78) Explosion! This is the Naruto Ninpocho!
Naruto slowly rises as Gaara tells him that he can’t even touch him. We see Sakura being slowly crushed by the sand as Naruto wraps an exploding tag around his Kunai. He then creates a few shadow clones and rushes towards Gaara, saying that he’ll show him a new combat move, the Uzumaki Naruto Tackle. The semi-Shukaku state of Gaara reaches out with his right hand and grabs three of the clones. A fourth clone lands on the hand and launches the real Naruto forward. Before getting hit by Gaara again, he creates another clone that takes the punch and continues onward. As he falls behind Gaara, he creates one more clone so he can use it to jump off of.
Naruto jumps towards Gaara while screaming that Kakashi had taught him his next move. He lands behind Gaara and stabs the kunai in his rear. Temari, Pak-kun, and Gamakichi all stare in disbelief. Gaara swipes Naruto away, the explosive tag on the kunai erupted creating a deadly explosion. As Naruto is about hit a tree that Gaara smacked him towards, Sasuke jumps in the way and breaks his fall. The smoke clears and everyone stares, shocked, that the explosion barely damaged the sand-form. Gaara says to himself that he didn’t expect the attack to be targeted to his weakest area. The sand then continues to compact around Sakura.
Sasuke tells Naruto that he better rescue Sakura and that when he does he needs to take her and run. Sasuke gets up to try and buy some time, stating he never wants to see an important friend die in front of him again. A flashback of Kakashi saying he’ll never let his teammates die occurs and Naruto stands up as Gaara looks towards them. Naruto then says that he and Gaara are alike, that they share the same loneliness and sadness. He then talks about how Gaara fights for himself, but that he isn’t strong because of that. Another flashback occurs, this time of Haku asking Naruto if he has someone important to him. The flashback finishes as Haku says that he can become truly strong if he has someone to protect.
Naruto forms a hand sign, and yelling, generates an incredible amount of chakra that nearly blows Sasuke away. He states he will protect everyone, and in a cloud of smoke, he creates more shadow clones than ever before. Naruto tells Sasuke to stand back and rest, Sasuke stares at Naruto and wonders if he is the same person from before as he has a flashback of their first training session with Kakashi. Each of the clones rushes towards Gaara and throws a shuriken at him. He blocks all of them with his left arm but falls pray to several kicks that send him upwards as he says “Uzumaki,” instead of the Naruto Rendan, they perform what they call the two thousand combo. The force of the attack nails Gaara into the ground, the Naruto clones state that next time they’ll use their legs and make it a four-thousand hit combo. Gaara and Temari are wondering how he could do this much damage.
He states there is no way he can lose to Naruto, and tears each of the clones apart in one attack. As the smoke clears, the final form of Gaara emerges. Sasuke asks what it could be as Temari just stands there saying “It has finally come out.” Naruto stares at the form, realizing that this creature is the monster within Gaara as sand starts forming around him. Sasuke jumps up to try and help but falls down in pain. Naruto expresses that he is out of chakra but then thinks of Sakura. He wipes the blood from mouth as the sand forms around him. As the final form of Gaara tries to crush him, Naruto summons Gamabunta, the boss frog. Pak-kun, Sasuke, and Gamakichi watch on, amazed that he summoned him during the situation.
Gaara stands there and expresses that Naruto greatly entertains him as Sasuke just wonders what happened to the Naruto he knew. Gamabunta wonders why he was summoned and then spots Gaara in front of him. To himself he says that it is the Shukaku of the Sand. Naruto requests that he help him fight him and gets a no for his reply, that it would be stupid to fight him. He makes an argument that Gamabunta must protect his subordinate and is then told that they haven’t had a drink together yet. Naruto complains that he’s too young. Gamakichi jumps atop Naruto’s head and Naruto finds out that Gamakichi is Gamabunta’s son. Gamakichi says that Gaara/Shukaku tried to pick on him but that Naruto helped him out, that he was equal with the monster. Gamabunta finally accepts Naruto as his subordinate, officially, and grabs the sword at his side.
They stare down Gaara, the Boss Frog finally begins rushing forwards as Gaara attacks with his right arm. Gamabunta jumps away, slicing cleanly through the right arm of sand which crashed to the ground and returned to being nothing more. With the attack, Gamabunta dropped his blade which shook the ground and everyone nearby. Naruto tells him where to not move so Sakura can be safe. Gaara yells to them this time that Naruto entertains him. Temari becomes scared saying that he’s about to use “it.” Gaara’s human form emerges from the head of the sand-created beast as the Boss frog wonders if that’s the medium. Gaara says he’ll show them the reward for entertaining him. Gamabunta then says that rings under his eyes may have been caused by insomnia. He then explained that anyone possessed by the Shukaku suffers from life-long insomnia and cannot sleep most of the time so their personality becomes unstable. He continues by saying that as long as the medium is awake, the Shukaku’s true power is limited, if the medium falls asleep it will awaken. As Gamabunta is saying this, Gaara performs the forced sleep technique. The Shukaku awakens and states that he’s found someone he wants to kill. Gamabunta jumps into the air and fires a ball of water at ball of air the Shukaku sent. The collision forces a heavy rain over the area.
The Shukaku fires three more air blasts at them as Gamabunta fires more water bullets to stop them, hitting only two and being hit by the third in the air. The Shukaku laughs as they land in a ball of smoke. Gamabunta jumps forth saying he can’t be hit by many more of those, that Naruto must punch Gaara awake. Gamabunta lands in front of the Shukaku, having avoided more attacks, and tries to grab onto him, telling Naruto to jump and hit Gaara. Boss frog isn’t able to hold on due to lack of claws and Naruto tells him he can’t hit him otherwise. Gamabunta makes note that he isn’t good at transforming and that Naruto must do it for him. They rush forth, Naruto not knowing what to become, and through a cloud of smoke a nine-tailed fox emerges.
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