Chapter 125: Double Agent, Conflict and Planning
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_________ POV Narration _________ 

Ken sat down on his desk with his legs and arms crossed, his mask already on his face as he 'looked' at the people who entered his office.

The first one to enter was none other than the First Blade, Tosho.

Still dressed in his usual outfit mostly covered by that long cloak and wearing his mask. Samehada was tied to his back with bandages.

The one that followed him was the Third Blade, Akira, the resident 'immortal' of the Dark Brotherhood.

He was dressed much the same as Tosho, the only difference being his mask, which had three lines in the middle, and the fact that he carried a different blade on his back.

The Kubikiribōchō, the self-regenerating weapon that had once belonged to Jūzō Biwa was now in the hands of the Third Blade, the person that had tormented him during the '7 Hell Trials' and broken his will.

Even if it was Ken who delivered the final blow, Jūzō had already resigned himself to his fate by the time the Blind Monster got there.

After Akira came in yet another member, dressed in a similar fashion but also wearing a large straw hat that covered it's head on all sizes. It's mask was simply white.

It was one of Saburo's many clones. 

Even if the Second Blade couldn't attend in person, he could still be 'present' and speak through his clone, so all was well.

Still, even through his clone, the Strawman could feel the tension in the room skyrocketing as soon as he stepped in it.

It wasn't that surprising given the circumstances, but the biggest source of that tension was Tosho, the First Blade.

Ken was just sitting in the same position on his desk, unmoving.

"Soo... What's all this about boss!" Akira was the first one to speak up, directly addressing Ken whilst ignoring the tension in the room with great proficiency.

"It seems that our Dark Brotherhood has attracted the attention of some rather suspicious characters, someone is currently lurking the premises and looking at us from a safe distance."

The Blind Assassin responded without even missing a beat.

Akira merely smiled at that, the immortal went and cracked his neck while asking a very innocent question.

"Want me to go cut them up?" 

But Tosho was there to discourage him.

"No, we must proceed with caution. We can't alert our enemy that we are aware of them."

The First Blade huffed, almost as if he was saying something obvious... He didn't bother to remember that his first reaction upon hearing of the spy was about the same as that of Akira. 

"Huh, so something big is gonna happen then? Do we know anything about the enemy at all?" Akira scratched his chin and leaned on the long blade on his back, its tip scratched the floor slightly, but no one told him off.

"We do not... But we hope that 'someone' will be able to help with that..." As Ken spoke, he angled his head towards Saburo's clone, which had just been silently watching for a while.

"Hahh~ Nothing really escapes you, does it Leader?" Saburo's voice echoed in the office as he heaved a tired sigh.

At the same time, back in that hidden location, Lord Yuu had just finished explaining the situation to the Strawman.

"So... A gathering of hidden villages and organizations all striving to take down a future threat to their influence... All led by a mysterious figure that you cannot identify." 

Saburo repeated that briefly as his usually cold voice sounded thoughtful.

"Hehe... With the amount of power gathered, there is no way that the Red Dot or the Brotherhood can ever stand a chance. 

No matter how strong a dragon is, it can still be killed by an army of ants that's big enough." Yuu laughed out loud as he imagined the figure of the bloody and beaten Ken on that battlefield.

The Grass Village may have failed in the past, but with the powers they had now, it was simply impossible.

Hell, even the God of Shinobi would've had trouble dealing with that many Shinobi. And the best of all? 

"We also have the element of surprise! And with your help, everything is bound to go smoothly...

After all, I am assuming that you are the brains behind the Dark Brotherhood's operations." 

Yuu smiled behind his mask as he spoke confidently, especially on that last sentence.

His confidence managed to somewhat confuse Saburo.

"Hmm? And what gave you that idea?" The Strawman muttered under his breath.

"Oh please! As if some 13-year-old kid would be able to come this far in our world...

You sure snatched up a nice seedling and developed it nicely too. But you were reaching too far I'm afraid.

If you refuse this deal today, then I'm afraid you will be crushed alongside the Brotherhood... Unless you run away, of course." 

Yuu spoke out with disdain, although, it was to be noted that he added that last part halfheartedly. It seemed that he was confident that Saburo would take his deal.

"Hmm, you're right... It's been a nice experiment, but a smart man knows when to switch sides, I attracted too much attention."

Saburo didn't bother correcting the Grass Village elder, he didn't care enough to do so.

Still, in his mind, he couldn't help but curse.

'Control him? Yeah right... Maybe in my dreams.

Even if I integrated myself within the Brotherhood I am still nothing more than a tool to that blind monster.

If only he were as immature as his age suggested... Well, at least he makes for a reliable business partner, one that I would rather not lose any time soon.'

"Hahaha! I knew it! You've always been a sly fox!" Yuu laughed out loud, even slapping his knee.

His entire demeanour just felt fake, as he had been acting all cold just earlier, but it seemed that having Saburo confirm one of his 'theories' put him in a good mood. 

The Strawman pondered, he seemed to be deeply thinking about the proposal.

This made Yuu smile, and then he decided to put one last nail in the coffin, something that he believed would help seal the deal nicely.

"Besides... Rumour in the Shinobi World is that the Red Dot is quite upright, isn't that true?

You may be manipulating him into accepting your inhumane experiments for now... But can you be sure that you'll be able to do so in the future?"

Yuu grinned behind his mask, knowing that he had likely hit a soft spot.

And in a sense, he certainly raised an interesting issue for Saburo.

Even if he hadn't manipulated Ken into helping with his experiments initially, would the Blind Monster always be willing to support his experiments?

It was indeed true that he seemed to be developing more of a moral compass as the years went by, but this was the first time that Saburo seriously considered the possibility of Ken wanting to alter their deal.

Silence stretched in the room as Saburo now seriously considered that possibility as well. 

The silence didn't seem to be something that Yuu liked by any means. He coughed awkwardly a few times as he awaited the Strawman's response. 

"Very well... I accept your terms. Let's talk more about the plan of action..." 

Back in Ken's office, Saburo smiled as he finished telling Ken and the other blades more about the forces that they were up against.

"This doesn't sound too good..." Tosho scratched his chin.

Things certainly sounded bleak. But there were plenty of silver linings...

For one, the attacking villages no longer had the 'element of surprise' that factor was flipped on its head thanks to Yuu's stupidity and Saburo's 'loyalty'. 

They also had a lot more power than the other side knew. Ken himself was growing stronger with each passing day, and the children of the brotherhood were nothing to scoff at either. 

And finally... Saburo's actions gave the Dark Brotherhood a rather special opportunity... 

"In this case, we can help our enemies plan a spectacular attack, can't we?" 

Ken smiled widely underneath his mask as his thoughts eventually wound up to that conclusion.

Saburo himself couldn't help but smile.

"Spectacular indeed... After all, who is better than us when it comes to planning an attack on the Dark Brotherhood?" Saburo spoke out, spreading out his arms in a theatrical manner.

Akira laughed a bit.

"Oh boy, this is going to be fun!" The mad immortal grabbed onto the hilt of his large blade as he pointed it to the ceiling.

"Behave, Akira... But this is certainly looking possible. With some luck and careful planning, our Dark Brotherhood might just survive this tribulation." 

Tosho wasted no time in berating the Third Blade for almost stabbing the ceiling before he crossed his arms and spoke out in a calm tone.

The tension in the room had lessened greatly, and now, everyone was focusing on one thing... 

'How shall we proceed?' 

They had plenty of opportunities and a lot of possibilities. Saburo could suggest any plan to Yuu, and the Grass Village Leader was sure to pass it along like an obedient puppy. 

Yuu surely believed that he had gained an asset that assured the destruction of the Dark Brotherhood. 

And he surely was going to try and arrange a meeting with the War Room again and announce his progress. 

It wasn't long before the upper echelon of the Dark Brotherhood came up with a proper plan of attack... 

'Unfortunately, it seems that we will have to postpone Senjutsu Training for now... But it's time to get the show started...'


Hope you liked the chapter!

Had the inspiration to write another one for this story today, so yea, that's what I did :)))

Story Shoutout: The Final Desperation

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