AN: Alright, better get started on this already. A few days is enough of a break, I think. However, first I will answer some of the Guest reviews
Guest 1: I already explained this in the previous chapter's Author Note, but whatever. The Samui-Tsumetai joke is Japanese wordplay. Both words mean 'cold,' but are used for different contexts. Samui is used to refer to the weather, while Tsumetai is used to refer to the temperature of an object. However, Tsumetai can also be used to refer to a person as 'coldhearted.' In the joke, Samui is stating that while her name means 'cold' it doesn't mean that she's a cold person. I will admit that it does lose a little in the translation. And by a little, I mean a lot.
On the subject of Hanabi: see the author note
Guest 2: I was thinking of Homestuck, when the Magic Cue Ball exploded in Vriska's face. (You fans will know what I'm talking about)
Akuma-Heika: I'll have to think about that, but it sounds like a good idea, thanks.
Guest 3: While I have played Prototype, I do not own it, and I haven't played Prototype 2, so I'll take your word for it. However, as far as weaknesses go, the extreme heat weakness will be somewhat easy to overcome.
Guest 4: I have yet to complete the first chapter, despite the passing years. It has not been published.
ILOVEPIEALOT: The Worship of the Log is a pseudo-religion started by the author Third Fang. It's just a humorous thing that most Naruto fic writers have taken up, but it doesn't mean much.
Daemon Prince 7: First, let me just say that the spelling of your name is kinda annoying me. No offence. Anyway, in answer to your review...yeah, the harem has spent many years in development. I'd like to say that no, Ino is not in it anymore, and neither is Mei. As for Karin, I do have plans for her. Also, there can't be a female version of the CRA. The CRA is to ensure that a dying clan is repopulated quickly, which a female is physically incapable of. A male can impregnate multiple women, while it is rather unlikely for a woman to give birth to more than one child at a time. For the randomness...that would be pretty funny, but probably not as much as you think. After all, Naruto can turn himself into a girl, which is especially effective as a Blacklight.
Anyways, Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, Prototype, or any other fandom referenced in this story. I do, however, own the fic itself, and the concept of the Gormim.
Inner being to outer being
Chapter 28: Easy Win
The board remained blank. For a long, rather amusing moment, Alex awkwardly remained in his pose, inwardly wondering why there was no noise. Finally, his arm dropped and he looked around irritably. "OI!" he yelled, "What's going on over there? Did you morons forget to turn it on? Huh?"
There was an embarrassed shuffling from the far wall. Then, with a flicker of static, the board flared up and turned on properly. On it, two rows of names scrolled by at a blurring pace, with the letters 'VS.' between them. Then they stopped.
Why am I not surprised? thought the Proctor drily. "Alright, everyone who isn't Uchiha Sasuke or Akado Yoroi, get your asses up to the balcony so we can get this fight over with. You two, take your positions on either side of me."
The gathering split in two, each half going to a side. Rather predictably, almost all of the Konoha-nin stuck together, with their sensei following. Only Yoroi's teammate, Misumi, along with the foreign Shinobi, went to the other balcony.
"Good," grunted Alex, "So, let's do this." He cleared his throat. "Uchiha Sasuke and Akado Yoroi: FIGHT!"
As the assembled ninjas watched, Naruto leaned toward Hinata and muttered, "That strict attitude fits him surprisingly well. I can see him as an actual teacher."
"Only when he actually has something to teach," said Kurenai bitterly, having heard them clearly.
The blond only sighed. Well, he is a Blacklight who lacks chakra, so blaming him for that is just petty thinking, he thought to himself.
Meanwhile, Sasuke appeared to be having a bit of trouble with his opponent. It seemed that Yoroi had the ability to absorb chakra using physical contact, so the Uchiha had to play keep-away. Then he remembered that he actually had jutsu and promptly torched him with a Goukakyuu.
"Hm..." Alex looked down at the twitched, charred body of Yoroi. Yep. He wasn't getting up any time soon. "Winner by...either knockout or incapacitation, can't tell which: Uchiha Sasuke."
"Well, that was short," muttered Kakashi, not looking up from his book, "Kinda disappointing..."
Sakura looked at him. "Are you talking about the fight or your porn?" she asked, slightly annoyed.
The Jonin only eye-smiled. "Maa, I'll let you work out the answer yourself."
Her teammate snickered, even as Sasuke climbed up the stairs to join them.
Meanwhile, Alex watched as Yoroi's sorry carcass was hauled out of the room. "Alright, now for the next match." The board was once again sent rolling.
As with the previous match, this one did not last too long. Naruto did lean forward interestedly when Misumi revealed his ability to dislocate his joints and stretch his limbs. However, the Suna-nin quickly turned the tables by showing that he'd switched himself with his puppet, Karasu. "Huh. Those chakra strings look like something you might be good at," Naruto murmured to Hinata.
She kept watching for a second as the puppet's four arms constricted around the Genin, wincing at the audible crunch as Misumi's bones were crushed, before answering. "W-what would I use them for?" she asked.
"Damned if I know," he said simply, shrugging, "It just looks like you'd need a lot of control, and heaven knows you've got that."
She flushed and looked back at the arena floor, a smile tugging insistently at the corner her mouth.
"Winner by Incapacitation: Kankuro!" A minute or so later, after Misumi went to join his teammate, "Next fight!"
Naruto frowned at the Oto Kunoichi as she took her place. While his clone had only gotten a quick look at her in the forest before being killed, he thought she looked frightened of something. Before Alex started the match, she kept stealing glances over her shoulder at her team. Well, with teammates like that, it was hard to blame her for her nervousness. When he took a look the Oto Jonin himself, however, Naruto damn near choked on his tongue. Either the man had a very unfortunately similar appearance (not fucking likely), or Orochimaru had snuck in to watch. Un-fucking-believable. Really hoping Jiji can recognize him, Naruto thought, slightly amazed at how obvious the disguise was.
Either way, the fight was slightly more interesting than the last two. First the girl had tried a diversionary tactic with her senbon, tying bells onto only some of them, only for Shikamaru to see through it. Then she revealed that it was in fact a setup for a sound-based Genjutsu. Sadly (or not, depending on your point of view), Naruto couldn't exactly experience the illusion for himself, being only a spectator and not a participant. However, Shikamaru, through clever exploitation of Kin's own knowledge of her equipment, trapped her in his Kagemane no Jutsu (Shadow Possession Technique). Then he'd made her knock herself out on the wall behind her, keeping her in the dark until the end.
"Winner by Knockout: Nara Shikamaru!"
I bet he'll make it all the way to Chunin, thought Naruto appreciatively, He's definitely got the smarts for it. I pity anyone who'll try to make him do anything, though.
Predictably, Shikamaru's first word upon climbing back up to the balcony was, "Troublesome."
Next up was Shino against that guy from Oto. Zaku didn't look too thrilled at having to fight the quiet boy. This time, while the fight was still short, the ending was a bit different. Zaku, of course, shot blasts of air at Shino, only for the Aburame to fall apart into bugs and reappear behind the Oto-nin. They had a brief exchange of Taijutsu, which wasn't exactly riveting. "Seems that Shino's just a bit reliant on those Kikai," Naruto said quietly to himself, "That's left his Taijutsu to stagnate a bit. But he does still practice it, while that other guy seems to rely entirely on those tubes in his arms."
Kakashi actually looked up at his blond student in surprise. "You're very observant, Naruto. Normally only a Jōnin would have enough experience to see something like that."
Grimacing, the blond muttered, "Well, you could say I've got a Jōnin's experiences." His teacher blinked at that, then nodded solemnly as he remembered the fate of Zabuza.
Back with the fight, Zaku finally managed to knock Shino away from him, sending him rolling across the floor. "Got you now, bug bastard!" He pointed his hand at the Aburame. "Zankūha!" Nothing happened. "Huh?" grunted Zaku. He looked down at his hands, only for his eyes to widen in shock and horror. His arms and hands had Kikaichu crawling all over them.
"I planted those Kikai on you while we fought hand to hand earlier and had them plug up those pipes," Shino said in his usual monotone, climbing to his feet calmly, "Why didn't you feel them on you? Most likely, whatever procedure used to implant those tubes have deadened the nerves on your palms. I suggest you surrender. Why? If you try to attack now, your jutsu will only harm yourself."
"Screw you!" shouted the spiky-haired boy. He pointed both of his bug-logged hands at his opponent, "I'll blow away both these disgusting things and you! Zankūkyokuha!"
In a different world, this action would have caused the pressure both of Zaku's arms to explode. However, in this world, the Oto-nin had not had his arms dislocated earlier by Uchiha Sasuke. So instead, the blocked pressure went somewhere else.
Abumi Zaku never knew what hit him when his heart suddenly crushed itself inside his chest. Blood exploded forcefully from his mouth and nose. His eyes froze, forever surprised by his own death.
Shino stood stock still, the little of his face that was visible paling considerably. His legs shook, even as his Kikaichu returned to him. He'd just killed another person. Him. In front of his teammates.
Alex, who was watching the Aburame boy himself, sighed. Then he took another breath and said with finality, "Winner by Fatality: Aburame Shino."
Shino stumbled back at those words, then turned jerkily and went up the stairs. When he reached the top, Kurenai was waiting for him. She put an arm around him and whispered in his ear. Naruto didn't know what it was, deciding it wasn't something he should listen in on, but Shino only nodded in reply. Then he went to the back wall and leaned against it, sliding down into a sitting position. Hinata looked back at him, then at Naruto, then went over to where her teammate was to sit next to him.
All the while, the blond did not move from where he stood, his eyes fixed on the body of Zaku, which was being loaded onto a stretcher and covered by a cloth. Was killing someone for the first time such a traumatic thing, to get such a reaction out of Shino? Then why didn't I feel anything when I killed those guys in Nami no Kuni? Naruto hissed to himself and shook his head. Now wasn't the time to think about such things… Glancing at the opposite balcony, he noticed Dosu looking darkly at him. The disguised Orochimaru, however, had disappeared. Didn't stick around long, did he?
When the body had been removed, Alex (whose posture seemed a bit more tense than normal) grunted, "Next fight."
The platinum blonde gulped. After the shockingly brutal end to the last match, she was feeling a bit shaky herself.
As it turned out, hers was basically the shortest match so far. No sooner had they gotten into the arena and Alex said "Fight," then Temari had grabbed the large bar hanging on her back and swung. A blast of wind lifted Ino off her feet and slammed her into the wall with a yelp, knocking her out. Even Temari looked surprised that she didn't need to attack again.
Up in the other stands, Len blinked and looked at his own team. "What happened? I blinked and missed it."
Nonplussed, Alex went over to the blonde girl, checked to make sure that she was actually unconscious, and said, "Winner by Knockout…Temari." Wow. I don't think I've ever seen a shorter fight. Probably one of the worst matchup ever; what were they thinking?
Rather than being removed, Ino was carried back up to the balcony by Asuma, who looked pretty embarrassed for his student. Sakura, on the other hand, looked positively gleeful at how completely outclassed her rival had been. Only Naruto's 'keep your trap shut' look kept her from crowing about it, though.
"Hold my chips, Shika," said the chubby boy, pushing the bag into his friend's hand (but since Shikamaru was so lazy, he only dropped it), "I'm gonna go avenge Ino-chan's defeat."
Hearing that, Naruto only snorted. "That won't be too hard to top."
Hinata, who had come back from comforting Shino, lightly slapped his upper arm for his rudeness, which only made him laugh harder.
As the two combatants stood apart from each other, Chōji sweated as he looked at his taller, more fit opponent. Maybe I didn't think this through…
Omoi's thought process was a bit more complicated. I heard that Akimichi don't like being called fat. What if I slip up and call him fat anyway? Then he'd probably get mad and fight harder, which would make the match harder too, and then I'd have to pull out my stronger moves, and then he'd get hurt, and then that shadow dude would want revenge on me, and then he'd use that shadow jutsu to make me do a stupid dance, and then Karui would hit me…
Let us not dwell further on him.
"Omoi and Akimichi Chōji: fight!"
Immediately Chōji leaped into the air and cried, "Baika no Jutsu!" (Multi-Size Technique) Instantly his body puffed up into an enormous ball, minus his arms, legs and head. However, he quickly pulled those in and blasted chakra out of his sleeves and pant legs, propelling him into a spin. "Nikudan Sensha!" (Human Bullet Tank) He hit the ground rolling.
Now Omoi had a giant ball of ninja barreling towards him like a boulder. All the while, he rapidly made hand-seals. "Doton: Jōkaku no Jutsu!" (Earth Release: Imperial Divide Technique) he cried, punching the ground in front of him. Instantly the floor split, a thin zigzagging chasm stretching out from the dark boy's fist directly through Chōji's path.
The rolling Genin wobbled and bounced as his terrain suddenly became less smooth, before coming to a stop, stuck in the crack. However, he quickly blasted chakra out of his limbs again, leaping into the air and diving down on his opponent.
Omoi's eyes widened as his technique was overcome so easily and quickly made some more hand-seals. "Doton: Doryūheki!" (Earth Release: Earth-Style Wall) Even as the floor rose up into a wall, the Kumo-nin used another jutsu. "Doton: Jō Sorisen!" (Earth Release: Imperial Razor Wire) He leaped backward as Chōji smashed through the rock wall, only crash down heavily on a tangle of barbed wire where his opponent had stood. Omoi heard a muffled yelp of pain as the Akimichi rolled into the wall, a series of wounds peppering his back. Instantly he was behind him, fingers digging into the ground and releasing a web of chakra downwards. "Doton: Jō Henkaku!" (Earth Release: Imperial Upheaval) He pulled upward, a large slab of marble rising from the ground to press Chōji even more against the wall, raising him slightly off the floor and preventing him from rolling out of it again. "Got you," he said unnecessarily.
In response, Chōji canceled his Baika no Jutsu, landing on his back with a grunt of pain as it aggravated his wounds. Then, before his opponent could react (being unable to see what he was doing), he quickly reactivated the jutsu, his rounded form rapidly expanding in the small space between walls. The one erected via a jutsu, however, was not as solidly rooted as its parallel. In fact, the marble wall was designed to be knocked over easily. Unfortunately for Omoi, it was being pushed from the wrong side, and he leaped backward to avoid being flattened by it.
Once more the Akimichi steamrollered towards him, albeit a little slower than before. To conserve chakra, Omoi only dodged, trying to figure out a way to end the fight. Normal Doton jutsu just aren't doing it. I don't wanna whip out the stronger stuff, 'cause that could kill him. Taijutsu's just a stupid option at this point, so that leaves… he put his hands together. "Magen: Mei Sanshoku no Jutsu!" (Demonic Illusion: Parasitic Invasion Technique)
For a second, it looked like nothing happened as Chōji bore down on the Kumo-nin. The next second, however, the boy flopped to the ground as his jutsu dispelled, writhing on the ground and howling with fear and agony. From his perspective this was entirely justified, as his veins squirmed and bulged, thin forms wriggling about madly inside his body and causing pain beyond anything he'd ever experienced before. In front of his horrified eyes, the worms (for what else could they be?) suddenly erupted from his flesh, flailing at the air and squealing loudly, toothy maws widening in the air. Then they turned over and burrowed back into his skin.
The Akimichi's head hit the ground as he fainted, his face chalk white.
For a moment, Omoi blinked, then sighed in relief. Well, that ended more quickly than I thought it would.
Alex walked over to the prone boy and examined him to confirm that he was unconscious. "Winner by Knockout: Omoi."
"You know, I'm wondering why they have our family names, but not theirs," Hinata muttered, "Seems a little discriminatory."
Naruto shrugged. He wasn't particularly fussed about it.
As Chōji was carried off to the infirmary, Alex walked back to the middle of the room and called for the next match.
Len guffawed at the sour expression on his teammate's face. "Hey, don't get all sore about it, man! At least you'll be a shoe-in for the finals now."
The green-haired young man gave him a look that could make lesser men surrender without harming the hostage, then stalked past without a word, heading down the stairs.
"Eesh, what crawled up his ass and died?" asked Olivia, "Is this world's Sakura that tough?"
"No," said Nord slowly, eyeing the girl in question critically, "In fact, it's probably the opposite that's got him mad. As far as he's concerned, a fight with her is just a waste of time."
Olivia scoffed. "Wow, you strong guys have it really rough don't you?" she asked sarcastically.
"You kidding?" asked Len, "Who do you think acts as a training dummy for your techniques? Those little glass fuckers hurt, metal or not."
"Well then don't get hit so much, Len."
"You makin' fun o' me, sensei? I ain't no contortionist like you, even without the se-"
The Ma-Ni Jōnin clapped a deceptively slender hand over Len's mouth, and surprisingly all noise ceased. "Now, now, Len. We don't need you giving away all of our secrets."
Meanwhile, Carlos reached the middle of the arena, where his 'opponent' (though he strongly protested the usage of the term) was waiting for him.
"Er…" Sakura was slightly taken aback by the dark look on the Binarius's face. "Good luck?" she offered weakly.
"Reduce limit to 1%," he commanded in a deadpan.
The pink-haired girl blinked. I think I just got insulted, she thought, right?
Alex, who was watching the Gorem with trepidation, raised his arm. "Alright then…Haruno Sakura and Carlos Binarius: Fight!"
Instantly Carlos dashed. Rather than charging straight in at the Genin, he darted left, almost faster than the eye can see. The reason for this was relatively simple. After starting the match, Alex had not bothered to move from his spot, and it was his position that the green-haired teen was exploiting. Besides the giant hand-seal statue by the wall, Alex's body was the only form of cover on the battlefield. While it was meager cover for sure, the older man (both biologically and chronologically) would serve to block him from Sakura's view, if only for a second.
With this in mind, Carlos shot behind the Blacklight as a blur, then, without pausing to put his other foot down, he jumped.
To Sakura, her opponent did indeed seem to vanish. However, she kept up her hand-seals, still looking around for her opponent. A flicker to her right made her look over, only to see the Proctor eyeing her. No, wait, he was looking up. Quickly, she did so as well, just as she completed the last hand-seal, to see Carlos diving towards her with a fierce expression, his glass arm outstretched to deliver a punishing blow. "Ishi no Karada no Jutsu!" (Body of Stone Technique) she cried quickly.
Carlos's green eyes widened as his body suddenly locked up. As he hit the ground, unable to land properly, his fist grazed his enemy's chest before hitting the ground, making her stumble back with a cry of pain. He was thankful that the glass appendage didn't even from the impact. "Wasn't expecting that," he grunted.
"You shouldn't underestimate your opponent," Sakura admonished him, wincing slightly at the pain of her bruise, "That's how you lost that arm to begin with." Taking a breath to still her nerves, she pulled out a kunai and put it to his throat. "Now, surrender."
Balefully, Carlos looked up at her. His eye glowed slightly, the iris rotating slowly. "Hmph," he muttered, "Seems that I gave the impression that I always underestimate enemies. But that wasn't the case this time."
"I just wanted to see what you'd pull."
Sakura instantly leaped back, whirling around and readying her kunai. To her surprise, the green-haired teen shimmered into visibility as he stepped out from behind Alex, looking bored. That's…like what Naruto does sometimes, but different. Remembering the one on the floor, she looked back, only for her eyes to widen. Rising to its feet was what looked like a metallic skeleton; the surfaces of its limbs appeared to be covered by tiny, branching, perpendicular lines, and it's joints were rather prominent. The round, flat eyes that stared back at her were a dull yellow, rather than green.
"…I suppose it's a bit late to be calling my attacks," Carlos said in a monotone, "But I'll say it anyway. Kiton: Dōtai Bunshin." (Machine Release: Circuit Clone)
A murmuring went up at those blasé words. Not even those ninja present who knew of Kekkei Genkai elements had ever heard of something like Kiton before. No, thought Kakashi, eyeing the construct suspiciously, Rather than a Clone, it looks more like Iwagakure's Gōremu no Jutsu (Golem Technique). Shrugging, he finally eye-smiled. "Well, misdirection is a Shinobi's first weapon," he said to no one in particular.
Down in the battlefield, Sakura was backing up, trying to keep both of her opponents in sight. The real one standing behind Alex made no move to follow her, but the Dōtai Bunshin traipsed after her, arms dangling and feet dragging. Maybe it's still affected by the Genjutsu, she thought. That thought was quickly dashed as the automaton suddenly darted forward, bone-like fingers outstretched. With a scream, she ducked and ran out of its reach. However, she was brought to an abrupt halt as the short barrel of Carlos's pistol jabbed sharply into her large forehead.
"Your turn," said the Gorem, still looking bored, "Surrender or die."
Sakura gulped, but didn't move. "I…I won't," she said finally, "You didn't kill those guys in the forest, so I don't think you'll kill me here."
Carlos sighed and glanced aside. "Hm. True enough."
*Bang!* Sakura was thrown backwards and hit the ground, unconscious.
"Winner by Knockout: Carlos Binarius!"
Naruto sighed. "Well, that's that, I guess. Not like I expected anything different, but she did put up a decent fight. For her, anyway."
Kakashi lightly smacked the back of Naruto's head, eliciting a growl. "Naruto, I've told you about picking on Sakura like that."
"Not like she didn't do the same to me," the blond grunted unrepentantly. Without waiting for a response, he looked up at the board.
"Why do I feel like this is gonna end badly?" he said.
Tenten, who was walking behind him, said loudly, "Wow! Thanks for the vote of confidence, Naruto-kun!"
He shrugged. "Sorry. I calls it like I sees it."
She rolled her eyes and kept walking.
Over on the other side of the room, Len sighed in relief. "Thank God I didn't get one of those Kumo-nin," he said, "This'll be an easy win for me."
"That's rude," said Olivia reproachfully.
"Still true, though," Carlos pointed out flatly, "She specializes in projectiles, and almost all of the weapons she uses are bound to be metal."
The white-haired girl frowned. "So? How would that make things...oh. Right."
Len laughed and walked to the stairs.
A moment later they stood across from each other on either side of Alex. Tenten had a particularly irritated expression on her face, which was not helped by the confident smirk that Len wore.
Grimacing at the tension between the two new competitors, Alex raised his hand slowly. "Tenten and Len Ferro: FIGHT!" Immediately he jumped back, not wanting to be caught in the middle.
Tenten also jumped back, whipping out one of her many scrolls and pulling out a section.
Calmly Len reached into his pocket, even as the stretch of scroll erupted with smoke. A set of kunai and short swords immediately shot out of the cloud, all flying directly at him. "Huh. Even without throwing them you can aim them that well..." He thrust out a hand, fingers splayed, and the weapons suddenly bounced away from him as if hitting an invisible wall. "Not good enough though, try again."
Growling, Tenten pulled on more of the scroll and triggered the storage seals, unleashing another, longer barrage.
"Nope!" Only for the weapons to once again bounce off an invisible wall.
"You're starting to really annoy me!" she snapped at her opponent, pulling out even more.
"TELL ME ABOUT IT!" Carlos shouted from the balcony, to which the dusty blond looked back over his shoulder with a hurt expression.
There was another puff of smoke. "Don't look away from a fight!"
This time, there was only one projectile, a large metal club. As Tenten watched, the weapon seemed to slow down as it approached whatever barrier her opponent had put up. However, it was not slowed enough and punched through...only for Len to catch the club in his open palm. "Ah. Sorry," he said casually, "I get distracted easily." Even as Tenten reached for her next scroll, he tossed it over and caught it by the handle in a reverse grip, still one-handed. "Oi...if the same trick does work, don't keep trying it! I ain't that stupid!" With a sudden, violent motion, he hurled the heavy bar at her like a javelin.
Quickly Tenten leaped aside, and not a moment too soon. The club plowed by her shoulder and buried itself in the wall behind her with a resounding crash. If the attack had connected, even glancingly, she probably would have died. Shit. He's strong, she thought, And that throw doesn't even look like it winded him.
All of a sudden Len lurched towards her, his leap propelled by his long legs. As he approached, he pulled a long, bronze chain out of his pocket. "Pendolo!" he cried as the watch emerged, its whirling curved blades a blur. He swung it at Tenten, carving a furrow in the wall and floor as she dodged. The scenario repeated itself for the next few minutes: Len taking long strides towards the bun-haired girl, his weaponized pocket-watch darting around him so quickly it was difficult to see as he tried to cut her. Despite his immense size and overbearing presence, the young man showed a surprising amount of control over his weapon, sending it whizzing around him in seemingly random arcs.
With no time to pull out her weapons, Tenten was forced to run, jumping backwards so as not to put her back to her opponent. She knew that the moment she let him out of her sight, he would do something. She wasn't sure what exactly made her think that, but she had no reason to doubt the feeling. Damnit, she thought, If I try to get out of his range, his legs will let him catch up quickly, and if I get too close that weapon will cut me to pieces. I need to get past his guard somehow...wait! I don't have to! Tenten suddenly sent chakra to her legs and leaped back, taking her halfway across the room. I've only got one shot at this, she thought, grabbing another scroll.
"Oh no you don't!" yelled Len, crouching slightly, "Jiton: Ōkina Ippo!" (Magnetic Release: Great Step) The ground beneath his back foot pulsed with a purple circle and he suddenly rocketed forward at blinding speeds. He swung Pendolo in an equally fast arc, angled low to the ground and aimed to wrap the chain around her legs. "Watch your feet, little Panda!" he roared.
To his surprise, Tenten jumped up into the air, avoiding the lethal time-keeper. "Who're you calling a panda?!" She snarled back at him, hurling her scroll at him directly. Len jerked his head to the side to avoid it, but as he opened his mouth to give a sarcastic remark, it died in his throat. When the girl had thrown the scroll, seemingly out of irritation, she had in fact held onto the edge of the paper, causing it to unravel. With her accuracy in throwing it past his head, the inner side of the scroll, with all of its seals full of weapons, was positioned right next to his face.
There was a flash of light as the weapons exploded out to the left of the scroll. Spears, swords, knives, clubs and many more, all bristled out of the paper like pine needles. Len, caught off guard, tried to shield his face with his arm but pitched to the ground with a scream of agony.
Up in the balcony, Olivia flinched, looking pale. "H-hey, wait a sec," she said quietly to Carlos, her voice trembling, "I thought weapons like that couldn't hurt Len."
Carlos gave her a sidelong look and said, even more quietly, "You've seen how tough he is from our sparring. While it's true that blades do rather little against him, Len's skin can still be cut. In addition...there's one part of him that, at this level, can't be merely strengthened. That's..."
"My eye!" moaned Len, thrashing on the ground, "Why is it always the goddamn eye!" The entire right side of his face was littered with small cuts, bleeding a bright silvery fluid. Even more of it flowed from under his hand, which was clasped to his punctured eye.
Tenten gulped. While she had planned to catch her opponent off guard with her tactic, the fact that she'd actually taken out his eye made her feel nauseous. "S-surrender!" She said, picking up a staff and getting into a slightly shaky stance, "With half of your vision gone, you won't be able to hit me anymore!"
In answer, Len rolled onto his front, pushing himself up on one knee. "Wanna bet…bitch?" he growled, reaching for one of the weapons littering the ground. There was a flash of steel, and a curved sword sank into the hand statue behind her. Suddenly, Tenten's head felt lopsided. Bewildered, she looked around to see one of her buns of hair hit the ground, cut cleanly off. "Tch. I missed," the blond muttered, grabbing an overly long kunai.
Her instincts screaming at her, Tenten quickly twirled her staff defensively. It was good that she had, otherwise the knife would have taken out her own eye, rather than slicing off half of her other bun. Her brown hair fell messily down her face as she stumbled back. In an instant, Len crossed the distance between them, fist cocked and his face hidden in shadow. For a second, he looked even larger, filling the entirety of Tenten's vision, before his fist hit her. The wax wood staff, held up hastily in a block, gave no resistance and snapped cleanly, allowing the punch to sink into her stomach with bone-breaking force. Choking as all the wind was knocked out of her, the brunette was lifted off her feet and sent flying. Her vision started going dark even as she hit the ground. Her last sight was of Len leaping after her, knee poised to deliver another crushing blow.
"Enough!" barked Alex, causing Len to jerk to a stop, wobbling on one foot. "Winner by Knockout: Len Ferro!"
A few people in the stands sighed in relief, mostly on the Konoha side.
"Oi!" he said sharply at Len, how had started walking back to the balcony, "Get yourself checked by the medics first."
Grimacing, Len changed direction and went over to the exit.
After Tenten had been carted away and all of her weapons had been cleaned up, Alex allowed himself a small smile. "Well," he muttered, "Looks like these fights are finally starting to get interesting. Next match!"
AN: Aaaand I think I'll leave it there. Can't go through all the fights in one chapter, can I? Anyways, my apologies for taking so long. I hope this will tide you over for now. Contrary to what you guys may think, a long vacation like Christmas Break does not help my writing ability. I do my best writing when more or less isolated from the internet at school. And this semester I'll have ample opportunity to get it done, so hopefully there'll be more frequent updates for the next few months. No promises, though.
1. The chapter title says it all, basically.
2. While a good few of the planned fights are going to be original, there are still some that will remain as is. Those fights have been largely glossed over because, frankly, who doesn't know those already.
3. Certain details, such as Sasuke being able to use the Goukakyuu to finish off Yoroi, are due to particular details that have been changed.
4. For instance, because Zaku didn't get his arms broken in the Forest of Death, his Zankuukyokuha did not blow off his arms like in canon. Instead, Shino got his first kill by accident.
5. Stoic though he may be, even Shino would be shaken by killing a fellow human for the first time. Fortunately, he's got a supportive sensei and teammates.
6. Something is amiss with Naruto, however. With everyone always talking about how horrible the first kill is, Naruto finds himself wondering why he himself doesn't care.
7. After Shino and Zaku, we start to get to the original matches.
8. The less said about Ino and Temari's 'match,' the better, yeah?
9. I'd like to thank Tesla Wattage for contributing Omoi's jutsu. They were most helpful in constructing the fight between them.
10. For those who are not clear on how Omoi won, he used a Genjutsu on Choji.
11. You may be surprised that Sakura actually had a better fight than Ino. Eh. I had to do something. Making another one-paragraph fight would just be a cop-out, and I don't do that. Blatantly, at least.
12. Kiton is my own invention, and is Carlos's brand of jutsu. If he were human, you could call it his Kekkei Genkai. Or Kekkei Tōta, whichever.
13. Dōtai Bunshin creates a crude automaton out of silicon and projects a Henge over it.
14. And finally, a fight that I have been planning for years: Len vs. Tenten. Or, as my sister calls it, LenTen. No, there will not be a pairing between them.
15. You know, my ideas for this fight were so all over the place that I'm almost disappointed in how it came out. Not so disappointed, however, that I'll rewrite the whole thing. It gets the job done.
16. Tenten taking out Len's eye was what I had planned originally. I couldn't have her lose without getting a hit in herself. I'm also pretty proud with how she pulled it off, too. Literally came to me at the last minute.
17. Once again I ended up only showing a tiny fraction of Len's powers. I need to stop doing that. Oh well, I showed a new Jutsu. Those who've seen/read Magi might recognize it. Basically, the user use a magnetic charge to repel the ground beneath their feet and propel themselves forward with great speed. So yeah, Len can switch between being a Lightning Bruiser or a Mighty Glacier. Both are equally annoying.
18. For those of you who couldn't keep track, Len dropped his watch to try and block the weapons when Tenten blindsided him. (get it?)
19. However, he quickly shows that he doesn't really need it and gives Tenten an impromptu haircut. I think he was trying to get her eye to pay her back. Or maybe he was just trolling her and just wanted to take off her buns. I dunno, he's kinda trollish.
20. A troll who can knock out a well-trained Genin with a single punch. Yeah.
Anyway, that's it for this chapter. Next chapter will wrap up the fights and move things along more.
Updated harem list (again): Hinata, Kina, Anko, Haku, Kin (maybe), Tayuya, Samui, Hanabi (I forgot to put her on the previous list. She's still in), Fem-Shukaku, Fem-Matatabi, Fuu, Fem-Choumei, Shion (maybe) and Amaru (maybe)
Also, for those of you who have not seen, I recently posted a list of Challenges under my short stories, CoG: Meddlers from In Between. I would greatly appreciate it if you were to check them out and if you are interested in taking up one of them (which would please me greatly), please leave a review or send a PM saying so. They are all ideas that I dearly want to see made into reality.
With the new semester underway, I shall endeavor to write and update much faster.
With that, I bid you good day. As always, if you have any questions, please leave a signed review or send me a PM. I shall answer it with all haste.
North South out.