|A Rush of Troubles|
|Character/s in the cover||Lory Takarada|
A Rush of Troubles is the 138th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Lory wants everyone in LME to give chocolates for Valentines to someone they "love." Kanae objects about the money & calories, Kyoko is angry at the whole concept. Kyoko bumps into Reino who says she needs to give HIM chocolates.
Meanwhile Ren is inundated with presents and Kyoko is horrified to discover that today (Feb 10th) is Ren's birthday, not the 19th like she thought.
A resigned Sawara informs everyone that he can't wait for the season of frolicking to pass, the season of Spring. It immediately becomes clear why for the President is literally frolicking around the offices with an entourage, throwing flowers everywhere, thanking everyone for their hard work and yelling that he loves them. The LME employees look shocked however Sawara merely looks defeated.
Kanae is confused when Matsushima says as much for isn't it still the beginning of February? It doesn't matter for according to the President's biological clock the flowers are already blooming. Apparently every year in February the President will start to frolic around. Kanae guesses that there's an event he likes in February; Valentine's Day. And of course he prepares gifts to all the staff despite knowing that it's a day invented by the confectionery industry but the President says he can't afford not to be fooled by the scheme to spread his love around. Kanae believes it's just an excuse to fool around. Matsushima can't deny this. Resigned for it isn't just that, the President just loves Love Events from the bottom of his heart, no matter if it's heterosexual or homosexual, regardless of age or depth of love as long as he is able to celebrate the connection between hearts. He really is a LoveMon Monster who lives on love.
Matsushima notices that Kanae has zoned out and wonders if she is listening which she wasn't for she was thinking about the drama lines. Matsushima thinks that pluck of hers is good but he warns her that if the President comes upon her that he will most definitely ask about that especially since she is a Love Me member. Kanae thinks if she just tells him that there is one it will be enough however Matsushima tells her it is best to have one prepared even if it's just a work colleague for you can't fool him. Kanae refuses to participate in such a silly event with chocolate costing at least 300 ¥en a piece. Matsushima now thinks her honesty has gone too far. Kanae is still muttering about the evils of Valentine's Day, spending that much on chocolate only to give it to someone else?! But then eating it yourself is stupid because there are so many calories! Matsushima looks warily at her, having heard everything, as he tries to get her attention again. In the end she tells him that even if she was told she could never graduate from the Love Me section she would still never participate in such a stupid event. Matsushima gapes at her, she will take it that far? Kanae continues to think cynically about Valentine's Day, for who the in the world thought it up, an evil day that eats away at both money and body?!
Meanwhile Kyoko watches on as school girls coo over the cuteness of the chocolates on sale and debate which ones to buy. She understands what the girls are going to do with those chocolates for they are not going to give to their fathers as gratitude chocolate nor eat it themselves. No, they are going to give to the guys that they are in love with! Kyoko recalls darkly her experiences of making chocolate every year for Sho. Love is just an illusion of the brain and she wishes she could open the girls' eyes about it too. With a demonic visage she stalks past the stores with the all the confectionery on display wondering who the hell made up such a day like Valentine's! A day where a girl has to go through such an ordeal?! A day to confess your love? HA! It's the most silly day in the world. LME employees point at her scary face and then jump when she makes an eerie movement. Don't be alarmed it's just her cellphone! Kyoko opens her phone to glance at the caller ID only to see it's withheld. She wonders if it might be Sawara or...
Answering the call she is puzzled for no-one speaks, it's connected but there is only silence. Ren? she asks tentatively into the phone and then is shocked when the person hangs up on her. She wonders if it's a connection problem but even then it's unlike Ren to do something like that. She catches herself jumping to conclusions, for who said it was Ren? It might have been Sawara. Frazzled that she instantly thought of Ren, she scrambles to call Sawara to confirm when she senses something. Frantically she looks around everywhere for it feels like something detestable is approaching. She recognizes this feeling, could it be...?!
Then she lets a scream of fright when Reino comes up behind her and blows down her neck. It was him! How dare he shamelessly appear in front of her after promising not too! Reino says he didn't...for all of last year. Kyoko gapes at this, there was a time limit? Kyoko threatens to tell on him to Ren. Reino shrugs this off, as long as he doesn't have to see the man. He is more interested in exchanging promises with her to give him chocolates on Valentine's and asking for permission is probably just a nuisance to Ren. Kyoko can't believe what she just heard and asks him to say it again. Why would she want to give chocolate to him of all people, the very thought pisses her off and the gall of him trying to extract a promise from her too. Reino goads her saying she desperately wants him to accept her chocolates. As IF! Infuriated Kyoko wonders why would she make chocolates for someone she doesn't even like. This is the Human World, that incomprehensible logic of Hell doesn't belong here. Reino thinks Kyoko is a surprisingly funny girl, for she still thinks he's a denizen of Hell. Reino tells her he understands so let him change his phrasing.
"I want to receive chocolates from Kyoko"
"WHY?" Kyoko asks, full of suspicion, doubt and caution. The implied meaning behind Reino's request not computing for the 'love circuit' in her brain is dead.
"Because Valentine's Day is a day when a man receives chocolates from the woman he likes"
Kyoko instantly corrects him. "No, No. It's a day when a girl gives a man she likes chocolate." Remember it well, denizen from Hell.
Reino is impressed by Kyoko for she completely ignored the implied message (that he likes her) again, side-stepping it so perfectly. Seeing that he is not going to get the results he wants, he reverts to his original plan.
"So I, who does even not like you, will not give you chocolate! Got it?" Kyoko declares to Reino.
A strange aura starts to surround Reino, making Kyoko take a step back.
"Yeah, but you really want me to accept your chocolate so badly that you can't bear it anymore..." laughing evilly Reino seems to almost threaten Kyoko as he steps closer to her.
In Ren's dressing room Yashiro looks aghast at all the Valentine's/Birthday presents Ren got after the show, for they take up almost the whole room. Apparently there's even more than the day before and he will definitely get even more at Dark Moon. Ren's car won't fit all of these, so Yashiro decides to box them up and send them to the office. Ren should go ahead to Fuji TV otherwise he'll be late and he will meet him there later. Watching Ren leave, Yashiro smirks, then runs into the dressing room in full on fangirl mode, flailing, laughing and rolling around. He just can't stop smiling as he packs the presents away, for its been so long since Ren was last on the Dark Moon set...together with Kyoko. He is so excited to see what she's prepared him but it will definitely be something good. Ren must be even more excited even though he doesn't show it of course.
On the set of Dark Moon, Kyoko's face is drawn into a strained mask with a vein throbbing as though she can't believe what just occurred (with Reino). Itsumi and Airi come upon her, thinking she looks scary sitting there muttering to herself. They greet each other good morning and they ask if something is wrong, or if something happened at her last shooting site. Kyoko twitches at this, and unconvincingly says everything is fine but both Airi and Itsumi spot it for a lie. Kyoko sees that they are both holding gifts and wonders what's the occasion. Itsumi tells her its for Ren of course. Kyoko figures they must be for Valentine's even though it's a little early. Itsumi and Airi are surprised by her answer which surprises Kyoko in turn. Itsumi asks if she knows when Ren's birthday is? Of course! She checked because she wanted to give him a return gift for her birthday gift. So when is it? The 19th... Both Airi and Itsumi look at Kyoko in shocked pity at hearing this. Kyoko slowly gets an inkling of what's wrong. Itsumi informs her gently that Ren's birthday is today, the 10th.
Ren is just arriving at Fuji TV, heading towards Dark Moon's set. He gazes fondly at the sign-on sheet and Dark Moon's timetable that has Kyoko's name on it.
Characters in Order of Appearance