Episode 23: “In Pursuit of Sig Salua”
Summary: Spring has arrived. In the palace, Gakai apologizes to Shuga for not being able to decipher all of the stone tablets before their departure. Shuga notes that it’s alright and finding a way to protect Chagum from the La Lunga is achievement enough. Gakai informs him that they will send a messenger on horseback if hey find out anything else. Shuga and the rest of the imperial cavalry leave the palace to go to the place of celebration, as Shuga promised Torogai-shi and company back in episode 20.
Back in Hunter’s Cave, Chagum (who has obviously grown up quite a bit) senses something and immediately stops what he was doing. He starts to walk his way out of the cave. Balsa and Tanda follow him. After a few moments, Torogai-shi arrives. She comments that Chagum has a face of a man now. Balsa tells her that Chagum is now 12. Torogai gives Chagum a present, a set of grown-up clothes, and asks him to change into those. Balsa remembers that Tanda also had his growth spurt around the same age, commenting that up until then Tanda had been her cute little brother. Balsa says she realized then that the passage of time changes many things. Torogai-shi then tosses a sheathed dagger towards Balsa, telling her that she got it as she requested it. Just then, Chagum comes out of the cave wearing the new clothes in which he looked regal in. Balsa compliments him and gives him the dagger as her present, saying that “The weight of the sword is the weight of life. The sword can mean your life or it can mean your death. When you draw that blade, be prepared to entrust your life to it.” She says that it’s a Kanbal saying and those words were spoken during a coming-of-age ritual where a father gives his son a sword. Chagum thanks her. Chagum then starts looking about, telling them that he has this sensation of being pulled by an invisible thread. Torogai-shi claims that it’s the egg ‘s doing. Balsa asks him where he wants to go. Chagum points ahead. Torogai-shi asks him to lead them there.
On the way, they stop by a spring. Torogai-shi sees Balsa looking over at Chagum and comments that she looks just like a mother. She then asks Balsa what she plans to do afterwards if they get through this alive. She goes on telling her that staying in one place isn’t so bad and that having and raising a kid is pretty fun. Balsa surprisingly learns that Torogai-shi had 3 kids. She then informs Torogai-shi that she has been having the same dream a lot about Chagum. Meanwhile, Chagum asks Tanda if Balsa gave him an answer to his question last time about the 3 of them living together (see episode 22). Chagum then tells Tanda that maybe Tanda should just sleep with her. This surprises Tanda, exclaiming that he shouldn’t say that like it would be easy, saying that both of them have a lot of baggage. Part of which is Balsa’s vow and also that they probably spent too much time together that eventually it led to them drifting apart or something like that. Tanda tells Chagum that there was a time when “love burned within my heart like the summer sun, but over time, my feelings have mellowed down like a fall breeze” so it’s fine with him where things stand for now. Tanda says no matter how much time he spends dwelling over it, this isn’t something he can solve by himself. Chagum then asks Tanda if he’d like him to ask Balsa about it. Tanda smiles and asks when did Chagum become so decisive, saying that he’s scared of so many things. Chagum replies that he realized that even if he dies, it will be alright since he would have been able to leave something behind, and that ever since Balsa told him about Jiguro, he has been able to see it that way. Over to Shuga and company. The elite warriors are asking Shuga why they can’t fight Balsa. Shuga says there’s no more reason to fight her since their interests are the same as Balsa and they have to consider Chagum’s feelings. The warriors say they understand, and leaves. Just then, one of Shuga’s men informs him that the best archers at their disposal have hidden themselves along the return path as per his orders, asking if this is truly what Shuga’s wish. Shuga says it can’t be helped since it’s the order of the Emperor.
Balsa and company have now reached the place of celebration. Tanda notices that there are a lot of Sig Salua blossoms over the water. Torogi-shi recognizes the place as the Blue Lake and asks Chagum if this is it. Chagum says he doesn’t know. Just then, Shuga and company arrives and bows in recognition of Chagum’s presence, telling him that they have come to assist them with the delivery of the water spirit and to welcome him back to the capital as the hero who saved the New Yogo Empire. Balsa comments that they’ve had quite a turn around calling Chagum the hero when they initially wanted him dead. Shuga then tell her that they have the same goal now and that the warriors with him no longer wish to bring them harm. Torogai-shi then asks Shuga what they found out about La Lunga. Shuga reveals that its weakness is fire, according the account of the stone tablet where it’s written that the 8 warriors who served the Holy Founding Father repelled La Lunga with fire. Torogai-shi realizes that it’s the same as the concept of the opposing relationships between the spirits where water is weaker than earth and earth is weaker than fire, concluding that La Lunga, which eats the water spirit’s egg, is an earth spirit. Balsa realizes that the 8 elite warriors were the descendants of the 8 warriors mentioned in the tablet.
Just then, Chagum suddenly sprints towards the middle of the lake. The power of the egg allows him to easily walk over water. Balsa goes after him. Shuga informs Torogai-shi that it was written that the water spirit will be born when the double moon rises on the night of the spring equinox, and that it’s far from nightfall but something weird seems to be happening. Torogai-shi says she doesn’t known what will happen from here on either and suggest that they stay vigilant. Chagum then takes one of the Sig Salua blossoms and eats a part of it. The La Lunga has arrived. The warriors load their fire weapons and surround the prince. They try to attack the La Lunga but it seems they can only see it but can’t touch it. However, a part of its tentacles (or what looks like it) materializes when it’s near Chagum and one of the warriors manage to use fire against it. Balsa manages to dive and save Chagum on its next attack. It goes after them but the egg’s power manages to protect them both with a shield against the La Lunga. The spirit takes over Chagum again who flees from the lake towards the forest. Balsa runs after him. Tanda picks a few of the Sig Salua blossoms and puts them inside his bag, grabs one of the weapons, then runs after Balsa and Chagum. Meanwhile at the palace, Gakai makes a startling discovery. He goes on to retrieve the remaining tablets from the water. He learns they made a mistake and that Blue Lake is not the place of celebration. He instructs the messenger to take the remaining stone tablets to Shuga as quick as possible.
~ end of episode
My Impression: As usual, the animation and attention to detail is amazing. Chagum is now 12 and has obviously grown up quite a bit. Spring is now here and the moment of truth for Chagum is drawing near.
That talk Chagum had with Tanda sort of surprised me. Chagum suggesting that maybe Tanda should just sleep with Balsa, that caught me offguard, wondering where Chagum learned that from. Setting that aside, Chagum decisiveness stems from the fact that he has fully accepted his duty as the guardian and is determined to protect the egg and himself. With the egg’s power taking him over, apparently, he can walk on water and move quickly that Balsa even has a hard time keeping up with him. The fight has begun and I can’t wait to see the remaining few episodes.
Next episode: It’s only 3 more episodes before the end of this series. The fight against La Lunga continues.
You might also want to check out my other posts:
- Seirei no Moribito ep 24
- Seirei no Moribito ep 22
- Seirei no Moribito – overview
- Other Seirei no Moribito-related entries