When the Curtain Falls
I'm back! And sorry for the wait! Like always, my delay in updates has to do with writer's block, and also the fact that I can't seem to find the motivation as I've just failed my interview for entry into design school! *weep buckets of tears* Anyway, once again, sorry for the long wait, and I hope that you will like this chapter!
Disclaimer: Part of this story will have settings and events taken out from various anime like Get Backers and Jigoku Shoujo, but I do not own any of them, nor do I own Naruto or any characters in this story save for OC characters
Chapter Thirteen: When the Curtain Falls
All of Ragnarok were on pins and needles right until the night before the final day of the training camp.
Apart from that guitar-on-fire incident on the first day of the training camp, Iesugawa Shuu had never done anything at all, and this had all of Ragnarok on pins and needles, with each of them wondering what that guy is going to do next.
And thus, this explains the reason why all of Ragnarok are all currently in Gaara and Neji's room, having an emergency meeting of sorts. All of them were seated in the couches and chairs in the room that Gaara and Neji shared, and all of them have worried looks on their faces.
Finally, Shiki sighed and glanced around the room at all her friends who all have equally grim expressions on their faces.
"It's time," she stated, and everyone nodded grimly. "If Iesugawa is going to try to pull anything, tomorrow is the only time that he can act."
"I've gotten a copy of tomorrow's schedule just in case," said Yugito, handing over a slip of paper to Shiki who scanned her eyes quickly down it, and the redhead frowned.
"It says here that there is going to be a performance put on by all the bands in the theatre hall," said Shiki slowly, looking from one to the other. "It is not a full dress rehearsal like what we've been doing for the past few days. It is an actual performance with the lights dimmed out, the public invited here, and everything. If Iesugawa is going to try to pull anything, it should be during that performance."
"'When the last curtain falls, so will the performance. The role of Siren Singer belongs to no other but one.'" Haku recited the contents of that threatening letter than Shino had somehow managed to attain. The ice maiden glanced at her friends. "It makes sense. If he is going to try to pull anything, it should be during the performance of Storm of Fire."
Shiki nodded slowly, her brain working a hundred miles per minute. "And that means that we have to make our move then as well," she said slowly. "As of now, Iesugawa has never given us a reason to kill him yet—"
Temari snorted. "I'll call that guitar-on-fire incident 'something', Shiki," she said snidely.
"Nonetheless, we can't just use that as an excuse." Neji interrupted Temari before Shiki can say anything. "As Ragnarok, we do have our code and honour to abide by. We can't just go about killing everyone that rubs us up the wrong way! Granted, that time with that Arika Mami who uses our name is one thing…" Neji trailed off. "But we do have a valid request on her, and so…"
Hinata sighed. "Neji-nii-san, get straight to the point," she said.
"Shino." Shiki interrupted before Neji can say anything, and everyone turned towards her, the bug user among them. "Tell me. Who is responsible for all the props and backstage proceedings for the performance tomorrow evening?"
Shino's eyebrows could almost be seen behind his shades as he referred to his computer that was opened on his lap as usual, with the bug user being curled up in one of the couches. "Well, you'll be surprised to hear this, but it's Iesugawa Shuu," he answered. "As one of the band managers here, he's responsible for the proceedings backstage, and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As he is the most senior here, Ishigaya Taro had made him the chief."
Shiki frowned, and everyone stared at their captain. What is Shiki up to this time?
"And the marker stickers?" Shiki questioned. "The one that marks where each person is to place their footing on the stage in the darkness during a performance? Who is responsible where those stickers are to go?"
Shino frowned slightly, seeing what Shiki is concerned about now. "Iesugawa Shuu," he answered, and Shiki sighed.
"I was afraid of that," she muttered. She then glanced at her friends. "Look, let me put it in simpler terms for you so that you'll understand." She said, and everyone nodded. "Whenever a band gives a performance in a theatre hall, the one who is responsible to ensure that things run smoothly usually tends to have a hand in marking the stage with glow-in-the-dark stickers so that no one falls off the stage. Usually, even if one falls off the stage, it is nothing serious. At most, they'll probably get a bad sprain or something. But this time, it is no joking matter."
"Because the theatre hall here is originally used for performance plays, this means that the landing impact will be quite far from the ground." Gaara said suddenly, putting together the pieces. He glanced around before looking at Shiki in the eye who nodded. "If anyone falls off of the stage of the theatre hall here, they'll fall to their death!"
Everyone paled instantly, and Yugito frowned.
"And even if the ANBU are called in to investigate the unfortunate death of anyone during the performance, it'll only be marked as a freak accident," she said grimly. "And to make matters worse, Storm of the Fire is the first up for the performance tomorrow."
Shiki sighed loudly, pinching the bridge of her nose to ease her headache. "Alright, that does it," she said. "We already have our hands full with trying to locate the Bijuu Shrines which doesn't have much success so far…" She muttered beneath her breath. "I'm going to need three of you in disguises tomorrow in case Iesugawa pulled anything. Save the unfortunate fellow who happened to fall off the stage, and enact our own version of justice. In this case, the target will be Iesugawa." Shiki glanced around at her friends. "Yugito. Haku. Gaara. Can you three do it?"
The three mentioned nodded dumbly, but Gaara frowned slightly. "But won't the ANBUs present here find something strange if three of us are missing when Ragnarok appears?" he asked. "Even they are bright enough to put two and two together."
Shiki sighed and nodded. "And that's where Tenten comes in," she stated, and the brunette blinked owlishly.
Shiki turned towards the bun-haired girl. "Can you create three illusionary copies of Yugito, Haku and Gaara tomorrow so that no one will find it odd that they are missing?" she asked. "It's rather unfortunate, but their abilities are required for tomorrow's mission. Besides…" She grinned to herself. "We can take this chance to just see what our self-proclaimed arch nemeses are capable of."
Tenten grinned, along with every other the moment that they'd figured out what Shiki is up to.
"Consider it done," she said.
Next DayTheatre Hall
Itachi was silent as he sat in one of the front seats with the rest of his teammates who were here as Deidara's guests, watching as the band members of all the bands here were busy setting the props up on the stage.
His eyes softened as he watched Shiki disappeared backstage, before he tore his eyes away. As an ANBU, he knew that relationships are quite discouraged and frowned upon. Those that are in relationships usually tend to pick fellow ANBUs as their chosen ones. Especially ones like Nagato and Konan. He has no idea what Tsunade would think of him picking a civilian as his chosen one.
He would probably get his head ripped off for this.
Kisame leant over to him in his seat next to Itachi. "If everything goes well today, then it is all for the best," he said quietly.
Itachi nodded silently.
But inwardly, he doesn't think that that will happen. Akatsuki never had things working their way whenever it comes to missions. Either the missions that they get are the most boring of the lot, or it can also be the ones that are categorized wrongly.
And if Ragnarok caught wind about the entire thing about the band…
Itachi shuddered even just thinking about it.
That was the entire reason why the ANBU had tried to keep the entire mission under wraps, and to keep it as quiet as possible. Especially since this sound just like the type of thing that Ragnarok would stick their nose into. And frankly, Itachi doesn't wish to see another death here.
The guests were slowly filling into the seats, and there were mutterings between the guests as they waited for the time for the curtain to fall, and for the performance to begin.
Itachi studied the performance schedule in his hand, and noted that the first band up is the Storm of Fire band. He then smiled to himself. Ishigaya Taro probably wants that band to get their performance over with as soon as possible. It is highly unlikely that that band would ever get to remain functioning after this entire performance, especially with the way that the band is currently going.
As Itachi glanced up, he noticed that the band members who weren't performing yet were heading down the stairs by the sides of the performance stage, and filling in the seats in the first two rows. They'll probably be sitting there until it is their turn to give the performance, and the roadies would then load their instruments up on the stage from backstage.
"It is about time." Nagato mused from next to Itachi, glancing at his watch. "It is nearly six in the evening. It should begin soon."
"Keep your eyes open, all of you." Itachi muttered, yet the members of Akatsuki could all hear him clearly, and they nodded. "Deidara will be keeping his eyes peeled opened backstage, so we'll do our part here as well. If this 'Phantom' is among the band, then this performance is the only time when he can make his move."
Konan snorted. "The finale of the entire performance," she stated, and Itachi nodded.
The lights dimmed just then, and Itachi frowned.
Like clockwork, the curtains fell at exactly six o'clock, and the entire performance then begun.
The audience clapped as the heavy silk curtains of the stage swung apart to reveal the remaining three members of the Storm of Fire band – Ishigawa Keiji, Aoyama Miyu and Tendou Kyoko.
Shiki knew the second member – Aoyama Miyu, as the lead keyboardist of the band, and that she was Ishigawa Keiko's best friend. There were also rumours going around that the girl is planning on leaving Storm of Fire after this performance, and joining another band, as there were rumours that some band had offered Miyu the position of keyboardist in their band.
It is the first and the last that had Shiki concerned.
Especially since those two have a hand in causing the death of Ishigawa Keiko.
Now, Shiki knew that they didn't exactly kill her, but they did set things up to cause her death. All those 'things' only have a thirty percent chance of succeeding, but it still did succeed. And Shiki hated it, but she can't move against those two unless they did something that ranks them as 'sinners' in Ragnarok's book.
Even Ragnarok has their own code to follow.
Neji who is sitting next to Shiki exchanged looks with her, as the one who is taking the role of lead singer, Tendou Kyoko, stepped forwards towards the center of the stage, wearing a beaming smile on her face.
Shiki didn't take her eyes off of Kyoko as the girl stepped closer and closer to the edge of the stage, her eyes focused on Kyoko's feet and the glow-in-the-dark markers that she can vaguely see on the ground of the stage.
Beside her, Shiki can feel Neji tensing up.
He wasn't the only one.
All of them could somehow feel that something is going to happen. And after having been in years in this line, all of them have long learned to trust their instincts.
Something bad is going to happen.
Almost like in slow motion, Shiki watched as Kyoko placed her right foot with the heel against the glow-in-the-dark marker – said to be the 'safe' point, and she watched as Kyoko's eyes widened slightly in surprise before she let out a light scream, and promptly fell off the stage.
"Shit!" Kisame snarled as Kyoko fell off the stage with a scream. "That was the work of Phantom, isn't it?!"
"Wait, Kisame!" Itachi placed a hand on his best friend's arm, his eyes narrowing together. "Something isn't right…"
The lights of the entire theatre hall were turned on at the same exact moment when Kyoko fell with a scream, with the entire theatre hall giving out light screams themselves. A black blur appeared from out of nowhere just then, catching Tendou Kyoko in his or her arms just before the singer could hit the ground, setting the frightened girl safely on her feet on the ground.
"What—?!" Konan stood up in her seat, surprise etched on her features, and she isn't the only one.
"Over there!" Sasori narrowed his eyes, looking towards where the band manager of the Storm of Fire stood, being half-hidden by the curtains. The only difference between then and now is that Iesugawa Shuu was being held hostage of some masked person, one arm hooked around his neck.
"What is going on?" Itachi narrowed his eyes. 'This isn't supposed to happen!'
"Don't move, any of you," said a curt voice as a third masked figure dropped down from the ceiling, landing onto the stage itself.
All three of those masked figures were dressed in black coats with a dark cloak each. A black half-mask also concealed the bottom half of their faces, preventing anyone from seeing their faces.
"It's game over, Iesugawa Shuu," said the one who had said man hostage.
The one who had rescued Kyoko glared up at Shuu. "I understand your pain and despair because of Ishigawa Keiko's passing, but what you've done…! You're nothing but a murderer!"
"Who are you people?!" Deidara stood up from his seat. "Let Iesugawa-san go!"
"The ANBU are really idiots, aren't they?" The first one muttered. "You should be thankful that we're here tonight, otherwise, you'll have another death on your hands. And yet, with what this guy had attempted to do…" He narrowed his eyes. "Is this true justice at all?"
Itachi narrowed his eyes. "Justice?" he muttered. His eyes then flew opened in shock when he realized just who they are. "You people are…! Ragnarok!"
Whispers and mutterings started to break out all over the theatre hall.
"Ragnarok…!" Deidara hissed, with both fear and fury etched on his face. "So we meet at last…"
"We did meet once before. It's just that you didn't recognize us," said the first masked person who is actually Gaara, with the second being Yugito, and the last being Haku, not that any of those present, save for Ragnarok themselves, being aware of this little fact.
"Ragnarok…!" Shuu hissed, still being held hostage by Yugito. "Why have you come? You refused to take on my request, didn't you?"
Itachi froze. Request?
"Don't blame us for it," said Haku with a shrug. "Our captain didn't want to take on your request as the two whom you've ordered a hit on, Ishigawa Keiji and Tendou Kyoko, have nothing to do with Ishigawa Keiko's death."
"Shuu, you…!" Keiji stepped forward, rage on his features. "You tried to kill us? Why?!"
Shiki glanced at Yugito who nodded subtly, and released her hold on Shuu. Even Ragnarok is curious to know about Iesugawa's part in this entire mess.
"Shuu-san…" Miyu stepped forward, pain on her features. "Keiko's death… Why?"
"Miyu, you're Keiko's best friend. You should know this better than anyone else. Her death is no accident!" Shuu growled. "She was murdered! By those two!"
"But why?" Miyu asked again. "I know… I know that her death is no accident. But what can I do? I have no proof! And why are you even seeking vengeance for her death in the first place? What is Keiko to you?"
"She's my lover." Shuu growled, and silence fell among the theatre hall once more. "Back then, all those months ago during that rehearsal. Her fall from the stage that had cracked her skull opened which had resulted in her death is no accident! Those two planned it!" He glared at Keiji and Kyoko. "You tampered with the markers on the stage so that she'll fall off in the pitch black darkness! Keiko died because of you both!"
Miyu looked as if she had just suffered from a heart attack.
"It can't be…!" she whispered.
"If that is the case, then why didn't you come to the ANBU?" Nagato asked.
"ANBU?" Shuu laughed bitterly. "Like that could help! The ANBU are just dogs of the damn government! Dogs who merely took every chance to ostracize the civilians and the nin-users of the country! My baby sister… She died because of the fucking ANBU! Because those guys took their own sweet time to come when she is in dire need of their help! And the ANBU claimed that they 'live for the people'? Bah! Don't give me all that bullshit!"
Shiki narrowed her eyes. So that's why he had never gone to the ANBU in the first place…
"Keiko is everything to me. She has been there for me ever since my sister had died. To me, Keiko's life is irreplaceable. But then, those two…those two got away scot-free with her murder!" Shuu glared at the two in mention who flinched slightly. "I then decided. If the law and the ANBU can't do anything, and won't do anything to help me, then I'll find another way to get my revenge!"
Shiki closed her eyes briefly.
It was then that we've realized. That even the law has limits. That's what we'd thought at that time. That's why…Ragnarok was formed.
That was the reason why Ragnarok had even been formed in the first place.
There are some criminals that can't be touched by the law. And if that is the case, then they have to go outside the law and the courts to deal with them. That was what Shiki had thought at that time when her old gang had perished. That was what Yugito had thought. What Shino had thought. What all of Ragnarok had thought.
"And that's when you'd contacted us, right?" said Yugito, and Itachi narrowed his eyes.
"That's right," said Shuu. "I remembered Keiko telling me about a certain organization that had been the hot topic of discussion on the Net for quite a number of years now, and that the ANBU have been chasing after them for some years now without any success."
Itachi narrowed his eyes. 'Ragnarok…' he thought. 'Just what are they?'
"Ragnarok. I contacted them. I waited. Finally, after two months, your captain made contact with me. The one otherwise known as Twila." Shuu gritted his teeth as if remembering something nasty. There wasn't a single sound to be heard in the theatre hall as everyone was listening intently to Shuu and his tale.
"But then, the captain of Ragnarok told me something after I'd told her my request. 'We can't help someone who seeks the death of another human being solely for the purpose of vengeance in which the other party has no fault in.' They refused to help me in the killings of Keiji and Kyoko…stating that revenge killings for a reason that is not the fault of the other party isn't something that they will do. I then decided… If Ragnarok won't help me, then I'll avenge Keiko's death by myself!"
Itachi can only stare. 'Huh?'
And the captain of the Akatsuki is sure that he isn't the only one. This is the first that Itachi had heard of Ragnarok turning down a request. He doesn't know what to think of that organization anymore.
Haku appeared in front of Shuu in an instant even before he could move towards Keiji and Kyoko.
"Get out of my way!" Shuu snarled, a crazed look in his eyes as a knife appeared like magic in his hand. "If you won't help me to kill Keiji and Kyoko, then I'll do it myself!"
Haku tilted her head slightly so that she is looking at Shiki out of the corner of her eye. To the normal bystander, it'll merely look like Haku is studying Shuu intently, but all of Ragnarok knew better.
Shiki knew what Haku is asking as well: Are you sure that you want to go through with it?
Shiki sighed and nodded. At the rate that Iesugawa Shuu is going, he is only heading straight for destruction. The least that they could do is to end his misery.
"I'm sorry, but I cannot do that," said Haku. She then glanced at Yugito who is the one standing closest to Shuu, her hands stuffed in her pockets. Yet her posture is tense, indicating that she is ready at any given time to act. "Raitei!"
Yugito moved so quickly that she is just a blur to all of the onlookers before she grabbed hold of Shuu, twisting the knife out of his grasp, and hooking her arm around his neck. Just one wrong move, and she can break his neck.
"Let me go!"
"I'm afraid not," said Gaara calmly. "You see, we have our orders from our captain. She told us that if you refused to back down from your killing spree, then we have no choice but to eliminate you. At the rate that you're going, you're only heading straight towards the path of destruction. True, we do revenge killings: Ragnarok carries out the vengeance of our clients. But we actually make sure that it's something valid. But what you're doing now… How is it any different from what those two have actually done?"
"Like I give a damn! Let me go!"
Yugito sighed. "It's game over, Iesugawa Shuu," she said before she tightened her grasp, and there was the sound of a loud crack as Shuu's neck was broken, and Yugito let his limp body fall to the ground.
There was a shocked silence as everyone just saw a member of Ragnarok kill someone in front of them. Sure, everyone knew that Ragnarok is an assassination organization, but seeing and hearing are two completely different things.
"How could you…?" Deidara could barely get his words out.
"Don't get us wrong," said Gaara curtly. "We're Ragnarok. We don't kill without a reason. But if we think that the client is doing the wrong thing, then we will stop them. That is the code of Ragnarok, and no one within Ragnarok will break it. If the ANBU can't tame the criminals in their own country, then we shall do it for you! When it actually comes down to it, the ANBU are completely useless, aren't they? They never come when we actually need you the most."
Itachi was too shocked at the events that have just transpired to even feel shocked that Gaara had just said 'you' that indicates that he knew of their true identities.
"We're merely here as observers, and also to see what the ANBU, our self-proclaimed arch nemesis are actually capable of," said Yugito curtly. "And I must say that you guys are disappointing if that is all that you're capable of."
"What was that?!" Nagato growled.
"Don't you know, Akatsuki?" said Haku, and all of Akatsuki jumped a little, shocked that Ragnarok actually knew who they are. "The game is just starting. Let's play, shall we? Let's play to the end. And let's see who shall actually emerge as the victors. The ANBU? Or Ragnarok? The game starts now."
Itachi growled. Was that a challenge?
The tension in the air was broken with Kyoko's nasal voice, and everyone turned towards the girl. The singer had a nasty look on her face as she eyed Shuu's dead body with a look that suggested that there is a nasty smell beneath her nose.
"Blaming us for something this trivial…"
"You got that right." Keiji nodded.
Itachi narrowed his eyes. He is starting to wish that Ragnarok had taken Iesugawa Shuu's request after all. Those two are just the type of people that pisses him off the most! And it is rather unfortunate, but there is no way for them to prove that those two are responsible for the death of Ishigawa Keiko, as her death has already been classified as an accident all those months ago.
In the end, are they just some of the ones that couldn't be touched by the law? Is what Ragnarok said true? That there are some criminals that you must go outside the courts and the law to punish?
No! Itachi refused to believe that! There must be some other way!
And yet again, Itachi somehow had a feeling that Ragnarok won't just leave those two alone. If it is one thing that Itachi had admired them for, it is for their perseverance and tenacity. As well as their stubbornness to stick to their ideals.
When they do a job, they actually finish it to the end.
"You're not that much innocent either, both of you." Gaara growled, narrowing his eyes at Kyoko and Keiji. "Our captain doesn't wish to see you dead…yet. But mark my words, we'll be watching you. Watching and waiting. What comes around comes around. On the day when you actually go against what Ragnarok had stood for, we'll be ready for you."
Kyoko smirked arrogantly.
"Let's go," said Haku, and Gaara and Yugito nodded.
"Wait!" Deidara called out, rushing towards the stage.
But Haku smirked as she raised her right hand, and several ice spikes flew at Deidara who avoided getting speared narrowly.
"Deidara!" Juno, the keyboardist in Deidara's band shouted to his band-mate.
Haku, Gaara and Yugito then took that distraction as a chance to escape.
Everyone was paying attention to the Ragnarok members who have just left that no one was paying the slightest amount of attention to one Hoshigaki Kisame who almost had his eyes bulging out, his hands clenched into tight fists on his knees.
He knew that power.
It can't be…
'Haku?' Kisame thought. His brain had nearly stopped functioning. 'It can't be you, can it? My younger half-sister…'
Meanwhile with the remaining Ragnarok members who are currently undercover, Shiki and Neji exchanged looks before they nodded as one.
The headlines of the newspapers were all splashed with the news that Ragnarok had appeared at the theatre hall of the Twilight Theatre Group.
There were several who were in two minds about Ragnarok appearing to the public after having gone dormant with Orochimaru's murder all those months ago. As a rule, Ragnarok rarely shows themselves to the public.
Half of Japan's population who were actually Ragnarok's supporters thinks that Ragnarok had actually done the right thing. The other half thinks that Ragnarok are no different from being murderers themselves. And there are also a small number who are mostly neutral.
The forum boards that discussed Ragnarok were almost flooded with messages on the day when news of Ragnarok was actually splashed all over the headlines of the newspapers all over Japan.
The entire story of Iesugawa Shuu and Ishigawa Keiko were splashed all over the newspapers as well. Surprisingly, there were many who have sympathized with Shuu, as in the end, he just wanted justice done for his lover's sake.
Unsurprisingly, Storm of Fire had disbanded after that fiasco, as what Deidara had told his teammates in the Akatsuki later on.
Aoyama Miyu couldn't take the fact that her two remaining band-mates have a hand involved in causing the death of her best friend, and she left the band. With Storm of Fire missing their lead keyboardist – the vital part in any band, the band disbanded.
And surprisingly, Aoyama Miyu later joined the Firefly band – Deidara's band, as their lead keyboardist. The current keyboardist, Juno, had actually suggested it, stating that Firefly actually requires two keyboardists for most of their performances anyway. And it is always a good thing to have a backup keyboardist, and Miyu is actually quite good with drums and guitars herself. And not to mention the fact that Juno is actually Miyu's childhood friend.
One week after that entire fiasco with Ragnarok and the Twilight Theatre Group can find Konan and Nagato seated somewhere in one of the seats in a theatre hall where Tendou Kyoko would be starring in her first play.
After Storm of Fire had disbanded, Tendou Kyoko had taken up acting, and is surprisingly popular. Though whether she is popular because of the recent mess with Ragnarok or with her own efforts, no one had any idea.
And several miles away, Itachi and Kisame were shadowing one Ishigawa Keiji in the streets.
Those were orders from Tsunade: shadow Ishigawa Keiji and Tendou Kyoko, and find evidence on their misdeeds so that the ANBU can bring them to justice.
Not that any of Akatsuki actually thinks that they would be able to find any.
"Personally, I'll prefer it if she dies." Konan growled to Nagato as the curtains slowly rolled down. "This is about the only time when I actually hoped that Ragnarok would do us all a favour and rid us of filth like that woman!"
Nagato said nothing, but he agreed with his girlfriend.
Even the entire Rendoku team had agreed with them.
But unfortunately, this is their job.
"It's starting." Nagato muttered as the lights dimmed, and Kyoko stepped out onto the stage, playing the part of the Star Princess of this play that she is currently starring in as the lead.
Nagato growled as he watched that woman stepped closer to the edge of the stage. For once, he preferred that Ragnarok actually let her die when she had fallen off the stage back then. She killed Ishigawa Keiko, and yet, neither Akatsuki nor Rendoku could find any evidence to prove it! In the end, is what Ragnarok had said is true?
Does the law truly have limits?
And that the only way to overcome those limits and to punish those that couldn't be touched by the law is to go outside the courts and the law?
Everyone in Akatsuki, and even Rendoku, has all been awfully silent after that mission. They were all probably pondering over what Ragnarok had said.
"Nagato." Konan touched his arm.
Nagato turned his attention back towards Tendou Kyoko, and he frowned as he watched the woman stepped closer to the edge of the stage, beginning to sing the opening tunes of the opening of the play. His eyes then flew opened in shock as shock was clearly visible on Kyoko's face just then, and she fell off the stage, despite numerous horrified shouts.
This time, there is no Ragnarok member who is there to catch her, and no one to save her.
With a loud thud, Tendou Kyoko fell nearly six feet off of the stage onto the ground, cracking her skull opened on the ground, and blood immediately started to pool around her.
Someone is already dialing for an ambulance, but Konan, as a medic, knew that it is of little use.
A fall from that height is enough to kill anyone.
Tendou Kyoko had died the same way that she had set up her rival to die.
At the same exact moment, several miles away, Hoshigaki Kisame and Uchiha Itachi watched with expressionless eyes as a large crowd was crowding around a car, where the body of Ishigawa Keiji was beneath the car – having been ran over by said car several moments prior.
Blood was already starting to pool around the body of Ishigawa Keiji. And Itachi knew that he is probably already dead, as no one can lose that much blood and still be alive.
Both ANBUs present could have saved that guy from the car, but they didn't.
They choose not to save him.
In their eyes, he is better off dead.
Tsunade would probably be pissed at them, but her orders are to gather information on Ishigawa Keiji, not protect him.
Maybe if her orders are to protect him, then Itachi or Kisame would have done something to save him when they'd seen that car hurtling towards Ishigawa Keiji.
Kisame gave a bitter chuckle. "What goes around comes around indeed," he said, repeating the words that the Ragnarok member had said on that disastrous day. On that day that had caused all of Akatsuki to doubt the ANBU, not that any of them had said anything about it. "Fate sure is ironic."
Itachi said nothing for several moments before he sighed.
"And in the end, we couldn't do anything to stop them, can we?" he muttered. "It's not like I wanted to stop them, but…" Itachi turned towards Kisame. "Tell me, Kisame. Do you think…that what Ragnarok is doing…is right? Are they right in the end? That the law has limits. And that the only way to overcome those limits and to punish those that couldn't be touched by the law is to go outside the courts and the law to do so? Is that the truth?"
Kisame was silent for a long time.
"…I have no idea."
Preview of next chapter:
"Killing is killing, no matter the circumstances."
"We'll protect Shiki…with any way possible."
"Don't bow your head to them! Don't you have any pride as an ANBU, you slacker?!"