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- Note to the Reader: This is the authors version of the life of the Sage of Six Paths. If more detail is revealed about him in the future of the Naruto manga, then it is likely that this story will go against canon facts. The name of the Sage in this story is not his canon name, but rather a fan-made name that the author gave him for the sake of the story. Please enjoy the story.
In the beginning....
One thousand years ago, in what would become the Five Great Shinobi Countries, there lived a nomad people; people who relied on their separate, pagan religions and their diverse cultures as a way of life. However, times were about to change. For on that day, one thousand years ago, a child was born that would change their world forever for generations to come. He was born to a forest clan, in what would one day become the Land of Fire, and his birth was that of a peasant. To the higher-ups in the clan, he was to be a nobody when he grew to become a man. Who was this man who would change the face of the earth? Who was this revolutionary who was born a nobody? One thousand years later, he'd be known as the Sage of Six Paths, a myth and a legend, but today, on this cold winter morning in which he was born, he is simply known by his name; Karyū (渦流, Swirling Current).
The Sun is Rising
Eleven years has passed since Karyū's birth....
Dawn was upon the campsite of the small clan of nomads in the forest and already the campsite was bustling. Karyū was out in the woods with his father. As the lower-class members of the clan, it was thier job to hunt food down for the rest of the clan. "Otō-san," said the young Karyū, breaking several hours worth of silence. "What is it son?" responded his father, who was busy looking out for potential game. "Why is it that we always get stuck hunting for food? You'd think the priests, with their use of senjutsu (仙術, Wizardry), could do it faster than we can." the young boy said. His father chuckled softly, "Karyū, you're old enough now, so I suppose its time you understood how our clan works. Our family are hyakushō, the lowest levels of wealth holders in the clan. Above us are the chūnō; those families who hold some wealth, but aren't particularly powerful. Finally, at the top are the shihaisō, who are the richest. These would include the priests, with their senjutsu. As hyakushō, its our duty to do the heavy labor in the clan." the old man explained. Karyū narrowed his eyes, as if trying to process all of the information he had just received. "Don't you think that's wrong?" he finally asked. Karyū's father looked down on his son with a sympathetic glance, "When I was your age, yes, I thought it was wrong, but, in my old age, I have obtained a slight bit of wisdom, which I shall now impart to you. You only get one chance at life. Make the best of the abilities you were given and live life to the fullest without complaints or petty restraints, such as the amount of wealth or power you possess." he said. "I was born without wealth and without much skill, but I don't think that I have been cheated. I have loved my life. I have a beautiful wife, a wonderful son, food on the table, and a roof over my head. What more could a man want?"
Karyū thought long and hard about what his father had told him, and several hours later, they were back at camp with two large deer being towed behind them. After delivering the dead game to the butcher's tent, the two found their way back to their family's tent, where they could relax from the day's trials. Peace was short lived, however, because no less than half an hour after they had returned from hunting, several elder clansmen arrived at their family. Karyū couldn't help shake the feeling of anger in the air. "Get out here, Uzumaku!" shouted the bald man. "Uzumaku? That's father's name! Why would they want to talk to father? He just got back from hunting and is probably sleeping..." Karyū thought silently. Nevertheless, Uzumaku made his way out of the shadows and into the mouth of the tent. "What is it, Chiraku?" he asked, his voice clearly conveying his fatigue. "The meat you brought us today is full of disease! The priests detected it with their senjutsu! Are you trying to poison us?!" Chiraku roared.
"I assure you, no such treachery has taken place!" Uzumaku replied, raising his voice. Chiraku slapped Uzumaku across his old face with his ringed-staff, knocking the old man to the floor. "How dare you speak to someone of higher rank than yourself in such a manner!" Chiraku lectured. Karyū was horrified. He'd seen abuse dealt to the lower class from the higher class, but this one hit home. His father hadn't tried to poison the clan. He'd broken his back all day trying to get that game home, and make sure there was enough of it. "You, boy, come here!" Chiraku shouted, this time at Karyū. Karyū began to show visible signs of fear, and tears welled up in his eyes. He tried to form words, but only a hick-up would come out of his mouth. "I said come here!" Chiraku repeated. Now Karyū's mother got involved, "Don't bring Karyū into this! He's just a boy!" she shouted. Her pregnancy kept her from moving quick enough, however, because as she tried to reach him, Chiraku grabbed Karyū by the collar of his shirt and pulled him towards himself forcefully. "He was apart of Uzumaku's hunting party, was he not?! He is just as much to blame!" Chiraku screeched in anger.
Karyū had never been so afraid in his entire life. The sight of his father's now bleeding head, lying lifelessly on the ground and his mother screaming for him caused his heart rate to increase faster. The shouting bald man above him only served to drive his fear up. Chiraku raised his staff again and aimed to deal a punishing blow to the young boy, but it was not meant to be. For just seconds before the metal staff was to connect, the first of many miracles in Karyū's life occurred. His two blue eyes faded and in their place were a pair of purplish-gray, rippled eyes. An explosion ripped the tent to shreds, following a loud, piercing scream. When the dust from the explosion cleared, Chiraku lay on the ground a few feet from where he had been moments before. He was still alive, but he'd taken a blow to his head when he'd landed, and he was clearly in shock and fear. Karyū was on his feat, panting from exhaustion. His mother sat, unharmed behind him, while his father remained motionless.
It was the first of many miracles, and no one knew what to think. What is the meaning of these eyes, the eyes that were to become known as the Rinnegan?
The Ripple that Changed the World
Another leap forward. This time, only seven years have passed. The young Rikudō has grown into a lean, strong young man. Now his story truly begins... It is a story all to familiar to us who have the advantage of hindsight. A story of brotherhood, of war, and of heartbreak.
This story would repeat in several of Karyū's ancestors. We see it in the blood stained history of the Uchiha and in many others. "Love breeds sacrifice, which breeds hatred..." The cycle of hate...begins now...
To be continued...