The thing is, the scenario proposed by Tsugumi fails at the very first slide. Apparently, Tsugumi, like many readers here and there, simply presumes that Hayate would definitely stop working as Nagi’s butler once his debts are cleared. Yet, Hayate is still only 16 years old and supposedly has a very long life to go. If he is marrying Nagi then there is no harm giving him something to do in the house; if he is not marrying Nagi then he has to make a living. Either way Hayate would be very stupid to quit his very decent job.You see, “butler” is a job, not a kind of pre-marital status or a debt-repaying service. Hayate does not need a romantic attachment or a heavy debt to Nagi in order to be her butler. Even without any emotional or financial burden, Hayate still needs a job to kill his time or earn his living (or both), while Nagi still needs a butler. If both Hayate and Nagi are happy with their current butler-lady relationship, I simply don’t see any reason for this employment relationship to end with Hayate clearing his debt.
Of course, you may argue that Nagi has no business funding Hayate’s life with another woman, but this is Nagi’s problem, not Hayate’s: Nagi has to learn that if Hayate has no romantic interest in her, then there is no point monopolising his mind and body with a job – and a debt. Perhaps most importantly, Nagi might have to realise that a butler is not required to fall in love with his mistress in order to perform his services. If she can get this sorted out, then she should have no problem retaining what she ultimately wants: Hayate as her butler.In any case, Nagi believes in Tsugumi’s scenario, and she makes her intention clear: she does not want Hayate to get the 150 million yen. I do not doubt Nagi’s determination to keep Hayate, or even her love and care for Hayate. I am just never convinced that she has wanted to win the prize money in order to repay Hayate’s debt. Anyone can repay Hayate’s debt, but not the debtor herself.
It is not hard to see that Tsugumi is trying to deal with Nagi on her own. She has dry clothes and the snowmobile ready only to isolate Nagi from anyone as quickly as possible. For some reason Nagi is falling into Tsugumi’s every word and action, and we might say it is a case of “love makes you dumb”.A little oddly, Hayate remains immobilised because his clothes remain wet. I mean, he could run anywhere even when he is bleeding heavily, so I can hardly believe that some wet clothes are going to stop him – especially that he has said he could stand the cold in the last chapter. In any case, he is going to the sauna in the other cabin, where Hinagiku is also staying.
Hinagiku herself is not having much better luck than Hayate and Nagi, as she has also fallen into a cold river. This explains why such a competitive girl would be in the sauna instead of the race. The “arrows” on her Completer has led her into a river, so my guess is that either the arrows are not a turn-by-turn navigation, or that they are not that precise. Well, we might actually be talking about military precision…Somehow it is a miracle that Hayate is crashing into the sauna without even thinking. I may not be very familiar about saunas, but you need someone to heat up the room before you could go in, so when Hayate finds that the sauna room is ready for use, why wouldn’t he suspect that anyone could be inside the room already?
Tactically speaking, Hinagiku should have the “home advantage”, as she went in first. It only takes one scream from her to scare Hayate away before he could even see a thing. Unfortunately, Hinagiku is too shy to even think about screaming, and she chooses to hide in the corner instead. There is no better way than this to throw away your home advantage.Arguably I don’t even see the fuss about “I chose to hide so I don’t know when to come out”. Sure enough, the corner is not the best position in the sauna room, but is there a problem if I prefer sitting in the corner? Of course, Hinagiku being Hinagiku would choose death over facing a naked Hayate, herself also naked, so once again it is Hinagiku who is making things complicated for herself.
In every sense the “sauna battle” is a nightmare for Hinagiku. She is dehydrating and overheating, and the smell of her own sweat could be (admit it) unbearable by a girl’s standard. Most critically, she is close to passing out at the end of this chapter, just as she did in the hot spring a long time ago – the only difference is, this time she is with Hayate instead of Ayumu, so…We know that the “sauna battle” lasts at least 15 minutes, but judging by the time count on Hayate’s Completer at the end of this chapter, the time could already be 19:04, which means that the battle could have lasted over half an hour. If my deduction of the time is legitimate, then Nagi would already have had her flashforward moment, and this chapter more or less explains why there is nobody to save Nagi from such a dangerous moment.
You know, one of the reasons why Hayate and Hinagiku could not meet face to face could well be that, should they meet and somehow enjoy their moment together, Hinagiku would be ripped apart by a certain group of readers because she is holding Hayate back from doing his job: to save Nagi. From a certain point of view Hata has always been saving Hinagiku from unnecessary ship wars.
According to Hayate’s Completer, we are seeing a lot of dropouts. As there is almost nobody left to give up the orientation, the dropouts must come from the “hotel”. We may have to wait for the next chapter (or beyond, as Nagi’s flashforward moment must be addressed as well) in order to learn what is happening over there, but at the moment… if Hayate’s Completer gives a “beep”, so would Hinagiku’s. It means that Hayate would know that someone else is in the sauna room as well…