While the first part of this episode is spent explaining why Lainie has her terrifyingly powerful charm ability—i.e., that she’s a vampire—the episode isn’t really about her: it’s about Euphie. Back in the second episode, Euphie was sent to be Anis’ assistant for one main reason: damage control. After being rejected publicly by Algard, her reputation had been heavily damaged—to the point where she was likely to become a social pariah. After all, anyone associated with her would logically become an enemy of the next king. However, if she managed to take some credit for Anis’ inventions, she would be respected as a scholar and let back into high society that way.
Yet, things have changed dramatically since then. Who cares if Euphie bullied a girl in school or had a falling out with the prince? She defeated a dragon and saved the entire kingdom before the prince could even reach the front lines. She’s a legitimate war hero, and public opinion has swung firmly in her direction. She no longer needs to be Anis’ assistant or anything else.
The thing is, Euphie doesn’t really want to return to high society—to be the person she was before meeting Anis. Yet, that doesn’t mean she knows what she wants to do either. She’s spent so long thinking only about what others want from her that she doesn’t realize her feelings. It takes Tilty to make her realize that she is jealous—that she wants to be depended on by Anis just as Tilty is. And while that’s not a long-term career plan, it is a goal she can work towards—which brings us to the climax of the episode: the presentation.
For Euphie, speaking to the ministry of magic is her doing something only she can do. They would never listen to Anis or Tilty—a girl without magic and a girl who dislikes it. They are outsiders and heretics. Euphie, on the other hand, is the ideal mage. She can use various elements at a power level beyond most of them. She is a peer who knows how to talk to them in a way they can understand and agree with.
While it’s couched in terms like “heresy” and “disrespecting the spirits,” the more significant issue here is societal. Nobles have magic. Commoners do not. Having magic is treated as proof of the divine right to rule. Giving commoners magical tools is the same as giving them magic. Who’s to say they won’t get crazy ideas like that they should rule themselves? The mages (every one of them nobles) have a vested interest in hindering Anis’ magical technology—and given who Algard’s greatest ally is, it’s not a big step to think it would be outlawed should he take the throne.
However, Euphie knows that nobles care about one other thing as much as they care about staying in power: money. After all, money is just another kind of power for them to wield over both the commoners and each other. So when Euphie presents her version of the flying machine, she tells them it will make them rich—being able to fly directly from place to place, ignoring all natural terrain? That could change the very nature of trade.
It’s only then that she goes into the ideological debate. Euphie claims that Anis doesn’t have magic specifically because the spirits wanted her to create magical technology—that Anis was chosen because she was the one person with the drive and the position to do so. Do any of the mages believe this? Probably not. But now they have an excuse that allows them to get rich without committing blasphemy. While those at the top of the food chain (like the minister of magic and his son) may still reject the idea, those at the bottom who have more to gain will no doubt become Anis’ greatest supporters. All in all, this is a big win for Euphie—showing her worth not only to Anis but also to herself.
• I do think that Euphie believes what she was saying about why Anis was born magicless. But I’m sure the reason she told all the mages was pragmatic—not because she thinks any of them will agree with her on a philosophical level.
• It makes sense that Euphie doesn’t hate Lainie. After all, they’re strangers, and Lainie suffers from an untreated magical illness rather than having done anything intentionally.
• I like the contrast of a super innocent character being a vampire.
• Red eyes and fangs suit Lainie.
• It’s a little scary that Tilty can fight off Lainie’s charm because she never feels bad for other people—so when she feels bad for Lainie, she knows she’s being enchanted and can act accordingly.
• Exile Anis? Ha! At this point, I’m pretty sure Algard means to kill her if he takes the throne.
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