Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Once upon a time there was a young lad, called Neji Hyuuga. He lived in the Hyuuga family compound with his mother and father, with his aunt and uncle and two cousins – Hinata and Hanabi, and all was all right in the world.
Until the night his cousin Hinata had almost been kidnapped, and his father – after heroically helping to rescue her – instead of being recognized for the great man that he is – got sent to his execution instead. So, naturally, Neji got very, very upset about that and he went to one of the more remote section of the Hyuuga clan lands (and there were a lot of them, actually), and began to weep very, very loudly as any child who had lost his father has a right to.
And he wept, he heard somebody ask him:
“Child, who has done wrong to you?”
Neji looked with his eyes – they were rather red from weeping and he hadn’t yet his Byakugan in them fully developed either – and saw a funny-looking lady. And furthermore, because he wasn’t feeling like himself fully either, instead of thinking about it, he told the lady pretty promptly:
“My father! He’s dead! And nobody cares anything about him! I wish that a terrible curse would fall over all!”
The latter wasn’t technically true, but Neji wasn’t in the position (or age) to care about it. Neither did Halfrek the wish-granting demon (or oni, as the demons were known in the Elemental Countries) care about it either. Instead, she smiled from sheer pleasure of the liberty derived from her wish, and said the magic words:
And then she vanished without a trace, leaving young Neji wondering just what he had set in motion. That very same night, though, when the entire Hyuuga clan, both the main branch and the cadet one, transformed into rats and remained them until the next sunrise – and then Neji knew.To be continued...