It was the only dead tree in those parts. It stood on top of what is now known as Hokage Mountain but it's been there way before the faces were carved on the mountain's stone, way before Konohagakure no Sato was built upon the mountain's foot. The tree's dry and leafless boughs still spread out from it's solid trunk. But slowly, little by little, the once mighty tree was crumbling down. Towering like it's other companions, it was still grand and beautiful even in death.
The tree's death started several years ago, on a stormy day, not that long in the reckoning of trees. See, unlike other living things, a tree does not die instantly. It dies leaf by leaf, root by root, ever so slowly. A tree this old had gone through thousands of stormy days. It was the same story everytime: dark skies, strong winds, rain that seemed to never end, thunder, lightning.
On that particular stormy day, if one will look closely, upon the top of this towering tree that stood on top of Hokage Mounta