Hi guys and gals, another chapter of The Legend is here for you reading pleasure. As you read will notice some gaps—they were left out because it's mostly a rehash of canon so no need to repeat it here. I am sure you can read between the lines

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Examinations

All of the available jonin of Konoha were standing in front of their Kage for an important meeting.

"Thank you all for coming here. As you all know, the chunin examinations will begin in one week. In addition to the requisite preparations, I want to know if any of the new genin team leaders would like to nominate their teams for the examinations? You go first Kakashi?"

"I Hatake Kakashi, nominate Team 7 to take the chunin examinations"

"What about you Kurenai?"

"Like Kakashi, I Yuuhei Kurenai nominates Team 8 to participate in the upcoming chunin examinations"

"And you Asuma?"

"I Sarutobi Asuma, nominate Team 10 to participate in the chunin examinations"

"Good now to other business! Let me hear the decisions of the leaders on the non-rookie genin teams" Sarutobi said quickly and proceeded to continue planning the examinations.

It was approximately a week since the fateful Wave mission and the subsequent jailing of Team 7. The news of the mission spread throughout the village and Team 7 was the talk of the town.

Kakashi was in the jonin lounge chatting with the other jonins about their genin teams and missions. Obviously, Kakashi was peppered with questions from the other jonin.

"Why did you let your team get jailed Kakashi? The news is all over the village." Asked Asuma

"I had to go through on my words. I originally meant to frighten my team, but Naruto stood up to me"

"You mean the Kyubi container. I have heard that he has changed a lot since the Iruka incident" Asked Raido.

"Yes he has. He and the last Uchiha have a strong rivalry—they push each other to get better and better and they are pulling Sakura along with them. They even managed to master both the tree climbing and water walking exercises."

Playing devil's advocate Raido said. "Word in the village is that Team 7 is the strongest genin team."

"The mission to Wave country has the entire village pumped up. This is not good." Kakashi said.

"What are you afraid?" Goaded Asuma.

"Yes"

"Of what?" asked Kurenai.

"You'll find out soon!"

Just then, the doors of the jonin lounge burst open revealing Might Gai. "My eternal rival! News around the village is that your genin Team is the strongest in the village, we are now even in our battles, but it won't be long! If my team does not defeat yours during this examination I will run one thousand laps around Konoha on one leg!"

"See what I was talking about!" Kakashi said with a mortified look on his face.

"Now, now, Gai it is not what it seems!" Kakashi said trying to mollify his friend.

"The battle has already begun—it is too late now!"

"Sigh!" Kakashi responded in a defeated tone while the other jonin were snickering among themselves.

"Hehehe, this exam is going to be very interesting" Raido commented.

Naruto was on his way to his favorite ramen stand for lunch when his young pal Konohamaru ran into him.

"Hey Naruto-sensei! I heard you were jailed after this big mission. The whole village is talking about it and your team!" the kid said excitedly.

"They're saying that Team 7 is the strongest genin team in Konoha!?"

"What? Really?" Naruto asked in surprise. He was oblivious to most villagers since they usually had nothing good to say to him

"Yeah!" Konohamaru said excitedly. "My sensei is the greatest!"

"Don't be too excited. Missions aren't cracked up to be as we think they are and don't go around the village saying those things or other teams will come looking for your head!" Naruto said in a serious tone. "You need to train hard and become stronger and stay out of trouble. You can do more harm than good if you are always in trouble"

"Okay Naruto-sensei! Bye now I'm going to meet Udon and Moegi to play" Konohamaru said.

"Enjoy yourself!" Naruto said as his friend ran off.

It wasn't five minutes later when Naruto came upon the sight of his friend being manhandled by foreign shinobi.

"Hey you, let the kid down!" Naruto said in a serious tone.

"The stupid little brat ran into me! I am about to teach him a lesson" Kankuro said in a taunting tone. However, he felt a hard grip on his hand that held the boy.

"I said…Let the kid down!" Naruto said as he stood beside the stunned shinobi and his sister Temari. Naruto's strong grip forced Kankuro to let go of the kid, and as soon as he let go of the kid the pain on his hand subsided. He looked up to see Naruto holding his friend in the spot that he was originally in. Naruto's speed caught both Kankuro and Temari caught off guard.

"Did you know that he's the Hokage's grandson, you idiot?"

"What?" Temari said in surprise.

"Who are you calling an idiot!?" Kankuro said in an enraged tone. He was so enraged by the insult that he did not realize what Naruto said. Kankuro was preparing his puppets for a fight when he was hit by a rock on his head.

"He's calling you an idiot, you idiot!" Sasuke said from atop a tree.

"Another one!" Temari thought.

"Kankuro, calm down, we have nothing to gain in this situation." Temari said.

Her plea was quickly overshadowed by a deadlier tone. "Kankuro and Temari stop this instant or I will kill you!" Gaara said while appearing from behind the tree that Sasuke was perched on.

Naruto noticed that both shinobi became pale at the newcomer's voice

"There are strong shinobi in this village." Gaara commented.

"Who are you?" Sasuke asked.

"I am Gaara of the Sand and these are my two siblings. We represent the Village hidden in the Sand in the upcoming Chunin examinations."

"You should keep your siblings on a tight leash Gaara, or they might disgrace your village!" Naruto said in a serious tone.

Gaara just looked at Naruto and sneered. "I will enjoy killing you two" before the trio of Sand shinobi left.

"We will see about that when we meet" Naruto said unafraid.

"You are a magnet for trouble." Sasuke commented.

"I guess so" Naruto responded.

"Kakashi sensei sent me to find you. He is waiting for us at the eating district, so let's go"

"Okay" Naruto responded as the two young shinobi left.

A couple of minutes later Naruto and Sasuke arrived at the location where Kakashi and Sakura were waiting.

"Ah good all of you are here." Kakashi said with an eye smile.

"I wanted to meet with you all to give you these forms. They are for the upcoming Chunin exams—I have nominated you all to take the exams. If you wish to participate, you need to be at the location listed next week."

"Well then you have the week off to make your choice as all Genin-level missions are cancelled for the week. See you tomorrow in training." Kakashi said before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

"Easy decision" Sasuke said before walking off.

"Wait Sasuke!" Naruto said.

"What for?" Sasuke asked.

"Hold on a minute." Naruto said before turning to Sakura. "Are you going to take the exam?"

"Well…sure I guess." she said hesitantly.

"You guess?!" Sasuke asked.

"You know that if you don't take the exam, Sasuke and I will not be able to take the exam"

"What!" Asked Sasuke.

"It's the same reasoning behind the three-man teams, if one fails all fail. We have to take the exam as a team"

"How did you figure that out Naruto?" Sakura asked.

"Kakashi-sensei nominated us to take the exams; he did not say that we have to take the exams! Therefore each of us must decide individually to take the exams"

"I don't know. I know I am the weak link in the team and I will just keep you and Sasuke back" Sakura said honestly.

"That's why we are teammates Sakura. You have the best chakra control in the team. I have read that great chakra control is necessary for genjutsu and medical jutsu. Plus, your great chakra control will make your jutsu more efficient. So don't go thinking that you are the weak link in the team. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses." Naruto said.

"So are you going to take the exam?" Sasuke asked not interested in Naruto's pep talk.

"Yes. I will take the exam." Sakura said more confidently.

"Good. Then this means that we have to work on our teamwork and communication more than ever if we want to come out of the exam relatively unscathed. We should train together as a team at least once every day, on our own, from now on." Naruto proposed.

"How about after we train with Kakashi-sensei?" Naruto asked.

"I don't have time for that. I need to do my own training." Sasuke said.

"I have my own training to do as well, as does Sakura. Are you scared of a little extra training? I thought you were the number rookie of our generation?" Naruto asked in a semi-taunting tone.

"Don't be ridiculous. I'll be there" Sasuke retorted.

"Good, so from tomorrow we'll continue to train after training with Kakashi-sensei" Naruto said in an upbeat tone.

So Team 7 ramped up their training for the pending Chunin exams

One week soon passed and Team 7 was due meet at their normal meeting spot—the bridge where they met for the first time with Kakashi sensei.

Sasuke and Sakura were both surprised at the arrival of their teammate, more specifically his change of outfit.

Naruto used up his savings to completely upgrade his outfit. He got rid of the orange jumpsuit and replaced it with a deep blue shinobi pants and jacket which had orange horizontal stripes on the edge of the numerous pockets in the jacket. Naruto's new outfit made him look mature and strong.

"You look good Naruto." Sakura said with genuine appreciation.

"Thanks Sakura"

"Hn! This is much better than the last one—which was hideous. Let's go before we reach late for the show!" Sasuke said.

"Thanks for the compliment Sasuke" Naruto said jokingly. He knew that he wasn't going to get more out of Sasuke than that.

Team 7 arrived at the door to beginning of the Chunin exams to see their sensei awaiting them.

"It's good to see you all came. If anyone of you had not shown up I was not going to allow the others to take the examination."

All the members of Team 7 simply glanced at each other with knowing looks on their faces.

"Hm...it seems that they know about this somehow!"

"Anyway, good luck in there!" Kakashi said before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

Team 7 opened the door to a room full of both local and foreign shinobi.

"Whoa, that's a lot of shinobi" Naruto thought while Sasuke simply had a smirk on his face.

As the door opened, the other shinobi in the room naturally turned to see who the new comers were. Murmurs rippled through the crowd as the infamous Team 7 arrived.

"They look much different than from the mission to Wave" Neji commented.

"Yes, they have an aura of confidence about them" Tenten said.

"I wonder how much stronger they have gotten?" Questioned Rock Lee.

"Well well well, isn't it the famous Team 7 and their resident sensei-killer. I bet Sasuke and Sakura were jailed because of that bastard" Kiba sneered.

"Now is not the time for this Kiba!" Ino said. She noticed a distinct aura of confidence surrounding Team 7.

"How is it going Sakura?! Nice to see you are doing well after all this time"

"Thanks, I have been good Ino, and I hope you are doing well?"

"Sakura has changed quite a bit since joining Team 7. She's definitely toned down her attitude since the academy"

Of the many prospective Chunin in the crow was a team of genin from the Sound village. News was circulating around the village about Team 7 and the mission to Wave; there were also rumors of Team 7 being the strongest genin team in Konoha.

"So this is the rumored Team 7—the supposed strongest genin team. These are good candidates to show the might of the Sound village. Let us give them a little taste of our power." Dosu said.

"Hai!" His two teammates whispered

While Sakura was talking to Ino she sensed barely restrained malice directed at her and her teammates. She glanced at her two teammates and made a barely noticeable signal letting them know to be on guard that the boys silently acknowledged.

Dosu's target was Sasuke and his teammate, Kaku's, target was Naruto, and Kin's target was Sakura. They thought that they were going to catch Team 7 off guard but were summarily surprised to be the ones caught off guard.

Both Dosu and Kaku were surprised to find that their targets were no longer in front of them and Kin was one step away from having a kunai plunged through her throat.

"You should calm down a bit. Don't you think?" Sasuke said with Naruto standing right next to him behind his respective opponent.

"We didn't do or say anything to you. Leave us be" Naruto added.

Dosu's eyes twitched in anger, and the rest of the shinobi took note that Team 7 was not to be trifled with.

"I guess you got your answer Lee." Neji said.

Before any more commotion could take place, Morino Ibiki and his men arrived.

"You damn brats fighting before I even gave you permission. Do you want fail before the exam even begins?"

"Sorry sensei, we were just giving our guests a warm Konoha welcome. Please forgive us." Naruto said while bowing with one fist clasped in the other.

"He thinks quickly on the feet" the proctors were murmuring among themselves.

"We already have a front runner for chunin?" commented another

"Maybe" Ibiki said quietly

"Let us commence the first test each of you come forward and take one of these tokens and go sit in your assigned seat!" Bellowed Ibiki

The chunin hopefuls all did as instructed and took their assigned seats.

"The first exam is a paper test consisting of ten questions and you start off with ten points. You lose one point for each question you get wrong. The score of each team will be tallied and we will determine if the team passes or fails. Moreover, anyone caught cheating will have two points deducted from their team score. Get caught cheating 5 times and the team fails; if the team score goes to zero the team fails."

Ino raised her hands to ask a question and was summarily dismissed.

"Put your hands down brat, I am boss here and I am not taking any questions!" Ibiki said in a serious tone.

"You have one hour"

The entire group of genin were in situation where everything was nebulous and disconcerting—except for the few shinobi who figured out what was going on.

And then there was Naruto—the boy took one look at the test and knew that he couldn't pass without cheating. He knew he was the ultimate prankster but not a cheater and if he tried cheating, he would just make his team fail the exam. The entire exam was to test their information gather skills.

Naruto looked at his teammates and said "Sasuke and Sakura, I am going to take a nap"

Everyone in the room was totally shocked by what Naruto did—except Sasuke and Sakura

"Damn teme leaving all the work for us to do!" Sasuke said understanding totally why Naruto did what he did.

"Leave it to us Naruto" Sakura said with confidence

"What is the brat doing? He is not even attempting to answer the questions!" Ibiki thought

"Shut up you damn brats I didn't say you could talk!"

"Sorry sensei!' Sakura said before continuing her work

"Ah I get it!" Shikamaru realized and began to chuckle while doing his work.

"Did the Nara kid figure something out? I guess I will have to wait until the end of the examination"

One by one, teams of genin were being thrown out of the room and with each dismissal, the tension was rising. While Naruto was sound asleep"

45 minutes later Ibiki decided that enough trash was taken out to commence the final question.

"Okay you maggots get ready for the tenth question"

Naruto calmly raised his head and did a brief yawn. "How was it guys?"

"Not too bad" Sasuke said.

"Yeah, it was not bad at all" Sakura said.

"Such confidence!" Ibiki thought.

"For the tenth question, these are the rules of desperation!"

"First you must decide whether or not to take the question. If you choose not to take the question then your team's points are automatically reduced to zero and the team fails. If you choose to take it and answer incorrectly then the team forfeits the right to ever take the chunin examination again!"

"What kind of stupid rule is that?!" Kiba said angrily.

"Unlucky for you guys I am the examiner this year! So what do you want to do? To take or not take the test, that is the question"

Soon, left and right hands were going up all over and Naruto was getting impatient. He was always groggy when he woke up from his naps.

"Sensei, can we go on with the tenth question now that most of the cowards have left?"

"What did you say brat?"

"The cowards have left, so let the rest of us take the exam"

"So you are going to take the tenth question? You are going to put your life and the lives of your teammates at risk" Ibiki asked with a wicked smile.

"My life is in my own hands; I choose my own destiny!"

"And what about your teammates?"

"They are strong. Team 7 can handle anything you throw at us!" Naruto said confidently and with those words, Naruto blasted away the fears of everyone in the room.

"Damn brat. It makes no sense dragging this on any longer!"

"Well then congratulations to everyone in the room, because you all have passed the first examination!"

"What!" Ino said. "What about the tenth question?"

"Those two choices were the tenth question. The first nine questions were to test you information gathering ability. However, those were not questions genins can answer one their own, so the test was meant for you to cheat but not get caught!"

"I knew it!"Naruto thought.

"In the ninja world, information is everything and can be more important than life itself! That is why as shinobi you must be able gather information without being caught" Ibiki said while revealing his horrible wounds gained through being tortured. Most of the genin were revolted by the view.

"What about the tenth question?" asked Kiba

"There will come a time when you cannot avoid a dangerous mission and those who cannot put their lives and destinies on the line when it matters most do not deserve the title of chunin!"

As Ibiki finished Mitarashi Anko blasted into the room. "Damn brats! I am the examiner for the second test!"

"Umm Anko, your timing is a bit off" Ibiki said.

"Huh! 78 remaining? Are you losing your touch Ibiki" Anko asked, completely ignoring Ibiki's earlier comment.

"Wait before you take them I have something to ask one of the examinees"

"Be quick! There's much blood to be shed" Anko said in an annoyed tone.

"Uzumaki Naruto, care to explain why you were asleep for the entire exam?"

"Easy. As soon as I saw the test, I knew I could not answer those questions—I was never good at paper and pencil tests so instead of trying to cheat and causing my team to fail I just left it up to them. Sakura is the smartest shinobi here and Sasuke is pretty smart himself, for being a teme, so I was confident that they could answer the questions so I left it up to them."

"You trusted your teammates to handle things that you could not?"

"That's what teamwork is all about right?"

"Damn brat, you passed the test without answering a single damn question on the test"

"That's not true, I answered the tenth question"

"Yes, you did" Ibiki said while breaking out in laughter. Soon all the chunin instructors were laughing.

"Take them, they are all yours Anko!"

"At last! I will cut this number down at least half the current number! Follow me brats!"

For the second test the chunin hopefuls were led to the forest of death.

"Welcome to the Forest of Death maggots. Here will participate in the no-rules, fight-to-the death survival battle, the prize which are these scrolls." Anko said while displaying the scrolls.

"Half of you will get the heaven scroll and the other half will get the earth scroll. In order to pass the test you need to get your missing scroll and make it to the tower within 5 days. If you make it to the tower without both scrolls you will fail; if you lose a teammate via death or otherwise you will fail; and if you look inside the scroll you fail"

"Damn this is troublesome. Can you we quit now?" Asked Shikamaru.

"Too late maggot" Anko said.

"I am not letting anyone off the hook now"

"Sigh"

"Come Shikamaru, we can do this" Ino said.

"Okay each team go into the booths and collect your scrolls then make your way to you assigned gates."

When each of the teams got their scroll they made their way to the assigned gates.

"Okay kiddos, don't die" and thus the gates were opened. All the teams sped through the gates except one. Team seven was the only team that did not rush into the forest.

"I am going to flood this forest with clones and gather information for the team."

"Be quick about it!" Sasuke said.

"Hai!" Naruto said as he made twice as many Team sevens as there were opposing teams in the forest. "Go wild!" About one hour later, there was utter confusion in the forest and Naruto was the center of it all.

"There are several teams in the north-east quardrant of the forest as well as to the west. I encountered several strong shinobi: the team from the Sand is very powerful and very dangerous; that Gaara guy kills without hesitation. He has sand that he can control freely and protect him against all attacks from any direction—it is like an automatic defense. Team 10 and Team 8 are both difficult to get near to probably due to Team 10 has Neji and they are strong. Team 8 has Hinata—plus it is a specialist tracking team. I managed to take out some of the weaker teams and got several scrolls. One of my team has managed to find a safe zone and are currently setting up a defensive perimeter for us."

"One hour has passed and they still have not moved!"Anko thought. Not too long after she saw a number of clones arrive at the gates bearing a number of scrolls.

"Whoa! Those clones really did a number on the hapless teams"

"Wow Naruto, your clones managed to get so many scrolls? What are we going to do with them" asked Sakura.

"Let's keep them in case we manage to lose ours" Sasuke said.

Wordlessly Naruto pulled out a storage scroll from his jacket and stored the scrolls in them.

"You know fuuin-jutsu?" Sasuke asked

"It's my hobby. Okay we got our scrolls, let us move at top speed through the forest to the tower" Naruto said.

"Boss, we have found a fairly safe route to a place where we can rest for a bit in the forest

"Yeah let's go" Sasuke said.

As Team 7 was making their way through the forest when Naruto gave them some further updates.

"Guys something is wrong"

"What is it Naruto?" asked Sasuke

"I encountered a group of Grass nin and they totally decimated my clones, and it seems that they are actively hunting us down. They have not engaged any of the other teams but ours. Plus, the most powerful one smells of snakes for some reason. I have a really bad feeling about this one."

"Okay let us make it to the safe zone and plan our next step. We should hurry and get out of here." Sasuke told the rest of the team. Since the formation of Team seven, Sasuke grew to respect Naruto. He still considered himself to be the superior shinobi, but he acknowledged that Naruto was a very capable shinobi who was an asset to the team.

Team seven was almost to their safe zone when they heard a huge rumbling sound heading towards them rapidly towards Sasuke and Sakura.

"Shit lookout!" Naruto said while rapidly making several clones that grabbed his teammates out of the way. The snake ignored both Sasuke and Sakura, and headed straight to Naruto who it forced deeper into the forest.

"Damn it! What the hell is going?" on Sasuke said.

"It is a hunt that is going on Sasuke!" said the powerful Rain shinobi that Naruto warned them about.

"Why are you after us in particular? They are many other team to hunt"

"I want you Sasuke-kun!" the mysterious Rain shinobi said.

"But I had to get rid of that pesky little teammate of yours. I want to enjoy this battle with you"

"What?"

"I am Orochimaru. One of the Legendary Sannin" the Snake Sannin said as he peeled away his face to reveal his real identity.

"I have come to test the power of your Sharingan. Let us fight to the death—prepare yourself Sasuke-kun" as Orochimaru charged at the boy.

Soon Sasuke found himself in a heated taijutsu battle with the infamous Sannin.

Sakura, knowing that Sasuke was heavily outmatched went to look for her teammate in order to find backup

"Oh I see your teammate got scared and left."

"No she's no coward"

"I doesn't matter who comes to your aid, they cannot stop me"

Meanwhile…

Naruto was trying his best not to get eaten alive by the huge snake.

"Damn reptile, I am going to blow your ass to bits!" Naruto said as he pulled out several explosive tags from his pouch and launched them at huge snake—all of the tags covered the snake's head.

"Get out my way!" Naruto said as he denoted the explosive tags and blew the head off the snake

"Now time to get back to Sasuke and Sakura" Naruto said. His battle with the snake took him far away from his teammates, and closer to his enemies.

"Well what do we have here? The cheeky little Team 7 brat all by his lonesome" A team of nin from Ame said full of confidence.

"Do not waste my time I have to get back to my teammates now" Naruto said while making three clones.

"Kanashibari no Jutsu!" the boy said as his opponents became temporarily frozen—enough time for his clones to finish the job.

"Shit! Wait...wait we will give you our scroll" the leader of the Rain nin pleaded.

"Too late!" Naruto's clones said as they descended on the hapless shinobi. Naruto did not even bother to take the scroll

While Naruto was hurrying back to his teammates, Sasuke was battling for his life with his sharingan blazing.

"Consider these my gifts to you Sasuke, Katon: Karyuu Endan!" Orochimaru said.

Sasuke's sharingan had already copied the jutsu and fire one in retaliation.

"Katon: Karyuu Endan!" Sasuke said as the two deadly fire jutsu collided.

After the collision Sasuke was breathing hard after the chakra intensive jutsu.

"You are that brat Kakashi's student and you have the sharingan so I am sure he will teach you his prized techniques. So let me give you another gift!" Orochimaru said as he weaved the signs for the ration kage bunshin that Sasuke copied summarily. However, the large chakra requirement almost totally drained him of his chakra.

Sasuke had no choice to use the technique; he was outmatched by Orochimaru, plus he had to face down a clone of the Sanin—he was trapped in a corner.

"Let us finish this, I have other business to attend to" Orochimaru said as his bunshin attacked Sasuke.

After copying and using two high-level jutsus while engaging in a heating taijutsu battle Sasuke was rapidly running out of chakra. It was not long before he ran out of chakra which resulted in a deactivated sharingan.

"Kai!" Orochimaru said as he activated the lighting bunshin that stunned the boy leaving his temporarily paralyzed.

"Here is my final going away present to Sasuke" Orochimaru said as he applied the cursed seal on Sasuke.

"What…what did you do to me?" Sasuke asked in gripping pain.

"I gave you power, and I can give you more—enough to defeat Itachi!"

"What do you know of my brother!?"

"We you use to work together in a powerful secret organization" Orochimaru said in a teasing tone, knowing fully well the boy will want to know more.

"Survive Sasuke—come to me and I can give you power. I can answer all your questions. Oh by the way, tell the Sandaime if he calls off the exams I am going to destroy the village"

Naruto was hurriedly making his way back when he met Sakura.

"Naruto, things are bad we need to get to Sasuke right away he is in trouble!"

"What happened?" Naruto asked as they made their way back to their teammate.

"We were attacked by Orochimaru of the Legendary Sannin"

"Shit this is bad. We cannot beat him and we need to let Hokage-sama know right away!" Naruto said immediately making a large number of clones.

"What do you need boss!"

"Clear a path for us to tower we need to get there ASAP!"

"Okay boss!" the clones said while dashing ahead of the group.

It was not long before Naruto and Sakura came across the figure of their teammate writhing in pain from the curse seal. Naruto landed next to his teammate and tried to find out what happened.

"My neck…pain!" Was all Sasuke could say.

"Okay, we are leaving right away" Naruto said while picking up his teammate.

"Let's go Sakura. Keep your eyes open and we'll be moving non-stop to the tower"

It Naruto and Sakura about two hours to reach the tower—they were the second team to reach the tower after Gaara's team. They opened the scrolls to be greeted by Kakashi.

"Congratulations guys I knew you would…" Kakashi did not get to finish his statement when Naruto cut him off.

"Kakashi-sensei we were attacked by Orochimaru and he did something to Sasuke"

"This is bad, I will take it from here, you and Sakura go on forward." Just then, Sasuke spoke up through his pain.

"Don't call off the exam or Orochimaru will destroy the village. This was his message to the Sandaime"

"What?!"

"I want to fight, I need to fight. Heal me afterwards if we don't then we might stir up trouble"

"I will let you fight, but at the first sign of trouble I taking you out. I will inform the Sandaime now. Go to the main hall and await the end of the examination." Kakashi ordered

Five days later the rest of the genin team made it to the main tower where they met up with Team 7 and the genin team from the Sand. One-by-one the genin teams came into hall and upon seeing Team 7 they all let their rage known.

"You bastard Naruto" Kiba shouted at Naruto. Much of the other genin teams shared Kiba's sentiment but they did not express their feelings in the same way.

Naruto turned to Kiba, opened his pouch, and pulled out a scroll and released its contents. All of the other genin were surprised at the number of scrolls that came out. Much to the surprise of Kiba, and the rest of the other genin.

"He was responsible for most of the teams failing the exam" Tenten said with a bit of awe in her voice.

"What happened in the forest?" Gai asked in awe himself

"It seems that most of the teams were ambushed by Naruto's clones disguised as Team 7. According to Kiba, it seems he was running amok in the forest." Kurenai said.

"Yes, I heard that much from my team. He wasn't successful against my team, but the clones were a nuisance according to my team." Gai said.

"He almost got my team!" Asuma said jokingly. "Shikamaru was grumbling about it the whole time"

"Your team definitely is strong Kakashi." Gai said

"But what is more worrying is the news Naruto brought." Asuma countered

"Don't worry the Sandaime will come up with a plan" Kakashi

It was not long before the Sandaime came forward to talk to the genin present.

"If you are standing here it means that you make through the trial of the forest."

"From here on out, the exam is not about teamwork but individual ability. At heart, these exams are a replacement of war and you have to proudly represent your village by displaying all of your abilities—no holding back from here on out!"

"I will take it from here Hokage-sama" Hayate interrupted

"There are too many of you here so we need to reduce the numbers for the main event. Those who are not feeling well should quit right now"

To which a number of shinobi raised their hands.

"Okay good, now the others will be randomly selected to do battle now" The electronic score board randomly called up two names."

"Uzumaki Naruto vs Inuzuka Kiba. It starts with you two"

"Finally I get to beat this bastard up!" Kiba said. Naruto in turn said nothing.

"This should be interesting. Kiba has wanted to fight Naruto for a while now" Ino said.

"Kiba is in for a rude awakening." Neji said in a serious tone.

"Naruto vs Kiba, begin!"

"Hehehe! I finally get to…"

But Kiba was unable to finish. All that was heard was a loud crack and where Kiba once stood, there stood Naruto. The fight was over in an instant, Kiba was knocked out cold.

"You talk too much!" Naruto said before heading back up to his teammates.

"That was quick" Sasuke said.

"Yeah, I was not in the mood to hear his prattling all over again" Naruto replied.

"Damn that was fast!" Asuma said.

"Not only that Asuma Naruto won without even taking his weights off! How much strong he has gotten we cannot know" Gai said.

"I told Kiba about talking so much during battles. I hope this serves as a good lesson for him"

"Moving on! Next match up Hyuga Neji vs. Hyuga Hinata"

"Oh no" Kurenai said in shock. "This is not good"

"What is it sensei?" Naruto asked

"Neji who is a member of the branch house is facing against Hinata who is from the main house. This is an age old grudge and now Neji can do much harm and get away with it" Kurenai said as the two shinobi faced off against each other.

"Hinata-sama"

"Brother Neji"

"You should quit now, you are not fit to be a shinobi. You wish for peace and harmony, you are kind and forgiving, and you have no confidence in yourself"

"You are right brother Neji, but people can change. I can change my destiny" Hinata while taking the traditional Hyuga juuken stance with her Byakugan blazing.

"Do not fool yourself. Losers are losers no matter how much they fight against destiny" Neji said in a callous tone while activating his Byakygan

Everyone could hear the railing creak and bend under the force of Naruto's fist.

"He is taking this personally!" Kakashi thought to himself.

And then the fight began. However, despite Hinata's valiant effort she was not match for Neji. It was long until she was brutally dumped on the ground.

"You should give up. You cannot change your destiny!" Neji said coldly.

"No they can!" Hinata said while forcing her way back up to her feet.

"I may be a loser, but my eyes see through you!" Hinata said with blood flowing from her mouth.

"What!" Neji said.

"You brother Neji. You are lost in the anger and hatred shared between the main and branch houses. You are also weak brother Neji despite your strength you are lost in the hatred of our clan. This is not you brother!" Hinata said with a strong tone which hit a nerve with Neji

"It is over for you now Hinata!" Neji said as he rushed into to make a killing blow.

"No!" Naruto said as he moved into action

"Shit he's going after Neji!" Kakashi said as he moved into action.

However, before Neji could reach his target he was stopped the jonin present and there was a kunai aimed at his face. It was Naruto's kunai.

"More special treatment for the main family" Neji said in a serious tone.

"Neji you promised me that you would put the Hyuga quarrel aside" Gai said in a stern tone.

"Neji, Hinata thought of you as a brother. Why did you go so far as to try and kill her?" Naruto asked while being restrained by Kakashi.

"Losers are losers"

"Neji, betrayal begets blood! I will make you pay for what you did to Hinata."

"Stay out of business that is not yours" Neji countered.

"It is my business Neji and I will make you pay" Naruto said.

"I am fine Kakashi sensei. I will not kill him now"

"The kids these days are so serious!" Asuma said

And with that the battle ended. The remaining battles continued and the winners were decided and paired up. It was the fated battle between Naruto and Neji; Sasuke vs. Gaara; Shikamaru vs. Dosu with Temari fighting the winner; and Shino vs Kankuro.

The Hokage stepped forward. "You have one month to prepare for the examination, prepare well and do you villages proud!"

The very next day Naruto was training in the grounds near the hot springs of Konoha. Kakashi was taking care of Sasuke but he wanted to make sure that Naruto was okay.

"Yo Naruto, I wanted to check up on you. I have been so busy with Hokage-sama dealing with the impending threat. I wanted to leave some stuff for you to work on and I have arranged a substitute teacher for you."

"It is fine Kakashi sensei. Take care of Sasuke I already have my training planned out. I will not fail!"

"Will you be training here for the entire month?"

"Yes"

"Okay I will check in with you from time to time to make sure that everything is okay"

"Fine Kakashi sensei I need to start training now."

"Okay, good luck"

"Thanks"

It was well into the evening when and Jiraiya was at his favorite spot at the hot springs when he sensed several chakra signatures in a nearby training field. He was also hearing a lot of commotion as taking place as well so he decided to go check out what was going on. As he was making his way to the source of the commotion, he stopped in his tracks and smiled. He was just about to walk into a sensor barrier.

"Hmm a good barrier seal, a bit crude but the person definitely has talent." Jiraiya said as he deactivated the seal. Just to see what kind of reception he would get from the person. Not too long after we was accosted by several shadow clones

"Who are you and why are you interrupting the boss' training?" the clones asked.

"Hehe, impressive! Take me to your boss" Jiraiya said in a commanding tone.

"He looks just like his father!'

The clones knew that somehow that the man before them was important so one of the clones dispelled and then a minute later they stepped aside.

"So he has some skill with the shadow clone" Jiraiya thought as he made his way to the training ground and was totally surprised by what he saw. Before him, there were hundreds of clones doing various forms training. About fifty clones were sparring on the nearby lake, while another fifty clones were fighting along the treetops and yet another fifty clones were doing various forms of chakra control exercises. What piqued Jiraiya's interest the most was approximately one hundred clones studying sealing techniques and another hundred clones studying techniques from a small scroll"

"Hey there brat did you put those sensor seals together?"

"Yeah why?"

"There are not bad, actually they are quite good for a beginner. The markings need to be equally spaced for the barrier seal to work properly. In order to improve your sealing skill you need to improve your penmanship"

"Thanks for the insight" Naruto said.

"I see you are working on gravity seals now"

"How do you know?" Naruto said in surprise

"I am the legendary Sannin Jiraiya, and I am a seal master"

"And you also trained my father" Naruto added.

"You know about that?"

"Sandaime-jiji told me a while ago"

"So you are following in your father's footsteps eh?!" Jiraiya said in a genuinely interested tone.

"No I am going to surpass him"

"Did you make it to the finals?"

"Yes"

"Who is your opponent?" Hyuga Neji.

"Ouch, you pulled a Hyuga. That is going to be tough"

"No I am going to wipe the floor him. I am not worried"

"Who is preparing you for the exam?"

"No one, Kakashi is taking care of Sasuke. We were attacked by Orochimaru in the Forest of Death and he did something to Sasuke"

"Orochimaru is here, no wonder the jonin are so worked up"

"I am sure Sandaime-sama will come up with a plan"

"I am sure he will, I will not worry about that for now."

"Why"

"Because from now on you will be my student!" Jiraiya said while taking out a piece of paper.

"Here kid, flow your chakra into this piece of paper"

"What type of paper is it?"

"It is a type of paper used by ninja to determine their elemental affinities. Just channel your chakra into the paper. You have mastered both the tree walking and water walking exercises so you are ready to learn your elemental affinity and begin your jutsu training"

"Okay" Naruto said while channeling his chakra into the paper—the result of which made Jiraiya drool. The paper burned, split, and got wet at the same time. To be honest he was quite excited by the prospect of being training by his father's teacher.

"What a rarity! Three natures! Most jonin have at least two affinities. You probably got fire from having the Kyubi sealed within you, water you definitely got from your Uzumaki heritage, and wind probably be your actual natural element"

"So you know about the Kyubi as well"

"Of course! I do and I will train you how to control its power as well before we moved forward—you mentioned you were working on gravity seals."

"Yes"

"I can help you with that. Take off your gear and lie on your back" Jiraiya said.

"Are you going to put seals on me?"

"Yes" Jiraiya said the boy lay down on the ground. When he was finished Jiraiya made a kage bunhin and said.

"When you manage to get up, make the some more clones, and continue the core training that you have been doing and we'll move on with my curriculum. You have a massive amount of chakra and I will help you make the best use of it." Jiraiya said.

"I am going to talk to the Sandaime about Orochimaru. I will also let Kakashi know that I am taking over your training." Jiraiya said before doing a sunshin.

The Sandaime was in his office when Jiraiya strolled in.

"Hey sensei, I heard Orochimaru was back in the village?!"

"Yes, I am glad you are here. I will need to your strength to help protect the village. Who knows what Orochimaru is planning, but that whatever it is not good"

"I will do my best"

"Also I met with Naruto today. He interrupted my research"

"He is very driven and talented, plus he has three elemental affinities!"

"Three!?" Sandaime said utterly astonished.

"Yes, I am taking over his training from here on out. I will tell Kakashi, I will also take care of the Uchiha kid I am pretty sure that all of this is about the Sharingan"

"I am sure Kakashi will not mind at all." Sandaime said.

It took Naruto three days to get onto his feet and another two days in order to move fairly freely. Everything became harder after getting accustomed to seals. At the end of the first week he was able to walk about fairly freely. Currently, Naruto made a couple of hundred clones to work on the various jutsus that he had taken note of when Jiraiya appeared.

"Yo kid. I see that you are able to move about fairly freely with the gravity seals on. Now it is time to work on your elemental jutsu. As you already know, you have three elemental affinities: wind, fire, and water. There are variety of jutsu I can teach you but before that you must learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each element."

However, he was cut-off by Naruto. "Earth beats water; water beats fire; fire beats wind; wind beats lightning; and lightning beats earth"

"Ho! So you do know about the elemental weaknesses and strengths. What should also know that those rules only apply to jutsu of equal power."

"So this means that a strong wind jutsu will win against a weak lightning jutsu right?" Naruto commented.

"Go to the head of the class kid!" Jiraiya exclaimed.

"Since we have that out of the way, I will teach you jutsu combinations. For example, wind jutsu can be used to enhance a fire jutsu or a wind jutsu can be used to increase the concussive force of your water jutsus."

"Additionally, you have a huge chakra pool due to your tenant and your Uzumaki heritage however the key to proper jutsu usage is knowing when to the correct jutsu at the correct time—but of course I will teach you a ton of powerful jutsu." Jiraiya said with a wicked smile.

"I am going to turn you into a jutsu monster!"

"But before we get to the training, I wanted to you to sign this summoning contract of the Toads." Jiraiya said while unfurling the large scroll on his back.

As Naruto looked through the scroll he saw his father's palm print bearing the name of the Yondaime.

"Your father was my student and so to shall you. Naruto, if you want to surpass your father, then this is the path you must walk. Your father was a man feared throughout the elemental nations. In Iwa, there was a flee-on-sight order to all shinobi of Iwa—such was the extent of the fear and respect that countries had for your father. The only way to surpass his legend is for you overwrite it altogether and to do that you must dominate your enemies in a way that he never could. You must become more than a man. You must become a force of nature—an overwhelming entity that sweeps aside all enemies before you no matter how strong they may be." Jiraiya said in a serious tone.

"Can you do it? Can you become a force strong enough to sweep through the elemental nations?"

"I will do it! I will become a shinobi unlike another witnessed in the elemental nations!" Naruto said with a voice full of conviction.

"Then let us commence your training. It will be unlike anything you ever encountered!"

XXX

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