Notes: This story is adapted from Sayonara No Imi Music Video, however in order to make more sensible plot there are several things that will be changed. Also, I really have no idea how Shitoushiki works so what I write in this story is purely based on my imagination mixed with a little bit of information that I gained from the MV.
The sound of her name seems to echo through the shrine hall and crawling along the wooden floor. She blinked a few times, not expecting her name to be the one that's going to get called. Suddenly the world seems so quiet, her ears could only hear the sound of her own heart that has started to beat faster.
Noticing the man gaze that lay upon her is starting to turn cold, she realized that she was taking too much time. She nodded before standing up from her seiza sitting position, hoping that she wouldn’t look like she is losing her balance as she walks forward.
Stopping 5 steps away from the man she kneels down. Actually feeling a bit uncomfortable because her thorns are reacting to her emotion and have already grown a few inches from her skin, causing a little bit problem with positioning her hands on each of her knees.
The person in front of her carefully took a thorny crown from the little table beside him. She lowers her head, letting him place the crown on the top of her head.
“May the God of peace always watch upon us,” the man said, before turning around to start the prayer.
Hashimoto used to wonder what does it like to be the person wearing that strange looking crown. She also used to wonder what does it like to be chosen as the representative of her kind.
Well over the last two years she has learned that despite always being dubbed as an honor, the duty of being the chosen one to wear the surprisingly light crown isn’t enjoyable at all. In fact, from all the past ritual that she has heard and 5 that she has experienced there’s only one case where a person that is not chosen volunteer ended up to be the crowned one at the ritual.
She closes her eyes, softly inhaling through her nose and exhale through her mouth, immersing herself with the sound of prayer chant, hoping it would ease her racing heart.
More than 100 years ago the people of the country was ruled by a group of greedy shoguns who made other people suffer in poverty and hunger. Protesting will lead to a death sentence, disobeying the orders will lead to a more unimaginable punishment which will make the suspect beg for them to just kill him instead. With their ruthless samurais as their wall, the shoguns were untouchable.
Until one day a curse was fallen to the shoguns and their reliable protectors. Thin and sharp thorns started to grow from beneath their limbs skin. They have called every physician, even some of them had come from far outside the country. Nevertheless, there was no one that can help them. Even when they tried to cut the thorns from the skin it would start to grow again after some period of time. Strangely somehow the thorn has become a part of their body.
Upon seeing this the people of the country took their chances to roll over the situation and banish them from their position, which lit the flame of war between both sides. Blood was everywhere, making the country even more dangerous than before. Perhaps because of their much larger number, the normal human was at the winning side and they weren’t stopping, with their sharp thin blades they try to slay every single thorn humans or as they called them, shi-jin.
At the end, knowing that if the war continues nothing will be gained instead of more bloodshed of their kind, the shi-jins beg the human for reconciliation, saying that they won’t bother the humans again as long as they let them live. The humans agree and both parties signed a treaty which is followed by a ceremony of thorn removal for some of the shi-jins.
It’s believed that Shitoushiki-the name of the ceremony, is necessary as a symbolism that humans and shi-jin could leave alongside with each other despite their differences, while the act of slaying the thorns illustrate how shi-jin had surrendered and will let the humans determine the punishment for those who disobeys the treaty.
Ever since that day, the ceremony is performed yearly with a representative chosen randomly through a simple yet sacred election ritual. Some believe, that the Gods actually play a part on having a particular name chosen. They believed that this is why a Shitoushiki without the true chosen representative had never gone smoothly.
She blinked her eyes twice, realizing that she was getting lost in her own mind instead of paying attention to prayer chants. Hesitantly she looks straight ahead and sees that the man who leads the prayer has stood up to retrieve a tray of offerings, their eyes met for a moment and she realized that she should be standing up and follow him, which she quickly does.
Right before the altar, he waited for her to reach the spot right next to him and let her place the offerings down. When she finished putting down every single thing on the tray, both took one step back and do their finishing bow.
With the help of the man, she took off her crown placing it carefully in a box that will keep it safe from any harm.
“Hashimoto-san, after this you should have your lunch with everyone else, but after that, I’ll have you meet the human representative. Also, you should start thinking about 4 people that you want to escort you. Since we’re supposed to start practicing tomorrow I expect you to give me the names at dinner time today. Do you understand?”
She nodded as she stole a glance towards the other girls who are making their prayer, “Tokuyama-san, when exactly the arranged meeting time with the human representative? It’s my turn to do chores today, I will have to tell someone beforehand if I couldn’t do it because of that.”
“She should be here by 1 PM, you should tell someone to switch with you because I expect you to be on time.”
Again she nodded before she realized the first word the man used in his last sentence, “she? The representative is a she?”
“Yes. She’s actually the direct descendant of Nishino- the human representative who sign the treaty.”
Hashimoto raised her eyebrows part of her couldn’t believe what she had just heard but chosen to don’t prolong the conversation and end it with a curt nod before turning her feet to where the shelter house is. As she makes her way she keeps her eyes looking straight ahead in an attempt to ignore the paper signs stuck on the iron fence of the building.
The lunch time goes by without her needing to talk much, that’s not surprising since the other Shi-jins seems to be avoiding her. She couldn’t blame them because she also did the same over the last several years and to be honest, she’s also thankful that they chose to do so because after what had happened she had somehow lost her will to converse.
She was taken by surprise when she feels a hand on her shoulder when she’s washing her plate, “seriously, have you ever heard of the term greeting with words instead of a touch?”
The girl behind her chuckled softly, “sorry, Nanamin, but should you be preparing to meet the human rep? It’s fine to go ahead, I’ll take care of your portion of chores.”
“Thanks. Let me finish this one first,” she smiled in gratefulness at the other girl.
“Sure. Anyway, has he told you to pick a few people for the escort?”
She wiped her hands with the towel hung on the wall, taking a step back to let the girl occupy the space in front of the sink, “Yes, he did.”
“You should choose me. I have been in your place before, three times-even. So you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for my help,” the long haired said sincerely before tying her hair up in a ponytail.
Hashimoto couldn’t help but stare at the other girl’s moving hands. Despite the beautifully light tone of her skin, there’s a long line formed across the back of her hand, starting from the part below her thumb to the start of her little finger. A grim reminder of how dangerous the ceremony could be.
Hashimoto gulped down the sudden anxiousness that has fallen over her, “will do, thanks for everything, Maiyan.”
“Your welcome. Take care”
She nodded and tried to smile a little as if to assure her that everything is going to be just fine, “you too. See you later.”
The walk to the study room where she’s supposed to wait until the human representative come is short lived and once she’s inside she shut the sliding door behind her and take a deep breath. Now that she already got one person for her escort she just needs to think about 3 other girls. She is aware that she has every right to choose whoever she wants and that person would not be in a position to refuse, she is also aware that being an escort will not bring them any harm, but still she feels the need to make sure that she’s choosing the most capable person.
After prancing around the room for several minutes she decided to open the window and sit on the railing, balancing both of her legs on top of it. She could hear a faint sound of people talking behind the door meaning that the human representative has arrived, but choose to place her focus on making paper plane instead of trying to listen, after all, she is not the kind who would bother to eavesdrop things that are not for her to hear.
She wonders about that Nishino girl, is she around the same age with her? Is she much younger? Or maybe much older? How does she look like? She probably could guess about her features since she had seen the girl older brother before, he was actually a representative for the human a few years ago.
Personally, she thinks that it’s strange that the humans chose a girl for their representative, after all as long as she can remember they always appointed male descendant for the role. It’s supposed to be the same for the representative of her own kind. However, the male population of her kind is actually on the brink of extinction, maybe because they usually run away from the shelter and try to disguise themselves as a normal human. Just like her father.
Her fingers played with the paper plane, still could not decide whether to let it fly away or not, while her thorns appearing and disappearing every now and then because of her nervousness. She noticed that the people behind the door have been more silent. She couldn’t help but to think whether they are still there or not, more importantly, just how much longer does she have to wait?
She averted her gaze from the plane to the door and that exact moment her movement is halted because she realized that the door is opened a little bit. Revealing three girls staring at her in bewilderment.
One of the girl seems to be surprised that she saw them and close the door shut abruptly.
Hashimoto stands up, not knowing what to do. Does she have to tell them that it was fine? She really wanted to do so but she is aware that being a representative doesn’t give her the allowance to make that kind of pointless contact with a human. On the other hand, that short unexpected moment is truly bugging her, especially when she remembers their face upon seeing her thorns.
Because the last thing she needs is having the representative afraid of her.
~To Be Continued~
Hi! So I’m trying to get this out as soon as possible so you guys could have a slight idea about how the story would be. Also, I think I’m going to try to write more from Nanamin perspective which is the opposite from the MV, I’m hoping that would leave me more room to improve and build the story.
After this update, I’m going to focus on both this story and Sakanatachi so it probably going to take some time. See you later replies@wakaten:
but i'm also sad for her graduation.. i didn't realized she has that kind of effect to me,. seriously.. she grew bigger in me, and like you.. she is my role model too
so, now back to the story, the girl definitely is maimai right?? HashiGawa is always there and i cannot to dislike the pairing.
how irony it is right after maimai grad, nanamin followed...
Yes that's the thing about Nanamin, I guess. You think you don't really pay attention to her but before you know it you actually look up to her so much
Yep that girl is maimai, and of course there's no disliking hashigawa, they're cute
so far i like the prologue, sasugaa my fav author, saiko dayo!! (my poor japanese)
I'm glad that you like the prologue, I hope you will like this one as well, thanks for supporting my works
and, so... there will be maiyan, matsun, misa and waka right? (i hope so, based on mv hahaha)
And Yes of course, there will be maiyan (she's probably not the main character but I'm always up to write something for my oshi) and also matsun, misa, waka, reika and the other girls that appeared in the MV.
btw, let's work hard together in balancing private life and our fanaticism..
Let's do so! I hope we can do a better job on it @gee:
I've been crying all day because Nanamin's graduation, I've been binge watching her MV and still crying everytime I watch her Naimononedari MV....
Damn Feels.... Although she's not my number one oshi in Nogizaka (it will always be Reika) her graduation still leave a deep bittersweet feelings to me. It's sadder then Maimai graduation, because she'll leave for good from the showbiz.
Thank you very much. I'm glad that you like the prologue
Yes, Nanamin graduation it's sadder because we won't get to see her anymore.... But she doesn't want to be idol from the first place, so I'm glad that she has chosen to follow her heart and do what she want... okay I'm getting emotional
Anyway.... I want to thank you for your nice prologue... it's save me from binge crying that I've been planning to spend my night... somehow this fic make me realize that we can still remember her through her works and of course through a fanfiction. I finally realized that it's not the end of the world (even if it still feels a bit like that to me and maybe for you too) and I should make some departing gift for her too...
Now I became more motivated to continue my fic about her, and it's all thanks to you...
I'm glad that this can help you to move on from crying phase
Yes, we can still remember her through so many things that she has done at her time in Nogizaka and fanfiction could also be a way. Hahahaha of course nanamin graduating feels painful but it's not the end of the world, in fact, I'm pretty sure it open a whole new world for nanamin herself. Now that you mention it, for me, writing this story help to let her go much easier, so maybe you should make something too
I hope you can overcome the sadness of her graduation, and change it to motivate you to make the greatest fic for her....
Trust me, that's what I'm trying to do
Oh and I can't wait to read what happens next between the Hashigawa pair...
Sorry for the long Comment though... ^_^
Hmm... because I will be following the MV plot, hashigawa pair wouldn't appear much, actually. But this story is an eventual Hashigawa, if you can understand what I mean
And please don't be sorry, I love reading long comments @ミサキ:
finally you posted it !!
so the story is basically from Sayonara no Imi MV? i've just realized that after I read it for 3 times
and is that maimai? HashiGawa pair
anyway thank you for the fic... you managed to write it.. i know that you are still busy with real life please update soon finn!!
and about nanamin graduation... for me, it's not that sad like maimai... but still we lost that short haired girl that always shows her pouting face, everyone's role model, and daddy figure....
it's understandable that you find it hard to realize that
but I'm flattered you actually read it 3 times, wow
Your welcome! I'm actually was surprised that I could get the prologue out on time, but nevertheless writing is one of my favorite ways to spend spare time so
Nanamin hit me harder than maimai, maybe because I started to become a big fan on Ima Hanashitai days and maimai graduated not long after that so I didn't have more time to fall in love deeper
but maybe it could also because I can relate to Nanamin in being the first daughter / eldest child in the family
I think I will always consider Nanamin as a father figure in Nogi and also always my daddy
Thanks for the comment tho
DADDY I MISS YOUUUU