Chapter 35: Just Another Curse
Red, orange, and yellow. Those were the colors they could only see. Flames rose high, swallowing the building before them. It was an inn, a big one. Blue eyes widened as a scream tore through the air. His feet moved before his mind could process what he was doing. Naruto ran into the burning inn. Sasuke moved to follow, but froze. A glint in the moonlight caught his eyes.
A kid around his age had another kid pinned to the ground. He had a knife in his hand. Sasuke watched as the boy swung the knife down. The kid under him managed to move out of the way. The second boy stood, tears rolling down his eyes. “It’s not me!” he yelled.
“How do I know that?” the first boy asked. “Who said these memories are true? You could be the extra. I have to kill the extra!” He charged at the other. Sasuke looked back at the inn, his decision already made. He ran towards the inn, leaving behind the two boys. He only looked back to see the second boy pull out a knife of his own and slam it into the first boy’s chest. Sasuke didn’t care. It wasn’t his place to interfere.
What seemed like several hours later, Sasuke still hadn’t found Naruto. He did however come across several dead bodies. It looks like whatever this extra person things was caused a lot of death. If he hadn’t been a ninja and an Uchiha, he may have thrown up. He had some flashes of the Uchiha Massacre play in his head but he was able to block them out. He only had one goal: find Naruto.
Naruto on the other hand had found the source of the scream. A girl was under a pile of wood. She was screaming for help. Just as Naruto moved to help her another girl appeared. The girl stared down at the other one. Naruto gasped as the second girl kicked the first right in the head.
The second girl leaned down and cut the pulse of the first. Feeling nothing, the girl curse. “She wasn’t it either.” She looked out the window and saw someone. Grabbing a piece of wood, she broke the window and jumped out. Naruto was too shocked to move. He hadn’t felt evil intent coming from the second girl. This confused him. He sighed. There was nothing he could do if he just stood there.
Sasuke soon saw a girl running out of the inn. A boy followed her. Sasuke didn’t know why, but something told him to follow them. He hid to watch as the two stopped behind a third person who was under a fallen tree. On a closer look, the third person was an older woman. Sasuke couldn’t hear what the three of them were talking about.
A few minutes later, Sasuke saw Naruto coming towards him. He waved him over. “This place is creepy,” Naruto said. “I just saw a girl kill another one.”
“It seems they are trying to find someone called the Extra,” Sasuke said. A loud noise caused them to look towards where it came from.
The boy was on the ground along with a bloody pickaxe. The girl called out his name. “Koichi!” Naruto being Naruto ran towards the two. Sasuke sighed and joined them. An older man soon appeared helping them carry Koichi to a safe place. No one questioned Naruto and Sasuke’s presence.
A few days later, Naruto and Sasuke followed Koichi and Mei to Reiko’s grave. “Why did you kill her if she was your Aunt?” Naruto suddenly asked.
Koichi and Mei stopped. Both wondered how the two of them remembered it. Even Mei was having issues remembering it and she had basically helped Koichi kill her. “You shouldn’t remember that.” Naruto looked confused. “Only the one who killed the extra person remembers them. Though, even that memory will fade.”
“May be we are different since we’re from a different word,” Naruto said. They had to explain to Koichi, Mei and the other survivors how they randomly appeared at the inn. At first, only Mei believed them. Then Koichi and the surviving teacher believed them. The other survivors already forgot almost everything that happened.
“That is possible,” Mei said.
“So why did you have to kill your Aunt?” Naruto asked.
Koichi sighed. “Our class has a curse. Every year, this is an extra person in the class. That extra person has died and has come back, fake memories being added to some of the people in the class. It is said the extra person causes death. To stop the death, the extra person must die.”
“That’s a strange curse,” Naruto said. “What caused it?”
“No one knows,” Mei said. “There will be no record of who the Extra was. Not only will it be erased from all of our memories, but Reiko’s name will vanish from anything written about her even being in our class.”
“It must have been hard,” Naruto said.
“It was easier after knowing that she was already dead,” Koishi said.
“A death curse,” Sasuke said.
“It’s my fault,” Koichi said. He clenched his fists. “I should have known that Aunt Reiko had died. Even Gramma and Grampa knew she was dead. If I had listened to them, no one else would have died.”
Mei put a hand on her shoulder. “It isn’t your fault.”
Koichi sighed. “At least I won’t be able to remember any of it. That’s the only benefit of the curse.” They walked the rest of the way to the grave in silence. Koichi grabbed a ladle of water and poured it over Reiko’s grave. He also lit some incense. Naruto and Mei laid down the flowers. All four of them clapped their hands before taking a moment of silence.
Green light peaked through the darkness causing all four pairs of eyes to open. Naruto looked down. “It’s time.” He turned to Koichi and Mei. “You may forget us, but we’ll be ok. Don’t let what happened stop you from living.”
Koichi smiled. “We won’t.”
Naruto grabbed Sasuke’s hand. There wasn’t really a reason why he did it, but it felt right. Sasuke didn’t even question it. Koichi and Mei watched them go.
“Do you think we’ll really forget them?” Koichi asked.
“They interfered with the curse,” Mei said. “If we do lose our memories of them, it is ok. We just have keep living.”
“I can do that,” Koichi said grabbing Mei’s hand. They looked at each other and smiled. ‘Good bye, Aunt Reiko.’