When he learned that the Sand were transporting puppets, Ryo immediately realized that it wasn’t that they didn’t want to fight, it was that they were waiting for a weapon that should prove really problematic for Konoha.
The Sand Puppet division has always been scary for others villages. A puppet when controlled by a masterful puppeteer can use several of its organs as weapons and can use several extremely poisonous drugs.
Even though Konoha had an excellent medical Ninja system, they still weren’t able to stop the puppet division’s damage.
“How many puppets are they transporting?” Asked Jiraya.
“I don’t know how many are there in total, but we’ve detected about a 1000 already.” The Hyuga answered Jiraya after thinking.
“A 1000 puppets? Sakumo san, I’ll go! The batch must be dealt with. I’m going to…” Jiraya volunteered.
“Jiraya san, Sakumo san, neither of you should go. If the Sand discover that one of you has left the camp they would certainly launch an all out attack. The Sand are transporting the puppets at this time to force you to make a compromise.” Ryo interrupted Jiraya.
“What Ryo is saying makes sense, since indeed neither of us can leave the camp.” Sakumo agreed with him.
“Who is the strongest on the carriage escort team?” Asked Ryo.
“My bug told me that it feared only one person, that should mean that there’s only one Jonin there.”
“What he’s saying is correct, I’ve only detected one with my Byakugan, and it was Pakura of the Scorch Release.” Said the Hyuga.
“Sakumo san, Jiraya san, I’ll be the one to go!” Said Ryo.
“Kid, are you sure that you want to deal with Pakura? She can counter your Ice.”
“Don’t worry Jiraya san, I’m well prepared. Right now, I’m a lot stronger than I used to be two months ago.” Looking at Ryo’s confidence, Jiraya felt that he should not oppose his choice.
“Then Ryo, I’ll leave this matter to you. If you’re ever in danger, or if you happen to encounter an ambush, you’re free to give up the task. How many people do you need?” Sakumo asked.
“I need three, who are proficient in Water Release.” Said Ryo after giving it some thought.
There weren’t many of Konoha’s Ninjas who were proficient with water release. More of them would just be able to use one or two small Jutsus. But still, only three Ninjas fitting Ryo’s requirements were not that hard to find.
After the three of them reached Sakumo’s tent, Ryo set off with them directly, following the Aburame’s insects. They went straight to the recently discovered transport team.
After Ryo’s departure, Sakumo ordered the Hyuga and Aburame clans to pay close attention to the Sand’s movements and then report back to him whenever they detect any changes.
On his way to the Sand’s transport team, Ryo explained the mission for the trio and asked for their names. He learned that they were Haname Uchiha, Taichi Tanaka and Shin Sarutobi.
Haname was Konoichi that masters well Fire, Water and Wind releases. She looked like she was 20 and was very beautiful. Well, the Uchiha’s usually are not bad looking.
Taichi Tanaka had a temperament similar to that of Jiraya whenever he got drunk, and he kind of looked a bit like him. He mastered water release. The Tanaka clan gets along well with the Yamanaka’s, and Ryo felt good about him.
(Translator note: I have no knowledge of the existence of a Tanaka clan in Konoha.)
Last was Shin Sarutobi, and he was the talkative type. That treat of his was the most difficult thing for Ryo to deal with. He masters Water and Fire Releases.
Let by the insects, they got close enough to see the Sand’s transport team.
They weren’t many, just over 50. There were 2 Chunins in front and behind the team, with Pakura in the middle.
“Captain, what should we do? We’re massively outnumbered. This way, we have no shot at winning!” Said Taichi Tanaka.
“You guys wait here. I’m going to take care of the Sensorial Ninja in front of their team. After I do that, Taichi and Shin should go and take care of the two Chunins at the back. Haname, you and I will deal with Pakura.”
After assigning each with their task, Ryo used the Transformation Jutsu to look like a civilian, and used the technique he acquired from the Sand spy back in the day to hide his Chakra.
He went and pretended to just be passing by. Their Sensorial Ninja perceived him as a normal civilian.
Ryo observed them well, and saw the Sensory Ninja being protected by the the Chunins in the front.
Off course, because they thought he was a civilian, the Sand Ninjas didn’t prepare for combat. They just went forward after their sensorial Ninja’s confirmation.
As soon as he got past the front of their team, Ryo went right into the Ice-Lightning Chakra mode, and he blinked in front of the sensory Ninja slitting his throat with a Chakra scalpel.
The two responsible for the sensory Ninja’s protection weren’t expecting that at all. By the time they were able to react, their companion was dead.
“You’re next! [Chidori]!” After he was able to kill his target, Ryo didn’t flee immediately. He used Chidori to pierce through the heart of the Chunin on the left.
It was only at that time that his teammate was able to react. In less than 5 seconds, Ryo was able to kill the Sensory Ninja and one of the Chunins.
“[Summoning]!” Ryo summoned Gamahiro.
“Hiro, please, handle these people!”
“No problem!” The two battles they went to together turned Ryo and Gamahiro into really good partners.
“It’s Ryo Yamanaka! I’ve seen this toad before!”
“Yes it’s really him! This time, it’s over!”
The Sand knew Ryo well. His performance in the 1st two battles was incredible. His Ice Colossus especially left a deep impression on them, and it wasn’t a good one.
As everyone’s attention was being grabbed by Ryo and Gamahiro, Haname Uchiha and the others started to work.
“[Water Release: Great Waterfall Jutsu]!” Tanaka’s water attack hit the rear of the Sand team.
“[Scorch Release: Rise]” from within the Sand team, a wave of heat came and Tanaka’s water attack was instantly evaporated.
“You’re Ryo Yamanaka?” Pakura walked out of the team and asked.
“How did you use that secret Jutsu to hide your Chakra?” Pakura’s question left Ryo blinking. Shouldn’t they just fight instead of talking?
He didn’t say anything, and he went towards her straight ahead. He took his Knife from his Seal Scroll, activated Chidori Blade, opened his Sharingan, and blinked right in front of Pakura.
He wanted to find out how helpful the 3 tomoe Sharingan could be in battle, so he went for a Taijutsu battle.
Pakura wasn’t fazed by his attack. She could see that he wasn’t that strong physically. He was more of a speed-type Ninja.
She quickly gained the upper hand in this physical showdown, but her years of experience made her realize that it wasn’t going to work anyway. Regardless of the angle from which she launched her attacks, Ryo seemed to foresee them in advance and always avoid them. It didn’t take her long to realize that she wasn’t beating him with just Taijutsu.
“[Scorch Release: Rise]!” A terrible burst of heat came from her direction again.
“[Ice Release: Ice Armor]!” Because Pakura had evaporated Tanaka’s water attack, there was a lot of water vapor in the air. Ryo went on and condensed it to protect himself.
“The warm-up is over! Let’s see what your Ice is all about!”