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Who’s having a ball watching our duo play a game of charades? Our heroine is angry but refuses to communicate why she’s angry with the hero. While the hero feels like a rug has been pulled out from underneath him, and he has no idea how to fix the situation, because he doesn’t understand what (if anything) he did wrong in the first place. So despite asking for a clue or an explanation, and receiving cryptic responses in return, our hero decides the best remedy is hugs and kisses! Okay, maybe no kisses, but I’ll take the hugs!  One can always be worn down with hugs and kisses. Hee.


Onitsuka skillfully outsmart and outfight Misawa, deeming that they don’t like to start fights or hurt anyone first unless necessary. After the ass-whooping, Ryu tells Takaon that he’s convinced Takaon is responsible for the efforts to kill him and his woman, and to frame Onitsuka and Miurak. Takaon is sweating profusely but declares that he shouldn’t make accusations without evidence. Ryu gives him an option: either cease bad things or die today. Apparently he lives to see another day.

Junko on the other hand tries to escape her druglord, and even runs right into Ryu’s path, but unfortunately she gets captured by Takaon and is given another dose of drug. Ryu and Uncle Koji peers at the beaten woman with curiosity. Hey, don’t trust that Takaon will repent this quickly! Ryu orders Koji to investigate Junko’s living quarters.

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Aikiko recalls the meaning of red roses as she’s arranging a bouquet. Red roses signify eternal love (per Taishi) but its thorns can hurt us. Even though one can love and be loved, but one can still be hurt by unrequited love too. She’s thinking about Ryu while Taishi’s peering at her with love in his eyes. Aikiko tosses the rose that nicked her finger and rails at the bouquet of flowers as to why she’s still trying to learn housework when the man that she loves is about to marry another. She blames it on Mayumi and steps on the red rose.

Her bestie with four inch heels (never seen a doctor with such high heels!) surmises that it seems Mayumi doesn’t want to stay at Onitsuka and finds the excuse to show up to work when she’s not yet gained her strength. Nana advises that maybe she should look at the bright side and accept the ‘good’ things that Ryu has done for her.  Mayumi turns to her friend and questions whether the ‘good’ things she’s referring to are staking a claim on her after disappearing for 7 years, then contriving for her to live at his house against her will. Nana relents that the pain and the past should take the backseat to the present. He’s doing everything in his power to make amends, Nana wants Mayumi to try to be happy. Mayumi turns away, rejecting any tokens of happiness. But her friend says the one thing that unsettles her, she points out that Mayumi isn’t the type of person to force herself to do something she doesn’t want to: for instance, staying at Onitsuka and marrying Ryu. It’s because she already has Ryu in her heart. Besides, if there’s pain, there’s love.

Mayumi doesn’t like what she hears and storms out. She denies her feelings towards Ryu, unable to accept that she is in love with the fellow. Hard to accept your feelings when a man tries to outwit you? She says out loud that she will never forgive a man who tricked her – but it sounds like she’s saying it to convince herself.

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Aikiko envisions her nice façade melting away when she confronts Mayumi, but doesn’t enact it in reality. Instead she puts on her candy sweet attitude and even gives Mayumi a present for helping her with Ryu’s ailments earlier. It’s a butterfly pin, Aikiko says she will let Ryu know that Mayumi likes it since he’s the one who helped her pick it out. Aikiko lies that she’s feeling a little upset because Ryu tells her not to show up at Onitsuka anymore, but he would come visit her at night. * barf * Furthermore, Ryu has told her that he loves her every day, so she can only surmise that it’s not safe at Onitsuka holding. Aikiko tells Mayumi that she simply cannot survive without Ryu, leaving Mayumi at a loss for words. This chick is much more deadly than Aiko who was always straight with one face. She knows how to keep a friend close and an enemy closer.

Too bad no one could figure out her game yet, not even Taishi! Ugh. Good luck cleaning that up, Ryu.

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Ryu and company discover Junko’s hideout. He’s going to try to convince her on his own to switch sides. He helps her unconscious, drug-ridden body from the ground and he consoles her. She thanks him for helping her and knew right off the bat who he is, because who doesn’t know Misawa’s enemy? She tells him that a woman like her has little choice in life, but Ryu counters that people always have a choice, they can decide whether to do the right or wrong thing. He wants her help with Misawa’s secrets but she denies knowing anything. Ryu tries to sell Junko on Onitsuka clan, unfortunately he is unable to take her with him at this time since Misawa clan reappears and Onitsuka doesn’t want them to be suspicious. Ryu feels badly for leaving Junko and is convinced that she knows Misawa’s secrets.

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Yuji gets a migraine headache (or withdrawal from drugs?) and is looking worse for wear. Dad wonders what’s the matter with his son.

Mayumi’s belongings have been moved to Onitsuka, even the box she’s been hiding. Thanks mom! Ryu summons her to the garden where he tells her that 7 years ago he heard a beautiful girl playing koto and he has never forgotten its sweet sound. In fact it has embedded in his dreams. Mayumi doesn’t want to hear it anymore and tries to walk away, but the sound of koto – specifically the song that she played 7 years prior – is filling her ears. He has learned to play it! She stops in her tracks, the memory of happier, innocent times pass between them.

He stands behind her, with flowers hidden in his hands, and tells her that the sound of koto nearly made his heart stop. Whether he is happy or sad, during good or bad times, this music is his companion. Mayumi shuts her eyes from the tears and says she’s had enough. As he stops her and hands her the yellow daisies, he says that it represents his resolute determination to win her over. Mayumi laments that she cannot stop a pursuer, but she can certainly forbid her own heart. She’s standing strong against Ryu and Ryu is at a loss as to how he can fix things with her- well, you don’t know what you don’t know- and Mayumi isn’t about to shed any light. She merely says that he’s a liar, maybe he’s not fooling her, but he’s certainly fooling someone else. He should just stay away from her. Poor Ryu, he doesn’t even know what he “did wrong,” it all sounds highly cryptic to him, but he refuses to give up.

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Back at the Takahashi household, mom breathes a deep sigh. She’s concerned about her eldest and would feel much better if they haven’t forced her to marry Onitsuka. Dad claims that they are doing her a favor because the girl wouldn’t be able to make a decision on her own. Oh, please elaborate. Dad thinks that Mayumi feels opposite from her actions and that she loves Ryu. He believes that Mayumi has never been afflicted with the responsibilities of a Soriyo and couldn’t fathom Ryu’s duties, but one day, dad trusts that Mayumi will come to understand and embrace it.

Ryu tries to get to the bottom of her cold demeanor and knows that she’s misunderstanding something about him, but Mayumi refuses to speak. He states that if she doesn’t tell him what’s wrong, how is he to know? That’s what I’m saying. Mayumi claims that she’s exhausted and wants to sleep, and that if he truly cares about her, he wouldn’t press it. He relents that time will prove to her that he’s genuine.

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Aikiko contemplates ways to wage her war against Mayumi. Her first round apparently is a success.

Ryu lays awake at night, wondering to himself what she’s hiding from him. He climbs over their barrier, but she warns him not to overstep his bounds. Heh. She tells him that she could never get a good night sleep next to a cunning man. This annoys him to no end and he pesters her on whether the tofu-faced cop made his appearance again today. Lol. Jealous much, Ryu?

Ryu surmises that something must have happened at the hospital because they were doing great, until she returned. Was it the tofu-faced guy who mucked it up for him? He claims that he’s not that type of person that Yuji might have painted, but Mayumi laments that she speaks the truth according to what she sees (and not what she thinks.) She clues him on one thing though: Yuji may be all that and more, but most importantly, he only has her in his heart. Dude, if he doesn’t know what she’s referring to after this, the girl isn’t going to spell it out for you. Use that brain of yours, use it!

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Yuji is feeling better- apparently he wasn’t afflicted with migraines – but withdrawals from drugs. His father warns him to stay off of them, and he claims that he has tried, but you know what they say about addiction.

Ryu sneaks around to his lady’s side, looking like he’s going to place a good morning kiss. Hee. Mayumi wakes up in time and pushes him away, Ryu claims that he was just going to “wake” her up. He tells her that he’s unsettled that she’s still mad at him and will stay on his knees this way until they make amends. Mayumi could care less and stalks to the changing room, where she finds her outfit for today already picked out for her. Ryu states that it’s his doing and compliments himself for being a good husband. Lol.

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He asks her to pick out an outfit for him, and Mayumi smiles over his banter, liking it too much. She buttons him up and he pulls her into a bear hug, asking whether she feels anything when he holds her this close. Hee.

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I can certainly see the chemistry between the two. Mayumi relents that she feels uncomfortable. She adds that many women may care about him but she’s not one of them, our confident Ryu tells her to just admit that she cares. She decides the best way to deal with him is to. .strangle him with his tie? Ha.

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Misawa isn’t pleased with Onitsuka’s latest show of superiority nor his damaged club. He claims that it is due time that Ryu pays for the damages that he caused.

Ryu doesn’t mind the strangle all too much, if anything it shows that Mayumi has a strange way of showing that she cares. Ryu wants to take Mayumi to work first, despite having a full schedule. She reminds him that his duty as Soriyo is the utmost important thing (to him) so he should fulfill his role and she would be safe enough with Taishi. The bodyguards surmise that Ryu must have signed up for the husbands-who-fear-their-wives club even before he marries. Lol. They tease him that he’s so scared, he can take on the President of the club role. Hahaha. But with one look from Ryu, they are smart enough to hightail out of his sight.

It’s a good thing Taishi doesn’t adhere to Mayumi’s orders, because Takaon is lurking by the hospital but doesn’t dare come in because Mayumi has protection. His minion disguises as an aid, while Mayumi steers Taishi back to her office so she could get rid of her shadow. But immediately the minion comes after her and Mayumi uses the kendo skills she learned. It’s nice to watch a capable heroine. But skilled as she might be, she’s still not at the caliber of the hired hand. Yuji appears and knocks the villain down, doing some fancy moves. He shoots point blank at the villain when the man tries to stab Mayumi. And then of course Taishi appears. Fancy seeing you finally!

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Ryu drops everything and goes to see his beloved. Mayumi is instructed by Nana not to use her hand for a week and she thanks Yuji for saving her again. Boo. And that’s what Ryu sees when he enters the hospital ward. Ryu asks his “tee rak” (sweetheart) if she’s hurt anywhere and that he’s been so worried about her. Heh. Yuji assures them that they will uncover who ordered the hired hand to come after Mayumi, while Takaon peers at them from the corner. Ryu thanks Yuji for helping his future wife. * smile *

This is news for Yuji who learns that Mayumi is currently living with Ryu and that the duo will marry soon. He invites him in advance to their wedding, stating that they would be too busy preparing for said wedding to drop off the invitation formally. Yuji claims that he’s not sure if he would be available that day either. But deep down, he’s boiling in rage. Better take another hit of that whatever-drug you’re on to keep the pain at bay.

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Mayumi pities how Yuji is feeling right now, but Nana laments that since she’s the future bride, she doesn’t have a right to care anymore, she should leave Yuji to Nana. Ha. I like this girl, and her four inch heels.

Takaon reports to Masaru that he has done whatever Yamamoto and Masaru has ordered him to do but Yuji interfered with his work. Masaru says that he will warn Yuji, and Yuji suddenly appears – Oh, is he turning to the dark side? Or always been part of it? – but Takaon mentions that Yuji doesn’t heed those warnings. Takaon finishes another one of his many skull carvings and stashes it in his collection. That’s just creepy.

Yuji orders Takaon not to lay another hand on Mayumi but Takaon doesn’t take orders from him and the two nearly come to blows. Masaru hauls his son away and has a personal chat with him about Mayumi. He chides him for standing in the way of their plan, but Yuji relents that he has agreed to help his dad eliminate Onitsuka, but that’s it. He has the freedom to do whatever he pleases outside of that. Dad practically tells him to wake up and smell the sea, everything had been planned even from the first time he met Mayumi. Dad had contrived for his son to meet Mayumi so that they can find out more about Ryu, but when Ryu had stopped caring about Mayumi (at least pretending anyway) so Masaru steered his son away. [So I guess in affect, Ryu did give Mayumi 7 years of freedom by staying away from her.]

Yuji states that he can’t change the way he feels about Mayumi now and she’s the woman he chooses. This causes dad to punch his son, what will a baddie do to keep his son from ruining his plan?

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Taishi pleads for punishment for failing to keep the Lady safe. One of the warrior surmises that no matter how they protect the Lady, if the baddies are determined to hurt her, they’ll find a way. Ryu is certain that this is Takaon’s doing, and prepares to attack, but Uncle Koji thinks that this could be their plan. Furthermore, someone’s backing Takaon, and that person wants to destroy Onitsuka.

Takaon expresses to his father’s portrait that he will accomplish what his father failed to do his entire life: Misawa will be superior to Onitsuka.

Yuji steeps in anger at his father who has controlled his entire life, and now he’s trying to take the one person away from him (even though we all can argue that he has no chance in the first place.) But he flicks the lamp switch on and off, casting light in a pitch black room. His head starts to ache as the drug withdrawal kicks in, prompting him to pop another pill. So I guess all of those nice acts with Mayumi, is only that?

Yuji shows up at Junko’s doorstep! Oh, now it makes sense! The boyfriend that her friend was referring to is Yuji. And well, he’s just as dirty as his daddy. Eck. Hopefully this would convince Junko to switch sides.

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Ryu goes into his room and overhears some voices coming from the changing room. It sounds like Mayumi is refusing help from auntie. Ryu learns that auntie is just trying to help wash Mayumi’s back and he relents that he would be happy to help. Hee. Mayumi wonders why he’s always meddling with her and Ryu replies that it’s because he cares. He understands that she’s more than capable of helping herself, but washing her own back won’t be as good, what if she slipped in the tub? Her parents would be worried. Ha. Mayumi counters that he’s only doing these things so that her parent’s won’t criticize him. Exasperated, Ryu lifts her into his arms and tells her that he’ll scrub her nice and clean and will even sing her a lullaby as she goes to sleep. Hahaha. He cracks me up.

Mayumi gives in, but telling him to put her down. She relents that he can wash her back, but under one condition..

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And of course we end here! Will Mayumi stipulate that he wash her back while turning his back, ala Takeshi? Methinks Ryu will find a way to peak at her anyway, ha.

I find it interesting that Mayumi struggles to keep her emotions in check when around him, no matter how angry, no matter how much she claims she hates him, she’s reeled back into the warm embrace of Ryu. And who could hate on that? She denies her feelings, but she’s only being a hypocrite. Her affliction matches the song exactly: her mouth and heart just don’t agree with each other. Ryu decides the best way to fix this discrepancy is to let the heart feel, while distracting the mouth. Hee.

Mayumi, despite her big ado about refusing to live with Ryu, seems to be acclimating nicely. Perhaps her dad and Nana is right, and they simply know her better than she knows herself. Which in a way, sucks that our heroine doesn’t have any self-awareness, but at the same time, it’s self-preservation. Until she determines that Ryu won’t hurt her anymore and see him for the good man that he is, only then will she allow herself to feel. Or at least align the mouth with the heart. I’m inclined to see Ryu help her do that very thing.