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Comment: Akatsuki no Yona 161 — Lady Igni is not Amused

Boy, Kusanagi is killing that Mum meme hard.

[WARNING!] Spoilers for Akatsuki no Yona 161 (duh!)

Quick Summary

Kye-Sook watches the dragons leave and trembles. He's shaken, wondering what that power was, so intensely threatening that it seemed like it would swallow him whole. Have creatures with such powers always existed in Kouka?
Meanwhile, Tae-Jun sees Sky soldiers roaming freely around Saika Castle and chastises them for doing that without permission. They tell him that they're acting on Kye-Sook's orders, and that they are to find the monsters known as the "Four Dragons" and capture them. Just then Heuk-Chi arrives and tells Tae-Jun that Yona&co. are not in their room, and that Kye-Sook has the Sky troops blocking all exits and entrances to the castle. Tae-Jun knows that as long as the Thunder Beast is with her she will be safe, but cannot help but wonder where Princess Yona is...
At the same time, elsewhere, Yona's team is running away through the castle grounds. They try to head one way, but Hak warns that the exit is blocked by soldiers. The team is debating on what to do, when through a hole in the wall a fan appears, beckoning them. Minutes later, a pack of soldiers arrives at the scene and searches for them, but cannot find them and leave. On the other side of the wall, the team breathes a sigh of relief and turn to Igni, who has saved them by inviting them into her garden. Ao runs to her and Igni gives her nuts, prompting Shin-ah to tell everyone that if Ao trusts her then she must be a good person. Yona thanks her for rescuing them, and when she asks Igni why she did it, Igni explains that Tae-Jun suppressed his own anger to protect them. She thought his actions were very noble. Additionally, she doesn't want the man (Kye-Sook) who laughed at her son to get his way, and she can't say she likes Su-Won, either. She tells them they can relax here, because nobody will step into this garden. Hak says that it pisses him off that Kye-Sook laughed at Tae-Jun, and after a pause Igni says her mood has improved.
Lady Igni then looks at Yona and says, "Your hair colours are so different that I had not noticed until now, but... you have Lady Kashi's (カシ) eyes." Yona is very surprised by the fact that Igni knew her mother, and Igni explains that they were acquainted in their youth, but unfortunately stopped meeting as frequently when they both inherited positions of power, though she did visit her to congratulate her on Yona's birth. Yona is very happy to hear stories about her mother, and asks Igni whether Kashi said anything about her, but just then Shin-ah and Kija notice that Jae-ha and Zeno are close...
Above the rooftops, Jae-ha and Zeno look down and decide not to immediately join Yona's team so as to not attract attention to their hiding spot. They decide to head elsewhere, but, down below, Kye-Sook spots them and orders them shot down. The Arrow flies up and Zeno is hit, and they both fall to the ground.
Back with Yona's team, Shin-ah watches Zeno get hit and warns that Jae-ha's team is in danger, immediately running off with Kija. Yun hands Igni an ointment to reduce the swelling on Kyo-Ga's forehead and then runs after after them too. Yona attempts to do the same, but Igni stops her. "It's too dangerous. Leave this to the gentlemen. A woman's duty is to see the men off as they ride into battle." Yona thanks her for her worry, but then insists on going because the dragons have given her so much happiness since they appeared beside her that she can barely hold it all with her two hands. As Yona runs off, Igni flashes back to the day she visited Kushi and remembers her words: "Igni... This child has guardians of white, and blue, and green, and yellow, watching over her." When Igni asked her what she was talking about, Kashi replied, "I'm talking about the child with red hair, the one burdened with the power of the gods of this kingdom."
Meanwhile; Kye-Sook and his soldiers approach Zeno and Jae-ha, who are still conscious and laying on the ground. Kye-Sook tells them that if they don't resist they'll treat their wounds, and orders the arrow in Zeno's arm to be pulled out. Zeno, who has stood up and is holding Jae-ha up by the arm, tries to stop them, but the arrow is pulled out anyway. Everyone around stares in disbelief and horror as Zeno's wound heals, and Kye-Sook suddenly remembers that the Yellow Dragon has an indestructible body. He soon identifies Zeno's power as immortality.
Just then, Kija and Shin-ah arrive, moving Kye-Sook out of the way and warning everybody not to lay a finger on their brothers.


Igni is good and Yona's mother made an appearance.
I repeat, Yona's mother made an appearance.

Goodbye, AkaYona mum memes. Goodbye, goodbye! You shall be missed! (*wipes away tears at her eyes*)
Kusanagi has discovered Mum Characters and we're catching up with all our Momma deficiency from the past 9 years all in one go, it seems. All these theories about Igni possibly having powers, and it turns out that all she was doing in 159 was repeating what she'd once heard Yona's mother say... I practically kissed the pages when the mysterious Kashi, who didn't even have a name until this chapter, finally made her long awaited debut. But boy... The questions we had about Yona's mother before can't even compare to the ones surfacing now. Who was Kashi to know that her child would have "guardians of white, and blue, and green, and yellow, watching over her"? We know from Su-Won's flashbacks in 141 and 149 that Il knew Yona was Hiryuu incarnate, and I have been considering the possibility that perhaps a priest that he kept in contact with (despite the priesthood's expulsion from the palace) foretold Yona's birth, but what if it was Kashi? What if Kashi, like Zeno, has some fraction of divine power that allowed her to act as a messenger for the gods? What if she had a dream about it? We know Ik-Soo saw Yona's future in a dream, and this could so easily explain why Yona could hear the voices of the coronation in ch.11, and her dragon dream in ch.83, or her prophetic dream in the Sleep Tight Tonight extra chapter — she could have inherited this power from her mother. (Yona's visionary powers have popped up here and there in discussions for a long time now.)
Which all begs the question: Was that why Kashi was murdered? Because she told everyone her child was Hiryuu incarnate? (there sails the "Yu-Hon Murdered Yona's Mother" theory ship, milads.) And by extension — Was this why Il kept Yona hidden within the castle? Because he knew others would also want her dead?

What shook me the most in this scene is the way Kashi speaks of the power of the gods Yona has been bestowed with.「この国で神の力を持ってしまった赤い髪の子」... When speaking about this power Yona has, Kashi uses a termination on the verb "hold/has" (motsu) that expresses regret over something, or a result that could not be avoided: motte-shimatta. Literally speaking, Kashi's words can be translated as, "The child with the red hair, who unfortunately/accidentally has the power of the gods in this kingdom." We've progressively been shown how Yona's status as Hiryuu has put her life in danger as much as it has saved it (through the Dragon Warriors), and it's intriguing to say the least that her mother might have understood what an enormous weight this was to carry.

But moving on to our next mother: Mamma Igni is good! She's good!! 

The wait has paid off, because there is so much to comment on Mamma Igni after this chapter. Above all, the revelation I'm savouring with the most gusto is the fact that she isn't saving Yona because she's Hiryuu, or because she's terribly pious. It's because of Tae-Jun. The fact that she is moved by her son's efforts to keep Yona&co. safe, that she finds his actions noble, that she cannot stand Kye-Sook for laughing at him, and that she dislikes Su-Won too for swaying Kyo-Ga to his side, says a lot about this woman... and a lot about the Kan family, too.
Soo-Jin was obsessed with his quest to sit on the Koukian throne and suffered, let's say, a delusion of grandeur, but within how twisted his desire for power was, it was clear he loved his sons. I spoke about this briefly when comparing Gobi to Soo-Jin as a less-compelling villain, but Tae-Jun and Kyo-Ga were part of Soo-Jin's motivation to usurp the throne, and when he dies they are the last thing he thinks of. Despite his role as an antagonistic force against Yona (and Su-Won), this side of Soo-Jin has always hit me hard... and once again, I'm dying to know whether Igni's marriage to him was political or personal. Whichever it was, though, it's clear both Igni and Soo-Jin loved their two sons.
And speaking about Igni and Soo-Jin's marriage; I cannot help but wonder if this is the source of her "woman's duty" statement in this chapter. How many times did Igni do just that? How many times did she stand watching as her husband (and her sons) rode into battle? Is this the fate she was taught to accept? Is that what she did the day Soo-Jin started his rebellion and never came back? This woman's story is one I'd like to hear...

Amongst other random thoughts: bless Yona for being so happy at hearing stories of her mother, and bless Hak the Pure Egg twice for being happy at Yona's happiness *sobs*. So much wholesomeness, It's clearing my skin, I swear. Also, can we please take a moment to appreciate how Hak is pissed off at Kye-Sook for laughing at Tae-Jun? I feel so much for this mutual camaraderie that they've developed, especially because they were at their throats at the beginning of the series. I just... I just love these characters so much... *continues sobbing*

That is all from yours truly, my lovelies. My Kye-Sook fears carry on from my 160 comment, enhanced double now by the fact that he's witness Zeno's powers firsthand. AkaYona is on break for issue 17 but will be back for chapter 162 on the 20th of August. Little reminder that we're also getting a drama CD with that issue, and according to Kusanagi's announcement it apparently will cover chapters 151, 152, and 153, plus the "Stay Healthy Part 3" Extra Chapter... which means we're getting Hak's confession. We're getting Hak's confession in the drama CD. This is not a drill guys, it's happening (*screams*).

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Posted on: 24/07/2018

P.S. Kashi's earings look an awful lot like the one's Yona is wearing... arE YOU POSSIBLY TELLING ME THEY'RE A MEMENTO OF HER?? BeCA U s E
(A bunch of people were asking if Yona's earings were a memento of her mother for the fanbook questions way before 161 was published... I suspect these people also had prophetic dreams, to be honest.)

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  1. I believe it was an arranged marriage, simply because that is how those with power, especially back then as it is/was tradition & culturally relevant.
    Igni's line about how women are just to be on the side lines for battles is also probably a cultural thing, especially when you look at the previous chapters, women very rarely show up to fight. & wives were just supposed to support their husbands, which is also a cultural historical thing.

    This makes it seem like the coo of regicide has been planned & in the works since Yona was born, if not before, because it was prophesied and this made Yona's uncle extremely unhappy & why he threw out the priests. I also think Yona's Grandfather knew all this as well & it's why he choose Il as the heir. Not to mention why Il chose Hak as Yona's bodyguard instead of the tradition of someone from the Sky tribe.

    As aways thank you so much for the translations!
    It would be nice if we got some more info on things from the past & mothers. Now the earring thing, could that be part of a clue for the sword & shield? Guess we will have to wait.

  2. I think Soo-wons father killed Yonas mother. If he could kick out a priest for prophesying things he didn't agree with, you can bet he would try to get rid of a mother who might be able to foresee her own daughter being the reincarnation of King Hiryuu and be able to take the throne, instead of him. I believe if this is true, then this would explain Yonas father brutally murdering his brother--- because he either was trying to protect his wife OR anger overtook him, which might also explain why Yonas father tells people to no longer use weapons out of his regret for what he has done.


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