Alrighty, first edited chapter of Betrayal! What do you guys think? Better?

All over the village, the people were celebrating. Well, celebrating as much as they could after a war, anyway. A war they won, or at least, thought they had won. The only exceptions being the ones who knew the truth. The ones who knew what their village did in order to protect themselves. The ones who were ashamed, grief stricken, angry, and guilty, for the life of the one ninja they had been forced to sacrifice, in exchange for the village's safety. The one ninja, who'd given his life willingly, only to add more shame to the ones who knew. They could only hope he was dead, because in the hands of Orochimaru, there wasn't anything better than death.




"He's too young. There's got to be somebody else. Or rather, some other way."

"Asuma please…" Tsunade's stern tone had become a plea. It was no longer her choice anymore. These were times when she'd give anything to be a regular shinobi. But there was no other way. The council had already made their decision. It was too late, and she knew that Asuma knew it too.

"You're the Hokage! Do something! I don't know, anything!"

"Asuma, do you honestly think I'm okay with this? Do you honestly think I'm okay with sacrificing a child, not to mention one of our future's best strategists? Because if, for one second, you thought so, than you'd be wrong."

"Lady Tsunade…he's just a kid! You can't give a kid to him." Asuma knew this conversation was pointless. Shikamaru would be sent away, whether he agreed or not. Deep inside, he knew it was the only way. He knew it was the right thing to do. It didn't mean it was right, in any other way, though.

"They want a kid, Asuma. We've gone over this already. And they want Shikamaru. I don't know why. But I know they do." Tsunade forced herself to look into Asuma's eyes, and throwing away the last bit of her pride, added, " It's for your country."

Asuma closed his eyes. Like he didn't know. Like that made it any easier. "Do his parents know?" He didn't have to ask if they'd agreed or not. Of course they hadn't.

The Hokage bit her lip and nodded. "Yes, they have been informed."

"And their reaction?"

"As expected. But Shikaku is an elite jonin. He knows what he has to do for the country."

Of course he did.

"I'm sorry…" The fifth Hokage looked away, and turned to face Shizune.

"Send in Shikimaru."

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