/N: So... What's up?
Yeah, another painfully slow update, but I'm attempting to work on it. As you might have picked up on, I really don't like splitting parts up like I did for the Chunin exams. Either way finished exams with the weekend before most others, so I vowed to make the most of it for this... And I kinda did but I kinda didn't... It's funny since I was working on this and what would be the last chapter of Changing a Future, instead of its very next chapter.
Anyways, Zanpakuto reveal this chapter. Honestly, I think I didn't do that bad with it, but I feel like I could've done better. And I think that statement applies to this chapter as a whole as well.
Aside from that, I should really save more often. I use the Doc Manager on , but often times I click out while typing on my laptop and stuff happens to my Firefox T.T
CrimsonDragonKnight: To be rather honest, I really liked the direction that the original was going in the more serious atmosphere and such, but I think that I screwed up enough in terms of the scaling of power and the whole premise of the original's plot (loosely being neglect pushing Naruto towards becoming a full Shinigami). And I wouldn't exactly call myself a great writer by any stretch. In this one I was hoping to improve those points but still going in the same general direction. I don't know, it might just be my perspective of things, but I hope that you'll at least ggive this a chance once I get this caught up.
js(Guest): I'm gonna push it and say that Tenzo at this time is 15-16, so by canon time he would be around 26 or so, and Kakashi and the other jonin would be a few years older than that.
Dregus: Personally, I feel that the whole prophecy theme is too centralized in the Naruto universe, where they are essentially assassins for hire. I don't know, thinking about it more, I like the whole theme of prophecy but I felt that it's a bit out of place, especially in part 1. Might just be me.
hanipman: I love people like you. It makes me getting better a ton easier. But yes, I'm going to try and have more descriptions of Naruto's time with his family, or at least lead up to it right now. I feel like I'm skipping over them just so I can get caught up with where the original was and continue from there. But thank you for all of your comments, I'll try to consider them while I'm writing.
Menma Namikaze: Teemo is Satan, 'nuff said.
bankai777: Will Naruto use his zanpakuto in a spar with Kushina? Yes, but later on around canon time.
Generation Zero: While I was tempted to do a wind element zanpakuto, I feel that a) Wind element swords are overused in Naruto fanfiction and b) I wanted to try my hand at making my own zanpakuto that would fit the theme of Naruto in this plot.
Merry1995: No Bleach characters will make an actually appearance, but they will be referred to. However, as for the world thing, I hinted at it before in my original, and I won't directly say anything regarding it until I've at least gotten this up to canon Part 1.
BrainII: Honestly, I really like Jiraiya as comic relief, not as a super serious character. As for Naruto, at this point he's really only suspicious, not any sort of complete hatred. However, yes I do believe that Jiraiya seems to rely on the theme of prophecy too much.
Ch.5 Chunin Exam Finals
The moment Naruto walked into his family's living room, little Arashi turned to the older blonde boy and smiled, the baby's hands reaching out for Naruto. While the twins had taken more of a liking to their parents, Arashi seemed to be more attached to Naruto. It made Naruto smile, the blonde knew that more likely than not, he would be much closer to his little brother, considering that they were the two boys of the 4 children. Naruto peeked his head out to the backyard and saw Kushina just coming back in, and Minato with the twins, probably finishing up their training it seemed.
"I'm back!" Naruto called out to the rest of his family as he played with Arashi.
"How was it?" Naruto heard his mother call back to him before he picked up Arashi and walked outside to the rest of his family.
"It went well, my team and I are all in the Finals next month." Naruto said as he held the baby Arashi.
"Great job Naruto-kun!" Kushina exclaimed as she ran over him and started ruffling his hair, not that it really changed much. Minato on the other hand, was teaching the twins hand-seals, most likely in preparation to teach them to unlock their chakra soon. The blonde gave his baby brother a poke to the cheek, eliciting a giggle from the little boy.
"Tou-san! Do you think you can help me a bit with my training?" Naruto shouted over to Minato who turned back at him with a thoughtful look.
"I'll see if I'll have time to help you out." Minato replied back as Naruto nodded, while MInato finished up the twins' training
"Nii-chan! Come play with us please! You're always training lately!" Both twins tackles Naruto at his waist.
"Sure, let me just put Arashi back in the crib." Naruto said as he went inside to put the now sleeping baby in the crib, before going outside again to see the twins with some blunt kunai and shuriken. Naruto, figuring that they wanted to play Shinobi, grabbed the blunt weapons as he let the two try and hide, before taking great pleasure in trying to scare the girls for the majority of that afternoon.
"No fair nii-chan! You're too good at this!" Kasumi halfheartedly whined as she ran from her brother.
Naruto sat in a training ground, with his zanpakuto unsheathed and laid across his legs in front of him. In the end, Minato had said that he'd train with Naruto every few days, mostly for actually refining his current abilities, and Kushina offering to do the same. That being taijutsu and ninjutsu with his father and kenjutsu with his mother. Naruto really wanted to keep the majority of his training as a secret to everyone. But for now, the blonde had other training arrangements with his zanpakuto spirit.
Naruto sat in the middle of a training ground with his zanpakuto across his lap as he entered his mindscape.
"Welcome back, Naruto-kun." The white haired lady that is Naruto's zanpakuto spirit said with a tug on her lips. "I believe it is time for you to hear my name, to achieve Shikai."
"Shikai?" Naruto questioned.
"For a zanpakuto, there are 3 main states. The first, which you have using currently, is the Sealed State. You can not call upon my abilities in this stage. Next, is Shikai, the Initial Release. Only by learning my name, will you be able to tap into my abilities, so remember it when you hear it. And finally, there is the Bankai, the Final Release and the pinnacle of our abilities. It is said that our power would increase exponentially the moment you achieve such a state.
"I believe you are more than ready to hear my name. Normally, you would learn Shikai in more uncontrolled circumstances, but I feel you have grown and matured physically and mentally to be fit for my Shikai." The lady continued as Naruto noticed his mindscape was essentially deconstructing into thousands of boxes, his mindscape quickly growing brighter. Naruto turned around and saw the same thing as his mindscape grew blindingly brighter, with the exception of his growing shadow.
"However, you will never find me in this light, or the eternal darkness alone. Within these boxes, is one with my Shikai. Find it, and you will find me. But hurry, your time will grow shorter." The lady's voice rang out in the mindscape.
It took a second for the information to settle in, as Naruto noticed more of his mindscape breaking off into little boxes.
"What?!" The blonde immediately ran forward towards the mass of containers while trying to send out his reiryoku to sense for the right box. After spending so much time with his zanpakuto spirit, he had remembered how her signature felt, and thus began to search for one exactly like hers. However, no matter how far he sensed, he could not find a complete match.
His time slowly growing shorter, Naruto took in his surroundings once again. It was no where near as bright as it had been before, though Naruto took it as a sign of his diminishing time. The initial sliver of darkness that was his shadow had grown and covered most of his mindscape.
Naruto's eye's widened as he heard an inhuman roaring coming from the darkness behind him. However, he quickly discarded the though as he saw, something, come out from the shadow. All Naruto could see was a white mask, but the blonde did not like the feeling he got when he saw it. Naruto immediately darted forward with Shunpo, and forced himself to run faster as he felt his zanpakuto spirit's signature.
The blonde felt himself getting a few cuts on his way as he saw the box radiating his zanpakuto's signature, before launching his right hand into the box and pulling out a pair of swords.
"Hear my name, and remember it. I am..." Naruto's zanpakuto's spirit's voice resonated within his mind as the blonde clutched both swords.
Soon after he touched the blades, he felt him and his mindscape changing before falling unconscious.
Naruto awoke and found that his mindscape had returned to normal. However, in front of Naruto were a pair of odd looking katanas. Both of them appeared to be mirror opposites of the other. Where one was predominantly black with a black blade, the other was a dazzling white with a matching white blade. However, he noticed that the curved tip of the katanas were larger than normal, and on the blade there was a spike outwards from the handle before curving back. Overall, it was a larger than average katana, slightly smaller than an O-katana, both without a guard. What Naruto immediately noted was that along each blade, there were markings of some kind.
"I'm glad you are finally able to hear my name." The spirit said. "Now, I shall begin teaching you how to properly wield me, and after your examinations, I will teach you more of my abilities."
"Just one thing... What was that thing? The thing with the mask." Naruto questioned immediately as he stood up and grabbed both katanas, reveling in how natural they felt in his hands, and how much stronger he felt with them.
"A Hollow. As a Shinigami, the Hollows are your enemies. By slaying them with me, then you will cleanse their sins and send them to the afterlife, whether it be heaven or hell. However, you won't have to worry about them for a long while, since you are this world's first exposure to reiatsu, so it seems." Naruto accepted his partner's answer for now before leaving his mindscape.
"The nature of my shikai realizes the darkness and the light within you. Light and darkness must coexist, for balance in one's mind. What will you do next?" She pondered after he left.
Naruto find himself still sitting down in a training ground, his zanpakuto laid across his lap in its shikai, though he still felt the cuts on his shoulders. However, he just barely noticed his reiatsu dying down, and the fact that it was starting to get close to sunset already. The blonde sheathed his zanpakuto again as he stood up and wondered what his two teammates were up to, while also pocketing a notepad he laid out much earlier.
"I'm sure they're training hard too! I think I'll drop in and say hello to Saru-jii tomorrow before I start training, maybe he's got some tips."
"You're quite advanced for your age. But it better not stop you from trying to be better. That being said, you're making great progress Itachi-kun." Itachi's mother Mikoto said as she finished sparring with Itachi.
"Thank you, kaa-sama." Itachi panted out as he took a breather before beginning to do some stretches to cool down for the day.
"My taijutsu and close combat are easily my weak points. From seeing the other competitors, most of them focus on ninjutsu. Should I end up with someone more well versed in close combat like Naruto, I need to be able to hold my own. However, I should not neglect my genjutsu, they seem to be my strongest point." Itachi thought to himself as he mentally confirmed his training schedule to prepare for the exams.
"There are also those things that I've been working on. I'll need to pick up a decent weapon if I expect to hold my own in close combat against the more skilled competitors."
"Gah I wish I could ask Itachi for chakra control tips. No, maybe I should ask Tenzo-sensei about that." Hokuto puffed out her chest as she laid on the grass spinning a kunai. A wicked grin sprouted on her visage as she continued rambling her thoughts out loud.
"Maybe later, I got this to work with for now." Hokuto picked herself up and pulled out a scroll and sealed up the ninja tools that were spread out in front of her, before unsealing a book on anatomy.
"I wonder if I could actually apply for medic nin intern or something." Hokuto picked out a senbon from her pouch as she got up and walked away from the training ground while reading the book.
-One Month Later, Suna Stadium-
The Kages had gathered in a booth above the stadium, each with two guards. The Daimyo on the other hand, were positioned in another booth, each lord guarded by their own samurai, with the exception of the Fire Daimyo, who had two of his special guards, the 12 Guardian Nin.
Behind each of the 4 Kage that were present was a guard. Minato had Kakashi behind him, the Tsuchikage had a larger man behind him, most likely a relative if the nose is to judge, and the Mizukage and Kazekage both had a member of their villages' ANBU divisions.
"It has been a while, has it not Hokage-dono, Tsuchikage-dono, Mizukage-dono?" The Kazekage, a youthful man slightly older than the Hokage spoke.
"It has, Kazekage-dono, though I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting Hokage-dono." The Mizukage spoke.
"That is true, a pleasure to meet you." Minato spoke as he nodded to Yagura.
"It has been some time since we have met like this." Onooki grumbled slightly. Yagura hid his disgust for the man quite well, the memories of Yosuga Pass still ingrained in his mind. The child-like Kage believed that the old man clung onto old ways far too much. Change was the only way to progress.
In the audience, Kushina and her other children had sat down beside the main Uchiha family, consisting of Mikoto, Fugaku and the twin children, along with Uchiha Shisui. Beside the Uzumaki Namikaze family were Sarutobi Hiruzen and Senju Tsunade, both of which Naruto had approached for some form of help, Shizune and Kakashi. All four of them wanted to see how much Naruto has grown. There were also some of the immediate families of the shinobi clan heads, including the Nara, the Yamanaka, the Akimichi, and the Aburame.
"So both Naruto-kun and Itachi-kun are in the exams this year aren't they?" Inoichi's wife asked both Kushina and Mikoto who nodded with smiles.
"First time too!"
"I remember hearing about them during the meetings every now and then. I hear their quite good, if troublesome." Shikaku added offhandedly as his wife more or less agreed with him.
"If it wasn't for the eyes and red streaks in his hair, Naruto would look just like Minato did. A little less girly than him though." Inoichi added, making all of the adults chuckle at how feminine Minato had looked during the academy. Kushina's children only looked up at their mom in confusion.
"Don't worry about it. Your tou-chan was just really girly when he was a kid." Kushina immediately answered, as the twins giggled as well.
Down at the stadium grounds, the 9 competitors lined up in front of the proctor from before, and the large screen.
"Look sharp brats. This is your time." The female proctor said to the genin who nodded. She took a quick breath before shouting into a speaker.
"Welcome, visiting Kage and Daimyo! I am Yamada Haru, the proctor of this third and final portion of the Chunin Exams! These 9 genin standing before you are our 9 Chunin hopefuls, who will be participating in a tournament style fight. On the screen you will see the matches." On the screen, the breakdown of the matches were shown, each name accompanied by a picture of the genin.
Match 1: Uchiha Itachi (Konoha) vs Suiren (Kiri)
Match 2: Shiro(Kiri) vs Akasuna Izumi (Suna)
Match 3: Kurotsuchi (Iwa) vs Hokuto (Konoha)
Match 4: Namikaze Naruto (Konoha) vs Terumi Genryuu (Kiri) vs Kamizuri Suzumebachi (Iwa)
"Due to the uneven numbers this time around, we will be having a Battle Royale as a final match for round 1. Afterwards, we will be taking a 30 minute break before continuing to the next round." Yamada said as she waited a moment before continuing.
"The rules of this exam are simple. Rule 1: Not really a rule but try not to kill. It's allowed but it's really messy. Rule 2: You stop when I tell you to. Now then, we will begin with our first match. Furthermore, since this is a tournament, there is only one winner, but that is irrelevant to whether or not you are promoted. It is up to your Kage's evaluation of your abilities. Now then, everyone that isn't Uchiha Itachi or Suiren, make your way to the competitors booth." She shouted as everyone save for the two genin called left for the balcony.
"Well then, good luck Itachi." Naruto said as he passed by the Uchiha. Itachi only smiled slightly as his teammates passed by. The raven haired boy pulled a stoic look over his visage as he turned back towards his opponent, Suiren. The moment everyone save for the proctor had left, the two had locked eyes briefly before they both turned to the proctor. Suiren thought she saw him twitch, but it was hard to judge at the moment.
Suiren threw a volley of shuriken at Itachi before running sideways, mimicking the Uchiha's maneuvers.
"Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu." Itachi said as he quickly spewed small fireballs towards Suiren.
"Suiton: Suijinheki!" Suiren spit out a large wall of water to block the incoming fireballs, the opposing forces quickly cancelling each other out.
"What? With that much chakra it shouldn't have been evaporated so quickly by that amount of fire. But no matter." Suiren though to herself as saw the mist forming, but heard audible thuds as weapons fell right in front of her. "Inside the fireballs?"
She only gasped and jumped back as fast and as far as she could when she heard the sizzling of an exploding tag from the underside of a kunai.
Rather than the explosion she had expected, the sealing tag released a large cloud of smoke. Suiren quickly lost visibility of her opponent and drew her katana, shifting into a defensive stance.
All was silent, before she heard shuffling around her, and then behind. Suiren spun around to block a kunai in Itachi's grip. The weapons clashed and the genin once again locked eyes. Something about Itachi's stoic face infuriated her though. Opposed to the red eyes of the Sharingan which she had expected, she saw nothing but the natural onyx eyes of the Uchiha.
"Don't underestimate me Uchiha!" Suiren shouted as she overpowered the Uchiha and stabbed in in the chest. Her smirk vanished as she felt her katana fall in the air as she lost her balance, and Itachi's body exploded into a flock of crows, scattering into the air.
"You should surrender, Suiren-san." Itachi's voice said to Suiren. She felt something press against her neck, but found nothing there. However, she felt herself being forced to her knees as she once again felt cold steel against her throat, and found a kunai actually there. The smoke quickly vanished as she saw Itachi's shadow over her.
With a sigh, Suiren called out to the proctor. "I surrender!"
"Winner is Uchiha Itachi of Konoha!" With that, the applause came out and Itachi pocketed the kunai and helped up Suiren.
"One thing, when did you put that genjutsu?" Suiren asked as Itachi gave a brief smile.
"At the very beginning when we locked eyes." Itachi said as the two left the battlegrounds.
"Atta boy! That's my Itachi-kun!" Mikoto called out from the audience as Fugaku only sighed. Mikoto was always vocal about her opinions, and he had long since figured out that. The twins Sasuke and Sayuri also cheered on their brother.
"Good job out there Itachi." Naruto said as he patted the Uchiha's back.
"You were awesome! But that victory was very like you, genjutsu from the start?." Hokuto commented as Itachi smiled.
"Of course it was, I actually expected that." Naruto replied somewhat dryly. "But you better have more than fancy eye work against me Itachi."
"That goes without saying, Naruto."
"Can Shiro and Akasuna Izumi come down now?" Haru shouted directly at the competitor's booth. The two specified genin quickly rushed down to the field in front of the proctor.
"Are you two ready?" After both genin noded, the female proctor started the match. "Start!"
Izumi immediately jumped back and unrolled a scroll in front of him, unsealing a humanoid puppet with long needle like appendages for arms and legs.
"This is my first puppet, Lance." Izumi's finger's twitched as the puppet's mouth opened as it shot out a stream of senbon.
Shiro quickly ran sideways to avoid the incoming weaponry as he pulled out a katana. "All I have to do is get close and I win. Puppet users are generally very weak at close range. But this puppet seems to be specifically for close combat. How interesting."
Shiro curved to the side of the Suna genin who turned to meet Shiro with his puppet. The needle like limbs attacked Shiro at surprising speeds. However, Shiro reacted and used a quick jutsu.
"Suiton: Teppōdama!" Shiro spat out a bullet of water, darting towards the puppet user as the limbs separated and the main body took the hit for Izumi, before the limbs retracted again. The puppet user twitched as he continued his assault, landing a few cuts onto Shiro.
"I bet I know what you were thinking. 'If I get in close, I can win. Most puppet users are weak at a close range.' You shouldn't be so quick to judge an unknown, nor should you underestimate someone." The suna nin spoke as Lance was able to make another cut onto Shiro before Izumi pulled the puppet back to him.
After a quick pause, the puppet dashed forward again at high genin speeds. The puppet's limbs grew shaky before detaching from the main body, and the arms continued to cut and stab at Shiro at a faster pace. With his attention elsewhere, Izumi moved his left hand from his right as the chakra threads intertwined as the legs of the puppet seemed to cover the arms as the needles spun around Shiro while striking him endlessly.
Shiro was so focused on the needles jabbing at him in the front and at the sides to really take note of what else happened.
Izumi's pulled his hands backwards and apart as the needle arms mimicked his actions, resulting in Shiro being suddenly constricted.
"What the hell?!" Shiro shouted as he dropped his katana, the pain registering as he noticed the metal wire wrapped around him.
"I'm surprised. But While the arms were keeping you busy, I noticed you never bothered to check behind you, so I was able to use Lance to keep you in one spot and have the legs wrap around you, and well, they're all connected with ninja wire." Izumi said as the fingers of his right hand twitched. The arms pointed them both at Shiro who growled out of frustration.
"No!"Shiro shouted back as Izumi only made the binds much tighter, cutting into the Kiri nin's skin.
"Fine I forfeit!" Shiro said as the puppet unwrapped its limbs from the Kiri nin, and the proctor proclaimed the result to the audience. "Winner is Akasuna Izumi!"
Izumi only smiled back at his opponent as he went to seal his puppet once again, before the two of them left to return to the competitor's booth, and get patched up. The crowd, especially the Suna audience, cheered as the competitors returned.
Haru called down both Kurotsuchi and Hokuto, who promptly arrived to the battleground.
"You two ready?" Haru said as she saw the two genin nod.
"Begin!" Haru said as she quickly backed away, though the two genin stared down at each other for a moment before they too began to move. Hokuto threw some smoke bombs in between before pelting copious amounts of shuriken at Kurotsuchi with the help of the Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu.
The Iwa girl quickly made hand-seals as she saw the weaponry come from the smoke "Doton: Doryūheki!"
The earth wall easily blocked all of the shuriken, piling onto the wall with a thud, with one last sound the end of the wave came, though Kurotsuchi backed off as she heard a sizzle, signalling an exploding tag that detonated as she backed away.
Kurotsuchi quickly made a few more hand-seals and jumped over the earth wall and sprayed a grey substance over a large area of the the field. "I'll bet any money that she's more for weapons and taijutsu, if her performance last month is anything to go by."
"Not good. I don't know what that stuff is, but I bet she plans on using it to keep me from getting closer to her." Hokuto thought to herself before she pulled a few more senbon, throwing 1 at the substance covering the arena and the rest at Kurotsuchi. Immediately afterwards she saw the senbon sink in and Hokuto ran around the substance to close the distance.
Kurotsuchi predicted correctly and made another jutsu. "Doton: Tobi Tsubute!" From around her, rocks shot from the ground surrounding Hokuto as dust collected around the Konoha genin.
Kurotsuchi calmly walked towards Hokuto's position while forming more hand-seals, hiding a smirk. "Suiton: Teppōdama!" The water bullet collided into something in the dust almost instantly after entering the dust, which dispersed to reveal Hokuto soaking wet with a grey substance covering quite a bit of her left leg. Hokuto tried to pull her leg out but to no avail.
"You might wanna surrender now, that's some quicklime for ya." Kurotsuchi said with a hint of confidence in her voice. "Not exactly in a good position to fight now." She added as she pointed a kunai at Hokuto's throat.
"Fine then. I surrender." Hokuto said, albeit disappointed that she couldn't get past the first match.
"Winner is Kurotsuchi of Iwa!" The Iwa crowd roared with applause as Haru managed to break the quicklime shell on Hokuto, before the arena was cleared out.
"It's alright Hokuto, you gave it your all." Naruto said as he tried to cheer up his teammate. Itachi was also there as the three spoke in the competitor's booth.
"I know, but I feel like I couldn't done so much better." Hokuto said replied.
"Perhaps, but it doesn't matter. What matters more is what you'll do to improve." Itachi said as Hokuto smiled at her teammates.
"Thanks, you guys." Was all she said as they both smiled back at her.
"Anyways, you sure you're alright? Should we bring you to the infirmary now or later?" Naruto said as he glanced at a few bruises.
"No, its fine, nothing a bit of first aid won't take care of. It doesn't hurt much anyways, and I wanna see your match Naruto." Hokuto said to her blonde teammate.
"Now, would the last three competitors come down now!" Hearing the loud voice of the proctor, Naruto patted her on the back before he left to leave.
"Good luck out there." Hokuto said as Naruto looked back.
"You always went on about fighting me Naruto, make sure you can make it." Itachi teased with a bit of a smile as Naruto smirked a bit.
"Worry more about yourself Itachi! And it still stands!" Naruto said before running down. Hokuto only sighed in exasperation, her teammates could be way too competitive at times.
Soon enough, Naruto, Genryuu and Suzumebachi arrived into the center of the battlefield. Genryuu, who seemed to be a year or two older than Naruto, wore what seemed to be typical Kiri clothing, with a blue color scheme, and had his katana strapped to his waist. Suzumebachi on the other hand, appeared to be 3, maybe four years older than Naruto, and wore a pink kimono of sorts.
"Prepare yourselves, I won't be losing here. Especially not to you Namikaze." Suzumebachi said as her eyes narrowed at Naruto, who only sighed at the disdain he detected from her words.
"Remember you three, keep it clean. You ready?" Seeing three nods she signaled the start of the match.
The three competitors immediately backed away, while Suzumebachi also quickly bit her thumb and made a string of hand-seals. Naruto, recognizing the pattern after seeing Jiraiya use it so often, tensed up. Genryuu made a few hand-seals, only looking at Suzumebachi as she went to slam her hand on the ground.
"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!" A black circular seal spread from Suzumebachi's palm on the ground, as a plum of smoke suddenly appeared.
"Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu!" As the seal was formed, Genryuu launched a large fireball directly at Suzumebachi.
As the smoke disappeared, it revealed a melting wax figure where Suzumebachi had just stood. However, directly above the wax was a giant bee with Suzumebachi riding on top, with hordes of smaller bees surrounding the bee queen.
"Better luck next time! Hachimitsu no Jutsu!" Suzumebachi commanded the smaller bees to attack, as many of them began to dive at the two other genin on the ground.
"Bakudo #21: Sekienton." Naruto slammed his hands onto the ground as an excessive amount of red smoke burst out, along with a few regular smoke bombs for good measure. Red and grey smoke exploded from his palms and quickly spread throughout the battlefield. The blonde immediately dashed to get underneath the Iwa genin, using his reiryoku to sense both her and Genryu, using the spiritual energy in their chakra as markers. Genryuu on the other hand, immediately made an earth dome he moment he saw the bees dive at him. The Kiri genin could hear the splats as what sounded as many of the bees could not stop fast enough and exploded onto the earth dome.
"What the hell? Where will they be now?" The Iwa girl thought to herself. She heard some kind of movement, and the sound of her bees dying. "There!" "Hachi Senbon no Jutsu!"
The hordes of bees still around her shot their stingers at the sounds of their dying comrades, towards the earth dome within the red smoke.
"Fūton: Daitoppa!" From directly below Suzumebachi, a large gust of wind shot from the smoke, hitting the queen bee and shaking both of them greatly. A large portion of smoke that had been underneath had dissipated, revealing Naruto who threw two kunai with exploding tags, one back in Genryuu's direction, and one directly at the queen bee. Both exploded as Naruto saw one explosion take place right beside the queen bee, which shook violently and threw Suzumebachi off in pain, before dispersing and leaving the other smaller bees.
Soon enough, the majority of the remaining smoke had dispersed, revealing the battlefield. As the Iwa girl landed back onto the ground, Genryuu had began dispelling his earth dome, letting it crack and break down.
Naruto engaged the Iwa girl who had landed a few feet from him with surprising speed. It was apparent that the girl was ninjutsu focused, thus Suzumebachi was unable to react quick enough to the first strike and felt a strong kick to her chest, forcing the air out of her lungs. Naruto was about to move forward when he suddenly felt a wave of heat, and quickly backed off as a large fireball came from his left.
"Hope you didn't forget about poor ol' me?" Genryuu said somewhat jokingly as he make a few more hand-seals.
"Lava Release: Lava Glob." Genryuu spewed a large wave of lava at Naruto. Naruto shunpo'd away quickly as the lava came down onto the ground.
The two of them paused as they heard some buzzing. They quickly scanned the area to find the remaining horde of bees directly above them, with what looks like a sealing tag attached to them.
Naruto reacted by throwing a spread of kunai with exploding tags to quickly try and take out the majority of the bees, while Genryuu did the same, but not before throwing one at the other two.
A few bees remained and continued to dive at the two male genin as the explosions began. Both Naruto and Genryuu were able to dodge most of the damage, though both of their clothes had been somewhat singed from the explosions.
Naruto used his reiryoku to sense where Suzumebachi was again before dashing off with shunpo to be directly in front of her with an open palm out. The blonde paused briefly before attacking.
"Tesshō!" Naruto wordlessly thrusted his palm at Suzumebachi, forcing her head back and to the ground, knocking her out almost instantly.
Naruto turned around and saw Genryuu unsheathe his katana, and the blonde only grabbed hold of his sheathed zanpakuto. Genryuu settled into Kiri's patented kenjutsu stance, whereas Naruto held himself in a form that no one seemed to recognize, holding the sheathe and the handle. This especially confused Kushina, who had taught Naruto kenjutsu when he was younger. She made a note to ask him about it after the exams.
They two genin stopped, almost baiting the other to make a mistake. Genryuu however took the initiative and began to close the distance before he heard Naruto speak.
"Zanjutsu: Far Reaching Stroke."
A calm voice, spoke as Naruto quickly unsheathed his zanpakuto and made a wide diagonal strike from where he stood. Genryuu heard the name and immediately brought up his katana to try and defend, even if it seemed almost impossible to hit him given the distance. However, as Naruto flicked his zanpakuto and sheathed it as the sound of a blade hitting the ground was heard, and Genryuu registered that his katana was broken and there was now a large gash going across his chest, blood dripping from the slash.
"Not even a chance?" The auburn haired Kiri nin collapsed to his knees, barely able to stay conscious, before eventually giving in and losing consciousness.
A moment of silence had followed before Haru had announced the winner. "The Winner of Match 4 is Namikaze Naruto!"
First, the Konoha audience erupted in applause with Kushina and her children being the loudest, before the rest of the audience eventually followed. During this, two pairs of medic-nin rushed down to the field and placed both unconscious genin onto stretchers before moving them out.
"Now we'll have a 30 minute break, and after that we'll continue with the semifinals of the Chunin Exams." Haru shouted as everyone slowly began to get up and converse amongst each other.
Naruto met with his teammates in the competitor's booth before going up to the Konoha audience. As soon as they got up, both Mikoto and Kushina hugged their children, and Hokuto who just happened to be in the middle.
Both Naruto and Itachi shouted at their mothers as the two mothers continued to smother the genin. Tenzo and the rest of the Konoha crowd couldn't help but chuckle at the two mothers' antics.
"The three of you did excellent. Hokuto, I know you are disappointed, but there is strength in knowing your own capabilities. As for the two of you, Naruto and Itachi, you two did good without revealing much about your abilities." Tenzo said as the three smiled back at their sensei.
"Congratulations, Naruto-kun. It seems that you've grown considerably since you've first asked me for help." Sarutobi said to his surrogate grandson.
"Thanks, Saru-jii!" Naruto said back to him.
"You did well out there, Itachi." Shisui commented as Itachi thanked the older Uchiha, another rare smile coming out from the stoic Uchiha.
"Good job out there brat." Tsunade added her own comments as she hugged the blonde rather tightly.
"Anyways, let's get you three checked out." Tsunade began as she began her examination as the medic-nin.
-In the Kage's Booths-
"An excellent first round. It is clear that all of this year's genin are very well trained." Yagura commented as the other Kage's agreed.
"Yes indeed. However, Hokage-dono I can't help but note your surprise to some of your son's abilities. Clearly it seems that you are just as surprised as we are." The Kazekage said towards the Hokage who nodded.
"My son is rather secretive in terms of his training." Was all Minato could really say. Naruto is very talented, but Minato wasn't aware that he was this talented, wondering why it took him so long to notice, even if his son had been hiding most of his training from them. "Just how much have you progressed, Naruto-kun? That taijutsu style is unlike the Namikaze style that I taught you when you were a child, so how far did you get with that? Did I even teach you the advanced forms? Then there's those other two, Bakudo and Zanjutsu. Who taught you all of these things, and how much have we taught you then?" These thoughts plagued Minato as he glanced towards his wife in the audience, who also seemed to be deep in thought, no doubt for the same reasons.
"There's no way that an 8 year old kid could hide training from his own parents, a Hokage and another S-Rank nin no less." The other kages thought to themselves.
-After the Break-
"Welcome back from that break! We will shortly begin the Semifinals of the Chunin Exams, and afterwards we will have a 10 minute break right before the finals. Now then, would Uchiha Itachi and Akasuna Izumi come down now?" As Haru said that, the two genin that were called quickly came down to the field.
"Are you two ready?" Once again, Haru saw two nods before beginning the match and jumping back. "Hajime!"
Izumi immediately jumped backwards and pulled out two scrolls and laid them out in front of him and unsealed the puppets. The first was the exact same one that he had used in the first round, Lance. The second puppet was larger than Lance, vaguely resembling a cat of sorts.
"I cannot afford to hold back against someone like you, Uchiha-san. This second one is Panther, my latest masterpiece." Izumi declared, being sure not to look into the Sharingan as he make chakra strings to his puppets. Itachi only pulled out two kunai as he examined the second puppet, his Sharingan flaring as it spun wildly.
Lance's limbs rattled as it moved towards Itachi, slashing downwards with its needles. Panther shook as it moved to flank Itachi and shot a fireball at Itachi. The Uchiha coated his kunai in chakra and slashed one of the limbs of Lance, letting it fall off as he dodged the fireball. Panther shook again as the mouth opened widely and shot a large volley of kunai at Itachi.
"Doton: Doryūheki!" An earth wall rose high enough to cover Itachi completely from the kunai. He peeked from the side of the wall and saw Lance rattling in an odd manner, even for a puppet. The Uchiha grabbed an exploding tag and attached it to one of his kunai. Itachi heard something unclutch as he saw the chestpiece of Lance open up, and immediately threw the kunai into the chestpiece before it shot a bolt of some kind at the earth wall and closed again.
The tag exploded as the Itachi came from over the earth wall and saw that Lance had exploded, its parts flying off, leaving the destroyed remains.
Izumi beagn sweating as he realized that the Uchiha could easily get within range to attack him in close combat. He originally created Lance specifically to avoid that from happening, tweaking it during the one month period. Panther was more of a long ranged supporting puppet, and a part of him realized that Itachi would quickly figure that much out.
Izumi was brought out of his thoughts as he felt and saw a large fireball coming his way. He quickly brought Panther in front of him to blow out a large fireball, countering the technique. The puppeteer felt his puppet rattle a bit before taking control and moving it once more.
"Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu!" Itachi said as he blew several small fireballs around Izumi. Panther's mouth once again opened as another flame shot to counter the volley of fireballs. Izumi heard a few thuds near him and saw that there were a few kunai embedded into Panther's body. His eyes widened as he quickly realized that they were in key positions, one blocking the flame pipe in the mouth, and several others right into the joints of Panther's front legs. In his shock he made the mistake of glancing into Itachi's Sharingan, the red eyes spinning madly as Itachi planted a genjutsu onto Izumi, who slowly cut the chakra threads and fell unconscious, with Panther collapsing in front of him.
"Winner is Uchiha Itachi of Konoha!" Haru said as once again, the Konoha side of the audience cheered the loudest amongst the crowd.
"That's my Itachi-kun!" Mikoto shouted from the stands as her children both clapped happily and stomped their feet. Fugaku gave his wife another strange look before resigning any thoughts he might have previously had. As long as Itachi won, Fugaku would have no qualms as to how his wife acted.
"Can Namikaze Naruto and Kurotsuchi come down now for this match?" Haru shouted at the competitors as the two that were called began to walk down. Both had their gaze on the other, with their own thoughts as Naruto passed by Itachi.
"Good luck, Naruto." Itachi said without sparing a glance at his teammate and rival. The blonde only nodded as he kept walking, eventually arriving at the battlegrounds while leaving a fair distance from his opponent..
"I hope you two are ready now." Afterwards, Haru started the match. "Hajime!"
"Doton: Doryūsō!" Kurotsuchi immediately used a technique and slammed her hand on the ground as a spike shot from the earth in front of her, before more continued in a row one by one as they rapidly trailed to Naruto, each one retracting slowly. Kurotsuchi threw a few shuriken as Naruto was in mid air. The blonde twisted his body to dodge the weaponry as he landed on the tip of one of the spikes, keeping his footing with his chakra. As both he and the earth spikes lowered back onto ground level, the blonde shunpo'd right in front of Kurotsuchi and threw his foot out at her.
The Iwa girl recoiled backwards as she lost her breath from that kick, before regaining her balance. Naruto rushed again with an open palm, ready to strike as she came up. Kurotsuchi saw his palm out and rolled away while pulling a kunai and throwing it. Naruto stopped himself as he saw the kunai shoot right in front of him, a little close to his neck for comfort. Clearly she was very serious about this fight.
"Fūton: Daitoppa!" Naruto said as he shot a large gust at Kurotsuchi.
"Doton: Doro no Gazō!" Kurotsuchi spat a glob of mud directly at the gust of wind, cancelling out both techniques. The mud exploded Kurotsuchi immediately tensed and pulled out a kunai while Naruto unsheathed his zanpakuto and shunpo'd while the mud was still blocking most of the Iwa girl's view.
Naruto slashed at Kurotsuchi's right side as she quickly reacted and blocked, both hands gripping on her kunai. However, Naruto's superior strength with his added momentum quickly allowed him to overpower the Iwa genin, disarming her weapon as he swung for another cut. Kurotsuchi could barely react in time and leaned far back, just letting the blade leave a light cut over her stomach, another kunai with a tag on it in her left hand as she dropped it near his feet. The tag already began to glow as Naruto's eyes widened as he quickly turned on his feet and jumped away.
Kurotsuchi winced in pain as she backed up a fair distance after the tag had exploded, some of her own clothes had been scorched lightly from the explosion. The dust settled as Naruto panted, a fair bit of the backside of his shirt scorched and burned off. There were also some small burn marks on his back.
"Those are gonna sting for a bit. I want to end this quickly." Naruto thought to himself as he tensed once more. He saw Kurotsuchi threw a small pellet forward, which exploded into smoke as Naruto quickly ran out of the smoke. The blonde slowly focused and tried to sense for her reiryoku, before his concentration broke as he heard a loud sound and quickly dodged a mud bullet.
"Fūton: Daitoppa!" Naruto quickly blew away the smokescreen as the wind bullet exploded onto another mud bullet. The smoke dispersed as he saw Kurotsuchi's head from behind an earth dragon's head that had formed, dust quickly collecting to replace the smoke.
Kurotsuchi pulled out 10 kunai as she tossed them while Naruto dodged another mud bullet. Naruto took a handful of kunai and threw them, before taking another handful and throwing them again, countering all 10 of the Iwa girl's weapons. Another loud sound came as the dragon spat out another mud bomb, Kurotsuchi only barely heard the final sizzling of a bomb as she gasped and felt the explosive force knocking her into the walls of the stadium. Kurotsuchi lied back onto the wall as she barely stayed conscious, her battered form breathing heavily.
Haru quickly jumped over and saw the extent of the girl's injuries before calling the match. "The winner is Namikaze Naruto of Konoha!"
The Konoha audience applauded loudly as Haru left to call over the medical nin.
"Good fight." Naruto said as he walked over to the Iwa girl.
"Thanks." She said quietly, her entire body hurt too much to really say anything, and she could already hear her grandfather ranting about her loss. Her thoughts vanished as she felt herself being lifted off the ground. "What are you doing?! Put me down!" She tried to exclaim, but winced as she did. She looked up and saw the blonde boy holding her in his arms.
"I wouldn't exactly say you are in any state to walk yourself over to the stretcher." Naruto said as he carried her over to the pair of medical nin that were rushing over with the stretcher on the field. The blonde laid her down on the bed before waving.
"I hope that we can have another good fight someday." Naruto said.
"Thank you for the help, Namikaze-san. Would you like to get looked at as well?" One of the medical nin said. Naruto nodded as he followed the other nin to the medical bay.
"Anyways, we'll be having a quick intermission before our finals for this exam! We'll be back in 10 minutes!" Haru shouted to the audience as conversations began.
"Another Chunin exam of Konoha finalists..." Onooki grumble, slightly sore about his daughter losing to the Yondaime's brat.
"It seems that your genin are truly skilled for their age. Clearly they are well trained." Yagura commented after the match.
"Hokage-dono. I hope you don't mind me asking this, but how much has your son actually been able to hide from you in terms of his abilities? I'm certain that both you and your wife would have trained him. I have difficulty believing that a genin, however skilled he is, would be able to hide so much from two Kage-Level shinobi." The Kazekage said as Minato turned to his thoughts for a moment.
"I suppose that my son is very well versed in deception. After all, it is one of the very basic concepts of shinobi life, isn't it?" Minato said, more to himself than anyone.
"Kushina-chan, Mikoto-chan, were they always this skilled? By their performances so far I'd say that they should be chunins already." Yoshino, the Nara Head's wife said to the two mothers.
"I don't know. Naru-chan's always been secretive about his training. He likes to train on his own." Kushina said as she turned to her own thoughts. She rocked Arashi lightly in her arms, the baby just waking up in time to see Naruto's face on the projector before giggling. On the other hand, the twins were playing with the Uchiha twins.
"Mhmm. Ita-kun doesn't really like showing off what he can do." Mikoto said with a smile. Fugaku only nodded in agreement with his wife. Typically, it was Mikoto who would train Itachi as she was much more skilled with fire jutsu, Fugaku had to admit the woman was strong.
"The time has finally arrived, this is the final match of this year's Chunin Exams hosted at Suna!" Haru shouted into the mic before she continued.
"Would our finalists come down now?" The proctor shouted directly at the competitor's booth as both Naruto and Itachi walked down, not making eye contact.
"Prepare yourself, Uchiha." Naruto said as the two arrived in the center of the field.
"And you as well, Namikaze." Itachi held his monotone voice as he replied.
"You two ready?" Haru said as the two genin nodded.
"I can not afford to look into his eyes. Genjutsu was also his strong point, not mine. His Sharingan can easily even things up in close combat as well." Naruto thought as he cleared his thoughts, noting Itachi's currently black eyes. One genjutsu would be more than enough for Itachi to set up an attack plan. While Naruto had rather large chakra reserves due to his Uzumaki heritage, his chakra control was only chunin level.
"I'm unsure if he's incorporated fuinjutsu into his standard combat, seeing as he is much more skilled in such a field than I or Hokuto are." Itachi thought to himself as he quickly ran over what he knew of Naruto's skills prior to the exams, and what he saw during the previous stage. They should prove as guidelines on what to expect. Powerful close range, and rather cunning use of ninjutsu.
Neither of them moved, letting time pass them. The audience watched on with bated breath as suspense began building up. The Kage's and their guards, along with other shinobi and kunoichi in the crowd waited patiently as the two stood.
Naruto and Itachi both threw a handful of shuriken as they clashed halfway between them, before they ran forward and began to fight. Naruto swung his leg out in a low sweep, with Itachi jumping over it with ease. Naruto then continued spinning for a high kick as Itachi contorted himself to dodge, before getting kicked by a strong middle kick.
Itachi's body rolled across the field as he immediately flipped himself back on his feet, his Sharingan now flaring with life. Naruto unsheathed his zanpakuto with both hands as he rushed towards Itachi.
"Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu!" Itachi spewed forth several fast fireballs at Naruto. The blonde sidestepped one, then another, before just barely dodging a flame that was right behind another. The blonde felt something lightly cut his shoulder in the heat but continued forth and slashed in a wide arc at the Uchiha. Itachi pulled out two kunai in time to block, but he bucked under the pressure of Naruto's blade.
"This won't go anywhere if we keep going now that he's using his Sharingan. Gotta disable him for a bit." Naruto thought to himself in the weapon lock. Itachi however, slipped out of the clash as Naruto regained his footing.
The blonde swung his zanpakuto horizontally from his right hand. Once again Itachi blocked with both of the kunai in his hands. Naruto focused a portion of his reiryoku into his right hand, causing it to glow slightly. As planned, Itachi glanced down at his right right hand as the blonde smirked. His left hand glowed red as he swiftly traced an intricate pattern into the air in front of Itachi.
"Gotcha. Bakudo #9: Geki!" Naruto's entire body glowed red briefly, before Itachi's body had a definite red glow and the Uchiha felt his body had been paralyzed. Before it fully took effect, the Uchiha gave the barest of smirks looking into Naruto's eyes.
The blonde's eyes widened as he felt his concentration on the spell disappear and saw everything grow darker. He felt it harder and harder to flare his chakra to break out of the genjutsu. Naruto heard a horrifying roar from a Hollow with a spiked mask, with beady yellow eyes staring into his soul. The blonde could've sworn the Hollow was mocking him with a deranged laugh as it pointed at Naruto's feet. He saw his family in front of him, their bodies bleeding. He looked down to his hands and his zanpakuto, stained with the blood of his family.
Naruto could not suppress a scream, even knowing it was all an elaborate genjutsu. And then he saw it, everything disappear before the very same mask flashed in front of him for the briefest of moments. His breath quickened, but slowly calmed himself.
"Remain calm, Naruto. I am with you still." His zanpakuto whispered soothing words, her very presence easing the blonde's mind as Naruto quickly regained his composure. The blonde gripped his zanpakuto in front of him
"Are you ready, Hakumei Kōgō(Twilight Empress)? Shall we reveal our power?" Naruto mentally said to his zanpakuto spirit.
"Of course. Again, I would suggest you try and hide my release. It would cause even more unnecessary questions and unwanted attention." Hakumei Kōgō replied back to the blonde who gave a mental nod. Finally able to fully grasp his chakra, Naruto flared his energy as brilliant silver glowed and dimmed almost instantly.
"What a cruel illusion, Itachi." The blonde called out.
"Gomen, Naruto. We are enemies, however." Itachi replied back, though most shinobi knew that that was a fake apology.
"I used far too much chakra to break out of that genjutsu. Leave it to Itachi." The blonde thought as he threw a smoke bomb directly at his feet, letting it take over and hide his form, despite knowing that it would have no effect to the Sharingan.
"Light's Bane, Shadow's End, Mirror and Strike!" With the faintest of whispers from the smoke, Naruto unleashed his shikai. The Kages could hear a vague whisper of the Kaigo. Minato quirked his brow slightly hearing it.
"No more holding back."
A fireball came into the smoke as the blonde barely moved in time to dodge. The smoke dissipated as Naruto shunpo'd forward, darting towards Itachi with two blades brandished.
"He's faster!" Itachi thought as he tried to block with his kunai, but felt his arms buck backwards under the pressure.
In the brief deadlock before Itachi had been overpowered, he noted that neither of the new blades match Naruto's original that he was just using. Stunning white and the other like the darkness, both appearing to radiate something similar to chakra, but not quite.
"His chakra is low, and judging by the output of whatever energy this is, he won't be able to continue fighting for an extended period." Itachi dodged another pair of slashes as he panted, and noted that the initial glow from the blades has died down.
"Neither can I however. I believe I would run out of energy first, and I think we both know it."
Itachi could not stay in his thoughts for any longer as he saw Naruto dash to him and cut across Itachi's chest. The Uchiha barely reacted in time to minimize the damage, jumping back while clutching his chest in pain.
"Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu!"
Several fireballs shot into the sky as they all converged at Naruto's general direction. The blonde quickly jumped back and out of the flames, coming out barely scorched from the new fire. The blonde thrusted his silver katana forward into the air as Itachi tilted his head, feeling something sharp cut across his cheek.
"I definitely saw something, but his chakra didn't fluctuate at all…" Itachi thought as he felt the exhaustion beginning to kick in.
"It's obvious that the both of us don't have much more energy left. Why don't we end it off now?" Naruto, while panting slightly, called to the Uchiha who nodded as the two jumped apart.
Itachi's chakra spiked as he formed quickly formed handseals. Flame erupted from Itachi, covering his entire right hand and forearm with hot flames licking his arm with a somewhat pointed end past his fist. The Uchiha pulled out a Konoha standard chakra kunai with his left hand before tossing it to his right, channeling the fire chakra through the kunai to create a flame spear.
"I have taught you very little in terms of my techniques. However, what I have taught you so far can be of use. Gather up all of your reiryoku into the blades, and release that energy when you connect with your foe." Hakumei said to Naruto who nodded before sliding into a stance while holding both of his blades behind him by his right side. Silver reiatsu covered the zanpakutos as the spiritual energy licked the blades.
The entire audience felt the amount of energy that the two young genin were producing, obviously in awe.
"What the hell? These kids shouldn't be genin!" Most jonin in the audience agreed with this thought, the two genin on the battleground were far more skilled than even many chunin.
"That technique… It's like my Chidori for fire release. To have recreated it is incredible, at the age of 9 no less." Kakashi thought to himself as he observed Itachi's technique. Minato noted this as well.
"This will be the end, Itachi."
"Indeed. Let's see who is better." Itachi replied stoically. The two genin sprinted towards each other as their eyes locked, purple eyes staring into the crimson Sharingan. Naruto held both blades by his waist as Itachi pulled back his right hand.
Once close to each other, both genin thrusted their weapons forward, releasing their techniques.
The intense release of energy from both techniques exploded, sending shockwaves outwards and into the audience.
"Oh come on! These brats are just too powerful for genin!" One Suna nin shouted as he covered his face from the dust sent his way.
As the dust settled on the battleground, one figure in the smoke collapsed forwards whereas the other quickly fell to their knees before collapsing as well.
Once the dust dissipated completely, Haru jumped in and shouted, "The Winner of this year's Chunin Examination is…"
Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu - Phoenix Sage Fire Technique
Suiton: Suijinheki - Water Wall
Suiton: Teppōdama - Gunshot
Doton: Doryūheki - Earth-Style Wall
Doton: Tobi Tsubute - Flying Thrown Stones
Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu - Great Fireball Technique
Hachimitsu no Jutsu - Bee Honey Technique
Bakudo #21: Sekienton - Red Smoke Escape
Hachi Senbon no Jutsu - Thousand Bee Stings Technique
Fūton: Daitoppa - Great Breakthrough
Tesshō - Iron Palm
Zanjutsu: Far Reaching Stroke - A slash performed immediately after unsheathing that is powerful enough that the force in the slash continues beyond the length of the blade.
Doton: Doryūsō - Earth Flow Spears
Doton: Doro no Gazō - Mud Shot
Kaigo - Release Incantation
Kaensō - Essentially a fire release of the Chidori, though Itachi can use a chakra conductive kunai to elongate the range of the technique and increase its cutting potential.
Amen, I really wanted to get this out so I didn't have 1 arc just hanging around. So yeah, Hakumei Kōgō/Twilight Empress is the name of the zanpakuto, but I feel like my translation is wrong. Actually, I think the majority of my translations that I made are probably wrong. Didn't bother with an omake, I'll leave that for next time. Pretty sure I rushed the hell out of the ending but I just wanted this out. Naruto's technique at the end was nameless, and shall remain so until he learns to fully use his shikai. The one month training was more for Naruto to get accustomed to dual wielding.
As always, Drop a review to give me suggestions or to let me know your thoughts.