So I was wondering how Maou would deal with the merchants, since they appeared to consider assassinating her. Turns out, things were resolved easier than I expected. All it takes is for Maou to say some surprising things to the merchant, and he’s all on board with her plan. Ok, so what probably convinced him was her appealing to his shrewd, merchant ways (ie, making a profit above everything else), but it was all executed so smoothly that it really came as a surprise. There was a moment when the assassins the merchants had hired looked like they were about to make a move, but I never felt any sense of urgency during the negotiations at all. I’m not sure if this is a testament to how good Maou is with her words, or if it’s really that easy to talk the merchant into something, but I guess all’s well that ends well. And speaking of Maou’s plan, she now intends to spread yet another miracle crop to continue her campaign against poverty. Last time it was the potato; this time, it’s corn. Which brings us back to the big question yet again. Just how does Maou know all this, when no one else does? I highly doubt she realized everything herself, so surely she has some sort of source that’s telling her all these juicy little tidbits on how to advance civilization. There’s also the fact from episode one that she had foreknowledge of Yuusha confronting her before they even met, so I’m convinced she’s got a prophetic item or something along those lines.
Yet, she doesn’t seem to know every little thing. While it’s undeniable that Maou is knowledgeable about all the details of farming and the like, she’s completely unaware of Yuusha’s current actions and whereabouts. The only logical conclusion is that however she got her information, she only obtained a specific amount relevant to how she could better civilization (including how she should deal with parties like Yuusha and the merchants), but no more. And moreover, she’s no longer in a position to obtain any further information from that aforementioned mysterious source. Whatever the case, this brings us to the other major aspect of the show; Maou and Yuusha’s relationship. The merchant’s rather bold actions (which Maou seems to have brought upon herself with her love comment) have me a little concerned for the main couple. Well, maybe not; this is another one of those cases where the pairing is already decided and isn’t likely to be broken. Even so, having someone in a position of such great power as the merchant seeking to court Maou really makes you wonder if this won’t be the last time someone influential tries to ask her hand in marriage. I’m sure Yuusha wouldn’t take that very kindly. But then again, it could also turn out that Maou and Yuusha have complete faith in each other.
Well, that would be rather sweet and touching, but it doesn’t look to be the case from at least one party’s perspective. Yuusha, being the chick-magnet that he is, has managed to unwittingly assemble some sort of harem of humans and demons during his travels, and he’s worried that Maou might not be too happy about it when she finds out. So, he decides to stay hidden from her despite being technically able to pay her a visit every day using his teleportation magic. More importantly though, he’s also concerned that if he were to die on the battlefield, Maou would be frozen with grief and unable to continue with her plan. Not wanting to be a potential obstacle to Maou’s dreams, Yuusha gets it into his head that she’ll take his potential demise more lightly if he distances himself from her. Wait, what? That’s some flawed logic if I’ve ever seen any. I’m pretty sure she’ll still grieve for you whether or not she’s seen you recently. And what you’re doing now is only making her more anxious from not being able to see the one she loves. But, maybe we can chalk this silliness to the oft-quoted fact (which the Head Maid seems to enjoy reminding us of) that Yuusha is a virgin. We all know that virgins are straightforward but idiots, right?
Jokes aside, things start picking up when we learn that the Central Nations are forcing the Southern Nations to launch a full-scale attack on an island conquered by the demons. The Southern Nation Prince is still strongly against war despite his talk with his father in the first episode, but unfortunately his nation is still in the same position of facing poverty if the Central Nations were to cut their war funds. I really do feel sorry for the guy. He knows he’s just sending his men to certain doom, but he has no choice since the alternative is to condemn all his people to starvation. But we do see that the former Archer turned intelligence agent is advising him, so hopefully he’ll be able to pull through with minimal losses. In any case, it looks like some of Maou’s villagers are seeking to participate in the war effort despite Knight’s disapproval, and even the Older Sister Maid wants to learn how to fight, so Maou might have to do something to quell the war fever in the next episode.
The real villains portrayed in this episode are the Central Nations, who have the Southern Nations on a leash to do their dirty work for them while they remain safe behind the front lines. So far, Maou’s been focused on improving the shortage of food in the human world, but she’ll have to address the problems with the international relationships sooner or later. She claims that the war with the demons has united mankind, but clearly, we see that humans are not quite as united as she would have Yuusha believe.