Spoiler Alert: This story takes place after episode 135, so it might contain some small spoilers if you haven't seen up to that point.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. I only own this story and Kurohana Emi.
The Festival of Roses
Chapter 1: The Announcement
A hush fell over the crowd. Tsunade, the medical specialist and slug tamer of the Legendary Sannin, was about to speak. It has been several months since Orochimaru's attack on Konohagakure, the death of Sandaime Hokage, and the subsequent appointment of Tsunade as Godaime Hokage. Currently, village morale has been low, and the recent defection of Uchiha Sasuke to Orochimaru and the failed mission to retrieve him was not helping matters.
Tsunade stood atop of the Hokage's office, dressed, for a change, in her red and white Hokage robes instead of her usual green robe that has the word "gamble" on the back. Her blonde hair was pulled back and split into two ponytails, and the blue diamond-shaped seal on her forehead, where she stores her chakra for her Souzou Saisei (Genesis Regeneration) technique, accentuated her brown eyes. Even though she's fifty years old, she uses the Henge no Jutsu (Transformation Technique) to make her appearance that of a twenty-year-old.
Her assistant, Shizune, was off to the side, holding Tsunade's pet pig, Tonton. Truth be told, it was her idea that was being presented, but she was the kind of person who wouldn't tell you that. Also on the rooftop was Jiraiya, Toad Hermit of the Legendary Sannin. He had been asked to help out with the demonstration, but he was unsure as to what his job would entail.
"People of Konohagakure," the Hokage started, "I am pleased to announce that one week from tonight, there will be a festival held within our hidden village, The Festival of Roses!" A low murmur of excitement could be heard throughout the crowd, but Tsunade wasn't finished, so she held up a hand to silence them. "However, this festival has a twist to it. Tomorrow, each female in the village will be given a tag with her name on it. If she can successfully place that tag on a member of the opposite sex, that male will be obligated to escort her to the festival."
This news received a mixed reaction. The girls were excited at the chance to "capture" a date for the event, while the same thought was making the boys squirm. Then, before he could argue, Tsunade pulled out a tag with her name on it and smacked it on Jiraiya's arm. The tag immediately burst into flame, leaving the name of Tsunade glowing in bright red characters where the tag had once been.
"As you can see, the tagging is instantaneous, and the marks go all the way to the skin, so don't think that you can get out of it by just changing clothes. Also, the marks will not disappear until after the festival, so be careful, girls, because the obligation goes both ways. Shizune, if you will."
With that, the assistant pulled out a tag of her own and placed it on Jiraiya's other arm. But, instead of bursting into flames like Tsunade's, the tag just fell to the ground.
"The tag reacts to the Y chromosome, so the tag will only work on a male. Once a man has been tagged, the mark will suppress any other tag's ability to read his Y chromosome, thus repelling any other attempts to tag him, so only the first girl to tag will win the guy. That being said, you will receive your tags tomorrow morning, so happy hunting!"
Within the crowd, there was a group of shinobi who were not citizens of Konohagakure. These were the sand siblings from Sunagakure, Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari. They had been about to leave for their own village after escorting Shikamaru's team back to the hidden leaf village when the announcement had been made.
"Well, this is interesting," Temari stated. "A chance for us kunoichi to show off our talents." She was wearing a blue kimono with black zoris, and a pink sash tied in a bow behind her back held her giant fan in place. Her blonde hair was tied up in four bunches, and her Sand forehead protector was around her neck.
"Speak for yourself," Gaara said. "I have no intention of being anywhere near this place when all this starts." He wore a maroon overcoat with black pants and zoris, with a white sash and a brown leather harness around his chest to help support the weight of his sand-filled gourd. "I'm heading back to Sunagakure."
"Spoilsport. What about you Kankuro? You up for some fun?"
"Sorry, Temari," the puppeteer ninja replied, "but I'm with Gaara on this one." Kankuro was dressed entirely in black, from his zoris to his hood. His two puppets, Karasu and Kuroari, were wrapped in bandages and slung over his shoulder. His red and yellow crest was displayed prominently on his chest. "A bunch of girls fighting over a date to a festival doesn't sound like my idea of fun. You can stay if you want. You thinking of anyone in particular?"
"Oh, I've got my eye on a certain deer I want to stalk."
Also within the crowd was a young woman in a slim black unitard. Her black hair was tied up in a bun, and her purple eyes held a glint of mischief in them as she put on a Leaf forehead protector.
"So, Konohagakure is holding a festival, eh? This should be fun. No man could ever stand a chance against the wiles of Kurohana Emi..."
LazerWulf: So what do you think? The festival is basically a Sadie Hawkins type set-up, with a ninja twist. Instead of just asking the guy, the girls have to capture them (though asking would probably work, too). I have all the pairings set up, but they will be revealed as the story goes on. (There were two in this chapter... did you catch them?)
Also, we got our first peek at my newest OC, Kurohana Emi. Kurohana, of course, means Black Flower, and Emi means 'blessed with beauty'. Emi is also my first shot at writing an OC villain. How will she be terrorizing the men of the Leaf Village? You'll just have to wait and see!
Until next chapter, please review!