To be honest, I'm actually kind of happy with this development. I mean, when you think about it, how would they be able to hold a healthy relationship with what they have to endure. And I'm not saying I never want them to be together but I do want there to be some tension before they get together, not to mention I would also seriously hope that they at least get together once they've reached a point where they are no longer fugitives, you know?
Yesss this is the sort of scenario I’m imagining when I say I feel that the romance might not come to fruition until the final states of the manga.
I also agree that this tension is a necessity between them — there needs to be a break in their relationship. There’s been too much running away in their interactions thus far for them to transition smoothly. It all goes back to when Jae-ha told Hak how he felt that Yona and him seemed close, but equally very far apart (ch.32). They need to break their master-servant ties, they need time apart, and only when they manage to sort their feelings out, when their ties as master and servant are fully severed and they have gone as far as they can go for each other (Yona by letting Hak go, and possibly Hak by coming back to Yona regardless of what she says?), only then will they be able to come together as something more than friends.
What really stuns me the most is how self-sacrificial they both are, which really comes through in Yona’s reaction to Hak having an alleged “fiancé.” Ayame ins’t introduced as a cheap trigger for jealousy in Yona; though she despairs upon hearing he has a fiancé, and I think she is to a certain extent feeling some pang of jealousy, her first instinct is to reflect on her “conceited assumptions” and step back. Not step back as in “run away” (though she does do that in a literal sense too lol), but stepping back to give him space. Freedom. Because she thinks Ayame is who makes him happy, and she’s letting him go. Which is exactly what Hak did at the beginning of the series when he lets Yona keep the hairpin even though he hates it for all that it represents (Su-Won’s betrayal and indifference), and when he decides to keep his feelings to himself because for God’s sake the girl just saw her father get skewered and she’s got enough to worry about already.
The only ridiculous thing about the chapter is how badly they have constructed their assumptions on what the other feels about them and their situation as fugitives. They’re talking, they’re listening, but 1) Yona is too bent on the idea that Hak is staying with her out of duty, and 2) Hak is too convinced Yona doesn’t love him. Really, it’s hilarious how they care so much about the other’s well-being that they have paradoxically blinded themselves to the fact that staying is what would make the other happiest; it’s layers of misunderstandings sprinkled with self-doubt, yipee! (THESE BRAINLESS POTATOES)
Heck, I daresay Hak is worse than Yona in 151, seeing as Yona is actually trying her best to communicate. Though really, after all the years of unrequited love he’s been through and how hurt he is by Yona’s apology for the kiss, can you blame him for throwing the towel in?