I’m not sure whether Ardaic is probing Caneghem’s feelings in panel 1 or not, but I am sure that Caneghem knows better than to show any weakness to anyone who might use it against him, and telling Ardaic anything is the same thing as telling Jarvis. It helps that his contempt for Ardaic is genuine: Caneghem may be a pawn of Gastonian aristocrats, but at least he knows that’s what he is (for now). He’s not telling himself he’s a “patriot” or whatever, you SURFACE ANT HUMAN.

I love how the framing of the last panel…and only the framing…tells most of the readers that this page is very bad news for Persson indeed. In this case, I mean “framing” not only in the way the panel shows Iwatani looking almost too sincerely sad, but also in the way it makes us linger on his dialogue. When did Iwatani ever “politics aside” anything, except maybe his son?

Around this point, Flo and I had a…spirited discussion with a reader who felt things weren’t moving fast enough, and I was like…the Heads of Houses are rolling left and right! We lost Pardo in three pages, Reynolds in two, and now (apparently) Persson in one. It’s up to each reader to decide what they’re interested in, and if they decide something’s unimportant, then it won’t register as an event. But if you care about the Heads of Houses, things have been pretty fast-paced so far. (The next stretch of pages, though, will be getting more expositiony.)