Spice and Wolf – 06
As she moves through the sewers with Lawrence, Horo hears the sounds of their Medio pursuers coming after them. When the Medio men release some dogs, Horo scares the animals away with a wolf cry that echoes through the tunnels. She and Lawrence then nearly run into a group of Medio men, and as they try to take a different path, another Medio man attacks them with a knife. Lawrence is able to knock this guy out with Horo’s help, but a second man suddenly appears and stabs Lawrence in the arm. Despite the injury, Lawrence still manages to take this man out with a swift kick to the groin, however Lawrence now has a harder time escaping. He blacks out at one point, and when he wakes back up, Horo tells him that she smelled light, meaning that there might be a way back above ground. This turns out to be true, but the problem is that the opening is too high up for them to reach, and there’s no ladder. The two are then found and cornered by Medio company men, and with them is Chloe.
After seeing Chloe, Lawrence quickly is able to connect what she is doing with Count Ehrendot, the abolition of the wheat tariff, and business deals involving wheat. Chloe wants him to turn over Horo so that they can hand Horo over to the church and crush the Milone company. More importantly, she thinks that abolishing the tariff will reap enormous profits for her village, and she then makes an appeal to Lawrence to open a shop here in the city with her. This is indeed Lawrence’s dream, but he reveals that he has a promise to keep, and that’s to accompany Horo to the north. With no other choice, Chloe gives her men permission to kill Lawrence, though she wants Horo captured alive. Lawrence is ready to take them all on with only his dagger, however before he can fight, Horo throws him to the ground and gets on top of him. To his surprise, she bites on and sucks blood from his arm wound, and after asking him not to look, she changes into her wolf form.
The Milone men all run away in fear at the sight of the enormous wolf, but Horo chases down and knocks out each of them. She eventually returns for Chloe and scares the girl to tears, though Horo doesn’t actually hurt Chloe and only causes her to faint. Horo then turns towards a frightened Lawrence to pick up the bag of wheat that came off of her during the transformation. When she starts to walk away, Lawrence tries to stop her by citing how much the clothes she tore up in her transformation cost. He claims to want compensation for it and promises to follow her all the way north to get it, but Horo appears to disregard him and continues walking down the dark sewer tunnel. Lawrence loses consciousness soon after, and when he wakes up again, he finds himself in a room back above ground with Marlhait. It seems that the Milone company had found Lawrence being guarded by Horo, and she had refused to hand Lawrence over unless Marlhait was personally there. After making sure that Lawrence got to the Milone company safely, Horo had left without saying where she was going.
As for the Milone company’s business, they got all the privileges from the king that Medio wanted, but they only made 240 coins in profit out of that, half of which goes to Lawrence. On the plus side, their dealings with Medio went well, adding another 1000 coins, and Lawrence decides that he wants to be paid in pepper. His reasoning is that since winter is coming, more meat will be cooked, and that requires pepper. After agreeing to this deal with Marlhait, Lawrence then receives a bill with some trades that he doesn’t remember doing. As he reads the list which includes a robe, a silk belt, traveling shoes, a tortoise shell comb, and a large number of apples, it suddenly occurs to him what this is connected to, and so he runs out to the cargo unloading area. Just as he suspected, it was Horo who bought all of that, and she promises to pay him back when she reaches her home up north. Looking at Lawrence and Horo together now makes Marlhait comment on how it is wolf and spice.
I think this was easily the most exciting episode so far (unless you find silver coin economics exciting) if for no other reason than Horo finally turning into her wolf form and kicking some ass. Heck, I even got Claymore vibes during this scene because of the teeth. I also liked how they finally explained the title of the show, though it feels a little weird that it’s coming at roughly the halfway point of the series instead of more towards the beginning or the very end. As for the story, now that so many people know about Horo’s true identity, she and Lawrence will likely be running from the church all the way on their journey north. I suspect this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of Chloe either – she’s not evil, but she is definitely an antagonist, and it doesn’t feel like the writers are done yet with her involvement.