Umi had settled on one side of Fuu's bed and nodded to Emeruald as she left. "Fuu... I think we should... no need to go back to Cephiro. Have you heard anything on when they are going to release you?" She yawned covering her mouth with her hand. "Hikaru... I think the source of our problems... is originating from Cephiro. I dont want to leave my mother or father in this condition but I think we have to.." Her eyes shifted to the curtains around Fuu's bed which they had pulled tight in their discussion.

"You will call when they release you? Right? We'll meet at your house alright Fuu? Just give us a call..." She got up rubbing her blurry eyes. "Hikaru... I'll be out in the car." She stood and gave Fuu a hug and then proceeded to the car, however, as she swung the door open someone had commenced knocking on the door. "AH! Hold up!" Umi jumped back from the fist. "Uh...

*** Hikaru hugged Fuu, before making her way out the door she turned around and said, "Take care and get some rest." Hikaru got on the elevator and pushed the ground floor button. "What could be happening on Cephiro that could possibly reach us here on Earth and cause such accidents. It definitely isn't a coincidence that these things are just happening to us though..." Hikaru spoke to herself. Stepping off the elevator she saw Umi...and some other person. Hikaru frantically raced to her friend, "Umi, what's going on?"

Chad shyly watched as Umi and now Hikaru stepped towards him. Er....Yes...Well..My name is Chad,and I need to ask you both something. I know it seems rather odd,and you can probably call me crazy afterwards,but....Are the either of you aware of an incident that happened years ago? There were two casualties in this incident,and certain sources point to the two of you,and one other. She has glasses and wears green a lot. I'm sorry to disturb you,and I will leave as soon as my question is answered. Are the either of you aware of the casualties I'm about to mention?" He gave off each name. First it was "Emeraude" With an explanation that fit her description back then perfectly. And the other was "Zagato". Which also,was followed by a perfect description of the High Priest of Cephiro. "If you know or have even seen any information regarding these two people,can you tell me the connection?" He asked seriously. He didn't want to make himself look psychotic by just asking them about Cephiro altogether. He had to take this one step at a time. If they were aware,then they might admit it. If not,then it was all a dream after all,and he could try to resume a normal life,and just put up with such dreams.

kaine sighed and rose to his feet. 'I'm not going to get much sleep after that dream. Maybe I'll be able to sleep better when I reach where I 'm going." He thought as he gathered his belongings. He sighed again and headed in the direction he knew the capital lay in. kaine sighed and rose to his feet. 'I'm not going to get much sleep after that dream. Maybe I'll be able to sleep better when I reach where I 'm going." He thought as he gathered his belongings. He sighed again and headed in the direction he knew the capital lay in.

* His smile widened appreciatively at her comment on his house and some other structures here on Earth. It was true that this world was getting more and more technological and was beginning to rely less on nature. Yet Lamont felt that was bad in its way. He had seen the planet Autozam in Hikaru Shidou's mind. In a way, that world was a warning as to how the Earth would fare if it got more mechanical.

Arm around her shoulders protectively, the Shadow led her into the mansion, where a waiting butler bowed deeply and showed the both in. Lamont grinned as he heard her question about wear. "Not to worry. I have the perfect room for you." he said as he gently took her arm and led her up a red-carpeted flight of stairs.

They walked for around ten seconds, then the Shadow stopped before a particular one and twisting the doorknob, opened it. "This room is yours from now on." he nodded reassuringly. The room that greeted Emeraude's eyes was one of the largest ones in the house, next to Lamont's own on the third and top floor. The room around her had much space, various tapestries hung from the walls and an expertly painted fresco on the Japanese Bakumatsu war decorated the ceiling. In one corner, a large bed beckoned invitingly with futons and blankets. The room was cool, easily explained for the air conditioner was on. In another corner was a fireplace, curently unlighted. And a bar supplied well with drinks from sake to just plain water. The door to the bathroom was in another corner.

Lamont reached out a little with his powers of the mind, and suddenly, as if by some unseen hand, the closet in one corner flung its doors open, revealing a row of different ladies' garments. From simple house clothes to elaborate party wear.

The Shadow smiled again, gestured to the now-open closet. "I believe these will fit you nicely." And how couldn't they? They were all the Princess' size.

He waited a few seconds while Emeraude's mouth opened in surprise and a little pleasure, then he stepped back and bowed-nodded. "Well...I guess I should leave you...unless you wish to speak about something with me? I'm ready to listen, especially after all that I've seen and encountered today." Lamont laid a hand on the doorknob as if to close it, but paused at the entrance, waiting for her answer.

Emeraude blinked in surprise. In Cephiro, everything was controlled by the will, that was true but in this world, it did not seem to work that way, yet, the man before her seen to be able to do what can easily be done in Cephiro. Then, looking at the garments that he had offered her, she slightly colored in embarrassment. "Why...thank you," she bowed slightly to him.

For a moment, she pondered on what she wished to speak with him. "No..." Emeraude decided. "I suppose we can talk another time, I assume you are exhausted..." How silly of her! Of course he was tired! Now why would she wish him any more for tonight? Surely her thoughts can wait until morning...

Fuu hugged Umi and said goodbye to Hikaru as they walked out of the room, something she wished she could do to. Back . . . to Cephiro? Could they even do that? Emeraude's face flashed through Fuu's mind. If Emeraude-hime could come to this world, could they go back after Hikaru broke the Pillar system? But, how could Emeraude be here after they-no. She refused to think about that; it was to painful, much like when she thought about-no, No, NO! She wouldn't think about him either! She now more than ever needed to keep a level head and thinking about the past is a necessity she did not have at the moment.

Her delicate peach hand lightly pulled back the privacy curtain to check on Kobe-san. If she had heard anything Fuu would have one hard time explaining the conversation that just went on. She released the breath she had been holding. Kobe-san was asleep. Leaning back against the pillows on her bed Fuu crossed her arms behind her head, shivering a bit as she saw the IV needle in her arm. Fuu hated needles. With nothing to do and no place to go with a sore foot she turned over in her bed and went to sleep, the nurse would come In tomorrow at ten in the morning, she would ask about leaving then and call Umi. She wanted to leave so badly, to be back in the thick of things again. To go on adventures and do what she was destined to do,

Save the World.

* Umi sucked in a breath, took a half-step back as she gazed at the strange but seemingly kind and well-meaning youth. If this Chad wasn't kidding, then he was actually giving an uncannily accurate description of the Sol Zagato and Princess Emeraude.

But what were they to him? How did he know all this? He dreamt of Cephiro too? Or he was he even from Cephiro himself?

The sapphire-haired Knight raised her head at last, on guard, slowly and carefully speaking, and glancing from side to side as if to make certain they weren't being overheard. "I might know. But...what importance are these two to you?"


Lamont sat in the middle of his room, on his haunches with eyes closed. He breathed in, feeling the cool night air flowing in from the window. He'd have to remember to have breakfast prepared early for the Princess. He felt she was sleeping peacefully, that was good.

It could have been just a trick, but when he glanced up towards the window, the white curtain billowing out through the wind appeared to coalesce and take the form of...

White hair...

And burning red eyes...

Lamont held his stare for a second, then he blinked. The figure vanished.

The Shadow couldn't help but consider, that he had just seen the face of that dark presence he had been sensing in the past hours.

Chad fell silent for a few moments and then at last spoke again. "I'm sorry. I'm afraid I don't quite know the importance of them as of yet. I understand if all of this seems very upfront and I will understand if you ridicule me for this,but I've had strange dreams about the two people that were killed. And the killers were the very three of you. I know it's weird,and it's almost like some kind of fairy tale about three young girls being called to a land in another dimension. But.....Did this happen? If not,at least now I'll know something else is wrong with my dreams. After all,it's very abnormal for someone to have the same dream over and over again for a few years. As I once said,I'm very sorry about intruding like this,and I know that your friend is hurt,but I have to know this to settle my problem. Please forgive me for this." He said closing his eyes. His fists tightened up as he thought about what he was saying. He must have sounded like a complete nuthouse to the girl standing before him,but to settle the issues at hand,he'd have to get something done about it. He opened his eyes at last and awaited an answer from the blue haired girl.

Umi put a hand on one of the boy's tightened fists. "No.. its alright." She looked out into the darkened window on the hall. "It happened about four years ago." She stared at the mirror distantly. Slowly she reached out and touched the black glass. She gasped softly as her warm flesh touched the chill of the outside. It was extremely cold even for spring.

Ragyn tilted his head. So they wanted to go back to Cephiro. They were as much of Cephiro as Cephiro was of them. Their call could be felt throughout the land and it helped the people feel restless. Their Knights couldnt return. Not just yet. Ragyn let out a loud laugh that filled the crystal palace. "Madoushi Clef! Bal Ascoto! Representitives of Autozam hear my voice!" He grinned walking into their meeting room. "Prince Ferio... your sister has returned but if you try to call her back or the Knights ... your world will crumple and fall. Bewarned. I've only came to help..." 'Help... in many ways.' Ragyn tossed his head back and laughed. 'Shadow... can you see me now? Hear me?' Ragyn crossed his arms and smiled playfully. 'Mice...'

*** Emeraude moaned in her sleep as visions swirled into her inner thoughts. All the past. Slowly, her eyes opened as her crystal blue eyes glowed in the darkness. How long has she been asleep? The princess looked out the window to find that it was still night. Soon dawn, she assumed but it was still pitch black as the birds chirped, and the crickets talking amongst themselves. Emeraude put her two hands together and as she opened them, a light of warmth emerged from the palms of them.

"Golden Orb," her sweet soft voice whispered. "Tell me what those knights' are doing..."

To her surprise, an image came to her glass orb. The magic knights, Umi and Hikaru were together, speaking with a handsome young man with dark golden hair and sapphire eyes. Emeraude blinked as she studied the youth's features. So familiar...and seeing this man, she felt a content feeling that emerged from nowhere.

'Why does this young man trigger something in my depths of my heart?' Emeraude pondered.

She closed her eyes, hiding those innocent, warm eyes. Emeraude slowly brought the orb of glass light to her lips and with a kiss, the golden glow turned into a mirror of the blue ocean, a floating mountain and a fiery volcano.

A faint smile came upon the beautiful maiden's lips. "It does not seem that you have changed much since my departure, my beloved Cephiro..."

With a wave of her graceful fingers, an image of what seems like the mage's figure, as well, as three others, started to appear...

There was another presence with them, Emeraude had noticed, shivering at the darkness of it. He had heard his words to her brother, her master Clef, and the other two.

'Crumble, he says?' Emeraude felt her features harden with the tension she felt. 'How does this man know of me? Unless...' The maiden grimaced. 'Unless he was the one who brought me back...'

"Do not be so sure you'll be winning this one, stranger," Emeraude said softly, a determination in her voice. "I will come back, because they need me..."

With another wave of her grace, she felt a surge of power run through her body. "I'm coming..."

--Lamont, I'm sorry...thank you for everything!-- Her telepatic voice said to him, a rush in her words but at the same time, a grateful touch. --I know we'll meet again...but I'm going home. Now.--

She soon disappeared into Cephiro, hiding herself in the floating mountain, hoping that her efforts to conceal herself is enough so she may remain hidden.

'Magic knights...Please save our world, Legendary Magic Knights...' she called to them once more. ***

Arista shuddered at the man whose voice gave her spine a chill. The mage, the bal, as well as her old friend and the prince held slight frowns on their faces. Arista felt her eyes shift to the evil presence of the man, her violet eyes burning coldly towards him. 'Help? Does he want to help?' Arista felt the man's aura betraying his words. She remained silent leaving no trace of a smile ever being on her face. The young maiden was not frowning either. Her face kept a neutral touch.

'And who...what is he talking about? Who is this sister of the prince?' she found herself asking no one in particular.

* Lamont Cranston's eyes snapped open as the voice touched his mind. There was no question about it this time, it WAS him. He sent his own telepathic voice came forth, tainted with the darkness in his heart. "And now that I can see and hear you, little man, your days are numbered."

And briefly, Lamont Cranston had an image of a conference room. Recalling the personas he had seen from Hikaru Shidou's mind, he recognized the Guru Clef, Prince Ferio, the summoner Bal Ascot, the Autozamian mechanic Zazu Torque, and a woman he didn't recognize.

The connection was broken as the Shadow realized something was amiss. Or rather someone. Then another voice touched his mind. Warm and gentle, and tinged with a joyful gratitude.

Lamont, I'm sorry...thank you for everything!

"Emeraude...!!!" The Butcher of Lhasa cocked the sleeve of his robe, and a .45 HK USP Tactical pistol fell into his hand. Seconds later, Lamont threw the door to her room open and stepped in, gun first in a double handed grip. True enough, the Princess was gone. Vanished. But Lamont knew she hadn't been taken forcefully. She must have returned to Cephiro of her own will.

The gun came down as Lamont's gut filled with frozen needles. She was in danger in her own homeland. He wanted to help, but there was no way he could follow. His powers of the mind were exceptional, but he had never done inter-dimensional teleportation.

'Princess...I'll come for you as soon as I can...' Lamont telepathically promised. hoping she would hear. He just stood there by the window as the night slowly began to give way to the day. ***

Emeraude sat still as she watched the ocean of deep blue beneath the floating mountain she had hid herself in. And suddenly, she was aware Lamont had been he had whispered in his thoughts, as well as hers.

She once again put her two hands together and as she opened them again, a warm glass light orb appeared as it did before.

--Lamont...-- she whispered to his thoughts. --I cannot speak to you for it may reveal my appearance in this world...--- Emeraude's soft voice was fading quickly. --If you wish to come here, go to the Magic Knights...they have a connection.--

With that, her voice faded from his thoughts.

Nova heard Emeraude's voice call the Magic Knights to Cephiro. "Back to Cephiro? But, why? Is there some danger there?" Then, Nova decided to speak directly into Hikaru's mind. "Hikaru...are we going back to Cephiro? Will we finally be able to see each other again?"

Ascot's eyes focused suddenly at the sudden introduction of a silky smooth voice, deep and clear... though not loud.. it was almost as though... Ascot shivered. The song of he crept up and around him, spoke into him as though he were mere moments away from the crystalline, dark eyed young spirit summoner.

Cephiro was in a state of chaos, and now this..? Sweat beaded at his brow, and his visage darkened as he shot a glance at Kurefu, and then to Ferio. His eyes roved until they met with Eagle Vision's supposed sister... he wasn't suspicious of her, but..

Too much was going on for him to handle right now. The words of he who was unseen hadn't quite sunken into him, but.. Ferio's sister..why.. Emeraude-hime was dead. And... if she did return.. what of Sol Zagato..? What of the Cephiro that had been established now? Without the pillar system..? He swallowed back his confusion, the anxious tendencies that had pushed their way to his knowing, and parted his lips to speak. Only... what was he to say..? What *could* he say?

"Guru Kurefu..!!" Ascot breathed, feeling his panic rise as soon as he spoke, "what was..?" The look on the Guru's face told him all he needed to know. Apparently, the mage was in as much dire need of knowing as he.

"I'm... going to..." Ascot's eyes darted back and forth, trying to find some logic in what he was going to do. But... better to be safe, then sorry.

"Gomen..!" the boy bit out, moments before turning heel and darting out of the room. Ascot ran down the halls, his concern for the inhabitants of Cephiro... of.. Caldina.. of his friends... rising with each passing second. Yes, this mysterious man claimed to be of help, but.. The past instances had conditioned the tall youth into one of untrusting nature. You really *couldn't* trust anyone these days. Is this was Cephiro was becoming..? They *did* need a leader.. without one... they were mere children, the lot of them, and would in turn come to destroy themselves as a society in the long run.

On that note, still, Ascot ran.

"Ascot!" Clef called after the young summoner, but it he was already gone and to tell the truth, Clef didn't blame him for leaving. Hoping he would be able to at least meet with the tall boy later though he turned to Raygn with an indecipherable countenance, though the slightest hint of an austere nature was etched into his gaze. "Before you tell us so many different things we had not known about, who are you and how do you come to know of the things you speak?" Clef asked firstly unwavering in his place in front of the much taller stranger.

Hikaru was startled suddenly by the voices that ringing i her head. 'Was it Emeraude and...and Nova??' she thought. ' Nova, if you can hear me, I think you may be right...' Hikaru just couldn't keep it in and suddenly blurted out, "Umi, Cephiro's in trouble! Did you not just hear Emeraude-hime's voice??"

Nova smiled and said, "That means I finally get to see you again, Hikaru!" But then she frowned. "But...are you really ok with this, Hikaru? I mean...with what's happening to all your loved ones? You're deeply worried about them, aren't you?"

* The sun slowly rose over Tokyo, Japan. Much the way it did over the rest of the world. Day was the time when light chased away shadow. One shadow refused to be, and would never be, banished despite the coming of light.

Lamont Cranston sat at the study table in his room, nursing a cop of coffee as he did. The Princess' last words to him ran through his mind like a litany. He was to go to the Magic Knights, and he knew who they were. In addition, he was certain by now that the one named Ragyn was behind everything that had been happening to the Magic Knights' loved ones, as well as the bombing of the Tokyo Tower last night.

There wasn't much he could do as Lamont Cranston, he could do more as the Shadow.

He had some data and theories to process and even meditate on a little. He could best do those within his lair. For now, he could only hope the Princess watched out just fine.

Within minutes, he had dressed up and the moment he stepped outside the gates of his mansion, the familiar taxi pulled up. "Ohayo, Cranston-sama!!!" said Jubei cheerily. "Morning Jubei." smiled Lamont as he opened the door and climbed in. His driver glanced back to the house. "That was a beautiful dame you accomodated last night, boss. How's she?"

"She's gone."

Jubei raised an eyebrow in puzzlement, broken off when Lamont said, "To the Sanctum."

"I hate rain!" kaine muttered to himself. "Why me? Why is it always me? I don't deserve this kind of treatment. It least the capital is only a days walk away."