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The Chūnin Exam arc was included in Part I of the series, and comprised episodes 20-67 of the Naruto anime, which is parallel to chapters 19-49 of The Life of a Kunoichi Shinobi. It introduced many of the secondary characters of the series and the first major villain, Orochimaru, and set up the main plot for the rest of the series/story, with Sasuke obtaining a cursed seal from Orochimaru. It also set in motion the perogative of Kristin's feelings towards two people who both, secretly, want her heart, and who she'll end up with. This arc is preceded by the Land of Waves Arc and is followed by the Invasion of Konoha Arc.

Summary[]

The Chūnin Exam[]

Team 7 returned to Konoha to continue with their lives as regular genin. One day, whilst playing with Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon, with Kallera Hatake tagging along, Naruto and Kristin met three genin from Sungakure, Gaara, Kankurō, and Temari, and learned that they were in Konoha to participate in the Chūnin Selection Exams. Meanwhile, Kakashi Hatake, Asuma Sarutobi, Kurenai Yūhi, and Satsuki Hagane all volunteered their teams for the exam as well. Naruto was thrilled at the possibility of becoming a chūnin.

First Phase []

The first part of the exam (proctored by Ibiki Morino) was written, but it was not a test of knowledge as much as a test of information-gathering and willpower. The first nine questions were supposed to be obtained by cheating, where the genin must use any techniques to find out the correct answer without being caught. Naruto, who did not realise this, went into a traumatic state in which he felt that he would cause his entire team to be eliminated, as he did not know the answer to any of the questions. Sasuke realised that he, too, did not know the answers, but immediately activated his Sharingan to copy someone else's answers. Sakura, as a testament to her incredible intellect, answered all of the questions quickly (a feat which the examiner later said could not be accomplished at genin level). Kristin was the third member of her team to figure our this feat and focused her chakra and accessed her 'demon eyes' which gave her the power to see through the eyes of any person she focused on, her target of choice being fellow rookie, Shikamaru Nara(who was seated a couple of rows in front of her), and Kristin copied the answers from his test paper.

The last question was a do or die question: if one didn't answer, one's entire team failed the Chūnin Exams, but if one answered incorrectly, one would remain a genin forever. Naruto showed that he was not a quitter when he exclaimed that he didn't care if he stayed a genin forever, and that, even if that came to pass, he would still become Hokage. The genin who chose to answer the question all passed the first part of the Chūnin Exams — including Naruto, who didn't answer a single question on the written part of the exam.

Second Phase[]

The second part of the exam (proctored by Anko Mitarashi) was a survival exam in the Forty-Fourth Training Zone, also known as "The Forest of Death". During this part, Kristin and her team found themselves in a desperate situation against Orochimaru, an S-rank missing-nin from Konoha so powerful that the Third Hokage later mentioned that there was nobody in Konohagakure that could fight him equally. It turned out that Orochimaru used to be one of the Third Hokage's pupils, also known as the Sanin. Naruto and Sasuke's reactions to the situation were a complete reversal of what had happened in the Land of Waves mission — Sasuke was frozen with fear while Naruto fought on fearlessly, at one point stopping Orochimaru's huge summoned snake in its tracks on his own (with the help of some demon fox chakra), and muttering to Sasuke, in a moment of glorious retribution that marked another milestone in their rivalry, "You're not hurt, are you… scaredy-cat?" Naruto eventually snapped Sasuke out of his panic. However, Orochimaru used the Five Elements Seal on Naruto, disrupting the flow of the demon fox's chakra, as well as Naruto's own.

However, Orochimaru was too much for Sasuke as well. In the end, Orochimaru put a Cursed Seal of Heaven onto Sasuke's neck, saying that Sasuke would eventually come to him for the power he needed to kill his brother, Itatchi Uchiha. Orochimaru then left, sending his three genin, Team Dosu from Otogakure, to go after Sasuke.

While both Naruto and Sasuke were unconscious from the fight against Orochimaru, Sakura and Kristin had to take care of them. It was there that both girls' personalities reached a turning point. As Kin Tsuchi of Team Dosu trapped them by roughly holding them by their hair, both girls realised how pathetic their behaviour was, always blindly praising and criticising others when they were the ones who hadn't improved at all. Kristin reflected on herself, thinking how she was always telling Naruto that she was better than him, when he had been the one who was consistently improving, and thinking of Shikamaru, Choji,and Sasuke as her closest friends who were there when she needed them the most, when she couldn't even muster up enough strength to protect Sasuke as a team-mate. Both Kristin and Sakura symbolically freed themselves by cutting off their long hair with their kunai knives. They also decided to fight against the Oto genin, and resolved to no longer be dependent on their team-mates. Kristin went as far as to advance her curse seal to Stage Two, and she kept a decent hold on Zaku, depsite the ruthless beating she took. At this point, Team 10 arrived on the scene. Rock Lee fought the Oto ninja and used the Front Lotus on Dosu, who was saved by Zaku but admitted that the Lotus still almost killed him. Dosu Kinuta, the leader of Team Dosu, mentioned that Neji could "see through them", but before Neji could attack, an awakened Sasuke intervened.

The Cursed Seal on Sasuke had by now started to take effect, and, in a state of insanity and murderous intent, Sasuke defeated Zaku Abumi of Team Dosu, going as far as to dislocate his shoulders for no other reason than to cause him pain. Before he could do any more damage to anyone else, however, Sakura hugged Sasuke, crying and begging him to stop, allowing Sasuke to regain control of the Seal. Dosu left with his team-mates, wondering why Orochimaru had sent him to kill Sasuke if he had known that Sasuke would have the cursed seal. 

Team 7 still managed to make it past the second stage by defeating Team Oboro of Amegakure, with a little help from Kabuto Yakushi, a fellow ninja from Konoha.

Preliminaries[]

Eight teams managed to pass, which was more than twice as many as had been expected. To cut down the prevailing genin from the second exam, a preliminary round was staged before the third and final stage of the Chūnin Exams. The twenty-five people — or twenty-four, after Kabuto withdrew — were to be matched up with each other, in a fight that lasted until somebody gave in or was unable to continue fighting. The proctor of the third exam, Hayte Gekko, did reserve the right to step in and stop the fight when he felt that there was a clear winner. Kristin at first attempted to tell the examiners that the cursed seal that Orochimaru had placed on Sasuke was seriously debilitating him, but Sasuke stopped her, and told her to mind her own business. At that point, Naruto stepped in to stand up for Kristin and Sakura, but was swiftly silenced by Sasuke, who acknowledged Naruto by declaring that he was one of the people he wanted to fight. Later on, Naruto would return the sentiment.

The first matchup was Sasuke Uchiha against a member of Team Nine, Ichiro Hagane. Before the fight started, Kakashi warned Sasuke that, if his cursed seal got out of control, he would have to intervene and stop the match to control the seal; this barred Sasuke from using any technique, as the seal responded to flows of chakra. The match started with Ichiro and Sasuke matching eachother blow for blow in taijutsu, with Ichiro gaining the upper hand in the match. It seemed hopeless for Sasuke, until he heard Naruto's taunts. Next to him was Rock Lee, which gave Sasuke an idea. He used the Lion Combo, a partial copy of Rock Lee's Front Lotus, which had been captured by Sasuke's Sharingan (see chapter 21) Ichiro was knocked unconscious, and Sasuke advanced to the next round. After the fight, Kakashi took Sasuke away to seal the cursed seal.

Up next were Zaku Abumi and Shino Aburame, of Konohagakure's Team Eight. Zaku apparently only had one functional arm, but he bet that he could win regardless. Elsewhere, the cursed seal was sealed by Kakashi, but then Orochimaru showed up for Sasuke, asserting that all the genin he currently had at his command were disposable. Back at the match, Shino commanded a multitude of insects to attack Zaku from behind, leaving the one-armed Zaku unable to defend himself with his undirectional technique. Zaku then revealed he could use both arms, but it was too late. The insects had blocked the tubes in Zaku's arms, bulding up the chakra he was trying to use and making the arms explode, thus ending the fight. Orochimaru left Kakashi, saying that Sasuke would be his someday.

The match with Misumi Tsurugi against Sakoku Uzuki of Konohagakure's Team Nine began. Misumi quickly used his ninja art restrain Sakoku and threatened to snap his neck, until it was revealed that it was a 'Stone Clone' created by Sakoku. The real Sakoku emerged from the ground and used his taijutsu and earth-style against Misumi. The match ended in the first double knockout of the Preliminaries. Misumi was taken out on a stretcher by the medical corp, while Satsuki helped Sakoku to the viewing area where he rested and watched the rest of the Preliminary rounds.

The fourth match was Kristin Hatake of Team Seven and 

Kankurō of Sunagakure's Sand Siblings. As the match began, Kristin

A close up of Kristin's incomplete Sharingan.

quickly started with basic taijutsu, and soon realized the 

Kankurō she was fighting was in fact his puppet, Crow. Krstin unveiled the switch, and was then succumbed to fight both ninja and puppet at the same time. As the match progressed, Kristin's jutsu techniques were spread all over the nature spectrum, from summoning a roarng fire to engulf the puppet to turning the floor of the arena into a small lake. Since his puppet was destroyed, Kankurō opted to use his chakra strings on Kristin, controlling her. When it seemed hopeless, Naruto called out to her and she broke hold, then her visual jutsu was unlocked and revealed and incomplete Sharngan in both eyes. Krstin used the water to her advantage and pursued the match, gnoring the pain on her side. In a last ditch effort, Kristin actiated the Lightning Release: Fang Claw (Eng-Lightning Style: Lightning Claw) to electrocute Kankurō. Out of his own defense, he punched Kristin in the stomach, twistng hs fist at an angle and htting her wound, causing Krstin to cough up blood and pass out, leaving Kankurō the winner. 

Creator's Note: Due to Kristin passing out at the end of her match and being taken off to the ER, this chapter ends the Preliminary portion of the exams, however, more matches happen that move combatens to the Finals, and therefore will be shortly summarized here. The story picks up with Kristin in the hospital and getting suprising news. 

The fifth match, Sakura versus Ino of Konohagakure's Squad Ten was particularly meaningful, as the two were rivals. The match dragged on for a very long time, since they seemed to be quite on par, until Ino tried to possess Sakura's body to force her to forfeit the match; however, Sakura's will expelled Ino from her mind. Exhausted and out of chakra, they both went for a final attack, hitting each other at the exact same time and rendering each other unconscious. Hayate declared that neither of them would move on to the next round.

The sixth match was Tenten of Konohagakure's Team Guy against Temari of Sunagakure's Sand Siblings. The match was over quickly, as all the projectile weapons used by Tenten were completely countered by the Wind Release techniques used by Temari, who won without taking as much as a single scratch. Rock Lee jumped down to avenge Temari's treatment of Tenten, but Might Guy stopped what would have turned into a fight.

The seventh match was Shikamaru Nara of Konohagakure's Squad Ten against Kin Tsuchi, was next, with Shikamaru aware that he was at a disadvantage, since Kin had seen him use his Shadow Imitation Technique in the Forest of Death without showing her own fighting style. Kin started by dodging the Shadow Imitation Technique and throwing senbon with and without bells, using strings to ring the bells from unexpected positions to divert Shikamaru's attention and attack him from behind. Shikamaru, however, managed to join her shadow with his, using the shadows of the strings she was holding. With Kin matching Shikamaru's movements, each drew a shuriken and flung it at the other. When it came time for them to duck, Shikamaru ducked successfully, but Kin, having previously retreated, banged her head against the wall and knocked herself out, which turned out to be the true goal of Shikamaru's battle strategy. Shikamaru emerged as the winner.

The eighth match of the finals was Yoroi Akadō of Kabuto's team against Orchi Hagane of Konohagakure's Squad Nine. Yoroi's unique chakra absorbtion proved a problme for Orchi, at first. But when she caught onto the skill, she used Rin, her snake companion, as a defense against his oncoming advances. Rin's venom had the power to halt chakra flow from wherever he bits, and he bit both of Yoroi's hands, halting the flow and putting an end to his attacks. Using a couple of Earth Release techniques, Orchi won the match, being the only member of her team advancing to the finals. 

The nineth match was Kiba Inuzuka of Squad Eight and Naruto Uzumaki of Squad Seven. The fight went poorly for Naruto at first, especially after Kiba's ninkin, Akamaru, joined the fight and transformed into Kiba with the Beast Human Clone technique. Naruto made a comeback by transforming in a layered fashion into Akamaru and then Kiba, so that, when Kiba attacked Naruto, the second Transformation (as Kiba) gave way to the first (as Akamaru), leading Kiba to attack Akamaru (still affected by Beast Human Clone). Kiba then focused on attacking intensively to keep Naruto from counter-attacking, until Naruto accidentally broke wind, which stunned Kiba, whose sense of smell was magnified a thousand times at the time. Naruto then beat Kiba by using shadow clones to perform a new technique, the Naruto Uzumaki Combo (to which Kakashi notes he learned the base technique from watching Sasuke's match, and learned how to modify it from watching Kristin's.)

The tenth match brought a family rivalry to the forefront, as Hinata and Neji of the Hyūga clan battled. Kiba, being borne away on a stretcher, urged Hinata to forfeit. At first, Neji assaulted Hinata psychologically, using her fears to convince her that she had no possibility of winning. However, after being inspired by Naruto's courage, Hinata decided to fight to prove that she could be brave as well. They both fought using the Hyūga Gentle Fist style and the Byakugan, a kekkei genkai which Kakashi asserted to surpass the Sharingan. While they initially seemed to the observers to be equally matched, Neji managed to interrupt Hinata's chakra flow in her arms, disabling her ability to use Gentle Fist. Hinata still tried to go on, and it was only the exam proctor’s intervention that stopped Neji from killing her. Hinata's bravery still managed to inspire Naruto, as he vowed to battle and win against Neji in the third exam.

The eleventh match pitted Lee against Garra of Sunagakure's Sand Siblings. At first, none of Rock Lee's taijutsu attacks managed to penetrate or circumvent Gaara's Sheild of Sand, until Lee removed the weights he was wearing on his legs. The boost of speed was such that Gaara's sand couldnt follow Lee's movements, and Gaara was hit for the first time in his life. Lee then used his Front Lotus on Gaara, but in the end it was revealed that it had been a sand clone. Having no other way to end the match, and with Guy's permission, Lee then opened five of the inner chakra gates the result being that Lee's strength was multiplied immensely for a short time, but also severely injured him. He then proceeded to continously beat Gaara with his Reverse Lotus. However, as Gaara fell to the ground, he dispersed his sand gourd as a cushion to break his fall. Gaara then used his Sand Binding Coffin to crush Rock Lee's left arm and leg. Might Guy jumped down to prevent Gaara from killing Lee, and regretted having taught Lee how to open the inner gates after learning from the medical ninja that Lee could no longer be a ninja due to his intense injuries. Gaara won the match.

The twelfth and final match was Chōji Akimichi of Konohagakure's Squad Ten versus Dosu Kinuta. Chōji was reluctant to battle, instead wanting to forfeit, but tried after being promised food by his sensei, Asuma Sarutobi, if he won. Chōji entered the battle with prior knowledge of Dosu's sound based attacks, and quickly used Human Bullet Tank to plug his ears from the Oto ninja's attacks; however, Dosu overcame this by transmitting his sound through the water in Chōji's body, thus defeating him.

Finals[]

After the preliminary match-ups, there was a one-month period in which the remaining genin could prepare themselves. Various dignitaries were also invited to watch the main matches. During this month, Kristin trained with Shikamaru under the supervision of Asuma and Konoha Sarutobi, the latter who volunteered as a favor to Kakashi, who was busy training Sasuke. 

During her training with Shikamaru, Kristin learned how to strengthen her stamina and better chakra control for her Water-style techniques. She stayed at Shikamaru's house for the training period and the two would often talk before they went to bed. It was also during this time where she saw the death of Dosu at the hands of Gaara, and shrugged it off as a nightmare. Gaara also attempted to assassinate Lee in the hospital on the day before the finals, but was stopped by Naruto, Kristin, Shikamaru. Gaara revealed his past, which led to Naruto's realising that they had similar histories, and Kristin's relaization she could've turned out like Gaara, if not for the love of her family and friends. Gaara attempted to kill the three of them as well, before Guy stepped in and forced Gaara to leave. After that incident, Shikamaru volunteered himself to be Kristin's anchor so that her demon spirit wouldn't take over her completly.

That night, a festival was held and the Konoha-genin (The Rookie 13, minus Sasuke, and Team Guy) put on a small concert for the special guests invited to the Final Competion. It was a big hit with the Feudal Lord of the Land of Fire, and after, they enjoyed the festival.

The next day, the Final Competition began. The first match was Naruto against Neji. Naruto's fight with Neji in the first match of the finals was a very dramatic one. During the fight, Neji lectured Naruto much as he had done with Hinata during the preliminaries, telling Naruto that failures remained failures and that this could not change. Naruto eventually won the battle through a combination of the demon fox's power sealed within him and sheer belief in victory. In the process, he changed Neji's outlook on life, and inspired him to create his own fate, thus forming another important bond. Naruto was able to make Neji understand that destiny could be changed, and they will become good friends from this point on.

The second match, which featured Sasuke versus Gaara, was moved to be the last, as Sasuke hadn't arrived yet. Normally he would have been disqualified on the spot, but his match had been highly anticipated — in fact, some of the crowd commented they had mostly come just to see him fight, forcing the Third Hokage to give in to the Kazekage's request to postpone the match.

The third match, which featured Shino versus Kankurō, was given to Shino on default, since Kankurō forfeited to "keep his techniques a secret" before the invasion was launched.

Orchi Hagane vs Kristin Hatake

This led to the fourth match, which was Orchi Hagane versus Kristin Hatake. Both girls decided not to hold anything back (similar to the Preliminary match between Ino and Sakura), and the match was an intense one. Orchi's first Earth-style technique changed the battlefield layout, until Kristin found a way to break it. Then, Kristin used her Water Release techniques in perfect combination, and ended up winning the fight.

The next match was Temari versus Shikamaru. Both Temari and Shikamaru were excellent strategists, but Shikamaru was better. Although it appeared throughout the match that Shikamaru was using pointless attacks, he was actually five steps ahead, and managed to skilfully manipulate Temari into a position where he could attack from behind, using the tunnel which Naruto had dug during his match with Neji to stealthily extend his Shadow Imitation Technique. This took control over Temari's body, and forced her to imitate every one of Shikamaru's movements. Although Shikamaru could have won, he quit instead, saying that he was too low on chakra. His real reason for quitting, however, seems to be because he is incredibly lazy and saw no point in winning, which would only lead to having to fight in further matches.

With that over with, the last match was Sasuke verses Gaara.

Episodes/Chapters[]

# Episode/Chapter Title Airdate on FanFiction.net
19 A New Chapter! The Chūnin Exams! September 21, 2013
20 Identify Yourself! Powerful New Rivals September 24, 2013
21 Chūnin Challenge. Rock Lee vs Sasuke September 24, 2013
22 Genin Takedown! All The Rookies Face Off September 29, 2013
23 Start Your Engins! The Chūnin Exam Begins! September 29, 2013
24 The Tenth Question! All or Nothing!

September 29, 2013

25 Special Report! Live from the Forest of Death! September 29, 2013
26 The Chūnin Exam Stage 2: The Forest of Death! October 2, 2013
27 Eat or be Eaten: Panic in the Forest! October 2, 2013
28 Naruto's Counterattack: Never Give In! October 3, 2013
29 The Sharingan Revived: Dragon Flame Jutsu! October 4, 2013
30 BushyBrow's Pledge: Undying Love & Protection! October 5, 2013
31 Blossoming Kunoichi October 6, 2013
32 Battle Formation: Ino-Shika-Cho! October 8, 2013
33 The Scroll's Secret: No Peeking Allowed December 4, 2013
34 Clone vs Clone: Mine Are Better Than Yours! December 9, 2013
35 Surviving the Cut: The Rookies Reunited. December 10, 2013
36 Narrowing the Field: Sudden Death Elimination! December 11, 2013
37 Ichiro vs Sasuke: Lion's Barrage Unleashed! December 11, 2013
38 Face to Face: The Might of the Rookies. December 14, 2013
39 Sand vs Leaf: My Time to Shine! December 15, 2013
40 Suprising News: My Second Chance! December 18, 2013
41 Hitting the Grindstone! Training Begins. December 23, 2013
42 Hospital Besieged: The Evil Hand Revealed. December 28, 2013
43 The Final Rounds Begin! December 29, 2013
44 A Genius vs. A Looser: True Power Unveiled! February 14, 2014
45 Hit it or Quit it: The Finals Rounds Get Complicated! February 14, 2014
46 Kunoichi Royale! Orchi vs Kristin! February 15, 2014
47 Zero Motivation: The Guy With Cloud Envy! February 16, 2014
48 Dancing Leaf, Squirming Sand. February 17, 2014
49 Late for the Show, but Ready to Go!  February 19, 2014

Trivia[]

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