Shizuka Setsuya has got it bad. First, she can't go to the local ninja academy like she wanted. Second, she has to live at a bath house. And on top of that, she has to marry a cocky ninja with major issues who bought her from her stingy parents. All of this is made worse by a jealous ex-girlfriend named Kiri and an evil demon named Zenku. And it all started with a red ribon.

Author's Note: Okay, so this is one of the newest stories that I am begining to write. I promise on my own life that I will not abandon this story, unless I don't get at least 2 reviews a chapter. Don't rush me either. I am still a student and still have school and homework. Alrighty then, on with the story!

Prologe: One Fine Day In Hanamiji

"Nanami-san! Can you please get your daughter out of the field? We're training!" shouted an annoyed young ninja in training.

It was a cold day in Hanamiji Village. As the colored leaves blew, young girls were blushing in their flowery yukatas and young men trained in the main fields with their sensei. The smell of insence and firewood resounded all through Agatsuma Park as well as the sounds of kicks and punches. Elderly people were tending to their small shops by the road as their grandsons and granddaughters bickered over who gets to take Ojii-san to their ninja graduation ceremony.

A woman by the name of Nanami Setsuya was sitting under a dead sakura tree reading "Alice In Wonderland". She was accompanied by her daughter, Shizuka, whom she had let play in the park. The young mother had long, brown hair that blew in the cold wind and a green yukata with gold dragons that complimented her forest green eyes. Her thoughts were lost in her new book from the west and the thought of it snowing in a few days.

Nanami turned her head and fixed her reading glasses. She was sure that it was Kyo, the annoying blonde, who was yelling. That was her son's best friend. And right next to him was Hideki himself. "Hai! Gomen, I can't always keep track of her. Wait...where'd she go?" she asked. "I dunno, I just saw her run off over there." Hideki replied. Nanami got up and raised her hand over her pouting lips. "I'll look for her." one boy offered. "No, it's okay! You really don't have to go to all that trouble, Yayoi-san." Nanami assured, surpised that he even offered at all. "It's fine."

"Kuma-chan! Kuma-chan!" the 6-year-old girl yelled. The small, fragile girl shivered in her light blue yukata and figited with the red ribon in her short hair. Her mother decided to put it in her hair to make her look cute, but Shizuka didn't like it at all. It was too "girly" for her, just like the yukata. But unlike the bow, she had to wear the yukata. Going against her mother's wishes, Shizuka brought her stuffed teddy with her on their outing. While walking to the spot where her mother now was, she lost Kuma-chan and was determined to find him.

"Kuma-chan! Come out! I'm c-cold!" Shizuka stuttered. Lifting her hand to move the branches and leaves out of her way, a cold hand grasped hers. "Nani? Who...who are you? HELP!" She cried. "Shh...I'm here to help you." the person whispered. Shizuka turned around and gave the person a swift punch. Looking up, she saw a tall, pale boy with spikey raven hair and dark eyes. He wore an annoyed look on his face and his eyes were emotionless.

The boy stared down at the obviously scared girl and smirked.

"Well aren't you little miss greatful. You know, your mother is very worried about you. And who's Kuma-chan?" the boy asked.

"I don't know who you are and I am not supposed to talk to strangers!" She huffed.

"Well, I can't help you if I don't know who he is." the boy stated.

"Kuma-chan is my best friend. He's a brown bear with a yellow flower kimono." Shizuka gave in.

"If Kuma-chan is a boy, why is he wearing a kimono?" He wondered.

"Ugh! Cuz Okaa-san says he looks pretty with it on. I said he looks stupid, but she won't listen." She explained, folding her arms.

"Is this him?" the boy asked.

The boy held up a dirty brown bear with a yellow kimono. "Kuma-chan! I was so worried!" Shizuka cried as she hugged the messy bear. The boy gave a little smile, but not big enough for her to see. "Kuma-chan? Yeah I know this ribon is stupid. I can't take it off! No, I don't think so." Shizuka answered her bear. The bear wasn't really talking, but to her he was. She took a long pause and then turned to the young boy.

"Kuma-chan asks if you could take off this red ribon. It's annoying and we don't like it." She asked. The boy turned to her, still emotionless, and untied the red ribon. "Thank you." She blushed. He was very close to her and she could feel his warm hands in her hair. It fell out of her hair and into his hands. "Feh, it's nothing. Lets get going." He answered. The boy put the ribon in his pocket and started walking up the path. Shizuka followed behind.

The wind kept blowing, sending chills down her spine. The older boy blew into his freezing hands. "What's your name?" She asked, suddenly. He didn't turn to look at her, but began to speek. "What's your name?" He retorted. "Shizuka Setsuya." She stated proudly. The wind blew again and they were getting closer to her worried mother by the dead tree.

The little girl ran over to her mother and her brother thanked him. Yayoi turned and began to walk home. The night was coming fast and his training was over with. He turned his head and saw the little girl hugging her mother and her brother leaning against the tree. He smirked and walked on. Then, he felt a silky strip of red in his hand and smiled.

"Shizuka Satsuya, the girl with the red ribon. I'll be sure to remember that."