57 Tragedy

It was curious as sometimes one convinces oneself of foolish things. After they left the Uchiha District, Jun had never doubted his mother's safety. He thought his mom was untouchable. He should have known that wasn't true. He had thought the same about his father once, and he had been killed before his eyes.

Even seven years later, that memory still pierced his heart. He knew what it was like to lose someone you loved, a person you thought was eternal. He shouldn't have convinced himself his mother was different. He knew better than anyone that Hazuki was fragile now. After all, she had retired from active duty after Kazuma was born. Her chakra circulation system never recovered and atrophied, reducing her to the level of a mediocre genin.

However, his mother didn't leave Konoha anymore, and she had promised not to go to the Uchiha District. Therefore, Jun stupidly thought she was protected. He had been mistaken.

The teenager learned what happened when he returned from his mission. They returned in the middle of the afternoon, joking happily as they crossed the village's gate. It was at this moment that the ANBU appeared.

It was rare to see ANBUs in Konoha. So when a man in an owl mask fell from the sky at the gates of the village, everyone was surprised. The ANBU ignored them and turned to Jun, who froze. When the white mask stared at him, he felt his stomach plummet with a terrible feeling.

"Jun Uchiha. There was an incident this afternoon. Your mother is dead. You are summoned before the Hokage."

The ANBU didn't sugarcoat the news. Jun's comrades and the two chunins on guard took a muffled breath. Jun remained motionless, in shock, staring at him blankly.

He had never been caught off guard by death like this. He had seen people die or in Shisui's case, he had known it was coming. But now… there was something surreal in hearing those words. It was impossible. His mother was supposed to be safe.

"You are summoned before the Hokage." The ANBU repeated.

Jun only had a vague memory of the trip to the Sandaime's office. He was still in shock. His legs moved forward mechanically. The words swirled around in his head. 'Your mother is dead.' It was as if his brain couldn't process the message. His mother… No, it was impossible.

It was only after entering the office and seeing all the people there, that the shock turned to horror. The room was full. When he entered, everyone fell silent. They looked at him with a mix of pity and embarrassment. He felt his knees go weak. Hiruzen Sarutobi, Shikaku Nara, Fugaku Uchiha, four or five jonins, a police officer who was shaking from head to toe, an ANBU with silver hair tousled into an unlikely cut, and even Danzo were present.

They were all staring at him. They had that expression of embarrassment and pity that one addresses to people who have just lost a loved one but whom one doesn't want to see crying. It was their expressions that made the teenager understand it was real. His mother was dead. The moment seemed to stretch on forever. It should have been impossible, but it had happened.

His head was spinning. For a moment, his mind went completely blank. What was he supposed to do? He thought of his little sister and little brother. They should be notified. Karin should be notified. Neji should be notified. Everyone should be notified.

"What happened?" He finally asked.

No one dared to speak for a second, then Shikaku turned to him.

"Jun… I'm sorry."

"What happened?" He repeated more firmly.

The jonin commander hesitated. It was Fugaku Uchiha who stepped forward. Jun had never interacted with the Police chief and Uchiha clan leader before. When he spoke with his arms crossed, impassive face, and his cold and detached voice, Jun instantly hated him.

"Seichi and Nao Uchiha met their daughter Hazuki at a restaurant at noon. When they came out two hours later, they were arguing quite violently. We don't know what caused this altercation. Still, it caught the attention of a police patrol. They thought they saw two clan elders being verbally abused by a chunin. So, they reacted with what they thought was an appropriate force."

For a second, Jun didn't understand, because… it was inconceivable. Police violence had become common in recent years, but it had never gone further than a broken wrist or a few bruises. Not only the ninjas could take great blows without flinching, but their resistance to pain was almost superhuman. Nevertheless, the Uchihas were careful never to go too far.

His mom was a ninja of Konoha. She was one of them. To think the Police had used violence on an innocent… to think that they had… that they had…

"The Police killed her?"

He saw red. He hadn't even realized he had moved. He suddenly found himself much closer to Fugaku, both his arms were gripped painfully by Shikaku and another jonin. His chakra was all over the place, filling the room with an intense murderous intent. Shikaku's grip tightened, and Jun hissed in rage. If they hadn't held him back, he would have definitively lunged at the Uchiha clan leader to tear him to pieces right there, in front of the Hokage. How dare he…? How could he say that to his face? How dare he meet his gaze?

"It was an accident. She was wearing a chunin jacket…" Fugaku added.

Jun activated his Sharingan, three tomoes were clearly visible on each pupil.

It wasn't even a conscious decision. His Dojutsu had reacted to his intense emotions and activated. He was going to kill him. Nothing mattered except the roar of blood in his ears, and the fury screaming in his chest like a raging monster. Jun didn't even know who killed his mother, but it was that man's fault. He was responsible. He was the one who dared to say it was an accident. Jun was going to kill him. The Electric Discharge Jutsu began to crackle at his fingertips. Fugaku's eyes widened slightly in alarm. All the ninjas tensed up…

The Sandaime's chakra crashed into them like a sledgehammer. It was so violent that a few people lost their balance.

"Enough!" Hiruzen shouted.

At that moment, he no longer looked like a benevolent grandfather. He looked like an absolutely furious commander-in-chief. His chakra filled the room like something physical, making the air so heavy it was hard to breathe. It only lasted a second, but it was like a bucket of ice was poured into everyone's face.

Jun snapped out of it so fast he was disoriented. He took a step back and deactivated his Sharingan. Everyone in the room seemed as shocked as him. Even Danzo had instinctively backed away, slamming his back against the wall. He was the first to regain his composure. However, after this little demonstration, no one would forget that the most powerful shinobi in the village was in the room… And that he wasn't happy at all.

"A kunoichi of Konoha is dead. You will treat this event with the necessary gravity, Fugaku." Hiruzen snapped at him.

Even though his chakra no longer crushed the room, the Hokage's anger was still intact. The Uchiha clan leader swallowed with difficulty and bowed briefly.

"My apologies, Lord Hokage."

He turned back to Jun and suddenly seemed to hesitate. He seemed to realize the teenager was a real person with feelings and emotions… And that there was no way to describe his mother's death without angering him. Jun glared back at him. One of the jonin came forward. Jun recognized Raido. The latter ignored Fugaku and only stared at Jun.

"I was there. I saw what happened. The patrol had three officers. The first one immediately attacked Hazuki. He threw a Genjutsu and hit her on the head. Maybe he didn't know that she didn't have enough chakra to protect herself. She's… She died instantly."

A blow to the head. A distant part of Jun's mind scrolled through all the ways to kill someone like this. A blow to the face driving the nasal bone into the brain… With enough force, there could be a rupture of the cervical vertebrae… A fracture could cause a cerebral hemorrhage… Death was quick if one struck the head.

The brain was vulnerable. If done correctly, it was also painless. Had that been the case? Did his mother suffer? Did she realize what was happening? Or was she too shocked to be attacked by an Uchiha?

"That officer was Taizo Uchiha." Fugaku simply said.

Jun didn't turn his head; he didn't want to be tempted to rip his throat out. Taizo Uchiha. He committed the name to memory. He wondered what he looked like, if he was currently under protection, where he could find him, and if he would dare defend himself or calmly accept his fate.

"He's dead. When Hazuki fell, her parents threw themselves at Taizo. Your grandmother gutted him like a fish." Raido added, guessing his thoughts.

His voice almost sounded impressed. The colorful description he added made Fugaku tense, but Jun drew vicious satisfaction from it. He also had a strange feeling of emptiness. The idea of revenge had just been torn from him before it could even take shape. Knowing that Taizo Uchiha had gotten what he deserved made him feel a bit better, but it wouldn't bring his mom back. It was a bittersweet feeling.

"Raido." The Sandaime said warningly.

"I'm sorry, Lord Hokage." The jonin apologized by bowing. He turned back to Jun and continued.

"Taizo's two partners came to his rescue. Your grandfather… He and one of the officers killed each other."

"The officer was Ichiro Uchiha," Fugaku added.

Jun felt his heart sink. He knew Ichiro. When Jun had argued with his grandparents the first time, Ichiro had been among the few who had encouraged him to follow his own path. Jun still remembered how he had patted him on his shoulder. But after they were kicked out of the clan, Ichiro acted like the rest. He ignored and disdained him. However, he had never made any contemptuous remarks, unlike other Uchihas.

And now he was also dead. He had watched his mother die. He had killed his grandfather, and now he was dead. Jun didn't know what was the worst part of it all.

"Several ninjas managed to separate them. But there are a lot of injuries, not severe ones. However, your grandmother… She's in critical condition. She probably won't make it through the night. I'm sorry, Jun..." Raido finished.

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