-> RTS Page for Naruto 400
UPDATE: Added two translator's notes, fixed some typos, polished up a few lines here and there, and made a slight correction on Nihongaeri's suggestion.
As they say, better late than never. As I promised, I'll continue until translating until Madara's story ends.
In the depths of utter despair... his eyes remained fixed on a single glimmer of hope.
400: Living hell on earth
Itachi, caught in the midst of a struggle between his clan and the village...
A coup d'etat? Itachi, a spy?
You were told nothing, of course. You were too young at that point.
These are facts, however.
Your father, Fugaku, lead the conspiracy.
And Itachi infiltrated the ANBU* as a spy on your father's orders.
*See translator's note 1.
I'm assuming you haven't lost sight of your role...
As a link between clan and village.
In fact, it was the other way around.
Itachi was a so-called "double-agent", providing the village with information on the clan.
The extent of such a burden...
Is surely beyond your imagination.
Why would Itachi betray the Uchiha?
Well, it might be difficult for you to empathize, seeing as how you've yet to see war with your own eyes...
During the Third Ninja World Wars...
Itachi witnessed countless deaths at the tender age of four.
Far too young to experience such horrors. War is hell on earth.
The trauma made Itachi into a peace-loving man who despised conflict.
He was the kind of man who would work tirelessly for peace...and place the stability of the village above all else.
A shinobi who loved his village, unfettered by the shackles of clansmanship.
The Higher-Ups took advantage of that.
They gave Itachi a top-secret mission.
You fight fire with fire...*Sharingan is needed to deal with the Uchiha.
*See translator's note 2.
As you can imagine...
The mission was...
To eliminate every last member of the Uchiha clan.
Itachi's feelings upon receiving it...
Defy the imagination.
He was doomed to make a terrifying choice.
People wouldn't normally consent to killing their bretheren.
But were shinobi the likes of the Uchiha to provoke civil war...
Both Konoha Gakure Village and Fire Country would be shaken to their foundations.
And foreign powers would not fail to seize the opportunity and attack...
A situation that could well have lead to a Fourth Ninja World War.
The Uchihas’ self-centered endeavors would result in the death of countless people, many of them innocents with nothing to do with the shinobi.
What would *you* have done in Itachi’s place?
Well, he made his choice.
He determined to put an end to the clan himself.
It wasn’t hatred for the Uchiha that lead to his betrayal...quite simply, there was no other option.
The fallout of a history of discrimination and enmity as old as the village itself... As a man who took it entirely on his own two shoulders, becoming a sacrifice in the process, none may reproach Itachi for his decision.
To be honest, at the time...
I was hoping for war myself...
Seeing as how I had a score to settle with both Senju’s Konoha *and* the Uchiha.
But not even that went unnoticed by Itachi.
He was the one man to discover my presence.
Itachi sought me out, and made me an offer.
If I wanted his assistance in my revenge...
I’d have to agree not to attack the village.
The price for his help disposing of our clansmen.
For his part, the Third Hokage alone remained desperate for another solution.
He presented the Uchiha with a roadmap to reconciliation and attempted to engage them in talks.
But as time ran out...
The Third’s efforts failed...
Leading to that fateful night.
He was acting under orders.
To leave the village bearing the stigma and sole responsibility for murdering his clan.
It was all part of his mission...
A mission he executed flawlessly...
But for a single blemish.
His little brother...
He could not bring himself to kill.
Thereupon, he pleaded with the Third for him to protect you against Danzou and the other advisors.
And was careful to threaten Danzou before leaving the village.
By telling him he would leak the village’s top secret information to non-allied nations, should any harm come to you.
He was worried for you above all else.
Unfortunately, it was impossible for him to reveal his true feelings.
So he said the only thing he could.
This isn’t happening...you can’t really be my brother.
The reason I continued to play the part of the brother you so desired...
Was to ascertain your potential.
You may well become the opponent who allows me to ascertain my true potential.
You hold that possibility.
You envied and resented me. You always dreamed of surpassing me.
All the more reason for me to let you live...for my sake, of course.
Foolish little brother...if your wish is to kill me...
Hate! Detest me!
Survive by any means however repulsive...
Flee over and over...
Cling desperately to life!
Then come to me, one day...
In possession of these very same eyes!
His hope was to make you stronger...
By making himself into the object of your revenge.
He was desperate for you to believe that the Uchiha...
Had died a proud and noble clan of Konoha.
He begged the Hokage to keep the truth from you...
And was determined to die in battle against you from the moment he left the village...
So that he would have the opportunity to confer to you new powers.
And that is the truth about Itachi.
I’ve never heard such nonesense!
Even in the midst of hell, he remained steadfast in his love for his younger brother. How will Sasuke cope with the shocking truth!
取り乱す弟が知る、本当の兄とは！？ A perplexed Sasuke learns more about Itachi!
次号「仕組まれた戦い」！！ Next issue: A staged fight!
Translator's note 1.
ANBU...is an (quasi) acronym for ANsatsu senjutsu tokushuu BUtai ( 暗殺戦術特殊部隊 ). Literal translation: Special Squad of Assasination Battle Tactics. Basically, Special Forces. So, while I've normally translate the term as "Anbu", I figured ALL CAPS were suitable in this case. There is, however, another term often translated in all caps, which, IMHO, should *not* be translated like that: root. Root is "ne" 根, which means, er "root." It is not an acryonim nor short for anything; and thus, unlike ANBU, I feel there's no reason to translate it as "ROOT." =P
Translator's note 2.
Lit. "An eye for an eye"... except it isn't, in as much as that's not how the term is used - at least not by Mexican catholics. Having been born one, to my knowledge and in my mind the term refers to retribution itself - as justified in the Old Testament - not to the suitable means for combating something. I believe I've never heard it used in any other sense in English, either. An eye for an eye means "you do something to me, I do something to you." In Japanese, however, more than once I've seen it used in contexts where the only possible interpretation is "you fight fire with fire", i.e., a threat of a certain level demands equally strong/dangerous measures. The conclusion I came to is that the lack of a historical/religious connection has caused the term's meaning to mutate in Japanese, or, at the very least, to broaden. There is, however, as Nihongaeri points out, a pun lost, in that Sharingan is itself a type of eye. To me, personally, though, losing the pun is less important than using the translation that more closely matches the factual meaning of the sentence.