In a gloomy cave, the Akatsuki prepared for the extraction of the Shukaku.
"From this point onward, it'll take 3 days and nights to complete. Everyone, also be mindful of your real bodies. Ok, now Zetsu, use your real body as a lookout. Use your largest range." - Pain
"I know." - Zetsu
"3 days, eh...? With Orochimaru gone, shouldn't we expect it to take a bit longer?" - Kisame
"If you really think so, then let's get started already." - Pain
"Hey!! I said you guys are going too fast!! We've been running non-stop for an entire day already!! Let's take a little break!!"
"Tenten, you lack discipline." - Lee
"!" - Neji
"Wait! Guy!" - suddenly a speaking dog appeared in front of them.
"Kakashi ordered all eight of us ninja dogs to split up and search for the scent of the Akatsuki members separately. We discovered that they headed towards the river country between Konoha and Sand. Your group is closest to the Akatsuki heading from Konoha to Sand, so we came here." - Pakkun
"I see..." - Lee
"Follow me. I'll explain while we're running." - Pakkun
"Great! Everyone Let's go!!" - Guy
With that, they left, but Zetsu was spectating from within a tree.
"An enemy is approaching our hideout. He appears to be very skilled...his name is Might Guy." - Zetsu
"...who's that?" - Pain
"He's a Jounin from Konoha that uses Taijutsu. He's quite talented, so take care not to underestimate him." - Itachi
"...ah...that bizarre beast, eh..." - Kisame
"I'll use that jutsu..." - Pain
"Let me go instead...I've had a hard time finding my Jinchuuriki...and I've been starting to get irritated..." - Itachi
"No...I will go. I have a personal vendetta against that man..." - Kisame
"Indeed...after all, that jutsu is suitable for you as you have a large amount of chakra even for us "Akatsuki"...however, I'll still need to have thirty percent-"
"Another enemy is approaching." - Zetsu
"Can you describe them?" - Pain
"Two youngsters who look skilled. One of them is the "Lost Hokage" while the other is a former henchman of Orochimaru." - Zetsu
"The "Lost Hokage", eh...things get more and more interesting...why don't you take him on, Itachi?"
"Enough. Since it's the "Lost Hokage" it must be the Shiki Ryuu. Still...why are they suddenly starting to act so openly? They're probably planning something. Don't engage them, just continue to keep observing them, Zetsu."
"....! You are..."
"Do you know him, Guy-sensei?" - Lee
"Who are you?" - Guy
"..." - Tenten
"..." - Neji
"..." - Lee
"Ah, it looks like the "Bizarre Beast" is as dumb as one as well. Well, at any rate, I'd better refresh your memory..." - Kisame
"Hey, don't you feel how there is an interesting fight somewhere nearby?" - Ukon licked his lips.
"Nah, just follow me. It will be way more interesting..." - Eiji
"Really? After those last boring days, I really hope you are not lying..." - Ukon's tone started to get more threatening.
"Or else what? You think you are stronger than me? You want us to repeat our match? Anyway, just trust me...when did I ever lie to you?"
'....I just didn't want to risk meeting Tenten...things would be way too annoying and awkward...' - thought Eiji.
At the cave.
"There is another...shinobi of the Leaf." - Zetsu
"Well...who's next?" - Pain
"! Everyone halt!" - Kakashi stopped running.
"!!" - Naruto
"...well, this is sudden..." - Kakashi
"...this guy...those eyes..." - Chiyo
"Uchiha...Itachi!" - Naruto
"See? Doesn't this look more interesting?" - Eiji
"Uchiha Itachi? Isn't that Sasuke's brother? If you knew he would be there....why didn't you let Sasuke know?" - Ukon
"Oh? You are actually caring about Sasuke?" - Eiji
"That's not it...it's just, it makes me question if you actually will keep your promise..." - Ukon's eyes shined dangerously. - Ukon
"Hmm...the reason is that this isn't actually the real Itachi..." - Eiji
"What do you mean?" - Ukon
"Well, seeing it yourself is better than me trying to explain it, so just watch..." - Eiji shrugged his shoulders and sat down to spectate.