|Original Release||20 June, 2017|
|Arc||A Lotus in the Mud arc|
Flying Shock is the 249th chapter in the Skip Beat! Manga Series.
Ren finds out he wasn't Kyoko's only visitor that night after her mother's cruel comment. And he is not happy especially since thanks to "that guy" Kyoko may be in the spotlight in a way she never wanted to be.
Erika accidentally admits it was indeed Kimiko who caused her accident. Kimiko is outraged when she's told by Kuresaki that Kyoko's stage combat performance was superior to hers causing her to yell at him. Kyoko lets her guard down around Koga who instantly guesses her feelings for Ren unfortunately all while the arrogant Kimiko is listening!
Ren attempts to comprehend the photo placed in front of him on the bar. He doesn't understand what's going on in the photo or doesn't want to. He recognises Kyoko and realises that the other person in the photo must be 'that guy' but it can't be... Ren continues to stare at the photo until he turns to the President telling him that it's really a poor excuse for a joke, he apologises if that sounded rude. Lory replies sardonically that he is well aware of Ren's desire to avoid his own feelings but this is not one of his pranks. The photo hasn't been tampered with or photoshopped, unfortunately it's a real photo. Lory sighs and reminds Ren that he went to see Kyoko that day. Does he not even remember the outfit she was wearing in the photo? Alarmed Ren hurriedly glances back at the photo again as he recalls Kyoko thanking him for the Love Me stamp in the same outfit of a dark jacket and light skirt. Lory tells him that the photo was taken at 1:56am April 11th according to the reporter who emailed him for permission to publish the photo. Ren inwardly repeats the time and realises that it was only a little bit before she met with him. Lory continues stating that Akatoki Agency also denied permission so the picture will never be made public but if this were a tabloid they would have published the photo without consent and it would be all over the news. Lory is certain Ren wasted no time in going to see Kyoko that night however he had Ruto standing guard so no photos of the two of them were taken. Lory guesses the photographer's target was actually Sho Fuwa anyway so he probably didn't tail Kyoko but now that this photo has been taken she may actually become a target for paparazzi. Lory looks at Ren and asks if he is listening. Ren appears focused on the photo with thoughts running through his head. He recalls Saena's harsh comment on the TV. Right after something like that occurred, this happened to her... Ren replies that he is listening but still his thoughts run wild and questions form without answers. How did a scene like that come about? It doesn't make sense! Lory continues stating that this brings them to the main point of the story and the reason why he brought out this photo that should be burned in darkness never to rise again is because he has something he wishes to discuss that involves Ren. He explains that he is thinking of keeping Yashiro as Kyoko's manager but before he makes that decision he wants to hear Ren's opinion. Ren looks at him in surprise, for this was an unexpected development. Lory tells him that this would mean that Yashiro would have to work two positions so during the times where Yashiro is unable to accompany him Ruto would act as his substitute. Plus if there were ever any rough patches Ruto would be able to assist for he is more aware of Ren's situation than Yashiro. With a complicated expression Ren wonders if by 'rough patches' he means things related to 'Kuon' if so then he doesn't need to worry because he is alright now. Besides he couldn't receive Lory's right hand man as his manager for that would seem incredibly overprotective of him and that would seem even more suspicious wouldn't he agree? The entirety of LME would be abuzz, thinking some magnificent project was going on. People would make up their own speculations believing they were up to something for no reason, and it'd be troublesome if they inadvertently associated him with another project. Does he not realise how much trouble he had to go through for that project? As 'Actor X'? Lory snorts really now, Ren should put himself in his shoes for it looks to him that bullying himself is actually a hobby of his. Does he know how much trouble he's gone through to strap life preserves on Ren when he is set on not wanting to be saved? Speaking as his mother figure the anxiety of raising Ren has shortened his lifespan by at least 200 years. Ren quips back that that's good for he'll be able to live a normal human lifespan so he can thank him anytime. Both of them swap annoyed stares before breaking out into warm smiles. Lory reminisces nostalgically that Ren has grown so much... When he first met him he was teeny tiny... Ren objects at the indicated size saying that's the size of a microscopic cell! He definitely doesn't remember meeting Lory when he was that small.
Back at the gymnasium Erika recalls Kyoko's stage combat demonstration - particularly her flashy 'Momiji'-like moves. Remembering them causes Erika's grip to tighten on her wheelchair's armrest. Sayou glances over at her and wonders if she is alright? Or is she unwell? He apologises profusely for not realising it sooner, she's probably cold as he shrugs out of his coat intending to place it around her shoulders. Erika answers dully that's not it, she's fine. She looks down and her expression is shaken, perhaps because she's realised that even her own Momiji that she had such pride in wouldn't have beaten Kyoko's. Movement in the gymnasium causes her to glance up and Sayou also to look through the window. Sayou comments that it ended before he realised, Kimiko Morizumi's stage combat test. Sayou confesses that whether or not it was true to the professionals is completely beyond him but it seems that she at least finished it until the end. Inwardly he fumes wishing she had embarrassed herself, that arrogant witch! Still, he continues solemnly, even to an amateur her act paled in comparison to the Love Me Member's. Hers had much more impact. He wonders if there was really any point in that woman participating in the exam at all? Erika gives the going-ons in the gymnasium a measured look as she responds that it's just a formality to make it easier for them to pass down a negative verdict. Both of them look on as Kuresaki says something to Kimiko which causes her face to crumple into outrage. Sayou muses that she may be receiving that negative verdict at this very moment... Kimiko rages at Kuresaki while her uncle Jouji hovers nearby wringing his hands. Sayou mutters that of course she would never stand down and calmly accept it, always has to make a fuss. Erika's adds grimly that if that woman were the type to follow common sense and exercise self-control then she wouldn't be in this state right now. Sayou's eyes alight with inner fire and hate as his suspicions are finally confirmed. So it's true! That woman really is the one responsible! Erika jumps, realising her slip too late.
Inside the gymnasium Kimiko is still beside herself with fury brought on by Kuresaki's words and is ranting at him. She claims that she can do everything Kyoko did, with a little practice she can copy it perfectly down to a T. Kuresaki understands she most likely could for her memory and ability to reenact scenes are exceptional. Kimiko interrupts hotly so why did he say that that girl was superior just now?! Kuresaki corrects her coolly stating that is because she asked who did he earnestly prefer. But the role is not given just because one's stage combat performance was better. Acting in a drama is nowhere near that simplistic. The reason why he is looking for actors and actresses is because he wants a more comprehensive ability. Kuresaki explains that he wants to see how well they can portray a character in real life, how realistic they can make it look with the skills at their disposal. Ascertaining that is his job. The audition is not over yet. Next up, they will actually be judging the Chidoris but they will incorporating the Momijis as well. Kanae and the other Chidoris pique up at being mentioned and look interested at this. Kuresaki turns to leave the gymnasium but adds sternly to Kimiko that if she feels as if she lost to a rival in stage combat then he suggests she shape up and get ready for the next stage. Kimiko watches him leave with a disgruntled look upon her face.
Kuresaki and Jouji exit the gymnasium alerting Yashiro and Kyoko who are waiting outside. Kuresaki pauses on his way to tell Kyoko that in thirty minutes they will begin the final examination for the role of Chidori and he wants her there for it. Kyoko is surprised by the request but agrees. She wonders why she has to be there...? There's a sudden increase in noise as all the stuntmen depart the gymnasium. Kyoko glances over at this only to find Koga staring at her and smiling. Outside the building Koga confesses that he's been curious about something and been wanting to ask about it all day. It's been bothering him a lot so do they mind if he asks them? Yashiro and Kyoko don't mind but inquire as to what it is? Koga excitedly asks if 'LME' is short for Love Me? Yashiro and Kyoko shoot him down straight away, plainly stating that it is not with haggard expressions. Koga is astounded at learning this for wasn't it said on the internet that the Love Me Section was created by the President himself! That it was an extension of his own hobbies and preferences! When he made the connection for the first time Koga admits he was shocked. Kyoko looks away mortified but understands where he is coming from for she too thought the same thing for a little while. Yashiro informs Koga that their company's official name is 'Lory's Majestic Entertainment' and 'LME' is an acronym of that. Koga looks a little stunned at this new fact and a bit disappointed to learn that it does in fact have a 'real' name. The conversation is interrupted when Yashiro starts vibrating signalling an incoming text. With smooth and fast movements he pulls on gloves and whips out his phone. After reading the text he excuses himself to make a telephone call. Koga watches him leave and inquires if Kyoko is the only one under his management? Kyoko replies that he is only temporarily supervising her as a special case. He is actually a personal manager for another person. Koga muses could it be... This other person she spoke of... Ren Tsuruga?
At the mention of Ren's name Kyoko flashes back to after her stage combat test when she and Yashiro are waiting outside the gymnasium. Yashiro is telling her he received a message from Ren during her audition about returning home. She probably received one too. Kyoko hurriedly checks her phone and there is indeed a message from Ren. It says that he finished his work early and is now back safely in Japan. Is she still at her audition? He will be waiting for a good report! Do her best! (^^). Remembering this text Kyoko's expression slips revealing her true feelings for Ren. Koga blinks at the sudden inexplicable change. It's like her her face lost all form and shape... When the name Ren Tsuruga was mentioned... Koga asks her does she really want to wear her heart on her sleeve like that? At this very moment Kimiko and her manager happen to be walking by. Koga's words attract Kimiko's attention causing her to glance over and tune in to the conversation. Koga tells Kyoko it's very obvious to the point that it actually made him feel uncomfortable. Confused Kyoko wonders what he is talking about? Koga tells her flatly with an almost pitying expression that he can see it, she likes him - Ren Tsuruga.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit