The Hidden Stone suffered a huge loss after a big battle against the Sand. The Sand themselves had just lost to Konoha. Even though they won their battle against the Stone, they could not bear to fight any more.
This caused the troops in the battlefield of the Wind Country: Konoha’s, the Sand’s and the Stone’s troops to be mutually restrained. In the earth country, Konoha, the Stone and the Hidden Cloud were in a similar state. In the water country, it was the same for Konoha, the Hidden Cloud and the Hidden Mist.
The five major countries were restrained and the 3rd world war entered a stage of attrition after nearly half a year of all out battles.
That way, time flew, and a year passed quietly.
During that year, while there were no major moves made on the different battlefields, various small-scale encounters and ambushes continued.
On the desert field outside Konoha’s Camp in the Wind Country, Sakumo and Ryo continued training daily.
It was year 44, and Ryo was almost 12 years old. He was about the same age as Naruto throughout most of the 1st anime.
During that year, Ryo had undergone great changes in more than one way.
The first way was in height. During that year, Ryo seemed to be springing up. Now he’s about 1.6 meters tall. (TL note: That’s around 5ft 3 in)
Then there was the amount of Chakra he had. Ryo’s initial Chakra stores were much higher than those of a regular Ninja because of his Ice Release. Although he was by no means close to Naruto in that respect, his levels still reached those of of quasi-kage.
With that, his overall strength significantly increased.
In a recent encounter, Ryo had to face Chiyo. Apart from Ice Colossus, Ryo used all he had against the 55 year old veteran.
Chiyo was getting older and her strength was somewhat declining. However, she had spent decades on the battlefield and had more experience than most Kages.
She was definitely Kage tier, but Ryo still managed to hold his own against her and the fight ended in a tie. He was already that strong.
Looking at the boy in front of him, Sakumo couldn’t help but sigh while witnessing his rapid growth.
At the mere age of 12, Ryo was capable of taking on a weaker Kage. Even the renowned “God of Ninjas” Hashirama Senju only reached Kage tier at the age of 13.
After finishing his training with Sakumo, Ryo returned to the medical team. After a whole year of hard work, most of the Medical Ninjas operating under him were able to put modern medical knowledge to use.
They actually managed to form a greatly deepened understanding of the human anatomy and physiology, and also acquired much better surgical skills.
“Hey Ming, how are you today?” Back at the medical team, Ryo went to visit his old team member Ming Hyuga.
During his battle with Chiyo a few days ago, Ryo had his hand full fighting her. All the other medical Ninjas only had Ming and two other Chunins to protect them.
Fortunately, this encounter was accidental, and Chiyo only had an elite Jonin by her side.
Ming was strong, and his Byakugan helped. But he was no opponent for the elite Jonin.
That way, while he and the two Chunins covered for them, the Medical Ninjas were able to escape. But it was at a price: the two Chunins sacrificed their lives, and Ming was heavily injured.
After checking on him, Ryo left and went to his sister Ryoko Yamanaka. She didn’t have as much spiritual power as him, but she had much better control.
Six month ago, they started studying the secret techniques of their clan together and strengthening their mental control. Off course, with that learning process, Ryo had to endure the inevitable Romance.
After all, over the past year, Ryoko’s relationship with Rokk Nara continued to heat up. Rokk, who used to be the usual lazy Nara, became a whole other person in her presence, being really humorous and even surprising from time to time.
The two had great feelings to each other. Being trained together ever since childhood, that built up a great emotional foundation for their relationship. Adding to that his change in character, Ryoko was heels over head for him.
Today, when visiting his sister, Ryo found that Rokk was not there.
“Ne-san, where’s Rokk?” Asked Ryo.
“I asked him to leave. I just received a letter from Inoichi Nii-san. The Ino-Shika-Cho clans are not separated. It involved the two of us, but he doesn’t want to go!” Said Ryoko.
“You weren’t complaining yesterday when he was holding you.” Whispered Ryo.
“Little bastard, what did you say?” Ryoko was a genius Yamanaka after all, and her perception abilities were top notch. She could hear him whisper.
“Nothing nothing Ne San you heard me wrong!” Ryo felt her blood-thirst.
Ryoko let go of the matter and passed a scroll to Ryo.
Ryo took the scroll, and it was sealed, only to be opened with spiritual power. That was something that both of them have learned in the clan. It was a clan specific sealing method. The contents of the scroll are read instantly with strong spiritual power.
“Inoichi Nii san is actually getting married?” Ryo asked.
“Why so surprised? He should’ve got married years ago. As head of our clan, 22 years old is actually a late age for marriage.” Ryoko answered him furiously.
“Don’t get mad Ne-san. You’re right, he’s been in the wrong all this time!” Ryo immediately sold his cousin.
“Yeah! If it wasn’t for my father and Aunt Chinse forcing him, we wouldn’t know if he’d ever get married.”
“Cough, Ne-san, who is the bride? Do you know?” Ino’s mother wasn’t specified in the Manga, but getting to know her should be bad.
“I don’t know. But the people delivering the scroll said that the bride was no Ninja.”
“Not a Ninja? Well it doesn’t matter. I’ll go find Sakumo san. The date on the letter is October 15. It’s one month away, we should prepare to leave for Konoha.
“Alright, you’re higher ranked, and you can get more time to talk with Sakumo san.” Ryoko said, nodding.
After leaving, Ryo went straight to Sakumo’s tent.
Entering, he found an Anbu reporting something in Sakumo’s tent.
“Ryo, great timing! He was going to look for you.” Said Sakumo as he saw Ryo coming.
“Look for me?” Ryo was surprised. The last time an Anbu came for him here, he delivered him scrolls for 2 S-Class Jutsus.
“Ryo san, the Sandaime Hokage Sama has promoted you to the Rank of Tokubetsu Jonin, and has sent me specifically to inform you of that.”
The strong and heroic in this world are always respected. Ryo had plenty of strength, and his record on this battlefield spoke for itself. He was already considered a great hero of Konoha.
“Oh that’s it? Thank you!” Said Ryo.
“Ryo san, you are welcome. Now that I’ve delivered the news, I’m off!” The Anbu then disappeared in the blink of an eye.
“Ryo, what do you want?” Sakumo knew that Ryo came here specifically to look for him. and had surely something he wanted.
“Sakumo San, I have to take a leave to return to Konoha!”