Crudely, there are two ways of looking at the world. You can take the optimistic route and see the world as good. Society is progressing and advancing. Justice is being done. People care about each other and freely show kindness. Do good, and your efforts will be rewarded. Or you can take the pessimistic route and see the world as evil. Injustice plagues our institutions and corrupts society. People will reject and wound you, and there’s not much you can do about it except burn it all down and start again.
Either you love the world, or you hate the world. Your choice will shape how you view society, others, and yourself.
It’s easy to take the pessimistic route after the beginning of this episode. Honestly, the nobility of this kingdom could do with a good old-fashioned purge. As they meet with Anis to discuss her return to noble society, you can hear the venom in their voices: “It seems our tomboy princess has settled down at last.” Finally, the princess has grown up after acting childishly for so long! What good news! Especially since it means an end to this “magicology” nonsense. Give the blessing of magic to uneducated commoners? Unthinkable! What would become of noble authority? Never mind the prosperity of the kingdom or the happiness of its citizens: all threats to power must go, and that means cloistering magic to the ivory towers of noble chateaus.
No matter how much Anis bends to the will of these smarmy old men, it will never be enough. All they see in her is a failure of a princess trying to make something of herself. They care nothing for her genius—she can’t use magic, so she’s unfit. At least she’s young: she can produce a suitable heir soon enough and get out of the way. All that’s left is to find the right partner—status, age, and Anis’s wishes notwithstanding.
Mired in their vile conversation, Anis cannot help but embrace herself tightly, desperately seeking shelter from their leering eyes.
Euphie wants to whisk Anis away from this bleak life, just as Anis did for her so long ago. “I cannot allow you to become queen,” she tells Anis. And now, with spirit contractor Lumi’s help, she’s charted a flight path to free Anis from her royal duties. Euphie will forge a spirit contract, secure adoption into the royal family, and garner enough support from the nobles to become the next queen.
It’s not smooth sailing: the spirit contract will ultimately transform Euphie into an immortal spirit, robbing her of her emotions, memory, and humanity. But Euphie isn’t willing to let Anis sacrifice her smile for a kingdom that won’t accept her. If it means Anis will be happy, Euphie’s willing to do whatever it takes.
So in a scene calling back to the first episode, Euphie extends her hand out to Anis, beckoning her to freedom.