Zélie attempts to shake the girl off, knowing she will be killed if they are caught. But, thinking of her training with Mama Agba, she realizes she has a responsibility to help those who can’t defend themselves.
When Zélie and the girl are stopped by two guards as they try to leave town, Zélie knocks them unconscious with her staff. The girl pulls her into a side alley where they hide as the troop passes.
By attacking guards, Zélie is certainly bringing more danger to her family, but she is selflessly helping a stranger in need.
At the gate, the girls are confronted by a line of guards mounted on panthenaires. Zélie fashions an explosive out of a torch and a bottle of liquor, throwing it at the guards to create a diversion. Zélie slips through the gate, but the girl trips just before she can make it through. Zélie’s instincts tell her to run back to her family, but she also feels a responsibility to protect the girl.
Again, Zélie’s commitment to helping a stranger versus her commitment to defending her family is tested. Once again, she commits to helping the girl because she believes that it is the right thing to do. The fact that the guards cannot be trusted reflects the degree to which the monarchy is an oppressive regime.
Fighting her instinct to run, Zélie dives back through the gates, expecting to be killed on the spot. She thinks of her mother. Suddenly, Nailah comes flying over the gate, Tzain astride her. Zélie and the girl clamber on. As Nailah leaps back over the fence, Zélie locks eyes with a young captain (Inan) below and feels as if an electric shock has gone through her body.
Zélie’s commitment to her family is shown in what she thinks are her final moments, as she imagines joining her mother in death. Meanwhile, Tzain’s unflinching loyalty drives him to put himself in grave danger to protect his sister.