Life at Avalon castle has been relatively peaceful, but Arawn is sure that the Empire will attack again. In the meantime, he finds Limwris and Ermin sleeping, and he sees the picture book Ermin drew of him and Pwyll. Later that day, Morgan spots an enemy ship approaching in the distance, and she reports back to Arthur and Arawn. The ship was flying a red flag, which Ogam identifies as that of Rublum, a peace-keeping force of the Empire’s senate. Arawn’s group decides to attack them during the night after they disembark, and initially, things go according to plan. The commander of Rublum, however, notices the trip wire in front of her and intentionally steps it on. This causes Arawn to confront her face-to-face with Arthur, and the commander introduces herself as Lidia.
Despite Arawn trying to stop him, Arthur starts the fighting by charging at her, but Lidia and her men prove to be more than a match. After numerous casualties and after having to save Arthur from getting killed, Arawn calls Ogam to cast a barrier between the two sides, separating them. Arawn then orders a retreat, and Lidia decides not to pursue for now. Back at Avalon, Arthur starts blaming himself for the casualties and failure until Arawn knocks some sense back into him. As for how to deal with their enemy, Rathty volunteers an idea. Meanwhile, at the base of the regular forces of the Empire, Octavia is walking around when she notices an open warehouse. Inside, she smells something bad and discovers a container of human bodies, but she’s barely able to react before she gets knocked out.
I can’t watch this episode and the Rublum force without thinking of Gundam 00 Second Season’s A-LAWS. Both are peace-keeping force antagonists that use red for their primary color, and neither are easily defeated by the protagonists. All they need now is a masked man (maybe this guy?). In all seriousness, after crushing Bubulcus’s forces, Arawn and the Gaels were due for a defeat, and you could see Arthur’s angst coming from a mile away. I’m glad that Arawn quickly got him back to normal because any more of it would have been insufferable. And even if the good guys lost, this series continues to have some excellent battle sequences. It also ended on an interesting cliffhanger with Octavia getting knocked out, and I wonder if that seeming conspiracy has anything to do with what the preview hints to be Lidia and Octavia’s past (at least I assume this is from the past) together.