Sixth chapter, fresh out of my head! We enter the first part of the Third Exam! Therefore, I won't hold you up any longer! Read and Review, please!
"Hey, Kakashi-sensei!" Naruto said in the hospital as he found his sensei coming into the reception with his hands in his pockets, looking lazy as usual.
"Quiet down, Naruto," Kakashi said softly. "We're inside a hospital. And no need to tell me why you're here. I already know what you're going to ask. I've found someone who will look after your training."
"Huh? Why not you, Kakashi-sensei?" Naruto asked, and Kakashi glanced to the side.
"I've got some business to take care of, so... I don't have time to look after you."
Naruto stared hard at Kakashi for a moment, then it clicked. "Ah! You're gonna train Sasuke, aren't you?"
"Now, now, don't be like that," Kakashi said in a placating manner. "I've found a teacher for you who's much more reliable than me."
"Oh, really?" Naruto asked, crossing his arms. "Who?"
"It's me!" a very familiar voice called out, and Naruto spun around to see none other than Anko standing there, her arms crossed under her chest.
Naruto's eyes widened, and a furious blush appeared on his face when he remembered the sensation of her breasts against his back (He was a thirteen-year old boy, after all).
"Why her?" Naruto asked rudely, making the smirking Anko twitch as the smirk disappeared from her face.
"What's wrong with me?" she demanded, but Naruto ignored her and looked to Kakashi.
"Anko-san has a chakra exercise for you," Kakashi said. "Of the three students that I teach in Team Seven, you're the one with the worst basic skills. You rely only on your Taijutsu, and have hardly any chakra control. Let her teach you this."
"But I don't need to learn chakra control, since I'm a Taijutsu specialist!" Naruto countered. Anko chuckled as she walked up to Naruto, slinging an arm around his shoulder and pressing the side of her breast against Naruto's face, making his blush return full force.
"Brat, this chakra control exercise is one that'll come in handy for you later in life, trust me. Now come on, I'll take you to where we'll train."
And so, Naruto found himself standing by the hot springs with Anko. Anko herself stood in front of a pool of extremely hot water, which was pouring out of the cliff side.
"So, what are we doing here?" Naruto asked. "We gonna take a bath before we start training?"
"Ufufufu..." Anko chuckled pervertedly. "You'd like that, wouldn't you, brat?" Naruto just blushed, and Anko laughed. "No, this is where we'll be training."
"So, what are we going to do?"
"Walk on top of the hot spring water," Anko said simply with a smirk, making Naruto's eyes widen. "I've heard from Kakashi that you've already done the tree climbing exercise with Hokage-sama. It's a variation of that. In tree climbing, you only have to continually create the same amount of the necessary chakra, and gather it to the necessary place. The tree is solid under you, and all you have to do is stick to it. In other words, it's a lesson in how to build up a certain amount of chakra. In order to walk on water, you must always expel the appropriate amount of chakra into the water from your feet and you must make it match the amount necessary to make you float. This chakra control exercise is more difficult than-"
"Woah, woah, woah," Naruto interrupted, raising his hands. "I'm not good with explanations. All I hear is, 'Blah, blah, blah.' How about you just show me?"
Anko twitched. She had come up with this incredibly long explanation that would make her sound really smart, and the brat went and interrupted her...
"Fine," she said and walked over to the water. She'd have her payback soon enough. She turned to the water and put her hands in a Ram seal. "Look, first I gather the chakra to my feet. Then, as I continually expel a set amount of chakra, I match it to the weight of my body," she explained as she walked out onto the water, getting an "Ooh!" from Naruto. "Understand?"
"I got it," Naruto said, putting his hands in a Ram seal, and walking toward the water. "First, gather it to your feet, and then expel a set amount, rig-"
He was interrupted when he promptly sank like a stone, only to come up screaming a few seconds later, scrambling onto the rocks surrounding the pool.
"I forgot to mention," Anko said with a huge grin on her face. "This bath water is sixty degrees Celsius. If you continue to fail, you'll become a boiled egg!"
"Damn you..." a steaming Naruto said, glaring at her behind his mask, only to make her grin even wider.
"Try it again."
After three more splashes in the water, Naruto was standing mid-shin in the water, almost getting it, making Anko's eyes widen.
'To think that the brat would grasp this exercise so soon...'
"This was not at all as hard as tree climbing," Naruto said, slowly stepping up onto the surface, grinning behind his mask.
"Good work, kid," Anko said, smiling. "This training session was a lot shorter than I had expected it'd be. You took to that chakra control like a fish to water."
"I have a name, you know," Naruto said. "It's Naruto."
"Yeah, yeah," Anko said, waving him off. "Now, come on, kid, I'll treat you to some dango."
Naruto and Anko sat in the best dango stand in Konoha, enjoying their meal. Naruto's mask was halfway rolled up to expose his mouth and half his nose.
"So, on the way here..." Naruto said, chewing on a dango stick. "Care to tell me why you got about as many glares as I did?"
Anko glanced at Naruto, who noticed that she tensed up slightly.
"Not really. Mind your own business, brat."
"But I like sticking my nose in other people's business," Naruto said with a grin. "It makes me happy."
Anko scoffed, but seemed to contemplate telling him. Finally, she sighed.
"I was once the disciple of Orochimaru," she said. "Enough said."
"I keep hearing about Orochimaru, but I have no idea what he did," Naruto said, his grin dropping. Anko looked at him incredulously.
"How can you not know what he did? Orochimaru is the greatest criminal to ever come out of Konoha! He performed horrible experiments on people, and killed countless Konoha citizens!"
"Huh..." Naruto said, humming. "So, they glare at you, because you were once associated with Orochimaru, and think that you might go the same way as him?"
"Well, that's just stupid."
"Tell me about it, kid..."
"My, my..." came the voice of the Sandaime Hokage's voice as he entered Naruto's apartment. The entire living room was covered in webbing, which seemed to have been shot out of small, round metal devices stuck to the floor, ceiling, and walls. In the back of the room sat Naruto, tinkering with his toys at his workbench. Next to him lay a round, shell-like backpack made of metal, with slots that could be pulled out all around it. "You've been busy, Naruto-kun."
"Jiji," Naruto said, not looking up from his work as he tinkered with a web-mine, as he called them. If a chakra source passed the lens of the web-mine, it would trigger the mine, which would then shoot a spider-web that had been tightly packed into the mine. "I have to ask you something..."
"What is it, Naruto-kun?" the Sandaime asked as he maneuvered through the room, careful not to touch the webbing he'd helped develop, as he knew he'd stick to it for hours if he did. Finally, Naruto stopped working and turned around on his swivel chair to look at the Sandaime.
"Was the Yondaime my father?"
This question caught the Sandaime by surprise, as he flinched rather violently at the blunt question, revealing that Naruto had found out the secret that the Sandaime had worked so hard to keep just that, a secret.
"What makes you ask that, Naruto-kun?"
"That guy in the forest, Orochimaru," Naruto said, leaning back in his swivel chair and crossing his arms. "He told me some things, told me about how I'm the container for the Kyuubi no Yoko, sealed into me by my own father, the Yondaime. Is it true?"
The Sandaime sighed. Leave it up to Orochimaru to cause trouble like this. "I was hoping, praying even, to never have to tell you this, Naruto-kun, but yes, it is true. You are the container for the Kyuubi, and as you have no doubt figured out, that's the reason why the villagers are so hateful toward you. I hope you're not too upset about all this?"
"Nah," Naruto said. "I'm just glad they hate me for the Kyuubi, and not for me. It's good to know the reason why they hate me. Besides, I have to worry about the third exam. I can't be bothered to worry about these things. There's plenty of time for me to chew you out for lying to me after I become chunnin."
The Sandaime was not looking forward to that conversation... He smiled.
"I'm glad to see that you are taking it so well, Naruto-kun. Know that your father would be proud of you." Naruto nodded, then turned back to the workbench, and the Sandaime approached it, looking down at the things Naruto was working on curiously. "So, Naruto-kun, what are you doing?"
"I'm working on some spider gear," Naruto said simply, pointing at a small metallic item in the shape of a spider, which was laying on top of a pile of identical-looking metal spiders. "That's my spider-tracker, it's an object loaded with my chakra. I just attach some webbing to it, and throw it onto whatever I want to track, and my spider sense can pick up on it, pointing me in the direction of the tracker. That," he said, pointing at a round metal device with a red lens in the center of it, "is a spider mine. It should come in handy in the future. It fires a spiderweb at anyone who crosses it."
"Very nice, Naruto-kun. And the other items?"
"A ninja isn't supposed to reveal his secrets, is he, Jiji?" Naruto asked with a smirk, and the Sandaime chuckled.
"Too true, too true."
"I can tell you, however, that I've been working on some new web-shooters, along with a new web formula."
"Yeah. I'll show you during the Third Exam."
"Well, good luck, Naruto-kun. I'll leave you in your little web, to work."
With that, the Sandaime left.
The month passed quickly, and now, Naruto stood in the arena where the Third Exam was going to be held, with Shikamaru, Gaara, Temari, Kankuro, Neji, and Shino. Dosu and Sasuke were nowhere to be seen, which was strange to Naruto, as Sasuke wouldn't miss this for the world. Hadn't he recovered yet? No, that couldn't be it. Kakashi was supposed to train him, after all.
"Hey, hey, stop looking around," the proctor, a jounin chewing on a long toothpick, said as he glanced back at Naruto and Shikamaru, who had both been looking around at the other participants of the Third Exam. "In this main tournament, you guys are the stars."
Naruto, who had gone with a change of wardrobe, took a deep breath. He had traded in his ANBU pants for a pair of red and blue spandex pants, and had switched gloves to a pair of all red ones that went up to his elbows, with the new web-shooters sewn into them. These new ones could also retract the fired web lines. He also wore his steel, shell-like backpack.
"Thanks, everyone, for coming to the Konoha Chunin Selection Exam!" came the Sandaime's voice from the top box, where he and the Kazekage were. "We will now start the main tournament matches between the eight participants who made it through the preliminaries! Please stay and watch until the end!"
"There's something I'd like to tell you before the matches," the proctor said, turning to them. "Look at this," he said and took out a piece of paper, showing the matches. Dosu was no longer on it, so Shikamaru was only facing Temari. "There have been some minor changes to the tournament. Check once again to see who you're fighting.
Naruto nodded to himself when he saw that he was still fighting Neji, who glanced at him with a smirk on his face.
"Excuse me," Naruto said suddenly.
"Sasuke isn't here yet. What are you gonna do?"
"If he doesn't appear by the time of his match, he will receive a default loss," the proctor said. "Alright, guys, this is the final test. The arena is different, but the rules are the same as in the prelims. There are none. You fight until one of you dies or acknowledges defeat. But if I determine that the fight is over... I'll step in and stop it, you got that?" No one nodded or said anything, but the proctor seemed to think that it was good enough, as he continued, "Now, the first fight, Uzumaki Naruto versus Hyuuga Neji. Those two stay here, while the rest of you go to the waiting room."
Everyone save for Naruto, Neji, and the proctor left the arena, and soon, Naruto and Neji stood facing each other. Neji smirked.
"You look like you have something to say."
"Yeah, I do," Naruto said, and gave Neji a thumbs down. "You're gonna pay for what you did to Hinata."
"Now, the first fight," the proctor said as Neji's Byakugan activated, "begin!"
"Heh, that's what makes it all worthwhile... It will be fun to watch you fall apart when you discover reality," Neji said, taking the Gentle Fist stance.
Naruto had studied the fighting style thoroughly during Neji's fight with Hinata. Neji went for Tenketsu, and nothing else. Naruto could work with that, easily. He knew just how to fight Neji in case the man got too close for comfort, if he could even do that. Naruto chuckled.
"It'll be even more fun to see you panic when I get the first hit in."
Neji's eyes hardened, and he charged forward. Naruto easily swerved out of the way of his admittedly fast strike, then dodged the follow-up spin kick. Neji had skills, he had to admit. He could probably become jounin within two years. Naruto could see that by the way Neji kept attacking him, striking with precision and force at the same time. But, so could Naruto, and Naruto was a lot faster than Neji. Not to mention, his spider sense kicked in with every strike, and he easily dodged them all.
Naruto ducked under a strike, and then came up with a devastating uppercut that landed on Neji's chin, packing enough power to lift Neji off his feet and send him backflipping into the ground.
"First hit was mine," Naruto said, grinning behind his mask. "Are you alright, there?" he asked as Neji pushed himself to his feet, stumbling a little. "I might not look it, but my punches pack one hell of a kick."
"Heh, hardly even fazed me," Neji said, taking the Gentle Fist stance again. "You got a lucky hit in, but you won't hit me again. You might as well give up, loser. It's your fate to lose to me."
"Fate?" Naruto asked curiously. "There's no fate but what we make for ourselves, I always say," he said with a grin, which faded slightly immediately. "I've said that once..." It faded a little more. "...just now..." His grin was now completely gone, and he shrugged. "But it's a smart thing to say nonetheless!"
Neji charged, and once again, Naruto was forced to dodge. Just like with Orochimaru, Naruto wasn't given a chance to counter the fast strikes. But Neji was nowhere near Orochimaru's level when it came to speed.
"And... Kick!" Naruto exclaimed suddenly, jumping and delivering a back-spin kick that sent Neji flying. Naruto grinned. "You're acting very much like a rookie, Hyuuga Neji-sama of the great destiny," he said as Neji struggled to his feet. Rushing forward he leapt at Neji and tried to punch him, only to be shocked when his punch was stopped a few inches away from Neji's face. Neji spun quickly, forming a dome of chakra around him that pounded into Naruto and sent him flying, unable to dodge in the air despite his spider sense kicking in.
Landing hard on the ground, Naruto immediately flipped to his feet and spun to look at Neji, who stopped spinning with a smirk.
"Who is the rookie here, dropout?" he asked, taking the Gentle Fist stance again. "You charged in and attacked without finding out your opponent's moves first. And now, you are within the field of my Hakke."
"Your what?" Naruto asked as Neji crouched low, his arms spread out in front of him and behind him.
"Hakke... Rokujuuyon Shou (Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms)!" Neji charged forward with impressive speed and struck Naruto twice in the chest. "Two strikes!" he exclaimed, then struck Naruto twice more. "Four strikes! Eight strikes! Sixteen strikes! Thirty-two strikes! Sixty-four strikes!"
The last two strikes hit with a strike to the chest and another one to the abdomen, sending Naruto tumbling back, stopping on his stomach, face-down in the dirt. Neji turned off his Byakugan and turned to the proctor.
"Examiner, this match is over."
The proctor scoffed and raised an eyebrow. Neji's eyes widened, and he spun around just in time to get punched on the cheek with enough force to send him flying across the arena straight into the wall.
"You're operating under the impression that this whole thing wasn't just an act to see your moves," Naruto said, standing up and looking perfectly fine. Neji coughed up blood as he thumped onto the ground and pushed himself to his feet.
"How...? I closed all your Tenketsu..."
"Look again," Naruto said with a smirk. Neji immediately activated his Byakugan, and went wide-eyed at what he saw. "I've already seen your Gentle Fist. You target the Tenketsu, so it was easy for me to move half an inch to the side with every strikes, avoiding getting my Tenketsu hit. You were arrogant, and that's why you will lose this fight."
"I cannot lose... It's my fate to win this match..." Neji muttered, taking the Gentle Fist stance again.
"Fate, fate, fate, that's all you ever talk about. Let me ask you something," Naruto said, standing in a very relaxed position. "Why, if you're this strong, did you mentally attack Hinata, who was trying so hard?"
Neji scoffed. "That's none of your business."
"Insulting Hinata... automatically deciding she's a loser... Main Family, Branch Family, I don't know what the hell happened there, but pieces of shit like you who call other people losers, I'll never forgive!"
Neji was quiet for a moment. Then, a smirk made its way onto his face.
"Alright... If you're gonna go that far, I'll tell you... of the Hyuuga's destiny of hatred... The Hyuuga Main Family has a special Ninjutsu that's been passed down... It's a Curse Seal Jutsu."
"The curse of the mark represents 'a bird in a cage.' It is the symbol of being tied down to an inescapable destiny," Neji said and reached up, taking off his headband to show his forehead, upon which he bore a strange mark. It was a Buddhist cross in between two horizontal lines ending in hooks.
"One day, when I was four, I had this horrible seal carved into my forehead through that Curse Seal Jutsu. That day, a grand ceremony was taking place in the leaf. A ninja leader from Cloud Country, which had been warring with Konoha for many years, had arrived to sign an alliance treaty. But at this ceremony, which everyone attended, from jounin to genin, one clan was missing. That was the Hyuugaclan. Because that was the important day when the Hyuuga heir turned three. Hinata-sama's birthday. My father, Hyuuga Hizashi, and Hinata-sama's father over there, Hyuuga Hiashi-sama," Neji said, gesturing with his head toward the stands, "were twins. But Hinata-sama's father, Hiashi-sama, was born to this world first. A member of the Main Family... And my father, the second son, became a member of the Branch Family. When the Hyuuga first daughter grew and turned three, I was turned into 'the bird in the cage' through this curse. As a Hyuuga Branch Family member."
"They put marks on you to distinguish between families?" Naruto asked in disgust. "Why is that necessary?"
"This mark on my forehead is not simply a decoration. This curse seal is the absolute fear of death given to the Branch Family by the Main Family. With a simple, secret hand seal, the Branch member's mind can easily be destroyed. Death is just as easy, of course. And this curse will only disappear after death, sealing up the ability of the Byakugan along with it."
"Oh, so this is what it's all about," Naruto said, nodding. "You're bitching because your father ended up being born second. I'm sure that if you had been a Main Family member, you wouldn't be so quick to condemn that little seal of yours."
"But I'm not! My fate has always been to carry this curse, just as it was my father's fate!"
"So, just because it was your fate to carry a little curse like that, you think you can see everyone's fates?" Naruto asked with a scoff. "Please. Your eyes may see a lot, but they can't see that."
"Enough! An ignorant brat like you shouldn't be lecturing! People are born with a destiny they cannot oppose! You could never understand what it's like to be burdened with a symbol you could never rid yourself of!"
Naruto tilted his head to the side. Wrong person to say something like that to, really.
"Yeah, I can, better than you could possibly imagine," he said, shrugging. "And? What about it?"
Neji gritted his teeth and charged at Naruto, striking at him, but Naruto ducked and planted his foot in Neji's stomach, sending him stumbling back. Then, he shot up and started pounding Neji with punch after punch. He then shot webbing at Neji's feet, sticking him to the ground and preventing him from spinning, before delivering a clothesline that smashed Neji's skull down into the dirt. Neji coughed up even more blood, and this time, he didn't get up.
"I... failed the Academy exam the first time I tried it, and I was the dead last in class," Naruto told Neji as he stood over him. "And look at me now, beating last year's Rookie of the Year in the Chunnin Exams. 'Destiny can't be changed, blah, blah, blah.' Stop whining about stupid crap like that. Since... you're not a loser like me."
"Winner, Uzumaki Naruto!" the proctor called out suddenly.
One by one, the spectators started clapping, until they finally broke into loud cheers. Naruto, who had completely forgotten about the crowd, suddenly whooped and started doing backflips and various acrobatics from the joy as he ran around, throwing kisses at the crowd.
Sixth chapter complete! Please let me know what you think, alright? Also, I'm getting a poll going. Do you want villains from the Spider-Man series to make an appearance, and if so, choose who you want (You may pick several):
Please let me know who you want and what you think of the fic so far!