Corvus had been born near the beginning of the last planetary war, the one between practically all of the countries. He was born in a quiet little village on the opposite side of his home country, keeping himself from the larger towns. The village had been mostly unharmed in the war, the biggest impact the fighting having on the citizens were the constant demand for resources and hard-working men and women. Corvus' father had been a retired warrior, rather unremarkable but incredibly loyal and known for his courage in battle.
His father had been off in the war during his birth, fighting on the front lines near the border. His mother, whom he took after the most, aside from his gold eyes, tragically died from childbirth complications. The infant was put in the care of his older sister, named Saito, a teenager who had been put on temporary leave to help their mother. By the time their father returned for a short 'vacation', as he called it, Corvus was nearly a year old.
Still, Corvus was a very happy child. True, a bit mischievous, but a good kid nonetheless. He had been fascinated with all manners of flying creatures practically since his birth, and at a young age tried to copy the process of flight in all manners of creation. He also proved himself to be a natural genius, in the fact that he could learn most things quite quickly and could adapt those skills to suit his own needs. His father was overjoyed at seeing his son and seeing his genius.
But he only had a few months off before he was called back to the war. Corvus was once again left in the care of his older sister, safely tucked away in the far-reaches of the mountains, a whole world away from the war his country was fighting for.
The little boy grew up happy and rather naïve, he didn't express any particular want or need to become a warrior, for which his sister was secretly thankful. She had been on the front lines only once, and it had been horrible enough for her to want her precious brother to never see any of the carnage of the war. The pair bonded, as only sisters and brothers can, and were known throughout the village as inseparable. Corvus adored his sister, and she positively doted on him.
In that aspect, Corvus had an incredibly lucky-and joyful-childhood. When he was almost six, however, tragedy struck that would change his life forever.
A band of destructive war mongers had managed to get through the defenses of the twon and circle around, cutting a wide, destructive swath in their wake as they burned fields and crops in an attempt to starve the insignificant, tiny village. They attacked the little town mercilessly, setting fire to every building within reach, fire flying between the sparse amount of people available and the invaders. Flames roared into the silent, dark evening, and screams of terror and grief rent the night. It was on that night that Corvus got his first taste of war.
"Sister!" The small black haired boy ran as fast as he could through the village, past burning buildings and screaming people. A pair of invaders darted past, pursued by another not a split second later. Corvus looked around desperately for his sister, wondering where she had gone and why she dared leave him in a situation like this. "Sister?!"
The mother of one of the other children in the village spotted him and hastily grabbed his wrist, tugging him along urgently behind her. "Hurry, Corvus! There's no time to search for your sister! We have to get out of the village!"
"Not without my sister!" He struggled in vain, trying to pull himself loose to continue searching. Screw the invasion; none of them showed any interest in the little boy, anyway. "Have you seen her?"
"No, I haven't seen her yet, but I'm sure she's fine. She's a great fighter, after all." The woman replied, half warmth, half sheer desperation. Corvus noticed the tears on her cheeks in the blaze of the fires, and her eyes were wild and terror-stricken. He wondered if he looked the same way-but no, he hadn't been crying.
In a sudden surge of strength, he tore his arm away from her, sprinting in the opposite direction, back towards the heart of the village. "I'm gonna find her! You go out of the village and be safe!" He called over his shoulder.
"Corvus! Wait! Come back!" The woman shouted, but he was a fast kid and he knew it. He rounded a corner and took the most maze-like route he could think of towards their house. His sister would be there, definitely.
But what met the boy's eyes was not what he was looking for. The house-his home-was ablaze, one of the walls already fallen in. The smoke obscured the night sky above him, and all he could see was his house, where he had lived for all of his life, disappearing and dying before his eyes.
Corvus just turned and ran, shouting, "Sister?! Sister, where are you?"
One of the men from the village ran past and didn't spare him a passing glance. He jumped up onto the nearest rooftop, his sandals barely escaping the tops of the flames, seemingly jumping on top of them. Two steps further and a dark shape hurtled out of the thick smoke, and they both fell down onto the ground. Corvus ran over, morbidly curious, but there was only the man from his own town. The man was dead, lying in a pool of blood with several knives sticking out of his back and neck.
Corvus resisted the urge to retch at the sight of the blood. Instead he made a face, backing away slowly. The colossal impact suddenly hit him in one smoke-filled, spiraling moment-people were dying. There were bad people in the village who were killing people and destroying their homes and belongings. This was war.
The gold-eyed child continued backing up until his back hit something solid. Corvus' head snapped up to look into the white eyes of a man. "What are you doing here, kid? Shouldn't you have evacuated with the rest of the civilians?"
"Have you seen my sister?" The little boy asked instead, still looking up at him upside-down.
"Kid, you need to get out of here. Run for it." The man said impatiently, shooing him along. A split second later, however, he was in front of Corvus, blocking a sudden barrage of flaming knives that flew out of the dark smog. Corvus stumbled back, tripping and falling on his butt. That man had moved fast-and where had those throwing knives come from? "Kid, run!"
Another figure melted out of the shadows, moving towards them with jerky steps. The figure's arm shot forward, and another volley of shuriken flew out of the silhouette, but again the man in front of him blocked them, almost effortlessly. Corvus didn't need any further encouragement; he scrambled to his feet, turned tail, and ran for his life.
But then, suddenly, there was a yell and an explosion. The impact threw the child head-first into the dirt, sending him tumbling. When he got back to his feet, he turned and saw the man up on a still-stable rooftop, throwing little bombs that rocked the ground and sent the boy down again, but when he looked back up, nothing but admiration was shining in his large, gold eyes.
"Wow, that's-" Corvus was cut off by an arm snaking itself around his chest, a hand clamping itself over his mouth. Immediately he started flailing, trying to break free from whoever had captured him, trying to shout for the mysterious man who made the awesome explosions to come save him again.
"Shush! Corvus, it's me!" His sister hissed in his ear, and immediately he went limp in her grasp. "What are you still doing in the village?" She turned him around to face him, releasing his mouth.
"Sister!" Instead of answering, he threw his arms around the girl, burying his face in her neck. "I was looking for you!"
"Corvus! You shouldn't be here!" She tried to tug him off of her, reprimanding him. But Corvus wouldn't let go of her, so she eventually gave up and instead picked him up as she stood. He shifted so he could look back at the fiery scene, searching his hero out. "Come on, Corvus. I need to get you out of here."
"Mm, okay." He replied shortly, still scanning the area. "Sister, you should have seen it! There was this guy, and he was a amazing, and he made explosions! It was soooo cool! I wanna be like him when I grow up!"
He hadn't understood at the time the danger he'd been in. Warriors were everywhere, but now there were others mixed in along with them, confusing everyone and if possible, making it even more lethal for the civilians. Buildings were collapsing left and right, and bodies were everywhere. The fires were spreading as well, adding to the mass chaos.
Corvus had just looked up and grinned at his older sister, promising to follow the rules she set up for him.
The pair darted from building to burning building, staying in the shadows as much as possible and keeping quiet. The young boy thought it more of an annoyance that he couldn't talk anymore than an actual preservation measure. "Sister?" He whispered loudly.
"Shh!" She gave him a stern look that shut him up.
There was the sound of a far-off explosion, and Corvus' eyes lit up. He was learning to recognize the sound, and looked forward to every time he heard one. For the rest of his life, it would be the same way.
Corvu's sister died that night, after leaving him at the evacuation spot with the other villagers. She had went back in to continue fighting, saying it was her honor to do so. His sister's death quieted the six-year-old down tremendously, and from then on he was usually seen silently playing with birds from the nearby river.
During the funeral, the young boy hadn't said a single word. He only started crying when he saw her body, laid out to show proper respect.
But then, only a year later, his life was once more thrown into the war.
When he was seven years old, Corvus' father died in the war, and it gave him a new dream. He wished to stop this non-sensical fighting.
He migrated over into the actual town of city of his country, and attended a fighting school there. In just one short year, he graduated at the top of his class. He had mastered all of the basics.
That was when Corvus was placed in his team.
The war was nearing its end, after a few years, or so everyone in in the town thought. They thought that the other villages would fall soon, and the Land of Shadows would take its rightful place as the head of the new world order.
That was when the Land of Light's most powerful warrior single-handedly decimated half of the Shadow warriors on the front lines. The war turned for the worst, and now the Shadows were just trying to stay afloat and keep from getting invaded.
It was just the chance Corvus had been waiting for. He eagerly volunteered for his squadron to be sent to the front lines, and as depleted as they were of fighters, they allowed a newbie to go.
It was on his first mission as a leader that everything went horribly, horribly wrong.
Corvus just laughed off their anxiety and continued ahead with the mission, to destroy a bridge connecting the Land of Light to a nearby supply village.
"I'm getting tired. Shouldn't we stop for the night, Corvus?" One of the men grunted, wiping sweat out of his eyes. Most of the men under his command were older than him, and they hadn't taken kindly to being bossed around by a ten-year-old. At every chance, they found something to complain about.
"You're Shade, start acting like it." Corvus replied irritably, rolling his eyes. "We're only a few kilometers from the target now, anyway."
"From the first target, you mean." The nearest ninja, an annoyingly loud girl, piped up. "We still have to take out that other team as well."
"One step at a time." He replied snappishly. He was a leader, damn it! It was time he started getting treated like one! "Just keep your guards up. We're still in the war zone."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever." She huffed, crossing her arms. A moment later, however, she spoke up again. "Do we even know where-"
"Shh! Keep quiet, will you?" Corvus snarled. One of the other men grunted his agreement with the demand, but the other two looked mutinous.
"Fine! I won't say anything more!"
That was when they were ambushed.
The group scattered like leaves in wind when a pair of foreign enemies charged into the clearing. Corvus couldn't stop to think of how they had gotten spotted, he was more focused on trying to get away from the nearest, a crazy eyed woman.
Corvus back flipped and leaped up into the nearest tree, jumping out again when she followed him.
He threw a fire orb, but she ducked out of the way. The girl noticed, but didn't deviate from her current attack plan.
Corvus didn't notice the leg that suddenly appeared to trip him, and he went face first into the forest floor. Hands were instantly pushing him down into the dirt, forcibly restraining him and keeping his hands apart. "Captain," he heard the girl gasp into her radio, "We've captured one."
"Roger." A voice crackled back over the link. "Be there in a moment."
Using his illusionary prowess, Corvus vanished into a bunch of crows, escaping.
He waited in a nearby cave for any of his teammates. No one showed up. An hour later, he deemed it save enough to do a quick scan-over of the area by raven, seeing if there were any survivors. He was too far out of range to contact any of his allies, and it wouldn't do much good to go all that way to report back without getting some semblance of information.
He found his teammate moments later.
Their bodies were thrown unceremoniously into a bloody pile, and a fire was slowly devouring the corpses. Corvus instinctively knew that the enemy had started that fire, purposely creating a smoldering one to let the bodies stay there for awhile as a warning to any others in the area. He tried to fight the urge to throw up at the sight of his dead teammates, and instead altered his course to head back.
If there was one thing Corvus was, it was loyal to his village. He would gladly die for the Land of Shadow, or his Leader. Any of his teammates, too. But he was still a boy, and he couldn't quite grasp the concept of actual physical death. He'd killed enough, he'd had teammates, friends and family die, but he still couldn't quite wrap his mind around himself dying. He was more attached to the noble ideal that was projected by the notion.
Even if the boy didn't quite get it, it didn't change the facts. He would die for his land and his village.
He just wanted to die in a different way than what was planned out for him.
When Corvus returned, he wasn't greeted with joy, nor happiness, but a swift beating. Corvus was brought up to the leader's tower, bound. It was humiliating, whatever it was for. He stood in front of the leader, red-faced and looking mutinous. "…Yes, sir?" He ground out, glaring out venomously at the men lining the room.
"Such arrogance is pitiful." The man replied, not without a good dose of contempt. His tone threw Corvus off, at least momentarily. Had he really done something wrong…? It wasn't his fault that his team died! "Returning to the village after that attempt really shows about your intelligence and judgment, Corvus."
The ten year old didn't dare speak. Something was off here. Something serious had happened, but for the life of him, he couldn't think of what. He had done nothing wrong except lose teammates, but that was no way his fault, and anyway, they were unremarkable shinobi anyway. Their loss couldn't have been that much of a blow…was it?
The leader of Shadows motioned for the man nearest him to come over. "Corvus, why did you betray the village?"
"What?" He burst out, unable to contain his shock. "I have been nothing if not loyal to this land! I have been devoted to my country since birth! Why am I being accused of treason?"
"Silence! This man right here," the leader gestured lazily to the masked ninja beside him, "Personally saw you lead a group of enemies into the village gates. Those same freaks slaughtered two dozen civilians and three of my best warriors! Betrayal of the village is not permitted in times of peace-why the hell would you think you could come back to the village like nothing happened in a war?"
"I-I was just out on a mission! I just got back half an hour ago, sir!" A note of desperation entered his voice, and his mind was beginning to race. Surely the man couldn't reject the truth? "I was on a mission with my teammates and we were-"
"Then where are your teammates, Corvus?" The smug man asked sharply.
Corvus ducked his head. All of them dying on a single mission was damning evidence.
Slowly, the leader withdrew a scroll from his desk.
"'For the charge of high treason-betrayal-of your home village-'" He started solemnly, unrolling the scroll as he read.
Corvus' head jerked up immediately, and he shouted, "No! I didn't betray! I was out on a mission-"
"It is your word against my councilmen." The Tsuchikage replied calmly, unrolling a bit more of the scroll. "'-of your home village, you, Egorne Corvus, aged ten years and seven months, will hereby'-"
"I was on a mission! I was on a mission that killed my teammates! I didn't lead any invaders into the village!" Corvus shouted pleadingly. He wrestled with the cuffs on his wrists.
"Corvus!" The leader slammed the scroll down on his desk with a resounding 'bang'. Corvus fell silent, though he could begin to feel the beginnings of tears prick the backs of his eyes. "You want to be cross-examined?"
The boy nodded pitifully. "Yeah…"
"You were on a mission to infiltrate the Land of Light and sabotage a team there, correct?" He recited, probably from memory.
Eager to redeem himself and clear his name, he nodded again, with an eager "Yeah…!"
"You left approximately six hours ago, correct?"
"And you say you returned to here just a half hour ago, correct?"
The wording gave away the suspicion clear as day. "…Yeah." Corvus muttered under his breath.
"All three of your teammates were killed in battle, correct?"
"…Yeah. All of them…" He admitted. The leader paused a long moment, the barest hint of a small smile visible.
"And you report you were ambushed by enemies? Even though your mission was supposed to take you deep in Light territory?" The skepticism was blatantly there for everyone present to hear and make note of.
"Corvus, your story is pitifully weak and you have no proof." The councilmen said calmly. Corvus looked up at him, and for a brief moment, saw those eyes. The eyes were glinting…with smugness.
He was the one who had framed Corvus.
He had no idea whether it had really happened, or if the man had just made it up to get him in trouble. Hell, he didn't even know why. He was just a ten-year-old.. He only knew that this was the man who had done it. This was the man who was going to get him killed.
"…No further comment?" Corvus looked back at the leader of his village, and saw for the first time, perhaps, with unclouded eyes. The Shadow leader was a down-to-earth man, a man who was paranoid with this ongoing war and was even going as far as to murder his own warriors to prevent any type of betrayal in his ranks. He wasn't going to lose control of his village, not when the war was so unstable and could tilt in anyone's favor.
Corvus could only stare at him. It felt as if something had broken inside of him. He suddenly didn't feel tied to any village, didn't have any obligations to anyone. Not even himself. He was going to die, he knew that; he was injured and young and he was panicking. But he wasn't going to go down without a fight.
"'You are hereby sentenced to death by blade.'" The leader finished grandly, unaware of the terror he had just loosed. "The councilmen here will see to your execution for the treasonous act-"
Corvus had his hands around the man's neck before he could finish. He was pulled violently away, but he only took the opportunity to swing his hands up and grab on of the many knives that were embedded in his body. He began slashing away, and somewhere between the men and the leader, Corvus' shackles came off and he...
At ten years old, Corvus was declared as the greatest evil. But! He had been framed for betraying his village, the one thing that kept him tied to any semblance of rules or sanity. So he truly paid them back by preserving the image of a burning Shadow Land in his memory forever.
At ten years old, Corvus was believed to have killed the leader and all of the warrior men that were in the village, though, there was one who started all of these problems before hand..
At the age of a mere ten years, Corvus was betrayed and hurt by those he had valued most. He fled from the burning shadow town, turning his hatred for his village into hatred for warmongers. He was alone for the first time in his life. He walked away from the burning buildings and the sounds of screams, pulling knives out of his limbs as he walked.
He cried, he bled, he hurt, but if there was one pain that hurt him the most...
He had nowhere to belong...
No one to care for him or care in return...
He had no purpose in this world...
Corvus Egorne, the one who shed his emotion, killed his only ties, loyalties, was a danger to all...
Though there was one thing Corvus would always do, his weak minded ideal that all must have one to love was always present...
He would always be there to help, if he had friends who needed it...
Though to many, his actions placed him as the worst criminal in the line of many universes...
And so many knew, many fought, and many tried to kill the enigmatic man...
Though he went through the same pain...
His love for his home never died.
His love to help...