Pakkun, Naruto, Sakura and Shikamaru are in the forest, attempting to catch up to Sasuke as per Kakashi's orders. Pakkun notices that there are nine Oto-nin following them. To distract the opponent, Pakkun tells them to step on their footprints and jump into the trees (so that it looks like that their prints had stopped) to buy them some time. Knowing an ambush is necessary, Shikamaru volunteers to be the decoy, since his Shadow Imitation Technique is designed to restrain people, while Naruto, Sakura and Pakkun continue their mission. Shikamaru's technique succeeds in stopping eight Oto-nin following them, but Shikamaru quickly remembers Pakkun telling him that there were nine. Realising that the ninth one purposely stayed behind the others in order to prevent a complete ambush, and that his chakra is still limited from his fight with Temari, Shikamaru contemplates on his life and seems to accept his upcoming death. However, Asuma arrives to defeat all the enemies without even breaking a sweat, saving Shikamaru. Temari, Kankurō, and Gaara are in the forest as well, with Temari noticing that there are more people pursuing them. Meanwhile, the fight between the Third Hokage and the reincarnatedFirst and Second Hokage, controlled by Orochimaru, is about to begin.