|Character/s in the cover||Kyoko Mogami and Hiromune Koga|
|Original Release||August 19, 2017|
|Arc||A Lotus in the Mud arc|
Flying Shock is the 250th chapter of the Skip Beat! Manga Series.
Kyoko tries to deny Koga's assumption of her feelings for Ren but fails and his opinion of her seems to drop a notch. Kimiko, who was listening, spies a chink in Kyoko's armour and flaunts her White Day gift from Ren (from 2 years ago). Kyoko is distracted trying to reassure herself that it shouldn't matter that she didn't get a White Day gift and at the same time wondering if perhaps Kimiko is the high school girl Ren is interested in...? She is so consumed by her ruminations she isn't listening to Kuresaki's instructions for the next round. She hopes she can sit out and watch Kimiko but unfortunately she wins the scissor-paper-rock so she's up first! What will she do now?!
Kyoko blinks in surprise as Koga states or more accurately accuses her of liking him, Ren Tsuruga. Kyoko stares at him stunned. Koga looks at her as if waiting for her reaction. Kimiko, who was passing by with her manager, perks her ears up at the exchange and starts listening in more closely. A demonic expression consumes Kyoko's face as she adamantly corrects Koga, saying she likes him is putting it extremely lightly. She would appreciate it if he wouldn't associate her with your run-of-the-mill, plebeian Ren Tsuruga fan got that? She's on a completely different level compared to those little girls that go crazy screaming over him just because he's good-looking! To a person such as herself who entered the acting world with zero experience, his existence alone is the greatest salvation. Koga isn't deterred by her rant for that's exactly what he means. Even though she's talking about it in a roundabout and difficult-to-understand way, in the end she is basically saying is that she likes him right? Kyoko fumbles trying to deny that it's not like that... Koga assures her it's not something she has to cover up and that'd it would actually be more unnatural. Because there is probably no person on Earth who would not fall for someone of Ren Tsuruga's calibre. Kyoko stares at Koga and accepts that this is true, he is probably right. Koga continues saying there's no way a man of Ren Tsuruga's calibre wouldn't hold the love of men and women of all ages after all. Kyoko frowns well she wouldn't go that far. Koga is still going eventually making his way to his real point which is that he absolutely hates Ren whilst beaming a contradictory smile and letting out a carefree laugh. Kyoko gapes at him in confusion. Koga continues saying that love tends to make people blind so she might not want to show it off too much, it also tends to drive other people away, so she might want to careful of what she says, you know? Flabbergasted Kyoko thinks inwardly that he was the one who said it first!! That there's no one earth who wouldn't fall in love with him!! She doesn't seem to realise that she was quite neatly manoeuvred then tricked into admitting her feelings.
Koga pretends to hear Kyoko asking him oh why does he hate Ren Tsuruga so much? Annoyed she thinks no one asked that! He explains that for "A Lotus in the Mud", apparently the part was originally offered to Ren first according to a very reliable source of his. Kyoko jumps in shock at this for she knows this to be true. Where ever he went Ren has always beaten him to the punch. Even on minor entertainment gigs like the 'Most Dateable Guy Rankings'. Kyoko is stunned when she realises Koga was ranked second. She flashes back to when she used to watch these sorts of entertainment shows with Sho and wonders if he was there too - on the infamous "The Guy Girls' Most Want to be Hugged By" list. It is revealed that he was and ranked second once again right behind Ren (Sho was seventh). Koga confesses that he doesn't know how many times he's thought it to himself, how he wishes that Ren didn't exist and the world would've been his as he chuckles.
He can't remember how many times the thought has ran through his mind. After all, he's a person blessed with looks and talent surpassing all others he wasn't meant to be stuck in place like this wasting away, if only he could spread his wings and fly to a greater world. Kyoko looks on aghast at this bold I-hate-Ren rant and she translates it in liberal terms, basically he wants Ren to leave Japan since he is no ordinary Japanese person. Koga sighs and seems to come back to reality. He says it's a shame... She was such an interesting girl... He seems disappointed in her. If only she were an average simplistic fangirl who only liked him for his face... Letting out another sigh he trudges back while Kyoko cries out inwardly in dismay as she slowly realises that she's managed to get on the lead actor's bad side right from the start. He hates Ren so much that he hates her too?!
Koga halts as he sees Kimiko waiting at the end of hallway. It seems she eavesdropped unashamedly the whole time but is only now popping out. She has plastered a cutesy and innocent look on her face as she approaches Koga.
Meanwhile Yashiro has received a call. Most likely from Lory to tell him about the photo, the potential fall out from it and the new arrangements for his management. Yashiro is surprised that it has turned into something so unexpectedly big but he will deal with it. He will try discussing this with the perpetrator immediately. Once he has a clear picture of everything he will contact him again. He bids him goodbye and hangs up. Yashiro stares at his phone at bit, wondering aloud if this is for real? He tells himself not to fret and nothing's been confirmed. He supposes he should call Ren later.
Yashiro then spies Kyoko, Koga and Kimiko all in a conversation together. Gaping he wonders at this incredible unnatural, painting-like scene. He is particularly incredulous at the fact the Kimiko is there, since when?! What gave birth to this friendly chatting with this lineup?! He notices that Kyoko's expression suddenly darkens at whatever's being said and he rushes over to interrupt. Kyoko blinks at his sudden appearance. Yashiro inquires if something happened? Kyoko is puzzled. No why does he ask? Yashiro murmurs that there was no reason but inwardly thinks that she looked....disturbed. Kimiko admits that she happened to overhear the conversation and it was a topic that she was really interested in so that's why she popped in. Playfully she tells Koga that even though his impression of her may have dropped try not to bully her in the final test. Koga tells her it's too bad but it's no use asking him since he has no say in the final selection so she doesn't need to worry. Yashiro is puzzled at the phrase 'his impression dropped'... Koga says the only thing he can do is bully whoever gets the part when they are on set. Kimiko lets out a delighted squeal at how frightening this is. Koga smirks as he adds that basically the winner is the one who wants him to bully them more so do their best. It looks like the other Momiji candidates have dropped out so the role is going to one of the two of them. Koga bids farewell for the time being. Concerned Yashiro begins to address Kyoko but is cut-off by Kimiko who tells her that it seems they are 'allies' in an unexpected way. So let them battle fair and square to the end so as not to blemish the name of the extraordinary man that they both idolise.
After this strange interlude Yashiro and Kyoko are waiting for the next stage in the audition to be called while seated in the foyer. Yashiro cautiously asks Kyoko if by any chance they were all talking about Ren? Kyoko slants him a look over her drink bottle wondering if it was that obvious? Yashiro reasons that when one thinks of an "extraordinary man" that she also respects, Ren's the only person who comes to mind. Kyoko pauses to take a sip from her water, her mind obviously still occupied on the previous conversation. Yashiro prods her again asking what did they talk about. Kyoko replies that they spoke about how Kimiko also respects Ren to a great degree, as both an actor and a person. Her face is expressionless when she answers Yashiro nor does she face him as she speaks but stares off into the distance, seemingly preoccupied with what just went on.
Yashiro leans in closer and asks is that all...? Kyoko is snapped out of her contemplation at the quiet question. Confused she turns to Yashiro who is watching her intensely and says he makes it sound as if there should be something more to it...? Is there something that should not be leaked to the press...? Yashiro is startled at this line of questioning. He quickly states that no he doesn't believe so, nope nothing at all! His defiant and definite denial of Ren having anything to do with Kimiko could be a sign of this being sheer ludicrous speculation or perhaps...something did happen? Kyoko watches Yashiro pensively as he replies that if all Kimiko did was express her respect of Ren, then that's fine. He apologises if he asked some weird questions. Yashiro's phone goes off and he realises it's time for them to head back to the audition room. Kyoko murmurs her assent and follows. Inwardly she is caught up in her own thoughts of Ren. She knows that no matter how great of a manager Yashiro is or how much Ren trusts him, she really doesn't think that he would confide in him about that conversation as she recalls Ren confessing to Bo that he has feelings for a girl in high school. After all Ren himself continued to deny those emotions. Yashiro probably just guessed it all on his own as she recalls his probing question into what the earlier discussion was really about. However she is sure that Ren would absolutely never want other people to know about his feelings.
Kyoko flashes back to the earlier conversation where Kimiko has now joined the foray. Kimiko is telling Kyoko and Koga in excruciating detail how she was having a rare case of nerves which is unusual for her so then Ren said to her have this for good luck and slipped a ring gently on to her finger. Kimiko gaily shows of a cute pinky ring that is supposedly from Ren. Kyoko is stunned at this. Koga pounces on it gasping at how it's her right pinky, shouldn't that have some deep meaning right? Doesn't it have to do with romantic feelings? Kimiko blushes and she waves her hands frantically at him while protesting that there's no way! How could an adult man like Ren ever see her in that light?! Besides he gave the ring to her two years ago when she was only 15 right? Koga does the math and guesses she must be 17 this year then? Kimiko confirms this for she can even get married at 17 for the law recognises her as a proper lady! Kyoko goes still with shock as she hears her own words coming back to haunt her. She remembers saying the exact thing as Bo to Ren when urging him to deepen his relationship with his high school aged crush. Kyoko's expressions darkens upon recalling this. Kimiko is still playing the cutesy girl protesting at Koga that he has it all wrong, a pinky ring is also used to "bring out one's full power". She's sure that's all Ren meant by it. Koga is examining the ring up close as Kimiko blushes prettily. He argues that the ring is a designer piece isn't it? He got one exactly like it for his little sister who kept whining for him to buy her one. The design is very unique so it's hard to forget. If he remembers correctly, this isn't just your average ring that a senior just gives to his workplace junior. There could be meaning to it but its price is still...Kimiko then lets out a gasp at this as she suddenly 'recalls' that Ren also told her to treat it as a White Day gift for she got him a slightly expensive vintage wine for Valentines. Hearing this Kyoko's heart receives another shock. Inwardly she tells herself don't pay it any mind, she's sure that she's not the only one who didn't receive a White day gift so...don't worry...at all. She still can't convince herself. Besides she's known it for a long time hasn't she? That Ren had someone else on his mind. And the probability that Kimiko is the person is very high that's all. This is true then even if she doesn't like it she will have to accept it, as she sadly remembers Ren outside the Presidents office on White day greeting her. The reason why Kimiko received a White day gift and she did not is because Ren in regards to Kimiko...
Kyoko is abruptly snapped out her daze as a strong hand claps her on the shoulder. It's Kuresaki for the next stage of the audition has started. Kimiko, and the Chidori participants are also present. Kyoko's expression grows scared as she slowly looks up at Kuresaki for she was not listening at all. Kuresaki asks her if she was listening while not looking pleased. Kyoko insists that of course she was. Kuresaki gives her a sharp look as if doesn't believe her but lets it go stating that he guesses there's no problem then. He walks over to the Chidoris saying they'll begin immediately. He bids them to go over to the other side and tells the Momijis to play rock-paper-scissors. The winner will go first. Kyoko is inwardly alarmed for she was not listening at all and she does not know what they are doing at all. This is bad! But as long as she doesn't win she can watch and formulate a plan...Kyoko's face goes ashen as she sees that she has just won with scissors against Kimiko's paper. Kimiko smirks as if she notices Kyoko's anguish and murmurs that it's too bad. Oh well after you?
Characters in Order of Appearance