「You Can’t Make an Omelette Without Breaking a Few Eggs」
Poor Chise – you’d think she’d have long since been an omelette by now.
Chise is a good girl, no question about it – the sort of child that somber adults say is “too good for this world” in stories, after something terrible happens to them. It’s hard not to feel badly for her, given how many bad things already have happened to her, and the timing of them. But truthfully, it’s the timing of events in Chise’s life that give this story pathos, so in dramatic terms we really couldn’t have it any other way.
Elias’ astute observation that “none of your selfish acts are for yourself” artfully sums up both her arc and their relationship, I think. Chise is only too willing to throw her life away to help someone who needs it, but the problem is that her life is no longer hers alone to give – and it’s not just Elias I’m talking about here. Her decision to help the dragon child at any cost certainly meets Elias’ description, and his acquiescence shows that he’s come to realize that there’s no point in trying to dissuade her when Chise’s mind is set on an action.
The best-laid plans of mages are one thing, but reality has a way of intruding. Elias’ idea is to have Chise absorb the enraged dragon’s excess magic (which has in a sense de-evolved it into a primordial state), and to then absorb it himself before it can destroy her. But when he’s taken out by a bolt of fire and the dragonling is rampaging in the skies over London, Chise (as you’d expect) decides to take matters into her own hands. She discards her bracelet and takes the dragon’s power into herself, which seems to have the desired effect – in subduing the dragon, anyway.
“Wow!” indeed, omelette-girl. Chise is in a real mess (again) as a result of her selflessness – cursed by dragon magic, with a dragon arm and claws and a ticking clock until the magic destroys her body. It is a shame that all this is happening just as she’s decided life is worth living, but there’s that timing thing rearing its ugly head. That said, it’s progress that Chise now sees her existence as something worth fighting for – and there can be no question that Elias has developed a strong enough attachment to her that her placing himself in danger is enough to prompt him to anger.
These two are indeed no longer just “using” each other, that’s for certain. As Joseph looks on and muses on the potential usefulness of Chise’s curse (how is he doing that? Hmm…) a woman arrives at Elias’ house and announces herself as Mariel (Sakamoto Maaya) – the person who purchased dragon’s blood at the auction. She says she’s a witch, and invites Chise to become one too – intimating that it’s the only chance Chise has of beating the curse. Elias is reflexively resistant, but gives in soon enough – an acknowledgment, perhaps, that whatever downside there is to Chise sitting in with Mariel’s coven, the alternative is far worse.