Hayate no Gotoku Chapter 244October 16, 2009
Last time, Hayate faced off against Athena’s butler, Machina, and got knocked out cold, but not before protecting the Original Stone. (Or at least attempting to) He ends up in Athena’s mansion, being tended to by her, and later wakes up, but Athena fled the room before he caught sight of her. He found a ring on a nearby desk, and recognizes it as the one he gave Athena 10 years ago. Upon seeing it, he reinforced his resolve to find Athena, and tells himself that he needs to find her.
The chapter starts off with Hayate facing Athena’s back. Hayate calls out to Athena, calling her A-Tan as he always had, and asks her if she remembers him. Athena turns around to face Hayate, and makes a smile (Which is pretty rare to see, especially on a grown Athena), telling Hayate that she does remember him. The catch is, she goes on to call Hayate “The Butler I failed to kill back then” right afterwards. Obviously, this confuses Hayate, and Athena goes on to elaborate on the issue. She tells Hayate of how he trusted those parents which she told him not to trust, and that Hayate stayed with his parents (Dubbed Pieces of Thrash by Athena) instead of her, when she was clearly better than them, and that she was left alone in that castle forever thanks to Hayate. Before Hayate could explain himself or apologize, Athena continues to tell him that since she is the Board Chairman of Hakuou Academy, she knows what Hayate has been doing recently. An image of Ayumu, Hinagiku, Izumi and Maria appear behind Hayate, and Athena gets quite angry, telling Hayate that despite having her, he has been going after girl after girl. Hayate tells her that that wasn’t the case, and asks how the image appeared. Athena is not convinced, and finally snaps, murdering Hayate. (It was censored, don’t worry)
…Unfortuneately, Hayate no Gotoku is not ending anytime soon.
Hayate wakes up, and it turns out that the whole paragraph before the previous one turns out to be part of Hayate’s dream, and he wasn’t really murdered. But he’s the main character, so we all saw that coming. Hayate felt that he had a really bad dream, but he tells himself that he knows one thing for sure: Athena definitely remembered him. Continuing from the last chapter, he grasps the ring he gave Athena and starts scouring the mansion in search of her, and comments that the mansion was huge, and that finding Athena could prove to be difficult. He also worried about making his presence too obvious, as Machina might find him again, but shrugged it off and said that it didn’t matter, as long as he was able to find Athena. He searches room after room, to no avail, and he starts complaining about the size of the mansion.
The panels shift to Athena, who realized that Hayate had realized that she remembered him. It’s revealed that she hid without thinking, and wonders what she should tell him. Athena considers leaving Hayate as he was, but suddenly remembers about the Original Stone, and tells herself that she absolutely needed it, in order to open the path to the Garden Palace. (I’m assuming this is where Athena was residing in 10 years prior, but I could be wrong) She then starts thinking about what she should do. She knows that if she took the stone from Hayate, he would lose his stay in the Sanzenin Family and the peaceful life he has been trying to attain. It’s revealed that Athena knew about Hayate’s 150 Million Yen issue, and regrets not being calm enough 10 years prior, as she felt that if she was, she would have been able to save Hayate from them. It’s also revealed that she was looking for Hayate these 10 years, wishing to save him the next time she found him. However, Athena was beaten to it by Nagi.
We get a flashback, to the point of time when Hayate failed his entrance exam by one point. It’s revealed that Athena was the one who allowed Hayate’s 1- point failure to be overlooked, but was disappointed in the fact that despite finally finding Hayate, someone else had saved him from his miserable life. She said that as long as Hayate was happy, it didn’t matter, and decided to rather just watch him from afar, rather than do anything.
Back to the present time, Athena continues pondering on whether she should take the stone from Hayate. She knows that Hayate would be left to the roadside again if she did, and for a moment, she considers it a two-in-one deal, where she can save Hayate this time while getting the stone as well. But Athena was above that, and immediately shrugged it off. She calls herself a horrible person, yet, she still wants to hear Hayate tell her that he loves her. She starts repeating to herself that she doesn’t want to see him and take away his peaceful life, but in her moment of distraction, she heard the words “A-Tan”, and realized that Hayate has found her at last.
Athena quickly attempts to escape the scene, but Hayate asks her to wait and tells her that he wanted to ask her something. Athena pauses for a while, and later asks Hayate what it was. Hayate asks if she remembered him.
This was a rather touching chapter, but the author sure loves pulling cliffhangers on us. It really seems like the manga is going in a AthenaXHayate direction, though I do sort of doubt that it’ll be the end result, after reading the latest chapters, it does make me sort of want to root for the pair. As for the cliffhanger, I am a bit keen on how this encounter would turn out: Whether we’ll get a satisfying outcome or a delayed one. (Which happened for a very, very long time with Hinagiku trying to confess to Hayate) I am pretty sure the author would somehow create a scenario where we won’t get much out of this encounter, but then again, with the whole HayatexAthena direction, I may be wrong.