Leopold may be several times larger than Albert, but if he knows what’s good for him, he’ll stop going after Sei. I’m not typically a fan of displays of jealousy, but there’s definitely something impressive about the way Albert lets Leo know that his attempts to get Sei to join his mercenary band are not welcome and the perpetual baleful glare on his face whenever the bigger man is around. I wouldn’t necessarily say that Leopold is trying to be romantic competition (at least in part because that’s really not part of the way this show operates), but I also wouldn’t put money on Albert seeing things that way. If nothing else, it’s nice to see him do a bit more than gaze adoringly at the object of his affections while scooting closer to her on a bench.
Of course, were he to keep that behavior up uninterrupted by Leopold’s untoward interest, poor Sei might just collapse. She’s officially figured out that it’s thinking of Albert specifically that triggers her Saintly powers, and she’s really not entirely sure how she feels about that. The opening scene, which features Sei almost desperately trying to think of every single person she knows besides Albert in an effort to invoke the Blessing, says a lot about how uncomfortable she is with her own emotions. I’m not one hundred percent positive that she even recognizes them as romantic in nature, although if she doesn’t that’s likely to be because she doesn’t want to rather than her not understanding her own heart. Given how little Sei likes being the focus of attention, it does make a degree of sense that she’d be so opposed to falling in love, especially for someone as well-known as Albert. But even more than that, the fact that her powers hinge upon her feeling a strong attachment to someone means that each time she uses them she’s being forced to admit to herself that she does care, and that robs her of the time to get used to her own feelings. Albert may have fallen for Sei in the equivalent of love at first sight, but it’s been creeping up on Sei much more slowly, less like a bolt from the blue and more a case of slowly wading into a pool. Now the ground has suddenly gone out from under her and she’s trying to find her footing again, never a fun position to be in.
And even worse? Yuri has just shown up in the Klausner Domain. Given the (deliberate) paucity of information about how the Saint uses her powers, or even gains access to them, the fact that Yuri wasn’t present when Sei put two and two together was something of a stroke of good luck, because he’s the only person who could conceivably badger her into revealing what she discovered – or rather, he’s the only person without the social boundaries that would prevent him from badgering her. Sei’s been wary of Yuri turning her into his pet research subject, so while his arrival in the forest with Aira and another young mage is good from a timing perspective, in terms of Sei’s peace of mind it’s not such a great thing. I feel like Yuri discovering the source of Sei’s power could be the equivalent of telling the town gossip your crush and then arriving at the grocery store to discover that the entire population is fully aware of your feelings.
But on the plus side, Aira! Not only do we get to see Aira continue to settle in to her new life as a member of the Assembly of Mages in Salutania, living under her own power at last, but she’s also tagged along (been forcefully dragged?) to the Klausner Domain. It’s pretty clear that Yuri mostly brought her because she’s also been summoned from Japan and he’s just dying to gauge how that has affected her magical power, but more importantly, this is a chance for Aira to feel like she’s not just the bonus feature to Sei’s main show. It could also indicate that there’s more to Aira than people are assuming; certainly her fire spells are much more effective than Albert’s ice magic or even Sei’s Blessing when it comes to pure destruction. Maybe Sei and Aira were both summoned to work together – one to fight and one to save. I’m not sure that we’ll get a clear answer to that before the season ends, but it’s an idea that’s worth paying attention to next week.