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Volume 34
 Chapter 300
Chapter 300: "Sai's Picture Book!!" – Near a river, Sai washes his face and Kabuto takes prides in cleaning his medical tools. He asks Orochimaru for a new untouched corpse to make up for the one used earlier. Sai looks through his bag and is surprised to see his book missing. Orochimaru asks if something is wrong, and the young man says no. Elsewhere Sakura comments the two middle pages are weird, on the right is Sai in ninja gear, while the left page is blank. Yamato states it could help them understand Sai, and Sakura comments it seems to be the story of two boys growing up. Throughout the right side of the book Sai is shown facing off against enemies, and then taking on their clothing and weapons. The book spans his life, the same for the white-haired boy in the left half of the book. The black-haired boy they determine is Sai. Sakura thinks back to what Sai said of his brother, and she states the white haired boy must be him. So when taken together, the white-haired boy may eventually be destined for the blank left hand side page in the middle of the book. Yamato gets a transmission, his bunshin has found Orochimaru's base. In the base a shadowy figure chastises them from being late, telling Orochimaru he promised to train him further than afternoon. Kabuto feigns surprise at the same continued attitude. Orochimaru tells him not to get angry; he brought a present, another kid from Konoha. The shadowy figure is not excited, he watches on with Sharingan eyes. Sai looks on and recognizes Uchiha Sasuke...
 Chapter 301
Chapter 301: "Sai and Sasuke!!" – The team runs on. Sakura tells Naruto they'll save Sasuke this time, and Naruto agrees. In the compound Sai greets Sasuke, who tells him to get lost. Sai says even when smiling people still hate him; it was the same with Naruto. But he figures he can get along better with Sasuke. Sai is suddenly frozen in a killing intent directed at him by Sasuke. Kabuto yells at Sasuke. Sai wipes sweat away, surprised even his emotionless self felt afraid somewhere deep inside just by looking into Sasuke's eyes. Orochimaru interjects that Sasuke is a difficult one, even more so than he himself. Sasuke says he doesn't care about Sai; he wants Orochimaru to train him. Sai tells Sasuke he heard a lot about him from Naruto and Sakura. Naruto never gave up searching and thought of him as a brother. Sasuke says the only brother he has he plans to kill. Orochimaru hands Kabuto the envelope and tells him to make a Bingo book, inside is the full data on Konoha's ANBU and their real identities. Outside the team has arrived, Yamato reabsorbs his clone into a small seed in his palm. He gives this and another seed to Naruto and Sakura. He asks them to swallow them, as they'll allow him to keep track of them both. He put such a tracker in Sai. He states that's why he paid for the bath and food at the hot springs. He says everything is going how Tsunade had thought and it’s good that Sai went in first. He tells them to get ready and Naruto and Sakura acknowledge.
 Chapter 302
Chapter 302: "Infiltration...!!" – Yamato says they'll use a doton technique to get in. Inside Kabuto shows Sai to his room. He lays down an envelope and lights a candle. He tells Sai to stay there until needed, and then locks the door from the outside. Sai listens at the door as Kabuto walks away. Down in the earth Yamato tells them that it's as he thought, the compound is surrounded by rock. Naruto says he'll use Rasengan and Sakura chides him, saying it’s too loud. Yamato finds a small crack and inserts wood from his finger; it quickly grows to shatter an entrance hole. Yamato says they'll find Sai first. In his room Sai summons a book from his scroll. He reads it and is surprised by its contents. Yamato peeks around a corner with a mirror and tells his team to move. Kabuto walks on and thinks he better get to work on the Bingo Book before Orochimaru gets annoyed. He then realizes he left the envelope in Sai's room, he turns to walk back. The lock on the door catches and Sai is startled. He quickly puts the book away. The team walks in and Sai is surprised again. Sai says he shouldn't be surprised since Yamato is an ANBU. Yamato's finger returns from a key back to normal and he tells the young man to explain himself. Naruto grabs Sai and demands an answer. Sai tells Naruto to quiet down or they'll be in trouble. Sakura gives him his drawing book and Sai thanks her. She asks if he is following Danzou's orders. Yamato asks if it’s the next attempt at Konoha's destruction. Sai just stands emotionless, eyes closed but then he smiles and says no. Naruto yells that the smile proves he is lying. Sai says now that he has been found out the mission is a failure. He then states that there isn't reason to hide it anymore. They are correct; the goal is to destroy Konoha. Elsewhere in the compound, Kabuto walks closer to Sai's room...
 Chapter 303
Chapter 303: "Sai's Betrayal!!" – Sai says he was to meet Orochimaru and then spy on him. Orochimaru would betray them as soon as he took over Konoha, so they're just planning ahead. Sakura is surprised that Danzou sent Sai alone, but he says he's trained for this and that his ink can turn into animals and report back for him. She asks Sai how he could do this, the lives he is risking. He states “Sai” isn't even his name, he's no one, just a tool. Sakura asks how he can say that when he carries the picture book. The boy inside is his brother, and it serves as proof you do exist and have feelings. Sai takes the book and loses his smile. Sakura states that he keeps the book because it proves their tie and he doesn't want to break their link. Sai gets a surprised look on his face. Yamato states they looked inside, and saw the unfinished pages. The two brothers were destined to fight each other, and he knows how the ANBU Root had similar comrade killing rituals to "Blood" Mist Village. Sai says "No" and states the book was to be a present to his brother, but he died from an illness. They weren't blood related but his brother praised his work. Root takes orphans, and he thought of him as a brother. He wanted to show his brother the final pages in the book but he died, and he can no longer remember what he wanted to draw. Outside Kabuto walks to their room and opens the door. The room is empty. Outside the compound Sai is tied up. Yamato says he's sorry to Sai; he'll have to stay here with his clones. Naruto eagerly says it's time to save Sasuke. Sai says that's doubtful, he met Sasuke and he says he no longer cares about you. He asks Naruto that he's willing to oppose Orochimaru? Naruto says yes, he hated Sasuke at first but he formed a close bond to him over time. Sai is still unsure and Naruto says even if his body is destroyed he won’t stop. No matter what he'll take Sasuke back from Orochimaru. A surprised Sai can only watch on...
 Chapter 304
Chapter 304: "The Reverse Side of Betrayal!!" The team jumps back as kunai pepper the ground around Sai. Kabuto lands and states it looks like he got caught and didn't betray them after all. He then cuts Sai's bonds. Above Kabuto on the cliff two bunshin form a Rasengan and charge, Kabuto easily kicks it away stating it's useless. Naruto says he had to at least try and Kabuto states he was referring to saving Sasuke, he's different now. Suddenly Sai grabs Kabuto from behind and the Sound nin demands to know what is going on. Sai states sometimes people change, including him but something’s don't change, including his allegiance. Yamato binds Kabuto with wooden body shackle, and then he forms a wood clone. Naruto asks Sai why he did that, and Sai states he wants to know more about him and Sasuke, he can't forget the feelings he had for his own brother, and watching Naruto may help him deal with it. Kabuto merely laughs saying they don't know the real Sasuke, he's probably through training inside and resting in his room. There are numerous rooms though, and they may just find Orochimaru's if they're not careful. Inside the compound Yamato says they'll split into two teams, he'll go with Sakura while Naruto and Sai pair. They just need to mold chakra and he can detect them in trouble. Naruto frantically searches through many rooms and then passes out. Sai states they should rest but Naruto is adamant they keep going. He's exhausted from going Kyuubi previously. They rest and Sai tells Naruto he's hasty and loud mouthed like his brother. He had no dignity and he starts to say no penis but catches himself. An enthused Sai holds up his picture book and states his brother was also serious in his work like Naruto. Suddenly he stops talking and states he finally remembers what he wanted to draw in the middle, it's a dream he had. He quickly gets out his brush and ink and finishes the picture. It's he and his brother in their ANBU gear holding hands. Sai genuinely smiles and Naruto grins too. Their moment is cut short as a figure arrives, Orochimaru ponders aloud just whose side Sai is on...
 Chapter 305
Chapter 305: "The Bond With Your Friend" Orochimaru throws snakes from his arm and the young men retreat. Naruto yells for Sai to find Sasuke so Sai turns and runs away. Orochimaru complements Naruto's tenacity. Elsewhere Sakura and Yamato have no luck finding Sasuke. Yamato senses Naruto's chakra so they bolt to his location. Sai paints rats on a scroll and then sends them to find Sasuke's scent. Orochimaru ponders aloud why Naruto is so tired and then backup arrives. The Sannin figures Naruto still has yet to recover and he offers to let him live so he can continue to take out Akatsuki members. Orochimaru states he still has use for Sai though and then takes his leave in a puff of smoke. Yamato asks where Sai is and Naruto explains. He then states he may be able to do Tajuu Kage Bunshin to find Sai. Elsewhere a rat sneaks under a door. Yamato finds Sai's bag and looks at one of his books in surprise. Elsewhere Sai spies a sleeping Sasuke. Yamato states it’s an assassination list, with all the faces marked out except for an entry for Sasuke. Sai's true mission was to kill Sasuke. Naruto can't believe it after Sai's stated change of heart. Yamato points out a Mist Jounin who was a danger to Konoha whom is now crossed out. Sakura states it may all have been an act. Yamato states Sai had been tasked with killing threats to Konoha. Elsewhere Sai spies the sleeping figure, ink snakes move up and around Sasuke. Yamato states Danzou wanted Sai to kill Orochimaru's next container, so they better find him quickly. In the room Sasuke asks why Sai is there, Sai responds that he is there to... return Sasuke to Konoha! Sasuke stays quiet and Sai states it is because Naruto thinks of Sasuke as a brother, and he also wants to protect that precious bond.
 Chapter 306
Chapter 306: "The Hour of Reunion...!!" – Sasuke states he was woken up because of bonds? Elsewhere Naruto creates bunshin to search and then goes with Sakura and Yamato. An explosion rocks the compound, outside the Yamato clone and Kabuto look over in surprise. Kabuto amusedly thinks Sasuke can get cranky when he wakes up. Inside the team hears the destruction. Yamato feels Sai's chakra so they rush to his aid. Sai gathers himself from the rubble and complements Sasuke for living up to his reputation. Sasuke watches on from the ground above, newly exposed from the explosion. Down the corridor the team arrives and sees Sai in the distance. Sakura takes off and grabs Sai by the throat, demanding to know how many times he plans to betray them. A voice from above welcomes Sakura. A stunned Sakura turns to see Sasuke standing above. Down the corridor Yamato and Naruto see her surprised countenance. Naruto understands the look and rushes to her side. He looks up and sees his dear friend. Sasuke, garbed in black pants, an open white long sleeved shirt, with a traditional Sound rope belt with sword slung on back merely watches on...
 Chapter 307
Chapter 307: "Whim...!!" – Sasuke asks if Kakashi is here, Yamato says no. He then says they're here to bring Sasuke back. Sai pulls his sword and Sasuke states his replacement says foolish things about saving bonds. Sakura is confused and Sai admits his mission was indeed to kill Sasuke. However, meeting Naruto made him want to remember his own feelings and bonds. Because Sakura and Naruto are so desperate he wants to help them. If Sasuke breaks his bonds for good he'll long for them in the future. Sasuke states he understands that, that's why he has a new bond, pure hatred for his brother. Sasuke remembers Itachi's past words and he states bonds hampered his ambition and weakened his feelings. Naruto remembers Sasuke's words on cutting bonds at the Valley of the End, and then demands to know why he didn't kill him. Sasuke states he didn't do so because that path was merely to attain power. Naruto demands to know what that means but Sasuke says he doesn't have to explain himself, and that he only saved Naruto on a whim. Suddenly Sasuke is chest to chest with Naruto with his left arm on Naruto's right shoulder. Yamato is impressed with Sasuke's speed. Sasuke begins to dig at Naruto, stating Naruto's dream was to become Hokage, and yet he failed his mission to stop him? He then states firmly this time his whim will be to end Naruto's life. He then pulls his sword from his back. A determined Naruto retorts back that he's correct; one who can't save his friends can hardly become the Hokage. Sasuke offers a grunt in acknowledgement.
 Chapter 308
Chapter 308: "Sasuke's Strength!!" – Sasuke moves to stab but Sai jumps in to stay his arm. Sasuke complements Sai for his maneuver and Naruto flips out of Sasuke's grasp. Sasuke activates Sharingan and Yamato sends wood from his palm. Suddenly arcs of lightning envelope everyone around Sasuke. Sai is knocked out and Naruto falls to the ground. Sakura surmises that Sasuke sent out Chidori from his whole body. She remembers her promise to save Sasuke as well so she charges. Sasuke charges Chidori through his hand and sword. Yamato sees the danger and jumps in Sakura's path. Sasuke's sword cleanly cuts through Yamato's kunai, goes into his shoulder and then pins him to a rock. He then denigrates Yamato's defensive abilities. Sasuke states his Kusanagi sword is special. Yamato surmises the Chidori current increases its cutting ability and helps the numbness spread throughout the target’s body. A feral Naruto begins to gather himself from the ground, while his crystal necklace remains behind having fallen off. Inside the Kyuubi prison the beast has partially boiled outside the bars. It tells Naruto now is the time. When Naruto doesn't respond it asks why the hesitation? Naruto tells him he's staying inside this time. Kyuubi mockingly tells Naruto he needs the demon. That he has no chance unless the seal is completely released. Naruto raises his arm in defiance to stop the beast. Another arm then reaches out to touch Kyuubi's nose... it's Sasuke's! Kyuubi offers his surprise at an Uchiha showing up. Naruto asks Sasuke what he is doing there. Sasuke says he finally sees Naruto's hidden power and he is quite surprised...
 Chapter 309
Chapter 309: "Conversation with Kyuubi!!" – Kyuubi offers his surprise at one from the cursed bloodline seeing him within Naruto. Sasuke asks if that means Kyuubi has seen these eyes before. Kyuubi states yes, those eyes with a chakra more ominous than his own, just like was present in Uchiha Madara. Sasuke then focuses his strength and the Kyuubi head disperses. Sasuke wonders if he should know who Madara is. Kyuubi then considers in surprise Sasuke's ability to suppress him, and then warns him that he would regret killing Naruto. In the real world Naruto and Sai begin to stir. While Sasuke continues watching Naruto intently, Yamato quickly forms a handseal to shoot wood from his wound to force out the blade. Sasuke jumps back in surprise and a wood barrier rises to envelope him. He easily cuts through it and retreats to the ledge from earlier. Naruto yells to Sasuke that he should understand Orochimaru wants his body. Sasuke says he knows, but he will do what he can to get his revenge. Itachi is greater than Orochimaru and himself at the moment, but together they may have a chance. Yamato stands and apologizes that he is going to have to get serious now. Sasuke himself then states its time to end this; he forms a handseal and then raises his left arm. Suddenly Orochimaru grabs his arm and tells him not to use that jutsu. Sasuke demands he let ago and Kabuto chastises him, stating they should let Konoha continue to take out Akatsuki. The more they're eliminated the higher the chance for him to kill Itachi. Sasuke accepts the idea so the three disappear. Team Kakashi is left behind in the rubble. Naruto merely looks down in sadness and frustration.
 
Volume 35
Chapter 310 Chapter 310: "Title" – Naruto doubles over in agony from his failure, thinking he's powerless. Sakura begins to cry and states they couldn't bring him back. She then says though, that they're still together and they'll get stronger together as well. Sai states they have six months. He himself is strong and three is better than two. Naruto chuckles and he and Sakura begin to perk up. Yamato tells them to move out. A short while later the team stands before Tsunade. Naruto promises they're not giving up, and she states that's fine, she already has a mission for them. Later Sai kneels before Danzou. The old man is surprised by Sai's mission failure. Sai asks a favor, to keep his name and to stay with Team Kakashi for the time being. Danzou says Sai will need to ask Tsunade; he then notices Sai's smile. He then warns Sai that emotions can lead to war. Sai thinks of Sasuke's words of hatred for his brother, but he then thinks of how Naruto stated he connected with Sasuke. In Sai's apartment he holds a scroll marked "Comrade" and he remembers Naruto others words, demanding to know if Sai even knew what that word meant. Sai smiles and begins to paint a picture; he then thinks of his brother. Outside Naruto yells for Sai to hurry. Sai puts down the brush and we move to the window seal. With the window frame to the outside world appearing like a painting, Sai joins the group while "Comrade" sits below it, marking his new beginning among friends.
Chapter 311 Chapter 311: "Nickname" – In the Konoha reading center, Sai is intently reading books on good communication and relations. He notes passages on the usage of honorifics and nicknames. Sakura walks by holding a book and notices Sai. She asks if he is looking for art books, Sai says no and blushes. Sakura notices the book titles and understands. She asks Sai if he wants to come see Kakashi-sensei with her and Naruto. Elsewhere Naruto sits and thinks over Sasuke's statements. Sakura yells to Naruto and the trio meets. Naruto is surprised Sai is coming, and comments that it hurts his chance to go on a date with Sakura. Sakura says any time like that should be used training in ninjutsu. He also needs to work on training his mind too, since he's an idiot. Naruto hunches over dejected. Sai thinks over how Sakura talks to Naruto informally. Sai blushes and asks if he can join the discussion. He states how he read how to open ones heart and make friends by referring to people by their last names or nicknames. Naruto tells him not to worry about it, and Sakura asks if he read that in one of the books. He states yes and he couldn't think of any nicknames. Sakura understands and states he could base them on their characteristics, like "Idiot-Naruto." Naruto says that's too harsh. Sai understands and Sakura thinks over how much closer they've gotten. Sai states his thanks and then offers... "Ugly". Sakura smiles and then freaks yelling Shannaro!! Naruto tries to hold her back and tells Sai he went too far. Sai doesn't understand. A short while later the trio stands before Kakashi's hospital bed. Both Naruto and Sai nurse bruises on their cheeks. Kakashi offers his greeting to Sai and then asks Sakura privately what happened. He is surprised a fight broke out this early. Sakura says everything is okay. Sai sizes up Kakashi and he figures while he heard about Kakashi while in Root, Kakashi probably heard of him too. Kakashi says he heard about the mission and Sasuke from Yamato. Naruto states there's not much time and that he wasn't strong enough. Sakura states Sasuke's speed and strength weren't normal and that in her training with Tsunade she learned it may be kinjutsu or drugs. Also Kabuto does experiments she can't even find in her book. Kakashi states they have to get stronger. He used his downtime to think of just how to do that, but this particular method is suited to Naruto. A training regimen which could even help Naruto surpass Kakashi himself...
Chapter 312 Chapter 312: "Silent Approaching Threat!!" – Kakashi explains the training will be different than anything before. It will help Naruto develop an ultimate ninjutsu which he can call his own, but it will take a very long time and won't come easy. Naruto states they don't have that much time but Kakashi states he has that worked out. Suddenly Team 10 enters and Asuma asks how Kakashi is doing. Shikamaru asks if they've done the mission already and then notices Sai. Sai offers a greeting. In Tsunade's office an ANBU brings a report. Shizune states Akatsuki is moving again and will be getting close. Tsunade states it's time for Konoha to stop messing around and use this opportunity to take them out for good. Back at the hospital the Sai situation is explained and he asks them to treat him as a friend. Ino comments to Sakura that Sai is kinda cute like Sasuke. Sakura whispers back that he acts completely different than he looks, and he's socially clueless. Shikamaru tells Naruto he'll help out next time since the Chuunin Exams are now over. Asuma tells the group to go get something to eat while he talks to Kakashi. Naruto interjects that he thought it was training time. Kakashi says they can do that later. In the Yakiniku, Sakura asks where Shikamaru is, Chouji says he went to help his dad. Ino comments it's strange since he is usually on time for meetings. Ino states they should formally introduce themselves. Sai smiles and thinks he better come up with some nicknames fast. Sai tells Chouji it's nice to meet him... and begins to quickly think. Sakura and Naruto freak thinking Sai will say fatty. Sai begins to say just that when Naruto grabs his mouth and warns him not to. Sai then turns to Ino and thinks how women really hate it when he speaks the truth, so he'll do the reverse. He calls her Beautiful-san. Ino blushes and Sakura explodes with anger at the difference in their names. Elsewhere a kunoichi is desperately running. A huge scythe emerges from the shadows to strike at her. A hidden voice comments how his attack speed is the slowest in Akatsuki. The kunoichi from Hidden Cloud then states her recognition of the group. Two figures emerge, one bearing the San ring and the other the Kito ring. Kito ring states she is the last and she's not that bad. He then tells his partner, Hidan from an unknown Hidden village, that this is the two-tails Jinchuuriki, and that they should be careful. Hidan then tells his partner, Kakuzu from Hidden Waterfall, that he knows and he wants her to kill him just to get it over with...
Chapter 313 Chapter 313: "The New Duo!!" – Hidan asks his partner to wait while he prays. Kakuzu is annoyed but Hidan explains he has to. The kunoichi states she is the one in control and destroys all the entrances. Hidan states they weren't paying enough attention and Kakuzu states it’s just as well. The kunoichi identifies herself as Yugito. Hidan gets annoyed by her boasts and begins to talk of a bloodlust, Kakuzu tells him to cram it and focus. Hidan explains in his evil god belief system they must kill all, and the mission goes against that. Yugito is confused and when Hidan just asks her to come quietly. She refuses and begins to change into her Jinchuuriki form. Chakra swirls and quickly resembles a huge feral feline. Hidan offers his surprise and the beast swipes. Kakuzu reaches up to stop the blow. It then emits a fiery ball out of its mouth and Hidan jumps away. Soon the building itself collapses and Hidan jokes of not being able to stand the heat. He takes refuge in the rubble and states he's trapped like a rat to the two tailed demon feline known as a living ghost. In Konoha, Kakashi asks what Asuma wanted but Kurenai enters and Asuma takes his leave. He states he'll tell Kakashi later. Back at the fight Hidan rests impaled on the ground on his religious symbol. He turns from black to his normal tone and Kakuzu offers his annoyance at this constant sacrifice. Hidan states he has to and it's blasphemy to skip. He pulls the spike out and we see blood-drenched Yugito high on a wall, with a spike impaling both her hands. Kakuzu pulls out a map with multiple countries marks with X's. He then states their final target is the Fire Country...
Chapter 314 Chapter 314: "Akatsuki's Invasion...!!" – Zetsu emerges, startling the duo. He asks if they're finally done and Hidan is annoyed again at someone insulting his religion. Zetsu states he can only trust in himself, but Kakuzu says one can trust money. Hidan is annoyed, stating Kakuzu's side-jobs always make them late. Kakuzu tells him to be quiet, that he paired with Hidan because he knew his religious practices would lead to money for the group. Zetsu tells them to move on and he'll take care of the Nibi. Later the duo stands in front of the Fire Temple. Hidan expresses reluctance at entering but Kakuzu pushes forward, holding out his ring hand it turns black and the door opens. Inside the monks hear the iron gates crashing down and rush to alert Chiriku. They recognize the invaders as Akatsuki and Chiriku arrives to face them. Kakuzu is pleased, stating the monk has a bounty of 30 million ryou. Hidan expresses discomfort at killing a monk but Kakuzu pushes on. Chiriku asks them to leave but they stand firm. Kakuzu states the Fire Temple is highly revered, and the monks have special abilities. This particular one is an elite of the 12 guards, chosen to protect the Fire Daimyou. He can be identified by his "Fire" marked loincloth. He tells Hidan to not let down his guard and his partner retorts he's seriously saying that again? In Konoha Naruto is happy that Kakashi is training him again but Kakashi tells him the happiness will end soon. He states the goal is a jutsu which surpasses Rasengan. The two important principles are altering the chakra's shape and nature. Rasengan alters the shape but not the nature, while Chidori also alters the nature by changing it from chakra into an electrical current. Naruto affirms understanding about altering its nature but Kakashi thinks that's not exactly what he meant but he'll get it. He then begins to states how they'll train in a short period of time and we cut away to the Third Hokage memorial. Asuma stands before it and states he understands what the old man meant. We focus on his "Fire" loincloth with new understanding. He states leaving Konoha behind and doing what he wanted was bad but he has no regrets. It wasn't so bad being born into the Sarutobi clan, and you did your duty old man. Back in the monastery it's totally destroyed. Hidan is doing his ritual and states the Jinchuuriki wasn't there so they should move on. Kakuzu says no, he has to turn in Chiriku's body for the reward. A lone monk watches in the distance, he states he has to warn Leaf. Kakuzu says the country is big so they need to be careful and Hidan once again yells at him for always making them late.
Chapter 315 Chapter 315: "Special Training!!" – Kakashi explains the shortcut is Tajuu Kage Bunshin. Naruto is clueless so Kakashi explains. The Kage Bunshin is an actual clone, and any experience gained by the clone is passed back to the original. Naruto remains clueless so Kakashi shows him. Kakashi makes a clone, and has Naruto make one too. The clones go off into the woods and play a rock-scissors-paper game. The original Naruto states he has no idea what's going on. The Naruto clone disperses and the original suddenly obtains the memories that he won the game. Kakashi asks if he finally understands and Naruto states he's never noticed that feature before. And he asks how this helps anyway. Kakashi explains that with each clone added to train, it multiplies the training experienced. So a thousand clones could learn in a week what would normally take one ninja numerous years. Naruto asks if that's why Kakashi is so strong but he states no. Kage Bunshin evenly splits the chakra, and he simply doesn't have the same stamina or chakra level that Naruto does to attempt the training. Kakashi explains Naruto has at least twice as much chakra, and if the Kyuubi chakra is managed it could be 100 times that. An off panel voice states that's why it's perfect for Naruto. Yamato has arrived to assist in restraining the Kyuubi. Kakashi explains they are five basic types of chakra, Fire, Wind, Water, Lightning and Earth; and each person’s chakra tends to be one of these types. Yamato explains that the Uchiha lean towards fire. Kakashi explains Chidori is an element of lightning. Naruto states then that Sasuke is both Fire and Lightning. Kakashi explains Naruto is a blank slate but his cards should help them discover his chakra nature. The cards are specially treated to reveal ones elemental type, imbue some chakra into it and it will change. The paper will crumple if lightning, split if wind, burn if fire, fall apart if earth, and become wet if water. Yamato explains it's made from specially chakra-nurtured trees. Naruto takes the paper and flows his chakra in... it splits! Kakashi states it's time for Wind Element training!
Chapter 316 Chapter 316: "Training Starts!!" – Kakashi explains how Wind can blow and cut through most anything. Naruto beams stating he's awesome but his teachers tell him he's not there yet. Naruto then asks what type of nature manipulation is Mokuton? Kakashi whispers to Yamato. Yamato steps aside. Forming hand seals a huge earthen hill rises up using Earth, and then using Water he forms a waterfall off of it. Yamato explains he’s adept at both earth and water styles. Naruto states then that he can use two styles too, and Kakashi explains most Jounin level can. So Naruto asks if Wood means he has three. Yamato explains Wood isn't a basic element. Kakashi states he uses both simultaneously, earth chakra in one hand, water in the other. Naruto is surprised and Yamato explains once learned it's fairly easy to use multiple ones separately. Using them together though is another story. Kakashi explains it usually takes a bloodline limit. The young man named Haku had a bloodline allowing him to make an Ice element out of Water and Wind. Such abilities can't be copied by Sharingan. Naruto then asks about shadow and size manipulation, medical jutsu and genjutsu. Kakashi states those will take awhile to explain. Yamato states those involve dark and light nature manipulation, and they can explained later. Kakashi tells Naruto to place a leaf between the palms of his hands, and then slice it using chakra. Naruto asks how many clones he'll need and Kakashi suggests this whole trees’ leaves worth. Elsewhere Shikamaru and Asuma play shogi. Asuma makes a particularly risky play and Shikamaru asks what the matter is. Asuma explains sacrifices are sometimes needed to protect the king, and he's finally realized what that means. Asuma states Shikamaru would be a knight, capable of quick and strategic moves. Shikamaru asks what that makes Asuma then, so he points to the pawn. Asuma asks if he knows who the king is. Shikamaru states the Hokage? Asuma states he thought so too, but no. Shikamaru then asks who, and Asuma states the young man will figure it out in time. Back outside the tree is bare of leaves and one clone has made a small tear in a leaf. Kakashi thinks this may go quicker than he thought.
Chapter 317 Chapter 317: "The Nightmare Begins" – A gigantic three-tailed turtle emerges from the water. Tobi in an Akatsuki cloak states Deidara can handle him. Deidara says no, being a full-fledged member means taking him on by himself. Tobi takes off and the bijuu follows. He states Kisame should be the one handling a water bijuu. Deidara forms a clay fish which swims near the beast and explodes, sending Tobi flying as well. Back in Konoha Yamato focuses on controlling the Kyuubi's chakra, and Kakashi asks "Tenzou" how it's going. Yamato says he's fine, and asks to be called his codename. The Naruto's are happy one has learned to cut a leaf but they're a bit jealous. Naruto asks Kakashi if there are any other Wind users, and Kakashi refers him to Asuma. Elsewhere Asuma has lost in Shougi and must now pay for their next meal. Naruto arrives and Asuma explains his surprise at his element being Wind too. He tells Naruto he'll help him if he buys them dinner and Shikamaru states that's cheating. Asuma pulls out his knife and explains its' special metal focuses the users unique chakra. Naruto is handed a knife and told to flow his chakra in. Asuma explains one has to split your chakra and then rub it back together. Naruto asks how these are better than normal cutting weapons. Asuma has them throw the knives at a tree. Naruto's sticks, while Asuma's pierces the tree and buries itself in a rock behind. Asuma explains that he held back, and that a weapon like this gives a ninja an edge in battle. He states Wind is for close and mid-range fighting. Naruto states his thanks and the Kage Bunshin puffs away to Shikamaru’s surprise. The other Narutos get their instant update from the dispersed clone. In the Admin building the Fire Monk lays out what happened. Shizune states they're looking for a Jinchuuriki. Tsunade strongly states they won't leave the country and tells Shizune to contact the 20 platoons.
Chapter 318 Chapter 318: "Favorable Training" – Kakashi tells Naruto to think over his training and then disperse his clones. They disappear and Yamato relaxes. Naruto looks at the barely torn leaf in his hand and then passes out. Kakashi states he also obtains the mental fatigue as well. Elsewhere Tobi stands on the belly of the defeated bijuu. Tobi acts boastful and Deidara tells him his own art played a large part. He states Tobi needs to shut his big mouth and keep his cool. He then goes on to relate “cool” to art and Tobi interjects that Deidara has the big mouth now. Deidara glares and an explosion happens off panel. At the waterfall, the Narutos successfully split their leaves and then disperse. He asks how long it will be to master the training and then passes out. A short time later Naruto awakes and Kakashi tells him the next step is to cut the waterfall. Yamato states he'll directly hit the waterfall with his hand using his elemental Wind chakra. Kakashi states if he can do this it can be used in combat. Naruto smiles and asks if that means he can do nature manipulation now. Kakashi thinks of how quickly Naruto has grown and the young man stands and does Tajuu Kage Bunshin. Elsewhere Deidara pulls the Sanbi while Tobi lies on its stomach. Deidara states the Sanbi was weak because it was wild and didn't know how to use its powers. He then tells Tobi he doesn't have to stay so quiet to which Tobi snores. An infuriated Deidara then causes an explosion to awaken him. Elsewhere Kakuzu tells Hidan to carry the monk to which Hidan says no, the monk was his thing. In Konoha, Tsunade has assembled the 20 platoons. Asuma asks to the whereabouts of Chiriku, and the monk says he died fighting the intruders. She tells the platoons not to let Akatsuki leave the country. They move out and Asuma tells his team of Shikamaru, Izumo and Kotetsu they should head to the Fire Temple first...
Chapter 319 Chapter 319: "The Motivation" – Asuma looks on at an apartment window and tells his team to move out. Inside Kurenai senses something, but when she turns to look out Asuma is gone. At the waterfall, 11 Narutos in trunks stand near the waterfall training. He's annoyed that the water isn't being affected and goes to Kakashi. His sensei explains Naruto needs a lot of chakra in a few clones to split the water, and at its current width it can only fit around 10 clones. He tells Naruto to slow down. Naruto says he won't have such time in combat but Kakashi says he needs to get it down first. Cutting a leaf would normally take half a year, and it took the genius Sasuke several days to learn to control lightning chakra. Naruto yells he needs to become better than Sasuke. Kakashi whispers to Yamato, who then greatly widens the waterfall. Naruto is surprised and Yamato nearly collapses. He says he's fine but Kakashi notes he barely completed it. Naruto then uses Tajuu Kage Bunshin. Elsewhere Sakura sits in her darkened room. She looks at an old Team 7 photo and begins to cry. Naruto rests and watches the night sky. He sees a falling star and grasps his necklace, thinking of Sasuke. He sits up determined and does Tajuu Kage Bunshin again. The next morning Yamato and Kakashi watch in surprise as all the Shadow Clones manage to split the water. Yamato can't believe what the training has done for Naruto. Kakashi states it's not just the training; it's his feelings towards Sasuke as well.
 
Volume 36
Chapter 320
Chapter 320: "Bounty Head Money" – In the Fire Temple coffins line the interior. A monk tells Asuma they couldn't find Chiriku, Izumo figures he was probably taken in for bounty. Kotetsu asks where the bounty station is and Izumo says there are five in all. Izumo alerts four other teams via birds to head for the others. Asuma states they'll head out for the closest. One of the elder monks states they'll pray for them and Asuma smiles. Elsewhere Naruto is jubilant, Kakashi states Naruto can now work on refining it. Naruto collapses and Kakashi rushes to his side. Naruto states he is very hungry and Kakashi grins. At the Temple Asuma thanks the monk for praying. The monk tells him to be careful, as one of the Twelve Guardians he has a price on his head as well. Asuma tells him not to worry; his bounty has to be at least 5 million more than Chiriku's. At Ichiraku Kakashi asks where Ayame is. Teuchi says she's on a trip and these are the two new cooks. Naruto slobbers in anticipation but the two new cooks prove clueless in the kitchen, ruining each bowl of ramen made and dropping others. Naruto can only watch on in slobbering sadness at the mayhem developing before him. Elsewhere in a men’s restroom a hidden wall panel opens before Hidan and Kakuzu. A man greets them and then offers Kakuzu his appreciation for the bounty head. Chiriku's corpse is laid on a slab and the reward money is handed over. Hidan curses the horrible smell of the place and goes to leave while Kakuzu states he's going to remain and count his money. Back at Ichiraku Naruto happily slurps up his ramen. Yamato looks at his bowl with disdain and Naruto states he wants to go train afterwards. Kakashi says it'll have to wait, there's something else he needs to show Naruto first...
Chapter 321
Chapter 321: "Smooth-Talking...!!" – Naruto states he isn't ready for another of Kakashi's long-winded explanations. His sensei explains he'll make it understandable, and asks Yamato to pay. Yamato interjects that the senpai usually pays. Kakashi states that for those you respect, there's no "senior" or "junior" talk, and then he adds that of all his juniors, he only recognizes Yamato. Yamato then embarrassedly interjects that he'll pay. Naruto thinks that Kakashi does in fact have a way with words. They leave and Kakashi explains about changing the shape of chakra, and how with Chidori he decides the power and range of the attack. Because Naruto learned nature manipulation, and knows form manipulation with Rasengan, he's pretty much got the basics down. Naruto comments that this was easy, but Kakashi states no. Kakashi then forms Rasengan in his hand to Naruto's surprise. He states he couldn't fuse his lightning chakra with Rasengan. To fuse the two requires a very special knack for it. He states that neither he nor his teacher the Fourth Hokage could do it. He states Rasengan is a high level form manipulation technique, uncompleted and lacking nature. Naruto asks if that means it's a half-complete jutsu and Kakashi affirms. He states he doesn't even know if it's possible, so it's up to Naruto to find out. He asks Naruto if he knows why he's telling him this, and he states it's because he believes he can surpass the Fourth. Naruto blushes in surprise. Yamato smiles and states Kakashi has a way with words. Kakashi states he really does believe it. Elsewhere the Bounty master asks Kakuzu to return with more later. Kakuzu replies he's going to Konoha to look for a Jinchuuriki. The master states Kakuzu should look for a new partner. In the forest Team Asuma runs on. Shikamaru asks Asuma how he knows Chiriku. He states Asuma usually smokes two packs a day, but he hasn't touched a cigarette in the last few days. When he stops smoking there is something going on. Asuma states Shikamaru can always see through him. The younger man says usually only in Shougi and adds that Asuma also gave up smoking when the Third died. Asuma states he and Chiriku were friends while in the Twelve Guardians, similar to Shikamaru and Chouji. Shikamaru silently takes this in, then states he won't have to wait long before picking his smoking habit back up.
Chapter 322
Chapter 322: "He Can't Be Killed" – Asuma says he's touched that Shikamaru cares, but he didn't give up smoking because of Chiriku. He then adds to be careful when they finally face Akatsuki. In the restroom, Kakuzu states Hidan is a pain in the ass, but the only one worthy to be his companion since the previous ones all died. And when he gets really annoyed, the urge to kill rises, but Hidan can't be killed. In Konoha multiple Narutos are exhausted and two attempt Rasengan. They attempt to create Wind but it proves difficult to focus. A burst of wind sends the clones flying and the agitated Naruto stands and forms Rasengan again. His annoyance rising, he grits his teeth and the Kyuubi chakra begins to boil and four tails form. Kakashi yells for Yamato and he extends the wood to clamp down and subdue Naruto. Yamato yells that if this continues it will be too much for Naruto, and it's getting to be too much for him too. Kakashi replies it's the only way, and it's all dependent upon Yamato. Yamato affirms. Elsewhere Hidan sits and curses the stink that has stuck to him, a figure walks up behind him and he expresses his annoyance that Kakuzu took so long. He turns to see Asuma hurl kunai at him, he uses his scythe to knock them away and then hurls it at his opponent. Asuma steps aside to avoid the attack and Hidan stands frozen. Izumo and Kotetsu rush in from the sides with large kunai, while Shikamaru watches from the roof holding Hidan in place. Kotetsu and Izumo's blades strike home in Hidan's chest. Asuma states that's one down, but Hidan replies that hurt and asks what the hell is going on.
Chapter 323
Chapter 323: "God's Judgment" – Izumo and Kotetsu are shocked their attack was shrugged off. Hidan asks who they are and notices Asuma's Fire loincloth. Asuma states they're from Konoha and they're here to wipe Akatsuki out. He acknowledges Hidan's high skills and Shikamaru also marvels at their power. Hidan says they've made a misstep and Asuma asks where his partner is. On the roof Shikamaru can barely jump away as Kakuzu slams his position. Hidan maniacally yells that the binding jutsu wore off. Asuma rushes to protect Shikamaru and yells for Izumo and Kotetsu to retreat, so they take up positions around Shikamaru. Hidan tells his partner not to interfere, that they will be his offerings. Kakuzu states that's fine, and to not let down his guard. Hidan asks why he says that, they if they kill, that's fine. He then makes his Jashin symbol below him out of his blood. Asuma says he'll charge him and asks Shikamaru to attack him with his shadow sewing. Kotetsu says he'll assist but Asuma firmly states no, these guys are too good. Kotetsu then asks isn't retreat better? Asuma says no, they'll be killed if they do that too. It's all like Shougi, and sometimes you have to play in this fashion. Hidan pulls one of the large blades from his sides, and curses them from not understanding pain. Shikamaru states such a sacrificial gambit doesn't suit Asuma, but the older man states it won't be one with you around. Asuma and Hidan clash and Shikamaru tries to hit him with his shadow needles. Hidan throws the blades and Asuma cuts through them. The scythe then rushes, Asuma parries but a blade tip cuts his cheek. Hidan draws the scythe back and licks the blood. Asuma emits a fire style burning ash cloud which envelops Hidan. Hidan's body turns black with white skeletal outlines, he then gloats that Asuma's in pain now, correct? Asuma then feels that he himself has been burned instead. Hidan gloats that God's judgment has helped Asuma feel the pain of others. His fate is sealed and the ceremony will now begin, allowing them to experience the pain together!...
Chapter 324
Chapter 324: "Shikamaru's Analysis" – Kakuzu ponders Asuma's monetary worth and Shikamaru wonders if Asuma's burning means what he thinks. Hidan pulls out a spike and laughs with glee. Asuma extends his Wind chakra through his knife and charges. Hidan jams the spike through his femur and Asuma goes down in pain. Hidan gloats how the pain of his opponent floods through him, causing pleasure. Izumo and Kotetsu try to grasp what's happening and then figure it out. Asuma has too and figures his foe can't be killed. Hidan asks whether he should just end it now. Izumo orders Shikamaru to stop Hidan's movements. Hidan raises his spike to pierce his chest, going for the killing blow but Shikamaru's shadow stops him! Hidan tries to fight against the binding. Kotetsu asks how long it was since they called for reinforcements, and Izumo figures it will be another 20 minutes until they arrive. Izumo doesn't like their chances if Asuma falls. Shikamaru maintains his hold and his mind frantically goes through all the variables. Asuma thinks he has to use this time to figure out a counter. Kakuzu tells his partner if this goes on any longer he'll have to step in. Hidan yells that he can do it. Shikamaru thinks of all the things Hidan has said so far, about preparations, rituals and ceremonies. He then snaps to attention with the answer. Izumo asks if he has an idea. Asuma thinks over the young man's ability to think many moves ahead and consider many different strategies. Shikamaru firmly tells his captain they're ready to go.
Chapter 325
Chapter 325: "There Is No After...!" – Kakuzu ponders the shadow's binding ability while Hidan fights against it. Izumo asks Shikamaru what he'll do. The young man strains and explains he'll withdraw Hidan from the circle on the ground. It's tied to his scythe usage, even if it's not fatal if he can wound he can kill. It's tied to the curse through consumption of his opponent's blood. He goes on to state the final requirement is Hidan needs to be in the circle. Kakuzu is impressed and Shikamaru explains how Hidan's boasts about starting the ceremony helped give it away. Hidan is incensed and he curses the young man, telling him after he gets free he's going to rip him apart. Shikamaru retorts there will be no "after" and yells to Asuma that Hidan is finally out of the circle. Asuma throws a shuriken which cuts through Hidan with no ill affect on himself. Shikamaru then causes his shadows to whip out and stab through Hidan, holding him down further. Shikamaru states he can't hold on for much longer and Asuma tells him good work. Hidan yells for Kakuzu to hurry and help him and his partner retorts that he warned him his carelessness would be his end. Asuma charges with his chakra blades and cuts off Hidan's head, sending it flying next to Kakuzu. The Konoha ninja breathe a sigh of relief. Kakuzu looks at Hidan's head and states that if he needed help he should have asked earlier... and the head yells back that Kakuzu let that happen! The Konoha ninja are shocked. Kakuzu reminds Hidan he told him to back off, and now that he is only a head he dares yell at him? Hidan's head states maybe he was at fault and asks Kakuzu to get his body for him. Kakuzu picks up Hidan's head and makes no further move. Hidan demands Kakuzu get his body but his partner merely states his head is lighter.
Chapter 326
Chapter 326: "Desired Pain...!!" – Hidan bitches to Kakuzu about the hair pulling and complains about the pain of the beheading. The Konoha ninja watch on and Shikamaru weakly states Hidan can't use jutsu without his body. Izumo states they have a chance against the other now and Asuma thinks over whether they should now flee. Suddenly Kakuzu has kicked Asuma back. He places Hidan's head on the body and dark threads emerge from his sleeves to sew it back on. He warns Hidan to be careful or it'll come off again. The Konoha ninja think over how impossible this is and Kakuzu tells Hidan to take Asuma while he goes after the rest. Kotetsu summons a huge weapon and Izumo charges and emits a sticky glue from his mouth. Kotetsu emits a protective chakra to his feet and runs across the surface, the charging Kakuzu gets stuck. Kotetsu lunges to strike but Kakuzu unravels stitches from his forearms and sends out his hands to grab the two men by the throat, sticky tendrils running from the forearms to the hands allow him to maintain control. Asuma charges his blade and stands to swipe at Hidan. His opponent jumps back and pulls his scythe back from Asuma's blindside. Asuma dodges and the weapon impales Hidan in the chest. Hidan merely laughs at the pain and points out he is now in his circle. Asuma doubles over coughing up blood and Hidan gloats that he is feeling the pain of death. He pulls a pike and Shikamaru runs, yelling for him to stop. He can only watch in horror as Hidan plunges the pike straight through his chest.
Chapter 327
Chapter 327: "Within Despair..." – Asuma kneels and then coughs up blood. In Konoha, Kurenai waters her plants. When the petals of one falls off its stem, she is hit with an ill omen about Asuma. Elsewhere Hidan relishes the pain and Shikamaru runs towards him in shock, and then collapses. Hidan's skin returns to normal and he tells his partner he's done. Kakuzu replies he almost is too. As Izumo and Kotetsu struggle against the grip, Shikamaru stands and runs at the man in a rage. Kakuzu yanks Izumo and slaps Shikamaru aside. Suddenly crows fly in to surround the two Akatsuki. Hidan yells in confusion and Kakuzu retorts it's to block their vision. A black sword pierces through crows and Raidou places himself between Kakuzu and Kotetsu. He strikes Kakuzu in the head with the sword and the other releases his grip. Chouji lifts Asuma and Ino helps Shikamaru to his feet. They retreat to the building roof and Aoba controls his flock, sending them after the Akatsuki duo. The duo retreats backwards and curses the backup. The birds poof away and Raidou asks Kotetsu if he is okay. Chouji and Shikamaru yell at Asuma but the man remains silent. Shikamaru listens at his chest and hears a faint heartbeat. He yells for Chouji to return to Konoha with Asuma and tells Ino to apply medical ninjutsu along the way. They affirm the order but suddenly Kakuzu appears on the roof, stating he's not giving up his bounty. Aoba states they'll hold them off while they retreat with Asuma. Hidan gloats they're just more sacrifices but then he and Kakuzu suddenly bolt to attention. Hidan asks to no one if it can wait a little longer. Elsewhere the Akatsuki leader sits on the tongue of a large figure in a city. He tells them to return as they're preparing to seal the Sanbi. Hidan petulantly demands more time but his partner tells him to cool it. Hidan concedes and Kakuzu states they'll be back later. Elsewhere a nose pierced Akatsuki leader reacts in annoyance at the lack of maturity in his men.
Chapter 328
Chapter 328: "Team 10" – Izumo wonders why they are retreating and Shikamaru yells for Asuma to be spirited away to healing. Hidan states they shouldn't go anywhere as they'll be back soon; they then puff away in smoke. Asuma weakly states it's okay now, this is it for him. Ino uses healing on him and surmises they hit vital points, meaning she can't do anything else. Asuma states he finally understands why the Third did what he did, and it took him too long to figure it out. He asks his former students to come close, Shikamaru stoically tells them to listen close, as these are his last words. Asuma tells Ino to look over for Shikamaru and Chouji and never to lose out to Sakura in Ninjutsu or love. She cries and says she understands. He tells Chouji he's kind and trustworthy, things that will make him become a great ninja. He then also states he should try to diet. Chouji cries and says he'll try. He finally tells Shikamaru he has a great mind and sense for a ninja, the kind which could make him Hokage. He also states he never managed to beat him once. He then asks if he remembers his words on the "King," he whispers in Shikamaru's ear what he's learned on the subject and the young man reacts in surprise. He asks Shikamaru to take out his cigarettes and the young man lights him one last smoke. We flash to the past, where Asuma greets his team for the first time. He says there'll be no crying and the young Shikamaru replies it's all because of the smoke. We go forward to another time when Chouji ran up the bill at a yakiniku, and move again to Asuma buying flowers at Yamanaka's. Ino asks who they're for and Asuma states no one particular, she knowingly responds telling him to say "Hi" to Kurenai for her. We move again to Asuma giving Shikamaru a book on Shougi. Shikamaru wins their first match and the young man says he doesn't have to go easy on him. We move again to Asuma congratulating Shikamaru on being the only one to pass the Chuunin Exams; and finally again to congratulate Ino and Chouji on passing the Exam. He states they're now Chuunin and out of his care. They'll lead their own teams now and he gives them matching earrings as a gift. He asks them never to forget they were Team 10. In the present Asuma's cigarette drops to the ground and his body goes still. Ino yells out and she and Chouji profusely cry. Shikamaru remains stoic. It begins to rain and Raidou covers Asuma's upper body with his cloak. Shikamaru picks up a cigarette and lights it. He profusely coughs and states he hates to smoke. He begins to heavily cry and curses the smoke. Tears mix with rain, while back in Konoha Kurenai watches the rain out her apartment window as well...
Chapter 329
Chapter 329: "The True Goal...!!" – Near Konoha one Naruto forms Rasengan and begins to go Kyuubi, the others freak and yell for help. Yamato extends the suppressors and pin the Naruto to the ground, it then poofs away. Kakashi asks Naruto if he's okay, that after a day he's racked up 4,800 hours of training with all the clones. Naruto expresses doubt that it can even be done. Kakashi says that's not like him, but Naruto replies it's different this time. Kakashi states he has to carry on and Naruto replies it's like looking right and left at the same time. Yamato agrees but Kakashi says he can do that. He forms a clone and each looks different directions. Naruto suddenly perks up with a new understanding. Kakashi wonders if Naruto has figured something out. Elsewhere Akatsuki seals the Sanbi. The leader states the Nibi will be next, and it should take six days. Hidan complains about how long and idiotic it all is. He states he was so close to killing the heathen Leaf ninja and showing them the true nature of Jashin. The leader tells him they aren't heathens; they just follow a different path, the "Will of Fire." Hidan doesn't like the rebuke and the leader says he's not making fun of why he fights. The reason for war doesn't matter, they'll always happen. Hidan argues that he's tired of the prattle; his own goals won't be stopped by the group. The leader replies as long as he's a member he will work for their goals and if they are met his can come quickly in turn. Hidan replies it's always about gathering money, and the leader states yes, they do need a large sum of money. Hidan states he was the newest member before Tobi, and he doesn't even know why they're doing this then since the leader is always sneaking around. The leader says there are three steps: The first is money and the next is to create the first mercenary group. Hidan replies they're just doing the same thing other villages are doing, going on missions. And even becoming a village leader they won't find sanctuary in any country. The leader replies it's different. Shinobi villages make money for the country, and for the money to be steady it needs war. There haven’t been any big wars through this generation, and the villages are being reduced in size. The Five Great Shinobi Villages can handle the downtrend, but the smaller villages can't. Akatsuki will join with the remaining small villages to form their own fighting force with no country allegiance. Then using the bijuu they create new battles and new wars and gain a monopoly over them. In the end they'll control all the wars and be able to destroy the shinobi villages of the large countries, forcing them to rely on Akatsuki. With all that in hand, they can achieve their last true goal, to control the world...


Summaries by Leaf Ninja