Arc IX Chapter 1
The days passed and little changed in Amegakure, The eternal rain poured down from above, uncaring of the mortal souls below. The sun avoided the village as decades before, but for Amegakure such was nothing extraordinary.
The absence of light was a common sight, a common sight for the villagers of Amegakure. They were used to their fate since their birth. Their hope had long since died, withered in the crucibles of war and sorrow.
The people of Ame had given up long ago. Hope turned into hate, hate into disappointment, disappointment into ultimate resignation. The force to fight on abandoned them. Amegakure was a village of corpses, a city of living dead populated by pitiful shadows.
The unending rain symbolised their pain, their sorrow, their desperation, their misery. Tears of heaven, the symbol of past, present, and future. Amegakure's future never changed.
Amegakure bled during the war, and the wars before. History didn't treat Amegakure kindly.
The village's strategic position transformed the land into an unceasing battleground of foreign powers and interests.
Ceaseless wars were fought by the great powers to rule for economic and military reasons. Amegakure's industrial production elicited the attention of her neighbours.
Avarice and greed moved the hearts of the great powers. In their insatiable hunger, the villages carved for land and wealth. Konoha, Iwa, Suna, they all desired Amegakure, a prize to be taken by force and determination.
Weakened by decades of internal strife and infighting, the old feudal order collapsed three centuries ago.
The clans and local nobles rebelled against their degenerated masters. The daimyo plundered the land. Uncaring of the woes of the masses, they indulged in luxury and excess, in schemes and war, in tyranny and brutality.
The daimyo cared little about the fate of their subjects. The burden of taxation rose year after year before becoming finally unbearable. Discontent and desperation fuelled the fires of rebellion.
The clans succeeded and overthrew their rule. The power of the daimyo lay broken, shattered.
The daimyo survived for administrative reasons, but they lost their rights and privileges. They were reduced to mere shadows of their former selves, to mere figures in virtue of customs and tradition, to marionettes of powerful clans.
Broken was their power and with them the legacy of the once proud samurai. The day when the clans rose up, the samurai sided with the old order. The samurai paid a heavy price for their loyalty. Their masters proved unable to save them from their tragic demise.
Bound by their oath, they were decimated and driven to near extinction. Only the Land of Iron offered the defeated warriors refuge.
Their lineage survived those dark times and the following chaos of the lawless clan era when might made right, when law mattered little, when the world burned. Strength, and strength alone, dictated the course of history,
The age of clans, the age of ninja arrived, but not without cost. The clans might have triumphed, but victory didn't come cheap. The fruits of victory were treacherous and man failed to resist the temptation.
With their former enemies gone, the clans turned against each other seduced by the spoils of war. Alliances broke apart. Old friends turned traitor. The warring clan era began.
Centuries of conflict followed. The wars brought untold devastation and slaughter. Torrents of blood consumed the world and war ravaged the land. Generations fought, generations died when the clans met on the battlefield.
The hounds of war awoke.
The monumental effort of two legendary figures ended this era. Senju Hashirama and Uchiha Madara overcame the hatred and put their differences aside. Senju and Uchiha concluded peace and founded together Konohagakure.
Other clans followed their example and imitated their success. They, too, sought strength in numbers.
Even the most hated enemies recognised the signs of time. Divided they fell, together they stood. The desire for peace and stability outweighed old grudges and petty feuds.
From the ashes of political instability and bloodshed, the five villages emerged, sweeping away the last vestiges of the past. Konohagakure, Iwagakure, Kumogakure, Kirigakure Sunagakure were born. A new order was born.
The villages brought order to the war-torn world and redrew the political map. Borders were redefined. Territories redistributed.
But peace didn't last long. Peace was brittle and below the surface new armies were raised, new alliances formed, new strength gathered. Old conflicts resurfaced and unsolved disputes returned.
Madara's demise and Hashirama's premature death sealed the course of history. His irresponsible death, his suicide, plunged the world into a new era of conflict. His dreams failed. His promises were broken.
The villages didn't bring the peace Hashirama desired. The full mobilised strength of the hidden villages unleashed horrors and brutality of a scale yet unknown.
Once local conflicts between clans and petty warlords morphed into wars dictated by prestige and national interests. The war wasn't fought by minor clans. It was a war waged by nations and their people.
The savage hounds of war returned.
Weakened economically and militarily, threatened by the rise of neighbouring villages, driven by lust for power and imperial desires, veiled by lies and deceit, confident in their strength, the five villages marched to war.
Ignorant of the coming catastrophe, certain of victory, the five villages opened in their hubris the gates of war. Thus, the First Great War started.
They expected a short war, a brief war. They were wrong. The five villages were unable to control the demons they summoned.
Curses come to roost and fire engulfed the world once again. Any semblance of civilisation was lost to butchery and slaughter. Among arms, the laws and customs of men remained silent.
Rape, plunder, injustice plagued the land. The cries of the innocent filled the heaven, but their prayers were never heard. The gods didn't answer in these trying times.
Years went by, and no outcome was achieved beyond bloody stalemates. The wars knew no winners, only losers.
Such was the story of Amegakure, a story of little hope.
Right, as the world goes, is only a matter between equals in power. While the strong act as they please, the weak suffer what they must.
Amegakure suffered. Amegakure suffered during the first war. Amegakure suffered during the second war. Amegakure suffered during the third war. Destruction and death befell their once prosperous village at the hands of their enemies.
The five villages acted without regard. Their suffering didn't matter to the masters of humanity.
But times changed and tumultuous winds gathered at the horizon. Nothing lasts for eternity.
Guided by the determination of men, history was defined. Asami understood such.
This time, nobody would deny her. This time, nobody would deny her the greatness she was destined to.
Asami giggled and observed the pouring rain under her umbrella. Such a wonderful sight.