Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness, written by Takashi Yano, is set two years after the end of the Fourth Great Ninja War and a few months before The Last. Shikamaru, a leading member of the Shinobi Union, is lamenting the fact that his life strayed so far from the "normal life" he dreamed of as a child. A strange message from Sai arrives, revealing a threat to the new-found peace in the face of Gengo, the leader of the Land of Silence. Shikamaru and two ANBU head out to investigate and, if necessary, assassinate this man.
"Naruto Hiden" (a.k.a. "Naruto Secret Chronicles"') is a light novel series which explores the stories of various characters after the conclusion of the original manga. Though each book is illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, they are written by different authors. And yes, they are part of the canon continuity, plus they were adapted into episodes 489-493 of the Shippuden anime.
The english translation can be found herenote . The translators' have requested to not copy or distribute the text.
Be warned: SPOILERS ahead. The events of the Epilogue are considered common knowledge, so read no further if you're not up to speed with the manga.
Tropes present in the novels include:
- Anger Born of Worry:
- One of the reasons Temari hits Shikamaru with a Wind blast instead of Gengo is that she had been worried sick about him since he started acting strangely.
- Naruto is also not happy his friend left him out of all this; he greets Shikamaru with a Megaton Punch that sends him tumbling six times before delivering an angry, semi-cohenent lecture.
- Armor-Piercing Question: As Ino tries to bring Sai back, she asks him one of these:Sai: "It's useless to play friendship!"Ino: "...then why are you crying...?"Sai: "..."Ino: [uses her Jutsu on Sai]
- Assassin Outclassin': Gengo's genjutsu allows him to foil Shikamaru's assassination attempt.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Shikamaru's Super Intelligence allows him to perfectly duplicate Sasuke and Naruto's taijustu moves instantly from memory. This allows him to get the upper hand on an expert fighter like Gengo.
- Badass Bookworm: Shikamaru shows himself to be a great fighter even without his shadow jutsu or strategies. He holds his own in taijutsu against Gengo, who is said to be a sword master and expert killer who fought along side the demon Zabuza Momochi.
- Battle Couple: Shikamaru and Temari become one when fighting Gengo.
- Beta Couple: Sai/Ino serve as this to Shikamaru/Temari.
- Big Damn Heroes: Temari arrives in the nick of time to save Shikamaru from becoming Gengo's pawn.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Temari borrows Shikamaru's "How troublesome" to playfully reply to his date proposal.
- Call-Back: It's not the first time Temari has easily won against an opponent who uses sound-based genjutsu.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Shikamaru gets tongue-tied when he's about to ask Temari out to dinner.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Gengo has Rou and Soku tortured after he captures them. He doesn't extend this treatment to Shikamaru, whom he's trying to recruit as his right-hand man.
- Compelling Voice: How Gengo's genjutsu works.
- Didn't See That Coming: Gengo has his fight with Shikamaru in a totally dark room, thereby taking away Shikamaru's ability to use shadows. But Gengo didn't foresee Shikamaru's ability in taijutsu and Rou's ability to hide Shikamaru's chakra. Both put Gengo at a clear disadvantage.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Shikamaru, Rou and Soku steal some of the Enlightened Ones' cloaks to infiltrate their ranks.
- Forced to Watch: Or rather, Forced To Listen. Shikamaru has to hear the screams of his comrades as they're being tortured.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Temari
saysyells that to Shikamaru, accompanying her words with a powerful Wind gust that sends him flying and crashing into a wall.
- Hates Being Alone: Gengo discovers Sai hides an intense fear of being abandoned by his friends.
- He's Back: Shikamaru. It's marked with him saying "How troublesome" for the first time in two years.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: During their fight, Ino uses her mind transfer jutsu to enter Sa's mind to try and free him from Gengo's genjutsu. There she sees him crying and comforts him.
- Love Confession: Temari basically makes one when she frees Shikamaru from Gengo's genjutsu.
- Love Hurts: When Temari thinks Shikamaru has betrayed her trust, he gets a Megaton Punch to the face from her. Part of the reason is he is Oblivious to Love and doesn't understand she see is actually in love with him.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: Shikamaru has one after he's been blown onto the wall by Temari's jutsu, realising he has to live so he can protect her.
- Mind Control: Gengo was able to gather so many followers because he hypnotized them with genjutsu.
- Mind Rape: What being put under Gengo's genjutsu is like for Sai.
- No Hero to His Valet: Naruto and Sasuke are revered as the legendary heroes who ended the War and Kakashi is held in an equally legenday status, since he was their mentor. Shikamaru, knowing the three of them and all their flaws, is not impressed.
- Oblivious to Love: Shikamaru, big time. Temari is madly in love with him and he has no idea. Looks like his Infinite Tsukuyomi dream where he and Temari were a couple didn't register.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Shikamaru had been acting cold an aloof before leaving for his mission in the Land of Silence so, naturally, both Temari and Naruto realize he's hiding something from them.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Averted. Shikamaru, Rou and Soku don't rely solely on their stolen cloaks to blend in. Rou masks their faces and changes their chakra signature with his jutsu
- Relationship Upgrade: Shikamaru asks Temari out on a date.
- The Slacker: Shikamaru re-defines himself as this after a two year period of trying to act as the responsible adult everyone expected him to be.
- Strictly Professional Relationship: Shikamaru and Temari in the Shinobi Union. Although Temari clearly has feelings for him he doesn't understand. Gets a Relationship Upgrade.
- Undying Loyalty: Shikamaru towards Naruto: he made it his dream to help the latter become Hokage and then serve as his advisor. Temari towards Shikamaru: her conversation with Gaara shows how loyal she is to Shikamaru.
- Verbal Tic: Soku uses the word "like" almost every time she speaks.
- We Can Rule Together: Gengo tries to recruit Shikamaru to his cause. Through a combination of torture-by-proxy and Genjutsu, he almost succeeds. Thankfully, Temari arrives just in time to save Shikamaru.
- You Are Not Alone: Ino tells this to Sai as she releases him from Gengo's More Than Mind Control:"Let's go back, Sai. Everyone is waiting for you"