Hayate no Gotoku! Ch. 369

The day when Hayate first saw the coffin…

At the end of the last chapter, Hayate found a coffin beyond the barrier in the mysterious storage room (Boy, that’s long!). There were worries that after over 10 years, he might not be able to recognize the coffin. Fortunately, Hayate shows in this chapter that he does recognize it. After all, he has just recently (It has only been two months since Golden Week…) been reminded of all the events he went through in the Royal Garden, which will not be animated in the New Anime in this coming Autumn… em, I don’t really know.

To help clueless new readers and forgetful old readers (It has been two years since the Athena saga, and three years since The End of the World arc…), Hayate tells us that the coffin was once in the deepest depth of the Royal Garden, and that Athena did not allow him to touch it. Maybe Athena could now reveal the secrets of the coffin…?

This is her answer.

No, sorry. Athena, as she now stands before Hayate, has lost the memory and powers of herself. She now knows no more than Hayate or us – okay, I should just say “me”, because there are lots of Athena experts who could answer any of your questions. It’s just that I am not one of them.

Hayate then quickly remembers what Athena has told him in his head the night. She has told him that, should anyone ask about anything about the Royal Garden, he must pretend he knows nothing about it. As “anyone” includes Athena herself and “anything” includes that coffin, Hayate should pretend he knows nothing about it.

As expected of a priest: he fears no dead.

So Hayate, with difficulty, lies that he doesn’t know what the coffin is. As such, the coffin is nothing more than an extremely huge piece of junk, and junks have to be disposed. Fr. Ghost, however, disagrees. For some reasons, he continues to show huge interests in the contents of the coffin, and now he suggests to open and examine it. You have every reason to suspect that his corpse could be hidden in the coffin…

Hayate hesitates. He remembers that Athena told him with death glares not to touch the coffin. But then, the “anything” as mentioned above also includes this warning, so he is free to do whatever he likes with the coffin, right? In any case, Isumi saves Hayate from his dilemma, by encouraging him to open it. After all, this is the only way to find out the truth about the coffin.

That awkward moment when you are playing Diablo and you are unlucky.

So Hayate and Tama – wait a minute, I thought Hayate could handle the cover by himself – remove the cover, and the “truth” is revealed: the coffin is empty but for half a picture, which is picked up by Isumi. For cliffhanging purpose, Isumi is the only one who knows what is in that half-a-picture, but speaking of half-a-pictures…

That’s right. If you remember, the “photo of the 28th”, which Yozora took from Hayate, is also half a picture. Could we put one plus one – or, zero-point-five plus zero-point-five – together, and conclude that the picture in Isumi’s hand is the other half of the “photo of the 28th”?

If you have forgotten about this photo…

You might also have noticed that the picture falls out from under the cover of the coffin. Now that the coffin is emptied, the conclusion according to detective stories is that the owners of the “photo of the 28th” could be the ones who emptied the coffin. The other half of the photo, which was taken away by Yozora, was first found in some books on dark magic. Could we jump to the conclusion that the “28th” is a dark magic society, which performed the ritual or anything like that to empty the coffin?

With so many mysteries unsolved, Yozora arrives in her signature mask. She probably has come in from the broken window – it is unwise to knock down the front door and sneak past other residents. Hayate recognizes her as the girl from Ruka’s concert, but he still fails to recall that she is also the girl he met in the park who requested a room, hugged him and got kicked out. It looks like paper-thin disguise really works on Hayate. Cue Silver Red Hinagiku.

Oh Yozora, you got me with this panel…

While everyone is still confused about Yozora’s entrance, Isumi immediately declares war on her by initiating an attack. Yozora, however, catches the spells with one bare hand, and knocks Isumi back with them. It proves that Yozora is a very powerful girl, but then we are left wondering why she used robots to fight Hayate before and during the concert…

Like all bad people in manga, anime and movies, Yozora is extremely talkative. She reveals that the coffin used to seal something “vitally important”, and that she would have wanted to keep it around. However, as Hayate and co. have found the coffin, she has no choice but to destroy it. As such, she throws a presumably magical stone which is presumably red into the coffin, setting it on fire.  She could have done this by saying nothing, but… well, she just has to talk.

It seems that Yozora doesn’t care about the coffin – she might not want to keep the coffin anymore, but she isn’t staying till the coffin is completely destroyed either. In fact, she allows every opportunity for Hayate and Tama to put out the fire. Wouldn’t she be worried if Hayate could save some parts of the coffin…?

… and now I am torn between Yozora and Isumi.

In any case, after setting the coffin on fire, Yozora decides to leave. Yet, she stops and looks around as a loud noise roars at her back. She turns and see that Isumi is now standing on the coffin, with flames dancing around her. She looks ready for a fight…

So, an epic battle awaits us. Hata has stated on his BS that Ch. 370 – the next chapter – would be the end of the “Mystery Room” arc. How could this battle be settled in 16 pages? Would 16 pages really be enough to conclude this long arc? Or, would it be yet another example of Hata telling lies on his BS realizing he still has too much to draw for a chapter?

Anyway, let’s look forward to the next chapter! And we have one more thing…