Barsa, after saving the pride of Chagum in the festival, made a mistake by making a huge presence. As feared, one of the people that recognized them was there at the festival and found Barsa. After the threat to expose them that they were in fact alive to the authorities, Barsa decided to meet this man. However, a painful scar within Barsa is starting to hurt her, a scar that is present in the past. Will she lose the very vow that she believed in?
After a rather calming arc, this episode brings up quite a bit of the action that was missing ever since episode 3.
The children in the village passed Barsa a letter after she was recognized at the festival. She then handed Chagum to Tonda and went to meet the man, since the man stated that he would tell the authorities about them being still alive. Chagum felt bad because it was him who sneaked to the festival but Tonda assured him that it would be sooner or later. The man was named Karbo, and he wanted to take revenge for Barsa keeping him alive from the last encounter three years ago. Barsa did not want to fight him due to her beliefs but he warned her that he would kill the first person that passed through the gate everyday until she came to fight him.
As Barsa waited at the gate, she saw a middle-aged female teacher and her young escort. However, the horse that was riding her went wild and Barsa controlled the horse in time. The horse had been shot by a dart and found Karbo and a dart master at the cliffs a distance away. Barsa then decided to track the teacher, and the escort was suspicious of Barsa. At a rest, they were welcomed by the strong stench of rots rotting in the well. At night, Barsa stayed with them, and the teacher talked to her and told her that she was going to the fishing village to teach. The teacher realized that Barsa was a bodyguard, and talked about the tale of a warrior who wanted to fight as strong as a tiger.
However, as he fought more until he had no opponents, he realized he turned into a real tiger, and lost all abilities of being a man. The teacher then said she told the story because she could feel the murderous intent from Barsa. Barsa said that she still had much to practice to cover that aura, and exited. The escort was happy that Barsa left but the teacher was merely wanting to know more about Barsa’s strange aura. While resting outside, Barsa was kept awake by darts shot around her. The dart master noticed that Barsa did not even flinch, but Barsa warned him against shooting her and told him to flee if she tried to approach.
The next morning, the two travelers found Barsa still around as the teacher realized Barsa had not slept at all. The boy tried to chase Barsa away but Barsa informed them that they were embroiled in her situation. The boy reacted angrily and tried to race away with teh teacher on horseback. Before Barsa could save them, the horse was hit with rocks and the pair was thrown off the horse. Barsa’s patience wore thin as she screamed for Karbo to come down. Barsa then told them to leave, but Karbo said that it was the dart master’s reward. Barsa then tried to chase after them but was engaged by Karbo. She then said she had no choice but to be a tiger now.
The dart master stopped the teacher and wanted to rob them. However, the boy charged him in time and knocked him out. The teacher was more concerned with Barsa and needed to get back before Barsa turned into a tiger. The boy did not want to go back, but the teacher said that Barsa had taken the task of protecting them without asking for any reward. Barsa was getting desperate in the fight as they fought in a bamboo forest. Barsa then told Karbo about her vow not to kill and that she realized that every life was equal and worth living. It was not worth killing someone that is small fry like Kabo.
Barsa then said that she had something important to protect and no longer had time to play with him. Karbo was extremely shocked to be labeled as a small fry and the image of the tiger appeared symbolizing Barsa. Barsa was in full fury as she slashed him right through the heart and killed him. Barsa walked away with a rage that was dangerous, and told the teacher that she would kill him as she was a tiger now. When Barsa left, Karbo stood up almost having no memories of anything, and Barsa had not killed him. Karbo looked despondent and shocked at being called a small fry and told the escort to bring Barsa back. The teacher had to bring Barsa back to let her know that she had not killed anyone.
Barsa is definitely the draw of the episode and her feud with Karbo is extremely well depicted. To me, this battle is so much different from the battle in Episode 3. The one battle with the secret assassins is probably more aesthetically beautiful, but this one has the vicious intent written all over it. It is clear that Barsa has held in for the battle in episode 3, but it is changed in this one where every single stroke and pierce of her spear is intended to kill, not to merely impair.
Some might wonder about why Barsa suddenly turned vicious (yes, I silently stalked Wrex’s blog quite a bit), but I believe it is merely because Karbo will never let her go. He was willing to do anything in order to provoke her to anger and to engage in a fight. In that situation, Barsa’s vow would one day be broken considering the absolute meaning in what Karbo was trying to invoke. I mean, if you have a guy who is hindering your very existence as well as the existence of your client (Chagum), there is only one way left: To be a tiger.
In that case, it is perhaps her own assertion that she has to turn to the vicious bodyguard in order to clear this obstacle. Karbo was going to hunt her down if she left him alive. He would merely become hungrier for her blood and attacked her even more viciously. In that case, I can understand why she reverted to one of mortal rage, crazing and thirsting for the blood of the enemy. It is amazing though, how Karbo actually survived the attack.
My thoughts on it is that despite her strength and resolution to eliminate the enemy, her subconscious mind is somewhat in action, causing her blow to be less lethal than how it was expected. To add on, it is perhaps the new weapon that the blacksmith had created in order to prevent any form of true killing of a human. Maybe, it was enchanted. All this are wild speculations of how Karbo can actually survive such a vicious blow, but I guess we will never know. It is a good touch to make him completely forgotten due to trauma.
To add on, I really like the relation of Barsa with the aura of murderous intent to the story with the man who turned into a tiger. The teacher is also one that has a lot of wisdom, considering how she worried about Barsa turning into a true tiger. She is perhaps just human when asked to escape since she is not a fighter, but it is apparent that her heart is definitely one of a teacher. In all, this episode is one of the highs after some character foundations from the last few episodes. Nice stuff for sure.