Genma said, looked at the two competitors with amusement. This was probably the match for the tournament. "BEGIN!"
Sand busted out of Gaara's peanut shaped gourd, like a snake that was finally free of its prison. Sasuke immediately jumped back.
He would be watching what his opponent would do from afar. He had heard what happened to Lee… this guy would be dangerous to take lightly and without any planning. Essentially, other than sand manipulation, the rest of his opponent's skills were a mystery to him.
"Ugh!" Gaara grasped his head in pain, muttering, "Don't be so angry…Kaa-san. That blood I gave you earlier…it was disgusting. But I promise. This blood will be so much better."
"What the?" Sasuke's eyes widened slightly. "What the hell is he talking about?" 'This guy is insane.'
As if the pain was a passing thought, the sand was once again moving in the calm façade it had originally started in. Gaara's empty teal eyes glaring at him from rings of black, it was like staring the devil's eyes.
The redhead's brow furrowed as his lips drew tight, his arms folded in his typical fashion. The sand was calm, floating around the boy smoothly, it formed a perfect circle around him.
"Come," Gaara uttered lowly, his voice dangerous. Sasuke noticed that the sand was subtly twitching as if calling for blood.
In a blur, Sasuke dashed towards his opponent, kicking up a trail of dust as he moved.
Naruto eyes widened as he saw Sasuke move in. 'Is he crazy! He'll be killed."
Sasuke flung two shuriken, watching as the sand automatically rose up and grabbed them out of the air.
'There's that automatic sand response, Kakashi told me about' Sasuke glared at the sand as it started to rise.
The Sand morphed into a copy of Gaara, glaring at him with the two shuriken grasped in its fingers. It exploded outwards and Sasuke leapt up, tossing two more of the throwing stars as the Gaara clone tried to use his previous ones against him. They collided with each other and fell to the ground.
Sasuke landed, punching a hole through the doppelganger, the sand grasping at his wrist. He brought his other hand up in a palm strike, blasting the sand clone's head to bits. He rushed forwards again, aiming a punch at the redhead's face. The sand rose to block, but Sasuke vanished, reappearing behind Gaara.
To his opponent's shock, he landed a solid punch on the Suna shinobi's left cheek, sending him flying.
The sand formed a cushion for Gaara, standing him back up as it repaired the damaged section of Sand Armor.
"That speed," Gai remarked in surprise. He turned to his eternal rival, "Kakashi-san, you…?"
"I did," Kakashi nodded, eye focused on the fight happening below. "I had him imagine how Lee would fight and copy it. Needless to say, he picked it up quite well."
"I see," Gai said seriously. "But you do realize that pure Taijutsu won't be enough for this, don't you? Even my brilliant pupil couldn't beat Gaara-san with Taijutsu alone."
"Taijutsu isn't all I taught him," Kakashi remarked lightly, revealing no secrets. "Sasuke-kun and I are very similar people."
Gai looked down at the scene his mind working on what Kakashi could mean.
In a blur, Sasuke was upon him again, landing another punch. It hit and he continued, lifting himself and Gaara into the air as he went. A second punch, an elbow to the gut, a knee to the solar plexus, and a palm strike to the left chest. Sasuke jumped back to avoid another sand swarm attack. He moved around, and behind Gaara. Sasuke swung his leg out to strike Gaara but all of a sudden Gaara's sand armor reached out and grabbed his leg.
Sasuke eyes widened as suddenly a huge mess of sanded shot upwards and struck downwards in a huge wave. Sasuke quickly took out a kunai and slashed the sand, freeing his leg. Sasuke jumped back and the sand crashed into the ground harmlessly.
Gaara turned around slowly.
The sand swirled, forming an orb around him as he moved his hands into a single seal. There were several surprised gasps in the crowd, mainly from the team of Sand Ninja that Gaara called comrades. That alone drew Naruto's attention as an ominous feeling settled into his stomach.
"Jin, Saru, Hebi, Saru," Gaara chanted within the orb, hands locked in a hand seal. Sand trickled upward and formed an eyeball that stared out at Sasuke. "Jin, Saru, Tori, Tatsu…"
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