|Violence Mission, Phase 2|
|Character/s in the cover||Lory Takarada|
|Arc||Violence Mission arc|
Violence Mission, Phase 2 is the 154th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Flashback: Kyoko worries that her birthday gift for Ren isn't good enough. Now: Kyoko meets with Lory's stylist, Jelly Woods (aka Ten-san, aka the Muse). Meanwhile Ren as Cain sits with Lory and talks about Kyoko being sent to meet him. Jerry presents Kyoko as Setsu, Cain's sister (and keeper).
Kyoko has mental images of the various types of good luck charms out there, but when picturing Ren with one of them she doesn't feel it suits him at all. Realizing cutesy stuff feels like a mismatch with Ren, Kyoko worries that she made a mistake with her birthday gift to Ren. She'd told him not to open it right away because she was embarrassed to see him open it before her in a room full of other expensive gifts. She wasn't embarrassed about what she'd given him, but now she is!
Sebastian wakes Kyoko out of her mental agony (she's curled up on the floor of the room where she'd been waiting) to let her know the stylist is ready. The stylist introduces herself to Kyoko as Jelly Woods and is surprised Kyoko doesn't know what Lory's got planned for her. Kyoko is confused to hear the youthful-looking Jelly speaking of Lory with affectionate terms and referring to Kyoko as a young girl.
With flair, Jelly puts a protective apron over Kyoko and announces as the renowned "witch of the beauty industry" she is about to change Kyoko's life in five minutes.
Ren is highly suspicious of Lory, who isn't happy about it. Ren reveals that his mission from Lory that day was to make it back to LME without revealing his true identity when "someone I know pretty well from the actors section" picked him up. Since it turned out to be Kyoko, Ren is fully justified in being suspicious.
Lory thinks on his feet, falsely claiming that it was a disaster drill to teach Ren to handle the unexpected. Ren admits there's validity there, since he almost broke character when he spotted the pink outfit out of the corner of his eye. Lory compliments him for having been able to fool someone even after they recognized him. "By the way, how did she figure it out?"
"Um..." Ren hesitates
"What? Was it related to her feelings for you?"
Ren can't raise his gaze, and even covers his face as he explains it was a cold assessment of his body's proportions. "I wasn't just surprised, I was terrified."
Lory is impressed to think Kyoko has the visual equivalent of perfect pitch. He wasn't expecting a romantic answer, since this is Kyoko, but the truth means that she's been watching Ren closely. Lory feels satisfied that this new mission will be worthwhile for Kyoko as well as Ren.
Jelly arrives to introduce Kyoko, explaining that she didn't quite do as Lory asked because she was inspired once she began working on her. However, Kyoko really looks like Setsuka.
"Who's Setsuka?" Ren asks.
"You call her 'Setsu,' all right?" Lory tells him instead.
Lory ignores Ren's suspicious reaction and insists on seeing Kyoko. Jelly is startled to realize that Kyoko isn't right behind her. She says Kyoko's scared, but she assured her that she looks cute and to not be shy. Jelly takes off to fetch Kyoko. Ren starts to scarily look like Cain as he wants to know what Lory dressed Kyoko up as to make her feel scared and shy. Lory puts Ren in his place, and admits that Kyoko will be very different from the usual things she loves and has come into contact with on a day-to-day basis. She's just not used to it yet.
Jelly finds Kyoko hiding and then she puts her in her place by reminding Kyoko that this is her job and asking if Kyoko intends to abandon her role because of her outfit.
Lory tells Ren not to worry, that Kyoko will cease to be embarrassed once she's slides into her role, if all the indicators that Kyoko is a real actress are true.
Ren is on his feet now. "Once she's in her role? What are you making her do?"
Not even blinking an eye at the tall, dangerous man looming over him, Lory makes a small gesture with his chin in Kyoko's direction. "Look."
Ren turns and goes slack-jawed at the sight of Kyoko as a skimpily-clad goth girl. He remains frozen that way for a little while.
Jelly and Lory are proud of the result.
Kyoko barely managed to pull herself together to walk in like Natsu.
Lory excitedly introduces the Heel siblings, and speaks to them in character. He advises Setsu to not leave her brother alone, or he'll cause problems. She has to take care of him.
Ren is full of distrust directed at Lory.
- Kyoko's birthday gift for Ren isn't revealed in the manga, but Akiko Higashimura got the story out there. Ren loves it.
Characters in Order of Appearance