"I'm sorry Naruto, but we don't have any ninja to spare right now! I can't send a mission out after Sasuke…" Tsunade's solemn reply to Sasuke's desertion just enraged Naruto even more.
"Fine! I can do it on my own! Just let me go after him!" Naruto, stubborn as always, boldly claimed.
"You'll be annihilated! There's no doubt that he'll have high-level Sound ninja guarding him!" Tsunade butted her head right back, but she knew deep down she was going to let Naruto go, in the hope that either he would succeed, or his defeat would wizen him up.
"I don't care about me! All that matters is getting Sasuke back! I have to do it! For Sakura…" Naruto's determination hadn't faltered one bit, but his demeanor seemed to have taken a drastic drop.
Tsunade took in Naruto's now slightly disheartened form, and let out a long sigh. She composed herself for what she knew would likely be the biggest mistake she would ever make, and gave in to Naruto's request, "Fine… Go get yourself killed trying to bring that traitor back. Don't say I didn't warn you…"
Naruto's demeanor shot back through the roof, as his face lifted and he gave Tsunade a warm one of his trademark grins (you know, the ones that should have distorted his face horribly by now?). "Thanks Tsunade-sama! I promise I won't let you and Sakura down! I'll bring that traitor back and beat down any Sound ninja that try to stop me!" His voice dripped with determination and glee, as he bid Tsunade farewell and bolted out of the room, nearly toppling a returning (and now rather confused) Shizune as he departed the Hokage's Tower.
Naruto sped through the barely awake Konohagakure, stopping at its Main Gate momentarily to show his mission papers to the sleepy guard. In no time at all, the guard waved him on, and Naruto wasted no time in bolting out of the village, intent on finding Sasuke's trail, which was only around eight hours old at this point.
Naruto finally caught up with Sasuke and his escort, they were in a small clearing in the forest, nearly twenty miles from the Gates of Konoha. There were five strange Sound ninja surrounding Sasuke, and they seemed to be talking with him about something that confused and infuriated said traitor. The largest of the five Sound ninja pulled a large basket with strange marks all over it off his back, and placed it on the ground in front of Sasuke, as the [possibly] strangest of the five, a man with six arms, took over the conversation with Sasuke. Naruto was confused, and opted to move closer to try to hear what was going on.
Naruto winced as he cracked a tree branch, and the six ninja in the clearing were immediately chucking kunai at the origin of the noise. They heard a poof and saw some smoke, and figured a pursuing ninja had just done a Replacement. The six ninja were still on guard, as Naruto began to speak to them, "Give Sasuke back to us! I won't hesitate to kill all of you if I have to, but I give you one chance to give him up and leave in peace. Take it or leave your lives on the ground here." Naruto's voice dripped with venom by the time he finished his taunt, and the six armed man chose to be the group's speaker once again.
"Come on, kid, why don't you give up this charade and come out so we can see who we're dealing with? Hell, why don't you just join your little friend here and ally yourself with Oro—Sound? We can offer you power beyond your wildest dreams!" The man's voice was obviously powercrazy by the end of his speech, and Naruto had the perfect, yet true, rebuttal for him.
"Heh… You know what I think about that kind of power? I think it's pathetic. I actually HAVE that type of power, FAR more than Orochimaru could ever DREAM of having control of. Sasuke should be able to vouch for me on that fact, although he has no idea what that power really is. I'll tell you all something about that kind of power: Orochimaru only gives you that power so he can control you. He takes away your lives and instills false loyalty in you. Yet you fools don't even realize you're being controlled. Honestly, I think you're all pathetic for giving in to such temptations, especially with how stupidly dangerous they are…" Naruto's voice no longer dripped with the venom it had before, it was now serious, understanding, and grave.
"Like you would know! We all suffered greatly before Lord Orochimaru found and saved us! How dare you insult him and try to understand us! You stupid Leaf shinobi are all the same! And look at how cocky you are! Hah, nothing in Konoha can stand up to the Curse Marks!" This time the strangely hooded man was the one to speak.
"You fools… I guess I have no choice, I have to kill you five before I can knock some sense back into Sasuke… So be it." Naruto's voice held no emotion, and that actually shocked Sasuke.
Five Naruto's burst through the ground immediately after Naruto's statement, slamming their fists into the Sound shinobi, but, the Sound Five were barely affected, merely moving there heads up slightly from the pushing of the clones' fists. But the clones just smirked, as a second clone popped out of the ground to stand next to each of the other clones, quickly forming Rasengans in each primary clone's unused hand. The Sound Five were caught off guard, and Tayuya wasn't able to react quickly enough to stop Naruto's Rasengan from slamming into her abdomen, sending her spiraling back and tearing her to shreds, much to the surprise and anger of the remaining Sound Four.
Kimimaro had also come close to facing Naruto's Rasengan, but he had used his Kekkai Genkai in order to stop the blast, barely. Bone fragments littered the ground as Kimimaro stumbled backward, obviously surprised. The other three Sound shinobi managed to escape entirely, although Kidomaru lost one of his arms in doing so.
Kidomaru growled as he slammed two of his arms into the clones that just took his arm out, screaming in fury, "You little shit! You're going to pay for that arm, with one of your own!" Kimimaro, Sakon, and Jirobo had similar thoughts as they disposed of their pairs of clones.
They snapped their heads to attention as they heard a tree rustling, and saw Naruto drop down out of said tree, glaring at the four remaining Sound Five. He glanced over at Sasuke, and gave him a sorrowful look, pleading for him to just come home. Sasuke returned it with a hateful glare, almost breaking what remained of Naruto's hope.
No one spoke a word, as Naruto brought his hands to his most used seal, and called out, "Shadow Clone Justu!" Twelve Naruto's popped into life, and arranged themselves so that three of them were facing each of the Sound Four. None of them talked or gave any signals before charging in at their individual targets, swinging their fists wildly and trying anything to damage their opponents. The Sound Four laughed at his futile attempts, until a loud explosion rocked the clearing, as Kidomaru, Jirobo, and Kimimaro looked over to see Sakon's body falling, burnt and ripped to pieces, his three clones no where to be found. Sasuke's jaw had opened slightly, "What?! Since when can Naruto's Shadow Clones explode?!?" Sasuke looked over to where the real Naruto had been, hoping to glare an explanation out of him, but found him to be gone. He felt an arm wrap itself around him and he felt himself pulled with his attacker as a hundred more Naruto clones surrounded the Sound Three, and a blinding flash could be seen for miles before a huge roar signaled the death of both the clones and the last of the Sound Five, leaving a large, smoking crater in place of the clearing.
Sasuke felt himself dropped to the ground, smashing into it semi-painfully. He heard a body fall to the ground after him, and looked over to see Naruto's panting form sprawled out on the ground. He scrambled to his feet, and smirked as he saw just how worn out Naruto was from that strange new variation to his Shadow Clone Jutsu. He noticed a glint from a bush, and looked over to a tree to see Sakura crouching on a branch, staring down at Sasuke, hope filling her eyes. He gave her what she took to be a smile, but was actually a sinister smirk. He went through a short series of handseals before his Chidori powered up. Sakura's mind raced as she saw Sasuke step over to Naruto, chidori blazing in his hand as he crouched over Naruto's panting form. He tapped Naruto on the shoulder, causing him to roll over and look up at Sasuke's smiling face. Naruto smiled back before his face contorted into expressions of confusion and pain as Sasuke's chidori descended through his chest cavity, burning and scarring his internal organs slowly, yet over the course of about three seconds. Naruto let out a horrible wail of pain before rolling to his side and puking out large amounts of readily-charred blood, blood that should be liquid, and running through his veins.
Sakura looked on confused, as she saw Sasuke look back up at her, before jumping up to her branch. She looked up at him with a hurt, confused, and worried expression, as she heard his Chidori power up again. She closed her eyes as she heard Sasuke's hand fly through the air. She felt a small amount of pain before she blacked out completely, willing to let death take her away.