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Naruto: The Outsider's Resolve

[A Naruto Fan Fiction] Make the best of what you have, they said... But what I am supposed to do when the best I have are red-eyed freaks, a child who's supposed to be the jailor of the most dangerous being in the world, a snake bastard with serious boundary issues, and a whole world of super soldiers with licences to murder. And you know the best part? None of them like me so much... Oh shut it, old man! Take that Will of Fire and shove it up your— Yeah, this second swing at life isn't panning out... --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCORD SERVER: https://discord.gg/w5dJ82SfMr --------------------------------------------------------------- PATREON LINK: https://www.patreon.com/fictiononlyreader --------------------------------------------------------------- DECLARATION: This story is also present on: FFN, Ao3, SpaceBattles, SufficientVelocity, and ScribbleHub RoyalRoad [to be verified] --------------------------------------------------------------- DISCLAIMER: I don't own any character other than my OCs. The cover pic was commissioned from Kodah.art on Instagram

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253 Chs

Interlude_6.1 (218)

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The link is also in the synopsis

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"Arisu!"

Fuma Arisu, an officer of the Police Force, and the second-in-command of the Narcotics Taskforce, looked up from the intelligence file on her desk. At the end of the bullpen, Chunin Yakumi, the head of the Narcotics Taskforce, stood at the threshold of his office, motioning her to his office.

She shut the file and walked across the bullpen used by the Narcotics Taskforce. As she entered the office and closed the door behind her, Arisu noticed two men sitting there. When they looked at her, she didn't recognize their faces, and neither of them had the Police Force insignia on their sleeve, which meant they weren't from the Police Force.

"Arisu, these people are from the Hot Waters war commission," said Yakumi, pointing to the two men, "they would like to talk to you about a few things."

"What things?" she asked.

"About Genin Takuma," said the bald of the two men.

"Oh, what about him?" Arisu asked, crossing her arms.

Seeing the change in Arisu's body language, the two men looked at Yakumi, who shrugged. He wasn't going to help them with Arisu. Takuma might not be working in the Police Force, but he was still a part of it, and Arisu and Yakumi wouldn't talk if it would be used against him.

The second man got up and cleared his throat. "He's not in trouble, Genin Arisu. Genin Takuma is being considered as a potential candidate for an important mission, and we need some information about his work here. You're close to him, and we're wondering if you could give us some clarity about it all."

"What kind of mission?" asked Arisu.

"We can't reveal many details, but it's dangerous, and thus, we need to verify if he's up for the job. We want to know his history with snitches, informants, and moles, those sorts of people. We know he was experienced in cultivating people into assets and having them feed information to your team. How did he get their trust—"

Arisu scoffed as though she had just heard a joke.

 "First, Takuma is very good at cultivating assets, so if he wants the mission, give it to him, he won't disappoint. Now, trust really isn't a factor for Takuma. There are people who get attached to their assets, treat them as friends, which is fine and all—but Takuma's philosophy was the exact opposite. He sees his assets as nothing but what they are."

"Then how does he make them do what he wants?"

"Leverage," she said, "he liked saying that word a lot. It's quite straightforward for Takuma. When he finds a target that would make a beneficial asset, he would research them intensively. A lot of hours in fieldwork. He would find everything there was to find about them, and then he would find something that would motivate them to help, and then use that."

"So blackmail?" said the bald one.

Arisu shrugged. "Persuasion. Most people don't want to spend their next few years working in a lumber or mining operation, so they open their mouths quick and easy. Takuma made it worth their while—letting them go back to their lives to continue their jobs or choose new careers, and he would guarantee them anonymity so nothing came back to bite them… It's surprising what people would say when a few little conditions are met.

"He was straightforward and kept his word. Eventually, even with all anonymity, we developed a reputation. Open up, and we will give you a fair deal," she said.

They had done it so many times that they had perfected the routine. Pick up(kidnap) the people from the streets and dump them in an off-site interrogation room so that no one saw them bought in. They would let the perp stew in the small room, letting their mind make up stories about what was about to happen to them. A lot of them would've scared themselves by the time the interrogation started.

"But those are low-level guys; even if they fess up, there's often no evidence to back it up," said the man with hair. It looked like the guy had some experience in policing and interrogation. "Takuma might not deal in trust, but there's loyalty or fear in many guys that stops them from parroting."

"Sure, there are people like that, but for most, you just have to find the correct leverage," said Arisu. "One time, there was this higher-up guy we really wanted, but he had a reputation of being tight-lipped, and he was rich and connected enough, which got him out of all sorts of troubles even if he was brought in… We had no idea what to do, but this guy was really important, his cooperation would've made our case…"

"So, what did you do?"

"Nothing, we didn't do anything—but Takuma did a lot," said Arisu, sighing. "The guy had a sister who ran an illegal whore house, real nasty stuff." She spat with disgust. "Takuma found out that the sister was the guy's only family, and they were really close, so he helped another officer in the Police Force who was trying to get the sister. Takuma built a case for that officer against the sister, and promised complete credit. Unlike the brother, the sister wasn't as careful or good at keeping herself clean…"

The man with hair nodded in understanding. He said, "The sister became the leverage?"

"Indeed. The guy tried to get his sister out, but the case against her was so solid that she was looking at a decade of hard labor. And to make it worse, Takuma pulled some strings so that if she was found guilty, they were planning to send her to the other side of the nation so that the guy would never get the chance to see her…"

"Did it work?"

"Yes, it did. The guy found out that Takuma was behind it and tried to negotiate just as Takuma expected. The guy first threatened him, then offered him money, but in the end, Takuma got what he wanted."

Arisu smiled. In fact, that guy was giving the Narcotics Taskforce information from the inside. The case was going very well. They were supposed to close it in a month or two.

"I have a question," said the bald man. "What happened to the officer who was promised the credit? Didn't he get screwed in the end?"

Instead of Arisu, Yakumi answered that question.

"The officer was furious that the case he had been working on for so long became a dead-end because Takuma used it as leverage in a negotiation with scum. That officer even went to his higher-up, but they supported Takuma as well… The officer was pissed for weeks, but then Takuma gave a guy a case just as juicy, with all the work done perfectly. That helped in making it up to him," said Yakumi.

The bald guy laughed. "Let me guess, you were the officer?"

Yakumi nodded.

"And now you have his job," said the bald guy.

"That also helped," Yakumi laughed.

Arisu sighed to herself. She liked it better when Takuma was the Head of the Narcotics Taskforce. They were new and operated with frightening freedom because they didn't have an established culture like most of the Police Force. Everyone could do their work in their own way without getting bogged down by some convoluted process—it was chaotic, but the team was small enough to correct and sort out everything by the end. Since Yakumi had taken over, he had established operating procedures and due process, which had its advantages because the team had grown—but Arisu could see the Narcotics Taskforce slowly heading towards operating like any other department.

"Takuma is not above lying, harassing, blackmailing, entrapment, or anything," said Arisu, getting the conversation back on track. "Once he wants something, there's not much Takuma won't do to make it happen. If he gets the information, he will use it to his advantage. So, if you want someone who'll hold people's hand and persuade them through charm, and inspire confidence with his personality, that's not him. But if you want someone who gets the job done, he's your guy."

Arisu clicked her tongue and looked at the two men.

"This mission… is he going in alone?" she asked.

The two men looked at each other for a moment before saying that Takuma would be part of a team.

"Why do you ask?"

Arisu took in a deep breath. "Nothing, I was just worried if he was going in alone. You said the mission is dangerous," she said with pursed lips

They seemed to be satisfied with her answer.

Arisu was relieved that Takuma would have a team with him. She chose not to tell them about Takuma's excessive aggressiveness. When Takuma was running the Narcotics Taskforce, one of the most important parts of Arisu's job was to reel him in. Takuma's way of doing things matched his combat philosophy—to be aggressive. He was always in a rush, pushing forward without ever taking a moment to catch his breath. There were times he'd be so laser-focused that he got tunnel vision. At times like that, he needed someone to pull him out and make him aware of his surroundings.

They talked for another ten minutes before the two men from the war commission declared they had heard enough and left.

"You didn't tell them about the other way Takuma cultivated assets," Yakumi said.

Arisu looked at him. "You never know how people will react… They could've thought he was colluding with criminals," she said.

Threatening criminals with leverage against them wasn't the only way Takuma cultivated assets. There was another way he was known to do business—something that wasn't popular among the Narcotics Taskforce, but Takuma did it anyway because he was the boss. Since Yakumi took over, they abandoned the method.

"Maybe he was," said Yakumi.

"Then why didn't you say anything?" Arisu asked with narrowed eyes.

One of the first things Yakumi did after taking over was an internal audit to see how Takuma managed the Narcotics Taskforce because Takuma had refused to provide any help to Yakumi on how things worked.

Officially speaking, every asset for the Police Force had a file in the system. The Narcotics Taskforce followed the same process and maintained files for their assets. They were highly protected, "eyes-only" documents that couldn't be removed from the office space assigned to the Narcotics Taskforce. Takuma was serious about the anonymity he promised.

But Takuma also maintained unofficial assets that weren't filed into the system. They were high-level assets because of their identity and influence in the drug trade in the Hidden Leaf. Takuma had somehow gotten access to these people and had managed to rope them into helping the Narcotics Taskforce put away other big players.

These people were high up in the drug trade, and Takuma didn't have any leverage on them. It couldn't be more abundantly clear that they were cooperating with Takuma because he was going after their competition. And he didn't log any of them into the system, keeping it entirely off-the-books, which looked extremely shady. It was a practice heavily frowned upon in the Police Force, and Takuma was using it aggressively.

From one perspective, it looked like Takuma was helping them, which brought up an allegation against him: Was Takuma being paid by the people he was cooperating with? When he called it a true collaboration of the police and the criminals to put away other criminals, a good number of people in the team suspected him of colluding with criminals.

Takuma was blind to his team's thoughts as he was so focused on targeting criminals. Arisu had to shove the problem in his face for him to look at his team, properly explain the situation to the team, and truly bring everyone on the same page. Some of them remained doubtful until the results started coming in, and the team could see what Takuma envisioned.

Yakumi found out about Takuma's practice, and he could've passed on his findings to the higher ups but didn't because a lot of ongoing cases, many of them close to crossing the finish line, were built on the foundation of Takuma's collaboration with his unregistered assets. If he had brought it to the higher-ups, they would've ordered Yakumi to dump all of them, and he would've been forced to start all over again.

But Yakumi didn't want that because the performance of the Narcotics Taskforce would suffer, and all the blame would fall on the new and current head, who had failed to keep up the Narcotics Taskforce's bullish moment established by Takuma. So, while Yakumi ended all relationships with Takuma's shady assets, he never reported them to the higher-ups.

Under Arisu's glare, Yakumi stayed silent.

She walked out and looked at the bullpen with all her co-workers.

If the people who worked closely with Takuma suspected him of being a mole and a corrupt sell-out, then two strangers who knew nothing about Takuma could think of him as much worse.

As she walked back to what she was doing, Arisu wondered what he was doing now. Things had ended on an awkward note, and the one letter he had sent had avoided any mention of the kiss. Arisu was disappointed he didn't write anything but relieved at the same time because she was scared of what Takuma would say and preferred for things to remain ambiguous.

Arisu ruffled her hair in frustration.

"He better appreciate it… that idiot."

.

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Author's Note [¡¡¡ IMPORTANT !!! PLEASE READ ¡¡¡ VOTE !!!]:

Ran an experiment this week:

¡UPLOAD SCHEDULE!:

The past week (CH 216 - CH 218) I ran experiment to give you a taste of uploading the story 1 chapter at a time instead of the usual 3 chapter/week (all at once). Now it's time for you, my dear readers, to decide which way you want me to upload the story.

CHOICES:

1) The usual, no change. [3 chapter/week, all together]

2) Upload chapters 1 at a time throughout the week. There are two things to note: A) I'll revert to [3 chapters /week together] during combat chapters, and will notify about it beforehand. B) IMPORTANT!! I CAN NOT commit on specific day schedule (Like [Mon, Wed, Fri] or [Tue, Thurs, Sat]) because that's not how I write—so if we go option (2), the chapters will be uploaded when they're completed, which will be entirely depend on how productive I'm that week.

HOW TO VOTE:

I've left a PARAGRAPH COMMENT on both options. LIKE the paragraph comment you want to vote for.

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The link is in the synopsis!