Chapter - 422 - Otogakure
While Kuroto was busy dealing with the matters of selling the Byakugan and paying off Senju Tsunade’s debts, two newly created teams of Akatsuki, consisting of Kaguya Takashi, with Chinoike Mageta and Hoshigaki Kisame with Yuki Kahyo were also making their move in the newly reformed country, the Land of Sound.
The mission of these two teams is to eliminate Orochimaru, and according to the intelligence given to the four by Tobi Senior, their target, Orochimaru was spotted in this country several times.
After arriving at the border of the Land of Sound, and Land of Fire, the four did not rush into the Land of Sound, instead, they hid in the forest around the border waiting for the arrival of the leader of the team.
As per the instructions given to them by the one called Zetsu, an official member of the organization will meet up with them in this small forest, and then the five of them will venture deeper into the Land of Sound to eliminate Orochimaru.
But they have been waiting for quite a while now, and yet there has been no sign of this so-called leader, which has made Takashi a bit impatient, "Is anyone going to come, or are we left alone just like what happened last time? If this continues to happen, then it’s going to be really annoying."
Kisame said with a smirk, "Perhaps our captain had to face some problem and couldn’t come at the right time, just like the last time."
Kahyo was silent and watched the discussion of the other three while sitting on a rock protrusion.
At this moment, Mageta said, "Everyone stays on guard, someone is approaching."
Not long after Mageta’s words, a figure appeared in front of them.
Similar to the other four, he too wore the Akatsuki turtleneck cloak and had a large broadsword strapped on his back, this was none other than Biwa Juzo, one of the former seven swordsmen of Kirigakure.
The four were surprised when they noticed the person who appeared before them.
Kisame said, "Ah… I did not expect Juzo-senpai to be the leader of this mission. Does Akatsuki want us Kiri nuke-nin to stick together or something?"
Juzo sighed, "Don’t ask me… I really did not want to do this, but the leader’s order… so anyway, the five of us will search this country to find any traces of the traitor Orochimaru, and kill him." And announced the content of the mission.
The four nodded, they were very well aware of this.
Juzo looked at them with a helpless expression, he did really want to deal with other Kirigakure shinobi, but what can he do, orders are orders, and he has to follow them.
In fact, aside from Obito’s intention of reuniting the former Kiri shinobi, one of the main reasons why Akatsuki sent him is a different story altogether.
It was because of Obito’s supposed death. It was him who kept Ni’i Yugito, the Jinchuriki of Nibi in Genjutsu, but because Obito ‘died’ at the hands of Homusubi, so the Genjutsu on Yugito was released, as such, she regained consciousness, and obviously she tried to escape.
Nagato and Konan were not present at the base, because Nagato had to get familiar with his new strength, similarly, Sasori had to create and repair all his puppets, and get familiar with the new form of puppetry. The same was the case with almost all the other members of Akatsuki, so the only person keeping watch over Ni’i Yugito in the immediate vicinity was a Zetsu Clone and Kakuzu.
Ni’i Yugito tried to sneak out but couldn’t because of Zetsu Clone, angered and ashamed for what becoming a puppet, Yugito completely liberated the Nibi in an attempt to forcefully break out of the base, Nibi fully cooperated with her so the power Yugito displayed was that of a perfect Jinchuriki, which was much more than what Kakazu alone could have handled, and then we all know how that went, Kakuzu was thrashed brutally, even if he is strong and has five lives, it didn’t change anything because a cat has nine.
Four of the five hearts Kakuzu had recently stolen to restock his hearts after the Summit War were destroyed by Yugito, in fact, the last heart would have also been destroyed as well if not for the fact that he managed to sneak inside the earth in time and Uchiha Shinichi and Hiruko who were called by Zetsu Clone came out and suppressed the feline in due time.
Although Yugito was controlled, however, the damage done to the poor Kakazu couldn’t be undone, it was only a few days ago that he restocked all the five hearts and planned to go on a few bounty missions to acquire some of his dearest wealth, but those warm hearts that he worked so hard to acquire were lost again.
Afterward, Akatsuki learned the reason why Yugito managed to break free of the Genjutsu.
However, this incident also made them understand that just a Genjutsu is not enough to keep the Jinchuriki in check because once the caster is in a serious problem the control over the Jinchuriki would weaken. And that’s where Nagato comes in, with his Black Chakra receivers, Nagato would be able to keep the Jinchuriki in check, but it would take some time for Nagato to complete his training session and come back, so until then both Shinichi and Obito/Tobi Junior are supposed to keep Yugito in check.
And since Shinichi had to keep watch over Yugito, as such Juzo was free for the time being, therefore, he was sent by Akatsuki to the Land of Sound as the leader of the four new members, his objective was to assess the abilities of the new members and also aid them in eliminating Orochimaru, if possible.
Akatsuki is not so adamant about eliminating Orochimaru, firstly because they too understand that Killing Orochimaru is not so easy, even if Orochimaru can be defeated, but killing him is another matter altogether. And the second reason is that Black Zetsu has secretly taken interest in one of the Kinjutsu Orochimaru is researching.
So, sending these five members after Orochimaru is also for the purpose of testing out that newly created Kinjutsu.
Of course, the five of them are unaware of all the plans, and without any more delay, and ventured deeper in the direction of the Land of Sound, in search of Otogakure.
These five are yet not aware, but Otogakure isn’t actually a real shinobi village, but a network of laboratories composed of various hideouts and bases scattered throughout the Land of Sound and various other countries including the Land of Wind, the Land of Grass, the Land of Waves, the Land of Rivers, the Land of Sea, as well as the Land of Demon along with a few other countries.
After a day and night of search based on the intelligence given to them by Tobi Senior, the five of them finally arrived at a Village, which according to them is somehow connected to this mysterious Shinobi Village called Otogakure that is further connected to Orochimaru in some way.
This is a small dilapidated village, most of the houses here seem to have been burnt down, and the others have been collapsed. From the first look, it appears as if the village has been abandoned for years.
After taking a look around, Kisame asked in confusion, "What would Orochimaru be doing in a place like this?"
Kahyo said in an indifferent tone, "Perhaps looking for something?"
Juzo thought about Kahyo’s words, and they seem reasonable with Orochimaru’s character, so he instructed, "Look around more carefully, it’s possible that we might find some clues that would point us to Orochimaru."
But different from the other four, Mageta frowned upon looking at the village, then said, "What we are seeing is not real, it’s a Genjutsu!"
"A Genjutsu?" Everyone exclaimed and instantly disrupted their Chakra.
Following the chakra disruption, the sight before them changed completely, they were not present in a village but were in a forest, and were surrounded by many shinobi.
Each of them was dressed in unusual clothing that does not belong to any known shinobi village. Their uniform consisted of light lavender color, and the common part of their clothing was a rope-like belt tied in an inverted bow around their waist. Additionally, they also wore a forehead protector with the symbol of a musical note.
Kahyo asked in confusion, "What are children doing here?"
What made them frown more is the fact that these shinobi were young children between the age of 7 to 13, even the oldest of them seemed to be only about 16 years old.
The eldest of the children, the one with short brown hair asked, "Who are you people and what are you doing here?"
Mageta asked, "Are you children shinobi of the newly established Otogakure?"
The eldest of them nodded, and asked, "Yes, and what do you people want from us?"
Takashi asked Juzo, "What to do with these children?"
Juzo put his hand on the hilt of Kubikiribocho, and said, "They are just children, what’s there to think about? Just eliminate them!"
But Kahyo immediately interrupted Juzo, "No! They are just children, our target is Orochimaru, nobody said about killing young children!"
Juzo said, "I don’t care if they are children or not, we need information about Orochimaru’s whereabouts, and they are likely to have it… so there is no reason to let them escape."
In their eyes, whether children or not, it does not matter, what matters is completing the mission.
But Kahyo still shook her head, and said in a chilling tone that clearly stated that she won’t accept otherwise, "Even if that is true, they shouldn’t be killed, incapacitate or knock them unconscious, but no one will kill them!"
Feeling the decreasing temperature around their surroundings, the other four looked at each other helplessly, Juzo said with a helpless sigh, "Do as she says, do not kill them, knock them unconscious and tie them up."
The other three nodded, then started to move with the intention of quickly knocking down the kids. it’s just that nobody here truly understands that these kids are not so simple, and even a moment of hesitation against these children will result in death.
After all, these children have been personally trained by Orochimaru.