224 217. Meaningless Power

Fifty-five years ago,

In a small village in Land of Rice Paddies,

Outside a small hut,

Chop… chop…

A man in his early thirties is chopping some firewood.

Huff… huff…

He raises his head and wipes the sweat.

The man has spiky, long black hair with a slight blue tint to them. There are prominent creases under his eyes.

Chop… chop…

He continues to chop the firewood.

"Here! Have some water, Madara-sama."

A fair-skinned woman with long, straight black hairs walks out of the hut. Her long black hairs parts into bangs and frame her cheeks and black eyes. There is a small beauty mole under her right eye.

She hands over a glass of water to the man.

Gulp… gulp…

The man gulps down the water. He picks up the axe and continues to chop the firewood.

"Kasumi! Sometimes, I think that living such a life in this remote area ain't that bad."

"Madara- sama! For me every day is a blessing as long as I have you."

Hah…

Madara swings his axe and chops the last firewood.

Kasumi wipes his sweat as he sits beside her.

"Perhaps leaving the village wasn't that bad of an idea. The uneasy feeling I felt in the village is slowly fading away. People changes with time and circumstance, maybe I am still holding on to my old views and can't see the light in Hashirama's idea."

Madara shakes his head.

"No matter what decision you make, I will always support you."

Kasumi nods her head.

Mm…

Madara picks up his axe and walks towards the forest.

"Let me hunt some wild boar for dinner."

Whoosh…

He disappears in the forest.

"Madara-Sama!"

Kasumi closes her eyes as she reminisce some old memories.

"It has been two years since Madara-sama had a fallout with Lord Hashirama.

Out of fear or respect, the clan members offered the position of clan leader to him, which he declined.

I can't blame him; many clansmen secretly accused him as an evil person who murdered his brother to steal his eyes."

Kasumi shakes her head as she enters the hut.

"I will make preparations for the dinner."

Whoosh….

A white figure pops out from the ground. There are Venus- flytraps like protrusions exuding out from its body.

"Found them."

Zetsu stares at the hut for a while.

"Quite a lonely place to live in." He murmurs to himself.

Whoosh…

He enters into the ground and disappears.

Swoosh…

White Zetsu pops out at a nearby place.

"Oye Black! I found them out."

Swirl…

A black mass rises from the ground and wraps around White Zetsu's body.

"You already know what to do next."

The Black Zetsu speaks in a heavy tone.

"Of course…"

White Zetsu nods his head.

"Let's welcome Madara-sama. Kuku…"

Whoosh…

Both of them disappear into the ground.

-------------------

Somewhere at outskirts of Iwagakure,

Whoosh…

Zetsu pops out from the ground.

Swirl…

Black Zetsu separates from his body.

Crack… crack…

White Zetsu's body starts to expand as his bodily features changes slowly.

The protrusions on his body disappear as his skin gains an even tone and facial features appear on his body.

An Iwa headband, together with a flak-jacket, appears on his body.

Hmm…

White Zetsu checks his body and nods his head.

"The chakra signature and the body proportion are perfect. It is time to play some games. Kuku…."

He slowly walks towards the Iwa entrance.

"Stop right there!"

A loud voice greets Zetsu.

Hmm…

Zetsu raises his head as his eyes meet with the village guards.

Another nearby guard closes his eyes and senses Zetsu's chakra.

"I am sorry, Daichin-sama."

The guard bows his head and apologizes to Zetsu.

"It's fine. The safety of the village is our priority. I have some vital information to report to Lord First; so I will be on my way."

Whoosh…

Zetsu flickers inside the village.

A few moments later,

Swoosh…

Zetsu in Daichin's form flickers out of Iwagakure with a bunch of other shinobis.

"We have to deal with Madara Uchiha as soon as possible. He is away from the leaf village and it is an ideal opportunity to get rid of him, when he is alone." Daichin addresses them.

"Yes! Daichin-sama." The group nods their head.

Daichin passes a map to one of the Iwa shinobi.

"Lord First has assigned another task to me. So, all of you have to move without me. Is there any problem?"

He scrutinizes them.

"No! Daichin-sama." The shinobi shakes their head.

"Good." Daichin nods his head and flickers in the nearby forest.

Whoosh…

Zetsu transforms back into his original form and enters in the ground.

Swoosh…

He pops out at a nearby place and unites with Black Zetsu.

"Is it done?" Black Zetsu questions him.

"Yes, of course! These shinobis are a bunch of low intelligence creature. They are so easy to fool. Kuku…" White Zetsu laughs smugly.

"The job isn't done yet. These people aren't enough. They won't even act as a distraction." Black Zetsu replies in a monotone voice.

"Let's visit other hidden villages."

Swoosh…

He sticks around White Zetsu's body as both of them disappear in ground.

----------------

A few days later,

In the Land of Rice Paddies,

"I will hunt for some rabbits. It has been a while since I had some rabbit stew."

Madara picks up his axe and flickers in the forest.

"Then, I will make necessary arrangements."

Kasumi nods her head and enters the hut.

She rubs her belly as a shy expression appears on her face.

"How should I tell him?"

A few moments later,

Various shinobis from Iwa, Kuma, Kiri, and Suna gather in front of the hut.

Whoosh…. Whoosh…

They draw their weapons as they get ready to strike each other.

"You Kuma scum, what are you doing here?" The leader of the Iwa group confronts Kuma leader.

"I could ask the same from you?"

The Suna group also draws their weapons.

"Hold on!"

The leader of the Kiri group stops them.

"If I am correct, then all of our goals align with each other. We Kiri shinobis are here to deal with Madara Uchiha."

The group stops their fight as they reach an agreement.

"Yesterday's enemy is today's friend. Fine, Iwa will co-operate with you."

"Suna will help too."

"Humph… Fine! Kiri will co-operate too."

"Then… let's get rid of Madara Uchiha." The Kiri leader stares at the hut.

"Sensor Ninjas sniff him out."

The Iwa leader orders the sensor unit.

The sensor ninja closes their eyes as they sense Madara's location.

The group splits into two as the smaller group surrounds the hut.

The larger group dashes towards the forest.

Whoosh…

The Kiri leader separates from the rest of the group.

Crack… crack…

He shapeshifts into White Zetsu and enters in ground and unites with the Black Zetsu.

"The preparations are complete."

Black Zetsu nods his head.

"Just get rid of the woman. She is his weakness. As long as she is alive; he will overcome his curse of hatred. He doesn't need any emotional attachments to reach his full potential." Black Zetsu orders White Zetsu.

"Very well!" White Zetsu enters in ground.

----------

Inside the forest,

"That makes it three."

Madara hunts another rabbit as he walks back towards the hut.

"Living such a life ain't that bad. Izuna, my brother! I will live for your sake, too. You entrusted me with your eyes to watch this world."

Madara is lost in his thoughts as he slowly walks towards the hut.

Hmm…

Whoosh… swish… swish…

He jumps back and performs a summersault and avoids a barrage of kunai.

Madara raises his head and notices the shinobi from other villages.

"So, you weaklings finally decided to cooperate."

Madara places down his game as he riles up his chakra.

"You had the entire world to live; yet you choose this remote place for your grave."

Whoosh…

He disappears from his place and reappears behind the group.

Slash… slash… Splash…

Fountain of blood rises in the air as the heads of enemies rolls down.

"Let's dance."

------------

Half an hour later,

Madara wipes his hands as he stares at the remaining shinobis.

"You monster!"

The leader of the Iwa group slowly raises his head as his body is soaked in blood.

"It seems that you still want to dance but… You will not be able to make steps anymore."

Slash…

He picks up his hunt and walks towards the hut.

"After that exercise, I am quite hungry. Kasumi's rabbit stew is quite delicious."

Hmm…

He raises his head as the scent of blood permeates in air.

Madara's expression turns serious as he flickers towards the hut.

"This is…"

His eyes widen as the hut is lit on fire.

"KASUMI!"

Madara immediately makes some hand signs.

"Water Style: Water Torrent"

He extinguishes the fire and search for Kasumi.

"Madara-sama!"

A weak and frail voice fell in Madara's ear.

Whoosh…

Madara flickers towards the forest and notices the blood-soaked body of Kasumi resting against a boulder.

"Madara-sama!"

Kasumi calls weakly.

"I am here, Kasumi." Madara quickly approaches her and holds her hand.

"Everything will be alright, Kasumi!"

Tears appear in his eyes as the memory of Izuna's death flashes in front of him.

Haah…

He picks her up and dashes towards the village.

"There is a doctor in the village. Everything will be alright."

He holds her hand. Madara reaches the nearby village and yells.

"Doctor! Doctor! please treat her. Her condition is serious."

An old man with a walking stick and white tunic walks out of a house.

Madara slowly places Kasumi down as the doctor examines her condition.

"It's too late." The doctor shakes his head.

"NO!… there must be another way."

Madara breaks down as he clutches the collar of the doctor.

"Examine her again. She can't die."

The old doctor shakes his head.

"She is already dead."

The doctor closes his eyes.

"NO!"

Madara releases a scream of pain as he picks up Kasumi's body.

Crackle… crackle…

Dark cloud looms in the sky as the rain drizzle on his face.

"How good can there be in power if you cannot protect those you love?"

Clang… clang…

He slowly digs up a grave as he gently places the cold body of Kasumi.

"Kasumi!... I am all alone again."

Madara closes his eyes as a drop of tear trickles down from his eye.

He turns around and slowly walks away.

--------------

A few hours later,

Rumble… rumble…

The ground around the grave shakes as a hand appears out from the grave.

"Aw man! It is a terrible feeling to get buried alive."

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