It seemed like he was always just fine being on his own. That irritated me, oddly enough. I wanted to see if I could make him pay attention to me.
Now that the Curse is broken, Shigure and Akito can finally be honest with each other – and I’m somewhat surprisingly okay with the result. But first, Akito has to be honest with the (former) Members of the Zodiac.
Haru: So we all showed up like we were told, but Akito knows…what happened with us, right? I’m kinda worried things might be a bit tense…
Yuki: Tense, huh? I actually don’t think that’s likely. Well, I was a little worried before that if the Curse broke we’d feel awkward around each other, but…
Turns out they’re just as awkward as always, no more, no less. And the only ones who don’t show up are Kureno (who presumably didn’t hear about it) and Shigure…
Ritsu: Akito-san…could it be!? We share the same hobby…?
Ritsu, you are fantastic.
“A present, from me to you. You could call it a ‘parting gift.'”
Akito: I hate you…! I hate you…I despise you! I knew this would happen! I always knew you’d be the first to abandon me! […]
Shigure: Who exactly do you think I’m “abandoning,” here? […] You’re finally saying “Goodbye” to the person your father wanted you to be and changing into a “new you,” right? Hence a “parting gift.” A present. Congratulations. I welcome the new you. I look forward to seeing how you’re going to live your life from here on out.
Just a reminder that this conversation is a continuation of the one from Chapter 128 – before the Curse broke. Before Akito chose to break the Curse. Turns out a little encouragement can go a long way, right Shigure?
Akito: Just as all of you have finally been able to return to your natural forms, I too am returning to my true form. All of you are free. And this may come too late, but for everything…everything up to now…I’m…
Shigure: After all the suffering you’ve caused, after all the terrible things you’ve done to them, I’m curious about how you’re going to atone for everything going forward.
Akito: Shut up! You’re always-
Shigure: You care about what I think? I’m honored.
Akito: I do not! It…it’s not that. Shigure, more than anyone, you’ve always scared me the most. It always felt like you were the furthest away from me. You were the one I couldn’t pin down. You were never afraid of me like the others. Even though we all had a “bond”, you were the most distant of all, Shigure…
Shigure: I had to stay calm and act like I didn’t care, otherwise it felt like I’d explode. Even when I thought I had you, you fluttered away to someone else’s lap, didn’t you? Traitor. […] I’ve always been a cunning, immature guy. That’s why I can’t stand being hurt, or getting the short end of the stick. Once I get my hands on something, I never want to give it back or let anyone else touch it.
Shigure is very good at hiding his feelings, so he just comes off as passive-aggressive about a relationship which Akito never received the slightest assurance about. Again, this is a bad situation for ANYONE, let alone Akito. And admitting he’s immature doesn’t make it any better, especially since he’s not actually apologizing for his behavior, just claiming that it’s “natural” for him to be that way.
Shigure: Yeah…if you’re going to reject me, now’s the time. Thanks to you, I think I’ve learned to be generous, to an extent, so I’ll give you time to run away if that’s what you really want. But you should know, if you do choose to come to me once more…well, we’ll both know what that means, right?
So this was ultimately the catalyst for the breaking of the Curse – Shigure finally came out and told Akito how he felt, but more importantly, he offered HER the freedom to refuse. Up until now, Shigure’s clearly been wishing for all of the other curses to break except his – he was just as desperate for that guarantee as Akito was. He needed to stop relying on the Curse to keep bringing her back to him and start manning up and attempting to earn her love.
You’re cruel. That’s not fair. As if you were never at fault for any of this. You really are a child. And yet…you had that same look in your eyes, as if to say, “I’ll be fine on my own.” It’s beyond irritating. I want to make you pay attention to me. I want to drink up every part of you. Down to your cells…down to the marrow of your bones…I want to leave my mark deep, deep inside you. I want to drink you up, fill you with my scent, until you can’t breathe. This feeling, this desire…is it coming from within me, as a woman?
Akito: Everyone was surprised. They seemed to have mixed feelings. I tried to apologize, but I wasn’t able to. When I tried forming the words, it was as if I were saying, “So let this be the end of it.” I…I’m going to continue living here, I think. I believe there are things I still need to do. (internally) In order to protect their true freedom. (aloud) After all, I am still the Head of the Family…that’s why I need to also talk to Ren.
Shigure: In other words, you want me to stick around with you for that kind of life?
Akito: …Are you angry?
Shigure: A little. I mean, I’ve been waiting for so, so long for you to come back to me. You kept me waiting, didn’t you?…That suits you. You’re beautiful.
I get chills when you turn to look at me.
I love you. I love you. I love you so much. I’ll love you forever, as long as you want me too.
I still consider this a highly unequal relationship (Akito deserves way better), but perhaps she needs that familiarity right now – it’s hard enough to make friends in the “outside” world, let alone boyfriends. But Shigure still deserves to be punched for everything he did.
Until next time…