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|"Dance of Flames/Star's Oath"|
Natsuki and Shizuru check Mai's transfer student profile
|Episode no.||Episode 3|
|Original air date||October 14, 2004|
The swirling flames around Mai disappear, forming bracelets around her arms and legs — they do not actually touch her, instead floating around and allowing her to fly as well. As the Orphan charges, the bracelets cast a stream of fire at it, but Mai notes that they are not hot. Nagi explains that these are her Elements — the proof of a HiME's power.
Mikoto has found her way to the cave; she summons her sword by calling its name, Miroku, and jumps at the Orphan, cutting it in half. Nagi, however, notes that the battle is not over: each half transforms into a serpent-like creature. One of them is distracted by Natsuki and Duran, but the other turns at Mai. Looking at the unconscious Takumi, she makes a decision: she stands in the monster's way and activates her Elements, which blast the Orphan off.
At Nagi's suggestion, Mai looks behind and sees the sword-seal on the wall. She realizes that behind it is the creature that previously saved her and Mikoto from drowning in the sea. Nagi introduces it as Kagutsuchi, her Child. Natsuki shoots at Nagi (who dodges, puzzled) and tells Mai not to listen to him, while Nagi warns Mai that she will have to put what is most important to her on the line. Thinking that he means her life, she agrees; Nagi congratulates her and leaves.
To Natsuki's horror, Mai pulls out the sword. The seal disappears (with Mai barely managing to pick Takumi and fly away); Kagutsuchi, a big white dragon with another sword in its head, appears and sends a fireball at the Orphan, collapsing the cave and sending a stream of fire down the mountain overlooking Fuka Academy. Mikoto, Natsuki, Mai and Takumi emerge from the ash to the surface, mostly unharmed.
Next morning, Mai wakes up in the Fuka Academy health center, to find Takumi sleeping in a bed next to hers. Yoko reports that he has recovered, and Mai and Takumi happily hug each other. Elsewhere throughout the school, everyone is discussing the traces of the incident and its possible causes; Akira Okuzaki, having painted the mountain when it was still intact, gets angry that the picture no longer resembles reality.
In the Student Council room, Natsuki asks Shizuru to check Mai's profile, and, as she expected, it turns out that Mai was a recipient of the Kazahana scholarship. As Reito and Yuuichi come in after briefly discussing the preparations for the School Anniversary Celebration outside, Shizuru suddenly receives a phone call from the Board of Directors.
In the health center, Yoko questions Mai and Takumi about last night's events. Reito and Yuuichi arrive, announcing that the Board of Directors has requested a talk with Mai, as well as offering the school's official explanation for the mountain damage: lightning. Reito volunteers to take Takumi to the dormitory while leaving Mai at Yuuichi's disposal.
As they are walking to the Board of Directors building past the mountain, Yuuichi suspects that something is suspicious about Mai, and jokingly suggests that she may be possessed by something. They get into yet another argument, and Mai marches away angrily. As she approaches the front door alone, it opens right in front of her, and she is greeted by Fumi, who announces that they have been expecting her. Mai recognizes her from their previous encounter in the garden; at the same moment, Mikoto jumps out and hugs Mai.
Mashiro, whom Mai also recognizes, appears in her wheelchair and greets Mai; Mikoto is not amused, and Mai is utterly confused when Fumi introduces Mashiro as the director. They come in, and Mashiro explains why she is summoning the HiME: to fight the Orphans. Mai gets angry: besides fighting, she already has other matters to attend to, like her brother.
Mai returns to her room at night, exhausted. She takes Mikoto to the bath, which the latter actively objects to at first. Seeing the HiME mark on Mikoto's right shoulder, Mai thinks about Mashiro's reassurance: that she is free to refuse the call, and that her scholarship will not be taken away because of it.
Still next morning, Mai observes Mikoto's new school uniform and gives her a lunch box. On their way to school (with Mikoto now carrying her sword in a case on her back), they meet Akane Higurashi, as well as the boys (Takumi, Akira and Reito). Mai waves to her brother happily, and, together with Mikoto, they run to greet him...
- This is the first episode in which Duran uses the "Load Chrome Cartridge" attack.
- The title of this episode is a pun: "mai" (舞) is Japanese for "dance", but it is also the name of the main character, so the first part of the title can also be read as "Mai of Flames".
- Mai's "Transfer Personality Detail" provides, besides information available in the character profile, her address (12-44-40 Suginami-ku Kamiigusa, Tokyo), licenses ("advanced CPR technician, Eiken 4th degree"), criminal record (none), education (previous schools that she attended), and a special note: "Recipient of the Kazahana Scholarship".
- It also says that Mai is transferring to Fuka Academy on May 1. Presumably, this is when the series begins, although the year is unknown.
- Shizuru's laptop runs "ACADEMIC OS Version 7.0.1", and its user interface design is completely fictional. However, when Natsuki uses it later in the series, it clearly runs Microsoft Windows, as the Japanese Internet Explorer interface is visible. It is possible that she reinstalled the operating system between the episodes.
- Mikoto's HiME birthmark is on the back of her right shoulder in this episode, but in episode 1, it was on her right arm above the elbow.