Chapter 65:

Book 2: Epilogue: What Makes Me So Special? Part II

Naruto: The Tale of Yuki Uchiha Volume 1 and 2

Book 2: Land of Sand

Epilogue: What Makes Me So Special? Part II

Me and Tayuya spent the rest of the night watching over the others, where we ate the food Maki brought us and were even able to play a couple of games of Shogi. Though spoilers Tayuya didn’t win even with the handicap. That’s what helped cement the idea that she was a sore loser. I had scars on my arms to prove it! Have I mentioned I hate Pinky, that fucking bastard…

Yet once we were told the lights had to be turned off, Tayuya eventually got sleepy. There, I found myself getting kicked in the face by her because she clearly did not know how to sleep with a brother! At the very least, Yukino understood a kick from her would knock me out, but Tayuya almost did it on purpose. Why did I even agree to sleep with her…

“Hey little bro, you still awake?” Tayuya whispered as she shuffled around to look at me from the head of the bed only to receive a glare from me, who was at the foot of it.

“Kind of hard to sleep while getting kicked in the face.”

“Yeah, I don’t know why you won’t just sleep like a normal person.”

“The same reason why you need me to be in bed with you,” I grumbled because, yes, I was feeling a little nostalgic. Though, I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to try this when the bed was already cramped. Maybe because this was the first time we slept together without Sui. God, just thinking about it makes our whole relationship sound weird. However, I was getting sidetracked as I heard Tayuya sigh.

“I can’t help it.” Tayuya slumped back onto her pillow and stared at the ceiling. “Just like you hate needles, I hate being alone.”

“I wouldn’t say I hate needles. It’s more like an uncontrollable fear. Almost irrational in a way since it’s only with doctors.” I chuckled as it made me feel childish, and Tayuya’s response made the feeling worse.

“Isn’t that what I said?”

“Oh…” Was all I could say as a droning silence filled the room where I started to become self-conscious of the situation.

“Stupid little brother, you make it so hard to talk to you sometimes.”

“It’s hard to talk to me?”

“Only when you’re hell-bent on being clueless. That’s why I like it more when you have your Sharingan on. Gets rid of the clown in you.”

I let out a sigh as the world slowed down, creating a light crimson glow in the room. “That better?”

“Yeah,” Tayuya said as she patted the spot next to her. “Now lay up here. I’m tired of talking to the ceiling.”

“Fine, fine.” I said, bending to the whims of my baby of a big sister. It made me wonder why she was the oldest again as I laid down beside her with our backs facing each other. There was barely any space, and I was slipping off the bed even more than before, but on the bright side, I wasn’t getting kicked in the face anymore.



“Can I be honest with you for a second?”

“I don’t think you’ve ever lied to me, Sis.”

“Of course, you don’t,” Tayuya muttered, snatching up more of the bedsheet than she already had, leaving me with nothing. “You believe me when I say I care about you guys. You believe me when I say I’m the older sister. You believe me when I say I’ll protect you.”

“And you did protect me even if it meant you would die.”

Tayuya laughed. It was hollow. “That’s the thing… My body… It just moved on its own… And in the end, I didn’t even protect you. If it wasn’t for Yukino, we’d all be dead. In reality, all I did was buy you time as a sacrificial pawn. Funny really. I haven’t changed at all.”

“Did you want to change?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean what I said.”

More silence interrupted our conversation until Tayuya had finally come up with a response. One not even my eyes could predict.

“I don’t know, maybe? As ninja we’re supposed to grow, right? Change. Adapt. Like how a snake sheds its skin.”

So she does actually listen to Hiruzen’s lectures. A slight grin formed at the corner of my mouth, only to fade away as she continued.

“I’m just not like that. I mean, even after all this time. Even after being with you three. I’m still dead set on doing what I have to do. I haven’t changed at all.”

I felt the bed sink under newly added weight, and with a slight glance back, I noticed how dark Tayuya’s skin was. Her crown of bone. The bloody mess her hair became.

“I’m still the red-haired monster that follows orders. I’m no better than Danzō’s lap dogs.”

Yet as she spoke, our backs were still against each other, almost like we were glued together. The dark and light side of the moon. I felt the tremors of her trembling rock my core.

“Rule Number 1 of the Leaf Ninja Code: A ninja must follow their commander’s instructions.”

“What are you—”

“Rule Number 4 of the Leaf Ninja Code: A ninja must always put the mission first.”

“Is that—”

“Rule Number 24 of the Leaf Ninja Code: A ninja must never show their tears during a mission.”

That time Tayuya was silent, so I continued in hope that maybe she could understand—

“Those were some of the ninja codes we learned in the academy. It was drilled into us. Some more than others. Training us to be obedient. But that was only one option. You think Naruto listens to anyone? Sui doesn’t even put the mission first because if she did, she wouldn’t have rushed off to save me from Kimimaro. And as you know, I’m a crybaby.”

—Yet she simply sat up, peering down at me with golden eyes where the black streaks around them reminded me of tears. “Just because Leaf Ninja break the rules all the time doesn’t mean that’s how it works for me.”

“That’s not what I meant. I was trying to show you we have a choice—”

Tayuya grabbed me by the collar and lifted me up. Our eyes locked red to gold. The horns on her head grew as she clenched her teeth from the pain I was sure she was experiencing. I didn’t like it, but I understood for someone like her, she needed it. That self-inflicted pain which came with a sense of strength. Even if it killed her. Because who would she be without it? Tayuya of the North Gate or Tayuya Uzumaki?

“And what if I choose to destroy the Leaf Village? Kill all those weak-willed rats you call ninja, huh? What’ll you do then? Regret that you didn’t see the signs. Well, I’m telling you now. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Tayuya let me go, only to grab my hands and place them on her neck. There she relaxed out of her Curse Mark Stage 2 form. Where all she did was stare at me with those dark brown eyes that couldn’t possibly push away her tears.

“So you should just end my life before that happens.”

For a moment, all I did was watch her cry with my hands around her neck. It was cold. So cold that I had to close my eyes and reopen them just to feel the warmth of the world that allowed me to laugh. “See, look, you broke a ninja code right there: crying on a mission.”

Tayuya tightened her grip on me. “Yuki, I’m being serious.”

“I am too when I say that I’ll stop you. No, we’ll stop you. Me, Sui, even Hiruzen. And once it’s all over, we’ll welcome you with open arms.” I moved my thumbs away from her throat and pulled Tayuya in for a hug that she didn’t resist as her arms gave in to defeat. “Because you’ll always be a part of our family.”

We stayed like that for some time before Tayuya finally spoke. “Yuki…”


“Get out of my bed. I need to sleep.”

I didn’t protest or anything; I simply let her go and got up as she pulled the covers over her. “Night Sis.”

Tayuya didn’t say anything back.


I stepped outside of the hospital room in hope that I could get some fresh air. I wasn’t tired before, and after that talk, I really wasn’t going to be getting any sleep. Yet the person who was keeping watch over us at this time was Baki. I liked Maki more. She was somewhat understanding, but this guy just knew how to get under my skin.

“What? Can’t sleep? We can fix that for you.” Baki said as he stood in my way, which only made me sigh.

“I just need to use the restroom, so if you could point me in the direction—”

“What’s wrong with the one in the room.”

“Have you tried sharing a toilet with Tayuya?”

Baki kept his stern gaze but moved aside. “Down the hall and to the right. Can’t miss it.”

I muttered my thanks and walked off, hoping to get away as quickly as possible, yet he couldn’t just let it fucking be.

“You really let that spy's tears get under your skin.”

The world slowed down as I threw a kunai that met its mark. Dead center in Baki’s forehead. Yet his body quickly dissolved into sand, and it didn’t take long for me to find him. Four blades of wind were poised at my neck from all sides, where each were held by Baki and his clones.

“What kind of fool lets his emotions get the better of him.” The Baki behind me said.

“There’s no way you thought you could win this.” The Baki in front of me said.

“Then again, I’m talking to someone who would jeopardize their village over emotional attachments.” The Baki to the left of me said, all while the one on the right stayed silent.

The world slowed down even further to the point I held onto the memory of my family to keep myself anchored. There, I noticed a slight shift in the eyes of the Baki on the right of me. Following his line of sight, I saw the blue chakra of the real Baki camouflaged down the hallway. That forced a soft chuckle to escape my lips. One I’d pay for as Baki’s clones swung their blades at each other and covered the ground in sand.

“Damn, it looks like we will be killing the Third Hokage after all.” The real Baki muttered as he walked up to me, only to crouch and touch the ground. In his eyes, I was sure he was trying to check the pulse of my corpse. Yet that was all I needed to hear to knock him flat on the ground and hold a kunai against his neck.

“Were you really ready to start a war over your emotions?”

“What-how I never—”

“Looked directly at my eyes? You’re awfully misinformed. Maybe if these were regular Sharingan. Hell, I doubt my Two Tomoe would even work on you.” I sighed as my vision began to blur. “How about I keep your secret, and you keep mine. Deal?”

“And what’s to stop you from breaking your end the moment you leave?”

“Nothing. I just don’t feel like killing you right now.”

“To be bested by a child.” Baki clicked his tongue. “Fine.”

I got off him, expecting some kind of counter-attack, yet he didn’t. It’s like he knew it wouldn’t work.


Now that I thought about it, that was the first time the Uchiha reputation actually saved my life. Because the moment I entered the restroom, I turned on the sink and rinsed the blood from my eyes. I made sure not a drop landed outside so that Baki didn’t know the Mangekyō Sharingan’s drawbacks. How did Yukino even manage these things?

“I gave them lots of rest. And used my Three Tomoe for the most part. Didn’t need them to cast Genjutsu like you.”

I jumped back at the sound of my sister’s voice echoing within my mind. Then sighed at her fake laugh.

“Did I scare you?”

“Shouldn’t you be asleep?” I thought.

“Yeah I was having a good nap,” Yukino spoke with a yawn as if she was stretching. “Until low and behold, you found yourself in contact with a Jinchūriki and not just any. One of the more bloodthirsty ones. Like seriously Shukaku? Do you want to die?”

I scratched my head. “Uh what? Who’s Shukaku?”

“The One-Tailed Beast.” An image of a giant sandy-looking tanuki from the history books popped into my mind. “When you touched that redhead kid. I made contact with him. The sandy bastard went ahead and woke me up for laughs.”

“Redhead… You mean Gaara? Is that why I had a headache?”


“So that means you’ve been awake since then….”

“Pretty much.”

“And you didn’t say anything?” I thought while giving myself the side eye in the mirror. It looked like I was going mental.

“Truth be told, I was trying to go back to sleep.”

“And you can’t now?”

“No. Just a hunch, but you’ve been using my chakra since earlier, right?

“Yeah, I haven’t had the time to rest, as I’m sure you know, faker.”

Yukino didn’t even acknowledge my grumbling as she continued to think about the cause of this… incident. “Then that’s most likely the cause. My chakra is me remember, so the more you use it, the higher level of consciousness I retain. Though by now, you should be able to draw from my chakra pool at will, judging from how you’re able to use my Mangekyō.”

“About that…” My thoughts trailed off.

“Don’t tell me you don’t know how to use my chakra?”

“It’s not easy! Don’t forget it’s only been like 8 no 10 hours since I found out that it’s actually you and not some figment of my imagination.”

Yukino let out a long sigh. “You’re so lucky. I love you.”

“Love me enough to give your brother some advice?”

“On what? The traitor on your team? Or do you mean the village that’s pretending to be the Leaf’s ally?”

“Mostly about Tayuya. I’m definitely telling Hiruzen once we’re in the clear.” I thought as fuck that Baki guy and the Sand Village and the Land of Wind.

“Oh well, if you want my honest opinion, you should just do as she says and kill her.”

“The fuck?” I said out loud by accident.

“Not so easy to talk to someone in your mind, now is it?”

“That isn’t what I meant.” I started pacing back in forth. “We’re not killing Tayuya? You literally just saved her!”

“Listen, I know how this goes, and it's not fun. Watching someone you once knew betray your trust. Life would have been so much easier if I had killed him. Besides, you’d be the hero who helped save the village, and you might even get your Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan. Hell, if you thought you felt strong wiping the floor with that Sand Jōnin, just wait until you get your Susanoo. You’d be unstoppable.”

“I think this conversation is over.”

I stopped walking around in a circle and actually used the bathroom, then washed my hands, where after a while, I noticed a figure in the mirror. I blinked and turned around, only to see nothing. Yet the moment I turned back, in my reflection, a set of arms wrapped around me into a hug, and I clearly recognized Yukino. She really wasn’t going to leave me alone.

“You know little brother, while I was asleep. I talked to my other half, and she agrees with me when I say you’re far too weak with too many targets on your back. So I’ve decided I’m going to whip you in shape. Make you the proper Shinigami.”

“Great…” I sighed.

“You should be happier. You get your wonderfully beloved sister back.”

“That was before you suggested I kill the girl I see as my sister simply to be called a hero or worse for power.”

That time Yuknio sighed. “You asked for advice. I gave it. So you can take it or leave it—”

I fell to one knee, and it took a moment for me to stand back up, but with one look at the mirror, I had done it. Yup, there wasn’t a Yukino in sight. Not using her chakra left me weak, but it also kept my mind clear. I scratched my head as this was not what I meant when I said I missed her.

“You know what Sis, you were right. It’s just like using your eyes.”


I didn’t go to sleep that night. In fact, when Maki came to check up on us at first light, she was surprised to see I was awake. We didn’t say much, nor did she give off any indication of knowing about my confrontation with Baki, so I guess everything was in the clear for now. Later on, Tayuya, then Kurai, then Kasai, then Kai, and Kabura woke up while Sui was still in a deep sleep.

To be honest, I felt anxious just sitting by Sui’s bedside, waiting for her to wake up. There was so much we needed to talk about. Not to mention I didn’t like how the Sand Ninja assured me she was going to be ok and just needed her rest when she was nowhere close to being as injured as Team K. Yet Kasai, Kai, and Kurai accepted the Sand Village’s offer to take a tour of their home without hesitation. Since negotiations were set to continue for another day. I hated it.

“You know little bro, you can sleep, and I can keep watch over Sis.” Tayuya offered as she seemed to be all fine and dandy after last night’s episode. I didn’t even have the chance to tell her my mind has a visitor.

“It’s fine. I’m not really tired.”

“Really? Because I’m pretty sure you haven’t gone to sleep last night or the night before. And it’s been fight after fight for you. Fuck, you even have rings around your eyes.”

“That’s not from me being sleepy,” I said, trying to push her worries away. “It’s from using my Magnet Release. And before you ask why I’m using it, I ran out of wired kunai, and I don’t like the idea of leaving us defenseless.”

Tayuya let out a sigh before walking towards the door. “Fine, be that way, but when Sis wakes up, I’m kicking your ass got it.”

And like that, she left me alone with the fear of god in my soul.

“Have I told you I like her?” Yukino said as I merely ignored her since a couple of hours earlier, she was ready to convince me to slit her throat.

But yeah, I had resorted to using Yukino’s chakra, as that was the only way I didn’t fall asleep. At first, she tried to strike up a conversation, but soon enough, she realized I was ignoring her, so she let it be until I noticed that I was out of paper tags. In her weird way of trying to make amends, she gave me some tips on Magnet Release. Since it was the easiest to use in my current situation. Simply put, by mixing my chakra with the sand from the building, I could create a field of vision with it and, if need be, control it. Though controlling it was a stretch. It’s the reason why I used a kunai to form my lightning blade because I had trouble with shape manipulation, especially without using hand signs.

“Maybe if you learned how to create shapes out of wind, it’ll make it easier. Just some advice, you know.”

I continued to ignore my sister but noted that there was a section within my training scroll that could assist me in learning wind techniques. Though I wasn’t going to open it, not while I was still in the Sand Village. I’d rather not have another reason for them to kill me. So that meant the only thing to do was eat and make sure that Sui was alright.

Her breathing was normal, and she didn’t seem fatigued, just a sleeping beauty. Emphasis on beauty. I wonder if she’d call me a pervert for thinking she looked amazing even while resting.

“More like creepy. What do you even see in her?”

Yeah… that was a thing too, where Yukino could read my thoughts if they carried enough emotion with them. Having a voice in your head really made privacy nonexistent. I just couldn’t wait until I was out of this village and back in my bed so I could get her out of my head!

“You know you should really learn how to make up your mind. You either miss me or can’t stand me—”

A loud yawn interrupted my sister, and rubbing the sleep from her eyes was—


I immediately went for a hug that Sui didn’t hesitate to return as a giggle escaped her lips.

“Now you know how I feel.”

“Yeah yeah. I get it.”

“Yuki… what's up with your eyes?” Sui stared at me with so much worry I started to feel bad, especially when she asked. “How long was I out?”

I held on my chin and thought for a moment.“Less than 24 hours, and don’t worry, it’s just a side effect of using my Magnet Release for too long.”

“Did I worry you that much?”

“Well… let’s just say I got on the bad side of a lot of people while you were asleep,” I said with a light laugh as Sui no longer looked worried. In fact, I’d say she pulled a 180, and it seemed like she wanted to kill me. It wasn’t my fault!

“In less than 24 hours?”


Sui rubbed her temple. “We don’t even know that many people here.”

“Have I ever mentioned that you keep me from doing stupid things?” I said with the most innocent smile I could muster, which surprisingly worked as she sighed.

“Yuki… Tell me everything.”

I started from the moment I entered the hospital. Telling her about my encounter with Gaara and the headache we had, which prevented things from escalating even more. Quickly skimmed over the fact that I got on Kankurō’s and Maki’s nerves. Then the little disagreement I had with Baki where I promised I’d tell her more about once we were actually in a private setting.

“So you mean to tell me the only person you’re on friendly terms with is the girl… Temari was it?” Sui gave me the one-eye glare of death, and I knew I had fucked up somewhere in my storytelling.

“Wait Sui, now I know what you’re thinking, but friendly is a strong word. One that I quite frankly wouldn’t use.”

“Yuki, you’re unbelievable.”

“I-I know… This trip has been long and hard. I’m exhausted.” I sighed as a friendly chakra signature walked into my sand field, and it wasn’t long before he spoke after stealthily entering the room.

“I’d hope so, judging from the trials you’ve faced. If you weren’t exhausted, I would be out of a job.”

“Oh, hey Hiruzen,” I said without so much as turning around as the old man walked closer to Sui. “I was wondering when you were going to come in.”

“What do you mean? And what’s up with your eyes?”

“God damn it. Are they really that bad?”

“They look like the Fourth Kazekage’s,” Hiruzen said while stroking his goatee.

My head drooped as I couldn’t believe they were on that level. This Magnet Chakra was dangerous for my looks.

“So Hiruzen-sensei, does that mean you’re finished with your meeting?” Sui asked.

“Correct.” Hiruzen nodded with a smile. “We’ll be leaving at the break of dawn tomorrow. It’ll give us a chance to restock and rest up for the journey home. After that, we can discuss the completion of your first S rank mission—”

“Wait, but I thought this was an A-rank mission,” I said, cutting him off only for the old man to clear his throat.

“Yes, but after the complications. I’d say we’re quite lucky that a broken arm was the worst injury. If I had come here with my usual team to say there wouldn’t be casualties would be an overestimation. That isn’t to say we should relax on our way back or that you couldn’t have done things better, but rather I’m personally recommending Team 9 and Team K for the upcoming Chūnin Exams.”

“Sui is he saying what I think he’s saying…”

“I think so….”

“Invited to take the Chūnin Exams by the Hokage, impressive. Good job little bro, and you’re welcome.”

Ignoring the fact that my sister just tried to take credit for our hard work, I jumped up with a bright smile shouting to the world that: “We did it!”

And all it took was that momentarily break in concentration for the sand I layered around the room to fly around haphazardly. Some slammed against the window, others dirtied the beds, while most dogpiled Hiruzen. Sui, on the other hand, was left untouched because the moment my sand got close to her, I was able to hold it in place.

“Yuki…” Hiruzen grumbled while Sui simply facepalmed.

“I uh forgot that the sand responds to my emotions.”

“Just fix it. I don’t want this agreement with the Hidden Sand to break because of something like this.”

“Agreement… right.” My mood dropped instantly, but now wasn’t the right time to tell him. Besides it was easier to control sand like this. In a matter of seconds, I was able to remove the sand off Hiruzen, where he gave a quick nod of approval.

“I’ll leave you to it. And please try not to get into any trouble. Alliances between the villages are indeed paper-thin.”

With that, Hiruzen left me to clean up my mess while Sui got up to do her morning routine. She had tried asking me what was wrong, but I could only tell her we’d talk about it when we weren’t being watched. There, I noticed what looked to be an eye on the wall. It was small, and I only found it because some of my sand was on it, which meant it was there before I set up my sand perimeter. With a slight wave, I gave it a smile before covering the damn thing with sand. I thought about crushing it, but uh, I didn’t know if my entire perimeter would come crashing down again if I tried.

After cleaning up my mess, I was promptly told to get some sleep, and by told, I mean forced. Albeit Sui did ask nicely the first time, but when I told her I was fine, she simply knocked out some of my chakra points and then carried me to bed. It was embarrassing, to say the least, but I was just glad she could still move like that. I guessed I was worried about nothing.


When I woke up, I was starving, and it was dark out. My chakra should have recovered a bit but judging by the fact I still heard Yukino mumble some sort of a wake-up call. I still needed her chakra. How much did I fuck up my body?

“Pretty badly. Most would have died of Chakra Exhaustion the moment you tried to fight the Fourth Kazekage.”

“Weren’t you asleep for that?”

“Got bored went through some of your memories.”

I sighed as I really needed to get something into my stomach then go back to bed because this was not going to be a thing. So I got out of bed, grabbed my scroll, and as I dug through my bag for some rations, I found a stack of paper tags, kunai, and some wires. Obviously not organized, more like stuffed inside, but it was the thought that counted. I glanced over to Tayuya’s empty bed, which meant—Yup, she’s sleeping with Sui.

A soft chuckle escaped my lips as they looked cute together. It really put me on alert because if I wasn’t careful, Tayuya might actually steal Sui away from me. Yet I needed to tell her I couldn’t make elemental tags right now as it took quite a bit of chakra and time to seal elements within a paper tag.

“That’s why I told you not to use it as a crutch.”

“Thanks Dad, I really appreciate the advice.”

“That’s not funny.”

I shrugged my shoulders and stepped outside my hospital room to notice there weren’t any guards stationed outside. Which explained why everyone slept comfortably. I guessed we really weren’t prisoners anymore. Which meant I could eat outside and avoid disturbing my sleeping team.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you…”

“Why not?” I thought as I let the nurse at the desk know I was going to step outside for a bit which she didn’t seem to care so, it was pretty easy. Yet I soon found out why my sister told me not to do that. Even though I sat on top of the building, which in theory should have the least amount of sand, I still found myself spitting out grains of sand whenever I took a bit out of my rations.

“I really hate it here…” I sighed. “How do people live in these conditions.”

“I’ve always wondered the same thing.” The voice came from beside me, and seeing his red hair along with his green and white Kazekage cloak, all I could say was:

“Hey Rasa.”

“I’ll let that slide only because my kids seem to have much to say about you.” The Fourth Kazekage took a seat beside me. He didn’t really smile or anything, yet his presence was definitely softer than when we first met. “You somehow even got past Gaara’s shell. Impressive seeing as you’re still alive.”

“I should’ve known he was your kid.”

“What did the hair and eyes not give it away?”

“Hate to break it to you, but maybe when you were younger, your hair looked like his.”

“Ok, that’s strike two.”

“You should probably stop pushing his buttons.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” I snapped at the uninvited intruding thought.

“Excuse me?” The Fourth Kazekage stared at me, and I couldn’t tell if he was pissed or simply confused.

“Sorry about that Lord Kazekage.” I cleared my throat, trying to brush off the awkwardness. “What were you saying?”

“That’s the thing. I didn’t say anything.”

“Oh… then why are you here?”

“You didn’t accept the offer to tour the village.”

Wait, he’s pissed about that! “Oh, I didn’t mean any disrespect. I just had more important matters to attend to.” I said as my eyes unintentionally wandered downward.

“You know you shouldn’t be so obvious with your emotions. You’re a ninja. If you let things like love cloud your judgment, you’ll just be swallowed up in the chaos.” In front of him, golden sand began to gather and form miniature figures of what looked to be a village and a monster. “Your responsibility to the many supersedes the need of the few.”

Soon a larger pile of sand surrounded and crushed the monster. And it didn’t sit well with me because that monster looked like the beast from the history books.

“Even if it’s your own son,” I said with a slight twitch from my eye. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I really hated sand.

“Even if it was my own son.” The Fourth Kazekage said without a single bit of concern as only the sound of sand in the wind filled our conversation until I asked.

“Baki told you, didn’t he?”

“Of course, he knows his duty.”

“Then shouldn’t you be happy with the chance that there is a spy in our ranks?”

The Fourth Kazekage frowned for the first time. “Why would I be happy?”

“Because you don’t seem to like the Leaf very much.”

“That’s where you’re mistaken.” The Fourth Kazekage stood up, staring out at his village where a wayward breeze blew his cloak around. “It’s just like you asked: how do people survive out here? If the Leaf were to fall, what assurance is there for a better life in the Sand?”

“Ok then, why don’t you just rat her out instead? You seem to have the Hokage’s ear.” I muttered, trying to get the sand out of my eyes from the breeze.

“You think I haven’t? The old man is stubborn in his ideals. It’s going to be the end of him.”

A slight grin formed on my face. “So he trusts her.”

“No, he trusts you. Compared you to Itachi.” The Fourth Kazekage chuckled. “As if that guy hadn’t lost his mind and killed his own clan. Then again, you were spared.”

The Fourth Kazekage stared down at me, and I finally noticed how much the rings around his eyes did look like mine. “Which got me interested. Why you? Yuki Uchiha. Valued by both friend and foe. Is it your Sharingan? The nature of your bloodline? The way you attract talent? What makes you so special?”

I thought for a moment on what made me special, and the easiest answer was my Kekkei Kanri. That I was just born that way. Having an affinity for all the chakra natures would make me pretty special, yet Sui thought I was special before she found out about that. So that couldn’t be the answer. It wasn’t my Sharingan. I mean, sure, it made the Uchiha special, but it didn’t make me special. It just made me an Uchiha. And attracting talent? I assumed he was trying to say I was charismatic, but news flash, I wasn’t by any stretch of the word. So without an answer, I could only stare out at the Village Hidden in the Sand and say:

“I… I wish I knew.”

“Well, you better have an answer the next time we meet,” Rasa said as a gold cloud of sand formed for him to stand on. “Oh, and one last thing. The Land of Wind is an unrelenting place as vast as the sea where those who come unprepared are overwhelmed by the boundless desert sand….”

His voice trailed off the further away he got, and honestly I had no idea what he meant. I didn’t really understand much about the guy or even why he talked to me. There were many things that could’ve been the cause, but at the moment, I focused more on his earlier question.

“Hey sis, do you know what makes me special?”

“That’s easy. Who you are is what makes you special.”

“That’s such a mom response,” I said, laughing as my time in the Sand village was soon to be over.


Standing at the entrance of the Sand Village, both Team K and Team 9 waited for Hiruzen. The old man really needed to do better. I mean, even the Sand Duo was there, including Baki. I assumed Maki couldn’t come, and Gaara didn’t want to see us off. Then again, I didn’t want to see him either. Yet it got to the point that Kabura was so bored he seemed attracted to what I assumed was a puppet on Kankuro’s back.

“Hey Kai, get your dog,” Kankurō called out as Kabura was about to raise his leg.

“Kabura… remember what we talked about.” Kai gave his companion a stern look before Kabura grumbled and stepped away from Kankurō.

Temari let out a sigh. “What’s taking him so long.”

“Probably just has some extra paperwork or forgot to pack his bags or something like that….” Kurai’s voice trailed off as, for some reason, he seemed to be inching closer to Temari like she wasn’t going to notice—

“Take one more step, and they’ll be taking you back in pieces,” Temari said, not even looking in Kurai’s direction as she held onto the towering iron rod on her back. I still wasn’t too sure what it was, but the more I looked at it, the more it reminded me of some sort of—

“What a drag… I finally found an attractive girl, and she wants to kill me.”

“Want is a strong word that assumes that I have an interest in you.”

After that massacre, Kurai made no more moves on Temari, opting to stay on the far side from her and lean against the mountainous wall that made up the Sand Village’s gate. Though I couldn’t help but laugh a little at how quick he had gotten rejected. I mean, I didn’t think he was even interested in something like romance.

“Sounds like you six had fun on your outing,” I said, taking a seat on a rock block I had created. “I guess you two were the tour guides?”

“Should’ve been three,” Kankurō muttered as if he hated every bit of it all while Temari stepped up to me, blocking out the growing sunlight.

“Yeah, could’ve used your sense of humor yesterday.”

I stared up at Temari only to immediately look right back down after the realization that she was really tall and due to her outfit, I could see under her— Sui cleared her throat, grabbing everyone’s attention as her presence seemed to force Temari to back up where I soon found Sui’s body pressed up against my back with her arms hanging over my shoulders.

“You’ll have to excuse Yuki. He was busy tending to his girlfriend.”

“Oooo Sis is mad,” Tayuya said, making things worse, which Temari seemed to take as some sort of challenge.

“You know jealousy isn’t a good look on anyone, especially a kunoichi.”

Sui chuckled. “It must be lonely being on a team with only your brothers and daddy’s lap dog.”

“Why was I dragged into this?” Baki said, only to be ignored.

“Now that’s what I call having too much bite. Your overconfidence might just get you cut.” Temari went to pull the iron rod off her back, yet the moment it seemed to get close to Sui’s face, Kasai appeared, holding it up with a hand. “Ooo, you’re fast.”

“Could you not pick a fight with my sister. Thanks.”

“So, you two are related.” A smirk grew on Temari’s face as she pulled back her weapon. “Figures, you’re both pretty cute. Though I can’t seem to remember your name. Sad.”

Kasai returned her smirk. “That’s because I never gave it to you.”

“Really now, don’t trust me?”

“Trust is a strong word that’s reserved for very few people.”

“Oh, I like you.”

“And I don’t like you.” Kasai stuck his hands back in his pockets before walking past Kurai. “I hope you were taking notes.”

“I hate him.” Me, Tayuya, Temari, Kurai, and Kai all said at once.

“Hate who?” Hiruzen asked after appearing from thin air.

“You!” Everyone said.

“Sorry, the Fourth Kazekage had just received confirmation from both the Raikage and Tsuchikage about their participation in the upcoming Chūnin exams.”

“Are you saying that Four of the Five Great Nations are participating?” I asked slowly, feeling my chakra surge with excitement?

“That is exactly what I’m saying. So you all better prepare because your foes won’t just be the people you see today.”

A smile grew on my face, and as I looked around, everyone seemed to feel the same way. A tournament including the Four Great Nations. You had to be crazy, not be excited. I mean, any ninja worth a damn was ready to prove themselves to their village, and we were no exception. Especially when— I glanced at my teammates who were thinking the same thing as Sui started to say:

“Hiruzen-sensei, that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about because—”

“The three of us made a promise to show these shitters—”

“That Team 9 is the strongest!”

To be continued in Naruto: The Tale of Yuki Uchiha Volume 3: The Chūnin Exams!!!

T.K. 月狐
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