Trial of Man

[AU - Historical Fantasy] The peaceful city of Akatsuki is taken over by hostile forces when the country of Amegakure is invaded. Suddenly, what they once had is now a luxury, but their will to survive burns strong beneath newfound oppression. fem!Deidara/Sasori. Cover image does not belong to me. Loosely based on Ip Man and the Second Sino-Japanese War.


Author's note

Starts off relatively lighthearted, but then escalates into darker themes.

18. Interlude: Hemlock

"Geez, that thing really gives me the creeps."

"Don't stare at it, then, dummy."

"You're so mean to me, Kawai-san..."

"Don't disrespect Kabuto's creation. It's a very advanced form of biological warfare."

"Oh, shut up, Souma. No one gives a shit. This damn war is just a waste of time. I really wish Kaguya would hurry the fuck up and win."

Four scientists were currently behind a window separating them and a body strapped to an operating table.

"Why isn't it waking up?" the only woman, Kawai, said, frowning and pushing up her glasses. "According to Kabuto's data, the spores released in that room should have stimulated it enough for it to become conscious."

"Maybe we should crank it up a bit," Souma recommended, peering over his clipboard.

"No way," said another male scientist. "Bad idea. Abort. Seriously, Souma, don't touch."

"Would you relax?" Takashi scoffed. "It's no big deal."

Kawai's frown deepened. "Hold on..."

"Come on! Get your life together, you fucking plant man!"

"TAKASHI, DON'T! GRR! Look what you've done, idiot!"

"Shut up, Kawai! Don't blame me for trying to get things done!" Takashi glared at the body through the window. "After all that, and it's still not fucking responding. Kabuto was fucking wrong. We should just destroy it."

Suddenly, a vine smashed through the window, wrapping around Takashi's head. It squeezed and squeezed and—

Three scientists screamed as Takashi's head exploded in brain matter and gore, the mess splattering all over them.

Kawai shrieked. "OH MY GOD!"

More vines shot through the now broken window, one impaling Souma in the heart and the other entering the other male scientist's mouth, making him choke on his own screams.

Kawai scurried back, pressing herself against the wall in fear as her colleague writhed in agony before his body was bent in unnatural ways. He finally died when the single vine split into several more, destroying his brain.

Kawai's bladder loosened. The vines reached closer toward her...

And stabbed her in both eyes.


Half of its body was black. The other was white. The creature stared down at itself, examining its—no, his—hands.


"No. Zetsu.

"Everything will be Zetsu."

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