Lee was training deep in the lush, green forest one hot summer day. He was practicing a completely new and alien style of taijutsu. Spinning from kick to punch to block, lightning quick, Lee was but a green blur in the endless sea of dappled light filling the under story of the woods. He leaped forward, darting back again with a dancer's grace and the dangerous speed of a panther. Sweat dripped from his thick black brows into his pitch-dark eyes, stinging painfully, but Lee took no notice. His normally expressive coal eyes were sharpened with concentration as he flung his body into contorted shapes that caused his sides and spine to crackle with protest. His chapped hands began to bleed through the heavy linen bandages wrapped around them. Lee just continued his exercises, determined to overcome his boundaries and push himself farther, farther than those with chakra even. He swore to himself, Gai-sensei, to the entire village, that he would surpass his physical and mental limitations and become the world's greatest taijustsu master. So absorbed in his training was Lee that he did not realize when the sun began to set, and long shadows filled the darkening wood. No longer was the cheerful dappled light playing over the grass, and the by day familiar training grounds sank into the ominous shadows of twilight, which in turn were devoured by the encroaching phantoms of a black night.

Suddenly, Lee looked up realizing that it was now so dark he could barely see his bruised and blackened hand in front of his face.

"Well, this certainly is not good!" he exclaimed, exhaling loudly, hands on his green-clad hips.

Ok, I know that the village is due west of here…But the sun has long since set and I can not see the stars nor moon for the clouds…

Abruptly, Lee laughed, "What a royal mess this is!"

Lee began to follow the patterns of trampled and bloodied grass that betrayed past activities; finally he found a straight line of steps following the path he had taken into the seclude clearing.

"AHA!" Lee gave a small sound of triumph.

As he walked, a small flickering light caught Lee's black eye.

There is no hiding in darkness if there is even one spark of light. Lee stole closer to the light, silent as a shadow. It was a person, cloaked in a sand colored robe, walking with a small oil lantern. The miniscule flame only threw off enough light to just see the uneven forest floor, and Lee couldn't tell who the shadowy figure was. Not even if it was a ninja or civilian. Whoever it was walked jerkily, stumbling and limping, as if injured or drunken. Lee watched, worried that the stranger might need help, but he was reluctant to step from his refuge among the trees for fear the stranger was an enemy ninja. But Lee couldn't help himself; when the person fell to their knees with a small pained noise, Lee leaped out and caught their limp body before they'd completely collapsed.

The tattered hood slipped from the stranger's face with the harsh halting of their body. Lee felt his eyes widen in shock to see that it was a battered and beaten…!