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Like the Ichibi, the Nibi no Nekomata was once a human being. She was a woman named Setsuko who lived hundreds of years before Shukaku died. She lived in a coastal town far north, high in the mountains, far west of the lands that would become the Five Shinobi Countries.

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Setsuko was a member of a noble family who controlled the northernmost section of the town. When she was a young woman, she met and fell in love with a soldier named Kurohi. That was when the plague came to her town. Soon, Kurohi fell ill with the plague, and Setsuko ventured into a boarded-off section of the city to nurse him. Kurohi died, and Setsuko was bodily tossed on and burned alive on his funeral pyre, because she was believed to be "contaminated" by her close association with the dead.

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No one really knows what happened after that. The widely accepted belief is that Setsuko made a pact with the Shinigami, to be allowed back on the earth to be the judge of souls, to decide who is so wicked that they must be sent to the Shinigami immediately to be judged. No one is entirely sure why Setsuko came back as a nekomata, except that perhaps it made her more suited for working with the dead.

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There is an old saying, very pessimistic, but very apt. Power corrupts. For three years Setsuko kept to her purpose, and was able to shift back into her original form at will. But she was already half-maddened by the death of her lover and her own death, and the new variable of having a distinctly different form and nature, along with the added stress of tremendous power, corrupted her soul and maddened her completely. Instead of being the judicious executor of the Shinigami's will, she became drunk on power. She grew in size and energy, and her name was forgotten. The Shinigami never reneges on a bargain once struck, so the Death God was forced to think up another way of checking the Nibi's growing corruption and madness.

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Despite what is said, Nii Yugito was not the first to be possessed by the Nibi no Nekomata. The first two hosts were not jinchūriki in the traditional sense of the word. The Shinigami could not strip the former Setsuko of her powers, but he could seal her inside of human beings, to attempt to curb her power and possibly draw her back into the light of sanity.

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The first host was a woman named Umeko. She was soon killed by her fellow villagers, because the black marks of the seal that appeared around her neck gave away what was concealed inside of her. She died cursing the being that possessed her, and the Shinigami was forced to find another host.

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The second host was a young girl named Yoko. Yoko, unlike Umeko, was the daughter of a feudal lord. As she was unable to harness the powers of the Nibi, she was not of use in battle. Yoko, by comparison to the hosts that came before and after her, lived a long and relatively untroubled life. She was never able to marry, but she succeeded her father as the ruler of his holdings and died peacefully, being survived by her nephew and heir. The Shinigami could not attempt to seal the Nibi inside of a host after this.

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Five years before the close of the Third War, Nii Yugito was born in Kumogakure to the Sandaime Raikage, Nii Toshihiro, and his wife, Touji Miyuki, who died in the delivery. Around a year and a half after the death of Yugito's mother, Toshihiro was killed by one of the clan heads who was seeking his power; the clan head had, working with contacts in Konohagakure, lured the Sandaime into a trap with some of his men, forcing the Sandaime to sacrifice his life to keep his men from falling into Leaf hands. This clan head was later executed when his treachery was discovered, and Yotsuki Ē came into power.

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Two years after Yugito's birth, the Nibi no Nekomata attacked Kumogakure. A large portion of the military was killed in the assault, and more horrors were committed when the Nibi began resurrecting the dead soldiers and propelled them in the direction of the still-living soldiers. The Raikage managed to cage the Nibi for a short while, and since Yugito had been in his care ever since the death of her father, she was the first one his eyes lit on.

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If a tailed beast is to be sealed inside of a human being, it is advisable that the sealing take place before or directly after the birth of the human in question. An infant's chakra coils are still malleable and are able to expand to accommodate the massive chakra levels of a tailed beast without too much trouble. But by the time a human reaches two, the chakra coils have begun to harden. Yugito's chakra coils were already stiffening by the time the Nibi was placed inside of her, and because of this, her body did not take to the Nibi's massive chakra well. She was nearly eight by the time her chakra coils had expanded enough to accommodate the massive chakra of the Nibi. Yugito was very sickly as a child, and before her body reached an equilibrium with the Nibi's chakra she was regularly hospitalized for chakra poisoning.

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The Nibi's hosts have been exclusively female. When it is thought about, Yugito and many others come to the conclusion that though the Nibi doesn't get along well with women, it would get along even worse with men. The Shinigami was very wise in picking women to be the first two hosts. It was sheer dumb luck that Yugito was the third.

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Yugito was the first host of the Nibi to be able to utilize its powers with fire and necromancy. She first discovered that she could use necromancy when, at the age of four, she found a dead bird on the grounds of the Raikage's compound. She felt sad for the bird, and heard a guttural voice telling her to focus her chakra on the bird. She did, and the bird began to stir. Yugito was jubilant about this accomplishment, but the moment she stopped focusing on the bird, it fell to the ground dead again.

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Yugito was put through a rigorous training session as a child. She was made a genin at six. She never had a cell or a sensei; she was trained directly by the Raikage. She was sent on her first mission soon after being made a genin. It was an A-Rank; she was sent to eliminate three S-Class missing nin who had assassinated a member of the jonin council. She was nearly killed, until the Nibi took over and decimated everything within a half-mile radius. The three missing nin were incinerated, and Yugito returned to Kumo singed but without a single scratch on her. She passed the chunin exam in Suna five years later; she is commonly remembered by Sand nin as "the one who took the roof off the second exam room" when she breathed fire a little too powerfully. The Kazekage's face was a study in aggravation; the Raikage nearly died laughing.

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Apart from the Raikage, Kirabi was the only constant in Yugito's life. He was there from the moment she could begin to remember. He was ten years her senior, but she far outdid him in emotional maturity and seriousness. Of course, this wasn't apparent until Yugito was fourteen; it was the first time Kirabi left the village unannounced. It was all Yugito could do to keep the Raikage from tracking his jinchūriki brother down and kill him himself. Though Kirabi's attitude always struck Yugito the wrong way, she oddly found that she missed him when he was gone. She never let on to it, and when Kirabi returned, rapping for the first time in his life, Yugito icily told him that if he ever rapped around her again she would impale him on her katana. Since they had both been taught swordplay by the Raikage and Yugito's skills with a sword at least equaled his own, Kirabi stopped rapping abruptly.

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Yugito has always had a hard time forming and maintaining relationships. She was a jinchūriki, raised apart from the main population and shunned by them. She was an ANBU, trained to be faceless, merciless and, when the occasion called for it, soulless. This was reflected in her relationship with the academy students. Yugito volunteered at the academy on occasion, and the students alternated between despising her and mindlessly adoring her. The feeling was mutual. She was probably at her worst the day she forgot to take her mask off before going there and the students all called her Neko-san. She thought they were calling her that because of the Nibi, and brutalized them in training as they had never been brutalized before. When a little girl came up and gave her a white lily, she let them have recess all day.

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The only relationship outside of this she ever had where someone accepted her or seemed to wasn't really a relationship at all, not in the conventional sense of the word. The man was nearly ten years her senior, and he wasn't even from the same village. Despite denying that it was ever "a relationship", Yugito thinks about him for the rest of her life, because he saw her seal and didn't care.

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Yugito was never a Jashinist. But her senpai in the ANBU was. He was her partner for roughly a year, and he was a fervent devotee of Jashin; there was a church for the Evil God in Kumo, and it attracted a sizeable population. When he died, he left his rosary to Yugito, and she always wore it on her arm after that.

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Yugito always experienced "flashbacks" of the lives of the Nibi's former hosts, and, though she was never aware of it, of the Nibi herself (She always attributed the Nibi's memories to a host). Yugito, upon discovering that she could recall memories of the others, began to delve into the memories of the past hosts. For the rest of her life, she would be plagued by nightmares related to the deaths of Umeko and Setsuko, and of the death of Setsuko's lover. She also began to unlock her own earliest memories, and suddenly discovered that she could remember what her father looked like without looking at pictures, and that she could remember him playing with her once or twice. It was probably the only time she was ever grateful to be the jinchūriki of the Nibi no Nekomata.

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Yugito always knew that the village didn't care about her. The day the Akatsuki came for her was the day she was struck over the head with it. Yugito began to become nervous the moment she realized that one of them was a Jashinist; but she fatally allowed her confidence to overcome her normal good sense, and instead of running, she fought. No one came to her aid that day. Later, when she was pinned by her pierced hands to a wall, she thought about that, and how all of her experiences were worthless in the face of the truth that no matter how hard she worked, nothing would ever change.

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When Yugito died, the three days it took to drain her of the Nibi's chakra gave her a decent amount of time to think. She didn't think about Kirabi, or the Raikage, or her parents. She didn't think about the academy students. She didn't think about how she had essentially been sold out by her village. She thought about the smell of blue roses, and the man from the Leaf who had come to her village so many years ago, looking up at her and smiling through his mask. In the end, her ears were filled with the sound of her own screams. The Nibi and Yugito lived differently, but in the end, they died the same way.

Her body was never found by Kumo forces. The Jashinist in the Akatsuki saw her rosary and, believing her to be a handmaiden of Jashin, gave her a quick, simple burial in a part of the forest where none would ever find it.


If some of this doesn't make sense, my other Yugito-centric oneshots should help with that.

Merry Christmas!