158 CH - 154 Actor Obito

The school bell rang, signaling the end of the day, and Rin turned to Obito with a concerned expression. "Obito, shall we study together after school? The teacher mentioned that your applied mathematics is quite poor, and you've been struggling."

"Studying applied mathematics doesn't align with ninja principles! It's pointless for a ninja to focus on it. Besides, I don't even understand how to study it." Obito replied, clearly frustrated.

"The teacher emphasized the importance of problem-solving skills. Don't worry, I'll do my best to help you understand," Rin reassured Obito, trying to ease his frustration.

"Thanks, Rin. But... I have something else to do. See you tomorrow." Obito declined the offer, expressing gratitude but also mentioning a prior commitment. Although he enjoyed studying with Rin, he had to go to the studio to film. Today was his scene, and the Grass leader had stressed the importance of timely completion within the month.

After gathering his belongings, Obito apologized to Rin and left. Rin observed him, a frown forming on her face. "Recently... Obito seems quite busy."

She noted Obito's frequent rushes after school and his declining invitations. This behavior was unusual for him, and he looked fatigued. Rin sighed, resolving to talk to Obito more thoroughly next time. She understood the importance of taking studies seriously, especially if Obito wanted to avoid repeating a class.

After spending a considerable amount of time in the Grass Village, Rin had become accustomed to her new surroundings. The villagers were welcoming, and the academy teachers were surprisingly accepting of her Jinchuriki identity. The perfected seal, courtesy of Eiji-sensei, and Obito's presence gave her a sense of security, alleviating concerns about the Tailed Beast's potential havoc.

As she continued her studies at the academy, Rin's admiration for Leader Akihiko deepened. She considered him an extraordinary leader, guiding the Grass Village to prominence and embracing diversity by welcoming wandering ninjas and members of various clans. His approach during wartime, avoiding sending students to the battlefield, further earned her respect.

Rin couldn't help but notice the richness of the ninja techniques included in the school textbooks. In Konoha, such information was seldom part of the curriculum, especially not C-rank techniques. In contrast, the Grass Village seemed more open to sharing knowledge.

Recalling her own past, Rin thought about the missions she had to complete after graduating from the academy before Minato-sensei recommended her to become a medical ninja, providing access to valuable ninja techniques.

Having finished packing, Rin stepped outside with determination. She mumbled to herself, "I must find an opportunity to talk to Obito about what's going on. If he's facing trouble, he shouldn't do it alone. Whatever the situation, I'll always be there for him!"

"Cut!" The command echoed in the studio, snapping Obito out of his daze. Akihiko, observing Obito's grin, was quick to point out the lapse, "Obito, why are you grinning like a fool? Don't forget... we're in the middle of a war scene."

Apologizing for his unintentional expression, Obito tried to explain, "Sorry, I don't know why I am suddenly feeling so happy."

Akihiko, ever perceptive, couldn't resist making a jest, "Too few assignments?" His teasing remark instantly wiped the joy from Obito's face, reminding him of the looming burden of homework.

"Alright, let's take a break, everyone!" Akihiko declared, finding a spot to rest amid the ruins of the Kannabi Bridge. The war had left the bridge destroyed, offering a fitting backdrop for their scenes. Akihiko, with a business-minded flair, contemplated the possibility of turning this location into a historical tourist attraction.

As Akihiko was lost in contemplation, Obito gazed at the surroundings with a melancholic expression, whispering to himself, "I didn't expect to come back here."

This place held memories of the sacrifice he made to save Rin after the war, choosing to be buried underground and becoming a hero of Konoha. Unexpectedly, Madara-sensei and others had saved him from that fate. If it weren't for Madara-sensei, he might not be alive now. And without him, Rin might have been abandoned and sacrificed by the village.

Reflecting on these thoughts, Obito clenched his fists, his eyes filled with complex emotions as he looked ahead. With determination, he muttered, "No matter what, I will repay Madara-sensei. I'll give him a good send-off!"

Observing Obito's pensive state, Akihiko couldn't help but wonder, 'What's this guy thinking again? One moment he's full of melancholy, the next he talks about giving Madara a good send-off?' Tempted to smack the back of Obito's head, Akihiko thought, 'Does Madara still need you to see him off?'

As Akihiko prepared to smack Obito's head, the latter turned intangible, allowing Akihiko's hand to pass through him.

"Hehe, Still want to beat me, Leader Akihiko?" Obito laughed heartily. But just as he was about to mock Akihiko, Akihiko successfully smacked him. "No one can touch me... Hey, how can you still hit me?!"

"Hehe~" Akihiko smiled, revealing that he was well aware of Obito's ability's weakness. Obito, realizing his cover was blown, pouted and rubbed his head, looking at Akihiko with an expectant tone. "By the way, will my name appear in the movie this time?"

"It will!" Akihiko looked at Obito in surprise. "But... are you still concerned about that?" He hadn't expected Obito to worry about the revelation of his identity in the film.

"Hehehe, it will definitely surprise Kakashi and the others," Obito put his hands on his hips and laughed, indifferent to his rogue status. "Let them know... Obito can still live well even outside."

Regrettably, Obito wished he could invite Madara-sensei to watch the movie, but it seemed he couldn't leave the underground cave.

Seemingly contemplating something, Obito looked at Akihiko, hesitated for a moment, and then said, "Uh... after the shooting, can I take a copy to show Madara-sensei? Don't worry, I'll pay!"

"Do you even have money?" Akihiko replied with amusement. In reality, it wouldn't be an issue to provide a copy for Madara to watch free of charge.

Speaking of which, Zetsu could secretly retrieve equipment multiple times without causing any problems, as he was the one who ignored it. Although Akihiko didn't understand why he wanted those things, as long as Zetsu returned them safely, it was acceptable.

"The next time you need me to work, at most, I won't charge any money." Obito bent down, looking at Akihiko. "Please, Madara-sensei has been bored down there; that's why I want to invite him to watch a movie."

"Alright, bring a copy over there when it's done. As for the next job payment..." Akihiko looked at him seriously, "Do you see me as the kind of leader who oppresses village ninjas and embezzles their hard-earned mission rewards?"

"...Thank you!" Obito's mouth twitched, resisting the urge to call Akihiko a 'scam leader'. Instead, he opted for a simple expression of gratitude.

"No need to thank me. It's almost time, go prepare. We'll start shooting soon!" Akihiko, unaware of Obito's inner thoughts, urged him to get back to shooting.

With Akihiko's approval, Obito's mood noticeably improved, and he happily trotted away to get ready for the upcoming scenes.

At that moment, Akihiko lazily stretched before accepting the water that Nono handed him. "Thanks!"

"This is what I should do," Nono smiled slightly, observing the seemingly content Obito with curiosity. It appeared that 'Madara-sensei' held significant respect in Uchiha Obito's eyes. But who could this person be? Perhaps a venerable old teacher within the Grass Village?

Watching Akihiko gearing up for work, Nono seemed to recall something and said, "By the way, Leader Akihiko, I received an important document this morning!"

Under Akihiko's puzzled gaze, she retrieved a document, adjusted her glasses, and assumed a professional secretary expression. "As the year-end approaches, many people are inquiring about how to handle the year-end this year."

"That's right, is it almost the New Year? Time has flown by!" Akihiko sighed, then rubbed his chin, pondering for a moment. It seemed like he remembered something. "Since it's the first New Year after the war, let's have everyone celebrate. We can even invite the Rain Village to join in this year's festivities!"

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