The second installment of the Break Blade series, The Path of Separation, is in my opinion the most important episode in the series. It starts off where the first left off.
Zess’ units once again advance on the Kingdom of Krisna’s capital city. During this initial assault on the outer defenses, we get a brief glimpse at the relationship Zess has with his brother, Loquis, who is the Secretary of War for the Commonwealth Athens. After this quick intermission, Rygart meets with Zess to try and convince him to stop fighting. Zess demands that Rygart go tell King Hodr to surrender. Zess is completely unaware that in such a situation, the royal family of Krisna will be executed. During this discussion, one of Zess’ soldiers spots Krisna forces moving to attack. Zess quickly puts Rygart at gun point and after a count down, starts shooting. Rygart flees and General Baldr’s forces come out to assist Rygart and repel the attack. Rygart hides in the shadow of a cliff until he is spotted by another one of Zess’ soldiers, Lee, who attacks him. Our unwilling combatant grabs a giant sword and a spear to protect himself and his unarmed unit from the hail of bullets that Lee unleashes. The two battle until help arrives for Rygart from First Officer Dan, who is part of General Baldr’s army. Dan immobilizes Lee’s unit quickly. He the keeps showering her unit with gun fire. Rygart steps in to stop him. He doesn’t see the point in killing Lee, but during his debate with Dan, Lee shoots and kills Dan. Rygart hurls his spear at Lee’s unit in order to remove the gun. Then Rygart witnesses Lee commit suicide. The battle is finished, but Rygart still bears the burden of Dan’s death. He goes to Dan’s grave and meets Dan’s pregnant wife. After conversing with General Baldr, Rygart decides to leave. He can’t bear the weight of war and death. He heads out of the city after saying good bye to Hodr, but then he remembers what his dad told him:
Rygart, there is no shame in fleeing. There are some things people just can’t change, son. If things get dangerous, then flee without hesitation.
One of the most powerful aspects and themes of Broken Blade, is the fight against destiny. In this sense, the word destiny is referring to an idea of the future that people place on each other and themselves. They base this idea off of assumptions of strength and skill. Interestingly enough, this theme is also very common in the Bible. God constantly chooses people who are looked down upon or those who are weak to do incredible things. Some examples include: King David, who was the youngest of many brothers and a simple shepherd; Gideon, who was essentially a coward; the brothers Peter and John, who were nothing but simple fishermen; and even Ruth, who was a widow. God often uses the weak to shame the wise. This is why one of my favorite parts of this story is associated with this picture. These are words inscribed on Rygarts golem, the Delphine. In ancient text this reads, “Fight Destiny.” Don’t let your circumstances or past mistakes define you or your future. Sometimes you just have to change your destiny from what was given to you, to the destiny that was meant for you.