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Path Of War

The year is 2025. A devout Christian named Arthur Bennett wins a lottery to participate in a revolutionary virtual reality experience at a high-tech company called Elysium. The program utilizes a unique VR pod to immerse users in a world based on a popular anime. As the other participants—a mix of personalities with varying degrees of anime knowledge—prepare to enter the simulation, Arthur remains the only one who has never indulged in anime. Upon entering this new world, he discovers an unsettling truth: pain is excruciatingly real, despite the creators' claims of a dampened pain response. Arthur finds himself trapped in prison, unable to log out, and demanding to be released from the program. Calls go unanswered, and the world of ninjas becomes a nightmare where hunger, thirst, hygiene, and even death are real. Angered that he was deceived, Arthur abandons all sense of logic and vows to become a villain no one would have ever anticipated.

AkitoTakahashi · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
72 Chs

His Sensei

The screen once again shuffled the remaining names. When the text solidified, two names appeared: Jasper Ōtsutsuki vs. Temari.

Surprises filled the crowd. Few knew of Jasper's background as an Ōtsutsuki. While many believed he would give a worthy fight, Temari received little praise.

Arthur, however, couldn't help but notice the subtle shift in the atmosphere. A few disgruntled snorts could be heard. Sasuke's annoyance and averted gaze made it clear that he was not a fan. Likely due to Jasper's brash personality.

What interested Arthur was how quiet Team Guy was.

As the spotlight focused on the platform, Jasper sauntered forward with a cocky grin. Temari stayed composed, meeting at the opposite end.

"That giant fan's not gonna help," Jasper taunted.

Temari furrowed her brows, unaware that anyone knew of her fighting style. Not believing him, she smiled and said, "We'll just see about that."

The instant the match started, Jasper bellowed verbal abuse, saying, "Alright, ugly! Keep acting like you're some whore; the Sand Village's not waiting to sell for prostitution!"

Many spectators gasped. Such blatant disrespect towards an opponent, especially a skilled kunoichi like Temari, was unheard of.

From the balcony, Margaret let out a frustrated yell, screaming, "Jasper! Why do you have to be so mean all the time?"

Jasper, unfazed by Margaret's outburst, turned towards her and spat, "Shut up and watch how the best player really wins."

Margaret sank back in her seat, her face flushed with embarrassment. Jada and Alex exchanged a worried glance. Jasper's constant barrage of insults, while initially amusing to them, was starting to grate on their nerves.

There was a line between playful banter and sheer cruelty, and Jasper seemed to be oblivious to where it lay.

Temari seemed to remain unfazed by Jasper's taunts. She simply raised an eyebrow. Then, with a swift movement, she unfurled her giant fan, creating a sudden gust of wind that ruffled Jasper's hair.

"Cheap talk," Temari said in a low growl. "Keep acting tough for as long as you can."

Arthur leaned forward to focus. Jasper's initial outburst, while distasteful, had served a purpose. It had thrown Temari off balance, disrupting her usual calm demeanor. This could be an opening, a chance for Jasper to gain the upper hand.

But rather than attack, Jasper gave her a feral grin. He squatted down, digging his elbows into his knees. A jolt of raw energy then surged through Jasper's body, his muscles bulging bizarrely beneath his clothes.

'I figured as much,' Arthur thought.

The air around Jasper slightly began to heat up. A green aura swirled around him, his all-white eyes snapped open, and his body turned red from the boiling blood circulating through his veins. Play time was over.

"Fourth gate of pain, open!"

The crowd gasped. The fourth gate from the Eight Gates, a technique that enhanced physical prowess, was a bold move for Jasper to initiate so early in the match.

It was an attempt to overwhelm Temari with sheer power before she could unleash her wind techniques.

Before Temari could even react to the disruption caused by the fourth gate's activation, let alone raise her signature giant fan, he vanished from his starting position, reappearing behind her in a blink!

His speed was almost impossible to track.

A sickening crack echoed through the arena as he landed a vicious blow to her back. She crumpled and flew forward. Jasper didn't relent, quickly circling her like a predator.

A flurry of merciless taijutsu attacks followed, each one precise and brutal.

The crowd was still stunned in silence, with many wondering how such a Genin could have moved at such high speeds. Even from their elevated positions, Jada and Alex could feel the disgust radiating from the audience.

This wasn't a display of skill; it was a brutal, one-sided beatdown.

Jasper took a quick glance at Might Guy. The once enthusiastic Jōnin had a disappointed expression on his face. So Arthur turned to Jada and asked, "When did Jasper learn the Eight Gates?"

Jada shook her head and admitted, "I... I have no idea. He never mentioned it before."

The pieces clicked into place for Arthur. He remembered Jasper's earlier taunts—the subtle jabs at not just Margaret but the characters and their abilities.

Now, with the revelation of the Eight Gates, it was clear: Jasper had manipulated Might Guy, perhaps by revealing his knowledge of the Eight Gates, into teaching him the technique!

From what Arthur recalled, Lee required permission from Might Guy to even unleash the Eight Gates during his fight in the story. And now, Jasper was using it for nothing more than his own twisted pleasure.

Might Guy had been fooled—currently witnessing a disheartening display of barbaric violence with a technique his own father risked himself for.

The final blow was a brutal knee strike to Temari's abdomen. She coughed up a spray of blood, her expression filled with pain and shock.

Jasper, panting slightly from his exertion, towered over her fallen form.

"Learn your place next time, you ugly whore…"

There was no show of sportsmanlike respect whatsoever. Instead, he simply stood there with a sadistic grin as Temari lay crumpled on the platform.

The fourth gate was deactivated, leaving him drained but victorious.

The jubilant cheers that typically accompanied a victory were replaced by a stunned silence. The brutality of the fight had left everyone speechless.

Jasper, oblivious to the disgusted stares of the crowd, simply shrugged as he said, "Pathetic... Another one bites the dust."

He didn't wait for Hayate to declare him the victor. Turning his back on his defeated opponent, he sauntered back towards the second floor, where Alice was waiting with a calm expression.

She had known about his Eight Gates the entire time.

It was clear to Arthur that Jasper had a complete lack of empathy for these characters. He glanced at Jada and Alex, both of whom seemed unsurprised by the fight's outcome.

Now that the players knew Jasper had the Byakugan and the Eight Gates, the balance of power had shifted in his favour.

Six matches had already taken place. That left four more matches and eight ninjas who had yet to fight: Chōji, Shino, Jada, Gaara, Kiba, Neji, Naruto, and Arthur.

Of those eight, only Jada would be a problem. Arthur had already proved himself capable of outmatching her in a fight. Yet that was prior to her awakening her Sharingan.

Who knows what techniques she's learned since then?

Regarding Gaara, he isn't an average ninja.

From a young age, he was trained as a weapon, honing his skills and chakra reserves to become a force to be reckoned with. Even as a child, his power was undeniable, effortlessly eliminating assassins sent after him.

He specializes in sand manipulation. He carries a gourd filled with his personal sand, infused with his chakra for precise control. He can also use surrounding sand or break down minerals to create extra, but these require more effort.

This sand itself can be incredibly versatile, used for both offense and defense. He could shape it into weapons like shuriken and swords, use it to fly, sense hidden targets, create clones, and even grant him a "third eye" for recon.

Arthur knew he wouldn't have a problem facing this character since Gaara's preferred tactic is to stay out of close combat, using sand to attack from afar.

But underestimating Gaara in close quarters can lead to repercussions. He has an automatic sand shield for defense, said to be a result of his mother's love protecting him even after death.

If breached, he can also activate a heavy sand armor, though it drains his chakra quickly.

What is most disturbing about him isn't his sand, but his Tailed Beast, Shukaku, a monstrous entity that vastly increases his power but risks him losing control.

If things go south quickly for Gaara, he might release the One-Tailed early. And if that were to happen, Arthur wouldn't hesitate to kill him.

The next pairing excited the crowd. The giant screen above the platform showed the names: Naruto Uzumaki vs. Kiba Inuzuka.

A raucous cheer erupted from the stands, with many of the players and Naruto's team encouraging him. Kiba received a far more subdued level of support, primarily from his loyal teammates.

Kiba himself felt cocky, still believing Naruto to be the slacker of the academy, the dead-last student with a penchant for pranks. This should be a cakewalk, a swift victory that would help his reputation as one of the Leaf's most promising young ninjas.

Naruto, meanwhile, strolled onto the platform with a confident swagger. He was quiet, determined, and focused.

Arthur, his interest piqued, furrowed his brow. This wasn't the Naruto he remembered from his initial observations—the Naruto who relied on brash pronouncements and bursts of unpredictable attacks.

This Naruto seemed prepared.

He had never seen this Naruto fight before. Then something dawned on him. Someone, most likely William, had been training Naruto. This fight was worth watching in case he needed to adjust his plans.

The match started. Kiba, eager to assert his dominance, lunged forward, Akamaru by his side. But Naruto didn't hesitate. With a hand sign, a plume of smoke erupts around him.

"Multi-Shadow clone jutsu!"

Four identical Narutos materialized beside him, each a perfect copy of the original. Kiba skidded to a halt, his confident smirk faltering.

"Show em who's boss!" William cheered.

Arthur, whose eyes narrowed, watched as the Narutos, unlike their usual chaotic behaviour, sprung into action with surprising coordination.

Three clones engaged Kiba and Akamaru in a bombardment of kicks and punches. The real Naruto, meanwhile, flanked Kiba from behind, delivering a swift, well-placed kick that sent the kid flying.

By the time Kiba recovered, he was caught off guard again by an onslaught of clones. His initial confidence had disappeared.

Trying to launch himself to gain some breathing room, he was immediately surrounded by four more clones that had been summoned. Now eight Narutos filled the arena.

Kiba charged with his "Fang-Over-Fang" technique, spiraling through many of the Narutos. Two Narutos turned into nothing but smoke, but when he reached the third Naruto, the clone didn't move.

Naruto waited until the last second before unleashing a spinning low kick, the Leaf Whirlwind. It connected squarely with Kiba's shin, sending him stumbling backwards, momentarily disoriented.

"When did he learn my technique?!" Lee asked in surprise.

Akamaru yipped in surprise as the other Narutos held the dog by its pause. Now Arthur was certain: Naruto was strategizing, knowing that holding Akamaru would throw Kiba off track.

Seizing the opportunity, another Naruto launched into the Leaf Whirlwind. Kiba, still recovering from the initial blow, could only raise his arms in a futile attempt to block.

The other Narutos joined in, and each of their kicks landed with a solid thud, sending Kiba further off balance.

With a final, powerful upward thrust, the real Naruto launched Kiba skyward. Kiba's body turned end over end before slamming back down to the floor.

"Don't underestimate Naruto Uzumaki!" Naruto flexed.

All the clones dispersed as the crowd erupted in cheer. Even Kiba's loyal teammates joined in on the hoorahs.

"Didn't that look a little familiar to you?" Jada asked him.

"What do you mean...?"

"Oh yeah!" she yelled. "I forgot you never played the video games. Ugh… Never mind. Just know that they can use their in-game techniques, too."

Arthur's initial annoyance gave way to a cold dread. It was bad enough that some of the main characters were buffed, but Naruto's potential had further increased, a potential that was being nurtured by William's secret training.

If that keeps up, Naruto will be even stronger than he was written to have been in his prime!

Akamaru let out a frantic bark, rushing to Kiba's unconscious side.

Hayate approached, raised his hand, and said, "The winner is Naruto Uzumaki!"

Another cacophony of cheers and whistles filled the room. Naruto, chest puffed with pride, pumped his fist in the air. He had proven himself to be a worthy opponent.

From the stands, Sakura gave him a proud smile. Sasuke couldn't help but crack a small grin. Perhaps the character most impressed by this display of fighting was Kakashi, who saw none other than his sensei, Minato, in Naruto.