The connection between Holdem, Albus, and Sorena.
Episode 8 of Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho (Grimoire of Zero) is out and, picking up where we last left off, Mercenary patches up the Wolf (his name is Holdem for the record) in order to get some answers. It turns out that Sorena turned him from a human into a beastfallen of his own freewill, rather than being unfortunate enough to be born as one. He was a former royal knight, and brat, who basically got into trouble and Sorena helped him out since her granddaughter liked him. Since things were peaceful then, he didn’t have to worry about being hunted down for his head.
However, things changed once the plague came about. They needed someone to blame, and Sorena chose to sacrifice herself so that he and her granddaughter could get away. Her granddaughter ran away to get revenge and joined the Sorcerer’s of Zero, while he was looking into finding the information.
Zero wakes up about this time, only to find that she’s sealed in a barrier within the room and can’t escape. Her thoughts turn to Mercenary as he wants to make things right with Zero by getting the Grimoire of Zero to give to her as an apology. Holdem then reveals that he believes that the plague was done by the person who stole the Grimoire, in order to frame Sorena since she didn’t think magic was being spread properly.
The pair then learn that Albus is going to be executed and head back to try and stop it, which is when he picks up the scent of Sorena’s granddaughter and it turns out to be Albus apparently crossdressing. Thirteen intends to use her as a scapegoat and manipulate the people, claiming he will eliminate all the witches in kingdom to bring peace using sorcery. Albus then takes the time to speak up, telling his allies in the crowd to basically attack the moment he’s killed in the name of Sorena to strike down Thirteen.
Then the fire starts and they have to intervene before it gets really bad, leading to the two beastfallen grabbing Albus and narrowly getting away after a brawl on a horseback carriage and falling to a river. The episode ends with Thirteen sending men to find them, wanting them all alive.
You know, despite what we’ve learned of Holdem, his actions in the past chapters have kind of gone against that. I get he was loyal to Sorena and her granddaughter and all, but he basically took a bunch of girls as slaves (granted they would have been burned as witches) and let his own men run wild. I can’t say I approve of him as a person, but it does at least confirm what Zero mentioned earlier—it’s possible to change back to a human if you can be changed into one.
Still, the plot is coming together to paint an ugly picture. Whoever the man that stole the Grimoire is basically antagonized all of the main factions and led to the civil war here, which likely inflamed the need to use magic in the first place, spreading the teachings and weaponizing it. At this point, I doubt peace will come from dealing with him alone, but if they can at least stop him from making it worse then that’s good enough.