Black Bird (manga)

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Black Bird
Black Bird Vol 1.jpg
First English edition of Black Bird as published by Viz Media
(Burakku Bādo)
GenreDark fantasy,[1] romance[2]
Written byKanoko Sakurakoji
Published byShogakukan
English publisher
English magazineShojo Beat
Original runJanuary 26, 2007March 26, 2013
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Black Bird (Japanese: ブラックバード, Hepburn: Burakku Bādo) is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Kanoko Sakurakoji. It has been serialized by Shogakukan in their Betsucomi magazine since 2007. It depicts the life of a high school girl who can see supernatural beings. Black Bird received the 2009 Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo manga.[3]

In 2008, Viz Media announced they had licensed the series for an English release of the series in North America. The first chapter was previewed in their now-defunct Shojo Beat magazine and the first volume of their version was released on August 4, 2009. According to ICv2, the series was the sixth best-selling manga series in the US for 2011.[4]

The series has been adapted into a drama CD as well as a light novel.[5][6]


Misao sees things that other people can't. Normally, the monsters would do harmless things. But suddenly, on her sixteenth birthday, the creatures she sees take it farther by trying to kill her. She's saved by a childhood friend from her past, Kyo Usui, who just so happens to be a demon or "youkai" and the clan leader of the 'Tengus' as well. She finds out that she is the rare, "Bride of Prophecy", also known as "The Senka" or "The Holy Fruit", and depends on Kyo for protection from those who wish to eat her for her blood, which gives the consumer incredible power. She further gets to know that marrying her brings immense prosperity to the whole demon clan of the groom and is thus the object of conflict among the clan leaders of different demon clans, who want to be her suitors. Kyo wants to marry her but to do so he has to put more than just his life at stake. Moreover, the "Senkaroku" or "Record of the Holy Fruit" restricts their love.


Main Characters[edit]

Misao Harada (原田 実沙緒, Harada Misao)
Misao is a sixteen-year-old high school student. She has been plagued with the ability to see demons ever since birth. Because of her ability, she was never able to make any friends until she met Kyō. The monsters were harmless until her sixteenth birthday; on the day she turned sixteen, a monster possessing one of the schools idols attacks her. Before she was injured any further, Kyō came to save her and healed her wound by licking it. It is then that she discovers that he is a demon and that she is the "bride of the prophecy" for the head of the Tengu Clan; she was chosen to be the wife of the next head of the clan ten years ago. When she was a child, Misao became attached to Kyo and they had made a promise that she would be his bride. However, she was supposed to marry Kyo's older brother, Sho, who was the heir to the clan. As a result, Kyo left Misao's side in order to surpass him and become the heir. At first, she was scared of Kyo for his stoic personality and demonic powers, but grows to trust and understand that he is willing to do anything to be with her. She later falls in love with Kyo and decides to fulfill her promise to him by becoming his wife, once she graduates high school. They begin a romantic and sexual relationship from then on. After Sho's death, Misao notices a change in her powers, which no one is able to touch her and her scent is overwhelming. It is discovered that this is because Misao is pregnant with a demon child. Despite being told the baby could kill her during childbirth, she refuses to abort it because she has grown to love her unborn child. Misao gives birth to a boy whom she named Sou. Instead of dying, a miracle happens when Misao wakes up, and even though it costs her most of her ability to walk, she is able to live happily with Kyo and Sou.
Kyou Usui (烏水 匡, Usui Kyō)
Kyo is the heir to the Tengu Clan. It is revealed that Kyo is not human but a powerful demon. When he is in his demon form, his hair grown longer, has black wings, and wears a mask that looks like a crow's beak. Perverted and cocky to many, but he treats Misao with a combination of kindness and coldness depending on his mood. Kyo met Misao during their childhood; they quickly developed a strong bond and he fell in love with her. They also made a promise that she would be his bride, which he is determined to fulfill. His older brother, Sho, was supposed to be clan leader, but Kyo surpassed him for Misao's sake (as only a clan leader may seek her as their bride). In order to stay close to Misao, he moved back to his house next door to hers and took a job as a math teacher at her school. He is always protecting her and healing her wounds, also finding moments to steal a kiss. While he cares deeply for Misao, Kyo has deep attachments to those close to him: such that he took Taro under his wings to train him and make him stronger after Taro was abused by Shou. Kyo has deep disdain towards his brother (for his abusive ways) and his father (whom he suspected of murdering his mother). After Sho's death, Kyo learns that Misao is pregnant with his child, a powerful demon child. He is initially happy of the news, but when he learns that the children of the Immortal Fruit will feed on their mothers after childbirth, he wants her to abort the pregnancy but she refuses. When Misao tells him that she loves the baby and it loves her, he comes to care for the baby. Misao gives birth to a boy, whom they name Sou. Misao, by miracle, survives and Kyo is able to live happily with her and Sou.

Tengu Clan Members[edit]

Sou Usui
Misao and Kyo's son. He is the current heir to the Tengu clan. He resembles Kyo greatly and acts like him. He is born in the final chapter. According to the Immortal Fruit Record, children of the Immortal Fruit will kill their mothers soon after birth. As a result, Kyo wanted Misao to abort the baby, but she refused. After discovering her pregnancy, Misao had recurring dreams of a little boy with black wings and introduces himself as Sou, and discovers that it is her unborn son. Kyo comes to care about the baby once Misao tells him that Sou loves him. When he is born, Misao survives the childbirth, and Misao and Kyo begin raising Sou as a family. Although he is well-loved by both of his parents, Sou is jealous that his father loves his mother more, and complains how strict Kyo is with him while Misao is very loving.
Yoh Usui
Kyo's father and the former head of the Tengu Clan. He married Yuri, who was eleven years his junior, and through their marriage, Sho and Kyo were born. He is rarely present in the family and acts indifferent towards his sons. Kyo believes that he doesn't love or care for him, his brother, and his mother. Kyo initially believes that his father murdered his mother after they engaged in a heated argument, but this turns out to be false, and Yoh actually feels guilty for his wife's death because he feels it was his fault. Despite this, neither Kyo or Sho have any sympathy for their father. He is determined to have one of his sons marry Misao and father an heir for the clan. He is very fond of Misao, whom he remembers from her childhood.
Yuri Usui
Kyo's mother. She is Yoh's wife, and eleven years his junior. Her marriage to Yoh was always troubling. Before she died, she had a physical argument with Yoh, and soon after, she died from poisoning. This causes Kyo to believe she was murdered by Yoh, but it turns out that she had actually committed suicide.
Sho Usui (烏水 祥/僧正 Usui Sho)
Kyo's older brother, and original heir to the Tengu Clan. He is 22 years old when he is first introduced. Once the clan realized how cruel he is, Kyo became the heir. When he was the heir, he was supposed to marry Misao. However, he is very cruel to her and does not love her, and even slapped her as a child. He hates that his brother was always there in case he failed to harm Misao. The previous Clan Leader called Kyo "the spare tire" or "back-up plan" because Sho was deemed unfit as the heir due to his abusive and cruel nature. While he despises Misao, he hates that she chose Kyo over him because it made him feel useless to the clan. In later chapters, however, he shows an emotional side, as he saves Misao from being crushed to death inside a storage house. He is later brought back to life by the efforts of his former attendant Roh. In the last battle between the two brothers, he is killed, but warns Kyo that he wouldn't be like him and kill Misao, implying that he read the last pages of the Immortal Fruit Record.
One of the eight daitengu. He has two brothers, Jiro and Saburo, and they are triplets. They are six years old. After nearly being killed by Sho, Kyo trained him to become stronger. He enjoys cooking and preparing food for Kyo and Misao, and tending to the flowers in the courtyard, despite how much Kyo doesn't like plants that are grown by others.
One of the eight daitengu. He is the triplet brother of Taro and Saburo. He resembles Kyo almost as if they are related, which they are not. He loves Misao as a big sister figure and likes seeing her smile. He is later put in charge of taking care of Sou, which annoys him, as Sou tends to hide from and refuse to listen to him.
One of the eight daitengu. He is the triplet brother of Taro and Jiro. He has bushy dark hair, and enjoys doing things for Kyo and Misao.
Sagami (real name Ryo)
Another of the eight daitengu. He is very protective of Kyo, and dislikes Misao at first but he later grows to like her due to her caring personality. He is Hoki's older brother. He has a sickly wife named Ayame, who was later cured by drinking Misao's blood. He is 24 years old and trained the daitengu to fight. Years later, he and Ayame have a son, Ryu, and a daughter, Tsubaki. He and Hoki are the last daitengu to serve Kyo.
Hoki (real name Yu)
Another of the eight daitengu, and Sagami's younger brother. He is 15 years old and he looks very feminine. He is very loyal to Kyo and Misao. By the end of the series, he and Sagami are the last daitengu to serve Kyo.
Another one of the eight daitengu who's a playboy but a mature person. He is 26 years old. He had loved Kyo and Sho's mother because he considered her to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, although he continues to flirt with other young women. A few years after Sou is born, Buzen quits the daitengu and left for an unknown position.
Zenki (real name Gou)
Another one of the eight daitengu. Misao thinks he's scary but an easy-going and funny person. He's 20 years old. He loves and protects children who lost their families. A few years after Sou is born, Zenki quits the daitengu and undergoes training to be a monk at an orphanage.

Supporting Characters[edit]

Shuhei Kuzunoha (Kuzunoha Shuhei)
Leader of the Kitsune Clan. He is killed by Kyo when they fought for Misao's love.
Tadanobu Kuzunoha (Kuzunoha Tadanobu)
Kyo's childhood friend. They met completely by accident, and formed a friendship based on their shared love of porn. He allowed his younger brother Shuhei to beat him when they fought for the leadership of the Kitsune Clan, because he never wanted to fight his best friend. He is in love with a human girl named Renko. After Kyo kills Shuhei, he becomes the head of the Kitsune Clan. Eventually, he is forced to challenge Kyo for Misao, but loses. However, he is allowed to live.
Renko Jounouchi
A human girl who attends the university that Misao's father teaches at. She is Tadanobu's lover, and will do anything to protect him. She even goes as far as to threaten to kill Kyo if he hurts Tadanobu. She has competed in archery tournaments in the past. Eventually, she is accepted by the Kitsune Clan. Only Tadanobu is allowed to call her Ren.
Yoshio Harada
Misao's father. He is a university professor and participates in digs. He teaches Renko, who attends the same university. He is very protective of Misao, but says that he will accept Kyo as her boyfriend if he makes her happy. When Misao becomes pregnant, he is happy and encourages her and Kyo to be happy with their child, Sou, whom he dotes on.
Yoko Harada
Misao's mother. She remembers Kyo from his and Misao's childhood and trusts him a lot, despite knowing little about him. She is initially upset when Misao becomes pregnant, but agrees to let her and Kyo marry. In chapter 69, she discovers Kyo's secret as a demon when he saves her; however, she believes that Kyo will be a good husband to Misao and father to Sou.
Kensuke Dodoji (Dodoji Kensuke)
A snake demon, and heir to his clan. He is very shy, unlike his twin sister Kiyo. He becomes friends with Misao, but is supposed to take her as his own. However, he is much too softhearted to do this. He gives Misao poison, which she uses to paralyze Sho.
Kiyo Dodoji
Another snake demon, and Kensuke's twin sister. She is in love with Kyo, and will do anything to get him. She is very beautiful. She shows up at Misao's school, and asks her to give up Kyo.
Sagami's wife. She is very sickly, but gets extremely excited when Sagami gets a chance to visit her. She is cured by drinking some of Misao's blood. She has the power to show images in a pool of water. She watched over Misao, while Kyo was away from her for ten years. She also watched over Sho, and he learned this skill just by watching her. She began to like Ryo when she was 15 years old. He wasn't her first crush but the first person she ever kissed. Years later, they have a son and a daughter, Ryu and Tsubaki.
Raikoh Watanabe
Like Misao he can see demons and spirits, and is also in love with her. However, he refuses to believe that humans and demons can live in harmony and uses his abilities to destroy them. Due to this, despite Misao and Kyo's attempts to prove that not all demons are like the one who scarred him, due to his attempts to destroy their relationship, ignoring the fact his actions put them both in grave danger, it looks like they will forever be on bad terms.
The man who resurrected Sho after he was trapped under the storage house. He was Sho's servant until he died while resurrecting Sho. He has a daughter named Kaede.
Her father Roh supported Sho's ambitions to seize clan leadership. She is Sho's attendant, after he returns to the village. She was abandoned by her parents as a child and became an outcast in the village because of it. She also fell in love with Kyo because he was outcast by the village for trying to become the new clan head. She develops a strong hatred for Misao because of her feelings for Kyo. She later commits suicide in an attempt to prevent Sho's death, showing twisted feelings of love for him.



Shogakukan released the first of the series' bound volumes on January 26, 2007.[7] As of December 12, 2012 there are 15 volumes and the series is still running in Betsucomi.[8] The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media as part of their Shojo Beat imprint.[9] It is also licensed in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing.[10]

Volume listing[edit]

No.Japan release dateJapan ISBNNorth America release dateNorth America ISBN
1 January 26, 2007[7]ISBN 978-4-091-30837-5August 4, 2009[11][12]ISBN 978-1-4215-2764-2
Chapters: 1-5
There is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person and she want nothing to do with magical realms. She is a sixteen-year-old high school girl who wishes to have a boyfriend and is constantly thinking about her first love from her childhood, but cannot remember his name. All that changes on day when Misao is attacked by a classmate who is possessed by a demon. A strange man named Kyo suddenly appears to save her and tend to her cuts with his tongue. Kyo tells Misao that he was the boy who used to protect her from demons and that she is the Bride of Prophecy, whose blood gives power to the demon clan who claims her. But most demons want to keep her power for themselves by eating her. Now Misao is just trying to stay alive... and decide if she likes it when Kyo licks her wounds.
2 June 26, 2007[13]ISBN 978-4-091-31085-9November 3, 2009[14][15]ISBN 978-1-4215-2765-9

Chapters: 6-9

Extra: Special Feature
Kyo, the head of the Tengu demon clan, is Misao's only chance for survival. But even though she has sweet memories of him as a childhood friend, she has trouble reconciling them with the man he has become. Despite the strange attraction she feels for Kyo can she trust her life, let alone her heart, to a man who only cares about the promise of her blood? Misao is the Bride of Demon Prophecy and her blood grants incredible powers,her flesh immortality. Now the demon realm is fighting over the right of her hand...or her life!
3 October 26, 2007[16]ISBN 978-4-091-31300-3February 2, 2010[17][18]ISBN 978-1-4215-2766-6

Chapters: 10-13

Extra: Special Feature
Misao is starting to trust her heart where Kyo is involved, especially after he gives her one of his primary feathers. It isn't just her first present from him, it's a magic talisman that will keep her safe when he's not nearby! Misao is elated to go to school without the fear of being eaten, just like a normal teenage girl. But her feeling for Kyo deepen, she starts to realize that as his bride she will have to leave her human life behind-including her family!
4 February 26, 2008[19]ISBN 978-4-091-31437-6May 4, 2010[20][21]ISBN 978-1-4215-2767-3

Chapters: 14-17

Extra: Decade
Despite the constant danger Misao finds herself in, she's determined to stay by Kyo's side no matter what happens. But a chance meeting with one of Kyo's best friends shows her just how hard a human-demon relationship can be. Tadanobu, heir to the Kitsune clan, gave up everything to be with his human girlfriend but not he is being forced to take on the clan leadership and abandon his love-and it's all Kyo's fault!
5 June 26, 2008[22]ISBN 978-4-091-31649-3August 3, 2010[23][24]ISBN 978-1-4215-2768-0

Chapters: 18-21

Extra: Sanctuary
Misao thinks she's come to terms with being the bride of prophecy and dating a tengu lord. but is she ready to bear her handsome demon an heir?! Kyo's grandfather is impatient to secure the power of prophecy and the line of succession, and he doesn't care which of his grandsons father Misao's baby. if Kyo doesn't act fast, he'll lose Misao and the leadership of the clan. But despite his desire for Misao, Kyo is hesitant to consummate their relationship, for that brings about catastrophe...
6 October 24, 2008[25]ISBN 978-4-091-32130-5October 5, 2010[26][27]ISBN 978-1-4215-3066-6

Chapters: 22-25

Extra: Bonus Manga
Misao and Kyo have traveled to the tengu village to end Sho's claim on the leadership of the clan once and for all. Misao knows there will be bloodshed, and thing will only get worse if the battle is drawn out. But her attempt tp help is thwarted by a cunning trap. Locked in with Sho with little hope of rescue, Misao has a terrible choice to make-betray Kyo or die a horrible, painful death!
7 January 26, 2009[28]ISBN 978-4-091-32208-1February 1, 2011[29][30]ISBN 978-1-4215-3311-7

Chapters: 26-28

Extra: Angels/Black Bird Gaiden And Ice
Misao knows her relationship with Kyo is dangerous, but she's used to being the one in peril! Will she be able to stand it when the tables are turned and Kyo is threatened? As the leader of the tengu clan and boyfriend of the Senka Maiden, Kyo gets a lot of attention in the demon world, and very little of it is good. From the wrath of a reincarnated dragon of the hatred of a demon hunter, Misao must face the fact that she isn't the only on at risk in the relationship. But how can she just stand by with Kyo is threatened?
8 May 26, 2009[31]ISBN 978-4-091-32374-3May 3, 2011[32][33]ISBN 978-1-4215-3580-7

Chapters: 29-32

Extra: Nightmare
Raiko, the demon hunter who has been staying at Misao's house, is determined to save her- even if that's the last thing she wants! Kyo won't allow a threat to Misao to go unchecked and plans to take care of the problem in his own special wa. Misao, however, hopes that she can broker a peace between Raiko and Kyo before things get out of hand. But when Raiko's attempt to "free" Misao fail, he hatches a devious new plan that will use Misao's bond with Kyo to destroy him!
9 November 26, 2009[34]ISBN 978-4-091-32728-4July 5, 2011[35] [36]ISBN 978-1-4215-3774-0

Chapters: 33-35

Extra: Little Black Bird Parts 1 & 2
Misao and Kyo finally consummate their relationship, and Misao can't regret the new levels of intimacy, even though all the other demons seem to be able to tell that they are now lovers. But does Kyo feel the same way? Instead of bringing them closer, their new status seems to make him turn away from Misao. Is that just the nature of guys, be they human or demon? Or is there something darker behind Kyo's sudden lack of warmth?
10 March 26, 2010[37]ISBN 978-4-091-32728-4September 5, 2011[38][39]ISBN 978-1-4215-3843-3

Chapters: 36-39

Extra: Black Bird Special Feature
The past returns to haunt Kyo and Misao when Kyo's long-lost father suddenly reappears. But the reunion is less than happy, for Lord Yoh is suspected of murdering his wife! Misao learns the real story of the deadly incident, but it is hardly comforting. Should she tell Kyo about his mother's fate, or should she protect him from a truth he might not want to know?
11 July 26, 2010[8]ISBN 978-4-091-33387-2November 1, 2011[40][41]ISBN 978-1-4215-3937-9
Chapter 40-43
Sho has miraculously returned to the tengu village, and while he seems content to live quietly on the outskirts, Kyo has learned the hard way not to trust his brother. To make matters worse, the villagers are resentful that Kyo won't share the restorative power of the Senka Maiden with them. But most demons don't possess Kyo's willpower, and one taste of Misao's blood would send them into a frenzy. Is it possible for Kyo to be a good leader and a good husband?
12 November 26, 2010[42]ISBN 978-4-091-33508-1January 3, 2012[43] [44]ISBN 978-1-4215-4052-8
Chapter 44-47
Kyo's grandfather is able to cast a powerful shield over the tengu mansion, but while it keeps anyone from getting in, it also traps those who are inside.
13 April 26, 2011[45]ISBN 978-4-091-33789-4March 6, 2012[46][47]ISBN 978-1-4215-4177-8

Chapter 48-51

Extra: Black Bird New Year's Special
Sho’s plans to plunge the world into chaos continue as he targets the Eight Daitengu, hoping to strip his brother Kyo of all his protectors. And now Sho has Hoki, whose secret past makes him easy prey. Can Hoki stand up to Sho, or will his efforts to aid Kyo backfire?
14 August 26, 2011[48]ISBN 978-4-091-34032-0June 5, 2012[49] [50]ISBN 978-1-4215-4275-1

Chapter 52-53 Extra: Special Feature Taxie & Blue

Extra: Black Bird Final Story Arc Chapter 1
Sho is finally making a direct move against Kyo, and the battle between them is a close match. Will Sho's recent feast on Misao's blood give him the power to overcome Kyo? Or does Sho hope being killed in front of her will add to the pain of betrayal Misao already feels?
15 January 26, 2012ISBN 978-4-091-34299-7December 4, 2012[51] [52]ISBN 978-1-4215-4921-7
Sho’s death should have meant a return to peace for Misao and Kyo, once they came to terms with their guilt. But instead Misao finds herself displaying strange new powers she can’t quite control. Is this just the next stage for her as the Senka Maiden, or is something more sinister going on…?
16 June 26, 2012[53]ISBN 978-4-091-34499-1May 7, 2013[54]ISBN 978-1-4215-5243-9
Misao discovers that she is pregnant with Kyo's child. Kyo is happy of the news and wants her to give birth to it. Misao readily agrees and everyone is happy for them. But, after reading the Immortal Fruit Record, Kyo learns that Misao will die if she gives birth. He then asks her to abort it, but what will she do? Will Misao risk her own life to give birth or terminate the pregnancy to save her own life?
17 November 26, 2012[55]ISBN 978-4-09-134780-0October 1, 2013[56]ISBN 978-1-4215-5890-5
After realizing that aborting the baby will be the worst thing to do, Misao decides that she wants to give birth to the baby. She says that her decision is not only due to Kyo's status as the head of the Tengu clan, but because the baby is hers and Kyo's. Kyo does not agree with her and they become distant. Kyo's father tells him about a forbidden technique that could preserve one's life, and Kyo wants to learn more about it. Does he plan to use it on Misao?
18 March 26, 2013ISBN 978-4-091-35254-5March 4, 2014[57]ISBN 978-1-4215-6009-0
Kyo attempts the "Preserve" technique on Misao, but it nearly causes her to miscarry. It is at this moment that Kyo has second thoughts about aborting his own child, even though he says he can never love a child that would cause Misao's death. In her dreams, Misao discovers that the baby is a boy. She and Kyo decide to name their unborn son Soh. Kyo agrees to let Misao carry the baby to term and comes to love it. Misao is unsure if she wants to tell her parents that Kyo is a demon. Will she be able to tell them the truth by the time she gives birth?

Drama CD[edit]

Columbia Music Entertainment released Black Bird drama CD on the January 21, 2009.[5] Artists on the drama CD include Kōki Miyata, Kishō Taniyama, Akira Ishida, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Takahiro Sakurai, Yuko Kagata, Takehito Koyasu, Kyoko Hikami and Mikako Takahashi.[58]

Light Novel[edit]

The series was also adapted as a light novel, titled Black Bird - Missing- (BLACK BIRD ―MISSING―), released on March 26, 2010 (ISBN 9784091332707).[6]


The sixth volume of Black Bird was ranked 12th on the Japanese Comic Rankings between October 28 and November 3, 2008.[59] The seventh volume was ranked 4th in its first week, selling 75,689 copies.[60] The eighth volume was ranked in 3rd place during its first week and then fell to 27th in the second week of publication.[61][62] Volume 9 of Black Bird sold a total of 100,014 in its first two weeks of publication, debuting at 11th place on the charts, then falling to 20th place in its second week.[63] The tenth volume of the series debuted on the Oricon charts in 14th place, selling a total of 51,172 copies.[64] The first volume was ranked 4th on the manga section of the New York Times Best Seller list on September 3, 2009.[65] The second volume was ranked 7th on November 26, 2009, 9th on December 3, 2009 and 8th on January 7, 2010.[66][67][68] Black Bird was awarded the 2009 Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo manga.[3]

Anime News Network's Casey Brienza commends the English edition of the manga for being "amusing and sexy. Good if you want to put your critical sensibilities into neutral with something trashy" however she criticises the manga with the comment "its creative horizons are that of a bodice ripper. Don't expect the next modern manga masterpiece."[69] Katherine Dacey, writing for The Manga Critic, criticises Misao for not defending herself even as "demons slash her throat, poison her, push her off rooftops, and slam her against walls." Dacey comments that "younger readers may find [Kyo] sexy, but older readers will see him for what he is: a wolf in knight’s clothing, posing as Misao’s savior while manipulating her for his own selfish interests."[70]


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