Chapter 52:

Book 2: Chapter 4: Promises Part I

Naruto: The Tale of Yuki Uchiha Volume 1 and 2

Book 2: Land of Sand

Chapter 4: Promises Part I


I opened my eyes to the sound of snoring and being insulted. I wouldn’t put it at the top of the list of worst ways to wake up, but it definitely was somewhere on it. Though at least I was still alive. I guessed that counted for something, and seeing as I could lift my chest without dealing with leather straps. It really wasn’t the worst way to wake up. Looking around, I was in a brightly lit tent, and near the entrance, I found the girl who was supposed to be at my bedside. Once again, I was missing that moment, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted Tayuya laying on me because then I wouldn’t be able to get up without a punch to the face.

“Stop staring at me fucker.” Tayuya muttered as she gave me a sideways glance.

“You were awake?”

“Someone has to keep watch over you.” Tayuya yawned, stretching her arms. “And Sis was busy with that Kasai guy.”

I nodded as that made sense then the realization kicked in. “So he’s gotten the Tayuya approval.”

“The what?”

“Me and Sui have concluded that you only know the names of people you recognize.”

Tayuya raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work.”

“Yeah… but you have a strict sense of recognition, like do you know who Konohamaru is?”


“I rest my case,” I said, laying back down only for Tayuya to get up and sit next to me. She was silent, fidgeting with her flute, as I was sure she didn’t know what to say. She didn’t even get up to go tell anyone I was ok, and I was kind of glad for that because I didn’t want to talk to them. I didn’t want to see how disappointed Sui was in me.

I let out a sigh. “So, how long was I out?”

“A day.”

“Oh, so we’re only behind schedule by a day.”

“Not really.”

“Please don’t tell me you carried me.”

“I carried you. It was hard at first, but eventually, I started to understand why Yukino used to do that for me-you-us?” Tayuya shook her head and cracked a halfhearted smile. “We were always carried by someone.”

“Mom, Dad, Sis, Sui.”

“Lord Orochimaru.”

“He’s never carried me,” I said, laughing until a shuddering thought crossed my mind. “At least, I hope not.”

“No idiot! I meant me. After I passed the first Curse Mark trials. He said I was special. They all did. So I wanted to see what if I did that for you.”


“You need to eat more, lightweight.”

I laughed, as that was definitely the conclusion Tayuya would come up with. But what I didn’t expect was how she held out her pinky. Did she even know what that meant?

“You fucking piece of shit, stop looking at me like I’m an idiot.”

“Sorry, I was just wondering what you wanted to promise?” I said as our pinkies intertwined, and can I say how hard it was not to laugh at her? She couldn’t even look me in the eye as she said the words:

“From now on, I promise to protect you.”

“You what?”

“You heard me. I won’t let you be used as someone’s punching bag. I won’t stand there and watch as you get hurt. I won’t let you become a vessel.”

“Did Kasai beat me that bad?”

“Yes. You’re lucky the old geezer stopped him.”

“So Hiruzen’s fine.” I clicked my tongue. “Of course he’s fine. We wouldn’t have continued otherwise. Knowing those three, they wouldn’t return home until their job was done. And what’s this about becoming a vessel?”

“Well, you see here….”

Kurai walked into the tent, holding two scrolls in his hands. He dropped them to the ground, then did a couple of hand signs, and in a cloud of smoke, the Weaknessless Soaring Shortswords appeared. That bastard still has them? “Thank goodness you’re finally awake. Do you know how much of a drag it is to keep a person’s final words unfulfilled? It’s why I usually don’t take them.”

“So we’re just going to pretend like nothing’s happened?” I said, glaring at Kurai. My body was at most sore, so I wouldn’t be too opposed to a fight. Even one that I’d lose, and as I got up, so did Tayuya. I knew she’d have my back.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. I followed my orders to the T or, in this case, the K.” Kurai said, cracking a smile while me and Tayuya gave him blank stares.

“That’s not funny.”

“Yeah, that sounds like a joke Yuki would tell.”

I glanced towards Tayuya. “Are my jokes that bad?”

“Yes, they really are.”

There was a moment of silence for my ego that was crushed as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry or punch something, yet all Kurai did was clear his throat to bring things back to the subject at hand.

“Joking aside, I just came to see if you’re ok and give you these,” Kurai said, handing me the twin blades.

“Give them to me?”

“That’s what Kujaku wanted.” Kurai tried to make his voice sound like he was a dying woman. It felt more like he was mocking her. He really needed help. “Said: Give it to the boy who wants to play hero. That the ninja world isn’t the place for such kindness, but thanks for giving this bird one last flight.”

Ignoring his act, I stared at the Weaknessless Soaring Shortswords—Fuck, they really needed a new name—The blades were light in my hand, much lighter than the Fire Sword, and staring at the emerald on its hilt, it reminded me of her. From the turquoise coloring of the handle to the touch of gold along the edges. Man, she might have a bigger ego than me.

A slight smile formed on my face as I remembered how Kujaku pulled the blades apart. I simply did the opposite and merged them together before sealing the sword back into the scrolls. “I thought you were told to leave nothing behind?”

“I was, but I have an obligation to fulfill a dying request. Danzō doesn’t like it too much. It’s why I don’t hear them.”

“So why did you hear hers?”

“Flying targets are hard to hit.” Kurai shrugged. “Honestly, never met a ninja who could.”

“You know I’m going to tell Hiruzen about Danzō’s plot to assassinate us.”

“Go ahead. I already did my job.”

“So if you don’t care about that, then why did you have to kill them? There was no reason to.”

“There were plenty of reasons too. They attacked you, remember.”

“And we beat them, remember.”

“And we finished the job. I'm sure my cousin understands.”

“Don't call me that fucker! But yes, I get it, and Sui does too. That’s why we didn’t stop you. But we also understand Yuki. Which is why we didn’t stop him. In the end, you’re both fucking idiots.”

“She’s right, you know,” Hiruzen said, stepping into the tent. “You’re both two extremes. One that follows orders no matter the cost. While the other bends them until they’re broken. Yuki, I hope you understand. If those four were to live, they would have been executed. Assaulting the Hokage and possibly leading to a war between the Land of Rivers and the Land of Fire. Kurai was being merciful.”

I stared at Hiruzen's eyes, where I didn’t see a hint of remorse in them. “Well, whose fault is it for letting them capture you in the first place?”

“Yours.” Hiruzen kept my gaze, not turning away like he did the night before. It pissed me off how sure he was of himself. “You were hired to protect me. I shouldn’t have to protect you or myself when it’s your job. I thought you knew this when you accepted the mission?”

“Oh, so we should pretend you’re not the Hokage, the literal strongest in the village, is that right?”


“That I can do.” I brushed past Hiruzen, giving him one last look with red eyes before relaxing and calling out to Tayuya. “Hey, Big Sis, want to get some food? I’m starving.”

“Finally. Thought you’d never ask.” Tayuya placed her hands behind her head, and together we left the tent.


“Enough! I’ve said my piece. It’s up to you if you want to listen.”

I heard Sui’s yell as we passed by a tent, where soon enough, she burst out in a hurry crashing into me. We both fell onto the ground, and it reminded me of how we first met. Her on top, staring down at me with a glare of red and white. She must have been having the same kind of conversation as I did. Where for some reason, I couldn’t help but smile.

“Trouble in paradise?” I asked.

“I knew I should have killed you,” Kasai muttered while walking away from us. Our fight, that conversation, I didn’t think any of that helped with the brother-in-law relationship.

“Closer to a mirage,” Sui muttered before relaxing. “I’m glad to see you’re well enough to crack jokes.”

“The sight of you always makes me feel better.”

Sui rolled her eyes and covered her Sharingan before reaching out to pull me up. “Yeah, yeah. Flattery will get you nowhere with me. Mr. I’m Not Going To Lose Control.”

“Considering he’s alive, I’d like to say I didn’t,” I said, taking her hand. There was a slight tremble in them where Sui went so far as to let go of me the moment I was standing simply to hide her feelings. Then she walked off towards another tent, beckoning Tayuya and me to follow her.

“You’re welcome for that,” Tayuya said, playing a little tune on her flute. “Knocked you right out.”

“And let me guess, Kasai tried to kill me while I was down?”

Sui chuckled. “He really doesn’t like you.”

“Why? What did I ever do to him?” For once, I was being serious. In our first meeting, he comes out of the blue and attacks me. The second he tried to put a hole in me and Tayuya, though that was her fault. But the third time was uncalled for. What the hell was his deal?

Sui let out a sigh. “He thinks you’re going to take me away from him.”


“You say that as if you haven’t tried before,” Sui said before entering and exiting the tent holding a couple bars of rations. Me and Tayuya took our share, grumbling about how it tasted like cardboard. Damnit, I thought I made leftovers!

T.K. 月狐
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