「明かされた真相」 (Akasa re ta shinsou)
“The Truth Revealed”

You what I like more than tearful reunions? Surprises I should have been able to piece together of course! Ok tongue in cheek snark aside, Zero certainly pulled back the curtains on all our remaining questions this week. Who Him is, what Thirteen is really up to, what the hell that potion actually was, we pretty much got the full meal deal. I’d say we still got our money’s worth here.

While I’m slightly peeved I shied away from guessing Thirteen could have been Him, in hindsight it was a legitimate choice. He was conveniently placed at all times, dropped enough hints towards his second identity, and had more than enough intelligence—and madness—to concoct such a conspiracy. The best part though? The guy is not as righteous as he makes himself out to be. Saving the people by creating a new kingdom is an honest goal, but in Thirteen’s case it feels little more than a honeyed half-truth disguising a selfish desire for power. Thirteen wants control, but not in the megalomaniacal sense—he wants a world where he can care for Zero with no interruptions. It’s your typical possessive nutcase, but Thirteen dispenses with the literal cage and aims for a figurative countrywide one. A pretty interesting villain all things considered, especially when Thirteen’s goal isn’t wrong per say, but incorrectly approached. He never once considered Zero’s opinion and firmly believed she could never change without his guiding hand. Had he done so he could have avoided their falling out, and maybe even come up with Albus’ plan to end the war himself. Instead Thirteen has sealed the fate of his own dream by neglecting that of Zero’s.

On the positive side of things, however, we have our Zero-mercenary reunion, which easily lived up to expectations. For me in particular it was the best example so far of Zero’s emotional naivety and how far she has come. The poor girl still takes things at face value, firmly believing the mercenary’s fear and mistrust means she can never have him. She desperately wants to believe otherwise, but it takes the mercenary to bluntly assuage her own fears before she can accept the truth: he never left. It speaks volumes to the trust both have built up and how close they have become that making up took such little effort. A little cliché maybe, but this relationship keeps on impressing. My main curiosity though is how Zero now handles Thirteen. I’m guessing she’ll crush the guy—it’s already hinted after all—but I do not know if Zero would actually consider killing him. For all that Thirteen has done to her, Zero still retains her idyllic worldview. Offing her compatriot would run against her morals, even if leaving Thirteen alive could create further problems for her dream. Both the Sorcerers of Zero and the rogue witches still exist after all, and there’s no guarantee Zero can nullify all magic countrywide—if that’s what she even wants to do now. If Zero still desires her ideal world, she may have to start doing things running counter to her beliefs. You can bet that won’t be an easy situation for her to work through.

Before we get into the specifics of magic distribution though, we must first deal with Thirteen and that oncoming Sorcerer attack force. Zero may (will) defeat Mr. Big and Evil, but handling the Sorcerers will prove something else, particularly with Albus in no position to assist. It’s a good guess how this upcoming battle will play out, but you can be sure it won’t be boring. Pepper your angus boys and girls, it’s climax time.




    1. Has he gotten bigger? Or her smaller? She seems tinier next to him than I remember her being. As an aside, I thought his punching through the stone wall was kind of lame, regardless of how strong he is.

      But it gets me wondering what would constitute a happy ending for this story… Do they achieve her ends and does she turn him human? And do they then fall for one another once their contract is fulfilled? Or will she refuse to change him and lose the ability to snuggle against his fur?

  1. I found it a bit convenient that Holdem was freed by the old sorcerer, but other than that I have no complaints about the episode. It feels like there’s still more to be told about Thirteen, since even if he is a megalomaniac, it’s kinda hard to believe he murdered all the other cave witches just because they disagreed with him about Zero’s freedom. Everything Thirteen has done after that is certainly plausible, but that first step he took is wildly extreme.

    1. Given Thirteen’s penchant for wrapping his desires in lofty speech, I could see him killing them just for that reason. The guy paints himself as Zero’s saviour after all, the only one who can properly bring her out into the world. If he’s willing to slaughter thousands of witches for that purpose, removing a few stubborn and boring compatriots is nothing special.

  2. I’m wondering what the magical rules are for contracts. When Mercenary was hit Zero was wounded. Would the reverse hold true? Thirteen was banking on his contract to protect him and transfer an attack on him to the Sorcerers of Zero. What would happen if they were “killed”? Would the attack reflect on him? Not that they don’t deserve punishment. The leaders especially given they have no problem killing Holdem for their own selfish motives.

    1. Not just killing Holdem, but using him for parts too. And I don’t think that their plans for Albus are much nicer. I think that there should have been a screen shot of the guy prepping his knives when the sorcerers carried Holdem over. That was well done… and then when he asked Holdem to bear with him.

      I’m curious as to how these two will effect the outcome.

      For all of Thirteen’s flat and deadpan demeanour, he’s turned into a pretty awful (in a good way) villain.

    2. Have to remember Zero and the mercenary never actually signed a contract. They only made a blood pact which could be where the damage reflection comes from, although the drying sorcery from earlier could also be the source.

      For the contracts though I’m guessing they simply do as has been stated: kill the one who breaks it by attacking the fellow contractor(s).

    3. Well I think the spell that protects Merch and harms Zero is something different from a contract (they never formed one). And we don’t know how the contract with Thirteen is worded, but I assume it is something along the line of: you can not attack me or try to kill me. Thirteen is protected but the reverse isn’t true, because I doubt he would include anything that could harm him. So who knows, maybe the spells get automatically reflected or the contracted witches just light up and drop dead as soon as they take aim at him.
      But the clever thing is that probably nobody will be able to tell. A few Eps back Albus thought that Thirteen attacked Zero, when it was her own spell that struck her down. So if the other witches can’t recognize death by contract everyone will think it was Thirteen who did it. What a story that would be. The great Mage of the State that killed all the evil witches single-handed.

      But I’m more eager to find out how the duel will play out. I understand that they want to find out who is stronger, but Thirteen uses magic as well, right? Couldn’t Zero just deny him?

  3. This show is pretty good…

    but the whole force summoning thing is a little daft. I mean the first time it was kind of clever..
    but this time the trigger was “Albus”… which seems a tad fortunate for 13 given… there was no guarentee either would have said such a thing and they probably should have just left the room before their happy reunion and strategy chat..

    meaning the whole plot progression thing probably wouldn’t happen… furthermore…. ok when they get summoned whitetiger spaces out because of the magic.. but why doesn’t Zero do something before she is conveniently put in a magic absorbing cage… or does the summoning knock them both out… but then how does 13 get there… is he just waiting in his summon room all the time in case someone triggers his trap…

    its a detail.. but a kinda dumb one.

    1. For all we know there could have been more than one trigger word, it would explain the second use of the trap. As for Zero not doing anything IIRC the summoning mentally knocks you out while simultaneously switching your location. By the time Zero regained consciousness, she was already in the cage.

      No idea how to explain Thirteen’s immediate presence, but then the guy was never particularly normal. Probably just chalk it up to plot convenience 😛

      1. Honestly, if you can trigger a summoning based off the use of one word I find rather easy to have the activation trigger some kind of alert to the caster so they know to go to the location they specified for the summoning. That is honestly not something I put a lot of thought into because I figured magic.


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