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You are Uzumaki Naori, and things have taken several unexpected twists since your battle with Uchiha Obito began.

First of these was his betrayal and murder at the hands of his senior, Uchiha Madara, who had been reanimated by Kabuto in what you have no doubt qualifies as one of the biggest mistakes in shinobi history. Second was Madara’s subsequent awakening of the rinnegan, which he used to nearly wipe out the allied shinobi forces set against him. Third was his return to life, followed by his continued abuse of reanimated rinnegan, and his abuse of his mangekyō sharingan to turn back time. This helped him succeed in gaining access to sage mode.

By evolving your own sage mode you were able to keep up with Madara, and even pressure him despite the fact that he had so many obscenely powerful tools at his disposal. But in yet another twist Uchiha Sasuke beat him at his own game – using an opening you created to become jinchūriki of the ‘Ten Tails’, a being from which the nine tailed beasts were at one point separated. And if that wasn’t enough even more undead old people have started to interfere, with Naruto and Sasuke evidently having been visited by some ghostly form of the Sage of Six Paths. Your own visitor was someone entirely different, the infamous Princess Kaguya who is now remembered as a demon of the ancient world.

That being, whom you now understand to be neither goddess nor demon, seems to have smoothed over any remaining incompatibilities between Uchiha Izumi’s left eye and your own tissues which were grafted to it in order to make a hasty repair. According to her that means it will at some point awaken as what she called a ‘jōgan’ – something she couldn’t quite explain in enough that you can anticipate what it will do.

But you can’t tell them that. Not yet at least.

“It was something like that,” you lie through your teeth instead, covering up Kaguya’s meddling by vaguely comparing it to their visit from the Sage of Six Paths. “I take it you still insist to fight against us, Sasuke?”

“That’s right,” he nods.

“Then we need to work together this time, Naori,” Naruto determines. “So what did the super old man give you to work with?”

“Nothing that I can use at the moment,” you confess. “So yeah, for me it’s close combat and fūinjutsu, though I’m not sure how to remove the Ten Tails from him without using a rinnegan – or the shinigami.”

“Let me take care of that,” Naruto insists confidently. “I’m not sure I understand it, but I feel like I can turn everything around now, ya know?”

“Not really,” you admit. “But I’m willing to admit there are many things I don’t understand, you being one of them.”
>1/2
>>
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>>4840406
Now you have to figure out a way to put your skills to use. Sasuke is faster now than ever before, and he has the ability to force any two objects or people to swap places through spacetime manipulation – including himself and either of you, which at one point led to you getting your face slammed through about a quarter mile of dirt and rock.

But you also know that he’s trying hard not to kill either of you, or anyone else for that matter aside from the kages and daimyō. His intention isn’t quite to pull off a bloodless revolution, but it’s very close.

So that begs the question – should you fight him with that same mindset, or should you take advantage of it?

>Fight with full lethal force. You’re willing to bet that Sasuke can take anything you can dish out.
>Fight nonlethally. Just use enough force and energy to give Naruto the opening he needs.
>There’s a middle ground here, drawing on every ability you have to restrain rather than kill.
>Other?
>>
>>4840411
>>There’s a middle ground here, drawing on every ability you have to restrain rather than kill.
>>
>>4840411
>>There’s a middle ground here, drawing on every ability you have to restrain rather than kill.
>>
>>4840411
>>There’s a middle ground here, drawing on every ability you have to restrain rather than kill.
>>
>>4840411
>>There’s a middle ground here, drawing on every ability you have to restrain rather than kill.
>>
>>4840411
>There’s a middle ground here, drawing on every ability you have to restrain rather than kill.
>>
>>4840411
The thing that big master plots like this never consider is that one person is the lynch pin for the whole operation. Sauce will have to win every fight for the rest of his life for this to work. There will always be someone against totalitarian rule and they only need to get lucky once.
>>
>>4840411
>There’s a middle ground here, drawing on every ability you have to restrain rather than kill.
>>
>>4840411
>1d6, best three of four
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4842118
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4842118
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4842118
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4842118
leave it to me to get the 1
>>
>>4842120
>>4842124
>>4842155
if we had had those rolls last thread we'd have been the ten tails' jinchuuriki by now
>>
>>4842171
Sometimes failure is nice
>>
>>4842173
aye, in this case for example.
i prefer how its going at the moment, in contrast to how it would have been, much more interesting.
>>
>>4842171
don't worries we going to beat it out of him soon
>>
>>4840411
>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suwfJMiXauU
You quickly settle on a plan of attack, weaving three hand seals with your left hand alone to put that plan into motion. With a deep breath you knead chakra in your belly, heating it with all your vitality and passion, then release it back out into the world as something new. “Senpō: Gokashin’ensen!”

The world in front of you becomes a roiling sea of spreading flames as the air itself seems to catch fire, and your attack grows totally out of control as it races for Sasuke. As you expected he raises his hands to defend himself – knowing full well that he’s still probably vulnerable to senjutsu with no training or ability to use natural energy. So instead he settles on something else and turns one of the black floating orbs into a shield that splits the ocean of flame on either side of him, hissing and sputtering as it passes him by.

“An attack like this won’t,” he begins, but you don’t even give him time to finish the thought.

Both your swords emerge from the columns of flames to his sides, wrapped in chakra in the shape of giant windmill shuriken, Tenryūshi on one side and Umekiri on the other. His black spheres can stop the chakra but not the swords themselves as they move to protect him, but that still leaves the swords tumbing in the air – which you teleport to using the hiraishin markings on each of them.

His eyes widen as you smirk up at him, having succeeded in slipping inside his defenses and under his outstretched arm.

“Kongō Fūsa!”

For a moment Sasuke seems surprised, but he doesn’t have time to say anything before you entangle him and use your blades to pin the chains in place, pulling against those chains at the same time with your senjutsu-enhanced strength to keep them taut around his wrists and neck.

“The barrier didn’t work?” he realizes.

You nod. “So yeah, it was a good guess on my part. But an informed one – I reasoned that if I could get past the outer orbit of those black spheres the nature of the Kongō Fūsa might do the rest.”

What you mean is something he himself probably noticed already – that those orbs of his keep their distance from his body, almost constant at all times unless he intends to call on them as a weapon or barrier. Your theory is that he subconsciously keeps such destructive little balls of raw power spaced slightly away from his body for his own protection, and has to consciously violate that safety measure at the risk of putting his own body in harm’s way.

He frowns as he realizes that he can’t absorb the Kongō Fūsa through his body – that Path must revolve around opposing the spin of an incoming attack’s chakra, making it vulnerable to techniques that eliminate that natural spin. “Damn, how did you know…”

“It’s over, Sasuke!” Naruto declares a split second before his attack should land.
>1/2
>>
>>4842356
>“It’s over, Sasuke!” Naruto declares a split second before his attack should land.
how to 100% guarantee it's not over
>>
>>4842356
Naori a cute
>>
>>4842356
… as it turns out, it’s very much not over. Sasuke uses his rinnegan to swap places with you at the last moment, and Naruto pulls his punch. Instead he twists it into a chopping movement towards the base of Sasuke’s neck, only to find a Yukigakure shinobi standing there along with your hand grabbing his wrist.

“Where were you?” you ask the frightened young woman as Naruto looks around for Sasuke.

“There!” Naruto declares.

You pick up his chakra again and teleport to the hiraishin marking on Yugitō’s back, before running the rest of the way, your steps cracking the earth underfoot as you race to get to Minato-han. As you go you weave the seals you need to counter what you suspect is happening. But you’re just in time to see something unusual happening: Sasuke has seemingly summoned a small tree through Minato’s body before you were able to dispel his vessel. So instead that vessel is slowly reforming as the barrier he was helping maintain collapses.

Sasuke glances over his shoulder at you. “You should all be running. It’s not safe to be near this thing.”

“What did you do!?” Naruto demands angrily.

“I fed one half of the Nine Tails to this tree,” Sasuke informs you as the tree continues to grow. “The two of you left me no choice, because I know what Naruto had in mind. I can’t let that happen.”

>And why are you feeding tailed beasts to trees, Sasuke? What plan IS this anymore?
>Attack the tree. Whatever it is you don’t want to see what Sasuke has planned for it.
>No more holding back. Sasuke needs to go down, and quickly, if you’re going to last.
>Other?
>>
>>4842410
>No more holding back. Sasuke needs to go down, and quickly, if you’re going to last.
He's using innocent people and feeding demons trees at this point. I say kill him if we have to.
>>
>>4842410
>>No more holding back. Sasuke needs to go down, and quickly, if you’re going to last.
>>
>>4842410
>No more holding back. Sasuke needs to go down, and quickly, if you’re going to last.
Chakra fruit? No fucking way Sasuke boy. No more playing nice.
>>
>>4842410
>Attack the tree. Whatever it is you don’t want to see what Sasuke has planned for it.
>>
>>4842410
>>No more holding back. Sasuke needs to go down, and quickly, if you’re going to last.
>>
>>4842410
>>Attack the tree. Whatever it is you don’t want to see what Sasuke has planned for it.
>>
>>4842410
>No more holding back. Sasuke needs to go down, and quickly, if you’re going to last.
>>
>>4842410
>Attack the tree. Whatever it is you don’t want to see what Sasuke has planned for it.
>>
>>4842410
>1d6, taking the first three
>DC: 14
>SP: 6/6
>ES: 0/2 (0T)
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4844197
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4844197
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4844197
>>
>>4844197
>Spend 3 SP
>Spend 2SP and take 1ES
>Spend 1SP and take 2ES
>Fail
>>
>>4844221
>>Spend 2SP and take 1ES
>>
>>4844221
>Spend 2SP and take 1ES
>>
>>4844221
>>Spend 2SP and take 1ES
>>
>>4844221
>Spend 3 SP
>>
>>4844221
>SP: 4/6
>ES: 1/2 (2T)
>Writing
>>
>>4844221
>Spend 2SP and take 1ES
>>
>>4844221
This has to end.

Very suddenly you change your tactics, attacking Sasuke with a greater ferocity than before, starting with a flat thrust with Umekiri. “Suiryūsen!”

The compressed, sword-shaped wave of chakra rends the earth, leaving a deep slicing wound that trails off far into the distance – you missed Sasuke however, but the fact that you missed isn’t what has Naruto upset.

“What was that!?” he demands, grabbing you by the shoulder. “That almost looked like you were trying to kill him, ya know!?”

“Very astute,” you grumble, shaking him loose as Sasuke unleashes a wave of fire at you. “Doryūsen!”

The low diagonal slash raises a ridge of stone that disrupts the incoming fire before curving back towards Sasuke, winding almost like a living serpent of chakra-laden earth. Sasuke uses a massively powerful chidori to shatter the earth, by which time you’re ready with another attack – downward, from above.

“Karyūsen!”

Sasuke raises his barrier to block the flames, only to find you behind him.

“Raigen!”

The flash blinds Sasuke for a moment, forcing him to withdraw before he can counterattack – a good instinct, even if you’re not sure how much you can harm him at this point. The tip of Umekiri’s blade narrowly misses him.

“What if we’d made a mistake?” you demand.

“Excuse me?” Naruto counters, forcing you to dodge a trio of wind-enhanced folding shuriken by taking a leaping step back. “What are you talking about!?”

“Sasuke, you put that Snow kunoichi in lethal danger,” you press. “What if we’d made a mistake and hit her?”

“Then she would probably have died,” Sasuke frowns. “You didn’t make a mistake.”

“That doesn’t change the fact that you put someone who was next to helpless at risk for no good reason,” you insist. “You’ve changed since absorbing the Ten Tails, and I have to stop you.”

“I’ve changed, you say?” he narrows his eyes. “I think it’s you that changed, Naori. Have you really given up on saving the world?”
>1/2
>>
>>4844824
“No,” you shake your head. “I’ve just decided I have to save it from you first.”

“Fine then,” Sasuke counters, lowering his staff. “Go on. Hit me with everything you have.”

You flow your chakra outward, preparing a massive single strike in Seiran mode. The roiling column of air rises, right up to the storm clouds that you’ve had Nyoka helping to raise for you. Those rising currents fuel the thunderstorm, which finally bursts with rain that soon comes down in sheets.

“Yeah no, you asked for this,” you observe as lightning strikes your body, and you channel it into Umekiri’s blade. Natural lightning empowering Seiran mode – the amount of raw power packed into this thrust will probably even put Sasuke on his ass despite being the Ten Tails jinchūriki. You even use your sharingan, just in case… which proves to be fortuitous.

In the instant you charge Sasuke you can hear Naruto shouting at you to stop, but you can also see that Black Zetsu has gotten in your way – had you not used your sharingan you might have missed the key details, the slight but present signs that someone is messing with your perception to hide in the line of your charge. And because of that, you’re able to change your target at the last second with hiraishin.

>Attack Sasuke from behind.
>Attack Zetsu instead.
>Attack the growing tree.
>Other?
>>
>>4844830
>>4844830
>>Attack the growing tree.

Unclear from the wording, is zetsu trying to take the attack, or is he trying to interfere?

That sketchy fuck is up to ten kinds of no good. It's him or the tree. If it looks like he's trying to absorb our attack or something, he must want to use it for something. Attack the tree.
>>
>>4844830
>>Attack the growing tree.
the yin yang looking fuck changed the situation again, better take out the danger we know is one for sure
>>
>>4844830
>>Attack the growing tree.
>>
>>4844830
>Attack the growing tree.
There's that fucking negro.
>>
>>4844830
>>Attack the growing tree.
>>
>>4844830
>Attack the growing tree.
>>
>>4844830
>Attack the growing tree.
>>
>>4844830
>>Attack Zetsu instead.
>>
>>4844830
>>Attack the growing tree.
>>
>>4844830
At the last possible instant, you change your vector using hiraishin. You avoid running headlong into Zetsu, and reappear abruptly in position to strike with all your power at the rapidly-growing tree.

The results are nearly fatal.

Umekiri slashes through the trunk, which at this point is about as big around as a particularly large oak tree, at the same time discharging the lightning you gathered with Nyoka’s help to add an explosive surge of power that cooks the water in the tree’s trunk in an instant. It bursts into splinters, which your Seiran chakra cloak should normally have no trouble resisting, but instead they tear through and graze your flesh.

The shattered remnants of the tree start to reform and grow again with horrifying speed, but just as bad is the fact that the splinters ripped away more than just flesh and blood. They ripped away your chakra too, which means that the next part is that much harder. You create the shadow clones you need to raise a Shikonbenjin barrier, before grabbing Naruto by the shoulder.

“Synchronize Kurama’s chakra with mine!” you shout. “Now!”

Using the chakra cloaks Naruto gave out to the Allied forces like candy earlier as impromptu hiraishin markings, same as Minato-han did before, you teleport as many of them to the outside of the barrier as you can.

You’ve totally depleted your senjutsu chakra, and exhausted yourself physically – had it not been for those splinters you might still be ready to fight. But worse, you couldn’t get everyone outside the barrier in time. No one you know personally of course, anyone like that would have been carrying a hiraishin marking on them already and would have been easy to get to safety. It was a close call with Natsuhi-tono, from Hoshigakure, but no one you know ends up trapped on the wrong side of the barrier.

But you can see that a lot of people didn’t make it: your count is three hundred and sixty-two, from all the villages. Many were caught by the explosive growth of the tree’s limbs and roots, strangled or pierced, many before they even get the chance to fight back or flee. The tree’s mass of new growth packs it right up against the inside of your barrier, which stretches and bulges in place but otherwise holds for now.

“Nakkun!”

Fū and Ajisai are here to support you of course... Sasuke and Naruto are a short distance away.

>Get everyone as far from Sasuke, Naruto, and the Tree as you can.
>Take time to recover your Senjutsu chakra and get back in the fight.
>You hate it, but this may call for using Kotoamatsukami on Sasuke.
>Other?
>>
>>4846865
>>Take time to recover your Senjutsu chakra and get back in the fight.
>>
>>4846865
>>Get everyone as far from Sasuke, Naruto, and the Tree as you can.
>>
>>4846865
>>Get everyone as far from Sasuke, Naruto, and the Tree as you can.
>>
>>4846865
>>Take time to recover your Senjutsu chakra and get back in the fight.
>>
>>4846865
>>Take time to recover your Senjutsu chakra and get back in the fight.

Unless we recover, we're just gonna get beat on. Time for someone else in the shinobi world to carry some weight.
>>
>>4846865
>>Take time to recover your Senjutsu chakra and get back in the fight.
>>
>>4846865
>You hate it, but this may call for using Kotoamatsukami on Sasuke.
I feel like this is the correct answer, both short- and long-time wise. It also gives us a lot of wiggle room and should give us additional ES points
>>
>>4846865
>Take time to recover your Senjutsu chakra and get back in the fight.
THEN
>You hate it, but this may call for using Kotoamatsukami on Sasuke.
>>
>>4846865
>You hate it, but this may call for using Kotoamatsukami on Sasuke.
Yeah no, Sasuke is an active danger here. He shouldn't get a pass just for who he is.
>>
>>4846865
>You hate it, but this may call for using Kotoamatsukami on Sasuke.
>>
>>4846865
>>You hate it, but this may call for using Kotoamatsukami on Sasuke.
>>
>>4846865
>Take time to recover your Senjutsu chakra and get back in the fight.
>>
>>4846865
>Get everyone as far from Sasuke, Naruto, and the Tree as you can.
>>
>>4846865
>Get everyone as far from Sasuke, Naruto, and the Tree as you can.
>>
>>4846865
“Karin!” you raise your voice, but finding your cousin absent. “Fū, we need to find Karin quickly!”

“Right Nakkun!” Fū replies, still obviously worried. “Here, she’s this way.”

A few seconds later you’re face to face with Karin, who seems just as worried about Sasuke as she is about you – if not more so.

“What is even happening right now?” she presses you desperately. “What does Sasuke think he’s doing?”

“Not now,” you insist curtly. “I need you to help me get through to headquarters – force the message through if you have to, everyone needs to hear this.”

After a few moments, Karin nods. “Okay. Done.”

“Listen up everyone,” you declare loudly. “Whatever that tree is it absorbs chakra, faster than I’ve seen anything do it. If you touch it, you die. If you cut it, it regrows. My Shikonbenjin is containing it, but only just.”

You glance up at the tree, seeing that it’s towering so tall now that its leafy crown is starting to spread over the top of the barrier thousands of feet in the sky. “Anyone who can use the Uramiame technique stay here and help me. Everyone else, get out of here.”

“Where should they go?” Nara Shikaku asks you, his tone grim. “How far is ‘safe’ with something like this?”

“Yeah no, I don’t think ‘safe’ exists anymore,” you admit, “except as a question of degrees. Not with this thing.”

You quickly weave the seals for the Uramiame technique – some Kirigakure and Amegakure shinobi nearby do the same, as does Ajisai. Fū remains stubbornly at your side, as does Karin… Kakashi-han and Konan-sensei, together at the moment, are weaving the hand seals as well. You even catch a glimpse of the Mizukage joining the effort, making it a point to be seen as a Kage doing her part to help. You don’t know if it will be enough, but it’s going to have to be because it’s all you could possibly ask for right now.

In the mean time, you have to start to recover. And that means starting by taking back chakra through the Uramiame technique being maintained by the Allied forces and stolen back from the tree.

As you rest, you make a quiet admission to Karin.

"So yeah, I need you to do a little surgery on my right eye," you mutter to her, low enough to control just exactly who can overhear. "Can you do it?"

After seeing what you have planned, she nods in silent agreement.
>1d6, best three of four
>higher is better
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4848904
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4848904
Ah, fuck it. The ends justify the means...
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4848904
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4848904
>>
>>4848904
Karin works as quickly as you can, and you can feel yourself building your chakra back up quickly as well, which would normally be a good thing. But you also get the impression that this may prove to be too little, too late.

No sooner has Karin finished the transplant, you’re forced to take immediate action to protect those around you as Sasuke uses the Infinite Tsukuyomi. You’re not sure how you know that’s what he did – perhaps it’s the searing pain in your left eye that makes you want to rip it out just on the off chance that makes the pain stop, perhaps it’s the nauseating sense of dread. Maybe it’s a bit of female intuition that tells you Sasuke is doing something incredibly stupid.

“Stay close!” you demand loudly, dropping your barrier and pulling your shadow clones back. “Don’t move an inch from my side!”

Unfortunately Yugitō isn’t nearby, but you’ll have to deal with that later. Right now you need to get to the point where you can do that, so your shadow clones teleport using you as a hiraishin marking and create a Shikonbenjin barrier around themselves at the four corners. This puts Karin, Ajisai, and Fū all inside the glowing golden cube, but the light still filters through all the same. Blindingly white outside the barrier but shifting amber within.

It’s strangely calming...

...

You are Iga Naori... no, wait, that’s not true at all.

You’re Uzumaki Naori, and everything around you is completely wrong. For one thing you’re not on the battlefield anymore, but in a city – built up and bustling, but strange to you. In the streets there are moving objects with glass windows and what look like rubber wheels, each making an annoyingly loud noise. You think that you’re on your way to... school, you want to say? Something about your plaid skirt, black jacket, and thigh-high socks makes you think about school.

It’s strange, almost like... the ‘limited Tsukuyomi’ that Uchiha Obito tried to use on you. Actually, now that you think about it, that’s exactly what it feels like.

Your senses are telling you that there’s hardly any chakra here, but you can track down the sources. Each is familiar – Karin. Ajisai. Fū. They’re all close, on the grounds of the school you think, all in the same building. Single story, fairly ‘traditional’ architecture.

“Naori?” Ajisai recognizes you when you enter what turns out to be a dojo. “What is happening here?”

“In a moment,” you insist quietly, examining the situation for the context you know you need. There’s Ajisai, Fū, and Karin of course, but there’s also Ryūzetsu, Sakura, and Hinata, making a total of seven of you all wearing matching uniforms. Out of these however only four of you were inside your barrier, so you have no reason to believe that Ryūzetsu, Sakura, or Hinata know anything about the situation even if they are who they appear to be.
>1/2
>>
>>4852819
“So,” Sakura frowns, “this is your ringer then?”

Ryūzetsu nods. “Yes, the one I told you about.”

“I don’t know how I feel about this Iga girl riding to our proverbial rescue,” Sakura admits. So she’s definitely not the real Sakura then, and neither is this Ryūzetsu the real Ryūzetsu.

Speak of whom, Ryūzetsu nods calmly. “Fū-san, you could try her out if you’d like.”

Fū glances at you nervously. “Um... no thanks.”

“So... do you think we can beat the team from Kamo Prep this year?” Hinata asks quietly.

“Of course we can,” another familiar voice calmly insists.

“Konan-sensei!” Sakura greets the mirror image of Konan with a bow. “Good to see you!”

“Likewise,” Konan returns the bow politely before turning to you. “So you would be this Iga Naori that Ryūzetsu-kun has praised so highly?”

“I am,” you agree. “May I have a more specific explanation of why I am here?”

“Kamo Prep are sort of our rivals,” Sakura explains. “A boy’s school from Minami ward, all working-class. They like to try and show that they can beat Murata Girls’ Academy, any chance they get – and kendo’s their new thing.”

“Naruto-kun and Sasuke-kun are the only two that are something of a problem,” Konan-sensei tells you.

“So yeah, that means you want me to fight in a match?” you muse.

“That is correct.”

>Okay, I’ll do that for you to the best of my abilities.
>It shouldn’t be a problem to win this little match.
>Use the wave transmission method to explain this to the others.
>Other?
>>
>>4852826
>>It shouldn’t be a problem to win this little match.
>>
>>4852826
>Other

Genjutsu is still just genjutsu, no matter how powerful, right?
If we enter storm sage mode again, shouldn't the storm sage chakra in our body consume for foreign chakra causing the tsukuyomi?

The problem is actually doing it in the real world, rather than in the genjutsu.
I think that maybe we can do it, if we meditate and enter our inner world, like when when we speak to tailed beasts.

From there, we can probably affect our real body.
>>
>>4852826
>>Use the wave transmission method to explain this to the others.
>>
>>4852826
>It shouldn’t be a problem to win this little match.
>>
>>4852826
>It shouldn’t be a problem to win this little match
>>
>>4852826
“Yeah no, I don’t think winning this match should be much of a problem,” you muse, feeling confident that you already understand how to clear this scenario. “I assume there is a changing room nearby?”

Konan-sensei points you in the right direction. “Back here, yes.”



You make it a point to let Sakura, Hinata, and Ryūzetsu finish changing into their gear first – kendogi and hakama, with what you’d almost consider ‘fake’ armor. Functional of course, but only designed to hold up against shinai rather than providing any protection from an actual live blade. Once the other three are gone you can speak your mind to those who came with you from the ‘outside’.

“When I was trapped in the limited Tsukuyomi with Kurotsuchi,” you explain to them, “we escaped by treating it as a ‘game’ with a clear condition for ‘victory’. In this case, winning means winning this exhibition match.”

“That simple?” Fū wonders. “Really?”

“I doubt it,” you sigh.

“What, you think their coach is going to be a problem?” Karin rolls her eyes. “You can beat anyone I know in a fair swordfight.”

Ajisai catches your eye. “Hatake Kakashi-san?”

“Maybe,” you nod. “It’s possible he could be the other coach.”



You’re beyond surprised to see the visiting team from this ‘Kamo Prep’ school that apparently is across town from where your friends supposedly go to school. Naruto and Sasuke are there of course, as are Hyūga Neji, Rock Lee, Shikamaru, Akimichi Chōji, and Inuzuka Kiba. But it’s their coach that surprises you most – not Kakashi, but Ōtsutsuki Kaguya.

Your blood freezes for a moment when you recognize her, while everyone else who you know to be ‘real’ is simply confused. Eventually Karin gets a moment to ask you about it on the bench at one side of the hall, while the visiting boys’ team is changing.

“You know her?”

You nod curtly. “Ōtsutsuki Kaguya, the ‘demon’ mother of the Sage of Six Paths.”
>1/2
>>
>>4854429
“How can you possibly know that?” Karin demands quietly.

“Reasons,” you counter, wary of being overheard. “If we get a chance I’ll tell you about it.”

“So what is she doing here?”

“No idea,” you admit. “But the conditions haven’t changed.”

“They’re not using chakra,” Karin observes. “This is going to be easy.”

>Actually, now that you mention it, yes. Some genin could probably do this by that logic.
>I think it would be better to play by the ‘rules’ of this scenario – meaning no chakra.
>Point of clarification for this ‘Ryūzetsu’ – why did Sakura refer to you as an ‘Iga girl’?
>Other?
>>
>>4854436
>>Point of clarification for this ‘Ryūzetsu’ – why did Sakura refer to you as an ‘Iga girl’?
>>
>>4854436
>>Point of clarification for this ‘Ryūzetsu’ – why did Sakura refer to you as an ‘Iga girl’?
>>
>>4854436
>Point of clarification for this ‘Ryūzetsu’ – why did Sakura refer to you as an ‘Iga girl’?
>>
>>4854436
>>Point of clarification for this ‘Ryūzetsu’ – why did Sakura refer to you as an ‘Iga girl’?
>>
>>4854436
>I think it would be better to play by the ‘rules’ of this scenario – meaning no chakra.
>>
>>4854436
“Yeah no, hold that thought,” you mutter before taking a few steps down the line to speak with Ryūzetsu.

“… ‘Iga girl’?” you repeat what you heard before.

Ryūzetsu shrugs, seemingly unconcerned. “Don’t mind Sakura-kun.”

“Why should I?” you frown.

“She… probably just buys into the whole magic thing,” Ryūzetsu tries to clarify. “you know, Iga, Kōga. Ninjas and all that.”

“Ah,” you pretend to realize. “So she thinks I have… magic powers, is that it?”

Ryūzetsu turns her attention back to your soon-to-be opponents. “Do you?”

“How long have we known each other?” you counter.

She snorts. “Long enough to know you might.”

“Fair,” you concede, playing along as best you can.

What you’ve learned is that in this setting, shinobi are more of a historical fact – and that they may or may not have used chakra as you understand it. Your name here is that of a famous clan of those historical shinobi, who may not play a major role in contemporary society. But what’s also certain is that many people believe that shionobi have, or rather had, supernatural powers.

“The first match will be Iga Naori versus Inuzuka Kiba,” Konan-sensei declares, and you start to walk out towards the middle of the room, still pondering your choices even as Kiba does the same. “Ōtsutsuki-san, are you in agreement?”

Kaguya-hime, or rather the image of Kaguya, watches you carefully with blank eyes. “Agreed. I am interested to see what this ‘shinobi’ is capable of.”

It’s not entirely clear, but you don’t see so much of a hint of recognition in Kaguya’s flat gaze, no more than Konan-sensei or Hinata or Sakura. So either she’s keeping a tightly-controlled facade or she really doesn’t recognize you. Whether that’s because she’s not real or because it’s some other iteration of Kaguya from the one that set you on the path to awakening a jōgan is impossible to say.

“Heh, I’m gonna enjoy this more than usual!” Kiba smirks.

You can’t help but shake your head, knowing that even without chakra you could beat Kiba in your own world in a fair fight with swords. “Yeah no… I don’t think that’s true at all.”

>Fight without using chakra.
>Only use a little chakra to enhance your movements.
>Use self-suggestion to enhance your senses.
>Other?
>>
>>4855797
>>Use self-suggestion to enhance your senses.
>>
>>4855797
>Fight without using chakra.
>>
>>4855797
>>Fight without using chakra.
>>
>>4855797
>>Fight without using chakra.
>>
>>4855797
>Fight without using chakra.
>>
>>4855797
>>Use self-suggestion to enhance your senses.
>>
>>4855797
>1d6, taking the first three
>DC: 5
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4856771
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4856771
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4856771
>>
>>4855797
You bow carefully to start the match, only for Kiba to take his first swing at you as a surprise, feeling that you’d left your head open. With a loud “HA” as a kiai you bring the top third of your shinai up to hit your attacker in the wrists, knocking the shinai clean out of his hands. You hold for just an instant, and as he takes a step back you rise to a low gedan-gamae, almost challenging him to try for another cheap shot to your head.

“Point!” Konan declares, waving the red flag that corresponds to the ribbon you were given as part of your uniform. Kaguya silently does the same, admitting that there’s no valid grounds to deny that you scored against Kiba – had you not remembered that samurai consider kiai an important part of sparring you think she may have denied you on the grounds of ‘insufficient spirit’.

You rise the rest of the way, keeping your own shinai low and at your side as you lift Kiba’s weapon with your toe and kick it into the air towards him.

“Man, Kiba!” Naruto chuckles, “she really kicked your butt!”

“Told you,” Ryūzetsu insists more quietly from your own side.

“Okay, so she hit Kiba once,” Sakura grumbles. “That doesn’t mean anything.”

“Hinata-kun, who was it that beat Sakura-kun last time?

“… Kiba-kun?”

“Thought so.”

The next exchange is no more a challenge – you easily knock his next attack aside and catch him under the ribs with a loud kiai. He’s just too aggressive, and while he seems to be trying to target openings in your defenses he’s so full of openings himself that it makes you wonder if he really understands what an “opening” even is.

The next few rounds are fairly unenlightening: Sasuke beats Ajisai, Naruto beats Hinata, Lee stomps Sakura pretty badly, Ryūzetsu narrowly beats Neji, Fū overwhelms Chōji pretty badly, and Karin struggles with Shikamaru before eventually losing.

“These are the four we are sending,” Konan-sensei decides. “Naori-san, Ajisai-kun, Ryūzetsu-kun, Fū-kun.”

Sakura seems fairly put out, but you understand the decision – Sasuke and Naruto are the strongest members of Kamo Prep’s lineup, and so Ajisai losing to him in a split set is a better showing than Sakura losing to Lee. It’s actually a little surprising, but then again you have to remember that this Sakura is probably weaker than the Sakura who got knocked out of the chūnin exams so easily and that Ajisai’s kenjutsu training actually isn’t bad per se, meaning that a Sasuke without dōjutsu or chakra is something close to a fair match.
>1/2
>>
>>4856951
That makes the final lineups you, Ryūzetsu, Ajisai, and Fū set against Sasuke, Naruto, Lee, and Neji.

“Alright, take a short break,” Konan-sensei insists. “The Kamo Prep team will be doing the same.”

“From here it gets harder,” Ryūzetsu insists curtly. “Sasuke and Naruto both brought their A-game, we need to do the same.

She catches your attention. “You okay?

“Why?”

“Your eye seems like it’s bothering you,” she observes.

“It’s fine,” you insist. “Allergies.”

“In autumn?” she muses. “So you do have a weakness.”

“Maybe a few,” you shrug.

>Take some time to reconnoiter – how detailed is this illusion, exactly?
>Summon Isoka somewhere out of the way. That should give you a lot of information to work with.
>Check out this chakra-less version of Ōtsutsuki Kaguya, see if she recognizes you.
>Other?
>>
>>4856953
>Take some time to reconnoiter – how detailed is this illusion, exactly?
>>
>>4856953
>>Take some time to reconnoiter – how detailed is this illusion, exactly?
>>
>>4856953
>>Summon Isoka somewhere out of the way. That should give you a lot of information to work with.
>>
>>4856953
>Take some time to reconnoiter – how detailed is this illusion, exactly?
>>
>>4856953
>>Check out this chakra-less version of Ōtsutsuki Kaguya, see if she recognizes you.
>>
>>4856953
>>Check out this chakra-less version of Ōtsutsuki Kaguya, see if she recognizes you.
>>
>>4856953
>Check out this chakra-less version of Ōtsutsuki Kaguya, see if she recognizes you.
>>
>>4856953
>1d6, best three of four
>higher gets you more information
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>4857927
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>4857927
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4857927
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4857927
>>
File: 25157426_p0.jpg (1370 KB, 2172x3072)
1370 KB
1370 KB .jpg
>>4857927
You decide to take a few moments to examine your surroundings in more detail, gently touching the floor with your fingertips and extending your senses as far as you can, drinking in all the details in their shades and complex interplay. What you learn is that no one here other than the four of you who were in the barrier you raised against the Infinite Tsukuyomi possess what you would recognize as chakra. There is no natural energy here to harness for senjutsu either. More specifically, you can’t tell that ‘Kaguya’ has any sort of presence whatsoever. If anything it feels a little like looking at a tiger through the bars of a zoo enclosure – it’s the image of something you know to be dangerous, but there’s no sense of threat and it’s been robbed of any context that could add that element back in.

That is to say, she’s no more ‘real’ than anything else here.

But there is something interesting about her, and that’s the fact that she feels different than the rest of the world. This ‘Kaguya’ exists in this ‘world’ the same way a postscript might be tacked onto the end of a novel, or maybe more precisely the way that a character might be added to a script at the last second.

The world she’s been inserted into ‘feels’ as if it’s related to Ajisai somehow, while ‘Kaguya’ feels like she’s somehow related to you – the latter makes sense only in the context that this is the Infinite Tsukuyomi experience intended for Ajisai, and as part of your interference a copy of Kaguya was woven clumsily into the narrative. It’s a sort of reminder from your own mind that none of this is real, and that you should ignore any appeal the world around you may hold and reject it as the lie that it is.

“A sense of normalcy,” you muse aloud.

“I was… thinking the same,” Ajisai admits.

“This was all created to appeal to some desire of yours,” you put words to your suspicions. “But it’s not real. I can sense that it isn’t.”

“I don’t need to sense it to know it,” Ajisai agrees quietly.

>Then let’s focus on the task at hand – winning this little bracket of matches.
>Do you want to talk about it? ‘Normalcy’ isn’t the worst desire to have.
>I’m still not sure I understand this. We need to consider what happens after we ‘win’.
>Other?
>>
>>4859346
>>Do you want to talk about it? ‘Normalcy’ isn’t the worst desire to have.
>>
>>4859346
>>Do you want to talk about it? ‘Normalcy’ isn’t the worst desire to have.
>>
>>4859346
>>Do you want to talk about it? ‘Normalcy’ isn’t the worst desire to have.
>>
>>4859346
>Do you want to talk about it? ‘Normalcy’ isn’t the worst desire to have.
>>
>>4859346
>Do you want to talk about it? ‘Normalcy’ isn’t the worst desire to have.
>>
>>4859346
>Do you want to talk about it? ‘Normalcy’ isn’t the worst desire to have.
>>
>>4859346
“Yeah no, that’s far from the worst secret desire to have,” you admit, “but still... are you unhappy being a shinobi? Do you want to... I don’t know... talk about it, maybe? If it would help?”

“Naori...” Ajisai frowns, “I... still have memories of my death.”

“And that bothers you. Of course it would bother me too.”

“The only reason I’m here is to help you,” Ajisai admits, “because helping you helps our village, and the world.”

“So after the war you intend to give up being a shinobi,” you realize. “What would you want to do, Ajisai?”

“I think Konan-sama wants me to help run the village,” Ajisai explains, “or at least to start helping.”

“It would be a way to keep helping the village,” you agree. “I’d miss working with you for sure, but I’d rather you be happy.”

“Maybe some day I’d be working for you instead of Konan-sama,” she muses. “I think that’s what she wants.”

>I agree, but I’m not sure it’s what I want.
>I intend to. It’d be a good use for the international reputation I’ve developed.
>It’s more complicated than that. I’m not sure I’m the right person.
>Other?
>>
>>4862684
>It’s more complicated than that. I’m not sure I’m the right person.

Being a bureaucrat for the rest of your life sounds rather hellish
>>
>>4862684
>I agree, but I’m not sure it’s what I want.
Being a compulsive cultivator is always first and foremost since there's ayylmaos on the way
>>
>>4862684
>It’s more complicated than that. I’m not sure I’m the right person.
>>
>>4862684
>>I intend to. It’d be a good use for the international reputation I’ve developed.
>>
>>4862684
>>I intend to. It’d be a good use for the international reputation I’ve developed.
>>
>>4862684
>>I intend to. It’d be a good use for the international reputation I’ve developed.
>>
>>4862684
>It’s more complicated than that. I’m not sure I’m the right person.
>>
>>4862684
>>It’s more complicated than that. I’m not sure I’m the right person.
>>
>>4862684
>>I agree, but I’m not sure it’s what I want.
>>
>>4862684
>It’s more complicated than that. I’m not sure I’m the right person.
>>
>>4862684
>>I intend to. It’d be a good use for the international reputation I’ve developed.
>>
>>4862684
>It’s more complicated than that. I’m not sure I’m the right person
>>
>>4862684
“Yeah no, it’s more complicated than that,” you admit quietly. “I know Konan-sensei wants to see me step in after her – she’s never made that a secret. But I don’t know... I could do it, but I’m not sure I’m the right person.”

“I think you know what she’d say to that.”

“Yeah,” you shrug. “Sure I do. Let’s get back out there and wrap this up.”

...

It all goes fairly close to how you would have imagined: you beat Neji rather badly, then Ajisai loses to Lee, then Naruto and Ryūzetsu fight to a near-standstill that Ryūzetsu narrowly manages to win. The last preliminary is Sasuke against Fū, which is actually a good match. Sasuke manages to narrowly win that on skill, thought you suspect had Fū and the real Sasuke fought using nothing but kenjutsu that Fū would have probably won with her superior physical abilities which she can’t draw on in this scenario.

Next Sasuke manages a narrow victory over Ryūzetsu, which you suppose makes sense, you manage to out-speed and overwhelm Lee for two easy points.

“Told you she was good,” Ryūzetsu smirks to a visibly stunned Sakura as you square off against Sasuke.

“Sorry about this,” you muse, raising your shinai, “but I don’t have time to play around, Sasuke-han.”

...

You are Hyūga Naori, and tonight has been all fun so far. That should’ve been your first hint.

You’re in the middle of one of your favorite songs when the manager of the karaoke bar you and your teammates have come to for a relaxing night off comes to find you.

“What is it?” Kakashi-san asks curiously.

“Lord Fifth is here!” the man hisses at you. “He’s asking for lady Naori!”

“Duty calls,” Yugitō insists calmly as the track continues to play in the background. “We’ll keep the tab open until you come back and tell us otherwise.”

“It’s Tenzō’s turn to pay anyway,” Kakashi-san muses.

Tenzō visibly deflates. “You do these things on purpose, don’t you senpai?”

“Could be.”
>1/2
>>
>>4864582
You find the familiar face waiting for you in the next room, private enough for a discussion related to work you reason.

“Naori-kun,” the Hokage greets you. “Let’s agree first thing to skip the formalities... I find them pretty tiresome, and I know you do too.”

“Nagato-san,” you greet your cousin warmly. “Is there a problem?”

“No,” he insists, “no problems. I just wanted to ask you a favor.”

“Does it have to do with the upcoming chūnin exams?” you muse.

Nagato-san nods thoughtfully. “I was thinking you would do well as an invigilator for the first exam, but I also wanted you to proctor the third stage.”

“Are you sure?” you ask. “I’m still a bit on the young side.”

“The older daughter of Hiashi-dono and Makoto-san,” Nagato begins listing off your qualifications – as if they were news to you. “A sage trained by Jiraiya-sensei himself, a divine prodigy gifted with the byakugan and the Kongō Fūsa... name a better fit for the job and I’ll consider it.”

>You’ll do it.
>You’re not sure about this.
>Other?
>>
>>4864592
>>You’ll do it.
THE PLAN
>>
>>4864592
>>You’re not sure about this.
>>
>>4864592
>You’ll do it.
>>
>>4864592
>>You’ll do it.
>>
>>4864592
>>You’ll do it.
>>
>>4864592
“I’ll do it,” you agree. “How will I be appearing – as a member of the regular forces, or as an ANBU in personal service to the Hokage?”

“It isn’t like anyone doesn’t realize who you are,” your uncle sighs, gesturing vaguely in the direction of your hair. “It’s the same with Yugaō-san and Kakashi-san, and anymore Tenzō-san is too recognizable to bother hiding his identity.”

“Not like Karin’s father,” you shrug, comparing your situations.

“Though her mother would have a similar problem keeping her identity hidden,” Nagato muses.

You frown. “Hey, I’ll have you know I’m proud of my hair.”

“Senjutsu and Kongō Fūsa would be dead giveaways too,” Nagato points out.

“True,” you admit. “So who is in the exams this year, other than Kakashi-san’s team?”

“Kurenai-san, Guy-san, and Asuma-san have all recommended their teams,” Nagato informs you, “and we have a lot of other visiting teams. The Kazekage’s children for one thing, and several teams from Amegakure.”

“Hanzō is sending teams again?” you muse. “How many?”

“Oboro, Shigure, Suiu, Samidare, Kawazu, Yudachi, Nezumi, Ajisai,” Nagato lists off, counting on his fingers. “They’re also sending a jōnin to monitor, since it’s eight full teams this year... are you okay?”

For some reason, at the name Ajisai, your left eye started twitching uncontrollably.

“Fine,” you insist curtly. “What about the other villages? Let’s go ahead and treat this like a briefing since we’re in the same room together.”

“A few teams from Taki, mostly repeats,” Nagato continues, still watching you carefully. “There’s a rookie team kind of like our own batch of rookies – Team Fū.”

That same twitch again, same eye.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Nagato presses. “Could it be eyestrain?”

You shake your head. “I’d have to contrive a way to strain my eyes for it to actually happen.”

“Will you be able to do the job I’m asking?” Nagato asks curiously. “I can have someone else do it, Kakashi-san or Hayate-san maybe.”

>As both the heiress to the Uzumaki clan and a representative of the Hyūga I need to do it.
>Two of those genin’s names seemed to trigger those spasms – I’m eager to put faces to them.
>I feel like something else is going on here. Can I ask you to let me investigate independently?
>Other?
>>
>>4865097
>>Two of those genin’s names seemed to trigger those spasms – I’m eager to put faces to them.
>>
>>4865097
>I feel like something else is going on here. Can I ask you to let me investigate independently?

Time to go grab Ajisai and Fu
>>
>>4865097
>Two of those genin’s names seemed to trigger those spasms – I’m eager to put faces to them.
>>
>>4865097
You nod. “I will. Two of those genin’s names stirred something in me, so I want a chance to put a face to each of them.”

“You recognize them?” Nagato wonders.

“I’m not sure,” you admit. “But I’d like to know for sure.”

“Maybe you could speak with the Elder Toads?” Nagato offers. “They seem to know a lot about things such as that. Lord Gamamaru might even have something to say about it.”

>1d6, best three of four
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4865546
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>4865546
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4865546
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4865546
>>
>>4865097
>>Two of those genin’s names seemed to trigger those spasms – I’m eager to put faces to them.
>>
>>4865546
The toads... that’s right, the toads. Lord Gamamaru once had a prophecy for you. It was a strange one, that one day you would forget who you are and would get some sage advice from a little bird. Words to that effect, at least. So after your uncle leaves you to return to what you were doing, you decide not to do that just yet. You have the room for another fifteen minutes, so you try to summon a ‘little bird’.

“Kuchiyose!”

You don’t weave the hand seals, you don’t offer any blood, you just... kind of do it, and somehow it works. A small colorful bird appears sitting on your outstretched hand, staring at you. Its left eye is a pale-shimmering violet, almost like a pearlescent tone.

You stare back for a moment in mutual confusion, seeing both the bird and yourself from the bird’s perspective. “What is this?”

“Heeeyah!” it shrieks, pecking you angrily with its tiny beak. “Teach you to jerk me around! Where’s the real Naori-san, you faker!”

“I’m not faking anything!” you insist, trying to shoo the bird off without actually smacking it out of the air. “I’m Naori, Uzumaki Naori! Wait, no, Hyūga Naori!”

“Hyūga!?” the bird repeats, flitting around just out of your reach. “Hair like that you’re an Uzumaki for sure. But you think you’re a Hyūga? And what gives with the uniform, since when are you from Konoha?”

“Am I not supposed to be?”

“No, no!” the bird insists. “You’re from Amegakure!”

Amegakure? Wasn’t one of the names...

“Do I know someone named Ajisai?”

“One of your childhood friends!” the bird chirps.

“And Fū, from Takigakure?”

“Another of your friends,” the bird insists. “She’s a...”

“Jinchūriki,” you complete the thought, before staring at yourself through the bird’s eyes. “How could I possibly know that? And how is it I’m seeing through your eyes?”

“Must have something to do with your new eye,” the bird suggests. “I mean, that thing isn’t normal... it’s all shiny and purply.”

“So is yours.”

The bird stares at you in shock. “It is!?”
>1/2
>>
>>4865776
You find a small mirror in one of the pockets on your flak jacket, and take a look at yourself in it. One eye, your left, is that same pearlescent tone as the one in the bird’s eye – it’s the one that hurt before, and you also see that it has no pupil. If you had to compare it to something it looks like a slight variation on the byakugan that you’re supposed to have there. But the one in your right eye is totally wrong, it’s a mangekyō sharingan.

How did you know that?

“Naori-san, are you okay?”

The bird flits about, agitated at the sudden interruption by your teammates and Kakashi-san, and you quickly shut your eyes and pretend to be resting, thinking to yourself deeply.

“What’s happening here?” Yugaō asks, staring at you, then at the bird. “Who’s this?”

“I summoned her,” you insist calmly, “just a misunderstanding. Komachi, Towa, I want you to stop by the office and pick up files on the visiting chūnin candidates. Have them on my desk first thing in the morning. Yugaō, Tenzō, get some rest. I’ll decide who’s going to lead the unit in my absence and let you know my decision in the morning.”

“You’re dismissed.”

“Are you...” Towa begins, only for you to cut him off.

“Sooner you get those files on my desk, sooner you can get to bed. Dismissed, Towa.”

Kakashi, of course, isn’t in your chain of command anymore. You can’t get rid of him that easily.

“How is it you came by Shisui-san’s eye?” he muses with a frown. “And does Shisui-san know about this?”

>What do you mean, hasn’t Shisui-han been dead for a long time?
>I’ve been practicing cosmetic changes, for working in public.
>... I need you to keep quiet about this, Kakashi.
>Other?
>>
>>4865840
truth, lie, or delay
>>What do you mean, hasn’t Shisui-han been dead for a long time?
>>
>>4865840
>What do you mean, hasn’t Shisui-han been dead for a long time?
>>
>>4865840
>What do you mean, hasn’t Shisui-han been dead for a long time?
>>
>>4865840
>Other
No. He doesn't know . . . He can't because he's dead. He died shortly after Shimura Danzo sabotaged his mission to prevent Uchiha Fugaku from leading a coup d'état against the village and stole this eye from him before Shisui could escape. I took it from Danzo.
>>
>>4865840
“Shisui-han is dead, isn’t he?” you frown, carefully cradling the left side of your face. “He died years ago, in the coup attempt.”

Kakashi stares at you. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Fine,” you insist. “So what about Shisui-san?”

“The coup never happened,” Kakashi insists. “Uchiha Fugaku-dono had a change of heart... a few still made an attempt, but Fugaku-dono and Itachi-san dealt with them pretty quickly and there hasn’t been a problem since then.”

“Itachi must’ve told you all this at some point?”

“Why do you say that?” you frown.

“Well, the two of you are...” Kakashi gestures vaguely. “Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about that too?”

You and Uchiha Itachi have been romantically involved for the last year or so... you feel like that’s true, but you don’t remember many of the details, or any of them really. You also remember him having been killed by Sasuke. Much like how you know that the Uchiha clan wasn’t wiped out, but you have memories of them having been destroyed by Itachi to prevent the coup that evidently failed. You clearly have Shisui’s eye in your left orbit, but so does Shisui-han.

“I can’t reconcile the fact that Shisui-han and I are both using his eyes,” you frown, “but Lord Gamamaru did tell me once that I would forget who I was, and that a little bird would be the one to remind me. That’s literally happening right now.”

“My name is Isoka,” the bird insists. “I’m a...”

“Shrike,” you fill in the blank. “You’re a shrike.”

“That’s right!” she chirps. “You summoned me to fight with you in these chūnin exams.”

“The crowd laughed at first,” you recall. “They weren’t laughing by the end of it.”

“You’re starting to remember!”

>What is this, why do I have two sets of memories?
>These eyes. How did I get them, according to you?
>Keep this quiet, Kakashi-han. I need time to think.
>Other?
>>
>>4866207
>What is this, why do I have two sets of memories?
>>
>>4866207
>>These eyes. How did I get them, according to you?
>>
>>4866207
>>What is this, why do I have two sets of memories?
>>
>>4866207
>These eyes. How did I get them, according to you?
>>
>>4866207
>>What is this, why do I have two sets of memories?
>>
>>4866207
>These eyes. How did I get them, according to you?
>>
>>4866207
“I have a dilemma,” you muse, “two sets of memories that are incompatible, and only one of them can be true – at most.”

“The ones the bird told you about,” Kakashi insists curtly.

“Wait,” Isoka chirps, doing something of a double-take. “What?”

“Unfortunately I agree,” you nod. “I shouldn’t have been able to summon Isoka-han, nor should I have Shisui-han’s eye, if my life in Konohagakure was the truth. And to the extent I can make sense of it, it’s her account that feels most consistent.”

You spare Isoka a glance. “So what do you know about how I got these eyes?”

“One you got from Itachi-san when you were younger,” she tells you, “after he rescued you or something, I wasn’t there. The other one you nabbed from that Danzō jerkass at the Five Kage summit.”

Now you glance at Kakashi-han. “Comments?”

“Lord Danzō was killed in the last war by Hanzō the Salamander,” Kakashi informs you, “and I don’t know how Itachi-san would have a spare sharingan just lying around even if he had ever rescued you... or something.”

“A spare eye...” you muse. “Uchiha Izumi.”

“Has been dead since the attempted coup,” Kakashi supplies the missing information. “She and Itachi were close as children, she was killed in the fighting.”

“I remember now,” you realize, “grafts of my own tissues and a genetic framework supplied by... ah.”

Kaguya, the celestial being of the ancient legends.

“It’s starting to make sense,” you realize. “Yeah... it’s coming back now, a bit at a time.”

>I need to speak to Karin immediately, where can I find her?
>No... you need to wait for the right moment, and that’s during the exams.
>You have a smart man here. Kakashi can help you figure out how to ‘win’.
>Other?
>>
>>4867298
>>You have a smart man here. Kakashi can help you figure out how to ‘win’.
>>
>>4867298
>You have a smart man here. Kakashi can help you figure out how to ‘win’
>>
>>4867298
>>You have a smart man here. Kakashi can help you figure out how to ‘win’.
>>
>>4867298
>>You have a smart man here. Kakashi can help you figure out how to ‘win’.
fingers crossed for not!Bakashi
>>
>>4867298
>>You have a smart man here. Kakashi can help you figure out how to ‘win’.
>>
>>4867298
>You have a smart man here. Kakashi can help you figure out how to ‘win’.
>>
>>4867340
>1d6, best three of five
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4868074
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4868074
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>4868074
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4868074
so far, OOF
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>4868074
GO HIGH
>>
Wow.
>>
>>4868074
“So yeah… you’re one of the smarter people I know,” you frown, “and you seem to be handling this well so far. Do you mind if I bounce a few ideas off of you?”

Kakashi ponders for a moment before making his decision. “Perhaps it would be better to speak somewhere different?”

“Where did you have in mind?”



Hatake Kakashi’s apartment turns out to be a rather modest affair, not quite a studio but clearly the residence of a man with no intention of starting a family or even having many guests on a regular basis. It’s one sitting room with an open kitchen separated by a bar, a small balcony, and his bedroom past a door in the back of the sitting room. There’s only a half-bathroom with a door at the far end of the kitchen for guests, and he hasn’t particularly decorated it – apart from two photographs sitting on a shelf in the sitting room.

One, a picture of his current team of genin – Uchiha Setsuna, Haruno Sentarō, and your distant cousin Naruko. The other, an older photograph of his old team – a young man who has the hair and eyes of an Uchiha, a pleasant-looking young girl, and his former sensei, Lord Fourth.

… wait a minute.

“How bizarre,” you frown. “I just realized that your team is another point of divergence.”

“How so?” Kakashi-han wonders. “In terms of who ended up on that team?”

“Not exactly,” you shake your head. “In my other set of memories they’re Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura.”

“All opposites?” Kakashi stares at you in confusion. “That one’s pretty odd, all things considered.”

“It doesn’t look like their personalities changed that much,” you admit, “Setsuna and Sasuke are both ‘cool loners’, Naruko and Naruto are both bratty, and I don’t think very much of Sentarō or Sakura.”

“So why would that change have taken place?” Kakashi-han wonders. “It seems fairly specific to be totally arbitrary.”

“It’s another piece of evidence that something is off, for sure,” you muse. “It’s almost like someone’s leaving breadcrumbs.”
>1/2
>>
>>4868347
“Assuming for a moment that this is a uniquely powerful and sophisticated genjutsu,” Kakashi-han offers, “it makes sense that you would be leaving those ‘breadcrumbs’ for yourself. The only way a technique like that could work is by relying on the victim’s own mind and memories to fill in any blanks.”

“So my own mind is trying to counter it by supplying details that I won’t believe?” you muse.

“It would make sense, though the mental discipline required would be nothing short of astounding. If you weren’t a sage I’d doubt it.”

“I think I’m beginning to recall some details,” you frown. “I’m not the only one trapped like this am I, Isoka-han?”

“I was stuck in a genjutsu like this too,” she confirms. “But nobody else was stuck in my illusion with me if that’s what you’re asking.”

“So unless this trap that has a hold on you is also a spacetime technique,” Kakashi muses, “it seems like there’s something else going on here. Something you did probably interfered.”

“Ajisai and Fū,” you realize. “Two more breadcrumbs I left… why would I choose those two names? Surely I knew plenty of other people in Amegakure if I grew up there, so why Ajisai?”

“You think they might have been trapped inside the same dream?” Kakashi muses.

“You were together when things started going wacky,” Isoka chirps, “so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were here too!”

“Here’s a theory,” Kakashi-han declares, taking out a notepad and a pen and drawing a simple schematic. “Let’s say there were three people close to one another, and one person further away, who were all exposed to the same wide-area genjutsu. A powerful one, like a mangekyō sharingan ability. Then let’s say that one of the three close together raised a barrier and partially blocked the genjutsu somehow – the person on the outside would have caught the full effect of it.”

“And so when I summoned Isoka-han it brought her physically into the barrier,” you realize, “protecting her the same as I was protecting myself and anyone else. Maybe a Kongō Fūsa barrier of some kind.”

Kakashi-han nods. “But… if there were several of you all trapped together, stuck inside each other’s hallucinations…”

>1d6, DC 10
>Taking the first three
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4868533
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4868533
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>4868533
>>
>>4868533
>SP: 6/6
>ES: 0(0T)
>Take 2ES and use 2SP
>Take 1ES and use 3SP
>Use 4SP
>Fail
>>
>>4868582
>>Take 2ES and use 2SP
>>
>>4868582
>>Take 1ES and use 3SP
>>
>>4868582
>Use 4SP
>>
>>4868582
>>Take 2ES and use 2SP
>>
>>4868582
>>Take 2ES and use 2SP
>>
>>4868533
>>Take 2ES and use 2SP
>>
>>4868582
>>Take 2ES and use 2SP
>>
>>4868582
>Take 2ES and use 2SP
>>
Trip 3s then trip 2s, can we get good triples please?