Nara Yoshino couldn't remember when exactly she found the wounded man. It might have been a day ago, perhaps half a week ago, maybe even a month. It was just a normal routine really; she would walk to the training grounds near the clan district and practice her taijutsu.
It was that day that she found the wounded blond.
Her talent in the Shadow Arts were not as good as the other children of the clan and there were quite a few people in her clan that were a bit upset at that, but what she lacked in talent she made up for in furious determination. She had a desire; a fire to do good that was very rare in girls at her age. At a young age she was never much to mince words, she was quick and brutal to the point.
Aside from Uzumaki Kushina and Inuzuka Tsume there weren't many girls with her temper either.
It did not make her many friends that were for certain and her marriage prospects outside her clan weren't looking too great either. Aside from the the laziest genius their clan had to offer (Shikaku) there weren't that many people around that could tolerate her attitude.
Well it was their problem.
She did not think there was anything wrong with her. Sure she was a bit grumpy. Maybe a bit too loud, but that was not a bad thing. Unlike other kunoichi she didn't like to keep her emotions bottled up. Emotions were powerful tools, and she used them. She was a rather furious girl in spars and in life.
She was driven.
Unlike other Naras she had a goal to achieve, she had a wish to fulfill. She was not content with just staying within the walls of these compounds. She dreamed of a better life, battling enemies in far distant lands and saving people from the war that they were currently having with Iwa and so on.
Her classmates thought she was out of her mind.
They lived in troubled times and things were only getting worse as time went on, just last week she remembered that Hiashi almost lost his right arm. They had to carry him into the gates in a stretcher while exploding notes detonated in the background. If it were not for Minato-san's quick thinking to seal the gates shut, the enemies would have battered their way in.
And she wanted to go outside the gates where the explosions just kept going?
The number of friends she had in her life were few to say the least and as the the war continued they only got smaller. She remembered her classmates graduating together. Every one of them passed their instructor's test and every one of them got a team.
At the time she didn't understand why her parents were upset that everyone got a chance to become a ninja. Shouldn't it be a good thing that all these kids in her generation got a chance to prove themselves in the battlefield? Wasn't it great that the Hidden Leaf had so many amazing students who were capable of passing the tests with ease?
It was only a few months later that she would realize what a disaster that turned out to be.
By passing everyone in the class they were never able to filter out those who might have been good shinobi to the ones who may have been bad shinobi in the end. There were kids who had the skills but lacked the teamwork, and then there were students who had the teamwork but lacked the skills. It was basically just taking a bunch of idiots and sending them off into the field of fire and knives.
Pretty much everyone got skewered in one way or another.
Three months was all it took to reduce her total number of graduating class to half a dozen. She could still remember little Akira who wanted to be a Med-nin, she remembered burning his corpse in the battlefield because his family jutsu was a valuable component of Konoha.
Then there was Hana-san, Tsume's sister who was ripped to shreds by a large Salamander as its teeth gashed into her spine and ripped it off as if it was trying to pull out a fishing hook. Zerin's headless face as it rolled to the side of the road when an enemy Nin managed to sneak past her gate Keeping defenses. Sora's eyes pulled off her head as the Cloud nin tried to run off her with Byakugan only to be skewered by Hizashi as his intense hatred fired off a long distance chakra flame.
And the list just kept going.
It was during one of her practice drills in the Nara forest that she heard a detonation the likes of which she had never heard before and that prompted her to investigate. She wasn't sure what she would find but that really didn't matter.
If it were an enemy then at the least, she would be able to delay the intruder until help arrived. Her feet ran across the green grass as fast it could take her. When she got there, she saw the trees had been torn off their roots and smoke was coming off from a crater.
At first she thought that this was a complex jutsu created for massive destruction, but that didn't really make any sense as it only destroyed trees around it. She got closer to the crater and noticed the intense heat coming off the ground.
It was then that she looked down at the smoking hole and saw a blond haired teen about a year or two older then herself. Normally this would not have surprised her but the fact that the boy's skin was literally torn to pieces gave her pause.
His face was red and she could see scars and slashes crisscrossing all over it. His blond hair looked singed at the very tips and his arms and legs looked burnt badly. It did not surprise her much that he was only clothed in a pair of burnt pants and she could see the remnants of his shirt barely being kept together at the seams.
Even so she had to be cautious
She looked around the area to see if this was some kind of trap. She tried to send a pulse and detect if this was some elaborate jutsu so that she would let her guard down. Even for an instant, it could mean the difference between life and death.
After detecting that it was safe she carefully fell down into the hole and glanced at the teen's face. What got her curious was how that bubbling hot face was shred at the side but was slowly repairing itself, the cut that she had seen from the left side of his eyebrow to the right side of his chin looked less distinct from a few moments ago.
Still this wasn't the time to be pondering such questions. She forced chakra through her system and prepared to bring the teen to her compound. She would probably have to do some explaining to her parents and Shikaku would probably mumble that she was 'troublesome' but it wasn't like Shikaku was worth a rat's ass half the time.
Feeling the hot flesh beneath her fingers Yoshino almost groaned when she realized the teen was a lot heavier than he looked. She thought that it wouldn't have been so hard to carry him because he wasn't that tall, but the sheer weight of him told her of the hard compressed muscles the boy must have contained in his body to be so gosh darn heavy!
Forcing chakra through her legs Nara Yoshino ran to her home.
Now after all this time she wasn't sure if it was even such a good idea to bring the boy. Her family didn't tell her much about the teen's condition, only that he seemed to be fine, yet he was unconscious for a reason they just didn't understand.
It was decided that he stayed at the hospital but after seeing that there was really nothing wrong with him it was again judged that he should stay in the compound. Thus with an IV feeding into his arm the boy was kept alive until he awakened.
There were also some other hushed whispers circulating about the teen but she paid little attention to it. What got to her was that she was sure the clan people were hiding something from her. Something about the blond haired kid she brought over.
"Dinner's ready, I would suggest you come down, granny gets pretty angry if you miss a meal, Yoshino," Shikaku grumbled as he rubbed his head and glanced away from her.
Yoshino stopped her musing for a moment and turned to face him. "Ora, I'll be there in five, tell the old crone I am coming after I am done these Katas."
"Eesh, this is going to be a pain," mumbled the black haired kid as he went off grumbling about ungrateful cousins.
Yoshino just shook her head and finished her training thinking how her cousin was getting lazier as time went on; even so he was one of the few people she could stand, partly because he didn't mind her bad attitude so much.
"You are going to do what?" Yoshino asked her grandparents.
"We think it is best if we temporarily take you off the Shinobi forces, there are plenty of Kunoichi active on the field as it is. I think it is for the best. Aside from that you know as well as us that the number of Nara females have been, shall we say, less than normal."
Yoshino wasn't going to argue about that. Hardly did the Nara clan have kids and when they did it was often boys, really really lazy boys. Like Shikaku who was sleeping n the corner. Honestly, she should get up and smack him for his insolence.
"So what exactly does that have to do with me?"
She already knew the answer. Their family did not have a bloodline per say, however after years of inbreeding the family intelligence has become a bloodline on itself; the chances of her birthing a smart baby were higher if she were to marry within her clan than if she married outside of it.
"As the only female Nara in your generation, it might not be a bad idea if you stayed here until the war is over. Believe me Yoshino we don't like this anymore than you do but we have to think about these things, after this conflict is over we are going to have to rebuild the clan again and that means that we are going to need as many little Naras as possible," her grandmother said sounding as determined as she had always been.
Yoshino was sure she took a lot from the female side of her family, straightforward and to the point.
"But the decision is up to you girl, if you don't want to do this we can't really force you I guess. Yawn, yeah we can't force you. But it would probably be a good idea if you listen, granny is being a huge pain lately about all this and you can really help your old granddad out if you just take a break for a little while," her grandfather said yawning and trying not to look scared at the sharp look her grandmother sent him.
Shikaku was just ignoring all this and snoring in the background.
"Just think about this, it might be for the best."
So Nara Yoshino sat alone in her room watching the moonlight. Seems like nighttime was the only time with any peace now a days. During the day people just kept dying. She knew she should have gotten some sleep during this time but it wasn't like anyone could blame her.
Shikaku had been gone for the past week with his team on some mission. She hoped her cousin would make it out alive; it would be depressing to have to lose him too. Despite how annoying he was he was still a good guy even if he hung out with that jerk Yamanaka.
She would have to remember to punch that narcissist blond in the face the next time the teen called her a 'bitch.' She would have to show the clown who was whose bitch wouldn't she?
Feeling restless, she walked up from her bed and headed to the spot she would go to when she got bored. She walked down the wooden confines of her large Japanese style compound until she came to the medical area.
When she entered she was greeted with the sight of the boy she had found in the forest. He looked perfectly fine. They had dressed him and put some white robes on him, and she had to admit they looked nice on his strong body. She wondered what kind of person this guy was and what his name was.
She took a seat at the chair placed next to his bed and took a good look at him.
All she knew was that he was most likely a Konoha ninja, but they couldn't tell who. They did a blood identification test and didn't find any matches to his DNA in the database and they needed authorization to see if his DNA matched with anyone in Konoha but some of the clans shut that idea whence it came.
She stared down at his face and wondered not for the first time why it was such a fascinating feature about him. He wasn't really that handsome, but he wasn't bad looking either. It was just that his features told so much about him and it drew her to the stress lines that wound around his eyes and cheeks. It looked like the boy had seen a lot in his short life and she wanted to get to know his story.
Eventually it got darker and slowly her eyes felt heavy and she closed it letting sleep take her.
It was at this time that another pair of blue eyes slowly opened to look at the ceiling above him.