Naruto: The Tale of Yuki Uchiha Volume 1
Chapter 10: The Will of Fire and The Curse of Hatred Part III
"This… This isn't barbeque…" Chōji finally stopped seeing things with his nose and saw the barren training grounds.
"That's what we've been saying Chōji!" Ino let out a sigh as she placed her hands on her knees, probably exhausted from chasing her round teammate.
"And it looks like we walked in on something we shouldn't have." Shikamaru clicked his tongue as he lazily surveyed the area.
I just stared at Team 10, not knowing what to say as they made their entrance. How am I going to explain this…?
I looked towards Sui and Tayuya for assistance, but Tayuya hadn't even acknowledged their existence. While Sui gave me a thumbs-up as she continued to clean up my mess.
Why am I the sociable one? I sighed as I heard Ino's voice scream for me.
"Yuki! You son of a bitch! What did you do to the training ground!"
"Uh…" I scratched my cheek. "Wait. Why do you think I did it?"
Ino stood in front of me, holding onto both Shikamaru's and Chōji's collars as she dragged them around. They obviously didn't want anything to do with whatever they thought happened, but Ino was a slave driver. That was something I knew from experience.
"Unless that red-head can use fire and wind style, you're our only culprit."
"Wait, but what about Sui—"
"It was Yuki's fault." Sui called out. D-did she just screw me over?
"You do realize Team 10 has the training grounds next right?" Ino let go of her teammates and stuck her finger in my face. I fell over at how it felt like I was about to be lectured.
"You would think after getting your butt kicked twice now, you'd learn to be considerate of others. But I guess not; you're still the same selfish Yuki from the academy. I still haven't even gotten flowers, nor have you visited. Some friend you are."
"Uh… I think Sui would kill me if I got you flowers Ino." I noticed Sui's killing intent loud and clear. W-why was it directed at me!
"You two are still going strong?"
"Yeah…" My voice trailed off as I watched Chōji and Shikamaru try to crawl away. Ino noticed my gaze and immediately dragged them back.
"Ino, I don't want to be here when I don't have to." Shikamaru said, letting himself be pulled along the ground. "Especially when it looks like it's going to be hard work."
"Blame Chōji for thinking this was some sort of grill spot instead of Asuma-sensei's cigarette breath."
"Ha-ha… My bad…" Chōji said as he went into a freshly opened bag of chips and munched the situation away.
"Well, when do you guys need to train?" I said, trying to get this over with. I didn't think Sui was getting much work done staring daggers into me. I think I feel her Sharingan active.
"Ok, so we have a couple of hours before then." I stood up, dusting off the grey dust on my pants. I'm going to need a shower. "Just come back later, and it will be all patched up… Ok, I can't make the trees or grass grow back."
"Are you trying to get rid of me?" Ino stood in my face. A little too close. Sui, please don't kill me!
"Nooo…" I glanced away from her.
"We're helping you."
"I said. We are helping you!"
"What do you mean we, Ino? I want no part of this—fine." Shikamaru gave in the moment he saw Ino's glare. "What a drag Yuki."
"I'm not sure what you three can do—"
"Pick one." Ino held out two scrolls interrupting me, one purple and the other green. I picked the purple one because I had a feeling that was the right choice. Since her eyes were glued on that one, practically screaming, pick the purple one, god damnit!
"Ooo. You have good taste Yuki." Ino put the other scroll in her pocket and clapped her hands. "Ino-Shika-Cho. Let's go formation: HooF."
"What a drag Ino." Shikamaru sighed as he stood up and dusted off his clothes.
"Let me finish eating first."
"Chōji… I'll tell your dad that you were the reason our teamwork sucks."
"I would." Ino gave a mischievous smile as she blackmailed her teammate. Scary.
"Fine." Chōji poured the rest of the chips down his throat as if it was a drink then burped. D-did he even chew them? "Now, what was HooF formation?"
"Something Ino just made up." Shikamaru glanced at me, and I couldn't tell if he was just tired or if that was a death glare. He always had a sunken gaze, so was there really a difference.
"Help out our Friends: HooF." Ino nodded as if what she came up with was pure genius. "Now Shikamaru, what's the plan?"
"You're asking me? This is your formation."
"He has a point—"
"Shush you." Ino snapped at me. "Believe it or not, Shikamaru already has a plan."
"Yuki, you owe me double now."
I gave Shikamaru a sheepish laugh as I remembered he paid for the rest of that night's dinner party.
"From the looks of it your team has cleaning up the ashes down, but if we want to hide the mess completely, we have to get rid of the charred trees. Replace the three tree stumps. Regrow the grass and fill in those holes. All while keeping other ninja away."
I was impressed that Shikamaru had figured out what to do while seemingly not paying attention. I'll be honest I didn't even think of keeping people away from the training ground. Which was how I got into this mess in the first place.
"Leave the trees to me." Chōji said with steam blowing out of his nose. "Partial Expansion Jutsu!"
His arm stretched out, growing long and wide to being about the size of a tree. Though I noticed that his body seemed to get thinner, he was still a wide kid, but not as much. Weird Jutsu.
Chōji went off uprooting and collecting the charred trees like it was nothing. I had no clue Yang-style could be used like that, but that might be because he's an Akimichi. They loved to eat and expand their body parts with Jutsus.
"I'll take care of the scenery." Ino said, unrolling the purple scroll. It had some kind of black seal painted on it. She did a hand sign. "Release!" With a puff of smoke, there was revealed to be multiple potted plants of mostly—
"They're called Bush Clovers." Ino said, interrupting my thoughts.
She must have seen my face as I stared at the amethyst-colored flower that grew from the green bushes. I assumed she carried around flowers because her family owned a flower shop, but there weren't nearly enough flowers. At least not enough to cover the whole training field.
"What the fuck?" Oh god. "Yuki! Why are you playing with these shrimps when you still haven't done your job!" Tayuya had already finished her portion of the clean-up and finally noticed there were other people.
"Yeah… Good luck with that Yuki. I'll go see if I can keep other people away from the scene." Shikamaru left the moment he heard Tayuya yell. He knew something was going to happen, as did I.
"Playing? Shrimp? I hope you're not talking about me, New Girl."
Tayuya didn't even look in Ino's direction as she continued to glare at me. "Well? You still need to fill in those holes. Have you even figured out what Jutsu to do?"
"This tomato top didn't just ignore me." Ino reached out to Tayuya. That's not good.
In a blink, Tayuya was already behind Ino with a kunai to her throat restraining that same hand that reached for her. "As if I'd let a pig touch me. You Leaf ninja are all so weak."
Ino couldn't speak thanks to the blade against her throat. Her blue eyes were wide with fear, and it was my fault for not stopping her sooner. I took a deep breath and exhaled, feeling the chills return. It wasn't as bad as when I lost all feeling, so at least that means my eyes haven't evolved.
I let out a sigh thinking about how Tayuya used her curse mark even after our talk. Which made me realize, just like Tayuya needed her curse mark, I too needed these accursed eyes. If not for myself, then for the people I cared about.
"Tayuya. Let her go. We don't treat people like that." I stared at her, letting her see the lengths I'd go for Ino. "Especially those who want to help."
Tayuya clicked her tongue as she let Ino go.
Ino held her neck, breathing rapidly. She was so out of it that when Tayuya held her hand over hers, she didn't even resist just letting Tayuya's green glowing hand touch her. The cut on Ino's throat healed as Tayuya pulled her hand back only to look at me, then at Ino, and click her tongue once again.
"Fragile fucking worms." Tayuya muttered as she walked off. "I'll go hang out with Sis."
"Man." I sighed as I relaxed my eyes. "What am I going to do with her." I held onto Ino's shoulder as she slowly recovered.
"Sh-she's your teammate?"
"Yeah, Tayuya's a different one."
"Different is an understatement." Ino took a deep breath, then exhaled, finally calming down. "That girl is a murderer. I've seen my father interrogate ninja with eyes just like hers."
"Well, brown eyes are pretty common." I said laughing, only to get a glare from Ino.
"You know that's not what I meant. She's a Genin, but she's already killed someone."
"Don't all ninja kill? What does it matter if she's done so earlier?"
"I haven't." Ino stopped for a moment then stared at me. With those innocent baby blue eyes. "Have you?"
I thought about it. Did I kill anyone? I mean, I felt like I had, but Danzō was still alive. Sui and Tayuya did say that I didn't kill anyone but with all these ashes, who knows. What happened to the two ninja with Danzō? I think their names were Torune and Fuu. Were their ashes somewhere here, or did they escape?
"Never mind." Ino said, stopping my thoughts from spiraling. "Let's get back to cleaning this up."
"Are you sure? We can—"
"I'm a ninja too god damnit. Stop treating me as if I'm not." Ino's body trembled as she spoke. That experience of being at death's door even in a place that should have been safe. It had definitely shaken her, but Ino's eyes blazed with defiance. Reminding me, we did change in that short time span from academy student to Genin.
"I—You're right. I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry too. For saying you haven't changed. It was rude. Especially when you seem a lot cooler than before. Have you gotten taller?" Ino placed her finger to her lips as she stared at me.
"No? It's too early for my growth spurt, I think." I scratched my head with a nervous laugh. The way she stared at me was the same as when I met Kai. When I thought about it, didn't she admit to having a crush on me back then?
"I guess having a girlfriend is doing you wonders Yuki." Ino tapped my headband. "Treat her well. Or I won't forgive you."
"You should be saying that to her." I laughed as I glanced over to Sui, who was some ways away, talking to Tayuya. She caught me watching her and waved to me, then pointed at the craters in the ground.
Which reminded me. "How are you going to turn potted plants into the grassland this was before?"
Ino smiled. "Easy, first we're going to plant them, then watch as they grow."
"We're so screwed."
"That girl… Tayuya… She said that you can fill up those holes, right?"
"Yeah, I was supposed to be learning earth style anyway."
"Ok good, just follow my hand signs. I can't cast the Jutsu very well, but I can do a demonstration. It's called Earth Turning Palm." Ino did the two hand signs: Boar → Ox, and placed her hand on the ground. The ground had shifted a bit but not by much. "It's supposed to allow me to sink the ground or make it rise but…"
I understood what she meant. It was a relatively simple Jutsu, but she wasn't that good at controlling earth chakra. The Yamanaka family were known for their Yin Jutsu, which allowed them to go into other people's minds. Very useful for interrogation, not that useful for landscaping.
I did the hand signs Boar → Ox, and placed my hand on the ground. My body, sturdy as stone, I felt the ground soften under my fingertips. Earth had to be controlled forcibly without fear; else, you'll be crushed by its expectations. A smile spread across my face. Luckily, I've been crushed by expectations my whole life. "Earth Style: Earth Turning Palm Jutsu!"
I turned my hand to the right and watched as the ground my fingers touched sunk low. It kept sinking until Ino told me to stop, and I calmed down my chakra flow then pulled my hand back.
"Wow. I'm impressed Yuki. Do you have an earth affinity instead of a fire affinity?"
"I'm an Uchiha, Ino."
"An Uchiha without a fire affinity, no wonder you're a weirdo."
I didn't know what to say to that, so I decided to let Ino believe what she wanted. I could tell her about my Kekkei Kanri? I glanced at the blue sky. But we already wasted enough time, and that explanation would take a while.
"So Ino, you still haven't explained how we're going to turn a potted plant into a plot of grass." I crouched next to Ino, who was just getting finished burying the purple Bush Clover.
"Just watch and learn." Ino paused for a moment, then placed her finger to mouth. "Though it is a Yamanaka trade secret. So don't tell anyone." She winked.
"I thought body swapping was your clan secret?"
"First, we don't swap bodies; we temporarily inhabit another's consciousness, and second I said trade secret, not clan secret." Ino gently held onto the purple petal as if she was shaking its hand. "Now watch a Yamanaka florist at work."
Ino did a hand sign with her other hand, and chakra colored like the morning sky, a light blue, swirled around her. I always knew she was a big softie. Her chakra flowed through her body and out into the flower, causing it to grow rapidly. It went from a small potted plant to covering a quarter of the grounds in green grass with purple blooming clovers.
I clapped once Ino stood up. She didn't even need help standing. "Well that explains why you're the best place to get flowers."
"Yup, I learned how to take care of flowers before I even learned Mind Transfer Jutsu. My father wasn't too happy at first but—"
"That's amazing Ino!" Sui ran up and grabbed hold of Ino's hands. "Can you teach me how to do that?"
Ino was taken back by Sui's sudden outburst. To where I was pretty sure Ino forgot that Sui wasn't as cold as she looked.
"I don't know… It could put us out of business." Ino tried to get out of the situation, but I knew the moment Sui pulled out the one eye in tears look. Ino would concede. "F-fine. Just don't tell anyone. I hope you have good chakra control, or else you'll kill the flower."
"Oh you don't have to worry about that." Sui activated her Byakugan, and I was sure she was concentrating on seeing the flow of chakra in the plants.
"Wait, your Byakugan works on plants too?" Ino said, probably regretting her decision. If I had to guess, Sui would be more accurate at transferring chakra than Ino as she could actually see it.
"Only if I pay attention to it. It would get pretty annoying if I saw the chakra flow everything at once." Sui grabbed hold of the Bush Clover's petal.
"No we can't use that one again; it'll die. Yuki will have to plant another and fill up those holes."
"Yuki…" Sui gave me a death stare. "The holes."
"I'm on it!"
I quickly ran to the craters to avoid Sui's wrath. I get it she wanted a friend she could be a girl with since, no offense to her, Tayuya wasn't really the feminine type. I glanced at Tayuya, who took over for Sui and was angrily shooting out gusts of wind. Every once in a while, I heard a "Fuck!" or "Go to hell!" I didn't think she was cleaning anymore, to be honest.
Ignoring that, I looked at Hiruzen's teaching scroll and finally found the Earth-style section. I could do something small based on feeling, but for something that wasn't a 4x4 potted plant, I needed actual guidance. I knew the basics, of course, since it was the only way I could balance the different affinities. Surviving that first test in the Hokage's office was thanks to that teaching.
"Ok, so it says earth-style is all about manipulating the chakra in the earth." I said, muttering to myself. I thought that chakra was only in living things, but I guess it exists in non-living things too.
Hiruzen later clarifies that it might have something to do with all the wars fought that maybe chakra from the people were later absorbed into the soil. I forgot that Hiruzen-sensei, before he became Hokage, was a student of the First Hokage: Hashirama, and the Second Hokage: Tobirama. The latter was also hailed as a genius when it came to theory crafting.
My mother, Rin Uchiha, taught me all about them since school was closed for years after the Nine-Tails Attack. Though I hated thinking about that time, about her, because she showed me how cruel the world could be.
"Mom, if Tobirama was a genius and helped make many Jutsu, why don't the Uchiha like him?" I asked as we walked around the village market. I remembered how her soft grip tightened as she pulled me out of the way of falling debris, letting the wood hit her.
"Mom!" I cried out from under her.
"Are you ok sweetie?" My mom looked at me, ignoring the fact that blood dripped down her face and her black shades were nowhere to be seen. That was the first time I had ever seen so much red before.
"M-mom your face. It's red."
She touched her forehead and noticed she was bleeding, only to quickly heal the injury. "Don't worry, it should be all better. Mommy fixed the booboo with her chakra."
"Your face is still red." I said as she blankly stared at me.
"Hey Miss. Are you ok?" A man, probably a construction worker, spoke to my mother; he had a younger assistant with him. "I'm sorry about that. He's still new at his job and didn't secure things properly." The man looked at his associate, who bowed his head.
"I'm sorry Miss. It won't happen again. I'll pay for the medical bill and everything."
My mother dusted off her legs, forgetting what I had said, and greeted the men with a smile. "It's fine; I'm a bit of a klutz. I can't even see two steps in front of me. Ha-ha."
"Y-you're an Uchiha!" As the man said that, I felt the mood change. Even as a child, I could tell something was wrong. My mother quickly picked me up and held me against her chest, leaving as the man continued. "You're the reason we even have to do this!"
It had been roughly three years since the Nine-Tails Attack. Reconstruction of the village was almost done, but with it came the hate of the village against the Uchiha. Someone had spread a rumor that the Nine-tailed fox was being controlled by a Sharingan when it assaulted us, destroying the village and killing the Fourth Hokage. We didn't do it, but no one listened at the time.
The only thing my mother could do was avoid the glares from everyone we passed by. Trying to comfort me with the words like: "It's fine. Everything will be ok. Mommy will protect you."
All I could do was look into her blank red eyes that stared into my own. The red was faded, but the black star-shaped irises were still prominent. I had no idea what that was at the time, and it was my first time seeing her without her glasses. She was the only Uchiha who had ever worn glasses.
Once inside of our home, she put me down and checked my body for cuts and bruises.
"Yuki are you ok? You didn't get hit by anything right?"
I shook my head. "How about you?"
She gave me a bright smile that washed away my worries. "Just because I'm blind doesn't mean they can aim."
She booped my nose with her finger, and I was feeling better enough to laugh. Then my toddler brain realized something. "I thought that being blind meant you couldn't see."
"I can't see." My mother lifted me up and took me to the bathroom, prepping the bathtub. I doubted she believed I had gotten nothing on me even though I remembered being fine.
"Yeah but…" I tried to think of the words as I shimmed out of my clothes to get into the tub. "How did you know to save me?"
"Motherly instincts." She placed her pillowlike lips against my forehead as I was plopped in the warm water.
"Moooom, I know that's not true."
"Oh but what if I said it was, mister?"
"I-uh-I." Honestly, what could I have said if my mother did say it was true. I had no choice but to believe her.
"Too cute." My mother gushed over me with soap and water. "Don't think too hard about mommy's little joke. Truth be told, I'm blind as a bat." She chuckled.
"A bat with red eyes." I giggled.
"Oh my goodness, mommy forgot to put her shades back on." My mother felt her face, and it seemed she indeed couldn't see. Yet how did she walk around without hitting anything? "I'm so sorry sweetie. I'll go get a new pair right away." My mother closed her eyes so I could no longer see the ruby-like eyes.
"It's ok mom. I think they look very pretty."
"Mmmhm. Oh. Are my eyes going to get like that too… Mom?" I watched as my mom's eyes teared up as if she had gotten soap in them. Her blank red eyes stared at me as if they saw through me.
"I pray they don't. They're the reason I can't see my lovely little boy."
I stood up from the water and tried to grab hold of her for a hug, only to slip. Yet even while blinded from the world and in pain, my mother caught me as she always did.
My body shivered, shaken from what could have happened if I had hit my head against the tub floor. It was so cold, the fear, but my mother gave me a warm smile as she cradled my wet body against her.
"Though it's also thanks to these eyes that I can see your bright lavender flame even in the sea of red." She kissed my forehead once more, making the chills fade away.
"But, to answer your question. The Uchiha don't hate anyone, that includes Mr. Tobirama. We just care a little too much about people that we forget ourselves. If that makes sense."
It didn't at the time, most of the things she said didn't make sense, but I was beginning to understand now as I remembered what I said next.
"What is it sweetie? Did I go overboard? Did water get in your eyes? I made no sense, didn't I. Your mommy's a bit of a clown. Ha-ha."
"I love you."
"…" My mother was speechless, and I was sure she thought about how uncool she was, but she placed her head against mine. "I love you too. Yuki."
"Yuki! You fucking slacker."
I turned to Tayuya, who stood over me, pissed as always.
"Oh… God damnit, you're such a crybaby." Tayuya held out her hand to help me stand. "Come on, I can maybe help you out… though, I have no idea how earth style works."
I laughed at how quickly Tayuya changed just because I had some water in my eyes. I wiped my face and took her hand. "It's fine. I can do it; I was just lost in thought. Thanks to Danzō, some of the memories I thought I lost came back."
"Oh." Tayuya looked strangely uncomfortable, like she didn't know what to say. She just kind of fiddled with her flute.
"Do you remember what mom said?" I asked.
"You mean Rin, yeah I remember—Oh yeah, the bathtub scene."
I laughed as she considered that the bathtub scene from my life.
"What? Are you thinking that you don't hate Danzō or something? Also, didn't Sis tell you not to think about him right now?"
"I can't help it. The world I saw was so different and the things I felt. Or rather didn't feel—"
"Yuki, this isn't a talk for me. This is something for Sui. You shouldn't confide to someone you may turn to hate later down the line."
"Tayuya. You saved our lives a couple of hours ago. I was the one who messed that up. So I don't care about ninja politics right now. We all have our own business, but I trust you. Just like I trust Sui, for better or worst."
I did the hand signs and placed my hand down against the ground expanding the range of my chakra. A solid and unshakable mind is what Hiruzen wrote. I didn't know if I could ever stop hating Danzō, but I knew for certain I could never hate Tayuya.
Not after today, she risked losing everything for us. Breaking her promise to Hiruzen-sensei and going against Danzō, possibly even Orochimaru's wishes. I still didn't know what he was to her, but that didn't matter. She'll tell us when she's ready as a member of Team 9.
"Earth Style: Earth Turning Palm Jutsu!"
Instead of pushing the ground down, I turned my hand to the left and pulled it up. The chakra in the earth responded to my own, and the ground lifted until I stopped, refilling the crater. I gave out a sigh as Tayuya nodded.
"That's my crybaby brother for you."
"You know people will really think I cry a lot if you keep saying that."
"Well stop being a little bitch then." Tayuya gave me a slap on my back, causing me to stumble forward.
"God, you're worst than Yukino." I said, remembering all the times she bullied me. I sighed with a slight smile. It really is like having her around again.
"Yet without her, you couldn't do half the shit you do."
"You're right but—"
"Go fill those other holes Yuki!"
"Fine. Fine. I get it." I hated having drill instructor sisters; they always made things difficult. Though at least I had one again.