
This fool… This, worthless failure! How dare she sully his art!
With a sudden movement, this time in anger, Neji had dodged the blow by ducking under Hinata's outstretched hand, and with his right hand closed except for the middle and index finger, she hit Hinata's forearm. Forcing pain through Hinata making her stagger, and a straight palm…
A lethal strike to the chest.
Hinata coughed up blood, as she staggered back, Neji held Hinata's outstretched arm, and slid the sleeve up, revealing somewhat bruised spots on her skin… Kakashi had immediately recognized them
"I-Impossible… At such a young age… He can see the Tenketsu points!?"
Naruto seemed surprised as well, his eyes widening as he saw below, that indeed, Neji had struck Hinata on the forearm with two fingers, on a common pressure point, to where, theoretically, the tenketsu lay.
"Tenketsu… This is the first time that I've heard of it…" Ino said, Naruto answered,
"The tenketsu are points in which chakra is expelled, the body currently has three hundred and sixty one, tenketsu points in the body, theoretically, once you hit one of these points with the right amount of chakra, you could control how the flow of chakra goes to the body, by either opening it fully, or closing it. Blocking the passageway renders the part of the body useless to deliver any chakra."
"I-I'm not giving up…" Hinata muttered,
Hearing those words, Neji then pushed the girl away and delivered another palm strike to the Hyuuga girl's face. Hinata fell down as she was thrown back by the blow on the ground, Neji turned his back from the girl, showing his disrespect, he said to the proctor,
"This is over, proctor, call the match."
Hayate was about to call the match, Naruto objected,
"Don't! She's still standing!"
Pointed the blonde to Hinata, who was cradling her sore arm and breathing heavily, the chakra pathways to her heart were damaged and to an extent was the natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial node. It was sending irregular impulses to her heart, but Hinata's strong will still made her stand.
"I-I'm not giving up… I don't take back my words; it's my ninja way…"
Her breathing was haggard; she could barely lift her chin to face Neji.
The said Hyuuga prodigy looked on in disbelief, as the heiress still had the will to stand after such a vicious blow…
"Give up, Hinata-sama… Stand down. Don't suffer anymore." Was his firm reply, turning his back again, this time, Hinata said to Neji,
"D-Don't… tell me that… Y-you've been suffering too… I can see it in your eyes, all that pain that you try to suppress… M-My eyes can see everything… T-they do not lie…"
This failure… How dare she!?
She was insulting his pride! No one dares to sully his pride!
"No! The match has already been decided!" Hayate shouted, about to intervene, that sudden flow of killing intent filled the room, it was enough to startle the Jounin and began to jump
With a sudden burst of speed, Neji rushed towards Hinata, about to deliver a straight fatal strike to the heart, about to sever the chakra passageways to the heart completely.
But not before something happened, a dark blur pushed him back, to the opposite wall, nailing him there as his arms outstretched like being crucified, It was then that Naruto had appeared in front of him, wearing a dark tattered coat, as inside it was scarlet red as his forearms were covered in bandages.
But what caught his attention, were Naruto's eyes, they were as black as black as the starless night, overwhelming contempt and loathing was within him, he had changed form once again, but this time, compared to his first one earlier, the tattered coat didn't have that mane around the neck area, and the overwhelming force seemed to multiply.
But what startled the Hyuuga Prodigy, was the madness and released inhibitions from his eyes, as he felt he had foreseen his death…
As Neji stared into Naruto's dark eyes, his collar was held by Naruto's left arm, his right arm posed to deliver a punch, but not before being stopped by Kakashi,
"Stop, Naruto, it isn't worth it."
Naruto looked at Kakashi for a second, Kakashi froze, the emotion that the blonde was portraying, it was the same as the one that he had seen a few years back…
'His face looked like the time when Itachi was driven mad… This isn't good…'
Naruto loosened his grip on Neji's clothes as the said Hyuuga adjusted his clothes smugly and went upstairs but not before Naruto could make a point.
Naruto punched the wall behind Neji with all his might, as ten meters in height of the solid four inch concrete wall shattered under the force of Naruto's blow. He eyed Neji, his contempt was still present as Naruto heard the medics taking the Hyuuga heiress away, before she could suffer a cardiac arrest.
Naruto pointed to Neji and then said, still in his dark form, "When you face me at the finals, I won't show any mercy as you did with Hinata, I'll cripple you, teme. Nobody deserves to be called useless trash."
Neji for the first time, could feel the nervousness coming from him in strides, the sweat on his brow was proof enough.
With that, Neji went upstairs, wary, and for the first time, fear had encompassed his heart.
Gai looked on to the small blonde child that went the opposite direction and climbed up the stairs his form reverting back to that tattered orange jumpsuit.
'Neji has unleashed a monster… May kami-sama help us all…'
To be continued…
Update! Team Eight spotlight for the moment and a glimpse of one of Naruto's elemental transformations. All will be explained about it as the story progresses and the mystery of Uzumaki clan unravels.
Katon: Housenka no Jutsu (Fire Release: Mythical Fire Flower Skill) C-Rank, rapid fire, fireballs, no smaller than a baseball, not as powerful as Goukakyou no Jutsu but faster and more accurate.
Katon: Ryuuka no Jutsu (Fire Release: Dragon Fire Skill) C-Rank, a move that follows the trail of the attached binding object to the opponent.
Zankuuha (Air Slicing Wave) C-Rank, Special jutsu, kind of like a hijutsu except not that exclusive just requiring an equipment, the chakra is converted to sonic waves that blast an opponent in high pressure.
Shikayaku no Jutsu (Four Legs Technique)- Supplementary C-rank, mimics a four legged mammal and increases speed and claws grow as well as the incisors or fangs. Family jutsu, exclusive to the Inuzuka Clan.
Gijuu Ninpo: Juujin Bunshin (Animal Mimicry Ninja Art: Beast-Man Clone) any Ninken can do this as long as they are given a special soldier pill. The partner Ninken transforms into the form of its owner as well as the activation of Shikyaku no Jutsu. Family Jutsu, exclusive to the Inuzuka Clan.
Tsuuga (Piercing Fang) Taijutsu/Ninjutsu based attack, where the user becomes like a drill, spinning in a very fast motion. It is powerful enough to dig through holes. Family Jutsu, exclusive to the Inuzuka Clan.
Gatsuuga (Double Piercing Fang) Taijutsu/Ninjutsu attack, a doubled piercing fang, basically doubles power. Family Jutsu, exclusive to the Inuzuka Clan.
Guren Zanpaku, First two forms
Ichi no Shiki: Rensa Mikadzuki (First Form: Chained Half moon), The default form of Guren Zanpaku, a kusarigama with a handle and a chain.
Ni no shiki: Taiyou to Tsuki (Second Form: Sun and Moon) Second form, sword and shield, the sword is a chakra based sword and the shield can be used as an offense weapon as well as defence.
More forms will be explained and revealed in future chapters
"I will show to you, the fruits of my hard work! Hachimon Tonkou! Daichimon Kaimon! Kai! (Eight Gates Relase, First Gate, Limit Gate, Release!)"
"This technique that I have worked hard and persevered day and night, This will be my trump card! Omote Renge! (Primary Lotus)"
In that moment, the whirling spinning death descended into the floor below planting the opponent's head into the ground floor.
Everything he had done… He had exceeded…
Next Chapter: Into the Belly of the Beast…