「王都プラスタ」 (ou miyako purasuta)
“Plasta, the Royal Capital”
Zero has not been one for theatrics so far, but even by the show’s standards this was a pretty laid back week. Besides dealing with the fallout of Zero’s and the mercenary’s split—which as expected is not finalized—we also saw firsthand the effects of the beastfallen crazies, and got potential confirmation of the Albus=female hypothesis. Was it casual? Certainly, but Zero sure knows how to make half an hour fly by.
Although we largely know how kindhearted the mercenary is by now, the events here still hit hard. Watching the tavern girl take full advantage–albeit pretty ingeniously–of the mercenary was disheartening, especially so when her regret—and the mercenary’s pain—became apparent at the end of the matter. This scene succinctly shows the stark reality of Zero’s world, people take whatever advantage they can because it’s the only way to stay above water. Many don’t seek harm for harm’s sake, it’s simply an unfortunate by-product of daily living. Of course it doesn’t take away from the satisfaction of watching a few selfish thieves get their just desserts, but it’s a defining moment in highlighting the atmosphere both men and beastfallen both must live with. What probably makes it for me too is the quip about the Church refusing to help with witch immolation. Quite ironic how the very institution invoking witch hunts won’t perform its duty unless adequately compensated. There’s a real life example or three of similar things.
The other interesting bit, however, concerns our little fur lover. Zero being harmed at the same time her fur bed avoids damage is incredibly surprising, but it does make sense if you think back to the bath scene. It’s very likely the drying spell had a secondary effect, and that Zero’s statement of “I will protect you” was more than simple bluster. I can see Zero actually performing such sorcery—which it would be here given the whole magic circle involved—because her love of the mercenary is quite evident. Zero isn’t mad at the mercenary, she’s hurt, unable to comprehend why he would have doubts, but definitely unwilling to abandon her friend considering the immeasurable rage at Thirteen. While slightly disappointing both Zero and Thirteen did not come to blows—seriously, that would be entertaining—I doubt we have long to wait on that front. Thirteen clearly thinks he can control Zero, but I think he underestimates Zero’s drive. The girl has learned enough of the real world now that simple deception and white lies will not hold her back, and if Thirteen wants a pliable puppet, he will have to prove his worth. Somehow I doubt subduing Zero will be that easy.
Before we get to further magic battles though, it seems we get to deal with Albus. The kid will probably reject Thirteen’s apprenticeship again given the whole witch murdering, but I’m not so sure he’s destined for death just yet. The mercenary’s run-in with our newly pruned wolfman and his comments about protecting Sorena’s granddaughter point heavily—at least for me—to Albus being that granddaughter. Why else stalk the mercenary with witches—who accompanies Albus—and try killing him? Yeah they could just want his head, but not with that protection remark. Furthermore is Albus’ reaction to “Him” slaughtering Zero’s cave compatriots. Yes the kid could react given it was the Sorcerers’ head who did the killing, but he could also react given “Him’s” close association with the granddaughter (i.e. Albus). We won’t know until next time, but with the mercenary heading back it’s unlikely that Albus will die, particularly if Zero pops back up to save the mercenary from Thirteen’s inevitable interference. Certainly one way of reuniting our favourite duo, wouldn’t you say?