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(Bleach) Byakuya - Faint

royalbk in ship_manifesto

The Love That Rose From The Ashes: Hikaru Shidou/Lantis (MKR)

Title: The Love That Rose From The Ashes
Author: royalbk
Fandom: Magic Knight Rayearth
Pairing: Hikaru x Lantis
Spoilers: Anime-verse
Notes: I chose only the anime version as I felt that:
a) despite the pretty manga-art, CLAMP gave these two no justice
b) the manga is so ambiguous that I'm still lost on why some things happened the way they did. Srsly now.
c) Hikaru and Lantis together got a lot of spotlight in the second season of the anime and many important, only-anime events and characters led to their development as a couple.
d) I do not understand CLAMP generally...xDD
e) ANIME AAAAAAAAL THE WAY! ♥

...*cough* I'm sorry it came out as a fanfiction, I could not be short. I wanted things to make sense even to those who hadn't seen the MKR. ^^;

...though 13,000 words is probably pushing it. It's all interaction-y and graphic-y (going as far as animated gifs too. ♥)

P.S: This is part I. Part II is hot on this one's heels. ♥


Magic Knight Rayearth
(CC)BMKR - (Color Coordinated) Bishoujo Magic Knight Rayearth


In case you're not familiar with MKR, here's a short stolen from Wiki summary of the show.

Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, Fuu Hououji are on a field trip to the Tokyo Tower with their respective schools. The girls are blinded by a flash of light and hear a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro. They fall through the sky into another world, Cephiro. Once there, they meet Master Mage Clef. Clef explains, "[In Cephiro], one's will has the ability to change reality for better or worse. The dark fears in people's hearts become monsters, while a well-intended wish can do miracles. One person, the Pillar, whose will is stronger than anyone else's, is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro."

In the first story arc, the current Pillar, Princess Emeraude, has been captured by her high priest, Zagato. The three girls are charged with the task of saving the Princess by activating the three Rune-Gods. They are given a bizarre creature named Mokona to guide them on their journey. After the girls find and destroy Zagato, they finally reach Emeraude, but they learn that she had fallen in love with Zagato, hindering her ability to pray solely for Cephiro's well-being, Zagato had attempted to solve the problem on his own terms by stealing and imprisoning Emeraude, but feeling responsible for her actions, she summoned the Magic Knights to kill her since no one on Cephiro could harm the Pillar. Her dark side then took over, seeking to destroy the Magic Knights for killing her love. After a short defensive fight against Emeraude, the Magic Knights had no choice but to kill her.

The second story arc deals with the complications caused by the first season's climax: three warring planets, Autozam, Fahren, and Chizeta, have begun their attempts to conquer Cephiro and a new Pillar must be chosen before the whole planet is destroyed. Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are once again summoned to Cephiro by - as it's revealed towards the end - their own wish to return.

Eventually, Hikaru is chosen to become the new Pillar. However, she rebels against the Pillar system, deciding that the fate of the planet should not be the responsibility of only one person, which like Emeraude before her, effectively prevents that person from ever being able to live and love freely.

The Strongest Will of Them All: Hikaru Shidou


Hikaru
"I'll do it! I'll do everything I can to become that Magic Knight and save Cephiro!

Shidou Hikaru is one of the three main characters in the shoujo anime Magic Knight Rayearth. A fiery, spirited, happy-go-lucky and rather short girl with bright red hair/eyes and a name that seems to translate into destiny.
"Shi" means lion, "dou" is kanji for hall or, in this case, shrine, "hikaru" means light. All in all her name comes out as Light of the Lion Shrine...which is rather ironic since she becomes the Knight of Fire and earns the protection of the Lion Rune-God, Rayearth. But, meh, CLAMP destiny is an interesting thing.

She truly wants to save Cephiro after hearing Clef's story, passionately admitting that the can not let others suffer under Zagato's tyranny. In that sense, she is the first of the three to fall in love with Cephiro...with Fuu coming closely behind and Umi eventually warming up to the idea as well.

Hikaru is one of the most skilled sword fighters in Cephiro, possessing nimbleness and agility that save the day numerous times. Besides that, she also thinks fast on her feet, standing up to those who would hurt her dear Umi and Fuu whom she sees as her sisters, and more than once takes the brunt of the horrendous battles rather than letting anyone else suffer.

Kind and overly-trusting, Hikaru is the liant that keeps the three together at first (with Fuu questioning the veracity of everything around her and Umi wasting no time in admitting that she would rather be back in Tokyo any time over saving Cephiro) and, after Emeraude's death, hides under smiles and pretenses so that Umi and Fuu wouldn't have to worry for her


The Mysterious Dark Knight: Kail Lantis

Lantis
"Flowers bloom even without a Pillar."

Lantis, CLAMP-esquely named after a black and totally sexy Mazda Lantis, is the mysterious Magic Swordsman that enters into the scene in the beginning of the second season of Magic Knight Rayearth.

The spot-on definition of 'tall, dark and handsome', Lantis returns to Cephiro after Emeraude and Zagato's (his older brother) death, decided to, and here I will extrapolate from later, rid Cephiro and its people of the tragic Pillar System than ended so many lives.
He is, as his former master describes him, the only Magic Swordsman in Cephiro and very skilled in both areas, possessing enough magic knowledge to rival that of his brother - a man who single-handedly enslaved Cephiro - and enough sword skills to be feared by anyone sane.

He is very quiet, preferring to keep to himself mostly, and above all a mysterious character that stirs suspicion right and left...especially since he returns from his long stay in Autozam, a foreign nation that is now an enemy of Cephiro.

Though he seems outwardly cold and passive, the ice slowly melts away throughout the show to reveal the kind interior and the caring heart beneath the mask.

Lantis is very good with children - managing to gain their trust effortlessly - and somewhat of a magnet with animals...or birds at least as we're treated with several scenes of him indulging some very friendly birds that like to sit on his shoulders.

^^;

Instant Attraction, Hand Holding and The Elusive I Love You


Hikaru and Lantis meet in the second episode of Season II and while it isn't all fireworks and angels singing - outwardly - I believe that if you look closely, you'll see the signs that something is already set in motion. He sweeps into the room carrying a woman he just saved from a certain death and, while LaFarga glares at him harshly, Hikaru sees blood on his armor and rushes forward to ask him if he is alright

Lantis stiffly responds that it is not his blood and Hikaru wonders - slightly shaken - why his voice sounds so familiar to her. At this moment we are treated with a small comical moment in which the fairy Primera, Lantis' faithful companion, flies forward from her perch on his shoulder and chastises Hikaru for believing that Lantis could be hurt. She also introduces herself and subsequently Lantis.

Hikaru, Umi and Fuu introduce themselves, innocently enough, and Lantis seems to tremble with some unnamed (and powerful) emotion for a few seconds, before saying "So you are...the legendary Magic Knights" which suggests that he has burned their names in his memory without even knowing who they were (as he'd already left Cephiro long before the Knights were summoned to Cephiro by Princess Emeraude)

Again, the matter of the blood on his armor is brought up and Lantis reinforces that it is not his own, but the blood of the monsters he's slayed. Yet, despite his reluctance, Hikaru immediately notices another wound on his hand and rushes forward to examine it, starting a very awkward moment for Lantis who seems positively baffled when Hikaru gently takes his hand in her own and asks Fuu to heal him. If you ask me, no one's ever been this gentle and personal with him before so he's very susceptible to kindness and to Hikaru's 'heart on the sleeve' natural attitude.

By now, Primera enters the scene once more - and we realize that she is surely enamored with Lantis even despite their difference in...well, everything - and jumps forward yet again, protesting loudly that SHE will be the only one to heal Lantis. First to Fuu...then to Hikaru.

Pity that by now neither Hikaru nor Lantis seem to be listening to the poor thing anymore.

Can you say 'lost in each other's eyes? xDD

Hurt Mesmerised


Primera: "Hey you! Don't touch Lantis. I'll heal Lantis' wounds!"

Seems like pretty much a lost cause to talk to any of them until Primera forcefully moves away Hikaru's hand and heals Lantis. True to herself, Hikaru doesn't even consider getting mad at her small fairy, instead praising her profusely for her healing magic. Primera puffs up proudly on Lantis' shoulder and then promptly slips and falls as Lantis uncaringly stands up.

And then we're treated to this image which I find highly amusing...and waaaay intimidating. But awesomeness on bread. xDD

Like-whoa


Anyone care to place some bets on how big their height difference is? Telling you now - she's 1.45 and he's 1.97.

Not to mention how he's twice her size and that armor doesn't help things.

Then Lantis and LaFarga take quips at each other - LaFarga doesn't trust Lantis and Lantis doesn't bow down at all - and we have some more drama...

Hikaru: "That voice...I remember hearing it somewhere."
LaFarga: "You should recognize it. Lantis over there is the younger brother of High Priest Zagato."
Hikaru: "Younger brother?

...as dark secrets are spilled forward. We also learn from the discussion following Lantis' departure that he also returned from Autozam right after Emeraude's death. A thing that seems to put everyone but Hikaru on edge.

Hikaru who, after a horrible nightmare later that night, goes for a walk through the palace and stumbles upon Lantis - this time armor-less - consoling a little girl (Mira) who's also had a bad dream. Here, we see the first true glimpse of Lantis' gentle heart as well - besides the generic 'saving a damsel in distress' thing which could have been simply done out of, say, duty or honor.

Lantis softens his voice towards the little girl, listens to her incoherent retelling of the dream patiently and doesn't even shy away from touching her shoulder to assure her that his presence there will drive away any 'human eating monsters'. It seems to work well until Mira asks "So the new Pillar will protect us?" which seems to not sit so well with Lantis...not that it could, knowing so well how his brother's falling in love with Emeraude killed them both.

The distress shows on his face and Mira worriedly asks him if everything is alright ("Does you tummy hurt? Are you sick?"). The question is easily evaded and Lantis asks her is she remembers from where she came from and offers to carry her all the way to her bedroom. Bad guys don't cuddle little children kthnx! First proof that he's more than he seems!

Which is where Hikaru comes in the picture again...this time starting an even more awkward moment than before, as both Lantis and Hikaru are fully aware of who the other one is this time. Awkward pause, awkward stare from her part (coupled with a babbled greeting from Hikaru's part) and thankfully for them, Mira breaks the tension by remembering that it was Hikaru who saved her when her village was attacked by monsters.

Pleasantries are exchanged (rather excited ones) and then Lantis sweeps by her once more, leaving Hikaru with the only option of running after him. Que a slight family moment - they look cute and the fangirl in me blooms a bit. :D

Wait-for-me


What follows after letting Mira off to her bedroom, is - you guessed/bingo! - yet another awkward moment because despite everything, this pairing is defined by their awkward moments in which they dance around each other rather obviously.

Trapped


And despite all that, this is one of their most poignant moment. If curiosity started with a gaze in episode 03, weeeeeell episode 04 starts the spark.

Hikaru: "Um, I heard that you were the younger brother of High Priest Zagato."
Lantis: "I am."

We never see it coming, though from Hikaru we should. She literally BOWS low in front of him! Her body language tells of the guilt that has been eating her from inside ever since she's learned of the true reason for which Zagato had imprisoned Emeraude.

Bow


And then...

Hikaru: "I...I killed your...You can hit me if you want! No, I know that hitting me won't be enough. But I want you to leave Umi and Fuu alone! I know I sound selfish saying that...but...Umi and Fuu weren't so cheerful back in Tokyo...They tried their best to cheer me up when I got depressed but I think they were both crying when they were alone. So if you want to hit us, just hit ME!"
Lantis: "I'm not going to hit you. Legendary Magic Knight summoned from another world, I have no reason to blame you."
Hikaru: "But I...
Lantis: *pause* "I'm sure you cried when you were alone as well."

Shock, consternation, pain - staring moment.

You-too


Before you ask what the heck is with all the staring moments, let me just say that Hikaru and Lantis have a way or talking without really talking. Their eyes speak more than words to each other and right now they speak more than words ever could. They understand each others grief and pain.

Beyond all, and let me say this WITH words so that it stays written,

Lantis forgives Hikaru for killing his older brother, his only remaining family, and the Pillar of his country...but above all he forgives her for his brother. He doesn't want revenge, he doesn't want to make her suffer for something that isn't her fault. He knows that she was merely caught in this war - an innocent.

It's the biggest thing in like...ever. Heck, you rarely see this happen.

Can you say - shippy moment? Can you say - awesomeness? I'm still learning my letters you know so I make the best of it!

Anyway, Primera interrupts the scene, inciting the fans to mass murder, but at least we get an admission that there IS something going on between Lantis and Hikaru

Lantis: "You shouldn't blame yourselves. Rather, I blame Cephiro's...
Primera: "No! What's with all this while I'm asleep? Lantis is mine. He saved me when I was attacked by monsters in the Forest of Spirits! Oh, he was so handsome...*visible swoon*  My dear Lantis! So I'm usually a good girl but I'm tough against rivals in romance!"
Hikaru: Rivals in romance?

The mere fact that Hikaru is blushing mildly by this point, leaves us feeling at least a little avenged. We have relationship evolution you guys! ♥

Moving on...Hikaru begins having visions of a girl - shrouded in shadows/light - that calls to her and tells her that she was born especially for her...a girl named Nova who refuses to reveal herself just yet. At the same time, the invaders of Cephiro make their presence known - Autozam, Fahren and Chizeta - and advance on Cephiro in order to claim the Pillar system that's said to give its wielder unlimited powers.

Hikaru, Umi and Fuu, knowing the tragedy of the former Pillar and the man who loved her, try to dissuade them and especially learn their reasons for the invasion. For the first time in the whole anime, the girls find out about the existence of the Pillar room in which the Crown Circlet - Emeraude's former crown - lies in wait for its next wielder.

None but the future Pillar can enter the room, for it is protected by a wall of powerful magic...and yet Lantis seems to be able to enter it through his strong will...and Hikaru is attracted to it (almost in a daze) the first time she sees it and tries to enter the chamber but is stopped by her friends just in same to save her from a supposed certain death.

Clef: "That crown is protected by this room. Furthermore, those without the strength of heart can not even touch it. However, the one with the strong heart doesn't necessarily have to be from Cephiro...This is also a place where you must be well gifted with magical power to enter."
Umi: "There aren't any stairs?"
Presea: "No. This entire floor is protected by a barrier. You must break the barrier to even step in here."
Clef: "Furthermore, the door to this room doesn't open unless you have this ring."
Fuu: "Then the only one who can open this door is Mr. Clef?"
Clef: "Three magic items can open this door. The Magic Ring I have here. The Magic Plate worn by Zagato, the High Priest serving Princess Emeraude. And the third...the magic sword owned by Lantis...the Magic Swordsman who used to serve Princess Emeraude."
Hikaru: "Lantis..."

People unwittingly try to bring these two together I tell you.

But putting aside what will be, Hikaru - with her ever present desire to help the people of Cephiro - offers to go outside the castle to search for any possible survivor in hopes that she'll be able to find the future Pillar of Cephiro...as no one is fit to become the ruler in the castle. Arguing ensues! Umi and Fuu refuse to let her go alone and unprotected and Hikaru refuses to let them come with her so as to not let the castle unprotected should anyone try to invade.

Still, everyone is against the idea of letting Hikaru go alone and the latter suddenly remembers the woman Lantis brought back to the castle at the last moment...and has a brilliant idea:

Hikaru: "I know! I'll ask Lantis if he will come with me..."
Umi: "That tall man in black armor?"
Hikaru: "The fact that he saved that woman means that he's familiar with the current landscape of Cephiro. and if he's a Magic Swordsman, he's got to be strong. *smile* Right, Clef?"
Clef: "He is indeed strong. He has enough magic powers to match his elder brother Zagato...yet no one could win a sword fight against Lantis either. However...Lantis...left Cephiro and stayed in Autozam. And Lantis has the Magic Sword that can open the room of the Pillar."

Here, Clef and Hikaru have a silent staring contest - Clef willing Hikaru to understand that Lantis has probably become a very dangerous fighter on the whole and Hikaru...

Hikaru: "I'm sure you'll laugh at me when I say this...but I don't think that Lantis is a bad guy."
Clef: "Why do you think so?"
Hikaru: "Because he has a sad look in his eyes...I have no proof but his eyes are solitary, so lonely...they're like wolves in the winter."

After this fine example of 'scary, deep understanding' I would like to add that Hikaru is saying this in front of an audience of four people. Totally seriously.

Most girls would blush and stammer after saying something so deep about a person they've only just met but she's straight-faced and completely convinced that Lantis is the way she thinks him to be. She's probably the only one who doesn't really doubt him at this point...and Clef is supposed to be the master from which Lantis learned magic for a very, very long time!. ^^;

Episode 28 opens with Hikaru blasting some poor, hapless beast (well, not really) to bits with her Fire Arrow magic while Lantis moves to stand by her side completely at ease. As if he trusts her to not get hurt, killed or anything.

This is actually not so unusual considering that Hikaru was an important part of the trio that managed to take down the strongest man in all of Cephiro...but I'd still like to think that he's being so calm because he deems her worthy. xDD

By this time, they're both outside the castle - guess, she managed to convince him, huh? xP - alone and in search of anyone alive. Tension's in the air...but that's probably because Lantis is quiet and private and Hikaru belongs to an all girls school in her world. Not exactly good factors to create a cozy atmosphere between them...

For a moment, Hikaru stands as in a daze, wondering how the beautiful and peaceful Cephiro from before could have turned into such a desolate waste and when she comes back from memory lane, Mokona draws her attention to the fact that Lantis is preparing to move further...well, after waiting for her to realize it. (he doesn't just take off inconsiderately)

Primera: "Hey, hey Lantis...why did you tag along with that short girl? She asked you to come with her outside the castle...I thought that only you were weird enough to do things like that. Lantis!"

Good question there. Unfortunately, he doesn't bother to answer it.

In the meantime, poor Hikaru is trying desperately to reach him - short girl, short legs - and when she reaches his side we get another slice of considerate!Lantis from her musings.

Hikaru: "Wait...is he, by any chance...*strange look*...walking slowly to match my pace?"

Gentleman. Doesn't say much but...cute. ^^;

Primera and Mokona fool around for a bit - as Primera's left behind this time due to her incessant preening/flying around - and there's a small respite of happiness before another monster attacks. Right from behind Lantis.

Hikaru cries out his name terrified.

Lantis looks like mildly annoyed. Awesome sword is taken out and with this we discover that he can INDEED use magic as strong as Clef's and that he's a lightning based mage most of the time. Monster goes boom rather spectacularly and Hikaru looks beyond impressed.

 photo Lightning.gif Strike


This has the potential to be another short build-up moment (because as strong and nimble as Hikaru is, I have no doubt that her heart is picking up speed in this scene. *wiggles eyebrows*) but who really knows?

More monsters are destroyed, before a sudden downpour of rain takes them by surprise and they're forced to take cover under a large rocky formation to escape getting soaked. A few drops still manage to fall on her despite the protection and though she draws little to no attention to herself, Lantis notices it from the corner of his eye and courteously raises his arm to shield her completely under his cape....ignoring her flustered words and weak protests.

 photo Thank-you.gif
Hikaru: "Oh, um...it's all right! I'm fine! I'm pretty tough...I won't catch a cold or anything like that!"
Lantis: *doesn't move*
Hikaru: *flattered smile* "Thank you..."


I kind of adore like the fact that he's willing to keep that arm raised (in what I find to be a mind-numbing and painful position) indeterminately just to keep her safe from a few droplets of rain. ♥

Both are quiet for a few moments afterward, watching as lightning streaks the sky, and then Hikaru tries to initiate a conversation.

Hikaru: "I wonder if a storm is coming...Oh, wait there are no storms or typhoons here. Lantis, you've never seen one, right?"
Lantis: "I have."
Hikaru: "But I thought that in Cephiro..."
Lantis: "When I was traveling in other worlds."
Hikaru: "You were a traveler. Was that for a long time?"
Lantis: "You could say that."
Hikaru: "Hey...were you ever lonely traveling alone?"

 photo Loneliness.gif


I always need several moments to come down from the high of this scene because they are making it too obvious and yet they're skirting around the issue!. I don't even know whether I should squeal in utter delight over this scene - because the way they LOOK at each other could probably light a fire somewhere (the moment is THAT poignant I swear!) - or bang my head against something because it's about to be interrupted.

Primera: "Hold it, hold it, hold it! What is this!? What's with this mood!? Lantis is mine! Don't put him in any funny situations."
Hikaru: "Funny...?"

Last time I was feeling avenged, now I'm struggling to find that pitchfork I hid in a closet last year just in case...

At least Primera isn't blind to the tension - a different type this time - between our couple. The girl can definitely read moods...

And just so nothing can ever be recovered from this scene, Eagle Vision from Autozam (Lantis' friend and ruler of one of the invading countries) comes barging in from the sky in his mecha FTO and announces that he wants to capture Hikaru.

Hikaru summons Rayearth (her mashin God) and the battle is on. At first, the FTO holds the advantage and manages to sever the shield which Hikaru uses for defense...and as it falls close to Lantis, disolving into flames again, we can see that he looks worried for her sake (it is safe to asume that he's worried for her since she's the only one hurt at this time).

The tables turn as Hikaru proves that she isn't just anybody and breaks through the powerful electric shield around the FTO, cutting a mechanical arm and thoroughly damaging it.

Swords clash in a battle of wills and neither backs up until Lantis takes out his own sword and sends a powerful bolt of energy their way to separate them. And he sounds angry about being forced to intervene.

Lantis: "Stop this now! Eagle!"

Girlfriends before best friends, Lantis?

Lantis: "I told you! The Pillar of Cephiro isn't almighty."
Eagle: "My mission is to seize control of the Pillar System of Cephiro!"

And with that being said, he takes advantage of the fact that Hikaru's attention is on Lantis, and traps her in an electric force field, shocking her nervous system and making her lose consciousness.

Lantis calls out for him to stop and turns around just at the right time to counter another attack come from nowhere.

Who turns out to be Alcyone, out to get pretty much anyone on the side of good. (at this point Alcyone, former pupil of Clef and also formerly in love with Zagato, is working for a certain Debonair that seeks to destroy Cephiro...just so you guys know. xD)

Alcyone: "It's no use fighting. Everything in this world belongs to Lady Debonair! You should just sit quietly and await the time of destruction."

Like anyone could...

Lantis pays little attention to her conceited speech then turns around to look at the FTO carrying Hikaru away and without a second thought turns to run after it.

Another attack blocks his way and when he looks a second time towards the sky, the only trace left of the FTO is a small light in the distance.

Can't really say that he looks particularly happy about it...

But he talks to Alcyone about it. Who confuses him for Zagato (Zagato and Lantis are both voiced by Kosugi Jyuurota), tells him that she loved him once and tries to destroy him even more ardently.

Again, Lantis evades. Again he looks towards the sky for a sign of Hikaru and tries to go to her (even though the FTO is long gone). Alcyone attacks (repetitive much?) and succeeds in making him angry enough for him to press his sword against her throat threateningly.

Instead of getting her to tell him anything about Debonair, Lantis only manages to get Alcyone plastered all over him - a sexy, skimpily dressed woman who's well endowed hugging him tightly.

And he wants to go to Hikaru...

HAH!

He sadly tries to explain that he is not Zagato and seeing that sense doesn't cut it, jumps back and blasts her into unconsciousness with a lightning bolt.

Primera flies to him worriedly.

Lantis: "I'm going to chase after Hikaru."
*Mokona bounces towards him and pu's approvingly*
Lantis: "You can communicate with Master Mage Clef, right?"
*Mokona agrees*
Lantis: "Please do."

Then, in a truly knightly fashion, he summons a black, fierce looking flying horse and takes off to the sky in search for the Autozam ship (bound to be floating waaaaay above Cephiro...somewhere above the clouds - also read as in outer space. xDD)

Episode 29

Despite the battle and kidnapping, Eagle treats Hikaru kindly, as if she were a guest rather than a hostage, and she warms up to him fast. Until Lantis comes in with a bang and nearly brings down the roof on them - literally, by blasting through the ship - with a very simple yet effective message.

Lantis: "I want you to return Hikaru."

Let's pause a little. At this point, the viewer is left to guess as to what his reasons could be for wanting her back so badly that he would willingly go against one of the three main enemies of Cephiro...on that enemy's own territory. Autozam isn't exactly a small fry here.

We can only presume that she's gotten under his skin with her kindness and cheerfulness because it's sure as hell hard to make up any other reason for which his brother's killer should be safely returned to Cephiro.

And yes, I want to stress that a thousand times because bwuh people...just bwuh. So he forgave her with words but THIS! This proves that Lantis MEANT it!

Resuming - Lantis and Eagle engage in an epic battle of wills, swords and words of course. Lantis doesn't understand why his once best friend wants the Pillar System, Hikaru is against anyone being a Pillair...and Eagle is just being evasive.

Unfortunately, neither ends up victorious as Hikaru is kidnapped - again - and spirited away to a dark alternate world by Nova (remember her?) who finally decides to reveal herself.

This of course adds a new universe to the word issues - as Nova has the exact same face a Hikaru, same signature energy (this one is only later revealed) and a really really big desire to be the one to kill her. Her hair is longer and pink and her ears are elven and pointed but that evil smile on her, and subsequently Hikaru's, face is still too creepy.

Nova: *playful* "Hikaru, let's play!" *sends a blast towards Hikaru which ends up zooming by her ear and destroying the scenery behind them*
Hikaru: "Why do we have to fight?!"
Nova: *giggle* "Because I love you!"

This actually happens more than once - even as Nova draws out her twin swords and attacks Hikaru. She stops, says "I love you" and then proceeds to try and make sushi out of poor Hikaru.

It's really kind of...twisted. >>;

Hikaru: "Did you come from *dodge* Autozam or *dodge* Fahren or *dodge* Chizeta?"
Nova: "None of them! I was born here, right beside Cephiro! I came here...to kill you, Hikaru!"
[...]
After injuring Hikaru pretty seriously. Nova: "How cute...how you scream, Hikaru!" *delighted smile* "I love it!"

If you can't understand what's happening...join the club. Nova even manages to have the same magic attacks as Hikaru - down to a T - which further aggravates things as Hikaru is pretty much getting thrown around like a rag doll by now.

Nova: "I can use the same magic you can Hikaru. Because...I am Hikaru."

Nova


Ho boy - this may be Cephiro, land of many possibilities, but what is THAT supposed to mean?

Fortunately, Nova manages to garble things further in our heads by bringing out her own Mashin Regalia

Nova: "This is my Rune-God! Regalia!"

...oh so it's not only a mashin, but a Rune-God as well! ...Because until now only Magic Knights had one and who can live with just three? We need to turn this into bloody Transformers before we're totally satisfied! >>;

Hikaru summons her own Rune God and another epic battle begins with Umi and Fuu dropping out of the sky and into the fray five minutes after to defend Hikaru.

Nova: "You interrupted my playtime with Hikaru. You must be comrades that Hikaru loves." *smirk* "This is a good timing. I'll rip you to shreds right in front of Hikaru!"

Safe to say...okay, scratch that, Nova fends off all attacks easily and pushes Hikaru, Umi and Fuu back without a sweat. And just as Rayearth warns them of an 'evil, large presence' approaching them, Nova's mother and the one who will actually become the main antagonist of the show appears behind her.

And shocks Hikaru who finally recognizes the dark, enormous shadows that had plagued her dreams even in Tokyo.

Hikaru: 'The one in my dreams...'
Debonair: "Yes. I am the one who appeared in your dreams."
Hikaru: 'Impossible. I just thought that in my heart, and yet...why?'
Debonair: *laughter* "To me, seeing into one's heart is trivial...girl from another world. The legendary Magic Knights that are said to save Cephiro. My existence is wished by those in the land of Cephiro. [...] The time of ruin is near. Everything in the land will die out...in a span of time as short as grains of sand are small. My wish is complete annihilation. An elegant void. For that...the legend of the Magic Knights...is in the way! My dear daughter Nova. Don't you want to see the red blood of the Magic Knights?"
Nova: "I want to! Especially...Hikaru's blood!"

And she does! She manages not only to injure her but Nova also breaks Hikaru's sword by crushing it in her hand and blasts her out of her Rune God and straight into la-la land subsequently.

With Rayearth disappearing shortly after because the sword, the one thing that summons a Rune-God to its wielder, is now in pieces. Safe to say, Hikaru wants her powers back as soon as she wakes up - not only to protect everyone but help her friends (who are now left to protect Cephiro by themselves) and because she feels guilty about Presea sacrificing her life once before to create that sword.

Somehow, Caldina suggests that a hot bath would do them all very good and so we have a nice and interesting dialog that amuses me to no end really because...BECAUSE!

Caldina: *swimming lazily* "Hey Hikaru, I never noticed how long that hair of yours was!"
Fuu: "It is hard to tell because you always have it braided."
Umi: "You look cute with your hair long and down."
Hikaru: "I-I-I'm not cute at all! Everyone says I'm like a boy."
Umi: "You are cute."
Fuu: "I believe that you are cute as well!"
Caldina: *bursts out of the water abruptly* "What, Hikaru? You don't hear that you're cute very often?"
Hikaru: "My brothers always tell me that...but I don't hear it from other guys."
Caldina: *pulls Hikaru into a tight hug* "If they can't see how cute this here pretty and miniature Hikaru is...guys from the other world sure don't know how to look at women!"
Hikaru: *embarrassed/nearly suffocated* "Y-You're suffocating me."
Caldina: "Oh, sorry about that!"
Hikaru: *awkward smile* "C-Caldina, you have big breasts..."
Caldina: *laughter* "Presea's are larger than you'd expect. [...] But if you want big-breasted women it's gotta be Alcyone!"
Umi: "Come to think of it they were rather large."
Caldina: "She must be something else to all those guys who love top-heavy girls."
Hikaru: *confused* "Do men like big breasts?"
(A/N: *snortgiggle* Her face...priceless.)
Girls: "EH?" *surprised as heck*
Hikaru: *turning red/panicking* Er-er well I don't have any and..."
Umi: "Hikaru?"
Hikaru: "S-so...I was thinking that if you have large breasts if would be nice and soft, and...a-and well..."
(A/N: Nice and soft for what Hikaru? I swear, my mind just camped in the gutter...children's show my ass.)

 photo Bath-Time7.gif


Umi: "Do you have someone on your mind?"
Hikaru: *turns bright red* "Ah, it's not that...I mean..."

 photo Bath-Time8.gif


Obviously, there is someone on her mind...the fangirl in my just fainted from too much happiness I think.

Unfortunately someone interrupts to announce that Chizeta's ship is flying too close to Cephiro. And the girls have to go to battle.

Umi and Fuu get captured by Chizeta and Fahren and Presea - or her twin sister Sierra, depends on how you want to word it - tells Hikaru that there is a way to revive her sword but she that she will have to risk her life in order to do so. Hikaru accepts and the camera cuts to Nova and Debonair.

Nova: "Mother, I want to play with Hikaru again."
Debonair: *thinking of Alcyone* "The door for us is already in Cephiro. Soon..."
Nova: "I'm so happy! You know...I found a new feeling within Hikaru's heart. A feeling different from that of her comrades. One Hikaru herself hasn't realized yet."
Debonair: "Do you want it?"
Nova: "Of course, I'm Hikaru..."

They always say that feelings are more obvious seen from the outside in...in this case everyone but Hikaru herself seems to realize it. *twitchy* Gotta wonder what's going on through Lantis' mind...

But back to the story - Sierra (I prefer to refer to her like this since this IS her real name and she's only secretly substituting for her dead twin sister) puts Hikaru into a magical trance and tells her that in order to revive her sword she will have to fight against herself and that she must at all times believe in herself or risk losing her life...and possibly Sierra's as well.

Hikaru sees herself and Umi and Fuu as they were before they were summoned to Cephiro. She wonders if the summoning would have taken place had they not been together then...wonders if things would've turned out differently and if neither of them would have had to suffer for it. And sometimes during her flashback, her own voice is doubled by Nova's voice...obviously, the one who wants to make her doubt.

Nova tries to trick her - tries to remind her that without Umi and Fuu she would have never suffered like she did and for a few moments it seems like Hikaru will give in (and darkness begins to swirl around her instead of bright red light), but suddenly she straightens her spine and denounces the memories and words as being false...and subsequently passes the first test successfully.

Nova: "I see...you really believe in those two. Then what about this?"

She summons a light ball that enlarges and takes the shape of Lantis and Hikaru finds herself faltering once more. Dum dum dum...

Nova: *stepping out from behind Lantis* "You're in love with this person, right Hikaru?"
Hikaru: *gasp*
Nova: "It's different from your feelings for those two." *drapes herself all over Lantis: "But, it's still love. Hey, what do you think of Hikaru?"
Lantis: "The Magic Knights killed by elder brother, Zagato."

Que dark music - literally - and Hikaru looks like she could keel over from pain - literally. It's actually heartbreaking to look at her. ;;

Nova: *leaning in to whisper in his ear* "Hey, do you love Hikaru?"

Lantis opens his mouth to speak but Hikaru - yet more desperate - covers her ears and the floor gives in, throwing her into a dark void. Nova laughs mockingly.

Nova: "You're so weak Hikaru! You're so weak and cute Hikaru!"
Hikaru: "LANTIS!!"

In another part of the castle - far far away - Lantis falls on one knee, hand on his head and her name on his lips. Clef hears it too actually...it's just that strong...! Primera and Mira come running into the room and hurry at Lantis' side, both panicked.

Lantis: "Hikaru is in danger..."
Primera: "Hikaru? That short girl?"
Mira: "What happened with Miss Hikaru? She's okay right? She's so strong!"
Lantis: *comforting smile* "She is alright. Here in Cephiro those with a strong willpower always prevail. Hikaru is strong. She has a heart stronger than anyone else's."

Good to know you can always find the good points of your brother's killer.

Mira gives a wreath of flowers for Lantis to give to Hikaru and he goes after her breaking into top speed once he's out of sight. Fufufufufu.

In the meantime Sierra sees that Hikaru hasn't yet been flooded with darkness completely and decides to enter her heart and wake her friend up (despite the fact that she could very well die due to such an intervention).

And Lantis is running through the castle, trying to find where Sierra and Hikaru went for the revival process. He seems downright desperate!

FlowerRun FlowerRun2


Lantis: 'It's near. The evil presence has grown even stronger. And...Hikaru's presence is weak...it may disappear any moment!' *clutching flower wreath tightly* 'Hikaru!'

Later, as Hikaru manages to revive her sword through her own will - and Sierra's reminders - she manages to break the spell and get out of the dark world safely. Lantis comes into the room just as Nova raises herself out of Hikaru's fallen body and it's a testimony to how similar the two look as even he looks shocked and calls out Hikaru's name hesitantly.

(this is just one of the numerous fangirl moments for me because, usually, Lantis manages to break Hikaru's name into two or three syllables when he's shocked, hesitant or whatever other powerful emotion you can think of. Hika-ru... or Hi-ka-ru...I'm sorry but it always ends up sounding like something...else. *tries to fan her blush off* It doesn't help either that his voice is low, deep and oh so sexy and the he could put Pavarotti to shame. God rest his soul.)

Anyway, Nova floats up to him and literally throws herself into his arms - I'm noticing a pattern of women throwing themselves at this man already - and cuddles him seductively; leaning close to his face as if to almost kiss him.

SeeingDouble


Lantis looks pretty much too stunned to move. Yeah, someone who looks like the young woman he respects/likes is throwing herself at him while the real version lays crumpled at his feet. We'll give him the benefit of a doubt.

Nova: "I will kill Hikaru."

KillHer


Trembling lower lip >>>>> I think Nova just gave the poor man palpitations there.

Then Nova disappears, leaving behind a distressed Mokona and a confused/angry Lantis and he's only broken from it when Sierra stands up and runs to Hikaru's side, alarmed that she isn't waking up. Lantis goes to her side and lifts her up, supporting her weight.

HandSkirt
I KNOW he's helping her up but where is his hand resting MKR creators? IT'S KINDA LOW ON HER SKIRT! XP


Lantis calls out her name and she opens her eyes slowly to look at him. We have a brief flashback of the moment Nova told her she loved Lantis. Hikaru manages to looks especially sad - somewhat teary-eyed - as she lifts one trembling hand to fleetingly rest it on his cheek; and he stares surprised at her.

Hikaru: "I'm sorry...but...I love you."

And promptly faints back, obviously having used even the last bit of energy in her body to tell him that. HAVE I EVER SAID HOW MUCH THIS PAIRING MAKES ME WANT TO SWOON? HUH? HUH? *O*

I-love-you ByYourSide


Episode 38 opens with Hikaru standing worriedly at Sierra's bedside as the latter tries to comfort her by claiming that Nova didn't manage to do much harm.

Hikaru: "When I was about to lose against myself, I heard your voice Presea."
Sierra: *smiles than turns her head away with a slight blush* "You know, Hikaru...about Lantis..."
Hikaru: "I know. He was the one that carried me over to my room when I fell in the Chamber of Creation."
Sierra: *startled* "You don't remember?"
Hikaru: *clueless look*
Sierra: *stunned* *motherly smile* *sits up and hugs Hikaru*
Hikaru: "Presea..."
Sierra: "If I can be of any help, tell me. I'll help at any time."
Hikaru: "...all right."

The fangirls are looking for a hitman to take out the person who plotted this two step back phase in Hikaru and Lantis' relationship. That would be nice.

As Hikaru leaves Sierra/Presea's room with Mokona in tow, the latter perks up and jumps out of her arms bouncing down a dark corridor - gleefully - while Hikaru is left to follow after, shouting Mokona's name exasperated and tired. As they both run through the castle, Hikaru stumbles upon a sunlit room filled with beautiful vegetation and an imposing fountain in the middle. Birds chirp gaily, water flows calmly...a sight not seen anywhere in Cephiro anymore as the land is slowly destroying itself.

Hikaru stands stunned in the doorway as Mokona jumps into Lantis' arms - no reserves - and stiffens self-consciously when he turns to look at her from over his shoulder. They stare at each other for a few moments and Hikaru has another flashback in which Nova is taunting her about her love for him. She shuts her eyes painfully tight and then opens them abruptly when she realizes that Lantis is talking to her.

Lantis: "Are you all right now? Are you sure you shouldn't be resting?"
Hikaru: "Y-yeah!"
Lantis: "...why don't you sit down?"

Hikaru approves shakily again and sits herself on the other side of the fountain, making Lantis raise his eyebrow at her even though she can't see it. They're separated by a large fountain, back to back - awkwardly - and despite this fact, Lantis seems to be smiling again.

SitDown


...something which until now has NEVER been shown. 17 whole episodes of him acting like all serious, strict and stoic and now he does a 180 on us and actually expresses happiness at something! ♥

Pleased
*swoons* My eyes do not deceive me...I smell OTP progress once more!


Hikaru: "Um, thanks for carrying me over to my room..."

When he turns towards her, Lantis isn't smiling anymore. "So you don't remember?" And now it's his turn to have a flashback of her love declaration.
Hikaru: "Did I...do something weird?"

Displeased
This is the 'I'm unhappy about this godforsaken scenario' face, can't you tell?


We close-in on his darkened visage for a good portion of time - enough to beat the 'contemplating to kill something' idea into our heads - and Hikaru stares at him inquisitively until she notices the birds flocking around him and settling on his hands and shoulders.

Hikaru: *gasp* "A pretty bird! Awwwwwww! Cute!"

She stands up and follows the birds happily, obviously without realizing that she's already closed the distance between herself and Lantis and also that's settled by his side quite snuggly.

Lantis: "You like birds?" oh, now you're just fishing for info, admit it!
Hikaru: *clueless laughter* "Yeah!"

Then epiphany hits and she realizes she's only inches from him, looks up startled and quickly turns away in obvious embarrassment (probably thinking that she'd been too forward with him and still thinking that he might not like it...silly girl. xDD)

Birds
The awkward lovers. You can't deny it.


Lantis, being the obvious adult in this relationship, breaks the awkwardness by extending a hand towards her so that the bird sitting on it could settle on her shoulder. Hikaru again laughs in delight as more birds flock around her (guess that when Lantis gave his silent assent, all flying life forms decided it was safe or something *snort*) and Lantis again watches her with a sort of rueful/appreciative expression...and a smile in his eyes.

They have a light conversation about Cephiro, with Hikaru becoming more bold around him, and Lantis finally asks something that has probably been troubling him for a good while.

Lantis: "Magic Knight, what are you fighting for?"
Hikaru: "For myself..." *determined*

He appraises her for a split moment only and finally a small, satisfied smile curls his lips upwards. He extends a beautifully crafted mirror-pendant made of gold to her silently, catching her and us by surprise.

Pendant
Are we giving out courting gifts now, Lantis? xDD


Hikaru: *gaping/stuttering*
Lantis: "It's something...my mother entrusted me with."
~Mokona draws Hikaru's attention just as she's about to object and Lantis places the pendant in her hand~
Hikaru: *grabbing his hands* I-I can't accept something so important!"

Then Lantis enfolds her hands and you can probably hear the sounds of hundreds of fangirls around the world letting out maniac squeals of delight.

Hikaru: "Why?"
Lantis: "It will protect you someday."

By this point the fangirls are lying in heaps on the floor having taken the devastating brunt of a full-fledged 'romantic attack'.

Hikaru looks like she could cry and as she starts with a choked "Lan-", Clef interrupts them to announce that the castle is under attack. By Eagle.

Whom we're considering killing - maybe, possibly, have you seen my pitchfork?

Ah, but we're used to it. Fandom better compensate for the horror we have to go through though.

The battle ensues and due to unforeseen circumstances - like Emeraude's spirit appearing to protect the Pillar's proof from both Eagle and Debonair (who also decided it was high time she sneaked in as well) - Hikaru and Eagle are knocked out and the invasion is cut short. Debonair is also pushed out by Emeraude herself. ^^;

Despite the fact that both Hikaru and Eagle are knocked out because of the powerful energy release, only Hikaru is sent into Emeraude's memories of the former Cephiro...when she was still Pillar. At first, of course, Hikaru doesn't know where she is; however as she stretches her hand to touch a pretty bird (one that can obviously feel she's there her even though she's merely a spirit), the bird can't settle on her fingers and instead flies to Lantis who is cozily sitting in a high tree in the warmest spot in the castle.

Dream
Aw, he's even present in her dreams! ♥


She thinks his name and a moment later Zagato calls out to him...living (or not...really) echo. ^^;

The reason I choose to bring this scene into discussion is that Hikaru spots Emeraude a few moments after that and runs to her. And really, this scene is chock full of innuendos.

Emeraude was the Pillar of Cephiro and she was in love with the older brother, High Priest Zagato. And he loved her back.

Hikaru doesn't know it yet but she will be chosen to succeed Emeraude as the Pillar and she's in love with the younger brother Lantis.

Guys, I think that the MKR staff is trying to hint to something. What can it be?

Zagato asks Lantis what he thinks of the Pillar system and the way it puts all the weight on one person's shoulders and Emeraude gasps. Both brothers catch on to the fact that she's looking at them and Emeraude and Zagato share a long look of longing say that three times faster I dare ya before Emeraude whispers Zagato's name and sobbing lightly, runs back into the castle.

Zagato basically admits that he's committed the greatest sin in Cephiro and that he loves Emeraude and Lantis tells him that "This world is beautiful but I think a world that is truly beautiful would be one where flowers bloom even without a Pillar.

Then he begins saying something - methinks that he tells Zagato that he will leave Cephiro - but a strong, sudden wind ruffles the trees and Hikaru shouts Lantis' name as she's pulled from the dream.

Cue Hikaru waking up in her own bed, the wreath of flowers hanging nicely from the wall next to her. This can only mean that Lantis took the effort to carry her back - again. xDD

Meanwhile, Debonair and Nova plot to invade Cephiro...again. Interesting tidbits fly all over the place again

Nova: "Mother! Hikaru won't play with me! She pushes me out of her heart!"
Debonair: "My lovely daughter, Nova...you lost to the Magic Knight only because she was helped by the Master Smith. You said you wanted that Magic Swordsman!"
Nova: "Hikaru is even more in love with Lantis now! I think she realized it too..."

And we all thank you for this one thing, honey...

Debonair: "Go on Nova. Go get what you want."

And so Nova does. She enters the castle and attacks Hikaru, Umi and Fuu in the living quarters, where the people of Cephiro spend their days, managing to scare all the little kiddies to tears.

An epic fight ensues. But the dialog is so much more interesting because everyone is so set on Lantis. xDD

Nova: "I am Hikaru...so I know everything that goes on in Hikaru's life."

So instead of attacking with her twin swords, Nova reaches forwards and rips the ribbon at Hikaru's neck, revealing the necklace the latter received from Lantis. Obviously, the girl really does know what goes on in Hikaru's life.

...that's almost creepier than her 'Hikaru, you're so cute I love you and want to cut you to shreds' speech.

Then she holds the pendant and smiles creepily: "You're in love...with Lantis."

Hikaru gasps and angrily snatches the mirror pendant back (rather possessively if you ask me), taking a wild swipe with her sword. She misses of course but Nova isn't deterred.

Nova: "Lantis...I'll kill him using the most deadly and painful way I know!" *disappears into thin air*

For a moment Hikaru - and everyone else - seems too shocked to move and then Hikaru whispers Lantis' name, as if in pain, and clutches her pendant tightly.

The episode ends with a close-up of Lantis and some gloomy overview of Nova running towards him, eyes looking more catlike and inhuman than ever.

Comments

Aww, Hikaru and Lantis are so sweet. It's nice to see that they have a manifesto now :)

Nice job so far! *onto part two*

(Anonymous)

Im not so good expressing myself in english, but this manifesto is awsome! You make me laugh so much, especially with the pitchfork phrases, because i think thats a true feeling for all the girls watching the series. Thanks a lot.
MKR have been always an obsession, and Lantis.. my dreamy knight. Thank you again
blue by darkhavens

January 2018

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