ハヤテのごとく！/Hayate no Gotoku Chapter 396
At the Rainbow Village, Ruka goes orgasmic as Hayate gives her a foot massage. However, Hayate is not amused, so she stops. Hayate asks if there's something else Ruka wants, so Ruka wants to see his underwear. However, he refuses to her annoyance. Ruka has a request and asks whom Hayate wants to win the doujinshi competition. Hayate says he hasn't thought about that, leading Ruka to understand that even if she wins and pays off Hayate's debt, he's planning to remain as Nagi's butler.
Ruka reminds Hayate of his promise to grant her a wish and asks if she can make that wish now. He agrees, so she asks him to marry her. He's flustered by this request and asks for clarification, so she tells him he gets to marry a teenage idol and become one of life's winners. When Hayate realizes she's serious, he remembers Ruka's telling him that she would wish for something crazy, no matter what. As such, Hayate vows to keep his promise to her, even at the cost of his own life.
Well now, well now. As expected, the story shifted to Ruka, who as usual, finds a way to up the ante.
When I read the chapter the first time, I just assumed that her condition for marrying her was if she won the competition. However, when I reread the chapter, I became unsure if this is how it would go. That's because when read a certain way, Ruka's statement came off as a pure marriage proposal since she was making a wish and Hayate said he'd grant it.
However, as part of Ruka's attempt to prove she was serious, she tells him that his attitude on not caring who won made it seem like he felt the contest had nothing to do with him, thus there's nothing on the line for him. From that standpoint, it would seem that Hayate would marry Ruka if she won the competition. This would make more sense as it would give Ruka fire to win while not having the marriage as a condition would mean an automatic win for Nagi, since it wouldn't matter for Ruka.
On further reflection, I think that's the only way this could go. After all, if Hayate is to marry Ruka regardless of the competition, then she'd be in violation of the terms of the bet with Nagi since a Nagi win means that Ruka has to give up on Hayate.
Still, Hayate hasn't said whom he wants to win. I wonder if that'll come up.
One final thought -- I couldn't help but be amused at how Ruka became like some little boy in wanting to see Hayate's underwear.
So an interesting chapter here with the work on the two doujinshi getting going.