This is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
Hinagiku did not even know that she had been defeated, or had her identity exposed to the world. She had lost consciousness during the fight with King Midas, who was in the form of Aika, surrounded by dark aura. Part of the aura took form in a giant black arm, which was holding Hinagiku’s entire body in mid-air just outside the balcony.
King Midas grinned. He had captured the girl he needed, and he can now proceed with his plan. Using Aika’s real arm, King Midas reached for an amulet in her dress pocket – it was a King’s Jewel. He held the aura arm closer to himself, so that Hinagiku was within reach of Aika’s arms. He then put the amulet around Hinagiku’s neck.
“You all keep saying that you need negative emotions and a King’s Jewel to enter the Royal Garden,” he said to Mikado. “While the King’s Jewel is necessary, the better candidate to open the Garden Gate is its owner.”
“So that would be this Katsura girl, right?” said Mikado, grinning. “Aika thought that she could replace this Katsura girl as Student Council President, thus becoming the owner of the Garden Gate. To be frank, things would be a lot easier if she succeeded, and this girl might not end up being crushed by you.”
“This Aika girl is still too sentimental,” said King Midas coldly. “She has made all these troubles with no results at all. Obviously you can’t leave anything this important to girls.”
“But we are finally here,” whispered Mikado. “Let’s proceed and get what we want.”
King Midas moved Hinagiku to the middle of her office. Suddenly the King’s Jewel began to glow in blue light. A beam of the light then shot out of the jewel, drawing an arc out of thin air. The arc then glowed on its own, and a portal was created.
“So here we are, the Royal Garden…” said Mikado in awe. “Sorry for the wait, Yukariko.”
The door bell rang at the Sanzen’in Mansion. Maria was surprised that someone would be visiting them so late – 23:22 – at night, but the door had to be answered after all. It was usually the duty for Hayate, but Maria was not sure if Hayate could do it.
“Hayate-kun?” she asked tentatively.
Hayate did not answer. He was staring miserably at the television, which was still showing the Clock Tower, but now with the tagline “Silver Red Revealed to be President Katsura at Hakuou, Possibly Killed”. News reporters were discussing Hinagiku’s integrity as she kept denying to comment whether she was Silver Red.
“Silver Red is… Hinagiku-san?” Hayate kept asking himself this question, and also a few more. “So does it mean that it Hinagiku-san herself who came to help me save A-tan? Why did she do that? Why did she hide her identity while helping me?”
Tears filled Hayate’s eyes as he repeated the questions in his head. He couldn’t understand why he was crying. Was it regret? Or appreciation? Or that now that he had known the true identity of Silver Red, he felt sorry that he never had thanked Hinagiku properly for this particularly big favour?
And to think of the fact that he would not be able to see her again…
Next to him, Nagi had her head buried in Hayate’s chest. There was no sound from her, and there was no thought on her mind – she simply didn’t want to think at the moment, because whenever her mind started functioning, the image of Hinagiku’s lifeless form would appear immediately. At the moment, it was the last thing she would want to recall.
She wasn’t entirely sure what one was harder to take, the loss of her friend, or the loss of her hero.
Maria never recalled Nagi being so upset – she was not there when Nagi lost her mother. Yet Maria thought she might understand how Nagi was feeling, because she was also very depressed. She might have a very philosophical mind, but it was never easy to get through the emotions when someone close to you was taken away.
The door bell rang again. There was still work to do even though nobody was in the mood. “Okay, I’ll go… answering the door, yes,” Maria said as she sighed.
“What is going on here…?” Mikado said to himself in disbelief as he set foot in the Royal Garden.
It was empty. The place look exactly like what Athena had described: the stairs, the giant clock, the halls, the mirror, the rooms… yet Mikado was not interested in them. He went through the entire castle to look for something, or someone, but he found nothing.
“Yukariko?” Mikado kept shouting loudly the name of his daughter. His voice echoed through the halls, but he received no response. The entire Royal Garden was empty, hallow, lifeless… Angered and feeling betrayed, Mikado turned to King Midas, who had just entered the Royal Garden. “You lied to me!” shouted Mikado.
King Midas did not respond as he took the King’s Jewel away from Hinagiku.
“You told me that Yukariko took the Power of Royalty!” shouted Mikado, who was close to tears. “You told me that as she died, her spirit would return to the Royal Garden with the Power, and I can see her again as we open the Gate! Now where is she?”
“Did I really say that?” asked King Midas as he used his aura arm to take hold of the King’s Jewel. “Well, then I might have made a mistake. I apologise.”
Mikado’s eyes widened as he realised what had been going on. “You were merely using me!” he exclaimed.
King Midas grinned. “What a surprise, it took you so long to figure it out,” he said.
Mikado forced a smile on his face. “But it is all in vain,” he hissed. “We both can’t find what we wanted. Yukariko is not here, and the Power of Royalty is also not here!”
“Oh, it doesn’t matter for me,” said King Midas sweetly. “I do not need to find the Power of Royalty here.”
Mikado was confused. “W – what do you mean?” he asked.
“All I need is this,” said King Midas as he showed Mikado the King’s Jewel. “I have figured out the way to access the Power of Royalty through the King’s Jewel. No matter where the Power of Royalty is now, I can make full use of it!.”
With those words, he went out of the portal. Once he was back in the Student Council Room, the dark aura leaped out of Aika’s body and landed on the school ground (Hinagiku was still held in mid-air). The blue light from the King’s Jewel flowed through the aura, and something big began to take form. The arm which was grabbing Hinagiku materialised into white bones, then the body, the legs and finally the head. It looked like a giant skeleton which was as tall as the Clock Tower.
King Midas had returned to form.
“Oh, it’s you, Nishizawa-san…” said Maria as she met the girl at the front gate. She couldn’t hide her surprise that Ayumu was visiting them this late.
“G – good evening, Maria-san,” said Ayumu in a very small voice. Maria could see that her eyes were very red.
“What is the matter for you, so late in the day?” asked Maria.
“I…” began Ayumu, but she found it very hard to say what was exactly on her mind. “I – I just want to check… if Hayate-kun and Nagi-chan are all right, now that… you know… about Hina-san…” she was actually sobbing as she mentioned Hinagiku’s name.
“I see… thank you very much of your care,” answered Maria. “P – please come in, I think they will be delighted to see you…”
“T – thanks, Maria-san…”
King Midas laughed out loud as he was checking his regenerated body. He then glanced at Hinagiku, who had become so tiny in his hand.
“You are of no use now, girl,” he whispered. “Now die.”
He squeezed her body with his giant hand. Sheering pain went through Hinagiku’s body at once, and she regained consciousness as she screamed out loud.
“I – I am going to die…” thought Hinagiku as she opened her eyes to see the monster grabbing her. She couldn’t move a single muscle to get rid of his hold – a similar experience that she had in Athens, only a lot more painful this time. The weapon in her hand was once again not able to be raised to fight…
“The weapon…” thought Hinagiku as she was losing consciousness again. “Wooden Masamune… the family treasure of the Saginomiya household. I need to return it to Saginomiya-san…” She used the last of her strength to let go of the wooden sword, which began to fall. “Goodbye, my friend…”
Unknown to anyone, Wooden Masamune soon began to float on its own, as if finding its way to somewhere else…
King Midas was expecting Hinagiku’s body to be crushed, but suddenly he felt a repelling force in his palm. Confused, he squeezed again, this time with much more force, but then the repelling force also grew larger. He tried several more times, but no matter how hard his grip was, he could not kill Hinagiku.
“That’s odd…” murmured King Midas as he became annoyed, but then he had a Plan B: he threw Hinagiku, through the balcony, into the portal. Hinagiku landed hard into the Royal Garden, faced down and still unconscious.
“From now on, you live forever in the Royal Garden, girl,” said King Midas with a broad grin. He then pinched his two fingers, and the portal began to collapse as a response.
Horrified as he saw the portal closing, Mikado ran out of the Royal Garden. He confronted the face of King Midas at the balcony. “What are you doing?” he shouted.
“The world is now mine to rule,” replied King Midas. “But I must first kill the one who defeated me last time.”
Mikado’s eyes widened. “You mean…” he began.
“Yes, the butler of your granddaughter,” hissed King Midas. “And yes, I will kill her as well.”
Mikado slumped to the ground as he realised how bad the situation had become for him.