Parenthood

Ambition

Sasuke stared across the emptied lake at Yashin, his Sharingan eyes struggling to pierce through the mist. Damned Kiri shinobi and their tricks. Only the Byakugan could find its way through this jutsu, however with a Hidden Mist jutsu created simultaneously by a hundred shinobi, Sasuke had his doubts. Yashin must have calculated that as well. The Uchiha narrowed his eyes. How far did this plan stretch?

In an instant, Yashin burst through the mist, leaving a massive hole behind him as he made his way towards Sasuke. The Uchiha patted his side, but found himself without his sword or any weapons whatsoever. Yashin brought the black-bladed katana into both of his hands and started his swing. Sasuke saw through it with his Sharingan and leapt away at the last moment as Yashin came down.

Before Sasuke could react, Yashin disappeared back into the mist. Sasuke paused in place and listened. In the distance, he thought he heard the sound of battle occurring in the village. Yashin's army must've came into contact with some of Konoha's finest. Sasuke was sure Naruto could handle them all himself. He needed to stay focused on the task at hand. If he didn't have a weapon, Sasuke would have to make his own.

The Chidori sparked in his left hand and Sasuke molded the chakra into a sword. The chakra stabilized into a long bluish-white, streamlined blade and Sasuke held it down to his side and waited. Yashin wouldn't attack him from the front again. The Hidden in the Mist jutsu was an assassin's trick and assassins generally didn't attack their targets from the front, especially not twice. Besides that, Sasuke literally wouldn't see an attack coming from behind. Yashin would have to capitalize on that one shortcoming of his eyes.

Or that was what Sasuke thought.

To the Uchiha's surprise, Yashin flashed in front of him. Jinsei-gui twirled in his hand and came directly for Sasuke's neck. The Uchiha brought the Chidori Spear up to guard. Lightning sparked from the collision and Sasuke pushed back against Yashin's attempts to behead him.

"You're fast," Yashin said. "And resourceful. No sword with you so you construct one out of lightning chakra." He didn't smirk, though his words were laughingly haughty. "However, that won't work." Sasuke's eyes widened as the young man's sword began to glow blue. The Chidori Spear left Sasuke's hand and disappeared into Yashin's blade that now sparked with lightning. Sasuke darted backwards, dissipating in a black flash before Yashin could swing his blade.

So that was it. Not only could this Jinsei-gui siphon the life out of a person if it pierced them, it could also absorb a chakra element attack. It looked like it also took the form of that chakra's nature as well from the sparks flying from the sword. 'How many natures?' was Sasuke's next question and he was determined to find out the answer.

Yashin ran forward again and Sasuke readied himself. Before Yashin got too close, he plunged his sword into the ground. Lightning spread out towards Sasuke and he leapt to his side to avoid the electrical barrage. When the Uchiha looked up, Yashin was gone. When he looked to his right, several needles flew towards him. Sasuke avoided them by ducking underneath. Yashin barreled down towards him, slicing through the mist as he descended towards the Uchiha. Sasuke darted away from the upheaval of mud and took in a quick breath.

"Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu!" A massive fireball burst from Sasuke's mouth towards Yashin's landing point. Just as soon as it had approached the Uchiha's opponent, it disappeared. Yashin held out the shaking blade as the fiery chakra swirled around it. The information flowed through Sasuke's mind. Yashin's sword could absorb fire nature as well. Next question…could the sword contain more than one nature at the same time and if it could, what would happen?

Before Sasuke could generate a lightning attack, Yashin swung his sword towards him. A surge of flames scorched the earth as it approached the Uchiha and Sasuke flipped over them. His eyes flicked up and narrowed. Yashin's sudden attacks were ruining his method of combat analyzation. Sasuke had immense chakra reserves and he could afford to meticulously experiment with attacks until he pinpointed his opponent's weakness. Yashin was proving slightly difficult to put together.

Sasuke knew that being pierced by Yashin's blade would result in near instant death for him. The life siphoning abilities of the sword had proven enough to kill both the Mizukage and Suigetsu. He knew that Yashin's blade could absorb chakra so launching endless attacks would only be a waste of power. He also knew that the sword could absorb two chakra natures, though Sasuke had gone on to presume that it could also absorb the other three. However, Yashin was attacking before Sasuke could discover whether or not the sword could contain two natures at once.

Sasuke Uchiha felt an inward jolt.

If Yashin wasn't waiting to take in all of Sasuke's chakra natures, then that meant that either the sword couldn't contain two natures or Yashin himself couldn't handle both natures within the sword. He seemed to be barely able to handle the sword when it was holding the fireball Sasuke had launched at him. Yashin had answered Sasuke's question for him.

Sasuke had two options that he thought over as he continued to evade Yashin's sword swings. One, he could continue to press his attack until he managed to overload Yashin by sheer quantity. Or, he could pick one attack that he knew for an absolute certainty would throw Yashin off his game. The first option would be a waste of time and chakra. Not only was his village threatened by the presence of Yashin's army, but his children were as well. Yashin's death would need to come from a precise strike.

Sasuke needed his sword.

Sasuke put distance between him and Yashin then glanced around trying to get his bearings. He had no idea where he was in association to his house. The mist wasn't helping nor was his Sharingan. Sasuke had only one other dojutsu to rely on. His left eye shifted into the Rinnegan and Sasuke searched around quickly. His visibility wasn't much better but he could faintly make out the shadowy outline of his house and it wasn't too far off. He could make it.

Sasuke turned to Yashin and saw that the young man had disappeared once again. When Sasuke turned back to where his house was, he saw Yashin standing in between them. Of course he knew exactly where everything was located around them, though Sasuke wasn't sure that Yashin knew of his intentions. He doubted that he did. Yashin narrowed his eyes.

"Concerned about your children? Your village?" Yashin asked. Sasuke was silent. He had to come up with a distraction to get past Yashin. Perhaps, a war of words.

"I am," Sasuke said. This seemed to anger Yashin.

"A shame. Where was all this love and care seventeen years ago?" Yashin demanded. Sasuke raised an eyebrow.

"Seventeen years ago?" the images of his past came into his mind. A barrage of violence, blood, then eventual triumph and redemption.

"Yes," Yashin scowled. "The year my parents were killed." Sasuke blinked as Yashin continued to speak. "When I was a boy, I'd spend the summer with my father in the Land of Iron. He was a samurai and served as a guard for Mifune, the samurai lord. One day, my father was assigned to guard the place where his lord would serve as a proctor between the five Great Shinobi Nations. This day would become known as the Five Kage Summit.

The meeting was going well, save for the Sixth Hokage Candidate attempting to manipulate himself into control of the Shinobi Alliance army. However, the building was then infiltrated by a certain internationally wanted criminal. His name was Sasuke Uchiha." Yashin's body shook and his grip on the black blade tightened.

Sasuke could see where the story was going.

"During your rampage, you slaughtered scores of samurai that guarded the building. One of them was my father. My mother decided to try and take vengeance against you and fought with the Fourth Division in the Shinobi Alliance. Things went well until…Madara Uchiha was resurrected from the dead. His assault decimated nearly the entire division and he took my mother from me. Within a month, I lost both of my parents to Uchiha. I was seven," Yashin growled.

"Vengeance," Sasuke said, his voice barely above a whisper. "That's what you want?"

"I want everything you love to be destroyed the same way you and your ancestor annihilated what I loved. I will see your head roll, Uchiha!" Yashin ran forward and jabbed his sword towards Sasuke's chest. Sasuke moved his body to the right and waited until Yashin's blade passed him before he grabbed the young man's arm and drove his forearm into Yashin's throat.

"Vengeance is empty. It gives you nothing. Once you've gotten revenge against your target, life becomes meaningless. You get sucked into a cycle of hatred that is impossible to escape," Sasuke said. He didn't know why he was talking to this man. A man who had threatened to kill him and his children. A man so filled with hatred towards him that he had spent seventeen years planning out his revenge.

Maybe because it felt like he was trying to talk his younger self off of the path.

"I won't live a meaningless life!" Yashin shouted, pushing Sasuke away. "Once I kill you and destroy what you love, I will have fulfilled my purpose. There will be nothing left for me." Had Sasuke sounded like this seventeen years ago?

The Uchiha stared past Yashin and into his house. He could see inside. His couch sat right within his range. When his eyes went to Yashin again, he saw the young man running towards him with a hateful fire in his eyes. Sasuke waited until Yashin was in mid-swing before he activated his technique.

The Rinnegan Shift teleported Sasuke into his home and left his couch outside for Yashin to swing at. Once inside, Sasuke darted towards his room and went to the wall where he kept his chokutō and seized it into his hand. The Uchiha turned and saw Yashin in the hallway. When he saw that Sasuke had a sword in his hand, his face looked slightly worried.

Sasuke charged Yashin and in a flurry of sword swings pushed the young man into his living room. To Yashin's credit, his swordsmanship was impressive. Every one of Sasuke's swings was blocked or parried by the man although Yashin was struggling to keep up with Sasuke's speed and ferocity. The Uchiha was still holding back some.

Something within him was keeping him from landing a killing blow.

Yashin's defense was solid, though there were plenty of holes in it that Sasuke's eyes saw. The young man's footwork was quick, but he often didn't plant himself enough to keep himself standing if Sasuke were to land a strong blow. Yashin was skilled enough. But he was not on Sasuke's tier.

But something held him back from dealing the death blow.

Was it guilt? Did the Uchiha actually feel sorry for putting this young man on the path of hatred? Did he regret even challenging Yashin to battle? Should he let this man have his revenge and take his life?

No. Not at the cost of Sakura's life. Not at the cost of Kichiro's life. Not at the cost of Hikari's life. Not at the cost of Takuma's life. Not at the cost of Sosei's life. Nor at the cost of his village. If it was to be between their lives or Yashin's, Sasuke would have to do what he was born to do. Death would have to come to Yashin. Sasuke raised his sword and coated it in lightning. Yashin met Sasuke's chokutō with his black blade.

The young man absorbed the chakra into his sword and grit his teeth. Sasuke took in a deep breath as he prepared to breathe fire into Yashin's face. It was a bluff and Yashin took the bait and disengaged, backing out of the living room and into the fog. Sasuke held back his jutsu until Yashin was far away from his house. This new jutsu would make Sakura even more angry about the yard.

"Katon: Kōdai Nanba!" Sasuke shouted. A stream of fire poured from Sasuke's mouth before expanding into a wide rolling wave of fire. The heat from the fire burnt through the grass and trees then burst into smoke. But it didn't get sucked away by Yashin's sword. After the smoke cleared, Sasuke could make out Yashin's figure struggling to get to his feet.

This was it.

Sasuke hastened to Yashin's crouched body. His sword was tight in his hand and his grip was assured. He was prepared to do what was necessary now. But Yashin wasn't at all ready to die. Sasuke didn't see that Yashin had lost an arm. He didn't make out the symbols on the detached arm forming until he was too close. And he barely had time to react.

"For Yashin," the young terrorist said as he tossed his arm into Sasuke's face. The Uchiha's eyes widened as the explosion went off and blew him backwards until he landed in front of his house. The quick manifestation of Susano'o's rib cage had shattered on Sasuke's right side and his entire left side was numb. His left arm was broken and scorched, he was sure of that much. He couldn't feel anything from the shoulder down. For now, he and Yashin were on even ground.

That damn explosive tag seal. Yashin could generate the seal on his followers and on his own body. Sasuke had never seen a technique like this before. A suicide bomber. The closest he had gotten to this was Deidara. That blonde shinobi had also had a particular hatred for the Uchiha, specifically their Sharingan and he had committed explosive suicide trying to kill Sasuke. Even now, he couldn't believe he had escaped that.

Sasuke grabbed up his chokutō with his right arm and stood to his feet. The explosion might've have drawn the attention of someone out in the village fighting. Maybe Sakura would be on her way. The Uchiha said a silent prayer that she would.

Wielding his sword with his right arm was more natural for him, though he had grown to use his left over the years. Being ambidextrous had its advantages. Sasuke wasn't too handicapped, though now, he'd wouldn't be able to use Chidori and his blade simultaneously. Nevertheless, the Uchiha pressed forward through the mist. Yashin was somewhere in the moist expanse, possibly assembling a new strategy. With his arm gone, Sasuke wondered how he'd adapt. It was no matter. The Uchiha would still be stronger.

Sasuke took in several deep breaths and tried to keep calm. His left leg felt like ants were running up and down it. Putting weight on it felt strange and walking was especially troublesome. Blood dripped from his left arm and his side. How much had he lost?

"Still alive, huh?" Yashin's voice crept through the mist. Sasuke's eyes searched for the source but found nothing. "Fucking resilient." Yashin's voice sounded pained and agitated. He was using the mist for cover but it looked as if that mist was beginning to fade. Yashin's army was getting beaten quickly.

"Your army's dying," Sasuke said as the mist began to subside. "You're finished as well."

"No, not at all, Uchiha. Not until you're dead." Sasuke closed his eyes. He was finished with the games.

Susano'o manifested in its full-bodied form, growling as its ghastly glow spread around Sasuke. The black flamed weapons formed by Kagutsuchi manifested in Susano'o's hand. A sword stretched forth and Sasuke sliced through the mist. He saw Yashin appear. The one-armed man didn't look to be scared or anywhere close to terrified. In fact, he had a smile on his face.

Yashin darted forward and Sasuke shot a black flame arrow towards him. The young man weaved around it and leapt into the air. Sasuke fired another arrow and Yashin's body rolled in mid-air away from it. He was close now with Jinsei-gui in hand. The sword clashed against Susano'o and it didn't break through. Sasuke had expected that. What he hadn't expected was what came next.

Yashin's blade ripped two layers of Susano'o's chakra away from Sasuke, leaving him with only a skeletal form to defend himself with. Sasuke's eyes expanded and Yashin's smile stretched across his face.

"I was waiting for you to do that. It was about time that you brought out your ultimate defense, Susano'o," Yashin chuckled. "Would've thought you'd use it sooner." Jinsei-gui shook as the purple chakra swirled around it. Yashin was maintaining his hold on it though. Sasuke frowned.

"Why?" he asked. Yashin swirled his sword.

"By now, I'm sure you figured out that Jinsei-gui absorbs both life force and chakra. I could also absorb elemental chakra and use that nature against you. However, I couldn't hold in two at a time. A theory I noticed you tested out with your lightning and fire combination. I wasn't going to be forced into a corner so I simply answered that question for you. I knew that once you knew I could absorb chakra natures, you'd use something that had no defined chakra nature. Something you had absolute confidence in," the young man said.

Sasuke nodded. It was all a power play. "So your plan was to push me until I'd bring out my Susano'o," he said, staring down Yashin. "But to what end? Are you planning on launching a Susano'o based attack on me?" Yashin chuckled.

"Oh, no. Nothing so droll. Not for the death of Sasuke Uchiha," Yashin said as he pointed the tip of his blade at his chest. Sasuke watched as Yashin did the unthinkable. He stabbed himself. The young man coughed up blood and dropped to one knee, gasping for life. Through all of this, he maintained his grin.

Then it happened.

The purple chakra of Sasuke's Susano'o covered Yashin's body. The bird-like helm that Sasuke's stabilized Susano'o manifested formed around Yashin's head. Purple armored wings sprouted from the young man's back and he slowly pulled Jinsei-gui from his chest. The wound sizzled, but Yashin didn't seem to be in any pain. In fact, it looked as if his wound was healing. Was it from all the life force and chakra he had absorbed into the sword?

The Pseudo-Susano'o chakra cloak looked impressive. But how strong was it? Sasuke scowled with determination and rushed towards Yashin. The one-armed man stood still and Sasuke swung his sword into him. There was a clank as if the chokutō had come into contact with armor and the Uchiha bounced away.

Yashin bore his teeth. "Oh come now, you knew that wouldn't work, Uchiha!" Yashin stretched forth his arm, shooting out several chakra senbon. Sasuke blocked with his sword and bounded towards Yashin.

Once again, the Grand Fireball burst from his mouth. The attack collided with the Pseudo-Susano'o cloak and Yashin withstood it with a smile. This trickery was as strong as Sasuke's Susano'o had been when he initially activated the ability. It would take more than physical attacks and C-rank fire techniques to pierce through it. And with his left side below his neck completely without feeling and his left arm broken, he had only a few attacks left to use.

He'd just have to use his eyes.

"Amaterasu," Sasuke said. The black flames burst toward Yashin and surrounded his Susano'o cloak. To Sasuke's surprise, the fire didn't deter the young man. He actually began to walk through. Sasuke dipped his head. "Enton: Kagutsuchi." The black flame grabbed hold of Yashin's lower body. The young man stared down as his eyes widened. Sasuke wrapped Yashin's entire cloak in ebon fire and the man was engulfed. The Uchiha did his best to constrict the man's movement's. He was determined to bury him in black fire.

"NO!" Yashin screamed. The black flames were eaten up by Jinsei-gui but Yashin's Pseudo-Susano'o cloak appeared to be melting. So, Sasuke had overestimated it's strength. Without a Mangekyo Sharingan to constantly feed Susano'o chakra properly, this fake cloak had faltered under pressure. However, it had taken more chakra than Sasuke had wanted to figure this out. His body shook now from exertion. He hadn't been pushed this far in a decade. "Dammit!" Yashin shouted. "It's gone…" he glared towards Sasuke.

The Uchiha panted softly and held his hand up to his right eye. Forcing Amaterasu to contort and form had strained and stretched his ocular muscles. His head and eye throbbed. His brain felt like it was rattling against the inside of his skull. Yashin grinned.

"Looks like that fire display took more out of you than it hurt me," he said. "I still have your black flames in my sword. And I'll…"

"You won't do anything," a voice said behind Yashin. Sasuke couldn't believe his ears. No way in hell. As Yashin turned, he caught a glimpse of his worst fears being realized. It was Sosei, covered in blood, dirt and a few scratches. And he was alone.

Yashin chuckled and turned towards Sasuke. "This one of yours? He damn sure looks like it." Sasuke frowned. Where the hell was Naruto? Why hadn't anyone attempted to stop his brash, arrogant child from rushing onto a battlefield he wasn't prepared to be on? Damn it.

Sasuke stepped forward but the pounding of his head and eye dropped him to his knees. He couldn't move. Sasuke shook as Yashin smirked and walked towards him before he was stopped by Sosei. A powerful kick from the Uchiha child caused Yashin to turn around and catch him by his ankle and throw him to the side. Sosei had the agility of a feline and landed on his feet and immediately rushed forward.

Yashin batted Sosei to the ground but Sasuke's eldest jumped to his feet again and drew a kunai.

"I'm not playing around," Sosei said. Yashin chuckled.

"And neither am I." Yashin pointed to himself. "Do you have any idea who I am?" Sosei scowled.

"A dickless coward who sends assassins to kidnap children and kill women," the boy replied quickly. Yashin laughed and hoisted his sword over his shoulder.

"Oh am I? And what of your father? Do you know how many lives he destroyed when he was only a few years older than you? How many children he made orphans and how many wives he made widows?" Yashin asked.

"No," Sosei replied. "But at least whatever wrong he did, my father never hid like a bitch in the shadows. He's way more of a man than you'll ever be." Yashin grinned.

"Poor boy…you've strung together the wrong sequence of words," he said. His grin then turned on its head. "You Uchiha are all the same. Arrogant, pompous and bloodthirsty. A peaceful world has no use for barbaric killers like you. I've taken it upon myself to purge you all." The one-armed man turned to Sasuke. "I was going to begin with you," he said, turning back to Sosei. "But this brat's mouth has earned him a spot as my initial sacrifice."

Yashin was in front of Sosei in an instant. The young boy's Sharingan was growing stronger but even that didn't prepare him for Yashin's attack. Yashin kicked Sosei across the yard and into the emptied lake. Sosei rolled in the mud and crashed into a rock. Sasuke pushed himself to follow the fight.

Sosei got to his feet and Yashin was before him again. His sword moved in wide, black arches and seemed to teleport in between his hands as fast as he swung. Sosei was moving as fast as Sasuke expected him to and did a good job avoiding Yashin's blows though Sasuke knew that the man was only toying with his son. Sasuke forced himself to regain strength. He would not sit and watch his son fight an opponent like this.

Yashin was sadistic. He'd toy with Sosei until he grew tired of the game and killed him in front of Sasuke. Whatever he planned to do after that was a mystery, but Sasuke had no intention to see. The young man was fast and it was only a matter of time before he caught Sosei. But Sasuke knew one thing for sure. Yashin wasn't faster than 1/1000th of a second.

All of Sasuke's fire jutsu from his fire balls to his latest Amaterasu barrage had changed the atmosphere. Thunderous clouds had begun to roll as a result of the heat Sasuke had generated to this point. It had been an unintentional and unplanned consequence of his actions. But it would definitely work in Sasuke's favor.

The Uchiha hadn't practiced the jutsu in quite some time but he didn't need a massive bolt of lightning to strike down near his home. He just needed a focused, pinpointed blast that would immobilize Yashin. Sosei was providing enough of a distraction that Yashin didn't notice when Sasuke raised his right arm and thunder crashed in the sky. Sasuke's eyes went to the sky as he attempted to control the lightning above him. He found a small bolt, enough to accomplish what he needed done. He just needed to hit Yashin with it.

With all the strength he had left, Sasuke ran toward Yashin and Sosei. Sasuke's eldest son had been backed into a corner and Yashin looked to be growing impatient with the boy. Before his blade could find Sosei's flesh, Sasuke leapt into the fray and grabbed Sosei in his arms. The boy struggled briefly but Sasuke's grip was tight. Yashin frowned and raised his sword to strike Sasuke again. Sasuke's Rinnegan eye found the lightning bolt.

"Rinnegan Shift: Kirin." Sasuke whispered. His raised hand brought the lightning bolt down from above and Sasuke's Rinnegan ability shifted their positions causing Sasuke and Sosei to flash into the air and the lightning bolt to crash down next to Yashin. It was pure lightning, not enhanced by any chakra. Yashin's blade couldn't absorb nature.

There was a white flash followed by a stream of rain falling from the sky. Sasuke used his chakra to cushion his landing and let Sosei down out of his arms. The young boy looked around as the rain calmed the fires that raged in the Uchiha estate backyard. He then looked up at Sasuke, staring into his Rinnegan eye. The elder Uchiha looked down at his son.

"Are you alright?" Sasuke asked. Sosei shrugged.

"Yeah," he replied. Sasuke's eyes didn't leave Sosei.

"That was extremely stupid and dangerous what you did. I told you to find Naruto."

"And I did," Sosei replied. "You never said to stay with him." Sasuke shook his head and looked towards the emptied lake. He could still sense Yashin's chakra but it was weak and didn't move at all. The attack had worked.

Sasuke walked forward and Sosei followed him. The Uchiha didn't rebuke him. He was sure that he'd probably want to bear witness to what Sasuke intended to do now. The two Uchiha reached the bank and looked down. Just as Sasuke had suspected, Yashin laid in the middle of the muddy pit, with lightning crackling around him. The rain washed the blood away from his body. His chest rose slowly as he breathed.

Sasuke moved down next to his body and looked down at him. Yashin's eyes slowly met Sasuke's gaze. His revenge had failed. Sasuke could only begin to imagine how Yashin felt now. Even after all of his training and preparations, he hadn't been able to accomplish his perceived purpose in life. Sasuke had felt that before. It had happened the first time he had tried to fight Itachi when he returned to Konoha only to have his wrist broken and his mind probed, the massacre of his parents playing over and over. Yashin's pain was relatable. And Sasuke had been the cause.

"I set you on this path," Sasuke said. "Towards this destination. For that…I am sorry." Yashin narrowed his eyes and looked back up into the sky.

"Your apologies don't mean anything to me," he said weakly. Sasuke nodded.

"I didn't expect forgiveness nor did I wish for it. This isn't for you. It's for me." Sasuke looked at Sosei and then at Yashin again. "This entire time, I could've found a way to kill you. I could've struck you down. I could've made that lightning bolt powerful enough to erase this entire portion of the village yet I didn't." Yashin frowned.

"Why? If you were so powerful, why didn't you just finish this?" he asked. Sasuke sighed.

"Guilt," he said. "Knowing that because of my own hate, I continued the cycle that I now wish to end. I couldn't find the heart to kill you." Sosei looked up at him and frowned, while Yashin's face was blank.

"You couldn't find it in your heart to kill me?" he repeated. Sasuke nodded.

"No," Sasuke said before casting his eyes out over the village. Rain was pouring down on his home, the graying skies hiding the sun. The village was quiet. Yashin's army was done. Sasuke looked down at the man. "If you would've fought Naruto instead of me, he would've felt the same way. In the end, he would've tried to talk you into submission and make you see the error of your ways. Despite all that you've done, Naruto would've forgiven you and perhaps even saw to it that you were given a proper trial for your crimes and imprisoned."

Sasuke knew that too well. Naruto had done the same thing to him so many times, he had lost count. He had talked many of his opponents into seeing how wrong they were and made them allies, despite their strong philosophies. It was Naruto's special skill.

But not Sasuke's.

"However, I am not the Hokage," Sasuke said as his Sharingan flashed down on Yashin. "You killed people I cared about, you invaded my home and you made the ultimate mistake of threatening to do harm to my family." Sasuke held his sword over Yashin's neck. "I am not the god of shinobi that forgives." He raised his sword. "I am the god that executes." Yashin's eyes seemed to close in acceptance of his fate and Sasuke's sword descended down on the man's neck.

Blood spurted out onto the mud as Yashin's head rolled away from his body. Sasuke shook his chokutō free of blood and turned to Sosei. For once, the cold anger normally present on Sosei's face was gone. Instead, there was a sort of relief there. The boy walked forward, grabbed Sasuke, and buried his face into his father's chest. Sasuke could feel Sosei's warm tears on his chest and the Uchiha patted his son's back. It was over, now.

Sasuke's eyes looked down at Yashin's decapitated head. His face was at rest, as if all he had ever wanted had been achieved. He had accepted his fate but his face seemed to speak about more than that. There was odd expression there. Not just acceptance. But release. Maybe, he hadn't wanted vengeance. Maybe, Yashin's ambition this entire time had seeking been freedom from his pain. He had gone about his search the wrong way, but he sought what Sasuke had once sought when he was lost in a cloud of darkness and pain. Not a light to guide him out. Not even the deaths of his enemies. All he had wished for was…

Peace.

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