Fan Fiction Contest 1 - Winning Entry - Math Shinobi

Fan Fiction Contest 1 - Winning Entry - Math Shinobi

Introduction

Hi there. I am but a humble, mysterious story teller. With a story to tell. 

Would you care to sit?

You may have heard tales of the legendary “Math Shinobi” by now. His legend is being spread throughout the land. Not a day goes by, when you won’t hear about the amazing feats he has achieved through the power of mathematics. 

Some him as “The man who gave the Atsuko to logic”.

To others, he is “The one closest to the sky”

Heck, a select few even refer to him as “Infinite One”

But what is the truth? 

Behind any legend, there is always more than what can be observed on the surface.

His story is no different.

Where he came from.

And why he is the way he is.

But to do this. I have to go back…all the way to the beginning…

PROLOGUE

AGE 9 - 14

You The Boy called Pie

Pie hailed from the Aramarian Royalty. His grandfather was the head of the clan at the time. Naturally, as royalty, Pie was homeschooled. For several hours a day, he would receive tutorage from some of the greatest minds in the nation. On everything from etiquette to warfare tactics & strategies. An especially great emphasis was placed on his Science studies.

Aramar is very much known as the center of technology. A long time ago, shortly after 3 clans were created, the Aramar clan decided to invest in technology. It was thought that, the human body has its limits. Limits, which could only be surpassed through the advancement of supplementary technology. Battle suits. Weapons. Transport. You name it. For a long time, the Aramar clan was widely known as the defacto “leading clan”. Nicknamed the “Guardians”, protectors of Asahi, the capital of Ninavia. And Pie was going to be the one who would continue to oversee it all…

His grandfather had big plans for him. He was to be the next head of the clan. But Pie had little interest in running a nation. His interests lay elsewhere. 

He loved….Math. 

Mathematics or Math for short, is a science in its own right. It is the science of structure, order and relation. Evolved from counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects.

It was an old neglected discipline that played a prominent part in the development of society long ago. But for some reason, it was hidden away, and only practised by a select few royally appointed scholars. Pie discovered a stash of old scrolls in an abandoned corner of the royal library and he was instantly hooked. From as soon as he could read, he excelled at everything he put his attention on.

But for the first time, he struggled to grasp something. This new world he had stumbled on…scribbled onto half a dozen parchments...

It was as if it was…infinite.

Pie’s father was deemed unsuitable to lead the clan (even if it was his ultimate dream). He was rash, stubborn, and selfish. These qualities would surely drive the clan into turmoil…especially at a time in which tensions between the Aramar clan and the Atsuko clan were at an all time high. The Atsuko clan was a rival clan that prioritised strength and brute force over everything. Primitive in their methods. For the longest, they were simple bandits & brutes. Raiding for the sake of self gain. But in recent years, they had started to move with more purpose. Their actions become noticeably more strategic…more calculated.

To add to that, it seems that the whispers surrounding their interests in taboo practices & the occult had much truth to them.A village raided east of Asahi recently had signs of a blood ritual taking place, and there were constant reports of young virgin girls going missing, all over the land.

--

Now, more than ever the right decisions had to made in order to secure the future of the clan. Naturally, being aware of all of this made Pie’s father extremely hostile to his wife and son. Pie’s mother was an extreme beauty, albeit being born of common blood. She was working as a maid in the palace when she was selected. Her grandmother was a war slave from Atsuko, captured as a trophy in the 1st great ninja war. She and anything that came from her - all belonged to him. It was because of this fact, that nobody would speak up when she “fell” down the palace steps that one time. Or when she showed up bruised, black and blue.

It wasn’t always this way though. Pie’s father was kinder. His personality took a turn for the worse when his mother passed. And in combination with the harsh expectations of pie’s grandfather that he knew he would never meet…the outcome was inevitable. He truly loved Pie’s mother, once. She was the only one never scared of him. The only one that never judged him. She accepted him. Just as he was. And she loved him too.

But even love has its limits.

For some time, she had managed to reconnect with a distant relative from the Atsuko Clan. She would exchange secret letters with her by means of carrier pigeon…biding her time. Waiting for that fateful day.

When that day arrived…it was almost as if it was fate. A strangely timed nearby night raid by a faction of Atsukan Ninjas meant that the palace was short staffed

Under the cover of the night, Pie and his mother made there way out on an old paddleboat. Their destination. The Atsukan settlement.

--

PART 1

The Atsuko Clan

A year had passed since Pie and his mother fled to the Atsukan settlement of Iga. Pie was now 15 years of age.

Iga. An independent Atsukan settlement situated in one of the least hospitable mountain ranges in the world, in the Far Eastern reaches of Ninavia. The mountain of Iga was so tall that a third of it rested comfortably above the clouds at all times, eternally blanketed in snow. Yet a monumental hot spring graced the caldera where its peak should have been, and it hosted an island in its northwest with surprisingly fertile soil. 

For the past year, this was the place Pie and his mother now called home.

For years, the other clans were unwilling or unable to claim Iga, since any attempts would have been worn down by the inhospitable flanks of the mountain range. This suited the insular Atsuko clan perfectly- they had little need for traders and no need for laws made by people they've never seen nor heard of. 

--

With a population of roughly 30,000, the skilled huntsmen and raiders had their work cut out for them. The farmers of the settlement raised goats and other hardy livestock, as well as a few crops adapted to the rarified air, but at such an altitude they were not able to grow any trees. Most of the resources used in the settlement were gathered from hunting nearer the base of the mountains, as well as from the regular raids carried out by the expedition force.

As for the Atsuko clan themselves, behind the rumours and stories, there was another side that you would never be able to witness unless you were able to walk amongst them.

The Atsukans were very simple, yet passionate and proud. The meaning of Atsuko is 'kind', 'sincere', 'pure', 'warm', 'honest', 'passion', and 'child' as the syllable 'ko' is generally the Kanji for 'child'. Atsuko is believed to mean 'a child with deep emotions' and symbolizes kindness, passion, and care for others. They had always been fierce warriors, but that was only when they needed to protect their own. It was only in recent times specifically, that a much darker side of the clan emerged. 

The man responsible for this was Ryuji Oboro, a young man that had succeeded the Oboro Faction within the Atsuko Clan (the smallest of the 5 head families within the clan itself).

--

It was not clear how he had risen to power so quickly. And it was widely alleged that the Oboro clan was buried deep in research of the occult arts behind the scenes. Ryuji was a cold blooded individual, but besides that, he had something key that made him stand apart from the usual clan leader candidates of the Atsuko…he had an overwhelming level of intellect. And he prioritised winning by any means, over winning honourably. Under his leadership, trouble was brewing in the shadows, but nonetheless, the townsfolk were non the wiser. On a day to day basis, settlement life was business as usual.

Pie’s mother worked  around the clock at the largest Inn in town, ran by her aunt. Because of this, she was rarely ever home. And when she was, she would be completely exhausted. Pie had to learn a lot of things that he would never have been allowed to back in Aramar. Cooking. Cleaning. 

He didn’t mind this at all.

It also gave him a lot of time to read over the half a dozen or so math scrolls that he managed to bring with him when they fled Asahi.

He had learned to count…Covered the 4 basic elements. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication & Division as well as learning about basic shapes. But that was all that was contained in these scrolls. His only option was to read and re-read, over and over again. But he never got bored. Because each time, new questions would arise…new ideas...and without fully understanding it, he was already forming a foundation for intermediate concepts in his head.

He also had to go to school however. And this was most definitely his least favourite aspect of his new life. He had been homeschooled the entire time. And he was VERY different from the other children. The Atsukan syllabus was centred around building skills related to combat and hunting for the boys, while girls would learn the more traditional skills pertaining to taking care of the household.

--

Pie was a peaceful boy…and did not like harming others. He would much rather explore the limitless world he could create with his intellect in his head, than be present on the outside. He was shunned and bullied for this - both by his classmates, and his teachers. But for him, it was always only a matter of time until he could head home and go over his math scrolls again.

One day…on his way home. Pie spotted an old man being harassed by some of his classmates. It was ironically, after he had stepped in the path of the bullies that he remember...he couldn’t fight.

Minutes later, as he brushed off his bruises…

“Thank you young man…but you shouldn’t have put yourself in danger for an old relic such as myself.”

“Eh…it’s fine…my mother has always taught me to stand up when I see something wrong happening”

The seemingly old man, started to help Pie gather his math scrolls when suddenly…

!!!

“This…this can’t be” the old man said, with a wry smile on his face.

???. Pie was puzzled.

“Tell me boy…what do you know about Math…jutsu?”

“Math…jutsu??? I only know of sansū (math)”

“Oh…(chuckle)…I see…never mind”

Pie had gathered all of his stuff and bid the old man farewell.

Just as he made it to the end of the road…

“Wait!”

“?”

“Tell me something…what is 7 plus 8?”

“…1..5?”

“Good…9 x 7”

“63”

“Wonderful!…finally…7 divided 3”

“….” 

Pie thought hard…but at this point he had no understanding of fractional numbers. All the equations he had read about in his scrolls resulted in whole number answers.

“It is as I thought…here, let me see those scrolls, boy”

It was hard to believe at this point, that this elderly man, was elderly at all. He stood tall. As if he had been rejuvenated by the sight of the scrolls he now held so preciously in his hands.

“I can tell you have grasped the fundamentals. But there is much more to learn. You have only scratched the surface. Come. I will teach you more about sansū. My name is Tan-to”

From that day on, Pie would stop by the Tan-to’s house every day after school for study. Fate had brought him deeper into the world of Math.

As the days passed, Pie’s head was filled with wonderful new mathematical concepts. Algebraic formula, Calculus, Geometry. Tan-to, passed all of it onto him.

Pie’s mother had noticed a pleasant change in him. He was her only companion these days, but with the start of his journey into adolescence, she had been feeling like she was starting to lose him ever so slowly. Her only friend in the town was a slightly older woman she had befriended at the market stalls, O-toko. But even then, because of their situation, she was wary of letting anyone too close. And call it, female intuition, but she was correct to be wary. For a while now, there had been suspicions cast on Pie and his mother. Pie’s mannerisms made him stick out like a sore thumb. O-toko was instructed to get close to his mother in order to find out more. One day, while out at the hot springs, O-toko catches a glimpse of the Aramarian slave brand on Pie’s mother’s ankle. Of course, she reports this back to none other than Ryuji Oboro.

Later that night, the Oboro ninjas raids their house. His mother is seized and Pie is pinned down helpless.

“It seems that the martial god has smiled upon me yet again…”

Ryuji entered the house. His silver, coily hair slightly covered a fine, radiant face. Bloodshot hazel eyes, set far within their sockets, gazed deeply into his surroundings as he made his way towards Pie’s mother. 

“You are exactly what I have been waiting for, my dear”

Pie’s screams were suppressed by the hand of the Oboro Ninja restraining him.

He was helpless to watch as Ryuji pulled out a small golden chalice. Strangely enough, this chalice was emblazoned with an ancient Aramarian crest, which Pie was familiar with. Ryuji snapped his fingers and 4 shaman entered behind him. One by one, each shaman  proceeded to dismember an arm, leaving blood to spill out everywhere. High pitched, blood curdling screams filled the room, as Ryuji sat in the centre with Pie’s mother in front of him, brandishing a chain sickle in his right hand.

“This is all for a greater cause. May your spirit find solace in the depths of my being…”

Pie’s mother summoned the last piece of strength she had, and looked over at her son. She managed to mouth the words “I love you”…and then.

Pa-chink! Her body fell limp to the ground

Ryuji then started to pour her blood into the cup, before drinking. His body writhed in twisted pleasure.

“Your mother tastes delicious, boy”

Pie…eyes wide with shock had no option but to pass out from the horror of what he had just witnessed

“The light is always accompanied by the darkness. Everything is equal in measure. I am doing all of this, for the betterment, of the Atsuko.”

“You have seen more than I would like any outside to see just yet. I cannot let you live” said Ryuji as he got up and prepared to deal with Pie’s unconscious body.

Just then. 

FWINGGGG!!!

For just a moment. Time within the space around Pie’s house seemed to come to a standstill. If only just momentarily.

Infinity Art: Imaginary Light Speed Footsteps!

Old man Tan-to had appeared out of nowhere. He was now standing in the middle of the room surrounded by Oboro Ninja.

“It seems I have arrived moments too late”

Ryuji stood, stunned…”You…”

DIVISION ART: Euclidean Separation!

The heads of the 4 Oboro Ninja that just moments ago, stood weapons drawn, ready to fight, were instantaneously separated from their bodies.

“You are 100 years too early to challenge me. The weight of my math, cannot be comprehended by the likes of the Oboro”

Ryuji regained his composure. 

“Old man, we both know that you are but a husk of your old self”

Tan-to replied..”Hoh…don’t worry…I am sure I still have enough left to teach a young bull worm like you one last lesson”

MULTIPLICATION ART: Weight x 4!

SUBTRACTION ART: Zero Style - Reduce to Zero!

In an instant, Tan-to shot a palm thrust forward at a lightning fast pace…his target was Ryuji’s heart. Ryuji was one step ahead, and what Tan-ten thought he had hit, was merely a bunshin. 

Ryuji was nowhere to be seen.

A faint echo could be heard in the wind “I have no intention of fighting with you today old man. You may leave with the boy tonight. But the next time we meet…know that I will not be as merciful”

Tan-ten flees with Pie over his shoulder.

Just on the outskirts of the settlement, he lays pie on top of a bed of straw and looks down with.a solemn expression.

A young child should not have to experience the perils of the world until they reach a proper age.

He had come to understand through his time teaching this child, how special he truly was.

“I’m sorry for what I have to do to you now my dear child…I fear that if you wake up to the memory of what just transpired…it will prevent you from reaching your true potential.”

Tan-ten took a knee, placed his right palm over Pie’s face and quietly whispered…

“Subtraction art: Memory deduction”

--

Part 2 

A few days later. Pie wakes up in an unfamiliar room.

Tan-to is seated in the corner, with his back turned…in front of a fire.

“Where…where am I?” Pie asks

“We are on the outskirts of Daisukan territory boy. In the hidden Math Village”

“What happened? Where is my mother??”

“…”

“You won’t be able to see your mother for a while. As to why, I will explain when you are ready”

“Ready for what???”

“Boy, I will ask again…what do you know of Mathjutsu?”

“I’ve told you! I don’t know what you are talking about, you crazy old man!”

“I understand. I need you to listen to everything I am about to tell you”

He introduced himself once again as Tan-to. One of 3 brothers responsible for creating ninja society

“But…that’s impossible…the ninja world was formed thousands of years ago…you would have to be thousands of years old!”

“With Math…anything is possible…it is everlasting. It is the infinite will”

He continued his story.

It is widely misunderstood that the founder of the Ninja world was Asahi.

However this was untrue. The original ninja world was founded by 3 brothers. Their names were Cosine-jo, Sine-monokuni, and Tan-ji. All 3 Elders now lead the math clan.

In the beginning, all ninjas used to coexist under a single banner. Back then there were a number of ancient disciplines that crossed over and became practised in their own branches of Ninjutsu. When the clans split up and factions were formed, a-lot of these ancient ninjutsu became lost forever.

Mathjutsu was originally one of the Aramar arts, but due to its roots in peace and not harming humans, it was discarded by the head at the time. The Aramar were traditionally the royalty in the old world, so they felt they needed something for fitting, and headed into technology as a means to do that. The 3 clans chose to specialise as follows:

Atsuko - Blood (necromancy) & Shadow Arts

Daisuke - Life & Nature Arts

Aramar - Guardian & (new Tech Arts)

“So this Math…jutsu you keep talking about…what does it have to do with the math you’ve been teaching me all this time”

“I have been teaching you the basics, my boy. You still have along way before you can learn Mathjutsu”

He continued his explanation

Mathematics comes in 2 primary forms. 

First, there is Sansū. This is where you understand that 1 plus 1 is 2.

Then there is Sūgaku. This is where you understand why one and one = 2

Sansū and Sūgaku together, form the basis for Mathjutsu.

Mathjutsu is formed of the base principals below:

Counting - Hidden breath techniques that help grant the body access to increased capabilities. One can count normally as an example. And one can count prime numbers as another example, Each individual method, can result in a slightly different outcome

Addition - Combination techniques

Multiplication - Buffs. Shadow Clones. Growing in size. 

Division -  AOE techniques aimed at dealing with larger groups

Subtraction - The Art of taking away. Taboo arts because they play with the concept of life itself

Geometrical Taijutsu - A form of hand to hand combat based off drawing geometrical shapes

“Those are the basic elements…however, with anything, there are hidden paths that once can go down with enough mastery. I for one, am a master of Infinity arts.”

“??”

“Infinity arts govern time and space. With proper knowledge of imaginary numbers, you can trigger a phenomenon known as “inversion”. Worry not. I will teach you all I can. If you will let me”

“Why are you doing this?” Pie asked finally

“The future of the Ninja world lies in balance..."

"Math must return tho this world once again"


END OF BOOK 1

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