I've returned to the village. After many missions taking me away. It is..peaceful, to say the least. Comforting and relaxing after the stresses of missions as a Jounin. Yet, the very peace which soothes, also serves to aggravate. The House is..far too small, it seems, after the great open plains and sleeping beneath the stars at night. Its walls seem to crowd me in, like a cage.
But I have had much time to think on the past, and some of the future. The past. Looking back is not something I relish doing. I have put my past to rest, for, holding on to offenses long since committed prevents one from reaching his destiny. But self examination is not such a bad thing. Thinking back on what I was, I do not know whether what I am is much better. But I realize that Naruto has had more of an impact on me than I would care to admit.
The hatred I once bore toward the Main House is long since past. And while we do sometimes have our disagreements, I do not allow such pettiness to split us asunder. As for Hinata, a younger sister is not what I looked for. Yet she has taken up that role in my life, and strangely, I do not mind in the least. It is enjoyable to have another Hyuuga to speak to. And I find that, helping and protecting her has given my life a new purpose.
Once, I was arrogant, impatient, and struggling against my destiny. Now that has been replaced with peace. The spirit of my father has been put to rest inside me. The burden of his death no longer weighs upon my soul. My treatment of others, is something I am learning to overcome. Often, comrades are the next best thing to a true family. And I cherish mine.
As for the future. I spend little time dwelling on those prospects. Hiashi-sama spoke to me of raising a family as, I am the 'Lord of the Branch House.'The thought struck me as almost absurd at the time. I, Hyuuga Neji, raising a family? First and foremost, would need to be considered the question of, even if I were to approach it, what woman would take a second glance at me? Though Hiashi's wants of are no particular importance to me, I know he would wish for me to marry within the Hyuuga Clan. But, as a member of the Branch House, I am under no particular obligation to do so.
I have no one in with whom I can picture myself spending my life. At least, none which springs to mind at this point in time. I reconcile myself to the fact that, I am too busy for romance at this point in time. But in all actuality, the thought of taking a step onto unknown, and often dangerous ground, almost frightens me. As my eyes would not help much, if at all in a battle such as this.
But musing on such things which are out of my hands are, though a profitable, if not always pleasant way of passing time, a waste of time. Time which could be spent training, or readying for the next mission.
Yet, I feel that. If nothing else, my soul has been freed, I am no longed the Caged Bird, regardless of the seal on my forehead.
- Hyuuga Neji