The smell of a thousand musty books wafted throughout the tiny room that led into the second largest room of the mid-sized domicile. Celica, a man of Cephirean lore, ran his hand over a small yet precious volume in his collection. It was a reminder every day of what had become of his life and what lay in the past. His family, his life, and his whole world had been destroyed not more than five years ago. Five years ago by something that would have seemed outlandish only seven years ago when the pillar system was still in place. His hand ran back over the smoothed cover of a collection of children’s stories, Cephiro’s history in its most basic form, fairy tales.
His pale hand extended past the book and towards an ornamental dagger as sharp as any swordsman’s blade. One finger tip tested the tip and the proceeding spill of little red droplets on the cream colored scrolls told him the blade was perfect. Finally after five years of debating he would end it all in one final stroke. One grand exit for there was nothing left to live with. How could he live with himself when he could not, had not saved his own family. “A weakling… with a soul as dark as the night sky…” Damn. He closed his eyes and picked up the dagger.
It was almost hard to explain how this place was both familiar and
unfamiliar. This place was her home and then it was far from being home. Same place, different time. That's what she had to remember. Kyoko felt rather unsure of what to do at the current time, possible because of the utter uncertainty she was feeling. She knew what she was here for and where she was meant to go, but her mind was still set in a sort of unease. What if no one believed who she was? Her only option was to rely on the only person she knew would believe her; Mage Clef.
" I suppose I should quit worrying and just keep moving ahead. That's the only thing I can do in the meantime," Kyoko told herself, sighing deeply.
Without hesitating any long, Kyoko once again began her tread to the castle. The journey was anything from long, which was a blessing considering that the young woman's clothing consisted of a long sleeved shirt. The clothing she currently wore was a type that she was really not used to. Her mother had insisted that she wear something that might add further proof to her identity. Not many of the people on Cephiro, excluding the three Magic Knights, could be seen wearing the sort of clothing that she dawned now. Dispite the fact that her mother had explained to her, in great detail, what life was like on Earth,
she was having a bit of trouble adjusting to wearing the unusual school
"I'm losing track of things. Focus," Kyoko muttered to herself, watching the path before her as she continued walking.
Suddenly, there it was. The castle. It stood out against the sky, seeming to almost touch the clouds. Kyoko looked up at the towering structure with a sort of admiration, smiling at it's beauty and the sense of security she felt being in it's presense. The young woman took a few moments to gaze upon the place that she knew so well before drawing herself back in to the reality of the situtation. The most important thing at the time was to find Mage Clef. Her problem was getting in to the palace. She doubted that she would be allowed to
just casually stroll inside, so perhaps the best way to get access to Clef's attention was to draw attention to herself. How exactly would she do so was the question.
"I suppose I will have to use magic. I just pray that I can reach his
thoughts," she whispered to herself, closing her eyes as she focused upon trying to gain the attention she needed.
"Mage Clef. Please hear me, Mage Clef," she spoke in her mind, praying that he would be able to hear her.
Emeraude looked down at a pair of angelic blue eyes that were as deep crystal as her own. She smiled faintly, somehow content, at the little girl, and softly said, "Youll meet him soon enough, I promise."
The golden-haired former pillar turned to look at Kyle, who was now
discussing matters on possibly going back to the Knights' world, Earth.
Emeraude tilted her head slightly. Earth, Emeraude knew, is not where Kyle and Chad belonged. Cephiro was in their blood. Yet, she said nothing..
In an instant, Emeraude flinched, feeling suddenly the waking of her younger son and the effects on the images of Cephiro's past were doing to him. He knew. Yes, Chad knew she was coming. And It seems, Zagato had warned him of her arrival. Emeraude looked towards Chad's room.
"It's time," Emeraude's calm gentle voice interrupted the conversation that was between Mackey and Kyle. She met with Kyle's eyes, as he returned a nod, and a moment later, Emeraude looked down at her daughter and smiled again at her.
Mackey and Neira looked at them curiously. It was Neira's gaze that made Emeraude stop a moment and return it. Neira had been observing her calmly, like a puzzle that she could not figure out. The former pillar knew what Neira had been pondering on. The girl had asked telephatically what was going on earlier, but Emeraude had not answered due to Naomi's tugging her dress.
Telephatically, to Neira, Emeraude said...
-- We will meet again, and I shall answer your questions. But at this moment, I have matters to tend to ... --
With that, Emeraude took Naomi's hand and started walking away as Kyle
started to follow slowly.
There was much to catch up on.
Arista sighed as it seems almost everyone had gone to rest. The day's
excitement was over, or rather, the peak of it was over. The silver-haired girl looked down at her pet. "Leala, sometimes I just do things without really knowing why," she whispered, referring to her coming to Cephiro.
Life in Autozam was not home for her. All the time she was there, her father had always argued with her, telling her what a disgrace it was that she took no interest in Autozam's glory, their technology. Eagle had always been the mediator, and had always made her feel that she could be herself, loving nature and playing her flute. But since he's gone... nothing really seemed worth it for awhile. Especially not in Autozam, when fighting with her father got worse after Eagle's death.
Arista just believed that perhaps, something in Cephiro was calling her. Even though life in this place was chaotic at the moment. Traveling seemed so pointless and its been years since she really stayed put. Perhaps, in her heart, she had wanted a place to truly call home. Autozam could not give her that.
Quatre interrupted her thoughts with a simple queston, and Arista's violet eyes met his. "I think they would not mind so much having you here... though, it is true there is much tension..." she looked away. "To be honest, I have as much connection here as you do since I am not here to represent Autozam and I have not been there for the longest time. My brother had almost become one of the pillars here, and he died here, as well."
"From the stories I've heard from when Eagle was here, the Magic Knights are friendly people and so, I dont think you have to worry much about feeling unwelcome. The Cephirians are nice, too." The silver-haired girl forced a smile, holding her flute that Prince Ferio, who had excused himself and left with one of the Knights, had returned to her.
Before Quatre could ask, Arista quickly added, "Eagle was my brother."
“What type?” Umi asked quietly looking at the pastries before her once they were down in the kitchen. Strange fruits, and an assortment of meats, plus what she would suppose was desserts were laid out on a table chilled by some unknown source. Magic, she guessed but there, here in the castle … there was so much magic used everywhere. Who, or which people were the sources of all this power? Her eyes drifted up realizing she had asked the question long after the conversation had ended and the awkward walk down the winding stairs. “What type of sneaky magic do you taste? I thought you said that besides summoning you really didn’t have powers…” Her delicate hand lifted up a pastry filled with a yellow green fruit and sniffed it. “Apples?” Her eyes twinkled. If she was right perhaps Cephiro and Earth shared some aspects of plant life.
With a sudden realization Umi jerked her head up looking into Ascot’s eyes across the counter. “How have your friends been doing?” She had rightly resisted the urge to use the word pet. Even though she could not hear the conversations she knew that Ascot could understand the ‘beasts’ or monsters on Cephiro better than any other.
Ebony gloom, pierced only by the moon's rays through a single large window, ruled this rambling aged house, in which Celica had taken up residence after his wife and son had died and the Pillar system had gone democratic. Ordinarily on evenings such as this, he would ignite a lantern which doubled as his lone source of heat, and by its light would dine on tasteless gruel, having spent the whole day on the streets begging for the barest ingredients. Fortunate was he indeed, that for the most part, Cephiro's people were a generous lot. The neighboring countries had never ceased claiming that this was the best loved trait of this world's citizens.
The fact that no light burned in the house this cold night mirrored
Celica's insides. Two factors had kept him alive for this long. His
countrymen’s kindness and his own brittle will to live. After five long
years of mental torment over loss, the latter had failed him. On Cephiro, a world where Will was the key to everything, that was enough.
Inky mist from beyond the window was slowly seeping into the room, coiling about the bookcases and table whence Celica sat at. He fancied that these were embodiments of the phantoms that made ready to ferry him to their realm. Celica raised the dagger before him in a single-handed grip. He hesitated, as many do when on the brink of no return. The moon, pearl white and almost blinding, was large and unforgiving in the night sky above. Never, he thought, had it looked so bright before.
With a twisted maddened finality, Celica began the blade's plunge towards his own heart.
Celica failed to recall just then that on Cephiro, as on Earth, the moon held a powerful significance concerning the supernatural. Spirits and demons emerged from the blackest shadows with the moon's rise.
As did one this very night.
A large patch of blackness seemed to seperate from the gloom behind Celica, and a pale hand shot straight out of the fog and clamped around his wrist, pythonesque in its grasp. Celica bellowed a cry of surprise and pain as the unwelcome hand tightened, forcing his own to open and release the knife. The grip loosened momentarily and Celica whirled, furious beyond reason at this meddling intruder, and launched a wild punch at his unseen assailant with his free arm. In response, a second pale hand appeared and smoothly intercepted his strike. This roused his anger even more. "Stay out of this, you...!" Celica snarled.
That snarl died as he caught sight of the two hands that firmly held his own in place. On the middle finger of the stranger's left hand, like a light from the world he had been ready to enter, a mesmerizing jewel on a ring gleamed. Its depths reflected a deep crimson light that glowed like a living coal, crimson which shifted to a medley of different colors. Past the ring, the snarl became a gasp of terror as his eyes saw the person who owned it, swearing by the Creator this could not be a human being. A tall spectral creature in a black cloak, human in profile yet wraithly in appearance, hovered before him. His facial features were near totally obscured by the turned down brim of an odd un-Cephironian black hat and a crimson scarf concealing his lips. The black cloak he wore seemed a part of the thick fog and shadows all around him.
All that could be made out beneath the hat were a pair of piercing
pupil-less verdant eyes, reinforcing his belief that this was indeed a
revenant. He paled as those eyes stabbed into his, cold and piercing in
their gaze. All thoughts of taking his own life had dissolved like salt in water at the sight of the demon's blazing orbs of sight. All the strength and urge to struggle had drained right out of him.
The frightening optics burned into his, as the being spoke in a low
chilling whisper, light as the wind that whistled through the room. "You are Celica." said the voice from the living shadow, far from being a question. "Years ago, you were an educator on Cephiro's history at one of this land's highest learning institutions. Autozam offered you the opportunity to teach about your world to their students. You were most renowned for being the keeper of vast records of Cephiro's past and present, till now you remain unparalleled in that right, though you are ignorant of that fact." A pause. "You had a beautiful wife and child once...tell me what became of them."
Celica was riveted to the seat he had fallen in, eyes wide open. This
ghostly visitant who had come out of nowhere was stating facts about his life as naturally as if he himself had lived it. How did he know so much?! He found himself speaking, disbelieving that he was actually doing it. "During Cephiro's decay and the Magic Knights' return, my family and I relocated to the Crystal Palace. Monsters attacked the people in the Central Garden at one point. The Bal Ascot, Ral Caldina, Dal Lafarga, and Prince Ferio all fought well...but nevertheless a few innocent people lost their lives." His head slowly bowed. "They were among them."
The voice came again, frightening to his ears yet calming in an eerie way. "And it was on their account you contemplated suicide?"
Celica's silence betrayed his answer.
"Then you have forgotten the promise you made to her." accused the living shadow.
Celica's head snapped up and all blood drained from his face as right then, a memory burned bright in his mind. He and his wife so many years ago, shortly after they had become life partners, secure and happy in each other's arms. He had smiled and held her close, saying that even death could not tear them apart. She had smiled back, perhaps a little sadly, saying that there were times people had to face reality, that even a world of "everlasting" joy like Cephiro could not go on forever. Right then and there, she had made him promise that even if she should die before he did, he would move on to be his very best and contribute to making their world a better place. She said she loved him, and believed in him, knowing he was already something great and would become much more.
With all his heart, he had vowed to fulfill his promise.
Celica's consciousness returned to the present. His head sank into his
hands as cold sweat ran down his brow, body wracked with shivering. How
close he had come to breaking that vow, failing to uphold his promise to her. How close he had come to ending his life, with his own hands, simply because he was weak and could not endure the pain of living any longer. He tasted something sickly sweet on his finger and his eyes opened a crack to see the drops of blood from the dagger.
At that moment, intense hatred swept over him. Hatred for the blood, what he'd tried to do. He loathed his old self, the self he had been living for the past five years, thoughts stuck in the pain of a past long gone by. Pain over loved ones who were already dead. He had not thought much about the blessing of being alive, being able to just breathe the cool night air filled him with joy. Suddenly, his life had never mattered to him so much. "By the Creator...what I almost did...throwing away my life like a weak fool...when it was moving on that she would have wanted for me!"
"The desire to live burns in you again." The cold emerald fire in the
living shadow's eyes flared deeper. "You sought to take your own life, and I have given it back to you by making you realize its importance. You are still free to take it at your own will." The dagger that had clattered to the floor suddenly levitated off the ground and into the being's pale hand. The knife flipped over, presenting the handle to Celica. The impulse was intruding again, fighting to be welcomed back.
He thought of his body, neck punctured, lying in a pool of blood, alone in a house forgotten by the entire city. With this revelation came only one choice.
"I choose to live."
The pale supple hand lifted and tossed the dagger out the window. It was lost in the night beyond. The voice hissed its whisper. "Choosing to live means submitting to a life in my service. Remember...you owe your life to me now." Celica nodded in firm agreement. He lifted his chin, a new light shining in his eyes. "A life in your service...but for what cause?"
The left hand extended and pointed to the world beyond the window. On the middle finger, the jewel sparkled their multi-colored hues, as if the eye of a phantom was watching over the outside world. "Cephiro is at war, Celica. Sides have declared their champions and have taken to fighting with their neighbors in an effort to restore the old Pillar system. Lurking beneath this veil of bloodshed is a being with a vendetta, who will not balk at crushing innocent lives to gain his ends amidst this chaos. A handful have already died from this being's schemes."
At this, whispered sinister laughter sneered from hidden lips, Celica paled and cringed in his seat as the taunting laughter made it to his ears. A laugh tainted with malice...so different from the benign words he spoke. "Who becomes the victor among the warring sides is not of my concern, nor do I care. I fight for the cause of the just, though my methods are not theirs. In choosing to live, you have joined that cause." The being moved, seeming to glide across the floor, as it paced about Celica. "You are among many lives I have saved. A number of those lives submitted themselves to my bidding, some of those same people died in my service. It will be a life of danger for you, Celica, you too may lose your life as have others before you. But that life will not be without its rewards." The keen eyes pulsed brightly, observing the world be suicide.
"Many will come your way, but your greatest reward will be living a life of satisfaction and honor...knowing that you wield your own unique skills, which I require, in a bid to prevent the loss of more life and to save your own world."
And to uphold the vow his wife had made of him all those years ago. This was the unspoken statement that passed between them. "If you accept, Celica, give your word now. All I demand of you is absolute obedience and standing vigilant to use your talents for my bidding."
The Cephironian bowed his head and slowly dropped to one knee. Before him, the future held promise and a new life. He owed much to this man who had awakened him. He would not stop "I am yours to command, milord." The blazing emerald eyes bobbed up and down imperceptibly, signaling a nod from the being behind it. "Arise." it rasped. Celica did, just barely able to meet the spectral gaze.
The sable stranger's voice was low toned and eerily compelling as it spoke. It wasn't, as Celica thought, the voice of a living human being. "Tomorrow, you will go to the Cephironian Institute of Ancient Records. Let them know who you are, of your vast archives, and tell them the Baron Drakov sent you. There is one final slot available for the position of lore master, they will accept you on the basis of all three credentials. Await my commands once you are settled, for your skills will be required very soon." There was something certain about the way the being spoke that last sentence.
Celica's brow wrinkled. He understood of course the first two, but Baron Drakov? He had been a famous traveling nobleman before Princess Emeraude had died. He had last been heard journeying to Fahren before he had vanished, never returning. He was dead by now.
"Do you understand?" hissed the voice.
"I understand." repeated Celica. There was the swish of a cloak in the
darkness as the being turned, making its way towards the window. Moonlight shining down on the being threw a mammoth grotesque shadow, inhuman, across the floor. Celica caught a final glimpse of the burning eyes as the stranger's head turned sideways to face him. "Remember! Total obedience..." The last vowel was a dragged out hiss, like a reptile's.
The ghostly jade eyes flared brighter than before, then dulled and faded away, as did the sable blot obscuring the window and the monstrous shadow on his wall. The Cephironian blinked and no trace of the visitant remained. Nothing but vague memories. Like a fleeting dream, the being had vanished into the darkness beyond, leaving Celica confused and shaken, yet relieved and happy.
The being had come and gone...like a shadow.
Ferio shrugged, laughing when Fuu asked if he was being sarcastic. He
blushed slightly, tugging on his ponytail in a sheepish gesture.
"Sorry, that was kind of stupid of me. But you have to admit, it might be fun, right?" He grinned at her teasingly.
Fuu was starting to head onwards now, limping slightly, so he followed. When the girl stopped, talking about her current outfit, Ferio tilted his head to one side, pretending to scrutinize the rather unflattering hospital gown with immense concentration. "Doesn't make you look any less pretty though," he mused. Realizing that he was probably starting to get on her nerves by now, even though he genuinely meant it, the prince instantly looked apologetic. "Sorry... Well, I guess I could see why you'd hate it."
The garment was shapeless and it seemed that a person wearing something like that would be very cold too, with the relatively open back that was only held together by strings. "No problem, we can definitely get you some proper clothes, Fuu." He smiled, reaching her and walking alongside the girl again.
It wasn't very long before the pair arrived at the designated room. Ferio turned to Fuu, motioning towards a large closet on the far end of the room. "There should be some clothes for you in there," he told her. "So, I guess I should leave you alone now, so you can get changed and rest and stuff like that. If you need anything just ask, all right?"
Quatre watched Arista in silence. The young woman seemed deep in thought; he regretted disturbing her by talking. His gaze travelled to the flute she was carrying, and a wistful smile flitted over his features. The way she held it made it clear that it was very precious to her, something that had special sentiments to it, memories perhaps. They boy sighed softly, the sight of the instrument stirring the longing to play his violin. Playing a duet with Trowa; violin and flute. Would he ever go back? His friends... how were they faring in the war back home?
Trowa and Duo were the closest to him, but he considered Heero and Wufei two of his best friends too. Five boys forced to grow up before their time... Each handling the pressure in their own way; with masks of indifference, self-righteousness or cheerfulness and seeming confidence providing the only protection for their lonely souls.
They were more than a mere team of five teenagers of different
nationalities, from different colonies, trained to fight for justice and peace and thrown into a war.
Wasn't it ironic, fighting for peace? Killing people to do good? But telling oneself that one was doing the right thing, twisting reality like that, it stopped a person from going insane. It kept you hoping. It made you feel that all the bad things would end soon, and once the war was over, you could go on living.
A sad lie. Soldiers, trained for nothing but war, didn't have a future once peace was finally established. Their souls were heavy, black with the countless lives they had ended, their hands drenched with blood. They were as good as dead, had no chance to redeem themselves.
Then again, who said peace would ever exist in the world? Maybe they were simply deceiving themselves, finding an excuse for the destruction they created. 'Murderers,' Quatre thought, feeling numb, 'That's basically what we are, no matter how we try to justify our actions. We say that we fight to protect innocents, fight to keep people from losing their loved ones, but all the soldiers we kill... don't they have families too? People they care about...' He felt cold, chest constricting painfully.
Arista was addressing him now, and Quatre was thankful for it. He tore
himself from his reflections and turned his attention to the girl once more. "Thank you," he replied, smiling gratefully, as she explained that he needn't worry about feeling unwelcome. It wasn't hard to believe her words. These people here had seemed kind, though burdened by the hardships they were currently facing. He was more concerned that he was intruding, being an outsider and ignorant of what they were going through.
Quatre refrained from inquiring what a pillar was, or who Eagle was. He had noticed the sad tone in Arista's voice when she mentioned those in her explanation. A few moments later the girl answered the latter herself, however, telling him that Eagle was her brother.
Unconsciously, Quatre bit his lip, eyes saddening. He wanted to say
something sympathetic but felt that it would appear false, since he hadn't known Arista's brother. "He was very special to you," the blonde remarked instead, voice quiet. It seemed like a strange thing to say, but it was a genuine observation, carrying no judgment or something of the sort.
'Iria...' He remembered his oldest sister. Out of all twenty-nine of them, he had been closer to Iria than the rest. Even though there was such a huge age difference between them, him being the youngest child, and only son, of the Winner family, she never seemed to mind spending time with him. They had lost contact for a while, when he had been sent to Earth with Sandrock, when Operation Meteor had begun.
'The next, and final time I saw her, and Father, was after the battle when I had to destroy Sandrock.'
Injured, he had taken a shuttle into outer space with his last remaining strength, before losing consciousness. When he had come to, he'd been in a hospital on one of the L4 colony cluster's resource satellites. The doctor taking care of him had been his own sister, Iria. Why hadn't he recognized her immediately?
'And then she took me to see Father. He and I started arguing almost
immediately. If only I could apologize for all the grief I must have caused him. He just wanted what's best for his children. Test tube-created or not, he loved all of us. He wanted me to be a good heir for the Winner family...'
Iria had frequently taken his side too, whenever their father disapproved of his ideas, or called him an incapable, disobedient child. Disobedient because he wanted to do certain things differently from his father, a strict pacifist. Incapable... because he was too young and weak in his father's eyes. Only a child. Someone whose opinions didn't matter.
Tears stung his eyes. His father would never say anything to him again
though, and neither would Iria. And it was all his fault, wasn't it? His father had sacrificed himself, not wanting to fight against OZ to keep them from taking over the colony. Quatre and Iria had tried to stop him, to no avail. In front of their very eyes, the resource satellite with their father on it had been blown to pieces. The explosion threw their shuttle to the side, Quatre was flung back... and Iria caught him, hitting the far end of the shuttle herself, sustaining a fatal injury. Among her last words, she'd called him a kind person. That wasn't true. He didn't deserve being looked at as someone good.
They had died because of his stupidity, his incompetence. And to make things worse, he had snapped completely afterwards, building a new gundam and destroying a whole colony! What good had that done? He had only murdered people, blinded by pain and confusion and hatred. He had even hurt Trowa, when his friend had tried to reason with him. Could anyone be more despicable than he was?
As his father had said to him that fateful day; what had his actions, his decision to go and fight on Earth done to help? It had only given OZ another excuse to attack the colonies in outer space. Quatre felt his ideals crumbling more and more. Maybe he truly was incapable, only managing to make a mess of things instead of solving the problem.
The boy clenched his hands, nails digging into his palms hard enough to draw blood. 'Forget about yourself and the constant mistakes you make for once, you hopeless idiot!' he berated himself, furious. 'The world doesn't revolve around you! There are people here, in the midst of serious problems and all you can think about is yourself...'
"I'm sorry I'm so spaced-out, Arista-san," Quatre said after a while, voice a little shaky. "I don't mean to seem so rude." He managed a smile, looking apologetic.
Ragyn's chin rested on his knee as he peered over the stalagmites of
the Ceohirean underworld. His keepn eyes darting back and forth
between members of his race, sleeping and living in suspended
animation. It took a powerful spell to accomplish such a feat. The
position of the current day Madoushi was thanks to the one who did
such as well as the Pillar system.
He wanted the Cephireans to destroy themselves. Internal struggles,
much like his own. "Kuu... I'll pay your sister and her friends a
visit in the morning..." Oh yes, in the morning he would re-awaken
them all. His head tilted. "And the shadow... what are you
planning? 'Tis no different any how. You will lose what you hold dear
in the end."
Neira took in Mackey's attire and realized that it was quite different
from her own. Of course, the garb on Cephiro was entirely different from the clothes she was accustomed to wearing in her homeworld of Fahren. The materials were much lighter in Cephiro. She could move in them more freely and was never overly warm unless standing too long in the sun. But more importantly, they were much more colorful than the red and black colors of the royal family of Fahren.
The young girl regarded the others in the room, noting that some of them were wearing clothes similar to Mackey's. Perhaps whatever that troubling feeling she had earlier was, this was only the beginning of it. Of course, the only wayt to know for certain, was to speak with the Guru himself.
Her eyes finally fell on Skyhawk as he approached. He looked like a very hard and cold young man. Something in his eyes, Neira thought. She
nearly jumped when he spoke, surprised to hear such a grim voice. She
listened intently as he spoke, shaking her head sadly when he was
’I really wish I could help you find a way home,’ she told Skyhawk,
offering the man a sad smile. ‘But even if I knew where
this...Earth...was, I'm afraid I don't know that kind of magic. The only one who can help you is Madoushi Clef.’
Her eyes once again traveled to the blond woman who had been with them.
She was surprised once again to hear a soft voice echoing in the back of her mind. This woman still remained a mystery to her. She so hoped that it was indeed Emeraude, but as the woman had said, there was business to attend to. She watched as Emeraude and Naomi walked off, her curiosity still running wild.
Fuu paced into her temporary room, turning momentarily to curtsy to
the young man who guided her. "Thank you, my good sir." She stood and
smiled softly. Fuu wasn't feeling quite herself, this was true. Her
mood wasn't bad by any means, but it made her a tad strange. After
hearing Ferio's information about the wardrobe she began to take
steps tward it, pausing when he made a proposal to leave. She was
silent for a moment, then she inclined her head toward the window
seeing the first young star of earliest night. "On Earth," she stared
while turning around to face her comrad once again. "On Earth it's a
tradition to make a wish on the first star of the night." Her eyes
became a little distant, "Make a wish, Prince Ferio."
Skyhawk nodded. "It's alright. I don't really expect to get back to
Earth anytime soon." He said walking alongside Emeraude, Mackey,
Naomi, and Neira. He smiled. "It's not really a problem. Cephiro
seems to be much more comfortable when not in such dreaded turmoil,
eh? A land of beauty and peace when it wants to be."
Chad watched as shadows gathered in front of his door. He closed his
eyes and took a deep breath, awaiting the arrival of the people he
had been expecting. Skyhawk, knocking softly, called out. "Brother,
are you in? It's rather urgent that we speak with you."
Chad took a deep breath and held it for a few moments. What was about
to happen now? "Brother? Are you concious?" Skyhawk asked again.
"Yeah. Come on in." Chad replied.
The doorknob turning slowly, and the door creaking open, in walked
the shaded man Chad had known to be his brother. The two stood across
from each other, glancing at one another. Even though Kyle had the
cover over his eyes, Chad knew that he was looking into his own.
"Do you realize your past? All of it?" Kyle asked. "I'm beginning to
have a better understanding of it. Why do you ask?" Chad replied, a
little anxiously. Kyle smirked a little. "You know, don't you? How?"
Chad closed his eyes and breathed his held breath out. "I have had
this moment coming for a long time, I guess. I just didn't realize it
until now. Our mother is out there isn't she?" Kyle nodded. "Yes she
is. She wants to meet you. Are you ready?" He asked placing a hand on
his younger brother's shoulder. Chad nodded. "I am. Let us be
reunited as a family once more. And hope that by some chance, we can
uncover the truth once and for all." Chad glanced over at the door at
the woman he had seen in his dreams so many times before. He didn't
know what to say. His voice was frozen, it had seemed. "Come on in."
He said nervously. He had awaited this moment forever, it seemed. To
meet at least one of the two individuals that had haunted his dreams
so much. Would the hauntings end now? Or would they increase? Minutes
seemed to take days as he awaited her entrance. He thought of
something else to say, his mind searching for more and more things to
start coversation. "It's been awhile, hasn't it?" He said a little
worried. Kyle looked over with a reassuring smirk. He knew what his
brother was feeling. He knew that he was at loss for words. He felt
that he might even be having to speak for his brother perhaps. Chad
looked at Neira, Naomi, and Mackey and also invited them in. "All of
you come in, I don't mind. I haven't had time to really mess up my
room yet." He said with a slight chuckle, trying to hide his nervous
behavior, in vain. As they entered, one could only think what was
about to happen next. The fated rendevous had arrived.
"A wish..." Ferio echoed, intrigued by the Earth tradition Fuu spoke of, slowly approaching the window. He looked thoughtful as his gaze wandered upwards to rest on the bright star in the dark sky above. A faint, contemplative smile danced across his lips as he wondered what he could possible make a wish about.
Peace and security for Cephiro and its inhabitants? Those sounded like
sensible, and most importantly, unselfish things to wish for, didn't they?
Ferio glanced back at Fuu for a moment, then up at the star again. A wish. That reminded him of the time when he had given the girl that
'communicator', though he hadn't actually called it that, and told her that if she made a wish it would grant it. To his surprise, Fuu had wished for his safety.
His thoughts returned to the present. 'I want Fuu to be happy,' he thought. 'That's my wish.' Turning his head, he smiled at the Magic Knight of Wind. "Well, I hope what I wished for comes true."
As Ferio stepped toward the window and began to gaze thoughtfully
at the star, Fuu had begun to explore the wordrobe. All of the cloths
were comfortable Cephirian wear. Loose and for the most part soft,
many adorned with various jewels. She wasn't one to dote over outfits
all day, so she quickly made her selection, picking a mint-green
outfit. She lifted it up the examine it, it was nothing like average
earth cloths, but it was nice. She folded it and set it in her lap
just as Prince Ferio smiled at her and hope for his wish. She stood
from her crouched position. "Indeed, it may." She looked around a
moment, trying to find a small sideroom or something to change in.
When she spotted the bathroom on near the corner of the room she
turned, "Please excuse me for a moment, I won't be long." She walked
into the restroom.
She only had socks on her feet, but she took them off anyway.
Wearing socks without shoes was wierd sometimes. She remembered a
time when she was little, she would just put socks on and slide
around the house on the hardwood floors. When she slipped and hurt
her side she didn't slide any more. She reached for the bottom set of
strings on the hospital gown, fiddling to untie it. After that we
went on to the next, and the next, then she arrived at the one that
was near impossable to reach. Fuu though, being somewhat flexable,
was able to grab a string of it and pull it into submission. One more
knot to untie and she let the temporary garment fall to the floor.
She picked up the Cephirian clothing that she had laid on the counter
and pulled it over her head. It was a dress, loose with a tie on the
side. She reached down, picking up the hanging pieces of cloth and
tangled them into a bow at her hip. Smiling for the change in her
outfit she re-entered the main room. She walked back over to the
window to stand beside her waiting Prince.
A few thoughts began to come crawling back into her mind. "Ferio,
How is Emeralde alive? I thought.." She stopped, getting choked off
by herself. She had been one of the ones who killed the Pillar. She
didn't want to think about her actions right now.
Leaning against the wall, Ferio waited for Fuu to return. When she did, he couldn't help gazing at her in admiration. The pale green colour of the dress she was now wearing accentuated her eyes while complementing the gold of her hair. She was strikingly beautiful, no doubt about that.
The fact that Fuu was asking him a question gradually registered in the
green-haired youth's mind. He blinked, a little embarrassed to have been staring so openly, and for a considerable amount of time at that. When he realized what the girl had just said, Ferio's eyes widened, and he grabbed Fuu's arm. "Emeraude?! You mean... you've seen my sister again? Alive?" he exclaimed, shocked. That white-haired stranger's words returned to him once more; he had said that the Princess was alive again, hadn't he?
Ferio hadn't believed it at the time. How could something like that be
possible at all? It seemed bizarre, especially considering that some
crimson-eyed man, whom they had never met before, had been the bringer of that information. But now that Fuu had brought it up too...
The prince shook his head, overwhelmed. "I don't know how it could be
possible. Maybe because of all the things that are happening? Somehow it might have called her back, I guess." He raked a hand through his hair, still looking completely bewildered. "Fuu... you've actually seen her physically, then? Here on Cephiro?"
Fuu was shocked. She didn't mean to alarm the young man do much.
She bit her bottom lip, feeling slightly guilty. At this rate Ferio
would die of fustration. Taking a deep breath, she attempted to
answer all of his questions, quickly. "It may be due to the current
events in Cephiro, I'm not sure. I have seen her though. Hikaru and
Umi first saw her at a party. She was with a buisness parter of Umi's
father. They brought her to visit me in the hospital, that's when I
saw her. As for her being in Cephiro.." the girl shook her head, her
blonde curls bouncing, "I'm not sure.." She bowed her head, trying to
think a moment.
Seeing that Fuu looked startled, even somehow guilty, Ferio let go of her arm, apologizing for reacting in such a vehement manner. He listened as the girl gave her explanation, then averted his gaze, a pensive frown on his face. Supposing that Emeraude was on Cephiro... Would that stranger's 'prophecy' be fulfilled then?
"Fuu... was a strange white-haired man with red eyes on Earth at some stage too? He showed up here, telling us that Emeraude had returned, but if we tried to call her, or you, Umi and Hikaru, it would bring about Cephiro's ultimate downfall. And then he said he wanted to 'help'." The prince turned to look at his blonde-haired companion again as he spoke. He continued, asking, "Did anything recently happen on your world that could mean there is some kind of connection between my sister's return and Cephiro's current state and all that? Especially if you met Emeraude on Earth..."
Realizing that he was asking too many questions, Ferio shook his head, an unusually self-conscious grin gracing his lips. "Sorry, it's probably getting too late for this kind of thing. Clef and I did suggest to everyone that resting for the night was a good idea, so I shouldn't be keeping you up with all these serious questions. We'll get answers to everything soon anyway, I'm sure," he said confidently. "At an upcoming meeting, hopefully."
Fuu nodded after the youth had spoken. She turned and walked
toward the chamber bed, "The man was on earth." She raised a hand
toward her face, pulling her glasses off. "He appered as Tokyo Tower
was falling. Nova was there as well, I think." She had reached the
bed and turned to sit on it's edge. The green-clad knight set the
eyeglasses down on a nearbye table. Setting her forehead in her hands
and leaning on her knees, "We would sleep on it, I suppose."