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|"Vengeful Strike! The Bracken Dance!"|
|(執念の一撃!早蕨の舞, Shūnen no Ichigeki Sawarabi no Mai)|
|Previous||"Showdown: Gaara vs. Kimimaro"|
|Next||"A Cry on Deaf Ears"|
|Arc||Sasuke Recovery Mission|
|Manga||Naruto Chapter #216, Naruto Chapter #217|
|Japanese||March 30, 2005|
|English||December 29, 2007|
Kimimaro manages to tackle Gaara, whose sand cushions his fall. His Armour of Sand also absorbs the damage of Kimimaro's strike. Lee decides to use this opportunity to perform an attack behind Kimimaro, though Kimimaro is able to avoid it and nearly kill Lee, who is only saved by Gaara. Realising that in his current physical state that he is nothing but a burden, Lee relents and allows Gaara to fight alone. Kimimaro pulls out his spine and uses it to restrain Gaara. He then transforms his right hand into a bone drill in an attempt to bore through Gaara and kill him. Gaara manages to use the hardest minerals in the ground and fuses it into the sand with his chakra to summon his Ultimately Hard Absolute Defence: Shield of Shukaku, which is hard enough not only to prevent Kimimaro's bone drill from boring through, but to shatter the bone completely.
Gaara realises that Kimimaro's technique is a kekkei genkai, and Kimimaro tells him that it is a trait that belonged to the Kaguya Clan, and that he is the last of the clan. Gaara tells Kimimaro that the Kaguya Clan will end today with Kimimaro's death, although Kimimaro states that he will continue to live on within Orochimaru. Gaara remarks that Orochimaru has brainwashed Kimimaro well and that the latter is nothing but a pawn. Almost depleted of his chakra, Gaara dispels his Shield of Shukaku while also using the sand around him to release himself from Kimimaro's spine grip. Using his last remaining chakra, Gaara uses his Prison Sand Burial technique to swallow Kimimaro and sink him two hundred metres underground under tight pressure. Enraged at Gaara's remarks about him being nothing but Orochimaru's pawn, Kimimaro uses his ultimate technique which causes thousands of bones to emerge from the ground. Gaara manages to save his and Lee's life by elevating them with his sand. Gaara states that he is out of both strength and chakra while Lee remarks that at least he managed to kill Kimimaro. Right on cue, Kimimaro sprouts from one of the bones with a bone drill in hand, prepared to kill Gaara for his remarks regarding Orochimaru. However, before he can kill Gaara, Kimimaro's terminal illness gets the better of him and he dies.
Gaara and Lee manage to descend to safety, with the former contemplating how lucky he was. Lee mentions how Guy once told him that a shinobi makes his own luck, prompting Gaara to accidentally insult Guy and call him a meddlesome fool (as Guy had prevented Gaara from killing Lee earlier). Lee states that while he is grateful to Gaara for saving his life, he will not tolerate any insults geared towards his sensei. Gaara tells Lee that both he and Naruto have that in common - they have people who they care about so much that any attack to that person is an affront to them. Gaara also wonders whether it is better to care and protect an evil person rather than to remain lonely, realising that that is exactly what Kimimaro had done.