Discussion in 'Konoha Library' started by mezzomarinaio, Nov 4, 2012.
Table of contents
Prologue - The End of Revenge
First chapter - Black Dream
Second chapter - The Village of the Wolf's Howl
Third chapter - Reishi and Kina*
Fourth chapter - The Kidnapping
Fifth chapter - The Memories inside the Eyes
Sixth chapter - Requiem**
Epilogue - The Beginning of Revenge
* Reishi and Kina are the names of the two brothers.
** Literally, 'ritual ceremony for the repose of the dead'.
With no light reflecting in your eyes,
And no voice approaching your heart,
With no course to find your path,
Only the grief of a wolf
that rages at the human world,
And nothing else.
There's no light to meet your eye,
There's no voice to touch your heart,
There's no road ahead of you,
Only sadness like wolves
That blusters over this mortal world
(Translation by takL)
A shinobi of Hebi
A shinobi of Akatsuki
A pharmacist/doctor of the village of Rokoku (Wolf Wail)
Reishi's younger brother
I hope you don't mind me posting here, mezzomarinaio.
I made a summary of chapter 1:
Thank you so much for translating I bought the novel in Akihabara as a souvenier and thought it was pretty cool to get a translation is an extra bonus. Is it possible if you could translate the rest? Thanks again
I've summarized about 1/3 of chapter 2. It turned out quite long XD
Spoiler: CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY (1/3)
Sasuke sets off to Howling Wolf Village. After walking south for 8 days, he reaches the sea. His head aches, but his eyes feel better, although he sees white flashes from time to time. He figures it's because he's still getting used to the Mangekyou Sharingan. To prevent himself from thinking about Itachi, he asks the people he passes about Howling Wolf Village. It seems the village really did declare neutrality a couple of years ago.
Sasuke gets on a ferryboat. The boatman talks about Howling Wolf Village. It's situated on Howling Wolf Mountain, which is part of a 3 mountain range. The mountain is full of medicine plants. There's a legend that a beast called Rouen used to live there and attacked the village. It was 50 meters high and was covered in silver fur. It had the head of a wolf, the body of a tiger and walked on two legs. The Kodon Clan got rid of it about 10 years ago. The Village's blue fire powder couldn't beat it but Tenma, the former Kodon Clan Head, defeated it with a hypnotism-like medicine technique ("saigenzai"). Nobody knows what happened exactly. By the time everyone awoke, the beast was gone and Tenma was dead.
Sasuke gets off the boat. He's now near Howling Wolf Mountain. It's been 13 days since he left Tobi's hideout. Eighteen red X (Shino shrine archways) are lined up on the mountain. If he passes under them, he'll reach Howling Wolf Village. The mountain is filled with plants, flowers and animals. It's full of both medicine and poisonous plants. He walks deeper into the mountain's forest. The trees cut off the sun and he loses track of time. A torii is like a boundary between the secular world and sacred ground. That's what Sasuke was taught in the Academy.
Direct translation: "Those who visit this village have to shed the secular world each time they pass under a torii. Did Itachi also pass under these torii? I absently thought about such things. Why couldn't Itachi shed the secular world called Hidden Leaf Village? This question which will never be answered forces me to take step after step. I push forward. No matter how much I hurry, I will never catch up to Itachi. No matter how far I stretch out my hands, I can never reach him. The only thing I can do is move. If I do so, I can fool myself into thinking that I'm moving forward. If I don't, how else could I outrun the rain --- the rain that poured down on Itachi's corpse?" (p.44)
Sasuke reaches the last torii and sees the sun set. When he reaches the end of the stairs, the forest ends. The village is surrounded by high walls and you have to pass under a big gate to enter the village. The left gate door has the character 薬 (medicine) on it and the right 毒 (poison). There are many stalls lined up alongside the road to the village. Saleclerks are try to sell all kinds of medicine to the visitors. The place is really lively. One salesclerk calls out to him, calls him too pale and tries to sell him something. Sasuke ignores the guy's chats, shows him the receipt he got from Itachi and asks where the shop on the receipt is. The salesclerk recognizes the shop - apparently it's called Rengyoudou - but doesn't answer Sasuke's question. Sasuke asks again but the salesclerk remains silent, looks uncomfortable and then runs away to bug other customers. Sasuke is left confused. Then another salesclerk grabs his arm, a woman this time, and again says he looks pale.
Sasuke: "Do I really look that pale?"
Salesclerk: "Beyond pale! It looks like you haven't slept in years!"
She tries to sell him some stuff. Sasuke asks after Rengyoudou again. She looks uncomfortable and asks why he would want to go there. He says he wants to pick up a medicine there. She turns red and looks like she's about to hit him. She glares at him, returns to her stall and glares at him some more. Sasuke asks three more people; they all react the same. One of them whispers into his ear that he shouldn't mention that shop. Sasuke asks why, but the man simply says "please don't get in the way of business" and drives him off.
There's some kind of police station next to the main gate. An official calls out to Sasuke to hand over his sword because weapons aren't allowed inside the village. Sasuke refuses, gives him a look and says the official will have to take it by force if he wants it. The official throws a fuss. Sasuke responds: "I go where I want to go. I take instructions from no one. Besides, this type of weapons-hunt is pointless. If you guys are strong enough to take this sword from me, there's no need for you to fear one sword. On the other hand, if you can't take it from me, I could crush this village with my bare hands, sword or no sword." The official flinches, clicks his tongue and asks why Sasuke came to Howling Wolf Village. Sasuke responds he came to get medicine. The official asks how long he'll be staying and to which shop he's heading. Sasuke answers he'll stay two or three days and that he's heading to Rengyoudou. The official glares at him and says "You too?". The official assumes Sasuke is interested in "saigenzai". He complains youngsters treat it as a toy and he says it got banned a year ago. The official explains that saigenzai throws off your vision, hearing and balance. Once it's in your body, you're a dead man. It's known under many names, such as Shoutengan, Gokurakuko, Jiaigan and Youshingan. Sasuke now understands why the salesclerks glared at him. They thought he was some kind of addict looking for saigenzai. Even so, Sasuke asks where the shop is again. The official warns him some more - apparently possession of saigenzai is a capital crime in the village – but then tells Sasuke that the shop is located behind the Kodon Shrine.
[To be continued.]
For those not familiar with Japanese culture: imagine the torii pathway to look something like X, but with much more space between each torii.
Spoiler: CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY (2/?) (p.52-59)
Sasuke heads west towards the Kodon Shrine. It's already dusk and he nears a river. A crowd has gathered there. There are 3 corpses on the riverbed. They look dried up, like withered branches. Sasuke thinks their chakra might've been sucked out. A guy in the crowd approached Sasuke. He has a scar, from his right eye to his cheek. The guy offers Sasuke some saigenzai. Sasuke asks for the best one. The guy says that the best are the ones from Rengyoudou. This peeks Sasuke's interest and he buys one. The guy hands him a small bag. There are 3 pills inside. The guy slips back into the crowd. Sasuke sees the character 仙 (sen, "hermit") dyed on the back of the guy's clothes.
The crowd chats some more about who could've murdered those people. They speculate it might've been an outsider or one of the saigenzai sellers. Sasuke scoffs them in his thoughts. They're obviously shinobi. The boatman earlier told him that Howling Wolf Village used to be a Hidden Village. The village can now support itself with the medicine profits. There's no need to put the village and its people into further danger. But what happens to the shinobi? Some of them can enter the village's defense force, but what about the others?
There's nothing more troublesome than a shinobi that has lost his occupation.
Unable to display his power or to make a living.
In a village that stresses business, the ones who have the money are celebrated. Shinobi will be chased to the outskirts of the village. They'll get treated like dogs, the hands which were tainted for the village's sake will be glared at. They'll start selling saigenzai.
Who can be sure that Leaf Village won't end up like that?
That thought made me laugh.
Someday, Leaf Village should end up like that too. Someone should make some incredible invention, or dig up some precious resources and…
In that case the society where shinobi rule would collapse immediately. The city's guardian deity would no longer be the Hokage but would be money. Guys like Naruto would spend a lifetime ignored.
A Naruto that wouldn't be heard by anyone? …That's funny. I laughed. Shinobi truly have no more worth than that.
Taking advantage of the fact that there was no one around, I laughed aloud. A dog, startled by the noise, barked in the distance somewhere. As long as the shinobi system continues, a second and third generation Itachi will appear. Under the banner of justice, someone else will be forced to sacrifice himself.
Is Leaf Village worth the sacrifice?
In the end, how do Leaf Village's and Tobi's methods even differ?
Sasuke continues on his way to the Kodon Shrine. He passes a mother and daughter. The girl points to him and says, "Hey, mama, that boy, he looks in pain… I wonder if he's hurt somewhere." The mother takes one look at him and quickly scurries off. Sasuke is confused why he would look in pain. He's thinking about Leaf Village's destruction. That means he should look happy, right? He stops and stares at his shadow. He muses that his hatred towards Leaf Village still isn't strong enough.
[To be continued.]
The last part of chapter 2.
(I have to cut this into two posts because it's past the character limit.)
Spoiler: CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY (3/3) (p.60-89)
Sasuke reaches the Kodon Clan Shrine. The shrine hasn't been taken care of, it's run-down. Behind it, down the stone stairs, lies the Rengyoudou Shop. It also looks run-down. It's already midnight, so Sasuke returns to the shrine. There's a stone monument with the images of a wolf and a tiger on it. Sasuke kicks in the shrine's door, enters and lays down. Part of the roof is gone. He looks up to the moon, feels a dangerous presence and jumps back up. But it's just a small white snake. Sasuke lays back down.
Sasuke remembers Itachi's "hate me, and live!" speech. He had accepted those words without questioning them. He hadn't noticed the pain behind those words. Then, he remembers Tobi's words. Is he, again, not going to question what he's being told? No, he should pay close attention.
He feels a dangerous presence again. This time it's serious. He sees three shadows jump across the sky. Sasuke jumps outside onto the roof and hides his presence. The three head towards the shop. There's a flash and two explosions. The shop has been set on fire. Sasuke sees two people try to stop the fire with water. Seeing the shop burn angers him. It's like the flames are insulting Itachi's memory. He slams a Chidori into the ground and the shockwaves put out the flames (and leaves quite some destruction).
A boy tries to attack him, but Sasuke avoids him. The boy has pointy hair and is wearing some kind of mask. The boy, which vaguely reminds him of the old Naruto, angrily asks: "Are you from the Sendou Clan too!? Did you come to steal the Kotarou too!?" The boy sloppily throws kunai at him. Sasuke says he didn't start the fire. The boy doesn't believe him and keeps attacking. The sloppy attacks remind Sasuke of the old Naruto, too. Sasuke flicks the boy's forehead. The boy falls back and glares at him. This too reminds Sasuke of "that usuratonkachi". Another guy calls the boy off. The guy has long hair which has been tied back and he's wearing a light purple kimono. The boy refuses. The guy points out that Sasuke has the Uchiha Clan crest on his back, not the Sendou's. This makes the boy change his tune. He asks Sasuke: "That means you're Itachi-san's brother?"
The man introduces himself as Reishi, the owner of the Rengyoudou Shop. The boy is called Kina. Sasuke asks: "You know… Itachi?" Reishi nods, apparently Itachi was one of his customers.
The scene changes to the trio having breakfast. Kina now has the mask tied to back of his head. He explains it used to belong to his father; it's an Anbu mask. Sasuke notices it's a hawk mask and he feels he's seen it before but can't remember clearly. Reishi says "let's eat" but Sasuke says he's not hungry. Reishi assures him there's no poison in the breakfast or anything. Sasuke says he's not so stupid to eat what a stranger gives him. Kina snubs him because apparently Kina had gone out of his way to make Itachi's favorite (rice balls). Kina snubs him some more ("fine, don't eat!") and Sasuke, who desperately tries to keep his stomach from growling because he is hungry, responds that although he might not be hungry, eating while you can is also part of being a shinobi.
So in the end Sasuke starts eating and Reishi and Kina smile at each other. Sasuke thinks the food is quite tasty but says: "It's not bad. ..Considering it was prepared by a brat, anyway." He muses it's been a long time since he had a warm meal. There's also some X. Kina notices Sasuke staring at it and asks: "Rice balls with konbu were Itachi's favorites. Do you like them too?" Sasuke is a bit shaken. He averts his face and answers he prefers rice balls with X. He looks at the two brothers; they reminds him of himself and Itachi. A young brother who admires his brother and an older brother who acts like a parent. They look like they could overcome any hardship. And that's why he can't understand why they'd make bad drugs like saigenzai.
Sasuke shows the saigenzai he bought and says the seller called it "Rengyoudou Shop's Kotarou". Kina throws a fit. He steals the bag, throws it onto the ground and tramples it. Kina yells: "So you were just after saigenzai! Did you come to steal it like the others!?" He also bad-mouths Itachi, speculating that Itachi was only after the saigenzai too. Reishi disagrees ("Itachi-san wasn't like that") and tries to calm Kina down. Kina yells some more. Apparently Kotarou can only be made by Reishi inside his body so you can't steal it.
Sasuke looks straight at Kina and says, "Itachi… died." That makes Kina shut up. Reishi apologizes for his little brother's behavior. Sasuke says it's fine, he understands why Kina would doubt him. Sasuke explains he just bought the drug to test the shop's reputation. Reishi explains the drug which Sasuke bought is a fake. The prescription for Kotarou is written in the blood of Kodon Clan members. Sasuke asks if it's a Bloodline Limit Jutsu. Reishi says it's not. The ingredients are simple, they grow on the mountains in the area, but the ingredients are then "processed" inside his body. You can't steal it even though many think they can. Reishi says being able to steal Kotarou is "a rumor without root or leaf." Sasuke stays silent, confused. Reishi explains the rumor is groundless (literally "rootless" in Japanese, in other words, he made a really bad pun.) Kina picks on Reishi for his failed pun. Reishi covers his embarrassment with a cough and turns the conversation back on track. Sasuke says he bought the fake Kotarou near a big bridge. Reishi calls it Suikazura Bridge.
Sasuke asks whether Itachi got his medicine from the Rengyoudou Shop. Reishi affirms this. If you mix Kotarou with other medicine, it becomes a powerful painkiller. Sasuke shows Itachi's receipt to Reishi and asks why it has 下品 written on it. Reishi explains that 上品 have a weak effect but no side effects. 中品 leaves no permanent damage if you use them for a little while. But下品 have strong effects but also very strong side effects. Reishi explains that, for example, Itachi's eye drops can leads to temporary blindness. Sasuke now understands why he was having white flashes (he also took some drops).
Sasuke then asks after the 七 ("seven") written on the back of the receipt. It looks like Itachi wrote it himself. Reishi looks at it and get visibly upset so Sasuke decides to change the subject and asks: "Can you tell me anything about Itachi?" Kina suddenly stands up and apologizes to Sasuke for earlier. Sasuke says it's fine and that Kina shouldn't go easy on people who harm his family. Kina nods.
Reishi says Itachi would buy medicine once or twice a year. Itachi had told him, "If my little brother visits the shop… that means I am probably no longer alive." Itachi had said he wanted to live a little longer because there was something he needed to do. He didn't care what would happen to him afterwards. So Reishi gave Itachi the strongest下品 (gebon) he had. Sasuke muses that it's just like Itachi to say that. "Always perfect, always foreseeing, always…. sad."
Reishi asks whether Itachi suffered. Sasuke remembers the way Itachi had clutched his chest and coughed up blood after summoning Susanoo. He says: "Itachi's body was… already beyond repair, right?" Reishi averts his eyes and apologizes. Sasuke says there's no need to apologize.
Kina says Itachi was always quiet and calm, but also incredibly strong and would always help them when the Sendou Clan bugged them. Itachi would also spend the night in the shrine when waiting for his medicine to be prepared. Kina would sometimes enter and give Itachi rice balls with konbu. At first, Itachi would always remain silent no matter what Kina asked. But Itachi slowly started opening up and mentioned he had a little brother. When Kina asked Itachi what Sasuke was like, Itachi smiled happily. With a distant look in his eyes, Itachi answered: "He's honest like you, Kina, but he's hopelessly bad at showing it on the outside. That's why I have to keep a close eye on him." Kina interrupts his story to ask: "…Are you crying, Sasuke-san?". Sasuke blames it on his eyes, averts his face and changes the topic to the Sendou Clan.
Kina says the Sendou Clan are failed shinobi and run the saigenzai scene. Reishi explains that the shinobi that failed to get new jobs after the Neutrality Declaration, formed a clique and started selling bad saigenzai. A shinobi called Sendou Jiryuu is the boss. Apparently, Kotarou was the saigenzai that Reishi's father used to defeat Rouen (the wolf/tiger beast). Sendou Jiryuu wants to get his hands on it to make some fast money: many shinobi are still not used to neutrality and use saigenzai to escape the cruel reality of their lives.
Kina yells that he doesn't care what happens to the village. Apparently, the villagers are now saying that his father used Rouen to attack the village. Sasuke gets a d?j? vu (i.e. the Nine Tales attack on Leaf Village.) Reishi scolds Kina not to bother other people with their problems. Reishi says the attack just now destroyed all the medicine pots. It would take time to make new medicine. He asks Sasuke to come back again later, in the future. Sasuke says he'll wait. Reishi again stresses it'll take a while (it sounds like he's trying to get Sasuke to leave). Sasuke says he won't cause them any trouble, he gets up, leaves the shop and says that he'll be staying at the shrine.
[To be continued]
Spoiler: CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY (3/3) (p.60-89)
Kina visits Sasuke the same day, in the evening. Sasuke is sitting on the nearby stairs, staring at the fireflies. Kina is wearing his mask, Sasuke asks why. Kina doesn't answer so Sasuke just removes the mask. Kina's face is covered with bruises and scratches. Sasuke asks what happened. Kina just hands him some rice balls with okaka. They eat in silence for a while before Kina admits the village people gave him those wounds. They sit in silence for a little longer. Kina asks, "Aren't you going to ask why?". Sasuke responds, "You don't have to talk if you don't want to." Kina looks at Sasuke in surprise and mentions that Itachi once told him the same thing.
Kina talks about Rouen. The beast could live forever as long as he sucked up people's chakra. His father defeated Rouen ten years ago but died in the process. Reishi raised Kina. Kina is 11 years old.
Sasuke asks why Kina hates the village. Kina says the villagers are saying that his father released Rouen's seal. At the time, the village was about to decide whether to declare neutrality or not. The Kumanoi Clan, who had invented the blue fire powder were pro-neutrality, his father was anti. And then Rouen appeared. The blue fire powder, which explodes when it comes into contact with water, couldn't do a thing. Kina's father defeated Rouen, but the Kumanoi Clan started saying that Kina's father had released Rouen's seal to make the pro-neutrality factions look bad. After getting neutrality, the Kumanoi Clan used the money they got from selling the powder and left.
But Kina is convinced the recent series of murders poses a chance for his clan, the Kodon Clan. Kina wants to capture the murderer, and then the villagers will change their opinion of the Kodon Clan.
"So?" I stared at Kina. "Did you come here to ask my help?"
"Why would I have to do something like that? I just came here to buy medicine."
Kina dropped his head.
"I'm a shinobi. If you want my help, you need to prepare the proper compensation."
"Yeah… " I tried telling him clearly. "Starting tomorrow, bring me rice balls with okaka each day."
Watching Kina dancing for joy, I heaved a sigh on the inside. He's an moron. If he thinks I'm going to put much effort into looking for the culprit, he's as much an idiot as Naruto.
End chapter 2.
Prologue - The End of Revenge
The rain? is falling onto my face.
Since when did it start to fall?
The black flames were slowly swallowing up the forest. Amaterasu was dying every single tree jet-black, burning the birds, roasting the snakes.
Why is such a thing falling into my eyes??
The person lying at my feet... why is Itachi lying in such a place?
My head was spinning with questions.
Why didn?t he take my eyes?
Why am I the only one still alive?
I don?t understand.
The steam produced by the rain was engulfing the black flames.
That?s right? I was the one who summoned this rain. I fired a Katon Gouryuuka no Jutsu in the sky and used it to call forth these thunderclouds.
??disappear with the thunder??
That?s what I had said to Itachi.
They were meant to be my last words.
With that attack, with that attack mustered with all of my remaining chakra, I thought I?d finally managed to avenge the Uchiha clan.
With it, I thought I?d finally freed myself from revenge.
Itachi had managed to evade the Kirin that I had summoned with all of my strength.
??you?ve really? become strong? Sasuke??
That?s what Itachi had said ? gasping for breath, with blood flowing from his mouth.
And then, what??
Aah, that?s right.
Itachi had summoned an enormous monster? Susanou.
And there had been nothing I could do anymore.
My chakra had been almost completely gone.
That was when I?d suddenly heard his voice? Orochimaru?s voice.
??I'll lend you my power... you need me, don't you? Sasuke-kun? Don?t you want to get your revenge on Itachi? Well, then? release my powers? do that, and your wish will??
And I had surrendered my body to that voice.
Orochimaru had burst out from inside me.
Of what happened after that, I remember almost nothing.
When I had regained my consciousness, Itachi was standing in front of me, covered in wounds.
??your eyes belong to me now.?
That?s what Itachi had said.
??I will take them and savor them slowly.?
It was still raining incessantly.
Amaterasu was burning the forest.
I glanced down at Itachi?s collapsed figure.
On my forehead I could still feel the lingering touch of Itachi?s finger.
Itachi had vomited blood.
But then, how did things go?
Even though all my attacks were repealed by Susanou, why did I not get my eyes taken, why can I still stand upright like this?
Itachi?s bloodstained hand had stretched out towards me.
My knees had been shaking.
Itachi had murmured something.
And then, with that usual gentle voice, in that nostalgic manner??? he had poked me on the forehead.
Then, Itachi had collapsed? with me still standing.
The dark clouds were discharging electricity.
The rain was beginning to clean Itachi?s blood-smeared hand.
It?s the end.
My body was gradually losing its strength.
It?s the end, everything has ended.
With that thought alone held in my heart, I collapsed near Itachi.
It still didn?t look like it was about to stop raining.
Wash away everything.
The resentment, the hatred? erase everything.
In my slowly fading consciousness, only Itachi?s last words remained??? forever unable to vanish.
an extract of tobi's speech to sasuke. hope you don't mind. i will be glad to correct it if someone spot an error.
'what do you want, tobi?
'what i want is... inadequately putting into words, is probably taking this world into a dimension where justice does not exist.'
'what do you mean?'
'oh yeah. let's take war as an analogy. war is the result of justice from two opposing sides clashing, but there is no way to confirm which side of justice is correct. the victor is usually taken as the ultimate justice, history is thus written.'
i listen his words silently.
'hence,' tobi continued, 'the so-called justice is actually power. justice without power will be crushed, just like how rubbish is abandoned. at the same time, if justice is power, the world meeting its end is just a matter of time. why is that so, is because the battle among the strongest, will bring the world an irrecoverable wound.'
'that is...' i got anxious, 'can be said as the battle between the bijuus?'
'it's fine if you want to interpret it as that.'
'so... ...so, you want to collect the bijuus and keep them as pets? is that so?'
tobi said nothing, only staring at my direction.
'that's impossible.' together with the fatigue soaked in my body, i let out a sigh. 'don't you know how troublesome it is that every village have a bijuu? even with the MS, it is impossible to control all nine of them completely.'
'you speak like it has nothing to do with you.'
'in any case, even if the world's justice is erased, the hatred in mankind will still not be erased.' i laughed at him with an intent to ridicule. 'you want a world with nothing except hatred?'
'hatred? talking about hatred, probably no one has more than you.'
'stop the nonsense'
'since we are at hatred, let me talk about it anyway.' it seems that under the mask, tobi is smiling. 'compared to justice, the danger brought by hatred is lesser. you say why? because hatred lies in another person, but justice is not. hatred is honest and straightforward, while justice consists of just lies. indeed, people have died because of hatred. but when compared, hundred times, thousand times of people have died under the hands of justice.'
although i feel an excruciating pain in my injuries and feel fatigue, i could more or less understand what this person is trying to say.
i can see the black flames that turn konoha into ashes.
the village that brought itachi into hell; using my amaterasu, i will paint konoha pitch-black --- just with this thought, i'm able to calm down my emotions even if just a little.
'to be my comrade or not, it doesn't matter if you don't decide it immediately. as long as we are ninja, even if you don't decide to be my comrade but a tool i can use is also fine. you must bear this in mind, uchiha sasuke, our goals don't contradict each other. we've reached a point where even justice could not reach. no one can ever cast justice, this genjutsu on us anymore.'
i know that tobi is using sophistry.
even so, this man's words have an irresistible charm.
in that voice lies a resonance that is able to sway anyone's heart along with it.
Part of chapter 3.
Spoiler: CHAPTER 3 SUMMARY (1/?) (p.91-114)
Sasuke and Kina are going to do stakeouts at night. In reality, Sasuke doesn't really take it serious but he plays along. Apparently the killer strikes once every three, four days but never at the same place twice. The murder victims all end up looking like mummies, having their chakra sucked out. Sasuke will stakeout at Kuchinashi Lake and Kina a little further south at Keisanryou. Keisanryou is the tomb of the ones who founded Howling Wolf Village. Sasuke asks why Kina won't leave this case to the village's defense force. Kina thinks the murderer is a shinobi that's too strong for the defense force. Sasuke comments: "That means you can't beat him either, right?" Kina says he has his own weapon: his own special saigenzai. Kina wants to keep the stakeouts a secret from Reishi. They'll begin once Reishi has gone to sleep and return before Reishi wakes up. Kina leaves to wait for nightfall, he looks really excited. Sasuke watches him go and wonders why he's even going along with this. Sasuke takes a nap. He dreams that he is Itachi and Kina is Sasuke. Kina says something mischievous and Sasuke pokes him in the forehead. He sleeps well for the first time in ages.
The next three days, they stakeout. No killer shows up. Villagers keep insulting Kina and his family, and Kina keeps beating them up. Kina gets beat up too though. Sasuke just silently observes him. But the fourth day is different. Kina reaches his stakeout spot, Keisanryou, but there are some shinobi there. They're high on saigenzai and pick a fight with Kina. They apparently ran into Reishi once when he was picking medicine plants and they beat him up. Reishi apparently pleaded them to stop. After observing Kina for three days, Sasuke knows Kina is going to back down. Shinobi or not, Kina would take the bait. The shinobi beat Kina up severely. Then one shinobi gets ready to stab Kina with his kunai: "This village is worthless. Let's just kill the brat and become Rogue Ninja." Kina just glares at them, unafraid. But Sasuke steps in ("If you go any further? I'll kill you guys"). The shinobi don't take him seriously. Kina is shocked ("S-Sasuke-san?? Why are you here??"). Sasuke responds: "You usuratonkachi? This isn't even a fight. You're just staging your own suicide." Kina tries to respond but one of the shinobi throws a kunai at Sasuke's face. Sasuke catches it and throws it back. It hits the shinobi in the upper leg. Sasuke tells the guys to go and dig their own grave. The shinobi just curse at him. Sasuke says "Oh well, then I'll dig one for you" and hits a Chidori into the ground which scares the shinobi shitless. Sasuke says: "Don't lay another finger on the brat. Got it?" The shinobi quickly run off. Kina is unconscious by now. Sasuke picks Kina up and walks back to the shop with Kina on his back. Sasuke thinks about how he stuck his nose into unnecessary business. He feels like he fed a dog he isn't planning to keep. No, worse. He's already starting to think of the dog as his own. Kina wakes up halfway but doesn't ask Sasuke to put him down. Sasuke doesn't really mind. They return to the shop.
Reishi scolds Kina harshly ("What were you thinking?! If not for Sasuke-san, you could've been killed!!) and Kina yells back ("I'm not scared of dying, unlike you!!). Reishi slaps Kina. Kina keeps yelling, he repeats the shinobi's words that Reishi got beat up and begged for his life. Kina calls Reishi a coward. Reishi says he promised their father to protect Kina no matter what. Reishi tells Kina to bear it; some things just can't be helped. Kina says he's been bearing it all his life and it isn't going to get them anywhere. Kina says he's heard Reishi talk to himself and blame their father ("Father, why did you do that? Because of you, Kina and I are like this now. Father, I hate you.") Reishi tells Kina to shut up. Kina says Reishi is just scared of fighting. He says complaining isn't going to them anywhere. Kina storms off out the house.
Reishi stares off in space for a while. Then he thanks Sasuke and says "It seems Kina made some foolish requests to you?" Sasuke tells him he needs no thanks, he was "hired", after all. Reishi asks "Hired?" and Sasuke answers "With okaka rice balls." Reishi's face softens a bit. He pours Sasuke a very bitter medicine-herb tea and they sit in silence for a while. Sasuke asks why Reishi and Kina don't just leave the village. Reishi admits he has thought about it many times, but this place is a paradise to a doctor (with the plants and stuff). Also, he asks: "Besides, is the outside world any better?" Sasuke thinks about how everyone simply shouts about peace while hurting others at the same time. Sasuke avoids answering and apologizes for prying.
Reishi mentions that, in this personal opinion, the shinobi world will end soon. They'll be supplanted by new techniques, like the way blue fire powder did in Howling Wolf Village. Reishi mentions that the powder was accidently made when people were trying to make a medicine that would give you eternal youth. The Kumanoi Clan added some more ingredients and raised the explosion power. Sasuke comments on how ironic it is that the powder is now a killing weapon. Reishi mentions how not everyone can be a shinobi and how shinobi need years to perfect their special techniques. Reishi: "And that's where the problem lies?" Apparently Hidden Rain Village (Amegakure) tried to take over the three villages on the mountain range because they wanted the medicine plants to themselves. The other two villages, Rouki and Rougurai Village, were quickly defeated. Howling Wolf Village had no great shinobi. The village was weaker than Rouki and Rougurai yet managed to defeat Hidden Rain Village thanks to the blue fire powder. The Kumanoi Clan uses the powder in cannons and landmines which were easy to use and didn't require years of training (unlike shinobi techniques). A shinobi isn't that easily replaceable but it didn't matter if a villager died, because another could easily take his place. That's why Howling Wolf Village won. And that's why Reishi thinks the shinobi world will end.
Sasuke comments that it sounds like Reishi doesn't want the shinobi system to end. Why? It would mean the end of bloody battles. Reishi disagrees. Sasuke asks why. Reishi explains that when they defeated the shinobi, the villagers made them into prisoners of war. Reishi's breathing speeds up, he even forgets to blink. The Kumanoi Clan drove the prisoners to Jidamaga Field. It was a place where landmines filled with blue fire powder had been placed into the ground (to fend of the previous shinobi attacks). The mines would be triggered by the weight of an adult stepping on it. The Kumanoi Clan drove the prisoners to Jidamaga Field and surrounded the field. Reishi mentions he was only 7 years at the time but he'll never forget what happened next. The Clan aimed at the fleeing prisoners with their cannons. Those who managed to avoid being shot to death would step on one of the many landmines and be blown to pieces. Whenever a landmine would go off, the Clan would cheer. (Reishi is getting more and more worked up as he relives the story, Sasuke tells him to calm down a few times.) Everyone kept laughing. There was blood everywhere. A severed hand even came flying Reishi's way. Reishi: "Father wasn't wrong? Everyone was laughing. Why were they laughing? Is the sight of people dying so funny?" Sasuke grabs Reishi by the shoulders ("Enough already! ?I get it? Calm down, Reishi.") Reishi looks disoriented for a moment. Then he slowly comes back to his senses. Reishi apologizes.
"Don't worry about it." I said. "You're not the only who is breaking apart."
I wanted to confess everything about Itachi.
How much better would I feel if I did?
How much lighter would my heart feel?
I wanted someone tell to me, "You're not alone". To tell me, "You're not wrong."
But, there was no way I could do such a thing.
The words got stuck in my throat, as if my tongue had been sealed. In the end, I am a person full of mistakes and I can't escape from my loneliness, no matter where I go.
Hearing Reishi's story made a resolution grow inside Sasuke: if the shinobi world is really about to end, then it's OK if Sasuke were to end it with his own two hands. And those hands would first destroy Leaf Village. The dark flames which had quieted once he had entered the village started to flare up again.
Reishi starts talking again. He says the village wasn't ready for a weapon like the blue fire powder: things were changing too fast. He says his father just tried to slow the speed of this change down. Sasuke stands up and says he doesn't care about Reishi's family. They're the same as the other villagers. They're all happily enjoying the peace which the fire powder brought. Reishi disagrees. Reishi yells that his father used Rouen to show everyone not to depend on the powder. Sasuke points out that the rumors were true then: Reishi's father really did release Rouen's seal. Reishi rebuts, voice shaking, "What? do you know?? Shinobi kill, that's true. I know that sometimes there's no other choice. But? but, shinobi don't forget the ones they've killed." Sasuke suddenly remembers Itachi's final words ("Forgive me, Sasuke? this is it.") Reishi is crying by now, he says that no one remembers the fire powder massacre. His father just wanted to tell everyone that, if you take someone's life in order to save your own, you mustn't forget them. Sasuke responds that if not for the fire powder, Reishi and the villagers would've been killed instead. And even if Reishi didn't care about dying himself, what about Kina? Would it have been OK if Kina, just a baby back then, would've been killed by the shinobi? Reishi doesn't answer.
Sasuke stands up, leaves the shop and goes back to the shrine. He lies down, looking up to the sky (there's a hole in the ceiling.) He thinks about how people will do anything just to prolong their own lives. The fire powder will continue to protect lives and take away lives.
[To be continued.]
Spoiler: CHAPTER 3 SUMMARY (2/2) (p.115-129)
That same night another murder took place. It was at Keisanryou (the same place were Kina had been staking out the previous nights.) Kina tells Sasuke the news. The victims were the shinobi that Sasuke beat up last night. People are saying that the one who threw the kunai in the shinobi's leg is the murderer. Sasuke says, "Well, that makes me the killer. I'll just go hand myself in then." Sasuke stands up to leave. Kina asks where he's going. Sasuke says he's leaving the village since he has heard all he had to hear about Itachi. Kina says the eye medicine isn't ready yet. Sasuke says he doesn't need it; his eyes feel OK. Kina asks Sasuke to come to the crime scene with him. Sasuke repeats that he's leaving. Kina calls it a detour. Sasuke pokes Kina's forehead again. "Listen up, you usuratonkachi. If you hadn't gotten into a fight last night, you might've been killed instead." Kina just pouts. And they end up going to Keisanryou anyway.
They arrive at Keisanryou. There's a group of about 40 men there. Kina points out that the guy in front is Sendou Jiryuu. Kina puts his hawk mask on. Sasuke assumes it's to hide the fear on his face. The other guys are all Sendou Clan members. They're wearing black kimono's with a white dragon pattern on their sleeves. Their heads are shaven. They definitely look like criminals. And they are staring right at Kina and Sasuke. They both stare back. One of the members whispers something in Jiryuu's ear. Sasuke notices it's the same guy that sold him the saigenzai a few days ago.
Sasuke and Kina walk up to the group. Both sides stare silently at each other. Sasuke decides to speak first: "Get lost". The men get angry but Jiryuu holds them back. Jiryuu says that's a bad way to greet someone. He calls Sasuke 'the bodyguard who's been staying at Kodon's place'. Kina fires up and accuses Jiryuu of starting the fire at his house. Jiryuu laughs it off ("Got any proof?"). Kina insults Jiryuu and his men. One of them charges at Kina. Sasuke trips him. All the others charge them too now. Sasuke thinks that Kina getting mangled a little bit would teach Kina to be less rash. But Sasuke decides to just finish those guys off because letting "the brat" (i.e. Kina) get hurt would give him bad dreams. Sasuke fires a Kadon Goukakyuu no Jutsu (Fire Spell) at them. The guys in the front get burnt, the guys in back panic and run into each other in panic. Jiryuu scolds them but then cowers ("W-wait… Don't be so hasty… W-we can talk about this…") Sasuke moves behind him and points a kunai at his neck ("I'll say it just once more. Get lost.") Jiryuu asks who Sasuke is. Sasuke says he's Uchiha Sasuke and Jiryuu reacts to the name. Jiryuu's henchmen get small guns-like things (with blue fire powder in it) ready. Kina warns Sasuke not to get hit. Sasuke pushes the kunai into Jiryuu's neck and a stream of blood flows out. Sasuke tells Jiryuu to order his men to throw away their weapons. Jiryuu obeys. Sasuke comments that it seems Itachi went easy on them before. Jiryuu agrees, he has broken into a sweat by now. Sasuke adds he's "not as good as Itachi at holding back." Sasuke kicks Jiryuu away and warns them not to near the Rengyoudou Shop again. They run off. Kina throws rocks at them as they go.
Sasuke figures this probably won't be the end of it. Even losers have their pride, after all. But what could he do? Sasuke going to leave the village. He figures all he can do is to play along with Kina's detective game a little longer.
Sasuke approaches the crime scene. Kina searches the place, top to bottom. Suddenly, there's a throbbing pain behind Sasuke's eyes. It's like his eyes are on fire. He covers his eyes with his hands. His eyes are "stirring up." It's like they're trying to tell him something. He remembers that Mangekyou Sharingan activates when you kill someone dear to you. It's been 22 days since he killed Itachi.
The death of a loved one.
Even though I hated him so much… Even though I hated him with every fiber of my being…. Even though I welcomed Itachi's death as the rain poured down on me... If Tobi's words are true, Itachi tried to grant me Mangekyou Sharingan by killing him.
The death of a loved one.
The death of a person who I Iove.
Yes, I saw it clearly in Itachi's eyes. What laid at the depth of my hatred, what even I couldn't see.
That's why the Mangekyou Sharingan chose me.
What should I do?
Does Itachi wish for me to become Leaf Village's protector?
Does he wish so from the bottom of his heart?
But if I couldn't see what laid at the bottom of my own heart, maybe Itachi couldn't see what laid at the bottom of his own heart either!
Itachi… Are you truly OK with this?
Do we have to protect Leaf Village, even exchanging the lives of our clan for it?
That kind of thing wasn't what I wanted. Not that kind of ending. What I wanted, was…
Black flames are swallowing my heart.
Kina touches Sasuke's shoulder and asks if he's alright. Sasuke slaps the hand away and says: "Don't touch me that familiarly! I'll kill you." Sasuke says he's sick of everything. Sick of Kina, sick of Reishi, sick of this village. In his thoughts, he adds that he's mainly sick of himself. There's blood on Sasuke's hands (from his eyes.) But he feels like the fog has cleared. Everything is perfect clear; like the way a candle burns the brightest just before it burns out. Sasuke feels he's about to burn out too. His heart is being burned by Amaretasu.
Kina says they should go back and let Reishi fix a medicine for Sasuke's eyes. Sasuke tells him to get lost and pushes him away. Then Sasuke suddenly sees something in the grass. He picks it up. He doesn't understand why it's there. Kina asks him what's wrong. Sasuke looks at Kina and realizes that Kina is genuinely worried about him. He thinks about how not necessarily everyone in the world is trying to use him and hurt him. He's always known that. The flames in his heart slowly fade out.
Sasuke apologies and holds out his hand to Kina. Kina takes his hand and uses the leverage to jump up and poke Sasuke's forehead. Kina laughs, "I'll forgive you just this once. You, usuratonkachi." Sasuke averts his eyes, calls him an idiot and suggests to get a bite to eat on the way back to the shop. Kina agrees. They get some dumplings. Sasuke watches Kina stuff his face and he thinks:
Even though the entire village is their enemy, Kina and Reishi stand firm. Just together as two brothers. I realized that once again.
There's no way I could hate those kinds of guys.
Those brothers' way of living is something I desire, and it's impossible to feel otherwise.
Kina ate another bad-tasting dumpling and crammed it into his mouth, looking like they tasted delicious.
In the end, it was a pretty good afternoon.
End chapter 3.
more of this please
And finally chapter 4
Spoiler: CHAPTER 4 SUMMARY (p. 131-174)
The stakeouts continue. On the 6th day something happens. Some villagers try to shoot Reishi while he's collecting herbs in the mountains and he gets injured. Sasuke had been tailing Reishi. He prevents Reishi from getting seriously injured and he gets Reishi to the hospital. Kina is in shock about Reishi getting injured.
Reishi leaves the hospital and heads to a lake. Sasuke tails him again. There's a strong flower scent there which makes his head spin, and it's misty too so Sasuke loses sight of Reishi for a moment. He hears a scream. Then he sees Reishi leave, carrying a big bag on his shoulder. Sasuke moves further and sees the dead chakra-sucked-out bodies of the two guys who had tried to shoot Reishi. He assumes Reishi killed them. "Serves them right" - Sasuke feels sympathy towards Reishi.
The next morning Kina tells Sasuke about the murder. Sasuke tells Kina to stop getting involved. Kina gets angry and leaves. Sasuke heads to the Rengyoudou Shop. Reishi is making a perfume, it's made from a special kind of green fireflies (those fireflies are all over the village). Sasuke says he's going to leave. Then he hands Reishi what he found at the Keisanryou murder scene: the bag which had previously held the saigenzai Sasuke had bought. Sasuke assures Reishi he hasn't told anyone. If anything, he sympathizes with him. Sasuke sees himself and Itachi in Reishi and Kina again. Sasuke talks about the way he understands why Reishi would want to kill the villagers. Reishi starts laughing. Reishi starts talking about the origin of the shop's name. It's a story about two brothers; the little brother tried to surpass the older one. Reishi says Kina will surpass him too one day. Reishi wants to support Kina. Reishi says "You're wrong, Sasuke" and is about to say more but suddenly an arrow gets shot into the shop. It has a message on it: "We have your little brother. If you want him back safely, bring the Kotarou and come to Jidamaga Field." There's no name on it, but they assume it's from Sendou Jiryuu. Sasuke says "let's go" but Reishi doesn't want Sasuke to come ("You don't understand anything. Kina.. Kina is"). Sasuke rebuts that he still needs to pay back Kina for the onigiri.
They arrive at Jidamaga Field at sunset. Sasuke realizes he really didn't understand, just like Reishi said. The place is littered with corpses, dozens of them. They're all Sendou Clan members. Reishi follows the fireflies, knowing they'll lead him to Kina. They find Kina collapsed under a tree. Reishi crouches next to Kina. Some weird green smoke comes out of Reishi's mouth. It has the same scent Sasuke smelt yesterday. Kina inhales the smoke. Reishi forms a seal with his hands. Reishi gets the bag out again, places it on Kina's head and lifts Kina onto his shoulder. Sasuke hears people approaching; they found the corpses. The trio heads back to the shop. It seems Reishi puts some kind of perfume on Kina which attracts the fireflies, that way, Reishi can always find Kina. Reishi explains he gave Kina some saigen to wipe his memory. Sasuke realizes Kina was the murderer and berates himself for not realizing it sooner. He remembers Itachi's words ("Everyone lives relying on and trapped by their own knowledge, and call that reality."). Reishi asks Sasuke to not tell Kina anything. Sasuke agrees. He, again, feels Reishi and Itachi are very similar.
They arrive back at the shop. Reishi puts Kina to bed. Reishi returns and gives Sasuke the eye medicine which he had just finished making. Sasuke puts them in immediately. Reishi warns him there might be some temporary side effects (headaches, vomiting, lowered vision). Sasuke doesn't understand why Kina would be able to absorb chakra. He guesses there's something sealed inside Kina. Reishi explains that Rouen had been sealed to the Kodon Clan's shrine. His father had broken the seal, but could control Rouen (the beast) through a saigen-jutsu. But the Kumanoi Clan had just made a new and strong weapon. The seal broke and Rouen went wild. Reishi's parents, almost out of chakra, ended up sealed Rouen into Kina and died afterwards.
Rouen isn't a Tailed Beast because it has no intellect, only instinct. It's a beast that can live forever as long as it steals people's chakra. Reishi's ancestors sealed the beast to their shrine. His parents had first tried to seal Rouen into Reishi's body after it went wild. But Reishi's body refused it. He was 10 at the time. Reishi passed out and when he woke up he saw Kina crying, still a baby, with a seal on his forehead. To seal Rouen back to the shrine, Reishi has to unleash Rouen, hit a certain sensitive spot on its back and then seal it. There are several tentacles on Rouen's back which suck chakra (and protect that sensitive spot). His father would usually keep the tentacles busy so his mother could hit the spot, but the Kumanoi's new weapon got in the way. His mother died and his father couldn't seal Rouen to the shrine alone. But his mother had slowed Rouen's movements which had allowed his father to at least seal Rouen into Kina. Likewise, Reishi can't seal Rouen to the shrine on his own either. And Kina's and Rouen's chakra are connected which means an unleashed Rouen would steal Kina's chakra. Kina can only last 10 minutes in that state.
Kina only started killing recently. Kina came home crying one night, realizing that he had subconsciously murdered someone. Reishi wasn't good at tailing so he made sure the fireflies would follow Kina around. Kina was always in a kind of sleepwalker state when he murdered. It's Rouen's fault but there's no way the villagers would understand. They'd kill Kina if they knew. And then Rouen would be unleashed and kill everyone. Kina only kills when the villagers bully Kina badly or injure Reishi: Rouen uses Kina's anger to manipulate him. Reishi and Kina tried to leave the village several times, but Kina would always be drawn back. Maybe their mother's half-finished-seal still lightly tied Rouen to the shrine. Reishi laughs bitterly. The only thing he can do is wipe Kina's memory after every kill.
Suddenly the shop-window's glass shatters. There's a crowd outside, throwing rocks. They're yelling at the brothers to come outside ("We know you're the murders!"). Sasuke moves to go outside but Reishi stops him. Reishi asks Sasuke to shapeshift into Kina. They'll both go outside and "Kina" (Sasuke in disguise) will kill "Reishi, the murderer". The villagers will think Reishi was the murderer and Kina was the avenger. That way, the villagers might forgive Kina.
Reishi moves to go outside. Sasuke tries to stop him but suddenly his vision goes white. He loses his balance and falls. It's like his eyes are freezing. Everything is white. He can only faintly see Reishi's silhouette as Reishi walks outside. Reishi looks determined, without a single sliver of doubt, regret or sadness. Sasuke tells Reishi to stop. Sasuke could easily take down those villagers after all. Reishi answers that he knows Sasuke can't see a thing right now. Itachi reacted the same way to the medicine. Reishi assures Sasuke that his eyes will be fine tomorrow. Sasuke suddenly remembers the night of the Uchiha Massacre. That night, Itachi was crying.
Reishi is now outside. The villagers start kicking and hitting him. Sasuke moves outside, to the garden and jumps onto the roof. Both results are hell: whether he does as Reishi says or not. And whether he does as Itachi said or not. What could he do to save Reishi? What could he do to spare Kina from pain? And what could he do in order to remember Itachi with a smile? Sasuke makes up his mind. He gets ready to perform the shapeshifting jutsu. Suddenly Kina runs outside, telling everyone to stop attacking his brother. Reishi orders Kina to go back inside. Sendou Jiryuu starts laughing. Kina gets beaten up too. Suddenly a police force arrives and orders the villagers to stop. The villagers, out of control, turn on the police. It turns into a brawl. Suddenly everything is covered in a white fog. Shrieks and shouts well up. Sasuke tries to reach Reishi but there's suddenly a loud roar and a shock wave. Sasuke lands on the top of a tree. He was blown away approx. 55 meters. What could it be? Sasuke feels a huge black chakra, the size of a mountain, slowly rise up.
[end chapter 4]
Spoiler: CHAPTER 5 (p.175-206) (1/2)
Rouen has been unleashed. The police force attacks it but Rouen is too strong. Sasuke still can't see but he hears the commotion. It's standing on two legs; it's 15 meters tall and has chakra-sucking-tentacles on its back. Rouen kills people here and there. It heads towards the village center in order to kill more.
Sasuke remembers that Rouen has to be sealed within 10 minutes or else Kina will die. He yells out to Reishi, saying he'll attack Rouen so Reishi can hit the beast's sensitive spot and seal it. Sasuke moves to attack Rouen but kunai come flying towards him all of a sudden. Reishi pushes Sasuke out of the way in time. It's the Sendou Clan again. Jiryuu trashtalks some more. Sasuke says he'll take out the Sendou and tells Reishi to hurry to Rouen. Sasuke still can't see but he's getting used to relying on his other senses. He surmises he's up against 12 men. Sasuke: "Enough blabbering. I'll finish this in 10 seconds." The Sendou men attack him. Sasuke doesn't want to waste any chakra so he uses physical attacks (taijutsu) to take them down. He takes some guys out and the others flee.
Sasuke hurries to Reishi and Rouen. They only have 5 minutes left. Reishi uses a sleep-inducing saigen (Reishi and Sasuke hold their breath to not be affected). Rouen is affected and Reishi tries to seal him but Rouen recovers too quickly and hits Reishi with its tail. Sasuke catches Reishi in mid-air and they both slam into a tree.
Another police force arrives, with bigger weapons this time. Reishi yells at them to stop firing. They'll just repeat what happened 10 years ago (i.e. Rouen going out of control and Reishi being unable to perform seal it). Reishi loses his cool and panics. Sasuke uses a fire jutsu and it's starts raining and thunder clouds gather. Sasuke tries to lead the thunder clouds' energy to his hands but the explosions and flying debris (caused by the police force attacking Rouen) throw off his senses. Reishi tells him Rouen's precise location. Sasuke unleashes Kirin onto Rouen but… Rouen survives and Sasuke gets trapped by one of its tentacles. He uses the Sword of Kusanagi to cut himself free. A new tentacle simply appears on Rouen's back and Sasuke gets trapped again. Reishi yells his name. Rouen brings the tentacle to its mouth and bites Sasuke into two and… Sasuke disperses into black crows.
Sasuke appears behind Reishi and tells him to calm him; he's fine. But Rouen did manage to steal a lot of his chakra. Rouen starts heading towards the village center again. They have two or three minutes left. Sasuke gets angry at his own powerlessness. It's eating him up inside. Reishi looks at him and Sasuke sees his face and red eyes reflected in Reishi eyes (literally). He sees it. His vision returned. Chakra fills his body. He feels Itachi nearby. He's not alone. Even if the entire world will become his enemy, Itachi will be there. His Mangekyou Sharingan has awakened. Sasuke takes a look at Rouen and says: "Let's go. We're going to seal it."
It's still raining. Sasuke and Reishi head towards Rouen again. Reishi has kunai with poison on it with him. They're not very effective on Rouen though. Sasuke burns the tentacles and hits Rouen with a chidori. The force pushes Rouen to the ground. Reishi throws more kunai at it but the tentacles throw the kunai back at him. Sasuke reflects them in time. Reishi says he has no saigen left and panics. Sasuke tells him to man up. He tells Reishi to keep Rouen busy for three seconds; three seconds is all he needs. He'll place Rouen under a genjutsu so Reishi can hit the sensitive spot and seal Rouen. That'll save Kina but.. Reishi will die. That's because Sasuke's genjutsu will lift as soon as Reishi hits the spot and then the tentacles will drain Reishi to death. Reishi says he's ready. He asks Sasuke to make Kina believe that Reishi was the killer. Reishi makes another bad pun. Sasuke remains silent and nods, marveling at Reishi's (mental) strength.
Reishi charges Rouen. He throws some kind of smoke screen in its face. Rouen easily wipes it away and Sasuke yells at Reishi what the hell he's doing. Reishi gets hit and falls. They have twenty seconds left. The police force gets in the way again and Sasuke uses Chidori Nagashi to take them out. Fifteen seconds left. Then Rouen suddenly stops moving. Hundreds of green fireflies swarm its face and immobilize it. Ten seconds left. Sasuke realizes Reishi had thrown the perfume which he normally used on Kina in Rouen's face. Nine seconds. Sasuke yells at Reishi to get up. Eight seconds. Sasuke unsheathes his sword. Seven seconds. He slices Rouen's jaw. It cries out. Six seconds. Sasuke looks into Rouen's eyes. Five seconds. He activates Mangekyou Sharingan. Four seconds. He hear bells ringing in the distance, signaling the start of the genjutsu. Three seconds. The sky turns red, the ground turns black and time stops. Light disappears from Rouen's eyes. Two seconds. Black crows fill the world.
[to be continued]
Spoiler: CHAPTER 5 (p.206-214) (2/2)
Sasuke opens his eyes and is standing in a dark forest. A red moon, shedding tears of blood, high in the sky. Sasuke walks further into the forest and reaches a stone monument. It's the same monument as the one at Kodon Shrine but this one isn't worn-down. It has a wolf and tiger fighting together on it. The wolf has the character 封 ("seal") on it and the tiger has 七 ("seven") on it. It's the same七 that was on Itachi's receipt. This can't be a coincidence. Sasuke says: "Stop hiding. How about you come out?" The masked boy from before appears again. Sasuke asks about七, but the boy simply asks why he should bother to answer. Sasuke says it's because the boy is Sasuke, Itachi, the Uchiha Clan and? also Kina and Reishi. The boy says that even if Reishi would seal Rouen to the shrine, the seal would have to be recast every seven years. Sasuke says he doesn't care; he just wants to save Kina.
"What did you want to do?" I asked. "Why did you come here even though you don't plan to save Reishi or Kina?"
"Why indeed?" The boy turned his face away. "I knew it was impossible? but I wanted to save those brothers somehow."
"But I have no right to blame you? You killed for my sake, right?"
The boy didn't answer.
"When you can protect only one thing?" I said, "no matter which you choose to protect, you will forever feel regret. The only thing we can do is to accept that regret."
"Are you saying you're ready to accept regret?" the boy said, "I asked you, didn't I? Where the real you is. What the real you wants to do hereinafter? Is this the real you, Sasuke?"
"Even if no one in the world acknowledges them, I will acknowledge those brothers." I looked straight into his red eyes, "Reishi and Kina are the same as me. The other's life is far more precious than this entire world. I don't know if you can call that readiness? but this is the real me."
"Do you want to crush Konoha no matter what?"
"Even if you will sever all your ties again, like you did when you threw Konoha away?"
"The tie which I want? is no longer here."
"What about Kina and Reishi?"
"There's no place for me between those two." I said. "That's why, for my own sake, I want to save those brothers."
"Itachi didn't wish for you to fight Konoha."
"But if I don't, how will I? I don't know how I could prove it to myself."
"Prove that Itachi lives inside me? Prove that he continues to live inside me even now."
"It seems," the masked boy spoke with a smile, "that you have solved this world's puzzle."
"This world?", I held my breath, "is a memory which Itachi saw, burned into the Mangekyou Sharingan. Itachi, maybe, peeked inside Kina's heart. And you?"
I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down.
"You are Uchiha Itachi? my brother."
The person who stood there instead of the boy was? Itachi.
It was like he had always been there.
While the sleeves of his Akatsuki cloak trailed in the wind.
"Even if you try to sever every tie?" His voice was like the wind. "I will forever?"
Itachi slowly lifted his hand and placed it on the hawk mask. His chin, then his mouth slowly became visible ---
But the time I had left suddenly ended.
The world warped.
The forest burst open like a shattering hourglass and crows filled the sky.
That's why I knew that Reishi had sealed Rouen in the real world.
I fell head over heels into a hole that suddenly opened at my feet.
I saw it for only a second while I felt into a bottomless darkness:
Itachi's mouth moved without a sound.
--- Even if you try to sever every tie?
Tears fells like rain, from the ground to the heavens.
And I broke out of the dark dream.
--- I will forever?
Itachi's voice, which I should've been able to hear, rang in my ears forever and forever.
[end chapter 5]
Chapter 6 + epilogue:
Spoiler: CHAPTER 6 (p.215-232)
A festival was held five days after the fight. Kina and Sasuke walk through the crowds. The villagers nod to Kina, pat his shoulder and speak kind words to him. Sendou Jiryuu is talking about "Kina's heroic deeds" towards a crowd. He believes Reishi had been the murderer and had turned into Rouen. Rouen and Kina had fought and Kina had sealed Rouen back to the shrine. Everyone cheers when Jiryuu finishes his story.
Sasuke and Kina walk out of the village. Kina questions Sasuke. He doesn't really believe Jiryuu's story; he can't remember anything. Sasuke avoids answering clearly. Sasuke remembers Reishi last moments; he had said: "Sasuke-san, please take care of Kina". Using Mangekyou Sharingan had tired Sasuke out greatly, but he had still managed to place a genjutsu on Jiryuu and alter his memory.
Sasuke and Kina go down the mountain, past the torii and reach the boat, which Sasuke had used before, and its sleeping captain. Kina says he can't go after all. It's like he's forgetting something important. He questions Jiryuu's story again. Sasuke says Kina can't stay. Because Rouen's seal will break after seven years. He says Reishi left Kina in his care so he can't leave Kina in the village just to be killed after seven years. Kina asks what Sasuke would do with him. Sasuke says he might train him until he's strong enough to live on his own. Kina says he wants to stay anyway. He would've been happy to just be with his brother, watching him gather herbs and make lame puns. Sasuke says Kina will die if he stays. Would Reishi forgive that? Kina answers: "He probably won't forgive me... but... in the end he would. Even if I'm wrong? Even if no one in the world will forgive me? only my brother will forgive me." His words shock Sasuke. He remembers Itachi again. He remember the words of the boy in his dream ("And to you, Sasuke, Itachi is ---") and completes the sentence in his mind this time: " --- Itachi is my one and only brother." For a single second, the world shines and is filled with hope.
Kina is determined to stay. Sasuke tells him to train, to grow stronger than Reishi. And even if he still can't beat Rouen after that, then he should go to where Reishi is, head held high. Kina nods, teary-eyed. Sasuke pokes his forehead and says: "Don't worry. My brother is also there and I will go there too." He continues, "You and me are maybe just little kids. But, in this world, becoming an adult is the same as dying. Walk the path you believe in."
Spoiler: Epilogue (p.233-238)
Sasuke crosses the water with a boat and sits down on a rock at the beach. He feels like he couldn't take another step. He remembers Tobi's words about Itachi. He keeps sitting there. Juugo arrives on the 3rd day. Juugo says the others are coming soon. Sasuke remembers Itachi some more. The others arrive; Suigetsu, Karin and Tobi. Sasuke tells them they're no longer called Hebi but are now called Taka ("hawk"). The villagers in Howling Wolf Village live in peace, knowing nothing of Reishi's pain. Konoha's villagers live in peace, knowing nothing of Itachi's pain. His eyes stir. "Taka has only one goal? We will --- crush Konoha."
Nii-san, I'll try to surpass you.
Even if I am wrong.
Even if I will have to walk alone on this blood-stained road.
Without begging for mercy to anyone, I'll burn in Hell's fire while laughing.
That is --- my path.
[--- THE END ---]
Thank you so much for this! We're going to Ichiraku, my treat.
THANKS verduistering !
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