The twelfth chapter is a brutal chapter and one that will make some readers uncomfortable. The events that happened in here are similar to the ones at the end of Sand and Blood and involve a systemic beating of a character, but this time it is a main one.
This post has a lot of spoilers, so I recommend reading the chapter first.
A few people mentioned they really hated how Sand and Blood ended in that regard, but I felt that the ending was important just as the scene here is important, both for the character and the world.
The clans are semi-nomadic. Resources are scarce and have to be managed. In addition, every adult contributes to the clan and there is no room for drunkards or thieves. But, what do you do when someone breaks a law? Except for the city clans, almost no clan has large permanent structures. No place for a jail. And every adult is needed for survival, so who watches someone in jail to make sure they don't escape?
You don't. Which means there are only two ways of dealing with someone who breaks the rules so badly: kill them or get rid of them. Now, neither Chimípu or Desòchu are willing to kill Rutejìmo quite yet. That means they have only one choice, which is kicking him out of the clan for a short while. The events in Raging Alone partially describe the reasons for the severity, but Rutejìmo violated their trust rather badly when he decided to fuck Mikáryo for two days without telling anyone where he was.
So why the beating? Closure.
The legends of the world go back to the sun's (Tachìra) and the moon's (Chobìre) fight over the desert (Mifúno). This has been going on for thousands of years and all of the clans have been dragged into it. A low-level aggression can be hard on the psyche, so there is a social pressure not to hold grudges. This is why Rutejìmo was encouraged to drop his obsession with Mikáryo or the lessons from Obepáryo and Hidòshi tragedy (yay, foreshadowing!).
The beating was giving closure to the clan, a way of saying it is done and to let it go. War is for the other side, not for family and clan. Does it work? Do they let it go? Well, we'll find out (you can find out earlier by hopping on my Patreon).
Now, the sheer amount of abuse. I love my characters but I don't like them. They get the shit beat out of them somewhat regularly. In this regard, I'm not writing a story about someone having a good day, I'm writing about the lowest point in Rutejìmo's life and how it becomes one of his greatest. It isn't getting resolved in a chapter or two, this became the second major arc of this novel: the decisions Rutejìmo make and how he struggles with the consequences.
Rutejìmo is probably one of the worst when it comes to torturing my main characters. Hopefully, it makes sense why they were so severe against him, they are in semi-hostile territory and there are only five of them. I'm not writing it just to enjoy the scene; I'm a pacifist and actually I really dislike writing these types, but I thought it was the correct response for the society and culture that he exists inside.
There is a reason how he can survive so much, but that isn't until the next book when it finally gets revealed why. If it helps, please realize that I'm writing an anime-inspired piece. It just happens to be a serious one instead of slapstick.