Source material: Kill Six Billion Demons: King of Swords, pages 9-120 through 10-145, as well as bonus texts from pages 9-121, 9-124, 10-140
Blogged: October 18, 2020
Alright! Squeezed in-between weeks with a lot of work, it’s finally time to start this penultimate batch of K6BD!
So, where were we? Ah yes, Allicio just went for serious overkill on White Chain. It didn’t actually knock White Chain out, but it still caused Allicio to realize they had been wrong, that White Chain had a point about their recklessness. That’s a very important moment, I think, for reconciling the group.
But first the fight needs to end, whoever it’ll be that wins. Maybe Garbodor wins on walkover as Allicio and White Chain get out of the arena? Team Allison has Zaid already anyway, so the only reason to continue fighting at this point is survival and to serve as a distraction.
Alternatively, we could get a mirror of the scene near the start of the book, where Allison and White Chain come together as student and master to fight Garbodor. Except with Allison having come to a truer understanding of White Chain’s teachings, and perhaps still wearing Cio, marking the first time we’ve actually seen all three of them fighting together.
There’s also likely going to be some more direct conflict with Solomon and/or Gog-Agog before this book ends, which seems the logical progression if Allicio and/or White Chain win(s) this.
Let’s dive in and see!
I suppose I should have seen it coming that an angel would know how to exorcise a devil.
White Chain can be really freaking scary when she wants to be.
And so the angelic fury cools.
82 (83 now?) White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil. Despite Incubus’ best efforts, Allison isn’t Evil, just Chaotic.
“There’s a reason I don’t fight angels, mate. To them, you’re just a heap of disorganized meat waiting for a barbecue.” – Mars Pellatrix, Belligerent Knight
Rather than a precious teacup to be handled with care.
I should definitely have read the Prim story.
Huh. Garbodor seems to be on board with the teacups. I took him for less sympathetic than that.
Well played. Everything he’s said up until this point came across as him reminding her to act like other angels, painting him as another of White Chain’s detractors, but he was actually trying to remind her to act like herself, because she’s the example all the other angels should aspire to be.
And this is certainly something White Chain needed to hear right now, I think.
(I also notice he says “siblings” rather than “brothers”.)
Oh right, this bastard’s hanging around here too, still.
We’re not quite done with this fight scene yet.
White Chain and/or Garbodor kicking the shit out of Juggernaut Star? I’m all for that.
(I haven’t forgotten that one of the bonus texts I mentioned at the top of the post is on this page, don’t worry. I’m just saving the bonus texts for the end.)
Let’s see how well the name “Juggernaut” actually fits!
Hmm. Maybe this won’t be White Chain kicking the shit out of him, but rather Allison getting a second wind to protect her master and friend. Even though that master and friend just beat the crap out of her.
Yeah, looks like it’s going in that direction.
Garbodor can help too, that’s fine.
Though in these panels he seems more like a Koffing.
Pretty sure you know who this is at this point
I’m being an idiot again, aren’t I.
No really, am I suppose to recognize him as a previously established character with this unrobing?
Either way, he’s being awesome.
Sorry it took Vigilant gaze two books to come to this realization but Angels do move a little slow
I’ve got a pony OC named Vigilant Watch but he’s significantly less cool.
“The watcher’s name is 10 Vigilant Gaze Purges the Horizon. Though among the most powerful angels, he is well known to his kin for being mild-mannered and extremely long winded. He has far too much free time.”
Holy shit he’s the welcome sphinx
Or, well, not sphinx exactly, but I didn’t notice the hooves the first time around, so sphinx is the description that got stuck in my head.
Juggernaut Star’s attacks here remind me of Asriel Undertale.
Gotta wonder what Solomon thinks of all this. Has he noticed that Juggernaut Star wasn’t a competitor from the start? Same goes for Ciocie, who last I saw her was lying on the groud somewhere nearby.
A powerful statement coming from the story’s biggest trans allegory / rep.
One side effect of the prayer for forgiveness is a rather long period in which an angel will do nothing but defend themselves. This is commonly held by many Throne criminals to be a grace period in which you may safely believe you can actually do something to an angel in close combat.
See, the problem is it’s a transformation sequence. Not literally, but in spirit, it’s the same thing — a long-winded, pre-scripted sequence leading up to the angel being able to fight. And everyone knows you can’t attack during a transformation sequence.
White Chain is on fire with the exorcisms today!
I wonder if something like this sneak attack is what it takes to draw blood from Solomon. He can tank a lot when prepared for it, but maybe he has some weakness that only comes into play with backhanded tactics.
Well hello there, miss Internalized Transphobia.
This is a nice direction to take Juggernaut Star’s character, I think. Of course, you gotta be careful with this sort of narrative to avoid portraying it as “actually trans-/homo-/whateverphobic actions are totally fine ’cause it’s just self-hatred”, but I think K6BD has enough setup of the entire angel society being like this that it’ll probably work to have just one or a few characters like this without excusing the transphobia of the society overall.
But I do say this as a cis dude, so please take it with a grain of salt and talk to trans people about these things rather than citing me.
Only an angel can beat another angel
Angels in their true forms, particularly…
Juggernaut being our primary example of a thorn angel is also fitting, as they’ve taken their inward thorns and pointed them outwards.
Or rather, the thorns are longer than they outwardly seem, pointing both in and out.
Wait, when did Elan Morin Tedronai step into the comic? …I suppose Juggernaut Star always did have one parallel to him:
Look. I’d be making Wheel of Time comparisons here even if they hadn’t explicitly brought up the “wheel of fate”.
The weirdest part of the parallel is that Juggernaut seems to put Zoss in the role of the Dark One.
But Wheel of Time aside, it kind of sounds like they think there’s a cycle of potential Rising Kings being selected?
Careful where you squat.
All he needed was a few moments
Yeah, doesn’t take long for a brief trip to the void like this to get your shell in real trouble.
Transformation sequences aren’t the only way angel battles are anime as fuck.
Case in point. KAMEHAMEHAAA
Unfortunately this video was brought down through copyright, by a Japanese music label that did anime soundtracks among other things. Anyone remember what it was? I’d guess something from Dragon Ball, but I don’t see it on the list of anime they published music from.
Yeeah that shell looks out of commission.
Also it looks like there are more people left in the arena than there seemed. Did they surrender?
The audience is… pleased.
So does Solomon see this as a victory for Gaze?
Also, hi, Ciocie, glad you could rejoin us.
Excellent way to end a tournament. If the tournament was ending, that is.
I know right?
But there’s still the little matter of taking on the champion.
Nah, Allison, he’s right. Between submitting to White Chain and getting help from a non-contestant, you have no claim to victory here.
Gog-Agog seem to be freaking out a bit.
He clearly has ulterior motives, but as far as judgment for the contest goes? I think this is fair. The only questionable thing about it is not giving White Chain a chance to decide herself whether she’s “too wounded to continue”.
It was never going to be that easy.
The rules are the rules!
Yeah! Solomon had every opportunity to go off-track and do his own thing (which to some extent he did earlier by making it a battle royale), but the judgement he just passed was pretty much entirely in keeping with the rules he’d set.
I love them.
What was that about “too wounded to continue”, Solomon?
Allison is almost certainly a Hero of Breath, and it’s contagious.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard a good Cio insult
Yeah, and that’s the biggest crime of this whole book!
Oh, be careful about underestimating her. Or overestimating yourself.
Especially if you do have a weakness to sneaky attacks, because White Chain has proven herself surprisingly good at them now that she’s learned to bluff.
And so we move into chapter 10.
I just realized we’ve got a third member of the “hole through the torso, comes back wearing a sash” club. Even if the sash in this case was there before the hole.
…is he pitting these folks up against White Chain before she can go against him? Or maybe pitting them up against him?
I believe that means Allison is back in, if she can summon the strength. Same goes for Vigilant Gaze, and possibly even Ciocie despite not being a contestant to begin with.
Wait, what? Is this the strike-at-Solomon-if-you-dare round, then?
Which I assume does not come with the same “you will not be harmed” protection.
In other words, these contestants are faced with a choice between taking high rewards, or getting a chance to rule at a high risk of death.
Thus begins the first public demonstration of Ki Rata in many years
At least some of them aren’t that big fools.
Will he still give White Chain a chance to forfeit after this demonstration?
“Every single warrior that comes to that gods-cursed ring thinks they have a chance at their drop of blood. The great tragedy is their inability to perceive that the long line of contenders has stretched not only over months, or years, but over many times the natural lifespans of wiser and saner men who have died old in their beds. What the Emperor wants to see in them, I don’t dare to know. He will drink oceans of blood before he does.”
Maybe he wants to see the wisdom to hold back from a typical assault?
Ahh — the angels are stands, but Solomon uses hamon energy.
That was a guy half a second ago.
I plugged this into Google Translate expecting some obscure reference to Japanese literature or something.
I really should have known better.
Maybe part of the point of this whole thing would be to quench the chance of rebellions. He a) gets to display his power, b) gives people the illusion that he’ll let them take over through legal means, c) pits potential rebels up against each other, and d) gets to kill a bunch of them.
And sure, maybe he genuinely is tired of ruling and wants to pass it on, but he doesn’t seem to have a real interest in giving his rule to just any random nobody who happens to know how to wield a weapon.
Which is why things may get interesting if/when he has that personal meeting with Team Allison.
The really impressive part is his arms are still clean at the end of all this.
One drop of blood
Just. A very big one.
I was going to finish the thought, talk about how he’s exactly what she’s been fighting all along… but I caught a glimpse of the top of he next panel, so I’ll let the comic do it.
Right, I suppose we do also have the “officer of the law” angle of White Chain. She’s a beacon in an otherwise corrupt force, but she’s not blameless and she sees that now.
The popular and ever relevant phrase ‘All Cops are Bastards’ can also be read ACAB which a friend of mine has jokingly read as ‘Assigned Cop at Birth’. White Chain was quite literally Assigned Cop at Birth so I think we all have to cut her some slack here.
How the fuck did you manage to interweave an atoning cop narrative and a trans narrative so well? And that really puts a whole other light on the “all angels are male” thing. The good cops are pressured into being bad cops.
White Chain’s story is a trans-good-cop narrative. Has been all along.
Assigned Cop At Birth. You jest, but that really is the best summary of her character.
Grayish blue lives matter????
Finally confirmation that those occasional trips to the void weren’t enough to up her number!
(If that was how it worked, she’d have signed up as 83, I think.)
Poor Gog-Agog is so disappointed.
…okay, not that I don’t appreciate that they let these two stay together but why in the world would they let them stay together? Remember what they could do as Allicio? Hello?!
Gog futures always trade a little better than Agog which has led to accusation of insider trading by the Council for Agog against the Greater Gog Federation. Negotation between the two factions often ends in a failure as large portions of the delegates get distracted, crammed inside of tiny cars, or break out into pie fights.
…yeah that sounds about right.
Bad emperors, bad emperors, what’cha gonna do? What’cha gonna do when they lock you up?
Yeah, I thought this would be a dream reflection (note Cio’s absence), rather than Incubus showing up in person.
And of course she can’t leave.
Strength? No. Strength and power are two very different things, and failing to realize that is a path that can lead down to the cliffs of villainy.
Reach heaven through violence. I haven’t spent too much time thinking about what exactly that means, but one of many possibilities is “do good through violence”.
Also, Incubus? Do you know what tends to happen to villains who encourage “all against all” thinking in a heroic protegé on a darkenng path? They’re taken at their word.
“Never ask un’ what dwells in darkness to describe the light to you, simple as that. Tis’ about as useful as asking a fish to breathe air.”
Good rule to live by.
Oh, it’s that time already? Hi, Zoss.
The moment you start thinking of murder as “truth” and “justice”, you may want to step back and take a good look at your moral alignment.
Look, Incubus, I understand your surprise, but in time you may come to accept as I have that Zoss can be wherever he wants and death doesn’t even seem to bother to pick him up.
Ahahaha I love that his response is pretty much the same
When did Allison learn the old geezer’s name? I don’t recall it being said around her. Though she did have a year off-panel to learn stuff about the world.
I see that emphasis. If Allison cannot save her, who can? Nyave? Or just White Chain herself?
Incubus has very poor timing to show up right around the title drop part on in this book, though to be fair to him he probably wasn’t aware this was a regular thing.
That last line is the biggest indicator yet that yes, the next book is intended to be the last one.
And he still calls her Alice.
Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain.
When Juggernaut Star brought up this cycle on the wheel of fate earlier and I naturally started babbling about Wheel of Time, I said the Ishamael comparison for Juggernaut Star made Zoss the Dark One, though it seemed odd to me at the time because the Dark One wants to break the Wheel of Time.
So that makes four Kings of Swords for the title to refer to, I believe.
“He that masters the wheel cannot break it.” So Zoss wants our young Rising King to break the cycle, either by creating a world that doesn’t spin towards ruin… or by destroying it so there’s no world to spin anywhere at all.
The strength beyond strength… the power of friendship.
But will Allison accept this fate as he’s laid it out? I think not quite.
Only one more title drop to go in the whole series!
I suppose just because he believes this to be his final lesson for her doesn’t mean he won’t show up again at the end. Perhaps even as the final enemy to confront, as she refuses to destroy the wheel once and for all. Or rather, destroys it in a different sense than he was expecting.
Time to let someone else steal the show.
Ahahaha I love how done they both are with these outfits.
And let’s welcome :cio_disgust: to my personal Discord emotes:
I didn’t mention it because I wasn’t sure I remembered it correctly, but I did catch that Zoss talked about passing on the flame while Allison was at an arena event with a knock-off Olympic flame.
Dawn of the Final Day
I get the reference, especially fitting after talk of breaking a temporal cycle, but I have to wonder if this is literally the case for the story as a whole, implying all of the last book takes place in the next 24 hours.
Also, which sun is dawning?
Even if Zoss’ end goal doesn’t align perfectly with Allison’s sensibilities — and that’s still up in the air because of the vagueness of “break the wheel” in this context — he has certainly given her some solid wisdoms over the course of these books.
White Chain looked to Allison as inspiration for this, and it’s true. Things being impossible hasn’t stopped her yet, so when White Chain follows her example… why should it stop her?
Also White Chain getting this treatment before the fight really helps underline the point that her battle-readiness was not a legal way to dismiss her.
No, seriously, if there’s one flaw with Rayuba, it’s that it doesn’t feel like the two-suns situation is treated as a real fact of the setting when it isn’t being used to demonstrate Solomon’s power.
What, Solomon, you haven’t upgraded your army of Minecraft players to netherite armor yet? Sheesh, and here I thought you liked to flex on people… oh, I get it. You’re saving up for a full netherite beacon.
Solomon himself, of course, doesn’t need netherite armor. His skin is netherite already.
If you’re going to kill someone publicly and violently there is no excuse for looking terrible
Yeah, sheesh, gotta dress for the occasion.
“Oh? You’re approaching me?”
“Why hello there! I didn’t realize we went to the same spa, what a fun coincidence!”
Good luck, White Chain.
Solomon is typically suspiciously slightly better dressed than his opponents during these matches
I would expect no less.
And that’s the stopping point for this batch, but we’re not done yet. Because this batch was a little shorter than usual, the patron and I agreed to throw in some bonus texts from pages in this part of the comic to make up the difference.
We’ll start with the text on page 9-121:
“Once, there was an angel with a flaming spear that guarded the western gate of YISUN’s speaking house. He was rigorous, martial, and followed the exact letter of the Old Law that had been inlaid into his very being with Koss’ silver chisel. At the time, most angels were like him, and they were exceptionally inflexible beings. They could not rebel, so well they had been hewn, against the slightest violation of their code. This made them all extremely cruel.
Right off the bat, very relevant to the events of the page.
One day, Prim passed by on the road, and happened upon this angel flogging a group of men of the oldest nation with a lash made of lightning.
Skipping Prim’s story is probably the biggest mistake I’ve made in blogging K6BD. I’ll definitely read it on my reread, though.
The men had refused to take their shoes off inside of YISUN’s speaking house – they had journeyed far and did not know the law of the gods. For this minor offense they were being punished rather severely, and their cries were loud and fierce.
Shoes off in the house, unless it’s a public building that isn’t specifically requiring it anyway.
Cleverly, Prim took her jeweled comb from her pocket, which she no longer used, since she had long ago hewn off most of her beautiful hair, and bade the angel guard it with his life. Being a lesser being with no practical free will to speak of, the angel could do naught but comply.
Turning back to his prisoners, the angel made to flog them again, but found that the comb was so delicate that every violent motion he made sent it tumbling and ringing and threatened to shatter it. He could no longer continue his violent, oppressive work without fear of harming his duty to the daughter of Hansa, to protect this small and delicate thing.
Nice. If only it were that easy with real life police brutality.
He gave up flogging the men, and for the first time ever, began to think.”
And that’s what makes him no longer a lesser being.
I choose to believe Spasms being the author is a misconception that has arisen over the centuries and the story was in fact originally told via spasms.
“It is often speculated upon why Concordant Knights start their pre-combat prayer for forgiveness of violence with an attempt to propitiate Aesma, by far the most violent, rampant, and willful of the gods. The answer, as I was told by one particularly old angel who held watch over a decaying section of the king’s road, is extremely simple: if anything was horrendous enough to offend Aesma, it was enough to offend all the other multitudes of gods, thus the prayer is started by opening the largest flood gate of them all, so to speak.”
“Remember, oh student, this above all other laws: the grip of a sword is suffused with a deep and powerful poison that rots to the bone. It can never be rid of once touched, no matter how much you wish otherwise.
This sounds like Meti’s style of wisdom.
The sword does not kill. The hand kills. The hand is the most beautiful part of a human being, and is capable of nearly infinitely other things than parting men from their ghosts. Once you touch the sword, a terrible tragedy will occur, and your hand will slowly lose this ability. Over time, it will cease to be a hand, and become a sword.”
It reminds me of the war axe and the hammer from the Wheel of Time. The war axe is made for killing, and can only kill. The hammer, meanwhile, can kill, but it can also build.
Also, wasn’t Ryo-ten-Ryam Meti’s mentor?
End of… no, screw this, you know what I read, we don’t need another super-long header that treads water for ages with endless colons and subtitles and chapter numbers and page numbers and wastes everybody’s time like some sort of blog dedicated to some nerd reading other people’s content I mean seriously who’d even read something like that anyway so how’s about that Kill Six Billion Demons
Yeah, this was another fantastic batch. This comic just keeps getting better as we move in towards the climax… somehow. It really doesn’t feel like the next book should be the climax, but here we are.
Obviously White Chain isn’t going to go down completely next batch. But how? Is White Chain just that badass? Is Nyave in a position to help? That seems unlikely given it looked like she and her group were caught.
“Only an angel can beat an angel.”
This battle and its aftermath should be interesting. 🙂