Chapter Ten: Entering The Exams, Meet Rock Lee
The next morning, we all gathered at the bridge once more and just stood there, waiting for Kakashi to arrive. Once again we found ourselves waiting longer for my brother to appear. I could never wrap my head around him. First he gives up a time to me up and we end up waiting for almost three hours. Hell, I think the shortest we waited for him was three hours. I bet if I leave now and head over to the Memorial Stone, he'll be there. Just as that thought popped into my head, Kakashi suddenly appears.
"Well would you look at that. I thought him up." I joked to myself.
"Sorry I'm late guys. I got lost on the path of life." Kakashi explained.
"You lie!" Naruto and Sakura both exclaimed together. Kakashi jumped down and landed right in front of us.
"I know this is a bit sudden, but I'm recommending you for the Chuunin Exams. All four of you." He explained as he took out four sheets of paper. "These are the application forms."
"Application forms?" Sakura asked.
"You're repeating me Sakura." Kakashi told her. "This is all voluntary. It's up to each of you. If you don't feel ready, you can wait till next year."
"Wait till next year?" I questioned to myself. "To hell with that. I want to see just how these exams work. I'm not passing up this opportunity."
"All right! Kakashi sensei, you rock!" Naruto yelled as he latched himself around Kakashi's neck. I could help but snicker quietly to myself.
"Okay. Don't slobber on my vest." Kakashi told Naruto. I just laughed harder, but kept it in my head. "Whoever wants to take the exam, sign the application and come to room 301 at the academy. It's a 3 pm, five days from now. That's it."
Five days later….
When the day of the exams arrived, we all met in front of the academy. I had to admit, I was a little surprised to see Sakura here. I figured she would succumb to the pressure and wait. But, I guess I'm glad that she did come. When we entered the building, we saw the other Genin that were accepted to participate in the Chuunin Exams. Apparently there was a problem. Two kids were blocking the entrance to the room. But it was obvious that this wasn't the floor. We were just on the second when we needed to be on the third.
With the Genjutsu canceled, we were about to head in. However, one of the boys decided to take a cheap shot towards Sasuke. Sasuke, however, spotted this and aimed an counter attack. But before either one could land a hit, a boy with a green jumpsuit appeared and stopped both attacks with his bare hands. As I looked at him, I had a feeling that he had to be a student under my brother's rival, Might Gai. Then two people walked over to us. One was a girl wearing a pink shirt and had her hair in two small buns. The other was a boy with long brown hair tied into a ponytail and had purplish-lavender eyes.
"Hey, what happened to the plan?" the boy asked. "I thought you were the one who said to keep a low profile and don't let anyone see our skill level?"
"I know, but…" the guy with the green jumpsuit started.
"Never mind, it's over." The girl of their group stated. "Just forget it."
As the group stood there before us, I noticed the boy with the green jumpsuit. I say that his cheeks were turning red a little. I then noticed that he was staring at me. If I didn't have a shocked/confused look on my face before, I did now. I snapped myself out of my train of thought just in time to see him walking towards me.
"My name is Rock Lee. You are Kazumi, right?" he asked.
"Uh, yeah. That's right." I answered.
"Please be my girlfriend!" he quickly stated. He was blushing more, smiling big and was giving me a thumbs up in the process. "I vow to protect you with my life."
I had glanced out the corner of my eye to see Naruto had almost a jealous look on his face. "Uh, sorry Lee. But I'm going to have to say no." I told him kindly.
"Huh? Why?" he asked, his face expression changing instantly.
"Well for one, I don't know you and we just met." I explained truthfully, deciding not to give my main answer. I saw Naruto's face lit up slightly as he laughs at Lee.
"Hey you, over here!" the boy with long brown hair called out to the Uchiha. "What's your name?" Seeing this, Naruto instantly grew angry.
"Its common courtesy to give your own name first." Sasuke replied.
"Hey, you're a rookie, aren't you?" he asked next. "How old are you anyway?"
"I'm not obliged to answer." Sasuke told him.
"What's that?" the boy asked in a irrigated tone. I looked over at the girl and saw the same giggling girl look every girl would give Sasuke. Great, another one. Meanwhile, Lee and Naruto were leaning over against a wall, holding themselves up with one arm.
"She's right. I did ask too soon." I heard Lee say quietly to himself.
"Ugh. No one wants to know my name." Naruto groaned.
"It's all right, Naruto." I told him as I patted him gently on the back. "I bet after these exams are over, they will definitely know your name." he's head shot up quickly.
"Hey, you're right!" he said happily. "I make sure I go all the way in these exams. That way, no one will forget my name!"
"Right." I agreed.
"Hey! Sasuke, Naruto, Kazumi. Come on, let's go." Sakura told us. With that, Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke and I left the hallway and proceeded up the stairs. We were making our way through an opened room when a familiar voice caught out attentions.
"Hey you, with the attitude! Hold on!" We all stopped and glanced back to see Rock Lee standing high above us.
"What do you want?" Sasuke asked.
"I want to fight. Right here and right now." he told him.
"You want to fight me here and now, huh?" Sasuke questioned.
"Yes." Lee answered and jumped down to the floor. "My name is Rock Lee. You said it was common courtesy for a challenger to give his own name first, right? Sasuke Uchiha." he said as he pointed at the Uchiha.
"Hmm, so you know me." Sasuke said.
"I challenge you." Lee said, getting into a ready position. "Everyone is always talking about the Uchiha Clan. And how great they are. I want to see if it is true. I figured you'll be a good test for me." He then turned his attention onto me. "Oh, Kazumi… I love you!"
"What!?" Naruto yelled.
"I'm sorry, Lee. But unfortunately I don't feel the same way about you." I told him as I had an awkward look on my face. My eyes were halfway opened. "So please stop it."
"He wants to fight, Sasuke? Damn it! It's always about Sasuke. Every time!" Naruto thought as his eyes turned white with anger.
"You've heard of the Uchiha Clan and you still want to fight me?" Sasuke questioned. "You must be crazier than you look."
"Oh great. Lee just caused Sasuke to go on his damn soapbox. Here we go again." I thought. "It's always Uchiha Clan this and Uchiha Clan that. Give it a damn rest."
"Hold it!" Naruto suddenly yells. "I get him first. This weirdo is mine."
"Go for it." Sasuke said.
Naruto charged forward, heading right for Lee. He soon jumps into the air, his fist was ready to strike. But just as Naruto got within arm's reach of him, Lee simply touched Naruto's wrist, pushing him into another direction. Naruto caught himself with his hands, and tried to kick him. Lee dodges and sweeps Naruto's hand with his leg.
"Leaf whirlwind!" Lee called out. Lee's move sent Naruto spinning on his back, causing him to crash into the wall.
"Naruto!" I yelled. I quickly jumped over and landed beside him. I found that the crash clearly knocked him out. "Lee. There's no doubt that he's Gai's student."
"Now then, shall we begin?" Lee asked, glaring down Sasuke. Sasuke rushed forward and lunged out to punch Lee. Before he could land his attack, Lee suddenly vanished. He reappeared behind Sasuke, aiming to strike him with his own attack.
"Leaf Hurricane!" Lee yelled.
However, Sasuke ducked, avoiding the attack. But Lee was quick and maneuvered himself for another attack. Seeing this, Sasuke attempting to block but found himself being caught off guard. Sasuke was sent back flying, crashing to the ground, hard. Sasuke got back to his feet and activated his Sharingan. But even with his Kekkai Genkai, it was no use. Lee wasn't using Gen or Ninjutsu. It was strictly Taijutsu. Lee was able to clip Sasuke high in the air and soon we saw him hovering right under him.
"Ugh, what happened?' I heard Naruto say.
"You collided with the wall and got knocked out." I reminded him. "Meanwhile Sasuke has been fighting Lee, but it doesn't look good." Before Lee could continue his attack, a pinwheel came out of nowhere and struck his bandages, bonding it to the wall. We all turned to find a large turtle inside the room.
"All right, that's enough, Lee!" it said.
Lee did what it said and backed off. As Sasuke fell, Sakura quickly rushed over and caught him before he could strike the ground. Naruto and I quickly rushed over to them both. Luckily he was all right. And thanks to Sakura, he didn't injure himself more.
We all stood there and watch as this turtle, lectured Lee. Naruto had come up with the idea that the turtle was Lee's sensei. Like I said, Naruto has his moments. As the conversation continued, I overheard the turtle say something about Gai sensei. A cloud of smoke appeared on top of the turtle. It disappeared to reveal none other than Gai sensei.
"Oh no, he's here." I thought to myself. "Great. This is just great."
"Hey! What's shaking? How you doing everybody!?" he asked as he stood in a weird pose. "Life treating you good?"
"Yep. Still as weird as ever." I groaned.
As I thought to myself, Naruto and Lee got into some kind of argument. Gai soon caught Lee's attention and suddenly he punched him dead in the face. We all had shocked looks on our faces. Gai walked over and kneeled beside Lee. My teammates and I just stood there and the nest thing we knew, Gai and Lee were both crying, hugging each other in the process.
"You know, that is kind of sweet." Naruto said.
"It might look sweet, but that's just plain creepy." I added. Soon Gai sensei turned his attention onto us. "Oh shit."
"Ah, Kazumi." He said, walking towards us. "How've you've been?"
"What!?" Naruto and Sakura both yelled. "Kazumi, you know this guy?!" Naruto asked.
"He knows Kakashi, so yeah." I said as I scratched the back of my head. "They've been friends for a long time. They even consider themselves as rivals"
"That's eternal rivals, Kazumi." Gai corrected me.
"That sounds so fake." Naruto said.
"How dare you! If Gai sensei says that it's true…" Lee yelled with his fist raised but was stopped by Gai.
"It's all right, Lee. A ninja's actions speak louder than words." Gai assured him. Suddenly Gai just disappeared. He reappeared right behind us. "The record stands 50 wins 49 losses."
"When did he…?" Naruto gasped.
"Let me just tell you that I'm stronger than Kakashi." Gai said.
"You see? Gai sensei is the best." Lee said.
"If you saw the crazy challenges they compete in, you wouldn't be saying that." I said plainly. "Most of those wins came from a damn game of rock, paper, and scissors."
"Heh, you haven't changed a bit, little Kazumi." Gai said as he patted my head. He soon directed his attention onto Sasuke. "Lee caused you trouble, but please forgive him for the sake of my face."
"And I see that you haven't changed a bit either." I replied.
"Now then, you all should head to the classroom." He said. He tossed a kunai, freeing Lee. "Do your best."
And with that, he disappeared. We exchanged a few words with Lee before he disappeared too. Now with that over with, we could move on. We climbed up another set of stairs and walked down a long hallway. As we came to the end, we spotted double-doors. We also saw Kakashi standing there, waiting for us.
"Hmm, I glad to see that you all decided to come." Kakashi said. "Now, you all can formally register for the Chuunin Exams."
"So we just walk in and register?" Sakura asked.
"That's right." Kakashi said. "Good luck and do your best."
"Right!" we all stated together.
Kakashi stepped off to the side, allowing us to move forward. Naruto and I opened the doors, entering behind Sasuke and Sakura. We weren't aware what we were about to get ourselves into, but we were determined to see it to the end. Once inside, we were met with several eyes glaring us down. The room was filled with Genin. Many from our village while the others came from the other neighboring villages.
"Man, I had no idea there be so much competition." Sakura said.
"They all look pretty tough, but looks aren't everything." I thought.