Noticed a little something while I was skimming through volume 4 that I thought I’d share.
Qifrey and Olruggio are talking about Richeh here, which is straightforward enough in that first panel, but the bottom two are interesting. Qifrey is very carefully not looking at Olruggio as he says “It’s hard to know how closely to approach” while Olruggio remarks “People aren’t quite as straightforward as spells, are they?” I get the distinct impression neither of them are talking about Richeh anymore, but have instead decided to air their problems with each other under the guise of talking about Richeh instead.
The problems listed fit in pretty well with their continued issues later on in the series as well. Qifrey doesn’t know how close he can get to Olruggio and, in fact, keeps him at a distance. Whether it’s because Olruggio is always busy or because he’s trying to protect him (or just himself) is hard to say, but I do believe Qifrey doesn’t really “get” Olruggio. After all, he asks him later on “Why would you go so far to me” when I have a feeling this is supposed to be something obvious from Olruggio’s perspective.
Meanwhile, Olruggio is very correct in saying Qifrey isn’t straightforward. Qifrey is purposefully keeping all manner of secrets from him, after all, and isn’t letting him in. Not too long ago he brought in a new student (Coco) without even consulting him, which is something that bothers Olruggio up to the very latest chapter.
Interestingly, not too shortly after this, Olruggio gives Qifrey a gift for him and the girls and Qifrey comments his “spells are more eloquent than his words.” So, sort of a quiet way of not-quite-resolving the previous complaint.
There’s also the symbolism of scalewolves, which is brought up for the entirety of this arc. Several characters get tied to them loosely, such as Richeh, Coco, Agott, Qifrey, etc. That idea of protecting oneself with armor, letting that armor go to form a pair, basically letting your guard down in some way. This was very heavily applied to Richeh and her possible budding relationship with Euini, but it could also be applied to Agott and Qifrey as well, so that’s some food for thought. Agott of course is opening up more thanks to Coco and letting some of that armor go while Qifrey is going in the exact opposite direction and rejecting Olruggio’s help and turning ever more inwards.
The one other thing I have to say about this series is that there’s another scene later that makes me feel like something about it just... doesn’t quite add up? Qifrey is explaining Richeh’s situation to Olruggio as if he has no idea what her background is, but later on we see this:
Olruggio was there with Qifrey when he took her in! XD I mean, that makes more sense actually. Olruggio’s main issue with Qifrey taking Coco in was that he wasn’t consulted, so it would make sense that he was consulted about the other three. I guess Qifrey could be reminding Olruggio of something he already knows in a vaguely snarky way, but I have to wonder if maybe this is a little detail that changed in the series over time.
Anyway, some food for thought.