Sugino and Haruka have some things in common.
He thinks, occasionally, that he should just let her cling to him to her (non-existent) heart's content, until she sees the error of her ways. But as soon as she launches herself at Kantarou, the pride which he thought he had overcome, and the jealousy which had only recently been reawakened get the better of him; the result is highly unbecoming of a yamabushi tengu.
Today was no exception, save that he had managed to restrain himself a little longer than usual, before hurling himself across the room to forcibly retrieve a blissfully unaware Muu-chan having her ears stroked in Kantarou's lap, shouting imprecations which would have sparked a quarrel if the exorcist had managed to make out half of his incoherent tirade.
As it was, the maddening boy just sat there staring at him with a half-amused, half-absent expression before returning his attention to the book before him.
Muu-chan merely looked at him with sorrow in her innocently wide eyes when he pleaded with her to cease her ridiculous obsession with such an unworthy object.
He asks Haruka why the Onikui-tengu would deign to put up with such a disgraceful specimen of humanity.
"Because he released me, so I must obey him."
"But he's lazy, irresponsible, manipulative and one of the most amoral people I've ever known - and I speak from long experience in that respect."
The sounds of Kantarou losing yet another argument about his articles with Reiko float out to them from inside the house.
"I did not choose him, Sugino; he chose me. You, of all people, should remember that."
Haruka rises and walks through the door; shortly after, Sugino hears Reiko delightedly agreeing that the weather would be perfect for a walk in the park.
The house is quiet, except for the occasional chirp of cicadas in the late afternoon sun. Sugino looks down at Muu-chan drowsing peacefully in his lap, and reflects that perhaps her judgment isn't so bad after all.