We’re finally into volume 2, and Anne has since left Westol and headed off to Philax after receiving a generous tip of an opportunity to make good money if she could craft a Silver Sugar piece that satisfies the Duke of Philax, William Alburn.
Right away you can tell something is not quite right with the Duke. He looks like a dead man walking. The only time his eyes briefly came to life was when he checked Anne’s first attempt of crafting the piece based on the fairy in the painting he had asked her to make. Even if they fail the first time, as long as they have potential to meet his expectations, the Duke will permit the Artisans to stay, but kick out those who he believes will never meet his expectations. As such, it has come down to Anne and Jonas (who unfortunately had showed up before her, which I will get to in a moment).
What’s also worth to note, is that the Duke deeply cares for fairies, as he has none working in the palace, and respects the ones the Artisans brings by even providing enough beds for them as well. It just goes to show how much he cared for the fairy in the painting as well, as he has several beautiful paintings of her. However said fairy is nowhere to be seen, which pretty much points to the fact she’s no longer around, which probably has to do with why he looks so dead until he sees what he’s looking for as he briefly had with Anne’s piece.
But while that’s going on, it turns out there’s also a political turmoil unfolding in the background related to the Duke of Philax. I’m not sure if it was because pretty I’m pretty tired today, but I found the way the explained the political circumstances in a rather convoluted way. Some viewers may have had a hard time absorbing the sudden info dump, so I’ll just give you a quick snippet of what was explained to us this week:
- Three Great Houses were founded by the three sons of King Cedric (the hero who defeated the Fairy King and led the Humans to victory): They were the Millsland, the Chambers and the Alburns.
- It was the The Millsland House who ascended the throne, but after the previous King, Edmund the I passed away, his twelves years old son inherited the crown. In response to that, the Head of House Chamber at the time raised a rebellion in attempt to ascend to power.
- Ultimately the House of Millsland emerged victorious and in retaliation, the House Chamber was wiped out entirely. Despite the fact the Alburn family supported the Millsland during the rebellion, they were told to live in Philax as Governor with the following conditions: Revenue from trade must be given to to the crown, and once a month the head of the house must visit the capital to address the King to prove their loyalty.
I will say though, it did cross my mind that perhaps this incident might have been related to how and why Elizabeth was murdered. She was said to be a noble, and if she had been a part of the Chamber House, it would certainly explain why she had been hidden outside of society. If that proves to be the case, then it makes her a tragic casualty as result of her relative’s greed for power that she had no say or part of.
That aside, it’s worth to note that they skipped the first two chapters, containing two events that were either substituted or wrapped up without showing us what actually went down to have led to the conversation. The initial reunion with Jonas in Westol was effectively substituted with a watered down version of the shit that transpired when Anne bumped into Jonas again. Honestly seeing Jonas even have the opportunity to work for Duke Alburn after the stunt he pulled certainly irked me since it sure feels like he got a slap on the wrist for submitting a stolen piece in the competition to be recognized as a Silver Sugar Master. You’d think the guy would be blacklisted or something of the sort, but clearly not. It certainly doesn’t make one feel better to see he has the audacity to keep up his lies that Anne was the one who stole his piece. It was immensely satisfying to see Challe quickly shut them up when Jonas and his buddies tried to act intimidating by drawing out his sword. Fortunately the other two have been kicked out for failing to meet the Duke’s expectations, and unfortunately Jonas had been cleared to be moved to the tower to keep striving to make the piece that the Duke is hoping for. But I wonder if the Duke would have permitted him to stick around had he seen the way he treated his fairy. Or perhaps he doesn’t care at the moment, so as long as he gets what he wants.
As for the other scene, which involved Hugh inviting Anne to join the Mercury Workshop. Fortunately this isn’t a huge loss. A certain discussion that took place during that event can either be plugged in as a brief flashback, or cut out entirely since it won’t impact the outcome of the events that will follow, which is probably why they decided to do it this way.
Overall, this week wasn’t a bad episode, but I did feel like it suffered a bit of not being able to explain things in a manner that gives you better and more fleshed out context of what’s going on. In this case, reading the novel really does help fill in the gaps. based on the pace they are going at, it does looking they are looking to try and finish up this arc next week, and honestly they probably could if they really wanted to, but they might just push it to making this arc three episodes long.
Apart from that, I did enjoy the cute interactions, like the funny instance where Anne had to explain to the duke, the piece she submitted modelled off of Mithril was because say he it’d feel like cannibalism if he ate it. Honestly I can understand where his coming from. I think it’d be pretty awkward to eat a candy piece modelled after myself too, haha!