In the throne room of Freid, Duke Mahad dal Freid talks to Van about Fanelia. He says they are aware of Zaibach’s attack which is why he returned. However, the Duke is upset at Allen because he abandoned his country. Chid tries to talk for Allen, but his father yells at him and tells him he risked the safety of the country. Millerna speaks up, saying that she also abandoned Asturia to warn Freid. She says Zaibach will drag all of Gaea into war and Freid is their next target. Hearing this, Freid relents, and asks Allen and the others if they will join in the fight against Zaibach. Hitomi watches the Duke leave. Meanwhile, in the Vione, Folken tells Dornkirk about Hitomi’s abilities and that she’s from Earth. Dornkirk says this is good, and that he wants to see her power. Dornkirk remembers the Earth from long ago in his past. Freid prepares for war, and Millerna bandages Allen while the Mole Man spies. Allen seems quite depressed and thinks of Marlene. Merle discovers the Mole Man spying and heads in the room, looking for Van, who isn’t there. Hitomi stands on the balcony and watches the soldiers prepare themselves. She looks at the sunset which turns a blood red and she sees a vision of Zongi dying once more. Merle, who is sitting nearby taunts Hitomi and tells her that Van is looking for her. Elsewhere, the crew of the Crusade helps Van smooth away scratches from Escaflowne‘s sword. Merle and Hitomi come in, and Van asks Hitomi to tell them which direction Zaibach’s going to invade from using her abilities. Hitomi gets upset and says she won’t do it because she doesn’t want to be used at their convenience. She is scared about how much her predictions and visions have come true since she has come to Gaea. After yelling at Van she leaves. She sits by a small fountain and thinks back to friends on Earth asking her to tell their fortune. Hitomi says fortune telling is only a game and she won’t do it any longer.
Millerna enters a villa behind the castle that used to be Marlene’s residence. Inside the Duke looks at a portrait of Marlene, and he tells Millerna how they had it transported and rebuilt for Marlene when she came to Freid. Freid says Millerna can use the villa as she wishes and leaves. Millerna looks around and finds a music box that plays a lullaby. She flashes back to years before when she was just a little girl talking to her sister and remembers Marlene’s wedding. She pushes on the music box, causing it to rotate and reveal a secret compartment with a diary inside. Outside, Van practices archery with his eyes closed, trying to imagine Hitomi’s pendant, and misses the target. Hitomi is greeted at the fountain by Chid, who is sad because he is worried about the war. Van continues to shoot arrows with his eyes closed and continues to miss the target. Chid says he doesn’t think he’ll make a good duke and meet his parents’ expectations. Van draws his arrow once more as Hitomi and Chid continue to talk about wishes and manages to hit the target. Hitomi tells Chid that if he focuses on what he wishes to do and works on that goal he’ll eventually be able to do it. She tells him that she’ll read his fortune with the tarot cards. Millerna reads Marlene’s diary about a day she went and saw a handsome knight at an event, Allen Schezar. She continues to read how Allen became one of the 12 Knights Caeli and was ordered to guard the palace. Meanwhile, Hitomi reads the tarot cards for Chid, seeing that he will be respected by the people after overcoming hardships. However, while reading the cards, Hitomi sees a vision of Marlene. Millerna continues to read Marlene’s diary, saying how she fell in love with Allen, but was forced to marry Duke Freid. Millerna is shocked to find out Marlene and Allen were in love, as is Hitomi, who has another vision. Millerna reads about how Marlene thinks Chid is really Allen’s son. Meanwhile, Chid asks Hitomi what’s wrong and she says it’s nothing, but notices an inverted card that represents forbidden love. Millerna is shocked to find out the truth about Chid. Meanwhile, the four armies of Zaibach arrive near Freid. General Adelphos leads the attack; he and the other three generals of Zaibach order their troops to begin moving out. Zaibach Alseides are released from the Floating Fortresses and land at the border of Freid, heading for Godashim. Freid lookouts watch in horror as the Zaibach troops pass by. Duke Freid is informed by Voris about Zaibach’s impending attack and their large numbers. Voris mentions following the ‘Book of Lions’ to protect Freid’s secret. Van gets in Escaflowne and heads out. As Allen heads over to get in Scherazade, Millerna stops him. Allen knows that she wants to talk about Marlene and admits that they were in love before she was engaged to Duke Freid. He says that Chid is likely his son, but the Duke, watching from the window nearby shouts out that Chid is his son. Dilandau and the Dragonslayers, who are standing near the capital of Freid in their stealth cloaks, report to Folken.
By general consensus this is the series’ least interesting episode, featuring no battles and the plot only sets up future events (although you do have the Zaibach armies preparing for their attack near the end). The episode focuses primarily on developing the show’s characters, such as introducing Duke Freid, revealing things about Chid’s parentage, and Hitomi getting upset about her visions and what Van is asking of her. Hitomi’s concerns is an interesting direction to take things in, but unfortunately they don’t go too far with it, one of the pitfalls about the show being so quickly paced. The episode also features a lot of foreshadowing, such as Dornkirk revealing knowledge of the Earth, and Voris talking about the Book of the Lion. Van continues to increase his skills, which will lead to some more impressive feats from him in future episodes. As someone who loves the show so much, I didn’t mind that much the fact that we got a slower episode like this. It’s not an amazing episode, but not a bad one either.
Original Review: April 1, 2006