After leaving the banquet held in her honor, the MC stumbles across a mysterious man in the quiet of the Inari shrine. Enchanted by his beauty, she soon realizes him as her childhood friend Hayato! Known as the courtesan Hayabusa at Kikuya, the MC finds herself drawn to the pleasure district to spend time with him despite his pleas for her to stay away. When someone starts to suspect the MC of her crime in aiding a courtesan and his lover elope, Hayato declares that he’ll protect the MC like he did in the past!
Kind and earnest, Hayato is much more approachable compared to the other courtesans. While he’s just as beautiful, he doesn’t seem as exotic due to his past relationship with the MC. He treats her as a younger sister and is extremely protective of her; while his words make it seem like his feelings for her are platonic, it’s obvious that he loves her (even if he doesn’t realize it) due to his pining to see her ever since they were separated when he was sold off as a courtesan. While he wants to see her, he doesn’t want her to come back to the red light district because he treasures her and wants her to keep her innocence; he’s slightly possessive of the MC in his desire to cherish and protect her, though he doesn’t seem to realize it XD
I absolutely loved the writing for the romance in this route. I’m a sucker for childhood friends turned love interests, and this route captured the wistful longing of both Hayato and the MC extremely well. While it takes a while for the MC to realize the growing feelings she has for Hayato are love, it looked like Hayato became aware of his love for her a lot sooner; he struggles with the desire to cherish her and protect her innocence but at the same time wanting to make her his own. The descriptions were beautiful and imparted the idea of “parting is sweet sorrow”; I could easily empathize with the MC’s longing to meet Hayato again, even if it was in Kikuya as a courtesan. The route did a good job of writing and developing the difference phases of their reunion, from the initial joys of finding each other again to the struggles of realizing how different and restricting their current relationship is compared to when they were children.
The plot was also well written and developed. While I thought the main conflict was resolved a bit too easily in the end, the drama was developed at a good pace and added to their changing relationship. It felt as if the other characters were a bit too kind in this story compared to the other routes, but I didn’t mind; you can see that everyone really wants the best for the two of them, and personally it made their happy ending more meaningful since they reached it with the support of everyone around them (even the other courtesans, surprisingly XD ).
I highly recommend this route! While it’s been a while since I’ve played a few of the characters, this was definitely the best written story of the ones that I played recently. Hayato (or Hayabusa, whatever you want to call him) is my bias for this game without a doubt; I’m keeping my fingers crossed that D3 will release sub stories for him, but since it’s been a while since they’ve updated the game it doesn’t seem likely ; w ; I wouldn’t recommend the sequel and date scenerios unless you really love Hayato by the end of his main volume; they were a bit short, especially his sequel. Please give Hayato a try! I think most people will like this story >w< Once again, happy playing!