- Mangaka : Toma, Rei
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : December 2012
Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Vol. 7 Introduction
After a cold reception by Prince Adel, Nakaba and company are received by the King of Senan. He reveals that he knows everything from their true reason for leaving Belquat to the letina blades hidden in the castle thanks to a certain little spy. He sends them to Lithuanel to establish trade with the desert country in order to secure letina for Sedan. Akhil is happy to aid his old acquaintances for a price: He requires Nakaba use the Arcana to help his older brother secede the throne.
Things are getting messier for our idealistic heroes. Trying to escape the wrath of one country, they are immediately subjected to the whims of another. The King of Sedan is holding Rito’s mother hostage and forcing Rito to act as a spy which is how he learned of Nakaba and the others’ plan to escape Belquat’s detection. The King knows he long ago destroyed his relationship with Nakaba and thus does not even try asking for her help despite their goals being aligned. He just threatens the people she loves and allows his grandson to harass her. It’s painful to see just how much being mistreated bothers Nakaba now and that her worries stem from her fear of Caesar growing to resent her. There’s so much pain and suffering caused by the royal families of both Sedan and Belquat and this only strengthens Caesar’s resolve to become a great king who can bring hope to the people.
Nakaba has dealt with a lot returning to her old home. The disrespect of those in the castle, learning a child and his mother are being manipulated, and that her oldest and most trusted friend Loki is keeping secrets from her has really taken its toll. Loki earnestly reassures her that while he must keep some things secret from her, he will always protect her. Only slightly reassured, Nakaba tries to use the Arcana against Loki’s wishes to see what he’s hiding but is unable to. Loki catches her and again pleads for her understanding, saying that using the Arcana repeatedly could end up killing her from the toll it takes on her body. Nakaba becomes consumed with guilt and decides not to use it to spy on her devoted friend, no matter what awful premonition she may have.
Nakaba and friends are sent to secure letina for Sedan as well as learn how to craft it into weapons and Akhil agrees to help them. However, he wants Nakaba to use her powers to help his older brother and second in line to the throne become the next king. Akhil believes Azhal will be a better ruler than the current crown prince. To this end, he would even ask Nakaba to put her life at risk and admits to Loki he does indeed know this danger. However, the only way for Azhal to become king is if he can stop a band of murderous thieves plaguing the towns of Lithuanel before his older brother can and the only way that will happen is with the power of the Arcana.
Nakaba deems this a worthy cause to use the Arcana for. Unlike the kings of Belquat and Sedan that only wish to use Nakaba to benefit themselves, Nakaba knows Akhil’s desperation simply trumps his concern for her. They both understand it takes sacrifice to be a good ruler and the devastation an uncaring ruler can bring to everyone. Using the Arcana, Nakaba learns the thieves plan to attack a certain city during the crescent moon so the group moves out to lie in wait for the attack. They are completely blindsided when a horde of poisonous snakes descend on the city and start biting everyone but Leon uses his fire to fend them off. To the group’s disbelief, they realize the one behind the attacks is not a human, but a snake Ajin.
Student Caesar confides in school nurse Bellinus that he can’t get his schoolmate, Nakaba, off his mind. Just then, she comes in with a bloody finger and Bellinus takes off to give them some alone time. Caesar tries to bandage Nakaba’s finger but accidentally falls on top of Nakaba just as Nakaba’s classmate Lemiria comes in. Nakaba runs off embarrassed.
Later, Caesar demands Nakaba’s bento but to his surprise, Nakaba agrees to make him one. As she’s cooking the next day, her homeroom teacher and guardian, Loki, warns her that dating Caesar will bring her trouble. The Nakaba of the main story awakens suddenly, wondering if these strange images were a dream or the Arcana. (it’s a dream!)
1. You Get a Glimpse into the Complexity of Geo-Political Relations
Even though the impending war between Senan and Belquat is our heroes’ primary concern, they cannot ignore the other countries and powers around them. Even within a relatively unrelated royal family, turmoil bubbles just beneath the surface that is a threat to the safety of Belquat and Senan’s people. Everything must be handled with delicacy and discretion.
1. The Action is Frustratingly Slow
It may be interesting to see the plans that form as the team tries to make headway without incurring the wrath of the various nation’s kings, but it can also feel slow and unfulfilling at times. You’d love to see the King of Senan get punched for the way he treats Nakaba and Rito instead of Caesar trying to make future treaties with him that even Caesar doubts they can trust.
Things are turning bleak for Nakaba and Caesar as they continue to meet opposition to their plans for peace. Everyone wants something from them and the only way for the two newlyweds to live long enough to see their dreams realized is to play along with the demands of other royals. Even though they’re partially fighting for a world where Ajin are not persecuted, their new opponent being an Ajin will certainly make things more difficult.