A girl is gathering herbs in the forest. She recognizes Naruto lying asleep in the forest as the kid that screamed at her for killing Zabuza in the forest (Haku) and reaches over to grab his neck. She reframes and gently wakes him. They talk for awhile, and she learns that Naruto is indeed a ninja. He trains because he must become stronger to become the best ninja in his village.
The woman has a flashback to herself as a kid. She tries to get food, but a dog fights her for it. She then kicks the dog to find two angry pups angry at her as well. Zabuza apparently took pity on her and befriended her. She tells him that when a person has something to protect, that is when he becomes truly strong. As she walks away, she tells him that she is a boy.
Naruto doesn't show up for breakfast the next morning, so Sasuke goes after him. Sakura and Kakashi also head out to the forest. Naruto throws a spear at them to show them how high he can climb but nearly falls off until Sasuke comes to his rescue. Kakashi is quite pleased by both of their progress
Tazuna asks Kakashi why they stuck around when he had lied to them about his project. Kakashi answers that to abandon one's duty is not courageous, and below courageous, there is nothing. Those are the First Hokage's words. Inari has a flashback to his dad and his words not to cry. He breaks down and asks why they would try so hard against Gato. It's pointless. Naruto tells him to shut up. He isn't like Inari. Inari cries even harder and demands to know how Naruto, who is so carefree, can possibly understand anything about him or this country. Naruto tells him that he's just playing the tragic character and that a sissy like him should just keep crying.
Later, Kakashi goes out to the water to talk to Inari and apologize for Naruto. He explains that like him, Naruto also grew up without a father. He has never known his parents or had a single friend, but he doesn't complain or cry. He also does his best to get people to acknowledge him. For that, he'd risk his life. That is why he understands what it is like to be strong. What he told Inari earlier was probably the same thing he told himself many times.
The next morning, the group leaves Naruto to rest and heads over to the bridge. When Naruto learns he overslept, he races to the bridge to meet the others. The others are greeted by several dead or critically injured workers, while two other henchman head over to Tazuna's house. The bridge becomes misty and Kakashi's belief that Zabuza is alive is confirmed. Zabuza attacks with water clone attacks, but Sasuke can see through them and takes the clones down.