Chapter 16

The village was filled with Genin teams from different villages. A part of me was a little sad to see so many kids willing to die just to make Chunin but this is how this world works. I stood on top of the ninja academy roof watching the teams enter. I would play my own part in the exam later but for now I would just watch the first part. Once there were only a few minutes left before the exam started I left the roof and walk down to the Jonin viewing room. Upon entering I was greeted with the sight of Jonin from different villages trying to get along. As soon as I walked in the tension in the room went higher. Not giving a damn how everyone felt about me I walked to the end of the room and sat down at the only lone table and watched the TV screen showing the first part of the exam. I didn't stay alone long as familiar faces sat at my table.

"Zabuza and Haku its been a while how is Mei." I said as they sat down on the other side of the table.

"You don't see us in months and the first thing you ask is how Mei is doing. Nice to see you care about us so much." Zabuza said amused with Haku rolling his eyes.

"Let's see I can think about your ugly mug or Mei sexy body. Which one would I think about more?" I ask in sarcasm.

"Anyway I had my ears open for any info on you two so don't think I don't know what you have been up to. So your here with your own team?" I asked.

"Yeah, Mei sent about two teams this year. One is mine and the other belongs to a Jonin named Kiri. He couldn't make it do to being hurt on a mission so I had to bring both teams. Haku here was already promoted do to his skill level so no exam for him. As for Mei she is doing well." Zabuza said.

"And how is Mist treating you Haku? The civil war has been over for a while. It should be safer for people with bloodlines now" I said.

"There are a few problems here and there but things have been going well for me and Zabuza. The fact that the war hero of Mist gave us an endorsement also helped." Haku said with a smirk.

"Happy to help. Look its starting." I said as I unsealed a plate of chocolate truffles but as soon as they appeared a new type of tension filled the room. Looking around I saw the males in the room with fear in their eyes while the females had the look of hungry predators. I turned back to Zabuza and Haku only to find them gone. Cowards! How could you leave a man behind I thought as I was surrounded by females. Not liking this I was ready to summon my sword if things got ugly.

"What do you want?" I asked in a cold voice. My voice seemed to do the trick seeing how they all backed off a bit but not by much. Soon a pretty women with purple hair appeared in front of me. It was Yugao from the Anbu. She gave me a small bow.

"Haruki-sama where did you get those?" Yugao asked as she pointed to the food on the table.

"I made them, why do you ask?" I asked wondering what this was about. The moment I said this the women in the room looked at me like I was a god. What the hell!?

"Does that mean you are the owner of that traveling shop that used to sell all kinds of sweets and other things to travelers on the roads." Yugao asked. The exam was forgotten as everyone was focused on us. I face palmed as I remembered that shop. A few years ago I ran a sweet shop on wheels for a short while after getting sick of ninja work(even I get tired of beating people up). The shop was a big hit but I had to get back to saving the world so I closed it down after a few months. I didn't think anyone would remember.

"Yes, I was the owner and maker of all the things sold at that shop. I am surprised that anyone remembered that place. It was a round for only a few months. Let me guess you all want whats on this plate." I said as I hold up said plate. Their eyes locked on to it. I sigh as I set the plate down and stand up.

"Try not to kill one another." I said as I walked away from the table. Kunoichi were on those chocolate truffles like a pack of lioness. I could hear their moans of pleasure as they eat. The men in the room could only stare. Zabuza and Haku looked at me for answers. I shrugged.

"Chocolate, all you need to rule the world." I said to them with a smile only to curse seeing the first part of the exam about to end. I ran out of the room. I made it just as Ibiki finished talking. I stepped into the room. I was happy to see all the Rookies had made it. Ibiki gives me a nod.

"Alright Chunin hopefuls my name is Haruki and I am the proctor of the second part of the exam follow me to training ground seven for the next part." I said as I lead the teams out. It was a short walk later that we stood on the edge of training ground seven.

"There nothing here." A Genin from Earth said.

"Not at the moment but now." I said as I throw a large scroll into the center of training ground seven. The scroll exploded into a huge puff of smoke. Once the smoke cleared a huge Japanese style like castle surrounded by four walls appeared. Dropped jaws were everywhere.

"Welcome everyone to the Forbidden Castle and the place where the second part of the exam will take place." I said this just as the Jonin sensei of the teams the made it to this part of the exam arrived. Asuma walked over to me.

"What is this? What happened to using training ground Forty-Four?" Asuma asked me as he looked at the castle in wonder.

"The Third thought that the Forest of Death may prove less of a challenge do to it being used to many times over the years so I showed him this place and he proved of it as the next part of the exam. Anyway its time for me to go over the rules with everyone. Jonin sensei please head to the viewing tent behind the castle." I said before turning to face the teams.

"Alright, everyone its time for me to explain the rules of this part of the exam. This part of the exam is to test your ability to face the unknown. Think of this as an infiltration mission with no info to go on. The goal is to find a golden scroll hidden inside this castle and escape with it with all your teammates. If you lose a team member your out of the exam and don't think it will be just the other teams you will be facing. Inside you will face a number of obstacles from traps to enemies bent on taking you down. The enemies you'll find inside are not a live in any way so don't be afraid to go all out on them. How you go about this part of the exam is up to you. Work with your team alone or with others there are no rules once your inside. The exam will end as soon as all the scrolls are found. Before entering the castle every team will be handed a piece of paper with a seal on it. The seal shows you how many scrolls are left and once it hits zero game over for the teams with out a scroll. One more thing there is a space/time seal on this place so feel free destroy as much as you like as it will repair itself later. Once you take your paper head to one of the gates on the walls of the castle. A gong on top of the castle will sound the start of the exam once everyone is at a gate and will sound again when the last scroll is taken meaning the exam is over. Good luck to you all." I said after I finished handing out the papers to all teams.

Orochimaru and Kabuto were not here. I had checked all the grass and sound ninjas as I passed them and found no trace of them but I did find Karin. So I put a small seal on her shoulder when I gave her team their paper so I could find her when this part of the exam is over should her team lose and they try to leave the village. The gong sounded just I headed inside the viewing tent. The sound of explosions and fighting could be heard from outside the tent. All the Jonin sensei were focused on the television screen. I watched the screen with amusement. Most of the teams had barely made it half way passed the court yard before running into trouble. A few had fallen into some of the pit traps I had setup but lucky for them that the pits were filled with water and not spikes. A number of explosive tag had gone off but no one had died yet.

As I watched I saw most of the teams from the same villages group together. The rookie 12 had broken into two groups with team 7 and 8 heading to the back of the castle while team 9 and 10 went to the side entrance. They manage to beat the other teams inside by a few minutes but now the real challenge begins. Most of the scrolls needed to pass this part of the exam were in rooms filled with traps or hidden in the clothes of the guards wandering the halls. While the guards looked human they were a type of stone Golem that I brought to life using seals. Like the rock clone these Golem could use earth style jutsu and were strong and fast but had little thinking ability unlike the rock clone. To beat them you would have to out think them or over power them. I watched the screen for a few more minutes after the last team made it inside before heading back outside. The last thing I saw before leaving was a team from Lightning fall for the tuna oil trap and get mauled by Tora (poor fools). I had just sat down in a chair next to a sealing circle outside the tent when it glowed. A second later a team appeared.

"What happened? The last thing I remember was fighting some punk from the Sand village, then being surrounded by sand then nothing." a Genin from Rain said. I clear my throat loudly and the Rain team turned to me.

"Congratulations, your the first team to die in this exam." I said.

"How can we be dead if we're talking to you!?" the Rain Genin demanded.

"I said you and your teammates died not that your dead weren't you listening but if you want to know why your still in the world of the living I can tell you. When you and all the other teams went inside the castle a special space/time field covered the whole thing at the start of the exam. The purpose of the space/time field was not only to restore the castle back to the way it was before the exam started but also to act as a safety measure. It records the physical bodies of all who enter it and should you die it would restore you back to full health once it placed you outside of itself. That is why your still breathing. On the other hand had you gotten a scroll and escaped the castle you would have kept your injuries do to it not needing to save you. Oh, and you failed the exam by the way. You can find your teacher in the tent over there." I said as I pointed to the view tent.

A few more teams were disqualified before the first team made it out of the castle. I wasn't at all surprised that it was Gaara's team. After giving them the standard good job speech I told them to go to the tent, and rest. For the next few hours the number of teams inside the castle grew smaller as more teams passed or failed. Until at last the Gong sounded ending second exam. Making a few hand signs I summoned the remaining teams to my sealing circle and pointed them to the tent. I sealed the castle up once everyone was out. The failed teams returned to the village with their sensei to rest and heal while the winning teams stayed inside the tent resting. As I stood at the entrance I was happy but not surprised to see all the rookies had made it again. Sure they looked beaten and bloody but still good to go.

"Congratulations, you have passed this part of the exam. You have all shown great skill and courage." I said with a proud smile. Most of the team looked happy or just relieved to have passed this part of the exam. Makes me hate myself for ruining the moment.

"But do to the fact that only a small number of Genin can take part in the final exam a preliminary battle must be held to cut your numbers down." I said. Loud groaning could be heard from most of the teams. A Jonin from Lightning stood up.

"That is not cool! There is no way my team can fight now. They used everything they had just to get out of that castle." Samui said with her arms crossed under her large bust.

"Which is why the preliminaries will be held five days from now to give you all time to rest. The scrolls you got from this exam have the time and place. So make sure your there or you will fail the exam." I said as I walked out.

After the tournament preliminaries.

I was standing in train ground seven (yes again) waiting for the person I would train for the final round of the exam. As I waited I couldn't help but think of the preliminary rounds. Thanks to the second exam most of the weak teams were weeded out leaving only the most skilled or the ones with the most luck. The tournament was held inside a building similar to the tower in training ground 44 just south of the village. I mostly focused on the Rookie 12's matches when I was there.

(Flash back)

Sakura vs Kin was not what you call much of a match then a beat-down for Kin. While I won't say the girl wasn't skilled in Genjutsu and senbon but her fighting skills left much to be desired. It didn't take long for Sakura to dodge Kin's needle attacks and break through her Genjutsu. Once Sakura was close enough she unleashed a vicious melee where she finished her opponent with a Flash Kick to the face that sent her flying into the wall.

Dosu vs Kiba. It was as a bad match up for Kiba do to his enhanced sense of hearing. He put up a good fight but ultimately he lost to Dosu's sound jutsu.

Temari vs Shikamaru. The environment of the tournament grounds would be the key to Shikamaru's defeat. Unlike the Colosseum where the main event of the exam is held the building we were in was not very wide nor was there any cover to hide behind. With little to work with Shikamaru lost to Temari's area wide wind attacks and was knocked out.

Karui vs Tenten was a battle of weapons. Karui's skill in Kenjutsu was very high do to her training with Killer B. She keep close to Tenten during their match keeping her from being able to use long distance attacks. But a well time smoke bomb bought Tenten enough time to pull out her bow and shot Karui through the leg with a poison tipped arrow. Before the poison could take hold Karui gave up and got the antidote from Tenten.

Shino vs Chojuro. The match had started well enough for Shino as he put his opponent on the defensive with his bugs and new fighting style but Chojuro was not one of the new Seven Swordsmen for nothing. Using his sword skills and the power of his sword Hiramekarei he was able to overwhelm Shino and win the match.

Ino vs Choji. The battle was slow at first do to both not use to fighting one another when it was not a sparing match. It take a bit of bribery from me (Ino with a shopping spree and Choji with an all you can eat BBQ) for them to fight seriously. It went back and forth for a while but Choji won with a well placed gut punch to make Ino yield.

Naruto vs Hinata. I swear I was close to busting a gut on this one. Even with a few changes to the time line Hinata's mad crush on Naruto was still there. She held back at first but a few words from Naruto during the match about wanting her to show her best made her fight harder. Naruto won the match with a binding seal that he placed on Hinata's back as they fought that made it impossible for her to move. Seeing no way out she surrendered. Unfortunately for Hinata after she was released by Naruto he fell forward do to a crack on the floor and placed both hands on her chest and squeezed. It was dead quiet for a few seconds then a red faced Hinata screamed, bitch slapped Naruto and ran out the room. I got him out of there before Kurenai could kill him. The few words I got from him before he passed out were: they were bigger then I thought. (Naruto, you beast)

Gaara vs Neji. This was other bad match up. Neji fighting style was for close combat so him getting close to Gaara was extremely difficult do to Gaara's sand. Neji did get a few hits in thanks to his Eight Trigrams Air Palm but Gaara's sand armor weakened most of the damage. Neji fought bravely but he had to give up do to being low on chakra.

Rock Lee vs Zaku. Lee had this in the bag the moment the match started. Zaku's Slicing the Air jutsu was powerful but it left his body wide open for a counter attack should he miss his target. Seeing his chance after Zaku missed him Lee closed the gap, beat the crap out of Zaku and finished him with a Leaf Whirlwind to the back of the head.

Sasuke vs Omoi. Omoi was the strongest opponent Sasuke had up to date. With his lightning jutsu and sword skills Omoi had Sasuke on the ropes for most of the match but Sasuke's sharingan would lead him to victory after seeing through Omoi attack patterns and copying his jutsu.

The final match was Karin vs Shigeri. Shigeri was Karin's former teammate. The reason they were former teammates was because during the five day break period I went to the hidden grass village and bought Karin's Genin contract. Of course her leader didn't want to give her up easily but a briefcase full of money took care of the problem. After returning to the leaf and showing Karin's sensei the contract I took her home with me. I give her the basic facts of who I was, the Uzumaki clan and had her meet Naruto who was happy to meet a new family member. It took some wheeling and dealing but I got the Hokage to make Karin a Genin of the leaf and she would be put into the reserves until a team could be found after the Chunin exam was over. Now back to the fight.

Karin vs Shigeri. This match was all about revenge for Karin. She told me her teammates were ass hats of the highest order who took advantage of her do to her healing power. Karin wasn't much of a fighter but her righteous female fury made all the difference. She was black and blue by the end of the match but she won with a right cross to the jaw and a crotch stomp to Shigeri. Once Karin won she flipped off her other teammate, sensei and limped her way to me to be healed. After she was healed everyone began to draw lots for the final rounds of the exam.

The final matches were:

Tenten vs Temari.

Dosu vs Choji.

Chojuro vs Rock Lee.

Sakura vs Sasuke.

Karin vs Kankuro.

Naruto vs Gaara.

(End flash back)

I was pulled from my thoughts with the arrival of my student.

"Right on time Karin." I said. She was wearing a purple long sleeve shirt, black pants and ninja sandals.

"I like to be punctual. But there is a question on my mind." Karin said.

"What's that?" I asked.

"While I am happy that you choose me to train for the finals I can't help wonder why. Why me?" Karin asked looking nerves.

"I have a few reason. One: your family Karin and the Uzumaki Clan looks after it's own. Two: all your opponents in the exam are powerful and skilled. And lastly: well I hate to say this but your skills as a ninja suck and your going to need a lot of help from me if you don't want to make a fool out of yourself in front of everyone at the exam." I said.

"What the Hell!" Karin yelled looking pissed off. I raised a hand.

"I am not blaming you. From what you told me about your past its easy to see that your former village wanted you to be nothing but a weak tool to use. They must have thought that you would fight back or run away from the village if you were stronger." I said. Karin spent the next few minutes cursing her former home.

"So what am I going to do? You said it yourself my opponents in the exam are all tough and that means with my skill level the way it is my chances of winning are pretty much zero." Karin said sounding frustrated.

"There is a way for me to fix the damage the hidden grass did to you but there will be a cost." I said as I summoned the Forbidden Castle once more. I walked inside with Karin following not far behind. Once we crossed the gate it closed behind us. After it closed I unsealed two bottles of water, tossed one to Karin before I took a seat on the grass. Following my example Karin sat in front of me.

"This castle again and what cost?" Karin asked.

"The space/time seals I used when I made this castle have three purposes: self repair, keeping people from dying while inside it and controlling the flow of time. As the master of this place I can change how fast or how slow time moves in here. For example: I could slow down time in here so that only one hour will pass while one day passes on the outside world. The reverse is also true: I can make it so that one year in here is only one month on the outside. That is my offer. One year's worth of training with me inside this castle but the drawback is that you will age one year." I said. After hearing what I said Karin did a spit take which I dodged.

"Is there no other way?" Karin asked while coughing. I shrugged.

"If we only do one month I can only get most of your basics skills up. Even if we used shadow clones the gap between you and opponents is still large. You saw them fight in the preliminaries. They would have owned your former teammate's sorry ass in minutes and they will be even stronger the day of the final exam. So do you think you could win with only one month of training?" I asked with my arms crossed. Thinking about it for a few seconds Karin could only hang her head.

"No." Karin said. I touched her shoulder and when she looked up at me I smiled.

"I believe in you Karin. I believe you have the potential to be a truly great ninja like many of the legends in our clan. You only have to work for it. Besides don't forget your from a clan that is known for its long life span. To an Uzumaki losing one year means little to us." I said. I could see the flames of determination in her eyes.

"Alright Haruki sensei lets do this. I want to show everyone at the exam that the name Uzumaki is still worth remembering." Karin said with a raised fist.

"Keep that determination in your heart Karin because I am not going to go easy on you. But I promise you by the time were done no one will ever take advantage of you again. That you will stand tall with your head held up high and shout to the heavens: That you are Karin Uzumaki of the Uzumaki Clan and you are damn well proud of it" I said as I began her training.

One year later (in side the castle that is) the afternoon of the last day before the final exam.

We stood outside the castle gates looking at the morning sky. Our year of training was over. I turned my head to look at Karin and couldn't help but feel proud at what she had become. Gone was the weak girl from before and now stood a warrior. Her once weak body now covered with lean and firm muscles(her four pack abs say so). She had grown in height and as well as bust (seals help). I knew Karin was ready to show the world how much she had changed. The training had been worth it.

I had kept my word and poured all I had into make Karin as strong as she could be. The training was hard as I said but Karin's will was strong. I broke her training into four parts each taking three months.

The first was body building. I had her do muscle building like run laps, push ups, sit ups and so on. To keep her flexibility I had Karin do Yoga. Her stamina was on the low side no thanks do her former village but with a health diet, exercise and healing jutsu she would up to par with the rookies by the time our year was over. The only drawback to this training was Karin complaining that her chest would get smaller do to said training. To shut her up I gave her a higher grade version of the Chest seals I had given to Sakura. With the promise of a bigger bust and a death threat from me if she revealed where she got the seals from she finished her first three months easily.

The second was Taijutsu and weapons. Once Karin strength was at the right level I trained her in the art of Jeet Kune Do. It was a style of mixed martial arts created by Bruce Lee. As for weapons I taught her how to use escrima sticks (Nightwing's weapons). The escrima sticks were made of a chakra metal and with a few seals could store lightning chakra to stun enemies. They could also be thrown to attack at different angles. Karin had a few accidents(black eye) with them but got the hang of them.

The third was Jutsu and bloodline training. With the use of shadow clones Karin was able to master a number of D, C, and B rank jutsu. What took the longest for her to learn was the Adamantine Sealing Chains. But thankfully but the end of three months she was finally able to attack as well bind her enemies.

The last part was battle simulations. Karin had to use all she had learned up to date and put it to practice in a number of different ways. Special clones were used based on some of the enemies I had beaten before. Some were easy, other were hard but by the time the year was over Karin had found her groove.

"Alright Karin, today is the last day before the final exam so your free to relax and do what you want but before you go I have a few gifts to give you to celebrate the end of your training with me." I said.

Karin's eyes light up as I unseal the first item a black long sleeved catsuit with the Uzumaki symbol on the back. After seeing the suit Karin looks disappointed.

"Don't let its looks fool you. The whole thing is made of chakra metal to protect you from blade type weapons. Beside the basic body growth and self cleaning seals it has seals that can store your chakra inside itself. Once the seals are full they can create a chakra barrier over your whole body and can withstand the power of an A rank jutsu at point blank range. The barrier turns on by itself when it feels an attack jutsu getting close." I said then smirked.

"This suit will also highlight your newest weapons. All you have to do is lower the front zipper a little and once your enemy is drooling like a moron with his guard down you get close and finish them off." I said. I though Karin would be embarrassed or mad but she surprised with a smirk of her own then stuck out her cleavage cause them to bounce. We both laugh as I take out the next item. A golden medallion on a chain the size of my palm with an owl in the center.

"Because your fighting someone from the Sand Village whose ninja are well known for using poison in the first round. I stored inside this medallion the antidote to as many poisons as possible. Should you be poisoned the medallion will heat up and antidote will pass through your skin to enter your body. Bear in mind that while this medallion will save you from most well known poisons against any new type of poison it may not work. So don't be to dependent on it." I said I as pulled out the last item. A summon scroll.

"Lastly my owl summons. I have used them for along time so I can say for sure they are one of the best summons out there. From spying to long distance traveling you won't regret having them and their being cute doesn't hurt. Just remember to care and respect them and they will never let you down." I said as Karin wrote her name.

"Thank you for the gifts and training sensei. I won't let everything you have given me go to waste. I will make you proud." Karin said.

"You ready have by coming this far but I do have one favor to ask of you." I said. Karin gave me a puzzled look. I turn series.

"Its just a feeling but I feel that something may happen soon. So if anything should happen to me I want you to look after your cousin. You know what losing someone important to you does to a person. I need you to watch over him the best you can." I said. Karin had a shocked look on her face. I gave her a bump to the head.

"Don't gave me that look! I said it was a feeling I don't plan on dying anytime soon. Oh, and just to be sure when I said look after Naruto I don't mean date or marry the him. Naruto still has to pay for feeling Hinata up last month." I said amused. Karin gave a snort.

"Please, he may be cute but he is not my type. Now that Sasuke I don't mind him giving me a bite." Karin said with a purr.

"Anyway, while I don't like the idea of you dead I will stand by Naruto in his time of need and watch his back as family. Believe it." Karin said while copying Naruto.

"Thank you, Karin. Now enough of this series crap. This is the last day before the exam so go have fun and relax. Just remember to hide your true form in case in run into any of your enemies for the exam. That way they will think your still the weak girl from before so you will have an edge against them tomorrow." I said as Karin transformed and walked off.

Once she was gone I left the training ground and walked around the village. I greeted the people and visited a number of places I had not seen in a while. The hours went by as I checked on the Rookies, had the old toad beat up by women at the hot spring (revenge for getting in the way of my sex life) and going over my plan for Yami tomorrow. As night came I found myself standing on top of the Hokage mountain.

I could see why Naruto spent most of his time up here the view was great. If I had one regret I wish I could have seen the village covered in snow. It would have been a winter wonderland. I don't lie to Karin I don't plan on dying anytime soon. I would fight with everything I have to win and live tomorrow. I did not fear death after dying once already but I have people I care about more then anything now. So come what may I will fight with everything I have to live and should death take me I will make sure I take my enemy with me. For the ones I love Yami I will end you.

(Thanks for reading and reviews needed)

The final battle should happen next time. Sorry for not updating sooner writers block.