After Pakura left, Ryo and his team quickly destroyed all the puppets and withdrew. Right after they left, Rasa and Chiyo arriver with a large number of Ninjas.
Rasa looked angrily at the remaining of the destroyed puppets and the corpses of their transporters. He deliberately chose to ship the puppets a few days before the battle. He felt that the delay would make Konoha put all their attention on the camp. He didn’t expect the carriage to be discovered.
“Oy Oy, did you find Pakura?!” Chiyo was anxious as she wasn’t able to see Pakura’s body.
On one hand, she was worried about her life. But on the other, she worried that she could’ve been captured alive. Pakura was someone who had carried out many secret missions over the years. The consequences of her capture should be unthinkable.
“Don’t worry. This team was formed of 52 people. We only found 46 corpses. Pakura must’ve escaped along with the rest of the 6 who survived.” Rasa kept his cool and calmly analyzed the situation.
“Kazekage Sama, we found the traces of the battle.” A Sand Ninja found the spot were Ryo and Pakura faced off.
Rasa immediately rushed over. He looked at the ashes on the ground, and he realized that this was where Pakura had her fight. With no traces of blood anywhere, he deducted that neither side had suffered any injuries.
With these traces, it was confirmed that Pakura should be alright. Chiyo was finally relieved. After a throughout search, the sand did not find any of Konoha’s ninjas, deducing they must’ve made a full retreat.
At the same time, Ryo’s team was on the way back to Konoha’s camp. Their operation had been a huge success. But it wasn’t a clean victory. Shin Sarutobi was seriously injured. Fortunately, he had Ryo by his side. After some treatment, he was no longer in a critical state, and Ryo determined that he should recover completely after a period of rest.
Along the way, Ryo was wondering why Pakura was worried about that sand spy.
Being enemies, Pakura’s attempt to inquire information from him meant one of two things. The first could be confusing him into thinking that the person she was asking about is important to her. The second is that the spy that Jiraya had caught on that day was so important to Pakura that confirming her safety was worth jeopardizing the Sand’s best interest. Ryo felt like it’s likely to be the second possibility. She sounded so flustered, that he didn’t believe that she was faking it.
Because of this, Ryo felt some regret. At the time, he only went through whatever was obviously related to the spy’s task in her mind. He felt that he should have paid attention to her other memories as well.
In the camp, Sakumo and Jiraya also learned that Rasa and Chiyo went to rescue the transport team, so they also took many men and went to support Ryo’s team.
They told the Huyga Ninjas to stay fully alert and report to them in case the enemy approaches.
“Sakumo San, Jiraya San!” Ryo was so familiar with their Chakra that he didn’t wait to see them before shouting their names.
“Ryo?” Hearing Ryo’s voice, Sakumo was finally relieved.
“Kid, you haven’t encountered Rasa?”
Ryo shook his head and said, “Jiraya san, don’t you think I could take on him if we ever met?”
“Haha, yeah yeah!” Seeing that Ryo was okay, Jiraya went back to his usual carelessness.
Sakumo asked everyone to get back to the camp, and also asked Ryo about the details of his mission.
Ryo hid the matter of his deal with Pakura, and reported everything else to Sakumo and Jiraya who listened carefully.
They learned that Ryo successfully completed his mission and destroyed over a 1000 puppets. Even Sakumo who was ever so serious when it came to missions, smiled.
On the other side, the 4th Kazekage and Chiyo returned to their camp. Their faces were heavy. The first one that Rasa asked about was Pakura.
When he learned that she had just returned to the camp carrying five injured Ninjas, he and Chiyo were relieved.
Later on, in Rasa’s tent, Pakura also concealed her deal with Ryo when talking about what happened.
“Pakura, if you hadn’t retreated protecting your companions, and if the fight carried on, who would’ve won it?” Chiyo asked.
“Ryo Yamanaka’s teleportation was too fast. All I could do was staying on the defence. My Scorch Release couldn’t melt his ice. If I didn’t retreat at that time, I would’ve probably died.”
Her words made Chiyo silent. She knew how strong Pakura was. Even Chiyo herself would beat her easily.
“What if you had Shalun with you?” Rasa asked.
“In that case, we should have no problem restraining Ryo Yamanaka. But we shouldn’t be able to kill him.” Said Pakura after thinking for a while.
“The kid is that strong?” Hearing her answer, Shalun was somewhat shocked.
“Well, if there’s nothing else, I wish you’d excuse me.” Said Pakura.
“You’ve had a rough day. Go and have some rest!” Rasa comforted Pakura and let her leave.
Ryo’s interception made the Sand suffer a big loss. The information that Rasa had from the survivors was the same as what Pakura reported.
Losing over a 1000 puppets, and because of their fear of Ryo, the action in the Sand camp died down.
The Hyuga and Aburame Ninjas in Konoha’s camp confirmed that the enemies had abandoned their attack plans and relaxed.
A few days later, Sakumo proposed to test Ryo’s strength. The latter didn’t refuse, as he also wanted to know the gap between him and a Kage tier Ninja. The two went to the desert outside the camp.
Ryo went straight into his Ice-Lightning Mode, and opened his newly evolved Sharingan. After all, it was Hatake Sakumo that he had to fight.
Sakumo took his usual stance, with his White Chakra Blade in his right hand. Ryo looked for an opening, but he found none.
“[Suiton: Great Waterfall Justu]!” Ryo still chose to create a conductive fighting environment for himself.
The great mass of water rushed towards Sakumo who stood there with his Blade emitting white light. At the moment of its arrival, he slashed right through it, splitting it in two!
While Sakumo’s knife wasn’t retracted yet, Ryo took the opportunity to blink behind him and pierce right through him with Raikiri.
At least, that’s what it looked like. In reality, Sakumo had disappeared from there, and Ryo felt immediately strong blood thirst behind his back and responded directly by making an Ice Wall behind him.
Sakumo’s Blade did not stop! Ryo’s wall wasn’t destroyed by even by Shukaku’s Air Bullets, and it wasn’t melted by Pakura Heat Orbs. But still, Sakumo’s knife sliced it in half.
Ryo never imagined that his wall would be so easily destroyed. Sakumo blade stopped just before reaching him.
“I lose!” Said Ryo, a bit decadent. He though that he has made enough progress. He didn’t expect to be so weak compared to Hatake Sakumo.
“Ryo, you’re too confident in you ice. When you made that ice wall, it gave you the opportunity to use your Lightning Chakra Mode blink, but you haven’t done so. Yes, your ice is strong, but it isn’t invincible. Hokage Sama has no less than ten methods to destroy it. The 3rd Raikage’s Thunder Chakra mode should do it as well. The 3rd Tsuchikage’s dust release should also be able to destroy it. You are getting too conceited.”
Sakumo’s words had a great effect on Ryo. His recent power-ups were too fast that he became too excited. Thanks to the White Fang’s reminder, he woke up from his illusions.
Ryo still had a long road ahead of him to reach the level of the greats.