(AN: Surprise, today is a double release today.)
Hayate woke up as usual, unable to defy the ingrained routine of waking up early, the person in question was now half-asleep and quietly heading towards the bathroom. Due to thinking too much about the demons and making various theories, Hayate had slept late at night after much insistence by Fuumi.
“I have school today…mmm…have to get ready…”
Talking to no one, arriving at the bathroom without much difficulty, though the eyes were closed the whole time. It was surprising Hayate did not hit a wall or trip over something, though feeling hot had removed the shirt that was worn last night. Complaining about the heat, having thrown the shirt outside the door. The door to the bathroom had been left wide open, the sounds of running water, and water being splashed was heard to the rest of the house.
“Who left this shirt here? Excuse me, is this you-“
A scream filled with surprised caused Hayate to look at who it was. With her body back against the wall was Olivia, holding onto the discarded shirt.
“Olivia? What is it?”
Fuumi arrived almost immediately as she looked at her wondering what was going on. Her head turned and saw Hayate standing there confused. Then she realized the issue almost immediately.
“Hayate-sama…why are you shirtless? You should be decent in the house. As a boy, you need to not be like this around girls.”
“But it was fine back at the main house.”
“This is your house and you have housemates. You can’t go stripping off your shirt whenever you say it’s too warm.”
“M-Ms. Fuumi, who is this?! Why does he share the same name as Lady Hayate?!”
“Olivia, you don’t know?”
Immediately battling a headache, Fuumi had to explain the information about Hayate who was still standing there shirtless. After a lengthy explanation, Olivia finally calmed down, her ability to adapt quickly despite the fact it could be unbelievable to other people normally. Taking the shirt from Olivia, she immediately gave it back to the original owner.
“Hayate-sama, please wear your shirt.”
“But it is too warm right now…”
There was a stern, angry tone in Fuumi’s voice that made him raise his hands in surrender. He took the shirt back and redressed himself while complaining.
“Only whenever you are mad, you would call me that like normal. Why can you not just call me that normally?”
“Because you’re my master and I’m your servant. That’s all there is to it.”
“Even if we are childhood friends?”
“Even then, we have our places.”
“Mmmm…one day, Fuu-chan…one day…”
Two more girls arrived wondering about the commotion.
“Eh? Hayate? You’re a boy now?”
Chiaki was a little surprised and wondered what was going on when she saw the male Hayate standing there looking annoyed.
“…Yes, I am a boy now. I am not sure when it happened though.”
“You see, Hayate-sama? Your power is always unpredictable.”
Hayate wanted to argue but was unable to, it was true this power of his was unpredictable and uncontrollable. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t force it to return him to his original gender when he was a girl. He quietly sighed and shrugged in surrender.
“Now that I have a good look at you, Hayate. You don’t look that much different from your girl version. Hmmm…”
It wasn’t only Chiaki, Xiuying also started staring at him with intensity. He could see another pair of eyes occasionally glancing at him while still staying a bit farther away from the other girls.
They were pointing out the differences between Hayate’s two forms. Although the two forms shared the same height, hair length and color, same colored eyes, and a few other features. The differences were either subtle or not so. The two shared the same body type, although the boy form’s build was slightly a little more muscular and toned from training, the girl form was slightly thinner, more elegant in appearance and not to mention the ample chest. The facial features were generally shared, though the eyes were shaped slightly differently, for the boy form it was sharper similar to his father, while the girl form had somewhat sharp and still soft enough eye shape.
For a while they were commenting on Hayate, mostly Chiaki and Xiuying. Although he disliked being talked about like this, he dare not to interrupt a conversation. He wondered if he could go to school like this but he had not changed back. Even though he could walk he had to give up going to school today.
“Chiaki-sama, isn’t it time for school?”
“Ah! That’s right!”
Chiaki ran off to her room to get changed.
“Do you go to school Hayate?”
“Yes…but as a girl. Right now I cannot.”
Xiuying was thinking about something before she returned to her room without saying another word.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
The time was almost 1 PM, inside the Kanzaki main house’s main chamber were four people: Hayate’s parents, himself, and Fuumi. Due to a sudden summons, Hayate and Fuumi had stopped what they had been doing at home and arrived here. He thought it was urgent until he noticed the way his parents were flirting together, a sight quite common to him.
“Dear~, you’ve been working up a sweat recently. Let me give you a massage.”
From the point of view as the son seeing his mother giving his father a massage wasn’t unusual to him. It only clashed with the image that she was supposed to have as the Head of the House and usually things like this should have been left to the maids. He honestly didn’t know whether to say something or quietly leave.
“Oh, Hayate. If you were there, you should have said something.”
“Mother…How can I say something when you are like that? Were you not the one who taught me to read the mood first?”
“Oh, that’s right I did.”
He sighed tiredly. He knew his mother’s personality quite well. While as the Head, she was serious, logical and knew much more than she led on, often making decisions that were made with extremely calculated steps planned into them. Outside of that, she did things on a whim, loved to prank people, was sometimes a bit forceful for a certain subject, loved to flirt with her husband and often was just much harder to deal with.
He respected his father, for he was the only one who could keep his wife under control with a single silent gaze. Though he knew his father wasn’t much better either. His father was a perfectionist when it came to his craft, generally taciturn due to being a shy person, and often let his wife let loose a little too often. Their relationship as father and son wasn’t bad, but during the last eight years, he had worried his father either had hidden dumb dreams, or was seriously influenced by something. He remembered his father trying to bond with him while stuck as a girl a number of times, always resulting in his mother stopping him before it could happen. There was one time he had found an old magazine lying around the main house, but before he could read the cover, his father took it away and left quickly without a word.
He shook his head quietly as the nostalgia was about to set in and tried to get to the matter at hand.
“Mother, why did you summon me today? And with Fuumi as well.”
“Well…mother needs you two as models again.”
“Again? But I am a boy right now, you only do clothing for women.”
“That’s true, but I think you’ll be able to help anyway.”
“Why do you think-…eh?”
Suddenly noticing the change in voice, realizing what had happened, Hayate wondered about the timing of that power. It was almost like her mother knew she would change right now.
“…How do you know sometimes, mother?”
“It’s mother’s secret~ ♥”
Once again sighing, she didn’t want to do this. She hated doing this kind of thing due to the clothes.
“Um, may I be excused?”
“Fuumi…give it up…mother is in that mood right now. She must have had some kind of inspiration earlier.”
“Such an understanding child, I’m so glad you grew up so well.”
This too was an all too familiar occurrence that Hayate knew quite well despite hating it so much. Whenever her mother had inspiration for something, she needed models. Despite there being many maids around, only Hayate and Fuumi were really used as models due to some vague reason about them being “the best materials” for it.
The two ended up as fashion models for the next number of hours as there had been a large amount of clothing pieces and accessories prepared. The clothes were personally made by her mother due to her mother’s occupation as a fashion designer. Being well known and famous among the public, it was the primary reason why their family was so rich despite having been an old money type traditional family before.
Although she hated this, she knew the motions and the poses she needed to do to please her mother, all for the sake of making the experience as short as possible. Even with the number of times telling her to just make a living as a model, Hayate would try to ignore it. Often what made things longer was Fuumi’s inability to do the same, often getting told to pose more correctly or walk a certain way without being stiff, etc. It couldn’t be helped, Fuumi who hated to expose her skin was often put in the outfits with more skin exposure compared to what Hayate would be told to wear.
At the end, it would take a while for Hayate to cheer her childhood friend up as she would often sit squatting in a particular dark corner depressed later.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
“Ah…I’m so glad I got the next season’s two sets done. Thank you, you two~.”
A pair of wry smiles could only respond back silently. The happy person in question seemed to have her skin looking much better than usual for some reason. It was only the three of them in the main chamber now, her father had long ran away back to his workshop to avoid getting involved in the earlier event.
“Then if that is all you need, mother. Fuumi and I should head home now.”
Her mother’s change in tone caused her to stop, there was something in it that made her think her mother’s switch was flipped.
“I need to talk to you. Fuumi, you take this and read it exactly at the time stated on the envelope. You will head back to that house first right now.”
Being given a somewhat thick envelope, the time on it said 9 PM, it was only less than two hour away. Fuumi wished to say something, however after receiving one serious stare that didn’t take any objections caused her to silently bow her head before leaving.
With only the two of them in this room now, the moment seemed long as Hayate formed her own serious stare, or rather glare similar to her father’s.
“Mother…It is them…they have appeared once again…”
“Just like you…how do you know?”
“I can feel it…just barely, like it is hiding but I am able to tell the amount of demons is much more than any other time I have dealt with in the past. And…there seems to be an extremely malicious one mixed in…”
“You’ve always been able to sense demons than most Demon Hunters, Hayate. It’s no wonder the hunting in our prefecture is done so smoothly and quickly.”
“Then, I will handle this alone, mother.”
“Hayate…shouldn’t you ask Xiuying to help you?”
“I cannot this time, the number is far too large. Was it not your words from back then that I fight best alone?”
“…I did say that Hayate, but as your mother…sending you off to battle alone like that is…”
“Mother…I feel that if anyone joined me on the hunt from the start, they would die. I cannot allow that. That is why I will do this alone…”
“I see…I will say no more.”
“I am sorry, mother.”
Without another word, she quietly left her mother behind in the main chamber. Hatsuko sitting there bit her lip quietly in frustration, bitterly thinking about how true her child’s words was. Hayate has my gift. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s the same kind of gift. No, that is a cursed gift. To be able to see the future. I should be glad that Hayate doesn’t have the same exact one that I have. How many futures did I have to see before I decided on this course? But if Hayate’s is different from mine, then how did it match up with the best case prediction? Is it intuitive? Or…is there another factor that I don’t know about?
She mused for a while thinking on when she looked at the time on her watch. Now…she should be coming back soon. Right through that door.
The door opened, a girl with long black hair dressed in an unusual attire was standing there with an innocent smile.
“Okaa-sama, I’ve returned from there. Wasn’t I supposed to meet Onii-sama for the first time today? Where is he?”
Hatsuko looked at the girl, tears formed in her eyes as she covered her mouth. The girl was someone she had been wanting to see for so long, so many years had passed since that event. The happiness she felt seeing her daughter standing there.
“W…Welcome home, Hayate.“