"Flesh&Blood" Vol. 9 - Pirate Series Reading Club 🏴‍☠ ⛵

I think he’s a fictional character though - his family is real but he himself was invented for the purposes of the book (at least with this name).

Apparently that’s Jan :woman_facepalming: You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to realize that… If you like you can have a look at the two in the storybook section. (Which strengthens my belief that they are fictional.)

Basically “shut up, idiot” I guess :grin:

Haha luckily it’s not a math quiz :joy_cat: This is the correct answer.

Oh thanks for the explanation! That confused me a lot because it always felt “wrong” when Vicente was speaking, heh. Now I understand :blush:

That made me soooo nervous :cold_sweat: Luckily, TB is not super contagious, it seems…


I feel like we might need a Spanish relationship diagram to parse all the names. :sweat_smile: But it’s unclear which names will be necessary to keep track of to understand the plot and intrigue. :thinking:


Hahaha good call! :joy_cat:
To be honest I’m having such a hard time finding any of the Spanish people due to the katakanaization (and also due to weird Spanish naming schemes in general) and so I don’t really have a grip on who is connected to whom…
For the Royal Wallpaper, of course there are also connections to the Spanish royals as they were all relatives of each other. So some of the Spanish people already appear in it. But so far I have only added blood relatives, not other nobility. I’ll think about it!


We could use a temporary wiki to research the names together. Besides the ones in th e op post especially if we are not sure if it’s a match. :thinking:

Who do we have to keep track of so far? Could be useful to have another addition to the key denoting which characters aren’t real historical ones if we do make another diagram.

  1. Vicente
  2. Philip II
  3. Jan Grifus
  4. Raul de Toledo
  5. Perez (Vicente’s first mate) (I think is the equivalent English title)
  6. Father Escobar
  7. Marquis of Santa Cruz
  8. Duke of Medina Sidonia
  9. Juan Martinex de Recalde
  10. Miguel de Oquendo

That’s all the named ones I can think of off the top of my head this far into volume 9 (besides Vicente’s boatswain, Sancho).

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I suspect this list will get expanded once they arrive at the palace…^^;

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Very true; wasn’t trying to imply this would be the only characters we’d need to keep track of. :sweat_smile: I was mostly trying to remind myself who we’ve already met, haha, since they’re a bit disorganized in my head so far.

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Remembered you mentioned this and got confused. Had to re-check, but yeah, they’re visiting Santa Cruz in his own residence. This is not the palace. They return to the dock after their meeting with him, and from there, Vincente and Kaito takes a different carriage to the Escorial. :slight_smile:

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Many chapters to report this time:

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 picks up back with Geoffrey and Nigel; they’re participating in naval exercises against Drake’s other ships in order to train and motivate the sailors in preparation for war again Spain. Geoffrey and Nigel are still not doing well; Geoffrey feels pretty definitively that their friendship has been ruptured. :\ Geoffrey’s relationship with Drake has apparently also deteriorated; he even got punched during their last meeting.

It was incredibly interesting to see the official government reaction to Kaito getting kidnapped: well he potentially knows a lot of state secrets, and everyone knows that kid can’t hold up to torture, so let’s just send an assassin to kill him before he leaks anything. It kind of sounded like Walsingham was a big proponent behind it all, unsurprisingly. :stuck_out_tongue: Elizabeth has yet to decide on the matter, so I’m curious to see if she’ll okay the plan and Kaito is suddenly going to have a heap more of problems on his plate. Poison getting mixed into his food is something Vicente can’t really do anything about.

I’m very curious how Geoffrey and Nigel’s relationship will develop from here on out; lots of repeated “things have changed” from Geoffrey, but at the same time it seems like it really pains him to truly cut ties with his best friend. There was one bit, before the flashback to his meeting with Drake, where he mentioned he was hoping to forge stronger ties than ever with Nigel. I wonder if he has a particular plan/thought in mind, or if it’s just wishful thinking at this point:


I’m glad he’s at least recognized that it’s pretty impossible to have things exactly as they were before with Nigel; it’s something they both (and Kaito) will need to come to terms with before anyone can really move forward. I’ve been going back and forth in my mind about how this is going to work out, and I’m just not sure so far. I joke about Kaito’s harem, but I’m pretty sure things aren’t going to be developing that way. :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t want Nigel to just up and leave, and him settling for someone else (Kit?) feels unrealistic at this point. Geoffrey seems pretty intent on staking his claim with Kaito, and Kaito’s been thinking of almost no one besides Geoffrey while he’s been in Spain, so he doesn’t seem likely to suddenly start favoring Nigel more.

I just don’t know. I’m hoping 松岡先生 has a satisfactory way to resolve things; I hate, hate love triangles in books, because one person is obviously going to lose out, but they drag it out through the whole book/series and make everyone miserable. I really like everyone involved here, and one person has been conveniently removed for the time being, but we’ll have to see.

Speaking of Drake, he talks a little about his spy in Lisbon, codenamed 蛇. I’m guessing the spy is one of our two guys, Jan or Raul; the scant description we got seems to fit Raul more, but there’s definitely something up with Jan.

At the end of the chapter, (some of) my hopes and dreams come true! Kit’s waiting for them! I really hope one of the bonus F&B stories covers Nigel’s first meeting with Kit; I would love to see how the enmity started.

Chapter 5

So this chapter covers Kit delivering info and love advice to G&N, and then coming up with a plan to infiltrate El Escorial. So, first off, let me say again: I really like Kit as a character. He’s fun, he brings a different perspective to the table, and I enjoying watching him irritate Nigel. Irritate enough for us to find out that Nigel’s cook, Joe (? ジョー) has an enormous hellhound of a dog Nigel threatens to sic on Kit. :rofl: The dog’s name is クー; anyone have a guess how that’s supposed to be romanized? Coo?

So I had a bit of trouble understanding a section of this chapter: Kit’s describing thoughts Kaito had on the play Tamburlaine, specifically about the female lead Zenocrate, and how it’s a reflection of his relationship with G&N. I re-read that part several times, and I just don’t quite follow what Kaito/Kit was saying. Here’s a line near the end of the section:


Whatever thoughts Kaito had on his relationship with Geoffrey and/or Nigel there, this leads into Kit prying into Geoffrey’s love life and criticizing him for not going all the way with Kaito, saying that if Kaito was willingly trying to sleep with Geoffrey, he should have the decency to go all the way, regardless of temporary pain. Geoffrey is chastised and convinced. Hope Kaito’s ready the next time they meet…

There’s one more section, where Kit criticizes Nigel for, as far as I could tell, putting Kaito too high on a pedestal: Kit was using Nigel’s deceased mother and the reverence he feels as her as an analogy for what he’s doing with Kaito: holding both up as some imaginary ideal that neither could possibly reach in reality. Did I read that right?

Anyway, Kit tells the two that he overhead some intelligence that Walsingham received recently: Kaito has arrived in Lisbon and is going to be transported to El Escorial soon. He’s got a map (what a freakin’ huge residence, by the way) and a plan for G&N to infiltrate as Catholic monks. One thing leads to another (good thing they know someone was was taught Benedictine sign language, haha; I hope we get to see Lily again), and Kit is persuaded to join them after being reminded that he’ll have 24/7 access to Nigel. Let’s see if all three survive the trip over. :smiley:

We also find out that Walsingham’s spy (I don’t remember where he was stationed. Lisbon?) is codenamed 蠍, and is apparently money hungry. Not sure who this could be; was Raul described that way? Doesn’t mean it’s someone we’ve met, of course.

The chapter ended with a vaguely threatening sentence, maybe?


This is Geoffrey talking either to Nigel or quietly to himself, in regards to Nigel working with Kit long-term. How is that 好きにして構わない supposed to be interpreted? “After we rescue Kaito, you can do whatever you like [to Kit]”? Or “After we rescue Kaito, you can do whatever you like [because I’ll have the person I care about most back, and I don’t care what you do in general]”? The second is quite a bit more heartless, especially after Geoffrey has expressed several times that he doesn’t want to cut all ties with Nigel, but I just had an ominous feeling after I read that…

Chapter 6

Back to Kaito! He, Vicente, and Leo are on their way to El Escorial via horse cart, and it sounds like an incredibly uncomfortable ride. We apparently skipped Vicente submitting a report on Father Escobar to the naval authorities; can we consider him firmly out of the way now, I wonder? Kaito gets hand fed sugar-preserved oranges by Vicente, which was… Yeah, sure Kaito, Vicente was definitely thinking of his sick sister then. You keep telling yourself that. Social link UP!

Kaito has a very interesting thought during this:


He’s comparing Vicente feeding him oranges to Geoffrey rubbing wine on his lips when he was seasick and dehydrated back in volume 2. This feels like the first time we’ve seen Kaito take an unconscious step back and re-evaluate his relationship with Geoffrey: whether Geoffrey himself was the important component, or the fact that Kaito’s a lonely displaced child in a strange land who’s receiving attention from a friendly person.

Kaito immediately mentally slaps himself for thinking such unfaithful thoughts, then right after gets all flustered because Vicente licked the finger he used to feed Kaito with, with incidentally touched Kaito’s lips. "OMG that was an indirect kiss!! loooool Yes Kaito, you also definitely see this man as an older brother figure. I hope Geoffrey and co. (GNK?) take their sweet time getting here; this stuff is gold.

Aaanyway, to less dramatic matters: we meet another named Spanish character, ペドロ・デ・パチェコ. Wikipedia only brings back this result, but I’m pretty sure it’s the wrong guy.

We also get a flashback to Kaito’s conversation with Jan. Turns out that’s why his named is romanized that way: his actual (Japanese) name is ヤン・グリフゥス. Which now really makes me wonder about his “alias”, ファン・グリフス. Is ファン a real/probable Antwerp name? Has グリフゥス → グリフス actually fooled anyone? Neat to see he’s a former mate of Geoffrey’s; him giving Kaito the scale model of the new Spanish ship was a sweet gesture; gives Kaito a goal to keep to keep his spirits up. I’m still not sure if Jan is 蛇 or 蠍; I feel like he is, especially given his “I can’t leave Spain yet” unfinished sentence to Kaito. I’m putting my money on him being 蠍 (Walsingham’s spy); it would add a nice touch of dramatic irony to his relationship with Kaito.

We also find out that Kaito’s boarding school friends who taught him Spanish taught him really rough, slangy Spanish. :rofl: It is definitely not fit for the ears of the king.

Kaito gets to ride a donkey, and we finally arrive at the King’s palace!

(Ch. 6 spoilers)

I didn’t get a gay vibe from Vicente at first, and to be honest I don’t get a huge amount from him now. I could see his devotion to being Kaito’s caretaker spilling over into “wow I want to kiss that boy” because of how much time he spends thinking/watching over/(dreaming about) Kaito, though.

(Chapter 6 spoilers)
Loool. Now that image is set firmly in my mind. :rofl: “Is that a scale model of a ship, or are you just happy to see me?”

I’m a chunk of the way through chapter 7, but will wait to post my thoughts until I’ve finished that. Excellent book so far! I can see why you had to read several volumes consecutively last December, @NicoleIsEnough.


Chapter 4 thoughts

Back to Jeoffrey’s POV. Gloria’s crew is training with Drake’s crew on the Revenge and other at a ship called the Dreadnought. Apparently they’re doing trainings as a fleet, preparing for war with Spain. :eyes: Seems like Gloria’s crew has been steadily improving in their skills.

It’s going less well for Jeoffrey though. He’s clearly distracted and wishing he was making his way to Kaito, not doing these practice runs. But, reports from the spies has no yet gotten back to them about Kaito’s whereabouts.

The fallout between Jeoffrey and Nigel is also hurting them both. :cry: They are trying to make up, but things just can’t go back to the way they were before.

Also, Drake wasn’t happy to hear the news of Kaito’s abduction from Jeoffrey either. :boxing_glove: I guess, that’s to be expected as Jeoffrey vowed to protect Kaito with his life. And it seems that now that Kaito is in the hands of the Spanish, the English court is worrying about leaked secrets and are considering eliminating him, much to Jeoffrey’s (and Drake’s) frustration.

I feel like all is not over between Nigel and Jeoffrey, but things are definitely strained at the moment. Same with Drake. But, in the end Jeoffrey gets Drakes’ implied support for going after Kaito on his own, before the Queen makes here final decision on how to handle the situation. Drake even cooperates to help Jeoffrey on his way. :eyes: And here the plot thickens, Drake says he’s got a spy infiltrating Santa Cruz’s residence! :eyes: F&B spy thriller is verified! XD

Me too! :sob: <3


Oh sorry for the bad wording, I was referring to Santa Cruz’ house as “palace” as well. (Isn’t it called like that? It sounds like it’s big enough to deserve the name :thinking:)

Re Chapter 4:

Rationally I am with you, but emotionally I can’t let go of the idea yet. (How this can turn out? Great anger can produce great passion, you know :upside_down_face:)

:rofl: I’m sure he’d rather have some body parts rot off of him…

That’s what actually worries me the most right now…

Oh you didn’t by any chance read the second short story in Murata Sayaka’s 殺人出産 🤰🔪 Book Club, did you? That was a bit of a different take on the subject :grin:

That would be fire! :heart_eyes_cat:

Re Chapter 5:

I thought it might be romanized as 食う :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

My understanding is that Kaito had only commented on how Zenocrate was written in Tamburlaine (back then in the dressing room of the theatre in, hm, vol. 5 I guess? Or was it 4?), and Kit likens this to his relationship (as of now) to Geoffrey/Nigel.
Kaito had criticized that he deemed it unlikely that a woman who had been assaulted by a man whom she had just met and whom she didn’t love would have a hard time loving said man from the bottom of her heart.
Kit retells his reaction to this criticism by saying that he was ashamed of what he had written and that he had not thought it through from her perspective, and that this would make Tamburlaine much better understandable. He should hold her in high esteem and not touch her until her father had conquered Egypt, in fact so much as to make her wonder why he didn’t touch her at all. Which would give Kit the opportunity to make Tamburlaine talk to Zenocrate in order to make her understand that, and also to demonstrate that Tamburlaine is not only strong at war (but also with words).

Now (back in the “now”) Kit latches onto this and likens it to the relationship between G/N and Kaito.
(I think the parallel is that Geoffrey and Nigel also hold Kaito in high esteem and first talked to him to win his heart, instead of fucking him right away.)
Then he says that the only difference is that Geoffrey and Kaito have not had sex yet [while Tamburlaine and Zenocrate had sex after her father conquered Egypt, is my take here]. “Or did you?”
(how subtle, Kit, how subtle :sweat_smile:)

I think Kit is actually criticizing Geoffrey here for doing that: そんなところまでナイジェルと同じか。 using Nigel’s overly high esteem of his mother (that keeps him from being interested in any real women) as an example to explain his criticism. Which of course brings Nigel up against him :rofl:

He is talking to Nigel: ナイジェルにだけ聞こえるように囁いた. And yes, after Nigel is complaining whether they are really planning to take this detestable person on their long journey, Geoffrey asks him to be patient and tells him that afterwards “you can do with him what you like”. (And I don’t expect that to be friendly things :rofl:)

Re Chapter 6:

Riiight? :rofl:

It was obvious that Kaito behaves just like that, but I was really surprised that he could reflect on it like that. :+1:

Definitely! I’m getting more and more the hang of seeing Vicente and Kaito together.

It’s so ridiculous, I keep giggling about it each time I think of it :rofl:

Glad you agree with me! :sweat_smile:
By the way, I’m planning to start Vol. 11 around the end (-ish) of January. Do the two of you think you can manage to catch up to me until then?


(Ch. 4 spoilers)

Harem-believers unite! :handshake: I’m serious, 松岡先生, I’d be fine with it! Why introduce so many pretty and interesting boys if only one “wins”? I’ll even give you my idea for free: Vicente tags along with the gang to protect Kaito from Geoffrey, thereby lessening the latter’s influence and allowing Nigel to sneak in. Now everyone’s happy. :heart:

Ah, I don’t think I was actively doing much on WK when this book was read. :thinking: Looks like it’s got three short stories in is? I’ll have to check it out when F&B finally spits me loose; I’d enjoy seeing a different take on things. (Plus, just look at that knife in the thread title.)

Lol, I didn’t even consider that. :rofl: Could totally see it.

(Ch. 5 spoiler)
Aaaah, that makes much more sense now. I see all the disparate parts I was reading in the text, and it makes sense seeing them put together like this. I think the bit I was missing was the switch from Kaito’s commentary on Zenocrate and Kit’s analysis of that commentary. I think I was reading the whole thing from Kaito’s perspective and it was throwing me off. :thinking:

(Ch. 5 spoiler)
Ack, you’re right; I misread that as “Nigel is the same [as you, and here’s why]”, as opposed to “[you’re] the same as Nigel [and here’s why]”.

(Ch. 5 spoilers)
Okay, good; I don’t know why I read such a sinister cast into that sentence. Much preferable if we just torment Kit instead.

(Ch. 6 spoilers)

I think we’re still in the “unintentional introspection” phase of things by this point: the thoughts are bubbling up to the surface, but Kaito’s not really emotionally ready at a conscious level to think through his feelings. I’m definitely not criticizing him (at this point at least); he’s hardly in the ideal situation to calmly sit and think about his love life. It was a nice moment, one I was really glad to see.

Let’s see; we’re on volume 9 now, and my Kindle tells me I’m 73% of the way through. I can probably finish by Friday (if work doesn’t beat me up too much), leaving about a week and change for volume 10. I’ve got plans this weekend (birthday weekend :partying_face:) so no guarantees there, but after that I think I should be free and clear. (Man, didn’t think I’d be coming to consider the possibility of finishing four F&B books in one month quite so soon.)

So I think I can make it. :thinking: I would like to start the F&B bonus reading initiative again; this was a terrible stretch of books for that to start, haha. Maybe I’ll take a look to see what I need to scan in the meantime before volume 11… I’ve got this and that scanned so far; mostly the shorter stuff.


Yes, there is the titular story (which is rather long), then a short story (the one I was referring to) and then a super-short story (which I liked best, not gonna lie).

Did I mention I like when people agree with me? :rofl:
(nah, just kidding - glad I could help you understand what it was about)

Oh yeah good point. I wonder when he will get back to that line of thought :thinking:

Noice! (will say something when we get there; not gonna jinx you with all the superstitious sailors around :sweat_smile:)

Great! Let’s do this then!

Oh yeah, I thought I could squeeze in the Vol 6 extra story but so far only got around to reading the backstory of that story… (these huge pages are a bit annoying in my mind :joy_cat: and I don’t really know how to properly account for them in my reading log, but that’s just in my head :face_with_spiral_eyes:)


Chapter 5 thoughts

So, at the end of chapter 4 Kit Marlow makes another appearance. I really like this character. He brings the fun! XD Also, he’s quite the character here, bringing out different sides I feel from both Nigel and Jeoffrey. I like these three together! Never a dull moment really! :joy:

In any case, Jeoffrey spills his guts about him and Kaito not going the whole way. ^^; Can’t say I relate much to this idea that you make someone yours through the act of penetration. Kaito is Jeoffrey’s as much as Jeoffrey is Kaito’s at this point. They already had sex and are devoted to each other emotionally. Trying out more stuff doesn’t change that. :eyes:

Anywho, Marlow is a real asset here. He’s managed to get a copy of El Escorial even, helping them to plan their next steps.

new word: 東西南北 【とうざいなんぼく】 (n) east, west, south and north
alla riktingar, alla väderstreck, all directions,

The whole idea of defining an entrance as the eastern entrance, baffles me honestly. Or the southern entrance. How would I know which direction south is? We only use left, right (facing X) in Swedish. XD Ngl, とうざいなんぼく is a mouthful. ^^’

Well, El Escorial is the largest Renaissance building in the world. So, searching for 1 person amongst the hundreds of rooms is near impossible. ^^; They clearly need a better way! Also, they need to be able to disguise themselves and pretend to be Spanish, but how to do that without speaking Spanish? :eyes:

Pretending to be mute is a way to not have to learn to speak Spanish. Not knowing how to read it either, might be harder to explain though. :sweat_smile:

Katakana madness on page 123, I gave up! :joy: But, the following explanation for the expression was easy enough to understand, so I guess it doesn’t matter too much. ^^’ (“Nothing ventured nothing gained”, Swedish, “Friskt vågat, hälften vunnet” Latin =???)

Well, it seems there’s nothing to be gained for Kit by trying to get into Nigel’s pants, at least not this night! :joy: Because, in a moment of genius, Jeoffrey realize it’s all going to go much easier if they just bring Kit with them, who both knows about Catholizism and speaks Latin. XD I’m all for this plan! Ganbatte Kit! You can get there, one night, maybe? XD

I do think it’s funny how Jeoffrey is essentially using Nigel as the bait to get Kit to come along for the trip! :joy: :fishing_pole_and_fish:


I was wondering about that as well? :thinking: :service_dog:

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Chapter 7

(Whoops, I wrote before that Kaito was already on his donkey, but he only saddles up here.)

Kaito and co. arrive at El Escorial and are immediately brought before the king. I was a bit surprised they didn’t pause to brush off and freshen up or anything; was Kaito already wearing his nice black velvet, I guess? I would think it would be pretty dusty from the road, even with his cloak…

Anyway, Kaito is asked to prove that he really speaks Japanese by saying a few words while a priest checks against what I assume is a Spanish-Japanese dictionary. Apparently こんにちは and はじめまして aren’t in the dictionary, necessitating Kaito digging deep into his memories of perusing his father’s books and plucking out 忝い. I’m quite curious how 16th century Japanese differs from 21st century’s; I would think it would be quite different. The English haven’t had much/any contact with them so far, right? Any loanwords would be mostly Dutch/Portuguese in origin at this point afaik. Kaito’s lack of trouble with the time’s English was one thing I was a bit sad we never got to see, though I understand why.

Kaito gets to show off a bit of his music ability via a virginals; I recall him saying in volume 1 that he was pretty decent at the piano, so it’s pretty neat to see him be able to use those skills here. I looked up the song he plays as well, Sting’s Valparaiso, which is a really lovely song.

We’re introduced to King Philip’s advisors:

  • Mateo Vázquez de Leca, Philip II’s secretary

  • VIcente’s uncle, the Marquis of Santillana. I don’t think we’ve been given a first name for him, unfortunately; Vicente isn’t a real figure probably, but I’m curious if his uncle is. I haven’t found any Mendoza or lord of Santillana serving Philip II yet, unfortunately, but his family is definitely based off of Íñigo López de Mendoza, 1st Marquis of Santillana - Wikipedia.

  • Alonso Martínez de Leiva, the pop-star/Francis Drake of the Spanish world. Amusingly, 松岡先生 makes him blond here; I have to wonder if it was only to set up the joke in Chapter 8 (Vicente wondering about blondes), or if she had another reason. :rofl: He gets a character page in the art book, too!

Fairly short chapter; the meat of it comes next!

Chapter 8

So this is the main brunt of Kaito’s meeting with Philip II, told from Vicente’s POV. And man; I know I said just a few posts ago to @NicoleIsEnough that I wasn’t getting a huge amount of gay vibes from from Vicente, but if you swapped in Geoffrey’s name instead of his this chapter, I wouldn’t have even noticed. He really lets loose about his jealousy towards people (men) Kaito takes an interest in, specifically Alonso here. He also spends a chunk of the chapter daydreaming about his future with Kaito; I have to hand it to the guy, he’s confident: he doesn’t even seem to consider the possibility that Geoffrey will show up to rescue Kaito.

Hilariously, his jealousy eventually leads him to trying to figure out the secret behind men who capture Kaito’s interest, spending a decent amount of time trying to decide if Kaito’s just really attracted to blondes. :rofl:

We also get another difference! Apparently both Portugal and Spain landed in Japan on the same day (as opposed to it being Portugal), leading to issues of who has what rights (especially proselytization rights) between the two. Looong history lesson here, though I’m slowly getting used to them.

Vicente is make a Knight of the Order of Santiago for his good work in bringing back Kaito, and Philip II himself decides to be Kaito’s godparent upon him being baptized Catholic, mostly to stick it to Elizabeth. :stuck_out_tongue:

Our final scene is is one more kindness from VIcente: instead of agreeing to lock Kaito in his room, he persuades Father Sigüenza to leave Kaito’s door unlocked. That’s a +1 in Kaito’s book, and the night ends peacefully.

Chapter 9

Our final chapter here is from Kaito’s POV, and I’ll skip discussing most of it, since the middle bit is art appreciation time, and instead focus on his thoughts and feelings towards Vicente. Seems he’s kind of at the point where he’s trying not to like Vicente too much for two main reasons:

  1. He feels like it’s a betrayal to Geoffrey to get too friendly with the enemy
  2. He doesn’t want to become too attached to someone he’s afraid will die once the Armada attacks England, knowing that Spain’s losses are overwhelming.

One small criticism is I wish 松岡先生 was a bit more explicit with time in this series. If you asked me now, I honestly couldn’t tell you how long Kaito’s actually spent with Vicente these past two books, and that makes it really hard to judge his relationship with the man. Vicente’s head over heels and has been for a while, and reading any chapters from his perspective makes it feel like the two have been together for much longer than they probably have been.

Is it a betrayal to Geoffrey to make friends with Vicente at this point, given how Vicente is Kaito’s sole ally at the moment? I would say no, given that in my imagination they’ve probably been together for a month or two at minimum at this point. Vicente is G&N’s enemy, but I don’t think he’s Kaito’s. He does things Kaito doesn’t like, but at this point I’m still convinced that, given a choice between Kaito’s health and safety and letting Geoffrey “win”, he would choose to do what’s best for Kaito. We’ll have to see, though; he’ll undoubtedly have a confrontation with Geoffrey soon enough, and I’m very curious how he’ll act, especially since he’s already acknowledged several times that England is #1 in Kaito’s heart.

Vicente’s speculations in chapter 7 get put into a new context here: it’s not that Vicente’s asking for too much from Kaito, it’s that Kaito really is holding back. Given Vicente’s thought process already, he may not survive a full unleashing of Kaito’s favoritism. Let’s see it for science in volume 10. :eyes:

Incidentally, it looks like next book will be the perfect opportunity for Vicente to show his dedication and really break through the walls in Kaito’s heart: it’s time for the Inquisition! I’m guessing Father Escobar wasn’t quite as out of the picture as everyone thought.

Overall another top-notch volume. Does anyone else feel like 松岡先生 doesn’t much like writing about life at court, though? Here and at Elizabeth’s, I feel like she skips over more details than you would usually expect. Kaito mentions going through several (?) rounds of questioning by Philip II during that last chapter, and while I understand not detailing every question we already know the answer to, it still feels really abrupt to go from, “Here’s Kaito, he’s a red-haired heretic fortuneteller, but he’s cool” to “Oh yeah the Inquisition’s after him now”. I want to see a bit of El Escorial; the place is stinking huge, and I could totally see Kaito slipping off his leash to go explore.

Finally, what a tease on the final line:


I liked Nicole’s suggestion that it be read as 食う, haha.

(Ch. 9 spoilers)

Actually, here the king says, “See, Kaito’s a heretic, but even he can see the value of this work of art” to the priest; I have a feeling the king’s happy to have someone on his side and not say the art’s immoral or something, haha.


Chapter 6 thoughts

Sounds like a really rough ride to travel by carriage at this time. :sweat: In any case, Vincente and Kaito make their way toward El Escorial. Kaito = :black_cat: confirmed? Surely, after feeling like he wanted to die because he was separated from Jeoffrey, surely Kaito doesn’t have such shallow feelings that he’s fine with just anyone showing some kindness to him? ^^; Well, the author has decided that Kaito and Vincente, as they spend more time in each other’s company, are slowly getting closer and closer. Sure, it’s a mother hen kind of closeness right now, coming from Vincente, but who knows where that leads… :eyes:

Flashback time! spoiler below

turns out Kaito and Jan spoke on their way to Santa Cruz room and shared some interesting secrets! :eyes: Jan is a former crew member of Jeoffrey’s! they share the experience of having been imprisoned, tormented (though Jan undoubtedly much more), and being branded for their crime. Though Jan is now also a slave to Toredo and so they have a complex relationship for sure. Jan manage to give Kaito a pep talk here in how to not give up hope about Jeoffrey getting to him in the end. :cry: Such a good guy! <3 he’s also given Kaito the ship plans to the new style of ships he’s being made to build for the Spanish fleet. F&B spy thriller, continues! :male_detective: Jan also says he has a “reason” to stay in Spain, even if Jeoffrey were to show up.

Back in present time, Vincente sets Leo up to teach Kaito proper Spanish. :joy: I can see how well that will turn out already! XD


Oh, so that’s what it was. I was unsure for sure. But is it really a model, not paper. How is he to carry something like that, in his pants even? :thinking: Read Nicole’s comment also, I guess, his pants are not very tight! XD

It could be a slight misunderstanding on the part of the author? he’s described as a knight by her, but really, he’s a knight in a religious order, so to speak? Because, this guy does have a relationship to the Spanish court and was a power player it seems! :eyes:


Chapter 7 thoughts

Vincente and Kaito make their way through El Escorial. The place is indeed huge! I like the description of all the work taking place, washing and cooking whole pigs and what not. I wonder what the monks living there ate? Not as fancy stuff? :thinking:

The only time nature calls in this series, it’s when you’re waiting for your audience to the king of Spain! :joy: Well, there’s nothing to do but to hold it in as they’re announced for their audience. ^^;

Philip II is quite an imposing figure here. :sweat_smile: Both Kaito and Vincente are feeling the strain of being in front of this man.

TIL about Virginals ヴァージナル :eyes:


Also, Kaito might finally be able to make it big, as a Renaissane musician? :woman_singer: His biggest fan so far seems to be Vincente! XD

ゴードン サマナー

turns out to be Sting (musician) - Wikipedia lol. i should have just continued reading, not trying to figure out the kana with this one .:joy:

Back to reading…

We get to meet the final character from the character book: Alonso di Lieva. :eyes: Alonso seems like an important player at the court.

info about this man:


Kaito gets distracted by this blond man, thinking about Jeoffrey. Saying as much to Vincente, bringing up Jeoffrey, does not make him happy. ^^ Poor Vincente has a hard time navigating the topic of Kaito’s lover. XD


Chapter 8

The audience continues, now having turned to the more heavy topics including about Kaito’s, now very tragic, origin story, as well as Kaito’s criminal past. :supervillain:

As they talk, more details are revealed about how Japan was found, and it seems Kaito again doesn’t know how his understanding of history differs from this one. :eyes: not sure I got all the details of this discussion though.

Anyway, for the time being, Vincente realize he’ll have to say goodbye to Kaito, which makes him uneasy - he finds himself not wanting to leave Kaito. :c He settles for at least staying close during their stay at El Escorial and teach Kaito proper Spanish.

lol Vincente is clearly quite taken by Kaito and now he’s getting all jelly at Kaito’s interest in other men. :joy: Poor guy doesn’t know how to get Kaito to like him. ^^; But, he does one thing completely right and that’s insisting on not having Kaito’s door locked like some prisoner.