Disclaimer: I do not own Kaguya: Love is War. Please do not sue me.
Hayasaka: Love is a Mission!
Operation Fated First Meeting!
"Do you understand your orders? You are to seduce this pest -th-this Shirogane Miyuki - who dared to… who dared… Ugh! I'm so furious I can't- Go! Make him fall head over heels for you, wrap him tight around your finger… then… with his pathetic heart in your hands… only then...when he has confessed his love to you... You. Will. Break. Him. Am I understood, Hayasaka?"
"As you command, Lady Kaguya."
A chilly wind swept around the only daughter of the Shinomiya Household, the infamous Ice Queen of Shuchi'in Academy. Lady Kaguya sunk into her chair, brooding over the incident that incited her fury. Whatever the insult was, it was enough to provoke her and it took some convincing to prevent her from unleashing the vast might of the Shinomiya Conglomerate to bear on the lowly peasant called Shirogane Miyuki.
Her faithful maid Hayasaka Ai remained kneeling as she contemplated the resources being granted for this task. Virtually unlimited funds, access to all of the Shinomiya resources, as well as paid overtime and a reduction in maid duties.
Hayasaka glanced up at her mistress.
In the midst of her stewing, Lady Kaguya appeared like an Evil Overlord and Hayasaka was her most trusted demonic general… which wasn't that far from the truth.
"You are dismissed."
Hayasaka Ai nodded and rose.
As she closed the door behind her, a single thought pierced Hayasaka Ai's mind:
'What the heck did this guy do to make her so mad!?'
Meanwhile at this exact moment, Shirogane Miyuki was being confirmed as the newest member of the 66th Shuchi'in Academy Student Council. The spring sun was just beginning to set, turning the sky into a bright pink. In the room that served as the office of the Student Council, two figures cast a long shadow against the magnificent backdrop.
As far as they were concerned, there was no one in the world but the President and Shirogane Miyuki.
"Hehe," said the 66th President of Shuchi'in Academy, the current bearer of the solid gold aiguillette passed down through the generations. "If I didn't know any better this would look like a confession scene."
Indeed, this was the sort of scene that would make the fujoshis squeal in delight.
Unfortunately for those deviants, the feelings present here were simply that of a caring upperclassman for his grateful underclassman.
But the joke did nothing to relieve Shirogane's hesitation.
"President… are you sure? If you admit me into the council, I'll damage your prestige and your administration… There's already rumors that you'll let anyone into the Student Council. I'm less than a nobody. Are you sure you really want a commoner - an 'impure' like me-'"
"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?"
The voice did not come from the President. Shirogane and the President turned to the voice. It was Treasurer Ryuju Momo, a yakuza daughter. She was actually in the room the whole time lounging on the sofa playing her handheld video game. A girl with a foul attitude and a fouler mouth, she comes and goes as she pleases but gets her job done.
"H-how long have you been there?"
Ignoring Shirogane's question, Ryuju continued. "If those idiots are too spineless to say it to our faces then their opinions aren't worth anything," she said while playing her video game. "Screw their opinions."
"Treasurer Ryuju tends to do that, you see," said the President with a smile. "But yes! I agree. Screw their opinions! You are a member of the Student Council now! The only opinions that matter are those of your friends and the Council."
The President stepped forward, placing a reassuring hand on Shirogane.
"I see great potential in you. I hope you can see the same. Believe in yourself."
Treasurer Ryuju Momo groaned, rolling her eyes. It was one of the President's sappy sayings. There's absolutely no way that kid would take it seriously-
"President! I am in your eternal debt!" Shirogane replied, tears swelling in the corner of his eyes.
"...are you kidding me?"
"President, I swear to you that until I have the acknowledgement of everyone in this school… until they see me at the pinnacle of this school - I forsake all love! I will gladly sacrifice the springtime of my youth for the Shuchi'in Academy Student Council!"
The 66th President laughed. He didn't think Shirogane was serious.
After all, what idiot would willingly give up love in high school, the very lion's den of romance?
Meanwhile, Ryuju Momo was dying of second-hand cringe. She felt so embarrassed by such a stupidly absurd proclamation that she felt bad for Shirogane on his behalf. Unfortunately, while Shirogane had graduated from middle school, his mentality hasn't. He was deluded enough to actually think what he was saying was really cool! Shirogane steeled his nerves. He had made a promise to the President and he had every intention of keeping it.
The President however, didn't really care but admired Shirogane's youthful vigor.
"Haha… you don't have to go that far, Shirogane. Come on, we got work to do."
The President returned to the window side and looked out. For the next year, this domain - Shuchi'in Academy - would be his to shepherd.
Shirogane vowed to himself. That the President was someone worth standing by.
"Oh! Sorry. I mean… We got work to do, General Affairs Officer Shirone Miyuki."
From the couch, still holding onto her neglectected handheld game, Treasurer Ryuju Momo watched the scene unfold before her. Finally, she returned to her video game and unpaused it, hoping to scrub the memories of the past few minutes from her brain.
She could only mutter the following in disgust:
"God… now there's two monster virgins in the Stuco..."
The days continued on and Shirogane threw his all into his studies, his part-time jobs, and his duties as General Affairs Officer. He was often sent to assist the various clubs. Most of his duties involved cleaning up, maintenance, and/or busywork. In the past week alone, Shirogane was sent to assist the Soccer Clubs, the Mass Media Club, and even the Cheer Club.
"It's a learning experience," said the President. "You have to see how the clubs operate, meet the people in them, and maybe you'll learn a bit about their perspective. Gaining a worldly view is a benefit of being part of the Council."
Shirogane thought that sounded really cool!
And so, Shirogane redoubled his efforts. Nothing could stand between him and his goal. He would make the entire school recognize him - including that girl who stood at the very pinnacle of Shuchi'in Academy society.
And if the cost of that was to forsake all romance, then so be it!
Shirogane had hoped the school would recognize his efforts.
Despite this, Shirogane received no recognition. Partly because of his status as an 'impure' but mostly because the student body simply didn't appreciate the hard work and efforts of others.
But there was someone who knew.
There was someone who watched Shirogane's every move.
There was someone who knew how he spent an extra hour after the end-of-club to repaint the fields for the Soccer Club. Someone who saw how he was deliberately ignored by the sweaty soccer team as he cleaned up the fields and put away their equipment for them.
There was someone who knew how Shirogane secretly fixed an outdated VCR in the mass media room because his family had the same ancient model. The Mass Media Club were so stunned that they thought it was a miracle from God.
There was someone who knew Shirogane helped patch up the various costumes in the Cheer Club storage room, out of sight and out of thanks...
All of these generous acts would have gone unnoticed and undocumented, had this person not been watching...
...because she was paid to.
Hayasaka Ai had not even spoken a word to Shirogane yet she probably knew more about him than anyone else in the world… A normal person would use a phrase such as 'stalker'. However, they would be mistaken. Hayasaka Ai was a professional. In such cases she would be no different than an intelligence officer in an oppressive authoritarian government or a paparazzi. Were private detectives considered stalkers by society at large? Hayasaka thought not. They were merely doing a job. Stalking is only a crime if it's a hobby, but because it's a job and Hayasaka has a license, it's a-okay by society's standards.
And using her society-approved license, Hayasaka compiled a dossier on her target:
A brief summary of his life followed. He lived in a rundown 50,000 yen a month apartment with his father and little sister. His mother was alive but lived separately. He also held numerous part time jobs including but limited to convenience store cashier, family restaurant waiter, and amusement park mascot.
The boy was also an 'impure' - a transfer student to Shuchi'in Academy.
And as such, he was ostracized until the President, realizing Shirogane's potential, intervened. And because the President was an overall decent guy, he offered Shirogane a position on the Student Council as General Affairs Officer.
But, strangely enough, there were no documented interactions between Shirogane and Shinomiya…
...just what the heck did this guy do to make Lady Kaguya so furious!?
His scores were certainly above average for a Shuchi'in Academy and would be top ranked at any other second class institution. Other than that, he had no notable characteristics whatsoever.
He was just a generic poor kid on a scholarship.
But if Hayasaka were to have any hope of seducing Shirogane Miyuki she would have to engineer that...
The Fated First Encounter!
The first meeting sets the tone for the entire relationship!
First impressions are important in both business and personal lives.
A good first impression would result in a greatly enhanced perception of the individual. By immediately asserting herself as a prospective romantic candidate, and one that is obtainable, it would induce Shirogane to confess to her.
To that end, Hayasaka had been running several mental simulations of the perfect fated meeting.
A pile of notebooks were stacked high over to the side of her surveillance desk.
Some would call them fantasies.
Another wall was covered with pictures of Shirogane Miyuki - every single one a candid shot taken without his knowledge or permission. Each one connected with a red string.
To the ordinary person, this would like the work of a mad conspiracy theorist.
But for Hayasaka Ai, this was simply the most efficient way to organize the information.
The sun had just begun to rise after another night of work and review. After getting her usual six hours of sleep, Hayasaka rose to begin preparations for the day and to organize her material. She needed to decide on a plan of action for the 'fated first meeting' soon.
One of her favorites was having herself be cornered by a bunch of hired thugs who were former pro wrestlers. They would be paid to get beaten up by Shirogane and thus come out as a hero.
But the world wasn't a shounen battle anime.
Shirogane was so physically weak he couldn't realistically defeat even paid Shinomiya grunts. Also Shirogane wasn't a delinquent character, which such heroic antics would be much better suited.
Also a normal person would probably just call the police.
There was also the alternative.
Hayasaka could fall out of the sky and literally land on him complete with panty shots to induce him into believing that she was a (good) witch being chased by (bad) witches. Then she could have a supercool transformation sequence into her incredibly impractical battle costume with a skirt and fight using sword and staff instead of a much more efficient assault rifle.
But the world wasn't a maho shoujo anime.
Hayasaka also considered just hiring a truck to hit him.
Then Shirogane would be teleported into another world. There he would be granted overpowered abilities by some careless God or AI through mountains of exposition. Hayasaka could then appear as one of the many girls whose primary personality trait is their hair color to add to his collection like some collectible children's card game.
But the world wasn't an isekai anime.
Although Hayasaka liked the 'hiring a truck to hit him'-idea.
She left it on a sticky note for possible use later.
Hayasaka needed him twisted around her finger. If she launched a direct assault, but that would leave her at the disadvantage in the relationship. Love is a power struggle and if Hayasaka came off too thirsty, as the kids today would say, then it would only serve to boost Shirogane's confidence in the long run. He would think he could attract a girl but be unable to keep one. A momentary heartbreak was not her goal.
Hayasaka needed to bury him. To shatter his confidence so thoroughly he would have no other option but to become a permanent NEET, living in contempt and isolated from civilized society.
That was what Lady Kaguya demanded.
And that is what Hayasaka Ai will deliver.
Of course, Hayasaka could easily approach Shirogane and seduce him that way. A few loose buttons off the top of her short and a lot of forward leans. But such a method could lead to unfounded rumors. And Hayasaka Ai enjoyed her low-profile reputation at school. No, she needed to establish a rapport with him in secret, one that would develop into a one-sided admiration and affection.
Also, Hayasaka didn't want to come off like some floozy.
Thus, with her plan for their fated first encounter finalized, Hayasaka stood in the front of the mirror reviewing her equipment.
Her choice of nail colors, perfume, and hair accessory would not be looked at kindly. Her skirt length was shortened. Her socks were a bit too long and baggy. Hayasaka's uniform pushed the loopholes of the Student Morals Handbook to its limits. Some would say they were outright violations.
For school at Shuchi'in Academy, Hayasaka had constructed a 'Gal' persona. This was a happy-go-lucky persona with a carefree streak. This greatly limited her options so she couldn't appear too out-of-character less her true self be outed.
And that could never be allowed to happen. Her anonymity was an invaluable asset.
Hayasaka glanced at the clock. It was almost departure time.
Lady Kaguya had finished breakfast.
She should at least see Lady Kaguya off.
Lady Kaguya was waiting at the foyer. In her hands was a small reference book. She was waiting for the car but felt it would be efficient to review some notes while waiting.
"What is the progress on your mission?" Lady Kaguya asked without looking up.
"It is going well, Lady Kaguya. I am continuing to collect information on the target before I make my move," said Hayasaka with a bow. "The target is currently the General Affairs Officer and it will be difficult to approach without exposing myself to the scrutiny of the entire student body."
"I see. Continue on then."
"As you command, Lady Kaguya."
The driver arrived to announce that the car was ready for departure. As Lady Kaguya left, she cast a glance at Hayasaka.
"Do not forget. Crush his heart."
With the driver taking Kaguya to school, Hayasaka Ai had to find alternative transportation. It mattered little. Lady Kaguya had to keep up appearances and it would be unbecoming if she shared a car ride with a servant.
How could anyone ever be late to school?, she wondered. With sufficient planning, preparation, and personal will anything was possible. It was simply a matter of execution.
Hayasaka might not look it, but she was certainly capable of running a mile in six minutes. Given that school was a mere two miles away, she could arrive in class within twelve minutes if she pushed it. She could also call a taxi or take the train.
Instead, she decided on a leisurely paced walk.
Only idiots would run with toast in their mouth on the way to school. That sort of cliche belonged in the Showa Era. The correct move would be to simply pack a larger lunch and sneak a few bites during class. Either that or claim that they were on a diet.
Why couldn't people just wake up earlier and eat your breakfast before going to school!
The solution is so simple!
Anyways, a walk also allowed Hayasaka to ponder.
This was one of her rare moments when she was free from her duties as a maid of the Shinomiya Household and could have time to reflect and scheme. She slipped through a secret side entrance to prevent being seen from coming out directly out of the estate.
As she walked through the busy streets, she wondered...
How could she set up the perfect fated first meeting-
"Waahhhh," cried a cute girl.
"Stop crying or else I'm-hic!-gonna-hic!-cry too!" And so the bratty boy he was with started sobbing too.
Now there were two kids on the roadside. Between them one could see a teddy bear wrapped in a yoyo string. The reason for their sadness was obvious. For some stupid reason or another, the kids got the yoyo impossibly tangled and they couldn't get it free.
"Hey brats. What's wrong?" asked Hayasaka, although she fully knew what was wrong.
"M-my bear is t-tangled up in the string," the girl sobbed.
"Yeah I get that. Just cut the string."
"But this is the yo-yo Mommy bought for me…" the boy replied.
Hayasaka grew a bit irritated. She had a box cutter knife, because of course she does, and could easily free the teddy at the expense of the yoyo. The yoyo was a cheap 10 yen toy one can get at any convenience store. It was a trivial thing. Why were these kids making such a big deal over all this plastic and string?
"Look, I'm going to be late to class at this rate. Besides, you can always buy a new one."
"B-but this is special."
Hayasaka Ai believed there was no use for such mushy feelings. Everything was simply a tool to achieve one's objectives. What use was there for something so cheap? It was absolutely meaningless!
"Look kid, you're really chewing up my precious time. The solution is simple isn't it? Just cut the string-"
"There's a simpler solution," a voice interrupted from behind.
Hayasaka knew exactly whose voice that was.
"Just untangle the yoyo from the bear," the voice continued.
It was unmistakable. Hayasaka had spent hours watching video recordings with audio on this man. She could tense the tone, the nasal inflections, right now to his overconfidence masking incredibly insecurities. He was here. This was to be their first meeting - the fated first meeting!
She turned around to see, just as she expected...
"We just gotta get that bear free without cutting the string right?" said Shirogane, as it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Hand it here. We can get them both free in no time."
"Ugh! You're wearing a Shuchi'in uniform right? We're both gonna be late to class!"
"We can untangle it and get to class. I got a bike!"
"But what about me!?"
"I can give you a lift. Come on, we can untangle this faster if we work together… Here, grab this end…"
"No no, the other end! Okay now if we tug here…"
Shirogane's hands moved carefully, looking at each knot carefully and slipping the yoyo through the string. With careful maneuvers, slowly but surely the strings became looser and looser.
A few minutes later and the bear was untangled. The yoyo was undamaged.
"Wow Mister!" said the bratty boy. "You're amazing!"
"T-thank you, Big Bro!" said the cute little girl.
Shirogane then flashed them a grin with a thumbs up that came off excessively creepy to Hayasaka but made him look like the coolest badass on the planet to the kids.
"She helped too!"
He pointed a thumb towards Hayasaka.
"Thanks, big sis!" they said simultaneously.
Hayasaka blushed, not used to receiving thanks from brats.
"We only got ten minutes until class starts-"
"Hop on! I've never been late to school. Not once! And I won't be starting today!"
It was a girl's bicycle that once belonged to Shirogane's estranged mother. The thing was ancient, but still serviceable due to constant upkeep.
Hayasaka wouldn't be caught dead on that thing.
She could easily sprint to class, but figured this was another opportunity to get closer to Shirogane.
And so, she hopped on.
"Eh? Isn't this illegal!?" asked Hayasaka with feigned concern. Of course Hayasaka knew the legal codes for riding on the backseat would be a fine and a slap from the wrist.
"Student Council privileges take precedence over petty traffic laws! Now hop on!"
There were two options for bicycle riding!
Option A was to ride with the passenger facing backwards. The passenger would remain seated on the flat cargo rack.
But instead, Hayasaka chose option B!
Sitting on the flat rack, she wrapped her arms around Shirogane for support, carefully to keep a tight hold but not too tight that he would swerve into an accident.
Hayasaka pressed herself against Shirogane's backside.
...but there was no reaction.
"This weather sure feels great huh?"
How could that be!? Hayasaka was confident that she possessed sufficient material in order to induce at least a slight reaction. Sure, her pride would be hurt, but it was better than absolutely nothing!
The man should be a slobbering mess unable to focus on the road!
Hayasaka's thoughts drifted to her mistress, looming over her in her condescending tone and throne.
'You couldn't make him feel a thing despite pressing your full chest against him? Is this supposed to be the best the Hayasaka Family can offer…?'
Then came the dreaded words that shook Hayasaka Ai to the core.
'My, how disappointing.'
"I won't lose!" Hayasaka declared to herself as she tightened her hold around Shirogane's waist. She simply needed to keep up this offensive. Like the Odawara Castle, Shirogane would fall to overwhelming force and unrelenting pressure!
While Hayasaka believed her offensive was ineffective, in fact it was decidedly destructive!
However, Shirogane Miyuki was a teen going through the prime of puberty! He definitely felt two soft yet firm things being pressed against it back! Naturally, his thoughts would trail to that being that 'maybe this girl likes me?'
'Wait. I'm riding a bike to school with a girl behind me.'
'Furthermore… this girl has her arms wrapped around my waist…'
'I can feel her… Oh no…'
'Keep pedaling.! Keep pedaling! Wow they're reeeally soft- KEEP PEDALING!'
And thus Shirogane channeled all of his might into pedaling harder than an Olympian. Such youthful vigor was so great that it could power all of Japan for an instant.
But alas, the consequence of an increase in output meant Shirogane would convert more and more of his stored carbohydrates and fats into energy. The ultimate waste product of this reaction was carbon dioxide gas and…
Which is the worst for Hayasaka who had a keen sense of smell!
As part of her maid training for the Shinomiya household, Hayasaka was forced to undergo extreme aroma training. She would be tied to a chair and forced to sniff out the various spices in a curry like paprika, cumin, and coriander like it was training for some cooking battle anime.
But because of this training, her sense of smell rivaled those of airport security dogs sniffing for bombs, explosives, and other contraband.
After all the days she had spent watching Shirogane through video feeds and listening to him on audio… she completely forgot about the olfactory senses!
Shirogane Miyuki was definitely not a bad-smelling person… but only usually!
But the combination of the point blank distance, combined with his open pores due to increased exertion, and Hayasaka's keenly trained sense of smell resulted in an overwhelming bombardment!
"This is terrible!"
"God… it's so foul!"
"Please… end it quickly!"
To mere mortals, Shirogane would simply smell sweaty which would have been unpleasant but tolerable. However, the enhanced sensitivity of Hayasaka's nose meant she could detect the minute traces of all of Shirogane's jobs!
Hayasaka could smell the grease from when Shirogane worked his garage mechanic job. The burnt coffee when he manned the espresso machine at the cafe. The smell of sweaty otakus as they piled into the hobby shop to buy the latest pop idol CDs to boost their sales to number one in the charts! There was even the lingering scent of hot pot made from nearly expired discount vegetables from last night's dinner!
And worst of all - it was full of sticker-discount stinky tofu!
"Who adds stinky tofu to a hot pot!? Disgusting!"
"I'm going to die…"
Under such an assault, Hayasaka could feel her sanity slipping away.
She could even smell the cheap-but-ineffective strawberry-hazelnut soap he used to try to scrub off the smell!
"I just got to focus on that scent…"
"It's the least unpleasant out of the bunch."
Hayasaka sucked in a deep breath.
Her mind was transported to that of a strawberry field.
Her own eyes began getting sleep deprived from the excess roller coaster of places her nose was transporting her to. Tears budded in her eyes as the mental battle raged on between Hayasaka's psyche and the smells clawing their way up her nostrils.
She bit her tongue to stay conscious.
"I will survive!"
Unbeknownst to her, Shirogane was also suffering through his own private battle of attrition.
And that was that he was physically out of shape!
If he were to surrender to this now, after all he said to the President then Shirogane couldn't bear the shame of it all!
"I will not let this get the best of me!"
His body had exhausted its oxygen reserves long ago and had switched to the anaerobic single muscle fiber was screaming for relief from the lactic acid build up. The acid stressed the nerves, causing significant fatigue and pain. But his nerves were being overloaded as Shirogane was exerting himself far more than he has in months! And because of this, his pain receptors were virtually numbed!
As such, Shirogane let go of his earthly tether. Entered the void. Empty, And became wind.
Such a state could be said to be that closest to Buddha!
This was the fabled 'runner's high'!
Pedestrians watching the scene could only watch in delight, seeing what would have been something consigned to a previous era. It appeared like something straight from a romance drama where they were reenacting a scene from a rosy-colored childhood: two persons riding the same bike.
"My my, what a cute couple."
"Mommy, are those two dating?"
"Ah, to be young again!"
Some less enlightened persons may say they look like lovers.
What they do not see is the complex mental battle occurring between the hunter and the prey caught in mortal embrace.
Both Hayasaka Ai and Shirogane Miyuki steeled their resolve.
"You will fall in love with me and confess! So I can break your heart for Lady Kaguya!"
"I won't fall in love! I made a man's promise to the President!"
Without realizing it, they flew past the Discipline Committee Members standing out in front greeting and handing flyers to remind students to keep up respectable morals.
"Hey! That's a speeding violation!" shouted a girl in pigtails whose voice was full of righteous indignation and conviction. She had half the mind to throw a rock at them if there weren't laws against that.
The reprimand brought Shirogane back to his senses.
"Student Council business!" he shouted back.
Hayasaka kept her face low to avoid being seen by anyone. Luckily, nobody except the two Discipline Committee Members were there. Those two were outsiders even in the already ostracized Discipline Committee so they wouldn't have anyone to gossip to even if they wanted to.
Then the bike practically crashed into the rack.
Instantaneously, Hayasaka hopped off the bicycle and sucked in a delightful gulp of fresh air.
If she were a weaker soul, she would drop to her knees and kiss the blessed ground and thank the gods - both Abrahamic and Japanese - for her safe arrival to school.
With a quick sleight of hand, Hayasaka Ai took a sniff of some breath mints before popping it in her mouth. Normally, it would appear to a girl just popping a piece of mint in her mouth. But in fact, it was to clear her nasal cavity of the sludge of smells she had just to endure!
Shirogane was locking up his bike in the rack while Hayasaka watched, like a lion leering its prey.
It would be bad manners to walk off ahead. They should walk to class together!
Hayasaka turned around, and with a flip of her air gave a command:
"Hurry up, Shirogane! I don't wanna be late."
She could use this meeting to progress their relationship. Although this was far from her ideal first meeting, it was suitable for her needs. After all, in the end, he would be the one confessing, and she would be the one breaking his heart!
"What is it?" Hayasaka asked dismissively, turning to face Shirogane lost in thought.
Then he looked up.
"How did you know my name was Shirogane?"
Hayasaka's heart dropped.
In her excitement she had made a critical mistake!
To the keen observer, one would see the brief microsecond where Hayasaka Ai panicked. But Hayasaka Ai was a professional, and one who would not be so easily tilted. Behind her lips, she bit her tongue, knowing she had been caught knowing far more than she should.
In that infinite second, Hayasaka was running through every possible excuse.
Shirogane Miyuki was a harmless but perceptive boy.
Although Shirogane Miyuki had been announced as the General Affairs Officer, hardly anyone cared. The current Student Council was so unpopular that hardly anyone knew who the members were outside the President. There was absolutely no way the average student, and especially Hayasaka Ai, would know any of the lower officers.
So that excuse was out.
Meanwhile, Shirogane Miyuki was thinking that perhaps in his week as General Affairs Officer he was finally getting some recognition! The thought that Hayasaka Ai, the cute Gal girl, could be a stalker never once crossed his mind!
'I can't let him know I know virtually everything about him!' thought Hayasaka Ai. 'I'll come off as a total creep! It'll ruin my reputation! They'll think I'm a completely delusional psychopath who has nothing better to do than read dossiers on an absolute nobody!'
'Are people finally recognizing who I am!? Does that mean I'm getting slightly more popular!?' thought Shirogane Miyuki. 'Are people actually talking about me!?'
Slowly, Hayasaka looked over Shirogane.
She needed a response. Time was ticking away.
Her eyes fell to his eyes, dark from sleep deprivation. His bed hair was failing to comb it. Hayasaka needed an out… she needed an escape room… Her eyes continued to follow downward until - then she saw it, her way out! Lifting up her fingertips to her lips like applying a mask, Hayasaka gave a soft chuckle.
Then, in the most dismissive voice she could muster, Hayasaka said the following:
"I noticed your bag..."
"You still have your name etched into it..."
"I never thought I'd see someone in high school with their name still on their bag…"
His mouth was agape in horror.
He looked like someone ran over his kitten.
He lifted up his backpack to confirm.
IT. WAS. TRUE.
Then came the words. The words that would haunt Shirogane for the rest of his life. They were spoken with condensation, one that mocked Shirogane's commoner status and inferior social skills.
Shirogane's world turned black as Hayasaka Ai said the lethal words.
The sheer horror of Shirogane Miyuki grew exponentially. Any more energy and it would cause the heat death of the universe. This was the death rattle of a man whose will was nearly broken.
"JUST KILL ME NOOOW!"
"Gladly, but later! Come on. Class is about to start."
Hayasaka turned to walk away, knowing she had decisively crushed her opponent. She had won numerous victories today: she wasn't late to the first day of high school, she had managed to protect her identity as Lady Kaguya's maid, and this Shirogane boy was so embarrassed he could crawl into a hole and die.
Shirogane, still clutching his heart, leaned on his bike for support.
"Yeah? What is it?"
"W-what's your name?" he asked.
The question was so simple, Hayasaka Ai didn't even account for it. Even Shirogane didn't think much of it. He simply just wanted to know the girl's name.
"You know my name. Isn't it only fair that I know yours?"
"The name's Hayasaka Ai. And will you hurry it up? We're gonna be late for class."
That's when the first period ball rang.
Result of Today's Mission: HAYASAKA AND SHIROGANE FAILURE! Hayasaka and Shirogane were both late to class!
Author's Notes: Hayasaka Ai is best girl.