This week’s episode starts from a cold and chilling flashback where a child wakes up from his sleep and calls out for his mother and father, asking if they’ll read another story. The mother comes into the room, holding a knife and muttering that she’ll kill the child and then herself. But a man comes from behind, telling her not do so. The mother argues that its her fault – as she is not of noble birth still she fell in love with him, who is of high lineage so it must be divine retribution. The man tells her not to think like that and that all he needs is her. The man asks her to hand over the knife but she replies that they’ll be killed as soon as it is found out that the child is an AS holder. And if he must go berserk one day, she’d rather kill him now.

She turns into the man’s chest and he pulls the knife out of her hands and throws it away. He apologizes to the child and asks him to come over. Ryner runs into his father’s arms, the man saying that no matter what, he’ll protect both of them. Ryner is suddenly standing in complete darkness, calling out to his father and mother. A voice calling out to him and young Ryner covers his ears and crouches down, crying out that he’s scared. He calls out again for his parents and they suddenly appear before him. He smiles in relief but then as the AS symbol glows in his eyes, they shatter along with the darkness. A voice from behind calls out his name and he turns around to see Sion and Ferris. His suddenly grown up version smiles in relief but then they also shatter, leaving him shocked.

He screams before jerking up awake in his bed. He stares at the room before muttering, ‘what the hell was that?’ He pulls the sheet over him, muttering that that almost made it seem that he was wanted from birth and he recalls Lucile’s words yet again. That he should have no dreams and that he can’t hold onto anything with his blood stained hands. Ryner walks over to read Sion’s decree again before putting it down and thinking that he’d know that even without being told. That he can’t be anyone’s side.

At the Roland Castle, Sion is in his office pouring over a map with some of his generals when a soldiers run in to report that Claugh got taken out by the AS holder. Sion is surprised to hear that and asks if he made it out alive. The soldier replies that he manages to get away but he sustained some serious injury. Sion orders that they’ll set out immediately and Nao comes up from the side, urgently looking at Sion. Elsewhere in the city, one of Milk’s group (Lear, the blue haired guy) runs up to meet Calne and Eslina. He looks around before saying that both Luke and Milk haven’t been seen since the day before which implies that someone higher up is involved but, neither hair nor hide can be found of them. Is there any chance that they can help him?

Calne and Eslina exchange a brief glance before Calne says that they can’t do anything in particular but…its really weird that disappearances are happening all over the place. Lear is surprised at this oddly random comment and Calne explains that their target, Ryner Lute, also disappeared. Lear is taken back to hear this and Calne asks if he knows anything about that matter. Lear reveals that they know that he was heading towards Estabul by himself. He tells Eslina to go tell Ferris and she runs off. As Lear and Calne watch the girl run off, Calne mutters why all the disappearances…

Ferris meanwhile is clearly bummed out as she stands in her garden, Iris running up to her with enough dango to give the rest of us sugar poisoning. Iris is her usual chirpy happy self but Ferris is pretty much stuck to monosyllabic answers which clearly has Iris worried before she runs off to make tea. Ferris can’t help but think of Ryner and wonders why her chest hurts. OH I WONDER WHY. Her gaze shifts to the side and asks what does Lucile want? The older man is quietly standing behind her underneath the tree and Ferris asks how long has he been watching her? He cryptically replies that he’s always been watching her, since she was a child. She asks him what he did to Ryner. Lucile replies that he just told the man that he didn’t want him to make any passes on his little sister. Ferris’s expression shifts and Lucile says that’s a new expression on her – she gained another new emotion then?

His eyes still in shadows he says that seeing his little sister slowly growing up makes him happy and somewhat lonely at the same time. That one day she’ll be out of his grasp…he suddenly says that she’s got company. She turns to look at the entrance and she looks back, no more Lucile. Eslina comes running through, saying that they found out Ryner’s location. Ferris asks where is the idiot and Eslina tells him. Ferris smiles/grins as she ominous (and WAY too gleefully) says that she’ll make him pay for breaking his promise to her.

Shift to the Former Estabul – State Border vicinity, the soldiers are talking amongst themselves. Cearly they arnt confident going against a monster who made short work of Claugh. Clearly moral isn’t at an all level high. Sion watches from the side as Nao cries at Claugh’s bed side, the red haired man telling her to not cry as it’s not like he’s dead or anything. She angrily tells him that if he’d have died, she wouldn’t have forgiven him. Sion pipes in that he’s glad to see the man alive. Claugh tells him that the guy was the same one who wiped out his whole squad before. Claugh angrily says that next time he’ll definitely kill – only to break off in pain.

Sion steps outside the tent, saying that they’ll be heading out. Claugh’s second in command asks how he plans to defeat this monster. Sion says that he has a plan and he’ll pick up the vanguard. Okay okay that’s enough dramatic arm gestures Sion, we get the point *pats his shoulder* so long as Roland has you, everything will be hunky dory. Sion mounts his horse and the soldiers cheer, feeling that they really have a shot at winning. In an Inn elsewhere, Ryner is going over a map and wondering what to do…drink the soup and eat the bread for starters?

He stares out the window contemplatively as one of the waitress (inn lady?) comes over asking if he’s travelling? There’s plenty of onsen and good food around their parts, plus lots of new shops. Ryner however is paying half hearted interest in her talk. She praises Sion, saying that its thanks to his efforts that there is peace which is leading to more travelers coming to their Inn. She scolds Ryner for not having eaten anything and takes the soup back to re-heat. Ryner turns to look at all the people around him and thinks “It’s all thanks to Sion huh?”

AND GUESS WHO just kicked the door in. Ryner stares in surprise at Ferris EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK DON’T PULL YOUR SWORD OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ESTABLISHMENT  *scrambles over a table* Trigger happy chick alert, outta my way outta my way! Ryner yells that she shouldn’t do that indoors but Ferris just brings her sword down (It was nice knowing you dear table. I knew thee well…) They make a damn mess of the room as Ryner yells that she’s bothering people by acting like that! Course she doesn’t listen to that and says that she brought fourteen backpacks worth of dango that day and waited for him but he didn’t come.

UWAH *winces* THAT elbow to the chest musta hurt like HELL. She kicks Ryner down and raises her sword over her head, saying that he should die now. Ryner says that he gets it now – she was also one of the elites dispatched to kill him. The blade hovers inches away from Ryner’s chest and she asks what he means by that. Ryner looks at the mess they had made and asks if she can compensate for it all? Ferris tells him to cork that and explain what he meant by her being an elite sent to kill him. Ryner quietly stares at her and she repeats her question.

Ryner lets out a small tired laugh and tells her that she got it wrong so she should just forget it. She angrily asks if he thinks she’ll let it pass with that half assed answer? Ryner says that he knows very well that she wouldn’t kill him. Ferris stands up, sheathing her sword before asking what Lucile said to him. Ryner stands up saying that he said nothing. Ferris asks again and Ryner repeats that he said nothing. Ferris says that she heard that Lucile told him not to make any passes on her. Ryner praises her brother for being so caring. Ferris asks if he ran away because of Lucile’s warning. Ryner looks away saying that it was nothing like that.

Ferris attempts humor concluding in the point that he’d run away after just one warning from her brother? A scream from outside cuts their conversation short and ho ho~ greetings Tiia~ *eyes pop open* okay whoa that is one hell of a creepy shot. Dragging a man behind him, Tiia enters the room saying that he found him. Everything that Rafra said was correct after all. It is one of them…he’ll have to look into this.

In a burst of speed, he rushes at the two, attempting to grab Ryner’s head but he just managers to dodge the grip. Ferris runs around him and tries to hit him from the back but misses it by a clear berth. Tiia again goes after Ryner but Ferris quickly steps between the two men. Tiia praises them both, saying that they don’t move like they’re human. Ryner retorts that he’s the one moving around unlike any human. Tiia asks if he looks human to him? Ryner invokes Izuchi and sends a bolt of lightning at Tiia, who creepily says that DOES look delish~ Ryner realizes that he just made a boo-boo and slides down in front of Tiia but the lightning slams into Tiia’s circle.

He takes in the magic before grabbing Ferris and Ryner by their throats and pressing them against the wall. Ryner chokes out, “Who are you?” He introduces himself as Tiia Rumiblue, holder of the divine eyes, Iino Dwoe and that he came to get Ryner. A friend of his saw a dream about Ryner. A sudden rain of arrows from the window has Tiia turning his attention away from Ferris and Ryner (the former grabbing the man and dragging him away). Another volley of arrows falls on the inn as Ferris and Ryner run out.

Roland’s army stands with Sion at the helm as he orders for a cease fire. Ryner is surprised to see Sion, the other man telling him to get back. Ferris drags Ryner with her and wonders that he really came. Claugh’s guy says that they’ll confirm if the monster is dead or not but Sion orders that they’ll fight the man with bow and arrows only. Tiia stumbles out the doorway, a few arrows piercing his back as he mutters that they aren’t getting away and his eyes light up with his powers. Sion orders another volley of arrows and many of them pierce Tiia, who is starting to resemble a human porcupine.

Ferris and Ryner stop and turn to watch as Tiia stands up and flies at the soldiers. Okay this guy, SERIOUSLY AINT HUMAN D: The soldiers panic and start to run away – Tiia managing to grab one of men before ripping his skull open in front of the others. Tiia praises the intelligence to use normal arrows instead of those laced with magic. Without a meal, he probably would have died. Sion wonders that he doesn’t only absorb magic but also eats people thereby healing his wounds? And that garners Tiia’s attention. Sion orders his soldiers to be ready and asks if Tiia has any intentions of surrendering?

Tiia easily responds, “None.” Sion says that means he’ll die. Tiia smirks, saying that he can eat him before the arrows even get to him. Sion says that he’s bluffing because if he could have done so, why hasn’t he? Tiia responds that should he kill Sion, Ryner would most likely go berserk. Those words make a buzz go around the group, the soldiers are shocked to hear that they have an AS holder amongst them. Ryner quietly listens to it all, remembering all the times he was scorned and hates by people. Sion orders in vain for everyone to be quiet and Ryner stays still in his place.

Tiia tells him that THAT is how humans are. They can never accept AS holders. Sion defends Ryner, saying that he isn’t like Tiia. That he isn’t a- Tiia cuts him off asking that he isn’t a what? A monster? Sion is taken aback slightly and Tiia turns to address Ryner, telling him to come with him. There is no place for him amongst humans. Ferris tells him to not listen to Tiia but the latter continues, he he wants to continue being despised as a monster? Is it really necessary? He should come with Tiia, there he will have nakama. He asks Ryner to attack him with magic, then he can completely heal up. He could take Ryner away from here.

Sion prepares another attack but Tiia says that Ryner will do as he says. Sion is not aware of the darkness in their hearts as he doesn’t get constantly betrayed. Ryner smiles sadly, saying that neither of them is at fault. He likes both Sion and Ferris and he doesn’t want to cause Sion anymore trouble either. It must be hard to look after a monster that could go berserk at any given moment. That’s why Luke received the order to kill him as needed no? Sion is taken aback at this revelation. Tiia laughs as Sion tries to explain himself. Ryner however cuts him off saying that he’s the king and he has his obligations so he’s done nothing wrong. So he shouldn’t make such a painful face.

Sion is clearly deeply hurt as Ryner says that he’s the one at fault – by simply existing, he is causing Sion this pain. Sion shakes his head saying that that’s not it. Ryner tells him that its over now and he doesn’t have to suffer anymore. Ryner starts a chant for Izuchi and Sion quickly commands his troops to release their arrows and kill the monster. He stops and looks at Ryner, realizing what he said. Ryner gives him a cold, dead look and Sion is just shaken. The arrows launch and Tiia tells Ryner to do it. A bolt of lightning hits Tiia dead on and everything turns pure white.

Tiia appears before Ryner, holding out his hand saying that they should go now, their nakama are waiting. Ferris watches sadly from behind before she runs towards him crying out his name. She slams against a barrier and watches helplessly as Tiia and Ryner disappear in a bolt of blue into the sky. Ferris and Sion stare at the large hole in the ground. Sion quietly nods his head before forcing a smile on his face and declaring that the enemy has fled, it’s their victory. The soldiers cheer and cry out as Sion smiles. Ferris walks up to him, quietly passing him by saying that as Ryner said, he’s not at fault.

Sion hangs his head as Ferris repeats Ryner’s words – he was only protecting what he was charged to protect. Ferris disappears into the large group of soldiers and the army returns victorious back to the capital. Except he can’t shake that last look of Ryner from his head. Somewhere else far far away, Ryner is asked by Tiia if he is reluctant to leave. Ryner shakes his head saying that not really. He just didn’t really like this country anyways. With one last look at the Roland Castle, Ryner turns and walks away following Tiia.

Another day, Ferris is having some dango at her favorite Wynnit dango shop getting ready to go on another journey. This time, to find a certain idiot and to punish him. THAT’S THE SPIRIT 😀

Score: A-/A+

I …. Wow…that was one hell of an episode. Not exactly an emotional roller coaster but that tense show down at the end was just breath taking. I was torn thinking that Ryner wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t…but…after everything that’s happened, why wouldn’t he? It was hell of a damn amazing episode. The only thing that’s keeping me from giving it an A+ would be that a lot of the times, the character’s art seemed juts flat out iffy. Not to say that the animation was sub-par just…sometimes they looked a bit..weird. Like when Ferris was pinning Ryner down with her sword.

But leaving that slight issue aside, I am just speechless with this episode. I just….I don’t know what to say. Though I am surprised that Ferris didn’t try to punch Sion or something for that decree but still, I think it’s just so heart achingly sweet that Ryner would say to Sion that he understands why he did it and that he doesn’t blame it. Ah my dear Ryner, by saying that doesn’t lessen Sion’s self loathing though. Poor guy is really taking it hard…and knowing him, he probably totally blames himself that Ryner would up and leave.

And now with no Ryner on their side, Roland is totally dependent on Sion’s brain and Miran’s shadow demons and that one dragon sword aren’t they? The fight against Gastark is gonna be one hell of a fight that’s for sure. Though now I’m wondering if maybe its gonna turn into a three way skirmish – Gastark vs Roland vs AS holders. . . . wait I change my statement, that would be a flat out SLAUGHTER if the other AS holders are anything like Tiia O+O

On the subject of Tiia, holy mother frakking beans on toast! That man CANNOT be human! I refuse to believe it. Last time he was fighting Claugh’s soldiers, he was in front of them and then the next, he was behind them. His speed is like wicked un-human, he can take ALL THOSE ARROWS and STILL stay standing?! There’s just NO WAY that he’s a human if he can pull off stunts like that.

With this episode we now know that Ferris does feel something for Ryner or at the very least, he’s a very dear friend to her. Though I doubt that’s the case, she’s clearly in love with him at some level. And I was surprised that Lucile gave her a straight answer when she asked him what he said to Ryner. I kinda expected him to either brush it off or give her a round-about answer to throw her off.

A few things stand out bout Ryner to me. The man has a severe case of low self esteem, which you can’t blame him after knowing his history. That he would so calmly (and sadly) take all the blame on his shoulders and want to redeem Sion…and then say more or less the equivalent “Sorry for existing because you got hurt because of that” it just…makes me wanna half cry in frustration because that’s something that can’t be helped or changed and it’s not his fault at all. AUGH I can’t talk anymore about this episode, its given me one hell of an emotional headache.

Next week, more on Gastark and on the other AS holders.

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Obsessive fangirl type. Loves a good romance story, likes her yaoi and shoujo with good art and good story. Also very much spazzy.

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