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Hōzuki Castle, Land of Grass…
In a room filled with books and scrolls, a man was seated in front of a desk with long black hair around shoulder-length wearing a suit with a brown buckle. His eyes scanned across the lines of words written in a scroll currently placed on his desk.
"Hmm…?" The man at the desk turned towards the door.
"Come in" He commanded.
The door opened to reveal a fat man in a military suit. The man was the castle's prison warden.
"Lord Mui, there's someone here to see you…" The warden reported.
"Hmm… I don't remember there being any appointment today…" Mui said slowly.
"Yes… The man says he's a journalist and he wants to talk to you," The prison warden explained calmly.
"…" Mui hesitated for a moment.
Mui stepped outside of his cabinet to take a look. At the end of the corridor near Mui's office there stood a man between old and middle-aged, wearing a brown suit and white shirt within.
"Lord Mui, it's a pleasure to meet you!" The man bowed down.
"You are?" Mui asked.
"I'm Satō, a journalist from the land of fire," Satō stated.
"Hmm… And what brings you here?" Mui asked.
"Ah, I'm glad you asked Lord Mui. You see, I'm here to write an exclusive article for the media I work for, On the peace in our time and the existence of the Hōzuki castle" Satō explained.
"I see," Lord Mui nodded, standing up from his desk he walked over to Satō.
"If you don't mind, May I ask why you are here without an appointment?" Mui asked as he stood face to face with Satō.
"I'm sorry, You see, Our media has not been doing well lately. Our boss has been chewing on everyone he could get his hands on. When it was m turn to be chewed, I suggested the idea of writing an exclusive article…" Satō explained.
"And you had chosen the Hōzuki castle with the short timeframe you were given," Mui asked.
"That's right," Satō nodded, adjusting his spectacles into place.
"I'll need to have you go through a security check before I can give a tour of the facility," Mui said without any expressions.
"That's understandable," Satō said.
"Follow me," Mui said as he led Satō out of the room.
Satō walking behind Mui smirked.
("Orochimaru, you'd better not screw this up,") He thought as he left the room.
Back in the Hidden Leaf…
In the third training ground. Their fated battle had started.
The kunai held by the two ground against each other with both unwilling to take a step back.
"Please…" Sakura pleaded.
"SHUT UP!!" Sasuke shouted.
Naruto had a helpless expression, but it was quickly replaced with determination.
"Sakura, Please stay out of this, I'll handle this by myself," Naruto said.
"…" Sakura felt helpless.
("I've been training in medical ninjutsu and genjutsu, But I'm unable to even stand close to them… Even Kakashi sensei is not here. What should I do…") Sakura thought.
Sasuke looked at Naruto.
"So, Are you going to tell me or not?" Sasuke asked.
*bz* *bz* *bz*
Naruto's attention was suddenly grabbed by the chakra that Sasuke had started to inject into his kunai.
Sasuke's Kunai almost cut half-way through Naruto's kunai.
Naruto's eyes widened.
Naruto last faced off against Sasuke before team 7 was formed, back then he could take down Sasuke in a single move. The current Sasuke however had come a long way from that. Naruto was very curious…
("He has not used his Sharingan or the Sage mode yet, How powerful could he have become in the past few months…") Naruto thought internally.
Sasuke's Kunai had reached three-fourths into Naruto's Kunai.
Naruto's eyes widened once again but quickly regained clarity.
("It's time to get serious,") Naruto thought as he took a deep breath.
Sasuke's eyes widened as within it was the reflection of his kunai being split by Naruto's kunai that was shrouded in wind style chakra.
"…" Sakura stared wide-eyed at the confrontation.
Sasuke backflipped twice landing his knees on the grass a few meters away from Naruto.
("What the hell was that?!") Sasuke cursed his defeat in the confrontation from before.
Sasuke lifted his head to stare at Naruto, only to see Naruto staring right back at him.
("Those eyes!") Sasuke felt hatred blooming within.
("It's those same eyes!") Sasuke thought back to the time Itachi had looked at him. Itachi's eyes and the situation that had played out later screamed at him, you don't have power, you do not qualify to know the truth. Itachi had that expression when he told Sasuke to come to look for him only when he had the same eyes as Itachi did, implying that Sasuke had to become powerful enough to even qualify to become an opponent.
It's the same eyes that Naruto was viewing him with. Unfortunately, what he didn't know was that Naruto did not want him to have only power, but also the wisdom that would enable Sasuke to make the right decisions. It was this very trait that the previous Sasuke had lacked until the war had come to an end.
Sasuke was pissed. He had hoped he would be able to give Naruto a harder time with his improved battle abilities, but reality had proved him wrong.
("So this is what it means to be Kage-level…") Sasuke thought following which he smirked.
"Hmph," Sasuke stood up slowly and closed his eyes while bringing his left hand towards the hilt of his sword.
Sasuke's black eyes morphed into the basic triple tomoe form, and his left hand had grabbed the hilt.
("He's coming,") Kurama commented from within.
("I know…") Naruto responded.
Naruto's three-fourth broken kunai flowing with wind natured chakra parried against Sasuke's sword.
"huh?" Naruto's attention was drawn towards the blade grinding against his kunai.
("That's… It's a chakra blade sword…") Naruto thought as he examined the sword which currently had lightning natured chakra coursing through it.
Naruto's attention was grabbed hearing another chip from his kunai.
("No matter how much wind chakra I circulate, it will be close to impossible to cut that chakra blade-based sword with a kunai made from regular metal…") Naruto thought, however by the time he had interpreted the situation…
Sasuke's sword had cut through Naruto's kunai.
Naruto retreated back two steps, stopping to stare at Sasuke who was a few meters away from him.
"Hmph," Sasuke's confidence was restored having seen Naruto's kunai destroyed the way it was.
"What happened Naruto? Am I too weak for you?" Sasuke taunted with a smirk on his face.
("Good, I managed to cut his kunai apart. Now to face against him…") Sasuke thought internally.
"huh?" Sasuke was a bit confused.
"That was my last kunai," Naruto said shaking his head side to side.
"…" Sasuke had a foreboding that the next thing that was going to happen was him losing his advantage or whatever lead he had on Naruto.
Naruto brought his hand into his kunai pocket.
"Never thought I'd be using them this quickly," Naruto said as he thought back to the first time he had used it on the Tenchi bridge, followed by the second time he had used to rescue Inari again.
He hadn't intended to use it against an opponent like Sasuke. But he had now ran out of the normal shaped kunai he usually used.
Naruto pulled out two weird shaped kunais.
("The fourth's custom made kunai…") Sasuke's thoughts wavered.
Naruto looked at the kunai, shining in the bright sun like brand new. These kunais were custom made for him under his dad's orders. It was also made out of Chakra blade, suiting Naruto's method of wielding weapons, should he be forced into a melee battle.
"Come," Naruto taunted Sasuke, confidently compared to Sasuke's over arrogant taunt.
Sasuke was pissed off once again.
"AARGGH!!!" Sasuke charged at full speed towards Naruto.
Sasuke erupted with a greater burst in speed as he circulated lightning natured chakra all over his body.
Sasuke quickly sheathed his sword and brought out his other weapons.
Sasuke sent out shurikens after shurikens all flowing with lightning natured chakra in them.
*Clang!* *Clang!* *Clang!*
Naruto dodged most and at the same time used his kunai to deflect those he couldn't dodge.
*tk!* *tk!* *tk!*
All shurikens flew towards trees nearby from being deflected by Naruto.
Sasuke bit his thumb and drew blood over a pre-designed summoning circle under his hand which immediately summoned folded big shurikens.
All the blades of the Demon Wind Shuriken were set into their place. Sasuke then immediately turned towards Naruto and sent the large shuriken flying right at him.
Sparks of electricity flew off between both Demon Wind Shurikens as they flew within close proximity of each other.
Naruto threw his kunai which had flown past the shuriken.
Sasuke used wires to control the two shurikens whose flight direction instantly crossed inwards heading towards Naruto to slice him apart.
Naruto teleported towards Sasuke and kicked him in the gut.
"Stop!" Naruto shouted.
Sasuke frowned, following which he smirked once again.
"You…" Naruto saw Sasuke eyelids changing to purple colour.
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