20 Years Ago
The day began like any other for Shishiō, a young boy whose dream was to become the next puppet master in Sunagakure. He walked through one of the Shirogane family hideouts, an ancient place older than the village itself, dating back to the warring states period. Located off the coast from Sunagakure in the Land of Wind, what remained of this secret place now lay in ruins, once the residence of the Shirogane family for generations. The hideout was situated below the main building, serving as an underground repository, museum, and library.
This massive underground library and repository were sealed by a door bearing the crest of the Shirogane family. It functioned as both an inventory and a research library for any Shirogane, filled with tomes of knowledge, weapons, sacred and magical items, and even the remains of enemies collected by the Shirogane family over generations. It was in this place that Shishiō discovered a book about former known puppet masters, his future idols.
Silently, he walked through the halls where burning torches lined the walls, their flickering flames creating a guiding light for him. Muttering to himself about his weariness and boredom, he continued his journey within the hideout. Despite his discontent, he accompanied his family members here, hoping to find something new to learn. After wandering for a while, he arrived at the old library and the replenished warehouse.
Once inside, he searched for a book he hadn't read before, his eyes scanning the shelves. Searching for something to pique his interest, he suddenly spotted a book he hadn't seen before. "Famous Created Puppets and Their Manufacturers Throughout the Ages" was the title inscribed along the spine. The book was placed at a height beyond his reach, but that didn't deter him. Shishiō extended his arm and sent out a pair of chakra threads from his fingertips, swiftly grabbing the book and pulling it towards him. With the book in his possession, he settled into a stone chair in a corner, flipping through its pages until a specific section captured his attention: "The Four Fallen Puppet Masters."
Sasori, known to have been a pillar in the history of puppet making and controlling. Earlier in life, he was part of Sunagakure's elite puppeteers and a member of the puppet brigade.... During the Third Shinobi World War, the effectiveness of his puppets in spilling his enemies' blood on the sand gave rise to Sasori's moniker "Sasori of the Red sand". The puppeteer later left Sunagakure and by unknown means converted his body into a puppet with his core of living flesh remaining as his only human part remaining. After his death, Sunagakure learned that it was Sasori himself who assassinated the Third Kazekage...
"Wow, a puppeteer could defeat one of history's most powerful Kazekages."
Shishiō didn't see Sasori as a horrible person directly. In his young mind, Sasori was seen as a skilled puppeteer and a person he would surpass as a fellow puppeteer.
The next puppet master was none other than the Honoured Grandmother Chiyo. During her lifetime she was the village's poison, and a renowned master of the puppet arts. Famous for her abilities in both creating and controlling puppets, to the point of being an invaluable icon for Sunagakure. She passed these skills onto her grandson, Sasori..
"Oh, another family that learned and passed on the art like us?"
Chiyo could use the Puppet technique on a human body, which allowed her to effectively control a human if she had no puppets left in her arsenal to use she was highly skilled with this tactic. Being able to control up to ten living people at once with her skills, each of them with only one finger per puppet, a skill which signified her as a master puppeteer. Like her grandson Sasori, Chiyo modified a part of her body and turned her right arm into a mechanical one. Her strongest puppets, however, were the full set of 10 puppets known as the Chikamatsu Collection, created by the first puppet user, Monzaemon Chikamatsu.
The name Monzaemon Chikamatsu was well known to Shishiō. As he is a direct descendant of him and when he read that the elder puppeteer received his famous collection he just sighed. Next on the list was a person Shishiō had never heard of and didn't look like any of the puppet families he knew of.
Not much is known about this puppet master's background beyond that he is rumored to be from the Hidden Rain Village. His skill as a puppeteer on the other hand earned him a place among Sunagakure's own puppet masters. Yonrochi is rumored to have killed countless shinobi from various villages with his puppet the 'Mantis' alone..
Before he can delve deeper into the pages, a call out is heard for Shishiō, snapping him from the book's grip. A member of the Shirogane family informs him that it's time to depart, telling him that if he stays, he'll be stuck within these walls until the next time someone of the family is in need of knowledge. Hastily, he shuts the book, rising from his chair. He leaves the volume behind as he hurries away.
Under the scorching sun, Shishiō Shirogane crossed the vast desert of the Land of Wind. The hot sand shifted beneath his feet with each step leaving faint imprints in the shifting sands. Creating a soft, rhythmic sound that echoed through the emptiness. With a determined gaze, he pressed forward, undeterred by the harsh conditions that surrounded him. The hot wind whispered tales of ancient civilizations and forgotten battles in his ears. Shishiō's sharp gaze scanned the horizon, he sought inspiration in the landscape, drawing strength from the harsh beauty that surrounded him.
With each step, the sand embraced his feet, its warmth seeping through his boots, grounding him in the present moment. As the day wore on, the sun descended towards the horizon, casting a golden hue over the desert. Seeking shelter from the intense heat, Shishiō found a large rock formation which would cast a large shadow and give him shelter he needed.
Sitting down behind the large rock, he took a moment to appreciate the sense of peace and quiet that enveloped him. In this stillness, Shishiō's mind began to stir with new ideas. The desert seemed to whisper inspiration into his ears, urging him to create something extraordinary. He envisioned puppets that would mimic the grace and resilience of the desert's inhabitants, their movements fluid and mesmerizing.
Shorthy, the nightfall cast its dark cloak over the desert, revealing countless stars over his head. Shishiō's face lifted towards the stars, a beauty that many take for granted. But even such a perfect night still had its danger lurked in the shadows. The desert was a merciless location, testing the those who dared to traverse its unforgiving terrain. Shishiō's keen senses detected the subtle shifts in the wind, the ever-present threat of sandstorms that could swallow him whole.
But fate had a different plan in store for him. While he continued watching the stars, a gigantic three-tailed scorpion appeared from the sand. The animal was no more than 3 meters away from where Shishiō was still sitting and his gaze moved towards it before he stood up. No sense of anger or will to harm was felt from the scorpion. Shishiō walked towards it without problem, then placed his hand on its outer shell. It turned out to be one of his summoning animals that sensed Shishiō's chakra. Without saying a word, Shishiō jumped onto its body. He lightly pointed forward towards Sunagakure and the scorpion began to move forward without any protest.