Break & The Final
[Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. It belongs to Masashi Kishimoto. This fiction is just for fun.]
Character Thought and Inner Sakura
Naruto was waiting for Kakashi at the bridge. It had been just over three hours since Kakashi's summon dog had told him to meet at team 7's as usual spot.
Suddenly, a puff of white smoke appeared in front of Naruto's face. "Sorry, I'm late. I got lost on the road of life," Kakashi said after the smoke cleared.
"I knew you would come as usual three hours late, so I came here late," Naruto answered, his voice calm and cool.
"Well, that's good," Kakashi said, sweat dropping. I should have known he would do something like this.
"Anyway why did you call me here?"
"Oh, yes! Hokage-sama has told me to concentrate on Sasuke training." Kakashi held his hand when he saw Naruto opened his mouth to say him something. "Hold up now, let me finish, Naruto. He's going to provide you much better instructor than me."
"I was going to say it was ok."
"Why?" Slightly confused Kakashi asked. He had expected protest from Naruto, but this was unexpected.
"Well, Sasuke needs you more than me, because my opponent probably won't kill me, but his opponent will definitely do."
Well, that's true, Kakashi thought, knowing Neji had only tried to kill Hinata because he didn't like her. However, Gaara was different story. He was unstable. He would kill Sasuke without a second thought. "But I can't leave you alone." He pulled out a scroll and held front of Naruto. "This scroll contains some C-rank and B-rank Fire Jutsus."
"Thanks," Naruto said, taking the scroll from Kakashi. "So, you're going to tech Sasuke Chidori, right?"
Kakashi was now surprised by that. "How did you know that?" he asked.
"Chidori is only jutsu that can give Sasuke 40% chance to win against Gaara," Naruto gave him his truthful answer.
Kakashi nodded. Chidori was one of his prized jutsu that had a chance to stand against Gaara's Absolute Defense, because Raikiri was out of Sasuke's league.
"Anyway, Kakashi-sensei, can I ask you something?" Naruto didn't wait for his reply. "Why is Chidori considered an assassination technique? That jutsu is so loud one can hear it from a mile away."
Kakashi looked at Naruto like he was thinking something. "Maybe next time, Naruto, I will tell you. I have to reach somewhere in the time. See ya!" He disappeared after giving a lame excuse to Naruto. Truthfully, he didn't even know the answer.
"That was really a lame excuse. Don't you think, Karasu-can?" Naruto asked.
Karasu materialized from his shadow and landed upon his shoulder. "Yes, Master!" she said.
Hiruzen looked up from a book he was reading to see his Anbu.
"Uzumaki Naruto is here."
He nodded and Anbu vanished into the shadow.
A few moments later, Naruto entered the office. "What can I do for you, Hokage-sama? Why did you call me here anyways?" he asked.
"There's someone who wants to train you for the Chuunin Exams' final," Hiruzen said. He set the book on the desk.
"Whatever," Naruto said, "And whoever are you, come out now."
From nowhere, a man came out from hiding, wearing a green short shirt kimono and matching pants, and armor that showed out of the sleeves and legs of his outfit. He was a tall man with waist-length, spiky white hair, tied back into a ponytail with two shoulder-length bangs that framed both sides of his face. He had red lines that ran down from his eyes and a horned forehead protector with the kanji for 'Oil'.
"So you've been aware since the beginning," he said with a tone of amusement in his voice.
"Yes," Naruto said. He knew who was the man, but still asked question, "And who are you?"
"Alright, hold on!" the man said, as he summoned a very large toad with orange skin that was covered in blue markings. The man stood on top of the Toad. Taking the traditional Kabuki pose along with the toad posing with him, he started with his introduction, "Thanks for asking. I am Mount Myōboku-Gama's holy master Sennin also known as Gama-Sennin and the member of the Hidden Leaf's Densetsu no Sannin! I, Jiraiya, am the epitome of manliness! When you are someone like me, you'll only have to flash the sexiness to have women fall at your feet!"
Naruto sweat dropped and turned to look at Sarutobi. "Seriously, is there something wrong in your teaching?" he asked with a deadpan expression. "Only female in your former team is a gambler and heavy drinker. Another one is a creep. And this one," He pointed at Jiraiya, "is an idiot... and pervert because he writes those perverted books."
"Hey! I'm not a pervert!" Jiraiya shouted, catching Naruto's attention. He took a dramatic pose. "I'm the Super-Pervert!"
Naruto had turned the head to the Third Hokage again. "Ok. He's also a shameless," he said. He completely ignored Jiraiya's sharp protest, whom had fallen from the toad after hearing him.
"Hey! I'm a good teacher, Brat. I taught the most awesome Fourth Hokage."
Naruto hadn't even looked at him and said, "Then he might have a great patience to hear your nonsense."
Only if he... Jiraiya's face had turned red in anger, but he had controlled it by taking a deep breath. "I'll let you sign the Legendary Toad Summoning Contract," he said. He was smirking inside his mind while a chibi Jiraiya was doing a victory dance, thinking he had caught his godson's attention.
"W-what?" Jiraiya asked, as the Chibi Jiraiya fell flat on his face.
Naruto didn't show any emotions. He tilted his head slightly at Jiraiya and said, "I said no thanks."
"But why?" Jiraiya said, as he wanted to know answer. "Toads are the best!"
Hiruzen pretty much had a clue but didn't want to explain it to his student... not in front of Naruto.
"Because they don't suit me," Naruto told Toad-Sage.
"What do mean they don't suit you?" Jiraiya nearly shouted. He didn't understand why Naruto didn't want to sign the Toad Contact. It was childish reason. "Naruto, toads are the most powerful summons in the Elements Nation."
"No, they're not... They are one of the powerful summons but not strongest," Naruto said, looking straight at Jiraiya. "How about a bet?"
"Yes, a bet," Naruto said. "I'm giving you a chance. If you can convince me the Toad Contract will benefit me, I'll sign it. However, if you fails in it, you'll never bother me again."
"Tell me time and place. I'll be there!" Jiraiya said. He was eager to show his godson the awesomeness of his Toads.
"Meet me at the training ground 13 tomorrow at 5:00 am sharp," Naruto said. He then turned back, so no one could see the smirk on his face. He walked out of the office.
Jiraiya fully turned around to look at his sensei. "He is much different than I expected," he said. He had always thought that Naruto would get his father face but mother's personality. And I'm right but not completely. He looks so much like Minato, but his personality is much different than Kushina's
"Before the graduation exam, his personality was much different than now. It was similar to Kushina's, loud and brash," Hiruzen said, "but after the Graduation Exam..."
"What did happen in the Graduation Exam?"
Hiruzen looked down. "The truth hurts, but when it comes out unexpectedly, it harms... It forces to change person completely," he said. He started to tell his loyal student everything that had happened after in the gradation exam and after the exam. Once he finished telling everything, he took a small puff of smoke from his kiseru and exhaled it softly. "...and you can see what he has become now."
"But that much?" Jiraiya asked. He still had some doubts. It was impossible. No one could change completely in a short amount of time.
"Yes," Hiruzen said, probably completely unawared of what his student was thinking. "Anyway, did you find anything about Ryu?"
"Nothing," Jiraiya said. "I found nothing. He seems to appear out of nowhere"
"This is disturbing. He's completely unknown to us," Hiruzen said. He had hoped Jiraiya's spy network would find something about Ryu.
"Is that kid really the grandson of Uchiha Madara ?"
Sarutobi shook his head. "I'm not sure, but I can tell you he's really a powerful shinobi," he said. "His space-time Jutsu is more advanced than Tobirama-sensei and Minoto's."
"Then this kid is dangerous because he is also an Uchiha."
"Also keep eyes on Naruto; Ryu has shown an interest in him. And we'll lose Naruto forever, if we don't do something soon."
"I'll do my best," Jiraiya said, "But first, I want to test Minato's kid's power, and show him why toads are the best."
"Well, good luck for that." Hiruzen wasn't sure whether or not his student would succeed. Naruto was still stubborn as before.
Naruto and Jiraiya were in the middle of a field that was surrounded by the deep forest. The training ground 13 was only reserved for Jounins above class ninjas. Jiraiya had no clue how Naruto knew about it.
"So are you ready to sign the Toad Summoning Contract?" Jiraiya asked, thinking maybe he could have changed his mind.
"Is your old age finally catching up with your mind?" Naruto said calmly. "Because you've yet to prove their usefulness to me."
A vein popped out of Jiraiya's forehead. Calm down! He's your godson! he thought while taking a deep breath.
"As for my personal opinion, I don't see any usefulness of them," Naruto added.
"That's it!" Jiraiya yelled, pointing his finger at the blond. "Let's see, if you have a gut to tell him what you had told me now." He made hand seals. "Summoning Jutsu!" There was a large puff of smoke. When it cleared, he was standing on the top of a giant toad.
It was a very large toad, which towered over the trees, dwarfed most large rock formations, and was larger than most buildings. It had a dull, rusty red color, but around the eyes and on the lips and chest, it had brighter red markings. He had scarred over its left eye. The toad wore a large blue happi vest. It had a massive dosu blade at his hip and large kiseru pipe in his mouth. It was Toad-Boss, Gamabunta.
"So why'd you summon me, Jiraiya?" he asked.
"Bunta," Jiraiya said, "Well, there is a cocky brat who thinks that toads are useless."
"Where is he?"
Suddenly, a black smoke filled in the area blinding their visions. When it cleared, both summon and Toad-Sage looked shocked for completely different reason. Standing front of them was a large black bird. It was a raven. It was bigger than the Toad boss. Its four eyes gave off a brilliant red glow, and its body and wings covered with numerous bone-like plates with reddish-gray marking. It had three legs with the middle leg holding a strange, purple sphere. It was the strangest part of the creature. Standing top of its head was Naruto.
Gamabunta's eyes widened in a shock, as he dropped his large pipe. "Impossible...! How did he obtain this contract? But the question is how did he fulfill the condition that need to sign the contract? It's impossible!" he said. "Who hell is this kid, Jiraiya?"
"It's Him, Bunta," Jiraiya answered while wondering why Toad-Boss looked shocked to see the large raven.
"Him?" Gamabunta said to himself, narrowing eyes at the blond boy. "Oh, I see. He looks just like him."
"Bunta, you looks shocked seeing that black bird... Do you know him?"
Gamabunta put his pipe back into his mouth. "Her... Her name is Kurayami." He took a puff of the burnt tobacco from it before blowing some smoke. "She is a Yatagarasu and the boss summon of the ravens."
Jiraiya looked at the Raven Boss and said, "So Naruto has the Raven Summoning Contract."
"No, the kid don't have a normal contract," the Toad-Boss said, confusing the Toad-Sage. "He has the Legendary Raven Spiritual Contract. To sign this contract you need to fulfill one difficult condition."
Jiraiya asked, "What's it?"
"Is there anything else I can do for you, Naruto-kun?" Kurayamiasked, her voice soft and gentle, like a mother's voice.
Naruto pointed at Jiraiya and said, "Kura-chan, see that man... He's Jiraiya, one of Leaf's Legendary Sannin. That man wants me to sign the Toad Contract. That's why I summoned you to show him that I don't need any weak summoning contract."
"You should show respect to others, Naruto-kun. But anyway, you're our summoner. I'll tell Gamabunta-san and his summoner to leave you alone."
Naruto nodded. He looked pleased to hear about it.
Kurayami turned to another boss summon and in a respectful tone, spoke, "Hello, Gamabunta-san. It's a pleasure to meet you again after a long time."
Gamabunta gave a nod. "It's a pleasure to meet you, as well, Kurayami-san," he said, giving some respect to her. After all she was the boss of one of the legendary summon clan.
"Could you please tell your summoner to leave Naruto-kun alone?" Kurayami said in a sweet tone, but it had a dangerous edge on it. "He's our summoner and he's not interested in sign any other summoning contract."
She can become scary when she wants, Gamabunta thought, shivered. "I'll try."
Naruto carefully landed to the ground from his summon's head. "Thank you, Kura-chan," he said, looking at her.
"You're welcome," Kurayami said before disappearing into the blank smoke.
"Hey, Brat!" Jiraiya said. He had jumped from the Toad-Boss' head and landed next to Naruto. "Where did you get this contract?"
Naruto tilted his head the Sannin slightly. "Hmm..." He suddenly pointed behind the Sannin. "What the hell! What is Senju Tsunade doing here topless?"
"What?" Jiraiya quickly turned his back with a perverted smile on his face. "Where?" To his disappointment, no one seemed to be there. His smiled dropped, and he turned back to Naruto. "Hey, no one is—" He looked around to find the blond, but there was no sign of him. "Where the hell is that brat?"
"He's gone," Gamabunta said, smile."He's taken advantage of your perverted nature to fool you... I like that boy."
"Shit! Sensei is not going to be happy," Jiraiya said with a slightly panicked expression.
"You should leave him alone, Jiraiya. Kurayami is gentle and kind summons, but she is also one of the dangerous summonses I know. Do not take her lightly."
Jiraiya looked up at Gamabunta. "What do you know about the Raven Contract?" he asked, as he wanted to know all about Naruto's contract.
Jiraiya entered Hokage's office. He was slightly disturbed and depressed. For the last four days, he had been searching Naruto, and as far as he had found nothing of his godson. No clue, no lead, no sign of where he had gone to.
"Hello, Sensei," he greeted.
"What happened to you, Jiraiya?" Hiruzen asked, rising his eyebrow. He was doing his as usual paperwork. "Did Naruto sign the Toad contract?"
"No," Jiraiya said, as he became more depressed. "He doesn't need it."
"What do you mean?"
"He already has a summoning contract."
"What? Which?" Hiruzen asked. He wasn't aware that Naruto already had a summing contract.
"The Raven Contract. According to Gamabunta, It's a legendary contract."
"A legendary contract?"
"Yes." Jiraiya nodded. "It is a rare contract."
"I see," Hiruzen said. He packed his pipe with fresh tobacco and lit it with a snap of his fingers. "What did you find about the Raven Contract?"
"They serve for Death-god, and live in the border between the world of the living and realm of beyond," Jiraiya said. "Gamabunta also told me a rare condition to sign the Raven Contract."
"What is it, Jiraiya?" Hiruzen asked, as he was eager to learn more about the contract because it looked pretty much powerful to him from all information that Jiraiya had given to him.
Jiraiya took deep breath and said, "To sign the Raven Contract, you have to touch by the death."
Hiruzen dropped his pipe in a shock. "The death...? But Naruto... Oh!" A sudden realization had hit him.
"What do you mean 'Oh'?"
Hiruzen picked up his pipe and took a long puff of it, inhaling the rich tobacco's scent, breathing in heavily, then exhaling a wreath of smoke. "The Dead Demon Consuming Seal... Minato used it to summon the Shinigami to seal the Nine-Tailed Fox's Yin chakra into himself and Yang chakra into his son. Maybe, that time, Naruto was touched by the Death-god," he said.
"No wonder they call you the Professor," Jiraiya said, as he was clearly impressed by his Sensei's thinking. "I didn't even think about it."
Hiruzen exhaled a puff of smoke again before saying, "So where is he?"
Jiraiya looked at his sensei with a confused expression on his face and asked, "Who?"
"Well, he is..." Jiraiya rubbed the back of his head in a sheepish way. "I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?" Hiruzen asked said while standing up from his seat. He narrowed his eyes at his student. "I clearly told you to keep eyes on him... What happened, Jiraiya? How was a Genin able to run away from a Sannin?"
"Well, I was get distracted."
"And which was a very easy to me," a familiar voice said.
Both Hiruzen and Jiraiya turned their heads toward the direction the voice had come from and saw Naruto leaning against the wall in his as usual clothes.
Jiraiya nearly shouted, "Where have you been, brat?"
"I was here and there," Naruto answered, causing a tick mark appeared on Jiraiya's forehead. He looked at the Third Hokage. "Do you know the reason of his distraction?"
Sarutobi shook his head. "No."
Naruto smiled. "Then let me tell you."
"Hey, Naruto!" Jiraiya said, sweating slightly. "Keep it in between us... Please."
As usual Naruto flatly ignored him. "When I told him standing behind him was topless Tsunade, he couldn't control his perverted nature..."
"And he turned to look at Tsunade," Hiruzen said, getting a nod from Naruto. He looked at Jiraiya and glared at him. "Jiraiya, what am I going to do with you? You're going to get yourself killed, one of these days, if you cannot control your perverted habits."
"The pot calling the kettle black," Naruto murmured.
Hiruzen turned his head to Naruto and asked, "What?"
"Oh, nothing! I want to say a hidden compartment in two drawers left."
Hiruzen's jaw dropped to the ground. "How did you know that?" he asked. How did he find about the hidden compartment where I hide my Icha-Icha books?
"Well, I've eyes and ears," Naruto said before turning around and started to walk toward the exit.
"Where are you going, Naruto?" Jiraiya asked. "You haven't answered my question yet."
Naruto tilted his head to Jiraiya and said, "Ask to the original. I'm just a clone." Then he disappeared in a puff of smoke.
If it was a clone then where is real Naruto? Both Sarutobi and Jiraiya thought.
It was the border between the world of the living and realm of death and the home of the Naruto's ravens summons as well as other spiritual animals. It consisted of floating landmasses, some large, some small, on the sea of clouds and in orbit around what looked like a neutron star. Due to very low but constant light from the blue star, the limitless sky of the place was a dark blue like dusk fading into dawn. It also appeared that floating landmasses were not only isolated to the jungle region, but were widespread. Like on the Elemental Nations, its forests contained a wide diversity of flora and fauna. They were also full of bioluminescent life that glowed in shades of blue, green, indigo and violet in the dark.
The place was a very beautiful... as well as dearly for the lost souls and humans.
On one of floating land, Naruto was meditating and focusing on his chakra while sitting on the top of the lake water. Even though he has been in there for months, he knew what was going on, in the Hidden Leaf. His summons and Daiki had spied around the village to gather data and observe it and its surroundings.
"Aren't you going to warn them about Orochimaru's jutsu, Master?" Karasu asked telepathically. She was watching Naruto from distance.
"No, we already have given enough information. No need to tell them that," Naruto answered in an unconcerned manner.
"By the way, that sick Jounin from the preliminary is dead. He was wrong place in wrong time. He is killed by the Sand Jounin with mask over half of his face."
"Fourth Kazekage is also dead. One of the Zetsu clones has found the faceless corpses of him and his bodyguards out in the desert."
"I know. When he had come in the morning with his false face, I had sensed it immediately from our special bond."
"One more thing is the Fourth Raikage has also come to the Leaf with Jinchuuriki of Eight-Tailed Giant Ox and Two-tailed Monster Cat."
Naruto opened his eyes, revealing his Sharingan and said, "Now, I didn't know about that. What is Raikage doing in the Leaf with his two secret weapons? No one from the cloud has passed the second test."
It was the day of the Chuunin Exam Finals. The stadium was packed with tourists, daimyos and many other people who had come to watch the great fights that would occur later. There was no empty seat at all in the stadium. Everyone wanted to watch the matches that would take place. Up in the Kage balcony, Third Hokage, Fourth Raikage and Fourth 'Kazekage' were sitting in their seats while waiting for the exam to commence.
By the time nearly everyone was seated, nearly all the competitors for the final exam had arrived at the stadium with the exception of Dosu, Naruto and Sasuke. Both Naruto and Sasuke were the only ones yet to seem to face their opponents, Hyuuga Neji and Gaara.
"All right guys, I'm Shiranui Genma, your new proctor. The rules of the combat are the same as in the preliminaries," the leaf Jounin said. He looked like Mizuki's, except he seemed older, and had a large senbon in the corner of his mouth. "The first match of the Chuunin Exam Finals, competitors Nara Shikamaru and Temari, please report to the arena floor for your match!"
Temari opened up her fan, sending strong gusts of wind in all directions and then she jumped on the fan and floated down to the arena.
Shikamaru looked at his opponent warily. "Troublesome," he muttered as he turned and walked toward the stairs.
Shikamaru and Temari stood across from each other on the arena floor.
"Contestants, are you ready?" Genma asked, getting nods from both Genins. He brought his hand down. "Begin!" He jumped back.
Temari dashed toward Shikamaru preparing to strike with her fan. The boy merely pulled out two kunai before she jumped and slammed the fan on him. A large cloud of dust took a form, preventing them from seeing a thing. When it cleared, all they saw was a Temari's fan nailed into the ground and the girl staring at it with a dumbfounded look. Shikamaru had nailed the kunai on the wall, and was hanging up with them, avoiding the fan by inches.
"I don't care if I can't become a Chuunin," he said with a shrug. "But a man can't lose to a woman... so I guess I'm in."
Apparently not pleased with the boy's comment, Temari gritted her teeth and swung her fan forward. A gust of wind was sent toward Shikamaru, creating another cloud of dust. Again, Shikamaru wasn't there when it cleared.
Temari smirked, accepting the challenge and shifted her eyes around the arena looking for the boy. It didn't take her long to find him. She spotted Shikamaru hidden behind one of the small trees in one side of the arena, apparently planning his attack.
It was a battle between two very good tacticians, ending with Shikamaru outsmarting Temari and capturing her with his Shadow Possession Jutsu, but due to his fatigue, Shikamaru gave up, giving the victory to Temari.
"Winner is Temari from Sand!" Genma declared.
Shikamaru walked toward his team, leaving dumbfounded Temari behind.
"Wow, who knew student of yours had such a genius thinking mind," Kurenai said as she was clearly impressed by the young Nara's plan.
"I was shocked as well. He has the great qualities as a leader. He is calm and can make good decisions in under pressure, and he has great talent as a Shinobi," Asuma said proudly. "When he was at the academy, his grades were not that great. He always claimed it was too much troublesome to even move the pencil for the academy written exams. It seems that he would always sleep through his tests. Once, it struck me as strange that he could be so strong at strategic games despite his grades. So I had him an IQ test disguised as a game. I wasn't taking it seriously at that time."
"So...? How was it...?" Kurenai asked, as she wanted to know IQ of the young Nara.
Asuma smiled while looking at his student. "He sure was a diamond in the rough. He is the super genius with IQ over 200."
Kurenai's eyes widened in shock. Two Hundred?
"Alright then let's begin the next match. You please clear the area," Genma said, sending Temari away.
"He is a good," Hiruzen said. He had watched the match between Shikamaru and Temari. Even though young Nara had forfeited the match, his plan was genius. A worthy to become a Chuunin.
A leaf Jounin appeared behind him in a puff of smoke, using the body flicker jutsu. He knelt down next to his leader and whispered in his ear, "That's just it. We still can't find Sasuke. Maybe, we should disqualify him."
The audience was beginning to get restless since it had been a good ten minutes since last fight had ended. They were yelling for the second match.
"What's going on? Hurry up and start next match!"
"How long are you going to keep us waiting?"
"Sheesh," Genma said, watching the behavior of the audience.
"What's going on? Is Sasuke-kun even here for his match?" Ino said. For the last five minutes, she had been looking around for her Sasuke-kun.
"What the heck is that guy doing? Is he planning not to come?" Shikamaru said.
Shino adjusted his sunglasses and said, "Confucius said, "The wise do not approach the dangerous." A wise decision perhaps?"
"We have no choice," Sarutobi said. "As the rule state, Sasuke will be disqualified."
He got a nod of approval from Raikage.
Kankuro seemed to be worried. "If he doesn't come plan will..." he said to his sister.
"This is bad. What are we going to do?" Temari replied.
"Hokage-dono, please wait little while longer before making a decision," 'Kazekage' said on Hokage's decision of the disqualifying Uchiha Sasuke.
Hiruzen looked surprised but hid it well. "Anyone who takes punctuality lightly... doesn't have what it takes to be a Chuunin. No matter how good they are," he said. He had hardened his voice to make his point.
Raikage spoke, "I'm with Hokage-dono. Uchiha doesn't deserve to be a Chuunin promotion if he can't come in time for his own match."
Damn, You, Raikage! 'Kazekage' though before speaking. "You are right Raikage-dono, but the majority of shinobi leaders and lords, myself included, are here mainly because we wanted to see this next match."
Hiruzen looked around and saw most of people eagerly waiting for the match. "Very well. We will make an exception and have this match later on, but Sasuke will not become a Chuunin even if he became winner of the final match," he said, getting nods from his fellow Kages. There is no guarantee Sasuke will come, but there's no helping it.
"Hokage-sama, are you really okay with that?" the leaf Jounin asked to conform his leader's decision.
"Just inform the examiner!" Hiruzen said.
"Yes sir," the Jounin said before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
The Jounin, who had been with Third Hokage just a few minutes before, had explained everything to Genma.
"Okay, I got it," the protector of Chuunin exam said before turning to audience. "Ladies and gentlemen, the contestant of next match hasn't arrived yet. Therefore, we will push this match back and begin next one."
Asuma wandered, "Just what is Sasuke doing?"
Ino smiled and said, "What a relief! Sasuke-kun won't be disqualified."
Looking up at the contestants, Genma said, "And now, the next match! Kankuro and Aburame Shino, come down!"
This match doesn't even matter. I'm more worried about revealing the gimmick that was planted into Karasu before the plan begins. There's no way I'm going to do that, Kankuro thought before taking a decision. "I forfeit!"
"What?" Ino shouted. "He is even worse than Shikamaru, at least that lazy bum actually fought first before giving up."
"Okay, that's unexpected," Genma said, "The fourth match of the Chuunin Exam Finals, competitors Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Neji. Please report to the Arena floor for your match."
Neji arrogantly walked across the arena
Genma waited for Naruto to show up. "Uzumaki Naruto," he called out again. "Please come down to the arena floor or you will lose by forfeit!" He saw that Neji still wore that arrogant smirk on his ever so confident face expecting to have him call the match as a forfeit. What the hell is wrong with Kakashi's both students?
"Where is he?" Sakura screamed angrily.
All Genins were wondering the same thing.
Gemna noticed the audience getting restless. He shook his head and said again, "One last time, Uzumaki Na—"
He never got a chance to say anything further. With a flock of crows, Naruto appeared in the arena. He dressed in a black shirt, pants, shinobi sandals and customized red-black armor with the Uzumaki swirl on its back. On each arms, he had pair of black sleeves with metal arm protectors over them.
"Wow! I never thought I would say this; Naruto is hot," Ino said, ogling new Naruto.
Shikamaru sweat dropped at her behavior. Troublesome blondes, both she and Naruto, he though.
"Why are you late, Uzumaki?" Gemma asked.
"Sorry, a black cat crossed my path, so I took long root," Naruto told him, keeping a straight face.
Everyone sweat dropped at his lame answer.
Please, not another Kakashi, the leaf shinobis though.
"Well anyway, both of you ready?" Genma asked. He got nods from both Neji and Naruto. "Begin!" He jumped away from the arena.
Hyuuga Hiashi, the head of Hyuuga clan was sitting with his daughter Hyuuga Hanabi in the audience. Hanabi had dark-brown hair with long parted bangs with a single lock of hair falling into her face. Like rest of her clan, she had large, white eyes but with a hint of lilac in them.
Hiashi said, "Looked at the match, Hanabi. Neji is a true genius. He is true shinobi. He is calm and calculating. You can learn many things from him."
"Yes father," Hanabi said, nodding. She turned her head to the match.
"It's your destiny to be defeated by me," Neji said confidently.
"Oh, really? Thanks for telling me that," Naruto said in a mocking tone. "You should quit being a shinobi and start to tell the fortunes to others."
"Very funny, Uzumaki."
"Well, I tried my best."
"You should focus less on talking and more on fighting, Uzumaki," Neji said, and he took the stance of the Gentle Fist, but before he could activated his Byakugan, Naruto interrupted him.
"Thanks again, Neji. But I want to ask you something," the blond said. "The things I have heard about the Byakugan, is true?"
In the puff of smoke, Kakashi appeared beside his fellow Jounins with Sasuke. The loyal Uchiha wore new outfit, consisting of a black, short-sleeved shirt with a high collar and the Uchiha crest on the back along with black shorts and many small arm-belts adorning his left arm and similar bands around both legs.
"Sasuke-kun!" Ino and Sakura yelled happily, as they tried to tackle their crush, but the Uchiha moved out in time to avoid both of his fangirls.
"Am I late?" Kakashi asked without taking his eyes from his book.
"Yes, you're late, Kakashi, my eternal rival," Gai answered.
"You're lucky; the Hokage has decided to postpone Sasuke's match," Asuma said. "But you're in time to see Naruto's match."
"Naruto," Sasuke said. He looked down at his blond teammate to see him taking with Neji.
Kakashi also closed his book to see fight between his and Gai's students.
"Yes, it's true," Neji said proudly. He had though Naruto was talking about the Byakugan's legendary status.
Naruto said, "Oh! So, Byakugan is really a perverted doujutsu."
For a moment, Neji froze, shocked. The look on his face was priceless.
Asuma started to laugh. He hadn't expected Naruto would say something to Neji. Kakashi also let out small chuckle. Gai and Kurenai didn't know how to react on it.
Anko was laughing loudly, tears escaping her eyes. "I like this kid!" she said.
Jiraiya, who was watching his godson's match from his hiding spot, had almost shown his presence to others. He had never seen Hiashi's face like this before. The Hyuuga clan head's right eye was twitching in annoyance. The look on his face was priceless.
Brat really knows how to push certain buttons, he thought, as he really wanted to laugh loudly like Anko.
"Well, Master is always like this," a famine voice said.
"What?" Jiraiya said, surprised. He had heard a voice in his head.
"Just look behind you," the same voice said.
He quickly turned around and saw a black bird. A raven...? Wait a minute, a raven. "Are you one of Naruto's summon?" he asked.
"My name is Karasu. And I'm more than a summon. I'm Master's Guardian Angel as well as a part of his soul."
"A part of Naruto's soul?"
"Yes, Kurayami-sama has created me from Master's soul."
An animal companion that has created from the soul. Interesting, he thought, eyeing carefully the bird.
"Yes, it's really interesting," Karasu spoke.
Jiraiya's eyes widened. "You can read minds like Yamanaka."
"I'm better than them," she said. "Anyway, tell your leader be careful around Kazekage."
Before the Sannin could ask anything, Karasu had melted into the shadow. So, she can travel through the shadows. No wonder, Naruto doesn't want to sign the Toad Contract. The Raven Contract has more benefits than the Toad Contract, he thought. He turned to Kage booth and narrowed eyes at Kazekage.
Neji came out from his shock. He lost his cool attitude completely and yelled, "Where the hell did you get this idea?".
"Well, Byakugan can see through any solid objects, right? It means it can see though the cloths," Naruto explained. He saw Neji's face turned red, whether from embarrassment or anger, he couldn't tell. He smirked mentally. "And Yesterday, in the evening, I saw you near a public bath house with your Byakugan active." It was complete lie but he said it in such way that anyone could easily believe it.
Tenten's jaw dropped on the ground. "Neji is a pervert!" She nearly shouted.
Gai stood up on his feet and pointed his finger at Neji. "How unyouthful!" he exclaimed. "I'm ashamed to call you my student, Neji!"
Hiashi could feel most of females were glaring at him. He sighed. I shouldn't have come here, he thought. He looked down at the arena, especially Neji's opponent. What's your intention with spreading such rumor about my nephew? But if it is true, He narrowed his white eyes at his nephew, then I need to talk to Neji about it. The Byakugan is clearly not for peeking.
Neji-nii-san is a pervert, Hanabi though, looking at her cousin in disbelief.
Neji could feel murderous intent of most of females towards him, especially from Hinata's sensei. He glared at the blond. "Stop spreading lies about me!" he yelled. "I'm not a pervert!"
Naruto said, "Strong denial means it is true."
It was the last straw that broke Neji's patience. "I am going to kill you!" he shouted angrily, and he dashed toward Naruto in range. In anger, he had forgotten to activate his Byakugan. He began blindly attacking on the blond, who was dodging his all attacks easily.
Hanabi looked at her father. "Arr... Father," she said.
Hiashi sweat dropped at his nephew's behavior. "Hanabi, Just watch the match," he said, as he didn't want to explain anything to his daughter.
Hanabi looked at the match. Calm and calculating... Yeah, right? He's a pervert, she thought.
Kurenai was glaring at Neji. It wasn't because he had tried to kill her student one month ago, but because he had dared to peek on her because yesterday, in the evening, she had been using the bathhouse with her closest friends. I hate perverts.
Kakashi chuckled. Naruto was trying to provoke Neji, hoping he could make a mistake. And Neji has already made a mistake by underestimating Naruto, he thought. I don't have any clue about Naruto's skills, but I know one thing he isn't like other Genins. He has a devilish mind. He will use anything even the dirty tricks to win.
Naruto dodged Neji's attack again. But this time, he grabbed his hand and threw him away. Neji somehow managed to regain his balance, but he spun around quickly and dodged five kunais that had thrown his way.
Neji said, "This is usel—" He stopped in mid-sentence as he felt the sharp pain in his stomach. He saw Naruto had punched him.
"You are taking too much," Naruto said, pulling a kunai with his other arm and slashed across Neji's arm, causing the Hyuuga genius to jump back holding his bleeding arm.
The cut on Neji's arm wasn't too deep, but it was bleeding profusely. "You!" he said venomously while wrapping medical tape around the arm to stop the bleeding. "Now, I know your plan and I'll not fall for it again." He activated his Byakugan. "Are you prepared to lose, Uzumaki?"
Naruto said, "So, you want to dance, huh? Well, shall we dance, Hyuuga Neji?" His eyes had become cold "The dance of death."
(To be continued)