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It's an important plot point that Asuma finally understands what the "King" of the Hidden Leaf is. At this point, he also stops smoking.

At first I thought it had something to do with his fight over Sora, and being forced to reckon with the relationship he had with his own father.

But, later on, we find out Kurenai is pregnant.

Is this the reason Asuma comes to understand what the king represents, and why he decides to quit smoking? Did he know she was pregnant before or after this moment of understanding?

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As he asks Shikamaru who the "King" is we can conclude that he already knew that Kurenai was pregnant. He wanted Shikamaru to know that so if anything happened to Asuma, Shikamaru would protect the "King" aka Mirai Sarutobi. The "King" as Shikamaru came to realize were the people that he held dear.

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  • I was under the impression Shikamaru did not find out Kurenai was pregnant until Asuma told him with his dying words. I'm thinking it goes something like this: Asuma does not know who the king is. Asuma fights Kazuma and begins to understand who the king is. Asuma stops smoking, possibly to honor his father? Asuma finds out Kurenai is pregnant and finally explains what the king is directly to Shikamaru. – Aww_Geez Jul 2 at 18:31

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