Naruto led the teenager through the village where the Sharingan was. “Why did you do it?” he asked. He had calmed down from initially wanting to kill the boy once he saw how terrified the poor kid really was.
“It was an accident, Hokage-sama,” he answered quietly. “I did not mean it.”
“Why were you creating an artificial Sharingan?” Sasuke asked.
“It’s a long story, sir,” he answered. “You see, my hometown is small, and we are in debt from a larger village. We were unable to pay back the money we owed them, so they started taking our crops instead, leaving us without enough food to feed everyone. I’m an inventor, you see, so I decided to try to invent something that I could sell.” He fidgeted as they walked. Sasuke was glaring at him for even thinking about selling his clan’s abilities.
“And?” Naruto prompted. He wanted a reason as to why his children had been taken from him.
“I created the first one, but it didn’t work. Finally I had a working one, and I was traveling to search for Uchiha Sasuke in hopes to get some insight about how it worked.”
“What’s the point of it?”
“I had studied the war and Obito was said to have the ability to enter different dimensions. I was fascinated by this, and realized that if we could enter into these realms, we could build prisons there where people can be rehabilitated without the fear of them escaping. I wanted to sell this technology to Blood Prison.” He smiled. “Before I came here, I wanted to do one more experiment, but I was sure it had failed. I didn’t know the kids were there,” he assured them quickly.
“Angry and distraught over my failure, I threw the thing away, only to return a couple days later in order to find it, but you had beat me to it. I went back to my village to create another prototype and was traveling through the Land of Fire when I overheard that Sasuke was back in Konoha. I was pleased, so I hurried here. In a café this morning, I heard some people talking about how the Hokage’s kids were missing and the only clue they found was a metal Sharingan. I rushed here as soon as I heard!”
Naruto sighed. So it hadn’t been anything malicious. Despite his words to Hinata, he wasn’t too thrilled at the idea of killing anyone, even if they were the ones that kidnapped his kids. “You say this technology works, then?” he asked.
“It must. There is only a small chance that they did not survive the journey to the other dimension. I had already run experiments on mice and they went to and came back from the other world without any complications.”
Naruto breathed a sigh a relief. “Good. Now, let’s get them back. They’re probably frantic… where ever they are…”
Sarada tried to listen intently to the brothers as they spoke. Apparently, Boruto and Himawari were part of the contract that Obito had signed with thee Hyuuga when power had been transferred; which meant getting them back would be a problem. Itachi had sent someone to the Hyuuga compound to let them know of the negotiations that would be happening soon for the children’s release. They hadn’t sealed Himawari as of yet, but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t. Their message hadn’t been met with hostility, but the longer this went on, the worse Sarada could see it going.
She sighed and rested her head on the long table. Wouldn’t it just be easier to go there and get them out? She hardly understood the politics of this and wasn’t quite sure how sensitive this really was. In her world, there were no Uchiha to cause such anger and hate… They were all dead.
“You can go to bed, young one,” Itachi muttered.
Sarada sat up quickly. “N-no…! I’m fine. I want to help Boruto and Himawari!”
Itachi grinned. “Very well.” He turned to Sasuke. “We don’t have anything to offer them in return.”
“I know,” Sasuke grumbled.
“I don’t see why we’re trying so hard to save two Hyuuga brats,” Fugaku snapped.
Itachi turned to his father. Sarada looked at her grandfather and sighed. He wasn’t as nice as Boruto’s granddaddy. “Why would we leave them in the hands of the Hyuuga?”
“They aren’t part of our Clan, so it shouldn’t be our concern.”
Itachi narrowed his eyes. “They are, however, part of our village, and we should respect that.”
“With all due respect, father, you are no longer the leader of this clan,” Itachi growled. Sarada flinched. Itachi was severely angry at his father for keeping Sasuke’s departure a secret. Not only that, but Fugaku had been in touch with his estranged son the entire time since he had left.
Sarada shrank away as the man stood angrily. “If that is how you feel, Itachi-san,” he hissed.
Itachi nodded as his father left the room, leaving the two brothers and Sarada in silence.
“You don’t have be so hard on him, Itachi,” Sasuke muttered.
“I do, because there’s no other way to get through to him,” Itachi defended hotly. Sasuke nodded in understanding. Sarada had learned that Sasuke had been angry at the choice of Itachi to become head of the clan. He left within Minato’s graces, promising not to join another ninja village, and he departed at night, leaving the village. After he had cooled down, he wanted to return, only to be told by his father that he could not. He had spent the rest of the time in The Land of Waves, dealing with problems there, almost like a guardian. He never settled down.
Sarada frowned and turned her attention back to the two as they discussed. The conversation wasn’t interesting to her and soon she had laid her head down on the table again. The next time she opened her eyes, she was being carried down a dark hallway in the arms of her father. She smiled softly and closed her eyes again.
Boruto bolted up, gasping as the alarm was sounded. He ran to his door and flung it open, only to be shoved back inside by a rushing Hyuuga. “Boruto!” Himawari whimpered. They had finally let the kids share a room again. Boruto moved to his sister and hugged her tightly. He could only imagine how this was going to go. Who would be attacking the Hyuuga compound…? And why? He figured the second answer was easier than the first, but he didn’t dwell on it. He hugged his sister, stroking her hair as the shouts came from outside; loud and angry.
“What’s going on?” Himawari whimpered.
“There’s just a little bit of a disturbance… No big deal,” Boruto assured his sister, though he hardly believed his own words, He closed his eyes, rocking her gently. Boruto wanted to scream. Nothing made sense and he didn’t know what to do anymore. The Hyuuga wouldn’t always be so kind to them. Eventually they would seal Himawari. She wasn’t part of the main family to them, and they wouldn’t let her go without it much longer. Boruto doubted his ability to protect her if that happened. He had lost to Ansei… He knew if they fought again, the outcome would be the same…
He shook his head and clenched his fist. He wouldn’t let that happen. He would die before he let anything happen to her. If dad’s not here to protect us, then I will have to do it, he said with a nod.
The two sat in mostly silence for what seemed like hours. Himawari eventually settled into her brother’s lap and fell asleep there. After a while. Boruto moved his sister onto the bed and walked out silently. He moved down the dark hallway. He and his sister slept in the main house for now, until they had a better place for them. The wooden floor was cold on his bare feet as he walked down the hall. He stopped at a corner and peeked around. Hiashi was there, arguing with Lady Hanabi in angry whispers that Boruto couldn’t make out.
Boruto snuck the other way to the open door. He stopped short, his eyes wide. Two men were dead on the ground and blood stained the walls. On the bed was another body. Boruto couldn’t help but let out a soft squeak. He quickly covered his mouth. The three men were the elder and his two guards. Boruto let out a loud shout as his arm was grabbed and he was yanked violently away from the open door. Hiashi pushed in to the ground.
“Why are you out of your room, boy?!” he snapped.
“Father!” Hanabi scolded. “He’s just a child!”
“These two are most likely in on it~ He kicked out at Boruto with enough force that would have broken a rib, but the kick never hit its mark.
“Don’t touch him,” Ansei growled dangerously, turning his pale red eyes to his grandfather. He twisted the man’s foot and shoved him back.
Hiashi sighed. “What are you doing out of bed?”
“I smelled blood,” Ansei said with a shrug.
Hiashi sighed deeply again. “Very well.” He turned to Hanabi. “We can’t allow this to go unpunished. The Uchiha Clan is responsible for this and will be held accountable for their actions.”
“This could be an isolated incident. I doubt the clan as a whole is involved. We should handle this without the loss of any more life.”
“We have an Uchiha in custody!” Hiashi snapped.
“We will discuss this later, father,” Hanabi retorted. She turned to Boruto and Ansei, who was helping the blonde up. “You two head off to bed, okay?”
“Yes ma’am,” Boruto said with a bow. Ansei nodded and the two moved away quietly. “Hey… thanks for that?”
“I didn’t do it for you,” Ansei said. “I take any chance I get to annoy Hiashi.” But he smiled all the same.
Boruto smiled back and patted Ansei on the shoulder. For a moment, both of them paused. It was just a second and Boruto remembered the last time he had tried to touch Ansei. He expected the same result, but the moment passed and Ansei’s smile turned softer and he looked away. Maybe I can save him, Boruto thought with a grin.
“Don’t act shy,” he teased. Ansei shoved Boruto away from him playfully. They walked in silence until they reached Boruto’s room.
Ansei placed a hand on Boruto’s head. “Don’t worry about what you saw tonight,” he assured him. “I’m sure they’ll handle it.” Boruto watched the older boy walk away and sighed deeply. It was a slow process, but the glimpses of the person Ansei could be if he could escape them were enough to give him hope. He opened his bedroom door and walked in, picking up his sister. He sat with her in his lap and closed his eyes, trying to get some sleep.
“What was that about?” the blindfolded ninja grumbled as he walked beside Ansei.
“Are you following me?”
“Yes. I thought you said you could kill him.”
“If I needed to, but he’s harmless,” Ansei snapped. He didn’t know what to think about Boruto. He had been waiting his entire life for someone to treat him like Boruto did. He even seemed to consider Ansei a friend, even after Boruto had seen Ansei at his worst.
“Sure…” When he didn’t give a response, Ansei heard a scoff and the other ninja was gone, leaving him to wander back to his small room alone.
The sun rose and Ansei was called to come out. He wasn’t usually called for meetings, but he figured that if the Uchiha were causing waves, he had to be there to show a display of his power so that the Hyuuga reminded them all that they could keep their hold and make good on their threats. Ansei dressed in a mourning gown and walked out of the room silently, being led by a guard who didn’t even look at him. Ansei shoved his hands in his pocket.
He was led out of the Hyuuga compound and through the village. The village was unnaturally silent that morning. It seemed they knew what was happening. Many people scorned the Jinchuuriki as he was paraded through the village. They remembered the damage he had caused during the coup. Ansei tried not to flinch. At least they were looking at him.
He bowed his head as they moved to the Hokage mansion. Ansei took a seat at the long table that was used for meetings like this. Hiashi and Hanabi entered the room. Ansei stood and bowed to them. Despite hating Hiashi, he couldn’t fully hate Hanabi. Tori followed them with a nod. Ansei sighed. So that’s it… I have to be the new leader of the Hyuuga clan today, not their show of power… He sat up straighter.
There were only a handful of people in the village outside the Hyuuga Clan that knew that Ansei wasn’t Hanabi’s son. One of those people was in a coma and the other one would never tell because they he’d have to admit to his mistakes. “Good morning, Mother,” Ansei hissed. Hanabi sighed and nodded to her “son.”
Several minutes later Itachi, Fugaku, Obito and Sasuke were led into the room. “Sasuke shouldn’t be here,” Hanabi said.
“My brother needs to be here, before you accuse him of this,” Itachi said respectfully. The Hyuuga stood and the two clans bowed to one another. Ansei sat opposite to Sasuke, Hiashi to Fugaku Obito to Tori and Itachi to Hanabi.
“Very well,” Hanabi said.
“Before matters continue,” Obito interrupted. “Has the Hyuuga named a Hokage? We cannot have a committee running this village.”
“We will worry about that, Obito-san,” Hanabi answered, silencing her father’s retort. Ansei suppressed a giggle. Hiashi had raised a strong and powerful woman… and he regretted that sometimes. “That is none of your concern.”
“With all due respect---“
“We are not here to speak of that,” Hanabi cut him off. “I am sure you are well aware of what happened last night.”
“Yes,” Itachi said. “It is most unfortunate and I am ashamed of my clansmen for turning this into a violent matter. However, this was the action of a single radical, not the entire clan. He will be punished according to his crime.”
“The Hyuuga will handle his punishment,” Hanabi said firmly.
Itachi blinked. “I do not feel that is entirely needed, Hanabi-san,” he said quickly. “The one responsible will be dealt with.”
“This is treason, Itachi,” Hanabi said. “He must be punished accordingly.”
“And what you did isn’t treason?” Sasuke grumbled. The room fell silent, but Ansei smirked.
“History is written by the victors,” he said with a shrug. Sasuke smiled at him, but the Hyuuga didn’t seem pleased that he seemed to siding with the Uchiha.
“I like your son, Hanabi,” Sasuke said.
“Thank you.” Hanabi responded with a nod. Ansei looked away, deciding he was in enough trouble for that comment. “Back to the point. We will handle the punishment of this traitor. This cannot be left in your hands.” She raised her hand to silence Itachi’s retort. “He has killed our elder and two of our men. I am sorry, Itachi, but he is ours to deal with, not yours.”
Itachi narrowed his eyes. “What will his punishment be?”
“Surely you understand what it must be,” Hiashi said. Ansei turned to his grandfather. “He must be executed for his crimes.”
Itachi stood. “That is unacceptable!” he snapped.
Hanabi watched without giving anything away. “I am sorry, Itachi, but that is what must be done.”
Fugaku glared at them. “This is not worth that.”
“Three men are dead!” tori argued.
“Three Hyuuga are dead!” Fugaku retorted.
“Are we to believe that our clan’s lives are worth less than yours?” Hiashi returned.
“That’s not what’s being said here!” Obito chimed in. “this should be handled without the senseless loss of life!”
“It’s too late for that!” Tori growled.
Ansei bowed his head, his hands shaking. “Stop arguing,” he hissed, but no one heard him over their own arguments. He thought about it. The Hyuuga couldn’t let the man get away with the crime because it would show weakness. But if they killed the assassin, then it would just show them to be the bullies everyone thought they were. But if they let him live, then the village could get a foothold in their shaky control… but if they killed him, they would lose whatever support they had from the villagers.
It doesn’t look good either way, he thought with a sigh. He closed his eyes. It was then that he noticed all was silent in the room. He opened his eyes and turned to see that everyone was looking at him expectantly. “What?”
“What do you think, Ansei?” Tori asked. Ansei looked at his “father” and blinked slowly.
He shrugged. “It’s a calculated move,” he started quietly. He would show them that he wasn’t to be taken lightly. “If you show mercy, it will cause the villagers to think that you might have a weaker hold on the village, but if you kill him, you face looking like cruel monsters.” He leaned back in his chair. “However, the crime ended with three dead men that cannot be ignored. He has already confessed to the crime, and proudly as well. I say that he wants to die a martyr, so we might as well give him what he wants.”
In the end, it was decided the man would die for his crimes. Ansei wasn’t sure why they had listened to him, but they did. It felt good to be listened to. He sat, kneeling before his garden. The sun would be up soon, and then he would do his part in this. They had given him a perfect opportunity to not only feel needed, but to show his strength. He was to be the executioner.
Killing shouldn’t bother him… but he had felt deep remorse for everyone he had killed over the years. He looked down at his hands. He had never wanted to be a killer, or to be feared. His visitor didn’t come that night, most likely knowing that he had to think this through alone. He had already decided the method he would use. They wanted him to show his strength. That’s all I am for them, he thought. I am a puppet for them… a doll that they can dress up and call their own. He clenched his fists.
Even though they had asked his advice during the meeting, they didn’t truly care. He agreed with them to stop the bickering. He stood slowly from his spot and moved inside to done his mourning clothes again. He picked up a black headband and placed it over his curse mark before leaving the room and heading outside. He stopped in the center of the compound where he would end a life. I don’t want to… he thought sadly, staring at the ground. He wanted to talk to Boruto or Naruto about it… to beg them to make it all stop. He was being forced down a path he didn’t want. I don’t want to be their weapon… Boruto had started to show him that he could be something more… something that didn’t belong to anyone else.
But he stood out of sight as the people gathered and the prisoner was led out. “Ansei!” Naruto called, running towards him.
“Hello sensei. How is your father?”
Naruto shook his head. “That doesn’t matter right now. I wanted to talk to you! Hinata told me what they’re making you do!”
Ansei shrugged. “I know.”
“Don’t do it.” Naruto begged.
“I have to, sensei… you know that…”
Naruto shook his head. “You can’t come back from this, Ansei!”
“I’ve killed in cold blood before, sensei, you know that.”
Naruto bit his lip. He put his hands on the boy’s shoulders. “Ansei… We will help you!”
Ansei pulled himself away from his teacher, narrowing his eyes. “I don’t need your help!” Why did everyone want to control him?! Even his sensei wanted to tell him what to do now! “And I don’t want it either. This is my choice!” He started through the crowd to his position. He bit his bottom lip. He’s right, he finally decided as he looked at the defiant Uchiha member. His eyes were covered with a blindfold. I can’t get my revenge on these people with these pesky emotions. I have to do this; not for the clan, but for me. I have to prove to myself that I can make my own choices. I’m doing this for me, not them. I can’t be bogged down by these emotions. I can’t care about anyone else… Only myself.
He looked around the crowd and noticed Boruto watching intently. Ansei smirked. Good. Watch… then you can give up on me, just like everyone else. He chuckled softly. Under any other circumstances… we could have been friends…
He looked to Hiashi, who nodded as that he could begin. Ansei stepped to his victim and closed his eyes. He did the handsigns and entered into the stance required. His hands glowed a deep blue color. “Ansei!” Naruto called. Ansei didn’t acknowledge it.
“Eight-trigrams…” He attacked the man’s body. He didn’t scream, but Ansei knew he would. He would beg for mercy if he had time to. Eight Trigrams wasn’t exactly a deadly attack if the user didn’t want it to be, but Ansei had studied medical ninjutsu from his father. With every touch he made, he was not only blocking chakra flow, but severing blood vessels, tendons, muscles and bone.
It was an attack he had been forbidden to use once he told his teacher about its conception. It was unspeakably cruel. The attack combined Eight-Trigrams, Sixty-Four Palms with Chakra Dissection Blade. Under normal circumstances, the attack was impractical, as it required a massive amount of chakra that most people didn’t have readily available. It also required pinpoint accuracy, especially if the attacker wanted to torture the victim by keeping them alive throughout the entire attack.
The amount of chakra control it required was unreal. Not only did the user have to target the chakra points, but also the small vitals. The attacker had to make their chakra streams they emitted the size of hair. The user could also not keep the stream going. It had to be cut off after each tough, meaning that the users had to consciously create the strands and destroy them in a matter of milliseconds, only to recreate them.
Ansei spun and slammed his fingers into the man’s body. He screamed, finally. Ansei could see the man’s chakra system falling apart inside him. He could also see the man’s body giving out as Ansei destroyed the Uchiha’s body from the inside out. Finally he slammed his palm into the man’s chest. He doubled over and vomited blood on the ground. The amount that came up was sickening.
Ansei stood over him and watched as he collapsed and convulsed on the ground, screaming in pain as each tremor that shook his body only caused more pain. More blood came up with each scream. Ansei turned to a point in the crowd and locked eyes with his real mother. The screams faded as he saw tears streaming down her face. What have they done to you? Her eyes were saying.
Ansei blinked and turned to look at the gathered Hyuuga there. He suddenly felt sick. He turned to the man, who had been reduced to whimpers on the ground. He was dying slowly. Ansei had done his job too well. He turned and saw it in their faces… A shiver went down his spine. They were no longer ignoring him…
But all he saw reflected in their eyes was his own fear…