Standing at a particular spot near the train station, was a boy with long black hair tied as he looked at his watch. He wore a black tank-top underneath a white short-sleeve buttoned down shirt that was left open, he also wore black slacks and black shoes. His sharp dark blue eyes left his watch to scan the surroundings, as if looking for someone.
The girls who were around looked at him with curious gazes, wondering who this handsome boy was. A few had tried to ask him to go with them but he was politely refusing them as he said he was meeting someone here. Still the girls without boyfriends wouldn’t give up that easily as some of them tried to appeal to him. He looked troubled as he tried to again politely refuse.
“Hayate! You’re early!”
He turned his head and looked, others followed suit looking in the same direction wondering who that voice belonged to. There was a beautiful girl with her crimson hair tied in a braid, wearing a light blue sleeveless blouse, complimented by a white pleated skirt that went below the knees, she also wore matching white closed toe loafers. While carrying a small white purse in her hands, she came slightly jogging towards him. The girls backed off almost immediately as Xiuying approached Hayate.
“Did I keep you waiting?”
“No, I only arrived a while ago. You did not make me wait.”
“I’m glad, I thought I need to arrive a few minutes early but you’re already here.”
“Shall we go?”
Upon seeing his arm raised slightly, she recognized he was offering his arm and became happy as she linked arms with him. The two went off, there was a large collective sigh, a number of them were disappointed. The other girls resigned themselves as they couldn’t win, a handsome boy matched together with a beautiful girl. They could only wish that they would meet a boy like that.
As the two walked off, a trio of rather conspicuous girls followed from a distance. One had light blue hair tied in a ponytail, dressed in her everyday clothes that was simple and easy to move in. Another was dressed in a short-sleeve dress shirt, black pants and black shoes, her hair that covered one side of her face looked black with a violet sheen to it. And the last was a girl who didn’t look Japanese at all with her short blonde hair, while dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans, with short brown boots. The mismatched trio tailed the unsuspecting pair. All three were wearing matching sunglasses.
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The first destination that the two came to was a bookstore that he frequented recently. His partner didn’t really understand the reason as to why and looked curiously at the book he had in his hand.
“Those are novels, right?”
“Yes, these are mystery novels. I especially like the ones where they feature a detective as the hero.”
“Do you try to solve them as you read along?”
“Why yes, how did you know?”
“I had a guess that you’re that type. I like romance novels myself but Japanese stores don’t have the authors I read from in stock. I have to order them.”
Unknown to the two as they continued their conversation, was three girls nearby looking at books with their suspicious sunglasses still on. Two out of the three looked at the pair with different expressions. One looked annoyed, while the other looked with concern, and the last one was simply blushing while reading a book of a particular genre.
After purchasing his books, he continued escorting Xiuying, though he was a bit at a loss of where he should bring her. He looked around as he wanted to find a good place.
“Say, Hayate. Can we go to the movie theater?”
“Why the movie theater?”
“There’s a movie I want to see with you. Is that okay?”
“Yes, that is fine. I was wondering where we should go next. Then, let us go there.”
Xiuying gave a smile as she hugged herself closer to Hayate. The pair went off into the direction of the nearby movie theater. Followed by one girl carrying a large bag filled with books, the one next to her trying to give her a hand, and the last lagging behind a bit, holding a single book inside a bag close to her chest.
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At the movie theater, the pair had gone into their desired movie due to the fortunately good timing. The trio who had followed had a bit of an issue, but it was quickly solved with the power of a special black credit card.
The five watched the movie that Xiuying wanted to see. The movie revolved around the plot of two strong fighters who coincidentally met one another and befriended each other through a friendly bout. The story turned serious as one of the friends was attacked by an evil mafia, ending up being hospitalized in a coma. The remaining friend swore revenge and went after the evil mafia accompanied by a spy, a reporter and a mysterious swordsman who offered his help.
The movie was filled with the usual clichés seen in film. Slow motion action sequences, large explosions, the evil mafia’s plot to take over the world. Over the course of the movie, the spy was revealed to be an amateur wannabe who had super luck on his side. The reporter was really an agent for the government. And the mysterious swordsman was revealed to be the rightful leader of the mafia before it turned evil and betrayed him.
While the three who had followed the pair were watching while somewhat voicing a few common complaints, the pair was watching intently for another reason. The main lead had gotten Hayate’s attention in particular. The movie ended in a cliché climax and parting. It was a typical movie that was for fans of the main lead.
Afterwards, the pair were talking about it when Hayate broached the subject.
“The lead is related to you is he not?”
“…How did you guess that, Hayate?”
She didn’t seem as shocked as her face expressed, but she was still surprised. She didn’t think Hayate would guess her relationship with the actor.
“It was his form, it is very similar to yours. Maybe you are able to do the same if you did not have your sword, right? The motions of you two are almost identical. Especially since that kind of martial arts is not usually taught to outsiders, which is the same with my family. It was not difficult to infer that you two could be related somehow.”
“I didn’t think you would be that observant, Hayate. Yes, we’re related, he’s my second cousin. Although he doesn’t have that talent. He was talented in martial arts like me. So he went into the movie business. Every time he visited, he would bring many gifts.”
“You must be proud of him.”
“I am. He is really kind, unlike my brother.”
She hugged him close when she made a bold statement.
“So, when did you noticed we were being followed by three people.”
“At the beginning when we met up.”
The pair turned around and caught sight of the trio panicking at having been found out. He looked at them with reproach.
“Chiaki, Fuumi, Olivia-san…”
The three approached the pair looking down almost like they were waiting to be arrested. He quietly sighed and began his deduction.
“Fuumi, I know you are under orders to protect me so you cannot be by my side while I am on this date. You would have thought to shadow me like previous times, but…”
“So it was a date…”
A voice quietly said happily while he couldn’t hear her. He looked at Olivia next.
“Olivia-san, you also were ordered to do the same and the two of you were told to work together.”
Olivia simply nodded in response.
“Chiaki…mother put you up to this by contacting you and having you meet up with Fuumi and Olivia-san…I knew she would do that to make things ‘interesting.'”
He sighed as he wondered why his mother was wasting his friend’s precious time for. Chiaki was honestly surprised he had known his mother did contact her. The question of “how” was on their minds but he continued.
“Mother has had this habit of setting up ‘interesting’ scenarios before. Or rather the only culprit that is usually involved with us is mother alone. I need to talk to her later…”
He shook his head and looked at Xiuying in apology.
“Ling…I am sorry but I think the date cannot continue like this.”
She looked depressed when that was declared, it was a bit true that with three more mixed in, it couldn’t be considered a date anymore. He looked at that expression and wondered what he should do. He looked at his watch and thought for a moment.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Although Hayate had wanted to do something, she was currently at a restaurant with the other girls looking clearly upset. Dressed in new clothes she didn’t want to be in, she was clearly unhappy about it. She knew her mother knew something beforehand and had set up this to prevent her power from being publicly revealed to any random onlookers. But what she was upset about was that she couldn’t wear her clothes from before. When she was given the bag with the new clothes by a man in a suit earlier, it had a letter that she had to wear everything inside and return all the clothes she had worn earlier into the bag to the man.
Everything she wore was clothes she hated or didn’t want to wear. The dress was a black sleeveless one piece dress with a skirt that stopped just above her knees. Complimenting it was black leather flats. She also wore girl’s underwear as well, which had made her more unhappy. She had watch the man in the suit take away her old clothes and had given up.
Although to her the new clothes seem simple, these were in fact her mother’s works and unknown to Hayate, she was advertising for her by wearing it. It explained a bit why many women and girls were staring at her earlier after changing. Chiaki had realized the brand too and looked a bit shocked at it. She had been able to realize it was the work of a particular fashion designer that was known to be famous for both fashionable designs as well as being affordable. It was the selling point of that person’s fashion lines.
“Hayate, you wear Hatsuko Kanzaki-san’s fashion line? I haven’t seen that one before, is that new?”
“Eh?…C-Chiaki…you do not know?”
“Hmmm? Know what?”
“Did my mother not introduce herself to you when you met?”
Chiaki ran through her memory when meeting the Head of the Kanzaki family. Her name was Hatsuko Kanzaki. Hatsuko. Kanzaki. The fashion designer was called Hatsuko Kanzaki. Taking a while to process the logical conclusion that was so simple that it was a bit ridiculous. Chiaki then realized the connection.
“EH?! That Hatsuko Kanzaki-san is your mom?!!!!!”
A little taken aback from that reaction, Hayate nodded. But she felt many eyes on her, she dared not look. The eyes that stared at her filled with emotions she didn’t know about. It scared her not wanting to look at those scary eyes that were locked onto her. Chiaki looked clearly excited as she looked over Hayate’s clothes once again.
“Hayate. I’m sooooooo jealous you get to wear her designs all the time! Why didn’t you tell me?!”
“Um…I am sorry? Mother did not tell me to reveal or keep it a secret, so I did not say anything. I did not realize you were an admirer of mother’s work.”
“How can I not?! Your mom’s designs are every girl’s dreams in having the best clothes and that affordability too that everyone can afford! Your mother is famous! Who wouldn’t be admirer of the woman who changed fashion!”
There were many nodding heads from girls and women in the restaurant, even the female staff was agreeing to this. Hayate didn’t realize the importance of her mother’s work until now.
“I thought Hatsuko Kanzaki-san was just a pseudo-name and it was a coincidence it matched your mom’s. You’re telling me she just used her real name?!”
“Yes, mother hates using fake names, so she just used her real name and did not care about having some kind of alias. Outside of a few things, she cares more about designing new clothes.”
This was a piece of information that should have been known to the fans, but it seemed it was universally assumed it was an alias. After hearing from the daughter of that person that it was in fact her real name. The news spread quickly and news outlets relating to fashion reported the information along with pictures of Hayate in the dress.
Amongst the people taking Hayate’s picture without permission, there was one camera that was aimed at her that didn’t share the same intentions as the others. She didn’t realize at the time due to so many people looking at her. Nor realizing yet, that this would be the opening note in the new conflict she would get caught up in.