Chapter Fourteen: Kazumi Hatake Versus Kino Nakazuka
Kino and his clones came rushing forward, each grasping a kunai. I just stood my ground and got ready to defend myself. Each clone tried to strike me with their kunai but I was able to block with my sword, pushing them back as I did so. When they came back, I rushed forward and struck the clones hard, making them transform back into water.
Once all the clones were defeated, I found Kino and went on the offensive. Kino had abandoned his kunai knife and started using his own katana. We collided with each other, creating a spark of light for a quick second. Back and forth, we continued to collide. And after one final collision, Kino and I jumped away and landed back in the spots we started off.
"Damn it, he's better than I thought. Looks like I won't be ending this as fast as I thought I would." I said quietly to myself.
"Heh, like I said before. You're nothing but a weak Genin from the weak Leaf Village." Kino taunted.
"All bark and no bite." I taunted back plainly.
"Now then, let's really get this match started." He says. "Let's really pick up the speed and let me show you what I'm capable of."
"You talk too much." I stated plainly.
With our swords drawn, Kino and I rushed forward once again and started colliding. However, this time around, his attacks were much powerful and faster. Now the fight was turning to one of equal grounds but I had a slight advantage over him. As I continued my fight with Kino, Naruto and the others were observing from the upper decks.
"Oh wow, Kazumi-chan is doing great." Naruto said.
"Yeah. Now I see why she likes using a sword so much." Sakura added.
"All right! Kazumi-chan definitely has this match in the bag. She is so going to win." Naruto said.
"Come on, Kazumi!" Sakura and Naruto yelled together.
"Amazing. This is Kazumi's first time taking the Chuunin Exams and she's made it to the preliminaries. She certainly has grown." Kakashi thought as he smiled to himself.
Collision after collision, Kino and I attacked stronger and faster than each blow. After one final collision, we knocked each other's swords out of each other's hands, but that didn't stop us. Even after losing our swords, we continued to fight, by using Taijutsu.
"Hmm, so you're not only good with a sword. You're good with Taijutsu as well." Kino said.
"Like I told you, never should underestimate the ninja or Kunoichi for that matter, of the Hidden Leaf Village." I growled.
Fists and kicks from left and right came fast and strong from Kino and I. Neither one of us were holding anything back. I balled my fist, getting ready to punch Kino with everything I had. I brought it forward and caught the left side of his face, but he was able to do the same. The force of our punches sent us both flying back and away from each other. As Kino and I flew back, we both grabbed our swords and landed on our feet. Just as we did so, we both got into a ready stance.
"Yeah, he's strong all right. "I need to…" I suddenly stopped my train of thought as soon as my head started pounding again. "Not good, this is bad." I groaned.
"Heh, what's wrong? Don't tell me you're about to give up already?" Kino asked. "And I was planning on having more fun with you."
"Now he's just going to toying with me." I thought.
"But I guess it's about time I finished this little battle of ours." Kino said "Water Style: Water Clone Jutsu!"
This time around, Kino only summoned one single water clone. Now I knew he was just toying with me. If he really wanted to finish this match, he would have summoned more. As they stood before me, I stood ready for their next attack. But as I waited, my vision started to blur once more.
"No, not now." I growled.
Kino spotted my weakened state and charged forward. Both he and his clone had their swords ready to strike. I was ready to dodge but my vision caused me to lose my focus. As a result, they were both able to injury me. The real Kino soon kicked me in my stomach, sending me back. Unbeknownst to him, he kicked a weak spot of mine. The force was strong enough to send me crashing into the wall. Once I collided with the wall, I was unaware that Kino had sent a couple of kunai knives my way. I didn't know until one struck my shoulder, one in my leg and another in my arm.
"Ugh!' I cried out in pain.
"Ha, pathetic!" Kino yelled.
"Darn it." I breathed out in pain. "I have to do something and fast."
"You're finished! Might as well give up!" Kino sneered. "I'm so far out of your league that you don't stand a chance.
"I do have an idea. But I only have one shot at this." I thought. "I have to lure him closer, at least at arm's reach. There I can get him and finish this match."
"So? Are you going to give up?" Kino asked. a small smirk appeared on my face. "Well? Answer my question! Are you?"
"Heh, not a chance. There's no way I'm stopping here." I stated. "I have one final trick left up my sleeve."
"Heh, you're nothing more than a stubborn little rookie." He taunted.
"All right, let's get this plan started." I said to myself as I made the hand signs. "Ninja Art: Shadow Clone Jutsu!"
A total of four clones appeared. Two on my right and two on my left. I had to get Kino to come at me. I needed to get the original, not a clone. I needed to eliminate the clones so Kino has no other chose but to come at me. Kino responded by calling forth three more clones. When he sent his forward, so did I. But he too also moved forward along with them.
"That's it, come on." I said quietly. As soon as my clones were near his, I began the first part of my plan. "Wind Style, Wind Dragon Breath Jutsu!"
All of my clones unleashed a powerful jet of air, aiming straight for the Kino's clones. Kino was able to slip pass my clones and rushed right towards me. I stood there, not even attempting to dodged or counter his attack. A large grin appeared on his face as he thrust his sword forward. I moved slightly, causing the sword to stab me in my right shoulder.
"Heh, got you." He grinned.
"Sorry, you might think that but you're wrong. And to correct you, I'm the one in control." I told him. I held a hold of his sword with one hand and held up the spar symbol with the other. "Earth Style: Headhunter Jutsu!"
Suddenly a hand appeared underneath Kino, catching him by his ankle. As soon as that happened, I pulled him down and had him trapped within the earth. My clone stood there as I pulled Kino's sword out of my shoulder. With the sword in hand, I tossed it over to my clone. She kneeled down and held it against Kino's neck.
"You can't escape, so this battle is over. Now you might as well give up." I told him as my clone pressed the blade closer to his neck. "It's your choice. Either way, you're finished." Kino just glared at me but he knew I was right.
"Damn it. I give, I surrender." He announced.
"Well, I can't say I'm surprised. After all, she's Kakashi's little sister." He thought to himself. "Heh, the winner: Kazumi Hatake." Hayate announced.
"All right, Kazumi!" Naruto and Sakura cheered. Once I heard that, my clone caught a hold of Kino's shirt and made another spar sign.
"Release!" She said.
The earth around Kino opened and my cloned pulled him out, placing him on the ground. Once he was out, my clone dropped his sword and disappeared into a cloud of smoke. I walked passed him and grab my own sword. I had my back turned to Kino as I sheathed it on my back. I'll admit that I was exhausted and the pain from my injuries continued to pulsate through my body. I ended up kneeling down to one knee as I caught my breath.
"Yeah, I'm done. There's no way I can continue." I groaned. "Well, at least the battle is over. And I was able to defeat Kino."
"You… you brat!" Kino yelled in frustration. "You think I'm just going to let you walk away like this? I'm going to make you pay for that."
I turned back to see Kino rushing right towards me. He had his sword ready to strike me down in the process. I spotted the sword's blade was surrounded by a chakra cloak, making it no ordinary katana. But before he could hit me, Hayate, Gai and Kakashi appeared, stopping him in his tracks. Kino's sword was nowhere near me.
"That's quite enough. The battle is over." Hayate told Kino.
"Whatever. You'll live, for now." Kino snarled. "You're lucky kid. You would have been dead if it weren't for them."
"This kid is nothing but a sore loser." I thought. "He lost. So he should take that lost, learn from it and make himself better. It's not that difficult."
"You damn Leaf Ninja are all weak. Including you Jounin." Kino snapped. "The Hidden Rain Village is far superior than this pathetic village."
"And yet, he's still talking." I groaned to myself. "Man, it's like I said before. This punk talks way too much. But I will say he is one hell of an opponent."
Once Kino had calmed down, the Jounin released their hold of him. He soon left the area, heading to the back. I slowly returned back to my full height as I kept an eye on him as he did so. Even with Jounin around, he might come back and attack. So it's better safe than sorry. But the most important thing was the fact that I won. I was heading to the final exam with Sasuke.
"Kazumi, are you all right?" I looked back and saw Kakashi.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I answer quietly.
"That's good to hear." He replied, sending me a smile. We left the battle grounds and headed to the back. I had to get my injuries treated and wrapped, and fortunately there were too severe. Next time I just have to be more careful. But I also have to count the fact that we had been traveling through a dangerous forest. So next time I'll be in far better condition than I am now. afterwards, Kakashi and I made our way back to the others.
"So, you decided to rely on your Wind and Earth Jutsus." Kakashi said, breaking the silence.
"Yeah, for now at least." I replied. "I'm mainly better with Wind and Earth. You know I'm not in full control of my Lightning ability, plus I need more practice with that."
"I see. Well you used the Headhunter Jutsu well. But I will have to say that the way you used it was a bit reckless." He stated.
"Give me some credit. At least I was able to pull it off." I told him. "I'm not as talented as you."
"True." He agreed as he scratched the back of his head. "Well, you did extremely well today."
"Heh, thanks." I smiled. Before long, we reentered the arena. The current match that was taking place was Shino taking on Zaku. It was an interesting fight, but Shino was the one to come out on top.
"Kazumi-chan, you did it!" Naruto yelled as soon as we reached him and Sakura. "Plus, I really like how you defeated your opponent. You took that one out of Kakashi's book."
"Thanks, Naruto. And you're right; I did borrow that move from Kakashi sensei." I told him. "I figured I could use it in my match."
"Borrowed? Since when did you ask for permission?" Kakashi asked. I looked towards him and saw he was giving me a questioning look.
"You know what I meant. Besides, you taught me the move anyway." I told my brother. "Oh and Naruto, I actually have you to thank. Our training sessions helped me come up with the idea."
"Huh? Really?" he asked. I nodded my head, causing him to smile. "Wow, I'm glad to hear that, Kazumi-chan!"
"Kazumi, you did great out there." Sakura said.
"Thank you, Sakura." I told her. "Now I'm counting on you both to make it to the finals with me and Sasuke."
"Right." Sakura said.
"Heh, you know it, Kazumi-chan." Added Naruto.
The preliminary matches continued and one by one, we found out who would be advancing to the final round. Before long, the preliminary round was completed. As instructed, the finalists all jumped down and lined up. Before us stood were Anko Mitarashi, Lord Third Hokage, Hayate Gekko, and Ibiki Morino
"To all of you who won the right to compete in the third round test in the Chuunin Exam…..cough…..one is missing but, congratulations to you all!" Hayate said.
"In order to determine who your opponent will be, you all will draw numbers." The Third Hokage explained. "Now, shall we begin."
One by one, we all went up to the instructors and drew a strip of paper from the box. When it was my turn, I did so and found that I had drew number 10. I soon returned back to my spot, which was next to Naruto.
"Okay, now that everyone has their numbers, tell Ibiki so he can write your name on the ballet." Third Hokage instructed.
"It's 9." Dosu said.
"I've got 1." Said Naruto.
"10." I said.
"7." Temari said.
"5." Went Kankuro.
"3." Said Gaara
"8." Said Shikamaru.
"2." Stated Neji.
"6." Said Shino.
After reciting our numbers, we all watched as Ibiki wrote our names down. As I stood there, I was very anxious of seeing who was fighting who. Before long, Ibiki finished and showed us the board with our names.
Round One: Naruto Uzumaki vs. Neji Hyuuga.
Round Two: Gaara of the Desert vs. Sasuke Uchiha.
Round Three: Kankuro of the Desert vs. Shino Aburame.
Round Four: Temari of the Desert vs. Shikamaru Nara.
Round Five: Dosu Kinuta vs. Kazumi Hatake.
"Great, this is just great. I have to take on this damn Sound Nin again. And to think I was done with him." I thought to myself.
"The final round of the Chuunin Exams will take place in exactly one month." Third Hokage told us. "This will give you all time to work on your strategies that will help you against your opponent. Use this time wisely."
With that, we were all dismissed. After getting out of the tower and the Forest of Death, everyone started separating and headed into different directions. Naruto had already taken off and was heading straight for the hospital. Knowing Naruto, he was going to go talk to Kakashi and try to convince him to train him. I figured that I would go see Sasuke tomorrow. Because at this moment, I needed to worry about myself and my own training.
When I got home, I took a hot shower, which stung like hell. Once I was finished, I used the ointment the Medical Nin gave me and placed it over the cuts I sustained. After getting something to eat, I started studying by reading my books and scrolls. I knew that I had to practice my elements and the basics. As I lay on my bed studying from my lightning element scroll, I ended up falling asleep in the process.