Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hayate The Combat Butler Chapter 534: Kiss to Kimei to Kiss -- Review and Synopsis

Hata sure loves to show off dat ASS! Nagi's turn next, ok?

Synopsis: Someone and someone: It's been a long time, hasn't it?
Someone else: It's nostalgic (probably Ruka and Hayate saying these)

Chiharu: Wait a sec, I'mma change clothes.

Ruka: yearh yearh watevs

Hayate: Imma prepare tea

Ruka: BTW, Hayate

Hayate: S'up?

Ruka: Ya remember that kiss?


Ruka: Eh? You've kissed me. So who else have you kissed since then?

Hayate: That's some strange talk... who else would I have kissed since... (remembers that Makise girl)

Hayate and Ruka: ......

Ruka:You have kissed someone else haven't you?

Ruka: It's only been two months but you've already kissed a different woman.

Hayate: Bah! How should I know? It was an accident ok? An accident!

Ruka: I see. You haven't changed at all. Still as popular as ever, I see.

Ruka: I mean, you even managed to hook this super kawaii idol-chan, didn't you?

Hayate: Like I said, whatevs! I dunno!

Ruka: You'r quite humble, ain't ya?

Hayate: It's true!

Chiharu who feels like a third wheel: Ayasaki really is popular, ain't he?

Chiharu: I'mma goin to Nagi's. How about u, Ruka?

Ruka: Oh, sorry. Gotta get back to work.

Ruka: Nagi's manga is due out soon, right?

The cuteness... it's overwhelming!

Chiharu: Yearh.

Chiharu: Watch out for it. It's really interesting.

At the Sanzenin's

Nagi: Being an idol sure is hard eh?

Chiharu: Rly.

Chiharu: by the way

Nagi: whut?

Chiharu: Do ya like Ayasaki?

Nagi: W-w-w-why?

Chiharu: Well... that is...

Chiharu: Well, this manga's hero and heroine are you and Ayasaki, amirite?


Nagi: Really, you otaku confuse fiction with reality!

Chiharu: You're one to talk!

Chiharu: So? What it is it really?

Nagi: That's right! I love him! Is there a problem with that?

Chiharu: No, no... there's no problem at all.

Nagi: Well, I didn't even start all of this!

Chiharu: Eh? Such as?

Nagi: Like a confession of love! These feelings all started from Hayate!

Chiharu: Eh, really?

Nagi: That's right! Hayate fell in love with me at first sight!

Chiharu: Is that so? I'm shocked. Ayasaki is a lolicon.

Nagi: Hayate fell in love with me, that's why I made him my butler!

So hard to choose! Too many cute reactions from mai waifu this chapter... dun worry, baby! You'll be just fine.

Nagi: What else do ya wanna know? I'll tell you everything!

Nagi: First of all, that time when Hayate confessed to me.

Flashback to Hayate's "confession.

Narration: It was actually a kidnapping.

Chiharu: Really? That Ayasaki?

Nagi: That's right! And he was really pushy about it!

Chiharu: He sure doesn't look like he's capable of that.

Nagi: Yeah, really.

Chiharu: So... are you two planning to get married in the future?

Nagi: Well, if all goes well, we'll get to that eventually.

Chiharu: I see! Good luck then. Do your best as a manga artist and to get the Sanzenin inheritance.

Nagi: Uh... why?

Chiharu: Isn't it obvious?

Chiharu: Other than money, you have no appeal as a woman.

Nagi: Shaddup! I do so have appeal as a woman.

Chiharu: Wait a sec, calm down.

Chiharu: What kind of man would find a woman who is an arrogant hikkomori mangaka appealing?

Nagi: Who're you calling an arrogant hikkikomori mangaka? You're being impolite!

Chiharu: That's why I'm telling you to calm down a bit.

Chiharu: Ayasaki kun is a lolicon!

Chiharu: He only has eyes for you and he's confessed, that's great.

Chiharu: But in 10 years time... do you think he'll still feel the same for you?

Chiharu: Definitely, that guy doesn't react to girls of the same age like Ruka and Hinagiku.

Chiharu: That's why money will be an important factor for the future of the two of you.

Chiharu: Without money you won't be able to buy anything. Money opens the way to happiness, don't you think?

Nagi: I see... well, you have a point.

Chiharu: Yeah, if the business fails. It will eventually end in divorce.

Chiharu: Eh, is that so? You haven't confessed yet?

Nagi: I'll confess ok! Now go home already!

Chiharu: Money is very important for your future!

At Ruka's studio.

Ruka: But I'm glad to hear that you're not dating anyone, Hayate.

Ruka: If you were to fall in love with someone, I'd be a little shocked, that's why.

At that time, a thought entered Hayate's head.

The path to the royal garden could be opened by feelings of unrequited love.

Through an intense love that suddenly becomes cold, surely the explosion of negative feelings that will open the path will come right?

Hayate: So whose love should I use for ojou-sama's sake? Whose love should I use?

Review: We've got a loaded chapter here. We're shown just what's in Nagi's or how she perceives things from her perspective. No surprise that she thinks Hayate's head over heels in love with her. She might have doubted it at some point, but the butler's own confusing signals left her with no other choice but to believe in the scenario that she already had a bias for in her head: that Hayate fell in love with her at first sight.

So was she wrong? Well, the manga definitely tells us that she's probably dead wrong, but how wrong is she really? Was there really not a single trace of love/romance on December 24 of that night? Again, Hayate's inner monologue would seem to indicate that the answer is yes, but because we have little reason to believe in the character's own monologue in the Hayate-verse, let's not be too sure here. Remember that Ruka also said she hated her idol career -- just before her own emotional breakdown and only to retract her statements later -- so let's not jump to hasty conclusions here.

He's still thinking of her... even while concocting a totally evil plan -- more evil than anything Hisui has done so far.

With that said, things seem to be leading towards the big "bomb between them" which will probably culminate when Nagi attempts to confess to Hayate just as he's thinking about an evil thought like using someone's love to open the path to the Royal Garden.

Which leads me to Ayasaki himself: seriously, what is he thinking? Why would he even go this far for Nagi's sake? Well, I do believe that he himself doesn't even realize why he is doing this because he's never reflected on his own actions before. All that matters to him now is winning Nagi her inheritance -- without taking her feelings into account -- AND this is his big mistake which will eventually lead to probably him triggering the bomb between them and causing Nagi's eventual heartbreak. Also, does he really think Nagi would approve of his actions? Of course! I forgot, he's not thinking of Nagi's or anyone else's feelings at all. Like I've said before, for all his facade of selflessness, Hayate is a lot more selfish than Nagi ever will be... wait! I didn't say that before? Well, I'm saying it now.

Let's not delude ourselves here, Nagi's heartbreak WILL happen. The plot demands it and to have it go in another direction wouldn't just be a shocking swerve, it wold be a big waste of the developments of the plot since the very start of this manga 533 chapters ago.

The only question after that is how Hata chooses to resolve it. Let's just say that if Nagi becomes the candidate to open the Royal Garden, it's going to be painful to watch for a while, but that basically seals the deal in her favor in the  "ending girl" department.

Of course, there are lots of things still to come in-between. For one, Chiharu now knows Nagi's feelings. Since she's smart and inquisitive, she might figure things out on her own -- now Maria chose to be silent about the misunderstanding, but what would Chiharu choose to do? Let's wait and see because her actions might be crucial in the future... or not.

As for Ruka, well... it just seems to me that Hata just wanted to remind us that she's still a part of this manga and that she's still a fun character. She doesn't seem all that bothered with her so-called "scandal," because like she said in the previous chapter, it's all groundless.

By the way, if Hayate goes through with his plans, he's worse than Hisui. Someone needs to slap some sense into him soon!


Fanart Corner: Funny how timely this fanart is. I just wanted to draw Nagi in this pose/face after seeing how Hayate describes her to Athena as the type who even complains to the sun when it rises in the morning. Love these colored pencils... and watercolor pencils recently. GOODBYE digital art!

She's not wrong.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

What If? A Hayate no Gotoku! Alternate Retelling: Chapter 4: I’ll Be Waiting

Read Chapter 1

With superhuman speed, Hayate made a mad dash to save his lady from the clutches of his own parents.

Carrying Nagi on his shoulder, Hayate’s dad had already jumped out of the bedroom window and was a good 15 meters away from him, but Hayate managed to close the distance within a fraction of a second. To an onlooker, it would have seemed as if he simply warped from one point to another.
“Dad, you let go of her right now!”
At the same moment that he closed in on his lady’s abductor, Hayate unleashed a furious spinning roundhouse kick in mid-air aimed at his father’s back…
Hayate’s Dad spun around.

“Uh… was that supposed to hurt me, son?”

“Hayate, you hit your own father!” Hayate’s mother who was trailing behind them scolded him.
“Muahaha! Seriously? You’d hit your own father? More importantly, who taught you to kick like that? That was awful. No power behind it at all… you see, it’s all in the hips, son. Gotta rotate your hips as you throw your leg forward… like so!”
The force of the kick sent Hayate sprawling backwards. He gripped his chest in pain.

“Hrmph… well, I can’t go easy on you even if you’re my son after all…ugh….wha---t---the….”

Hayate’s father fell forward unconscious. Nagi stood up and dusted her clothes off with a nonchalant expression on her face.

Still reeling from the pain, Hayate noticed something glittering on her right hand. It was a needle. She had used a syringe of some kind.

“Oh don’t worry, Hayate. It’s just a tranquilizer. It should put him out for a good 3-5 hours, but no permanent damage. I always carry one or two handy. It’s not easy being a billionaire heiress after all.”

“Y-you! What did you do to my husband you little…”

“Um… I really think you should stop.” Nagi retained her stoic expression and pointed the pistol that Hayate’s father had been using straight at Hayate’s mom. This caused the older woman to freeze in her tracks.
“Nagi, Hayate… are you ok?”
By the time Maria had arrived with the Sanzenin SP’s all the action was already over.
Nagi left the cleaning up operations to Maria and the SP’s.
Reluctantly, she approached a shivering Hayate, who had curled up into a fetal position. He was probably more emotionally scarred than physically hurt. Still, they needed to talk.

“Ojou…sama?”He looked up reluctantly at his lady.

“Thanks for saving me.” She said with a smile… but it wasn’t her usual smile. There was a certain sadness in her expression as if she were saying goodbye to an old friend.

Hayate himself must have noticed this as he was almost on the verge of tears again just from looking at her face.

“I’m sorry…. I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

“Hush” Nagi placed her index finger on the lips of the agitated little boy before her.
“But, Hayate… I promise I won’t be angry at you… so please, tell me the truth. Did you approach me on that Christmas eve just so you could steal from me?”
“N-No… umm… I mean, well, yes and no!”

She raised an eyebrow.

“My parents really did abandon me that night and left me with nothing but that letter. I was more angry than sad, so I just ran out of the house and wandered around aimlessly. That’s when I saw you in front of that row of vending machines… I just thought that you were really beautiful! The moment I saw you… I just knew I had to get to know you better.”

Nagi blushed a little at Hayate’s unabashed description of her.

“I… didn’t know what my parents were planning at first, but when you took me in as your butler, that’s when they came in contact with me again. They somehow managed to slip a note into my room. They told me to start replacing the expensive paintings in your house with fakes that they provided me with. They would sneak the paintings in through the mail in the early mornings since I was always the first to get up and answer the door. My parents are experts at forging art pieces so an ordinary person with no training wouldn’t be able to spot these fakes at a glance.  I didn’t want to steal from ojou-sama… so I trashed the first few fakes that they sent me, but then… they slipped another letter into my room and told me that you would get hurt if I didn’t go along with them. I hate to say it, but my parents are really terrible people and I never wanted ojou-sama to get hurt because of me, so I had to do as they said.”

“… and it was going well until you taught me how to spot fakes… but you should have figured that out by yourself. It was such an elementary mistake…”

“I know. Well, I suppose you could say I let my guard down, ojou-sama.”  He could not look her in the eye anymore as he said this.
What Hayate wanted to say was that he let his guard down because he liked her so much, but he hesitated to do so for fear that she might hate him more than she already did.
“I see…” Her voice was cold and lifeless.


“I understand your circumstances, Hayate. I really do… but I suppose…”

“Please don’t say it!” Was what Hayate Ayasaki was thinking at that moment, but the words refused to leave his lips.

“I suppose… this is goodbye for now.”

“NO…please… no… don’t leave me, Nagi ojou-sama…” Again, these were the words Hayate wanted to say, the words he should have said at that moment, but could not.
“I have an empty mansion just a few blocks away from here. It used to belong to my mother. It’s been abandoned now, but it should have all the basic amenities you’ll need and you should find the place quite livable – perhaps even more comfortable than your life as a butler here has been. Also, don’t worry, I won’t press charges against your parents… I’ve made them promise to leave you alone in my care… but I also think we need a little distance from each other after this incident… to at least think about what comes next, which is why I’m sending you away for now. I’ve already paid for your schooling in Hakuo, so you don’t need to worry about that.” Her voice was calm and steady, but to Hayate, it felt as if she was slowly killing him with the cold treatment she was showing him.
Hayate had never seen this side of her before. It was like she was some lifeless robot reciting a death sentence in front of him.

“Wait! Wait! Don’t I get a say in this?” Protests rang out in Hayate’s head at the thought of being separated from his precious ojou-sama, but he could not find the voice to let them be heard. His tongue was frozen in place by guilt; crushed into silence by the weight of his own betrayal.
 And so, in the end… they had to part.
It was over.  Her decision would not change. His words would not sway her anymore – he was certain of this because he knew that she was making the right decision.
And yet, the thought of being separated from his most precious person – the thought of never seeing her again, perhaps forever, finally spurred Hayate into action.
“WAIT! Ojou-sama!”

Finally, Hayate Ayasaki’s silence was broken.

“Hmm…? Do you have something more to say?” Nagi replied matter-of-factly.
“Yes I do! I-I can’t put it into words right now… it’s not the right time, but… please… I do have something to tell you… so, on December 24, at the place where it all began! Please, can I see you again at that time? I’ll wait for you. I’ll wait for you no matter how long it takes!”

“I see…” Nagi scratched her head as if deep in thought, then she turned to face him with a smile.
“Ok, let’s see each other again… so for now, this is goodbye, Hayate.”
“Goodbye, ojou-sama” Hayate bowed his head low. Mercifully, it began to rain on that night, obscuring the tears which were streaming onto his cheeks.
And thus, time moves forward to December 24. Loser Park. Somewhere in Japan.
“The words that I couldn’t say back then. The words that I’m struggling to say right now. They are all the same.” Was what he said.

He was almost as tall as her now. It wasn’t always this way. Just a year ago, she actually towered over him. Right now however, they were almost at eye level.

“The way you looked at me with those kind and lonely eyes. The way you took my hand in yours, I always knew how you truly felt.” Was her reply.

He held the palms of his hands in front of him. Looking a bit hesitant, he continued.

“You never doubted me – even though I could never say things correctly.”

She took a step forward. They were closer now. Close enough for him to hear her breathing. Close enough for him to smell the sweet scent of her golden hair fluttering in the breeze.
Thus, she spoke.

“I was always one step ahead of you, listening for the familiar echoes of your footsteps.”

And he answered.

“I tried so hard to hide these feelings. I never realized that this was my biggest mistake.”
These were his sincerest thoughts at that moment. There was no room for misunderstanding.
Her face felt slightly warm despite the decidedly cold winter breeze. Strangely enough, although it was winter, it was not yet snowing in this particular part of Japan.
“Do you still remember? The first time that we met?” Was her question.
“Of course, how could I forget?”
“I always kinda hoped those days would last forever.”

She looked far into the horizon with a knowing glance. The sun flared with a bright orange glow – the last rays of light before nighttime.

“I… felt the same. I truly did… I’m sorry.”

Upon hearing his words, she moved closer. Cupping his chin with her long, delicate fingers, she looked kindly into his deep blue eyes.

“Don’t say that… ok? ‘Sorry’ is a word of regret.”
She looked up into the sky. Hayate could only stand and watch, entranced by her every movement. The way her long golden hair tied up in twin-tails fluttered in the breeze, the way she closed her eyes with her head raised high.

“Listen, Hayate… sorry is a word of regret – so don’t you ever say something like that to me again. To regret means to dwell on the past. What has happened cannot be undone, so even if things seem painful, keep moving forward and never look back.”
“But – I thought you’d hate me if I didn’t say that. I did such a terrible thing.”

He was on the verge of tears.

“Hey Hayate! It was so much fun wasn’t it?”

She changed the subject.

“I can’t believe it’s been a year already.  Every day just felt like a wonderful dream.”

Night had fallen. The conditions were perfect.

Hayate took a deep breath. He had asked for this meeting because he wanted to say something to her… but he still needed one final push before he could say it.
“Hey, do you think they were watching over us, ojou-sama?”


“The stars, I mean. Do you remember?”

“Oh yes. You mean when I told you the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi?”

Hayate looked fondly into the night sky.

“Yeah, I just feel that everything fell into place perfectly at that moment… like someone was watching over us.”

“Perhaps, Hayate… perhaps…”

And then…

“Nagi onee-sama… I love you. I’ve always loved you. From the moment that I first saw you, my feelings for you have never changed!”

He had finally said it. The words flowed naturally from his lips. There was no hint of hesitation in his tone. She had told him not to live life with regrets after all – so there would be none from Hayate Ayasaki – even if…

A strong gust of wind blew past just as he had made his confession. Still, there was no doubt that Nagi had heard what he had to say.
She closed her eyes. It was cold, but it wasn’t snowing – just as when they first met. She was wearing a pure white dress that seemed to dance with the wintry breeze as it clung to her petite, feminine figure.

She turned to the side and bowed her head low. A thin smirk formed on her lips. Hayate’s heart was about to jump from his chest in anticipation.

She knew how he felt of course, she had always known.

“1,117 days… or equal to 159 weeks and 4 days.”
“What?” Hayate was understandably bewildered by her response.

“That… is the wall of time that separates us, Hayate. It’s quite a distance, isn’t it?”

“Nagi onee-sama…”

She looked into his eyes. They were definitely almost at eye-level now. He had grown a lot in just a year. Given one more year – perhaps even a few months time, he would probably be taller than her.
“Hayate, I like you but… I’m not sure if I can tell you the words that you so desperately want to hear right now.”

“I… see.”

“So therefore!” She suddenly raised her voice, which startled Hayate before he could even think of becoming depressed.
“1,117 days. That is the wall of time between us. I want you to prove to me that you can overcome this distance! Become stronger, faster, taller … and break down this invisible barrier, Hayate… become strong enough to endure and overcome any problems that come between us, be it kidnappers, a 156 million yen debt or a bitter misunderstanding... until then…”

She turned to face him. She was smiling – the same smile that she had shown him on this very night just 365 days ago.

“I will be waiting... at the other side. So grow up fast, Hayate.”
Hayate closed his eyes and clenched his fist with a firm resolve in his heart.

“Definitely! As long as you are waiting for me, Nagi onee-sama, even if the Milky Way itself tries to get in-between us, I will become strong enough to kick a wormhole through reality just to reach you.”

She leaned forward and closed her eyes… and he too closed his eyes in anticipation.

He felt something wet and warm… on his left cheek – which caused his heart to beat wildly.

Hayate might have left the park just a little bit disappointed on this night, but this was much was fine… for now.

“I’ll be waiting.”

It began on Christmas eve on this very spot just one year ago. And on this very same spot, it begins… the story of their love… from this day forth…

The End

Author’s Notes

Well… this is possibly the longest story I’ve written since the last 4 years or so give or take. I’d like to thank my facebook acquaintance, Bill Plunderbones for urging me on to finish this fic.

Nagi is a very special character for me and I hope you can see that in this fic.

I wrote this story with the intention of making it a stand-alone piece of fiction whether you are familiar with the characters of the manga/anime or not, while still remaining true to the original characters.

The title is a dead giveaway. This is a “what-if” scenario that changes a few things around in their circumstances and most notably reverses the age-gap between Hayate and Nagi. If you feel that Hayate doesn’t act the way he does in the manga in this piece of work, I would argue that this is not exactly the same Hayate from the manga since in this version, he never met Athena and never learned about “the pain of love.” Also, Nagi is older than him in this fic, so even if he has a personal bias against younger women, it wouldn’t really matter in this scenario.

I usually use a show-don't-tell method when I write, but I find that style doesn't work as well for a dialogue and character driven universe like in Hayate the Combat Butler -- so you might find that I'm a bit more direct with my storytelling than usual. That much is intentional.

By the way, regarding the art... this actually just started out as a piece of fanart with a short scenario written for it -- but with Bill's coaxing, it grew into something a little bit larger than that. I actually didn't use digital manipulation that much. The pieces of fanart I'm using here are all drawn with colored pencils and felt-tipped pens.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this little piece as much as I enjoyed drawing and writing for it. See you in future stories to come. -lordcloudx

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What If? A Hayate no Gotoku! Alternate Retelling: Chapter 3: The Stars That Night…

Read Chapter One
Read Chapter Two

Christmas Eve. December 24. Loser Park. Somewhere in Japan…

“Hey, do you think they were watching over us, ojou-sama?”

“The stars, I mean. Do you remember?”

“Oh yes. You mean when I told you the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi?”

Hayate looked fondly into the night sky.

“Yeah, I just feel that everything fell into place perfectly at that moment… like someone was watching over us.”

“Perhaps, Hayate… perhaps…”
It was sometime in August during the last phases of the Tanabata festival.

It was nighttime and Nagi had donned a flowing summer dress that perfectly accentuated her lovely golden locks. She had gone for a walk outside the mansion since Hayate and Maria were busy with their respective duties inside.


“Hahaha! Gotcha this time, Hayate! I learned this trick from our pink-haired miss-perfect Student Council President at Hakuo.”

Yes, because having become wary of Hayate and his naughty skirt-flipping ways, Nagi was wearing shorts underneath her skirt.

She wiggled her butt in front of Hayate to gloat at having thwarted his attempt to upskirt her once again.

Nagi felt a sharp stinging pain on her rear end.


“Ooh… soft! But you know, you were totally asking for it, ojou-sama! Hahaha! I still gotcha!”
And as per usual, Nagi chased after her mischievous kid butler on the hilly, grassy mounds of the huge Sanzenin Estate. Hayate ran with carefree abandon – totally confident that there was no way that his lazy ojou-sama could catch up with him.

Of course, if there is one thing constant in this world – it would be change… and Nagi had been through this route several times before after all. She might not be the fastest runner in the world and her endurance might be pathetic, but she was still much taller than Hayate and she of course knew the landscape of the estate much better than him.

Nagi tackled Hayate from behind with all her might – which would not be very significant at 29 kilograms – but having caught Hayate by surprise…

“Hah! Gotcha you little…whoa… don’t fall over or we’ll- Kyaaaaah!”

They fell over from the top of a steep hilly mound. Instinctively, Hayate curled his arms around Nagi’s head and back as they rolled over in order to protect her from injury.

Fortunately, the grass was rather thick in that area, so no injuries were sustained. They managed to safely roll to a stop at the foot of the hill – Nagi straddling Hayate underneath her.

“Bwahaha! That was fun! I almost feel like doing it again…”
“Well… I can’t say I disliked that… but, that could have been really dangerous, ojou-sama!”

Nagi’s face instantly turned red when she realized the position they were in. She sat up quickly and lightly dusted off her dress.

“I could help with tha-“
She held out her hand in front of him before he could finish.

“You’ll just use that as an excuse to grope me again, am I right?”

“Ahaha…” Hayate’s sheepish laugh could only serve to confirm his intentions.

“Hmm…” She looked up at the sky. “But the stars really are beautiful tonight, aren’t they, Hayate?”

But of course, Hayate was not looking at the sky but at Nagi Sanzenin’s moonlit profile.

“Say, do you know the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi?”
“No… I can’t say that I do, ojou-sama.”

Hayate sat up next to her.

“I see… didn’t your,” She had wanted to ask if his parents had never told him this story, but then she remembered Hayate’s circumstances and stopped herself.

“Right, well… be glad, because the one and only Nagi Sanzenin shall deign to tell you.”

“So, by Orihime and Hikoboshi, you mean the stars of Altair and Vega, right?”

Hayate looked up at the sky attempting to find the said stars. He felt some cold, soft hands around his temple from behind him, turning his gaze in the right direction. Hayate felt a little bit of warmth rise up to his cheeks. He was glad that the pale light of the stars and the moonlight were the only things that could expose his true feelings.
Nagi began to recite.

“Orihime was the daughter of the Sky King. She was a weaver who wove beautiful clothes for her father by the bank of the river… this river was the Milky Way. But she had a dilemma. Because she was kept so busy with her work, she feared that she would never meet and fall in love with someone for all eternity.
Sensing his daughter’s plight, the Sky King took pity and arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi the cow herder who lived on the other side of the Milky Way.

The two then fell in love at first sight and got married afterwards and that would have been our happy ending… but things never go as planned… do they?

Fate is whimsical. The Sky King was angered because Orihime refused to weave clothes for her father anymore and Hikoboshi himself refused to herd his cows and allowed them to roam all over heaven. In short, the two neglected their duties.

Thus, the Sky King separated the two of them by exiling them across the different sides of the Milky Way and forbidding them from meeting each other. Naturally, Orihime became very sad and pleaded with her father to allow her to meet her husband again.
Moved by his dauhter’s tears and realizing that her love was true, The Sky King allowed the two lovers to meet… but on one condition: that they could only see each other on the 7th day of the 7th month and only if Orihime could finish her weaving by that time.

When the time came for Orihime and Hikoboshi to meet for the first time, they found that there was no bridge and they could not cross the river… but then, a flock of magpies came and made a bridge for them using their wings. Thus, the two were reunited once again.”

Drip! Drip!

She looked sadly at the sky and then a faint smile formed on Nagi’s lips.

“Oh good… it’s just a little bit… they say that if it rains on the day when the two are supposed to meet, then the magpies wouldn’t come and they would have to wait another year to be reunited… not today, I suppose. Right, Hayate?”

He looked fondly into his mistress eyes.

“Right… ojou-sama. So, the story is one of unrequited love, right?”

“Hmm… that is one way of putting it… BUT, I like to think of it as a story of a strong and enduring love; one that can break down even the walls of time. I believe that is the true message of the story of Altair and Vega, Hayate… that if you really love someone, then time is never an issue and of course, you’re willing to work hard for this love no matter what problems may come your way.”
She smiled sweetly and although Hayate had already fallen for her at that point, he had surely fallen in love all over again just by staring at her face at that moment.

“Of course, ojou-sama…”
But… that was the last time. Darker days were soon to follow, and just like Orihime and Hikoboshi, the bond between the two would soon be put to the ultimate test.

It happened several weeks later. It was a seemingly innocent day… but many things do start out innocently enough.

“Nagi, that new painting we ordered just arrived. Can you tell Hayate where to place it?”
“Sure, Maria. Oh, there it is. So, Hayate, why don’t you make use of that monstrous strength of yours and hang it up over there on the wall of the dining room?”

The painting was huge and must have weighed at least 70 kilos, but Hayate Ayasaki picked it up like it was a child’s plaything.
“Yes, ojou-sama… eh?”

“Hmm… what’s wrong?”

“Well… I don’t know if I should say it but…”

Nagi pinched both of Hayate’s cheeks hard and stretched them apart so that his teeth were exposed.

“If you have something to say, out with it!”
“Umm… well, this painting isn’t very well done. I hope you didn’t pay a lot for it, ojou-sama?”

“Oh? Why would you say that?”

Hayate carefully placed the painting on the floor, making sure not to damage the frame. At 20” by 40” inches, it was quite an amazing sight to behold a small boy barely higher than 4’2” feet carrying it with such ease.

Hayate pinched his lower chin with his thumb and forefinger as his eyes moved expertly across the painting – scrutinizing every detail of it.

“Well, to start off, the strokes are very rough and hasty. Obviously, the artist did this within a day – maybe a few hours at most.  Most glaringly, there’s an error on the building to the far-left, the perspective is slightly off. That’s actually forgivable if the artist drew this without a reference, but there are also a slew of other amateurish touches to this painting such as the mixing of colors on the trees and the inconsistent choice of lighting...”

“Hmm… I see. Impressive.”

“Eh? You think the painting is impressive?”

“No, you are. Where did you learn to assess a painting like that anyway?”

“Umm… my father taught me, I guess.”

Hayate’s answer seemed just a little bit unsure.
“What? So those good-for-nothing parents of yours were good for something after all. But really, that critique was amazing, Hayate.”

Hayate would always tell Nagi about how useless his parents were, so hearing him say that his father had actually taught him something useful was new territory for her.
“Ah, I’m just glad I could be of service, ojou-sama.”

Nagi nodded with a satisfied smile.

“Anyway, I’m sending this thing back. Also, do you think you could teach me how to assess artworks like you just did? It could prove useful in the future.”

“Certainly. I’d be glad to ojou-sama.”

A few hours later…

“… and that’s all I have to teach you, ojou-sama! Honestly, I didn’t think you’d pick up everything so fast.”
“Well yeah, I’m a high-schooler in a prestigious school after all.”

“Wait, but you’re just 13! I thought we’d be going to Hakuo Jr. High together!”

“Well, I’m also going to Hakuo. It’s just that I’m in High School. Speaking of which, be glad that you got accepted into Jr. High. You don’t have to take the legendary Hakuo entrance exams that makes even Tokyo U’s exams look easy.”

“Aww… I wanted to go to school with Nagi onee-chan, though. Why are you in high school anyway?”

“Actually, that’s because she skipped grades. Nagi is a genius, Hayate-kun.”

“M-Maria? You didn’t have to tell him that much.”
“Wow! That’s really great, Maria-san. I never knew.”

“Hmm… yeah, it’s nothing special really.”
“What is it, ojou-sama? You don’t seem too happy.”

“Like I said, it’s not all that special. Anyway, I just thought of something. I’m going to take a little walk around the house. Why don’t you go help out Maria for a while, Hayate?”

“Yes, as you wish, ojou-sama!”

“Right, so come with me, Hayate-kun. I’ll need a man… err, a very strong boy’s strength for a few chores.”
“Of course, Maria-san.”

Later that night, inside of Hayate’s modest but comfortable quarters inside the Sanzenin mansion.

“When I think about it, I’m really glad that I became Nagi onee-sama’s butler. I can live a comfortable life and I’ve even been accepted into a prestigious school like Hakuo Jr. High. Life with Nagi onee-sama… sigh… I wish these happy days would last forever.”

“It’s really embarrassing when you say it like that, you know?”

“W-whaaaah! Nagi-ojousama!”

“Sheesh! Don’t act like you’ve seen a ghost! Do I look that ugly to you?
“No-no! Ojou-sama is always very cute. I was just surprised that you were in bed with me.”
“I-in bed with you? That sounds so wrong… but more importantly.”

Nagi sat up and brought her face closer to Hayate, the young boy’s face instantly turned red at being so close to such a pretty girl.

“I could almost steal a kiss if I moved just a little bit closer,” were his thoughts at that moment.

“Hayate… why did you steal them?”
“S-steal? What are you talking about?”

She looked at him with kind yet determined eyes.

“Are you really going to play that game with me?”

“O-ojou-sama? What are you talking about?”

“The paintings, Hayate. The paintings all over the mansion, why did you steal them? Those things you’ve hung up there are obvious fakes. I can’t be fooled… you taught me how to judge them, remember?”

At that moment, a look of shock registered in Hayate Ayasaki’s face. There was no doubt that he was guilty of the accusation being thrown at him.

“S-so that’s why you said you had something to do earlier.”

“Hayate… I trusted you.”


“Don’t apologize! Just tell me why you did it! Tell me right now, Hayate Ayasaki!”

There was a tinge of anger in her voice, but even moreso, Nagi felt pained -- stabbed through the heart with the sharp dagger of betrayal.

“I-I can’t tell you, Nagi ojou-sama…”
“Why not?”

“Yes, why not, Hayate?”

The voice that followed was not Hayate’s. Suddenly from out of nowhere, a middle-aged man and a woman had burst into the room. The man was armed with a .38 caliber pistol and had clearly evil intentions.
“Oh ho! Ho! Ho! Why not just tell her the whole truth, Hayate? About how you’ve been working for us this entire time?”
“W-what? Then you must be…”

“BINGO! We’re Hayate’s parents. Our little boy’s played you for a fool all along, little lady.”

“H-how could you… Hayate?”

Pools of liquid formed in Nagi’s eyes, but she refused to cry. Or perhaps one might say that she was beyond crying at this point.
“T-that’s not true, milady! Please don’t listen to them! They’re lying. I only did this to protect you!”

“P-protect me? How do you plan to protect me by betraying me?”

She screeched with a pitch that was high enough to shatter crystal.
“Ok, that’s enough talk. This is a kidnapping so you’re coming with us, young lady.”

“Dad, wait! You promised that you wouldn’t harm her.”

A crescent moon shaped smile slowly formed on the lips of the man whom Hayate called his “dad.”

“Well, I guess I’ll keep her safe… unless her grandfather refuses to pay the ransom.”

“That’s not what we agreed on!”

“Agreed on? You’re just a kid. You think you’re in any position to bargain with us? Now if you’ll excuse me, we’ll be taking your girlfriend along with us. Oh, by the way? We tied up the maid in the kitchen. You might want to check up on her on your way out… or not. Not like it matters for us. Bye~!”

With that, Hayate’s father fired several shots at the glass window of Nagi’s room and kicked it into powder, securing their escape route.
“Stop! Don’t take her, please! I’m begging you.”

“Oh now that’s just pathetic… you almost make me want to…ouch!”


Well, Nagi might be a weak, physically frail little girl, but she is definitely not helpless.

“AGH! Get her off me! Get her off me! Stop biting me you little…”

“Nagi! Nagi! Hayate-kun!? Are you okay? Hold on, I’ve called the estate security. A couple of burglars have broken into the house.”

“Ugh! We’ve gotta get outta here, now!”

At that moment, as Hayate watched the figure of his good-for-nothing parents disappearing into the horizon taking with them the most important person to him in the whole world, something rose from within him… something like rage… something a little bit stronger than determination… an indescribable hitherto of emotions surged from inside his tiny frame – filling him with power.

“Please… just this once. I don’t want to be helpless anymore.  God, Buddha, Altair and Vega… or whichever divine powers might be watching over us now… grant me the power. I want to reach her… faster than the wind. Faster than anything...!”
“Hayate no gotoku!”

Nakoruru: The Gift She Gave Me (Dreamcast): A VIsual Novel Review by Mid-Tier Guard

To Derek Pascarella, Marshal Wong, Duralumin, Lewis Cox, Piggy, Nico, Danthrax4, Lacquerware, EsperKnight, SnowyAria, VincentNL, cyo, and Ha...