The magic knights began their ascent to rescue Princess Emeraude. The crystal formation was blocking the entrance.
"Well, it was nice of Zagato to tell us where Princess Emeraude is and all, but he never told us how to get to her. That's real helpful," said Umi, sarcastically.
"It appears to be a crystal formation," stated Fuu.
"This is the barrier that protects the castle. It was created within Princess Emeraude's heart," said Rayearth.
"Thou canst breech the barrier with thy magic," said Windam.
"So is Princess Emeraude beyond this barrier?" asked Umi.
"The pillar of Cephiro lies within," replied Selece.
"Okay, guys! Let's rescue Princess Emeraude!" blared out Hikaru.
Fuu and Umi nodded. The 3 magic knights destroyed the barrier with their attacks. They soared toward Princess Emeraude in their Rune-Gods, and floated to the ground. Princess Emeraude looked up.
"Legendary magic knights...you're finally here," she said.
"Yes...Zagato told us where to find you," Hikaru told her.
"He even told us about the destiny of the magic knights. Now we know why he was doing everything he could to prevent us from becoming the magic knights," said Umi. "Is it true that you summoned us here to kill you?"
"Yes it is true. I had made the foolish choice to live with the man I love as the pillar," said Princess Emeraude.
"The man you love?" repeated Fuu. Hikaru remembered the conversation she had with Zagato awhile ago. He had admitted that he was in love with Princess Emeraude.
"You mean Zagato, right? He told us how he felt about you," Hikaru told Princess Emeraude.
Princess Emeraude nodded. "He realized that I was hiding my feelings from him. But our love for one another could never be allowed to bloom because I'm the pillar of Cephiro. It is essential for the pillar to pray for the land's stability without interruption, and my love for Zagato hindered that. I felt that I had committed the greatest sin and that I could never be forgiven. So I summoned you girls here to kill me. The pillar is not allowed to take her own life, and no one in Cephiro is allowed to cause the pillar bodily harm in any way. However, Dinah convinced me not to have you girls kill me."
Hikaru was happy to hear that. She didn't think she would have been able to kill Princess Emeraude without any regrets. Umi and Fuu felt the same way. Now Hikaru knew why Zagato detested the pillar system so greatly. No one deserved to be without freedom. If only there were some way the pillar system could be destroyed. They would have to ask Mage Clef about that.
"Well, we're here to rescue you as promised," said Fuu.
"I thank you, girls from another world," said Princess Emeraude.
Hikaru, Fuu and Umi used their magic to break the glass. It cracked and shattered into smithereens. Princess Emeraude got out of the way just in time. She thanked the magic knights again.
"I see that you have freed Princess Emeraude, girls from another world."
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu wondered who said that. It sounded like Mage Clef, but they couldn't be positive. They were so sure that they would never hear from him again, like he said in their last conversation. Unless, of course, Zagato had set him free. To make sure that it was not just wishful thinking, the magic knights looked up. Sure enough, Mage Clef was standing on top of the cliff.
"Clef, you're okay!" said Hikaru, relieved.
"It's nice to see you again, Mr. Clef," said Fuu.
"It's really you, right?" asked Umi. She recalled the time Caldina created Clef as an illusion. Although Zagato had promised that they would be friends from now on, she still wanted to make sure she could trust him.
"Yes it's me. Zagato released me from the spell," said Mage Clef.
"He did?" asked Umi. "Wow..." She was beginning to think maybe Zagato could be trusted.
"So is there any way Princess Emeraude can be free from praying for Cephiro without having to die? And would Cephiro still stand?" asked Fuu.
"Hmm...there is one way, but it is very risky," answered Mage Clef.
"Which way is that?" asked Hikaru. She wondered if it was what she had in mind.
"She can abolish the pillar system itself," replied Mage Clef.
Princess Emeraude thought about this. It was still her unyielding wish for Cephiro to be saved, yet she thought it would be nice to have a future where she could be happy with the one she loved, though not in death alone. She now realized how deeply her captivity hurt some people. Perhaps this decision was selfish of her, but desperate times called for desperate measures. She made her decision.
"I will do it," she said, firmly. She transformed into her adult form, as her child-like form was weakened. She felt the power surging within her. Hikaru, Umi and Fuu looked on in awe. They never thought that Princess Emeraude had the ability to do that.
Princess Emeraude clasped her hands together. "I hereby rid Cephiro of its pillar system! From this moment on, Cephiro's people will be able to pray for themselves and for this land as well!" she proclaimed. With that, Cephiro was no longer bound by the chains of the pillar system.
"Thank you for what you've done. It was you who gave me hope when all hope seemed lost," Princess Emeraude said to Dinah, a bit later.
"It was my pleasure, your highness. You and Lord Zagato were good to me as well," replied Dinah.
Princess Emeraude turned to the magic knights. "You girls from another world set me free and showed me that destinies could be changed. For that, I am forever grateful."
"Well, thank you for helping us at the Spring of Eterna," replied Umi.
Hikaru just remembered something. The task was not completed yet. Cephiro still needed to be restored to the peaceful land it once was. She and the other girls still had a way to go before they could return to Tokyo. She mentioned this to Umi and Fuu.
"You're right! How could I have forgotten about that? How silly of me," said Umi. She decided to not worry about the fencing tournament anymore. She realized that there were more important things to worry about. She talked this over with Hikaru and Fuu, and they nodded in agreement.
"Princess Emeraude? Zagato? We will stay in Cephiro until it is restored back to normal," said Hikaru.
"In that case, you may stay in the castle," said Zagato.
The magic knights couldn't believe their ears. Zagato was being generous.
"Really?" they squealed in unison.
Zagato nodded. "It is the least I can do to erase the pain I have caused you girls," he replied.
Princess Emeraude smiled at this. It was the first time she had smiled in years. Zagato was glad to see a smile on her face for once.
"Thank you, Zagato. We will be right back. We're going to visit Miss Presea," said Hikaru. She and the other girls left the castle.
Dinah decided to give Princess Emeraude and Zagato some time alone. She went to her room to rest.
"Emeraude...please forgive me for all that has happened," said Zagato, taking Princess Emeraude's hand in his. This gave Princess Emeraude butterflies in her stomach. She had always longed to feel his touch.
"Never mind that. I am just glad that it is all over," said Princess Emeraude.
Zagato smiled, and stroked Emeraude's long flowing blonde tresses. It felt as soft as silk. Princess Emeraude stroked Zagato's ebony coloured hair. She knew that everything would be all right.