Lucille and the orchestra are summoned back to see the Queen pretty much under threat of death. Celes, new to the orchestra, doesn’t know their history but she is aware that Lucille’s orchestra isn’t the ‘official’ one. For that matter, Celes is pretty frightened of the queen now because she saw the queen’s lightning strike that destroyed a village too overrun by the guignols, zombie-like undead. The reason they are being summoned is that Lucille should have called down a similar strike on Celes’s hometown but didn’t.
What comes next is hard to review without ruining it with spoilers. Let’s just say we get to see a quick glimpse into Lucille past along with his cousin, Moiron and sister Cordelia. Moiron is now the joyless leader of the official guignol orchestra and Lucille may be guilty of a very cruel crime. He and the orchestra barely bargain their way out alive.
The rest of the volume deals with the assignment given to them by the queen as one of the conditions of them staying alive. They have to investigate an abbey unfriendly to the queen that might have a copy of the black oratorio which could destroy the world. We don’t see much of the rest of the group as Lucille (in drag, which he admittedly enjoys) and Celes pretend to be nuns transferring into the abbey. Something is very wrong in this abbey and Lucille’s past comes calling for him, going after the rest of the orchestra.
It’s an interesting storyline and I like the characters. However, as I’ve found all too often with Kaori’s work, it feels like there are panels that fell off the page, a skip in the storyline that leaves you going huh? Sometimes, it feels poorly edited (this could, of course, be translation issues). Overall this volume is more about Lucille and far less on the guignols as we get some world building. I have no problems with this. Fighting guignols day after day would get boring quickly.