Chapter Two

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Manami laid on the floor, breathing heavily looking up at the stars littering the sky. Her late night training session was taking it out of her and Neji had yet to play shogi with her. Training alone was her least favourite thing to do and after what her brother had said to her earlier that day she felt worse. That was until Manami heard light foot steps and she quickly got up off the floor and bowed to the girl in front of her.

"Lady-y Hinata, I am so very sorry. Did I wake you?" Her nerves were clear in her voice but the soft smile that was on Hinata's face set Manami at ease.

"I couldn't sleep is all" After a long pause she began to speak again.

"Would you like a cup of tea, Manami?" Hinata's words made Manami blink a few times in confusion.

"But of course, lady Hinata but you don't need to worry yourself with that. I will get them for you."

"I've already got it,see?" Hinata smiled before pointing towards the steps. When they were both sat down on the steps Manami took a sip of the freshly brewed tea with a smile.

"Thank you, Lady Hinata. You tea is always delicious." The silence over took them both as they drunk their tea until Hinata had thought through her words carefully.

"Manami.." Hinata began to talk but paused. Even after the years she had spent training and becoming more confident in herself, she still had trouble talking about such topics.

"The war is coming" Manami nodded at Hinata with a small smile.

"Yes, Lady Hinata. I know and I will be ordered to protect you or your sister with my life. Considering Lady Hanabi is only a young genin and the heir to our clan, I assume that my role will be to keep you safe while you are on the front lines." Manami's smile was so sincere but there was something else behind it. The sadness of having no control over her own life was trying to bury itself deep inside her.

" When it comes to it, I would love for you to become one of my comrades and a friend." Hinata's words caused a shocked look to spread across Manami's face. She didn't really know how to feel about Hinata's words. What is really OK for her to became friends with the main branch?

"If that is what you wish, Lady Hinata. I will do-" before Manami was able to finish her sentence Hinata had stood up and held a hand on her head with a smile.

"Naruto has taken on all of the burdens of the village on his shoulders, I want to be able to prove I am strong too. Manami, I'll take your burden of being the second born with me " Without a second word Hinata got up and walked back into the house.

Her statement had put Manami in a state of shock and as she thought through the words that Hinata had told her about the war, her own consciousness slipped away from her as she fell asleep.

"Manami" The voice was so stern and emotionless.

"Wake up!"

"but the cute pink doggie wants to play" Manami mumbled in her sleepy state. It wasn't until she had opened her eyes that she saw a angry Neji pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Honestly, your completely hopeless. Hurry up, we are going to see how your training is going." Manami tiled her head slightly with a confused look on her flawless face.

"You mean I'm going out of the compound with permission."

"Yes, now hurry up"

"Right!" Manami jumped up with a squeal of happiness before she ran into the house and skidded into her room. After putting on her training gear that consisted of skin tight black leggings that stopped mid way down her thigh and a short black skirt. She wasn't one for patterns or complexity so she wore a black shirt with the crest of the Hyūga clan on the pocket before throwing on a high collared white coat. As she ran out back to an impatient Neji she pulled a comb through her hair with a smile on her face before bowed to her brother.

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