We’re moving toward a turning point in the story – or more accurately, a focal point. It’s where the various elements of the story begin to take on the shape of the plot.
First Kyo’s master is properly introduced: Kazuma Sohma, who also taught Yuki, Kagura, and Haru martial arts (plus one or two others we’ve yet to meet).
Kazuma: So, you’re the…I hear you know quite a bit about the members of the Zodiac.
Kyo is very quiet and stiff while Kazuma greets everyone, then retreats to his room.
Shigure: Typical behavior.
Tohru: What’s “typical” behavior?
Kagura: Typical behavior for Kyo-kun! Kyo-kun is actually overjoyed, but he doesn’t want us to see him like that. Especially Yun-chan.
Kyo’s just so adorable when he’s happy. But of course his happiness can’t last. The first damper comes when Kazuma tells Kyo he won’t be letting him live with him again like he used to.
Kyo: What the hell? You gonna break your promise? Are you afraid of Akito too, Master?
Kazuma: No. I have come to the conclusion that this is the best environment for you. Whether living with that girl is a coincidence or inevitable…if she has a soothing effect on you…
Kyo: Master. I don’t wanna stay here. […] Sometimes I hate it so much I just can’t stand it. I don’t wanna be “soothed”! That’s the last thing I want.
It’s hard to let go of pain, especially pain that has been present for so long that it feels like it’s been there forever. You feel like you’re somehow betraying yourself by letting go of it, that it would be dishonest, when losing that burden would really make you more yourself.
Kazuma: Tonight, when I remove it, things may get a little raucous. I apologize in advance.
Shigure: More than that, why have you suddenly decided to do it?
Kazuma: When I saw that girl’s face, I thought that perhaps she could open his heart. Maybe she could accept him the way he is. And I realized the best time to get to the bottom of it was now.
Shigure: But there’s no guarantee that this will succeed. For example, it’s possible that Kyo will reject her even if she accepts him. Kyo could have a mental break this time. He may hate even you. Or he may never smile again. Even so, you’re willing to take this one in ten thousand bet?
I really feel for Kazuma here. He’s trying to do what’s best for Kyo, but the only way to stop his self-destructive behavior is by risking devastation of a different sort.
Kazuma: It’s about time for you to accept that true form, in order to move forward.
Kyo: I do accept it. I accept that my life was over the second I was born possessed by that damn Cat spirit. And I accept that it’s the Rat’s fault…his fault…for starting all of this!
Young Kyo: It’s Yuki’s fault! He started it! I’ll kill him and then myself! That should satisfy you! As long as I die, you’ll be satisfied, right?
It’s heartbreaking to hear words like that from anyone, but especially coming from a child. This mentality, this hateful, despairing attitude has evidently been festering within Kyo for years. It is beyond Tohru’s reach, if only because she doesn’t know where to aim. So Kazuma opens the surest path to Kyo’s heart for her.
Kazuma: Is that how you’re going to continue to live? With your ears shut, your eyes closed? (internally) Covering up everything by hating Yuki. (aloud) Is that the only way you can keep a grip on yourself? And is that how you’re going to die? All alone? You said that you hated this place. But you’re wrong. It’s not “hate.” You’re just trying to run away. You know that the warmth you described as a “lukewarm bath” has a soothing effect on you, but you don’t want her to know the truth. You don’t want her to know about your “true form.” You’re afraid of losing her. In the end, you’re only trying to avoid that scenario. Then I will block that escape route. Will you lose her or not? Let’s get the answer, Kyo. Let’s see if your life is truly “over.”
Kyo’s Mother: It’s okay. I love you…which is why I won’t show anyone. No one look at my son. Don’t look. Don’t look.
Kyo: Don’t look at me!
Until next time…