Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Sasuke and Chiome」
Two figures ran across Tajiento’s rooftops.
The young man in the lead was a member of the cat-eared race, wearing black clothes that covered his entire body. His red eyes and expressionless face gave him a wraith-like appearance.
A cat-eared girl chasing after him wore black clothes similar to the ones worn by the young man.
The girl’s blue eyes never left the young man’s back as she leaped from rooftop to rooftop.
The two were disciples who had trained together. When the girl’s parents died, the young man took her in as his sister and she loved him like a true older brother.
The young man had been proud of his sister when she became one of the six great ninja’s of the Blade Heart Clan…… However, as he was right now, Sasuke didn’t remember anything about her.
Finally having been able to find him after his disappearance, it was discovered that he’d become an undead, a existence detested in this world.
An undead…… someone who no longer belonged to the world of the living. The envy they felt towards the living caused them to spread death wherever they went.
Nothing more than a soulless corpse.
However, the person reflected in her eye was the same one she always knew.
The scoldings they received from Hanzo-sama, the time times they ate pork miso soup together…… nothing had changed since then.
Chiome used her water ninjutsu to throw water shurikens at Sasuke’s feet, but he simply leaped into the air and threw a wind blade in response.
However, Sasuke was caught off guard by the flame arrow that was shot at him from behind shortly after he landed.
When he turned in the direction the arrow came from, he saw the figure of Ariane quickly approaching from a nearby rooftop.
The arrow of fire she had created closed in on Sasuke, but he easily avoided it with a slight movement, as if it hadn’t affected him at all.
The Arrow of Fire swept ineffectively past Sasuke and hit the roof, the impact spreading countless pools of fire all around him, as a Lance of Fire suddenly fell straight out of the sky, trying to hit him from a blind spot.
Sasuke, who had been distracted by the Arrow of Flame, had a delayed reaction to the attack and was forced to escape the point of impact by kicking the air in awkward position.
When the spear hit the roof, the explosion knocked roof tiles into the air and created a large hole in the impact zone.
Confronted with Ariane’s actions, Chiome started to shout.
“Ariane-dono, wait! That’s my brother……!”
Ariane gave Chiome a sharp look when the girl said that.
“Chiome-chan, you already know, don’t you? The person you knew is already gone.”
Ariane’s voice had a low and sharp tone to it as she looked directly into Chiome’s blue eyes.
Chiome eyes flickered between Ariane and Sasuke as she contemplated what had been said.
She started to question her own hesitation. Sasuke took advantage of her confusion to draw the twin swords from his waist and attack her.
While she was able to dodge the first strike and fend off the second one with her dagger, Sasuke kicked Chiome in the stomach before leaping to the next roof.
Coughing up blood, Chiome could only fall down and absentmindedly watch as the distance between her and Sasuke widened.
Wisps of flame flickered all over Ariane’s body and transformed into multiple flame arrows that were shot at Sasuke’s back.
However, Sasuke kicked the air and dodged them while simultaneously pulling shuriken from his breast pouch before hurling them at her.
Sasuke’s forte was controlling the trajectory of projectiles.
Time seemed to slow to a near standstill as Chiome watched the shuriken approach her chest.
The gentle smile Sasuke had when she couldn’t hit the targets as he taught her how to throw a shuriken crossed her mind.
He would stay with her until sunset while they trained…… the perfect example of a senior disciple.
Whenever she sulked after being unable to land a single hit on her sparring partner, he would offer her a troubled smile. The face of Sasuke from back then was replaced with the indifferent-looking person in front of her.
The sound of metal clashing interrupted Chiome’s thoughts and the shuriken Sasuke had thrown fell to the stone pavement below.
Ariane’s shout returned Chiome to the present, and she noticed she was clenching her own dagger.
A tiny smile appeared on Chiome’s face as she realized she had reflexively blocked the shuriken.
Her blue eyes drifted from her dagger to the face of the red-eyed man in front of her.
The wind blowing between them carried the sound of a far-off conflict.
Ariane stepped between the two of them as she called out to Chiome again.
“Chiome-chan fall back! I’ll deal with him!”
However, the sudden appearance of two black giants caught all three of them off guard when their combined roar started rocking the entire area.
The giants’ chest eyes all focused on Sasuke and they started to charge him with their axes raised above their heads.
The giant’s considerable weight collapsed the roof as they ran, causing them to fall into the building.
But the giants were so angry they simply began destroying the surrounding buildings with their axes.
As the building collapsed it produced an avalanche of rubble that affected the whole area.
As the giants fell along with the collapsing building, Ariane used her spirit magic to create a solid foothold out of earth, and Chiome leaped to another building moments before it came crashing down.
Sasuke had leaped into the sky and was now just standing in the air, observing the situation.
However, he immediately lost interest and began kicking the air to escape.
Suddenly a star-shaped shuriken was thrown at Sasuke from his blind spot and embedded itself into his foot.
When the foreign element entered his body, his balance was thrown off, causing him to fall on top of the rubble heap.
Seeing what happened, ariane’s eyes widened in surprise as she looked at the person who had thrown that shuriken.
The one who had thrown that shuriken had been Chiome.
“Are you alright? Are you gonna be able to do this?”
Ariane worryingly called out to Chiome, but she simply shook her head and answered.
“I’ll do this. I am Chiome…… this is my duty as one of the six great ninjas. Ariane-dono, could you please restrict the giants’ movements for a while?”
Chiome had an awkward smile on her face as she asked Ariane for her support while the two giants freed themselves from the rubble.
“Alright. I’ll finish this quickly and come help you!”
Ariane spoke with a smile on her face before running up the mound of rubble.
A stone foothold formed beneath her feet as she ran, preventing her from losing balance.
Both her golden eyes were wide open as she drew her sword.
Her body began to produce lights that began to spread throughout the entire area.
The lights were various shades of vermilion, red and crimson that began to resonate as she started chanting again.
『──Dance, burning flames; Scatter, burning flames; turn the souls of all things to dust──』
As she spoke in the language of spirits, multiple red orbs began to float around her and gradually assumed the form of butterflies that fluttered around her.
Ariane approached the pair of giants with these fire butterflies in tow.
The giants began to wave their stone axes back and forth when they saw Ariane approaching.
A giant dust cloud was kicked up when the giants slammed their axes into the ground.
While one of the giants was waiting for the dust cloud to clear up, its hand suddenly ignited like it was a torch.
The giant fell down and began to roll back and forth on the mound of rubble, eventually smashing into a nearby building in the hopes that the rubble would extinguish the flames.
But the flames only continued to grow hotter and hotter and consumed more of the giant’s arm.
The giant could only watch as the flames entered its mouth.
Before long the giant’s eyes were withered away as it tried to scream, only to find that it couldn’t due to all the fire butterflies that erupted from its mouth.
As the number of butterflies increased, their color became darker and they started to swarm around Ariane’s sword as she waved it around like a baton.
Ariane’s normally snow-white hair currently resembled a living flame since it reflected the color of the butterflies and was blown up by the wind.
As the remaining giant looked upon Ariane, he instinctively started to fear her.
The six-meter tall giant turned heel and tried to flee the area.
“You are but a mere beast, if you fear the flames!”
Ariane had a ghastly smile as she spoke and sent the butterflies after the fleeing giant.
Even though she had a serious battle of her own to fight, Chiome couldn’t help but shiver at the thought of an angry Ariane when she caught sight of the flames at the edge of her vision.
Still, she had told Ariane that she would handle this alone.
She would put her former brother to rest with her own hands.
The peculiar odor of an open fire and burnt meat filled the area as the giants were reduced to ash.
Chiome slowly breathed in and out to allow her five senses to sharpen.
The layout of her surroundings appeared in her mind.
When she heard something cutting through the air she easily caught a shuriken that had been from within a dust cloud with her right hand.
It was the same shuriken that Chiome had thrown at Sasuke.
Shortly after she caught it, Sasuke leaped at her from the opposite direct the shuriken had come from.
However, Chiome had sensed his movements beforehand and was able to calmly fend off the blows from his twin swords with her dagger and tried to perform a counter attack.
Sasuke managed to deflect her dagger with one of his swords while simultaneously attempting to slash her undefended torso with his second sword.
In that moment, two water shuriken burst out from beneath the rubble and were heading towards Sasuke’s legs. Sasuke managed to avoid one of the shurikens by launching himself into the air.
However, the second shuriken embedded itself into his leg.
It was said that the undead didn’t feel pain, but their movements would still be impaired when their bodies were damaged.
If their arm was broken, they couldn’t lift anything, and even though they didn’t feel pain, their legs would become useless if they were damaged enough.
It might’ve been just a scratch, and there was no change in expression, but its durability had definitely been decreased.
Chiome raised her dagger and locked eyes with Sasuke.
Something that couldn’t be said crossed her mind…… although she knew she shouldn’t think about it, she couldn’t help but do just that.
Chiome cast aside such thought by shaking her head and focused on her enemy again.
『Water Style: Water Wolf Fang!!』
Water began to pool at her feet and quickly assumed the form of two wolves.
However, these were smaller than the ones she had created in Rhoden’s capital.
Her opponent was armed with two swords while she had only a single dagger, but with this technique she could occupy both his hands while keeping hers free.
Thinking this way, Chiome sicced the two wolves on Sasuke while slipping into the shadows to wait for an opportunity.
When the two water wolves leaped at him, Sasuke countered them with his swords.
Because the wolves weren’t affected by common swords, Sasuke’s first attack phased through the first wolf, but his second one caused one of the wolves to dissipate.
A faint light clung to the blade of Sasuke’s sword while he himself was surrounded by a thin veil of wind.
He was capable of using wind ninja skills like he did when he was alive.
Noting that the sharpness of her enemy’s sword had increased, Chiome positioned the remaining wolf so that they could launch a pincer attack against Sasuke. Just as the water wolf began to charge him from behind Sasuke dodged the attack and slashed at the wolf with one of his swords.
However, Chiome altered the water wolf’s trajectory as she stepped forward and threw another shuriken at Sasuke. Sasuke managed to avoid the projectile by twisting his body and proceeded to cut down the wolf that tried to approach him from his blind spot.
As he raised his sword after finishing off the wolf a smaller water wolf ran up his arm and bit into his neck.
The wolf’s diminutive size prevented it from inflicting a decisive blow, but Chiome had expected this and used the opportunity to throw her dagger at Sasuke’s face.
While Sasuke was able to find off the attack, he failed to realize that Chiome had ran behind the dagger and was able to get a hold of his injured leg.
For a moment, Chiome and Sasuke’s respective blue and red eyes meet.
『Water Style: Bloody Needle!!』
Chiome’s ninjutsu formed a pointed cone that launched itself into Sasuke’s wounded leg.
Sasuke’s leg immediately started to swell and become misshaped while multiple water needles began to pop up all over his body, giving him a hedgehog-like appearance.
When blood began to mix into the clear water, Sasuke’s body convulsed wildly. After the water needles disappeared he simply collapsed on the ground.
Tears began to collect in Chiome’s eyes as she looked down at Sasuke’s unmoving figure.
“……Sasuke, onii-san. Why didn’t you use any other ninjutsu……”
Normally, Sasuke would have had access to more wind ninjutsu then the ones he used here, but he only used basic techniques such as wind walking and sharpening the edges of his swords.
Even in her present condition, Sasuke was someone Chiome couldn’t normally have defeated.
There was slight movement behind Sasuke’s eyelids and he suddenly started speaking in a haggard voice.
“………… My precious little…… sister…… I could…… ne-never cut you down……”
His voice was barely audible and should have been overshadowed by the nearby fires. However, Chiome easily recognized the voice of her beloved brother.
“Onii-san……! I’ll get Arc-dono to heal you immediately!”
Chiome shed tears as she tried to stand.
But Sasuke used what little strength he had left to stop her with a head shake.
Chiome began to sob hard as the meaning of his gesture sunk in.
“……Don’t cry…… Mia…… By your hand…… I can finally die…… Thank you…… Thank…… you.”
“……! ……Onii-san……! *sniff*”
Chiome desperately tried to suppress her voice so she could hear what Sasuke said while she clung to his heavily injured body.
Sasuke managed a slight smile when her warmth surrounded him.
Even though his ability to move had vanished and his conscious slowly faded away, he felt a bit of relief looking at her through his half-closed eyes.
Sasuke’s body was already turning to dust and being to be blown away.
(…… The Church………… Watch…… out……)
Though it was as faint as a whisper, Chiome had heard fragments of his final words.
“……! Onii-san, what was that!? What do you mean!?”
Chiome’s eyes were wide as she looked down at her brother.
However, he could no longer answer her. Sasuke’s entire body had been reduced to dust and scattered by the wind.
All that remained in her hands was the slightly oversized diamond that shined with a kaleidoscope of different colors.