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Girl in Red and Black

By Apotheosis_Scribere

Sealed Fate

~Actions are the seed of fate, deeds grow into destiny.~

Choices in life can change the outcome of your entire future. One choice might lead to prosperity whereas another could lead you to a heartbreakingly, tragic story. So many strings of fate fall and tangle before you, and as you go through life less and less of them remain.

You can try and predict the future, fine a fortune teller, base things off your dream, but it is never set in stone until you choose which string you will follow.

Though at the end of every string there is only one option, death, you can choose how you can impact the world with your deeds.

---    ---

How did she end up like this? Alone, cold and homeless? 

She had wanted a life of adventure and promise, only to become weaker every day. She was realizing just how cruel the world could be, and that if you wanted to survive in it, you had to have more the self-glory in mind.

Her clothes were in tatters, but still usable, while her feet were covered in caked on mud and dirt, acting like shoes. She kept her hood up; covering her obnoxiously pink hair, which had taken more of a dull, washed out hue, showing her personal hygiene was an all-time low.

The only thing vibrant about her was her bright green eyes, still determined to find some good out of any situation.  

She walked through the muddy village roads, never one to sit still especially in this town. She had found out quickly that this village was rather dangerous. Not so much the people, but the ones who ‘guarded’ it. The Lord who looked over the village, Yuuton Saiki, was a corrupted man who had an ardor for causing misery to the small town.

Every first born he would commission into his Junken-Sha gang at the tender age of four. It was a way of getting free labor and holding the parents who lived in the village tied down and quiet. Every time the village was checked, he would threaten the lives of the children, effectively keeping the village silent and unordinary to the ears of Konoha or the Daimyo.

It didn’t help that given the order; the gang members would turn on their own parents and cut them down without even remembering who they were.

It was an evil, twisted way of controlling people, who were forced to live in an accursed village, taking their lives right out of the palms of their hands. The small girl had only been here a few weeks and have witnessed several instances of these cruel moments from the shadows she snuck in.

The girl never wanted to be in a village like this, this was definitely not her dream destination, a far cry from it. She only wanted to find somewhere she would be able to see someone like him. Be able to become strong, strong enough to protect her and others from the dangers of the world. So in search of a teacher or a village that had ninja in it, she had wondered here, barely alive. What had started out as an adventure quickly turned to a poor effort of survival. She had barely made the trip to this forsaken village, and she had gotten lucky even then. She doubted she could make it back to normal civilization, alive at least.

The eight-year old sighed, leaning in a wall, the question running through her head once again.

One might wonder how such a young child ended up like this? Long story.

Her bottom lip trembled, as her eyes stung with unshed tears. She missed her old village, where she had familiar faces, and kind faces.

Here all the faces were filled with pity, yet no kindness. Some of the elderly who would see her wandering around would give her little things to eat, but not out of some kind of fondness, but pity for the dirty child that walked the streets, knowing that she was most likely not going to survive the month.

She didn’t want to die though, but she couldn’t leave this small, secluded hell-hole, lest she will be taking a big step towards death. So she was waiting.

The girl had heard the rumors, and some people had even told her to her face. The squad of Konoha-nin come every once in a full moon, checking the village and making sure everything is in tip-top shape. She planned to somehow tag along with them, maybe tell them about her desire to become a ninja.

Though she hadn’t entirely thought it through, seeing there were many holes in this little plan. First, they could easily just take her to the village orphanage, where she would be forced into slavery until the day she died. Another hole was that they would refuse to take her, seeing as they still had many orphans due to the Kyuubi attack eight-years ago.

There were many other ways the plan could go wrong and she could end up in a worse situation than she already was in. She sat up again, looking to the gloomy sky, a desperate plea shining over her eyes.

She only ever wanted to protect the people she cared for. Instead she had left them, not knowing if they made it safely back or not. The thought gnawed at her stomach, what if those cloaked men had gone back and ended up killing them all? It would be her fault wouldn’t it? Would she get in trouble for causing such a disaster?

Her face contorted as she let out a dry sob. She only wanted to help, but in the end she might have made it so much worse. She should’ve listened to the boy, and went back.

But no, she wanted to follow him.  

She clenched her tiny fist, really how stupid she probably sounded to him. Her mind replayed the events that happened not even a week ago, her eyes slowly drooping shut as her worn out body slid to the ground.

---    ---

A noticeably cleaner version of Sakura jumped around on a grassy plain, her feet bare while she rolled around, fighting pretend ninja with uncoordinated kicks that sometimes left her lying on her back choking for air.

Everyone respected ninja, they were the heroes of the five elemental countries. Stories about them were always told, some overly-exaggerated and others dead-serious, but either way the children would lap the stories up without a second thought.

Though, if she was conceded enough to say, Sakura would say that she was the only kid in the small village that wanted to be a ninja more so than all the other kids. It was a childish thought, but she knew it was in her blood to become a ninja.

Both her parents were ninja before they died in the Kyuubi attack. They were even from Konoha, a prestige village known for producing strong ninja. The three Sanin were born there along with the famous White-Fang, and many others who have become famous throughout the years.

Sakura knew she was destined to be a ninja, to become as strong and well-recognized. So whenever she wasn’t busy she would go out to her spot, and kick air until she could kick no more. She even made up her own combo attack names, though none of them were very original.

“Take that! And-that-you-ugh!”

She would shout and grunt out; throwing a punch, imagining it was one of the faces of the village bullies. The village she was from, more in the northeastern part in the land of fire, was filled with common civilians, who mostly made profit with farming and materials, such as cotton and silk. It wasn’t a large village, and it had been severely affected by the Kyuubi attacks all those years ago.

An aftershock of the infamous tailed beast ball had hit the town, destroying many buildings and killing many unaware people. That is how Sakura’s parents had died, while they were blissfully sleeping, unaware of the danger that was about to befall them.

After that, Sakura was left in the hands of the heavily-filled orphanage, with other children who the same devastation had befell them.

So she had grown up, surrounded by people who were similar to her. That however, led her to live a bit of happier life than she would have thought. Everyone was very open at the orphanage, everyone was just a kid, and even though some teased a bit, no one outwardly put her down. It made her feel at home, and like she had a big family. 

However, she had bigger dreams than just spending the rest of her life at an orphanage. Though some teased her about her ambition to be a ninja, she took it very seriously. She couldn’t see herself as anything else but a ninja, protecting lives and fighting danger.

The girl was brought out of her thought, sighing wistfully before going over to a nearby stream. She set her feet in the cold, clear stream, her toes rubbing against the smooth pebbles that lined the bottom. Her wide eyes looked up to the sky, noticing it was getting dark.

“I better go before Heisone-baa-chan gets mad at me for being late,” she muttered, standing up while shaking her feet off, water spraying onto the grass at the action. She grabbed her knap-sack, which contained some mundane things, like rocks she had thought were cool looking, or flowers she wanted to show the other girls. Its other items were food items she liked to snack on, and her most prized possession, a Kunai.

What was a little girl doing with a kunai?

Well once, when a guard of ninja came into her small town for a checkup, one of the newer ninja (She could tell because he was very young and clumsy) was trying to show off to some of the village girls. He had thrown three kunai all at once to a post, but only two hit the post, the other one flew into the bushes behind it, where the watching Sakura had taken her chance and grabbed the kunai and ran off.

She wouldn’t call it stealing, the ninja was the one who threw it away anyways, and in the end he didn’t even notice it was gone because a pretty girl walked by and complimented him.  

Sakura smiled fondly at the memory, she often practiced with the kunai, throwing it at targets and such. Though because of her constant use, she had dulled the sharp sides, but she hadn’t realized that because she had no clue how to take care of a weapon.

Picking up her knap-sack and slinging it over her shoulder, she trudged up the hill, which at the top she would have a perfect view of her small little town. As she looked to the sky, however, thick smoke began to blend in with the crimson sky. Her eyes widened as she stumbled up the hill hurriedly, trying to get up as fast as she could. Once she was at the top, she instinctively dropped down, lying on her stomach as she looked at the village.

Many houses were on fire, and she saw the little figures of people running around, screams echoing into her ears. She was dead-stiff as she saw multiple flying objects cut people down easily. They looked like humans, but the way they moved was too graceful, to précises to ever compare to a normal human being.

Sakura couldn’t move, couldn’t try and go help or find help, she was struck by fear. Many other cries of agony and lost sounded out in the burning village, as wood snapped and broke from its charred remains. This was not supposed to happen here. This was a peaceful village with no ninja’s and not a threat to anyone.

She sunk back, turning around so she wouldn’t have to witness anymore death as she breathed heavily. Would ninja’s come and help them? Would they come fast enough?

It didn’t feel long that she was lying there, still as death, but the black sky proved she had been there for well-over an hour. The cries had went down, and now all that was left was a thick smoke, that choked the air around her, and an unfamiliar pungent smell of copper that felt heavy on her mouth.

It all seemed like a daze as she shakily stood up and made her way down to the village, her eyes squinting against the dark. She only saw shadowy forms of the remains of the village, and scattered onto the ground were the remains of the people. Though the girl repeated in her head they weren’t bodies but just some bundles of straw or something less gruesome than what they truly were.

She continued her trek, willing her whole body to be calm and silent, even though she stumbled over things and such. Sakura finally made it to the street where her orphanage was located, though she quickly hid behind an alley way as she saw a group ahead.

Through the smoke two large figures stood against the flaming background. Black cloaks billowing around them as they commuted quietly and gruffly. There was a strong power that pulsated around the air; cackling and making her hair stand up on end.

The taller, thinner figured turned around, his yellow eyes gleaming through the smoke, piercing her mind, the feeling of something wrapping around her and holding her in place was strong.

“There you are, Sakura.“

His voice hissed and echoed around her ears, amused and deadly.

----        ----

Sakura woke with a jolt, breathing hard, feeling the trail of warm tears falling due to the nightmare. That man, he oozed of death and reeked of power. He scared Sakura.

One man she hoped she would never meet or have any contact with again.

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