One of the real monsters leaves the story this week at the hands of someone that most of Orario would account much more monstrous based solely on appearances – Dix Perdix is apparently killed in Knossos by Asterius the minotaur. That's appropriate in a few mythologically relevant ways, since it was the Daedalus family (both here and in myth) who built the Labyrinth at Knossos, which housed the original minotaur, also named Asterius or Asterion. While it's never a safe plan to just declare someone dead unless you've seen and/or poked the body (I may read too much mystery), assuming that Asterius took care of our little evil problem is both a bit frustrating and precisely what Dix deserved. It's the former because he's such a vile little worm that it would have been nice to see him get the worst death possible, but the latter because honestly? Dix doesn't deserve the attention that would give him. But perhaps most importantly, Asterius taking him out tells us that he had a very clear idea of who to blame for the Xenos' problems and had zero qualms about just taking the man out. Does that make him more or less of a monster than Dix?
That word does get tossed around a lot this week as Loki Familia steps up to “help” take care of the Xenos. As we all know, they're absurdly powerful, and when Tiona cuts down Fels' golem, they comment that Loki's kids are monstrous in their power. But to Loki Familia, Fels looks like one of the monsters with their lack of skin and muscle and their great powers, while to everyone else Bell is treading some dangerous ground veering on the monstrous as he calls dibs on Wiene as “his kill” when, Little Rookie or not, no one really believes that he can take her down. If they start to suspect that he has no intention of doing anything of the kind, it's almost certain that he'll be pushed over the edge and into monster territory. And from the look on Hermes' face as he watches everything happen, that wouldn't be a good thing for his plans at all.
At this point it's probably good to remember that Hermes is a trickster god, just like Loki. Loki's largely eclipsed Hermes in popular imagination (thanks, Marvel), but that doesn't change the fact that he is the Greek pantheon's version of the archetype. (Or at least one of them.) Tricksters are interesting for a lot of reasons, but one of the primary ones is that they often don't disclose their motives – they employ deception and trickery to achieve ends that they largely keep to themselves. Sometimes the motives just seem to be personal amusement (animal tricksters like Anansi and Coyote are often the best examples of this), but other times they're playing a long game – it's just that no one else is aware of it. Hermes (and possibly Loki) definitely fits into this last category of trickster within the DanMachi world. He's clearly got plans for Bell, plans that Bell seems to be actively jeopardizing with his insistence on being a hero for everyone, not just for other humans or adventurers. In Hermes' eyes, that may make Bell not only a pain to deal with, but also a fool.
But who or what is a fool? Eden Gray in The Tarot Revealed writes that the Fool, “is about to enter the supreme adventure – that of passing through the gates of experience to reach Divine Wisdom.” While this is admittedly not in the context of the Greco-Roman mythology that has been informing so much of this arc of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, it's still a definition worth thinking about when it comes to Bell. Twice this week he's explicitly named a Fool – once in the episode title and once at the end of the episode by Fels, who frames the young man as a sort of wise fool. According to Canadian author Ann-Marie MacDonald in her play Good Night, Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet), the wise fool is the character who has the power to transform tragedies into comedies, and that is what Bell seems to be trying to achieve. The other adventurers of Orario may see him as a fool for siding with the monsters (and Hermes seems to because Bell does it so openly), but what only Fels seems to understand is that Bell is not a fool but a Fool – and his experiences may in fact be leading him to a kind of wisdom that no one else cares to know.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and HIDIVE.