Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Rio, Shin, Sayo and hunting master Dola head to the capital of the Kingdom of Karasuki, a trip that takes several days. They drop off asshole Gon and his asshole friends who have been prisoners the whole trip after trying to rape Sayo and Ruri in the last ep and getting beaten bloody by Rio. Hope it’s the last we have to see of that jerk.
To lighten up Shin’s mood, Rio, Dola and he go to have kamutan at a restaurant. It’s what we call ramen. It seems Shin will no longer be an antagonist to Rio. Rio did save his sister after all. Shin actually asks him to take his sister for her first kamutan meal.
So after shopping, Sayo and Rio enjoy kamutan alone. Then Rio buys Sayo a cute hair pendant from a souvenir seller. It’s a cute moment. The seller advises Sayo to do her best to nab Rio’s heart, because he’s definitely a catch. That’s something the audience knows for sure.
Right after, they run into some bad guy trying to kidnap a young royal girl named Aoi (Hayate’s sister, coincidentally). He almost gets away with it, but OP Rio steps in with a judo move and saves the day as usual.
Back at the inn they’re staying, Hayate, the tax examiner from the last ep comes to see Rio. Along with Lord Saga Gouki and his wife, the parents of Hayate. Gouki learns of Rio through a letter from Lady Yuba.
Gouki explains about the past of Rio’s father Zen and mother Ayame. He and his wife were attendants to Ayame, who was a princess of Karasuki! Zen was originally Ayame’s bodyguard, as Gouki noticed his incredible ability with spiritual and martial arts. And the two fell in love.
The skeezy prince from the neighboring kingdom Rokuren wanted Ayame for himself and even tried to kidnap her. Zen thwarted his minions. But the prince demanded a political marriage with Ayame as compensation for Zen killing his attendant. If not, he’d call off the truce between kingdoms.
That’s why Zen and Ayame ran away from Karasuki.
The next day, Gouki takes Rio to meet with Karasuki’s King Homura and Queen Shizuku, his grandparents! They want to learn from Rio personally how his parents lived and died. And we finally get that mysterious origin story.
Ayame was killed by an adventurer who used to be Zen’s friend - Lucius. Rio admits that he still wants revenge on Lucius.
King Homura warns Rio that revenge is hell, but Rio understands that. So Homura advises Rio to get training from Gouki, who is the most talented warrior in all the surrounding kingdoms.
Rio and Gouki spar. Rio learns a bit, because Gouki’s pretty amazing. But ultimately, Rio is able to beat even him!
With the trip finished, Rio goes back to Yagumo and visits his parents’ grave. He promises to move forward.
Image source: Amazon