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Naruto: The Outsider's Resolve

[A Naruto Fan Fiction] Make the best of what you have, they said... But what I am supposed to do when the best I have are red-eyed freaks, a child who's supposed to be the jailor of the most dangerous being in the world, a snake bastard with serious boundary issues, and a whole world of super soldiers with licences to murder. And you know the best part? None of them like me so much... Oh shut it, old man! Take that Will of Fire and shove it up your— Yeah, this second swing at life isn't panning out... --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCORD SERVER: https://discord.gg/w5dJ82SfMr --------------------------------------------------------------- PATREON LINK: https://www.patreon.com/fictiononlyreader --------------------------------------------------------------- DECLARATION: This story is also present on: FFN, Ao3, SpaceBattles, SufficientVelocity, and ScribbleHub RoyalRoad [to be verified] --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCLAIMER: I don't own any character other than my OCs. The cover pic was commissioned from Kodah.art on Instagram

FictionOnlyReader · Anime & Comics
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253 Chs

CH_2.21 (052)

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The link is also in the synopsis.

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Nenro watched Takuma walk away with Ai to the medical tent to get the light bruising on his body treated. The fight had been interesting but not how he had expected it to go. Takuma exchanged words with his opponent, Ohta, who then seemingly went into a rage. The entire fight until the end was a barbarian swinging wildly and getting lead by the nose. Whatever the conversation was, it did wonders because the fight was fairly one-sided and effortless from the outside.

"I don't know about you all lovely people, as much fun as it's to watch a good ol' fashion bloody beat down, I wouldn't call that a competitive fight," said the announcer and stared at the paper in his hand. "So, how about we move to the opposite of the bracket in hopes of a more entertaining matchup."

'What bracket?'

They hadn't shown them the tournament bracket, which was a problem because he didn't know who he would fight until the last moment, and neither could he prepare for his next fight by studying possible opponents. But it seemed the spectators had been made aware of the bracket.

'I wonder if I can sneak a peek at the bracket….'

"Round of sixteen, the second matchup— Ryo versus Yoshio, represented by Kai and Nenro!"

Nenro narrowed his eyes. He didn't appreciate the way the announcer worded the matchup. He wasn't representing Yoshio. The tournament had nothing to do with their instructors. This was them competing to win and get the prize.

"Go knock him out," said Masaaki with a grin. Nenro gave him a smile before jogging out to the field and facing his opponent.

Kai had a wiry build with sharp features framed by his long bangs. Combat style unknown. But Nenro knew Kai was from the Leaf village and came from a family with shinobi, which meant that the chance of encountering a jutsu during the fight was higher than average.

But Nenro wasn't worried. Victory was inevitable.

'He looks tense.' Nenro raised his chin slightly and slowly stepped away from Kai. He made no attempts to hide or rush as he retrieved a kunai each in hand from his person. Kai reacted like a cat who had his tail stepped on and threw the kunai immediately after pulling it out. Nenro turned his body to let the kunai pass by and threw one of his kunai. Kai hurriedly moved to dodge, and the kunai could only get a lick at his cheek, leaving a thin curtain of blood trickling down from the shallow scar.

Nenro didn't let a beat skip and blitzed toward Kai. To his credit, Kai already had another kunai ready, and his arm was already halfway into throwing motion. Nenro, knowing a thrown kunai at short range was dangerous, reacted and dropped down into a slide tackle and took out Kai's legs.

Using the forward sliding momentum, Nenro pulled himself up to his ready to keep Kai on the ground, but Kai was already pushing off the ground towards Nenro. Blades met; sparks flew. Nenro swiped his other elbow, but Kai pulled his face back and grabbed the kunai with both hands to disengage and thrust it into Nenro's chest. Nenro twisted his body out of the way just in time to let the kunai prey on his vest rather than his flesh.

Neither chose to put distance between them, and the brawl ensued.

Nenro had to give it to Kai, he was nimble. His attacks weren't making enough contact as, at the last moment, Kai would slither away out of reach or out of the way. Nenro realized he was fighting a losing battle if he stayed close. The decision was quick. Nenro took a weak-side strike into the thigh as a sacrifice to get into a position and nailed a solid hit into Kai's side before disengaging and pulling away faster.

Kai, understanding his advantage and not wanting to give up, pushed ahead while keeping down the pain with gritted teeth and grunt— only to see a kunai spinning along its length in front of him— and tied from the hilt's loop was a red-bordered explosion tag.

His widening eyes shined with the glow of the explosion tag as he looked past it at Nenro with the ram hand seal.

*Boom!*

Nenro crossed his arms over his torso and tugged his knees inwards as the hot wave from the explosion tag collided into him. He hit the ground and skidded on the field on his side. He had been hasty. The timing on the explosion tag was too quick.

Nenro didn't linger on his mistake and got to his feet. His ears rang, but he ignored his impaired hearing and narrowed his eyes at the light dust cloud. Nenro couldn't even get steady on his feet when Kai appeared, sprinting out of the dust cloud. The vest on his arms and upper torso was torn apart, and the skin burnt underneath, and yet, Kai rushed towards with anger burning in his hand.

Nenro calmly raised his hand and formed the ram hand seal.

Kai's body suddenly froze and fell to the ground like a statue. His momentum skidded him forward until he stopped near Nenro's feet. Kai looked up at him with confusion and fear while trying to struggle to move as if there were ropes constricting his body.

Genjutsu Shibari (Genjutsu Paralysis)— complete.

Nenro knelt on one knee before dangling a kunai above Kai's neck. He looked up at the announcer/referee, who nodded back.

He had achieved victory.

Nenro stood up, and his eyes swept across the crowd. The chunin were exchanging money they had bet— some pissed, most happy. But his attention went towards the genin who were all gazing at him. The smart ones were observing, taking in every fight and their moves. With each fight, they knew more about their possible would-be opponents. He had given up one of his cards in the fight. They would use that knowledge in the future, beware of the tricks and techniques he was likely to pull.

Fights would only become harder—

He finally looked towards Masaaki, who stood with his arms crossed. There was the usual bright smile on his face, but Nenro could see the undertones.

—especially against someone who already knew him so well.

———

.

"Match-7— Yoshio versus Maki, represented by Masaaki and Kenta."

Kenta watched Masaaki walk into the field from where he stood with his team. Unlike him(and everybody), who walked straight to the announcer, Masaaki took a detour and waved his raised arm at the audience with a big smile plastered on his face.

"… Is he serious," muttered Kenta to no one.

He, however, got a reply from the announcer. "He looks confident in himself and his chances of victory in this fight, and he's showing it to the people. If they feel the same as he does, they'll put money on him— if they put money on him, they'll cheer for him— if they cheer for him, they'll boo you," said the announcer with a smile.

'What's that use for?' thought Kenta. And it didn't matter if Masaaki was confident. Mere few people would bet for an outsider when the opponent was from the Sarutobi clan. The country bumpkin, a fool, was just wasting time.

Masaaki eventually made his way to the center of the field, the broad grin still flashing on his face. The announcer quickly recounted the rules to them before walking away, but as he talked, Masaaki pulled out two knuckle dusters from his pouches and leisurely put them on. The shiny glint of the silverish-metal glimmered under the sun.

"Let's have a good fight," said Masaaki, still smiling.

Kenta narrowed his eyes. He didn't like that smile. Did he not care about the fight? Was he not taking him seriously? Was this all fun and games? Whatever it was, he didn't like the smile.

Kenta shoo-ed the thoughts away and wielded the combat stance with his bo-staff ready to strike. He was confident in his ability to win against Masaaki before, but when he saw the knuckle duster, he was more certain. The short-ranged knuckles were a poor match against his staff's extended reach.

This fight was going to be an easy win— a simple stepping stone to winning the tournament. Winning the tournament would show everyone that it was a mistake not to have been assigned under a jonin-led team. He didn't belong in the Genin Corps among all these people. He was from the Sarutobi clan, the Third Hokage's clan. They were among the great clans of the Leaf village. His talents were wasted in the Genin Corps, and he knew if given a chance, he could show what he could really do.

By winning the tournament, he would catch the attention of a chunin and have them consider him for their teams during some of the more important missions. If he couldn't get a jonin leader, then the best mission under the best chunin leaders was the lowest he was willing to go.

Kenta exhaled, and his breath seemed to boil. He poised his bo-staff and readied for a swift victory with minimal efforts wasted. He needed to save energy, there was still another fight on the first day.

The moment the announcer took a step back, Kenta took a quick fore-step and swung his bo-staff in a downward smash. He was planning to crack the shoulders to disable the arms before striking the legs to finish it off— quick and efficient.

Masaaki didn't attempt to dodge and instead raised his hand to catch the staff against his knuckle duster. It was like hitting an immovable wall with no give. Instead, Masaaki used his strength to push back immediately and took big steps to evade Kenta's personal area.

Kenta's moment of shock vanished as he felt the weight overwhelm him. He slipped the staff off Masaaki's knuckle dusters and tried to slip the staff below the raised arms to up-strike him in the neck. He didn't get the chance.

Masaaki's arms moved faster than Kenta thought possible, hitting him below his ear, snapping his head sideways, and sending him stumbling with half muscles in his neck wrenched out of place.

Head ringing and neck on fire, Kenta righted himself, only to be hit again. He raised his bo-staff, pointed it forward for cover and distance, and was struck in the shoulder by a vicious kick. He whipped his bo-staff at Masaaki's head through his shaky vision, slicing through empty air before taking a bone-numbing blow to the leg that swept his lower body with such force that he lost his balance.

He reeled and limped back, swinging wildly. Masaaki, out of reach and smiling, stalked him.

Kenta's heart hammered, and his breathing was unsteady. He attacked anyway, but the swing was ducked under. He swung again and was dodged again, a torso pull back. He heaved himself back, desperate to make space, and heard the noise of shouts.

He looked to the noise's source, and his heart sank. It was the chunin, they were cheering— cheering for him to be finished off, cheering for his opponent's victory.

It made no sense, he thought. He was Sarutobi Kenta— why were they cheering for someone who wasn't even from the Leaf village?! This couldn't continue. He was representing his clan. It was his duty to win, not to sully the Sarutobi name.

Kenta screamed as he pushed chakra into his bo-staff, which glowed silver. He charged forward to deliver a thrust for Masaaki's chest. The staff extended at the last second, suddenly extending the attack's range. Masaaki dodged, and Kenta corrected, his staff blasting back the other way, hitting nothing. He rebalanced, spinning low, whipping the extended staff to break Masaaki's shin. It didn't connect, so he adjusted, ready to strike, and was battered to the ground by the hard metal flats of two steeled punches.

He gasped. The pain was excruciating, and for a breath, he thought his back was broken. It wasn't, but as the feeling in his body flooded back, it felt like someone had whipped hot coals into his skin.

"Was that all the bukijutsu you knew?" the outsider said, his voice booming. "What a disappointment."

Kenta spat, tasting blood, and forced himself to his feet. He wouldn't be disrespected by the likes of the outsider. He surged up, staff first, screaming obscenities, and Masaaki simply side-stepped, and Kenta staggered past, crumpling, then collapsing beneath the pain and blow to his shoulder from Masaaki's downward elbow strike.

"I guess that's it," Kenta heard the announcer's voice.

He wanted to protest— to shout that he could continue. His heart burned to fight… but his everything else screamed mercy. He opened his mouth only to cough blood… and he couldn't get the words out, he chose not to get them out.

The last thing he saw before darkness overtook him was the smiling figure of the outsider waving his raised hand.

.

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The link is in the synopsis!