|Together in the Minefield|
|Character/s in the cover||Kyoko Mogami|
Together in the Minefield is the 31st chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
A flu is circling around the LME office, which Yashiro gets, too. With his manager out, Ren is assigned a temporary one and guess who that is?
Yashiro is on set with Ren, who is currently doing a scene. Yashiro seems to be sneezing badly for a flu is going around the office and he fears he might have caught it since he dropped by the other day. A female staff member warns him not to infect Ren too. Having finished his scene, Ren comes over to join Yashiro for it's the lunch break. They discuss going to have some lunch, and invite the female staff member who is standing with them. Delighted she asks if this is okay. Before Ren or Yashiro can say anything, Maria pops up out of nowhere and tells her it's totally fine. She even prepared lots of sweets, smiling suspiciously sweet she opens her bento box. The bento box is of course filled with creepy crawlies and sends the poor woman screaming. And Maria yells after her to not get too close to Ren. Yashiro feels sorry for Ren, for it's probably because of Maria that he is still single and she'll probably kill any girlfriend he does get. Ren and Maria share a warm hug, Ren wonders if she came alone but she actually came with a band. The band chooses this moment to start playing loudly, startling both Ren and Yashiro. Ren smiles because he knows who's coming now. The President makes his usual dramatic and over-the-top entrance complete with a white horse, a banner proclaiming his name and also dressed as Prince Charming.
Its actually a coincidence that they are seeing Ren, this causes Ren to wonder who they are actually visiting. Maria says that its her last day of shooting so she wanted to come and see 'Nee-chan'. Kyoko and Kanae are currently filming the commercial acting as A-ko and B-ko. Ren, Yashiro and Maria look on as they act. Both he and Yashiro are impressed and amazed to find out that Kyoko passed the audition. Ren is surprised to find out that 'Nee-chan' is Kyoko, Maria tells him she met her at LME's Training Section where she was pretty awesome too.
The Director calls cut and both Kanae and Kyoko drop down exhausted by all the frolicking. They are both startled when the band starts blaring its tune right next to them. Ren, Maria and Yashiro all just sigh at the President's antics, used to it by now. With the filming over, Director Kurosaki informs them that the commercial should be well received and thanks them for their hard work. Kyoko is surprised to see Maria there while the President shows off his eccentricity by thanking the Director for taking care of his 'children'. The Director is amazed to meet Lory and gets a bit irked when Lory says he has an 'interesting personality' for its no where near Lory's level he thinks. Maria tells Kyoko that Ren was here a while ago but had to go back because lunch ended. Kyoko feels a bit down that she didn't get to tell Ren about getting the commercial spot. Then she wonders why she is feeling down about this, it wasn't like she wanted to see him.
Kanae tells Kyoko to hurry up and change, who is reluctant to do so. This causes Kanae to laugh at her because she sees that Kyoko doesn't want to take off the costume because she likes wearing a school uniform. Kyoko is embarrassed that Kanae realized and dashes into the van to change. Maria thinks that Kyoko's strange for wanting to wear a uniform. Kanae says its not because she likes it, its because she didn't go to high school and would have liked to. This sends Maria into orbit, as well as not having a Dad and something wrong with her mother, Kyoko also didn't go to school. Lory is listening on silently throughout this exchange.
Inside the van Kyoko thanks the uniform costume for giving her a chance to experience that life. She is taken aback when she steps outside the car for Maria is sobbing at the thought of Kyoko's sad life. Determined she drags Kyoko away telling her she must enjoy the party and not work (apparently Maria is throwing one for her and Kanae). Lory realizes that Kyoko must be carrying a heavy burden as he remembers her realistic acting at the Training Section regarding parents hating their own children and her sad expression at the mention of her mother. He ponders the high school issue, as if recalling something.
The next day Yashiro has totally succumbed to the flu that he caught. Coughing, sneezing and with a high fever, he looks a fright. Ren thinks that he should go home for his flu is definitely worse today. Yashiro tries to brush him off but is so clogged up he runs into a wall and then passes out. At the LME office, which is full of sick people, the Chief is on the phone to Ren discussing the temporary manager assigned to him. Ren is trying to get out of it by saying he can manage fine by himself however the Chief tells him it's not work that concerns him. This confuses Ren, if not work then what is it? However the Chief is interrupted by a guest and has to hang up before he can explain.
Ren's temporary manager turns out to be Kyoko, which is why he so reluctant. He informs her that she can go now, as he can manage on his own. Kyoko refuses because she was told by Sawara to take care of him. Ren doesn't think she'll make a capable manager, annoyed Kyoko murmurs that she doesn't think it's that hard. Hearing her comment, Ren spins around with his mega-watt fake smile on whilst daring her to take on the job then. Since she sounds so confident she should be able make him say 'thank you' by the end. If she can do that then he will give her 100 points as well as thanks. Kyoko is aghast at the appearance of the fake smile knowing its true meaning, and thinks Ren is more likely to take 100 than to give her any points!!
Characters In Order of Appearance