"The Successor's Wish" (継承者の想い, Keishōsha no Omoi) is episode 146 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
In the Tsuchigumo clan's village, Hotaru notices the stares and glares being given to her by the villagers. She asks her uncle, the Tsuchigumo Chief, if she should have returned, and he assures her fears that it is alright as the village is her room. He leaders her to a small room, telling her to stay in there. However, she is soon ambushed by the four bandits. To make matters worse, her uncle overhears the ordeal and smiles as he bars the door to her room, ignoring her cries for help and preventing her from escaping.
One of the members, Nangō, manages to restrain her and steal the forbidden scroll from her pack, although it explodes when it is opened. As the explosion destroys the house, Hotaru flees. The four bandits manage to catch up to her in the woods, but she is saved by the arrival of Utakata, who takes her and leaves the area. Before they can pursue him, their leader Shiranami, who has the Tsuchigomo clan crest on his back, notifies them that Utakata is wanted by Kirigakure and that he has a bounty of 50 million ryo.
Naruto heads to the Tsuchigomo clan's village, where he finds out that Hotaru was attacked and that she had fled. However, he is immensely angered when he finds out that her uncle and the villagers are aware that she may be injured and did not bother to look for her, having no regard for her welfare. Yamato and Sai also arrive, and the captain reminds Naruto that Hotaru's safety is their priority, not the villagers' actions. Attempting to track Hotaru, Sai asks Yamato why they must find her since their mission was to just escort her to the village. Yamato explains that since the mission is based on a secret treaty signed by En no Gyōja and the Third Hokage, in the event that her village is unable to protect her, they must step up and do so. Sai then uses his Super Beast Imitating Drawing technique to create small ink mice to find Hotaru.
Meanwhile, Utakata uses his Water Release: Bubbles Technique — Drift to carry himself and Hotaru to safety. When asked why he had saved her, he attempts to bluff and claims that he is after the forbidden jutsu as well, although she is able to see through his lies. He asks why she does not give the kinjutsu up to save her life, and learns that her grandfather was her original master and that she wishes to honour his wishes to protect the technique and restore the Tsuchigomo clan. Utakata, having been assaulted by his own master, cannot understand the student-master bond that Hotaru feels. Hotaru proceeds to remove her top, and Utakata becomes embarrassed to see her breasts. However, she turns around to reveal her bare back to him, prompting Utakata to wonder how someone could have done something like that to her. Covering up, she tells him that she did not want to keep any secrets from him since he is to be her master. Angered by the use of the word 'master', Utakata decides to leave her, unaware that he is being watched by a Kiri hunter-nin.
The hunter-nin uses his Secret Technique: Mist Rain to render Utakata's Soap Bubble Ninjutsu useless and proceeds to use his Water Release: Water Whip to take Hotaru hostage. The hunter-nin asks Utakata to surrender himself lest he allow Hotaru to die on his behalf; he accepts, although he is restrained by the Water Whip technique performed by two other hunter-nin. As Hotaru pleads with them to let Utakata go, the hunter-nin holding her hostage tells her that he is a wanted criminal who had killed his master and fled the village. Just at that moment, one of the hunter-nin is struck by Naruto's Rasengan; Yamato and Sai arrive as well, and Naruto apologises to Hotaru for having taken so long.
|Role||Seiyū||English Voice Actor|
|Naruto Uzumaki||Junko Takeuchi||竹内 順子||Takeuchi Junko||Maile Flanagan|
|Sai||Satoshi Hino||日野 聡||Hino Satoshi||Benjamin Diskin|
|Yamato||Rikiya Koyama||小山 力也||Koyama Rikiya||Troy Baker|
|Utakata||Kenichi Suzumura||鈴村 健一||Suzumura Ken'ichi||Michael Sinterniklaas|
|Hotaru||Megumi Toyoguchi||豊口 めぐみ||Toyoguchi Megumi||Kari Wahlgren|
|Tsuchigumo chief||Atsuki Tani||谷 昌樹||Tani Atsuki||Kirk Thornton|
|Shiranami||Takeshi Kusao||草尾 毅||Kusao Takeshi||Matthew Mercer|
|Akaboshi||Akimitsu Takase||高瀬 右光||Takase Akimitsu||Christopher Corey Smith|
|Chūshin||Yohei Tadano||多田野 曜平||Tadano Yōhei||Vic Mignogna|
|Nangō||Nobuaki Kanemitsu||金光 宣明||Kanemitsu Nobuaki||Kyle Hebert|
|Benten||Chikara Osaka||逢坂 力||Ōsaka Chikara||Michael Yurchak|
|Kiri Hunter-nin||Daichi Endo|
|Kiba Inuzuka||Kosuke Toriumi||鳥海 浩輔||Toriumi Kōsuke||Kyle Hebert|
|Shino Aburame||Shinji Kawada||川田 紳司||Kawada Shinji||Derek Stephen Prince|