|Character/s in the cover||Ren Tsuruga|
|Arc||Dark Moon arc|
DARK MOON is the 73rd chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Offended at the idea of someone who needed so many retakes saying he'll manipulate her into performing as he wants, Itsumi decides she'll cooperate as little as possible with Ren during the acting test.
Watching, Kyoko has faith that Ren calculated ahead of time, just like he'd done with her in his apartment.
The take begins as usual with Mizuki bringing Katsuki a cup of tea while he waits for Misao. Mizuki bubbles happily to Katsuki while making small talk. She apologizes for Misao and her uncle being a bit later than they expected and causing him to wait. She urges him to make himself comfortable, as if he were in his own home. Katsuki usually had a line at this point but Ren remains silent rather than speaking it. An awkward silence follows and Mizuki drops her gaze back to the tea. While watching her pour it, Katsuki has a wry smile on his face.
Ren is playing the part slightly differently than everyone's seen before and they like it, for his expressions have more depth and feeling to them. Ogata is looking on, slowly becoming more and more delighted with Ren's acting. Mizuki exclaims, realizing that she made the wrong tea, and declares she'll make it over. Katsuki protests her making the extra effort and they both fumble over the tea cup when she grabs it from him. It falls to the floor and breaks. They both apologize to each other and bend down to look at the broken tea cup. Mizuki goes to pick up the broken shards but one pricks her. Concerned, Katsuki grabs her hand to have a look at how serious it is.
Itsumi, Kyoko, Ren, Ogata, the President, and the rest of the Dark Moon staff, all hold their breath at this critical moment. When before the director would call for a retake or when Ren would freeze, this time Ren improvises a wicked flirtation (just like how it happened with Kyoko on the floor). He drags her hand towards his mouth in order to "disinfect" it. Itsumi can't help but react flustered when it looks like Ren is about to suck on her finger. Kyoko can identify with that.
Itsumi is so shocked she lets out a shriek and wrenches her hand out of Ren's grasp, despite the fact she'd told herself she wouldn't say a single word in response to his improvising. The cast and crew watching all blush at Katsuki's bold move. Ren, as Katsuki, starts laughing at Mizuki for having taken him seriously. Did she really think he was going to lick her? Of course not, he's a teacher. Katsuki's inner conflict over Mizuki arises in sync with Ren's over Kyoko. I must not touch you. I understand that. Yet my heart yearns for you. I won't be able to stop myself. I wouldn't be able to leave your side.
In an attempt to drive her away, Katsuki tells Mizuki he doesn't like her, his expression cruel. "I wouldn't do it even if you weren't my student, because I don't even like you." The President, who had been looking on without reaction before, now looks stunned at Ren. Both Mizuki and Katsuki are staring at each other after his callous statement. Mizuki looks taken aback at this unkind remark by Katsuki and hurt by it. Katsuki still has a harsh expression, but inwardly Katsuki begs Mizuki even as Ren begs Kyoko to run away from me. Please don't let me capture you.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 13, Chapter 73, Page 19
- Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 13, Chapter 73, Page 31
- Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 13, Chapter 73, Pages 31-32
- Skip Beat! Manga Series VizMedia (3-in-1 Edition): Volume 13, Chapter 73, Pages 33-34