Second Bite at the Cherry @sakinthra
Chapter 76

((Author's Note: I've been getting quite a few new readers here on FF so I wanted to at the very least speak out and thank all the lovely people that have been leaving comments for me. I make sure to read every one. I try to take the critiques to heart and use it to better future chapters, and of course I am always overjoyed at the praise I've received writing this fic. Your comments keep me going, everyone. SBATC started as a project for me, but it's also a project for you, and I hope I can continue to please you with my extreme bastardization of canon.))

The steam from the natural hot spring laid thick over the air, creating a foggy layer over the mountainside. Konan was used to navigating damp weather, but there was still something about the fog that made her slow her movements and squint her eyes, just to make sure there was nothing she missed. It wasn't where she would have chosen to have a meeting, but admittedly this area was too remote for most to stumble upon accidentally, and it was the closest point where the three of them could come together without suspicion.

At this point, she was supposed to be in Kirigakure. It was a long shot, but since that had been Kisame's home country, Nagato had reasoned that he and Itachi might have run off there. Konan doubted it...but she had information that Nagato didn't. Information she was now unwilling to share.

So long as Itachi and Kisame stayed away, that only furthered her own plans.

Nagato still trusted her enough to go and search on his behalf. Zetsu was covering Suna and Iwa, she was to cover Kiri. Hidan and Kakuzu were to be going to Kumo to hunt Jinchuuriki, and if they saw the rogue members on the way, all the better. Deidara and Sasori, otherwise occupied. Nagato himself had to remain in Ame, and Madara? Who knew. He was the only wild card that worried Konan, so she was now coasting on an ironic prayer to whatever god would listen that Madara kept to himself and paid her little mind.

She was Nagato's right hand. She had no reason to betray him.

She was the first to reach the spring, and she allowed herself a brief moment of respite while waiting for the others to arrive. There were no hot springs in Ame; with the constant rain, it would have made open-aired springs a bit of a strange experience. Konan tentatively removed her sandals, not willing to completely lower her guard, but willing to at least warm her feet after a long journey.

It was a while longer before another arrived, the tapping of his shoes apparent from some distance away. It was a small bit of relief to know he had arrived. She'd half expected one of Nagato's 'paths' to show up instead, ready to drag her home and demand what she was doing halfway up in Yu.

Her new companion let out a hefty sigh as he settled down next to the water. He removed his own sandals, joining her in dipping his own feet.

He looked exhausted. His had probably been the longest journey...and he probably had the most on his plate out of all of them.

"So...are you going to tell me why you dragged me out into a hot spring in the middle of nowhere, Konan?"

"My apologies for the inconvenience, Master Jiraiya. Unfortunately this was the optimal location for the three of us to meet, without raising suspicion in those around us."

"The three of us?" Jiraiya raised an eyebrow. The admission seemed only to make him seem more exhausted, and the man was already beginning to get on in years. Most shinobi didn't make it past their twenties. Konan could only imagine the weight Jiraiya held on his shoulders, making it as long as he had. "When I asked if anyone in Akatsuki would be willing to join the coup, you weren't sure you could convince anyone."

"That wasn't a lie. This one...he came to me. He knew about our first meeting, every word of it. He claims to be on our side."

"That doesn't exactly inspire confidence. If he was able to listen in, then Nagato-"

"This one's always been odd, just as much so as Nagato. Him finding out does not necessarily surprise me. It is his interest in the operation that confuses me."

"Seems like you don't trust him."

"I'm still not sure that I even trust you."

"Aw, come on, Konan. Not after all this time? I'm the one who trained you up, you know, even though you weren't even from my own village. I feel like I've earned a little trust, don't you?"

Konan didn't respond. The situation was difficult. Very, very difficult. She wanted to trust Jiraiya. She wanted to trust anyone.

She missed Yahiko so badly that it hurt.

She saw a pouting look on Jiraiya's face, but still kept silent. She instead closed her eyes, trying to enjoy the warmth of the water. It was enough, wasn't it? That she could close her eyes around him. That was more trust than she gave most.

It had been something of a shock when she'd first met up with Jiraiya, realizing that he was the one who had snuck her a note. Konan had vaguely known that he was Konoha's spymaster, but it hadn't quite crossed her mind how capable he might be of infiltrating her own village. But there had also been a part of her that had felt relief. Jiraiya, perhaps more than anyone else alive, knew her and Nagato. If anyone was going to help her stop Nagato from losing himself completely, it would have to be their old teacher.

It thankfully wasn't much longer before the third appeared. He was even louder than most, making Konan wonder if he really was taking this 'secret coup' thing seriously. He was sprinting up the hill, huffing heavily as he lugged his impractical weapon up with him.

"I'm late, I know, I'm fucking sorry. Ditching Kakuzu was harder than I thought. I practically had to drop a bounty in his fucking lap before the bastard let me have a damn minute to myself."

Hidan let his scythe rest against a nearby rock before stripping off his cloak. From there, he went straight to the spring, not even hesitating to step in, still half-clothed, and submerged himself in the water.

"Fuck, I missed hot springs. I cannot tell you how happy I was you let us meet here."

Konan let her eyes glance over to Jiraiya, finding a small bit of amusement in her old mentor's disbelief.

"...he's the guy who found out?"

"Hey, it's not on me. Jashin is the one that led me to your little party. But I gotta admit, never thought in a million years that you'd be the one to turn on that pretender of a god, angel."

Konan frowned. "I didn't ask for the title."

"Bah, I don't have time to lecture you on heathenry. I'll wait until the pretender's gone and we don't have a Bijuu apocalypse to worry about. This is that Jiraiya guy, right? Some sort of big shot Konoha dude to help us out?"

"S-some sort of big shot?" Jiraiya sputtered. "I am the Mighty Toad Sage, one of the legendary Sannin of Konoha!"

"...wait, aren't you the guy that writes those smutty romance books?"

"I am also a highly renowned author, yes."

Hidan just laughed at that, and maybe it was a little odd, but Hidan's at-ease posture in face of all that was going on was enough to let Konan ease up as well, if only a little. She hadn't really been able to relax in years, of course, but this was...close. Far closer than she'd been able to get back in Ame.

Maybe, when all this was done, if she lived through it...maybe she'd come back to Yu, just for a little while.

"So let me get it straight, you're like, Konan's old teacher or something, right? Then how the fuck did she end up in Ame?"

"Why don't you start by telling us how you know about our collaboration to begin with?" Jiraiya countered. "We should all be honest with each other here, shouldn't we? Considering we're planning on taking on the Rinnegan."

"I told you, Jashin is the one who led me here. I had a vision of your first meeting, which was a sign clear as day that he wanted me to join in."

"...a vision?"

"Look, hell if I know how a real god works, it just does." Hidan rolled his eyes and groaned. "As much as I'd love to try a conversion today, time's of the essence. Kakuzu won't suffer me off on my own for long. I did a tally of everyone, by the way, so consider that job done for you." Hidan pointed a finger at Konan. "Figured out everyone we've got a shot at bringing to our side of things. Plus, if we collaborate with Pinkie, we can get all the big-wigs in a row, once she's figured out Kumo and Kiri, right? She might even have a fucking chance with Creep-Ass Orochimaru, believe it or not, things are really fucking wild over there right now."

Konan had to stifle a laugh as Jiraiya frantically looked back and forth between the two of them. If she was honest, she was probably just as confused as he was, though she'd been around Hidan enough to parse together some of the nicknames.

"Sakura Haruno." She clarified. "She's in Otogakure right now, attempting negotiations with your old teammate."

"Succeeding negotiations." Hidan corrected. "She managed to get his interest by dangling information about the Sharingan in front of him. The hilarious bit is that she doesn't even really have any information, just a fluke she managed to figure out fighting that eyeball fucker back in Konoha."

"...well, damn it all, we were the ones who told her to catch his interest. Sharingan is one way." Jiraiya shook his head, but there was a proud smile on his face. "If she manages to get his signature on that treaty, I owe Tsunade a year's worth of drinks."

"Hidan, you mentioned you'd done some reconnaissance?"

"More like some brain work, that's all." Hidan gestured as he talked. "Look, I already got Sakura working on one of them. You know as well as I do that Deidara doesn't give two shits about the organization. I don't think it'll take too much to convince him to try turning a bomb or two on Pein. Sasori...I mean, maybe Sakura will get lucky, but I'm not putting my money on that. Sakura's trying to smooze up to Orochimaru right now and Sasori's got one hell of a grudge against snakes."

"Even just one more in our favor is good. I'd accept Deidara." Konan answered with a nod. "Any others?"

"You might be able to spin Kakuzu if you put a big fat wad of cash in front of him. Honestly don't know if the bastard cares about anything else. Problem there is that he has a bit of a grudge with Taki for throwing him under the bus after he failed to assassinate the First Hokage, so maybe keep them out of his way if you go for him."

"I can bring it up with Tsunade. We might be able to petition the various Kage to start an Akatsuki Demolition fund." Jiraiya mused. "They've already been prepping their villages for attacks, but I'm not sure if that's going to be any help against the Rinnegan."

"Nagato couldn't attack multiple villages in quick succession. If he goes for one, that will take almost everything he has." Konan added. "It might mean sacrificing one village, but doing so would ensure the others would be able to take him, unless something changes radically in the immediate future regarding his strength."

"Always that Madara guy to worry about…"

"I'd be more worried if I was convinced it was actually Madara." Jiraiya countered. "Sakura had a theory on the guy a while back. He's definitely an Uchiha, but unless there's something we don't know, there's no way he's Madara. Of course, the one person we could ask has gone dark…"

"Yeah, I dunno what to tell you about Itachi and Kisame. They're traveling for sure, but Jashin won't show me where the fuck they are." Hidan raised a hand to his temples, massaging them gently. "Hurts to even try. Guess Jashin doesn't think they're important enough to show me much about. I don't even got a clue why they suddenly decided to fuck off."

"I do." Jiraiya admitted. "There's no other answer that makes sense. He heard about what happened at Konoha and learned the truth about why he was forced to kill his clan. He was my original link into Akatsuki, but he's gone dark even from me."

"...I cannot say that I blame him. Hearing from that man what he did…" Konan closed her eyes again. Her rage still hadn't died down, even with the man dead. "It was bad enough that he ruined a peaceful future for Amegakure. I cannot even fathom why he would destroy one of the strongest clans in his own village for his personal benefit."

"So Itachi's out, is what you're saying? And looks like he convinced Kisame to go along with him. Fuck me, that's a bad situation. Who knows where they'll end up."

"And Zetsu?"

"Look, I know it's bonkers, but I can't get anything on Zetsu. Nothing at all. I've asked Jashin, and all I get are these weird ass visions that don't make any sense. Something like a weird aura in a cave sometimes, maybe even tree bark, I dunno...the guy's not right, not even God wants to look at him."

"So you're saying that we've got two potentials in Deidara and Kakuzu, and the rest are wild cards."

"Yeah, that's about right." Hidan threw his arms wide. "Sorry, but I'm the best you've got, angel."

Konan rolled her eyes. She'd never really spent that much time talking directly to Hidan before, and she was starting to think she understood why Kakuzu threatened to kill him so much.

Ally, she reminded herself. They were all allies.

"We need to start by putting together contingency plans." Jiraiya spoke up, pulling out a notebook as he did so. "I'm counting on you in particular, Konan, to help me come up with plans for each village to deal with potential attacks by Nagato. You're the most familiar with his abilities and what he can do. The more we can start planning now, the more lives we might be able to save if he decides to make taking the Jinchuuriki personal."

"Of course." Konan nodded. "I'll tell you what I can."

"Good, that means I can zone out for a bit." Hidan leaned back into the water, shutting his eyes. "Ignore me for a bit, alright, I'm gonna check in on Sakura. Deidara and Sasori are probably at Oto by now and I want to make sure she's kicking some ass."

Konan didn't answer. She watched as Hidan removed his necklace and linked the chains around his fingers. It was quiet, and it took a minute for her to register that Hidan might actually be meditating.

" everyone in Akatsuki insane?"

"It's possible it might have been a secret recruitment requirement."

Konan began to talk. It was gut-churning, revealing some of Nagato's best kept secrets, but she stilled her heart by reminding herself that it was Jiraiya she was talking to. Jiraiya already knew that Nagato had the Rinnegan. Jiraiya probably could have discovered some of these things on his own with enough time. She wasn't damning Nagato. No, if anything, she was saving him.

This wasn't the path they had been meant to follow. If she let him continue, he'd be damning himself and the world he thought he was saving.

She finished, and for a time both she and Jiraiya fell into silence, letting the soft bubble of the hot spring wash over them. She wasn't sure if she'd removed a weight from her shoulders or added more to it, by speaking so much of Nagato.

She'd chosen her path now. There was nothing she could do but follow it.

The silence was interrupted only by a sudden outburst from Hidan, who flew into a fighting stance and shouted out suddenly.

"No, no, kick his ass, what are you doing?" Hidan blinked his eyes open, looking around before swearing even more than usual. "Son of fucking disconnected, of course. Yo, Smutty Sage, wanna tell me why all you Konoha guys are so damn unwilling to stab a bitch? Sasori's just fucking asking for it to, the smug jerk."

"Are you going to share with the class what you're talking about?"

"Sakura and Sasori are in it now, and she somehow roped Orochimaru into helping her out. But it looks like the snake's...I mean, I don't want to say he's dying, but Sakura seems half convinced if Sasori gets a hit in, he might go down. And that Ichibi's got his hands full with some Kazekage puppet, I don't even know what the fuck-...don't give me that look, you asked what I saw, I'm telling you!"

"Are you sure you can't explain how you're managing to telescope into a fight an entire country over?"

"...wanna convert to Jashinism?"

"Right now I'm thinking I need to get to Oto before Sakura dies."

"Shit, you're that worried? Don't be. Little Pinkie Ass-Kicker's got a trick or two up her sleeve yet. And I need to get back to Kakuzu before he starts thinking too hard about where I am." Hidan trudged his way out of the spring, throwing his cloak over his shoulder and grabbing his scythe. "Keep me in the loop, huh? And I'll let Sakura know what's going on next time she connects. At this point I'm desperate to get into a real fight, you know? It's not fair that she gets a fight and I'm sitting here playing diplomat. Everything's fucking backwards. Maybe I should go see if Kakuzu needs help with that bounty."

The hot springs fell quiet once again as Hidan left. Konan and Jiraiya's eyes met, each of them wondering something similar.

What the fuck had they gotten involved in?

"What is this place?"

"That where Madara does not wish us to go."

It was cold here, and not the familiar damp cold of the Mist that Kisame often grew nostalgic for. It was a bitter, dry cold that threatened to freeze his gills. It hadn't snowed, not yet, but it was perhaps inevitable with the oncoming winter. Kisame would have never moved so far north without Itachi to urge him onward.

He was curious, he would admit, as to why Madara Junior and the Zetsu so fervently attempted to drive people away from the far north of the Mountain's Graveyard. As far as he had ever known, there was nothing but ancient bones and old trees out here, coupled with the abundance of feral 'white Zetsu' to drive away anyone who thought of settling the area.

But why, Itachi had asked, do the white Zetsu come from here? Why had Madara Junior layered the borders with disorienting genjutsu to prevent explorers from getting too far within? What was buried within that was so important to keep safe?

Their journey had taken them to some very interesting locations. A deep cavern and an unmarked grave. A series of journals unreadable to anyone without Sharingan eyes. A phrase, a phrase that drove even the dying Itachi onward, desperate for truth, for answers that had been kept from him, from the world.

He hadn't expected dragging out Akatsuki's dirt to be so interesting.

He wasn't surprised that there were buried truths, of course. That was predictable. But he'd never imagined that they'd be led into the middle of nowhere seeking out something so strange and esoteric.

The God Tree

Kisame didn't believe in gods. If gods were real, they were just as despicable as humans, which meant they couldn't be godly. Only a truly sadistic force would have godlike power and not use it to calm the suffering of humanity and guide them towards peaceful paths. Humanity suffered, so gods could not be real. But the author of the Sharingan journals had no other name for the mysterious tree in the north that they claimed spawned the 'power of Kaguya', and Kisame was willing to entertain that there was at least something interesting to investigate.

They had stopped in front of a cavern with a sprawling mouth, the interior so dark that Kisame could not see more than a few meters into it. Itachi had come to a dead halt, and a shiver from Samehada was more than enough to tell him why. The air was thick with chakra, so thick that it had to be…

"A barrier."

"No ordinary barrier." Itachi confirmed. "The chakra network fueling it...I've never seen anything like it. Madara could never have generated such a thing. It would have taken the chakra of a thousand shinobi to make it."

"...and breaking it?"

"A thousand more."

"That, or a handful of really dedicated Jinchuuriki."

The two men looked at each other then, realization dawning on both of their faces simultaneously.


"A relatively simple answer to that question."

"So, surprise, Pein's been lying about his true intentions."

"No, I don't think so." Itachi shook his head. "Misleading, perhaps. I think Pein believes whatever lies beyond this barrier will help him shape the world into what he desires. Madara, on the other hand…"

No doubt also wanted whatever this barrier held, but likely for completely different reasons.

"That's one answer, but far more questions have arisen from it. We have yet to find the God Tree, but we can assume that is what lies beyond this barrier. We have yet to learn what it is that drives Pein and Madara to seek it."

"Whatever it is, it's worth more than nine Bijuu."


Itachi was troubled. He didn't resort to grunts unless he couldn't give words to his own thoughts, and at this particular moment, Kisame couldn't blame him.

He drew Samehada with a flourish, pointing it at the barrier and slowly moving forward until the tip touched the exterior. Samehada fed upon chakra, so maybe it might…

He heard a whimper from Samehada's mouth, and saw a spark of energy upon contact.

"...worth a shot, I suppose."

Kisame holstered the sword again, this time reaching out with his own hands to confirm the barrier's strength. It wasn't gentle; he was pretty certain he'd fought a few Kumo shinobi whose lightning felt gentler than the shock he weathered.

Also worth a shot, though he might not have feeling in his hand for the next few minutes.

"So he needs the nine Jinchuuriki to take it down. You know, the ironic thing is, that Haruno girl is probably closer to getting through this barrier than he is."

"Ironic, perhaps. But I believe it is also fate. A barrier brought down not by force, but by cooperation. The Bijuu have roamed this world for generations, never working as one. Forces of destruction, wrapped by the First Hokage and the Uzumaki princess into human form and gifted to the shinobi nations. But those who truly harness the Bijuu's power, coming together as one nation...only they can find what lies within. Perhaps the barrier's true intent."

"It's a little optimistic." Kisame countered. "Madara certainly seems more than eager to brute force it."

"And do we let him?"

Itachi met his eyes, and Kisame couldn't help but grin.

"I'm getting the impression that you're suggesting a hard 'no', Itachi."

"It's a question for you, Kisame. There's no possible way I'll make it to the end of this."

As if to emphasize, Itachi coughed. The disease was deep in his lungs now, there was no denying that, and Itachi still had little desire to seek aid, even if it was within his grasp.

" told me you'd try to find someone worth following, Kisame. Madara is not that man. Pein is not that man."

"Maybe that man was supposed to be you."

"Then you must carry this on when I am unable to. You must do this for me. And right now, there exists one person who is working in direct opposition to Madara's goals. Someone who might be capable of uniting the Jinchuuriki. Someone...who might even be capable of helping my brother find peace."

Kisame knew what Itachi was asking. He didn't like it...but who was he to deny a dying man's wish?

And maybe, just maybe, a little part of him really wanted to see what lay beyond that barrier.

The stench of foul chakra was in the air, something that made the beast within her writhe with discontent. Something that didn't belong in Kumogakure.

The power of the Matatabi had gifted her with the true senses of a hunter. From the young age at which she'd had the Bijuu stored inside her, she'd always found it easier to smell the world around her, and she learned to distinguish each individual member of her village by scent. It was easier than one might think; living in a village tended to dispose one to certain 'flavors', and it was all too easy to know the difference between someone who'd been born in Kumo and someone who had immigrated there, simply by the severity of certain scents. Chakra, too, had a scent, though that had taken far longer to learn. Once she'd picked it up, however, she'd become an impeccable hunter. Few genjutsu affected smell, which meant that she could easily sniff out those in disguise or those attempting to hide from her.

Yugito was a Hunter, through and through. Even if the village shunned her, they needed her skills, even now after Kumo had withdrawn into its borders and shifted their innovation from ninjutsu to technology.

Some called her and B remnants of a darker age. Yugito knew the truth. The world would never stop needing Jinchuuriki, and the foul chakra only proved it. Could technology have told the Raikage that someone had infiltrated their village? Someone who smelled of death and rot?

And yet…

The owner of this stench was wise, and perhaps knew of her abilities. They had begun to cover their smell with other things, heavy spices perhaps, maybe cleaning equipment. Enough to prevent Yugito from sniffing them out directly, but not enough to prevent her from knowing they were there. It was only a matter of time.

No one could say that the Matatabi couldn't sniff out a rat.

"Hey yo, Yugito. There's some news, don'cha know?"

Her concentration was broken by B's deep voice, and Yugito couldn't help but hiss in discontent. "Damn it, B, I was onto something."

"Still sniffin' a rat? How's that?"

"They're good. Once I've dragged them out, I'll be sure to learn how they've covered their scent so well. I can only faintly pick up their chakra, and they've been leaving traces of it everywhere to throw me off."

"Shit, man, never heard of anyone throwin' off your nose. Then again, you never know, that's just how livin' goes."

"You said you had news?"

B thrust a newspaper in front of her. The layout was unfamiliar, and Yugito read for a moment before realizing that this was a newspaper from Konoha.

Economic Boom: Newfound Peace Treaty Leads to Unprecedented Trade Between the Lands of Earth, Fire, and Wind.

"Peace treaty?" Yugito sniffed with discontent. This...this wasn't good. If Iwa, Konoha, and Suna were aligning...the three countries could easily overpower their own with a concentrated effort. What had spurred this sudden change? Iwa had always been hostile to Konoha.

"There's this girl going around speaking peace, you see? They even think she might be headin' to our country."

"Bullshit she is." Yugito growled. "Nobody's tried that sort of thing since Hashirama Senju."

"Time's are a changin'. The old ways are agein'."

"And what does A think?"

B just smiled and shrugged, which told Yugito all she needed to know. Kumo had already taken their stance in the world. No girl was going to change that.

It didn't matter to her, anyway. Jinchuuriki didn't interfere with politics. Jinchuuriki were tools, weapons.


And she had a rat to sniff out.

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