It had been hours and yet she was still shaken. Natsu had not even notice that it was about to get dark outside, which meant Kojuro would be home soon. She was far too focused on her task: packing to stay out a few days.
Her hands reached for the notebook Pora had given her, the one she had gotten for her when they went out with Lord Shigezane. Her words echoed in her mind, as she said that she would need a place to complain about her husband. A tiny smile appeared on her face; if she wanted to call him husband, then she had to hurry.
She set the notebook aside and folded another kimono. Packing was always tiring, no matter what, and it was even more when her hands were still trembling. But Natsu did not know if it was because of the shock or because she was leaving.
Did she want to leave? No, not really. But it was necessary.
She held her breath until she heard Lord Kojuro’s steps were away enough, and then her hands reached for the counter, trying to steady herself. Her chest was filled with anxiety and doubt, her mind a hurricane full of questions with no answers… And she was torn, now more than she had ever been.
Aoi knew something had changed when Lady Natsu dragged her back to the castle, when she saw that man in town and she paled. And now she was avoiding Lord Kojuro. Not only avoiding him, she had left him.
She had to tell someone, and yet she could not find her voice. Was it even her place? Was she supposed to intervene in her life? Aoi felt guilty enough having overheard the exchange, seeing the broken expression on her face and how lost Lord Kojuro’s voice sounded.
She did not know what to do.
“I… I just want to fix this.” Aoi whispered, moving her braid from her shoulder to her back.
Okay, so, this episode. I know we got some questions answered (and I’ll need to go update my previous masterposts that got their answers finally) but it looks like we cracked open Pandora’s Box a little further in the process.
-Starting off, we have the whole spiel in which the AI is criticized as not acting like an AI while the human is criticized as not acting like a human. The constant forcing of this (I think this is either the second or 3rd time we’ve heard this little “banter” go between them both regarding how the other doesn’t fit up to their “specie’s” expectations) makes me think that the fandom is right in that there is something rather fishy about these exchanges. Why constantly remind the audience that Ai is an AI who doesn’t act like an AI and that Yusaku is a human who doesn’t act like a human? It’s blatantly obvious the show wants to make a point of it but is it for humor purposes, to give both of them “common ground” in the expectations they deny of their “species”? I wonder, honestly…
-Not to mention, but when Playmaker tells Ai to act like an A.I., I’m not sure if it’s because he’s messing around or what but he seems reaaaaallly uncomfortable with playing the part of an A.I. His movements become…slower? Stiffer? Stiffer seems like a good word for it. He’s making fun of normal A.I.’s, true, but his expression seems like he’s uneasy about making such gestures. It almost reminds me of the way Yusaku tried interacting with Aoi and the Duel Club (other humans). Yusaku was obviously uncomfortable trying to act like a normal human being around others of his kind (…that feels rather weird to say) while Ai, while trying to mimic his supposed brethren, went about it in a way that said more “awkward” than it did “haha, look, A.I.’s are dumb!”.
-Akira. Soooo, I might be reading too much into this but there might be a chance that there’s more to Akira’s past than we realize. When he does his philosophical spiel to Playmaker, it honestly sounds like Akira was once on the same path that Playmaker was but, eventually, gave up:
the culprits: shouta, hayato, yuusuke the mastermind: shouta the daredevil: yuusuke been dragged to it & unexpectedly enjoyed it: kyousuke the deadly wonder duo: yuusuke & kyousuke the tag-alongs/the recruits: haruna, rui the ruthless second-in-command: hayato the dead victim: shiki