Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding
|Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding|
|(木ノ葉秘伝 祝言日和, Konoha Hiden: Shūgenbiyori)|
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|Japanese||May 1, 2015 (ISBN 978-4-08-703360-1)|
Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding (木ノ葉秘伝 祝言日和, Konoha Hiden: Shūgenbiyori) is an original story written by Shō Hinata and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It is the fourth book of the Naruto Hiden series.
Something besides the Wedding Invitation (招待状の傍らにて, Jōtaijō no Katawara nite)
Kakashi Hatake, the Hokage, receives an invitation to Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyūga’s wedding. Kakashi has every intention to attend and he wants everyone else who was invited to be able to go as well. However, because Naruto and Hinata’s friends have all risen to positions of importance within Konoha, all have vital and overlapping missions that they must be available for. Although Kakashi can in theory rearrange mission schedules in such a way as to make everyone available on the wedding day, he can’t account for unforeseen circumstances that may prevent individuals from returning in time. He contemplates making the wedding itself a mission so that everyone can be “assigned” to it without problems, but worries that would be an abuse of his authority.
Wedding Presents, Full Throttle! (フルパワー結婚祝い, Furupawā Kekkon Iwai)
Kakashi assigns all the wedding’s attendees a mission that is to be kept secret from Naruto and Hinata: bring a gift. Rock Lee takes the mission seriously, determined to get the best possible gift for Naruto. He runs laps around Konoha until he can think of what to buy. 864 laps later, Lee collapses from exhaustion; the best idea he came up with was a pair of dumbbells, which he doesn’t think would be appropriate. While unconscious, Lee has a dream of Neji Hyūga; Neji starts giving him advice for the wedding present, but only manages to make unclear references to strength and stamina before Lee wakes up.
As Lee lies in the middle of a street, he is greeted by Might Guy. Guy is about to do laps around Konoha until he can think of what to buy for Naruto and Hinata and invites Lee to join him. Lee reports that he’s already done that without success. Guy suggests that Lee try coming up with a gift for Hinata instead, while he thinks of a gift for Naruto. Lee thinks about Hinata’s post-wedding life of childcare and housework. Guy thinks of Naruto’s post-wedding life of home maintenance and carrying groceries. Both simultaneously conclude they should buy dumbbells to prepare Naruto and Hinata for their lives ahead. Neji’s words suddenly make sense to Lee and he embraces Guy in a long, tearful hug.
Later, Kakashi receives complaints about men with large eyebrows crying loudly early in the morning.
Her Everyday Life (彼女の日常, Kanojo no Nichijō)
Tenten performs her morning routine of weapons-throwing practice. Though she’s preoccupied thinking about what present she’ll give to Naruto and Hinata for their wedding, her years of practice allow her to precisely hit all of her targets without even thinking about it. Her immediate impulse had been to give them special kunai from her extensive collection. But during the night she became concerned that such a gift would be; a) expected of her, and b) a bad sign that she is solely interested in weaponry (and not in finding a relationship for herself, like Naruto and Hinata have with each other). Tenten also has very little money (due to spending it all on unique and rare weapons), but she contemplates using what little she has in order to buy a “normal” gift.
Lee comes to see Tenten while she trains. He is wearing a dress and make-up and is lifting dumbbells. Lee explains his and Guy’s earlier reasoning and how, by dressing as a housewife in order to test out their idea, he is convinced that he and Guy made the right choice; he now wants to make sure Tenten isn’t going to get Naruto and Hinata the same gift. Tenten doesn’t understand Lee’s explanation at all, but nevertheless is put at ease by what he says; because of Lee’s gift, she can give kunai like she originally planned, and she won’t need to worry about having the worst present for Naruto and Hinata. She resumes her training, glad that she can continue to be herself.
Meat and Steam (肉と湯けむり, Niku to Yukemuri)
While trying to think what to get for Naruto and Hinata, Shikamaru Nara meets up with Chōji Akimichi and the two have lunch at Yakiniku Q. Chōji reveals that he’s gotten Naruto and Hinata a complimentary meal at a nice restaurant. Shikamaru is impressed by how thoughtful the gift is until Chōji mentions it’s a meal for three and that Chōji intends to accompany them; he’ll get a separate table so as not to be rude. Shikamaru considers giving them money, but decides that would be too thoughtless. He finally settles on getting them a romantic honeymoon trip.
Shikamaru is happy with his decision but will need a woman’s input to help him plan something suitable. While going around Konoha after lunch, they keep an eye out for Ino Yamanaka to get her opinion, but they run into Temari instead. Though Temari is indeed a woman, Shikamaru doesn’t believe she has the right personality to advise him on this. Chōji nevertheless forces him to ask her anyway, but from the way he poses the question Temari believes he is asking her to help plan their own honeymoon. Temari is embarrassed and Shikamaru, not realising the confusion, believes he’s offended her. Chōji excuses himself for reasons of hunger, and Shikamaru tries to do the same, but Temari stops him and agrees to tour the Konoha Hot Springs’ district with him.
Evening descends and Shikamaru and Temari walk around in the soft lighting of the hot springs. Temari remains quiet and strange the whole time, so Shikamaru suggests they go to a shop so the trip isn’t wasted. Temari points out some target-throwing booths where numerous couples are trying to win prizes. Shikamaru ends up winning two small trinkets in his determination to figure out the booths’ scam, which he gives to Temari. Afterwards he takes her to an inn, hoping she can tell him if Hinata would like it. Temari suspects he has other intentions and declines, believing she won’t refuse him if they go inside. Shikamaru puts his hands on her face, worried she’s sick because of how red it is, causing her to run away. He chases after her, desperately needing her (opinion). When she stops he assures her how important she is to him, explaining that he, as a man, can’t evaluate the inn’s services for women.
Temari is confused once again and Shikamaru is confused by her confusion. He repeats that he wants to give Naruto and Hinata a nice honeymoon and, now that he says it, he realises what Temari thought he meant earlier. Temari is put at ease and Shikamaru smiles from the misunderstanding.
One Bowl Full of Soul (魂の一杯, Tamashī no Ippai)
Teuchi reflects on how good business has been at Ichiraku Ramen recently and how the naruto topping has seen a reversal in popularity: once it was the least popular, easily eclipsed by seaweed; now seaweed, though still popular, is second to naruto. In fact, Teuchi cannot prepare enough naruto to meet demand. The reason for this is because of Naruto Uzumaki’s importance to Konoha, with standard customers craving naruto whenever there is news of Naruto and with shinobi hoping that eating at Ichiraku Ramen will bring them the same success on their next mission as Naruto has always had on his.
Teuchi has been serving Naruto since he was a boy, back when most of the village hated and despised him. Teuchi didn’t care what the rest of the village thought of Naruto; Naruto loved ramen and Teuchi loved preparing it for him. Since ramen has been the extent of their relationship all these years, Teuchi is surprised to be invited to Naruto’s wedding. He decides nothing else would be appropriate to give to Naruto other than free ramen for a year. Teuchi then realises how much ramen Naruto can eat and starts decreasing the duration of the offer, but every span of time he considers leaves him with visions of Ichiraku Ramen going bankrupt and his daughter being put out on the street. He also has visions of Naruto’s smiling face whenever he finishes a bowl of ramen. Teuchi settles on giving Naruto free and unlimited naruto for the rest of his life.
The Relationship Between Them (ふたりの関係, Futari no Kankei)
Sakura Haruno is determined to give Naruto and Hinata the best, most one-of-a-kind present out of all the invited guests, a challenge that’s becoming increasingly difficult: Yamato plans to use his Wood Release to make them furniture (or a house) and Sai has painted something with so much passion that it flew away. While browsing a store she finds a unique picture frame that she feels is perfect for the newly-weds. She reaches for it and is met by Ino Yamanaka’s hand doing the same. Sakura uses her superhuman strength to pull the picture frame from Ino’s hand, to which Ino responds by claiming the picture frame is ugly and a terrible gift. The two get into an argument so heated that they are thrown out of the store, neither of them able to purchase the picture frame.
Ino blames Sakura for what’s happened, insisting Sakura’s unnatural strength and large forehead make her uncouth and, more particularly, unlikely to ever be married. Sakura is deeply insulted by the latter accusation and challenges Ino to a cooking competition to prove that she would make a good wife. They settle on Military Rations Pills; Sakura puts pudding, Ino’s favourite dessert, into hers so that Ino will have no choice but to approve of her recipe. When she meets Ino the next day, however, she finds that Ino wants to use Chōji Akimichi as an impartial judge. Chōji samples each of their soldier pills and finds them so delicious that he starts putting them into his mouth by the handful. He soon collapses to the ground with blood running from his nose.
Sakura suspects Ino put poison in her soldier pills, intending for Sakura to try one and fall deathly ill. Ino suspects the same of Sakura. In order to save Chōji they must identify the poison as soon as they can: each samples the other’s soldier pills so that they can identify what type of poison it is. Neither can taste poison, but they do taste their favourite desserts, Ino loving the pudding in Sakura’s and Sakura loving the anmitsu in Ino’s. Chōji gets up soon afterwards, having finally recovered from his blood sugar overload, and he praises both of their soldier pills. Sakura and Ino reflect on their like-mindedness and how their competitions always push each other to be better. They therefore decide to go shopping together, helping each other find a gift even better than a picture frame.
The Legendary Teacher (伝説の教師, Densetsu no Kyōshi)
Shortly after he received his invitation to the wedding, Iruka Umino was approached at the Academy by Naruto, who asked if Iruka would attend as his father. Iruka happily agreed at the time and, as soon as Naruto left, was overwhelmed with emotion, something that now reoccurs every time he sees naruto listed on the menu at Ichiraku Ramen. Iruka can’t help but feel indebted to Naruto, whose presence first in his classroom and now in his life pulled him out of the self-pity he experienced following his parents’ deaths and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching; were it not for Naruto, Iruka worries he would have turned out like Mizuki.
Iruka buys a wedding gift before stopping by Ichiraku Ramen, where he smiles at the realisation that he won’t get to have dinner with Naruto as often because Hinata will now be cooking for him. When he gets home, he looks at the disarray and disrepair he lives in and resolves to find a life partner just like Naruto has.
The Final Mission, beginning (最後の任務 前編, Saigo no Ninmu, zenpen)
Shino Aburame uses his kikaichū to observe the rest of Naruto and Hinata’s circle of friends. He informs Kiba Inuzuka and Akamaru that everyone is consulting each other about what gifts to get, and that maybe they should do the same. Shino and Kiba view the upcoming wedding as the final mission for Team 8, as both of them are increasingly busy leading their own teams and Hinata is going to start having other non-shinobi responsibilities. As such, they want their present to come only from them and be representative of how uniquely well they know Hinata. But when they can only think to get some of Hinata’s favourite soup, they finally accept the fact that they’ll need help.
Shino and Kiba visit their former teacher, Kurenai Sarutobi. Despite how often they visit, Kurenai’s daughter, Mirai, is still confused about their names. Kurenai is happy to help them pick a wedding present for Hinata, but suggests that Hinata’s sister, Hanabi, would be a better person to ask. They use the excuse that they don’t know Hanabi well enough. (In truth, Kiba is still hurt that he wasn’t part of the team sent to rescue Hanabi during the crashing of the moon; Shino doesn’t mind that he wasn’t selected, and, in fact, believes they were more useful remaining in Konoha helping save people from the falling meteorites.) Kurenai suggests honey wine, a drink with various nutritional and restorative qualities once given by the Senju clan as a wedding present. Shino and Kiba like the idea and leave to find some. Before they go, Kurenai — a heavy drinker before Mirai was born — quietly asks Shino to buy some honey wine for her, too.
Honey wine is very rare, and is not sold in Konoha at all. The only place they might find it is in Sora-ku, a major source of black market goods. As they make their way there, Shino ruminates on the fact that Mirai called him “uncle” and wonders if that means he’s gotten old. Kiba assures him that he’s still young and good looking, nearly as good looking as Akamaru. Shino has difficulty taking this as the compliment Kiba means it to be.
The Final Mission, end (最後の任務 後編, Saigo no Ninmu, kōhen)
On arrival, Shino, Kiba, and Akamaru enter Sora-ku. They are unsettled by how large and desolate the city is; though Kiba is able to smell people, they worry that even with their tracking skills they’ll have trouble finding anyone. They are met by Momo, a ninneko, who Kiba tries to politely ask for guidance. When Momo insults how Kiba smells like a dog, Kiba attacks and is quickly defeated by Momo’s fleas. Changing tactics, Kiba tries bribing Momo with food. Momo enjoys the food more than he expected and, not wanting to actually be helpful, tries running away. They give chase and quickly run into Tamaki, who Kiba is awestruck by. Tamaki apologises for Momo’s behaviour and escorts them to the supplier of honey wine, an individual known locally only as the beekeeper.
Kiba is very engaging with Tamaki as they walk, telling her that he’s next in line to become Hokage. Shino and Akamaru are bothered by his behaviour; Shino observes that, since Kurenai has her daughter, Hinata has Naruto, and Kiba apparently now has Tamaki, Shino and Akamaru are the only ones left for each other. Tamaki leads them to a shrine where visitors typically leave offerings and then pick up the honey wine that is left for them the following day. Kiba and Shino do not want to wait so they enter the beekeeper’s domain beyond the shrine: a bamboo grove filled with fog. As they search, Shino and Akamaru tease Kiba about Tamaki. Kiba ignores them, instead marking their way through the bamboo with kunai so that they won’t get lost.
Despite Kiba’s precaution, they soon find they’re going in circles. They suspect it’s a genjutsu, but normal methods of dispelling it have no effect. What’s more, Akamaru is suddenly missing, and Shino loses Kiba when he runs off to find him. Shino tries to find his way out using his kikaichū, but even they cannot navigate through the fog. Shino’s only hope is to draw out the beekeeper: he attacks the beekeeper’s bees and allows himself to be stung. He then leaves an insect clone so that it will appear he’s been paralysed and confronts the beekeeper when they come to check on him. The beekeepers assures Shino that Kiba and Akamaru are unharmed and gives him two bottles of honey wine. The beekeeper warns Shino that none of them will be able to leave the bamboo grove, as the barrier set up to ward off the beekeeper’s pursuers renders those caught in the fog – the beekeeper included – perpetually lost.
Shino is briefly unnerved by the situation, the fog reminding him of how aimless he’s felt for such a long time and how cut off from everyone he’s always been. He then remembers his purpose for being here: Hinata’s wedding and his need to attend. That resolution enables him to see through the fog to the exit. Shino explains to the beekeeper that the fog does not make people lost, but rather that, like the Falls of Truth, the fog exacerbates their feelings in order to help them find their way. The beekeeper finds this poignant and notes that Shino has the makings of a teacher; the beekeeper tries to use Shino’s words to find the exit too, but cannot. Shino waits outside the grove’s entrance until Kiba and Akamaru find their own way out. They start heading back to Konoha and, when they look back at the bamboo, they see the fog has disappeared, indicating to Shino that the beekeeper was finally able to escape.
As they leave Sora-ku, Kiba complains that he didn’t get to help acquire the honey wine and that only Akamaru knows what he went through in the fog. For not the first time, Shino notes that Kiba, his best friend, is in many ways like a child. This fact, his ability to help the beekeeper, and the beekeeper’s own words that he’d be a good teacher make Shino smile at the realisation that his life isn’t as aimless as it once seemed.
The Perfect Day for a Wedding (祝言日和, Shūgenbiyori)
On the day of the wedding, guests start arriving at the ceremony to be held under the Hokage Rock: Kakashi greets foreign dignitaries like the Fifth Kazekage and Killer B; Yamato, having previously promised Kakashi that he’d help with preparations, ends up doing most of the actual work, which Tsunade occasionally offers advice on; Tenten instructs Lee and Guy about how they should behave at weddings; Shikamaru and Temari happily discuss work; Chōji plans out how he’ll consume all the food; Ino and Sai hold hands; Kiba questions Kurenai about the Senju clan so that he can later appear knowledgeable regarding honey wine; Mirai rides Akamaru while Shino watches; Teuchi uses his daughter to attract business for Ichiraku Ramen; Iruka becomes emotional as soon as he arrives; Sakura, though alone, happily thinks about Sasuke Uchiha travelling somewhere.
Just before the ceremony is to begin, Hinata looking up at the clear sky, thinks of her cousin Neji. She then looks over at Naruto, who himself is also looking up towards the sky, but at his father’s face on the Hokage Rock. Feeling overjoyed to finally be marrying him, she becomes a bit flustered when Naruto meets her gaze and gives her an embarrassed smile; his once serious deposition turning into one of an innocent, young boy. With the ceremony about to begin, Hinata takes Naruto’s arm and holds on tightly as her father and sister approach them.
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