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In Naruto: Reborn With Talent

Chapter 398 - Ch398. The Third Match 1

"The third match will be between Naruto Uzumaki and Haku Yuki!" Hayate announced.

Naruto was almost bouncing from excitement. Finally, it was his turn to show everyone how badass he is!

Watching him, Haku had a small exasperated smile on his lips but could only shake his head. He understood that this was Naruto"s usual behavior. Because of their prior acquaintance, he was used to it. It was Naruto and Hinata who showed him Konoha during the past month.

Sasuke Uchiha was heavily avoiding him... which put a satisfied smile on Haku"s face. He didn"t need to deal with a gender-confused Uchiha thanks to that.

"Let"s give the audience a proper showing, Naruto-kun." Haku said, partly in order to stop Naruto from jumping around like an idiot. He wondered how much of his acting out was just to keep pretenses and how much was his real excitement.

Naruto calmed down and turned towards Haku, giving him a thumbs-up. "Sure, thing, Haku-chan!" He exclaimed, making Haku"s lips twitch.

For some reason, the Uzumaki loved to make fun of him by reminding him of how feminine he was. Whether it was Naruto or Karin, they could be insufferable at times. Haku was glad they lived in different villages.

"Did he really have to call me that?" Haku inwardly sweatdropped as he noticed several males in the audience showing infatuated looks as they stared at him. He deeply sighed in depression, "Why did I have to be born with this kind of face?"

If he didn"t know Naruto, he would have suspected this to be a proper emotional attack but Haku was sure the orange-clad Uzumaki had no idea what he had just done...

"Ahem," Hayate cleared his throat, attracting the attention of the two combatants, causing them to realize they should get ready for the fight. When he was sure they were prepared, he raised his arm. "Fight!" He dropped his arm and jumped back.

The first charge naturally belonged to Naruto who didn"t wait for even a second and rushed at Haku while creating several shadow clones around him. The creation of those clones came with a copious amount of smoke that perfectly covered the surroundings for a few seconds and gave Naruto the chance to do some secret planning of his own.

Haku pulled out a few senbons from his long sleeves and took a combat-ready stance. The second the first Naruto clone appeared from the smokescreen, a senbon was sent hurling his way. Before the clone could react, he was stopped in his tracks because the senbon embedded itself into his shoulder, causing him to briefly fly backward from the force of the impact before he popped out of existence.

Haku could aim at the forehead, eye, or throat but he could not be sure which Naruto was a clone and which was the real one. If he hit the real one in those places... Just his luck that he was better at lethal moves than restraining ones.

He dealt like this with five more clones and the situation started to feel somewhat fishy to him.

"This is far too easy." He mentally mumbled. He might not have seen Naruto fight during the Wave mission but he knew about his prowess from what Zabuza told him.

He realized that a bit too late though.

The ground in front of him cracked, making Haku"s eyes go wide.

"Under me!?" He inwardly freaked out but his body reacted on instinct.

Naruto who burst from the ground and tried to uppercut Haku"s jaw failed as Haku leaned back, letting Naruto"s fist sail harmlessly an inch from Haku"s chin.

Naruto could only stare in wide-eyed disbelief that his plan did not work before Haku"s body snapped back into action like a spring and Naruto, who was currently still mid-air due to his jump, was blasted back with a powerful kick to his abdomen.

Or so would have happened if this Naruto was the real one. Unfortunately for Haku, he only poofed out of existence while releasing a massive amount of smoke to the surroundings, creating yet another smokescreen that engulfed Haku and impaired his sight.

Because of that Haku could not relax and his senses became alert.

A split of a second later, he noticed a kunai flying towards him from behind. He spun around, senbon appearing in his hand as he swung it in an attempt to block the kunai but...

Before the senbon could clash with the kunai, the kunai was substituted with another Naruto who spun mid-air, redirecting his trajectory and avoiding Haku"s swing with the senbon while attempting to deliver a kick to Haku"s face.

Haku ducked his head and spun on his right foot while driving his left leg up, delivering a kick to the Naruto who attacked him... only for him to pop out of existence followed by another wave of smoke.

Haku angrily huffed but his body tensed a moment later before he snappily leaned back, letting a kunai sail through the place where his shoulder was just a moment ago.

And then again. And again...

Kunais rained on him from all directions and he dodged, leaned out of their trajectory, spun on his feet to avoid them... it was like a dance and after Haku"s initial surprise faded, he also started to counter-attack while dodging, throwing senbons towards the places from where the kunais were thrown.

Sometimes he was rewarded from a muffled yelp, sometimes not, but he would have been damned if he let Naruto lead this fight so easily.

Haku knew the Shadow Clones took a lot of chakra. He was fine with Naruto wasting his chakra reserves like this.

But when three kunais came flying at him from three different directions and before they could hit, they puffed into three Narutos, Haku realized he was that kunai barrage was just to lull into a fake sense of comfort by Naruto.

The three Narutos attempted to hit Haku but he was more experienced and faster than Naruto. He nimbly weaved around their attacks, delivering his own counter-blows and popping the three of them out of existence... which, much to his growing annoyance and frustration, only reinforced the fading smokescreen around him.

Haku wanted to groan in frustration and only his own hunter ninja training prevented him from that. Naruto"s fighting style was the epitome of irritating.

He didn"t get time to relax. Another kunai flew at him, another Naruto popped in its place when it was near Haku, and tried to strike.

And then again, and again, and again...

Sometimes it was only one Naruto, sometimes as many as five surrounded him at once and tried to score a blow.

Haku had a hard time spinning and countering every one of these attacks. He could not see where they were coming from and he was given no break whatsoever once the intervals between these attacks started to shorten.

In only two minutes... and a whole sixty-five attacks like this... Haku realized Naruto was not getting tired anytime soon but his stamina was depleting extremely fast and the constant requirement for utmost attention was mentally wearing him down.

Haku"s eyes slightly widened as he realized that Naruto was making use of his superior chakra and stamina reserves to slowly wear him down.

While Haku had the time of his life dodging a kunai-parade, Naruto, the real one, was observing from the edge of the arena with his sensing capabilities and creating more clones to substitute the destroyed ones.

He knew Haku had the ability to fight jonins. That"s why he chose tactics that would enable him to defeat a jonin. Ninjas were still human. They could react only to so many simultaneous attacks even if these attacks came from weaker foes. They could only go without a break for so long before their mind started slowing down. They had only so much stamina and chakra reserves.

With his tactics, Naruto already wasted at the very least ten percent of Haku"s chakra reserves and thirty percent of his stamina reserves, bringing a massive advantage to himself even if Haku somehow disrupted his strategy right now.

"Don"t blame me for fighting dirty, Haku-chan." Naruto thought with a foxy grin, "You should be glad I am not using my extra spicy Uzumaki pepper bomb combo on you!"

The fight against Guren made Naruto think a lot and he ultimately decided to widen his repertoire, making some of his prank items more dangerous and integrating them into his fighting style.

But Haku was his friend and he would never use them on his frie...

Chakra suddenly erupted from the center of the arena and Naruto"s clones were instantly frozen, disintegrating into icy dust instead of poofing into smoke. The smoke all around the arena also "froze" and disintegrated into icy mist, causing the entire arena to glitter like a reflection of the sun"s rays on a water surface.

The real Naruto evaded the full blast of this icy chakra thanks to his position on the edge of the arena but even then, his body was involuntarily shivering. He was used to cold but this was positively arctic!

In the middle of the arena, Haku suddenly turned straight towards the place where Naruto was located. His complexion was unhealthily pale and his usually dark eyes glowed bright blue while his black hair turned snow-white.

"I am sorry, Naruto-kun but I think you deserve some spanking." Haku sweetly said while his eyebrow was twitching in irritation. He also completely ignored how a part of the male audience swooned at these words.

Naruto gulped, watching as the air around Haku"s body was misting from the freezing coldness his opponent was emitting...

There was only one way to keep fighting and Naruto sank into his mind to attain it.

"Ah... Kurama? Would you mind giving me a hand?" He nervously asked.

"Weren"t you boasting you could pass this without me with your eyes closed and hands tied behind your back yesterday?" Kurama stated in an exasperated tone but his eyes showed extreme smugness.

He just knew there was no way the small brat could win without him. Since the seal was loosened, he could feel the surroundings and some of the participants were positively monsters compared to Naruto.

"Hehe..." Naruto sheepishly laughed, "No. I have no recollection of..."

Kurama gave him a deadpan look and forced the memory to replay in Naruto"s mind.

"Er..." Naruto awkwardly shuffled, no way to rebuke it. In his defense, he might have been a bit drunk because of Anko.

"Haah~. Fine." Kurama sighed, "Your opponent is using Senjutsu so I guess lending you my chakra is only fair anyway."

And Naruto was forcefully ejected from his mind as orange chakra started to wrap around him, scaring the shit out of many Konoha citizens.

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