Paths of Divergence
Yin and Yang. These are the two opposing forces of the world. They represent how the world lives by. The good. The bad. The good exists within the bad and the bad exists within the good. There is chaos. There is order. It is inside of you. It is Inside of me, inside of every single piece of matter in this universe. There is a unity between these two forces that hold the world stable. Without them the very fabric of the universe would not survive. No, it would be thrown into utter despair and fall apart before the very eyes of the beings that inhabit it. Us. These forces are held together strongly and while they may be opposites they are also the same, for the two could easily switch places. It has been at work since the dawn of time.
Many though, are unaware of the third force that is also at play.
Yes, there is a third force. It is the force that bonds the other two together, a bridge per se, for the world to be in equilibrium. Without this third force, Yin and Yang would separate, forever dooming the existence of the universe. This force? This force is known as the "balance" or "Kinkou". This balance does not have an immediate effect on the known universe, no, that is Yin and Yang's job. This balance, Kinkou, is just as important though. It permanently binds the two opposing forces and never lets them go. At times though, this balance can be strained. The universe is random and sometimes favors one side rather than the other. When that happens it is up to Kinkou to hold Yin and Yang together at all odds.
It can create.
It can destroy.
It can maintain.
It is a perfect order that dictates the very establishment of the world...
The final valley is where that fateful battle took place. I ditched Naruto to fight that abomination of Orochimaru's. I left Naruto to die. My own goals almost killed someone. A friend. If Lee hadn't of shown up who knows what would've happen. I am grateful... but I regret not plunging that attack through Sasuke's stomach. Maybe then he could've been brought back to the village. I don't know how he could've been tainted so easily. Isn't it obvious that Orochimaru just wants to use his body as a vessel? No... Sasuke can't be that stupid. He's one of the smartest people I've ever known. He must have other plans in mind. I'm not sure. My heart took hold of my hand right before I struck him. I looked into his eyes and saw both of us crying in the middle of the street all those years ago. Sasuke was clutching his head and wailing his eyes out. I remember holding him and looking at the ground feeling a void develop in my heart. Think of the blackest darkest feeling you've ever felt. Now multiply that by ten.
"Dammit Sasuke I swear if you don't come back with me right now!" Shizake yells.
"Or what." Sasuke bites back.
Electricity explodes into the palm of Shizake's hand, the streamlets of lightning flowing in every direction possible; their faces lighting up from every flicker and buzz while the attack screeches into the silent night. Shizake raises his right hand above his head, showing Sasuke that he isn't bluffing. Another surge of lighting explodes into Shizake's palm causing the Chidori to radiate even larger than before. Shizake's open palm changes, his thumb lying across the palm while he points his fingers straight out.
"I'll kill you right now! Do you want me to kill you right now and obtain the Mangekyou Sharingan and follow in Itachi's footsteps!!??" Tears stream down Shizake's face his anger becoming stronger with each word spoken.
"Tch." Sasuke grunts turning his eyes to the side.
Shizake clenches his teeth as his brings down the jab aimed directly at Sasuke's stomach. The attack cuts through the air, looking as if it won't stop. Until it does, barely licking at the fibers on Sasuke's shirt. Shizake sits wide-eyed trembling and staring at his cousin in the eyes.
"I knew you couldn't do it. This kind of weakness isn't what will avenge the Uchiha!"
Sasuke sees his opening as his pointed hand erupts with electricity. He sends the attack directly into Shizake's shoulder, piercing it and launching his cousin and brother in blood away from him. Sasuke stumbles to his feet as he gazes at his unconscious kin then to the steam rising off his burnt skin, his cousin's body floating lifelessly in the water. Someone lands behind Sasuke. He turns around to see Naruto trembling with anger. The Final Valley is where it all ended... and where it all began.
Shizake sits upon the Hokage stone face mountain, gazing at the setting sun. It's barely visible, the low gray clouds blocking most of the view while the sun's silhouette illuminates what isn't shielded from the masses of condensed water. The low temperature of winter hardly bothers him on this day. As the harsh icy wind continuously bombards his exposed skin, the heavy cloak he wears protects the parts it covers. The loose threads whip violently in a chaotic fashion as Shizake closes his eyes to defend them from more wind. He ponders on that fateful day... the mission to retrieve Sasuke... and how that mission failed. How he failed not only himself but his dead clan too. It's been almost three years since that day and this Uchiha has finally found the strength to get over it. It was almost like the massacre all over again in a way, in that he lost more of his family.
He could've easily killed me that day. He could've killed me and obtained the Mangekyou Sharingan. I could have as well. The fact that he didn't kill me proves that there is still some hope in him. But... I've given up that dream. I'll probably never see him again. He's gone. Gone to the clutches of darkness. Though I've given up on Sasuke, I still haven't given up on killing Itachi. That dream is a dream I'll carry until the day that monster dies by my hand,The sixteen-year-old Shizake thinks to himself.
The young Uchiha stands up from his sitting position and jumps down landing and leaping from rooftop to rooftop, dawning his new dragon ANBU mask. The frosty breath of the Earth streaks past him, causing his longish black spiky hair to whip in the wind. As a kid it was long, nearly reaching his lower back. Now, nearly three years later Shizake has decided to go lighter, chopping it off so that it only reaches his upper back barely touching the tops of his shoulder blades. Everything about him has grown in the short time though . His skills have sharpened, his position in the ANBU has progressed greatly, and his search for Itachi still continues vigorously. As he makes his way towards the rotund red building, a few more ANBU join Shizake from another rooftop, falling into formation and following him to the eventual destination. Shizake's soft coal eyes settle on the Hokage building and after a few more chakra fueled jumps, the group lands at the foot of the Hokage building, making their way into the conference room.
Shizake and the group enter the room, which has a large oval shaped table with many seats. In those seats sits lady Tsunade, the Hokage, Lord Danzo, leader of ROOT, and the village elders, Homura and Koharu. The village leaders gaze at the set of ANBU, demanding respect with their eyes. Shizake and the ANBU drop to one knee, never second guessing their honor for the Leaf and the village leaders.
"You may rise,"Lord Homura says.
Shizake and the others stand up on their own two feet, waiting for the meeting to commence.
Lady Tsunade clears her throat, "We'll make this short. Today we are promoting you, Shizake Uchiha, to a captain in the ANBU."
"We felt you were most capable seeing as you show great leadership skills and dedication to protecting the village," Lady Koharu slowly adds on.
"Thank you village leaders," Shizake replies as he bows.
"By becoming a captain, you promise to protect the village at all costs. You will harbor her secrets and face dire consequences if you fail to do so," Lord Danzo warns in his deep grainy voice.
"Yes my lord."
Danzo has always drew Shizake's suspicion, perhaps it's because he leads one of the most secret organizations. Or maybe it's because I know nothing about him what so ever, Shizake thinks.
"You are dismissed," Lady Tsunade says.
The other ANBU and village elders leave the room leaving only Shizake and Tsunade. Shizake is about to exit when he hears lady Tsunade, "Shizake stick around for a moment," She says.
"Yes my lady?" Shizake answers.
"While you now have new duties, I understand you're still set on completing your personal tasks..."
Shizake takes off his dragon mask, "Yes. I hope so. The village comes first over all but I still can't sleep at night knowing Itachi is out there..."
"I understand. As you know our ANBU are already trying to find out about Akatsuki. You'll be first to know if we get any updates about Itachi."
"Thank you my lady."
"Now. As first order of captain you're going to have to pick a squad to maintain. After that you're free to lead as you feel as long as Lord Danzo or I approve. Preferably me if you'd rather not have Danzo sticking his nose up your ass. We'll have missions to assign for you and your squad shortly. You may pick your team members as you see fit."
Shizake chuckles, " Yes, I'll let you know about anything lady Hokage."
"Very good. Once again congrats on making it this far. You've came a long way from what I understand... Itachi was a captain at thirteen from what I read."
"Thank you. I've been in the program ever since the genin teams were announced. Yes... but that doesn't mean I'm weak. He will still perish.
"By the way, you're going to be inserted into chunin and jonin level missions every once in a while."
He tilts his head, his hair falling along his shoulders accordingly, "Why is that?"
"As a captain, you hold a lot of information about the ANBU. Weapon stashes, secret entrances and exits, the structure of ANBU, the structure of the village, where the village elders are housed in case of emergency, and all sorts of valuable things. These lower level missions will serve to increase your anonymity around the village and to possible enemies trying to gather Intel on us."
"Heh. So are you saying what I think you're saying?"
The blonde Hokage smirks, "Yes. Prepare for missions filling in. You'll jump around from team to team as needed but I know you'll be able to adapt. You're dismissed."
Shizake exits the Hokage building with a grin on his face, happy that he'll be able to fight alongside his friends once more. The Uchiha can't remember the last time he's seen them. It was years ago... sometime after everyone was assigned teams. The only time after that was when he pursued Sasuke, to stop him from getting to Orochimaru.
"Team Seven! Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno, and Sasuke Uchiha!" The brown pony-tailed teacher says aloud.
Shizake looks sadly to his cousin who in return looks to Shizake and shrugs. After the massacre he has cared for him self and Sasuke. His mind darts from thought to thought, worrying about what could happen while away from his cousin. It's a cruel world out there and losing the last of his kin would be heart wrenching and unbearable.
"Last but not least is Team ten! Hinata Hyuga, Shino Aburame, and Kiba Inuzuka! Ok we'll dismiss for lunch and then you will meet your senseis after that. Good luck!" Iruka finishes, exiting the classroom and allowing the kids to disperse for lunch.
Shizake sits in his chair taking it all in. I wonder who my sensei wi-.
"I didn't hear my name called..." Shizake mumbles to himself. He bites his lip and looks around. Most of the kids have gone to eat, leaving him alone in the room. Shizake pushes himself up and darts out of the room, immediately looking for Iruka-sensei. He spots the spiky ponytail and green flack jacket, doing a dead sprint to get to teacher as quick as possible.
"Iruka-sensei!" Shizake yells while sliding to a halt.
Iruka looks around before turning to face one of the two remaining Uchiha, a puzzled look on his face, "What is it Shizake?"
"Um... my name wasn't called for a team."
Iruka flustered begins rubbing the back of his head, "Actually, you reminded me! The Hokage wishes to speak to you. I'll take you to him."
"T-to me? But..."
"We'll figure this out Shizake. Come on."
The chunin academy teacher and the young Uchiha walk to the Hokage's office, heading down the road not too far from the academy. With each step, the anxiety racks up on Shizake's mind even more. Why wasn't I placed on a team...? Shizake worriedly wonders. Am I not good enough? A-are my skills that bad? Do they not want me to be around Sasuke?
After the quick ten-minute walk, which felt like a whole hour for Shizake, they make it to the Hokage's door. Iruka raps on it twice before a muffled "Come in." Comes from behind the door. The Third Hokage sits at his desk, his Hokage hat rested on the right side of it. On the left side are stacks of papers; an obvious sign the third has been hard at work.
"I was wondering when you two would show up..." Hiruzen states, taking a slow drag from his pipe.
"I understand you wanted to talk to Shizake here my lord?" Iruka replies.
"Yes. In private if you don't mind."
"Of course." Iruka bows to the Hokage before leaving the room.
"You're probably wondering why you weren't placed on a team." The Hokage says, pushing himself up from the desk and peering out the window at the village. Once again he raises the pipe to his mouth, a small puff escaping his lips as he exhales followed by a sweet but irritating aroma.
"Y-yes my lord." Shizake nervously responds.
"To be blunt, we ran out of spots. Your skills didn't complement the other genin as well. If there were more students this year, then maybe you would have."
"So... I won't become a ninja...?"
"Don't fret child. We are willing to offer you another position."
Shizake perks up, perhaps there's another chance, "What?"
"A spot in our junior ANBU program. You won't receive many missions. It's more of an academy where you will learn to eventually become a full-fledged village ANBU. You'll learn the basics, from fighting styles, to stealth, how assassinations work, and how our village operates beneath the surface. It'll be like being a genin except you're learning very different things."
"So I'll be an ANBU like Itachi...? Am I good enough?"
Hiruzen chuckles, "You doubt your skills young one. Why else would we be willing to offer you this spot?"
Shizake lets out a, "Heh." before his mind flips to his cousin, "W-what about Sasuke? And the others? Will I see them too still?"
"You'll be busy. Perhaps on your days off. It depends on the mission workload on both sides among other factors. This is no joke Shizake. We take our recruitment very seriously. It will be a good way to hone your skills."
"So what do you say?" The third says, taking one last puff as he turns to Shizake while gazing at him intently.
Shizake thinks for a second. This is his only choice to progress as a shinobi unless he wants to wait another year. Do I want to follow in Itachi's footsteps? The ANBU are the elite of the village. What if I end up like him though...? No... I wont... and I can't waste anymore time. This way I can become stronger.
"I'll do it."
"Welcome." Shizake states to the three recruits before him, "I picked you three because you work well with my set of skills as you've probably all ready guessed."
Three ANBU eye their new superior. They used to be comrades alongside Shizake but now they will be taking orders from them. The team consists of two males and a female. One of the males wears a raven mask, the beak painted with elegant designs of red, outlining the features of the mask. He stands proudly, giving off an arrogant demeanor but has always been quiet. To the left of him stands a girl no older than thirteen, she's an age group below Shizake but showed so much skill that she was allowed to rank up and work in the age group above her. She's a viable asset, and dawns a bear mask. Lastly is an older male, about eighteen. He wears a plain mask with swirls of red paint extending out from the eyes slits in a mesmerizing pattern.
"We knew you would get the promotion Kouen." The man in the raven mask says quietly.
"Everybody did, idiot. He's been at the head of our age group every since I can remember." The younger girl retorts, taking an arrogant tone.
"Easy there Toshi." Shizake comments while quietly chuckling, "We'll be receiving missions shortly from Lady Hokage. So be prepared and stay in touch. We'll meet tomorrow for some training."
Everyone except the older man in the plain ANBU mask nods their heads and bows. Shizake frowns from behind his mask, "Something wrong Shitto?"
"Rgh...nothing." Shitto bites.
"If you say so..."
Shitto bows to his captain, shrugging off the thought that was picking at his mind.
"I'm eager to see how we work. I don't have a doubt it my mind that we'll do well together. We're team Kari. Remember that."
Shizake dismisses the three ANBU he handpicked to go about their daily business. As he exits the dimly lit dark brown room, Shizake steps into the unforgiving dark cold. His workload is about to be full of things to do and his responsibilities as a captain will be tested. This is It, Shizake thinks to himself. I'll find you soon Itachi...
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Story notes: So since this site seems to be getting back on it's feet I thought I would post this here. This is a reboot of Shizake Uchiha's story. I still have the old stories up but they have nothing to do with this one. Enjoy