Now… NOW we get to see some FIGHTIN'!
Note: My old symbol for a scene change, three asterisks, is now removed by the fanfiction site. I plan to use the symbol (scene). Thank you.
Chapter Twelve-The First Rounds
"Welcome, at long last, to the Konoha Chunin exams!" called a loud voice, belonging to a woman with pigtails, green and braided. "Have we got a wonderful event for you today… the son of the Kazekage, one of the very last Uchiha… rumour has it that several competitors are already in the bingo books!"
There was a collective gasp of amazement from much of the audience. In the area where the thirty-five remaining ninja were gathered, Ino tried to look as non threatening as possible.
Houfo, the Iwa-nin, glared at her.
"This competition shall take the form of a knockout tournament, until a single winner is crowned victorious. They will automatically reach chunin rank, but that doesn't mean the other participants cannot." said another woman quietly. She too had green hair, but it was in a single, long ponytail. "The chunin rank is awarded primarily on judgement, not merely skill. Even if you are defeated in the first round, you still have a chance." she said calmly, clearly treating this as a more solemn event than the other.
"We're your hosts,"
"Proctors. We're the proctors."
"We're your proctors, children of the heavens, this is Tenshi Lynna and I am Tenshi Becka!"
There was some applause, and surprise. The two were reasonably well known; adopted children of a powerful ninja known as the Heaven Sage.
"Let's not keep them waiting any more." said Becka jovially. "I hear we have three Kage here today, and I'm sure they're already a little bored. Let's begin the first battle!"
A screen lit up on the arenas wall, two silhouettes on it. The silhouettes began changing, rapidly, between all the competitors. Kanji to the side of each gave the genin's name-and then they settled suddenly.
Silence fell across the arena.
Becka's face went pale with worry as she saw the two.
"Haruno Sakura of Konohagakure." said Lynna quietly. "Versus… Sabaku No Gaara, of Suna."
A swirl of sand indicated the jinchuriki's appearance in the arena, while the pink haired girl took a little longer to descend, taking the staircase. Up in the viewing boxes, two different coversations were going on.
"Stop the fight." said Kurenai. "She's better, but no matter what training she's had… I've heard of him."
"We can't stop the fights, Kurenai. We just have to cope." said Asuma, grimly. "And… I have faith in her."
"Is this one of your precious Wolves, Hiruzen?" asked the Raikage, up in the box specifically made for the Kage.
"She is not." said Sarutobi, with a shake of his head. He dearly hoped the child would win, hindsight had pointed out that only three 'normal' genin had graduated this year, the rest taken up by the wolves. Amazingly, each of them was participating in this exam.
"Your girl should just quit." said the Kazekage. "No-one can stand against Gaara."
At least, from what I hear, thought Orochimaru, under his disguise.
"Three. Two. One. Begin!" counted down Lynna, quietly, before shouting out the last word and leaping back.
Sakura immediately drew a kunai, throwing it at the boy as she darted of sideways.
This is my chance, she thought. My chance to prove that I'm just as good as anyone.
The kunai clashed against a shield of sand that wasn't there moments before, and a tongue of the fine substance lashed out, narrowly missing her as she leapt sideways. Another pair of kunai met the same response, and Sakura scowled slightly.
Not giving up yet, she promised herself. She'd win this if she had to reveal every trick she'd hidden.
"Gimankaze." she murmured, forming a few short handsigns, and then crying out "Bunshin no Jutsu!"
Several members of the audience cried out in disbelief. A clone technique in a chunin exam?
Sakura took no notice, three of her running off in different directions, as a cool breeze started blowing. Gaara's sand lashed out, but missed all of them, striking just a little to the left of each of them. Sakura accelerated, an impressive speed that was significantly above most ninja, the three clones surrounding Gaara. Another lash of sand came out, striking one of the Sakura, going through her like she wasn't there, although the Bunshin remained.
The breeze stopped.
"Shakishaki Tenshi!" cried out Sakura's voice. An arrow of gold-white light blasted outwards, as all three clones vanished, the real Sakura appearing out of nowhere near to the clone Gaara had disregarded. The arrow sped towards Gaara, who didn't expect it-
And struck his sand armour, just over his heart. The armour cracked-the force of the technique had clearly been enough to damage it, and would likely leave a bruise.
Gaara turned to face her, and a tendril of sand whipped out, then a second, then a wave of the golden stuff, rolling like water. Sakura had nowhere to go as it grabbed her legs, her arms, and lifted her into the air.
"Sabaku Kyu." said Gaara, calmly, as always.
Sakura took three moments to figure out that there was no way out.
"I… I surrender. I give in!" she said, sadly, quietly the first time, and then panicked.
Gaara made no indications of stopping.
The sand tightened slightly.
A golden arrow sped through the tendril of sand linking Sakura and Gaara, and a blade of the same light slashed through the sand holding Sakura up. She fell to the floor, breathing deeply.
"This match is over." said Lynna, helping Sakura up, as Becka lowered a bow of white wood. "Gaara, of Sunagakure, is the winner."
There was a moment when Gaara looked truly mutinous, but, to the thankfulness of all present, it passed. A swirl of sand took him back into the box, while Sakura was taken up to the viewing platforms. Asuma praised her for her misdirection, her tactics, and most of all for knowing when to stop, but she was a little bitter that she'd had to fight a being that powerful. Something about him felt… wrong.
"And after the first round, which showed some skilful use of misdirection and genjutsu to secure an opening," began Becka, clearly a little bias towards Sakura. "We move on. Let's see who's next!" she said excitedly, as the board began to spin through names and images.
"Nara Shikamaru, of Konoha." she cried out. "And…. Aburame Shino, also of Konoha!"
The two boys met face to face on the battlefield. The signal was made to begin, but neither of them acted. On the ground next to Shikamaru was Kuroimaru, his ninken.
"Don't think this will be easy." said Shino abruptly.
"I have no delusions that this will be anything but troublesome…" muttered Shikamaru.
They lapsed into silence again.
And a lash of beetles drove towards Shikamaru, he and Kuroimaru avoiding it in opposite directions, Shikamaru throwing a kunai in retaliation-which Shino merely swayed to avoid.
"Kagemane no Jutsu." called Shikamaru, forming the trademark handsign. Shino leapt away, dashing backwards to avoid the creeping shadow, and a cloud of insects emerged to attack Shikamaru.
"Mistake." said the Nara calmly. "A swarm of insects casts a lot of shadows."!
Under his glasses, Shino's eyes widened. One insect was no shadow at all, but…
"And now what?" said Shino. "We're both trapped."
"Kuroimaru." said Shikamaru simply. Shino blinked as comprehension dawned.
"Tsuuga." smiled Shikamaru, as his companion struck Shino from behind, breaking the technique and launching a Tsuuga of his own, catching Shino between the two of them.
Shino collapsed, bleeding from dozens of small scratches.
"The round is yours." he said, wincing as he, with some difficulty, stood. "I know when I've lost."
"Round two to Shikamaru, of Konoha!" shouted Becka, as Lynna provided Shino with some help and the medical-nin entered for him. "A real battle of wits there, but some clever tactics put Shikamaru into the second round. But let's move on quickly! Next… We have… Dageki Ikei, of Iwagakure, against Tenten of the Sequoia Wolves. I'm sure that these two girls will give us one hell of a fight!"
Tenten smiled slightly. She'd heard about this girl's prodigious melee power, and it seemed simple-stay out of range and bombard her with projectiles. Ikei, on the other hand, was sure that the girl would be easy prey.
Time would tell.
Tenten began with a shuriken, throwing it at phenomenal speed.
Ikei caught it between two fingers, the edge upon her forehead, and smiled. A trickle of blood came from the tiny cut.
She bought the shuriken down, licked it, and then snapped it with her fingers as if it were a twig.
"That it?" she grinned widely, before dashing towards Tenten.
Tenten's eyes widened and she leapt away, speeding up a tree and launching a hail of kunai, each of which was deflected with apparent ease. Cursing, she performed the handsigns for her Blade Clone, two ephemeral copies of her, armed with katana, appearing next to the girl. They began to attack, powerful sweeping motions, and managed nothing. Their assault was deadly, and Ikei's defence was flawless. She danced around them, as if in some kind of intricately choreographed dance.
Then she seemed to get bored, and in a single moment struck the clones just where they held the blades, knocking them from their grasp. Unfortunately, this was the exact weakness of the technique-and they vanished. Ikei clearly knew her stuff.
Tenten cursed again, drawing a pair of scrolls from her side. She hadn't wanted to show this this early, but…
She placed them quickly on the branch before her, quickly moving through some hand signs, before leaping up into the air with a cry
The two scrolls shot into the air, looking like paired dragons for a split second, and Tenten stretched out her arms.
A storm of weapons flew for Ikei. Metal edges filled the air, the ground torn up by countless blades, blood splattering from dozens of small cuts.
And nothing larger. Ikei grinned. Tenten gasped in shock as she started to fall back down. This girl was too fast, too strong.
Ikei met her in the air and hit her, just once. Tenten flew like a missile to the wall of the arena, cracked it, and fell to the ground.
The ensuing silence was broken by Becka sadly proclaiming the Iwa-nin the victor.
Please bear in mind that I have an English-to-Japanese dictionary and nothing more. I have to use words that are NEARLY the ones I want. Put simply? These translations are what they SHOULD say, not what they do.
Shakishaki Tenshi-Angelic Precision
Sabaku Kyu-Desert Waterfall Coffin
Sabaku Soso-Desert Waterfall Funeral
Tentou Daigeki-Heaven Strike
Kagemane No Jutsu-Shadow Possession Technique
Daiga Bunshin No Jutsu-Blade Clone Technique
Soshoryu-Twin Rising Dragons
It's been a long time. A mixture of a growing habit of procrastination and the excuse of exams and school has led to me not writing very much.
…finding and joining an awesome forum and learning so far three roleplaying systems might be part of it as well. (sweatdrop)
Here's to another update in less time!