"Ragyn... " She pulled her leg out from a thick area of leaves. "Why aren't there monsters roaming these woods anymore? Shouldn't there be.. you know.. lots of monsters which that come from the people's fears?"
"There used to be monsters. The peak reached twice that I can remember." He paused for a moment getting his bearings about himself before continuing ahead on the journey. "Once with Princess Emeruade. The people's fears were at the highest when Princess Emeruade no longer prayed for Cephiro.. and then before Princess Emeruade."
"Before Princess Emeruade? So we were right in thinking that Princess Emeruade .... was one of many such Pillars. There were other Magic Knights?"
"One thing at a time." Ragyn grimanced. Had it sounded too mean? No, he couldn't sound mean. That was imparitive to the plan. "The Pillar before Princess Emeruade... well.. he fell in love with a woman. Slowly that love well..that love became his life. Princess Emeruade and Prince Ferio's father was the Pillar. Their mother died when Ferio came into this world. Learning of the death of the woman he loved... the Pillar...." He frowned staring off into the distance. Staring off hundreds of years into the past. "He commited suicide to be beside her. Clef became the Yil just a year after that. Im just a little younger than him myself." He smiled pleasantly. "And to answer your other question.. I believe so although it was a long time ago since Emeruade's father ruled as long as my parents, their parents, my grand parents,and so forth could remember."
"But why aren't there monsters in the forest now?"
"There are... but the people don't fear as much now. Most of the monsters are weak, really." He smiled pleasantly.
"So the people got over their fears so soon after Princess Emeruade?"
"So soon?" Ragyn turned towards the blue haired vixen in puzzlement before it slowly dawned on him. "Time does pass differently in your world than ours than. If I'm not mistaken your still very young even in Earth standards. Right? How old are you and when did you become a Magic Knight?"
"How old am I? Im 17. I was 14 when we first came to Cephiro. Its been three years. Im in the 12th grade now. How long has it been in Cephiro?" She looked at him deeply in the eyes. Three years on Earth.. could it be faster in Cephirean time? That would explain that weeks, months had past in their two visits yet it had to be a split second on Earth.
An erie silence desended on the forest while Ragyn watched Umi take in the thought. Time elipsed, yet on Earth people would be frozen in time, moving slower than ever while the Cephirean time speed by. Umi took a step forward and stumbled only to be held up by Ragyn's quick reaction. His arms tightened about her shoulder's placing her back right up on her feet.
"Umi... You're a mere legend here now. Few scant paintings exist of the Knights and the Rune Gods. It has been said Prince Ferio keeps a treasured picture of the one known as Fuu the wind Knight. Lantis had comisioned statues of the three Knights in different areas of Cephiro so that everyone may look upon their faces. They don't do you justice Umi... except perhaps.." He looked over at her and almost laughed. "Well... I dont think anyone painted pictures of you or carved your image into sword hilts like Lantis did with Hikaru. We've wondered what the mysterious Knight of Water looked like. In the statues your hair blows partially over your face while your hand keeps it at bay. It hides half of your features."
She blushed. "But how... but how long has it been?" She whispered breathlessly.
"At least 500 years. I can't be sure of that. I lived in the time but I had been away visiting Autozam." He cleared his throat and let his arms fall to his side as Umi righted herself up.
"500? Ferio? He hasn't married? Lantis?..... Ascot?" Clef had been so old then. 500 years? Could a man live over 1000? Did he have a mortal limit in even this land?
"Don't worry. If your thinking about them. No. Ferio could not find it in his heart to love someone other than his Magic Knight nor Lantis. Im sure if your fellows have fallen through they have already adjurned to the castle. Lantis, and Ferio would be very delighted in their arrival. I still ponder what Tama has up his sleves."
"What Tama has up his sleves?" Umi turned to face him. Her foot taking a step back so that she could gaze up into his eyes.
Ragyn jolted out of his thoughts. "Why would we be in need of your survices again?" He tried a wavering smile then cleared his throat hastely walking away from the area. "Im sure its nothing big. Anyways, we're wasting time standing around gawking like birds. Shall we tarry no longer?"
Five hundred years. It tolled like a bell in her mind reverbrating off the skull only to puncture her sensitive brain over and over. Five hundred years and peace reign in the land of Cephiro but they were not forgotten by their love ones. Could someone from Earth love that well? And Clef....Ascot...poor Ascot. 'He grew for me and I couldn't stay for him.'
The light coiling down from between the twigs and leaves grew dimmer in intensity. The decending nightfall lazily swallowed up the landscape and the vibrant colors along with it. Ragyn's white overcoat swayed in the light before night but after day, the weird hour of sunset. Across the sky streamed hues of orange, yellow, and pink. The colors of a dying sun which would give birth to the moon. Ragyn grinned in the shadow of a Cocadess tree. "Dusk.... as she touches the land she grays everything so that one plant may not be jealous of his brother for the night." He waved his hand around touching a flowering plant sparadically. Cephiro was inbedded with myths, legends, and folklore...it was their history. His history.
"Dusk... I love the sunset but the sunrise..." Umi looked off trying to spy the sky above the green leaf canopy.
"Let us make camp..."
Clef pulled his viewer closer to him. He had switched from the water or mirror viewer to a smaller hand held version of crystal where he could pour a smaller yet equally large amount of magic into finding Umi. She had to be around the region of the forest. He could bet most anything including his crown on it. The forest of Silence. Why had almost everything revolved around that place? Perhaps not everything. The second time the Knights had choosen to land in Cephiro had not been swung around getting to Eterna but... He sighed and leaned towards the crystal ball so that his forehead touched the cool image of trees.
He almost missed the low light of a fire in the image. Quickly he waved his hand stopping his search. There inside the Forest almost to the edge a firelight glowed erily. Why would someone stop when they were almost out of the forest of Silence? Anyone in their right minds would want to continue and then rest after exiting the forests unless they truelly didn't know how close out they were. If Umi had stumbled through the forest it had been without Mokona to guide her. Of course she wouldn't know where the end of the forest was.
Clef smiled. He had found her. All there was to do was send out scouts to bring her back. Ferio would agree to that and the Magic Knights would probably go out themselves to bring her back to the castle. He relaxed in his chair. And then the screen went black. It didnt vanish it just went black like the fire had been blown out. The stars and moon had vanished from the sky. A bad bad omen. Something dark and senister was at work here.
"Ferio!" Clef leaped off his chair forgetting his staff in his hurried gait. If the situation had been less threatening he would never run but it was serious.
"Clef what?" Hikaru looked up from her seat in the dining hall where Ferio, Fuu, Hikaru, Lantis, and Mokona had retired for late snacks and tea. Her red eyes were pleading for information.
"The view.." He struggled for breath. "The viewer found her. Shes in the Forest of Silence."
"Thats great! We can send out scouts in the morning to meet her and escort her here." Ferio beamed at Fuu.
Lavendar hair spilled into his eyes as Clef shook his head. "No, now! The view went black. A power dark...." He frowned trying to make sense of his jumbled thoughts. "A power on the same level as mine was working against me. They know we're looking for her. It... it ..." He stopped. What did he want to say? What could it possibly want? "The Magic Knights were called back to Cephiro by Cephiro. Something is going to happen."
The wind picked up but the bal continued on. Umi, Umi was close. He could feel the tingling along his spine that told him he was close. The Forest of Silence had taken awhile to pass around but so far he had traced the area untill he had felt that stirring. He blushed. "Umi..." What would she think when he found her and took her back to the castle? He would be her hero, her Knight. The thought made him redden more so than usual as he continued his quest onward. The beast on which he sat trembled in the wind. Ascot bent over in his seat leaning into the head strong wind.
"Whats wrong?" He had ment to say more but a gall force wind riped him from his place and threw him up like a forgotten doll. Blackness surrounded the forest, blackness ate at his vision, and tumbling down towards the ground blackness was all that Ascot could see. Not even the moon shone above the blackness that swelled over Cephiro in a great tidal wave of enegry eminating from the forest of Silence outward like black hands of death.
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