Chapter Thirteen: Enemy Sound Nin And A Two Part Test
Lee and I jumped forward and began to fight off the group of Sound Ninjas. Lee was able to slam one into the ground with great speed and strength but the enemy's teammate soften his landing, thus saving him from being destroyed. I was able to kick the female back and landed right beside Lee. I saw that Lee was still struggling to get up, so I knew something was wrong.
"Heh, your friend's attacks are useless against me. Even though I may not hit him, the sound from my attack will." He said.
"I have to stop them from getting to the others, especially Sasuke. If I'm alone in this, then so be it." I thought.
I quickly rushed forward and started performing hand signs for my next attack. Before I got closer, I jumped into the air so I could have a better view of my target. Since Taijutsu moves didn't work, then let's see what Ninjutsu attacks could do.
"Wind Style, Wind Dragon Breath Jutsu!" I yelled.
Just like before, I blew out a large gust of wind that was aimed right at the head ninja of the group. He quickly moved out the way just before it could hit him. Just before I could land, the younger male Sound Nin came up from behind and sends a wave of air towards me. While I was disoriented, the big guy jumped back in and slammed his arm into my side. He ended up pinning me to a nearby tree, causing me to cough up some blood.
"Heh, not so tough now are you?" he taunted.
The Sound Nin just released he hold of me, letting me drop to the ground. I was just about to stand up and attack but something was wrong. As I stared at my hands, which were on the ground, I realized that my vision began to spin in a spiral motion. Along with it, my ears began to ring and my head was pounding even more.
"What? What the heck is going on?" I thought to myself. "What did he do?"
"Ah, I see it has finally taken effect." The Sound Nin, Dosu, stated. "I bet you're wondering why you're feeling the way you do. Well, it's all thanks to this little gadget of mine." He said as he pulled his jacket sleeve up.
"That device…? What is it?" I thought.
"You see, I don't have to hit you physically. I can attack by using the power of sound." Dosu explained. "I used the vibrations of sound to attack the inner areas of your ears and the rest, well, the rest is anatomy."
"That's why Lee was taken out so quickly. He attacked Lee by using that device. He's using the sound wave vibrations as his weapon." I thought.
"Let me guess. You're feeling dizzy, a little nauseous, off balanced." Dosu continued. "I'll admit that you caught me a little off guard, but now that's not a problem. I have you right where I want you."
"Damn it." I growled.
"You might as well stay down kid." Dosu told me. "You and all of your little friends are about to be taken care of shortly, starting with that Uchiha brat."
"This is bad. Sakura's in trouble, Lee's out of it and so are Naruto and Sasuke." I thought. "I'm in no position to move. Even if I did try to attack one of them, the others would go after Sakura."
Suddenly, I felt myself being lifted off the ground, by Dosu. He threw me in front of him and collided with a clean shot to my back. The force sent me flying forward. I landed hard and right next to Sakura. The impact of striking the ground hurt, but the sound waves were hurting me worse. I just lay there, obviously still stunned by the attack.
"Kazumi!" Sakura yelled as she kneeled beside me.
This was bad. Sakura was hurt pretty bad, Lee, Sasuke and Naruto were all unconscious and I hadn't recover from Dosu's sound wave attack. Hell, I could barely move and my head was pounding like crazy. I couldn't move to attack even if I wanted to. What made matters worse were the numbers. They all were still standing and Zaku was ready to attack. But just before he could, three familiar individuals appeared before us.
"So what's this? The second string?" Zaku asked.
"Uh!? Ino, Shikamaru, Choji?" Sakura said quietly.
"Huh? Where did they come from?" I asked myself.
"Surprised?" I heard Ino asked. "I told you that I wasn't going to let you show me up, Sakura."
"I don't know where they came from, but boy am I'm glad to see them. I just hope they can stand up against these punks." I thought.
"These Leaf Village brats just continue to swarm." Dosu said. "Jumping into situations that don't involve them."
"Sakura, leave these guys to us. You go take care of your teammates." Ino told her.
"Uh, right." Sakura answered and soon directed her attention onto me. "Kazumi, can you move?"
"Ugh, just barely." I replied as I struggled to push myself up. Sakura helped me up and we moved out the way so that Ino and her team dealt with the Sound Nin.
Ino, Shikamaru and Choji were handling the trio like it was nothing. Shikamaru had Dosu, Choji dealt with Zaku and Ino was controlling Kin. Now they were the ones struggling. But suddenly the rest of Lee's team appeared. Neji and Tenten stood high above on a branch. But with all the commotion going on, I started to feel something. I looked back to see dark chakra flowing around Sasuke. Not only that but black markings were covering his body.
"Sasuke?" I said quietly.
"Sasuke, you're awake." Sakura cried. "But what's happened to you?"
"Sakura. Who did that to you? Tell me who did it." He asked.
"It was me. I did it." Zaku stated.
Sasuke wasn't himself. It had to be that stupid mark Orochimaru placed on him. Suddenly Sasuke appeared and grabbed one of the sound ninjas from behind. He pulled back and broke the guy's arms. He was about to go after the other one, but Sakura ran up to him and asked him to stop. Sasuke started to calm down, making the markings return back into the curse mark. Dosu soon made a deal with us. He gave us their scroll only if Sasuke would leave them alone.
The sound ninja took his teammates and left. I slowly walked over to Sakura and Sasuke to make sure they were alright. Suddenly Ino, Shikamaru and Choji popped out from behind a bush. Neji and Tenten soon jumped down as well. We all just sat down and rested for a while. Shikamaru and I went to the hollow tree and saw Naruto still sleeping his butt off.
"Did he sleep through all that? I don't believe it." Shikamaru said.
"Apparently so, I don't know what to do with him. He can be a reliable teammate. But other times he really worries me." I told him.
As Shikamaru and I stood there looking at Naruto, my legs suddenly gave away on me. I was just about to the ground but Shikamaru caught me before I did. Because my injuries and the encounter with Dosu's sound wave attack, I guess I was still recovering. But at least we had both scrolls. Now we just had to make it to the tower.
"Hey, are you alright?" Shikamaru asked.
"Yeah, somewhat." I answered, out of breath. "I'm still suffering from Dosu's attack. But I'll be fine after resting a bit."
Shikamaru slowly lowered me down onto the ground. Soon Sakura and Sasuke noticed me sitting down and that I was out of breath. They both made their way over. I looked up to see they were both okay. It seemed that Sasuke was back to normal as well.
"Kazumi, are you alright?" Sasuke asked.
"Yeah I'm fine, don't worry about me. I'm just exhausted." I told him. "However, I'm worried about that damn curse mark. Why would Orochimaru placed that on him?" I thought.
After resting for awhile and waking Naruto up, everyone else departed and went on their own way. We stopped by a flowing stream and got some breakfast. We soon headed out and started making our way through the forest. We came to a little trouble along the way but we were able to handle them. Before long, we made it to the tower on time.
Once inside, we spoke to Iruka sensei. Afterwards, he soon brought us into another room. When we entered, we found out that the other rookies and a few other ninjas made it as well. Plus the Third Hokage and our senseis were in the room waiting for us as well. Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke and I all lined up behind one another as we stood there waiting for Lord Hokage to explain the next part of the exam.
"Congratulations to you all for making pass the second exam." Lord Hokage told us.
For a few minutes, the Third Hokage explained the true reason for why the Chuunin Exams take place. We were all a little shocked because of what we heard, but we all understood what he told us. Soon after Lord Hokage finished, a test proctor appeared and started explaining what was about to happen next. He just turned his head and looked at us as he spoke.
"There is something I would like all of you… (Cough)… (Cough)…..to do before the third exam." He said as he turned around. "Uh, we're going to have to have a preliminary exam before we can move on to the real one."
"Preliminary? Just what do you mean about that?" Shikamaru yelled.
"Uh, I'm sorry sensei. But I really don't see the point." Sakura stated. "What is this preliminary all about? Why can't we just move on to the third exam?"
"Uh well you see the first and second exams might have been too easy. The fact is that we weren't expecting all of you to be here." He explained. "According to the rules of the Chuunin exams, a preliminary round can be held at any stage, in order to reduce the number of candidates remaining. "
"Hmm, they do this so they can cut down the number of candidates who will become Chuunin as well." I thought.
"So for those who think they are not in top physical form, you can drop out now. The preliminary round is going to start immediately." He stated.
"Wait a minute! Do you mean right now?" Kiba asked.
"Uh by the way, the winners will be selected through a series of one-on-one battles, sudden death." He added. "So like I said, anyone who doesn't feel up to it now is the time to raise your hand."
As we stood there thinking that no one would raise their hand, we were shocked to see Kabuto doing so. He soon left the area, leaving the rest of us standing there. We all waited for anyone else to raise their hand but no one else did so.
"Fine then, since there are a total of 22 candidates left, there will be a total of 11 one-on-one combat matches. The winners will advance to the final exam. There are no rules." He said. "You will fight until one dies or concedes defeat, or is rendered physically unable to continue the contest. I might occasionally intervene when a match seems hopeless, to save as many lives as possible. Now it's time to reveal what fate has for you."
"The selection is completely random. So now will we reveal the first two names that will fight first?" Anko explained.
We watched as the panel sorted the names of the candidates that stood inside the room. Everyone was watching the screen, as they waited to find out who will be in the first fight. The panel finally stopped and landed on the names. It would be Yoroi Akado versus Sasuke Uchiha.
At the beginning of the start of the match, Yokoi had grabbed Sasuke and started draining his chakra but somehow Sasuke was able to kick him off. He soon started fighting and landed a powerful attack, thus knocking Yokoi out cold. Sasuke's win advanced him to the final exam.
"Alright, way to go Sasuke!" Naruto yelled.
"Yes, he won." Sakura yelled.
As the exams continued, so far Sasuke passed and so did Shino Aburame and Kankuro. Before long, Sakura was next and she was fighting her rival Ino. They both gave a good fight but neither one of them made it. They knocked each other out with one single punch. Tenten's match, she put up a good fight but in the end, Temari came out with the victory. But even with as many that have pass, there were still a few more matches to go. Naruto hasn't gone and neither has that guy from the Hidden Sand Village, Gaara.
"Oh man, I hope I'm next." Naruto said with excitement.
"Calm down Naruto, I'm sure you'll get your turn soon enough." I told him. "Just sit back and relax until your name comes up."
"Speaking of which, Kazumi you should look up." Kakashi told me.
"Huh? Uh?" Naruto said. "Hey Kazumi, look."
"Huh? What's wrong Naruto?" I asked and soon turned around to look up towards the screen." Huh? What?"
There on the screen was my name and my opponent was someone by the name of Kino Nakazuka. I looked over to the other side of the room and saw that my opponent was a ninja from the Hidden Rain Village. I had some experience with ninja from the Land of Waves, but I didn't know what Kino was capable of, so I knew I had to be cautious.
"So, I'm up against a Rain Ninja. Hmm, might as well say he's a damn Mist Ninja." I thought. "Okay, at least I have some knowledge over him."
"Kazumi, be careful down there and do your best." Kakashi whispered to me.
"Right." I said as I nod my head once.
"Good luck Kazumi-chan." Naruto told me.
"Yeah, good luck." Sakura said.
"Thanks Naruto, Sakura." I said and soon jumped over the railing, landing carefully down to the floor below.
As I approached the center, so did Kino. He was wearing ordinary clothing, most that would be seen in his village. And just like Kabuto said, the ninja from the Hidden Rain Village had short tempers and were ruthless. In other words, I had to be careful. Before long, we were both standing before each other.
"Now then, the next match will be Kino Nakazuka versus Kazumi Hatake." Hayate announced. "The rules are the same. There are no rules."
"I have to finish this match off as fast as I can. I'm going to have to watch his movements carefully before I can attack as well." I thought. "I have enough chakra but my injuries are limiting me."
"Why the hell did I have to get stuck with a damn rookie from the weak Hidden Leaf Village?" Kino asked himself out loud.
"You should never underestimate the ninja of the Hidden Leaf." I growled.
"Heh. Big words for such a weak Leaf Kunoichi." Kino said.
"Are both competitors ready?" Hayate asked.
"Ready." Kino said immediately.
"Ready." I said plainly.
"Then, let the match begin!" Hayate announced.
As soon as the match was ordered to start, Kino started off by quickly throwing several shuriken towards me. Acting quickly, I drew my sword from my back and reflected every single one. Kino threw a few more but I was able to block those as well.
"You won't win this match if the only thing you're doing is blocking." Kino told me. "So how about we pick up the pace. Water Style: Water Clone Jutsu!"
Four solid water clones appeared beside Kino within seconds. I held my sword ready for when they decided to attack. However, Kino didn't attack right away. Sensing this, I paid close attention to him and his clones.
"Now, let's see just how skilled you are." Kino said.