Naruto Jinraiden: The Day the Wolf Howled
|Naruto Jinraiden: The Day the Wolf Howled|
|(NARUTO -ナルト- 迅雷伝 狼の哭く日, Naruto Jinraiden: Ōkami no Naku Hi)|
|Japanese||November 2, 2012 (ISBN 978-4-08-703279-6)|
Naruto Jinraiden: The Day the Wolf Howled (NARUTO -ナルト- 迅雷伝 狼の哭く日, Naruto Jinraiden: Ōkami no Naku Hi, Viz: Naruto: Thunderclap Chronicle –Day of the Howling Wolf–) is an original story written by Akira Higashiyama and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It is set shortly after Sasuke’s fight with Itachi, but before he awakens his Mangekyō Sharingan.
The End of Revenge (復讐の終わり, Fukushū no Owari)
Sasuke Uchiha reflects on the final portion of his battle with his older brother, Itachi Uchiha: his usage of Kirin and his submission to Orochimaru’s offer of help, and Itachi’s easy defeat of both with his Susanoo. Although Itachi clearly had the upperhand, he never followed through with his threat to take Sasuke’s Sharingan and how, after laboured breathing and coughing up blood, Itachi died in the end. Although he was confused about all this at the time, Sasuke was glad to have finally achieved the vengeance he’d worked towards for so long.
A Black Dream (黒い夢, Kuroi Yume)
Sasuke has a restless sleep. He dreams of a masked boy that questions Tobi’s motives, observing that he could have stopped Sasuke’s misguided quest to kill Itachi any number of times. Since Tobi never did, he must have wanted Itachi to die and for Sasuke to be consumed with hatred. When questioned, the boy denies being a dream, claiming to lie at the bottom of Sasuke’s consciousness and embody the essences of Sasuke, Itachi, and the Uchiha clan’s history.
Sasuke wakes to find Tobi nearby. He offers Itachi’s eye drops to Sasuke to alleviate some irritation he’s been experiencing. Tobi reports that he and Zetsu buried Itachi’s body after salvaging his eyes. He then starts discussing the so-called “justice” of the world and how shinobi institutions like Konohagakure achieve their “justice” through cycles of deaths, as in the Uchiha Clan Downfall. He contrasts this with hatred, which he claims to be both focused and finite. Sasuke finds a certain appeal in Tobi’s words and wonders how the tailed beasts fit in to all this, but recognises that Tobi is only trying to manipulate him.
Before leaving, Tobi gives a receipt for the eye drops to Sasuke. Seeing that the eye drops were acquired from the Howling Wolf Village, a former hidden village, Sasuke decides to go there to learn more about Itachi’s fatal illness and if, indeed, he was actually ill at all, or if Tobi has been lying to him about that. Although he wants to leave right away, he collapses into a dreamless sleep.
The Howling Wolf Village (狼哭の里, Rōkoku no Sato)
Sasuke arrives at the Howling Wolf Village thirteen days after leaving Tobi and immediately begins asking for the source of Itachi’s eye medicine. He learns that the medicine came from a store called Rengyōdō, but the villagers are reluctant to tell him where it’s actually located. He finally learns that it lies on the outskirts of town and that it produces saigenzai, an addictive narcotic. As he walks to Rengyōdō, Sasuke comes across a crowd gathered around three corpses that have apparently had their chakra sucked out.
It’s midnight when he reaches Rengyōdō and the shop is closed, so he decides to wait at the abandoned Kodon Shrine that’s nearby. Soon after he gets there, the store is set on fire, and Sasuke uses his Chidori to put out the flames. He is immediately attacked by a boy who accuses Sasuke of starting the fire and being a member of the Sendō clan, here to steal their Kotarō. The boy, Kina Kodon, is stopped by his older brother, Reishi Kodon, who points out the Uchiha symbol on Sasuke’s back and concludes he must be Itachi’s brother.
Sasuke has breakfast with Reishi and Kina in the morning. He is unsettled by how similar Reishi and Kina’s relationship is to the one he once had with Itachi and asks why two brothers that get along so well would make a drug like saigenzai. Reishi explains that saigenzai is an improperly prepared version of their Kotarō, a medicine that Itachi, among others, uses. Sasuke informs them that Itachi is dead, but they aren’t surprised since Itachi warned them that would be the case if Sasuke ever visited them. They explain that Itachi visited them once or twice a year, ordered the most potent Kotarō they had and, while he waited for the medicine to be prepared, defended them from the Sendō clan. Itachi, whose body was sick beyond repair, was initially distant with Reishi and Kina, but with time started telling them about Sasuke, speaking of him warmly.
Sasuke is moved to tears by this further proof that Itachi was not the monster he thought he was and changes the subject to the Sendō clan. The Sendō, led by Jiryū Sendō, are the primary suppliers of saigenzai, selling it to shinobi that have had a hard time adjusting to the Howling Wolf Village’s neutrality so they can briefly escape the realities of their lives. The Sendō now want the secret to Kotarō in order to increase their profits. Sasuke requests some Kotarō for himself, but is told it will take time to make. Sasuke decides to stay at the Kodon Shrine while he waits, just like Itachi used to do.
Kina comes to meet him later and tells him about Rōen, an immortal monster that used to terrorise the village and consume people’s chakra. It was defeated ten years earlier by Kina and Reishi’s father, Tenma Kodon, but Tenma died in the act. As this was around the time that the village was deciding whether or not to continue being a ninja village for hire, some believed that Tenma intentionally released Rōen in order to influence opinion against neutrality, and as such the Kodon clan has lost its reputation. Kina wants to restore his family’s honour by solving the mysterious murders that have been happening recently and asks for Sasuke’s help. Sasuke agrees so long as receives food as payment for his services.
Reishi and Kina (レイシとキナ, Reishi to Kina)
Sasuke and Kina have stakeouts during the nights so that Reishi won’t find out what they’re doing. For three nights there are no signs of the murderer and the Kodon continue to be abused by the rest of the village. On the fourth night, as Kina arrives at the location he’s been staking out the last few nights, he finds some shinobi under the influence of saigenzai. They beat him up while Sasuke watches from a distance. When they contemplate killing Kina, Sasuke intervenes, scaring them off with Chidori. Sasuke is upset with himself for getting involved in other peoples’ business and takes Kina home.
Reishi is angry with Kina when he finds out what they’ve been doing, believing he could have been killed. He explains that he promised their father that he would protect Kina, but also makes an offhand remark that their father is responsible for their predicament. This upsets Kina and he runs out. After a moment of reflection, Reishi thanks Sasuke for his help. Sasuke asks why Reishi and Kina don’t simply leave the village, to which Reishi explains there’s too much good he can do here and that, besides, the rest of the world isn’t much better. After some discussion of the shinobi system, Reishi admits that his father did indeed release Rōen in response to the growing availability of weapons that can be used to kill impersonally; if death is to continue, it is better that there be shinobi to at least remember what purpose those deaths serve.
In the morning, Kina informs Sasuke that there have been more murders: the men from the night before were found dead in the same spot that Sasuke fought them. As this would make him a suspect, Sasuke decides to leave the village. Kina convinces him to take a detour to the murder scene before he goes. When they get there they find a gathering of the Sendō clan. Seeing Jiryū Sendō, Kina accuses them of trying to burn down Rengyōdō a few nights earlier. When one of the Sendō tries to attack Kina, Sasuke uses the Great Dragon Fire Technique to burn several and then threatens to kill Jiryū. They retreat and Sasuke warns them not to attack Rengyōdō again.
After they’re gone, Sasuke starts investigating the area but is overwhelmed with an intense pain in his eyes, what he believes to be a symptom of his awakening Mangekyō Sharingan. Knowing that the Mangekyō Sharingan awakens from the death of a loved one, and that Itachi died twenty-two days earlier, Sasuke is conflicted by what this means and what Itachi could want from him. Kina insists that they should return to Rengyōdō for some medicine. Although he initially reacts with hostility to Kina’s kindness, Sasuke is swayed by his unflinching friendliness and agrees to go back.
Abduction (誘拐, Yūkai)
Sasuke and Kina continue their stakeouts. On the sixth day, two villagers try shooting Reishi while he is in the mountains collecting herbs. He is taken to a hospital but leaves as soon as he’s able in order to continue his work. Suspicious, Sasuke follows him but loses him in a thick mist and is disoriented by a powerful scent. When he locates him again, Reishi is leaving the site where the corpses of the men who attacked him earlier lie. Sasuke is unsympathetic to them and assumes Reishi was responsible. When Kina informs him of the murders the next day, Sasuke discourages him from continuing the investigation, angering Kina and causing him to leave.
Sasuke visits Rengyōdō where he finds Reishi making a perfume. He states his intention to leave and also confides that he knows Reishi is the murderer, but that he doesn’t blame him for his actions. Reishi starts laughing at the suggestion but before he can explain an arrow is shot through the window with a ransom note attached, presumably from Jiryū Sendō: Kina will be released if they surrender the Kotarō. When Sasuke and Reishi arrive at the meeting place, however, they find a number of dead Sendō clan members. Reishi follows the scent – the same one that disoriented Sasuke – of the special perfume he uses to Kina and administers a special mixture of saigenzai to wipe Kina’s memory. Sasuke realises that Kina is the murderer, not Reishi, and helps them sneak back to Rengyōdō before anyone finds them at the crime scene.
Once Kina is put to bed, Reishi gives the eye medicine that he’s finally finished preparing to Sasuke. He warns of possible side effects, but Sasuke uses them immediately anyway. Reishi explains that the Kodon clan sealed Rōen into their shrine long ago. When his father broke that seal, he controlled it using his special saigenzai, but the control was broken during its attack on the village. Reishi’s parents tried to seal it back into the shrine, but his mother was killed before they had the chance and his father wasn’t able to do it alone. Doing what he could, he sealed Rōen into the infant Kina at the cost of his life.
It was only recently that Kina started to attack people, and only then when he’s bullied, Rōen using his anger to get out. Once it’s released, Reishi has just ten minutes to suppress Rōen or else Kina will die; they tried a number of times to leave the village in order to get away from the anger, but have never been able to, possibly because their parents’ seal still binds Rōen to the shrine, however weakly. Unable to do anything else, Reishi wipes Kina’s memory after each attack to protect him from the knowledge of what he’s done.
At that moment, the villagers start attacking Rengyōdō, believing Reishi and Kina are the murderers. Reishi asks for Sasuke’s help by transforming into Kina and killing him in front of everyone else so that they will believe Kina is innocent of wrongdoing. Sasuke tries to protest but the medicine’s side effects start to kick in and his vision fades. What little he can see is Reishi’s determination, which reminds him of Itachi, so he agrees to follow his request. The crowd starts attacking Reishi and Sasuke prepares to play his role, but Kina emerges from Rengyōdō to defend his brother. As the villagers start turning their attacks on him as well, Rōen is released.
The Memories in the Eyes (瞳のなかの記憶, Hitomo no Naka no Kioku)
Rōen starts heading towards the village, attacking villagers as it goes. Remembering that they have only ten minutes to suppress it before Kina dies, Sasuke instructs Reishi to hurry up. They are interrupted by the Sendō clan, which Sasuke decides to deal with while Reishi goes after Rōen. Although he still has difficulty seeing, Sasuke is able to defeat several based only on sound and the others are scared off. Sasuke catches up with Reishi with only five minutes left. Reishi uses a saigenzai to dull Rōen’s senses, but it recovers before it can be subdued. The village’s defenders start to come out in full force and Sasuke uses Kirin to stop Rōen, but nothing works. Sasuke is captured by Rōen and much of his chakra is consumed, but he cuts free with his Kusanagi in time.
As he reunites with Reishi, Sasuke realises that his Mangekyō Sharingan has finally awakened, giving him the feeling that Itachi is with him. Empowered, he and Rieshi attack together, but their efforts continue to fail and Reishi eventually runs out of saigenzai. With little options left, Reishi asks for Sasuke’s help performing the seal his parents tried to use years earlier; if Sasuke distracts Rōen with a genjutsu for only a few seconds, he can seal it back into the Kodon Shrine. Reishi will die in the attempt, so he asks that Sasuke tell everyone, Kina included, that he was the killer. Sasuke agrees, impressed by Reishi’s dedication to his younger brother.
With only a few seconds remaining, Reishi throws what’s left of his perfume into Rōen’s face to immobilise it while they get into position. Sasuke neutralises the attacking villagers so they won’t interfere and cuts his way to Rōen’s eyes. He casts a genjutsu with his Mangekyō Sharingan and time slows down. The genjutsu plane fills with crows and the masked boy from Sasuke’s dream appears, explaining that the seal Reishi is about to perform will only last for seven years, after which Rōen will escape. Sasuke is unconcerned so long as he can save Kina here, today, and asks what the boy wants with him. The boy also wants to protect them, and always has. From the boy’s words, Sasuke realises he is Itachi, and cannot hold back his tears at this realisation. Itachi removes his mask and starts to deliver a message. Before he can finish, however, Reishi completes the sealing and the genjutsu breaks.
Requiem (鎮魂祭, Chinkonsai)
A celebration is held five days after Rōen’s defeat. Kina is hailed as a hero by the whole village, who believe he sealed Rōen back into the Kodon Shrine in order to stop his murderous older brother. Or at least that’s the story told by Jiryū Sendō; Kina has his doubts since he can’t remember anything about what actually happened. He escorts Sasuke from the village as he leaves and asks him what happened, but Sasuke avoids giving an answer; he used his Mangekyō Sharingan to alter Jiryū’s memory, fulfilling Reishi’s last request to not let anything happen to Kina.
As Sasuke is about to set sail he asks Kina to come with him, warning him that Rōen will return in seven years. He offers to train him during their time together until he can look after himself, but Kina declines, choosing to continue the life in the Howling Wolf Village he would have had with Reishi. Sasuke questions if being killed by Rōen is what Reishi would want. Kina says it probably isn’t, but that his older brother would forgive him. Sasuke is reminded of Itachi again and feels hopeful for a brief moment. Sasuke encourages him to get stronger for when Rōen returns, but also says that if he fails, he’ll at least get to see Reishi and Itachi again.
The Beginning of Revenge (復讐のはじまり, Fukushū no Hajimari)
Sasuke stands on a rock by a beach, reflecting on Tobi’s words about Itachi. After sitting there for three days, he is joined by Jūgo, who informs him the others will join them shortly. He thinks about Itachi some more until Suigetsu Hōzuki, Karin, and Tobi arrive. Sasuke states that their team shall no longer be Hebi but Taka instead, and that their mission from here on out will be to destroy Konoha.
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