This is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
Hinagiku led Hayate to sit on a nearby bench. She had stopped sobbing, but she kept her head down and her eyes closed, clearly thinking what and how she should say. Hayate had no idea what to say to her, so he quietly held Hinagiku’s hand to show his support.
Hinagiku felt the warmth from Hayate’s hand. It was much more comfortable than being held by Kyosuke. It helped her to calm down and focus, and finally, very slowly, she told him the whole story.
Hayate listened to her without making any comments, but by the end of her story, he was thoroughly shocked.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “This is horrible!”
“Yes, it is,” said Hinagiku as she sighed. “He didn’t give me a choice, did he? I can only give him the sword to get my parents back, I guess.”
“I know, Hayate-kun,” said Hinagiku, as she squeezed Hayate’s hand with a little more force. “I know that they might use the power of Shirosakura to do bad things, so it would only be my last resort. If there is any other way I could save my parents, I definitely would take it.”
“Do you have any idea, Hinagiku-san?” asked Hayate.
Hinagiku shook her head.
Hayate looked at her. He had never seen Hinagiku being so sad and helpless. To him, Hinagiku was always a tough, energetic and decisive girl. He had never thought that Hinagiku could be vulnerable as well, and he suddenly felt guilty about it.
“Well,” began Hayate, trying desperately to think on his feet. He wanted to give her a suggestion – any suggestion. Then, he suddenly came up with one. “Why don’t we go and ask A-tan? Maybe she could figure something out of your story!”
Hinagiku considered this for a moment, and then she smiled. “You are probably right, Hayate-kun. Thank you for your suggestion. I’d better go.” With that, she stood up and let go her hand. She didn’t want to bother Hayate any more with her own matters.
“I am going with you too,” said Hayate firmly, as he stood up and grabbed Hinagiku’s hand again. “No matter what you say, Hinagiku-san,” he added.
Hinagiku felt the comfortable warmth from his hand again. She suddenly realized that she had only appreciated such a feeling on two occasions: once on her birthday and once inAthens. She wasn’t sure why she had never liked it more.
“Thank you, Hayate-kun,” she said with a smile. “Let’s go.”
Hinagiku did not move, however. She looked at her hand which was held by Hayate, and suddenly she blushed. “Hayate-kun, my hand…”
Hayate was alarmed. “I am sorry, Hinagiku-san. I guess I should let go.”
Hinagiku shook her head. “No, Hayate-kun,” she whispered, and her face glowed even redder. “Please do not let go my hand.”
Hayate blushed. He was pleasantly surprised at Hinagiku’s words. He could feel that her hand had become much warmer than before, and he suddenly realized how good it felt holding her hand.
“Of course, Hinagiku-san,” he said with a smile. “I am not letting go.”
“It – is – really – very – strange,” said Athena, word by word, very slowly.
Hayate and Hinagiku arrived at the Chairperson’s Office and found Athena. Hinagiku had repeated her story to Athena, and she was confused by Athena’s comment. “What do you mean, Athena?”
“I mean, it is really very strange that you two keep holding hands in front of me,” said Athena, who was clearly making fun of the two. “Do you really think that I enjoy watching you two holding hands?”
Hayate and Hinagiku blushed. They had quite forgotten to let go of each other’s hand since entering Athena’s office. “Well, you are right,” said Hinagiku, and she let go Hayate’s hand. “Sorry,” she added in a low voice.
Athena snorted. She had not expected the fun to go away so quickly, so she had no choice but to return to business. “Hinagiku, I think you need some bargaining power against Fukada. There is no way to get over him on this if you cannot make a bargain with him.”
“I agree,” said Hinagiku. “He is actually playing around with me like a toy. I just don’t know what to do about this.”
“Then let’s figure it out together,” said Athena with a smile.
“How?” asked Hinagiku, surprised.
“Call him,” said Athena simply. “I suppose you have his cellphone number, right?”
“Right,” said Hinagiku, who indeed had exchanged numbers with Kyosuke a few days ago.
“Turn on the speaker mode so that we can hear him,” said Athena. “I will give you instructions on paper.”
Hinagiku took a deep breath. “Okay.”
Hinagiku dialed Kyosuke’s cellphone number, and…
“‘DAISUKI’ NANTE ARIGATOU! (ARIGATOU) WATASHI MO ZUTTO ‘SUKI’ DA YO! (SUKI SUKI)”
“What kind of connection tone is that?!” asked Hayate, bemused.
“More importantly, why do I hear myself singing?” asked Hinagiku. “I don’t even remember singing that song.”
“Quiet!” Athena hissed.
“Hello, Kazami!” said Kyosuke at the other end of the phone. “I guess, by making a call to me, you have already made up your mind?”
“Emm…” began Hinagiku, as she turned to look at a note Athena had just passed to her.
TELL HIM TO NAME A PRICE FOR THE RANSOM
“Look, Fukada-kun. What you want for my parents is money, right? Just tell me how much you want, and I will try to get it for you. The Katsuras are quite rich, you see.”
Kyosuke began laughing. “Forget about it, Kazami. By getting the sword, I can get much more than what the Katsuras could possibly offer. I want the sword, not your money.”
ASK HIM ABOUT THE BUYER
“So you have a buyer, Fukada-kun? What does he want with my sword? Why doesn’t he buy it from me? Who is he, anyway?”
“You are asking me quite a few questions, Kazami, but of course I can’t tell you anything, can I?”
“Fukada-kun, please. I have to know. I just can’t give the sword to a terrorist!”
“Oh, that’s your sense of responsibility, isn’t it?” There was a moment of silent, as he probably had something to consider. “I can tell you this: My buyer is rich and powerful enough, he doesn’t need to rely on terror attacks. In fact, as far as I know, he wants the sword for his personal business only, not for conquering the world. Are you satisfied with this?”
ASK HIM ABOUT THE ARRANGEMENTS
“So, what is the arrangement? Listen, I won’t give you the sword until my parents are released!”
“Does it mean that you have agreed?”
“Tell – me,” said Hinagiku, with a firmness she had never had when talking to Kyosuke. “You don’t do business with people who care nothing about the details, right?”
Kyosuke laughed. “Indeed. Well, let’s meet on the top of the Clock Tower of this school, 9 pm on the ninth of September. I bring along your parents and you bring along the sword. Nobody else on either side – except my buyer.”
“Your buyer will come too?” asked Hinagiku, surprised.
“Yes. Is there a problem about that?”
SAY YOU WILL CONSIDER
“I will think about the arrangements,” said Hinagiku. “I will call you back later.”
“Fine, but make it quick. It is already the seventh.”
Hinagiku ended the call and turned to Athena. Nobody spoke for a moment.
“Well, that had explained a lot,” Athena said finally.
“Yes, I think so,” said Hinagiku with a nod.
“What are you two talking about?” asked Hayate, who failed to follow up.
Athena sighed. “Sanzen’in Mikado is the buyer.”
“What?” asked Hayate.
“Yes. For some reason he preferred to work through Fukada to get Shirosakura. A few days ago they cooperated to try to take the sword from Hinagiku by force, but they had failed.”
“They probably realized that it would take too much to rob Shirosakura from me, so they gave up on that. They might also know that I wouldn’t sell the sword for any price, so they force me to make an exchange with them, make use of something… more important than money to me.” Her voice became smaller and smaller as she finished her sentence.
“So, what would you do, Hinagiku-san?” asked Hayate. “Would you agree to the deal?”
Hinagiku considered for a moment, and then she sighed. “I don’t really know. It would be much better if I could know what Director Sanzen’in wants to do with the sword. At the moment I don’t see any severe consequence turning in the sword.”
“Yes, there would be, Student Council President,” said a voice behind them. Athena, Hayate and Hinagiku all turned to see Saginomiya Isumi.
“Saginomiya-san? Why are you here?” asked Hinagiku.
“Well, I don’t think it is a good question at all,” said Hayate.
Isumi did not answer Hinagiku’s question. She stared very seriously at her.
“Student Council President, you cannot give Shirosakura to the bad people. If you give them the sword, you will die.”