11:43 in the morning, on the day that later became the starting point of the most unstable era of the Amegakure region.
The reign of the Haruna and Takenaka would have to come to an end to allow the Sadamaki clan to ascend to their rightful place as the rulers of the Land of Mud -- ever since the age of ninshu, the Sadamaki had battled with other clans and absorbed them into their fold, only to have the growth of their clan stifled by the appearance of two other large clans that sought the same ends. That
would come to an end now. After a plentitude of skirmishes in which nothing was gained for any clan, they had agreed to settle this, once and for all.
Sadamaki Soshu had, of course, been at the front of this idea. It was a stroke of genius. Instead of making small groups of two or three shinobi fight eachother, the clans would gather up all their shinobi and meet at a predetermined place, and battle it out until there was a single victor left. And that victor would rule the land of mud.
Little did the clan leaders know that the ensuing battle would mark their end, for each and every one of them. Rebellious sentiments had been brewing in each clan respectively as they began growing tired of the endless war between the clans, and hoped for peace. This orchestrated field battle would be the metaphorical nail in the coffin for each of them.Soshu
was preparing for battle in the confines of his relatively large home, readying his armor and shinobi tools and weapons. They were laid out neatly before him on a table while he sat on a straw mat, shirtless, organizing them into neat bundles before applying a sealing technique to them, so that they might be summoned on demand. Nothing surprised a shinobi more than the appearance of a few shuriken from thin air, after all.“SAKANA!”
the man bouldered, using no uncertain amount of tactlessness in doing so. The entire household might very well have heard him, but that was of none of his concern. A few seconds later, a tall but visibly young member of the Sadamaki clan walked inot the room, wearing a metal breastplate on his chest, and a face protector that covered his forehead and then extended down to his cheeks on the sides. His long, black hair was swept back and tied into a knot using a length of linen, and a pin had then been stuck through it to hold it in place. This pin appeaed to be of some expense, as it was expertly crafted by the clan itself, and had the image of two fish circling eachother on the end of the pin that wasn't sharpened. A favored symbol of the Sadamaki.
“Yes, father?” the teen said meekly. “Do you need me?”
“Today we'll kill that Haruna and Takenaka scum, and finally claim what is rightfully ours. Are you ready?” His eyes flashed back as he turned his head only slightly to inspect Sakana from the corners of his eyes. “I expect you to kill many of them today, you understand?”
“Father, must we fight them? They want the same thing as us, and the other clans are centralizing too, surely we can just reach an agree-,” the boy tried to interject, but was cut short by his father, who suddenly slammed a fist into the table, sending a few of the metal tools on the table rinkling off and onto the floor.
“We will NOT
work with those bastards. The Land of Mud is ours,
you get it? They killed your uncle and you want to work with them?”
“I'm sure we killed uncles on their side too. Uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. Maybe even children.”
“Tsk.. that scum had it coming, attacking our village like that. You need to resolve yourself, and figure out what is more important. Your family, or their clans?” his father responded, his voice strengthening enough to indicate to Sakana that this would be the end of the discussion.
Sakana sighed heavily before turning around in the doorway. “Yes father,” he said, his voice a whisper, “you're right. I'm sorry.”
“Good,” Soshu answered, “you'll fight by my side today. Father and son, destroying their enemies. It will be glorious, a day the grandkids will remember.”
Sakana stared at the back of his fathers head for a moment before turning around and walking through the door leading to the outside. He needed fresh air. They were about to descend their clans into a brutal war for the sake of land, and his father was preoccupied with whether or not his grandchildren would remember the day.
He understood, in a way, where his father was coming from. He shared that same desire to fight for what was his, but he did not believe that the Haruna and Takenaka clans were in the way. In fact, he believed that they were part of the key to the solution. It was an open secret that the people in the Land of Fire were congregating and forming larger and larger villages, and it would be only a matter of time before they had centralized all of the land of fire and set their eyes on the land of mud.
Sakana did not feel like giving up his freedom to those foreigners, however. And from his understanding, neither did the Haruna or Takenaka. This battle would only serve to weaken whoever came out on top, and it'd make an easy conquest for whatever village decided to swoop in first.
No, they had to stand strong together. But how? When there was this much hatred between the clans that they'd meet in a large open field to fight for no reason other than the fact they existed, where would they possibly find middle ground?
The battlefield that had been agreed upon were the aptly named Grasslands of the Dead. It was a large clearing that was large enough to host multiple small armies of shinobi, with forests on each side of the grasslands, to provide suitable shelter to retreat into should the need arise. Not that any clan would be allowed to retreat.
On top of a small hill, Soshu had set up, with a large naginata in one hand and a large scroll attached to his back. To his left, and slightly back, was Sakana. The boy did not hold any weapon at all, but indeed his fearsome reputation as a ninjutsu specialist would be enough to give him the edge regardless, no fancy swords or staffs needed. “SADAMAKI ICHIZOKUUU!”
Soshu yelled, followed by a cheerful eruption of warcries from the fourty odd men behind him. Soshu was smiling, looking out over the land in front of him, waiting for his sworn enemies to appear. Sakana, on the other hand, looked more shaken than excited. He had seen combat before, despite his young age, so it was perhaps slightly surprising that he seemed nervous.
Now, they'd need to wait for the Haruna's and Takenaka's.