While a funeral service is held for Asuma, Shikamaru decides not to attend, preferring to mourn at home. Putting up a brave front, he spends his days and nights sitting outside his home watching the sky. After his father, Shikaku, invited him to play shogi and kept discussing Asuma's death, Shikamaru lashes out; Shikaku tells Shikamaru to let out all the feelings he has been bottling inside of him, and leaves as Shikamaru begins to cry uncontrollably.
After he mourns, Shikamaru uses the shogi pieces to devise a new strategy to defeat Hidan and Kakuzu. Chōji and Ino ask Shikamaru if he really is going to do it, prompting Shikamaru to be somewhat surprised that they were expecting vengeance as well. After formulating a strategy, Shikamaru visits Asuma's grave, apologising to his sensei for not visiting earlier. Team 10 then prepares to leave Konoha in the middle of the night to find them, only to be found by Tsunade. Tsunade does not agree with their idea of revenge, and recalling Nawaki and Dan Katō's deaths, tells them that death is a part of life and that they should grow up. She tells Shikamaru that she will place him on a four-man platoon of her choosing in order to pursue Hidan and Kakuzu, but Shikamaru notifies her that this is something the three of them need to do. He then pulls out Asuma's lighter, telling her that while he has it, he still feels like Asuma is with them. Tsunade retorts that a typical squad would have four people, while they have three; Kakashi, who had been eavesdropping, offers to become Team 10's leader in order for them to be a four-man squad. He privately tells Tsunade that Team 10 would still venture out regardless of her approval, and that this way at least he would be able to keep an eye on them. Tsunade agrees to send Kakashi as their leader, and Shikamaru inquires about Naruto's training. Holding up a bandaged right arm, Kakashi tells him that Naruto would be fine and that he has another team leader anyways. With that, the new Team 10 sets off.