Post Reply Chapter 401: "Illusion"
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Sasuke says he can't believe it, as Itachi tried to seriously kill him throughout their fight. Madara says Itachi could have, but it was all part of his plan: To draw out Orochimaru in full to remove the curse seal and to awaken Sasuke's Mangekyou. Itachi knew his role and played up the stealing of Sasuke's eyes until the end.

Sasuke reaffirms that Madara is lying and tells him that he unleashed the Kyuubi on Konoha. Sasuke remembers Itachi's comments on Madara and accuses him of plotting the Uchiha’s murder. Madara states Itachi lied to hide the truth, so Sasuke wouldn't trust him.

Itachi also implanted Amaterasu for that reason. Sasuke yells that he can't trust the story, as Itachi murdered and joined Akatsuki. Madara says Itachi joined Akatsuki to keep an eye on them, and when the Third died, he returned to Konoha as a warning to the village advisors and Danzou that he was still around. Sasuke yells for him to stop with the lies, but Madara retorts that his proof is that Sasuke is still alive.

Sasuke is speechless and thinks back over his fight with Itachi. He remembers how his brother commented on how people live their lives based on their perception of reality. Madara states Sasuke couldn't see through Itachi's illusion. Itachi killed his lover, friends and family, but he couldn't kill his little brother.

Madara cuts the ropes binding Sasuke and asks Sasuke why he thinks Itachi couldn't kill him? Madara explains that to Itachi, Sasuke's welfare meant more than that of the village. He thought of Sasuke through it all, so Sasuke could gain a new power and also be recognized as the heroic avenger of the Uchiha Clan. Disease ate away at Itachi but he struggled to hold on to life, just so that he could die before Sasuke.

A short time passes and Sasuke stands on a cliff looking at the ocean while remembering Madara's words; Itachi sought to protect Konoha through disgrace, so he could entrust the honorable Uchiha name to Sasuke...
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