16 years ago...
Light was sparse in the temple’s underground dungeon. There were no windows and little space in the frigid stone cells. The only warmth one felt was meager and came from torches lining the hallway. Sakura’s back was still sore and stung from being caned the day before after her failure. Her ragged shirt crusted with dry blood. She sat curled up on a thin mat in her cell. It wasn’t much but it offered some meager resistance to the cold stone floor. Her stomach ached with nagging hunger and she was fatigued since she couldn’t sleep for more than two hours.
“Psst, Sakura.” came a whisper from outside her cell.
It was a child’s voice; one she was glad to hear. She shambled over to the iron bars of the cell door. It hurt to even move. Hiro was waiting for her, crouched in shadow and barely visible by the torch’s orange glow. As Sakura stepped closer, the darkness peeled away from her face and he could see where the tears that h