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The information about Naruto became the hot topic of Konoha, spreading out across the village.
After learning of the news, the 3rd went to the Hokage’s office angrily to talk to Sakumo.
“Sakumo, how could the information about Naruto be allowed to be leaked?” The 3rd directly cut straight to the chase as soon as he entered.
“Sandaime, instead of coming here to ask me, you should go ask Danzo who was behind this. It’s only out of courtesy to you that I did not just kill that man!”
The 3rd blinked, and then denied this: “No! It cannot be Danzo! I’ve told you many times; he might act too rashly, but he would not hurt Konoha!”
“I guess you won’t just believe me then. Kakashi, give him the intel!”
The 3rd took a scroll from Kakashi, and after reading through it, his face went pale and he asked: “This was really Danzo’s doing? These are Ninjas of Konoha! Is there any evidence?”
“Evidence? Those who are dead are not enough evidence? Sandaime, I don’t want to talk nonsense with you; just take your time to think about it!”
The 3rd sighed and walked out of the office. Sakumo looked at his back, and muttered to himself: “Don’t let me lose all hope in you, Sandaime!”
The 3rd returned to his place, changed into his battle armor, and went to Root’s headquarter.
At this time, Danzo was furious about half the villagers still siding with Naruto. He felt that such a dangerous existence is to be treated differently, and thought that these villagers are just unreasonable fools.
“Danzo sama, the Sandaime is here!” The Root Ninja wasn’t through announcing the 3rd’s arrival, when the latter walked in on Danzo.
The latter frowned and said with dissatisfaction in his tone: “What do you mean by this, Hiruzen?”
“You mean that you don’t know?”
“Hiruzen, if you are here because of the matter concerning the Jinchuriki, then let me tell you that I have done nothing wrong! The Kyubi should be firmly under control! You’ve been too lenient with Kushina before, and you know how that…”
“ENOUGH, DANZO!” The 3rd interrupted Danzo angrily, throwing a scroll that opened up before him.
Upon having a glimpse at the contents of the scroll, Danzo’s faced turned blue: “Hiruzen, believe me! This is not me! They are setting me up…”
“Not you? Who else has Anbu? Was it me who did this?!” The 3rd’s tone was filled with exhaustion. Sakumo’s intel showed him just how much his old pal was willing to hurt Konoha with his Root.
“You’re right, Sandaime sama; you are to blame for all of these things!”
Upon hearing Ryo’s voice, the 3rd glanced behind him, and then asked with some shock: “I’ve never known about any of this! How is this on me?”
“Did you not know, or did you not want to know? You’ve been always to kind to Danzo, and that kindness is what made him so audacious.”
Hearing Ryo, the 3rd’s face turned more and more pale, until he finally sat on the ground: “So, it all my doing, isn’t it?”
“Take your time to think about it, Sandaime sama. Danzo, you’ve leaked out the identity of the Kyubi Jinchuriki after the Sandaime made an S-Class secret of Konoha. What do you have to say for yourself?”
Danzo, in cold sweat, screamed and mumbled, not uttering an understandable word. Ryo was too lazy to ask again, and his Ice-Lightning Chakra Mode broke out. He flickered behind Danzo, and the latter’s arm was flying in midair.
“Sakumo san left you with one arm too many.”
“Ryo YAMANAKA! How dare you! Root, kill him, kill him now!”
Danzo was not through talking when Root swarmed around Ryo who smiled and said: “Danzo, your Root Ninjas are mostly Chunin and Jonin, a good reliable force indeed. But killing me? You’ve lost it old man; you’re asking them for way too much!”
Ryo’s Ice Lightning Chakra Mode raged more ferociously. Just as he was about to turn the place into a bloodbath, the 3rd stopped him: “Ryo, they are all Ninjas of Konoha; some of them are from the Ino-Shika-Cho! Please be merciful!”
Being reminded of the presence of the Ino-Shika-Cho Ninjas among Root, Ryo just sighed and disappeared from the place.
The 3rd sighed, and looked at Danzo with hesitant eyes before leaving.
The next day, Sakumo issued an order, making the Jinchurki’s identity a village-wide S-Class secret that no one was allowed to discuss or spread.
With this order, the debates in Konoha about Naruto stopped quickly.
At the same time, Root was disbanded again. However, this time, things were different. The 3rd had a punishment for him this time around.
He personally sealed Danzo’s Chakra, and locked him into Root’s headquarters.
In the Hokage’s office, Sakumo sighed after learning of his choice: “He still did not kill him; after all that!”
Ryo had long guessed that the 3rd would not. It was actually only punished him because of the pressure and guilt he felt for not doing so before.
“That’s already the limit of what he could do. After all, he and Danzo have known each other for a lifetime. In a sense, Danzo was a Shadow Sandaime. The 3rd did very well just by doing what he did.”
From the office, Ryo directly teleported to Orochimaru’s lab.
Recently, he had not paid attention to Yamato’s situation. With him finally having time now, he wanted to see the recent changes that occurred to him.
As he entered, Ryo happened to find an interesting unexpected scene!
Anko Mitarashi was in the Snake Sage Mode, and for a while, it wasn’t obvious who would come out on top in her battle against Orochimaru. Ryo hadn’t seen her fight for too long, and was surprise to see her grow so fast.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t maintain Sage Mode for too long, and while she was practically on par with Orochimaru when in it, the latter could beat her rather easily when she was out of time.
With their battle over, Ryo, who had been watching for while now, said: “Orochi san, this place is rather small; couldn’t fighting here destroy your lab?”
“I just don’t want to get out, so I fight carefully here. Well, what are you here for?”
“I’m here to check on Yamato. Lain is Ninja school already but he’s still the same. It’s making me a bit anxious.” Ryo walked toward the glassware where Yamato was placed.
“Oh, he’s not exactly the same. In the past few days, he had already woken up once. After that, the speed of the integration of the 1st’s cells with his became much faster. I think this should end up being a success as well.” Orochimaru said as he excitedly licked his lips.
“Is that so? Well, I’m still looking forward to see the birth of another Wood Release using Ninja!”
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