Chapters 35 – 38
Celes accepts Toyo’s offer to move in with him and is impressed by his home’s decor. Toyo tells her that he made his money with royalties from a magic book he wrote in prison. He proceeds to tell her a story from his days as a magician in the circus. Seventeen years ago, Toyo was sharing a trailer with his best friend, the knife thrower Fudo. That fateful day, Fudo chose teenage Lily Verona, a skeptic, as his volunteer from the audience, and their chemistry was apparent from the start. The show went well, but as the guests were leaving for the night, Toyo was warned by Misaki Toriumi to be careful to call her if he or his friend should get into trouble.
That night, while Fudo was gushing about finding his true love and planning how they could be together, Lily arrived, having run away from home and adopted a pseudonym, “Kaida.” Hearing her sob story about living in her sister’s shadow, Fudo and Toyo agreed to shelter her just until she calmed down — under the pretense of her joining the circus. Their plans were ruined when the circus closed and the nefarious people who bought and closed it, Raidon, Meredith, and a man in sunglasses, arrived to recruit Fudo as an assassin. Fudo refused but during the threats and fighting, Kaida struck back, sending a bullet through the head of the man with the sunglasses. Raidon gave his offer of protection to Kaida, and she agreed. Fudo changed his mind to agree too, in order to protect Kaida and Toyo, whom he insisted was an expert safe cracker. Toyo’s story concludes, and Celes finishes unpacking.
Seiko is still sporting a sling from when Tim broke her arm, but that doesn’t stop her from participating in a park beautification project with Alex and Mike. The topics of the hour are Ricky and Brigit’s upcoming wedding, and Mike’s avoidance of Kaida. Seiko then encounters a former classmate named Natalie, who awakens her competitive streak. They duel in chess, tennis, and archery, ending in a draw before they are interrupted by Tristan. Natalie remembers Tristan, who had a crush on her in high school. She attempts to rekindle a relationship, but Tristan turns her down by lying about having a girlfriend.
Ricky and Brigit are getting married on a stormy spring day, but there are two problems. Brigit is missing and so is Yuki. No one is worried about Yuki, who has made a habit of dodging weddings — after dodging her own wedding years ago, but they split into teams to search for the bride. Kaida volunteers to partner with Mike, and when she has him alone, she draws her gun and demands an explanation. Mike tells her of the friendship he forged with Fudo a few years ago, when he was living on the street. Kaida is unsure but calmed enough to lower her gun. Meanwhile, Yuki, delayed due to problems with her bike, finds Brigit resting with cold feet beside the river. Yuki warns her about lost opportunities, telling her how after she stood up her fiancé Luke, he died before they had a second chance. Kaida and the others find Yuki and Brigit and rescue them from the rising flood waters. The wedding resumes, and Kaida catches the bouquet, which she quickly passes to her brother.