Author's Notes: So I'm on the phone, talking to one of my best friends, and Mitsi tells me I must post.  In fact, she thinks I shouldn't even bother with this note, and she's probably right, but as she has a dial-up internet connection anyway, I don't care.  So there! :p  Reader's are going to hate me when I tell them that this has literally been on my computer for months, in fact, it was created (checks properties in Windows) January 24. ^_^; Umm...first it needed editing, which took all of twenty minutes, then I was convinced there was a plot hole and kept trying to remove it until I read over the old chapters and realized I was dead wrong, and then I agonized over this scene between Umi, Tarta, and Tatra which was supposed to be in this chapter.  It was the scene that inspired the entire fic, but I can't write it! But now I've realized that the particular scene doesn't need to be written, just referred to, except for the end, which can wait.  So I deleted that scene a few days ago, went online, and discovered that wasn't letting people post until the 21st.  (My muse went on a very long vacation, which is why somewhere between mid February and mid June I stopped writing or even thinking about writing)  So, to make a short story longer, I'm sorry to anyone who hasn't given up on this fic.  I'd also like to thank you for bearing with me, and tell you that the next chapter has actually been started.  Anywho, hears the long-promised Emeraude-Zagato brawl, sorry it's so short.

Magic Knight Rayearth: Genesis

Chapter Four

by Sakuya Hecila

            "ZAGATO!" the shriek saturated every wall of the room, seeped into the adjoining corridor and traveled throughout the entire wing. The bewildered addressee felt terror creep into his consciousness as he sighted the whirl of golden fury heading toward him. He gulped. There was no escape. Well, then, if he must face her, he would do it with dignity.

            "Yes, Emeraude?" he said, voice steady.

            "What exactly did you do to that woman?"

            "What woman?" Was she angry about his treatment of the Magic Knight?

            "You know what woman! The Magic Knight I saw running through the castle crying, with your brother trailing after. What did you do to her?"

            "I did nothing."

            Emeraude frowned and clenched her fists. "I hardly believe that. People don't just break down for no reason."

            "Nevertheless, I did nothing."

            "What did you say to her then."

            "I said nothing to her; I only saw her for a moment. It was what I said to my brother that upset her."

            Emeraude glowered at the man, the wish to know exactly what had been said clear in her eyes.

            "I said nothing that should be condemned; only the truth." Zagato's voice was steely.

            "And on what do you base your assumption of the truth, Zagato? There is no truth that should hurt that girl so deeply."

            "Isn't there? I could have sworn she was among the ones who dealt my own death blow, and yours as well."

            "The Magic Knights are not murderers; they are saviors."

            Zagato snorted. "I believe Lantis and I were having the same conversation not long ago. I cannot easily forgive the death of the woman I love."

            "I brought that death upon myself. It was my own wish." Emeraude's eyes narrowed. How dare he? He knew the truth as well as she; it had been the only choice.

            "I am sorry, Emeraude, that you value your life so little. I know I never did. But even though it was of your volition, their actions were their own."

            "Three girls, stranded in an unfamiliar world? All they knew was that in order to go home, they must save the world. They were not told the whole story! Don't you think I wanted to blame them after your death, Zagato? You are not the only one who loved."

            Tears rained down her face, and Zagato shuddered. He had not meant to hurt Emeraude; he loved her. Lantis, he knew, felt the same for the girl Zagato had insulted. Though why his brother felt so strongly for one of them....He refused to apologize for his words. They were the truth. It would take much to forgive the injuries the Magic Knights had dealt him.

            "I know I wasn't the only one, Emeraude. But the Magic Knights still performed the deed."

            "They saved this world! And don't you think they feel horrible for what they did?"

            "They may. I am not a diviner; the minds of strangers are not open to me."

            "No, but if you listened to them before 'stating the facts,' as you might call it, maybe they wouldn't seem like such strangers. Lantis loves that woman, Zagato, did you know that?"

            Zagato inclined his head. "He inferred as much."

            "I have never known Lantis to show unwarranted affection. The Magic Knights have done much more for this world than what they were called to do. They are good people."

            "They may very well be blessed, but I shall decide that for myself. I know no reason to forgive them, and I shall not take back my words until I do."

            Emeraude turned away. "Very well, then, Sol Zagato. When you do so, I may find reason to forgive you." The graceful princess floated out the door and around a corner, leaving behind a still adamant high priest.