Post Reply Chapter 406: "Key to the Future"
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27 / M / Hidden Leaf Villa...
Posted 6/27/08 , edited 6/28/08
Tsunade stands before the interrogation squad and asks they learn all they can from the Rain ninja in the frog before them. Ibiki says that won't be a problem. Tsunade remembers Fukasaku explaining how Jiraiya didn't have to fight Pain.

But he knew that unless Konoha knew his powers, no one could beat him. He could have fled, but he gave his life for the information in the code. In the present Tsunade tells the squad to be as rough as the want. At the morgue, Shizune and other medical ninja prepare to autopsy the Fuuma Pain body.

At the code office, the technicians inform Shikamaru that the code doesn't correspond to any existing Konoha algorithm. Also because it was a spur decision, it's probably not complicated. The young female technician offers that it's hopeless to decipher without the key. They need the rules to decode it, and the best bet is to find someone familiar with Jiraiya. Shikamaru figures he'll have to talk to Kakashi and Tsunade.

He offers his thanks and states he'll return if he has more questions. The female tech, Shiho, blushes and offers to remain behind in case Shikamaru returns. Some time later Kakashi looks at the code and Shikamaru asks if the numbers mean anything. Kakashi mentions "106" and Shikamaru asks what it means. Kakashi remembers a time he and Jiraiya watched Tsunade from a distance, and Jiraiya stated "106".

To Kakashi's chagrin Jiraiya was pointing out Tsunade's bust size. In the present Kakashi says his memory probably isn't relevant. Kakashi offers that Shikamaru should try the Hokage or Naruto. Shikamaru says he already spoke with her, so he'll try Naruto. Kakashi states he's worried about Naruto and hopes Shikamaru can check on him. Shikamaru arrives at Naruto's apartment and knocks.

The door opens a crack and Naruto asks what he wants from the darkness within. Inside Naruto looks over the code but remains distant. Shikamaru asks him to follow him so the two head to the hospital. Kurenai exits and Naruto asks if she ate too much. Shikamaru explains that she's pregnant. Kurenai chides Shikamaru for coming to see her each time she goes to the hospital but Shikamaru says he can't help it, Asuma told him to watch over them.

He says her kid will be his apprentice and Naruto is surprised. Shikamaru explains how he heard about Jiraiya, and with Asuma's death he knows how it feels. He offers that being miserable and reclusive won't get him anywhere. He can't do that because like him, he was entrusted with a lot by his former sensei. And Naruto should understand that's it's time for them to do the entrusting.

They can't be kids forever, some day they'll treat others to ramen and be called sensei. Shikamaru says he hopes to one day be as cool as Asuma and Jiraiya were. Naruto remembers Jiraiya's smile and suddenly smiles as well. Shikamaru shows him the code again and says Naruto has work to do.

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