Otherwise have done a careful read of Even a Worm, after barely skimming it for a year and change. I don't know if Hazel is really as slimy as I want to believe him after hearing what his cheering section has to say about him, but he's certainly slimy. Maybe one has to be 20 to see the attraction. (OTOH after this one I'm ready to fall in love with Hakkai all over again. How delighted a little character development makes us. Pathetic we are, bach.)
And that casual comment from someone, that Saiyuki can be seen as a chess game between Kanzeon and Nii, has made me very happy.