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After leaving Sakumo’s office, Ryo took Yamato and went straight to the Forest of Death.
In recent years, whenever she had no tasks, Lain would go there as well and practice her Wood Release.
Her strength had been steadily increasing, and now she was even able to use the Wood Human Jutsu.
To Ryo, this was a significant point in her progress. It basically meant that she was un-tapping her true potential as an heir of Hashirama’s techniques.
The [Wood Human Jutsu], [Wood Release: Advent of a World of Flowering Trees] and [Wood Release: True Several Thousand Hands], all of these techniques required insane amounts of Chakra, with the latter of which even requiring Senjutsu Chakra to exert its true power.
Thinking about all of this, Ryo turned around to Yamato and asked: “Yamato, what do you want us to do now?”
Bowing down his head as far as possible, Yamato answered quickly in shock of Ryo’s question: “I… I… Basic Wood Release training…”
Ryo looked at the innocent child and sighed, not asking any more questions.
When Yamato saw that Ryo meant nothing hidden by his question, he felt rather relieved.
A few years ago, Ryo was the one to select Yamato for Orochimaru’s experiment. Ever since then, the kid feared both of them greatly.
After Orochimaru left Konoha, Sakumo was the one to rescue Yamato, sending him later to follow Kakashi in the Anbu.
There, Kakashi taught him a lot of things, but some reason, he also liked teasing him too often.
Kakashi’s teasing was rough, and many of his pranks were of bad taste. However, he was still higher in rank and far stronger than Yamato. Therefore, as the child grew stronger and stronger, his character grew weaker.
Sakumo was somewhat anxious about this. Yamato was a user of the ultra rare Kekkei Genkai of Wood Release. He was destined to get on top of the future generation to carry the will of fire. That, and a weak character, did not go well together.
Therefore, he decided to hand over the teaching of Yamato to Ryo. After all, the Kage tier had very successful teaching experiences by now, with his students being strong willed and reliable.
Moreover, he taught Lain, his sister, how to use Wood Release, and the results were simply outstanding, far beyond what anybody had expected.
On the edge of the Forest of death, Ryo could feel a familiar powerful Chakra coming from the forest’s depths.
“Yamato, do you still remember Lain, the girl who went through the same operation as you?”
Yamato nodded. In fact, he was very impressed with the young girl, watching her through the glass more than once in his brief moments of awakening.
“Well, I was the one to teach her Wood Release. She’s very proficient in using it. Do you want to learn from her?”
“I know, the Hokage Sama said it before, but…. he also said that he wanted me to learn Water Release from you!”
“Learn Water Release?” Ryo frowned, not understanding what Sakumo was thinking.
Yamato had Wood Release; it was his forte. While it would be definitely beneficial to him to learn a variety of techniques, what he had to really focus on was his Kekkei Genkai.
Nevertheless, since Sakumo wanted it, Ryo wasn’t refusing, and he decided to teach the young Yamato Water Release.
The two walked into the Forest of Death, and happened to catch up with Lain as she was practicing the Wood Human Jutsu. Ryo, who never saw her perform this Jutsu, was very intrigued.
When it came to height and size, what she made was far smaller than that of Hashirama, and was even smaller than White and Black Zetsu’s Wooden Golem from the Kyubi’s night.
However, unlike the Zetsu’s Golem, her Wood Human had far more Chakra and vitality flowing through it. It was to regenerate faster, tank far stronger hits, and even fight with much greater agility.
Ryo smiled, and immediately rushed at his sister. Two rows of ribs formed around him, followed by arms that extended from on top of them. He controlled his Susanoo, and sent a punch at her.
Lain also noticed the attack, and rotated quickly with a punch of her own. The collision was massive, and the result was nothing like what Ryo expected: the Wood Human actually punched straight through Susanoo’s arm, into its body, sending Ryo away!
Embarrassed, Ryo got up from the ground, unscathed fortunately, thanks to Susanoo’s protection.
“This Justu of yours… it’s mighty alright!” Ryo sincerely admired his sister’s strength.
“Oni san! Are you okay?” Lain ran anxiously to her brother.
“I’m fine. Don’t worry about me Lain.” Ryo patted her head with a smile.
Confirming that nothing was wrong with Ryo, Lain was relieved, and then complained: “Oni san, what brought you here so suddenly?”
“I brought you an old friend. Come here, Yamato!” Ryo said that, and waved at Yamato who was watching from afar; “Do you remember him, Lain?”
She shook her head. While he looked familiar, she couldn’t really remember him.
“He’s Yamato, the other one to get the first Hokage’s cells from Orochi san!”
When Ryo said that, Lain finally remembered Yamato, the one in the tank next to hers at Orochimaru’s. No wonder he seemed familiar.
“Why did you bring him here, Oni san?” She asked.
“It’s Sakumo san. He said that Yamato needed more work on his Wood Release, so I want you to help him practice.”
“Help him? He also has the same cells as me. If he has the basics, the rest should come really fast. I don’t need to help him!”
“Should come fast… Maybe I’m just too dumb then…” Yamato muttered. Now that he saw how these two siblings casually acted, he also began to gain some courage to make a light joke, with himself being the punch-line.
Lain could hear what he said, and she laughed and said nothing to him. She just promised her brother to let him stay and teach him for a while.
On the following few days, Ryo and Yamato went to the Forest of death every single day.
Yamato began to get along with Lain. On the other hand, Ryo soon realized that his sister’s Wood Release training had reached a plateau.
With that being the case, the only way to further develop her technique was to go around the regular training, and help her develop her talent through other paths, such as the Sage Mode.
Hashirama’s Wood Release was greatly enhanced through Sage Mode. This was very clear to Lain, who looked up to the great Hokage as a role model.
After some consideration, Ryo decided to take her to Tsunade again.
Obviously, the purpose behind this was to get the Senju princess to let Lain learn Sage Mode from Katsuyu in the Shikkotsu Forest.
Ryo had no idea how and where Hashirama learned Sage Mode, as it was never mentione din the Manga. However, he speculated that he had learned it in the Shikkotsu Forest.
The Sage Modes of Mount Myoboku and the Ryuchi caves were both shown in the Manga and to Ryo. The transformations that occurred to practitioners from both those “schools” were different from Hashirama’s transformation.
Moreover, Hashirama’s Sage Mode further improved his already great vitality. This was well fitting of the inhabitants of the Shikkotsu Forest.
Finally, the way to get into the Shikkotsu Forest was scroll owned by Tsunade. Ryo speculated that this scroll was inherited from her grandfather.
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