From the back cover:
It’s not long before Soichiro’s back from a very successful tournament, much to Yukino’s delight. Now they can spend some time with each other before school starts again. Yukino notices that Soichiro’s matured a lot, which stirs up new feelings in her and makes her fall in love with him even more. Soichiro’s feelings for Yukino deepen as well, and he has some difficulties dealing with that and some family issues.
This volume was strangely unaffecting. Although I loved Yukino’s struggles to confess her feelings to Arima in the first couple of volumes of the series, her problems here with telling him that her feelings have grown and her eventual confession scene just weren’t all that interesting. Arima’s obnoxious family also made an appearance, but their horrible treatment of him came across as unrealistic rather than upsetting.
This was also the volume where Arima and Yukino do the deed. I knew they would, having seen the anime, but it was still so out of the blue story-wise. In one chapter, Yukino was freaking out ‘cos he touched her boob, and just a few days later, they were consummating their relationship. For teen couples, isn’t there usually an interval of gradually intensifying fooling around between these two occurrences?
The aftermath of this event totally reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and what happened after Angel and Buffy slept together. After Yukino had gone home, Arima had a nightmare in which a cruel version of himself showed him an instance of early childhood abuse he suffered. When Arima wondered why he was remembering this, the nightmare him said, “Because you dared to think you could be happy… I’m a part of you. I’m half of who you are on the outside. I’m the shadow under your feet.”
Dun dun dunnnnn.