"Flesh&Blood" Vol. 11 - Pirate Series Reading Club 🏴‍☠ ⛵

Oh, you must’ve just missed that part; understandable, with all the research you’ve been doing for the diagram. :wink:

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s this, to be honest. I think we’ve had this conversation before about Kaito’s thoughts taking up several pages, but he’s still acting in real time and not (usually) staring off into the distance.

Welp. RIP. Good think you’re moving out of the palace soon, Vicente.


Chapter 4 finished.

Kaito and Vicente are off to Avila to visit Princess Eboli. Kaito is hidden underneath a canopy, so everybody thinks he is a lady! On his way, of course his good heart shows once again, and when he comes across a group of poor children, he gives away the sponge cake he was given by the king. He was actually very much looking forward to that cake as he wanted to compare it with its descendant that is still popular in Japan, and that he loves. Vicente is also kind to the children; I wonder if Kaito’s presence rubs off already, or whether he remembers his upbringing. The children give each of them a flower in return. It is Marigold (I only know them as Calendula) and when Kaito sees it, he starts dreaming of Geoffrey and his golden hair… Fun fact, in Ch. 3 Geoffrey also has a Marigold flower. Is there a deeper meaning to that? :eyes: Or are these flowers just a staple in that area?
As they arrive at the Pastrana palace, they bump into Miguel Cervantes who wants to offer his newest poetic production to the princess, but he is being driven away by her guards. Vicente, his old friend, jumps in and helps him. Kaito is over the top to meet yet another famous author of the time.

If you look at the pictures of Pastrana palace, you can even see the balcony she was sitting on in that scene. Once again so much love for the details!
But the chapter also contains two errors: Kaito mentions that Cervantes and Shakespeare died on the same day, but according to Wikipedia they died one day apart.
Princess Eboli’s son, the 2nd Duke of Pastrana, is called ルイス in the book (which I would read as Luis), but his real name is either Rodrigo (english Wikipedia) or Ruy (spanish Wikipedia). I suspect that there is a Katakana issue that led to the transformation from Ruy to Luis.

Chapter 5 finished.

Kaito and Vicente and the rest of the party (notably Raul and Leyva) are led to Princess Eboli’s chambers and get to talk to her. She chats with Kaito about lots of women’s stuff, like dyeing hair and the like :rofl: Kaito knows a lot about this, to Vicente’s surprise.
Kaito also reflects about Raul and that he had said that he never worked for England; now Kaito wonders whether he actually ever worked for Spain… and with the help of Vicente he figures out that Raul basically follows his own interests that are related to his family in Italy.
(Vicente: What comes to mind when you think of Italy? - Kaito: Spaghetti! - Vicente: ?? :thinking:
At some point Kaito notices another monk in the room whose face seems pretty familiar: Kit! Now Kaito knows that Kit is one of Walsingham’s spies, and he wonders whether he came to poison him again :scream: I can already sense the turbulences that come out of this. (Kit: Let’s flee! - Kaito: No! :crazy_face:) But then Kaito thinks further and comes up with the idea that maybe Geoffrey is also here, which makes him so excited that Vicente decides to take him back to his room to take a rest. If only he knew :sweat_smile:


Chapter 1 thoughts

Vincente goes full mother hen on Kaito here! O_O Next time, he’s going to chew Kaito’s food for him! :wink:

I must say I do enjoy the occasional slip-up from Kaito “this age”, and Vincente is like whut? XD

new expressions: p 15
right person in the right place: 適材適所 てきざいてきしょ
cool and collected: 冷静沈着 れいせいちんちゃく

To me it seems pretty dangerous for Kaito to act like an informer of future misconduct or crimes. I mean, these people haven’t done anything yet. in the end, nothing comes of it, but Vincente clearly wants to act before things come to be. Understandable, what’s the point of fortune telling if you can’t act to push the future in a better direction? it’s still morally ambiguous. And stopping one from fleeing the battlefield, what repercussions might that have? There are defo questions I feel needs to be asked here, in how Kaito’s meddling might affect the upcoming war. :eyes:

Lol, Kaito is clearly having his eyes on di Leiva. Not sure what to make of that! XD Also, he clearly knows he’s going to Pastrana in the near future. :eyes:

Let’s say it out loud, Kaito would get himself in much less trouble if he simply stopped putting his foot in his mouth all the time! Then again, that wouldn’t be much fun! XD But, on a more serious note, even Kaito realize him running his mouth might have serious impact and change history, and not for the better for England or Jeoffrey. I liked how Matsuouka-sensei tied back to the beginning here and the meaning of Drake’s drum. <3

Also the mystery from the last chapter of vol 10, about Miguel is solved! Clearly, Raul has 3 subordinates worth of note, Jan being one of them, then there’s Pedro and Miguel. :eyes: I can’t say I remember them being mentioned before, but with all these names going around, I might have just not thought it important to remember. :sweat_smile:

Big take-away from this chapter: Kaito can’t bear Vincente being killed. He cares too much about him! <3

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Well, the scene starts out there. But they move, when Raul suggest he give tour. They stop by many great paintings. Then the misa starts. I forget where they position themselves, but I’m assuming the second floor, to overlook the mass below and the nobles participating. Vincente commenting on who’s who, allowing Kaito to comment on their futures while Raul listens in. (well, he needs Vincente’s translations here)

:rofl: Sentient drum confirmed! XD

I hadn’t. I was more thinking about the very uncomfy looking ruffs everyone at court is made to wear, but Kaito refused to! ^^’ Just give back his jeans and hawaiian shirt already! XD

Kaito being a surprisingly shallow character! :joy: I’d another layer of interpretation here: maybe, because Japanese roots, Kaito just likes the “delinquent” look! :wink:

Next up: Kaito and Jan (also blonde!) starts hitting it off for realz! :eyes:


(Ch 1 spoilers)
Really? Dang, if so, I completely missed all of that; I don’t remember anything about any paintings either. :frowning:

…Raul’s supposed to be blonde too, right?


I can’t say I remember the descriptions of him anymore, but I think of him like in the character book. ^^

Also, I can’t say for certain, but it feels like Matsuoka-sensei might not have given us much of a feel they moved, focusing on the conversation rather than being very descriptive of this part. But there’s a portrait of Philip with his family for example. And then the bells ring for mass. Also, to be able to watch the mass, they really need to be on the second floor balcony to stay out of sight, there are no other options I can think of. :thinking:


Chapter 6 finished.

Kaito is back in his room, and it doesn’t take long for Kit to appear! They can exchange all relevant information, including the plot to escape. Turns out Raul is indeed plotting to kill the rescue party after they successfully freed Kaito, and to use him for his own purposes :scream: And of course he says that Kaito will never be safe as long as Vicente is around because he will kidnap him again - so Vicente must die for Kaito to be able to live freely. :sob: This of course doesn’t sit well with Kaito. I hope there is some nice double-scheming incoming :hugs:

Chapter 7 finished.

Back to Geoffrey and Nigel. Kit (who stays in Pastrama) sends them a message via one of the gypsies, sending them the model boat (that Kit received from Kaito) and a message.
Man, Geoffrey sometimes behaves as stupidly impulsively as Kaito, emptying the bag with the boat’s parts right then and there, in front of the church where they met with the gypsy! :woman_facepalming: The message mentions that the boat is from Jan, and they are both excited to hear he is still alive! Also we learn about how the separate story of 「ミニアと呼ばれた男」ties into everything :heart_eyes_cat:
Anyways, Geoffrey, who has talked to Kit a fair bit about the ways of the spies, suspects the letter to contain a hidden message on top of the visible one, and so they retreat to their lodging to check this out.

Oh, and we also learn about the time of year again: We’re in the middle of December by now. In the real world Santa Cruz died on Feb 9th of the following year, so that’s less than 2 months ahead. While his successor is already decided, I still expect this to cause some disruption. I wonder how this affects our story!

Interesting language tidbit:
二日おき does NOT mean “every other day” as I initially thought, but “every third day” :exploding_head: I.e. “putting two days down and then”. See also 「1日おき」「2日おき」「数日おき」は英語でなんて言う? | EigoLab【英語で世界が広がる】 (the examples a bit further down make it clear)


Chapter 8 finished.

Haha Vicente confesses that he has wet dreams about Kaito :tada: Now that’s about time! :laughing: On the other hand, I’m still a little bit confused about his sexual orientation. So, some books ago we learned that he was pretty unlucky with the females so far, and that he would be sometimes be together with a boy - but it seems that he does not really see himself as gay. Now he discovers that he is not only charmed by Kaito but also physically desires and loves him, which seems to cause a lot of distress to him. Understandably so, in the world he lives in. (As if the rules in England were less strict at the time, though :thinking: I guess Geoffrey simply cares less than Vicente.)
Anyways, he seems to be so head over heels that others already start to notice and call him out on that - first of all Kaito, but also Leyva.
Regarding more serious topics, Kaito makes it so that Vicente can ask Princess Eboli about her son-in-law Medina-Sidonia, the new leader of the Armada! He finds out that he is really afraid to go to war with the fleet, but that he is even more afraid of being called a coward forever after. :cry: Tough times for the Spanish Armada ahead!


Chapter 2 thoughts

It seems Kaito is not fully recovered from his run-in with death. Various symptoms lingers. :c

During a walk in the guarden,Philip II tells Vincente the truth about the cesspit that is the Spanish nobility. :joy: Seems, like there are a lot of opportunistic and power/money hungry snakes in that pit. ^^; note to self: page 41 is where all the conspirators are listed

This conversation between the King and Vincente reminded me of a scene from Dune (1984): “I see plans within plans. I see…you behind it!” (the Guild navigator (floating brain) to Emperor Shaddam IV XD)

We’ll see if Philip II can get rid of some of these rotten nobles in the upcoming war or not! :eyes: Also, during the battle, Vincente will serve as Sailingmaster/navigator, rather than captain of the ship. Also, with the role of handling any sign of treason from ??? who’ll be captain. I already forgot his name! :joy:

Anyway, Kaito has a coughing fit and ends the conversation. There’s some more bonding between Kaito and Vincente after this, as the trip to Pastrana is imminent. Vincente spins it as a place for him to get fully well, though he talked with Philip II about it as a way to isolate Kaito from potential danger in a place he’ll be locked in. Well, as it were, he’ll be with Vincente that sounds more and more head-over-heals! :joy: Just as planned! :smiling_imp:

As much as Kaito is pretty rash and unthinking at times, his straight-forward attitude and personality also give off a trustworthiness I guess that’s severely lacking among the King’s social circles. :sweat_smile: Kaito manage to make himself liked by yet another European ruler. ^^ :crown:


Finished Chapter 9.

Kaito has some alone time with Princess Eboli because Vicente is out hunting with the others, and they chitchat about this and that. Most interesting was that Kaito told her that the king still loves her, but she said for her he was merely a lover, and if she was not loved by him in the way she wants, she would rather not be loved at all. Works for me though :grin:
Anyways, after a while the gypsies reappear again, and the princess lets Kaito look at them. Among them are two suspicious figures, one with an eyepatch… when all of a sudden Raul appears in the room and approaches Kaito. Of course he speaks English (Kaito, srsly) and of course he had noticed that Kaito speaks Spanish. Anyways, turns out that the princess is involved in the plot (but she does not know Rauls true plan, as it seems) and Kaito plays along, which means Geoffrey and Nigel will be led into the palace, and Kaito is to meet Geoffrey in a minute!


Phew; so I had time/energy to read last night, but very little to post today, so let’s see what I can remember to talk about without consulting my book.

Chapter 2

Kaito, Vicente, and the king are having a nice walk in one of the king’s gardens. Kaito’s got some lingering health issues from the events of the previous book, unsurprisingly, including pneumonia? He’s got a nasty cough, at the very least.

The king and Vicente talk about Kaito’s upcoming move to Pastrena, as well as upcoming war plans. Interestingly, there’s a rebellious group of nobles who are defying the king by trying to have peaceful talks with the Netherlands, which he resents. (There’s also the added dimension of a smuggling route that’s somehow dependent on Spain’s relationship with the Netherlands.) Apparently it’s also the driving force behind him sending so many incompetents into leadership positions in the Armada: either they’ll prove themselves, win, and make the Netherland conflict a non-issue (once England can’t fund them anymore), or they’ll show their cowardly colors during the invasion by fleeing/disobeying orders/etc. and Philip II can nail them that way. I’m not entirely sure what his plan is should they not disgrace themselves in battle but still lose the conflict.

Interestingly, despite Kaito’s warnings on the situation, he doesn’t actually have appeared to change anything yet. Vicente even points out to the king that part of Kaito’s prediction included motivations for fleeing, but Philip seems to think he can work that out by, specifically in the case of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, appointing Vicente as chief navigator and having him “encourage” Medina Sidonia if needed.

Does this mean that Vicente’s got a greater chance of survival? Medina Sidonia survives the Armada attack, but if Vicente prods him into staying in battle, how does that change things? Very interesting stuff. Anyway, Vicente doesn’t tell Kaito about his new post, since it involves top-secret spying on the nobility.

We get some cute scenes with Kaito and Vicente and, surprisingly, with the king. Man, Kaito’s a real charmer with royalty. Anyway, Vicente ruminates on how much he’d like to kiss Kaito’s cheeks, and it’s stage exit.

We’ll get Kaito/Vicente there yet; wait just a little longer Geoffrey and Nigel. :imp:

I’m visiting my sister tomorrow, so I’ll go ahead and assume no reading will get done until Sunday. I’ll be a bit behind again, haha. When does your next book club start @NicoleIsEnough?


Haha, don’t worry, I will give you some breathing room soon. Planning to finish Vol. 11 tomorrow or the day after, and there are two book clubs waiting for me right now to fill the week until there is a Compulsive Readers club coming up next Friday. Anyways, I am planning to (finally!) read the short story I started a while ago before moving to Vol. 12 for reasons you will understand a bit later :grin: so maybe end of February for the start of the next volume? Would that fit your plans as well?


I’m not gonna lie, that’s music to my ears, haha. I desperately need time to catch up with other F&B/non-F&B activities. Would you be interested in starting vol. 12 end of Feb as well @ekg?

Oh? Reasons for why you stopped the short story, or reasons for why you’re postponing vol 12 for a bit?

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Reasons for why I urgently want to read the short story :grin:

To be honest, I’m currently wondering whether it would have been actually more fun to read the short story before starting chapter 7 here :thinking: (because this chapter will connect to that story). As I can’t go back any more to the state of not having read chapter 7, maybe you’re interested in squeezing in the short story at any point before chapter 7, and then we can compare experiences? I think that would be great fun!

(Sorry for being so mysterious, it’s just that I don’t want to reveal anything. Maybe it will already be clear from the short story? :thinking: Can’t tell as I haven’t read it yet.)


Oooh. This does sound like a ton of fun! Yes, will do then; I’ve been looking for an excuse to read through that short anyhow. :3


I’m pretty sure I’m there by that time as well, or very close to it! :+1:


I can’t tell you how you’ll feel about any of this as my path was totally lineal, BLCD1-20 (when I was forced to stop for monetary reasons). We’ll just help each other understand this series and for that I’m super thankful! :bowing_woman:


Ahem. That escalated quickly :flushed:

Chapter 10.

We are back to Geoffrey POV and relive the coin-dropping scene from his perspective. Geoffrey is admitted to the castle and gets to visit Kaito. Of course there is much confusion and then much hugging and kissing! They also find the time to discuss the next steps, but this is generally kept to a minimum. First I was very nervous about this because I wondered how they can go into this without being synchronized, but of course we are not supposed to be let in to the details just yet. And with that they are admitted to Princess Eboli’s chambers…

Chapter 11.

Kaito prepares for departing and writes a message to Vicente. He writes into a book in the hope that Vicente will pick it up at some later point and thus come across his message. Kaito wants Vicente to survive the war so badly! So he is really torn between tweaking history to help him and to let everything go its natural route. He decides to give him some advice that should not alter history dramatically but that allows him to survive. (As history tells us, Medina Sidonia survives the war so it should not be too hard for Vicente to survive as well by sticking to him and by not forcing him into action. But let’s see what Kaito planned out…)
When Vicente returns from the hunting with his first kill, there is a bit of a celebration. Leyva tries to challenge Vicente into a drinking competition, but Vicente is not eager, and so Leo jumps in and drinks with Leyva! :flushed: Not too bad at the age of 15 or something.
Vicente grabs the chance to sit together with Kaito at a somewhat separated table during the meal. Kaito is in turmoil because of the upcoming separation from Vicente and because it slowly begins to dawn on him as well that Vicente’s feelings are not of the “brotherly love” type. I hope Kaito will at some point learn from this, as this is the second time he didn’t notice :laughing: He tries to pull out of the scene by retiring early, but then he remembers that the princess had called for him, and he goes to her. Turns out that Geoffrey had successfully stirred suspicions in her, as so far she believed that Geoffrey only visited once and that Kaito will stay with her forever. But now that she realizes that he might escape, she threatens to kill him with a knife she has hidden in her corselet! She’s the “all or nothing” woman after all, if she cannot have him, then nobody should. :cold_sweat: Kaito bravely fights him but in the end she gets to him. Then she reconsiders and turns this into a plot against Vicente and Raul - she will help Kaito escape to humiliate the two! Geoffrey’s plan has worked :hugs: And so when Raul and Vicente dash into the room, both use some pretext to explain the situation.
When Vicente offers to carry Kaito to his room, Kaito first declines physical contact, but then, being overwhelmed by the whole situation, he decides that he wants him for company throughout the night. :thinking: :sweat_smile: :hugs:

As Kaito lies on the ground after the princess attacked him, he has a coughing fit, and when the princess wipes his mouth with a handkerchief, it is full of blood! Did he catch Tuberculosis from Santa Cruz? If so, he must protect Geoffrey from it - he should not alarm him by talking about this, but he should not kiss him any more :sob: Haha this sounds like another major confusion that’s upcoming in their love life :grin:

Chapter 12.

Seems as if nothing much has happened during the night, though, except Kaito holding Vicente’s hand. Oh man, I thought they would finally get things sorted on that front :sob:
Anyways, Vicente is leaving Pastrana as he was called to El Escorial for some urgent business, and Leyva accompanies him. On the way they start bonding really strongly. This is such a beautiful scene, with the reserved Vicente slowly finding his place in his newfound family. They also chat about Kaito, and Leyva once more confirms that Vicente and Kaito look like a loving couple. And finally it clicks with Vicente - yes he loves him! :sweat_smile: Phew, I’m glad not everybody is so slow in understanding their own feelings, or else mankind would have died out by now :laughing:
Anyways, at some point Leyva asks about the business that Vicente is being called for, and knowing the court proceedings, he becomes skeptical. When he looks at the letter, he immediately realizes that it’s a fake. Luckily this time around, Vicente quickly grasps the situation - he is being lured away from the castle so that Geoffrey can steal Kaito! They turn around and gallop back to Pastrana…

OK, with yet another cliffhanger of doom we are seen off into Volume 12 :grin:


Chapter 3 thoughts

POV back to Team Rescue! Some fun chatting between Jeoffry and Kit. Nigel is chatting with Pablo who’s there to guide them to Pastrana, not Miguel. it’s decided that Kit will infiltrate to find out how Kaito is doing since his face isn’t known to Vincente, and he knows enough Spanish to make do.

Things have also clearly improved between Jeoffrey and Nigel. Jeoffrey has accepted Nigel’s feelings for Kaito and so he suggest for them to just be open about their wants here. Basically, things have settled between them, which made me really happy. They leave it to Kaito to decide who he loves, while they’ll do as they want to earn his affection. :relaxed: Also, love Jeoffrey pulling Nigel’s leg here with his flirting and kiss! :joy: Well, it does a great job at defusing what’s left of the tension between them I feel. :grin:

It’s confirmed that Jeoffrey really did have a thing for Nigel originally! it was hinted at before, but not quite as definitely phrased: first love even! :astonished: Since Nigel also have a real soft spot for Jeoffrey at the end of the day, I vote for all three of them to just live happily ever after! ^>^ <3

it also turns out the help they’re getting from Raul’s henchmen is as trustworthy as you’d expect: not at all! XD Pablo warns Jeoffrey and Nigel about Miguel’s plans of killing them once he’s got the rest of the reward money. I guess, there is no honor among spies. :sweat_smile:

Also, it’s finally clear who Miguel really is: Raul. Pablo is the actual “snake” that Drake’s been in contact with before. Clearly, Raul is giving Pablo the creeps, so, he’s self-motivated here for why he’s selling him out. ^^;


Chapter 4 thoughts

I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend the Japanese fascination with sponge cake like Castella. It’s ridiculously plain, and I certainly don’t think of the flavor of eggs eating sponge cake. ^^; Maybe, the modern day Japanese version of castella is just so much better?

Anyway, Kaito is finally on the move toward Pastrana, while dreaming of eating cake! Apparently he got some from Philip II, only to give it away to the orphaned kids following them. Let them eat cake!

Interestingly, Kaito reflect on how vastly different Vincente and Jeoffrey treat him and his own feelings about that: mother-hen Vincente, who treats him as a kid vs Jeoffrey who’s pushed him toward a sexual relationship, not always in wanted ways, but defo not treating him as a kid. Then again, Jeoffrey is the only one who knows his real age, 17. And, even if Jeoffrey is not without his faults, he’s the one Kaito longs for.

I haven’t listened to Don Carlos by Verdi, but I should clearly give it a go as it touches on the idea that Carlos, Philip’s son who was originally betrothed to Elisabeth de Valois were both in love when the engagement was broken and Elisabeth was married to his father instead.

Pavarotti in the role of Don Carlo from a 1992 version at La Scala! :star_struck:

Apparently, there’s a different musical performance going on here. ヒターノ are Spanish Romani ロマ - Wikipedia

Well, since this story wasn’t unrealistic enough, Miguel Cervantes is there as well :joy: Maybe he and Kit can have a poetry battle? :grin: Also, Vincente and their future host is off to a spectacularly bad start. :joy:

Also, the imprisoned princess seems like dangerous company. ^^;