These chapters will either be from third person point of view, or first person, depending on the effect I want.

So I was kind of procrastinating because I still haven't figured out what exactly what is going to go down on the mission, so if the next chapter takes a while, that's why. I will, however, try to live up to whatever, probably totally unrealistic expectations you may have.

Their mother's name is pronounced Ry-ē-ă

Just to clarify, this is in the past. I just didn't feel like doing the entire chapter in italics.

My mother thought I held a mild dislike for my father. She was wrong.

I hated him. Loathed the ground he walked on.

He gave her to them. He thought I didn't know but I did. Girls my age don't go wandering through the woods at night for no reason.

I felt guilty. Because I left. I left with only a feeble promise from my mother to keep her safe.

But I couldn't have stayed. It wouldn't have been good. For anyone.

We fought. All the time without fail.

So I left. At least my aunt wanted me.

My family has a kekkeigenkai that runs on my mother's side. We have extensive control over lightning. I was one of the youngest to ever access it. Right before I left my father hit me.

And I hit him.

I changed my name and took my mother's maiden one. I didn't want any connection to him. As far as I was concerned he wasn't even my father. But I looked just like him and that made it harder to forget.

We made the majority of the trip by water. Then we walked.

There has to be a certain understanding between a mother and daughter before said daughter leaves home before coming of age. Others may have had different priorities in these regards. Tearful goodbyes and promises of return. But, in this particular case, neither party had any of these misconceptions. The daughter was leaving. There would be no return. And so when Cirinoah Zimo – soon to be Nihalai – spoke to her mother on that faithful day, October 21st – exactly two months before her sister's birthday, the first of many that she would be missing, she had only one concern. And after this last affair was taken care of she would be leaving, with her seven-year-old shoulders free and unburdened.

"Take care of her, won't you?"

"Of course." Lies. Cirinoah knew so but her mother was once a great ninja and was very skilled in the art of deception, so if she pretended to believe her no one would know the difference. She would've believed her but her mother was…her mother and she knew her better than most other people ever could.

"I'm serious. She's been through a lot, lately." Cirinoah knew how to deceive as well but she was, at that moment, probably the most sincere she had been in a long while. "She may not remember it but she has."

"So am I."

Those were the last words Cirinoah ever spoke to her mother. Those were the last words her mother could ever give her daughter. But those words made all the difference.

Fate is a very touch and go thing. One small, insignificant moment can change the course of history. One day the seven-year-old would die and be remembered not only for her accomplishments but also for what she'd done wrong with her life. No one would ever know of this conversation but the two who participated in it and they would not live long enough to see the outcome of their actions on that day. No one would know that this conversation saved a village from destruction and saved many lives along with it. Cirinoah would never be aware of it but that conversation would one day save her sister's life. Her mother's memory of the last promise she made to her eldest child would give her the strength she needed to sacrifice herself to save her youngest.

And that made all the difference.

Lives are not measured in days or months or years or decades. They are measured in events and when you are old and looking back on your life, you are unlikely to remember the exact time or date but you'll remember the people you were with and the great times you had together.

Nothing is quite so exciting, however, as the first sight.

Cirinoah fancied herself to be very dedicated to her dream and everything she wished to accomplish in her life. So on her day in Konoha, she did not spend her day observing the sights and learning why this was truly the best Hidden Village in all of the nations. She decided that her first day in Konoha would also be her first day at its Ninja Academy.

So she awoke at an ungodly hour on that Monday morning and quickly prepared herself for school. She braided her blonde hair into a high ponytail and pulled on her clothes. She observed her reflection to make sure she was presentable. Her fishnets stockings were in order, her black skirt was not pulled up too high, and her loose black shirt wasn't sticking too close to her body. She pulled her black fingerless gloves onto her hands and flexed her fingers before opening the window of her bedroom and leaving.

Cirinoah had never made it a secret that she wanted to be the best at what she did. And, thus, she wished to be able to get as early a start on what would hopefully be a long and fruitful career as possible. But, of course, to graduate from the academy early you would need the recommendation of your sensei, so she no longer needed only to prove her dedication to herself but also the ones that surrounded her and for her one of the best ways to do that was to arrive early; and she saw no reason not to because she always woke up at this time of the morning to calm her sister's nightmares and she would never be able to go back to sleep. So as she made her way to the Academy she enjoyed basking in the warmth of the early sun.

She was not so dedicated to her work that she would take the seat in the center of the front of the class because some things you just never knew about and she really wished to just sit down in vanish into a corner until some sort of exercise came up where she could prove her value in field work, class work was not something she excelled in. So, she found a seat that was not to close to the front nor the back but was off to the side and sat down, deciding that if it was already someone else's seat, then they should have been there early enough to claim it.

But waking up at the crack of dawn can exhaust a person and sitting in one spot doing absolutely nothing does not help the situation, so as it turned out by the time the sensei arrived Cirinoah was asleep with her head on the desk. He decided to leave her be because he was tired and as she had arrived before he had so she was, in all probability, more so.

And so the next person to walk into the class – one Itachi Uchiha, closely followed by his many admirers, and then by the rest of the class - was greeted by the sight of a small girl sleeping on a desk – his desk, in all actuality – and his sensei grading papers. He found her peaceful face somewhat comforting. He was so used to girls having huge smiles plastered to their faces whenever he came anywhere near them, which would've been fine but they were never real. The peaceful look did not last long, however. The loud talking of all the class woke her abruptly from her sleep.

There were five seconds of haziness, then five seconds of clarity, and after that it took five seconds for a blush to creep onto her face. She ducked her head, hoping to hide the redness of her cheeks. The chair next to hers scraped across the dusty floor. She glanced up and knew in that instant that he had wanted her to know he was sitting down. He could've been soundless, she knew. But as she raised her eyes she also noticed the crowd of girls surrounding him, glares on their faces.

"Who are you?" The vehemence would've surprised her, but she had been expecting it. The possessive tone was nothing that she had never heard before.

"Why don't any of the girls like me anymore?"

Once all of the girls stopped thinking that boys had cooties, they'd begun to see her as a threat and had shunned her from their groups.

Her mother had told her it was her eyes. They were the same color as seaweed and with their shocks of yellow and electric blue; she had been told that they shifted color with every turn of her head.

"One look from your father and I was a goner."

She'd thought it was sweet then.

It had become something of a hindrance but she found that without friends to distract she began to spend more time on her training and excelled in her studies.

"I'm new here." She said, a large smile appearing on blood red lips. It was best to remain perky, she'd learned, it disconcerted them. "Cirinoah Zi-Nihalai." She caught herself before she told them her old name. That life was behind her. Those who were paying close attention would've seen the sadness flash through her eyes.

"Well, Cirinoah Zi-Nihalai, would you move?" Cirinoah glanced again at the boy by her side. He showed no outward interest in the conversation. She would admit that he was cute enough, but no one to be so rude about.

"No." The smile never left her face. "By the way, it's just Nihalai." She turned to face to front again and was in no way caught off guard when the girl who appeared to be leading the others for the moment – but would no doubt fight them for the seat as soon as Cirinoah was eradicated – grabbed her by the arm.

"I only asked to be polite." The girl said, giving a smile of her own, though hers appeared to be a lot more sarcastic.

"You failed miserably." The girl's grip on her arm tightened.

"Move." It was at this point that the smile slipped from Cirinoah's mouth. The tone was no more threatening than the one's the girl had used before but this time Cirinoah was very aware that she was now fully prepared to back up the threat.

"Let me go." The words were spoken with little emotion but an underlying anger. "Now."

"Move. Now." Her tone was mocking.

It was easier when she was angry, she didn't have to concentrate quite as much. So in that moment it wasn't so very hard for her to make the quick flash of lightning crack across her arm.

The girl's scream was loud and agonized. Cirinoah wasn't particularly worried; no one would believe the girl. Her family's kekkeigenkai wasn't registered anywhere and no one else could make lightning erupt from any point on their body. And, besides that, she hadn't moved or made any hand seals.

"You electrocuted me!" the girl yelled clutching her slightly red left hand with her right one.

"No, I didn't." she looked serenely up at her, a smile gracing her lips once again. But this time the girl just walked away, without much more than a glare thrown over her shoulder and her "friends" followed behind her.

"How did you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Don't lie, I saw it." Itachi was not acting with very much tact. But Cirinoah decided to ignore that in favor of something that she wanted.

"Okay, I'll tell you. But only if you do something for me." The glare he gave her combined with the wave of killing intent he sent, would've made lesser people tremble. "You can't expect me to tell you one of my deepest, darkest secrets and receive nothing in return, especially not when this is the first time we've spoken to one another, can you?"

His glare did not lessen. "What do you want?"

"You're, supposedly, really smart, right?" she didn't wait for him to answer. "I want to graduate soon, like this year, soon. I figured I might need a little bit of help."

"You want me to tutor you?" He sounded slightly shocked; he'd probably expected her to ask for a date or something. Which it kind of was when you thought about it, something she'd rather not do.

"I need you to help me with my combat training, I can memorize a couple of facts from a book but I need a sparring partner who can keep up with me." She said. "I'm assuming you can do that. And if I graduate this year, I'll tell you what you want to know." But she knew he already had a working theory on the matter.

"Deal?" he walked away.

She took that as a yes.

Riiah Zimo was in a bad mood. Her oldest daughter had abandoned her without even bothering to lie about coming back. Her husband was an asshole who sold their youngest daughter to a bunch of spiritual freaks, just to get them out of a financial hole that he'd dug with his gambling problem. But she was most disappointed in herself. Her behavior had become far worse than indecent and she was well aware that she should take her daughter and leave without so much as a backwards glance. But that just wasn't something that she could do; she'd have to leave the entire village because leaving her husband, no matter what the circumstances would never be accepted here. So she decided that she would stay but there would have to be some changes. She hadn't been sure of her promise at the time but had now steeled her resolve. This was her last promise to Cirinoah and she would die before it was broken.

"If you so much as touch her I will kill you in most painful way imaginable." She forgot about the love she once had for him and the way he used to be. She focused only on the way he was now. "You know I can."