I am back, finally. It's the end of exams now so hopefully I'll be regularly updating again.
It's the last chapter of Team Itachi, finally. The first chapter of Team Itachi: Shippuden will be out on Saturday, so do look out for it on my profile ;)
Lin: I suffered a lot without being unable to write something for so many weeks! Just heard that music and I have to agree it does sound pretty suitable :P
LONGNodaichi: You can't blind someone by punching them in the face ;) and yes, Team Itachi: Shippuden will be published on Saturday.
Hachibi8tails: I meant all the jutsu that Sasuke has used in the story - not the ones you think he will use later on :P
Babyhearts: Thanks - better late than never!
Thanks to Arch The Ripper, Lin, shadowmarialove, LONGNodaichi, FrozenFlamingFire, demonic hellfire, SkyRage, S.R.457, Hachibi8tails and Babyhearts for the reviews!
Sasuke's right hand sank into Neji's face.
He let out a cry of pain as he was knocked to the ground. A small wave of Lightning chakra danced on his cheek, the spot he'd been hit. Sasuke looked down at Neji, ready to strike again.
Then, Sasuke felt something wrapping on his wrists.
Sensing something amiss, he jumped back, but the rope-like thing pulled him down towards the lying form of Neji.
Swiftly, Neji's right hand jabbed itself into Sasuke's chest, cushioning his fall.
Almost instantly, the Uchiha spat out blood.
"Got you now," Neji grinned.
Sasuke gasped. "What..."
"I got these invisible chain from Tenten," his opponent smirked, staggering back up on his feet. It was evident that he'd took quite a bit of damage from the punch. "I knew they would come in handy sooner or later."
Sasuke fell on his left knee as he felt his chakra leaving him.
"But now you don't have..." Neji stopped mid-sentence, panting. "... you don't have your jutsu, it's my turn."
Readying himself, Sasuke restarted their battle, flinging shuriken towards Neji.
The throwing stars hit the target, but a simple Substitution Jutsu did the trick. Sasuke swung back, but was too late to prevent Neji's successive palmed attacks, knocking him down.
"You're at your limit," Neji declared.
"Heh," Sasuke huffed. "So are you."
He roared unexpectedly, jumping back up and aiming three punches at Neji's face.
The Hyuga genius raised his hands to block them, but struggled with the strength Sasuke channeled into his fists. The last punch slammed into his jaw, sending him reeling back.
Blood started running down his lips as Neji rubbed his jaw, wincing in pain. He could feel his strength leaving him already.
Sasuke then started coughing, and more blood was spat onto the arena ground.
Both opponents looked each other in the eye, and then charged.
A single attack was exchanged - Sasuke with a punch, Neji with a jab.
Their respective attacks hit, and a second later both had collapsed onto the ground, unconscious.
Three days had passed, and the surprisingly short Jonin Exams had concluded.
Sasuke and Neji, with various bandages and plasters all over their body, looked down at the Jonin vests on the desk.
"Both of you have been promoted to the Jonin rank," Tsunade smiled.
Sasuke grabbed his Jonin vest with glee.
It seemed to bear no difference to the Chunin vest he currently had on, apart from the lighter shade of green, but it didn't matter.
He was a Jonin now!
"Also, accompanied with your ascension to the Jonin rank are these free new forehead protectors." Tsunade placed two Konoha forehead protectors on her desk. They were both colored black.
"We couldn't agree on a winner for the fight," the Godaime explained, as both newly-appointed Jonin shinobi took their new forehead protectors. "So we have decided to promote both of you to Jonin instead of one. Serve the Hidden Leaf well."
Sasuke and Neji nodded and bowed.
"So, Sasuke-kun, you're a Jonin now, huh?"
Sakura smiled brightly at Sasuke, who returned it with a grin of his own.
"Yeah," he tugged at his brand new Jonin vest, and tightened his also brand new forehead protector. "These feel pretty good." He then gestured towards Sakura. "By the way, your new one's nice too."
"Hehe, you noticed?" Sakura giggled as she tied her red forehead protector hairband style. "I think it looks better than the old blue one."
"Definitely," Sasuke shot her a thumbs-up.
Sakura smiled, and looked up into the sky.
How are you doing now, Naruto? Sasuke's a Jonin now. Are you getting any stronger?
With the flicker of a Teleportation Jutsu, Itachi arrived on the scene.
"So, are you guys ready for your next mission?"
Sakura snapped out of her daydreaming and grinned.
"What the hell? Sasuke's a Jonin now?!"
The blonde, spiky-haired teenager groaned as he buried his head in his hands.
He looked to be around 15 years of age. The whisker marks on his cheek was perhaps his most prominent facial features, aside from his shining blue eyes.
"Hey, calm down, kid," an older, white-haired man laughed. "It doesn't mean he's stronger than you, you know!"
"Aww, thanks Pervy-"
"But it does actually mean he's stronger than you, officially, anyway."
Naruto growled at Jiraiya. "Stupid old pervert."
Jiraiya ignored the insult, chuckling away.
With an annoyed sigh, Naruto got back up. "I'm going to continue training."
Jiraiya stared at his student's back as Naruto walked away.
"Aww, is someone mad?"
Stupid old Pervy Sage...
He walked into the clearing, and got out the scroll stashed away in his pocket. Unrolling it, Naruto went over the contents carefully. It was probably the millionth time he had laid eyes on it.
As he pocketed the scroll again, his mind went to somewhere special. To home.
Heh, I wonder how Sasuke and Sakura-chan are holding up.
Naruto charged towards one of the nearby trees, slamming his hand into the trunk.
Then, he leaped away abruptly, landing on top of another tree, before falling from it, towards the ground.
The next thing you knew, he had disappeared in a yellow flash.
Definitely not the best of endings, I suppose. Hahaha. But I like how the story has gone overall, so I guess the ending can be a little bit shitty. It's short, but it's simply to appease your hunger once more, until the real thing you've been waiting for is published on Saturday ;)
The last ever Questions of the Day on Team Itachi -
Q: In your opinion, what in this story did you like the most?
Q: In your opinion, what in this story did you dislike the most?
Q: Would you read Team Itachi: Shippuden?
Q: Do you love Killer of thy Cookies?
And that's a wrap from me, and for Team Itachi.
I would like to thank The True Not Important for being my first ever reviewer, and being a constant reviewer of Team Itachi until only recently. I don't know where he/she has gone, but I am indebted to you for kicking my review spree off. :)
I would also like to thank people like Rain Dove, Lin and Hachibi8tails for leaving the most epic of the epic reviews. Their reviews are the ones I enjoy reading the most and I can't wait to receive more support from you guys for Team Itachi: Shippuden.
And of course a huge thank you to every single one of you who has reviewed my story as well.
Team Itachi: Shippuden kicks off - Saturday, 18th May 2013.