Kyoko begins her work on creating her own Momiji character and prepares by taking lessons in stage combat under the guide of Kotetsu Uesugi. As her training continues, Kyoko actually encounters a young woman in a wheelchair, who turns out to be Erika Koenji, an old rival of Kanae Kotonami's. Revealing to be behind the calls asking for revenge to LME, her bodyguards relay the story of Erika's role having been cruelly ripped from her hands through unjust means.
Infuriated by this underhanded tactic, Kyoko's desire to play Momiji couples itself with wanting to beat the actress that did this to Erika. The actress in question is Kimiko Morizumi.
The auditions have only begun. Will Kyoko manage to take the role of Momiji or fail?
This volume contains the following chapters
- Act 237: Samurai And Hunter note
- Act 238: Toward The Point Of Impact note
- Act 239: A Fallen Green Leaf note
- Act 240: A Perfect Pick-up Artist note
- Act 241: Seeds Of Worry note
- Act 242: The Rope Of Hope note
Chapters in this volume contain examples of
- The Bus Came Back: This volume depicts the return of Erika Koenji and her three bodyguards.
- Call-Back: Erika's three bodyguards react the same way they did when they first saw Kyoko, pointing out the state of her clothes and lack of makeup, in hopes of cheering Erika up.
- Character Development: Erika used to rely on her money and connections to gain roles, but has stopped doing so and worked on obtaining roles through her own acting skills. Even going so far as to use a fake family name, so as to not get preferential treatment by staff during auditions.
- Dyeing for Your Art: In-Universe, with some actresses like Kimiko Morizumi having dyed their hair black to better fit into the image of a Japanese historical drama. Kyoko mentions if she should have done this herself.
- Expressive Hair: Sapphire's ponytail turns into the shape of a lightning-bolt when shocked.
- Gratuitous English: Hiou uses some when trying to sound more mature, but realizes quickly how stupid dropping some English words into his Japanese sentences sounds.
- Hey, You!: Kotetsu generally doesn't bother to remember the names of his students, only referring them in this way. The fact that he asked for Kyoko's name makes it clear that she's impressed him.
- I Call It "Vera": The ball Kyoko gets for her training gets named Mizue-chan.
- Imagine Spot: Hearing that Ren was doing archery for work, Kyoko immediately imagined him in a position about to fire an arrow, and dressed in traditional garb.
- Meaningful Name: The Kinboshi Onigiri (Golden Star Onigiri) named after the sweet plum ball resting in the rice.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!
- Erika's father insisted on a proper re-audition for Erika's role as Momiji, or he would remove the Koenji Group's sponsoring of The Lotus in the Mire. Kyoko mentions this, but Erika's bodyguards quickly set the record straight.
- Yashiro reveals that Kimiko is similar to this, stating that her family is very involved in showbiz. If any Morizumi is on the production staff of a project, Kimiko is pretty much a given to gain a role in said project.
- Show Within a Show: The Lotus in the Mire has its Momiji re-audition going on, and a few pages of the manga turn into pages of the The Lotus in the Mire manga adaptation.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Kyoko is exempt from being given a return gift from Ren Tsuruga for Valentine's Day because she didn't give him chocolates. She gave him a gelatin dessert. So, Kyoko is absolutely not worried about not receiving a return gift.
- Wax On, Wax Off: Kyoko is given cheerleading batons as the first part of her stage combat training, thinking it might be just a way to avoid teaching her anything. When Kotetsu says she's ready for the next step, she wonders this trope and receives clubs and a ball, as used for rhythmic gymnastics. The clubs do have hidden blades inside them, so they double-function as good prop weapons.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Ruby can speak in falsetto and dressed up as Erika to request help from LME.