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Ryo remained in the Sound Country for a week. He gave a lot of pointers and ideas to Orochimaru regarding the building of his lab.
On top of that, Ryo also gave him a list of many Kekkei Genkai, mostly based on a combination of the information that Konoha has and his memories of the Anime. It mentioned the positions and ability of several Kekkei Genkai owners.
Obviously, this information made Orochimaru very excited; he was just thinking about understanding Kekkei Genkai better as he was building the lab, and Ryo’s information came right on time.
After leaving this information, Ryo left the country returning to Konoha, telling Sakumo all about Deidara, and saying that in due time, he shouldn’t have trouble crushing him if needed.
With that, things around Konoha reached a certain balance, and before anyone realized it, two years went by.
Lain was now at the age for graduation.
She had perfectly adapted with Hashirama’s cells, and had shown amazing talent over the course of the past two years.
This showed on many levels, the first of which is the amount of Chakra I, her body. The Senju, like the Uzumaki, have great Chakra stores, and Lain, having Hashirama’s cells integrated with her own, already had Chakra comparable to that of the Manga’s Kakashi. (T/N: Manga’s Kakashi has less Chakra than current Kakashi.)
Wood release was another aspect where her growth showed well. Ryo had copied many Wood Release Jutsus from the Scroll of Seals, and now Lain could use her Kekkei Genkai very proficiently.
Even with that, she was not undisputed in her school, for Itachi remained in her class. In the entire school, he was the only one who could compete with her.
Perhaps this was driven by his competition with her, but at the age of 8, Itachi was still in school, and had activated his 2-tomoe Sharingan.
The two’s strength eclipsed that of everyone else in school, and they became at the center of attention in Konoha, with many people comparing their rivalry to that of Madara and Hashirama from back in the day.
The day of the graduation exam was to be the day their final rematch in school. This attracted a lot of people to come and watch, and even Sakumo who’s usually very busy could come over.
“Sakumo san, you came to join in the fun?” Ryo asked with a smile.
Sakumo nodded and replied: “Well, I am also very interested in this graduation exam.”
Now, Ryo was already 18 years old; officially an adult. During the past two years, he had been traveling a lot to the Sand Village, and to the Sound Country.
Sakumo was the only one who knew about this, and he even went as far as covering for him with the other higher ups of the village.
The final exam started very quickly, and its first part was a Triple Clone Jutsu test. Some of the kids were disturbed by the watching crowds; mistakes were made, and funny abominations were created, arousing the laughter of the crowd from time to time.
“Next, Uchiha Izumi!”
Hearing her name, the smile on Sakumo’s face faded a little. Ever since he learned of the secret of the Uchiha and Senju, he had been secretly concerned about what Izumi could display in the future.
In the past two years, Izumi wasn’t comparable to Lain and Itachi, but she still much stronger than the rest of her peers. In fact, her Chakra control was even better than that of Lain and Itachi.
Obviously, the test was no challenge to her, and she passed with a perfect score. Despite the fact that there were many children trying before her, she was the 1st to achieve that, and everyone in the crowd applauded whole-heartedly.
The last two were Itachi and Lain, and the two also passed with flying flags.
With this phase of the exam completed, the next part was actual combat, which was reserved to the ones with perfect score.
This test was made to determine the one to be the 1st of the promotion. Obviously, there were only three contenders: Lain, Itachi and Izumi.
“Sensei, I am sorry! I’m forfeiting!” The battles had not yet began, when Izumi voluntarily forfeited, giving up on first spot!
“Izumi Uchiha took the initiative to give up! The top student of this promotion will be determined by the battle between Uchiha Itachi and Yamanaka Lain!”
Hearing the words of the instructor, the two looked at each other and then saluted each other according to school rules. With that, the duel officially began.
“[Fire Release: Great Fireball]!”
“[Water Release: Water Wall]!”
Both contenders began with a simple C-Class Jutsu to test each other, and then went straight to a Taijustu duel.
While Itachi had Shisui as a Taijutsu instructor, Lain did not practice Taijutsu that well and was in a disadvantage against him momentarily!
“Ryo, there’s something off with your sister!”
Hearing Sakumo, Ryo’s face was red. In the past two years, he placed all his focus on teaching Lain Ninjutsu, especially wood release. In the process, he ignored teaching her Taijutsu.
With hand to hand combat not working, Lain had to change things up.
“Wood Release: Wood Clone!” From her body, to wooden clones were separated in front of her as she stepped back. Itachi shattered the 1st one while quickly activating his Sharingan.
Lain was rather skilled with her Jutsus, and even with the Sharingan, Itachi could barely distinguish her from the clone.
After crushing the second clone, he rushed straight to Lain behind it.
Little did he know that as he took two steps forward, a tree vine spurted out of the ground tying up his feet, and Lain was already behind his neck saying proudly: “You lost!”
“Is that so? The one who just lost is you!” The ‘Itachi’ who was tied by the tree vein turned into scattering crows, and the true Itachi appeared behind Lain, stabbing her in the back with a Kunai!
With a cold hum, her body turned into a piece of wood.
“These kids are just too good! They haven’t graduated yet, and they’re already beyond Chunin tier. That crow Justu should be Shisui’s; I did not expect Itachi to have learned it!” Sakumo sighed.
“Well, Shisui mastered that Jutsu during the war, but Itachi, being the true genius that he is, learned his signature Jutsu so quickly!”
Both Lain and Itachi were equally skilled in this Ninjutsu battle, but Lain had more Chakra. With her being able to keep her distance from Itachi, keeping him from resorting to Taijutsu, and with him eventually running out of Chakra, Lain emerged victorious!
Immediately after the battle, Chinse and Mikoto both rushed to their children!
“Lain! You’ve fought well, my pride!”
“You’ve done great, Itachi! You’re the best!”
Obviously, both moms were very satisfied with their children’s performance.
The next day, Lain went to the classroom, waiting for the announcement of the new Genin teams. After waiting for a long time, their instructor arrived late.
The Sensei did not speak nonsense, immediately listing the new teams: “Team Six: Lain Yamanaka, Itachi Uchiha, Izumi Uchiha!”
Hearing the names of Izumi and Itachi, Lain frowned, remembering that Ryo told her that there were plans to place the Uchiha geniuses under the guidance of an Elite from their clan after graduation. How come she was placed with them?
Lain looked back at the two and found them to be very calm; they must have known of this already.
After a while, Lain heard a very familiar voice: “Team six, come with me!”
“Shisui ni-san, how is it you?” Lain asked in surprise!
“Why can’t it be me? Hurry up; I’ll be waiting for you in the third training ground.” After saying that, Shisui’s figure disappeared.
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