Chapter 8-Hollow Fury
(A/N: Yeah I know. Long time coming. Blame the economy. LOL! But seriously, I've been busy, and a mind tends to wander after awhile. The poll is over and to be honest it has been for sometime before now. I just wanted to see how far people would go in the voting and boy did it go far. Nearly 1000 votes total. WOW! Now THAT is democracy at work right there. ENJOY!)
Naruto sat in a chair next to Hinata's bed, his eyes never leaving the girl fighting for her life after what Neji had done upon losing to the girl in the Preliminaries, and what it had awakened within the Namikaze. The blonde was completely livid inside, his own various emotions had become a chaotic storm that would rip apart anyone unfortunate enough to get sucked into it, and no one was that stupid in provoking what lay within him.
"Naruto," was the smooth feminine voice that only his Mother could produce.
"I can't talk right now Mom. It...it hurts to much to talk about it," said Naruto, as he could not look at the woman that saved him from his own Hell, and mold him into the warrior she was proud to call her son.
"I know. I know how much it hurts. You know of the Fracción I had in my other life in Hueco Mundo, right?" said Tia, as she saw him nod, but never look away from Hinata, and just stare at the girl barely clinging to life.
"Yes. They were precious to you," said Naruto while putting a hand on Hinata's own.
"Then you know how much it hurts to see someone close to you near death. What will you do now my son?" said Tia, as she saw him finally look at her, and with cold blue eyes that were filled with fury.
"I'm going to train for the Chuunin Exam Finals. I'm going to make sure that something like this never happens again on my watch," said Naruto before kissing Hinata's hand and left the room.
"And Hyuuga Neji? What have you decided with him?" said Tia having decided to watch over the girl for now in her son's absence.
"I thought that would be obvious at this point. I'm going to kill him. I'm going to kill him and there is not a soul in this world that can stand in my way," said Naruto coldly before he left the room to leave his Mother to stare at Hinata.
"He loves you girl. I hope you know that. Naruto may not know it yet, but his heart is in such a state of pain because of the love he feels for you, and the belief in his mind that he could have done something to stop Neji from hurting you. It will no doubt haunt him for years. My son doesn't think you are weak Hinata. Far from it. However, my son also does not want someone he cares about to fall at the hands of such a coward like Neji, and those like him," said Tia knowing the girl loved Naruto back, but it was hard for her to admit it, and even then there was a chance the Hyuuga Clan would denounce such happiness.
(Hokage Tower-A Few Days Later)
"You little shit! Do you know what you've done?" said Tsunade, as she glared evilly at the bound Hyuuga Branch member, and saw he was not feeling guilty in the slightest.
"Simple. I removed a stain on the Hyuuga Clan," said Neji calmly despite the ANBU flanking him ready to kill him on the Hokage's order should she give it.
"Not quite. Fortunately, I was able to save Hinata from your cowardly act, and she is now slowly recovering in the hospital. She'll be there for nearly a Month," said Tsunade while seeing anger flash briefly in the Hyuuga's eyes.
'Damn it!' thought Neji knowing his chance to remove Hinata permanently had been lost.
"Oh it gets better. You see, I had a nice, and looong talk with my Godson. He wants you dead and in a very bad way. I'd give the order right here with these two ANBU doing it themselves if I believed that it would make all parties wanting your ass dead to be happy. You see after that talk we had on deciding what to do you Neji, Naruto came up with an ingenious way to see you suffer, and it was ironically enough thanks to Rock Lee's help," said Tsunade looking at the shock Hyuuga boy in front of her.
"Rock Lee? That failure? He didn't even get a chance to fight due to the forfeiting of his own opponent," said Neji seeing Tsunade scowl at him.
"Yes. Your teammate feels himself unworthy of his position and even more so just by being your teammate. By backing out of the Chuunin Exam Finals, a spot has opened up, which we now have to fill despite one already vacant from Hinata herself now that her injuries make it impossible for the girl to compete," said Tsunade while Neji had the nerve smirked slightly thinking he would participate in the Chuunin Exams after all.
'So Fate sides with me at last,' thought Neji before the smirk was literally backhanded off his face by Tsunade's fist.
"Wipe the stupid smirk off your face you fool! Naruto suggested this. Not me. You see, the lineup of matches has changed drastically because of his suggestion, and it won't be Naruto VS Sabaku no Gaara. No! Naruto will be fighting YOU!" said Tsunade seeing the Hyuuga boy looking at her with surprise and a hint of fear.
Good! The fear of death would make things worse for the Hyuuga.
"N-Naruto?" said Neji, as he remembered that murderous look the Namikaze had, and how the blonde wanted to rip him to pieces.
"Yes. Naruto. My Godson wants you in the arena. There, I will announce the changes to the match lineup, and why you are fighting against him. I'm going to enjoy watching the people of this village show you the same hatred they've shown Naruto when I tell them how you tried to kill your cousin out of spite after she won her match against you," said Tsunade seeing Neji realize just how bad this would become.
The people would forever hate him. The people would forever speak his name of one of dishonor. Even the Hyuuga Clan would have no choice, but to do the same, and speak ill of his actions despite the Elders wanting this more then himself.
"I want to make a deal," said Neji quickly in the hopes he could possibly bargain with the Hokage.
"No deals. No pleas from you. I don't care what you have to offer me or Naruto. You are going to fight him and you are going to die! At least have the spine to die fighting," said Tsunade seeing the boy was now understanding what it meant to feel fear.
"And if I should somehow win against Naruto?" said Neji hopefully while wondering if he would somehow earn his freedom.
"You won't. If by some act of Kami that you do win...I'll finish what he started and you'll beg for death before then," said Tsunade before motioning her two ANBU to take the brat out of her sight.
(Sarutobi Clan Home-Three Weeks Later)
"He doesn't want to see you Naruto. Hell, my Father didn't want to speak to Jiraiya, or Tsunade since his seclusion," said Asuma while letting the boy in on the Hokage's orders.
"I'm not giving him a choice," said Naruto while sensing where the retired Hokage was and headed for the old man.
The former Sandaime Hokage was seated in a chair just outside the house in the backyard by the door, sitting their with a cup of tea in hand, a blanket around his waist, and looking like an old man in a retirement home currently enjoying the last few years of his life that he had left before the end came. Some of the signs of stress from the many long years of working behind the Hokage's desk were not there so much like they were before Tsunade took over. For a man not wanting to be disturbed, Naruto could see Sarutobi Hiruzen was having a nice day, and didn't want it ruined by anyone.
"I have been waiting for you to visit me ever since the entire Month since the Chuunin Exam Preliminaries ended Naruto," said Hiruzen while turning to see Naruto and saw the boy had changed from the two last saw each other.
The boy wore all black. It actually suited him much better then orange though Uzumakis were known to have strange tastes. Black pants, shirt, and trench coat with the orange colored kanji for "Hollow Fox" on it if the blonde were to show it off to the old man. On the Genin's back was the kid's zanpakuto and the old Hokage wondered how Tsunade could even allow the fox to have any form of freedom outside of Naruto.
"I saw you now because I've finished training for the Chuunin Exam Finals and wanted to take a few days left before then to handle some unfinished business.
"With your...sword," said Hiruzen while seeing Naruto's eyes narrow at him.
"So you know the source behind its creation," said Naruto with the old man nodding with a frown on his face.
"Word spreads fast and I make it my business to still hear things when it pertains to you Naruto," said Hiruzen before sipping some of his tea.
"Still trying to figure out a way to manipulate me like before huh? I thought your second time into retirement would have helped you let go of such an obsession. Of course, you were always obsessed with power, and Kyuubi is power incarnate with its wielder being unstoppable with the right training," said Naruto seeing the former Hokage frown at his words.
"You still hate me for what I did in making your life miserable," said Hiruzen while the blonde in front of him just scoffed.
"I got over it a long time ago. I'm here because I want to know why you commissioned Orochimaru to make a seal to counter the one holding Kyuubi? Jiraiya told you that if such a seal was put on me for too long, I would be turned into a bomb, and go boom in a heavily enemy infested area. Yet you had it on hand to use regardless. Why? Wasn't it enough that I was treated like crap and forced to serve in ungrateful village?" said Naruto with the former Hokage of Konoha looking away from him.
"You wouldn't understand Naruto. The people wanted you dead or under control. I had to compromise with the populace," said Hiruzen while trying to sip some more tea, but the blonde took it from his hand, and crushed the cup with ease.
"You couldn't have just kept the secret from them.? Like by...oh I don't know...not telling them!" said Naruto seeing the old man look away from his line of sight.
"It was impossible to hide the truth. Your Father wanted them to know since he believed the people of Konoha would see you as a hero. I was simply following his dying wish," said Hiruzen while Naruto scowled at him further.
"You only let half of the dying wish come true. Not once did you ever try to correct the mess you made in the process. You just...compromised with them. You. The Hokage of Konoha. The proclaimed Kami of Shinobi was bargaining with people that couldn't hold a candle to your skills and years of experience. Compromising with them rather then just putting your foot down like a Kage would and should do. Do you even feel any guilt about what you did?" said Naruto, as he saw the former Sandaime Hokage look at him, and it was clear the man didn't care.
"No. Everything that I have done to ensure the village stayed strong, including my own actions in denying the life that you should have had, I feel was the correct path, and there is no guilt in my heart," said Hiruzen while Naruto just looked at him with disgust.
"My Father would disagree. So would my Mother," said Naruto while Hiruzen scoffed.
"Your surrogate parents and their opinions don't count," said Hiruzen before feeling the blade that was Zangetsu at his throat.
"I was talking about my biological parents you dumb old fool! Do you really think they would have agreed to your actions?" said Naruto while Hiruzen seemed fearful of the zanpakuto.
"They would not have been unbiased," said Hiruzen while flinching at feeling the blade touch his neck.
"As you were? I know about your wife. I know how she was killed when my Mother was pregnant and you blame the Kyuubi for it. So how can you be more unbiased then them?" said Naruto while Hiruzen frowned at the memory of his wife being found dead.
"He can't answer Naruto. He didn't even expect you to know that piece of information I told you," said Zangetsu knowing that the old man wouldn't be able to give an answer unless it was a lie.
"You are hypocrite and liar. You betrayed my Mother, my Father, Godmother, and I am ashamed of you for how your greatness in being the Hokage has been tainted by your own actions against me. You may not feel guilt now old man, but know this...Hell will make you know guilt, and you will beg for mercy in the dark cold abyss. Enjoy your remaining years old man. They will be as close to Heaven as you will ever get in this life," said Naruto before leaving the former Sandaime Hokage to dwell on his words.
"You spared him. Why?" said Zangetsu curiously.
'It doesn't matter if I kill him or not Zangetsu. The old man is going to Hell regardless of how it happens. Nothing can change that for him,' thought Naruto while going to spend the remainder of the day with his two favorite girls right now.
Haku and Hinata.
"You are looking better," said Haku, as she had been assigned to watch over Hinata, and saw the Hyuuga girl was making a strong recovery.
"Thank you. I feel better thanks to Tsunade-sama and her healing me. I just wish...," said Hinata, as she had been told what awaited Neji, and how it was going to happen.
"That Neji would not have such hatred in his heart. That he was not about to be slain and his dishonorable act revealed to the village," said Haku, as she saw Hinata nod, and knew it was hurting the girl inside.
"I know Neji doesn't mean it deep down. Surely the grief of losing his Father because of my failure to act all those years ago hasn't removed the good in him," said Hinata while Haku just smiled at her.
"It was never your fault," said Naruto having entered the room and now getting their attention focused on him.
"But it was! I was too weak and...," said Hinata, but the Namikaze's raised hand put a stop to that, and he walked over to her.
"You were three years old and just starting to learn your Gentle Fist Style. You were also asleep in the safety of your own house and had no reason to suspect someone would even try such an ct. How could a child fight off a Jounin level Shinobi?" said Naruto seeing the girl look down and he could see she had reached the same conclusion as he did.
"I couldn't," said Hinata with Naruto nodding.
"Correct. Neji's actions against you were unjust. His actions were his own. While there is grief at the loss of his Father dying in the aftermath of it all to keep the peace, it was one worthy of a Hero, and it was one that should have been honored," said Naruto seeing the girl admit that his words held a great deal of weight to them.
"I have always honored my Uncle. In fact, I have wished to remove the Cage Bird Seal from my clan from awhile now, and use an alternative that would unite our family," said Hinata seeing Naruto smile at such a noble goal.
"Does Neji know about this?" said Haku knowing if he did it might have changed the Hyuuga's opinion about Hinata.
"It wasn't like I kept it a secret. Anyone in the clan regardless of their position could see how much I hated the Cage Bird Seal being used. It was a perversion of the true purpose behind its original creation. In fact, I have long believed the version we use now is a second generation based version from the original, but any proof I've found has always been circumstantial, and any attempt to dig deeper puts myself at risk of being marked too," said Hinata seeing Haku and Naruto look at each other before back at her.
"Second generation. What was the first one like?" said Naruto curiously.
"From what I was able to gather, the first generation Cage Bird Seal was made for the purpose in sealing the clan's bloodline upon death, or the risk of it being removed while the Hyuuga was alive. But sometime after Konoha was founded and the Hyuuga Clan had joined, a new version was made with the approval of the Shodaime himself in return for the clan's loyalty. At first, I didn't understand why until I saw the Shodaime was married to an Uzumaki, and apparently Uzumakis were feared if not respected for their unrivaled skills in the Sealing Arts. I think the Shodaime allowed such a thing because he knew the Uzumaki Clan could one day make a newer version of the Cage Bird Seal that everyone in the Hyuuga Clan could wear," said Hinata seeing Naruto nod since he had inherited that skill from his Mother.
"I heard the Uzumaki Clan was wiped out with Naruto-kun being the last of their blood," said Haku seeing the Hyuuga girl nod and Naruto doing so with a sad look on his face.
"They were so any chance of a new seal being made was lost with them," said Hinata, as she saw Naruto smirking now, and frowned in curiosity.
"Not necessarily. I am very skilled in seals and an Uzumaki on my Mother's side. I just need a little time and could probably make a newer version that everyone in your clan could wear," said Naruto seeing Hinata's eyes shine with hope in them.
"R-Really?" said Hinata with Naruto smiling at her.
"I'll use all my skills to do it. I won't be able to make it out of thin air of course and I need to have some more training with Jiraiya-san since he's the last Seal Master Konoha has right now. It will take time to get to his level if not surpass him in the Sealing Arts," said Naruto knowing he will need to focus more time on that skill to make Hinata's dream come true.
"I can wait. All I ask is that it one day happen," said Hinata seeing Naruto nod knowing he would use all his power to make her dream a reality.
"It will. Sadly, Neji will not live long enough to see it become a reality," said Naruto, as he saw Hinata nod, and look away with a sense of sadness once more cloaking her form.
"Could you spare him? Please!" said Hinata, as she saw Naruto look away, and it was clear he didn't want to do that.
"Its not possible now. Even if I didn't fight him, Neji would die anyway by the order of the Hokage, and not even my connection in being her Godson has the power to change the woman's mind. He violated Konoha Laws with what your cousin did after you won your match against him. One way or another...Neji is a dead man," said Naruto seeing Hinata unable to look at him while grief took her once more and had to leave the room knowing she probably didn't want to see him right now.
"Don't blame Naruto-kun for this Hinata-chan," said Haku putting a hand on the girl and felt Hinata shaking slightly.
"That's just it Haku-chan. I don't blame Naruto-kun for this. I can only blame Neji. Does that make me a bad person?" said Hinata seeing the other girl smile at her.
"No. Never! Neji started this. He tried to kill you in your match and after it was over out of spite. It was his own anger and thirst for petty revenge that caused his downfall. No one, not even your desire to remove the Cage Bird Seal could save him, and the only thing to do now...is to see this tragedy to its end," said Haku, as she held the girl closer, and Hinata just held onto her.
Outside the room, Naruto was leaning against the wall, and turned his head to see his surrogate Arrancar for a Father walk towards him. The man didn't need to have sensory abilities to know his surrogate vizard of a son was having a bit of a guilty conscious over killing Hinata's jerk for a cousin. After Naruto came home when the Preliminaries were over, the Namikaze went right into his training, and didn't stop until he was exhausted. Naruto sparred against both parents, trying to provoke his Inner Hollow to rise up, and they could get their inevitable confrontation over with. It took roughly two weeks, but Naruto had tamed his Inner Hollow, which had known everything he knew, and possibly more from all those repressed desires that his opposite had been holding onto.
"You're finally here. Let's do this!" said Hollow Naruto with his version of Zangetsu while Naruto had his own and Zangetsu himself was suspended in the air wrapped in chains.
"Bring it!" said Naruto, as the two charged, and clashed against the other in a vicious sword duel to the death.
"You think this will be easy? Wrong! I know every move you'll make. Even a few that you wouldn't dare use knowing it goes against your honor," said Hollow Naruto while the two were deadlocked in a power struggle.
"Oh yeah?" said Naruto kneeing his Hollow side in the balls hard to force the pale representation of himself back.
"OW! You son of a bitch!" said Hollow Naruto keeping his weapon up with one hand and clutching his crotch with the other.
"Still think I won't fight a little dirty?" said Naruto while his Hollow scowled at first, but then smiled at him, and then laughed.
"No. I suppose not. You really are the most surprising Shinobi in Konoha. You even managed to surprise a part of yourself. Of course, you do realize...this means war!" said Hollow Naruto with his human counter part motioning him to attack and see just how far they could go.
"I wouldn't have it any other way," said Naruto with Hollow Naruto straightening himself up further.
"Me neither!" said Hollow Naruto before the two clashed and the mindscape they did battle shook violently around them.
The next two weeks were spent with Bankai. That was just as hard if not harder to learn then taming his Inner Hollow. Zangetsu had wanted a fight between himself and Naruto in a battle where the only way the Namikaze could achieve Bankai was to force his prize of a zanpakuto into submission. It nearly killed him, but Naruto had succeeded in his attempt, and only now was taking a much needed rest for his body to adjust to this new level of power.
"Thinking about what's going to happen two days from now?" said Grimmjow seeing the blonde nod.
"Yeah. I want to kill Neji for nearly killing Hinata-chan. You have no idea. And yet...if I do then there is a risk she'll hate me. I don't want her to hate me. I want...I want...," said Naruto not knowing if he could even finish the damn sentence.
"You want her love," said Grimmjow seeing Naruto look up at him before looking away with a tinge of a blush on his face.
"Do you think I can still achieve having it?" said Naruto while Grimmjow just sighed with his eyes closed in thought for a few seconds before opening them.
"I think...I thinking you need to ask yourself a simple question. That question is, 'Have I done everything in my power to give Neji a chance to turn himself around from being a complete and total asshole?'" said Grimmjow while Naruto nodded his head.
"I did. I gave him a chance. Hinata gave him a chance. Everyone put up with him due to a sense of pity regarding his position and the loss of his Father. But after what he tried to do and almost killing Hinata-chan...I couldn't pity him anymore. I can't and won't pity him anymore," said Naruto knowing what he had to do, but still didn't like it, and his Father knew this too.
"Its going to hurt. It may even be a little awkward for you two after this thing ends. But, time will help you overcome this, and you two will become stronger for it in the end," said Grimmjow seeing Naruto smirk up at his dad.
"Does this mean you forgive that Kurosaki Ichigo kid for beating you in Hueco Mundo?" said Naruto seeing his Father get angry before hitting the blonde on the head.
"Hell no! If I saw that punk again I would kick his ass just for being alive in this world and staring at me!" said Grimmjow before going on a rant about orange haired Substitute Shinigami and the injustice of them trying to be better then him.
'Works every time I bring it up,' thought Naruto before leaving his surrogate Father alone to rant in the hospital hallway and further make everyone seeing him think he was crazy.
(Chuunin Exam Finals)
Naruto was standing beside the other contestants, as the stadium began to fill with people, and saw Gaara looking less then pleased while leaking killer intent at everyone around him. Like everyone else, Gaara had been inform of the slight change in the lineup with Rock Lee not participating, and Neji taking his spot while facing Naruto instead of the Kazekage's youngest child. That match would happen after Naruto defeated Neji, which many had long since speculated was not even possible despite how the blonde was the Yondaime's son, though there were still many, who would denounce that truth, and call Naruto the demon fox in human flesh.
Not that Naruto cared what they thought of him.
"Bring Neji in the line with the others. On the opposite end of where Naruto is standing," said Tsunade seeing the ANBU nod and depart while the Kazekage entered the Kage Booth.
And stopped to see the two former Espada sitting beside the Hokage.
'Damn it! There is no telling how strong those two are and my spies have not located any kind of weakness,' thought Orochimaru, who was disguised as the Kazekage, and using this fake position of power to instigate a means to have Suna ally with him for the planed invasion that would soon take place.
"Welcome Kazekage-sama. You are looking well," said Tsunade, as she already knew of Orochimaru's plans for the invasion after Jiraiya's spy network informed him of Suna's actions in bringing their clearly unstable Jinchuriki to the Chuunin Exams, and how that one girl Kin had told Ibiki about the secret alliance the Sannin had with them.
It didn't take a genius to put two and two together.
"I feel well Hokage-sama though the weather in Konoha is much...cooler then in Suna. I find it will still takes some getting use to during my stay here," said the 'Kazekage' while Tsunade just smiled at him though he suspected it was one meant for being politically nice then anything.
"Shall we not delay. Let the first match of the Chuunin Exams begin!" said Tsunade, as she saw the crowd cheer, and saw the Jounin Proctor motion for two of the Genin to stay while the others went to the fighter's box.
"Are you both ready?" said Genma seeing Naruto nod and Neji doing the same.
"Let's get this over with. The fact Hinata has to watch in the stands is bad enough given the fact she's watching me about to kill him," said Naruto seeing Genma nod while Neji just scowled.
"So you say. But make no mistake Namikaze, I will kill you before my end, and take a great deal of satisfaction denying Hinata another form of happiness," said Neji getting into his Gentle Fist stance.
"For a so called Prodigy amongst your clan, you are really stupid, and pathetic in every aspect. So much spite and hatred for the one person that hates the seal on your forehead more then you do," said Naruto while Neji scowled further in anger.
"What's your point?" said Neji while waiting for Naruto to make a move.
"My point Neji is more of a question and the question is...why? Why do you hate the one person, who wants to set you free, and unite the clan as one whole family?" said Naruto, as he wanted to know Neji's answer, and depending on the answer would determined just how much the Hyuuga would suffer.
"Because she's weak nothing! Hinata will never achieve her goal. Such a goal is meant for weaklings, who wishes to redeem her side of the family, and erase the humiliation mine has had to endure for years! Hinata is weak, she knows its, and she cannot risk the Branch family rising up against her when becoming Clan Head so the girl plays nice! She is taking the cowards way out in facing the Branch family and using her gentle nature to win them over! The girl is a fraud! Does she really think that by changing things once becoming Clan Head will unite the Hyuuga Clan? That fool will only make it implode for the Branch family will never let it go and I won't either. If Hinata was standing within striking distance of me right now I would kill her without regret!" said Neji venomously while Naruto just stared back at him and sensed sadness coming from Hinata since she had heard his words due to the hidden seals in the arena that enhanced their words so just about everyone would know what they were saying.
"And your Father? What would he say about this if he were alive?" said Naruto while Neji just kept feeling anger boiling within him now at the mention of his sire.
"My Father would agree with me. He'd lead the Branch family against the Main and show those pathetic Slave Overseers just what we think of their side of the family!" said Neji while Naruto sighed, looked at Hinata, then the Hokage, his Arrancar parents who both just nodded with that being their own signal to do what needed to be done, and then right back to the Hyuuga in front of him.
"I was hoping that you would have a sense of clarity Neji. Its actually kind of sad to see someone such as yourself become poisoned by hatred to such a level that you would turn on the one person, maybe the only person capable of helping the Branch family end their enslavement to the Main family, and unite the Hyuuga Clan the way it was meant to be from the start," said Naruto seeing Neji scoff at him.
"Don't tell me about hatred hypocrite! You hate this village for what they've done and wish to see its people suffer. How is my hatred for my clan any different then your own hatred for this village?" said Neji while many in the stadium tensed while watching the Namikaze carefully to see if he would actually confess to willingly commit treason to spite Konoha.
"Your right. I do hate village. I hate them just as much as they hate me. Will I kill them? Maybe. Maybe not. Its hard to say. Most its people deserve to die. Some deserve mercy. Not all, but some of them do. Like your cousin for example though you wouldn't be able to see why Hinata deserves mercy. Will I betray Konoha as a whole? No. Will I defend it? Yes. If I see a civilian, who I know tried to kill me by say...a sword to my gut on my fifth birthday about the die at the hands of an enemy Shinobi, and get sent to Hell for past sin. Do I save him? No. Why should I? He's a distraction. His purpose is to die at the hands of the enemy, who then dies at my hands for being distracted, and the status quo is evened out. Everyone, who wronged me will not be saved by my hands when facing an enemy, and I have no doubt if roles were reversed they would do the same thing. Why? Because they are like you. They think Kami favors them. They think the sins they have committed will be ignored by the Gods above. Some of them even think that they are beyond Kami's control and can do whatever they want simply because they've survived for this long. No more. No more protection from people like me that they hate. No more will good people like my Mother and Father die for the ungrateful maggots that trample on their legacy just to get their kicks in. When its time comes to pay the piper, they will pay what is owed, or they will pay the ultimate price!" said Naruto while many in the stand were now sweating nervously since many had caused the boy harm over the years.
"And what price would that be?" said Neji while Naruto brought his left hand to his face and then moved it down like he was pulling something over himself.
"The love and respect of their children!" said Naruto with his Hollow Mask now on his face and scaring Neji at the sight of the sudden change.
Not to mention everyone else that didn't know were terrified of this change.
"What unholy thing are you?" said Neji while sensing the dark powers of his enemy and wondered just how far Naruto had gone to ensure his death.
"Me? Nothing really. You remember when I told you about my Hollow Side during out time in the Forest of Death? This is the end result when I forced him into submission during the Month of training I spent preparing for this day. Now we are no longer two, but one being, and I can call upon this power when needed without risk of it going out of control. You wanted to hurt Hinata and you succeeded. By doing this, you not only hurt me, but everyone that cares about her, and THAT Neji was a very grave mistake on your part," said Naruto while Neji realized that his skills with Gentle Fist may not cut here against someone like the Namikaze at the moment.
And shocking everyone when he turned to run from Naruto.
'I don't care if I become a Missing Nin for a short time before I have my seal activated. I won't die by his hands!' thought Neji, as he moved to scale the stadium, and at least make it out of the stadium alive.
"COWARD! AT LEAST YOU COULD HAVE DIED FIGHITNG!" yelled Naruto in anger, as he at least expected Neji to die with some form of dignity, but even that was asking too much of the Hyuuga, and made the Namikaze's pity leave him completely.
And it showed when launching dark crimson energy from his zanpakuto that damaged the wall above Neji so the debris would come crashing down on the runaway Hyuuga. Neji had no choice, but to leap away, and dodge the falling chunks of wall before one of the pieces crushed his body in an undignified way unbefitting of any member of the Hyuuga Clan. However, no sooner had he done that did he realized his back was exposed, and Naruto was upon him. The Namikaze kneed the Hyuuga hard in the stomach, followed by the blonde spinning, and smacking the flat side of his zanpakuto against the right side of Neji's face with the force of the impact causing a bruise to cover the entire side struck with a horrible purple like mark in mere seconds. Rolling away from Naruto to dodge a stabbing thrust from the Namikaze, Neji steadied himself despite his knees shaking from the fact his brain was currently feeling off, and vision doubling in seeing two blondes in front of him instead of just the one.
"You think killing me will resolve anything? It won't! Hinata will hate you after this. By killing me you kill her love for you!" said Neji seeing those cruel eyes looking at him and saw the blonde were thinking things over in his head.
"You think I don't know that? Its always been a possibility. It's a steep price I've had to consider paying to make sure no one ever wrongs her again. You are going to be a message to everyone in Konoha and the Elemental Countries. The message is quite simple. Anyone who wrongs Hyuuga Hinata will answer to me and my power! You tried to kill your own cousin Hyuuga Neji and nearly succeeded. I think its only fair I return the favor! If it means killing any future relationship with Hinata-chan...THEN SO BE IT!" said Naruto, as he raised his zanpakuto over his head, and the power now radiating from him rose to a seemingly unnatural level while the weapon howled with the fury of its wielder.
"M-Monster!" said Neji, as he backed away from Naruto, but the slowly growing gap was not helping the Hyuuga in the slightest, and the Namikaze did nothing to stop the attack he was about to unleash.
"Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black from one attempting to kill a member of his own family? Die blood traitor!" said Naruto before bringing down his weapon and line of dark crimson energy came down with it and slicing Neji in half right down the middle before he was obliterated in a violent explosion that left little to find in terms of remains.
"Holy shit! Did he just do what I just saw him do?" said Kiba pointing an accusing finger at Naruto in the arena while many couldn't believe it either.
'Is it wrong to feel horniness from this? And aimed at someone quite a few years younger then myself?' thought Anko since she had to admit that what the Namikaze gaki did was pretty hot.
"What kind of blade can do that?" said Tenten out loud while finding herself unable to mourn the loss of her teammate.
'That was kind of hot. Namikaze huh? Maybe I can convince Gaara to spare him and keep him as my toy. Not to mention the bloodline we would acquire would strengthen Suna,' thought Temari, as she saw the slightly younger blonde below in the arena was well built with lean muscle for one so young.
'Naruto-kun. Even if Hinata won't love you anymore after this, I will gladly fill the spot, and support you in life,' thought Haku, as she let her hand instinctively go to her weapon, and caress the hilt that had once been part of Zabuza's sword before being turned into her own by the Namikaze.
Her love for these two people had in a sense been poured into this weapon when training and Haku could feel it singing back in return. Even dancing in a sense to the rhythm of some unheard of beat Haku felt in her heart whenever she thought of Zabuza or Naruto. How one had raised Haku since she was a little orphaned girl on cold wintery streets and how the second had taken her in without asking anything of her in return aside from the casual training.
"So Hyuuga, still think Naruto's hot stuff? He's a damn monster. Admit it!" said Sasuke while Hinata didn't look at the Uchiha and instead looked at Naruto below to see him "remove" his mask so his sad blue eyes could look at hers.
'Don't hate me Hinata-chan. Neji was too far gone to be spared,' thought Naruto knowing that if Neji was allowed to continue living, the jerk would have found a way to hurt his cousin in another manner, and possibly even worse way then before.
"No. Naruto-kun is not a monster Sasuke," said Hinata at last while keeping her eyes on the blonde boy.
"What? How can you not say that? Look at him? How can you possibly not call that freak of nature a monster?" said Sasuke before Hinata surprisingly grabbed the Uchiha by the collar of his shirt and yanked him close with Byakugan Eyes blazing with fury.
"Because I know Naruto-kun! He gave my cousin to redeem himself and Neji blew it! I can not hate Naruto-kun for doing what is right. If I did then I...then I would be the true monster," said Hinata, as she threw the Uchiha back, and looked at Naruto still staring back in the hopes she would show this what not the end of their relationship.
"Bitch! You dare shove an Uchiha!" said Sasuke rising to strike her, but a firm hand on his shoulder kept him down, and the Uchiha looked to his right to see his older brother Itachi giving him a stern glare.
"Sit down and shut up little brother. You do more harm then good making a scene," said Itachi while he had his Mother look over the Uchiha District for him.
"But she assaulted me!" said Sasuke, but the firm hand of Itachi got firmer, and forced the younger of the two Uchiha to stay in his seat.
"You provoked her Sasuke. Now sit down and keep quiet," said Itachi, as he saw Sasuke sit in his seat, and smacked the back of the boy's head when he glared at Hinata.
Above them, Tsunade had decided to make the announcement behind Naruto's actions, as Neji's during the Chuunin Exam Preliminaries had finally been revealed, and explained the near fatal injury he delivered to Hinata after her declared victory over him. That it was Neji, who was in the wrong, and that Naruto had brought the boy to justice for cruel attack on his own cousin.
"The next match up is about to begin. Namikaze Naruto VS Sabaku no Gaara. Are both fighters ready?" said Genma seeing Gaara appear and ready for a fight.
"Yes. Let's fight," said Gaara since he was ready to engage his enemy.
"Ditto," said Naruto with his zanpakuto at the ready.
"All right then. Namikaze Naruto VS Sabaku no Gaara. Ready? Fight!" said Genma knowing a huge battle was about to begin.
"I'm going to kill you Namikaze," said Gaara while Naruto just readied blade.
"I think you have it backwards Gaara-san. I just hope your sister will understand that this isn't personal and hold it against me," said Naruto, as he saw Gaara's eyes narrow, and the sand come out of the gourd with the intent to strike out against the Namikaze.
"That is her choice," said Gaara while launching his sand at Naruto, who vanished using Flash Step, and appeared several feet away behind the Suna Shinobi.
"You lack speed with your sand. I'm guessing all your enemies come at you so the need to increase the speed of your sand makes it slightly above average unless its really close to your body," said Naruto while smirking at Gaara, who frowned at having someone like the Namikaze dodge his sand with ease, and moved to strike him again with it.
And like before, Naruto was gone from his current position, and quickly appeared again in another while he waved at Gaara like they were friends.
"Hold still so I can kill you," said Gaara before launching more sand at Naruto, but the blonde just kept dodging, and had the most irritating smile on his face that the Suna Shinobi wanted to rip off before destroying the rest of his body.
"But if I do that, then how can I ask your sister out, and swoon her into leaving Suna?" said Naruto making Gaara becoming angrier for some reason the red haired boy did not quite understand and the blonde felt the girl above glaring at him.
'I take back what I thought earlier. Kill him Gaara!' thought Temari while wondering why that left a bitter taste in her mouth.
'Nice job gaki! You're pissing off the red head by making him go into protective brother mode,' thought Anko though from what she heard of the three siblings from Suna there was never such an issue since Temari was rumored to be almost as scary as Gaara.
Finally, it seemed Naruto had enough of dodging the attacks aimed at him by Gaara, and decided to go on the offensive. Using the Grand Waterfall Jutsu that Jiraiya had taught him, on account of his massive chakra reserves being higher then anyone his age, the Jutsu while less taxing when around actual water was just as effective without it nearby, and the result was Gaara almost drowning from the attack. Since Suna was in the desert regions of Wind Country, the value of water was equal to that of pure gold, and all the known oasis's were guarded heavily since they helped the village survive off what grew there. Not only that, but Suna Shinobi, much less its citizens have been unable to swim unless necessary for a mission teeming with water, and required heading to an oasis for it before the mission was given to the assigned Suna Shinobi.
Gaara had never even seen water until someone had poured him a drink of it and told him what the clear liquid was. When the red haired boy (slowly) got off the ground, his sand looked more like mud, and moved with the speed of a glacier when commanded to act on Gaara's orders. For the youngest of the Kazekage's children, the cold horrible truth that was his weakness had been exposed, and now Shinobi from all over would know how to defeat him. Kill him! Denounce his existence in being a joke! The once feared Sabaku no Gaara killed by some Mist Shinobi after a simple Water Jutsu and decapitation via the use of a sword.
Speaking of swords.
"You lose Gaara. I'm actually playing nice right now because you are a Jinchuriki just like myself. Forfeit now or meet your death here," said Naruto, as he raised his sword over his head, and was ready to bring it down.
'This is bad. Gaara's pride won't let him lose so easily and we need him for the invasion,' thought Temari while Gaara struggled to look up at his opponent.
"Never! I will not lose. I will...NOT...FORFEIT...MY...EXISTENCE!" said Gaara, as his eyes filled with murderous rage, and summoned all the sand left in the gourd to create a giant protective ball while preparing to unleash his demon.
"Getsuga Tenshō!" said Naruto, as he unleashed the power of his zanpakuto, and the attack was more then enough to stop Gaara from unleashing his demon's power.
Gaara's sand had become nonexistent, his body was badly injured, and hitting the wall behind him only added to further increase his injuries. However, Gaara tried to still rise from the ground, his eyes not their usual color, but rather yellow, and signs of Shukaku wanting out of the boy.
"I will not be denied my right to exist. I will kill you!" said Gaara, but was stabbed in his shoulder, and couldn't hold back the cry of pain that left his mouth.
"No you won't. Your time of being psychotic Jinchuriki is over. I will not continue to see one of my brethren act in such manner. Proctor call the match. Now!" said Naruto with Genma nodding since he was told in advance about what would happen when the Suna boy was defeated.
"Winner is Namikaze Naruto!" said Genma, as the medics came to take Gaara away, and Jiraiya was with them to discreetly put special seal tags on the boy to further suppress his demon's power.
'This shouldn't be possible! With Gaara defeated the pointy tip of the sword in my plan for destroying Konoha is ruined!' thought Orochimaru while narrowing his eyes at the blonde in the arena.
"Something wrong Kazekage-sama? I know your son lost in the first round, but when you consider just who his opponent was...surely the possibility of Gaara losing was a distinct possibility?" said Tsunade sweetly while Grimmjow just grinned and Tia smirked under her high collared shirt.
"I suppose. Still, I expected Gaara to at least make your Godson go all out, and my anger is aimed more at my son," said the "Kazekage" while trying not to let his anger reveal his true identity.
"I'm sure it is. And I'm also sure it has nothing to do with the impending invasion of our village...Orochimaru!" said Tsunade seeing the Sannin's eyes behind the veil that covered his face.
''They know!' thought Orochimaru before unleashing the exploding tag aimed at Tsunade, but Tia had knocked it away, and the explosion following was the signal for the allied forces to engage Konoha's own.
The invasion had begun.
(A/N: YAY! I finally updated. Just took over a year. LOL! Sorry about that. Just a lot of things on my mind and trying to get around certain...holes in the previous chapter. Wasn't easy let me tell you. Also, the voting on my poll just kept bigger, and bigger with each passing moment. I was curious just how many people would vote and for what decision. To be honest, the decision to kill Neji was very much favored at first, and then those that said spare him started to gain momentum. Until next time...PEACE!)