ハヤテのごとく！/Hayate no Gotoku Chapter 390
Hayate's pondering of this is interrupted by Nagi retuning from Rainbow Village. Nagi asks if he turned down Ruka's love confession, which he acknowledges. She demands to know why he turned her down. Hayate explains that he turned down Ruka because he's Nagi's butler. Upon hearing this, Nagi looks at the moon and Hayate makes her a café au lait.
Nagi realizes that Hayate's kindness is what is charming girls. She cites Ruka's life of struggle and hardship, leading to loneliness. With Hayate, someone was there for her and she was happy. Nagi sees Ruka's love and her desire to have Hayate no matter the cost. Hayate asks about his feelings, which Nagi say don't matter since Ruka is being selfish for the first time. Since Nagi isn't giving up Hayate, she's betting ¥150 million on her doujinshi competition with Ruka. If Nagi wins, she pays Ruka, who then pays off Hayate's debt. If Nagi wins, Ruka gives up on Hayate.
Because Nagi doesn't plan on losing, she orders Hayate to stand by Ruka's side since it will be the last time. After she wins, Nagi plans on leaving Yukari-chan House to return to the mansion with Hayate and return things to normal.
You know, having watched Hayate the Combat Butler: Can't Keep My Eyes Off You, Nagi's laying down the gauntlet here in her doujinshi battle with Ruka has me kind of excited. The anime had Nagi, Hayate, and Maria back at the mansion, so I've no doubt that Nagi will return and that Hayate will score a new stone. I'm looking forward to that journey.
Also, that anime showed that Nagi actually got serious and worked on a non-Britany doujinshi. The anime does not say if Nagi won her competition or not, but it would be easy to say that she did. Considering Hata-sensei's penchant for doing the unexpected, it wouldn't surprise me if Nagi loses (even if barely), but Ruka decides to stand on her own rather than pay for Hayate's debt. There are other possibilities that could happen as well. Regardless, I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Speaking of the unexpected, this chapter was unexpected. Hata-sensei continues to press forward plot points rather than opting out for one shot gag chapters. I only know of two stones at present -- Aika's and Wataru's. Regardless, as I've said before, I like this pushing forward with the plot, and Hata-sensei still managed to get some gags in.
I've never seen Rose of Versailles, so I don't get that reference, but having watched the original Gundam series, I did get that humorous reference. I did get a laugh out of Nagi asking if Hayate is a lolicon, because she's right -- Ruka is a major idol and a guy would have to be nuts to turn down the advances of a hot model (unless you know she's a Queen Bee or a nutter).
So, a good start to 2013 for the Hayate the Combat Butler manga. ^_^