I don't mind the level of creepy realism in the way the characters are handled, it's just the outright surprise from some people that have me baffled when Aechmea always gave me those kinds of vibes from the start (even well before Cairngorm was in the picture). It's not as if HnK didn't already have its fair share of mature themes and visuals either.
Factor in how Aechmea serves as the primary antagonist and I find his manipulations unsurprising especially when precedent has been set with his interactions with Phos, you know, the main character of the story. Specifically, Aechmea displayed creepy and ominous qualities when he was first introduced, both in the way he manipulates Phos into making decisions for him and how the narrative very blatantly frames him as a creeping figure (something that Phos even comments on). He's practically the first character to break the immersion of the gems's gender fluid status, specifically in how Phos is framed as an overtly feminine figure while Aechmea is in the position of a man "seducing" her by literally have dinner with her. The fact that he imposes this unto the character is actually what makes him unsettling from the start and it's why him doubling down on his creep factor hardly surprised me at all.
Again, I don't mind the creepy realism depicted in the story, but the shock this has garnered feels ridiculously overblown given that precedent of these sort of elements has been laid throughout. Suddenly fun's over, because Aechmea pushed the creep factor beyond some people's tolerances in a fictional work, even when his actions still fall in line with what he's displayed before. Again, I get the reaction and even the revulsion, but the "nuh-uh" dead serious posts are getting overblown all things considered. Of course, this doesn't account for the hissy fits being thrown from the faggots and /u/shitters because fuck that noise.