We all have it in us. Something that we cherish, that which gives us meaning. It can be a person, an activity that we like to do, it can be anything. This would be the only thing that we derive motivation to go through the muck that life throws at us on a daily basis.
Growing up in an orphanage, I never really had the chance to experience that. I grew up angry at the world, I got bullied when I was young. I learned to fight back early. The anger always had me under its wrap, I was a slave of the anger. The staff at the orphanage did not know what to do with me, they wanted me off their hands. So when I turned 18, they could not believe their luck. They could finally wash their hands off me.
Where did I go from there? All that anger inside me, the only way I could vent it out without running into trouble? The Army.
I joined. It seemed like the most logical decision to me. I joined the Special Forces Command. Covert wetworks and the likes. Legally doing what I always wanted and yet do the world some good right?
Yea right! Nothing prepared me for the sights that I saw. The things I have done, I’m not proud of quite a lot of them, but they had to be done. Slowly I realised that most of the times, the people in power never really care about ideals or the greater good. They just do what they need to do to consolidate their power. That left a bad taste in my mouth, and after 5 years I left. I didn’t know what to do, I just wanted to find some peace. I went a lot of places, I toured plenty of spiritual haunts, consulted a lot of esoteric sects. None really helped till I ran into the Hogo-sha no kage.
They were an ancient order of shinobi who dedicated themselves to guarding the land. Their leader, Master Mifune saw me for what I was, a broken soul, and he took me in. He taught me the ways of the shinobi, as well as the path to seeking inner peace. And there I finally found it. Something that was dear to me. The order gave me a family, and that was something dear to me. After so long I was whole again. I would do anything for them.
So what happens when that something you hold dear is taken away from you?
It leaves a void inside you. For you have been torn asunder by the loss. Without that small spark to light up our path, we become lifeless husks that see no purpose in life.
I HAD IT TAKEN AWAY FROM ME! THE KAGE O SŪHAI, ETERNAL ENEMIES OF THE ORDER TOOK IT AWAY. THEY BUTCHERED AND MASSACRED THEM RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY EYES, WHILE I WATCHED. HELPLESS AND INCAPACITATED,UNABLE TO LIFT A FINGER.
All that had mattered to me was them, it didn’t matter what happened to me. So long as I could see their faces at the end of the day, all’s well for me. That day the world stopped making sense to me. The void had to be filled, and if it required to be filled with blood, so be it. I swore an oath that day, vengeance a thousandfold on the Kage o sūhai. I will not rest till I had killed every last one of them, my blade will not rest till it had drunk their blood.
I tracked them down one by one. Savouring every hit and kill, making them suffer till their last breath. Slowly their numbers dwindled, I drowned in their blood and finally I did it. I eradicated them off the face of the earth.
Yet the void within me refused to go away. Vengeance had not filled it up. I felt worse than before! I meditated and meditated.
Then it dawned on me. Master Mifune’s first words to me: Vengeance is a lie, it would seem like the only path. It would be very convincing, but once you tread down the path, you can never come back. What has been lost, would always remain lost. The pain would always be there to remind you. The only thing we can do is to avert others from feeling that pain.
I would honour your words Master. I am the last of the Hogo-sha no kage, and I will fulfill my clan’s duty till I breath my last. Others will never feel the pain that I felt! So swears the Wraith!