Chapter 1: The Gift
Sunshine lit the whole place. The humming of the birds could be heard everywhere. Butterflies swarmed around the gardens. The so-called ordinary people had already started their work. Women happily chatted with each other as they washed their clothes in a nearby river, not wanting to miss the latest gossips. Men were already sweaty because of the heat of the sun and as they carried big chunks of wood. Children were off to school, busy with their books and lectures.
Indeed, it was another fine morning in Konoha village.
But not in the Uchiha palace...
The royal family's council gathered in a big room. Everyone seemed tensed. It was now three days before the Prince's birthday but still, they haven't got the slightest idea of what would be the perfect gift for the perfect Prince Sasuke.
"What should we do now?" asked a fat man with three, big gold rings in his right, chunky fingers.
"I cannot think of anything that would please the young Prince." said another member. "His majesty has everything. He has golds, precious stones, elegant clothes, servants.. What could possibly please Prince Sasuke?"
"Just think of what the great Prince Itachi will do to us if we still haven't got the present that would please Prince Sasuke tomorrow!" another middle-aged man said in horror.
"Chujo is right. Prince Itachi shall punish us if that happens. What should we do now? We must act as quickly as possible!" said a black-haired man while looking at an old man who seemed the leader of the council.
"I know." answered the old leader. "But this was the best idea that I have thought. I have sent my men in the whole village to search for something that they think would interest the Prince."
"Perhaps that was a good idea.." said the raven-haired member. "For now.."
Sasuke knelt in front of his older brother, the great Prince Itachi as a sign of respect. Deep inside of him, he really hated his brother. He despised dining with him or even kneeling in front of him. But that was what must be done. Whether he liked it or not, he must comply.
"You were asking for my presence?" said the younger Uchiha Prince, his head lowered.
"Indeed I am." answered the Uchiha heir. "You're birthday is fast approaching. Now tell me, what do you want?"
Sasuke raised his head. Even though it was rather rude, he looked at his brother's raven orbs.
"I have already told you that I shall want nothing for my birthday." Sasuke answered.
"Nothing is impossible to me, young one. I can give you everything your heart desires." Itachi pushed. "There must be something that you would like to have."
"Pardon my rudeness but.." Sasuke stood up, still looking at his brother. "I have already told you my answer. There is nothing that I shall want. Excuse me but I shall leave now to attend my next class." Sasuke then took his leave without waiting for his brother to dismiss him.
And there was the normal people, the term used by the royal family to such low class people of the Hidden Leaf Village.
A certain pink-haired girl wiped the sweat on her forehead with the back of her palm. She had been working in the farm for quite a long time now, planting rice stalks.
A girl of her age, which was around seventeen, mustn't be working in a field rather she must be in a school right now, just like other children. She had wished to attend school but poverty caused that dream to slowly fade away. However, she became a smart girl for in her spare time, she busied herself by reading books which she had collected from the other children's trash.
The girl sat on a bench under a tree. She wiped the mud that covered half of her porcelain legs. A blonde girl, who was the girl's best friend and was also working in the same field, joined her.
"Lovely day isn't it, Sakura?" said her blonde friend.
"Yes. Another happy morning for us to work in this field." The pink-haired girl sarcastically answered. She caught sight of two children who, she assumed, were heading to their school because of the bag and books they carried with them. Jealousy struck her heart. Her face saddened.
"I know how you feel, Sakura." Her friend said with much concern in her tone. "But we were born like this. We were born peasants. There is nothing we could do but to work for the sake of our family."
"I hope I could go to school someday, Ino." Sakura replied.
Silence prevailed between the two of them.
"The Prince's birthday is fast approaching. I wonder who the visitors will be.." Ino said, breaking the silence.
Prince Sasuke. How the peasant, Haruno Sakura, loathe him! Although handsome, she finds him arrogant, haughty and the likes. If only she was given a chance to speak out her deepest emotions, she would tell him that he does not have the rights to insult people like her-- the low class, normal people, as the people in the palace call them. She believed that everyone are equal regardless of their sex, race, color, status in life, sizes of their house.. Normal people like them should also be treated with respect, no more no less.
"That Sasuke.." She said, her tone full of disgust. "Just because his family rules the whole country of fire doesn't mean he has the rights to insult us!"
"Calm down now, my friend." said Yamanaka Ino. "As I was saying--"
"Ino, look!" Sakura cut her while pointing her finger to some soldiers from the royal court who were heading their way.
Fear swallowed the blonde girl. Her heart beat faster and faster as the soldiers came closer and closer.
'What could they possibly want here?' Sakura thought. Soldiers from the royal court does not usually come at fields. The field she was working at is owned by an old widow. It is not a property of the Uchiha family so what could have brought them there?
"You there, peasant. Get up and you shall come with us." said the leader of the soldiers refering to Sakura.
"For what reason?" Sakura angrily asked.
"Just do as I say."
"NO!" she retorted.
The leader signaled his men to capture the poor girl. Since Sakura was a stubborn one, they had a hard time tying her wrists together so they had to make her faint in order to bring her to the palace.
"What are you going to do to Sakura?" Ino asked the leader with great fear.
"You do not have the rights to question me, peasant. She is now a property of Prince Sasuke."
'Property?' Ino thought. 'Does he mean he will present my friend to the Prince as a gift?'
Ino stood up from the bench and tried to pull her friend from the soldiers but she was unsuccessful. A hit on her belly caused her to faint.
The soldiers then left, bringing Sakura with them.
The celebration of the young Prince's seventeenth birthday had already started. Leaders from different countries attended the big banquet. With them were exquisite gifts of gold, crystals, rings and robes. Still, none of those pleased Prince Sasuke.
Sasuke sighed deeply while he sat on his throne. His chin was resting on his palm. He looked so bored and nothing in that banquet pleased him. He wished he could just stay away from there. He wished to experience a day with those ordinary people. To escape the monotonous palace and taste adventure outside. How he wished..
"Pardon us, your majesty, for being late." Sasuke heard the voice of the council's leader. "I am here to present you our gift."
Sasuke sighed and looked into his right side, avoiding the old man. He doesn't look interested. Then he heard a voice of a girl. A screaming girl.
'Oh no, not another slave.' He told himself in horror.
A soldier came, holding a thick rope in his big hands. The rope tied the wrists of the noisy pink-haired girl together. The girl was wearing a fine silk robe. It looked beautiful on her.
"Let go of me! I swear I'm going to kill if I ever get out of here!" The girl angrily told the soldier while pulling her wrists from the rope, but to no avail. She then turned her head to Sasuke who was sitting on his throne. "And you there, you filthy Sasuke! Just because I am like this doesn't mean you shouldn't treat me nicely! No matter what happens I shall never bow down in front of you!"
The crowd fell silent.
That caught Sasuke's attention. No one has ever dared speak to him like that. That girl was really disrespectful. He turned his head to look at the girl who dared insult him. He glared at her.
"Y-Your majesty.. I.. I am truly sorry! I shall order the soldiers to take the girl out of the palace and--" The old leader tried to tell the angry Prince.
Sasuke stood up and approached the pink-haired girl.
"No." Sasuke cut the old man.
He took her chin and looked at her for some seconds. The girl fell silent. Her heart beat faster. She was nervous.
'Such beautiful emerald orbs,' Sasuke mused.
He let go of her and sat back in his throne.
"Take her to my room." The Prince continued.
I don't know if this fic will be pure GaaSaku or SasuSaku or SasuSakuGaa. Review please!