The young boy brought a gloved hand to his neck, gripping it loosely as he entered to the Main Hall, crooking his mouth as his dark brows drew together. So he was still here.. Zazu sighed, swallowing hard, and lifted his head up as he walked further in amongst all of the gathered faces. Was this an exclusive meeting, he wondered..?

His reddish eyes scanned the crowds, glinting dully from beneath the rim of his hunter-green mechanic's hat. He surprised himself by how many people he could recognize, but he was a member of the NSX, cousin to the.. the late Eagle. He and Geo had full responsibilities, nowadays, and with his leave, and Geo.. Geo having had fallen to the handicap of the illness, Autozam was up in arms, people falling sick left and right, system crash, system failure, impending doom.. the headlines haunted him, the newscastor's voice made him want to scream.

He was.. certain he could find something.. SOMEthing here, in Cephiro, at least..!! From what he had learned, he thought to himself, backing himself against a wall where he would not be tangled in amongst people who might interrogate him, from what he had SEEN since his only very recent coming to Cephiro.. the uncommon occurrence was not so.. uncommon here. It all had to be connected somehow. It had to be. It was much too ironic not to be..

Zazu brought his hands up to his upper arms and rubbed them there quickly and shortly, attempting to stifle the goosebumps he knew were there on account of a sudden chill. He felt tired and.. worn and.. and just sick to his stomach with worry. Every moment that went by that he wasn't finding solutions Geo was still in the hospital, going without the proper treatment. Every mom that went by that he wasn't finding solutions, Geo was still in the hospital, dying. Geo seemed like.. like all he'd really ever had, next to Eagle. The steady decline of Autozam seemed almost.. unreal.. insignificant.. Zazu snapped back into reality, chiding himself, hating himself for that, but he really could not deny it. It was the truth.

If Geo died, Zazu could not see much else in his future.

the boy sighed, leaning back, taking in his breath slowly and steadily in an attempt to calm, to break the tension that had his slender and painfully pale, however characteristically Autozamian, body taut almost to pain.

Clef was taking action now.. he would help. He had to. He just had to... Zazu suddenly caught the face of she, Arista, in the midst of the clamour. She bore such a striking resemblence to her brother.. It was uncomfortable. It pulled the young mechanic in more ways than he wanted.. a part of him was soothed, mollified as he looked on her while another.. Another was wrought with distress from the memory. She was.. nice though. Soft spoken.. wise.

Just like he was..

Ascot lifted his chin and his eyes, searching out the Guru, beginning to feel a measure of anxiousness tug at his composure at being in the midst of such a congregation. He supposed it was childish though.. he was supposed to be a member of the High Council, meetings as these were... Well. He should be able to deal with them and function in a respectable and productive manner, shouldn't he? It was all business.. He drew a breath and expelled it quickly, always really having been self conscious of such things.

Drawing his eyes to the front of the room where he knew the stout mage waited to begin his, what Ascot assumed to be, summary of Cephiro's current state and hopefully propose a solution, the tall young man caught something else instead, before he could spy on the lavender-haired Doushi.

The irregular movement in the formal area where people had already taken seats was what first had caught his attention, frowning pale, peach-coloured lips set among equally frowning, shadowed and youthful green eyes. He blinked as he recognized her, waving to him, smiling almost.. almost in what seemed to be an effort to stifle something perhaps more grave..? Ascot hesitated, wondering on this.

Before he could wonder very far however, his previous attempts at fighting to keep his blush down were all for naught, and he felt an embarrassing heat flood his normally fair visage. Umi waved the hat she had nipped from him the night before, clear over her head, and he really could not help the large sweatdrop that was taking him.

"E.. eto.." Ascot mumbled, nearly grumbled awkwardly to himself, fighting for the life of him to expel the healthy glow that had taken his face. He bit his cheek and met her playful, watery gaze. She motioned for him to join her...

Seeing no escape and.. almost feeling a sense of relief it was.. Umi, Ascot relented and stood up from the wall, hesitating a moment and for some reason, failed in resisting a look around him before joining her. As he approached her though, he couldn't help but feel out of place.. awkward and, well, embarrassed for reasons he, himself could not imagine why. He, mind you, did not make so many attempts.

He bit his lip and could not stifle the nearly frightened air that pervaded the brilliant green of his eyes for the split of a mere moment, meeting the gazes of those around her: her fellow nights.. Lantis.. even Nova. He nearly shook his head, angry suddenly that he should be so overwhelmed. He knew these people.

Tearing his focus away from the circumstance, he silently accepted Umi's offer to sit in the seat beside her, translating the offer in question from her slender and petite arm as it motioned towards the the space next to where she sat.

Leaning forward but tipping his chin upwards, he focused dark green eyes from behind equally dark hair on the blue fabric of Umi's slight shoulder, noting the fine and glinting blue strands that fell haphazard about it. He was at a loss for words...

"Oyy.." he mumbled, a blush creeping across his face again as his mouth crooked embarrassedly, "You brought that with you..!" His eyes fell to his hat which she held in her lap now, having had thankfully discontinued her advertisement of it, his fine and dark brows pulling together in pathetic distress.

“Im sorry but We parted with out me returning it to you. I really shouldn’t have taken it in the first place. I… Umi blinked noting a few stares. “I mean… well.. sorry.” Her eyes shimmered for a moment as pain, and the ugliness of war seemed so far away as she tried to hide a sudden rose tint in her own cheeks. She had never thought that someone might think… well Ascot wouldn’t give up his hat willingly and after all she did it to make him smile, right?

Her hand extended once more out towards his seat. “Here… you might want the shield up for today.” The black cloth of the hat rested in the mid of her hand drooping from its own weight yet held in check by the golden band.

While focusing her attention on clef keeping sure that her eyes followed his every movement she still held out Ascot’s hat to him. “Are you embaressed? I didn’t mean… I mean I was trying to get you to lighten up.” Her eyes lost their glint. “Everyone seems so sad even after the pillar system collapsed. I wish the Magic Knights could do something to finally help everyone instead of hold Cephiro down.”

“I still…” Umi silenced herself and forced a smile. “Someday I’ll make it up to everyone. I cant do much. Im just a normal girl on Earth with no powers or talents but I quess I could make a cake. Im not sure if Clef would like sweats but Im pretty sure Caldina wouldn’t mind.” Her head finally turned to him and limply dropped his hat into Ascot’s lap. The ocean like hair fell over Umi’s shoulder and spilled haplessly into her lap much like a stream. The morning light glittered across the surface making the strands ripple in the light like waves.

She felt suddenly awkward and shifted in her seat a little. Ascot had been a child when she meet him hadn’t he? Then he had willed his body to grow leaving his mind to catch up but now… now was he too mature? Did burdens fall so heavily on him and what was he thinking? She just couldn’t understand want he thought of the situation at hand. What he thought about himself…

Neira allowed herself to be escorted to a seat. As she walked down the ailse with Baron Drakov, Hikaru and Nova, she made a mental note of everyone in the room. Again she knew very few of them, but for them to be in the same room must've been very important. She took an empty seat in the third row. She would've preferred the aisle seat, but someone (anyone!) had beat her to it. Instead she quietly excsed herself to sit in the second seat. It was either that or walk all the way around to sit on the other end. The seats were apparantly filling up quickly and evryone wanted a close seat. She smiled politely and nodded to Drakov as she sat down. He moved on with Hikaru and Nova.

Neira focused her attention on Clef and the Magic Knights. She breifly caught sight of Drakov one last time as he took a seat near Clef. The young woman's mind began to ask many silent questions. But what was the most important is that her questions from the night before wre about to be answered. Oh, no one had said anything to the effect to reassure her of this. She just...knew.

Folding her hands on her lap, she let her eyes roam once again, awaiting Clef to speak.

Fuu sighed. She had taken a seat in the front of the room, which she knew was reserved for her and her two comrads. She was looking down at her lap, wringing her hands a tad nervously. Hoping that nothing too serious had happened lately and hoping that Presea wasn't offended by her earlier comment. As she watched her fingers entangle themselfs together in anxious gestures she couldn't help but think. Thinking was almost the "Fuu thing" to do. She prayed that the meeting would come to order soon, at least it would give her something to think about. She was running out of ideas.

Presea smiled tiredly, shaking the hand of the young girl that had sat beside her. There was a distinct feeling she knew this person, but...she glanced over at Fuu, curiously noting the resemblence. "It is nice to meet you." She heisitated. "Is it possible that I know you from some where? You look most familar."

Baron Drakov kept his Chizetan pipe angled away from the gathering. There was nothing at all in the way of harmful substances that could damage a human's body on what he puffed, unlike cigars on worlds like Earth. In the pipe was a rare Chizetan herb that gave off a fragrant spicy odor, like flowers on that world. He did not want however, the slightest distraction to the senses of all in the gathering.

He swept a corner of his cape aside, hands calmy crossed before him. Then he leaned forward to lightly tap Clef on the shoulder. "Ignore me, old friend. I get the feeling you have important tasks for these people. I won't get in the way." whispered the Baron, keen hawkish eyes observing the assembly, particularly the three Magic Knights who sat up front and the Princess Emeraude.

Hikaru blushed a little when she heard Lantis's voice in her ear. "It's ok...but I'm worried about Nova...she's been crying and I don't know what I can do for her." Hikaru turned around and smiled. Glancing at Nova she decided upon talking with her other half. "Nova? Please talk to me? What's the matter...what is upsetting you?"

"Uhm...Well, no...we have not met before, Presea-san. I just arrived here only last night," Kyoko replied in a voice that could only be noted as nervous and shaky.

The girl offered the older woman a small, appologetic smile for having confused her and turned to look in the direction in which she could spot her mother. It seemed that her resemblence to her mother was far too strong to go unnoticed. If anyone other then Clef were to find out who she could lead to trouble. What would happen if her parents were to discover her identity? That could led to results that might not be in her favor.

Overcome by a sudden feeling of dizziness, Kyoko brought her hand to her brow, leaning forward in her seat. Her eyes clenched shut as she tired to regain control of her senses. Now was not a good time for her to fall ill. Hopefully, no one would notice her sudden physical distress. She swiped a stray lock of her hair away from her eyes and exhailed deeply, slowly sitting straight in her chair. She would have to hold out until Clef was done speaking. There were far more important things to deal with right now.

Nova hesitated for a few moments before she looked up to answer Hikaru. "Hikaru...why have you been so kind to me all this time? I don't deserve it from you or anyone else in Cephiro after all I've done...I don't even deserve to be sitting here beside you like this...I know what I did is unforgivable..." She then looked down to the floor, not even looking at Lantis, knowing very well that he was standing there.

Emeraude gave the baron one last look, along with a careful gentle smile, before she took a seat next to Kyoko, which seemed to be one of the nearest available open spots. "Pardon, Miss, do you mind if I took my seat here?"

The golden-haired woman noticed the young woman looking slightly ill somewhat. "Are you feeling all right?"

Arista smiled, slightly amused, as her violet eyes glittered in a matching expression, at the pretty, hyper, light-haired woman who had joined their conversation. "No, I dont believe we're met before," the Autozamian laughed lightly, "In fact, I just arrived yesterday."

She tilted her head and gave Caldina a warm smile. "I am Arista Celeste Vision," she shook Caldina's hand, perhaps you've met my brother, Eagle? Everyone used to say I resembled him..." she laughed, "despite my silver hair and violet eyes."

Arista looked at Quatre for a brief moment and gave him a faint smile, and soon turned her attention back to the woman, "And you are? Might I have the pleasure of having your name, Miss?"

As she waited for an answer, a pair of eyes caught her gaze. Zazu. Was it simply her imagination or did she see a pained look in eyes? Arista grimaced slightly, but returned her attention to Caldina, giving her a faint smile.

"Shouldnt we find a place to sit?"

"Huh?" Kyoko glanced up at the Princess through the curtain of blond hair that had spilled over her shoulder. She flashed Emeraude a weak, and slightly uneasy, smile. "Of coarse. Please sit down. And thank you for your concern, but I assure you that I'm fine."

Kyoko tried her best to hide what she was feeling at that moment. She couldn't believe it...her Aunt Emeraude was sitting beside her, giving her a smile that obviously showed how sweet and kind she was. What does one say to a relative that had died before they had been born. The nausia she had been feeling excelled slightly, causing her head to spin. She gripped the sides of her chair, willing herself to calm her feuding emotions. A lone tear slipped, un-noticed by Kyoko, down her cheek as she glanced at Emeraude from the corner of her eyes.

"Aunt Emeraude...I can't believe you're alive...right here beside me..." she thought to herself, biting her bottom lip and praying that Clef would speak soon.

Hikaru's eyes widened at Nova's answer. She lowered her gaze a little, Hikaru hated seeing Nova like this. She so wanted her to feel welcome and loved, 'have I been causing her more pain?'

"Nova...I- I love you, you are a part of me...I've already forgiven you...none of it was your fault...I only wanted you to feel welcome..." she stammered, the feeling of it being all her fault washed over her and her smile faltered.

Nova looked up at Hikaru, knowing that she had begun to blame herself for Nova's unhappiness. Nova smiled at Hikaru. "It's not your fault, Hikaru...I know you were only trying to help. And you're right...everyone in this palace has been so kind to me...even if I don't deserve it." She then took Hikaru's hand. "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, Hikaru. I really didn't mean to. I think I just felt really out of place."

Neira wasn't certain when her attention had been diverted, but it happened instantaeously and with absolutely no thought. There was no way to tell what had caused the change either. Perhaps waiting was boring her. It felt as if she'd been sitting for far too long - something she wasn't used to so early in the morning. She should be practicing or reading her book out in the garden. But that was of little importance when Guru Clef was about to make an announcement

Guru Clef.

Perhaps it had been Clef's sudden show of illness that upset her. It was not her place to pry but she had to admit to being worried. She could not remember another time when he had looked so pale. She wanted to step up to help, but she realized he was under good care already. The young girl helping him and Umi arrival reassured her that he would be all right.

Okay so what was going on? What was this all about? She'd been in the dark since the day before...someplace she didn't like being. Maybe that was what distracted her so...her own curiosity. It had awoken her from a deep slumber many a night, kept her up late at night when she was trying to study, or write a letter to her cousins, Aska, who constantly sent her letters and scrolls. Thinking of home also misdirected her thoughts.

Shaking her head, Neira heaved a sigh. After rearranging herself in her seat, she calmly awaited the word of the Guru while listening to the noise around her.

Mackey sat back in her chair, legs crossed, chewing slightly on her left thumbnail. This was the only visible indication of her nervousness, as her face and general manner were completely calm. She was sitting in an aisle seat so she nodded in greeting when Neira, another redheaded girl, and a strange man. The man was well-dressed and appeared to be some sort of noble, if the society of this world followed any sort of class system. She hadn't managed to catch the man's gaze as she observed him, something for which she was sort of glad. The Baron gave her a sort of creepy feeling, as if he somehow had eyes in the back of his head and was watching everything that happened around him. The Shadow had given her this same sort of feeling, Mackey remembered, but she reasoned that it was much more irking to get this feeling from some random guy than from the Shadow himself, who was supposed to have that kind of all-knowing power. Afraid that she might get caught staring, Mackey quickly yet casually turned her head in the other direction, hopefully before the Baron could notice.

It was amazing to observe how rapidly things seemed to progress, but without ending up anywhere at all as of yet. One event upon the other took place, but still no answers came. It was all very mystifying. However, Quatre knew that it was not his place to question what was going on. He was curious as to how he could have suddenly appeared in the Grand Foyer of this palace, among all these other people, when he had been in his temporary sleeping quarters before. Quite a relief to know that he had gotten dressed early in the morning, really...

Apparently that lavender-haired mage, Madoushi Clef, as Quatre had eventually learned, had summoned them all to the room sooner than planned due to unexpected circumstances.

His attention was drawn to Arista, as the girl approached him. The blonde smiled warmly as she greeted him with a friendly good morning. "Good morning," he replied in turn. "I'm sorry though, I'm not sure what's going on..."

A few moments later, Quatre saw the pink-haired young woman, who had found him in the forest upon his arrival to this world, when he had been wounded, making her way towards him and Arista. A grateful smile lit up his features at the recollection. "Good morning! Thank you for your help yesterday, Miss..." the boy trailed off abruptly, realizing that he didn't know her name. A dismayed blush coloured his normally pale cheeks. Quatre's cerulean eyes grew apologetic and he clasped his hands together in front of him, repeatedly interlacing his fingers in a self-conscious manner.

The attractive light-haired woman didn't seem to notice his distress at his negligence however, nor did she appear to think ill of him, to his relief. She was speaking to Arista now, and Arista, glancing back at Quatre for a moment and giving him a smile, inquired what her name might be. Quatre smiled back, then nodded as the silver-haired Autozamian maiden suggested a few minutes later that they should find a seat just as everyone else had.

Umi paused watching Ascot. She had the strangest feeling that he would be different the next day. Perhaps it was... She smiled softly. Perhaps he would smile even more and she hoped so. Her attention focused on Clef. He had been stanging there watching everyone quietly talk behind their hands. Everyone was almost assembled so who was he waiting on? She swivled in her seat looking about. Chad? Megor? Mackey? Where were they?

A sigh escaped the blue haired Knight's lips in a tremble. Well it was almost time, she felt it, but she knew also that Clef would stay his words untill they showed up or at least for another few minutes. She reassured herself by looking back at Ascot and his chiseled features promising that someday she would bake a cake for him because after all there were never any real goodbyes even if she did leave Cephiro.

Rather taken aback by the fact that he was truly seeing his late sister alive and well among all of them as it seemed, Ferio decided to keep his distance for the time being, instead of approaching the princess. There were countless questions on his mind, needless to say, but he knew that they would have to wait. Madoushi Clef had something urgent to address the whole assembly about, after all.

The prince sighed inwardly, unconsciously biting his lower lip as he made his way towards a seat. Who was that girl that had been talking to Clef earlier on? It intrigued him that she bore a remarkable resemblance to Fuu. Was she a relative of the Wind Knight's? He was curious. Maybe he could talk to Fuu later, if time allowed it. Ferio's gaze wandered through the seated crowd to the front, where the three Magic Knights sat, and lingered on Fuu for a few moments.

Last night's conversation with her, and the short amount of time he had gotten to spend in the company of the golden-haired girl had left him wondering more than he had been before. Would the day come when he would have to face letting her go forever? A part of him quickly pointed out that Fuu was her own person and her life lay in her own world. Cephiro, and he, realistically didn't belong...

With a slight shake of his head, Ferio banished his thoughts for the moment. He had to remember who he was and what his duties were, first and foremost. The prince took a seat, briefly noting that he was sitting next to a young woman with short, emerald-coloured hair adorned with a few flowers, whom he couldn't recall ever having seen before.

Leilandra had been thinking about News that she had herad about a plant nearby when a green haired man sat down next to her. She turned and started to say hello, but when she saw it was no one other then the crown prince, Fario. "Oh my lord Fario. I umm..." she traveled off. Never in a million years did she think she was going to meet him. Then reality smaked her upside the head. The young magic user held out her hand and smiled at him. "My name is Leilandra and I'm here to help you in anyway I can sir."

Baron Drakov killed the light on his pipe and tucked it within the folds of his robe as a woman clad in the simple white dress of a Palace servant fairly tiptoed into the room, bearing a tray of steaming cups of Cephironian tea. Following the pipe's return came the lightly bloodstained handkerchief that had wiped the wounds of the Prince and the Wind Knight's daughter.

The nobleman settled back languidly as the servant passed cups of tea to all in the gathering, with him and Clef serviced last. Drakov nodded his thanks and took a sip of the spicy rousing concoction. Through the screen of steam rising from that cup gazed again the focused hawk-like orbs that were his eyes. His very being and his every movement, he knew very well, was being scrutinized by all in the gathering. Only one absolutely knew who he was. She was in the same room as her brother and future niece.

Another was receiving odd unexplainable vibes from him, finding it vaguely and spine chillingly recognizable, but could not put her finger on it.

Drakov smiled a thin knowing smile over the rim of his cup. There was no way any ordinary man would have known an ex-assassin and daughter of a yakuza mobster was covertly watching him.

He watched Hikaru Shidou and Nova interact for a moment, forgiving each other and mending old wounds before facing Clef, knowing he was to speak within a minute.

Fuu found her lap to be very boring, so she looked up and back. Just to see if Presea seemed to be any better, that's all. Beside her though, was the near clone of herself. It gave her the chills for some reason, and she felt as if there was something concerning herself envolved. She continued to bring her head around gazing at Emerulde. What she had told Ferio had not been wrong. She bit her lip, today was getting wierd. It was almost like an episode of "The Twilight Zone" that her American-born cousin watched all the time. Fuu always knew there was something wierd about the show, even if she couldn't understand what they were saying. She moved her gaze around until her eyes fell upon Prince Ferio. He was looking in the direction of the knights, so she smiled and waved at him. She missed his sight though, and he walked off to find a seat. She forced her emerald eyes off of him. It was rude to stare. She looking back to Presea, diciding to figure out what it was that could have made her sick. The blonde girl bit her lip again. She must have been sick a while, she obviously hadn't been exercising lately. She fished for ideas for a moment. Her eye's widened when the obvious came to her. She jumped up in a movement of confustiong and exitment. "Presea!" She turned to face the Pharle, "Could-could you be pregnat!?" She didn't mean to yell, but it was her conclution. She saw heads turn her way, and she popped a hand over her mouth. "Umm...I-uh, Nevermind." She turned and sat down, her face beat red.

Presea stared at Fuu in shock. Pregnant? Her? It did seem to make some sense, yet...She felt her cheeks burning bright red, as others around her turned to look. "Um...I..." She was at a loss for words. She wasn't really interested in anybody enough to...she coughed slightly. No, she took that back. There WAS someone, but Presea simply did not put any effort into romance, not taking too much interest into it. She hid her eyes beneath golden bangs and turned to Clef to await his announcements.

A young girl ran dressed in a handmaid outfit was runing thorugh the halls, gasping for air. "Why...*pant*...did they...*wheez* send me to do this?!?!" Kemi, only female child of cheif mechanic on her home plant, ran through the long halls of the place. She needed to find some guys from Autozam, then go back to Maria to make her report.

As she continued to run, many faces caught her eye and she could esedrop. Kemi hread that the princess of Autozam was here in Caphiro and this made her smile. "Mabey this war can finally end the war that her world and Metalaltoid has bewaging can end if she dies. Oh, Maria will be soooooo happy about the fact that she is here."

Unfortanitly, she hadn't been watching and slamed into a person near her. The black haired youth slamed into the floor and rubbed her head. "Ouchy...."

She looked over at the person she had hit. He was only about an inch or so taller then her, and he was dressed in green, balck, and cream colors, as well as a green mechanics hat.

Chad and Megor stood side by side watching everything in the room. Chad glanced over at Megor real quick. "Do you think my brother is going to be here?" Megor shrugged. "How would I know? He's of no importance to me. Keep your attention on the Guru. He has missions for us, I'm sure." Chad looked back at Clef awaiting his orders. "Yeah. I wonder if he'll pair me and you up together." Megor winced. "He had better not if he knows what's good for Cephiro. Us standing together like this will make him think we're friends or something." Megor said sidestepping a few times away from Chad, him doing the same. Chad glared at Megor. "Would it so much KILL you to be a little bit friendlier?!" He asked rather annoyed. Megor returned the glare. "It does kill you when you don't exactly LIKE a person!" Chad grumbled a little and then spoke back. "What did I do again? Did I urinate in your wheaties this morning?!" Megor's face grew red with anger. "No, you're breathing!" Chad's face grew red as well, as he turned to Megor, glaring, Megor turning to him glaring as well. The two let out growls at each other, Chad rolling his sleeves up and Megor cracking his knuckles. The two were barely up for a few hours this morning and already they were ready to rumble! But..Not for the sake of Cephiro!