It was late at night on June 15, the same day as last chapter. We know from last chapter that Hayate, Maria, Chiharu and Isumi all participated in motivating Nagi to go to school, so as the day came to an end, Chiharu talked with Hayate about the whole thing.
They were not simply talking, as Hayate was in the meantime giving shoulder massage to Chiharu. Of course, it was not the first time Hayate gave Chiharu a shoulder massage. He gave her once back in Ch. 278 to persuade her to move in, and as she moved in finally (abeit for another reason), such a service was guarenteed.
Not so for Hina, who moved in without knowing any of the benefits of the Masion which “came with a butler”. As the days passed, she knew that Hayate would prepare meals and the bath for her, but she never knew that she could ask for more. For the first time of her tenancy, she realized that Hayate was not only her friend, classmate and crush, but also her butler. As his mistress, she could ask him to give her some services like shoulder massage, and… is there a girl who could resist the temptation of receiving massages from the boy she likes?
Hina returned to her room and watched Alice sleeping. She reminded herself that she lived in the Violet Masion to, and only to, look after Alice for three months. When Alice’s training was over, Hina’s tenancy would also be over. Nagi would have 24,262 days until she reached 80 years old, but Hina would only have 2 months (60 days) left until she left Violet Mansion. Nagi could buy a PS3 with her 24,262 yen, and what could Hina buy with her 60 yen?
With so little time in her hand, Hina knew that she could not ask for too much, and that she had to settle with a somehow shallow wish. She only wanted Hayate to give her a shoulder massage for once, before she left Violet Mansion for all.
Are you quite sure you want to laugh at her?
All she had to do was to ask, and her first chance came in the next morning, when she was ready to go jogging. As always, Hayate greeted her at the front door, and Hina made her first move to make her request. However, this is Hina, and she was still too embarrassed to ask him herself. She ran away – literally – before she could say one word about it, and Hayate didn’t even know that she had something to ask him. When the easiest way doesn’t work, things become a bit more complicated. As she could not express herself to Hayate, she could only rely on Hayate to make her the offer, so that she only had to say “yes”.
According to the parallel people theory, this would be equally difficult. The difficulty Hina perceived was that she wasn’t in need of a shoulder massage – she was too tough, energetic for that. The only thing she was in need was her chest size, so she thought that Hayate would turn his attention to her chest, and according to his past record, the only thing he would do with her chest was to insult it. So, she seemed like a pervert to even think of chest massage, but there was actually a reason for her to think about it that way. More importantly, the narrator – who had always been snarky towards Hina’s imaginations, actually agreed with her this time.
With the thought that she could make use of having Hayate as her butler as she lived in Violet Mansion, Hina arrived at her throne room the Student Council Room as she heard two people talking. She peered in and was shocked to see that Hayate was offering massage to Aika. So, it was not about living in the Violet Mansion, after all?
Well, to a certain extent it was, for Hayate was giving Aika shoulder massage because he was promoting the apartment to her. Hina realized that Hayate was doing business, and as such there would be nothing romantic even if he gave her massage – just look at Chiharu. Still, it means that Hayate would at least be a little selective about whom he was giving massage to?
The answer is “no”, for while Aika asked him to give massage to her hand, her back and her waist, Hayate did not reject – though he was very uncomfortable about it. Hina was upset about it and voiced her objection: “You can’t just go along with everything girls say like that!” Mind you, this might be yet another influential advice to Hayate from Hina.
By her words, Hina meant that he couldn’t just agree with every request from girls, but she put herself in a very embarrassing position. If she asked him to give her should massage later, she would be implying “don’t accept anyone’s request but mine”. It would be too hypocritical.
Hayate knew that Hina was angry, but he was not as scared as before. He did apologize, but it was in a much more natural and relaxed manner that made me think that there was something different in his apologies: he ceased to apologize only to calm Hina down, but also to show that he accepted her criticism. He then moved on asking Hina to help him study that night. Surely, if he was really scared of Hina’s wrath, then he would not dare speaking another word again, let alone asking her for a favour.
Hayate had been receiving tutorial from Nagi, Maria and Sakuya, now it was Hina. It should not be surprising at all. Indeed, you wouldn’t look to anyone else for help when you have a top-grader who goes to the same class and lives in the same house as your. Still, as there were too many brilliant people in the Violet Mansion, whether “Hina tutoring Hayate” would become the norm or remain the exception is still to be seen.
In any case, Hina saw her chance coming. As it was late at night and she was putting effort into teaching Hayate, it would be natural for her to feel a bit tired, and have stiff shoulders, right? She realized that it mattered no more whether she really had stiff shoulders or not, as she could simply pretend that she had them, and make her “casual appeals” to Hayate.
However, let us not forget that Hina was a very poor actress. Her “casual appeals” were in no way “casual”. Instead of making appeals to Hayate, it looked more like she wanted to spank Hayate in the head. More importantly, as Hayate was lowering his head studying, it did not seem likely that he would notice her moves at all. After three failed attempts to draw Hayate’s attention, Hina employed her “ultimate technique” – muttering it out loudly. Really, her “ultimate” technique was ultimate in a sense: it was her worst acting of all.
Surprisingly, her appeals actually worked. Hayate, after trying to charm her with a passage which would read “バカですが？” (In English, “Are you an idiot?”), Hayate asked if, by any chance, her shoulders were stiff. It means that Hayate actually noticed what she had been telling her, whether it be her spinning moves, or the loud and clear words from her mouth.
Hina knew that she had hit the bull’s eye. All she had to do was to say “yes”, and Hayate would surely offer her a shoulder massage. However, after such a long process, in which she had always knew what she had been waiting for, Hina said “no” instead of “yes”. The thing here is that while Hina blamed herself for not being honest, the “no” was actually the truth. She did not have stiff shoulders, and she was merely pretending that she had, so she spoke the truth even if she didn’t want to. This serves another proof that Hayate and Hina were parallel people: Hayate could not lie to Hina, and vice versa.
Putting things into a moral perspective, we could see that Hina was actually in a moral dilemma: If she said she did not have stiff shoulders, she was not honest to her feelings. If she said she did have stiff shoulders, she was not honest to Hayate. Your opinion may vary whether Hina had solved this moral dilemma nice enough, but one thing is for sure: she did not lie to the one she loved.
June 16 has come to an end, and Hina realized that she had wasted another day. She knew she had the perfect chances and setups, but due to her lack of courage she could not do it. She didn’t like the fact that she got nothing in the end, as the something could so easily be hers. She was frustrated and tired, and her shoulders had become stiff. Without meaning for anyone to hear her, she muttered it out in words.
Hayate heard her, and without saying anything else, he offered her massage. After 24 hours of struggling, Hina finally got what she had wanted. Her one and only wish was granted, and the day June 16 had become truly wonderful for her. To top it all, she did not have to tell any lies.
Ever since realizing that she loved Hayate, Hina had been working hard for her love life. The general trend seems to be that while she puts too much effort, she looks funny, silly and would earn nothing substantial at all. While she is off-guard and not trying anything at all, happiness would come at her surprise.
“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” (Henry David Thoreau) In order to get Hayate the butterfly, it might be wiser for Hina the daisy not to chase him as hard as she had been.
This is a very big irony for Hina the hard-worker.