Hearing Yashamaru’s name, Ryo immediately looked at the kid holding the baby, and remembered him from the Manga.

This was Gaara’s uncle, a Ninja that Rasa trusted to the extreme, and was supposed to guard young Gaara from a young age.

Yashamaru’s feelings for Gaara were somewhat complicated, but Ryo was pretty sure that he loved his nephew.

Nevertheless, he played a very important role in Gaara’s childhood, stealing the last ray of hope, love and sanity from him.

It was a shame that Yashamaru, being an Anbu, had no way out of obeying Rasa’s orders.

In order to test Gaara’s capabilities of controlling Shukaku, he was ordered to push Gaara to the brink, and see if he could control the Biju that was sealed within him. He was to tell the young fragile child that he was never shown love by anyone else that he, his uncle, hated him for taking away the life of his sister.

Rasa was very disappointed in Gaara’s ability to control Shukaku. He felt he had to test his son’s control over the beast within him, and even eliminate him if he posed too much danger to the village.

In case Gaara was to fail, Yashamaru was assigned to assassinate him. As he was too incapacitated to do anything else by the end of the test, he could only detonate several Explosive Tag wrapped around his body to do the job.

The whole deal was frightening and extremely traumatizing, and Gaara, while unscathed on the outside, changed for the worse, and turned into the monster that Naruto had to face in the Manga.

Thinking of this, Ryo could only sigh, saying to Yashamaru: “People need love and trust; love is the right way for a Jinchuriki to become perfect. I hope you will be there for this child when he needs you!” 

Yashamaru did not understand Ryo well at this moment, but that did not prevent him from remembering his words.

His guts told him that Ryo meant good for him and for Gaara. After thanking him, he left with the baby.

As he disappeared from sight, Pakura turned around to Ryo and asked: “Ryo, do you think that Yashamaru could really take care of Gaara?” 

Ryo acted slightly surprised as he asked: “Didn’t you choose him? Why would I know any better?” 

“It was Rasa’s choice. He said that Yashamaru loves Gaara and could take care of him, but I could sometimes see hidden hatred in his eyes when looking at his nephew.” 

“Really? How sinister of you, Pakura! All I saw in his eyes is love for that child!” 

After saying that, Ryo took Kakashi and Shisui, and slowly walked towards the 3rd’s building. Behind him, Pakura smirked and muttered: “You little brat, as if you know what love is!”

“Pakura, then you know what love is?” Pakura suddenly heard a voice coming from behind her!

“Ne san! What are you doing here?” 

Shi rolled her eyes and answered: “What? I can’t come?! I know I’m not that strong, but I am also a Ninja! I can’t hide inside like a civilian!” 

Pakura shook her head; her sister hadn’t been on a mission for so long, she forgot she was actually a Ninja.

Shi understood what her sister was thinking of. She could only sigh helplessly and say: “Pakura, back to the topic; do you know what love is?” 

Pakura actually did not give her sister’s question much thought, thinking that she was just being ridiculous. However, now it seemed like Shi was actually serious.

After thinking for a while, Pakura shook her head and said: “Love? I don’t know… I’ve probably never loved anyone…”

“Yes? Then, what do you think of Ryo?” Shi asked with a smile on her face.

Pakura heard Ryo’s name, and her face turned red, and then she shook her head and did not know what to say or think…

“You! I wasn’t actually that sure! But your face actually turned really red as soon as I mentioned his name.

“Did I blush…” Pakura muttered, and then raised her hand to her face to find it was actually really hot.

“Well, it seems like I’m in the way here. I’ll leave you with the others, and you just think about it on your own!” Shi turned away and left quickly.

After hearing Shi, Pakura’s mind entered a state of chaos. Out of nowhere, scenes from every time she encountered Ryo popped in her mind.

She walked behind him, lost in memories and thoughts, her face becoming more and more red. In the end, she could only say for sure that she did like him. Was it actually love? She had no idea…

With Shi forcing her to face her emotions, Pakura finally realized the nature of her feelings. This marked a moment after which she could never act or be the same when before Ryo.

In the conference room, Ryo explained to her in more details what he did concerning the sealing of Shukaku. All throughout his explanation, she deliberately avoided making eye contact with him.

Ryo did notice this and was slightly nervous, immediately recalling all what had happened between him and her recently; trying to make sure that he did not offend her in anyway. 

He could see clearly that something related to him bothered her, or at least made her act differently. The more time passed, the more awkward the situation became.

After a long silence, Ryo couldn’t help it anymore. He gathered his courage and finally asked: “Hey Pakura, have I done anything that upset you recently?” 

Pakura was stunned as she heard him, and immediately shook her head, but her face became even redder and her eyes became even more blurred.

Ryo saw her shaking her head and breathed a sigh of relief. He then continued to talk to her about Gaara.

His questions made Pakura even more uncomfortable. It was no time for that, for she was just struggling with making a decision on what she should do next. To confess, or not to confess? And if yes, how?!

In the end, she was the girl, and was slightly too reserved to be the one to take the initiative. She had to wait and see.

Pakura looked at Ryo, wondering to herself: ‘I have been so obvious, is he a block of wood or something? Or is he still pretending not to see?’

Ryo has been single for a couple of lifetimes now, and never had any time to open up to relationships. Besides his feelings towards Yugao, he never felt anything special towards any girl. Therefore, the usually tactical Ninja was clueless about how Pakura was feeling. 

Seeing that this was going nowhere, Pakura sighed, and then left the meeting room without warning, leaving Ryo behind all puzzled, along with the “thoughtful” Shisui and Kakashi.

Shortly after she left, Rasa arrived, expressing his great gratitude on behalf of the Sand Village to Ryo. At the same time, almost under his breath, he asked Ryo about his plans and the time he would pick to return to Konoha.

Indeed, with the Ichibi sealed, Ryo and the others had no business staying in the village. Rasa could not feel at ease with such a powerful Kage Tier Ninja from an “allied village” remaining in the Hidden Sand for too long.

Ryo understood his concerns, and immediately said that he would be leaving on the following day.

The next morning, Ryo and his team left together. Pakura, who said goodbye to them, watched as Ryo’s shadow disappeared along with the horizon, her heart filled with reluctance and doubt.

Translator Note: Hey there, J_Otaku here. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s chapter ^^ If you want more, I’ve just posted chapter 287 in Patreon! I have big plans for this month, with more chapters than ever. If you’re interested in supporting me and reading more chapters, feel free to click the button bellow ^^

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