My dad taught me a lot, probably most of what I know today, really. He taught me how to be brave, to be strong, to be the better man, and to take pride in my village. He even showed me how to treat and work metal. He was a blacksmith, like his dad before him, and a chuunin of the land of wind to boot, so when he wasn't busy on assignments for the village, he would be in his workshop working away. I don't think I ever saw him more at peace than when he was beating away at a chunk of burning steel with the raging forge belching heat into his face as he hammered at what would someday be a katana, or a kunai, or some other tool for the village. I was alright at it myself I guess, but never took to it much. It just never suited me. My mom on the other hand, was not a ninja, in fact, she dreaded my dad's job, it was all the 'constant worrying' she said. But it was also because of his job the two had met. He had been assigned to escort her and her wares somewhere south back when she was still a merchant traveling to make end's meet. Well the to two of them hooked up and the rest is... well gross, and we will not speak of it!
Another thing my dad learned me, and this he started when I was small, was The Way. This code he had that his dad, a Hyougan, had taught him when he was young too. It was something passed on from this clan all the way over in the Frost Country who were like these legendary swordsman who like fought all their enemies with insurmountable fortitude and courage. Now I don't like the cold, I mean I really don't like it, but when my dad told me stories about how awesome they were, even I was tempted to go down there and see these guys for myself.
Then the demons attacked. I'll never forget the day I watched my home burn in a sea of fire and ash, and watched my father die at the hands of one of those monsters. That was the day I got my scar, and it was the day I decided I had to step up and be the shinobi who, like my dad, could fight for those who couldn't fight for themselves. A shinobi who would protect his home and family regardless of the odds. I know some of the other ninja didn't like my father too much because of how he lived his life, and how his Way didn't fit into their shinobi world, but I don't care. They could hate my guts for all it matters, if I could be just half the man he was, I would gladly take their scorn... Its been hard living up to what I think he would expect of me, really hard some times, but I don't quit, because I know neither would he.
After we finished rebuilding, I made the choice to pack up and leave for a while. It tore me up abandoning my mom like she was, but I can't explain it too well, it felt like I just had to do something, to get away and clear my head. I was so damn angry those days I couldn't even see straight, and no matter how much training or exercise I did to vent out my frustration, It all just kept coming back to the fact that I had done nothing while everything I knew was under threat. And worse than that, it all kept coming back to my dad, it was he who had trained with me after all. I think I was few miles outside the village, walking aimlessly, when I realized just what I had to do. I had to find the Nomura, I had to see these legends for myself.
That was easily one of the best decisions I had ever made in my life.
It was simple enough, if you didn't consider surviving that hellishly cold wasteland part of it, but I found the clan and they accepted me in like I was one of their own already. I trained with them for a long while, soaking in as much as I could, and loving every day of it. The training and lessons were also a breeze, and I have to admit I was a bit cocky about it considering I had been learning these things for years now, but I think Kenji, the clan head, real cool guy, was more proud than he was annoyed with me. Maybe it was the fact that the family's ways hadn't been lost on one of their own, even if I had been raised so far away from the homeland. I met a couple other Nomura as well, and I even made friends with some. That was a year ago now, and while I try and stay in contact with them, between my training, and their business, its a rare treat to get a letter or two from the clan.
The next step was the academy. From what I had learned from the Nomura, and what my dad taught or I had taught myself, the school was mostly a breeze, if you don't count surviving the hellishly weird teachers into it. If I had to sum it up, It was alright I guess, I made friends quick enough, but not a lot. You know when you could just look at some kids and just know that they're either gonna grow up to be incredibly crazy, or incredibly evil, or a twisted combination of the two? Yah, I got that vibe from most of the students there, so I mostly kept to myself when I wasn't busy getting into fights with half of these crazy evil kids. All of which, I won by the way, thank you very much... Ok well, most. Whatever, moving on.
Oh right, I guess I should mention this too. It was during the trip back to Nagare that I found it, a secret cave like bunker thing near the border. I really stumbled on it by accident, but what I found inside was beyond wicked. I mean, the place was stacked full of all kinds of weapons and scrolls and tons of other cool stuff. Most of it I couldn't even use or understand, partly because the language wasn't anything I had seen before, but some of it, like the defiance, that I totally got a hang of right off the bat. When I brought it home I remember how my mom smiled at me when she saw it. I couldn't tell why at first, It was like she didn't even see how ugly the thing was, but it was later that I realized she thought I had made it myself. She was proud I was taking up smiting again. I lied right to her face then and there and told her it was mine. I hadn't seen her smile like that in ages, and who was I to take that happiness away?
The defiance was just one of many things I started to bring back from that place. I knew she hated that I was becoming a shinobi too, and I knew she thought I was going to end up just like dad one day, but I won't, now that I've earned my headband, I won't end up like him, in fact, I'm gonna be better than my old man, so much better that he and my mom will be so proud of they're son... I... I know It might be just a silly dream, but its my dream... And its dream worth fighting for.