“The situation in the Earth Kingdom is getting worse, your majesty,” the guard informed anxiously. Her robes fluttered in her anxiety.
Mito processed her guards words while blowing gently on a cup of steaming tea. A mini whirlwind formed over the rim of her cup, chilling it, before dispersing. She took a sip and set it down with a small clink before speaking.
“I will head there personally to take care of this matter.”
Mito stood up in a flurry of robes, the cup of tea forgotten on the table.
The situation in the Earth Kingdom was worse than she thought. King Butsuma was abusing his power as king, his obsession of keeping women oppressed worsening. They weren’t allowed to use any form of combat with their magic. Not being allowed to use what the gods gave them was torture on the soul.
“Prepare a letter for Butsuma. I’ll be making my way to his kingdom shortly.” Mito ordered, throwing out her hand to her guard, signaling for her to obey the order.
The guard bowed before leaving the room. The door shut behind her, leaving Mito alone to her thundering thoughts. She was furious with the information.
The Water Kingdom was in no better shape than Earth. King Yagura was following the same path Butsuma took, keeping the women of his kingdom oppressed. Both men were tyrants when it came to ruling. Both had the same thoughts when it came to women; please their men, do the housework, absolutely no combat with their magic. It was outrageous.
Mito walked to the double doors of her private tea room, the doors slamming open with the force of her wind. She had to let off some steam before she destroyed her tea room.
Once she stepped out onto the grass of her garden, she summoned her wind to take her to the air.
Flying was one of her favorite things to, she felt free. The sun was still high in the sky when she took off, the warm air caressing her skin like a blanket. She ran her hand through a cloud. She had always imagined that clouds were soft, like the fluff on a sheep. The moisture from the cloud dried on her hand.
Mito looked down at the ground below her where she could see animals who resembled tiny specks from so high up in the air.
When she found a deserted grassland, Mito gracefully landed, the grass stirring around her feet. She brought her fan that she kept tucked into the sash of her robes.
With a flick of her wrist, the fan opened, and with another wave of her wrist, Mito unleashed the magic inside her. Wind whipped around her, trees tearing from the ground. A tornado formed before her, the force bringing the trees to it. Grass ripped from the earth and joined the trees.
Mito let more magic flow, the sky above her darkening. Clouds filled with lighting, bolts of raw power striking the ground around her.
Mito tapped into her other elemental magic; fire. With an exhale of breath, Mito let loose the fire inside her. She was like a dragon, flames shooting from her lips into the air and joining the tornado.
She felt so alive with all the power she was displaying. She would show Butsuma that women are not weak. Mito took notice of the damage to the surrounding area; small fires had formed from where the bolts had hit the earth. Trees and chunks earth littered the area, the fire fueled tornado wreaking havoc on the land before her.
With a wave of her fan, the tornado dissipated and the small fires extinguished. The rage inside her still warred on, but she felt somewhat calmer now.
Mito decided when she met Butsuma, she was going to make some serious changes to the Earth Kingdom. She would use force if she had to. Their time of keeping women oppressed was going to come to end if she had anything to say for it.
Her face grim, she shot into the air back to her palace.
Under King Yagura’s orders, Sakura worked as the palace healer. Most of her days were spent healing his personal army and the other nobles of the kingdom.
If she had it her way she would be out in the city, owning her own clinic, and healing whoever she pleased. That’s not the only thing she’d be doing, she’d be using her magic as she deemed fit.
The laws in the Water Kingdom were strict, just as they were in the Earth Kingdom. Women were not allowed to practice water combat. If any woman was caught, she’d be taken directly before the king and sentenced to prison time.
Yagura was not the most pleasant person to be around. Being the court healer, Sakura had met him plenty of times, each meeting leaving a bad taste in her mouth.
Sakura knew that if she was caught practicing water combat, Yagura would have no mercy. He would have her put to death. She had to be sneaky when it came to practicing combat. Sakura had been gathering as many women as she could to train them in the arts, her knowledge passed down from her mentor.
Sakura was still searching for any information on Tsunade. Her mentor hailed from Earth, but had magic in water and fire. She taught Sakura everything she knew about healing and combat.
Three years ago, Yagura had gotten wind of Tsunade practicing the art of combat and he had her shipped back to Earth to her second cousin, King Butsuma. For all Sakura knew, Butsuma was not kind in his punishment.
Sakura still had hope that Tsunade was alive.
Sakura would do anything to get her hands on the information on Tsunade’s whereabouts. If Butsuma had her put to death, Sakura would show no mercy.
With Sakura’s shift over, she began to leave the palace clinic, making her way out of the castle grounds and to the Grim District, the poorest district in the city. Her braid of pink locks bounced with every step she took. She carried a leather canteen on her left hip for easy access to water, in case she ever had to heal or fight.
After making it to the Grim District, a group of children dressed in rags ran up to Sakura.
“Miss Sakura! You’re back! Did you bring us any treats?” one of the children asked while attaching herself to Sakura’s leg.
Sakura giggled at the children. Coming here was her favorite thing to do after a day of healing. Her hand reached into the pack that she buckled to the small of her back. She brought out a handful of sweet tasting candies for the children.
“Here you are,” Sakura laughed as she handed over the candies to each of the children. “Is anyone hurt? Any scrapes?”
One of the children pointed at his knee, a small, red scrape glaring at Sakura. Sakura waved her hand and the cap off her canteen popped open, the water gliding towards her hand. She placed her water covered hand over the child’s knee and began healing.
After healing his scrape, Sakura ruffled his shaggy black hair. The child gave her a gap toothed smile, his green eyes twinkling.
“Thank you, Miss Sakura, my knee feels a lot better.” He giggled and gave her a hug, running off after the hug ended.
“Anyone else want me to fix them up?” Sakura asked with a smile. Her jade eyes twinkled at the children. They brought her such joy in awful times.
An elderly woman anxiously walked up to the group surrounding Sakura. “Please Miss, could you help? My son was hurt by some guards and he isn’t looking well.”
Sakura instantly rushed towards the woman, gently setting her hand upon her arm. “Yes, show me him.”
The elderly woman lead Sakura to her crumbling home.
“He’s this way,” the woman gasped out.
She entered the house, moving towards a small room right next to the entryway. Sakura watched with a soft expression on her face as the elderly woman gently opened the door to the bedroom.
Sakura followed her into the room, being careful with her steps. She looked down at the young man lying in the worn bed. His forehead was coated in sweat and his side was bandaged in old cloth. He gasped in pain with every breath he took.
“Could I ask for your names?” Sakura questioned.
“I am called Kanna, and this is my boy, Hiro,” Kanna replied, her concern showing, her face set in a grimace, “Excuse me, I will go and get some water and cloth for you.”
Sakura nodded as Kanna left the room. She moved closer to Hiro and began to unwind the bandages. Kanna returned with a bowl filled with water and a clean cloth. Sakura used the cloth to clean the wound, clearing the old blood away.
“What did he do to get this wound?” Sakura asked as she continued to clean the wound.
“The guards came to get rent for the second time this month,” Kanna took a breath to continue, “Hiro tried to get the guards to understand that we didn’t have the money they wanted. So they…”
Kanna choked on her tears, not able to finish speaking.
Sakura cursed and, with a wave of her hand, the cap to her canteen popped open. The water inside snaked out, gliding its way to her hands. Sakura gently placed her hands on the wound, letting the water send soothing vibes throughout Hiro’s body. The water moved into his wound and began repairing the blood vessels and muscle. Once the inside was healed, the water moved on to knit the skin back together.
After over an hour of constant healing, Sakura was exhausted. Hiro would make it to live another day. She had healed the wound to a pink scar as anything else would take more magic than she had at the moment. Her stores of magic were empty from healing all day.
“Hiro will be just fine.” Sakura smiled at Kanna.
Kanna grasped Sakura’s hands while tears slid down her face. She let go of Sakura’s hands and bowed to her.
“P-please don’t bow!” Sakura stuttered as she grasped Kanna’s hands again.
“I don’t know how to even thank you,” Kanna smiled, tears still fresh in her eyes.
Before Sakura could speak, a groan came from the bed. Hiro began to rouse from his slumber. He opened his eyes, blinking a few times. He noticed that he wasn’t in constant pain and looked to his sides. Sakura set her eyes upon him, seeing that his face wasn’t tensed with strain.
“I’m glad you’re awake!” Sakura’s face lit up in joy.
“I’m healed?” Hiro’s face lit up in joy, his lips pulling into a lopsided smile.
“You are! Your mother came to get me,” Sakura smiled again at him, “I’m happy that you’re feeling better now.”
Mito woke the next day still feeling the rage from before she slept. Mito’s face appeared calm, but inside her magic was roiling. Removing herself from the bed, Mito disrobed and readied herself for her bath. Once done with her bath, she began to dress herself. She picked a white dress with golden robes over it, her signature royal garb. With skill that came from years of practice, she tied her hair into simple buns and pinned in her hair pieces.
A knock came from the double doors of her bedroom.
“My lady, a reply from King Butsuma has arrived,” a soft voice came from outside the doors.
The door opened and the guard walked in. She bowed before Mito and, after straightening herself up, held out a letter for her.
“Thank you,” Mito smiled and took the letter from her.
She made her way towards the table in the middle of the room. After sitting, she cracked open the Earth King’s seal. Scanning the contents of the letter, Mito crumbled the letter in her fist.
“That insufferable bastard,” Mito raged, letting a flame consume her hand and burn the letter to ash.
Mito turned to her guard.
“He wants me to wait till the annual meeting,” Mito let out a puff of smoke from her mouth. The fire inside her raged on, wanting be unleashed.
“That is weeks away, My Queen!” The guard’s tone raised with rage.
“I know. I should just lay siege to his kingdom and show him how powerful a woman can be.” Mito settled Mika with a dark look.
Mika shared her look, both with grim thoughts in their heads.
Mito began to plan.
Sakura was called to see King Yagura around noon. After handing over the patient she was tending to another healer, Sakura made her way to the castle’s throne room. She wondered what the king had wanted.
Had he caught on to her secret?
Surely not. No women would sell her out, they were all working together at this point; she was training the women of the water kingdom how to use the combat magic. The women of the city were tired of being treated poorly. They wanted the freedom to use their magic however they wanted. Who was one man to tell them they couldn’t?
Sakura entered the throne room. It hadn’t changed much since she had been here last.
Pale blue walls, columns decorated in seashells, and rug that went from the door all the way to the throne all but greeted her. The throne was made of marble and decorated with shells as well. Dark blue banners hung from the walls, a moon with white stitching in the shape of waves sewn onto the fabric.
On top of the marble throne sat Yagura.
A pool of water dominated the end of the stairs leading up to the throne, a divider between the king and his subjects.
‘Better not keep him waiting,’ Sakura thought as she cautiously stepped towards the tyrant. She got on her hands and knees, a low bow.
“Rise,” Yagura commanded.
Madara sat in his private study, his thoughts scattered. He had just received a letter from the Wind Queen about current happenings in the Water and Earth.
He usually wasn’t bothered by many things, but once he read the contents of the letter, his rage ignited. In his anger, he exhaled through his nose, smoke following the air that left his nostrils. He had to meet with Mito to discuss a plan of action. The situation in Water was worse than he anticipated.
“Izuna,” Madara spoke, breaking the silence of the room.
“Yes, brother?” Izuna asked, looking up from the letters he was reading across from him.
“I’m sending you to Yagura’s domain,” Madara seethed, the rage eating away at him, “I’ll be heading to where Mito is. We have a lot of to discuss.”
“Of course, brother.” Izuna smiled towards Madara, “I’m going to go send word to Yagura.”
Izuna stood and prepared to leave the room.
“Look after her,” Madara whispered.
Izuna paused, letting a smile come to his lips. He would always look after her, not that she needed it. She was his sister in law for a reason. Izuna left the room, the door closing with a click.
Madara stood and walked towards the window of his study. He over gazed down at his wife’s garden, wishing she was next to him. Three years was a long time to be without the one you loved. And he wasn’t the only one who missed her.
The door opened and sound of small footsteps made their way towards him.
“Papa, is momma going to come home soon?”
Madara looked down at the owner of the voice. A small, black haired, coal eyed girl looked back at him. A red ribbon was tied into her shoulder length hair like a headband, tying back her bangs.
“Very soon, my sweet,” Madara reassured her while placing his hand on top of her head.
Madara turned his gaze back towards the window.
He made a promise; if anything happened to a single, pink hair on his wife’s head, he would set the world aflame.