Having strangled himself with his shadow and rendered himself unconscious to avoid Gengo converting him, Shikamaru wakes up. He is shackled in a cell, and thinks shōgi movements to pass the time. Sai arrives with food, and compliments him for resisting Gengo for so long. Shikamaru asks for his lighter, and Sai says it'll be returned once Shikamaru follows Gengo. The two discuss Sai's current condition, and why Shikamaru came instead of someone from Team 7. A while later, Rō is tossed in a cell near Shikamaru, who asks if he is ok, and if Hinoko is with him. Gengo uses his jutsu on Hinoko. Shikamaru is taken to talk with Gengo, who has looked him up. Gengo tells Shikamaru how he perceives the current shinobi world, and how peace, as it exists, is forced by the great nations. Gengo shows him a flower that grows in the Land of Silence, that dies if taken out of its environment, and compares it to shinobi, who stop developing their skills in times of peace. Shikamaru notices that the flowers' scent stirs up unpleasant memories, which Gengo uses to turn shinobi to his side. Shikamaru asks for Rō and Hinoko, which are revealed to be the guards that brought him to the flowers, having been converted by Gengo. Shikamaru escapes the room. Shikamaru returns to Gengo's room, and fights Rō and Hinoko. He has Hinoko attack him with her chakra needles, and positions himself so they hit his ears, impairing his hearing so Gengo's voice can't affect him. Shikamaru almost reaches Gengo, but is stopped by Sai's ink lion. Gengo escapes, and Shikamaru is hit with a chakra needle on his head. Ino and Chōji arrive to save him, though Shikamaru believes he is dreaming. Shikamaru is convinced that he isn't dreaming when Temari slaps him for lying to her in the Shinobi Union meeting. Ino and Chōji prepare to fight Rō and Hinoko. Temari tosses him Asuma's chakra blades, which Shikamaru uses to open up the way to Gengo.