“Rail Zeppelin 4/6: Mystic Eyes of Transience and an Awakening Detective”
The Dynamic of Master and Servant
The conversation Hephaestion had with Gray greatly fascinated me, because the parallels between their characters were emphasised and the content of their discussion revealed a lot about them. And accounting for the difference in culture from those times, especially when it comes to honour, chivalry and respect, I thought Hephaestion’s decision to spare Gray’s life and save her from the avalanche was well justified: Iskandar’s aide views Arturia’s imitation as a kindred spirit. They both devoutly serve as primary confidantes to their master, and while powerful in their own respect, possess abilities that are mere shadows of ones possessed by significantly greater historical figures. I never quite saw this parallel, but it really makes sense. That said, things immediately took a hostile turn once Gray revealed her knowledge of an extremely private moment from Hephaestion’s life — where she defied Iskandar in an attempt to prevent him from dying young in the futile pursuit of his dream. I think this moment might be key to unlocking Hephaestion’s character, her philosophical viewpoint on the master/servant dynamic, and why she resents Waver. If I had to guess, she envies Waver and despises how he was unable to call off Iskandar from charging to his doom and defeat at the hands of Gilgamesh. I imagine this conversation will be relevant character development for Gray. Those familiar with Fate/Stay Night know that Waver doesn’t get to participate in the upcoming Holy Grail War, and some persuasion from Gray might be what Waver needs to amicably let go of an obsession which has consumed him throughout adult life — the desire to see Iskandar one last time.
A Person is More Than Just Their Dreams
My friend recently told me about Lee Chong Wei, the Malaysian badminton player who dreamed of winning Olympic Gold for his country all his life. Though he was number one in the player rankings for considerable lengths of time, he only won silver and always stood second on the podium. Eventually, he was diagnosed with nose cancer and his doctor told him that if he continued to train hard, he would die. That made Lee Chong Wei question his sense of self and identity. All his life, he had been Lee Chong Wei, the badminton player. It was his everything. He began to think about how his life actually meant more than that, and he hadn’t put enough time into being Lee Chong Wei, the father. Lee Chong Wei, the husband. Among other things about himself. And after pondering over it, he came to a very difficult decision to give up on his dream, for the sake of himself and his loved ones. I think Waver will eventually arrive to a similar outcome, in terms of further committing himself to being Lord El-Melloi II – Head of the El-Melloi Family and beloved professor at the Modern Magecraft department. And I hope it can culminate in a powerful resolution like Lee Chong Wei’s.
A New Suspect Emerges
So, back to the murder on the Rail Zeppelin. Considering where the arc seemed to be heading, I didn’t expect Karabo Frampton to become a prime suspect. But Adashino’s reasoning holds water. Theoretically, Karabo could conduct a murder by lining up a cut he can see from the past with the location of a person in the present. It doesn’t help that his eyes cause his memories to become unstable and fragmented. However, there are also counterpoints which poke holes in this idea. Karabo has no control over his eyes, and the ways in which their abilities can manifest. Waver somewhat invokes the tenets of English criminal law — there can be no crime without a motive. I’m extrapolating that Waver semantically meant intent, otherwise known as mens rea. And to me, he’s suggesting that even assuming if Karabo was the instrument through which the murder was conducted, some kind of unknown force would have overwritten his freewill and self-determination in compelling him to commit such an act. That Karabo shouldn’t be immediately deemed guilty without a clear motive or intent. Though as interesting discussions from a previous episode highlighted, Mage Society and English Society are two completely different systems where the justice system is concerned due to the existence of magic and what it can achieve.
Adashino also points out that the murder technically didn’t take place at the same location. This brings up another possibility, if we’ve paid attention to the investigations of Luvia and Kairi, as well as remembering Will Codrington from one of the previous episodes. Perhaps the murders were performed from the Fairy Realm itself, which would fulfil the criteria of being a separate plane from the human temporal axis of existence. But then the question becomes, how could it have been done? To which I’d point to the figure speculated upon within the episode — the man who had his heart stolen by fairies, and all the more so when you consider his history with the Mage Association and involvement with the investigating the previous murders. In terms of his sister-in-law being on the train, I suspect this could very well be Adashino, and that she’s pulling the strings to help put everyone else off the trail. But I guess we’ll find out really soon, since there are only two episodes left to go. Anyway, that was about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading my post and see you next week