If you have never heard about the phrase “the lesser of two evils”, then Ch. 524 seems to be the perfect demonstration of it.
True, there are a lot of nasty people in this series, but there is clearly different levels of nastiness: Mikado is manipulative, Hayate’s parents are irresponsible, but they are not downright murderous. King Midas appears to be murderous, as well as the King Midas-possessed Athena (extra emphasis on “King Midas-possessed”, or Doughnut Gunso will be murdered by angry Athena fans), but they are trying to kill people who do not matter – or at least they think they do not matter. Hisui, as we can see from this chapter, is murderous, is willing to get her hands dirty, and she is trying to kill a family member for the inheritance. Wow.
Put it this way: when Mikado, the character widely considered “evil”, is suddenly under the threat of termination, and literally has his neck saved by Hayate, you would have to reconsider who is truly “evil” here: Mikado, or his assassin Hisui. Suddenly it comes to me that Mikado does have a point: Hisui is the worst possible girl Hayate has ever met.
Talk about irony. For so long in the series, Mikado has occupied the role of an “exploiter”. His job in this series seems nothing more than an old bastard who tries to make Nagi’s life miserable for no good reason at all – I am sorry, but the King’s Jewels business doesn’t count as an excuse – and it takes Hayate the “protector” to make sure that Nagi has a happier, safer, and on the whole better life. Now, in no more than two chapters, we have a new “exploiter” who tries to exploit both Nagi and Mikado, the old man loses his “job” as an “exploiter” and comes under Hayate’s protection, and he himself seems to be taking up a role of “protector” for his inheritance, and by extension Nagi’s future!
If the above paragraph doesn’t make sense to you because of my poor English, consider this instead: Hayate still had every right to think that Mikado is Nagi’s enemy two chapters ago, but in this chapter he has become Nagi’s ally – and the most powerful ally for that. All this is made possible because Nagi and Mikado now have a “common enemy” in Hisui.
Let us also compare the “conflicts” between Nagi and Mikado, and that between Hisui and Mikado. While it is clear that Nagi and Mikado do not exactly love each other, at least they both treat the other as family to the bare minimum. Mikado reinstated Nagi as candidate to his inheritance once she passed his test (by cheating, no less), while Nagi paid the old man hospital visit when she knew he was ill. As for Hisui, saying that she tries to kill Mikado would suffice.
If we make a Star Wars analogy here, Mikado is Darth Vader, who is the bad guy our heroes must face until we meet Hisui, the Emperor Palpatine. I am pretty sure that they won’t die together, though.