Title: An Unselfish Wish
Fandom: Magic Knight Rayearth: Three girls and a marshmallow-like creature named Mokona journey through another world to try and save it. Friendship and puu-ing abound. I don't own it!
Taunt: My fandom can suck giant robots into its mouth.
They are horrified when the men come to their door.
The men are clad in the uniform of Cephiro's army, and they are acting as an escort to the Master Mage himself, Guru Clef. The diminutive sorcerer sweeps into their home when invited, and tells them that he has come for their daughter. She is the one who has been foretold to them, he says. She will be the Pillar.
They protest. She is a mere infant—how can she possibly support this world?
But the Guru will not be deterred. She must be taken to the palace, he says, where she will grow into her role and be taught what she must know to support the land. He seems saddened somehow, but will not allow this to stop him from doing his duty as the Master Mage of the realm.
Before they leave, the heartbroken mother speaks. Will my daughter be loved, she wishes to know.
The sorcerer pauses before nodding. Yes, he tells her. She will be the most beloved person in Cephiro.
She wonders about them.
She knows that she must have parents somewhere out there, but she does not know who they might be or where they are. The only home she has ever known is the palace, where she is worshipped as the Pillar. The only life she has ever known is one of prayer. She has been taught to never let her heart stray, for fear that Cephiro will be lost.
Still, her thoughts drift towards her unknown family. She hopes that they are good people, kind and honest, and that they are able to lead a happy life in the land she is destined to support on the lonely power of her will.
When she asked, Guru Clef told her very little, but did mention that she was their only child. He seemed slightly uncomfortable talking about it. She wonders if he felt guilty, depriving those people of their daughter. From what she knows of him, that might not be too far off the mark.
Her role as Pillar is absolute, and she is forbidden selfish wishes and desires. Still, she allows herself to slip in one small prayer amidst the dozens of others. It is a selfish wish, perhaps, but it is not a wish for herself.
They welcome a son into the world.
He is a healthy baby, strong and crying robustly as he draws his first breath. His parents are thrilled, though they still mourn the loss of his older sister. But they will not let that hinder their love for their new child.
Right now, he is the most important thing they have.
As time goes by, he grows up; he is strong and healthy, and interested in swordplay. Soon he is the best swordsman in their village. They are proud of him and his accomplishments. But they have not yet told him the truth of his sister, and they wonder when the day will come that they have to share that secret with him.
It happens one day, a mere accident. An old man in the village drops a word in the boy's ear that perhaps he was not his parents' first child. He goes home and asks his parents if he had an older sibling, perhaps one who died at a young age. Things such as that were not unheard of.
He is surprised when his mother starts to cry.
They tell him of his sister. They tell him that her name is Emeraude.
He knows the name immediately. Every citizen of Cephiro knows and reveres that name. Princess Emeraude is the Pillar who allows their country to thrive and remain beautiful and prosperous. She is the most important, beloved person in the whole of Cephiro.
They are of the same blood, his parents say. She is his sister.
He believes them, fantastic as the story is. And he wonders if he will ever meet her, though it is unlikely; the Pillar is guarded and protected. Still, even if he does meet her one day, there is no reason for her to know who he is. She would have no inkling that she even had a brother.
As time goes by, the memory fades. It is strange. It is like the recollection is being taken away by someone.
Soon, he has completely forgotten that he has a sister. His parents never speak of her, and so there is no reminder. He goes on with his life, happy in the ignorance of a lost memory.
She knows it the moment she sees him in the Palace.
He is accused of stealing, two treasures from a box in her room. He looks everywhere but at her, as thought waiting for her decision to fall on his head. She is the Pillar, after all. She is said to know everything of Cephiro and its inhabitants, and so judgments are frequently left in her hands.
She has never laid eyes on him before. But she knows who he is. Long ago, she offered up one small prayer tangled in the multitude of prayers she offers daily. A prayer for the family she has never known, that they might have another child to bring them happiness and peace.
He is that child, now a young man.
There is a mistake, she tells the guards, for this boy has stolen nothing—I gave him those as a gift. It is an outright lie, but she does not hesitate to tell it. She does not believe his intent was to steal in the first place. Perhaps curiosity brought him to look at the treasures in that room, but there is no malice in him.
He looks stunned at her words. But he dare not argue against her, for that would be an outright admission of guilt for something he probably had not intended to do in the first place. So he holds his tongue as the guards release him, and he accepts the treasures as the gift she had said they would be.
She is not surprised that he does not know her. That was part of her prayer. Let him grow up unhindered by that knowledge. Let him live free and find happiness. Let him live his life and find love, while she could not.
As he leaves, she knows that she will never see her brother again.
But, she tells herself, it is better this way.
He remembers who he is.
As he watches the battles rage, everything comes back to him. He remembers the story his parents told him as a child, a tale he had somehow forgotten. His sister was taken from his family before he was born. She is the Pillar. She is the princess.
…what does that make him, he wonders? Is he a prince, then? Or is he just another inhabitant of Cephiro, one whose only sibling was chosen to be the most important person in the land? He does not know.
So he stands on the sidelines, feeling as helpless as ever, and watches the climatic battle in the skies.
Emeraude dies there, impaled on the blade of the Magic Knights.
He does not blame them. Rather, he worries for the girls he met in the forest. The green one in particular is clear in his mind. Sweet, smart, and suspicious, but loyal to a fault. He was quite taken with her, though he still cannot say exactly why; he wonders if he will ever see her again.
When it is over, he wanders across the broken landscape, searching for something. What he seeks, he does not know. Zagato is gone. The Pillar is gone. The Magic Knights are gone. It seems that everything is gone. But there must be something, and he will find it.
Finally, he sees someone. There is a person there. At first he think it a child, but as he draws nearer he realizes that the person is not a child, but a very small adult clad in a sorcerer's robes. He is certain he knows who this person is.
His suspicions are confirmed when the person—no, the man introduces himself as the Master Mage of the realm, Clef. But he is surprised when Clef addresses him. Prince Ferio, he calls him in an unconscious answer to his earlier question. Or perhaps the mage knows.
Still, he nods.
Come with me, Guru Clef says.
There is nothing else for him to do. But if he is truly a prince…
Perhaps he can help make this world beautiful again. It would be the least he could do for her memory.
So he follows.