|Gaara of the Desert (chapter)|
|Romaji||Sabaku no Gaara|
|← Tenten's Ambition!!||Rock Lee vs. Might Guy →|
Gaara of the Desert (砂漠我愛羅 Sabaku no Gaara) is Chapter 7 of the manga.
A mass amount of sand appears, and Gaara comes out to greet them, having formerly thought that they were enemy ninjas. Lee asserts that he will surpass Gaara, but the latter merely ignores him and leads the way. Tenten tells Lee that now Gaara is the Kazekage, he is not going to respond to Lee.
Gaara later informs them that there are rogue ninjas who are targetting Sunagakure, so he is asking for their assistance. When Lee antagonistically faces against Gaara, Kankuro and Temari, Gaara's siblings, come to stop him.
Subsequently, Tenten asks Neji Hyuga if Lee may possibly retain a grudge against Gaara. She recalls that Lee had risked his life using a forbidden jutsu against him, and Gaara had endured the attacks with his Sand Guard. In the end, Lee took a huge amount of damage, and additionally, Gaara ignored him, so there is no way that Lee is not holding a grudge.
Later, enemy ninja infiltrated the village, but Gaara and his siblings and Team Guy confront them. Determined to defeat more opponents than Gaara, Lee taunts him with his speed. However, Gaara uses his sand to strap Lee against the ground. He then uses his Desert Coffin technique to immobilize the enemy with sand. Lee mimics it by wrapping himself around the enemy, much to Tenten's shock. Soon after, Gaara uses Sand Drizzle to attack the enemy from a long distance. Lee uses Sweat Drizzle to defeat the enemy with the "invigorating sweat", much to Tenten's evident disgust.
Gaara attempt using his gourd's sand, since he cannot use large attacks inside the village, but Guy interrupts his concentration which causes him to hit Lee with his sand instead. At first, Tenten is impressed that Gaara remained calm despite the mistake, but it is revealed that Gaara is excessively sweating to the point that his face sand is breaking.
Gaara tells Lee to stay back because he is not in the condition to fight. However, Lee refuses to stay back, much to Gaara's and Tenten's astonishment. Lee reveals that he does not hate Gaara, but the reason why he is competing against him is because he is following his ninja way, which is hard work can surpass genius.
Lee then hijacks Gaara's sand to perform the Konoha Sandstorm and defeats the enemy. Gaara later thanks Team Guy, and Lee executes his thumbs-up pose once again to declare that one day he can surpass Gaara, so they should duel some day. Gaara accepts this and gives Lee a thumbs-up. Feeling moved, Lee hugs him, crying, which results to Gaara unleashing a mass amount of sand to send Team Guy running.