Akane sits outside, looking at the fragment of Akram’s mask.
(Akane: Why? Why must the main villain be so bishie? Now I must angst between having eight bishounen who are all devoted to me, or one who regularly insults my friends and tries to hurt everyone.)
At the Minister of the Left’s residence, Tenma confronts Fuji and Tomomasa.
Tenma: Look, this Ryuujin no Miko stuff isn’t good for Akane- she might get injured.
Tomomasa: Akane is very important to me, er, I mean to the country of Kyou. And since she’s the main character, she shouldn’t come to any permanent harm.
Tenma grabs Tomomasa.
Tenma: That isn’t good enough! She’s my woman, you hear?
Tomomasa: My, my, raising your fists against me? And here I thought you only took your anger out on defenceless women.
Akane tries to throw away the mask fragment away, but cannot manage it. For some reason, Shimon and Yorihisa’s gems briefly glow.
As Akane goes back indoors, she hears Yasuaki’s voice talking to her from a mouse.
Yasuaki: What do you think, Akane? My powers are many and varied.
After checking up on Akane, Yasuaki goes back to his work. Tenma comes outside.
Tenma: Listen, Akane, you’re an idiot and a fool, and no matter what you do, I’ll always be angry with you. So, what’s on your mind?
Akane: Well, there was this guy I liked for about three episodes, but then I realised he was the main villain, so now I hate him.
Tenma: As long as you aren’t interested in him anymore, I guess I can let it pass.
Akane and Tenma go off to sit by the river. Yorihisa watches them go.
(Yorihisa: When will it be my turn?)
Tenma: Akane, I’ll get you away from those other men as soon as I can. Whenever I’m not at work, I’ll look for a way home.
Akane: You’re working?
Tenma: Yeah, I get to wave a big stick around- it’s just my level.
Akane: Maybe I should work too.
Tenma: Nonsense, women don’t work. You just stay at home whilst I go out and do the job of a REAL MAN.
Tenma: Akane, you must understand how vital it is that I don’t lose you. I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this important part of my life before, but several years ago, my sister went missing. For ages, I had no woman to dominate, and everyone around me had bland, dull-coloured hair and generic character designs. But then you came along, and I knew that at last I had found someone to replace her, someone I could keep under my control. I don’t know if I could ever find another named character to replace you- that is why you must stay safe.
Tenma and Akane are distracted by the commotion surrounding a chibi demon thief, Kotengu. Once they catch up with Kotengu at the bridge, Tenma beats him up.
(Tenma: This is the sort of opponent I like best- one that’s too small to fight back.)
Kotengu tries to counterattack, but Tenma dodges, leaving him on course to hit Akane. Luckily, Yorihisa appears from out of nowhere to whip her out of the way.
Yorihisa: This small, defenceless demon is your enemy, Miko! I must hunt it down and kill it immediately.
Kotengu flies off.
Tenma: That was convenient, Yorihisa. Were you stalking us?
Yorihisa: It is my duty to guard the Miko.
(Yorihisa: That’s my excuse, anyway.)
Tenma: I was protecting her! She doesn’t need other men.
Tenma grabs Yorihisa- the ensuing conflict knocks Akane into the shallow river. Yorihisa takes her to a nearby temple to rest and put on some dry clothes.
Akane: I have to dry out before we go back, or Yorihisa might get scolded.
Tenma: Stop worrying about other men.
Akane: But…what if he commits seppuku?
(Tenma: Good- one less rival for me. Still, I suppose I had better look like I care.)
Yorihisa: I am sorry, Miko. I placed you in great danger- first at the hands of a small, pathetic demon, and then again when you fell into a shallow pool of water.
Tenma: Are you trying to imply that I am at fault as well?
(Yorihisa: Tenma is even more paranoid than I thought.)
Tenma grabs Yorihisa, but Yorihisa fails to react.
(Tenma: He’s a broken man, and no threat to me right now.)
Tenma lets Yorihisa go, and Akane comforts him.
Akane: Just like in the game, my job is to cheer you on- so here are some comforting words, Yorihisa.
(Tenma: Damn, I miscalculated. Yorihisa now seems vulnerable and human, and that makes him more attractive to Akane.)
From within his lair, Akram watches everything via his magic pool of water, the demoness Shirin by his side.
(Akram: Oops, I forgot to book a monster of the week for this episode.)
Meanwhile, green-haired bishie Takamichi is hard at work. Tomomasa comes in.
Tomomasa: When you’re finished here, why not come and have a drink in my room? Afterwards, we can be HARD GAY.
Akane, Tenma and Yorihisa go back home.
Akane: Fuji-hime, after five episodes of angst, I realise that I have duties as a main character. How do I find the remaining Hachiyou?
Fuji: It shouldn’t be too hard to find them- they’re the named bishies with brightly coloured hair that appear in the OP.
Akane: Right, from now on I’ll do my best to identify them.
To be continued…