Needless to say Ikta won the mock battle.
Ikta has a very strategic way of looking at the battlefield. He doesn’t come up with clever tactics, he comes up with rather lazy tactics. He looks at the options, and determines what the enemy will do, and what they assume he will do. Its like an endless loop of reverse psychology. I guess in a world where Science is a new word, reverse psychology isn’t due for a couple more years.
After throwing off the Remeon brothers by changing locations, he draws part of their squadron away, so that he has the upper hand in numbers. The extra time they had at the new battle site allowed for some landscape scouting and alterations. The biggest was submerging tree trunks to create bridges that the enemy could not see. He banked on the Remeon brothers thinking they knew the area, so they would not have to check the depth of the river and discover the underwater bridges.
After the initial blitz attack, Ikta calls a retreat and moves their camp. The Remeon brothers assume after a short break that the battle would resume, not that Iktas team would move completely. They hunker down in the North alley, the only exit out of the training area. Apparently any team that does not return is automatically disqualified. So now the battle is taking place in a space between two cliffs with one exit. If a soldier passes over the boundary line, leaving the battle area, then their team is disqualified. The Remeon brothers new strategy is to cheat. Sari specifically tells his men to ignore any landed hits and make sure to push a soldier over the boundary line. Technically this is following the same tactic Ikta is using. Just because you are shot does not mean you are dead in a real battle. If you are shot in the shoulder, you can still power through, especially with adrenaline pumping through your veins.
Before Saris strategy can be implemented, Ikta has already taken advantage of the overpowering anger surging through the elder brother. He has Torway positioned to fire, and snipes his older brother. Sari is paintballed in the head by his ‘good for nothing’ younger brother.
Sush then takes command and calls a retreat. If he implements a retreat, then at least some of the soldiers survive, and he can claim he was successful in his last retreat. That sounds better than ‘I sacrificed all of my men to save my ego’.
After wards, while packing up, Ikta calls out a few members of his troop, and scolds them for trying to be heroes. He embarks on a speech about how his troop does not need heroes, he does not want heroes. If they listen to his streamlined, logical moves, then they can afford to be lazy. He gets on a podium and professes how laziness is the mother of invention, listing a number of items that make everyone’s lives easier that were created in order to afford people to be lazy. People loved it. Now we know why he is the Lazy General. His mantra is ‘Fight Easy, Win Easy’ and his tactics in the mock battle reflect that. The most exertive activity the soldiers did was push a tree into the river. Other than that all they did was position themselves in different places.
What Ikta didn’t see coming was the Princess being kidnapped. She is lured to a spot to the west, the opposite of both Igsem and Itka. Her guards are slaughtered and she is choked out. If Torway hadn’t noticed her in the forest, no one would have known where she was going. Ikta immediately is suspicious and uses sound to alert Igsem in Morse code to help search for the princess.
It is discovered that Captain Ison Ho has captured the princess, blaming her and her family for the death of Captain Hazaf Rikan, the Captain lost in the East Garrison battle. Ison knowns that his teacher died to cover up a political screw-up, and as penance, the princess must die.
Igsem engages him in a sword battle, and he easily overpowers her. It looks like she is in trouble when Torway rescues her, by sniping Ison in the head. When Igsem recovers, she takes down the rest of Isons men, freeing the princess. Blood gets everywhere. When Ikta arrives on the scene, his comment is that everyone must have spilt tomatoes juice.
His first act is to calm Igsem down. She seems to be in a trance like state, and he has to get her to drop her sword. The atmosphere is one of intimacy, like this happens frequently. There is a flashback to the two in what looks like cages, with Ikta promising to be Igsems left hand. We don know what this means just yet, but it must mean something important. Ikta grounds Igsem, bringing her back to reality.
He turns to Ison, who is still alive somehow. Ison compares Iktas fighting style to his fallen captain, and also to Bada. His tone suggests he is asking a question, but he passes before Ikta can respond.
The incident is not made public, but there is a narration about how this event stuck with everyone involved for a very long time.
So now we know why Ikta is the Lazy General. It was quite entertaining to see his speech on laziness rile up the other soldiers. Ison comparing his tactics to Badas is also interesting. We don’t know much about Iktas father, other that he disobeyed the emperor and was a skilled general. If Ikta takes after him, then was he around a lot? Most generals seem like they are away a lot and constantly moving from place to place during battles. Igsem seems to have battle experience, but Ikta never really shows any interest in participating in battles. His reason for hating his appointment as an Imperial Knight is because he doesn’t want to be a soldier. Usually hatred of soldiers comes from trauma of being attacked by soldiers, or living in a negative environment because of soldiers, so living without a father because he was a soldier would fit. That being said, Ikta does not appear to shy away from battle elements, or gore and blood. When he reaches Igsem and the princess, there are bodies strewn around, and even in Kioka, he was carrying the dead enemy’s so they were out of view.
Can we get a flashback to the childhood already? Can we meet Iktas father already? I feel like meeting his father would clear up so many questions we have about Iktas behaviour and relationship with Igsem.
That being said, Igsem while fighting has very fast moving swords. The sound effects of metal slashing through skin may not have been authentic, but they were effective. The blood spatters were inconsistent on where they landed, especially on people. At first glance, the entire top of the princess is covered in blood, but a moment later there is just a splatter across he bangs.
The perspectives during the final battle were fast paced and there were a few POV shots. Overall the battle was blurry, mostly because of the speed she was supposed to be going. Her face remained stony throughout the ordeal, even afterwards. The only one to break down was the princess, and she began punching at Ikta.