Arc VIII Chapter 12
Rain haunted Amegakure once again, a common sight. The sun was a rare guest above the dark skies of Amegakure. The light never arrived, no matter how much the people of Ame craved for warmth.
The clouds above Ame darkened and rain poured down on the earth without mercy. Water, water, never ending masses of water. The weather was ghastly as usual.
Pain summoned her and Asami found herself at the receiving end of his angry stare. Mighty Pain-sama was angry with her, and he demanded an explanation.
Asami tilted her head. Pain and his soulless Rinnegan stare didn't affect her. Asami wouldn't budge easily. She wasn't his lapdog.
Even the alleged omnipotence of a god was limited. His power knew its boundaries
His eyes didn't betray any trace of emotion. Cold, hard, unforgiving, unfeeling, they bored into her.
Pain ruled the village by fear rather than by genuine authority. He was acknowledged as the undisputed leader of the village. He was feared. He was respected. He was revered, but he wasn't loved. Despite all his power, Pain's grip on Amegakure was weak.
Akatsuki ruled the village from the shadows, but their influence was spread thin. They failed to establish control over Amegakure, to access its resources.
Pain's narrowed his eyes. He lectured her. "Asami, do you realise what you have done?"
Asami tilted her head. "Not really."
Pain glared. The girl tried his divine patience. "I was informed you burned down the castle and killed our client."
Asami didn't contest his charge. Her smile confirmed her guilt. "Indeed. It was a pleasure. The sweet cries when the flames devoured him. Wonderful."
Pain refrained from commenting. “Answer me, why did you kill him? Do you realise the damage you have done to our reputation? Akatsuki can't kill client left and right." His anger shimmered through his voice.
Asami rolled her eyes. Pain exaggerated. As if they had a reputation to begin with. The entire organisation consisted of infamous S-ninja with less than reputable backgrounds.
"I killed him because I disliked ... his presence. Thus, I decided to shorten his life."
Pain's frowned. Her answer displeased him. "Asami, your behaviour is ... unacceptable.“
His glare intensified. “I warn you, I won't tolerate such blatant insubordination ever again. My orders are absolute! You are a member of Akatsuki, and you owe me your obedience."
Pain's expression darkened, and Asami gazed into the abyss. His luminescent eyes exuded a dangerous purple glow. His Chakra tickled her skin. Powerful, cold, relentless, his aura clashed against hers.
Asami had underestimated Pain. This time she had gone too far. Pain was an enemy that had to be taken seriously.
Asami's confident smile faltered. Her dominance wasn't questioned for ages, but today it was. Pain challenged her, and Asami came to realise her weakness, her inferiority. Disgusting. Her inadequacy annoyed her.
Asami clenched her fists to suppress her boiling anger. Her superiority. Shattered in a single careless moment. A shameful display. Weakness was not acceptable. Inferiority a sin.
Asami confronted Pain in silence. Neither of them spoke as Ame's eternal rain darkened the sky.
Pain didn't budge. "Do you understand?"
Asami was tempted to retort, but decided against provoking Pain any further. His mood was volatile. His wrath uncontrollable.
Asami lowered her head and submitted. She recognised his authority. "I understand. I will refrain from similarly thoughtless actions in the future."
Asami swallowed the bitter pill. She played her allocated role, the role of the obedient girl.
Pain merely nodded. "I am pleased. I hope you won't disappoint me again. You are dismissed."
Asami grumbled and retreated. At least, Yuki-chan was waiting for her.
"Yuki-chan ~? Yuki-chan ~?" Asami beamed. "Where are you ~? Don't hide from your precious nee-san ~."
Asami turned around the corner and met a scared, shivering Yuki hiding behind Tobi's figure.
Tobi shrugged his shoulders.
Asami poked the petrified girl.
Yuki avoided her gaze, intimated by Pain's aura. "Pain is ... scary."
Yuki disliked him. Pain aggravated nee-san. Nobody was allowed to do such, not even a self-proclaimed god.
“What are your thoughts about our newest addition?" Pain faced Tobi, but it wasn't Tobi he needed. He desired to speak to someone else.
Tobi was thinking. "Tobi thinks ..."
Pain showed his annoyance. "You misunderstand. I want to speak with Madara."
"I see.“ Tobi grinned behind his mask. His voice turned cold.
“Asami ... is a peculiar girl, an interesting piece on our board I never thought possible.“
Tobi chuckled. “A capable kunoichi, far exceeding my expectations. Perhaps even stronger than you?"
Tobi teased Pain. "I didn't miss your little show of force."
Pain disapproved of his behaviour. He answered with a schooled glare and silence.