Snap Back To Reality @jazhop
Chapter 50

Snap Back To Reality 50

Dying was like a ringing in the ear, high-pitched and growing in intensity. It beat against the eardrums mutely at the start, creeping in slowly until suddenly you were overtaken by an all-encompassing panic. The pain itself was secondary to the feeling, a feeling I had quite happily forgotten until now. Death by seal, and death by vegetable apparently wasn't all that different. Then when the ringing ended abruptly and I was covered in a blanket of absolutely nothing, I almost felt like crying.

Was this all that life amounted to? Was my second death as meaningless as my first? Was I bound to end up alone and disenfranchised every single time, fated to claw and struggle only to make the same mistakes and fail? Was that simply the destiny of all humans?

I kind of deserved this for prattling on with that ridiculous villain monologue earlier. Really was I so cliché as to recite my entire plan in such an arrogant way? I was just asking to be defeated…

I didn't want to accept these outrageous notions, and so I tried to move, but that was considerably harder to do when you had no real physical form, surrounded by an expanse that knew no bounds of space or time. It neither hurt nor felt safe and familiar, it was simply a place of existence beyond the mortal realm, and I could suddenly recall in striking clarity this place of existence I had visited before my eventual rebirth. I had been here once before, but I had forgotten about it. It was a foreign feeling to grasp a concept like time so completely as I did now. It was like the universe had granted me the knowledge so I wouldn't go insane simply by existing in what I essentially now knew to be another dimensional plane of existence.

'You shouldn't be here'

The voice that said this was less of a voice and more of a feeling. It felt like a heavy presence and it stood out amongst the nothingness that surrounded me.

"Is this eternity?" I asked

'There is no time here'

"Who are you?"

'I have no human name.'

"Are you God?"

'Not how you'd imagine a God.'

"I don't want to die here," I croaked out, feeling my sadness, regret, and anger blanket around me and consume my entirety.

'Death is a concept created by humans. There is simply a transference of energy, nothing more. You have once again pushed through the dimensions.'


Before I could say anymore the ringing that came with dying throbbed mildly behind my ears once more and I realised I had a mouth to breathe that was lacking oxygen. The transition was so sudden I began violently coughing. When I blinked my eyes open, viciously gripping at rough fabric for support, I was met with striking golden eyes. Cold fingers held my tongue as I felt a seal break away once again.

"Good my seal worked. It would have been a waste if you died today."

"O-Orochimaru?" I asked.

He pulled my hands away from his kimono, patted my head gently and put me aside. I rolled onto my side and propped myself weakly on my forearm. I was still struggling for breath as he got up and dismissed his clone in front of him, facing of against Danzo. He looked angry.

"You made a terrible mistake crossing me Danzo," Orochimaru said.

Danzo scowled slightly before pulling of the one-sided kimono and throwing it to the ground. I managed to focus enough to count how many Uchiha eyes he had imbedded in that arm of his. There were four, so presumably two Uchiha had already somehow been killed and harvested. I didn't think he'd have more than one at this stage considering this was pre-Uchiha Clan massacre. That meant that Orochimaru had already somehow been experimenting with Hashirama's cells.

I was shocked he had that many eyes already. It meant that Danzo could use the Izanagi technique four times, with each technique lasting about a minute long because of the Senju cells stabilising and reinforcing the Uchiha eyes. That meant Danzo could essentially alter his own reality four times and cheat death those four times.

I had gone over this concept so many times in my head since I joined ROOT, to the point where I had practically theorised every possible counter to this broken Doujutsu technique. The Izanagi essentially made it so that the user could change their own reality, so the Genjutsu didn't simply apply to the senses but to reality itself. I could taste the distortion of the dimensions around the Sharingan eyes now, and for some reason I could grasp the concept of the technique perfectly.

Had I been in some limbo space, a place in-between the universes while I had temporarily died? My head hurt slightly from the thought itself, but I could vaguely remember an entity with me, the void around me in a constant flux where the past, present, future and space were vastly different to the now. The Izanagi affected one such reality for a brief moment.

"Do you know the consequence you will face for killing me?" Danzo asked.

Orochimaru simply smiled it of as if it bothered him little. "My eternal satisfaction?" he questioned back in humour.

Danzo tched. "Every operation I have conducted is well within the Hokage's sphere of tolerance. How will he react to knowing his own student was violently experimenting on innocent Konoha citizens?"

"Yes Sarutobi is an odd one like that. He can tolerate your treatment of children for this village, but he cannot see the importance of my research for all of humanity. Well no matter. Even if he wanted to find proof of my experimentation it would be impossible now."

"Don't make this about humanity. You have always been selfish Orochimaru, whereas I serve the village! Everything I have done is justified and the people of Konoha will understand too! The same cannot be said for you."

Orochimaru minutely tensed at that, and I knew what just went through his head right now. Despite what others thought, Orochimaru did crave the recognition and respect that came with his position. More so than that he knew that recognition and respect afforded authority, and ultimately, he craved the title of Hokage for no reason more than that.

I forced myself to stand up despite the still receding pain in my skull. I couldn't care less what vendetta Orochimaru had with Danzo. He was mine to kill and not even Kami himself could take this away from me. Considering I had cheated death to get this far, I wouldn't expect any less. I was about to tell Orochimaru to move aside when he did something unusual. He gave me the briefest eye contact and held out three of his fingers behind his back.

Three fingers for three Sharingan eyes.

So he knew about the Izanagi and Danzo's use of the Sharingan. He was telling me to stand back until three eyes were used up. Why was he letting me cast the final two blows on Danzo? I stood back regardless, despite the itch underneath my skin urging me to join the fray. Danzo was before me, ripe for the taking, and to wait a moment longer was too long, yet I knew the importance of patience. I wouldn't be able to kill a veteran like him on my own without it being a very risky battle, and as a Shinobi if there was no reason to take that risk then it was folly to do so. Sasuke had barely gotten out of this fight and he had a decade more experience and a doujutsu to back him up when he fought Danzo. I had something better. I had Orochimaru.

"Enough talk, I will kill you now along with your student. Konoha needs the Foundation to rebuild during these turbulent times and I intend for this village to win!"

"As you say," Orochimaru said briefly as he pulled out his sword the Kusanagi.

Danzo looked ready and prepared. He would no doubt aim to reserve the eyes as best as he could, unlike in his battle with Sasuke in the story. He had a very limited number of eyes, not to mention Orochimaru as an opponent would require a level of forward strategy to beat. I knew my sensei enough to know that he didn't want me to simply sit back. The art of battle was to use any advantage possible. He didn't believe in a fair fight. Shinobi fought dirty, and it was my job to tilt the battle in his favour. I pulled out my sealing scroll and brought out my disarming charms.

In a gust of wind both Orochimaru and Danzo clashed. Their speeds were insane, faster than I'd ever be and so I held my breath and watched. Danzo let out a wave of air bullets and Orochimaru rushed through them like a blur. He was pushed back by a wind breakthrough technique, but it lasted only a second as a moment later he had disappeared, and his true form jumped from within the dirt. I caught Danzo pulling out the binding curse seal and immediately jumped in, blasting into the battle, and undoing the seal. He shot his hands out in a bid to catch my throat, but I twisted mid air and jumped away, giving Orochimaru the time to pierce his sword straight through Danzo's chest.

The man spit out blood before disappearing. I could feel his presence behind me and so I quickly jumped away as he rematerialized. I substituted myself with a nearby chair to get away from the man before we paused our battle in preparation for our next attack. I noted an eye had closed on his deformed arm.

"It's the Izanagi, a kinjutsu that allows the wielder to change the fabric of reality itself," Orochimaru explained.

"In other words, another one of the typical Uchihas' broken eye techniques," I grumbled in distaste. "I'm guessing it has a short time-limit."

"You've done your research," Danzo said in distaste.

I smirked. "Not so fun when your bag of tricks gets exposed huh."

Orochimaru looked entirely too pleased by my foresight. Danzo had yet to get a Mangekyo Sharingan implanted in his right eye, and so he didn't have the advantage of the visual prowess of Shisui's eyes yet. He would never have it.

I didn't let my thoughts wonder or my blood boil in bloodlust. Those were things that simply got in the way of my victory. Anger was something I found hard to control near this bastard's vicinity, but it was something I practiced quite often too.

"It matters not," Danzo gritted out.

His eyes briefly flitted to the exit, but I quickly used my wind blade to cut down a pillar above the exit and seal it off. Orochimaru had already engaged by that stage and I resumed watching again, straining my chakra to my ears to hear their movements. Danzo was a wind user, and he could summon a very large elephant if he wished, but we weren't in the right kind of place for such a summon. Orochimaru and I however had a plethora of smaller summons. I whipped out my sleeves, kneeling on the floor and pushing my chakra into the ground.

Kuchiyose no Jutsu!

A flurry of snakes shot out of my sleeves and mouth, rushing forward and into the ground. Controlling them was the hard part. I shut my eyes and waited for the perfect moments, trying to pinpoint Danzo's quick movements and when he was most vulnerable. When I found a crack in his defence, I shot the snake up from the ground. It flew forward and was cut in half by his wind blade. I did this again and again, poking and prodding and distracting him from Orochimaru. His attention was both on me and a Sannin at once. I could feel him inching towards the door to retreat and so I stayed in front of it, blocking of his exit.

Just as I suspected, Danzo began pushing out more desperate wind jutsu while Orochimaru was playing his mind games. He hid in the ground, creating clones and decoys, and Danzo would be forced to spread his attention both to me and the Sannin. There was no way he would win. It wasn't long before he was speared through the heart with Orochimaru's Kusanagi. I called the snakes to me as quickly as I could and just as I predicted Danzo had used his second Izanagi to reappear behind me towards the exit. Even he knew fighting us both in his state was suicide, but I couldn't let him go.

I shot through my hand seals, preparing my chakra in my mouth. Snake → Dragon → Rabbit → Tiger

Fire Release: Dragon Fire Technique!

A large fire dragon shot out of my mouth, propelling my body backwards as it rushed towards Danzo. The surprisingly nimble old man jumped out of the way, but I didn't have exceptional chakra control for no reason. I twisted the dragon around from the wall and towards him, having coated it in a thin layer of wind chakra. It followed after him like a homing missile instead of dissipating in a straight line. He clearly hadn't expected it and dodged hastily, finding himself back towards the middle of the room again.

"You won't run away so easily," I hissed angrily.

"I told you to wait Hina-chan," Orochimaru said with a smile, although there was an undercurrent of a threat there.

Fuck him. I scowled as I stepped forward, ignoring his commands. Fuck him! I had stopped myself from entering the fray for long enough, and I could wait no longer. Whatever patience I had left, had gone when he tried to make his escape. I needed his blood now!

"If you're hasty it will cost you your revenge," Orochimaru warned more sternly this time.

I looked at his narrow golden eyes and gritted my teeth in frustration. My fingers dug into my palms as I fisted them tightly by my sides. He was right. I needed to wait one more round. Despite my blood boiling with the call of vengeance I stood down and stepped back.

A few more minutes Kusari, kaasan, tousan… and then I would send him to hell where he belonged.

I stayed back and forced my head back into the game again. There was one more Izanagi left before I could combine my attack with Orochimaru's. Danzo's chakra was already dwindling with every use of the Uchiha eyes. He had stayed out of battle for so long his skills had atrophied and he was left depending on his implants.

I watched as Orochimaru easily pushed up his effort this round. He was purposefully not landing a killing blow and I knew why. If he kept pushing Danzo to use defensive jutsu he would tire him out. Then the next time he would activate the Izanagi would inevitably last a lot less longer and drain even more chakra. It was either that or he was trying to confuse Danzo by activating and deactivating the eyes, unsure of when the blows would be a killing blow or a mock distraction. Either way the strategy was what I had initially planned to use if I ever fought Danzo. Sasuke in the story had used his Sharingan to cast a simple Genjutsu amongst the battle, fooling Danzo into thinking the eye was open when it was in fact closed. I didn't have the luxury of an Uchiha's prowess in Genjutsu, so this was the next best option. Adding both me and Orochimaru to occupy every inch of Danzo's attention was a blessing in every way.

It seemed Danzo had caught onto the plan by now and had taken to using more traditional methods. He used a generic wind jutsu to push up the dust in the surrounding area before creating a dozen clones. They rushed out to attack Orochimaru but the Sannin quickly defeated them all, jumping away just in time to dodge an attack from the behind. He left with a sizeable wound on his back, but otherwise was unfazed. Danzo however looked worse for the wear. Unfortunately for him he had spent too much energy focusing on Orochimaru he forgot I was here, and my summons had sunk their poisonous jaws into his legs. He frothed at the mouth and fell down in a satisfying death.

"It's your turn now little neonate," Orochimaru grinned.

I cracked my knuckles and grinned. Danzo had not rematerialized near the exit this time but the far end of the room. He went through familiar hand seals in quick succession making me jump straight towards Orochimaru for protection. He was using his summoning jutsu in such a tiny place!

"Mud dome wall!"

I was glad to have practically latched onto Orochimaru in this instance, because his defensive wall had saved us from being squished like bugs by tonnes of stone. The elephant summon no doubt destroyed a part of ROOT's base quarters.

"We need to go up before we lose him!" I shouted. "Why didn't you summon Manda?"

He tched but offered no explanation. Before I could question him more, he grabbed me by my waist and used an earth technique to shoot up from the ground and out. I didn't bother to question him further on his suspicious behaviour. The more important thing was to not let Danzo through. If he didn't die now, he would no doubt be protected by that useless Hokage. This was my only opportunity, consequences be dammed.

"I'll take care of the summon, you go," Orochimaru ordered.

I nodded and pushed my chakra to my nose. The moment I caught the man's scent I activated my Wind Walker technique and shot forward in a gust of wind. He was still in the forests that surrounded the Hokage Mountain. In his state I could easily catch up to him, and I did, my body taking on the beast stance that Gaku taught me as I compounded speed upon speed that only the dexterity of a four legged form could manage to control.

"Danzo!" I shouted in rage as I neared him.

He stopped his breathless running to turn and scowl. I jumped onto a tree and pushed my body in his direction. Using my aerial manoeuvres I twisted my body and shot down with an axe kick. He jumped away, but I used my own technique to incorporate a wind blade into my feet rather than my arms, and managed to cut him deeply across his right arm. He cursed as he was sliced. He ripped off his shirt before running through a jutsu. I was shot away by a powerful gust of piercing wind, that broke my back through the trees and ruined my momentum. It barely made me stop, and I quickly got up.

The destruction of the surrounding trees cast the illuminating light of the moon above us. I stepped forward and faced the man who had ruined my entire life. Alone. Seeing him like this now before me made my rage only grow. There was so much I had fantasised to say to this man. A growing list of the pain he had inflicted on and the inevitable pain I would bring upon him. It wasn't enough to kill him, I wanted to make him regret ever living. Only then would he truly understand what he did to me.

"You are just like your sensei, a child. You have taken down so much of Konoha's forces we will struggle to win this war," he cursed.

"Fuck the war and fuck your plans," I laughed bitterly. "FUCK YOU!"

I wanted to kick myself. Was that all I could think to say to the man who had ruined my entire life? Where were all the speeches I had prepared in sleepless nights suffering from a pain that gnawed at my heart and put a hole through my soul? Tears prickled at my eyes as I remembered the loving expressions of my strong, brave parents, of Kusari's innocent smile and his love for romance novels. He had no right to take that away! No right! How could someone put those feelings into simple words?

"You will not stop me! I have a greater purpose, and I will not die until I see Konoha dominate and win," he growled.

"You won't ever see that day. I'll make sure all your dreams will never come to pass. I will curse you even in your grave," I shouted in rage as I flung myself forward.

He was tired and all he could do was engage in a taijutsu battle. Despite this his movements were fluid and that of a veteran. I struggled to keep up, but I was barely winded and I could push him using my perfected Taijutsu-Ninjutsu blended style. Every kick and punch was accompanied by a gust of piercing wind or a concentrated blast of fire jutsu. Before long, his wounds had compiled, and I knew he had activated the Izanagi.

His last one.

I didn't land the killing blow like he expected. Instead I grabbed a nearby rock and swung it at his head. He dropped to the ground and I felt my anger boil as I jumped on him. He was under me and all the pain, all the anguish he had put me through channelled through me a million-fold until I was consumed by it. All I could see was red as I hit him again and again, until my knuckles bled, until the shape of his face was replaced by a mangled pulp of human flesh, until all my screaming and visceral violence had finally ended his life once more.

His body disappeared underneath me and he reappeared away, struggling to breathe. It didn't matter that he could alter his reality to not have died. He had still experienced a violent death, and it still had affected him. He was weak and all he could do was run away now. He had no chakra, no strength, no Izanagi, and so I watched him limp away, clawing for his life pathetically. I threw several kunai into his back and two straight into his tendons and watched him fall to the ground. I walked up to him, feeling my blood boil once more.

"For all those children, for my parents, for Kusari," I growled, as I turned him around and slammed him onto his back. I took a kunai and stabbed it into his palms, pinning him to the ground.

"I will not let you do t-this to Konoha. You a-are too much of a threat—" he growled.

He once again tried to activate the Reverse Four Symbols Sealing. It was his last-ditch suicide bomb he had used against Sasuke and Tobi in the story. I laughed as I pulled out my disarming tag made specifically for this jutsu and stopped it before it could take effect.

"What how—"

"I knew you would try this, just like you tried it with Sasuke. You think I only learnt to disarm the curse seal on my tongue? I learnt to disarm every single seal you knew," I laughed manically.


"You think you can kill yourself after what you've done?" I asked, as tears fell from my face and the pain of it all overtook me. "I'll let you live on one condition."

"W-what is it?" he asked.

"BRING THEM BACK. Bring back my kaasan and tousan! Bring back Kusari!" I shouted in fury as I shook him by the collar.

My vision was blurring, and the grief was too much. I felt the rage behind me, behind the sudden misery that had overtaken everything. The sense of loss that made my knees buckle and my body shiver was overwhelming.

"You are ruled by your emotions," he said derisively. "You are the antithesis of ROOT. I should have killed you and your weakness earlier."

"Then die by those emotions," I cussed him, as I took out a kunai and cut open his stomach.

He screamed in agony as his stomach exposed itself to the air and his intestines trailed out. I felt a horrible laugh escape my throat, full of hatred and anger as I stabbed him again and again, making sure to miss his vitals and draw out his death for as long as I possibly could.

"Feel it all! It doesn't even compare the pain you've caused hundreds of people! This isn't even enough. Use the Izanagi again so I can kill you once more!" I shouted in rage.

The sound of the distant elephant summon stopped and I could feel the closing in of dozens of shinobi in the distance, but I didn't stop in my brutality. I continued to carve his flesh mercilessly, feeling the red-hot anger inside of me boil over and out.

"Mark my words Danzo, I will not let you have peace even in the grave! I will ruin everything you worked for! Your legacy, your dreams, your ambitions- they are mine now! I will make sure to curse you in the grave as I did in life!"

To watch the horror in his eyes at my words, to see his spirit break was a catharsis unlike any other. I didn't stop my brutality, not until Konoha shinobi dropped in front of me, and Danzo's heart was in my blade, and his screams of agony had died with his life. I looked down at his mangled corpse, that barely even looked like him anymore. The blood of my parents on my hands were covered in his blood now, as was my whole body.

Like the crashing of a stormy shore weaning after a storm, the anger inside of me died into nothing. Beneath me was Danzo, dead and my loved ones avenged. In front of me were Konoha's eyes. Inside of me was a hole that still wasn't filled.

In the end my heart still ached.


щ(ಥДಥщ) (>д<) ಥ╭╮ಥ .̯. ଘ_ଘ

This isn't the end of the ROOT arc yet, but it's the climax, and it's 50 chapters and 300k words. Honestly I'm floored by how much I was able to write for this one story, and it's given me the courage to start outlining a completely original epic fantasy piece. Just knowing I can stick with something this long blows my own mind. Honestly all your amazing feedback has motivated me so much and helped me along this fun journey. I'm excited to show you where I'm going to take things with this story because it'll not at all be how you imagine it (unless you're really good at predicting plots)

Give me your thoughts on Danzo's death, Hina's actions, and how you felt about the overall ROOT arc. Honest thoughts though! I don't mind if you admit to hating some parts or loving others. I just want some constructive criticism so I can improve and know what you readers want to see in the future. Please don't flame though. It's a real downer when people proclaim their hate for you and cuss you out for not liking a story, instead of giving constructive feedback on why it's bad.

Anyway appreciate all you guys who stuck with me until this long! It's been so fun!

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