Akihiro sat down upon his rightful place, the chair belonging to the Uchiha Clan's leader. And for a while, he simply listened. The Sparrow had invited everyone to say their piece, and he would not interrupt them as they did so. A lot of things were said and words were spoken. Not all of it worth listening to, but he did so anyway. For even if a child's squabbling was irrelevant to the world, its guardian should still pay attention.
The first one to speak after Akihiro was naturally Rin. The way he initiated his speech made it seem like he had a proper defense prepared, a justification for every single one of his actions. Akihiro doubted this was the case, but it certainly did seem like it at first. But then, the Sparrow was surprised by the nine tails jinchuuriki for precisely the opposite reason. He had expected Rin to try and dig himself out of the hole Akihiro had just thrown him into...what he did not expect was for Rin to find a shovel and somehow dig himself deeper, not only fully admitting to high treason in front of the entire clan but also telling straight out lies that could easily be disproven. It was frankly staggering for a moment there.
Maybe the reason Rin took so long to move against Nozomi was due to the size of his massive brass balls.
Had Akihiro's reputation or perhaps the Uchiha's reputation fallen so low that they would admit this? Perhaps. Akihiro could of course immediately have replied to Rin, but as Bonaparte once so eloquently stated: Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake. Could Rin be considered an enemy? Perhaps not. But at least in this particular discussion, he and Akihiro were on opposite sides and that made him at the very least an opponent so the same principle could be applied. But the fact that he didn't reply immediately after didn't mean Akihiro was not paying attention, oh no. Every phrase and every word would be engraved in his eidetic memory only to be de-constructed and tore apart later.
The next one to speak was Zenaku. He did not say anything Akihiro did not expect from a teenage boy with a lot of attitude but very little real experience out there in the world. Akihiro's eyes shifted towards the kid for a moment while he spoke, but to him as well he said nothing. For now.
Then it came Kimiko's turn. The first words she said were expected, and yet they were the sweetest to his ears. The Uchiha couldn't help but smile as she spoke those words. They meant the world to him. In fact, they probably meant more than the world. The world could burn for all he cared. Kimiko could not.
His smile slowly shifted into a smirk as Kimiko went on with her speech, every word driving a dagger deeper into Rin's case. Could he be any prouder? Who knows. But his pride certainly peaked as Kimiko attempted to drive in the last blade with the call for Rin Uchiha's arrest. Such a bold move... one Akihiro would not have risked so soon, but nevertheless a bold move which basically has "Kimiko" stamped all over it. The room erupted in whispers, emotions ran high and even an attempted assassination ocured.
It failed. Akihiro was glad it did, but he did not make a move to stop it. The assembly had guards and people ready to defend each one of its participants for a reason. And he liked to that think that part of that reason was so that the Clan Leader didn't need to concern himself with the protection of everyone inside that room, while they were assembling. -Even here, Akihiro said nothing. Not everyone had spoken yet, and he wouldn't want to be interrupted once words finally left his lips.
Satomi spoke. His words were comforting. It was nice to see that unlike many oh his brothers, Satomi had not lost right of the Uchiha Clan pride, of the safety of his people and most important of all, of who the enemy was. Rin's attempts to evade guilt or distract the clan from the matter at hand had failed to persuade Satomi.
A part of Clan didn't think Kimiko had enough influence to speak the word. Another part of the Clan perhaps Akihiro was too young, or absent to be making such accusations. But when Satomi spoke the word 'traitor', Akihiro simply knew
it would be taken seriously. When Satomi demanded for Rin to answer for his crimes, he knew the Clan would have to respect that statement. No one in the clan could outweight the influence that Satomi, Akihiro and Kimiko held together. Not even the man who spoke next.
Not even Nyguyen. Not that he wouldn't try to.. his speech was eloquent, for sure. His speech too did Akihiro engrave in his memory. The fact that Nyguyen wasn't willing to see Rin as a traitor was frankly even more surprising than Rin digging his own grave. Not just surprising, it was a major annoyance. Akihiro had expected such views from less experienced ninjas, such as Zenaku or even the 12 year old that had been late to the party. But he did not expect such a foolish view from a seasoned shinobi. It made no sense. Alas much to Akihiro's dismay, people not always behaved as he predicted they would.
But that was alright. Even as Nyguyen spoke, Akihiro stood quiet. A look of almost boredom on his face. He did not yawn, but those who looked upon him might have expected him to do so at any second. Akihiro patiently awaited his turn to speak. Every speech remembered, every word etched into his memory. He saw the arguments, feints, hooks. Everything went through his head, and he saw it all. The battle of words was no less important than a battle of blades. And Akihiro wasn't bad at either.
Finally Nyguyen's speech ended, and his turn came.
The Uchiha Clan leader stood once again and when he did, the room fell into a deep silence. Accusations had been made, and certainly many wanted to know what he had to say about Rin's defence. But as always, Akihiro couldn't simply give them the cake, no. If he did, he'd lose their attention fairly quickly. Whispers would rise, people would talk amongst themselves and that talking would lower the impact of his own words. No, as always he led the crowd. "It seems to be my turn to speak again, is it not?"
he asked, but wouldn't wait for an answer.
The Uchiha's tone was a bit different. More serious, more respectable. Less goofy than it usually was. He had driven deep into the heart of the clan with jests, but now came the time to win them over with authority. Many people had spoken, many people had been heard. But now came the time for the Clan Leader to speak, and such a moment would be respected. "Zenaku, my brother."
Akihiro's three tomoe'd sharingan shifted towards the boy. He smiled, but somehow his expression didn't transmit empathy. It was almost ominous. "As you Clan Leader I aim not to threat, but to provide advice, good advice. And in that spirit I should tell you, when this clan feels the need to, we don't make threats. We make corpses. We built an empire on blood, not bluffs."
This was nothing more than the truth.It wasn't exclusive to the Uchiha or Konohagakure either. All of the major nations had been founded on rivers and rivers of blood. It took generations for ninjas and other chakra wielders to realize peace was sometimes
a better option than constant warfare. "I commend you for coming so far in the Chuunin Exams, but if you expect praise for the simple action of coming home...well, don't. I don't care that others didn't return, as you put it they're trash. But you're not. You're an Uchiha and as such you're held to a higher standard. Returning home was your duty, and you performed it. Just as I performed mine."
He wouldn't address Zenaku's defense of Rin. Kimiko had already performed an outstanding job at explaining why Zenaku was wrong, and Satomi branding Rin a traitor should also weigh in his conscience. If this wasn't enough to persuade Zenaku to not believe Rin, likely nothing would.
Akihiro's eyes then shifted towards Rin, tomoe spinning as he took in the sight. "As for you, Uchiha Rin let me ask you."
he made a small pause, considering a couple of names for a moment. "On a scale of Tats to, well that guy who mistook a courier mission for an invasion mission. How stupid do you think we are?"
Akihiro had dealt only with Tats, but the story of the Kumogakure shinobi who attacked Kirigakure when he was supposed to deliver a letter hadn't snuck past him. Told him first by Zurui, the story had become sort of an urban legend amongst the ninja ranks. In Akihiro's mind neither of these people faired very well in the IQ department, but considering the way Rin spoke he must've thought this assembly ranked somewhere in between the two."At the Kiri gates and regarding whether my judgment was clouded by rage or not...I assure you you have yet to see me angry. You claim that it was fortune that caused Nozomi Himitsu to withdraw, but it was not fortune. It was Amaterasu. "
That part of Rin's speech had perhaps been the one which had bothered Akihiro the most. The rest of it fell perfectly into his intentions, but up until this point the existence of his Mangekyou Sharingan had merely been a rumour. A whisper in the corridors of the clan houses. People believed he had it, but no one knew
. Rin speech regarding the use of Amaterasu had put an end to all and any doubt. This was bothersome, but not too serious."As for the use of this technique, the Kirigakure no Sato military were incompetent during the battle but I'll admit I was wrong i calling them completely useless. Kirigakure no Sato possesses the Kirisame technique, which I had been eager to see in action against Amaterasu. Despite what you might think, or you might be trying to lead others to believe, Kirigakure no Sato is actually the safest place in the world to cast such a dangerous technique. And the 'colateral damage' must've not have been that great, considering no one asked for reparations and instead Kirigakure no Sato were the ones who gave us money and techniques."
He was not lying. If anyone could stop the Amaterasu, the mist ninjas could. Akihiro didn't like having to resort to use the technique, but it had been a calculated risk. Requiring the mist to use Kirisame was a low price to pay in order to prevent Nozomi from strong arming them into going against Konoha's interests."Your Kyubi story is entertaining, and would even be heroic if you had not just admitted that Yui called upon this Menza fellow. Which by my understanding means that Yui had contact with this man before.
Not just that, but you admitted to knowing this man had the ability to resurrect people. Did you not think that perhaps the Uchiha could have use for such an ability, considering how Alkaid used you to kill our Clan Leader at the time, and the Hokage on top of that?
How is it that the two of you got this man to use this technique for your own benefit, but never thought of using it for the benefit of, well I'm not even gonna say the clan anymore, but at least the village?"
The question lingered for a moment. This was also an important part and a key detail of this story. Yui Kotoshura had managed to get someone to revive her brother, but she had never considered to use the same method to revive her Hokage. Nor had Rin thought of at least trying to persuade Yui to try to get her to revive his clan leader."But wait, somehow your story gets even better. "
"For some reason that is beyond me, you think this assembly is stupid enough to believe such a blatant lie regarding a supposed attack on this clan's compound. First of all, Nozomi Himitsu never even stepped foot on this village, much less the Uchiha Clan District. The one who attacked the village was the missing ninja known as 'Raijin', who just conveniently happened to know the exact location of the Leaf vault and went directly for it."
@Rin wrote:Because of Akihiro’s decision to attack Nozomi Himitsu, that prompted her to specifically launch an attack on the Uchiha and rob them of everything they owned. From money to artifacts.
Akihiro was obviously hinting at Rin giving away this information. These really were incredibly suspicious circumstances. As far as he or anyone else was aware, Raijin had ever stepped foot inside the Leaf Village. And yet somehow, for some reason, he gone straight towards the governmental district and the only
thing he had destroyed was the vault. Almost as if this assault hadn't been about vengeance, but about making bank. Making bank with the help of an inside source of information. Alas, this was just one more heavy suspicion thrown onto the pile currently hanging above Rin's head."Tats was as reliable as a one legged runner, and I ended up deciding to keep the Uchiha funds on a separate vault. As a result of that decision, this Clan didn't lose a single ryo with that attack."
This was true. While Konoha's vault had been robbed, Mockingbird's vault had been left untouched and that's where Akihiro kept his personal, Mockingbird and Clan funds. "As for the artifacts..."
Akihiro opened his hand, and the infamous Uchiha Gunbai materialized by his side, his fingers wrapped around the handle. "The only artifacts we lost were the ones you willingly gave away."
The Uchiha Gunbai had been kept at the Clan Leader's house all this time, Akihiro well aware he could call upon it at any time. A measure he'd kept in place after someone had the idiotic idea of storing other priceless artifacts in abandoned appartments."Did you seriously believe you could make up a story about an attack on the Uchiha Clan District and just expect everyone to go 'Oh, that happened? I didn't notice it.'?"
This was an honest question. What was Rin's plan here? This story was borderline schizophrenic."These are grave crimes... but frankly none of these actions bother me more than the one you just did. "
Akhiro's eyes shifted from Rin to the crowd, took a moment to rest upon Zenaku and then kept going through every face. "Some of you criticize me for 'badmouthing' the Clan, even if what I say is true.
But I wonder, will you stand for what has just been said here? Rin Uchiha just blatantly admitted he doesn't give two shits whether our families live or die! That in itself is a serious statement, treason I dare say!"
"He could've resurrected Satomi. He didn't."
@Rin wrote:The point I’m making here is that there are at least two methods to bring someone to life, and while many of you might think of lost family and ancestors. That is not my concern.
Akihiro turned his gaze towards Nyguyen. For all his youth, Akihiro wasn't stupid- He knew which buttons to push. Perhaps the older Uchiha was concerned with saving fire power for whatever was coming, but some things Akihiro simply wouldn't let stand. He had to make Nyguyen care. And the best way to make him care, was to make it personal."You. You speak of having children. Sage be willing, one day I'll be blessed with that. But should such a day come, I hope the love for the my children will not blind me to the dangers of young traitors.
By his own words, Uchiha Rin admitted to not caring for our families. And by his lack of action,"
Here Akihiro was referring to Rin not making a move to resurrect Satomi when he clearly had knowledge that could've helped to that cause. " he proved this feeling to be true. Nozomi Himitsu, Alkaid or whoever..they could walk right through that door, kill my family, kill you, kill your children. And not only would this man not move a finger to defend them, he wouldn't move a finger to bring them back either, even if he could.
Most of us can't resurrect people...and I don't know how you did it Nyguyen. But you had the chance to bring back Satomi, and you seized it. Rin had the chance to share knowledge to achieve the same goal years ago, and he never did."
Akihiro made a pause, to let that sink in. Then he turned to the crowd again,"I too am familiar with the premise that the simplest of explanations is often the truth but my point is that what you're suggesting Nyguyen, isn't the simplest of explanations. So let me get this straight... you'd have me believe that Rin's 'little head' is responsible for:"
As he spoke, he counted every item with his fingers.
- The successful approach and infiltration of Alkaid
- The subsequent death of Satomi or Clan Leader and Hokage at the time
- Dealings with international terrorist Menza before the 9 tails attack
- Dealings with the same terrorist during the attack
- The successful infiltration of the same terrorist not once but twice.
- The subsequent loss of two of the most powerful artifacts in the world, belonging to the Uchiha Clan by right.
- The kidnapping of Kotoshura Yui
- The lack of action against international criminal and society leader Nozomi Himitsu
- Several dealings with the same criminal.
- Rin Uchiha coming here and admitting all of this, as well as how he doesn't give two shits about our families.
Akihiro was running out of fingers at this point, so he kept the list shorter than it should've been. "You'd have me believe that a single cock was responsible for all of this? If so, for the love of Sage someone cut off the man's penis before it leads us all to ruin!"
Akihiro was joking. Sort of. Well, he was half joking. Truly he didn't believe Rin's genitals to be responsible for all of this, he blamed Rin himself and his poor decisions made by his bigger head. But by golly, if the little head was responsible then it'd pay for it!
Akihiro would then turn to Nyguyen again. "I'm certain you'll understand how hard it is for someone to be branded a missing ninja by a country and report to it at the same time. Despite however good my skills might be, that's something simply out of my reach.
I did order you to stay put and ignore Tatsu's orders to move out to Iwagakure. And you completed that mission proudly. I didn't order anyone to become blind and deaf, however.
The shipment of explosives I intercepted was loaded into a Great Indiaman by a large caravan of oxen and hunders of wagons. So large in fact that it extended from this village's gates to the damn harbour at Tanzako town. I cannot foresee everything.
If someone is passing such a massive caravan of explosives through our village, and considering how you all knew how batshit crazy the cat was... I expected at least some of you to ask questions, or do something about it. I never intended for this Clan and its people to become sitting ducks while someone shoves explosives down their village. Stay put means stay put, but it also means stay vigilant, aye?"
Nyguyen was only half-wrong. It was true that Akihiro had a habit of not communicating as well as he should. A lifetime of intelligence work, spy networking and shadow lurking left him with some trust issues. In addition to that, he sometimes had a poor habit of not giving out information simply because he considered he didn't need to. What would others do with that information that he himself hadn't already thought of? What could they possibly contribute that he could not, in terms of information handling? Perhaps this came off as a sour, elitist attitude. But the young Uchiha had always been miles above the average ninja in terms of intellectual ability. More often than not he found that keeping the information and working it himself was faster, more effective and above all safer.
And Akihiro was only half-wrong to do this, as well. Had he shared with everyone where the Clan funds were stored, and would they still have any money after Raijin's attack?"As I've stated before, the Clan's funds are safe. Any major expenditure needs to be signed off by me either way, so I do believe it's better this way. I will however,"
well he had to give them something
, didn't he? "reveal where they are located as well as the details of the amounts to those whose job is to deal with these matters.
Kirigakure no Sato provided us with 1 million ryo, and the secrets of two of their exclusive techniques. As is custom amongst not only ourselves but the village, those techniques will be available to those who seek permission to learn and prove themselves worthy of them. "
The Uchiha Clan leader's sharingan gaze would yet again rest upon Rin's eyes. "Rin, this is your one chance. I care less for lashes, or death punishments "
Akihiro carefully let out "imprisonment" out of this one phrase. Not because he was trying to trick Rin, but because Kimiko had been the one to suggest imprisonment and it was a poor idea to diminish her words in front of...well, anyone really. They had had a major impact within the clan ranks and Akihiro was not about to lower such a bold initiative. "than I care about the absolute truth, and recovering what is rightfully ours.
Nyguyen's proposal regarding how to deal with you isn't bad, but that's not his decision to make, and above all Satomi is right.
I do not seek vengeance. I seek justice, I seek the truth. And I seek to find what we lost. Allow me to read your memories right here."
Akihiro was fairly sure he held the record for how fast one could read another's memories through the use of the sharingan. "Do not resist me. Allow me to ascertain the truth, your actions and your goals.
I trust Masuyo's words less than I trust my own Sharingan and I would not delay this and waste more time while war is almost upon us. If we are indeed to decide on a punishment, I'd rather know and see the absolute truth with my own eyes before we do, so that any eventual punishment can be just.
If what you say is the truth, about these disciples...then allow me to see your memories. Allow me to find the artefacts you lost, so we can recover them and use them in the upcoming war.
If what you say is truth and Nozomi has a kind heart... let me see it. "
Akihiro did not believe for one second
that Nozomi had a kinder heart than the one he'd judged her to have. But he'd been wrong before (like, once when he was 8 and he's still salty about it)."I would rather not discuss punishment before experiencing your memories. But if you refuse me this request, then I'll have to assume you have something to hide. I'll have to assume you are indeed, a traitor.
And let it be known,"
he spoke to the crowd now. "That no Uchiha Clan traitor will get away from such an act with one hundred, or even one thousand lashes."
He focused on Rin again. "For the love of the Sage, clear your name here. If not for yourself, for the family that took you in."