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Chapter 13-The End of the Preliminaries! Blazing Passion and Smoldering AftermathEdit

Boom vs BugsEdit

After the arena floor had been cleared and Sasuke and Chirru taken to the infirmary, Sakura and three Naruto clones going with Sasuke while Kakashi stayed behind to confer with Lord Hokage, Gecko strode back onto the floor, "Alright, I think we're ready for the next match." He turned to the screen as a fresh set of names flickered up, "Shino Aburame against Zaku Abumi."

Shino and Zaku walked down to the arena floor and Gecko looked at them both, "I'll remind you both that fatal force is forbidden." Zaku snorted derisively and Shino thought, you're in no position to be complaining with that arm in a sling, unless... Shino smiled behind his high collar. Gecko stepped back, "Begin."

"If you fight me here," Shino warned, "You'll never fight again. Quit now while you can." Zaku snorted and settled into a stance, "I've still got one arm, and that's more than enough for you!" He sprang forward and snapped out a strike at the side of Shino's head. Shino blocked him effortlessly, "You can't beat me with just one arm." "Shut up!" Zaku snapped, "Air Slicer!" He opened his palm towards Shino's head and blasted Shino in the face with a wind blast.

The wind blast sent Shino rolling across the floor and kicked up a huge cloud of dust. Shino was very still for a minute and Zaku laughed, "Come on, get up! I'm not done yet!" Suddenly Shino lurched. He lurched partially upright, then a little more upright, then he straightened up in a manner that was utterly disturbing to watch. As Zaku started to worry, he heard a sudden loud chittering noise. Suddenly Zaku realized what it was as he saw Shino's dark coat seem to writhe and black specks moving on his skin, "Bugs..."

Then he realized the chittering was coming from behind him as well, and he spun to see a writhing black carpet of beetles nearly ten feet wide behind him. Then Shino had him by the back of the neck and slammed his face into the floor with his whole body weight behind him. Before Zaku could move Shino caught his wrist and dislocated his shoulder. Zaku screamed in pain and blacked out. Shino stood and looked at Gecko, "I'd say I've won." Gecko nodded, "The winner is, Shino Aburame."

Shino turned and casually walked off, the beetles crawling along behind him like baby ducks following their mother.

Choji's Full Throttle Determination! Battle Cry Barbeque!Edit

After Zaku had been carried out Gecko announced the next match, "Choji Akimichi vs Dosu Kinuta!" Asuma clapped Choji on the shoulder right before he headed down, "Choji, barbeque's on me if you make it to the final tournament. All you can eat." Choji looked at him wide eyed, "You mean it? Promise?" Asuma smiled, "Of course I mean it! Now go show em who's boss!" "YESSIR!" Choji bellowed happily, actually running down to the ring.

Dosu raised his one uncovered eyebrow as Choji bounced in place with his hands up like a boxer, clearly extremely eager for the match to begin. Gecko raised an eyebrow at him too and then nodded, "Alright then. Begin!" He quickly sprang back out of the way and Choji immediately snapped forward, his fist somehow expanding to the size of his torso. Dosu didn't even have time to blink before Choji had smacked him across the ring.

Dosu hit the wall hard, but looked more irritated than hurt. Then Choji sprang forward and pummeled him with massive fists that inflated as he swung. Choji pounded Dosu savagely for several minutes before springing back to catch his breath. Dosu pulled himself out of the Dosu-shaped hole in the wall Choji had made. He growled, clearly furious, "Alright fatso, you asked for it." "WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!" Choji bellowed.

Dosu sprang forward without answering and struck at Choji. Choji blocked with another suddenly supersized hand, only to bellow in pain and spring back clutching his arm. Choji snarled, "You're gonna pay for that." He made a one handed hand sign and suddenly inflated like a balloon. He pulled his arms and legs in with a roar of pain and then his head.

Chakra suddenly exploded out from his hands, feet and head and he surged forward, "Human Boulder Jutsu!" Dosu hauled back and slammed the Choji boulder as it rocketed towards him. Choji's whole body rippled for a second and he suddenly flew backward. Choji slammed into the wall and immediately deflated, slumping to the ground. He pushed himself up coughing and his eyes widened as he saw Dosu jump and bring his fist down on the floor like a flying pile driver. The following sonic blast rattled Choji's whole body and turned the tile Dosu had struck to powder.

Choji didn't see that though, he had passed out almost immediately. Dosu rolled his shoulders and neck and there was a sound like metal clanking, "I win." Shikamaru and Ino stared, "How could Choji lose like that? He's as tough as an ox!" Ino protested. Shikamaru held his chin in his hand, "Whatever that shockwave was, it was sonic. It would've had the same effect no matter how big or strong Choji was." "So how is anyone going to beat him?" Shikamaru shrugged, "I dunno, you would probably have to restrain him to keep him from making sound blasts, but I hope I don't have to be the one to figure it out."

As the medics carried Choji out and Dosu went back to the stands Gecko looked up at the stands, "Will the final two contestants please step forward?"

The Final Battle! The End Of The Preliminaries!Edit

Tenten watched the white haired girl in gray warily. She looked completely at ease as she rested her dark red umbrella on her shoulder. Gecko looked at them both and then nodded as he sprang back, "Final match, Sokushi Misutsuya vs Tenten Shimura. Begin!" The girl moved almost too fast to see and smacked Tenten with her umbrella so hard it knocked Tenten sailing and spinning backwards as she jumped and narrowly blocked it. She threw a handful of shuriken with her free hand and Sokushi snapped her umbrella open immediately, using it like a shield and effortlessly deflecting the shuriken.

Sokushi folded her umbrella partially back and snapped it back full as Tenten launched a kunai at her. Sokushi charged forward, her umbrella fully extended. Tenten skipped to the side and drew a kunai, ready to lunge and stab Sokushi as she charged past. Just as Sokushi drew level with her and Tenten went to strike, a second umbrella popped open in her face. Tenten instinctively recoiled in surprise and then the umbrellas snapped closed and Sokushi swung one at her horizontally. Tenten sprang back and narrowly dodged the umbrella as it whooshed past her nose, only missing it by a hairs breadth.

Then she clutched her stomach gasping in pain as the point of Sokushi's second umbrella slammed her mid-riff and drove the wind out of her. Before Tenten could catch her breath, Sokushi slammed both umbrellas into either side of head and then kneed her in the face. Tenten's head snapped up and Sokushi's foot snapped out and right into her nose. Sokushi set her foot down as Tenten skidded backwards and reversed her grip on her umbrellas, holding them like a pair of knives and tensing to spring and resume her assault.

Tenten flipped back to her feet, rubbing blood out of her nose as she dropped a smoke bomb. Sokushi smiled, "Come out come out wherever you aaare..." There was a series of poofs and Sokushi ducked behind her umbrella as a hailstorm of blades came rocketing out of the smoke. They flew sporadically, with about a five second delay between volleys, only striking when Sokushi peeked out from behind her wall of umbrella, almost like Tenten was throwing one handed. As the smoke started to clear, the knives finally stopped flying and Sokushi poked her head out from behind her umbrellas.

Naruto lunged against the rail for a closer look as a familiar voice asked, "Did she stop?" "GAMAKICHI?!" Naruto exclaimed. "Is that Naruto?!" Gamakichi exclaimed in surprise, "Hey Naruto! How ya doing?" "Doing good!" Naruto replied and then the conversation cut off abruptly as there was a shiiing from the final vestiges of smoke. Suddenly a figure in steel samurai armor that was covered in seals erupted out of the smoke, a katana drawn and ready to strike.

Sokushi swore and crossed her umbrellas, narrowly blocking the blade. Tenten struck again like lightning, again and again raining hammering blows down on Sokushi as Sokushi furiously worked to match her sword work with her twin umbrellas, which were apparently made out of some kind of armor mesh as they withstood Tenten's blade as well as a sword. Sokushi was still completely on the defensive though as Tenten drove her backwards around the ring. Suddenly Sokushi sprang backwards, flicked one of her umbrellas into her other hand and made a one handed hand sign.

An instant later Gamakichi spewed a stream of oil and Sokushi a stream of fire, the two combining and creating a massive torrent of flames. "That's Toad Oil Fire Stream!" Naruto exclaimed in surprise. Tenten sprang back as the wave of burning oil flowed towards her and Kakashi looked at Naruto, "Isn't that a technique only known to people who've been to Mount Myoboku?" Naruto nodded as Tenten sheathed her sword, clung to a wall and started running along it, flashing her hands through an activation sequence as she went while Sokushi and Gamakichi tried to hit her with the seemingly endless stream of fire and oil.

Finally they ran out of oil and Tenten flipped to the ground, slamming her hand into the ground, "Ninja Art! Flame Devouring Seal!" There was a sudden suction from the spot where her hand had been as she sprang back. With a sound like a massive drain suddenly unclogging, the flames and oil were both sucked into the seal Tenten had made on the ground. Without missing a beat, Tenten slapped a seal carved into her armor and extracted a sickle and chain.

She held it upside down like a whip and spun the chain and its powerful weight until they blurred. She sprang forward and Sokushi narrowly dodged the weapons immense impact as the chain was revealed to be much longer than Tenten had been letting on. Before Tenten could land properly Sokushi sprang backwards and made a hand sign, "Ninja Art Needle Hell!" Naruto and Kakashi both surged against the rail in disbelief as Sokushi's hair suddenly moved of its own accord, almost like it was floating and a hailstorm of glistening white needles rained down on Tenten's armor.

The storm of needles slammed into Tenten's armor with such force that they actually penetrated and stuck in it, connecting with such force that they actually pushed Tenten back. When the barrage let up Tenten lowered her crossed arms and touched her shoulders, "My turn! Seal Release Shuriken Storm!" As she moved her hands away a storm of shuriken exploded out towards Sokushi who crossed her arms, "Needle Jizo!"

Her hair enveloped her like a cocoon just in time to save her from the massive barrage of blades. As Tenten's seals finally ran out of shuriken, Sokushi's hair receded and she made another handsign, "Ninja Art Hair Binding!" Tenten was suddenly enveloped in a mass of white hair that sprang from the hair needles embedded in her armor. Suddenly blades erupted through the hair and then the hair was sucked away into one of Tentens now spiked gauntlets. She drew her katana and made a hand sign as she flipped up onto the wall, "Seal Release!"

Sokushi heard a sound like a waterfall and suddenly the seal Tenten had sucked all the burning oil into erupted, flooding the floor with flames. Sokushi back flipped away as the burning tide surged toward her, "Earth Release Mud Tide!" Her free hand touched the ground and the ground surged up and away from her like an earthen wave, quickly smothering the flames in dirt. The instant she landed Tenten was on her and the fierce swordplay between Tenten's katana and Sokushi's umbrellas resumed.

Suddenly Tenten's hand snapped out and Sokushi was wrapped in her own Hair Bind. It quickly fell away and Tenten took advantage of the momentary opening to strike, only for Gamakichi to blow a plume of fire in her face. She staggered back and Sokushi swung at her feet with her hair now woven into a whip. Tenten stumbled but skillfully back flipped away and back to her feet, her sword quickly coming back up into a ready position.

Sokushi flicked the cord of hair at Tenten and made a hand sign as she released the end, "Ninja Art Hairy Serpent!" The cord of hair suddenly split at the end taking the form of a snake midflight, only for Tenten to effortlessly slice through it with a short sword she whipped from a seal at her side and block one of Sokushi's umbrellas. Sokushi sprang back away from Tenten's stabbing short sword and Gamakichi covered her retreat with another burst of flame, forcing Tenten to retreat as well.

Gecko suddenly appeared between them as they prepared to re-engage, his sword and a kunai ready to stop either of them should they attempt to spring, "The match is a draw!" He declared. "I have conferred with Lord Hanzo and Lord Hokage, both contestants will advance to the final tournament!" Tenten and Sokushi lowered their weapons, both breathing heavily, "What?" Tenten asked.

Gecko sheathed his sword and pocketed his kunai, "Sasuke Uchiha has been deemed mentally unfit to continue and is being eliminated. Therefore, we have two openings instead of one. Congratulations, you have both proven yourselves worthy of participating in the final tournament. I declare this preliminary round completed." Tenten sheathed her sword and Sokushi rested one umbrella on her shoulder and the point of the other one on the ground as she smiled at a cheering, fist pumping Gamakichi.

~?~Edit

Yes Zaku was faking his arm being injured hoping to catch his opponent off guard, but Shino kicked his butt anyway. Yes, Shino went much easier on him than in canon because Shino was able to beat him much more quickly than in canon.

Yes, Choji has far greater control of his Human Expansion Jutsu than in canon and is Squad 10's resident tank.

Yes, Dosu is a major league tank and all Choji's pummeling him did was tick him off.

Yes, Tenten is far more formidable than she was in canon. Someone's probably wondering how she got so good with a sword. The answer is that her maternal grandfather was a samurai, so she's been trained as a samurai as well as a shinobi, and while she is incredibly dangerous and a sword master by average shinobi standards, she is still on the low end of average for one of AUDTAI's samurai. She is also even more skilled in sealing jutsu than she was in canon.

For those of you who've guessed about Sokushi, keep it to yourselves and don't spoil it for the others who haven't.

Yes Kakashi knows about Mount Myoboku and the techniques taught there. He was trained by Minato who was a Toad Sage and had Jiraiya as a periodic guest instructor, so I think it perfectly natural for him to be familiar with knowledge of Mount Myoboku.

Yes Sasuke has been booted from the tournament. The reasoning will be explained in the next chapter assuming you didn't see enough reason in his fight. Yes Kakashi did agree to that and it was approved by the Hokage as well.

Next Time: AftermathEdit

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