What is with all the sleep-cute moments?
Episode 4 of Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (Grimoire of Zero) is out, and it starts with a bathing scene. Mercenary has to take baths constantly to keep fleas out, and Zero offers to help but states she’s placing a curse on him so that he’d be unable to leave her. He doesn’t buy it and instead focuses on driving off a bunch of gawking children by explaining that in doing so teaches them not to get too close to a beastfallen since many have been treated as monsters growing up and have become those monsters once they got older.
Zero assures him that his soul is undeniably human as they finish his bath and Zero uses her magic to dry him out. He’s so impressed that he forgets what modesty is and ends up flashing Zero and Albert. The embarrassment sticks with him as he goes into town with the two, where they further embarrass him with the sex-slave comment before they run into one of the children from before on their way out of town and heal their injured sister. They then set off on their journey anew with a montage of different sights and places, before getting an infodump on the Book of Zero and some backstory for our protagonists during dinner.
Mercenary reveals that his dream is to open a tavern in the future once he’s human again, while Albus explains that he lost his own parents during the witch hunts and doesn’t know where he stands in regards to hating humans, since his father was human and died trying to protect his mother. Zero doesn’t know who her parents are, explaining that where she was raised they merely studied sorcery and lived in a cave, but enjoys spending time with Mercenary and is willing to teach him magic (which she may or may not have developed because she hated the food at home) in order to stay with him.
Unfortunately, the good mood that had been built up through the episode is ruined when they arrive and find the town they were heading to filled with burned corpses. Albus rushes in with Mercenary and Zero giving chase as the episode ends.
Wow, this gives me Spice and Wolf vibes from how slice-of-life everything is. Zero is like Holo in that she is wise, though also immature in her knowledge of the outside world. Mercenary is like Lawrence, only with muscle. Albus is just kind of there, but at least he gets fleshed out more.
We also got a look into what their hopes for the future are: Albus wants all the persecution to stop and become a fortune-teller, Mercenary wants to run a tavern as a human, and Zero has been dropping hints left and right she just wants to be with Mercenary for as long as she can.
While the end of the episode sort of spoiled the mood, it does set up the confrontation with the Sorcerers of Zero to look forward to.