In the aftermath of the Magic Knights' final battle, Cephiro's state has drastically changed: The world that was still mostly bright and beautiful even after Princess Emeraude had chosen her prison is now trapped in darkness, as lightning ceaselessly flashes through the foreboding storm clouds in the black sky. Without the support of the Pillar, what stability remained is gone: The land is barren, the sea no more, in its stead cliffs rising from the surface of the earth. Even Cephiro's landmarks have disappeared.
A world running out of time.
The only construct still standing is a colossal palace surrounded by a natural and magical barrier: Cephiro's last stronghold, a refuge erected by Guru Clef, Iru and Paru as well as those with extraordinarily strong willpower. However, it, too, will not last forever, as many new threats loom over Cephiro – threats that, if not resolved soon, will affect the essence of the land itself...
Unable to come to terms with the conclusion of their journey, the three girls struggle with their feelings of regret in their daily life back in their world. When they return to the Tokyo Tower, the place where it all began, another flash of light whisks them away, and again they are collected by a spirit beast, which carries them to the palace.
Faru Presea and Guru Clef await them, apologizing for the grief their mission has caused and sharing their pain, for they did not know the full truth behind the legend of the Magic Knights either. The prince, none other than Ferio, who had kept his identity a secret as he thought of his title as a burden, thanks them on behalf of his sister, whose voice he heard before her life extinguished. Emeraude was happy to be able to pray for the person she loved in her last moments. Clef, too, relays Emeraude's apology to them.
The girls decide to fight for Cephiro, which will turn into another battlefield soon, once more.
Also in the palace are Mokona and those who had fought against them under Zagato. The one who has changed the most is Ascot, whose heart, touched by Umi's words and wanting to impress her, allowed him to grow into the body of an adult. Following her words, he stood up for his friends, who are now helping within the castle and no longer feared. He has also learned offensive magic from Guru Clef so that he isn't dependent on his summons anymore.
All the teasing he has to endure aside, Ascot and Caldina share a friendly bond, whereas Caldina and Lafarga seem to have become a couple. Lafarga regularly leaves the palace with Ferio to scout the area and to report Cephiro's state to Clef. All of them want to do what they can to help Cephiro.
The palace is spacious, framed by many wide windows that look out to the dark sky in a Cephiro of lasting night. Even the ceilings, supported by pillars, can be looked through if needed. Rooms are provided with beds, a variety of furniture, tableware, and so on. Though the halls are huge and the corridors wide, the place seems empty, reflecting Cephiro's state. The brightly lit palace gardens contain fruit-bearing trees, fountains and streaming water.
LANTIS. Zagato's younger brother, one of Clef's former pupils and Cephiro's only Kairu (Magic Swordsman), one who combines the physical strength of a Daru and the magic powers of an Iru. He used to be the captain of Emeraude's guard (a position later assumed by Lafarga) before he left Cephiro for Autozam without so much as a word, only to return after the Pillar's death. In fact, he stayed at Autozam longer than he had in any other country while he was travelling, to the point he was offered a position in Autozam's army. His voice is very similar to Zagato's, but he is a very reticent and withdrawn person who does not reveal his plans. Likes naps, dislikes sweets.
PRIMERA. A sprite capable of magic spell enhancement and healing magic – though she'll only use them on Lantis, who rescued her from monsters when Cephiro started to crumble, and whose side she hasn't left since. Naturally jealous, she can be very possessive of him, and treats others as potential rivals in love...
Strength of Heart is part of the Caged Songbird Network © 2015-2021 Lethe
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