"Flesh&Blood" - Bonus Material for Vol. 6 🏴‍☠ ⛵

“Flesh&Blood” series home thread

Welcome to the “Flesh&Blood” Pirate Series Reading Club :pirate_flag: :sailboat:

This thread is about the bonus material that was released after Volume 6.

There is only one extra story that was published after volume 6 and before volume 7:

  • ミニアと呼ばれた男, published in vol.9 of 小説Chara (2004年 01月号), a bi-annual magazine published by F&B’s publisher. Collected in Flesh&Blood 外伝 女王陛下の海賊たち, a formally published book. Click here to download a folder containing the original illustrations the story ran with, as different illustrations were commissioned for the F&B Gaiden.

Which of the bonus materials have you read?

  • ミニアと呼ばれた男
  • None so far

0 voters

When discussing the short story(s) for each volume, let’s figure out:

  • When in the books’ timeline this short story takes place, and
  • When a new reader should read the short story for best “timeline flow” (i.e., after which volume and/or chapter.)
Historical Figures and Groups

Alexander Farnese (p. 390) (パルマ公) Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma - Wikipedia
Angles (p. 389) Angles - Wikipedia
Charles V (p. 389) Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor - Wikipedia
Elizabeth I (p. 392) Elizabeth I - Wikipedia
Francis Drake (p. 392) Francis Drake - Wikipedia
William Hawkins (p. 392) William Hawkins (died 1589) - Wikipedia
Hypnos (p. 404) Hypnos - Wikipedia
John of Austria (p. 389) (フェリペの弟 / ドン・ファン)John of Austria - Wikipedia
Ottoman dynasty (p. 390) (オスマン・トルコ) Ottoman dynasty - Wikipedia
Philip II of Spain (p. 389) Philip II of Spain - Wikipedia
Saxons (p. 389) Saxons - Wikipedia

Places

Dover (p. 393) Dover - Wikipedia
North Sea (p. 393) (北海) North Sea - Wikipedia
Ostend (p. 402) Ostend - Wikipedia
Plymouth (p. 393) Plymouth - Wikipedia

Historical Events, Things etc.

Calvinism (p. 393) (カルヴァン派) Calvinism - Wikipedia
Church of England (p. 393) (イングランド国教会派) Church of England - Wikipedia
Battle of Lepanto (p. 390) Battle of Lepanto - Wikipedia
Lutheranism (p. 393) (ルター派) Lutheranism - Wikipedia

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I have heard all the extras, but not read any of them. Not sure how to fit that into the poll posted, just that I haven’t read extra material like it. ¨^^

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Okay! Here’s my first attempt at getting somewhat decent pictures of the story: link (Edit: removed link now that I know you can easily buy a legal copy). It’s just a set of images at the moment; I tried to PDF-ify it, but every time I tried images would be left out, or rotated weirdly, etc. Does this look generally readable to everyone? It was pretty tough to get decent photos at times; if any page has unreadable text, just let me know and I’ll see if I can get a better shot.

This is sigh also currently on my backlog to actually read through; just posting here first to get a copy in circulation.

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Oh wow, thank you so much! And you even took pics of the spine and everything, this is so beautiful! :heart_eyes_cat:
Everything looks perfectly legible and usable for me. I think on one or two pages a few characters may be cut off, but I’m sure one can figure this out, or we can ask you if it’s an issue.
The drawings are … mildly irritating though :sweat_smile: I wonder where this fits in the timeline…

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Knowing nothing about the story and going off of only the drawings, it looks like a story from Geoffrey and Nigel’s past. :thinking: Seems like pretty fertile ground for story. I will say, for future reference, this is the only F&B 小説Chara story I’ve seen with illustrations; the rest in my possession do not.

Ah, I forgot to mention: I tried to take pictures of anything F&B-adjacent in the magazine as well, whether it be merch pics, author comments, etc. Gotta try to get as full an experience as possible. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

If I ever have the time/inclination in the future to make these look prettier, I tried to get pictures where I could easily edit out my thumb. :sweat_smile: Will update here if that ever happens.

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That sounds like the most plausible explanation to me. I mean, the first two drawings could be from about any point in time, but the last one must definitely have been some time ago. Also Geoffrey’s hair is way shorter, so that’s another indicator, I guess.

Ah that’s good to know - I was already starting to think that one might get exposed to serious spoilers that way and that I should maybe not scroll through the full story next time :sweat_smile:

Much appreciated, really! :bowing_woman:

Haha the eternal book-scanning-struggle :joy_cat:
FWIW I don’t mind your thumb at all!

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So! I did NOT start vol. 9 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
but I was curious about this story and needed a break from my book club…
and so I snuck in the first few pages :innocent:

Anyways, about the question of how ミニアと呼ばれた男 fits into the timeline:

The story happens way before Vol. 1, so in theory it is safe to be read whenever. In practice, however, it starts with a flashback into Nigel’s history that we also learn about in the regular series, and I personally would prefer to read it in the series first (because there it fits extremely well into the flow of things) and only afterwards have the (much shorter) flashback in this story.
Therefore my suggestion would be to read it after volume 3, chapter 8, at the earliest.

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Okay, I read part 1 last night! Man, I’ve gotten really spoiled with the instant Kindle lookups, haha. That, and the three row-style text format makes me feel like each page is way denser than I’m used to.

So, initial thoughts:

So this is set from Nigel’s perspective, when he and Geoffrey are 16. Nigel’s a cabin boy onboard the Catherine/Katherine, Captain Watts’ ship; apparently his terrible seasickness is something he’s yet to overcome, and he’s a bit worried about his future prospects because of it. From what I can tell timeline-wise from what’s stated here:
Nigel’s living happily with his mom → he meets Geoffrey while wandering the docks → Nigel’s mom is murdered by his half-brother Thomas → Nigel takes a knife that Geoffrey gave him (which G received from Drake) to attack Thomas → Nigel loses his eye → (the story starts here)

Nigel and Geoffrey are already super close starting here; Geoffrey is Nigel’s only real friend, and his only real confidant now that his mother is gone. Nigel’s learning how to swim, and the story starts with him testing how long he can hold his breath, opening his eye underwater, etc. As they’re practicing/horsing around, our title character rides up: ヤン・グリフュス, a.k.a ミニア。 Apparently ミニア is Dutch for “mister”, so it should be romanized as “Meneer”, I suppose? That’s what Google translate tells me, at least. This is the first time Nigel’s met a foreigner, incidentally, which is kind of interesting.

ミニア’s apparently been out of the naval life for a while (he’s apparently married as well), but is on his way to Watts to have him take him onboard again, as he’s got a good bit of intel about a ship leaving the Netherlands for Spain absolutely loaded down with treasure.

Nigel and ミニア are pretty much immediately at odds: Nigel’s feeling insecure about Geoffrey glomping all this this huge dude who just rode up, and ミニア can see the insecurity and immediately starts teasing Nigel about it, even going so far as to say that, unless he really trains himself up, Nigel’s missing eye really only allows him to be a cook onboard. ミニア eventually leaves and Geoffrey calms Nigel, and the two head off to dry off and munch on some fruit growing nearby.

I’m a really big fan of how our first bonus story is set from Nigel’s perspective already; I’m hoping these bonus stories are an opportunity to see from different characters’ eyes.

(Note: spoilers for below up to volume 9 of the main series.)
So as for my initial thoughts as to when it would be best to read the story so far (given that I’ve only read the first part, this might change): I’m with you @NicoleIsEnough; at minimum you’d want to have read Nigel’s backstory in volume 3, chapter 8. I’ll have to keep reading more to say more; could be you could make a case for reading it pre-Spain arc, before Geoffrey mentions that he became friends with Nigel because he had a crush on him (volume 8, chapter 1), but we’ll have to see if that comes up later here. Or maybe you’d want to read it before volume 9, chapter 6, when ヤン tells Kaito about how he ended up in Spain.

…It’s a really good thing we’ve been good about summarizing each chapter in the main series as we go. I wouldn’t be able to find/reference anything otherwise. :cold_sweat:

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Oh that’s interesting, I only knew this as “Mijnheer” but it turns out that this is in fact a German (!) word! :exploding_head: (doesn’t have German language vibes at all tbh…)
I guess it’s from way back when and so maybe the dutch spelling has been reformed in the meantime… :thinking:

Didn’t the story say that he ditched his wife? Or did I misunderstand? (Or do you think this was only a temporary thing and not a full breakup?)

All very good data points! I must say that reading this after Vol. 11 makes the Spanish names (that appear a bit further down) really click easily after all the research from Vol. 8-11 :sweat_smile:
But then again, I don’t think it matters much in which order the studying of the Spanish people happens.
So yes, I agree with you, after Vol. 3 ch. 8 at the earliest, and before Vol. 8 might be a good idea as well.

Finished part 2.

We get on board the ship and set sail because the weather is turning bad and we can’t leave the harbour any more if it gets too bad. Which means we hit the bad weather on sea - and Nigel, who has not been outside of the Plymouth bay so far, gets seasick like there is no tomorrow. After having emptied his stomach for the umpteenth time, he finally manages to get some sleep in the sailors’ quarters - until Geoffrey and Jan come in, drenched to the bone. Geoffrey starts to undress, and Jan helps him. Nigel listens until the two fall suspiciously silent… When Nigel risks an eye, he catches them engaged in a kiss! Nigel is shocked - won’t this make the ship sink? - and he is also jealous because Jan is apparently closer to Geoffrey than Nigel himself. Jan is turned off by the unexpected spectator and walks away to get some drinks, but Geoffrey tries to calm down Nigel and promises that he won’t further engage with Jan.

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Yup, sounded like he ditched her. No way to tell if it was permanent or temporary as of part 1, at least.

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Finished part 3.

We experience a cathartic moment for Nigel, who is belittled by all the sailors on board because he is so useless, and he is ordered to care for the goat. During which he remembers Geoffrey’s words that the sailors might use the goat to calm their carnal desires, and Nigel wonders how they’d go about that with all the other sailors sleeping next to it. (I must confess I wondered about the same thing :laughing:)
Anyways, in a calm moment Jan catches him and tells him that his seasickness might be related to his missing eye and that it might improve, but at the same time he urges him to give up his dream of becoming a sailor because he started so late (10 years later than Geoffrey) and because his main motivation seems to be that he wants to be close to his friend, which isn’t enough to carry him through all the hardships. And finally, he discloses that he’s planning to go on a big tour and that he wants to take Geoffrey with him, but that isn’t interested in hiring the useless Nigel as well.
Nigel is heartbroken and cries his eye out, but after that he decides to man up and to become a worthy sailor. He has sworn to become Geoffrey’s first mate, and he will do everything he can to pursue this.

Very interesting to observe this constellation. Also it makes perfectly clear whether (in the main series) Nigel never contests Geoffrey’s role as the captain - he is simply much much more experienced than Nigel, and that will never go away. Also very interesting to observe how much Nigel is drawn to Geoffrey, and that he is able to free himself of superstitions like “the ship will sink” and pretexts like “it’s a sin”.
Interesting though that he seemingly (again judging from the situation at the start of the main series) never experimented with gay sex although Geoffrey was there and would probably not have rejected him…

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Any problems reading the pictures so far @NicoleIsEnough?

Thanks for checking back! I am reading them on my laptop and zoom in a bit to make reading more convenient. Most of the pictures are perfect :blush: Some are a bit blurry but it’s good practice for kanji recognition :wink: I think so far only one or two kanji were unrecognizable to me (even with the help of jisho). In one or two of the pictures a tiny amount of text is cut off at the edge, but with a bit of improvisation I could fill in the gaps.

Funny thing is, sometimes the pictures are alternating between „perfect“ and „blurry“ - I thought this was interesting as I‘d imagine several pictures in a row to be of the same quality. :thinking: Any idea how this could have happened?

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Okay, good to hear!

Just let me know if I need to retake any pictures; I don’t want you guys to have to suffer through reading these, haha. The magazine stories in particular might be a bit iffy; there’s very little margin space, and the magazines are thick enough that it’s tough to hold one open and get a good picture at the same time, so I’m not surprised there are bits that ended up being subpar…

Probably my crappy phone camera. :expressionless: I’ve noticed that too as I’ve been going through the doujinshi: several shots in a row will be perfectly in focus, then the next one the camera tries to adjust itself and I have to do a retake. (Thankfully this won’t be an issue for the things I can put on an actual scanner.) It’s probably because I’ve having to put my phone down to flip between pages, and while it’s generally decent enough to re-focus to where it was before, sometimes it doesn’t.

(Speaking of the doujinshi, there’s a fairly lengthy Jan story coming up. :eyes:)

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That’s one of the reasons why I’m totally happy with what we have here :+1:
You’re already doing an excellent job, so no need to be nitpicky on my end as long as I can follow. :blush:
(and no, it’s far from “suffering”!)

Oooohhhh :heart_eyes_cat: When we [Vol 9 spoiler] met him first, I was a bit like ???wtf is this dude??? but the more we get to know him and his background, the more I like him :grin:

Now I need to go figure out what that last picture is about! When I flipped through the pages I tried not to look too much, but it seems to be a worrying scene :flushed:

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Ah, thank you! ^o^

Oooh, it’s the worst when I’m scanning/taking pictures. I get to see all the pictures with no context, haha.

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Finished part 4.

We observe how Nigel is studying a sailing manoeuvre and reflecting on different situations that can occur at sea. He also seems to have borrowed books from the captain and studied maths and probably other stuff as well. He is really determined to slowly narrow the gap between him an Geoffrey, but the latter also improves his skills, so this is probably a race until the end of time…
Finally, Nigel goes to catch some sleep as his seasickness kept him from sleeping properly. He is awoken by the voices of Geoffrey and Jan who talk about Nigel. Jan praises Nigel’s good heart and his camaraderie, which is a big surprise! Also Geoffrey refuses to kiss Jan because he respects Nigel’s superstition that the ship might sink. Wowow, so much fluttery for our young sailor!

Also, I think I know now what the last chapter (with the picture that I briefly looked at :eyes:) is about: [spoiler for Vol. 9? or 10? uuuuhhh…] I think we will now get to the episode where Jan gets caught by Raul! As Jan has intimate knowledge of the ship they are waiting for, and that was the prerequisite for him encountering Raul in the secret room! :scream: I don’t remember whether the main series mentions that the ship was built by Jan’s father, but I thought that was a nice detail here, and foreshadowing his ship-building activities in Vol. 9.

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Finished part 5 and thus the whole story.

Finally the enemy ship approaches, they chase it and finally get it. Everybody hops over (including our two youngsters) and the fighting begins. And what a slaughter it is! Nigel feels like throwing up, but Geoffrey reminds him that nobody can take care of him, and so Nigel manages to get over the nausea.
Of course some mishaps occur, Nigel slips in a pool of blood, Geoffrey tries to help him but gets attacked and wounded by a Spaniard, Nigel tries to defend his collapsed friend… until Jan jumps in and tells Nigel to carry Geoffrey aboard their own ship. After that, Jan does not return… :sob:

At the end of the story, we jump forward 8 years; Geoffrey just got his Gloria, Nigel is his first mate, and he thinks back to Jan with gratitude because he wouldn’t be there if Jan hadn’t challenged him so much…

In other words, [spoilers for Vol. 9 or 10] it was indeed the scene I had expected. I was surprised that Jan and Nigel barely knew each other at the time when Jan disappeared; Geoffrey, on the other hand, knew him much better.

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Okey-dokey, finished part 2.

We get to hear about a few political things on Spain’s side: seems that Phllip II’s younger brother, who participated in the battle of Lepanto, has come down with a fever. Captain Watts and Meneer speculate that he was poisoned due to his growing popularity (and thus his possible threat to Philip’s crown). Nigel eavesdrops as he reviews some Latin with Geoffrey.

Most of this part is further examination of Nigel wanting to live up to the ideal he sees in Geoffrey; he’s feeling pretty down on himself, which is further exacerbated when the Catherine heads out to intercept the treasure ship Meneer has info on and they hit bad weather. Nigel’s seasickness is crippling, and it’s while he’s resting up from that that he wakes to a rather shocking scene: Geoffrey and Meneer making out.

They blow it off as no big deal, and Geoffrey makes the case that God’s fine with it because, you know, men just have these urges they gotta do something about. Geoffrey, you’ve been at sea for two days; rein it in, bud. :stuck_out_tongue: Geoffrey promises he won’t be doing anything more than that with Meneer, and Nigel chooses to believe him.

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And now part 3.

Nigel’s tending to one of the ship’s goats (and praying for her safety from sailors driven crazy by lust) while some of the crew talk about how useless he is. He’s also thinking about Geoffrey and Meneer, and how much he doesn’t want to lose Geoffrey. Geoffrey had apparently already confessed to him in the past about his relationships with men, so Nigel’s not too upset about that, at least.

We get a small glimpse of two other sailors, Wally and Robin, who Nigel watches and ponders whether they’re together or not, eventually coming to the conclusion that they are and he just never noticed.

While Nigel’s off in his own little world, Meneer walks up and offers some thoughts on Nigel’s terrible seasickness: it’s probably due to Nigel’s missing eye and how his brain isn’t totally used to it yet. He goes on to further remind Nigel of the fact that, compared to Geoffrey, Nigel’s joining a ship has come relatively late in life, and he shouldn’t feel bad about giving up being a seaman. Dang; I can’t tell whether Meneer is trying to encourage Nigel in his own way or is just a jerk, haha.

Nigel leaves to go cry in private after Meneer leaves, but makes a resolution to himself: he will catch up with Geoffrey so he won’t have to give up life at sea, and so Geoffrey can proudly continue to call him “mate”.

It’s interesting; I keep going back and forth in this story on whether Nigel has any feelings for Geoffrey. Maybe just a little bit, but due to his situation + personality + Geoffrey’s friendliness with everyone he meets, it just never really pans out for him? Granted, this is set like a decade before the main series so who knows what shenanigans happen in that time.

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