I'm finally back after a long hiatus due to severe writers' block! Oh, by the way, this is moodink here back with a new pen name. I hope I can write good stories for all of you again! The inspiration for this story is the first chapter of Ryuu no Hanawazurai.

Disclaimer: Naruto is copyright to Masashi Kishimoto! How I wish I could meet you someday Sensei!

My name is Ino Yamanaka and I am the princess of this land. The next in line to the throne and holder of the Constellation Key, one of the Crown Jewels or at least that's what it is on the surface. It is actually one of the Crown Weapons and as the name states, they are weapons created to protect the royal family, my family.

Anyway, since I am done doing a quick introduction of myself, let me just finish up scaling the palace walls. Why? I am sneaking out to greet my fiance who is coming back from patrolling the area around the city.

"Ino-hime!" called out the lady-in-waiting.

"Hurry up, Sakura!" Ino replied as she hopped down on the ground outside the palace walls. "Come on, jump! I'll catch you!"

'I'm supposed to be the one protecting you, not the other way around,' thought Sakura.

"Come on!" Ino beckoned as she hastily walked towards the town, making sure the hood was covering her face.

"Oh! Hime-sama! Sneaking out again?" asked the smiling old man who owned the fruit stand in the marketplace. He was hammering on the sign but seemed to be having trouble keeping his balance.

Ino lifted her hand and the stone on her pendant shined. The wooden crate the man was standing on kept still and the sign he was hammering on fell into place. Ah yes, the power of the crown.

Ever since I was young, a fiance was selected for me, as was the tradition of the royal lineage, to be married to a member of the nobles. My fiance was heir to the Uchiha clan, known for their military power. His father, my future father-in-law, was called the Dark Lion General. His son was a military prodigy. Smart and handsome. I never thought that I would fall in love with him. Sasuke.

"Sasuke!" Ino called out when she caught a glimpse of him.

He had just entered the city gates when he heard her voice. Dark eyes turned just in time to see construction materials about to crush her. It was too fast. There was no time. There was no way he could reach her in time to save her. A shadow moved.


"Hime!" "Ino-sama!" called his subordinates.

When the wall of dust cleared, he saw her and her lady-in-waiting safely a few inches from where she could have been crushed. A man in a hood stood behind them.

'Whoa! That was close!' thought Ino, a sweat dropped.

"Who are you!" "Stay away from the princess!" Swords were drawn as the officers neared them.

"W-wait!" Ino said as she stood up and blocked them from nearing the man who just saved her and Sakura's lives. "No need to draw your swords. This man, I am indebted to this man."

"Well, well, I guess you could say that." The man replied. Lifting his hand to lower his hood. A silver ring on his right ring finger shone.

'Th-that ring!' Ino thought.