|Character/s in the cover||Kyoko Mogami|
|Original Release||April 19, 2016|
|Arc||A Lotus in the Mud arc|
Sakura Messenger is the 235th chapter of the Skip Beat! manga series.
Kyoko is surprised to see Ren at Darumaya after such a late night with Yashiro. As they talk, Kyoko finds out that the role "Momiji" was actually supposed to hate "Chidori" and Ren was offered to do the movie. Later, Kyoko goes to the TBM Studios and pays a quick visit to someone.
Ren meets Kyoko at Darumaya, smiling cheerfully. Ever since Kanae mentioned that Ren looked troubled Kyoko's been worried something might have happened like at the Dark Moon car scene. When she sees him smiling so carefree she's irritated that he's concealing he's feelings with his smile again. She wants to demand that he takes off the calm and refreshing smile and show her what he's really feeling for she's been so worried that he may have consumed by his own darkness again. She wants to ripe off his prim and proper mask to know if nothing happened so she can be relieved. However she internalizes this whole rampage and simply greets him calmly by saying he startled her. She wonders what he is doing here for didn't he say the only free time he had was that of last night since he's busy promoting his movie.
Ren sighs and glances to Yashiro while saying what thoughtless words don't you agree? Yashiro nods and murmurs his assent. Ren thrusts out his phone showing her the text message she sent him the other day after she cried. The message is filled with ellipses and long periods and yet she is asking him if something happened. Yashiro agrees that the way the text message is written it's almost asking them to worry about her. Kyoko is surprised at seeing her own text message and agrees that there are a lot of ellipses now that she rereads it but she was actually feeling really refreshed when she wrote it. Ren flips it around on her and says she should've used some 'refreshed feeling' emoticons for no feelings were conveyed at all in the message. Kyoko gapes at him as she realizes that he's mad at her for not using emoticons! She tries to reason that sending emoticons to a senior would be inappropriate however Ren's already blocking her off there saying that one should think about the time, the situation and the person she's sending to so that they can avoid these types of misunderstandings. He is obviously referring to the Kijima-taiyaki 'DAISUKI' shining emoticon incident and making up for his jealousy now. Yashiro is staring at Ren awed and scared at his tactfully maneuvering of the situation for he has now secured it so that Kyoko will send him emoticons without explicitly asking for it but also warned her from sending them to certain people. Such a schemer!
Ren tells Kyoko that he is glad the message didn't mean what he thought it did. Kyoko blinks and asks if he knew that her mother was the reason she was so upset and so came to check on her. Both Yashiro and Ren say they knew. Ren covers by saying that it was when she was on her first assignment as his substitute manager that he got the impression that her parents were really strict. Kyoko grimaces at his astuteness but corrects him saying that it wasn't her parents but her mother for she doesn't have a father. Ever since she was young she and her mother hadn't had a good relationship and had been out of touch. The other night something shocking happened which caused her to cry in front of him. Ren inquires about her feeling refreshed, does that mean something good happened between her and her mother? Kyoko recalls her mother and her coming to an understanding after their talk and beams a smile while answering in the positive.
Kyoko recalls some other news and informs Ren that she is going to audition for a historical period drama. Kanae is definitely going to get the heroine role, the daughter of a great samurai family and she will protect that same daughter as a female ninja, Momiji, as she strikes a ninja-like pose. Ren wonders that given her character wouldn't Kyoko prefer to be the samurai's daughter? Kyoko dismisses this for Kanae has to have that role. Consumed by her fantasies she twirls around as she imagines Kanae's beautiful and artistic Chidori who she will risk her life to protect. Yashiro seems to remember something and asks if the drama happens to be the "A Lotus in the Mud"? Kyoko confirms this and wonders if he has read the original work. Yashiro says he only knows a summarized version because they were checking out Ren for the role of the Wandering Samurai. Both Kyoko and Ren are surprised to hear this. Kyoko doesn't think the role suits him at all! Yashiro continues saying it was a while ago and his role as Actor X had already been agreed on so it would've been impossible to do. Kyoko suddenly becomes inspired for a Japanese version of Cain Heel would've been perfect! Yashiro is still musing that due to the unforeseen scheduling changes Ren could've just made it but one can never know these things. He then glances at Kyoko who seems to be looking at him judgmentally thinking if only he was a bit more lackadaisical with the schedule Ren could've just made it! He then glances at Ren who looks a little disappointed by the news (just his imagination) which causes him to apologize profusely. Both Kyoko and Ren jump at the unexpected apology for it really was impossible to do which Ren says as much. Kyoko chimes in saying that they are actual having some problems which is why the shooting is late in starting. She mentions that Momiji's role was initially set but now they are having a second audition. Even Ren says it's a rare occurrence so something drastic must have occurred, Kyoko gets the feeling it must have been something dangerous. But that doesn't have anything to do with her for she will win the role of Momiji and protect Kanae as Chidori! Yashiro remembers what he was going to say and corrects her for Momiji doesn't protect Chidori. Kyoko is confused, does she love her then? No, the one she protects is the Wandering Samurai if anything Chidori would be someone she hates because when you place the protagonist between the two they look like rivals in love. Kyoko looks like her soul has departed at this realization.
Ren and Yashiro leave in Ren's car. Yashiro wonders if she'll quit the audition now she knows the role's character. Maybe he shouldn't have told her? Ren reasons that she borrowed the original from Kanae so she would've found out soon anyway and he doubts that she will quit because she wants to costar with Kanae too much. Yashiro muses that if she doesn't quit this will be the first role Kyoko has accepted where she falls in love with someone. There's an awkward beat of silence in the car as Yashiro realizes the implication of what he just said and apologizes profusely again. Ren wonders what is he going on about, he's not upset or anything. Yashiro exclaims inwardly that he is lying for he will not be fooled by the fake smile!
Kyoko is sulking in her bed at Darumaya for she has skimmed through the original and has confirmed that Momiji hates Chidori. After being so excited to finally costar with Kanae and to find out she is her rival. The protagonist seems to see Momiji as nothing more than a sister having grown up with her however he seems to dote upon Chidori. This only intensifies her gloom about the situation that Momiji is another role that tortures the heroine. She imagines her mother's response to it, clicking her tongue at her taking another antagonist role. She sighs into her pillow knowing that's exactly what she would do. Kyoko doesn't want to bully and torment Kanae in the first place and she doesn't think she'll be able to do it. She then remembers Ren and seems to realize something. Still face down into the pillow she mulls this epiphany over and then slowly sits up with a sad but resolute expression on her face.
Later Shoko, Sho's manager, is walking back to TBM after fetching Sho his lunch when she spots Kyoko wearing the Love Me pink uniform, who yet again was mistaken for a worker. Shoko calls out to Kyoko and asks what she's doing. Kyoko says she was told to carry a bouquet of Sakura flowers for they didn't fit on the cart. Shoko is stunned, even though she's an actress?! Kyoko laughs and says she gets mistaken for a staff member a lot but she doesn't mind for it's on the way. Shoko gets nostalgic when she sees the sakura flowers for it makes her yen for a nice cold beer. Kyoko can't say she gets the same feeling since she's a minor. Shoko says she totally forgot and don't think she chats up underage people about alcohol. Kyoko tells her not to mind it. Inwardly she thinks sarcastically that if she was stuck with Sho all day she would forget too as she imagines Sho as he used to be which was apparently very loose about rules. However he has probably only eaten trendy things when with Shoko due to his pride and all. She recalls his visit to Darumaya, the phone-call to Yayoi and the words Sho said to her. Shoko is about to bid her goodbye when Kyoko asks her a favor for if she is here then he must be here too. She then says a very surprising thing...
Sho is collapsed on the couch in his dressing room. He is really sleepy and hungry. He would like to try the famous TBM anpan... He's moaning about where Shoko is with his sandwich when he hears the door open and perks up. He apologizes for coming back first when he turns around and sees that Shoko isn't alone, Kyoko is with her. He recalls the dead and passive state that she was in last night and begins to ask what happened afterwards. Shoko stares at them and knows she guessed right that something did happened between them. She recalls Kyoko's request that was really sincere and surprising: She wants to thank Sho Fuwa.
Something must have happened for Kyoko would never say something like that!
Kyoko lands a kick on his shin with an ice cold expression; Shoko is shocked; and Sho is pierced with pain. Shoko gapes at the complete turn around in Kyoko's mood as Sho screams in agony.
Characters in Order of Appearance