Hey, guys, manga is a bad, bad thing. My boyfriend got me hard copies of Rurouni Kenshin manga, the first anime I ever watched and the first manga I ever read and my favourite Japanese animation of all time and then I rekindled my obsession with Shinomori Aoshi. School too. That's annoying. And holidays. Those are alright. But yeah, I'm around.
Funny Fates 22.
What was this man? Was he human?
Uchiha Madara was standing on a tree branch, looking down at us, condescending smirk in place. Despite his old, old age, he was still quite attractive. He was an Uchiha after all.
"Well, well, brats. It has been a while, hasn't it?" he asked, his voice somewhere between a baritone and a tenor.
Against my better judgement, and the judgement of everyone else around, I raised an eyebrow. Right on cue, Shishou snapped her head in my direction, and I could feel more than see her deathly glare. She was silently telling me to not say anything, not to even dare, but I inherited all of her bad habits, including an occasional appalling lack of self-preservation.
Okay, maybe some of the lack of self-preservation was from Naruto and Kakashi-sensei, but I still say most of it was from her.
"Uchiha Madara, isn't it?" I asked, my eyebrow still raised in a mixture of amusement and mockery. "I must say it's quite a pleasure to be finally graced with your presence, menacing, dark and evil as it is. At least I can now say that I have had the misfortune of seeing one of the most powerful entities in shinobi history. Quite honoured, really," I stated, smiling sweetly.
Madara's deathly glare turned to me, those deep, rich crimson eyes looking right at me. At that moment, an intimidation I had never experienced gripped me, right to the depths of my humanity. I was terrified, but I was not going to back down. Shishou taught me better, and if shit got out of hand, I had back up.
"This is your apprentice, Tsunade?" he asked, voice calm, though I'd hang around Uchiha long enough to know that he was slowly getting irritated.
Shishou inclined her head to me. "Ask her. I'm sure she has just proven that she can communicate with you."
Again he looked at me. I swallowed, and in a split second, Kakashi-sensei and Itachi had appeared in front of me. That was enough time for me to recover myself. My allies and friends and comrades were here. No harm would befall me. They would see to that. I took in a few deep breathes, recovering my courage.
"Oi," I said, watching the two tall men in front of me. "You're blocking the view. I wanna talk to Madara-sama."
From the corner of my eye, I could see Shisui struggle not to laugh. I really needed to stop this. It was very unhealthy for my physical well-being, but it was so fun.
"Like your mentor here, you seem to have an appalling lack of respect for your elders, brat," he snarled.
"Not really, I choose to call it selective respect. For example, I respect Shishou and Jiraiya-sama and sometimes Pein coz they are awesome. However, I disrespect you coz you're an asshole. See? Selective, and for good reason too."
Naruto actually giggled, and Sasuke was biting his lip in an attempt to stop himself from laughing out loud.
Kakuzu looked at me and raised an eyebrow. "Sometimes Pein?"
I looked at him and rolled my eyes. I did respect Pein a lot, but that was not the point of the conversation.
This was another thing that marvelled me about the Akatsuki. There was a possibility Uchiha Madara could wipe us all out in less than a minute, and were here casually having conversations on whom we accord what degree of respect.
"What can we help you with this fine day, Madara?" Pein asked, his calm voice bringing a semblance of order back to this meeting.
The smirk was back in place. "I came to see how your rag-tag team of rejects is doing, Pein. I also thought it would be rather polite to remind you that I'm still around and I won't be going anywhere soon. None of you is powerful enough to stop me. No matter how hard you try. I will conquer this world with my eternal tsukiyomi."
I was opening my mouth to retort on behalf of the group, but instead I heard a calm baritone; exceptionally mocking and disrespectful too.
"For an Uchiha you do talk quite a bit. According to Konoha's history, your clan are feared because of their immense intellect and their kekkei genkai, which work very well together. Logically, that makes sense, because to master a keekei genkai, you need to have immense intellect. You, however, seem to have quite a little of the former, which makes me question how you managed to master your sharingan. Perhaps you were just extremely lucky, and in exchange of all that luck being centred on one person, the wrong person, in my humble opinion, the downside was a major catastrophe to the rest of your clan, which, unfortunately spilled over to your village, and one which you caused."
I must admit I was a little shocked when I heard Sasori speak. I always was. He was one of the most brilliant shinobi, in terms of sheer intellect, that I'd ever met. He may even be categorised as a genius. He normally has a dry, sarcastic tone of voice, but that could be attributed to his slow and meticulous way of speaking.
This time, however, his half-lidded, droopy gaze was concentrated right at Madara, his head slightly inclined, brown eyes unwavering as they looked right at Madara's sharingan. He was speaking in a much slower, deliberate and ironic way, not even bothering to hide his blatant disrespect and condescending manner to one of the most powerful shinobi to ever exist.
Madara stood straighter at his full height and looked down at Sasori in a full attempt at intimidation. Sasori's prompt smirk indicated that he did not feel intimidated at all.
It seemed I wasn't the only one with a death wish.
"Quite a pity, Akasuna no Sasori. You intellect is second only to Itachi's and Pein's, and I would be quite honoured to have you on my side. You, however, choose to remain on the side of losers. Rather unfortunate that you're wasting yourself," Madara said calmly.
I had noticed he had chosen to ignore the barb about him being not as intelligent as history had put him out to be. Considering how proud Uchiha generally were, it must have taken a monumental amount of self-control not to comment on it, because it was no secret that Uchiha Madara was one of the most intelligent shinobi to ever live.
"Am I now? I must beg to differ, Madara. You are the one on the side of the losers, I'm afraid. I'm not the one that ran out on my village because I did not want to share power with anyone. I'm not the one that eventually ended up massacring my entire clan because I was scared they would find and get rid of me for betraying them. I'm not the one that was, and still is, for that matter, too much of a coward that I cannot interact and work with independent, objective, intelligent people."
Madara was otherwise unmoved, but I'm sure being very competent shinobi we call caught the imperceptible narrowing of his eyes. Sasori, nonetheless, continued.
"You need weak-willed people, people you can control. You must be in control at all times, because if you are not, someone might come after you. Despite all your power, might and intellect, you are still scared. You're still a coward and that speaks a lot about the kind of man that you are. Let me assure you right here, right now, Madara. It's not the old guard you should be scared of. Not the Sannin, or Hidan, Kakuzu or myself. Perhaps you should be weary of Kakashi, Pein and their lot, but they won't be your downfall. This young lot here," he spread his arm towards us. "These kids, led by Uchiha Shisui and his cousin, Itachi. These are the ones you should be scared of. They may lack your experience in fighting and wars, but they more than make up for it in raw power, exceptional intellect and brilliant skill. Considerably more than yours when combined. They will utterly and completely annihilate you, and the fact that you underestimate them so will make your humiliation all the worse." Sasori finished.
"Be careful, Madara. You have fought many wars, lost many of them as well and survived. You have adapted and been able to keep up with the times. For that I applaud you, but your time is almost up. You have been a threat to the stability of the shinobi world for far too long, and your time is almost running out. After all, even luck cannot go on forever."
Madara, voice deadly quiet, asked "How sure are you, Sasori?"
Sasori, face as blank as paper, responded "One hundred percent sure. Your time has come."
Suddenly, Madara smirked, and I knew what was coming. Before he could even open his mouth, it begun.
I concentrated my chakra towards my forehead, and I felt it rushing there, through my chakra patterns. I felt a slight tingling, before the purple diamond formed on my head. My Hyakugou was fully formed and completed, the pinnacle of chakra control. It had taken me a grand total of two years to master it. With it, I could control my chakra so accurately, it could not be wasted. Not one bit.
To my left Naruto was changing as well. His eyes became slits, his canines becoming sharper and his nails were turning into claws. His ears also became more pointed, his spiky, blond hair standing on end. The whiskers on his cheeks became more pronounced and there was a considerable amount of controlled killing intent emanating from him.
I smirked when I saw something of shock register on Madara's face. His shock became significantly more pronounced when Kurama actually spoke to him.
"Madara. How are you? Been quite a while hasn't it? How have you spent the last five or six decades? Still running around looking for ways to instigate more conflict to cause instability?" Kurama growled, smirking.
"Kyuubi," Madara responded, his voice calm. "How did that brat manage to subjugate you?"
"Hmph," Kurama gunted, slightly amused. "He's a special kid, Naruto. He's had so much going on in his short life, and he has still ploughed on. He has never given up on anything. Not on life, not on hope, not on his colleagues. He has never given up on anything. How can I bring myself to fight such an extraordinary individual for too long? Quite the opposite of you really. Once things never went your way you promptly gave up on the situation and turned tail. If only I could not have allowed myself to be controlled by those eyes of yours for a little longer, perhaps then Yondaime could have saved me from you. But alas, everyone makes mistakes, isn't it?"
"So you allowed yourself to be subjugated by him?" Madara yelled, losing the trademark Uchiha self-control and pointing a shaking finger at Naruto.
Kurama laughed. He actually laughed.Loud howls of laughter. Naruto's physical being had actually bent over, clutching his stomach because Kurama, the Kyuubi, was laughing. I never thought I'd ever live to see something like this. The kyuubi was laughing.
"Yes, Madara. I chose to allow myself to be subjugated by this kid. He trusts my ability to help him help others so fully, he never even questioned or thought twice about having to share his body. He's not my vessel any more, Madara. He's my comrade. Together with the Godaime and her crew, we will wreck you. I will see to it that I will witness your death."
Madara then turned to me. He seemed to have regained control of himself, for he was calm once again.
"Hyakugou. The pinnacle of chakra control. Even Senju Hashirama, the most powerful shinobi I ever fought against did not have such accurate control of his chakra."
I schooled my features into blank indifference. Had we not been in this situation, Sasuke would have smirked and inclined his head in approval. He had taught me well.
"Shodai-sama quite never had the chakra control Shishou did. We've all heard of tales of his sheer ability as a shinobi and a leader. One cannot be blessed with everything. He was, arguably the most powerful member of the Senju Clan, as you are of the Uchiha. There is probably never going to be a Senju as powerful as he, seeing as Shishou is the last of the Senju. The Uchiha, however, is a different story altogether." I glanced at Itachi, Shisui and Sasuke. None of them looked back.
I looked back at Madara and raised an eyebrow for good measure.
"Look at how much power these youngins wield, Madara," Kakashi-sensei stated, nodding at Naruto and myself. "The moment you arrive in Konoha, sit down as ask yourself how much power your descendants here have." At that point, he nodded towards Itachi, Shisui and Sasuke.
"Finally, you can contemplate how much chaos they can cause when they come together. Keep in mind you have not contemplated Akatsuki and the rest of Tsunade-sama'a allies. Just these five young adults." He finished, turning his lazy gaze towards Madara.
"Don't forget the Rinnengan, Madara-sama," Sasori drawled, before promptly turning around and walking away, waving his hand casually. "Remember my warning. You have a lot more on your plate than you ever bargained for."
"Bring it, Madara. Bring it," Shishou taunted. Just then, Uchiha Madara, the most powerful shinobi alive, disappeared, and with him, his disturbingly powerful chakra pattern.