- Born to a small Nara-affiliated family, the youth travelled a lot during his younger years. Like vagabonds his relatives moved from town to town seeking basic work and fulfilling basic needs. There were better years, but for the most part, the family lived in great poverty suffering especially during long, drought-dominated summers and the even longer torturous winters. Children were taught basic survival skills as well as shinobi arts from a young age, though secrecy and restraint, above anything else, was stressed. The family came under some minor samurai threats, but largely avoided attention.
- It was easy to grow bitter and cynical in such an environment, and Shinsui was quick to allow these traits to fester. He argued it was impossible not to be a realist in this situation they were in. Staying anywhere longer than a few days was inviting death, trusting anyone but themselves was inviting death, not trusting anyone and not staying anywhere was inviting death; not learning the Shinobi arts would invite death, yet learning them would welcome death more quickly. There seemed to be no solution to their issue - no long term plan. The idea was tossed around to join Tenkūgakure but the main branch was against it, and anyway, what was the guarantee that they wouldn't just be executed on the spot? The family was at an impasse and there was nothing anyone could do.
- A solution seemingly presented itself one day when one of the members of his family, a young virile girl - his cousin, Shikari - fell in love with a local lord's son. The issue was debated over fiercely and though the Nara were supposed to exhibit unnatural intelligence, the arguments put forward were awfully lacking in rational thought. Eventually, the clan was split and undecided, stuck in place, while events played out and they played out faster than anyone could control them. The girl was soon pregnant, and the lord's son, much to everyone's surprise offered her and her family a place in the community. Of course he was not aware of their shinobi lineage; what he saw was a group of vagabonds, alike any other group for they were so common these days, moving from town to town (like they indeed had), seeking to cause no harm. If his son saw anything suspicious about them, his love for Shikari allowed him to remain oblivious, and in turn, the lord's love for his son kept him open-minded. After some discussion the family stayed and began a quiet, stable life.
- Things moved far more slowly after these few chaotic weeks. The young grew up, matured, became less pessimistic and more filled with hope - childhoods were partially restored to what they should have been. Due to their natural intellect, the family found themselves quickly integrating with the community, even earning the ear of the lord, who found the elders council most instructive. It seemed this would be their place of stay, and certainly that's what was hoped... but of course, things never go like we want them to.
- Shinsui was out hunting with his father, at the humble age of twelve, when they heard the news. His little brother, Seichin, was caught practising ninja arts. The village was in an uproar and the family was trying to squeeze as much influence as they could upon the lord, who had a difficult situation ahead of him. Shinsui was told to stay in the forest, to wait for his father while the older, wiser man headed back to add yet another voice to the matter. But, a part of the boy knew what was going to happen. He gave his father the biggest hug he had ever given him, and wished him a good luck that raised the man's eyebrows; their eyes exchanged silent words. Shinsui did not wait in the forest like he was told to. He ran and ran as fast as he could, knowing that he could not be tied to that village. Everyone he knew there would be killed; fate had already decided. There was nothing he could do; nothing anyone could do.
- Later the boy would find out that the "proceedings" took another two days before the samurai showed up. It didn't make him feel any better, but those honourable warriors torched the whole village down and put everyone to the sword. He had no way of making sure if anyone had survived, but knew, like he had known when his father had told him to wait, that no one could have ran from the samurai.
- Shinsui would wander, picking up the vagabond ways of his family. It was easier for him, being alone, to find work and to find a place in the places he travelled to, but then it was also easier for him to disappear at moment's notice. He grew so accustomed to, like a shadow, slithering in to people's lives and then leaving them to ponder what had happened to that boy - to that youth, later, to that man - that it became second nature. He travelled, he learned, he mastered his art in secret. He looked for a purpose, yet could never seemingly find anything that warranted his attention.
- But then he met Tsuki... if Tsuki was her real name. Maybe even then, it was not. By that point she had recently created the Yozakura, but it wasn't then that he would join her. While practising his shinobi arts in the seclusion of the forest, she would save him from samurai who had tracked him down, but despite this he would not accept the offer she extended him that day, arguing that he was too young and of little use to her. Still she told him, somewhat cryptically, that he "owed her".
- It was perhaps ironic then that he would meet her almost four years later. Now the offer wasn't so much extended pleasantly nor was he really given a choice, for the matter was more or less closed; though it was made clear to him that he would still be indebted to her. Either he would join or die, and like any sane person he chose life over death. The youth would in fact benefit a lot from that partnership, even if, at first, he saw himself a mere slave to a woman and an organisation far more powerful than he was.