Louise and Saito arrive in Albion at the Tristain base at Rosyth and immediately get a mission to take out the enemy force at the city of South Gotha with Louise’s void magic. The reason for this mission is because Henrietta wants to avoid dragging the civilians there into the war, and Louise agrees to it. Although Saito’s not too happy about being used for the war and about killing or being killed, he still pilots the Zero for Louise towards their target. However, when she tries to use her void magic, Louise fizzes out, and the Zero soon comes under attack by two enemy dragon riders. Saito manages to shoot both of the two dragons down, but the Zero takes some damage in the process and crashes into the mountain. The two are thus forced to find shelter from the cold, but with Saito still shivering so much, Louise hugs his arm. When Saito suggests that they warm each other with their naked bodies, Louise slams him against the wall in embarrassment and anger. She soon starts to regret doing this and checks up on him only to find that he’s been knocked out. Worried about him, she unbuttons her shirt and snuggles up to him, telling him that he can’t die because she hasn’t answered back his confession yet. After Saito wakes up fine the next morning, Louise prevents Derfflinger from revealing that she kept him warm all night with her body.
Having learned of the apparent failure of Louise’s mission, Henrietta is pressured to send her army to attack South Gotha. On the Albion side, Sheffield learns about this, but she decides against reinforcements. Instead, she orders the defenders to retreat and to take as much food with them as they can so that they can deprive their enemy of supplies. Saito meanwhile find the body of one of the dragons that he downed, but its rider suddenly jumps out and attacks him. This knight fires off one magic spell before fainting from the wound on his foot, and to Saito’s surprise, Louise wants him to carry the guy. When he does so though, the knight attacks him again, and although Saito has a clear advantage, he decides against killing the knight despite the knight himself yelling for Saito to do it. Saito is against the war and killing, and he tells the knight that he only wants to protect Louise and get them home safely. A little while later, as Saito continues through the snowy forest with their enemy on his back, Louise asks Saito how she should tell Henrietta about this failure. She worries because Henrietta had trusted her in giving her this mission, but Saito feels that she doesn’t have any choice other than to just tell Henrietta since he doesn’t think that Louise would commit seppuku or anything.
Saito then raises the point that Louise came to fight despite there not being much difference in whether she alone succeeded or failed. Louise agrees that her role might not be important, but as a noble, she has to be of service to Henrietta – if she can’t do that, then she’s better off dead. It is at this point that the Albion knight speaks up about how he admires her attitude, and Louise decides to finally introduce herself. Revealing that his name is Henry Stafford, the knight starts asking about Saito’s Zero, but Saito claims that it’s a military secret. When Henry compares the Zero’s speed to his fallen dragon, Saito and Louise realize that they killed an irreplaceable friend of his, but when Louise tries to apologize, Henry points out that it’s kill or be killed in this war. Since Saito claims that he’s against murder, Henry questions what Saito is fighting for, and Saito can only say that it’s to protect the person he loves. This makes Henry wonder if Saito is fighting for Louise’s sake, so Saito clarifies that it also includes the people at school and Henrietta. With Saito saying that he’s against being ordered to kill someone, Louise tells Henry that Saito’s not a noble, so he doesn’t understand honor or pride. She and Saito then start arguing about this, and Louise ends up saying that honor is the most important thing for a noble.
Henry agrees with Louise, but he also admits that he’d like to live only for love, and he feels that nobles are the ones willing to separate from their loved ones for the sake of honor. Having seen a picture of a girl in Henry’s locket when he dropped it earlier, Louise now asks him if that girl is the person Henry separated from, and Henry reveals that he volunteered for the military after canceling his engagement with his fiancée. After hearing Henry talk about how he’s going to die eventually if this war continues, Saito declares that Henry is the worst and that nobles who die for honor are just fools. Henry gets angry enough to punch Saito, but Saito punches back into the snow instead of into Henry’s face. He feels that Henry is a person and a man, so he should want to survive and return to his fiancée by any means. Louise then notes that nobles have to be prepared for death in going to battle, but she also feels that until death comes at the end, Henry should do his best for the sake of living. She thus urges him to live, to go home, and to marry his fiancée. Suddenly, the sound of a gunshot rings out through the forest, and the three of them realize that more Albion forces are nearby.
Going their separate ways, Louise and Saito hide nearby while Henry is picked up by the Albion men and directs them to the other side of the mountain to search for the enemy. Julio then arrives looking for them, and the three escape on his dragon. Returning to a relieved Henrietta, Louise apologizes for not being able to be of service, and she vows to make up for it by asking Henrietta to give her any mission, no matter how dangerous. Much to Saito’s frustration, Louise declares that fighting and dying for Henrietta are the greatest honors for nobles.
Despite this taking place in the war zone and involving mainly Louise and Saito (as opposed to the Agnès focus we’ve been getting), I wasn’t a huge fan of this episode. I liked seeing Louise and the Zero in action, but those only carries the episode so far. Most of the second half with the discussion about nobles and honor was, well, boring. It’s all probably setting Saito and Louise up for a falling out over ideology, but given the track record of this season so far, I have to wonder how interesting that’d really be. In short, with only two episodes left, I doubt they can do anything really meaningful with the story, though I’d love for the writers to prove me wrong.