Chapter Nine: Jinchuriki Training and Chuunin Exams Pt. 2
Just like before, I called forward three shadow clones of myself. They got into the triangle formation, ready for the training session to start. A large smile appeared on Naruto's face as he looked at me. For some reason, I really didn't like that little twinkle in his eye. I knew something was up, and I had a feeling I knew what it was.
"Naruto, let me warn you." I said before he could call forth his clones. "If you, at anytime, use that damn Sexy Jutsu or Harem Jutsu of yours, I'll knock you and them into the next village."
"Heh, don't worry, Kazumi-chan. I won't." he said, still smiling. "I won't lie. That did pop into my head but I knew you would lose it if I did."
"Well, at least you knew." I said. "All right, I'm ready whenever you are."
"Okay, let's go!" he exclaimed. "Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
"So he's using the multi shadow clone technique." I thought. "All right Naruto, show me exactly what you came up with."
Even thought I wasn't fighting, I still got into a fighting stance. Naruto seemed very confident about his strategy, so I wasn't going to underestimate him. He may be a knucklehead, and he is often clueless, but he wasn't a dummy when it came to improving his ninja skills. Naruto sent his clones forward. But instead of attacking, they started surrounding us. He had three circles that consisted of ten of his clones.
"First wave, attack!" he called out.
"Here they come." I thought to myself.
Just like before, my clones were eliminating Naruto's clones one by one. He used the first wave as a distraction as he sent in the second. I was starting to think that he really didn't understand what I was explaining to him. Before long, he sent the third wave in. Now that all his clones were attacking, I really had to pay attention. Suddenly, I found my clones blocking at least three to four clones at once.
"I got you now! Go!" Naruto called out.
"What does he have underneath his sleeve?" I thought.
My question was answered when Naruto unleashed his hidden attack method. I noticed the ground under one of my clone's feet. Before I could do anything, a Naruto appeared. He shot up and clipped my clone, causing her to disappear. I looked at my second clone and found that the same thing happened to her. As well as the third one. Just as I looked back forward, I found Naruto had lunged himself at me. He used two clones to shoot himself like a bullet.
"I got you!" he yelled.
"Damn it!" I swore out loud.
Naruto was able to spear me to the ground before I could think of a countermove or any move period. When we landed on the ground, his clones disappeared in clouds of smoke. Naruto hovered over me with a Kunai knife held against my throat. I just looked at him wide-eyed as he looked down at me with a large grin printed on his face.
"I got you, Kazumi-chan." He said in a sing-song voice.
"Whoa. I would have never thought you would come out with an attack method like that, Naruto." I said amazed. He just smiled. A few seconds later, I realized how Naruto had me on the ground. I could already feel heat rushing to my cheeks. And I needed to do something before my face looked like a big, red cranberry.
"Uh, Naruto." I said quietly.
"Huh? He replied.
"Uh, do you mind helping me up now?" I asked.
"Oh, sure." He said.
Naruto quickly jumped back to his feet and returned back to his full height. Once I was sitting up, I looked up at Naruto and found him extending his hand out towards me. I sent him my family's signature eye-smile and gladly accepted his hand. He easily pulled me up to my feet. Before long, I was standing back at my full height.
"Well, Naruto. A deals a deal." I told him. "Looks like I owe you some ramen."
"All right!" he said as he jumped up and down. He then stopped and I found myself in a hug. "Thank you so much, Kazumi-chan! You're the best!"
"Was he doing this on purpose? He's trying to give me a heart attack, I know he is." I thought to myself, feeling my cheeks turning red. I was thanking Kami that I was wearing a mask.
"Come on, let's go! Ichiraku awaits!" he cheers.
Instead of my wrist, Naruto grabbed a hold of my hand and proceeded to leave the training grounds. I just smile to myself as I allowed Naruto to pull me towards Ichiraku. While he ate his ramen, he was so into it that I was able to eat without him trying to sneak a peep at me without my mask on. I'll say this, ramen can be your best friend, well for my case. For Naruto, it could be a terrible weakness.
One week later….
It was another normal day in the Hidden Leaf. Naruto and I had met for ramen that morning and were walking towards the bridge to meet up with Sakura and Sasuke. We would always meet up to train whenever we had free time or weren't on a mission. So you could say that we nearly spent all of our time together.
"Morning Sasuke, Sakura." I said once we made it to the bridge. Sasuke just nodded his head once for a response.
"Morning, Sakura!" Naruto said.
"Hey, Naruto, Kazumi." Sakura said.
As soon as Naruto and Sasuke locked eyes, they both frowned and turned their heads away from each other. Sakura and I just released a frustrated breath. These tow have been acting weird around each other every since we got back from the Land of Waves. Well, they were acting weirder than usual. So that was a little strange.
After arriving, we did what we always do, wait for my brother to appear. I swear, he does this on purpose, he has to. I mean, how the heck can you get lost, you live here. My guess is that he is either at the Memorial Stone or his reading that damn book of his. Which I don't get because while we're on simple missions, he reads them then. I know damn well they aren't that long.
Three hours later…
"Sorry I'm late guys. I got lost on the path of life." Kakashi explained.
"You lie!" Naruto and Sakura both exclaimed.
First, we had to pick out weeds from a civilian's garden, yeah, that was fun. However, Naruto messed up and ended up pulling the woman's plants. Her special herbs. As a result, he got a black eye from the woman. Next we had to pick up trash out of a stream. Naruto lost his footing was and was about to go over the waterfall. Before he could plumage to the sharp rocks below, I quickly grabbed some special ninja thread, tied it to a nearby branch and caught him.
The third mission was walking dogs. And Naruto, being the one who wants to show off, chose the biggest dog to walk. The large bulldog ended up dragging Naruto, walking straight into a booby trapped area. The worse luck that the area was a mine field. Before long, we were finally done and had completed all of our assigned missions for the day. I was carrying Naruto with one of his arms around my shoulders as we walked down the streets. After an argument with Sasuke, Naruto and I were about to go train but something caught our attentions. Well, mine.
Kakashi-sensei disappeared in a cloud of smoke. I was about to comment on what Sasuke said, but then a strange looking rock caught my attention. The rock was square and had two holes on the front and a pair of eyes coming out from them. Yeah, that wasn't weird or suspicious. Not one bit.
"Uh, Naruto. Is there anyone you know that would disguise themselves as a square rock and follow us?" I asked Naruto.
He wondered for a minute, "Um… That sounds like something Konahomaru and his friends would do… Why do you ask?" I just pointed at the strange rock. "A rock like that doesn't even exist! That's so obvious!" He exclaimed pointing to the rock as well.
"I should have expected that from the man whom I have high hopes for and is also my rival." Someone inside the rock said.
The rock started to emit a yellow glow and suddenly exploded. Three clouds of smoke appeared: one pink, one yellow and the other blue. As the smoke started to clear they could see three kids around eight or nine years old coughing.
The one on the right was a brunette boy wearing glasses, a dark blue shirt and gray shorts. On the left there was a girl with orange hair tied into two high pigtails, wearing a pink T-shirt and light brown pants. In the middle there was another boy with spiky brown hair wearing a blue scarf, a yellow T-shirt and gray pants. Oh, and all of them wore goggles that looked a lot like the ones Naruto used to wear before graduating.
"Hey, you used too much gunpowder!" The boy in the middle said after coughing a little more. As the smoke vanished they noticed we had been watching them the whole time and quickly got up to their feet.
"Uh? These must be the kids you were talking about?" I asked to Naruto.
"The one who possesses the sex appeal of an adult, and the kunoichi from the senior group, Moegi!" The girl announced, making a pose.
"What the heck?" I thought. "Please tell me this kid didn't just say that."
"The one who loves dividing numbers, Udon!" The boy with glasses said, making another pose.
"They can't be serious." I thought.
"The village's number one genius ninja…" The last boy yelled. "Konahomaru!"
"The three of us make the Konahomaru Ninja Squad!" They yelled in unison.
"Just as I thought, it was the three of you." Naruto said, not really caring. "Why do you have these goggles on?"
"We copied the old you!" Konahomaru said with a grin. Then he noticed me. "Hey, Boss? Who's she?"
"Huh? Oh, this is my teammate, Kazumi." Naruto told them. "She's also my best friend."
"Hi." I greeted.
"Now what do you want?" Naruto asked.
"Well, Boss, do you have time right now?" Moegi asked, rather shyly.
"No, I'm going to train." Naruto replied.
Konahomaru made a disappointed face. "You said that you would play Ninja with us!"
"Hehe… Really?" He asked, embarrassed.
"What's the point in a ninja playing Ninja? That is so twisted." Sakura grunted as she made her way over, suddenly appearing out of nowhere. I honestly forgot she was around here. She stopped and stared oddly at Naruto. She couldn't take Sasuke's words out of her head. "Am I really worse than him?"She thought, intensifying the stare. Naruto blushed, starting to feel nervous. Konahomaru and his friends watched the scene curiously.
"Hey, who is this?" He asked. Then it hit him. Konahomaru smirked, patting Naruto's back. "Boss, you're better than I thought."
"Huh?" Naruto asked.
"She's your…" Konahomaru raised his pinky. "Girlfriend, right?" Sakura's eyes turned white at this.
Naruto blushed even more. "You kids are pretty sharp!"
"NO WAY!" Sakura yelled, punching Naruto right on the face.
After ticking Sakura off, twice, we found ourselves running away from her. Man, no one had better ever talk about her forehead again. This chick was out of her damn mind. We continued to run away however, Konohamaru ended up slamming into someone. We quickly rushed over and found a boy wearing a black suit and a girl with her hair pulled into four pigtails. The boy in black had Konohamaru in his grasp, holding him in the air.
"Hey! I'll put him down if I were you." I told him.
"Hmm? How about you make me." he taunted.
I just narrowed my eyes at the boy. I knew he wasn't from around here, so the question was why he and that girl here in the first place. I saw him turn his attention back onto Konohamaru, so I made my move. I used my charka and sent it to my legs, giving me a boost of speed. I quickly got behind him and swept under his feet. The action caused him to fall, releasing his hold of Konohamaru in the process. Once Konohamaru was safely behind Naruto and the others, I jumped over the boy and landed right beside Naruto.
"Wow, good job, Kazumi-chan!" Naruto cheered.
"Now, you were saying." I taunted back.
The boy, named Kankuro, just glared at me while he growled under his breath. He soon got back to his feet. He extended his hand out, looking like he was about to come at me. I stood ready just in case he tried something. But before he could get close, a rock flew, striking his hand in the process. Kankuro instantly drew his hand back, holding it in pain. Naruto, the others and I looked up to see Sasuke sitting in the tree as he tossed a pebble up and down.
"You're a long way from home and you're way out of your league." He told them.
"Sasuke!" Sakura screamed, causing me to cringe.
"Oh great. Another wimp to tick me off." Kankuro groaned.
"Get lost." Sasuke threatened as he crushed the rock in his bare hand.
"That was so unnecessary. He's nothing but a show off. Sakura and these kids over here are just eating him up. And this was my team." I thought as I sighed to myself.
"Hey punk. Get down here." Kankuro growled. "You're the kind of pesky little snot I hate the most. All attitude and nothing to back it up." He said as he pulled whatever object was, off his back.
"What? You're going to use the crow for this?" Temari asked in shock.
"Kankuro, back off." a dark voice said. "You are an embarrassment to our village.
"Oh huh, hey Gaara." Kankuro said nervously.
"You're an embarrassment to our village." The boy named Gaara told him. "I'm sorry for any trouble they may have caused." The red haired boy suddenly shifted into sand and retook his normal form once he was on the ground. "Kankuro. Temari. Let's go."
"Hold on! Wait just a second!" Sakura suddenly stated. "I understand that you are not from here. Instead you're from the Hidden Sand Village. I want to know what you are doing here."
"Sakura." I said, trying to make her shut up.
"Of course the Land of Fire and the Land of Wind have an alliance. However, the treaty prevents ninja from different lands from entering unless they have permission." Sakura said.
"Thanks for the damn history lesson, Sakura." I groaned to myself.
"You don't know anything." Temari said as she revealed her passport. "We have permission. We're Genin from the Hidden Sand Village, here to participate in the upcoming Chuunin Exams."
"Chuunin Exams? What's that?" Naruto talked out loud.
"They are the tests you take to determine whether or not you deserve the rank of Chuunin or not." I explained. Meanwhile, Gaara, Kankuro and Temari proceeded to leave.
"Hey! You! Identify yourself!" Sasuke said as he jumped to the ground.
"Hmm? You mean me?" Temari asked as she slightly blushed.
"Damn it! Does every damn girl become a fan-girl of Sasuke every time she sees Sasuke?" I thought, really wanting to face palm myself.
"No, him. The guy with the gourd on his back." Sasuke said as he pointed towards him. Gaara and Kankuro both stopped and turned around.
"My name is Gaara, of the desert." He replied. "And I'm interested in you two. Who are you?"
"Sasuke Uchiha." Sasuke answered. Gaara then set his eyes onto me.
"And you?" he asked.
"My name is Kazumi Hatake." I replied. There was a silence between the three of us until Naruto decided to end it.
"Hi there! I bet you're dying to know my name right?" Naruto asked.
"I couldn't care less." Gaara stated bluntly. With that, Gaara and his team left without another word. I glanced over at Naruto and saw a depressed look on his face. What Gaara told him was harsh and poor Naruto couldn't take it.
"Come on, Naruto. Forget about him." I told him. "Look, how about we go work on our skills. That should take your mind off him."
"Yeah, I guess." He agreed glumly.