Chapter 22 – Deaths Everywhere
She had picked her target when they were all gathered before. She was currently after Team 8 and had closed in on them. The team was just fifteen hundred meters before her as she watched them from the canopy. She knew that hiding from them was useless as all the members of the team were sensors in one way or another. But her biggest concern was the Hyuga Girl, as she had to stay out of her range or stay clear.
Once she confirmed that they weren't aware of her presence, she unsealed a bow from a scroll and formed an ice arrow. She then stretched the string to her ear and shot the arrow. And in an instant, the arrow pierced Hinata's shoulder causing her to fall to the ground. As Kiba rushed to hold her before falling to the ground, another arrow came and pierced his thigh causing him to fall as well. But before they hit the ground, Shino quickly held them and hid behind a tree as he had already seen the direction of the arrows.
Suddenly Haku appeared before them as Shino was trying to pluck out the arrows from his teammates' wounds. "If you pluck them out, they will die from blood loss and if you let them inside, the arrows will melt eventually and the blood will continue to flow," Haku said.
"What do you want?" Shino asked in monotone.
"Handover the scroll as you can no longer pass this round since two of your teammates are gravely injured," Haku said.
Shino realised the situation and took out the scroll before handing it over to Haku. "Alright," Shino said as Haku turned to leave.
"Why did you spare us? You could have killed us and taken the scroll." Shino asked.
"One, because we both are Konoha ninjas. And two, because you three have the potential to become valuable assets for Konoha. Now, go back to the edge and get some help." Haku said before disappearing.
With Team Asuma
Team Asuma was chasing after an Amegakure team as their target. As they ran through the woods, they ran into an Otogakure ninja. But to their bad luck, this Otogakure ninja was Kai Ketsueki.
"An alone ninja, if it isn't our luck," Ino said.
"Yeah, but be careful. He is not your everyday genin." Shikamaru said.
"Looks like you have a good eye, pineapple head," Kai said. "Now, hand over your scroll and I will let you live."
"What makes you think you can take down all three of us at once?" Choji asked.
"And why do you think I am allowed to take the chunin exams by myself?" Kai cross-questioned.
"Maybe your village didn't have any genin to club you with," Ino said.
"You are a cocky one, aren't you? Now have you made your decision?" Kai asked.
"Yeah, and we aren't giving you our scroll," Shikamaru said as he caught Kai's shadow in his Shadow Paralysis Jutsu.
"Is this your excuse for a binding?" Kai said as he effortlessly raised his hand, bit his thumb and applied the blood on his other arm where a seal was inscribed. He then made a set of hand seals and summoned a giant snake as he stood over its head.
"Now, have you changed your mind or would you rather die?" Kai said as the three genin that were standing before him disappeared in thin air and Heaven's scroll was lying on the ground in their place.
"Damm morons. Why did they even bother confronting me in the first place." Kai said as he dispelled the snake and picked up the scroll.
With Team Gai
After sprinting for 20 minutes, Team Gai was the first one to reach the tower. And according to their plan, they were hiding in the wood and waiting for a team to arrive.
The tower was surrounded by a moat filled with water and there was only one way leading to the tower. And Shisui was standing on the way with his hands folded. 'Well, they came here fast. But it looks like they don't have both the scrolls, so they are here to snatch it from one of the teams that arrive first.' Shisui thought as he noticed the team.
"What is that guy doing there?" Tenten asked.
"I believe that he is the proctor of the third phase," Neji said as the team started waiting. They were aware that this may take from a few hours to a couple of days, but the plan was guaranteed to work.
Fortunately, they didn't have to wait for that long as after just a little more than an hour there, a team finally came. It was the Sunagakure team, Team Baki. They slowly walked past them to the tower.
"When do we attack?" Lee asked.
"Let them go, it won't end well if we fight now," Neji said as the Gaara showed both the scrolls to Shisui before entering the tower.
In a matter of a few minutes, another team arrived. This time it was Team 7. They also walked past them into the tower, as Sasuke gave a high five to Shisui before entering. And 10 minutes later, two more genins, Haku and Kai also came there together. And they too walked past them without any ambush.
"Come on, we have to make a move. Four teams have already cleared this round." Tenten said.
"I am aware. But there is one condition to pass the round and that is all the members of a team must be in a fit condition to pass this round. And had we found any four of the teams that walked past us, you Tenten, were guaranteed to get injured. And that would have resulted in our failure." Neji said.
"We will wait for a team that I am sure we can win against without any injuries," Neji said.
As they waited for another 2 hours, an Amegakure team finally came. And this time, Neji gave the signal to attack them. "We will end this quick, so Lee, you can go all out," Neji said as lee dropped his weights.
What happened after that was a one-sided stomp. Shisui watched as the Amegakure team was ambushed and wiped out in an instant. It seemed like they didn't have any other option and it was certainly true as Neji took down two members and Lee got the last one. It was over even before it could start. Team Gai picked up both the scrolls and walked to Shisui without any worry.
"That was a good plan," Shisui said as he inspected both the scrolls and made a way for Team Gai to enter the tower.
"Thanks," Neji said as the team entered the tower.
Five of the eight-team had already passed the round. And now the wait was only for the other three teams to show up. But 12 hours passed after Team Gai entered the tower and no one had yet appeared. And it was finally after 18 hours since the exam that the sixth team finally showed up. And after 4 and 6 hours later the seventh and the eighth team also came.
After 24 hours and 19 minutes, the eighth team arrived at the tower and the second round finally ended. A siren was blown throughout the Forest of Death to inform the examinees about the completion of the second round and for them to cease fire.
As for the winners of the second round, there were all standing in 4 separate queues in a hall. And before they were standing Hiruzen, Shisui, Anko, Itachi, Naruto and several other Jonins and Chunnins.
But Naruto was disguised as a 190cm tall man with black spiky hair. He was wearing a black suit with a black trench coat. His face was blank and his eyes were vacant. (A/N: Just google "Kiritsugu Emiya" for reference.)
"Congratulations to all 20 of you for clearing the second round of the chunin exams. This is not an easy feat as of all the genins that take part in the second round, only 20 per cent of them could clear it. And this exam was even more difficult than the other ones as there was a time limit too." Hiruzen said.
"You have proved your worth as a ninja but to become a chunin, demands even more than this. And now it the time for the third phase of the exam to commence." Hiruzen said.
"What!? But we have just cleared the second round, how can you take the third round so soon?" A girl from the group said.
"This is an exam. It is to test you on overall criteria. There are times during a mission when you would have to push your limits to survive and serve your village, and this is the same thing." Hiruzen said.
"Now, do any of you have any other questions?" Hiruzen asked as no one said anything. "Very well then, let the third round begin." Hiruzen said as he stepped back and Shisui stepped forward as he unsealed a box from a scroll and placed it before himself. There was a round hole on the top of the box.
"Alright, now for the second round, I want each of you to draw lots," Shisui said.
"Draw lots for what?" Rui asked.
"To determine who you will hunt and who will hunt you. In this box are exactly 20 numbered cards. This means that one of the numbered cards will correspond with your badge. Now, each of you will draw lots in the order you entered the tower." Shisui said as Gaara stepped forward and took out a lot, followed by Temari and Kankuro. Then came Sasuke followed by Sakura and Rui. The other teams also followed the order as they came and draw lots respectively. Eventually, all 20 genins were now holding a card on which a sticker was applied to cover the badge number of their target.
"Now, you can remove the sticker on your card," Shisui said as everyone did so. "The number you see on your card indicates your target," Shisui said as everyone quickly placed their hand before their card, except Gaara, Kai, Neji, Bakugo, Sanemi and Sasuke. There were confident enough to challenge their hunters openly.
Those whom they had to hunt were
Gaara (44) – Number 301
Temari (246) – Number 101
Kankuro (80) – Number 404
Sasuke Uchiha (405) – Number 96
Sakura Haruno (158) – Number 294
Rui Tachibana (69) – Number 498
Haku Yuki (99) – Number 108
Kai Ketsueki (301) – Number 77
Rock Lee (294) – Number 158
Tenten (498) – Number 91
Neji Hyuga (404) – Number 69
Shinobu Kocho (289) – Number 16
Giyu Tomioka (96) – Number 403
Sanemi (101) – Number 53
Izuku Midoriya (403) – Number 44
Bakugo Katsuki (77) – Number 405
Todoroki Shoto (108) – Number 289
Yuji Itadori (16) – Number 80
Kugisaki Nobara (53) – Number 99
Megumi Fushiguro (91) – Number 246
"Now, to pass this round you will need to acquire 6 points. Your badge is word 3 points, your target's badge is also worth 3 points and other badges are worth one point each." Shisui said as he explained the rules of this round to the examinees.
"So we can pass the round by 2 different ways. One is just to take your target's card or you can take the card of three other ninjas." Sasuke said.
"That is correct. And you are free you use any means necessary to pass the round. And just like the 2nd round, killing is also allowed in this round." Shisui said. "Now, follow me to the hunting ground for the third round."
"But we don't necessarily kill to pass, right?" Midoriya asked.
"That is correct. But killing will be the easiest way to acquire the badges." Naruto said in his disguised form.
"Who are you?" Bakugo asked.
"I am Emiya Kiritsugu, the controller of the Chunnins Exams and also the proctor of the fifth round." Kiritsugu (Naruto) said. Even with the disguise, Team 7 and Haku instantly recognised him as soon as he spoke up.
Training Ground 88
This training ground was a riverine island. The island was just a dense forest with an even deadlier environment that the forest of death. Many small rivers drained the island. The group led by Shisui finally arrived at the island they all looked around in awe.
"This is where the third round will take place. You will have to survive here for the next 5 days. And on the 6th day, your total points will be calculated and you will be judged accordingly." Shisui said. "Your badge will not lose its worth even if you die by other means. So if someone finds your badge then he can claim points for it." Shisui said.
"Is it allowed to help a friend?" Yuji asked.
"There are no rules that forbid it, though I would suggest you not babysit your friends," Shisui said.
"Okay," Yuji said in a low voice.
"Now do you have any more questions?" Shisui asked as no one spoke up. "Very well then, now you will enter the forest in the order you had entered the tower. And 3 minutes after the first genin had entered the forest, the second one will enter and so on." Shisui said.
"Now, examinee number 44, enter the forest," Shisui said as Gaara entered the forest. And three minutes after him, Temari also entered the forest followed by Kankuro. Slowly all of them entered the forest and Shisui was left alone on the boat.
Suddenly, a bolt of purple lightning fell beside him as Kiritsugu appeared from the lightning or so it seemed. "This will be interesting," Kiritsugu said.
"Yeah, it will be as you are the architect of this round as well as the next," Shisui said.
"I am faltered," Kiritsugu said. "So, who do you think is going to win?"
"Let's see. My bet would be on #44, #99, #301, #404 and Sasuke." Shisui said.
"My bet is also on the same but in addition, I will bet on #294," Kiritsugu said.
"You mean Gai-san's student?" Shisui asked.
"Yeah, I sparred with him a while ago and he is a promising ninja, though I doubt that he has any talent for Ninjutsu or Genjutsu," Kiritsugu said.
Gaara was walking in the forest as Kankuro and Temari were right behind him. Gaara had not agreed to work with them on this part of the exam so he had no idea why they were following him. As walking for a while, he finally hit the limit of his patience and used his sand to toss away his siblings.
"What was that for?" Temari asked as she stood up and gave a hand to Kankuro.
"Why are you following me? Am I your target?" Gaara asked.
"No, that's not it? We just thought that working together will be the best thing." Kakuro said.
"I don't want your help. I can help myself." Gaara said.
"But-" Temari said but she was cut off by Gaara.
"If you don't leave me alone, then I will kill you two right here." As soon as Gaara finished, both Temari and Kankuro vanished for there.
"That was fast," Gaara said as he continued his walk to find number 301, being unaware of the fact that he was looking at Kai.
He had got a plan in mind to clear this round. He had no clue who his target was but he knew how to find him. He planned to convince Neji to work with him and help him find his target, and he will help him take down Neji's target. As he waited on the edge of the forest for Neji to come out of the boat. And after a few genins passed by, Neji finally came too.
As Neji entered the forest alone, Sasuke appeared right before him. "Am I your target?" Neji asked jokingly as he had already used his byakugan to confirm that he wasn't Sasuke's target.
"Nope. I have an offer that is why I have come to you." Sasuke said.
"I see. What are you offering?" Neji asked.
"You will help me find my target and I will help you to acquire your target's badge," Sasuke said.
"Hmm… though I am capable of taking down my target on my own, I think a company won't hurt as you are just as capable as I am," Neji said as Sasuke smiled at him.
"So how do we start?" Sasuke asked.
"Let's first find your target then we will hunt down mine," Neji asked.
"Alright. Say, why aren't you working with your teammates?" Sasuke asked.
"They wanted to pass this round themselves so they went along," Neji said as he activated his byakugan. His range was enough to scan one-fourth of the island at once and fortunately, most of the examinees were in his range. As soon as he scanned the area, he instantly found Sasuke's target.
"Number 96, right?" Neji asked.
"Yeah," Sasuke confirmed.
"He is 2 miles in the south. Looks like he is a swordsman." Neji said.
"Let's go then," Sasuke said as he and Neji shunshined towards Giyu.
Even though Todoroki was quick to cover his badge number, Haku had already noticed him. So now she was following Todoroki in the forest as he ended up at the river shore while Haku stayed at the edge of the forest to have a clear look at her target.
"You can come out, I know you are there," Todoroki said without turning towards Haku. Haku didn't take the bait as she thought he was just randomly saying it.
"I am talking to you girl," Todoroki said as he shot a kunai at Haku which she caught with her fingers. She then shunshined 5 metres away from Todoroki.
"Since when did you know that I was following you?" Haku asked.
"Since the beginning," Todoroki said.
"Well, how is it going to be?" Haku asked.
"I take it that I am your target, so fight me and take my badge," Todoroki said.
"Alright," Haku said as she shot a dozen of senbons at Todoroki before unsealing her bow. As the senbons approached Todoroki, he quickly went through several hand seals and blew out a wall of fire.
"Fire Release: Fire Wall," Todoroki said as the firewall melted away the senbons.
"Such wastage of chakra for defending against a simple attack. You remind me of someone I know." Haku said as she shot three arrows of ice at Todoroki as his vision was blocked by the firewall. As soon as he ended the firewall, the tree arrows came at him at blinding speed.
Without wasting a moment, he quickly fished out a kunai and deflected two of the arrows but the third one managed to stab him in the side. He then looked around for any other incoming attacks but much to his surprise, Haku vanished from there and was nowhere to be found.
"You can surrender and I will spare your life," Haku said but the voice came from every direction. "I will let you know that I can shoot six arrows at once, and you were having a problem with just three."
"Six arrows at once, you are good at Kyujutsu," Todoroki said as he put his hand on the wound to stop the bleeding.
"That's nothing compared to the one who taught me this. He can shoot as many arrows as he wants, all at once." Haku said. "Now then, have you made your decision?"
"Yeah, and I ain't going to surrender," Todoroki said.
"Very well then," Haku said as she shot six arrows from the river at Todoroki.
"You are not the only one with a Kekkei Genkai," Todoroki said as he blew out a small amount of vapour, enough to cover the area of the incoming arrows.
"Boil Release: Corrosive Mist," Todoroki said as the arrows melted as soon as they touched the vapour.
"I see. This won't be as easy as I had thought." Haku said but before she could come out of the river, Todoroki quickly dipped his hands into the river water and in an instant, the water started boiling.
To prevent herself from being cooked alive, Haku quickly made a sphere of Ice around herself and used her Hyoton to cool down the temperature. As soon as the water cooled enough, Haku quickly made a set of hand seals as grew out of the water and attacked Todoroki.
He quickly jumped back which he judged to be out of range but the spike extended itself towards him. He then jumped in the air to dodge the spikes but the spike branched out and stabbed Todoroki in his right heel as he was in mid-air. He then fell to the ground as he got on his knees.
Suddenly, the spikes melted down and a dome of 21 sphered formed about the knelt-down Todoroki. Haku then slipped into one of the mirrors as she pointed her bow at Todoroki. "You were a formidable opponent," Haku said.
"Why are you talking like it is already over. I am not done yet. Boil Relea-" before he could complete his sentence, 21 ice arrows pierced him from all around. It was over in an instant and he finally fell to the ground as blood flowed out of his mouth.
"Such a shame that I had to kill you," Haku said. She then dispelled her technique as she took Todoroki's badge and walked into the river.
As she went inside the river, she formed the same Ice Sphere as before but this time, it had a hollow pillar on top of it. As she got inside, unlike normal ice, the sphere submerged into the river and only the tip of the pillar was on the surface so that air could get inside.
"Now all I have to do is to stay with her for the next four days," Haku said as he looked at the food pills that she had gotten from Naruto.
He knew that he was Gaara's target so instead of just fooling around her approached Gaara. Finding him was easy due to the aura she was emitting, which had scared others to their core.
"I am your target, right?" Kai asked as he stood before Gaara.
"Yeah, so it seems," Gaara said.
"Well…" Kai said as he took out his badge and tossed it at Gaara which he caught using his sand.
"What is this?" Gaara asked.
"You are aware of the plan right?" Kai asked.
"I am," Gaara said.
"Then there is no point in fighting as we both are an important part of the plan," Kai said as he turned around and shunshined away. Gaara was too stunned to speak. He was searching for his target so that he could kill him and prove his existence. But it didn't turn out as he had planned.
He then sat under a nearby tree and formed a dome of sand around himself so that he could have some rest. "So, now I have to just wait here for the next four days," Gaara said as just sat there with his eyes open.
She was aware of the fact that her target was Lee, and she was Lee's target. And it was also clear to her that she couldn't defeat Lee in direct combat so she had to make a plan to pass. But before all that, her priority was to track down Lee, which was rather easy as Lee entered the forest after her.
As for Lee, he had no idea who was his target and neither was he aware that he was being followed by Sakura. He was simply strolling in the forest to find a place to stay for the next 6 days. After walking for a while, he found a tree in an open field. There was just grass all around the lone tree so he had a clear sight of everything around him.
"Darn it, why is he sitting under that tree?" Sakura said as she hid in the bushes. "As long as he is there, I cannot defeat him."
'But he needs water at some point. And to find the water, he will need to go near a river. And that is when I will strike.' Sakura thought as she properly covered herself in the bushes.
He was standing in a grass field, with grasses as tall as him. Midoriya was also right behind him looking somewhat scared. "Why are you following me Deku?" Bakugo yelled
"I think it will be better if we work together," Midoriya said in a scared tone.
"I will be fine on my own! I don't want your help." Bakugo said angrily.
"I think you should consider his advice," Kai said as he appeared from the grasses.
"Who are you and how did you find us?" Bakugo asked.
"With you walking so loudly and exposing your badge so openly, who do you think I could be?" Kai said.
"I see, so I am your target!" Bakugo yelled.
"That is correct. Now how about you hand over your badge and I will let you live-" Kai said as Bakugo dashed at him with a pair of kunai in his hand.
"Go to hell!" Bakugo said as he reached Kai and tried to stab him in the chest.
"Forget about my offer," Kai said as, in an instant, he unsheathed his Chokuto and chopped off Bakugo's hands before stabbing him in his head.
"H-How dare you!" Midoriya yelled as he too dashed at Kai but Kai simply walked past him.
"Wh-" Midoriya said as his upper body, from his left shoulder to the right waist slid off and fell on the ground as his soul left its vessel.
"2 more badges," Kai said as he put the badges of Bakugo and Midoriya in his pocket.
With Neji and Sasuke
Thanks to Neji's byakugan, they easily tracked down Giyu who was standing in the woods on a hill. He realised that he was being followed by Neji and Sasuke who wasn't even trying to hide their presence. As he stopped in his tracks, both of them took the hint and shunshined before him.
"Ganging up on me, a wise decision indeed," Giyu said as unsheathed his Katana.
"Don't get the wrong idea, only I will fight you. He is here just to spectate." Sasuke said as he unsheathed his katana which he had learned just now.
"I don't understand why you won't take advantage of the number?" Giyu said.
"Because this is what we had agreed to," Sasuke said as he dashed at Giyu with his Katana which he effortlessly blocked with his own. As Sasuke tried to slide his blade and cut Giyu's hands, Giyu immediately tilted his Katana and pushed Sasuke in a way that he inflicted a good cut on Sasuke's chest as he was thrown back.
"You are really good," Sasuke said as he used chakra to stop the bleeding. Just some handy technique he picked up from Naruto.
"You have just learned how to use a sword while I have been using it ever since I was eight." Giyu said as he pointed his Katana at Sasuke.
"Water Breathing Seventh Form: Drop Ripple Thrust," Giyu said as, in a burst of speed, he dashed at Sasuke and appeared before him in an instant to stab him in the heart. The moment Giyu appeared before Sasuke, his Sharingan flared to life as predicted that Giyu was aiming for his heart. But due to not being fast enough, he had to choose between getting stabbed in the guts or being stabbed in the shoulder.
Sasuke chose the latter option as he immediately moved his sword in the upward direction to take the hit on his shoulder. As Giyu dug his sword into Sasuke's left shoulder, Sasuke kicked him in the guts to send him sweeping away. But he didn't stop there, as when he kicked Giyu, he also formed Shiden in his right hand and shot a bolt at Giyu.
Seeing the bolt coming, Giyu coated his sword with Water release, as water rotated at the sword's edge at incredible speed. As the bolt hit Giyu's sword, he swung his sword to deflect the bolt, as it hit a nearby tree which got ripped into two upon impact. Seeing the result of the attack, Giyu could only imagine what would have happened had the bolt hit him.
Giyu then looked at his sword which had multiple cracks on it by just deflecting the bolt 'I can make just a few more strikes before my sword finally breaks.'
"You are fast," Sasuke said as he bit back the pain from the wound he had just received.
"Total Concentration Water Breathing Eleventh Form: Dead Calm," Giyu said as the tip of his sword touched the ground. As Giyu took the stance, it sent chills down the spines of both Sasuke and Neji.
Sasuke was too stunned to speak as Giyu swiftly walked past him delivering the swiftest slash possible as Sasuke's head slid off his shoulders and rolled on the ground. Giyu then looked at Sasuke's beheaded body from the corner of his eyes as he swung his blade to get the blood off.
Beta Read by Yuzuki746