- Mangaka : Toma, Rei
- Publisher : VIZ
- Genre : Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Published : April 2013
Reimei no Arcana (Dawn of the Arcana) Vol. 9 Introduction
Parted from Caesar, Nakaba attempts to figure out how to stop the bandits terrorizing Lithuanel. The Arcana has done nothing but show her Loki’s pain until finally showing Nakaba the thieves’ surprising connection to the royal family of Lithuanel. The end of the murderous thieves does not mean peace for Lithuanel and Nakaba must make one of the hardest choices of her life that will result in the death of another.
Still trapped in Prince Batal’s chambers, Nakaba is shown depressing images of the sacrifices Loki has made for her throughout her life. Even more depressing, she realizes Loki is in love with her and must suffer every time he sees Nakaba with Caesar. Loki is the one who rescues Nakaba and returns her to her chambers where she finds it hard to touch and be touched by him even though it used to feel so natural. When she does cup Loki’s face, he absolutely beams with happiness, which is hard to look at knowing what we know now.
Pushing through her tumultuous emotions, Nakaba again uses the arcana and manages to find the snake Ajin leader conspiring with Prince Batal himself! Nakaba shares this astounding information with Akhil before racing to the port to see Caesar off. Loki seems quite normal until he whisks Nakaba to the side as she’s trying to get Caesar’s attention. He tells her the choice to run to Caesar or stay in Loki’s arms will greatly change her fate. Knowing Loki’s feelings for her, Nakaba still chooses to run to Caesar to tell him she loves him while Loki looks on with a pained smile.
Caesar takes off, hating to be away from Nakaba but determined to see her again. Bellinus tells him the only way is to become king and Caesar gives an uncharacteristically confident smile before claiming it sounds easy. In the meantime, Nakaba rushes back to the capital and finds it’s under attack by the snake Ajin and her band of thieves. Things seem incredibly dire until Prince Batal shoots her with an arrow and subdues her.
The Ajin is set for a public beheading and everyone goes to see. When Prince Batal whispers to her, Nakaba uses her arcana again, hoping to understand what’s going on. She sees the snake Ajin was actually a gift from the ruthless king to Batal, telling him that she would ‘come in handy’. It was their plan all along that the snake Ajin would murder citizens and Batal would take credit for her capture and sell himself as a great future king like his father had before him. Batal names her Elaheh and treats her so kindly you would think he loves her. She shares his ruthlessness and kills his enemies happily out of love. Nakaba then sees her being trapped was a part of their plan along with his promise to keep her from harm. Then she sees what he whispered to her on the execution block: “I would lose face if I let you go. Will you die for me?” and Elaheh smiles with understanding. Nakaba screams as Elaheh is executed, dying for the one she loves not as a tool in her mind, but as a sacrifice.
Loki has to physically restrain Nakaba as she flies into a murderous rage towards Batal. Everything goes dark around her and she’s once again in the hall of many doors in the arcana. A wolf leads her to two doors, both open. The first shows Akhil throwing himself in front of a blade to protect Azhal, and the other shows Nakaba holding Akhil back while Azhal is slain.
1. The Mysteries of the Snake Ajin are Revealed
Elaheh, meaning ‘goddess’, seems to have been cursed from birth. The tradition of princes who want to ascend the throne to secretly cause some disaster with the use of a snake ajin and then kill them is horrifying. Batal used love instead of fear to control her which was terribly effective, causing her to even give up her life with a smile. Her killing innocent civilians can’t be overlooked but her backstory gives you a lot to think about!
1. The Ending Doesn’t Leave You with Much to Hope For
Caesar has gone back to Belquat where he may be killed, Loki’s painful, unrequited love is made known, and Nakaba has to choose which of the two virtuous princes of Lithuanel is murdered. We know there will be tough choices ahead and to top it off, there’s no way for Nakaba to bring Letina back to Senan so it’s likely that Rito’s mother will also be killed. Even the far-off country of Lithuanel is not free from corruption and it seems sadness will follow Nakaba wherever she goes.
This was quite the depressing volume with no comedic relief and a domino effect of misfortune. Even the bonus chapter was devoid of any happiness and just showed a 6-year-old Prince Adel hurting his cousin Nakaba for no reason. With no way to stop such a heartless man from becoming the next king of Lithuanel, peace for Belquat and Senan seems like a distant dream. We’ll have to read volume 10 to see which of our beloved characters stay alive!