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Part One
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Part Two
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Click for Cover

Volume Thirty-Eight Manga Summary
Naruto: VOLUME 38
Title: Shugyou no Seika...!! ~ Fruits of the Training...!!




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.


Sasuke (God of Lightning) VS Naruto (God of Wind)

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...


Uzumaki Naruto

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.


Uchiha Sasuke

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: "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.


Orochimaru & Sasuke

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...


Sasuke

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: "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...


Suigetsu

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: "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…