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Volume 37
 Chapter 330
Chapter 330: "The Sad News...!!" – Tsunade hears the news from Izumo, Kotetsu and Shikamaru. She states she'll tell Kurenai, but Shikamaru interjects saying he'll do it. Asuma gave him a message for her anyway. Elsewhere Naruto and a clone works on creating Rasengan while another tries to inject Wind Element into it. Kakashi thinks how this approach makes sense. He thinks how Naruto is the only one capable of carrying out this process. He joking states he's really beginning to like him. This throws Naruto and the Wind sphere explodes. He then yells at his former sensei for throwing his concentration for saying weird stuff. Izumo arrives and tells them the bad news. Outside her apartment Shikamaru tells Kurenai the news as well. She stares on in shock and then collapses to her knees. We advance in time to see the Konoha gathered for Asuma's funeral. Kurenai holds flowers and Konohamaru cries for his uncle. Ino asks where Shikamaru is and Chouji reports his mom states he left earlier. In a field outside Konoha Shikamaru stares at the clouds and smokes a cigarette. Later he is back at his house playing Shougi alone. Shikaku watches his son in silence. Shikamaru moves his pieces and then becomes focused. He goes to the Konoha library to read up and a short time later we see him injecting his chakra into Asuma's blades. Time passes and we see Team 10 gear up and prepare to set out from Konoha...
 Chapter 331
Chapter 331: "Team 10 Heads Out...!!" – A voice orders them to wait, the three turn to see Tsunade. She asks where they're going and Shikamaru states the mission of the platoons is still on and their new team is heading out. She tells them to stop their selfish actions; they can be added back to their teams once a plan is in place. Shikamaru says reinforcements can come later, Tsunade tells them Asuma is dead; they'll need another to make a team. Thinking of Dan and Nawaki, she tells them going out like this they will die needlessly. Shikamaru smokes Asuma's cigarette and tells her Asuma is with them, he does not plan on dying but he doesn't want to run away from his problems. He states he's going to keep smoking until this battle is finished, Asuma will watch over them. She replies they fail to see reality that with three people… but she's interrupted. A voice behind her says another member makes a team, right? Kakashi interjects that he'll watch over them, without a captain to look over them they'll just go on their own anyway. Tsunade relents and Shikamaru asks what of Naruto? Kakashi shows a bandaged hand and states his work is done there. And Naruto's being watched over by another captain right now anyway. Elsewhere Akatsuki has sealed away the Sanbi. The leader looks to the unconscious Yugito and states the Nibi is next. Back in Konoha the Bounty Master sits before Ibiki. Ibiki demands to know what he knows about Kakuzu. The Master replies he won't talk, but Ibiki merely glares and says he has his own methods to make him speak. Outside Konoha Kakashi asks Shikamaru what his plan is. Shikamaru says it's changed since Kakashi joined and he tells them to pay attention. In the Hokage office, Tsunade asks of Naruto's training. Sakura states he's coming along, but it may take longer. She asks if this means Team 7 will be sent out to assist. Tsunade applauds her perception. Shizune wonders if Naruto will get done in time. Tsunade tells Sakura to let Yamato know Naruto has 24 hours to finish. If he can't finish, another team will go. She tells Shizune to get another team prepped in case he doesn't finish in time...
 Chapter 332
Chapter 332: "Shikamaru's Battle!!" – Shikamaru hands an item to Kakashi and he thinks over how well the young man was able to insert him into their plan in such a short time. Shikamaru asks that they memorize the plan and they move out. Elsewhere Akatuski has finished sealing the Nibi and Yugito falls to the ground dead. The Leader states there are three Bijuu left. Hidan is anxious to go. Deidara warns him to watch out for the Jinchuuriki Naruto, but Hidan retorts he doesn't take flak from one who had to get their arms reattached by Kakuzu. Kakuzu then interjects that's better than having ones head put back on. Kakuzu moves to leave and Hidan says he's going the wrong way, his partner states they aren't going back to the station, they'll approach Konoha from another direction. Above them a bird spies, it's Ino with her spirit in the birds body. She reports they're taking another route and they move out. As Hidan and Kakuzu move amongst large trees, a shadow stalks them. They notice the shadow and bolt to the ready and kunai rain down towards them. They explode with explosive tags, cutting Hidan's rope connection to his scythe. They look above to see Shikamaru flying through the air, he hurls two knives with exploding tags attached towards their heads. They barely dodge and the knives plant themselves in the heads of their shadows. The two men are confused that the tags didn't explode and they can no longer move! No shadow extends to hold them however. Shikamaru explains Asuma's blades were specially made to hold chakra, he infused his shadow bind into the blades to now hold them in place. Hidan and Kakuzu realize how the young man expertly moved them into position with distractions and feints. Shikamaru merely stares the men down with determination...
 Chapter 333
Chapter 333: "Affinity...!!" – Hidan begins to panic and Shikamaru replies it was indeed over the moment they were captured. Kakashi watches from behind a tree and thinks how it went well. Shikamaru states he caught them in the right order this time. He then uses his shadow to remove the knife binding Hidan. Hidan yells that he will regret this and the young man retorts that Hidan just isn't that bright. He then uses Hidan to attack Kakuzu. Hidan swings his scythe and Kakuzu ducks. His arm emerges from the ground removing the knife pinning him in place. Shikamaru surmises he extended his arm in the smoke from the first explosive tag. Kakuzu reattaches his arm and gloats that his ability was beyond Shikamaru's calculations, and that unlike Hidan he is a sharp guy. Hidan yells at the put down and he is used to charge Kakuzu. Kakuzu retreats and slams his back into a tree. Shikamaru thinks now is Chouji's chance and without fail his teammate bursts from above in a spin, hardening his hair to become a spiked meat tank. Kakuzu forms a hand seal and is slammed into the earth. Kakashi watches on with his Sharingan. Elsewhere Naruto stands in a huge crater. Yamato is surprised and Naruto says he almost has it. Yamato agrees but states Naruto has to be careful as Sasuke knows the Fire Element and Wind simply makes it stronger. He explains how all the elements are connected in a cycle with an element always being able to parry the other. Sasuke's Fire is over Wind, which is over Lightning which is over Earth which is over Water which in turn is back superior over Fire. This means Naruto can defeat Chidori. Naruto states he has good compatibility with Sasuke and Yamato says he's lucky Wind defeats Lightning. Naruto says that's not what he means. Possibly thinking over an eventual reconciliation and team up with his friend, he replies that Wind makes Fire more powerful. Back at the battle, Shikamaru and Chouji watch the dust clear and a darkened Kakuzu emerge. Shikamaru states that Kakuzu hardens his body, just as Raidou said. Kakuzu states he has a good eye, and that no physical attacks work on him. In an instant Kakashi has thrust his arm through Kakuzu's back and through his heart with his Raikiri. Everyone is shocked and Kakuzu states it's impossible that he moved so quickly without detection. Kakashi replies that he saw that his hardening jutsu was based on an Earth element seal and Kakuzu states he understands then. Kakashi says yes... Earth is weak against Lightning... and it's all over.
 Chapter 334
Chapter 334: "Black Transfiguration...!!" – Ino and Chouji think how great Kakashi is and Shikamaru figures they need to take out Kakuzu first. Kakashi removes his arm and Hidan tells Kakuzu not to be finished so quickly. Kakashi charges Hidan with another Raikiri and he is suddenly kicked powerfully backwards by Kakuzu to everyone's surprise. Hidan tells him they should finish this quickly and Kakashi wonders why the critical hit failed. Kakuzu removes his cloak to show four masks sewn to his back, the masks peel off on their own to form four individual black oil beasts. Hidan becomes crazed, ready for battle. Ino wonders what they are and Shikamaru and Chouji prepare themselves. Shikamaru's shadow weakens and retreats. Chouji asks why he didn't die and Shikamaru says he's not surprised by their new tricks anymore. Hidan tells his partner they should kill them now but one of Kakuzu's ghosts with a busted mask collapses and dies. Hidan chides Kakuzu for being pathetic. Kakashi emerges and figures that was the mask he struck through on his back. Kakuzu states he'll handle this but Hidan says they've been getting beaten so they'll do their usual attack pattern. Hidan jumps to attack Kakashi while one of the beasts emits a huge Wind attack at them both. Ino sees that the attack hit both men, but with Hidan's immortality he can withstand the attack. The next beast comes at Shikamaru and Chouji with a Lightning attack and Kakashi jumps in front of it to absorb it with dual Raikiri. Kakashi remarks that they're strong, and one has to match the high caliber chakra nature with the same element in turn. He's used Earth, Wind and Lightning so far. Ino asks if Kakashi is okay and he states barely. Hidan congratulates Kakashi for being the first to survive that attack. Kakuzu says he used Sharingan to see through the attack pattern, but what of this one? The final beast wells up to release a Fire element attack...
 Chapter 335
Chapter 335: "The Terrible Secret!!" – The group jumps away to avoid the attack. Hidan jumps to attack Kakashi who parries with a kunai and then retreats. Hidan compliments his skills. Kakashi tells his teammates that after four Raikiri and Sharingan he can't delay. Chouji asks why Kakuzu isn't dead. Kakashi surmises he crushed his heart, except it belonged to the thing inside which is now dead. Shikamaru explains he saw something similar when Kakuzu extended his arm. They theorize each monster has a heart, to defeat him you must kill all five. Kakuzu says yes, and if he loses a heart he'll simply take theirs. Kakashi asks Shikamaru what the attack plan is and he states to split into two teams, and stop the combo attacks. Ino says she'll go after Hidan but Shikamaru says no, Shintenshin is too risky. He'll take Hidan and after he captures him, they'll move him elsewhere. Chouji says he'll be the bait to capture Hidan but Shikamaru says that won't work either. Chouji needs to work with Kakashi to take out Kakuzu, he alone will take out Hidan and carry out his plan. Kakashi gives Shikamaru back the item from earlier. Shikamaru extends his shadow and the two Akatsuki maneuver away. While Kakashi charges Kakuzu, Hidan chides Shikamaru for being afraid and attacking from afar. However he is forced to retreat again as Shikamaru threw his shadow blade with his shadow. It barely misses Hidan's shadow, who further retreats up a tree. Shikamaru launches the second shadow blade which barely misses Hidan's shadow again. Hidan looks at his shadow and smiles, thinking over how easy it is to avoid the jutsu attack if he just watches his shadow. In an instant he looks up in shock to see Shikamaru himself moving in close to strike him with his fist. Their bodies and shadows connect and Shikamaru states he doesn't just do ranged attacks. He quickly retreats with a successful shadow bind...
 Chapter 336
Chapter 336: "Complete Turn Around, Predicament...!!" – Hidan is angered and Shikamaru has him drop his scythe; the two men then run away from the battle. Kakuzu chides the Leaf nins for letting Shikamaru take him on alone. He would make a nice bounty in the future, but now he's going to die. He states he himself is strong too and that their forehead protectors remind him of the first Konoha ninja he fought, Shodai Hokage. The team is surprised and Kakashi asks if he really is immortal? Kakuzu says no, there's no such thing as immortality in the world. He merely takes the heart of another stronger ninja before his own stops. With his stock of five hearts he's kept on living. And he'll now take Kakashi's to make up for the one he lost! The Katon and Futon mask elementals then combine. Elsewhere Shikamaru has set wire and exploding tags all around him and Hidan. The shadow bind stops and Hidan gloats this is just how he wanted it, to be alone with him. He charges with his spike and swipes blood which he ingests. He turns into his skeletal outline form, and then stabs his hand to draw the blood needed for his Jashin symbol. He raises the spike to his chest... and we cut back to the masks releasing a huge Wind/Fire attack. Kakashi retreats and releases a wall of water from his mouth, but because Wind was also inside it's not all stopped. Suddenly Kakuzu appears and lassos Kakashi to the ground with his tendrils. Ino and Chouji watch on as Kakuzu prepares to take Kakashi's heart. Elsewhere Hidan has pierced his heart and Shikamaru thinks of Asuma's last words. Shikamaru doubles over clutching his chest. Hidan calls the young man pathetic and states Kakuzu is probably about finished. But as Kakuzu sits on Kakashi ready to pull out his heart, he gravely clutches his own! He groans that he doesn't believe it and Kakashi says oh yes, believe it. Shikamaru knew Hidan required blood so he prepared a blood withdrawing vial. Kakuzu asks when he had the chance, Kakashi states when he hit him with Raikiri he also took some blood. He then retorts, it was Shikamaru who was underestimated and that he couldn't let the information Asuma gave him be wasted. Elsewhere Hidan has turned to go but Shikamaru lifts his head and stares at his opponent intently...
 Chapter 337
Chapter 337: "Shikamaru's Genius" Hidan moves to leave and turns suddenly to avoid getting his head cut off by Shikamaru. His forehead protector goes flying as a slice is taken out of his neck. Shikamaru extends his shadow to bind him again and Hidan asks why he isn't dead. The young man explains how he quickly placed his partner’s blood on the pike instead. It was his job to trick him. Elsewhere Kakuzu slumps over and Kakashi pulls off the tendrils. Ino tells Kakashi to let her heal him but he says no. The Fuuton and Katon entities charge and Chouji enlarges himself. He slams them into ground but seconds later they come up from the ground and merge into Kakuzu's back. He offers his surprise at two hearts being taken out. Back at the trap Hidan says any idiot can figure out a jutsu if it keeps getting used on him. He begins to move against the bind and states that Shikamaru’s endurance wanes as the jutsu keeps getting used. Shikamaru falls to his knees and Hidan laughs and raises his pike. We cut back to the other battle and the merged Kakuzu has his three opponents bound in tendril lines. He begins another combo Fuuton and Katon attack but they're suddenly countered by a Water attack and a Wind Element Rasengan! As the dust settles Naruto apologizes for being late, standing between Kakuzu and Team 10 is Team 7!
 Chapter 338
Chapter 338: "When He Was Cursed..." - Team 10 is happy to see them and Yamato states this is the first time he's seen Kakashi look so bad. Kakuzu looks at the dirty Naruto and asks if he still wants to fight him after being beat up? Naruto asks where Shikamaru is. Kakashi summons Pakkun and sends him, Sai and Sakura to help Shikamaru. Kakuzu gloats that the reinforcements are just more hearts for him. Kakashi asks if Naruto is done and Yamato says no, he's about half-way, but even now one can see the change in him. Naruto stares down Kakuzu and makes the hand seals for Kage Bunshin. Elsewhere Hidan tells Shikamaru he should have converted to Jashin, but he yells that Lord Jashin would never forgive his past sins. He moves to strike with the pike but the shadow moves on his body. Shikamaru retorts he doesn't need Jashin's approval, suddenly the shadows on Hidan's body lash out to the wire and tags around him. They pull the wire back and sew it into his body, binding him all over with the numerous explosive tags. Shikamaru throws a kunai at a Nara clan symbol on the ground, causing the earth to shake and drop out from below the now suspended Hidan. A dark tunnel extends far below the Akatsuki member. Hidan is confused and demands to know when this was set up. Shikamaru states he set it up beforehand. Hidan realizes his opponent wasn't trying to be a hero, he led him here as part of his plan. Shikamaru lights a cigarette and coldly states Hidan dug that grave when he killed his sensei. Hidan glares back and states he can't die, even as a head he'll escape somehow and when he does Shikamaru will regret it. Shikamaru states this is his family's private land, no one else is allowed here. He and his clan will watch over the area, and ensure he remains there, forever. Asuma places his hand on Shikamaru’s shoulder and tells him he did well. Shikamaru says yes and the Asuma specter states he entrusts his Will of Fire to him. He then disperses in a cloud of smoke. Shikamaru says "Goodbye sensei" and flicks the cigarette. It arcs through the air and a horrified Hidan can only watch as the lit end touches one of the explosive tags on his chest, detonating it and the others in a massive explosion...
 Chapter 339
Chapter 339: "New Jutsu...!!" - Hidan's parts fall to the floor far below and he gloats that Jashin-sama will make Shikamaru pay. An emotionless Shikamaru states he's not scared. He believes in the Will of Fire, and Jashin is nothing. The only one giving out punishment is he himself! He then throws kunai with explosive tags to collapse the tunnel walls. Hidan yells that his religion will grow and Shikamaru will be punished. Even if he doesn't have a body, he'll bite him to death! The rocks fall and the hole is soon filled, silencing Hidan. Elsewhere Kakashi explains Kakuzu's abilities. Naruto's Bunshin charge and Ino warns him a direct attack won't work! The Bunshin attack from multiple directions and are soon taken out. Naruto watches on and uses the experience gained from the Bunshin. Kakashi understands Naruto used the first attack as a simulation. Naruto forms new Bunshin and starts forming a new Fuuton in his hands. Ino and Chouji are shocked and Kakashi flashes back to the training. He asks Naruto to form his new Rasengan while he attacks with his own normal Rasengan. Naruto thinks the plan is crazy but the two men charge. They connect and Kakashi falls, he turns and sees the Fourth Hokage in Naruto. In the present, Chouji and Ino watch in shock. Kakuzu himself is surprised, stating he can't get hit by that thing. Naruto's arm is raised high above him. While his clones watch on he wields Fuuton: Rasen Shuriken, in his upturned palm spins a huge destructive spinning wind attack!
 
Volume 38
Chapter 340 Chapter 340: "Dangerous Bridge" - The clones charge and Yamato holds the others back to avoid getting hit. The clones approach from different sides and Kakuzu extends his tendrils to attack. When two clones get in close he unleashes two of his masks, blasting the clones away. Naruto himself comes charging in with his Fuuton attack from Kakuzu's blindside. Unfortunately right when it connects it dissipates. Yamato and Kakashi charge to help as Kakuzu has captured Naruto in his tendrils. Kakashi cuts through them with a lightning charged hand and Yamato extends wood to force Kakuzu into retreat. Ino chides Naruto for being his usual hopeless self and Chouji asks why an attack called "Shuriken" has to be held. Naruto retorts it would have worked if it connected and Yamato states the clones act as a distraction. Kakashi states too much time passed between when it started and connected. Kakuzu thinks that he'll be okay if he's not surprised again. Naruto asks to try again. Ino and Chouji state he'll just dodge and they should all attack together. Naruto asks Kakashi if he remembers how he said only Naruto himself could surpass the Fourth Hokage. They could do it as a team but going across the dangerous bridge alone will mean he's not just a kid anymore. Thinking of Sasuke, he asks to not be stopped. Yamato states Naruto is indeed a different person, so Kakashi allows him to try again.
Chapter 341 Chapter 341: "Fruits of the Training...!!" – Naruto moves to attack and Kakuzu extends multiple large tendrils for long range mode. The group reacts in shock and Yamato states Kakuzu's concentrating chakra. Kakashi theorizes it's probably to prepare for Naruto's jutsu. Naruto forms three clones and forms Rasen Shuriken again. The Narutos then charge and split off around Kakuzu while Naruto charges from ahead with the attack. Kakuzu launches himself into the air and thinks that he has to ignore the rest and focus on the original. He extends the tendrils which slam into the Fuuton wielding Naruto, but it puffs away! From behind comes Naruto with two clones; in his hand is another Rasen Shuriken! The first attack was a clone diversion, while the real one was among the clones. Naruto slams the attack home into Kakuzu's back, ripping him and the tendrils apart in a gigantic sphere of destruction. Naruto is thrown to the ground and Kakuzu continues to be hit in the air destroying his masks and their hearts. His body then falls back into the huge crater, motionless. Kakashi is shocked and remarks that even with his Sharingan, the attack hit Kakuzu so many times he couldn't follow it. Wiped out on the ground, Naruto lifts his head and states he did it...
Chapter 342 Chapter 342: "King" - Sakura and Sai catch up to Shikamaru and are surprised he took out Hidan. He states it had to be done, no matter what. Elsewhere Ino heals Naruto and Chouji compliments him on his strategy. Yamato was surprised Naruto used the jutsu three times, while in training he could only do two. Kakashi thinks that Naruto has surpassed him and thinks this next generation is about to take control. He then states to the ever-present Sasuke, that Naruto is getting stronger too. The team prepares to leave and Kakashi goes to the paralyzed Kakuzu. Kakuzu offers his surprise that a bunch of kids defeated him. Kakashi states yeah they are kids to someone who fought Shodai, and Kakuzu himself is just a beaten old man. Kakashi then charges Raikiri and finishes off Kakuzu. A short time later Tsunade congratulates the team and tells them not to get complacent. At the cemetery, Shikamaru finds Kurenai at Asuma's grave. She asks him if he'll be lonely now that his Shougi partner is gone. Shikamaru states Asuma taught him both important and stupid stuff. He reflects that he brushed off responsibility and whined when he was young, and Asuma would have to protect him. He was the coolest adult he knew, and tells Kurenai, when she has her baby, he'll help protect it as a cool adult too. Kurenai holds her stomach and smiles. She is wearing a wedding ring, revealing that she and Asuma had gotten married at some point in the recent past. Later Shikamaru plays Shougi with his dad and speaks how Asuma said he's a Knight. Shikaku is amused and asks then who the King is. Shikamaru states the King is the unborn children who will become the next generation of Leaf ninja. Shikaku is impressed but then announces checkmate, telling his son he'll have to get stronger if he wants to protect the King. Elsewhere Sasuke sits among defeated ninja. Orochimaru chastises him for being too soft and not killing them. Sasuke looks at Orochimaru and states they're not the ones he wants to kill.
Chapter 343 Chapter 343: "Heartlessly" - Sasuke sits among hundreds of downed opponents and Orochimaru chastises him, stating he has no chance against Itachi if he keeps his emotions. Sasuke says he will show no mercy to his brother, even if he begs for it. Orochimaru ponders how Sasuke is better than he was at that age, and that he'll soon be his. At Ichiraku, Naruto's hand is bandaged and he is having trouble eating. Sakura thinks back to the hospital when she healed him. She tells Naruto how his new attack broke the bones in his hands, and she tells him to use the jutsu as a last resort. Naruto lets her know that it'll be okay, he's feels they're getting closer to Sasuke. In the present she leans in close and asks for his chopsticks. Naruto blushes but before she can act Sai is stuffing Naruto's mouth with noodles instead. Sai states he read how a true friend helps out in times of need. Naruto yells at him for killing the mood. Kakashi arrives and helps Naruto finish his ramen. Sakura offers her surprise that he's not in the hospital yet again and he states he'd be there if they hadn't shown up, as he'd have to have used Mangekyou Sharingan. Kakashi tells Naruto he's now on par with himself, or even better. But such a powerful jutsu has a high risk. In Orochimaru's compound, he rests in bed. Kabuto tells him his body is near its limit. He then takes his leave to get some medicine. Orochimaru laughs and begins to cough up blood. Suddenly a sword of lightning extends through the door right for his heart. He raises his arms to stop the extending attack and is surprised by the new elemental shape type. He demands to know who it is and the door is sliced to pieces. In the doorway stands Sasuke, extending the lightning sword from one hand, his real sword in the other. He looks on with his level one seal activated. Orochimaru states he knew it would come to this. Sasuke coldly states he has nothing more to learn, and offers that he will not show Orochimaru any mercy either, even if he begs for it...
Chapter 344 Chapter 344: "Snake and..." - Sasuke extends the blade, pushing it through Orochimaru's chest. He chides Orochimaru for being weak stating it would be pointless to give up his body now. Orochimaru tells him that’s big talk for such a small one. Sasuke retorts the whole reason he's here is because he was the weak one, as Itachi was too much for him. Orochimaru was called a gifted "Sannin" but he is nothing compared to the genius Uchiha. He's pathetic in his attempts to extend his life, and Sasuke states he doesn't agree with his ridiculous methods. Sasuke then charges and pulls his sword, asking why Orochimaru seeks the truth of life and yet plays such a pathetic God with the lives of others. Suddenly a form spits out of Orochimaru's mouth. Slithering before Sasuke is Orochimaru's true self, a large serpent made up of smaller snake scales, a result of his constant experimentation. Orochimaru yells that he wants Sasuke's body and charges; snakes then peel off to attack. Sasuke cuts them apart and retreats. He then activates his level two form. He goads Orochimaru, telling him a snake’s dream to fly is an impossibility. The snakes soon wrap Sasuke up and he states that the snake once sought the small chick and quickly learned he himself was the prey to the hawk that flew above. The snakes explode and Sasuke stands firm with his wings spread wide. We flashback to a young Orochimaru before his parent's grave. He asks Sarutobi what the skin he found was. Sarutobi explains it's a rare white snake skin, which symbolizes good luck and rebirth. He then states finding it at their grave may mean they were reborn somewhere else, and that someday they may see him once again. Orochimaru looks at the snake skin and asks when that will be, but Sarutobi states he doesn't know.
Chapter 345 Chapter 345: "The Ritual...!!" - Sasuke stands over the cut up body of Orochimaru. He remarks at how easy it was and returns to normal. He suddenly stumbles and Orochimaru rises to state how his mini-snakes have paralyzing venom. He gloats that he's immortal and Sasuke is nothing. He opens his maw and charges. Sasuke soon finds himself in alternate plane inside Orochimaru, the place where he completes his soul transfer. Sasuke is surrounded by the forms of Orochimaru's previous hosts and he looks on with Sharingan. We flashback to Orochimaru and Itachi alone in Akatsuki robes. Orochimaru can't believe he's been bound by Genjutsu, and marvels at Itachi's powerful Sharingan. Orochimaru moves to end the jutsu but Itachi slices off his ring forearm. Itachi states Orochimaru's powers are useless against his eyes. In the present Orochimaru sees how the same thing is happening yet again and is gleeful that the eyes will soon be his. Elsewhere Kabuto mixes medicine and figures Orochimaru does not have long, and that it would be good if the soul transfer could be done today. He is also surprised Sasuke was so ready to approve of becoming a host. He thinks though that afterwards Sasuke won't be alive to do anything about it. He heads to Orochimaru's room and moves to stealth when he sees blood come from the room. He looks in to see Sasuke standing alone. He sees Orochimaru's corpse and is surprised the ritual's done already. Sasuke acknowledges Kabuto and takes his leave. Kabuto watches on asks aloud who is now in control...
Chapter 346 Chapter 346: "The New Jutsu's Secret" - Sasuke looks on and asks which one does Kabuto think? Suddenly Kabuto is in the internal plane. In the distance Orochimaru and Sasuke are caked in matter. A black fiery darkness begins to spread from Sasuke freeing him. Orochimaru can't believe he is being fought against in his own plane and Kabuto realizes Sasuke's will is tearing it apart. Orochimaru yells in frustration, stating his refusal to let this happen and die. His destiny is to reveal the true nature of the world... and then he's gone. In reality Kabuto is shaken, stating Orochimaru is dead but then he reconsiders. Sasuke smiles and states he's the one in control now. In Konoha, Team 7 eats at Ichiraku. Kakashi thinks back to Tsunade looking over Kakuzu's autopsy. She surmises the Wind Shuriken's severed the chakra channels in Kakuzu's body at a cellular level, making it resemble poison more than outright attack. Yamato asks what of Naruto and Tsunade tells them he's forbidden from using it, as he suffered similar damage. If he uses it more he won't be able to use chakra, as reattaching so many severed channels is impossible even for her. At Ichiraku Kakashi begins to tell him the order but Naruto cuts him off, stating he knows his body and limits. He's going to be Hokage so it will be okay. Sai and Sakura smile and Naruto tells Kakashi to pay. In Orochimaru's compound a voice offers Sasuke his surprise that he defeated Orochimaru. Sasuke stands before glass tanks of liquid and says that's the past and that he's going to free him. He cuts the glass with his sword spilling its contents to the floor. From the pool of liquid rises a figure, who offers his thanks. Sasuke tells "Suigetsu" he'll assist him first.
Chapter 347 Chapter 347: "Dropping by on the Way" - Suigetsu asks who and Sasuke says Juugo from the northern hideout and Karin from the south. Suigetsu rises naked from the water and states he doesn't get along well with them. Sasuke says he doesn't have to get along, just work with them. Suigetsu states that since Sasuke freed him, he'll try. He then says he's not sure what to make of Sasuke either and then he's suddenly behind Sasuke with his finger to his head, saying that just because he defeated Orochimaru doesn't make Sasuke the leader. Someone would have eventually killed Orochimaru, he was just lucky to be free and at Orochimaru's side to give him the opportunity. Sasuke remains motionless and asks what his point is, Suigetsu removes his hand and states Sasuke isn't shaken easily and it wasn't a fluke he won. He offers that he's known of Sasuke for awhile, being part of the team that killed his mentor Zabuza. He then states he wants to make a stop somewhere first before freeing the other two. In Konoha Naruto congratulates Konohamaru for mastering Kage Bunshin. Two Konohamaru then turn into naked women who press flesh together. Naruto and Sakura are shocked, Kakashi is amused and Sai watches on emotionless. Sakura hits Konohamaru for such a stupid jutsu but Naruto states it's a distraction technique. Sakura then states only a pervy ninja like them would be distracted. Konohamaru then does it again, creating a naked Sasuke and Sai which press flesh. Sakura goes pervy too and quickly understands. Sakura is embarrassed and states Konohamaru should practice better techniques. The guys look at her with sly eyes and she yells that she's not into that at all and Konohamaru surmises she's just like them after all. In the Wave Country Suigetsu and Sasuke overlook the Great Naruto Bridge. Sasuke looks on and a slight smile hits his face. Suigetsu asks what's up and Sasuke says nothing, and leads him to Zabuza's and Haku's graves. Suigetsu removes the sword grave marker and states that it's his now. He lifts it and explains that the Mist Seven swords are passed down from generation to generation, and that he trained in the hopes of becoming a member too someday. He offers with the sword he might be able to defeat even Sasuke, and it will help in dealing with Juugo anyway. He then states they should head for the nearest one. Elsewhere in a dark lair a woman knocks back a man and tells him not to go running just because Orochimaru's dead. She then stops feeling a chakra she recognizes...
Chater 348 Chapter 348: "The Next One" - Suigetsu and Sasuke walk across the sea to a small island. Suigetsu asks Sasuke why he's gathering a team and Sasuke says he’ll have a better chance at success with a full team. Suigetsu asks why him and Karin, who was totally devoted to Orochimaru. Sasuke states he's watched them since he joined Orochimaru. Suigetsu states that he and Karin were both experimented on, and that she has a bad attitude. Sasuke says he could have chosen others, but she has abilities he needs. The two men walk within a compound before prison cells. The prisoners recognize Sasuke and ponder if that means the rumor of Orochimaru's death is true, and if it means they'll be freed. In the hallways stands Karin, a young kunoichi. She states that Sasuke is alone and asks if that means the rumor if true. Suigetsu states Sasuke has an offer and asks that they sit, as he is weak from being imprisoned for so long. Sasuke tells Karin he needs her and she states that she runs the place and she asks what of the prisoners? Sasuke tells Suigetsu to free them and the young man leaves. She refuses to let them go and states she has no reason to follow Sasuke. Elsewhere Suigetsu frees the surprised prisoners and makes them promise to do something for him. They're to spread the word that Sasuke killed Orochimaru and that he plans to bring peace to the world. Elsewhere Karin locks the door and sheepishly states that she'll come along. She removes her glasses and seductively sits beside Sasuke, stating she'll go if he really wants her. Sasuke is surprised at her sudden change and Suigetsu is soon rattling the door knob. Karin asks why they have to bring Suigetsu... who suddenly cuts through the door and wall. Karin retreats embarrassed and Suigetsu with a muscled up arm says they should just leave if Karin isn't coming. Sasuke states she actually is coming and she puts on her glasses and blushes, stating she didn't say that. They just happen to be going in the same direction. Suigetsu says lucky them and states Juugo is last. Karin is shocked that he's been picked too. In a dark cell somewhere else a shaken and bound man ponders who next... a girl or guy?...
Chapter 349 Chapter 349: "North Base" - Suigetsu rests and Karin warns that the north hideout is dangerous, as it was the main site of Orochimaru's human experimentation. At the base Juugo ponders whether to kill a man or woman next and then hears screams outside his cell. Suigetsu states they should take a break and sips some of his drink. Karin chides him and he asks why she's still with them. She yells that her business happens to be at the base too and asks why Suigetsu came. He states he has his own plans and needs Sasuke too. Karin asks if they need Juugo and Suigetsu says yes. He states he fought Juugo before and he has interesting abilities. He doesn't care too much for him and he heard Juugo came to Orochimaru of his own free will. He states Juugo's crazy and he's not sure why. Karin offers he probably came for a cure to his wild urge to kill. Suigetsu surmises Juugo enjoys killing people but Karin says no. Juugo could usually control his urges but he'd sometimes snap. Suigetsu is surprised and states that didn't happen when they fought. Karin states Orochimaru was fascinated by Juugo's abilities and used his blood to create an enzyme to cause normal ninja to enter a similar state. That state is the curse seal and its origin is Juugo. In the base a man has torn apart multiple guards and his body goes into a curse seal-like form stating that anyone who opposes him will die. The team walks and Suigetsu asks for another break. Karin yells that they're almost there and asks if the sword is slowing him down. Sasuke calls their attention to a passed out guard. He recognizes Sasuke and asks him to help them. He states that once word of Orochimaru's death got out, the prisoners began to riot. He then dies and the level two looking curse seal man comes crashing down before them. He recognizes them and Suigetsu asks just what the hell it is. Karin explains it's a level two creature and in a blink Sasuke has cut it down with his sword. The seal form fades and the man falls to the ground. Ahead is the north base and Sasuke asks that they hurry to help him find Juugo. In his cell a level one looking Juugo states that if the next person to open his cell is a woman, he'll kill her…
 
Volume 39
Chapter 350
Chapter 350: "Shocking News...!!" - Sakura knocks on Naruto's door. He answers groggily eating ramen. She chastises his living habits and tells him to get dressed. Naruto gets excited at the prospect of a date but she tells him Tsunade wants them. In the Hokage office Tsunade is annoyed at their lateness and Jiraiya tells her to calm down. Naruto is surprised to see Jiraiya and Tsunade states she's called them in to discuss some new intel. She states Orochimaru was killed by Sasuke. Naruto is surprised and states he knew that freak couldn't handle Sasuke. He then states that that means Sasuke's coming back, right? Jiraiya states no. At the northern base a large cadre of level two prisoners stand before the trio. Karin states the guards are dead and Suigetsu asks which one is Juugo. Karin forms a hand seal and determines he's not among them. Suigetsu asks if they can go all out on these guys but Sasuke says no, don't kill them. Suigetsu mocks Sasuke for still being such a Leaf ninja. They then prepare to battle. In his cell Juugo reiterates his plan to kill a woman if she opens the door. Outside the trio has dispatched their opponents and Karin states she found the keys. Suigetsu tells her to lead the way and she grows annoyed asking Sasuke why he's doing this. Suigetsu tells her to just go, she should show this ability of hers rather than just brag about it. She leads them down a hallway and then quickly pulls Sasuke down another hall while Suigetsu continues on. She embarrassedly states this is the right way and that she can't stand Suigetsu. Suigetsu states that those with curse seals look like freaks, and asks Sasuke is that happens to him too. He turns to find himself alone and curses Karin. Karin and Sasuke find Juugo's heavily chained and locked cell. Karin unlocks the cell and Sasuke says he'll go first. Juugo continues his killing mantra but changes to "if a guy comes in" at the last second and screams in glee when he sees Sasuke. Juugo charges and Karin yells for Sasuke to look out...
Chapter 351
Chapter 351: "Man to Man Talk" - Suigetsu walks among fallen prisoners and one asks why he's here. Suigetsu says they've come to free Juugo and the man questions their sanity. Suigetsu says he realizes the danger but he'll beat Juugo into line. The prisoner questions Suigetsu's strength but the Mist ninjs kicks him in the stomach and says they're only alive because Sasuke said. The prisoner yells that Juugo will kill them all and Suigetsu slams his sword into him, stating Sasuke won't notice one dead. At the cell Juugo has slammed Sasuke into the wall in glee. Rubble is strewn about and he changes his arm into a level two form, creating piston to slam into Sasuke once again. Karin feels Sasuke's chakra change and as the dust clears he has caught the strike with his level two wing hand. Juugo yells in surprise at yet another copy of him and states Sasuke must have skills doing a partial transformation. Sasuke states he didn't come to fight, he just needs to talk. Juugo yells in glee that Sasuke is the strongest copy since Kimimaro and he moves to strike. Suigetsu's blade stops the attack and states Juugo didn't use those power last time they fought. He tells Sasuke he'll deal with Juugo, and then Karin. Sasuke tells him to back down. Suigetsu states Juugo only understands actions and Juugo recognizes Suigetsu. The two begin to swing attacks back and forth and Sasuke tells them to stop. Karin smiles and hopes the two men kill each other. Suddenly Sasuke is between the two men, with two large snakes extending from his sleeves to bind them in place. Sasuke coldly states perhaps he should kill them both? The two men are shaken and the snakes retreat. Suigetsu is amazed as Sasuke's killer intent and Karin blushes at Sasuke's abilities. Juugo's marks begin to retreat and he looks around in a frightened panic. He runs into his cell and yells for them to lock him in. Sasuke tells him he's free and Suigetsu remarks that's he scared now. Karin says no. Juugo pleads that he doesn't want to be let out to kill again. Suigetsu is confused, asking if he has multiple personalities. Karin says no, Juugo doesn't want to kill. He can never control his killing urges...
Chapter 352
Chapter 352: "The Objective" - Juugo tells them to leave. Sasuke states that Orochimaru is dead and tells Juugo that if he stays here he'll be finished too. Juugo says that's fine but Sasuke states he'll watch over him. Juugo retorts that only Kimimaro could control him. Suigetsu recognizes the Kaguya clan member. Karin offers that Orochimaru was interested in them both and states supposedly only Kimimaro could stop Juugo. Sasuke states Kimimaro died for he himself. Juugo asks if that means he's Sasuke. Sasuke says yes and Juugo thinks back to years before. Kimimaro cracks open Juugo's cell door. Juugo asks why a sick person is about and Kimimaro states Sasuke is going to be Orochimaru's vessel in his place. Kimimaro states he's but a tool who will exchange his life for another. He offers his thanks to Juugo, stating his strength helped him. He offers his goodbye and states he'll see him later. In the present Juugo opens his cell door and sees Sasuke in Kimimaro's place. Soon the team is outside and Sasuke states his objective is to kill Itachi using their strengths. He then asks Karin what of her, since she's not technically with them. Karin offers that she doesn't have anything pressing. Suigetsu states she should be more honest and just admit she wants to be with Sasuke. She blushes and yells that's not it. Suigetsu states it's so obvious, since a long time ago she did something to Sasuke... but Karin suddenly slugs him causing water to fly. Sasuke tells him to stop teasing. Suigetsu's head reforms and he apologizes but offers that he's still plans to stick close, since he can match up against a fellow Mist swordsman and take back Samehada. Karin mockingly states that he's gathering swords?... Suigetsu grows angry but Sasuke tells him to cool it. Suigetsu then asks Juugo what his purpose is. Juugo states Kimimaro exchanged his life for Sasuke's, so he wants to see his worth. In the Hokage office Naruto yells in confusion about why Sasuke won't come back now? Jiraiya states Sasuke wants revenge to kill his brother. Naruto is annoyed that it's Itachi again. Elsewhere Sasuke states they’re a four man team called "Snake". Naruto states they should move against Akatsuki again, since it will raise their chances of meeting Sasuke. Naruto and Sasuke then state their objective is Uchiha Itachi... On a cliff stands Itachi and Kisame. Kisame states is about to rain and Itachi looks to heavens and agrees...
Chapter 353
Chapter 353: "'Akatsuki' Meeting...!!" - Itachi and Kisame move to wait out the rain under a tree and Kisame picks up an unconscious elder Jinchuuriki with Samehada. Itachi warns him to be careful with the injured opponent. Kisame retorts that the man was no pushover; the Yonbi's elemental fusions made him a difficult foe. He states he doubts Itachi would understand, but then again he did ask to take on the Jinchuuriki solo. Itachi warns him not to get full of himself and Kisame hopes they'll capture Itachi's Jinchuuriki soon. Itachi tells him to rest. Kisame asks that they are on a couple left? The Kyuubi is last to ensure the balance is preserved and the sealing statute is not damaged. So perhaps they should capture the Jinchuuriki soon. Itachi says no, Deidara messed up, best to leave the Kyuubi for last. Akatsuki is drawing too much attention now. Going after the Kyuubi would draw the full force of Konoha and its allies, best to keep going up to the Hachibi. Kisame states that makes sense and they're soon summoned. The spectral forms gather and Kisame states they just subdued their target. Kisame asks where Hidan and Kakuzu are and the leader states they're dead. In Konoha Sakura states if they can capture one Akatsuki, Ibiki can extract whatever information they need. Tsunade states the groups have been ordered to take one alive, but Kakashi states that won't be easy. Naruto demands to know what they should do and Kakashi replies it’s to do their best at finding Itachi. Elsewhere Kisame is amused that the zombie duo are dead and wishes he could have seen it happen. The leader tells him to stop that talk and Zetsu states Konoha and Naruto took them out. Tobi offers that they're strong and tells Deidara no wonder he lost. Deidara is furious and begins to argue with Tobi but the leader tells them to quiet down. He then warns Tobi to mind himself. Tobi apologizes and Kisame wonder how they can accomplish their goals if they keep goofing off. He states he'd like to seal the Yonbi soon but the leader says that will wait. He states Orochimaru has been killed. Kisame is surprised and wonders who did it. The leader says it was Sasuke and Deidara offers that he wanted to kill him. Kisame tells Itachi he must be proud and Zetsu states Sasuke has followers now. The leader states Kisame should recognize one of the Mist Houzuki brothers. Kisame recognizes Suigetsu and states that brings up old memories. The leader states Juugo of Tenpin is also with them. He warns that the group is probably coming after Itachi and Kisame and that the group could disrupt their goals. Deidara asks Kisame of Suigetsu and Kisame states he last saw him ten years ago as a cute kid. He would chop of the limbs of his enemies before beheading them. He was a child prodigy called the second coming of Zabuza. Elsewhere Karin chides Suigetsu for drinking all their water. Deidara raises his uncrushed left arm and offers that they seem like an interesting group...
Chapter 354
Chapter 354: "The People Starting to Move" - Jiraiya asks what they plan to do after finding Itachi. Kakashi states a single team won't work. Sakura states they have to capture Itachi to keep him as a target for Sasuke and they'll need several teams for that. Kakashi says two teams are ideal, anymore will just cause problems. Jiraiya states they'll need a squad which works well together. Kakashi says yes and asks someone to come in. Elsewhere Team Snake walks through tunnels in an abandoned city. Sasuke states his clan used this place as a weapons storehouse. Karin offers that the place is stuffy and a voice from behind offers surprise. Sasuke greets the two and we see they are cats. The cats ask why Sasuke is here and he states for weapons, medicine and supplies. Suigetsu finds them awesome and moves to pet but it hisses in reply. Sasuke states they're ninja cats and warns him to be careful. One cat asks Sasuke if he brought them anything and he replies yes. The cats then take the group to their elder. Sitting amongst a group of cats is an old cat-like woman. Sasuke states he's returned to pay of his debts and the woman understands that he's going after Itachi. Another young woman measures Juugo for clothes. The elder can't believe the two brothers are the last of their clan and are going to fight each other. Sasuke says the decision was made long ago and hands her money. The young woman states they have no clothes in Juugo's size and the elder retorts just throw a curtain on him. Juugo rips down a curtain and wraps it like a cloak. Elsewhere a new eye opens on the King of Hell and the Yonbi Jinchuuriki lies dead. Deidara asks who to go after next and Tobi asks of the choices. Deidara says either the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki or Sasuke. Tobi says why bother, their tasks are done. Deidara retorts he still owes both Naruto and Kakashi, and he was supposed to kill Orochimaru, not Sasuke. Deidara tells him to move and Tobi grudgingly complies. Kisame asks Itachi if he's okay with that. Elsewhere Team Snake in cloaks stands while the rain falls. In Konoha Kakashi states they're having some nasty weather. Gathered in rain coats are Team 7 under Yamato and Team 8 under Kakashi. Naruto yells for everyone to move out and Kiba offers his hope that the rain will cool off Naruto's hot-head.
Chapter 355
Chapter 355: "Which Way...!?" - The Leaf teams land on a roof and Kakashi directs them to search in a five mile radius, if nothing is found they'll move to another location. Sakura states that's out of wireless range and may pose a danger. Yamato tells her not to worry and Kakashi summons his nin-dog pack. Pakkun states they can pick up their voices at that range and smell danger before it comes. Kakashi directs two dogs to each patrol as bodyguards. Two dogs pair off and greet Sakura, while two more move to Shino. Sai greets his two but they look on warily. Naruto asks what of him and Kakashi states he's a target. Yamato will join him along with Hinata as scout and the biggest dog Bull since he's loud. Bull woofs in understanding and Hinata tells Naruto they should do their best. Kiba will go alone with Akamaru and Kakashi states Pakkun will go with him. He states Sasuke is the prime target with Akatsuki second, if either is found they need to report back. The teams then jump and split away. Elsewhere Suigetsu and Juugo take their leave. Karin moves close to Sasuke but he rebukes her affection. Elsewhere Deidara examines his reattached arm and Tobi asks who their target is. Both men board two clay carrier birds and Deidara says who indeed. At an exchange building a guard asks Suigetsu his business and the young man smiles. Inside a business man hears a racket and his lackey is sent to investigate. He opens the door and suddenly both men are pinned to the wall by Suigetsu's sword. Suigetsu asks if he's correct that the businessman was Kakuzu's accountant. He looks on in fear and says he'll tell him anything. Outside a bird sits on Juugo's hand and he tells it he should probably talk to them first. His level one form extends and the various teams continue their tracking. One of Sakura's dogs states he faintly smells Sasuke. Somewhere above Deidara uses his range finder to spy on a target below. He states he found them and Tobi is surprised how quick it was. They then move to attack. Naruto's team walks down a path while a form stalks them from the shadow of a tree, while elsewhere Sasuke stands alone while another shadow looks on at him...
Chapter 356
Chapter 356: "Collision...!!" - Sasuke demands his watcher come out. In a nearby city, Sakura and the dogs track Sasuke's scent and walk pass Karin. The dogs then notice the scent begin to fade. Elsewhere Yamato asks his team if they notice and they say yes. He hurls shuriken at the onlooker and out jumps a robed Kabuto. Yamato offers his surprise that a wanted criminal is coming to them, but Kabuto says he has something to say to Naruto. Naruto asks if Sasuke really killed Orochimaru. Kabuto says yes and he has a present for him. Tobi emerges from the woods in front of Sasuke and states he looks a lot like his brother. Sasuke glares and Tobi quickly retreats. Deidara dives from above and launches the second bird at Sasuke. It explodes and Deidara smiles. Kabuto hands the trio a handbook on Akatsuki that Sound made. He states it's not to make a deal, rather a token of thanks for Naruto. With Orochimaru's death he was without a home, like in the past. He tells Naruto he knows what it feels like to not have an identity. Elsewhere the smoke clears and Sasuke is protected by a giant snake. Deidara can't believe Orochimaru was done in by a kid like this and yells in appreciation at the hate in Sasuke's eyes. Tobi states he's going to have to apologize to Itachi later. Kabuto states Naruto went beyond the "Kyuubi" identity and became his own person. Kabuto removes his hood and glasses and states that he clung to Orochimaru. He states that he understands how Naruto felt and promises to make himself stronger now with Orochimaru integrated inside. He reveals to the shocked trio his left eye, which now resembles Orochimaru's. He states maniacally that Orochimaru will be his rebirth; he'll live on inside him and allow him to become even greater!...
Chapter 357
Chapter 357: "Deidara VS Sasuke!!" - Kabuto states he integrated with Orochimaru by placing some of his tissue inside his body. Kabuto reveals a scaly arm and marvels that Orochimaru's powerful life force is now trying to take over his body. Hinata uses her Byakugan to see a dark essence spread through a third of Kabuto's body. Kabuto states part of him is doing everything to resist and prove he can surpass Orochimaru. Naruto charges and yells that he can work on that in prison. Yamato moves and wraps Kabuto in wood but the cloak falls away empty. Kabuto states that he'll return to face Naruto once he can control Orochimaru's power, but for now his next target is revenge on Sasuke. He then puffs away leaving the Akatsuki data book on the ground. Elsewhere Sasuke stares intently and Deidara offers that he only killed Orochimaru because of his genetic gifts and not his own power. Sasuke moves in an instant drawing his sword and slices through Tobi while Deidara jumps away. Tobi falls and Sasuke states he'll ask Deidara about Itachi since he likes to talk. Tobi rises from the ground to Sasuke's surprise. Deidara chastises him for lowering his guard and Tobi states Sasuke's Shunshin movement is too quick. Deidara states he'll use C1 to test him and he throws multiple spiders. Sasuke stops some while others land near Tobi. He yells to not detonate and then warns Deidara to watch out. Sasuke moves in close to slice and Deidara tosses a spider which he detonates immediately, enveloping both in an explosion. Tobi yells in sadness for his sempai but Deidara soon slides in saying the blast pushed him away. He states Sasuke is too fast, so C2 is needed. He molds more clay and Tobi recognizes the attack. The clay soon activates into a giant dragon and Sasuke sizes up Deidara's abilities. Deidara yells that Tobi knows his part and Tobi replies that he's ready!
Chapter 358
Chapter 358: "Cornered by C2!!" - The tail of Deidara's dragon shortens as it uses clay to expel spheres. Deidara tells Tobi he's counting on him and Sasuke surmises attacks from the air will be a pain. Sasuke charges and Deidara takes to the air, detonating a smaller dragon the large one emits. Sasuke avoids it and sees that the other spheres and Tobi are now gone. He extends Chidori sword which comes up short. Deidara recognizes the Chidori from Kakashi and sees the attack’s limits. Deidara sends out another more powerful dragon which explodes on top of Sasuke. When the dust clears he's in his level two form. Tobi emerges from the ground stating the landmines are in place and he moves to leave. Deidara gloats that C2 is a combination of landmines and aerial attacks, should Sasuke step on one he'll be blown up. Sasuke thinks about his predicament as Deidara sends another dragon. He moves to fly and the aerial attack explodes. Sasuke's sword goes flying and plants itself in the ground, and when the dust clears his left wing is missing. Deidara gloats that that's what he gets for blocking with his wing. Sasuke pulls his arm revealing giant shuriken under the control of wire. Deidara quickly moves out of the way and Sasuke moves quickly into the landmine field. Deidara is surprised and thinks he's won but he suddenly sees Sasuke jump on his sword handle and launch himself into the air with Chidori charged. He understands that Sasuke used the sword to check for mines and safely launch himself. Sasuke extends the blade into the dragon's wing and slices it off. Tobi looks on from below and sees the dragon losing control. Deidara realizes too late that he was moved into place by Sasuke. Suddenly the shuriken slam into his arms pinning him to his dragon. Deidara reacts in pain and horror as the dragon he is pinned to plummets and slams into the ground, activating the landmines in a gigantic explosion...
Chapter 359
Chapter 359: "Those eyes...!!" - As the dragon falls Deidara uses his feet to pull out the shuriken. The dragon explodes so Sasuke uses snakes to pull himself away and his seal retreats. Tobi is sad but Deidara emerges from the dust on a bird with wounds on his arms. Deidara stares down at Sasuke and curses his eyes. We flashback to Sasori, Kisame and Itachi meeting Deidara for the first time. Deidara states he wants nothing to do with their group and Sasori states Deidara has spunk. Itachi explains that the leader wants Deidara's abilities and he in turn is surprised they know of them. Kisame states Deidara has worked for terrorist cells causing numerous explosions. Deidara states he had no reason for helping the terrorists outside of art. He makes a clay spider and states it's more than just the model, the moment it explodes it achieves its true beauty. Sasori and Kisame are annoyed by his ranting and Itachi activates Sharingan stating he'll take care of it. Itachi states if Deidara is defeated he has to join and Deidara yells that he shouldn’t be underestimated. He throws the spider and forms a centipede in his palm. Itachi retreats and the spider explodes. He then looks down to see the centipede wrapped around his legs. Deidara gloats that it's game over but Itachi warns him to look down. We see that Deidara himself is wrapped in the centipede. He demands to know when this happened and Kisame states from the very moment he looked into Itachi's eyes. He looks on at the silhouetted Itachi and yells that he'll never admit to the art of Itachi's eyes. Itachi tells him he's lost. In the present Deidara reassures himself that he is the superior shinobi, not Sasuke and his eyes. He removes some clay and eats it with his own mouth. Tobi sees this and Deidara yells for him to flee. Deidara states this is his finest C4 work and regurgitates the clay onto his bird...


Summaries by Leaf Ninja