The History of the Hinode clan
The Land of Iron, in the Far East, has always been remembered and praised for the peace that reigned there for years…But it hasn't always been this harmonious.
Hidden from the whole world, internally, in those cold and distant lands, unforgivable acts of the most despicable people were committed; almost 500 years ago, a corrupt group of warlords plotted a vile plan, which consisted in assassinating the current Shogun and his successor, Hamerashi, so that the Daimyo would be forced to choose the next in the chain of command, who would benefit this corrupt group of criminals behind the back of the Daimyo. Hamerashi heard about this, and tried to gather the other warlords, but they all refused to collaborate; most were in conch with that corrupt group, and the rest called him crazy, ignored him, and even accused him for treason against the Daimyo, being stripped of his title and exiled from the Land of Iron for high treason.
With his honor shattered, unable to protect his mentor, and unjustly accused, Hamerashi was forced to flee his homeland... Fortunately, he did not leave alone.
A select group of warriors, loyal to their lord, decided to follow him, abandoning everything they loved in pursuit of their loyalty, so they left for the Land of Fire, in search of a new life. During the boat trip, many of them longed for their old home, and seeing the sun rising from the east, reminded them of what they left behind and refusing to forget this past, they adopted the surname "Hinode", in honor of the sunrise that reminded them of their home.
Their arrival in the land of fire was not friendly at all. As soon as they docked at the port, the Hinode’s ship was attacked by Rogue Ninjas, who possessed extraordinary powers, able to invoke fire and control the seas at will. Many of Hamerashi's men were wounded, and many of them died, but none fled. They fought and resisted until the end, as they had been taught in their old home.
Hamerashi also fought until the end, and even faced against such powerful enemies, he faced them and defeated many, but in the end he and his forces were defeated by a very dirty trick: By controlling the tides, their enemies were able to drag all the warriors to the sea... Many of them wore heavy armor, and ended up drowning without remedy. Luckily, Hamerashi wore no armor. The attack had been so surprising that he had not had the opportunity to put it on, but it was of little use: he swallowed too much water, and ended up falling unconscious, believing that his end was waiting for him at the bottom of the sea... But his destiny had something much better in store for him.
When he awoke, Hamerashi was safe, but disoriented. He woke up in a luxurious house, decorated with exquisite fabrics and oil paintings. Almost immediately, a young woman entered the room. Hamerashi was put on guard but the woman was alone. His honor prevented him from attacking a woman, and even more so from one who was alone. So without many more options, he decided to listen to her.
The young woman who called herself Sumiru was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. She was the one who found him while walking near the beach. He was brought by the ocean’s current and lay there unconscious and injured, so she brought him home and took care of him behind her father's back.
Both agreed to keep the secret, at least while Hamerashi recovered. She took good care of him and kept him company. Hamerashi asked about his men as soon as he had the chance but Sumiru had not found anyone else on the beach.
The days passed, and Hamerashi recovered from his wounds quickly and although he wished to go out to look for his comrades, Sumiru would not let him: the simple fact of having brought him there had been a titanic effort for her and she was not going to let him ruin everything just like that. Besides, her father's castle was impenetrable. Trying to escape would be crazy, so the warrior stayed with her for at least a couple of months in which the couple began to get to know each other better.
He told her how he was betrayed by a corrupt group, accused of a crime he did not commit and exiled from his homeland although without too much hope that she believed his story. Sumiru, surprisingly, believed him and showed him her sincere condolences and felt sorry for his tragic story. That made Hamerashi see something special in that woman; in his eyes, he saw the kindness, the affection, the tenderness and the honesty that, without knowing it, he had always wanted, in those cold lands to the east.
Sumiru on the other hand, had a life of riches and whims but that never pleased her. For years, Sumiru witnessed the horrors that a bad leader can cause; her father, the owner of all the surrounding lands imposed such ridiculous taxes that his subjects died out of hunger or by forced labour. Sumiru wanted to change that and suggested to his father a thousand ways to do it but he refused to give up a single Ryo. Hamerashi, on hearing this, felt useless for the first time; he had always received orders to kill invaders and defend his people and when he heard the problems of that girl, he felt misplaced. He did not know what to say. After all, Hamerashi was a man of honor and as such, he couldn’t stand and do nothing about it. His code prevented him from keeping silent about such a sad story.
"If some day my sword can be of help, tell me. You saved my life and therefore, I will serve you as your faithful follower until death takes me away from you." So were his words. Sumiru gave him an intense look in which the warrior saw something more than simple gratitude.
Those intermittent conversations soon became a routine and before either of them could notice it, they fell in love with each other.
Until one day, “they” attacked the castle.
Some men dressed in heavy armor and carrying an unknown symbol burst into the castle and began to brandish their swords against all who opposed them. Hamerashi recognized them: they were his samurai, the few of them who remained alive after the ambush, decided to enter the impenetrable fortress only to search for their master.
In the middle of the attack, Sumiru's father went to look for her and finally found her with Hamerashi. The landowner immediately ordered his men to assassinate him but Sumiru interposed. The guards stopped, unable to attack their mistress. But the landlord ordered them to kill them both, calling his daughter an impostor and a traitor.
Hamerashi protected her. He managed to snatch the weapon from one of his enemies and kill the guards. Now as he is ready to kill the man who had ordered to kill his own daughter, Hamerashi raised his sword... but he did not kill him, because Sumiru interposed once more, refusing to renounce the man who had brought her to this world, no matter how much suffering he has caused.
"Stop!" She said. "I do not want anyone to die! I... I just want peace, I do not want to lose any of you two..."
Hamerashi hesitated for a second but then, seeing the tears of his beloved beginning to form in her eyes, he lowered his weapon. "As you wish".
Hamerashi ordered his men to stop the attack but it was too late; that "impenetrable bastion" was of course immense, and it was exquisitely fortified... but the men who guarded it were doing it for gold, not out of conviction. Facing tough unknown opponents who even wounded, were able to destroy them. They prefered to flee rather than die. Sumiru's father, finding himself defeated, fled as well, dragged by his subordinates.
Sumiru, Hamerashi and the samurai decided to remain in the fortress, but peace didn't last for long.
Showing mercy to Sumiru's father proved to be disadvantageous. He and his men would try to inform the Daimyo about this massacre, this was clear to Hamerashi. He also knew that the Daimyo would take this as an insult and that, to keep his face, he would have to answer with an attack of his own.
The samurai were prepared to fight to death but their master had other plans. Hamerashi was a warrior and he had honor but above all, he was a reasonable and logical man and he saw no point in dying for nothing other than his own pride. The group surrendered without resistance and due to their extraordinary case, they were taken to the Daimyo of the Land of Fire himself.
The Daimyo in fact, was a reasonable man, though fair and severe. He listened to the story until the end, without questioning anything. When Hamerashi finished the story however, the Lord said: "You have committed crimes against our land and none of your reason justifies them, therefore I condemn you and your men to death and I condemn the woman to prison for hiding a foreigner without authorization."
Upon hearing the sentence, Sumiru burst into tears and Hamerashi, seeing her pain, knew that he could not die. Until now, he had only brought suffering and pain to his beloved and if he wanted to keep his promise, he had to keep his life first.
Hamerashi waited at the indicated time; he let the Daimyo’s guards take him by the arms and try to take him away, but when they were about to leave the room, he gave one of his captors a push, and when the other tried to use his sword to attack him, Hamerashi used the shackles that were bound to his hands to stop the attack and with a skillful movement, he entangled the weapon of his enemy and pulled it away. The sword dropped to the ground, he took it, and then prepared to fight.
He did not attack anyone, he just blocked the attacks that came to him; even with tied hands and legs, his ability was unparalleled, he moved with the grace of the waves and with the simplest movements of the wrist, he made his sword dance in his hands, deflecting deadly attacks as if they were nothing.
The warrior ran through the guards and approached the Daimyo. When at last he had him in front of him, he threw his sword to the ground, fell to his knees and said: “Lord Daimyo, please, hear what I have to say. That’s my only wish.”
The Daimyo did not even flinch during the whole process. He just stood there, watching, as his guards tried to fight uselessly against an enemy that seemed invincible
"Do not listen to him, Lord Daimyo!" replied the adviser of the Daimyo. "He’s trying to trick you, my lord!".
“It could be, but I'm about to execute this man, so I want to hear everything he has to say and then I'll make a decision”. The Daimyo said, paying attention to Hamerashi but making sure to keep the distances. Not out of fear but out of simple precaution.
“I know that my crimes have no forgiveness but there is something in this world that I need to protect, something I love and why I want to keep my life... Lord Daimyo, I do not want to cause pain to that person and I know that my death would destroy her, so please, give me an opportunity to amend my mistakes..." The warrior said, leaving aside his honor for the first time in his life, because at that moment, Hamerashi considered that there was something even more important than that.
When the Daimyo heard the warrior's request, he was not alarmed and accused him of insolence. Instead, he said: “And what can you offer me in return?"
"I..." the warrior stammered, not knowing what to say: he was never good with words. "All I know is to fight, my lord... If you allow me, from now on, me and my comrades will protect you and serve you as your most faithful warriors... I only ask you to let me keep my life..."
For a few moments, a suffocating tension reigned in the room as the Daimyo considered what he had just heard and then, he said:
“You have shown me an impressive ability right now, so to have you among my ranks would be much more profitable than killing you... I have made a decision, you and your men will now be my servants and will abide by all my orders, in exchange, I will spare your life.“ Astonishment reigned in the room, even of Hinode himself.
"My lord, I should consider your..." the counselor of the Daimyo stammered.
"Silence, I said that I have made a decision, I see in the eyes of this man a will of steel and a loyalty that few have professed towards me, He does not lie and he will not betray me, I am sure of it." The Daimyo turned to look at Sumiru. "And you will take your father's place and inherit your lands, after all, it would be terribly unfair to spare this man's life and leave you imprisoned... Will you be able to fulfill this task?"
Sumiru, even with her eyes full of tears, said: "I swear by everything I love in this world that I will do everything in my power to help you... Thank you my lord, thank you very much..." after that, she knelt and sobbed, partly because she was happy to know that she had not lost everything and partly because she was terrified.
And so, the Hinode became the faithful and fierce warriors that the Daimyo had at their disposal. Of course, not everything was blissfull; even till today, the Hinode are still accused of being invaders and criminals because of their past but the reality is that few clans are considered more faithful to the Daimyo than the Hinode and that loyalty says more than any false and unfounded accusation.
One day, no less than a hundred years ago, the Lord of the Land of Fire asked the Hinode to serve as protectors of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, thus reinforcing the connection between these two entities. With the passage of time, the Hinode learned that their traditional chakra control skills, brought by their samurai ancestors from the Land of Iron are compatible with the Ninjutsu of Ninjas from the Land of Fire. Soon they started to transform their martial arts, originally based on Kenjutsu, into a combination of both styles. Today, many Hinode are not even that interested in perfecting their mastery of the sword, but instead they focus entirely on their Ninjutsu. Even so, each member of the clan has at least a basic idea of how to handle a sword, cultivating Hinode's samurai heritage.
And this is the story of the clan that prays every day as the sun rises and covers the Leaf with its light, watching over their safety in the name of the figure that once gave them a second chance... but what is really important is...
What will come next?...
That will depend on the current members of this clan and their actions... Who knows? Maybe a new legend is about to be born or maybe not but in any case, one thing is sure: The sun will continue rising every morning and while this is so, the Hinode will keep their word and serve the leaf until the end of their days...
A big,,thank you''goes to @Healy Hinode , for writing this story.
But i also want to thank every clan member who helped out by providing new ideas for the plot, making additions, or by checking the text for errors. It was a fun, little clan project
Expect to see new chapters in the future!