"Where did I go wrong with that brat? Of all the people? Of all the fucking people?"
"Calm down, Jiraiya."
"I can't, Minato. My own grandson betrayed me! My own flesh and blood. How could he?"
"We did say that he wasn't going to receive training from any of us."
"Yeah but Orochimaru?"
"They're close." Kushina cut through the two men's conversation. "Whether you like it or not, they're close. Stop acting as if Orochi went off and kidnapped and tortured a bunch of kids. He isn't that bad."
"There's no evidence that he didn't!" Jiraiya's statement was met with two pointed looks. The man's natural response was to slouch in his chair and fold his arm, pouting like a child.
"You really need to grow up, Jiraiya." Kushina added, exasperated by her son's grandfather.
"I agree, Kushina." The three occupants of the viewing box turned their heads at the sound of the new voice. The room was probably the second most guarded structure in the village so they weren't too worried about their security. Only the most trusted of people would be able to get even close to them.
To their slight surprise, the face that greeted them was not one they were familiar with. Light blue hair, red lipstick, long legs and amused dark eyes stared back at them. The woman sashayed slowly to one of the few unoccupied seats in the viewing box.
"Who the fuck are you?" Jiraiya finally blurted out as the woman was taking her seat. The woman's teal kimono hid much from view but the old pervert could see the curves and the figure that the woman held. The massive perverted part of him wanted to ogle more openly but the shinobi aspect of his brain kept him cautious.
"Oh?" The woman kept her tone coy as she crossed a slender leg over another. "You don't recongize me, Jiraiya?"
At this point, all three of them were well-passed and confused. The amount of seals lining the interior and exterior of the viewing box made it impossible for anyone that didn't want to enter. The amount of people who could even step foot inside the room without outright dying could be counted on two hands. Three of them were already sitting inside.
"Are you sure you don't remember?" The woman gave a long look to Jiraiya before offering the man a wink and a quick flash of her tongue. At the sight of the woman's forked tongue, understanding flooded through all three of them while Jiraiya had a little bit of disgust mixed in.
"Orochimaru?" Kushina asked. The mystery woman nodded at the Uzumaki's words.
"I know you've always been a proponent of body modifications but this is astounding." Minato couldn't help but be mystified as his eyes swept over Orochimaru's new form. The scientific part of his brain was running wild at the implications of her actions.
"Not body modification. Complete body transfer. I created this form myself and transferred my consciousness into it. Outfitted it with a few quirks of my liking." The woman held her hand up and the trio watched as a small, purple crystalline structure erupted into view. The small rock then exploded into a multitde of even smaller butterflies that circled around the room for a few moments before dissipating into nothing. All the while, Minato stared on in wonder, his mind racing with the possibilities.
"I could make you a body too, Minato. The procedure to transfer consciousness was surprisingly sim-"
"No!" Kushina spoke while shaking her head. "No body modifications in this family. I'm not judging you for what you did but not one of us will be switching bodies anytime soon."
Orochimaru laughed and waved off the woman's words. No offense would ever be taken. She knew that her methodology and actions were not always understood by everyone. Just as she was about to respond, she felt a slithering sensation on her legs. Not remembering summoning any of her summons, the woman glanced down. Her brief shock turned into a swath of amusement when she saw a series of golden chains slowly crawling up her legs.
"Would you have happened to have done any of these modifications to my son while you guys were on your trip?" Kushina's tone was harsh enough to send a chill down the spine of the hardest of shinobi. Fortunately for herself, Orochimaru was beyond hardened. With a quick wave of her hand, the woman dismissed the mother's worries.
"Nothing to worry about, Kushina. He refused my many offers." Her last statement earned her a glare from the mother but the chains were dismissed. The four then settled in, their eyes scanning over the arena.
"So, what did you teach the brat?" Jiraiya finally spoke, tired of holding in the question. A pit was still burning in his stomach at having his rival teach his own grandson. The woman looked over at her former teammate and offered him a shrug and a slight smile.
"You'll just have to wait and see, ya old toad." At her words, a loud whistle erupted throughout the arena, signalling the start of the event.
Nervous. Excited. His brain couldn't decide what he was feeling right now. His body was shaking and he really couldn't determine the source. There was so much going through his brain. Way too much for him to process at that moment.
"I wonder who's going to be the first pair." Him and Orochimaru had gone through every possible combination of jinchuriki. He felt fully prepared for any encounter. So why the hell was he so nervous?
"I need to punch something." Naruto muttered to himself while pacing the arena's hallway. He needed this thing to start. His brain was meant for fighting not thinking. Sure, he wasn't stupid but his genius excelled in the battlefield.
A whistle interrupted his thoughts and brought with it a sense of relief. It was finally starting. He heard the announcer go through a bunch of gibberish, a lot of pageantry that he didn't care enough about to actually listen to. He was just listening for his name.
"Naruto Uzumaki." His heart dropped down into his stomach. This was it. It was finally time. With a final deep breath, he took a step into the light.
Fuck. He was nervous. Standing out in the middle of the arena in broad daylight with all these eyes on him. He didn't like to be looked at so intensely. He just wanted this stupid thing to start.
"Our own Hokage's son will be facing his fellow jinchuriki in pairs." Yeah, don't remind him. That guy's voice was booming. It was starting to give him a headache.
"His first opponents will be Rock from the Lee clan and Choji from the Akimichi clan." Damn. Orochimaru was right. His dad was going to try and wear him down immediately. Two of the heaviest hitters in the group at once. If they didn't outright beat him, he was sure his old man was hoping he would be too injured to continue with the rest of the fights.
He wasn't that easy, dad.
The two came strutting out into the light and immediately their physiques took front stage. The Lee clan were known for their physical acumen so Lee's build was of no surprise. The boy looked nearly ready to burst out of his green jumpsuit. Choji, on the other hand, was a shock to some of the arena occupants. The Akimichi were known for being heavyset. While Choji certainly was heavy, fat was in no way to describe the boy. Standing a little under five feet, the Akimichi heir was rippling with muscle. No shirt seemed capable of containing him since the heir was currently shirtless, only having a pair of loose pants.
"Choji is ripped." Naruto couldn't help but think. He was actually horrified to think of what he would look like in about four or five years. If this was a twelve year old Choji … oh boy. The world was fucked.
"Are both sides ready?"
"Yes I am, announcer!"
"I'm more than ready!"
He was more than ready. He needed to prove to everyone how ready he was. Should he shout? Should he shoot off some cool technique? Maybe a summon?
"I'm ready." Oh, that was lame. Oh well. He would make up for it with his fighting.
"Good. On my count!" The announcer took a breath. "3, 2, 1. Begin!"
The duo started fast. They both wasted no time in summoning their tailed-beast's chakra. Their forms erupted in a blazing red before they took off after him.
Lee was the quicker one. If he was quick without the cloak, he was downright speedy with it on. The clan heir crossed the distance between himself and Naruto in an instant. The boy attempted a heavy side swipe at his head that was easily ducked. The subsequent tail slam was not so easy to dodge. Naruto found himself back-flipping just out of the way as Lee's chakra tail buried itself into the ground where he stood.
The blond thought he was out the clear for the moment but the sun suddenly darkening told him otherwise. He looked up and saw the cannonball-like form of Choji diving towards him. In the split second that he had, his eyes widened to their max before the boy came crashing down onto him.
"That's going to hurt." Jiraiya commented, unknowingly sharing the opinion of the two parents. Orochimaru held no such opinion as she had already spotted her temporary apprentice.
"Earth Release: Stone Thorns." Lee and Choji's attention were drawn to their thought-to-be-defeated opponent on the other side of the arena. The Uzumaki had just finished the hand signs for the technique before slamming his palms onto the ground. The next instant, a series of stone spikes erupted out of the ground headed towards the duo.
The speed and chaotic pattern of the spikes made it extremely difficult for the two jinchuriki to predict where they were going to appear. The two shared a nod before jumping into the air, figuring it would be more safe in the air for the moment.
They would be soon proven wrong.
Within a second of them taking flight, two masses of air struck them each, ripping them from the air and pinning them against the nearest arena wall. On the other side of the area, two of Naruto's clones offered up a quick salute to their original before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
"That's not going to be enough to take us down!" Choji erupted from the wall in a ball of muscle bound rage. The boy's leap managed to cross nearly ¾ of the distance separating him from Naruto. His long strides covered the rest.
"Gotta get away. Gotta get away. Gotta get away." The blond desperately backpedaled away from the stampeding jinchuriki. Hand-to-hand combat was NOT ideal.
He, unfortunately, would not have much of a chance. Before he was even at arms length, Choji sent one of his tails screeching towards Naruto's head. The boy weaved out of it's wave, only to have to contort his midsection to dodge a follow up punch. Unfortunately, his body could only contort so much, so he was victim to the second punch that planted itself firmly in his midsection.
The physical strength of a rampaging jinchuriki was not to be trifled with. The physical strength of an Akimichi jinchuriki was even worse. Naruto felt his consciousness leave his body for a split second as his body was sent spiraling through the air. He had the pleasure of skipping off the ground a few unpleasant times before coming to a hard stop.
"Don't get hit by him again. Never again." The blond mumbled to himself as he struggled to himself. His reprieve was slight, however, as he felt the ground rumbling beneath him. Even in his dazed state, he managed to dive to his right just as the ground beneath him erupted in a geyser of steam.
"I almost had you, Naruto." He heard Lee shout from some location in the arena. He didn't have the chance to determine where, since wherever he set foot, a pillar of smoke would follow him. Just as he dodged the latest one, he had to force himself back down to the ground as Choji came bull rushing his way back into the fight. The two shinobi exchanged punches for a brief few moments before the Akimichi suddenly jumped back, his hands in the middle of a series of hand signs.
"Lava Release: Scorching Stream Rock!" Choji raised a hand to his lips before expelling several large globs of lava at his fellow jinchuriki. Naruto moved to perform his own counter technique but found himself halted at the series of rumbling beneath his feet.
"Fuck this. This has gone on long enough." Naruto thought and in the next instant, his form was covered in heated smoke.
"I think we got hi-" Lee's words came to a quick halt when a fist buried itself into his cheek. To the boy's credit, he took the punch rather well, only stumbling briefly out of his stance. His response was immediate, grabbing the limb of his offending and burying his own fist into Naruto's gut. His 'opponent' erupted into a puff of smoke and was immediately replaced by another blond. Lee dealt with this one in a similar fashion but yet another Naruto replaced the defeated clone.
With Choji, the jinchuriki was busy dealing with an untouchable target. After the first strike, Naruto had been adamant that he wasn't getting touched. The boy ducked and weaved and dodged through every single attack sent his way. The Akimichi could feel his anger building within his gut but his partner's words kept him focused. Each strike from him was precise as he engaged in the dance with Naruto. And while the blond dodged, Choji could feel himself growing closer.
"I got you now!" The Akimichi yelled before sending three of his chakra tails screaming at the blond. All three limbs slammed into the boy, piercing through his body. A brief moment of shock erupted through the muscular boy's brain before he felt his body begin to seize. His eyes watched as instead of disappearing into smoke or dying from blood loss, the body that he attacked began to dissolve into a series of kanji. The kanji flowed from the clone's body and traveled up the boy's chakra limbs, reducing the cloak's color and intensity as they went. Choji was powerless and could do nothing as the kanji reached his body, wrapping him up to his neck and causing him to collapse to the ground motionless.
On the other side of the arena, Lee had eliminated nearly two hundred clones and was still ready to go.
"You can keep sending clones, Naruto. I can do this all day!" At the boy's words, nearly a hundred clones popped into existence. All at once, the clones released a battle cry before charging at the boy. With steam erupting from the pores of his skin, Lee met them in strides. He managed to eliminate over two dozen of the blonds before the first one got hold of his legs. One became two and then four and within moments, a literal dog-pile of yellow hair was on top of the boy. Randomly, a chakra tail would cut through a portion of the group, only for the defeated clones to be replaced in an instant.
From the other side of the arena, Naruto stood and watched as his clones piled on top of his fellow jinchuriki. He allowed Lee to struggle for several moments before raising a single hand sign up to his face.
"Release." With that single word, the nearly fifty clones that were piled on top of Lee exploded all at once. Everyone in the stadium had to cover their face at the sheer force of the blast. Even those in the viewing box could feel the ground beneath them shaking as the sheer magnitude of the explosion.
"That may have been a bit much." Naruto muttered to himself while scratching the back of his neck. The smoke had yet to clear from the explosion and he wasn't entirely sure that Lee had made it through the attack completely unscathed. Jinchurikis with their cloaks were quite literally tanks so he was pretty sure the boy was alright but still…
A loud groan sent a wave of relief through his body. The smoke from his attack quickly dispersed and revealed a downed and literally smoking Lee laying in the arena's new crater. The boy, thankfully, had all his limbs attached and seemed pretty together. The smoking skin and loud groaning were a bit concerning but overall, he looked okay.
"Winner. Naruto Uzumaki." The announcer shouted to the arena, causing the place to erupt into cheers. Up in the viewing box, Orochimaru couldn't help but cheer herself, clearly pleased with the results of the fight. On the other hand, Jiraiya, Kushina and Minato exchanged looks.
"He made that look far too easy." Jiraiya spoke first as he watched his grandson soak in the cheers from the onlookers. The boy was strutting around the arena with his arms raised above his head, his smiling brighter than the sun.
"He did. I expected him to struggle more. He didn't take any hits besides that one." Minato glanced over at Orochimaru who was grinning wider than he had ever seen the woman.
"You underestimated your own son? How sad?" Minato rolled his eyes at the woman's words. She certainly was a master at getting underneath other's skin.
"We didn't underestimate him completely. We thought there was a chance this could happen." Minato looked down and locked eyes with the announcer. The Hokage sent a quick signal to the man who responded with a simple nod. With a single raise of his hand, the announcer silenced the crowd and put Naruto's showboating to a quick stand.
"There has been an alteration to the next match." Confusion struck Naruto like lightning. Alteration? What could possibly change? These matches were supposed to be simple. Two at a time, no chakra chains and announcer call the victor. What more detail was needed?
"Instead of facing two of the jinchurikis, Naruto will be facing the remaining six all at once." Shock erupted through the arena and in Naruto. Six? At once? How the hell was he supposed to fight six at once? Was his dad trying to get him killed?
"Six, Minato? How low of you? Changing your agreement is one thing but stacking the deck so high against your son? I'm honestly ashamed."
"Think of this as a testament to your training, Orochimaru." Minato waved away her concerns.
Six. Fucking six. His mind was racing. Six opponents. Ninjas didn't fight six opponents at once. If you were a ninja fighting six people at once, you were a bad ninja. Good ninja would never get themselves in a situation where they would be facing six other ninja.
"Your father's deviousness is admirable. I can't wait to see the injuries you'll sustain from this fight."
By this point in his own mental ramblings, most of his opponents had taken the field. Ino Yamanaka, Sakura Haruno, Shino Aburame and Shikamaru Nara all stood with varying levels of alertness. The Nara being at the complete bottom of the spectrum while Sakura looked as if her brain would overload. Shino was always hard to figure out and Ino looked as if she didn't want to be there.
The heir came waltzing out, his smirk as bright as the sun. Naruto had to give it up to the Uchiha. The boy knew how to play to the crowd. The boy just had that certain quality to him. Dark hair, pale skin, a swagger born from a confidence in his own ability.
His and Sasuke's relationship was a complicat-
"And lastly, Hinata Hyuga!"
Well, he would have to save those thoughts for later. Hinata walked out of the tunnel, carrying the same level of confidence Sasuke held but in a much more modest way. Her strides were quick and precise as the bone white kimono she wore barely scraped against the sandy arena floor.
"As the last match went, the last group standing determined the victor. Are both sides ready?" Naruto's nod was automatic as his brain was still reeling with how he was going to deal with six jinchuriki.
"I could use my chains. Dad broke his side of the agreement." The teen looked up and met eyes with his father. The very moment they locked eyes, the idea went up in flames in his head. He refused to give his old man the satisfaction. If he was going to lose, it would be on his terms.
The proctor dropped his arm, signalling the start of the match. In the next instant, he went backwards, putting a full hundred meters between him and the group of six.
A dozen clones came into existence. Each dozen was armed with an ink brush and a small well of ink. No words were needed as the clones all disappeared from sight.
"The clones are using some sort of cloaking technique. I'll point out their location!" How could he forget about the Hyuga?!
His agitation shot through the roof when he saw Shino summon two massive wings and took to the sky. Ino already had her chakra cloak summoned and was tossing a ball of blue fire between her hands. Luckily for him, Shikamaru looked completely bored and hadn't moved from his initial start. Sakura and Hinata stood side by side, seemingly happy to observe first before acting. And Sasuke….
Wait, where was Sasuke?
Suddenly, the sandy ground in front of him gave way to a hole and the Uchiha revealed himself by rocketing out of the hole at speeds that Naruto couldn't follow. Sasuke's fist buried itself into the blond's chin, rocketing the Uzumaki several dozen feet in the air.
Taking advantage of his opponent's airborne state, Shino fell from the sky at a rapid pace. Naruto didn't have the chance to recover before both of Aburame's feet became planted into his gut. The blond found himself quickly returned to earth by the force of the blow, kicking up rocks and dust in the process.
As soon as Naruto's back met ground, even in his dazed state, he could feel tendrils of sand begin to cling and grab onto him. He began to struggle against his sandy entrapment only to stop his effort when he saw several boulder sized balls of blue flames start to rain down from the sky onto him.
Orochimaru rolled her eyes as she watched Minato, Jiraiya and Kushina wince once more. Honestly, she found it quite personally insulting that the trio thought that any product of her tutelage would be injured by such a brutish and straightforward attack. How little did the trio think of her? They should know better.
She did not dip a toe into things. She dove headfirst into them.
She could sense her pupil's contingency plan far from the arena. The boy sure did things in extreme. A part of her was even jealous at the limits the boy was currently pushing.
If anyone in this arena thought that initial little scuffle was the end for her student, they were sadly mistaken.
Well, sad for them. Oh so amusing for herself.
"He's below!" Her eyes were proving to be her most useful asset during this battle. While Ino, Shino and Shikamaru literally pummeled the blond into the earth, her and Sakura had made quick work of the dozen or so camouflaged clones that Naruto had summoned at the start of the match. She wasn't too familiar with the art of sealing but it had been hammered into her that seals were the most dangerous thing to a jinchuriki.
She had felt the earth shake from the impact of Ino's blue flames. Her eyes tracked the boy during the entirety of his escape maneuver. With a mole-like efficiency, he had dug his way nearly fifty feet below ground, completely avoiding Ino's attack.
Shikamaru didn't need much more prompting. With a single mental command, the whole arena floor began to rumble and shift. The rumbling started off subtle but quickly became intense as the expression on Shikamaru's face became strained. With a final muffled grunt from the Nara, the arena floor opened into a wide trench, revealing the blond sat at it's very bottom.
Sakura jumped to the mouth of the trench, taking a moment to draw in a deep breath, before unleashing a massive torrent of bubbles from her mouth. The bubbles ranged in size, some as small as a rock while others were the size of a grown adult. One of the bubbles, while descending towards Naruto, clipped the side of the trench wall. The resulting explosion rocked the whole stadium to it's foundation.
A clone appeared near Naruto's side and began to go through hand signs alongside it's creator.
"Great Breakthrough!" The clone announced before releasing a massive stream of wind up towards the bubbles. The wind halted their descent and actually sent some of the smaller ones back upward.
"Drilling Air Bullet!" Naruto pounded on his stomach, releasing a bullet of air up at the wall of bubbles. The bullet struck the wall of bubbles and chaos ensued.
"Holy shit!" Ino screamed as she blew off her feet. Sakura's bubbles exploding felt like a hundred explosion tags going off at once. As she managed to right herself in the air, she could see the trench was now a massive crater.
"Those bubbles are ridiculous." The Yamanaka thought to herself as she landed. Chunks of earth were still falling from the sky. Man, she really felt bad about the person who had to cl-
With a speed most ninja would sacrifice a limb over, Ino twisted and grabbed the wrist of the fist that was about to slam against the back of her neck. With no hesitation, she pulled hard on the wrist, drawing her assaulter close. And, with a short grunt of exertion, she buried her knee into her attacker's stomach.
She was less than pleased when the blond she attacked exploded into smoke.
"I really hate those clones. I should just use them more often."
"You can't stay here forever."
"Who says I can't?"
If Shikamaru had it his way, he would stay laying in his personal sand dome. Sakura's explosion had rocked the entire arena and he had decided upon himself to take refuge in his own personal sand dome. Now that he was here, he really couldn't find it within himself to leave.
"The stupid blond is doing stuff outside your dome."
"Who cares. Let him. Maybe I'll get to go home sooner."
Outside of the dome, Naruto put the finishing strokes on his seal and activated it with a quick charge of chakra. The black lines of his seal glowed a brilliant yellow before a brief moment before settling into a dark, pulsating blue. The blond, seeing that his work was done, offered the sand dome a quick two finger salute before erupting into a puff of smoke.
"One down." It wasn't quite the way he expected the fight to go but he would take it. Unknown to just about everyone besides the three people below him, the original blond stood on top of the Kage's viewing box.
He was out of Hinata's range and his clones were causing enough chaos so no one would bother to look up at him. Being up here gave him just the right amount of time to think about his next move.
"You could destroy the rest of them with my chakra, boy. It would be so simple. They are untrained and uncoordinated."
"Wouldn't you prefer a container who could fight his own battle?"
"I would prefer no container at all."
Naruto scoffed at his prisoner's words before reaching out with his chakra. It only took him a few moments before he connected with several of the clones that he had plastered amongst the training grounds of the village. With a single mental command, half of them popped.
Beneath Naruto's feet, Orochimaru smirked.
Shino was the first to sense it. His Kikaichu made it so that he was extremely sensitive to chakra. And the sudden surge of chakra that flowed to the top of the stadium was hard to ignore.
"He's at the top of the arena." Shino's warnings proved to be useless as the real Naruto made himself known to the remaining jinchuriki. The standing five had only a moment to observe the boy's now yellow irises and the white-scale like patches surrounding his eyes before the boy disappeared from their sight in a burst of speed.
"Jump boy!" Sasuke was the furthest from the blond and thus hadn't expected to be attacked first. If it wasn't for the warning of his tenant and his quick reflexes, he would've taken the full brunt of Naruto's kick. Unfortunately for him, some unseen force struck at him still, sending him rocketing across the arena.
"Sasuke dodged his attack…" Hinata trailed off. Yet, she could see some form of chakra had hit the Uchiha. The same sort of chakra that was currently heading right towards her backside.
With practiced ease, she pivoted 180 degrees to face the charging Naruto. Cautious of the large chakra outline surrounding him, she began a backpedal. The boy's first punch missed her by a mile yet the chakra missed her by only an inch. She could feel a gust of wind that nearly threw her off balance.
Figuring close-distance wasn't going to best this fight, a rare thought for a Hyuuga, the girl leapt into the air, her hands an unrecognizable blur as she went through over a hundred hand signs within five seconds.
"Surging Sea." She gave a mental shout before spewing hundreds of gallons of water from her mouth in a powerful jet. The blond she was fighting was immediately lost in the sea of water, seemingly swept away to some other part of the arena.
"Behind you!" Her Bijuu's warning came just a moment too late as Naruto's chakra enhanced fist buried onto the crown of her head. She found herself airborne no longer as the boy's attack returned her deep into ground beneath them both.
"That's nature chakra, hatchling." She could barely make out the Sanbi's word over the ringing in her ear. "It's a shock you can even sense it with your eyes. Nature chakra is the very essence of the world around us. None of you stand any chance in just your base chakra cloaks."
"Are you saying we should go version 2?"
"You may have to if you want to win this?" Her eyes tracked Naruto sprinting towards her fellow jinchuriki. The smirk plastered across the boy's face was all she needed to see to make her decision.
Sasuke had just enough time to recover from the vicious right hook to see Hinata get pummeled into the earth. He didn't need the Byakugan to see the charging blond heading his way. With practiced ease, he slid into form, the eight-tails of jinchuriki cloak swinging wildly behind him.
He never got the chance to engage with the Uzumaki. Just as the boy got within a few meters of him, a black and red mass of chakra slammed down onto the blond. Sasuke found his clothes whipping in the wind at the sheer force of the impact. Due to his activated sharingan, he got to see in near perfect clarity the moment Naruto got dive bombed into the ground.
The look on the boy's face was priceless.
With Naruto, things were a lot less amusing. He was a couple of seconds away from slamming a nature chakra enhanced Rasengan into Sasuke's gut. And he would've done so if it wasn't for two feet slamming down onto his shoulder. And now, a fully cloaked jinchuriki was straddling him and slamming her fist into his face. And to make it even more inconvenient, fucking coral was sprouting up wherever she hit him.
Luckily, Sage Mode made these hits feel like slaps. Wet heavy-handed angry slaps from his mom but still slaps. Oh, he was for sure going to hurt later whenever Sage Mode ran out. But for now, the dozens of clones he had gathering nature chakra would make sure that wouldn't happen anytime soon.
Naruto reached up and grabbed the rampaging jinchuriki by her shoulder and dragged her head down to meet his own head. The coral covering his face shattered as their heads met. The girl reeled back with a distorted groan, exposing her midriff to the blond. He quickly slipped his legs out from beneath the Hyuuga before giving her the hardest mule-kick he could manage. The loud crack of air that resulted from the kick gave the watching audience just some idea of how hard the kick was.
Seeing the Hyuuga actually fly out the arena helped as well.
Naruto watched Hinata fly out with a smile on his face. One less person to deal with. His smile dropped when he looked upward and saw a dual-wielding descending towards him, sharingan eyes ablaze. The Uzumaki jumped to greet the Uchiha. He managed to dodge the two initial swipes from the boy's sword but couldn't dodge all eight of his chakra tails. The tails buried into his gut and sent him right back down to the ground.
As if signaled by Sasuke's attack, Ino leapt from her side of the arena, her form ablaze with fire and her chakra cloak. Her nails were lengthened to six inch claws as she pounced on Naruto's down form. She took several swipes at the boy form, managing to draw blood before back-flipping out the way. Her sudden departure allowed Naruto to see Shino high in the air. The Aburame gave his wings to simple flaps before twisting them to face down at Naruto. The boy had only a moment to react before Shino's wings emitted a cloud of blinding powder that took the boy's vision.
"Good strategy. Blind me so I can't react." Naruto thought to himself. It really was a good idea. Unfortunately for them, Sage Mode didn't make things so simple.
He sensed Sakura's bubbles coming way before they came close to hitting him. He dashed out of his personal crater to the closest chakra signature he could sense. Their chakra moved fast and felt fiery, keying him to the fact he was headed towards Ino.
With his eyes closed, he engaged the girl. He could feel the chakra being used to lengthen her nails which made it extraordinarily easy to duck out of the way of her first swipe. Despite the power she wielded, it was clear that hand-to-hand wasn't her forte as she left herself way overextended. It was child's play for Naruto to slip into her guard and plant both of his palms into her sternum, shattering the bone and sending the girl flying.
The blond was forced to jump out of the way when Sasuke came crashing down on him. A clone appeared by his side with a single thought and it began to speed through hand signs while he rushed the Uchiha.
"Inorganic Reincarnation." He barely registered his own clone's words as he blocked one of Sasuke's swords with his bare arm. The sword the Uchiha was using actually chipped at the contact, bringing a look of shock onto Sasuke's face. Naruto pressed on, sliding the sword up the surface of his arm before the blade was in his hand. With a squeeze of his hand, the sword shattered. Shocked by the sudden exchange, Sasuke was unable to dodge the kick to the stomach that sent him tumbling across the arena.
Above him, he heard a strangled grunt and smiled to himself. Shino thought he was safe up in the sky. The heir underestimated the utility of some of his techniques. Inorganic Reincarnation allowed him to create as many creatures as he liked to deal with airborne enemies. He didn't need his eyes to take joy in the stone birds assaulting the bug-user
A loud roar erupted in the arena, drawing everyone's attention. Naruto nearly screamed himself when he saw that Ino was no more. The girl had skipped the gun and had gone full tailed-beast. A fully formed Two-tails stared at him, it's blue flames rolling over it's body in a nearly mesmerizing pattern.
"I was hoping none of them would do that." Sage Mode would only go so far against a tailed-beast. Luckily for him, Orochimaru thought of this scenario.
The blond quickly rolled up the sleeve of his shirt, revealing to the spectators that his arm was covered in an array of seals. The boy flew through a quick set of six hand signs before slamming his palm down onto the ground.
"Area Denial." Naruto whispered to himself and watched as the ink on his arm flowed off of his skin and down onto the ground. The ink spread, encompassing the entirety of the arena floor within seconds. Once filled, the array gave off a bright blue light.
All at once, every occupant of the arena, including Naruto himself, let out a grunt. Shino's wings disappeared from sight, earning him a harsh return to the earth. The Two-tails and it's flames dissipated in an instant, revealing a confused and exhausted Ino. Sasuke found himself in much more pain as the chakra cloak that was healing his ruptured stomach was now gone. Shikamaru's sand dome fell apart to reveal the Nara was napping. Sakura's own cloak disappeared while the scale pattern around Naruto's eyes faded away.
"What did you do?" Ino was the first to shout. The kick to her sternum had put her in excruciating pain and now that she didn't have her tenant's chakra healing her, she was in agony.
"Oh, I just did something to even things out." Naruto spoke while stretching his limbs out. "Everyone in the range of the seal won't have access to their chakra."
"Well, enough so you can stay alive, of course." Naruto shot the group a wide smile. There was no way in hell he was going to be able to win against 6 jinchuriki, Sage Mode or not. No matter how much damage he did to them, they would keep healing and keep coming at him. Sage Mode only helped him so much. But eventually, when they all wizened up and decided to go deeper into their beast's chakra, he was going to lose.
He had a much better chance fist-fighting against the five other 12 year olds.
He didn't give them more of a chance to contemplate his words. He took off as fast as his tired legs could carry. He knew suddenly snapping his friends out of their jinchuriki states would leave them utterly exhausted. Unfortunately, exiting Sage Mode did the same to him.
Unfortunately for them, he was an Uzumaki. And Uzumakis didn't tire so easily.
He reached Sakura first. If she was still reeling from her chakra loss, she didn't wear it openly as she met his fist with her own. The boy was quickly reminded of the fact that chakra or not, that girl was strong. He could feel his bones ache when his knuckles met hers.
He swiped away her arm and drove his elbow at her face. The pink-haired girl ducked beneath the assault and threw herself at his knees. Up in the air, he was unable to avoid the flying kick from Sasuke. The Uchiha's foot caught him squarely in the chest and sent him falling backwards out of the air.
The blond fell into a backwards roll but quickly popped back up to his feet. Sasuke was back in his face, throwing yet another high kick at the boy. Naruto weaved his head out of the way of the kick before grabbing onto the offending limb. With a quick pivot of his hips, Naruto lifted Sasuke off the ground before slamming the Uchiha down into the ground.
Before he could move away from the Uchiha, Naruto felt two heavy blows land on his back. Ignoring the pain, he twisted around, only for Shino's fist to greet his face. This time, he was truly sent tumbling backwards as the blow drew blood from his lips.
"Give up, Naruto. You will not be able to win against us." Naruto gave the boy's words no thought as he popped back up to his feet. He was quickly forced to duck down as Sakura appeared by his side with a heavy haymaker. He latched onto the girl's waist, drawing an irate scream from her. He managed to twist the girl in a few quick circles before throwing her away from him.
"Naruto! How dare you touch me like th-" Sakura's words came to a quick end when Naruto jumped up and planted the soles of his sandals squarely on the girl's face. She fell to the ground in a heap, clutching at her face.
"Sorry Sakura. A boy gotta do what a boy gott-" Naruto's own words came to a halt when he felt several seemingly harmless pokes on his back. Normally, he would've ignored these pokes but the numbness traveling up the right side of his arm told him otherwise. As quick as he could, he threw himself into a roll, jumping up and twisting to meet his attacker.
"Hinata?" Standing where he stood was the Hyuuga, her body rigid in a Gentle Fist stance. The boy stared at his fellow jinchuriki, shock flooding his system.
"I sent you out of the arena! Doesn't that mean you're disqualified?" Naruto looked over at the proctor. "Isn't she disqualified? Right? She can't just come back in, can she?"
The proctor stood silent for a few moments, feeling every eye in the arena on himself. He shot a quick glance up at the viewing box, catching the eye of the Hokage. The blond gave a slight pause before offering up a shrug. The proctor had an internal sigh, inwardly cursing at her nonchalant his Hokage could be.
"As long as she is able to fight…" The proctor shrugged after trailing off, drawing a shout of indignation from Naruto. Hinata took his words as a sign to continue her assault, dashing towards Naruto.
Byakugan or not, Naruto knew Hinata was dangerous. You don't stare at a picture for years and not memorize a few things. The girl had already proven that she could close off his chakra points without her eyes active. It was best he avoided her assault.
Naruto moved to backpedal but soon found himself tripping over something. He caught a flash of Ino's face smiling down on him before his back met ground. He went to pick himself up but found a sword aimed down at his throat, courtesy of Sasuke.
"Give it up, Naruto. You lost." Hinata, Ino and Shino joined Sasuke, standing over his down form. He gave them each a look, noticing the happiness on their faces.
It was a shame he would have to ruin it for them.
Sasuke was the first to notice. In a sudden surge, his chakra came rushing back to him. He looked down at the arena floor and saw that the seal was no longer present. He looked over at the blond and saw the boy was now grinning at them all. As quick as he could, the Uchiha thrust his sword down at his throat. He managed to make contact but that only resulted in a puff of smoke.
The real Naruto was standing only meters away, his hands blazing through a set of hand signs. The jinchurikis didn't know it but the match was over. As soon as he let loose this technique, the proctor would have no choice but call the match.
He could only repeat the single word in his mind as he felt his body seize up. He didn't have to look behind him to know that Shikamaru was standing there, holding him in his Shadow Possession technique. The other jinchuriki were already by his side, once again pointing their weapons at him.
"This time you have to surrender, Naruto. No way out." Sakura spoke for the group. A kunai was gripped tightly in her hands and she aimed the weapon at the boy's throat.
Naruto gave the group an once over with his eyes before closing them. The group of clan heirs looked amongst themselves, confused at his lack of surrender. Hinata was the only one to see what was actually occurring.
Naruto let out a pained grunt when he felt Hinata's finger jab into him, ending his attempt at gathering nature chakra. The Hyuga didn't relent, jabbing at his chakra points one by one. It was when over half were closed did Naruto finally concede as he fell unconscious, falling face first into the ground.
In the dead of night, most of Kiri slept. The weather of the village was harsh and muggy. It was absolutely exhausting to be in, native or not. With not much of an entertainment district to speak of, most of Kiri slept when the sun went down.
Yagura was not one of these people. The man, who's appearance could be mistaken for a boy, barely slept. If one ever asked him why, he would simply state that he had no reason to. There was too much work to be done. Too much to upkeep.
Tonight was a night like any other. Yagura was sitting at his desk, his office lit by a series of candles. His guards sat at the ready, hidden within the shadows of the room. They stood ever vigilant, completely motionless during the entirety of the night.
These guards, while serving as his personal guard, were not his own. They were a sect from Konoha. Some of their personal best, that they could spare, sent to ensure his 'safety'.
Utter shit. The Kage knew that these men and women weren't here to protect him. They were here to spy. They were here to report back his dealings. They were here to ensure he did everything in his power to help Konoha thrive. And, if he ever stepped out of line, they were here to end his life.
But for now they had to pretend like they were protecting him. So, when a large crash emitted through the tower, they acted. They hopped from their shadows, two standing near the door to the office and the other two standing at his back. They stood ready, their weapons brandished as the crashing grew louder and more violent. The guards grew tense, their grips growing tighter as the crashing reached a crescendo. Just as the guards moved to jump, the sound stopped.
And Yagura leapt into action.
His hooked club appeared in his hand without the slightest warning. The shinobi closest to his right had no time to react before the hook was wrapped around his neck. With a quick jerk, the shinobi found himself headless.
At the same time, the door to the office blew up and smoke rolled in. The two guards standing at the front were consumed by it as Yagura confronted the second guard.
As elite as they may be, he was still a Kage. The woman made a great effort. She managed to deflect his first club strike and even attempted a counter strike with a kunai. He deflected the blow with his weapon before caving her head in with an overhead swing.
"You guys sure did make a racket." Yagura took one of the scrolls on his desk to wipe away the blood on his weapon. He glanced over, his eyes briefly scanning over the two corpses of his previous guard, before meeting eyes with Tsunade and Roshi.
"Yeah, I don't really do subtle." The Kage shrugged at her words. He couldn't blame her. They were sneaky enough by waiting until nighttime.
"Have your men done their part?" Yagura gestured towards the office's window at Tsunade's question. The invading duo looked through the window and saw that sections of the village were now in flames.
"You didn't tell your guys to hold back?"
"A revolution does not require restraint." Tsunade offered her own shrug. She couldn't fault the man for that.
"The Leaf ninja were bound to fight back. Some will flee. Half of my men are at the border, looking for runaways. For now, let's eliminate these insurgents." Yagura's words brought a smile to Roshi's and Tsunade's faces. An opportunity to kill Leaf ninja?
They couldn't have asked for anything better.
AN: Writing fight scenes is hard. Naruto lost. I hope no one thought he was going to win. 6 against 1? C'mon now. Kiri has been officially captured. More spicy stuff next chapter.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. If you're alone this holiday, feel free to join my discord server with this code: KmWcBkDmWY. I know the holiday season can be pretty rough on people.