Sakon didn't like the things happening in Oto, it was unnatural. Before, Otogakure was a beautiful example of embracing the reality of the world. It didn't hide behind the pretty words and comfortable lies of the world. It embraced the nature of the world. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. The strong rule and the weak follow or die. It didn't pretend it was anything more than that. At least, it used to.

Things had changed. Orochimaru, or rather Orochitama, had changed. They now healed and coddled the weak. They were made to do useless things like paint or play an instrument. They were caging the inner beast that was pure, bloody, and beautiful. It was disgusting, and as time went on, the more sure Sakon was that the source of this new perversion wasn't Orochimaru. That this Orochitama was someone else entirely. An imposter. A test maybe. But he was growing to hate the bitch.

The snake woman seemed to sense his distaste for her. She had begun to give him and Ukon missions that took them away from her, and away from others. Missions supposedly important, but lacking in anything resembling what one of Orochimaru's personal body guards should do.

"Wait. She's strong. Wait." Ukon whispered, making him calm himself.

His brother could always calm him. The two were identical twins and their bloodline technique, made even more impressive by Orochimaru, allowed them to bond with another living thing and become one. Outside combat, it let them remain in synch. It let them watch each other's backs and be closer than anyone else could understand, since they two shared the same body most of the time. Sakon might be the one talking most of the time, but Ukon was usually the one making the decisions. He noticed more things as he quietly observed.

If he said wait, it was probably a good idea.

It could have been a good time to do damage to Orochitama, or at least this fantasy land of lies. Something happening to the new blonde woman's assistant could have caused a major incident. Perhaps even war. Though being able to do such a thing under the eyes of Tsunade and Orochitama was doubtful.

The blonde medic seemed dismissive of everyone and everything she came across, only paying attention to the medical paperwork that had been handed to her. Orochitama had apparently secured favor by winning some sort of bet, and they had made the incredibly questionable decision bring Tsunade and her assistant to one of their secondary bases.

"No promises. I'll have to look at him a while and try some things. I might also need you to get equipment for it." Tsunade said, having finally looked through the pages.

"Of course! You can have whatever you need, just say the word." Orochitama responded.

Sakon stayed a few steps behind, following the pair down the narrow hallways. He avoided seeming to pay too close of attention to what they were saying. Ukon though was shooting glances over at Tsunade's apprentice. He'd probably tell Sakon what he noticed later.

The assistant was giving him looks. Specifically at Ukon's head sticking out of the back of Sakon's neck. Though that was normal. Odd appendages tended to attract stares as both he and Kidomaru could attest. It was helpful. Made people drop their guard as they tried to comprehend what they were looking at.

Along the walk Orochitama made several attempts at small talk, though Tsunade seemed to barely reply. Not rudely, but in a way that made clear the person wasn't looking to be overly familiar. Sakon couldn't say if that was because she was looking through the medical papers or because she had some issue with Orochitama.

Probably the latter.

Their small procession took only a few moments to enter another room. A lab of some kind set up for medical purposes. All manner of seals and machines populated the room, all surrounding a bed where-


This was about fucking Kimimaro?

"Kimimaro-kun. This is Tsunade, an old teammate of mine. She's going to help me with your case. She might not look it, but she's probably the finest medical mind in the world currently." Orochitama stated.

"What the hell do you mean by 'I might not look it'?" Tsunade demanded.

Kimimaro. The previous leader of the Sound Four. The one whose job Sakon had managed to take. The one that became too weak and fell behind. This was all for his sake?

It grated and boiled his blood. After all his work. All his efforts. His position would be taken from him as soon as the bone bastard could function out of the hospital bed. The inane chatter back and forth between the women and the patient faded as the roar of emotion overwhelmed him and he struggled to remain stone faced in front of his enemies.

"I do have other business to attend to. Sakon-kun, Ukon-kun, if you'd follow me." Orochitama stated before leaving the two foreigners unsupervised in one of their bases. Stupid.

Ignoring the stupid decision to leave enemies unsupervised, Sakon, and thus his brother, followed after Orochitama as she left the room. The woman walked with purpose down the hallway, not glancing behind her to verify he was following her. One of the few things she did maintain from Orochimaru. She was confident.

"I have an appointment I need to get to. I leave you two to stay here. Your job is not to combat our guests. Just observe and report. Help them with their requests and see that they get everything they ask for." She commanded.

Sakon's eye twitched. He was, once again, a babysitter. His skills were being wasted, and they were being wasted on that fucking bone bastard. This assignment was bullshit and he-

His brother separated from him, making Sakon bow with him as he did so.

"We accept, Orochitama-sama." Ukon said.

Sakon couldn't muster anger at that. His brother rarely took initiative like this. He was usually content to have his body joined with Sakon and act as support. He stayed quiet at the action, despite the faint embers of betrayal he felt towards his brother in that moment. Though looking up at Orochitama, she didn't seem at all surprised at him speaking up.

"Thank you, Ukon-kun. I trust that you and Sakon-kun will take care of things here." Orochitama stated, before turning to go.

"How long is this farce going to go for?" Sakon snapped as she turned. He felt his brother flinch next to him, but he pressed forward. "All this bullshit about friendship and kindness. That's not the way the world fucking works. Any shinobi worth their salt knows that."

Orochitama stopped, facing away form him for a few more moments before turning to look at him with pity in her eyes. Fucking pity.

"Yes. This world currently works on fear, anger, and blood." Orochitama acknowledged, "But how will we ever change that if we don't act like it's not true?"

Sakon could hear is brother suck in a breath next to him. It was big words. Words that wanted to defy the world. Maybe there was something of Orochimaru still in there, if this was the level of aspiration she held. However, he couldn't stop the snarl that came to his face.

"And who says the world needs to fucking change?" Sakon growled.

"The world is always changing. It's the privilege of those with power to try and change it for the better." The woman stated.

Better? The lies? The posturing? Pretending that humans, and shinobi especially, are anything more than wild animals of bloodlust and death? Bullshit. It's not better. It just means people feed you bullshit more often and demands you call it roses. Though she was right. It was the privilege of the strong to dictate the future. They earned that right through steel and death. He felt himself quake in rage. He didn't get this far to have his view of the world destroyed. The hours sacrificed to grow stronger. The allies destroyed to get ahead. All to have his leader want to change the world from the beauty he had been driving it towards before.

"Sakon-kun." Orochitama stated sadly. "Don't be afraid to embrace new things just because of an attachment to old things."

She thought him afraid?!

"Thank you, Orochitama-sama, for speaking with us. You have a meeting to get to and we will be here when you return." Ukon stated.

Sakon glanced away, trying to calm himself. This wasn't a fight he could have right now. It wasn't a fight he could win.

Orochitama seemed to hesitate, before nodding. "You're right, Ukon-kun. We will discuss this later. I will be watching this project closely, so please make sure it goes well." The woman stated in way of farewell before vanishing down the hall, leaving Sakon and Ukon standing in the hall alone.

And separate.

A part of me regretted not talking more with Sakon then, but I had much to do and the time to get it all done was beginning to unravel. Things were picking up and soon things would happen faster than I could respond. I just needed to be ready and have all my plans in place so that as things fell, I could get the objectives I aimed for. I quickly visited the Daimyos of the Land of Valleys and the Land of Mountains. I had spoken with multiple Daimyo and those were the two most receptive to my plan. I did need at least two and these were the most strategic, so it appeared that it would work.

It was generally a bit rude to go to the Daimyo before speaking with the leader of the Hidden Village, but this was the sort of thing I needed to check at the purse strings first for.

So, while I was in the Land of Valleys, I stopped for my delayed appointment with the leader of the Hidden Grass Village. Kusagakure no Sato was not exactly hidden, and more had an approach of defense similar to that of Suna. They were in a sea of grass that was kept well trimmed so that that no one could approach unnoticed, and to even get close to said large open space, one had to travel through bogs, swamps, and mosquitos that could felt like they could carry you away if they so desired. In short, any prolonged time near them tended to make for wet, grumpy, and probably sick ninja. It was their main defense.

Outside just being known for being insane and blood thirsty; but hey, I ran Oto, I could hardly throw stones.

I was once again in the disguise I had used when meeting with the leader of Hidden Waterfall. I didn't need to go announcing my presence. Not yet anyways.

"Inada-sama will see you now." The receptionist stated practically as soon as I had arrived. A very different tactic from Hidden Waterfall.

Unlike with Hidden Waterfall, the leader of Kusa's office wasn't a small house on the edge of town, but instead in the exact center of the village, in a tower six stories tall; not counting the many sublayers in the village, I personally knew of at least seven. Inada Rena, the leader of Hidden Grass, held her office in the top most floor. Though it looked to be less an office and more a mixture of library and hookah lounge.

Every wall had either a window or a bookshelf that stood at about four meters tall with each bookshelf filled with scrolls, books, knickknacks, weapons, and a few pairs of undergarments that couldn't all possibly belong to the same person. Blinds were drawn down across the windows, making the room dimly lit despite the bright time of day, even before the thin layer of smoke from the hookah filled the air. The room had a high vaulted ceiling on which various acts of violence and other carnal pleasures were painted. It made one wonder about the leader of the village, or perhaps it said more about the culture of the village itself.

"Welcome, Representative of Oto." A husky female voice said, scratchy in the way all long term smokers were. I turned to the voice to see a woman not at a desk but lounged back in what looked to my modern mind said was beanbag chair, but Orochimaru's mind insisted wasn't. It was overstuffed with cotton, but had a frame in there somewhere. The woman had silky black hair that was messed just enough to maintain an impression of just getting out of bed, a manufactured image as no one looks that good getting out of bed. Her green eyes that were half-hooded with mystery and she had a pale complexion that made her lips stand out in contrast. Lips painted the color of fresh blood. "Though Representative sounds so very formal for someone that's going to make me an offer I can't refuse."

I raised an eyebrow in question at her. She only gave a smirk fit for a blooded cat and puffed on her the pipe from the hookah stand near her seat before pursing her lips and blowing out the smoke like a kiss.

Something about the situation seemed familiar to me, but I didn't place my finger on it yet.

"Oh? Glad to hear you already find my offer alluring, but how could you possibly know that you can't refuse it if you don't know what it is yet?" I teased lightly as I went to sit down across from her, still covered by the traveling cloak and cloth headdress that blocked me from sight. A stark contrast to, presumably, Inada Rena, who sat with a button up shirt that was mostly unbuttoned and a long silky pair of pants hung lose on her except for very strategic locations.

"Well, from what I can see of your from under that cloak? I'd want to do anything you asked me to do." The woman said sensually.

Then it click. I knew exactly what she was doing.

My thing! She was doing my thing! The mysterious woman of mystery that unbalances you with blatant sexual advances was supposed to be my thing damnit!

Well, two could play at that game.

"Oh, well I don't care to mix business and pleasure, so we'll just assume I'll give you all the pleasure you can stand later and focus on the business for now." The woman's face briefly came out of the steamy smolder she'd been giving but it settled back into it near instantly. "What do you think I came here to offer, exactly?"

"Well, I had hoped for it to just be a good time, but I don't imagine that you offered that kind of distraction to Saito of Hidden Waterfall. The old man is far too stuck up for that." The woman said in a low laugh.

Hidden Waterfall? How did she-


"I see that he made attempts to see what terms I was going to be offering you." I stated with lightly, as if his breech of security were no big deal and not at all something that could make the entire plan fall apart if the wrong people found out too soon. "I hope there wasn't too much gossip about what we were doing behind closed doors while no one was watching."

"Oh, I heard quite a bit about all the mischief you two got into, and was hoping to see about showing you a much better time here." Rena stated like she was making a joke before going to take a puff on her hookah.

"Well, I do ever so love to hear others speak of my indiscretions. Tell me what it was you heard, I insist." I say teasingly as I lean back and cross one leg over over the other.

There was a slight pause before she fanned herself with a laugh, making her shirt fall open just a bit more. Almost certainly on purpose.

"Don't ask for that, you'll make me blush." She responded, making me relax internally.

She had nothing. She just knew that I met with Saito in Hidden Waterfall and then came to meet her shortly after. Combined with Saito's sudden troop moments after I told him about Akatsuki, she just knew something was going on and was acting like she knew more in order to find information. A classic.

She could have been faking it though, to make it seem like that was all she knew. Unlikely, but I did have a way to check.

"Speaking of making you blush, do you mind if get a little more comfortable?" I said as I reached up to the clasp of my cloak.

"Please, I will greatly appreciate the-" the chair tipped over as Rena darted backwards and into a defensive position.

I placed my head-wrapping and cloak on the end table next to me, both neatly folded. She reacted to my appearance with fear. She didn't expect me to be Orochimaru or Orochitama.

"There, now that we-" I paused and looked her up and down, "at least I am more comfortable, why don't we talk candidly, hm?"

In moments I gave her a run down of what I wanted. The alliance and the promise to directly train a team of Kusa's choosing, and a vague mention of Hidden Waterfall's reservations but without stating the stipulation that they put in about my team doing well in the Chunin Exams. All the while Rena began to calm. She retook her seat and took on a serious expression.

"So if you were to join, you would-"

"Kusagakure no Sato accepts. We have no conditions." Rena stated as she took a far longer drag from her Hookah than I had seen yet.

I hadn't expected that.

"Oh? Agreeing that quickly won't grant you any-" I paused for effect, "special favors. Why agree so easily?"

"Hidden Waterfall is our closest competitor. Rice Country is between us, but your village is too new to take much business. If we do compete with another small village, it's Waterfall. Their jinchuriki has also been advancing lately. It will draw people in. If they join you and we don't then we will be left with few clients shortly after. Your deal can't be refused." The woman stated simply.

I didn't have an exact list of Kusa's clients, but what she said evident to anyone familiar with flow of missions between villages. With even a conditional yes from Waterfall, she couldn't afford to say no. Though I knew that before I even asked Waterfall. I just didn't know that she'd instantly know it.

"I feel a bit bad. I didn't mean to trap you here. This was intended in a spirit of cooperation." I stated sincerely.

"Pah, it's nothing. You have the incentive for us to agree and the power to make us regret saying no. It is the nature of the world that. Besides," she sated as she locked eyes with me and took a long drag of the hookah, "If you start taking this alliance in a direction I don't like or if you show weakness, I can just kill you in your sleep and bathe in the blood of your loved ones."

"That's it? Just agree for now and worry about killing me later? How very boring." I tutted.

"It is the nature of ninja. If the risk of killing you and getting rid of the benefit you bring is outweighed by the reward of killing you, then we will kill you. It is that simple. You offer a big carrot and carry a big stick, but if I grow tired of carrots and stop caring about the spankings with the stick, then I'll act."

I suddenly found myself wondering if she had the scorpion summon, but that was silly, I didn't summon frogs. I shook it off. I had other things to focus on.

"I would still like to discuss details to find out what I can best do to assist you and your village."

"I will have to speak with my captains for best possibilities there. In the meantime, I think that is enough business for one day." The woman said as she scooted forward in her chair, spreading her legs open wider. "Now, I do think you mentioned something about pleasure afterwards?"

I began to laugh until I realized she was serious. She was looking at me expectantly.

"Ara ara, I might be a bit old fashioned, but speaking of murdering me when I least expect it is a bit of a turn off for me." I stated as I collected my things.

"Pity." Rena said as she flopped back into her chair. "I always found it to be quite the turn on."

Now that is what I expected from the leader of Kusa. I put my disguise back on and began to make my way to the door before stopping.

"Oh, one last bit of business. Just some gossip, you understand." I stated lightly, "I've heard that Hidan the Reaper has joined up with quite the group of miscreants."

Rena didn't even bother to hide her interest. "Please, do tell me more."

A note from WhoaMama

And that's the second chapter for this month done. This one gave me some trouble, but I managed to finish it in time. I do already know that next month is going to be hard for me to write the two chapters, but I'm damn sure gonna try. Still, I have a lot of things taking place next month business wise and my birthday is next month too. So yeah. But again, I'll do my best.

In other news, Thanks so much to all my patreons. Know that I appreciate you and you are the only reason I'm releasing this now and not in a few more days so it happens next month. You all rock and all the other readers should be grateful to you. XD

About the author


Bio: I'm just someone who writes and is quite surprised that people give a shit about what I write.

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