Hola! Me again. :) Would you ever write a story in which you follow a characters development through the storyline only to find out they were the villain of the story the entire time?

Ooh… probably? It really does depend on the character doesn’t it? Well…

I mean, no one thinks of themselves as the villains even though–depending on what they’re doing–the reader will immediately understand that the character is in fact an unreliable narrator and that their actions cannot be in anyway misconstrued as good. So for this concept to work, for the twist to actually be a twist, the readers would have to honestly think that the character is the hero for the majority of the story.

I actually have a reblog post saved in my drafts (only a one line concept written)–this post–for an idea kind of like this. The OP concept is that kids take from “our world” and summoned/pulled into another one full of magic and adventure are then sent back against their will after their purpose is done. And, like, they are back in their original state physically–no scars no missing limbs, but also no muscles no magic–but mentally they’re still traumatized.

And OP continues how, fed up with pretending in “our world,” the hero tries to find their way back to that world of magic and adventure and finally–after hundreds of worlds later–they make it home.

And the one line concept I have to say to this is: what if this is how villains are created?

Because sure the hero makes it back home, can feel their magic restored, is relieved to be back where they’re meant to be.

But this world has changed while the hero was gone. The adventures they went on were decades, maybe centuries ago–legend but intangible–and so while it might be home it’s not the same.

And I wonder if the hero might take it upon themselves to “fix” that.

But they’re playing with an out of date rulebook, the things that were considered evil back then are now better understood or considered okay now. Or maybe when they were the hero, the evil they fought was a monarch and to see that the same royal family still rules is an injustice that needs to be rectified–not knowing that this current ruler is good and kind, etc, thinking the rumors are just propaganda.

It’s very much in line with the “die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Oh no. I just had an idea. I am worried and horrifically pleased by it: Given the premise of The Many Gardens of Shikabane-hime, and my own outside POV series based on it, I might sort of now want to do a “Shikako appears and wrecks Danzo’s shit and is thus the villain”

(Uh… maybe later? I’ll put it on my to do list)

But I digress.

I think the only thing holding me back from a full yes is that, similar to the problem of the For Better For Worse / Desperate Endeavors mash up, there has to be enough of a prologue for the hero’s actions to seem… heroic and not just self-righteousness and habit.

I mean, this is why it would work in fanfiction. Just take a character who is unquestionably on the good side and then throw them into a situation where they might not be. Digressing again–speaking of fanfiction, I did write this Hail To The Queen which isn’t quite “Shikako turns out to be the villain” but could very well be the beginning of such a story.

… Actually probably the main issue is that in order to have this sort of reveal, I’d have to commit to a story long enough to get near enough to the end for that twist to make sense. Curse my attention and commitment issues! 😡

Sorry I couldn’t do more for this ask, eruditeempress.


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Hello! I’m prompting for DoS!Canon. The score is Ludovico Einauldi’s Primavera. The other score is the 23 minute Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack. Thank you! Hope you have fun writing this!

So given these two songs/soundtracks are very, hm, traditionally instrumental (and, also, the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of Hikaru no Go fic lately), I’m getting a distinctly Tobirama Senju’s ghost–whether literally or figuratively–through Shikako’s life?

And also, you mentioned in our messages the idea of arch-nemesis soulmarks and how, in DoS, Shikako’s arch-nemesis would be Danzo and I kind of…

Let me try to articulate this properly.

The idea of legacies and rivals that aren’t necessarily pre-determined by fate, but marked by fate. So there’s the grander “Will of Fire” being an actual, physical mark on someone–an intangible optimism and determination passed from Hashirama to Hiruzen to Naruto–versus the more intimate mark of Dan on Tsunade to make the Medic Corps, to train Shizune, and be the kind of Hokage that he might have been.

But it’s not always what people expect.

For example, Danzo had Tobirama’s mark and thought that meant he would be Sandaime–literal inheritor/successor of the Nidaime–which is what drove is megalomaniacal desperation for the hat. Maybe instead it was supposed to be Danzo supporting Hiruzen the same way Tobirama supported his brother (the way Hiruzen actually though was happening), or maybe it was his destruction of the Uchiha clan (which a younger, more war-minded Tobirama had wanted once upon a time).

So the possibility that someone else might have the same mark isn’t necessarily a bad thing–after all, people have different goals in life perhaps different goals went to different inheritors–but it’s not very common and much less so a legacy mark from someone who died long before you were born.

Shikako having Tobirama Senju’s legacy mark is, of course, very unusual. And yet. Consider what she’s done so far: she’s a fuinjutsu master in the making, a community leader of sorts, she wields his legendary sword, she’s brokered peace with the Uchiha (sort of, in the sense that she’s prevented Sasuke from defecting) and is slated to rebuild the KMP, she’ll definitely support the next few Hokages in a way that Tobirama would have wanted (the way Danzo should have), so it’s not completely out of left field.

Obviously most everything else is the same except some people have legacy marks connecting them to people who have passed away. For example, most clan heirs are born with the mark of their clan just because that’s how it works–a continuation of the clan leadership all through the generations (which helps in the rare occasions when clan heads don’t have children because then the elders can just look for the child with the clan symbol on it and know that they’re going to be the next clan head). But not all legacy marks are there from birth: some people probably have multiple legacy marks and it’s not unusual for them to develop more as they grow.

I don’t know how the clash should go.

Danzo doesn’t immediately see her as a threat, but there must be a point where he starts to.

Unless the marks are hidden? I mean, I don’t think there’s any actual taboo surrounding legacy marks (why would there be? it’s not something private, necessarily, nor is it something to be ashamed of) but tactically it might be dangerous to so outrightly have certain legacy marks–killing the person with the Will of Fire mark would pretty easily cut the ideal line of Hokage succession.

And anyway, I enjoy the idea that Tobirama’s legacy mark is very understated. Like… given that Tobirama’s fanon summons are snow leopards, maybe it’s a few leopard spot on the forehead. It kind of just looks like bruises, really, easily hidden by bangs or headbands or BANDAGES (-_-).

So maybe it’s just that unless it’s something very obvious or very personal, people don’t necessarily know who the legacy marks are from. And unless the mark is very obviously a a symbol or a picture or a word maybe no one even knows it is a legacy mark.

Danzo knows what his is, of course, Tobirama was his sensei. But as far as Shikako and her family are concerned she just has an awkwardly placed birthmark. It’s hard to report legacy marks if they’re so ambiguous, so Danzo just doesn’t hear about the Jounin Commander’s daughter also having Tobirama Senju’s legacy mark. (And probably Danzo has been hiding his for so long that no one except people of an age with him remember what it looks like anyway).

And maybe there’s a hint of self-fulfilling prophecy in this as well.

People can share legacy marks without any conflicts–but it’s not until one party MAKES it a rivalry that it becomes one. Maybe fate decided that Danzo wasn’t properly fulfilling Tobirama’s legacy (or only fulfilling the most twisted versions of it) and so it gave Shikako the same legacy mark to correct that. If Danzo had just done it properly, there would be no need for that. Or if he had bowed out and accepted that he was already fulfilling it, then there would be no clash.

Sorry, I’m not sure if I’m conveying the idea fully or if I’m just going around in circles.

So, well, except for a few weird birthmarks on her forehead, Shikako’s life in this strange world would pretty much be the same as canon DoS. Her legacy mark wouldn’t become relevant until Danzo makes it so and given we haven’t yet seen a in person Shikako vs Danzo interaction (only his Big Brother-esque monitoring of her research on the Uchiha post-Tsukuyomi and, of course, his attempted kidnapping after the Land of Hot Springs) it could still be easily slotted into a canon plotline.

There’s just something about the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack in particular that makes me think it would be a good battle not between different ideologies but rival executions of the same ideology. That one ideology–in this case, Tobirama Senju’s–can be so twisted in one direction but still technically be the same as the original.


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