The spacious room was filled, if one dared to believe that the amount of people filled the room, however the noise of the gather did fill the room to it's complete compacity. Clef had allowed himself to dwell upon his thoughts too deeply and regreted the action for he had missed several entrances of people he had yet to encounter and it seemed that if he allowed himself to think anymore more people would be place in the castle from else where. The beginings of a sad smile slithered to each side of his thin lips pursed in patient care as his eyes darted to each face in the room. Hikaru with the expression of truth and friendship. The latest pillar of Cephiro. Umi with thoughtful eyes towards the Bal. Clef sighed softly leting his fingers tighten on his staff before moving on to the next face. Fuu. Always so serious yet there was a loss to her now, perhaps reflected in that of the young Prince's eyes. Clef let his eyes linger on a very familiar yet a face that brought back so much love and sadness. Emeruald.

He turned away a little to face the complete crowd while lifting then bringing his staff down roughly. The loud thud resounded across the foyer into the connecting rooms and slowly faded out. Time was long over due with assigning the missions and he had rightly agreed to Chad's suggestions, although he still greived to send anyone out in harms ways. Gently he cleared his throat, at first unsure as how to start. He would allow yet once more for all discussion to stop and forwarn of dangers before everyone. These missions would be volunteer yet somehow he figured everyone asked would assume the mission given. It was with a grave and heavy heart that he would send off people to the more hostile areas but it was in great hast that he would send them off for Rashara's book. That book was a key, he assumed, in anything related to Ragyn. History did have a way of repeating itself.

"I fear that before I begin I must warn you." His breath came out as a steady sigh masking his nervous feelings about the true missions each group would be given. "That beyond this palace lies lands were monsters roam still. Cephiro has fallen once more to the depths of fear and even despair..." He shook his head and looked at Zazu. "Many of our people and those of foreign lands..." His eyes wondered over to Caldina's. "have become gravely ill and lay dying. It is not without warrent that many have drawn connections with this new being called Ragyn."

"I know that many of you have questions and requested to speak to me privately but please allow me to finish before addressing me... my friend... young Kyoto..." He sighed wishing he could delay longer. "These missions will not all be in forgiving or even loving lands. For instance the southern and eastern lands are hostile against those for or in acceptance of the Magic Knights and it is in great hesitance that I send you there but a team or two most go." His eyes lingered on Hikaru for a moment. "Weapons and armor will be provided for those individuals who select to go on these missions. It is noted that these missions are volunteer and any who wish not to continue may say so..." Clef awaited anyone’s answer as to if they were leaving. His eyes full of worry as he watched each person hoping that at least a few would be able to escape from danger.

Megor gritted his teeth. "All of those that give any kind of disrespect to me or my family will regret it dearly. Send me to the Southern and Eastern lands for my missions." He said cracking his knuckles.

Chad placed his hands in his pockets. "I don't care where you send me, as long as it can help out pretty good. I don't want to be useless."

Elsewhere, Skyhawk walked around calling Ragyn's name. "Ragyn! Get out here! I'm not going to ask very much longer!" Skyhawk was around one of the towns to the north. "Ragyn! I know you can hear me, so don't waste any more of my time. I have come to offer my services, however, I need to know a few things about your cause, first! Before I join anything, I like to know the facts!" He said smiling slightly.


A fold of the Cephironian crimson cape was draped aside on the hovering chair beside Clef's, and the Baron Drakov's fingers entwined around one another to rest on his lap. Head bowed slightly, the nobleman was relaxed and uninterested to all outside appearances. Perhaps seeing this meeting as a chance to unwind.

It would have surprised them greatly had they known what was actually going on in the Baron's mind. Sharp grey eyes from under a thatch of dark hair continued to observe the people gathered. The Karasu's daughter was here as well, it turned out. She seemed to be the one holding him under her gaze the longest, as if sensing the presence of a facade but could not give it substance. He had to congratulate her for her keeness.

One of the youths was apparently lusting for conflict to coincide with defending his family's honor. One of Princess Emeraude's sons had joined Ragyn, the other son stood before them now, proclaiming his willingness to fight for what he knew now to be his true homeworld.

The glimmer of a smile tinged with the mystery of a sphinx's riddle appeared on Drakov's lips. The adopted son of the Desert Ghost would be far, far, from useless no matter what he did. Little did he know it, but being his mother's son, upon him among a handful others such as the Magic Knights rested the stability of this world.

And to some extent, that same stability rested on him as well.

He knew Clef would assign the appropriate people for the right places.

Then he himself would take equally appropriate steps.

Till that moment, he had only to listen to what the gathered and the Guru had to say.


But no one raised a hand nor stepped back to decline a mission instead around the room eyes filled with the vigor of youth as his strength was stolen from each limb. If it was of their voluntary actions then he would gladly see them off with all the weapons and armor that they would need but there would still be danger and, his fist clinched even tighter around the staff, possible death lurking just beyond the borders of the crystal palace. With a heavy sigh Clef resigned himself once more to the task ahead of them all regretting that he would not be able to leave the Palace himself for fear of attack. “Then so it is…” Lavender hair covered eyes closed in deep regret and sorrow but for the sake of all Cephiro and three other worlds, no four were at great risk if action was not taken.

“The first mission will not be easy…” His eyes opened to glance respectively around the room finding and meeting the gaze of three individuals. “Hikaru… Nova… and Mackey…” Clef allowed his voice to soften a bit. “The first mission is yours. I would like for you to retrieve a book for me from a dear friend and fellow Yil. Please meet the Yil Rashara and retrieve the ancient book ‘Tragica Pillar.’ I have already contacted him via flying messenger stating that you will meet him in a town just west of his home. The town is on the very eastern side of Cephiro which is extremely hostile to those supporting the Magic Knights. This particular town called Leiyo is exceptionally vicious… therefore I will ask you to disguise yourselves as best you can.”

“Upon entering the town of Leiyo there will be a tavern called ‘Amethia’ where you will meet with Rashara. You will know of him by the band which rings his forehead. In the middle will contain a star shaped stone next to a blue half moon stone. His robes will bare the ornaments of armor and he may carry with him one of his seiyu… a bird of yellow and green coloring.” Clef smiled softly. “I will that you be safe in your journeys…” Both there and back, Clef mused. It was not the traveling in this mission he was concerned about but the town’s people themselves. They, the towns people of Leiyo, had seemed the first in Cephiro to fall under a dark spell which ensnared them to fight against the loss of the Pillar system and reach out for a new Pillar.

“Remember to conceal yourselves at all times one in the eastern region of Cephiro for I can not protect you there. Hikaru, Nova… Mackey…” His head bowed as he sent out a small prayer to the Creator. “You will have time to discuss matters while I assign the other groups.” He turned away from them finding it suddenly hard to meet anyone’s eyes. Was this really the best thing? He might find valuable information in this book about the past of the Pillar and Cephiro itself but would there be a link as to why Ragyn hated Cephiro…Cephireans, and the whole Pillar system in that one text? If it was only that easy…


Clef lowered his staff a little towards the audience in the foyer. “Second mission will be given to Umi… Ascot…” Clef paused considering an alternative but decided against it. There was something connecting Megor with Umi though not understood at this point by him. It was concerned with Earth or at least a search of sorts. He smiled hoping it was not a hostile connection. “…and Megor. The three of you are to travel to the western area of Cephiro and cross the channel of Sirena to an island called Feralin Dormai. There on Feralin Dormai is an area of extensive ruins which I would like for you to investigate. All I know is that these ruins contain text and glifs (old Cephirean picture symbols) that are hinted to be around the age of the first pillar. These ruins and the text left behind may leave us a clue as to what happened …and the war that destroyed the ancient city. Please take parchment with you to record your findings. Also Ascot please ask one of your Seiyu to help since the Island is covered in dense jungle.”

He lowered his lashes so that only a sliver of his eyes glinted in the mid-morning sun. “Use caution while traveling over the land and even when you reach the island because it is uncertain as to which region controls Feralin Dormai. Both the South and west seem to have claimed it though they have very conflicting views of who should rule Cephiro. I will caution you again to stay to the upper north of the island where the ruins are and do not travel southward. Sink wholes and secret underground tunnels, which have not been traveled for thousand of years collapse in with unsure footing though the area to the north is receptively safe.”

The mermaids may choose to guide them on their journey over the channel of Siren although, Clef thought, the mermaids rarely help anyone out. It is those with truthful hearts that they often help or hinder because even the darkest hearts can be truthful, terribly truthful.

Umi could barely nod her head at Clef. She couldn’t help but feel how much he wanted to help out more, perhaps by going on with Hikaru’s team or even her own. Two probable hostile lands against the magic Knights? Why had he chosen these tasks for them then? Perhaps it was that reason that they were the Magic Knights that had helped him along.

Blue eyes once more frightened and worry looked almost alien on a determined face. She would go there and help out Cephiro. It was for her and for everyone that this would happen… including her mother. Umi glanced sideways at Ascot. That was right… everyone was suffering a loss at the current point. Ascot was losing his friends.

“We’ll do it. We will bring him back all the information and it will ….” Her voice died down. “Hopefully contain what he needs to help out…right?” Her determination wavered for a second but firmly she shook her head and smiled. “Right. You ready for it Ascot?” Then she turned around in her seat trying to find the one who had appeared on her first day here, the one called Megor. She waved at him hoping that he might seat himself closer to herself and Ascot.


“As it is very important to understand a beast to tame it so is it the same that we understand the enemy. Unlike the past I do not wish to repeat any of it for with Hikaru’s help it had finally become a very beautiful and free country but now it begins to darken…I wish for the safe return of the Cephiro Hikaru created.” A glimmer of a smile, a small light of hope lingered on Clef’s face. “That is why I have selected many missions to gather information and perhaps only one to check on the military juncture of Cephiro. The next mission continues with information gathering…”

“Fuu…Ferio… and Kyoko…” Clef grinned almost mischievously at Kyoto. “you have been selected to go on the third mission. Ferio I will not send you out of the lands that have dedicated themselves to you as a Prince for fear that other lands will…” He shook his head. “It is best that you stay with in your boundaries. The mission is to question the towns people of Sornowa which is a floating island. There both the fairy or sprites like Primera live in harmony and if not out numbering the Cephireans. The fairy/sprite race is sad to have been well remembered of ancient lore which speaks of many races including those from other worlds. You mission is to travel to Sornowa which floats in the skies of the southern area of the central land region just a day’s journey away.”

“I will lend you a dear friend to take you up there…Fyulu.” On three occasions the flying fish had saved them and his services were once more needed. “I suggest that you take Primera with you because fairies talk better with their own kind if they have not been raised with that person. Once Fyulu carries you to Sornowa there is an elderly Sprite by the name of Zenith. She once served on the advisory council with myself for the floating Islands…” Digressing he nodded at Fuu and Ferio. “The floating Islands respect the Prince and the Magic Knights so it will be doubtfull that you will come into any trouble although I still suggest taking your weapons. Zenith should give you all that you need to know.”

Only recently had he found out about how much lore Zenith knew although she repeatedly called it ‘history.’ There in the lore deep and buried far from most Cephirean’s the sprites had kept the retelling of the ancient race… a third race of people who once coexisted with everyone.

Fuu's head gave an almost subconscious nod, causing her curls to bounce, "Hai..almost like," she stopped for a moment, "Like a reasearch paper." She smiled softly, but her eyes reflected with worry. Hikari and Umi, her best friends and dear "sisters" had been sent on fearful missions. She closed her eyes for a moment, her smile fading. Why sould she be safe while they're looking out for they're life? She opened her eyes again, passing them by her fellow knights. She smiled again, "They are special, they can do anything. And they have our other dear friends going with them..."

* * * *

Kyoko felt herself blinking rapidly as Clef assigned her to accompany her parents, slightly confused for a moment. Her eyes caught the grin he had cast in her direction and she felt herself smiling back at him in understanding. Clef had always been clever, so it was no wonder that he must have figured out who she was, if not at least having a vauge idea. She listened intently as he spoke of the details of their mission, casting a glance in the direction of her parents a time or two.

"I was brought here to help in anyway that I can and I will not fail to do so," she thought to herself, feeling both determined and dedicated.

Her only true worry was having to be quite so close to not just one, but both of her parents in the time it took them to carry out their mission. She knew not of their relationship's 'status' at the time, so if they were to find out she was indeed their child, the results could be unfruitful. Kyoko could only hope that they did not find out until the right time, if they did at all. Dispite this worry, she was not going to decline accompanying them. She's still have to speak with Clef once he had assigned all of the missions. Especially since... well... frankly, she didn't have any sort of weapon to use.

Kyoko folded her hands in her lap and waited, curious as to what would happen next.


Clef cleared his throat again. Four more tasks and many more people to go. The quiet murmurs of discussion trickled to his ears. Relief and sorrow. Lantis was mumbling about going with Hikaru but Clef made eye contact and shook his head.

“Many of you both loyal friends of the Magic Knights not journeying forth will discover that we still have a palace to protect and villages to help out with. We need people here as badly as we need people out there. I have faith in all of you that we will all accomplish the assigned tasks…”

“So to continue the forth mission will be given to Presea… Caldina… and Neira.” Clef watched Presea for a moment then turned to Caldina and Neira. “I have chosen this mission due to the relative ness it contains to you. In the hostile south region just outside of the southern border of the central lands territory lays the town of Kyo, a settlement of Fahrenians and Chizetans. Go there and retrieve information on how the respective planets have been fairing during this time. I fear that from Zazu’s presence that Autozam has been fairing the same as Cephiro and if my suspicions are correct the planents of Fahren and Chizeta…”

“I would not declare any connections to the Crystal Palace while in Kyo because it is still in hostile territory even for you Neira and Caldina.” How many more…? Clef scanned the area. Only a few more. His voice was growing hoarse unaccustomed to speaking so long and loud. Usually he enjoyed quiet hours spent studying in his observatory room but as of late he had been unable to do so. The planets surrounding Cephiro, Autozam, Fahren, and Chizeta would most likely be displaying some troublesome news. Once the tasks were assigned he would be sure to visit there while introducing the Knights and perhaps a few others to Baron Drakov.

Megor glanced at the approaching Umi. He didn't know what to say, he had wanted to let her know who he was, but time and time again, fate had prevented it. So many thoughts had flooded his mind at that moment. She had no idea what her true identity was. What had become of her real family. He shook his head at her slightly and glanced over at the other young man he would be working with. The master of the Seiyuu, Ascot. Even under the cloak, a sharp grin spread across his face, and Ascot could see it well. Megor let him know, not vocaly, not mentally, just with this grin, that he was going to enjoy every bit of this. Megor looked back at Umi then, his face growing cold again. He finally mustered up enough vocal ability to let himself be present. "So, you are Umi, the magic knight of water. I've heard much about you. Do you honestly believe that your strength and Ascot's will be of service to this country?"


A sharp intake of breath through Drakov's lips was audible only to Clef's ears as the Guru described the zone of hostility the first three would be entering. Clef's brow could have crinkled then had he thought further about his old friend's unexpected reaction. This was the first sign of emotion, besides indulgence and warm courteousness, that the Baron had displayed this morning. That hushed brief gasp, to Clef's mind, sounded very much like a sign of tension.

As the Guru moved on, the words he spoke and details he gave were transformed into indelible thoughts that became permanent residents of a keen mind. A mind that was not one with the Baron Drakov's phyiscal shell.

There was a break in Clef's words when he finished with the town of Kyo. A light friendly tap on his shoulder. When Clef turned, cupped in the palm of the smiling Baron's left hand was a cool glass of water, left behind by one of the servants.

"Don't wear yourselff out too much, old friend." whispered his friend and advisor good-humoredly. "These youngsters cannot have you going voiceless on them so quickly."

Neither could he for that matter.

Mackey considered Clef's words, realizing that she had just been given one of the more dangerous missions. On one hand, it didn't seem to her to be anything she couldn't handle. After all, she reasoned that since no one on Earth had managed to kill her with guns (yet), how could anyone on this crazy planet hope to kill her with swords or bows or whatever they had here? Unless, of course, they had magic, which everyone knows is impossible! However, caution would still be a wise thing, the more sensible (also, smallest and quietest) part of her mind mused. In any case, she decided that as long as she was stuck on this planet, she might as well help out.

The dark-haired one made her way over to where Hikaru and Nova were sitting with the idea of introducing herself as that seemed to be the sensible thing to do. "Hello," She started, but her voice trailed off when the girls turned towards her and she could see their faces. They looked really young- maybe fourteen or sixteen, tops. Not that Mackey had any room to talk, as far as looking young was concerned, but she could see in their eyes and the way the girls carried themselves that they were definitely not much older than they looked. Even Clef, though he was also extremely short and "well-preserved" gave off an air that he was most certainly wiser if not older than he appeared. Perhaps he knew what he was doing, assigning schoolgirls on dangerous missions? Suddenly realizing that she was staring, Mackey smiled and continued with whatever the heck it was she was trying to say. "I'm Mackey. Are you guys Hikaru and Nova?"


Neira frowned in worry. Not for her mission. She believed she was capable of handling whatever the Guru would see fit for her. And visiting with fellow Fahrenian would be a joy. While she was never much for her royal lineage, she still loved her homeworld. Besides, she would have Caldina and Presea with her. Two of the most powerful women she knew besides the Magic Knights. It was truly an honor to get to travel with them.

What worried her was Clef's state of health. He was worn down, his voice crackling and coarse. She was relieved, if only slightly, when the Baron offered the small magician a drink of water. It would help, yes, but it was not the best solution to his state. Deep down she knew not to worry, but she looked up to the Guru not only as a teacher, but as a father as well. She could not help but be concerned.

To distract herself, Neira turned briefly, looking over her shoulder for Presea and Caldina. They would need to speak about the mission, but it could wait until the Guru was finished.

Hikaru listened carfully at all the missions as they were being assigned. Fear for her friends and all their newfound allies washed over her, but determination to do the mission overrode that. She glanced at Mackey when she had talked to them. Hikaru gave her a smile before answering her question.

"Hai! I'm Hikaru, it's nice to meet you Mackey!"


Clef took the water graciously. His lips delighted in the clear and untainted water. After a few moments of regaining his voice he sat the glass down on a table nearby. He would try to get this over with quickly in case he needed his voice for later.

The faces in the room were mixed with worry, guilt, and determinedness. He would have liked to given each group an easy and safe mission but…

“Zazu… Leilandra… Arista… and …” Blue eyes darted around the room. There was a presence that he had not really addressed but he felt almost a prophecy installing him into this mission. There was a rightness to the situation. “Quatre…?” He nodded at the blonde haired youth. “Near the village of Leiyo where Hikaru’s team is being sent to is a town by a delta river. The town like Leiyo is in the Eastern region… which means once more I will ask you to guard yourselves at all times.”

“This town calls itself Lupina though I believe it is little more than a disguise for a revolutionist’s recruiting station especially for technical Autozam weapon specialists and mercenaries. I ask that your team check up on these rumors and who the operative from Cephiro is that may be hiring trained Autozam forces. Please do not engage in battle if you can. I stress this. All I would like is information on what type of force if any they have.”

Clef watched Zazu and Arista closely. “I believe that we can work together for both our countries and solve this problem not out of war and conquering but out of peace and unity…all together searching for a solution…”


“Chad… I have observed you and your actions and I will ask you for something you may refuse later…but right now I ask that you search one of two cities for me…” He watched the young man keenly. One person needed for this mission alone and Clef still told himself that it wasn’t dangerous. It wouldn’t be… just because he felt there was something odd about one of the towns although he could not pinpoint which one if not both.

“I give you the option Chad of going to the southern tip of the eastern region to a town known as Mandri or to a town called Win-ko on the southern part of the western region. Both ereas seem… dark. It is not because any activities that I am aware of have happened but perhaps something sinister has been pulled into this world by Ragyn. I do not know which town so I leave this up to you. If you would like someone to go with you I will understand…” Clef watched him for a moment then bowed his head.

“You may speak to me privately on the matter if you wish later for there is something I might want to ask of you if you are ready…” His eyes warmed briefly.

“The last and final group may not think much of their mission for they may think that they are protected more so than the rest but I daresay that even here in welcoming territory or even in the Northern territory with their strange alliance with us.” No doubt, Clef thought, because they had not yet chose a champion. “I suggest that Emeruald…” His voice caught for a moment as he meet those eyes which he had not seen in a long time. “ahem… Emeruald… Naomi and her companion… and Ryula travel just outside the castle to the main city which surrounds this crystal Palace. Do not think it is insignificant because we must remain strong in our alliance with everyone. Please help those who are in need… if you can. Aide them… for even that helps.”

“Drakov… I hope you do not think me rude…” Clef turned towards his dear friend while his voice softened to a normal speaking level so that Drakov and himself could hear each other but those seated in the front row could not. Finally he was done assigning tasks or at least to those that now sat behind him.

“Baron Drakov I do remember that you have a castle in the Northern region some where. Could I suggest that you keep an eye on developments up there? I would gladly appreciate it although if you would rather spend time at your other residences I will settle for my viewing sphere.”

He closed his eyes wearily and ran a hand over his face. Finally he could rest for just a moment, though after he had taken care of everyone’s needs.

Chad nodded at Clef's request. His eyes reflected his feelings of confusion at the Guru's mention of a question that he would refuse. He smiled slightly and closed his eyes, bowing his head a little. "I'm ready when you are. When do we head out to go on these missions?"

A messenger walked inside the room bowing to the inhabitants. "I'm very sorry, everyone, forgive me for intruding, but I have a message for Chad. Can you please point him out to me?" Chad raised his hand a little confused. "Who is it from?" The boy asked, perplexed. The messenger looked at the letter and turned his eyes back up to Chad afterwards. "It's from Kyle, sir." Chad smiled and walked over to the young messenger kindly accepting the letter. "Thank you. I really appreciate this." The messenger smiled and nodded. "Sorry again for the intrusion, everyone." And walked out the door. Chad opened the letter, smiling happily. Finally he would know where his brother was and what he was doing. He skimmed through the letter quickly, reading all of it in moments. As he read more and more, his smile faded just as slowly. Soon, the expression was far from a joyous one. He closed his eyes and wadded up the piece of paper tightly. A low sigh escaped from his lips as he now knew why his brother had left. He let his eyes lock onto Clef. "When do you want to ask me this question, Guru? I fear that I might not have much time. I have to get going on my missions very shortly." He said in a low tone. He was dreading every moment of the possible future to come.

Mackey paused for several moments while Clef continued to speak. It seemed that there was another group that would also be traveling towards the east, to a village not far from the one to which herself, Hikaru, and Nova would be traveling. It seemed to her that it would make more sense than not for both groups to travel together, especially considering the appearent danger that inhabited the region. After all, safety lies in numbers and one group of seven would be a lot safer than two groups of three and four. Mackey decided to wait to voice this idea until the meeting had dispersed a little and everybody was actually starting to get ready. In the meantime, she glanced back over at Hikaru and suddenly noticed her manner of dress. "Hey," she suddenly blurted, as if wondering out loud, "Are you from Earth, too?" Up until now Mackey had felt kind of lost on this strange world and, now with Skyhawk gone, rather alone, too. Not that there weren't several other people who were also from her planet, but to actually be working with one of them rather than just running into them was kind of heartening in some way that the diminutive woman didn't bother to describe to herself.

The warmly indulgent yet somehow cryptic expression on the Baron's face widened upon Clef's request. "There is no need to think yourself discourteous, friend. I myself would not have come this morn had I known you were in the toils of these matters of vast importance." His neck canted in a bow, thatch of dark hair momentarily eclipsing grey eyes that bore a compelling might. "Nevertheless, consider your request done. I wish to help, however I can, to the best of my own methods."

Clef may have realized the way the Baron said that last statement. As if there was a concealed current of being capable of performing more than one would suppose and was purposely keeping it hidden.

Before Clef could dwell any further on the thought or turn away to the group, Drakov whispered again and cast a burning gaze across the room to Princess Emeraude. Clef likely noticed the joy, warmth, and...relief?...on Drakov's visage. Why not, Clef perhaps reasoned. Drakov had been a friend and admirer of the Princess before her first death and his departure for Fahren.

"Guru, when this meeting is adjourned and if it will not be any trouble...may I suffer you to re-acquaint me with the Princess Emeraude? It -has- been so long since last she and I talked." The gaze shifted to look directly into Hikaru Shidou's absorbing crimson eyes and Drakov continued. "And the Magic Knights as well? I wish to meet for myself the three brave young women who saved Cephiro from internal and external forces."

Clef turned to Chad again. “I think that my question has been answered.” Clef sadly placed a hand on Chad’s arm. His cherub fingers giving the material of his outfit a feel. “Much the same as the Magic Knight’s when they first came. I do believe that the people on your world feel the need nor have to protect themselves on a daily basses.” Clef inclined his head and mumbled. “If you would like there is a battlement room just out into the main hall fifth door on your right. Please head the mission’s call when you can. Remember that either city may be … choosen.”

With that he turned back to Drakov and motioned him towards Hikaru near where Umi and Fuu were. “Magic Knights…” He cleared his throat not meaning to disturb Mackey nor anyone else talking. “Hikaru…” He turned back to Baron Drakov. “I would like you to meet a dear and old friend of mine that has been away for a long while… This is Baron Drakov. Baron Drakov this is Hikaru the Magic Knight of Fire. Right here…” He gently touched Umi’s shoulder enough to get her attention and then pulled away quickly. “This is Umi the Magic Knight of Water… Umi this is Baron Drakov. And finally here sits Fuu the Magic Knight of Air.” Clef inclined his head at Fuu, Ferio and Kyoko. “Fuu this is Baron Drakov.” He turned back to the Baron and smiled softly watching the reactions on both sides.

Umi watched Megor for a moment. Was that a taunt or something else? “I believe in Ascot as well as myself and I believe that I can also count on you to help out.” She extended her hand out. “Your Megor right?” She gave him a smile before Clef touched her shoulder and she turned facing a… Baron? Wasn’t a ‘Baron’ a …errr .. it was a German word wasn’t it? It still amazed her how many words from Earth trickled here.

“Go..Good evening Baron Drakov. How do you do?” She tilted her head and looked into familiar eyes. Perhaps she had never seen him but there was an intensity there for a moment that reminded her of someone although she could not pinpoint at the current time where she had seen such a display. “This is Megor and Ascot fellow friends.” She turned to look at Megor and gave him a warming smile.

Clef motioned Drakov onward to the place Emerauld stood. “Emeruald-hime.. I…” Clef touched her hand lightly. “You remember Baron Drakov. He as well as I am very glad to see you well again.” Although his joy at the current time was dampened by the appearance and connections with Ragyn.

Megor nodded his head. "I will help to the best of my ability. However, I have my own methods, those which might not be agreeable with your own. And as for the introductions, yes. I am Megor Ryuuzaki." He hadn't realized what he had said until it was too late. He shut his eyes and mentally scolded himself for speaking out his last name. He realized however that there were surely plenty of Ryuuzakis. She would not think that he was related to her....Would she?

Chad stepped outside the doors and into the hallway, going towards the fifth door. Battlement room? He closed his eyes stopping right there. His head bowed, his shut eyes facing the floor. Destiny was calling him, but for what? To fight against his own brother? What kind of brother fought against his own flesh and blood? Had fate been so cruel as to deal him a hand in which he would have to fight his own sibling just to bring peace? Chad raised his head and looked at the door. Fifth door. Battlement room. Was he ready? Only time would tell. He opened the door and walked in, preparing himself for the mission.


"The living legend of the Magic Knights. It is an honor to meet you at last." The walking stick tapped slightly as the Baron was introduced and he bowed deeply. Three pairs of eyes were now focused on him. Crimson, azure, and jade, as well as other eyes beside them. To the jade one he turned first, smiling. Fuu Hououji's gaze was naturally inquisitive, amplified through the glasses she wore. "I wished to thank you for your selflessness in saving this world. Had you not come...let us just say I would still be on Fahren." To the azure. Umi Ryuuzaki's gaze had a lady's refined and elegant courtesy, mixed with the proverbial woman's instinct that somewhere, somehow, his eyes were no stranger to hers though they had ostensibly just met.

For nearly twenty four hours ago, the man who wore the face of a nobleman of Cephiro had met her as a millionaire philanthropist on Earth.

He chuckled under Umi's intrigued gaze. "So the rumors -are- true. Indeed, the Magic Knights' powerful Will and strength are matched only by their beauty. You three must be the target of dozens of bachelors on Cephiro." Faint blushes manifested on their faces at this, at which he smiled again.

Umi's blue eyes continued to search his countenance as the Baron met the genial eager glance of Hikaru Shidou. The slightest of jolts ran through Drakov's stony aquiline visage. Memories of Cephiro came intruding into his mind. Memories that were not his own, but learned when he had probed her mind hours ago on Earth.

Deep down, a heart burning with chained darkness ebbed and fell at the sight of the young crimson haired girl. A child on the outside, but inflamed with the determination of the most resolute of women on the inside. He could sympathize with her, she had once wrestled with her inner demon, her shadow named Nova who stood beside her now.

She and her friends had truly suffered so much, physically and emotionally on the times they had come to Cephiro. The mind that was not Drakov's swiftly reinforced the resolve to fight for and with them. Though he had not been present at the events that had occured before, sharing the Fire Knight's memories had made him feel every bit a part of it all as much as they had.

His words were addressed to all three of the girls and their companions (such as Hikaru's darker half and the same young man hungering for battle), but he faced Hikaru as he said them, smile still present in answer to hers. "Here is giving you my best wishes in your assigned tasks, young Magic Knights. Let the same Will that brought you to victory before empower you now. Never doubt the strength of Will on this world. The Creator keep and protect you. I am sure we will meet again,and it will be my pleasure once more." He bowed in farewell as Clef began to lead him away to Emeraude.

"And do not fear shadows, Girls From Another World." he said over his shoulder, once more focused on Hikaru. "Enemies lurk there...but so can even the most stalwart of allies."

Keen burning grey eyes suddenly blazed a total verdant, so fast that the Magic Knights may not have been certain as to its occurence at all. It was as if a cold hand had brushed their necks and vanished.

And as for his words, only a long while later would they come to realize its significance.


Ragyn continued to watch Kyle for a few moments as he angrily glanced around shouting for him to appear. Was it a good idea to place him upon his allied list? No, it wasn’t however there was something about this fellow that he couldn’t shake off. There was also no doubt in his mind that if he stayed in one place long enough, say a few minutes…one or two, then Kyle would no doubt sense him and react to him. He shifted his weight so that instead of standing on the tree branch he was now sitting down peering at Kyle intently. Kyle was now no more than 20 feet away from the very tree he now sat in.

“I am up here…” Ragyn leaned his head against the tree feeling the branches and the tree itself shudder slightly in the wind of Cephiro. His eyes hardly peering at Kyle but around him. “I imagine you have alerted your… friends? Brother? To your recent actions?”

Ragyn scooted off the branch and jumped down only five feet behind Kyle with his back to Kyle’s back. With a quickly pivot of his foot he spun around. His white hair loosened from the ponytail, which swung between his shoulder blades, and fell against his cheek. “But please forgive me for my rudeness. I have been late.” He cleared his voice. “But that little problem has been solved for now…” He muttered.

“The current Yil of this planet has sent the…Magic Knights off into missions and even sent out their friends.” He grinned hoping Kyle would know where he was leading him too. “I’ll tell you everything… Why I am doing this. Why and how the Cephirean people destroyed my race! How they killed everything and everyone I ever loved and you will see but first I have a favor to ask of you. If you so desire…”

“Your brother helps murderers. They disguise themselves as innocent and playful yet they killed the one thing that kept this world together, the one being who in the past also helped my people. The magic Knights have brought this down upon us and we must clear the land of them. I want you to go to your brother and talk to him… speak to him and if he will not listen to you then fight him if you must.” He shook his head. “I do know that I have not made things clear for you but in time it will be. Our enemy is not ourselves but those who oppose us. Those who murder and take away everything that is rightfully yours.”

Kyle listed silently. Murderers? Killers? He hadn't known much about Cephiro, but it had seemed rather peaceful to him. But through dealings with Black Lotus, he knew things weren't always what they had seemed. Ragyn was not the typical run of the mill bad guy everyone usually sees in the opposing side. He was a man with a tragic past, out for revenge. Was Kyle and Ragyn so different? Black Lotus, the target of Kyle's revenge would know soon enough what it felt like to be at loss. Kyle nodded to Ragyn's request and turned around. "I'll try and stop my brother. He's very inexperienced so it shouldn't be much trouble at all. I can pick up his heartbeat with this device. It's locked straight onto his location. I'll meet back up with you elsewhere." Kyle turned his back to Ragyn, his own long white hair flapping behind him. "Keep in touch. There's no greater weakness to a team than splitting up and getting into trouble. If we're going to win this war we're going to have to play the game the right way. Our way. But I'm sure a warrior such as yourself already knew that, right?" Kyle said with a smile. He walked away, preparing himself to face off against his own brother.

Chad departed from the battlement room, heading for Win-Ko. He reached the doors of the castle and stretched a little. He had little armor, a mere thin breatplate and a lightweight sword. He was wearing white arabian-like pants, and arabian style footwear. The entire outfit matched that of a desert ninja...or rather, a desert ghost. He took off from the castle, looking at a map of Cephiro. He glanced at his destination of Win-ko and sped up. This might take a little while, he thought. He screeched to a sudden halt. Monsters were already starting to gather around him. He glanced both ways, his blue eyes watching their movements closely. As one of them lunged, he lept, pressing his feet on it's back and jumping off, leaping far away from the crowd of murderous beasts. He dashed onwards, avoiding fights if necessary, but defending himself as well. He felt it just as much as his brother did. The future was near. The fight was coming. It was only a matter of time.

* * * *

The sight of Clef and Drakov drawing near came to the notice of Kyoko, bringing her out of her thoughts about the missions and to other things. With a well enough knowledge of reading people, especially through their eyes, Kyoko could presume that both men were intent on speaking with the woman who was beside her. Figuring that it would be best to leave them to aquiant themselves, since it seemed that Dracov had some sort of tie involving her aunt, Kyoko stood slowly to her feet. Once she had straigtened the wrinkles in her skirt and releaved the few kinks in her back the young woman bowed to Emeraude, smiling with all her heart as she looked in to a pair of eyes that were as kind as her father had always told her. She took the former pillar's hand and held it in her own for a few moments.

"I'm pleased to have finally met you, Emeraude-hime. Good luck on your mission and I hope that we might be able to get to know eachother soon."

With another bow as their hands parted, Kyoko crossed the room, sending a smile in the direction of Clef and Dracov as she passed them, her own feet carrying her towards a familar green-haired individual.

"Hello Ferio-san," another bow followed Kyoko's introduction. "My name is Kyoko. I'm glad to meet you and I hope that I can be of some help to both you and Fuu-san on our mission."

Kyoko extended her hand for a handshake, trying to forget how hard it was to have to call the two of them Fuu and Ferio, rather then Mother and Father.

Nova looked over at the man who addressed Hikaru and her friends. She had doubts as to if this "Baron Drakov" could be trusted, but she could tell that Hikaru trusted him, so perhaps, she thought to herself, he really doesn't pose a threat to anyone.

Her thoughts quickly went back to the mission Clef had given Hikaru, Mackey, and herself to go on. She had been a tad shocked at being given this mission, since she had figured that most of the people of Cephiro may not have been very happy to see her again. But she decided that she would go on this quest, because she wanted to do everything she could to help the one she was born from. She then looked up at Mackey and smiled before speaking. "I will do everything I can to help you. I know I may not be much help, since most of my powers were given to me by Debonair, but I am still able to use Hikaru's magic and I will try my best."