This article, Shadows of the Past: Destiny Unleashed!, is property of B14.

Chunin exams for Team Hotaku

Training with Hotaku-sensei

Team Hotaku had returned from it's mission to Sunagakure, and during a meeting of the team, the team leader Hotaku Kamateru proposed the team that it should enter the Chunin exams. Takatsuke Uzumaki's reaction to this was somewhat expectable: "REEEEAALLYYY?!? Do you really think we're ready, Hotaku-sensei?!" Hotaku smiled and said: "Yes! I really think you are ready! But before you enter, I give you a chance to have some training with me. How does that sound?" Takatsuke's face glowed like the sun. "That's AWESOME!!!" He started jumping around and yelling "I'm gonna train with Hotaku-sensei! I'm gonna train with Hotaku-sensei!" Katoru Uchiha couldn't take it any longer and yelled at Takatsuke: "SHUT UP, you idiot!" Takatsuke wasn't dazed, and instantly asked from Hotaku: "What are you going to teach us, Hotaku-sensei?" Hotaku pulled a bigger-than-normal scroll out. "Well, this jutsu is a little different. You can choose if you want to take the training or not. The jutsu I'm going to teach you is the Summoning Technique." Understanding lighted Takatsuke's face. "Aah! I know that technique!" "We all know", grumbled Katoru. "Well, then you should also know, that to be able to use this technique you must sign a special summoning contract with the type of animal you want to summon. This here", Hotaku said showing the scroll, "is my contract scroll. It allows me to summon foxes. Now, the choice is here: You can choose to sign the fox summoning contract here and now - you will be able to summon foxes and train with me right now - or you can wait and maybe find some other summoning contract to sign." Hotaku looked at Takatsuke. "you might know that your father can summon toads, Takatsuke. This is because he has signed the toad contract. You can sign my fox scroll - or you can go to Naruto to sign his toad scroll." Takatsuke pondered it for a while, and then said: "I think I'll take your scroll. I think I'll like the foxes better." Hotaku smiled. "Great! Now, what about you two?" Hikarime looked unsure. "I.. don't know. It sounds all cool and all, but..." "You don't have to do it now if you are not sure. Just give it time and you'll be able to decide. What about you, Katoru?" Katoru shrugged. "I guess I'll sign that fox scroll. Foxes or anything else, it's the same for me.", he said, and continued silently in his mind: "And I'll get to keep an eye on Takatsuke..."

Hotaku opened the scroll. "This is how you do it: You must write your name on this scroll with your own blood. Then you will be able to summon... at least after I teach you how it's done." Both Takatsuke and Katoru bit their fingers and signed their names on the scroll with their blood as Hotaku had told them to do. Hotaku checked the scroll, rolled it back in and put it back in his bag. "Great! Now, after this, the technique itself is rather simple: You do as you did now; make a wound and let some blood drip out. After that you perform the following hand seals:" Hotaku started doing hand seals, slowly to show them his team. "Boar, Dog, Bird, Monkey, Ram. After that you channel you chakra and put your hand down on the ground like this" Hotaku laid his hand down on the ground "and use the jutsu. Summoning Technique!" With a puff of smoke, a big, bright-furred fox appeared. "This is my personal summoning, Hakutsuba." Hakutsuba looked over the genin and then back at Hotaku. "This is you genin team?" Hotaku nodded. "Yes. I've just started teaching them the Summoning Technique. And know this", said Hotaku turning back at his team, "the size of the summoned creature is in relation with the amount of chakra you put in the Summoning Technique. Now, try it yourselves." Katoru instantly bit his finger, did the hand singns, channeled chakra, put his hand on the ground and shouted "Summoning Tecnique!" A puff of smoke followed and in the middle of it... a little fox cub had appeared. The look Katoru's face was certainly the saviour of Takatsuke's day, you could say. Takatsuke stroke the fur of the little cub and said: "Cute! I wonder what kind of wonderous powers this cub has, hmm, Katoru?" Katoru angrily yelled at Takatsuke: "I'm not seeing you doing it better, asshole!" The cub disappeared when the jutsu was being released. "Remember what I said, Katoru, the size of the summoning will be in relation to the amount of chakra you use. Now, let's see how Takatsuke does it - and remember - don't overdo it, Takatsuke!" Takatsuke bit his finger, performed the hand seals, gathered chakra - more than what Katoru had - and put his hand to the ground. "Summoning Technique!" With a puff of smoke, a fox with a flaming red fur appeared. It wasn't as big as Hakutsuba, but certainly bigger than Katoru's little cub. Hakutsuba looked surprised. "Akatsuba? Is that you?" The red fox looked at Hakutsuba with an equal surprise. "Big brother? What are you doing here?" Takatsuke joined the surprised club and worded out: "Big brother? You are brothers?!" Akatsuba looked Takatsuke and answered: "We are. And who are you?" Takatsuke took his best "cool look" and announced: "I am the one who summoned you! I am Takatsuke Uzumaki, the son of the Hokage! Remember my name, because I'm not be left in the shadow of my father!" After a silence Akatsuba worded out: "Ooo... kayyy... Well, we'll be able to cooperate... I guess." In the meantime, Katoru had gotten his balance back, and prepared another attempt for a summoning jutsu, this time with more chakra. "Summoning Technique!" Again a puff of smoke, and this time a fox that was not a cub appeared. "What? Who has summoned Raigo-sama?" This fox actually had an earring, and his fur was as red as Akatsuba's. "Hmph. Katoru Uchiha is my name. You don't have to like it. And you don't have to like me. You are just going to do as I say, alright?" Raigo smirked and said: "Well you certainly have some nerve, Katoru Uchiha... and I like it." Hotaku clapped his hands. "Alright, everyone. You did it really great, you both got the idea of this jutsu quicly. Just remember to treat you summonings well, because they have feelings too, okay?" Hakutsuba murred and said: "If Hotaku just would remember that piece of advice himself..." Hotaku wasn't fazed by Hakutsuba's interruption. "Summonings can use their own justu and they can also be used to perform advanced combination jutsu... But those will be a matter of another lesson." Takatsuke looked at Akatsuba. "I bet you can do some awesome jutsu too, right?" "Of course I can", Akatsuba answered. "Just look at this: Fire Release: Fireball Technique!" Akatsuba shot a small fireball from his mouth. Raigo laughed. "Ha! If that's the best you can do, you are pathetic! Just observe Raigo-sama's superior techniques! Lightning Release: Lightning Fang!" A lightning aura surrounded Raigo's paws as he ran towards a small tree and chopped it down with his lightning enhanced claws. Now it was Akatsuba's turn to laugh. "Ha! I can do a tech million times better than that! Fire Relese: Fire..." but he was interrupted by Hakutsuba. "Cut the fighting!" Akatsuba grumbled for a while and turned back at Takatsuke. "Well, if there's nothing else today, just send me back." Takatsuke quickly released the jutsu, making Akatsuba vanish. At the same time Katoru sent Raigo back as well, and Hotaku sent Hakutsuba after them.

At the Uzumakis

At the home of the Uzumakis it was a normal day. Naruto had finished with his duties as the Hokage for this day and was already home, as was Takatsuke's mother Sakura. Only Takatsuke was missing, but he was on his way. Actually, just the moment Sakura wondered what he might be doing right now, the door opened, and Takatsuke came in with a bright smile on his face. Sakura knew his son well enough to know that something really nice had happened with him. "Well, what's with the smile, my Junior Yellow Flash of Konoha?" Sakura asked Takatsuke as soon as he had entered. Takatsuke's smile just widened further when he got the chance to explain himself. "Hotaku-sensei was AWESOME this day! He gave us the chance to participate the Chunin Exams and he taught us a new jutsu!" Sakura smiled. "The Chunin Exams? There can be some really tough guys in there, you know." Hearing this just made Takatsuke look more determined. "No matter how tough they think they are, I'll beat every single one of them! I won't be left in the shadow of my father!" By this time, Naruto entered the room. "What's with all this commotion?" he asked. Sakura gave him a kiss and answered: "Takatsuke is going to enter the Chunin Exams." Naruto looked steadily at Takatsuke. "The Chunin Exams? So Hotaku thinks you are ready..." "Of course we are ready! We are more than ready!" Takatsuke answered. Naruto smiled, but then his expression became more serious. "Takatsuke, I want to talk with you a little." "About the Chunin Exams?" Takatsuke asked. Naruto nodded. "Those too."

Naruto and Takatsuke walked trough the garden. Naruto started speaking: "Takatsuke... Hotaku told me about something... interesting that happened during the recent C-Rank mission you had." Takatsuke looked surprised. "That? Oh, you must be talking about that dojutsu-thingy Katoru thought he saw..." Naruto looked serious. "Takatsuke, do you really believe that Katoru didn't see what he thought he saw?" Takatsuke looked squirmy. "Well... Katoru was near me... and I don't really remember what I did... I just remember fighting with some ninja, like it would have been a dream... But dad, I can't have a dojutsu!" Naruto looked straight into Takatsuke's eyes. "Why not?" "Because aren't those kind of things supposed to be in your blood? And you and mom don't have that thing..." Takatsuke answered." Naruto closed his eyes and sighed. "Takatsuke, even I don't know exactly what it is just through some vague descriptions. But," he said, opening his eyes and looking determined, "there is something we can do to get more information on it." Takatsuke looked at his father with an empty look in his eyes. "To do that, we must see it again... and to achieve that, you must activate it again." "But dad, I don't even know how it happened that time!" Takatsuke said reluctantly. "Oh yes, you do. It activated because Hikarime was in danger, or atleast that's what I've heard. You should just remembet how you felt that moment, try to relive it. That might be able to trigger the activation" Naruto answered. Takatsuke then asked: "Should I try it right now?" Naruto shrugged. "I see no reason why you couldn't do it right now. If I'm right, you will end up being able to avtivate this eye willingly soon enough." Takatsuke nodded, and tried to remember what he had felt that time Hikarime had been in mortal danger. He remembered it. He had felt helplessness. He had felt anger towards his own inability to protect his teammates. He couldn't help closing his eyes and clenching his fist tight remembering all that. He remembered how it felt like something had snapped. How, in one snap, all his helplessness was converted into complete determination. And right now... he felt it again.

Naruto looked closely at Takatsuke while the latter was concentrating. Then all of a sudden all the tenseness was removed. Takatsuke opened his eyes. Naruto couldnät help gasping. He had felt what it looked like, but seeing it this close certainly was different. The red iris, the slitted pupil and the ragged patch of red around the eye... "Takatsuke... you did it. How does it feel with those eyes?" Takatsuke looked at Naruto with his new eyes. "Well... it feels... different. It feels... like I just could see everything around me." "Everything?" asked Naruto. Takatsuke nodded. "Quite much. On that tree, there's three birds", he said and pointed a tree. "And perhaps you should tell mom there's a mole digging in her garden", he said pointing downwards to the ground. Naruto shook his head in disbelief. "So you say you can see all those things?" Takatsuke nodded again. "Yes. And that's not all I can see." Naruto regained his composure and said: "According to what I heard from Hotaku this dojutsu should also enhance your reflexes and reaction time. And to test that..." Faster than a normal eye could see, Naruto pulled a kunai and threw it at his son as a surprise test. He knew that if he couldn't dodge or block it it could hurt him, but Naruto was ready to take the risk. And in a fraction of a second it was over. The distance had been very short and the kunai had been fast. Now it had stopped. Takatsuke's hand firmly gripped the handle of the kunai. He had caught it from the air. For a second there was a silence, and then Naruto broke it. "Apparently it really does enhance reflexes and reaction time." Then he looked straight in Takatsukes eyes; those red, slitted eyes. "Takatsuke... I still don't know what this eye technique is, but one thing is for sure. It will be a great help to you if you master it. Right now you are the only one who can do so. Train with that dojutsu. Learn to know it. Learn to use it. Takatsuke... what you have always said is true: You won't be left in my shadow. That's what I can see without any dojutsu." Takatsuke closed his eyes, and the dojutsu was once again deactivated. A bright smile rose to Takatsuke's face. "Don't worry, dad! I'll give some of the honor to you too when I'm a legendary ninja recognized worldwide!" Naruto jokingly punched his son while they walked back to the house.

Enter the exams

Team Hotaku was walking towards the room where they could enter the Chunin Exams. Takatsuke walked on the lead with immeasurable determination shining from his eyes. Not far behind him came Katoru, whose whole being screamed that he was ready for whatever the Team might face. In the rear was Hikarime, who was untypically unsure about her status as a teammember. She knew that both Katoru and Takatsuke were greater than her in terms of power and ability, but she had decided to enter nevertheless.

The team found it's way to the door, behind of which was a mass of genin ninja, all of whom had came here to become chunin. "Woah! Look at all these people willing to become chunin! But hey, I'm sure we can kick their asses, right?" said Takatsuke soon after checking out the other genin. Katoru smirked. "Hmph. I'm not going to lose to anyone - especially not you, Takatsuke." Takatsuke answered to Katoru by looking straight into his eyes and saying: "Oh yeah? Well guess what? I've already learnt to use my..." but he was interrupted by someone yelling: "Hey, look! Takatsuke, Katoru and Hikarime have arrived!" The yeller was Hakumi Hyuga, another Konoha genin, who had been in the ninja academy at the same time with Team Hotaku's members. She was a part of a team led by Konohamaru Sarutobi, along with Shikure Nara and Mikochi Misamaru. Shikure was walking towards the members of Team Hotaku behind Hakumi. "Maaan! This whole exam thingy is such a big drag! Especially with the first part being a written test..." Mikochi followed Shikure and said: "Well, whatever it is, I'll certainly pass. What about you? What are you going to do in the written test?" Takatsuke's determination didn't shake. "Pfft. I will surely pass. It can't be that hard..." he said, and continued in his mind: "...and I can always spy the others' answers with my dojutsu if needed..." The union of friends was interrupted, however, by the proctor of the first part of the exam arriving.

"Okay, now listen. I'm the proctor for the first part of the Chunin exam, Hito Anaba. As some of you already know, the first part of the Chunin exam is a written test, which will measure your knowledge and skills as ninja. Now, follow me to the room where the written part will be held." The genin in the room moved to the room in which the written test would be held...

Takatsuke on the hitlist?

Happened before the Chunin exam...

Four ninja were gathering in a misty alley somewhere, and one of the was a certain fox-masked lady. The three others were missing-nin for hire, and pretty bad ones too. The one of them who was apparently the leader listened the fox-mask speak and then threw the cigarette he was smoking to the ground and turned it out with his foot.

"So, let me get it straight? You want us to go to the Chunin exams disguised as genin and... bully this random Konoha genin?"

"Yes, you could say it like that. It's not important what you do to him as long as he doesn't die."

"Why is this? Why should we bother with this?"

"If you do it and succeed, you will get paid. I said I will give you half of the money now and half of it after it's done..."

"But what do you want of this genin? This... Takatsuke?"

"What I want is what the Masked Shadows want, and what the Masked Shadows want is none of your business. Are you going to do it or not?"

"Well, the offer is generous and this mission doesn't seem too hard... Alright, I'm in with it."

"It's a deal then." Kitsunekamen handed over the money and the three ninja walked away from the alley. Kitsunekamen looked after them, and after they had disappeared in the mist, Kitsunekamen said silently: "Those fools don't know what they have been sent into... but they are unimportant pawns in this game..." With this said, Kitsunekamen, without making a single sound, disappeared from sight.

Forest of Death

Team Hotaku along with Team Konohamaru walked out from the room where the first part of the exam had just been held. Takatsuke smiled slightly mischievously and said: "Man! That was friggin' easy!" Katoru wasn't impressed. "Pfft. I know your little 'secret', Takatsuke. You used 'that' jutsu to see the others' answers, didn't you?" Takatsuke looked at Katoru. "And you say you didn't use your Sharingan to copy the hand movements of the guy sitting in front of you? I saw that as well, Katoru." Hakumi popped between Takatsuke and Katoru. "Hey, come on. The most important thing is that we all passed, right? That we all realized that the idea of the written test was to test our spying abilities, right?" However, the member of the two teams were oblivious of three shady ninja spying on them...

The genin who had passed the first part were all gathered in a place outside Konoha, near the forest known as the Forest of Death. They were now listening to the proctor who was explaining the rules for the next part of the exam.

"In the middle of the forest there is a tower you need to reach. But there's a catch: Before you enter the forest you are given a scroll that shall ne either an earth scroll", the proctor said holding up a scroll, "or a heaven-scroll.", she continued, holdin another scroll. "Your task is to acquire both an earth scroll and a heaven scroll before entering the tower. And how do you do it? You attack other teams and take their scrolls. But whether the scroll you manage to acquire is an earth or a heaven scroll you won't know before checking it out. We will now be handing out the scrolls, so move over to the gates of the forest..."

Team Hotaku had recieved a heaven scroll and entered the forest. Now they were moving towards the center of the forest and figuring out a strategy for this part of the exam. Katoru spoke first: "Listen, Takatsuke, Hikarime. I think we should make up a strategy for this one." Takatsuke looked at Katoru. "A strategy? I guess you are right... but right now the best strategy I can think of is keep moving and try to spot a team of ninja to attack and take their scroll." Katoru nodded with a smile. "Well, I'm glad to see you have actually grown some brain, Takatsuke. Yes, that's a suitable plan... but I don't know how many teams we will have to fight before we find one with an earth scroll." Takatsuke smiled. "That won't be a matter of a worry, Katoru, not at all..." With this, Takatsuke closed his eyes, and while he reoponed them, they had changed. Katoru had been waiting for this. "Well well well... It looks like the sleeper has awakend. So, you say that with those eyes of yours you can just see who has an earth scroll?" Takatsuke nodded. "Exactly. Now, shall we commence with our plan?" Team Hotaku started moving faster and searching for a team to rob.

They had not been moving for long before Takatsuke yelled: "Hey! There are some pretty shady ninja heading at our direction, and fast! They must be hunting our scroll..." Katoru turned to face Takatsuke. "Can you see if they have an earth scroll?" Takatsuke looked to the darkness of the forest with his eyes again. "They are still pretty far, but I think they have." Katoru chuckled a bit. "Well then, it's our lucky day... they bring their scroll right to us. How polite of them." After saying that, he activated his Sharingan. As it was activated it had not one, but two tomoe in both eyes. "I have trained my eyes as well." "Yeah. Now, let's do this..."

The desperate battle

The three ninja Takatsuke had seen jumped down from the trees. "Well, well, well. Looks like we found our little target right away..." One of them looked at the leader and said: "Boss, what about these other two brats?" The leader looked at the members of Team Hotaku with contempt. "Nothing was said of them. Do what you want with them. I'll take care of that yellow-haired midget." However, Takatsuke had already jumped to action. He ran towards the leader of the gang with a kunai in his hand. The leader took out his katana and made a slash towards Takatsuke. He managed to dodge it, but his attack was interrupted. "Whoah! These guys are no pushovers!" He thought while blocking another strike with his kunai.

"That idiot Takatsuke! Running towards ninja we know nothing of like that...!" thought Katoru, but he had no time to scold his partner: One of the attackers took him on. "Well, looks like I've got one brat of an Uchiha to fight... This is going to end all too quickly." The attacker drew out his own weapon, a wakizashi, and started attacking Katoru. The attacker was not even putting much to his attacks but he was still cornering Katoru. Katoru was dodgin the best he could while thinking: "This looks bad... These guys are way off our level... Takatsuke... Hikarime..."

Meanwhile, the third attacker confronted Hikarime. "Heh. You're a little too young for me, girl... so I'll just kill you... nice and slow..." Hikarime was frozen with fear. "These guys are toying with Takatsuke and Katoru... what can I do against them? But, one thing is sure: If I just stand here, I'll end up dead!" The attacker she was facing took out a shuriken and threw it at Hikarime. It looked like it had hit her, but then she was enveloped by a puff of smoke and a branch of a tree pierced by a shuriken was standing were she had been. "Body Replacement Technique... And now that weak little brat must be hiding somewhere in these bushes..." The ninja chuckled. "I could use my ninjutsu to fry you out, but that wouldn't be fun at all! So, I'll just fry you out with the old way", he said, taking out his own sword. Then he started slashing and stabbing around the bushes.

During all this Takatsuke was desperately fighting the leader of the gang. Takatsuke might have had his dojutsu to read the enemy's movements and a large chakra pool, but skill-wise the enemy was just beyond his level. The ferocious attacks of the attacker didn't leave Takatsuke any chances to use any of his ninjutsu arsenal to his advantage. After a while of this, the leader of the attackers said: "I've had enough with this pointless brawling... It's time for you to see the power of my ninjutsu instead!" With this, he slammed his hand down to the ground and shouted: "Summoning Technique!" With a puff of smoke a huge wolf with many scars appeared. Takatsuke started to say "Shadow Clone Tech..." but was interrupted by the huge wolf jumping on him and pressing him down with its massive paws. Its long claws dug painfully through his shirt to his flesh, and the thing's weight was putting a huge strain on Takatsuke's back. "Get... off... me... you..." Takatsuke managed to say, but he was interrupted by his enemy. "Well, I was given the order not to kill you, but your little friends were left outside the agreement. So, we'll just kill them after we've had a little fun with them..." Takatsuke couldn't take it anymore. He was filled with hot rage. He just wanted to make those attackers suffer...

The Golden Fox awakens

Hikarime was hiding in the bushes. She knew that the attacker would find her eventually, and she couldn't move because the noise made by it would have led the enemy straight to her. From her vantage point, however, she had a great view over the battlefield. She saw the other attacker pushing Katoru while the leader summoned his wolf and commanded it to attack Takatsuke and pin him down. "Poor Takatsuke... All that weight on his back... and those claws are digging into his flesh... Ouch..." Then she felt something surging from the battlefield. Was the leader of the attackers going to use a jutsu again? If that was so, it would be dangerously powerful, this chakra level was enough to make Hikarime shiver. But the leader looked surprised too. What...?

Takatsuke rose from the ground. All this time he was carrying the weight of the huge summon on his back. He rose slowly first, but then, all of a sudden, he bounced up and roared like a beast. With the roar he released a huge amount of chakra, as the sheer power of it was enough to throw the wolf summon and the ninja at the battleground out of balance. His eyes were full of animalistic rage and his body was surrounded by an aura of chakra visible to the naked eye. The leader of the attakers managed to yell: "What the hell is this? What the hell are you?" Takatsuke turned to face the enemy. His red eyes felt like they were drilling all the way to his brain. "I'm the son of the Hokage and your worst nightmare, TAKATSUKE UZUMAKI!!" The chakra released trough Takatsuke's roaring yell was again earth-shattering. The rest of the battlers had froze in astonishment. Takatsuke cupped his hand and started gathering chakra. Rapidly a swirling ball of golden chakra appeared on it. Takatsuke jumped towards the enemy leader still frozen in amazement and yelled out the name of his technique: "GOLDEN RASENGAN!!!" At the moment the golden ball hit the enemy, he yelled in pain and in the blink of an eye the torrent of golden chakra pierced trough his body. The summoning jutsu faded and the wolf disappeared. The body of the enemy leader, with a horrifyingly large hole in it's chest, fell on it's back to the ground like a used-up ragdoll. Takatsuke stood looking it with the rage still in his eyes, with the golden chakra still flowing around him.

The ninja who had been pressuring Katoru snapped out of it and yelled: "Boss!" He took his wakizashi and ran towards Takatsuke. It was probably his luck he didn't have time to realize what had hit him. Takatsuke punched him to the gut with a tremendous power. He coughed up blood and fell to the ground, immobile. Takatsuke's rage hadn't lessened. "You hurt my teammates... Now it's my turn to hurt YOU!" The third ninja who had earlier hunted Hikarime and had now become this bloodshed's witness, was in fear. That ninja who was supposed to be a genin was a monster. He took out the two others out with one shot like nothing. He abandoned his weapon and started to run. He didn't get far though, because soon enough he was facing the raging Takatsuke. "Hey... I surrender... Really... Please... Mercy...!" the escaping ninja managed to word out in panic, but Takatsuke didn't answer. By words, that is. He delivered a merciless kick to the head of the escaping attacker and sent him flying right at a tree. His limp body fell down the trunk. Takatsuke walked calmly back to the leader he had killed with his Golden Rasengan, digged his pocket for a while and picked up the earth scroll that had caused all this. "Hikarime, Katoru. we've got both of the scrolls. Let's go now." Katoru shivered - partly because of Takatsuke's still strong aura of golden chakra, partly because Takatsuke had so mercilessly finished the attackers. "Takatsuke..." Takatsuke looked straight at him. "We can talk when we are safely at the tower, Katoru. I'm going now." With that said, he jumped away and resumed the Team's interrupted move towards the tower at the center of the forest. Katoru and Hikarime went after him.

Forest of Death, done!

The members of Team Hotaku were inside the tower, having cleared the second part of the Chunin exams, and with a marvelously small amount of time. Takatsuke's golden aura and and the rage in his eyes had already vanished, but he hadn't said anything yet. Katoru still was shocked by what he had seen. "I wanted to see Takatsuke's true self, but... If this is it, I'm not sure whether I want to see it again." To his surprise he saw Hikarime walk to Takatsuke. She put her hand on Takatsuke's shoulder. "Takatsuke, I'm glad you were there to protect us. Even though you were a little scary..." Takatsuke looked into her eyes and then a slight smile rose to his face. "Thanks, Hikarime. It's just... I've never felt rage like that before. I don't know how to deal with it... and deal with this power..." To both Katoru's and Takatsuke's surprise, Hikarime hugged Takatsuke. She then said: "You don't have to be afraid of your own power... because you are the only one who can control it... and I'm sure you can do it." Takatsuke was out of words for a while, but then he manged to get his ability to speak back. "Yeah... And do you know why I can? Because I've got my friends and family helping me to do it... You, Katoru, Hotaku-sensi, dad, mom... Everyone's there for me."

Team Hotaku's entrance to the tower had been recorded. One of the chunin guarding around the tower was utterly amazed by the team's achievement. "Man... How does Hotaku-sempai train his genin? The time they used to pass the forest was miniscule compared to the usual amount of time it takes." "Well, nothin' special. Just the usual. Push-ups and sit-ups." Hotaku had appaered behind the chunin ot of nowhere. "Hotaku-sempai! You sure know how to scare the hell out of a man!" Hotaku looked at the screen in which his team was shown. "Well, to be honest, I myself am surprised at how fast they did this. I know they are pretty good, but this good..."

Putting away the trash

In the sight of the recent battle, a curvy female with a mask like a fox's face was inspecting the damage. "Well, it seems the kid is developing with great speed... but that is only to be expected.", she said while looking the hole-ridden corpse of the former leader of the former missing-nin crew. All of a sudden, she heard a sound. Someone was weakly calling for help. She walked towards the source of the sound and found one of the members of the former bandit team barely alive, desperately calling for help. "Oh... It's you... Thank heavens... Please... Help... That... yellow-haired devil... killed boss and Maku... I'm the last... one alive... Please help me..." The half-dead ninja kept crying for Kitsunekamen to save him. Kitsunekamen pulled out a sword. She had been carrying it on her back, concealing it from the view of the poor dying man. "You have filled your purpose. The Masked Shadows have no use for you anymore. Now... perish." With this, she pushed the sword through the back of the dying ninja, killing him. She wiped the blade to his clothes, resheathed her sword and left the Forest of Death as silently as she always did.

The Finals

Katoru wont be surpassed!

Katoru Uchiha was walking down the streets of Konoha, buried in his dark thoughts. "Damn it...! I refused to see it first but now it's all too clear...! Takatsuke has surpassed me! Am I now doomed to watch his back getting further and furher away no matter how hard I try to reach him...? No! I refuse to accept that's my destiny! I'll reach him no matter what! And I know how I will start doing it..." He was now where he was going: Hotaku-sensei's house (It was a small but quite nice house in a more peaceful part of Konoha). Katoru knocked the door, and soon enough Hotaku opened the door and seeing Katoru, smiled at him. "Well, my favourite little Uchiha it is! What's up, Katoru?" Katoru looked straight into Hotaku's eyes. "Hotaku-sensei... I came here to ask for training... personal training for the last part of the Chunin exams." Hotaku steadily looked back in Katoru's dark eyes. "Well, I guess I can train you. But keep in mind... the training is going to be fierce." Katoru smiled. "The fiercer the better. I won't be left in the shadow of Takatsuke..." Hotaku laughed. "Man! When you say it like that, you sound just like him. Well, shall we get going then?"

Hikarime's quest for strength

Hikarime's mind was equally darkened by her thoughts. "As I am right now, I'm practically useless to the rest of the team. Takatsuke or Katoru has to pull me out from every single dangerous situation I wind up into. No! I'm going to get as strong as I can! I'm not going to be the one who hinders the progress of the entire team!" Buried deep in her thoughts, she didn't look ahead and, as a result, bumped with someone. She instantly raised her eyes to see who it was. It was Sakura Haruno, Takatsuke's mother and the Hokage's wife! Hikarime instantly started apologizing, but after getting her confidence back, she asked a question: "Sakura-sama, I don't know if this is approppriate, but... I'd like to be trained by you for the third part of the Chunin exams." Sakura smiled warmly at Hikarime. "I'd be glad to train you. I bet it's hard to keep up with the likes of Takatsuke and Katoru, isn't it?" Hikarime's joy was clearly visible from her face. "Re-really? Thank you so much, Sakura-sama! When will the training start?" "Come to our house tomorrow morning. And by the way - you can call me 'Sakura-sensei' from now on, Hikarime." Hikarime wealked away filled with new hope.

Takatsuke and Naruto

Back at the house of the Uzumakis, Takatsuke was already getting trained by his father. "Well, Takatsuke. First I think I'm going to see your level of skill so I'll know where to start teaching you from. So, show me your moves!" Takatsuke grinned widely. "Okay, dad! Prepare to be astonished!" Takatsuke concentrated. He was sure that he could do it. He called forth his power. And it came. An aura of golden chakra started to flow around Takatsuke's body. "I always knew Takatsuke had a lot of chakra, but this is something else!", Naruto thought. Takatsuke then cupped his hand. "Is he going to do a Rasengan? Has he learnt to do it with one hand?" Quickly enough, the golden chakra spun and formed a perfect Rasengan on his hand. "Apparently he has!", thought Naruto "But..." Before Naruto could think it any further, Takatsuke yelled out the name of his technique: "Golden Rasengan!" With this, he slammed it at the nearest rock with a tremendous force. A massive spinning torrent of golden chakra was instantly released, and as it faded, Naruto could see that it had not only made the rock crumble, but it had also created a deep and long rift behind where the rock had been. It was like it had been drilled with a giant drill. "Well, Takatsuke, you certainly did manage to astonish me! That's one powerful technique! Did you come up with it on you own?" Takatsuke nodded. "Yeah. It was during the Forest of Death -exam. There were these really mean ninja, who attacked our team. They seriously tried to kill us! So then I just exploded with rage and without even thinking about it used this tech. I took out the leader of that group..." Naruto's face was serious now. "Takatsuke... you say it was you who did that to those ninja we found dead at the Forest of Death? The guy with a huge hole in his chest, like it would have been drilled...?" Takatsuke nodded again. "Yeah, it was me. I know, it was kinda cruel, but I was in such a rage I only could think about finishing them...!" Takatsuke looked in Naruto's eyes, and this time his expression was dead serious. "That's one thing I want to train on. I want to access my power without having to throw myself in rage." Naruto laid his hand on his son's shoulder. "Takatsuke, that's an honourable goal, and I'm going to give you my support in achieving it." Takatsuke smiled. "Thanks dad. Now do you want to see what else I can do?"

Naruto had watched his son do feats that were amazing coming from someone at his age. "Takatsuke! I've seen enough. Right now I don't know if you even need training." Takatsuke looked sligtly irritated. "What! But you promised me!" Naruto chuckled. "Relax, Takatsuke, I was just joking. I'll train you."

The Finals begin!

First round

Second round

Third round

Final round

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