Chapter 95: Slaying Asuma, One Can Be My Teacher
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Deep in the Land of Fire’s forest, Sarutobi Asuma was running desperately. This place was far from the Fire Capital. The full moon in the night sky was like a goddess’ eye, coldly looking down at Earth.
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The forest was filled with terrifying chirping sounds of insects and birds, as well as the roars of wild beasts. Some time back, Asuma had seen the terrifying lightning above the Fire Capital from a distance. He had a bad premonition in his heart.
"No, that guy is so strong, how can anything happen to him?" Asuma could only console himself like this as he thought of his elder brother Sarutobi Shinnosuke. After running for so long, his stamina had exhausted. He looked around vigilantly, and after making sure no one was following him, he stopped and rested.
He placed his hands on his knees to support himself and panted. Cold sweat from his forehead flowed down his cheeks. Even though a ninja’s physique was supposed to be extraordinary, he had been running as fast as he could for too long. It was too much for the current Asuma who was not even a genin.
Just as he relaxed, a cold wind, carrying the forest’s humidity blew against his body from behind. It was particularly chilling. Feeling anxious and fearful, Asuma turned his head to look. He just saw the moon still hanging above his head, emitting cold light, adding a forlorn filter to the late hour.
The woods were so thick that even the moonlight was unable to rid the darkness, which felt like a deep abyss, full of dangers. Asuma’s mouth felt dry and his body was a little cold. He rubbed his hands together, and said, "I don’t think anyone is chasing after me."
Although he said that, his heart was beating wildly. It was as if his subconscious was sending him warning signals. He wiped the cold sweat from his forehead and dragged his tired body to find a tree hole. The damp hole was filled with a rotten smell, with many insects sticking inside.
As Asuma got into the hole, the insects wandered around his body, making him extremely itchy. Despite this, to not be discovered, Asuma didn’t dare react and forcibly restrained himself.
If the pursuers found him, his end would be a lot more miserable than his current situation. Today’s dream-like experience had already worn him out, both mentally and physically.
Along with the chirpings of birds and insects in the forest, Asuma’s eyes gradually closed, and he fell asleep in the tree hole.
After an unknown period of time, he was awakened by the insects in the tree hole. Unable to bear it any longer, he reached out his hand and grabbed a few of them from his body.
Suddenly, he was startled. From the tree hole, he could see that it was still late at night outside. However, although he could remember there were insects and birds sounds outside before he fell asleep, it was all completely silent now.
This place was deep inside the forest, where many insects, birds, and beasts gathered. It was abnormal to be this quiet. The surrounding was so terrifyingly still that Asuma could hear his heartbeats.
Badam, badam, badam…
It was like a heavy hammer, distinctly loud in this deadly silent environment. Asuma could feel his back was drenched with cold sweat, and his forehead was also covered with fine sweat drops. He tried his best to adjust his rapid breathing to calm himself. He even comforted himself, saying the silence might just be a special natural phenomenon.
"Perhaps, I’m thinking too much. When I wake up from my sleep again, everything will be fine."
A short time later, Asuma’s mood gradually stabilized. But just when he wanted to continue to sleep…
A shadow appeared at the tree hole’s entrance. Asuma’s heart stopped for a moment. His eyes widened, and even the insects on his body seemed to have stilled. His breathing was ragged, and his face was pale with fright.
After a while, he saw what the shadow was. It turned out it was just a white pigeon. The pigeon tilted and lowered its head and pecked a few insects, then spread its wings and flew away.
Asuma hung his head, gasping for breath. The frightened look on his face was still there and he laughed at himself. "That scared me to death. Why am I so timid? It’s just a pigeon."
By now Asuma’s entire body was soaked in sweat and he felt very uncomfortable.
"Wait, do pigeons eat insects?" A question appeared in Asuma’s mind, and he looked up subconsciously.
Asuma’s pupils suddenly dilated, and his heartbeat instantly stopped. With the help of the faint moonlight spilling through the gaps among the leaves, he vaguely saw a deathly pale face that was almost touching his face.
Because of the dim environment and the distance being too close, Asuma was unable to see the other person’s appearance. He only felt as if a pair of invisible hands were choking his neck, and he was about to suffocate.
He opened his mouth in horror, but couldn’t make any sound. In the next moment, the eyes of that human face became scarlet, and three tomoe slowly spun.
"Asuma, why are you here?" A slightly familiar voice pulled Asuma back from his state of extreme fear. Slowly, he returned to his senses.
"You bastard, why are you here? Do you know how scary it is when someone suddenly brings their face this close?" Asuma lowered his voice and angrily asked.
Uchiha Tonan pulled his head back from the tree hole. Although his face was pale, his expression was unusually gentle. He adjusted his glasses and replied, "I came here to look for you. I’m sorry for scaring you."
Meeting an acquaintance in such a dangerous situation eased off much of Asuma’s tension. Seeing Tonan’s fearless appearance, he immediately raised his head and solemnly asked, "You also fled?"
Tonan smiled and said nothing. Asuma looked around for a while and warned, "We should be careful, lest we attract the people of the Fire Capital. Do you know what happened to Shinnosuke?"
Tonan didn’t answer his question but asked with a smile, "Asuma, I wanted to ask you something, can I?"
"What?" Asuma kept patting off the insects stuck on his body. Tonan tilted his head and said, "Apart from Shinnosuke-senpai, who does Hokage-sama appreciate the most?"
Asuma frowned, a little dissatisfied with Tonan speaking so loudly. What if that attracted the enemies?
He replied in a hushed voice, "That goes without saying, it’s definitely Orochimaru-sama. I heard the old man say that Orochimaru-sama is the disciple he is the proudest of."
Tonan nodded in realization and muttered, "It seems Hokage-sama cares very much about legacy and inheritance."
Immediately afterward, he narrowed his eyes slightly, and the corners of his mouth rose, "Thank you for clearing up my doubts. To express my gratitude, I’ll send you on your way with my own hands."
Before Asuma could even understand what Tonan said, a white light flashed and his head rolled to the ground. And without a moment’s delay, a group of pitch-black ferocious birds flew over from all directions. Some surrounded his head, and some rushed into the tree hole.
Tonan unhurriedly took out a handkerchief and gently wiped off the blood from his chakra tanto. He sighed, "Sure enough, if three walk together, one can be my teacher."
Tonan put the chakra tanto back into the sheath. Then, walking towards the Fire Capital, his figure gradually disappeared into the darkness.
Behind him, only the sounds of tearing filled the desolate forest.