Arc X Chapter 1


"Nii-san, stop running. Slow down, nii-san, your nee-chan can't follow." Mayumi struggled to keep up with his pace, but Yuji was even bothered in the slightest. He didn't care.

"Mayumi, I told you countless time, stop bothering me! Stop dabbling around! Stop dallying behind! You are seriously wasting my time and patience!"

"But nii-san ..." Mayumi pouted in mock indignation. Her nii-san was mean. Her nii-san wasn't like the gentle and caring nii-sans from her novels. He didn't treat his cute little sister with kindness and consideration. The nii-sans from her books did.

Yuji couldn't care less. He was already well-used to her usual repertoire of temper tantrums. Mayumi behaved too much like a little princess.

Unfortunately, they were neither noble, nor rich. Quite the contrary, they were paupers, chronically short of money and funds.

At least, they got rid of Tsuyoshi and his henchmen thanks to the intervention of a mysterious benefactor that shall not be named.

Because of her, they enjoyed now some breathing space without massive debts to worry about. Times were hard, but their life took a turn to the better.

"No nii-san, shut up and follow me. We need to buy groceries at he market before it gets dark." Not that it mattered, Amegakure was always dark and gloomy regardless of the hour.

"..." Miyumi obeyed despite much, grumbling, pouting, and glaring daggers at him.

Yuji loved his sister dearly from the bottom of his heart, but he knew, it was deadly to give ground to her. Never indulge in her little games! Brace yourself and stay strong! Ignore her! That was his standard procedure, and it worked ...

Mayumi tugged at his clothes. "Nii-san! Nii-san! Nii-san!"

"What's now? Didn't I tell you shouldn't bother me?"

Mayumi ignored him entirely, giving him a taste of his own medicine. "Nii-san, look, there are people standing there! What are they doing?"

Yuji followed Mayumi's gaze.

Indeed, a sizeable crowd gathered along the alley in silence. They didn't talk. They didn't speak. They were just ... standing around without clear purpose.

A curious sight considering they were standing exposed int he open, unprotected from the ever pouring rain. Something clearly attracted their attention.

"I guess we should take a look."

Mayumi nodded, agreeing with him.

They took advantage of their height. Their short stature allowed them to slip through the sea of people, advancing slowly but surely.

They arrived at the front, and what greeted them was underwhelming, a notice board, a common sight across the village. A group of clan ninja was busy plastering the entire board with the same leaflet.

Yuji's expectations deflated. "..." It was just a notice board.

Mayumi was tugging at him from behind, jumping and fidgeting impatiently. "Nii-san, what are they doing?"

Yuji scanned the notice board. "They are posting leaflets. Some kind of ... declaration ..."

"What do they say?"

"I don't know." Yuji started reading, passing paragraph after paragraph, word after word, letter after letter.

"To the people of Amegakure!

Since the founding of the village, it was our fervent wish to protect the people of our land from hardship and the heavy burdens of war:

Providence, however, has decreed otherwise!

Besieged and surrounded by foreign powers, we stand alone. The malevolent intrigues of our enemies from beyond compel us, for the protection of our families, our home, our land, to grasp the sword!

For years,foreign powers have trodden the path of open hostility and malicious intent! Led by their their insatiable hunger for power, they met Amegakure in all affairs with the bitterest hate and utmost contempt!

Guided by the spirit of moderation and fairness, mutual respect and consideration, Amegakure only sought her rightful place in the world, founded on the noble principles of peace and friendship!

We offered them peace and friendship, but our hopes were shattered. Whether it was Konohagakure, or Iwagakure, Sunagakure, or Kumogakure, none of them honoured their word and empty promises.

Treaties, vows, oaths, everything solemn and holy was to them just a means of lies and deceit!

In vain, Amegakure urged the powers to desist from the path of war. The enemy rejected!

The enemy answered our call for peace with belligerence and aggression! They answered with violence and bloodshed! They answered with war and destruction!

The enemy brought three wars over our once peaceful land! Three times, they sowed devastation and destruction, yet our enemies failed to accomplish their ultimate goal!

In our darkest hour, only our unity and the sacrifice of our people allowed us to survive!

With the flames of war ever blazing higher, their design became apparent with less and less disguise, to tear from us by force what they could not take in peace! By all means, our enemies seek to destroy us and our land!

Murderous attacks, assassinations, conspiracies, are testament to their manifold machinations directed against us!

Thus, we must answer! We cannot remain silent any longer! We must put a halt must to these intolerable proceedings! We must put an end to the incessant provocations of our enemies!

The honour and dignity of Amegakure must be preserved unimpaired, and her integrity must be guarded!

In this solemn hour, conscious of our resolve and our responsibility, conscious of our sacred duty, we must therefore proceed to secure by force of arms what was denied to us in peace!

We, the people of Amegakure, must rally in unity and loyalty, prepared for the severest sacrifices to preserve our honour, and peace!

In order to achieve our cause, new national policies shall be enacted, and reforms unprecedented shall be implemented across the land.

A new administration shall be established, composed of civilian and clan representatives under the guidance of a single council. The council shall deliberate all matters pertaining to the state and the village.

All classes, high or low, rich or poor, shall participate in the affairs of state, equal in rights among each other.

All lords and their retainers, regardless of status and privileges, shall answer henceforth to Amegakure. The authority of the council shall not be questioned.

Evil customs of the past shall be discontinued. The old feudal order shall be replaced by a new hierarchy founded on the just principles of law and nature.

Ancient castes, a source of stagnation and tyranny, shall be abolished. Farmers and peasants shall be freed from their lords and masters. Artisans and merchants shall be freed unjust restrictions and limitations.

The common people of the land shall all be allowed to pursue their true calling and talents at their own accord.

Knowledge shall be sought to strengthen the foundation of Amegakure, to promote agriculture, to promote commerce and industry.

The martial spirit of the land shall be resharpened. Universal conscription shall be introduced in service and defence of Amegakure.

Taxation shall be reformed. Ancient privileges and exemptions shall be abolished. Everyone shall contribute to the progress of society according to their means and abilities.

The Council of Amegakure."

A single crest adorned the leaflet, a purple flower, a purple kikyou on black ground.