His hand brushed across a gem coated glass while his eyes shifted up to Ferio. A patient Ferio waited as he sat in silent thought. "I really am not sure Ferio," Clef mustered a small frown. It wasn't every day that Clef did not know the answer. Since the Magic Knights had gone back to their own world he had seemed to know less or at least less of what the people asked him. "I don't know if they can come back. I see no reseason for them to come back to Cephiro. We are in no need of their help."
Ferio moved his own drinking glass aside, "Clef, are we even sure of that? With the pillar system gone we are not sure of anything. Let alone me being a Prince. How are the people going to pray for the land of Cephiro by themselves?" Ferio's emerauld colored eyebrows pulled together in a scawl. "I am sure that right now some are wishing for a pillar to guide them. People often look towards one person in dependence."
"Yes I know but Hikaru prayed it so..."
"She prayed it so but not even the Pillar has the strength of all the people of Cephiro combined. How long will it be untill this current system crumbles. The circlet still stays in the top tower of this castle!" Ferio sat back in his chair. A sudden thought on his mind. 'Perhaps, I wish for this world's fall,' Ferio's eyes softened as his brows unknitted themselves. 'Fuu I need you right now,' a blush slowly creeped across his cheeks and down his nose.
Clef's glass reflected his eyes in the empty bottom. Clear crystal blue eyes that spoke in volumes without even uttering a sound. It was his eyes that told his true age even when his form stayed so young. A small mouth chiseled out of pale skin pursed as thoughts flooded his mind,'if what Ferio says does come true then who would call apon the Magic Knights? Would it be as last time?' A breath fogged up the image in the cup making it distortated as if a screen was being held over him.
"I've been thinking about her..." Ferio looked away and released his breath, "I just can't stop thinking about Fuu. What is she doing now? I know that it can never be but what if there was a chance they had to stay here?" Ferio's eyes told his story. Even the shadow that ran down his face couldn't hide the look of hurt and total loss.
"Ferio, I do not believe they will be called back. If they ever are called back we do not know if it will be in our life time or if it will even be the same Magic Knights called apon. You have to remember that it was just a few days and the Magic Knights had returned to Cephiro. I do believe Fuu even said that it had been about a week. A few days can add up..." Clef let himself trail off. If every week spent on Earth equaled only three short days in Cephiro. 'How long is a Earth week?' Clef pushed his headdress further up onto his head. A few strands of light purple hair swept away from his face and away from his eyes.
'How are you Umi?' Clef closed his eyes. "Prince Ferio, if you would excuse me? I have something to check up on." Clef opened his eyes at the youthful Cephirean. No one would guess that even Ferio had seen hundreds of years. Ferio certainly didn't act his age. Since Ferio had become Prince he had seemed more sure of the things around him but there was something missing. Ferio lacked experience. Granted that he was brave, dashing, a complete hero to some but he needed something more then being sure of himself to lead a country and be it's political leader for treaties with the three other worlds. Clef reached up with a small hand and pinched the bridge of his nose, "Ferio?" Ferio had become more sure of himself but every day Ferio would doubt himself. Anyone would doubt himself if they suddenly became a elected leader with out knowing that the election was going on.
Ferio turned his cat golden eyes upon the Doushi. "Ah, sorry Clef. I was just think'n about Fuu," a pink cast returned to his checks. Almost as if it pained him to move, Ferio stood up slowly. His eyes looking out a window towards the Cephiron sky.
"Yes I know," Clef spoke without needing to. Nothing could even begin to comfort Ferio. It would take his own time and his own thoughts that would comfort him. Eventualy he would get over it. All things did come to pass.
"If you wish to sleep I could make you a potion," Clef scooted out of the chair he sat in to show Ferio towards the door.
"No, thank you. I just want to think some things over. Thank you for talking to me today before arrangments with Autozam, " Ferio inclined his head to the short mage and walked out of the room. A slow pensive gait took over Ferio's normally carefree walk.
The door to the study closed behind Clef. He was leaving his study for the first time in awhile. Since the Magic Knights had left for their world. Clef looked about him but all was the same. Not much changed in a castle that contained inhabitants that could live for hundreds upon hundreds of years.
The brush of his robes against the floor with the occasional bird song was the only sounds echoing in the long twisting halls of the castle. The marble floor reflected a white translucent image as he walked down it. The click of his staff against that same floor resounded off the walls. His goal was the look out room. A room he foundly remembered from his late night talks with her. A small hand reached out towards the door and paused. 'Why do I continue to stay this way?' He flexed his fingers on the surface of the door. His tiny fingers clinched in a fist then uncurled.
His hands and fingers were the same hands and fingers he dreamed of seeing on a tree trunk. If he closed his eyes he could see the trees in his dream. The trees were all twisted and narled. The deeper he had gone into the forest the more the trees were twisted and narled into shapes of pain and agony. As he had imagined they had once been living before someone had managed to turn their human bodies into trees. The people had simply writhed in agony as they transformed giving them the shapes that they currently existed in.
'Your dwelling upon that dream again,' Clef mused. The heavy door swung open under a silent command. The room before him was eternally surrounded in magical light. A dome ceiling of a glass like material loomed above him. The marble room lay bare. The purpose for the room wasn't to entertain people but to work magic and for reflection. He had often come here on his sleepless nights to look out the side windows towards the gardens. That was when he had first found Zagato and Emerauld talking. 'How long ago was it that the scene had occured?' Clef titlted his head up towards to domed ceiling. His pale throat leaned back and exposed its' self to the light of the sun. 'It seems as if it was only a dream,' Clef let his lavender eyelashes fall over his eyes.'Maybe you are living in a dream,' Clef droped his shoulders and relaxed his arms at his sides.

On Earth:

"Umi, Im home!" Her mother shouted from down stairs. Her voice bright and shining from the luncheon with a old high school friend. "Umi did you hear me? I brought you something back!" Umi's mother looked up the stairs towards her daughter's silent room. "Umi? Are you alright?"
Umi sighed and opened up her door, "Yes mother! Thank you. Just leave the food on the kitchen table. I'll get it here before I go out."
"Alright honey. If you go out remember to be careful!"
"Okay Mother!" Umi leaned against her door. Maybe food would cheer her up. The first time she left Cephiro with Fuu and Hikaru she had felt bad but now she felt even worse. 'How? The pillar problem was solved. I didn't leave anyone behind like Fuu did. Fuu must be hurt so badly now. I haven't talked to her since we got back.' Umi put her right hand over her heart. 'Her heart is probably broken. I should go to her house and see if shes well.'
On her way out of the house Umi stopped momentarily to glance at herself in the mirror. Her features were as fine as a chiseled statue and about as cold looking. Her eyes could instantely change the way her features looked. At the current moment Umi's liquid blue eyes reflected a kind sadness. She was worried. It wasn't a stressful worry. She really wasn't even sure what she was worried about. Waves of feelings would just wash over her every once and awhile. She didn't know where they came from but they were there. Most of the time the feelings were of calm. In desperate situations when she would get mad or panic she had become calm and relaxed but that had been on Cephiro. 'No doubt Clef's part,' Umi looked away from herself.
"Clef..." Umi let her head drop. Could it be that she did hold feelings in her heart for him? Everytime the calmness in her heart came she would always think about him. After the Knights first visit she had even caught herself daydreaming about him. They were rather rediculious thoughts.
"Did you say something dear?"
"No mom. I was just about to leave."
"Alright. Goodbye and have a nice walk."
"Okay mom. Thank you. Tell dad I said Hi." Her face brightened with a forced smile for her mother's enjoyment. The front door swung close after her and she slowly made her way to the pavement of the sidewalk. Her feet felt heavey and unsure for one of the first times in her life. 'What is happening to me?' Umi titlted her head up and looked away from her house to the tall red tower. 'Tokyo Tower. The place where everything had began.' A place where she was no longer the main subject of a story. She was only a player in a bigger play.
'Before Emerauld, it was fencing turnements that ment everything to me. Turnaments and my parents. I wanted my parents to love me as they love each other.' Her eyes looked down at her shoes. Umi's eyes squinting in the glaring sun's light.
She walked on and on. Her thoughts else where. When she finally realized something was wrong it was then mid-day. Her original plan had been to visit Fuu and to spend the day with her and maybe with Hikaru. While her mind wondered her feet unconciously took her farther and farther away from Fuu's house. She even passed Hikaru's house. When she finally looked up the sun glared down at her. The cool morning sun had traded spots for a mid-day sun. The warmth slowly turning into a more of a baking sensation. 'Where am I?' Umi looked around her.
She wasn't in Tokyo nor in the suburban district of it either. She could still hear the traffic, cars, and people but they seemed distant. The occasional tree in a yard had slowly become two or three then even more. One wouldn't consider it a forest because of the street and the sidewalk running through it. Or would they? To her right a small shrine pushed back into the trees stood still and silent in the shade. 'Perhaps someone could give me directions back to some place familiar and maybe a glass of water.'
Once in the shade of the trees by the shrine she could see more clearly. The sun's glare had been in her eyes on her walk to the forest. Even when her head had been downcast in thought. Now as she walked a old cobblestone path up to the shrine she could see the crack of the paint on the wood of the shrine. Most of the tiles on the roof were either broken or missing. 'Its abandoned. Just my luck.' Umi sighed.
She turned to go but stopped. At least she could rest here for awhile. It may not be abandoned. Sometimes temples and shrines were just run down. Her fist rapped lightly on the front door. Upon contact with her fist the door fall off its hindges. "OH MY GOD!" Umi shouted and jumped back from the falling door. Thankfully the door fell in towards the house instead of out towards Umi. It had to be abandoned. No matter how much a priest lost in money they wouldn't let a shrine get this run down.
The shrine was empty. No statues, no ornaments, not even furniture graced the building. Outside the shrine in the back laid gardens. Mostly over grown by weeds and grass. Every so often Umi caught a glance at a rose or a tulip but mainly it was weeds that had spread over the whole garden area. A small path from the house past the gardens into the small woods curved up a hill and vanished out of sight.
"Why am I doing this?" Umi mumbled as she pushed her way past thorny branches and thick under brush. 'Because your drawn to it. Theres something familiar about all this.' Umi let her hands rest at her sides as she looked over a clearing. A clearing with a large flat stone in the middle. It was oddly familiar. She had followed the path past the gardens and upward on the slope. Finally she had made it but to where? There was just one big flat rock in the middle of a clearing up here.
'Funny,' Umi looked up above the rock and found that the area above the rock was cleared of any tree branches. The clear blue sky looked down upon her with a cheerful greeting. 'It seems as if the tree twist away from this area.' Umi let herself chuckle. To think she was getting worried about some clearance in a forest.
Umi sat down on the flat rock. A sigh escaped her lips. 'I'll just rest here for awhile.' Umi layed back with her hands above her head, using them as a pillow. It was nice to get away from the house, her parents, and from reality for awhile. It would always come back though. Umi let her hand fall off her forehead and closed her eyes at the dim sunlight passing through the leaves of the trees. A soft wind blew the leaves to and fro. A gentle rustling sound was the only thing to be heard besides the usual bird chirp.
'It's nice here.' A soft smile took over her face again. She could almost go to sleep there on the rock. If it hadn't been for the voice she would have. Umi jumped up wide awake as the wind whispered... it whispered "Umi."

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