A gigantic explosion occurs at the outer periphery of the village as dust and debris rise in the air.
Two figures jump out of the dust and confront each other.
"No wonder you could dodge my surprise attack."
Gari notices Itachi as he recognizes the latter. He cracks his neck and fists.
"Itachi Uchiha of the Sharingan. One of the most feared adversaries of the shinobi world. A genius ninja who wields the power of Sharingan and is unrivaled in the genjutsu, ninjutsu, and taijutsu."
"This is the kind of fight I am looking for. Entertain me more."
Itachi calmly stares at Gari.
"Gari of the Explosion. A user of the Explosion Release Kekkei Genkai. A former member of the Explosive Corp who deserted the Iwagakure to further meet his goals. Once a respected shinobi, now a rogue mercenary who hunts innocents."
"Haah… eat this."
Gari clenches his fists and attacks Itachi.
"Explosion Release: Exploding Palm"
He creates a small explosion in his palm and directs it towards Itachi.
The explosion creates a shock wave as it travels horizontally.
Itachi jumps in the air and avoids the explosion.
He takes out multiple kunais from his pocket and throws them at Gari from all angles.
The kunais closes on Gari as he crosses both of his palms together.
"Explosion Release: Exploding Palm Hurricane"
He creates multiple small explosions at his palms and propels himself into a rotation as he deflects all the kunais with the explosion.
"Impressive… using the explosive release at the perfect timing and angle you can deflect all the kunais sent your way. But what about this?"
Gari's momentum dies down as he comes to a halt.
Itachi takes out another kunai and throws it towards the rest of the kunai.
Clang… clang… clang… clang… clang…
The kunai hits multiple other kunais and redirects them towards Gari.
Gari's eyes widen in surprise.
He slams his fist on the ground.
"Explosion Release: Landmine Fist"
He releases powerful explosive energy from his fist, which turns the ground upside down and blocks all the kunais.
Gari breathes heavily as he stares at Itachi.
"Looks like I have underestimated you. But it would be over with this."
He bites his thumb and makes some hand signs and slams his palm on the ground.
A giant ant appears in front of him.
Gari jumps on top of the ant as he directs it towards Itachi.
The ant swipes its claws at Itachi.
Itachi performs a backflip and avoids the attack.
The ant releases a white fluid from its claws, which explode in contact with air.
Itachi frowns as he stares at the secretion of the ant.
'The substance this ant releases is highly flammable and explodes on contact with air.'
He avoids multiple strikes from the ant and Gari.
'Explosion Releases is a Kekkei Genkai composed of Earth and Lightning Release. If I disrupt the balance of Earth and lightning, maybe it would nullify the explosions.'
Itachi makes some hand signs.
"Lightning Releases: Lightning blade"
He slashes the claws of the ant with his lightning blade.
The white fluid drips from the incision as it flickers with lightning.
'So my speculation was correct. Lightning Releases can disrupt the balance.'
Gari clicks his tongue as he makes some hand signs.
"Explosion Release: Exploding Earth Wave"
He slams his leg on the ground.
Multiple explosion travels beneath the ground as they continue to release geysers of dust and debris.
Whoosh…Itachi makes some hand signs and infuses a large amount of purple lightning in his palm.
"Lightning Releases: Lightning Quake Flash"
The purple lightning travels horizontally through the ground. It nullifies the explosion in its way and zaps Gari.
The lightning zaps Gari and his body turns into ashes.
"An exploding clone."
"Haha… I got you."
Gari breaks free from the ground and creates an explosion in his palms and appears behind Itachi.
"Eat this. Explosion Release: Exploding Vacuum Palm."
Itachi calmly turns around and faces Gari.
"Are you sure about that?"
Gari's fist lands on Itachi as a gigantic explosion covers the area.
The explosion dies down as dust and debris settle down.
Gari jumps out from the dust and smirks.
"Not too much of a genius, I guess."
"Are you sure about that?"
A deep voice falls in his ears as Itachi appears behind him and places a kunai on his neck.
"Wha… what? How?"
Gari's eyes widen as he stares at Itachi.
Itachi calmly points towards the explosion.
The dust and debris settle to reveal a badly mangled ant.
Gari silently mutters to himself.
"Since when…" He questions Itachi.
"The moment our eyes met, you were already in my genjutsu."
Itachi calmly replies to him.
"Now surrender and come with me…"
Gari laughs hysterically as he points towards the air.
"Do you think it is this easy?"
Itachi raises his head and notices a giant clay dragon homing on him. The giant clay dragon opens its mouth and releases multiple clay birds at him.
Boom… Boom… Whoosh…
The clay birds explode on contact with the ground and create a large explosion.
Itachi jumps out of the dust and stares at the gigantic dragon.
Gari jumps on top of the dragon.
"Humph… I saved your ass. I will take your share of the money."
Deidara snorts at Gari.
"Brat… don't get too full of yourself. I have yet to use my trump card."
Both of them stare at Itachi with a worried expression.
Izumi runs towards him and groups with him.
"Sorry, Itachi… this guy was too quick to escape."
Itachi shakes his head.
"You don't have to worry. We will take care of them together."
"Hai…" Izumi nods her head and clutches her kunai as she stares at the clay dragon.
Gari and Deidara make some hand signs.
"Explosion Release: Explosive Land mines"
Gari creates multiple explosive white orbs as the orbs fly towards the ground and enter it.
"C2: Explosive Clay dolls"
Deidara slams his palm on the clay dragon.
The clay dragon releases multiple clay constructs that fall on the ground and takes the shape of clay dolls.
Itachi and Izumi activate their Sharingan and inspect their surroundings.
"Izumi… take care of these clay dolls. I will deal with them. Also, beware of the explosive field. There are multiple landmines on the ground."
"Leave it to me…" Izumi nods her head and draws her tanto.
She infuses lightning chakra in her tanto and engages with the clay dolls.
"Lightning Release: Senbon Zakura"
Itachi makes some hand signs and releases multiple purple lightning senbon at the clay dragon.
The senbon pierces through the dragon and creates multiple holes in its body.
"You ruined my art."
Deidara clicks his tongue as he stares at Itachi's eyes.
"Those eyes… they piss me off. Judging my art."
Gari dashes towards Itachi and engages in close combat with Itachi.
He releases multiple explosions from his every strike. Itachi evades the attacks as he looks at Izumi from a corner of his eye.
"Looks like Izumi is almost done with her fight. It's time for me to end it too."
Itachi rotates his lower body and delivers a roundhouse kick to Gari.
Gari is pushed back by the kick.
"Oh… looks like you are getting old, you geezer."
Deidara taunts Gari.
"Don't underestimate him."
Gari warns Deidara.
Itachi disappears and reappears in front of Gari as he stabs the latter with a kunai.
Gari pukes out a mouthful of blood as he clutches Itachi.
"Do it… brat."
Deidara makes a Ram seal as he yells.
A giant centipede erupts from the ground and envelops Itachi.
"Are you sure you want to blow your friend?"
Itachi emotionlessly questions him as his eyes change into Mangekyo Sharingan.
A strange sensation wells up in Deidara's heart as he clutches his head. He stares at Gari and notices the latter's body enveloped in the clay centipede.
Gari yells to himself.
"It's those eyes."
Deidara points towards Itachi with shaky hands.
Gari bites his tongue as blood drips from it.
"I am an elite shinobi. I won't allow you to trample my pride like this… Itachi Uchiha. I will die here… but I will bring you to hell together with me."
Gari's body expands as massive amounts of chakra gathers in his body.
Gari's body explodes violently as a giant pillar of chakra engulfs the group.
Itachi grabs Izumi as orange flames cover his body.
The explosion lasts for a while as the giant pillar of light dies down.
Itachi dispels his Susanoo as he and Izumi stare at the aftermath of the explosion. They are standing in the middle of a giant crater.
Izumi hurriedly jumps out of the crater.
"It's fine. I redirected the explosion towards the air with my Yata Mirror."
Izumi nods her head as she turns to Itachi.
"I am sorry… Itachi. I held you back…"
Itachi gently pokes her head as he answers her.
"No… you did a great job. You didn't hold me back at all. I am sure you will grow stronger in the future."
Both walk out of the crater as Itachi senses a few chakra signatures.
"Looks like we have to do some cleanup."
At the edge of the shore,
Deidara jumps out from the ground. He dusts his clothes and stands up.
"Gari is dead. He blew himself up… what a fine ending to a spectacular art."
Deidara clutches his chest and pukes out a mouthful of blood as the memories before the explosion floods his mind.
"Those eyes… I despise them. They look down on my art."
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