In light of Tabitha’s disappearance, Saito and the others are looking around outside Tristain Academy when suddenly a naked girl falls out of the sky. To everyone’s surprise, this girl – whose name is Irukukwu – immediately hugs Saito and asks him to save her sister Tabitha. After they take her inside and give her something to cover herself up with, Irukukwu explains that Tabitha was stripped of her Chevalier position for letting Saito go, and Tabitha’s mother was taken away as well. Saito is immediately willing to help, but the others are less than convinced because they suspect that this could be a trap, and they don’t think Irukukwu looks like Tabitha’s little sister. In order to prove herself, Irukukwu runs back outside and disappears. When everyone else catches up, they find Sylphid there, and Sylphid vouches for Irukukwu. This is enough for the group to decide to go save Tabitha, but they need to get permission from Henrietta first since they’re technically her imperial guard. Saito is confident that she will understand, and so he, Guiche, Maricorn, and Louise go to persuade Henrietta.
Meanwhile, in Gallia, Bidashal brings Tabitha as part of a deal to get Joseph to listen to his request. Bidashal explains that the evil Gate of Shaitan has become active recently, and his people prophesize that when the four devils come together, the power of a true devil will awaken. This power is what everyone else knows as Void power, and Bidashal wants Joseph to stop those trying to get close to the Gate. Joseph forces Bidashal to make some more concessions in exchange for doing this, and Bidashal agrees. For the time being though, Joseph turns his attention to Tabitha whom he plans to have follow the same fate as her mother. Tabitha wakes up sometime later under the watch of Bidashal, and he takes her to see her sleeping mother. Bidashal tells her about how she’ll have to drink the same medicine that drove her mother insane, and until then, he gives her a book to read about a young hero who saves a girl that was captured by a dragon.
Back in Tristain, Henrietta refuses the request to go to Gallia because she doesn’t want a war with them. Saito reacts by giving her back the cloak that signifies his Chevalier title, and after Guiche and Maricorn follow suit, Henrietta has them arrested and locked up. Saito remains confident that Louise will be able to figure something out, but when Louise talks privately with Henrietta, things don’t go quite that well. Henrietta tells Louise that she doesn’t want to lose anyone else important to her, and this prompts Louise to ask her how she feels about Saito. Louise insists on Henrietta answering as a friend and a woman instead of as the queen, so Henrietta admits that she’s lonely and might have wanted to depend on someone. Since Henrietta doesn’t know if just any person would have sufficed, Louise decides to speak up about how Saito is her familiar, and if Henrietta wants them, then she should be ready to face the consequences. Seeing how important Saito is to Louise only makes Henrietta more wistful over how she doesn’t have someone like that.
Henrietta nevertheless tries to get Louise to reconsider the Gallia plan, but Louise refuses because of the group’s desire to save Tabitha. Then, just like Saito and the others did, Louise hands over her cloak and disavows her nobility. Henrietta has no choice but to arrest Louise as well, and so Louise joins Saito, Guiche, and Maricorn in prison. This leaves them little in terms of options, so they try to dig their way out with spoons. Fortunately, Sylphid witnessed everything earlier from outside the castle, and a short while later, Irukukwu returned to the academy to tell everyone else what happened. They decide to use the Ostland as a distraction while Kirche and Colbert break Saito and company out of prison, and the plan goes off without a hitch. Once everyone is reunited, Derflinger makes Irukukwu tell everyone the truth about her identity, so Irukukwu transforms into Sylphid. Derflinger explains that Sylphid is actually a legendary rhyme dragon who has high intelligence, has an excellent sense of what is linguistically appropriate, and can manipulate aboriginal magic.
Despite there being more new developments this week than last week, I though the pacing was still somewhat sluggish. I was expecting a little more urgency since Tabitha is in enemy hands and since there are only a few episodes left, but our heroes get sidetracked dealing with Henrietta. At the end, they’re basically back where they started, with the only difference being that they don’t represent Tristain anymore. There’s technically also the fact that they now know that Irukukwu = Sylphid, but the problem I had with that subplot was that the secret was so completely obvious, and I’m not convinced that it was time well spent. Having said that, I do have to admit that Irukukwu is a very cute character.
The most interesting parts of this episode was in the conversation between Joseph and Bidashal about the Gate of Shaitan and the void magic users. This appears to be part of the overarching plot, but I think a conversation like that would have been more suited for early on in the series rather than later so that the plot could be developed better. Since Tabitha still has to be saved, I doubt that they’ll get as far as gathering all four Void magic users (at least one of whom still hasn’t been revealed) and whatever else happens from there. What it feels like instead is that the writers/director are setting up some background for a fourth ZnT series where maybe (just maybe) things will finally come to a conclusion. Then again, the novels are still going, so who knows….