Years of suffering at the hands of larger nations was supposed to come to an end with the Fourth Great Shinobi War, when the nations entered a shinobi union and agreed to split all the missions and clients among the union members, removing what was perceived as the prime reason for warfare from the equation and, thus, ending all warfare. This was the intent, and this was the end result. But unions built on the backs of giants such as Uzumaki Naruto and Uchiha Sasuke are bound to the lives of these giants, and when they ultimately join their father, the Sage of the Six Paths, it is only expected that such a union follows their example, and dies.
Although the kage's of the Five Great Shinobi Nations no doubt had their own villages' intent in mind when they recklessly abandoned the accord, it could be said that the nations like Amegakure no Sato, the Village hidden in the Rain, were ignored and treated as trivialized secondary nations, only useful as battlefields and puppets.
Thus, the years of suffering that were meant to be repaid by the Great Nations were only made worse, and the power vacuum left by the death of Uzumaki Nagato and his orphan brother and sister, Yahiko and Konan, only served to fuel this chaos. For years the people of Amegakure have elected warlords, demagogues and snake-oil salesmen as their leaders, hoping for a positive change, and each successive leader only worsened the matter with political warfare against their internal enemies, opening the gates to foreign entities to exert their influence within Amegakure.
Hoshiyo was the end to this, and he introduced an era of repeated isolation -- an isolation maintained until this current day -- in order to stabilize the nation. To this end he was succesful, securing political powers after his predecessor had introduced a better political system, where the leader of the Rain was elected by multiple parties, rather than elected based on power. Using the Arekuruu created by himself, he wiped out any political resistance, and though this was not entirely ethical, sacrifices were to be made to secure the future of the Rain. To this end too, he was succesful, and his passing left a stable recovering nation to the new leader, elected only five months ago, namely Kaguya Yogensha -- rumoured to be a woman from the famed Kaguya clan that had long been thought dead, but whose existence is shrouded in secrecy and rumours. Public appearances from her end were limited to speeches at the Shinobi academy, which was reformed by her own predecessors and which she continued to reform.
In truth, her visits to the Shinobi Academy were meant more as tentative evaluations of the shinobi-to-be in the flesh, rather than having to rely on statistics and reports alone. For the first time in years, Yogensha herself would create the teams rather than allowing the senseis to pick and choose their own teams. Besides.. it wasn't entirely unlikely that the students that saw her were unaware of her position as the leader of the Rain -- she had made it a point to remain hidden from the public eye, and it was uncertain what her capacities as a shinobi even were. Just that she was really strong. Rumours circulated, saying that she was capable of destroying armies, to more reasonable ideas that she might possess the kekkei genkai of the Kaguya clan. Regardless, Yogensha allowed these rumours to be spread, and despite their isolation, word eventually did spread to villages around the world -- word that Amegakure no Sato had a new leader, and that their intel divisions would have a hard time discerning any information about her. Was this a new leaf for the Rain?
Location: Amegakure Shinobi Academy courtyard | Interaction: all academy graduates.
As the graduates were all lined up, their exact locations and the expectations of their behaviour drilled into them by their homeroom teacher before the event, Yogensha would make her entrance right on time, appearing from inside the school, flanked on either side by a member of the ANBU. As she stepped down the flight of stairs leading up to the entrance, the ANBU stopped, and though they looked forward, it did not take a sensory nin to feel their prying eyes glancing over the group of soon-to-be genin momentarily, as if they were scanning them for a threat, a danger, anything that could potentially harm their leader. The next point of their focus was on the relatives and other visitors that had been given permission to attend the ceremony, who were all standing behind the group of students, under a small roof of metal extending from the academy perimeter walls.
Yogensha wore a traditional kimono, her hands hidden from sight inside her sleeves, and though most her movements were hidden, it was clear she moved deliberately and with grace, smiling gently at the group, with a hint of sincerity on her lips, as if she was truly happy that they had graduated. “Students,” she said, taking two more steps before she reached her final position, standing about five meters from the front row of graduates.
“.. if I can call you that, still.” she then added tentatively, her slight smile then widening slightly. She moved her right hand to the side and gestured towards a shinobi that was holding a box with unknown items inside of it, though as the students who had elder siblings that had graduated before them would likely know from visiting a ceremony, this was the box that held their shinobi headbands.
“Today marks the end of your career as a student, but it's only the beginning of something greater,” she proclaimed, the shinobi with the box slowly moving down the line of shinobi, handing each one a shinobi headband -- their homeroom teacher had no doubt instructed them not to put it on immediately, but rather wait for Yogensha to finish speaking and give them the command to do so.
“And as cheesy as that sounds, it is most certainly the objective truth. Now that you have graduated, the dynamics of performing assignments will change. Taking a wrong decision, filling in the wrong answer.. it will no longer be the difference between passing and failing, it will mean the difference between life... and death.”
The tone and expression on her face changed, becoming more grim and dark, her smile disappearing and her eyes losing their shine, dulling at the thought of the reality of being a shinobi. She paused briefly, allowing the students to soak in these words -- though, she had half expected them to ignore her, given the giddy state their graduation must have put them in -- and then continued, her words slow and drawn out, as if she were trying to make a point. “It is also the mark of independence. You will earn a wage with every mission you bring to a succesful end. You can provide for yourself now, and be a productive member of Amegakure no Sato. Do your best early on, and you will rise through the ranks, and receive the opportunity to perform harder missions.”
Again she paused, but this time the pause made way for a small grin on her lips, before she proclaimed, “but I am sure you are all well aware of how the world of shinobihood works. Remember what being a shinobi means -- you must bear the burden of sacrifice so that others do not have to.”
As she spoke her last words, the shinobi handing out the headbands reached the end of the line, and stepped aside, giving everyone a good look at Yogensha. For a brief moment, the leader of the Rain looked up, peering into the sky, which was dark but had not yet released it's tears. Then, Yogensha clasped her hands together and formed the tiger seal. “Ukojizai no Jutsu,” she calmly said, and after a very brief moment of respite, the rain began pouring down.
Everyone but Yogensha and the students would be covered by a roof, leaving just her and the graduates standing there. Yogensha's hair clinged to her face as she lowered her hands again, smiling at the group in front of her as she had done before, before she continued, “congratulations, shinobi. You can put on your headbands now, marking you as a shinobi of the Rain.” And then, when everyone was no doubt busy putting on their headbands, she softly spoke up again, this time barely audible to anyone that wasn't paying specific attention to her, “the Rain weeps for you and the suffering you are to receive and cause.”
It was almost as if she was anticipating a period of hardship rising on the horizon, and though she had not wished to alarm the young genin already, it seemed almost an expectation that they would at some point in the near future be forced to show their true mettle to themselves, their team, and the rest of the village.
While they stood there in the rain, putting on their headbands, they were allowed a moment to rejoice, to talk among themselves, and to look back at their parents and other relatives. The shinobi that had handed out the headbands glanced at Yogensha, and she nodded at the man, giving him a signal of sorts.
“Shinobi! Attention!” the man bouldered, his voice far overpowering even the sound of the rain clattering down.
“A shinobi can act alone, but preferably acts with a team. And though you have learned well at the academy, the time to stop learning is not yet there,” she said, her voice now louder than before -- she was no longer addressing children that were playing shinobi in the academy courtyard, but she was now addressing soldiers, shinobi that were armed and ready to face any task they were commanded to face.
“Listen up! Yuganori Takashi, Furaribi Akane, Shiru Metsumi! You have been assigned to Kazami Miyako-sensei and will henceforth be known as Team 3, or team Miyako!”
“Sakamoto Isami, Shinjo Tsubasa, Kajiya Tatsuya! Uragiri Sakana-sensei will be your new teacher. Your team is team 7!”
“Team 12 will be lead by Iyokan Koko-sensei, and she will be joined by Sakamachi Sadako, Miraskuni Kasumi, and Hoshiyo Asashio! Make the rain proud!”
“And finally.. team 18. Igarashi Aoi, Minashigo Gareki and Anohana Hikaru! You will be guided by Kawaguchi Bunko-sensei!”
The sensei that had been listed off would be standing in with the crowd, voluntarily or not, watching the ceremony, and as luck would have it, the shinobi that had graduated today were given a period of a week of free time, to collect themselves after the stressful period of their graduation, before they'd be contacted by their sensei and told where to meet them, and at what time.
Shinobi life... begins!