Too much was going on at once. Umi had just greeted Ascot who looked at a loss for words, or lost. Ascot's expression, she noted quickly, darkened in thought. Had years weighed on him so heavily that his smile in the presence of the Knights would turn sour? She wanted to talk to him privately but now... there was just so much action.

First a young boy had ran in shouting for the Knights to be champions of some land dispute, Clef had then answered in short that yes Cephiro was experiencing wars over who would rule Cephiro, it was then noted that Ferio was the champion of the central crystal castle lands and floating islands and Ascot was the chosen one for the Northern lands, after that the man that the Knights had meet in Fuu's hospital room came into the castle shocking everyone, and shortly after that Caldina had brought in a young boy named Quatre. Everything was getting muddled. Umi had to keep running what was going on through her mind to stay on task and focused.

The guards rushed forward again trying to pull back another man that had burst in after Caldina and the young Quatre. Umi, already turned away from Ascot at this point, settled her disposition and calmed her pulse. "I'm Ryuzaki Umi..." She spoke softly and then louder. "I am Ryuuzaki Umi." Her eyes took in the chaos of the room.

What was going to happen next? Right then it would not have surprized her that fighting would break out. Tension was high in the room, even Clef and calm Ascot seemed pensive. Everything had a tight air about it, or them. Her footsteps were like knives cutting into flesh, each step forward she winced inwardly.


Ragyn looked around the area he hand taken root to. A train whistle blew in the near distance signaling a coming pass of a bullet train. A small smile spread over thin lips. Red eyes flashed in the darkness before leaping towards the on coming train. Play before work. "Dont worry Kuu you'll be safe..." For a short while, he added in his mind. The weight on his shoulder slowly dissapated in the air untill nothing was left.


With the monster's plunge to doom, the H&K G3/SG-1 rifle faded back into the gloom within the cab, fading gunsmoke the only betraying sign it had even existed. The weapon was set aside, then pale supple fingers slapped spare clips into the two SIG P-228 pistols. The semiautomatics promptly vanished under the cloaked avenger's coat.

Fiery jade eyes throbbed from beneath the slouch hat's brim, gazing towards the fleeing form of the offworlder and his victim. A distant whistle and hoot from somewhere on the train station platform shook the air. A hushed jibing laugh wavered forth and marred the night, as the cloaked man realized Ragyn's avenue of escape.

The specterly emerald optics focused on Jubei and Princess Emeraude. "Jubei, get a head start and follow the incoming Shinkansen as best as you can. Princess, trust Jubei and be careful." rasped the Shadow's voice. There was a pause from the sable creature, as waves of worry rippling from the Cephironian princess touched his mind.

"Do not fear for my safety." he finished, tone firm and unyielding but reassuring.

There was the swish of cloth on asphalt, as an inky ebony blot melted out the side of the taxi's door, gliding inhumanly swift towards the bullet train station's platform and merging with the shadows surrounding it. Barely had he departed, when the taxi tires screeched once more, making ready to get ahead of the train. The engine sound of the incoming locomotive was hooting louder, as Jubei turned back around to Emeraude. "HOLD TIGHT MISS!!!" No sooner said, when Jubei floored the gas pedal with all his might. The taxi zoomed away from the station, the road Jubei and Emeraude were traversing was running parallel to the train tracks, which would soon be on a bridge overlooking a body of water.

The alien sorceror shouldered his prey and leaped, just as the entire incoming train shot past. At the exact moment the tail end was going to clear the entire platform side, a shadow broke from the darkness and plunged upwards. A dull thud, and sprouting from the formless blot were two white hands, gripping precariously to the train roof's edge.

The city view flashed by at a dizzying speed, but the cloaked man held on. After a pause, the being's entire form hauled itself up, and the starlights' rays revealed the tall obsidian profile of the Shadow, black cloak flapping in the hazardously swift breeze.

Ragyn turned to see that form standing in front of him now. The eyes that flared at him bore the ferocity of the feral yet by contrast the sheer coldness of the reptilian. Shuddering revenant's laughter that seemed to grasp for Ragyn's heart made it to his ears, barely supressed by the roaring train engine.

Something was eerily silent about the scene, despite the train's din that made normal conversation impossible. Both men were absolutely still, when a pale finger extended from the folds of the dark being's cloak and pointed at the white haired man. "You will never be free of me, sorceror." came the ghostly accusing tones. "So long as the innocent souls you murdered cry to me for justice, you will never again walk without listening for my footfall in your every heartbeat, without looking for my shadow in every corner."

The laugh reverberated again, though lower now and from a different direction, as the Shadow took some steps, slowly circling the sorceror. The train continued to hurtle on, ignorant of their extra passengers. "Remember Ragyn: I could kill you. But you live only because I give you this final chance. I will not ask you again: return the woman -NOW-, and you may yet have a chance at a merciful death."

The chilling verdant flare in the being's eyes was enough to tell the white haired man that should he NOT return Hououji Kuu, it would be regretted.


Hikaru looked at Nova, worry mirrored in her eyes. "I...I don't what to do anymore. I thought that the pillar system was finally destroyed..." Everything was so confusing. ' Where did all these people cone from? Quatre, this other boy...'

"I don't understand?! What can we do to now?" Hikaru yelled out over all the confusion in the room.

Nova could tell that Hikaru was worried without even looking at her. She was the Shadow of Hikaru's heart, after all. She looked right at Hikaru and asked, "Hikaru? You won't become the Pillar again, will you? You wouldn't be able to bear it if you did! Don't become the Pillar, Hikaru!"

Skyhawk entered the room as well and glanced around. Many were in this place, and it seemed that the room was getting more and more tension by the moment. He stepped over to Chad and placed his hand on his shoulder. "Chad, we don't need to stay here any longer. We had better get a move on, if we want to find out why we are here." He said with a slight smile. "Something has called us here, and I would like to know what it is. By the way, what is your current status? Are you hurt or anything?"

Chad smiled slightly, still unsure of what was entirely going on. "Yeah, I'm fine. How about you?"

Skyhawk nodded slightly. "I'm well. Let's get going before things turn rough in here. It looks as if everyone is about ready to explode."

Chad nodded and the two started slowly sneaking their way towards the door.

Megor's eyes narrowed as he glanced at the girl who claimed to be Umi. "Your name is Umi Ryuuzaki, is it? Hm." He crossed his arms and thought for a moment. He couldn't decide whether to tell her or not, due to her being so stressed, it had seemed. But if he was ever going to tell her, the time would have to be now. "Umi Ryuuzaki, are you aware of all of the members of your family? Do you know each and every one of them?"

Once outside, Kyle stopped walking and turned to his brother. "So have you learned anything yet?" Chad nodded his head. "This place is known as Cephiro. It's still unclear why we were brought here, but we'll learn soon enough, I suppose. There's war breaking out here, and everyone's angry it seems." Kyle shook his head slightly. "Let them quarrel,then. We have our own problems to worry about. Come on, let's get going. We need to get back to Earth as soon as possible." Chad stood there for a moment, his blue eyes gazing at the ground. "Kyle?" Kyle stopped walking, and turned his head slightly. "What is it?" Chad looked up at his brother and placed his hands in his pockets. "What if we get brought into this war? What if we....What if we fight for different sides?" Kyle chuckled a little. "I doubt that will happen. There's nothing here that really concerns me. I have my own agendas to get home, why would I want to involve myself with a petty war?" Chad shrugged a little and looked back to the ground. "I don't know. But....I don't like war at all. I hate fighting! Why do people always have to fight? Can't they just settle the dispute without physical warfare?" Kyle turned to his brother at last with a smile. "People have too much pride and choose to throw their power around. Let them fight, and when they see the bloodshed of their loved ones, they will then understand what harm war really brings." Chad glanced at his brother again. His eyes growing sharper. "I don't want that to happen to innocent people, though. I want to do something to stop this. If we let this continue it might not be just THEIR loved ones, it might be the loved ones of innocents that aren't even involved in this war!" Kyle's face turned a little grim. "Well, if that's what you choose, then so be it. I am going to continue to find a way out of here, though. Chad, you shouldn't place your body on the line for people you don't even know! It's foolish and careless!" Chad's determination grew more and more every time he thought of it. Would the sacrifice of the innocent really be justifiable? Would it be so wrong to do for them what was done for him so many years ago? Would Jamar want him to back off? He didn't think so, and he knew that it was time to put his fears aside and to do what his mentor and his friend did for him so many years ago. To put his body on the line for another, to be what the shadowed figure and Jamar were. Heroes. "Kyle, I can't let it go on! I have to help!" He said turning back to the castle. "If you find a way back to Earth, then good luck to you, and I hope I can meet you again,someday. But if I don't,then it was good to meet my only brother,and the time we did spend together was pretty cool. Thanks for being there with me when you were,and...Don't let that stupid admiral boss you around too much,okay?" He said with a smile. Kyle's expression was a shocked one. "Admir..How did you know that?! How could you possibly--?!" Chad looked over his shoulder at his brother. "Let's just say a shadow reminded me." With that,he waved goodbye and started to walk back into the castle. Kyle still couldn't believe it. He knew. He knew that he was part of Black Lotus! Kyle shook his head and continued onwards. "Brother,you are a strange one. I hope you realize that the brave are always the first to die."

Realizing that he had made his appearance at a very inconvenient time, though inadvertently, Quatre chose to remain silent and hopefully out of everyone's way. He did not wish to cause any more trouble, especially not when it seemed that these people were already experiencing hard times. At least, that was what he gathered from the tense atmosphere; the drawn, sombre faces, the grave voices.

The boy sighed softly, sorrow clouding his eyes. He wasn't clear on what exactly was going on, and being an outsider it was none of his business anyway, but the mood of this situation... it reminded him of the war back... home? No, not home, not exactly. Nonetheless, it was that same heavy feeling of tension, like an icy grip that wouldn't stop tightening. Whatever it was that was happening to this world, Quatre hoped that something could be done to stop it before it was too late. Before countless people lost their lives. Before such a beautiful place was destroyed. If there was anything he could do to help, he wouldn't hesitate to do so.


"We aren't getting anywhere..." Ferio muttered wearily, watching as the situation continued to grow more and more chaotic, the tension in the room increasing by the minute. Sure, they had managed to explain what was going on, but in his eyes that still hadn't helped them to make much progress. If anything, there seemed to be more confusion now, especially with the unexpected arrival of so many unknown faces. That posed another question. Where did all these strange people come from? And why now? Of all the times to appear in Cephiro, they chose a time when wars were threatening the world. Surely that couldn't be purely coincidental. The prince looked thoughtful, shaking his head. In any case, he had to admit that this wasn't that important an issue, so there was no point in dwelling upon it. At least, certainly not for the time being.

Seeing that it was impossible for anything to be discussed if everyone was so edgy, Ferio decided to speak up, addressing the occupants of the room. "We must stay calm and relax, regardless of our current circumstances. We're obviously not going to get anywhere like this." He smiled grimly. Easier said than done...

Chad ran back into the castle, with a slight smile. It had finally happened. He had made a decision for himself and for the better of others. Is this what it felt like to be Jamar or even the shadowed man? Is this what it felt like to be heroic? To fight for a cause that wasn't your own, but for a greater good? Or was this a greater good? Was he going to be brought into this war on a single side? What if it wasn't the right side? He shook the thoughts as he ran back into the room with all the commotion. He stopped and glanced at the green haired man trying to speak up and calm everyone down. He seemed to be some kind of royalty here. Why did it seem like he should know him? Chad also saw a boy that was looking very confused. The blonde haired young man seemed as determined as he was to stop this war. He walked over to Quatre slowly. "Hello, my name is Chad. Are you from Earth as well? You seem to be as confused as I am." He said with a slight smile extending his hand.

Kyle continued walking alone. Memories flashed through his mind of the past. The Shadow. That was the name of the man that had saved him and Chad so long ago. He was a brave individual there was no doubt about that. Where was he now, though? Was he even still alive? His thoughts grew deeper and deeper, until at last, strangely enough, a portal opened. Kyle stopped and glared at the portal. "What is this? It seems like the same portal that brought us here." He paused for a moment and let his mind question the oddity. Should he go in? Should he take the chance? He had nothing more to lose, so be it. The boy shrugged and took a step in and let his visor do the rest. After stepping through, he realized that he was in the most awkward of places. A traintop?! What was going on here?! He glanced around quickly and noticed a white haired man with a young woman encaptured it seemed. Kidnapping most likely. He then heard more sounds behind him. He turned his head and even with his mind racing, he remained calm and collected. Still emotionless. He knew who the other man was. His mind never let that go. The Shadow. So he was alive, he thought. And obviously he was attempting to stop this white haired individual from taking this woman. The train was going fast, but Kyle's training paid off. He was used to having to do this at times on missions. But the thoughts had to stop here. He needed to know what was going on on Earth, and what the deal with the Shadow and the white haired enigma could be. He scanned Ragyn with his shades but no data was found. Slightly confused, he turned to the Shadow. "It's been awhile. Care to fill me in on the situation?" His scarf blew wildly to the side. He was in the middle of the two individuals. His shades glimmered amongst the street lights that were rapidly speeding by it seemed.

Sixteen years.

Kyle had memorized every detail of the Shadow since then. What had never fled his mind were those eyes. Blazing wraithly optics of verdant light that stared from the unfathomable gloom of a raptor's countenance, they pierced into the blackest hearts. It was superstition among gangland and lately even Black Lotus, that to gaze into the Shadow's eyes was to have the doors to all one's secrets flung open. Sometimes even secrets one was not aware of himself, and perhaps would have liked to remain unaware.

When those eyes turned away from the sorceror to Kyle's in sudden acknowledgement of his presence, even he could not wonder if that -absurd-tale was true. For the briefest of moments, Kyle was a child again, staring up at a tall living shadow, a demonic figure not out of a little boy's nightmare, but from the Abyss of Mankind's darkest nature. Despite the protection of the shades he wore, even with the lack of emotion frozen on his outside appearance, Skyhawk could just barely suppress a shudder at meeting the cloaked avenger's eyes, an eternal relic of his past.

When their gazes met, the Shadow's mind reached out and probed into the young man's mind. Indeed this was Kyle, Skyhawk to his Black Lotus peers. He had not forgotten him or his brother either, he never would. A further probe revealed Kyle had met the various personages on Cephiro, the Magic Knights themselves were there now. Kyle had even been reunited with Chad, and both brothers had subsequently gotten involved into the Cephiro factor. How was this so?

A thought passed through the mind behind the sable being. The Shadow, even sixteen years ago, had long felt the two brothers weren't from this world, despite being raised by different people on Earth. Their auras, much like DNA, betrayed that. Princess Emeraude, only hours before, had implied to him that she had had children with the Sol Zagato so many years before Fate and Destiny would wield their cruel thorns.

The auras of the siblings, though weaker, closely matched what he had felt from Emeraude.

The Shadow knew now.

The sons of Sol Zagato and Princess Emeraude were Chad and Kyle. The couple had decided to send their children to this world, in dead awareness of the fate that the Magic Knights would have give the Princess for her forbidden love.

Low chilling laughter rasped from hidden lips at the realization, the Shadow's laugh was apparently another thing Kyle would never forget. There was nothing at all mocking about it, however. That laugh was tinged with a grim foreboding for the young man.

The eyes returned to Ragyn, though his next words were apparently intended for Skyhawk. "This being seeks to gain an advantage by taking this woman." he cryptically stated. "But as for you...this day has given you a homeland." The laugh shuddered forth again, the screaming of the train's engine and the rumble of the Shinkansen's movement seeming to echo the mirth.

"The next days will give you a mother and a father, and destroy all you've believed to be the truth in your life."

Kyle nodded to the Shadow and turned back to Ragyn. "Well...You have no need for the girl, do you? Why don't you let her go and let's call this a day? I seem to have more important things to worry about now than to deal around with someone like yourself. Let's make this quick, or let's make this peaceful. Whichever one you choose just might decide your fate." He said grimly.

Quatre was shaken from his thoughts as a young man, introducing himself as Chad, addressed him. Though surprised at being asked whether he was from Earth, the boy smiled warmly, shaking the other's proffered hand. "My name is Quatre," he replied. After a moment's thought, he continued, "It's quite a relief to know that there is someone else from Earth here, apart from myself! I wasn't expecting that. All this... is just very overwhelming." He smiled helplessly. "There seems to be so much to take in all at once, and I'm not even sure how I got here. And I'm guessing you didn't intentionally come here either, right?"

Gaze moving to glance at the other occupants of the room for an instant, before returning his focus to Chad again, Quatre added softly, "From what I've understood, this... world is in trouble, right? I wish there was something I could do to help these people."

Chad smiled and nodded. "I know how you feel. But.....There has to be something we can do. "Quatre's a pretty cool name, though. Let's see what we can't do, alright? The human body can be as powerful as any kind of machine or tool that a person can own at times. You never know what it can do, right?"

'Standing on top of a shinkansen, moving at speeds upwards of two-hundred kilometers per hour... it's, what, one in the morning? And you're headed south...' Behind a pair of dark, icy, blue eyes, the barely-existant conscience of some deranged psychopath rambled on, somehow making itself heard, however faintly, over the din of the train. 'There are many people who find themselves in similar conditions. Usually not when they're sober, though.'

The former assasin found herself standing there, behind the strange, white-haired man. Without really thinking about it, she had jumped onto the train at the last possible second, just after Raygn. He now stood with his back to her, having not noticed her yet, her lithe, petite figure almost hidden behind his.

Cold steel against skin, felt through some sort of otherworldly fabric. The next thing the man felt was the sharp prick of a knife on his back, pressed just hard enough to be felt acutely, but not to draw blood. Yet.

"Do what the nice men say."

Even though his visors covered his eyes well, his expression could be seen all too clearly. Kyle was almost shocked to see someone behind Ragyn. This was strange. He didn't even pick up a type of energy signal from them. He was trained in all types of location methods. It seemed that lately none of them had been working all that well. He smiled slightly. "It seems you are at a disadvantage now, good sir. It might be a good idea for the interest of your own well being to let your captive go. By the way, I'm sorry to have been so rude. My codename is Skyhawk, miss." He said glancing behind Ragyn and at his new captivator? Perhaps this would work out easier than expected. But then again.....Ragyn was a sneaky one.

Burning jade eyes from beneath a slouch hat's brim held Mackey under their brief scrutiny. Muchitsujo Mackey was every bit as capable a yakuza as her father, yet surpassed him in every way after that. None other could have made it this far. He had expected no less from the Karasu's child.

And she had just written Ragyn an impasse, the ballpen being her dagger.

With the blade pressed to Ragyn's back, threatening to sprout to the other side at a moment's notice, hidden lips from the shrouded stranger rasped a shivering cry of mockery. Riding the rattle of the bullet train's motion were rolling echoes of that laughter, as if a ghoulish horde had taken up their master's cry. "She offers you wisdom and you are deaf to her plea, offworlder." The cloaked warrior's tones came in whispered derisive mirth.

"Surrender the woman." repeated the sable avenger, emerald eyes flashing eerily as they caught the passing street lights' rays in an inescapable grip. "Any further refusal on your part and the cold rigidity of permanent doom will be yours."

At that moment, just like what had happened only minutes ago at the Hououji residence, a psychic alarm screamed through the cloaked stranger's sixth sense. Once more, Ragyn did not intend to capitulate. Only this time, he seemed to have no desire to rely on underlings. Lips concealed behind a blood red scarf began to give out a warning to the the two youngsters...

Quatre brightened, his smile widening. "You're right, Chad-san," he agreed, nodding gratefully at the encouraging words. "There must be something we'll be able to do."

From his position, Ferio had been watching the others in the room, including the two unfamiliar young men, who had appeared from another world. Now, with a brisk, sure stride, he made his way over to the two. Shaking hands, the prince said, "I guess this isn't much of a time for long and cordial greetings and introductions, but I wanted to welcome you to Cephiro." He grinned, but then his expression grew sombre. "We haven't been able to resolve the political problems yet, as you've heard... so I'm sorry that you've been pulled into a time of war."


Emeraude's sea-colored eyes stared hard at the conflict between the Shadow, Raygn, and Skyhawk as a short maiden had entered the scene behind the sorcerer. Everything had gone by extremely fast for the princess to follow clearly, and she was still confused on the current situation. One thing had remained clear to her, though: the Shadow was clearly Lamont. The princess had known he had had a dark side and still, now that it was present to her, the darkness of his being was overwhelming.

"Jubei..." she trailed off, unable to speak, not daring to keep her eyes off the fight for even the slightest moment. "I..."

Just then, Emeraude looked closely at the young man on the train top. She felt drawn to him, the sight of him bringing warmth to her heart. The princess sighed as she observed the young man, and then, in the next instant, her heart turned cold, frozen, yet at the same time, as if someone had stabbed it with a deepest dagger.

Now unable to take her eyes off of Skyhawk, Emeraude whispered softly, "It's you...its been so long..."


Arista's intense violet eyes looked around at all those in the room, as she had been silent for so long, with all this tension, it would not be a surprise if she had been forgotten and was now unnoticed. Many had entered the room shortly after the knights. Her eyes focused on Umi Ryuuzaki, the sapphire-eyed knight of water, and the man who had recently come dressed in the guards' attire, asking for her. Arista found it rather odd that he would ask her if she knew the members of her family.

Next, her gaze fell upon Quatre and Chad, and she could not help but overhear of their conversation. The two were now talking of their desire of helping Cephiro, yet, she could not grasp the talk of

"What, where is Earth?" Arista interrupted the two, as they looked at her with surprised expressions. She, then, laughed nervously, realizing that perhaps she was not invited to their conversation. "Oh! I'm sorry...I mean, I'm sorry to interrupt your conversation."

Chad shook Ferio's hand happily and smiled. "Don't worry. We are here to help! We'll do what we can to stop these wars! Right Quatre?" He smiled over at his new friend and then noticed as the girl walked over. He was a little surprised about the Earth question, but he did all he could do. Shrug. "I really don't know right now. Right now we're in a place called Cephiro. It's at great war right now due to political problems. And don't worry about that apology! We're all friends here, Right?" He said placing a hand out. "My name is Chad. What is yours?"

Arista looked at the young man who offered his hand to her. Chad. "Arista," she replied, taking his hand into a quick handshake. "Arista Celeste Vision."

"Yes, I know we are in Cephiro. I live in a neighboring country, Autozam. However, this is my first time here... and perfect timing, wouldnt you say? With this war and all..." She gave a small faint smile.

Leilandra slowly walked into the palace. "Wow, this is sooooo big." She said as she walked through some doors. It led to a huge ball room. The green haired girl slowly made her way down the grand stair case and stood in the middle of the floor. "It's so pretty here. But…" she trailed of for a moment. "I wonder where Guru Clef is, and if he will teach me magic."

Chad nodded to Arista. "Yeah, a lot of us have been drawn here, it's kinda weird, isn't it? Say.....You said you're from Autozam...I've never really heard of that, I'm afraid. Then again, I've never really heard of Cephiro, either. What's Autozam like?" Chad turned his eyes to the guard-dressed man. He was huge, no doubt about that. Tan skin colored his body. He also had plenty of scars. Why was he so interested in Umi's family?

The supposed palace guard pulled his hair back into a ponytail. Megor had needed to know who this girl was, and how she was related to him. But how would he be able to explain their past? She would most likely not believe him, but so be it, if that happened. He would have at least done what he had come to do, and eventually, she might be better off not knowing the truth. He awaited an answer patiently.

Skyhawk, atop the train, felt a presense of something familiar. As if something was watching him that was from his past. His eyes glanced around, the visor picking up a few life signs nearby. He glanced over at Emeraude and Jubei, who were ((driving?)) by the train. ((Or are they on top of it?)) His eyes widened slightly at the sight of Emeraude. Where had he seen her before? Why did her sight bring a strange feeling to him? He pushed the thought aside and looked back at Ragyn. "Something has come up... Hurry and release her, or die!!" He shouted placing his hand cannon towards Ragyn. "I don't have anymore time to waste with you, got it?!" Skyhawk was now angry. He hadn't felt anything like this before, not since his "big brother" Lietuenant Travis was around. His feelings were changing, changing into something else. He didn't know what to do at all, and when this happened, Kyle indeed was an angry person to be around.