Pride and Prejudice:
A Hana Yori Dango Site

Chapter 3: At War With the 'F4'

For a change of pace, the chapter opens with three of the 'F4' meeting at a nightclub. Nishikado Soujiro arrives and tells Mimasaka Akira and Doumyouji Tsukasa that he was unable to call Hanazawa Rui, probably because he was sleeping heavily, as usual. As the leader, Doumyouji announces that Rui's absence is just as well, since nightclubbing is a boring activity. Ever the troublemaker, Nishikado responds to this jaded attitude by raising the subject of Makino Tsukushi. He and Akira express open admiration for Makino's pleasant looks and compare her personality and behavior to those of Doumyouji's married older sister.

This baiting raises Doumyouji's interest, and he insists that his sister has beauty, charm and manners so far beyond Makino as to make the two incomparable. However, Doumyouji does wonder aloud about how to deal with the troublesome girl. Nishikado goes on to mention Doumyouji's sister's rough handling of her brother, and he follows up with a well-timed remark about Doumyouji's habit of misspeaking phrases. This final insult is too much to ignore, and Doumyouji easily tackles and pins his friend to teach him a lesson in humility, even as he continues to wonder about Makino's unpredictable ways.

Alone in her classroom, Makino Tsukushi thinks about her unpleasant situation. Her meditation is interrupted by a classmate who pops out from a hiding place. Speaking cryptically, he refers to a provocative letter that she supposedly left in his locker as the reason for his presence. When she claims no knowledge of such a letter, his cronies arrive to force her to play along in their vicious game. Tsukushi is wholly unwilling to let any of the despicable boys come near her, let alone touch her, so she punches one and runs away down the hall. Unfortunately, the school's indoor slippers are not meant for running from predators, and she is caught roughly by her unbound hair. The boys gather around her fallen, struggling body while she shouts threats at them.

Arriving on the scene in the nick of time is Hanazawa Rui, who demands an explanation. The ringleader tries to invoke Doumyouji's declaration as a defense of their assault. Still held down to the floor, Tsukushi despairs as she recalls Hanazawa Rui's non-involvement attitude towards the strange goings-on at school. But instead of leaving, Rui threatens the boys, demanding that they release Tsukushi at once. Even as the punks run off and Tsukushi expresses her gratitude for his assistance, Rui shrugs it off with his usual bland demeanor. Tsukushi smiles through her tears as she watches the retreat of her anti-social (lit. nagate) rescuer.

From the comfort of his large home, Doumyouji listens to the report of his squad of black-clad errand boys. Although they are probably older than he is, he is their employer, and they are wholly loyal to him. Previously, he set them to the task of picking up an unnamed girl who has eluded capture so far due to her toughness. Their observations of the girl hanging out with Hanazawa Rui earlier that day, confirm her as identity as Makino Tsukushi. Doumyouji does not share the reason for his interest in Makino, but his displeasure at the squad's failure is great. Wondering aloud about Rui's actions, he misspeaks again while deciding what to try next. When his employees try to correct his speech, they too suffer the wrath of Doumyouji.

The next day following her classmates' attack, Tsukushi arrives at school with a fierce expression and a generally violent demeanor. She has no intention of leaving school without a good fight. The other students pick up on the unspoken threat and leave her alone. Hanazawa Rui causes a commotion with his own arrival, and Tsukushi disdains the gratuitous fawning of the girls who run to gawk at the handsome boy. Still, thinking of her self-effacing rescuer brings an involuntary flush to her cheeks which is quickly suppressed.

Another egg ambush awaits Tsukushi in the classroom. Announcing her intention to stay, she stops a flying egg in midair with a fly swatter. Looming over the boy who threw the egg, she tells him calmly that eggs are for eating, not for throwing. But, she says, balls are for throwing. Matching action to words, she pegs him with a tennis ball, breaking his prized 'Ronlex' watch, a special present when he entered the school. When the boy bemoans the loss of his beloved watch, Tsukushi flips him the bird and tells him off. (ed.-There's an unfamiliar idiom used here, but Kamio-san tells us that it's "death language" and surrounds the panel with lilies.)

Shrieks of delight accompanying the arrival of the 'F4' drift into the classroom just as Tsukushi is revelling in her victory. The sound of Doumyouji's name sparks her into action. Without thinking, she runs into the hallway after the boys and springs into the air, skirts flying, and gives Doumyouji a full kick in the face. Through the shock and pain, Doumyouji fondly remembers a familiar girl's voice, saying, "Tsukasa, you jerk!" (lit. Tsukasa kono yarou.) (ed.-The roses surrounding the panel and the use of the familiar name are clues as to the identity of the voice.)

Chapter 2 Chapter 4