「黒衣の騎士」 (Kokui no Kishi)
“The Knight in Black”

Pars danced to Lusitania’s tune, all the way to ten thousand graves.

Dancing To Lusitania’s Tune

If you’re doing what your enemy wants, you’re probably going to lose; tiresome people might point out that this isn’t always the case (true, but that’s true of everything), but it’s a good rule of thumb. Here, Pars kept doing everything exactly as Lusitania suspected (and planned for), so they ran into one trap after another. Calling the retreat, spreading disinformation about the king, ambushing Andragoras on the way back … just a whole lot of fail. Daryun rescuing Arslan from Kharlan seems to be about the only thing that didn’t go Lusitania’s way. Special points go to spreading the rumor that the king fled, which is flippin’ brilliant. Momentum and morale are bigger deals than many realize.

It made it almost comical when they tossed in the scene of the Pars calvery charging out of the fire, and the Lusitanian’s praising their skill. Fat lot of good it did them, when they were made to fight dumb. 50K dead enemies sounds good, but not when you have to spend 127K to do it.

The Guest General, Silvermask

They did a good job of building up Silvermask (Kaji Yuuki) as a certified badass, both in strategy and sword. The strategies are self-explanatory, but showing Vahriz mow down Lusitanian soldiers with two arrows in his back, only for Silvermask to strike him down in one hit … damn. Expected, but effective.

I know some people were worried about Kaji Yuuki voicing him, but I didn’t have any problems with his portrayal so far. He didn’t sound much like Kaji Yuuki—mostly he just sounded like rage. Maybe it’ll clash if he’s speaking more calmly, but I’m set for now. And did I hear correctly that he’s a man of the cloth? All that plus his grudge against Andragoras make him a good antagonist.

Looking Ahead – The Exiled Strategist

Another rule of thumb: if you exile someone who defeats armies without sending a single man into battle, you’re going to have a bad time. I’m sure there are good reasons to do that, but I’m sure Andragoras didn’t have one of those. Narsus (Namikawa Daisuke) is the prettiest of the pretty boys (well, of those who aren’t Arslan), and with Andragoras captured, a good strategist is exactly what Arslan is going to need. Let the party formation begin!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Pars danced to Lusitania’s tune, and paid 127K soldiers for it. Silvermask maaaay be a little clever #arslan 03

Random thoughts:

  • Oooo, mention of the queen made Andragoras realize that he needed to retreat. Maybe there are some feelings there after all, at least on his side.
  • So Silvermask has been waiting sixteen years for his revenge. Sounds like Andragoras was a proper king, by which I mean, a total bastard.
  • Daryun is great. When it comes to assuaging the young prince’s worries, he doesn’t even allow a chance for failure. PURE BADASS.
  • Nice to hear a Lusitanian soldier wondering about the righteousness of their cause. Anyone who is too sure of themselves in such matters is probably wrong.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Happiness is low overhead, People as things, Cut away the boring bits, and Sheet music.



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  1. I just want to add that Andragoras invited Pars’ defeat with his arrogance and refusal to trust in his subordinates, as well as what we can assume as rule of a somewhat tyrannical nature and cruelty shown in certain instances, most particularly in treating people of other nations. The defeat was basically karma, except 127 thousand of his own people were swept up and thrown into the eternal abyss mercilessly. Kharlan’s words were particularly interesting in that he didn’t see Daryun as the enemy, yet wanted the prince dead. Seems like the vendetta might only be for Andragoras or the royal family, or simply believed their actions had the best interests of Pars at heart.

    I must say, Vahriz’s death hit me especially hard as I always loved watching oldies be badasses on the battlefield – one of my favorites being Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ Huang Zhong, or Kouchuu as known in Japan. Silver Mask has proved, with that one brutal moment of Vahriz’s death and two episodes, to be a very dangerous antagonist who has both skills and smarts. I don’t dig masked antagonists, but this looks promising.

    And what better way than to defeat the king than cast him down in chains instead of granting him the warrior’s honour he values so much, and treat him like a bloody slave as he did with those he conquered? It is more likely that Andragoras isn’t dead, but beaten down and humiliated (not that the ED didn’t provide some kind of spoiler, I think).

    Daryun proves to be an excellent steward without being overbearing or formal in a cliche manner. Enter Narsus, Elam and Montserrat, and we have some awesome and potentially great characters in the making. Arslan Senki is really living up to much of its hype. The scene with Pars cavalry charging at the camp was a little unnecessary though. Like watching a struggling deer who has bled too much attempting to get out of a trap.

    Also, the focus on Montserrat was interesting. Gives more dimension to the Lusitanians instead of the usual portrayal of radical zealots with some eerily similar comparisons to the ones we hear about every now and then. I love his design too – looks right out of a classic fantasy page.

    1. “Never count a Human as dead until you see his body. And even then you can make a mistake.”
      —– Lady Margot Fenring, quoting a Bene Gesserit aphorism, Dune

      I’m 95% sure the king isn’t dead. That’s the only reason they would obfuscate the moment Silvermask attacked him. That plus the soldiers saying they “got” the king… Yeah, the bastard is still alive.

  2. I think you are not giving the Pars army enough credit. That scene was there to show that with the deck totally stacked against them by God(the writer) they still managed to kill more then a quarter of the Lusitanian army. So the only reason they lost was massive betrayal and that unnatural fog.

    1. You’re not wrong. My point wasn’t that they were bad, just that it didn’t do them much good this time. Though as ewok40k noted below, those Lusitanian losses might come in handy if it makes it easier for Arslan to retake Pars.

    1. ^That question has been on my mind since, and it might be part of the reason things went as they did. Also what Kharlan was trying to tell Daryun while they were fighting. Clearly there’s something bigger going on as well, though. I have an interesting theory about the story, but I’ll wait and see where it goes.

  3. hmmm…
    questions arise as to:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    other than that – Lusitanians got a in a Silver Mask, a high ranked exile a brilliant strategist who knew Pars army inside out, and then more traitors inside the army itself… Bad karma for Pars.
    Body count suggests that while Lusitanians were victorious, they might find themselves overstretched trying to occupy a large empire like the Pars one. And it’s good to see at least some of them are not so utterly fanatical as to not have doubts about killing all heathens, including women and children…

    1. If you aren’t familiar with the original stuff, especially the novel, you probably better stay away from these spoilers.
      Show Spoiler ▼

  4. ep 04:

    Show Spoiler ▼


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