Chapter One:

Hanae

"The walls of grief are being piled up...

The god of foolishness will be revered..."



I heard people gossiping around, I don't know what topic they are talking about but I could pretty much tell it's something about the Yoi running around causing havoc. I never really understood at first, seeing that I'm merely just a young daughter of a samurai. My father always tells me not to mind about the people and just focus myself on other things like how to earn for a living. I don't much get it, but I believe that, at this time, I have no other option. I never saw my mother for the last five years (and counting), last I saw her would be when I was ten, and with that I don't even know much what else to think about. And, what's worse...

People keep talking behind my back about my 'abnormality'.

They say I was a foreigner, but I doubt that. Some say that I was an offspring from a god and a human. While, others, say that I am a Yoi myself. What am I talking about?

It's highly rare (and impossible) for a person such as me to have red eyes; as red as blood and flames.

Father said I should just ignore them, but if I were to be followed, I would beg to differ. I've been hearing such things ever since young and my mother used to tell me not to believe them. I tried asking father, but he wouldn't tell anything and when I asked mother, she would tell me I wouldn't understand.

After a while, I made a decision that I would just ignore them and go live in a society.

And that is what I'm actually doing; living in the society full of pride and prejudice, surviving against all odds to show that I could prove to myself useful and show to those who judge others by their odd looks that we, too, are just humans.

That is what I, Tsukishiro Hanae, will prove. I'll show them.

---

The soft patter of rain resonates inside the small home as a colorful umbrella opened just outside the door, followed by a person walking out from the shack and went underneath the green-and-violet colored umbrella. A sigh escaped the person's lips as she straightens her light-green kimono and adjusting her obi before she walked herself out of the muddy pathway towards her work. It seems this would be another ordinary day for her, a mere maiden of this befoul place of Edo, as she closed the umbrella before entering the premises, calling towards the owner of a this place that she have arrived.

News had spread about an Ayashi- one who eliminates demons from the other world- at night and the sudden decrease of the Yois everywhere. Now, this concerns the Bansha Aratamesho Ayashis, especially Ogasawara Hozaburo, seeing that neither of his comrades had done such deed and he is a sole witness to them; it would be impossible for either of them to be around in the scene of the crime without leaving to his gaze. After the events concerning those 'Western Ones', things would have been peaceful and normal... as normal as it should have been. Now, this rogue 'Ayashi' seems to have taken the spotlight, but he was slightly concern that this rogue one did not dirtied their namesake, as if it has other motives behind its actions.

This truly, does, concern him so.

"Hanae, are you finished with that table over there?"

After bowing towards the customers, greeting them to enjoy their meal, the raven-haired woman blinked as she only nodded towards the owner of the restaurant who mans the place before she headed towards where the person is, dusting her lime-colored kimono from dirt as she gave a sheepish grin in return. The owner seem to be a great friend of her father's as Hanae was glad she was welcomed with open arms to work to get her income. Well, she's a growing woman and she do needed money at some point, seeing that living all by her self, after her father had passed away a year ago, is quite a tedious job. She was luck the owner, Komamura-san, had gave her a place to stay, even if it looks a bit dinky for her to live in. Any place would be fine; besides, she could practically take care of herself.

"You should take a break," Komamura spoke politely towards the female, his gray optics peering at the growing female that he have taken upon ever since last year when his good friend- Hanae's father- died due to a sickness. "You've been working too much lately, I don't see to find any logic as of why you wanted so hard to do such tedious duties."

"But Komamura-san," Hanae began, craning her neck a bit as to see if there is still something for her to do from the kitchen side. "If I don't work, what would I eat when I get home? And, more importantly, I owe you far too much." He should have expected from such a feisty woman of thirty-two, seeing that despite the age she still look like she was around in the middle-twenties, her slightly pale complexion complemented her tall yet thin structure, her red optics and raven locks tied in a bun making her quite a rare sight to see. He would have thought she is one of those life-size mannequins that the nobles collected, but he seems he was wrong when he taught that this female is quite fragile.

In fact, he realized, upon his 'adoption' towards this young woman, that she had such a nature that is rarely seen from other females here in Edo. She was quite an opinionated woman who does not stand not doing anything, always pointed out what she would pertain in whatever she took notice at and, most of all, she doesn't back down an intellectual argument if it means that she would have to resolve to such force. Yes, it was quite rare to have a woman who voices out their opinion and the gracefulness and gentleness is nothing to see towards this eccentric lady herself.

She was, in a term, quite a unique individual in her own rights; a bit rough to the edges, but nothing serious.

It didn't take long before her shift was over and Hanae walked out from the restaurant and bade Komamura-san a farewell before heading back to her place. It wasn't a long walk, she pondered, but she always enjoy having a stroll every once in a while. It was lucky for her that the people her accepted her for whom she is and not for her 'foreign' features as it wonders her a bit if how they treat her is only a mask.

Yes, it was always a wonder; even she, herself, is a mystery to the others, let alone is a puzzle to her own self.

"HEY, COME BACK HERE!"

"Hm?"

A small boy run passed the lanky female, bumping her in the process, as she manage to hold on to her footing to avoid toppling over the ground before another one rushed pass her and, this time, it is an adult male. Twice the charm; She didn't topple over, but the third one seems to have done it this time as the female finally wobbled over and manage to spread her legs a bit in order to avoid herself from falling over before looking up towards such a ruckus. A male chasing a child and another male chasing the guy chasing the child; seriously, have they got anything to say for themselves for not even saying sorry towards the female? How rude!

"Huh... I got you now, kid!" The young lad (probably around ten to twelve) whimpered as he was cornered into the alleyway, fighting back tears as this man had grabbed him on the collar. "Now, tell me, where is it?"

"Leave him alone!"

The person turned around as his disgusted glare aimed towards the person who have spoke those words.

"Ah, Yukiatsu, you're here to meddle into our business again?" The person growled, shaking the poor kid to submission. "Leave us to do our job; we don't want any drifter ordering us around!" He gave a smug smile seeing the person- Yukiatsu- looks aggravated from what he had said which he must have touched a 'sore' spot. "Or you want to be humiliated in front of everyone, huh, drifter?"

Before anything else had happen, something have hit the person's face as he let go onto the kid and cringed in pain, holding his (ugly) face that was embedded with what it seems to be heels of a wooden slipper.

Wooden Slipper?

Speechless with what happened, Yukiatsu looked towards the kid, who also returned with the same, confused gaze, before walked to where the slipper had fell and picked it up, only to receive the same end when another slipper zoomed pass and nearly hit him on the back of his head.

"Hey, what was that for?" The older male grumbled, unbelievable that someone was tough enough to do such stunt towards him. Looking around, his maroon eyes finally sought towards the culprit; a female clad in a lime-colored kimono (with purple designs of a lilac) stood from the view, an arm reaching out as if she was asking for something, a slight scowl was seen from her face, and from the looks of it she is not too pleased with what just happened. "What was that for?" Yukiatsu questioned once more as the female only gave a huff before replying.

"Well, I'm sorry for that," The woman, Hanae, began, her tone hinting a voice of sarcasm with it. "But it seems you people are quite rude as of just run along the streets, weaving pass people as if they are nothing more than meaty obstacles and, for the record, did not apologize to a certain someone who was pushed how-many-times, not even bothering to say even a small 'sorry' in the process!" Another sharp sigh escaped the female as she decided to walked towards the man in an olive yukata and, instead of waiting another more second for him to hand her slipper back, she rolled up the sleeves of her kimono and snatched the slipper he was holding before grabbing the other one that fell onto the ground that she used to aim it at the older male. How in the world she had such aim, Yukiatsu did not dare to know but what made him speechless is that this woman...

This woman...

She just said those words as if she were some kind of a guy, that or someone who has a very high ego like some samurai warriors out there.

A very, very, high ego.

---

Eeeh, since there's SO few Ghost Slayers Ayashi fanfictions out there, might as well try to make one... and probably make some Ayashi drabbles sometime soon since they need humor. Well, this is the first of the humor story I have. And I'm just making this to pass the time, while doing a Belphegor request on Quizilla. For now, this will suffice. Hope I can do chapter two onwards, though...

Geez...

DISCLAIMER:
As always, I don't own Ghost Slayers Ayashi, or its character, and I don't own the song 'Boukoku Kakusei Catharsis'. Ayashi owns by Sho Aikawa and the song is from the anime, .Hack//Roots sang by Ali-Project. The only things I own are the fictional characters and Hanae.

Please Read and Review, must appreciated. Many thank you.