“Rail Zeppelin 4/6: Mystic Eyes of Transience and an Awakening Detective”

「魔眼蒐集列車4/6 泡影の魔眼と目覚める探偵」 (Magan Shuushuu Ressha 4/6 Houyou no Mame to Mezameru Tantei)

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.

Concluding Thoughts

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


  1. Remind me again, does this episode takes around the same time period as the 5th Grail War? Now that they are talking about the Holy Grail War, now wondering if this episode is taking place monthes/couple of years after the 5th grail war.

    Was taking the priest’s eyes, in that moment, needed? I recalled the old man wanted to sell his eyes, I think which I assume is for retirement money, but not understanding why they needed to take his eyes now.

    Anyway, while they didn’t show the fight. I assuming Gray lost to Hephaestion. Which made sense since Gray is a human that could have freezed to death while Hephaestion was a servant not affected by trivial things like temperatures; unless it is written, in the legend of a Servant, that a Herioc Spirit had freezed to death like how cheese can kill Medb if she eats a cheeseburger.

    1. This arc is in November 2003, roughly two months before the Fifth Holy Grail War starts.

      Also they took his eyes at that moment because it was the time it was stipulated they would do so (half a day before the auction as they said). Adashino just used that in her favor to make her hypotesis look more valid by confirming the power of the Mystic Eyes of Transience.

      1. “Adashino just used that in her favor to make her hypotesis look more valid”
        Curious, is that Japanese beauty that BAD of a person? She sounds like the type of person that Likes to make innocent people convicted of crimes they are not truly guilty for. I would want to quickly fire her for improper use of authoritative justice.

      2. @Greed: Put simply, she doesn’t care about the truth. She cares about her own agenda, which seems to usually be whatever backroom deal her department has worked out ahead of time plus one or two other angles they are trying to exploit, and she’ll use whatever is available.

        All pretty standard for a mage.

      3. ” She cares about her own agenda,”
        In other words, her line of thinking is “I don’t care who is guilty or innocent, as long as I can use them to get a promotion, I am willing to wrongfully convict innocent poor saps so they can help me get my paycheck.

  2. I’m under the impression that the Mage’s law is there only to find a scape goat. As long as things don’t become public, anything goes.

    Still don’t get what she has to do with anything. Her abandonment seem crucial, but still can’t connect the dots.

    Finally, I have doubts that Waver’s story will find a conclusion here. This season’s title seem to suggest that it is only part of the story. I’d suspect he’d come to except things once the grail war starts without him. It’s been indicated throughout this series that the selection process is still ongoing.

  3. I’m a bit confuzzled as to how the Mystic Eyes of transience works.

    It sees something in the past, then brings it into the present? But if Karabo made the cut himself, isn’t that something in the present? But if they’re observing things in the past, how would he know the movements of his victim in the future?


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