Chapter 20: Itachi vs. Sasuke
AN: Hello all it's been a while. First and foremost I want to thank everyone who reviewed this entire time and got me to the 1k review mark. As stated in the previous chapter I'm in the process of switching things up so these chapter updates may be slow for a while still. That said here's the chapter.
Four figures leapt from building to building at a fast pace as they moved towards their destination. The area was rich with the trees that were known to cover Hi no Kuni's landscape. At the head of the group Uchiha Sasuke set a fast pace as he moved to reach the meeting place between him and the infamous clan slayer Uchiha Itachi. Despite the bandages that still wrapped his head and chest areas he was dead set on the meeting that if he had any say of the results would end with his hated brother dead.
Behind him his new group struggled to keep up with their leader. The first behind him was a female at the age of sixteen. She had long red hair combed straight, on the right side at least. On the left her hair was short, pointy, and clearly unkempt. She wore a purple jacket zipped all the way up including her neck yet cut off at her midsection just over her navel allowing it to be seen. Along with this she wore a pair of short black shorts, and matching thigh high stockings with black sandals and a pair of brown glasses. Her name was Karin and while not a fighter and more of a support character she was also the most important member of the team due to the fact she was an excellent sensor.
Following her was Hozuki Suigetsu who was also sixteen. He had short white hair with a bit of a blue tint to it, purple eyes and also had shark like teeth. He wore a purple sleeveless shirt and grey pants. Around his waist was a belt filled with multiple water bottles while another was around his chest that held a familiar broken sword by the name of Kubikiribōchō, the sword that had once been held by Momochi Zabuza. Unlike Karin he actually was a fighter and while Sasuke wouldn't allow him to interfere with his battle with Itachi he would serve the purpose of occupying his brothers Akatsuki partner Kisame. This was the only reason Sasuke had freed him from his prison in Orochimaru's base.
Finally bringing up the rear was Jugo. Unlike the rest he was eighteen and was the tallest person any of them had seen standing at 6'6". He had spiky orange hair and usually a kind face. He was garbed in a simple black shirt and tan pants while using a purple curtain as a cloak. Unlike the others he was also bat-shit insane, so much so that he actually went to Orochimaru to be locked up in an effort to help him gain control, or at least not kill anyone.
In truth however Jugo suffers from Split Personality Disorder, and his other self just happened to be a deranged sociopath. It was quite easy to tell once this side was in control as not only was the usually gentle Jugo more bloodthirsty than all seven swordsmen and Suigetsu combined but his skin would turn dark but he would also grow new appendages and even weapons to help him in battle. Once again while he wouldn't let him interfere with Itachi he would be the perfect weapon to set against Kisame.
"Kami, there's an incredible chakra out there. It's heading our way…and fast." Said Karin breaking the silence the group had been traveling under.
Before any of the three could speak up however they came across a new figure perched in front of them on a building column. The figure was strange with white hair the was standing up upon his head and blue skin with shark-like features. The figure was garbed in the signature black cloak with red clouds that Akatsuki members wore and held a large bandaged covered sword within his right hand that he had casually resting on his shoulder. This was the infamous 'Monster of the Mist' Hoshigaki Kisame.
"Sasuke-kun you'll be going on by yourself. Itachi-san would like the rest of us to remain here."
"No problem. I only formed this team to make sure no one would interfere when I found him. This works out perfectly." Said Sasuke in his usual bored, brooding tone.
"That's crazy Sasuke. We should just beat this guy and go face Itachi together!" Exclaimed Karin.
"I'm actually not in the mood for another fight for once. However if you insist on going together I won't be holding back on any of you." Said Kisame with a smirk.
"Don't even think about it Karin. You three wait here; this is my revenge." Said the Uchiha before leaping away.
"Hoshigaki Kisame, and that's Samehada." Said Suigetsu.
"Do I know you gaki?" asked Kisame actually curious.
"You don't remember me? I'm Hozuki Mangetsu's brother, Hozuki Suigetsu."
"Really now, no wonder you struck my memory. Still I hardly recognized you; you've did some growing Suigetsu." Said Kisame
"Well since were stuck here, let's say we kill some time. Let's have a little fun, Kisame-sempai." Said Suigetsu reaching back wrapping his hand around Kubikiribōchō's hilt.
"I see you still have the mischievous streak. Alright then, I'll gladly shave a few layers off of you." Said Kisame with a grin bringing his own weapon to bare.
It didn't take long for Sasuke to navigate the dark passages of the old Uchiha hideout. The place was quite the large building shaped like a giant dome. The halls had been covered by dirt and grime thanks to the years of misuse. However none of that mattered to him at the moment instead all that mattered was that man. The man that now sat before him in a stone throne adorned with the Uchiha clan crest and Sharingan tomoe markings.
"Tell me now that you have arrived here; what do you see Sasuke?" questioned Itachi.
"What do I see? With the power I've gained, I see one thing and it's crystal clear." Said Sasuke as he emerged from the shadows to stand before his elder brother.
"What I see is you dead."
Elsewhere a large group of leaf ninja, comprised of teams Kakashi and Yamato led Kurenai, had come to a halt in their travel. Before the group stood a figure that was dressed in the typical Akatsuki cloak and wore an orange mask with black lines in a spiral pattern with only a single eye hole.
"Wow I didn't think I'd find a group of leaf nin way out here. It's 8 on 1 too, so unfair." Said the man behind the mask from his position on a large fallen tree overlooking the group of nin.
"An Akatsuki agent." Said Yamato noticing the cloak.
"Not one I recognize from list we have." Said Kakashi.
"Oh that's because I'm new to the company, nice to meet you." Said the masked man.
"Hah! Don't start acting cocky yet, we haven't even started." Said Kiba words seconded by Akamaru.
"So it's you." Said Naruto surprising all of the nin, even the masked Akatsuki member.
"You know this one?" questioned Kakashi warily.
"More like I know of him. According to our intelligence this is the guy who replaced the guy Sakura killed" Said Naruto.
"Ah you've heard of me. I didn't know anyone had yet." Stated the masked man his tone still just as playful.
Naruto smirked himself as another Naruto suddenly appeared from behind the man with a Rasengan in hand only for him to pass through him as soon as the energy ball made contact. In the next instant the Naruto was struck causing it to burst into smoke much to the groups shock.
"So what games should we play, little leaf nin?" questioned the masked nin.
"We don't have time to fuck around with you." Said Naruto levelly.
"Damn straight!" exclaimed Sakura.
"Why? Because we need to stay right on Sasuke's trail." Said Shino.
"Heh, that's right you weren't around last time Shino. For that you better work twice as hard." Said Kiba with a fanged grin sentiments that Akamaru gave a barking agreement to.
"Are these true bonds?" wondered Sai.
"Alright everyone let's take this joker down." Said Kakashi.
"Get in formation B and attack." Said Yamato.
"RIGHT." Responded all the youths simultaneously.
It was a surreal experience, Jiraiya mused, walking around when one clearly knew that you were in fact dead. It was made even more surreal thanks to his tour guide a man who had been dead for the last sixteen years, however that fact was that he was currently walking around with his long dead student Namikaze Minato. It was actually a pleasant experience him being the first face he saw after death.
Minato looked no different than the last time he saw him the sole exception being his style of dress. Whereas before he wore a jounin uniform with his white and red haori he now wore a uniform more resembling a theatre ninja. He wore a pair of black pants and a matching long sleeved black shirt with a pair of bracers on each arm that ran from his wrist to mid forearm. On his feet he wore a pair of black jika-tabi with a black sash around his waist.
Still he had to admit he felt better than he had in quite some time if he was honest with himself. While he could no longer feel chakra flowing through him he could still tell that his energy was still quite higher than it had been in years. He also noticed a distinct lack of drag with his body as it was responding faster than it had before as well. This however was actually a result of the way he saw himself despite being in his fifties he felt as if he was still in his twenties while alive and thus that was the image his now spiritual body had ran with, according to Minato at least.
The two had taken the tour in a way only shinobi could by leaping across rooftops to travel and avoid the streets. The Seireitei was actually huge and made Konoha look like a minor village by comparison. That was just the Seireitei it wasn't even including the rest of Soul Society which branched off outside of the walls surrounding the place..
Faster than both realized they had finally reached their destination which was the first division office and barracks. As they walked the halls Jiraiya couldn't help but let his eyes wander as he took things in.
"Word of advice sensei." Said Minato catching the man's attention.
"Don't let your vices control you this time around. This is a new start you can make and everyone knows that you trained Naruto so you already have a solid reputation. You'll lose all the credibility and respect they hold for you especially the women if you can't keep yourself in check." Said Minato.
"Don't worry about me gaki. Most of that was due to depression anyway." Said Jiraiya smiling as he wrapped one of his arms around the man's shoulder causing Minato to smile as well before Jiraiya released him.
Finally the two reached a set of double doors which Minato proceeded to knock on. It took only a few moments before they were given permission to enter which they quickly did. Upon entering the office Jiraiya found that the place was very spacious, far more than the Hokage's office was.
Most of the room was actually just empty space however so he didn't pay it much mind. What he did pay attention to however was the trio of men standing at the front of the room. The first man he recognized thanks to the long black hair as Kuchiki Byakuya. Another was an old man that had a bald head and a rather long beard of white hair that was bound by wire. His eyebrows were also long and actually grew out in such a way that they framed his face and hung to his to his jaw with a mustache that was just as long and blended in with his beard.
He had beady red eyes and he had a pair of perpendicular scars atop his head above his right eye. He wore the typical shinigami garb that Jiraiya had come to expect though his haori hung off of his shoulders. Finally he held a large wooden walking stick. Despite all of this however the man possessed an aura that just screamed 'war veteran' and the look of a warrior still on the front lines.
Looking upon the third figure his breath caught in his throat at the sight of him. The third was a man he knew quite well clad in the usual shinigami garb along with the white haori he recognized as belonging to a captain. The man before him however was a far cry from what he'd last seen him to look like. The man before him was one from right out of his gennin days with a head full of spiky brown hair and goatee.
"Ah Namikaze-taicho you've arrived." Spoke the oldest of the men causing the two others to glance in their direction.
"Jiraiya." Breathed Hiruzen in shock at the sight of his old sensei.
"Sarutobi-sensei you're…" muttered Jiraiya in shock.
"Walking around and young again." Finished the man with a chuckle before embracing his shocked student who soon melted and returned the hug.
"You see me dead." Mused Itachi with his eyes closed while the younger of the two glared.
"Well then let's see how good your eyesight has gotten."
As he said this the Uchiha slayer snapped his eyes open causing two pairs of two fully mature Sharingan eyes to lock upon each other. In the next instant the two had clashed ending with Sasuke blocking Itachi's kunai and Itachi flipping and landing behind the younger Uchiha who'd drawn his broken sword. Not done in even the slightest way Itachi didn't hesitate to grab the boys cloak in mid flip and toss him across the room.
Despite the abrupt flight however Sasuke managed to recover enough to land on his feet even if he slid several feet afterwards. Undeterred Sasuke flipped through a quick and familiar chain of seals before grasping his left wrist as lightning flared to life from his hand.
In the next instant Sasuke was off at a dash. However instead of simply running forward he dipped down and grabbed the handle for his sword while placing his jutsu covered hand to the ground.
"Chidori Nagashi." Muttered Sasuke with a smirk.
In but a few short moments a surge of lightning had surged through the ground towards Itachi who merely jumped up to avoid it. This gave Sasuke the opening that he needed allowing him to quickly close the distance and run the elder through with his sword the follow through forcing them to the ground.
"You've gotten stronger." Said Itachi calmly.
"This is the end Itachi. First however I have a question." Said Sasuke darkly only for Itachi to smack his head to the side.
Sasuke's eyes widened as he beheld another Itachi sitting calmly within the throne like chair. Looking back down he was just in time to see that Itachi burst into a flock of ravens.
"The end is a long way off Sasuke. Still I'm willing to listen; what do you want to know?" questioned Itachi.
"Have you gone deaf?" said Sasuke.
Before Itachi could reply however his eyes widened as a blade burst from his stomach as Sasuke appeared behind the throne running his blade through it. At the same time the Sasuke in front of him fell apart until it was simply a couple of snakes in a pile.
"As I said this is the end you murderous traitorous fuck. But before I kill you I have one last question. Now answer me unless you want to know what real pain is." Said Sasuke
"You avoided striking a fatal blow on purpose." Said Itachi.
"Who is the third Uchiha survivor. The other Sharingan user you told me about?" asked Sasuke.
"Why do you wish to know about him?" questioned Itachi calmly.
"Because he's next on my list after I kill you." Said Sasuke
"You, kill him?" questioned Itachi sounding almost bored.
"That night when you said there was a third person. I realized it could only be someone who you didn't kill, meaning they helped you. After all not even you could kill the entire military police force on your own." Said Sasuke.
"Uchiha Madara. One of the leaf's founders and the first person to awaken the Mangekyou Sharingan."
"Founding father? If that was true then he'd be long dead. Don't fuck around with me!" exclaimed Sasuke angrily.
"Madara is very much alive. But I can't force you to believe me; that's your choice." Said Itachi.
"Enough with the bullshit." Said Sasuke
"People live their lives by what they accept as 'correct' and 'true'. That is their definition of reality. But what does it mean to be 'correct' or 'true', those are merely vague concepts their 'reality' may only be a mirage. Can we simply consider them to be merely living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?" questioned Itachi.
"What are you getting at?" demanded Sasuke.
"For instance the way you simply decided Madara must be dead. The way you believed I was a kind, caring brother. The way you cling to the thought that Fugaku and the Uchiha as a whole could do no wrong. The way you think that you've actually beaten me."
As Itachi said this he dispersed into a cloud of smoke. Sasuke however had already whipped around and shot off a blast of lightning behind him where another Itachi was once more seated calmly upon his throne. Seeing the blast coming Itachi merely tilted his head to the side allowing it to embed into the chair missing him completely.
"I suppose that means you're ready to stop playing." Said Sasuke.
"You say so much. Yet I can't help noticing that even now you do not yet have the same eyes as me." Said Itachi.
"Then use your Mangekyou Sharingan and try killing me now. Or am I too strong for you to measure your capacity against?" said Sasuke.
"Confident aren't you." Mused Itachi his eyes closed and a smirk on his face.
"For what reason, what have you actually done to make yourself feel so confident? You didn't beat Naruto-kun; in fact he soundly beat you and would have dragged you back to the leaf if not for Kabuto. Even immobile as he was you couldn't even kill him then; you put him down yes but it really only pissed him off from what I heard.
You couldn't scratch him or even touch him the next time you two met either. Sure you killed Orochimaru, yet only when he only had one foot in the grave and had an arm cut off and incinerated already. I suppose you killed Diedara but honestly he was a weakling among the S-class and even he was toying with you in the beginning. This is what I meant about 'reality' for even you could not see the truths that were right in front of you before trying to confront me." Said Itachi causing Sasuke to grit his teeth.
"I will give you some truth now though. The Mangekyou Sharingan has a very unique characteristic. You see the day you awaken them your eyes begin a slow decent into darkness. The more you use them the quicker that process will be." Said Itachi.
"What's that supposed to mean?" questioned Sasuke with narrowed eyes.
"It means the Kaleidoscope will eventually lose its light." Said Itachi.
"Blindness. So that's the price you pay in order to gain control of the Kyuubi." Said Sasuke.
"It seems you actually did listen and read those tablets." Said Itachi.
"Who is this Madara?" questioned Sasuke.
"Madara is a man whose eyes controlled the Kyuubi like a pet, at least that's what he'd like everyone to believe. However something like that isn't so simple, you see the Kyuubi can only be controlled if it's already in a blind rage. That still doesn't change the fact that he was my accomplice and teacher. He is also the only one in history to learn the final secret of the Sharingan. An invincible immortal; that is who Uchiha Madara is." Said Itachi the Mangekyou Sharingan manifesting itself within his eyes.
"The Sharingan's final secret. You mean there is more than being able to control the Kyuubi?" questioned Sasuke.
"Yes, the last and most important piece of the puzzle." Said Itachi calmly.
"Well what is it? Tell me." demanded Sasuke.
"The story is one of our clans history, long before our time. A story focused around Madara and his brother; his younger brother. The two of them were equals in every possible way and were constantly competing to become the stronger one. They both awakened their Sharingan and before long were acknowledged as being very gifted even among their fellow clansmen.
They continued to refine their abilities and soon both of them obtained the power of the Mangekyou Sharingan. Such a feat had never been accomplished by anyone in the clan. With their eyes the two brothers took control of the Uchiha and the elder became their leader. But one day Madara began to notice a strange frightening abnormality within himself. As I told you before the more you use these eyes the quicker their descent into an all encompassing darkness. That is the inevitable fate of all who awaken the Mankekyou Sharingan
In exchange for their extraordinary power the user ends up sealing his own eyes away forever robbing himself of the light. Madara did everything he could to free himself from the darkness but his efforts were all in vain. He fell into despair and finally possessed by the Mankekyou grasping a new source of light he plucked both eyes from his brothers head. Light returned to Madara's world and the darkness never came again.
A permanent Mangekyou Sharingan. By changing host the younger brothers eyes found an inextinguishable light. But that was only half of the story. The transplant also gave birth to a completely new eye technique. Obviously this exchange could only be done between clansmen and simply gaining another's eyes didn't equate to gaining this power. Many sacrifices occurred over our clan's history and now you know why. This is the final secret behind our eyes.
With his unstoppable power Madara easily took control of every shinobi clan the Uchiha encountered. Soon he was praised as the strongest shinobi in the world and an alliance with the Senju clan of the forest gave rise to a whole new organization, one known as Konohagakure no Sato. However Madara and the Senju leader better known as the Shodai Hokage soon began to quarrel over the policies of their new village. Though he lost the battle for control he remains alive and well, as do his eyes and their power.
He formed a new organization 'Akatsuki' and hid himself within its shadow. He was behind the attack of the Kyuubi 16 years ago upon the leaf which as you know was stopped once more by the fourth Hokage. Today Madara is a pathetic shell of his former self. He's no longer worthy of being called the 'greatest' Uchiha. The only one who can surpass him; the invincible Madara and achieve true immortality is me and now the time to take my prize and gain greater power than him has finally arrived! YOU SASUKE, YOU WILL BECOME MY NEW LIGHT; THAT IS WHY I LEFT YOU ALIVE!
"You are my spare. For decades the Uchiha killed their friends to obtain the Mangekyou Sharingan and killed their siblings to make its power permanent! Our clan was forever tainted because they couldn't stop flaunting their power! Your fate has been drenched in blood since the day you were born an Uchiha! Now face me little brother. Once I kill you I will be transformed and finally freed from this wretched clan's destiny.
Any idea of limits and of capacity will be forever shattered. You and I are each other's spare. That is the bond between all Uchiha brothers!" finished Itachi.
Sasuke finally sighed as he closed his eyes as the genjutsu faded away and stared into those of Itachi who was standing opposite him. Reaching up he removed the bandages from atop his head and tossed the cloak he was wearing to the side.
"I take it you saw my true self clearly." Said Itachi.
"It was all for this moment huh? Finally this all can end, it's time to finish this once and for all." said Sasuke opening his eyes and revealing his Sharingan.
"Perhaps you have seen my death with your eyes. I however have the Mangekyou Sharingan and you do not. You don't stand a chance; your life's dream will remain as such all the way to the end."
As Itachi spoke Sasuke took the time to release the bandages around his wrists allowing them to fall to the floor at his feet. In the next instant he'd brought his arms across each other removing shuriken from the seals hidden by the bandages and let them fly only for them to be met by Itachi's own shuriken. Despite the clash of steel the two kept firing to such a point that there were over a hundred of the small death stars that had been thrown. In no time however the game had stopped and they'd closed the distance only to block each other's next move, Sasuke blocking Itachi's kunai and Itachi blocking Sasuke's sword.
Suddenly another Itachi appeared behind the one Sasuke was deadlocked with and proceeded to throw a trio of kunai his way only for a snake to rise out from his cursed seal and coil around him blocking the blades and forcing Itachi to release him.
Naruto glared at the masked man that referred to himself as Tobi stood across from him with a level of annoyance he had not felt in some time. Around him he could see several other leaf nin panting heavily in exhaustion or just plain knocked out. What really got him however was knowing that the man was merely playing around, simply stalling them. The man hadn't even really struck any of them merely letting them attack and pass through him which really ticked him off.
Taking a breath he allowed himself to calm before his eyes snapped open now cold as ice. In the next instant he appeared in front of Tobi with a Rasengan that went straight through him as did he. Undeterred however he let it die in an instant and flipped himself forward his heel just missing Tobi's head as he leaned himself back. Recovering quickly he looked up just in time to see Shino rise up as a literal sea of insects emerged from him, and having never seen him like this decided on a new course of action and using a quick shunshin appeared behind the bug user.
"Thank you for letting me handle this Naruto. Why I do so; because I feel I must make up for my lack of participation a few years ago." Said Shino in his drawl monotone voice.
Sasuke panted as he stood eyeing the stoic form of Itachi who stood tall before him. The battle was not going anything like he'd pictured it going beforehand. For starters everything he threw out Itachi had a counter for, dodged, or reflected with seemingly little effort on his part. Itachi however was treating him as if he hadn't grown at all in the last few years and was knocking him around once again as if it was effortless for him. Looking up and seeing him approaching the younger of the two Uchiha barely managed to withhold a smirk at seeing his preparations completed.
With his cry a surge of lightning shot down from the sky and Itachi could only look up in shock. As it was naturally made lightning and not chakra created this lightning was much faster and more powerful striking the ground in 1/1000th of a second with enough force to destroy the entirety of the place they were doing battle. As the smoke cleared Sasuke could be seen standing on his feet with a smirk at least before he fell to his knees in laughter seeing the mighty Uchiha Itachi laying defeated before him.
"Is this how you envisioned my defeat?" questioned Itachi as he slowly stood to his feet.
"What damn you!" exclaimed Sasuke his cursed seal jumping him straight to the second level.
"If I hadn't have used this I'd have been obliterated. You've grown strong Sasuke and for that I will show you the final technique in my arsenal. Susanoo"
As he said this Itachi rose to his feet surrounded by a shroud of yellow chakra starting with what appeared to be a rib cage surrounding him that quickly formed a torso and limbs until he was surrounded by a humanoid specter made of yellow energy. The specter had three hands one left which held a shield, two right; of the two right hands one held a gourd the hand growing out of the forearm Suddenly Sasuke fell to his knees, his eyes turning yellow and snake-like and a familiar voice echoed out in his thoughts. While he tried to fight it, it was a losing battle and out of energy he could not hold back what burst forth from his body. A monstrous snake with eight heads and eight tails that stood as tall as the summon bosses themselves.
"I remember this feeling Orochimaru's Yamata no jutsu." Mused Itachi.
Itachi watched as his body was carried away by the masked form of Tobi, who disappeared along with Sasuke inside a wormhole created by his Sharingan. The remainder of the battle had been short; with Sasuke out of chakra Orochimaru had been able to briefly take over the boys body the results of which caused him to reveal the two treasures that he'd kept to himself for years the Yata Mirror and the Totsuka no Tsurgi. Despite the result the battle had been a nice way for him to go out of this world, dying in battle instead of succumbing to that damned disease that had been plaguing him for years. Despite the disease, and his near blindness however he'd still dominated and would have won entirely if not for the chakra exhaustion that had done him in. Still he'd had just enough energy to plant a little gift inside of Sasuke for when the bastard made his move. Still he had already set up with a backup plan something that he'd placed inside Naruto in the off chance that it was needed.
Before he could think more along that vein his attention was grabbed by a pair of shogi doors as a figure made their appearance he felt his eyes widening upon seeing the familiar face before he himself was led in through the doors which closed behind him.
AN: That's it it's done. The chapter was shorter than I was initally going to make it and ended entirely differently. Originally Itachi was going to live and cement his character as a bad guy in this story. However I now have other plans for Itachi and Sasuke so please bare with me for the time being. Whatever the case everyone thanks for reading and please leave a review. Till Next time, LATER.