Episode 6 of Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (Grimoire of Zero) is out and continues with Zero and Thirteen going at it. What stops them is ultimately the ringing of a bell that dictates its time for dinner (I kid you not) despite the fact that he’s essentially their enemy, bring the action to a standstill as they prepare to eat. Along the way, Thirteen reveals that they’re currently in the royal palace after that little teleportation trip.
The dinner is… well, just plain awkward for Mercenary and Albus, considering that while these two are compatriots, Thirteen basically did attack them. Zero, after getting dessert out of the way, bluntly asks him why he did all this. He basically states this was the most efficient way to track down the one who stole the grimoire so he’s doing that.
When Albus calls him a dirty traitor, his response is that the reason that the war is starting is because by letting the rogue witches go free after they learn magic (i.e. arming them), they basically enabled them to kill innocent villagers and add to the animosity. But he has a use for Albus so he wants him join, or be burned at the stake, and gives him a night to think things over.
As if that isn’t enough pressure on the poor kid, Zero reveals that she and Thirteen were the only ones left alive in the caves after his mentor killed all the other witches there to steal the grimoire. Zero also feels responsible since it was her sharing the same thought about wanting for humans and witches to live together that led her to create magic in the first place, despite Thirteen’s warnings of how dangerous it was. Then Albus gets escorted out, feeling betrayed since he thought they were friends, while Mercenary gets shunted off to a room so that Thirteen and Zero can talk.
She claims him stealing magical power is the greatest sin of all among magic-users, but he claims that if it gets him the grimoire then it’s worth it. Zero feels it’s her sin to bear, while Mercenary thinks that he might be next on the chopping block when he gets a visit from a talking mouse and follows it. The mouse leads him to cellar where Thirteen is after he’s done talking with Zero.
He thanks Mercenary for helping Zero and gives him a magic potion that will activate when poured out, but this one is designed to remove the effects of magic from an object. In his case, it will turn him back to human if he uses it on his body. Thirteen gives it to him and wants him to leave, telling him its for his own good and revealing that Zero has supposedly sacrificed other Beastfallen to demons in order to learn that magic.
Right now, Mercenary is alive because he’s useful, but once he isn’t then she’ll sacrifice him. He even claims that Zero cast a spell on him to protect her without a second thought because she was controlling him, rather than following his beast instincts, and the longer he spends with her the more subservient he’ll be. The way Thirteen says it leaves Mercenary convinced (or hypnotized, judging the evil smile) and he basically decides to split town when Zero pops up before he can leave.
He ends up drawing his blade against her and on the verge of panicking until Zero tells him otherwise and breaks whatever spell or influence that Thirteen had on him . But the fact that it worked at all is because he had doubts about her, which hurts Zero because she swore she would turn him human. She breaks the contract as the episode ends.
Okay, this episode had a lot more depth than I expected after that start. As Mercenary points out there are three factions of magic users at play here: The peaceful faction, Sorcerers of Zero, the renegade faction, Rogue witches, and the ones who hunt them both, Royal Sorcerers. Zero created magic because she saw all the good it could do, to heal without stitches and catch food without supplies, but Albus’ master basically turned it into a weapon. Thirteen not only saw the bad potential and then watched as it was realized, so he set out to do something about it. It’s understandable why he does what he does.
Not that he’s a saint. No, Thirteen was painfully honest that sorcerers saw other around them as tools, and he did exactly that. He wanted to get Zero away from Mercenary so he used the cracks in their relationship to do exactly that, leaving the ending weighing heavily on us all.