|The Last Rite|
|Character/s in the cover||Kyoko Mogami|
The Last Rite is the 43rd chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Kyoko needs advice on her role and tries contacting Kanae first, then, in a moment of desperation, Ren. Kanae calls her back, and Kyoko asks her opinion regarding the angel role. After talking with Kanae, Kyoko returns to the set more conflicted and confused, but in touch with genuine emotion she can use.
A depressed Kyoko ponders with whom aside Kanae (went to the answering service) she can talk to about her acting problems. She sees the Ren-doll and is inspired but she realizes that she doesn't even have Ren's phone number. Besides, she tells herself, he is in the middle of a job and she shouldn't disturb him.
After getting his number from the LME office, she manages to call him but gets the answering machine so she starts to leave a message. She starts explaining her problems but then stops halfway when she realizes she doesn't really know how to say it. She gets cut off because the message machine has a time limit. Alarmed at the fact that she left him a very confusing message, Kyoko begins to call him back to leave another message explaining however Kanae calls before she can.
Kanae scolds her for leaving such a misleading message as it made her worry about her. Kyoko feels happy and thinks fondly about her relationship with Kanae.
Her thoughts turn to her role and she agrees that if Kanae was with a nasty guy who was using her she would kill him without a second thought no matter how much Kanae loved him. Kyoko freezes at this realization but is interrupted when Kanae yells at her for dazing off during the conversation. Kyoko then asks her opinion about her role and what would Kanae feel if she was the other angel.
Meanwhile back on the set, Mimori is watching the recorded film where Sho's Demon kisses her hair. Mimori is overwhelmed, feeling so loved despite it being an act. She turns around when she hears the producer, Asami, asking Sho if she should send someone to check on Kyoko as two of them will be in the following shot. Sho just answers coolly that he's ready anytime. Internally he's laughing at Kyoko saying she has such lousy acting she can't be salvaged. Asami confirms that he knows what he has to do in the next shot. Sho says he does but Asami still explains that after he's pushed down by Kyoko he has to look as though he has given up on life as the Demon truly loved Angel A so no matter how cold-blooded he is, he doesn't wish to sacrifice the life of his beloved Angel. She asks him again if he's clear on what he has to do and Sho says he knows it already, that all he has to do is close his eyes when falling, it's too easy. The second Assistant Director calls out to Asami and Sho announcing Kyoko's return to the set.
Asami approaches Kyoko asking her if she has her emotions under control and if she's confident this time round. Kyoko doesn't answer but Asami feels a depressing atmosphere surrounding her which she thinks might be on purpose. Sho confronts her, asking jeeringly if she can act better this time. Kyoko doesn't say anything, her head facing down and a tremble going through her body. Sho is confused at the lack of response and wonders what she is doing, he leans down to get a better look at her face as she's gone all stiff. Kyoko has such a stricken expression that even Sho begins to ask her if she's alright, wondering at the same time what happened. Kyoko flinches away from his hand and walks away quickly. Sho looks shocked and watches her leave, thinking that the atmosphere around her felt totally different and he wonders again what could've happened.
Kyoko recalls the conversation with Kanae regarding the other angel's feelings. She tells Kanae that she doesn't like the guy she is in love with as he is a threat to her life so she must erase him from the earth. She asks what Kanae would feel or do about this if she were to take her lover's life. Kyoko is now facing Mimori, whilst picturing her as Kanae who answers that she would hate Angel B to the core for doing this, to the point where she would kill Angel B. This causes Kyoko to retreat into her depressed fetal position again.
Asami, who is looking on, wonders if she's alright as she doesn't seem any different from before the break. She goes up to Kyoko and tries to console her asking if she wants to rest first. Kyoko despairs, thinking if she'd known earlier she wouldn't have bothered about the other angel, and that she shouldn't have asked Kanae for her views on the other angel's feelings. The feeling that she's experiencing makes it seem like that she really has to kill Kanae's lover. She acknowledges that the Demon's (Sho's) existence doesn't seem to bother her anymore because now she has to kill Kanae's beloved demon. Kyoko starts hitting herself on the head calling herself an idiot inwardly thinking that jerk (Sho) could never be Kanae's lover.
Sho, who is getting his costume readjusted, looks over to Kyoko only to become more confused thinking "she's gone bonkers and is hitting herself now, is she really all right?". Sho looks resigned seeming to sigh to himself thinking that by the looks of things she doesn't seem any different from before. He is probably bracing himself for another choking incident. Asami then tells Sho everything is ready and to position themselves. Kyoko stands up swiftly at this, still reassuring herself that there is no way that jerk could be Kanae's lover.
Kyoko turns to face Sho while recalling her words to Kanae, that if she stays with this person she'll lose her life as he's a no-good guy who will use her for his dreams then discard her, a completely selfish scumbag. It seems Kyoko was overlapping the Demon with Sho himself. Kanae says that even if this is the case she is still willing to use her life to love him so Angel B shouldn't be nosy and butt in. This thought ends just as the second Assistant Director snaps the clapperback in between her and Sho to start the scene. Even though the filming has started, Kyoko continues to stare at Sho recalling Kanae's last words that even if its for the sake of this guy that she loses her life she would still feel fortunate. Sho's is looking confusedly at Kyoko, perplexed at her silence.
Suddenly Asami, who is watching the cameras, leans forward shocked. Sho also looks taken aback and whispers "you..." for Kyoko has begun to cry silently. She's thinking that she doesn't want to see something like that happen, she doesn't want Kanae to lose her life for she's her very first good friend. Kyoko begins to slowly approach Sho, still weeping silently. Sho is staring at her, shocked at the sight of her tears. Still crying, Kyoko begins to slowly wrap her hands around Sho's neck, whilst thinking as she pushes him to the edge that "it's fine if you (Kanae) hate me, are angry with me, I will still... I will still put my heart and soul into it".
Characters in Order of Appearance