This is a fanfiction by Doughnut Gunso.
Hinagiku stared blankly at her trembling hands. Isumi’s question had hit her like a thunderstruck.
“W – why did I react so badly to your question? I – it doesn’t mean…?”
Isumi nodded. “It certainly means that you are unhappy with saving them, yes.”
Hinagiku jumped in rage. “This is nonsense!” she shouted. “They are my friends! Why would I be unhappy saving them?”
“You might convince yourself otherwise,” said Isumi, “but your subconscious won’t lie. Deep down in your heart, you are unhappy.”
“I – I don’t understand,” said Hinagiku weakly. “I have been taught to help other people, and I suppose I have always been doing it. What is it that would make my subconscious think otherwise?”
“Perhaps,” began Isumi, who suddenly started talking very slowly, “it is the fact that your hard work has never paid off well.”
“What do you mean?”
“You see, we might not consciously think about it, but we always subconsciously assess whether we have got the results we desire. We may justify our actions in whatever way, but in the end we are all subconsciously concerned whether we are happy or not. After all, we are all selfish, Student Council President.”
“So what are you trying to say?” asked Hinagiku, a little more hostile than she had intended. “That I feel sad for doing things I think are right?”
“No, I am saying that you have had a horrible time ever since Golden Week,” said Isumi reasonably. “More specifically, since the night you went to save the Chairperson and Hayate-sama, but you could only leave in silence while they were reunited. I know you tried to contain your emotions, but you were crying back then, weren’t you?”
Hinagiku sighed. She had tried hard not to think about that night, but as Isumi raised the issue, she felt her heart ache again.
“As you already know, Hayate-sama never figured out you were – and still are – Silver Red, so he never really thanked you for saving his life, and as such…”
“No, no, wait a minute please, Isumi-san,” interrupted Sakuya, who was frowning. “It was just… one incident, wasn’t it? How could that change the President’s determination to do good? Surely Hayate has given thanks to her often enough in other cases?”
“Unfortunate, it is not just one incident, Sakuya,” said Isumi. “Don’t you remember that day in Heaven in a Place on Earth, when the President protested how Hayate-sama had mistreated her?”
Hinagiku blushed furiously. “W – what’s with that, ‘mistreated’? Please don’t use such a misleading word! Hayate-kun only…”
“… took your hand in order to remember Nagi, didn’t explain to you what was going on, and left you alone in the house when he got it wrong,” said Isumi. “I see.”
Hinagiku’s heart sank. “Well, I must say I was quite upset about it…” she admitted.
“And then you went into action again as Silver Red. Yet despite saving Nagi and Sakuya, you are still considered by the public as a threat to social security. You have served the school without reservation as Student Council President, yet students have tried to vote you out of office just because you supported someone whom they thought should not be supported. You have contributed heavily to the series, providing fanservices and singing anime songs and everything, yet there are so many readers who hate you and want you out of the series.”
“That sounds horribly stupid, Isumi-san,” murmured Sakuya.
“But that’s the fact,” said Isumi. “Do you want some hyperlinks as proof?”
“Anyway, you have gone through a lot of things recently, Student Council President,” said Isumi. “I think that none of these things alone could have had much effect on you, but as they came too many and too frequently, I think you have subconsciously started to doubt if it actually worths it to do all the hard work without being substantially rewarded.”
“I…” began Hinagiku weakly, who suddenly felt she was blamed too harshly, “I wasn’t looking for rewards for all those things. I was just…”
“Yes, I understand that you were merely unhappy, nothing more,” said Isumi. “But it is exactly this unhappiness that has restrained you from summoning Shirosakura. You must sort your own feelings out, or…”
“Or?” repeated Hinagiku tentatively.
“Or we would all be stuck in this place for the rest of our lives,” replied Isumi. “Don’t worry, food and other resources will never run out, so we could support ourselves for 1000 years if we have to.”
“Don’t be kidding, I have to get out of this place!” said Hinagiku, suddenly regaining some determination. “So please tell me what I should do with my unhappiness.”
“Well, you might begin by asking yourself a very practical question,” said Isumi. “Why would you want to give up on staying safe in the Royal Garden, and return to the dangerous and chaotic outside world?”
Hayate and Ginka were still fighting the army of demons, which kept on coming from every direction. Hayate and Ginka did not even have time to consider the fact that the army was increasing in number, as they were already too busy fighting them.
Hayate glanced at Ginka from time to time. She was still doing fine – much better than he was, actually – but he knew that she couldn’t keep on for too long. When she finally ran out of power, then…
“What are you doing, kid?” demanded Ginka, who noticed that Hayate had slowed down. “Getting sleepy?”
“No, ma’am!” Hayate shouted back. “I was just checking if you have run out of power already.”
“Don’t be stupid!” shouted Ginka as she pierced through 8 monsters at the same time. “I have learnt my lesson in Greece, so I can alert you when I am going to collapse!”
“What is the point of that?” demanded Hayate.
“Then you can supply me with 1000 c.c. of your flesh blood immediately!”
Hayate fought back the urge to use swear word. “I’d prefer you not collapsing at all!”
On the other side of the battlefield, King Midas was watching the war as he slowly moved towards the Sanzen’in Mansion. He was grinning, as he was almost certain that as time went by, he would win eventually. The only thing was that he would prefer the “time” to be as short as possible.
“Focus on the boy,” he ordered his army. “Take the wooden sword away from him, and he would become a lot weaker.”
Hayate watched in disbelief as the monsters began to ignore Ginka and the Sanzen’in Mansion and run towards him. “Oh my God…” he murmured.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Hinagiku as she frowned. “If my friends are in danger out there, of course I have to go and save them!”
“Yet saving them doesn’t necessarily make you happy,” said Isumi. “Remember, this is not about ‘knowing’ what is the right thing to do, but ‘persuading’ yourself to do it. If your entire spirit is not willing to go and save them, if even a part of your mind hesitates, you will not be able to summon Shirosakura.”
Hinagiku scratched her head. She then tried once again to summon the sword, but she wasn’t doing any better. In fact, the sword did not respond at all.
“Well, well,” said Sakuya suddenly, “maybe it would help if the President could see the faces of Nagi and Hayate. You know, that might help her focus.”
Hinagiku shrugged. “Well, it might worth a try,” she said, “but how could I see them now that we are here?”
Isumi stepped forward. “I know of a way.”
She then led Hinagiku and Sakuya deep into the Royal Garden, traveling through rooms, chambers and corridors (“Are you sure we are not lost, Isumi-san?” asked Sakuya), and finally they reached a huge room, in which there was a huge circular pond.
“What is this?” asked Hinagiku, pointing at the pond.
“This is the magical mirror,” said Isumi. “You can see anything you want through it. Please, come forward…”
Hinagiku was quite reserved about the “magical mirror”, but she walked towards it cautiously anyway. To her surprise, it responded immediately and showed Hayate, who was surrounded by monsters.
“Well, they are all moving very slowly,” said Sakuya, who didn’t seem too concerned about the danger Hayate was in. “Is this mirror thing lagging?”
“No, Sakuya,” said Isumi. “This is a live broadcast of the outside world, where time travels a lot slower than here, so this is why you see them moving a lot slower. By the way, what is ‘lagging’?”
Hinagiku paid no attention to their conversation, but only had her eyes set on Hayate. She knew immediately that he was in huge trouble. “H – he is in grave danger!”
“Sure he is,” said Isumi casually, “and I am sure that he would need your help.”
“I know!” shouted Hinagiku, who then made another attempt to summon Shirosakura without success. “But why couldn’t I summon the sword yet?”
“You still haven’t answered yourself the question,” said Isumi. “Why should you go and do something that might make yourself unhappy?”
Hinagiku looked at the mirror again, and saw that the monsters had knocked Wooden Masamune out of Hayate’s hands. He then disappeared from Hinagiku’s sight as the monsters began piling on him…
“What makes me more unhappy?” Hinagiku whispered as tears began filling her eyes. “Sure enough, I would be a lot more unhappy if Hayate-kun is killed!”
“President…” said Sakuya as she stepped towards Hinagiku, but Isumi held her back.
“You are right, Saginomiya-san,” said Hinagiku. “I may not always gain happiness from what I have done for the others, but I think…” – her hand began glowing with the white light again – “… I would rather take a little bit of unhappiness…” – her hand began sparkling with white lightning – “… than to suffer even greater unhappiness!”
Isumi and Sakuya gazed at Hinagiku’s hands, in which there was a small ball of very bright and hot energy. “Are you sure about this?” asked Isumi.
“Yes. This is the right thing to do,” replied Hinagiku.
Isumi nodded. “Then please go,” she said, “and do what is right.”
Hinagiku grabbed the ball of energy tight with her right hand. The “ball” exploded into a mass of pink flower petals – and an elegant sword with light shade of blue.
“Let’s go, partner!” she shouted as she swung Shirosakura around the Royal Garden. “HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!!”