Speeding along, Elen and Lim head back to Zchted to attend to a personal vow; Tigre, Roland, and Gerald Augre react to an invasion in the south; and Duke Ganelon rewards Roland for his duty to King and Country.
As the Order of Navarre and the Silver Meteor Storm mop up the battlefield and discuss their next moves, Roland heads out to the capital to try and seek an audience for Tigre with the king. He will go regardless, even though knowing Lord Mashas nearly got killed. To him it was the only thing to make amends with his mistake.
In the meanwhile Elen receives an urgent message from another Vanadis, Sasha. Explaining that she and Sasha made a vow to each other, Sasha is a vanadis who is afflicted by a terrible illness, though her Dragon Gear refuses to part with her. Sasha is being attacked by another Vanadis, and taking most of her forces, Elen rides to her aid.
Roland comes back to the capital, though Ganelon executes him by releasing thousands of venomous bees into a room, claiming it is the price of his failure to kill Tigre. This news shocks Tigre, as he was entrusted Durandal to prove to others his cause is just. Meanwhile, Thernardier and Ganelon still face off with each other. Although the western border is secured, the southern border, where Thernardier’s province lies, is threatened by the slaver nation of Mouzinel.
Dividing his forces between the invading Mouzinellians and at the capital to keep Ganelon in check, he himself wonders what Tigre would do. Speaking of which, back at camp, Titta berates Tigre for not getting enough sleep, while Tigre decides to take a force of 1,700 to attack the invading Mouzinellians. The allied nobles know that with them branded as traitors to the crown, there might not be any chance of other nobles joining in to help.
Scouting the enemy forces, Rurick and Tigre talk about Gerald, Lord Augre’s son, who is in charge of logistics for the Silver Meteor Storm. They then come across a group of Mouzinellians chasing a girl, rescuing her. Meanwhile back at camp, Gerald managed to mete out their meager supplies to the troops, and the next day, the Mouzinellian commander, Qasim, sends 3,000 men to chase after Tigre’s paltry force. This though led to a chase to a box canyon, in which through smoke and mirrors, tricks the Mouzinellians into thinking they were more than they had, decimating this force.
Over the course of the campaign, Tigre whittles down the 20,000. Mouzinel’s response to this was to execute some of the prisoners, and end up facing off against Tigre’s meagre detatchment of 600. Not believing that Brune would make an archer the captain of the force, the appearance of Roland’s Zchted detachment causes some fear with Qasim’s forces as Tigre’s and Roland’s forces charges in. Tigre takes aim from the other side of the battlefield, Qasim not believing that he could get him from that range. Famous last words, as an arrow gets him dead center between the eyes, alongside his lieutenant, and the enemy is routed. Quite a John Sedgwick moment huh?
Freeing the prisoners, one of them angrily lashes out at Tigre for not saving his wife/daughter/sister. Knowing full well Tigre was nearby, he failed to stop the execution. He apologizes, and while freeing the prisoners, another prisoner, a younger girl, thanks him for saving her and the others and avenging her murdered father.
Later that evening, Tigre’s forces now number 1,500, when Roland gives Tigre and Gerald the bad news. Captured Mouzinellians have been saying they’re nothing but an advanced party, the main enemy force being 40,000 men including the forces they routed. The next day, leading the band of freed slaves and injured, a Mouzinel force of roughly 3,000 to 4,000 approaches the group. Tigre takes a force of archers to halt them, though their attacks are nothing but drops in the ocean when Ludmilla Lourie arrives with her army.
The only reason I’m a little miffed at Madan no Ou to Vanadis is the fact it’s a one cour adaptaion of a light novel series. Light novels in of themselves contain much more depth and characterization than 13 episodes can capture, and that shows especially in shows with multiple story arcs, characters, relationships, and political intrigue.
Elen’s departure at the start of the episode is nothing but a set up for the next arc no doubt, as Tigre and the rebel nobles receive word of the invasion from the south. It seems that only Ganelon is really willing to play the game, and that Thernardier, even if it is his province on the war path, is willing to put petty politics aside for a brief moment to defend his home, though only for a brief bit.
Tigre’s use of asymmetrical warfare against a much larger Mouzinellian force was expected, though the canyon-filled terrain did make me think slightly of Afghanistan. Tigre’s use of terrain, smoke and mirrors, and the enemy’s own size are not imaginative, but when faced off against a medieval thinking strategist, it’s scary that a force that small could whittle down something that big.
And of course, having a magic bow helped. As well as having a deus ex machine in the form of a “potato”-like Vanadis.
I’d like to say though, poor Roland. Devotion to duty, gets fucked over by a politician. He died standing, realizing too late he was a patsy in some petty man’s schemes.
Also, the OP Sequence changed, with Sophia and Ludmilla appearing alongside Lim and Rurick in the OP.