She wasn't surprised to see the people everywhere, crowding around. She was surprised, however, to feel a hand on her shoulder. She spun around abruptly, facing the person. She recognized who it was immediately.

"Ayane! What are you doing here?" she exclaimed, recoiling in shock, glaring at her half sister maliciously. "Trying to stir up more trouble?" She flicked her orange ponytail over her shoulder in disdain. "You do that well enough without trying. Don't tell me you came here to fight,"

The lavender-haired girl glared back in response to her statement, staring her in the eyes, they were the same height, so it wasn't that difficult. "To get my revenge, sis. This is for all those times when you always told me that I wouldn't reach the same level of skill as you, Kasumi," Her brown eyes flashed dangerously as she said the word Kasumi, spitting out the word as though it burnt her tongue to say it. Kasumi raised her eyebrows.

"Don't tell me that you're stupid enough to start a fight with all these witnesses. You always had no sense…" Kasumi said, rolling her eyes.

"Are you stupid?" Ayane hissed. "I'm entering the tournament as well. So I'll see you there. But, here's a souvenir of our meeting," With that, she lashed out at Kasumi, hitting her in the stomach, but the blow was inconspicuous, so the nearby stranger wouldn't get suspicious. The young kunoichi doubled over, trying to get her breath back, and Ayane used the advantage to kick her, bringing her down to her knees. Suddenly, there was a whirl of leaves and a person appeared next to them. Both girls looked up in shock, and stared up into the emerald eyes of a handsome young ninja. He looked at them both before sighing softly.

"A fight before the battle has even begun. I'm sure you'll have enough time to continue this when the tournament starts," he said, his tone quiet, polite, yet… cold at the same time.

Kasumi was about to say something along the lines of 'Mind your own business' when she realized just who she was looking at.

"Hayabusa? What are you doing here?" Kasumi asked, astonished. She was expecting some sort of acknowledgement, but she got none. Just a look which was icy, but… seemed deeper then she could see. She had known him since she was a child! Why was there no recognition? It hadn't been this way the last time she had seen him, in the previous tournament; he had spoken to her almost as like old times. Nothing had changed… had it?

Ayane was equally surprised. She had also known Hayabusa for a long time, admittedly not as long as her sister, or more specifically half sister, but still quite a few years. He was different from what she had remembered; he had matured, not just mentally, obviously, Ayane thought, smiling to herself. The smile quickly faded. What was going on?

"I have my reasons," he said coolly. "Please avoid the fighting until you meet in the arena. I can guarantee that you will have more then enough opportunities to fight then," His icy green eyes suddenly flashed dangerously, making Kasumi feel nervous in spite of herself.

"…Okay…" Kasumi said uncertainly. Ayane made a face but said nothing, turning away from both Hayabusa and Kasumi. She felt extremely uncomfortable around the young ninja, though she didn't know why. It wasn't as though he was exactly nice or anything, there was no reason to feel so perturbed. He was so cold towards her, he had never been… overly friendly to her.

"Until then," Hayabusa said, disappearing in a swirl of leaves. Both girls started as one, looking at each other in confusion until Ayane broke the almost peacefulness, glaring at her sister again.

"While he's here, I won't lay a hand on you. I'm not that stupid, seeing as obviously he has a thing for you…" she said, smirking as a slight flush went over Kasumi's cheeks. She had known for a while that although her thoughts were with Hayate as a caring sister would feel, yet she had a slight crush on the enigmatic ninja. That was all well and good except for the fact that Hayabusa already had a girlfriend, according to Kasumi herself, anyway.

"Don't be ridiculous," Kasumi said hotly, trying to squash her feelings. "I'm a kunoichi. Love means nothing to me,"

With that, she vanished in a breeze of sakura blossoms, leaving Ayane to her own thoughts.