From the Small Hand, a Burgeoning Concerto Resonates


The day of the court herbalist exam arrives and Shirayuki heads to the palace where she is told to wait outside with the other students. She visits the palace’s gardens and meets a young court herbalist who she has a quick chat to before he runs off.

The exam itself will look at a candidates ability to manage herb gardens and medicine storage. So, each of them will be in charge of a small herb garden, tending to and protecting the herbs for two days before an inspection and a report.

As Shirayuki is tending to her garden at night, Zen walks by watches her for a while. He then steps in as he hears suspicious noises and is locked in. Shirayuki continues with her work and notices that a certain flower isn’t blooming. She figures out that a certain plant was incorrectly planted and has become a toxin in the soil. She gets Zen’s help to replant all affected plants. The inspection is from the chief herbalist and it turns out that one of the other examinees was who locked Shirayuki and Zen in.

Shirayuki passes the exam as she spotted what was wrong. Her supervisor will be Ryu, the young herbalist who she met before.

Though Ryu’s seems to be known for researching poisons and is viewed badly. Shirayuki is appalled by this though.

Shirayuki is given Zen’s medical history, which saddens her reading about Zen’s suffering due to taking small doses of poisons to build his immunity to them. But Zen comes by to calm her down and then she rushes off to make up with Ryu and tell her she wasn’t mad.


Yay! She passed the exam, very big well done, sarcasm aside, we all knew it was gonna happen. Just moving along with the plot.

I was getting concerned when Zen was trapped with Shirayuki, if the exam was any more publicized she should’ve kept their relationship quiet especially to the other candidates. Otherwise it could cause a riot like in Euphonium.

Though of course, being a prince he could just say something along the lines of he was patrolling the premises and then got locked in by someone, and whilst that someone may argue back, it’s the prince’s word over a randomer? Of course though, the examiners know Zen and Shirayuki’s relationship so if information did leak, favouritism could be claimed, luckily nothing happened.

After putting the prince to some hard labour, maybe some candidates would rethink how close the two are anyway. Which was quite funny to watch, although I do feel that due to Shirayuki’s focused one track mine, which I find similar to mine, she ignores a lot of what’s going on around her. Mainly the affection she’s receiving from Zen, probably why again I don’t think the romance side of this will work out. Not for a while at least, not until Shirayuki learns to relax for a bit to look around at her surroundings. I suppose this is also a message for myself, stop getting caught in the moment, step back and see the scenery before you because most of the time it’s lovely weather.

And speaking of ‘lovely weather’, we got a lovely ray of sunshine embrace from a certain prince charming this episode. Funnily enough it’s probably the most romantic scene we’ve seen of all four episodes so far. But perhaps it’s a sign of things to come especially now that Shirayuki has nicely integrated herself into ‘high society’, or at least hopefully, others will be more accepting of her.

I’m surprised Ryu was as shy as he was, I thought he’d be the ‘I don’t give a crap’ type that Shirayuki would have to ‘overcome’ to properly begin her training. But instead he’s already head over heels for her. Okay a little exaggerate there, but you get my point, he is much less an obstacle than I thought.

In fact he’s acting much more a kid than I wanted. I mean yeah he is a kid and so should act like a kid, but even still, from my first impressions I thought he’d be a little bit obnoxious and aware of his ‘high’ position in the palace. However I am glad he isn’t, although I thought Shirayuki would’ve been the one to make him that way.

Either way, even without Ryu as an obstacle, I’m sure there are plenty more obstacles for Shirayuki. And one by one they’ll be broken down by her unwavering determination to succeed and we’ll be here to witness and enjoy her conquest.