Seeing no one at the gate, the quintet let themselves in and entered the village proper. What struck them first about the village was how portly many of its inhabitants were. The fact that this village was famous for its food certainly showed. All around them they saw markets, restaurants, buffets, and people indulging in one of the most basic and carnal desires of mankind: eating. However, they still saw no sign of a representative or a dignitary to greet them.
“Hmm, the instructions were to meet our contact at the front of the village,” Temari said. “I suppose we should just wait for them to arrive.”
“Oh come on. We could at least take a look around the village,” Tenten said.
“Well…alright, but don’t wander too far,” Temari relented.
And so the girls, except for Temari, all went off in separate directions, taking in the local activity. Temari simply stood stationary, looking out for the contact they were supposed to meet up with. Though the village was certainly a lively and festive place, Temari had little to no interest. Her only concern was carrying out the mission and getting it done with as soon as possible. As Temari waited, she was approached by a large, slovenly and clearly inebriated man.
"'ello li'l lady," the man said. "How'sh you doin' t'day?"
Temari gave no response.
"Aw, c'mon. Wassa matta?" the man said. "No need ta be a souahpush. Why don'sha have a drink?"
Her patience worn out, Temari activated a small wind jutsu that created a small cyclone that encapsulated the man. The gusts of the cyclone spun the man around in circles and away from her. Once the wind dissipated, the man leaned over, vomited, and then collapsed on the ground.
"Oh dear! I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" cried a voice.
Temari looked over and saw a woman in a blue kimono running towards her. The woman stopped right in front of her, bowing and panting heavily."
"I...I'm so sorry, miss," the woman said. "Tohru over there can be quite...vigorous."
"I'm sorry, are you a representative of this village?" Temari asked.
"Indeed I am," the woman replied. "I am Mochi, personal assistant to the village chief, Lady Sushi."
"Very good," Temari said. She then turned and called out "Sakura! Ino! Hinata! Tenten!"
On cue, the four kunoichi ceased their activities and rejoined their team leader.
“Ah, so you are the five ninjas sent by Lady Tsunade,” Mochi said.
“Indeed we are, ma’am," Temari replied
“Then greetings, and welcome to our humble village” she said. “I apologize for the delay in my arrival, but we are going through…something of a crisis. Please follow me.”
Mochi then lead them down the village’s main street to a building so opulent, it could only be the abode of the village chief.
“This is the governing office where the illustrious Lady Sushi performs all her duties,” Mochi said. “Now, I must warn you, she may seem a bit…imposing, and she is in a bit of a bad state right now. But I can assure you she’s a very kind and compassionate woman.”
And so the group was led into Lady Sushi’s estate. After ascending several staircases, they came up to a large pair of double doors.
“Ladies,” Mochi said. “The village chief, Lady Sushi.”
The doors opened and before them sat the most obese woman any of them had ever seen. It seemed unbelievable, but this was, in fact, Lady Sushi, the village chief. Though they were in her presence, she seemed to pay them no mind as she was shoveling handful after handful of food into her mouth. Eventually, she finished off her food and then turned her attention to the group of kunoishi.
“Ah, the ninjas from the Leaf and Sand Villages,” she said.
“At your service, m’lady,” said Temari.
With some assistance from Mochi, Lady Sushi rose to her feet and walked over to the group, her blubbery body shifting and bouncing with each step.
“Now…” said Lady Sushi. “I have summoned you here…to track down a rogue ninja. You see, two days ago…one of our most powerful ninjas…fled this village…renouncing her allegiance…and stole one of this village’s most…sacred treasures. It is an ancient artifact of…most terrible power.”
“What is the ninja’s name, m’lady?” Temari asked.
“Her name…” Lady Sushi said. “…is Marunomi. As I’m sure you’re aware…the people of this village…pride themselves on…their passion for food…and Marunomi was no exception. In fact…she perhaps had the greatest passion for food of anyone I have ever seen. But…a few years ago, something dark awoke within her. She developed a lust for food and power that seemed instiable. And so she turned to ninjutsu, hoping that it could provide the answers she sought. And she did find an answer: a horrible dark forbidden jutsu. And now Marunomi has awoken an appetite for her fellow man.”
“Are you saying she’s a cannibal?” Ino asked.
“Essentially, yes,” Lady Sushi said. “But Marunomi intends not only to consume human beings, but their chakra. She has discovered a jutsu by which she can transform and condense people into pure chakra. And once she devours them, their chakra will be added to her own chakra reserves. She believes this is the only way to satisfy her hunger. And, to that end, she stole one of this village’s most sacred treasures: The Behemoth’s Tongue. It is the only way by which she can perform the forbidden jutsu. Now she’s out there, somewhere, and I don’t know what she’s planning, but I know it can be nothing good. So I beseech you, please find Marunomi. Defeat her and stop her mad ambitions.”
“You can count on us m’lady,” said Temari.
Marunomi had just finished setting up another pillar. She placed the Behemoth’s Tongue, which was attached to her arm, into a slot inside the pillar. She activated the artifact and the pillar hummed to life with energy. Only two more pillars remained until the preparations were complete.