We usually feel stupid for being caught off-guard, but in the case of this chapter I guess we could retain some confidence in our intelligence, because the surprise comes out from absolutely nowhere at all. More specifically, I doubt if anyone has correctly guessed that the dark figure at the last panel of last chapter was Eight.
With all the grudges between them, it is understandable that Eight is “asking” Hayate to give him the octopus with a life threat. What is not understandable, however, is his reason for wanting the octopus. He lets it slip that he won’t be able to marry Makimura without an octopus, but he denies that Makimura has asked him to find her an octopus. As such, I simply fail to see the link between “octopus” and “marrying Makimura”. Even if I assume that Eight is lying, and Makimura has indeed asked him for an octopus, I still don’t understand how an octopus is related to a wedding, unless Makimura is making wedding rings with octopuses.
The supposed marriage proposal between Eight and Makimura really does bring us back to Ch. 439, and I think it makes every sense to conclude that the dark female figure was Makimura, although I have doubt over her hairstyle.
Now, Hayate has been Eight’s sworn enemy because they so often have conflicts of interests. In so many cases Eight has been a tool to take away Nagi’s inheritance. Hayate, as Nagi’s ______ (fill in the blanks), has to protect her wealth and thus he must defeat Eight. Unless the octopus in his hand is made of King’s Jewels, there is no legitimate reason for Hayate to keep the octopus. Seeing that fighting Eight for an octopus might been one level too low for stupidity, Hayate decides to simply give the octopus to Eight.
Hayate’s action pleases Eight, but it also displeases the girl (?) who appeared before Hinagiku and co. in the last chapter. She (?) leaves him a few harsh words and leaves, and Hayate is rooted to the ground, confused. He always chooses to please the wrong people, while upsetting the ones he should care about, doesn’t he?
Hayate returns to the girls, and surprisingly Chiharu does not start seducing him. Instead, we see her enjoying the barbecue, and she pays no attention to Hayate as he speaks to Nagi. Perhaps Chiharu has finally come to her senses and realises that it is stupid to throw herself to Hayate just to troll Hinagiku. The Student Council President is, for now, saved from yet another emotional ordeal, and she doesn’t have to rush to Hayate to make a confession either. The world, for once, is at peace.
Athena casually joins the conversation and comments on how nice the girl (?) is to try to protect an octopus, while casually pointing out that Hayate might have mistreated the creature. Hayate is successfully made guilty and he decides to go back to Eight for the octopus.
It turns out that Eight is looking for a very specific octopus, but there seems to be an interesting paradox about how specific it is. On the one hand Eight can tell that the octopus he received from Hayate is not the octopus he wants, while on the other hand Eight cannot tell the octopuses apart if they return to the ocean. In any case, Eight decides to give the unwanted octopuses to a fisherman. I guess this explains the overfishing of octopuses in the area.
If we are to assume that the octopus indeed is key to Eight marrying Makimura, then we can understand why Eight reacts so badly: Hayate is not just asking for an octopus, he is asking for Eight’s (supposedly) biggest wish. Any man should do anything to defend his biggest wish involving the woman he loves, so Eight suddenly becomes too powerful for Hayate. Sadly, our dear butler has zero idea on what is going on.
The final blow is on its way to punish our stupid butler, but then someone steps in to save him from this delightful fate. What’s more, this someone manages to make Hayate blush. Unfortunately, it is not a girl at all – the girl (?) whom we all met before takes off her (?) disguise and – surprise! – reveals that it is actually Ayasaki Ikusa that we have met. We might wonder why a man like him (look at those muscles!) would disguise himself as a girl, but given that he belongs to the Ayasaki family, it shouldn’t be that surprising at all…
I must say that it takes much less time than I have expected for Hayate to meet his brother again. It means that unless Ikusa decides that he should disappear again, Hayate and co. won’t have to play hide-and-seek with him. Yet according to Dr. Kurosu, Ikusa could be suffering from amnesia, so there might still be a hide-and-seek going on – only this time it is with Ikusa’s mind.
Come to think of it, it is never confirmed that the patient Dr. Kurosu referred to was Ikusa, so we might actually need her to verify if Ikusa is her patient. That begs the question: where is she now?