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Just like Mei had guessed, Ryo was still lurking in the Hidden Mist, as his mission was not yet complete.
Even before he found out that someone was tailing him, he condensed many Ice Crystals, attaching them to pedestrians. When he disappeared, that was actually him teleporting to one of them.
He deliberately chose one that’s in a busy street, and his sudden appearance went unnoticed.
Now, he changed his cover to the shape of another civilian, and continued to walk around the village as if nothing happened.
Meanwhile, Mei and Ao began looking for him around the village.
From his previous entrances to the village, Mei knew that Ryo had a way to mask his Chakra. She speculated that he didn’t just make his Chakra disappear all together. There should be no way for him to just eliminate and then regenerate Chakra just like that.
What was more probable in her view was that he just masked his Chakra from others’ perception, which let her retain hope in the possibility that it would be still be possible to detect it with the help of the Byakugan.
By the afternoon, Ryo, Ao and Mei encountered each other on the streets of the Mist Village.
Both sides noticed each other simultaneously. Ryo was noticed by the fact that his Chakra was unperceivable without the Byakugan, while he still remembered Mei’s Chakra signature.
The future Mizukage pointed to the side, Ryo nodded, and both sides disappeared.
A few minutes later, in the woods, Ryo faced Ao and Mei.
“This is the second time we meet, is that right, Ryo Yamanaka?”
“Indeed. Twice we meet now, with me being in a good mood; hence, you’re still alive!”
Mei smiled: “I guess I should be grateful!”
“Well, let’s stop the nonsense. If you want me to stay, tell me what you want!” said Ryo as he turned around.
While the best case scenario for him was to trade information with Mei, he had more leverage than her, and he didn’t mind to take what he wanted first.
“Stay, Ryo Yamanaka! You probably want to know why the village underwent such a great change!”
“Indeed, and you should want to learn a few things from me as well!”
The two smiled at each other, and Mei did not hesitate to throw a scroll to Ryo.
He picked it up in midair, opened it, and found that it contained all the information he wanted to learn. He was very satisfied, for with this, his task was over.
“Being so generous, aren’t we? Giving me what I want directly? Aren’t you afraid I’d just disappear?” Ryo hid the scroll.
“I’m not really afraid. Even if you leave now, it wouldn’t bother me. I’m just being grateful for your mood, and I’m sure my kindness will pay off now or at some point in the future!”
“Haha! You’re well worthy of being the next Mizukage. Let’s talk! What do you want to know?” Ryo had always been fond of this beauty ever since her first appearance in Shippuden. He was willing to let her in on some information.
Mei’s eyes widened and she immediately said: “I want to know who was in control of Yagura sama!”
Ryo frowned and hesitated for a moment, before finally answering: “Uchiha Madara!”
“Uchiha Madara? How could that be? It’s been decades since his death, and nearly a century since he was born!” While Mei did not say anything, Ao directly refuted Ryo’s answer.
“Well, the one to control Yagura was controlling a perfect Jinchuriki. While controlling your Mizukage, he was controlling his Biju as well. Not too many names throughout history have been able to pull this off. In fact, do you know of any, other than Madara?”
Mei’s face turned particularly gloomy by now, as Ryo’s words made complete sense. Ever since the Warring States Period, the only one known to perfectly control Biju without having to be their Jinchuriki had been Madara.
“Well, I answered your question; I’m out!”
Mei immediately stopped Ryo: “Hold on! I still have one more question!”
“Do you know what those humanoid White Creatures are?”
“Those are White Zetsu; something that Madara had managed to produce by some means. They are excellent at hiding, and they are around Chunin Tier when it comes to combat ability.”
“Well, thank you for the information; it’s very valuable for us!”
“No problem; a deal is a deal after all!” Ryo said that, and immediately disappeared.
After Mei and Ao returned to the Village, they immediately told Yagura of the Information that they had obtained from Ryo. After some hard thinking, the Mizukage had the image of scarlet eyes popping up from the depths of his memories.
“Yagura sama, can you remember something?” Ao noticed that Yagura didn’t seem well.
After a long silence, Yagura answered: “I remembered that at the last moment before I lost consciousness, I saw scarlet eyes, patterned in black.”
“So it’s really Uchiha Madara?!” Ao was in disbelief…
When this name was mentioned again, the whole office of the Mizukage fell into silence…
While this was happening, Ryo was already back in Konoha. He delivered the information to the Anbu department, and then entered Sakumo’s office.
“I’m back, Sakumo san! Oh, hi! What are you here for?” When Ryo entered, he saw Maan who was standing on the side. The Uchiha remained silent, and did not answer.
“Maan, would you answer Ryo?”
“What’s wrong Sakumo san?” Ryo noticed the problem as well.
“While you were gone, Homura has told me that the Uchiha have plans for a coup d’état. He had received this information from Maan. When learning about that, I asked the Anbu to bring me his mission record. What I found is that he had been sent to many missions involving Konoha’s root’s record. Therefore, I asked Kakashi to bring him in.” Sakumo explained to Ryo.
“Maan, what’s going on here?” This was one of Ryo’s earliest friends, which made him very anxious.
Maan however seemed incredibly cold, not how he used to be at all around Ryo.
Ryo had some doubts, and then flickered to Maan putting a Kunai on his neck, before opening his Mangekyo to hypnotize him.
“Whatever I ask, you answer!” Ryo said coldly, and when Maan nodded, he asked: “Who are you? What are you hiding?”
“I am Maan Uchiha, a member of Danzo sama’s Root!”
Ryo’s face instantly turned gloomy, and then he ordered Maan to open his mouth.
Seeing the cursed seal on his tongue, Ryo turned around: “Sakumo san, I’m afraid we’ll have to call Kushina Ne-san here. This seal is too complicated, even for me.”
“I’ll do that right now!” An Anbu on the side nodded.
“Ryo, are you okay?” Sakumo knew that while Ryo was ruthless, he was rather emotional when it came to those close to him. Maan had been fighting on his side for so many years, and him betraying Ryo’s side and 2nd clan should be quite the gut-punch to him.
“I’m alright. Don’t worry, Sakumo san! I just want to confirm if Maan had always had this double allegiance; if he was lurking by my side just to report on me. If that turns out to be the case, I’ll just kill him!”
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