It reeks more of nerd than money today.
For once, I was more invested in Eda’s side plot than the main plot with Luz, primarily because Eda’s actually moving the plot along (and doing a bit of character development), while Luz and King basically just reiterate the same character beats/dynamics that they’ve displayed before.
Luz: I’ve always wanted to be a writer…
King: What? I thought you wanted to be a witch.
Luz: Of course I want to be a witch, but where I’m from that’s kinda impossible. So my runner-up dream was to be a writer.
Becoming a writer is the dream of many a young wierdo…but unfortunately, making a living as a writer is about as realistic as becoming a witch for most people.
Anyhow, Eda’s got wind of a “Bloom of Eternal Youth”…
Eda: So Lilith wants to nab this power for the Emperor, huh? Well, won’t she be surprised when I get there first and get it for myself! That’ll show her who’s frail.
So the plot is that Luz wants to enter a writing contest, and King wants to win a writing contest because he’s convinced that fame is almost as good as actually ruling over people. So they try to collaborate, but Luz appears to be doing all the writing, with King only occasionally complaining about her sentimentality and/or the lack of violence.
King: Hey, there’s more to life than shipping.
Luz: Don’t you dare insult shipping in my presence!
Then Luz pops out of the room for a bit to see Eda off on her sidequest.
…and returns to see King’s taken over the story, complete with killing off Luz’s self-insert character.
Luz: King, I know you’re trying to help, but I think you’re crossing a line.
King: Yeah, into greatness! Don’t you want us to win?
Luz: If this is how you want to win, then maybe you should submit the story on your own.
Long story short, King succeeds in getting the book published under his own name (despite clearly relying on a lot of Luz’s writing), and subsequently gets the standard rich and famous contract from his sketchy publisher.
Reviewnicorn: It’s the perfect blend of heart and heartlessness – like two authors mashed into one.
So King’s rich and famous now, and Luz starts writing a book from scratch again.
Meanwhile, Eda and Lilith have met up.
Lilith: Why don’t you go home and rest? Wouldn’t want you breaking a hip.
Eda: Sorry, sister, I’m stronger than you think. I’m here to save the Bloom of Eternal Youth from the likes of you.
I mean, Eda’s after it for purely selfish reasons, but at least she’s honest.
King invites Luz to some sort of book-related thing, and Luz agrees to come mainly because she doesn’t want to hold a grudge against him. But his publisher is getting increasingly insistent about a sequel, and King realizes that he can’t write a decent book on his own.
King: Apparently I can’t write my daring works of genius without rebelling against your gushy fantasy slop.
Luz: Excuse me?
Yeah, if you express nothing but disdain for someone’s writing style, you’ll have trouble convincing her to work with you again (especially if she’ll remain uncredited).
Luz: I’m not writing for you after you made fun of all my ideas. […] Congratulations on all your hard-earned success.
Lilith: Thank you, Edalyn. I wasn’t certain that you’d save me.
Eda: Stow it! Eh, we might fight, but I’m still your sister. And besides, if anyone’s putting you down, it’s gonna be me.
It’s nice to see these two cooperating. Eda definitely has big sister vibes, looking out for Lilith whenever she gets in trouble (I forget if they ever actually say the birth order).
But once they find the Bloom, they’re back to their old ways.
Lilith: Why are you always like this?
Eda: Because, Lilith, you think I’m just some tired old biddy. Ah, but I’m more than that.
Luz: That snappily dressed lizard trapped me in this shrinking box!
Turns out that as soon as the publisher heard that they wrote the last book together, he literally throws them in a box together with a pen and paper and tells them to get working on the sequel.
Piniet: Some of the best books were written in literal crunch time.
Luz: That’s a toxic mentality that contributes to burnout and unrealistic expectations!
While I heartily agree with Luz, they’ve still got to come up with something fast.
Luz: Well, I have my story.
King: But it’s all hugging and crying! I can’t put my name on that.
Luz: King, that is why we are in here! Because you can’t compromise! All I wanted was to write a dumb story with my friend.
King: Luz, you’re living your dream. You’re becoming a witch. But this celebrity is the closest I’ll ever get to my dream. It all went to my head, and I hurt you. I’m sorry.
In another circumstance, they could’ve found a way to write a story that both of them could be proud of. If King had offered constructive criticism in the first place (as opposed to belittling her contributions and changing it to suit his own desires), they could have played to their strengths. But now all they can do is plot their escape.
Meanwhile, the Bloom of Eternal Youth has vanished.
Shopowner: I know you must be confused. The Bloom of Eternal Youth, dead? What if I told you the bloom never existed at all? And now that I have led you to my nest, I’ll suck all the life out of you to satisfy my unending hunger!
Lilith: He scammed us. Can you believe he scammed us?
Eda: I thought there was a fifty-fifty chance going in. Hard not to admire the tenacity, though.
Lilith: Good entrance, but that outfit!
Shopowner: Maybe you’ve never been led into a lethal trap before, but the response should be, “Ah! no! Spare us!”
Eda: Ah, sure. Spare us.
Lilith: Woe to us whose fates are sealed.
When they’re on the same side, they’re quite formidable.
Lilith: If it makes any difference, I don’t consider you to be a tired old biddy. If you were, you’d be much easier to catch.
Eda: Oh, great. You gonna cart me away to the coven now, are you?
Lilith: Not now, because I want to give you a chance to join on your own. Join me in the Emperor’s Coven, Edalyn. He could even heal your curse.
Eda: No. I’ll heal it on my own terms. I don’t want to owe him anything. Catch you later, sis.
Lilith: Not if I catch you first.
Anyway, to wrap this plot up, they first distract him with a light spell and tear up King’s contract, then this person from Episode 1 shows up with a story that’s apparently so good that he completely forgets about Luz and King.
And so, what Luz and King got up to amounted to nothing, and what Eda got up to also amounted to nothing…but she still got to spend some quality time with her sister, even if she didn’t make any progress.
Until next time…