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Heartwarming / Yona of the Dawn

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  • When Hak wants to leave Yona behind by his clan, she don't let him go and says she needs him.
  • When Yona meets Shin-Ah for the first time, he rescues her from a kidnapper and gently leads her back to her friends. Despite his harsh past, he's kind enough to help out a stranger.
  • Hak's "Princess Yona Is Here" speech in chapter 47. In it, he admits he'd like to show her off to Mundok, King Il, the people who were involved in chasing her from the castle, and the people of Kouka for everything she's done and accomplished. The heartwarming speech brings Yona to tears and once Yona nods off, Hak plants a very affectionate kiss to her forehead.
  • In chapter 48, it's shown that Yoon gathers up a cart of provisions and goes to give it to a nearby impoverished village. He was doing this before Yona showed up and picks it up again when visiting home.
    • Yona and the others follow him, and seeing the conditions of the village, decide to help.
  • In chapter 51, Shin-Ah loses control of his paralyzing ability on some bandits. Yona stops him from killing them by looking straight into his eyes. After that, he's afraid Yona won't want him around anymore, but she quickly dispels that fear by staying with and comforting him while he's paralyzed.
  • Tae-Jun changing from a self-absorbed rich-boy to a Benevolent Boss. He personally tends to an ill subordinate, and begins to reconstruct and revitalized poor, impoverished villages.
  • The entire Hak/Yona/Su-Won childhood flashback at chapter 60-61 "Young Leaves In The Wind" is this.
  • In chapter 77, after taking and falling victim to the effects of Nadai, Jaeha thinks to himself about how he needs to get back to the rest of the Happy Hungry bunch. As he begins blacking out, he realizes that he already considers them "home".
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  • In chapter 96, when Zeno, Kija, and Jaeha have a depressing discussion on the Dragons' fate to die young, Yoon happens to overhear. When he becomes upset, they don't hesitate to reassure him that they aren't going to die anytime soon.
  • Zeno watching over the rest of the sick dragons in chapter 98 and quietly saying "I will definitely protect you guys". Especially heartwarming with The Reveal that Zeno is the original Yellow Dragon and considers the modern dragon warriors to be his brothers' children.
  • In chapter 101, after The Reveal of Zeno's power, the group immediately tackles him in a giant hug (minus Jae-Ha and Hak, who run up to him with the others but don't participate in the hug). This is in spite of their injuries.
    • In many series, the sight of their friend gruesomely pulling himself together from deadly wounds would make many hesitate. Not here. They're all just happy he's alright.
  • In extra chapter "Sleep Tight Tonight", Yona wanted to hold Hak's pinky finger to comfort her after her nightmare. Hak then offers his entire hand to hold.
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  • Chapter 104 has Zeno's relationship with Kaya. When they met both were very lonely but together they are able to find happiness. Unfortunately, it then crosses back into tearjerking.
  • In chapter 105,after sensing Hiryuu's rebirth, Zeno visits young Kija, Shin-Ah, and Jae-Ha. The interactions are adorable, though Kija and Shin-Ah were too young to really remember and Jae-Ha was asleep when Zeno visited him. Then at the end of the chapter Zeno wakes up from the flashback to see the other dragons and Yona standing over him with worried expressions. He pulls them into a big group hug and exclaims about how much they've grown. The look on his face is one of happiness and contentment, which after the past few chapters was much needed.
  • In the extra chapter "Please Excuse Us for Our Carelessness," Yun (and Hak and Yona, but mostly Yun) go into town and leave the four dragons to fend for themselves because they'd be too conspicuous. This results in antics both heartwarming and humorous
    • They decide to catch fish, and Ao immediately falls into the river. Jaeha starts stripping to get him out, but Shin-ah dives right in, and then Kija dives in after him, and then their clothes are too heavy for them to swim, so Jaeha has to rescue all three of them.
    • Jaeha accepts Kija's apology, only asking that he try to understand from now on, when a bear starts going after Zeno, and Jaeha jumps in its way to protect him. Flash-forward to an injured Jaeha waking up with the others all curled up sleeping around him, and Zeno cheerfully reminding him that he didn't have to fight the bear because Zeno has healing powers, remember? Jaeha ruefully admits that, in the heat of the moment, he forgot.
    • Kija scolds Jaeha for always trying to take the burden of looking after them and to leave matters to them more, but when they end up setting fire to the tent, Jaeha just thinks to himself, "I do have to look out for them, after all." Never mind he was the one who didn't want to meet the others.
  • One of Yona's favourite rebuttals to Hak's teasing is to tell him that he's not cute—it's even one of her very first lines to him. However, in chapter 109 she finds him sleeping on a bench, and what does she think to herself? "Hak is so cute!"
  • In chapter 110, Yona gifts a lapis necklace to a much-stunned Hak. Yona goes on to explain that the lapis is supposed to be a charm of healing and protection, and that she wished upon it for Hak to receive good fortune. The touched smile Hak wears in response is yet another Heartwarming Moment.
  • When Hak sees Jaeha and Zeno again in 121 and 122 and they confirm that Yona is safe. He hugs them both hard enough to be painful. This can be very funny since this is a Ooc Is Serious Business moment to both Jaeha and Zeno.
  • The subtle but close friendship that develops between Jaeha, Kija and Hak. It's especially nice when you consider that Hak had just lost one of his best friends in the world, and was likely wary to make any new ones.
    • Likewise, the quiet but respectful friendship Hak develops with Shin-Ah. It goes unremarked upon, but they are the same age, and Hak never teases Shin-Ah, even though he does tease Kija and Jaeha mercilessly. Instead, he dryly encourages Shin-Ah not to put up with Jaeha's teasing and we actually see them in engaging in small talk on occasion, even though Shin-Ah is notoriously adverse to talking in general. The two of them know each other very well, with Shin-Ah making sure to reassure Hak while they're looking for Yona and Lili in the Sei fortress, and Hak musing to himself that if even Shin-Ah is beginning to worry, he must be a wreck.
  • In chapter 125, Hak attempts to retrieve Yona's hairpin from a precarious place and ends up falling into a river. In the following scene, we see that Hak, Yun, Kija and Jae-ha are now all wet. Apparently, Yun and Kija had jumped after him when he didn't immediately swim to shore, worried he might drown, and Jaeha ended up jumping in after them.
    • Just Hak's laughter and smile, upon seeing Yun, Kija and Jaeha fretting over the hairclip. It was nice to see after an entire chapter that was essentially an exploration of his turmoil about Su-Won's betrayal and how much it actually hurt him.
  • After watching Princess Kouren recite a war speech that rouses an entire village, and Yona realizes war is imminent between Kouka and Xing, she begins to cry out for Hak in panic. He responds by taking her hand and informing her, "I'm here". To boot, he even agrees to follow Yona to speak with Su-won and plead for peace on Princess Tao's behalf. Nevermind that he lost it last time he was within speaking distance with Su-won, he cannot let Yona follow such a dangerous path by herself.
  • When Mizari attacks Zeno to prove to Yotaka and Neguro that he's immortal, Shin-ah snatches a surprised Zeno out of the way, with a protective arm around him. When Mizari tries again, Kija gets between them and swats him like a housefly, with Shin-ah still holding onto Zeno. It's made abundantly clear that they are done watching Zeno get hurt.
  • When Kouren captures Yun and the dragons after a fight with Yotaka and Mizari, Yona personally goes to her to ask for their release. Not only does she admit her identity as Princess Yona and the story of her father's murder, but she tells Kouren that she considers Yun and the dragons her "precious family".
  • When Kouren offers a chance for revenge on Su-Won with the backing of Xing, Hak flat-out refuses, stating that nothing else matters other than saving Yun and the dragons.
  • After Yona and Kouren cut a deal where Yona will go negotiate with Su-Won in return for the safety of the dragons and Yun, Tao sends Algira and Vold—some of the only people who protect her—with her, but not before giving the two of them a tight hug.
  • In chapter 134:
    • Yoon places himself in front of Zeno in a protective gesture when Mizari visit their jail. He wouldn't have been able to do anything if Mizari had actually come to torture Zeno, but the thought and bravery counts.
    • We learn that Shin-ah was going to use his powers on Mizari and Yotaka to protect Jaeha and Kija, but Zeno stopped him. It seems like just a strategic move on his part, but then you remember that Zeno was around to see Abi kidnapped for the power of his eyes and most likely wanted to spare Shinah of a similar fate if he could.
    • Shin Ah states he will use his powers if anyone else gets hurt. Keep in mind that he is terrified of his powers and only uses them as a last resort, but is more than willing to do so to protect his new family. Even Jae Ha tears up a bit at the gesture.
  • Also in chapter 134, when Hak comforts Yona that the dragons are fine.
    • Hak pretends to be Ao when Yona says she wishes she had the little squirrel to sleep next to, discarding his dignity in an effort to make her feel a little bit better about Yun and the dragons not being around.
    • Yona pats his head and tells him too not to try to compensate too much for their absence and that she is also there for him.
    • Afterward, Hak hugs Yona and and quietly confesses to her for the first time ever. She didn't hear him, but it was still heartwarming.
  • In the extra chapter 134.5:
    • Hak decides to forgo seeing his family on new years after learning that Yona would be spending it alone.
    • Yona's reaction to having someone to spend New Years with. She's extremely excited, and scrambles around her room in an effort to make Hak more comfortable.
    • While celebrating with Yona, Hak thinks to himself about how many people in the castle consider her a "selfish fool" and about how that isn't her at all. He considers how much he'd like to punch those people, and how he'd like to meet someone who understands Yona and doesn't judge her based on her social status. He also admits he'd like to be friends with that someone... and from there, the manga cuts to flashbacks of Yun and the dragons.
  • In chapter 135, Jaeha offers to show Mizari his dragon foot in return for Zeno not having to regenerate for his entertainment. It doesn't seem like much until you consider that Jaeha's foot is his biggest insecurity and he doesn't like showing it to people—even the other members of the Happy Hungry Bunch.
    • Also in chapter 135, Hak verbally acknowledges Yun and the Dragons as his friends for the first time, and says he's willing to set aside his grudges against Su-Won and his people as long as they're in danger.
  • In chapter 136, Yona forgave Minsu for his unintentional involvement in her father's assassination. His resulting tears of gratitude double as a major Tearjerker.
  • Chapter 137:
    • Minsu's spirited resolve to help Yona rescue the the Happy Hungry Bunch, even at his own expense.
    • The absolute loyalty that the Wind Tribe has for Hak, and the way they consider him to be their true leader, regardless of who's king. One note from him, and they are completely willing to defy royal decree and risk civil war.
    • Yona and Hak's adorable image of the Happy Hungry Bunch.
  • In chapter 138:
    • Yona seeks out Taejun's help with distracting Soowon and his 20 thousand troops, and Taejun accepts her plan without hesitation, regardless of the fact that it could incriminate him.
    • When Yona asks him to think about it a little more, he insists and mentions how the iza seeds Yun found have finally been harvested. He goes on to talk about how the fire-tribe villagers still ask about "The ones that saved them—the red-haired girl and Dark Dragon and the Happy Hungry Bunch".
    • Yona promises Taejun that if he's branded a criminal for helping her, she will come and save him. She then hugs him and thanks him for accepting her "unreasonable request".
  • In chapter 140, Hak tells Vold that if everything fails, he plans to break into Kouren's villa and rescue Yun and the Dragons himself.
  • When Priest Gobi tries to convince Princess Kouren to abdicate in favor of Princess Tao because it was ordained by the gods, Kouren doesn't even blink. She tells him that while he may think her tiny, adorable little sister will make an excellent figurehead for him to rule through, Tao is, in reality, much more strong-willed and prudent than Kouren herself. Despite their political differences, the princesses of Xing have nothing but love and respect for each other.
  • In chapter 145; after 14 chapters apart, Yona and Hak are finally reunited with the Dragons and Yun. The reunion is complete with tears, hugs and endless fretting about injuries.
  • Chapter 152 has a few. First, Yoon, Yona and Hak taking care of the dragons as they recover is adorable, especially Hak spoon feeding Shin-ah. Second Jae-ha, Kija and Yoon encourage a disheartened Yona to be honest with her feelings and to really talk to Hak. They also gently explain how her previous words to him might be the opposite of what she truly wanted. Regardless of what they might feel about her, Yona's companions know she is having a hard time with her feelings about Hak. Then when she tries to talk to Hak again, he lets loose with what many people (including the Happy Hungry Bunch) have wanted to hear: (paraphrased: I WON'T EVER LEAVE YOU. I'M NOT HERE BECAUSE IT'S MY DUTY. I'M NOT HERE BECAUSE I SWORE TO YOUR FATHER. I'M HERE BECAUSE MY PLACE IS WITH YOU. (shock and tears from the audience) I AM PROUD TO SERVE YOU. I AM IN AWE OF YOU. (freely flowing tears from the audience, even Yoon) I DON'T HAVE A FIANCEE. THE ONE THAT I LOVE IS YOU! (massive white-eyed shock from the audience) MY EX-"FIANCEE" HAS SOMEONE ELSE, AND I LOVE YOU! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?? TODAY HAS BEEN EXHAUSTING. I FEEL BETTER NOW.
  • In chapter 153:
    • Yona spends pretty much the entire chapter blushing and flustered and it's nothing if not adorable. Hak even thinks to himself that he could watch her blush all day.
    • Yona asking Hak how long he's liked her, and him answering that he doesn't even know how long because he doesn't remember a time when he didn't.
    • As the rest of the Happy Hungry Bunch watch on as Yona and Hak spar, Yun confusedly comments about the fact that Hak is "fighting his crush with a wooden sword" the day after shouting out his long-concealed love-confession. Jaeha shrugs, says that love expressions are tough to understand and watches with clear fondness that his friend seems to be in much higher spirits than he was the day prior.
    • Hak and Jaeha's conversation that night, in which Hak opens up about his feelings for Yona and his worries about the hairpin. Given that he used to be very much Emotionally Tongue-Tied, it's a huge step forward for him to seek out talking about these things on his own accord.
  • In chapter 157.5, Hak ditches his match in an annual tournament to check on Yona when he finds out she wasn't allowed to watch it. He finds her crying in her room and takes her to go watch himself.
    • Later, when they go to watch the rest of the matches, Yona admits she's not very interested. Hak questions why not, to which she answers that she only wanted to watch his matches.
  • Hak's searing anger in chapter 162, when he finds Jaeha injured by Kye-sook's soldiers.
  • In chapter 163:
    • Hak deciding he wants to help protect the Fire Tribe because he doesn't "hate the second Kan son anymore".
    • After this declaration, Yona offers to also join the fight, to which Hak immediately insists she stays back with Jae-ha so that Kye-sook couldn't hurt her. Frustrated by her lack of power, Yona laments being unable to to fight alongside him and the others. Hak responds by telling her to give him her hands, which she does. He explains he's "absorbing her power" and that she makes him ten times stronger, assuring her that he knows he'll come back because of this power. Yona, obviously stricken by the implication of his words, admits that she also feels strongest because of him.
    • After this exchange, Hak pulls away but Yona rushes after him with pretty clear intent to return his Love Confession... that is, until they're conveniently interrupted by Yun calling them to dinner.
  • Chapter 164 shows this exchange from Hak's perspective, revealing the soft, pretty way he viewed her as she spoke about how he made her feel stronger.
  • Chapter 165:
    • Yona endures being shoved to the ground and chained without a sound, because Jae-ha is in the middle of fighting off tens of soldiers to prove his strength and she doesn't want to throw off his concentration by crying out.
    • When Kuelbo uses "Princess" to refer to Yona, note  she is immediately angry and demands he call her something else, despite that he has her in a chokehold and could easily hurt her.
  • Chapter 166:
    • Algira and Vold immediately volunteer to help in the effort to save Yona, Jaeha, Yun, Zeno and Ao once they hear of the abduction.
    • Upon hearing their offer, Hak is so overcome with relief that he hugs both of them.
    • Hak telling Shin-ah and Kija to stay behind instead of joining the fight, and when Kija protests, Hak simply replies that he doesn't want to lose anyone else.
  • After being struck down in chapter 168, Hak manages to get back up and start fighting again because he sees the necklace Yona had given him and remembers she is waiting for him.
  • Tae-jun, who had once sincerely tried killing Hak, is now racing to his aid when he hears he'd been struck from his horse.
  • In chapter 170, Zeno demands Shin-ah attacks him so that they can uphold a facade that they're fighting. Shin-ah pointedly refuses, to Zeno's frustration.
    • The whole exchange is so ridiculous that Jae-ha starts laughing, even despite the tense situation they're all facing.
    • Despite that they are on different sides of the war, Yona and Kuelbo's wife Yoo-lan manage to treat one another with politeness. Yoo-lan even respects Yona's declaration that she'd prefer to die than be used as a symbol for the Tully Tribe.
    • When Hak and Kuelbo finally meet in person, Kuelbo taunts Hak about how Yona and the dragons are "his" now. Hak's response is to smash the entire wagon Kuelbo rode in on, then go on to demand Yona not be treated like an object.
  • In chapter 170:
    • The dragons and Yun share a brief group-hug after they free Yun from his hostage situation. Kija and Shin-ah agree to return to Kai on the condition that Yun walks free.
    • Hak and Yun's reunion. Yun explains to Hak how he got away and about how Yona had kicked Gobi in the face, and Hak cracks his first smile since they'd been kidnapped. He goes on to tell Yun he was glad he made it out okay, to which Yun responds with a promise that he'll see Yona again soon.
  • Chapter 174:
    • Kuelbo and his wife Yoo-lan's reunion is surprisingly genuine and heartwarming even though Kuelbo functioned as half of the Tully arc's Arc Villain. His reason for returning to the castle despite his injury had nothing to do with Yona; he simply wanted to get Yoo-lan out of there before Kouka stormed the castle and possibly hurt her.
    • Yona and Hak's reunion. Yona passes out in a fire set by Gobi, unable to stand and run away with her chained feet. As her consciousness fades, she thinks of Hak and how much she wants to see him again, deeply regretting never telling him she returned his feelings. In her half-awake state, she mumbles out an Anguished Declaration of Love, not realizing that Hak was already there carrying her to safety. Needless to say, he is absolutely gobsmacked by her mumbled confession.
  • In chapter 180, Zeno pointedly asks Shin-ah to stop smirking, and Shin-ah answers that it's funny to see Zeno getting so angry lately because he's usually not that emotional. The gag is that Shin-ah's facial expression, as drawn in the manga, isn't any different from normal (it's actually mostly covered by his mask; only his mouth is visible), and Zeno's usual demeanor isn't emotionless, it's almost relentlessly cheery. The two of them have gotten to know each other so well that Zeno can recognize when Shin-ah is amused and, perhaps more difficultly, Shin-ah can recognize that Zeno's abundance of cheer isn't always his honest feelings. What's more, Zeno is comfortable enough to show his honest feelings now, and Shin-ah is comfortable enough to call him on it, when before, he'd usually not speak much at all. Zeno dryly remarks that Shin-ah's changed as much as he has, since he's gotten so chatty.

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