Blood Drenched Butterfly
Chapter 1: The Beginning
She wasn't quite sure when she had acquired the blade in her hands, nor did she know exactly how she came to be standing just outside the entrance to her father's private chambers….
No one was allowed inside without his consent, and that rule carried a sometimes deadly weight when the sun was absent and darkness overtook the grand halls of the Hyuuga manor. Much like now. Night had claimed the village of Konoha a little more than three hours ago and everything was silent...peaceful….The maids had finished their rounds. The servants were all in bed, as they should be, along with every other member of the Hyuuga clan regardless of their branch.
So why was she wandering the halls so late at night...standing outside her father's door without permission...loosely holding a what appeared to be a katana?
The answer was rather simple and it only took her a second or two of thought before she was smiling so widely her eyes closed, teeth glinting in the gloom.
"That's right," the girl of fourteen whispered, "they need to be freed….All of them. Trapped in their cages day in and day out. They need a key." Her fingers tightened around the hilt of her 'key'. "I'll let them out. All of them…."
With a sound like rustling paper, the doors before her were pulled apart, giving view into a gloriously furnished room, one with plush tatami mats and an elaborately polished table topped with two steaming mugs. She instantly caught the smooth scent of chamomile yet her eyes were drawn to the figure standing just in front of her.
It was a man, a rather tall man with flowing ebony locks and opaque eyes narrowed directly down at her. She watched his lips curl up in a sneer, possibly less than three seconds away from slamming the door in her face.
"Just what business do you have here, Hinata?" and his voice was colder than anything Hinata had ever heard, more akin to a growl.
The heir to the Hyuuga Clan, Hinata Hyuuga, regarded her father with dim eyes, seeing him, yes, but not taking in a single thing about the man other than the subtle loath lining his facial features. Her eyes dropped away from him and moved to the left, able to see her younger sister Hanabi, seated seiza style at the table. She stared back with confusion.
Ah yes...the youngest of the litter, Hanabi, the prodigal child at only seven and already she had quite the masterful hold on their clans inner techniques. Was it any wonder she received such praise, such rewarding smiles and pats on the back? Their father had completely swept Hinata under the rug, treating her like the bug he saw her as so he could devote large helpings of his 'precious' time towards training Hanabi.
Poor thing….She may have bore no 'Seal' like the cadet branch but for all intents and purposes, she was still very much trapped within a cage. And unlike Hinata, her wings weren't broken; she still had a chance to fly. She just needed a key….
Hinata's face split in a smile.
"I asked you a question," Hiashi reiterated, his left brow quirking at his daughters sudden shift in chakra. With just a single smile, the warmth he had grown accustomed to was all but snuffed out, replaced by something that rose the hairs on the back of his neck. He almost winced.
Now completely ignoring her father, Hinata shiftedher weapon to under her arms and mimed covering her eyes to Hanabi. The two of them weren't dreadfully close as sisters but they had sometimes played together during the rare moments where neither of them had schooling, training, or social events to participate in. Those times had been fun.
And Hinata would sorely miss them.
After two more demonstrations, Hanabi, cracking something of a weary smile, lifted her hands and placed them over both eyes.
"Don't open them till I say so," Hinata whispered almost playfully and Hanabi nodded, beginning to smartly hum what sounded like a lullaby under her breath. This struck Hinata as somewhat odd, like her younger sister had an inkling of what was about to happen.
"Hinata!" Her name was practically barked out; Hanabi jumped. "Have you finally lost your hearing along with your skills? I asked what you were doing here...and…." His voice faltered as he finally took in more than his daughter's presence, namely what she was wearing and what she carried.
Replacing her usual bland attire was a pure white robe, one exclusively made for the higher maidens of the Hyuuga clan; the craft that went into such a silken masterpiece left the whole ensemble glistening in the darkness and, being cinched closed around the waist by a sash of the same fabric, it hugged the younger Hyuuga heiress' body quite nicely. As this garment ended midway down her thighs, what covered her legs were a pair of butterfly-themed stockings.
"Have you lost your mind?" he roared and that so well-known vein in his temple throbbed to life reminiscent of a worm pulsing under his skin. "That robe—how did you even—and that sword is from our vault of—HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?"
As her father spouted nothing but pure vitriol, flecks of spit flying from his moth, Hinata felt quite sure that if he could and if she bore one, he would have activated her curse seal without a moment's hesitation. The grip he had on the sliding doors intensified to the point where his fingers splintered the wood; he looked about ready to froth at the mouth….
It was almost like watching an ant bypass a rampaging elephant when Hinata entered the sacred chamber, ducking under her fathers arm and crossing over to Hanabi who still sat with her eyes closed and humming. As Hiashi whirled around, slamming the door closed behind him, Hinata placed a hand over her sister's head. Just touching the child caused a white-hot rage to lance through her being; she almost crushed Hanabi's skull but somehow managed to keep her graze light, continuing to smile as she began to pet her.
"You can open your eyes now," she said gently and when Hanabi did, her orbs looking up into Hinata's beatific face, Hinata lifted the weapon in her hand.
The blade dripped crimson fluid.
"What...is that—" Hanabi tried to ask but then her nose crinkled and she knew what it was.
Hinata felt this was a fair trade off. Being treated so detestably thanks to struggling with the finer points of her hereditary fighting style, it seemed downright childish to blame Hanabi for how her life had turned out. The better deserved to be exalted and praised, given more time than the broken and the crippled. Hanabi was the better...and Hinata was the crippled. But she'd worked out a plan.
And as her father began to waver where he stood, the first part of her plan had come to fruition.
Hanabi never broke eye contact with Hinata even as their father crashed to the ground on one knee, an arm slung around his waist. Hinata glanced over her shoulder, the sight of her father spilling a copious amount of cardinal liquid over his trembling bottom lip doing nothing to deter her smile; it only widened. She spotted the splotch of blood his hand desperately tried to cover but he might as well have been trying to plug a crack in the sink for all the fluids spilling over his fingers.
"You...y-you…." Where even the simplest words failed him, his eyes, red-rimmed and watering, conveyed the questions his floundering lips couldn't get out: why…?
She didn't expect such a question to mean so much; it was just a single word and yet Hinata dove like a panther, crossing to her father in two long strides and snatching him up by the collar of his once spotless robes. Hatred unlike anything Hinata had ever experienced ignited the blood in her veins, caused her kekkai genkai to flare to life—his chakra system, weak though it was with his waning life, lit up like the streets of Konoha.
"WHY?" she screeched, and her tone was painful to the ears, so far away from her normally timid coo. Without thought, she reared back two fingers, joined to make a spear of sorts that were outlined in a visible hue of chakra, violent and staticky.
"YOU'RE USELESS, HINATA!" It was an insult she screamed out, one of her father's favorites that she heard at least once a day, sometimes said after a training session and sometimes said in passing accompanied with a soul-rending glare even when she hadn't done anything wrong—and she dug hers fingers into his stomach, tearing through the thin flap of skin that comprised of his naval.
Blood blew out around her hand, she heard him roar in pain, felt him convulse against her but Hinata dug deeper, disrupting his solar plexus chakra flow with a violent burst of her own—
"YOU'RE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE MAIN BRANCH, HINATA!"
She wrenched her fingers from their cavity, flinging blood about the chamber, and struck again, her digits acting as a surgical scalpel as they sliced into a point just between his pectoral muscles; she forced pure hatred into his heart chakra, watching as his eyes began to roll, a mixture of spittle and blood spilling past his lips. And through his screaming she could distinctly hear Hanabi in the background, humming her lullaby as before….
"GIVE UP BECOMING A PROPER SHINOBI, HINATA!"
Her pristine robes had been tainted now, covered in deep splotches of her father's secretions. The coppery stench of blood was overwhelming, it invaded her nostrils yet she inhaled like she might get high from it. She certainly felt on cloud nine as she pulled her fingers free, snagging flesh with her erratic chakra and taking rinds with her—his yelling was persistent, a testament to the agony being dealt to him yet Hinata knew she could never deal enough to match all the mental and physical torture he had put her through.
And that, more than anything, upset her.
Releasing him, she threw back both arms, her mouth open in a scream that rivaled the ones gurgled up by her father. She gave him no chance to move and launched herself forward, filling as much chakra as she could into her palms before ramming them into her father's eyes. The yells died away almost instantly and Hinata felt those two moist orbs that so detested her burst against her hands, felt something within her father's cranium rupture with a sickening spurt….
As Hanabi's lullaby lowered in pitch, Hiashi began to fall backwards and Hinata saw that his eyes had combusted in their sockets, thick milky strands connecting her palms to the mess leaking from the punctures in his skull. It was a grisly sight, one she never thought she'd see her premiere father reduced to, but as his body thudded to the ground, she lifted her odious hands up to eye-level...and smirked.
"You thought I was worthless...that I never learned anything…." Her voice was of a dove's again, soft and cooed out, even as she extended a tongue to the muck on her hands. What assaulted her taste buds was acrid and made her stomach flip with an instant desire to vomit but she choked the urge and took a long lick, slurping almost, savoring this moment, the moment where one of the chains keeping her rooted in misery broke away….
"Is this what Neji-niisan was talking about?" asked Hanabi over her shoulder. She sounded calm and reserved, emotions that slightly surprised Hinata. "He told me he had been giving you extra lessons...was it for this?"
Now suckling on her index finger, lapping up any fluids with an almost animalistic thirst, Hinata nodded, keeping her gaze on the corpse of her father. It was a tribute to Neji's code of honor that this night had went off as well as it did as he most certainly could have stopped her, and quite easily. For the past five months he had trained her, drilled the Hyuuga's Jyuuken fighting style into her brain with a far more brutal touch than her father could have ever done; where her father only exerted half effort, Neji took his time and started from the beginning, running practice session after practice session, picking her up when he knocked her down, correcting her stance, helping her chakra flow more easily, lessing the strain of the Byakugan until activation was as easy as breathing.
Hinata had been honest with Neji, telling him the real reason why she sought him out for that special brand of training. She remembered crying...trembling...completely at wits end as she broke down before her cousin, her words damn near incomprehensible for all her sobbing and yet he heard them without missing a single syllable. She wanted to become stronger...she was sick of being looked down upon, of being thought inferior to everybody else, unworthy to even be looked at….
"And what will you do with this...power, once I've trained you?" he had asked then.
"I'll kill your uncle."
For a moment, she recalled Neji just observing her, his ever stoic expressing betraying not even a hint of emotion, neither surprise nor confusion. "My uncle….Your father."
"The man who rules the Hyuuga clan is not my father. He is a tyrant...one who rules with an unfit hand and stale ideals. For the sake of both the main branch and the cadet branch, he must be taken care of…."
"And what will you do after this impossible task is completed?" he had asked, speaking of such heresy with an unperturbed face."What kind of life can you expect to lead after such a heinous crime? What will be left for you?"
A little voice just over her shoulder brought Hinata back to earth with a jolt. "He's...father's not moving anymore."
Hinata nodded, realizing she'd now sucked both her hands virtually spotless. "And with his stillness comes your freedom, Hanabi-chan."
"Freedom…?" She'd repeated the word like it was a foreign concept. "What is...freedom?"
Hinata's right ear twitched and she turned to her precious sister, enveloping her in a hug that spoke of all the feelings, all the words that she wished she could express vocally but couldn't. Despite the frigid blood coating her elegant robes, the hug was warm, secure, and Hanabi unconsciously sank into it, sighing contently into Hinata's neck as they embraced as sisters.
"You're leaving," Hanabi uttered after only a few seconds and now even she could hear the sounds of quickly approaching footsteps.
Hinata nodded, giving her sister one last comforting squeeze before holding her upright, hands on her shoulders. "Freedom is a foreign concept to you at the moment….It's something I don't fully grasp either but...right here, right now, I think I have an idea of the sensation, and it feels invigorating."
Without another word, Hinata prodded her sister in the forehead with her index finger, just a single poke, then dashed for the window on the opposite end of the room. Fixing her katana to a strand of robe at her side, Hinata pulled the curtains apart and leapt into a crouched position on the windowsill.
She glanced over her shoulder. "Hanabi!"
Just as the chamber doors were knocked sideways by a contingent of cadet branch members, Hinata flashed a soft smile. "Live your life your way!" she ordered and when her little sister vigorously nodded, she fell forward into the darkness of night.
The night was still young and yet Hinata only had one more stop to make before she could begin life anew. As she skipped over building tops, barely touching down before leaping again, she allowed herself a few precious seconds freedom to enjoy the wind as it splashed over her parched face; it froze the blood soaked into her robes, made her feels pounds heavier but she reveled in it, continuing to bound as though gravity didn't exist for her.
Like a blood drenched butterfly flitting through the air.
A/N: One down, two to go.