Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Finally, an episode where things don’t go well for Souma. He’s been successful since the beginning of the series, so this one was a change of pace.
It starts with more world building narration - the isekai world has some advancements like our world, and doesn’t in other ways. They’ve invented cannons, but not guns. They have big iron ships, but they’re moved by large sea dragons, not steam or fuel. Why does this matter for this particular episode? Not sure.
The scene skips to Kaede leading Hal and other Forbidden Army soldiers in building roads made out of Roman concrete.
At lunch break, we see the two eating some delicious burgers, seasoned by the Mystic Wolves. The seasoning and the fresh veggies used in the burgers came through the new road that was built, already proving its benefits.
Souma, Aisha and Liscia stop by to inspect the work. They talk about the warding trees which have a frequency to ward off most animals.
Then a messenger bird (kui) comes to deliver a message to Aisha. It’s really bad new. A large landslide hit the Dark Elves village in the God-protected forest, swallowing half of it.
Souma takes a minute to think about the best response. The location is closer to their present construction site than the capital is. So Souma orders all of the Forbidden Army present, around 50 guys, to head direct to the village with Aisha. Liscia heads to the capital to get more relief supplies and manpower. It would have taken the Forbidden Army too long on foot to get there. Luckily, they have the giant land lizards to carry them by cart.
They arrive and Souma meets the village leader, Liscia’s father, Wodan Udgard. They get to work right away. A hundred lives have already been lost. And now it’s time to search for 40 others caught in the landslide.
Souma helps with digging, using Living Poltergeists to send wooden mice to go through tight spots that humans can’t reach. It helps him find someone alive, but he also sees a mangled corpse through the mouse, which makes him throw up.
In the end, they account for everyone, but not everyone is found alive. And Liscia arrives with the relief effort. Wodan’s brother, Robthor, is especially devastated after losing his wife. And his daughter is hanging on by a thread.
Liscia and Souma both feel they failed and didn’t do enough to help. Souma feels as a king he should have thought ahead more to prevent this disaster from happening in the first place. It shows he’s only human and can’t solve everything and save everyone. If he’s a realist hero/king, then he has to deal with countless issues and won’t be able to solve all of them. That’s a realistic problem we face in our world. So it’s understandable.
Image source: Amazon