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|Chapter 81. Innocent Koibuchi Boys|
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Despite Kuranosuke first trying to prevent her from going, and then trying to go with her to give an answer for her, Tsukimi arrives at the Koibuchi mansion to give Shuu her answer to his marriage proposal.
Tsukimi gives a presentation to Nomu and the other Amars about a jellyfish metamorphosis. They are all completely lost, but Kuranosuke is all for it and orders everyone to get going on their thing. Tsukimi, particularly, is to lock herself up in her room and do nothing but draw designs. Tsukimi asks to be allowed out for a few minutes. Kuranosuke angrily insists on knowing where she intends to go. When Tsukimi answers that it's to talk with his brother, Kuranosuke says he'll go with her so that she can refuse him point-blank for being a creepy virgin. He starts to march off, but she grabs him and tells him that she's going by herself. She'll be back in less than an hour. Mayaya and Banba taunt her for being able to escape the day's work.
As Tsukimi runs to the Koibuchi mansion, she tries to figure out what she's going to say to get Shuu to understand how she feels when she doesn't even understand her own feelings.
She arrives just as Shuu and Hanamori are about to get in the car. Tsukimi awkwardly apologizes for intruding, which Shuu emphatically refuses to hear, assuring her that it's a pleasure and she's always welcome. He invites her in for tea, and Hanamori tells him that's a bad idea since his whole family apart from Kuranosuke are inside.
Tsukimi makes a run for it, but Shuu grabs her arm to prevent her from fleeing. Ashamed of her body she jerks back and waves Shuu's hand away. He apologizes for touching her, but she says it's because her arms are like Christmas hams and she wouldn't want to have accidentally force him to touch one.
Shuu, made a nervous wreck, bursts out with a request for a response to his marriage proposal. Hanamori berates him for his lack of class, but Shuu ignores him. He asks Tsukimi if after a night's sleep she's had enough time to consider it. Tsukimi answers that, yes, she's been thinking about it in her own way.
There's a dramatic pause before she says that she hasn't done anything with her life yet. She's not sure someone like her can do much, but there are things that she would like to try. Shuu asks her if she wants to do those things with Kuranosuke, if she wants to be with Kuranosuke. After a pause, Tsukimi answers that Kuranosuke is her princess. She wants to keep making clothes with her friends that Kuranosuke can wear.
Shuu chuckles, and points out that to him, she is the princess. It's kind of funny that for Tsukimi it's the other way around and for his brother. He guesses the two of them are both pretty unusual.
From an upstairs window, Keiichiro Koibuchi and Saburouta Negishi watch Tsukimi turn and leave and Shuu subsequently fall to his knees in with emotion. They're grateful that Tsukimi left; she's too normal. Keiichiro points out that their family isn't the kind that just anyone can easily marry into and handle, and it's just ten years too early for her. Watching Shuu grieving, they also both agree that he's too pure to be cut out for politics. Kuranosuke, actually, is the one who is more cut out for it: nerve, showing off, looks, wit, and a predilection for talking big.
The Chinese economic bubble bursts, and Kai Fish decides to let go of all his Singapore holdings, not caring about the people whose livelihoods depend on them as much as protecting the company's finances.
Hwa-Young is back at the orphanage as a volunteer worker.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit