While Konoha dealt with their own affairs, the Sand and the Rock were getting ready to attack them.
Onoki and Rasa have long awaited the arrival of Ryo and the other, as they were confident this time in their ability to crush the entirety of Konoha’s forces.
The two looked at the two figures behind them and laughed, and the two figures also showed a smile.
Onoki took his sweet time planning for this Battle. Before the Rock’s final battle with the Cloud, Minato took back all his Ninjas, making the Rock face the Cloud on their own.
In that war, The Rock had thousands of casualties, and Onoki and Han were severely wounded.
By the end of it, their troops in the Lightning Country were to be annihilated, if it wasn’t for the Cloud not being too eager to persue, because of the destruction their village received during the War.
Onoki, who escaped the fangs of death, had a new hatred born within him. While their previous battles against Konoha were mainly for resources, now, he was seeking a bloodbath.
To fulfill his revenge, Onoki thought for a while before finally deciding to join forces with other villages to face Konoha. Konoha was leaving the war as the greatest beneficiary, and no village was prepared to accept that.
Unfortunately for Onoki, the Cloud Village was destroyed, and the 3rd Raikage died at the Rock’s hands. The Cloud would certainly not want to fight again with the Rock.
As for the Mist, after the Mizukage’s death, they had only left troops on the borders to prevent sudden attacks by Konoha.
Therefore, the Sand were Onoki’s only option. While the two villages had their share of common hatred, Onoki had to get off his high horse and ask Rasa for this alliance.
Yesterday’s “enemies” can become today’s friends, animosity does not last forever, and only interest is absolute. The main common enemy today was Konoha.
These ideas were understandable to the Sand. So when Onoki suggested a truce between both sides, and Joining Forces against Konoha, Rasa very happily agreed.
After Rasa agreed to fight Konoha, the two immediately began discussing their operational plan.
However, as mentioned before, even with this new alliance, the two were in no way able to fully trust each other. After all, just a few days ago, they had been fighting each other on the battlefield. This sudden alliance made everyone unconsciously hold their guards.
Even Rasa had a hint of vigilance towards Onoki, until the later exposed his biggest card to him.
This way, their alliance was officially formed. After discussing their operational plan, Rasa and Onoki went to appease the Ninjas in their respective villages.
Just like what happened in the 3rd Hokage’s office, the two sides looked at the map, and pinpointed Kikyo Hill as the perfect spot for this decisive battle.
After reaching Kikyo him, Konoha’s troops immediately sent out the Hyuga and Aburame Ninjas to Monitor the Rock and Sand’s every move.
They could not afford to be sloppy, and while they were fully prepared for battle, they could only wait for the other side to make the first move.
The battle had not yet officially started, but the atmosphere was absolutely tense.
On the other side, Onoki was making the final arrangements. When it comes to battle experience, Onoki was a veteran compared to Rasa, so most of the arrangements were based on his opinions.
“Rasa, let’s go for it, just like we discussed before!”
“Alright! This is battle that we must win!” Said Rasa firmly.
The Rock and the Sand began to move under the joint leadership of both Kages. The mighty spectacle rushed towards the newly founded Konoha camp.
As soon as they started moving, the Aburame and Hyuga Ninjas realized that, and they immediately informed Orochimaru and the others.
Ryo, and the rest if the Kage tiers were well prepared, and the battle of Kikyo Pass began.
As planned, everyone found their opponents, and Minato and Ryo summoned Gamabunta and Gamahiro to assist Konoha’s troops.
Ryo’s opponent was Onoki’s son, Kitsuchi. Ryo’s opponent didn’t do much in the Manga, but he did leave quite the impression.
(Translator Note: “According to the fourth databook, he’s from the Tsuchikage’s bloodline. While not stated expressly, since Kurotsuchi is the Third Tsuchikage’s granddaughter, it’s most likely that Kitsuchi is his son.” From Narutopedia.)
Unlike his father, Kitsuchi didn’t have any Kekkei Genkai, let alone Dust Release. He mainly relied on his exceptional mastery of Earth Release.
Ryo already knew that this wasn’t a great opponent for him to deal with. Ryo, being the speed-type, usually outpaced his opponents to get a chance at the kill shot. However, Kitsuchi’s Earth Release was too strong, allowing him, paired with his great perception abilities to attack his opponent while remaining perfectly immune to their attacks.
While Ryo was moving with his Ice Lightning Chakra Mode, Kitsuchi was not able to see him. However, he could perceive his overall position. Whenever Ryo got too close, a Mud Wall would stand between him and delivering a fatal blow to his opponent.
For the first time, Ryo’s Lightning Chakra Mode was countered in this way. He was surprised and somewhat excited.
Kitsuchi’s defense opened Ryo up to a new style of counter fighting. This opponent didn’t have to cope with Ryo’s speed. He just needed to figure out how to make his attacks ineffective.
This was no small feat. The only reason why Kitsuchi was able to pull it off was his exceptional blend of exquisite perception skills and great mastery over Earth Release. It would be impossible for most Ninjas to do this.
This “Absolute Defense” from Kitsuchi made Ryo give up on his usual style of winning with speed. Since speed can’t be enough here, Ryo had to rely on strength to win.
Ryo condensed a massive Ice Bow, much larger than usual, almost the same as the one that he used to finish the 3rd Mizukage.
Seeing Ryo’s bow, Kitsuchi didn’t react much, he was still very confident in his Earth Release. No matter what Jutsu Ryo was about to use, it wasn’t going to break through his defense.
Ryo used his Chakra to make the bowstring, and then made Natural Energy gather madly on a small Ice Arrow.
The amount of Natural Energy that gathered on the bow was getting exponentially higher. Even though Kitsuchi couldn’t perceive Natural Energy, he felt eminent threat from this Ice Arrow.
He decided not to let Ryo get an edge, throwing a few large Earth Release attack on Ryo. Helplessly, the latter could only shoot out the Ice Arrow that had not been completed.
The Ice Arrow shot right through those attacks, and in the blink of an eye, it was right in front Kitsuchi. The latter quickly erected 3 consecutive Mud Walls, but they couldn’t stop the arrow from landing.
The Ice Arrow was mainly formed out of Natural Energy. It was virtually unbreakable, and easily penetrated through the Mud Walls and hit Kitsuchi.
The Ice Arrow bloomed and finally broke into Ice Dust under Ryo’s control, and Kitsuchi’s figure disappeared all together.
Ryo wasn’t confused by the scene in front of him. He easily perceived that Kitsuchi quickly formed a Mud Clone right before being hit, and flickered to a stone pile not too far away.
Kitsuchi looked at the Ice crystals in the air. They had only been in contact with his right hand, which got frostbitten in the blink of an eye.