The alternate dimension Hikaru and Eagle have been transported to turns out to be Earth, frozen in time. Here, their trial is to fight until one of them emerges as Cephiro's new Pillar.
Hikaru learns that Eagle is sick and does not have much longer to live. Under Autozam's system, he has overexerted his heart; like a machine running out of power, soon he will succumb to an eternal sleep, one that keeps him alive, but will paralyze all his body functions. He intends to become Cephiro's Pillar to give Cephiro its eternal rest after moving its people to a different world, slumbering there as its Pillar to make sure the tragedy is never again repeated, to let Cephiro's history end with him. This he swore when he learned that he'd only have little time left, so that he can decide how his life would end.
When Mokona asks whether he is doing it for Lantis, he denies it. Lantis may be willing to give his life to end the Pillar system so that no more sacrifices are made, but it is not Eagle's intention to achieve that goal in Lantis' stead. His desire is to protect Lantis so that the person he loves would not have to die, even though it means going against Lantis' will by becoming the Pillar.
Hikaru rejects Eagle's way of thinking, accusing him of repeating Princess Emeraude's mistake: Though she saved the ones she loved by sacrificing herself, precisely those loved ones were left behind, their own wishes ignored. Hikaru exclaims that she refuses to see anyone sad, or anyone cry due to losing a loved one, or to feel regret ever again – and in doing so, she is chosen as Cephiro's new Pillar.
The new path that opens is one that connects Cephiro with Earth so that Hikaru may return. Eagle, however, is to be left behind, as only one who has passed the trial is allowed to come back, no matter how much Hikaru, her fellow Knights and Lantis beg Mokona. Even Eagle asks Hikaru to let go of his hand when he sees the injuries she sustains by holding onto him. Again she refuses, telling him to keep living until the very end: for the ones he loves and for himself.
Mokona! Humans cannot live all on their own. Cephiro's Pillar is alone. They may be almighty, but they are all alone. Falling in love gave Emeraude's life meaning. Even I could only persevere because Umi and Fuu were with me. Because I am not alone, because I am alive, I am able find happiness with the ones I love. (Hikaru)
Through their combined efforts and Hikaru's willpower, they are able to bring back both of them, thus saving a life with the same Mashin that took Emeraude's. As Cephiro's new Pillar, Hikaru wishes to preserve its fundamental principle, the one that turns a believing heart into power. Because the responsibility is too much for one person alone to bear, she wishes to abolish the Pillar system: Cephiro shall belong to its people, and together with the Magic Knights and the other lands, they will work on finding a way to ensure everyone's future happiness.
Unlike Princess Emeraude and Mokona, the Magic Knights have proved their trust in the people they love, believing that because they all are the source of their happiness, they can also make a better world together. Entrusting the world to the people, Mokona and the Mashin set out for a new dimension.
After Cephiro has been remade, turning into a bright and beautiful land once more, the Magic Knights can come and go as they please by their own willpower. Eagle is resting as a guest in Cephiro; though his body is asleep, he can communicate telepathically, and thanks to Cephiro's miraculous power, he will be able to make a full recovery. Cephiro, Autozam, Chizetha and Faleng now work together to bring prosperity to their land, Cephiro taking suggestions from the other systems to refine its own, Autozam to work on a solution for its polluted air.
Clef speculates that Mokona may have even wished for a revolution itself, for if Cephiro had been perfect, there would not have been any reason to surround it with neighbouring lands with such different systems, or to summon the Magic Knights from the other world. Mokona created all the opportunities for them to see and come in touch with strange things, to understand them and to create a better world together.
The Magic Knights explained that Hikaru's Mashin, Rayearth, must have been named to express Mokona's wish for a shining earth, a world full of light. It must have been the girls' strong wish to return Cephiro in order to set things right that moved the creator, and that made it call them to Cephiro once again, believing that they will change it.
Cephiro's new chapter starts with the world receiving a new name.
Strength of Heart is part of the Caged Songbird Network © 2015-2017 Lethe
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