Thank you so much to all of you that participated in this contest. It was absolutely amazing to read all of your stories and see all of your artwork. There are many talented people here and I’m so glad you all shared your skill!
Without further ado, these are the winners:
Makii and BakaSparkky
1. Aruka T
3. ToG - Kurama
Nags and JustABoy
Finally, I wanted to sharemy own personal feelings for each winning contestant. Please note that this was my own opinion and I really wanted to share my thoughts with you guys. Unofficial and off the books!
HyuugaHara – Your artwork was very cute, emulated the Kishimoto style of art very well while also putting your own personal flair on it. Color and shadow work really made the piece jump off the page. Thank you so much for sharing your talent.
BunnYi – This is a very unique piece of work. Digital art allows for much more avenues of exploration and this particular piece does a very good job of creating paper. The flower on her head, her wings, the stray pieces in the breeze; they all add to the ethereal look of Konan and it’s very cool. The cute Midnight Blade doesn’t hurt either.
Phoenixcwan – Moving from digital, we have a more traditional pen and paper art and you pull it off masterfully. There was a severe amount of hard work put into her wings. They’re not just repeating rectangles, but actually seem very close to the real deal. Your shading is also very well done and adds to the depth of the piece. If there could be one thing I could suggest, it would be to accentuate the shadows and lighten up the lights. If that makes any sense.
Makiii – This is quite possibly my personal favorite among all of the pieces. Your Konan is extremely cute and the choice decision to color in the bare minimum adds to the aesthetic of the piece. This Konan looks so happy, it’s hard to believe that it’s the same canon Konan, and that’s a good thing.
BakaSparkky – This was very well drawn. It emulates Kishimoto’s style of art very well and it is very reminiscent of Konan’s fight with Tobi. The shading is very well done and the rain background adds to the weight of the piece. The one “problem” I have with the fic is that Konan’s face in particular borrows from the Naruto manga directly (Ch. 509, Pg 14). However, it is only a closeup of her face and the rest of the piece is completely original.
Aruka T – This story was amazing. It’s entirely chilling and showcases just how ruthless Konan can be in order to uphold Nagato’s rule over Ame. This is the only piece that combines both the prompts together, showcasing both the 5 mains as well as Konan’s Angel of God status and it’s masterfully done. Your willingness to cut down characters (mains at that!) and therefore Konan’s willingness goes a long way to explain her character. Show, not tell. I also very much enjoyed the reimagining of each main into new, more fitting roles. Absolutely amazing.
CrimsonFvckr – I’ve seen your work around on this forum and I’ve gotten very comfortable with your writing style. This story was no different and is very well written. Considering this place after the destruction of Konoha, the reaction of some of the mains are very realistic story. If anything, I’m surprised she was so easily forgiven. My favorite part of this story is probably Midnight. His unwillingness to forgive her so easily is very fitting and contrasts well against the other mains, who are spread across the rest of the spectrum.
ToG-Kurama – This was a very unique take on the prompt. Placing all five of the mains as Root defects is a very interesting plot point and their short scuffle with Konan did a good job of showcasing each main’s personality and unique abilities. Inviting the five of them to Akatsuki was a novel decision and very, very interesting. I would very much like to see a continuation.
Nags – This piece was far shorter than the rest, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. Your piece was short and sweet and succinctly told Konan’s (and Akatsuki’s) rise as well as her role into the “Angel of god.” The ending decision of having her survive and travel the ninja world to spread her moniker is very cool and is bittersweet, considering her ending in canon.
JustABoy – This story is extremely short and you attempted to explore all 3 prompts, which was a brave decision. The amount of entries in this contest guaranteed your placement but answering all 3 prompts in the span of most other entry’s single post creates a very limited story. It is more a summary, if anything. You seem to have nice ideas. Next time, I would love to see a much more fleshed out and involved.
Again, thank you so much for participating in these contests. Those of you who won, we will be sending you your gifts in the following few days. Please PM me with your UID, Server Number, and Character name so we know who exactly to send it to!
Those of you who did not win, please be sure to participate next time. Your works were still all very beautiful.
1st place: Aruka T
"The midnight sun, pale in the dark sky, was a welcome sight to the people of the Hidden Rain Village. For once, it seemed that the constant rain that their home was named after would stop, even if for a moment.
Sensing an opportunity, five individuals slipped into the village, some slipping in from the darkest shadows of the village, some from the cold waters out in the bay, and one particular individual carrying a heavy bamboo pole, delicately balancing two buckets of fish.
After all, the life of a spy was never particularly clean to begin with.
High above them all, standing upon the tip of the highest tower in Ame, a lone woman enjoyed the ocean breeze, through half her body stalked the individuals from the nooks and crannies of the village. She was the Angel of a God, and the Shepherd who watched his flock.
"Wolves." Konan muttered as she called back three quarters of her bottom half, becoming almost whole once more.
It was time to hunt.
Blaze, as his lord and master Danzo called him, was a seasoned Root operative who had seen it all. Yet the village of Ame, despite a quiet hum of nightlife, felt off. He had been dressed lightly, with a poncho and loose fitting clothes that made movement quick, through the air itself seemed to choke him, making every breath difficult.
He had started off in a isolated market somewhere in the coastal district of Ame, his eyes watching a large, muscular man set down pail after pail of fish, a wild grin on his face as he spoke with the men who were with him.
Blaze took a bite of the dango that he had purchased on a side stand, the cool yet chewy mixture leaving him craving for more. All around him, stands closed for the night, none of the shopkeepers seemingly wanting to be around him. The only exception it seemed, were the fishmongers before him.
Blaze rose from his rest a moment after he finished the last dango, walking over to the fish stand and examining the fish. Bored, Blaze flicked his finger at the tail of one of the fish, the flesh cold and hard, in contrast to the firm yet lively flesh of the fish he cooked with at home.
Odd, Blaze thought as he kept his eyes down, careful not to attract attention from the fishmongers, Why would anyone be walking around with frozen fish?
A scrap of paper caught his attention a moment later, and only a lifetime of harsh training allowed him to avoid the sudden attack.
Twin twisters of paper had lashed forward, seemingly from above, catching two of the fishmongers unaware, the paper wrapping around the men, and where there were once two men, now hovered two mummies, both floating in the air, neither one struggling.
Blaze reacted as his training kicked in, launching a fierce dragon of flame at the two mummies, through the paper seemed to slip back, and twin screams of agony lit up the cloudless sky.
With a curse, Blaze dodged back, narrowly missing a dozen slices of paper aiming for his jugular, through a flash of pain caught him unaware as the lead fishmonger, a giant twice his size, struck him with a mighty punch to the head, followed by a dozen heavy *s to his torso.
In agony and on his knees, Blaze fell to the ground, his ribs shattered in no less than a dozen places, with his own bones tearing into his flesh. His last sight before the dark claimed him was the sight of a man falling in slow motion to the ground, clutching a severed limb as a sea of blood flowed.
Then the world became black.
Halfway across the city, Midnight, the Blade of Kumo, walked the backwater streets of a slum, his eyes no slower than his brisk pace. He had been sent to the city to eliminate a certain traitor, and he found the cold light of the moon comforting. Thus, all was good in his life.
Except for a certain maggot that still walked the earth.
His tracking skills had brought him to the dark slum where the poor labourers lived in tatty, miserable squats. It was a good place to hide from the past, and the various shadows that lurked from it, a heavy aura of fear ever present in the city.
It was a flash of blue that allowed Midnight to catch his prey, the blue colour not of the ocean, but of a much lighter tone, a shade that very much seemed dyed. As far as he knew, the people of Ame, especially the poor, did not dye their hair.
So he followed. He was silent of course, a good assassin always was.
He began by hiding behind a building, his eyes darting across the remnants of an empty plaza, the stink of rotting food and unwashed bodies invading his nostrils. As far as he could tell, the only new things in the village around him were the tiny scraps of paper attached haphazardly to the walls. Perhaps they were some intricate sealing system, but he wasn’t sure.
He tiptoed forward, leaping into a basket that he hoped to the gods above was dry and clean.
It wasn’t, and rotten tomatoes gunked his boots.
Midnight peeked out of the basket once he heard the world go silent, noting that the girl was gone, without a sound in the wind.
With another curse, Midnight forced himself out of the small prison he had placed himself in, but never reached the ground.
A gust of wind caught Midnight just before he landed, and a tempest of paper consumed him, choked him, and raised him up.
Midnight screamed into the paper, but his voice had been muffled.
For a brief moment, Midnight hung quietly in the sky.
Then the paper let go, and the assassin from Kumo fell to his death, crashing into the heavy stone below.
Just before he expired, Midnight saw his quarry again, her eyes wide, and her neck bent at an impossible angle.
It was at the crack of dawn when Konan found her final target leaving a bar with a pair of drunken men at her side. It had been a fairly long wait, as the infiltrator from Iwa had proven fairly useless, and rested some ten feet underwater, along with the rest of his false fishmongers.
Even still, the clouds had returned, and the sun would not shine on the village for another week or so. It was a time for the last of the infiltrators to meet her end.
Konan chose her form carefully, choosing to keep her cloak about, but hiding her other features. The average citizen of Ame would see their angel and run the other direction, but the foolish infiltrator would not.
And so Konan watched as the woman lead the drunken men to their home, where a tired woman, her face lined with age, quickly gave her thanks as she took the two young men in.
Konan took the opportunity to reform herself behind the two, silent as the old woman saw her.
The younger woman saw too, perhaps out of the corner of her eye, and turned around, a knife falling from a hidden sheath in her sleeve.
Konan was faster than her, and in the bl
Slowly, the woman loosened, the blade clattering to the ground as her lifeblood seeped from a wound in her belly. Her blue eyes met Konan’s amber ones, and for a second, both of them knew what was happening. Yet still, she fought against the embrace of the paper angel, but Konan's grip was absolute.
Konan held the woman tight as her eyes turned glassy, her focus fading. She was not without the ability to be gentle.
Konan set the young woman down as she choked out her last breath, closing her empty eyes with a brush of her hand.
“Ensure she is buried. It would be troublesome if a village of the enemy discovered her body.” Konan ordered the terrified elder, already turning into paper and returning to her perch, high above the city.
It was a lovely morning, except for maybe the rain."
2nd place: CrimsonFvckr
"Konan descended upon a clearing in Konoha quite discreetly. For once, did not wear the cloak of the cloud printed Akatsuki. Instead, she wore the old version of what the Akatsuki wore. Back when Yahiko still lived. Konan took a deep breath as she awaited her chaperone. Or rather, chaperones.
Three figures dropped down, all bearing the symbols of Konoha on their person. One had spiky blond hair, one had brown hair and the last had orange hair. The blond rose up and waved at the bluenette.
The former Angel of the Akatsuki smiled and greeted the blond. "Hello, Naruto. It certainly has been a while."
It has been weeks since Nagato had died, since the Pains had failed in their attempt in capturing Naruto for the Kyuubi. Konan had gone back to Ame, promising to never set foot in Konoha...until this day. For a specific reason.
The bruentte smiled and greeted Konan with a nod. "Konan-senpai, looks like you been doing well."
"Yes, Scarlet. I have. I hope that you no longer feel any animosity between us."
Scarlet merely gave her a smile as he pocketed his hands. "I don't feel any hatred for you, senpai. I...sort of understand why you did it. Why you felt the need to invade."
The orangenette nodded. "Yup. No hard feelings, Konan-senpai." A frowned marred the dark-skinned male's lips. "Although, Azure, Breeze and Midnight might find it hard to ease down of your tresspasses."
Konan sighed and merely allowed a frown to spread through her lips. "I suppose that not all can forgive me, Crimson. After all, I've helped in Konoha's destruction and in the death of Jiraiya-sensei."
Naruto nodded solemnly. Before his mood switched with a beaming smile. "Well, enough with the depressing stuff. Shall we?" asked the Uzumaki.
"Very well." said Konan. She smiled and gestured for them to go ahead. "Lead the way, my kouhais."
Three of the many students of Jiraiya nodded. They jumped up, with Konan following suit. The four landed on to a roof, right before they started running. They started jumping from roof to roof, heading into the forests of Konoha.
Konan steeled herself to what she was about to see. In all honesty, she felt that her presence isn't even worthy to be where they were leading her. She didn't deserve to be in HIS presence. Not after what she has done. She just followed Nagato's will, believing he was Kami. It ended with them causing a lot of atrocities, all for the sake of peace through fear.
It was very much foolish of them.
Minutes later, they've arrived at a forest, where in the middle was a shrine for Jiraiya. One Naruto had created himself. And there stood Azure, Breeze and Midnight. The two females grew apprehensive once they've spotted Konan, while Midnight grew cross. The white-haired shinobi unsheathed his sword and pointed it threateningly at the bluenette.
"What is SHE doing here?" growled Midnight. Raiton chakra began to spark around his blade. It was quite obvious he disliked Konan's very presence.
Naruto frowned and went in front of Konan, his arms spread. "Don't be so hasty, Midnight. She's only here to pay her respects to Jiraiya-sensei."
"What respects?" snarkily asked Breeze. "She HELPED kill him, nii-san!"
Crimson frowned and crossed his arms. "Now now, don't be so hasty, Breeze-chan."
Azure drew out her tanto, following Midnight's direction. "We're not being hasty, Crimson-niisan. We're doing what needs to be done, for justice."
"Justice?" asked Scarlet, quite confused. "What are you talking about? There's no justice in killing Konan-senpai!"
"She lost that title when she assisted in killing Jiraiya-sensei!" argued Midnight. "Now step aside you thr-"
Midnight's eyes widened as Naruto was right behind him, a Rasengan just behind his head. Azure bl
However, before anyone could make a move, Konan transformed into her angel form, her paper wings spreading as she ascended up into the air. "ENOUGH!"
Konan let out a barrage of her paper jutsu right into the six Konoha-nins. The papers wrapped around them very tightly, right before they were all separated apart. Konan merely hovered as her wings flapped to keep her in the air, "This is why I was hesitant in coming here. I knew that the animosity between me and you three is still strong. I merely came her to pay my final respects to the person that helped me pave my path. But I strayed from it."
Konan sighed and continued. "You three never knew mine and Nagato's story. We, along with our other friend, Yahiko, were war orphans, orphaned by Konoha. Near the end of of the Second War, we approached the Sannin and asked them to train us so we could survive. Out of the three, it was Jiraiya-sensei that stayed back to help us. He trained our survival skills, Taijutsu, Ninjutsu and Genjutsu. After that, he left us so we can build our lives. Yahiko had created the Akatsuki as an advocate of peace. We hoped to gain Hanzo of the Salamander's attention, and so we did. Unfortunately, it was nothing more bu a trap. He captured me and it led to a chain reaction. Yahiko died, Nagato snapped and killed all of Hanzo's forces. At that point, he thought that only through pain, peace could be achieved. And what better pain than to build a weapon capable of such?"
The bluenette dispersed her wings as she dropped back down. "But during our attack here, we both realized that it will never work. Nagato turned a new leaf and revived those he had killed. I know that my previous actions can never be undone, that it can never be changed. i can only hope that I can redeem with the present. I merely came here to see Jiraiya-sensei one last time, before isolating myself to bolster Ame's forces and, hopefully, become a village that leads to peace."
As the paper around them was withdrawn, the three stared at Konan with a calculating gaze. Azure sighed and walked up to the angel. She brought up her hand towards Konan, who looked at it right before shaking it.
"I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Konan-san. If Scarlet-kun is willing to forgive you, then I should too." Azure said with a slight smile.
Breeze nodded in agreement. "If nii-san trusts you, I'll do the same as well."
Konan nodded, quite grateful at their action. Midnight continued to stare at Konan with a calculating gaze. The white-haired shinobi sighed and sheathed back his weapon, looking at Naruto with a slight glare.
"You're always so forgiving, Naruto. Some day, it'll end up killing you." said Midnight. He stared at Konan and sneered. "If you so much as betray any of their trust, I won't hesitate to put you down."
Konan merely nodded. All six walked up to stand besides her, as they stood there, looking fondly right at the smiling picture of Jiraiya. The bluenette took a moment to stare at the sky with a sad smile.
"Jiraiya-sensei, I hope that you are in peace. And that you have met up with Yahiko and Nagato. Thank you for everything."
Unseen by anyone, the spirits of Jiraiya, Nagato and Yahiko were right by a tree, watching them with a wistful smile. The white-haired spirit sighed and looked at his students with a proud look.
Seconds later, the three spirits departed, going back into the Pure Lands."
3rd place: ToG - Kurama
"It was a windy night near Amegakure, when the sound of firewood crackling echoed in the stale air of the hidden cave where the Akatsuki were camping for the night. Konan was busy sealing the entrance of the cave with paper bombs when she heard Kyusuke sigh loudly behind her.
" Why are we hiding like this, Yahiko? Hanzo is a cruel leader. We should free the people of Ame from his tyranny as soon as possible." grunted Kyusuke as he poked at the campfire with his sword.
" Violence is not the way to peace Kyusuke. If we topple one leader, another will rise. We need to become stronger before we can make our stand in front of Hanzo and talk it out with him on equal terms." replied Yahiko as he glanced at Nagato for his advice.
" We should have accepted the offer of help of that Madara who came yesterday." Said Nagato hesitatingly as he rubbed his aching eye.
" Something wrong with your eye, Nagato?" asked Konan worriedly.
" It's been aching a lot these last few days." replied Nagato and continued, "though I can't completely trust him. He was too mysterious."
" Yeah. Something about him rubbed me the wrong way. Such a powerful shinobi won't help us with no strings attached. We should be wary of such people." mused Yahiko. "Though Nagato's idea does have merit. We need to increase our strength. And now that Root and Hanzo both have their eye on us, it's becoming harder to recruit members."
Everyone glanced at each other before they sighed in frustration as Kie poked angrily at the campfire with a spare wood.
" I have screened 5 Konoha shinobi who were abandoned by Root and are in Amegakure right now. I can approach them tomorrow." said Konan quietly.
Yahiko sighed in relief and said, " Well, leave it to Konan to pull us out of this mess. I hope you are careful on your way there."
Konan nodded and volunteered for the first watch. She watched everyone go to sleep and took out a half made paper sculpture of Yahiko. She glanced secretly at Yahiko before she got busy finishing the sculpture. It was almost done and she planned to show it to him after she got back from this trip. As Kie woke up for his watch, she went to bed and dreamed of fun days when she used to learn new ninjutsu from Jiraiya-sensei.
The next day soon arrived, and Konan quietly approached the secret hideout of the shinobi. She was pleasantly surprised by the number of traps that greeted her though she easily passed them. She wasn't called Angel of God in Ame for nothing.
Just as she was about to reach the place, she suddenly widened her eyes and was about to step back, when she froze in place. She tried to struggle but couldn't move a muscle.
A man suddenly appeared from the shadows as he smirked at her. "Don't bother struggling, pretty lady. You're bound by my Red Lotus Seal and you can't move unless I say so." " Guys, come see what I caught sneaking around in the dark." he shouted. The others soon gathered around her.
Konan wasn't worried. She could easily break the seal and capture all 5 of them if she wanted to. But she wanted to know if these 5 were suitable for Akatsuki.
" These spies are relentless. We have fought back 18 attempts at reconnaisance just this week. Maybe we should relocate." suggested the man holding a sword seriously.
" I'm getting tired of it. Let's rough her up a bit and get some intel on our enemy." said the bulky guy.
The woman holding the wind fan suddenly moved to knock her out. Konan secretly protected her head with some paper armor and pretended to be incapacitated.
These guys are pretty careful, she wondered who their actual pursuer was. Well, it didn't matter much. Now that events had unfolded this way, she could now eavesdrop on them in peace.
" Now that she's out, we can discuss what to do now." the wind fan girl said while caressing her fan.
" We can't just kill her, she might be an innocent passerby. " said the blue haired woman nervously.
" Don't be naive, Azure. That woman walked through 10 layers of my traps like they were nothing. Don't trust her innocent appearance, she's as dangerous as they come. I am siding with Crimson on this. We should do as he says. " suggested the man who had captured Konan.
" It's not like we can do as we like. It's likely that she is one of Hanzo's people. And she looks important too. Reinforcements are bound to come soon. We should relocate as soon as possible. What do you say, Breeze?" swordsman solemnly told them.
"I agree, Midnight." smiled Breeze.
These people aren't half bad. They captured me before i detected them and are clever. They won't be a bad addition to Akatsuki, thought Konan as she wondered when she should stop the charade.
" Then we c*l agree..." the swordsman froze mid-speech and immediately released a Lightning sealing slash at Konan. The slash was as fast as lightning and was in Konan's face in no time. Konan realized that she couldn't pretend any longer and flexed her wings before breaking the deal and floating above them all.
" How did you know ... Midnight?" smiled Konan as she glanced at them.
" I was just bluffing, it wasn't a true strike. But who knew... You were truly spying on us." replied Midnight. Scarlet grunted in assent. It was their standard protocol with captives. He was irritated that someone has broken had broken his Red Lotus Seal so easily.
" Well now that you guys are done , you should know i could have killed or captured you guys easily." said Konan quietly.
" Don't be so sure, paper lady" shouted Crimson as he rushed her.
Konan promptly bound him up with paper and threw him on the ground. She stared at the others.
" We get your point. We are listening." said Midnight. Azure untied Crimson and healed his bruises as Konan started speaking.
" My name is Konan. I have come as a representative of Akatsuki to formally invite you to join us. I have seen that you guys are not affiliated with Hanzo and Root. Also all 5 of you are strong in your own way and formidable together as a team. Akatsuki would be glad to have you join us." said Konan solemnly.
" It's fortunate that you didn't come to kill us. We aren't sure we could beat you. And we have also heard about Akatsuki. We would like to have some time to discuss this among ourselves before committing." replied Scarlet as he glanced at others who also nodded.
" Fine then. I will send a paper clone with our next rendezvous location to you guys. Till then." announced Konan as she disappeared in a storm of papers.
" What a formidable display of ninjutsu." whispered Crimson in a rare show of seriousness.
This was the start of how Konan met Scarlet, Midnight, Breeze, Crimson and Azure for the first time. Even she didn't know how this small meeting would be the start of an unlikely friendship."
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