Warning: The following story contains strong course language, lots of gore and several SasoDei sex scenes EVENTUALLY. If any of these make you uncomfortable then please don't force yourself.
The original was started on April 1st 2011 and finished December 21st 2011. The remastering began on the 17th of December 2018 and is still ongoing. The characters aren't mine, I just waste my life smooshing their faces together.
This is dedicated to Yami, Keono, Selyann, Sasori and to all the fans of the original story. Your reviews have really moved me, and you are the sole reason I wanted to give you the best possible telling of Sasori's life, even long after the SasoDei fandom has dwindled.
As White as Blood - Remastered
'He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead.
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.
I only knew what hunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.
He does not die a death of shame
On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
Into an empty space.'
-Exert from 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol' by Oscar Wilde
As White as Blood
My name is Sasori of the Red Sand, and I grew up to be a mass murdering member of the organization known infamously as the Akatsuki. I joined when I was sixteen years old (twenty if you wish to get technical about it), and I was a part of the group until I died for the second time at the age of thirty-five, unless I was still considered a member the third time I died.
Now, before you get confused, I've died three times in my short life. The first time I lost my body, the second time I lost my mind, and the final time I lost my soul.
But enough about that. Let's just say, I was a bad person; at least that is what utter idiots would call me.
My story started typically. My parents met at fifteen, married at nineteen, and I was born the same year as their wedding. I even cried when I was born. They were Shinobi: ninjas who worked for their village and performed missions for a fee. You might believe this made my childhood unique, but this was very commonplace in my world. Needless to say, my parents were often away. Generally, I lived a normal life for a Sunagakure child, at least for the first few years.
When I was five, things took a drastic turn, so this will be the starting point of my story. In my time I had dear friends and I had ruthless enemies; some too loyal, some insane, and most just plain stupid.
So then, how did I turn from what the dim-witted would consider 'Good' into what they'd consider 'Bad'? You will now learn firsthand of the trials and the psychological metamorphosis that I, Sasori of the Red Sand, experienced from my birth to my death.
I wronged so many people over the course of my life…So many people. I can't change that now, but this story will be my penance. It won't right my wrongs or change what I've done, but perhaps it'll help you answer the one question I'm sure is on your mind: Why?
Now then, let's start at the beginning, before my soul was as white as blood.
Five Years Old
Sasori's parents had yet to come home. The two had been away, fighting valiantly in the war against Konohagakure, for a few long months already. Sure, he still had his Granny Chiyo, but the busy woman was a poor substitute. Often she locked herself away in her workshop, or occupied herself with brewing foul smelling poisons. She was obsessed with the war and young Sasori was simply a second priority. Still, that wasn't a bad thing, and it certainly wasn't his place to complain about it. The war was important. All he could do was wait for his parents to return.
Granny Chiyo had been by his side when they'd left the village. He'd waved goodbye, as any child would have done, and he'd never complained or made a fuss about their departure. It was for the good of the village, so he had no right to get upset.
Now Sasori sat all alone in his bedroom, gazing at the photos set up beside his bed. In one photo the redhead was just a baby, held by his mother while his father smiled pleasantly by her side. The five-year-old raised his eyebrows, wondering when his parents would return home. He hoped it would be soon…
Sasori turned to the window and watched the rosy sun in the distance, but he was distracted when the door unexpectedly opened. He snapped around, hoping with all his might it was his Mother and Father.
Sasori's Granny stood in the doorway, a calm smile lighting her face. "There you are, Sweetie," she said with gentle words. "Would you like to go for a walk?"
The child blinked his large brown eyes at the woman, momentarily unsure, but a sad smile slowly reached his lips. "Can we, Granny?" he asked, failing to keep the excitement from his voice. She nodded and Sasori got off his large bed, following his guardian with childish eagerness.
The war was always her top priority, but sometimes she still managed to find the time for her quiet grandson.
All was well while they walked, or at least for a time. The sun shone high in the never-ending sky while the rays danced across the burnt land and its inhabitants, kissing their faces with loving warmth. Sasori was used to the heat of his home; he'd never journeyed anywhere else and he was too young to comprehend just how different the vast lands beyond could truly be. To Sasori, the entire world was a desert.
A young boy collapsed in front of him and his Granny, interrupting their pleasant stroll. The crying child's faithful parents immediately went to their son's aid, kneeling to his height and helping him stand. Once he was on his feet, both parents took his hands and led him away.
Sasori felt a sharp, unidentifiable sensation in the pit of his stomach at the sight of the unbroken family and he gazed at them with yearning eyes. Why weren't Sasori's parents home yet? Would they come to help him if he cried? But why would he ever cry over something so small? His parents were saving the village. They were heroes. It was not Sasori's place to be upset.
Even so, he achingly watched the family as they walked away into their happy lives, leaving the redhead all alone.
Right, he wasn't all alone. It wasn't the same as having his Mother and Father, but Granny Chiyo was still something, and something would have to be enough. He turned his head to look at her and the woman's eyes widened ever so slightly.
Sasori was smiling, despite the emotions that constricted his stomach. "Granny Chiyo, can we grab a snack?"
The woman smiled back. "Y-Yes, all right."
Sasori nodded and walked in front of her, intent on getting rid of this odd feeling that plagued him inside.
The sun was almost gone and Sasori once again sat alone in his room, holding his photograph intently. His attention drifted from the frame when he heard the door creak open. He hid the picture behind his back and looked to see who it was, ever hopeful.
"Huh?" he breathed. No one was there. He noticed movement on the floor. A small plain puppet watched him from around the doorframe and, upon being spotted, shakily stepped into his room. It kneeled onto its jointed legs and politely bowed at the redhead. Sasori couldn't help but laugh with amusement as Chiyo entered the room behind the puppet. "Granny?"
"Do you like it, Sasori?" she asked affectionately. She smiled in a way that made him feel almost better. "This is a Puppet Master Jutsu that is as old as our family is. What do you think? Do you want to learn it?"
Sasori blinked at her again. "Really?" he asked. "You can teach me?"
"Well now," Chiyo cooed softly, "come with me and you will see." Sasori placed the frame on the bed and stood up, intent on learning the cool technique. They walked through the ordinary house to an insignificant doorway he had never explored before: Granny's workroom.
Chiyo opened the door. Light entered the dark chamber and Sasori peered under his Granny's arm. She let the redhead enter before her and he surveyed the dark room with absolute awe.
"Every puppet in our village ends up here at some point or another," she explained. "Every single prototype and unfinished puppet ever made." They walked deeper inside and Sasori gazed at the lifeless bodies of the marionettes. Some were humanoid, others looked like animals; all were fascinating yet unfinished. "Sasori…Everything in here is yours to use as you please. I want you to build your own puppet."
"My…My own puppet?" Chiyo nodded and smiled. He looked curiously at the rows of dolls. "But how?"
The woman led Sasori to the workbench and sat on one of the chairs while the redhead sat on the other, waiting eagerly for the chance to learn. "Listen to me, child, and let me show you. I hope one day you'll be an even greater Puppet Master than me." She laughed, and something sparkled in Sasori's innocent eyes at the prospect of building himself some loyal companions.
"And that is how you make a puppet," Chiyo finalized. Sasori stared in amazement at the small dove his Granny had put together. "Now watch…" Visible 'strings' of chakra emerged from the woman's fingertips and attached themselves to the wooden bird.
The wings moved. At first its brand-new joints creaked, but the sound stopped with repeated motion. It flapped harder and faster and was soon hovering off the table's surface. Sasori watched in awe as it flew higher and higher and Chiyo made it wheel playfully through the air.
The five-year-old laughed with absolute delight as the puppet continued to replicate the movements of its living counterpart.
If he squinted, he couldn't tell the difference between the wooden bird and the real thing.
It soon settled on the workbench and the small redhead blinked at it, curious as to what it would do next. Instead Chiyo said, "Now you try."
Sasori was taken aback at first. Could he even hope to replicate his Granny's talent? Well, it was in his blood, so he was going to try! He lifted his hands with his fingers pointed at the dove, and after a few seconds…Absolutely nothing happened.
Sasori's brow creased as he concentrated harder; he was giving himself a headache. He stopped holding his breath and looked to his Granny, his expression sad and hopeless. "Granny, it's not moving…"
"That's alright," she said gently. "I'm here to help you. First, since you're just a beginner, you must-" Sasori couldn't resist yawning, despite how impolite the action was. Chiyo looked ready to chastise him but must've thought better of it. "…Oh my! I just realised it's far past your bed time!"
The tired redhead shook his head, "Please Granny, I want to learn…" Chiyo sighed and ruffled Sasori's hair. He was tired and cranky.
"Oh Sweetie, we'll have time tomorrow; go to bed now." She stood from the chair and picked up the bird, offering it to the redhead. He took the dove and solemnly stood as well. "Tomorrow, I promise you'll be able to make this bird fly, but let it sleep for now."
Sasori nodded dejectedly. "Thank you, Granny Chiyo." The woman took him through the workshop and led him back to his familiar bedroom. "Good night, Granny." He entered his dark room and placed the bird on the table amongst his forgotten photographs.
Chiyo smiled tenderly at her grandson as he climbed into the bed. "Good night, Sweetie." She closed the door, leaving Sasori with nothing but the moon to illuminate his sparse bedroom.
The five-year-old immediately sat up in his bed, his eyes set on the wooden bird. He lifted his hands and tried to move it again, but no matter how much he concentrated the joints refused to obey him.
Sasori inevitably fell asleep, but in his dreams he was flying. He flapped his arms and the giant puppet he rode mimicked his motions. Together they soared through the clear sky while the never-ending desert stretched out below. He laughed and cried from utter bliss, completely forgetting about his real-life woes.
Sasori wanted to fly.
"Okay then, Sasori," said Chiyo with an air of importance. Sasori and his Granny sat in the middle of the Creation Room with the dove-puppet sitting between them. "Let me show you how to make it move." Chakra strings formed from her fingertips, connecting to the bird. It instantly came to life as the little wooden creature flexed its legs both methodically and realistically. "The Puppet Master Technique is a ninjutsu ability that transforms your chakra into strings. By attaching these 'strings' to a puppet, you can control it. This can range from all ten fingers on one puppet to ten fingers hosting ten puppets."
"Can you control more, Granny Chiyo?" asked the bright eyed Sasori. Chiyo didn't even pause on the question as she shook her head in dismay. "Oh…"
She hesitated. "But maybe one day you'll be able to." Sasori's chest swelled and he eagerly nodded, waiting for the lesson to continue. "So, before you even think about the puppet, you must concentrate on your own chakra." Sasori turned red; he'd not thought of that before. "Now, there are only two ways to learn this Jutsu. The first is to be taught at a young age, as I am doing with you right now. Usually your father would be the one to teach you, but…" She cringed and Sasori felt that sharp indescribable feeling in his chest again. "Well, I was always the better Puppet Master anyway, so it's probably for the best. Now, around this point in your life, your chakra is not developed enough to already possess traits and characteristics."
"…Traits?" He frowned at the woman.
"Many underestimate chakra," she went on to say, "but it actually takes on the nature of its owner. Let me give an example…Walking. Everyone is taught to walk at a young age, but over time they gain their own personal stride that can be identified from even a long way away. Chakra is the same; almost everybody starts off with the same chakra, with a few rare exceptions…"
"…But you're gonna help my chakra be different?" he asked. Sasori struggled to understand what she was talking about, but he didn't want her to know he was oblivious. Chiyo nodded. "What was the other way, Granny?"
"Well, there is supposedly a secret scroll written by Monzaemon Chikamatsu, the original puppet master, which can grant anyone who reads it the Puppet Master Technique. But it's just an old legend." She shrugged. "Now, to control this bird, first you must guide your chakra from your heart to your hands." Sasori nodded and closed his eyes, concentrating on his chest.
The redhead could feel the swirling in his heart, and he concentrated on trying to move the energy. He succeeded but with sluggish results. He forced it to his shoulders, through his arms, to his hands, and then managed to squeeze it into his fingertips. Without further instruction, he aimed the energy at the bird. Chakra strings attached for a few seconds, but then the bird snapped in two.
Sasori stared at it for a small while, until tears welled up in the five-year-old's eyes. Without further warning, the redhead cried in frustration and grief.
Chiyo tried to comfort her grandson by patting him on his back. "There there, Sweetie, you'll get the hang of it soon enough." The tears stopped falling, but he was still miserable. His brown eyes were now puffy and swollen as he unhappily sniffled. "The Puppet Master Jutsu is a balancing act. Too much chakra and your creations will fall to bits, but not enough and they'll collapse on their feet." Sasori sniffled again as his Granny stood up. "Well, I'll fix this, but in the meantime, you need to get to the academy." His eyes lingered on the broken puppet, but he had to look away. Sasori refused to cry again.
The redhead sat on a wooden swing that hung from a withered old tree. He swayed back and forth, all alone. He couldn't stop thinking about the broken bird and his own shortcomings. Other children were running around, kicking a ball and laughing, but the redhead couldn't join their fun. He was waiting for- "SASORI!" The child's head snapped up to search for the voice's owner and a small smile formed as his one and only friend came running towards him.
The girl's boyish hair whipped as she ran, the blonde locks fluttering quicker than the swing. She was the same age as the redhead, but their levels of maturity were vastly different. Even so, what the girl lacked in intelligence she made up for in ability, endurance, persistence, and an almost annoying loyalty. She wore a lavender robe and a yellow scarf around her neck, despite the heat of their home. Just as the girl neared, she tripped on the hem of her clothes and slammed face first into the sand.
Sasori couldn't help but snort at the sight of her spitting up sand, but he hopped off the swing to help his best friend. "You're silly, Karura."
Sasori sat in class, quiet and calculating. His mind was fixated on the wooden bird dilemma. Earlier he had used too much chakra, so maybe he should try using half that amount when he next tried the technique… Katashi Sensei continued to drone on about the Second Shinobi World War, which Sasori's parents were currently fighting in. As soon as the man turned his back, Karura leaned close to Sasori and whispered, "Have you heard anything?"
He shook his head in dismay. The girl nodded in understanding, her expression now sombre. "But I know they'll be home soon," Sasori reassured while keeping his voice as low as possible.
"SASORI AND KARURA!" Both children jumped and quickly faced their Sensei. "STAY BEHIND AFTER SCHOOL!" Sasori and Karura gulped in fear, already knowing the punishment that awaited them.
They walked home together, faces screwed up in pain. For their violation of rule number three, 'Do not speak unless the teacher is speaking to you', their palms had been whipped three times each with a long cane. It stung, but thankfully wouldn't scar. "Sorry, Sasori," Karura murmured, "I didn't mean to get you in trouble…"
"It's okay," Sasori said while trying to take his mind from the ache. "Are your parents back?"
Karura brightened up instantly. "Mother's pregnant, so she's coming home!" She laughed with joy but then paused. "Oh," she said, "sorry…It wasn't right for me to get excited when your mother…"
"It's okay," he said again, as if trying to convince himself. "They'll be home soon." They reached the redhead's house and stopped to say goodbye. "See you, Karura." The friends bowed to each other before going their separate ways.
"Sweetie," Chiyo sounded suspiciously as he entered the kitchen, "why are you so late?" Sasori silently showed the woman his hands, each palm baring three angry marks. "…You spoke in class?"
"Karura asked about Mother and Father… It wasn't my fault…"
She looked torn. "Sasori, a Puppet Master's hands are important. Do not risk anything that could injure them." Sasori nodded apologetically and Chiyo sighed, "Come on then, you have a Puppet Master Jutsu to learn."
Sasori had his eyes closed as he concentrated on moving the chakra from his heart to his hands, letting half of what he had gathered swim into his fingers. Carefully he let the strings extend and attach to the bird, and when he twitched his fingers he heard a click. The dove-puppet had shuddered… The redhead repeated the action, earning another jerk of joints, and his eyes lit up. "Granny, I did it!"
The woman smiled at her grandson, "Good job, Sweetie. Now, make it fly." The redhead moved his index fingers up and down and the bird copied the action with its wings, gradually flapping harder. Much to Sasori's amazement, it soon started to hover. He beamed and made the bird fly in circles just as Chiyo had demonstrated, and much to his amusement, it did as the five-year-old commanded.
In his mind, Sasori was finally flying.
Okay, so I doubt anyone was expecting this…ah…surprise? Let's have a bit of background context since I'm sure some of you are first-time readers. Back in 2011, I spent nine months writing Sasori Akasuna's life story. I started on April 1st, finished December 21st and posted it on Christmas day 2011. I'm going to warn all the first-time readers now, this isn't a short story. This is a story that originally totalled 256,926 words and 71 chapters, and there's no telling how much is going to get cut or added in this new re-written version.
So, why re-write it at all? Well, it has been about seven years since I uploaded As White as Blood and to this day I still get amazing reviews and heartfelt comments for it, which is nice, but I know now I could do the story better. I was in highschool when I first wrote it, so the grammar isn't very polished, but now I'm technically an English teacher, so…I'm slightly better.
Forewarning, unlike the original, I'm not going to be posting chapters every day. I wrote/edited the original story completely before I started posting it, while this time I'm just editing as I go. I try to edit very thoroughly, so sometimes editing a chapter might take just as long as writing one.
Those who are fans of the original, you don't have to worry. I'm not going to take down the original, and I'm (probably) not going to change things too dramatically unless there are any glaring issues. I suppose this is also an attempt to fix some of my canon since the anime FU-…messed parts of it up, but I'm probably just gonna pick and choose what to add and what to ignore since even the animator's gave up at some points. In either case, I look forward to introducing Komushi, loving Komushi, taking Komushi on a date, and then brutally murderising Komushi as well. Seriously, all the sources that say he was Sasori's FRIEND don't know Sasori at all. Also, as beautiful as the added scenes in the video games are, I'm not accepting them as canon.
Similar to this, at the end of each chapter I might add a few points, maybe some facts about the original writing process, reasons behind any changes, interesting titbits about the story, etc. Don't feel obliged to read them; I'll keep them as spoiler free as possible nevertheless.
So, if you're an old reader, get ready for some nostalgia! If you're a first-time reader, buckle up cause this story is one hell of a trip…And does eventually have SasoDei…
Well, enjoy and Merry Christmas 2018 (even though I posted on Australian Christmas Eve)!