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Part One
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51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70




Volume Sixty-Four Manga Summary
Naruto: VOLUME 64
Title: Juubi ~ Ten Tails




Chapter 608: "Kakashi's Resolve!" - Obito activates Kamui, calling forth numerous giant shuriken that launch towards Kakashi. Kakashi slams his palm to the ground in turn, generating a rock wall, which rises to block the incoming projectiles. As Kakashi looks to the wall, Obito slips through holding one of the shuriken in his hand. He swings the weapon with his right hand, planting it into Kakashi's left knee. He then uses his free left hand to grab Kakashi's right wrist. Kakashi can only look on in consternation, asking simply "Why?". Obito is unmoved, and tells his former teammate to simply shut up, as his words are nothing but trash. Kakashi is taken aback and then swirled away as Obito activates Kamui. Kakashi lands hard in the strange cube realm of Obito's. As he lays unmoving, he recalls his last day with Obito. We see Obito declaring White Fang a hero and that those who don't value their comrades being worse than trash. Obito's recent words then echo, stating his actions were because Kakashi let Rin die. Kakashi begins to gather himself and confirms Obito's belief that he was trash, but to him, Obito was a hero. Activating his Mangekyou, he then uses Kamui. Back at the battlefield, Naruto roars in an attempt to get free of the wood dragon. The Kurama begins to wilt as the chakra is absorbed. Guy notices Naruto faltering, as both he and Gyuuki are pinned by giant roots. Before Obito, Kakashi swirls back into being. Obito offers little surprise at the feat, pointing out they share the same eyes after all. Kakashi again questions how Obito changed but the other man remains quiet. Kakashi asks if it was about Rin but Obito remains mute. He then charges, still wielding the shuriken. Kakashi's leg buckles from the wound he received, giving Obito an opening to slam his knee into Kakashi's face. The man reels, and Obito slams the shuriken into Kakashi's shoulder. Kakashi recalls Obito's promise to protect his comrades and their former affirmation to save Rin. Obito picks up a second giant shuriken and swings both diagonally across his body, slicing Kakashi in an X across his chest. As Kakashi falls to his knees, Obito affirms that trash should just stay quiet and die. Kakashi is supplicant, agreeing that since he couldn't keep his promise, he is trash... But Obito is a hero of the village, there's no need for him to act this way. Obito glares but then avows that it is merely reality; in this world all ninja will always only amount to trash. Both Kakashi and he are fine examples of that fact. Naruto sees Kakashi's state, while Gyuuki voices concern at being pinned. Madara moves to confront the beast, offering that the others are a nuisance as well, but since the world is ending, they can at least have some fun. First, he'll have to clear the battlefield. Obito explains that once born into the world, they cannot escape that cycle of trash, so he'll just have to create a new one. Fed up with hearing Obito and Madara, Naruto forms a hand seal. He affirms that he can't express how badly they piss him off, so he'll just say something about himself instead. As Madara extends his Susanoo blade to impale Gyuuki and Obito moves to cut down Kakashi with his shuriken, a flash marks the battlefield. Instantly both men's blades are stopped by Kyuubi chakra arms from Naruto and a clone. Countering Obito's world view, Naruto confidently declares that he is not trash, and he won't become trash either. Furthermore he won't let any of his comrades be killed! Gyuuki and Guy smile, while Kakashi recognizes his own words from years ago in the Wave Country being reused by Naruto. Kakashi gathers himself and offers silent apology to Naruto, asserting that even after teaching Naruto the words of Obito, he still wavered. As Kakashi looks on with a new determination, the Uchiha duo strike. Madara's Susanoo moves to impale with a second blade while Obito swings to cut down Naruto. Naruto's comrades are there to help, as Guy uses his free hands to activate Hirudora. The giant tiger head flies forth and chomps onto Madara and the Susanoo, knocking them off balance. Kakashi follows through as well, activating Raikiri to cut Obito's spinning shuriken in two. As Hirudora begins unleashing its torment onto Madara, Gyuuki voices approval that Guy wasn't just acting tough. Nearby, Kakashi voices an affirmation to Obito. The will he left to him is still alive, being present in the young man beside him. And the only thing left for him to do, is to protect Naruto!...




Chapter 609: "The End" - Guy voices his plan to do the same. Gyuuki admires the Leaf ninja for their drive, even after being pushed so far. Obito furrows his eyebrows and Gyuuki suddenly breaks free from the limbs binding him. He catches Guy, then warns Naruto be wary of the Mokuton, as it can block a Bijuu's power. Obito acknowledges Kakashi's new skills, being able to use Sharingan to perfect his Raikiri and even obtaining Mangekyou. Extending the Mokuton from his arm, he questions if Kakashi can keep up if he's sent to the alternate dimension again? He extends the root but Naruto moves to intercept. The wood coils around the young man to hold him, giving Obito freedom to extend him left arm. He cautions that trash should know their place. Naruto counters quickly yelling that Kakashi is with him. He overpowers the root and pushes forward to head butt the momentarily solid Obito. Obito is sent flying but he manages to flip and right himself. In the distance, the shield encasing the Gedou Mazou begins to crack. Gyuuki notices and expresses his need to handle the Juubi. As Obito looks on, Naruto smiles and announces that he sees things clearly. Obito is confused but Naruto remains silent and rips off the binding roots. He speaks again, explaining that he clearly sees stomping in Obito's face. Obito glares and charges, retorting that it's like what he plans to do to Kakashi. The weakened Kakashi rests on his knees and Naruto looks to his sensei, determining that he has to act quickly as the man is exhausted. Kurama chimes in, directing Naruto to give him control. Naruto is unsure but Kurama tells his Jinchuuriki to trust him. The Kurama controlled Naruto quickly moves to Kakashi's side and directs the man to give him his hand. Kakashi recognizes the voice but the Bijuu tells him to hurry. As Tobi approaches, Kurama-Naruto quickly grabs onto Kakashi and heaves, hurling the man right into Obito. Obito is forced to stop in place, and swirls Kakashi away with Kamui. Naruto can only look on in bamboozled silence, finally howling confusion at what Kurama just did. Kurama remains cool, saying there's no need to thank him, as this way Naruto can run wild without worrying about Kakashi. Naruto is still annoyed but Obito charges again. Naruto swings his arm and extends a Kurama chakra hand but the fist passes harmlessly through Obito. Obito halts anyway as blood bursts forth from his mouth. Naruto is perplexed, but the culprit is seen in the alternate dimension, as Kakashi's extended right fist has connected with the stomach of Obito currently sharing the same space. Kakashi explains that countering is easy now that they know how it works and punches the stomach again with his left fist. Obito transfers the upper half of his body over as the Kurama arm moves and Kakashi asserts that it must hurt. He clocks his former friend across the face and Obito steps away to fully rejoin reality. Kurama explains that Kakashi is kicking butt in the alternate dimension. He then relates that the difference between Naruto and himself is that he can control his chakra and distribute it freely as needed, a nifty trick he can show later. Naruto asks when he did so and Kurama asserts when he threw the man. Which means Kakashi can use Kamui again to teleport as needed. Naruto smiles as Kakashi then materializes before him. He tells Naruto to impart his thanks to Kurama. Obito's focus shifts elsewhere as the shield containing the Gedou cracks further. In the distance, Gyuuki and the other Kurama-form Naruto generate a gigantic Bijuu Dama together. Gyuuki directs Naruto to charge it to the max so they can blow the Gedou away. Naruto voices approval and the two Bijuu unleash the monstrous ball. The sphere flies, violently shaking the battlefield. It impacts the shielded statue and detonates, obliterating everything. Naruto detects the disappearance of the Gedou's chakra and Gyuuki cheers at their success. Kakashi questions if it's finally over and Obito confirms it's the end... of this world. Nearby, Madara looks on in bemused understanding and explains that now it's time to begin. As the debris and dust finally clear a screech pierces the sky, standing where the Gedou once stood is the frenzied Juubi, complete once again...




Chapter 610: "Juubi" - Naruto and Kakashi are stunned, while Gyuuki silently affirms their suspicion. Obito and Madara jump onto the body of the reformed Juubi and Kurama glares at its arrival. The beast's single eye squints but then opens as it unleashes a loud roar. The alliance shinobi ready themselves and Naruto expresses confusion since the Gedou's evil chakra disappeared. Kurama reveals that sensing their new friend is meaningless anyway, as the life force of the planet itself flows through it. However, Naruto might have luck in Sennin Mode. Naruto sits down and begins to focus, entering Sennin Mode. He seeks to determine its power but Kurama tells him it's unnecessary. Naruto is taken aback and Kurama confirms that the Juubi's strength is unfathomable. Naruto grimly grins and offers that it's no joke. On top of the Juubi, two tendrils lash out and connect to the back of Obito and Madara's necks. Madara explains that he intended to capture them first, but they were stronger than expected. Therefore, they'll just start the Infinite Tsukuyomi now. It will take time to prepare, even with the expected interference. For that reason they should use the statue's power to deal with their opponents first. Obito questions the elder ninja if he just wants to play around with the power first like a kid. Madara counters that he's no child, a kid is one who is too hasty and can't wait to get started. The Juubi swings a tail and sends out a shockwave, while in the distance Bee questions that it's about to get bad, so are they ready? Kurama tells the man that he can cower in their eight-legged friend like an octopus in a pot if he wants, but in the meantime he'll begin. He directs Bee to toss him the unconscious Guy, and then tells the other Naruto and Kakashi to jump inside his spectral form as well. The trio land inside and Kurama reminds them of their plan, they just need to sit back for now and examine their enemy. Once they're ready, they'll dodge the attacks, close the distance and then strike with a massive blow. Kakashi surmises that Kurama is acting as the captain and the Bijuu asks if the man has a problem with that. Kakashi smiles and says no, it actually makes him relieved. Naruto grins and Kurama says they can rejoice after they win, for now they have to act. Suddenly Naruto's eyes go wide and Kurama and Gyuuki are sent flying from a swipe from the Juubi. Naruto marvels at the Juubi's speed and the two Bijuu regain their footing and open their mouths. Quickly Gyuuki and Kurama fire off multiple Bijuu Dama in response. Madara is unfazed, stating they don't need to dodge. Obito points out that he wants to save the Juubi's power if possible, but the beast below them reacts quickly, unleashing a gigantic Bijuu Dama blast of its own. Gyuuki jump sideways in front of Kurama to avoid the devastating blast. He and Kurama quickly coil their tails around themselves for protection as the blast redirects towards them. Bee and Gyuuki jointly declare that they leave the rest of to the others as the blast connects, obliterating them. As the dust clears, many of Kurama's tails have been blown away and only a single tentacle of Gyuuki remains. Madara declares them stubborn, while Guy questions if their comrades just... Naruto tells him not to worry. Kurama then compliments Naruto's aim, as he launched them into the perfect spot! Obito looks to the sky to see the free falling forms of the other Naruto and Kakashi coming down on top of them. Kakashi apologizes for the tentacle and activates Kamui. Naruto declares that it was worth it, even if they lost a tentacle. Guy finally understands and Kakashi finishes his part. Swirling into being is the full form of Gyuuki preparing to unleash a Bijuu Dama right into the eye of the Juubi. Bee raps his apologies for playing dirty, as operation Octopus Pot is a go!...




Chapter 611: "Arrival" - As the Bijuu Dama flies, Obito glares at the men falling from above. The Juubi effortlessly flicks the incoming ball back, as Madara remarks upon the annoyance of the buzzing flies. The Leaf are shocked as the Bijuu Dama impacts Gyuuki’s chest. Sennin Mode Naruto is suddenly alerted and slams his palm into Kakashi's back, launching him safely out of the way as one of Juubi's tails flies down upon them. Obito recalls saving Kakashi from falling boulders in the Grass Country and silently offers to Naruto that the young man reminds him of himself. Above, the tail slams into Naruto and Obito concludes that though they were the same when they were young, Naruto's outlook will change with time. Sennin Mode Naruto is batted through the air, while Gyuuki is sent flying by his rebounded attack. As the Bijuu Dama detonates, Naruto offers apologies to Gyuuki and Bee and then poofs away into nothing. Madara acknowledges the Kage Bunshin and Kurama's fist grabs ahold of Kakashi. Gyuuki crashes to the ground bloody and Kurama-Naruto moves to brace his impact. Suddenly the Kurama chakra wilts, sending Naruto, Guy and Kakashi crashing onto the earth below. Naruto questions what happened and Kurama explains that though the eight minutes was longer than before, he still reached his limit. He explains that he needs time to regroup and asks Naruto to buy him some time, as they'll be in trouble without his chakra. Naruto curses in understanding. Gyuuki is forced to rest as well, withdrawing from Bee. Guy questions that he thought Kakashi recovered, but his friend explains that teleporting something as big as the Hachibi exhausted him. Obito surmises the Kyuubi's chakra is gone for the moment. Naruto looks to the men in defiance and forms the hand seal for Kage Bunshin. Madara chides the boy, stating that Kinjutsu in the hands of an incompetent will only lead to incompetent results. Naruto counters that he's not incompetent. Kakashi warns Naruto to not split his chakra, as he won't land anything meaningful and if they lose him, they lose the war. Madara mocks them for being so disheveled. Naruto questions the unrecognized word, leaving Madara more assured of the boy's stupidity. Obito explains to Naruto that even if he increases his numbers, it'll still be useless. He's just an ignorant pawn, like everyone else, who will one day become like Obito himself. Naruto defies the proclamation, yelling that he'll never become like him. He'll say it as he's always said it, he's going to become Hokage! Obito is unmoved, and suggests that if all goes as planned, within the Infinite Tsukuyomi he can become Hokage... So for now, disappear... A Bijuu Dama swirls into being in the Juubi's mouth and fires, ripping through everything in its path. As the destruction reigns, Obito is shaken as a second soul shadows his being. He clicks his tongue and Naruto and his comrades look on unharmed. They question if it missed on purpose but their saviors are revealed descending from above. Hiashi apologizes to Kakashi for being late, while Hinata carries Ino. Hinata asks Naruto if he's okay and Ino offers surprise that a Byakugan assisted Perfect Shintenshin could only be maintained for two seconds. Hiashi proposes they did well enough; as other Hyuuga clan land nearby supporting more Yamanaka clan members. Naruto continues staring down Obito and Madara and offers an encouragement for his friend's arrival. Shino, Akamaru and Kiba land nearby and Kiba warns Naruto to not act tough just because Hinata is there. As scores of other ninja land in support, they immediately act to cast a protective blind. Aburame expel insects to jam chakra sensing and Mist unleash a fog. Chouji and Shikamaru land near Bee, while Omoi and Karui do the same. Karui expresses surprise that her sensei is better off than she thought he'd be and Omoi remarks that it looks like he took a beating. Lee, Sakura, Shizune and Sai land near Kakashi and Lee asks Guy if he used Hirudora. Naruto directs Sakura to heal their sensei. She affirms and begins to heal Kakashi. At headquarters, the sensor ninja remark in surprise at how deformed the sense sphere is towards a huge force. Shikaku directs the sense ninja to confirm the situation and Aoi and the others affirm. At the battlefield, thousands of alliance ninja arrive in support, with Darui announcing the First Division's arrival, Kitsuchi's announcing the Second's, another voicing the Third's, Shikamaru announcing the Fourth's and Mifune the Fifth's. Shizune confirms the medical squad's arrival and C the sensor squad. Madara questions if they plan on hiding and the Juubi swipes its tail in response. As the wave flies towards the blind, a Fuuton counters to slice and neutralize it. With the blind finally gone, numerous fan wielders stand above and the full might of the shinobi alliance stands below. Naruto proudly directs Madara and Obito to look on in awe, for they are no longer opposed by some half-assed force, but by the Shinobi Alliance Technique! The most awesome jutsu in the history of the ninja world. A jutsu which is going to beat Infinite Tsukuyomi, so don't they forget it!...




Chapter 612: "The Shinobi Alliance Technique!!" - Madara questions the contrived nature of the Shinobi Alliance Technique name. Naruto says the jutsu will stop them but Obito rebuts him, stating that it's useless. Even if the alliance won, the “jutsu” would fall apart and someone would just take Akatsuki's place. It's a useless struggle to try and change things, for there is no real hope. Naruto bites his lip but then declares that he believes there is such a thing as hope. The alliance members smile and Madara resigns that it's futile arguing any longer, so they'll just finish it. Naruto counters that they should have a vote if their opinions are split, majority rules? Obito says that'll work, they'll vote after they kill them. Naruto admits that he knew they would say that. Obito and Naruto then continue in turn, as each states that "this world..." Naruto affirms that he won't let it end, while Obito vows that he'll end it. The alliance is ordered to move out and Shikaku voices approval of Naruto giving them time to prepare. He tells the boy via Inoichi's transmission that they've already told everyone else the plan. They were so busy they didn't even have time to be shocked about Tobi's real identity. They have to find an opening for a counterattack against a superior set of eyes. First, they'll use that against Akatsuki, by blinding them. Suddenly numerous Cloud advance casting Raiton and Ranton to generate a brilliant burst of light. Madara, Obito and the Juubi move to shield their eyes and their selves, but Madara deduces the feint was really to blind the Juubi. Next Mist and Aburame Clan members add further chaos to the flying storm of dirt and debris. Sand steps up next, generating a Fuuton disturbance to the storm. Shikaku continues, explaining that they'll use the Juubi's size against it. Watching the coordinated attack in action, Temari marvels at Shikaku's ability to so quickly deduce a strategy after so short a time of learning everyone's power. As the swirling storm surrounds the Juubi and two Uchiha men, Obito looks on with his Sharingan in an attempt to determine the alliance's location. Madara calls it useless and Obito suggests simply letting the Juubi run wild. Hidden Rock are directed to move next, as numerous Rock ninja slam their palms to the ground to drop the earth out from below the Juubi, sending it into a narrow pit. More Rock step up and spit Youton ash down on top of the beast. Mist then step up and emit jets of water into the ash, finally Sarutobi clan members quickly move and add fiery embers to the mix. The resulting heat acts with the ash and water to create a hardened concrete which quickly locks the Juubi in place. Madara offers honest surprise at the action, as the Five Great Shinobi Villages actually managed to act together efficiently. Shikaku further explains that without stopping the Juubi first, they have no way to aim for Madara and Obito. The Juubi is their tool to utilize the Infinite Tsukuyomi, so they need to take the fight to them to stop them from activating it. However, it's wise to assume they'll only be able to briefly stop the beast, so Taijutsu users will need to attack Madara since he's immune to actual harm. Obito can slip through any attack for five minutes, so if they can coordinate with the medical squad for longer than five minutes they can get him. In conclusion, Shikaku declares to Naruto that it's as he proclaimed, it’s the Shinobi Alliance Technique. As Naruto wields Rasen Shuriken and hurls himself into the void to attack Madara and Obito, he's followed by numerous Taijutsu users like Lee and Guy. Madara is unimpressed, calling it pathetic. Obito agrees, stating they desperately cling to a hope which doesn't exist, just as their own existence is about to end. As the Juubi stirs and shape shifts below them, Obito offers the alliance's end has finally come, as the Juubi has just about reached its final state...




Chapter 613: "The Head" - The attacking ninja aim for Madara and the man looks on in dissatisfaction at the simple strategy of attacking the "head" first being used. He concludes though they have to stop the Juubi first. Suddenly the ground quakes and the newly complete form of the Juubi swipes out at the attackers. The ninja nearby ninja fly and they question how it overcame being sealed so quickly. Rising from the ground, the thin demonic form of the Juubi looks on, with one eye, ear and mouth gracing different sides of its head. Naruto braces his dislodged shoulder and looks on. At headquarters, the sensor ninja marvel at the second chakra sphere being drawn out and created from the main sphere. Shikaku surmises they didn't really stop it before, it merely paused to complete its transformation. Inoichi asks how they can stop it and we return to the battlefield. Ninja begin to gather themselves and seek medical assistance. Kakashi affirms they have to stop the Juubi or they'll all die. Kitsuchi tells him to man up and gather chakra for the moment they're needed. At headquarters, Shikaku's mind races to deduce a strategy. He affirms that though the Ino-Shika-Chou clans focus on stopping enemies, they might as well be bugs against the Juubi. He's suddenly struck with an idea and directs Inoichi to connect him to Kakashi. Kakashi listens as Shikaku asks him to confirm something from their recent battle with the beast. Above the Juubi roars and Madara directs Obito to strengthen the connection to the beast with further Hashirama root connectors. The roots connect them to the beast and Madara asks Obito if he's interested in tested the beast's full power. Obito affirms and states they can show them true despair. The Juubi stands on its hind legs and begins to form a Bijuu Dama. As Shikaku informs Kakashi they'll cut communications briefly, a sensor ninja calls out in warning at the power buildup from the Juubi. At the battle, Kakashi deduces he won't have time to send the attack away with Kamui and directs Kitsuchi to unbalance the ground below the beast with a Doton. The ground turns just as the Bijuu Dama fires, sending the blast off target into the country beyond. Miles away the blast lands, sending a blinding explosive arc high into the sky. Kakashi marvels at the attacks’ size, while Madara confirms they still don't have full control since the beast is wavering. Another blast is fired which flies off as well, obliterating a nearby village when it impacts the ground. Spying the explosion, a Hyuuga marvels at the distance the blast traveled. The front hands of the Juubi crash down, sending numerous ninja off balance. At headquarters, Ao questions why they're targeting distant locations. Shikaku guesses they're showing off their range, which leaves Inoichi to question that the villages and leaders in hiding are also not safe. Shikaku concludes that since they're trying to protect those people, the Akatsuki are attempting to rattle them. Another blast is fired and the Hyuuga on the battlefield and Ao at headquarters are suddenly alerted. Ao directs them to stay calm... Shikaku affirms his understanding that the blast is headed for them. A thought transfer ninja voices the need to flee then, but a Mist tells them it’s useless, they could never outrun it and they knew the stakes when they agreed to fight. The worried ninja states that he's ready to lay his life on the line, but he wanted to help in a meaningful way. Shikaku closes his eyes and Inoichi asks him what next? Shikaku concludes they have to do what they can until the end and he just found a way to stop the Juubi. He directs Inoichi to connect him to everyone on the battlefield and soon his voice echoes throughout the Shinobi Alliance. Hearing his father's final words, Shikamaru closes his eyes and grits his teeth in understanding. Tears flow his Ino's eyes and she stoically listens as well. As the Juubi looks in the direction of the alliance headquarters at Kumogakure, an enormous blast raises in the distance from the spot where Hidden Cloud once stood. A bemused Madara states that it took long enough and affirms that they've now crudely but effectively just cut the head of the shinobi alliance...




Chapter 614: "To You" - Chouji calls for Shikamaru but his friend tells him to remain quiet since they're in battle. He directs Ino to do the same; they'll just follow his father's orders. Naruto questions what's going on. Neji lands nearby and answers that Naruto is the key to their strategy. Naruto says not that, rather what's going on with Shikaku and Inoichi? Neji is quiet but then sent on defense as the Juubi's tails come crashing down. Neji moves in conjunction with Hiashi to spin and deflect the attack and Naruto marvels at Neji's genius. Nearby Cloud also are impressed by the elite clan. Hiashi warns Naruto to pay attention, as lives are on the line. If they lose, it's over for all of them. Naruto grits his teeth and says he knows. Neji explains that Shikamaru and Ino's fathers knew that giving their lives for their children was their duty as shinobi; it's something his own father knew as well. Hiashi remains quiet but looks on. Neji directs Naruto to stand firm as they need his strength. Hinata joins Neji's side and offers that they'll protect him until the plan is ready. Naruto is taken aback by Hinata's bold affirmation and Hiashi declares they'll do so as Leaf's strongest. On top of the Juubi, a perturbed Madara offers that he had hoped to wipe them out before they could finish talking, but he still can't control the beast well enough. However it should be fine until the next stage. To get full control would require becoming a Jinchuuriki with a living body, but that's impossible being an Edo Tensei corpse. Obito surmises that the man isn't wiping out the ninja in front of them with the Juubi's power because it would kill Obito himself as well. And that's bad because he needs Obito to sacrifice his own life to resurrect Madara with Rinne Tensei. Because of that Madara is at his mercy, so he needs to remember that. Madara cautions Obito on his attitude but the other man says he's always had it since they first met. He never considered him an ally. Madara relents and says their next move is up to Obito then. Obito extends his arm and declares they'll cripple them with despair. Madara smiles and the Juubi suddenly extends all its tail hands outwards. With a screech from Juubi, Obito activates Mokuton, sending a volley of piercing stakes from each of the Juubi's palms. The stakes rain down, impaling numerous alliance shinobi. The Hyuuga spin to deflect the missiles but curse at their high number. Ninja move to avoid the attack, with Kakashi pulling Sakura to safety. Kitsuchi moves to form a Doton until the Kyuubi is ready, but stresses his own need to prepare chakra as well. Nearby Neji continues to spin and curses at being unable to stop them all. One stake sends his forehead protector flying and reaching his limit, he's forced to stop his Kaiten. Naruto thanks Neji and Hinata, as he gained enough time for Sennin Mode. Hurling a Rasen Shuriken the disk spin into the sky and detonates, obliterating all the stakes caught in its path. Close by numerous ninja emit Katon to burn up more falling stakes, and others sit protected by a dome of Doton. Naruto clones hurl more Rasen Shuriken and then disperse, as Naruto himself collapses to his knees exhausted. As one stake plummets towards Naruto, Hinata extends her palm to blast it out of the sky. The ground thunders as one of the Juubi's tails comes crashing down near Naruto. Hiashi extends both palms to create a barrier shockwave which sends the limb skywards. A finger on the tail extends to emit a pin point jet of stakes towards Naruto. Hinata quickly rushes to put her body between the oncoming deluge and Naruto. Hiashi curses that they can't stop the stakes in time as his daughter offers her back as a shield for the young man she so desperately loves. Blood flies as the stakes strike home... right through Neji's back, having sacrificed his own body to protect Hinata. Hinata and Naruto look in horror at Neji's act, while Hiashi is also struck silent. Kitsuchi moves to fight back and slams his palms to the ground to sandwich the Juubi by two mountains of earth. The alliance ninja then move to attack. Naruto desperately calls for a medic as he and Hinata gingerly hold Neji's impaled body. Neji explains that it's too late for that. Hinata was willing to give her life for Naruto, so Naruto needs to understand that his life is not just his own anymore. It also includes Neji’s own life as well now. As the blood continues to pour from his mouth, Neji gives a pained smile. Naruto attempts to make some sense of the loss, questioning how it could happen since Neji's the Hyuuga's... Neji contemplates his life and how Naruto freed him from the shackles of his cursed fate. Naruto asks why he did it? Why sacrifice his life? Neji grins again and as his life fades, he explains it's because Naruto called him a genius... Naruto is shaken as tears well in his eyes. As the curse mark on his forehead activates and disappears, Neji offers understanding to his deceased father that he now knows what it means to have the freedom to choose your own death and protect those precious to you. Tears continue to fall from Hinata's eyes and nearby a bird takes flight, only to be struck down by a stake as well. In the distance the Juubi breaks through the mountains pinning it and Obito looks down upon the carnage he wrought. Seeing Naruto with his deceased friend he questions that didn't Naruto declare that he wouldn't let a single comrade of his die? The words rock Naruto but he only glares back in defiance, still supporting the body of his genius Hyuuga friend...




Chapter 615: "Unbreakable Bonds" - Shock marks Naruto's face as he recalls his promise to not let anyone die. Obito again challenges Naruto on that point, directing him to examine the battlefield dead and proclaim it again. Naruto glances at the massacre surrounding him and Obito tells the young man to observe the lifeless corpses so he can finally understand the finality of death. Naruto remains in a wide-eyed stupor as he looks down upon Neji's body. Nearby the other Leaf are shocked by Neji's sacrifice. Obito continues his sermon, stating that this proves Naruto wrong. His words were meaningless, there is no hope; this is reality. He then asks Naruto just what he has. His parents died, Jiraiya did too. Moreover, his other friends will as well if he keeps resisting. When they're done, there will be no one left to recognize his existence. Kakashi glares at his former comrade and the man continues, stating that the only thing left will be loneliness. Naruto lowers his head and remains quiet. Nearby Hiashi silently apologizes to his brother for letting Neji die. Madara looks to his comrade and ponders how alike Obito is to his own self in youth. He concludes that soon Naruto will crack and so too shall the alliance fall. Offering out his hand, Obito directs Naruto to just give up on this reality and join them. A hand reaches out in turn... and slaps Naruto hard against the cheek. Hinata keeps her palm against Naruto's face and stares at him with a determined resilience. Naruto and Obito are both taken aback. Hinata calmly reminds him that Neji told Naruto that his life is not just his own, so does he understand what that means? His ideals and words to not let his friends die are not a lie! It was because of Naruto's principles that Neji came as far as he did. But it's not only Neji he inspired, all his friends were as well, it's what connected them together. That's why they are comrades, and if those principles are abandoned now, then Neji's sacrifice was in vain. Therefore, going back on his words would really kill his friends and they wouldn't be comrades any more. That's how she feels. Looking into Naruto's eyes, she asks that they stand together. To stand tall and not take back ones words, that's her way of the ninja as well. Naruto looks down at Neji and words echo in his head. Hinata is ready to die for him, so his life is not just his own... it's also his life dummy! Kurama's interjection startles Naruto and the Kyuubi questions if Naruto forgot he was there as well. Naruto yells that he knows and he has no plans to abandon his comrades or his bonds, but Neji... Kurama tells his host to stop blubbering or he'll beat him up and take over his body for real. Did Naruto forget? His parents died right after he was born, sacrificing their life as Neji did. They put him, their mortal enemy, into their newborn and died entrusting the future to him. So Naruto's life wasn't his own from the very beginning! In reality, Madara looks to Obito and ponders if the man is awaiting Naruto's reply, as it seems to really matter to him. Suddenly the Juubi moves, wrapping its tails around its whole body as a shield to protect the two men inside. Madara questions acting rashly but Obito retorts that the Juubi is tough, it can handle it. With only an opening left for its mouth, the Juubi preps a Bijuu Dama to finally wipe out the alliance. From the sky comes Bee, riding on an ink bird alongside Sai. Bee announces that he's recharged enough and jumps head first towards the Juubi's gaping maw. Omoi and Karui cheer their master on as he enters into Hachibi Mode, creating a Bijuu Dama of his own. Grabbing onto the Juubi to brace himself, Bee rams his own Bijuu Dama into the Juubi's, forcing the unfired sphere back down the beast's throat. With his head now fully in the Juubi's mouth he fires, causing both spheres to detonate. Suddenly the Juubi's body balloons as the Bijuu Dama wreak destruction in its belly. Bee and Gyuuki are sent flying to the ground and the injured duo are chastised for not knowing restraint. Bee raps in turn, as there's no need to worry, he'll protect the alliance. Nearby Naruto lifts his right hand to meet Hinata's left, which still holds his cheek. Understanding Kurama's words, he voices understanding that his life is not just his parents, it's also everyone else who was dear to him who gave their life to make a better world. As he rises, he removes Hinata's hand from his cheek but still holds it tight to his side. Standing tall once again, he thanks Hinata and declares that his life was never just his own, all because of the ones who have been by his side the whole time. Standing alongside Naruto in defiance, Hinata thanks Neji and concludes that she finds comfort in Naruto's firm grasp and... Across from them, the Juubi attempts to gather itself and expels fumes from the previous attack. As the beast rights itself, Naruto lifts his empty left hand and symbolically crushes the distant Juubi in his palm. As his fist clenches, Kurama's chakra pours forth as Naruto re-enters Kyuubi Mode. As they stand hand in hand, he informs Hinata that it's time to act and she concludes her thought that his touch makes her feel safe. As she affirms being ready, the power flows into her as well, further upholding her resolution to never let go of the man she loves...


Sakura, Sasuke & Naruto

Chapter 616: "Those Who Dance in the Shadows" - As night hangs over Konoha, Sasuke stands alongside Suigetsu, Juugo and Orochimaru. Suigetsu questions the chakra he's sensing. Orochimaru reflects on the other's ability to sense it, even though they are not sensor types. Sasuke directs Orochimaru to lead the way and the man looks to his former student, surmising that the person they're all sensing still weighs on Sasuke's mind. At the battlefield, Hinata raises her hand to see a Kyuubi chakra cloak encasing her body, which surprises everyone. C looks on, concluding that it's actually Naruto's chakra at work. Inside Naruto, Kurama congratulates Naruto on skillfully converting and then transferring his Bijuu chakra onto Hinata. Naruto explains that he got the hang of it, and asks Kurama to still lend him a hand. Kurama marvels at Shikaku's analysis, and then lets Naruto know he can make a small number of Kage Bunshin. Hinata looks to Naruto in wonder, finally grasping the chakra he wields. Naruto forms clones and they quickly jump away. Shikamaru tells Naruto that he's late and the two slap their hands together to confer chakra. A clone does the same with Ino and Chouji, causing the Akimichi to gain weight again. The clones race through the battlefield conferring more of Kurama's converted chakra to the rest of the alliance members. Madara questions if the brat is giving them Kyuubi chakra. One of Juubi's tail arms suddenly darts out and Hinata reacts, sending forth an Air Palm to knock the incoming arm backwards. Hinata is awestruck by the welling power and her father also marvels at the power delivered by just an Air Palm. As Madara also ponders the increase in power, Obito raises his hand to act. The Juubi stretches three arms out to attack, but three infused Akimichi Clan members quickly grow to catch the incoming limbs. Chouji asks Ino and Shikamaru if they're ready and they affirm. They begin their clan specialties and recall their fathers' words... Shikaku directs them to remember it clearly, first up being Ino-Shika-Chou combo. Shikamaru asks what to do if it doesn't work? His father tells him to live on and think of a new strategy then, this rocks the young man. Inoichi honestly explains to his daughter that soon headquarters will be no more. Shikamaru clenches his eyes and his father laughs, stating that their only real face time was playing Shogi. He hasn't given him a thing. Shikamaru counters that he gave him plenty, as he was able to grow up staring at his back. Shikaku smiles and his friend continues speaking to his daughter. As Ino begins to cry, her father compliments her growth being right in line with their family crest flower. Thinking of Sasuke, Ino asks if he means its relation to optimistic love? Inoichi points out it's the other meaning. As we see the young Ino protect Sakura from bullies, Inoichi reveals he means he's most proud of her caring attitude and compassion toward her friends. He explains that she blossomed into a beautiful flower indeed. With time running short, he asks Shikaku if he has any final words? Shikaku asks if Shikamaru can tell his mom this.. Suddenly he's struck by a new thought in a panic, hurriedly directing Shikamaru to instead first throw out the thing in the hidden in the box in the closet without Yoshino finding out. Shikamaru states he knows all about it and not to worry. Shikaku blushes and Inoichi imparts their final words for them to never forget that they will live on inside of them, forever. In the present, Obito rails and warns that he won't be mocked. The arms braced by the Akimichi quickly turns their palms up to unleash spikes... just as Shikamaru and Ino finish casting their jutsu. Obito curses at the intrusion again as Ino announces her arrival within his mind. The Juubi palms rise, firing off their spikes into the distance. Naruto compliments their being faster to act than he himself. Shikamaru's shadow snakes out to grab onto the Juubi’s and the beast lets out a whine. Shikamaru is rattled by the push back in power. Madara recognizes the Nara clan specialty as more clan members add to the binding. Shikamaru directs Ino to release and she returns, falling into the arms of Kiba. He asks if she's okay and she says yes. Nearby Lee holds the body of his dead teammate as tears pour from his eyes. Guy directs Lee to stop crying as TenTen looks on. Guy explains that as long as they don't abandon Neji's convictions, he'll continue to live on within them. Hearing those words Obito chimes in, revealing it was those very connections that made him the man he is today. So those bonds can be a curse as well. Kakashi looks on and then to Naruto. He offers to Naruto that he once told him "I will never let my comrades die." Those words were also an admonition aimed at himself, as he has lost many comrades in his life. It's why he keeps reaffirming his goal to protect them this time around, even when he then still loses them, resulting in him confronting those wounds for the rest of his life. A contemplative Naruto offers that is why their ninja though, right? "Ninja" also means "those who endure", so they're meant to not forget. The wounds they bear prove their comrades live on inside them. Comrades created in a dream world that can't get hurt aren't real and that means you're erasing their real selves. As Lee looks on, Naruto slaps his clenched fist to his chest. Standing defiant, Naruto proclaims that curse or not, he'll keep the real Neji inside him right here!...




Chapter 617: "Those Who Dance in the Shadows, Part 2" - Putting his hand to his chest, Lee contemplates keeping the real Neji inside him as well. He recalls his past with Neji, as his teammate directs him to look elsewhere for a rival and his later promise to one day fight to see whose fist is better. He then declares that he'll not lose as long as his eyes are black with life. Naruto places his hand on Lee's back to infuse the man with power. Lee ponder Neji's words and tells his dead friend that shouldn't he mean "white" with life? In any case, he'll always be his rival. As Naruto continues infusing the rest of the alliance, Kakashi looks to his hand and concludes the power is more than before. He recalls speaking with Shikaku, and the man wanting clarification from Kakashi on how he was able to teleport the Hachibi before after receiving the Kyuubi chakra. Shikaku asks how it was different and Kakashi explains that it was more than three times the power, which allowed him to throw around a larger object. As Naruto darts through the battlefield, Kurama ponders that Naruto has grown just as Yondaime Hokage predicted. He’s a boy who possesses Kushina's blood and who has been his host for many years. Naruto is able to take on his chakra and then act as an intermediary to then alter it so it can be given to anyone, just as Minato once inserted his own chakra into Naruto. Speaking to Naruto's deceased parents, he offers that Naruto already surpassed them long ago, as the amount of chakra he can distribute is on a different scale, though it's the power they wanted him to have all along. As the alliance stands infused with the new chakra, Madara looks on and mulls lending Obito some power as well. He raises his hand and Shikamaru strains against the Juubi's power. He yells for Naruto to go now as the Juubi's hands move to strike. The alliance counters quickly as Gyuuki forms a Bijuu Dama, Mifune unleashes a sword swipe, Hyuuga throw Air Palms and Fuuton users hurl slicing nets. The attacks impact the arms, sending them flailing. The arms are battered but undamaged, alertly implanting into the ground to shake the battlefield. Hiashi declares that Neji's death won't be in vain. Obito ruminates on the Hyuuga clan, offering that their mark only disappears in death. A curse given rise by the main and branch families, an existence where only death awaits in the cage. A fitting analogy for the current situation, as they'll all soon die pointless deaths like the brat did. Wielding a Rasen Shuriken, Naruto glares at the man and then bolts forward at the head of the alliance surge, proclaiming that Neji's will isn't dead yet! The soaring mass takes flight as a giant bird, cutting through two of the Juubi's arms. As its head bears down on Obito and Madara, Naruto and Lee seek to attack. Lee declares he'll go right and Naruto affirms. Raising his left arm to hurl his Rasen Shuriken, Naruto winces, as his shoulder dislocates. The palm of a Gentle Fist hits the shoulder and it falls back into place thanks to Hinata's help. Guy acts as a platform for Lee to launch from, as Naruto hurls the Rasen Shuriken. As the attack takes flight it cuts through phased Obito and the tendrils tethering him to the beast. Lee hits as well, extending his leg to kick Madara's body in two. With both men now severed from the beast, they're forced to retreat as the alliance swarm over the Juubi's head. As the duo escape to the ground, the alliance disperses and lands nearby. The willful Naruto does as well and announces that unlike them, he doesn't want to sever any of his bonds or get them cut off! As the words echo, we return to Konoha as Sasuke and his band look on. As Orochimaru leads the way, Sasuke asks if this is what they've been seeking...