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After the events with the Arccana Five combined with the Ángeles and Soberanos before that, everyone in the Sereitai’s morale was low. A nobleman suggested that a festival be held for both the shinigami and other within the Sereitai and the people of the Rukongai. While lifting the spirits of the shinigami it would also promote good relations between the Sereitei and the Rukongai. Commander-General Amatarou Omaha was very fond of the idea and gave it the go-ahead. The Captains and Lieutenants of the 3rd and 13th Divisions were summoned to her office. Commander-General Omaha informed them of their plans and subsequently ordered the 3rd and 13th Division to set up the festival and advertise it around the Sereitai and Rukongai. She gave the squads full access to all supplies and locations of the Gotei 13 as well as the authority over any shinigami personal needed. The man also pledged to fund the festival and promised to try and convince other families to donate in one form or another.
Shinigami were needed to run the booths and manage the entrances into the Sereitai during the festival. It was arranged so that every seated officer in the Gotei 13 would participate in a lottery. The resulting colour of ball would determine their job: red are guards, blue are booth attendees, and white are given the day off (the majority being white). It was also decided that all of the games and food would be free so that everyone could enjoy them.
After many weeks of planning, finally the day came for the Tsutsuji (Azalea) Festival …
“Wow, you guys did a really good job. It must have been a lot of work,” admired Umi. “Well actually our division didn’t do much in actually setting up, it was mainly the 3rd Division. We mostly just spread the word around the Soul Society about it,” Amaririsu said modestly.
The two girls, dressed in their kimonos, walked down the narrow paths between the festival booths, chatting and enjoying themselves despite the crowds.
There was a very good turn out; hundreds of shinigami and Rukongai resident turned up. Never before had the two facets of the Soul Society come together in such a relaxed and happy atmosphere.
“I’m so glad that neither of us got a coloured ball!” remarked Amaririsu. “Yah, me too,” Umi replied, “So Risu, where should we go now?” Amaririsu pondered this while scanning the vicinity and one booth caught her eye. “There!” she exclaimed, pointing straight ahead at a game booth. “Oh! Do we have to …” she said with anxiety in her voice. “Ah, come on … after all no one else seems to be there. The person there must be very lonely,” she said giggling and gave a wink. Amaririsu grabbed Umi by the hand and began to run forward.
Once they reached the booth, they were greeted by a seemingly very angry female shinigami. “What the hell do you bitches want!” she barked. “Hehe, that’s a silly question Ursa-chan. We want to play your game.” “Like hell you do. Your just here to rub it in my face!” snarled Ursa. Umi timidly hiding behind Amaririsu pleaded with her, “Risu, let’s go.” “You really shouldn’t be so paranoid,” said Amaririsu, completely ignoring Umi, “though it is true we didn’t come to play. I came here to put a smile on your face.” With that Amaririsu took her two pointer fingers and used them to prop up the corners of Ursa’s mouth to forcibly make her smile. Ursa quickly grabbed Amaririsu’s right wrist and gave her and extremely evil glare that even took Amaririsu a back. She removed her left finger but was unable to remove her right since Ursa was holding it so tight and wouldn’t let go. “Ursa-chan, the point of this festival is to promote good-will and for everybody to relax but your scarring everybody away and you don’t seem relaxed at all.” Ursa let Amaririsu’s wrist go and turned her head away, propping it up with her one arm. “You shouldn’t take this so seriously, I mean even some Captains are manning booths including Commander-General Omaha.” Ursa ignored her protestations. “Ah, fine then, be a gloomy Gus for the rest of the day. But I do believe you will come around eventually. See ya, Ursa-chan!” Amaririsu began to leave with Umi readily following behind. “Hey! I’ve told you before, STOP CALLING ME URSA-CHAN!” she yelled after the pair. Amaririsu, continuing in the direction they were headed, turned around and yelled back at her, “And I’ve told you before that Ursa-kohai is too boring!” Amaririsu turned back around and playfully ran forward so as to not give Ursa a chance to retort. Umi ran after her.