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Chapter 4- Stroll through the Forest, Sound makes their Move
"In that case I will help you. But first let me introduce myself. My name is…"
Naruto's eyes snapped open. He was no longer in the snow field but instead standing in the Forest of Death. He looked ahead to see he wave of snakes still approaching him. Narrowing his eyes he grabbed the sheath of his zanpakuto and it began to glow.
"Sode no Shirayuki!" he shouted as he swung his sword and the forest was surrounded in white.
Naruto looked ahead of him and observed his surroundings. The snakes in front of him were completely frozen while the ground beneath him was covered in a layer of snow and ice. Now that he wasn't in immediate danger he glanced at the sword in its hand, its appearance completely different.
In his hands he held a katana. The blade, tsuba and hilt were as white as snow. The tsuba was a hollow snowflake shape and a long white ribbon came from the pommel. He took a few experimental swings and noticed how light it felt in his hands.
"I've never seen a sword like this." He said as he gently slid his fingers over the blade. Suddenly the sword glowed and when the light faded the appearance changed. It was now a standard katana with a reddish brown hilt.
"What the hell happened?" he asked himself.
'Since we are safe at the moment I returned to my sealed state.' A familiar voice said causing Naruto to blink.
"Is that you Sode no Shirayuki?" Naruto asked confused. He looked around and saw that he was still alone.
'Yes, it's me.' She said. 'I'm talking to you through a mental link.' She explained as the blonde continued to look around.
"Oh…so I can talk to you anytime now?" he asked as he sheathed his sword.
'Pretty much. Now then, it's not like I don't enjoy talking to you but shouldn't you go look for you team?' she asked causing Naruto to blink a few times before his smacked his head.
"Damn it! I knew I forgot something!" he shouted as he ran through the forest hoping to find his team.
Urahara Kisuke was drinking a cup of tea when he felt a surge of power. He put the cup down and rubbed his chin in thought before a grin found its way on his face.
"Well now, it looks like young Naruto-kun as activated his shikai." He said out loud to the other store occupants.
"So soon? Looks like you were right about the boy Kisuke-kun." Tessai said as he restocked a shelf with some standard shinobi gear.
"Of course I was right about him. I chose him as my apprentice after all." Urahara said cheerfully.
"So how do you think blondie is doing?" Jinta asked as he sat on a chair relaxing while Ururu swept the floor.
"Now that he has his shikai I am even more confident that he will advance. Even better, now we can start the next level of his training." He said as he began to walk out of the door.
"Where are you going Kisuke-san?" Ururu asked.
"Oh I'm just going to visit the Hokage. I think it's about time he and I have a little chat about our favorite blonde." He said over his shoulder before exiting the shop.
Forest of Death- with Sasuke and Sakura
Sasuke was kicked in the stomach sending him crashing into a tree. Groaning in pain he looked up to see the grass nin smirking as he looked down at him. Standing back up, Sasuke glared at him as he pulled out some shuriken and threw them; only for his opponent o dodge them effortlessly.
"Oh my. You're going to have to do better than that Sasuke-kun." He ninja taunted.
"I'll show you better. Fire Release: Phoenix Sage Fire Technique" he said as he fired a wave of small fireballs. The flames were able to hit their target and Sasuke allowed a victorious smirk to appear on his face, but it was wiped off when the smoke cleared. Instead of seeing his injured opponent he saw a burned log in his place.
'Damn it! A substitution!' he thought as he scanned the area, looking for the grass nin. He heard a strange sound and quickly moved his head barely dodging an incoming kunai. Turning towards the direction it came from he was met with a fist to the face followed by a knee in the gut that sent him flying but the Uchiha wasn't done yet. As he was sent flying through the air the grass nin's tongue shot out and wrapped itself around the Uchiha's ankle pulling him back where he received a powerful punch that sent him crashing down.
"As much as I enjoy toying with my pray…I think I's about time to end this." He said looked down on the fallen boy who was glaring at him with hate in his eyes. He suddenly raised his hand and easily caught a kunai that was aimed at him.
"Step away from Sasuke-kun!" Sakura shouted as she threw another kunai but the grass nin was able to parry it.
"Such an annoyance." He sighed as Sakura charged at him. He caught her by the wrist and punched her in the stomach causing her to fall on her knees as she gasped for air. Sasuke used this chance to grab a smoke bomb and threw it at the ninja's head. Surprised at the sudden move the blinded ninja blacked away. Sasuke got up, grabbed Sakura and ran away from the grass nin hoping to escape.
'I don't want to admit it but this guy is too strong. How could he defeat me?' he thought to himself as he ran through the forest. He kept running until a large snake suddenly appeared in front of him and on the snakes head stood the grass nin.
"I'll admit that you're making the chase enjoyable…but was that the best escape plan you came up with?" he asked as he watched them curiously.
"S-Sasuke-kun…what are we going to do?" Sakura asked worriedly. This guy was way out of their league. Sasuke was silent as he tried to think of a plan. He clenched his fist before he reached into his pocket and pulled out heir scroll.
"How about we make a deal?" he finally asked.
"Oh? And what kind of deal are you proposing?" the grass nin asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Just leave us alone…and we'll hand over our scroll." Sasuke offered surprising Sakura.
"Trying to spare your life by offering me something of equal value?" he asked seeing as the point of the exam was to collect the scrolls.
"Take the scroll and go." Sasuke commanded as he tossed the scroll towards the grass nin. As it was halfway there a blur blocked its path and grabbed the scroll.
"Now why would you just surrender the scroll Sasuke?" Naruto asked as he pocketed the scroll.
"Now's not the time Naruto! This guy is two strong! "Sasuke shouted.
"Listen to Sasuke-kun baka! If he can't handle this guy than none of us can!" Sakura added. Naruto just stared at them and scoffed.
"And you guys called me stupid." He said confusing them.
"We already know you're stupid but what does that have to do with anything?" Sakura asked annoyed. Didn't he understand the danger they were in? This guy was stronger than Sasuke…how on earth could Naruto even hope to beat him.
"If this guy is as strong as you say than how do you know he'll keep his word? What's stopping him from killing us after you hand over the scroll? Lies, stealing, deception, that's all part of being a shinobi." He said looking straight into their eyes. The other two were shocked wondering how the dobe of their class could come up with that while they didn't. Their attention was brought back to the grass nin standing on the snake as he began to laugh.
"While watching this team drama unfold is amusing…you're absolutely right Naruto-kun. Why should I spare you…when I can kill you and take the scroll from your dead corpses." He said as the snake charged towards them. Sasuke and Sakura jumped out of the way but Naruto surprised them all by charging forward. He drew his zanpakuto and grabbed the hilt with both hands as he held the blade over his head.
'Suikawari (Watermelon Splitting)' he said as he swung his sword at the snake's head. The grass nin jumped out of the way in time to avoid the attack and watched surprised as the snake's head was cut in two.
"I must say you are stronger than I gave you credit for." The ninja praised as he watched the blonde with a calculative eye. His two teammates had similar thoughts.
'How on earth did the dobe do that while I couldn't?' Sasuke thought to himself after seeing the display of power that his teammate had.
'When did the baka get so strong?' Sakura asked herself not expecting this in the slightest.
"Go to hell!" Naruto shouted as he charged again. He swung his zanpakuto but the grass nin was able to jump out of harm's way.
'Wind Release: Great Breakthrough' he said as he created a powerful gust of wind that sent Naruto flying into a tree. Naruto coughed up some blood before glaring at his teammates.
"Why the hell are you just watching?! Get off your asses and help me fight!" he yelled snapping the two of them out of their stupor. Sasuke looked at his blonde teammate before looking at their opponent.
'No matter what I did this guy was at least 2 steps ahead of me. Even with Naruto here there's a chance we won't make it.' Sasuke thought to himself.
'If I die here than I'll never be able to get revenge on my brother. I'll never be able to restore my clan…sorry Naruto but I have too much to lose.' He thought as he made his decision. He looked over at Sakura who was standing by him the whole time.
"Sakura snap out of it." He said gaining her attention.
"Sasuke-kun?" she asked looking at him wondering what they should do.
"Get ready. When I say go we run as fast as we can." He whispered shocking her.
"What?! What about Naruto? I know he's a baka but still." She whispered back.
"He's planning on staying here no matter what. We both know that we can't beat this guy. A shinobi's main objective is to complete the mission at all cost. Right now our mission is to gather all the scrolls we need." He explained.
"But what about the proctor? She said we need the whole team if we want to pass." Sakura asked.
"What's better, all 3 of us dying or at least 2 of us able to escape alive?" Sasuke asked. Sakura was silent as she thought over what he said. Finally she spoke although it was a bit uncertainly.
"Okay let's go." She said quietly with a nod.
"Are you guys going to do anything?!" Naruto yelled getting frustrated as he blocked a kunai with his zanpakuto.
"Go!" Sasuke said as he and Sakura turned around. Naruto watched shocked as they ran away, leaving him alone. Even his opponent looked surprised.
'They left…they left me.' Naruto thought to himself.
"I must say, I didn't expect that. In the end it will lead to their down fall. Splitting up will just weaken their strength and make them easier prey." He said as he looked back on the blonde but he was still silent.
'I knew they didn't like me but we're teammates. I thought they would have my back but…they're just like the rest of the village. They don't give a shit about me! Now I'm alone.' He thought as he looked at the grass nin who was staring at him with the eyes of a predator that was about to pounce.
'How the hell am I going to beat this guy by myself?' he thought as he got into a stance.
'I'm hurt…have you already forgotten about me?' a soft voice said from his mind. It took Naruto a second but he soon remembered who that voice belonged to.
'Sode no Shirayuki?' he asked in his mind.
'So you do remember me!' she said happily causing Naruto to adopt a sheepish expression despite the serious situation.
'Sorry, I guess I'm just not used to talking to you through my head and stuff. Plus with all that's been happening with this guy I guess it just slipped.' He explained. Although he couldn't see it, he could almost feel her rolling her eyes at him.
'I guess that's a reasonable answer…this time. Just remember that I'm always by your side.' She said. Hearing this, Naruto allowed a small smile to appear on his face.
'Thanks…so how do I use your powers anyway?' he asked earning a small chuckle from the ice spirit.
'Silly Naruto, you already know how to unleash my powers. All you have to do is think and you'll find the answer you're looking for.' She said as the mental link between the two of them wasn't quite sure what she meant by that but decided to try it out. He closed his eyes and thought hard about how to unlock his zanpakuto's powers.
"While this has been entertaining, all good things must come to an end Naruto-kun." The grass nin said as he charged towards the blonde planning to end this. Naruto did not respond to this. Instead he opened his eyes and held his zanpakuto out.
"Dance, Sode no Shirayuki" he said as he turned his zanpakuto in a counter clockwise motion. As he turned it the color of the blade, tsuba, and hilt changed until they were white as snow as a white ribbon formed from the pommel. Once the transformation was over a gust of cold air blew around him covering the grass beneath him in a light layer of frost.
"That's a nice trick but whatever you do won't change anything! Now die!" the ninja said as he approached the blonde.
Naruto just stared at his opponent before closing his eyes. He wasn't sure how he knew what to do but he just followed what his instincts told him to do. He held Shirayuki upside down and made a slashing motion. As he did this, the tip of his sword created a circle.
"First Dance: Tsukishiro (White Moon)" he said as he jumped away to dodge the grass nin. The grass nin was about to attack when he noticed something. He looked down and his eyes widened in surprise. The circle was soon covered in ice before it spread and covered him as well. The amount of ice kept going until the ninja was trapped inside a giant pillar of ice. Naruto watched as the pillar of ice began to crack until it, and the grass nin, shattered into pieces. He watched as the remains of the grass nin soon turned into mud.
"A clone?" he asked himself until he felt a blow in the back of his head. He was sent skidding across the ground as the grass nin watched him carefully.
"I'm not sure what you did Naruto-kun…but it seems like you are a larger threat than I gave you credit for."
'What is this? It isn't the kyuubi's power. Leaving you will only hinder my future plans.' He thought as stalked towards the blonde.
Naruto got up to a knee as he shook the cobwebs out of his head. He glared at his opponent as he made his way over.
"Ye lord! Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of Man! Inferno and pandemonium, the sea barrier surges, march on to the south!" he whispered.
"What are you muttering to yourself? A final prayer?" the grass nin asked with a smirk as he toward over the blonde.
'Hado # 31: Shakkaho (Red Fire Cannon)' he said. An orb of red energy generated in front of his palm. He took aim and fired the ball of energy at the surprised ninja's head. The force of the attack caused him to take a step back as his head was surrounded by smoke. Naruto watched wide eyed as his opponent's body chose to stand on its feet instead of falling to the ground. As the smoke cleared he saw the ninja was a bit charred but overall he looked perfectly fine except for his face. His face began to peel off as if he was wearing a mask.
"It looks like you are just full of surprises. My original objective was Sasuke but I think you'll make a fine addition."
'How is he still standing? The Shakkaho was my strongest kido spell.' Naruto thought as he was frozen in place. There's no way that this guy was an ordinary genin.
'Naruto, this guy is too strong. I can sense that he's only using a fraction of his power. You have to escape.' He heard the voice of Sode no Shirayuki say.
'How can I escape? There's no way that this guy will just let me walk away.'
'I'm not sure but you better think of something or else.' She warned as Naruto silently agreed with her. He watched until the ninja was right in front of him with a sardonic smirk on his face.
"I'm afraid it's over Naruto-kun. Any last words?" he asked.
"Just this. Bakudo # 21: Sekienton (Red Smoke Escape)" he said as he slammed his hand on the ground which created a large burst of red smoke that completely engulfed the two of them. Momentarily stunned by the sudden move the grass nin took a few steps back as he began to cough.
'This brat is really starting to get on my nerves.' He thought as he waved his arms around trying to find some breathing room. When the smoke finally cleared he looked around and couldn't find any trace of the blonde.
"He will definitely be a problem with my future plans. It'd be wise to get rid of him now." He said to himself as he tried to figure out which way the blonde went. He was about to move but paused and his eyes narrowed. He was able to detect a few chakra signatures heading towards him. Signatures that were much higher than any genin.
"It looks like those fools have discovered me. Looks like you two are very lucky. But rest assured…the Sharingan will be mine." He said before he ran off to hide before he was discovered.
1 day later with Naruto
Naruto was running through the trees both relieved and beyond pissed. He was relieved because yesterday he was able to feel the presence of that grass shinobi run off in the opposite direction. He was beyond pissed because his so called teammates left him alone on the battlefield. How could they do that? Didn't they remember Kakashi's lesson? One thing was for sure, he was not going to let this one go.
'Naruto, you have to calm down.' He heard the voice of his zanpakuto say.
'I know that but I just can't believe they left me there for dead!' he roared in his head. Hearing this caused Shirayuki to sigh.
'I know that. What they did was unforgivable but whether you like it or not they are still a part of your team. You still need them if you want to advance to the next stage of the exam.' She explained. Hearing this caused Naruto to calm down a bit.
She was right. Whether he liked it or not he needed his team in order to pass this part of the exam. No matter how he felt about them at the moment he was not willing to back down from the exams after getting this far. After taking a deep breath he closed his eyes and searched for the familiar signatures of the rest of team 7. After a few seconds he found them but they were right next to another group of unknown signatures.
"For fuck's sakes, they ran away from 1 fight and they're already fighting another team?! God damn it!" he cursed as he changed directions.
'So much for calming down.' Shirayuki said but Naruto didn't hear her, too focused on reaching his the others before they got themselves killed.
Konoha and Sound genin
Sasuke glared at the three sound genin in front of him. How were they so strong? At first they outnumbered them when the three of them ambushed him and Sakura. The Uchiha was able to put up a fight but eventually the number game proved too difficult. Then out of nowhere Rock Lee came to help them after declaring his love for Sakura, who stated rather harshly that he had no chance with her and that Sasuke was the only one for her.
Sakura proved useless in this fight seeing as she onlt knew the academy jutsu which didn't really help them. Sasuke refused to admit he needed help at all. Because of this Lee was forced to fight all three Sound genin at the same time. Although he gave a valiant effort he too succumbed to the numbers.
But once again, seemingly out of nowhere, help came this time in the form of team 10 of Konoha. This year's Ino-Shika-Cho was able to put up a good fight against the sound genin. There great teamwork was able to handle their opponents but soon the sound team's ruthlessness was able to defeat them as well. The group of Konoha genin could only watch as the sound team was able to systematically tear them apart one by one.
"Troublesome. We could have done a sneak attack Ino, but no we had to charge them on head first." Shikamaru said in both a sarcastic and lazy tone.
"Shut up Shikamaru! We had to do something to help Sasuke-kun!" Ino shot back. There was no way she would just sit there and watch as this Sound ninja killed her beloved.
"Hey where's Naruto? If he were here he could have helped us." A panting Choji commented.
"Please, like that dead last could do anything." Ino scoffed.
"Actually Choji brings up a good point. Where is Naruto?" Shikamaru asked Sakura and Sasuke.
"Hn. The dobe ditched us. Probably got himself killed." Sasuke said even though he was the one who ditched him.
"We have no time to worry about the baka, what are we going to do about them." Sakura said as she pointed at the three sound ninja.
"I think we've had enough fun. It's time for us to complete our mission. It's game over Sasuke." Dose said as he stared at the weakened ninja.
"To think that Konoha was this weak, it's pathetic." Zaku taunted with a smug expression on his face.
"I agree but enough talk. Kin Zaku finish them."
"Right!" his two teammates said as they charged towards. But before they reached the others, someone jumped between the two sides and punched the two sound ninja's in the stomach sending them flying back.
"What the hell?!" Zaku said clutching his stomach.
"What just happened?" Kin asked in a similar position as Zaku.
"It looks like we have another guest joining us." Dosu stated in annoyance. The person in front of them wore black pants and a black shirt with a spiral symbol on it. He wore an orange sash around his waist that held a katana at his side. Although the sound ninja didn't the Konoha genin recognized him.
"Naruto? You came right in the nick of time." Choji said with a smile.
"You had to come at last minute, troublesome blonde." Shikamaru said but he also had a relieved smile on his face.
"It's about time you got here baka!" Sakura yelled forgetting that she and Sasuke left him. She was about to yell some more but her words died in her throat when he looked over his shoulder at her. His blue eyes that used to hold such warmth and compassion towards her showed nothing but rage.
"Haruno shut the fuck up." He said coldly shocking everyone but he paid no attention to them. He looked back at the sound ninja.
"Give us whatever scroll you have and leave. If you do I'll let you live." He ordered. Hearing this Zaku began to laugh.
"That's rich. It's three against one loser. Your friends are too tired to help out, not like it would matter. I'll admit you caught me off guard but it won; happen again." He said confident that he could take Naruto down.
"I'm warning you. I am in a very bad mood. Leave or else you'll regret it." Naruto warned he unsheathed his zanpakuto.
"And here's my answer! Decapitating Airwaves" he shouted as he held his arms out before unleashing a blast of supersonic air waves. Naruto quickly ran to the side avoiding the attack as it created a large explosion on the ground.
"Your attacks come from you arms. If I can restrict them than I restrict your power." He said as he pointed his index and middle finger at Zaku.
"What the hell are you talking about?! How are you going to restrict my arms?!" Zaku shouted as he aimed his arms, preparing for another attack.
"Bakudo #1: Sai (Restrain)" Naruto said.
"Decapitating Airwaves" Zaku shouted. Before his attack was unleashed he felt a strange force around his arms. Against his will his arms were suddenly pulled behind his back but it was too late to stop his attack. The sudden movement shifted his aim drastically and he fired two airwaves, one from each hand, which ended up hitting the opposite arm. Zaku screamed as he felt like his arms were being torn to shreds. The pain was too much and he soon passed out.
"Zaku!" Kin shouted as she was about to help but stopped when Naruto suddenly appeared in front of her. He raised his arm until his palm was right in front of her face.
"Inemuri (Forced Slumber)" he said as Kin felt a strange sensation before she fell to the ground unconscious.
"And then there was one." Naruto said as he stared at Dosu impassively. The others just watched shocked as the dead last of their class defeated two of the sound genin as if they were nothing.
"How?" Dosu asked unable to believe what he just saw.
"They made the worst possible mistake when facing me…they underestimated me." He answered as he got into a fighting stance.
'Damn it! This one is very strong. I used up too much chakra when facing the others.' Dose thought as he reached into his pocket revealing an earth scroll.
"If your offer still stands I will relinquish our scroll in exchange you let me and my teammates leave here peacefully." The bandaged covered ninja offered. Naruto listened o him before sheathing his zanpakuto.
"Very well. Hand over your scroll and leave." He said. Dosu nodded as he tossed Naruto the scroll, who caught it, and grabbed his teammates before leaving the area. Naruto pocketed the scroll before looking at the rest of the fallen Konoha ninja.
"Haruno Uchiha we're heading for the tower. We have both scrolls now." Naruto said emotionlessly. The way he addressed them caught everyone off guard until Sakura noticed he was ordering them around.
"Who made you the boss baka!" she yelled in anger. She was answered with a harsh glare from the blonde.
"I was the one who got the scroll we needed and kept the scroll that the Uchiha surrendered. I will be heading towards the tower so follow me if you want. But if you want to stay than go ahead. I have no problems leaving you behind like you two did to me." He said coldly causing her to flinch. This wasn't the Naruto that treated her like she was Kami's gift to the world.
"Dobe, where did you learn those moves." Sasuke demanded. He was beyond mad that Naruto was able to defeat those sound genin while he couldn't.
"None of your business Uchiha. Like I said, I'm heading for the tower. Follow me or don't because I could honestly care less about what you two do." He stated as he made his way towards the tower. His teammates reluctantly followed him surprised by his new attitude.
"What do you think happened to Naruto?" Choji asked as he watched team 7 leave.
"I don't know but I have a feeling that things are going to get troublesome real soon." Shikamaru said also wondering what happened to the hyperactive blonde. Shortly after Lee's team came to retrieve the green clad ninja before the two teams went their separate ways in order to find the scroll they needed.
End of Chapter
Thank you for reading please review.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE: Earlier in this story I asked if I should add Fem Kyuubi to the pairing. After some careful thinking I had originally decided against it but I have read both reviews and PM that talk about the pros and cons of adding her to the pairing. Unable to figure it out for myself I have decided to let the readers choose. I have made a poll on my profile so please vote because the final results will determine if I add Fem Kyuubi or not.
Right now it the standing is:
Naruto x Sode No Shirayuki x Fem Kyuubi- 19 votes (55%)
Strictly Naruto x Sode no Shirayuki- 15 votes (44%)