Chapter 1: "Student" Hunter
Hayate Michiru was really dismal with the arrangement being laid out for her. Her guardian, more accurately known as her paternal grandfather had undeniably been behind all this.
" Hayate-sama, we've already arrived at our destination. "
The seventeen-year-old frowned and flopped backwards against the soft leather backrest of the limousine. She crossed her legs at the ankles and folded her arms across her chest. The chauffeur opened the door for her, bowing respectfully, as he waited for her to come out.
Her grandfather's personal secretary, Maamen, swivelled around in his seat to look back at her.
" Hayate-sama, you're really putting us in a very difficult position here. It would be best if you follow along with what your grandfather wishes of you. "
The girl's eyes flashed in anger as she sprang forward in her seat, her composed demeanour gone.
" Maamen, this isn't what I agreed to in the first place. Someone should have contacted me about this earlier. After all, it wasn't my idea of spending…that's not a decent word to express it but perhaps, wasting one year here. "
Maamen could understand perfectly how Netero's granddaughter felt but he had no choice, neither had he any say in this matter. After all, Netero had decided on what was best for his own granddaughter.
" Hayate-sama, you are behind schedule. Mrs. Archer wants to meet you and already you are late for her appointment. "
However, she refused to budge from her seat. She simply resumed her position once before and closed her eyes.
Maamen sighed inwardly as he stepped out of the limousine. He noticed that several bystanders (newcomers) had gathered at the front steps of the building, staring at the limousine intriguingly.
" Hayate-sama, you are going to embarrass yourself if I were to drag you out of there, " he warned, extending a hand out to her.
Hayate muttered something crude under her breath although he was right there within earshot and slapped his hand away.
" I can get out fine on my own! " she snapped insolently and jumped out, slamming the door behind her with a loud thump before the chauffeur could react, with good measure.
" I appreciate that, Hayate-sama, " Maamen replied tolerantly.
There was no reaction from Maamen which caused her to be even more aggravated.
" Excuse me, sir! " a voice rang out.
Hayate looked up. A boy, approximately her age, with hair, the colour of snow and red eyes pushed past the now growing crowd and ran towards them.
" Are you an albino? " Hayate blurted out before she could stop herself, the moment he reached them.
" Hayate-sama! " Maamen exclaimed.
The seventeen-year-old blushed at her apparent impoliteness.
" Hayate-sama, you should know better than this, Please apologise to this young boy right now! " the secretary continued.
" No, it's okay, sir. I mean, you don't have to apologise. I'm used to it, " the stranger interpolated quickly. " By the way, are you Maamen-san? "
" Yes, I am. "
The boy smiled at the both of them.
" I'm Emiya, head pupil counsellor of Shibuya Institute from Class 6-A. The chairman has appointed me to be Michiru-san's guide during the one year duration, " he explained. " I'll be more than honoured to be of service to her. "
Maamen dabbed at his sweaty brow with his handkerchief and glanced down at the time displayed in his pocket watch.
" Oh dear, that took longer than expected, " he muttered distractedly under his breath.
The secretary swiftly turned to Hayate.
" Hayate-sama, I'm already running late for some matters that I urgently need to attend to. Emiya-san will take care of you in my place. From here, I must bid
Hayate pretended not to hear since she was still furious with him.
She clearly knew that Maamen was not at fault here but she could help it. They had planned all this behind her back, without her knowledge. In fact, she was angry with everyone and her big brother was no exception. He must have agreed to this because she had a distinct feeling that he was involved somehow. How dare he do something like this to her, his own darling little sister?
Maamen did not even wait for her reply as he quickly strode back to the waiting limousine that the girl had just vacated.
Hayate watched him, give directions to the driver before the limousine left for his subsequent destination, while leaving her in the dust, trapped here in an indefinite school.
" Michiru-san, let me escort you to the chairman's office. "
Hayate turned to look at the boy who had introduced himself as Emiya. He smiled warmly at her which the girl did not reciprocate and walked ahead of her, hands in his pockets. Although hesitant, Hayate followed but kept a good distance away from him.
The whisperings escalated to the next level as she walked past the other students that had gathered at the front. She knew that they were gossiping about her and that she did not like. One withering look was enough to cause a definite cease in the chatter.
" So, you are the granddaughter of the most highly regarded chairman of the Hunter's Association, " Emiya began, once they were out of earshot.
Hayate's eyes narrowed but she chose not to reply him because of the much too palpable answer.
Emiya cleared his throat when he realised that the question asked was wholly impractical.
" What I meant to say was… are you one of them? "
He turned round to face her fully.
" Emiya-san, I imply you should just show me the way to the chairman's office and not interrogate me any further, " Hayate answered frigidly. " That is your job,
isn't it? "
The head pupil counsellor looked startled.
Hayate's eyes softened considerably. She knew that she had no right to expel her anger on him. Besides, she had only just met him in less than a few minutes ago. Wasn't it one of her precedence to lean to make friends?
" Emiya-san, I'm in the best of mood today and I would be grateful for it if you would refrain from asking me questions every now and then. "
A look of understanding crept into his gaze as he nodded.
" Personal problems, huh? Sure, I understand. "
For the first time, a faint smile played on the girl's lips.
" Thank you, Emiya-san. "
The head pupil counsellor led her through various hallways and finally stopping in front of a set of frosted double glass doors. He stepped aside to make for Hayate.
" Here? "
Emiya nodded to confirm the location of the chairman's office.
" Right through these doors, Michiru-san. "
Hayate licked her lips, tasting the juicy syrupiness of her minty lemon lip balm which she applied on earlier and squared her shoulders, tugging the hem of her oversized grey sweatshirt down. Once she was ready, the seventeen-year-old seized the metal handle and pulled open one of the double doors which was amazingly light. Hayate stepped inside and released the handle, allowing it to swing freely backwards, in place.
The room was wide and spacious, with warm earthly tones of colours splashed ardently onto the walls. There were rows of cabinets dotting the periphery of the room, ornaments and framed pictures hanging haphazardly on the walls. Thus, creating an inviting and comfortable atmosphere. Amidst the clutter, was a large office desk with papers filed orderly in huge stacks at one end while the other end was a woman bent over, writing something furiously on a letter pad.
The woman looked up instantly, the moment Hayate entered. For a moment, there was silence as she examined the girl from head to toe, taking in every single detail.
" And who might you be? " the woman inquired, her sleek hoary pen still suspended over her letter pad.
Feeling strangely self-conscious under her scrutiny, Hayate began to stammer.
" Uh…well, I'm H-Hayate Michiru. "
The woman's eyes widened, almost to the size as saucer plates and it took her a long moment to register her name. Within the next second, she jumped up from her chair, causing it to topple over and rushed over to Hayate, a warm and friendly smile stretched across lush lips.
" Hayate-chan! " she gushed enthusiastically and hugged the now flabbergasted
girl. " I was waiting for you! "
Waiting for me…?
What could have possibly made her to act the way she is right now…?
First, she acts cold and then she acts all wacky and out of character…
What is going on, exactly…?
" Mum, please. You're smothering her. "
Immediately, Hayate spun round and nearly collapsed from utter bewilderment.
" Emiya?! " she exclaimed.
The guy had apparently entered without her noticing and was now leaning casually against a cabinet, arms folded across his chest.
" Emiya, I'm clearly not smothering her. I was hugging her. Hugging! " Mrs. Archer declared indignantly.
Emiya shrugged his shoulders and shot Hayate, a fleeting look of amusement.
" Right, mum, but from where I was standing, you were choking her. "
The woman shook her head, sighing heavily and then turned to face Hayate.
" Hayate-chan, I'm sure you've met my son, Emiya earlier on, didn't you? "
Before the seventeen-year-old could answer, Emiya beat her to it.
" Of course, she did, mum. I mean, you were the one who told me to fetch her, didn't you? "
Mrs. Archer touched one painted bright cherry red fingernail to her lower lip and tilted her head slightly to one side.
" Did I now? " she said. " That's not what I remembered. If I were to recall correctly, weren't you the one who volunteered to be Hayate's guide? "
Hayate glanced at Emiya out of the corner of her eye and spotted a faint red colouring his pale cheeks. However, the boy managed to keep his blush in check since it disappeared a few moments later.
" I wanted to make her feel welcomed here, mum since she is going to be in my class and all, " Emiya protested exasperatedly.
Emiya's mother smiled shrewdly.
" Are you – "
The head pupil counsellor quickly interrupted her.
" I think the other newbies are about to arrive, I better go check on them. "
With that, he hastened out of the office.
Seeing Emiya's hasty departure, both Mrs. Archer and Hayate dissolved into giggles. Laughter was indeed the best medicine for Hayate. It did wonders for her since her unhappiness had evaporated, leaving her feeling more vibrant and cheery.
Nevertheless, that does not necessarily mean that her grandfather was right. Maybe, even far from it. She was determined to prove him, Maamen, her big brother… everyone wrong, that school is nothing but downright agonising.