Eminence in Shadow? More like boxtease in shadow. Left and right girls are trying to get Cid to notice them or hang out with him, but he ain’t interested. He’s too lost in the pretend game he thinks he’s playing in this world. And the next stage of that game calls for a trip to the Sacred Lands and their capital, Lindwurm.
So Epsilon can augment her figure with slime, and Beta can write all the aspirational doujinshi she likes, and the two can compare their busts at Shadow Garden HQ, but Cid/Shadow could not care less. They’re not women to him so much as valued, loyal underlings.
That certainly extends to his non-Shadow Garden women in his life as well. Claire clearly wanted to have a fun summer day with her brother, but he hit from her. Alexia, who is also headed to Lindwurm, stops by Gamma’s modern department store and is introduced to thongs, and subjects her big sis a wall slam to prove her commitment to wearing one to win him back.
Then there’s Rose, who we learn found Cid alive and well in a flashback to the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack. Since he gave her her life, she’s decided to return his feelings and give him her heart. He runs into her at the train station and from that point on she’s constantly clinging to him. Cid doesn’t want thongs or drill tails. He just wants some space and some intrigue!
Just as he hid from Claire, he hides from Rose’s attempt to sleep with him (he believes she’s trying to convert him to her religion) and two days later they arrive in Lindwurm. There, they have a sightseeing date, where he learns from Rose that the demon Diabolos lost his left arm to the Great Hero Olivier in the Sanctuary, a place just outside the capital.
He also learns that Rose is a huge fan of Natsume-senpai, a famous and popular author. One glance at Natsume’s novels, and Cid knows it’s someone blatantly plagiarizing works from his world (including Eminence in Shadow—nice fourth wall break, that). He’s disappointed to learn the author is Beta, with whom he’d shared those stories in hope she’d be inspired to, ya know, right something original.
A few episodes ago we saw how playful and flirty Alpha could be (and how utterly unaffected Cid was), but here she’s all business, investigating the gruesome assassination of Archbishop Drake. Shadow Garden is already well into the case when their leader arrives.
He ends up intercepting the assassin in an alley and parries his sword strike with a little wooden ice cream spoon (Cid seems to be channeling Riddick here). Then the assassin is swiftly dispatched by Epsilon the Accurate. She and Shadow exchange a few words, Epsilon’s fake boobs bouncing emphatically the whole time. But Cid has no time for boobs…there’s adventure afoot!