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Orochimaru’s “defection” set off an uproar in Konoha. All the civilians wondered how one of the legendary Sannin could actually do such a thing!
Unlike the civilians, the clans were now focusing on harvesting the fruit of his work on Hashirama’s cells.
Lain had been living with Yamanaka clan for quite some time now, being Ryo’s sister.
After witnessing would the latter could do, especially on that night when he faced the Kyubi himself, all clans knew that they could not afford to offend him on their own. Therefore, Lain’s clan was determined by default.
In the Hokage’s conference room, all clans were almost waging war over who would adopt Yamato. All of a sudden, an Anbu entered and approached Sakumo, whispering something in his ears.
As the latter heard whatever the Anbu said, his face became pale and he immediately ended the meeting and rushed out!
In Konoha’s hospital, Ryo was looking helplessly at Kakashi who was wrapped in bandages.
‘Orochi san is too cruel! I told him to be merciful, and look how Kakashi turned out!’ Ryo thought…
Kakashi was thinking at this time as well, wondering why Orochimaru did not kill him. Shouldn’t he, a defecting Ninja, kill the Anbu following him? But Orochimaru was acting more like a rough instructor than an enemy…
Just as both were thinking about that, Sakumo arrived.
Seeing Kakashi in bed, he frowned with anger in his eyes: “Ryo, how’s Kakashi?”
“He just has some flesh wounds, a whole lot of flesh wounds… He’s a bit weak now, and he’s not in a state suitable for a lot of Medical Ninjutsu intervention. He’ll be better off taking a few days of rest.
Hearing that his son was fine, Sakumo breathed a sigh of relief.
“Sakumo san, I’ll leave now, and let have a good chat with Kakashi.” Saint turned around and left.
Both father and son were not that talkative. After a long silence, Sakumo said: “Kakashi, how did you feel facing Orochimaru?”
Kakashi bowed his head. Facing the Sannin, he did not even have the courage to fight; Orochimaru smothered him with just momentum alone.
Seeing his son’s face, Sakumo could guess how he felt and how things went down in the woods.
As a father, Sakumo felt he had the duty of comforting Kakashi. However, as a Ninja, he felt that this experience should greatly help Kakashi’s growth; that is if Kakashi could manage to conquer his fear on his own.
After some hesitation, Sakumo decided not to say anything, hoping that his son would grow out of this experience.
Once again, silence prevailed in the ward, until this time, it was broken by Kakashi: “Dad, why did you try to commit suicide back when I was younger?”
Sakumo was stunned by the question and he asked: “Why ask about this so suddenly?”
“Because Orochimaru said that… only when I understand you could I be stronger. This… this is the thing I don’t understand the most about you.”
Sakumo did not answer immediately, asking instead: “Kakashi, why do you think I did that to myself?”
Kakashi replied after some thought: “The pressure of the village? Your self-esteem?”
Sakumo shook his head: “Kakashi, do you truly think that I am one to fall to the pressure? Do you think I’m one to values self-esteem over life?”
Kakashi became more and more confused: “Why did you do it then?”
“I doubted my purpose…”
“Yes! All my life, I’ve always thought of myself as a Ninja as a tool for performing task. Everything I’ve built in life was revolving around fulfilling my duty. That is, until I’ve chosen to give up on all of that to rescue my companions.”
“Why did you make that choice at the time?”
Sakumo recalled those days, smiled and said: “First of all, one of them was my good friend, and probably because he was also a father!”
Kakashi blinked, and he did not understand what Sakumo was saying.
“When we went out on missions at the time, he often mentioned his child to me. Every time he did so, I though back of you. I guess, I did not want his son to grow up without a father, so I chose to give up on the task to save him.”
Kakashi did not expect that this would be the reason behind Sakumo’s abandonment of the mission, and he did not know what to think.
“I kept wondering if I did the right thing. When I saved them, I went against my own purpose, and broke the rules of this world we’re living in. A Ninja giving up on the task for a Ninja… the idea sounds ridiculous. When back in the village, how the ones I saved blamed me made me even more certain that I did wrong. Someone who doesn’t live for his purpose does not deserve to live… I was not going to live for the same reason I broke the mission for, so I chose to kill myself.”
“But dad, why have you changed your mind after being saved?”
“Because that helped me find a new purpose.”
Kakashi’s eyes lit up and he anxiously asked: “New purpose?”
“I am a guardian. I’m guarding the village and the people I love. At the time, after he saved my life, Ryo used his clan’s techniques to communicate with me, and I had already died once; such a thing could change one’s perspective. That and Ryo helped me understand that executing mission was not the purpose of a Ninja; the power of a Ninja should be used to protect one’s loved ones…”
“Protect one’s loved ones!” Kakashi murmured Sakumo’s words, and then fell into thought.
Sakumo did not say anything, turned around, and left Konoha’s hospital.
After Ryo left the Hospital, he immediately went to the archives room, and wanted to find out some information about Izumi’s father.
All he knew was that her mother was an Uchiha. While it was a bit more common for the Uchiha men to marry foreigners to their clan, it was rare for their women to do so. Finding him should be a breeze.
Sure enough, after Ryo talked to the management of the archive, they gave him access to the documents that he requested. They gave him five scrolls of non-Uchihas marrying Uchiha women. Out of the five, 4 were Jonins, and only one was a Chunin.
Ryo picked up the registration form and looked at his photo, just to smile after a while.
He then took Izumi’s father name to Sakumo, and asked him for help getting information about him.
A while later, an Anbu brought back a scroll. It did not contain much information about him; after all, he was just a Chunin.
Ryo opened the scroll and quickly went through it. When he saw more about this man, and how he was an orphan, he became more and more certain of his presumption.
“Sakumo san, I think I know why Lain’s Wood Release went out of control.”
“Is it related to this Ninja?”
“Yes, this is Uchiha Izumi’s father. Lain said that she had sensed a special Chakra from her body before her Wood Release went out of control. Seeing this man, I think I know what was behind that!”
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