This is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
“The men who attacked me are your SPs?” Hayate could not believe his ears. “Are you sure, milady?”
“Yes. SP0004, SP0009, SP0013 and SP0017,” said Nagi. Everyone was amazed by her ability to recognize her family employees, except Hayate who already knew it. Nagi paid no attention to them, and continued to say, “To be exact, they are not my SPs, as they are not assigned to protect me. They serve the old man.”
“They serve your grandfather?”, asked Hinagiku. “Not protect, but serve?”
Nagi nodded. “Among the family SPs, they are the best of the best, and the old man thinks it is a waste of their abilities if they simply protect him, so he usually assigns them with special missions. If we were in a Mission: Impossible movie, then they are the IMF.”
“And what kind of mission were they on, killing the family butler?” asked Hinagiku.
“Well, I suppose the Old Master never likes me very much,” said Hayate darkly.
“Come on, Hayate-kun, it still makes no sense at all,” said Hinagiku.
“I agree,” said Nagi, nodding. “I must admit that I seldom understand what the old man is thinking, but I am sure that this ‘mission’ is not his idea. It just looks too stupid for him.”
“Too stupid?” asked Hayate, who did not entirely understand. “What’s so stupid in this mission?”
“For one thing, it was an assassination mission in broad daylight, and you were able to see the assassins coming for you,” said Hinagiku. “If I were the mastermind behind such a mission, this would be the last thing I wanted my men to do.”
“For another, they gave up too easily,” said Nagi. “They aborted the mission moments after you got the wooden blade. It is one thing to abort a mission when it becomes impossible, but it is another to give it up altogether without really trying.”
Hayate could not raise an objection, but he found it difficult to accept that he almost got killed by a not-a-mission. “What do you think, A-tan?” he turned to his last hope.
Athena remained silent for a while, deep in her own thought. “Hayate, when exactly did those SPs give up?” she finally opened her mouth, and asked Hayate this question.
Hayate thought about the battle. “In about a minute after I got the wooden blade,” he said. “I am sorry, I wasn’t really paying attention to the time, so I couldn’t be too exact,” he added weakly, as he was afraid that Athena was not satisfied with the answer.
Athena did not comment. “Hinagiku, when exactly did you summon the Shirosakura?”
“Let me see…” Hinagiku closed her eyes and replayed the battle scene in her brain. “In about 20 seconds after I lost the Wooden Masamune. I spent about another 20 seconds to send those five people out of the club house.”
“What happened, Hinagiku-san? Were you – ” began Hayate, who had not yet heard about the attack on Hinagiku. Athena held up her hand to stop him asking, as she had more pressing questions for her.
“What do you know about the five people who attacked you?” she asked. Hayate’s question was answered.
“I thought they were our new Kendo Club members,” said Hinagiku. “They never revealed themselves, so I couldn’t tell who they were. Come to think of it, I couldn’t even tell if they were Hakuou students.”
“But you assumed that they were your members?” asked Athena.
“Not exactly,” said Hinagiku, knowing that the Chairperson wanted an explanation of her club admissions procedure. “We allow new members to join our club after their first training session. We welcome anyone to join training sessions, as long as he or she is a current Hakuou student. I check if they are our students by seeing their faces. The problem with these people is that, they never listened to me when I asked them to take off their masks.”
Athena nodded. “What if those people were not Hakuou students?” she said after a minute’s thought.
“Then they had to get through our school guards even before they set a foot in our campus,” said Hinagiku.
“But the Sanzen’in SPs got through our school guards,” said Athena.
“Well, as you said, they are the Sanzen’in SPs. The guards would allow them in.”
“What if those people who attacked you were also Sanzen’in SPs?”
“How do you know?”
“We never know, it is just an assumption,” Athena appeared a little impatient.
“Well… that is possible,” said Hinagiku thoughtfully. “But if your assumption is right then…”
“Then the attacks on you and Hayate would be related,” said Athena, finally reaching her conclusion.
“Wait a minute!” said Nagi, who started to get angry. “How could you be sure that my family SPs attacked Hinagiku? Is there any proof?”
“I have no proof,” admitted Athena. “But I have a theory which I think make sense.”
“And what theory is that?!” demanded Nagi. What made her so angry was that her family employees were condemned without proof, for an offence she considered insane. They might not be best friends, but she would never allow her SPs to do any harm to Hinagiku.
Athena looked up. “Listen, Hinagiku. This is all my speculation, but I think I have a very plausible theory, and you have to listen very carefully. Okay?”
“O-okay,” said Hinagiku, who suddenly became nervous.
Athena closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them again and said, “Sanzen’in Mikado wants the Shirosakura sword, so he is coming after you, Hinagiku.”
The room remained silent for about a minute. Hayate, Nagi and Isumi all turned to look at Hinagiku, who had absolutely no idea what Athena was talking about.
“Wh – what does he want the sword for?” she asked.
“I don’t really know. I only know that he wants it badly, that’s all.”
“But how do you know that?”
“He was the one who sent me in child form to live with you in the Violet Mansion,” said Athena simply. “He expected that I would take the sword from you when I returned to my true form, or that I would absorb all of the sword’s power. However, I did not take the sword from you, and the sword remains powerful in your hands, so his plan failed completely. He needs a Plan B.”
“Is this why I was attacked?” asked Hinagiku.
“Exactly,” said Athena with a nod. “He sent some of his men to attack you, so to force you to pull out a weapon. However, as you have two blades to choose from, he had to make sure what you pulled out would be Shirosakura. As such, he sent some of his best men to attack Hayate, who was in joint possession with you of the wooden blade. Once the wooden blade was gone from your hands, you had no choice but to call for Shirosakura.”
“Athena, this theory doesn’t work,” said Hinagiku, shaking her head. “You worked out a designed plan from what already had happened. I couldn’t believe that a person could design a plan which happens exactly as he has expected.”
“Normally I would agree,” said Athena. “But I am not so sure about Sanzen’in Mikado. He surely is the world’s best in masterminding and manipulation. Sometimes he seems to be able to foresee the future, and he makes plans according to his foresight.”
“If he really has such kind of foresights, then I guess I would have lost Shirosakura by now,” said Hinagiku, who was not convinced.
Athena smiled at Hinagiku’s persistence. “Well, he is still only human, and he doesn’t always foresee things,” she said. “I guess he expected that his five men could defeat you even if you used Shirosakura. However, it turns out that you are much more powerful than he had expected.”
“I think it is because the Shirosakura has become more powerful in the hands of the Student Council President,” said Isumi suddenly. “I sense greater energy from Shirosakura now, compared to three months ago. It shows that Shirosakura has good partnership with the Student Council President.”
“And all the more reason for Sanzen’in Mikado to make you a target,” said Athena. “Be careful, Hinagiku. I am sure that this is not his last plan for you and the sword, and I am not sure if you can handle him next time. Do not forget, he successfully forced you to pull out the sword today.”