Umi shook her head. The room was almost comical in a hair rising and stressing way. “I’m going to get some fresh air.” She told no one in particular and then she swiveled on her heels and walked off away from Ascot, Clef, Megor, and the rest. She didn’t mean to ignore Megor’s questions but for the moment one could barely hear themselves talking in the room. Her feet instinctively headed for the room she had bedded down in the last time they had visited the Crystal Palace. She didn’t turn to look back, and her feet, her feet almost ran by themselves. What had happened to Cephiro to make it this way? They did not need a Pillar system. It seemed so tragic to bring it back. Couldn’t Prince Ferio just rule?
Clef looked around in the great hall. Quickly he sent the guards away noting that no one seemed to be in danger or present danger to anyone in the vicinity. “Please leave for now. The guards will allow you to re-enter the palace.” Clef spoke softly to the young Cephirean boy and watched him nod before running off. That at least allowed more room and fewer voices to enter the confusing mess. “Ferio… it might be wise to send people out in order to obtain some information on this… situation. It is up to you though.” He smiled softly, trying to reassure.
The room was calming down and the day was thinning out. Soon night would blanket the gentle skies of Cephiro and the war torn people. “I would suggest that we place people in rooms for the night and rest for, as I suspect, tomorrow will be trying.”
Ragyn watched the taxi quickly reverse its course of action. Momentarily his gaze sweeping past Emearude and then he too was gone from the midnight train to the deep depths of an abyss. His plans were finally coming together like clockwork. His eyebrows knitted together in ponder; he was the chosen leader for the south of Cephiro. The cold lands of ice and mainly water lands.
Leilandra slowly walked up to the Cephiro Palace. "Wow, this place looks how I thought it would..." She had on a dark blue cloak and a hood covered her face. Her emerald hair and eyes were covered and under the cloak she carried her bag of belongings.
As she got up to the doors, three big guards approached her. "What are you doing here? No one is allowed to enter!" the leader barked.
The young woman stopped in her tracks. "I have come to speak with Guru Clef”, she said softly.
"Oh no you aren’t..." he said. At that, the two other men grabbed at her.
"HEY!" she yelled. "Let go of me! I want to talk to Guru Clef!" she started to struggle.
The small fox blinked at her before looking like it was giggling then the giggle became real and soon there stood a 7 year old small girl. Her long black hair was held back in a braid as small bits of bangs framed her face and she had lightly tanned skin, the same color as Zagato's. Everything about her, except her eyes (and the fact she's female), would remind Emeraude of Zagato. She nodded to them. "Hello."
Megor watched as Umi ran out. He gritted his teeth. So much was going
on at once, the stress for her had to have been horrible. He growled
angrily turning around. His cloak covered his lower face once more as
he glared at everyone that was in the room. Everyone was chattering
uncontrollably, several people had run in and out, and some even
practically vanished without a trace. What in blazes was going on
Skyhawk watched as the girl formed in front of their very eyes. He
shook his head slightly. "A lot has happened today. If you've just
found out about me, then you might be pretty stressed out. Perhaps
you should go inside and lay down." He watched as two guards
attempted to stop another from entering. This person was wanting to
see Guru Clef. Skyhawk angrily spun around and placed his hand cannon
at the guards. "That's ENOUGH! The woman needs to see the mage, from
what I've heard from a couple of mouths, he's a strong guy, and he
can probably take care of himself! Now allow her access and calm
yourselves!" Skyhawk was more than angry. A lot was tampering with
his feelings right now, and he didn't like that. A few moments later
he regained his composure as the guards let Leilandra go and stepped
to the sides. He was in a way royalty and they should probably have
listened to him. He smiled slightly again and put his hand cannon
away. "Calm down, gentlemen. There's no need to worry about your land
anymore. It is soon to be in good hands, I believe." He said with a
confident smile. He looked back at Emeraude and grinned
slightly. "Let's go meet brother, shall we? You might have a lot to
catch up on." He said walking inside. He motioned for Leilandra,
Mackey, Emeraude and the mysterious fox girl to enter as well.
Chad stood still and glanced around as the room erupted with
thousands of questions and comments and practically confusion. He
clenched his fists and finally looked at the entire room. "Hey
EVERYONE! Try and listen, okay? Let's try and think of something that
will solve all of our problems while solving the other peoples'
problems, okay? Right now, we need to find a way to stop this crazy
war before it gets anyone else killed! There's got to be some kind of
way we can get these other lands to settle down and maybe cool
everyone's heads! We have got to come together! And standing around
in this castle isn't going to do that! Come on! Let's think of some
plans or something, alright?!"
Megor listened to Chad's words and crossed his arms. "I could care
less about these stupid countries or their pathetic political wars.
All I care about is letting my sister know that somewhere out there,
there's an entire past awaiting her. That there's an entire family
that she doesn't know about. What point is there to war over
countries that will someday break down due to your ignorance anyway?
It's useless! And I don't want a part in this meanignless struggle
for power!" He angrily shoved Chad to the side and walked out room,
leaving everyone to themselves. He walked through the hallway
cracking his knuckles, guards stepping to the side in fear of
something happening to them if they crossed him again. He ripped the
guard attire off and was back in his regular black tanktop/black
pants/torn cloak clothing. He crossed paths with several people on
the way outside, and eventually stopped. He leaned against the wall
and looked up. Should he stay? Or should he do the right thing for
everyone and let the past stay a mystery? The thoughts shot through
his head and he angrily gritted his teeth. He looked up and shouted
with anger and frustration at the sky. "WHAT IS IT YOU ASK ME FOR?!"
Mackey looked at the strange girl, her once again completely expressionless face showing no surprise whatsoever at the transformation that had just taken place in front of her. Deciding it best to just suspend her disbelief for just a few minutes, she smiled again at the child. "Well, hi!"
She could almost feel the tension in the air as they walked into the
building, heading towards a room from which loud, confused voices
eminated. Another young man passed them, walking briskly in the other
direction, an angry, frustrated look on his face. A sense of
nervousness and possible fear built inside the diminuative woman, at
being in this strange land with all these strange people and with
little hope of ever getting back home. Not that she particularly had
anything tying her down to her home in Tokyo, but, still, with
everything that had happened in the past few hours it was all just a
little too much, even for her. Smiling once again as she took odd
amusement and perhaps comfort in the fact that she had brought these
troubles upon herself the very minute she had decided to follow the
mysterious dark-clad man into the heat of whatever battle it was that
he was fighting, she let out a quiet, nearly inaudible chuckle and
shrugged all of that, too, off.
Entering the main chamber, she soon understood why that one young man
had elected to leave. The room was in utter chaos. People were
talking loudly over one another about dire problems and nothing in
particular. One man raised his voice over the noise in the room, or
at least tried to, saying something about problems and other lands
and death and whatnot. So she had found herself here in the middle of
a war?! Oh, goody...
It was hard not to smile at seeing such enthusiasm and eagerness to lend a helping hand, Ferio found, listening to Chad's words. It was all the more admirable, considering that the young man didn't have to get involved with these matters. In the midst of the conversation Arista Vision approached the three men. She and Chad conversed for a while, before the latter turned to Ferio once more. A thoughtful expression on his face, the prince nodded thoughtfully as Chad spoke. He smiled faintly as the young man reiterated his desire to help Cephiro.
"I'm very grateful to you, and Quatre, for expressing your willingness to assist us in this difficult situation, Chad," Ferio replied. He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts, then continued, "It seems as if the issue should be settled easily, maybe by a thorough discussion, but sadly I doubt that this is what will solve our problems. I'm sure you're aware, after hearing Guru Clef's explanation, of our exact circumstances? With the people asking for the reintroduction of the Pillar system, even though it had been
decided that that had been removed permanently, since the Magic Knights' last visit... It's caused a great deal of conflict. On top of that, as you've heard, Cephiro has now broken up into five major parts, at war with one another in an attempt to determine who will rule the land. The've all chosen representatives, such as myself for the central and island parts, for example, and the Bal Ascot for the northern lands. We're just concerned what the outcome of all this will be. The Pillar system should not become an option..." A frown darkened his countenance.
After a brief silence, the emerald-haired prince added, "I like your idea of individual missions, Chad. That would be a lot of help. Though, I'm thinking that it might be best to wait a while first, until the other lands' motives become clearer. It wouldn't be right for anyone to endanger themselves needlessly..."
The serious moment was broken abruptly by Arista's pet. Ferio tried hard not to laugh aloud in amusement as Leala handed him her lavender-eyed owner's flute. Taking it, he turned to face Arista, returning the instrument to the girl. Noticing that she looked somewhat embarrassed over the incident, the prince smiled and said, "Don't worry. I think that's what we needed just now; something to distract us a little and keep us from going insane from all the chaos and tension of the current situation."
The commotion levels in the room seemed to have died down for the time
being, after a few outbursts and Chad's valiant attempt to get everyone to calm down. However, Umi had just left, looking flustered, and so had the young man who appeared to have been talking to her, and then Chad a few seconds before storming out. Shortly after, Ferio heard Clef addressing him, and he nodded his assent to the madoushi's words. So he had had ideas similar to Chad's, wishing to send people out to retrive further information and ascertain where they stood at this point in time. Then Ferio would do as Clef had suggested.
Also, it definitely was a good idea to show everyone to their quarters for now and allow people to rest. It wouldn't help anyone if they were tired and confused.
Clearing his throat, the young prince raised his voice to be heard by all the occupants of the room. "I'm sure that all of you must have a lot of questions, and I'm sorry if they will have to go unanswered for a while. With everything that has taken place today, however, we've come to the conclusion that the best thing to do for the remainder of the day is to retreat to our rooms and rest. It's guaranteed that we'll have hard days ahead of us." Though his words were solemn, reflecting the grim situation Cephiro was caught up in, Ferio tried to accompany them with a reassuring smile.
Having spoken, the green-haired youth turned away for a moment, closing his eyes. He took a deep breath, willing himself to continue remaining calm and levelheaded. It was so exhausting. He wanted to do his best for Cephiro and its people, to ensure that matters would turn out all right in the end... But there were times when he doubted his ability to do so, when his faith in himself wavered. Ferio sighed. He had changed quite a bit over the years, hadn't he? Self-doubt didn't come to him so easily in the past. Suddenly the young man felt weary, old beyond his years. A strange thing, considering his actual age. If only these troubles could be resolved smoothly...
Still rather overwhelmed by everything that had been happening, Quatre
stayed silent, trying not to make a nuisance of himself. He watched his
surroundings with interest, smiling and introducing himself politely as the pretty silver-haired girl, Arista, came over to talk to Chad and Prince Ferio. He was relieved that the chaos that had reigned in the room appeared to have diminished for now. Prince Ferio and Madoushi Clef had just addressed them all, suggesting that resting for the night was the most sensible course of action at the moment.
Uncertainly, the blonde gundam pilot continued to survey the others in the room. Maybe it was a good idea if he left for the time being, and returned whenever they held another meeting? 'If they allow me to come back, and help...' Quatre reminded himself. Though, of course, he didn't know where else to go anyway. Or if he would ever be able to return to Earth. Once again the question of whether Heero, Duo, Trowa and Wufei might somehow have ended up here too, formed in his mind. The boy sighed softly, absentmindedly fidgeting with one corner of his vest.
Chad nodded to Ferio and Clef's suggestions. "It is best that we do
get some rest, it's been quite a day, eh, Quatre?" he said
smiling. "I can tell you've got a lot on your mind. Let's find
somewhere to maybe rest and gather our thoughts. I'm going to try and
maybe get some sleep. I haven't had any all day, and this might be a
good time to try and get some." He said walking away. He waved to
Ferio and Clef as well as Arista and Quatre. He stopped suddenly
before he reached the doors. "Er....Where might I be able to sleep?"
A guard smiled and showed him out to the hallway and showed him to a
vacant room. Chad smiled and thanked the guard for his help. The
guard nodded and returned to the room doing his duty once more. Chad
layed down inside his assigned room and closed his eyes. Nightfall
had come and it had been the lengthiest day in a while, since the
Black Lotus incident those years ago. Where was the Shadow now? And
futhermore, where was his brother? He had hoped he was alright, and
soon enough, his answers would come.
Skyhawk continued onward, and showed Emeraude as to where
the "meeting room" was. "This is where everyone is. I'm sure that you
can hear the voices inside. Chad should be in there as well." A guard
stepped up and stopped Kyle. The guard informed Kyle as to where
Chad's room was located and that he was resting now. Kyle looked back
at Emeraude and smiled a little. "It seems that brother has
relocated. He's down the hallway, four doors down and to the right.
Do you want to go and meet him?" He said still with a slight smile.
"Meet who?" Naomi asked innocently. Other than the giggle that was the first thing she said. One hand was holding onto a fist full of Emeraude's dress, showing a little shyness and nervousness with being near alot of people. "I wanna meet who you wanna meet." She said looking at Emeraude's eyes with her matching ones.
Neira Eco emerged from the stairwell, blue robes sweeping behind her as she walked calmly along the next corridor. It was unlike her to walk around aimlessly at night, but she could sense something troubling. Not necessarily threatening, just...troubling. Her lessons had been cancelled out of the blue. She was told to stay within the palace walls.
She was still allowed to practice, however, she would have to take extra precautions when inside the palace grounds. She had no desire to burn down another willow branch tree in the garden. There were so few as it was. Instead she contented herself with her reading, hoping to catch up on some spells she had missed previously. But the contentment was now gone, and she wished to speak with her tutor, Madoushi Clef, personally. He was busy with business of the state, she knew, matters which Neira wanted to know little about. Even still, perhaps she should
look for him.
By the time the young girl had regained her senses, she had unconsciously walked the length of three palace corridors and two stairwells. She stepped out of the last stairwell and paused a moment to get her bearings. The Great Hall was on this floor, she remembered.
Sighing, she began walking down the hallway. The doors to the great hall drew nearer, and so did the noise. Curious, she slowed her steps, pausing as the doors opened and people poured into the hallway. Nodding to a nearby guard, she continued to approach. Then stopped again.
Talking to another guard was a man Neira had never see before. He was with others, a young girl and a blond woman who closely resembled Emeraude. For a moment, Neira believed it to be her, but told herself it was impossible.
Carefully, Neira approached the group. She reached out a tentative hand, not to touch but to draw attention, then let it drop to her side. With a wan smile she uttered, "Excuse me" but her voice was too soft to hear over the commotion in the room next to her. With a sigh, she reached out with her mental voice, lightly touching their minds as she said: ‘Excuse me, but could you tell me what is going on inside that room?’
With a weary sigh, Ferio ran a hand through his hair, opening his eyes
again. Admittedly, he was rather glad that the day was nearing an end. Once everyone else had been accommodated and shown to their sleeping quarters, he would retreat to his room himself. It had been a long and chaotic day; he was looking forward to a few hours of sleep. Though, it wouldn't be surprising if worry-induced insomnia kept him awake all night, the prince mused.
His fists clenched at his sides, a sudden surge of anger sweeping through his being. It seemed laughable that these lands were at war like this. Why couldn't the dispute be settled in a less emotionally painful way? He could see how these heavy responsibilities and hardships weighed everyone down. Turned them bitter, jaded. Hadn't Cephiro been through enough already? Hadn't all of them been through enough...
However, there was a part of him that thought that some good had come of this whole business after all. The Magic Knights had returned. And he had a chance to see Fuu again. Of course, there was guilt at this... selfishness. As the prince of Cephiro and the champion for part of it, he should keep his mind on the current matters, shouldn't he? Besides, though he loved the beautiful Wind Knight, he knew that it was unlikely for them to have a future together. She would have to return to Earth, and he would remain in Cephiro. It would cause hurt and regret... But he had missed her. There had been an emptiness inside of him all this time, after the Magic Knights' last visit. He had pushed it aside, of course, knowing full well that he couldn't allow himself to let down the people... but it had been there. A distinct presence, a wistfulness.
Inexorably, Ferio's gaze was drawn into the direction where he knew Fuu was still sitting. Excusing himself to Arista and Quatre, he crossed the room to approach the golden-haired girl. He smiled, bowing slightly, then put a hand on her shoulder. "How are you feeling?" he asked, referring to both the fact that she had obviously been injured back on Earth, or she would not have appeared on Cephiro with a slight limp and dressed in Earth's unusual hospital garments, as well as how she was coping with everything that had taken place that day, upon the Knights' arrival here. "If you're tired I could accompany you to your room, if you like. It's been a long day..."
Quatre smiled, nodding. "Yeah... Good night, Chad-san," he said as Chad left to go to his room. Feeling a little awkward and self-conscious, the boy decided to approach Arista. "I'm sorry to bother you with this, Arista-san, but do you think that people won't object to me staying here for a while, too? I know I'm somewhat of an intruder, since I have no connection to your world... but I guess that I must have been called here for a reason too, right? Maybe I'll be able to help here." He trailed off, looking thoughtful, and then added, "On Earth, in the place I was before I appeared here, I was in some trouble, so I guess I'm very lucky to have been saved from it this way." A sadness-tinged smile on his lips, Quatre watched the young woman.
No, after all that he had done, even if it had been with the good intentions of saving the lives of innocent people and protecting their loved ones, maybe it would have been better if he had died. Though perhaps this was his chance to redeem himself?
Fuu felt a light touch on her shoulder and looked up to see Prince
Ferio. She hadn't really been paying attention to much, only her own
thoughts. Fuu, at times, was quite the daydreamer, but today's
daydreams weren't very pleasant at all. The thought that Cephiro was
mysteriously in danger again made her think about many things. Fuu
loved Cephiro, and many of the people there. All that would happen
this time was simple. Once they figured out the problem she, Hikaru,
and Umi would simply destroy it and then they would go back to earth.
Fuu would attend some brillent college, and they'd all live happily
ever after. It seemed a waste. She snapped back out of her daydreams
in time to catch Ferio's question and quick offer. "How are you
feeling?" and "If you're tired I could accompany you to your room, if
you like. It's been a long day...". She felt almost numb inside and
nodded silently. "Yes, Thank you, Your Majesty." She sunk into
thoughts again for a moment. 'Your Majesty' was so formal, but it was
the barrier Fuu needed. She had special feelings for Ferio, very
special indeed. Cephiro though, was only tempory after all. Ferio was
part of Cephiro, Fuu was part of earth. Nothing could change that. To
keep herself from totally submitting to her feelings for him, she
constantly reminded herself of his title and autority. 'Your Majesty'
was the only way. She began to stand up and was instantly reminded of
her ankle injury. She winced slightly. Looking at the green-haired
prince, Fuu smiled. She might as well enjoy his company while she was
Ragyn closed his eyes not having to feel nor see his way through the impossibly dark tunnels of what he would like to call the underworld. For the longest time his imprisonment. It still puzzled him as to why he had been freed and none of the others. Why had he reanimated while the others lie as if asleep for eternity, their beauty preserved in all their angelic appearances… his people. Ragyn opened his eyes when he entered that cavern with giant blue hued crystals that gave off a radiant blue light, which filled the large cave area deep beneath the surface. The Cephirean people had not been so heartless, perhaps, as to leave the sleeping people laying on the hard rock surface but had carved, almost ironically, beds out of the softer marbles and laid the last of his race, around twenty people, on top of them. He glanced over to the ‘bed’ he had awoken on which now housed the sleeping Kuu. He had placed her in a deep slumber only he could awaken her from unless death took her first.
Ragyn sighed and placed a hand on the blue crystal near his left side. Voices from the past reached his ears every time he turned to look at one sleeping face or another, particularly hers, Freya.
Thousands of years ago…
“Please… they just want to live like we do, in peace.” Her shimmering yellow eyes bore into his red ones. The golden depth of her’s pleading and still innocent after centuries of life. It was necessary wasn’t it? He almost pulled back into the house but disdainfully wrenched himself out into the streets. “Ragyn if we continue to war with them over what we’ve done…”
Ragyn growled deep in his throat, his white hair twisting in the cool breeze of spring. “Freya we have done nothing! We have survived while they have destroyed us! I remember because I was there, I saw what destruction these ‘Cephireans’ can cause. You… you were only a child.” His fist clenched in anger. “And you can still forgive them for killing your parents, for tearing out your wings?!”
“I don’t have to forgive them for anything. We destroyed ourselves. Ragyn listen to me just this once…” Her sky blue hair brushed against her cheek before she pushed it back over her shoulder. “It was the wings that made us feel superior to all those around us. It made us crave more and more power and greater technology. They made me, as a child, realize this with the loss of my wings. We were not born with them… then why should we have them?” She shook her head. “There is nothing I can say that would keep you here… I know that…”
'Your Majesty'. Ferio grimaced inwardly at those words, though he knew that he didn't hold it against Fuu. She was just being her usual sweet, polite self, addressing him in an accordingly formal manner. But it hurt. It was a reminder of who he was, where his place was, and that he had no right be so selfish. It made it only too clear that they had no future together. Fuu's life was on her planet, Earth. He had no true right to her love, no matter how deep their feelings for one another ran. That knowledge was a cold grip, slowly crushing his heart. A sharp, icy dagger, buried deeply in his very soul.
On the outside, the prince maintained a nonchalant grin, however. "Hey... be careful," he said gently, seeing the girl flinch slightly as she stood on her injured foot. He reached out to steady her, allowing her to lean on him as they walked, in order to keep any pressure from being put on her ankle.
After a while, Ferio decided to incite a little conversation, feeling
somewhat awkward walking in silence with all those thoughts inside of him to ponder on. "I know this is probably not a good time to say something like this, but it's really good to see you again, and Umi and Hikaru too, of course. It's as if Cephiro suddenly grows brighter, no matter what's going on, whenever you three are here." He smiled at Fuu.