Masahiko strolled on the streets of Konoha, with a lot of thoughts running in his mind.
Masahiko learned about what he missed the previous month from Izumi.
In Konoha, people didn’t know much. They only heard that last month Masahiko and Tobirama were ambushed by the elites of Kumogakure, and a fierce battle took place on the territories of the Land of Lightning. In the end, only the Third Raikage walked alive from that battle…
And because of the absence of Masahiko and Tobirama, Sunagakure took this chance to launch an assault on Konohagakure, which made the latter panic. At that crucial moment, Mito managed to turn the tides and deterred the Shinobi World from underestimating Konoha’s strength.
Not long after the outbreak of the First Shinobi World War, the war strangely stopped. Except for Iwagakure and Kirigakure, who still maintain their enmity toward each other, the other villages actually calmed down.
“It seems that this event occurred due to the sudden appearance of Mito in the Shinobi World. Which hint the inevitable start of the Jinchuriki’s war…”
However, fearing what’s gonna hit them from the outside, the interior affairs in Konoha got messed up. For a month, there was no news about Masahiko and Tobirama’s whereabouts; thus, the selection for the third Hokage was called.
“Konohagakure Activity: The Struggle of the Hokage Position Selection has officially started…” Masahiko whispered
Now the most prominent candidate for the Third Hokage position is the Uzumaki clan patriarch, Uzumaki Gensuke, then the disciples of Tobirama. In addition to them, Inuzuka and the Hyuga clan also joined the candidacy.
“Konoha doesn’t need a third Hokage, because the second didn’t die yet… but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that the village is now in need of a leader.”
Masahiko was in a hard position; Tobirama’s full recovery might take a whole year. Not having a decision-maker for such a long period gonna cause a lot of problems.
Just like recent events with the Sunagakure, after Mito wiped the floor with them, Konoha didn’t send anyone to demand the “war reparation fee” or something like that, which is a little bit of a loss for Konoha’s side.
“There’s also Kumogakure. It would be ridiculous if Konoha didn’t ask them for an explanation for their actions.” Masahiko got all worked up thinking about this, completely forgetting that he was the one who forced their hands into taking these actions.
“Who will become the third Hokage this time?”
The first person who popped up in Masahiko’s mind was Hiruzen’s old face. It wouldn’t be a problem if he took in charge of the position for a year until Tobirama comes back, after all, the latter was almost fifty years old. Ten years later, he can become the Third Hokage and lead the villager. However, it’s been only 13 years since the establishment of Konoha, and Hiruzen was only 22 years old; he was too young to lead, and his strength didn’t reach the standards yet.
“Gensuke…” Masahiko sighed. In his heart, he was very reluctant about the idea of making one of the Uzumaki people become the next Hokage. The clan itself is already big enough to be a village. If the Uzumaki patriarch becomes a Hokage, he was afraid that Konoha will be completely unrecognizable for him. This is what made his heart feels heavy.
“Except for two of them, Tobirama’s other disciples didn’t really cut to be Hokage, and the Hyuga and Inuzuka…” Masahiko shook his head, feeling unreliable.
“So, in the end, Hiruzen is still the best candidate, huh?” Masahiko thought about it for a while, but he couldn’t come up with a better result.
“Do I have to do this?” Masahiko shook his head.”Now there is a person in Konoha who has greater fame than me.”
Masahiko shook his head twice hesitating, then he went to Hashirama house, which he didn’t visit for a long time.
Since the battle of the Valley of the End, he always came to see Hashirama here. Well, he rarely came here voluntarily, especially when his gambling addiction became worse at the end…
When Masahiko was about to knock on the door, it quickly opened, and he saw that familiar face smiling, “Second Grandpa, you are back…”
Masahiko seemed emotional as he stepped in, “Well since you’ve perfectly controlled the Kyuubi’s Chakra, I’m guessing that you’ve already known that I’m back the moment I’ve put my foot inside the village.”
Mito nodded, then Masahiko wondered, “Aren’t you in a hurry to ask me about what happened?”
“Judging by your strength, a crisis has occurred and preventing you from coming back for a long time. Tobirama should be now under the rehabilitation somewhere safe, right?”
Masahiko smiled bitterly, “You will have no friends if you’re so smart.”
“No matter how smart I am, there will always be times when I don’t understand some of the strange words you use. Actually, it has always been like this.”
Masahiko’s face turned pale; it has always been like this in front of Mito, as if she sees right through him, which makes him always change the topics quickly.
“It will take a long time for him to recover. Konoha needs a leader, and I’ve come here to hear your opinion, who do you think is more suitable?”
Mito shook her head, “Little monkey is too young…”
Masahiko’s mouth twitched, little monkey…?
“None of the Senju Clan actually stood up for job this time. But, the strength and qualifications of Kenji are enough, right? What do you think?”
Mito nodded, “It is, but the Senju already held the Hokage position for two consecutive times. Taking it for the third time won’t be easy, nor right…”
Masahiko also respected Hashirama’s wished for Konoha to belong to everyone. But because of Hashirama himself, the Senju took in charge of the Hokage position for two consecutive times. If the third is still another Senju, there will be some dissatisfaction from the villagers, even if he’s the right person.
“What about the Uzumaki? Why didn’t you, nor my nephew try to stop this… You know right if Gensuke became the Hokage, then Hashirama dream of making the village a place for everybody will vanish, and Konoha will only be more like Uzushiogakure.”
After saying that, Mito and Masahiko looked down.
“My father head back to Uzumaki Clan… I wanted to stop it, but I couldn’t.”
“Grandpa, war, and conflicts will only bring pain and loss. Just like what happened in this war, the Uzumaki sent eight elites to participate in the battle, in addition to your two disciples, but we’ve lost one.”
“Who was it?” Masahiko hurriedly asked, having a bad feeling about this.
“A young man named Uzumaki Ashina.”
Masahiko somehow felt familiar with the name but also unfamiliar to at the same time, which made him stunned slightly, unable to remember where he heard it before.
“Looking at your expression, it seems like you have forgotten … he’s your disciple’s husband… Yuriko’s husband…”
Masahiko felt like he was struck by lightning and stood up there, froze.
“So, now Gensuke is competing for the Hokage position, all of us thought that Nanako will take the lead to support him. In fact, Yuriko also advocated… And I…”
After he heard those words, Masahiko couldn’t listen to anymore; he was drowning in sorrow and guilt, his eyes wide open, as he was immersed with self-blaming, remorse, and regret…
“I… I killed him…” Masahiko whispered; the sorrow shifted quickly to remorse, and anger, he felt really annoyed at that moment.
Although things have been callous for Masahiko these days, he managed to make some of them work out eventually, but he messed up on other events that should have been originally smooth. However, he felt some easiness when his ultimate goal was finally achieved, and he successfully rescued Tobirama.
However, after hearing about this, Masahiko realized that his plan actually affected many people. At least the battle between Sunagakure and Konoha went on a different path from the original story.
“He shouldn’t have died…” Masahiko whispered, then looked up to Mito. “Who did it?”
“It was an elder from Sunagakure. I personally killed him. If Ashina didn’t die, I wouldn’t have gone to the battlefield personally, after all…”
Masahiko nodded. He actually thought before that Mito’s decision to involve in this battle was wrong. After all, she was pregnant, and the situation wasn’t that crucial. But now the picture became crystal clear.
“I know. I need to go and see Yuriko…”
Masahiko, who usually didn’t care much, this time, was dealing with unbearable guilt.
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