「Ring of tales②」
Who wouldn’t want a Queen like this one?
Things are still a bit rushed in this episode, but to a much better degree than last time. Again, the fault is less with Pierrot than with the mangaka, who did leave this arc a tiny bit vague (and it did move pretty much this fast anyway). The pacing felt much better this week though, and it was nice to see the relationship between Nike and Livi develop more. However, I’ve seen some people wondering why they seem to have fallen in love so quickly since last week, and there’s a few reasons for why that’s not so strange.
First of all, while this is an arranged marriage, it isn’t one Nike or Livi reject in any way. Livi proposed it in the first place (on a whim), but Nike never had any intention to call it off. Instead, she meant to accept it for her duchy’s sake and then learn to love her future husband. Secondly, once they’d met and decided they’d go forth with the marriage, it certainly wasn’t out of duty any longer. The relationship is definitely based on love, albeit a developing one, but it’s one with other facets attached. As Nike claimed in the second episode, Livi sometimes feels like a little brother to her; not in every respect, but certainly a child she wants to protect. She does love him romantically, as her developing feelings have shown, but she very much harbors some motherly instinct toward him. In return, Livi also sees a connection between her and his departed mother. He too is starting to love Nike, but it is the association he has made between her and Sheila that has terrified him so at the thought of losing her. Though a different person, she has become an irreplaceable presence in his life, the only person he can turn to for solace and for healing his broken heart. It is not so strange then that acceptance of the marriage and genuine concern and love for each other have grown to this point, even if it’s been unfortunately rushed just a tad.
However, there is obviously also a political part of this marriage. Livi goes to Nike’s aid when he figures that assassination is the real use of the ritual, but Nike is quite capable of defending herself in a tight situation. Not only does she escape by quick use of her wits, she also makes an opening for she and Livi to escape. Livi in turn shows his own plotting ability to use Nike’s powers during the ceremony, where he also ousts Rani Arestes for his attempted assassination. They’re quite the pair, Nike and Livius, and they prove themselves to be great partners in politics as well as in marriage. It also doesn’t hurt seeing a future-Queen punch the living daylights out of a scamming religious figure.
That being said, it’s interesting to me that Pierrot would choose to adapt the next episode after this arc. In the manga, Call my name was the second chapter, and took place earlier in the relationship. It’s certainly not my favorite chapter, but it does have its charm, so I look forward to that next week.