Warning: Spoilers ahead.
This seems to be the start of a long and serious arc. For once, the ep doesn’t begin with world building narration.
After the disaster relief last episode, Souma hasn’t been sleeping well. Juna visits his room (woohoo). She calms his and sings him a lullaby to help him sleep. If Liscia brings out his strong front, she promises to conceal his weakness. This is the most romantic and forward we’ve seen of Juna yet.
The scene changes to a meeting between the leaders of the three Dukedoms of the kingdom. Excel Walter doesn’t really seem to be into opposing Souma’s new rule. But Castor Vargas and Georg Carmine seem to have made their decision to go against him. Carmine’s reason? He doesn’t like how Souma has done away with old ways of doing things, tradition and such, in the name of efficiency.
Elsewhere King of Amidonia, Gaius, speaks privately with his son, Julius. He’s received word that Carmine will accept Amidonia’s aid against Souma’s forces. In reality, Gaius plans to send reinforcements to both Souma and Carmine. Slimy bastard trying to take the Elfrieden Kingdom in the middle of its civil war.
Elsewhere again, Tia, the daughter of Gaius, muses over how her dad and brother are idiots.
Souma meets with Hakuya. He agrees to implement Souma’s plan of subjugation. Souma things this is a cruelty, according to Machiavelli. But a necessary one that can be done properly.
Gaius tells his soldiers to prepare to invade Elfrieden. A finance minister, Colbert, tries to warn him that this goes against the Mankind Declaration, which will hurt Amidonia’s position with neighboring countries, causing Amidonia to starve. Gaius and his son Julius don’t want to listen to this, and fire Colbert. After, Tia enlists Colbert for some secret mission.
Souma has a video conference with the three Duchies and meets them for the first time face to face. He threatens to label them as traitors if they do not follow his lead.
Apparently Juna has been a spy for Excel. She’s the granddaughter of Excel. From her intel, Excel trusts in Souma’s plans and will obey.
But Castor doesn’t agree with the plan to centralize power, and doesn’t understand why King Albert abdicated the throne. So he sides with Carmine.
Carmine basically says he’s opposing Souma because of a foolish warrior’s pride. Ummm okay. And Liscia cuts off her hair to prove her resolve. Ummm okay.
So what’s next? Battle? So be it!