Note: Spoiler alert. The below novel excerpt is from Volume 2 of Itachi's Story. You can read an excerpt from Volume 1 here.
Naruto: Itachi's Story, Vol. 2: Midnight
Story by Masashi Kishimoto and Takashi Yano
Phoenix in the blue sky,
remembering to dance on
Kohinata Mukai would be taking the following day off, his first in a month. Once Itachi learned this fact from the mouth of Shimura Danzo, he hardened his resolve.
The arrangements were soon made, and Itachi and Uchiha Shisui, who was to accompany him, had their duty schedules
changed. Through Danzo's agency.
Itachi was going to kill a ninja living in his own village the following day…
Mukai might have been a traitor, but the fact that he was kin to Itachi was unchanged. He was a comrade from the village. It would have been a lie to say that Itachi wasn't reluctant to kill the man. But this mission was more critical than any he accepted thus far in his life as a ninja. He could not refuse.
Itachi kept very much in mind the fact that Mukai was a traitor. The man had been talking with Kirigakure in secret, and had leaked crucial confidential information about Konohagakure. Thinking about this helped Itachi set aside his feelings of guilt.
"Everything's ready!" A cheerful voice interrupted his meditations. "Just like you told me, I put eight out there." His little brother smiled.
Itachi returned a grin.
They were in the middle of the woods. Now that he knew the mission would be completed the next day, Itachi was taking a break, and Sasuke had begged him to join him for some training. In amongst the close-standing trees, Sasuke had hidden targets marked with double circles. And quite splendidly—Itachi couldn't see a single one of them.
"All right, Itachi," Sasuke urged him in a spirited tone, unable to hide his excitement.
Nodding, Itachi grabbed his kunai. Once he had wedged one in between all his fingers, he had exactly eight in his hands. Eight iron claws sticking out from loose fists.
He lowered his face, and focused his mind just a little. He then poured the chakra built up in the depths of his stomach into his eyes.
The breathing of the trees grew restless at once. In the rumbling pulsation of writhing life, he saw small circular foreign objects. Eight of them.
Itachi let out a small breath, and then he kicked lightly at the ground. In the air, his head and his feet traded places. With his body upside down, his center of gravity pointed downward and stretched out, stabilizing his posture. And stabilizing his posture increased the precision of his control over his kunai.
He closed his eyes and imagined the eight targets in his mind. There were two that he couldn't reach from this position. The one knocked over artlessly behind the front of the enormous rock was going to be the most trouble.
First, he threw the four blades in his left hand in a single motion. All unerringly pierced the four targets in relatively easy locations.
Next, the two kunai clutched between the thumb and middle finger of his right hand. These also dug into their intended targets without incident.
Itachi's body was still in the air. Not even a second had passed since he leapt up from the ground.
He switched the kunai held between his middle and ring fingers to his left hand. Now he had one kunai in each hand. He waved both arms and threw the kunai at the same time.
The trajectories of the two blades overlapped. They collided in midair with a sharp clang, and then bounced off each other to fly off in unexpected directions.
He landed, his sharingan glowing with a crimson light.
As he stood up slowly, he felt the presence of his brother before him. Sasuke had hidden himself behind a tree to avoid danger, but now he popped his head out suddenly. He seemed dumbfounded at Itachi's skill in hitting all the targets. Sasuke's mouth hung open as he stared at the rock before him, the location of the most troublesome target.
Naturally, Itachi hit that one too. He had made the last two kunai collide, and changed their trajectories, to that end.
"Wow! You even nailed that target in the blind spot behind the rock!!" Sasuke flew out from behind the tree. He was clutching kunai in both hands. He was in such high spirits after that display of his big brother's skills that he was practically beside himself.
"All right! My turn!"
"Sasuke, we have to go."
Sasuke was practically pulsating with excitement, but he stopped abruptly. The face he turned toward his brother was thoroughly displeased. "You promised to teach me new shuriken techniques!" He glared at his brother in protest.
Itachi had indeed promised. But he had more than fulfilled that promise with what he had just shown the younger boy. "I've got a kind of important mission tomorrow. I have to get ready." Mostly mentally.
His little brother turned his face away and pouted. The cool eyes beneath the furrowed brow were twisted up as if he were about to burst into tears. "You're a liar, Itachi." Sasuke wasn't angry that Itachi hadn't taught him a new shuriken technique; he was angry because his time with his big brother had been cut short.
If possible, Itachi would have trained with Sasuke to his younger brother's heart's content. But the mission the next day was not a simple one. He couldn't neglect his preparations. He wanted to cry, too.
His little brother turned his face to the ground, even as he peered out at Itachi with resentful eyes.
Itachi waved him over, and the clouds on Sasuke's face were instantly cleared away. Happy footsteps ringing out in the forest, Sasuke raced over to him.
"Sorry, Sasuke. Another time," he said, as he popped his index finger up and poked his still-moving little brother in the forehead.
"Ow!" Sasuke closed his eyes and cried out, his progress thwarted. He looked up at Itachi, his mouth turned downward on one side. Whenever Sasuke got this look on his face, Itachi knew he was planning something.
"Check this out!" Crossing both arms and readying his kunai, Sasuke smiled boldly. "Yaaaah!"
Before Itachi had the chance to stop him, Sasuke was flying toward the target.
"Hey! You're going to hurt yourself—" Itachi shouted, while before his eyes, Sasuke twisted his ankle, and plunged magnificently into the ground, headfirst.
If you haven't read Volume 1 of Itachi's Story - Daylight, see more here:
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