「殺生石 (ウタカタノユメ)」 (Sesshouseki (Uta Katano Yume))
“Killing Stone (Ephemeral Dreams)”
Bell and Mikoto are beaten into submission, after being waylaid by Ishtar’s Amazoness warriors. Mikoto is simply thrown into a cell, while Phryne imprisons Bell inside her rape dungeon. My stomach churned and I was physically recoiling throughout the entire ordeal, especially when Phryne was licking Bell and punching him in the nads. While the series does not explicitly describe what happens to Phryne’s prisoners, the implication remains through the depiction of scattered tools and horrific flashback to one particular victim. That’s a psychopath if I’ve ever seen one, and doomed be the male adventurers who she finds herself fancying in the world of Danmachi. She’s up there in strength too, being a Top 5 adventurer within Orario itself if you consider that she dominated Ais in combat. How would your average adventurer even begin trying to overpower or escape her clutches? JC Staff really sold me the despair and hopelessness of Bell’s situation, because I was really fearing for him on many different levels. Fortunately for Bell, Haruhime is able to locate and release him. The way he just collapsed into her arms, sobbing. You could really see how much psychological and emotional trauma Phryne was able to inflict upon him, even though she only gave him a mere taste of her sadistic program. But I’m definitely glad that Bell managed to get his way out of such a disgusting and unsavoury place. I don’t think I could have handled an escalation from Phryne, in her torture of Bell.
The Killing Stone’s gimmick is finally revealed as well. It traps the soul of a Renard on the night of a full moon, and upon being shattered, consigns them to eternal oblivion. A very cruel contraption indeed, and for what purpose? If shattered, each fragment allows a person to yield the power of Youjutsu. In Haruhime’s case, her specialty is level boost. It’s no wonder why Ishtar is seeking to conduct the ritual, because her familia will gain insane power overnight if everything plays out as she envisions. Since it’s a night with a full moon, Bell and his friends are on an extremely limited timer, hence it really frustrated me that he chose to hesitate instead of saving Haruhime from Aisha. Though I can understand any potential worries he might have, with regards to the Hestia familia being dragged into yet another war. Haruhime’s situation definitely worries me, but I can see that an imposing challenge is being established for Bell to surmount. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned how it was really silly of Ishtar to go about her plans in such a way that would invite open conflict against her from powerful factions within Orario. Now, even if Ishtar is successfully subjugated, it would lose any meaning to our heroes if Haruhime dies in the process. The cloud with a silver lining is that Aisha seems like she wants to look out for Haruhime’s interest, and that she might have done something herself, if not for the fact that Ishtar has wrangled a torturous charming spell which prevents disobedience. The win condition for Bell & Co from my perspective is securing, protecting and hiding away Haruhime for the duration of the night, since once the full moon elapses, the ritual cannot be carried out. And that gives ample time until the next full moon for the relevant authorities to act upon, in terms of dealing with Ishtar and her familia. Since a night with a full moon is only a couple of hours, I expect this arc to be wrapped up within the next two episodes max. So I’m excited to see how the Little Rookie will once again overcome impossible odds. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading my post and see you next week for what I expect to be Haruhime’s rescue arc!