Pumpkin Scissors – 21
When Hunks is surprised to learn that the 1st Section won’t be mounting a rescue mission, Connelly explains that they arrested a man trying to bring the documents to foreign media outlets. They are officially saying that they found out too late from this man, which Hunks concludes to mean that they’ll be using any noble casualties to make a case for 1st Section getting more authority so that they could prevent something like this. As he gets up to leave, Hunks suggests that there might not have been any victims yet, but Connelly thinks to himself that it wouldn’t be a miracle of God for that to happen, it would be a prank by the Devil. Over at the party, however, there indeed have not been any deaths yet. Marquis Paul is laughing at and making fun of Alice’s challenge to the duel, but Alice is serious about fighting. She starts reaching for the concealed sword underneath her dress, so her sisters spring into action to cover her so that she doesn’t expose herself while doing so. Seeing her doing so, Oland can’t help but feel again that she’s amazing.
After telling her sisters that she might be able to protect their lives, Alice approaches Paul and points her sword at him. When Paul backs up to his bodyguards and decides to use them as his swords, Alice claims that she wanted to fight them three on one instead of two on one. As he watches this scene, Oland remembers how he had asked Oreld what Alice would have done if something like what happened to him happened to her. Oreld had made him understand that Alice isn’t the absolute answer and that he should figure it out himself if he wants to identify himself as a part of the 3rd Section. With this in mind, Oland gets in front of Alice to even the fighting odds a little. Alice doesn’t want Oland to get involved in this fight, but before he can protest too much, one of Paul’s bodyguards makes a preemptive strike with a weapon that Leonir recognizes as a threshing tool – a flail. Fortunately, what prevents Oland from getting his head smashed in is Alice’s warning for him to step back.
Alice then realizes that her two opponents are actually imperial guards of the country Loderia. Machs remembers that Loderia is a country with a history of farmer rebellions, and the knowledge from suppressing these led to the creation of a group of mercenaries who specialize in being VIP bodyguards. The one with the flail now has the advantage over Oland and is keeping the big guy on the defensive. Oland ends up falling out of the mansion, but Alice doesn’t go to help because she does not see herself right now as a soldier or as Oland’s superior officer. Instead, she declares that she is Alice L. Malvin of the Thirteen Appointed Families and says that a noble’s sword exists to protect the people and to fight against foreign enemies. In response, the remaining bodyguard pulls out a machete that’s covered in a brown liquid. Before taking any action though, he first makes sure that he can kill her even though she’s a noble of the Thirteen Appointed Families. When he asks her what she’s betting on this fight, Alice answers that she’s betting every noble’s pride. This talk of pride pisses off the peasants who started all this, and they’re just ready to kill as many nobles as they can.
Oland meanwhile has hidden himself around the corner from the flail guy. He pulls out his gun, but his opponent swings the flail around the corner and hits Oland squarely in the gut. Despite his wound, Oland is still able to point his gun to try to get his opponent to drop his weapon, but that doesn’t intimidate his opponent at all. Oland then gets lectured by the flail guy about how normal people don’t get scared of a gun because they don’t know what the pain feels like. He says that in order to keep mobs in check, you have to let them know the pain that will come – the more primitive the better. All of this talk has actually made Oland quite scared. Back inside, Leonir has stepped in to defuse the peasant situation a little by proposing that if Alice wins the duel, Marquis Paul will go to the authorities and make a confession. In addition, the peasants will all be acquitted from any wrongdoing as prosecutors of justice. If Marquis Paul and his bodyguards win, then Paul can do what he wants, and the peasants can go ahead with killing the nobles in the mansion. The leader of the peasants, however, recognizes Leonir as the same man who originally gave him the documents. Even though he’s unsure about whether to trust Leonir’s words or not, he decides to let the duel go ahead.
Machs and Oreld admire what Leonir was just able to do, but Oreld also notes that the nobles here are of second and third-rate families, so they don’t care about honor as much as their own lives. In addition, Oreld feels that Leonir doesn’t understand the real reason why these peasants are here in the first place. Justice and rewards won’t make them lay down their weapons because what the peasants really can’t forgive is this unfair world. In any case, Oreld tells Machs to keep the car running in case something happens, but then the bodyguard that Alice is facing requests an additional condition to the fight: he wants the car to escape if he wins. After Alice agrees to it, the two charge at each other.
It didn’t come as too big a surprise that Leonir was the one who originally leaked the documents, though I’m still not sure what his ultimate goal is. If Paul’s bodyguard wins, then the peasants go wild and kill everyone. If Alice wins and Marquis Paul confesses to his crimes, then it might expose corruption in the government, but then what? I guess either way would ultimately stir unrest in the country, which could lead to Leonir trying to take power of some sort, maybe with the Silver Wheel.
Having said all that, this episode was a bit of a let-down since I thought it would involve a lot more action than it did. They seem to have put together all the talking parts from the manga of this arc into this episode so that next time will be almost all action (hopefully anyway). The animation also wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped, but it wasn’t bad by any means either. In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing two intense fights next episode.