|Unexpected Result -Hungry Ghost-|
|Character/s in the cover||Ren Tsuruga|
|Original Release||March 20, 2018|
|Arc||A Lotus in the Mud arc|
Unexpected Result -Hungry Ghost- is the 257th chapter in the Skip Beat! Manga Series.
With nothing to do on his day off Ren seeks solace in the busyness of the LME Office. Kijima finds him there and proceeds to laugh at his apparent distraction which lead to Ren rapping his head on the door frame. He is also came to express his concern for this is not usual for Ren and wonders if a certain girl is responsible? He offers to listen to Ren rant about this that cocky teen who has snagged her over a glass of sake. Ren refuses but in the end, is bullied into going for a drink with Kijima.
Kyoko is still maudlin about Kanae. She's worried about her and wants to do something. In the middle of her angst she suddenly senses something, a feeling that makes her want to run. Before she can Kyoko is attacked and drugged. Blindfolded and weak from the drugs Kyoko can't escape her attackers however she recognises who they are from their voices though. They lead her to a balcony where they start to lift her over the railings in order to throw her off! Will someone intervene and save Kyoko?!
Seated on a couch in the LME office, Ren flicks quickly through his emails on his phone. After a quick skim then a rapid scroll through them he marks them all as read even though he didn't open any. Kijima leers over his shoulder as he smirks while saying that this is a surprise. Ren skimming over and marking all his emails as read, he would never have thought he would see him do something so negligent. Ren turns around stunned and exclaims Kijima's name in surprise. What is he doing here? At their office? Kijima states that he had some business here. Actually the drama that he is working in is working on has some special plans. Secret ones so he can't tell him sorry so he was here for a meeting on that. He sighs as he plops down on the couch beside Ren saying that Rin just couldn't find it in her schedule so here he is. Ren makes a sound of understanding. Kijima had to come all the way here to accommodate one of their actresses? He's sorry about that. Kijima brushes off the apology stating that it's completely fine. Working to help a cute girl is like not working at all. Besides, it was worth the trip. He got to see something rare and hilarious so he is rather lucky. Ren looks at him confused, something funny...? What did he see? Kijima sends him an amused look while chuckling, he wants to know? Does he really want to know? Smirking he points to Ren's forehead while cheekily stating that it's lucky Ren's beautiful forehead didn't get an ugly bump on it or scratch right~? Ren's eyes widen in horror as he realises that Kijima saw him.
Kijima recounts the scene that happened not a mere 2 hours earlier. Ren was making his way through the LME Office while reading something on his phone. An actress, Rin, squeals at seeing Ren and how it's been so long. Kijima turns to where she's looking and notes that it really is Ren. Rin sighs at seeing him and wonders if he will look their way. Meanwhile Ren is walking through the desks in the direction of the doorway which leads to the next room. Obviously distracted by something he forgets to duck through the low doorway and rams his forehead into the top of the frame with a solid bonk! Kijima's entire party stares at Ren wide-eyed in stunned disbelief. The LME employee nearby wonders what that loud noise was and then gasps at seeing Ren crouched over in pain. Concerned they ask if he is all right?
Kijima says that buildings in Japan have been changing in recent years to have taller doorways like Western styles but he guesses that there are still places that Ren would have to duck with his monstrous height and all. So that's what he saw happen. He had always admired how Ren would duck down naturally but he finally got to see him mess up! And it wasn't even a sliding door frame and he smacked right into it! Kijima's can't keep himself from laughing saying it was so funny, just remembering it makes him laugh! Ren looks distinctly unamused. Kijima continues in between laughs saying it was a totally hilarious and super rare scene from a guy who never lets his guard down! This is worth at least 3 months of laughter! Annoyed Ren states rather deadpan that that is great. He is happy he was able to entertain him. With a exasperated sigh Ren turns back to his phone while saying that shouldn't he be leaving? Since he is finished with his meeting or whatever right? He's wasting time poking fun at his clumsy moment that happened two hours ago. Kijima gasps in mock indignation, wow that hurts! And he took the time out of his schedule to come and see him because he was worried, since Ren seemed more distracted and unlike his usual self. Ren doesn't believe him saying this is coming from the man who just said he could laugh for 3 months at him bumping his head. Kijima shakes his head, surely he knows those are two different things. Ren should know that he sees him as a good friend right? And of course, he's a pacifist at heart as he well knows.
Kijima leans back with a sigh stating that he really doesn't want Ren and him on bad terms so he works hard to keep it that way. That's why he hasn't laid a hand on that girl since back then. Ren freezes at this but continues to tap away at his phone. Nonchalantly he asks that girl? Kijima shakes his head, stating, there he goes again. Really it's obvious from the way Ren drives off the wolves with diversionary tactics, but he still wants to play dumb? Kijima recalls the subtle way yet not so subtle way Ren warned him off Kyoko when they were shooting the Boss Coffee commercial. Ren barely acknowledges him, still staring at his phone but it is obvious that he is listening and he lets out a sound of confirmation. Kijima slants him a look and then turns to face him directly. So the reason behind his rare mishap, was it that girl? Irritated Ren asks what...? Why is that his first thought? Kijima reasons that Ren doesn't seem like someone who's ever struggled over things not proceeding smoothly with a girl right? Kijima's expression grows weary, plus that girl is a rocky road with a hundred bumps. Firstly she's also a minor and secondly despite her youth she's ridiculously serious about her morals and life lessons. and thirdly she's completely clueless and withdrawn when it comes to romance. Ren doesn't comment but his expression becomes equally weary. So that's why he naturally assumed that the reason for his lack of awareness was related to her but since it seems like it's some work related trouble. It has to be work because otherwise Ren would be gone by now but when he came back to take a peek, he found him still here at the office. Ren's supposed to be a busy guy and yet here he is spending more than 2 hours in the office. Plus he's not even doing anything, he's just sitting here spaced out! Kijima slants Ren a suspicious look while he asks him if its possible that Ren has the day off?
Ren blinks, obviously surprised that he guessed. Kijima lets out an aggrieved groan stating that if he were Ren and was worrying over something about work then he definitely wouldn't be here in the office for long. He wouldn't be able to relax! Kijima ponders it for second while staring at the ceiling then inquires if it's because he doesn't want to be alone right now? Is that why Ren's waiting in a place like this? Ren doesn't answer, he merely stares at Kijima for a beat. Kijima replies saying that he gets it. When one is dealing with heartbreak the last place one wants to go to is an empty apartment. One only gets more and more negative and falls into a deeper depression. Aggravated Ren snaps that he is not heartbroken! Quit jumping to conclusions! Kijima looks up at him shocked, is that so? He was so sure she had been stolen from right under his nose again, since nothing ever goes as planned with her. Like he imagined Ren was probably like 'huh? when did this happen?' Ren jolts at the accuracy of the statement. And it was not by an older fellow like Ren, but by a spunky youthful older teen. The photo of Sho and Kyoko kissing comes to Ren's mind and his expression darkens. Kijima notices the slight change in Ren's demeanour. He tells Ren that he is done with work for the day and he bets Ren knows a couple of nice private membership bars hidden from the crowds. So how about it? Feel like talking crap about that teenage brat over some delicious sake? He's free all night. Ren looks a little stunned by the offer. He recovers and states a little sarcastically that he is sorry but he really doesn't want to poison one of his few oasis with trash talk like that. Even his sake might go sour. Kijima rebuts just as sarcastically saying fine he can just keep holding it in and mindlessly nod his head like one of the papier-mache hariko dolls. He'll just keep on talking. And that its a shame because actually he has been sentenced in this life to atone to the grave sins of his former life so therefore he is forbidden from denigrating others. If he were to simple agree with another derogatory statements, god's wrath would fall on him and his body would be reduced to ashes! Ren interrupts him demanding he shut up! He's making him want to denigrate him! Kijima tells him to come on then, shut up and take him drinking already!
Kyoko is staring depressed at her phone as she walks to the bathroom. She knew it, Kanae still hasn't replied back. Worried she wonders where Kanae is, if she's eating enough... She doesn't think she is... Kyoko wants to bring her something to eat maybe... Something with a calorie count... That she wouldn't have to to worry about. But something that would still fill her up. Like a tofu burger, or a Konjac burger that looks and feels like the real thing. If she prefers it, it'd be the sweetest cut possible. But she would also like to make her a delicious and magical dessert. Kyoko despairs as she wonders about her next meeting with Kanae. How should she start the conversation off? 'Sorry' would be weird and 'it's too bad' would be like talking down to her maybe... Kyoko groans and shakes her head rapidly as she falls into a crouch. It's no good! No matter what she comes up with it'll just irritate her! What is she supposed to do at a time like this?! How do best friends get over hurdles like this?! She lets out another internal wail of anguish. She's so upset at her lack of experience! Suddenly Kyoko freezes, sensing something. She turns her head cautiously. She sits up from her crouch onto her knees and looks around in panic and confusion. What is it? This feeling? She's never felt it before... It's not hatred or jealousy... it's something different.. like... fear... Like she has to run... She jolts when she hears the sound of footsteps and her heart races. Spinning around she glimpses the image of woman in a wrap around top but her vision is then obscured for someone quickly grabs her head, and places an arm over her eyes and a cloth over her mouth and nose.
Back in the diner Yashiro checks his phone and muses that Kyoko has taken a while. It's almost been 20 minutes. He puts the phone down with shake of the head sighing that he shouldn't judge, when a girl goes to the restroom. She probably has to take care of her makeup even though Kyoko uses minimal make-up she's still that age and besides maybe she got a call from Kanae and is talking to her about something. Yahiro pauses as if considering something and then his expression becomes concerned. Then suddenly he leaps out of the chair, his face fierce and full of worry.
Kyoko is being led by Kimiko and her manager, who is half-dragging her and half-carrying her. Kyoko is frightened, for she can't find the energy in her to move her body. She is confused and panicky wondering who it is, who is doing this and where they are taking her? No she doesn't want to go!! She suddenly feels a breeze and is alarmed, wind? They're outside she realises. Internally she begs them to stop, no, she doesn't want to go! She thrashes as much as she is able. Let me go! It's enough to make the manager drop her, Kimiko chastises her and she apologises. Kyoko, however, freezes in shock. That was a high nasally voice... one she's heard before. Kimiko's image comes to her mind. Dread overwhelms her. The manager picks her up again and pushes her forward harshly forcing Kyoko to grabs something. Puzzled Kyoko runs her hand up and down it, for she knows what it is. A handrail? Suddenly the manager picks her up by the waist and Kimiko picks up her legs and Kyoko pitches forward over the railing. Viscreal fear runs thorough Kyoko as realises what their plan is. No way! They've got to be kidding!!!
Characters in Order of Appearance