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Chapter: 98


Chapter 98: Utterly Helpless, Returning Home

Mitocado Homura and Utatane Koharu looked at each other and raised their hands silently. Sarutobi Hiruzen counted, "Three to one — the vote is passed. Dispatch ten Anbu squads immediately to the Fire Capital."

Since the matter was already decided, Danzo snorted, "Hiruzen, you are muddled by your rage. The Land of Fire will definitely fall into internal disorder by doing this and you’ll regret it."

Danzo turned around to leave but Hiruzen’s eyes turned colder. He said in a gloomy tone, "Danzo, if you dare walk out that door, I’ll begin a high-leveled vote to abolish your right to control the Root."

Danzo’s footsteps immediately halted. He turned his head and stared straight at Hiruzen with a look of disbelief, "Are you actually threatening me?"

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Seeing the situation turning worse, Homura and Koharu hastily mediated.

"Alright Hiruzen, calm down."

"Danzo, you take a step back as well. The First Highness is not the Daimyo yet. Don’t damage your friendship because of an outsider."

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Being caught between these two people was not a good feeling.

Danzo snorted but he stood still. He didn’t leave. In the end, he admitted his defeat. Just then, there was a knock on the office door.

"Come in."

An Anbu walked in and knelt on one knee, "Hokage-sama, according to the latest intel from the Fire Capital, the First Highness executed the Second Highness last night. In addition, after two days of search, we found traces of a large-scale battle in the forest outside the Fire Capital. Calculating the time, it coincides with when Asuma escaped."

Hiruzen’s eyes were wide open hearing this. He gasped for breath and lost consciousness. "Hiruzen!" The three people including Danzo quickly supported the Hokage. Fortunately, Hiruzen just fainted for a while and woke up shortly after.

His first sentence on gaining consciousness was, "What about Abe Seimei?"

The Anbu kneeling on the ground calmly replied, "Abe Seimei has disappeared without a trace after the battle. It’s like he vanished from the world. According to the news spread by the Daimyo Residence, it is suspected that the use of a forbidden jutsu led to him to exhaust his lifespan."

Koharu thought for a bit and consoled, "According to the intelligence, this Abe Seimei is far stronger than Shinnosuke. If such a person wants to hide, ordinary ninjas cannot find him. Moreover, the intelligence also says that Seimei is at least seventy years old. Since such an old person used a terrifying forbidden jutsu, I think he might not be able to bear the side effects. Chances are that he’s already dead."

Hiruzen couldn’t vent the fury in his heart. He unwillingly said, "If he is dead, I want to see his corpse."

The back-to-back bad news about his sons had given him a huge blow. He couldn’t accept it. Koharu sighed, "In that case, let’s send people to look for Abe Seimei’s traces."

Hiruzen took a deep breath and closed his eyes, "Forget it, send more people to look for Asuma. I’m tired. You all, go out… leave me alone."

The three of them looked at each other and tacitly left the office, giving Hiruzen space. Hiruzen had wanted to capture and bring Abe Seimei and First Highness to Konoha to deal with them. But he hadn’t expected Naraku to be so decisive that he would kill Nahara at the first chance he got.

If the First Highness was arrested now, the Land of Fire wouldn’t have a Daimyo.

Konoha had taken the initiative to implement the one village, one country system. If Hiruzen wanted to challenge it, he would encounter mass opposition. There was a high probability that he wouldn’t be able to destroy the Daimyo Residence but instead he, the Hokage, would be impeached and be forced to step down.

It was no good if he supported a puppet Daimyo either. There would still be turmoil in the Land of Fire. The number of civilians was much larger than that of ninjas. Besides, the Daimyo Residence has many loyal subordinates. Although their overall strength was inferior to Konoha, their industries spread all over the Ninja World.

If they took the lead to move to another big country, then Konoha would be in trouble. Hiruzen was destined to be unable to make a move against the First Highness. He could only turn to Seimei to vent his anger. But not to mention Seimei’s location, whether he was alive or dead too was unknown. Hiruzen felt suffocated. It was extremely uncomfortable.

He only hoped that Asuma didn’t die but instead hid in a corner and was finally found by the Konoha ninja. Hiruzen sat alone on a chair. He looked a little dazed. "Shinnosuke… Asuma…"

The next day, at Konoha’s entrance gate, just as Uchiha Tonan crossed the barrier, three Anbu appeared in front of him, "Uchiha Tonan, please head to the Hokage Residence immediately."

Tonan nodded his head and used the Body Flicker Technique to comply. The three Anbu followed closely behind him. Walking into the Hokage office, he saw that Hiruzen was staring at him with an impassive face.

When his gaze collided with Hiruzen’s gaze, he immediately lowered his head, looking sad. Hiruzen glanced behind Tonan. The three Anbu immediately understood Hiruzen and left after closing the door.

Tonan walked to the desk with his head lowered, handed the mission sheet to Hiruzen, and took a few steps back, opening a distance. It was as if he was afraid of something. Hiruzen looked down, looked at the mission sheet, and read, "Mission failed."

Tonan bit his lower lip and said, "I was kicked out."

Hiruzen blew out a mouthful of smoke. He no longer had his usual kind look. Looking rather cold, he said, "Tell me what you did in the Fire Capital. Speak in detail. Don’t miss even the smallest part, I want to know everything."

Tonan nodded and began to tell the story calmly. "On the first day, I noticed something was wrong with the Vice Captain, then…"

"After the human trafficking organizations were wiped out, I felt bad for the orphans, so I took them in to raise them. Then, I dispatched people to investigate other underground organizations…"

"That day, I posted a recruitment notice because I wanted to find a good teacher for the orphans. Many people came. One of them was a person who claimed to be Abe Seimei…"

Hiruzen suddenly raised his eyebrows, noticing something was amiss in Tonan’s words. He interrupted, "Wait a minute… claimed to be?"

Tonan nodded and took out two photos from his ninja bag, handing them to Hiruzen. "This is Abe Seimei’s photo from a long time ago and this is a photo taken when he was applying for the residence permit."

Hiruzen picked up the two photos and examined them. One was a black and white photo and the other was color. The people in the two photos were very different in age but at just a glance, it was not difficult to see they were indeed the same person.

However, Hiruzen continuously compared those two photos and frowned. He felt something was wrong. "It’s strange."


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