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In the Shikkotsu forest, Lain stared at the absolutely massive Katsuyu in front of her, and the slug did the same to her.
After a while, Katsuyu said with emotion: “I never expected to see it again after so many years, but here it is: The Wood Release Kekkei Genkai!”
Lain lowered her head and thought to herself: ‘Of course she wouldn’t see it, with the only Senju left being Tsunade Hime…’
Katsuyu guessed her thoughts, and deliberately said: “Wood Release is a not a Senju exclusive Kekkei Genkai. At least, it wasn’t before the appearance of Hashirama.”
Lain raised her head, not understanding yet.
“It’s actually an ability of some of the Otsutsuki clan, and for some reason, it was reawakened in Hashirama, one of their descendents. Well, we can chat later. Let’s get to business. I’ll teach you how we Slugs use Natural energy!”
After that, Lain began to learn Sage Mode. The most obvious advantage of the Slug’s Sage Mode was it superiority in duration and amount of Senjutsu Chakra compared to the two other types. However, compared with that of Snakes or Toads, it required more Natural Energy absorbed into the user’s body, making it extremely dangerous.
In fact, at the speed at which Natural Energy could safely be absorbed by normal humans, it would take the user a month to go into Sage Mode. However, Wood Release protected the user, and also allowed him to absorb Natural Energy Faster. This allowed Hashirama to take a lot less time to go into Sage Mode.
This is precisely why Tsuande said that this Mode is perfectly suited for Wood Release users.
After teleporting to the other side of the Country to get closer to the Sound Country, Ryo took Tsunade, Shizune and Rin to Orochimaru’s base.
In fact, Ryo did not teleport them straight inside. After all, Orochimaru could be working on something secret, and their presence by his side would expose that.
Orochimaru received a notification from one of his subordinates, saying that Ryo was at the gate with several people.
“I thought that I would find Orochimaru in some desolate place. Well, I didn’t expect it to be so desolate! I doubt there’s an inn close by, let alone a Casino!” Tsunade complained.
“Well, this place is perfect for Orochi san’s experimentations. He would not be bothered in here.”
“Come on, you don’t need to explain Orochimaru to me. I know him well! This country was weak, and they probably needed ‘his help’. Right?”
Ryo scratched his head embarrassedly, for Tsunade was right on the money. She fought alongside Orochimaru for years, and she knew him all too well.
Later, Ryo gave the three by his side a brief introduction to Orochimaru’s base. As they were halfway through the ‘tour’, Orochimaru arrived: “Well, isn’t that Tsunade?! Long time no see!”
Hearing Orochimaru’s voice, Tsunade smiled, but her tone in no way gentle: “You stinky snake! You haven’t changed after so many years!”
“Haha! Same goes for you. It seems like the Yin Seal Technique is paying off!”
“Well, a few years were spent on perfecting that!” Tsunade was very happy to admit the source of her perpetual youth.
Orochimaru hadn’t seen Tsunade in so many years, ever since the 3rd World War. However, Tsuande was always on Orochimaru’s mind.
Same was true for Tsunade, who, despite all differences, considered Orochimaru a friend.
The conversation between the two continued, seeming very dull, but every sentence was packed with feelings. Just from their smiles, Ryo could understand a lot.
“Orochi san, there’s no need to chat outside, let’s go in!” He suggested.
Orochimaru smiled and welcomed everyone inside.
In the evening, inside the base, Orochimaru was unusually drinking with Tsunade. After all, he never did any experiments unless he’s sober.
As for Ryo, as much as he wanted to join the fun, he chose not to bother the two. After arranging accommodation for Rin and Shizune, he went into the base alone to find Yahiko.
Meanwhile in Konoha, at the Naka Shrine, two Uchiha teens were chatting…
“Shisui, some time ago, your Sensei asked me a question: If I would choose the clan or the village. I’ve been thinking for the longest time, and I cannot find an answer. Say, what would you choose?”
“I don’t know what I will be choosing in the end, Itachi. However, if the village tries to take the Uchiha down, I would never help them. Same if the Uchiha go for a massacre in Konoha.”
“Oh? As usual, you never give up on any life. But now, things are getting more and more heated between the clan and the village, and if things go as they are, we will have to pick a choice.” Said Itachi bitterly.
“If I didn’t meet Sensei, I guess I would choose to leave the choice to someone I trust when that day comes, and just leave this world. However, I would never do that now. No matter who goes unfair to the other side, I will change them, with these eyes!” Saying that, Shisui activated his Mangekyo.
Itachi could perceive the surge of power in his mentor’s eyes, and he could see the new pattern that formed in them. He was shocked speechless for a while, and then said: “Shisui, what do you want to do? Can your Mangekyo really change everything?”
“To tell the truth, I don’t know! However, with these eyes, at least I believe my words would have weight to them, and then there’s Sensei, and we will both be able to make great change.”
“Ryo Yamanaka sama? He can shake everything indeed!” Itachi suddenly had some hopefulness in his tone.
“So, what we can do now is to improve our own strength and get strong enough to have the right to speak in a family and a village. When the time comes, we’ll do what’s necessary with Sensei.”
Shisui’s words temporarily dispelled the confusion in Itachi’s heart, showing him a different future for the Uchiha.
“Speaking of that, I haven’t practiced in a long time, and to be honest, I could never gauge my improvement while in the Anbu. How about a little spar?”
“Well, I do want to test the perception abilities of my Mangekyo!” Both smiled at each other, and then began their battle in the woods.
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