Disclaimer: I Don't own Naruto, but I do really enjoy watching and reading it!
All the 'X's' still mean the same as before as in previous chapters.
Chapter 9: Rivalries and Discoveries
Naruto awoke the next morning bright and early from the comfort of his own apartment, eager to get to training. After they had finally returned home, it was already eight p.m. so by the time they had got done returning to the Hokage's office and telling him everything about their adventure it was just about bed time for everyone.
The hokage had been shocked by everything that had transpired; from the enemies they faced it automatically put the mission at an 'A' ranked mission. Of course they only got C ranked money for the job, which didn't bother them much, but Sarutobi didn't seem very happy about it. He had been pretty mad at himself and their senseis for risking everyone's lives like that, but he also couldn't help but feel proud of everyone. It was the life of the ninja, and in this life people died everyday, it was just hard too accept sometimes. He was just glad everyone was ok in the end, and he sent them home at about ten o'clock, so everyone just said their good byes and went home. Kurenai sensei told them to meet up at eight o'clock the next day in the morning for some training. It was later then usual, as they were use to waking up at five, but Kurenai wanted them to get some extra sleep because of the long journey, and no one complained.
Naruto wasn't really that tired though like everyone else though, after he had gotten his sleep the night before, he had woken up full of energy, and even the long walk home had barely tired him out any. So he ended up waking up earlier then he needed to the next morning unintentionally. After he had ate some instant ramen, brushed his teeth, took a shower, and put his trademark orange clothes on he still had an hour left until he had to be at the training grounds. So he decided he'd just take a little walk before heading out.
'I hope this walk doesn't end up like last time with me getting my butt kicked.' He thought chuckling to himself as he made his way out of his apartment and on to the streets of Konoha, 'but maybe this time I'll actually be doing the butt-kicking.' He thought smirking as he started walking down the street.
Naruto looked around, the city was just as he remembered it, he had been gone for nearly two weeks, yet the same angry and cold stares he got from the villagers hadn't left at all. They were still swearing under their breathe, and pushing their children behind them as he walked by, as if even looking at him would cause them all to go mad and crazy. Naruto didn't care though, it use to bother him before, but now he didn't need their approval he realized. He had friends now that cared for him, that actually knew the real him, and actually liked him for him. Not like all these people that just judged him because of the demon inside of him. If they wanted to think of him as a demon then just let them, one day he would prove to them he wasn't, and one day he would become hokage whether they liked it or not, and there's nothing they can do to ever stop him from accomplishing his dream…... Nothing…..
That's when Naruto thought of something he hadn't before, he suddenly stopped in the middle of the street as he finally realized it.
'His best friends, Hinata and Kiba, they liked him for him, yet the thing is they didn't even know about the demon inside of him at all. All these people hated him for the demon inside of him, what if his friends hated him too when he they found out, what if they all just ignored him just like everyone else in the village did when he told them…..? No…. he couldn't risk that…not yet anyway. He would just not tell them…...but they were his best friends though, if they really were shouldn't they be able to accept him for what he was? That's how it all went in the stories he had read, the best friend would have a secret he kept to himself, and when he finally shared it, his friends had understood and accepted him for it…. but what if it really was just that…. just a story….?' He thought as he started walking again.
'I….I don't know what'd I'd do if I ever lost them….. They have made my life turn from a living hell to something worth living for… Kiba, Kurenai sensei, Hinata….. even Sasuke, Sakura, and Shikamaru were his friends now.' he thought, chuckling to himself at the thought of actually being friends with Sasuke, 'If I ever lost them though…..I…..I'm sure how I could ever live with myself anymore… I….I'd probably go crazy…I just can't tell them then, not yet anyway. Hopefully I can one day when the time is right, but right now I just can't risk it. I just hope this doesn't come back to bite me in the butt.' Naruto thought worriedly, as he continued to make his way down the street, hoping everything would turn out ok in the end.
Naruto was almost to the outskirts of town, when suddenly all hell broke lose.
"Someone Stop Them!" he heard a woman yell inside a bank to the right of him. Suddenly two men both wearing a black ski mask and black clothes came running out of the bank in a hurry, both of them with large duffel bags over their shoulder filled with cash.
Naruto looked at the scene confused for a moment, and then he suddenly realized what was going on, they had just robbed that bank!
An old, large, and bald man then came running out of the bank, huffing and puffing trying to catch his breathe.
"Someone….Someone stop them!" he yelled from his knees out of breathe, as everyone watched in horror as the robbers began running.
A grin then made its way onto Naruto's face; this was his chance to finally show to the whole village that he was a hero and not a demon by stopping those crooks. Then maybe they'd start respecting him, and maybe even start liking him! Maybe he could even get a cool super hero name or something like, 'The Yellow Flash' he thought with a grin.
'Nah that's too cheesy.' he thought frowning and shaking his head.
As he stood there thinking hard about what his super cool hero name should be, a loud voice suddenly ringed in his ear.
"HEY YOU!" he heard someone yell at him, which instantly brought him out of his thoughts.
He looked up to see the large old man from before was looking at him angrily, "Why are you just standing there!? You're a ninja right!? Go and stop them!" he yelled out in frustration.
Naruto looked at him confused for a moment, but then it hit him; he had completely forgotten about the robbers as he was deep in thought. Naruto quickly nodded his head.
"You got it!" he yelled as he pushed the button on his weights to release them knowing he'd have to release them if he wanted to catch up to them. As soon as he felt them fall off of him he took off in the direction the robbers had went as fast as he could go, hoping they hadn't given him the slip.
The old man stood there in complete amazement and shock as Naruto's weights hit the ground with a thud leaving a huge mark in the ground, and then as he took off in a blast of lightning, only leaving behind a yellow streak.
"Wow… that little kid sure is fast." He thought as the eyes in his head bulged out as he scratched the back of his head in amazement.
Naruto quickly caught up to the robbers in a matter of seconds, smiling to himself to see his hard work he had put in with his weights training had paid off. Naruto quickly climbed up onto a rooftop and slowed down to match their speed as he jumped from rooftop to rooftop. He pulled two kunai from his belt, ready to throw them at their legs to stop them in their tracks. As he was about to throw it though, suddenly two kunai went flying past his head and hit the two guys in the legs, hitting them in the exact marks Naruto was about to aim for.
Naruto quickly looked back and saw a girl around his age with a pink blouse on and brown hair in two buns standing on top of a faraway rooftop with a smirk on her face. Naruto stared at her stunned; she had thrown those kunai from nearly a half-mile away from the robbers, and hit them with deadly accuracy.
Naruto then looked back, and saw the robbers pulling the kunai knives out of their legs. They eventually managed to get up, but they both were walking with a limp now.
Naruto smirked, 'Guess I still can be a hero after all.' He thought as he pulled out his kunai again ready to jump down, when suddenly a green leotard streaked right past him on the rooftop. The green streak then jumped and landed right on top of both the robber's heads which sent both them into the concrete face first, effectively knocking them both out.
'That…..That looks like Rock Lee.' Naruto thought, as he stared at him from atop the rooftop. The boy then turned around with a smile and gave a thumbs up, confirming Naruto's suspicions. It was definitely him, with the same unbelievably thick bushy brows as last time.
"That was great Tenten!" he yelled out happily, as the same girl that had taken the men out with her kunai before jumped down next to him. "Thanks Lee." She said smiling back at him.
They both stood there for a second smiling at each other, when suddenly a man dressed in the same black ski mask and black clothes as the two robbers before jumped out of an alley-way, and ran straight at Lee with a kunai in his hand.
"Watch out Lee!" Tenten yelled out as Lee turned around and stared at the man running at him.
Naruto reached for his pouch and pulled his shuriken out from atop the rooftop, ready to throw them at the mad man before he reached Lee, but he was interrupted yet again as suddenly a boy popped out of no where and hit the man in the arm, which seemed to paralyze the man's whole arm and make him drop his kunai on the ground as he stepped back and yelled in agony.
The boy had an angry scowl stretched across his entire face as he pulled the man up by his shirt. He then slowly pulled one of his hands out and pointed two fingers at the man as he gathered chakra in them. The man could only look in fear as the boy slammed his fingers into the back of the man's neck, and dropped him on the ground.
The man started coughing up blood violently, he tried moving his body, but it just wouldn't seem to move at all; he could only move his head. He looked up in shock and horror at the boy who was grinning evilly, "Wha….What'd you do to me!" he yelled as he coughed up even more blood.
The boy just kept grinning though, "I severed the nerves from your brain to your body, and now you're paralyzed from the neck down permanently." He said coldly as he started to walk away, but then turned around with a smirk on his face, "You should be grateful though, I could have killed you, but I didn't…. I usually don't show mercy…. So be glad that you are not dead…" He said as he turned around again, as the man's head finally fell to the ground unconscious.
Naruto looked at him curiously from the rooftop, 'His moves… They were just like Hinata's…. he must be a Hyuuga too!' he thought shocked, as he watched him join Lee and the brown haired girl, whose name was apparently Tenten, since he heard Lee shout it.
Rock Lee turned to Neji with a mad look on his face, "What was that all about Neji! You didn't have to save me you know, I could have easily took him out!" he yelled angrily.
Neji just looked at him uncaring, "If you say so Lee, but to me it looked like you were frozen in place in fear, I was just helping you out."
"What!" Lee yelled, "I was not afraid! I was just waiting for the right time to strike! Yet you come in and have to steal all the glory as usual, and not only that but you paralyzed him from the neck down Neji, doing stuff like that to untrained civilians, robbers or not, is not the ninja way." Lee said as he crossed his arms, and looked Neji dead in the eyes.
Neji surprisingly just laughed though which just made Lee even angrier. When he finally got done laughing he looked up smirking to see a steaming mad Lee.
"Oh please Lee, the man didn't deserve any more mercy then I gave the pathetic bastard, he tried to kill you and me, yet here you are mad at me for stopping him. This is why you're weak Lee, and always will be." He said coldly as he turned his back to him and started walking away
Lee's whole face turned red with rage, "WEAK! I'LL SHOW YOU WEAK!" he yelled furiously as he started charging at Neji, but was stopped in his place as a hand grabbed him.
He looked back and saw Tenten holding onto him shaking her head, "Lee, you know how he is, and right now we have a mission to complete here, and fighting with each other won't help it all." She said with a serious face, as she squeezed his hand a little tighter.
Lee saw the seriousness on her face, and instantly calmed down, but still remained red. Not from anger though, from the fact that she was holding his hand.
Lee had a big crush on Tenten ever since he first met her, he usually was a courageous and outgoing guy, but whenever he was near her he felt his insides twist, and he suddenly became very shy. He had been her teammate for over a year now, but he still hadn't worked up enough courage to ask her out, he could talk to her and they were good friends, but every time he ever got close to ever trying to ask her out on a date, he would just tense up, and would end up looking like a fool, so he had given up trying some time ago. He still wanted to ask her out of course, as she was the prettiest kunoichi he had ever seen, but he knew he just didn't have the courage yet, he could only pray one day he would, and then he finally would.
When he was training he had to focus completely on his training and try to keep his eyes off her, otherwise he'd get too distracted and wouldn't be able to get anything done effectively. That's why he had so much willpower, because every time he would let her distract him and lose focus, guy sensei would make him sit in a corner with his face to a tree for twenty minutes. He actually liked training, so Guy Sensei knew that punishing him by making him do more work would just make him happy. So he punished him by making him do nothing at all, and Lee hated it, so he finally learned not to look at her at all while training. It was very hard, but it made his willpower better than anyone else's, and the results of his training from his pure focus and determination had certainly paid off, as he didn't know any other genin who was even near his level of skill when it came to taijutsu.
"Lee? You ok?" he heard a voice call out to him.
Lee looked up to see Tenten waving a hand in front of his face and looking at him curiously. Lee immediately turned red again, and backed up a little, "Y-Yeah I'm f-fine" he said laughing nervously and scratching the back of his head.
She looked at him curiously, but accepted his answer. She wondered why he had turned red again and was acting so weird. That's when she looked down, and noticed what it was, they were still holding hands.
She quickly jerked her hand away from his and turned around to hide the red that was quickly creeping up on her face as well, but Lee had been able to see it before she had turned away.
'Why did she turn red? She…..She doesn't like me too does she…..?' Lee thought shocked, deep in thought.
They stood there awkwardly for what seemed like forever, when they were suddenly saved by two men in masks, the Anbu Black Ops.
They both slowly walked up to them, "Good job on catching the robbers you two, the bank of Konoha owes you a big debt." One of them said as they both made their way over to the two robbers and picked them up.
"You're welcome….. but there is another as well…" Lee said pointing to the man on the ground to the right.
"Oh, well can you two come with us real quick then and bring him along then? I'm sure the hokage would like to congratulate you two as well if you did."
Tenten and Lee looked at each other, still a bit pink, and nodded at each other, "Sure." They both said as Lee went over and picked him up.
"Alright then, let's be on our way." One of the Anbu said, and they took off towards the hokage's tower.
Naruto stared at them as they left, he had thought about jumping down there and catching up with Lee and meeting up with his team, but decided against it once he saw him and Neji fighting. He didn't want to get mixed up in their little squabble.
Naruto looked around, 'Hmm, wasn't I suppose to be somewhere….?' He thought as he looked up at the sun and it suddenly hit him, 'Oh shit! I remember now, I was supposed to be at the training grounds to train an hour ago!' He thought frantically as he took off at his top speed from rooftop to rooftop.
'I hope Kurenai sensei isn't to mad…..' he thought as he shuddered a little at the thought of her glaring at him with her angry red eyes that could make any man crumble to their knees in fear, and continued on when suddenly he jumped to the next rooftop, and he was suddenly right on top of someone about to crash into them. Naruto prepared himself for impact, hoping he didn't hurt them to bad, but when he hit them; he was the one being pushed back onto his butt.
"Ow!" Naruto said rubbing his butt, as he got up and looked up he was shocked to see who it was, it was the same boy as before, the one with the menacing look in his eyes.
Neji looked at him and frowned, "You really shouldn't spy on me and my team like that, people who do that usually end up dead." He said coldly as he stared at Naruto with his arms crossed.
Naruto stared at him shocked and a bit frightened, 'His eye's…they're just like Hinata's…..yet they're also so different at the same time…..they….. they look so cold.' Naruto thought to himself.
"You…..Your eye's…you're a Hyuuga aren't you?" Naruto asked.
Neji looked at him curiously, "Why yes, it doesn't take a genius to figure that one out though. My name is Neji, Neji Hyuuga; now tell me, why were you spying on my team?" he asked in a threatening tone
Naruto then looked at him angrily, as he was suddenly unfrightened now, "I wasn't spying on your team! I was trying to stop the robbers until you and your team showed up, and took them out before I got the chance myself!" Naruto yelled angrily.
Neji just looked up and smiled though, "Ah, I should have known that's what you were trying to do. I guess my assumptions were right about you, you're just a weak genin ninja just like I though who was so marveled at me and my team's strength that you were shocked into place, pathetic." He said coldly as he began to walk away.
"What did you just say!?" Naruto yelled furiously, as Neji was walking away.
Neji turned around and smirked, "I said you were a pathetic weak little genin. Do you have a problem with that?"
Naruto clinched his fists together angrily, "You bet I have a problem with that! I'm not weak! My name is Naruto Uzumaki, and one day I will be Hokage, and I'll beat you right here and now to prove it! Believe it!" Naruto yelled angrily.
Neji stared at him for a moment, but then he started laughing, laughing hysterically, which made Naruto even more furious.
"WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT!?" Naruto yelled raging from head to toe, his face bright red in anger.
Neji grinned, "It's just funny, because I've heard your name before, your Hinata's teammate aren't you?"
Naruto looked at him shocked, "You know Hinata?"
Neji frowned, "Well of course I do you idiot, all of us Hyuuga's know each other. Not only that but she's also my cousin."
"She…..She's your cousin….?" Naruto said surprised.
Neji smiled, "You seem so shocked, but yes, she is." He said as he started to walk away again, "In a way I feel bad for you…"
"What do you mean by that?" Naruto said confused.
Neji turned around again and smirked, "Because not only are you weak yourself, nut you have such a weak pitiful girl on your team as well. Hinata is the weakest of our whole clan, even her younger sister Hanabi is almost as strong as her and she's only seven. She's a disgrace to our entire clan." Neji said coldly.
Naruto could feel his blood boiling.
"Take that back right now!" Naruto screamed, as he clenched his fists together so hard they started to bleed.
Neji frowned, "Why?" he said emotionless as he crossed his arms together.
"Because she is not weak! She's one of the strongest ninjas that I know, and the strongest kunoichi of our entire class! How can you say something like that about your own cousin!" Naruto yelled in anger.
Neji smiled, "You think I care at all what you think? You obviously don't know Hinata at all if you actually think she's strong." He said as he laughed, "You might as well just give up now along with Hinata, I see you are just as weak and hopeless as her." He said coldly, as he turned around and began walking away yet again.
Naruto had had enough though, "I'LL MAKE YOU EAT THOSE WORDS!" He yelled ferociously as he charged at Neji with his full power and speed.
Neji turned around slowly and casually, not thinking Naruto was any challenge at all to him, but by the time he had turned around and opened his eyes, a fist as hard as steel had connected right in his jaw; which almost broke it, and sent him flying as he landed on the ground below with a thud.
Naruto almost fell off the rooftop as well at his own speed, 'Damn, I forgot I had my weights off, I gotta be more careful when I have them off or I might just end up hurting myself.' He thought as he looked down at the ground below as he was mere inches from going off the rooftop, 'But right now I got other things to take care of.' Naruto thought seriously as he jumped down onto the ground below.
When Neji had finally gotten over the punch that had nearly knocked him out, he looked up to see Naruto was already right on top of him again, and picked him up by his shirt as he looked at him angrily.
Neji spit a little blood out of his mouth on Naruto's face, "You…You little piece of worthless shit!" he yelled in frustration.
"You brought it on yourself, now who is the weak one." Naruto said with a smirk on his face.
Neji could only look at him with anger as he saw Naruto rear back to hit him again, when suddenly he saw a green blur out of the corner of his eye.
"Leaf Hurricane!" They both heard a familiar voice yell, but by the time Naruto had even started to try to put his hands up to defend himself knowing what was coming, a foot had already planted itself right in Naruto's stomach sending him flying back.
As Naruto was flying back four kunai suddenly appeared right in front of him and struck through his orange clothing as they nailed him to a tree. He tried moving to get free, but he couldn't, he was stuck.
Lee and Tenten then suddenly appeared right in front of Neji as Lee held out his hand to help him up.
"Neji! Are you ok?" Lee said concerned, but Neji just looked up at him with a look of anger stretched all across on his face and slapped his hand away.
"I'm Fine!" he yelled in frustration, "Or at least I was until you had to show up and interfere with my business! You little green leotard turd!"
Lee just looked at him confused, "But it looked like he was beating you up pretty bad Neji! I was only trying to help!"
"Yeah Neji, we just wanted to help." Tenten said.
"I don't need your help! I could have beaten that little orange shithead to pieces if I wanted to! He just surprised me that's all! Now about that little orange shithead…" he said as he turned and glared at Naruto with anger in his eyes, "YOU DIE!" he yelled furiously as he charged at Naruto as he gathered chakra into his hands to perform a fatal blow.
"Neji stop!" Lee and Tenten both shouted, but it was too late as he was already closing in on Naruto and they couldn't stop him now even if he wanted to.
Naruto looked on in horror, knowing these were probably his last moments, when suddenly he heard a familiar voice that made his whole body sigh in relief.
"Human Beast Combination: Spinning Tornado Jutsu!" he heard the familiar voice yell out, as he suddenly saw two figures popped out from behind the tree he was behind and formed powerful twisters and then combined to form an even more powerful tornado attack that was aimed right towards Neji.
Neji saw the attack coming though because of his Byakugan, "Kaiten!" he yelled as he suddenly and started spinning as well, and formed a spinning blue wall around his self.
The Tornado then struck Neji's Kaiten, as they fought each other for a moment, when suddenly the two attacks both simultaneously exploded, and caused a great powerful gust of wind, that sent Lee and Tenten flying through the air.
Naruto's cheeks and hair were flapping in the wind violently, when suddenly the tree he was plastered to suddenly came right out of the ground, and sent him flying through the air, along with the tree.
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Naruto yelled in horror as he saw the ground coming closer and closer as he free falled from the sky. Naruto tried moving around frantically, but he was still nailed tightly to the tree. Naruto braised himself for what he was sure was his certain doom, when suddenly he saw a white streak out of the corner of his eye. The streak came closer, and revealed itself to be Akamaru, Akamaru quickly jumped down on to a branch and then catapulted himself into the air and grabbed Naruto right off the tree right before the tree came crashing to the earth.
Naruto looked up at Akamaru panting, "Th-Thanks Akamaru…. I owe you big time….." Naruto said as he patted Akamaru on the head and Akamaru barked happily.
Kiba then jumped out of nowhere in front of Naruto with a smirk on his face.
"You sure know how to get into some sticky situations huh knucklehead?" he said playfully.
Naruto sighed, "You got that right man…. thanks for showing up man, I'd probably be dead if you didn't."
"No problem man, that's what friends are for." Kiba said smiling, which Naruto returned.
"If you guys think that you're getting out of this alive, then you're wrong!" They heard an angry voice yell out, as Neji then appeared on a branch above them, looking pretty beat up.
Lee and Tenten then appeared next to him, "Neji calm down! Let's just get out of here; killing them won't solve anything!" Lee yelled out furiously.
"Shut up you dobe! They'll pay for ever laying a finger on me." Neji said angrily, as he activated his byakugan.
Naruto and Kiba looked at each other smiling, and then looked up and smirked up at him, "If you think you can do it, then just try us!" Kiba yelled out confidently, as he tossed a food pill Naruto's way, as he caught it and ate it.
Neji looked at them with a furious look in his eyes, "Fine! You both die then!" he yelled as he jumped down and ran towards them.
"Neji stop!" Tenten yelled out, as Lee just sighed and shook his head
Naruto and Kiba both looked at each other smiling as Neji came their way.
"You ready Naruto? It's time to show them our special combo move Jutsu! I can't wait to see the look their faces!" Kiba whispered excitedly.
Naruto nodded, "Yeah, let's do it!" he whispered excitedly, as they started making hand signs in unison as they watched Neji closing in on them.
As they both finished up their hand signs, ready to unleash their new move on him, they suddenly felt someone grab both of their arms, and stop them, as they then saw a green blur go right past them as well and stop Neji in place.
Naruto looked back and saw Kurenai sensei with a serious look on her face, with both Kiba's and Naruto's arms in her hand.
"NARUTO! KIBA! What on earth are you doing!?" she yelled furiously.
Naruto and Kiba both looked at her with fear on their faces, "W-We have an e-explanation s-sensei…" Naruto said nervously and frightened.
"Well it better be a damn good one!" Kurenai shouted.
"It is!" Kiba yelled back with determination in his eyes, "I'm not sure what exactly happened before I got here, but when I did Naruto was pinned to a tree, and that boy over there was just about to kill him!" Kiba yelled pointing at Neji.
"What!?" Kurenai shouted furiously as she let go of their arms. She looked over at where Kiba was pointing and saw a white eyed boy with a furious look of killing intent stretched across his face, who was currently being held back and yelled at by Guy. Kurenai instantly recognized who it was by his eyes; he was a Hyuuga just like Hinata, Neji Hyuuga.
Kurenai then walked up madly to Guy sensei, who also had a mad look on his face.
"I hear from my students that your student right there tried to kill Naruto! Can you not control your own students Guy!?" Kurenai yelled with anger.
Although usually Kurenai's intense gaze and ferociousness would scare anyone, and make them cower in fear, Guy surprisingly just stood there with a stern look on his face, with his arms crossed.
"Well from what I hear Kurenai, it seems your little orange genin brat was the one who started it first!" Guy yelled back at her, glaring at her angrily.
Kurenai just glared right back at him with even more intensity, "I don't care who started it Guy! That still doesn't excuse the fact that your student tried to kill my student!"
"Well from what Neji told me, he was only protecting himself, and that he had just helped stopped some robbers when your student attacked him, so I think it's you that needs to control your students!" Guy yelled back furiously.
Kurenai just looked at him and sighed, "Whatever Guy, I don't have time for your stupid obnoxious self, me and my team have to get to training." She said as she huffed and started walking away.
"Fine, I guess we'll settle this at the exams then, if you even dare enter them! Then we'll see which one of our teams is stronger, come on guys, we have to get to training too." Guy said as he took off into the forest.
They didn't follow him immediately though, as Neji, Lee, and Tenten all walked up to Team 8.
Kurenai thought of telling them to go on, but decided against it as she thought their words might make her team even more determined and that they needed to blow some steam out, so she just sat back and watched.
"I'd just like to let you know that if you shouldn't enter the exams if you value your life, because if you do there won't be anyone there to stop me from crushing all of you next time." Neji said coldly, as he turned and left in a fast pace.
"Wow, what a jerk." Naruto said angrily.
"Ha, don't worry about it Naruto, he's just mad cause we kicked his butt so good." Kiba said smirking.
Naruto looked at him and smirked back, "Yeah, you got that right."
Lee then turned and looked right at Naruto, "You must excuse Neji, he's just very upset right now." He said sincerely, but then looked at Naruto with a determined face, "But if we do see you in the chunin exams and we do fight, then just know that you will lose." Lee said arrogantly with a smile as he clenched his fists together.
Naruto huffed, "Yeah, whatever bushy brow, you may have wiped the floor with me last time, but next time it'll be different, believe it!" Naruto yelled confidently.
Surprisingly Lee just kept smiling, "I'm glad to see your confidence and determination has not faded since our last fight, and that the fire of youth still burns deeply within you." He said as he turned around, "Come on Tenten, let's go."
"Right." She said as she turned around as well, "Guess we'll see you guys later then." Tenten said with smirk, as her and Lee took off after Neji and Guy Sensei.
Naruto sighed, "Man, I'm glad they are finally gone. They are seriously way too weird for me to handle."
Kurenai laughed, "That's pretty funny coming from you Naruto, seeing as your one of the weirdest boy's I've ever meet." Kurenai said, as Kiba laughed as well.
Naruto pouted, "Yeah….but they take weird to a whole new level…. And that Neji dude is so full of himself and cold it's sickening."
Naruto then looked at Kiba puzzled, "So Kiba…..How'd you know that I was in trouble anyway?" Naruto asked confused.
Kiba grinned, "I didn't to be honest, after you didn't show up to the training grounds after about an hour, we were all worried something had happened to you, knowing it wasn't like you to be late for training. So Kurenai sensei sent me off to try and find out where you were, I looked through Konoha for about ten minutes when I finally saw that guy with the weird green leotard and the girl with the brown hair heading off somewhere in a hurry, so I decided I'd follow them to see what they were up too, thinking maybe I'd find you, and I did." Kiba said laughing.
Kurenai laughed as well, "Seems trouble just follows you everywhere huh Naruto?"
Naruto sighed, "Yeah I guess so sensei… so…. umm…..where's Hinata at?"
"Oh, I told her to wait at the training grounds; I knew something bad had happened when I saw a big puff of smoke in the distance. So I came running after you, Hinata begged me to come, but I didn't see any use in it, and I had a new jutsu I wanted her to practice on as well. So anyway, let's not leave her waiting anymore, I'm sure she's worried, especially about you Naruto." Kurenai said with a smirk, which made Naruto surprisingly turn a little red.
"Yeah…..let's get going then." Naruto said as he took off, knowing she was trying to embarrass him, and Kiba followed.
'Hey, I'm the one who is supposed to take off first….' Kurenai thought a little mad, but then took off after them catching up to them quickly as they made their way to the training grounds.
After about ten minutes, Lee and Tenten had finally caught up to Neji, who was jumping from each branch ferociously and quickly as he could with a serious look on his face.
"You really are in a hurry Neji; it took us a lot longer than I thought it would to catch you." Lee said with a grin on his face.
Neji looked back and looked at them a little surprised, had had been so caught up in his own thoughts and anger he hadn't even noticed them right behind him. That definitely wasn't like him since he was almost never caught off guard because of his byakugan.
He suddenly stopped on a wide tree branch and Lee and Tenten did the same. He noticed Lee looked unsurprisingly fine, but Tenten looked like she was about to pass out, as her face was red and sweat dripped from her face as she dropped to her knees panting hard.
"Damn it Lee, I thought I told you to slow down! You know I can hardly keep up with you." She said in an exhausted tone.
Lee just looked at her and grinned as he scratched the back of his head, "Sorry Tenten, I guess I didn't hear you, I just wanted to reach Neji before he reached the training grounds." Lee said as he then turned and looked at Neji with a serious face.
Neji looked at him questionably, "You wanted to reach me before I got to the training grounds? What for?"
Tenten then looked up at him with a serious face too now that she had finally caught her breathe, "Oh come on Neji don't act dumb, you tried to kill that yellow haired boy. We wanna know what he did to make you so mad, I've never seen you that mad before, and that's saying something."
Neji looked at them both, and then sighed, "Let's just say I was already pretty mad before he had shown up anyway, and after we had talked he had made me even angrier. Then he landed a sucker punch on me which almost broke my jaw, and after that I just blew." Neji said as he clinched his fists in anger as he remembered the punch.
Lee and Tenten both looked at him shocked, "A sucker punch…..on you…..? But you're never caught off guard Neji, how did he manage that?" Lee asked shocked.
"Well, lets just say he was faster than I had imagined, which is why he had been able to catch me off guard because by the time I had turned around his fist was already in my face..." Neji said as he could feel his anger building up even more.
Lee looked at him shocked, "What!? No way, I've fought that kid before one day in the forest before one of our training sessions, and I had outclassed him in speed greatly, even if you were caught off guard there's no way he could have hit you!" Lee yelled.
Neji smirked, "Well I guess he's gotten faster then the last time you fought him Lee… a lot faster. I'd say he's even somewhere near your own speed Lee."
"What!? That's impossible, we just fought like three weeks ago, there's no way he could have made that much progress in such a short time!" Lee yelled out in complete shock.
"Well I don't know how he did it Lee, but he really is that fast whether you like it or not." Neji said smirking at Lee's shock, but then his face then took a serious look, "But yet the thing is he's not even the one I'm worried about…" he said as he looked off into the forest.
"What do you mean Neji?" Tenten asked confused.
Neji then turned and looked at their confused faces with a bit of anger on his, "It was that other boy…. The Inuzuka, he's the one I'm worried about."
Tenten at him puzzled at first, but then started chuckling, "Kiba Inuzuka? The dog boy?" she said as she her chuckles turned into laughter, "Why in the world would you be worried about him?"
Neji just looked at her with his usual serious face, "It seems a bit funny I know, but his chakra….. it….it was unlike anything I've ever seen." He said a bit amazed.
Tenten's laughter stopped after he said this, as she then looked at him confused again, "What do you mean? How can someone's chakra look different?"
"Yeah, shouldn't everyone's chakra look the same?" Lee asked confused as well.
"Yes I know, but it isn't just his chakra that worries me, it was his attack as well. His tornado jutsu was strong enough to not only hold my kaiten, but get past it a little bit as well, and nothing has ever been able to get past it." Neji said as he gritted his teeth in frustration, "But the weirdest thing of all is even after an attack like that he had pulled off against me, he didn't even look a bit fatigued. After a chakra extensive attack like that his entire chakra reserves should have been nearly depleted, especially for a genin, yet he looked like the attack hadn't even affected him at all, that's when I decided to turn my byakugan on, and that's when I saw it… his chakra… it…it was a different color then usual, instead of the usual light blue color it was a very very dark and even evil looking blue…. And the weirdest thing is it looked there almost no stop to it….. almost like he had a never ending chakra supply that never ran out…." Neji said as he looked down at the ground.
Lee and Tenten both looked at him in shock, "But how is that possible!? How can someone have a never ending supply of chakra, and how is it possible for it to be a different color!?" Tenten yelled out.
"I don't know, but the funny thing is that the yellow haired boy, Naruto, had a similar look to his chakra as well. It was a different color as well, a raging almost fire like red that looked evil as well. It was even more intense looking than Kiba's chakra, but it didn't look never ending though, but it was certainly beyond anything even a jounin could have ever hoped to accomplished." Neji said in a serious tone.
"What!?" Tenten yelled out in disbelief, "How can they both have so much chakra and different colors as well? What are they?"
Neji sighed, "I don't know the answer to that question either, but they're definitely both ones to keep our eyes on. I don't think we need to worry much about the Uzumaki kid, but the Inuzuka is definitely intriguing. If he can blow out attacks like that and it not even affect him the slightest at all then he could certainly be an extremly powerful opponent in the upcoming chunin exams…. Oddly it doesn't scare me though… it actually excites me….. A lot." He said as he looked up and grinned.
Lee looked at him and grinned as well, "That's what I'm talking about Neji! I knew the power of youth ran strong in you! We'll show them all what we are really made of, then they will be ones who will be left in amazement!" Lee said as he clenched his fists together with a determined look on his face.
Neji and Tenten both looked at him a moment, and then laughed.
"I don't know about the power of youth running strongly in me and all that, but yeah Lee, we will definitely show them just what we really are made of." Neji said with a determined look on his face as well.
"Alright then! We better get going then, we have training to do!" Lee yelled out in excitement.
"Yeah, plus if we leave Guy sensei waiting anymore he'll probably kill every one of us." Tenten said with a frightened voice.
Everyone gulped; as they all nodded in agreement as they took off into the forest towards the training grounds as fast as they could, all of them now really looking forward to the chunin exam.
Naruto, Kiba, and Kurenai had finally made it to their training grounds, training area 13. Naruto had secretly been able to put on his weights again while they had been traveling. Kiba and Hinata still didn't know about him wearing weights, and didn't want them to know either as he wanted to still keep it a secret, so while they had been traveling he told them he had to pee and it couldn't wait. While they waited for him to get done he secretly did his 'Item Transport Jutsu' that allowed any item he had tagged to be instantly brought in front of him in a heap of smoke. After he had got done putting them back on, he had hopped back onto the branch that Kiba and Kurenai Sensei had been waiting on with a look of confusion as Kurenai was shaking her head and Kiba was smirking at him.
"Judging by that smoke I guess you had to do more than just piss huh Naruto?" Kiba had said playfully with a smirk.
Naruto just shrugged and turned a bit red from embarrassment as he realized what he meant.
"Well I guess if you got to go you got to go." Kurenai said playfully as well, "Anyway let's get going." She said before they took off again.
When they arrived at the training grounds, they had found Hinata had been sitting by the lake with a worried look on her face, but it instantly turned into a happy one as soon as she saw that they were back and that Naruto was ok.
She ran up to them, and shockingly gave Naruto a hug, which made Naruto turn a bit red.
"I'm so glad you are ok…..I….I thought something had happened to you when you didn't show up this morning. I-I knew something had to be wrong for you to ever be late for training….. and when I saw the big explosion off in the distance I…." she said as she looked at him as tears started to form around her eyes.
Naruto looked at her confused, 'She…..She was actually that worried about me?' he thought shocked. 'She didn't even know if my life had really been truly in danger, yet here she is crying tears for me….. she really does truly care.'
Naruto looked down at her and smiled as he wiped away one of her tears, "I'm sorry for making you worry Hinata….. and please….. don't cry, you know I hate it when you cry… it just doesn't suite a strong person like you." Naruto said sincerely as he continued smiling at her.
Hinata looked up at him with a happy look on her face; whenever he said she was strong it just filled her up with confidence and happiness. It was good to have someone that you cared about so much tell you that you were strong and that they believed in you, especially when your whole family didn't.
Hinata's crying stopped instantly, as she looked at him happily smiling, as Naruto returned her smile with his own handsome grin that sent chills down Hinata's spine.
They stood there for what seemed like an eternity to them, just staring at each other in the eyes, neither of them wanting it to end, when suddenly a voice boomed out that broke both of them their trance.
"Sorry to interrupt you two lovebirds from hugging and looking into each other's eyes, but we do have training to do if you two can find the time to fit that into your busy schedules!" Kiba yelled out playfully, and smirking with his hands crossed.
Hinata and Naruto both instantly turned bright red as they realized what they had been doing in front of everyone as they quickly broke apart from each other. Hinata poked her fingers together nervously, and Naruto scratched the back of his head nervously as well as they both looked at the ground embarrassed.
This caused Kiba to burst out in laughter, which made both of them turn even more red from embarrassment.
'Lovebirds? Did he just call us lovebirds? That's not right though, me and Hinata are just friends….. besides why would she want to date a guy like me? I mean she's gorgeous… wait….I think she's gorgeous now!? When did that happen!? I mean I was just thinking she was pretty the other day, but now I think she's gorgeous? What's wrong with me, me and her are just friends, and that's that…. But she really is gorgeous…Oh god, what's wrong with me!' Naruto thought as he started slapping himself in the head.
Kiba started laughing even harder at the sight of Naruto slapping himself, as Kurenai just stood back and shook her head.
'I swear, they'll never become a couple with Kiba around….. and Naruto's cluelessness certainly doesn't help a bit either.' Kurenai thought sighing.
"So…..yeah…training…..yeah…. can we….you know…. Like….do that." Naruto said nervously, as he continued to scratch the back of his head.
Kurenai chuckled at his uncharacteristic nervousness, "Yeah sure kid, lets get to it, we're not getting anywhere just standing here."
"Awww come on sensei, can't we just let them keep standing there all nervous and embarrassed, it's hilarious." Kiba said as he laughed some more.
"Kiba I swear….I'm gonna kill you." Naruto said angrily.
Kiba was about to respond with something that would embarrass them both even more, but he was stopped by Kurenai before he could.
"Alright, alright, that's enough Kiba; it's time to get serious now. I've got some important stuff to tell you before we begin and some surprises as well, so come on, there's no time to waste." Kurenai said as she waved for them to follow as she headed to their normal sitting spot by the lake.
"Oh alright sensei….." Kiba said a bit disappointed that he wouldn't be able to embarrass them anymore, Naruto and Hinata both sighed, and felt the nervousness suddenly fade from them as they followed behind Kurenai sensei.
When they made it to their spots by the lake and took a seat, the familiar area automatically eased them again, as the running water flowed by, and the trees blew in the wind.
"Man does it feel good to be back here again." Naruto said as every one nodded in agreement.
"It sure does kiddo, it sure does." Kurenai said as she looked at her students proudly, as she remembered all they had endured during their mission. They had come so far in such a short time…. they definitely were true ninjas now.
"So, what is it you have to tell us that's so important sensei?" Kiba asked curiously.
Kurenai smiled, "Well I actually I have two important things to announce, both of which I'm not sure exactly how you'll react, but I think you'll like both."
Everyone looked at her with big eyes, "Well what is it sensei!? Are you finally gonna teach us how to do that go into the ground jutsu that you always do!" Naruto said as he jumped up in excitement.
Kurenai chuckled, "No, no, not yet anyway." She said with a smirk.
"Well what is it then!?" Kiba yelled, as he stood up as well.
Kurenai grinned, "You see, after seeing how much you all of progressed in the past few weeks I see that you guys have really become strong, which is why I think you all need a challenge now, one that will really test your skills and abilities to the max…. Which is why I have entered you all in the upcoming Chunin Exams!" she yelled excitedly, hoping everyone would like the news as well.
Everyone looked at her for a moment, but then everyone jumped up and danced around in excitement except for Hinata who just sat there with a happy look on her face at her teammate's excitement.
"Yeah! We're gonna be chunin!" Kiba yelled out happily.
"Yeah, Believe It!" Naruto yelled out happily, but then suddenly stopped jumping and dancing as he realized something.
"Umm sensei, I have a question." He said as he looked a bit confused.
Kurenai looked at him a bit confused as well, "Yes, what is it Naruto?"
"Well you see….. I don't actually know….what the chunin exams are?" Naruto said as he scratched the back of his head.
Everyone stared at him in amazement, wondering if he was for real. When they saw he was totally serious, they all sighed.
"Wow, I guess it is really true when they say your head is full of hot air huh? I mean how can a ninja not know what the chunin exams are?" Kiba said.
"Hey! Just because I don't know what they are doesn't mean my head is full of hot air!" Naruto yelled back angrily.
"Alright, alright chill out man, let me explain it all to you." Kiba said as he took a deep breathe.
"You see the chunin exams are the test that decides if a genin is ready to become a chunin or not. There's three parts to the test, which are different each year, as they are held in different villages each year. The genin that prove that they are the best of the best then get promoted to the rank of chunin if they are deemed worthy by the judges, and guess you could say that's the basics."
Naruto took in all the information, as he then suddenly jumped up again in excitement, "Well if this is a test to become a chunin then count me in!" he yelled out.
Kurenai chuckled, "Good explanation Kiba, it seems you were able to explain it fairly well to Naruto."
"Thanks sensei." Kiba said proudly.
"Yeah, Yeah, so where is it being held this year then?" Naruto asked.
Kurenai grinned, "Well it seems you're all lucky this year, as it's being held right here in the hidden leaf village!" Kurenai yelled out happily.
"Alright!" Naruto yelled out, "No need to travel anywhere then, I gotta tell you I was getting tired of traveling and walking places." Naruto said as his teammates nodded their head in agreement.
"I bet" Kurenai said smiling, "The exams will be held one week from now, it was actually suppose to be held tomorrow, but it got delayed as some other villages wanted some more time to prepare and get ready, and luckily that bought us some time to get a little bit more training in."
"Alright! I can't wait till we get to show everyone just what we are made of!" Naruto yelled out in excitement.
"Yeah man, we'll show everyone why we are the best genins in the whole world!" Kiba yelled out excited as well.
Kurenai smiled, "I'm glad to see you're all excited, but don't take this lightly, and definitely never underestimate your opponents. People die in these exams every year, and if you're not careful that could end up being one of you…. Which is why I want you all to be on your guard throughout the entire exam, and protect each other with all your power, if anything ever happened to one of you during the exam…..I….I'd never be able to forgive myself." Kurenai said concerned.
Naruto smiled, "Don't worry sensei, nothing will happen to anyone of my teammates during this exam while I still have breathe in my body…. Believe It!" Naruto yelled out, as his confidence seemed to fill everyone up with it as well yet again.
Kurenai smiled, "Your confidence can make anyone feel better Naruto, you really are something…"
Naruto scratched the back of his head, "Thanks sensei." He said happily at her compliment.
"So, w-what's the other surprise then sensei?" Hinata asked curiously.
"Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that one." She said as she then started to smirk, "This is one I'm not sure if you'll like or hate, but either way you're stuck with them." She said a bit evilly.
"Stuck with them? What do you mean sensei?" Hinata asked.
"Yeah, what are you talking about?" Naruto asked as well.
"Well you see, Kakashi and Asuma are also entering their students in the chunin exams as well…... So we decided it'd be best if we all trained together during the last week before the exams. So therefore Kakashi and Asuma's teams will be joining us everyday for the next week to train with us." Kurenai said grinning.
"What!? No way, you're kidding!" Naruto yelled out.
"Yeah, you have to be freaking kidding sensei! That Shino dude really creeps me out!" Kiba yelled out a bit frightened, but was also was happy too as this meant he'd get to see Ino again after such a long time if she was being for real.
Kurenai's grin just got bigger, "Nope, I'm not kidding one bit….. Ah, and looky there, here they are now." Kurenai said as she pointed behind them as everyone then turned around quickly.
When they turned around they saw that Kurenai wasn't kidding one bit. There they all were, all of Team 7 and Team 10. Ino and Sakura were standing beside each other glaring at each other and fighting as usual, and everyone else just stood there in their usual uncaring fashion.
"Yup it's definitely them alright….." Naruto whispered to himself, not sure if he should be excited, or just run away right now. He didn't really have anything against them, and him and Team 7 were all mostly friends now, but he wasn't exactly excited to see Team 10 though, as Chouji and Ino had both been pretty mean to him back in his academy days, especially Ino, and Shino just quite frankly creeped him out.
Kakashi then walked up a little and then smiled, "Sorry we're all a bit late Kurenai, you see we…"
"Ah shut up Kakashi, I don't need one of your damn excuses that was probably made up on the spot. Besides, you guys actually seemed to make good time today for once, as we actually just got here about fifteen minutes ago anyway and I just explained the chunin exams and you joining us to them." Kurenai said.
"Well I'm glad to see we actually made good time for once." Asuma said laughing a bit.
"Ha, I guess so Asuma, if only you could do that every time. Now come on we got work to do."
"Right come on guys." Asuma said as his team followed him and Kakashi's team did so as well as they followed him.
"Well, this should be interesting….." Naruto whispered to his teammates
"Yeah….." Hinata said back, not exactly sure how to feel either.
"You got that right Naruto." Kiba said happily, as he was now happy that he was going to get to spend a whole week with the girl of his dreams, Ino Yamanaka.
Hope you all enjoyed this chapter, and please Read and Review and tell me what you thought about it. Any suggestions or ideas you might have about my story to help make it better are much appreciated as well.
Would just like to give a quick shout out to all my reviewers from last chapter, seeing all of your compliments and support to my story really made me happy to know that you all seem to be enjoying my story so far, so thanks again!
Would like to give another big shout out to my two biggest reviewers; Rose Tiger and RedEye00. You both have been with me since almost the beginning, and you both have given me some really helpful reviews and a lot of support, so thanks a ton to both of you :)!
I've got some big things planned for this story, and it excites me even thinking about them, so yeah this story is far from over. Updates might take a little longer from now on though, as I'm planning on making my chapters around this length from now on and I don't have as much time as I use to to work on it, but I should still be able to update weekly.
Until next time, peace out.