Every bone in Sakito Ookami's body groaned and ached as he followed his father across the boardwalk along their home in the Village Hidden in the Rain. The 10 year old was exhausted. But not Dad, Dad was only hiped up into training him more. "Your skills get better and better every day, at this rate, you'll reach that stage in no time! With just some more work..." "That stage", was something Dad, Mom, everyone mentioned alot. It often annoyed the young boy. What was this stage? Why did it matter to his parents and everyone else in the clan. Whatever it was, he hated it. It only dumped more work-out on him. Sakito rubbed his throbbing shoulder. "Dad, can I please stop?" he begged. His father looked down at him. "Stop? Stop now? Come on, Sakito, we're just getting started! If you're at your top strength, you'll make the clan so proud! Having this strength will benefit you in everything! With it, you can become the greatest ninja in the Village! You'll be a legend in the clan!" Greatest ninja in the village? Right now, he wanted to collapse! He was starving as well, he needed food. Everyday that's all he heard, "greatest person in the village", "legend in the clan", "die for the clan and village", it made him want to go deaf so he couldn't hear it! Thinking quickly of an excuse, he said. "I'm really hungry. I train when there's nothing in me." Dad stopped and rested his chin under his hand. "Fine, go eat all you want. But when you're done, I'm gonna met you back here, okay?" Sakito nodded, nearly exclaiming "yes!" in relief. His father left to the other side of the house, Sakito stared sadly. Was training till you collapsed, and dying for the village the only way he'd get his father t o be proud of him? To love him? heard a small noise. Turning around, he saw a small figure with grayish-white hair, who looked alot like Dad. His little brother, Renso. He groaned. "You enjoying the sight of your half-dead brother?" he laughed bitterly as he stumbled over to Renso. "Here, let me die at your feet." (to be continued)
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