Second Bite at the Cherry @sakinthra
Act Three Prologue

Shinobi are cursed to seek violence.

I once thought it was simply a trait of humanity. Humanity is, by nature, a predatory race. But that is simply nature itself: we carve out a place for ourselves and fight, tooth and nail, for what we think we deserve. But shinobi? Shinobi are cursed to seek violence. Not in our blood and bones, not in our biology, but in our very chakra. Is it not so that one of the purest manifestations of our chakra is simple killing intent? No chakra-less human can produce such malice and harmful energy with mere biology. It is laced within chakra, a natural part of it. One need only look upon the Bijuu to know this with certainty. They are the oldest forms of chakra, malicious and terrifying. And yet, we did not just seal them away, we transformed them into weapons. Even when faced with something far more predatory than ourselves, so prone are we to violence that we sought to use that power to harm.

We are cursed, and like a disease we will spread our malice across the land until we burn ourselves to the ground in the effort of it. There will be no peace so long as chakra runs through our veins. There will be no end so long as the curse thrums within us.

But there is a way. There is a way to reset the world. To bring us to where we were before this madness was set upon us. There is a way to restore the natural order.

I know you will not like it. You're still naive enough to believe that your words can bring this all to an end. That is what always drew me to you. For a time, I believed it too. But you are incapable of seeing the cold malice in the eyes of those around you, the lust for bloodshed and power that will drive them to twist your work into something as foul as the Bijuu themselves. It is what she wanted. It is what the Sage tried to warn us of so many generations ago. She wants us to destroy ourselves. We are the legacy of her betrayal, and she wants us to suffer for it.

I will end this. I swear this to you, I will bring about that peace which we have desired for so long. I may fall for this, suffer a thousand lifetimes for what I shall wrought, but in the end we shall survive and there shall be peace, and she will not get her way.

I know this may make little sense to you now. And I know you will try to stop me. I say this to you now: this time there will be no hesitation. I will cut you down for your sake, for everyone's sake. But maybe I still hope that we can work as one. You could help me. You could-

A cold wind blew through the treetops, and his brush came to a halt against the paper. It was here early. He could feel it creeping upon his senses, a hatred that could stop a weaker man's heart and scatter even the hardened predators of the land away from it. He didn't have much time. He needed to send this message out now or elseā€¦

Please. We can do this together.

He tied the small scroll to the leg of his crow and sent it flying into the sky, towards home. Then, he stood and prepared to face a monster.

1. Chapter 1 848 0 0 2. Chapter 2 3162 0 0 3. Chapter 3 2532 0 0 4. Chapter 4 2819 0 0 5. Chapter 5 2551 0 0 6. Chapter 6 2767 0 0 7. Chapter 7 2188 0 0 8. Chapter 8 1950 0 0 9. A Brief Intermission 949 0 0 10. Chapter 10 4053 0 0 11. Chapter 11 3692 0 0 12. Two Worlds Away (Intermission Part Two) 1320 0 0 13. Chapter 13 3836 0 0 14. Chapter 14 2739 0 0 15. Chapter 15 2390 0 0 16. Failures (Intermission Part Three) 2824 0 0 17. Chapter 17 3234 0 0 18. Chapter 18 6529 0 0 19. Chapter 19 4214 0 0 20. Three's a Drag (Intermission Part Four) 2630 0 0 21. Chapter 21 3341 0 0 22. Chapter 22 2924 0 0 23. Chapter 23 6969 0 0 24. Chapter 24 3801 0 0 25. Chapter 25 4158 0 0 26. Alliances (Intermission Part Five) 2667 0 0 27. Chapter 27 6918 0 0 28. Act One Epilogue 30 0 0 29. Act Two Prologue 1 0 0 30. Chapter 30 7214 0 0 31. Chapter 31 3687 0 0 32. Other Worlds, Other Minds (Int Part 6) 7031 0 0 33. Chapter 33 2703 0 0 34. Chapter 34 2734 0 0 35. Chapter 35 3454 0 0 36. Chapter 36 3502 0 0 37. Chapter 37 2836 0 0 38. Sparks (Intermission Part Seven) 3351 0 0 39. Chapter 39 3664 0 0 40. Chapter 40 4064 0 0 41. Chapter 41 4611 0 0 42. Chapter 42 3675 0 0 43. Chapter 43 3720 0 0 44. Alekhine (Intermission Part Eight) 1118 0 0 45. Chapter 45 6405 0 0 46. Chapter 46 6106 0 0 47. Chapter 47 4601 0 0 48. Chapter 48 4531 0 0 49. Chapter 49 3483 0 0 50. Coming Storm (Intermission Part Nine) 7177 0 0 51. Chapter 51 4480 0 0 52. Chapter 52 5763 0 0 53. Chapter 53 3722 0 0 54. Chapter 54 4708 0 0 55. Chapter 55 5271 0 0 56. Chapter 56 5280 0 0 57. Sounding Thunder (Intermission Part Ten) 2812 0 0 58. Chapter 58 9001 0 0 59. Chapter 59 4492 0 0 60. Chapter 60 5379 0 0 61. Chapter 61 9941 0 0 62. Chapter 62 8222 0 0 63. Chapter 63 4430 0 0 64. Chapter 64 4766 0 0 65. Chapter 65 7008 0 0 66. Chapter 66 5769 0 0 67. Act Two Epilogue 2816 0 0 68. The Months Between 9232 0 0 69. Act Three Prologue 96 0 0 70. Chapter 70 5300 0 0 71. Chapter 71 5013 0 0 72. Chapter 72 4580 0 0 73. Chapter 73 5123 0 0 74. Chapter 74 3585 0 0 75. Chapter 75 3963 0 0 76. Chapter 76 4747 0 0 77. Chapter 77 3671 0 0 78. Chapter 78 2347 0 0 79. Chapter 79 5030 0 0 80. Chapter 80 3135 0 0 81. Chapter 81 4371 0 0 82. Arbitrium (Intermission Part Twelve) 3793 0 0 83. Chapter 83 3219 0 0 84. Chapter 84 2189 0 0 85. Chapter 85 2827 0 0