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“That’s true indeed. The Natural Energy carried by the Cursed Seal is very deadly to the average child. However, once they’re through the ordeal of accepting it, it would bring them a great increase in power.” said Orochimaru with a smile.
“Orochi san, if it’s convenient to you, can you show me the experimental data related to this experiment?”
“Of course.” Orochimaru went and brought a big scroll.
Its contents made Ryo feel very uncomfortable; it mentioned that that over a dozen children went through the experiment, and that only two survived.
One of them was the one that Ryo just saw, and the other was Kimimaro.
Ryo continued to read through the scroll and examine the child, noticing something different about the seal.
There was no trace of Orochimaru’s soul in this cursed seal. This meant that this new iteration of the cursed seal was simply a method to allow the wielder to utilize Natural Energy, and not a way for Orochimaru to revive himself.
After going through the scroll, Ryo said: “This technique is really good. The only problem with it is the success rate. After all, not everyone could use Natural Energy.”
“How can man get any stronger, Ryo? There’s always a price to pay. Once one adapts to this cursed seal, they should at least double their strength.” said Orochimaru, licking his lips.
“That’s indeed true. But Orochi san, you’re not showing me this technique just for me to appreciate it, are you?”
Orochimaru’s face showed a stiff smile and he embarrassedly said: “You’ve figured me out!”
“Come on, how can I help you?”
“Well, since you understood me, I’ll cut straight to the chase: Ryo, I want to conduct this experiment on Lain.”
“LAIN? NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!” Ryo immediately refused Orochimaru’s proposal.
The latter wasn’t angry. He understood Ryo’s point of view and could not blame him for his stance, but still; he wasn’t going to just give up.
“Ryo kun, come with me. I’ll show you something, and if you still won’t agree, I won’t argue with you anymore.” After saying that, Orochimaru took the lead and walked back into the lab, with Ryo following him after some hesitation.
In the lab, the Sannin took out a White Zetsu arm, and then injected it with Natural Energy.
The arm’s reaction to Natural Energy was strange; it was like starving man at a feast, “devouring” it at an insane pace.
Very quickly, the arm swelled, as if it was weight lifting, and the Natural Energy circulated within it along with its Chakra.
“See Ryo kun? The First Hokage’s cells immediately absorb the Natural Energy, without showing any adverse side effects. As you can see, the power it holds increases dramatically. I’ve conducted this experiment many times, and Lain should be fine!”
Ryo looked at the arm in silence. Lain’s Cells were integrated with Hashirama’s, and Natural Energy might indeed pose no threat to her.
On top of that, Ryo had always been thinking that the next step in Lain’s growth should be the blending of Wood Release and the Sage Mode, just like Hashirama did back in the day. He had long planned for her to go to Mount Myobuku to practice Sage Mode.
However, this supposed safety was all based on the premise that Lain would react with Natural Energy as well as Hashirama did.
“Orochi san, I can’t give you my word right now. I need to go home and check if Lain could indeed withstand Natural Energy. If that’s the case, then I might let her take your cursed seal..
Orochimaru nodded, knowing that he could get nothing more out of Ryo at the moment.
After returning home, Ryo called Lain to his room that night.
Looking at her solmenly, he said : “Lain, I have something I want to confirm, and I need your help.”
“Okay! How can I help you Oni san?”
“Lain, you need to only sit still and let me expose you to this energy. I’m just checking how your body would integrate it.”
To make sure Lain remains safe, Ryo exposed her only to a trace amount of Natural Energy.
Not leaning Sage Mode before, Lain could not sense Natural Energy, but her cells seemed to identify it at once, and her hands were unconsciously extended to hold Ryo’s.
The Natural Energy he released was instantly poured into her body, as Ryo anxiously observed her.
After the Natural Energy entered her body, and of Lain cells reacted to it, and in no time, it was merged with her Chakra seamlessly.
“Oni san, you won’t give me more? I LIKE this strange power!” Lain said grinning.
Ryo breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that Lain indeed absorb Natural Energy Perfectly.
“Lain, tomorrow, don’t go with your team; Oni san has somewhere to take you to!” He smiled.
“I see! Well, okay!”
The next day, after Ryo talked to Shisui, he took Lain to Orochimaru’s base.
“Lain! Long time no see!” Orochimaru smiled and greeted Lain.
Immediately the latter’s face turned pale, and she unconsciously hid herself behind her brother. Apparently, the memories of what Orochimaru did to her were still vivid in her mind.
“Lain, don’t be afraid! This time, he won’t do anything to you that you will not like; he is just goinh to give you a way to utilize yesterday’s energy at will!”
Hearing about “yesterday’s energy”, Lain’s eyes turned bright, and her fear of Orochimaru dissipated slightly.
Orochimaru then proceeded to plant the Cursed Seal on Lain. Ryo watched the process nervously, remembering how painful it was to Sasuke in the Manga.
A while passed, and Lain did not react. Ryo and Orochimaru looked at each other, and the latter activated his seal.
What the two did not expect was that after the activation, the usual black lines of the cursed seal did not have time to spread on Lain’s body. Immediately after they began to emerge, they “dried up” back into the 3 Tomoe Shape.
“Oni san, the power in this thing is too little; it’s hardly more than what you gave me yesterday!” Lain pointed at the cursed seal on her neck.
Seeing Lain’s dissatisfaction, Orochimaru felt rather embarrassed. He did not expect that the Natural Energy within his seal would not be remotely enough to saturate her cells on first activation.
“Cough, this power is not like food, Lain! You’ll understand its effect once you try your Wood Release!” Orochimaru reminded.
A few moments later…
Unfortunately, after only using three small Wood Release Jutsus, the Natural Energy within Lain’s body was exhausted.
“Orochi san, how long will it take until the Natural Energy in her body is replenished through the Cursed Seal?” Ryo whispered.
“It shouldn’t take long. To be honest, I’m not sure; this is the first time that anyone used up the energy in the seal!”
Ryo nodded and had no more questions. After promising Orochimaru of delivering Data to him on Lain’s progress, he returned to Konoha with her.
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