Shin Koihime†Musou Otome Tairan 3
Sparring with Kannei, Ryomou keeps up with her opponent but is ultimately struck down by a powerful blow she hadn’t correctly anticipated. Defeated, Ryomou ponders if she will ever overcome the harsh training, though it’s clear her poor eyesight is to blame.
Assigned to guard Sonken’s quarters, Ryomou is enthusiastic about her new assignment, to the point of nervously shouting when she first meets the princess. Hearing Sonken study each night, Ryomou soon grows accustomed to her soothing voice.
When one night she doesn’t hear Sonken read out loud, Ryomou is curious what may be amiss and to her surprise, the princess comes out of her quarters. Taking an interest in her cute guard, Sonken starts talking to Ryomou and before long, the two begin studying together.
Noticing Ryomou has trouble reading even that which she should know, Sonken soon suspects something may be amiss with the girl’s eyesight. Heading into town the next day, Sonken takes Ryomou along and picks out a monocle for her to wear which improves Ryomou’s vision. Her eyesight perfect again, Ryomou is struck by Sonken’s beauty and blushes beet red.
Spending more time together, Sonken ultimately suggests Ryomou take a test to see how she has progressed. Studying as much as she can, Ryomou is rather anxious and her pulse races when Sonken seems in a solemn mood after having reviewed her writings.
Suddenly shifting to a bright smile, Sonken disarmingly says Ryomou did just fine, she just felt like teasing the girl by putting on such a downcast glare. Relieved, the weight that falls of her shoulders causes Ryomou to slump down on Sonken’s bed.
Remembering her position, Ryomou apologizes and tries to veer up but Sonken gently pushes her back down on the bed. Saying it is alright since its just the two of them there, Sonken suggests Ryomou pick a reward for having done so well, anything she wants.
Blushing, Ryomou says she has but one wish and that is to always remain by Sonken’s side. When Sonken says Ryomou cannot make that wish, the girl’s shock turns into joy when the princess adds that is fact her own wish, and the two girls soon fall asleep side by side.
Waking in the middle of the night, Sonken decides not to disrupt the still sleeping Ryomou as she heads out to the toilets. Surprising an intruder on the palace grounds, Sonken goes after the fiend who is quickly incapacitated when Ryomou accidentally runs into him while looking for the princess.
Severely punished by Kannai for having fallen asleep and left the princess without any protection, Ryomou is ordered to remain in her quarters. When a little boy visits her, carrying one of the palace’s flute instruments he found inside the grounds, Ryomou remembers the history lessons Sonken taught her.
Barging into the courtroom where Sonsaku is holding an audience with a flute player, Ryomou’s hunch proves correct when the flute player attacks the queen, the nighttime intruder having substituted one of the palace’s instrument with this fake flute that conceals a weapon.
The assassination attempt foiled thanks to Ryomou, the girl is absolutely destroyed and on the verge of tears when Kannai declares she will no longer be part of the palace guard. Brought before the queen, Ryomou is shocked when she learns she will actually become Sonken’s personal tactician and adviser.
An excellent episode, rather surprising actually since this first episode focusing on the Wu clan diverges from the previous ones and the prior season by featuring some well animated martial combat scenes and having a more serious tone. While there was still enough humor, the action was more defining and the atmosphere felt quite different.
The way the bond between Sonken and Ryomou was developed, even though the yuri element is merely implied, it feels much more vivid and one can hardly imagine anything else but deep affection between the two girls. Nice to see them be more serious about one of the character pairings.
Hope next week keeps this level up!