Understanding Does Not Presage Peace (Naruto, Insert)

Chapter 12: The Grit of the Sublimely Accomplished (II)

Karmic Acumen

Well-known member
A/N: Even disregarding the terrible writer's block that made me throw out everything I wrote for this part the first time, the process for writing this has been complex. Not as complex as the third and final section of this chapter, which was the real holdout.

In a desert-dry irony kind of way, I find myself having to take back everything I said about the odds of me becoming party to the online gig economy. If not for the commitments I made on Subscribestar and Patreon, I might not have gotten this out for another few months. So, my bad I guess? I'm old enough to change my mind, okay? Okay!

I considered holding this back and putting up a poll here and elsewhere, on whether I should post this in sections or hold back for another few weeks until I had this and another chapter finished, to get properly ahead of things. But even with the occasional complaints about cliffhangers, we all know what the results of such a poll would be, now don't we?

So, here it is, part two of three. I hope it doesn't disappoint.



"-. Kurama, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox .-"​

He hated humans.

"Nobody move or the Kyuubi brat gets it."

They trampled his father's dream, destroyed everything he worked for and spent the ages doing their best to erase everything that hurt them, even when they were themselves completely unworthy of inheriting the earth.

"I advise against whatever it is you're planning."

He hated that sanity could be destroyed by the single worst among them accumulating more power than everyone else combined.

"Doctor, I'm surprised at you. Condescending to other people, why, one might mistake you for someone else!"

He hated how the worst among them got together like yeast and drowned out the voices of the handful with any claim to sanity until they vanished like bird cries in wildfire.

"At least it would be other people mistaking my identity and not me."

Their gawping was even more unseemly, exceeded only by how revolting it was that the ones with the best composure were the biggest killers.

"Whatever could you be insinuating, doctor? Was it not all of you who mistook me for the poor gatewarden? Besides, I don't remember making any claims to any identity, now did I?"

Look at them, standing and watching even after their own children were saved only because of the sacrifice of the one among them who was not a killer.

"Naruto," Masanari began speaking tongues. "This is the bad man who forced Kurama to kill your mom and dad and the village."

"What?! He's-AH!"

"Speaking in tongues now, Doctor?" Uchiha Obito said idly while twisting Naruto's head by the hair. "Don't you think that's rude?"

The way humans could take Kurama's own words and twist them into poison never failed to make him want to kill all of them.

"Kid, your keeper just gutted me, you have no room to talk."

The way even the best and brightest among them inevitably became party to lies and deception was contemptible and left no room for their redemption as a species.

"Did he? It doesn't seem to impair you much." The black and white creature began to slither out of the ground behind the interloper, arm missing and a massive gouge in its torso slowly knitting together like black tar. "That was quite the feat you pulled off too, as far as it goes. How many Celestial Gates did you have to open just to match a mere shunshin?"

He hated the Uchiha the most, with those loathsome eyes of theirs that could steal even his will and their chakra more ominous than his own.

"Naruto," Masanari said without taking his eyes off the Uchiha bastard. "Stop squirming. You're throwing me off."

He hated their self-delusion that could run so deep that they became wilfully blind to what was right in front of them.

"Yes, brat, stop squirming and watch, your uncle and I are about to show you how the world works."

But if there was anything more galling than everything else, it was seeing an Uchiha with delusions of knowing how anything worked at all.

"Kid, you don't want to get into this with me."

It was as galling as it was useless for anyone else to try and reason with them.

"See, fox brat? Your uncle wants peace, but at the same time he's just aching to charge at me in a flash and hurt me like he hurt guruguru. In the end, the life of humans always comes to this."

They all put themselves at the center of the universe, every last one of them envious, malicious! And even after they broke everything they claimed to want fulfilled, they still thought they were in the right. Jealousy, insolence, arrogance, deception, betrayal, utter hate! Those were the true natures of Uchiha, they were sickening! Even thinking about it made Kurama's chakra froth and seethe, but now it was a hundred times worse because he was forced to sit and watch all of it!

"Naruto, pay close attention to what he's saying, I'll be quizzing you later on why it's all bullshit."

They were all hypocritical fakes, every last one of them useless! That's why Kurama didn't even regret attacking Konoha, even the death of just one Uchiha was worth it!

"Yes, Kyuubi boy, see, this is what I was talking about. Man seeks peace, yet at the same time yearns for war. These are the two realms belonging solely to humanity. Thinking of peace whilst spilling blood is something that only humans-."

"Ants enslave other ants," Masanari said flatly. "And that's when they're not waging genocidal warfare against each other. Hippos are vicious murderers, dolphins make sport out of torturing baby porpoises, otters assault their wives and eat their own babies, carps eat until they collapse entire ecosystems, chimps, dolphins, seals, ducks all rape and murder not just other animals but their own kind, locusts exist-"

"AUGH-ngh!" Kurama's jailer cried in pain.

"And it's that easy to silence even the best of men," said the Uchiha as he harshly pulled on his hostage's hair. "Man yearns for war when he's strong, yet when he's weak he wants peace. And exposing that reality takes just this little pain."

How like the Uchiha to lie and kill and slink around the world pretending to be human, when actually they're only parasites trying to get closer to the best of mankind to do away with them. The gall of an Uchiha to speak as if they weren't the ones who committed the most crimes or were the most hostile to their own kind. To speak as if they are as pure as the gods themselves!

"Naruto, this is what we call confirmation bias. Next he's going to say that we're two sides of the same coin, that to protect something another must be sacrificed, as if he's not the one who caused this mess to begin with."

How like the rest of mankind to give them a chance for coexistence, then another and a dozen more, and what did they get for it? A curse upon their kind and a thousand curses upon the rest of the world!

"I wonder if you're genuine or you're just pretending to have this steel in your spine, Doctor. Curse me for a sentimental fool, but I think I'm hoping for the latter."

"And this, Naruto, is projection, when you know you're bad but instead of stopping, you choose to delude yourself into thinking everyone else is bad too because you're a coward."

"… Maybe I was wrong about you, Doctor," Uchiha said lowly. Menacingly. "I thought you to be one of the rare enlightened, but in the end even you default to petty insults. And to think that we share the same pain-"

"If you dare say I should sympathise with you murdering my entire family because of a thirteen year old brat's decade-long tantrum over not getting the girl, I will fucking lose it, I swear to God."

Kurama gaped.

His seething chakra stalled. The outside seemed to teeter. A madman's audacity sputtered in the face of a completely different madman's audacity. Different audacity. Different madman. Curse all the children of man, Kurama didn't want to care enough for them to mess with his mind, not by force and certainly not by accident! What did he do to deserve this?

It was to this frozen tableau of fatally clashing beliefs that Uzumaki Naruto opened his fool mouth. "WHAT? No… That's impossible! The Fourth would never get beat by someone so lame!"

Kurama facepalmed.

The outside world was seemingly frozen under the weight of judgment being meted.

"… Alright, brat. That's enough out of you." Darkness encroached on the seal and Kurama snarled, flooded his jailer's chakra with his and yanked. The brat snapped awake before he was even half-way asleep. "Oh, the fox is paying attention?" Uchiha yanked Naruto's head around by the hair-

"Kid, I sincerely advise against what you're planning."

-and suddenly that hated eye bore through Naruto's straight into Kurama's, those hated eyes-

Naruto screamed.

The seal shook, foreign blood came alive along the boy's spine, bloodline wrenched-

Uchiha Obito jumped back in shock, his mask shattered to splinters as he turned intangible just barely in time to avoid his face being also split in twain by the golden chains that burst out of Naruto's back, Hyuuga Hiashi stumbled mid-leap as Masanari surged forward in the colour of stars and kicked through the intangible Uchiha-


-and covered Naruto just as the Uchiha became solid again and grabbed him.

Crap, Kurama thought as he automatically complied.

But despite that the Uchiha grabbed Masanari first, Kurama's chakra reached him anyway, and suddenly both man and child were in the dark with him.

What just happened? Kurama wondered, thoughts reeling as he pulled himself and the other two all the way into the seal where mind worked fastest. It felt like an injury, but it wasn't-it was-internal bleeding but not the brat's blood, what-? Those chains! The brat had those accursed chains, those chains that could bind him and seal his chakra away, those accursed chains, the hells and heavens alike damn you Kushina!

"-re are we, what is this place, it's gross-" splash, splash, splash went the water as the man ran almost as fast as the brat's mouth. "- I was so scared but I knew you'd save me, you always save me, you can do anything but why did he call me the Kyuubi brat, I'm not a rabbit-"


Naruto screamed in fright, finally looking up. He gasped.

"Kurama!" Masanari skid to a halt, put Naruto down and walked over to squeeze between the bars, what the hell is he completely craz - "I need you to teach me ninshu!"

Kurama stared stupidly at the extended fist. "What did you just say?"

"I need you to teach me ninshu!" Masanari couldn't get through so he gave up with a huff and squeezed until his fist was past the bars. Pointing up. At him. What. "Quick, we don't have time to waste! You're Hagoromo's firstborn, he must've taught you how to do it, that's how you know everything that's been happening despite being locked up in here, right? You couldn't have heard me call you, you just know!"

Kurama shied away. "A-are you mad, human? My chakra will burn you to ash!"

"How? Your thing is wind, not fire, and you're just one giant chunk of Yang anyway!"

Kurama gaped at the madman, absolutely stumped.

It was to this frozen tableau of utter batshit lunacy that Uzumaki Naruto opened his fool mouth. "Oh my god, it's the Moon Rabbit!"

Kurama saw white and slammed his claws into the seal with a roar. "I'll kill you!"

"AAAH!" Naruto jumped behind Masanari to hide. "U-uncle, it's the Kyuubi!"

"Naruto, go find a corner to sit in or something, grownups are talking."

"What?! But-"

Kurama roared.

It was the strongest, loudest, most cataclysmic outburst he'd had since that night, the water practically exploded away until the floor was exposed for the first time since his sealing.

Uzumaki just cringed and hid behind Hanzo harder. "Uncle! It's the Kyuubi! The Kyuubi's here, he showed up out of nowhere to bully me! Make him stop!"

"Oh for fuck's sake!" Masanari wrenched himself out from between the bars, picked Naruto up, walked ten paces away, dropped him and said. "Stay here or I'm taking Gama away."

Naruto gasped. "You can't!"

But the brat did as he was told and soon Masanari was back to reaching through the bars. "Kurama." He said seriously, looking up in the fox's eyes. "Please."

"No!" Kurama spat reflexively, not even sure why. "You're mad! You don't know what you're asking!"

"Obviously, I'm taking a leap of faith here!"

"Faith?" Kurama's ears flattened. "In me? You're even crazier than I thought!"

"In the risk being worth it, God, why couldn't that moron wait a few more months before springing this, now I can't coax you into it properly, fuck my life."

"Coax me?" Kurama hissed. "Coax me?! Who do you think you are? Who do you think I am to be coaxed into anything, I should eat you, the audacity-!"

"Why are you so mean!?" Naruto wailed from where he fell on his butt in the water. "I don't care if you scream at me, but Uncle's the greatest! Why are you even here? And you even tried to kill me and that's rude, trying to kill people! What did we ever do to you!?"

"You're my prison! Why would I ever be happy to see you?!"

"What do you mean?! I've never met you before in my life!"

Masanari banged his head against the bar. "Ume, why are all the children in my life complete morons?"

"Morons? Children?" Kurama snarled, itching to skewer the man. "Children?!" It would be so easy, he was right there. "You forget your place, human. You forget who you're speaking to."

"No, I really don't." Masanari turned his back on him and walked away. Stopped in front of the jailer. Took a knee with his back to him. Within reach. Within his claws' stabbing distance. He could stab him, claw at him, kill him, cripple his body here and outside, he could break his mind on his razor talons, how dare he, how dare he, how could he, why-?

"Naruto. Obito is completely wrong about everything. The world without us humans would be kill or be killed. That's the only law that rules in nature. The best growing tree will starve all others near it. A cat won't stop playing with its food because the mouse might hurt. No goat considers that eating plants all the way to the root means less to eat later. No predator animal goes hunting thinking 'I'll only hunt what I need'. Locusts would eat everything if they could. Every beast, big or small, seeks territory, food, and to multiply without end, and the only reason they all fail is because they either run out of food or become the food. And there's no limit to the creatures that hurt and kill and eat their own. The only thing we're guilty of is winning nature's contest. Of everything on this world, we're the only ones who ever think 'wolves and snakes have been our bane forever, but we should still be careful not to eradicate them.' All the reason in the world, all wisdom and patience, all long-term consideration that exists on this Earth, all mercy comes from us."

"Some apes do it too!" Kurama spat in his desperation to distract himself from the urge to murder the man, he was no base beast to be ruled by urges. "And-and elephants! And otters play with anyone and… you're forgetting summons too!"

"Exceptions prove the rule!" Masanari shot back over his shoulder. "And I'm building a whole theory for summons, or I was before Uchiha Obito decided to crash into my life." Masanari turned back to Naruto. "Nephew, uncle loves you."

Naruto flinched back, teary-eyed. "N-no!" He pushed Masanari away, why-? "Y-you don't get to say that j-just because some bad guy showed up! I'm gonna earn it fair and square!"

"Oh Naruto, that's… I don't have time to get into why that's a bad way to live and it's some parts my fault. There's a crazy man out there who wants to burn the world because an evil jerk got to him when he was having the worst day of his life. I know you don't owe Kurama any sympathy, but we can't let Obito enslave him again. I need you to protect him alright?"


The certifiable maniac kissed Naruto on the forehead, stood and strode back to the bars, his Yin pouring into the seal with every step, infusing the air, pushing through the bars at Kurama, probing, whipping, latching and grasping uselessly in a bid to do things it was too knotted to do even if it any idea how, but the intent was so clear it was searing- "You dare?!" Kurama was livid, the man presumed to force the issue, he dared think he'd just bare his whole being to anyone, for any reason, just because he- "You have the arrogance of the Uchiha and the stubborn pride of the Senju themselves! One moment you're driven by logic and the next you throw it to the wind because of the most perverted sentimentality. Do you even know what you're asking? My hatred is all your kind's hatred piled up over centuries, every last grain of spite I ever felt that your kind felt is one I carry with me. It will break your mind! Would you become like the Uchiha outside, a slave to your own suffering?"

"That won't happen."

"You would still be you, but more fool, more mad. No restraint, no respect, your woe would have no end. Drunk on the pain of your victory you'll spare no thought for those who've suffered for your spoils, those who'll suffer for crossing your path and being left in your wake, betrayed and hopeless, if you do anything at all but lie and die of a broken spirit. Why ask me this? You've always stayed your course, pursued your heart's desires with eyes unclouded, even deprived and robbed of all your just reward at every turn, would you throw all that away, and for what? If it's the winner's justice you want, it will be fleeting, and this will not earn it regardless, you'll only be another one of the many woebegotten, silenced, stripped of voice and claim, not even a footnote in history!"

Kurama grit his teeth as the man before him waited for him to have his say as if he wasn't being blasted with a thousand years of underserved vitriol.

"…If it were anyone else, I would gladly break them. Why you, human? Is it not enough that the madman outside drove me to butcher your family and so many others? Would you have me finish the job? Would you have me start with the only one in your worthless species who restored our names and legacy back into this world that has spat upon us for so long? Would you throw my clemency back in my face?" Would you add to my suffering by making me the unwilling destroyer of even that?

"Oh Kurama." Did-did he just pity him?! "You don't understand humans any better than you father did, do you?"

"You arrogant, uppity, insufferable-!" Kurama was only half of his full self, just the leftover Yang of the world of yore with the Yin sealed in the Death God's stomach, but he was still himself and he had his own soul, he had Yin all his own. "Fine then! Let history burn once again upon a human's whim, see where it takes you."

Kurama loosened his chakra, connecting it to Masanari's with all the consideration he showed him, which was none of it. His father's teachings were to share chakra so that people could share spiritual energies with one another. Ninshu was meant to allow people to understand themselves and each other without communication, to lead the world into an era of peace. Never mind that complete understanding only made every other people dislike each other even more. Never mind that a single person could have so much pain, so much delusion, so much hate inside them as to poison all others that connected to them on any level. Even the best and worthiest of mankind were tainted, even here and now when he was baring himself to a demon beast, even he had a canker in his spirit. A devouring void that used to be a young, innocent soul far too long removed from the Pure World. What kind of man would be haunted by his own spawn like this, what had he done that his own son would turn to weighing and devouring his very spirit? If Kurama held anything against his father, it was that he believed in mankind when he shouldn't have-

A life lived until Kurama's coming ruined it. Another life lived, far different, older. A different time. A different world where no wonders existed save those that sprung from humanity's polluted dreams. Nations, visions, prejudice, machines that made it to the bottom of the ocean and beyond the sky into the cosmos itself. Carnage of a scale even Kurama had trouble fathoming, millions languishing in trenches, falling by the tens of thousands to mad charges and typhus and gangrene and starvation from ego and anger and logistical failures the entire time. And the world they bought in blood and lives… It languished under the perpetual threat of annihilation by inconceivable weapons, and even then it barely lasted. The cowardly and degenerate debased it through the loyalty of the strong and brave who lived for coin. With each generation the lives of mankind became more and more hollow. More and more empty. Until the only escape was in the fancies of imagination. Art. Books. Moving images. Still images turned moving images backed by voice and song depicting epiphanies that showed Kurama's world with terrifying accuracy, from the far past to a horrible alternate present and well into the future.

For the first time since ninjutsu came to be, Kurama joined a mere man in ninshu and it was his will that utterly broke in the face of the revelation.

He stumbled back and lost his footing. His flank and shoulder hit the stone floor with a splash. His breath was as erratic as the ripples in the red chakra making up his body. Red. And black. Flakes of gold flitting in and out of view as impossible anticipation warred with unfolding shock and existential crisis.

"That… That's a lot…"

Kurama blearily pried his eyes open, though his ears stayed flat against his neck and he stumbled back instead of forward when he tried to stand, his chakra and soul churning so violently that his whole body shivered.

Masanari was climbing to his knees, wet and pale and his eyes dreadfully clear as he bore the resentful suffering of ages of an immortal demon and just… pushed it all aside to deal with later because he had more urgent problems to worry about at the moment.

"How-" Kurama's scratchy voice caught in his throat, but he couldn't not force the words out. "How are you not catatonic?"

Masanari peered into the darkness of the seal and gave a feeble smile full of sickly indulgence. "Us humans have a cap on how depressed we can get, and I was all the way down for years. This is easily the worst I've ever felt, but I've been here before, at rock bottom."

No. No, he had been lower. Ninshu showed the truth of it with inescapable, wretched clarity, Masanari wasn't lying but he was wrong. Depression… Kurama thought he knew what it was, but he didn't. Hadn't. Even just the memory of it felt like he'd fall eternally into a gnawing pit of despair. If Kurama didn't have his rage to fill that void instead he didn't know what he'd do. If he didn't have all of man's negative emotions to make him seethe and writhe while impaled inside Kushina for so long, despair would surely have taken him. Accursed man, Kurama didn't want to be grateful to any suffering, damn him to the darkest hell. Damn him for being wrong, this wasn't rock bottom. It was close, but fell short. Something was different. Something had changed.

Masanari crawled away through the ankle-deep water and knelt next to Naruto's unconscious form. "I guess even just the proximity was too much for you, kid. Still so young…"

"How can you still – the first thing you do, compassion, here, now after what-? How-?" The leech. There had been something in the man's Yin, a leech inside his spirit. But it was gone now, just a raw, gaping wound in the knotted mess of his spirit. Kurama struggled to pick through the terrifying impossibilities that had completely shattered his beliefs, but he was sure it had been there, just before the… the…

"Suffering leads to compassion," Masanari said weakly. "Sometimes. And sometimes compassion prevents suffering. Hopefully." The man took a shuddering breath and- "Dammit, Naruto's still too young, too frail, chakra not homogenous enough, activating the chains guaranteed to have repercussions, figures it would be a bloody Uchiha that forced my hand, fuck." The man slumped and wiped a hand down his face. "Oh well. If contingencies were perfect, they'd be plan A."

"… What are you?"

The man huffed and shook his head. He didn't answer. Didn't seem to be all there himself.

"What have you done to me?" Kurama staggered to stand but he didn't approach the bars. The seal. He… he was - "What is all this – what was all – what I saw, it's insanity, it makes no sense!"

"Don't worry about it too much," the man grunted as he took off his jacket and folded it along with Naruto's shirt into a makeshift pillow for the child.

"Don't worry about- I'm having an existential crisis!" And now Kurama was feeling embarrassed too, embarrassed, him! He'll kill him, he'll- "You-that life, that world – you think you saw the future! You saw this world, somehow, what you know-what I witnessed…"

Masanari sat back on his heels and breathed slowly, trying to get his trembling under control as he curled his arms into his chest as if to stem the wretched void in his spirit that Kurama had so viciously ripped back open. Around them, the water began to ripple as the connection keeping all three tethered inside frayed along with the jailer's encroaching absence as the dark closed in.

Kurama snarled. "Why did you do this to me!?" He hated how harshly his voice broke at the end. "You… you know the future! You showed me the future, you entertained yourself watching my future, all this world's future, what am I supposed to do with this?"

"Nothing right now, I hope," Masanari said weakly. "You can think about it until you run out of ideas. Then forget about it. Something will dawn on you after a while. Do that, whatever it is. Ignore every impulse between now and then. Everyone except me being rash and crazy is what got us into this mess, don't be one of them too. Please."

"Fuck you!" Kurama roared, taking what refuge he could in bravado as gold and black burned into and out of each other all over his frame at the man's earnest plea. He felt like he would puke, even the gold and silver brothers hadn't made him so sick. "Don't beg, it's disgusting!" But the way the black bloomed into gold for a moment gave light to his true feelings. "I mean it!"

"I believe you."

"I'm not going to add to madness in the world!" Kurama roared, his limbs moving ahead of him as he started pacing furiously back and forth, his tails all but causing storms as he moved. "You're crazy! Every one of you humans, you're all sick. Repulsive. I can't stand you! You think showing me the future will make me help you?! Your future sucks!"


"There's going to be another war! And everything up to there is going to be a total mess that nobody will care about until it's too late, because of the blissful illusion they build over the seedy underbelly of this place! By a perverted womaniser who abandoned his chief responsibility on a dumb old man's say so! Your best words went in one ear and came down the other, why do you think I'll have better luck?! You, cursed with knowledge, all your kin are dead, I killed them all, and more children will be dead from here onwards, there's going to be terrorists coming for us, we don't even have that word here yet you bastard!"


"The lunatic outside is mind-controlling the strongest among your wretched kind! My father's eyes will be slaved to the lunatic outside! Your future would have me sympathise with that delusional nutcase, fuck you and fuck him! And the rest of the Uchiha too! How the hell did that stupid ANBU child live that long, never mind his illness?! Killing all of your relatives except for your favorite is somehow forgivable as long as you have some masked old man telling you to do it? It means you can then delude yourself into thinking it was a self-sacrifice, are you crazy?! And then everyone else also believes it! Your Hokage and everyone else too! Even when it's only a sacrifice of literally everyone else but yourself, why should I lift a finger to help any of them- any of you when you're all so… so… ARGH!"

The seal shook at his howl the hardest it ever had, the scraps of golden chakra casting away from him so the rest of all of him could burn vicious, foul, red and black, as terrible as the fate of all those monsters once he gets his claws into them.

"And Uzumaki Naruto," Kurama's throat rumbled with disbelieving rage. "This brat. He'll make grand boasts and never follow through because he'll waste his life chasing acknowledgment from a second-rate Uchiha. And when that Uchiha successfully beats him to death and he only survives because I save him multiple times in ten minutes, this brat will be so amazed that the Uchiha chickened out at the last second that he'll see him as the one who acknowledged him the most! Because it's not like his godfather taught him his father's legacy and two different Hokage chose to put all their faith in him to the point they willingly died for it. Uzumaki Naruto will even forgive the genocide of his own species as long as the madman who commits it feels a little bad afterwards! I will never become willing partners with someone like that! I'd have to go mad first! I'd have to be mind-controlled again somehow, it's the only explanation! It's insane! You're insane! I'm not! I'm not crazy, I'm not going crazy like the rest of you, you hear me human?!"

Kurama came out of his tirade breathing heavily, his fur bristling like spears as black and gold flowed over it like liquid life turned half to poison.

"It doesn't matter," Hanzo said. "In the end, you still saved the world."

The fox faltered.

Laboriously but strangely smoothly at the same time, the man climbed to his feet. "My name is Masanari Hanzo. In the life before this one I was Miron Cadáin O'Conroy. My likes are clam stew, sunshine and peace and quiet. I dislike nagging, extroverts and liars. My dream for the future is to fix this world's schizophrenic technological base in time for the follow-up invasion of Kaguya's siblings. And I always thought that Naruto was never the hero of that story." The man turned to look into the cage. "You didn't put the fight you could have against Hashirama even mind controlled. You only attacked Konoha because you were mind controlled again. You didn't try to kill Naruto or his parents until you saw they meant to seal you back. You won Naruto's battle against Haku. You won him the battle against Hyuuga Neji. You won him the battle against Shukaku. You saved his life and won him the battle against Uchiha Sasuke up until he threw it. You fought off Orochimaru, you convinced Sasuke not to murder Naruto right after, you saved his arm after Kakuzu – his one single triumph of strength, and even that was bought with all the endurance and chakra your seal gave him. And you literally carried him through the entire Fourth Ninja War. You were the hero of that story, not him."

Kurama had no idea what to say.

"I'm not asking you to help me save anyone. I know you'll do the right thing when the time comes. Of everyone I know of in this world, you're the only one who never failed when it counted."

Kurama slumped. "I… You're insane"

"Hopefully temporarily," Hanzo grunted. "Especially if I do go ahead and die in the next few minutes." But his gaze and tone both melted back into that earnest sincerity Kurama so dreaded now. "Thank you, Kurama. Really. Your father should be proud of you, and if he's not, I'll kick him in the nuts on your behalf when I see him in heaven. Forget Indra or Asura, his Heir should have been you. None of them knew what the hell they were doing anyway."

Kurama sunk into the water with his eyes buried in his arms. "Why couldn't you just let the Uchiha all die?"

But Masanari batted aside his poor deflection like it wasn't even a fly. "It's not easy being cursed with knowledge. I'm sorry, but I couldn't trust this to anyone else."

"Go to hell." Even after what Kurama did to him, even though this didn't even begin to make up for how Kurama hurt him, Masanari still looked at him like all his beliefs had just been validated. What was he supposed to do with this?

"Power circuit established, amperage steady at 66, paralysis success."

What was he talking about now?

Water waded. Kurama watched as the man dropped to his knees next to Naruto again and… and his chakra, his spiritual energy flowed forth from him, crudely but well enough now that he and the boy were joined in ninshu just well enough, for a moment.

"Adamantine Sealing Chains… discerned."

With a grim final smile, Masanari Hanzo disappeared from the seal, back to the real world and the Uchiha maniac wanting to murder him. Or worse.

Kurama snarled and jumped to his feet. "Damn you!" Kurama hated humans, but he hated it even more that one always showed up who made him reconsider, who made him trust in an all new, vain hope for the future. "Curse you!" He hurled the last of the golden chakra away before it dissipated, before he took it back and it turned again into the seething, bitter red that made up his whole being now. Let the purified Yang of his remorse fall where it may.

Let the ghosts in the seal hide from him now.

"Damn you," he faltered out, not knowing who he was cursing anymore. "Why couldn't you have lived during my father's time?"

Hanzo sprouted claws, slashed the clothes under his arm with a blast of smoke while Uchiha couldn't move, why-?


The nail shooter blew a hole through Uchiha's chest and straight through Zetsu's face.

Part three of this chapter is available on Patreon, Ko-fi and Subscribestar. Many thanks to the gift economy for making it so the hope that I'll be able to update this monthly from now on is actually a realistic notion again.
Chapter 12: The Grit of the Sublimely Accomplished (III)

Karmic Acumen

Well-known member
A/N: Do not fuck with the white mage.


"-. Hyuuga Hiashi, Jonin of Konhagakure, Head of the Hyuuga Clan .-"​

"Nobody move or the Kyuubi brat gets it."

I may have made a mistake.

"I advise against whatever it is you're planning."

Hyuuga Hiashi found himself in the unenviable position of having to reconsider all of his choices.

Perhaps not all his life's choices, but his actions of the past day required an urgent reassessment at the very least. Certainly all his choices of the past ten minutes.

"Doctor, I'm surprised at you. Condescending to other people, why, one might mistake you for someone else!"

I did not underestimate the enemy.

"At least it would be other people mistaking my identity and not me."

The enemy had been completely blindsided. The enemy endured the strongest Hyuuga technique seemingly unscathed. The defense was some sort of living second skin technique. The same technique was responsible for his perfect disguise. A second enemy had been lurking nearby without the Byakuygan catching the barest sign.

"Whatever could you be insinuating, doctor? Was it not all of you who mistook me for the poor gatewarden? Besides, I don't remember making any claims to any identity, now did I?"

Now Konoha's Jinchuuriki had a knife to his throat because of it.

"Naruto," Masanari began speaking tongues. "This is the bad man who forced Kurama to kill your mom and dad and the village."

It took a self-taught civilian to avert the same from happening to Hiashi's own daughter and all other clan heirs.

"What?! He's-AH!"

I underestimated my allies and overestimated myself.

"Speaking in tongues now, Doctor?" Uchiha Obito said idly while twisting Naruto's head by the hair. "Don't you think that's rude?"

Masanari had comprehended the situation before anyone else, but Hiashi had been too self-absorbed to recognize his all too deliberate de-escalation.

"Kid, your keeper just gutted me, you have no room to talk."

All of which led to the man being gored through the gut by wood release.

"Did he? It doesn't seem to impair you much." The black and white creature began to slither out of the ground behind the enemy, arm missing and a massive gouge in its torso slowly knitting together like black tar. "That was quite the feat you pulled off too, as far as it goes. How many Celestial Gates did you have to open just to match a mere shunshin?"

Eight Trigrams Time Distension.

It was beyond wasteful to accelerate one's personal time just to stand there, but the only thing more impossible than Senju Hashirama's technique re-emerging – in the hands of enemies – was seeing Masanari's gut wound closing as he talked. That, too was, a technique only ever exhibited by the First Hokage, though leaving the surface layer bloody and torn was subterfuge that only the Byakugan let Hiashi see through. All this on top of seeing him open all Celestial Gates at once, something that should have taken considerable time, something that should have been fatal regardless of circumstances, and now the others... The Uchiha and his own clan members were frozen mid-way through absconding, the Ino-Shika-Cho trio were just as still in the face of Obito's threat, there were abnormal movements in Nara Shikaku's throat…


Hyuuga Hiashi kept his eyes pinned on Uchiha Obito, but it was the Jonin Commander he paid closest attention to as Eight Trigrams Time Distension finally ran its course.

"Naruto, stop squirming. You're throwing me off."

Nara had strategically made sure to land in a spot where Hiashi impaired Uchiha's line of sight.

"Yes, brat, stop squirming and watch, your uncle and I are about to show you how the world works."

Orders? Hiashi signed behind his sleeve.

"Kid, you don't want to get into this with me."

"See, fox brat? Your uncle wants peace, but at the same time he's just aching to charge at me in a flash and hurt me like he hurt guruguru. In the end, the life of humans always comes to this."

Premeditated stunt, Nara Shikaku conveyed. Hiashi took careful note of his throat movements while Masanari bravely endured the missing nin's galling soliloquy that followed. Trash-talking too weak, hostile not even trying, likely distraction, presume enemy backup imminent, will pretend retreat at first opportunity to check for other insurgents, Uchiha have perimeter, stall. The Hyuuga chief had much less trouble than he wished in pretending he was giving the two all his attention, as opposed to the jonin-commander whose plan finally began to show its shape while-

"And this, Naruto, is projection, when you know you're bad but instead of stopping, you choose to delude yourself into thinking everyone else is bad too because you're a coward."

"Maybe I was wrong about you, Doctor." Uchiha Obito said as Masanari's insolent choice to use him as an abject lesson for a seven-year-old child finally made him lose his composure. "I thought you to be one of the rare enlightened, but in the end even you default to petty insults. And to think that we share the same pain-"

"If you dare say I should sympathise with you murdering my entire family because of a thirteen year old brat's decade-long tantrum over not getting the girl, I will fucking lose it, I swear to God."

Hiashi barely managed not to lose his composure like Chouza and half of everyone else when Masanari literally threw Uchiha Obito's trauma back in his face. Was he serious, was it even true, were the enemy's motivations truly so petty, what kind of world was this, how was he supposed to do any stalling after this, was this man suicidal-?

"WHAT? No… That's impossible! The Fourth would never get beat by someone so lame!"

It was to the frozen tableau of clashing beliefs derailed by Uzumaki Naruto's fool mouth that Hyuuga Hiashi felt his mouth drop open.

"… Alright, brat. That's enough out of you." Uchiha gripped Uzumaki from behind his ears and Hiashi tensed, his Byakugan saw exactly how chakra injected into the child through the thumb, he was going to – Hiashi blinked away red as the child snapped awake before he was even half asleep. "Oh, the fox is paying attention?" Uchiha yanked Naruto's head around by the hair-

"Kid, I sincerely advise against what you're planning."

Ushiha Obito's Sharingan stared into-

Uzumaki screamed.

Uchiha Obito jumped back in shock, the orange mask shattered to splinters as he turned intangible, just barely in time to avoid his face being also split in twain by the golden chains that burst out of Uzumaki, Ino-Shika-Chou leaped back and out of sight as fast as body flicker could take them, the Uchiha clan and guests scattered with the children - Now-agh! Hiashi stumbled mid-leap. My eyes! – Masanari surged forward in an eye-searing flash and kicked through the intangible Uchiha-


-and covered Uzumaki with his body just as the Uchiha became solid again and grabbed him.

The Gates, they're blinding, what did he just say – no, no time! "Eight trigrams-!"

Obito froze, choked, he trembled impotently, eyes bulging against the white crust that covered half his face as arteries and veins throbbed beneath his crumpled skin, a massive amount of chakra flared in his heretofore hidden second Sharingan only to vanish just as suddenly, Hiashi struggled to see it all clearly even in time dilation on account of being flash-blinded again, somehow the nin was frozen stiff even as Masanari tore open his own clothes with bone claws – the Kaguya bloodline? – seal smoke, some manner of piped tool fell into his hand from a seal on his armpit, Masanari pointed it behind under his arm, what was that supposed – the enemy is paralysed, now's my chance!


The sound of thunder blew a hole through Uchiha's chest and straight through the thing's face.

Hiashi flinched. I only saw a streak. His disbelief nearly brought him crashing on his face as he skidded to a halt between Uchiha and the creature. Even with the Hyuuga space-time technique I only saw a streak, had I been slightly faster – you are within the range of my divination!

"Two Hundred and Fifty-Six Palms!"

One hundred and twenty eight on Uchiha, one hundred and twenty eight on the thing, the satisfying staccato of crumpled flesh and shattered wood landed each and every time in as little as it took Masanari to whirl around and now Masanari had Uchiha by the hand while – don't point that thing at me!

Hiashi ducked.




The rock gun jutsu blew Uchiha Obito's Sharingan eyes out the back of his skull, once, twice and he was dead, Masanari just killed him, killed without a scrap of killing intent, his enemy's blood and brains were spraying his face after his first kill and there was nary a flinch even in time dilation, what kind of mind-?


The shock of everyone and the thing behind him was like physical weight as the rest of the head of wood and tar blew to pieces.

A weapon with no chakra, Hiashi's thoughts raced as he rushed to reposition through the molasses that air became in dilated time, the blood and brain spray above him already too wide to avoid as Time Distension elapsed, omnitenketsu chakra burst to deflect gore, a weapon that shoots c-rank earth techniques with no chakra, no, no mere c-rank, the speed does not compare! "HAH!"


The flesh and wood creature folded over his palm strike, Hiashi may not see its chakra system but the Gentle Fist could be a misnomer in times of need-

BANG BANG went through Obito's heart and his head again. "Don't let your guard down, he might still respawn! He's only vulnerable to Yin Release!"

He might what? But the Byakugan clearly saw the Uchiha Clan head blanch on the roof behind him.

"Izanagi?" Fugaku whispered behind his hand, inaudibly but a trifle to spot to the Hiashi's eyes. "How-with what Sharingan? No, can't risk it!" His hands flew through signs.

Damn the Uchiha and their secrets!

"Scatter!" Yelled Fugaku's second.

A gigantic Fireball descended from the rooftops.

"No don't, FUCK!"

Hiashi was already mid-leap when he saw Masanari jump over Uzumaki and not run.

Back on the rooftop, Fugaku blanched.

… We keep treating him like a ninja!

The Supreme Fireball Technique slammed where Hiashi had been with all the physical force that only a ninjutsu master could impart on fire.

The fireball exploded violently, red and gold flames detonated like one of the Four-Tail's magma bombs he'd once had the misfortune of facing, the grass vaporised, the lake's water beyond frothed backwards in an upsurge of steam, the earth crumbled and cratered, charred blacker than black just from the pyroclasm, Hiashi had to make one full kaiten spin the moment he landed just to rebuff the heat, assess ally status – of all the times for Masanari to become completely invisible to Byakuygan, confound that man! "Masanari!"

Movement in the flames not where the Uzumaki child had been.

"Eight Trigrams Vacuum Palm!"

Pressurised air blasted a funnel straight through the flames and the black and white creature.

Only for the swaying thing to catch itself as if it wasn't missing its spine and snake between five additional fire techniques at Obito's charred corpse.

Hiashi body flickered, but already knew he wouldn't be in ti-

An Adamantine Sealing Chain burst out of the ground right in the thing's path, two, three in an instant, even the fourth was dodged just barely – "URK!" – the creature's rasp of pain was satisfying but Hiashi had to lurch aside so he wasn't also caught in the next fifteen – no, not so many, it was the same chains bursting, growing, folding over and over through their prey and then back, even as others did the same to the Uchiha's carcass, once, twice, five, nine in all, how could Uzumaki – no, not the Uzumaki boy, the Byakuygan had no problem seeing through the ground to spot the end of those – wait, the Uzumaki boy himself was invisible to the Byakugan as well now, how? "Masanari," Hiashi grunted to himself as the strain of too many space-time techniques made itself known. "What can't you do?"

The black tar poured out of the creature and whipped itself at the corpse, the chains held firm, the sludge splattered past in loose chunks, moved as one in a chaos of wiggling threads, how, there was barely a palm's space between the chains- "Vacuum-!" -


Hiashi had to strafe away from a Chakra Chain bursting from the ground at his feet, Masanari why?


The black tar splattered itself over a giant tongue.


Gama the Toad fell down from the sky right on Uchiha's corpse, its tongue a wall wreathed in blue light, where did it come from? The Byakugan didn't see it but it could before, another thing he didn't even register vanish from his perception, what was happening here?


Hyuuga Hiashi stared in incomprehension at what he was seeing.

"Curses, what now?!" The black tar shrieked with Hiashi's own outrage.

The giant tongue wrapped around the living sludge and yanked

"Guh!" The black sludge gargled as it spread and hooked itself into the ground. "You fool, this won't work, no matter how much of me you destroy, I can always come back-" The ground began glowing as well, dislodging the black ropes, motes of blue and gold light rising up from the charred earth, arcs of light shooting from one to the next while black drops wriggled inside. "Wha-no, no this is ridiculous, by my mother, how are you doing this, how many tricks do you have, what is this, how are you even controlling this mindless beast, you – ninshu?! Ninshu, that fool boy's idiotic dream, you dare think you can use this against me, me when I'm the one who-!"

With one last wrench, the screaming ooze vanished down the toad's maw.


Around the beast, the world burned.

"… Masanari?" Hiashi didn't even know if he was addressing the fire or the toad anymore.

Gama gurgled.

The toad flinched, its stomach wriggled, its eyes crossed as its face twisted in nether pains, the blue shine began to flicker and shimmer wildly on its skin, the lightning arcs shooting over its form began to spew chaotically everywhere – SQUELCH – the black ooze spurt out through its nostrils, pried its jaws open, burst out from its mouth, even its eyes seemed about to pop out as black seeped from behind them and the sounds-

"- I'll not be food for some frog's guts-!"

A sheet of blue light rose from the earth.

It fluttered through the conjoined abomination, its surface silk-like and gossamer-thin, soundless, almost languid, and where it passed everything else fell still.

Gama swallowed hard, turned around and jumped into the fire.

Hiashi made an aborted move, but where the flames didn't stop him, the chains did. A muffled thump came from within the conflagration but nothing else. Fugaku landed beside him, his face showing none of the pride that would normally be warranted after displaying such a fire technique that broke ground and still burned after so long with no fuel save naked earth. The Uchiha Clan head breathed out, then looped his fingers in front of his lips as if about to cast again, but instead inhaled.

Over a long, tense fifteen seconds, all the fire-aspected chakra in the conflagration returned to the source.

The flames thinned and began to go out. Shapes began to distinguish themselves again, then all the colors other than burning red. The toad stood stiff in a translucent silk-like shell, wracked by microshivers as a rising tide of blue light motes flowed through it from the ground. The Uzumaki boy was curled up on the ground, unconscious, enclosed in a cage made of the golden chains coming out of his back, wreathed in a blue shell of light inside that that the Byakugan couldn't see, though normal sight did. Over and around the boy, Masanari was a shield of horribly burned flesh, hissing, smelling like pork as hard-charred crust crackled with his every movement. Nine glowing chains of his own stuck from his spine as the flesh visibly knitted before their eyes, rebuilding melted meat, shedding charred flesh and fabric, forming new skin, hair growing back where there was none left, Hiashi could see in real time as fused meat gave way to new sinews and skin upwards from the fingertips as he touched the toad -

Blood burst out of the man from a hundred places and travelled around him in straight angles like threads of steel, piercing the toad straight through from foot to head.

"Yin Release: Trito's Tribulation."

Almost drunkenly, the giant toad kicked a leg, wobbled, blinked, opened its mouth and-


Hiashi twitched, he grit his teeth, found no solace in seeing Fugaku flinch as well next to him, dear gods it sounds like a baby.

Mercifully, the toad ran out of breath. But it only gurgled something and then screamed even louder.


The animal thrashed in its impalement, writing on itself as it kicked its legs in desperation, opening its maw wide to-


The shriek was painful to the ears, by the highest gods, he knew frogs and toads screamed in self-defense, but he didn't-


That was when the black sludge began to seep out through its skin.


The black muck came out in droplets, traces, yet somehow the desperate scream still became two.


Beside him, Fugaku looked like he wanted to point his Sharingan at everything other than the screaming abomination.

"HuUuaAAAaaAAaooOooOOOooOOGH, oH YoU WreTCH, yOu tHInK you've WOn, yOu THInK yOU'rE DIFFerEnt, thINk yOu alONe Are DIffErENt, you'rE noT difFErENT, DON't PreTEND yOU'rE nOt TAkIng adVaNtAge of OTheRS, What do YOu EVeN thINk YOu knoW, YoU Don'T know AnyThiNG, YoU Don'T know WhAt I kNow, you DON't KNOw, You can'T kNow, The fuTuRE is NoT yOurs To Know, i deciDE WhO KnoWs, i dEcidE And It's NoT WHaT You knoW, i cREatEd this World, THE NinjA wORld iS Mine, You CAn NEvER eSCaPe, YoU Can'T ChANgE-!"

The spikes of blood pulled out of the toad with the last of the black, the tar-like creature reduced to barely enough to fill a cup's worth.

The battlefield erupted in blue light. Living plasma rose from the earth in a soundless, rustling upsurge. It converged on the center like a swarm of fireflies to surround the rambling, screaming sludge in an impervious barrier, the more arose, gathered, entering Gama, entering Masanari, wrapping around him, blending with him until Hiashi couldn't tell where he ended and the cloak of power began, the cloak that still grew outwards and upwards, iridescent, shimmering, azure like the deepest sky, up and up, taller than the buildings around them, then outward and down again to unfold over the man in the shape of a… a…

"S-susanoo?" Fugaku gasped.

A giant.

A guardian spirit, tall, muscular, dressed in helm, breastplate and armlets of a make Hiashi had never seen. The lower body diffused around its master, giving of itself to support him, protect his modesty, protect him by wrapping, fusing with him, merging in what looked impossibly like a jinchuuriki's chakra cloak and the Raikage's lightning body in one. Its face was unfathomable beneath its full face helm. And the mantle… it fell down around Masanari like a wide, tapered, protective veil. And grew. The mantle flowed outward along the ground, then further and higher through the air, enfolding everything in a shifting weave spliced from many bands, some growing forward, some rising up and back, ethereal and buoyant. They barely shifted, they didn't even flutter in the wind, instead they shimmered into sight as Hiashi watched, lightning arcs and plasma motes unseaming themselves from its outline, coming together and adding to their length as if the spectre was weaving itself into the world and out of the world in reverse.

In one hand was a spear. A second gripped a chain acting as the toad's leash. The third held a large shield in front of its master, round, see-through and impregnable. And the fourth…

The fourth hand held the writing creature in a sphere of light from which it thrashed and failed utterly to escape.

"Hiashi," Fugaku said lowly beside him, the tomoes spinning in his Sharingan eyes. "That's not chakra."

He was right, the Byakugan could see nothing – no, wait, there was something, a funnel of gold coursing here and there behind the great blue cloak, small but growing slightly and slightly more with every ebb and flow.

"Yang Release: Yemo's Sacrifice."

[The Sacrifice] lifted its spear high, then thrust down.


A shearing wind. A flash of light. The burbling scream was ran through with a sharp, ringing sound like a song as the spear pierced the sphere.


The tip stabbed through, gored the tar and splintered, burst in a spray of shards, strands and links of lightning fireflies that cut and ripped and burned and kept going. The shaft followed, tearing, twisting, ripping the black mass apart and twisting it on itself as it went in, eating itself along with the abomination in a churning, shrieking, crunching, crackling, storm-wrought hysteria of mutually assured destruction.

"No You cAn'T, You cAN't, You cAN't, You cAN't, You cAN't dO THis, You cAN't, I won't dIE, I CAN'T diE, nOt NOw, Not nOW I'm SO close MoTHer-!"

[The Sacrifice] did not stop until the spear was all the way inside to the end of the shaft.

"NoOooOooOO, You can NeVER cHANGe, NOthiNG WILL changE, I SeE WHAT you sEE, I kNOw what yOu KnOW, WHAT you tHINk yoU kNOw, You ThInK You kNOW BUT You DON't, i CrEAteD This WorlD, yOU are Not iTS mESSIaH, YoU Can't KiLL me, YOU FOOl I aM tHE WILL oF God, don't KiLL me, NO, NO, nOT NOw, Not nOW, I'm SO close, I'm SO close MoTHer, MoTHer, SaVe mE MoTHer, STOP, AAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"

With one last, bone-rattling scream, the black sludge died.

[The Sacrifice] did not stop, forfeiting an entire arm until there was naught left in the sphere besides vapour.

All fell silent, save the last gasps of the guttering flames.

Hyuuga Hiashi stood there, speechless.

Were… were the Uzumaki always so formidable?

But what was that thing, what was it rambling? Its claims, preposterous, for them to be even remotely true it would have to... How could any of it be real? What sense could one make of the world if…?

… Those drawings and stories weren't fairy tales?

"… c-c-croak…"

Masanari finally turned to face them, an opaque haze of living plasma clothing his tall, muscular frame, now fully healed once more. His gaze was unfocused but his presence more present, somehow. He pat the great toad, dispelled the chain leashing it and it seemed to rest easier. Behind him, Uzumaki Naruto remained surrounded in a glowing blue field and a cage of chains, still asleep. Above him, [The Sacrifice] regrew its arm and grasped a new spear made of the former chain's weightless mass, once more whole of body and only slightly smaller than before.

All around them, the last fire from Fugaku's Supreme Fireball finally went out.

But silence didn't return. There were other noises of battle now, muffled and out of sight, but not truly distant. Outside the passive range of his Byakugan but surely not beyond a focused scan, he needed but switch to long-range view-

"What have you done?"

Hiashi leaped and spun, landing in guard position next Masanari, facing the source of the voice almost at the same time as Fugaku did the same on the man's other side – i-impossible, how did he still live, no one could have survived that!

But there he stood, as if he'd never been touched after he lost his mask. The lone Sharingan was locked on Masanari, opened wide as if it had never been blown to paste along with his brain.

"Uchiha Obito," Masanari sounded everything but surprised as – crack! – an adamantine Sealing Chain erupted from the ground behind Uchiha Obito and came out through his front. "How's the heart?"

Slowly, in a stupor, Uchiha Obito looked down and brought a hand to his chest. It passed through the chain like a ghost, like the rest of him, the chain was through his back and came out the front but didn't even touch him, what a ludicrous power, how was a Hyuuga supposed to fight something like that?

He's only vulnerable to Yin release.

The Hyuuga style favoured the inner path, he couldn't do more than the first step of the Sixty Four Hexagrams kinjutsu and it took time he didn't have, he had no combat iryojutsu, his genjutsu was barely any better and would be foolish to try on an Uchiha with a mastered Sharingan regardless-wait-

That eye, those aren't mere tomoes, what kind of Sharingan is that?

[The Sacrifice] brushed against him, a single sliver of its mantle passed through him for but a moment, and suddenly Hiashi felt strong. His chakra… it was returning!

Not a moment has gone by today without me having to reassess this man.

"Freedom for freedom," Masanari said next to him, not taking his eyes of the madman. His words seemed borne of some unseen weight. Above them all, [The Sacrifice] loomed like a spectre of retribution possessed of a palpable will to destroy. "And no, freeing Naruto from the shackles of ignorance doesn't count."

What did he mean? Obito's heart was as whole as the rest of him again – wait, no, something was different, a difference in shades to his Byakugan sight, not through the heart but around it, over it, he'd need to get close and focus on that area to the exclusion of all else to see properly but even from afar… The heart looked less unnatural than the rest of him now, but in a strange pattern that was not natural, almost angular. Something had changed about it, but what?

More chains burst out of the ground all around Uchiha Obito, spearing through him without harm, enclosing him and the space around him, crossing overlays, building a dome inside a dome inside a dome around him with the smallest gap just barely enough to toss a kunai through.

"Take your win and go."

Win? But he lost.

Didn't he?

The enemy stared at Masanari, silent, unmoving and untouchable. The clamour of weapons and techniques rose stronger beyond the compound's inner walls. Flashes of fire, arcs of lightning and bursts of wind began to toss dust, smoke, leaves and bodies in the air.

Hiashi watched Uchiha Obito closely, but even with his mastery of reading people augmented by the Byakugan, he couldn't tell what the half-plant manchild was thinking at all.

With a thundering roar from just five streets away, Akimichi Chouza grew into a giant so tall he blocked out the afternoon sun, tossing like ragdolls half a dozen bodies dressed in masks and black cloaks with red clouds.

The next moment, Hiashi felt the indiscriminate, mass telepathic transmission of Yamanaka Inoichi, crystal clear with first-hand memories of numbers, masks and seemings.

Uchiha Obito stared. Just stared with that lone, bizarre Sharingan eye, not one flicker of chakra to suggest he was using techniques or whatever else. Looked from Chouza to Masanari and back.



"Orochimaru can have you."

With but a ripple from his lone eye, the man was gone.

Hyuuga Hiashi faltered. Across from Masanari, Fugaku did the same before he began scanning the area closely with the Sharingan. Masanari, too, seemed to be doing something, though Hiashi could barely tell based on what he previously observed of the man when he turned his thoughts inward. Doing his own part, Hiashi scoured the area with the Byakugan and found no trace of the interloper, even among the other foes after a careful scan around him with long-range sight.

The fight had concluded. The enemy had fled. So why did he feel like nothing at all had been resolved? No, that, at least, was easy to answer.

A battle Hiashi had started was ended by a technical noncombatant. The same noncombatant had to suffer all the retaliation that might have otherwise resulted in the worst of personal loss for everyone there. At the hands of an enemy Hiashi's eyes didn't see. In service of the enemy his eyes did see, to the exclusion of all else despite that he should have known better.

Sharingan, evolved Sharingan, intangibility, resurrection, and now teleportation as well, a technique superior to even that of the Fourth and Second Hokages themselves, as if the First Hokage's legendary ninjutsu was not already disastrous all by itself in the hands of an adversary.

What a monstrous enemy.

Chapter 13 is available on Patreon, Ko-fi and Subscribestar.


Well-known member
I'm a little irratated that your science bro is stupid powerful.

I'm sure you can explain it. It might just be how long it's been since I read the rest, but..... I remember when I got into fights as a kid.

There's a reason why those who train for conflict are better at it than those who don't, and a large part of that is the sheer confusion that a complex fight generates. And your guy's a scientist.

He's cool, in all sorts of ways. But, being able to deal with a battle to the death out of nowhere is something entirely different.

I'm not saying don't do this. Just pointing out what I see.

Karmic Acumen

Well-known member
I'm a little irratated that your science bro is stupid powerful.

I'm sure you can explain it. It might just be how long it's been since I read the rest, but..... I remember when I got into fights as a kid.

There's a reason why those who train for conflict are better at it than those who don't, and a large part of that is the sheer confusion that a complex fight generates. And your guy's a scientist.

He's cool, in all sorts of ways. But, being able to deal with a battle to the death out of nowhere is something entirely different.

I'm not saying don't do this. Just pointing out what I see.
The ninja did do better, they didn't get themselves (fatally) immolated by friendly fire for one.

Otherwise, at the risk of sounding terribly blunt, you explained your own misgivings here, I think.

You were a kid.

He's a man.
Last edited:


Well-known member
He also has the advantage of the inhuman intelligence he's merged with just making him flat out smarter and with better reflexes.

Edit: Unless I misunderstood what the plasma... being.... thing... that he's merged with is supposed to do?


He also has the advantage of the inhuman intelligence he's merged with just making him flat out smarter and with better reflexes.

Edit: Unless I misunderstood what the plasma... being.... thing... that he's merged with is supposed to do?
Sssssssssort of misunderstood?

The plasma lifeforms don't seem to have any intelligence themselves; fusing with Hanzo didn't add the Anami's intelligence to his. What the fusion did was give Hanzo complete control over every part of his body. At a sub-cellular level, unless I miss my guess.

The "smarter and with better reflexes" part comes partly from his brain and body working at peak capacity, including the total restoration of every form of damage to his body. Basically, he's constantly firing on all cylinders. This means that he was about as fast and smart as it's possible for a baseline human to be... before he started making targeted, deliberate improvements.

At this point, he's well beyond baseline human.
Chapter 13: The Sword of Shinobi's Love New

Karmic Acumen

Well-known member

Chapter 13: The Sword of Shinobi's Love

"-. July 23, 6 ANB .-"

"-. Uchiha Shisui, Konoha Anbu Ninja, Codename Crow .-"

"When Heaven and Earth first appeared, three Spirits came about in the High Plains of Heaven."

Shimura Danzo, in the end, ran away.

"First was Amenominakanushi, the spirit Master Mighty Center of Heaven, whose name was Manu, and whose hands moulded life in his own image that we would henceforth be known as mankind."

One could never credibly call Shimura Danzo a coward.

"Second was Takamimusubi, the spirit Lofty Growth, High Creator, whose name was Yemo, and who gave up his life for Earth to spring eternal, that mankind would henceforth understand sacrifice and choice."

But it turned out practicality could make people run away every bit as fast as a faint heart.

"Third was Kamimusubi, the Divine Creator, whose name was Trito, and who descended from heaven to be amongst mankind, and so from him came all understanding of wisdom and creation."

Unfortunately, Shimura Danzo chose to flee down the path he was guarding.

"The Three were each their singular existence and concealed their true selves from the world so that we may thrive unrestricted."

Shimura Danzo jumped down the hatch to the darkest exit just to meet Crow's spinning pinwheel eyes.

"Vanish like the Kotoamatsukami."

A human mind suffered the full effects of exposure to the empty chaos of the primordial void.

"You are only the second man to hear these words reclaimed in full for human kind."

Shimura Danzo fell, mind utterly undone.

"Be honoured."

Perfect manipulation of the senses could persuade someone to do anything while believing their decisions were their own. Perfect manipulation of the senses could be used to make someone believe anything. Perfect manipulation of the senses could be used to convince a brain that it had just dissolved back into feckless dust.

And if he ruined Danzo's afterlife through disappointment that his illusion was better than anything there, well…

I never claimed to be a saint.

It was probably arrogant of him to believe his imagination could beat all the things down in Yomi, but Crow was an Uchiha. Arrogance was an inborn trait.

Ask anyone.

Crow pressed a hand to his right eye, or rather tried and failed because of the mask. It would be closed for a good while after that.

Hound caught up first. He took the situation in at a glance, gave Crow a penetrating look, and put his hand to his ear. "Target Down. Crow got the takedown, target in catatonic state with no additional visible injuries." He listened. "Understood. Proceeding to next objective. Sending replacement now." He pulled the body in a three-way carry. "Crow, report to the Hokage for further orders."


He found the Third back at the site of his fight with Danzo, visibly tired and his battle attire slightly scuffed in places, but still standing, however stiffly, and directing his ninja, taking reports and firing out orders as ever. Crow was motioned to approach and told to give his report.

He knelt and did so quickly, succinctly and leaving nothing out, making sure to name his technique and describe its applications exactly.

The Third's face when he was done… Crow couldn't tell if it was more sympathetic or displeased.

He was ordered to wait, so he did so. Despite what it looked to the rest of the ANBU that one of their own was effectively made to kneel quietly for all of them to see. It was a snub and a message.

When all but the Hokage Guard Platoon were gone to help secure the base, the Third still didn't turn to look at him.

"You lied in your report."

"Yes, Lord Hokage."

Just because Danzo believed him when he claimed to have used up Kotoamatsukami for the decade didn't mean it was true. Crow didn't believe for a second the Third Hokage hadn't at least suspected he'd lied in that report, but it had been a lie.

"Lying to the Hokage is unacceptable."

Crow hadn't gone out of his way to confess to the Hokage after the fact, so it did technically constitute lying to him as well, however indirectly. Danzo's place in the chain of command had still been legitimate at the time. "Yes, Lord Third."

"Take off your mask, it is no longer fit for purpose."

'It' is no longer fit, not 'you'. "Yes, Lord Third." Crow came off, leaving Uchiha Shisui kneeling before his supreme commander.

"I will deal with you after the present affair is concluded. Until then, you are restricted to the Uchiha clan grounds."

"As you command, Lord Third."

Choosing not to volunteer the truth to the Hokage – regardless that he obviously knew about it – had been nothing but Shisui's calculated set-up for his own self-flagellation, but now that it finally caught up with him, he felt surprisingly light.

"Just tell me one thing."

Shisui waited.

"Why not just tell me you wanted out?"

"That would have been dishonourable."

"I wonder if you mean for me, your clan, or yourself," Sarutobi Hiruzen sighed, lighting his pipe with a snap of his fingers. "Do not answer, I know you do not know either. If you did, perhaps you'd have come up with a better plan than to force me into a position where dishonourable discharge is the least of bad options. You Uchiha and your accursed dramatics, I should have shut the ANBU to children the moment I took office like I wanted."

The Hokage was carefully not phrasing anything as a question, so Shisui said nothing.

"Dismissed, shinobi."

Guess my rank is in the air as well
. Shisui stood and turned to leave.

"One last thing."

Shisui stopped just short of the tunnel mouth.

"Next time you think of lying to your loved ones 'for their own good', don't bother. If just a handful of interactions with a stranger were enough to emotionally compromise you so thoroughly, your judgment is not fit to make any decisions for other people."

Hindsight, as always, was not an excuse. "… I will remember your words, Lord Hokage."

"… Yes, I should have expected that answer as well. Go."

Finally, Shisui passed out of the Hokage's sight and proceeded to escape the Root base as fast as body flicker could take him. Which was half as fast as before because having one eye out of commission did terrible things to your depth perception.

He had just climbed down from the Hokage Rock when the glow of fire suddenly erupted from the very opposite edge of Konoha.

That's the Uchiha Grounds!

Shisui rushed over fast as he could, stopping only twice to demand answers, but neither nin was any less shocked or confused than him, even the ANBU!

He was two districts away when Akimichi Chouza grew to giant size in the middle of the compound. He made it one more street when he received Yamanaka Inoichi's telepathic transmission. He almost fell off the roof and broke his neck. The strength of it – how far did he send, what's happening? Who are those nin, are they Root, but their symbols-? He was two streets away when Akimichi Chouza shrunk back down to size and vanished out of sight. Hyuuga Hiashi was leading his people over and out of the Uchiha compound just as Shisui reached the place from the opposite direction, his daughter held tight inside his arms. A smattering of shinobi from the other clans were doing the same with all the rest of Sasuke's age-mates.

This is full scale evacuation!

"Uchiha-san!" A Hyuuga he didn't recognize jumped in his path just as Shisui finally landed on the nearest roof within the compound proper. "Hyuuga Kintetsu, chuunin."

And I'm no rank at the moment! "Report!"

"There was an attack on the party grounds. The Jonin commander has summoned all hands, I will lead you to him!"

There was WHAT?!

But he followed Kintetsu even though the man went the long way around to gather everyone else he could find. Many other nin were streaming in, Lord Nara must have assigned him to force consolidation, as expected of the Jonin Commander.

When Shisui landed on the eaves of the district utilities management building, Nara Shikaku was giving orders to ninja flickering in and out while crouched on a power pole with his shadow spread out of the pole's own, like tentacles all over the street below and the half a dozen ninja frozen upon it. They all wore black cloaks with red clouds and masks with the Rain symbol on their forehead. "Take them to Morino as soon as they are neutralised. Genin, continue evacuation, chunin protect them and their charges and otherwise fight to kill, jonin switch to capture, this group and any remaining stragglers are interrogation priorities. Exceptions are anyone we have with middling or better barrier techniques, have them report to Fugaku in the Council Hall. Shisui! How fares today's operation? What word from the Hokage?"

"Sir! Counter-insurgency operation was a success, Lord Third was well when I was dismissed, but I cannot speak to his awareness of events here prior to the report by the patrolling nin, which should only be reaching him now. There was no mention of a parallel operation in our mission debrief. I was only alerted to a disturbance by the fire just now! Requesting sitrep!"

"Not an operation, an attack by rogue Uchiha nin and attempted kidnapping."

Gods, what happened – wait, what Uchiha nin gone rogue? We have no missing Uchiha on record!

"Lords Hyuuga, Uchiha and Uzumaki were successful in repelling the hostile, but the situation is still sensitive. Enemy abilities include Byakugan-proof camouflage, regeneration, mokuton and intangibility, on top of the general Uchiha repertoire."

Such powers, how do they still exist never mind in a single person – wait, Lord Uzumaki?

"Enemy reportedly fled, but we cannot be sure with the skills displayed. Report to Fugaku at the Council Hall!"

"At once, Commander!"

Hanzo was in a fight?! And Lord Nara mentioned attempted kidnapping, dammit, today was the Clan chief's grand soiree, who was the target? The children, the Jinchuuriki, Sasuke? Hanzo himself?

Itachi landed next to him just as he cleared the next-to-last roof to his destination. "Shisui, follow me!"

Itachi looked, felt and had the right chakra to his Sharingan, so Shisui complied and followed him around to the side entrance. A glance at the main doors showed that everyone else was being put through security measures that Shisui had only experienced during war drills. "What the hell happened here?"

"The Fourth's Uchiha student is alive. He infiltrated the party under a disguise provided by an accomplice that fooled both the Sharingan and the Byakugan. Motivations and aims are still unclear, I was not present for the full confrontation as I was evacuating Sasuke and the other children, but it was clear even in the initial confusion that Lord Hanzo was the one being singled out."

The side entrance still had some security, so Shisui complied with it by rote while listening to Itachi's summary in growing disbelief. An infiltration narrowly exposed by Hyuuga Hiashi, an attempted hostage situation only mostly averted because Uchiha Obito was now some sort of super-regenerating plant man with Senju Hashirama's legendary techniques, the Kyuubi jinchuuriki barely not abducted (or killed) because his mother's bloodline randomly activated, all capped with an attempted abduction of Hanzo himself because…

Because he hurt the nutjob's feelings?!

And the abduction was only averted because Hanzo went and pulled more ridiculous nonsense out of his backside than even Shisui knew about.

How does Hanzo have Susanoo, why does Hanzo have Susanoo, since when does Hanzo have Susanoo?!

"Big brother, you're back!" Sasuke cried the moment they were finally through to… the council antechamber where the most confidential talks were had and thus the security was the best in the district. "What's happening out there, is the missing nin gone, did everyone else make it home okay, Mister Masanari won't talk to us and Naruto won't wake up!"

Lord Fugaku and Lady Mikoto were, indeed, not alone in the room. Sasuke was tugging on their sleeves – Itachi distracted him, thank gods – Uzumaki Naruto was laid out cold on the settee, and Hanzo sat next to him, leaning back with eyes closed and… a hazy aura around him that the Sharingan used to see a lot less clearly before. It was a spectral, glass-like blue and seemed to fade outward with distance, but there were strands and shoots of golden through it, seeping down and up over his skin, steadily looping up and out through his chakra pathways, moving like syrup through the Celestial Gates in reverse order, where was it going? Mangekyou Sharingan.

Hanzo stirred, saw him, blinked twice at the sight of his right eye firmly shut, and pinched his nose. "Ninja lie. Of course."

Shisui felt a pang, but said nothing. He deserved it.

"I should have known, the spirit doesn't go through such a paradigm shift just from external stimuli, it only does so when you become a more refined version of yourself."

Shisui cleared his throat and pointed above Hanzo's right shoulder. "What's that?"

"Oh, you can see it then? Only Hiashi's been able to, so far, and just barely."

"It looks like a blob. Or the sun, except it's too gooey-looking, and it's gold instead of blue like the rest of you – or neon? It's seeping into its own blob right out of you, should I be more worried than usual?"

Hanzo's expression shuttered. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Oh. Well-"

"Clan Chief on your nine."

"Shisui, report!" Fugaku called as he neared. "We could have used you, where have you been? Does the Hokage finally have an explanation for why I was deprived of the one technique that might have nipped this disaster in the bud?"

That was borderline seditious, but the Hokage had pre-emptively pronounced the secrecy lifted the moment the objective was secured. "As of roughly twenty minutes ago, Shimura Danzo has been arrested for treason and remanded to the custody of the Torture and Interrogation division."

Fugaku was astonished. "… I see. That… is much better news than I have come to expect of this village." The man sighed. "At least there is something to salvage this disaster-"

Hanzo jerked in shock. "Oh shit!"

"What now?" "What's wrong?" "Sir-"

"Shisui, the Hokage – Obito's there!" What-?! "No, look out!" The man's eyes blew wide.

Shisui flickered to his side. "Hanzo, what are you sensing?!"

"The three men with the Hokage, Obito's killing them-fuck."

Raidō, Genma, Iwashi…

"What, what is it?" Fugaku demanded.

Hanzo looked at them in bewilderment. "The Hokage's gone."


"He vanished, they both vanished, Obito must have taken him with him to–" Hanzo suddenly surged from the couch. "GET THE CHILDREN OUT OF HERE NOW!"

The floor exploded.

Tatami mats tore, wood splintered, earth burst up and apart as a tree burst out of it, shooting up like a battering ram, growing, twisting, sprouting gnarled branches all over like wrinkled, gnarly hands out to claw them to shreds.


The wood splintered against his emerald-green defense but he had no footing, the earth threw him aside and the wood pushed hard at him even as it splintered uselessly, Itachi jumped with Sasuke for the closest window, Lady Mikoto did the same with Naruto, Lord Fugaku barely kept his balance as he charged for the threat instead, the Sharingan let Shisui see it all down to the pinhead fractures in the sprouting bark, including Hanzo dashing past him the opposite way with all the speed he could wring out the Eight Celestial Gates, arm outstretched at a glass jar that had just flown in through the other window.


The jar burst just before Hanzo reached it.

The room exploded into black writhing smoke that only barely didn't reach Shisui on account of the ghost-like veil walling it back, but the earth still moved and the Birth of Trees technique was still going, the ground broke harder, the black mist seeped past the edges of the blue shield even as the tree shot up further, bigger and wider, so wide between a breath and the next that the council hall was broken in half as branches burst through the ceiling and kept on going up.

Unh! Shisui grunted as the ceiling broke against the Susanoo. "Tch!" The black cloud reached his nose just as he gasped for breath, and now he felt like his own flesh was eating itself amidst a foul, rancid smell, and the pain – it itched more than it stung! Poison! Shisui jumped off the branch and on the palm of his guardian spectre, the Susanoo's other hand gripping tight at the trunk as it carried him up. He cast a field medical jutsu on his chest to much too minimal effect. "Agh!" The pain, it seared like a firebrand inside. The Susanoo's self-immolating flames should have protected him from airborne toxins, but it didn't work against attacks from the ground, and even then – the cloud moved so fast and suddenly, it was so dense, could whatever it was have blasted past the green fire through sheer volume?

What technique is this?

There was an explosion in the tree crown above.

Hanzo! Shisui snarled and clawed, pulled and ran his way up to the top as fast as he could. "Hanzo, where are you?!"

"-f I hear 'humans fear what they don't understand' one more time, there's going to be murder!" The man in question said somewhere within the leaves, they were too many and close, growing, snarling together, he couldn't push through, maybe his crow-? "Humans only fear what they understand to be dangerous!"

Don't argue with the crazy missing nin! Shisui thought wildly. "Out of my way!" Susanoo's drill sword ground everything apart in a diagonal just off of where he'd heard Hanzo's voice come from.

A wide gap was smashed through the tree crown, with Obito right in the middle of it, falling from his lost perch to the one right below, untouched and uncaring of Shisui's attack on him.

"You did it, didn't you? You rediscovered what the Uzumaki were doing." Uchiha Obito didn't even twitch as Shisui's kunai flew through him, focused solely on growing more and more branches to keep Hanzo immobilized in a caging net of twisting, crunching boughs. "I'm sorry, Masanari-san, but I cannot allow a second Hashirama to emerge."

The entire trap rippled like a water twister with Hanzo still inside and Shisui jump-

"ACK!" Stinging pain in his ankle made him stumble, slip and fall onto a lower bough with a wrench in his knee, his foot – it felt like a – a bite! What was – the snake burst to gore when his kunai skewered its skull, but it was too late. "Shit, a snake – here, now but then, that means-"

Everything above him suddenly vanished with a sucking gust of air and a splatter of blood and splinters, and Hanzo's body fell down, grisly and flayed from toe to head.

Shisui felt like he'd puke. "Oh gods!"

Then the body grabbed at the bark nearby and flopped to a three-point landing right in front of him with a wet, hacking splat. Blood stopped pouring, lids grew back over his eyes, his cheeks began to weave back together over his teeth and tongue, and the rest of the skin too, healing right before his eyes, it – it was a miracle!

"You are a truly annoying man," Obito's voice said from somewhere above. "Thanks for the loose chunks, though, I'm sure I'll find a use for them."

Shisui stumbled to his feet, barely keeping balance on the leafy branches beneath, he was almost at the edge of what he could perch on, especially with his foot numb and unsteady, his chest feeling like his lungs were eating themselves. His tried to capture Obito's gaze but he didn't fall for it. There were flickers of movement down below at the edge of his one-eyed sight, and Hanzo was…

"And I'm not the only one."

"Hanzo's aura…" Shisui wondered distantly. "Where's the golden blob?"

Chains burst out of Hanzo's bloody meatgrinder of a back, sunk into the wood, wrapped around it and back up around himself as Hanzo looked at Shisui, his freshly healed face moving from gritted teeth to a loose expression of resignation. "Yin Release: Trito's Tribulation."

Then the Sword of Kusanagi burst out of the tree trunk, speared through Hanzo's spine and blasted him away with a mighty blast of air before Shisui's sluggish mind could even process what the Sharingan showed him.

The understated but very present presence that was Masanari Hanzo completely vanished.

"No! HANZO!" The wood was shredded, the chains had barely slowed him down, then the rest of the events caught up to him in full. "Orochimaru! You're here as well, you bastard?! Fire Release-"

The tree exploded.

It was all Shisui could do to shield his face, regretting the absence of his mask as he fell down, his clothes ripping just like his skin in the aftermath of the overpowering wind technique, when had Susanoo lapsed? Susanoo – he couldn't pull it out, his chakra-

All he could do was look up at Orochimaru's head undulating up from the torn treetop like a snake, the Kusanagi no Tsurugi grown so long that the tip and its victim had already vanished in the forest beyond the village walls, rumbling, blasting leaves and dust up in the air as the great trees fell over each other in its wake. The rogue Uchiha rippled into sight on the last branch and gave a long, wide kick behind the other missing nin just as Orochimaru finally spat out the hilt.

Orochimaru boosted off it and flew out of the village and sight like a bullet blast.

Shisui looked down and managed to grab one of lower boughs, small and gnarly but enough to – his muscles spasmed.

He lost grip and fell from too high, his chakra failed him again, he landed wrong, his leg snapped as he crashed on the chunky, rocky ground with a scream. When he looked at the pain, his shinbone was sticking out of his skin.

Obito landed lightly nearby and sauntered over, pulling a kunai idly before stopping suddenly.

Itachi drove through him kunai-first as if through a ghost. There were words exchanged, testing blows, defiance on one side and oddly respectful mockery on the other, flying shuriken, kunai clashing, fire techniques being spat, completely on-sided. Shisui witnessed it through a haze of poison and pain that he could only half remember, only his Sharingan snatching any snippet of what was happening as his mind slipped away from him along with flying fire and shuriken, Itachi's kunai and Obito's kunai, another kunai that almost took Obito in the eye just as he'd turned solid to slash at Itachi's eyes, black iron scratched over with the sealing characters for shinobi ai no ken.


Uzumaki Naruto appeared in a yellow flash above Uchiha Obito and smashed a spiralling sphere down on his head.

Shisui shut his eyes against the buffeting dust and earth, unable to believe what had just happened. The glow of gold didn't go away, reaching him though his shut eyelids and even brighter when he opened them to see the Uzumaki child stand in front of him, a golden chakra shroud enveloping his body like a cloak of fire.

"The Kyuubi's chakra is surprisingly pleasant." Naruto's voice said. "Also-"

Golden-orange chains burst from his back into the ground, then upward ahead to surround the Uchiha missing nin, stabbing at him, forcing him to dodge desperately when the second made him drop his knife, his fingers fallen slack despite his technique, for a moment.

"The Adamantine Sealing Chains are surprisingly intuitive as well."

With the last of his focus, Shisui squinted his sharingan and saw black seals on the chain links as well, as if they were swallowing their own light.

"It's enough that I think I can experiment with Yin release a bit myself." Naruto's voice said calmly as Obito clenched his weakened fist. "What do you say, Obito? Are you ready for one more lesson from your old teacher?"

"… M-Minato-sensei?"

"Itachi. Get Shisui to the dome before Sir Hanzo's technique expires."

"Y-Yes… Lord… Lord Fourth?"



Itachi flickered to a stop next to Shisui, picked him up in a three-way carry and shunshined him away, carrying him all the way to the edge of… a dome of blue light?

"Apologies, Shisui."

Before he could ask why, Itachi tossed him inside.

The light caught him, broke his fall just enough that he didn't shatter his remaining bones when he met the ground. Shisui rolled over and tried to look around, his vision going grey as his chakra began to slip from his grasp. There were… so many people down, Uchiha, not Uchiha, ninja, not ninja, it… they looked like – the poison cloud! How had it caught so many, what was that technique?!

Not Sasuke, please let it not be Sasuke, not Itachi or Sasuke, that's Lord Fugaku – oh god, what are those spikes?

Squinting, he tried to look at them, the spikes – they were blood, blood of – he traced their origin through the rapidly worsening daze – the giant toad? The giant toad was laid out on its side to the very edge of the blue-ish light, motionless, almost desiccated as its blood hung out of its pores, a hundred and four steel-hard spikes that were retracting, growing, directed by the vague presence in the blue light to pierce a dozen people at a time through their vital points as they sweated black sludge from their pores and screamed.

Shisui struggled to move. Struggled to understand, to remember. "This… is Hanzo's technique?"

Yin Release –Trito's Tribulation.

"Hanzo… y-you…"

That's when a dozen and one spikes ran him through.


Shisui choked, his stomach, mouth, collar bone, instep, knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers and his heart… they stung, it hurt, he could feel them dig deeper and deeper through his organds, his blood veins, his nerves, he felt like all his muscles and organs were going out of control, ignoring his brain no matter how much he screamed inside, he could feel his individual cells but they didn't listen and the blood-

His Celestial Gate of Death burst wide open.


I'll kill you. Shisui thought amidst his own screams as his consciousness was obliterated in a last wave of pain, not sure even at who. I'll fucking kill you!

He came back to awareness all at once, a shock of adrenaline smacking his brain back alight with all the grace of a rampaging tiger. As his mind struggled to re-right itself, Shisui wondered vaguely why Hanzo hadn't used his own Susanoo to protect himself, or whatever it was that he had… but the answer was clear now, wasn't it?

He left it behind when the tree burst… he saw the poison spread and chose to save everyone else instead.

Wait, Hanzo's Susanoo could move independently?

The blue… it was still around him now but lessened, less a glassy bubble and more a gossamer web of strings drifting apart, struck through with those same, golden tendrils, but thicker and faster now, they were… were they going back into the toad? The blue was growing so weak so quickly, thinning, breaking, unweaving apart as if it was one single thread being pulled at the seams.

And then Shisui's ears rang with the howling roar of a monster.

Snapping his head up, Shisui watched in stunned confusion as the last of the gold violently wrenched free from the flickering spirit made of blue threads and fireflies, and slammed into the dessicated body of the giant toad so harshly that it flopped over as if thrown.

Then Gama exploded.

And the blood and flesh and rage of the golden chakra erupted from it, up and up and up and then away over the village walls towards where Hanzo and Orochimaru had disappeared, azure not-chakra feeding into golden chakra grown through a serpentine, dragon-headed beast of lightning and gore.

"G̸E̶T̵ ̵a̸w̵A̶y̴ ̵f̶r̴o̸m̸ ̸m̴y̵ ̴F̸a̸T̷H̷E̸R̴ ̸Y̵o̸U̶ ̶s̸o̴N̵ ̶o̸F̶ ̴A̷ ̷w̷h̴o̸R̶e̴!̴"

Chapter 14 is available on Patreon (karmicacumen), Ko-fi (karmicacumen) and Subscribestar (karmic-acumen), along with the advance chapters on The Unified Theorem, and Reset the Universe.

Users who are viewing this thread