The Road to Arcturus (アルクトゥルスへの道 Arukutourusu e no michi?) is the 24th episode of the Little Witch Academia anime series. It also serves as the third part of four-parter second cour finale (second season on Netflix) of the series.
On Netflix, the episode is titled "A Road to Arcturus".
Ursula confronts Croix, but fails to prevent her carrying out her plan. Akko, Diana and their friends are swept into the Arcturus Forest.
Chariot is at shock to see the completed Noir Rod, with Croix expressed her eagerness to use it to claim her ultimate prize, the Grand Triskellion. The two then exchange words before ending their feud for good: Whereas Croix left impressed by Chariot's steeled resolve despite her recent losses through her ability to disperse the pixels ready to feed on her emotional energy, Chariot expressed her disappointment over the dark path Croix had taken and how far she had fallen. With the illusion of their past friendships gone, the two professors clashed for the final time.
Forming an energy sword around her wand, Chariot cuts her way through Croix's defenses, but Croix still has advantages with Ursula lost her ability to fly. This however, doesn't stop the former stage performer who uses smokescreen out of her conjured clone to ambush Croix from the air. Unfortunately, Croix had participated this and summons a laser barrier that deflects her assault, which then forms a laser cage around her opponent. As Croix slowly shrinks the cage to finish Chariot however, her magitronic smartphone unexpectedly flying towards Finnelan's hands — Holbrooke and Finnelan had unexpectedly arrived and demanded an explanation from Croix over what had happened. Even so, the Noir rod amassed much larger amount of energy and finally awakens, much to its creator's surprise.
Meanwhile, Sorcery Units that positioned across Blytonbury to feed on Fuel Spirit energy from rioters explode one by one from energy overload, explaining the sudden energy surge on Noir Rod. As result, pixels they contained swarmed upon the nearest Ley Line terminal, Glastonbury Tor, to continue distributing Fuel Spirit energy to the Shiny Rod's monstrous magitronic replica. Baffled and unsure with what happened, Akko and the gang set out for Luna Nova for answers.
Astonished that the Noir Rod now ready to go, Croix activated a program in all Sorcery Solution Systems both in Luna Nova and Noir Rod itself to cut off connection between the academy and Ley Lines, stripping everyone from their access for magic. As this happens, the Ley Line route that Akko and the gang flying through darkens, and they soon fell into the abyss. Back in New Moon Tower Croix and Noir Rod teleported to Arcturus Forest with Chariot managed to grab on one of Noir Rod's orbs at the very last moments, bringing her with them. Materializing on the sky of Arcturus Forest, Croix noticed that Chariot managed to catch up, but reassured her nemesis that she'll succeed what she had failed in the past.
Unknown to Croix, the program she just activated had allowed Akko and the gang to crash-landed at the Arcturus Forest far below them. As they discovered that the phenomenon that affected the Ley Lines drained them of their magic energy reserves as well, Akko notices a trail of smoke the Noir Rod left behind. With no other leads, and believing it originated from the perpetrator of their latest predicament, the gang set out to follow the smoke trail for answers.
Arriving at Arcturus Tower, the tower where the Grand Triskellion being sealed, Crox shifted the Noir Rod to its Excavator form and had the magitronic machine drilling its way through the seal, with Chariot unable to do anything thanks to metak restrains Croix installed as a precaution. Once the deed is done, and her prize now within the reach, Croix ventured into the broken seal where she found an unassuming stick with strange emerald aura around it. Unsure whether it is something she sought all this time, she tried to cast a spell with it. To her dismay, instead of an actual spell, the stick generates bubbles.
Back at parliament meeting at Blytonbury, Andrew reported that the riot is getting worse and it would be the matter of time a coup d'état would erupts. Hearing this, Mr. Blackwell used the opportunity to exploit the situation as an advantage to enforce strictier law against Great Britain's rival with military forces. Before their arguments are getting worse, Paul instructed his son to gather intelligence before taking Mr. Blackwell's insistence into consideration, much to Andrew's dismay, worried that the latter intended to spark an all-out war between nations.
Croix desperately using the power of Grand Triskellion to no avail, receiving nothing but parlor trick effects that she loathed as the similarly dismayed Chariot watch. Soon after, Woodward appears, and Croix demanded the whereabouts of Grand Triskellion. The sombered Woodward replied it to be the very stick in Croix's possession, but Croix retorted it as a lie before crying out how the ancient witch casted her aside in favor of Chariot and abandoned her when she needed her most. Having enough, Croix tossed the Grand Triskellion to Woodward in anger, prompting the ashamed ancient witch to depart the scene with it.
Meanwhile, Chariot witnessed the entire confrontation in complete shock and dismay. For ten years, she had long wondered why her best friend turned on her and now she knew the truth; their role model and mentor proved to be a jaded being no better than those who abandoned her, obsessively pursuing the restoration of magic at the cost of pushing away those that looked up to her. Yet the worst of this revelation is that Chariot realized she doomed herself to make this very same mistake with Akko who yearned for her guidance and aid where in her own case, resulted from both guilt losing her way — instead of sparing her protégé but by abandoning her, Chariot has unwittingly placed Akko into the path that turned Croix into a villain.
However, neither of her nor Croix had the chance to mourn over such harsh revelations: The system in Noir Rod begins to acting on its own, and the magitronic abomination assumed another configuration to amass more of anger-based Fuel Spirit with Chariot still stuck on its restrains. Unable to regain control over her creation, Croix blowed up the Noir Rod into smitheriness with her remaining Sorcery Units' self-destruct system, freeing Chariot in process. The resulted explosion left Akko and her friends, who now closer to the Arcturus Tower, baffled with what just happened.
Even so, being blown into smitheriness meant nothing for the self-aware Noir Rod. Now an actual mechanical creature of its own, it gains a natural form resembling a draconic behemoth who the cornered Croix and ready to kill her, much to its creator's horror. However, it soon meets an opposition from Croix who briefly injured its head before dragged her out for safety. Despite her now-defeated nemesis' guilt and pleads, Chariot remained adamant in protecting her. As she put her life on the line to fight the Noir Rod, Chariot cried out how her unintentional theft on both Croix's dreams and Akko's magic has culminated to the madness they are in, and thus more than unwilling to let anything else to be stolen, even if it meant abandoning the quest for the World Altering Magic for their sakes. Hearing that declaration left Croix to shed a tear of remorse. Suddenly, the Noir Dragon gains an upper hand where it grabs Chariot with its tail and about to devour her, only to be blasted free by a magic bolt fired from the Shiny Rod by Akko and Diana, who just have arrived at the scene along with the rest of the gang.
As both professors left baffled by their unexpected saviors as much as the rest of Akko's gang, the Noir Dragon once again behaves erratically. This prompted Croix to check on its programming with her magitronic smartphone to see the energy link between rioters and the beast started to weaken. The lilac-haired professor then attempted to shut the abomination down for good, but in an act of defiance, the monster charges in to devour her. However, Chariot pushed her out of the way at the very last moments, resulting the former getting devoured in Croix's place, much to everyone's horror. Just as the beast turn on its next target, who happened to be Akko herself, Akko recalled upon the moment when Chariot, as Ursula, taught her the First Word, prompting her to transfigure Shiny Rod to its Shiny Arc form to save her mentor. The fight between the Japanese and the Noir Dragon proved to be one-sided, as Akko managed to let loose the Shiny Arc arrow which then pierced through its skull before it could reach her, blowing the abomination into pieces, saving Chariot's life and restoring its hold over the Ley Lines around Luna Nova and beyond. The gang are about to celebrate Akko's victory over the monster only for abruptly stopped upon seeing her silently approaches Chariot. As the Japanese sat before her, Chariot, beaten and humiliated by this entire experience, awaits for her protégé to decide her fate in hopes to regain a semblance of their friendship.
To Chariot's surprise, instead of a well-deserved rage, Akko greets her hero in the way she always wanted. She even keeps the promise of returning the Shiny Rod, and explained how the former's show 10 years ago inspired her to become the witch in hopes of meeting her role model once again. Akko further elaborated how her friends and even Chariot's support allowed her to come up this far as Shiny Rod begins to glow from its owner's feelings unknown to either of them. As this happens, Akko added that despite everything, she realized she looked up to Chariot more as her mentor than the hero who inspired her, and thus asked to continue to teach her magic as Professor Ursula. Chariot argued that she no longer deserved such privilege, but Akko interrupted her by adding that she also realized that she can only be herself and had to work as hard as she can to make people smile like Chariot did despite her errors and shortcomings for the same reasons. Realizing that her true feelings has somehow reached her protégé and daughter figure, the two eventually embraced with the gang can't help but deeply moved by this heartwarming moment.
Diana and Chariot eventually noticed the light from Shiny Rod, with the latter inquired Akko to recite the Final Word with her heart. With that, Akko summons the Grand Triskellion from its seal, and once again it appears as an unassuming twig enveloped by emerald aura. Whereas the gang left unsure with the Japanese's finding, Akko nevertheless decided to put it into test by fusing it with Shiny Rod as per Lotte' suggestion via. the Final Word. To everyone's awe, this creates a miracle where the combined power of Shiny Rod and Grand Triskellion transmogrify the staff into a more sword-like form which then releases a powerful wave of healing white stars that revitalize the entire Arcturus Forest and even form a layer of moss and flowers around the remains of Noir Rod along with a rainbow above Akko's head. While this doesn't help Croix's depression, the gang happily celebrate Akko's success by tackle-hug their friend until Jasminka got tripped and comically caused everyone to fell on top of Akko before Diana could join them, leaving the Cavendish unable to help but endearingly chuckled upon their silliness.
Unknown to everyone, a missile has been launched and turned out in process of being assimilated by Noir Rod with its eye twitces in the middle of their celebration....
Order of appearances
- This is the second and final episode in the series that doesn't start in a cold open, as the title theme plays immediately.
- The way Ursula utilizes her wand during her fight Croix is similar to how Jedi from Star Wars use their light sabers during a duel.
- This episode takes place at the start of February, along with "Yesterday" and most of "Tree of Leaves", as stated in the chronicles book.
- According to the series' developers in a 4chan conversation, Croix's miserable expression and dishelved appearance were meant to mirror her younger self when she was a student. 
Errors & Goofs
- Despite wearing her cape even when she was pinned down by her Noir Rod, Croix later appears in the rest of the episode and in "Tree of Leaves" without her cape even though she didn't remove it at all during the assault.
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