An episode focused on Sherry as she finds herself thrust away from the courtly graces and into the real world. SHe’s a smart girl, unfortunately sometimes life decides to shit on all over you.
Starting off with Itami, he randomly chooses paths to go down in. While Lelei notes it might not find them the resources they need, Itami considers that secondary to evading the assassins. The randomness inherent in his method of choosing a path can be enough to throw whoever it is targeting them off their trail.
Back in Japan, the ministers are discussing Zorzal’s implementation of a law that allows them to arrest anyone under any pretense. It is with this that pro-peace senators and nobles are being targeted, and some are coming to Japan for help. The order from Japan is firm, they are not to side with the doves, which would only walk the situation straight into Zorzal, and thus needs those in the Special Region to lay low for the time being. Back at Alnus, Lt. Gen. Hamaza knows the plans by his subordinates to rescue the imprisoned would never be approved, but it isn’t abandoning their allies. They are put on standby just in case they are needed as the fortunes change.
Back at Piña’s palace, Piña is informed that Marquess Casel, the leader of the pro-peace faction, is hiding with the Tyueri family. While he is safe for now, it is unknown for how long. Piña nevertheless can feel her powerlessness. Back with the Tyueri family, Casel is having dinner with them before one of the maids report that the Cleaners, the enforcers of Zorzal’s little martial law, had arrived.
Lord Tyeuri and his wife task Sherry to lead Casel out to safety. As they make their escape in the hidden passageway to the sewers, Lord and Lady Tyeuri cause a confrontation with the Cleaners which leads to their deaths and their mansion being destroyed. Sherry attempts to go back but is stopped by Casel, reminding her to not let their sacrifice die in vain.
Back at the burned out mansion, the leader of the Cleaners discover the hidden passageway. Admonishing his subordinate, Tyuule appears, spurring them on their jobs on pain of being turned into ‘enemies of the state’ as well. Their plan is to search within two leagues of the exit point. While they don’t have the numbers, all they need to do is rile up the neighbors to smoke out Casel and Sherry.
Noting the fact that the Jade Palace is within the search cordon, the Cleaner’s leader states that even if they turn to Piña for help, the special law can even turn a member of the Imperial family as a rebel if she disobeys. This lets them go with impunity. In the back, Tyuule orders Bouro to make things ‘interesting’.
Further away from the mansion, Marquess Casel and Sherry remark on their escape, with the Marquess’ stomach grumbling due to the interrupted meal. Sherry sells off her pearl necklace, her bartering skills scaring the occupant of the home. When given a pair of MREs, it is seen that he is employed at the Jade Palace where the diplomats are kept safe by Piña’s knights. The man obviously knows who she is, and informs her of the changing of the guard making security lax.
Armed with this new knowledge, she thinks of Sugiwara. The next day, Sherry makes her intentions of seek asylum from the Japanese. While Marquess Casel doubts the Japanese can give them shelter, Sherry clings to the hope that Sugiwara will be merciful. Sherry wants to avenge her deceased parents, knowing that by doing so, she would end up renewing the conflict. Asked if she knows what she’s doing, Sherry says yes, with the Marquess joking that they should’ve arrested her first and that he too would bear that burden with her.
Outside, the Cleaners start their operation to smoke the two fugitives out. They flee in order to save the residents, though Bouro notes that no one would give them room out of the kindness of their hearts, and had killed the owner of the home who tried to turn them into the Cleaners. All of this was going to what Tyuule had envisioned.
Back at the Jade Palace, Bozes and her lieutenant, Knight Captain Beefeater, note the commotion. She had sent scouts to ascertain what is going on. When they returned, she informs them that the Cleaners are chasing after fugitives, and had included the Jade Palace in their search. Noting the gravity of the situation, Bozes strengthens the guard with reinforcements and has them prepare for battle, with Bozes noting it would be a long night.
Back at one of the entrances, rather than try to sneak through, Sherry merely walks up and Marquess Casel follows. Asking for an audience with the diplomats, the two are led in. Sherry though is stopped by one of the older male members of the guard, telling her that the lawn marks the start of Japanese territory in accordance to the treaty. Bozes is relieved to see him safe, though understands his pain over the deaths of Lord Tyueri. The meeting with the Japanese diplomats though is denied, noting there is no reason to meet.
Sherry asks if they can at least meet with Sugiwara, claiming that he will be her husband and would let her in with that fact. Beefeater is a bit taken aback at her confidence, and Bozes asks her to see to the second request.
Meeting with Sugiwara, Sugiwara says the orders from home has yet to change, and that if they took anyone in, Zorzal would not take it lying down and hostilities would resume. Knowing this, Beefeater explains that the person with Marquess Casel begged her to go back and ask. At that point, Sherry calls out to Sugiwara. Noting his reaction that there was some truth to what she said, Beefeater tells him that his kindness just made it worse, thinking that she was special to him.
Outside Sherry continues to call out, Beefeater explaining that she’s made it this far in the hope for his kindness, having risked her life in attempting to come here. Giving her his answer, Vice Minister Reiko asks if it’s alright. Sugiwara says as a diplomat, he must put his emotions aside and not let it interfere with the national interests. Reiko notes it’s the perfect answer for a diplomat, but just for a diplomat. Sherry still looks on, hoping to see him, as Marquess Casel is given the news. He thanks them, stating that it’s merely their job.
The Cleaners arrive, and Marquess Casel resigns to his fate as the Cleaners thank Bozes for her work Noting Piña is in a delicate position depending on how they treat the Marquess, he also notes that Sherry may be done in by the animals who killed her parents, seeking revenge for their comrades killed by Lord Tyueri. As the Cleaners lead Casel away, Sherry fights back, begging for Sugiwara to save her. The guards are unable to act due to the fact they will be considered traitors.
At this point, Sugiwara appears, demanding that the Cleaners’ leader let her go. While she is an Imperial citizen, he justifies her release on account that she will be marrying him when she turns sixteen. The elderly guard seperates the Cleaner from Sherry and pushes her into the Jade Palace’s grounds, noting that the ambassador has given his approval.
Sherry runs into Sugiwara’s arms. Appologizing for having sold the pearls in the necklace he gave her, he tells her not to worry, and he would buy her another one with his own money, and not as a gift from the Japanese people. Back inside, another bureaucrat informs Vice Minister Reiko of what had happened, and she merely tells him to contact Japan as soon as possible.
Outside, the Cleaners, upset at losing one of their fugitives, end up facing Beefeater and her knights. The Cleaner leader points out that the treaty is irrevelant when they are catching criminals, and two forces clash, the Cleaners attempting to take Sherry away, the Rose Knights defending the Ambassador’s palace as dictated in their treaty with Japan.
Fropm the lawn, Sugiwara and Sherry can only look as the tide of war comes back in full force with the Skirmish between the Cleaners and Beefeater’s detachment of Rose Knights.
It comes as no surprise as Zorzal’s reign of terror starts, guided in the shadows by Tyuule. An Imperial dictat allowing roving gangs to arrest any and all out of a whim (typically by being opposed to Zorzal’s rule in any way, shape, or form).
The focus of the episode though comes from how Sherry grows up. While in past episodes showing the twelve year old’s knowledge beyond her years as a little nothing more than a bit of embarrassment for Sugiwara, it is through the death of her family and her becoming now Lady Tyeuri, the head of a decimated noble household, is what catapults her to the spotlight. It was through her childish, innocent love for Sugiwara that the Empire and Japan would inevitably fall back into conflict, with her as the new symbol of the decimated Pro-Peace faction.
I was discussing this with a coworker earlier actually. In a sense, she’s like Countess Formal, roughly the same age, and having gained her position through the death of Count Formal (and her bickering older sisters). The thing between Countess Formal and Sherry is that Formal still has her head maid and staff to support her. Sherry is doing all of this on her own, with only her love for Sugiwara and Marquess Casel’s support. And in the end, she played her part that Tyuule cast for her.
I’m not sure if Casel could be rescued at this point, having been led away by the Cleaners, but it is sure that Piña’s Rose Knights would not allow them to lay their hands on Sherry. With the JGSDF’s Armored and Airborne combat teams on a 24 hour notice, it would seem that the inevitable extraction of Japan’s ambassador would be bloody.
Piña’s hand has been forced, and no doubt she would not allow herself to be disgraced by her mad brother and the conniving bunnygirl by laying down her arms and allowing herself to be sent to a camp or be used as a plaything by the Cleaners.
The next few episodes will be a very bumpy ride I am guessing.
One thing I did like to point out, I am quite liking Bozes and Beefeater’s armor. I’m not sure if that’s the true combat armor of the Rose Knights, before only Grey Co Lada and other male members of the knights wore effective ‘armor’. The ones Piña and Hamilton wore were more revealing than what the guard around the Jade Palace is wearing, and thought it was a bit silly.
It’s still highly stylized and the boots are high heeled and what have you, but I consider it a bit more effective than say, what Ludmilla and Ellen and the other Vanadis were wearing in Madan no Ou to Vanadis. At least Limalisha wore armor.
Also, I’m going to quote a friend: “I need to see a blood soaked orgasmic Rory dancing on the lifeless body of a Bunny Girl to make up for this bullshit before the season ends, or I’m applying for a job in the Diplomatic Corps” because of: “wtf was up with that shit? Loli gets her own episode and the world just decides to stomp on her oh sure, she gets to see her crush at the end who promises to marry her in 4 years in a bid to save her life, but does that make up for her parents being killed, and her entire home getting burned to the ground? HELL FUCKING FEED THE WHINNY ASS PRINCE TO A FIRE DRAGON NO IT DOES NOT!“
He can take Hamilton. Beefeater is pretty nice.