Disclaimer: Naruto doesn't belong to me, I am making no money or anything other than personal pride by doing this.

"Welcome shinobi and honored guests alike to Suna Arena for this year's Chunin Selection Exam Final competition," Gaara said, his voice echoing throughout the entire stadium. "I ask that you please stay until the competition has been completed. Now we will meet the candidates for advancement."

Below in the stadium, a large wooden door opened and a dirty blonde haired man led a group of sixteen genin out into the middle of the stadium floor. Four were from Konoha, four from Arashi, three from Kumo, three from Iwa and two from Suna. Naruto grinned and waved down at his genin. Someone snorted beside him and he saw the Tsuchikage shaking his head at Naruto, who just shrugged it off.

"The first match will between Fukuda Mai of Arashigakure and Goto Hachiro of Kumogakure," the proctor announced. "Hajime!"

Mai leapt backward as she grabbed several kunai and shuriken from her pouch and flung them at Hachiro before calling out two separate jutsus. "Ninpou: Kage Shuriken Bunshin no Jutsu! Ninpou: Kage Kunai Bunshin no Jutsu!" The five kunai and five shuriken multiplied into thirty of each.

Hachiro quickly weaved several hand signs and called out, "Futon: Atsugai!" (Wind Release: Pressure Damage.) A large windblast shot from Hachiro's mouth and scattered the incoming weapons.

"You're going to have to do much better than that to have a chance at beating me," Hachiro scoffed. "I'm from Kumo bitch, and you're just some lowly scab from some second-right village!"

"Magen: Kokuangyo no Jutsu!" Mai cried out. Hachiro's laughter fell silent as darkness engulfed his senses. (Genjutsu: False Darkness.)

"Do you really think that a simple genjutsu would save you?" Hachiro jeered as he regained his composure. It wasn't every day that you went 'blind'. "Kai!" he shouted. The darkness wavered for a moment then disappeared. Hachiro quickly scanned the stadium looking for Mai. "There you are!" he cried as Mai appeared out of the darkness. Hachiro sped forward, drawing his sword and raising it above his head in preparation for an overhead slash. Mai raised a kunai in an attempt to block the strike.

Hachiro's sword suddenly glowed white. "You think a measly kunai will be able to stop my sword, especially now that it's charged up with wind chakra," the boy sneered. "You're pathetic!" he cried, slashing down at the young girl. The kunai held for a moment but the finely sharpened wind chakra quickly cut through the black metal. Mai cried out in pain as the kunai gave way and Hachiro continued his strike, slicing through Mai's shirt, flesh and bone. A fountain of blood sprayed from the now-limp girl, covering Hachiro who just sneered down at the body.

"Pathetic," he growled, spitting on the ground. He turned toward the proctor but froze when he felt the cold sting of a blade against his throat. The body of 'Mai' shimmered for a moment then dissolved into nothing.

"Surrender!" the cold voice of Fukuda Mai said sharply from behind Hachiro.

"How?" he blustered, as his mind worked frantically to find a way out of this.

"Genjutsu," Mai answered simply. "Now forfeit, or I won't hesitate to slit your throat for insulting my village."

"I forfeit," Hachiro growled after Mai pressed her kunai against his throat tighter, drawing a thin line of blood.

"Winner: Fukuda Mai of Arashikage!" the proctor cried out. Mai returned the kunai to her pouch and made her way back up to the viewing platform where her teammates congratulated.

"Looks like Mai has worked on her genjutsu," Naruto commented glancing at the Raikage who looked like he had just swallowed a lemon. "Too bad we didn't get to see much of your ninja Raikage-dono."

Tsunade and Gaara had to hide grins as Fumio woodenly returned Naruto's grin. "Yes," Fumio growled. "It seems that Hachiro underestimated your girl Hiruzen-san. That is a deadly mistake to all ninja regardless of their skill level."

"Oh I quite agree," Naruto said. "Looks like we'll get to see one of your ninja Tsuchikage-dono," Naruto continued as an young woman wearing an Iwa headband made her way down to the stadium floor where she was met by a black haired boy with a Suna hitai-ate around his chest like a bandolier. "Iwa vs. Suna? This should be interesting."

"Yes," the Tsuchikage, Takeshi, said. "Ijiri Emiko is one of our most promising young ninja, a prodigy in manipulating her earth element."

"I always hated that word 'prodigy'," Naruto commented. "It puts those labeled by it on a pedestal. It demeans those who work hard for their strength, in many villages those who are 'prodigies' are normally given everything in order to make themselves seem stronger then their companions. Hard work will be talent any day."

"Please," Fumio scoffed. "Talent will win out always."

"I'm not sure," Gaara said. "I remember a good friend of mine, Uzumaki Naruto, was the dead last of his graduating class and yet he remains the only person to have beaten me in single combat."

"Oh yes, I remember hearing about this Uzumaki," Takeshi said. "Wasn't he banished by Konoha some years ago." Tsunade flinched at the cruel reminder of her favorite gaki. "Wasn't he and several others sent after the last 'loyal' Uchiha when the brat made to defect to Orochimaru, and then when they failed Uzumaki was the one who was blamed for its failure?"

"Unfortunately you are correct Tsuchikage-dono," Tsunade said with her head bowed. "Our village's Council has had its power go to their heads and overstepped their bounds when they banished Naruto. By the time I could do anything about it, it was too late."

"Looks like they are about to begin," Naruto said. "Why don't we sit back and watch who will come out on top?"

"The next match, between Ijiri Emiko of Iwagakure and Masuzoe Toshio of Sunagakure will now begin!" the proctor shouted. "Hajime!"

Toshio surged forward, his hands blurring through several hand signs. Several ropes of dirt from the stadium floor and flowed up to encase Toshio's hands.

"Oh ho!" Takeshi chuckled. "It seems that your ninja has been trying to copy his betters, eh Kazekage-dono. But using the earth to improve your taijutsu is something that Iwa has been doing for years, and Emiko might not look it but she is one of my most promising students."

"You personally trained her, Takeshi-sama?" Naruto asked, an eyebrow arching in surprise.

"Her father was a good friend of mine," Takeshi said. "And before he was killed, he asked me to watch out for his daughter."

Naruto nodded.

"Doton: Kengan no Jutsu!" Emiko cried out as stones erupted from the ground and encased her own fists. Emiko ducked under a right cross from Toshio and returned with an uppercut of her own. Toshio used his height to his advantage and caught the stone fist of Emiko with his own.

"You're going to have to do better than that," Toshio said, looking down at the smaller girl. "ARGH!" Toshio cried as the girl he was holding quickly crumbled into dust and out of the corner of his eye, Toshio saw Emiko charge at him from the side and land a crushing blow to his side. Toshio skidded to a stop just feet from the wall of the stadium, and gingerly got to his feet

"Doton: Ganchuusou!" Emiko shouted. Twenty stone spears erupted around Toshio, who somehow was able to evade each and every spear.

"Doton: Dochuu Eigyo!" Toshio cried. Slowly he sunk into the stadium floor, disappearing from sight.

"Don't think you can hide from me Suna scum?" Emiko snarled. She knelt down and placed a finger on the floor. "Chakra Myakuhaku!"

Naruto blinked as he recognized the jutsu. "Clever," he muttered.

"Gotcha!" Emiko shouted, spinning around and her hands blurring through several hand signs. "Doton: Ganchuurou no Jutsu!" she shouted. Two-dozen stone pillars erupted from the stadium floor about twenty feet away from Emiko.

"AH!" Toshio cried out, as he was propelled twenty feet into the air by the stone pillars caused by Emiko's jutsu.

"Doton: Gansetsukon no Jutsu!" Emiko roared. A large stone spear grew from the stadium floor at Emiko's side. She gripped it and broke it off, giving herself a five-foot long spear. "Time for you to die," she shouted before heaving the spear up at Toshio. Toshio rolled over just as the earthen spear reached him; it missed scoring a direct hit but managed to scour a large cut along his side. Toshio crashed to the ground in a heap, clutching his injured side.

"Doton: Doryuu Heki!" Toshio shouted. A ten foot high earthen wall shot up from the ground and shielded Toshio from another Gansetsukon thrown by Emiko. The spear pierced nearly completely through the wall.

"That pitiful excuse for a Doton jutsu won't save you for long," Emiko shouted. She made several hand signs and shouted out another jutsu, "Doton: Ganchuusou!" Behind the earthen wall, stone spears erupted from the ground. "It's over," Emiko said turning her back to the grisly sight of Toshio being suspended in mid air by several stone spikes.

"Not quite," a quiet voice whispered behind her. Whirling around, Emiko's vision exploded into stars as Toshio's fist impacted her cheek.

"How!" Emiko cried as she leapt to her feet, wiping the blood away from the cut on her forehead.

"Suna Bunshin," Toshio said easily. The 'Toshio' that had been skewered by the rock spears was quickly dispersing back into sand. "All Suna ninja know that one."

With a roar that was more suited to a tiger or lion, Emiko surged forward, whipping out a kunai from her pouch. Toshio parried the knife thrust and returned with one of his own. The ninjutsu battle that had wowed the crowd quickly descended into a taijutsu brawl, with each ninja exchanging heavy blows. The crowd began to really get into the fight as the two genin wailed on each other.

"Why won't you stay down?" Emiko snarled as she ducked under a kunai strike from the taller genin.

"I can't afford to lose here," Toshio said. "I promised my nii-san that I would win this and I never want to disappoint my little brother."

"That's it!" Emiko scoffed. "You're fighting this hard just for your nii-san!"

"Hai, and because of that, I can't let you win here," Toshio said as he threw several kunai at Emiko and then called out, "Kunai Kage Bunshin no jutsu!" The kunai multiplied into nearly thirty.

Emiko quickly raised a Doton: Doryuu Heki to protect herself.

"That's it," Toshio grunted. "I'm done." He fell to his butt, panting heavily.

"WHAT!" Emiko cried.

"I'm out of chakra after that last combo," he said.

"What combo?" Suddenly about a dozen stone pillars appeared, surrounding Emiko and pinning her hands away from her body.

"Doton: Ganchuurou no Jutsu!" Toshio chuckled. "I forced you into that spot because I set up a seal that would release that jutsu when someone tripped the seal."

"Winner Masuzoe Toshio," the proctor announced to the wild cheers coming from the crowd.

"Well, it seems that your prodigy failed in the end Tsuchikage-dono," Naruto said with a smile.

"Yes," Takeshi growled out. "Most unexpected, Emiko is one of our most promising ninja. She spoke of breezing through this competition and becoming a Chunin."

"Well, it seems that Emiko-chan decided to underestimate her opponent," Naruto said. "Much like Hachiro-kun did to his opponent."

Takeshi and Fumio growled under their breathes while Gaara and Tsunade hid smiles.

"Next match will between Hyuga Hitomi from Konohagakure and Hiranuma Seiji from Kumogakure," the proctor called out.

Tsunade frowned at the pairing. It wasn't a secret that the Hyuga clan hated Kumo for their attempts on Hinata's life over twenty years ago, as well as their audacity to blame Konoha when the Kumo ninja was killed. The Kumo ninja leapt down to the stadium floor, looking excited while Hitomi made her way down at a more sedated pace.

"Come on white eye," Seiji shouted. "Get a move on, I can't wait to beat your freaky ass!"

Tsunade, Gaara and Hiruzen frowned at the loudmouthed Kumo genin while the Tsuchikage and Raikage grinned.

"The match between Hyuga Hitomi and Hiranuma Seiji will now begin," the proctor shouted. "Hajime!"

Seiji rocketed across the stadium floor at mid-Chunin speed. Hitomi leapt backward trying to gain space from the hard-charging Kumo ninja but Seiji didn't let up. The blonde haired boy drew his dual swords and began slashing wildly at the retreating Hyuga. Hitomi reached back, drew a scroll from her back and she quickly unsealed it. A rush of water emerged from the scroll.

"Suiton: Sujiinheki no Jutsu!" Hitomi cried out to the stunned amazement of the crowd. A wall of water rose from the stadium floor and blocked the sword strikes. Hitomi leapt backward to gain space.

"A Hyuga using ninjutsu!" Naruto exclaimed. "Now there's something you don't see everyday."

"Yes," Tsunade with a smile. "Hitomi's sensei didn't want to limit her by not teaching her ninjutsu."

"That probably didn't go over to well with the Hyuga clan," Hiruzen chuckled. "I heard that the Hyuga clan is nearly fanatical about their ninja only using the Byakugan and Juken."

"Well, some weren't very happy about that but her sensei was adamant about it," Tsunade said.

"Who's Hitomi-chan's sensei?" Naruto asked.

"Mitarashi Anko."

Naruto's laugh shocked the Tsuchikage and Raikage, while Gaara raised an eyebrow. "The Hebi Okami of Konoha is training a Hyuga! Oh that's amazing. I know that didn't sit well with the Hyuga Elders."

Tsunade chuckled. "I still remember their faces when Anko showed up at a Council meeting," she said.

"An Anko-trained Hyuga," Naruto said. "This should be very interesting."

"While a Hyuga using ninjutsu is unexpected, it is still not enough," Fumio sneered. "Seiji is very talented user of both Raiton and Suiton jutsus. Your Hyuga doesn't stand a chance."

"So you use ninjutsu, that won't be enough to beat me," Seiji shouted. He paused for a moment, and then lightning arched up and down his blades. "You won't get away from me again!" Seiji slashed at Hitomi, who leapt backward though the lightning-enhanced sword strike caught her across the stomach. Hitomi cried out as she clutched her stomach. Seiji didn't let up as he continued slashing away at Hitomi.

Hitomi ducked and weaved in an attempt to avoid the sword strikes, though she couldn't dodge them all. Soon her clothes were ripped and tattered, barely hanging together.

"You're pathetic!" Seiji sneered. "You think that with your all-seeing eyes you are invincible. Well I'm going to show you how wrong you are!" He leapt after Hitomi once more, swords raised for a devastating strike.

"Hakkesho Kaiten!" Hitomi shouted. Suddenly the Hyuga was surrounded by a large amount chakra. Seiji's sword strikes clanged against the chakra shroud. However, slowly the chakra shroud began to fall apart as Hitomi's jutsu began to fail. Seiji grinned as he forced more chakra into his blades.

"This is it!" Seiji roared as his lightning encased blades sliced through the rapidly failing jutsu. Hitomi screamed as Seiji's blades pierced her shoulder and stomach, lightning chakra raced through her body.

"Winner Hiranuma Seiji of Kumogakure!" the proctor shouted. "Medics!" A squad of four medical ninja came racing out to the stadium floor. They quickly put Hitomi on the stretcher and took her away to the infirmary.

"Next match is between Nara Nobu of Konohagakure versus Aburame Shou of Konohagakure," the proctor announced. Two dark haired Konoha ninja made their way down to the stadium floor. "The match between Nara Nobu and Aburame…"

"I forfeit!" the dark haired boy that wasn't wearing a full-length hooded jacket shouted.


"There's no way I can beat Shou, it would be too troublesome," Nobu said, hands in his pockets. "I forfeit."

Laughter broke out in the Kage box as Naruto nearly fell out of his chair from laughing so hard.

"What are you laughing at?" Takeshi sneered. "A ninja just forfeited before a shot was even fired, how cowardly! Doesn't your ninja have any shame Tsunade-san?"

Tsunade's face grew red but Naruto cut her off. "It wouldn't do well to insult the Hokage, Tsuchikage-dono," he said. "Remember that Hokage-sama is one of the Densetsu no Sannin, as well as the most accomplished medical ninja our world has ever seen. And as for why I'm laughing, I had heard of the Nara's laziness but I never would have thought that one would forfeit before the fight even began. And while you think that might be cowardly, the Chunin Exams are voluntary. And from what I know of the Nara clan, they are some of the smartest people around, so I'm sure that Nobu-kun had some sort of plan but realized that it wouldn't work and decided to forfeit rather than risk being injured. Shows quite a strong grasp of tactics, knowing when to retreat when you know you can't win."

Tsunade and Gaara nodded. "He's just like his father," Tsunade said. Naruto blinked. "Nara Nobu is the son of Nara Shikamaru, one of my most respected jonin and a man who in fact forfeited himself during his appearance in the Chunin Exams. It was quite amusing as it was against Gaara-dono's sister Temari."

"I remember that," Gaara said with a small smile. "She was extremely angry with the Nara after that, it was quite amusing."

Below, in the stadium, the proctor had announced Aburame Shou as the winner for the match and called down the next two fighters, Matoke Kenshin from Arashi and Koguchi Yuji from Iwa.

"Oh so we get to see Kenshin-kun now," Naruto said. "This should be fun."

"What can you tell us about your boy Hiruzen-san?" Fumio asked.

"I think that it will be more fun if you just watch," Naruto said with a smile. "Kenshin-kun is one of my most surprising ninja, even I don't know what he'll show us."

"Well, he won't do much against Yuji," Takeshi said. "That runt looks like he could barely see over my knee, let alone beat someone of Yuji's caliber."

"We'll see," Naruto said with a mysterious smile.

"Hajime!" the proctor announced.

A cloud of dust erupted from Kenshin as the small boy rocketed forward at near-Jonin speeds. In a blink of an eye, Kenshin was inside Yuji's guard and quickly landed a three-punch combo to the taller boy's chest, stomach and chin. Yuji stumbled backward, trying to keep his feet under him.

"I told you," Naruto chuckled at Takeshi's face. "Kenshin-kun knows that he isn't the most intimidating ninja but he uses that to his advantage. Don't blink, or you'll miss this."

Yuji leapt backward from Kenshin, trying to gain space however, Kenshin's speed allowed the smaller boy to keep up with the Iwa ninja.

"Get away you little pest," Yuji snarled, kicking Kenshin in the chest and knocking the smaller boy away. He quickly made several hand signs and called out a jutsu. "Katon: Goukakyuu no Jutsu!"

A large fireball sped across the stadium toward Kenshin, who instantly vanished and reappeared twenty feet to the right. The small boy pulled a kunai from his pouch and sped off again. Another cloud of dust surrounded Yuji, who narrowed his eyes in an attempt to spot Kenshin.

"That's it you little pest," Yuji growled as his hands blurred through several hand signs. He slammed his palms on the ground and shouted out, "Doton: Joushou Tsuchi Shuuha no Jutsu!" (Earth Release: Rising Earth Wave.)

A wave of earth erupted from where Yuki had hit the ground, spreading out in a circle around Yuki. "You won't get away from me now!"

"Whoa!" Kenshin cried as he leapt over the swell of earth. "Kuso!" he cursed, as another large fireball sped toward him. "Kage Bunshin!" Kenshin shouted. A clone appeared at Kenshin's side and grabbed the original before throwing him to the side in order to avoid the fireball.

"What the! How can that boy know the Kage Bunshin, it's a kinjutsu from my village," Tsunade growled, glaring at Hiruzen.

"Like I said, Kenshin continues to surprise me," Naruto said.

"Too bad, so sad," Kenshin chided as he dashed forward once more and slipped inside Yuki's guard and began striking the taller boy everywhere and anywhere he could. Yuji tried to defend himself but he wasn't fast enough. Kenshin swept Yuji's legs out from under him and leapt into the air, aiming to finish the match with a spinning axe kick. Yuki was able to push himself away from where he was laying. The spot where Yuji was lying erupted into a ploom of smoke, as Kenshin's kick blew up the area.

"Kuso!" Yuji muttered. "If I had been hit by that, then I would have lost no question about it. But you're going to have to do better than that to beat me. Katon: Dai Endan!"

Kenshin sped through the approaching fireballs and landed a spinning sidekick to Yuji's side, sending the taller boy flying into the stadium wall. The smaller boy sped through some hand signs and called out, "Suiton: Teppoudama!" A large ball of chakra-infused water spat from Kenshin's mouth.

"ARGH!" Yuki cried as the water blasts slammed into him. He slumped to the ground, and stayed still. The proctor made his way over to the fallen boy and looked him over.

"Winner! Matoke Kenshin of Arashi!" he announced.

Takeshi growled as he watched the medics carry his unconscious ninja away. "Well, it seems that my ninja has shown that size isn't everything," Naruto chuckled.

"Next match will between Inuzaka Ookami of Konohagakure and Ochida Hitomi of Arashigakure, would these two come down?" the proctor asked.

"Oh so now we get to see an Inuzaka?" Naruto commented. "Hitomi-chan might have some trouble with this one."

"OH, how so?" Fumio asked.

"Hitomi is very talented in using ninjutsu but isn't as good at taijutsu," Naruto said. "So this match might be difficult for Hitomi-chan, though I think that she can win if she thinks things through."

"How about we place a bet on the match then Arashikage?" Tsunade asked. "Tsume and Ookami's father know that Ookami is one of their most promising clan members."

"Are you sure you wish to make a bet on your ninja?" Naruto asked with a chuckle. "Isn't one of your nicknames the 'Legendary Sucker'?"

Tsunade growled as the Tsuchikage and Raikage chuckled along with Naruto.

"What did you say gaki?" Tsunade barked, raising an arm. Hiruzen froze and put his hands up in a calming gesture.

"My apologizes, Hokage-sama," Naruto said. "I was just making a joke. You were the one to suggest making a bet. Oh look the fight has started."

"Gatsuga!" Ookami shouted as he and his partner launched themselves at Hitomi. The young girl leapt upward to avoid the swirling attack.

"Suiton: Teppoudama!" Hitomi cried as she spat several water balls at Ookami. The ninja/dog pair broke off their attack in order to avoid the water jutsu.

"Raiton: Kiriorosu!" Hitomi shouted. A slash of lightning shot from Hitomi's hands and sped toward Ookami.

"Kuso!" the wolf boy growled as he leapt away. The jutsu struck the ground where he had been standing and created a large hole in the ground. "You're going to have to do better than that to beat me!" Ookami chided. "Let's go Inumaru!"

The small grey dog barked and leapt toward his partner. Ookami flicked something at Inumaru and suddenly Hitomi felt a spike of chakra coming from the dog. Inumaru's normally dark grey fur turned red and grew much longer, sticking up all over his body.


"I've already seen that attack, it won't work on me," Hitomi shouted. But then she realized that the Gatsuga was rotating even faster than before. "Kuso!" she cursed. "Suiton: Sujiinheki no Jutsu!" A wall of water shot up and intercepted the spinning Inuzaka and nin-dog, however the jutsu was still strong enough to punch through the wall of water, though Hitomi was able to leap away from the attack.

"Impressive," Naruto muttered. "It looks like Hitomi-chan was able to improve her water element ability during the month between Second and Third Exams."

"Suiton: Suiben no Jutsu!" Hitomi cried out. A stream of water appeared in Hitomi's hand, she flicked her wrist and the water shot across the stadium and struck out at Ookami. The Konoha ninja howled in pain as the water whip wrapped around his leg and yanked him off his feet. He landed on his back with a thud.

"Raiton: Hiraishin no Jutsu!" Hitomi cried. Lightning engulfed her hand; she slashed her hand through the water whip, sending sparks down it. Ookami cried out in pain as lightning crackled around his body. Inumaru whined as his partner struggled to free himself from the attack.

"That's enough," the proctor shouted. "Winner Ochida Hitomi of Arashigakure!"

"All right Hitomi-chan!" Naruto cried out pumping his fist, much to the displeasure of the other Kages.

"Your ninja displayed quite a bit of forethought," Fumio commented. "Being able to use two high-class jutsus in conjunction with each to improve their effects."

"Yes," Tsunade said. "It's rare to find a person with both lightning and water elements outside of Kumo."

"Indeed," Fumio said. "Makes me wonder where you found her."

"If you're thinking that I stole her from Kumo," Naruto said shortly. "I assure you, Hitomi-chan and her family have been members of my village ever since its inception. And I don't appreciate your thoughts that I would 'steal' people from another's village, I'm not Orochimaru or others."

Fumio and Takeshi growled at Hiruzen. "I don't take to kindly to your tone Hiruzen-san," Takeshi growled.

"I agree," Fumio snarled. "You would be wise to not insult two of the Five Great Nations, boy."

"And you would be wise not to underestimate the Storm," Naruto answered, leveling a steely eyed glare at the two older Kage. "It will do you no good."

"Next match will be between Nishi Chieko of Sunagakure and Fukuzawa Amaya of Kumogakure," the proctor announced. Two young female ninja made their way down to the stadium floor and faced off against one another. As soon as the proctor gave the go signal, Amaya, the ninja from Kumo, drew her sword and shot across the stadium arena toward Chieko. The Suna ninja leapt backward, her hands flashing through hand signs.

"Doton: Doryuu Heki!" she cried out, raising a wall of sandy earth in front of her.

"That won't stop me," Amaya said as sidestepped the earthen wall, her sword charged with lightning. Chieko tried to leap away but the lightning from Amaya's blade reached out and caught Chieko. The Suna ninja cried out in pain as lightning arced around her body, setting her nerves aflame. But as quickly as the lightning struck Chieko, it vanished.

Chieko rolled sideways, avoiding Amaya's sword strike, though her nerves were still firing off randomly as Amaya's lightning strike continued its work. She tried to form another Doton defensive jutsu but the lightning still coursing through her body made channeling her chakra correctly nearly impossible.

Reaching into her pack, Chieko pulled out a johyo. Gaining some space from Amaya, Chieko began swinging the johyo rapidly, using its dart and length to keep Amaya at bay. Chieko knew that she couldn't beat Amaya in close range combat but hoped that she could outlast the Kumo ninja.

Amaya batted aside the dart easily with her sword. "You're going to have to do better than that to beat me," she jeered. "Did you really think that such a weak weapon would be able to beat me?"

Chieko frowned as she pulled in her cord before twirling it around once more, this time channeling her chakra down its cord. The cord instantly began coiling and twisting like a snake.

"What the?" Amaya cried as the cord danced around her sword, wrapping itself around the blade. She tried to cut the wire by charging her blade with lightning chakra but was stunned to find that she couldn't.

With a flick of her wrist, Chieko yanked the sword out of Amaya's hands and caught it with her empty hand. She glanced at the blade for a moment before it erupted into lightning chakra. Chieko cried out as she collapsed to the ground.

"You should have thrown my blade aside as soon as you took it from me," Amaya sneered. "I've put a seal on the blade so that it only reacts to my chakra. If anyone else tries to use it, the seal will activate and cause a build-up of my chakra will convert itself into lightning and attack the wielder."

"Clever," Naruto commented. "To think far enough ahead to make sure that your own weapon isn't used against her shows Chunin level planning at the very least."

"Indeed," Takeshi said.

"She's done for," Amaya said. "I packed enough chakra to take down several ninja, she'll be lucky to be able to stay conscious after that."

The proctor made his way over to the downed Suna ninja. Chieko was conscious but her clothes were smoking as well as her limbs were trembling randomly, as the lightning chakra played havoc with her nerves. "Winner Fukuzawa Amaya," the proctor called.

"Too bad Kazekage-dono," Fumio snickered. "It seems that your ninja wasn't up to scratch."

Gaara just leveled a stoic stare at the Raikage.

"Well it looks like we've reached the final match in the first round," Naruto said, noticing the tension rising between Gaara and the Raikage.

"Yes," Takeshi said. "And it seems to be between one of my ninja and one of your own, Hiruzen-san. It seems that your ninja have done well so far; winning each of their matches but that will end here."

"We shall see," Naruto commented.

"The final match of the first round will be between Katsu Eiji of Arashigakure and Mori Kohaku of Iwagakure," the proctor said. "Will the two participants make their way down to the stadium floor?"

A moment later, a very large boy wearing the hitai-ate of Arashi appeared, coming out of the ground like a plant. Kohaku leapt down from the viewing platform and walked over to face off against Eiji. Many murmurs were heard as the spectators got their first looks at the two fighters. Eiji towered above his opponent by nearly two heads, and the Iwa girl wasn't very physically imposing.

"Interesting match up Tsuchikage-dono," Naruto said. "From just looking at the two, it seems that Eiji-kun will have the advantage."

"True," Takeshi said. "But we know that physical statue doesn't make the battle won."

Naruto nodded. "Yes, you are right," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see what happens."


"Hajime!" the proctor shouted, slicing his hand down and leaping backward as Eiji charged forward, intending on ending the fight quickly. However his powerful punch missed as Kohaku ducked under the slow but powerful punch easily and landed several strikes of her own. However, she realized that she wasn't strong enough to deliver much damage to the large youth. Ducking under another powerful strike, Kohaku leapt backward to gain some space. She quickly made several hand signs and cried out a jutsu, "Doton: Doryuudan no Jutsu!"

A dragon made of muddy sand erupted from the stadium floor and sped toward Eiji, who looked up at the approaching dragon with a bored look. He quickly made several hand signs of his own.

"Doton: Doryuu Heki!" A stonewall intercepted the dragon before it could reach Eiji, however it was strong enough to shatter the defensive jutsu. Eiji charged forward but wasn't fast enough to catch Kohaku as she leapt up onto the stadium wall.

"Suiton: Teppoudama!" she cried out, spitting several water projectiles toward her opponent. Eiji tried to dodge but couldn't dodge them all. Two of the projectiles slammed into him and sent him crashing to the ground.

With a groan, Eiji sluggishly got to his feet. He looked up to find his opponent but saw nothing. Narrowing his eyes, Eiji reached out with his senses. During the month of training, Eiji had practiced learning to dispel genjutsu since he was terrible at casting it, though during this time off, he learned that he had a knack for dispelling them. Feeling some foreign chakra trying to invade his own system, Eiji made a Ram hand sign and yelled, "Kai!"

The world around him shimmered for a moment then came back into focus. And just in time, as Kohaku was descending from above him, a kunai in her hand. Eiji leapt backward to avoid the kunai strike.

"Not bad," Eiji commented as he drew his own kunai. "You had the right idea in trying to trap me in a genjutsu. I can't create one to save my life…however, I discovered I have a certain knack for dispelling as well as noticing them."

Kohaku growled as she avoided one of Eiji's own kunai strikes. She knew that she couldn't face this boy using just her physical abilities, he was much too strong for that and her genjutsu abilities seemed to be useless because of what he told her. She leapt backward to avoid another strike and then backflipped backward several times to gain space. Her hands flew through some hand signs and called out, "Ninpou: Kage Shuriken Bunshin no Jutsu!" The five thrown shuriken quickly became twenty-five.

Eiji leapt backward to avoid the shuriken before channeling chakra into his legs to propel himself across the stadium. Kohaku sidestepped Eiji and spun around, nailing the larger boy with a spinning kick in the back of the head. Eiji grunted as the extra momentum sent him crashing into the stadium wall. Shaking his head, Eiji pulled himself out of the wall. Feeling the hairs stand up on the back of his neck, Eiji ducked just as a kunai was embedded in the wall where his head would have been. Rolling sideways to avoid several more kunai, Eiji was finally able to get to his feet and face Kohaku.

"Suiton: Hahonryuu no Jutsu!" Kohaku cried, as a swirling vortex of water formed in her hand. Eiji brought his hands up to protect himself but Kohaku's jutsu struck him in the stomach. Eiji cried out as the Suiton jutsu tore into his body. With a large explosion, Eiji was thrown backward into the wall with a loud crack. Kohaku put her hands on her knees as she attempted to catch her breath.

The proctor looked over Eiji and nodded. "Winner Mori Kohaku!" he announced.

"It seems that your boy failed to secure a clean sweep, eh Hiruzen-san," Takeshi chided with a smug grin.

Naruto just shrugged. "You can't win them all," he said. "Eiji still has quite a bit to work on but he has grown stronger. I'm proud of all my ninja. And you can learn more from a loss than you do from a victory."

"Indeed," Gaara said. He got to his feet and stepped forward to the balcony. "And that concludes the first round of the Third Round of the Chunin Exams. Now the Finals will reconvene tomorrow morning, this is being done to make sure that each of the participants are at their very best. Please enjoy all that Sunagakure no Sato had to offer."


Meanwhile deep underneath Konohagakure no Sato, a meeting was taking place. Three figures were hidden by shadows as the spoke in whispers.

"This is the time," a hushed female voice hissed to her two fellows. "With the slug-bitch out of the village, we can use her absence to take the village. Are your men ready to proceed?"

"Patience," a man said. "My men are in position and only await my signal. By this time tomorrow, the village will be back on its rightful path with me as Hokage!"

A/N: There's the newest chapter of ST: WotS, hope you all enjoy it. Please read and review any suggestions on how to make this better. I am somewhat muddling through this story at the moment so it might not be as smooth as it could be. Once I finish this story 'arc' I will go back and look it over to smooth things out. Majority of the jutsus used in this chapter I found from .

First Round matches (Winners in bold)

Goto Hachiro vs. Fukuda Mai

Ijiri Emiko vs. Masuzoe Toshio

Hyuga Hitomi vs. Hiranuma Seiji

Nara Nobu vs. Aburame Shou

Matoke Kenshin vs. Koguchi Yuji

Inuzaka Ookami vs. Ochida Hitomi

Nishi Chieko vs. Fukuzawa Amaya

Katsu Eiji vs. Mori Kohaku

Enjoy this chapter and also check out my other stories posted on