Ankoku is a shinobi originating from the outskirts of Yukigakure, and a member of the Yuki and Uchiha Clan. His birth was both blessing and curse, born into two clan's yet a part of neither. His mother, Shigure Yuki married his father, Sakaki Uchiha against the wishes of both families, both believing such a union to be detrimental to the honour and station of their houses.
On the day of his birth, winter was at its coldest, yet the hearts of the families seemed to thaw and warm at his arrival, despite the resentment and distrust they previously had he served as a bridge between the two familes, a bond that only grew stronger with coming years. It wasn't long before his prodigious skill came to show. He was a smart child, possessing an inquisitive mind and an aptitude for learning beyond the norm, almost instantly picking up the techniques of both clans and more besides. His life was perfect. A loving family, caring friends and a promising future.
That is, until the night of the Crimson Frost.
A Frozen Past
The day was like any other, filled with the trivial activities and tedious training sessions in the family dojo, in fact, the day was rather dull in Ankoku's eyes. It must have shown in his eyes as well, as his tutors quickly dismissed him and bid him to wander the local forest for herbs and berries for tonights meal, a task to which he practically flew.
The nearby forest was thick and tall, the trees strong as all life must be to survive the biting chill of winter. He spent a lot of his spare time in the woods, playing games with himself or friends or training in the deep, wide ponds hidden within the wooded expanse. It took him several hours to find a handful of herbs and supplies, and cost him a fair few scratches and bruises but he headed back with a smile on his face.
It was already dark when he came close to his home, the air thick with a cloying mist and smoke which stung his eyes and nose. He thought then, that it was strange that it had grown dark so soon but shook it from his mind, the smoke more pressing as he emerged from the trees and into a nightmare... His home. His life, lay burned and scattered amidst the bitter ash and snow.
He walked amongst the wreckage, his mind unable to comprehend what his eyes told him. He found no bodies however, a fact that calmed his mind and soul as he bit back his sadness and turned towards the city, if fire had claimed their home, his family would move to the city for safety he thought. The sound of clashing steel and splintering ice split the air around him, shattering the near silence like broken glass.
Ankoku made all haste towards the sound which eminated from the opposite direction of the village. He was worried for his family, but he thought them untouchable, they were all powerful ninja afterall. The distrubance was further than he first thought, the sounds carrying a vast distance in the chill wind, but after a few more moments, the sounds vanished. He gritted his teeth, wondering if he was too late to save the strangers who were in trouble, but as he rounded the edge of the woods, he stopped.
Before him lay a true nightmare, a field of ice and snow illuminated in the moons pale light, the bodies of his family decorating the scene like vast crimson flowers. He moved like a ghost from body to body, checking for life but finding only death and stillness. He held those once close to him and wept, his hands wiping the slowly freezing tears from his face, his sobs holding the silence at bay, until he found them. His parents.
They lay motionless beside each other, hands close but not touching, as if, in their final moments they sought each others touch, one last time. The scene tore at Ankoku, a scream of rage and hurt ripping from his throat as the sound of footsteps resounded around the field. He bore it no mind as he closed his parents eyes and placed their hands together for the last time. Sobbing brokenly, he stood with a glacial slowness and looked around at the bodies of his loved ones, and finally at the group of travelling merchants nearby watching him with fear and disgust. "H-He killed them! He is covered in their blood and looted their bodies! Make haste to Yukigakure, they must learn of this vile act!"
Ankoku opened his mouth to speak, but the glares from the men as they fled froze his heart. They would accuse me of this? He thought weakly, his mind numb and cold. Ankoku's face was a mask of pain and sorrow. He moved his hand to his eyes, shaking his head as his heart broke beneath the weight of his loss, and he laughed.
He laughed at himself, at his weakness and foolishness.
He laughed at the world, at its cruelty and injustice.
He laughed at the men, at their fear and innocence.
He laughed, because nothing would ever be the same again.
And as he laughed, he felt his tears turn to ice, and fall upon the field of Crimson Frost.
Rumours of Blood and Ice
The old man spoke in a hushed voice, his ale scented breath misting on the air as he spoke, his eyes wide with mystery and fear. "Ankoku was first seen standing in the center of a bloody battlefield, covered in blood with no wounds, not even a scratch upon his flesh. The corpses around him were piled high, and amidst the carnage, he laughed." The man took a long drink, savouring the gasps and sounds of shock from the small crowd.
He looked at the crowd and lowered his head, his eyes looking slightly angry. "I was there that night. I saw him shake his head as blood ran down his cheek. His laugh, deep and mocking, like madness given voice, and his expression that of a nightmare." The mans expression suddenly changed, fear flooding his face as a member of the audience turned, his hood falling away. "What happened next, Old man?" The man said, his voice cold as ice, his face expressionless except for the ghost of a smile that played across his lips. "Y-Y-You!" The old man squeeked in surprise, and fell back against the bar.
"Me." The man spoke quietly and stepped forwards, the crowd parting like water around him as he placed his hands roughly on the mans shoulders and glared at him. "You know what I said would happen, right?" He spoke slowly, his eyes dark. The old man seemed to shrink before the gaze and gulped dryly. "Y-Yes..." The stranger let go slowly, moving with a casual grace he stepped behind the bar and took off his cloak, his expression changing instantly as he laughed a warm, bright laugh. "I told you, if you didn't pay your tab, I'd make you clean the toilets for a month!" He moved his hands up, and passed a bucket and sponge to the man who let out a hopeless cry before taking them lamely. "Right you are Yuki... I will finish the story later gents!" The men laughed and turned to the bar, eager for drinks and rooms for the night, Ankoku smiled out at them, the expression perfect, warm and fake. He would leave again soon, but for now, he would play his part. "Right! What can I get you?"