The Mirage of Uchiha. Chapter 3: Deliberations and Commands.
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The obsidian shadows of the eve lingered subtly on the serene Hidden Leaf Village; a warm breeze whisked caressingly across the still face of solitary buildings and majestic forests which filled the town. The moon rested above, tirelessly overlooking it all, a pale white lantern providing a light to guide those who had still to work sleeplessly through the night.
One such group of those to be denied rest that night bantered and berated each other ceaselessly in the administration building of the Hidden Leaf. A week had passed since the incident involving Minato’s team, and the death of Rin, the young chunin whom had been slain by Iwagakure shinobi. More importantly, however, was the matter of the young Uchiha whom had been said to have displayed a battle potential not seen since the last ninja war. A legendary trait of the sharingan, long since thought beyond any of the current generation Uchiha, which had abruptly manifested itself within the boy named Obito.
A contingent of the elders of Kohona, along with the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, had met to discuss the boy’s unique talents…and how they might be used.
The gaggle of elders, the majority of them lined with wrinkles and wisps of gray hair, mumbled and gossiped amongst themselves in a lines of chairs about the sides of a monstrous ashen table. At the head of said table, another man, old but not quite as old as his counterparts, reclined lazily into an old arm chair. Puffs of ebony smoke spouted up from a pipe which shuffled loosely at the edge of his lips, his graying hair becoming ashy at the edges. A small hat, adorned in crimson kanji with the symbol of the fire shadow, rested casually on the table in front of him, while his thin fingers tapped away with an edge of nervous tension as the elders continued to deliberate amongst themselves. Hiruzen let out a sigh of tedium; the only thing worse than having to argue with the council of the Leaf was having to wait upon the council of the Leaf.
Each one gazing over, their chatter reluctantly died down, and they turned to him. At the front, one man shook his head and regarded Hiruzen; his hair was raven black, unlike the rest of the council, and he sat ramrod straight in his chair, eyes glaring intensely at the Third Hokage. A noticeable x-shaped scar crested his prominent chin, while his face remained impassive at almost all times. His voice was deep, and though it took an ambivalent tone, Sarutobi could hear a thin layer of resentment in each and every word Danzo Shimura spoke.
“We have heard your concerns…Lord Hokage…” the words couldn’t have been any more of an insult had he accompanied them by spitting at Hiruzen’s feet and slapping him. “…but we must insist. How long has it been since the Magnekyo Sharingan was readily available to one of our Uchiah warriors? And in such a rare form as well…”
Danzo shook his head, clicking his tongue, as though chastising a child.
“…we really must ask that the boy become readily available for more pertinent assignments. Think, Hiruzen! His ability is so much like those of the already well known Yellow Flash! Just think of what it would be like to have not one, but two untouchable combatants on our side! The war would probably be over within months.”
Hiruzen’s face grew irritated, his impatience clearly marked upon his brow, but he didn’t allow Danzo to bait him any more than that; the man was intolerable, and they had played this foolish game for several hours, but the Third Hokage would not yield until he had no choice.
“Readily available? You mean you want to turn him into one of your human weapons, Shimura? Wanting to set a ‘Foundation’ in a pupil who isn’t even yours?”
Danzo’s face remained passive, though a fire of anger flickered in his eyes for a mere fraction of a moment. Hiruzen brought his face around to address the entire group.
“Again, you press me to take a mere child of thirteen and throw him headfirst to burn in the fires of war. Again, I will deny you this boy. Obito Uchiha will do great honor to the Leaf village…but he will do it as he did. He is only a chunin. He will be a reserve fighter, to be sent out in reinforcement to the jonin, at the discretion of orders given to him by his squad leader, Minato Namikaze. This is how Konohagakure operates in battle. We do not abuse a power that will make a boy a human weapon whose destiny is to become a killer and go blind.”
Danzo did grimace at this, and looked back with a nod to the remaining council members, whom had already begun to chatter animatedly amongst themselves. It was clear which man the rest of them deferred to on this particular night…and it wasn’t the Hokage. He threw his hands up before turning about, his face already stone cold once more.
“We’ll see Hiruzen; how much longer can you stand behind your foolish notions of protecting the boy, using your limited military operation. One way or another, we will utilize Obito Uchiha. You cannot prevent this from occurring.”
With that, the council returned to deliberation for the umpteenth time that night. The candles had been first lit halfway through the proceedings; now the burning embers had eaten halfway through the candles themselves. Hiruzen wanted to slam his head on the table and burn the entire hall down with fire jutsu. Instead, he settled for another blow on his pipe, and resumed tapping his fingers once more on the table.
The candles continued to burn as the night slowly drudged on.
Two Anbu, who were among the many tasked with guarding the night’s proceedings, stood shoulder to shoulder on a balcony outside the top floor of the administration building overlooking the village. The breeze ruffled their hair, the two actually perspiring from how surprisingly warm it was on that particular night. Still, no emotion showed in their posture, and if anything was written upon their faces, it was concealed by the red and white masks which covered their faces. The two didn’t speak, merely staring about in order to keep watch, as was their duty.
A loud bang made the two of them jump, putting their backs to each other as they fingered their katanas.
“What was that?” One of them remarked alertly, trying to find the source of the sound. The other man pointed above them, where the ringing had originated.
“It came from up there! Nobody should be moving, something’s wrong.”
The two looked over at each other; eventually the man who had pointed drew his katana, fingering it nervously, before nodding and beginning to ascend the building to the roof.
“I’ll go check it out! Wait here, and be ready to sound the alarm!”
The other man nodded, and watched the man reach the roof with no difficulties. Even as his comrade disappeared, the Anbu who remained in position kept his head centered on the roof. Five minutes passed, however, and the other Anbu did not return. More disturbing no noise had been made. The sentry’s thoughts began to echo his concerns.
Where the hell is he? Something must have…
The other Anbu’s unconscious body slid slowly off the roof; it wasn’t marked in any way, but the man wouldn’t be getting up any time soon.
The sentry Anbu began to scream for help, only to find a rough hand placed about his mouth, with another cracking into his neck.
“I’m sorry friend, but I need to enter this meeting; go to sleep for a little while."
The Anbu didn’t even have time to curse his foul luck as everything faded to black.
Back within the meeting…
Hiruzen shook his head once more, pointing his finger furiously at Danzo as he ranted and railed at the man’s callous disrespect for life.
“…and I keep telling you, Shimura, that the boy has no remarkable battle talent outside of his Sharingan! Until a week ago, he was counted among the weakest in his class of shinobi. To put someone so inexperienced at the front lines could put not only himself in danger, but every one of our men in the sector he arrives in. Your notion is foolhardy, Danzo! You would put a boy in as casually as you would a machine!”
“Then we’ll make him battle ready, Hiruzen!” Danzo retorted, almost losing his cool this time. “You can’t possibly tell me that any weapon we may obtain to end this war as soon as possible is not a cause worth pursuing! You’re endangering lives just by refusing to use one!”
The two had long since been the only ones speaking for at least an hour; the rest of the council merely sat back in subdued, awkward silence. Hiruzen became more and more impatient by the moment, while Danzo had a look in his eyes filled with such disgust that you might have figured Hiruzen had grown four more arms and antennae.
Before the two could rip into each other further, a small pitter patter at the window drew the room’s eyes away from the confrontation. To gasps of indignation and surprise, Minato Namikaze rested on his haunches at the window ledge, smiling brightly at the Third Hokage, who greeted him in turn with a sheepish grin of his own. The Yellow Flash tapped the window again, shouting excitedly in a high pitch towards Hiruzen.
“Heya, master Sarutobi! You mind letting me in? It’s ungodly warm out here tonight. And besides, that’s my student you’re talking about! Don’t I get a say in the matter? Or did you just forget to send my party invitation?”
Hiruzen palmed his hand on his face in order to stop a light chuckle from escaping, and with an exasperated sigh, he unhitched the window to allow Minato to nimbly bound into the room. Bowing to the elders, lowest of all to Danzo, with a harsh touch of exaggeration, Minato Namikaze addressed them without delay.
“Alright, I want to be able to take Obito to the front lines with me.”
Hiruzen began nodding before Mianto finished speaking, wagging his finger once more at Danzo.
“You see? Minato knows as well as anyone that this-“
As Minato finished, Hiruzen slowly realized what had been said, before glancing quizzically at the blonde Jonin.
“I…I beg your pardon, Minato?”
The younger man nodded, looking determined in his decision, and smiled once more at Hiruzen, his azure eyes twinkling happily as they usually did.
“Yes Lord Third. Obito has long been timid, but has also concealed within himself a roaring spirit; I have no doubt that soon enough, he will be the living epitome of the Will of Fire. Please, don’t think of him as a weapon, but think of him as you do me. Think of him as a shinobi who will give everything he has for the good of those he loves, and for the good of the village. Think of him as a kind boy, who only wishes to see that the wounds that have been placed on his heart never are wrought upon those who don’t have the power to stop it.”
Minato placed his hands on the Third Hokage’s arm, and stared intensely at Danzo.
“He is not a weapon; he is a lover. He is not a tool; he is a dreamer. He is not just any ninja; he is Obito Uchiha.”
Gesturing towards the other elders, he smiled once more.
“There will be one other condition of course; he will be accompanied, at all times, by Jonin (and my great student) Kakashi Hatake. Of course, they both must receive greater training in order to be of good use on the battlefield, but I have confidence. Both of them have just lost their dearest friend, and I believe that together, the two of them can not only repair this wound, but forge a bond so strong that this duo will make the ‘Yellow Flash’ seem like an insignificant moniker.”
Once more, he nodded invitingly towards the elders, though it was clear none of what he had stated was up for debate. “Any questions, m’lords?”
The elders, dumbfounded, merely shook their heads or remained silent. Danzo, flabbergasted, merely stared, eyes searing holes through Minato’s skull. Wordlessly, he rose and took his leave, seeing he had lost control of the remaining members of the council. The vote was quickly cast in favor of Minato’s ‘suggestion’.
Hiruzen looked on, partially in shock, mostly in pride. Minato hadn’t advised; he had commanded. The Yellow Flash, young though he was, already wielded a charisma and force of will unrivaled in the Leaf Village. The two shared grins, with Hiruzen razzing Minato’s hair in a mocking scold as the other passed. Minato waved wordlessly good bye before leaping from the window he had entered by. Now that matters have been arranged, he would need to prepare the training of Kakashi and Obito. To do that….
Later, at an undisclosed location.
The thin layer of smoke which surrounded the white haired old man was thick; though not as old as the Third Hokage, the man smoked like the devil, Minato couldn’t help but think. Draped in red robes and a special Leaf headband, with red adornment and a thicker metal, the ninja stared inquisitively at Minato, a bemused smile lying twisted on his face.
“So, let me get this straight; you want me to quit my all important job, trek all across various battlefields day after day, to help you train a pair of your brats?”
Minato shrugged sympathetically, scratching his face in amusement.
“Master, writing books is hardly an important day job. You really should be fighting to help all of us out anyway…”
“Oh shut it Minato! I was only joking anyway…”
Leaning into the light, Jiraya the Toad Sage grinned at his former pupil.
“After all, we both know you’re too soft to properly whip…what are these kids names?”
“Kakashi and Obito.”
“Right, Kobito and Okashi…into proper shape.”
The two chuckled, before Jiraya stood and cracked his knuckles.
“Well, what are we waiting for? Why don’t we get started.”