Chapter Four: Explanation
"More than three hundred years ago, Kagami sacrificed his life to save Seeu," Kaguya began. "and so, while Seeu was not supposed to survive, he lived on. This affected time in an obvious way, but it had more effects than it seemed. Seeu could do more than add his own life to the fight for the universe; he could add Kagami's life.
"Seeu's people, as you all probably know, had been infected many centuries ago by a deadly contagion. This caused a wave of research about dolls which contained human souls. This research did not seem successful. In fact, the only instance in which a human soul did make it into a doll was a fluke; it was not with any of the machines they had experimented with, nor was it with a more advanced doll. This instance occurred with Waseda-san, when he was looking over the Lunato Mercury. His body was pierced by the Luna as she rushed off to Seeu. However, the Luna, being a living weapon, pierced more than his body. She pierced his soul. By doing so, she granted his true wish: to survive. She did this by transferring his body into the doll that he currently inhabits, the chicken.
"This occasion was probably the most important piece of research for the project ever to have occurred, and no one knew about it. What it proved was that the only way to transfer a spirit into a doll and have the spirit control the doll was to involve a living weapon. Unfortunately, when Kagami was killed, his body was all but destroyed. For all anyone knew, his spirit was gone, and so could not be transferred.
"Seeu knew more. Kagami had absorbed the Gemna, and thus had altered his own soul, becoming the Gemna. Kagami had gathered and stored his soul – which was no longer just an ordinary soul, just Kagami's soul, but could also serve as the Gemna – into the Organic Gold, thus combining his soul with the soul of the Organic Gold. When Seeu finally finished the doll, he tried to implant Kagami into Gold. He had never completed his research, though; he didn't know how Waseda-san had been successfully transplanted, or even that Waseda-san existed. He didn't quite succeed, but he linked Kagami to Gold enough that the Organic Gold was willing to stay on Gold and be used by him. It was only decades after his implantation on Gold that Kagami subverted Gold's systems and was able to steal control for brief moments. However, it cost much of Kagami's energy, and so he could only stay like that briefly.
"Then, as some of you are aware, Bambi came to take me to Kura. In doing this, she broke Gold. Gold's left hand and the Organic Gold were still intact, but the rest of the doll was worthless. Though Kagami's soul was contained only in the doll's left hand, he had no body, and so could not contact us.
"Things were getting worse quickly, and Kagami had been left alone at Seeu's castle on fifth world. Kagami managed, just barely, to take a different form. He combined completely with the Organic Gold, and became the dragon we saw.
"Everyone thought that he was obliterated, body and soul. I, myself, thought that he was gone forever. However, I was strolling through the woods by myself one day only a couple of months after the death of Kagami. I… felt something pulling me. I was told, once, that because I was born after the end of the universe I had a greater… clairvoyance, psychic ability, what have you, than others. I think that perhaps this is what the "pulling" was.
"I came across a sheltered hollow in a tree. There was something different about the tree, something special, and I couldn't quite figure it out until I peered inside this hollow.
"Inside it, there was a left hand covered in gold.
"It was, of course, Kagami's hand, and I couldn't believe it. It was then, as I picked up the hand, that I heard the voice.
"Normally, living weapons speak to no one but their masters, but because this was not a living weapon but a combination of Kagami and Organic Gold, he could speak not only to me, but to anyone he wished. As I listened, Kagami told me of how he just barely managed to manipulate time and space in one last, incredible effort and survive. He followed me until he found the world I lived on, then took that form and stayed in a place where he knew I would find him. He explained that by staying as a hand wrapped in the Organic Gold, it took the least energy he could spend being able to be recognized as who he was. He could regain his human form, but it would probably look different, and he would be drained of energy for a very long time. In fact, unless special measures were taken, he wouldn't wake for centuries. I took Kagami home, hiding him in the bottom of a chest most days. He didn't mind, because he was sleeping.
"Then, after Seeu and I were married, I told him all about what had happened and what Kagami had told me. He agreed to keep it secret with me. After we finally chose a world we thought we would stay on – where we're living now – we found a place to hide Kagami. Under the pond where we lived, there was a natural cave system. However, there was no natural way to access it, so we had to make one. After we created this entrance, we made the stone tablet for him to sleep on and the barriers to shelter him. Kagami told us the necessary steps to help him regain his energy quickly in a time of need, should we ever have to wake him prematurely. Were an emergency to arise, then we could wake him immediately. He told us that it would be better for him to sleep, to give him time to assimilate all that he had learned before, when he went through the worlds, to see if he could fix the situation with the worlds when he woke. However… this would mean that none of us would ever see him again.
"When the worlds started shaking, though, we thought that if anyone knew how to fix them, it would be Kagami, and so we were forced to wake him early and bring him here." Kaguya sat back, rubbing her throat slightly after speaking so long a tale.
"Then what exactly is your plan?" Meishie wanted to know. "Since Kagami knows so much, what does he suggest we do?"
Kagami frowned slightly, the look out of place on his normally cheerful face. "I'm not sure quite what to do," he admitted. "I didn't have time to understand what happened on Ancient, or what happened when we enacted our plan, so I'll need some help with what to do. But I do think that we should remake the living weapons first…"
"And how the heck are we going to do that?" Kura demanded. "We all gave up our weapons for our plan before that didn't work."
"Well… I think Gold should be able to reform the weapons. I'm not entirely sure how, but I don't think I really need to understand what I'm doing to do it."
The others blinked in confusion. It didn't make much sense to them, but they could all tell that it was a very risky plan. What none of them understood, however, not even Kagami, was exactly how risky it was. Because the weapons were a part of Gold, and Gold was part of Kagami, he could draw the weapons out of the Organic Gold with no damage to the living weapon. However, because of the intertwined souls, Kagami ran a very high risk of unraveling himself in order to make the other living weapons. If he did not enact the ritual correctly, he could deconstruct Gold in order to construct the other weapons; however, that would effectively kill Kagami because their spirits and lives were combined.
"When will you revive the weapons?" Seeu asked, deadpan as always.
"Well… I could do it right now, but I think it would be better if we were somewhere less susceptible to destruction," Kagami answered with a smile. "I think the fifth world would probably be good."
Kura nodded, then stood abruptly. "Let me take care of that," he asserted smugly. He started to stride out of the room before Damien asked, "Your Highness, where are you going?"
Kura stopped in his tracks at that, before stating in a voice that made it clear he thought his actions were obvious, "I'm going to schedule a collapser usage."
"We don't need a collapser," Meishie informed him, clearly delighting in taking Kura down a few pegs, even after all they had been though together.
"What-but-" Kura spluttered a bit, before settling into a peeved expression. "Why not? And why didn't anyone inform me before?"
"You didn't leave us time, Kura," Kaguya answered, unable to hide her smile or her small fit of giggles.
"Wait!" Sarita cried suddenly. "I don't understand! What are we doing? Why am I going with you? I don't want to have anything to do with that woman!" By "that woman," Sarita referred to Bambi. She had never like Bambi, and her dislike grew to hatred for some inexplicable reason after learning she was her sister.
"Sarita," Kaguya murmured quietly, drawing the girl's attention to her. "I know you don't like Bambi. But please, consider this: this is for the salvation of the universe. Idou dedicated his life to this cause, and I believe that he taught you well enough for you to do a good deal to help us. I would like to think that you would carry on Idou's cause. We really do need you. Please, Sarita?" Kaguya's large, blue eyes stared up at her. It was a gaze that no one had ever properly resisted, and Sarita proved to be no exception. Grudgingly, the girl agreed to go with them. Inwardly, though, she was anything but reluctant. This was Idou's old cause, and she knew it had meant everything to him. He would have gladly given his life for it, and that thought alone made her ashamed at her selfishness, her outburst, and the fact that she wouldn't have worked at something so important to the man she had loved. Sarita set off eagerly, determined to make her former mentor proud.
It wasn't ten minutes later that Meishie had once again transported them to another world, this time an empty meadow in the fifth world, far from Seeu and Kaguya's house. Kagami looked around, before deciding that the site was a good one. There was a small brook nearby, which explained why there were the ruins of an old stone wall; someone had undoubtedly built a home and farm at the site, taken by the easy access to water.
"Everyone should probably stand back," Kagami warned, a frown once again on his face. "I'm not sure exactly what will happen, but it might be dangerous."
All decided that it would be wise to follow Kagami's advice, and stepped a great distance from him. At first, Kagami did nothing but stand there, a look of intense concentration on his face. Then, suddenly, his eyes flew wide open, a look of shock on his face. His form bulged, his flesh literally crawling, and suddenly he seemed to burst, his small, human form erupting into the enormous golden dragon he had become at the almost-end of the universe. He writhed, roared, then soared off into the sky before seeming to hit some sort of door, gradually disappearing as the length of his body entered the mysterious barrier.
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Kaguya paced the grounds nervously, hands wringing together. Seeu slept, propped up against a section of the old, crumpling rock wall, too worried to retain consciousness, Akeno sleeping beside him, worn out from the excitement. Everyone else was scattered about: the sages Meishie and Gaviesu; the former owners of the weapons Kura and Bambi; Sarita, who had been reluctant to come, but now would not have left no matter what, and Damien, insistent that he could win back Bambi's affections.
Suddenly, a great flash of golden light lit the meadow, Kaguya covering her eyes and crying out at the bright light.
When vision had returned to all, the scene lay clear. The weapons – all four that had disappeared – now lay on the soft grass, perfect in every detail. Kagami crouched on his hands and knees, black-and-gold hair damp with sweat, breath coming in harsh, ragged gasps.
"Brother!" Kaguya cried and rushed forwards, wrapping her arms around his trembling form. Seeu stirred, woke and went to assist Kaguya in lifting Kagami. He easily cradled the smaller boy, laying him down on the soft grass and covering him with a cloak.
"All…the weapons…" Kagami rasped, "…they should… all be there…"
"Shh," Kaguya soothed, worry shining in her bright blue eyes.
"They… call to their owners," Kagami continued. "Zenith Crio must choose her new owner…"
Seeu was carefully running his hands over Luna at this point, examining every inch for nicks, scratches or any other imperfections, but there were none. In spite of this, he continued to handle his weapon, as if reacquainting himself with a friend long gone.
In a way, he was, and the other owners of the living weapons were in similar states. Each was getting readjusted, listening to the constant chatter in their minds.
"Well," Gaviesu huffed to Meishie off to the side. "I feel so ignored."
Meishie glared at Gaviesu, as if telling the other sage to shut up. His gaze quickly shifted to another sight, though: Sarita.
The pale-haired girl was standing off to the side, stock still and wide-eyed. As they watched her, she slowly began to move, drawing the others' attention to her. She stopped by Zenith, bending down to touch it. She began to slowly run her hands over it, examining it as the others had examined their weapons. She started at it in awe, before speaking softly, slowly.
"I hear…" she breathed, shocked. "It… speaks a little like Idou… she.. she's speaking to me.." was all managed to stutter out before collapsing onto her side in the lush grass.