On the way to school one morning, Yuuji urges Konoe to tell him anything that’s troubling her, but Konoe’s closeness to Yuuji isn’t making Shana very happy. Gym class today consists of cleaning the pool, and Yuuji and Kazumi have the extra task of keeping watch over Konoe because of how she recklessly chases a butterfly around. They all end up getting soaked when Eita tries to get back at Ogata for spraying him with water. During lunchtime, Yuuji catches Konoe staring at the two lunches Kazumi and Shana made for him, so he offers her some of both. Kazumi is okay with this, but Shana is visibly irritated. On the way home, Yuuji, Shana, Kazumi, and Konoe come across a new restaurant that’s opening tomorrow, so Yuuji suggests that they all come then. Konoe wanders off on her own while the other three aren’t looking, so they have to run after her. When Shana lectures her for it, Konoe apologizes and grabs onto Yuuji’s shirt, but this only gets Shana angrier. Konoe then senses something in the air and pulls on Yuuji’s shirt to indicate that she wants to go somewhere. That place turns out to be a park where she is able to attract a bird to her outstretched hand.
Meanwhile, Keisaku is filling Margery in on how there was nothing suspicious about Konoe, and Wilhelmina reports that Outlaw has no information either on the Bal Masqué resuming their activities. Keisaku doesn’t know what Outlaw is, so Wilhelmina explains that it’s an information exchange place for Flame Hazes. Yuuji and Shana are training at this time, though he complains that she’s being more violent than usual. He manages to dodge her attack and starts to activate his own power, but she quickly responds by smacking his hand. Despite this, Alastor notes that Yuuji’s senses are remarkably keen and is keeping secret a power of existence equaling a lord of the crimson realm. He thinks that Yuuji could find a new path different from a Mystes and Torch depending on his growth development from now on – a path that only Yuuji can walk. The following day, the entire group – including Ike, Keisaku, Sato, and Ogata – arrives at the new restaurant that serves huge portions of food. Konoe disappears sometime during Keisaku’s competing with Yuuji in trying to eat an entire bowl of ramen, however the group doesn’t notice her absence until after both guys have finished eating.
Yuuji wants to go look for Konoe, but Shana thinks that it’s not necessary and questions why he feels that he has to. Yuuji replies that it’s because he was put in charge of helping her, though Shana points out that this isn’t school, and she feels that Konoe had already been warned not to move around on her own. When Shana decides to go home, Yuuji chases after her and asks why she’s angry, but Shana claims that she’s not. She thinks he should just leave Konoe alone, though she’s unable to tell him that the reason is because she doesn’t like how Konoe is getting close to him. Shana then runs off, and Yuuji heads in the other direction to look for Konoe. He ends up finding her in the same park as yesterday, and it appears that she had saved a small bird from a stray cat. Seeing her like this reminds Yuuji greatly of Hecate, and he finds himself looking very closely at her. Unbeknownst to them, Kazumi happens to arrive at the park at this very moment and sees the two smiling at each other. The image of them together stays with her for the rest of the night, and Kazumi realizes that she might be jealous. As for Shana, she doesn’t show up for Yuuji’s training session and sends Wilhelmina instead.
The next day, Yuuji walks to school with only Konoe, and Shana and Kazumi are clearly avoiding him. This is most apparent at lunchtime when Kazumi has Ike bring Yuuji the lunch that she made for him, and she instead eats on the rooftop with Shana.
Well, with the way she’s tearing Yuuji apart from Kazumi and Shana, I guess Konoe doesn’t really need to be evil. Something like this doesn’t seem like it would have been the goal of sending her here (assuming she is indeed Hecate), though getting close to Yuuji could be. On that note, where exactly does Konoe live? The absence of parents could be as good an indicator as any that she was sent by Bel Peol. Anyway, Shana and Kazumi should just band together against her, but I imagine they probably wouldn’t be able to do so right now without having to go against Yuuji too.
Production-wise, the animation quality took a hit this week. There weren’t any major action scenes here though, so they might be saving up for a later episode. I also think the story isn’t quite going as well as it could be – the pool scene in particular was completely unnecessary, and you could argue that the restaurant scene was too. They felt like they were fluff parts that didn’t contribute much at all to the story. What does intrigue me though is how they keep hinting at Yuuji’s increased powers, and I’m curious to see what he can do in future episodes.