The 2nd episode of The Duelist sees Benemunde begin to exert her influence behind the scenes. The members of the court react to Reinhard serving as the agent in a duel, while Reinhard himself still has plenty to learn about both the rules and how to fire a gun. Helksheimer’s man of choice shows off his skills in targeting hands and shoulders of a target with ease. However, Benemunde’s choice of agent challenges him to a duel before going on to make himself the agent who would oppose Reinhard.
The episode begins in the Imperial Court where the nobles react to the news of Reinhard serving as an agent in a duel. The duelists themselves are seen as low in the food chain, as and Reinhard is considered a low noble they agree that taking such a position fits him. Helksheimer then enters the room confidently and is assured that his top-class agent will be able to deal with a novice like Reinhard without any difficulty. Later, Benemunde gets the confirmation and takes action.
The next day, Kircheis runs Reinhard through the history and procedures surrounding duels. Reinhard gets to pick a weapon for the duel, but there are different rules for guns, swords and fists. Reinhard picks guns as it is the most familiar to him, but Kircheis says there is a special type of gun that is used for duels. Of course, Reinhard has never used a gun like that before.
Meanwhile at the Littenheim manor, Helksheimer’s agent shows off his skill with the the archaic gun which sounds much louder than a hunting rifle. The rest of Littenheim’s family runs off to go look at some horses before Littenheim and Helksheimer talk about court issues. They talk about Annerose and hope that she does not give birth to a male heir as it would mean that Littenheim’s daughter would not have the chance to be Kaiserin. Benemunde had earlier given birth to a son, but that was stillborn though there were rumors to the contrary. Fortunately for Littenheim, it didn’t appear as though the Kaiser was trying to have children anymore, especially in the case of Annerose. Finally, there conversation moves on to what will happen with the mine the duel is being fought over. Essentially, Helksheimer will use the mine to funnel weapons to the military through Littenheim earning both a large amount of money.
The next day at a nearby shooting range, Reinhard finally got some practice using the guns that will be used in the duel. They were single shot weapons that used gunpowder, which reacted much differently to the beam weapons that Reinhard was used to as he began to fire his shots nowhere near the targets. After several failures, another officer walks over and gives tips to Reinhard on how to deal with the kickback from the gun and where to aim. After he’s done with the lesson, Reinhard is impressed and asks who the officer is. It turns out that it is a certain Cornelius Lutz, who tells Reinhard that he is already famous. After Lutz leaves, Reinhard asks Kircheis about his opponent, who isn’t Lutz, but seems curious about him.
Later, Helksheimer’s agent for the duel, Goltschmidt, walks through a snowy forest and calls out to someone who challenged him. Out stepped a man in dark clothing with his face covered. They run through the formalities of a duel and then get to doing it. They both hit their targets, with varying levels of damage. Goltschmidt had hit the man in the hand, just as duelists were supposed to. However, he had been shot in the chest, and so said a few words about dishonoring duelists before dying. The unidentified man then identifies himself as an assassin, rather than a duelist.
That night, Helksheimer is in a panic as his agent was killed. Fortunately, there happened to be a man in dark clothing asking to become his agent almost immediately. The next morning, he shows off his shooting skills, which Helksheimer deems fit enough to represent him. While at the same time, Benemunde has her assassin in a position to kill Reinhard with little chance of it being revealed.
Thoughts: So now we are in to token cameos by people who would serve under Reinhard later. I actually just want to get back to the first Gaiden series again, that actually looked better and seemed much more like its own story. Just a little announcement here, but The Duelist is going to be taking a week off here as next week will feature a movie with characters that resemble those of this series, but with a different cast entirely. It has Legend of the Galactic Heroes in the title, so eventually I’d have to blog it anyway. Yes, it’s Golden Wings.