34 Chunin Tournament Ends

As Shino analyzed the puppet before him, a holographic display overlayed his vision, revealing the puppet's intricate workings and weak points, highlighting all the locations of its joints and hidden contraptions!

His preparation since the first exam was meticulous and calculated. Shino knew that once the first insect penetrated the puppet's defenses, Alina's keen insight would take over and leave no stone unturned – exploring and analyzing all the intricate details of the puppet before establishing a model for it in the database. The puppeteer's weakness was like an open book from the very start!

Alina's instructions echoed in Shino's mind, guiding him with the most effective plan to target the puppet.

Kaching. A metallic sound echoed through the arena as a hidden mechanism in the puppet's hand opened to reveal a sharp blade.

"Time to end this." Kankuro raised his hands with a grin.

The crowd hushed as Kankuro made the first move. With a flick of his wrist, his puppet clacked and zoomed through the air towards Shino.

Shino's head lifted, and his glasses caught the light in a glint of anticipation.

"Activate S-FLASH."

[Affirmative. Executing Protocol "So Fast Loser Ain't See Him"...]

Oom! A low rumble echoed through the arena as a horde of insects burst out from Shino's body, swirling around him in a frenzied storm.

But as the swarm grew more intense, it started to blur and fade, becoming almost translucent. And then, in a sudden and stunning display of insect mastery, the entire swarm vanished into thin air, taking Shino with it!

The crowd erupted in amazement as Kankuro's puppet charged forward, only to pass straight through Shino's previous location as if he was never there.

"Nani?!" Kankuro widened his in shock as he frantically tugged on his puppet, dragging it back to defend himself.

"What the hell just happened?!" exclaimed Asuma, who was sitting among the spectators with Kurenai.

"That's Shino's signature move," replied Kurenai, her eyes never leaving the arena. "He uses his bugs to form a stationary wall to camouflage himself, making him blend into the environment… but I've never seen him use them at a scale like this – he's completely gone."

"A bug that can hide to this extent - unless the enemy has a special method to detect chakra, they won't even know how they die. At this level, even experienced chunins will find it difficult to handle them- and he's just a clone? Kurenai, some people may not be able to sit still."

As Kurenai sat in silent contemplation, her countenance bore a weighty air of concentration.

Asuma couldn't help but steal a glance at her, admiring the graceful lines of her serious face. Her serious face is still beautiful… Ahem, what a powerful distraction no jutsu!

He quickly cleared his throat, refocusing his attention on the matter at hand.

"Does the Aburame clan know?" Asuma brought a cigarette to his lips, taking a slow drag as he awaited her response.

Kurenai thought for a moment before her face visibly relaxed, "Yes. I went to pay a visit a month ago."

A thin trail of smoke escaped from Asuma's lips as he muttered, "Oh, then let them worry about it."

His voice was casual, but the way he held the cigarette hinted at a deeper thought.

Back in the arena, Kankuro was bewildered. He had never seen anything like this before, and he was starting to feel a bit nervous.

"Come on, Kankuro! Don't let him get to you!" Temari muttered in a soft voice from the stands.

But Kankuro was too focused on finding Shino. He knew that one wrong move could mean the end of the fight.

"You coward. I thought you were already too scared to show up in person, now even your clone goes into hiding. If you're not going to fight me, then forfeit!"

Suddenly, a voice sounded behind him, "How do you know I'm not-"

"So you're over there!"

With a swift tug, Kankuro sent his puppet soaring over, poised to strike. But just as his finger tensed in readiness to unleash its hidden cannon, his eyes bulged with disbelief.

Kankuro's puppet jerked to a stop, its limbs immobilized by something. Kankuro gasped as he realized that Shino had managed to sneak his bugs into all of the puppet's joints, effectively immobilizing it.

"When?!" Kankuro's face was ugly as he exclaimed in disbelief.

The crowd was on the edge of their seats as Shino emerged from his camouflage in front of Kankuro, holding a kunai directly against Kankuro's neck, drawing a trace of blood.

Kankuro's initial instinct was to resist, but he suddenly feel a bunch of creepy crawlies that seemed to be infesting his body. As he felt them scurrying and burrowing deeper, a chill ran down his spine.

A single bead of sweat trickled down his face as he glared at Shino's serene expression, which remained unperturbed. Kankuro's teeth clenched as he fought to maintain his composure, but his body continued to tremble uncontrollably.

He didn't expect to be defeated this fast, and the loss was a bitter pill to swallow.

As Shino left the arena, the crowd cheered him on, amazed at his skills. Asuma and Kurenai exchanged a knowing glance, impressed by the young Genin's performance.

"Your student has come a long way," said Asuma as his eyes followed the young man, "He's definitely one to watch."

Kurenai's voice held a hint of pride as she agreed, "That he is."

But then, a worried tone crept into her voice as she muttered, "I just hope he doesn't become a pawn in their power struggles."

Asuma's expression darkened as he bit his cigarette, his mind wandering to some unpleasant memories.

Back in the waiting room, Temari observed her brother's silent demeanor and walked up to Kankuro before asking in a soft voice, "Are you alright?"

Kankuro nodded silently as he looked down at his fingers.

"Kankuro, don't feel-"

"I'm fine, Temari. I won't lose next time. I just didn't want to reveal too many cards," Kankuro said in a bland tone as he sat down and began to check his puppet, "Don't disturb me, I have to check if he left any bugs in my puppet. I don't want them to affect our plan later."

Temari glanced at her brother, sighing in her heart because she knew that her brother took great pride in his puppetry skills. With bated breath, she could only hope that the blow was not too severe and that he would recover.

As she turned her gaze towards the arena, her eyes narrowed with a fierce determination. The thought of underestimating the Konoha ninjas was gone and she declared with a tone filled with battle intent, "It seems Konoha ninjas aren't as weak as we think, but I won't lose."

With a sweep of her fan, a sudden gust of wind burst forth from the waiting area, roughing up the other innocent boys chilling in the waiting room. Riding her fan like a warrior, Temari gracefully descended onto the arena under the surprised eyes of Genma.

"And you are?"

"It's my turn, isn't it?"

"Well, it seems you are fired up… Oi, the next match, the last one on the left, Nara Shikamaru, come on."

Shino adjusted his glasses and glanced at Shikamaru who had a dull face, probably complaining in his mind. This time, Kankuro didn't forfeit. Will Shikamaru still think about surrendering?

"All right! Shikamaru, do your best!" With a friendly slap from Naruto, Shikamaru was sent tumbling down onto the arena.


A smirk curled at the corner of Shino's lips. It seemed that there was no need to worry about Shikamaru forfeiting. As for whether his own fight had influenced Temari's demeanor, Shino felt no remorse. After all, even if Shikamaru's opponent let water, the lazy boy was bound to lose the match.

The victory of Shino's match had came swiftly, so there wasn't much alteration in the time. Shikamaru still flexed his overpowered IQ to Temari, controlled her to have a face-to-face bonding moment, and planted a seed for his future tortuous and troublesome marriage life.

As expected of the genius with over 200 IQ, with one battle, he had achieved many important goals – displaying his skills, delaying time for Sasuke, and picking up a hot chick.

With the extra delay from Shino, there wasn't even a need to wait for-

Nope. The Kakashi and Sasuke still showed up fashionably late, posing arrogantly and stealing the spotlight from Shikamaru.

Gaara, not wanting to be outdone, made a dramatic final boss appearance, one that shook the arena with the sounds of bones being crushed and screams filling the air.

The clash between the supporting characters began… Yeah, who would have expected that Naruto is the main character with these two badasses. Oh, but the show is called Naruto…

[Alert. Target Kiba Inuzaka, tagged in Overmind's black book, has been incarcerated. Please determine what action to take…]

"Oh… deduct one point from the Kiba Interruption Variable."

[Affirmative, Overmind.]

"Well, Kiba should be fine."

Then, his mouth twitched as he heard Kankuro and Temari's incessant chatter nearby. They kept mentioning 'the plan' out loud over and over, like he wasn't there… well, it doesn't matter since he already knew about it.

Returning his focus to the tournament, Shino's eyes narrowed as he watched Sasuke's lightning-fast movements on the battlefield.

Shino couldn't help but complain inwardly. It took him months of training plus the assistance of the evolutionary bio-energy to attain Lee's weightless speed, while Sasuke merely disappeared off-screen for a month then comes back upgraded with the same speed.

Fortunately, his upgrades were not just focused on speed. His system brought him an all-round upgrade to his physique, giving him an arsenal to take on a variety of opponents. Otherwise, Shino might have been left questioning who the true cheater was.

As the battle reaches its climax, Alina dutifully alerted Shino once more.

[Alert, Overmind! Discovered multiple unconscious targets in stadium. Scenario matches initiation of Event: Konoha Crush!]

"Hmm… it seems they have started," His lips curled slightly into an imperceptible grin as he murmured, "It's about to begin."

Shino's gaze fixed on the Kage stands as he adjusted his glasses.

"Alina, begin Operation Chunin Curtain Call."

[Affirmative, Overmind. Executing Protocol CCC… Ensuring stealth mode… Deploying zergs to pre-established locations… Marking trackers on virtual map… Checking for conflicts and errors...]

It was finally time for the final part of the Chunin exam, and he had prepared long ago for this event that may be triggered at any given moment.

[All signs normal. All zergs ready to be deployed into combat. Overmind, please give the order. Alina is at your service.]

As the swarm of insects that formed his body began to disperse in the air, a sly smirk slowly crept onto Shino's face.

"It's time to feast."

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