Asuma Sarutobi is the son of the Third Hokage and the Jounin Leader for Team 10.
Asuma was assigned to Team 10 which consisted of a young group of Genin. Members of the team included Ino Yamanaka, a young female ninja with a mind technique, Shikamaru Nara, a genius with a lazy attitude, and Choji Akimichi, a fierce fighter who loved to eat. We do not see much of his training as the manga and anime focuses on Team 7 but we see his students in action for the first time during the Chunin exams. The three students would pass the first portion of the Chunin Exams which required them to cheat on a written exam. During the second portion which would throw teams against each other in a wooded area, the team would encouter Sakura under attack by the Sound Ninja. At first Choji and Shikamaru did not want to help but after Ino dived into attack, the others followed her into battle. It was here for the first time we saw Team 10 working together with their training paying off, but were no match for the sound Ninja but had bought enough time for Sasuke to wake up now with his cursed mark in full power. Shikamaru suggested that Team 10 retreat and leave the fight as the overpowered Sasuke was enough to descimate the Sound Ninja.
Team 10 passed the second exam and were sent into the third round which would consist of one on one battles between the survining teams. Ino would have to face off against her long time friend Sakura, Shikamaru would have to fight Kin of the Sound Village, and Choji would have to fight the last of the Sound Ninja. Choji was worried about his battle ahead and Asuma took him aside and swore nothing would happen to him, if the battle was to go wrong he and the other Jounin would step in to help. Asuma also offered Chouji that if he tried that he would take the team out to an all you can eat buffet on him as an extra incentive. Choji lost his battle and Ino fell into a draw with Sakura. Shikamaru would be the only one to win his battle and go onto the last portion of the Chunin exams.
The final round came and Shikamaru found himself facing of against Temari and while it looked as if he would win his match against the Sand Genin,he quickly quit as he claimed that he would not have enough Chakra for the next match. Despite the fact he gave up, Shikamaru would later be made into a Chunin because of his actions in this battle. As the final match began between Sasuke and Gaara, Konoha was invaded by the Sand and Sound Villages and an all out war broke out. Shikamaru was sent along with Sakura and Naruto to track down Sasuke, who had followed one of the attackers into the woods.
Along the way Shikamaru says that they are being followed, letting the rest of the group to go ahead as he will slow down the trackers. Now faced with eight Sound Ninja, Shikamaru traps them all when a ninth ninja appears as Shikamaru runs out of Charka. It looks as if the group of Sound Ninja are going to kill him when Asuma appears and takes out all nine without even a scratch. Taking the tired and weakened Shikamaru back to Konoha, they discover that Naruto has defeated Gaara and the invasion has been driven back.
Asuma and Kurenai are seen later after the invasion walking in the village when they come across Kakashi, who asks If they are on a date. Neither one answers as Kakashi turns to see that a group that was behind the trio a minute ago had suddenly disappeared. Kakashi tells the two of them to keep their eyes open. A while later, Asuma and Kuernai find two strangers as they reveal themselves to be Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki, members of the Akatsuki who have come for Naruto. Asuma readies himself for battle as the group fights.
Asuma manages to get a lucky attack on Kisame and catches him across the face with one of his knives, but the battle soon turns against him. Asuma and Kuernai are nearly hit by Kisame’s Water Shark Missile Technique when Kakashi uses the same Technique to block the attack. Now the three ninja of Konoha face the two rouge ninja. Kakashi is struck down by Itachi’s Superior Eye Technique and once again Asuma and Kurenai find themselves in trouble. But then Mighty Guy arrives and starts to tell Asuma and Kurenai how to fight someone who has a Sharingan after training with Kakashi all these years. He tells them never to look into their eyes and to judge their movements by their feet or body. Asuma, now able to get the upper hand, causes the two rouge ninja to flee before anymore Konoha ninja arrive.
Shikamaru was picked to lead a team to find Saskue after he went rouge and was on his way to join Orochimaru, one of the main attackers during the Invasion of Konoha. Before Choji set out, Asuma gave him a dressing down saying he spends to much time eating and not enough time training. Choji almost died in his battle against Jirobo, one of Orochimaru’s men, but Choji won when he had to use some of his family’s secret pills in order to win. After the battle, Choji went to Asuma and asked for intense training so he would never have to use the pills again but would be able to beat anyone on his own. Asuma agreed and the two began their training.
Shortly after this, Asuma and Kurenai were sent on a mission to question Mizuki. He was being held at the Leaf Village Maximum Security Prison. Upon arriving, the two found themselves greatly outnumbered as the inmates had all broken out. Fujin and Raijin, the Legendary Stupid Brothers, were among the inmates, and even though they fought well, the two were soon overcome by the sheer number of rioting prisoners. They where later rescued and recovered in Konoha.
After the death of his father, Asuma had began to understand what it meant to be a member of the village. He had always felt as if he was on the outside of the village and his clan. Now he knew what it meant to be a ninja of Konoha and understood his fathers teachings. Now a proud member of the Sarutobi Clan and The Hidden Leaf Village, he finally made peace with his father. It was at this time that Naruto approached him for training. Naruto had discovered he was a wind type as was Asuma, so Naruto asked if he could get any pointers. Asuma, with a smile, agreed but only if Naruto would buy Team 10 next meal.
For quite some time, Asuma had been working as a member of Niju Shotai, a team of ninja made by the Hokage to track down and kill members of the Akatsuki. The team conisted of four poeple: Shikamaru, who was Asuma student, Izumo Kamizuki, a well trained Junin, and finally Kotetsu Hagane, another one of Konoha's top ninja. During one of their mission, they had managed to track two of the Akatsuki members: Hidan and Kakuzu. The two were dropping off a bounty they had taken from the fire temple (one of the dead priest’s) as Hidan waited outside for his partner to do his business with the bounty collectors when Nijy Shotai came across him. Shikamaru used his Shadow Technique to capture and restrain Hidan and the rest of the team set about finishing him off. It turned out that Hidan is actually an immortal and their attacks had done nothing to harm him. However he was still trapped within the Shadow technique. Kakuzu appeared and launched an attack that broke off Shikamaru's trap. As the battle raged on, Asuma found himself facing Hidan and soon had the upper hand until Hidan cut Asuma along the arm and used his blood to start a ritual. As the ritual took place, all the damage done to Hidan was now being done to Asuma. As Hidan was immortal, the damage had no effect on him and it looked as if Asuma was done for when Hidan went to stab himself in the stomach, attempting to kill Asuma. Shikamaru trapped him again and made him walk out of his ritual cricle breaking the hold he had on Asuma.
Asuma powered his blades with wind and charged the immortal being, thinking that cutting of his head would finally kill him. Asuma succeeded in the blow and as Hinda's head landed on the floor he began to laugh as even this had not killed him. Kakuzu once again jumped in and broke off the battle, reattaching Hidan's head with some of his own sewing thread and joined the fight facing Izumo and Kotetsu. This allowed Hidan to step back into the ritual circle. Shikamaru rushed to help his master but his charka was to depleted. Hidan made the final blow during this time, impaling himself and killing Asuma. Choji and Ino arrived into battle and Kakuzu and Hidan made their escape, leaving the death of Asuma in their wake. As Asuma died, he told Shikamaru that one day he may be Hokage and that sometimes a knight must be sacrficed to protect the king. Shikamaru took Asuma's last cigarette and began to smoke it, flicking the lighter cap back and forth. As he began to cry, Shikamaru blamed it on the smoke as opposed to the death of his mentor.
The whole village was mourning the death of Asuma and all but one attended his funeral. Shikarmaru was busy coming up with a plan for revenge. When he was finished with his plans and had collected what he needed, he met up with Choji and Ino from Team 10. They all had a strong connection to Asuma and wished to help their old team mate. But before they could leave, Tsunade approached them, saying that they where not ready. This type of mission would need a four man group to which Kakashi appeared from nowhere to offer to be the fourth in this operation. Shikamarua changed his plan so that he could use Kakashi. It did not take long for them to find Hidan and Kakuzu again. His plan started out using the two knives that Asuma had used. He soon pinned the shadows of the Akatsuki members, then he went on to use his Shadow Technique once again to give him complete control over the two of them. But before he could finish, Kakuzu escaped. Shikamaru had compelte control of Hidan and now attacked Kakuzu with his own team mate. However it was all a ploy to corner the faster moving Kakuzu and allow Kakashi to sneak up behind him and attack him with Chidori. They thought they had won but infact Kakashi had only destoryed one of Kakuzu's hearts. Kakashi and Team 10 weere forced to come up with a new plan of attack. Now that they were the one's on the defense, they had to split themselves up once again in order to catch Hidan. Shikamaru lead him away from Kakuzu as Kakashi, Ino and Choji faced off against Kakuzu.
Leading him into the near by forest where Shikamaru had set up exploding scrolls preventing the Hidan from escaping. As they reached their destination Shikamaru's chakra ran out and Hidan went on the attack quickly cutting Shikamaru and starting his ritual, now seeing how smart Shikamaru was took no chances and stabbed himself in the heart, Shikamaru feel to the ground clutching his chest. But this once again was a trick, when Kakashi had struckKakuzu with Chordi he had taken a small amount of blood as ordered and given it to Shikamaru as part of his plan, Knowing that his Shadow Technique was going to fail, Shikamaru had kept the blood and as Hidan went to strike threw the blood onto his weapon and then cut himself, So Hidan had actually stabbed Kakuzu in the heart and not Shikamaru, Hidan still had no idea that this had happened and as he came in close Shikamaru sprang into action and tried to chop of Hidan's head with one cut, but it was not deep enough. Having no choice but to use his shadow technique again. But this time it was much weaker and Hidan forced himself to attack Shikamaru who pulled out his trump card his end game technique that used all the exploding scrolls he had placed around to tied Hidan above the ground. Now with Hidan capture Shikamaru went to the floor below Hidan and activated a seal he had placed upon the ground before the battle and the ground beneath Hidan dissappeared to reveal a pit. Shikamaru had planned this all along, this was to be the outcome no matter what had happened each move and step had lead to this moment. Shikamaru then told Hidan about the forest they where in it belonged to the Nara clan and only his clan where allowed to enter and leave it was protected not just by his clan but the actually forest itself, no one would retrive his remains this would be his final resting place. Placing one of Asuma's cigarettes in his mouth he let it with Asuma's lighter and then threw it making all the scrolls exploded at once and Hidan's body parts fell into the hole. Hidan's head lay at the top swearing revenge and Shikamaru caused a cave in and walked away.
Once back with the team he found Naruto was with them and he had delivered that last blow that killed Kakuzu, now with this behind them they returned to the village. Where Shikamaru finally visited Asuma's grave leaving the lighter with his old master as a final goodbye.
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