The following morning the sun rays beam directly over Yama’s emerald eyes, he wakes up to the sound of rhythmic birds. And feels a sense of urgency in his chest. “What time is it?!”. Yama jumps out of bed and looks to the sun, inferring that he’s at least an hour late. “Oh no, oh no.” “I can’t believe she really didn’t wake me up.” Talking to himself Yama quickly gets dressed, laid next to his bed was his new school and daily uniform. It was a short-sleeved bronze thick t-shirt, which sat atop thick-black martial pants. Next to it was his gold-plated village band with the Seibuto (Western) symbol on it. Yama decides to customize his outfit a bit and puts on a longer-sleeved copper jacket. After getting dressed he quickly rushes out of the room, however, he finds himself in a bit of a pinch. “Where… is the Academy?” he says to himself. It quickly strikes him that he never received directions to find the school. Before Yama can fully freak out he is stopped by a maid he hasn’t yet seen before.
“Hello, can I help you, Young Master?”
“I like the sound of that..” He says to himself.
“Yes, I uh...”
“Wait, who are you?” He says recovering from his bliss.
“Forgive me.” The maid states.
“I am Rururi one of the other maids here at the estate.”
“Rururi, huh…nice to meet you.” Yama says surprised.
“Well anyway, I’m lost!”
“Do you know where the Academy is? Everyone left me!”
Sensing the urgency the maid immediately replies.
“Of course, I will even take you there myself!”
The maid quickly grabs Yama and runs towards the Academy. Yama is shocked by her immense speed, and before he could even speak they had already reached the Academy.
“T-thank you.” Yama looks to her in awe.
“No problem Young Master, please call if you need me!” Rururi doesn’t give Yama a chance to reply before she instantly vanishes. Yama is left in astonishment. “Whoa...even Ko-kun wouldn’t stand a chance..” Yama snaps back into focus as he enters the Academy. From the front, a massive building with much smaller towers in the back can be seen. The village symbol is plastered throughout as well as the village colors. Trees, lakes, and small squirrel-like animals can be seen in and out of the Academy grounds. In the distance, the stench of the piny mountains can be smelled as the sight of them appears close. Entering through the front door Yama is immediately greeted by one of the teachers.
“Hello there, who are you?” The teacher proclaims.
“I’m Minamoto Yama, I’m a new student here…” he says shyly.
The teacher becomes a little excited.
“Ah! Welcome to the Academy!”
“I’m Doumo Kokkuri, a teacher here.”
“Do you know where you have to go?”
Yama is slightly taken aback at the amount of energy the teacher radiates; as he is not used to such people in his life.
“Can you help?”
“Sure.” Kokkuri replies.
The excitable teacher takes Yama to the main office of the Academy building, it is a large room enveloped in silence despite the frantic movement. Yama and the other children have yet to receive a formal education. Everything they have learned up to this point has been what they have cultivated through the streets of Kannoji. The scarce amounts of written knowledge that they would find outside; or the minuscule bits of information that Mother could supply was their only means of education. However, despite the lack of information they could obtain, all of the children had a natural tact for Chi manipulation and controlling their respective natures. Because of this, Yama and the others are more proficient in nearly all physical and Chi manipulation aspects than their average peer. Focusing on strengthening themselves externally, they dreamed to one day learn more about the world. The children have always found themselves to be hungry for knowledge, perhaps due to what they were prohibited from having.
Yama and Kokkuri-sensei walk up to the front desk and are quickly assisted by a man, who introduces himself as Yujiro Te.
“Hey!, Doumo-sensei how can I assist you?” he says cheerfully.
“Hey, Yujiro-san, I have a new student today.” Kokkuri directs his gaze to Yama.
“His name is Minamoto Yama, and he seems to be lost.”
Surprised Te replies, “Minamoto-san?”
“You mean one of the Sonmyō’s new adoptees?” He looks to Yama.
Yama turns his head away from Kokkuri-sensei, at that moment Kokkuri has an epiphany.
“YOU’RE Minamoto Yama?!” He shouts, staggeringly.
“Yes. Did you forget?” Yama replies in a snarky tone.
Kokkuri-sensei chuckles at the remark but pays it no mind.
“It’s been a pretty hectic morning.”
“Turns out you are in my class!” He says with a smile.
Yama begins to analyze Kokkuri-sensei in a different light after hearing this information. He quickly looks him up and down before replying.
“Oh, that’s great!” He says plainly.
“But… why are you not in class?”
Kokkuri-sensei ignores the comment.
“Thanks for the help Yujiro-san! We’ll be heading to class now.”
“No problem!” Te replies.
They both ignore the comment Yama made as they make their way down the plain-colored hall, surrounded by portraits of past Sonmyō, Yama looks at them in intrigue before they presently enter the classroom. The teacher flings open the door to let Yama in ahead, the first thing he notices upon entering is the militant air in the room. All of the students, numbering 21 were sitting and speaking tacitly. Yama soon locks eyes with Aori who is sitting in the far back-right of the lecture hall-like room. And the Ryukyu Twins who are sitting in the middle of class. The room of 3 columns by 5 rows was nearly full with an empty seat near the front of the 4th row from the sun-reflecting window.
“Hello, class!” Kokkuri-sensei shouted excitedly.
They walk towards the front of the classroom.
“This is your new student Minamoto Yama.” He nudges him forward.
“Please introduce yourself.”
With slight hesitation, Yama takes a short second before he introduces himself.
“Hello, everyone. My name is Minamoto Yama.”
“I’m new here and I hope to be friends with everyone.” He says plainly.
Few students react to the lackluster introduction. Kokkuri-sensei forthwith assigns Yama the desk near the front.
“Great! Now let’s see…”
“You can take a seat next to…” He aims at the front seat.
“Harime Juso! Please raise your hand.”
The short, long-haired shy girl raises her hand.
“Please have a seat in front of Harime-san.”
Yama makes his way towards the front seat. As he is up down the aisle he can feel a slightly unpleasant vibe coming from some students within the class. Paying it no mind however, he takes his seat without even acknowledging Aori or the Twins.
“Now that we are all here.”
“Welcome everyone, to the beginning of a new year here at the Academy!” Kokkuri states.
“We live in precarious times these days.”
“It’s important that everyone here gives it their all for the sake of the Village.”
Kokkuri gets settled in a little bit.
“The pride of Kannoji is the mightiest in the land.”
“There is no room for slackers and inadequates.” He says is a slightly firmer tone than his previous statement.
“If you cannot pass the Academy then you cannot become Shinobi.”
“Seibuto has no need for those who don’t live up to their potential.” He finishes in a serious yet kind tone.
“Since, not all of us here are familiar with the workings of the Academy.”
“I will be going over the basics of what we do, and what things are, here at the Academy.” He pauses.
“There is a bit of history to the founding of the Academy.”
“Several generations ago, the early settlers of Kannoji were a very diverse bunch.”
“Many different clans, martial, and chi arts filled the land.”
“During the times of war, those in charge found it difficult to sustain a consistent fighting force due to the variances in culture and abilities.”
“Because of this Seibuto had lost many battles in the past, but! That all changed when the Second Great Sonmyō founded the Academy.”
“The Second Great Sonmyō desired of a place for standard martial arts, strategies, and education to vitalize the strength of Seibuto's Shinobi.”
“Since then the Academy has followed the mission of the Sonmyō, and upholds the expectations that he had for the future of the school.”
“Here at the Academy, we focus on strengthening and improving physical, mental, emotional, and chi attributes.”
“Students at the Academy will be refining these categories among a few others until they graduate from the Upper Academy.”
“Graduating from the Upper Academy makes you a full-fledged Shinobi.”
“You can only take on the highest-paying and most-dangerous missions this way.”
Kokkuri collects his thoughts.
“But that’s enough about that.”
“Let’s get started on today’s lesson.”
The students begin to mumble a bit.
Yama looks around the classroom to get a light feel of everyone by looking at their faces. Most of the students sit quietly while a few talk to one another. He locks eyes with Aori again who seems to be exceedingly attentive but she pays him no mind. Ryukyuka nudges her sluggish brother who is falling asleep at the beginning of class. Continuing his surveillance Yama locks into a death stare from another student with sandy-colored hair. They continue to leer at each other for a few seconds unnoticeable from the rest of the class. Yama lets out a clear chuckle and turns his head towards the front of the class. Kokkuri-sensei presently begins his lesson.
“To start today’s class we will be discussing the history of Shinobi before we begin physical training.”
Some of the students groan while Kokkuri-sensei clears his throat.
“Since it will be a long year, I will just give a quick run-down of Senna’s history.”
“According to Lore, there were 3 preeminent Gods that filled our world with their presence.”
“There was a falling out with one of the Gods whose scales tipped towards evil.”
“That God struck down one of the other Gods who we owe our essence, and abilities to, Umashimiō No Kami.”
“The God who has betrayed the trust of the others is Takamimiō No Kami.”
“The final God, one of grace, Amenomiō No Kami decided to enact revenge for her befallen.”
“A raging battle ensued between the Original Beings.”
The students at this point look very interested, especially Aori. However, others who had an air around them seemed not so much.
“During the harsh battle, Spirits, Beasts and Goddesses emerged from the bloodshed.”
“In the end, Amenomiō No Kami successfully defeats the Odious God.”
“Taking it upon herself to seal the foe, the adroit God buried Takamimiō No Kami’s body deep within Senna, below the ground.”
“Events unforeseen caused the emergence of Demons from the body of the Evil God.”
“However Amenomiō No Kami had a plan.”
“She desired to use her remaining life force to give birth to us.”
A kid raises his hand in confusion.
“What do you mean us?” He asks.
“Us, as in humans, as in, Shinobi.”
The child looks slightly awed.
“Some communities pray to the God of Breath, Amenomiō No Kami, to this very day.”
“We owe her our life.”
Another kid raises his hand in confusion.
“Wait, but if the demons were so far down then how did they come up?” She asks.
“Good question.” He replies.
“Since I wasn’t there I wouldn’t have the full details, haha.”
“But, considering they spawned from a God, they probably just crawled up.” He says jokingly.
The child looks a bit dissatisfied but lets it go.
“Ah, okay.” She says plainly.
“But that's enough of history for today!” Kokkuri-sensei abruptly shouts.
“We will have a 5-minute break, and reconvene in the Daimond Field for physical training.”
“You have 60 seconds to get there after the 5 minutes.” He says sternly.
“If you are late there will be consequences.” Kokkuri-sensei exits with a smile before vanishing in the blink of an eye.