Chapter 35: Sage Mode
Afterwards, Ryo didn’t stop injecting natural energy into the Yin seal. It actually took him 10 days to saturate it.
The amount of natural energy that his own gathered from around him actually fluctuated. That was what caused the 3 days delay.
But that didn’t stop Ryo from standing in awe of the power of nature! It would take man at least two years to saturate his Yin seal. But with natural energy, it only took 10 days.
Jiraya didn’t see it that way. To him, accumulating Chakra into the Yin Seal, and accumulating natural energy are two completely different things.
First, natural energy is inexhaustible, while a Ninja’s power supply is limited. Second, Chakra is what’s used for Ninjutsu, not pure natural energy. From his point of view, using Chakra to fill the seal is more practical than using natural energy. (Translator note: What I understand from this is that since Chakra is usually the bottleneck in fights, it’s more practical to store it instead of natural energy. This doesn’t necessarily apply to Ryo.)
After Ryo injected so much natural Chakra in his seal, he realized what Jiraya meant when saying that this energy source is inexhaustible.
After saturating his Yin Seal, Ryo entered his Ice Elementization mode, liberating the natural energy within the seal. Natural energy was flowing intensely from Ryo’s arm.
He unleashed huge amounts of water. Freezing them didn’t consume any chakra, even when using the Ice Dragon attack.
After about 10 minutes, Ryo shut down the output of natural energy from Yin Seal. The stored amount was reduced by a fifth. Most of was released into the air and with all his intensive freezing, Ryo used only a small portion of what was released.
In other words, after merely 10 days of accumulating natural energy, Ryo was able to use Ice without consuming Chakra for a full 50 minutes.
The problem of over-consumption of Chakra when using Ice release that plagued Ryo’s life for close to 4 years now has been finally successfully resolved.
This whole thing he’s doing to practice Sage mode was motivated by trying to solve this dilemma.
Fukasaku said the Ryo can’t reach Sage mode. The main reason was that he absorbed too much natural energy from the outside. Now it is too late for him to get his 3 energy types in a 1:1:1 Ratio to produce Senjutsu Chakra.
So Ryo wanted to try this out: If he could use as much physical and spiritual energy as his special internal natural Chakra, would he be able to produce Senjutsu Chakra? If he can, then he’ll open his seal afterwards to supplement himself with natural energy to keep the balance.
Fukasaku said that a Ninja could easily distinguish between physical and spiritual energy, as they are both used in Ninjutsu. It didn’t take Ryo a lot of practice to figure it out as well.
He channeled equal amounts of physical and spiritual energy to his own natural energy through his body.
After the three sources reached the appropriate ratio, they began blending slowly. A new type of Chakra was born within Ryo!
“Is this Senjutsu Chakra?” His eyelids began to look orange; his Sage mode face looked like Naruto’s.
Ryo felt the changes in Chakra within his body. Like in the Manga, the performance enhancement granted by the Sage mode was very substantial. His Sensory and physical abilities were greatly boosted.
Ryo activated his Lightning Chakra Mode. At the same time, he released his Yin Seal. After doing so, his speed, power, and Lightning Releases were massively enhanced. His speed actually completely exceeded the speed in the Ice-Lightning Chakra mode.
“[Thunder Release: Chidori]” Ryo observed a great evolution for this Justu as well. It wasn’t just its power, even the sound of it became weak and inaudible.
Kakashi said in the Manga that Chidori was developed for the purpose of assassination. But throughout the story, both Chidori and Raikiri have been mainly used in combat.
Ryo understood why these techniques weren’t used for assassination that often when he learned them: they sounded too loud. To him, Chidori, as well as its derivate Raikiri, were not perfected yet. (Translator note: It’s worth noting that Chidori was said to be efficient in assassination despite the loud sound, because of its speed. See chapter 113, page 15.)
But as Ryo added natural Chakra into it, it became perfect for assassination.
About one minute later, more or less, Sage Mode was automatically lifted. Ryo’s Chakra wasn’t enough to maintain it any more. No matter how much natural energy he could harness from his seal, he needed more Chakra.
After he regained his shape, Ryo entered Sage Mode again and again. This time he didn’t use the Yin seal, and did not use his Thunder Chakra mode. Ryo’s Sage mode was always maintained for less than 2 minutes.
Then he did another experiment: Using the Sage mode, Thunder Chakra mode, and Chidori, he lasted less than one minute.
After determining his ability to maintain Sage Mode under different conditions, he stopped practicing. Now, he needs to consult with the 2 great sage toads.
The next day he found Fukasaku training Jiraya. Jiraya couldn’t still integrate himself with nature. This is not something Fukasaku could help with. Only Jiraya can solve this for himself.
“What’s the matter Ryo Chan?” Fukasaku already sensed him coming.
“Fukasaku Sama, I need to learn the Sage mode fighting techniques with you.”
“Ryo, didn’t I say? You can’t enter Sage Mode. What are you tal…”
Before he finished his words, Ryo entered Sage mode. Fukasaku and Jiraya were both stunned looking at the Young Ryo.
What was more shocking to Fukasaku was that Ryo’s Sage mode was perfect. He didn’t expect him to even enter that mode, and now he doesn’t just succeed, his Sage mode is perfect.
Then he noticed the Natural energy coming out of the seal in Ryo’s arm.
“Ryo Chan, are you absorbing the natural energy from this seal?”
Ryo did not tell Fukasaku about the special Natural energy he had within him. So when he noticed the outflow of energy from the seal, he thought that Ryo was using it to control the natural energy flow.
Ryo nodded without saying a word.
“Little devil, for how long can you maintain Sage Mode?” Jiraya asked him.
“No more than 2 minutes.”
“Ryo Chan, you have too little Chakra now. For now, Sage mode won’t be optimal for you. When you grow up enough, you’ll have enough Chakra to use it efficiently.”
“Yes Fukasaku Sama.”
“But you really a genius Ryo Chan, you actually came up with a way to control the flow of natural energy into your body.”
“Boss, you’re wrong! The genius is me, helping the kid with the seal so he could enter this mode.” Jiraya, then laughed loudly.
“Jiraya Chan, you can’t even enter Sage mode on your own! Just stick to practicing.”
“Yes boss…” Jiraya looked was bummed out by Fakasaku’s words.
“Ryo Chan, now I’ll be teaching you Kawazu Kumite (Frog Kata)!”
“Yes, thank you Fukasaku Sama!”