Spice and Wolf – 11
Having only been able to collect a small amount of money, Lawrence returns to the inn and finds Horo already asleep. Apologizing to her, he leaves the three Lumione he got on her bed and then walks out in defeat, but as he moves past the window outside, he gets hit in the back of the head by the same bag of money. It was thrown by Horo, and she calls him a fool and angrily yells for him to come back. After he does return, Horo gets frustrated by his attempt to apologize again and by how he was fine with her taking the money and using it for traveling expenses. She feels that he should be angry with her because this is all her fault, and it doesn’t help that he starts acting even more understanding. Horo gets to the point where she tries to throw a chair, but when she loses her balance, Lawrence catches her. This leads to her accusing him of being softhearted, and since she asks him why he’s that way, he eventually answers that it’s because she’s a special person. Happy to hear this, Horo hugs him and Lawrence hugs her back, however she then starts laughing at what they’re doing. She also suggests that being angry and yelling at each other sometimes solves problems more quickly, and Lawrence agrees.
As for Lawrence’s debt, Horo has come up with a risky plan to get rid of it, and the two go to talk with the head of the Remerio company about it. That plan involves using a resourceful person to smuggle gold, and the person Lawrence has in mind is Nora because of her need for money and her dissatisfaction with her current employer the church. He thinks that they can tempt her with the prospects of making money and of defying the church, and he is sure that there’s little chance that she’d betray them. The reason Lawrence is coming to the Remerio company instead of just pulling all this off himself is because of his debt, and so in exchange for them getting in on the deal, he wants them to temporarily suspend the debt collection and to invest some capital for smuggling. What finally convinces the head of the Remerio company to agree to do it is Horo pointing out how poorly his business has been faring recently. With that done, Horo and Lawrence’s next task is to convince Nora to take part in this. After finding her in front of the church, Lawrence proposes a dangerous job to her with the potential payment of twenty Lumione. Instead of immediately getting into the details of the job though, Lawrence outlines what she could do with that much money and points out how the church is treating her poorly.
Once he’s gotten Nora sufficiently motivated, Lawrence then presents the idea of smuggling gold in the bellies of her sheep between this city and the town of Ramtora. Nora takes a moment to think about all this and eventually agrees to do it, though she admits afterwards that it was specifically because of Lawrence. That night, Lawrence feels bad about what he considers to be conning Nora, and this just reinforces Horo’s argument that he’s hopelessly softhearted. She doesn’t see Nora as being as weak as Lawrence makes her out to be and compares Nora to an animal that’s only pretending to be a sheep. Lawrence, however, mostly just cares about a result where everyone can be happy.
As expected, Horo makes up with Lawrence and finds a way for him to get out of debt. What was a little surprising was the plan she came up with and how it involves Nora. It now makes sense why they spent all that time talking about gold back in episode eight, though I’m still not convinced that that was the most interesting way to introduce the subjects. Instead of just sitting around talking about it, a better way would be to show the concept in action (though that is admittedly hard with economic concepts). I think that statement applies to most of this episode too because even though the gold smuggling idea is very interesting at first glance, too much time is spent here setting it up. I’m curious to see if the pacing picks up any speed now that all this has been worked out – surely the smuggling won’t go off without a hitch. Maybe we’ll finally get to see Nora interact with some wolves…