Yes! Finally some loose ends being tied up instead of more unraveled. That was starting to get annoying.
So when Naruto went into fox form, it disrupted his chakra enough that his clone that was still gathering sage energy disappeared. So not only is he back, but he has a full dose of sage chakra to boot. The problem with this is, Pain knows exactly what Naruto’s limits are. He’s got two Rasen Shurikens and he’ll be done.
Meanwhile, this battle has been so taxing that Nagato’s actually bleeding out the mouth. Wouldn’t that be something if this psycho puppet master died without anyone ever touching him? That would save loads of time trying to hunt him down.
Guy’s team has finally reached the village. The giant toad they passed on the way in told them the village had been attacked and they should hurry to help. Tenten assessed Hinata’s injuries and says her wounds aren’t fatal unless she doesn’t get help soon. Yay double negatives. Guy’s shocked at how devastating the destruction is. Rock Lee, always excited to have valuable input, shouts that there’s a smaller toad unconscious on the other side of the field. That would be the female elder toad. And that’s all Bushy Brow contributes to this entire volume. 😦
So Pain starts yakking again about what real pain feels like. Somehow one of the slugs Tsunade summons is still with Naruto. Even though he ran a great distance. How fast do those slugs slide along that it could’ve kept up?? Anywho, it assures Naruto that he didn’t hurt anyone before he and Pain fled the village.
So Naruto, being the brilliant strategist he’s become recently, tells Pain he wants to talk to his true self (Nagato). Pain tells him that there’s no time left for words. He plans to avoid Naruto’s two big attacks so his sage energy’s gone, then beat him to a pulp and take him away. He whips out another sword and charges at Naruto.
Naruto tells the slug he has a plan to find the real bad guy. He runs at Pain, grabs the sword, snaps it in half, and stabs the piece he has into his shoulder. Turns out that these swords Pain kept producing are actually more of those energy rods that Nagato uses to channel chakra to the corpses he controls. And in sage mode, Naruto is able to trace the chakra flow and now knows exactly where Nagato’s hiding. Yays!
Then he does what Pain expected him to do, and creates one of his Rasen Shurikens. And he throws a smoke ball. Pain has seen this before, and believes himself prepared to not fall for the same trick twice. He sees the Shuriken coming at him and repels it. It blows into smoke, and Pain realizes it was actually a transformed clone made to look like the attack. Now Naruto’s all ready to take advantage of that 5-second window in Pain’s reboot time and knock this guy out.
And that’s it. Next week promises more of this conclusive battle in color. Whether they’ll actually END the dang battle or not is anyone’s guess. I’m just personally glad to hear that Hinata should be okay. I like that girl. And apparently so do the artists; they featured her by herself on the cover of the volume.

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