At Olmutz Imperial Palace, Mila learned from Leitmeritz messenger about Muozinel Army's sudden retreat from Zhcted's southern boarders, much to her concern as she also heard from her subordinates before telling to deliver the same message to Elen. Mila also learned a horrific news about Tigre's mishaps in Asvarre Seas and received one of the souvenirs from Asvarre, a rare black tea. This prompted Mila worried that Brune might demand a truth about Tigre's mishaps and Elen might going to take responsibility for the cover-up. After summoned her chamberlain to show the messenger a way out, Mila could only muttering and sobbing about Tigre's "foolishness" but still believe that Tigre is alive somewhere while wondering about Elen's feeling.
Meanwhile, Elen and Liza were preparing their duel for Urs (Tigre) who was confused by Rurick's sudden revelations. The duel was interrupted by Urs(Tigre) however as he not only apologized to Elen for unable to remember her, but also urged her stop "bullying" Liza. Despite her heartbroken response, Elen apologized to Liza for her previous assumptions which Liza forgave and told Elen that they had to set their differences aside and preparing for the upcoming the war-council-which will begin within another koku later-for the sake of Zhcted and Urs (Tigre). After seeing Leitmeritz Army's departure, Liza then looked at Urs (Tigre) whom she remarked as the first person defending her from bullying.
At Leitmeritz camp, Rurick voiced his discontent as he still believed Urs was the lost Tigre but even so, Elen remained "optimistic" as she felt that sadness would only get in her way. At the same time, she also revealed that she actually knew Urs was Tigre all the time. When Rurick asked her why did she gave up, Elen replied that she has no evidence to support her claims. Both Elen and Rurick argued about retaking Tigre from Liza, but the more Rurick suggesting possible solutions, the deeper Elen's dilemma has become when she explained that she was trying to avoid possible consequences from her conflict with Liza, which may affecting the now-Vanadis-less Legnica; moreover, sending a wrong person back to Brune will only deteriorating the trust between Brune and Zhcted. When Elen finally calmed down, she continued that the war council would be a top priority and had to put Tigre's case aside for the time being. In spite worrying about Elen's true feelings towards the incident, Rurick reluctantly relents and dismissing himself for a fresh air. Left alone while still traumatized over the earlier incident, all Elen could do was day-dreaming.
Meanwhile in Lebus Camp, after greeting Liza and Urs (Tigre) Naum urged the latter to rest and prepare for an upcoming War Council. Even Urs (Tigre) remained uncertain since he felt responsible for the Vanadises' quarrel, Liza explained that everyone will find them even more dubious should she bring anyone besides him. Before Urs (Tigre) could leaves her tent, Liza told him to keep their encounter with Elen a secret which Urs (Tigre) reassured that nobody will comprehend even after he told everyone, much to Liza's relief. Outside, Urs (Tigre) and Naum were chatting while indulging their dinner. After hearing Urs (Tigre's) account about the confrontation between Elen and Liza, Naum felt relief to see Urs (Tigre) made a right choice to prevent their rivalry. Urs (Tigre) then asked Naum about his true identity or anything resembled him, though Naum claimed that he didn't know since neither him nor Liza officially met him (though they heard about him and even assumed if Elen said so, he considered they both "alike"), though they heard his past achievements in quelling Brune Civil War. However, Naum suggested that they should they negotiate with Leitmeritz, mostly because of its good relationship with Brune. As their conversation continues where Urs (Tigre) learned more about Liza, Naum told Urs to stay at Liza's side since there were nobody else more qualified than himself (Urs).
Half Koku later, the war council begin under the attendance from the Vanadises,(Elen and Liza), Urs (Tigre) and Rurick from their their respective armies. With Bydgauche Army's 3,000 troops outnumbers Pardu's 1,000, Elen initially refrained Pardu solders from joining the battle because Eugene wasn't a proficient fighter. Liza however urged Elen that Pardu solders should fight the enemy themselves if they wanted to prove their lord's innocence, which Elen begrudgingly accepted but willing to add Pardu's 30 cavalry solders in her ranks. Then, Liza told everyone that the feud between two noblemen began when Eugene was suspected to nearly "assassinating" Ilda via a poisoned vodka, which instead killed Ilda's adjutant. As her defense for her former mentor, Elen immediately retorted by claiming the vodka was "distasteful" for Ilda. Fortunately, both Urs (Tigre) and Rurick managed to pacify the hostile situation as they urged the Vanadises to focus on stopping Bydgauche Army from reaching Pardu.
The meeting continued as Liza described Ilda as an honest and skilled warrior who was well respected by his peers, especially his recent achievement in subjugating the bandits within Zhcted's wilderness two months ago, garnering Elen and Urs's (Tigre's) interest. Elen initially suggested meeting Ilda and Bydgauche Army within the narrow valleys, though the idea was scrapped as Liza found it too dangerous because their scouts have provided little information about Bydgauche Army's real whereabouts. Urs (Tigre) then spoke out and pointed the map's curve lines with his fingers that indicated Bydgauche Army's direction towards south. The Vanadises however gave their different remark about it: Elen claimed that not even their respective reconnaissance units manage to navigate the terrain, while Liza found the route skeptical as she believed that Bydgauche Army would use highway for Pardu. Urs (Tigre) however replied that Bydgauche Army might have used snow sleds during their trip in the snowy environment; moreover, their campfire from afar should be able to track down their exact location within the complex terrain.
While they were impressed by Urs's description, Elen and Rurick were shocked to learn that Urs got this idea when working under Liza as the Imperial Stable boy. Regardless, Elen planned to head for Pardu while deploy her reconnaissance unit for the mountains, Liza in the meantime will head south to meet Ilda and Bydgauche Army and persuade them from reaching Pardu. With Elen finally agreed to the details, the war council was ended.
Characters (By Appearance Order)Edit
- Despite her minor role, Mila became the next person to learn Tigre's disappearance and couldn't help but to worry about Tigre and Elen, a feeling Mila herself refused to admit despite she also wished Tigre is alive somewhere in the lands while worrying Elen's feeling.
- The violent rift between Elen and Liza plays a major highlight in this chapter where the two nearly fight against each other hadn't for Tigre/Urs intervention. The only reason the two Vanadises willingly to put their differences (especially their affiliations with their respective allies) aside not just for the sake of Zhcted, but also for Tigre's sake.
- Elen's dilemma is shown where even if she somehow knew that Urs was in fact the mysteriously disappeared Tigre and desired to bring him back, she still have to consider two worst consequences: Not only it would deteriorate the already strained relationship between Lebus and Legnica, which further endangering the already vulnerable Legnica, but also damaging a fresh truce between Brune and Zhcted since the aftermath of Brune Civil War six months ago should they bring the wrong person back to Brune.
- Liza's dark past and her tensed rivalry against Elen was brought up by Naum to Urs (Tigre) during their chat, from the fire that burned the plagued-infested village to Rodion's execution by Elen, making Tigre as the first and only non-Zhcted person to know the truth. Since he was the only person Liza could rely upon, Naum would going to have Urs (Tigre) to participate the war council as to "extending his experience".
- Ironically, that very cooperation that was resulted by Tigre's mediation would later foreshadow the girls' would-be reconciliation in the futurearc.