Disclaimer: You know, MKR doesn't belong to me, virtually nothing does.

Couples: Umi and Ascot, Fuu and Ferio, Hikaru and Eagle, Lantis and Primera, Caldina and Lafarga.

Notes: Clef is a loner and still short, sorry Clef and Presea fans. If he's not with Umi, he's not with anyone in my mind. That's the way it is. Did you know that in some parts of China (because girls are killed to be replaced by boys in some societies) that they ran out of women, so the woman can have multiple husbands? It's true.

Feel free to flame the writing, content, etc…but please don't flame the couples. Really, I try to keep everyone out there happy, so if you're not happy with these couples e-mail me a request (love new story ideas) or read one of my other stories. Other than that, enjoy! ^.^

Legend of the Swords

Chapter One: The Tasks

"Do you love him?" she asked with a calm smirk on her face.

"Of course," the Magic Knight answered.

"Then you'd swear to love him and solely him forever? To devote yourself to him entirely?" she questioned as her long fingers gripped the chair…or was it a throne? she was sitting in. She was getting anxious as she seemingly sat on edge, ready to spring at any moment.

Fuu thought for a split second before she responded, "If he promised the same to me."

Her smirk bent into a cool smile, and she nodded, "Good, very good answer. That takes wit, which is not easily come by, especially in beautiful girls. Especially these days," she frowned, then nodded. "Proceed to the next task."

Fuu woke with a start and rubbed a sweaty palm across her forehead. She had been having the same dream for a month now, but she never came to the next task. Maybe she needed to go to Cephiro…did the answer lie there?

§§§~~~

The heat was intense as she tried to push the smoke from her eyes. When the smoke had cleared but the heat had not, the Knight saw a quick flash of the friends she was looking for, tied to a wall in a burning house. Then, she was pulled to the ground by ferocious paws. She ripped at the claws that ripped at her flesh. She screamed in agitation when she couldn't summon her sword and grabbed a piece of flaming lumber despite the searing pain. She knocked the huge animal out and ran to her friends without even a thought to the identity or future actions of her attacker. "Eagle! Lantis! Primera!" she called, coughing through the smoke and running forward blindly.

"Good, courage is a very hard-to-come-by skill, and you can't learn it either. You'll serve, for now. Proceed to the next task."

But, like Fuu, for Hikaru the next task would not come, no matter how long she tried to sleep. She would always wake at the end of the dream.

§§§~~~

She was being pulled down into murky depths, by something enormous. She kicked and bit and struggled to rip free but couldn't. Her lungs began to fill with water as she tried to breathe. She was going to drown. Suddenly, her mind kicked in, and she flung herself down to the creature in a last desperate attempt to free herself from its holds. Her eyes opened despite the salt, and she managed to kick the creature right in the folds of what some would call an elbow. She swam hard to the surface, not even thinking about the thing that was lurking at the bottom. She burst onto the surface and filled her starving lungs with air.

A woman appeared in front of her and smiled mercilessly, "Fine, strength is an overrated quality, but by law and custom I must let you pass to the next task."

§§§~~~

"Guys," they were driving to the Tokyo Tower for their normal Sunday visit when Umi brought it up.

"Hai?" they looked over to Umi, who was in the driver's seat of her silver jaguar.

"For awhile now I've been having a really strange dream. I think that the answer may lie in Cephiro."

"The answer to the second task you mean," Fuu said softly.

"So you've had it too," Hikaru looked at the floor.

"What does it all mean?" Fuu stared at the Tokyo Tower that was slowly coming into view.

"We should see Clef as soon as we get there," Umi suggested, and they nodded in agreement.

§§§~~~

When they had arrived at the Tokyo Tower they all formed in a circle and held hands. The floor lurched underneath them and started to give way, but when they opened their eyes they were still in Tokyo.

"Huh?" Hikaru was stunned.

"Why…are we still here…?" Umi asked, slowly opening one eye.

"I'm not sure," Fuu was stumped. "Well, let's try again."

They agreed and closed their eyes once more.

This time, when the ground lurched the kept Willing themselves to Cephiro, harder than they'd ever tried before.

Slowly the portal began to open, and they were falling down to Cephiro.

They smiled and waited for the flying fish to catch them, but it never did. Instead, they landed on a soft pile of what appeared to be snow…only it was warm.

The three Knights looked around them and tried to figure it out but couldn't.

"Where are we?" Hikaru demanded irritably.

"We're nowhere in Cephiro," Fuu pointed out.

"That's for sure," Umi muttered and looked around them. There was nothing in sight except for a group of rocks far in the distance. "Maybe we should see what's over there."

They agreed to this, but when Hikaru took one step forward, she fell into a drift three feet deep.

"Hikaru!"

"Hikaru-san!"

Umi and Fuu each grabbed one of Hikaru's arms and pulled her back onto the snow-like substance they were standing on.

Umi took one step in the opposite direction, closing her eyes as she did. After a minute, she reopened her eyes and saw she was still above ground. Hikaru and Fuu stepped beside her and looked around warily before Fuu took a step to her left and found it was solid as well. Hikaru went forward from there, but fell once more. Umi and Fuu helped her up, and she quickly turned left to find it was solid.

"It's a puzzle," Fuu whispered and narrowed her eyes.

So they went about this for a long while, forward, left, right, fall, forward, fall.

Umi sighed, exasperated and soaking wet from falling so often, "We're only getting further away!" she whined, and Fuu nodded. Umi knew she was in deep thought, so she ceased her complaining and waited for Fuu to explain her thinking.

In a moment or so, when she had figured it out, she turned to the other two. "I think this isn't magic; we're walking on something. So, all we need to do is to melt this snow, but the snow is warm, so I think if you use your magic, Umi, and spray Water over this, it should go away."

Umi nodded, "Mizu no Ryu!" Water in the form of a Dragon fell from Umi's fingers and covered the area in front of them. The Water-shaped Dragon ate away at the snow and soon they saw they were walking on a high, wide, metal sidewalk. It took many twists and turns, and then they saw their task wasn't over yet.

"It's a maze," Hikaru whispered as the Dragon disappeared, leaving their playing field ahead of them.

"Just what I thought," Fuu nodded. "It's the second task."

The other two just stared at her as the realization hit them as well.

For the next two hours they followed Fuu as she led them through twists and turns and dead-ends and drop-offs. They trudged wearily forth until they saw a straightaway to the cave. Their strength was renewed, and they were chatting merrily when a huge cat appeared, blocking their exit.

They tried to draw their swords, but they couldn't, and the cat sprang, first on Fuu, then on Umi, clawing at their flesh.

"No! Fuu-chan! Umi-chan!" Hikaru plunged forward, without thought of herself and began to kick and hit at the cat that recoiled on her.

Umi stumbled up and thought about nothing but defeating the enemy in front of her as she closed her eyes and summoned her sword, using all of her Will to do so.

The sword appeared in her hands as she ran forward, running the big animal through.

It disappeared, and in its place the woman from their dreams appeared, "That was slow, very slow, I'm disappointed in you three. You didn't even use magic on my kitty. What a pathetic bunch. And you call yourselves Magic Knights!"

"Why are you doing this?" Umi demanded.

She smiled cruelly, "Because war is brewing, and I'm testing you for your swords. I want to see if you'll fail like they did so many years ago. They called themselves Magic Knights, the protectors of Cephiro. They didn't protect their Prince from me, and they didn't protect his son either. Well, now the tides have turned, and the Prince is coming for you three. I would let him kill you, but for the fact you three are very dear to me alive. You three will bring me from the exile I've lived here and bring me glittering back to the Palace of Cephiro," she laughed her wicked laugh, and three swords appeared in front of her. "Take them, and we will be one. I'll show you power such as you have never seen before."

"Never!" Hikaru shouted, stepping forward.

"Then choose the hard way! It's all the same to me. See you tortured and take them, or see you take them willingly. It all ends the same," she snapped back.

"You can't do anything to us that will change our minds!" Hikaru's words were challenging, but Fuu quickly found the fault in them and winced when she picked it up.

"I can't do anything to you huh?" her eyes twinkled as Fuu rushed to fix it.

"Or anyone else. What do we care about people of Cephiro? That's all that you can touch. Our friends, family, love interests are on Earth. You can't hurt us."

"Good try, bravo," she clapped twice before putting her menacing look back on. "You really…no, almost…no…well…it was a good effort. You would have really had me going if I didn't know you or your reputations or your history. I might have believed you then, but no…I know much, much more than that."

"You leave them alone!" Hikaru's hands began to dance with fire.

She laughed wickedly and shook her head, "Silly little Fire Knight. How much you don't know. Oh but the Wind Knight knows. That's why she's my favorite. We're so much alike; we both know."

"We are nothing alike," Fuu was trembling in rage at the insult, but she wouldn't let her emotions get the best of her brain.

"Oh, but you see, we are. You each have a trait that I possess. Wind Knight possesses wit, Fire Knight possesses courage, and the Water Knight possesses the easily come by strength. So when all three of you are put together you get one of me. Honestly, no wonder you could never defeat me."

"You are none of those things! You're only a stupid, cowardly weakling!" Umi shouted and forced her sword to her hands once more. "If not, why wouldn't you face us in Cephiro, with all our weapons and magic?"

"Because I'm not stupid Water Knight. I wouldn't want your immortal Rune-Gods to help you out. Just because I pushed them back once doesn't mean I want to risk it again. Besides, I want to keep you alive, not battle for death. Enough talking though, time to send you back to your loved ones and the third task," and like a dream the maze and the rocks vanished, and they were once again in the Palace of Cephiro.

"Here's another speech you wish I'd swallow

Another cue for you to fold your ears

Another train of thought too hard to follow

Chugging along to the song that belongs to

The shifting of gears

Please forgive me for my distance

The pain is evident in my existence

Please forgive me for my distance

The shame is manifest in my resistance"

Fiona Apple, When the Pawn…, To Your Love