Hey guys, I bring to you the latest chapter of Naruto the kitsune.
Sarutobi Hiruzen dismissed his ANBU operatives with a simple wave of his hand, they weren't as high priority as what his student who never used the door had to report.
"Yes? What have you found, Jiraiya?"
The white haired mountain of a man closed the window behind himself and leaned on the wall. Then he spoke, "There is this organization, called the Akatsuki. It's a small group of high profile missing nin, very secretive, very hard to find."
The hokage raised his eyebrows as he puffed on his pipe, "Even for you?"
"Even for me." Jiraiya frowned, "But, I believe that our mystery ninja is apart of this organization for two reasons. Over the past few years there have been sightings of the Akatsuki all over the elemental nations. They're always in pairs, and they wear black clothes and red clouds." Jiraiya nodded and pointed to his former sensei, "What's interesting is that sometimes those pairs are made up of a member wearing the full outfit, red clouds and all, while the other is a blonde kid."
Sarutobi shot his student a look that said, 'Is that it?'
Jiraiya's smile said, 'Oh hell no.'
"A blond kid, with red eyes." The toad sage struck a thinking pose as he continued, "According to my sources he'd be about 12 or 13 years old. Now stop me if I'm wrong, but isn't the only thing that Anko can remember about this guy the fact that he's got red eyes? And wasn't he the size of your average rookie genin?
"If that isn't enough evidence for you sensei, then that's fine. You'd be a fool to be convinced with just that so here's something else. Fun fact; Orochimaru is a former member of the Akatsuki. And who was it who made him back off from whatever it was he was after? That kid with the red eyes. Coincidence? I think not."
It was finally time for the third phase of the chuunin exam to begin. After a month of harsh training under a legendary (albeit perverted) ninja, Haru was ready to knock this thing out the park. Hyuuga Neji wasn't gonna stand a chance!
Haru took a moment to bask in the presence of the vast audience that had shown up to see the third phase of the exam. Over a thousand eyes on him made it feel like the air was charged with static. Like he'd glow like a light bulb any minute. Haru couldn't help grinning like a maniac when he spotted Iruka herding the academy students up there.
Still, despite just how prepared for this test that Haru was, and the nice feelings he was getting from the crowd, there was a thought that kept bugging him, where was Sasuke?
Naruto stared at Konoha from a distance, waiting for his moment to strike.
Despite almost being killed, Orochimaru had still decided to attack Konoha. It was the perfect chance to finish the job, even if it wasn't exactly on the akatsuki's to-do list to whack old snake bastard. Even if the Akatsuki wasn't exactly aware of what he was going to do, he was going to bring them the head of their betrayer.
But for now, he would wait.
Haru and Neji stood facing each other. The others had already been sent away to the contestant's viewing box.
Haru pointed at the Hyuuga, a confident grin on his face, "I'm gonna put you down."
Neji glared fiercely at his fellow leaf genin, "Hm. Your journey ends here, as fate has decreed. You may have been blessed with a small modicum of natural talent, but in addition to being born into the powerful Hyuuga clan," He took his gentle fist stance and nearly snarled, "I am a prodigy!"
Haru smirked, "Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?"
"Let the first match," The proctor looked between the two ninja, "Begin!"
Up in the stands, Iruka worried about his former student. When Haru had missed one of their scheduled meetings, the academy teacher had figured that his former student had simply gotten carried away training. After the second time in a row, Iruka had feared the worst and went looking for him.
Imagine his surprise when he stumbled upon Haru training with one of the legendary sannin, Jiraiya.
Apparently Jiraiya meant to train Haru for the final stage of the chuunin exam and Iruka was just who he wanted to see about the specifics of Haru's education. Haru had been fairly detailed in his explanation, but Iruka was on a completely different level. After he'd taken an hour to explain everything to the super pervert, Jiraiya had thanked him kindly as he kicked Iruka across the village and into the women's side of the hot springs.
Luckily, Iruka was well enough to continue teaching, but he was bruised all over and limping for the better part of the month. He hoped Haru's training was worth.
Neji charged at Haru, who was constantly launching himself backwards away from him, widening the gap every time he closed in for a hit. Haru aimed a kunai at Neji's legs but the Hyuuga leaped over the knives without slowing. Haru launched a handful of shuriken at the airborne Neji and, while he was deflecting the metal stars, began a set of hand signs.
A great fire blossomed to life where Neji was about to land and he couldn't maneuver out of the way from where he was in the air. Still, he kept his cool and launched a kunai of his own at Haru, who broke the technique to dodge.
Neji rebounded off of the ground toward Haru, ready to lay into him, "It's over."
Neji struck forth with his gentle fist, but something was wrong. Where Haru should have been there was a log! Neji frowned, 'Substitution, that means he isn't far." The Hyuuga clan's byakugan gives them nearly 360 degrees of X-ray chakra vision, because of this Neji noticed the tiny flare of chakra from the log beside him just before he was engulfed in an explosion that rocked the stadium.
Up in the stands, Hiashi Hyuuga's eyes narrowed and his ever-present frown became more pronounced, "Where did he learn that technique?"
The flames of the explosion were blown away, leaving only Neji standing in a shallow crater. He smirked, "Explosive tags on the substation log. You really thought I'd lose to a petty trick like that? You're as dumb as you look." He wasn't even scuffed. Suddenly, Neji leapt to the side and large gout of flame burst out of the ground he'd been standing, "He's underground?"
Then, as Neji was focusing his piercing gaze on the ground beneath him, Haru descended from the sky with both his feet aiming to squash Neji's head, "Eat rubber!"
As Haru connected, Neji spun, and in a burst of swirling chakra the sunny blonde was repelled. Neji's voice rang out over the cheering crowd, "Eight Trigrams Palm Rotation!" Haru landed flat on his back and as he moved to pick himself up Neji spoke, "You've proven yourself a tough opponent, but I've grown tired of this fight. I'm done holding back." Neji's stance changed, "You're within the realm of my divination." Haru was nearly on his feet now as Neji surged forward, "Eight Trigrams 64 Palms!" Haru fell backward in surprise and Neji was able to strike him twice, "Two Palms!" Just as speedily, Neji reared his arms back to strike Haru's prone form.
Haru cried out, "Shit!" Once again, Neji's strikes hit the log, this time completely shattering it.
"I'm surprised at your skill with the Substitution technique, being able to activate it despite the pain of having some of your tenketsu forcibly closed." Neji turned to face Haru, who laid on his side by the large hole in the ground. Neji didn't let his guard down, "Now do you see? It's hopeless. You have no chance of winning, you're injured and your attacks can't reach me. You were fortunate to get away that time, but now that I've closed a few of your tenketsu it's only a matter of time before I leave you motionless on the floor. Give up."
Haru wheezed as he stood back up, "You expect me to be intimidated, because you can spin?" He laughed. The sound filled the space left by the suddenly silent crowd. He stopped with a sigh and then his expression became something sharp. Dangerously, he whispered, "I did not go through a month of purgatory to lose."
He tossed a kunai at Neji and the Hyuuga dutifully stopped the attack, grabbing the weapon out of the air. As Neji did that, Haru flitted through a few hand seals and blew multiple large gouts of flame at his opponent from multiple angles.
In an instant, Neji was surrounded by fire and with a thought he began to spin once more. The dark haired genin became a glowing impenetrable dome of spinning chakra and the flames were completely deflected in an instant. As he ended his rotation, Haru flung his arms to the sides and ninja wire closed in on Neji from all sides.
There were too many wires, Neji couldn't have bypassed them if he wanted to, and he couldn't reactivate his rotation soon enough to stop it. Still, the Hyuuga wouldn't let himself be caught so easily.
With a great leap, Neji launched himself straight up into the air. Haru launched another volley of flames at his oppenent and this time he couldn't spin to stop them. As he curled his arms around his face to protect his eyes at least, "Guh!" Suddenly there was a fist in his stomach and Neji wasn't sure how it'd gotten there.
Neji hadn't seen Haru leap through his own flames to get to him. Haru whispered into the Hyuuga's ear, "That was for Hinata. And this," Haru grabbed onto Neji's jacket and slammed his elbow into the Hyuuga's temple, "Is for the win."
Haru held onto Neji's unconscious form as they fell, and landed with ease.
"Haru Wakamono, wins!"
After that heated battle, the crowd was ready for the next one. Unfortunately, one of the contestants conceded immediately and another conceded after a long and arduous battle of whits, not the kind of battle to get their hearts pumping with adrenaline like that first fight. Still, there was hope.
In a swirl of leaves, Sasuke Uchiha and his sensei Kakashi Hatake appeared in the middle of the chuunin exam arena.
Kakashi eye-smiled, "We aren't too late, are we?"
The crowd went wild.
Originally, Orochimaru had planned to kill his sensei himself during the invasion, but in light of his one time student's vengeful return the priority became bestowing his mark on the young and impressionable Sasuke. He would have his subordinates trap his former teacher with the Four Violet Flames Formation while he secured the Sharingan for himself and the Ichibi spread death and destruction.
Who knows? Good old sensei might finally have that heart attack Orochimaru had been wishing on him for who knows how many years.
Up in the kage box, the 'kazekage' barely held back his glee. It was almost time.
Haru stood next to Shino, watching Gaara and Sasuke face off. Kankuro and Temari, the other two members of Gaara's team, stood across from them.
Temari looked over at Haru. He was blonde like her, a trait she hadn't seen much of during the chuunin exam. She hadn't thought much of him at first, a little more friendly than your average shinobi, but Leaf ninja were always weird. He hadn't registered as a threat to Temari, so she hadn't paid him any more attention than she would a bug on the wall.
Though she was in Konoha, were they had an entire noble clan dedicated to training ninja bugs, so maybe she should pay more attention to what was on the walls.
Still, Haru was talking to her, and after seeing his fight with that angry Hyuuga Temari was weary of him, "What do you want?"
He pointed down into the arena were Sasuke and Gaara were fighting, "You're his teammates, right? Was he traumatized or something? He seems a lot less right in the head than a ninja should be."
Temari bristled, "It's none of your business."
Haru shrugged, "Don't get on my back, I was just showing a little concern for an ally. Honestly I think every ninja should talk with a therapist at least semi regularly. That would make for way less defectors and missing nin. Don't you think?" He paused for Temari's response. When she didn't say anything he continued, "You're right, that would be too much of a security risk. If things were like that then spies could sneak in as therapists and steal all our secrets like that. But, and hear me out on this one, what if you trained the therapists as ninja too? That would mean that anyone trying to steal information that way would have to fake being one of us for however long the training is before they could even start producing results for whatever village they're from."
Temari stared at Haru as he continued to delve into the specifics of exactly what a therapist ninja was and would do. When he started talking about remodeling the basic ninja team structure, Temari faced Kankuro and mouthed, 'Is he serious?'
Sasuke crouched high on the wall of the arena, charging his hand with lightning nature chakra. To much of the audience, he appeared as a blur with a dust trail. To the ninja in the audience, he was still damn fast. His arm cleanly pierced Gaara's sand cocoon and his cry rang out across the stadium, "IT'S BLOOD! MY BLOOD!"
Then all hell broke lose.
Naruto smirked under his mask as he strolled through the general chaos that was mass ninja combat, cutting down anyone who chose to attack him with brutal ease. In his eyes, this was the best possible thing. For one thing, Orochimaru was the orchestrator of this invasion which meant that he was in the area which meant that Naruto was getting a second shot at killing his former sensei. For another, Konoha was getting taken down a peg or three and if they so happened to fall completely?
Well, Naruto certainly wouldn't complain.
So what do you think? I know I glazed over most of the exams but that's because they went the same as usual for the most part. That's not to say that Haru is just a carbon copy of canon Naruto, that's kinda impossible short of sticking some kind of biju into his belly.
Neji's brutality against Hinata, like so much else did happen like in canon with the exception of not having Naruto's brazen declaration against Neji. The scene upset many of the genin and any one of them would have gladly laid down the smack down, it just so happened that Haru was the one doing the smacking.
Back to the subject of Hinata, she is not infatuated with Haru. Instead, because of his innate sense of general friendliness, he's like a friend that you'd hang out with when your normal group is busy. Close enough to avoid the distant admiration vibe that went on in canon but impersonal enough for anything more than friendship to be unlikely without good reason.
For those of you who are interested, the next chapter for a living lie is more than half done, don't worry.
As always, please review. See ya!