Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou no Alderamin – Episode 8 [Someday, For the Third Time]
Ikta and the others have been assigned to move higher into the mountains, revealing that their leaders have no clue sometimes when it comes to planning or having a shred of foresight. Furthermore because the head honchos are rushing the attack and not taking the time to allow their troops to adjust to the higher elevations, many are falling sick with altitude sickness. Ikta notes all of these details and files them away for future reference.
On the Sinack’s side, Nanaku Daru consults with a mysterious cloaked man, who advises that they withdraw their troops because they’ve already spread their bait and set their trap. This is later revealed to be an “abandoned” camp site situated atop an elevated hill.
At base camp, First Lieutenant Amuse Sulkatta advises Ikta and the others that their troops are to do another supply run, one which will take them closer to the front lines than any of their other missions. It’s pointed out that their troops have no medics, and the lieutenant reluctantly admits it’s because they are all on the front lines due to the dire need for a field hospital.
Higher up in the mountains, Kanna’s regiment is struggling in the higher altitude. Many are suffering from symptoms of altitude sickness, and it’s clear they need to rest soon. Then their troop comes across the camp site and they turn it into their new base camp. No one thinks to question why this site, which looks to be in good condition, has been supposedly abandoned…
In the field hospital on the front lines, Haro is busy trying to make do with her dwindling stock of supplies. Then Ikta shows up during a quiet moment and they share a meal together. Haro tells Ikta that she wants to propose to their superiors that the field hospital be moved to a lower altitude because so many soldiers are being affected by altitude sickness, and Ikta replies that he supports her idea.
Then there’s an enemy attack and all hell breaks loose. Ikta, Torway, Matthew and Yatori report to the cowardly Captain Hilmish Nikafarma that their platoons will support the defending force, which the captain agrees with. While everyone prepares their weapons, Matthew approaches Ikta with great embarrassment to ask how Ikta is able to stay so calm. Ikta tells Matthew a short story to distract him, then ticks him off by grabbing his butt and Matthew’s anger is enough to distract him from his fear.
The Sinack race forward and together the defending army, supported by the four platoons, are able to wipe out the natives. However something feels a little off to Suya, though she can’t quite figure out why.
Meanwhile Kanna and Azan share a quiet moment together. She tells him that she had been married once before but her husband died soon after the wedding and her husband’s family basically kicked her out. She mentions Ikta and Azan asks if she wants to see him again; Kanna shyly admits that she does. Suddenly everyone is up in arms – their mountain camp site is surrounded by Sinack with torches. They’re in big trouble; it was a trap!
Back at Ikta’s location, news has arrived telling of another, separate mountain fortress that has been taken over by the Sinack. Ikta tells his superior that he can take control back in less than an hour. Ikta’s grand plan is to use the air rifles he was sitting on in the previous episode to snipe away the Sinack troops, essentially. Torway and two others pick off the Sinack one by one, until their remaining numbers are few enough that Ikta’s group storms the fortress and are able to regain control of it.
While they’re enjoying their victory, more bad news arrives: Kanna’s platoon is in trouble, although Ikta and the others haven’t realized that Kanna is included in that group of soliders. The Sinack have them surrounded and they need immediate aid. Because their superior officers aren’t around, Ikta says that he will make the decision but demands that no one report this to their missing officers.
Ikta gathers up their troops and their platoons leave immediately to meet Kanna’s regiment. However while en route Ikta stops them and says that they will camp at their current location for two days, which has some upset and many others confused. Ikta explains that if they push themselves to go faster they too will succumb to altitude sickness too; right now Ikta’s highest priority is the safety of his troops.
So they camp the two days, and sure enough by the time Ikta and the others finally arrive at their destination the soldiers have all been completely wiped out. As Ikta and Yatori walk amongst the bodies they tell themselves that they had a choice, it was them or these troops… and then Ikta finds a bloody ribbon and spots Kanna’s body, and this tragedy takes on a whole new personal twist for him. Ikta laments that he was looking forward to meeting Kanna again, and now he won’t ever have that chance. As he releases her ribbon into the wind, Ikta says goodbye to Kanna.
My thoughts: I really like the little scientific asides that Ikta includes in some of his inner monologues. In this episode it was the details about how Tor modified his air rifle to make the bullets fly straighter, and tips on how to aim better.
This was a rather bittersweet episode, and it highlights how Tenkyou no Alderamin really has no hesitation in introducing new characters and getting its audience attached to them, only to kill them off somewhat suddenly a few episodes later.
I think Princess Chamille’s words via a voiceover at the end of the episode say it best: “A splendid victory, brought about by his command, and a bitter conclusion, brought about by his choice. Ikta Solork gained both on this battlefield.” Ikta had the choice to push his troops and risk illness or injury in order to potentially rescue some troops who’d gotten trapped, or he could keep his own troops safe at the risk of not making the rescue in time. He chose Option B and people died as a result of that decision.
I wonder if there will be any personal or career fallout for Ikta because he didn’t report to his military commanders when he should have, and people died as a result of a decision he made.