Mubi leaped towards Shikamaru with his Kunai in his hand, completely ready to hurt Shikamaru fatally. However, right as he was about to pierce the Kunai hilt-deep within the Genin in front of him, he saw Shikamaru throw a Kunai on a Haze Clone in front of him.
'Fool..' Mubi ridiculed the Leaf Genin in front of him, who had thrown away the last weapon available to him. However, suddenly three Kunai emerged out of nowhere and hit Mubi on the arms and chest.
'What?!!' Mubi thought as he stumbled back while clutching the Kunai that had pierced him. He looked at Shikamaru, who turned around with a smirk on his face.
"Shadow Possession Complete!!" Shikamaru said.
"What..?" Mubi asked confused. Shikamaru then walked forwards towards him with a smirk. Mubi noticed in horror that the three water clones that he had made also moved forward, mimicking Shikamaru.
"How?!" Mubi shouted at Shikamaru.
"Shadow Possession Technique. I controlled your clones through my technique to play an elaborate game. Only the first few attacks were real attacks from your clones. Rest all was just a hoax made by them under my possession to draw you out." Shikamaru said.
"How did you manage to get them all though?" Mubi asked, "There is no way you could have directly got them all."
"Heh. Look at the ground," Shikamaru said.
As Mubi looked down, he saw a net of shadows on the ground, interconnected through the Shuriken and Kunai that were on the ground as a result of their fight.
"The Shuriken and Kunai …" Mubi muttered.
"Yep. Shinobi Battle Tactics: Always scout and be aware of the layout and situation of the battlefield. I took advantage of the shuriken and Kunai littering the ground and wove my shadow through them to reach your water clones as they were the only ones among the clones that left a shadow."
Mubi gritted his teeth and glared at Shikamaru. He had underestimated this Genin and had paid the price for it.
"And now it's the end," Shikamaru said as he rushed forth with Mubi's water clones. Mubi was soon knocked out with a bunch of barehanded attacks from Shikamaru and his own water clones. Once Mubi was knocked out, his water clones and haze clones were dispelled.
Hayate confirmed Mubi was knocked out before announcing the result, "Winner: Shikamaru Nara."
Medical Corps took away Mubi and the sparring area was repaired once again. Hayate then called for the pair for the final match to come down.
Kagari, the last member of Team Oboro, and Shino Aburame came down for the match. Kagari was slightly unnerved by the one-sided defeats of both of his teammates.
It also didn't help their case that both of them were knocked out by rookie Genin of the leaf, who were participating in the Chunin Exams for the first time. Seeing that his opponent was also one of these 'rookies', Kagari was scared instead of being confident.
As Hayate announced the beginning of the test, Kagari didn't waste a single moment and instantly cast the Haze Clone technique. Before Kagari could take advantage of the confusion to hide underground, his attention was captured by Shino's actions.
Shino spread his arms wide as if inviting someone to hug or attack him. However, this was not the case, as thousands of bugs emerged from Shino in a swarm and spread towards the clones Kagari had made.
Kagari looked in shock as the clones that were supposed to insubstantial and unable to be damaged, got torn apart by the bugs, never to reappear. He also knew for sure that this was not temporary damage, these bugs had somehow completely destroyed the clones, rendering his hiding technique useless.
"What? How?" Kagari called out in panic.
"There is a species of parasitic beetles that attack their prey in a swarm, eating their chakra. Your technique, no matter even if it is unable to be affected by physical attacks, is just an application of pure chakra."
"Such techniques are the worst match up against these beetles, who can devour through large quantities of chakra in moments." Shino said in a creepy voice "In short, if you were thinking of hiding amongst these clones and sneak attacking me, then your plan is useless. Now, What will you do?"
Kagari shivered under Shino's Gaze. He decided to first dive underground so that he can be safe from these bugs. However, right then he felt a bunch of sharp bites on his back. Immediately afterward, his chakra started draining at an alarming rate, leaving him exhausted.
As Kagari looked at Shino confused, Shino explained in the same creepy voice, "While you were busy listening to my explanation, a few of my bugs had silently crept onto you. Their actions were disguised by the more eye-catching sounds of the rest of the bugs around us."
"Now, your chakra is nearly drained by my bugs. In a few more moments, they will suck you dry, leaving you fighting for your very life. I suggest you surrender while you still can, or my bugs will end up killing you." Shino said, his creepy tone making it even scarier.
"I … I .. surrender!!" Kagari shouted in panic, desperate to get the bugs off him.
"Winner: Shino Aburame" Hayate announced.
Shino withdrew his bugs and left for the stands and Kagari was taken away by the medical corps. Now, the ones left in the hall were mostly the ones who had qualified for the final round, along with their Jonin Sensei and the Third Hokage.
Once the hall was repaired again, the finalists assembled in the sparring area, along with the Third Hokage and the proctor Hayate.
The Jonin sensei of the finalists looked on from the stands, along with the few of the participants who had failed in the preliminaries, yet were not hurt enough to be taken away by the Medical Corps.
This list included Lee, who was already treated by Sakura and had mostly recovered from the aftereffects of the Eight Gates, Kankuro, and Hinata.
The Nine Finalists were as follows: Sasuke, Sakura, Naruto, Tenten, Gaara, Neji, Temari, Shikamaru, and Shino. The finalists looked at each other, making plans for countering the abilities shown by the other eight.
"Now, the Third Exam Preliminaries are finally finished!!" Hayate announced "The Nine of you are the ones who prevailed and will go forth to the Final Round to perform in front of the VIP Dignitaries that will come to see the best of the best we have to offer. Congratulations!!"
"Now, Lord Hokage will announce the details about the Final Round," Hayate said as he stepped back.
Hokage walked forward while puffing his pipe and glancing at each of the nine finalists.
'We have seven Genin from the leaf and two Genin from the sand for the finals. I never expected this great a result for the Leaf this time, especially about five of the seven being from the Rookie 9 of this year.' Hokage thought while smiling.
"Well, now that the time has come, I will begin the explanation for the final round." Hokage announced.