Kid Buu 619: Read and find out because the Finals start this chapter.

KnightOfZaku: Jiraiya will end up having another couple conversations with Naruto, one peaceful and one that leads into a fight, but they're far off. As it is, the two won't meet again until a couple years later. And I've already confirmed that one of the Eleven will die by Naruto's hand in my Review Replies ages ago.

Shinku Akuma no Iwa: Arc Three: The Exams of Terror

Chapter Nine - Fall in Terror

"Man, Hikari-chan has got this in the bag." Naruto bragged as he stepped over to the railing of the waiting area and leaned down on it to watch his teammate/lover fight the Konoha genin. Kurai stood next to him while further spread down the against the railing were the other genin. "That Aburame doesn't stand a chance."

"I wouldn't be so sure. Shino is considered a prodigy among his clan and is fated to go far. Your teammate will have to work fast if she wishes to defeat him before he can finish her." Neji interjected as Naruto glanced at him out of the corner of his eyes before snorting and facing him.

"Normally, I'd bet you'd be right. But Hikari-chan spent all month working mostly on one single jutsu. One jutsu that will render her completely immune to the Aburame's little bugs. And without their insects to fight for them, that clan is pretty much screwed." He taunted as he turned back to the arena. Neji and Tenten narrowed their eyes in confusion, wondering just how she could negate the chakra devouring kikachu of the Aburame as Kurai spoke up in his dull monotone.

"Hikari is a prodigy in her clan as well, in addition to being heiress. Even had she not perfected that jutsu, this match was decided the moment it was made. She will not lose."


"Hanamaru Hikari of Iwa versus Aburame Shino of Konoha; hajime!" Genma called out before jumping back as the fight began. Deciding to make the first move Hikari charged in while Shino pulled his hands out of his pockets, showing each was holding a kunai. Smirking the heiress flicked her wrists to extend the small blades hidden in her guantlets before spinning into a left stab which Shino parried with his right. Without wasting motion Hikari brought up her right to stab him in the gut but Shino blocked it with the kunai in his other hand. Before the girl could continue her assualt Shino attempted his own by raising his knee to ram her in the stomach but was blocked as she used her own knee to block him. Pushing back the two separated to get some distance and try again as above the crowd cheered at getting a good fight right from the get go.

Not letting Hikari charge back in again, Shino whipped his hands forward, throwing the kunai he was holding at her. The girl parried them with her guantlets before leaping back again as a swarm of black had followed the weapons. Knowing she was through if the insects got a hold of her she retreated a small distance before stopping with a smirk on her face. "Okay, so you've got some fight in you. But you still can't win."

"Judging how you avoided my insects, I can logically assume you know your defeat is assured if they can get you. So how is it you are so assured I cannot win?" He asked in reply as his kikachu swarmed around him. Hikari only held up a finger.

"Because I have a jutsu that would kill all your bugs instantly." She admitted. "I just figured that if you won't give up then I should have some fun before I finally kill you. Give the crowd a good show and all, you know?" Shino was silent as he took in her words before raising his hands in preparation to direct his hive.

"I do not believe you. Why? Because prolonging the fight simply for entertainment value is illogical when you would need to convserve your chakra for the next round." Hikari only kept up her smirk, knowing that he would normally be right but he didn't know that she was going to forfeit no matter who she was pitted against in the next round. She'd sparred enough with Kurai to know she couldn't beat him, ever, due to his immortality giving him immunity to her heavy jutsu which she'd have to rely on to bring him down. And the other option was a jinchuriki with unknown skills and abilities. Again she would have to rely on her heavy jutsu, but since the Invasion plan required him to be unharmed (at least enough to still due his part) she couldn't bring those jutsu against him. It was a guarenteed lose-lose for her so she wasn't even going to try. Hence why she could drag this fight out for hours on end and be perfectly fine with it.

"Heh, well then by all means bug boy, bring it." Hikari taunted as he thrusted his hands forward. The swarm responded to the command and flew forward as Hikari merely ran through a few hand seals. "Doton: Moguragakure no Jutsu (Earth Release: Hidden Mole Technique)!" She called out before falling back and sinking into the ground with a small ripple as if it were water. The insects collided with the ground she had just been standing on before retreating to Shino as he narrowed his eyes behind his sunglasses.

'Hiding underground is clever as my insects cannot follow you.' He thought as he directed his swarm to spread out over the battlefield in preparation for her next move. 'However as you are an Iwa kunoichi, I logically knew you may do so and thus prepared for it from the beginning.' With a command to his kikachu, the insects began to lower themselves to the ground before gathering at a specific point that would move every couple seconds. 'An Aburame does not fight close, ever. Our taijutsu in nearly non-existant as we need to keep our bodies healthy for our internal hives. And so I logically knew you would never suspect a trap when I did the unexpected and confronted you up close during your charge. I knew I'd likely never defeat you in that manner, it was only to keep your attention on me and not on the female I placed on you during the exhange. My kikachu may not be able to follow you into the ground but they can follow your movements due to the pheramones she releases for the rest of my hive.' Reaching into his pouch Shino pulled out another kunai, this one having an explosive tag already tied to the ring on its handle. With another mental command the heir had his kikachu fly away as he tossed the kunai directly where they had been and and detonated the tag a second later.

The resulting explosion tossed chunks of the earth all across the arena as his kikachu regrouped around him. When the dust began to settle he sent his insects forward to search the wreckage for any trace of Hikari. The bugs obeyed and flew into the dust cloud that was still dissipating when suddenly he had a blade in his back. "H-how?"

"You didn't really think that would work did you?" Hikari asked from behind him, still holding the smirk she had since their first clash. "Just because I'm underground doesn't mean I can't see what's going on up top. All Iwa shinobi are taught that jutsu and how to see through the ground with other senses. When your bugs all gathered right above me I knew what it meant. Somehow you placed a lock on me. Since I knew a smart ninja would then try to attack me I waited until the kunai hit the ground to use a simple Kawarimi (Body Replacement) to dodge. You wouldn't notice since your bugs left the area. And then to prevent them from tracking me again instantly I flared the jutsu I mentioned earlier really quick. Your whole clan is bug related, whatever trace you put on me had to be a bug which died instantly. And then simply waiting for you was no problem. The Hanamaru are assassination experts, stealth kills are our forte." She bragged before Shino turned his head back over his shoulder to look at her.

"I... see..." He gasped out before desolving into a swarm of black beetles that instantly tried to engulf her among them. Cursing the heiress leapt back and kept leaping back as the swarm followed her. From within the finally settling dust cloud Shino walked out completely unharmed. "I too waited for the correct opprotunity. A simple replacement with a Mushi Bunshin (Insect Clone) the moment my insects detected a chakra signature behind me and I was left unharmed. And now we have returned to you dodging my insects that you claim you can kill instantly." The boy stated as Hikari growled before running through some more signs.

"Fine you little bastard. You don't believe me then watch!" She shouted before taking a deep breath and then blowing on the bugs following her. The cloud of beetles showed no effect for a second before many began to drop out of the air and stagger on the ground for a few seconds more before they stopped moving entirely. Shino's eyes widened behind his sunglasses as he recalled the survivors of her attack and checked them over while she stopped and brought her smirk back. "You like it bug boy?"

"What was that? It appeared as though you simply breathed on them and they began to fall." He asked as she spread her arms wide.

"Do you remember what I did when I cut the wealking in the preliminaries?" She asked as Shino nodded.

"You spit in the open wound and it began to steam, causing Sakura-san more pain. I recall hearing her sensei mention the medics claimed you used some type of poison."

"Would you believe me if I said that was really just my spit?" She asked getting him to tilt his head. "The Hanamaru are assassination experts, that's common knowledge everywhere. But we have another ability that few actually know about. A Kekkei Genkai." She told him as she gestured to herself. "We can control the chemical make-up of our bodies however we wish. All our blood, sweat, tears, even breath, can be changed from their normal composition into whatever we want. I simply made my spit acidic when I scarred that weakling and just now I made my breath as potent as a can of bug spray." Hikari joked as she flicked her wrist and the blade came out of her right guantlet. She held it up to her face as if checking it over while she threw a question to Shino. "Tell me, if we can do that then when added to our assassination skills, just what would our bloodline be used for?"

The Aburame was silent for a moment. "...Poison."

"We call it Dokueki Shigai (Venom Body). We are the top poison masters of the world because it's impossible to make an antidote to any of our creations without a sample of our blood at the exact moment we poisoned our target. Plus we're immune to any other poison because we'll just manipulate our blood to create an antidote on instinct alone. In fact, that's a rite of passage in our clan." Hikari closed her eyes as she lowered her hand and retracted the blade. "Everyone born into the clan has the bloodline and we make sure of it. At the age of four our parents will use their own blood to make a poison meant to kill their own children. And we're told to drink it and survive. Those of us with the bloodline will instinctively make an antidote and survive, with nothing more than a little flu at the worst. The rest die. The Hanamaru clan doesn't tolerate weakness."

The crowd was stunned into silence at this. They killed off their own kids if they didn't have the families' Kekkei Genkai? The civilians and non-clan ninja were apalled at the fact while the clan ninja thought it somewhat barbaric but understood the need to keep the family strong. A few of them had dark pratices they weren't particulary proud of as well. In the waiting area for the other genin Neji personally was shaking as he glared down at the girl. She sounded so accepting of the deadly practice and it only reminded him of the barbaric seal hidden on his forehead by his headband. The Hyuuga were divided into two, a Main House and a Branch House, the latter being what Neji was a part of. The Main house placed a seal on the forehead of every Branch member at the age of four, forcibly making them servants of the Main for the rest of their lives. To hear that the Hanamaru had a dark practice of their own that she willingly accepted enraged him. He was barely holding himself back from taking out his anger on the Iwa genin next to him or going down to the arena floor to attack her.

"I hate that little story." Naruto muttered as he stared at Hikari with narrowed eyes. The sexism of the Hanamaru wasn't the only thing he despised about her clan. It was things like this as well that only brought out the worst in him. And it only showed him all the more how different Hikari was from them as she didn't agree with a lot of the clan practices. As for this specific practice, she wanted to modify it. Rather than a deadly poison that would kill off the failing child she'd prefer just one that would make them sick. That way if it turned out they didn't have the Dokueki Shigai then they would instead be trained solely in the stealth arts of the family and not the bloodline techniques. This would let the Hanamaru grow as well whereas by killing off a portion of their younger generation every year was keeping their numbers down. "I hate a lot of things about her clan honestly." The blond muttered as Kurai stayed silent. It wasn't his place to judge the clans, though inwardly he felt it was wasteful.

Back down below Hikari sighed before bending her knees slightly. "Alright bug boy, I'm going to kill you now. Please don't give up now." She taunted as she charged him. Shino sent his insects to attack thinking if they could reach her and drain her chakra before she could activate her jutsu then he could still win. However Hikari laughed and made a single hand seal as she charged and suddenly his kikachu were dropping the second they touched her. "The chemical make-up of my entire body dumbass! Including my skin! Your bugs can't touch me!" She laughed as she kept charging. Shino called his insects back as he jumped away from her, trying to think of a way to counter this new development.

"Proctor I forfeit!" He called a second later as nothing came to him. Hikari scowled but stopped as Genma jumped closer.

"You sure about that kid?" He asked as Shino nodded.

"If my kikachu are of no use then my other skills are not strong enough to defeat her. I'd rather lose this match and have the chance to train myself to become stronger than die here." He admitted as Genma nodded and Hikari growled lightly at not getting to kill him.

"Winner by surrender; Hanamaru Hikari of Iwa!" Genma announced as Hikari started walking towards the waiting area and Shino gathered the rest of his beetles and left for the stands. "Would Kurai of Iwa and Sabaku no Gaara of Suna please come down?" The jonin called out. Above the crowd had very few cheers or clapping for the genin. Not only was the local population from Konoha, who hated Iwa, but Hikari's revelation about her clan had disgusted many of the rest. Up in the Kage booth Onoki was smirking.

"Heh, told you it wouldn't take long. The Aburame tracking her underground was surprising but in the end she wasn't going to lose that match no matter what." He bragged. The Kazekage remained silent while Sarutobi was staring down at the back of the genin with a solemn gaze, thinking about what she said of her clan.

'And that is the girl Naruto offered to bring with him to Konoha. How could anyone ever care for a clan that kills its children?' He thought, not knowing Naruto and Hikari were against the practice. 'What sort of monsters has Naruto grown up with?'


"Good job Hikari-chan!" Naruto cheered as the girl came back up to the waiting area. The heiress only smiled as Naruto wrapped his arms around her and pecked her on the cheek with his lips. Nobody else made any comments though Neji was still glaring at her from across the room, where he and Tenten had moved after she had spoken about her clan.

"Was there ever any doubt?"

"Nope!" Hikari shook her head in amusement but then spun in Naruto's arms so that she was leaning back against him while they stood near the railing where Gaara and Kurai were walking towards the center by Genma. "So do you think Kurai can win?" She asked as he rested his head on her shoulder.

"Don't know. Kurai's strong without a doubt, but he was ordered not to kill Gaara to avoid an incident an' all that. So he's gonna be forced to hold back. My jinchuriki brother on the other hand isn't restricted at all, and while I doubt he can kill Kurai considering... well that, I'm pretty sure he might be able to pin him down or something so the proctor calls it. This is gonna be a tough match." Naruto offered. Nearby Temari and Kankuro listened in and were wondering just what Kurai could do. Temari was also thinking about something else, namely a conversation she had with Gaara the night before.

"Gaara? Could I speak with you?" She asked as the red head was sitting on the roof of the hotel staring at the sky again, as he did every night do to the insomnia his biju gave him. The younger Suna genin glanced at her but then nodded his head and looked back up to the sky, though Temari knew he was paying attention. "Um... I was wondering just what it was that Iwa boy said to you. I mean, you've been acting kind of different since you spoke with him and... Not that it's been bad or anything." She was quick to assure him as she stumbled over her own words. "Kankuro and I have been really happy you've stopped threatening everybody and that you've listened to people before tellin them off and what not. It's just, well, after knowing you for years with you not paying attention to anything outside of killing, I was... that is we, Kankuro wants to know too, we were wondering what he said to you. If you wouldn't mind sharing that is."

Gaara was silent as he listened to his sister, seemingly contemplating what she was asking of him. Should he share what his jinchuriki brother had told him with her? Naruto had told him to try finding people to spend time with and taking things from there. She was his sister by blood, and though she obviously feared him she was trying to be nice and clearly wanted to spend time with him. Perhaps he could see if spending time was enjoyable with her first before branching out to other people? And if he found he disliked the company of others then he could go back to killing everyone with an honest claim that he tried it.

"He was accepted by the girl because she looked past the fear and hate of those around him and came to know him. When I told him nobody in Suna has done so with me, he said I should try outside of the village to see if I can find companionship and acceptance beyond killing. He told me that if I found it not my liking then I could always go back to how I was before if I preferred it. So I have been thinking over everything and have decided I would make an attempt to see if non-violent companionship is acceptable." He explained to her. Temari nodded her understanding as she took a couple steps closer and gave him a nervous smile.

"Well, Kankuro and I want to help you with what we can, so we're good canidates right?" She offered and the red head looked down at her before slowly nodding his head. "Heh, just um... just don't start flirting with me okay? We're family after all." She joked lightly to see how he would react. Gaara stared stoicly before the slightest of grins showed on his face. Temari relaxed a bit as he turned back to the sky still with hsis slight grin. The girl smiled at the thought of perhaps getting to know her brother better without fear, even though she still felt as if she were walking on eggshells around him.

After that talk she had been speaking with her brother when she could, trying to get him to open up a bit more as well as using it as an opprotunity to try and get him to stop killing so much. Or threatening to do so, even just by the feeling of death he still put out. He had for the most part ignored her this morning but that was also to be expected since today was the Invasion. All Gaara had to focus on was a simple match against the older boy from Iwa and then he'd cut loose and kill his fill when the Uchiha's match came up. While said boy's current absence was somewhat worrying, since there was plenty of time before he came back she put it out of her mind for now. Now she was only worried about Gaara. Judging from what she had just heard from listening in on the blond and his girlfriend, she knew Gaara was in little to no danger of dying. But she still worried since he could get seriously hurt.


"Kurai of Iwa versus Sabaku no Gaara of Suna; hajime!" Genma called out as he leapt back again. Kurai quickly threw out his right hand as his scythe appeared in a small burst of black smoke and twirled it for a second before getting into his combat stance. Gaara watched stoically as the cork on his gourd popped off and sand began to pour out and onto the ground. Kurai narrowed his eyes at the move before making a decision and channeling his chakra to his weapon. The blade began to glow white before he slashed at Gaara, launching a white crescent of energy at the jinchuriki.

"Engetsu (Crescent Moon)!" Gaara didn't even blink as sand on the ground rushed in front of him and made a wall Kurai's attack collided with, scattering the sand around them. The red head then turned around as the teen appeared behind him with his scythe raised up. "Senko no Higure (Flash of Twilight)!" He cried as he dashed forward, stopping in front of Gaara again with his scythe spinning. However his rapid attack had failed as more sand had leapt up behind the boy and blocked his high-speed triple slash. Narrowing his eyes at the development the teen tried to think of a way past the sand when Gaara narrowed his own eyes. Instantly more sand rushed out of his gourd and struck at the Iwa genin. Kurai began to strike back with his scythe, cutting down the sand tendrils as they came at him, backing up a step each time he did due to the high amount of sand being launched at him. Seeing no alternitive the teen launched another Engetsu at the sand to make it back off while he took a couple large jumps back to build more space between them. "Interesting..."

"I expected more from you, both from after your victory in the preliminaries and being on his team. I find this showing however to be disappointing." Gaara commented as Kurai raised a brow but otherwise said nothing. "I may have decided to give my jinchuriki brothers' words a chance but I have not given up my enjoyment of battle. So come, sate this lust or perish." The jinchuriki threatened as Kurai merely shook his head.

"I have a job to do and your entertainment is not a factor to its completion."

"Then you will die."

"I have yet to have been killed. Today shall not claim me either." Kurai replied before launching an Engetsu again and charging after it. When the sand rushed in to intercept the attack he leapt into the air and used another. More sand blocked his second attack as he landed behind Gaara and fired a third. The red head was growing annoyed as more sand blocked the attack before Kurai rushed in again. When the sand rose to attack him he responded by spinning his scythe all around him to keep it back, still charging for the younger boy. Growling Gaara raised a hand and the sand doubled in speed as it tried to attack, however Kurai merely sped up his defense as he continued to come closer. Finally within reach the teen lashed out with a quick slash across Gaara's chest. The jinchuriki stumbled back with a stunned look on his face as Kurai took a step forward and brought his scythe down on his shoulder, the blade digging half its length into Gaara. Gaara's expression changed to shock before he grinned as Kurai tilted his head to the side, noticing a lack of blood from both wounds. Suddenly Gaara grabbed the scythe shaft as the color faded from him, revealing it was a Suna Bunshin (Sand Clone) the entire time. Kurai pulled but found that his scythe wouldn't budge from the grip the sand Gaara had on it.

"I am at a disadvantage at close range. Did you believe I'd let you so close without taking steps to protect myself?" Gaara's voice came from behind as he rose from a neglected pile of sand that was made from Kurai deflecting the weaponized grains away. "So long as I have sand I can do anything." He taunted as Kurai's eyes focused slightly on him for a moment before he dropped the scythe and leapt away from the sand spikes that attempted to impale him. Gaara merely commanded the sand to engulf his weapon as he brought it behind him and gathered more sand in front of him. "And now I hold claim to your weapon. If you have nothing else to show me then you will die." Gaara warned as Kurai merely held his right hand out.

"My Soul Reaver is a special weapon bonded to me. It will not be so easy to separate us." Kurai commented as the scythe broke into black smoke behind Gaara and reappeared in another burst of it in Kurai's hand. Twirling the weapon around him for a moment Kurai settled back into his stance. "Shall we continue?" Gaara nodded with a slightly bloodthirsty grin at getting an opponent willing to fight him even after he saw how futile it was while Kurai's mind was racing. 'With his sand surrounding him I cannot get close. Even if I were to separate that current stock from him, I'm positive that gourd still holds more within. My Engetsu is also incapable of breaking the sand defense and it is fast enough to block my Senko no Higure without issue. I need to get him away from his sand and his gourd quickly before attacking. However I must remember not to kill or cripple as the jinchuriki is vital to the Invasion plan.' The teen thought before rushing in to attack again. However when he was still only halfway to Gaara his scythe ignited into fire and he spun it in a circle in front of him. "Akatsuki (Red Dawn)!" From the spinning scythe came a twister of fire that rushed towards Gaara. The red head's eyes went wide as he raised both hands to make a sand wall in front of him that the fire crashed against. However the twister of flame kept pushing into it making Gaara call up more sand to reinforce it. The flame held strong for another ten seconds before vanishing as Kurai cut the attack. On the sand wall was a perfect circle of melted glass which made him nod to himself as Gaara's sand instantly overran it and grinded it back into tiny particles for usage with his supply. 'I need a stronger burst and a longer duration but I believe that will work.' Without waiting Kurai charged in again at Gaara. Getting tired of the teen's endless charges the jinchuriki gathered sand around himself and then sent more out to meet his charge.

"I'm telling you its useless!" Gaara shouted as Kurai ignored it and kept running towards him. Without a word the teen launched another Engetsu at him that was blocked as again he leapt into the air. Spinning his weapon below him it ignited before becoming another burning twister as he used another Akatsuki against the jinchuriki. The power of the jutsu lifted him higher into the air even as Gaara made a shield above him to hold back the fire. This time Kurai held it for longer as he rose higher into the air from the force of his own jutsu. Gaara growled as the heat still reach him through his sand, making the area around him unbearably hot. Just when the jinchuriki thought his sand might begin to melt away though the attack stopped, with Kurai higher than the arena walls. Gaara moved his hot sand out of the way, grinding up any newly made glass as he did, and readied more sand for whatever attack the Iwa genin would launch from above him. As Kurai began to fall back to the ground he swung his scythe around himself as he started flipping in mid-air, building himself into a rapid spin with his weapon acting more as a saw blade then a scythe with his speed. Gaara wondered what he was planning as the scythe began to glow white and kept glowing as he fell.

"Engetsu Daibaku (Great Crescent Moon Blast)!" He shouted as the glow flew off his blade, the white beam far larger than the others he used as it rushed for the jinchuriki. Gaara barely raised his sand up to shield himself when the energy impacted with it and exploded. Kurai used the force of his own attack and the explosion it caused to slow himself down and land in a roll before getting back to his feet to keep fighting if he needed to. The smoke hadn't cleared from where Gaara was when bullets of sand were launched out making Kurai begin to bat them aside with his scythe. However the bullets increased in speed and number as the teen started having trouble deflecting them.

And then one broke through.

Kurai was spun to his side from the force as the bullet struck his left arm, making him drop the scythe as a gasp of pain left him. More bullets converged on the now open target and began to pummel him all across his body before a tendril of sand whipped up from the already deflectd sand and stabbed him in the stomach. Kurai gasped again as his eyes went wide and collapsed to the ground holding his wound while the sand gathered back into the smoke which finally started clearing to show Gaara breathing heavily while letting his arms drop from having used them to guide his sand.


"Shit. Kurai's bleeding, that's not good." Naruto cursed as he took a hand off the girl leaning against him to bang it against the railing. "Now Gaara is really in trouble."

"In trouble? Your teammate was just stabbed in the gut and you think he can fight back?" Kankuro shouted at them as both Iwa genin shared a look before turning back to the black wearing Suna boy.

"And he's been stabbed straight through the heart before, what's the problem?" Hikari sarcastically commented making everyone turn to her as Naruto picked up on the explaination.

"Kurai's got this very bad mental problem that only acts up when he starts bleeding. He goes from the calm and dangerous guy you've been seeing to a bloodthirsty zealot. Before he'd keep Gaara alive, as he was ordered. Now, he's going to say fuck the rules and try to kill everyone, starting with Gaara since he hurt him. And trust us, he will get up from that and attack. The guy is an immortal after all."

"Immortality is a myth." Neji spat out from the other side of the area. Naruto just scoffed and turned back to the arena floor.

"Tch, shows what you know." He commented as laughter began to echo out from Kurai's location.


Gaara narrowed his eyes as Kurai began shaking on the ground with insane laughter echoing around him. The red head was confused. Whenever he'd stab someone before they'd either die instantly or spend their last moments wailing in agony. Never before had someone been laughing about a fatal wound when he killed them. So he was understanably confused about the older teen.

And then Kurai began to stand up.

"How? That was a fatal strike. I know it, I've killed others with the same attack."

"And? I can't be killed, didn't my weaker half tell you that?" Kurai commented as he stood back up, the hole in his gut bleeding freely. With a mental command the scythe reappeared in his hands as he spun it around. "So how about I give you a taste of pain now?" He asked as his eyes flashed purpled and he threw his scythe at Gaara, the weapon still attatched to his hand by a purple cord of chakra. "Kyuushutsu no Yami (Reclaiming the Darkness)!" Gaara raised sand up to defend but with a twitch in Kurai's hand the scythe flipped around the created wall and kept rushing to Gaara. The jinchuriki dodged as he vanished in a Shunshin (Body Flicker) and appeared further away while the weapon returned to Kurai's hand. "Oh come on! Jashin-sama demands pain! And as his avatar I, Sin, will obey!" He screamed as he rushed him, throwing the scythe again at Gaara. The jinchuriki used his scythe to knock the scythe to the ground but thanks to the chakra still attached to it Sin was able to bring it right back up and send it flying at him once more. Gaara growled in his throat as he sent twin streams of sand out, one to deflect and hold down the scythe and the other to strike the insane teen. Sin stopped his charge and began dodging the sand while the scythe continued on, swerving around the sand and rapidly closing in on the red head. Just as the scythe reached above Gaara Sin's eyes glowed purple. "Tenkyo Shikyo (Moving Death)!" He called as he vanished, suddenly appearing above the scythe, holding it with the hand that had been attatched to it by the glowing chakra. "DIE!" He cried as he slashed down at the red head. Gaara did his best to dodge but still cried out in pain as the scythe cut his back, severing the strap holding the gourd to his back and opening a bloody gash. In an instant the sand from the gourd reacted, as even the gourd itself broke down into more sand. The desert material was quick to wrap Sin up and pull him away as Gaara stumbled in the opposite direction with shock on his face.

"That... that hurt..." Reaching around behind him he felt his back and felt his hand get wet. Pulling his hand back he saw it red with blood. "Blood... It's... It's my blood..." He muttered staring at his hand in shock before something in him snapped. "MY BLOOD! AHH! MOTHER I'M BLEEDING!" He screamed as he clutched his head. Sin was laughing as he struggled to break out of the sand wrapped around him.

"Yes! That's it! Scream! Jashin-sama adores the sounds of pain!" Turning his eyes hatefully on Sin Gaara held up an open hand.

"You... I'LL KILL YOU! Sabaku Soso (Sand Burial)!" He called as he closed his fist. The sand holding the teen imploded on itself as Sin went silent and his head slumped down from where it was sticking out of the top. Gaara glared at the prone genin before the impossible happened.

Sin laughed.

"That tickled heathen. Tell me, ya got anything better?" Gaara was shocked as the teen began to try and break free again. Gaara raised both hands this time and slammed them together as the sand imploded more violently and forcefully than before. Sin only grunted for a moment as he grinned. "Oh yeah, right there. Again you little prick, this is fun!" Gaara didn't know what to do as Sin was still trying to break out and attack even though he couldn't budge an inch more than his head.

"You need a genjutsu, brother, or he won't stop." Naruto called out from the stands as the other genin in the waiting area were staring at Sin as if he weren't human. Only Temari was looking at Gaara in worry over how he had been harmed for the first time in his life. "Trust me, it's happened before. Knock him unconscious or he will keep trying to kill you, and eventually he will succeed." The blond warned as Gaara turned back to Sin to see him still struggling but now glaring up at Naruto.

"Blond bastard. You'll get yours next you hear me?! I'll offer you to Jashin-sama next!" He threatened. Naruto only rolled his eyes and rested his head back down on Hikari's shoulder as both watched the match without much interest. They new it was over once he was captured. All Gaara had to do was knock him out since killing him was impossible. Gaara thought for a moment about what to do since he didn't have a genjutsu in his repetoire. In fact, outside of his sand jutsu he only had one technique and that was for letting his biju take over, a self inflicted sleep. It didn't work on others though so he only hd one option.

Forming a compacted ball of sand the size of the teens' head, Gaara brought it down on him. Sin grunted and tried to struggle but Gaara smashed it down again twice as hard. When that failed to knock him out he did it a third time as hard as he could, finally sending the captured teen out of consciousness. Still holding him in the sand with the ball hanging over his head Gaara moved forward and used a small bit of sand to lift his head and see that his eyes were closed as blood leaked from the wound on the back of his head. Genma suddenly appeared a few feet away and looked over the Iwa genin from where he was before nodding.

"Winner by knockout, Sabaku no Gaara of Suna!" He called as the crowd began a polite applause, still in shock over the Iwa teens' madness and abilities. In a swirl of dust Kurotsuchi appeared on the arena floor by Gaara.

"Let him go now. I'll take care of him." Gaara gave her a small glare, still wanting to somehow kill the teen for hurting him but complied as the sand let him drop roughly to the ground and gathered at Gaara's back, reforming his gourd with a new cork to keep it close and a new harness made of sand since his cloth strap had been cut. When the sand left Kurai's body though both jonin winced at the sight. His body was nothing more than a bloody mess of flash barely holding onto the broken bones from the neck down. "Ugh... the things I do for my village." Kurotsuchi muttered as she knelt down and picked Kurai up, laying his scythe across his chest and vanishing in a Shunshin just as she had appeared.

"Okay kid... you can go back now." Genma told Gaara as the jinchuriki gave the man a small glare before walking off the arena. "Would Hyuuga Neji and Kinuta Dosu please step down?" The jonin called out as the two began their walk from the waiting area to the ground below.


"What is that boy Tsuchikage-dono? Such an interesting invulnerability he has." The Kazekage muttered as Onoki shrugged.

"To be honest we're not entirely sure and he can't explain it himself since it was forced on him. Iwa found him in some border village as the only survivor to a slaughter and brought him back for questioning. Afterward, he wanted to join our shinobi forces to thank us for saving him. It was only later when we found out about his split personality that we learned the full story of what happened and why he was the only survivor. Sin, as the insane half calls itself, is part of the Cult of Jashin. I'm sure you've heard of them but incase you haven't they're a bunch of murderous nutjobs who worship a god of pain and blood. That worship takes the form of mass slaughter. During the Third War the Cult was actually the only thing both sides of the war agreed on, being kill the bastards when you see them." Onoki grunted as Sarutobi nodded, remembering them himself and a few of his encounters with the insane Jashinists. "When we learned some of the Cult had survived and was in Tsuchi no Kuni we rushed out and slaughtered them all. The very few who had the same immortality Kurai has were gathered up and I personally used my Jinton (Dust Release) to reduce them to atoms. Technically those atoms are still alive, I'd just like to see dust try and fight. A few wanted to do the same to Kurai but since he was so loyal to us after saving him and giving him a home we decided to give him a shot. Outside of a couple incidents where Sin gets loose, he's been the perfect little soldier for me. That's why I just make sure there's someone who can restrain him on any team he's placed on."

"I see. Thank you for explaining."

"Feh, least I could do after he tried to kill your boy when I gave Kurai orders not to. Then again, Sin never listens to anyone other than the insane ramblings of his own thoughts."


Down in the arena Neji stood across from Dosu as both genin were sizing the others up across from each other. Genma looked from face to face before nodding and leaping back as he started the match. "Hyuuga Neji of Konoha versus Kinuta Dosu of Oto; hajime!"