Chapter Fifteen: Exams, Training And Festivals
Normal Point of View:
Later that night, Kakashi finally returned home. As he entered, he realized that all the lights in the apartment were off. After closing the door behind him, Kakashi proceeded farther inside. When he entered the hallway, he could see a light shining from underneath a door. Kakashi quietly approached the door and open it slightly. Inside, he saw scrolls, books and papers scattered across the floor. He also saw Kazumi knocked out in her bed. As she lay there, he saw her holding a scroll in one hand with others scattered around her. Kakashi couldn't help but smile as he approached Kazumi's sleeping form.
"You did great today, Imouto. You have certainly grown." Kakashi says quietly as he moved a piece of loose hair out of her face. "I'm very proud of you."
Kakashi picked up the scattered scrolls off the bed and placed them on the desk. He soon picked up Kazumi and tucked her in. After placing a blanket over her and turning out the lights, Kakashi quietly left and quietly closed the door behind him.
Kazumi's Point of View:
When I awoke the next morning, I found myself in my bed right. The last thing I remember was falling asleep while I was reading my scroll. When I saw the scrolls on my desk, I knew Onii-chan had to have come in last night. I just smiled and decided to get up and get ready. I got dressed in a clean pair of clothes and left the apartment. I didn't see Onii-chan so I figured he had already left. Once at the Leaf Hospital, I spotted Naruto and Onii-chan standing in the lobby as they yelled at each other. Well, Naruto was the one doing all the yelling. I was about to contact Naruto but a guy wearing black sunglasses appeared. The next thing I knew, Naruto took off like a bat out of hell.
"Onii-chan?" I called out, making Kakashi look in my direction.
"Oh Imouto, glad to see you're awake." Kakashi said. "I figured you'll be sleeping in today, getting some rest."
"Yeah, but I really need to get my training underway." I explained. "I only have a month to get stronger and prepare myself to fight against my opponent."
"Hmm, I see." He replies. "But still, rest is a necessity too."
"True. Oh uh, who was that guy that chased Naruto away?" I asked.
"That was Ebisu-sensei. He's going to be watching over Naruto's training." Kakashi explained.
"Speaking of training. You are going to be training Sasuke, aren't you?" I asked.
"Yeah." he answered. "He's sort like me, so I figured I would train him.
"Okay, just be careful, Onii-chan." I told him.
"Always am." Kakashi told me as he smiled. "By the way, Imouto, If you need me, I'll be in the mountain region."
"Okay, Onii-chan." I said.
Kakashi soon made a hand sign and disappeared. I turned around and asked the nurse what room number Sasuke was in. She agreed to show me, so I followed. When we entered the room, we both were shock to see an empty bed. Not only that but Sasuke's clothes were gone too.
"Heh, looks like Sasuke has already left to go meet up with Onii-chan." I thought.
Later that evening, I made my way into the training grounds so I could get started on my own training. I knew Naruto and Sasuke had already started and who knows how far those two were. I was a little worried about Kakashi teaching Sasuke the Chidori. I mean, if you ask me, that was a serious step. Plus Sasuke had a mind of an avenger and who knows what could happen after he learns a move powerful such as that.
"Okay, time to get to work." I said to myself.
During the one month, Naruto continued to train under Master Jiraiya. During that time period Jiraiya taught Naruto how to start controlling the Nine-Tails' Chakra. So far Naruto learned a new summoning as well as learning how to call forth the Fox's Chakra. But, like Naruto, he had to stay in the hospital because of the severe lost of chakra. Other than that, Naruto was back to normal and started back training for the final round of the Chuunin Exams.
With the help of Kakashi, Sasuke was able to learn his new signature jutsu, the Chidori. Not only that, but Sasuke was able to increase his stamina and speed. Before long, he was almost as fast as Rock Lee. After learning and gaining more experience, Sasuke felt that he was ready to fight his opponent at the exams, Gaara of the Desert.
Every day, Kazumi would enter the training grounds and begin her own training. Each day she would train on a different element. And when it involved elemental Jutsus that no one has seen, she would train deeper within the woods. She knew she had to get stronger, physically and mentally. And the most important thing was to make sure no one knew about it. Not only did Kazumi work on her elements, she also worked on her Taijutsu and controlling her own beast's chakra.
Normal Point of View:
On certain days, Naruto and Kazumi would meet up and train each other by working on their Tailed Beasts' chakra. Kazumi would also help Naruto with his Taijutsu. Teaching him new moves, as well as perfecting ones he already knew of. As they practice, they also started getting better with their way of communicating with one another.
The extra training the two put in with one another certainly helped them increase in strength, power, speed, agility and durability. Kazumi could definitely see that Naruto was indeed becoming stronger. In fact, she thought that he could be stronger than Sasuke as his current level. But as time quickly goes by, the month was up and it was time for the Chuunin Exams final round.
Kazumi and Naruto's Point of View:
"I think that's enough for today, Naruto." I told him. "After all, the finals are tomorrow. So we should spend the rest of the day resting."
"Yeah, you're right Kazumi-chan." Naruto said as he leaned against the tree. "Hey um, Kazumi-chan?"
"Hmm? What is it Naruto?" I asked.
"Say uh, you know that festival they're having tonight?" he asked.
"Yeah, what about it?" I asked him.
"Well you see, I was trying to get Sakura to come with me but she decline." He explained as he poked his fingers together. "So, um, do you mind going with me?"
"Sure, Naruto. I'll go with you." I answered causing him to look at me a little surprised but happy at the same time. "Besides, I think we deserve a night to hang out and relax."
Naruto and I left the training grounds and made our way down towards the inner part of the village. The streets were flooded with people from the Leaf, along with the visitors of the neighboring villages. We could hear the laughter of kids running around, the different aromas from the venders and the different colors that brightened up the area.
"Hey! Naruto, look over there." I said as I pointed to a stand that sold ANBU masks. We both rushed over in an instant. I picked one of them up and held it up to my face. "Tell me. Who does this remind you of?"
"Hey, a fox mask! And it looks just like Kurama." Naruto laughed as he pointed at the mask. I saw him pick one up and hold it over his face. "Okay, tell me who this reminds you of?" he said, holding up a wolf mask.
"That's definitely Kiyiya." I said giggling.
We bought the masks and wore them sideways on our heads. We continued walking around; enjoying everything the festival had to offer. The food was amazing, the games were entertaining and atmosphere was enlightening. I was glad I decided to go to the festival with Naruto. I was really enjoying myself and I could tell that Naruto was too. The night raged on and soon it was time for the fireworks. We were able to find a clear hillside, prefect for watching the fireworks display.
"Thanks for asking me to come to the festival, Naruto." I told him, sending him a smile. "I really enjoy hanging out with you."
"Don't mention it, Kazumi-chan." He smiled back. "Honestly, I had a better time with you. Sakura would probably be hitting me in the head nonstop."
"Yeah, you're right." I agreed. "By the way, what's her deal anyway? Why does she always have to hit you?"
"I guess because I annoy her." Naruto said, shrugging his shoulders.
"Well rest assured, Naruto. I don't think you're annoying." I told him.
"Gee, thanks, Kazumi-chan." He smiled.
As we sat there, the sky suddenly turned into day. We both turned to see the fireworks were just beginning. The sky lit up, changing from blue, to red, green, orange, purple and yellow. Patterns from flowers to stars, even animals appeared. I continued to watch the display when out the corner of my eye, I spotted Naruto was sitting closer than before. I could also see he was blushing slightly.
"Hm, Naruto looks cute like that." I thought as I smiled to myself.
After setting my eyes back on the fireworks, I slowly leaned to the side, placing my head on Naruto's shoulder. I was a little surprised that he didn't move, but at the same time, I was relieved. However, Naruto's next move completely caught me off guard. Seconds after I placed my head down, he responded by wrapping an arm around my shoulder. Like I said, I was surprised but I was able to keep my composure. Naruto and I just sat there in silence as we continued to watch the fireworks.
Before the Chuunin Exams, later that same night…..
Shikamaru was just roaming the streets until he entered a store. Inside, he found his father drinking with his teammates. He just gave a bored and uninterested sigh as he walked forward. Once he was close enough, his father noticed his presence.
"Since…" Shikaku started but paused as he gulped down his drink. "….ancient times, the last competition has always been like a festival." He told his son.
"Dad, I'm in the last competition, its tomorrow." Shikamaru told his father. "Oh man, I don't have time to babysit you."
"What? You're in it? Seriously?" Shikaku asked as he gave his son a surprised look.
"What a drag." Shikamaru thought to himself
With Temari, Kankuro and Gaara:
Temari and Kankuro were both sitting inside their room. Temari was sitting beside the window while she polished her fan. Kankuro was sitting at the table as it readied his puppet.
"So, tomorrow, huh?" Temari mumbled quietly.
"Yeah…" Kankuro replied as he continued to work on his puppet.
As the two continued working on their weapons, Gaara was outside, sitting on the roof as he glanced up towards the night sky.
"Tomorrow…is a full moon." He mumbled to himself as he glanced at the moon.
After having fun at the festival, Naruto had returned home and went to bed. Naruto was just tossing and turning as he dreamed of what the last round of the Chuunin Exams would be like.
"Tomorrow." Naruto mumbled in his sleep.
Kazumi was sitting in the living room, reading her scroll. After a minute, she glanced up at the clock, which read 11:43. Kazumi then looked towards the door and soon redirected her attention back onto her scroll.
"Hmm, Onii-chan is late again. I guess I'll turn in for the night. I have to be well rested and ready for tomorrow." She thought. With that, Kazumi closed her scroll and went to bed.
The Next day – Kazumi's Point of View:
When I awoke the next morning, I quickly got up and got dressed in my normal attire. I pulled my hair into a normal ponytail but allow some to hang on the sides. After tying my headband on my forehead and placing my sword on my back and exited my room. As I made my way down the hall, I noticed Kakashi wasn't around. I figured that he was getting some last minute training in with Sasuke. I quickly ate some breakfast, grabbed my backpack and left.
I was just walking down the streets if Konoha, making my way to the stadium. I was ready for my opponent, Dosu Kinuta. I knew he was good, so I had to watch him as well as my surrounding. Before long, I made it to the arena. After sitting my bag in the waiting area, I followed the others as we made our way outside. I was right behind Shikamaru.
"Hmm? Kazumi! So, you made it." Shikamaru said quietly.
"Wouldn't miss it." I replied.
After entering the arena, we stood there waiting. A few minutes later, we all saw Naruto running towards us. He slid across the ground and stopped right beside me. I kept my head straight as Naruto stood up and dusted himself off. Naruto running late, that was unlike him.
"You guys. There's a stamped of bulls heading this way!" he yelled after catching his breath.
Everyone just gave Naruto a 'WTF' look. Well everyone except me and Gaara. I was looking at Naruto out the corner of my eye but Gaara kept an uninterested look on his face. He didn't even pay Naruto any attention.
"Naruto." I thought as I shook my head. "Naruto, are you ready for you match with Neji Hyuuga?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm psyched." He said excitedly.
"Remember what I told you before." I said calmly. "Don't underestimate him. Stay focus and don't let him get the best of you."
"Right, Kazumi-chan!" Naruto replied.