"The Secret of the Battle" (戦いの顛末, Tatakai no Tenmatsu) is episode 44 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
Sai conveys a message from his superior, Danzō Shimura, to Orochimaru. Orochimaru, however, responds by throwing a sword at Sai. The sword impales him, but Sai turns out to be just an ink clone. Orochimaru tells Sai that he has no manners, and that while addressing someone of a higher rank, he must do so face-to-face. The real Sai pops out of the ground, and Orochimaru tells him to prove that he can be trusted. As he attempts to retrieve something out of his pack, he is tackled by Kabuto. Sai's belongings fall out and scatter on the ground, including an envelope. Sai tells Orochimaru that the contents of the envelope is personally addressed to the Sannin by Danzō himself. After opening the envelope, Orochimaru tells Yamato that Sai would be coming with them, and the trio depart, unaware that they are being observed by Yamato's wood clone.
Meanwhile, the real Yamato uses his Hokage-Style Sixty-Year-Old Technique — Kakuan Entering Society with Bliss-Bringing Hands on a four-tailed Naruto, suppressing and sealing the Nine-Tailed Fox's chakra and reverting him to back to human, although the process is excruciatingly painful and renders Naruto unconscious. Sakura notices that all of Naruto's skin has been burned off and that he is extremely wounded, and uses her Mystical Palm Technique to regenerate his skin. As she heals him, she asks Yamato to teach her his technique, but the captain explains that only he can perform that technique as he carries the DNA of the First Hokage within him. He tells her that the necklace that Naruto wears, which is the First Hokage's Necklace, is made of a special gem that is able to control a jinchūriki or a tailed beast when conjoined with the First Hokage's chakra, and therefore only those who have his cells can replicate it, although to a lesser degree than the First could have himself.
Sakura manages to regenerate Naruto's burned skin and Naruto regains consciousness. Upon seeing Sakura's tearful face, he believes Sai is to blame, and that he must have criticised her monstrous strength or called her ugly. Sakura tells him that while Sai called her ugly, he never mentioned her monstrous strength, and punches Naruto for mentioning it. Sakura then realises that Sai is not with them, and Yamato informs them that he has gone off with Orochimaru, most likely operating under a different mission than their own.
As they begin to set off, Naruto notices the destroyed Tenchi Bridge and the devastated terrain, noticing that the ground itself is soft. He asks what happened and why he was unconscious to begin with, and Sakura pins it on Orochimaru, telling Naruto that the Sannin knocked him out. Naruto is irritated that he was knocked out, while Yamato recalls Jiraiya telling him that Naruto lost consciousness after growing a fourth tail. The trio notices Sai's belongings on the floor, including his most prized possession - the picture book belonging to Sai's older brother. Sakura wonders why he would have left it, and Yamato concludes that he must have been in quite a rush. Naruto is still unable to believe that Sai would betray them, but Sakura remembers Tsunade warning her to be wary of Sai, as he is the subordinate of Danzō, someone who opposed and is the opposite of the Third Hokage and despises Tsunade for being his student and the granddaughter of the First. She relays Danzō's suspicious nature to her team, and Yamato tells them that he believes Danzō may be plotting the destruction of Konohagakure.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Sakura Haruno||Chie Nakamura||中村 千絵||Nakamura Chie||Kate Higgins|
|Sai||Satoshi Hino||日野 聡||Hino Satoshi||Benjamin Diskin|
|Yamato||Rikiya Koyama||小山 力也||Koyama Rikiya||Troy Baker|
|Kabuto Yakushi||Nobutoshi Kanna||神奈 延年||Kanna Nobutoshi||Henry Dittman|