「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.