"Flesh&Blood" Vol. 17 - Pirate Series Reading Club 🏴‍☠ ⛵

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Welcome to the “Flesh&Blood” Vol. 17 Reading Club!

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Chapter eBook % Physical
Chapter 1 % p. 7
Chapter 2 % p. 42
Chapter 3 % p. 70
Chapter 4 % p. 92
Chapter 5 % p. 115
Chapter 6 % p. 152
Chapter 7 % p. 171
Chapter 8 % p. 197
Chapter 9 % p. 233
あとがき % p.

Discussion Rules

Discussing anything is fine, be it about language questions, about the contents or about real historic events! Please state clearly which chapter (or roughly which percentage) you’re referring to, and please hide spoilers. Also, don’t forget the forum etiquette, of course.

Buying the Book

If you’re planning to buy the book on Bookwalker or Amazon and if you’re outside of Japan, you will need a VPN to buy them. Afterwards, you can download it to the app without the need for a VPN. I think you cannot read it in the browser without VPN, though.

Vol. 17 on Bookwalker
Vol. 17 on Amazon

Vocab sheet

Artwork from volume 17

Beware of spoilers below!

Full color art

Vol 17, Ch 1, p 27

Vol 17, Ch 5, p 133

Historical Figures, Events and Places

The book mentions a lot of real (as far as we know :sweat_smile:) historical figures and events. Here are some information resources on them. (Please be aware that if you want to go in 100% blind, these lists will contain some spoilers for you)

Please add Chapter, Page, if possible, when something is mentioned in the story.

Historical Figures and Groups

Hugo of Montcada i Gralla (Ch 2, p 55) Hugo of Moncada i Gralla - Wikipedia
Philip II (Ch 1) Philip II of Spain - Wikipedia
Santa Cruz, Marquis of, Álvaro de Bazán (Ch 1) Álvaro de Bazán, Marquis of Santa Cruz - Wikipedia

The Royal Diagram

Places and Rivers

Valdés, Asturias (Ch 2) Valdés, Asturias - Wikipedia

Historical Events, Things etc

Epiphany traditions, Roscón de Reyes or King’s Bread (Ch 1) Recipe and background about https://spanishsabores.com/roscon-de-reyes-recipe/
Papa Legba (Ch 7) Papa Legba - Wikipedia

Historical, geographical and other inaccuracies
1 Like

Chapter 1 thoughts

This volume starts off with :tada: as Vincente, Alonso, and Leon are celebrating the new year. It’s a good reminder that this is the paramount year when the big battle is to go down. :eyes: This tradition of baking a broad bean into a bread and then who gets the bean becomes king for the evening, receiving gifts…seems to be this: https://spanishsabores.com/roscon-de-reyes-recipe/ :eyes: Though here they use a ceramic figure. That makes it the Epiphany on January 6th that they’re celebrating. :slight_smile:

We’ve got full-color art for this chapter! woot! :partying_face: It’s a lovely pic of Alonso and Leo as a fun combo I think. Leo being stronk with the drinks! XD :clinking_glasses: Also, seems like Alonso is about to become a father! :astonished:
And then we’ve got drunk 'n flirty Alonso with Vincete to boot! :smile_cat:

This was a fun chapter to start off with. Light-spirited, but also with giving us a better grasp about Alonso. :slight_smile: I also wouldn’t mind a bit more AlonsoxVincente. They are a fun match imo. :blush:

Chapter 2 thoughts
I was surprised to see a continuation of AlonsoxVincente’s adventures at the Spanish court, but Matsuoka-sensei is not done with these two! Vincente is doing recap duty for previous events, reminiscing on Kaito’s first appearance at court and their time spent there.

Eventually, Vincente and Alonso arrive for the audience with Philip II, Vincente also invited to join even though the initial invite was only for Alonso. Turns out there is news about Santa Cruz being on death’s door and asking for the king to appoint someone else to take over the reigns over the Spanish navy, just like in Kaito’s prediction. Or almost, Santa Cruz was not dead when writing his letter, but Philip II assumes he might be since it takes 1 week for a letter to arrive.

Even if it seems like it’s now proven that Kaito’s predictions are true, Philip II has still sent out orders to make Medina Sidonia the new navy commander. And Vincente is to be his navigator onboard. Clearly Philip II doesn’t see other options than to give the higher positions to people with high social standing, rather than military expertise. Even Alonso gets a back-up role, even though he’s not a navy man. So, this is going to be an interesting one, once we get to the actual war. :sweat_smile:

I have a hard time recognizing the people mentioned in this chapter.
But, maybe ハルデス
= Pedro de Valdés - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre ? or Don Diego Flores de Valdes? mentioned in the Spanish armada article. No wikipage but found this in spanish: Diego Flores de Valdés | Real Academia de la Historia. And
モンカーダ seems to be Hugo of Moncada i Gralla - Wikipedia perhaps?
I found those in the main wiki article about the Spanish armada: Spanish Armada - Wikipedia
The others named on p 55 are:

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Chapter 3, thoughts
We find Kaito under surveillance in the rehab facility, trying to find an opening to escape. I don’t particularly see this as something that could actually happen to you, as surely the doctors and psychologists are fully capable of determining if Kaito is having a mental breakdown or not. And there is really not enough space for non-ill people to loiter around in the medical system, they’ll want you out as soon as possible. ^^;

But, the scenario is what it is. Kazuya has pulled off a bunch of lies and Kaito is now trapped for the time being. He’s gone full antagonist at this point and he can’t possibly think his friendship with Kaito will survive his abuse? Turns out Kaito is pretty forgiving all things considered though. :sweat_smile:

Kaito has no way to contact people it seems? That seems like it violates several laws and human rights. ^^; Even people in prison usually have access to phones and computers (unless they’re specially prohibited due to security concerns) Even, in this situation, JP has sent Kaito a book about Elizabetian agriculture, which Kaito hopes holds a hidden message to him. He also intends to write a letter to JP to get help. Again, I can’t imagine what sort of medical facility would have the right to read your personal letters or withhold means of communications from you. But, that’s how it is in this scenario. So, Kaito has to write his letter as if writing to his father. We’re in full spy-story mode now. :man_detective:

Chapter 4, thoughts

In this chapter, we’re back to Kazuya POV. At least he’s aware of how his actions have hurt Kaito, thinking that he hates him now (which Kaito doesn’t, strangely enough). While thinking of Kaito as being heartless for wanting to go back to Jeoffrey, Kazuya needs to recognize how heartless his actions are to keep two lovers apart. in the end. your family and friends are just that. They will never be as important to normal person compared to their life-partner - that’s their chosen family/person to spend their life with. That’s just common sense. But, Kazuya, doesn’t see it that way. He’ll rather have Kaito hate him, than allow him to disappear from his life again.

Also, Kazuya cozying up to Kaito’s mother and Kaito’s brother, comes off as very manipulative and creepy. >_> Well, his whole personality screams manipulative sociopath at this point. Poor, Kaito is up against a formiddable opponent for sure. Not to mention, the doctor seems to have to qualms about breaking the confidentiality for his patient as apparently Kaito’s mother and brother are both about to hear the medical details. :sweat: In reality, that would never happen. Kaito is almost of age, not a small child, so his right to privacy is given. his mother has no right to his medical history anymore and certainly not his brother.

Chapter 5 thoughts

Kaito gets visited in the gym by Kazuya, who’s being pretty paranoid about Kaito’s new exercise routine. :sweat_smile: Well, this is a really awkward reunion. :grimacing: Just give him some space, Kazuya! :expressionless: Not to mention, super-creepy Kazuya is feeling up Kaito’s physical strength. >_> it was refreshing to hear Kaito refer to him as クス野郎. :joy:

There is also a flashback to the night at JP’s place. Not only is Kazuya literally abducting Kaito against his will here, he’s also using force. Usually, that means you should contact the police! :police_car:

I will give this story an extra :star2: for not doing the BL cliché thing of explaining away Kaito’s sexual orientation here. When Kazuya confronts him with his feelings for Jeoffrey and whether he’s gay, Kaito says he would perhaps not have noticed if he hadn’t met him. As much as that might not be a huge difference, I still feel like it’s a real step up from “Oh, don’t worry, I’m not really gay, I just fell in love with a man and had sex with him”. That is super cringe. Thankfully, Kaito doesn’t say he isn’t gay here, but acknowledges it, even if only indirectly. And it seems we’re also getting Kazuya to start seeing his fixation on Kaito in a different light as well, because most friends don’t feel that sort of entitlement about their friends like he does about Kaito, let’s just leave it at that. :sweat_smile:

New grammar for me, p 126: 見知らぬ男が海斗を抱き寄せるさま. 無謀備な唇が奪われるさま。

Well I know you can use sama for describing appearances or a state of something. sama - Jisho.org and I guess that’s what’s happening here. Still, it’s a first to see it when sort of listing stuff, like here, ending the sentences on it. I wonder a bit about the language nuance you get from it. I feel like the times I’ve heard “sama” used for a state of things, it’s in a negative way: “kono sama”, = what a mess (we’ve gotten us into), sort of sentiment. I can’t come up with more examples at the moment. I’ll have to sleep on this one.

more spoilers
I have a difficult time reading about people being complete assholes, like Kazuya here, thinking he has some right to grade and evaluate Kaito’s and Jeoffrey’s feelings and relationship and self-insert himself into Kaito’s life. And the details for how he got Kaito locked up, turns my stomach and just makes me angry! >: Poor Kaito having to deal with this yandere/sociopath “friend”…Urk!

Chapter 6, thoughts

They’re on a picnic, on the premises of the rehab facility, with Kaito’s whole family gathered + Kazuya that’s infiltrated the family completely. He’s also gotten Kaito’s father onboard with the idea of sending Kaito off to some university outside of the UK, to get Kaito even further away from Plymouth. And in full Japanese culture style, there’s even a planned position for him once done with his studies - his whole career is already planned out it seems. :sweat:

I wanna slap Kazuya so bad reading this chapter. :expressionless: Heartless and cruel is a good description for him at this point. But, in this chapter, we’re not following him, but rather Kaito’s POV. :eyes: And he’s clearly more than finished with both Kazuya and his family. dun dun dun

Chapter 7 thoughts

spoilers continued
Omg, things are now in thriller mode as Kaito is making his escape from the fascility, mission impossible style, with the help of his yoga instructor Keisha! <3<3<3 My heart is in my throat reading this. Harrowing and exciting. :grimacing: Go, Kaito, go!

That was immensely satisfying to read, after all the obstructions and setbacks for Kaito - even as unbelievable as it is. :rofl: I guess, I’ll just leave it at that and enjoy Kaito traveling the birds route, straight for Plymouth! :helicopter: dun dun dun

I feel Matsuoka-sensei’s deep fascination with “pagan” gods and beliefs from around the globe and that she really wanted to bring in the Hawaiian beliefsystem into this story. :slight_smile: Personally, talk about the Crossroads, inevitably makes me think of Monkey Island, especially the 5th game for the Wii. XD

:scream: Chapter 8 thoughts*

spoilers ahead
As the story has gotten into action movie mode, this chapter does not disappoint in upping the stakes. They can’t land on the Hoe, but they’ll arrive on JP’s lands and from there, they’ll get into a car. :blue_car: JP is really overmuch in how he’s helping Kaito, but he also wants something for himself, for Kaito to deliver a letter to Nigel along with the hair ribbon his grandmother had in her hair.

We also get some additional explanations for Kaito’s run in with the Bukabo (spelling?). :astonished: And not only that, we get a better grip on why Kaito had such trouble going back to begin with, which does give some positives as well for him returning to the 16th Century.

Obviously, things are not going to be easy for Kaito. Once Kazuya knows of Kaito’s escape, he uses his connection with Detective Lewis, and the police have created search points for people driving toward the Hoe. In the end, they make a mad dash past the police and finally Kaito needs to make his way on foot for the last stretch. Good thing he exercised beforehand! :running_man: There is literally no turning back for him now!

Once on the Hoe parking lot, he’s addressed by a stranger who give him a further ride toward the Hoe after being payed the gold coin Kaito got from Lily. :slight_smile: He even provides a distraction for Kaito to make his final sprint. :running_man: You can do it, Kaito! :sob:

Major spoilers

But, as he reach the hill top, there is Lewis and Kazuya waiting for him. :scream: Of course, Kazuya anticipated this all. Frankly, Kazuya’s insane and selfish rant is at least all the confession Lewis will need to see through all his lies. There can never be mutual love if one is imposing one’s feelings on the other. And, it’s also refreshing to see how Kaito immediately rejected Kazuya’s kiss, compared to what happened with Jeoffrey at first, or Nigel and Vincente for that matter - this is Kaito not giving in one bit.

Well, that was super intense! I’m so looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts once you get here. For now, I’m gonna continue on to chapter 9! :eyes:

More big spoilers

Chapter 9 thoughts
This is a short chapter. We’re back to Nigel’s POV and the proceedings have stopped because of Jeoffrey’s bad condition to answer. Just then, a messenger arrives from Walshinghams estate with the news of Thomas’ death. No more leverage for Nigel and Kit against Walshingham…and so the chapter ends! *dun dun dun