The World as I knew it
AN: I don't own Naruto
Chapter II: Problems in Paradise?
An unknown amount of time passed by as Naruto remained in the sand of the shore he pulled himself out on. He shivered from being wet and while it was obvious that he was staring up at the sky but whether that sky was cloudy, sunny, or it was nighttime, he had no idea. He felt like he could fall asleep but that was no clear indication of what time of day it was, especially after the day he was having.
'Aren't you going to get up?' questioned a deep voice from within the seal.
'Why should I? Its already over isn't it? I'm not that stupid. I can put together what must have happened. No one knows me and the whole world seems to have changed overnight. The war is over, in fact, it never really began in this reality, did it?.' Naruto questioned of his bijuu.
'Giving up that easily, that's not like you.' commented Kurama as he baited his container.
"What else can I do?" Naruto asked as his options looked quite bleak.
'Keep going, don't give up until the end. You're still here and unaffected. There isn't anyone else who can do this task.'
'Why can't I just give up for once. My whole life has been just a struggle and it just keeps getting harder. There's always another burden placed on my shoulders. Sometimes it just feels harder and harder to breath.'
'If I recall, you chose this life for yourself. You wanted to be a ninja and set your sights on being Hokage. No one forced you to set such a high goal.' Kurama reminded him and a long silence elapsed between the two. Only the sound of crashing waves could be heard before Naruto finally responded, 'And I suppose you know where I should go and what I should do.'
'I have no idea...' Kurama began truthfully and continued, '...you never needed instruction like that before. You always just did the impossible.'
'I can't get the bandages off.' was the only excuse that Naruto could come up with to not get up off the sand.
'I don't remember you ever complaining so much about overcoming a handicap. You've had quote a few of them since you were born and one especially that has plagued you your whole life.'
'And what's that?' Naruto questioned and he believed the answer to be the seal.
'You're a complete idiot.' Kurama explained.
A small smile tugged on the side of Naruto's mouth before it formed and became larger as Naruto tried not to laugh. His body was still in pain and it hurt but he couldn't stop himself. Rolling on his side, Naruto began pushing himself up and getting to his feet. 'I guess I'll just walk aimlessly for a while or until I happen upon someone?' he suggested as he steadied himself on the sand.
'I was thinking something a little faster and more direct.' Kurama said and Naruto could feel the powerful chakra of his bijuu surfacing.
Walking at a sedate pace through a village he once left, Obito looked around and tried to determine what had changed since he had last been there. The last time he even stepped foot in the village was when he released the Kyuubi upon it.
'I wonder where the bijuu are right now?' he idly wondered. They were certainly not still inside of him but since there were no jinchuuriki in his new world, then that must have meant they were still sealed inside of the statue and no longer merged into the Jyuubi.
'Well, it doesn't matter, I won't be needing them anymore.' he idly mused and continued his walk while his mind wandered. Rin had left to work at the hospital and thus he was left to his own devices. She mentioned he had an afternoon shift at the police station and before that point, he had all but forgotten that the Uchiha were once in charge of the Konoha police force.
'I guess that means that the rest of the clan is back?' he realized and wasn't sure how he felt about it. In the old world he had lived in, after Rin's death, he had forsaken every bond that he once had and tried to kill his emotions in order to do what needed to be done. Now he found himself having a hard time trying to care about things once again.
When he created the new world, he really only had a few thoughts in mind for it. Rin was obviously near the forefront, along with peace as well as bringing the people that his actions had killed back to life. He had a few other ideas but he guessed that the rest was filled in by his subconscious. 'I can't remember ever wishing that the village be reconstructed, nor do I remember ever wanting to come back to the village to live in it.' he thought.
Waking up in the village was certainly not something he expected but in a way it made sense. Perhaps deep down he still wanted to be a part of Konoha. Well, not 'that' Konoha, but a part of the new Konoha he created.
There were also other things that he still didn't know about. Considering that he was the one who cast the genjutsu, it seemed that mentally, he was unaffected by it. Physically he had been changed but his mind and memories remained unchanged. To a degree, this made sense as well because the caster of a genjutsu wouldn't normally be affected by their own jutsu. The jutsu he used however, wasn't a mere genjutsu and the physical changes were probably a desire to be whole once again and not be half a person merged with a clone of Senju Hashirama. He may have liked Tobi, which was the name he gave to the spiral zetsu, but he never planned to be like that forever.
From what he had learned, there were still many things he needed to learn and become adjusted to. He had made an error that morning when he mentioned Tsunade being Hokage, only to have Rin correcting him that Minata-sensei was the Hokage. He played it off as being tired and not waking up yet but in his mind he was furious with himself as it was still a stupid mistake that he needed to keep from making again.
To that end, he had contacted Zetsu and sent the white clone, along with a few others, to spy around the village and gather information in order to complete his process of transitioning into the new world. Thus far, he had learned that his sensei was not the Yondaime, but was actually the Godaime. It seemed that Kato Dan, Tsunade's husband, was Hokage for the better part of a decade before stepping down so that Namikaze Minato could take over.
Obito knew very little about Dan, but the man had apparently married Tsunade and they had one child together. 'An odd turn of events.' Obito thought as he continued going over all the information that Zetsu had given him. 'It seems the genjutsu not only brought people back from the dead, but also created a different series of events and created new people as well.'
From his perspective, time hadn't been rewritten and the daughter of Tsunade had only been alive for about a day or so, however she was nineteen years old and seemed to have memories of a full life. 'This genjutsu doesn't have a mind of its own but I don't remember ever wanting such a thing to happen. Did my imagination run a bit wild when I used this jutsu?' Obito questioned but he didn't know the answer. The world he created was supposed to be an ideal world, so it was possible that other people's dreams did come true as well. There was probably a limit to the effect though. It wasn't like everyone was winning the lottery every day or something.
Obito was brought out of his thoughts as several laughing children ran past him. He watched them go but did not smile or show any emotional change. Once they had passed, he continued on his walk. Despite the things he didn't know, there was one thing that Obito definitively knew. There would no longer be any problems with the Kyuubi container. Uzumaki Naruto had been a thorn in his side for so very long. The boy had foiled or set back many of his plans but now he had won and Naruto would trouble him no more, not in the heaven he had created. Especially not since Namikaze Naruto died only a minutes after being born.
'I'll have to visit his grave site later today.' he thought and couldn't be sure if it was to gloat over his victory or perhaps to double check and make sure the container was indeed no longer a problem.
A pair of weary eyes opened from an unknown length of sleep. The rinnegan eyes surveyed the room and recognition soon followed.
'Why am I back here?' the old man questioned and he also wondered where Obito had gone off to. He was back at his hideout in Mountain's Grave. Attempting to stand, he wasn't even able to get up off the stump he was sitting on.
Looking to his hands, he noted how old and frail they looked. His chakra was at an abismally low level, far lower than when he had last been conscious and in his resurrected Edo Tensei body. 'I'm back in my original body?' he questioned and looked over the rest of the room. The Hashirama clone was still there, along with the tree that he had created, which Obito had expanded on. On the very top, he could just make out the Geddou Mazou statue sitting in its empty shell form. He could also feel the three connections at his back that stretched to the flower and were presumably still keeping him alive.
'Did it work, or was it all just a dream?' he wondered and tried to remember what had happened. Casting aside any previous thoughts of a dream, it took a short moment before he was finally able to recall the events. 'Obito acted hastily and completed the fusion of the bijuu before completely capturing the Hachibi and Kyuubi. To protect the incomplete Jyuubi from further damage by the Kyuubi and Hachibi container when the process was completed, we retreated back here. But then what?' he questioned and struggled to remember the last moments.
'Obito began the jutsu.' he recalled and the moments that proceeded were completely hazy in his mind. The jutsu had presumably worked but that didn't explain everything. 'If it worked, then why am I back in this form? I should be young again. What have you done Obito?'
Attempting to stand one more time, he finally gave up as fatigue came over him. Even the act of standing was apparently too difficult for him now and he found himself out of breath. 'I'm so close to death right now. This body has lived an additional fifteen years after I originally severed my connection with the tree. Damn you, Obito.' he thought as his eyelids reluctantly shut and sleep once again overtook him.
Looking into the mirror, and greatly confused about the image he could see, Ao tried to figure out what was going on. He'd woken up extremely late, which was incredibly unusual for him and he was immediately aware that something was wrong.
The most obvious sign that confirmed his feeling of unease were the two protective tags that were covering his right eye. Being a former hunter-nin, he knew exactly what the tags were and how they worked. That wasn't the problem however, the real thing that put him on edge were the questions that kept revolving in his mind concerning their placement.
Protective tags were aptly named and reacted to danger and formed a protective barrier over the area they were designated to protect. The most prominent question in Ao's mind was, 'Why were they covering my eye?' He had lost the eye almost two decades previously and was forced to learn to live without it. He had donned a simple patch to cover the damaged area and had left it alone. It had never been replaced and there was no feasible reason that he could come up with as to why a useless eye would need to be protected from anything.
The next question which puzzled him concerned the activation of the tags, 'Why had they activated while I was asleep?' Though his awakening from sleep was abrupt, there was no one around him and seemingly no danger. He had thoroughly sensed the surrounding area and found no ninja that he didn't recognize. No one was seemingly running away or watching him. So in addition to being clueless as to why they were covering his eye, he also had no idea why they had activated. There was no discernable danger to his useless eye.
The final question that Ao had was the one that unnerved him the most, 'Who put these on me?'
At one point that morning he thought perhaps it was some kind of joke by his fellow ninja. Putting protective tags over his already useless eye. It did seem like a good practical joke but that would mean that someone would have had to sneak up on him, attach the tags to his ears, and complete the jutsu. That was not something that had happened to him in years. He was highly trained and reacted to the slightest presence near him. Only another member of the hunter-nin squad could have made or placed the tags on him and he knew none of them were practical jokers.
He didn't remember getting drunk or intoxicated the previous night, he just went to bed at a decent hour like normal. Nothing in his memory suggested that he had ever needed to protect his right eye or would want protective tags put in place. 'Does that mean there's something wrong with my memory?' he idly wondered but put the thoughts aside as he made the hand seals to end the jutsu.
Once the correct handseals were performed, the two tags receded from his eye and hung loosely on the wire from his ears. Critically examining his eye patch, he quickly noted that it looked exactly like it had the day before, and every day since his injury. In twenty years, the type of patch he wore and its placement, hadn't changed.
Cautiously, Ao reached up to the patch. He saw his own hand in the reflection of the mirror and frowned at the fact that it was shaking slightly. His hesitance grated on his nerves and he stopped to take a quick breath and calm himself. For some reason, he really wasn't sure what he would find when he removed the patch. It should only be his damaged eye but that didn't explain the fast beating of his heart, or the protective tags that had seemingly materialized on him since the previous night.
Unhooking the patch, he pulled it away and found his closed eye lid. The white scarring was prominently visible from his old injury. Opening the eyelid, he starred at the off-white pupil-less eye that stared back. It took a few seconds for him to realize that the working eye was certainly not his own and a few more seconds to recognize it as that of a Hyuuga. His eyes widened in shock.
"How the fuck..." he said out loud and began closely examining the eye in the mirror. No one had ever successfully taken or transplanted a Byakugan eye before. How could he have possibly gotten one? He certainly didn't have it the previous day.
'It doesn't make any sense. People don't just wake up and one of their eyes has become a Byakugan.' he thought. Pushing aside the impossibility of his situation, Ao made sure he was alone in his apartment and that no one was possibly watching him. The ramifications of having such an eye were starting to dawn on him. The taking of a bloodline was not a simple matter, even if it wasn't him who had taken it and paranoia was slowly setting in.
Taking his patch, he put it back in place and then noticed the time on the nearby clock. Cursing, he moved to get his clothes and ninja gear. The fact that he was several hours late for his patrol was a welcomed distraction but his mind was now filled with other thoughts.
Was he being set up as part of a political plot to break the armistice? He had no idea why someone would give him such an eye. It couldn't be for good reasons but how would someone have gotten a Byakugan in the first place, 'And why the hell would they give it to me?' The protective tags no made sense to him. Who had placed them? It had to be one of the hunter-nins but why him and what purpose did it serve? No one just went around giving away free dojutsu.
He now had many questions but knew it was best not draw attention to himself. 'Whatever the hell is going on, I'll just have to wait and see. I don't know what's going on or who I can trust.' he thought as he finished putting on his hori and his ninja tool pouches.
He would tell no one about it and continue as if nothing was amiss. After his shift, he would also have to find a safe place and learn to use his new eye. As long as he had it, he might as well use it to keep himself safe.
Staring at the paperwork on his desk, Minato's thoughts were moving far from the reports and updates of the village. Despite that his son had died more than a decade previously, for some reason the memory seemed especially prominent in his mind. 'Almost like it just happened yesterday.' he thought and couldn't understand why it would affect him so much. It certainly wasn't near Naruto's birthday, which was still months off, and there really wasn't any significance that he could determine.
'Kushina seemed especially sad this morning, too.' he noted and looked back down at the paperwork. It didn't seem like he was going to be able to finish it before going home. Glancing up at the clock, he realized it was getting late and remembered that he had promised to pick up his daughter Kaya from the academy. Tomorrow would be the graduation ceremony and there was no doubt in his mind that she would become a genin.
Scanning the desk, he looked at one file in particular and opened it. It listed all of the genin in Kaya's grade and then recommendations for teams by her teacher, Umino Iruka. Kaya was to be placed with two other ninja and despite the young girls wish, she probably would not be placed with her fellow classmate Hyuuga Hanabi. The thought brought a smile to his face and he looked through the choices he had for her sensei. He had been looking over the choices for a few weeks and had narrowed it down to three choices.
Uchiha Obito, Mitarashi Anko, and Hatake Kakashi. It was a tough decision and he found several jonin in the past month had been making hints that they were interested in being Kaya's sensei. He of course reminded them that their were two other students in the team and proceeded to remove that jonin from the running.
He had spent a few hours here and there going over the files of the three applicants but he really only needed to look over Anko's file as he practically had Obito's and Kakashi's memorized. 'The only problem is that none of them had ever taken a genin team before.' was the thought that kept going through his head.
He had tried to get Kakashi and Obito to take a genin team like Rin had but Kakashi had failed every team and Obito had just declined to even take a team. Anko hadn't been a jonin for very long and the previous times he had tried to pair her with a genin team, the genin had not wanted to be with her.
Kaya had also never liked Obito, at least as far as he could remember, which was also something he had to consider. From a father's standpoint and not as the Hokage.
Though it was a welcome distraction from his earlier thoughts, Minato still didn't know exactly what to do about the situation. He was seemingly at a standstill with all his decision and work. Sighing, he thought, 'I might as well go home. I don't think I'll be able to get anything else done here today.'
Naruto breathed easily from his resting place inside of Kurama's full bijuu form as they raced along the coastline. Kurama had decided that they were far enough away from Kumo to make their journey go a little faster. The yellow orange kitsune ran over the water of the ocean about a mile out from the shores edge of Lightning Country. If anyone was able to see them, they would only see a bright, fast moving flame shooting over the water.
It was night and Kurama glanced up at the stars as he ran. 'Its been decades since I last saw them.' he inwardly thought and glanced to the coast to make sure he was still following within sight of it. There was really no way of knowing when they would leave the coast of Lightning and enter the coast of Hot Springs but it was not something either jinchuuriki or bijuu was concerned about.
The only goal at the moment was to find a place where Naruto could stay for the night that would offer him some security. 'After that it will be to find some food and water.' Kurama thought as he tried to decide where it was that he should stop. Finding a safe place for a blind Uzumaki and Senju descendent in a world full of people controlled by a deranged Uchiha, was not an easy proposition. The fact that Naruto could only handle his full power for brief periods to time was also of concern. They had to get as far and as fast away as they could but still find someplace safe.
'If everyone else was moved from the Allied Forces camp back to their villages, then it's only a matter of time before someone notices that he's missing.' Kurama believed and he needed to find somewhere out of the way that even the white Zetsu that Obito still likely controlled would not be able to find them.
Kurama's attention shifted from his inner thoughts to the change in the horizon. A light could be seen illuminating the darkness of the night up ahead. As Kurama got closer, the tops of trees and then rocks came into view over the crest of the horizon. Soon what appeared to be a small island with attached lighthouse situated on one side had come into view. It was close to the coastline but separate from the mainland.
Feeling that his power was beginning to wane and return to the seal, Kurama decided that it would have to do and informed Naruto. Stopping on the ocean, the bijuu form receded until Naruto was just covered in the cloak. With a picture of the area in his mind from Kurama, Naruto moved closer to the island and began walking in a large arc around it. Normally he would have just run to it but without his eyes, there was the chance that he could lose his balance on the waves and be swept into the rocks or misjudge the distance to the rock wall of the island and run into it. Neither were good options so Kurama suggested they do things in a more roundabout manner.
The constant checking of how the waves felt and his slow progression grated on Naruto's nerves as he tried to keep himself from getting frustrated. The patience however paid off as he eventually found an area that was relatively calmer. Believing it to be the exact opposite side of the island, he turned towards the sound of the waves and began walking. Keeping his balance was much easier on the calmer waves and Kurama's initial belief was soon backed up by what he could feel as he closed in on the island. Moving too far to the left or the right caused him to feel more unbalanced on the water surface. There was a narrow area that was less turbulent and he continued to follow it.
The crashing waves grew louder but Naruto continued on. Steadying himself, he put his hands out in front of him so as to stop himself before he hit or was pushed by the waves into the rock wall of the island. The wall however never came. Naruto continued to walk forward until he was right at the crashing waves, and then went beyond them. The sound dulled as he progressed and he was puzzled as to why the waves now sounded like they were behind him.
'Did I get turned around.' he wondered as he thought perhaps he walked in a circle but Kurama didn't think so, 'Take in your surroundings.' he offered and Naruto breathed in and slowly out as he let his other senses determine what was around him.
He began to hear more than just the waves he had passed. Other smaller waves rose and fell around him. They seemed to end a short distance away in almost every direction around him and he could hear them gently meet rock. He could feel that the wind had died down considerably where he was at and the only thing that remained was the taste and smell of the ocean air.
'Maybe I wandered into a cave.' he thought and despite not being able to see, he angled his head upward as if to view what was above him. Another sound soon made itself known. It was very familiar to him and he instantly recognized it as the sound of wind running through the leaves of a tree.
'The trees were on top of the island.' Kurama commented and Naruto caught on with what the bijuu was getting at. The island is hollow or more of a shell. This made sense given what he could hear. If he could hear the leaves of the trees which were situated on the top of the island, and he was standing inside the island, then the island must be open at the top.
Though he had already checked to see if someone was on the island, Naruto did so again just to be sure. Things that were well hidden were seldom left vacant and were usually havens for people who wanted to hide. While he fit the bill as the kind of person that would seek out such a place, the last thing he needed was to be forced to defend himself in his current state from the owner or current dweller of the hidden area.
Once Naruto was sure that no chakra signatures could be found on the island or within his sensory range. He began his exploration of the mysterious island.
Examining the wonderful meal with his chopsticks, Obito quickly began gobbling down the hot food that was placed before him. A few complements were hastily made with mouth still full of food and he was already thinking about asking for seconds.
Rin giggled at the scene and thought, 'Its like he's eating it for the first time, but I make this every Wednesday.' and while she was thinking that, Obito couldn't put into words how wonderful it was to have a home cooked meal. It was made especially for him and Rin seemed to know exactly what he liked. While Obito continued eating, Rin began talking to him about her day.
"...and you wouldn't believe it but something really strange happened too. The whole hospital is talking about it. Nearly every blind person in the village was admitted for acting strangely." Rin stated and Obito instantly stopped eating. Hiss chopsticks had frozen halfway to his mouth and Rin could feel something about him change.
"How strangely?" Obito inquired sternly and Rin was slightly taken aback by his sudden change in demeanor.
"You said they were acting strangely." Obito pushed after a brief moment and Rin began to answer, "Ah...yes...well, they were all going on about how the village was destroyed and many other things that didn't make any sense."
A silence passed between the two as they sat across from each at the small dinner table in their home, it was only broken when Obito spoke again, "You're right, that is really strange." he said with a smile went back to eating.
Rin exhaled a breath she didn't know she had been holding and then went back to eating as well. They conversed a little bit more and Obito asked a few more questions about the people in the hospital but nothing else interrupted the dinner, except when Obito asked for seconds. When they both finished, Obito offered to do the dishes and while he washed the bowls they were using, his mind was elsewhere. 'I'll need to deal with this, and quickly.' he thought and waited until Rin was out of earshot before quietly saying, "Zetsu."
Only a moment passed before one of the white clones began emerging from the wood floor nearby. He had given the other White Zetsu a mission to gather information but one of the clones had stayed with him in case he required anything. Obito glanced at the clone and said in a low dangerous voice, "Gather as many of the others as you can, there are mistakes that need to be corrected."
Looking down to his hands, he noted that the bowl he was holding had been cleaned for some time from his furious scrubbing and he proceeded washed it thoroughly in running watter before taking the other and scrubbing it roughly with the sponge. 'I'll tell Rin that there was a problem at the police station and that I'm being called in to help.' he planned and his eyes changed from their slate gray to a blood read with three tomoe as he grit his teeth.
Cursing, Naruto picked himself up off the flat surface he had just fallen on. He had continued walking into the open lake area inside the island walls and misjudged his surroundings. He expected to find a wall, but instead he had found a low rock surface and tripped over it's edge.
Curious at the new discovery, he began using his hands and feeling the rock. It was smooth and very flat, 'Too flat to be natural.' he thought and decided that whatever he was on, had to have been either carved or created with an earth jutsu. Moving in one direction, he eventually encountered a flat wall. Running his hands over the nearby surfaces, he attempted to picture what it was that he was feeling.
'Almost like a dock. I'm near the water on a flat rock surface with a wall in front of me. I can either go up the wall or follow it in either direction.' he surmised and Kurama quickly added, 'It might be best to follow the wall.' Naruto frowned at the statement but agreed. Walking up a wall without being able to see was still doable but it frustrated him to no end that such a simple task had been made so difficult without his eyes. It would be faster to just follow the wall and see where it led.
Picking a direction, Naruto followed the wall and kept a hand on it at all times while he slowly moved forward. After about ten feet, his foot encountered something. Bending down, he began feeling what it was that he had hit.
'A staircase.' he realized and put his foot on the first step and began taking it up. He eventually came to a flat landing which he thought was the end but turned out to only be the halfway point. Reaching the very last step and cautiously walking onto flat ground, he strained his senses to hear anything but couldn't find anything new that he hadn't already heard. About to take another step forward into the unknown, Kurama spoke up, 'You can use my chakra again and I'll look over the area.'
Naruto stopped for a moment and replied, 'But I just used it for an extended period of time.'
'You may not have gone very far, but a lot of time has passed.' commented Kurama and Naruto was surprised as it hadn't seemed like that long to him. 'Why didn't you say something earlier?' he asked and Kurama was quick to reply, 'You were doing so well and you'll have to get used to this situation at some point. You might as well spend some time moving around an unknown area.' Naruto grunted in response and Kurama's chakra flooded into his system and formed the cloak. No sooner had the cloak formed then a fox head appeared on Naruto's shoulder and began looking over the area.
Kurama found that they were standing before a four to five story building that was almost completely surrounded and hidden by the walls of the island. The only entrance he could see was well hidden from any passing ships and the rough shoreline was far enough away that even nija would have trouble spotting anything or getting the right vantage point to see the opening. Kurama looked intently over the building in order to discover if it belonged to a village. 'Ninja always mark their buildings with some kind symbol or sometimes just the architecture and motif can give it away.' he informed his container and noted the snake-like designs on the architecture and the musical note symbol that adorned one of the walls.
Seven shadowed figures slowly emerged from the tile floor and looked over the room. Twenty five people were strapped to the beds and possibly under heavy sedation. One of the figures walked into the reddish light of the moon that filled part of the room via the uncovered windows and went over to the first bed. Grabbing the medical chart at the end, Obito glanced through the papers.
'Its just as Rin said, there isn't anything visible wrong with them. No suspicious brain activity, no sign of trauma, and no indication of any jutsu being used on them. Besides being members of the village, they only share on thing in common.' he thought as he read the only thing that was similarly shared by each patient. They were all blind. Few ninja every became blind in both eyes during the course of their service and it seemed that most of the people in the room were civilians.
'I didn't county on this. I thought the technique would work on everyone but it seems that the visual portion of the technique is needed for complete integration. What a conundrum. The technique couldn't restore their eyesight or put them under it's spell without them seeing the moon and they can't see the moon or be put under the technique because they're blind. I don't have a bunch of spare eyes lying around that I would be willing to give them.' Giving each bed a final glance, he turned to the Zetsu and said only one thing before he left, "Take them away from here and dispose of them quietly."
The space around his head distorted as a dimensional opening formed that pulled his body in. Once he was gone, the Zetsu quickly got to work and silently moved towards the beds.
An area of the cave began to distort in a spiral shape and a figure emerged from the opening. Obito looked around the room and stopped when he saw the decrepit form of Madara sitting on a stump. The elderly man was connected by several lengths of root to the tree in the room and it reminded Obito of when he had first come to the hidden cave.
He wasn't completely sure why Madara was old again or even still alive. Their talks and training sessions were about learning what was needed for him to succeed in getting everything ready for the Moon's Eye Plan. Madara was actually the one that was supposed to be the jinchuuriki but after being summoned by Kabuto with Edo Tensei, that was no longer an option.
Madara only ever spoke of making a new world and never what the man's role in that world would be. 'I never actually thought about how he would want to live in this new world. Perhaps his current state is becausem in my mind, I still think of him as how he was when I first met him.' he guessed but decided not to wake the elderly Uchiha and go about his business. He managed to take a few steps before a voice soon cut through the silence in the cave.
"So you've decided to grace me with your presence." came the raspy voice of the now awake elder Uchiha.
Obito looked over at Madara and decided to just ignore him. The man could do nothing to him and was far past his prime. Making his way to the tree and statue sitting atop it, he was again antagonized by Madara.
"Trouble in paradise?" came the question which seemed more of an accusation to Obito's ears.
"This is your technique, not mine." Obito responded while turning back to face the old Uchiha.
"No, this is not my technique. Its a cheap imitation of my Moon's Eye Plan, created by, and tailored to suit you and no one else. You even had the audacity to curse me with feeble body again. I should have been resurrected by Nagato and not through Edo Tensei."
"That's not my fault. You left your DNA somewhere where it could be found." said Obito as he defended his action
"And what about my current situation?" demanded Madara as Obito has completely ignored part of his statement. Obito said nothing as he really didn't know why Madara was old again.
"I see it was a mistake to leave things in your hands. Had you waited and obtained the Hachibi and Kyuubi, then it would have been more complete then it currently is and had you not let something happen to Nagato, then I would have been able to properly cast it." Madara chastised.
"I don't remember you complaining after the ten-tails was reformed." countered Obito.
"I didn't have much of a choice. You had already started the process and stopping it was out of the question. The Kyuubi and Hachibi containers were putting up far more of a fight then I thought they would be capable of when the fight started." Madara explained.
"It doesn't matter, this new reality is under my control."
"They aren't under your control, they were just influenced by the technique. There is...a big difference." explained Madara and when Obito didn't respond, he continued, "If they are under your complete control, then why are you here?"
"Just something that you didn't account for." said Obito as he finished the conversation and headed for the wall to get to the top of the flower and the statue. Madara remained silent after the last exchange and was curious as to what Obito meant. While Obito ran up the wall and to the statue, he thought over their exchange and the new appearance of his former apprentice with much interest.
Coming to the top of the flower-like tree, Obito looked over the statue and realized something that he hadn't counted on. He could instantly tell that the bijuu were not inside of it because it had completely reverted back to its state as an empty shell and the nine eyes were all open.. 'Where are they now?' he wondered and thoroughly examined the statue.
Since nothing else was out of the ordinary, he made his way tot he top of the seated statue in a few jumps. 'Even without the bijuu, I should be able to make a change to the genjutsu. A slight alteration to reality is far from what was required to originally cast the jutsu and well within my power.' he confidently thought and with a single handseal, he activated the seals on the walls of the upper hideout. A grinding sound filled the cavernous hideout as the four walls that surrounded the statue began to lower, revealing the darkening night sky.
A few clouds covered the emerging stars but the moon was clearly visible to him as he looked out over Mountain's Grave. The bloody moon was just slightly less than the full moon it had been when he first cast the jutsu. Only a sliver was missing but Obito didn't even notice as he prepared himself.
Closing his eyes, he opened them and his Sharingan spun as he stared directly at the moon. 'It should be just a simple matter of thinking what I want and making the alteration.' he thought as he focused on what he wanted. 'The disappearance of the blind patients in the hospital are of no concern to anyone.' he thought and as his Sharingan spun, the rings of the moon began to as well.
The first moment Obito noticed that something was wrong, was precisely at the end of his thought when the rings of the dojutsu reflected on the moon began to spin. His entire body tensed as he felt his chakra being drained at an alarming rate.
'Shit!' he realized and he quickly did the only thing he could think of, which was to start leaching chakra from the statue he was on. His draining of the statue however was not enough to counter the faster chakra drain that the jutsu was taking out of him. He watched helpless as the rings of the moon stopped rotating any faster and began to slow down. 'The alteration was made but the chakra drain isn't stopping.' Obito realized.
He grit his teeth as every cell in his body began to hurt. He tried to stop the jutsu but found that it just wouldn't end. Stars appeared in his vision and the edges of his field of view began to darkened. Slow drips of blood began coming from his nose and eyes. The only thing he could see clearly anymore was the red moon as the spinning slowed down and had almost come to a stop. He wanted to scream but he could barely even breath. The sound of his heart beating kept getting louder as everything else faded. A moment before he felt the remainder of his chakra leave his body, the moon stopped spinning and he was released from the jutsu.
His body, which had remained stuck for the draining crumpled to the ground. He struggled to breath as if he was drowning and could feel nothing but pain. Standing was beyond him at that point but something caught his vision. A white figure stood apart from the dark sky and he recognized it as one of the Zetsu. 'I did tell one of them to follow me around at all times.' he remembered and it must have only just arrived given how far it was to Konoha.
With a raspy voice he managed to get out, "Take me...Konoha." Zetsu complied and picked him up, quickly moving to nearby wall and merging with it. The pair moved unseen through the rock toward the village hidden in the leaves.
Sitting far below them on his stump, the old Uchiha smirked at the valuable information that he had just gained from the verbal exchange with Obito and what his apprentice had just tried to do. It was just a few guesses at first but now he was much more confident about his theories.
Obito was no longer a jinchuuriki. That much was certain the moment the younger Uchiha had shown up in the cave. 'Had he still been the container of the reformed jyuubi, he should have been able to control and modify the genjutsu with simple eye contact with an individual or a single glance at the moon. There would be no need for him to come here otherwise.'
Also, considering that he had never been able to use the jutsu that he invented, there was no way of knowing exactly its limits once it had been enacted. 'It seems modifying the jutsu takes a large amount of chakra. Since Obito no longer even has the Shodai's cells in him, he's lost quite a bit of his previous chakra reserves and had to rely on the statues chakra just to keep from killing himself. I don't know how much he was trying to alter or how many people he was trying to reach but it would make sense that the more he tried to change and the more people his change affected, the more chakra would be required. Its possible that even the simplest of changes to the technique may be beyond him right now'
'However, the most interesting thing that I learned was that there are people unaffected by the technique. I don't know who they are or how many but they do exist and Obito is likely trying to do away with them or make sure they get integrated into the jutsu. The affects won't occur right away. The people he wanted to reach will have to look at the moon first. That will eventually happen though as the light from the moon now has a hypnotic affect. Once they are touched by or see the light, they will be affected by the hypnosis and be made to look directly at the moon. Once they look, then the changes will take hold.' he surmised based upon his knowledge of the technique and recent events.
'I will need to act quickly if I am to take advantage of this but how?' he wondered and his thoughts were interrupted by movement in front of him.
Half of a face emerged from the rock. It was solid black with a single yellow eye and Madara's eyes widened as he recognized the clone with his will that he had created nearly two decades previously.
"What are your orders." asked Black Zetsu in a deep voice and a smirk formed on Madara's face as he now had the answer to his question.
"You have excellent timing. I need you to find me someone, anyone that wasn't affected by the Moon's Eye Plan and bring them straight here." Madara tasked the clone.
"Make sure they aren't too weak to be of use to me and remember to stay hidden and don't let Obito know about you." Madara added and Black Zetsu responded with, "Of course," before he continued merging back into the ground.
While he wouldn't have to worry about his Zetsu being affected by the Moon's Eye Plan because they were plant and not affected by genjutus, they could not do what needed to be done. For that he needed a human ninja. Someone that he could control and get to work for him.
'I need to find an unaffected person, one with reasonable power, and use them to try and take control of the technique from Obito.' thought Madara as he began forming a plan to deal with his current situation. Trying to convince someone who was already taken in by the Moon's Eye Plan would be incredibly difficult, so it was better to find someone who wasn't currently affected.
Once he had said person or persons, he would simply have to teach them how to manipulate the technique and work on recapturing the bijuu. 'I'll have to find the bijuu first.' he realized as they weren't in the statue. That meant they were either roaming around free or sealed in something or someone.
It was a tall order but certainly not impossible. Not for him. However, the more he thought about his plan and the new developments, the more realized how tired he was starting to feel again. Before sleep overtook him, he decided to try and make another Black Zetsu. Obito had the remnants of an entire Zetsu army so he needed to make as many more loyal Black Zetsu as he could. There was no way of knowing how they would be affected but he needed some source of information on the changes and current affairs of the new world.
'I can only make one every few days considering the state my body is in and how drained the statue's chakra is right now but that will have to be enough. Obito clearly doesn't consider me a threat anymore which will greatly work in my favor.' thought the elderly Uchiha as he struggled to stay awake while the new Zetsu began to form from the nearby flower.