Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto > The Guardian

Chapter Twenty-four

by SGTBrowncoat 0 reviews

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2014-07-24 - 1467 words - Complete

Chapter Twenty-four

Now alone, Itachi looked down at his right hand. It was beginning to swell and was a decidedly unpleasant shade of purple. He held it under a stream of water falling from the cracked ceiling to clean the blood from his raw knuckles. He knew he had probably broken the hand punching Obito, but at least the pain provided a small distraction from the pounding in his chest.

Itachi took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. He was willing to die if that was what it took to protect the village, but that did not make the prospect of blowing himself up any less nerve-wracking, particularly since he was not entirely sure it would work. He was able to detonate shadow clones by overloading them with chakra, then releasing it all at once. It was what he had done with the shadow clone Obito had captured earlier. In theory, he could do the same thing to his own body, but on a much greater scale. For obvious reasons, however, it was not something he had ever seen in practice. There was also the fact that he would somehow have to prevent Obito from simply phasing through the explosion or it would all be for nothing.

"So, you intend to fight me alone, huh?"

Itachi spun around. Obito now stood just a few feet away, in front of the wall of rubble that had once been the entrance into the large chamber.

"Oh well. I'll just take care of this and find Shisui later. I'll probably need his eyes before long."

"What happened to you?" Itachi asked, trying to stall for as long as possible, "The Obito I knew would never have hurt his little brother."

"I told you; I'm not the Obito you knew. I am no one. As for what happened," he scowled, "I realized I was in hell."

"…I've always believed that we create our own reality. Whatever hell you're in, you built for yourself." Itachi told him, "Shisui and I… we used to look up to you, you know."

Obito scoffed, "You were the only ones. I was nothing back then; a weak, pathetic failure. But not anymore. I finally have the power to fix this broken world and create a perfect reality. Eternal peace. That's what you want, isn't it? Peace?"

"What you're talking about isn't peace; it's an illusion, a lie."

"As far as I'm concerned, this world is the lie! What kind of 'reality' kills the innocent people—the good people—and lets murders and hypocrites rule the world?! That is the lie!" Obito shouted, enraged, "And what in all your seventeen-year-old wisdom is your grand plan for peace? Are you another one who thinks you can achieve peace through fear? Or do you think the entire world will just wake up one day and decide to stop killing each other? Don't delude yourself, Itachi. Humanity will just keep coming up with more excuses and more justifications for war until someone takes control. That person has to be me."

He was slowly making his way along the wall, and Itachi had to keep turning to face him. He was grimly aware that Obito was forcing him into a corner, but there was nothing he could do about it without turning his back to him.

"There is no instant solution. Peace is something we have to fight and bleed for." Itachi said.

"War for peace. Seems to defeat the point doesn't it?"

"It isn't for us. It's for the future generations. It's our price to pay."

"I've paid enough, and I'm tired of waiting." Obito replied.

In an instant, branches shot out from the right side of Obito's body, reaching toward Itachi like skeletal fingers.

"Suiton: Sujinheki no Jutsu."

Itachi seized control of the water dripping from the ceiling, turning it from a steady trickle to a rushing torrent, and forcing it out in front of him like a shield. The branches could not withstand the surging water and broke away, but Obito was not to be outdone. He responded with a torch of white hot flame that exploded into a blast of scalding steam when it hit the water, throwing Itachi back with the force of a bomb.

Itachi crashed through the rubble, falling like a ragdoll back into the ruined remains of the larger chamber. He could feel warm blood trickling down his face and into his eyes. He tried to stand, only for his breath to be stolen away by unspeakable pain. A horrible, tortured sound echoed through the cavern. It took Itachi a moment to realize that it was his own scream. He gasped for breath only to choke, an agonizing chain of coughs ripping through his chest.

Itachi could only watch as Obito appeared beside one of the nearby heaps of rubble. He selected a broken length of pipe with a jagged end, then strode over to where Itachi writhed in agony.

"I'm not a medic," he said mockingly, "But that looks like a broken back to me; probably a limb or two as well."

Itachi had never felt so helpless. Even the slightest movement sent blinding pain shooting through his entire body. He was utterly defenseless as Obito stood over him and raised the jagged pipe.

"You did fight well, but you never really stood a chance. Don't worry, though; I won't forget you when I create my new world."

Obito thrust the pipe downward, aimed directly for Itachi's heart. With one last surge of adrenaline, Itachi somehow found the strength to force his body to move. He only managed to roll a few inches, but it was just enough. Rather than a lethal blow to the heart, the makeshift spear pierced his left shoulder all the way through to the ground. Again, his screams filled the cavern.

Now pinned, Itachi was truly helpless. There was only one last move to make. He knew it was probably a lost cause, but he had to try. He called upon every bit of chakra he possessed, and with the last strength in his arms, began to form the hand seals necessary to detonate himself. Unfortunately, his injured hand slowed him down just a little too much.

"You don't know when to give up."

Obito slammed his foot down on Itachi's broken hand, and ripped the pipe from his shoulder, raising it for one last strike. This time Itachi was out of options. He closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable.

Instead of death, Itachi felt a gust a wind against his face, followed quickly by a startled and pained gasp that was not his own. When he opened his eyes, Shisui was standing over him. In front of him stood Obito, his scarred face twisted in shock and pain, the pipe jutting from his body just below the sternum. Blood spread quickly from the wound. He fell to his knees.

"This isn't… isn't enough to kill me." he choked, blood spilling from his mouth, "I won't lose… I can't… I can't lose…"

"Aniki… Give up." Shisui said solemnly.

There was a strange force behind his voice that Itachi had never heard before. When he got a look at Shisui's eyes, he did not see the distinctive three tomoe of the Sharingan, but instead, a shape like a black, four-pointed pinwheel on the red iris. This was the Mangekyo Sharingan, the power that Shisui had not dared to use since he first awakened it.

Almost instantly, Obito stopped struggling, his arms falling limp at his sides. He slumped to ground.

"It's over." Shisui said quietly.

The next thing Itachi knew, Hana was kneeling over him. Her pace was frantic, but her demeanor was calm and determined.

"You're messed up bad, but I don't think your spinal cord was damaged. As long as you don't move, you won't end up paralyzed." she told him, trying to stem the blood from his wounded shoulder.

Itachi started to nod before thinking better of it. Instead, he glanced over at the other two, careful not to move his head. Shisui was kneeling over Obito, his face unreadable.

Hana… Do you think maybe…," he said in barely more than a whisper, "Could you… Is there still chance that he might…"

"Don't. Just let me go." Obito interrupted, "I've had enough."


"This isn't… over yet, Shisui." Obito warned, struggling to speak, "Take my eye. Only the right one will… do you… any good, but at least you won't… you won't be totally blind." he gasped for breath, "You're going to need it. Even without me… Madara could still…"

Obito suddenly began to convulse, his eyes rolling back in his head. Just as suddenly, he stopped.

Obito Uchiha was dead for the second time, his last warning still on his lips.
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