Every so often when Purity is involved, I think back to what I’ve been told about Interlude 3½ being a donation bonus, and go, “What if we hadn’t gotten to see that?”
Assuming it would’ve still happened this way, this current plotline with Purity losing Aster wouldn’t have hit anywhere near as hard if we hadn’t gotten that bonus Interlude, which let us get to know Purity and see just how much Aster actually means to her. How Aster is the main reason Purity is back in the Empire. How Purity was away from the Empire in the first place.
Unless Wildbow wrote the later chapters differently, all we would’ve seen of Purity before this development would’ve been an offhand mention as she arrived alongside Kaiser in 5.1. That’s it, to my recollection. We wouldn’t care about Purity as a character, as a person, in quite the way we do after Interlude 3½ – she’d just be a threat, with the story about Aster seemingly existing just to explain why she’s doing this.
Interlude 3½ may have been a bonus, but it’s fairly important in retrospect.